Friday, July 29, 2005


The Power of Nightmares

From The BBC, The Power of Nightmares:
In the past, politicians promised to create a better world. They had different ways of achieving this. But their power and authority came from the optimistic visions they offered to their people. Those dreams failed. And today, people have lost faith in ideologies. Increasingly, politicians are seen simply as managers of public life.

But now, they have discovered a new role that restores their power and authority. Instead of delivering dreams, politicians now promise to protect us from nightmares. They say that they will rescue us from dreadful dangers that we cannot see and do not understand. And the greatest danger of all is international terrorism. A powerful and sinister network, with sleeper cells in countries across the world. A threat that needs to be fought by a war on terror.

But much of this threat is a fantasy, which has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It’s a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services, and the international media.
The three part series is available for download or steaming from Internet Archive.

Episode 1, "Baby It’s Cold Outside"
At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives, and the radical Islamists. Both were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today’s nightmare vision of a secret, organized evil that threatens the world. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.

Episode 2, "The Phantom Victory"
At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives, and the radical Islamists. In this week’s episode, the two groups come together to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. And both believe that they defeat the Evil Empire, and so had the power to transform the world.

Episode 3, "The Shadows in the Cave"
At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives, and the radical Islamists. Last week’s episode ended in the late ’90s with both groups marginalized and out of power. But with the attacks of September 11th, the fates of both dramatically changed. The Islamists, after their moment of triumph, were virtually destroyed within months, while the neoconservatives took power in Washington. But then, the neoconservatives began to reconstruct the Islamists. They created a phantom enemy. And as this nightmare fantasy began to spread, politicians realized the newfound power it gave them in a deeply disillusioned age. Those with the darkest nightmares became the most powerful.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Brewster, Jennings & Associates

From The Wilderness Publications, COUP D'ETAT:
Not only was Plame's cover blown, so was that of her cover company, Brewster, Jennings & Associates. With the public exposure of Plame, intelligence agencies all over the world started searching data bases for any references to her. Damage control was immediate, as the CIA asserted that her mission had been connected to weapons of mass destruction.

However, it was not long before stories from the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal tied Brewster, Jennings & Associates to energy, oil and the Saudi-owned Arabian American Oil Company, or ARAMCO.

Brewster Jennings was, in fact, a well-established CIA proprietary company, linked for many years to ARAMCO. The demise of Brewster Jennings was also guaranteed the moment Plame was outed.

According to an April 29, 2002 report in Britain's Guardian, ARAMCO constitutes 12% of the world's total oil production; a figure which has certainly increased as other countries have progressed deeper into irreversible decline.


Novak's Damning Quote

From the archives of The Freedom of Information Center, Columnist Names CIA Iraq Operative
By Timothy M. Phelps and Knut Royce
New York Newsday
July 21, 2003.

Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information. "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me," he said. "They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."

Novak reported that his "two senior administration officials" told him that it was Plame who suggested sending her husband, Wilson, to Niger.

A senior intelligence official confirmed that Plame was a Directorate of Operations undercover officer who worked "alongside" the operations officers who asked her husband to travel to Niger.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Don't Forget Poland

From Reuters, U.S. accepts Polish withdrawal from Iraq:
The United States has accepted Poland's plans to pull most of its 1,700 troops from Iraq at the beginning of next year, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said on Monday.

Poland, one of Washington's biggest European allies in Iraq, runs a multi-national stabilisation zone south of Baghdad. "The current (six-month troop) rotation in Iraq will be the last one. By the end of January we would like to pull the troops and replace them with smaller groups, which could for example help train the Iraqi army," Kwasniewski told public radio.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


US Military lying/making things up in Press Releases

From CNN, 'Enemies of humanity' quote raises Iraq PR questions:
The U.S. military on Sunday said it was looking into how virtually identical quotations ended up in two of its news releases about different insurgent attacks.

From Task Force Baghdad 3rd Infantry Division statement released after a car bombing on July 13. That attack killed several children.
"The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq," said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified. "They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists."

A car bomb killed 25 people and wounded 33 others near the al-Rashad police station on July 23. A statement about the attack by Task Force Baghdad 3rd Infantry Division contained:
"The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists," said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified.

The military's response to these two quotes:
After questioning by news media, the military released the statement without the quotation.

Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, spokesman for the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, said use of the quote was an "administrative error." He said the military was looking into the matter.


"The Administration and the Fury"

"Go and get him Saddam's gun," Condi said. "You know how he likes to hold it"

From the AP, Spoof of Bush Wins Faux Faulkner Contest:
A scathing parody that likens President Bush to the "idiot" in William Faulkner's novel "The Sound and the Fury" has won this year's Faulkner write-alike contest — and touched off a literary spat.

Organizers of the Faux Faulkner competition are accusing Hemispheres, the United Airlines magazine that has sponsored the contest for six years, of playing politics by not putting Sam Apple's "The Administration and the Fury" in its print edition — only on its Web site.

From the AP, the story in question:
"The Administration and the Fury If William Faulkner Were Writing on the Bush White House."

By Sam Apple

Down the hall, under the chandelier, I could see them talking. They were walking toward me and Dick's face was white, and he stopped and gave a piece of paper to Rummy, and Rummy looked at the piece of paper and shook his head. He gave the paper back to Dick and Dick shook his head. They disappeared and then they were standing right next to me.

"Georgie's going to walk down to the Oval Office with me," Dick said.

"I just hope you got him all good and ready this time," Rummy said.

"Hush now," Dick said. "This aint no laughing matter. He know lot more than folks think."

Dick patted me on the back good and hard. "Come on now, Georgie," Dick said. "Never mind you, Rummy."

We walked down steps to the office. There were paintings of old people on the walls and the room was round like a circle and Condi was sitting on my desk. Her legs were crossed.

"Did you get him ready for the press conference?" Dick said.

"Dont you worry about him. He'll be ready," Condi said. Condi stood up from the desk. Her legs were long and she smelled like the Xeroxed copies of the information packets they give me each day.

"Hello Georgie," Condi said. "Did you come to see Condi?" Condi rubbed my hair and it tickled.

"Dont go messing up his hair," Dick said. "He's got a press conference in a few minutes."

Condi wiped some spit on her hand and patted down my hair. Her hand was soft and she smelled like Xerox copies coming right out of the machine. "He looks just fine," Condi said.

Fine day, isn't it, Georgie, Daddy said. Daddy was pitching horseshoes. Horseshoes flew through the air and it was hot. Jeb looked at me. Stand back or one of his horseshoes is going to hit you and knock you down real good, Jeb said. Jeb threw the horseshoe and it went right over the stick and Daddy clapped. Run and get me that horseshoe, Georgie, Daddy said. I ran and picked up the horseshoe. The metal was hot in my hands, and I held it for a little bit and then I dropped it. I picked it up. It was hot in my hands and I started running away from Daddy and Jeb. Come back with that horseshoe, Daddy said. I was running as fast as I could. Jeb run after him and get me my horseshoe before he throws another one in the river, Daddy hollered. Jeb was chasing after me fast. Come back with that horseshoe, Georgie, Jeb hollered. But I was fast and I kept running until I got to the river. Dont you dare throw that horseshoe in the river, Jeb said. I threw the horseshoe in the river. Jeb fell on the ground. Jeb kicked and cried and then I cried.

"He needs his makeup," Dick said.

"I'll do it," Condi said. She put a little brush on my cheek and it tickled and I laughed.

Rummy walked into the room. "Jesus, what's he laughing about," Rummy said.

"Dont you pay attention to him, Georgie," Dick said. "They're going to be asking you all about Social Security. You just remember what we talked about."

"He cant remember anything," Rummy said.

I started to holler. Dick's face was red and he looked at Rummy. "I told you to hush up already," Dick said. "Now look what you've gone and done."

"Go and get him Saddam's gun," Condi said. "You know how he likes to hold it."

Dick went to my desk drawer and took out Saddam's gun. He gave it to me, and it was hot in my hands. Rummy pulled the gun away.

"Do you want him carrying a gun into the press conference?" Rummy said. "Cant you think any better than he can?"

I was hollering and Dick was turning red and then white and the room was tilted.

"You give him that gun back, right this minute," Condi said. Rummy gave me Saddam's gun back and I held it my hands. It was hot like a horseshoe.

"You got the gun, now you stop that hollering," Rummy said.

Condi patted me on the back. "It sure is hot in here," she said. She fanned herself and took off her jacket. She smelled like perfume.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


From the Way-Back Machine: White House's view on leaks in a time of war

From WashPost, Bush Edict on Briefings Irks Hill:
October 10, 2001

Bush: "I want Congress to hear loud and clear, it is unacceptable behavior to leak classified information when we have troops at risk."

While a few senior aides are free to speak to media organizations if they alert the press office, others "should not talk to the press without authorization -- it's not their job," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said. "In a time of war, people are more concerned about nobody making mistakes."

In the White House, there have been e-mails and meetings in recent days, invoking Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr.'s name, warning staff members that they are not to speak to the press under any circumstance.

From ThinkProgress, A Simple Question:
So here’s a question: When Karl Rove leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, was he authorized to do so?

If no, then Karl Rove betrayed the trust of the White House.
If yes, and Rove’s actions were cleared through the press office, then the White House betrayed the trust of the American people and our nation’s security.

So, which one was it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Too much attention on Rove? Rush a SCOTUS nomination forward

From Bloomberg News, Supreme Court Pick Shifts Attention From Rove, Agent Disclosure:
President George W. Bush's nomination of a new Supreme Court justice may give White House adviser Karl Rove a temporary reprieve from public scrutiny of his role in the disclosure of an intelligence operative's identity.

Bush accelerated his search for a Supreme Court nominee in part because of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name, according to Republicans familiar with administration strategy.

Bush originally had planned to announce a replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on July 26 or 27, just before his planned July 28 departure for a month-long vacation at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, said two administration officials, who spoke on the condition they not be named.

The officials said those plans changed because Rove has become a focus of Fitzgerald's interest and of news accounts about the matter.
Let me see if I understand: For political gain, Bush et. al. outs a NOC agent. They find themselves facing all sorts of trouble and unwanted attention. What do they do? They rush the selection of their choice for the Supreme Court, a lifetime appointment. Can these people ever think beyond their immediate political needs?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


(Former) CIA agents not so happy about Plame leak

18 July 2005

The Honorable Dennis Hastert, Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Dr. William Frist, Majority Leader of the Senate
The Honorable Harry Reid, Minority Leader of the Senate

We, the undersigned former U.S. intelligence officers are concerned with the tone and substance of the public debate over the ongoing Department of Justice investigation into who leaked the name of Valerie Plame, wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, to syndicated columnist Robert Novak and other members of the media, which exposed her status as an undercover CIA officer. The disclosure of Ms. Plame’s name was a shameful event in American history and, in our professional judgment, may have damaged U.S. national security and poses a threat to the ability of U.S. intelligence gathering using human sources. Any breach of the code of confidentiality and cover weakens the overall fabric of intelligence, and, directly or indirectly, jeopardizes the work and safety of intelligence workers and their sources.

The Republican National Committee has circulated talking points to supporters to use as part of a coordinated strategy to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. As part of this campaign a common theme is the idea that Ambassador Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame was not undercover and deserved no protection. The following are four recent examples of this "talking point":

Michael Medved stated on Larry King Live on July 12, 2005, "And let's be honest about this. Mrs. Plame, Mrs. Wilson, had a desk job at Langley. She went back and forth every single day."

Victoria Toensing stated on a Fox News program with John Gibson on July 12, 2005 that, "Well, they weren't taking affirmative measures to protect that identity. They gave her a desk job in Langley. You don't really have somebody deep undercover going back and forth to Langley, where people can see them."

Ed Rodgers, Washington Lobbyist and former Republican official, said on July 13, 2005 on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, "And also I think it is now a matter of established fact that Mrs. Plame was not a protected covert agent, and I don't think there's any meaningful investigation about that."

House majority whip Roy Blunt (R, Mo), on Face the Nation, July 17, 2005, "It certainly wouldn't be the first time that the CIA might have been overzealous in sort of maintaining the kind of top-secret definition on things longer than they needed to. You know, this was a job that the ambassador's wife had that she went to every day. It was a desk job. I think many people in Washington understood that her employment was at the CIA, and she went to that office every day."

While we are pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an investigation and that the U.S. Attorney General has recused himself, we believe that the partisan attacks against Valerie Plame are sending a deeply discouraging message to the men and women who have agreed to work undercover for their nation’s security.

We are not lawyers and are not qualified to determine whether the leakers technically violated the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act. However, we are confident that Valerie Plame was working in a cover status and that our nation’s leaders, regardless of political party, have a duty to protect all intelligence officers. We believe it is appropriate for the President to move proactively to dismiss from office or administratively punish any official who participated in any way in revealing Valerie Plame's status. Such an act by the President would send an unambiguous message that leaks of this nature will not be tolerated and would be consistent with his duties as the Commander-in-Chief.

We also believe it is important that Congress speak with one non-partisan voice on this issue. Intelligence officers should not be used as political footballs. In the case of Valerie Plame, she still works for the CIA and is not in a position to publicly defend her reputation and honor. We stand in her stead and ask that Republicans and Democrats honor her service to her country and stop the campaign of disparagement and innuendo aimed at discrediting Mrs. Wilson and her husband.

Our friends and colleagues have difficult jobs gathering the intelligence, which helps, for example, to prevent terrorist attacks against Americans at home and abroad. They sometimes face great personal risk and must spend long hours away from family and friends. They serve because they love this country and are committed to protecting it from threats from abroad and to defending the principles of liberty and freedom. They do not expect public acknowledgement for their work, but they do expect and deserve their government’s protection of their covert status.

For the good of our country, we ask you to please stand up for every man and woman who works for the U.S. intelligence community and help protect their ability to live their cover.

Sincerely yours,
Larry C. Johnson, former Analyst, CIA
Mr. Brent Cavan, former Analyst, CIA
Mr. Vince Cannistraro, former Case Officer, CIA
Mr. Michael Grimaldi, former Analyst, CIA
Mr. Mel Goodman, former senior Analyst, CIA
Col. W. Patrick Lang (US Army retired), former Director, Defense Humint Services, DIA
Mr. David MacMichael, former senior estimates officer, National Intelligence Council, CIA
Mr. James Marcinkowski, former Case Officer, CIA
Mr. Ray McGovern, former senior Analyst and PDB Briefer, CIA
Mr. Jim Smith, former Case Officer, CIA
Mr. William C. Wagner, former Case Officer, CIA

(Most emphasis mine. Copied from Crooks and Liars)

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Baghdad: One Dead an Hour

From Zaman Online (1st Turkish Paper on the Internet), Not Enough Caskets for the Iraqi Dead:
The price of a coffin varies from between $35 and $50 in Bagdat (Baghdad), in a city where one person dies every hour. Caskets have become a major necessity of the country due to the increasing number of deaths. Although around 10 or 15 caskets are constructed per day, they are still not able to supply enough caskets to keep up with demands, say coffin makers.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Did Rove violate his Non-Disclosure Agreement?

From the NYTimes, Rove Reportedly Held Phone Talk on C.I.A. Officer:
Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist [Robert D. Novak] the name of the C.I.A. officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.

After hearing Mr. Novak's account, the person who has been briefed on the matter said, Mr. Rove told the columnist: "I heard that, too."

From the handbook accompanying the Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement (SF-312) Mr Rove signed:

Read Rep. Waxman's examination of this issue. (37K pdf file)

Discussions at Eschaton and The Agonist.


Dream a Little Rovian Dream...

Thursday, July 14, 2005


US Atty Patrick J. Fitzgerald

From the US Dep't of Justice bio:
Patrick J. Fitzgerald began serving as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois on September 1, 2001. Mr. Fitzgerald was...nominated by President G. W. Bush. The Senate confirmed his nomination by unanimous consent on October 23, 2001, and President Bush signed his commission on October 29, 2001.

As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Fitzgerald serves as the district's top federal law enforcement official. He manages of staff of approximately 300 employees, including approximately 150 Assistant U.S. Attorneys.
At the time of his appointment, noone in the Senate or the WH seemed to have any problems with this man. I hope they don't start to once indictments start coming out of his office.

Looking over his past, we can see he doesn't like corruption in public offices.
In Chicago, Mr. Fitzgerald has supervised the continuing public corruption investigation known as Operation Safe Road, which began in 1998, and which resulted in the convictions of more than 65 defendants, including more than 30 public employees and officials.

It is not just local corruption he seems to dislike, he also has an eye toward conspiracies.
Mr. Fitzgerald also served as trial counsel in United States v. Arnaout, in which the executive director of Benevolence International Foundation, Inc., a charitable organization based in south suburban Chicago, was sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy for fraudulently obtaining charitable donations to provide financial assistance to persons engaged in violent activities overseas, including to fighters in Chechnya and Bosnia, instead of using donations strictly for peaceful, humanitarian purposes.

I know what you are thinking: The guys hates corruption, but is he soft on terrorism?
  • ...participated in the prosecution of US v. Usama Bin Laden, et al., in which 23 defendants were charged with various offenses...Four defendants went on trial in January 2001 in New York, and a jury returned guilty verdicts against all four on May 29, 2001. All four were sentenced to life in prison on Oct. 18, 2001.

  • ...participated in the trial of US v. Omar Abdel Rahman, et al., a nine-month trial in 1995 of 12 defendants who participated in a seditious conspiracy that involved the February 1993 bombing of the WTC...

  • He also supervised the case of US v. Ramzi Yousef, et al., the 1996 prosecution of three defendants who participated in a conspiracy in the Philippines in late 1994...
Well, he does seem to be someone who is more than a little hard on terrorism. Moreover, he appears to like to find conspiracies of illegal activity. Has his work cut out for himself this summer.

His awards:
  • Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service in 1996
  • Stimson Medal from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in 1997
  • Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service in 2002
Personal bio:
Mr. Fitzgerald, 44, is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. He joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan in 1988 after three years as a litigation associate at the New York law firm, Christy & Viener. He graduated from Amherst College, Phi Beta Kappa, with a bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics in 1982, and from Harvard Law School in 1985.
I have a soft spot for anyone with a degree in mathematics. Throw in economics and a law degree and it is obvious we have one smart prosecutor on the case.

[Update, 7/20/05] More on Operation Safe Road from The Chicago Tribune December 17, 2003
Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan was charged today in a federal racketeering indictment with conspiracy and fraud while he was governor and secretary of state.

"I submit that the citizens of this state expect honest government from the secretary of state or the governor," Fitzgerald said, "They deserve nothing less."

"It was not opened up as an investigation of George Ryan, it was opened up as an investigation of licenses for bribes at the secretary of state's office," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said today was the last day that the current grand jury was impaneled.

Ryan became the 66th person charged in the investigation; 59 people and his campaign committee have been convicted so far.

The federal investigation was launched after six children in one family died in a fiery accident on a Wisconsin expressway involving a trucker who may have bought his drivers license.

[Update, 7/20/05] Bob Harris makes the following observation about Mr. Fitzgerald:
Fitzgerald is certainly an interesting investigator for this case. A little background:

The full damage caused by the leak isn't yet knowable (at least without the clearance). But Valerie Wilson's CIA front, Brewster-Jennings, was reportedly tasked with tracking the smuggling of explosive materials in the Middle East, so that crap like the 1993 WTC attack, the embassy bombings in Africa, and 9-11 wouldn't be even worse next time.

(That's the operation apparently shit-canned by this White House for their own political gain. So you can see why the CIA lifers pushed the case for criminal investigation, and why people are throwing the word "treason" around so much.)

The 1993 WTC attack was prosecuted by... Patrick Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald was then assigned to prosecute, yes, the Al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa.

Fitzgerald was building a case against Osama Bin Laden five years before 9-11.

This job, one concludes, involved a certain appreciation for intelligence people studying the illicit movement of explosives by terrorists.

If there's a single prosecutor in America who fully understands what the Plame case is about -- a reckless compromise of national security for political interest -- it's this guy. If there's a prosecutor in this country who groks the background and context of the specific operations destroyed by this crime, it's this guy. And if there's a single prosecutor capable of pursuing a conspiracy case no matter where it reaches, it sure seems like it's this guy.

Given a choice between being chased by Patrick Fitzgerald and a pack of hungry zombies... I'm guessing the zombies would look pretty good right about now.

[Update 10/10/05] See Many a good thing said of US Atty Fitzgerald

[Update 10/21/05] Found this (FindLaw) transcript from the appointment of Mr Fitzgerald as Special Prosecutor. To quote from Deputy Attorney General James Comey's remarks:
[The] United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, will serve as special counsel in charge of this matter. I chose Mr. Fitzgerald, my friend and former colleague, based on his sterling reputation for integrity and impartiality. He is an absolutely apolitical career prosecutor. He is a man with extensive experience in national security and intelligence matters, extensive experience conducting sensitive investigations, and in particular, experience in conducting investigations of alleged government misconduct...

The regulations promulgated in 1999 by Attorney General Reno say that an outside special counsel should -- and I'm going to read you the quote -- "be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decision-making, and with appropriate experience to ensure both that the investigation will be conducted ably, expeditiously and thoroughly and that investigative and prosecutorial decisions will be supported by an informed understanding of the criminal law and Department of Justice policies."

When I read that, I realized that it describes Pat Fitzgerald perfectly. I once told a Chicago newspaper that Pat Fitzgerald was Eliot Ness with a Harvard law degree and a sense of humor. Anyone who knows him, who knows his work, who knows his background, knows that he is the perfect man for this job.

[Update 10/26/05] Add an entry pulled from NRO: Even Republicians that know Fitzgerald support him, including the quote
Pat Fitzgerald is the best prosecutor I have ever seen. By a mile. He is also the straightest shooter I have ever seen – by at least that much. And most importantly, he is a good man.
See entry for more.


Daniel Schorr on Rove

From NPR, Maintaining Focus: Rove and Iraq War Data:
Let me remind you, the underlying issue in the Karl Rove controversy is not a leak, but a war. And how America was misled into that war.... enough is known to surmise that the leaks of Rove and others deputized by him amounted to an angry act of retaliation against someone who had the temerity to challenge the President of the United States when he was striving to find some plausible reason for invading Iraq.

The role of Rove and associates added up to a small incident in very large scandal: the effort to delude America into thinking it faced a threat dire enough to justify a war.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


CA Nat'l Guard needs sensitivity training

From the AP, Calif. Guard Targeted Over Pig-Blood Flier:
Islamic leaders and peace groups are criticizing the California National Guard for a flier posted in its headquarters suggesting the United States execute Islamic terrorists with bullets dipped in pig's blood to deny them entry to heaven.

The flier attributed the practice to World War I General John J. Pershing.

"Maybe it is time for this segment of history to repeat itself, maybe in Iraq?" the flier stated. It was posted outside a cubicle in the Guard's Civil Support Division.

A second flier showed the wings and tail of a bomber forming a peace sign with the slogan, "Peace the old fashioned way."

Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Doug Hart at first defended the postings to the San Jose Mercury News, which reported them Tuesday, but Hart later said they had been removed.
Why is this Nal't Guard unit under examination?
[P]eace groups and a state senator questioned whether a new Guard unit had been formed to spy on U.S. citizens and had monitored a Mother's Day anti-war rally. A federal investigation of the allegations is underway.


"There is simply no way to avoid sacrifice."

From Sarah Vowell, writing an Op-Ed for the NYTimes, The Speech the President Should Give:
The president would sit behind his Oval Office desk, stare into a TV camera and say: "My fellow Americans, good evening. As if that's possible.

"We are a divided people, but let us celebrate what we have in common. We don't all worship the same god. Some of us do not believe in a god at all. But the good news is that, thanks to me, we all now believe in the Apocalypse. You're welcome."...

The speech goes on for hours, pre-empting Conan. There are long tangents about mercury levels, under-armored military vehicles and war profiteering. Finally, losing his voice, he hoarsely ends his diatribe in the middle of the night, whispering "sweet dreams" while putting air quotes around the word "sweet."

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


London bombs of military grade

From The Times, Terrorist gang 'used military explosives':
A single bombmaker using high-grade military explosives is believed to be responsible for building the four devices that killed more than 50 people last week, The Times can reveal...They also believe that the materials used were not home made but sophisticated military explosives, possibly smuggled into Britain from the Balkans.

“The nature of the explosives appears to be military, which is very worrying,” said Superintendent Christophe Chaboud, the chief of the French anti-terrorist police, who was in London to help Scotland Yard.

Or maybe not from the Balkans. Remember Al Qa Qaa
AN IAEA Record of Monitoring Inspection for Al Qa Qaa for 14 January 2003 reported the following inventory:

The New York Times and CBS 60 minutes disclosed on October 25, 2004 that the IAEA reported that nearly 340 metric tons of high explosives had gone missing from the former military facility at Al Qaqaa.

"lost after 9 April 2003, through the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security".

If not London, when are these missing explosives going to show up? If they haven't already. I have been wondering for some time now: is there any forensic investigations taking place in Iraq? I can easily imagine the scene of a roadside bombing not being safe enough to investigate, but maybe some people might just prefer not to know the source of the explosives killing Iraqi and US personal.

Monday, July 11, 2005


'Liberal' Soldier Arrested In Iraq

From Leonard Clark, Stationed just outside Baghdad, Iraq, From a mutual friend of Leonard…:
I’ve just learned today that Leonard Clark was arrested for campaigning for the Senate! Well, it looks as if they could not muzzle him according to military law (the attorney said he had a right to speak his opinion), so they found another excuse! Apparently they can arrest him for campaigning for office. There’s just one thing wrong with that—Leonard Clark had not actually campaigned in the sense that we recognize campaigning (raising funds, soliciting campaign workers, etc.) All he has said is that he opposes the reasons for being in Iraq because he is there to see the truth and that he hopes he makes it back so he can run against Kyl. This is NOT in my view an actual campaign at this point. His papers have not even yet been filed! So how can he be accused of campaigning and arrested under this outrageous pretext? This is so shameful we should all be furious enough to write to as many government officials as we feel can help and copy as much media as possible!

I do not yet have any details on his arrest, only a reliable source that it happened. As I learn more, I will keep you posted. In the meantime, please continue to keep him in your prayers to protect him not only from the insurgents, but sadly from the very people in our military who are maliciously and unjustly attacking him for exercising his freedom of speech!

See also this diary at DailyKos.

[Update] Another diary over at DailyKos. Includes this counter-example of an active duty serviceman running for political office. You guessed it: as a Republican:
You might be interested to know, that during the last Pennsylvania state senate race Republican candidate John Pippy was permitted to campaign for political office even though his National Guard unit was activated and he was called up to duty. He got an exemption from Rumsfeld to be allowed to be put on the ballot. What is really upsetting is the SOB won...

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Bremer and the missing $9 Billion in Iraq

From The Guardian, So, Mr Bremer, where did all the money go?:
At the end of the Iraq war, vast sums of money were made available to the US-led provisional authorities, headed by Paul Bremer, to spend on rebuilding the country. By the time Bremer left the post eight months later, $8.8bn of that money had disappeared...

An Iraqi hospital administrator told me that when he came to sign a contract, the American army officer representing the CPA had crossed out the original price and doubled it. The Iraqi protested that the original price was enough. The American officer explained that the increase (more than $1m) was his retirement package...

When the Iraqi Governing Council asked Bremer why a contract to repair the Samarah cement factory was costing $60m rather than the agreed $20m, the American representative reportedly told them that they should be grateful the coalition had saved them from Saddam...

Millions of dollars were paid to contractors for phantom work. Some $3,379,505 was billed, for example, for "personnel not in the field performing work" and "other improper charges" on just one oil pipeline repair contract...

Officially, Iraq exported $10bn worth of oil in the first year of the American occupation. Christian Aid has estimated that up to $4bn more may have been exported and is unaccounted for...
This is by no means a complete list of fraud and missing moneys mentioned in the quoted article. The article itself suggests there is far more fraud to be unearthed in all this. Stay turned...


DC Truth Convergence

JULY 22~24, 2005

PLANNING ADVISORS AND PARTICIPANTS, Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, Dr. Bob Bowman of Veterans for Peace, FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, former HUD Asst. Secretary Catherine Austin Fitts, Dr. David Ray Griffin, Rep. Charles Key of the Oklahoma City Bombing Commission, CIA veteran Ray McGovern, Sunny Miller of Traprock Peace Center, Depleted Uranium authority Dr. Leuren Moret, Jenna Orkin of WTC Environmental Action, Peter Philips of Project Censored, former Bush Labor Dept. Economist Morgan Reynolds,, and many more.

Come for the speakers, stay for meetings
July 22, First birthday of the misbegotten 9/11 Commission Report; National Press Club
July 23, 3rd Anniversary of the Downing St Memo; Lafayette Park in front of White House
July 24, Issue-specific workshops and caucuses; American University

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