Saturday, April 29, 2006
April Deadliest This Year for GIs in Iraq U.S. troops who have died this month in Iraq to at least 67.
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer
Fri Apr 28, 3:59 PM ET
BAGHDAD, Iraq - An American soldier was killed in a roadside bombing north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Friday, making April the deadliest month for American forces in Iraq this year.
Also Friday, American troops, acting on tips from Iraqi intelligence, killed the reputed al-Qaida boss of Samarra, where a Shiite shrine bombing two months ago nearly plunged the country into civil war.
The latest American death, which occurred Thursday evening, brought the number of U.S. troops who have died this month in Iraq to at least 67.
Although that figure is well below some of the bloodiest months of the Iraq conflict, it marks a sharp increase over March, when 31 American service members were killed. January's death toll stood at 62 and February's at 55. In December 2005, 68 Americans died.
Iraq: Bush & PNAC Have Lit the Fuse
- One has to wonder if the actual goal of their operation was to light these fuses. It seems as if they did everything in their power to light each fuse and they did everything in their power to prevent anyone or anything from doing anything to keep the fuses dry. Now they have their excuse for keeping military presence in Iraq and they have their excuse for keeping the river of no-bid contract $billions flowing into their friends pockets
US admits Iraq could become haven for terror
- LINK -
The report, which suggests an increase in terrorist attacks worldwide, appears to undermine repeated claims by President George Bush that the US is winning the "war on terrorism".
'Their own records tells that 98% of our people died.... If you don't call that genocide, what is?'
Defiance in the
Land of the Free
By Nicola Graydon
The Sunday Times Magazine UK
Go to Original
Sunday 23 April 2006
A Native American woman is at war with the US. For 30 years she's been fighting to keep her ancestral land - and now the United Nations is on her side.
The government came for the horses at dawn. It was spring 2003 and it was foaling season. A helicopter flew low over Pine Valley, herding them to corrals. Some prematurely gave birth, others were trampled. Armed federal agents stood by. By the end of the day, over 500 horses were taken to be auctioned off to a local rancher. Not long afterwards some 50 carcasses were dumped - the horses had starved to death.
Carrie Dann, a diminutive Western Shoshone grandmother who owned the horses, refuses to talk about it. "Indians love horses," is all she'll say. But she thinks it caused the death of her sister, Mary, who died last April. "After that," she says, "Mary went down real fast."
---In order to restore dignity to both the United States, for war crimes committed against its' original natives... In Repriation for the lands and lives taken....
And to restore, to its' rightful place, the blood of the native to the power structure of this nation that defeated them.....
WE THE PEOPLE MUST DEMAND THAT NO LESS THAN 5 SENATE SEATS BE SET ASIDE TO BE FILLED ONLY BY THE DULY APPOINTED REPRESENTATIVES OF ALL FEDERAL INDIAN RESERVATIONS. BECAUSE BY GOD IF PUERTO RICO CAN GET A NON VOTING SENATE SEAT THEN SO CAN THE CHEROKEE, CREEK, CHOCTAW, APACHE, AND CHIPPAWA---
Even now, seeing the truth laid out, is still shocking and infuriating.
George W. Bush IS a Liar
By Robert Parry
April 14, 2006
The White House is taking umbrage over new press reports that George W. Bush misled the American people on a key justification for invading Iraq. But Bush’s latest excuse – that he was just an unwitting conveyor of bad information, not a willful purveyor of lies – has been stretched thin by overuse.
Nevertheless, White House spokesman Scott McClellan lashed out at a Washington Post report that in May 2003, Bush described two Iraqi trailers as mobile biological weapons labs although two days earlier a Pentagon field investigation had debunked those suspicions in a report to Washington.
“The lead in the Washington Post left the impression for the reader that the President was saying something he knew at the time not to be true,” McClellan said on April 12, 2006. “That is absolutely false and it is irresponsible, and I don’t know how the Washington Post can defend something so irresponsible.”
But the truth is that Bush has been caught, again and again, relying on lies and distortions to confuse the American people about the Iraq War. Sometimes, he can blame U.S. intelligence agencies for the false information, but other times, he simply lies about facts that he personally knows.
For instance, just weeks after Bush made his false statement about the bio-labs, he also began rewriting the history of the Iraq War to make his invasion seem more reasonable.
On July 14, 2003, Bush claimed that Saddam Hussein had barred United Nations weapons inspectors from Iraq when, in fact, they were admitted in November 2002 and given free rein to search suspected Iraqi weapons sites. It was Bush who forced the U.N. inspectors to leave in March 2003 so the invasion could proceed.
But faced with growing questions about his justifications for war in summer 2003, Bush revised this history, apparently trusting in the weak memories of the American people and the timidity of the U.S. press. At the end of an Oval Office meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Bush told reporters:
“We gave him (Saddam Hussein) a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power.”
In the following months and years, Bush repeated this claim in slightly varied forms as part of his litany for defending the invasion on the grounds that it was Hussein who “chose war,” not Bush.
Meeting no protest from the Washington press corps, Bush continued repeating his lie about Hussein showing “defiance” on the inspections. Bush uttered the lie as recently as March 21, 2006, when he answered a question from veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas.
“I was hoping to solve this (Iraq) problem diplomatically,” Bush said. “The world said, ‘Disarm, disclose or face serious consequences.’ … We worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny the inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did. And the world is safer for it.”
The significance of this lie about the inspectors – when judging Bush’s proclivity to lie – rests on the fact that he can’t simply blame his advisers when cornered. Bush was fully aware of the U.N. inspectors and what happened to them.
'Downing Street Memo'
Indeed, documentary evidence shows that Bush was determined to invade Iraq in 2002 and early 2003 regardless of what U.S. intelligence could prove or what the Iraqis did.
For instance, the so-called “Downing Street Memo” recounted a secret meeting on July 23, 2002, involving British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security aides. At that meeting, Richard Dearlove, chief of the British intelligence agency MI6, described his discussions about Iraq with Bush’s top advisers in Washington.
Dearlove said, “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
At an Oval Office meeting on Jan. 31, 2003, Bush and Blair discussed their determination to invade Iraq, though Bush still hoped that he might provoke the Iraqis into some violent act that would serve as political cover, according to minutes written by Blair’s top foreign policy aide David Manning.
So, while Bush was telling the American people that he considered war with Iraq “a last resort,” he actually had decided to invade regardless of Iraq’s cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors, according to the five-page memo of the Oval Office meeting reviewed by the New York Times.
The memo also reveals Bush conniving to deceive the American people and the world community by trying to engineer a provocation that would portray Hussein as the aggressor. Bush suggested painting a U.S. plane up in U.N. colors and flying it over Iraq with the goal of drawing Iraqi fire, the meeting minutes said.
“The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours,” the memo said about Bush’s scheme. “If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Time to Talk War Crimes.”]
Regardless of whether any casus belli could be provoked, Bush already had “penciled in” March 10, 2003, as the start of the U.S. bombing of Iraq, according to the memo. “Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning,” Manning wrote.
According to the British memo, Bush and Blair acknowledged that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, nor were they likely to be found in the coming weeks, but that wouldn’t get in the way of the U.S.-led invasion. [NYT, March 27, 2006]
Ousting the Inspectors
So, Bush clearly knew that Hussein had permitted the inspectors into Iraq to search suspected weapons sites. Bush also knew that he was the one who forced the inspectors to leave so the invasion could proceed in March 2003.
“Although the inspection organization was now operating at full strength and Iraq seemed determined to give it prompt access everywhere, the United States appeared as determined to replace our inspection force with an invasion army,” the UN’s chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, wrote in his memoir, Disarming Iraq.
In other words, neither the U.N. inspectors’ negative WMD findings nor the Security Council’s refusal to authorize force would stop Bush’s invasion on March 19, 2003. [For more on Bush's pretexts for war in Iraq, see Consortiumnews.com’s “President Bush, With the Candlestick…”]
By late May 2003, however, the failure of Bush's own inspectors to find any WMD, compounded by the stirrings of a bloody Iraqi insurgency, left Bush and his advisers scrambling to refurbish old justifications for the war and to cobble together some new ones.
The two trailers came in handy, even though the evidence was always clear that the equipment was to produce hydrogen for weather balloons, not biological agents.
Like other WMD evidence, however, the case of the trailers was stretched to serve Bush’s political needs. Despite the field report debunking the bio-war claims – sent to Washington on May 27, 2003 – the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency issued a misleading “white paper” on the alleged bio-labs on May 28.
Bush began citing the trailers as the conclusive WMD proof on May 29, 2003. “Those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons are wrong,” Bush declared, referring to the mobile labs. “We found them.”
By June 1, 2003, after simply reading the “white paper,” I was able to post an analysis showing how shoddy and flimsy the CIA/DIA claims were. At the time, I was not aware of the field report, which had been stamped secret and shelved. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “America’s Matrix, Revisited.”]
The Plame Case
But even worse challenges to Bush’s credibility lay ahead. In June 2003, a former U.S. ambassador, Joseph Wilson, was briefing a few reporters about what he considered the administration’s twisting of intelligence on Iraq’s supposed pursuit of enriched uranium from Niger.
Bush had included the bogus Niger claim in his State of the Union Address in January 2003. But Wilson’s first-hand account of his assignment in 2002 to check out the Niger suspicions – and his conclusion that the evidence was weak – represented the first major assault on Bush’s pre-war intelligence from a mainstream government figure.
The White House struck back, organizing anti-Wilson leaks to friendly reporters. Privately, Bush declassified information that tended to bolster his Niger claim – even though by then its truthfulness had been discredited by U.S. intelligence agencies.
With President Bush’s clearance, Vice President Dick Cheney dispatched his chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, to leak information to Washington Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward on June 27, 2003. Libby approached New York Times correspondent Judith Miller on July 8 and Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper on July 12.
On July 14, 2003, the behind-the-scenes attack on Wilson surfaced in a column by conservative writer Robert Novak, who divulged that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA officer who had a hand in arranging Wilson’s trip to Africa, implying that Wilson’s investigative work in Niger had resulted from nepotism.
In a court filing nearly three years later, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald described the anti-Wilson campaign as a “concerted” effort by the White House to “discredit, punish or seek revenge against” a troublesome critic.
Ironically, the same day of Novak’s column, Bush introduced a new rationale for the war – his revisionist history that he was forced to invade because Saddam Hussein had refused to let the U.N. inspectors in. The White House apparently saw little danger in deceiving the Washington press corps about Iraq War intelligence, no matter how blatantly.
When the Plame affair exploded as a scandal in September 2003 – after the CIA complained that her exposure violated a law designed to protect the identity of intelligence agents – Bush escalated the deceptions.
Bush knew that he had authorized the declassification of some secrets on the Niger uranium from a National Intelligence Estimate and that those secrets were given to reporters to undercut Wilson. But Bush acted like he was clueless when the investigation began into how Wilson’s wife was exposed.
If Bush had wanted to be honest, he would have disclosed immediately that he had approved a plan to release information to reporters in order to discredit Wilson’s claims. Bush might have explained that he never intended that Plame’s identity be divulged, but he nevertheless had information that would help investigators solve the mystery.
Instead, Bush went out of his way to play dumb, while telling the American people that he wanted to get to the bottom of the story.
“If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is,” Bush said on Sept. 30, 2003. “I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.”
Perhaps, having gotten away with even more brazen lies – like claiming the U.N. inspectors were kept out of Iraq – Bush may have judged that he could pretty much tell the American people whatever came into his head.
Sometimes, Bush lied even without a clear reason. For instance, during a campaign stop in Buffalo, N.Y., on April 20, 2004, Bush went out of his way to mislead his listeners on the question of whether he always got warrants when he conducted wiretaps.
“By the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires – a wiretap requires a court order,” Bush said. “Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.”
Two years earlier, however, Bush had approved letting the National Security Agency use warrantless wiretaps to intercept international calls and other communications made by some Americans.
When Bush’s wiretap lie was exposed in December 2005, the White House insisted that Bush had not lied, that his comments related only to roving wiretaps under the USA Patriot Act, an excuse that Bush adopted as his own on New Year’s Day 2006.
“I was talking about roving wiretaps, I believe, involved in the Patriot Act. This is different from the N.S.A. program,” he said.
However, the context of Bush’s 2004 statement was clear. He broke away from a discussion of the USA Patriot Act to note “by the way” that “any time” a wiretap is needed a court order must be obtained. He was not confining his remarks to “roving wiretaps” under the Patriot Act. [For Bush’s 2004 speech, click here.]
Despite this history of Bush’s deceptions, White House spokesman McClellan still flies into a rage whenever news organizations note that Bush has said something that turned out not to be true.
After the Washington Post’s disclosure about Bush’s bogus bio-war claims, McClellan called the article unfair and noted that Bush made his comments in response to a question, not in a formal speech.
“I saw some reporting saying he had gone out and given a speech about it, and that’s not true,” McClellan said. “I saw some reporting talking about how this latest revelation … was an embarrassment for the White House. No, it’s an embarrassment for the media that is out there reporting this.”
McClellan said the White House also demanded and got an apology from ABC News for suggesting that Bush touted the supposed bio-lab findings while knowing that the CIA/DIA “white paper” was bogus.
“I talked to one network about it and they have … expressed their apologies to the White House,” McClellan said. “I hope they will go and publicly apologize on the air about the statements that were made, because I think it’s important, given that they had made those statements in front of all their viewers.”
Right-wing bloggers also rallied to Bush’s defense.
Yet, while it may be impossible to know exactly what’s in a person’s head when something false is stated – whether the person thinks it’s true or knows it’s false – Bush’s record of deception shouldn’t earn him much benefit of the doubt from the American people.
When apologies start for misleading the public on matters of war and peace over the past several years, George W. Bush should be standing near the front of the line.
Peace Rally NYC April 29 2006
A gorgeous day to rally for peace! Thousands turned out to raise their voices. Here are some pics from the event... Megan Monkey hooked up with my daughter and I to take it all in. These images don’t do it justice, but will give you an idea of what was going down.
Peace all ET
100,000 Families Are Fleeing Violence, Iraq Official Says
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.
Published: April 30, 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 29 — A new estimate by one of Iraq's vice presidents has put the number of Iraqi families fleeing sectarian violence at 100,000, far outstripping previous projections and raising the possibility that a total of a half-million people could be displaced.
The estimate, made Friday by Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shiite leader selected as one of two vice presidents, is much higher than other recent estimates. For example, the national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, said in an interview last week that 13,750 families had been displaced, which could mean about 70,000 people.
Yet both statements go far beyond estimates by American military leaders, who have said there is no "widespread movement" of Iraqis fleeing from sectarian fighting. >>>cont
Attorney General Gonzales defends Iraq war to 6th graders
Secrets of Success Revealed, On FBI Tour, Top Agents Give Students Clues on Charting the Future
"If the president made us go to war with Iraq, why doesn't he go over there and fight the war?" Christian May asked.
"Why doesn't he go do that?" Gonzales responded. "He's sort of the commander in chief. He's kind of leading the troops. That's what happens in wars. You have people making the plans and making the decisions . . . and then you have people who make sure those directives are carried out."
At that moment, a Justice Department public relations officer suggested that the onlooking reporter leave the two to "chat freely.">>cont
I friking bet he did, Its simple Kiddo no balls in the whole of Georgies Administration.
Iran: The Next Neocon Target
HON. RON PAUL OF TEXAS
Before the U.S. House of Representatives
April 5, 2006
Iran: The Next Neocon Target
It’s been three years since the U.S. launched its war against Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. Of course now almost everybody knows there were no WMDs, and Saddam Hussein posed no threat to the United States. Though some of our soldiers serving in Iraq still believe they are there because Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, even the administration now acknowledges there was no connection. Indeed, no one can be absolutely certain why we invaded Iraq. The current excuse, also given for staying in Iraq, is to make it a democratic state, friendly to the United States. There are now fewer denials that securing oil supplies played a significant role in our decision to go into Iraq and stay there. That certainly would explain why U.S. taxpayers are paying such a price to build and maintain numerous huge, permanent military bases in Iraq. They’re also funding a new billion dollar embassy- the largest in the world.
The significant question we must ask ourselves is: What have we learned from three years in Iraq? With plans now being laid for regime change in Iran, it appears we have learned absolutely nothing. There still are plenty of administration officials who daily paint a rosy picture of the Iraq we have created. But I wonder: If the past three years were nothing more than a bad dream, and our nation suddenly awakened, how many would, for national security reasons, urge the same invasion? Would we instead give a gigantic sigh of relief that it was only a bad dream, that we need not relive the three-year nightmare of death, destruction, chaos and stupendous consumption of tax dollars. Conceivably we would still see oil prices under $30 a barrel, and most importantly, 20,000 severe U.S. causalities would not have occurred. My guess is that 99% of all Americans would be thankful it was only a bad dream, and would never support the invasion knowing what we know today.
Even with the horrible results of the past three years, Congress is abuzz with plans to change the Iranian government. There is little resistance to the rising clamor for “democratizing” Iran, even though their current president, Mahmoud Almadinejad, is an elected leader. Though Iran is hardly a perfect democracy, its system is far superior to most of our Arab allies about which we never complain. Already the coordinating propaganda has galvanized the American people against Iran for the supposed threat it poses to us with weapons of mass destruction that are no more present than those Saddam Hussein was alleged to have had. It’s amazing how soon after being thoroughly discredited over the charges levied against Saddam Hussein the Neo-cons are willing to use the same arguments against Iran. It’s frightening to see how easily Congress, the media, and the people accept many of the same arguments against Iran that were used to justify an invasion of Iraq.
Since 2001 we have spent over $300 billion, and occupied two Muslim nations--Afghanistan and Iraq. We’re poorer but certainly not safer for it. We invaded Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden, the ring leader behind 9/11. This effort has been virtually abandoned. Even though the Taliban was removed from power in Afghanistan, most of the country is now occupied and controlled by warlords who manage a drug trade bigger than ever before. Removing the Taliban from power in Afghanistan actually served the interests of Iran, the Taliban’s arch enemy, more than our own.
The longtime Neo-con goal to remake Iraq prompted us to abandon the search for Osama bin Laden. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was hyped as a noble mission, justified by misrepresentations of intelligence concerning Saddam Hussein and his ability to attack us and his neighbors. This failed policy has created the current chaos in Iraq-- chaos that many describe as a civil war. Saddam Hussein is out of power and most people are pleased. Yet some Iraqis, who dream of stability, long for his authoritarian rule. But once again, Saddam Hussein’s removal benefited the Iranians, who consider Saddam Hussein an arch enemy.
Our obsession with democracy-- which is clearly conditional, when one looks at our response to the recent Palestinian elections-- will allow the majority Shia to claim leadership title if Iraq’s election actually leads to an organized government. This delights the Iranians, who are close allies of the Iraqi Shia.
Talk about unintended consequences! This war has produced chaos, civil war, death and destruction, and huge financial costs. It has eliminated two of Iran’s worst enemies and placed power in Iraq with Iran’s best friends. Even this apparent failure of policy does nothing to restrain the current march toward a similar confrontation with Iran. What will it take for us to learn from our failures?
Common sense tells us the war in Iraq soon will spread to Iran. Fear of imaginary nuclear weapons or an incident involving Iran-- whether planned or accidental-- will rally the support needed for us to move on Muslim country #3. All the past failures and unintended consequences will be forgotten.
Even with deteriorating support for the Iraq war, new information, well planned propaganda, or a major incident will override the skepticism and heartache of our frustrating fight. Vocal opponents of an attack on Iran again will be labeled unpatriotic, unsupportive of the troops, and sympathetic to Iran’s radicals.
Instead of capitulating to these charges, we should point out that those who maneuver us into war do so with little concern for our young people serving in the military, and theoretically think little of their own children if they have any. It’s hard to conceive that political supporters of the war would consciously claim that a pre-emptive war for regime change, where young people are sacrificed, is only worth it if the deaths and injuries are limited to other people’s children. This, I’m sure, would be denied-- which means their own children are technically available for this sacrifice that is so often praised and glorified for the benefit of the families who have lost so much. If so, they should think more of their own children. If this is not so, and their children are not available for such sacrifice, the hypocrisy is apparent. Remember, most Neo-con planners fall into the category of chicken-hawks.
For the past 3 years it’s been inferred that if one is not in support of the current policy, one is against the troops and supports the enemy. Lack of support for the war in Iraq was said to be supportive of Saddam Hussein and his evil policies. This is an insulting and preposterous argument. Those who argued for the containment of the Soviets were never deemed sympathetic to Stalin or Khrushchev. Lack of support for the Iraq war should never be used as an argument that one was sympathetic to Saddam Hussein. Containment and diplomacy are far superior to confronting a potential enemy, and are less costly and far less dangerous-- especially when there’s no evidence that our national security is being threatened.
Although a large percentage of the public now rejects the various arguments for the Iraq war, 3 years ago they were easily persuaded by the politicians and media to fully support the invasion. Now, after 3 years of terrible pain for so many, even the troops are awakening from their slumber and sensing the fruitlessness of our failing effort. Seventy-two percent of our troops now serving in Iraq say it’s time to come home, yet the majority still cling to the propaganda that we’re there because of 9/11 attacks, something even the administration has ceased to claim. Propaganda is pushed on our troops to exploit their need to believe in a cause that’s worth the risk to life and limb.
I smell an expanded war in the Middle East, and pray that I’m wrong. I sense that circumstances will arise that demand support regardless of the danger and cost. Any lack of support, once again, will be painted as being soft on terrorism and al Qaeda. We will be told we must support Israel, support patriotism, support the troops, and defend freedom. The public too often only smells the stench of war after the killing starts. Public objection comes later on, but eventually it helps to stop the war. I worry that before we can finish the war we’re in and extricate ourselves, the patriotic fervor for expanding into Iran will drown out the cries of, “enough already!”
The agitation and congressional resolutions painting Iran as an enemy about to attack us have already begun. It’s too bad we can’t learn from our mistakes.
This time there will be a greater pretense of an international effort sanctioned by the UN before the bombs are dropped. But even without support from the international community, we should expect the plan for regime change to continue. We have been forewarned that “all options” remain on the table. And there’s little reason to expect much resistance from Congress. So far there’s less resistance expressed in Congress for taking on Iran than there was prior to going into Iraq. It’s astonishing that after three years of bad results and tremendous expense there’s little indication we will reconsider our traditional non-interventionist foreign policy. Unfortunately, regime change, nation building, policing the world, and protecting “our oil” still constitute an acceptable policy by the leaders of both major parties.
It’s already assumed by many in Washington I talk to that Iran is dead serious about obtaining a nuclear weapon, and is a much more formidable opponent than Iraq. Besides, Mahmoud Almadinjad threatened to destroy Israel and that cannot stand. Washington sees Iran as a greater threat than Iraq ever was, a threat that cannot be ignored.
Iran’s history is being ignored, just as we ignored Iraq’s history. This ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation of our recent relationship to Iraq and Iran is required to generate the fervor needed to attack once again a country that poses no threat to us. Our policies toward Iran have been more provocative than those towards Iraq. Yes, President Bush labeled Iran part of the axis of evil and unnecessarily provoked their anger at us. But our mistakes with Iran started a long time before this president took office.
In 1953 our CIA, with help of the British, participated in overthrowing the democratic elected leader, Mohamed Mossedech. We placed the Shah in power. He ruled ruthlessly but protected our oil interests, and for that we protected him-- that is until 1979. We even provided him with Iran’s first nuclear reactor. Evidently we didn’t buy the argument that his oil supplies precluded a need for civilian nuclear energy. From 1953 to 1979 his authoritarian rule served to incite a radical Muslim opposition led by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who overthrew the Shah and took our hostages in 1979. This blowback event was slow in coming, but Muslims have long memories. The hostage crisis and overthrow of the Shah by the Ayatollah was a major victory for the radical Islamists. Most Americans either never knew about or easily forgot our unwise meddling in the internal affairs of Iran in 1953.
During the 1980s we further antagonized Iran by supporting the Iraqis in their invasion of Iran. This made our relationship with Iran worse, while sending a message to Saddam Hussein that invading a neighboring country is not all that bad. When Hussein got the message from our State Department that his plan to invade Kuwait was not of much concern to the United States he immediately proceeded to do so. We in a way encouraged him to do it almost like we encouraged him to go into Iran. Of course this time our reaction was quite different, and all of a sudden our friendly ally Saddam Hussein became our arch enemy. The American people may forget this flip-flop, but those who suffered from it never forget. And the Iranians remember well our meddling in their affairs. Labeling the Iranians part of the axis of evil further alienated them and contributed to the animosity directed toward us.
For whatever reasons the Neo-conservatives might give, they are bound and determined to confront the Iranian government and demand changes in its leadership. This policy will further spread our military presence and undermine our security. The sad truth is that the supposed dangers posed by Iran are no more real than those claimed about Iraq. The charges made against Iran are unsubstantiated, and amazingly sound very similar to the false charges made against Iraq. One would think promoters of the war against Iraq would be a little bit more reluctant to use the same arguments to stir up hatred toward Iran. The American people and Congress should be more cautious in accepting these charges at face value. Yet it seems the propaganda is working, since few in Washington object as Congress passes resolutions condemning Iran and asking for UN sanctions against her.
There is no evidence of a threat to us by Iran, and no reason to plan and initiate a confrontation with her. There are many reasons not to do so, however.
Iran does not have a nuclear weapon and there’s no evidence that she is working on one--only conjecture.
If Iran had a nuclear weapon, why would this be different from Pakistan, India, and North Korea having one? Why does Iran have less right to a defensive weapon than these other countries?
If Iran had a nuclear weapon, the odds of her initiating an attack against anybody-- which would guarantee her own annihilation-- are zero. And the same goes for the possibility she would place weapons in the hands of a non-state terrorist group.
Pakistan has spread nuclear technology throughout the world, and in particular to the North Koreans. They flaunt international restrictions on nuclear weapons. But we reward them just as we reward India.
We needlessly and foolishly threaten Iran even though they have no nuclear weapons. But listen to what a leading Israeli historian, Martin Van Creveld, had to say about this: “Obviously, we don’t want Iran to have a nuclear weapon, and I don’t know if they’re developing them, but if they’re not developing them, they’re crazy.”
There’s been a lot of misinformation regarding Iran’s nuclear program. This distortion of the truth has been used to pump up emotions in Congress to pass resolutions condemning her and promoting UN sanctions.
IAEA Director General Mohamed El Baradi has never reported any evidence of “undeclared” sources or special nuclear material in Iran, or any diversion of nuclear material.
We demand that Iran prove it is not in violation of nuclear agreements, which is asking them impossibly to prove a negative. El Baradi states Iran is in compliance with the nuclear NPT required IAEA safeguard agreement.
We forget that the weapons we feared Saddam Hussein had were supplied to him by the U.S., and we refused to believe UN inspectors and the CIA that he no longer had them.
Likewise, Iran received her first nuclear reactor from us. Now we’re hysterically wondering if someday she might decide to build a bomb in self interest.
Anti-Iran voices, beating the drums of confrontation, distort the agreement made in Paris and the desire of Iran to restart the enrichment process. Their suspension of the enrichment process was voluntary, and not a legal obligation. Iran has an absolute right under the NPT to develop and use nuclear power for peaceful purposes, and this is now said to be an egregious violation of the NPT. It’s the U.S. and her allies that are distorting and violating the NPT. Likewise our provision of nuclear materials to India is a clear violation of the NPT.
The demand for UN sanctions is now being strongly encouraged by Congress. The “Iran Freedom Support Act,” HR 282, passed in the International Relations Committee; and recently the House passed H Con Res 341, which inaccurately condemned Iran for violating its international nuclear non-proliferation obligations. At present, the likelihood of reason prevailing in Congress is minimal. Let there be no doubt: The Neo-conservative warriors are still in charge, and are conditioning Congress, the media, and the American people for a pre-emptive attack on Iran. Never mind that Afghanistan has unraveled and Iraq is in civil war: serious plans are being laid for the next distraction which will further spread this war in the Middle East. The unintended consequences of this effort surely will be worse than any of the complications experienced in the three-year occupation of Iraq.
Our offer of political and financial assistance to foreign and domestic individuals who support the overthrow of the current Iranian government is fraught with danger and saturated with arrogance. Imagine how American citizens would respond if China supported similar efforts here in the United States to bring about regime change! How many of us would remain complacent if someone like Timothy McVeigh had been financed by a foreign power? Is it any wonder the Iranian people resent us and the attitude of our leaders? Even though El Baradi and his IAEA investigations have found no violations of the NPT-required IAEA safeguards agreement, the Iran Freedom Support Act still demands that Iran prove they have no nuclear weapons-- refusing to acknowledge that proving a negative is impossible.
Let there be no doubt, though the words “regime change” are not found in the bill-- that’s precisely what they are talking about. Neo-conservative Michael Ledeen, one of the architects of the Iraq fiasco, testifying before the International Relations Committee in favor of the IFSA, stated it plainly: “I know some Members would prefer to dance around the explicit declaration of regime change as the policy of this country, but anyone looking closely at the language and context of the IFSA and its close relative in the Senate, can clearly see that this is in fact the essence of the matter. You can’t have freedom in Iran without bringing down the Mullahs.”
Sanctions, along with financial and political support to persons and groups dedicated to the overthrow of the Iranian government, are acts of war. Once again we’re unilaterally declaring a pre-emptive war against a country and a people that have not harmed us and do not have the capacity to do so. And don’t expect Congress to seriously debate a declaration of war resolution. For the past 56 years Congress has transferred to the executive branch the power to go to war as it pleases, regardless of the tragic results and costs.
Secretary of State Rice recently signaled a sharp shift towards confrontation in Iran policy as she insisted on $75 million to finance propaganda, through TV and radio broadcasts into Iran. She expressed this need because of the so-called “aggressive” policies of the Iranian government. We’re seven thousand miles from home, telling the Iraqis and the Iranians what kind of government they will have, backed up by the use of our military force, and we call them the aggressors. We fail to realize the Iranian people, for whatever faults they may have, have not in modern times aggressed against any neighbor. This provocation is so unnecessary, costly, and dangerous.
Just as the invasion of Iraq inadvertently served the interests of the Iranians, military confrontation with Iran will have unintended consequences. The successful alliance engendered between the Iranians and the Iraqi majority Shia will prove a formidable opponent for us in Iraq as that civil war spreads. Shipping in the Persian Gulf through the Straits of Hormuz may well be disrupted by the Iranians in retaliation for any military confrontation. Since Iran would be incapable of defending herself by conventional means, it seems logical that some might resort to a terrorist attack on us. They will not passively lie down, nor can they be destroyed easily.
One of the reasons given for going into Iraq was to secure “our” oil supply. This backfired badly: Production in Iraq is down 50%, and world oil prices have more than doubled to $60 per barrel. Meddling with Iran could easily have a similar result. We could see oil over $120 a barrel and, and $6 gas at the pump. The obsession the Neo-cons have with remaking the Middle East is hard to understand. One thing that is easy to understand is none of those who planned these wars expect to fight in them, nor do they expect their children to die in some IED explosion.
Exactly when an attack will occur is not known, but we have been forewarned more than once that all options remain on the table. The sequence of events now occurring with regards to Iran are eerily reminiscent of the hype prior to our pre-emptive strike against Iraq. We should remember the saying: “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” It looks to me like the Congress and the country is open to being fooled once again.
Interestingly, many early supporters of the Iraq war are now highly critical of the President, having been misled as to reasons for the invasion and occupation. But these same people are only too eager to accept the same flawed arguments for our need to undermine the Iranian government.
The President’s 2006 National Security Strategy, just released, is every bit as frightening as the one released in 2002 endorsing pre-emptive war. In it he claims: “We face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran.” He claims the Iranians have for 20 years hidden key nuclear activities-- though the IAEA makes no such assumptions nor has the Security Council in these 20 years ever sanctioned Iran. The clincher in the National Security Strategy document is if diplomatic efforts fail, confrontation will follow. The problem is the diplomatic effort-- if one wants to use that term-- is designed to fail by demanding the Iranians prove an unproveable negative. The West-- led by the U.S.-- is in greater violation by demanding Iran not pursue any nuclear technology, even peaceful, that the NPT guarantees is their right.
The President states: Iran’s “desire to have a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.” A “desire” is purely subjective, and cannot be substantiated nor disproved. Therefore all that is necessary to justify an attack is if Iran fails to prove it doesn’t have a “desire” to be like the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France, Pakistan, India, and Israel—whose nuclear missiles surround Iran. Logic like this to justify a new war, without the least consideration for a congressional declaration of war, is indeed frightening.
Common sense tells us Congress, especially given the civil war in Iraq and the mess in Afghanistan, should move with great caution in condoning a military confrontation with Iran.
Cause for Concern
Most Americans are uninterested in foreign affairs until we get mired down in a war that costs too much, last too long, and kills too many U.S. troops. Getting out of a lengthy war is difficult, as I remember all too well with Vietnam while serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1968. Getting into war is much easier. Unfortunately the Legislative branch of our government too often defers to the Executive branch, and offers little resistance to war plans even with no significant threat to our security. The need to go to war is always couched in patriotic terms and falsehoods regarding an imaginary eminent danger. Not supporting the effort is painted as unpatriotic and wimpish against some evil that’s about to engulf us. The real reason for our militarism is rarely revealed and hidden from the public. Even Congress is deceived into supporting adventurism they would not accept if fully informed.
If we accepted the traditional American and constitutional foreign policy of non-intervention across the board, there would be no temptation to go along with these unnecessary military operations. A foreign policy of intervention invites all kinds of excuses for spreading ourselves around the world. The debate shifts from non-intervention versus interventionism, to where and for what particular reason should we involve ourselves. Most of the time it’s for less than honorable reasons. Even when cloaked in honorable slogans-- like making the world safe for democracy-- the unintended consequences and the ultimate costs cancel out the good intentions.
One of the greatest losses suffered these past 60 years from interventionism becoming an acceptable policy of both major parties is respect for the Constitution. Congress flatly has reneged on its huge responsibility to declare war. Going to war was never meant to be an Executive decision, used indiscriminately with no resistance from Congress. The strongest attempt by Congress in the past 60 years to properly exert itself over foreign policy was the passage of the Foley Amendment, demanding no assistance be given to the Nicaraguan contras. Even this explicit prohibition was flaunted by an earlier administration.
Arguing over the relative merits of each intervention is not a true debate, because it assumes that intervention per se is both moral and constitutional. Arguing for a Granada-type intervention because of its “success,” and against the Iraq war because of its failure and cost, is not enough. We must once again understand the wisdom of rejecting entangling alliances and rejecting nation building. We must stop trying to police the world and instead embrace non-interventionism as the proper, moral, and constitutional foreign policy.
The best reason to oppose interventionism is that people die, needlessly, on both sides. We have suffered over 20,000 American casualties in Iraq already, and Iraq civilian deaths probably number over 100,000 by all reasonable accounts. The next best reason is that the rule of law is undermined, especially when military interventions are carried out without a declaration of war. Whenever a war is ongoing, civil liberties are under attack at home. The current war in Iraq and the misnamed war on terror have created an environment here at home that affords little constitutional protection of our citizen’s rights. Extreme nationalism is common during wars. Signs of this are now apparent.
Prolonged wars, as this one has become, have profound consequences. No matter how much positive spin is put on it, war never makes a society wealthier. World War II was not a solution to the Depression as many claim. If a billion dollars is spent on weapons of war, the GDP records positive growth in that amount. But the expenditure is consumed by destruction of the weapons or bombs it bought, and the real economy is denied $1 billion to produce products that would have raised someone’s standard of living.
Excessive spending to finance the war causes deficits to explode. There are never enough tax dollars available to pay the bills, and since there are not enough willing lenders and dollars available, the Federal Reserve must create enough new money and credit for buying Treasury Bills to prevent interest rates from rising too rapidly. Rising rates would tip off everyone that there are not enough savings or taxes to finance the war. This willingness to print whatever amount of money the government needs to pursue the war is literally inflation. Without a fiat monetary system wars would be very difficult to finance, since the people would never tolerate the taxes required to pay for it. Inflation of the money supply delays and hides the real cost of war. The result of the excessive creation of new money leads to the higher cost of living everyone decries and the Fed denies. Since taxes are not levied, the increase in prices that results from printing too much money is technically the tax required to pay for the war.
The tragedy is that the inflation tax is borne more by the poor and the middle class than the rich. Meanwhile, the well-connected rich, the politicians, the bureaucrats, the bankers, the military industrialists, and the international corporations reap the benefits of war profits.
A sound economic process is disrupted with a war economy and monetary inflation. Strong voices emerge blaming the wrong policies for our problems, prompting an outcry for protectionist legislation. It’s always easier to blame foreign producers and savers for our inflation, lack of savings, excess debt, and loss of industrial jobs. Protectionist measures only make economic conditions worse. Inevitably these conditions, if not corrected, lead to a lower standard of living for most of our citizens.
Careless military intervention is also bad for the civil disturbance that results. The chaos in the streets of America in the 1960s while the Vietnam War raged, aggravated by the draft, was an example of domestic strife caused by an ill-advised unconstitutional war that could not be won. The early signs of civil discord are now present. Hopefully we can extricate ourselves from Iraq and avoid a conflict in Iran before our streets explode as they did in the 60s.
In a way it’s amazing there’s not a lot more outrage expressed by the American people. There’s plenty of complaining but no outrage over policies that are not part of our American tradition. War based on false pretenses, 20,000 American casualties, torture policies, thousands jailed without due process, illegal surveillance of citizens, warrantless searches, and yet no outrage. When the issues come before Congress, Executive authority is maintained or even strengthened while real oversight is ignored.
Though many Americans are starting to feel the economic pain of paying for this war through inflation, the real pain has not yet arrived. We generally remain fat and happy, with a system of money and borrowing that postpones the day of reckoning. Foreigners, in particular the Chinese and Japanese, gladly participate in the charade. We print the money and they take it, as do the OPEC nations, and provide us with consumer goods and oil. Then they loan the money back to us at low interest rates, which we use to finance the war and our housing bubble and excessive consumption. This recycling and perpetual borrowing of inflated dollars allows us to avoid the pain of high taxes to pay for our war and welfare spending. It’s fine until the music stops and the real costs are realized, with much higher interest rates and significant price inflation. That’s when outrage will be heard, and the people will realize we can’t afford the “humanitarianism” of the Neo-conservatives.
The notion that our economic problems are principally due to the Chinese is nonsense. If the protectionists were to have their way, the problem of financing the war would become readily apparent and have immediate ramifications-- none good. Today’s economic problems, caused largely by our funny money system, won’t be solved by altering exchange rates to favor us in the short run, or by imposing high tariffs. Only sound money with real value will solve the problems of competing currency devaluations and protectionist measures.
Economic interests almost always are major reasons for wars being fought. Noble and patriotic causes are easier to sell to a public who must pay and provide cannon fodder to defend the financial interests of a privileged class.
The fact that Saddam Hussein demanded Euros for oil in an attempt to undermine the U.S. dollar is believed by many to be one of the ulterior motives for our invasion and occupation of Iraq. Similarly, the Iranian oil burse now about to open may be seen as a threat to those who depend on maintaining the current monetary system with the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
The theory and significance of “peak oil” is believed to be an additional motivating factor for the U.S. and Great Britain wanting to maintain firm control over the oil supplies in the Middle East. The two nations have been protecting “our” oil interests in the Middle East for nearly a hundred years. With diminishing supplies and expanding demands, the incentive to maintain a military presence in the Middle East is quite strong. Fear of China and Russia moving into this region to assume more control alarms those who don’t understand how a free market can develop substitutes to replace diminishing resources. Supporters of the military effort to maintain control over large regions of the world to protect oil fail to count the real costs once the DOD budget is factored in. Remember, invading Iraq was costly and oil prices doubled. Confrontation in Iran may evolve differently, but we can be sure it will be costly and oil prices will rise.
There are long-term consequences or blowback from our militant policy of intervention around the world. They are unpredictable as to time and place. 9/11 was a consequence of our military presence on Muslim holy lands; the Ayatollah Khomeini’s success in taking over the Iranian government in 1979 was a consequence of our CIA overthrowing Mossadech in 1953. These connections are rarely recognized by the American people and never acknowledged by our government. We never seem to learn how dangerous interventionism is to us and to our security.
There are some who may not agree strongly with any of my arguments, and instead believe the propaganda: Iran and her President, Mahmoud Almadinjad, are thoroughly irresponsible and have threatened to destroy Israel. So all measures must be taken to prevent Iran from getting nukes-- thus the campaign to intimidate and confront Iran.
First, Iran doesn’t have a nuke and is nowhere close to getting one, according to the CIA. If they did have one, using it would guarantee almost instantaneous annihilation by Israel and the United States. Hysterical fear of Iran is way out of proportion to reality. With a policy of containment, we stood down and won the Cold War against the Soviets and their 30,000 nuclear weapons and missiles. If you’re looking for a real kook with a bomb to worry about, North Korea would be high on the list. Yet we negotiate with Kim Jong Il. Pakistan has nukes and was a close ally of the Taliban up until 9/11. Pakistan was never inspected by the IAEA as to their military capability. Yet we not only talk to her, we provide economic assistance-- though someday Musharraf may well be overthrown and a pro-al Qaeda government put in place. We have been nearly obsessed with talking about regime change in Iran, while ignoring Pakistan and North Korea. It makes no sense and it’s a very costly and dangerous policy.
The conclusion we should derive from this is simple: It’s in our best interest to pursue a foreign policy of non-intervention. A strict interpretation of the Constitution mandates it. The moral imperative of not imposing our will on others, no matter how well intentioned, is a powerful argument for minding our own business. The principle of self-determination should be respected. Strict non-intervention removes the incentives for foreign powers and corporate interests to influence our policies overseas. We can’t afford the cost that intervention requires, whether through higher taxes or inflation. If the moral arguments against intervention don’t suffice for some, the practical arguments should.
Intervention just doesn’t work. It backfires and ultimately hurts American citizens both at home and abroad. Spreading ourselves too thin around the world actually diminishes our national security through a weakened military. As the superpower of the world, a constant interventionist policy is perceived as arrogant, and greatly undermines our ability to use diplomacy in a positive manner.
Conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, and many of today’s liberals have all at one time or another endorsed a less interventionist foreign policy. There’s no reason a coalition of these groups might not once again present the case for a pro-American, non-militant, non-interventionist foreign policy dealing with all nations. A policy of trade and peace, and a willingness to use diplomacy, is far superior to the foreign policy that has evolved over the past 60 years.
It’s time for a change.
NYT Rich: Downing Street memo proved accurate: Developing
Frank Rich: Downing Street memo 'proved accurate'
RAW STORYPublished: Saturday April 29, 2006
After a three month hiatus, Frank Rich returns to the New York Times with a column slated for Sunday's edition which asserts that "[e]ach week brings new confirmation" that the Downing Street memo leaked last May has proved accurate, RAW STORY has learned.
Excerpts from Rich's column:
The Downing Street memo -- minutes of a Tony Blair meeting with senior advisers in July 2002, nearly eight months before the war began -- has proved as accurate as "Mission Accomplished" was fantasy. Each week brings new confirmation that the White House, as the head of British intelligence put it, was determined to fix "the intelligence and facts" around its predetermined policy of going to war in Iraq. Today Bush tries to pass the buck on the missing WMD to "faulty intelligence," but his alibi is springing leaks faster than the White House and the CIA can clamp down on them. We now know the president knew that the intelligence he cherry-picked was faulty -- and flogged it anyway to sell us the war.
The latest evidence that Bush knew that "uranium from Africa" was no slam-dunk when he brandished it in his 2003 State of the Union address was uncovered by The Washington Post:
The coordinating council for the 15 American intelligence agencies had already informed the White House that the Niger story had no factual basis and should be dropped. Last Sunday, "60 Minutes" augmented this storyline and an earlier scoop by Lisa Myers of NBC News by reporting that the White House had deliberately ignored its most highly placed prewar informant, Saddam's final foreign minister, Naji Sabri, once he sent the word that Saddam's nuclear cupboard was bare.
"There was almost a concern we'd find something that would slow up the war," Tyler Drumheller, a 26-year CIA veteran and an on-camera source for "60 Minutes," said when I interviewed him last week. Since retiring from the CIA in the fall of 2004, Drumheller has played an important role in revealing White House chicanery, including its dire hawking of Saddam's mobile biological weapons labs, which turned out to be fictitious. Before Colin Powell's fateful U.N. presentation, Drumheller conveyed vociferous warnings that the sole human source on these nonexistent WMD labs, an Iraqi emigre known as Curveball, was mentally unstable and a fabricator. "The real tragedy of this," Drumheller says, "is if they had let the weapons inspectors play out, we could have had a Gulf War I-like coalition, which would have given us the ((300,000)) to 400,000 troops needed to secure the country after defeating the Iraqi army."
More on the Downing Street memo can be found here and here.
Thom Hartmann | The Story of Carl
Bush Admin. Wants To Prosecute Reporters Under Espionage Laws...
NY Times ADAM LIPTAK April 29, 2006 at 03:08 PM
Earlier administrations have fired and prosecuted government officials who provided classified information to the press. They have also tried to force reporters to identify their sources.
But the Bush administration is exploring a more radical measure to protect information it says is vital to national security: the criminal prosecution of reporters under the espionage laws.
READ WHOLE STORY
Love Sick: Annals of Liberation
The story excerpted below from The Times is such a perfect encapsulation of the kind of "liberation" the Bush gang has brought to Iraq that it needs no comment.
Young lovers court danger from puritan moral militia:
Dating is a dangerous game in Baghdad. Ali Ilhiam knows that holding hands with his teenage girlfriend could cost him a beating — or worse — from militant extremists.
“Boys can’t be seen walking and laughing with their girlfriends any more in the new Baghdad,” the 21-year-old university student said, glancing over his shoulder to make sure that he was not being watched. Friends of his have been dragged from their cars, imprisoned and threatened with death by self-appointed moral guardians for daring to link arms with their girlfriends in public....
Most cinemas and discos have closed, and the few restaurants popular with the younger crowd close at 8pm. Gunmen hang around former favourite haunts and check identity cards to make sure that couples are married....
Three weeks ago a gang of militiamen driving on the main road that runs past the park spotted one of his friends while he was embracing his fiancée near the lake. The gunmen chased the couple as they drove away and forced their vehicle off the road. The driver, a 29-year-old engineer, who would give his name only as Ahmed, was dragged from behind the wheel and pistol-whipped. His terrified partner, Wasan, 23, who is studying at the College of Science, was locked in the car and made to watch. The gunmen took the couple to a makeshift detention centre and warned them that if they were seen “misbehaving” again they would be shot...
In recent days two young women had battery acid thrown at their legs by Mehdi army members, who are loyal to the militant young cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The victims were told that they were being punished for dressing inappropriately. In Basra late last year a couple were ambushed while walking in the zoo. The man was shot dead and his young partner was partially blinded by the gunmen, who stripped and photographed her, saying that they would send the pictures to her family. She ran home and killed herself.
Mr Ilhiam recalled that holding hands with a girl was permissible under the regime of Saddam Hussein, but he expressed concern about the growing puritanism that is being enforced by both Shia and Sunni militias...
“Girls don’t walk the streets alone any more," [said Ali Athra, 24]. "We used to shop, go dancing, have parties, until a few months after the downfall of Saddam, and bit by bit, every day, we feel more repressed.”
Porter Goss's bird flu-infected eagle squawks: ex-spooks warned not to talk or else
Porter Goss's bird flu-infected eagle squawks: ex-spooks warned not to talk or else
Nevertheless, WMR will continue to be a secure avenue for current and former members of the US Intelligence Community, military, Foreign Service, and other government agencies to report on the illegal and abusive activities of the Bush regime. Using the Intelligence Community's very own tradecraft, WMR goes to extraordinary lengths to anonymize and protect its sources. And intimidation does not play well here either.
From George Orwell's 1984: All the beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitudes that characterize our time are really designed to sustain the mystique of the Party and prevent the true nature of present-day society from being perceived. Physical rebellion, or any preliminary move toward rebellion, is at present not possible. From the proletarians nothing is to be feared. Left to themselves, they will continue from generation to generation and from century to century, working, breeding, and dying, not only without any impulse to rebel, but without the power of grasping that the world could be other than it is.
Wayne Marsden Report
How Are They Doing It..?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, well dont you freak out before your work is done, Or I will be friking freaking out, and that is not a nice sight believe me.
Effective immediately, I am sweeping both of my offices for electronic listening devices, barring entry to all unauthorized personnel (especially Krispy Creme "deliverymen"), monitoring all staff emails, phone calls/logs and blogs, administering random polygraph exams, and switching cabs between all my destinations.
BREAKING: Fitzgerald to Seek Indictment of RoveI am pulling the shades and going to bed, this reporter is really freaking me out.
posted by Patrick J. Fitzgerald at 4/29/2006
The Boy Liar
by Ron Fullwood
Aesop wrote a story about a boy liar who craved attention.
We're swamped with lies from the Boy liar in the White House. His daddy was a liar, his brothers are liars, so it's really not surprising that there appears to be nothing but liars in that clan. To support any one of them you have to lie about their lies and their lying, which is mostly about their earlier lies.
Bush and his minions lied about Iraq and the threat from WMDs, anthrax, chemicals, nerve gas; about a link between al-Qaeda and Saddam; about Niger uranium; about concern (and knowledge) about the leaker of a CIA agent's identity; about information they had before 9-11 on known terrorists' activities, including bin-Laden; about a fake chem-lab they led the country to believe may have been legitimate when they knew the images were manipulated; about their intention to exhaust all peaceful means and return to the UN security council before initiating military action aganst Iraq; they lied about the effect of their militarism on world terrorism.
The Bush regime lied about their intention to preserve environmental regulations and protect the water air and land from pollution and industrial abuse; they lied about all of the social and developmental programs they promised during the campaign to enact and fund, but lists for severe cuts in their 2006 budget plan; promises of prescription drugs for "every senior" fell 7 million short in his drug plan; the middle class was left out of his massive tax cuts for the wealthy; left millions of children behind by neglecting to include money for his 'no child left behind' initiative; tried to take money away from community policing . . .
In the grand old party of liars there's a legacy of lies carried on the lips of a cabal of liars who have weaseled their way into the highest offices of our government and throughout all of the lesser and equal branches and offices. They've lugged their bags of lies to Washington and piled them all up wherever they pleased and wherever they could cover up other lies or liars or support other lies or liars.
The Liar in Chief sits on his Vice Liar, who's plopped down on top of their religiously faithful, lying minions. They wallow in the army of GOP liars who spend our tax money spinning lies for the industry liars who purchased these legislative liars in the first place to carry their industry lies and plop them on the festering heap.
We don't have to ask ourselves anymore whether the grand old party is lying about something or another. Everything they do is a lie. Their very existence is a lie. Everything that could ever be used to support them is a lie. Everything they stand for is a lie. Every argument, point, statistic, report, proclamation, statement, declaration, order, intuitive, authorization, determination, authority, command, query, answer, ambition, or aspiration from this pack of Bushites is a lie.
As Aesop said in his fable about the boy liar who gets his kicks rallying townfolk over and over to battle against his imaginary wolverine inventions, 'there's no believing a liar, even if he happens to speak the truth.' No one is listening to the liar's cries of alarm. They've done nothing but lie to us. They're the danger. While we hunt for their wolves, they're slaughtering the sheep.
Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
GI's: Beware of Radioactive Showers!
by Irving Wesley Hall
Bush’s impending, insane nuclear attack on Iran has provoked an unprecedented rebellion within the top leadership of the United States military. At the same time, depleted uranium (DU) is steadily taking down our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s time for the soldiers to follow the lead of their commanders in order to end the war.
Was Army Sgt. Michael Lee Tosto the first American victim of the Bush administration’s March 2003 “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq? The 24-year-old North Carolina tank operator died “mysteriously” in Baghdad on June 17, 2003.
The Iraqi capital was saturated with radioactive dust from the initial explosions of 1,500 American bombs and missiles, many of them made from solid depleted uranium. After the saturation bombing, the city was the scene of street battles with M-1 Abrams tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, A-10 Warthog attack jets and Apache helicopters firing DU munitions.
The army told Sgt. Tosto’s family that he died from pulmonary edema and pericardial effusion, or cardiac failure, after showing flu-like symptoms.
Young Michael Tosto believed George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice. He believed he had been deployed to Iraq to stop Saddam Hussein from nuking the United States. Michael died before we all learned that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are nuking the world.
Michael Tosto died, young and innocent, when they nuked him.
After Michael’s funeral, a fellow soldier contacted Michael’s wife Stephanie and told her that his buddy started coughing up blood and his lips turned blue and was dead within 48 hours after the first symptoms.
According to Tom Flocco, upon whose story this account is based, “. . . the Tostos say their GI was in excellent health — in his prime of life. And Stephanie Tosto told United Press International, ‘When my husband died, the casualty officer asked me, “Is it possible that Michael had heart problems?” Michael did not have heart problems. One other time they asked me if he had asthma. He was never sick.’ ”
Inhaling depleted uranium causes pulmonary edema. Symptoms include bleeding lungs, bronchial pneumonia and vomited blood. Pericardial effusion is a common cause of death among leukemia patients. Michael’s mother, Janet Tosto, reported that military officials told her that her son Michael’s military autopsy exhibited elevated levels of white blood cells. Exposure to depleted uranium can cause lymphocytic leukemia.
Tom Flocco consulted Dr. Garth Nicolson of the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Huntington Beach, California who said, “Just one microscopic particle — let alone thousands — trapped in a soldier’s pulmonary system for one year can result in 272 times the annual whole body radiation dose permitted U.S. radiation workers.”
Gulf War Illness: the Sequel
It is happening again to a new generation of veterans. Some of today’s soldiers were in day care centers in 1991 when Dick Cheney first authorized the wholesale use of radioactive munitions. It is happening again despite the fact that a large number of Gulf War I veterans are on medical disability 15 years after the end of the first war against Saddam Hussein.
We are witnessing the same symptoms of radioactive poisoning today as 15 years ago. We are hearing the same denial of reality from Donald Rumsfeld’s Department of Defense (DoD).
The government spokesman in Michael’s death claimed, “We don’t think depleted uranium has anything to do with it.”
After the publication of “Depleted Uranium For Dummies” last month, a reader emailed me with a demand. “You claim that half million soldiers are sick because of the tons of depleted uranium used in 1991. I’d like to hear the government’s side of the story.”
Well, the Department of Defense’s estimate, as you might expect, is lower.
According to the Pentagon, depleted uranium hasn’t caused even one GI’s illness or a single veteran’s death.
If you still believe that the Bush Administration doesn’t lie to its citizens or Rumsfeld’s Department of Defense doesn’t lie to the troops, please click to another Web site. I don’t want to be the first to break the news to you. >>>cont
GEORGE & DICK DISCUSS OIL CRISIS LET'S GET IT RIGHT IN NOVEMBER
Cartoon by Tony Auth / Washington Post
Republican majority and the Bush energy plan are bought and paid for by the Oil and Gas industry.
80 percent of oil and gas political contibutions go to Republicans
-- It's taken over five years, but George W. Bush finally made a concession speech to Al Gore. He conceded that America needs to conserve, by buying hybrid vehicles and developing new energy sources.
IT'S SPRING / IMPEACHMENT IS IN THE AIR LET'S GET IT RIGHT IN NOVEMBER
Impeachment resolutions are spreading across the nation, state by state ~ and gathering momentum. Bush, like all despots, will eventually realize that the people, not himself, are the ultimate deciders: Allen L Roland
Can you feel it ? It's been a long winter of discontent with the Cheney/Bush administration ~ but spring has finally arrived and Impeachment is in the air.
Fitzgerald has set his sights on the myth maker Karl Rove and indictments are near ~ but that's just a prelude for Darth Vader himself ~ Dick Cheney.
Meanwhile the States, California, Illinois and now Vermont , impatient for spring, have introduced resolutions for the impeachment of both Bush & Cheney.
The people are stirring, empowered by the blogosphere, and have discovered the only true antidote for political depression ~ ACTION.
Evan Dekacz, Alternet, neatly ties it all together .
Allen L Roland
Impeaching Bush, State by State
By Evan Derkacz, AlterNetPosted
on April 26, 2006, Printed on April 26, 2006
Forget bird flu, impeachment is spreading across the nation, state by state.
On Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Dave Zuckerman (Prog.-VT) dropped the third of three nearly unreported bombshells on the Bush administration. Zuckerman, along with 12 fellow lawmakers, introduced a formal resolution for the Vermont state legislature to call on the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach President George W. Bush.
With this resolution, Vermont joined the California and Illinois state legislatures, already embroiled in impeachment debates of their own.
For those who still believe impeachment's just a pipe dream, there are several key developments to consider beyond this burgeoning state movement. In addition to the hawkish Zbigniew Brzezinski's op-ed in Tuesday's International Herald Tribune warning that an attack on Iran could merit impeachment, Salon's Michelle Goldberg and my colleague Onnesha Roychoudhuri both noted last month that the "i-word" had gone public.
In an interview with impeachment expert Michael Ratner, Roychoudhuri observed that:
"[T]he distant rumbling is growing louder by the day, creating a resonant echo that is rapidly taking root in public discourse. 'Impeach Him,' reads the cover of this month's Harper's Magazine. And in a public forum in New York City last week, journalists, lawyers and political figures came together to discuss the case against our president."
While the main impediment continues to be a sycophantic Republican majority, polls show that more Americans favor impeachment hearings than currently approve of the job Bush is doing (33 to 32 percent). In addition, as Bob Geiger notes, Bush's state-by-state popularity is lower than even his anemic nationwide figures suggest, with a paltry four states remaining red two years into his second term. In other words, the population has the stomach for it even if the representatives don't.
The legal basis for these unprecedented state-level actions was discovered when, according to Steven Leser, Illinois Rep. Karen A. Yarbrough "stumbled on a little known and never utlitized rule of the U.S. House of Representatives." The rule was written in a book formerly known as Jefferson's Manual, which, according to C-SPAN, "is a book of rules of procedure and parliamentary philosophy … written by Thomas Jefferson in 1801 … [used by the House] as a supplement to its standing rules." Section LIII, sec. 603 states, "There are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion … [one of them is] by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State …"
Each of the three resolutions mentions Iraq lies, torture and illegal spying, with slight variations in tone and specifics. Assemblyman Paul Koretz's California resolution (which includes Dick Cheney) and the Illinois resolution both include the leak of Valerie Plame's identity, while Vermont's focuses almost exclusively on Bush's most salient transgression, his illegal spying on Americans. The spying charge leads the other two resolutions' list of charges as well.
In December, cringing at the prospect of getting scooped by its own reporter's upcoming book on the subject, the New York Times published a story it'd been sitting on for months at the behest of the Bush administration. The front page story by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau outlined a program for illegally spying on American citizens, which had been explicitly authorized by the president. It became popularly known as the NSA Wiretapping Scandal.
Having failed at pressuring the Times into hiding the story for another three years, the Bush administration opted for its signature blend of hubris and fear, at once admitting publicly to having violated the law but hiding beneath the smoke of "terrorism prevention" and the mirrors of the Nixonian prerogative: "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal." Of course, we now know precisely how much water that explanation holds, even if reworded for maximum terror exploitation: "When the commander-in-chief does it, it is not illegal."
Still, despite the fact that no attempt was made to cover up this blatant violation of the law, political will in the Republican-controlled House to bring impeachment was harder to find than a fact in the mouth of Scotty McClellan. Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold's resolution to censure the president (impeachment is a House-only proposition) -- a measure supported by a plurality of American voters -- included a crystal-clear retort to partisan claims that the illegal wiretapping was necessary:
This issue is not about whether the government should be wiretapping terrorists -- of course it should, and it can under current law … But this president and this administration decided to break the law, and they have yet to give a convincing explanation of why their actions were necessary, appropriate or legal.
But the president and his spin doctors had successfully grabbed the reins of the debate by framing the question thusly: "Do you, or do you not, want us to be able to spy on terrorists?" The fact that this and other myths surrounding the president's violation of the law were easily debunked did little to shake Republican Bush worship or Democratic defeatism.
As Feingold's legally toothless censure proposal went into that good night, impeachment took a back seat. Criticism of Rumsfeld took the front seat, and congressional Republicans, with one eye on Bush's tanking popularity and the other on the increasingly ominous midterm elections, began to back away from the president and tentatively joined the calls for an exit strategy -- any strategy really -- from Iraq.
Enter the blogs. On Jan. 24, well before the Illinois legislator Karen Yarbrough stumbled over this state legislature loophole, blogger arbortender of DailyKos had unearthed the rule that another writer dubbed "Jefferson's Revenge". Fellow blogger Kagro X took the baton, and the blogs have been pushing the story and building the momentum ever since, from Vermont's various town- and countywide resolutions to the Illinois bombshell, through California's and now Vermont's state-level proposals. According to Steve Leser, Democratic state legislators in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and North Carolina are also considering either impeachment or censure proposals.
In any case, the three states already debating impeachment represent nearly 50 million Americans, or roughly 16 percent of the total U.S. population.
As promising as this development is, serious questions remain unanswered. If Americans perceive that voting the Republicans out of the House will lead directly to a vote for impeachment hearings, will they instinctively rally around the president despite his unpopularity specifically and the unpopularity of Republicans in general?
Or, more ominously, will an unpopular president, terrified at the possibility of a crushing Republican defeat in '06 and facing impeachment hearings, launch some sort of "October Surprise?"
October Surprise speculation ranges from my colleague Joshua Holland's prediction that measures will be taken to significantly lower gas prices to Dave Lindorff's claim that:
"a number of journalists told me they worried that Bush, Rove and Cheney, if they thought they were going to lose the House in November and face serious investigations into their crimes and deceits, would do something treasonous, like launching a war against Iran, or perhaps allowing another major terrorist attack against a U.S. target, so that they could then clamp down further on domestic freedom and ramp up jingoistic support among their wavering base."
In the final tally, the state-sponsored impeachment resolutions remain more symbolic than anything -- which may be just as well. By building a public case against Bush for his clear violations of U.S. law, Republicans are left with the albatross of Bush around their necks as they tiptoe into the '06 elections. As pollster Jan van Lohuizen wrote to Republican Chairman Ken Mehlman in a memo: "We are now 'brand W.' Republicans."
Evan Derkacz is AlterNet's associate editor and writer of Peek, the blog of blogs.
Tony Snow - Cover-ups for Press Secretary Begin Before he Officially Starts
by Steven Leser
When the White House press corps first starts asking questions of new White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, the first question should be, "Sir, exactly what are you trying to hide?". There are a plethora of glib answers one could give to such a question, but the fact remains, Mr. Snow was a regular poster over at Free Republic ( http://www.freerepublic.com ), and as one can see from the link and quote below, overnight when it was announced he would be the new press secretary, the mountain of information Mr. Snow had submitted and had posted on the site disappeared. What is he hiding? What sorts of comments is he afraid might see the light of day?
This is who the White House has chosen to be a trusted deliverer of important information?
So, when the White House press corps ask Press Secretary Snow about possible cover-ups in the Valerie Plame CIA Leak-Gate affair, what expectation should they have for any sort of truthful information? But isn't this the White House whose candidate said "We're going to restore Honor and Dignity to the White House"? What sort of Honor and Dignity can one have where evasiveness and cover-ups and deleted comments are the order of the day? And what is this replacement about anyway? A Press Secretary isn't a creator or developer of policies, he simply is someone who tries to put the best face on the President's policies. The public is unhappy with the President and what he has done, so what steps does the President take? He hires someone, for whom cover-ups are the order of the day, to try and convince us that we in fact like the President's policies. What a complete insult to the people's intelligence.
Tony Snow should be withdrawn from consideration and someone the people can trust should be put in his place.
Actual Posting From Free Republic: