Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Airing Out the Vice Presidential Bunker

Tom Engelhardt

The US government and military have undergone a series of jolting expansions in the Bush years. We got, for instance, a second Defense Department called the Department of Homeland Security. We got a military command for North America called United States Northern Command. More than anything else, however, while we already had an "imperial presidency," we also got an add-on--an imperial vice-presidency, a new form of shadow government in the United States, a startlingly unbound, constitutionally unmandated new institutional power.

On taking office, Dick Cheney promptly began to set up a vice-presidential office that essentially mimicked, and then to some extent replaced, the National Security Council (NSC). Just as promptly, his office plunged itself into utter, blinding secrecy--as journalist Robert Dreyfuss discovered when he simply tried to chart out who was working in this new center of power. No information, it turned out, could be revealed to a curious reporter, not even the names and positions of those who worked for the Vice President, those who, theoretically, were working for us. Cheney's office would not even publicly acknowledge its own employees, no less let them be interviewed.

From that office (and allied posts elsewhere in the executive branch and the federal bureaucracy), the Vice President and his various right-hand men like I Lewis "Scooter" Libby and present Chief of Staff David Addington, both fierce believers in the so-called unitary executive theory of government (in which a "wartime" commander-in-chief president is said to have unfettered power to command just about anything), elbowed the State Department, the NSC, and the Intelligence Community. With the President's ear, and in league with Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon (among others), they spearheaded a series of mis- and disinformation operations that led to Iraq and beyond. (Reporter Jim Lobe wrote about this at Tomdispatch in August 2005, "Dating Cheney's Nuclear Drumbeat.")

Now shorn of Rumsfeld, Cheney and his men, increasingly beleaguered, are nonetheless pushing on as the Vice President secretively travels the world, warning and scheming. Only this week, in "The Redirection," a New Yorker piece as chilling as any you might ever want to read, our premier journalist of this era (as well as the Vietnam one), Seymour Hersh reports that, two years ago, old hands from the Iran-Contra fiasco of the Reagan era, well-seeded into the Bush administration, had an informal meeting led by Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams. Their conclusions: "As to what the experience taught them, in terms of future covert operations, the participants found: ‘One, you can't trust our friends. Two, the C.I.A. has got to be totally out of it. Three, you can't trust the uniformed military, and four, it's got to be run out of the Vice-President's office." ...
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Must read:

Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?
Issue of 2007-03-05
Posted 2007-02-25


In the past few months, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated, the Bush Administration, in both its public diplomacy and its covert operations, has significantly shifted its Middle East strategy. The “redirection,” as some inside the White House have called the new strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

One contradictory aspect of the new strategy is that, in Iraq, most of the insurgent violence directed at the American military has come from Sunni forces, and not from Shiites. But, from the Administration’s perspective, the most profound—and unintended—strategic consequence of the Iraq war is the empowerment of Iran. Its President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made defiant pronouncements about the destruction of Israel and his country’s right to pursue its nuclear program, and last week its supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on state television that “realities in the region show that the arrogant front, headed by the U.S. and its allies, will be the principal loser in the region.”...
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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What Is Mainstream?
By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It's a landslide.

In stark contrast to the indecision and hesitation on Capitol Hill and among the Washington media elite, the American people have made up their mind about Iraq. They want out, and they want Congress to do something about it.

According to the results of the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, disapproving of President Bush's Iraq policy is not just the majority view; it is the sentiment of two out of every three members of the American public.

Support for a troop withdrawal -- and, specifically, for Congress to stay Bush's hand -- is not the domain of the antiwar left. It is the view of a solid majority of Americans.

Consider some of these findings, listed in order of how strongly those views are held. (And I'm only including those with over 55 percent support):

* 67 disapprove of the way Bush is handling Iraq.

* 67 percent oppose sending additional troops to Iraq.

* 66 percent support reducing U.S. military and financial support for the Iraqi government if the Iraqis fail to make progress toward national unity and restoring civil order.

* 64 don't think the war with Iraq was worth fighting.

* 58 percent want Congress to limit the number of troops available for duty.

* 56 percent feel the U.S. should withdraw its military forces from Iraq in order to avoid further U.S. military casualties, even if that means civil order is not restored there....
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Loony Laura on Larry King yesterday:

KING: So it's(the occupation of Iraq) going to be going on when you leave office?

BUSH: Probably. I mean I have no idea and there's no way I could predict. But I hope not. I hope that they can build their government and reconcile with each other and build a country. This is their opportunity to seize the moment, to build a really good and stable country. And many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everybody.
There are 185 incidents of insurrgent violence a day in Iraq. Under Saddam Hussein there were 0.

I want some of what she's on.

Isn't blaming media a classic conservative dimwit move? Don't they ever get tired of it?

Here's how it works: Something happens. It gets reported. People who see the report react however they're gonna react.

Evidently a vast majority of Americans are discouraged with the performance of her stupid, immoral asshat husband.

I'll include the link to the whole transcript. She talks about sacrifice...the bitch has some kind of disassociative mental illness it seems...
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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Al Qaeda Resurgent
Published: February 25, 2007

Almost five and a half years ago, America — united by the shock of 9/11 — understood exactly what it needed to do. It had to find, thwart and take down the command structure of Al Qaeda, which was responsible for the deaths of 3,000 innocent people on American soil. Despite years of costly warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq, America today is not significantly closer to that essential goal.

At a crucial moment, the Bush administration diverted America’s military strength, political attention and foreign aid dollars from a necessary, winnable war in Afghanistan to an unnecessary, and by now unwinnable, war in Iraq. Al Qaeda took full advantage of these blunders to survive and rebuild. Now it seems to be back in business.

As our colleagues Mark Mazzetti and David Rohde reported last week, American intelligence and counterterrorism officials believe that Al Qaeda has rebuilt its notorious training camps, this time in Pakistan’s loosely governed tribal regions near the Afghan border. Camp graduates are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq — and may well be plotting new terrorist strikes in the West.

The same officials point to more frequent and more current videos as evidence that Al Qaeda’s top leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri — once on the run for their lives and unable to maintain timely communications with their followers — now feel more secure. Al Qaeda is not as strong as it was when its Taliban allies ruled Afghanistan. But, the officials warn, it is getting there....
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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Isn't it amazing? They all condemn the ACLU but when the privacy rights of dope-fiends like Rush Limbaugh or the free-speech rights buttboy ministers like this are in jeopardy they all call on them to defend them. They ought to just STFU & be thankful the ACLU exists but will they? Nah, they're 'conservatives', hypocracy comes with the territory.

Haggard Part Deux Runs to the ACLU

Rev. Lonnie Latham, a notoriously anti-gay Southern Baptist Convention heavyweight who resigned his post for engaging in "offering to engage in an act of lewdness" (read: seeking meat whistle lessons from an undercover cop posing as a male prostitute), has now asserted his right to solicit sex from that cop. And he's enlisted the anti-Christian commie pinkos at the ACLU to help him. I know this doesn't have anything to do with the campaign but admit you're glad I posted it...
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From the shameless bullshit department ( current President Frank Gaffney):

The corpse of the Victory Caucus

As was discussed earlier this week, right-wing bloggers (along with Frank Gaffney) created "The Victory Caucus," artificially pumped up its traffic statistics by collectively and repeatedly linking to it, and then excitedly pointed to that traffic as evidence that they had tapped into latent though powerful pro-war sentiment among Americans which was spawning a new online movement. That ruckus, in turn, caused easily manipulated reporters to write articles and broadcast stories touting this new, exciting, surging Pro-War online Phenomenon.

Last week, Tucker Carlson welcomed as his guest Victory Caucus "Board of Governors" member Frank Gaffney, and Carlson began the segment by announcing:

Last week's antiwar resolution in the House saw 17 Republican members vote against the president's position. As with any vote of consequences, there is a political price to pay, in this case, for the GOP congressmen who broke from their party.

A new conservative group, the Victory Caucus, aims to hold politicians accountable for their positions, serving as a counterpoint to organizations like

The Politico article also described the Victory Caucus as "designed to counter the anti-war" and included passages like this:

In the meantime, the Victory Caucus hopes to shame Republicans into sticking with their leaders on upcoming votes on defense spending. "This is a means of getting out a message," said [Townhall/Hugh Hewitt blogger] Dean Barnett, a member of the Victory Caucus Board of Governors. "We're letting the political class know there's a huge chunk of people out there that want victory."

So, how is the right's doing now? How "huge" is the "chunk" of pro-war enthusiasts eager to punish Republicans who turn against the war? Here is the Victory Caucus's Site Meter chart, showing its daily visit numbers for the month, current through today:
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Dark Clouds Over the White House; Fitzgerald lets the cat out of the bag

In their whining, complaining, often maudlin closing arguments, Scooter Libby's defense counsel averred that the prosecution had "cast a dark cloud over the White House" – as if that was, in itself, a bad thing, and, in the current context, a very bad thing. Leading prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald, in his rebuttal, was quick to retort:

"There is a cloud over the vice president . . . And that cloud remains because this defendant obstructed justice. There is a cloud over the White House. Don't you think the FBI and the grand jury and the American people are entitled to straight answers?"

Libby, Fitzgerald averred, "stole the truth from the justice system."

Ah, but the truth is still out there, waiting to be recovered: the question is, has the trail gone cold? Well, not quite. We know what Fitzgerald's method is: he goes after the underlings, convicts them, and then gets them to "flip" under pressure from a potentially long and arduous prison sentence. There is no doubt, in my mind at least, that that's exactly what he intends to do in this case. After all, he didn't go after one of the most powerful men in Washington just to get a cut-and-dried conviction on a few counts of perjury and obstruction. He's after bigger game. In the hunt for who outed a covert CIA officer named Valerie Plame, Fitzgerald has lived up to his nickname of "Bulldog" – and my guess is that he's going after the big one. Dick Cheney, call your lawyer …. [Open in new window]


Defense Attorney Claims Fitzgerald Believes Cheney told Libby to Leak Plame's Identity

by Jason Leopold

It was the defense attorney representing I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby who first told jurors during closing arguments in the perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial Tuesday that the government believes Vice President Dick Cheney told Libby to leak the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to a New York Times reporter in July 2003 to undermine the credibility of her husband, a critic of the Iraq War.

Additional information about what the prosecution believes Cheney's role in the leak may have been surfaced in closing arguments this week. The jury enters its third full day of deliberations Monday to decide whether Libby is guilty or innocent of five felonies. Libby's attorney, Theodore Wells, told jurors that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and his deputy have been attempting to build a case of conspiracy against the vice president and Libby and that the prosecution believes Libby may have lied to federal investigators and a grand jury to protect Cheney.

At issue is whether a set of talking points Cheney dictated in July 2003, that the vice president's former chief of staff was instructed to discuss with the media, included information about Plame. The discussions with the media were supposed to be centered around Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, and the fact that he accused the White House of misrepresenting intelligence related to Iraq's attempts to acquire uranium from Niger, according to testimony by Cathie Martin, Cheney's former communications director.... [Open in new window]

Link to a slew of stories from UK TELEGRAPH (via RAW STORY) that aren't in/on US Media:
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Because? 'Cause they're 'libruls'. Uh huh...

Telegraph: Israel seeks all clear for Iran air strike

Israel is negotiating with the United States for permission to fly over Iraq as part of a plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

To conduct surgical air strikes against Iran's nuclear programme, Israeli war planes would need to fly across Iraq. But to do so the Israeli military authorities in Tel Aviv need permission from the Pentagon.

A senior Israeli defence official said negotiations were now underway between the two countries for the US-led coalition in Iraq to provide an "air corridor" in the event of the Israeli government deciding on unilateral military action to prevent Teheran developing nuclear weapons.

"We are planning for every eventuality, and sorting out issues such as these are crucially important," said the official, who asked not to be named.

"The only way to do this is to fly through US-controlled air space. If we don't sort these issues out now we could have a situation where American and Israeli war planes start shooting at each other."..
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Terror Watch: Behind the Iran Intel
A U.S. briefer overstates Iran's meddling in Iraq, setting off a Washington tempest.
By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Updated: 2:21 p.m. PT Feb 21, 2007

Feb. 21, 2007 - An anonymous U.S. official, assigned to provide a recent “background” briefing to the news media in Baghdad, strayed from his script and overstated evidence linking Iranian leaders to weapons found in Iraq, according to four U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the matter.
The White House is still trying to recover from the stumble, which happened during a much- anticipated Feb. 11 briefing. U.S. officials had hoped to use the event to ratchet up pressure on the Tehran regime. But instead of focusing public and congressional attention on the role of Iranian government agents in stoking violence in Iraq, the briefing wound up raising new questions about whether the Bush administration is hyping intelligence about Iran in much the same way it did about Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq four years ago... [Open in new window]


Well, they're getting closer to actually saying it outright. Over 'hyping intelligence', I'd prefer 'making it up'. Even better would be 'lying to you!'


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Cloud Over Cheney

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Wednesday, February 21, 2007; 2:12 PM

"What is this case about?" special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald asked in his rebuttal to the defense's closing arguments yesterday in the Scooter Libby perjury trial.

"Is it about something bigger?"

And while Fitzgerald never directly answered that second question, he at long last made it quite clear that the depth of Vice President Cheney's role in the leaking of the identity of a CIA operative is one of the central mysteries that Libby's alleged lies prevented investigators from resolving.

"There is a cloud over the vice president . . . And that cloud remains because this defendant obstructed justice," Fitzgerald said.

"There is a cloud over the White House. Don't you think the FBI and the grand jury and the American people are entitled to straight answers?" Fitzgerald asked the jury.

Libby, Fitzgerald continued, "stole the truth from the justice system."

After literally years of keeping his public pronouncements about the case to an absolute minimum, Fitzgerald yesterday finally let slip a bit of the speculation that many of us have long suspected has lurked just beneath the surface of his investigation.

Suddenly it wasn't just the defendant alone, it was "they" who decided to tell reporters about Wilson's wife working for the CIA. "To them," Fitzgerald said, "she wasn't a person, she was an argument."

And it was pretty clear who "they" was: Libby and his boss, Cheney...
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Former Bush Officials Accuse White House of Trying to Provoke Iran
By Deniz Yeter
t r u t h o u t | Report

Wednesday 21 February 2007

Warn public that Bush is looking for a pretext to justify a broader, regional conflict.


In April, 2006, Seymour Hersh, a writer for The New Yorker, detailed the Bush administration's covert actions inside Iran stating: "The Bush administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups." (3)

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner also appeared in April, 2006 on CNN in defense of Seymour Hersh's claims, saying he thinks that "the decision has been made and military operations are under way." He also stated, "The Iranians have been saying American military troops are in there, [and] have been saying it for almost a year."

"I was in Berlin two weeks ago, sat next to the ambassador, the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA. "And I said, ‘Hey, I hear you're accusing Americans of being in there operating with some of the units that have shot up revolution guard units.' He said, quite frankly, ‘Yes, we know they are. We've captured some of the units, and they've confessed to working with the Americans.'" (4)

Jim Webb, the freshman Senator from Virginia, whose Election Day victory in 2006 tipped the power in the Senate to the Democrats favor, appeared on "Hardball with Chris Matthews" on February 7, echoing the same warning given by Leverett. He said, "If you look at the framers of the Constitution, they wanted to give the president, as commander in chief, the authority to repel sudden attacks. That is totally different than conducting a preemptive war."

"And you know one thing," Webb continued, "if you look at where we are in the Persian Gulf right now, when I was secretary of the Navy and until very recently, we never operated aircraft carriers inside the Persian Gulf because, number one, the turning radius is pretty close, and number two, the chance of accidentally bumping into something that would start a diplomatic situation was pretty high. "We now have been doing that, and with the tensions as high as they are, I'm very worried that we might accidentally set something off in there. And we need, as a Congress, to get ahead of the ball game here."(5)...
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Juan Cole: "This is a rout, there should be no mistake."

Tony Blair is taking 1600 troops out of Basra in the next few months and will aim to be down to only 3,000 or so (from 7,100 now) by the end of the year. Denmark is also going home.

This is a rout, there should be no mistake. The fractious Shiite militias and tribes of Iraq's South have made it impossible for the British to stay. They already left Sadr-controlled Maysan province, as well as sleepy Muthanna. They moved the British consulate to the airport because they couldn't protect it in Basra. They are taking mortar and rocket fire at their bases every night. Raiding militia HQs has not resulted in any permanent change in the situation. Basra is dominated by 4 paramilitaries, who are fighting turf wars with one another and with the Iraqi government over oil smuggling rights.

Blair is not leaving Basra because the British mission has been accomplished. He is leaving because he has concluded that it cannot be, and that if he tries any further it will completely sink the Labor Party, perhaps for decades to come... [Open in new window]
And let me add that Britain doesn't want any part of the BushCo war expanding into Iran. The Brits smartened up decades ago and toned down the imperial bullshit. I hope the US can get a real leader soon to take us down that road.
What we've got is a figurehead with a whole lot of criminal elements swirling around him pulling him this way and that between war profiteering and 'greater Israel' daydreaming.
Dumbshits like Bush and Reagan are puppets. It's time to get real...
A float depicting U.S. President George W. Bush being spanked by the Statue Of Liberty
passes by during the Rose Monday carnival parade in Mainz, western Germany, on
Monday, Feb. 19, 2007. Thousands of spectators attended the traditional street carnival
parade in the state of Rhineland-Palatinates's capital.
(AP Photo Bernd Kammerer)
No verdict from CIA leak jurors

Jurors deliberated Wednesday without reaching a verdict on whether former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby obstructed the investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA operative married to a prominent Iraq war critic.

The eight women and four men heard 14 days of testimony, a full day of closing arguments and more than an hour of instructions from U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton before beginning their discussions. After 4 1/2 hours of deliberation, the jurors went home until Thursday.

The jurors include a former Washington Post reporter, an MIT-trained economist, a retired math teacher, a former museum curator, a law firm accountant, a Web architect and several retired or current federal workers. There are 10 whites and two blacks — unexpected in a city where blacks outnumber whites more than 2-to-1.

Libby, who was the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, faces five felony counts that carry a combined top penalty of 30 years in prison. If convicted, Libby probably would be sentenced to far less under federal guidelines. [Open in new window]
OK, that's the latest off the wires. Here's my take on how things will go.
Libby WILL be convicted, the grand jury investigation will continue & Fitzgerald will try to 'flip' Libby to tell all about Cheney. Cheney's the target.
Will Libby be able to cool his heels in prison until GWB can pardon him or not? That's the question.
I hope some of the others in WHIG (WHITE HOUSE IRAQ GROUP) get the hairy eyeball from Fitz, too. Don't know. It's one step at a time. I trust the truth will out...
A nice, spirited dose of vitriol from Rolling Stone:

THE LOW POST: Medicare vs. Britney
Why a brainless Mouseketeer gets more ink than the federal budget


"Now, after she shaved her head in a bizarre episode that culminates a months-long saga of controversial behavior, it's the question being asked by her fans, her foes and the general public: What was she thinking?"

-- Bald and Broken: Inside Britney's Shaved Head, Sheila Marikar,, Feb. 19

What was she thinking? How about nothing? How about who gives a shit? How's that for an answer, Sheila Marikar of ABC News?

I'm not one of those curmudgeons who freaks out every time that Brangelina moves the war off the front page of the Post, or Katie Couric decides to usher in a whole new era of network news with photos of the imbecile demon-spawn of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I understand that we live in a demand-based economy and that there is far more demand for brainless celebrity bullshit than there is, say, for the fine print of the Health and Human Services budget.

But that was before this week. I awoke this morning in New York City to find Britney Spears plastered all over the cover of two gigantic daily newspapers, simply because she cut her hair off over the weekend. To me, this crosses a line. My definition of a news story involves something happening. If nothing happens, then you can't have "news," because nothing has changed since the day before. Britney Spears was an idiot last Thursday, an idiot on Friday and an idiot on both Saturday and Sunday. She was, shockingly, also an idiot on Monday. It will be news when she stops being an idiot, and we'll know when that happens, because she'll have disappeared for the good of the planet. Britney Spears cutting her hair off is the least-worthy front-page news story in the history of humanity. Apparently, from now on, every time a jackass sticks a pencil in his own eye, we'll have to wait an extra ten minutes to hear what happened on the battlefield or in Congress or any other place that actually matters.

On the same day that Britney was shaving her head, a guy I know who works in the office of Senator Bernie Sanders sent me an email. He was trying very hard to get news organizations interested in some research his office had done about George Bush's proposed 2008 budget, which was unveiled two weeks ago and received relatively little press, mainly because of the controversy over the Iraq war resolution. All the same, the Bush budget is an amazing document. It would be hard to imagine a document that more clearly articulates the priorities of our current political elite.

Not only does it make many of Bush's tax cuts permanent, but it envisions a complete repeal of the Estate Tax, which mainly affects only those who are in the top two-tenths of the top one percent of the richest people in this country. The proposed savings from the cuts over the next decade are about $442 billion, or just slightly less than the amount of the annual defense budget (minus Iraq war expenses). But what's interesting about these cuts are how Bush plans to pay for them.
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This case is “about someone to whom Wilson’s wife wasn’t a person but an argument.” — Patrick Fitzgerald in his closing summation Tuesday.
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Washington's $8 Billion Shadow
Mega-contractors such as Halliburton and Bechtel supply the government with brawn. But the biggest, most powerful of the "body shops"—SAIC, which employs 44,000 people and took in $8 billion last year—sells brainpower, including a lot of the "expertise" behind the Iraq war.

by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele March 2007

One of the great staples of the modern Washington movie is the dark and ruthless corporation whose power extends into every cranny around the globe, whose technological expertise is without peer, whose secrets are unfathomable, whose riches defy calculation, and whose network of allies, in and out of government, is held together by webs of money, ambition, and fear. You've seen this movie a dozen times. Men in black coats step from limousines on wintry days and refer guardedly to unspeakable things. Surveillance cameras and eavesdropping devices are everywhere. Data scrolls across the movie screen in digital fonts. Computer keyboards clack softly. Seemingly honorable people at the summit of power—Cabinet secretaries, war heroes, presidents—turn out to be pathetic pawns of forces greater than anyone can imagine. And at the pinnacle of this dark and ruthless corporation is a relentless and well-tailored titan—omniscient, ironic, merciless—played by someone like Christopher Walken or Jon Voight.

To be sure, there isn't really such a corporation: the Omnivore Group, as it might be called. But if there were such a company—and, mind you, there isn't—it might look a lot like the largest government contractor you've never heard of: a company known simply by the nondescript initials SAIC (for Science Applications International Corporation), initials that are always spoken letter by letter rather than formed into a pronounceable acronym...


On the evening of January 17, 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower came down from the White House living quarters to the Oval Office and delivered his last address to the American people as president. This was the famous speech in which he warned against the "disastrous rise of misplaced power" in the hands of what he called "the military-industrial complex"—the sturdy hybrid formed by crossbreeding American corporate interests with those of the Pentagon and the intelligence community.

Unlike traditional wars, which eventually come to an end, the Global War on Terror as defined by the Bush administration can have no end: it is a permanent war—the perfect war for a company that has become an essential component of the permanent government. Political change causes scarcely a ripple. As one former SAIC manager observed in a recent blog posting: "My observation is that the impact of national elections on the business climate for SAIC has been minimal. The emphasis on where federal spending occurs usually shifts, but total federal spending never decreases. SAIC has always continued to grow despite changes in the political leadership in Washington."

And the revolving door never stops spinning. One of the biggest contracts ever for SAIC is in the works right now. It's for a Pentagon program called Future Combat Systems, which is described as "a complex plan to turn the U.S. Army into a lighter, more lethal, more mobile force" and also as "the most difficult integration program ever undertaken by the U.S. Department of Defense." The contract runs into the billions of dollars. The man who helped craft this program at the Pentagon was Lieutenant General Daniel R. Zanini. Zanini recently retired from the army, and he now has a new job. Can you guess where it might be?
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Blair to announce Iraq withdrawal plan

"Sorry Georgie, you're gonna have to be nuts on your own now."

Tony Blair will announce on Wednesday a new timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, with 1,500 to return home in several weeks, British media reported.

Former admiral says all American forces should pull out by year's end

McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, U.S. Adm. Joe Sestak commanded a carrier battle group in combat near Afghanistan, then in the Persian Gulf in the run-up to the Iraq war.

Now a freshman member of the House of Representatives, Sestak, a Pennsylvania Democrat, has introduced a bill calling for withdrawing all American forces from Iraq by the end of this year, while strengthening the U.S. military presence in the region and in Afghanistan.
His bill would cut off most money for military operations in Iraq by Dec. 31.

"I honestly believe that in the next few months we will move to this position," Sestak said in an interview. "It may not be my bill, but it will be something very similar."

The main reason, he said, is that the war in Iraq is hurting American national security: It's diverted resources and attention from the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and from other challenges to U.S. interests around the world....
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New Libby Trial Information Trumps Dems "No Impeachment" Pledge
Submitted by davidswanson on Tue, 2007-02-20 22:27.
By Paul Abrams, Huffington Post

During the 2006 mid-term campaign, Nancy Pelosi pledged that a Democratic victory would not mean a drive to impeach the President (and, by implication, the Vice-President). Much of the call for impeachment was based upon allegations of lying to Congress and the American people about the pre-war intelligence, and violations of the oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution when they knowingly violated laws and Constitutional provisions protecting individual rights and liberties.

Weighty stuff, to be sure, but taken off the table by the Speaker-to-be's pledge, based upon what was known then.

As indicated in Libby Trial Shows Cheney Provided Aid-and-Comfort to Enemies of the United States, Libby and Rove could easily have said that they told reporters not knowing that Valerie Plame was undercover, but that would have pointed the finger at Dick Cheney as the person who learned of Plame's identity, and (whether properly declassified or not) decided to out her and her operation. To protect Cheney, Libby and Rove conceived the alibi that they heard about Plame from reporters and, believing the reporters would not testify to their conversations, thought they had created a perfect circle.

The Libby Trial, therefore, presents information that it was Dick Cheney provided aid-and-comfort to enemies of the United States. Unlike the above-mentioned transgressions of the Bush Administration, that would be defended as "political" judgments (and they covered themselves with rogue legal opinions on torture, habeas corpus violations and illegal searches), Cheney's act is specific, concrete and traitorous. It is also new, outside the scope covered by the pre-election pledge.

The Congress cannot ignore it...
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(White House Press Secretary Tony Snow answers questions regarding recent news stories about problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where soldiers and Marines from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan live as outpatients, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007, as he briefs reporters during his daily press briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Army hospital ex-official investigated
WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A criminal probe has been opened into a former official at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

The investigation follows allegations by current and former staff members that Michael Wagner, who for three years worked to distribute donor funds to needy wounded soldiers, used his position at the hospital to solicit funds for a new charity he founded in Texas, The Washington Post reported Tuesday... [Open in new window]


Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility

By Dana Priest and Anne Hull
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, February 18, 2007; A01

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The common perception of Walter Reed is of a surgical hospital that shines as the crown jewel of military medicine. But 5 1/2 years of sustained combat have transformed the venerable 113-acre institution into something else entirely -- a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients. Almost 700 of them -- the majority soldiers, with some Marines -- have been released from hospital beds but still need treatment or are awaiting bureaucratic decisions before being discharged or returned to active duty.

They suffer from brain injuries, severed arms and legs, organ and back damage, and various degrees of post-traumatic stress. Their legions have grown so exponentially -- they outnumber hospital patients at Walter Reed 17 to 1 -- that they take up every available bed on post and spill into dozens of nearby hotels and apartments leased by the Army. The average stay is 10 months, but some have been stuck there for as long as two years... [Open in new window]


Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY-28), Chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, today sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates demanding information on the current state of outpatient facilities at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Rep. Slaughter also asked the Secretary to explain how conditions at the facilities, reported this past weekend in a series of Washington Post articles, have been allowed to deteriorate to such a degree.

"It is deeply troubling to think that veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much are being left largely alone to struggle with injuries without the care and attention they need," Rep. Slaughter said. "And while I am glad to hear of changes underway at Walter Reed, it shouldn't take a newspaper exposé to spur action on behalf of our wounded soldiers."

"Supporting our troops begins with giving them a mission that makes sense and that doesn't needlessly jeopardize their lives," the Congresswoman continued. "It ends with an unconditional commitment to men and women who have made sacrifices few of us can fully appreciate. If this Administration is going to order soldiers into battle, then it has no right to stand on the sidelines when they come home. We need a serious evaluation of the care being given to our veterans, and must immediately address holes and gaps in a system that can't afford either."

"Critics of the President's escalation of the war are told that they can't both support the troops and oppose their mission," Rep. Slaughter added. "I think that you can't support the troops if you send them into battle without proper armor, or deny them critical medical care and counseling after they are injured. That is the definition of hypocrisy, and our wounded soldiers are paying the price."

The complete text of Rep. Slaughter's letter is included below:

The Honorable Robert Gates


U.S. Department of Defense

1000 Defense Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Gates,

I urge you to explain why the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, once the crown-jewel of military medicine, has become a bleak and frustrating place for our wounded soldiers to recover, and what the Army intends to do to restore the integrity of its medical system.

This weekend's Washington Post series revealing the "other Walter Reed" was stunning. It painted a picture of abhorrent living conditions and a bureaucratic nightmare for our wounded soldiers in outpatient care. In striking detail, the series described how one of the outpatient facilities, Building 18, is marked by rodent infestation, mold problems, and crumbling ceilings. As if the facilities were not bad enough, wounded soldiers and their families must wrestle daily with an Army bureaucracy ill-equipped to provide them with the attention and care they need. Wounded soldiers are often left on their own to make and keep appointments, and fill out the 22 documents needed to enter and exit the Army's medical system.

The living conditions and bureaucratic battles frustrate and demoralize our wounded soldiers. Marine Sergeant Ryan Groves said it best, "We've done our duty. We fought the war. We came home wounded. Fine. But whoever the people are back here who are supposed to give us the easy transition should be doing it." Our wounded soldiers have made incredible sacrifices on behalf of the nation, and deserve the very best care throughout their recovery. The conditions at Walter Read are unacceptable, and an affront to our men and women in uniform.

I am encouraged to read in today's Washington Post that the facility's commander, Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, has announced new repairs at Building 18, and a review of the Army's entire mission at Walter Reed. However, these improvements are long-overdue and I cannot help but think that they would not have begun at all had the Washington Post not blown the whistle.

The Washington Post's series is a major black-eye and an embarrassment for the Army and the United States. I would like a full explanation of how the conditions became so dire at Walter Reed in the first place, and what steps the Army plans to take to immediately rectify the situation. Please know that I stand ready to help provide the Defense Department with the resources it needs to adequately care for our wounded soldiers. I await your prompt response to this inquiry.


Louise M. Slaughter
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Let me get this straight, 'supporting the troops' is continuing to get them maimed & murdered. Not supporting the troops is favoring getting them home.

Sure, I get that. And it really matters that Anna Nicole Smith is dead. And that some 'neck drove his car in a circle real fast on Sunday.

War is peace, freedom is slavery, etc, etc...

I love the pic of Tony Snowjob above. He's been recently to the William Shatner School of Acting: "Must...get...lies...out..."


Isn't it strange that if you consume mainstream media you can walk around thinking that this isn't true?
If you listen only to 'snarling head' radio or FAUX NOISE NETWORK you can completely live in Bushista Happy World.
It really is weird. It's like an unhallucination: not seeing what IS there.

"The Damage to Bush Is Enormous"

Republican Senators foiled a Democratic bid to have Congress criticize President George W. Bush's troop increase in Iraq. But with a clear majority of politicians on Capitol Hill opposing the White House's war strategy, is this a defeat for the president or for the Democrats? German dailies take a closer look.

Uncle Sam doesn't seem to know what he wants these days. The US House of Representatives gave President George W. Bush something of a bloody nose late last week but in the end the Senate blocked a Democratic resolution criticizing his policy in Iraq.

The House of Representatives had passed a motion by 246 votes to 182 on Friday, which criticized the decision to increase troop numbers in Iraq by 21,500 soldiers.

Democrats, who now control both Houses of Congress following the mid-term elections in 2006, had hoped that the Senate would pass the same motion during a rare Saturday session. The resolution needed the support of a total of 60 out of 100 senators. In the end it fell four votes short, with only 56 voting in favor and 34 against.

Both Congressional resolutions were non-binding and the White House was quick to dismiss the votes. However, it makes it clear that a majority of politicians on Capitol Hill oppose the US strategy in Iraq... [Open in new window]

Monday, February 19, 2007

( He thinks he's really standing next to Washington, time machines are real, he's really the president, a 20-something % approval rating is good, a big bearded man in the sky talks to him & tells him what to do, Dick Cheney is a 'good' man, his mother loves him & that just one more drink will make it all true.)

"Today, we're fighting a new war to defend our liberty and our people and our way of life," said Bush, standing in front of Washington's home and above a mostly frozen Potomac River.

"And as we work to advance the cause of freedom around the world, we remember that the father of our country believed that the freedoms we secured in our revolution were not meant for Americans alone."

Saturday, February 17, 2007


On Alan Colmes' radio show last night, Glenn Greenwald debated Frank Gaffney on his disgraceful article in The Washington Times wherein he argues — after opening with with a widely-discredited & fabricated quote — that dissent during war time is treasonous. Glenn and Alan had him immediately backpeddling and it only got better from there, with Colmes even chiding Gaffney at one point for violating FCC rules and cursing at Glenn.


Part 1: audio_mp3 Download (8548) | Play (8357)

Part 2: audio_mp3 Download (4363) | Play (3903)

Part 3: audio_mp3 Download (3457) | Play (2574)

Gaffney's babbling about the Iraq Survey Group is worth noting since it seems to be the last refuge of the reality-denying True Believers. Contrary to Gaffney's insistence that Saddam did indeed have WMD, the group's report concluded nothing of the sort . What it did say is that Saddam retained dual-use capabilities that could have possibly been used to start rebuilding weapons in the future. That's a far cry from saying he (a) had them and (b) threatened us with them. It really is quite remarkable to see how the remaining factions of the Bush movement try to reconcile their pre-war rhetoric with the post-war realities. Remember, before the war Vice President Cheney said: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." In Gaffney's world, there is nothing untrue about that statement. Even still today...
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Friday, February 16, 2007

Remember Where You Heard It First

Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 11:01:03 AM PST

Have you ever had an embarrassing friend? You know, that guy who is deeply cool but a little uncouth or unkempt. For all his brilliance, insight, and understanding maybe his shoes are sometimes untied, his clothes a bit rumpled, or his shirttails hanging out.

Maybe he goes about with three-days growth of beard, has tattoos, or smells a little funny.

Maybe he’s somewhat indiscreet, has dirty fingernails, or says things like fuck, warpigs, or evil rightwing bastards in polite conversation.

You’ve come to love and respect him but may wince a little should he appear at an inopportune moment because he’s just not easily explained to your more conventional friends...
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C-SPAN caller this morning: "Guiliani should kick butt...he has the moral stance to do the job."

I bet his ex-wives will attest to that fact he 'kicks butt.'

God, I hope the rethugs run Rudy. Oppo research-o-rama coming in the battle for the nomination.

They should just run someone who's actually in prison. McCain could have them 'shived' in the main yard with a sharpened toothbrush handle. Pure rethuglican politics in the New American Century...

Is there a potential Republican candidate who doesn't have cancer? 'Cause he could claim that 'God' is punishing the others; that would make a good attack ad.

Tony Snow: 'I'm Not Sure Anything Went Wrong' In Iraq

(Tony Snow is as stupid as a FOX NEWS host...oh yeah...nevermind...)

By E&P Staff

Published: February 15, 2007 3:55 PM ET

NEW YORK Surely, at this stage, the White House would be willing to admit that conditions in Iraq following the 2003 invasion haven't gone exactly according to plan? White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was asked about this today at the daily briefing, following the release of military documents from 2002 that revealed that the U.S. expected that by now a token American force of 5,000 would be able to keep things under control in Iraq -- and the occupation would require only a two or three month "stabilization" period.

"What went wrong?" the reporter reasonably asked.

Snow replied: "I'm not sure anything went wrong."
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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Libby Is Guilty

By Lawrence O'Donnell

Libby is guilty. And he's going to be found guilty. The jury might not convict him on all counts, but he has no chance of surviving the perjury count that was proved beyond a reasonable doubt with Tim Russert's testimony.

The multi-million dollar defense, which provided no defense at all, did not call Libby to the witness stand for one very simple reason: Libby is very very guilty. Publicly, defense lawyers cling to the text book theory that the defendant has no burden of proof and that no negative inference should ever be taken when a defendant doesn't defend himself on the witness stand. Practically, every defense lawyer knows that the jury desperately wants to hear from the defendant and that the only reason not to put him on the stand is that he is soooo guilty that every answer he gives after his name will eradicate any shred of reasonable doubt. Think about it. Your whole life is at stake in the outcome of a criminal trial. You're innocent. And you don't testify in your own defense? Around the courthouse when defense lawyers are chatting about their cases, the only question they ask each other is can you put your guy on the stand? Those conversations always assume the defendant is guilty. The question is just about the degree of difficulty in presenting a defense.

Libby's defense gave up before the opening statements in the trial. They always knew Libby was too guilty to put on the witness stand. And they were never going to call the Vice President. Telling the judge that they were going to call Libby and Cheney was just a mirage they were trying to create to misdirect Patrick Fitzgerald's focus. I'd be shocked if Fitzgerald was fooled for even a second.

If Libby called Cheney, it actually would have hurt his defense and been a hostile act to the White House. Cheney would have been humiliated by Fitzgerald's cross-examination and Libby would have forever lost his chief pardon advocate in the White House.

From the start, Libby's hopeless courtroom defense has been about the pardon. Libby has conducted a defense that is very friendly to the White House. He has made it clear to the White House that he had the power to call the Vice President, but, good soldier that he is, he declined to put Cheney through that ordeal.

Last year, I told Keith Olbermann on MSNBC that Libby's highly publicized defense-fund fundraiser was really the first step in the pardon campaign. Libby is a very rich man. He didn't need the defense fund. He needed the public rally with Mary Matalin types walking the virtual red carpet on the way in singing his praises as a great public servant. Fred Thompson, the senator-actor, did a version of this at the trial--showing up, giving "moral" support, then offering his TV prosecutor view of how unfair the Libby prosecution is. Look for the popular TV prosecutor to play an important role in the pardon campaign.

Libby knows more than his lawyers do about the next stage of his legal proceedings. Libby helped obtain the sleaziest pardon that Bill Clinton issued on his way out of the White House. Clinton pardoned Libby's client, the fugitive billionaire Marc Rich, over the unanimous objections of the White House staff. When Cheney hand-delivers Libby's pardon application to President Bush, who is going to object?

BBC: Iraq invasion plan 'delusional'

The US invasion plan for Iraq envisaged that only 5,000 US troops would remain in Iraq by December 2006, declassified Central Command documents show.

The material also shows that the US military projected a stable, pro-US and democratic Iraq by that time.

The August 2002 material was obtained by the National Security Archive (NSA). Its officials said the plans were based on delusional assumptions.

The US currently has some 132,000 troops in the violence-torn state.

'Completely unrealistic'

The documents - in the form of PowerPoint slides - were prepared by the now-retired Gen Tommy Franks and other top commanders at the time.

he documents were presented at a briefing in August 2002 - less than a year before the US invasion of Iraq in April 2003.

The commanders predicted that after the fighting was over there would be a two- to three-month "stabilisation" phase, followed by an 18- to 24-month "recovery" stage.

They projected that the US forces would be almost completely "re-deployed" out of Iraq at the end of the "transition" phase - within 45 months of invasion.

"Completely unrealistic assumptions about a post-Saddam Iraq permeate these war plans," NSA executive director Thomas Blanton said in a statement posted on the organisation's website.

"First, they assumed that a provisional government would be in place by 'D-Day', then that the Iraqis would stay in their garrisons and be reliable partners, and finally that the post-hostilities phase would be a matter of mere months'," Mr Blanton said.

"All of these were delusions," he added.

The NSA said it received the documents last month, after making a request in 2004.

The NSA is an independent research institute at George Washington University.

It obtained the papers under the Freedom of Information Act.... [Open in new window]


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ex - Aide Says Rice Misled Congress on Iran

Filed at 9:31 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Controversy over a possible missed U.S. opportunity for rapprochement with Iran grew on Wednesday as former aide accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of misleading Congress on the issue.

Flynt Leverett, who worked on the National Security Council when it was headed by Rice, said a proposal vetted by Tehran's most senior leaders was sent to the United States in May 2003 and was akin to the 1972 U.S. opening to China.

Speaking at a conference on Capitol Hill, Leverett said he was confident it was seen by Rice and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell but ``the administration rejected the overture.''

Rice's spokesman denied she misled Congress and reiterated that she did not see the proposal.

Separately, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns warned Iran it risked further U.N. and other sanctions if it did not halt uranium enrichment as the U.N. Security Council demanded.

He stressed there was still time for diplomacy before Iran reached a critical point in its nuclear capability and said conflict with Iran was not inevitable.

Washington remains patient and committed to negotiations with Tehran and its carrot-and-stick approach with other major powers is influencing Iran's internal debate, Burns told the Brookings Institution think tank.

Leverett, speaking at a conference hosted by the New America Foundation think tank, said the 2003 overture ``was a serious proposal'' for a comprehensive agenda for U.S.-Iranian rapprochement.

``The Bush administration up to and including Secretary Rice is misleading Congress and the American public about the Iran proposal,'' he said... [Open in new window]


The Bush administration and the roach-like neocons that infest it have been angling for wider war in the middle-east since before 9/11, since before the (s)election of 2000. Nothing they say can be believed.

If you like Americans being killed for war-profits & 'greater Israel' then support them, if not you must be in favor of , at least, impeachment & removal from office. It really is that simple. How to accomplish that is not.

He actually said this at this morning's press conference.

Out of the mouths of callow buffoons...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bush Iran War Agenda: Trigger an "Accidental Conflict," as a pretext to justify "Limited Strikes"

Hillary Mann, the former National Security Council Director for Iranian and Persian Gulf Affairs under the Bush Administration from 2001 to 2004, has issued a sober warning to the public today concerning the Bush Administration's intentions with Iran.

In an interview this morning on CNN(1), she accused the Bush Administration of "trying to push a provocative, accidental conflict," as a pretext to justify "limited strikes" on crucial nuclear and military infrastructures, as opposed to a large ground war as is the case with Iraq.

When asked why the Bush Administration was seeking to do this, she responded that it is a part of Bush's broader agenda for the Middle East to bring about a "democratization... peace and stability", to the region.

Of course, one only has to look back to history to see the Bush Administration's real agenda behind confronting Iran. Iran is only one piece of the puzzle in a broader, century long struggle by the US, Britain, and it's Western allies to secure the Middle East’s oil reserves.


Here’s a list of a few historically accepted examples of false flag terrorism, showing that the Bush Administration’s plans to provoke an attack from Iran is nothing new, but a common occurrence with a lot of precedent(5).

1846: Mexican-American War: President James K. Polk sends General Zachary Taylor and 1,500 American troops to the Mexican border along the Nueces River, where he is ordered by the President to cross over into disputed territory to bait Mexico into attacking. They quickly fell for the bait and were easily repelled by US forces. Polk took advantage of this single, miniscule conflict to get Congress to declare war on Mexico and to mobilize public support for the war.

1898 - Spanish-American War: The US sinks it's own battleship, the USS Maine, in a harbor in Havana and blames it on Cuba. Newspapers, under the guise of the US government, help sensationalize the story to bolster public support for war against Cuba.

1915 - Sinking of the Lusitania: German submarines are blamed for sinking the RMS Lusitania, a British ocean liner. What the public wasn't told is that all the passengers on board the Lusitania were merely human shields to protect a shipment of US ammunition headed towards Great Britain during WWI, which is why the German's sank the ship. Many historians believe that Britain meant for the Lusitania to be attacked to get the US on their side in WWI by baiting Germans into sinking it, or that they might of sunk the ship themselves, seeing US involvement in WWI detrimental for not losing.

1931 - Mukden incident: Japanese officers fabricate a pretext for annexing Manchuria, which was under Chinese control at the time, by blowing up a section of their own railway and blaming it on the Chinese.

1939 - Gleiwitz incident: The Nazi's fabricate evidence of a Polish attack to mobilize German public opinion, and to fabricate a false justification for a war with Poland.

1939 - Shelling of Mainila: The Soviet Union shells it's own village of Mainila on the Finnish border, faking casualties, and blames the attack on Finland to justify a war.

1941 - Pearl Harbor: The US military decodes a message they intercepted from the Japanese outlining the attacks of Pearl Harbor weeks before the attacks. The message was a response to an insulting ultimatum that the US sent Japan that got the US the response they wanted, and attack on Pearl Harbor. "The question was: how we should maneuver [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot.” - Secretary of War Henry Stimson

1962 - Operation Northwoods: A plot authored by the Joints Chief of Staff, the top brass of the Pentagon, that involved scenarios such as hijacking a passenger plane and other staged terror attacks and campaigns that would be used to blame Cuba to mobilize public support for a war. It was never carried out since Kennedy refused to authorize the operation, and was later declassified under the Freedom of Information Act.

1964 - Gulf of Tonkin: President Johnson accuses North Vietnamese PT boats of attacking strike carries in the gulf, the USS Maddox and the USS Turner Joy. Documents and tapes released due to the Freedom of Information Act shows that President Johnson knew that there were no PT boats and no attacks, but still went ahead with lying to the American public on national TV to garner support for escalating the war in Vietnam.

1970's - Operation Gladio: Italian secret service agencies, under the training and direction of CIA and NATO forces, launch countless staged terror attacks that kills thousands and are used to blame leftist opposition groups and scare the public into supporting the right wing government.
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I feel so safe with George W. Bush as president.

It's like that story Rudy Giuliani tells: On 9/11 after hearing of the attack on the twin towers I turned to Bernard Kerik and said: Thank God George W. Bush is president.

I feel the same way and I'd have said the same thing to my corrupt police commissioner if I'd been the corrupt mayor of NYC that day.
Feith-Libby Lies Exposed
By Robert Dreyfuss

If fool-me-once was the Bush Administration's reams of faked intelligence about Iraq's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and nonexistent ties to Al Qaeda, then fool-me-twice is the Administration's shameless effort to shift the blame for American casualties in Iraq from the Sunni-led resistance, where it belongs, to a make-believe threat from Iran and allied Shiite militias.

It's Iran in the headlines today, but happily on February 9 we got a timely reminder of how brazenly the Bush Administration--along with its neoconservative allies at The Weekly Standard and the American Enterprise Institute--trumped up the case for war against Iraq five years ago.

In a stunning indictment of the Administration's chicanery, Pentagon Inspector General Thomas Gimble slammed the super-secret predecessor organizations to the Office of Special Plans for "disseminating alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and Al Qaeda relationship." Its actions, Gimble concluded, were "inappropriate," and its conclusions "were not supported by the available intelligence." Among the absurdly wrong conclusions reached by the OSP and its earlier incarnations--the equally Orwellian-sounding Policy Support Office and the Policy Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group--were that a "mature symbiotic relationship" existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda and that Baghdad and Osama bin Laden's terrorists displayed "cooperation in all categories." Vice President Cheney used this nonsense to bolster his dark muttering about "possible Iraq coordination" with Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.

GITMO-ization of Washington: Rory Kennedy's film

"Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority."

Sound bites followed from the young men and women who had been accused of the worst kind of torture at Abu Ghraib:

"That place turned me into a monster."

"You become like a robot."

"If you walk through all of that, when do you say 'It's enough'?"

"You'll go crazy if you don't adapt to it."

"After 9-11, I believed someone had to pay."

For years, the United States was not only a follower of the Geneva Conventions; we were known to promote and operate above those standards.

John Yoo, however, thought it was time to move on. "They don't apply", he said of the Conventions.


Sam Provance, another MP, said that Abu Ghraib was like Apocalyse Now meeting The Shining. "There are ghosts there," he said. Building 1B had women and children in it--they were there to draw in the more dangerous insurgents. But in the end, it was clear to the MPs that at least 75-80% of those held had no information or intelligence to give over.

General Geoffrey Miller was dispatched from Guantanamo, where they had developed the use of dogs for torture, among other methods, to Iraq. According to Donald Rumsfield, they just weren't getting the intel from Abu Ghraib. He sent Miller to "GITMO-ize" Abu Ghraib.

Rumsfield also added a note to one of his dispatches, pointing out that HE--Rumsfield--often had to stand up for 8-12 hours a day and why were the prisoners at Abu Graib only standing up for four hours a day?

General Miller had some advice for Brig. Gen. Karpinski: "If you don't treat the prisoners like dogs, you are treating them too well."

General Sanchez, who was the top commander in Iraq, issued conflicting and confusing recommendations on what was OK and what was not. The military police and guards were totally unclear on what they could and could not do.

Nakedness, for example. One of the guards stated "It was just business." The interrogation efforts were removed from Brig. General Karpinski, and the interrogators were given free rein. It became customary (and recommended) to torture the detainees throughout the night before they were going to be interrogated. And tortured they were.

But the night shift had cameras. Sabrina, one of the guards (the one with the big smile in the photos) said she liked to take pictures, always had. Another said that he wanted souvenir photos of the places they'd been.


The interviews with the prisoners themselves is wrenching. A psychiatrist pointed out that it's harder to cure psychological torture than it is to cure physical torture. One man describes holding his father in his arms while he died. Others describe what it was like to hear their fellow prisoners being tortured.

"We listened as his soul cracked."

The description and photos of the three men, naked, who were forced to take sexual positions with each other, while the soldiers stood around looking on were the hardest to watch. The sheer degradation of everyone, including the soldiers, is stunningly clear. This is what we have come to; this is who we are in the world now.

Eleven soldiers have been convicted of the torture. Gen. Miller got a promotion and some more ribbons for his chest. Donald Rumsfield got fired, but only after three more years of damage. George Bush got re-elected. Janice Karpinski got demoted and fired. We the people got nothing, except the contempt of the world, and we can only hope, enough guilt to move us to act.... [Open in new window]


If you still support the Bush administration at this time, please kill yourself...


Monday, February 12, 2007

Is there something wrong with this picture?

“America today blamed Iran for the deaths of 170 US troops inside Iraq, accusing Teheran of supplying insurgents with increasingly sophisticated bombs,” reports the neocon-infested UK Telegraph, a trusty propaganda tool.

“Senior defense officials in Baghdad said that Iranian-supplied “explosively formed projectiles” were frequently being used against coalition forces” and “the ‘highest levels’ of Iran’s regime were responsible for giving them to Shia militias in Iraq.”


Of course, as this is a sloppy neocon ruse, as per usual, there is a problem here. Can you guess what it is?

If you guessed the date, you win a Cupie doll. For some reason the geniuses at the Pentagon have failed to explain why the Iranians used a date from the Christian Gregorian calendar and not one from the Islamic Persian calendar. According to the Muslim calendar, the date stenciled on this mortar shell should read 1427, not 2006. And why did Iran, a country speaking and writing in Persian, a language written in a version of the Arabic script, decide to label their shells in English? Maybe they thought it would fool the infidels?

I’m not taking the bait. As usual, this attempt to frame Muslims stinks of neocon sloppiness. Once again, the neocons blow it. Not that it particularly matters, as most Americans are oblivious and, besides, millions of them still think Osama and Saddam are twin brothers...
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(Click on image to enlarge)

Cheney Testimony in Libby Trial Would Carry High Risk

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 — One figure has dominated the trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. without even showing up in the courtroom. Day after day, the jury has heard accounts of the actions of Vice President Dick Cheney, watched as his handwritten notes were displayed on a giant screen, heard how he directed leaks to the news media and ordered the White House to publicly defend Mr. Libby, his top aide and close confidante.

Now, as the defense phase of the perjury trial begins, Mr. Cheney is expected to make a historic appearance on the witness stand. It is an act of loyalty that carries considerable risk for Mr. Cheney, a powerful figure in the administration who has in recent months suffered a series of major political and policy setbacks.

If he testifies, Mr. Cheney will bring to the jurors the awesome authority of his office and could attest to Mr. Libby’s character as policy adviser and family man, and to his crushing workload and dedication to keeping the country safe. That could give extra heft to Mr. Libby’s defense against the charge that he lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the grand jury: that he was so occupied with important matters of state, he did not accurately remember conversations from July 2003.

But the first 10 days of testimony have already exposed some of the long-hidden workings of Mr. Cheney’s extraordinary vice presidency, revealing how deeply Mr. Cheney himself was engaged during 2003 in managing public relations as the administration’s case for war came under attack.

Under cross-examination by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, a veteran prosecutor who is likely to be deferential but dogged with questions, the vice president may be forced to describe in uncomfortable detail how he directed the counteroffensive on Joseph C. Wilson IV, the former ambassador who accused the administration of twisting prewar intelligence.

“This could be great theater,” said Peter M. Shane, a law professor at Ohio State University. Anything Mr. Cheney says for the defense, Mr. Shane said, becomes “fair game” to be picked apart by the prosecution.

If Mr. Cheney makes a statement that conflicts with the public record — and nearly every witness so far has done so at least once — it could prove embarrassing for him and for the administration.
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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cheney: "A deputy president with a shadow operation"
by Joe in DC - 2/11/2007 06:15:00 PM -

So much has been learned and validated by the Libby trial: the lies, the spin, the manipulation of the media. And, of course, the fact that the many in media did know about the Plame leak but never reported on it (while the dutifully reported all the denials about the leak -- including the ones from Bush.)

But the most important confirmation is summed up nicely in by an expert interviewed in an Associate Press article:
"What didn't he touch? It's almost like there was almost nothing too trivial for the vice president to handle," said New York University professor Paul Light, an expert in the bureaucracy of the executive branch.

"The details suggest Cheney was almost a deputy president with a shadow operation. He had his own source of advice. He had his own source of access. He was making his own decisions," Light said.
Cheney's been exposed. No wonder he's been acting so deranged.
Feith in the Situation Room: Three Lies (JUAN COLE)

Former No. 3 at the Pentagon under Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, has been found guilty by the Inspector General of "inappropriate" behavior in setting up a rogue unit inside the Pentagon to cherry pick intelligence so as to get up a war. Of course, the Inspector General was careful to say, this treasonous activity was not "illegal." Lying about sex is illegal. Lying the country into a war that kills or wounds 25,000 US troops is just "inappropriate."...
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