July 29, 2003

Global Warming is Now a Weapon of Mass Destruction

It is rapidly unraveling. The corporate media's
propapunditgandists are going to find it extremely
difficult to spin into "just sixteen words," "get over
it," "the Democratics are exploiting it for political
advantage," or "the President of the U.S. is not a
fact-checker," etc. Of course, they will try...Let's
take stock: Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fraudida) has been in
the headlines every day this week, talking about
impeachment, writing a letter calling for the release
of the "28 pages," etc. Last night, the Saudis too
said they want those "28 pages" released, and that
their emissary was on his way to the White House to
demand it. So what were the top news stories? If you
had been in overseas you would have heard reports of
intensifying attacks against US soldiers in Iraq, as
well as the blowing up of a bridge in Baghdad. Here in
Oceania, you were told that a) Bob Hope is dead, b)
we're only hours behind Saddam, and c) captive
Al-Qaeda have warned of more suicide highjacking this
summer (Geez, really? What a surprising development.
Time to break out Tom Ridge's crayola set?). Yes, it
is unraveling faster and faster ("Out, out damn
spot"), so there was the _resident this morning, with
Ariel Sharon by his side (how poignant), launching a
pre-emptive strike, declaring that he won't release
the "28 pages" because of an "ongoing investigation"
and the "war on terrorism." Hmmm... Meanwhile, if the
debacles of 9/11 and Iraq aren't enough for you, if
gutting the surplus and plunging the federal
government into trillions of dollars of debt isn't
enough for you...Consider the twisted fascist
flat-earth science otherwise known as the _resident's
"policy" on Global Warming and read this powerful
piece from Sir John Houghton. Houghton is wrong on one
point though --
the-shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Tony-Blair is
already cooked, he cannot
lead anyone, anywhere. How different the future of the
world would be at this moment if the _resident and
the-shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Tony-Blair has
invested their post-9/11 capital in goodwill on a
disciplined, determined struggle against Al Qaeda, a
true, fair and comprehensive peace initiative in
Israel/Palestine and a global full-court press on
GLOBAL WARMING and reducing the reliance on fossil
fuel. Yes, everyone everywhere would be much better
off today...As it is we are entering a very dangerous
period...Does the _resident have another "Trifecta"
ticket up his sleeve?


Published on Monday, July 28, 2003 by the Guardian/UK

Global Warming is Now a Weapon of Mass Destruction
It Kills More People Than Terrorism, Yet Blair and
Bush do Nothing

by John Houghton

If political leaders have one duty above all others,
it is to protect the security of their people. Thus it
was, according to the prime minister, to protect
Britain's security against Saddam Hussein's weapons of
mass destruction that this country went to war in
Iraq. And yet our long-term security is threatened by
a problem at least as dangerous as chemical, nuclear
or biological weapons, or indeed international
terrorism: human-induced climate change.

As a climate scientist who has worked on this issue
for several decades, first as head of the Met Office,
and then as co-chair of scientific assessment for the
UN intergovernmental panel on climate change, the
impacts of global warming are such that I have no
hesitation in describing it as a "weapon of mass

Like terrorism, this weapon knows no boundaries. It
can strike anywhere, in any form - a heat wave in one
place, a drought or a flood or a storm surge in
another. Nor is this just a problem for the future.
The 1990s were probably the warmest decade in the last
1,000 years, and 1998 the warmest year. Global warming
is already upon us.

The World Meteorological Organization warned this
month that extreme weather events already seem to be
becoming more frequent as a result. The US mainland
was struck by 562 tornados in May (which incidentally
saw the highest land temperatures globally since
records began in 1880), killing 41 people. The
developing world is the hardest hit: extremes of
climate tend to be more intense at low latitudes and
poorer countries are less able to cope with disasters.
Pre-monsoon temperatures this year in India reached a
blistering 49C (120F) - 5C (9F) above normal.

Once this killer heat wave began to abate, 1,500
people lay dead - half the number killed outright in
the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
While no one can ascribe a single weather event to
climate change with any degree of scientific
certainty, higher maximum temperatures are one of the
most predictable impacts of accelerated global
warming, and the parallels - between global climate
change and global terrorism - are becoming
increasingly obvious.

To his credit, Tony Blair has - rhetorically, at least
- begun to face up to this. In a recent speech he
stated clearly that "there can be no genuine security
if the planet is ravaged by climate change". But words
are not enough. They have to be matched with adequate
action. The recent announcement of a large-scale
offshore wind generating program was welcome, but the
UK still lags far behind other European countries in
developing renewables capacity.

The latest report on energy and climate change by the
royal commission on environmental pollution addressed
the much more demanding global reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions that will be required over
the next 50 years (in addition to the Kyoto agreement)
and how these could be achieved. Given that the UK
needs to take its share of the global burden the
commission recommended that we should aim for a cut in
these emissions of 60% by 2050.

It also pointed out the urgent need for an adequate
mechanism for negotiating each country's emission
target and advocated a globally implemented plan known
as "contraction and convergence". The energy white
paper published earlier this year accepted the royal
commission's 60% reduction target, but it is
disturbing that it provided no clarity on UK policy
regarding the framework for international negotiation.

Any successful international negotiation for reducing
emissions must be based on four principles: the
precautionary principle, the principle of sustainable
development, the polluter-pays principle and the
principle of equity. The strength of "contraction and
convergence" is that it satisfies all these
principles. But it also means facing up to some
difficult questions.

First, world leaders have to agree on a target for the
stabilization of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at
a sufficiently low level to stave off dangerous
climate change. Second, this target, and the global
greenhouse gas budget it implies, has to form the
framework for an equitable global distribution of
emissions permits, assigned to different countries on
a per-capita basis. Countries with the largest
populations will therefore get the most permits, but
for the sake of efficiency and to achieve economic
convergence these permits will need to be
internationally tradable.

This is the only solution likely to be acceptable to
most of the developing world, which unlike us has not
had the benefit of over a century of fossil
fuel-driven economic prosperity. And it also meets one
of the key demands of the United States, that
developing countries should not be excluded from
emissions targets, as they currently are under the
Kyoto protocol.

Nowadays everyone knows that the US is the world's
biggest polluter, and that with only one 20th of the
world's population it produces a quarter of its
greenhouse gas emissions. But the US government, in an
abdication of leadership of epic proportions, is
refusing to take the problem seriously - and Britain,
presumably because Blair wishes not to offend George
Bush - is beginning to fall behind too. Emissions from
the US are up 14% on those in 1990 and are projected
to rise by a further 12% over the next decade.

It is vital that Russia now ratifies the Kyoto
protocol so that it can at last come into force. But
while the US refuses to cooperate, it is difficult to
see how the rest of the world can make much progress
on the much tougher longer-term agreements that will
be necessary after Kyoto's mandate runs out in 2012.

Nor does the latest science provide any comfort. The
intergovernmental panel on climate change has warned
of 1.4C to 5.8C (2.5F to 10.4F) temperature rises by
2100. This already implies massive changes in climate,
and yet the current worst-case scenarios emerging from
the Met Office's Hadley Center. envisage even greater
rises than this - a degree and speed of global warming
the consequences of which are hard to quantify or even

So Blair has a challenge. The world needs leadership,
and the British prime minister is well placed to stand
at the head of a new "coalition of the willing" to
tackle this urgent problem. He is also uniquely placed
to persuade Bush to join in this effort, given their
joint commitment to making the world safe from
"weapons of mass destruction".

But even if he fails to persuade him, there are other
allies who would still respond to his leadership -
even if this means opposing the US until such time as
it no longer has an oilman for president. If Blair
were to assume this mantle, history might not only
forgive him, but will also endorse Britain's
contribution to long-term global security.

· Sir John Houghton was formerly chief executive of
the Meteorological Office and co-chair of the
scientific assessment working group of the
intergovernmental panel on climate change. He is the
author of 'Global Warming: the Complete Briefing'.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

Posted by richard at 03:14 PM

US Nobel Laureate Slams Bush Gov't as "Worst" in American History

I doubt you will be hearing George A. Akerlof on
AnythingButSee, SeeNotNews, MustNotBeSeen or SeeBS in
the coming days...so here is an interview with him
from Der Spiegel...further evidence that you are not
alone...and yes, his name is going to be scrawled on
the John O'Neil wall of heroes...


Published on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 by IRNA and Der
Spiegel (Berlin)
US Nobel Laureate Slams Bush Gov't as "Worst" in American History

George A. Akerlof, 2001 Nobel prize laureate who
teaches economics at the University of California in

BERLIN - American Nobel Prize laureate for Economics
George A. Akerlof lashed out at the government of US
President George W. Bush, calling it the "worst ever"
in American history, the online site of the weekly Der
Spiegel magazine reported Tuesday.

"I think this is the worst government the US has ever
had in its more than 200 years of history. It has
engaged in extradordinarily irresponsible policies not
only in foreign policy and economics but also in
social and environmental policy," said the 2001 Nobel
Prize laureate who teachesg economics at the
University of California in Berkeley. "This is not
normal government policy. Now is the time for
(American) people to engage in civil disobedience. I
think it's time to protest - as much as possible," the
61-year-old scholar added.

Akerlof has been recognized for his research that
borrows from sociology, psychology, anthropology and
other fields to determine economic influences and

His areas of expertise include macro-economics,
monetary policy and poverty.

©2003 Islamic Republic News Agency ( IRNA)


Text of Der Spiegel interview by Matthias Streitz

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Professor Akerlof, according to recent
official projections, the US federal deficit will
reach $455 billion this fiscal year. That's the
largest ever in dollar terms, but according to the
President's budget director, it's still manageable. Do
you agree?

George A. Akerlof: In the long term, a deficit of this
magnitude is not manageable. We are moving into the
period when, beginning around 2010, baby boomers are
going to be retiring. That is going to put a severe
strain on services like Medicare, Medicaid and Social
Security. This is the time when we should be saving.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So it would be necessary to run a
budget surplus instead?

Akerlof: That would probably be impossible in the
current situation. There's the expenditure for the war
in Iraq, which I consider irresponsible. But there's
also a recession and a desire to invigorate the
economy through fiscal stimulus, which is quite
legitimate. That's why we actually do need a deficit
in the short term - but certainly not the type of
deficit we have now.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Because it's not created by
investment, but to a large extent by cutting taxes?

Akerlof: A short-term tax benefit for the poor would
actually be a reasonable stimulus. Then, the money
would almost certainly be spent. But the current and
future deficit is a lot less stimulatory than it could
be. Our administration is just throwing the money
away. First, we should have fiscal stimulus that is
sharply aimed at the current downturn. But this
deficit continues far into the future, as the bulk of
the tax cuts can be expected to continue indefinitely.
The Administration is giving us red ink as far as the
eye can see, and these permanent aspects outweigh the
short-term stimulatory effects.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: And secondly, you disagree with giving
tax relief primarily to wealthier Americans. The GOP
argues that those people deserve it for working hard.

Akerlof: The rich don't need the money and are a lot
less likely to spend it - they will primarily increase
their savings. Remember that wealthier families have
done extremely well in the US in the past twenty
years, whereas poorer ones have done quite badly. So
the redistributive effects of this administration's
tax policy are going in the exactly wrong direction.
The worst and most indefensible of those cuts are
those in dividend taxation - this overwhelmingly helps
very wealthy people.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The President claims that dividend tax
reform supports the stock market - and helps the
economy as a whole to grow.

Akerlof: That's totally unrealistic. Standard formulas
from growth models suggest that that effect will be
extremely small. In fact, the Congressional Budget
Office (CBO) has come to a similar conclusion. So,
even a sympathetic treatment finds that this argument
is simply not correct.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: When campaigning for an even-larger
tax cut earlier this year, Mr. Bush promised that it
would create 1.4 million jobs. Was that reasonable?

Akerlof: The tax cut will have some positive impact on
job creation, although, as I mentioned, there is very
little bang for the buck. There are very negative
long-term consequences. The administration, when
speaking about the budget, has unrealistically failed
to take into account a very large number of important
items. As of March 2003, the CBO estimated that the
surplus for the next decade would approximately reach
one trillion dollars. But this projection assumes,
among other questionable things, that spending until
2013 is going to be constant in real dollar terms.
That has never been the case. And with the current tax
cuts, a realistic estimate would be a deficit in
excess of six trillion.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So the government's just bad at doing
the correct math?

Akerlof: There is a systematic reason. The government
is not really telling the truth to the American
people. Past administrations from the time of
Alexander Hamilton have on the average run responsible
budgetary policies. What we have here is a form of

SPIEGEL ONLINE: If so, why's the President still

Akerlof: For some reason the American people does not
yet recognize the dire consequences of our government
budgets. It's my hope that voters are going to see how
irresponsible this policy is and are going to respond
in 2004 and we're going to see a reversal.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What if that doesn't happen?

Akerlof: Future generations and even people in ten
years are going to face massive public deficits and
huge government debt. Then we have a choice. We can be
like a very poor country with problems of threatening
bankruptcy. Or we're going to have to cut back
seriously on Medicare and Social Security. So the
money that is going overwhelmingly to the wealthy is
going to be paid by cutting services for the elderly.
And people depend on those. It's only among the
richest 40 percent that you begin to get households
who have sizeable fractions of their own retirement

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is there a possibility that the
government, because of the scope of current deficits,
will be more reluctant to embark on a new war?

Akerlof: They would certainly have to think about debt
levels, and military expenditure is already high. But
if they seriously want to lead a war this will not be
a large deterrent. You begin the war and ask for the
money later. A more likely effect of the deficits is
this: If there's another recession, we won't be able
to engage in stimulatory fiscal spending to maintain
full employment. Until now, there's been a great deal
of trust in the American government. Markets knew
that, if there is a current deficit, it will be
repaid. The government has wasted that resource.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Which, in addition, might drive up
interest rates quite significantly?

Akerlof: The deficit is not going to have significant
effects on short-term interest rates. Rates are pretty
low, and the Fed will manage to keep them that way. In
the mid term it could be a serious problem. When rates
rise, the massive debt it's going to bite much more.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why is it that the Bush family seems
to specialize in running up deficits? The
second-largest federal deficit in absolute terms, $290
billion, occurred in 1991, during the presidency of
George W. Bush's father.

Akerlof: That may be, but Bush's father committed a
great act of courage by actually raising taxes. He
wasn't always courageous, but this was his best public
service. It was the first step to getting the deficit
under control during the Clinton years. It was also a
major factor in Bush's losing the election.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: It seems that the current
administration has politicised you in an unprecedented
way. During the course of this year, you have, with
other academics, signed two public declarations of
protest. One against the tax cuts, the other against
waging unilateral preventive war on Iraq.

Akerlof: I think this is the worst government the US
has ever had in its more than 200 years of history. It
has engaged in extraordinarily irresponsible policies
not only in foreign and economic but also in social
and environmental policy. This is not normal
government policy. Now is the time for people to
engage in civil disobedience.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Of what kind?

Akerlof: I don't know yet. But I think it's time to
protest - as much as possible.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Would you consider joining Democratic
administration as an adviser, as your colleague Joseph
Stiglitz did?

Akerlof: As you know my wife was in the last
administration, and she did very well. She is probably
much better suited for public service. But anything
I'll be asked to do by a new administration I'd be
happy to do.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: You've mentioned the term civil
disobedience a minute ago. That term was made popular
by the author Henry D. Thoreau, who actually advised
people not to pay taxes as a means of resistance. You
wouldn't call for that, would you?

Akerlof: No. I think the one thing we should do is pay
our taxes. Otherwise, it'll only make matters worse.



Posted by richard at 03:12 PM

July 28, 2003

Graham defends argument for impeachment

As I predicted awhile back, Dean (D-Jeffords) will be
Carterized, Kerry (D-Mekong Delta) will be Gored and
Graham (D-Fraudida) will be Garrisoned...That is what
the propapunditgandists will be handed and that is
what they will attempt to feed the US electorate. BUT
at least in the case of Graham, it will not
take...Graham is a serious man: very smart, cunning,
psychologically strong, funny and DRIVEN...He does not
have "fire in the belly," as LNS Foreign Correspondent
Dunston Woods says, "he has fire in the heart." The
vast right-wing conspiracy (yes it exists, as
documented by Lyons/Conason's Hunting of The President
and corroborated by Brock's Blinded by The Right) will
claim that Graham is exploiting 9/11 and Iraq for his
political ambition, but it is clear that the truth is
the exact opposite: Graham is exploiting the 2004
presidential race to get the burning issue of what did
not happen before 9/11 and what should not have
happened over Iraq into the national debate at the
highest level. Listen, and remember you heard it hear,
Graham will break out from the pack, he will survive
the first few hurdles of the primary season and he
will be a contender...Here is the voice and character
of a leader....


Graham defends argument for impeachment
Sunday, July 27, 2003 Posted: 9:07 PM EDT (0107 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Bob Graham defended his
assertion that President Bush's actions in making the
case for the war in Iraq reach the standard of an
impeachable offense set by Republicans against former
President Clinton.

"Clearly, if the standard is now what the House of
Representatives did in the impeachment of Bill
Clinton, the actions of this president [are] much more
serious in terms of dereliction of duty," the Florida
Democrat and presidential hopeful said on "Fox News

Graham also charged that Bush "knowingly" misled the
American people about the reasons for going to war in
Iraq -- both by claiming that Iraq was trying to buy
uranium in Africa and by withholding information about
the length, danger and expense of postwar

"This president failed to tell the American people
what he knew about the consequences of military
victory in Iraq," Graham said on NBC's "Meet The
Press." "He understood what the cost was going to be.
He understood the casualties. He understood the
duration of time.

"None of that was shared with the American people. And
so we went to war, not only on the basis of weapons of
mass destruction that we may or may not find, but [we]
went to war without the knowledge of what the full
consequences would be."

Graham said on Fox that his comments about impeachment
amount to "a very academic discussion" because
Republicans control the House, which would have to
initiate any impeachment proceedings.

"Tom DeLay and the other leadership of the House of
Representatives are not going to impeach George W.
Bush," Graham said. "The good news is that in November
of 2004, the American people will have a chance to
both impeach and remove George W. Bush in one step."

But another prominent Democratic critic of the Iraq
war, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, said Sunday that
"the evidence doesn't support" Graham's comments about

"There is absolutely no evidence that the president
knowingly misled the American people," Durbin said on
CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer." "I've never
made that charge, nor have I heard it made from any
credible source.

"But it is clear that those around [Bush] misled him,
and misled the American people indirectly, by making
certain that there were claims made that couldn't be
backed up with evidence."

Graham first made the comments July 17, after the
White House conceded that Bush's claims about Iraq's
pursuit of uranium in Africa, attributed to British
intelligence, should not have been included in his
State of the Union address because U.S. intelligence
could not verify them.

British officials say they stand behind the

Bush and administration officials have argued the
uranium claim was not central to their case for
removing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. But Graham
said on Fox that the claim was "absolutely" central to
the administration's rationale for going to war with

"This was described as not a preventive war but a
pre-emptive war. And the difference between preventive
and pre-emptive is how imminent is the threat," he
said. "And the most significant threat was nuclear.

"We've known that [Iraq has] had biological and
chemical [weapons] for a long time. But the fact
[Iraq] might be on the verge of having nuclear
capabilities is what made it so imminent and therefore
justified the pre-emptive war."

Graham, a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, is one of nine Democrats seeking their
party's nomination to oppose Bush next year.

Posted by richard at 02:11 PM

Emergency in Korea

(7/28/03) If the timeline had not been altered and Gore had been
allowed to take the office to which the votes of the
African American voters of Duval County, Fraudida,
etc. elevated him, PEACE would be breaking out on the
Korean penninsula. Because Gore would not have
scuttled the negotiations, adopted a policy of
"pre-emptive war" or demonizes the psycho leader of
North Korea in the SOTU with the "axis of evil"
fantasy sound-byte. But in the Bizarro world of the
_resident's regime, everything is upside down and WAR
may well break out on the Korean penninsula, and if it
doesn't, the small-minded, mean-spirited little man
(the one in Waco) will have sent the developing powers
a message that the safest stance is to go nuclear as
fast as possible...When will the "US mainstream news
media" start talking about how the _resident and his
neo-con wet dreamers lost Korea? When will one of the
Democratic presidential candidates draw political
blood on this emerging debacle? Here is some excellent
analysis from a credible source...Vive Le France!

Emergency in Korea
Le Monde | Editorial

Thursday 24 July 2003

In the dream world of American neo-conservatives,
crossing North Korea off the planet would be a
technically easy operation-the country is an economic
ruin-and morally tempting-there is nothing sympathetic
about the regime.

After having taken part in all kinds of
international terrorist and bandit operations over the
years, now Pyongyang offers itself the ultimate
luxury: trying to guarantee its perpetuity by
threatening to proclaim itself a nuclear power soon.

This unheard of blackmail legitimately gives the
shudders not only to South Korea, a prosperous
democracy, but also to the Japanese and Chinese
neighbors of the peninsula. Beyond that, it should
sound alarm bells for all powers responsible for
global security.

In place of which, the Korean nuclear crisis,
ongoing for a year, has left the American
administration torn, as in Iraq, between the
ideological desire to impose its will, by force if
necessary, and the necessity of acknowledging the
practical limits of that ambition.

Because, in the real world, Kim Jong-Il’s North
Korea is not Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Without an air
force or weapons of military projection, Baghdad’s
dictator was incapable of responding to America’s
ground invasion, as well as of leading an attack
against Israel, an idea that haunted all Washington
strategists. Kim Jong-Il, however, holds the capital
of the United States’ South Korean ally within range
of his old-fashioned artillery. Use of force against
North Korea for its nuclear adventures, whether
punitive or preventative, would set off carnage on the

Above all, the crisis results in part from a
strategic misdirection. However odious the North
Korean regime’s balance sheet, with its forced labor
camps, famines, foreign assassinations, the evil does
not come from the grotesque government swathed in its
half-Stalinist, half-sectarian propaganda alone. It is
the result of an extreme nationalism that follows its
own logic. Under his outrageous façade, Kim Jong-Il is
a cold calculator whose determination it would be very
dangerous to underestimate.

Pyongyang functions on a programmatic basis by which
the realities of the post-World War II world are
perceived in the reverse of Washington. For example,
the regime, which survived the Korean War only at the
cost of a terrible butchery, remains persuaded that it
won this conflict and they commemorate its
inconclusive end fifty years ago. If this logic is
false, it is, nonetheless, armed with a potential
nuclear capacity, which incites us not to neglect it
and to take all emergency measures to resolve the
crisis. Any error or delay now risks producing a
nuclear arms race across the region.


Translation: TruthOut French language correspondent
Leslie Thatcher.

Posted by richard at 02:09 PM

Transcript: Frank Sesno talks with Max Cleland

(7/27/03) Well, PrettyBlandStuff (PBS), in all of the "US
mainstream news media" at least had one credible,
principled news team on the depth of the 9/11
story...And no, it was not "Noose Hour," I feel sad
for Gwen and Ray. They look increasingly jittery and
they are both very good -- good enough NOT to be
reading the questions that ask from the papers in
front of them...It is of course Bill Moyers' NOW
broadcast at 10 p.m. on Friday night, presumably so
few will watch and have their denial disrupted...Yes,
of course Moyers already has his name scrawled on the
John O'Neil wall of heroes, as does the subject of the
interview, Max Cleland (D-GA). Frank Senso does the
Q&A. Must be good to work for someone with principles
and courage...Cleland put out a serious and explosive
charge against the _resident. Cleland's charge is at
least as important as the Niger uranium lie. Yet,
almost everyone is turning away from it. Except for
Moyers'NOW team...Moyers is also the only one with any
gravitas on the FCC story, which is unfolding into a
stunning rebuke and political defeat of the _resident
and Calm 'Em Powell's bratty son, Michael. A stunning
political defeat handed to him not by the media not by
the opposition, but by the American public. An
profound precedent for what must and I believe will
happen over the next year and a half..Read this
interview, share it with others and remember that


Transcript: Frank Sesno talks with Max Cleland

More on the 9-11 Commission

SESNayO: The report of the 9/11 Commission is due in
May. With me today is one of the members of the 9/11
Commission, former Georgia Senator, Max Cleland. His
background gives him a unique perspective. As a young
man, he enlisted in the Army and served in Vietnam,
where he was seriously injured by a hand grenade.

Recovering from those wounds, Cleland committed
himself to politics and public service. He started as
a Democratic member of the Georgia State Senate. At
the age of 34, President Jimmy Carter turned to
Cleland to run the Veterans Administration. Cleland
was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, establishing
his expertise not only in veterans and health issues,
but in bio-terrorism and homeland security.

He lost a bitter battle for reelection last year, and
now teaches at Washington's American University in
addition to serving on the 9/11 Commission. Welcome to

CLELAND: Thank you.

SESNO: Good to see you. The joint report that you're
going to build upon is very important nonetheless, and
it documents a series of mixed signals between the
various agencies and departments, the FBI, the CIA,
the National Security Agency. As you read that report,
thinking of the independent commission that you're a
part of, what raised your eyebrows?

CLELAND: Well, several things. First of all, it's
terrifying. It's terrifying to me that three or four
disparate elements of our government in the so-called
intelligence community couldn't even share that
intelligence and couldn't even communicate that to one
another when each one had a bite of the elephant, but
they couldn't put the picture of the elephant

What you find is the intelligence community… there's
so many disparate agencies — over a dozen in six
cabinet level departments combined.

You have a community, but they're not communicating.
And therein lies the problem. What people have missed
about the joint inquiry report is the number one
recommendation. Let's get a National Director of
Intelligence. One person to report to the President,
and the Congress, and connect the dots. That's the
real missing element that we've had for about 30 or 40

SESNO: Coming back to this report for just a minute, I
spoke with someone at CIA who said after reviewing
this report that there's a lot of stuff in there. But
really, nothing new. Did you see anything new in it?

CLELAND: Absolutely.

SESNO: What?

CLELAND: Absolutely. I did not know that there was an
FBI informant in San Diego that was living with two of
the hijackers, and that the FBI headquarters in
Washington didn't even tell him that they should have
been basically being looked at because the CIA didn't
tell the FBI.

And the NSA didn't pass it on to the CIA or the FBI.
They were picking up intelligence as early as 1994
about a potential attack in this country using
aircraft. What we have here is a devastating
indictment of the intelligence community.

SESNO: So, your commission builds on the joint



CLELAND: Now, let's talk about that.

SESNO: So, where do you go that they didn't?

CLELAND: Let's talk about that here. This commission
was formed about mid-December, the 9/11 Commission. We
were supposed to use the joint inquiry report as a
launching pad to get into this issue of not only
fixing the intelligence community, but moving beyond,
and getting into what is the al Qaeda all about? What
is this terrorist global network that we're fighting?
A new kind of war and all that.

Well, the independent, bi-partisan commission, hello,
didn't even get the stuff 'til a few weeks ago.

I'm saying that's deliberate. I am saying that the
delay in relating this information to the American
public out of a hearing… series of hearings, that
several members of Congress knew eight or ten months
ago, including Bob Graham and others, that was
deliberately slow walked… the 9/11 Commission was
deliberately slow walked, because the Administration's
policy was, and its priority was, we're gonna take
Saddam Hussein out.

SESNO: Senator, do you have any documentation or any
proof to back up this very serious charge of yours
that this was deliberate besides your own…

CLELAND: Well, first of all…

SESNO: …hunch or gut?

CLELAND: …it's obvious.

SESNO: No, no, no, no…

CLELAND: But… but…

SESNO: …but beyond… but beyond being obvious, let me

CLELAND: First of all the war in Iraq…

SESNO: …you on this…

CLELAND: Yeah, okay.

SESNO: …because this is a very serious charge you're
making. If you're saying that this was deliberate what
I'm asking is has anybody said anything to you, from
inside the Administration to support that? Have you
seen any document, any memorandum that substantiates
your charge?

CLELAND: Well, just look at it. Okay? This executive
summary of the intelligence inquiry… the joint
intelligence inquiry, the executive summary, was
available December 10th. Why did it take nine months
to go over what ought to be held out of that?

Now, I'm saying that that was slow walked. I am also
saying why did it take eight months to get this 9/11
Commission really cranked up and going, and the first
step was to use the Intelligence Committee report as a
jumping off point? Why did all of this take so long?
Because the real priority of the White House was not
the 9/11 Commission — they fought it. And it was just,
and it really was their interest was to delay the
revelation of this report. One of the reasons they
didn't want it is they didn't want all this stuff out

SESNO: The White House says, and I've spoken to them,
that they didn't slow walk it, that there was a lot of
very sensitive information involved, both in
disseminating the information to begin with, and then
determining how much should be released.

At the news conference where the report was discussed,
Congressman Porter Goss, who's head of the House
Intelligence Committee, had the following to say on
the subject of the sensitivity of this information.
Take a look.

PORTER GOSS: You also have to understand that there
are people who are watching this press conference who
are going to read this book, who are going to analyze
what information we have put out, and what we haven't
put out. And the last thing we want to do in any way
is create an opportunity for a terrorist to take
advantage of us because of something we put in.

SESNO: Does he not have a point? That not just friends
of the American public, but America's enemies are
reading these reports and watching all of this?

CLELAND: America's enemies have been… have declared
war on this country. But who declared war on the
country? It was Osama bin Laden, and his terrorist
cadre. And Islamic fanatics. That's what 9/11 was all
about. It was not about Saddam Hussein. Who has the
worst or, the greatest… who is the greatest threat in
the world today to us, in terms of weapons of mass
destruction? It's not Saddam Hussein. It's North
Korea. So, why are we making this big deal? We
should've found Osama bin Laden. We should've
destroyed his network around the world. That was gonna
take time.

It wasn't gonna make headlines. You can't do that war
in three weeks, and say "Major combat's over."

What you're really up against here is Islamic
fundamental terrorism that is infiltrating now not
only back into Afghanistan, but into Iraq as well.

And that's what we're really up against. That's what
the 9/11 Commission was designed to explore. And we're
just getting into that.

SESNO: So what, specifically, are the key questions in
your view that the 9/11 Commission has to ask and
answer by next May?

CLELAND: Step number one, where in the world is Osama
bin Laden?

SESNO: Well, how are you gonna answer…

CLELAND: Step num…

SESNO: …ask that?

CLELAND: Step number two, what is the al Qaeda? Why
did they do this? Why did they shift their target from
the monarchy in Saudi Arabia, and the leadership in
Egypt, why did they shift their target to America?
They shifted their target, we know that.

And years ago, Osama bin Laden declared open war on
the United States, why? Because we support the
monarchy in Saudi Arabia, we support the leadership in
Egypt. And that tees off a whole lot of folks out

SESNO: Step number three. FINANCIAL TIMES today
reporting on the Congressional report. Report raises
new questions on Saudi role in 9/11 attacks.

CLELAND: Absolutely.

SESNO: How far into that will your commission, A, be
able to go, and B, actually be able to share with the

CLELAND: All right. We're… first thing, if it walks
like a duck, looks like a duck, talks like a duck,
it's a duck.

You can read between the lines and see that there were
foreign governments that were much more involved in
the 9/11 attack than just supporting Islamic
fundamentalist teachings and schools. Now, that has
been redacted. A whole 28 page section.

SESNO: And will you have access to all the
documentation, including the redacted portion…

CLELAND: We darn well better.

SESNO:…of those committee reports?

CLELAND: Because… but look at what's happening. The
Administration, the White House, has put several
blocks in the road. One, they run all the information
to the 9/11 Commission through a political coordinator
in Ashcroft's Justice Department. Duh. Why that?

Secondly, they want to put minders — that's people who
sit in the room when we have an interview with people
in NSA, FBI, CIA, Department of… in DIA — in the
Pentagon, and Immigration and Naturalization Services.
They want to put minders in there. That to shut down
information. That's not to reveal information.

SESNO: On the connection, if there is one, between the
Saudi government and any funding or support for the
9/11 terrorists. Will you have access to the
information that was redacted? Have you already had
access to that?

CLELAND: We got it now.

SESNO: And how much…

CLELAND: It's… but we've got it late…

SESNO: And how much of what you…

CLELAND: We got it eight months late.

SESNO: But how of what you find and pursue in addition
to that will your commission make public, and be able
to make public?

CLELAND: I hope all of it.

SESNO: But you have no assurance of that.

CLELAND: America… well, we better.

SESNO: You are clearly passionate and exercised about
this, and you have compared Iraq to Vietnam.

CLELAND: Absolutely.

SESNO: You have used the q-word, "quagmire."

CLELAND: It is a quagmire.

SESNO: Why? Why?

CLELAND: Because. There's so many similarities here.
You have an assessment, which even Wolfowicz now
realizes we underestimated the enemy. That was Dean
Rusk's view a few years into Vietnam.

You get the big land force in there. You know. You
don't cure the problem. And you're exposed. And then
the guerrilla warfare comes after you. That's Vietnam.
That's the quagmire we're in in Iraq. There is no exit
strategy. Why? Because we want to do a pre-emptive
war. We want to do it all alone.

SESNO: The administration would say the exit strategy
is to build a fledgling democracy in Iraq…

CLELAND: Lots of luck.

SESNO: That then…

CLELAND: They're fighting 5000 years.

SESNO:…provides… that provides a beacon for the

CLELAND: Lots of luck. I mean, more power to `em. You
can't force or impose democracy with 150,000 troops.
We tried to do it in South Vietnam. There was an
election there, and all this kind of stuff. But it
never worked.

SESNO: I want to ask you about one final thing here,
and that is the Commission itself, which is supposed
to be independent. And your take on Iraq. You had a
bruising, bitter political contest. Is this sour
grapes for you?

CLELAND: No. No. I tell you what makes me mad. Is when
I see the names of those youngsters that are being
killed out there every day. I say, "God help us." I've
been there. I've seen this movie before.

It was 35 years ago. I was one of those young
21-year-old, 22, 23-year-old guys. Young Lieutenant,
hard charger, volunteer. First Air Cavalry Division.
Airborne, all this kind of stuff. Hoo-wah, hoo-wah,

And we got great young soldiers. And I've been at
Bethesda and Walter Reade, and I've seen their legs
blown off. And I've seen their eyes gone. And that's
what bothers me.

SESNO: Very briefly, then, what do you think should be
done now?

CLELAND: First of all, you got to go back and get the
UN in there. we've got to go back to the very people
we dissed. And we got to say to Russia and Germany and
France and the UN and the Security Council, "We're in
deep trouble. Help us out."

We got to make a UN protectorate, and that's gonna
take a long time.

SESNO: Max Cleland. Thanks.

CLELAND: Thank you.

© Public Affairs Television. All rights reserved.

Posted by richard at 02:07 PM

It's almost as if the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division in Iraq didn't get the memo.

(7/27/03) "Mission accomplished"? "Bring 'em on"? Five more US
GIs were killed in Iraq within the last 24 hours. For
what? Meanwhile, Fortunately, the "US mainstream news
media" has found it either impossible or unacceptable
(even for them) to ignore the guerilla war which is
taking the lives of our soldiers daily. But
unfortunately, it has fed right from the _resident's
Brain's hands in its reporting (if you can call it
that) of the Congressional report on what didn't
happen before 9/11. Of course, sadly, the "US
mainstream news media" has apparently completely
ducked the burning truth at the center of the 9/11
scandal, that the major choke-point in the pre-9/11
"intelligence failure" wasn't in Langley or at FBI HQ
or at Fort Mead but in the Oval Office (or more
accurately, Waco since that's where the boy king spent
most of his time that summer), where the _resident,
the VICE _resident and the White House au pair IGNORED
what was placed before them at the August 6, 2001
intelligence briefing (among others) because they had
a DIFFERENT AGENDA. When the Congressional report was
referred to by the propapunditgandists (the Margaret
Carlsons as as well as the Tucker Carlsons) they
talked about how there was "no smoking gun." Well, of
course, that is not the point (as well as being
untruthful) -- the point is that we still do not know
(officially, publicly) whether there is a "smoking
gun" in the Oval Office or not, BECAUSE the most
important aspects of the investigation were blacked
out and worse yet refused to even to the Committee
itself. Where is the "US mainstream news media"? No,
you are not alone in your outrage.. What has not
happened on the US air waves is not lost n
everyone...Here is a excellent article from north of
the border, where the US's fundamental values and
policies are still in tact...

Spinmeisters in need of fodder


It's almost as if the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division in Iraq didn't get the memo.

Not to take away from its successful shredding of the
evil spawn of Saddam Hussein, Uday and Qusay, but
could it have timed it any worse?

Tuesday was all set as the White House's very own
production of American Idol, the return of Pfc.
Jessica Lynch, 20, to her West Virginia hometown.
She's that — let me plagiarize myself from April 7 —
"archetypal, blonde-in-peril, made-for-TV movie coming
to a ratings sweeps period near you."

The media Lynch mob should have been enough to divert
attention away for at least a day from the slow but
steady sinking of U.S. President George W. Bush in the
polls, as well as his administration's fudging of
yellowcake and the making of other cow pies that led
to war and the sad state of his economy.

What? You think it was pure coinkidink that, on
Thursday, when that blacked-out 9/11 commission report
was released that (1) so were photos of the very dead
Brothers Badenov; (2) the government staged a very
videogenic Al Qaeda attack drill, or; (3) that
Vice-President Dick Cheney finally slithered out of
his nest to speechify about how no president has
fought terrorism like Bush has?

The Lynch coverage was predictably over the top — and
so remiss in recalling that the original Courage Under
Fire rendition of her capture and rescue was as
fictitious as Saddam's nuclear arsenal. Even Dan
Rather outdid himself by reciting the "almost heaven,
West Virginia" words to John Denver's "Take Me Home,
Country Roads."

The continuing heroification of Lynch was so big that
it temporarily wiped out the zeroification of Los
Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who stands accused of
rape — a gift to the all-news networks who needed
something to, you should pardon the expression, sex up
the summer.

Anyway. Tuesday morning, there was a Lt.-Gen. Ricardo
Sanchez confirming the deaths of the Hussein boys,
confining Bryant to the newscrawl for a whole day
while raining on Lynch's homecoming parade.

They could have scheduled it better, allowing America
to bask in Lynch's return while ignoring the
continuing casualties among the 150,000 other poor
southern kids still sweating it out in Iraq.

Which brings us to Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30, the
Texas cook and single mom in Lynch's company whose
members were captured and/or killed. Before Lynch
became the fair-haired poster child/cover girl of the
war, it was Johnson who was the face of Bush's cannon
fodder, thanks to the Iraqi video of her terrified
visage, which ran on Al-Jazeera television — outraging
U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who invoked the
Geneva Convention's prohibition against the public
airing of pictures that might humiliate a combatant.

So, by the end of last week, there was his
toss-your-cookies video of the stitched-up sons of
Satan, er, Saddam, which Rumsfeld justified as
necessary to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis not
yet convinced that it was curtains for the regime.

("Let the joyous news be spread, the wicked old witch
at last is dead," trilled the good witch of the north
in The Wizard Of Oz. Except, by my count, this is the
fourth time they've been killed.)

To me, it's Johnson's face that has always been the
single most enduring image of the war, beating even
that beheaded Saddam statue, yet another event that
proved to be little more than a photo op.

Her life has many parallels with that of Lynch,
including how they both enlisted because they could
not afford college educations or health care. But, as
many have pointed out, Johnson's story is a much
richer lode for TV movie mining than the
just-out-of-high-school Lynch.

Of course, as I predicted on the day of her rescue, it
would be Lynch who would have the agents, anchors,
show bookers, producers, publishers and press beating
a path to her hospital door. That column earned me an
avalanche of hate mail, which charged me with tarring
the American people with racism.

And yet I was just reflecting on how, in the words of
the Independent's Deborah Orr, America has "a
hierarchy of life, with pretty blondes at the top,
black Americans and Native Americans further down."

As it turned out it was true, since one woman we
almost never hear about is Pfc. Lori Piestewa, a
single mom of two and a Hopi Indian, who did not
survive whatever happened to Lynch. Will we ever learn
her fate — or see her bio on A&E?


So now that Lynch is home and the Hussein boys are
"really most sincerely dead,'' the White House
spinmeisters will need yet another diversionary,
dog-wagging tactic.

Yet another terror alert is not likely to do the
trick. Besides, we've seen that show before.
Additional articles by Antonia Zerbisias

Posted by richard at 02:03 PM

Haggard Single Critical of Media Coverage of Iraq War

(7/26/03) From Tampa Bay Online, an AP story that rumblings og
an Electoral Collge nightmare that should leave the
_resident's Brain (i.e., Rove) screaming in "mute
gastral agony" in a White House toilet...I was waiting
for a flight at the Nashville airport two weeks ago, I
went into the "Ernest Tubbs" music store, eased my way
past a few customers, asked for the Dixie Chicks and
laid both CDs available down on the counter for
purchase. The young blond woman at the cash register
handed me my change, smiled warmly and said, "Thank
you for your patronage." (But I am certain she meant
"patriotism." Yes, there is a deep and widespread
rumbling in the land. It has been rising and falling
since Fraudida 2000, and soon it may be deafening...


Haggard Single Critical of Media Coverage of Iraq War
By John Gerome Associated Press Writer
Published: Jul 24, 2003

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A new Merle Haggard song
that's critical of the media's coverage of the war in
Iraq is garnering so much attention that it's being
rushed to thousands of radio stations around the
country, a spokesman for the country singer said
"We're mailing it out as we speak," Tom Thacker, vice
president of Hag Records, said of the song "That's the
News." "It's going to a broad range of stations."

Thacker said the song has generated interest from
media and fans.

"It's another one of Merle Haggard's social
commentaries," he said. "This time it's kind of
opposed to the tone of 'The Fightin' Side of Me.'"

That 1970 song was a pro-America anthem at the height
of the Vietnam War.

The new song chides the media for focusing on
celebrity news and the death of Laci Peterson and her
unborn child while fighting continues in Iraq.

Haggard sings, "Suddenly it's over, the war is finally
done/Soldiers in the desert sand still clinging to a
gun/No one is the winner and everyone must
lose/Suddenly the war's over, that's the news."

The song ends with the lines, "Politicians do all the
talking, soldiers pay the dues/Suddenly the war is
over, that's the news."

The single will be included on Haggard's new album,
"Haggard Like Never Before," to be released in

Haggard's song strikes a different tone than two
recent country hits that supported war with Iraq:
Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" and Toby Keith's
"Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry

It also follows a sharp backlash against the Dixie
Chicks earlier this year after singer Natalie Maines
made a remark about President Bush at a London concert
shortly before the Iraq war. "Just so you know," she
said, "we're ashamed the president of the United
States is from Texas."

Maines apologized for the phrasing of her remark, but
sales of the Texas trio's discs plummeted and some
radio stations banned their singles.

In an essay on Haggard's Web site, the singer writes,
"I don't even know the Dixie Chicks, but I find it an
insult for all men and women who fought and died in
past wars when almost the majority of America jumped
down their throats for voicing an opinion. It was like
a verbal witch-hunt and lynching."


On the Net:

Merle Haggard: http://www.merlehaggard.com/

Posted by richard at 02:01 PM

Billionaire challenges case for war

(7/26)The US is drifting so far from reality, from the
consensus view within the international community, so
far...Some leaders within the political establishment,
and even a few scattered individuals within the "US
mainstream news media" are struggling desperately to
bring the country's world-view back from fantasy and
denial. The problem of course is the mean-spirited,
small-minded little man who did not win the 2000
presidential election and the cabal that he fronts
for...For example, the _resident just offered up a
"ten-year" plan to "study" the "uncertainty"
concerning global warming. Incredible. The legend goes
that Nero played his fiddle while Rome burns; well,
the _resident and his neo-con wet dreamers are playing
the "Risk" board game of world conquest while the
world itself is melting. Every major industrialized
country (i.e. everyone else in the G-7 is coming to
grips with this world crisis...But, oh, its not a news
story in the US...There has never been a more blatant
example of the fix on SeeNotNews as yesterday's lead
political story, "War of Words," featuring an
interview with the Republican Party national committee
chairman, "fighting back" and saying that all the
Democrats are offering is "protest and pessimism"
about the economy and Iraq. I assure you there has
been no lead political story within the last six
months (or years?) showing Terry McCauliffe, DNC
chairman, speaking as he constantly does on the theft
of Fraudida, and on the _resident's untruths on Iraq,
9/11, etc. or showing the TV spots he has developed
and is attemtping to run on TV stations around the
country. No, SeeNotNews will almost always wait for
the White House response (or in this case the
Republican Party response) before reporting a
substantive or dynamic Democratic attack and then it
almost invariably leads with the White House or
Republica rebuttal...Meanwhile, there is good news
too. Reuters reports that the Congress has received
oer 400,000 demands from constituents for an
investigation of the reasons given for the war in
Iraq, and George Soros (like Warren Buffet and Ted
Turner) has had his name scrawled on the John O'Neil
wall of heroes...


Billionaire challenges case for war
08:29, Jul 26 2003

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire philanthropist George
Soros is running full-page ads in major U.S.
newspapers challenging the honesty of the Bush
administration's case for waging war in Iraq.

The ads in The New York Times, the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch, and the Houston Chronicle, are titled,
"When the nation goes to war, the people deserve the

A dozen statements made by President George W. Bush,
Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin
Powell and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld making
the case for war are reprinted and described as either
exaggerated or false.

The statements centre on claims about Iraq having
weapons of mass destruction and large quantities of
poison gasses.

The Hungarian-born Soros, 72, emigrated to the United
States from Britain in 1956 and built a fortune as a
financier. He is founder of a network of philanthropic
organisations active in more than 50 countries that
focus on education, public health, human rights and
economic reform.

The ads, estimated to cost about $185,000 (114,000
pounds), were co-sponsored by U.S. philanthropists
Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman.

"Both George Soros and Lewis Cullman have been deeply
concerned about the deception used to justify the war
in Iraq," said Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros.

"They believe their fellow citizens should also be
concerned and took out these ads to move them to

Bush has defended the case for war, saying he is
confident that weapons of mass destruction will
eventually be found in Iraq and that criticism of
intelligence about Iraq's military capabilities
amounts to quibbling.

Public opinion on the issue is closely divided,
according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released
this week. It showed U.S. voters believed the
administration did not intentionally exaggerate
evidence that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons by
50 to 44 percent with a 3 percent margin of error.

Posted by richard at 01:58 PM

July 25, 2003

To: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Congress, and the Media

(7/25/03) Foolish, I suppose, to hope that the "US mainstream
news media" had learned its lesson, after looking the
other way while the truth was distorted throughout the
ramp up to the war, and particularly after falling for
the "rescue of Jessica Lynch" boondoggle (a tall tale
now thoroughly discredited). Earlier this week, I
wondered aloud what "all the _resident's men" would
come up with this week. We knew something would get
whipped up. Why? Well, the _resident's poll numbers
are falling fast, and the Congressional report on what
didn't happen before 9/11 was due out. Something had
to been whipped up to suck all the air of those blow
dried TV anchors lungs...So lo and behold, Saddam's
sons were "discovered" in a mansion in occupied Iraq, and
yes, killed before they could talk. SeeNotNews, etc.
led with the story. USA TooLate devoted its entire
front page to the story. The corporate propaganda
machine formerly known as a free press (well, it is
still free to live in denial) gobbled up the grisly
photos, the debate about the grisly photos, etc.
Meanwhile, the Congressional report on what didn't
happen before 9/11 was released. There were a few
notable exceptions to the general falure to run with a
story of historic signifigance and profound
implictaions. SeeBS, to its credit, did a story on the
9/11 family members, quoting their ire and frustration
with White House stonewalling: "The report is
incomplete at best," said Kristin Breitweiser. "They
are blacking out info in the report. That is
withholding information," said Patti Casazza. The
WASHPs did a reputable job in covering the release of
the report. The lead to Dana Priests' story read:
"President Bush was warned in a more specific way than
previously known about intelligence suggesting that al
Qaeda terrorists were seeking to attack the United
States, a report on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks
indicated yesterday." Knight-Ridder's story bore the
headline: "9/11 stoppable."
BUT even in these *decent* stories the BIG, BIG facts
were assidously avoided.
Here are two examples:
1) On August 6th 2001, at his "ranch" in Waco, the
_resident received an intelligence briefing on the
imminent threat of a Bin Laden attack on the US (the
White House has refused to released the details,
notes, etc. of this meeting);
2) Clinton-Gore National Security team had identified
Al-Qaeda as a the no. 1 threat and drawn up a plan to
crush them, it was handed to the incoming Bush team
(i.e. the VICE _resident and the White House au pair)
who promptly shelved it. What follows is what should
be filling the air waves...


To: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Congress, and the Media
Since 911, Americans have learned about numerous
warnings that were received by the Bush Administration
before 911.

These numerous warnings were ignored, with fatal
consequences for nearly 3,000 people.

If these warnings had not been ignored, the Bush
Administration could have protected America by taking
decisive action in the days leading up to 911, and on
911 itself.

Moreover, the Bush Administration concealed these
crucial facts from Congress and the American people,
and then lied about them when they were revealed, in a
deliberate effort to cover up its failure to protect

We, the American people, call upon the Bush-Cheney
administration to take responsibility for failing to
protect America, and to resign. If George W. Bush and
Dick Cheney refuse to resign, we demand their
impeachment by Congress.

The following list contains the most serious warnings
that were ignored by the Bush administration.

Individually, each of these failures justifies
punishment of those directly responsible.

Collectively, these failures justify the resignation -
or impeachment - of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney,
who are ultimately responsible for the failure of
their Administration to protect the American people.

The Bush administration ignored the issue of terrorism
from the moment it assumed office:

They ignored the final report of the Hart-Rudman
commission, the Road Map for National Security:
Imperative for Change, that was issued on January 31,
They blocked Senate hearings on the Hart-Rudman
commission's report, scheduled for the week of May 7,
2001, by announcing a brand new commission led by Vice
President Dick Cheney - which never met before 911
They ignored repeated requests from the Hart-Rudman
commission from January 2001 to September 6, 2001,
when National Security adviser Condoleezza Rice said
she would "pass on" their concerns
They ignored repeated requests from Senator Dianne
Feinstein to restructure US counter-terrorism and
homeland defense programs, starting in July 2001 and
continuing through September 10, 2001, when Dick
Cheney's Chief of Staff told Feinstein to wait 6
They ignored the report of the Gore Commission on
Aviation Safety and Security
The Bush administration changed Bill Clinton's policy
towards Afghanistant to appease Al Qaeda, the Taliban,
and their Saudi backers to promote the interests of
oil companies, putting profits for campaign
contributors ahead of fighting terrorism:

They prevented FBI terrorism experts from
investigating Saudi Arabian ties to Al Qaeda before
911, leading to the resignation of FBI Deputy Director
John O'Neill only two weeks before 911
They ordered the Naval Strike Force - which President
Clinton deployed near Afghanistan on 24-hour alert in
order to strike Osama Bin Laden - to "stand down"
before 911
They gave $43 million to the Taliban in April 2001
When appeasement failed, the Bush administration then
prepared for war against Afghanistan:

They issued an ultimatum to the Taliban in July 2001,
telling them to turn over Osama Bin Laden and permit
Unocal to build a pipeline across Afghanistan in
return for a "carpet of gold" - or face a "carpet of
They prepared a National Security Presidential
Directive on September 9, 2001, a detailed "game plan
to remove al-Qaida from the face of the Earth"
The Bush administration ignored numerous warnings from
US and foreign agencies:

They ignored warnings as early as June from the
National Security Agency's Echelon electronic spy
network that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning
to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to
attack important symbols of American and Israeli
They ignored warnings from an FBI agent in Phoenix on
July 10, 2001 about suspicious Arab pilots with ties
to Al Qaeda who were training in a local flight
school, urging a nationwide investigation of Arab
students in flight schools
Bush personally ignored warnings from the CIA on
August 6, 2001 that Al Qaeda planned to hijack US
They ignored warnings from Jordanian intelligence in
the summer that a major attack was planned inside the
US using airplanes
They ignored warnings from Israeli intelligence in
August that large-scale terrorist attacks on highly
visible targets on the American mainland were
imminent, organized by a cell of as many of 200
terrorists said to be preparing a big operation
They ignored warnings from Russian intelligence in
August that at least 25 terrorist were trained in
Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack US targets, with
future plans to attack financial, nuclear, and space
They ignored warnings from Moroccan intelligence in
August that Bin Laden was "very disappointed" by the
failure of the 1993 WTC bombing, and planned
"large-scale operations in New York in the summer or
autumn of 2001"
They rejected a search warrant requests by FBI agents
in Minneapolis for Moussaoui's computer disk
They ignored warnings from Egyptian president Hosni
Mubarak on August 31 of an impending attack on the US
They ignored phone calls from Abu Zubaida, bin Laden's
chief of operations, to the United States that were
intercepted by the National Security Agency shortly
before 911
They ignored an extroardinary number of "puts" on the
stocks which were hardest hit by the 911 attacks,
including American and United airlines, in the days
leading up to 911
The Bush administration failed to take meaningful
precautions against a terrorist attack when so many
warnings were being issued:

Bush went on vacation for the month of August, after
only six months on the job
They allowed counterterrorism agencies to "stand down"
from the highest level of alert before August 6, 2001,
despite repeated warnings from CIA director George
The FAA knew about concerns that Moussaiou would
hijack a 747 in August 2001, but failed to warn the
They failed to assign more sky marshalls or to make
cockpit doors more secure
They changed FAA policy to prohibit pilots from
carrying guns
They failed to increase the readiness levels of our
Air Defense
On 911, Bush failed to take decisive action:

George W. Bush said on two occasions that he saw the
first plane hit the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. on
911, and was told by Andrew Card about the second
plane hitting the World Trade Center at 9:05 a.m. -
yet Bush did nothing but listen to a children's story
until 9:30 a.m. instead of ordering fighter jets to
intercept all hijacked planes immediately
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney ordered the Pentagon to
shoot down Flight 93 over Pennsylvania at 9:55 a.m.,
but could have shot down the other three flights if
they had not waited so long to act
Following 911, Bush used the tragedy to promote the
agenda of his wealthy and powerful supporters:

Bush pushed through the USA Patriot Act, which
rewarded right-wing opponents of freedom and civil
Bush demanded additional tax cuts for the wealthy
using the pretense of "stimulating" the economy
Bush massively increased defense spending, to the
direct personal benefit of his father and his cronies
in the Carlyle Group
To cover up his failures, the Bush administration
resorted to stonewalling, fingerpointing, and lies
about 911:

They have continually lied about the extent of the
warnings about the 911 attack

Shortly after 911, Ari Fleischer declared flatly that
there were "no warnings"
When it was revealed in May 2002 that the CIA briefed
Bush personally on August 6, 2001, they claimed that
the briefing did not address terrorist attacks in the
US; then they claimed it was a "low-level" briefing
based on only one warning
Condoleezza Rice said, "I don't think anyone could
have predicted that these people... would try to use
an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a
missile." (5/16/02)

The Pentagon commissioned a study in 1993 called
"Terrorism 2000", which predicted multiple
simultaneous attacks, the use of airplanes as weapons,
targeting of large landmarks and financial centers,
A Fedex employee tried to crash a DC-10 into FedEx HQ
in Memphis in 1994, but was apprehended
An Islamic fundamentalist group hijacked an Air France
flight and loaded it with 27 tons of fuel to destroy
the Eiffel Tower, but special forces stormed the plane
on the ground
Abdul Hakim Murad and Ramsey Yousef conceived of
'Project Bojinka' in 1995, a plan to blow up 11 US
airline flights over the Pacific in 1995, and to crash
airplanes into the Pentagon and the CIA, which
definitely caught the attention of counter-terrorism
experts in the US
The Library of Congress Report on The Sociology And
Psychology Of Terrorism warned in 1999 about suicide
The Pentagon conducted a drill in December 2000 to
respond to an airline crashing into the Pentagon
U.S. and Italian officials were warned in July 2001
that Islamic terrorists might attempt to kill
President Bush and other leaders by crashing an
airliner into the Genoa summit of industrialized
They did everything possible to block an independent
commission investigation

Bush and Cheney personally called Senate Majority
Leader Tom Daschle urging him not to conduct an
When pressure for an independent commission became too
strong, they suddenly announced warnings of another
attack - although they did not raise the official
alert level above yellow, leading to widespread
speculation of a deliberately false alarm to stop the
When the Independent Commission finally began its
work, Bush used Nixon's dictatorial doctrine of
"Executive Privilege" to deny commissioners access to
crucial documents
George W. Bush himself has repeatedly JOKED about the
911 attack

"Lucky me. I hit the trifecta," George W. Bush,
shortly after 9/11 - quoted by Bush Budget Director
Mitch Daniels, 11/28/01

Posted by richard at 12:18 PM

July 24, 2003

9/11 report: No Iraq link to al-Qaida

Three more US soldiers died in Iraq over night (for
what?)...Meanwhile, the LNS vision for the Democratic
Party 2004 convention includes a keynote speech from
Max Cleland (D-GA), opening music from the Dixie
Chicks, and the nominees (hopefully Kerry (D-Mekong
Delta and Graham (D-Fraudida) all introduced by 9/11
family members, Kerry's Vietnam veteran "dog patrol,"
Enron workers who lost their jobs and savings and
voters from Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, Duval and Leon
counties in Fraudida. Cleland was mysteriously
*defeated* in the 2002 Senate election in Georgia (in
which touch screen voting was debuted in the state)
following a shameful Republican media campaign that
depicted Cleland, a Vietnam veteran who lost three of
his limbs fighting the war that the _resident and most
of the Republican national leadership ducked one way
or another, as unpatriotic and a coward for opposing
the _resident's foolish and unnecesary war in
Iraq...Now he has taken the lead in underscoring the
the fact that the _resident's lying on Iraq has a lot
more to it than the "sixteen words" that CIA Director
George TooNice tried to spin it as...


9/11 report: No Iraq link to al-Qaida
By Shaun Waterman
UPI Homeland and National Security Editor
Published 7/23/2003 7:48 PM
View printer-friendly version

WASHINGTON, July 23 (UPI) -- The report of the joint
congressional inquiry into the suicide hijackings on
Sept. 11, 2001, to be published Thursday, reveals U.S.
intelligence had no evidence that the Iraqi regime of
Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks, or that it
had supported al-Qaida, United Press International has

"The report shows there is no link between Iraq and
al-Qaida," said a government official who has seen the

Former Democratic Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, who was a
member of the joint congressional committee that
produced the report, confirmed the official's

Asked whether he believed the report will reveal that
there was no connection between al-Qaida and Iraq,
Cleland replied: "I do ... There's no connection, and
that's been confirmed by some of (al-Qaida leader
Osama) bin Laden's terrorist followers."

The revelation is likely to embarrass the Bush
administration, which made links between Saddam's
support for bin Laden -- and the attendant possibility
that Iraq might supply al-Qaida with weapons of mass
destruction -- a major plank of its case for war.

"The administration sold the connection (between Iraq
and al-Qaida) to scare the pants off the American
people and justify the war," said Cleland. "What
you've seen here is the manipulation of intelligence
for political ends."

The inquiry, by members of both the House and Senate
intelligence committees, was launched in February last
year amid growing concerns that failures by U.S.
intelligence had allowed the 19 al-Qaida terrorists to
enter the United States, hijack four airliners, and
kill almost 3,000 people.

Although the committee completed its work at the end
of last year, publication of the report has been
delayed by interminable wrangles between the
committees and the administration over which parts of
it could be declassified.

Cleland accused the administration of deliberately
delaying the report's release to avoid having its case
for war undercut.

"The reason this report was delayed for so long --
deliberately opposed at first, then slow-walked after
it was created -- is that the administration wanted to
get the war in Iraq in and over ... before (it) came
out," he said.

"Had this report come out in January like it should
have done, we would have known these things before the
war in Iraq, which would not have suited the

The case that administration officials made that
al-Qaida was linked to Iraq was based on four planks.

Firstly, the man suspected of being the ringleader of
the Sept. 11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta, was supposed to
have met with an Iraqi intelligence official in
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, in April
2001. But Czech intelligence - the original source of
the report - later recanted, and U.S. intelligence
officials now believe that Atta was in the United
States at the time of the supposed meeting.

The Iraqi official, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani
is now in U.S. custody.

Secondly, U.S. officials said Iraq was harboring an
alleged al-Qaida terrorist named Abu Mussab al-Zakawi.

But the government official who has seen the report
poured scorn on the evidence behind this claim.

"Because someone makes a telephone call from a
country, does not mean that the government of that
country is complicit in that," he told UPI.

"When we found out there was an al-Qaida cell
operating in Germany, we didn't say 'we have to invade
Germany, because the German government supports
al-Qaida.' ... There was no evidence to indicate that
the Iraqi government knew about or was complicit in
Zakawi's activities."

Newsweek magazine has also reported that German
intelligence agencies - having interrogated one of
Zakawi's associates - believed that Zakawi was not
even an al-Qaida member, but headed a rival Islamic
terror group.

Thirdly, defectors provided to U.S. intelligence by
the then-exiled opposition group, the Iraqi National
Congress, said that Islamic terrorists had been
training to hijack airliners using a disused plane
fuselage at a camp in Salman Pak in Iraq.

"My understanding was that there was an alternate
explanation for that," said the government official,
suggesting that that they were doing counter terrorism
training there. "I'm not saying that was the
explanation, but there were other ways of looking at

Fourthly, officials have cited a series of meetings in
the 1980's and 1990's between Iraqi officials and
al-Qaida members, especially in Sudan.

Former CIA counter-terrorism analyst Judith Yaphe has
questioned the significance of this data, "Every
terrorist group and state sponsor was represented in
Sudan (at that time)," she said recently, "How could
they not meet in Khartoum, a small city offering many
opportunities for terrorist tête-à-têtes."

The government official added that the significance of
such meetings was unclear: "Intelligence officials,
including ours, meet with bad guys all around the
world every day. That's their job. Maybe to get
information from them, maybe to try and recruit them.

"There are a series of alternative explanations for
why two people like that might meet, and that's what
we don't know."

He went on to suggest that the conclusions drawn from
the information about the Sudan meetings was
indicative of a wider-ranging problem with the
administration's attitude to intelligence on the
alleged Iraq al-Qaida link.

"They take a fact that you could draw several
different conclusions from, and in every case they
draw the conclusion that supports the policy, without
any particular evidence that would meet the normal bar
that analytic tradecraft would require for you to make
that conclusion," he concluded.

Copyright © 2001-2003 United Press International

Posted by richard at 12:44 PM


It is encouraging that the "US mainstream news media"
is actually reporting the daily death toll for US
soldiers in Iraq. The American people need to know how
many are dying, even if the reasons get murkier day by
day. It is also encouraging that the "US mainstream
news media" has at least acknowledged one of the
several LIES in the SOTU. Meanwhile, however, the "US
mainstream news media" doesn't seem to be willing to
risk digging into the disturbing series of character
assasinations, etc. being initiated by "all the
_resident's men." Yes, my friends, they are desperate
and they are most dangerous when they are most
desperate.(Fascinating that the photos of Saddam's
nasty sons' corpses dominate the news the dy the 9/11
commission report is released.) Here is an update from
the incomparable www.mediawhoresonline.com...







In the bowels of the West Wing, the Bush team has
assembled a hit-and-run smear operation to fend off
growing public outrage and congressional questions
about how it abused intelligence reports in the run-up
to the Iraq war.

The operation surfaced when the White House leaked to
right-wing mouthpiece Bob "No Facts" Novak that the
wife of U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson is a CIA agent.
Wilson had gone public with his report establishing
that Bush’s claim in the State of the Union address
about Iraq gaining uranium from Niger was bogus. In
revenge for Wilson's professional and patriotic
service, the White House used Novak to blow the cover
of Wilson's wife.

Not only did this smear compromise U.S. intelligence,
not only is it an axe-cleaver threat to Ambassador
Wilson and all other truth-tellers – it is a felony.

Next, the White House leaked to cyber-smear meister
Matt Drudge that the ABC News correspondent Jeffrey
Kofman, who had reported on dismal morale among U.S.
troops stationed in Iraq, was gay and, even worse,

Drudge admitted to the Washington Post that "someone
in the White House communications shop tipped me."
Matt blew the source – the Bush White House!

Now, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) is the Bush
assassin squad’s latest drive-by target.

Last week, Senator Durbin, a member of the Senate
Intelligence Committee and a critic of White House
policy, revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency
has confirmed that Bush officials worked hard to
insure that the false uranium claim, based on forged
documents, made it into Bush’s State of the Union.

The White House responded with an orchestrated
campaign of leaks to the media, claming falsely that
Durbin had compromised national security and that
other senators had demanded his removal from the
Intelligence Committee.

Durbin exposed the operation in a 45-minute speech on
the Senate floor.

"If any member of this Senate . . . questions this
White House policy, raises any questions about the
gathering of intelligence information or the use of
it, be prepared for the worst," Durbin said. "The
White House is going to turn to you and attack you.
They are going to question your patriotism."

There is an irrefutable pattern here. Drudge has
already fingered the White House. Every White House
reporter knows that at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue no
sparrow falls from any tree without the permission of
Commissar Karl Rove, working alongside his henchmen
Dan Bartlett and Scott McClelland.

When will the Media Whores begin investigating and
exposing this campaign of vilification and
intimidation - a campaign to which many of their own
fellow journalists have fallen victim since this
corrupt regime installed itself into power?

So far, there has been virtually nothing in the news
pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the
Los Angeles Times, or on CBS, NBC, ABC, or CNN. It
took Woodward and Bernstein months to track down the
sources of the Nixon smear machine. But now, the
evidence is out there for everyone to see, almost in
real time. Not much shoe-leather is required. Only a
basic sense of responsibility and professionalism.

Or is the entire Washington press corps so intimidated
and in the tank that it can’t even begin to defend its
own integrity?

as attachmentinline text

Posted by richard at 12:40 PM

Bin Laden 'alive', 'recruiting'

(7/23/03) Yes, Saddam's sons are dead. Will it lead to a
diminishing of the war of attrition being waged
against our troops in Iraq? I hope so, but it is
unlikely. Remember, months ago Saddam and his sons
were irrelevant (because the Bush cabal couldn't find
them, or didn't want to), weeks ago capturing/killing
Saddam and his sons became imperative (because the
Bush cabal did not want to admit it had a guerilla
insurgency on its hands, and needed bogey men to pin
it on). The elimination of Saddam's sons may have
helped the stock market and the _resident's polls, but
only for a little while...The fundamental truths still
remain unchanged...MEANWHILE, from Germany (a faithful
ally that has shed the blood of its troops in
Afghanistan and been aggressive and proactive in the
real war on terror being waged in Europe while
resisting the arrogance and wrongness of the
_resident's regime) via Queensland, Australia's
Courier Mail, news of Osama bin Laden and his No. 1
(two more men that the Bush Cabal has said are
irrelevant or key depending upon how they are spinning
evidence of their own incompetence from one day to the
next)...The _resident lashed out at Syria and Iran the
other day, but his "ally" Gen. IShotTheSheriff in
Pakistan harbors Osama, and his family's business
associates in Saudi Arabia support Osama bin
Laden...Remember, 2+2=4


Bin Laden 'alive', 'recruiting'
From correspondents in Berlin

OSAMA bin Laden was probably still alive and al-Qaeda
was recruiting new followers in Arab countries and
Europe, Germany's foreign spy chief said today. At the
same time, Western spy agencies have noted an increase
in worldwide communications among members of the
terrorist network "in recent weeks and months", said
August Hanning, head of Germany's Federal Intelligence
"We see no all-clear signal at this time. Rather, we
are seeing an increase in (terrorist) activities,"
Hanning said in a speech to a security conference in

He said bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman
al-Zawahiri, were suspected of being holed up in the
Afghan-Pakistani border area, southeast of the Afghan
capital Kabul.

"Based on several clues, we assume that bin Laden and
al-Zawahiri are still in this region," he said,
without giving details.

The United States has said it does not know whether
bin Laden, whom it blames for last year's September 11
attacks on New York and Washington, is dead or alive.

Al-Qaeda's ability to mobilise followers in Arab
countries and Europe "remains relatively high,"
Hanning said, noting that mosques were often used to
recruit in major European cities.

These included Hamburg, where three of the September
11 suicide hijackers lived undetected while plotting
the attacks.

"We see that recruiting is going on," he said. "We
have European centres that are still being used for
recruiting today."

German authorities have stepped up anti-terrorism
precautions since a speaker, said to be al-Zawahiri,
issued a warning to US allies to get out of the Muslim
world in a taped interview circulated last month.

"The mujahid youth has already sent messages to
Germany and France," the speaker said.

"However, if these doses are not enough, we are
prepared, with the help of Allah, to inject further

A May 8 attack on a bus in Pakistan killed 11 French
engineers, and an April 11 blast at a synagogue in
Tunisia killed 16 people, including 11 Germans.

Both attacks have been linked to al-Qaeda.

privacy © Queensland Newspapers

Posted by richard at 12:37 PM

BBC 'taped Kelly's WMD concerns'

It is getting very nasty. Ask Joseph Wilson, the
former ambassador who blew the whistle on the Niger
uranium lie. His wife's identity as a CIA agent was
revealed to Robert Novak by a White House political
hit man, thereby blowing her cover, ruining her work
and endangering her life. Ask Jeffrey Kofman, the ABC
reporter, who did the story on US GIs in Iraq
expressing their anger and calling for Rumsfeld's
resignation. A White House political hitman "outed"
him as "gay" and a "Canadian" to Matt Drudge. Ask
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) who, courageously, came
forward after CIA Director George TooNice testified
behind closed doors and named the "White House
official" who pushed for including the Niger uranium
lie in the _resident's SOTU. White House political hit
men have been attempting to impugn his credibility and
have him removed from the Senate Intelligence
Committee, falsely claiming that he leaked classified
information. (Durbin's name will be scrawled on the
John O'Neil wall of heroes.) Ask Dr. David Kelly's
wife and three daughters. Ask his neighbors...He can't
speak for himself anymore..Or can he?


BBC 'taped Kelly's WMD concerns'

Dr David Kelly spoke to the BBC's Susan Watts
The BBC has a tape of scientist Dr David Kelly
expressing concern about the way Iraq weapons
intelligence was presented, it has emerged.
The science editor of Newsnight, Susan Watts, recorded
her conversation with Dr Kelly, according to the BBC's
media correspondent Torin Douglas.

The BBC is expected to submit the tape as part of its
evidence to the judicial inquiry led by Lord Hutton
into Dr Kelly's death.

The BBC will not discuss the content of the tape, but
is thought to regard it as a useful part of its
evidence, rather than the centrepiece.

Dr Kelly was found dead in woods near his Oxfordshire
home last Friday.

The weapons expert apparently killed himself after
coming under intense scrutiny following BBC reports
that Iraqi weapons intelligence had been exaggerated
by the government.

'Seized upon'

After his death, the BBC confirmed Dr Kelly had been
the source for three journalists who had reported
concern among the intelligence community.

On Newsnight on 2 and 4 June, Ms Watts had quoted an
unnamed source at length, as saying the government was
"obsessed with finding intelligence on immediate Iraqi

It was a statement that was made and it just got out
of all proportion

Susan Watts' Newsnight source on the controversial
45-minute claim

Susan Watts' Newsnight reports
The source was reported as questioning the claim that
Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction within
45 minutes.

"It was a statement that was made and it just got out
of all proportion," the source said.

"They were desperate for information, they were
pushing hard for information which could be released.
That was one that popped up and it was seized on and
it's unfortunate that it was.

"That's why there is the argument between the
intelligence services and the Cabinet Office/No 10 -
because they picked up on it and once they've picked
up on it, you can't pull it back from them."

Heat on Hoon

The Guardian says the tape's existence explains the
corporation's determination to stick by its story,
under the onslaught of criticism from government

Other newspapers on Wednesday continue to question who
was responsible for Dr Kelly's name becoming public.

I think we should all heed what the prime minister
said about the importance of restraint

Jack Straw

Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday "emphatically"
denied he had authorised Dr Kelly's identity to be
made public.

That has made several commentators look again at
Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, who had previously
insisted the MoD made great efforts to protect the
anonymity of Dr Kelly.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he would not be
drawn on those observations.

"I am not accepting your kind invitation to be led
down these rabbit holes," he told BBC Radio 4's Today

"I think we should all heed what the prime minister
said about the importance of restraint.

"We should recognise that the funeral of Dr Kelly has
not taken place, but in addition, if you have a
judicial inquiry, you should allow it to proceed."

Posted by richard at 12:34 PM

Inside the black box

As noted in earlier LNS reports, the _resident's
cabal, and the "vast right-wing conspiracy" (yes, it
exists and has been documented by Conason/Lyons in
Hunting of The President, and corroborated by Brock in
Blinded by The Right) it dominates, is going for a
triple lock on the 2004 election (i.e., #1 outspend
the Democrats by millions of dollars in corporate
donations, #2 caricature and marginalize the Democrats
through the corporate media, and #3 in close races,
get their hands on the voting process itself...Please
read this book review, get a copy of the book itself
and pass this story on...


July 26-August 1 2003 Vol 189 No 3298
Inside the black box
by Mark Revington

What do possible election fraud in the United States
and a small, independent website based in New Zealand
have in common? The word "scoop".
It's an unassuming place from the street, a quiet
backwater in a Wellington suburb. A little unkempt,
the house of someone unconcerned with external
appearances. The lawn doesn't appear to have met a
mower that it couldn't tame and the paint is cracked
and dry. But then Alastair Thompson has other things
on his mind, notably the story he calls "bigger than

It broke a couple of weeks ago on Thompson's Scoop
website (www.scoop.co.nz) with this introduction:
"IMPORTANT NOTE: Publication of this story marks a
watershed in American political history. It is offered
freely for publication in full or part on any and all
Internet forums, blogs and noticeboards. All other
media are also encouraged to utilise material. Readers
are encouraged to forward this to friends and
acquaintances in the United States and elsewhere."

Cue thunder, lightning, ominous roll of drums. What
warranted this kind of build-up?

An apparent exposé of a huge security flaw in the
United States voting system, primarily uncovered by a
US writer named Bev Harris, author of a soon-to-be
published book called Black Box Voting:
Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century and someone with
whom Thompson has been working closely in recent

Was it bigger than Watergate? Far more computer-savvy
minds than this writer's are still debating the
significance of what appeared on the Scoop website,
but the kind of hyperbole employed was always going to
attract criticism. So far, the mainstream US media
have ignored the Scoop story, but it ignited fierce
debate across the Internet, drew huge traffic to the
Scoop site, and fed increasing controversy over
electronic voting machines.

Think of vote counts in New Zealand and the
overwhelming image is a Dickensian one, of draughty
halls, harried volunteers, and a tally that always
seems to be late, inevitably followed by some sort of
official witch-hunt.

Think of the US and the overwhelming image is of a
president who got fewer votes than his rival, yet
still got the top job thanks to massive confusion in
the state in which his brother is governor.

Perhaps President Bush had that in mind late last year
when he signed into law the Help America Vote Act,
which will provide almost $6.8 billion to states to
buy new electronic voting machines. By next year, many
US voters will cast their ballot on controversial
touch-screen machines, which don't provide a paper
audit trail, owned by a small number of private
companies who keep their software secret.

Can the machines be trusted? Of course, say the
companies that manufacture and programme them and the
officials who implement them. Security is their second
name. A growing band of computer experts don't agree.
Computer programs can always be hacked, says Stanford
University computer scientist David Dill, who
organised a petition signed by more than 300 of the
top scientists and computer boffins in the US, calling
for voting machines to have a paper audit trail. It
would be easy for a programmer to change the way a
machine counted votes during an election while keeping
the change secret from any security tests, says Dill.
"The election could be running smooth as silk, only
the wrong person is elected and no one can tell. No
one can prove it," he told the Mercury News.

What does this have to do with Scoop? For the past few
months the website has been running stories from
Harris, detailing discrepancies and curious
coincidences in electronic voting technology in the
US. Until now, the companies that make these machines
had managed to keep their software secret. But Harris,
who has spent thousands of hours interviewing everyone
from election officials to the programmers who worked
for the companies that made the electronic voting
machines, discovered a public file transfer site that
contained up to 40,000 files, including manuals,
source codes, and a vote counting system that she and
Thompson say contains a trapdoor that could allow
someone to alter the data.

The files came from Diebold Election Systems, one of
the largest providers of electronic voting technology
in the world. Diebold has since closed the website and
says the files were old and unimportant.

Harris believes otherwise and there is a long list of
interviews on her website (www.blackboxvoting.com) to
back her case. The full set of files has been copied
and since dispersed around the world, including
publication on Scoop. "We can now reveal for the first
time the location of a complete online copy of the
original data set," trumpeted Scoop. At the very
least, says Thompson, the existence of the files on a
public website is a bad security breach. What they
contain may be much worse.

HARRIS FIRST BECAME interested in electronic voting
when she read a story called "Assume crooks are in
charge of the election machines". She had spent time
in the 1990s uncovering financial fraud and had
written a book called How to Embezzle a Fortune, which
contained tips on how to identify accounting fraud and
uncover embezzled funds. She knew her way around basic
research and, just out of curiosity, decided to
research some of the companies involved in electronic
voting machines.

The first names she discovered, she says, "were the
wrong people, people with vested interests. It was
like opening Pandora's Box." A book contract followed
and then Harris began sending out her stories.

"During the past five months, Bev Harris has emailed
to news organisations a series of reports that detail
alarming problems in the high-tech voting machinery
currently sweeping its way through American democracy.
But almost no one is paying attention," begins a story
in Salon.com that goes on to conclude that Harris is
neither a conspiracy nut nor an ideologue. "Her
stories on voting machines are based not on her
politics but on serious, in-depth investigative

Thompson, however, was paying attention. "I sent out a
press release and he responded," says Harris. "I'm an
equal opportunity person. He may not be as big as the
New York Times, but Alastair has the courage to go out
and take on the dangerous stories."

Harris discovered that Chuck Hagel, the Republican
senator for Nebraska, just happened to be the former
president of the company that makes the voting
machines on which Hagel won two elections, and still
had a financial stake in the company but hadn't
disclosed it. And his campaign treasurer, Michael
McCarthy, was chairman of the merchant banking company
in which Hagel had shares and which part-owned
Election Systems and Software, the company making the
voting machines. It seemed like a conflict of interest
to Harris, who put up the documents on her website.
That prompted an immediate letter from lawyers acting
for ES&S, which said in part that even though Harris
may be telling the truth, it still could be considered
defamatory. They demanded that she take the documents
down. Harris refused. A law suit? Bring it on, she
says, anticipating a treasure trove waiting to be
found during the discovery period.

However, Hagel was expected to win Nebraska. In
Georgia last year, the sitting Democrat senator
unexpectedly lost his seat and the state elected a
Republican governor for the first time in over a
century. All votes were cast on touch-screen voting
machines made by Diebold. It was, say observers, a
curious result at the very least. That's not to say
there was anything doubtful about the Georgia result.
There is no smoking gun. Even Scoop is at pains to
point this out with a caveat: "It is important to note
that the research into this subject has not
established that the files we have been working on
were in fact in situ in County Election Supervisors
offices at the last election – nor have we proof that
the back door we have discovered – which might enable
the rigging of elections – was actually used in any
recent election. However, it is the considered opinion
of all those involved in this investigation that it is
not up to us as journalists or programmers to prove
that elections were rigged, rather it is a
responsibility of the electoral system itself to prove
its integrity.

"Significantly, we do not believe we have sufficient
resources to complete this investigation to its
conclusion and are therefore making available our
findings to the media, community organisations,
political parties, computer scientists and geeks in
the anticipation that they will pick up the torch and
extend this inquiry into every county in the United

What they have discovered, according to Thompson,
demonstrates method, opportunity and some inexplicable
circumstantial evidence. Call him a conspiracy
theorist, and many have. "But the implications are so
horrendous that people don't want to contemplate it.
At this point in time, the only way to conduct safe
elections in the US is to revert to the paper-based
counting systems that have worked elsewhere."

Posted by richard at 12:28 PM

Gloves off in village that wants answers on death

(7/22/03) If you read the NYTwits or the Herald Tribune
yesterday you learned that Dr. Kelly was indeed a man
of stature, experience and principle -- perhaps
Britain's leading bio weapons expert. (Indeed, he was
looking forward to going back to Iraq. He does not
look or read like a fragile man.) If you read The
Scotsman yesterday you learned that his neighbors are
very angry and very suspicious. They are demanding a
real investigation and calling for the resignations of
the shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Tony-Blair and
others...Remember, 2+2=4


Gloves off in village that wants answers on death


SOUTHMOOR is one of those English country villages
which fits the description tranquil like a glove.
Yesterday, the gloves were off.

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Downing Street spokesman
Alastair Campbell were top of the list of those who
the villagers wanted to cross-examine over the death
of one of their own - David Kelly, known by most as
Dai because of his Welsh background.

Eileen Gamble, who knew Kelly since he and his wife,
Jan, first arrived in the Oxfordshire community 20
years ago, said she was furious at the pressure the
quiet civil servant had been put under after coming
forward to say he thought he might be the BBC’s mole.

"I think they picked on him," she said. "I’m very
angry and I think they have killed him as I think most
of the village do."

"The awful grilling he went through before the Commons
committee, I think that was wicked. It’s time Campbell
went and I think Blair should follow him, although it
won’t bring Dai back."

Before the Foreign Affairs Committee, Davis’ hands
could be seen shaking and the terrible pressure that
he was under was visible.

"Somebody is trying to make it look like the
government were right to go to war in Iraq," Gamble

"They’ve got to find some excuse to make it right to
have gone to war. Tony Blair has a lot to answer for.
If I had him here I would grill him and make him
squirm, going round doing that to ordinary people like

She said no one in the village could believe that
Kelly had actually killed himself.

"He was a real family man. He was a very private
person but he would often give me a lift into Oxford
if I was waiting for the bus. He was a very friendly
and pleasant man."

Gamble said that last Wednesday night, the day before
Kelly went missing, his wife had been due to attend a
village history society meeting but phoned to say she
couldn’t make it as they were going to Cornwall.

However, the Kellys’ plan to get away from the fuss in
London never came to pass as the following evening Jan
Kelly reported her husband missing when he failed to
return home.

Villagers yesterday painted the Kelly family as one
that was very much part of the local community.
Despite her arthritis, Jan played an active part in
village life in Southmoor as a member of the historic
society and Women’s Institute. She also helped produce
the local newsletter.

Kelly himself, when he could drag himself away from
his vegetable patch, would often be seen walking from
one end of the village to the other to his favourite
pub, the Hinds Head, where he was a member of the
local cribbage team.

Steve Ward, the landlord, said he had been close to
tears when he heard how Kelly, a customer he knew as a
friend, had killed himself. "That was so unlike David.
He was so sensible and so level-headed and he had a
lovely wife and lovely family," he said.

"He was a great guy. He’d have a laugh and a joke with
you. He’d have a giggle, but never anything over the

Ward was visibly angry over Kelly’s death and was
among those in the village who were suspicious of
Blair’s role in the affair.

"I hope Tony Blair can live with this on his
conscience," he said. "If this is what the government
can do to a straightforward honest member of the
public, then I really don’t know. Somebody, somewhere
was responsible for his death.

"But I don’t think we will ever get to the bottom of
this, we won’t be allowed to.

"I hope to God this brings Tony Blair down and brings
an end to this bloody government spin. Whoever has
driven David to do this, I hope it stays on their
consciences for the rest of their lives."

Just along the road from the Kelly household lives
Leslie Cowan, a 76-year-old retired engineer who now
edits the local newsletter. The KBS News, as it is
known, is run by an editorial committee that includes
Jan Kelly.

Under its constitution, it is not allowed to get
involved in any political or religious issues. But
this week’s editorial will demand the truth about the
circumstances that led to Kelly’s death. It will say
that truth and honesty were the basic disciplines of
scientists such as Kelly.

"We believe that Dr Kelly knew what was true in regard
to the Iraq situation but we don’t know what that
truth was or is," the newsletter will say. "What we do
know - what history teaches us - is that truth is not
always well liked and those who stand up for it are
frequently not well treated. Now it has brought
tragedy and dismay to our village."

Yesterday, the woodland fringe where Kelly’s body was
found was still cordoned off as police forensics teams
went about their work.

The hedge-bounded path leading up towards Harrowdown
Hill had returned to the gentle buzz of hoverflies and
the sound of songbirds.

It is a popular walkway for those seeking to escape
from modern pressures.

One dog walker said: "It is one of those places that
feels more isolated than it is. You’re only ten miles
from Oxford, but it feels like 50.

"It’s one of the those places where you can enjoy the
peace of the world."

This article:


Posted by richard at 12:26 PM

Republican National Committee Tries to Intimidate TV Stations Not to Run DNC Ad About Bush Lies

(7/22/03) Just as the corporate media's propapunditgandists and
the Green Party fantasists drew a caricature of Al
Gore and then pilloried the caricature while ignoring
the man, propapunditgandists and Green Party
fantasists have also drawn a caricature of an
enfeebled and spineless Democratic Psrty. Well, there
is some spinelessness and some cravenness in the
Democratic Party. Dick LoseHeart (D-Misery) who sold
us out by making a deal with the devil on Iraq, Sen.
Tom DuckIt (D-SD) who seems as if he never recovered
from having to take all that Cipro, and Sen. Joe
Lieberman ("D"-Sanctimonicutt), well, I do not even
know where to begin talking about what Leiberman has
not done over the last two and a half years...But
there is also tremendous strength, courage and
principle. For example, Sen. Byrd (D-WV), Rep. Waxman
(D-CA) and the entire Black Caucus...but also several
Presidential candidates: Graham (D-Fraudida) who is
relentless in speaking out on BOTH 9/11 and Iraq and
who is not afraid of discussing the kind of misdeeds
that rise to the level of impeachable offenses, Dean
(D-Jeffords) whose gut fighter instincts and caustic
remarks are energizing, and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mekong
Delta)who has advanced in a tough and disciplined way,
pacing himself for the long distance, building an
unassiable foundation for the actual race against the
_resident (if the _resident runs) with his call for
"regime change" in D.C., his set-up that if Bush lied
Iraq "he lied to me personally," his charge that Bush
was "trafficking in untruths" on Iraq, and his taunt
yesterday that the _resident's "false pride" was
preventing him from doing what he must (i.e, involve
the UN, etc.), saying that his "blood boiled over,"
Kerry meticulously made the vital link (i.e.
Iraq=Vietnam), as Reuters reported Kerry, a decorated
Vietnam War veteran, said half of the names of the
dead enshrined on the Vietnam war memorial in
Washington stem "from the time that that kind of pride
began to cloud the decisions in Vietnam."
One of the most vital Democratic leaders in this
critical and dangerous period is Terry McCauliffe, the
DNC Chairman, who luckily has proven to be smart,
dynamic and brave. He never speaks without reminding
his audience of the theft of the 2000 election and he
is not afraid to fight...Please read this very
important story and as Marc Crispin Miller says, "PICK


Republican National Committee Tries to Intimidate TV Stations Not to Run DNC Ad About Bush Lies
July 23, 2003


A lawyer from the Republican National Committee has
now sent a threatening letter to TV stations in
Madison, Wisconsin (where a TV ad from the DNC
critical of the administration is currently running)
trying to intimidate stations into not running the ad.
(The text of the letter is below.) The DNC ad,
however, is 100 percent true -- the President misled
the public during the State of the Union.

The Republican National Committee is trying to
intimidate TV stations into not running the ads.
Here's the letter its lawyer sent to TV stations.

Intimidating Letter from the Republican National
Committee to Madison, Wisconsin, Television Stations

Dear Station Manager:

It has come to our attention that your station will
begin airing false and misleading advertisements on
July 21, 2003, paid for by the Democratic National
Committee. The advertisement in question misrepresents
President George W. Bush's January 28, 2003, State of
the Union address. The advertisement states that
President Bush said, "Saddam Hussein recently sought
significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

In fact, President Bush said, "The British government
has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought
significant quantities of uranium from Africa." By
selectively quoting President Bush, the advertisement
is deliberately false and misleading. Furthermore, the
British government continues to stand by its
intelligence and asserts that it believes the
intelligence is genuine.

The Democratic National Committee certainly has a
legitimate First Amendment right to participate in
political debate, but it has no right to willfully
spread false information in a deliberate attempt to
mislead the American people. These advertisements will
not be run by legally qualified candidates; therefore,
your station is under no legal obligation to air them.
On the contrary, as an FCC licensee you have the
responsibility to exercise independent editorial
judgment to not only oversee and protect the American
marketplace of ideas, essential for the health of our
democracy, but also to avoid deliberate
misrepresentations of the facts. Such obligations must
be taken seriously.

This letter puts you on notice that the information
contained in the above-cited advertisement is false
and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to
refrain from airing this advertisement.

Caroline C. Hunter
Republican National Committee


Posted by richard at 12:23 PM

July 21, 2003

Some Dare Call It Treason

It is hard to keep it all straight. That's the
intended effect. The flacks around
(black ops wet work? but whose?)
vis-a-vis Dr. Kelly, seemed to have succeeded into
turning the BBC's brave (for them) reporting into an
issue about their credibility instead of
credibility. Meanwhile, CIA Director George TooNice,
who took responsibility (afterall, there is no
President, only a _resident) for the "sixteen words"
(of course, there are 120+ words that constituted
untruths in the disputed SOTU)went up to Capitol
Hill, and behind closed doors, pointed his finger back
at the White House and said a National Security
Council staffer insisted the Niger Uranium story stay
in...We know this from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois)
who was behind those closed doors...But there is
precious little about it in the "US mainstream news
media." It was reported for a day, denied by the White
House and buried...along with so many other outrages,
including the one detailed in this marvelous Buzzflash
editorial....Tell me, how do you think Charles Wilson
and his wife feel -- in the light, or perhaps more
appropriately, in the shadows of what happened to Dr.
Kelly? How do you think other potential whistleblowers
feel in the shadow of Dr. Kelly's fate?



Some Dare Call It Treason

A Story of Two Unidentified "Senior Administration" Officials Who Allegedly Betrayed the National Security of the United States: No Response from the White House, and No Coverage in the Mainstream Press.


If David Corn, the Washington editor for The Nation is correct in his suspicions, two unidentified "senior administration officials" are guilty of betraying our national security. (see A White House Smear)

What is their crime against the people of the United States of America, if it is true? It would be an unforgivable treason: these two Bush administration officials allegedly revealed the identity of a CIA operative to conservative columnist Bob Novak, who printed her name in his syndicated newspaper column. (See The Mission to Niger)

The outing most likely rendered her future, present -- and much of her past work -- useless in helping to protect the people of this nation. What is the specialty of this alleged CIA operative? Tracking the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction.

This is a story that reveals an alleged act of cynical treason by at least two senior Bush administration officials. In a conversation that BuzzFlash had with Corn, a top-notch political journalist whose "Capital Games" column we link to frequently, Corn cautioned BuzzFlash that one can't ascertain if the CIA operative "outing" was approved by other administration officials, including Bush. On the other hand, Corn noted that the White House has not refuted the information in Novak's column. Furthermore, if the information is true -- and Novak told Corn that he stands by his sources -- the White House hasn't fired anyone or taken the first steps toward prosecuting the "senior administration officials" in question. If this is all some bizarre misunderstanding, then the White House should clear the allegations up right quick. But they haven't, according to Corn.

Yes, it is once again a probable Bush administration betrayal that is so horrifyingly ironic, hypocritical, cynical, and destructive that it is hard to comprehend. Two Bush administration officials allegedly render a CIA operative useless, whose specialty is providing valuable information on exactly the threat that the Bush administration continues to insist justified the invasion of Iraq: Weapons of Mass Destruction.

If Corn's analysis is true, which it appears to be, why did the two senior Bush administration officials betray the security of the nation and "burn" a CIA operative with expertise in WMD? For two reasons, apparently: revenge and intimidation. The revenge part is explained by the fact that the alleged CIA operative is the wife of Joseph Wilson, who was a former ambassador who revealed to the Washington Post that he had informed the CIA that the Niger uranium claims were probably fraudulent. The key point in his revelation was that he had revealed this long before the infamous State of the Union address that was riddled with lies and deceptions. The other reason that the Bush officials outed his wife (although Wilson would not acknowledge to Corn that his wife is a CIA operative, but would only speak in hypotheticals) was, he believes, to intimidate others, including CIA agents and intelligence officers, from coming forth with the truth.

If true, it's the latest, and most treasonous, mafia tactic that the Bush administration has been using to intimidate patriotic Americans: "Mess with us and we will have no compunction about betraying the national security. Our first priority is enforcement of loyalty to this administration and George W. Bush, not the nation. We will intimidate and punish anyone who is disloyal, whatever the costs to America's security. We will go as far as we need to go in achieving our objectives. If you think we won't do it because it will hurt national security, we will, if that's what it takes to protect Bush and carry out our objectives."

Yes, their message is that blunt. In an editorial we wrote about why the Bush Cartel was going to invade Iraq, we observed:

In the end the Bush Cartel is banking on making the kind of impression on the world that a thug makes with a baseball bat on a car.

It's all about image and firepower. It's how the playground bully establishes himself. Pick the weakest guy in the school -- the one nobody likes much anyway -- and beat the living daylights out of him. Keep all the kids nervous and on edge. Let them think that you are a little bit mad and might just beat up on them for the fun of it. Tell them that you will protect them from the gang that lives in the next neighborhood in return for their loyalty. Make an example of anyone who challenges your leadership by denouncing them and bloodying them up. Establish a system of stool pigeons. Rummage through lockers, at your will, for any signs of betrayal. Issue warnings from time-to-time about how you have information that the other gang has plans to rape your mothers and sisters, and lay waste to your homes -- and that is why you need to trust in the playground bully from your school, because he will protect your mothers and sisters from the gang that few have ever actually encountered.

(See Muscle Beach Party)

Outing a CIA operative who specializes in tracking the trafficking of WMDs, thus rendering her useless as a CIA operative is mindboggling unless you understand that the Bush Administration is run more like a mob outfit than an elected government loyal to the United States.

After all, the true heroes -- of all people -- emerging from the Bush multiple-lie scandal are members of the intelligence community who value their professionalism and the integrity of their analysis. In essence, the Bush administration has made the CIA its enemy. According to a Guardian report, Bush or Cheney allowed Rumsfeld to put together an ad hoc "propaganda" intelligence unit (the Office of Special Plans) run out of his office for the purpose of giving skewed intelligence information that would justify a war with Iraq.

Given the fact of an obsessive media focus on one 16-word lie in a sea of Bush administration lies, we asked Corn why he thought that the media wasn't picking up on his story at all? How could the print media, in particular, ignore a likely bombshell scandal about members of the Bush administration who destroyed the usefulness of a CIA intelligence officer specializing in the very issue that the administration claimed it went to war about? How could they pass over an alleged act of treason in the Bush administration that likely damaged our national security and hunt for WMDs, now and in the future?

"I've been a journalist for 20 years in D.C., and I still can't predict what the media will pick up on," Corn told us. Still, the absence of mainstream media coverage about two Bush officials allegedly betraying our national security did leave Corn scratching his head a little. After all, he repeated, blowing her cover "undermined her past, present and future operations, which are all geared to protecting the citizens of the United States from Weapons of Mass Destruction."

As for the perennial question of why the Democrats aren't demanding an investigation of the outing of the CIA operative by Bush administration officials, Corn told BuzzFlash, "I long ago stopped asking the question: 'Why didn't the Democrats do -- well, you can fill in the blank.'"

BuzzFlash picked up the Chicago Sun-Times (a pro-Iraq war, pro-Bush Hollinger paper) on Sunday morning, July 20th, and its front page was almost entirely devoted to the sexual attack charges against Kobe Bryant, entitled "Kobe's Future In, On Court." The only other two items were: a large headline, "Catching Music Pirates: Is Your Kid Next?"; and a teaser headline for a story on the return of Scottie Pippen to the Chicago Bulls. That was it for the front page of the tabloid size newspaper.

So let's get this straight: two senior Bush administration officials allegedly undermine our national security by publicly identifying a CIA intelligence officer whose specialty is WMD. In doing so, they betray our personal safety and they betray the CIA. The American media, with the exception of David Corn's column in "The Nation," however, believes that such a story doesn't have "news value." But full court press coverage, with multiple articles on Kobe Bryant's "little problem," is worthy of page one treatment.

It's not only the two Bush administration officials who appear to have betrayed America by rendering a CIA operative useless; the media has enabled their alleged treason by not probing the "burning" of a CIA operative and exposing the truth -- one way or the other -- to the light of day.

Yes, some dare call it treason, but you won't see it on the nightly news -- and that's a form of treason in and of itself.


Posted by richard at 01:43 PM

Bush Ready to Wreck Ozone Layer Treaty

What will the Green Party do in 2004? We can only
expect the worst. Ralph Nada has not donned a sack
cloth and gone through the streets of Fraudida begging
forgiveness. He has not even retracted his naked and
craven lie that there would be no difference between
Bush and Gore. And what can we expect from a party that had someone running against Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) in a closely contested race, prior to his tragic and suspicious death...Meanwhile, as the global warming crisis
intensifies, it is wholly ignored by the _resident who
simply mouths lies about environment science just as
he mouths lies about Iraq, 9/11, soaring joblessness
and massive federal debt. Now, the small-minded,
mean-spirited little man who tore up the Kyoto accords
is going to tear apart the ozone treaty as well...And,
in another pitiful display of his impotence,
the-shell-of-a-man-formerly-known-as-Tony-Blair ca't
stop him...Of course, as we move closer to the 2004
election, and the _resident continues to plummet in
the polls (even the cooked ones), the American public
could dissuade the _resident (at least for now), but
alas the "US mainstream news media" just can't seem to
squeeze it in between Scott Peterson and Kobe
Bryant...The "conventional wisdom" says that the
Environment is not a big ticket political issue, as in
much of what passes as "conventional wisdom," this
notion is very wrong. It should be one of the four
aspects of the one over-riding issue -- SECURITY, i.e.
national security, economic security, social security
and environmental security.


Published on Sunday, July 20, 2003 by the Independent
Bush Ready to Wreck Ozone Layer Treaty - US Slips in
Demand to Drop Ban on Harmful Pesticide
by Geoffrey Lean

President George Bush is targeting the international
treaty to save the ozone layer which protects all life
on earth from deadly radiation, The Independent on
Sunday can reveal.

New US demands - tabled at a little-noticed meeting in
Montreal earlier this month - threaten to unravel one
of the greatest environmental success stories of the
past few decades, causing millions of deaths from

The news comes at a particularly embarrassing time for
the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who pressed the
President in their talks in Washington last week to
stop his attempts to sabotage the Kyoto Protocol which
sets out to control global warming: one of the few
international issues on which they differ.

Now, instead of heeding Mr Blair, Mr Bush is
undermining the ozone treaty as well, by seeking to
perpetuate the use of the most ozone-destructive
chemical still employed in developed countries,
otherwise soon to be phased out. Ironically, it was
sustained pressure from the Reagan administration, in
which Mr Bush's father served as vice-president, that
ensured the treaty was adopted in the first place. It
has proved such a success that environmentalists have
long regarded it as inviolable.

The ozone layer - made of a type of oxygen so thinly
scattered through the upper atmosphere that, if
gathered all together, it would form a ring around the
earth no thicker than the sole of a shoe - screens out
the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays which would,
otherwise, wipe out terrestrial life. As it weakens,
more of the rays get through, causing skin cancer and
blindness from cataracts.

The world was shocked to discover in the 1980s that
pollution from man-made chemicals had opened a hole
the size of the United States in the layer above
Antarctica, and had thinned it worldwide. Led by the
US, nations moved with unprecedented speed to agree
the treaty, called the Montreal Protocol, in 1987 -
which started the process of phasing out use of the

The measures have been progressively tightened ever
since. Scientists reckon that they will eventually
prevent 2 million cases of cancer a year in the US and
Europe alone. But President Bush's new demands
threaten to throw the process into reverse.

They centre on a pesticide, methyl bromide, now the
greatest attacker of ozone left in industrialised
countries. The US is responsible for a quarter of the
world's consumption of the chemical, which has also
been linked with increased prostate cancers in

Under an extension to the Montreal Protocol, agreed in
1997, the pesticide is being gradually phased out and
replaced with substitutes; its use in the West is due
to end completely in 2005. Nations are legally allowed
to extend the use of small amounts in "critical"
applications, but the US is demanding exemptions far
beyond those permitted, for uses ranging from growing
strawberries to tending golf courses.

It is also pressing to exploit a loophole in the
treaty - allowing the use of the chemical to treat
wood packaging - so that, instead of being phased out,
its use would increase threefold.

The demands now go to an international conference in
Nairobi this autumn. Experts fear that, if agreed, the
treaty will begin to fall apart, not least because
developing countries - which are following rich
nations in phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals -
could cease their efforts.

"The US is reneging on the agreement, and working
very, very hard to get other countries to agree," said
David Doniger, a former senior US government official
dealing with ozone issues, who now works for the
Natural Resources Defense Council. "If it succeeds, it
threatens to unravel the whole fabric of the treaty."
Dr Joe Farman, the Cambridge scientist who discovered
the Antarctic ozone hole, added: "This is madness. We
do not need this chemical. We do need the ozone layer.
How stupid can people be?"

© 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd


Posted by richard at 01:36 PM

BBC says Kelly was weapons source

On Saturday, LNS was front and center with raised fist
at the first rally to defend the duly elected Governor
of California against a $30 million right-wing
financed "recall" effort being fueled by the
foolishness of the Green Party (who are frittering
away an historic opportunity to demonstrate some
political acumen and some mature principles by uniting
in a center/left coalition against extremism).
This morning, before I clicked on to the BBC, I scoped
out SeeNotNews just to see if the fix had deterioated
any further and to see what the propaganda feed was
proffering today...Two more US soldiers died in Iraq
(for what?)...There was also a fascinating piece on
Americans leaving for Canada ("Dismayed Americans
contemplate Canada") because Canada stood for what
America was supposed to stand for (Canada, of course,
unlike Australia, stood up to the _resident on Iraq).
One woman said, "I don't want to stay and fight
anymore. I can have that bittersweet love for my
country from somewhere else."
Meanwhile, keep the focus on Dr. Kelly's mysterious
death serendipitiously occuring while the _resident
and the shell of man formerly known as Tony Blair met
in D.C. to a) get their stories straight, and b) have
the shell of a man formerly known as Tony Blair
deliver the speech that the _resident is incapable of
delivering...Consider Kelly's e-mail to the NYTwits a
few hours before his death, consider the remarks of
the Labour Party's Glenda Jackson (who resigned from
the government of the shell of a man formerly known as
Tony Blair) and CONSIDER most SERIOUSLY the remarks of
Richard Butler (Hans Blix's predecessor)..."Out, out
damn spot."


BBC says Kelly was weapons source
The BBC has disclosed that Dr David Kelly was the
principal source for its controversial report claiming
Downing Street "sexed up" an Iraq weapons dossier.
BBC director of news Richard Sambrook broke the news
after speaking to the family of the Iraq weapons
expert, who was found dead on Friday.

He said the corporation believed it correctly
interpreted and reported the information obtained from
Dr Kelly during interviews.

Mr Sambrook said the BBC had, until now, owed Dr Kelly
a duty of confidentiality and was "profoundly sorry"
that his involvement as the source for the reports had
ended in tragedy.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking as he left Korea
for China, said: "I am pleased that the BBC has made
this announcement. Whatever the differences, no one
wanted this tragedy to happen.

We can confirm that Dr Kelly was the principal source
for both Andrew Gilligan's report and for Susan Watts'
reports on Newsnight
Richard Sambrook
BBC Director of News

"I know that everyone, including the BBC, have been
shocked by it. The independent Hutton Inquiry has been
set up, it will establish the facts.
"In the meantime our attitude should be one of respect
and restraint, no recrimination, with the Kelly family
uppermost in our minds at this time."

Earlier Mr Blair said he would accept responsibility
for all the actions of government ministers and
officials, but ruled out recalling Parliament.

Police confirmed on Saturday Dr Kelly, a senior
Ministry of Defence adviser, had bled to death from a
cut to his wrist.

'Not source'

In an e-mail reportedly sent to a New York Times
journalist hours before his death, Dr Kelly had
apparently warned of "many dark actors playing games".

The Sunday Times says Dr Kelly told one of its
reporters that he felt betrayed by the leaking of his
name by the Ministry of Defence and was under
"intolerable" pressure by being placed at the centre
of the weapons row.

In the end the government is my responsibility and I
can assure you the judge will be able to get to what
facts, what people, what papers he wants
Tony Blair
Prime minister
Last week Dr Kelly had told MPs he had spoken to BBC
reporter Andrew Gilligan, but said he did not believe
he was the main source for a story about claims that a
dossier on Iraq had been "sexed up" to boost public
support for military action.
He told the MPs: "From the conversation I had I don't
see how he could make the authoritative statement he
was making from the comments I made."

According to television journalist Tom Mangold, a
friend, Dr Kelly believed he was the source for about
60% of Mr Gilligan's report.


The government has set up an independent judicial
inquiry, led by Lord Hutton, into the circumstances
surrounding Dr Kelly's death. Both Mr Blair and the
BBC have said they will cooperate fully.

The BBC statement prompted Dr Kelly's local MP, Tory
Robert Jackson, to call for the resignation of the BBC
chairman Gavyn Davies.

Ex-Labour minister Glenda Jackson has called for Tony
Blair to quit, saying the blame for Dr Kelly's death
lay with Downing Street, which, she said, used a
battle with the BBC to divert attention from the
failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has called for
Parliament to be recalled and for a broadening of the
inquiry to investigate the government's handling of
intelligence on Iraq.
But the prime minister told Sky News' Sunday With Adam
Boulton programme that a recall of Parliament would
"generate more heat than light" and that Dr Kelly's
family should be allowed time to grieve.

Mr Blair said he would take responsibility for the
actions of officials such as his communications
director Alastair Campbell: "In the end the government
is my responsibility and I can assure you the judge
will be able to get to what facts, what people, what
papers he wants."

He added: "At the present time this is far more
something to do with the personal tragedy of Dr Kelly
and I think that's actually what should be uppermost
in our minds and has been in mine."

Asked if he had the appetite to go on as prime
minister, Mr Blair replied: "Absolutely."


Dr Kelly's family said he was a "loving, private and
dignified" man and appealed for time to grieve.

His body was discovered in woodland near his
Oxfordshire home on Friday morning, with a knife and a
packet of painkillers close by.

Events over recent weeks made David's life intolerable
and all of those involved should reflect long and hard
on this fact
Kelly family statement

Richard Butler, former chief UN weapons inspector,
said it appeared the British, American and Australian
governments had "pumped up" the threat in the run-up
to war.
Mr Butler told BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend
that Dr Kelly, a friend and colleague, was a "good
man... of probity and integrity".

"It follows logically from that, if he thought that
things were being pumped up, he would have objected to

Dr Kelly is survived by his wife, Janice, and three
daughters Sian, 32, and 30-year-old twins Rachel and

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2003/07/20 16:20:21 GMT


Posted by richard at 01:34 PM

To Show Loyalty, Rice Lies for Bush

Ten thousand (at least) Shiites marched in an
anti-American protest in Iraq yesterday (will
Woefullwitz be held accountable for his promise that
the US would be welcomed as "liberators"), and yes,
two more US soldiers died in over night (for
what?)...The _resident's poll numbers continue to
slide...Even Dick LoseHeart (D-Misery) now says the
_resident is the worse "president" he has served
with...Too bad it didn't occur to him way back in
the build-up to Iraq, when he turned from principles,
party and country to stand next to Bush in the Rose
Garden to bang the drums of a foolish, unnecessary
war. Meanwhile, the White House au pair, Condi Rice,
has lost whatever credibility she had (of course,
how much credibility should you have with a Chevron
tanker named after you) with her numerous blunders or
lies (take your pick, either way, they are
indefensible). And yet, the "US mainstream news media"
allows her to show up on most Sunday mornings and
shill to the propapunditgandists without having to
answer to a reasoned, well-documented timeline of her
errors or prevarications (take your pick, either way
it is inexcusable)...It is sad, almost as sad as the
sorry state of Secretary of Stone Calm 'Em
Powell...Here is some documentation...


To Show Loyalty, Rice Lies for Bush
by Joe Conason

According to contemporary political lore, the Bush clan exalts loyalty above every other virtue. Other politicians envy that inviolable code, whose power is reflected in the absence of leaks from the White House, in the lockstep obedience of politicians in Congress and around the country, and in the enormous cash donations from hundreds of wealthy "friends." This is how dynasties are built to endure.

But at the highest level, in the inner councils, such feudal allegiances often require awful sacrifice and compromise. For those who now work for George W. Bush, loyalty means surrendering professional integrity and accepting public humiliation. Loyalty means uttering words and phrases that nobody can believe. Loyalty means misleading the people and the press about the gravest matters of state.

Loyalty means lying.

Consider the poignant case of Condoleezza Rice, who entered this administration as a respected academic expert on Russian affairs and the former provost of Stanford University. Unlike some of the figures around the President, Dr. Rice had no serious blots on her reputation when she was appointed national security advisor. From a family that suffered the indignities and deprivations of segregated Alabama, she has long been admired as an African-American woman who rose by dint of personal effort and scholarly ability as well as affirmative action. The list of honors, degrees, directorships and other achievements on her official résumé is extraordinary.

After serving in the first Bush White House on the National Security Council, and then a stint in the 2000 campaign as a discreet adviser on foreign affairs, she had come to be regarded by the political clan as among its most reliable members. Sometimes she almost appeared to have been adopted by the President and his family.

But during the past two years of international crisis, Dr. Rice has been dispatched to prevaricate repeatedly in defense of her boss. She was caught spreading a false story about Sept. 11, claiming that Air Force One flew the President to Oklahoma after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon because "intelligence" indicated that terrorists were aiming for the White House and the Presidential jet. Later she testified that the U.S. government had never anticipated an assault by airliner, when in fact there had been many warnings of exactly such tactics—most notably during the summer of 2001, when Western intelligence services set up anti-aircraft batteries around the Genoa summit to protect the President.

Memories are short in this country, so Dr. Rice escaped those embarrassing incidents with her reputation more or less intact. Then last year, as the determination of the White House to wage war on Iraq became plain, she began to promote dubious stories about Saddam Hussein’s regime. As national security advisor, she had access to all of the sensitive intelligence about Iraq, so the press and Congress took her pronouncements seriously.

More than anyone other than the President himself, Dr. Rice stoked fears about a "mushroom cloud" rising over an American city unless the U.S. waged war on Iraq. To promote such dread, she warned that a shipment of aluminum tubes purchased by the Iraqis could only be intended for a uranium-enrichment device. Long after the International Atomic Energy Authority debunked that claim, the national security advisor continued to insist that it must be true.

Still, she had gotten away with those whoppers as well, thanks to the complaisant national press corps. Lately, however, she has engaged in deceptions that are too obvious and too simple to ignore. Not only is she responsible for the false allegation about Niger uranium in the State of the Union address, but she dishonorably forced C.I.A. director George Tenet to say that was his fault rather than hers.

Dr. Rice knew that the C.I.A. had questioned the veracity of the Niger uranium tale. She knew because Mr. Tenet had warned her deputy, Stephen Hadley, of its dubious quality three months earlier. Yet she permitted that sentence to be uttered by the President. Now she tells us that those 16 words were "accurate" because the information was attributed to British intelligence. She wants us to believe that until last month she had never heard about the mission to Niger undertaken by former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who reported back to the C.I.A. and the State Department that the Niger uranium story was a fake.

But neither she nor the President, nor anyone else in authority, ever cared whether that story was true. It merely served a purpose, like the "aluminum tubes" allegation, and the assertion that Saddam was assisting Al Qaeda, and the other prewar "intelligence" myths designed to excite belligerence and undermine the U.N. inspection process.

Dr. Rice played her role in that campaign with consummate loyalty indeed. She continues to do so, and in the process she has damaged herself permanently for an unscrupulous family of politicians. I hope they’re grateful.

You may reach Joe Conason via email at: jconason@observer.com.

Posted by richard at 01:25 PM

July 18, 2003

Body 'matches' Iraq expert

The crackdown intensifies...Is the Hatfield Factor in
play? Has Dr. David Kelly been Wellstoned? Or is this just
another "personal tragedy" like the Enron executive who
was going to sing to investigators and *chose* instead
to "commit suicide" (or so the official report from
the Sugarland, Texas police claimed)...Remember, 2+2=4


Body 'matches' Iraq expert

Police searching for the weapons expert suggested as
the possible source for a BBC story on Iraq say the
body they have found matches Dr David Kelly's
appearance. The government says an independent
judicial inquiry will be held into the circumstances
of his death if the body is confirmed to be that of Dr

The body was found at 0920 BST by a member of the
police team searching for Dr Kelly in a wooded area at
Harrowdown Hill, near Faringdon, Oxfordshire.

Government adviser Dr Kelly, 59, has denied being the
source of a BBC story on claims that a dossier on Iraq
was "sexed up".

He left his home in Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxfordshire,
at about 1500 BST on Thursday and his family reported
him missing at 2345 BST the same day.

The body was found lying on the ground, around five
miles from Dr Kelly's home, a police spokeswoman said.

Acting superintendent Dave Purnell said formal
identification would take place on Saturday and the
case was being treated as an "unexplained death".

"We will be awaiting the results of the post mortem
and also waiting while the forensic examination
continues at the scene at Harrowdown Hill," he added.


The government announcement of an inquiry if the body
is Dr Kelly's came from the prime minister's plane as
he flew for a visit to Tokyo.

Mr Blair's spokesman said: "The prime minister is
obviously very distressed for the family.

"If it is Dr Kelly's body, the Ministry of Defence
will hold an independent judicial inquiry into the
circumstances leading up to his death."

Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said Mr Blair should
consider cutting short his trip to the Far East.

1500 BST: Told wife going for a walk near their home
2345 BST: Police informed he is missing

Robert Jackson, the Conservative MP in whose
constituency Dr Kelly lived, said the "responsibility
of the BBC should not go unmentioned" in the case.

"The pressure was significantly increased by the fact
the BBC refused to make it clear he was not the
source," he said.

A BBC spokesman said: "We are shocked and saddened to
hear what has happened and we extend our deepest
sympathies to Dr Kelly's family and friends.

"Whilst Dr Kelly's family await the formal
identification, it would not be appropriate for us to
make any further statement."

Earlier this week, Dr Kelly denied being the BBC's
main source for the story claiming Downing Street had
"sexed up" the dossier about Iraqi weapons of mass

MPs on the Commons foreign affairs committee, which
questioned Dr Kelly earlier this week, reacted with
shock and disbelief at news of his disappearance.

Huge media attention has been on Dr Kelly since the
Ministry of Defence said he had come forward to admit
meeting Andrew Gilligan, the BBC correspondent behind
the controversial Iraq story.

Mr Gilligan said a source had told him that the
dossier on Iraq had been "transformed" by Downing

The BBC correspondent has refused to name his source,
but the MoD said Dr Kelly had come forward to say it
may have been him.


Government ministers have said they believe he was the
source for Mr Gilligan's story.

Supt Purnell said a police family liaison officer is
with Dr Kelly's family. The official and wife Janice
have three daughters, Sian, 32, and twins Rachel and
Ellen, 30.

Ann Lewis, a neighbour of Dr Kelly, told BBC News
Online she was "devastated" for his family, especially
his children.

He is not used to the media glare, he is not used to
the intense spotlight he has been put under
Richard Ottaway
Tory MP

She said: "He was a quiet man. He was a man who showed
great care and concern for others."
Craig Foster, 36, landlord of the Blue Boar public
house in nearby Longworth, said Dr Kelly was "a very
well liked gentleman".

Police say Dr Kelly is an avid walker and has good
local knowledge of the many footpaths surrounding his

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: "We are aware
that Dr David Kelly has gone missing and we are
obviously concerned."

The ministry said Dr Kelly had at no point been
threatened with suspension or dismissal for speaking
to Mr Gilligan.

It was made clear to him that he had broken civil
service rules by having unauthorised contact with a
journalist, but "that was the end of it", said a

Downing Street says "normal personnel procedures" were
followed after Dr Kelly volunteered that he might have
been the source of Mr Gilligan's report.
It was made clear to Dr Kelly that his name was likely
to become public knowledge because he was one of only
a small number of people it could have been about, a
spokesman said.

After questioning Dr Kelly earlier this week, the
Commons foreign affairs select committee said it was
"most unlikely" he was the main source for the BBC

And they said Dr Kelly, who has worked as a weapons
inspector in Iraq, had been "poorly treated" by the
government - a charge strongly rejected by the MoD.

There must be more to this than we had thought. I do
not know what that means, I just think there is
John Maples
Foreign affairs committee

Committee chairman Donald Anderson told the BBC his
"heart went out" to Dr Kelly's family as the search
for the official went on.
Another member of the committee, Tory John Maples said
he was "speechless" after hearing of the discovery of
a body.

"If it is (Dr Kelly), it is just awful. What can you
say? Nothing," he said.

"There must be more to this than we had thought. I do
not know what that means, I just think there is."

Tory MP Richard Ottaway, another committee member,
said: "He is not used to the media glare, he is not
used to the intense spotlight he has been put under."


Body 'matches' Iraq expert

The BBC has rejected Mr Anderson's claim that Mr
Gilligan was an "unreliable witness" who had changed
his story about the Iraq dossier claims when he met
the committee in private on Thursday.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2003/07/18 14:54:03 GMT


Posted by richard at 09:26 AM

Media Underplays U.S. Death Toll in Iraq - Soldiers Dead Since May Is 3 Times Official Count

Yesterday, SeeNotNews reported on the White House's
plan to fight back against the Democrats and others
who dare to criticize its unilateral, "pre-emptive"
war in Iraq. VICE _resident Cheney is, of course,
central to the plan. He is the Enforcer. When he
threatens you, indirectly in a speech or an interview,
you are supposed to sit down and shut up (you might get Wellstoned).
Now, 24 hours later, we are seeing some
evidence of the White House's plan in action: someone
at the White House tipped off Matt Drudge that Jeffrey
Kofman, the ABC reporter who did the powerful piece on
US GIs anger at Donald Rumsfeld, is not only gay but
Canadian (Washington Post,
someone at the White House tipped off Robert Novak
that the wife of Charles Wilson, the former US
ambassador who forced out the truth on the Niger
uranium hoax, is a CIA operative on WMDs, thus
endangering her life in a way that is unprecendented
-- indeed, the excuse given for not revealing more
alleged intel is that it could endanger the lives of
CIA personnel (The Nation,
General Abizaid, who just took over Central Command,
says that any US GIs who critiicize the _resident or
any of his cronies will suffer disciplinary action of
some kind (New York Daily News,
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/story/101565p-91932c.html)...Yes, the crackdown is coming. They are trying to discourage more Charles Wilsons, Greg Thielmans, Rand Beers, etc. from coming forth. Attacking the Bushes can be hazardous to your health.
I call it the Hatfield Effect. Why? Oh, just do some
research on the fate of "Fortunate Son" and its author
Jim Hatfield...There is no Independent Prosecutor
statue (Ken Starr was victorious in that aspect of his
mission), there will be no open or aggressive
Congressional investigations while both Houses remain
in the iron grip. So you can expect the crackdown to
get worse before it gets better. It is up to the "US
mainstream news media" to report some semblance of the
truth and the facts onj the ground. Perhaps now,
because the economic and national security of the US
is so imperiled by the _resident and the neo-con wet
dreamers he has turned the engines of war over too,
the media's corporate overlords themselves are beginning to
fear the worst and will therefore loosen the leashes
on their news departments...Meanwhile, in Iraq, the
situation is even worse than is being report...Please
read the following from "Editors and Publishers" and
pass it on...

JULY 17, 2003
Media Underplays U.S. Death Toll in Iraq - Soldiers Dead Since May Is 3 Times Official Count

By Greg Mitchell

NEW YORK -- News Analysis

Any way you look at it, the news is bad enough.
According to Thursday's press and television reports,
33 U.S. soldiers have now died in combat since
President Bush declared an end to the major fighting
in the war on May 2. This, of course, is a tragedy for
the men killed and their families, and a problem for
the White House.

But actually the numbers are much worse -- and rarely reported by the media.

According to official military records, the number of
U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq since May 2 is
actually 85. This includes a staggering number of
non-combat deaths. Even if killed in a non-hostile
action, these soldiers are no less dead, their
families no less aggrieved. And it's safe to say that
nearly all of these people would still be alive if
they were still back in the States. Nevertheless, the
media continues to report the much lower figure of 33
as if those are the only deaths that count.

A Web site called Iraq Coalition Casualty Count
(http://lunaville.org/warcasualties/Summary.aspx) is
tracking the deaths, by whatever cause, of U.S.
military personnel in Iraq, based on official Pentagon
and CENTCOM press releases and Army Times and CNN
casualty trackers. Their current count is 85 since May

Looking at the entire war, there was much fanfare
Thursday over the fact that the latest U.S. combat
death this week pushed the official total to 148 --
finally topping the 147 figure for Gulf War 1.
However, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty
Count, the total number of all U.S. deaths, combat and
otherwise, in Iraq is actually 224.

This Web site not only counts deaths, it describes
each one in whatever detail (often sketchy) the
military provides, along with the name and age and
home town of each fatality.

An analysis of the 85 deaths by E&P reveals that
nearly as many U.S. military personnel have died in
vehicle accidents (17) as from gunshot wounds (19).
Ten have died after grenade attacks and seven from
accidental explosions, another seven in helicopter
crashes. Six were killed by what is described as
"non-hostile" gunshots, and three have drowned.

The vast majority of those killed -- at least 70% --
were age 18 to 30 but several soldiers in their 40s or
50s have also perished. Pentagon officials also
disclosed that there have been about five deaths among
troops assigned to the Iraq mission that commanders
say might have been suicides. As inquiries continue,
one official said the susupected suicides were not
clustered in any single time period that might
indicate a related cause.

The most recent non-combat death was Cory Ryan Geurin,
age 18, a Marine lance corporal from Santee, Calif.
"He was standing post on a palace roof in Babylon when
he fell approximately 60 feet," the site said.

On July 13, Jaror C. Puello-Coronado, 36, an Army
sergeant, died while "manning a traffic point when the
operator of a dump truck lost control of the vehicle."

Another soldier, still officially listed as "Unknown,"
died on July 13 "from a non-hostile gunshot incident,"
according to the site.

Before that, on July 9, another Marine Lance Corporal,
age 20, died in Kuwait "in a vehicle accident."

Many other deaths are only vaguely described as the
"result of non-combat injuries." One recent death
occurred in a mine-clearing accident. Others "drowned"
or "died of natural causes," and still others lost
their lives in a "vehicle accident."
E&P welcomes letters to the editor:

Source: Editor & Publisher Online

Greg Mitchell (gmitchell@editorandpublisher.com) is
editor of E&P.

Posted by richard at 08:19 AM

July 17, 2003

The Press Gives Bush A Free Ride On His Lies

One of the biggest problems we face in this struggle
is lack of continuity from news cycle to news cycle
and from year to year...For example, it is never
pointed out in the "US mainstream news media" that
Calm 'Em Powell promised under oath at his
confirmation hearings that the Clinton-Gore initiative
on peace talks with the North Koreans would be
continued in the bi-partisan tradition of US foreign
policy. Of course, shortly thereafter, the _resident
broke off those negotiations, and then after 9/11
declared North Korea part of the "Axis of Evil,"
tweaking the disturbed little man in Pyongyang and
starting the chain reaction that has led to a crisis n
the Korean penninsula far more immediate than any
potential threat that existed in Iraq. In short, the
_resident turned the North Korean nuclear weapons
program back on...The "US mainstream news media" never
looks back at what was said in the Gore-Bush debates in 2000, and so who
remembers what Gore warned us about in regard to the
huge surpluses created under the previous
administration? Now we have huge deficits that will
grow for decades to come. We would not have had these
deficits under Gore (the man who was elected). We
would have had the money to fight Al-Qaeda and spend
on pressing domestic concerns and still survive an
economic downturn that would not have been so severe.
And of course, we would not have needed the money for
a multi-billion dollar monthly tab in occupied
Iraq...So there is no continuity. The _resident and
his cabal are giving free reign. There is so
circumspection. The only reason one lie (16 words) in
the SOTU speech is being highlighted in the "US
mainstream news media" is because US soldiers are
shedding their blood. And of course, there are at
least 120+ words constituting lies in the SOTU. It
will be interesting to see if and when this fact dawns
on the "US mainstream news media." How many more US
soldiers will have to die before the news media
attacks aggresively? Do not cut the "US mainstream
news media" any slack. They are only reporting some
negative news now because the blood of US soldiers is
spotting on their que cards, their press credentials
and their drink tickets. Here is an excellent analysis
by Robert Kuttner of the Boston Globe.


Published on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 by the Boston
The Press Gives Bush A Free Ride On His Lies
by Robert Kuttner

I'M GLAD THAT the press is finally making an issue of
President Bush's knowing use of a faked intelligence
report on Iraq's supposed nuclear weapons program. But
most of the press keeps missing the behind or who
actually benefits from the tax cuts or what kind of
drug coverage the administration's Medicare amendments
will really provide or how the Bush Clear Skies Act
actually degrades clean-air standards, the press has
given the administration an astonishingly free ride.

The back story of the politicization of intelligence
has been hidden in plain view for months. Last fall,
investigative reporter Robert Dreyfuss, writing in The
American Prospect, where I am co-editor, exposed the
efforts by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to take
control of intelligence summaries from the CIA. In
March, The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh exposed the
forgery of the report, now belatedly in the headlines,
that Saddam was trying to buy uranium from Niger.

John Judis, in The New Republic, a magazine that
supported the war, pieced together other efforts to
politicize intelligence to justify the Iraq war. The
New Yorker has also exposed how George Tenet, a
Clinton appointee, has compromised his mission in his
fawning efforts to ingratiate himself with Bush and
the Pentagon.

So last week when Tenet agreed to take the fall for
Bush's use of a long-discredited intelligence report,
the maneuver stank to high heaven. But the press
initially played the story with a straight face. On
Friday, Bush declared that his speech ''was cleared by
the intelligence services.'' Tenet, in a minuet that
was obviously rehearsed and orchestrated, then issued
a statement taking responsibility and expressing
regret. Then, on Saturday, the president magnanimously
expressed his full confidence in Tenet.

An innocent reader might have been forgiven for
concluding that this ''error'' was the CIA's lapse. In
fact, the CIA was well aware that the Niger uranium
story had been fabricated. The reference to the report
in the Bush speech was the work of the war hawks at
the Pentagon and the White House, not the CIA. Indeed,
intelligence experts were so upset about this
reference that the text was the subject of word by
word negotiation. In the end, Bush's actual text,
disingenuously, attributed the report to British

The New York Times, recently buffeted by a news
fabrication scandal and a management shake-up, has
been particularly cautious about reporting the larger
story of the politicization of intelligence and the
role of Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld. That task has fallen mainly to Times

Columnist Nicholas Kristof has advanced the story more
than the Times news staff. The inimitable Maureen Dowd
declared, ''The president and Condi Rice can shuffle
the shells and blame George Tenet, but it smells of
mendacity.'' Mendacity is a polite synonym for lying.
Even Bush's toughest critics find it hard to print the
words, ''Bush lies.'' But that's the larger story.

The op-ed pages are intended for the expression of
opinion. But in the Bush era, much of the reporting
and analysis that should be Page 1 news are treated as
if they were mere opinion.

Normally the press is not reluctant to challenge the
lies of a president. The press hardly shrank from this
challenge in the Vietnam and Watergate eras. And much
of the press, overzealously, made a crusade of the
Whitewater real estate affair, virtually all of which
turned out to be a phony. Poor Al Gore got toasted for
minor exaggerations.

But Bush gets a free pass time after time. The press
holds back partly because of America's vulnerability
to terrorism, which Bush's handlers exploit
shamelessly. The administration is also very effective
at pressuring and isolating reporters who criticize
Bush, so working reporters bend over backwards to play
fair. And the administration benefits from a
stage-managed right-wing media machine that has no
counterpart on the liberal left.

The press has even stopped making a fuss over the fact
that this president has all but stopped holding press
conferences. In his Africa trip, Bush intervened to
limit questions, even as his African presidential
hosts were indicating that press questions were

Investigations of administration deceptions about how
many jobs the tax cuts will create or the actual
effects on children of high-stakes testing combined
with funding cuts or the saga of how the Pentagon
tried to take over the CIA - these are not opinions.
They are what journalism is all about.

Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect.
His column appears regularly in the Globe.

© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.

Posted by richard at 11:48 AM

Soldiers Learn They’ll Be in Baghdad Longer Than Expected

Many military officers, both active and retired spoke
out prior to the launching of this foolish war. Many
intelligence professionals and State Dept. old hands
too...Their names are scrawled on the John O'Neil wall
of heroes (I will post it soon to the site soon)...Now
it is the turn of the GIs. Men like the Staff Sgt. who
quoted by the WASHPs recently. Men like those quoted
here by (incredibly) AnythingButSee...But that's what
I mean when I say that the Bush cabal can intimidate
the US mainstream news media, but they cannot control
the weather...Here is another clap of thunder...Here
is another torrent..Yes, a perfect political storm is
brewing..."Out, out damn spot!" The woods are on the
move. They are getting closer to the castle
walls...MacBush will be removed legally (by electoral
defeat or some other constitutional process) unlike
the way he was installed...


Soldiers Learn They’ll Be in Baghdad Longer Than Expected

By Jeffrey Kofman

F A L L U J A H, Iraq, July 16— The sergeant at the
2nd Battle Combat Team Headquarters pulled me aside in
the corridor. "I've got my own 'Most Wanted' list," he
told me.

He was referring to the deck of cards the U.S.
government published, featuring Saddam Hussein, his
sons and other wanted members of the former Iraqi

"The aces in my deck are Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld,
George Bush and Paul Wolfowitz," he said.

He was referring to the four men who are running U.S.
policy here in Iraq — the four men who are ultimately
responsible for the fate of U.S. troops here.

Those four are not popular at 2nd BCT these days. It
is home to 4,000 troops from the 2nd Brigade of the
Army's 3rd Infantry Division. The soldiers were
deployed to Kuwait last September. They were among the
first troops in Baghdad during the war. And now
they've been in the region longer than other troops:
10 months and counting.

They were told they'd be going home in May. Then in
early July. Then late July. Then last week they heard
that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had
mentioned them on Capitol Hill.

"The 2nd Brigade is — the plan is that they would
return in August, having been there something like 10
months," said Rumsfeld.

He added: "The services and the Joint Staff have been
working with Central Command to develop a rotation
plan so that we can, in fact, see that we treat these
terrific young men and young women in a way that's
respectful of their lives and their circumstances."

Solid words from a solid source. Soldiers called their
families. Commanding officers began preparations.

‘I Don’t Care Anymore’

Now comes word from the Pentagon: Not so fast.

The U.S. military command in Iraq said Tuesday it
plans to complete the withdrawal of the Army's 3rd
Infantry Division by September, but officials said
they could make no hard promises because of the
unsettled state of security in Baghdad and elsewhere
in Iraq.

"If Donald Rumsfeld were sitting here in front of us,
what would you say to him?" I asked a group of
soldiers who gathered around a table, eager to talk to
a visiting reporter.

"If he was here," said Pfc. Jason Punyahotra, "I would
ask him why we're still here, why we've been told so
many times and it's changed."

In the back of the group, Spc. Clinton Deitz put up
his hand. "If Donald Rumsfeld was here," he said, "I'd
ask him for his resignation."

Those are strong words from troops used to following
orders. They say they will continue to do their job,
but they no longer seem to have their hearts in the

"I used to want to help these people," said Pfc. Eric
Rattler, "but now I don't really care about them
anymore. I've seen so much, you know, little kids
throwing rocks at you. Once you pacify an area, it
seems like the area you just came from turns bad
again. I'd like this country to be all right, but I
don't care anymore."

Wondering Why

What they care about is their families. Sgt. Terry
Gilmore had to call his wife, Stacey, this week to her
that he wouldn't be home in a few weeks to see her and
their two little children.

"When I told her, she started crying," Gilmore said,
his eyes moistening. "I mean, I almost started crying.
I felt like my heart was broken. We couldn't figure
out why they do it. Why they can keep us over here
right after they told us we were coming home."

Sgt. Felipe Vega, who oversees the platoon, sat alone
in the platoon quarters, writing a letter. A photo of
his wife, Rhonda, was taped to the wall above him.

It is Vega's job to maintain morale. That's not easy,
he told me, when the Army keeps changing the orders.

"They turn around and slap you in the face," he said.

When asked if that's the way it feels, he said, "Yeah,
kicked in the guts, slapped in the face."

Losing Faith

The 2nd Brigade originally came to Kuwait for six
months of exercises. Then they stayed to fight the
war. Like the others, Vega thought that would be the
end of it.

"What was told to us in Kuwait," he said, "was the
fastest way to go home was through Baghdad. And that's
what we did."

But more than three months later they are still here.

"Well it pretty much makes me lose faith in the Army,"
said Pfc. Jayson Punyhotra, one of the soldiers
grouped around the table. "I mean, I don't really
believe anything they tell me. If they told me we were
leaving next week, I wouldn't believe them."

Fighting words from men who are eager to put down
their weapons.

Posted by richard at 11:41 AM

Graham says Bush deceived America

Here is a brief but important AP story, posted on the
Web by a local TV station in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Yes, just the kind of media outlet, in a
"battleground" state, threatened by the recent
pro-monopoly ruling of the Bush-commandeered FCC. It
is important because Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fraudida)
has escalated his rhetoric. Graham is not a
left-winger, Graham is not a hot head. Graham is
disciplined, savvy and principled. Even more
importantly, Graham knows...so there is fire within
the billowing smoke...The _resident's ruthless
political machine has demonstrated great skill in
manipulating a gutless and compromised "US mainstream
news media. They can control the news media to some
extent, but they cannot control the weather...There is
a perfect storm brewing...


Graham says Bush deceived America%)
Miami Beach, Florida-AP -- Democratic presidential contender Bob Graham is sharply criticizing President Bush's honesty regarding Iraq.
The Florida senator says he won't use the word "lie", but he does think Bush deceived the American people.
Graham says he's talking about Bush's State of the Union address, when the president made the now-discredited claim that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium in Niger.
Graham says Bush either knew that statement was wrong or should have known it was wrong. Before the speech, the C-I-A had had no luck confirming the claim, which was based on forged documents.
Graham, speaking at the N-Double-A-C-P forum in Miami Beach, was also asked about impeachment. He says a president who knowingly deceives the public about the need for war would meet the standard for impeachment.
> Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights
> reserved.
> This material may not be published, broadcast,
> rewritten, or redistributed.

Posted by richard at 11:28 AM

July 15, 2003

Intelligence Unglued

It was a disturbing scene...The _resident, unelected,
illegitimate, incompetent, small-minded, belligerent
sitting across from Kofi Annan, carefully mouthing the
few feeble words that had been formulated for him by
Rove: "The intelligence (he stumbled on this word) I
receive is darn good intelligence." Well, actually it
is not the intelligence you receive that is being
questioned, Mr. _resident. It is what your cabal, i.e.
the VICE _resident, the White House au pair, etc.,
cooked up with it in your rush to unilateral
war...Here's the truth from some brave, outspoken
intelligence professionals...

Published on Monday, July 14, 2003 by CommonDreams.org

Intelligence Unglued
by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity


FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT: Intelligence Unglued

The glue that holds the Intelligence Community
together is melting under the hot lights of an
awakened press. If you do not act quickly, your
intelligence capability will fall apart—with grave
consequences for the nation.

The Forgery Flap

By now you are all too familiar with the play-by-play.
The Iraq-seeking-uranium-in-Niger forgery is a
microcosm of a mischievous nexus of overarching
problems. Instead of addressing these problems, your
senior staff are alternately covering up for one
another and gently stabbing one another in the back.
CIA Director George Tenet’s extracted, unapologetic
apology on July 11 was classic—I confess; she did it.

It is now dawning on our until-now somnolent press
that your national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice,
shepherds the foreign affairs sections of your
state-of-the-union address and that she, not Tenet, is
responsible for the forged information getting into
the speech. But the disingenuousness persists. Surely
Dr. Rice cannot persist in her insistence that she
learned only on June 8, 2003 about former ambassador
Joseph Wilson’s mission to Niger in February 2002,
when he determined that the Iraq-Niger report was a
con-job. Wilson’s findings were duly reported to all
concerned in early March 2002. And, if she somehow
missed that report, the New York Times’ Nicholas
Kristoff on May 6 recounted chapter and verse on
Wilson’s mission, and the story remained the talk of
the town in the weeks that followed.

Rice’s denials are reminiscent of her claim in spring
2002 that there was no reporting suggesting that
terrorists were planning to hijack planes and slam
them into buildings. In September, the joint
congressional committee on 9/11 came up with a dozen
such reports.

Secretary of State Colin Powell’s credibility, too,
has taken serious hits as continued non-discoveries of
weapons in Iraq heap doubt on his confident assertions
to the UN. Although he was undoubtedly trying to be
helpful in trying to contain the Iraq-Niger forgery
affair, his recent description of your
state-of-the-union words as “not totally outrageous”
was faint praise indeed. And his explanations as to
why he made a point to avoid using the forgery in the
way you did was equally unhelpful.

Whatever Rice’s or Powell’s credibility, it is yours
that matters. And, in our view, the credibility of the
intelligence community is an inseparably close second.
Attempts to dismiss or cover up the cynical use to
which the known forgery was put have been—well,
incredible. The British have a word for it: “dodgy.”
You need to put a quick end to the dodginess, if the
country is to have a functioning intelligence

The Vice President’s Role

Attempts at cover up could easily be seen as comical,
were the issue not so serious. Highly revealing were
Ari Fleisher’s remarks early last week, which set the
tone for what followed. When asked about the forgery,
he noted tellingly—as if drawing on well memorized
talking points—that the Vice President was not guilty
of anything. The disingenuousness was capped on
Friday, when George Tenet did his awkward best to
absolve the Vice President from responsibility.

To those of us who experienced Watergate these
comments had an eerie ring. That affair and others
since have proven that cover-up can assume proportions
overshadowing the crime itself. All the more reason to
take early action to get the truth up and out.

There is just too much evidence that Ambassador Wilson
was sent to Niger at the behest of Vice President
Cheney’s office, and that Wilson’s findings were duly
reported not only to that office but to others as

Equally important, it was Cheney who launched (in a
major speech on August 26, 2002) the concerted
campaign to persuade Congress and the American people
that Saddam Hussein was about to get his hands on
nuclear weapons—a campaign that mushroomed, literally,
in early October with you and your senior advisers
raising the specter of a “mushroom cloud” being the
first “smoking gun” we might observe.

That this campaign was based largely on information
known to be forged and that the campaign was used
successfully to frighten our elected representatives
in Congress into voting for war is clear from the
bitter protestations of Rep. Henry Waxman and others.
The politically aware recognize that the same
information was used, also successfully, in the
campaign leading up to the mid-term elections—a
reality that breeds a cynicism highly corrosive to our
political process.

The fact that the forgery also crept into your
state-of-the-union address pales in significance in
comparison with how it was used to deceive Congress
into voting on October 11 to authorize you to make war
on Iraq.

It was a deep insult to the integrity of the
intelligence process that, after the Vice President
declared on August 26, 2002 that “we know that Saddam
has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons,”
the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) produced
during the critical month of September featured a
fraudulent conclusion that “most analysts” agreed with
Cheney’s assertion. This may help explain the anomaly
of Cheney’s unprecedented “multiple visits” to CIA
headquarters at the time, as well as the many reports
that CIA and other intelligence analysts were feeling
extraordinarily great pressure, accompanied by all
manner of intimidation tactics, to concur in that
conclusion. As a coda to his nuclear argument, Cheney
told NBC’s Meet the Press three days before US/UK
forces invaded Iraq: “we believe he (Saddam Hussein)
has reconstituted nuclear weapons.”

Mr. Russert: …the International Atomic Energy Agency
said he dose not have a nuclear program; we disagree?

Vice President Cheney: I disagree, yes. And you’ll
find the CIA, for example, and other key parts of the
intelligence community disagree…we know he has been
absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear
weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted
nuclear weapons. I think Mr. ElBaradei (Director of
the IAEA) frankly is wrong.

Contrary to what Cheney and the NIE said, the most
knowledgeable analysts—those who know Iraq and nuclear
weapons—judged that the evidence did not support that
conclusion. They now have been proven right.

Adding insult to injury, those chairing the NIE
succumbed to the pressure to adduce the known forgery
as evidence to support the Cheney line, and relegated
the strong dissent of the State Department’s Bureau of
Intelligence and Research (and the nuclear engineers
in the Department of Energy) to an inconspicuous

It is a curious turn of events. The drafters of the
offending sentence on the forgery in president’s
state-of-the-union speech say they were working from
the NIE. In ordinary circumstances an NIE would be the
preeminently authoritative source to rely upon; but in
this case the NIE itself had already been cooked to
the recipe of high policy.

Joseph Wilson, the former US ambassador who visited
Niger at Cheney’s request, enjoys wide respect
(including, like several VIPS members, warm encomia
from your father). He is the consummate diplomat. So
highly disturbed is he, however, at the chicanery he
has witnessed that he allowed himself a very
undiplomatic comment to a reporter last week,
wondering aloud “what else they are lying about.”
Clearly, Wilson has concluded that the time for
diplomatic language has passed. It is clear that lies
were told. Sad to say, it is equally clear that your
vice president led this campaign of deceit.

This was no case of petty corruption of the kind that
forced Vice President Spiro Agnew’s resignation. This
was a matter of war and peace. Thousands have died.
There is no end in sight.

Recommendation #1

We recommend that you call an abrupt halt to attempts
to prove Vice President Cheney “not guilty.” His role
has been so transparent that such attempts will only
erode further your own credibility. Equally
pernicious, from our perspective, is the likelihood
that intelligence analysts will conclude that the way
to success is to acquiesce in the cooking of their
judgments, since those above them will not be held
accountable. We strongly recommend that you ask for
Cheney’s immediate resignation.

The Games Congress Plays

The unedifying dance by the various oversight
committees of the Congress over recent weeks offers
proof, if further proof were needed, that reliance on
Congress to investigate in a non-partisan way is pie
in the sky. One need only to recall that Sen. Pat
Roberts, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee,
has refused to agree to ask the FBI to investigate the
known forgery. Despite repeated attempts by others on
his committee to get him to bring in the FBI, Roberts
has branded such a move “inappropriate,” without
spelling out why.

Rep. Porter Goss, head of the House Intelligence
Committee, is a CIA alumnus and a passionate
Republican and agency partisan. Goss was largely
responsible for the failure of the joint congressional
committee on 9/11, which he co-chaired last year. An
unusually clear indication of where Goss’ loyalties
lie can be seen in his admission that after a leak to
the press last spring he bowed to Cheney’s insistence
that the FBI be sent to the Hill to investigate
members and staff of the joint committee—an
unprecedented move reflecting blithe disregard for the
separation of powers and a blatant attempt at
intimidation. (Congress has its own capability to
investigate such leaks.)

Henry Waxman’s recent proposal to create yet another
congressional investigatory committee, patterned on
the latest commission looking into 9/11, likewise
holds little promise. To state the obvious about
Congress, politics is the nature of the beast. We have
seen enough congressional inquiries into the
performance of intelligence to conclude that they are
usually as feckless as they are prolonged. And time
cannot wait.

As you are aware, Gen. Brent Scowcroft performed
yeoman’s service as National Security Adviser to your
father and enjoys very wide respect. There are few, if
any, with his breadth of experience with the issues
and the institutions involved. In addition, he has
avoided blind parroting of the positions of your
administration and thus would be seen as relatively
nonpartisan, even though serving at your pleasure. It
seems a stroke of good luck that he now chairs your
President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board

Recommendation #2

We repeat, with an additional sense of urgency, the
recommendation in our last memorandum to you (May 1)
that you appoint Gen. Brent Scowcroft, Chair of the
President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board to
head up an independent investigation into the
use/abuse of intelligence on Iraq.

UN Inspectors

Your refusal to allow UN inspectors back into Iraq has
left the international community befuddled. Worse, it
has fed suspicions that the US does not want UN
inspectors in country lest they impede efforts to
“plant” some “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq,
should efforts to find them continue to fall short.
The conventional wisdom is less conspiratorial but
equally unsatisfying. The cognoscenti in Washington
think tanks, for example, attribute your attitude to

We find neither the conspiracy nor the “pique”
rationale persuasive. As we have admitted before, we
are at a loss to explain the barring of UN inspectors.
Barring the very people with the international
mandate, the unique experience, and the credibility to
undertake a serious search for such weapons defies
logic. UN inspectors know Iraq, know the weaponry in
question, know the Iraqi scientists/engineers who have
been involved, know how the necessary materials are
procured and processed; in short, have precisely the
expertise required. The challenge is as daunting as it
is immediate; and, clearly, the US needs all the help
it can get.

The lead Wall Street Journal article of April 8 had it
right: “If the US doesn’t make any undisputed
discoveries of forbidden weapons, the failure will
feed already-widespread skepticism abroad about the
motives for going to war.” As the events of last week
show, that skepticism has now mushroomed here at home
as well.

Recommendation #3

We recommend that you immediately invite the UN
inspectors back into Iraq. This would go a long way
toward refurbishing your credibility. Equally
important, it would help sort out the lessons learned
for the intelligence community and be an invaluable
help to an investigation of the kind we have suggested
you direct Gen. Scowcroft to lead.

If Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity can
be of any further help to you in the days ahead, you
need only ask.

Ray Close, Princeton, NJ
David MacMichael, Linden, VA
Raymond McGovern, Arlington, VA

Steering Committee
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Raymond McGovern is a member of the Steering
Committee, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for
Sanity. He can be contacted at: rmcgovern@slschool.org


Posted by richard at 08:41 AM

Senators want September 11 report declassified

Just watch Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama)on this
one...I have been tracking him since the days
immediately following 9/11...Shelby and I would agree
on very little (maybe the colors in the American
flag), BUT he is a real patriot and he knows what Sen.
Graham (D-Fraudida) knows and he is not going to sit
down and shut up...There is another storm heading for
the White House, and when it merges with the Irag Lies
storm and the Economic storm, a *perfect storm* may be
emerge...sweeping away this pretender and his
cabal..."Out, out damn spot!"


Senators want September 11 report declassified
Sun Jul 13, 3:34 PM ET Add Politics - AFP to My

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Two leading senators pressed the
Bush administration to declassify an upcoming report
on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the
United States, including allegations that Saudi money
had financed militant leader Osama bin Laden (news -
web sites) and his al-Qaeda organization.

"Let the chips fall where they may... I think there
has been a dragging of feet within the administration,
in terms of declassification of this report," Senator
Carl Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed
Services Committee (news - web sites), told CNN.

"There was clearly Saudi money supporting Osama bin
Laden and the terrorist group that he led. And I think
we've got face up to that fact, the Saudis should face
up to that fact and end it. That report should be
released. It should be declassified. And that should
have happened, actually, months ago."

Speaking on the same program, Senator Richard Shelby,
the Republican vice chairman of the Senate's Select
Committee on Intelligence, concurred.

"There are a lot of high people in Saudi Arabia, over
the years, that have aided and abetted Osama bin Laden
and his group," he noted. "And they've done it through
charities, they've done it directly and everything

"I think that we have got to follow the money. We've
got to follow whoever is supporting terrorist
activities, and it is generally through money. If it
is Saudi Arabia, if it is somebody else, we cannot
look the other way. And our intelligence committees
are not going to look the other way.

"There is some information we were hoping is going to
be declassified soon that will shed some light, maybe
not all the light, on that."

Last week former representative Tim Roemer, an Indiana
Democrat and former member of the House Intelligence
Committee, said he had read the report and described
it as "highly explosive."

Posted by richard at 08:38 AM

20 Lies About the War

When you are told it is about "sixteen words" whip out
this checklist and run it down...

Published on Sunday, July 13, 2003 by the
20 Lies About the War
Falsehoods Ranging from Exaggeration to Plain Untruth
Were Used to Make the Case for War. More Lies are
Being Used in the Aftermath

by Glen Rangwala and Raymond Whitaker

1. Iraq was responsible for the 11 September attacks

A supposed meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta,
leader of the 11 September hijackers, and an Iraqi
intelligence official was the main basis for this
claim, but Czech intelligence later conceded that the
Iraqi's contact could not have been Atta. This did not
stop the constant stream of assertions that Iraq was
involved in 9/11, which was so successful that at one
stage opinion polls showed that two-thirds of
Americans believed the hand of Saddam Hussein was
behind the attacks. Almost as many believed Iraqi
hijackers were aboard the crashed airliners; in fact
there were none.

2. Iraq and al-Qa'ida were working together

Persistent claims by US and British leaders that
Saddam and Osama bin Laden were in league with each
other were contradicted by a leaked British Defense
Intelligence Staff report, which said there were no
current links between them. Mr Bin Laden's "aims are
in ideological conflict with present-day Iraq", it

Another strand to the claims was that al-Qa'ida
members were being sheltered in Iraq, and had set up a
poisons training camp. When US troops reached the
camp, they found no chemical or biological traces.

3. Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa for a
"reconstituted" nuclear weapons program

The head of the CIA has now admitted that documents
purporting to show that Iraq tried to import uranium
from Niger in west Africa were forged, and that the
claim should never have been in President Bush's State
of the Union address. Britain sticks by the claim,
insisting it has "separate intelligence". The Foreign
Office conceded last week that this information is now
"under review".

4. Iraq was trying to import aluminum tubes to develop
nuclear weapons

The US persistently alleged that Baghdad tried to buy
high-strength aluminum tubes whose only use could be
in gas centrifuges, needed to enrich uranium for
nuclear weapons. Equally persistently, the
International Atomic Energy Agency said the tubes were
being used for artillery rockets. The head of the
IAEA, Mohamed El Baradei, told the UN Security Council
in January that the tubes were not even suitable for

5. Iraq still had vast stocks of chemical and
biological weapons from the first Gulf War

Iraq possessed enough dangerous substances to kill the
whole world, it was alleged more than once. It had
pilotless aircraft which could be smuggled into the US
and used to spray chemical and biological toxins.
Experts pointed out that apart from mustard gas, Iraq
never had the technology to produce materials with a
shelf-life of 12 years, the time between the two wars.
All such agents would have deteriorated to the point
of uselessness years ago.

6. Iraq retained up to 20 missiles which could carry
chemical or biological warheads, with a range which
would threaten British forces in Cyprus

Apart from the fact that there has been no sign of
these missiles since the invasion, Britain downplayed
the risk of there being any such weapons in Iraq once
the fighting began. It was also revealed that chemical
protection equipment was removed from British bases in
Cyprus last year, indicating that the Government did
not take its own claims seriously.

7. Saddam Hussein had the wherewithal to develop

This allegation was made by the Secretary of State,
Colin Powell, in his address to the UN Security
Council in February. The following month the UN said
there was nothing to support it.

8. US and British claims were supported by the

According to Jack Straw, chief UN weapons inspector
Hans Blix "pointed out" that Iraq had 10,000 liters of
anthrax. Tony Blair said Iraq's chemical, biological
and "indeed the nuclear weapons program" had been well
documented by the UN. Mr Blix's reply? "This is not
the same as saying there are weapons of mass
destruction," he said last September. "If I had solid
evidence that Iraq retained weapons of mass
destruction or were constructing such weapons, I would
take it to the Security Council." In May this year he
added: "I am obviously very interested in the question
of whether or not there were weapons of mass
destruction, and I am beginning to suspect there
possibly were not."

9. Previous weapons inspections had failed

Tony Blair told this newspaper in March that the UN
had "tried unsuccessfully for 12 years to get Saddam
to disarm peacefully". But in 1999 a Security Council
panel concluded: "Although important elements still
have to be resolved, the bulk of Iraq's proscribed
weapons programs has been eliminated." Mr Blair also
claimed UN inspectors "found no trace at all of
Saddam's offensive biological weapons program" until
his son-in-law defected. In fact the UN got the regime
to admit to its biological weapons program more than a
month before the defection.

10. Iraq was obstructing the inspectors

Britain's February "dodgy dossier" claimed inspectors'
escorts were "trained to start long arguments" with
other Iraqi officials while evidence was being hidden,
and inspectors' journeys were monitored and notified
ahead to remove surprise. Dr Blix said in February
that the UN had conducted more than 400 inspections,
all without notice, covering more than 300 sites. "We
note that access to sites has so far been without
problems," he said. : "In no case have we seen
convincing evidence that the Iraqi side knew that the
inspectors were coming."

11. Iraq could deploy its weapons of mass destruction
in 45 minutes

This now-notorious claim was based on a single source,
said to be a serving Iraqi military officer. This
individual has not been produced since the war, but in
any case Tony Blair contradicted the claim in April.
He said Iraq had begun to conceal its weapons in May
2002, which meant that they could not have been used
within 45 minutes.

12. The "dodgy dossier"

Mr Blair told the Commons in February, when the
dossier was issued: "We issued further intelligence
over the weekend about the infrastructure of
concealment. It is obviously difficult when we publish
intelligence reports." It soon emerged that most of it
was cribbed without attribution from three articles on
the internet. Last month Alastair Campbell took
responsibility for the plagiarism committed by his
staff, but stood by the dossier's accuracy, even
though it confused two Iraqi intelligence
organizations, and said one moved to new headquarters
in 1990, two years before it was created.

13. War would be easy

Public fears of war in the US and Britain were
assuaged by assurances that oppressed Iraqis would
welcome the invading forces; that "demolishing Saddam
Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be
a cakewalk", in the words of Kenneth Adelman, a senior
Pentagon official in two previous Republican
administrations. Resistance was patchy, but stiffer
than expected, mainly from irregular forces fighting
in civilian clothes. "This wasn't the enemy we
war-gamed against," one general complained.

14. Umm Qasr

The fall of Iraq's southernmost city and only port was
announced several times before Anglo-American forces
gained full control - by Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld, among others, and by Admiral Michael Boyce,
chief of Britain's Defense staff. "Umm Qasr has been
overwhelmed by the US Marines and is now in coalition
hands," the Admiral announced, somewhat prematurely.

15. Basra rebellion

Claims that the Shia Muslim population of Basra,
Iraq's second city, had risen against their oppressors
were repeated for days, long after it became clear to
those there that this was little more than wishful
thinking. The defeat of a supposed breakout by Iraqi
armour was also announced by military spokesman in no
position to know the truth.

16. The "rescue" of Private Jessica Lynch

Private Jessica Lynch's "rescue" from a hospital in
Nasiriya by American special forces was presented as
the major "feel-good" story of the war. She was said
to have fired back at Iraqi troops until her
ammunition ran out, and was taken to hospital
suffering bullet and stab wounds. It has since emerged
that all her injuries were sustained in a vehicle
crash, which left her incapable of firing any shot.
Local medical staff had tried to return her to the
Americans after Iraqi forces pulled out of the
hospital, but the doctors had to turn back when US
troops opened fire on them. The special forces
encountered no resistance, but made sure the whole
episode was filmed.

17. Troops would face chemical and biological weapons

As US forces approached Baghdad, there was a rash of
reports that they would cross a "red line", within
which Republican Guard units were authorized to use
chemical weapons. But Lieutenant General James Conway,
the leading US marine general in Iraq, conceded
afterwards that intelligence reports that chemical
weapons had been deployed around Baghdad before the
war were wrong.

"It was a surprise to me ... that we have not
uncovered weapons ... in some of the forward dispersal
sites," he said. "We've been to virtually every
ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and
Baghdad, but they're simply not there. We were simply
wrong. Whether or not we're wrong at the national
level, I think still very much remains to be seen."

18. Interrogation of scientists would yield the
location of WMD

"I have got absolutely no doubt that those weapons are
there ... once we have the co-operation of the
scientists and the experts, I have got no doubt that
we will find them," Tony Blair said in April. Numerous
similar assurances were issued by other leading
figures, who said interrogations would provide the WMD
discoveries that searches had failed to supply. But
almost all Iraq's leading scientists are in custody,
and claims that lingering fears of Saddam Hussein are
stilling their tongues are beginning to wear thin.

19. Iraq's oil money would go to Iraqis

Tony Blair complained in Parliament that "people
falsely claim that we want to seize" Iraq's oil
revenues, adding that they should be put in a trust
fund for the Iraqi people administered through the UN.
Britain should seek a Security Council resolution that
would affirm "the use of all oil revenues for the
benefit of the Iraqi people".

Instead Britain co-sponsored a Security Council
resolution that gave the US and UK control over Iraq's
oil revenues. There is no UN-administered trust fund.

Far from "all oil revenues" being used for the Iraqi
people, the resolution continues to make deductions
from Iraq's oil earnings to pay in compensation for
the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

20. WMD were found

After repeated false sightings, both Tony Blair and
George Bush proclaimed on 30 May that two trailers
found in Iraq were mobile biological laboratories. "We
have already found two trailers, both of which we
believe were used for the production of biological
weapons," said Mr Blair. Mr Bush went further: "Those
who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing
devices or banned weapons - they're wrong. We found
them." It is now almost certain that the vehicles were
for the production of hydrogen for weather balloons,
just as the Iraqis claimed - and that they were
exported by Britain.

© 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd


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Posted by richard at 08:36 AM

Why Does 9/11 Inquiry Scare Bush?

There is a full moon over Miami...Kerry (D-Mekong
Delta) appeared on SeeNotNew and Graham (D-Fraudida)
appeared on NotBeSeen's Meat The Press. And both,
especially Graham were tough, disciplined and on
message -- the problem is the _resident's credibility,
not George Tenet's...And the truth to which the
editorial below points is so heavy and so despicable
that even the SOTU LIES crisis is a welcome relief for
Rove and the cabal. They have done so much that is
foolish (at best) that they sometimes ride the wave of
bad stories to distract from even worse
stories...Remember, 2+2=4


Published on Friday, July 11, 2003 by the Berkshire
Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
Why Does 9/11 Inquiry Scare Bush?

The Bush administration has never wanted an inquiry
into the intelligence and law-enforcement failures
that led up to the terrorist attacks of September 11,
2001, and it is doing its best to make sure we never
get one. Even the tame commission of Washington
insiders, led by men of the president's own party, is
now complaining that its work is being hampered by
foot-dragging from the Pentagon and Justice Department
in producing documents and witnesses, in an effort to
run the clock out on it before it can complete its
work. The commission's leaders have taken the
extraordinary step of accusing the White House of
witness "intimidation," insisting that sensitive
witnesses testify only in the presence of a "monitor"
from their agency. The parallel to Saddam Hussein's
refusal to let Iraqi scientists talk to U.N. weapons
inspectors without a similar monitor is too glaring to
miss and begs the obvious question: What has Mr. Bush
got to hide?

The crudeness of his tactics suggests that whatever it
is, it must be pretty bad. The Internet is full of
wild theories -- that Mr. Bush knew in advance of 9/11
and allowed it to happen so he could exploit it to get
his way in domestic and international politics is the
most notable -- and while cyberspace is the natural
home of the improbable and the far-fetched, the
administration's stonewalling only lends credence to
those who believe a cover-up of something is going on.

September 11 was the most traumatic incident in recent
American history. Three thousand people died in New
York, billions in property was destroyed, the national
economy tanked and Americans' sense of security was
shattered. The men responsible for the attacks are
still at large and openly threaten to attack us again.
Yet the commission's budget is only $3 million, a
pittance compared to the $100 million that was wasted
getting to the bottom of Bill Clinton's Whitewater
investment and his extramarital affairs. The hearings
in the Republican-dominated Congress were a
perfunctory affair that attracted even less attention
from a sensation-oriented media than is being paid to
this commission.

The American people deserve a thorough investigation.
They want to know why the fighter jets weren't
scrambled after the first plane hit the tower, what
the Clinton and Bush administrations knew about
threats from al-Qaida and what they were doing about
them, what citizens of our allies Saudi Arabia and
Pakistan financed Osama bin Laden and his hijackers,
how the FBI and CIA missed obvious clues and let
suspects they were following slip away, why airline
security was so lax, what is the meaning of a
suspicious pattern of stock transactions that occurred
before the attacks, whether law enforcement efforts
were subordinated to diplomatic priorities and the
needs and desires of American oil companies.

Americans want the answers to two basic questions:
What went wrong? And what is being done to make sure
it never happens again? They should be satisfied with
nothing less than an honest effort to get those
answers, no matter who they embarrass, and the White
House should not stand in the way.

Copyright 2003 Berkshire Eagle


Posted by richard at 08:27 AM

July 12, 2003

"The president considers the matter closed and wants

Rove could have not asked anything more from the
NYTwits than what they gave him this morning -- on the
front page, CIA Diector George TooNice (as in, "Oh ou
are too nice!") takes the blame for the Niger Uranium
lie, and next to it, a color photo of the _resident
smiling with adorable African children dressed in
their tribal best to great the visitng warlord and
under it a caption equating Bush's name with fighting
AIDS in Africa (another big lie, BTW). Rove could not
have asked anything more from SeeNotNews last night,
in its report on TooNice's lie to rescue the _resident
from his lie, SeeNotNews chose a headline that quoted
TooNice as caricaturizing the LIE as "just 16 words."
Well, Mr. TooNice, it is NOT "just 16 words," it is
200+ US solders' lives (and counting), or as Rumsfeld
would say "just 200+ US soldiers lives." Lies, in the
_resident case, translate into lives, i.e.
deaths(unlike Clinton's lie, which translated into a
perversion of the impeachment clause in the US
Constitution for partisan political gain by the
right). Rove could not have asked for more from SeeBS,
after getting out of control and using the word
"FALSE," shocking everyone and almost leading to
everything becoming unstuck, they quickly pulled
themselves to together and changed "FALSE" to
"Exaggerated" and then finally settleed on the even
vaguer "dubious." What a disgrace all around. Now the
_resident has declared the matter closed, "move on."
Well, the Niger-Uranium lie is not the only one (just
as the Watergate plumbers was the begining of the
scandal not its sum total), although the "US
mainstream news media" will desperately try to make it
so, so they do not have anymore sleepless nights like
those SeeBS executives and producers must have had
Thursday night. Or did they lose any sleep? Patriots,
the "US mainstream media" is craven, and addicted, it
could still change but it would have to understand its
problem and want to change. BTW, Terry McCauliffe and
the Democratic National Committee have been feirce on
this issue. There is a devastating TV spot on the
site. It should have been aired and talked about by
the propapunditgandists. Instead, it will be ignored
and the Democrats will be attacked for not standing
for anything. If you stand up for something and no one
sees you stand up have you stood up? Here is the truth
about the "US news mainstream news media" and the
White House, from the extraordinary
www.mediawhoresonline.com. Oh, BTW, the site was
unreachable yesterday. Another little glimpse into our
future. "Long Live Big Brother!" (Or in this case,
"Long Live Little Brother!")


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
July 12, 2003

Memo: SOTU Matter Closed.

"The president considers the matter closed and wants
to move on."

- Ari Fleischer

Got that, NY Times? Wash Post? CNNFOXMSNBCABCNBCCBS?

The Littlest King has declared the matter of his
deliberately lying to the American people in his State
of the Union speech closed. He "wants to move on."
(For the slower among you, that means you are now to
"move on.") All further inquiry will be noted in the
building, and will be answered by our informing the
questioner: "The American People trust this president
[blah blah blah]..." thus, making the rogue reporter
appear not only at odds with "The American People,"
but unpatriotic.

However, in the event any of your colleagues do ask
additional questions requiring further stonewalling,
you are permitted to continue to write with "grudging
admiration" about White House "discipline" in staying
"on message" and "handling" the news media



Public support for President Bush has dropped sharply
amid growing concerns about mounting U.S. military
casualties and doubts whether the war with Iraq was
worth fighting, according to a new Washington Post-ABC
News poll.


New statements, paraphrased:

George Tenet: I should have insisted on removing a
deceptive line the White House pressured us to allow
into the SOTU speech over my agency's objections.

George W. Bush: I still have confidence in Tenet,
even though he betrayed my regime by allowing us to
tell the lie we pressured his agency to allow us to
tell. Case closed.

Will this fly?

Was Tenet's statement "arranged" between the White
House and CIA the same way the SOTU was arranged? Is
it all just another skirmish between two incompetent
political entities ultimately resulting in yet another
agreed-upon deception perpetrated by the Bush Regime
against the American people and the truth?

The Tenet statement concludes:

Portions of the State of the Union speech draft came
to the CIA for comment shortly before the speech was
given. Various parts were shared with cognizant
elements of the Agency for review. Although the
documents related to the alleged Niger-Iraqi uranium
deal had not yet been determined to be forgeries,
officials who were reviewing the draft remarks on
uranium raised several concerns about the fragmentary
nature of the intelligence with National Security
Council colleagues. Some of the language was changed.
From what we know now, Agency officials in the end
concurred that the text in the speech was factually
correct — i.e. that the British government report said
that Iraq sought uranium from Africa. This should not
have been the test for clearing a Presidential
address. This did not rise to the level of certainty
which should be required for Presidential speeches,
and CIA should have ensured that it was removed.

Several questions arise. Most obviously - What is
this statement supposed to remedy? All Tenet has done
is tell us what the news reports have told us, and
essentially suggest, "Blame me, not the Unelected

And this part of the statement raises more questions:

Some of the language was changed. From what we know
now, Agency officials in the end concurred that the
text in the speech was factually correct — i.e. that
the British government report said that Iraq sought
uranium from Africa.

The Unelected Fraud didn't say, "A British government
report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa."
The Unelected Fraud said, "The British government has
learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought
significant quantities of uranium from Africa" - an
even more deceptive statement, suggesting an
additional degree of certainty regarding the soundness
of the information.

Is Tenet simply paraphrasing in a quickly-drafted
statement? Or, did the CIA sign off on a more
factually correct and less misleading statement that
"the British government report said" that Iraq sought
uranium from Africa? Was it later changed to "the
British government has learned," and if so, by whom?

Both versions would be egregiously misleading, of
course - as additional relevant information about the
CIA's problems with the British government report was
deliberately withheld from the American people. But
who can put it past this regime not only to knowingly
make a dubious claim as they have done, but to
misrepresent to the CIA reviewers the degree to which
they intended to deceive when making the uranium

When will the White House release copies of the drafts
seen by the CIA, and the revisions along the way to
the final draft?

"United Front Unravels"...
"Pandora's Box" opening...
"Brewing Political Scandal"...
"Gathering Storm"...

Posted by richard at 12:44 PM

Mr. Bush, You Are A Liar

This country is definitely at a crossroads. There have
been some indications in the last few days
(particularly last night and this morning) that this
country might choose the road home to the US
Consitution, to strong leadership at the center and on
the left, and to a somewhat unbridled press (at least
on issues of national security)...Last night,
SeeNotNews (CBS) ran a remarkable (for the TV
networks)story: "Bush knew Iraq info was false."
Meanwhile, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mekong Delta), who has
been a little too cautious in his remarks lately, and
has been slowly (too slowly) sharpening his critique,
and this morning the WASHPs gave his remarks last
night some appropriate and respectful coverage (i.e. a
serious article): "Kerry Raps Bush Policy on Post-War
Iraq." BUT you will not read either story here, today
as we sit in the waiting room hoping the "US
mainstream news media" actually is waking from its
coma, we celebrate the Information Rebellion, which
has taken place on the Internet...William Rivers Pitt,
whose site (www.truthout.org) is one of the very best
examples of this Information Rebellion, is using the
kind of language Americans need to hear to rouse them
up from their slumber in the yellow poppy fields and
on to their marching feet...


Mr. Bush, You Are A Liar

By: William Rivers Pitt - 07/11/03

There was a picture on the front page of the New York
Times on Tuesday, July 8. It showed several American
soldiers in Iraq sitting in utter dejection as they
were informed by their battalion commander that none
of them were going home anytime soon, and no one knew
exactly when they were going home at all. PFC Harrison
Grimes sat in the center of this photo with his chin
in his hand, staring at ground that was thousands of
miles from his family and friends. A soldier caught in
the picture just over PFC Grimes' shoulder had a look
on his face that could break rocks.

212 of PFC Grimes' fellow soldiers have died in Iraq,
and 1,044 more have been wounded. The war created
chaos in the cities, and it seems clear now that very
little in the way of preparation was made to address
the fact that invasion leads to social bedlam, not to
mention a lot of shooting. Last Sunday, CNN's Judy
Woodruff showed a clip of a Sergeant Charles Pollard,
who said, "All we are here is potential people to be
killed and sitting ducks."

According to the numbers, almost two thirds of the
soldiers killed in Iraq since May 1 died in
"non-combat related" mishaps like accidental weapons
discharges, accidental detonations of unexploded
ordnance, and questionable car crashes. There are some
in the world who might take comfort from the fact that
only one third of the dead since May came from snipers
or bombs or rocket-propelled grenades. Dead is dead,
however. There is no comforting them.

A significant portion of the dead and wounded came
after Bush performed his triumphant swagger across the
deck of an aircraft carrier that was parked just
outside San Diego bay. Those dead and wounded came
because the Bush administration's shoddy planning for
this whole event left the troopers on the firing line
wide open to the slow and debilitating bloodletting
they have endured. A significant portion of the dead
and wounded came after Bush stuck his beady chin out
on national television and said, "Bring 'em on!"

When a leader sends troops out into the field of
battle, they become his responsibility. When his war
planning is revealed to be profoundly faulty, flawed
in ways that are getting men killed, he should not
stick his banty rooster chest out to the cameras and
speak with the hollow bravado of a man who knows he is
several time zones away from the violence and

Such behavior is demonstrably criminal from a moral
standpoint. The events that led to this reprehensible
display were criminal in a far more literal sense.

Bush and the White House told the American people over
and over again that Iraq was in possession of vast
stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear
weapons. Bush and the White House said over and over
again that this was a direct threat to the United
States. Bush and the White House told the American
people over and over again that Iraq was directly
connected to al Qaeda terrorism, and would hand those
terrible weapons over to the terrorists the first
chance they got. Bush and the White House told
Congress the same thing. Very deliberately, Bush and
the White House tied a war in Iraq to the attack of
September 11.

It was all a lie. All of it.

When George W. Bush delivered his
constitutionally-mandated State of the Union Address
in January 2003, he stated flatly that Iraq was
attempting to develop a nuclear weapons program. "The
British government has learned," said Bush in his
speech, "that Saddam Hussein recently sought
significant quantities of uranium in Africa." He
delivered this proclamation on the basis of
intelligence reports which claimed that Iraq was
attempting to procure uranium from the African nation
of Niger.

Vice President Cheney got the Niger ball rolling in a
speech delivered August 26, 2002 when he said Saddam
Hussein had "resumed his effort to acquire nuclear
weapons." As the data clearly shows, Mr. Cheney was a
central player in the promulgation of the claim that
Iraq was grubbing for uranium in Africa. This
statement was the opening salvo.

CIA Director George Tenet made this same claim in a
briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee on
September 24, 2002. This briefing was the deciding
factor for a number of Senatorial fence-sitters unsure
about voting for war. Bush, in a speech delivered on
the eve of the Congressional vote for war on Iraq,
referenced the Niger uranium claims again when he
raised the specter of a "mushroom cloud" just three
sentences after evoking "The horror of September 11."

That sealed the deal. Congress voted for war, and a
clear majority of the people supported the President.

In the last week, a blizzard of revelations from
high-ranking members of the intelligence community has
turned these Bush administration claims inside out. It
began with a New York Times editorial by Joseph
Wilson, former US ambassador to several African
nations. Wilson was dispatched in February of 2002 at
the behest of Dick Cheney to investigate the veracity
of the Niger evidence. Wilson spent eight days digging
through the data, and concluded that the evidence was
completely worthless. The documents in question which
purportedly indicated Iraqi attempts to purchase
uranium were crude forgeries.

Upon his return in February of 2002, Ambassador Wilson
reported back to the people who sent him on his
errand. According to his editorial, the CIA, the State
Department, the National Security Council and the Vice
President's office were all informed that the Niger
documents were forged. "That information was
erroneous, and they knew about it well ahead of both
the publication of the British white paper and the
president's State of the Union address," said Wilson
in a 'Meet the Press' interview last Sunday.

"I have little choice but to conclude that some of the
intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program
was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat," Wilson
wrote in his Times editorial. "A legitimate argument
can be made that we went to war under false
pretenses." He elaborated further in a Washington Post
interview, saying, "It really comes down to the
administration misrepresenting the facts on an issue
that was a fundamental justification for going to war.
It begs the question, what else are they lying about?"

Ambassador Wilson's claims are not easily dismissed.
Wilson is a 23-year veteran of the foreign service who
was the top diplomat in Baghdad before the first Gulf
War. In 1990, he was lauded by the first President
Bush for his work. "What you are doing day in and day
out under the most trying conditions is truly
inspiring," cabled Bush Sr. "Keep fighting the good

A great hue and cry has been raised as to the timing
of the data delivery to the policy-makers. Don
Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice have both claimed they
knew nothing of the forged Niger evidence, claiming
the information was buried in the "bowels" of the
intelligence services. Vice President Cheney's office
has made similar demurrals. Obviously, the
administration is attempting to scapegoat the CIA.

Given the nature of Wilson's claims, and given who he
is, and given the fact that he was sent to Niger at
the behest of Dick Cheney, it is absurd to believe the
administration was never given the data they
specifically asked for over a year before the war
began, and eleven months before Bush's fateful State
of the Union Address.

27-year CIA veteran Ray McGovern, writing in a recent
editorial, described a conversation he had with a
senior official who recently served at the National
Security Council. "The fact that Cheney's office had
originally asked that the Iraq-Niger report be checked
out," said the official, "makes it inconceivable that
his office would not have been informed of the

Wilson is not alone. Greg Thielmann served as Director
of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and
Research until his retirement in September. Mr.
Thielmann has come forward recently to join Ambassador
Wilson in denouncing the Bush administration's
justifications for war in Iraq.

"I believe the Bush administration did not provide an
accurate picture to the American people of the
military threat posed by Iraq," said Thielmann on
Wednesday. During his press conference, Mr. Thielmann
said that, as of the commencement of military
operations in March of 2003, "Iraq posed no imminent
threat to either its neighbors or to the United
States". Mr. Thielmann also dismissed the oft-repeated
claims of a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.
"This administration has had a faith-based
intelligence attitude," he said.

Thielmann could have saved his breath, and Wilson
could have saved himself a trip, if the Bush
administration had bothered to pay any attention to
the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA's
chief spokesman, Mark Gwozdecky, said on September 26,
2002 that no such evidence existed to support claims
of a nascent Iraqi nuclear program.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer on July 8 stood
before the press corps and said the President's
statements during the State of the Union address had
been "incorrect."

Let us look at the timeline of this and consider the
definition of "incorrect":

· February 2002: Ambassador Joseph Wilson is
dispatched by Cheney to Niger to investigate
Iraq-uranium claims. Eight days later, he reports back
that the documentary evidence was a forgery;

· August 26, 2002: Dick Cheney claims Iraq is
developing a nuclear program;

· September 24, 2002: CIA Director Tenet briefs the
Senate Intelligence Committee on the reported Iraqi
nuclear threat, using the Niger evidence to back his

· September 26, 2002: The IAEA vigorously denies that
any such nuclear program exists in Iraq;

· October 6, 2002: George W. Bush addresses the nation
and threatens the American people with "mushroom
clouds" delivered by Iraq, using the same Niger

· October 10, 2002: Congress votes for war in Iraq,
based on the data delivered by Tenet and by the
nuclear rhetoric from Bush four days prior;

· January 2003: George W. Bush, in his State of the
Union Address, says, "The British government has
learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought
significant quantities of uranium in Africa."

· March-April 2003: War in Iraq kills thousands of
civilians and destabilizes the nation;

· April-July 2003: No evidence whatsoever of chemical,
biological or nuclear weapons can be found in Iraq.
212 American soldiers have died, and 1,044 more have
been wounded, as a guerilla war is undertaken by Iraqi

· July 2003: Amid accusations from former intelligence
officials, the Bush administration denies ever having
known the Niger evidence was fake.

The Bush administration knew full well that their
evidence was worthless, and still stood before the
American people and told them it was fact. Bush sent
the Director of the CIA to the Senate under orders to
use the same worthless evidence to cajole that body
into war.

That is not being "incorrect." That is lying. In the
context of Bush's position as President, and
surrounded by hundreds of dead American soldiers piled
alongside thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, that is a

They know it, too.

A report hit the Reuters wires late Tuesday night
announcing the arrest of an Iraqi intelligence
official named Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani. An
unnamed "US official" claimed al-Ani had reportedly
met with 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta in Prague just
months before the attack. The old saw about Iraq
working fist in glove with al Qaeda to bring about
September 11 was back in the news.

According to the story, neither the CIA or the FBI
could confirm this meeting had taken place. In fact, a
Newsweek report from June 9 entitled "Where are the
WMDs?" shows the FBI was completely sure such a
meeting had never taken place. The snippet below is
from the Newsweek article; the 'Cabal' statement
refers to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his coterie
of hawks who have been all-out for war on Iraq since

"The Cabal was eager to find a link between Saddam and
Al Qaeda, especially proof that Saddam played a role
in the 9-11 attacks. The hard-liners at Defense seized
on a report that Muhammad Atta, the chief hijacker,
met in Prague in early April 2001 with an Iraqi
intelligence official. Only one problem with that
story, the FBI pointed out. Atta was traveling at the
time between Florida and Virginia Beach, Va. (The
bureau had his rental car and hotel receipts.)"

Amid the accusations that have exploded surrounding
the revelations of Wilson, Thielmann and other
high-ranking intelligence officials, comes now again
reports of the infamous Iraq-al Qaeda connection, an
administration claim meant to justify the war. As with
the Niger forgery, however, it is too easily revealed
to be utterly phony.

It reeks of desperation. This administration is
learning a lesson that came to Presidents Nixon and
Johnson with bitter tears: Scapegoat the CIA at your
mortal peril.

There are many who believe that blaming George W. Bush
for the errors and gross behavior of his
administration is tantamount to blaming Mickey Mouse
for mistakes made by Disney. There is a great deal of
truth to this. Groups like Rumsfeld's 'Cabal,' and the
right-wing think tanks so closely associated to the
creation of administration foreign policy, are very
much more in control of matters than Bush.

Yet Bush knew the facts of the matter. He allowed CIA
Director Tenet to lie to Congress with his bare face
hanging out in order to get that body to vote for war.
He knew the facts and lied himself, on countless
occasions, to an American people who have been loyally
supporting him, even as he beats them over the head
with the image of collapsing towers and massive death
to stoke their fear and dread for his own purposes. In
doing these things, he consigned 212 American soldiers
to death, along with thousands of innocent bystanders
in Iraq. Given the current circumstances, there will
be more dead to come.

There is no "The President wasn't told" justification
available here, no Iran/Contra loophole. He knew. He
lied. His people knew. They lied. Death knows no
political affiliation, and a bloody lie is a bloody
lie is a bloody lie. The time has come for Congress to
fulfill their constitutional duties in this matter, to
defend the nation and the soldiers who live and die in
her service. The definition of 'is' has flown right
out the window. This 'is' a crime. George W. Bush lied
to the people, and lied to Congress. There are a lot
of people dead because of it.

One Congresswoman, Democratic Representative Jan
Schakowsky of Illinois, released a statement on July 8
that cuts right to the heart of the matter:

"After months of denials, President Bush has finally
admitted that he misled the American public during his
State of the Union address when he claimed that Iraq
attempted to purchase uranium in Africa. That is why
we need an independent commission to determine the
veracity of the other so-called evidence used to
convince the American people that war with Iraq was

"It is not enough for the White House to issue a
statement saying that President Bush should not have
used that piece of intelligence in his State of the
Union address at a time when he was trying to convince
the American people that invading Iraq was in our
national security interests. Did the president know
then what he says he only knows now? If not, why not,
since that information was available at the highest

"What else did the Bush Administration lie about? What
other faulty information did Administration officials,
including President Bush, tell the American people and
the world? Did the Bush Administration knowingly
deceive us and manufacture intelligence in order to
build public support for the invasion of Iraq? Did
Iraq really pose an imminent threat to our nation?
These questions must be answered. The American people
deserve to know the full truth."

The voice of Rep. Schakowsky must be followed by
others both within and without the majority. If
nothing is done about this, American justice is a sad,
sorry, feeble joke.

William Rivers Pitt is a teacher from Boston, MA. He
is a New York Times best-selling author of two books -
"War On Iraq" (with Scott Ritter) available now from
Context Books, and "The Greatest Sedition is Silence,"
now available at http://www.silenceissedition.com/
from Pluto Press. William is a contributing writer for
Liberal Slant. He is on the writing staff at
www.truthout.com where this article was also published
at: http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/071103A.shtml on
July 11. You can E-mail William at: w_pitt@hotmail.com

Posted by richard at 12:41 PM

July 10, 2003

Leave Iraq to the Iraqis

I do not know Rep. John Duncan (R-TN), I do not have
to know, and if I did know I would probably be appalled
at 75-90% of his views, BUT he has shown himself to be
a truer patriot than several Democratic presidential
candidates. Today I suggest his name be scrawled on
the John O'Neill wall of heroes...A friend who
reads the LNS sent this transcript of Duncan's
extraordinary speech on the floor of the House, which
th friend just happened to catch as it was broadcast on C-SPAN...

(House of Representatives - July 08, 2003)

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gerlach). Under a
previous order of the
the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Duncan) is
recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Speaker, it seems that every day we
read about a young
American soldier being killed in Iraq. Three were
killed in a 24-hour
from Sunday to Monday. In its November 25 issue,
``Fortune'' magazine,
before the war started, said an American occupation
would be
``prolonged and
expensive'' and that it ``could turn U.S. troops into
sitting ducks for
Islamic terrorists.''

Unfortunately, this prediction has turned out to be
deadly accurate.
past Saturday, the top of the front page of The
Washington Post had a
headline reading ``Attacks By Iraqi's Growing
Bolder.'' The next day a
American soldier was shot in the head at point blank
range as he stood
line to buy a soft drink.

A few days ago, the leading Shiite cleric, the most
respected figure of
largest population group in Iraq, demanded that the
U.S. get out and
Iraq to the Iraqis. It is so politically correct today
and sounds so
fashionable and intellectual to say that the U.S. will
have to be in
for several years and that it will not be easy and
that we must be
for the sacrifice and the difficulties ahead.

Well, someone should ask why. Saddam Hussein was a
very evil man, a
a dictator; but his total military budget was only
about two-tenths of
percent of ours. He was no threat to us, as this
3-week battle, with
no resistance, proved. Our military did a great job,
as we all knew
would. Now we should bring them home.

President Eisenhower, as everyone knows, was a retired
Army general, a
graduate of West Point. He loved the military. Yet he
warned us as
as he possibly could against what he call the military
Pressured by this complex, we have now spent over $100
billion on the
operation in Iraq. The Congressional Budget Office
originally estimated
a 3-month war followed by a 5-year occupation would
cost us at least
billion. Most estimate that we will stay in Iraq for 5
to 10 years, at
cost of 200 to $300 billion, or more. And because we
already face a
billion deficit for this year, and hundreds of
billions more in the
ahead, we will have to borrow the money to do all
this. Once again, we
should ask: Why?

Already we have had demonstrations by Iraqi soldiers
demanding back
pay, and
similar demands from Iraqi retirees. Why should
Americans taxpayers
hundreds of billions to pay the Iraqi military or
Iraqi retirees to
Iraq? We are jeopardizing the futures of our children
grandchildren. I
believe our Founding Fathers would be shocked if they
knew what we were
doing today.

I remember reading a few years ago in The Washington
Post that we had
troops in Haiti picking up garbage and settling
domestic disputes.
Later I
read that we had our troops in Bosnia building
latrines and giving
shots to Bosnian dogs. I have nothing against the
people in either
Haiti or
Bosnia, but they should pick up their own garbage and
build their own

Now we are told that the military will build or
rebuild 6,000 schools
Iraq and give free basic health care to any Iraqis who
need it. We will
in Iraq for many years, at great expense to U.S.
citizens, because
large multinational companies will benefit from large
contracts there.
will stay there because all the pressures and money
and power and glory
within the Department of Defense, the State
Department, the National
Security Council, and our intelligence agencies are to
continue to do
and more in other countries.

These people are not seen as world statesmen and men
and women of
unless we get involved in every dispute around the
world. They never
or discuss the merits of all this; they just label all
opponents of an
interventionist foreign policy as isolationist.
However, whenever
uses this term, they are simply resorting to mindless

Now I suppose we are going into the chaos in Liberia,
as we have Haiti,
Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Lord knows
where next.

What we really need are more Calvin Coolidges, more
people in
government who
believe in a humble foreign policy. None of these
countries were any
to us. Should we now change the name of the Defense
Department to the
Department of Foreign Aid or the Department of
International Social

I believe in and have always supported a strong
national defense, but I
not believe in massive foreign aid. Most of our
foreign adventures are
creating great resentment toward the U.S. around the

The Iraqi people may have hated Saddam Hussein, but
they do not want
Americans or our puppets running their country either.
They have
oil wealth. Let them rebuild their own country. The
only Iraqis who
want us
to stay there are the ones we are paying or who
believe they can get
from us in the future.

Our first obligation should be to America citizens,
and the lives of
American soldiers should be precious to us. Let us
bring our troops
before more and more of them are murdered. We can be
friends with the
people without making our soldiers sitting ducks for

Mr. Speaker, let us leave Iraq to the Iraqis.

Posted by richard at 12:47 PM

White House 'lied about Saddam threat'

I wonder if you have seen Gregory Theilman's face on
the network news, heard his voice on the radio or the
read his story on the front page of your major city
newspaper? Probably not. Like Charles Wilson, Rand
Beers, Colleen Mueller, Eric Schaeffer and other
whistleblowers whose names have been scrawled on the
John O'Neill wall of heroes, he is seen or heard from
a lot less often then "all the _resident's men" or
their propapunditgandista apologists who warm the
seats on those inside the beltway panel discussions
that purport to engage in reasoned dialoge from both
sides of the political spectrum. Of course, they do
not, with the exception of Crossfire, the only one of
these shows that has real partisans from the
Democratic side, James Carville and Paul Begala...Two
more GIs died overnight in Iraq (for what?) We now
know, documented in numerous ways by identified and
credible sources, that the _resident and his cabal
DISTORTED the truth of intelligence reports to
rationalize its thirst to propell this country and its
young men and women into a unilateral military action,
which has landed us in a guerrilla war...Theilman and
the others represent what is very best in America, you
shoul be seeing and hearing them on Anything ButSee
(ABC), SeeNotNews (CNN), MustNotBeSeen (NBC)and SeeBS
(CBS), not just the newspeak of Rumsfeld and
Fleischer as they twist and spin...


White House 'lied about Saddam threat'

Julian Borger in Washington
Thursday July 10, 2003
The Guardian

A former US intelligence official who served under the
Bush administration in the build-up to the Iraq war
accused the White House yesterday of lying about the
threat posed by Saddam Hussein. The claims came as the
Bush administration was fighting to shore up its
credibility among a series of anonymous government
leaks over its distortion of US intelligence to
manufacture a case against Saddam.

This was the first time an administration official has
put his name to specific claims. The whistleblower,
Gregory Thielmann, served as a director in the state
department's bureau of intelligence until his
retirement in September, and had access to the
classified reports which formed the basis for the US
case against Saddam, spelled out by President Bush and
his aides.

Mr Thielmannn said yesterday: "I believe the Bush
administration did not provide an accurate picture to
the American people of the military threat posed by

He conceded that part of the problem lay with US
intelligence, but added: "Most of it lies with the way
senior officials misused the information they were

As Democrats demanded a congressional enquiry, the
administration sharply changed tack. The defence
secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, told the Senate the US had
not gone to war against Iraq because of fresh evidence
of weapons of mass destruction but because Washington
saw what evidence there was prior to 2001 "in a
dramatic new light" after September 11.

At a press conference yesterday, Mr Thielmann said
that, as of March 2003, when the US began military
operations, "Iraq posed no imminent threat to either
its neighbours or to the United States".

In one example, Mr Thielmann said a fierce debate
inside the White House about the purpose of aluminium
tubes bought by Baghdad had been "cloaked in

While some CIA analysts thought they could be used for
gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, the best experts at
the energy department disagreed. But the national
security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, said publicly that
they could only be used for centrifuges.

Mr Thielmann also said there was no significant
pattern of cooperation between Iraq and al-Qaida. He
added: "This administration has had a faith-based
intelligence attitude ... 'We know the answers - give
us the intelligence to support those answers'."

Responding to claims of deliberate distortions, Mr
Bush accused his critics of "trying to rewrite
history" and insisted "there is no doubt in my mind"
that Saddam "was a threat to world peace".

Posted by richard at 11:52 AM

July 09, 2003

9/11 Panel: U.S. Hindering Probe

The woods are inching closer to the walls of the
castle...Day after day, week after week, month after
month, and now year after year, I have said over and
over again that there was no intelligence breakdown
pre-9/11. There was plenty of intelligence, and it was
credible enough and specific enough for actions to be
taken that could have significantly impacted the
course of events. There was no intelligence failure,
there was either a failure to comprehend it or an
unwillingness to act upon it at the highest level of
government (i.e. in the Oval Office and the National
Security Council). Likewise, the lies used to
manipulate public opinion about the situation in Iraq
and rationalize unilateral military action are not the
result of an intelligence failure. Nor is the failure
to discover WMDs in Iraq in the aftermath of the
invasion the result of an intelligence failure. This,
too, like 9/11, is largely the result of what seems
like incompetence and negligence (at best) in the
White House and in the office of the Secretary of
Defense. Remember, now more than ever, 2+2=4.


9/11 Panel: U.S. Hindering Probe

By Thomas Frank
Washington Bureau

July 8, 2003, 8:18 PM EDT

Washington -- The leaders of an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks voiced serious concerns Tuesday about federal agencies that were not providing key documents and were requiring witnesses to be interviewed in front of an official from their agency.

The first interim report from the commission probing all aspects of what led to the attacks offered measured but blunt criticism of the Bush administration aimed at prodding but not angering federal agencies.

The report singled out the Defense Department for not responding to various information requests and the Justice Department, which is withholding extensive information about events on Sept. 11, 2001, that also is evidence against Zacarias Moussaoui, who is awaiting trial for allegedly conspiring in the attacks.

Thomas Kean, the Republican-appointed commission chairman and former New Jersey governor, was particularly critical of the practice of having a government "minder" sit in on interviews between the commission staff and government employees, mostly those working for intelligence agencies.

"The commission feels unanimously that it's some intimidation to have somebody sitting behind you all the time who you either work for or works for your agency," Kean said. "You might get less testimony than you would if the person were there without such a person."

Former Rep. Lee Hamilton, the commission vice chairman appointed by the Democratic minority in Congress, said the commission will be "quite firm" in insisting that it can conduct highly sensitive future interviews without a minder. But he said, "The administration has not agreed to that."

Justice Department spokesman Mark Corallo said government officials commonly sit in on interviews between agency employees and investigators, often to help employees understand how their answers might affect ongoing investigations.

"Very often, the person being interviewed may not have all the information that goes into the big mosaic of an investigation," Corallo said. He said the department was trying to figure out how to give the commission access to reports and witnesses from the Moussaoui investigation without compromising national security.

Despite their criticism, Kean and Hamilton struck an encouraging tone, saying they believed many delays in providing information resulted from the volume of requests overwhelming agencies, which have recently added staff to expedite document retrievals.

"I feel really positive about where we are at this moment," Hamilton said.

One exception appeared to be the Defense Department, which has not responded to information requests from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which advises the president on military matters, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which defends U.S. airspace and faces scrutiny for its response to reports of hijacked planes on Sept. 11.

A three-page report from Kean and Hamilton said "problems" with the Pentagon "are becoming particularly serious," although it says department leaders recently vowed to address the concerns.

The report prompted several relatives of Sept. 11 victims who came to Washington Tuesday from the New York area to call for an extension of the May 2004 deadline for the commission's final report. "So far, they haven't gotten cooperation," said Lorie Van Auken of East Brunswick, N.J., whose husband, Kenneth, was killed in the World Trade Center.

Kean stopped short of asking for more time, but said "coming weeks will determine whether we will be able to do our job within the time alloted."
Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.

Posted by richard at 02:00 AM

The Last Word: Wesley Clark

Since the hand recount in Fraudida was stopped by Supreme In Just Us in December 2000, we have been on the wrong time line. We are languishing on the other side of serious a temporal rift. We are in an alternate universe. In our world, Gore's victory was upheld. The economy cooled off a bit, but soon rebounded. There was no phoney "energy crisis" in California, and so Silicon Valley recovered quickly from the downturn. The surplus was not gutted by two reckless, skewed tax cuts. The Kyoto accords on Global Warming were not scuttled. The FCC stood up to the media monopolies and refused to lift the few restrictions left on corporate control of the news. The ABM treaty was not torn up. Negotiations with North Korea were not disrupted, sending the effort to demilitarize the Korean pennisula into a tail-spin that yet result in a nuclear exchange. The Middle East peace process was not allowed to unravel completely through a cruel, counterproductive policy of "malign neglect." The 9/11 attacks probably didn't happen (because Clinton-Gore had already targeted Bin Laden as the number one threat and had drawn up plans to finish him off, and they would not have ignored the numerous, urgent warnings received from friendly countries and our own investigators), but even if the 9/11 attacks had occured, the response would have been controlled, focused and limited to Al-Qaeda and its allies. The noose was tightened around Saddam Hussein, but no unilateral war was launched against him. We would not have diverted our resources, our attention, and our will. We would not have alienated the international community, we would not have fractured the Western alliance, we would not have violated the UN Charter, and 200+ (and counting...) US GIs did not die in the invasion and occupation of Iraq...So yes, Ralph Nada was/is wrong (he still has not retracted his big lie) there is indeed a big difference between Bush and Gore or any of the other potential Democratic nominees. Somehow we must close the temporal rift and restore the timeline...But how? Gore has chosen (perhaps wisely, perhaps wrongly) not to demand a rematch. So the grown-ups have to get serious and choose someone to run and send the _resident home to Waco. But who? Kerry (D-Mekong Delta), Graham (D-Fraudida), Dean (D-Jeffords)all count as serious options. Here is another...for either slot on the Democratic ticket...Clark's name is already scrawled on the John O'Neil wall of heroes for brave, principled statements in recent months, but this interview with Newsweak and is terrific... http://www.msnbc.com/news/934709.asp#BODY The Last Word: Wesley Clark Marching on Washington? NEWSWEEK INTERNATIONAL July 14 issue — For a self-described “nonpolitical” person, Gen. Wesley K. Clark finds himself in an unusual position: considering a run for the White House. Earlier this year, a grass-roots organization started a campaign to persuade the four-star general to run in 2004. Clark recently received more than a thousand letters from supporters in New Hampshire urging him to run, and last week draftwesleyclark.com opened its national headquarters in Washington, D.C. FOR DEMOCRATS LOOKING to take back the Oval Office, Clark’s resume is a godsend—he spent 34 years in the military and served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander and commander in chief of the U.S. European Command from 1997 to May 2000. Clark has not yet decided to take the plunge, but his name has got America buzzing. NEWSWEEK’s Michael Hastings asked for his views on how Washington is handling its global role. Excerpts: HASTINGS: What could you bring to table that the other candidates haven’t? CLARK: I’ve never really addressed that issue. I’m considering this candidacy because a lot of people have confidence in me and have asked me to consider it. To me, it’s really about the issues. I saw it starting to go wrong before the [2000] election. I met with Condi Rice. She told me she believed that American troops shouldn’t be keeping the peace—they were the only ones who could kill people and conquer countries, and that’s what they should be focused on doing. What she was telling me [was] that she, as a potential Republican national-security adviser, didn’t support our engagement in Europe. So I saw it going wrong from there. Then, as the administration took office, I saw more and more what I believed were misunderstandings and missed opportunities. Where does the United States go from here in Iraq? You have to define what success is, and then you have to work toward it. I would define it politically. Put in place some kind of Iraqi government that [has] some semblance of democracy. The first thing I’d be doing right now [is] calling provisional, national, regional and local councils together from all parties before elections are held. I would ask for their assistance, their ideas and their support in producing security in the region first and guarding the remaining economic infrastructure. I would lay out to them the limitations of the United States’ capabilities. I’d try to get the Iraqis increasingly involved in taking responsibilities. Put an Iraqi face on all the actions that you can and as much of the decision making as possible. Where does the United Nations fit in? I’ve always felt the United Nations should have been involved. You need the U.N. for legitimacy, to get nations to cough up forces. They’re putting the troops in harm’s way; they want some credit for it from their electorate. And they’re not going to get any credit by saying, “Hey, we’re really good friends with George W. Bush.” It has to be theUnited Nations. How is Iraq affecting the war on terror? If you talk to the people on the inside, they all [say] you can’t do everything at once. I know the administration says it thinks it can, but the honest truth is if you’re looking one place, you’re not looking someplace else. Ultimately, Washington is sort of a one-crisis town. What do you think of President Bush’s using war imagery as a political tool, like when he recently flew onto an aircraft carrier? The world expects something more of an American president than to prance around on a flight deck dressed up like [a] pilot. He’s expected to be a leader. That’s my fundamental issue with it. It doesn’t reflect the gravitas of the office. Furthermore, it’s a little phony. Where does military strength fit in concerning U.S. power? It’s [a] question of three or four different things. A strong America is not strong only because of its military. Our strength comes from a robust, diverse economy and an engaged citizenry, and values, and a structure that other nations admire and emulate. The military is just one component of U.S. power. What should Washington do to patch things up with its old allies in Europe? In my vision of American national policy, we would seek the strongest possible linkage with Europe. I see a strong transatlantic alliance as the key fulcrum for all else America does in the world. I’m not sure the administration sees it that way. If you decide to run, will you be looking forward to the political realm? I love being in the business community. I’m thrilled at the prospect that someday I might be able to create jobs for other people. On the other hand, I’ve always liked the battle of ideas. And to me, competing in the political arena should be first and foremost about the ideas and perspectives that candidates would bring to the tasks, then following through on what’s been promised. © 2003 Newsweek, Inc.
Posted by richard at 01:55 AM

July 08, 2003

The British are coming—again. The launch of a U.S. edition of the unabashedly liberal Guardian may be just what the Bush-whacked U.S. press needs.

Lo and behold SeeNot News (CNN) reports "Bush
Official: Iraq Uranium Claim Wrong," BUT not as its
lead story. There are hundreds of US fatalities in
Iraq (and mounting day by day) and thousands of Iraq
fatalities (and mounting day by day) But they led with
the death of the Siamese twins joined at the head
earlier today, their current lead story is a factory
shooting with six fatalities in Mississippi. But do
not despair, help is on the way. The Guardian, which
LNS describes aptly as America's best newspaper, is
coming to the US like water on parched land...


This Media Life
En Guardian!
The British are coming—again. The launch of a U.S.
edition of the unabashedly liberal Guardian may be
just what the Bush-whacked U.S. press needs.

By Michael Wolff

It was a daylong conference about the media’s role in
the Iraq war, sponsored by the Guardian newspaper and
held in its archive center—a newly refurbished
building with café—across the street from the
Guardian’s main building on Farringdon Road in London.

Everything about the conference seemed foreign—not
just the self-critical nature of the conversation, but
the bad air-conditioning and stifling temperature of
the room. I tried to imagine such an event in New York
or Washington—picking at the fresh scab of how we had
covered the war—and what news organization would
sponsor it. Of course, the real subject here—which so
much of the U.S. media had closed ranks around—was the
U.S. itself. That most massive of Bigfoots. Indeed,
more and more, the foreign media had a distinct
journalistic advantage over the U.S. media: Foreigners
could go after the central story and openly dispute
the Bush-administration message, whereas U.S.
journalists were tied to the party line by a
complicated emotional, social, political, and
corporate etiquette.

In this respect—as a robust counterpoint to the
American media—the Guardian (to which I sometimes
contribute) had had a very good war. It became an
almost-fashionable read on select U.S. campuses and in
certain American liberal circles. Traffic on its
Website, which has had a steadily growing American
audience, climbed dramatically during the war. The
electronic Guardian was the alternative press—if you
were looking for one.

Still, when, during a coffee break, Alan Rusbridger,
the Guardian’s editor, said to me, in a most offhanded
way, “We’re coming to America,” I assumed he was
talking about a personal visit.

“Well, let’s definitely get together,” I politely

“No,” he said. “We’re bringing the Guardian to
America. We’re going to publish an American version.”

It struck me first that—even given the Guardian’s
campus chic-ness—the U.S. has never been less
receptive to the European point of view than it is
now. By any measure, to be successful in the U.S. news
business is to be staunch, patriotic, defensive. It’s
Fox or bust. And it struck me even more forcefully
that beyond the difficulties of liberalness, the
prospects for literate media—the Guardian being a
writer’s paper—were, as everybody knew, nil.

Then, during the next break in the conference,
Rusbridger took me across the street to his office and
showed me the prototype for the new American Guardian.
Its tentative form is as a weekly magazine, quite
unlike any other weekly magazine that has been started
in the U.S. in the past generation. Not only is it
about politics (Rusbridger is looking to launch in the
winter to cover the presidential-primary season), but
the magazine—meant to be 60 percent derived from the
Guardian itself, with the rest to come from American
contributors—has a great deal of text unbroken by
design elements. This is almost an extreme notion.
Quite the antithesis of what virtually every
publishing professional would tell you is the key to
popular and profitable publishing—having less to read,
not more. Even with the Guardian’s signature
sans-serif face, it looks like an old-fashioned
magazine. Polemical. Written. Excessive. Contentious.
Even long-winded.

This was either radically wrongheaded, or so
forcefully and stylishly counterintuitive—and
unexpected—that I found myself thinking,
light-headedly, that it might define a turnaround in
American publishing.

Bear with me. There is something here.

First, it’s important to understand the anomalous
nature of the Guardian itself.

There may not be anything else quite like it in
commercial publishing anywhere. The Guardian is the
fruit of a legal trust whose sole purpose is the
perpetuation of the Guardian. In other words, the
trust—the Scott Trust, created in 1936 by the
Manchester family that controlled the paper—eliminates
the exact thing that has most bedeviled media
companies: the demands of impatient shareholders and
the ambitions of would-be mogul CEOs.

The Guardian, because of this flukish independence,
occupies for well-bred left-wing Brits something like
the position that the New York Times once held for
Upper West Side liberals (or that Fox now holds for
red-state anti-liberals): You cannot be who you are
without it.

Young people even read it.

What’s more, under Rusbridger, it has become, along
with the Daily Mail (with its lock on middle England)
and the BBC’s morning news show, The Today Programme,
among the most influential media voices in the UK.

The sudden turn in popular opinion against Tony Blair
for the Iraq war and the anger at his government’s WMD
misrepresentations—a development that George Bush has
yet to face—have been led by the Guardian.

It is also the paper everybody wants to work for.

“Unlike American packaging genius, which is about
packaging down (resulting in the deterioration of
taste), the Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger packages up.”

Rusbridger is a large, rumpled, Harry Potter–esque
49-year-old. He’s a Cambridge-educated, well-married,
Establishment figure running an anti-Establishment
newspaper. He’s dry, slightly mocking (he came to
prominence in his early thirties writing a daily-diary
column that, in classic English diary form, skewered
the rich and pompous), and full of long silences.
What’s more, despite the long pages of type, he’s a
packaging genius.

“G2,” which he created when he was the Guardian’s
features editor (Peter Preston, a Fleet Street
eminence, was then the paper’s editor-in-chief), is a
daily inside-the-paper tabloid section. But instead of
this representing the tabloidizing of the Guardian,
Rusbridger gentrified the tabloid. While the American
evolutionary step has been to forsake hard news for
soft—for instance, the Times’s and the Journal’s
ever-expanding leisure, consumer, and service
sections—the Guardian in “G2” has morphed headline
news into a daily bath of stylish opinion, context,
and narrative. It’s high-concept news. It’s
story-behind-the-story news—which is, of course, the
real story. It is not unlike the kind of magazine
journalism that flourished in the U.S. a generation
ago—before cableization and tabloidization and

This is the marketing point: Unlike American packaging
genius, which is about packaging down (resulting in
the deterioration of taste as well as attention
spans), Rusbridger packages up.

While I was standing in Rusbridger’s office and
leafing through the prototype, thinking that this was
novel and exotic—quixotic, even—and quite a profound
misunderstanding of the American market, it suddenly
occurred to me that I was overlooking the obvious. The
Brit niche.

Against the background of the rise of Fox, the
deification of tabloid queen Bonnie Fuller, and of the
general decline of quality U.S. publishing, there’s
been something of an exceptional, and profitable,
highbrow British invasion. Arguably the two most
successful print publications to be introduced during
the past decade in the U.S. market are The Economist
and the Financial Times. (The third is Maxim, also
English in lineage, and a different packaging story.)

Both The Economist and the FT succeeded by pursuing
the opposite strategy of almost every other U.S.
publication: offering too much, rather than too
little, information—and charging plenty for it.

Rather than a lot of readers at a small price, the
idea is fewer readers at a greater price (whereas most
U.S. magazines discount their subscription price as
much as 80 percent). Rusbridger figures that the
American Guardian, charging a hefty subscription
price, will be in safe financial territory at a
100,000-level circulation. (Advertising, in this
approach, is welcome but not the main driver.) In
other words, against the trend of all other commercial
media (wherein the price the consumer needs to pay or
is willing to pay gets progressively lower), the job
here is to make the magazine—the writing, the
attitudes, the opinions, the content—worth more by
being better, smarter, more exclusive.

Being foreign helps. It’s not a mass-produced American
product. It’s imported. Authentic. Hand-tooled.
Tasteful. Indeed, in some fine irony in this
jingoistic age, its non-American-ness (and, hence, its
ability to be anti-American) makes it worth more.

And being written helps. The very thing that every
American publisher eschews—long articles by actual
writers—starts to look like something valuable. (Every
week, The Economist goes on—and on—at quite an amazing
and interminable length.)

The smarty thing—which runs against the Fox-led
Zeitgeist—might, counterintuitively, work here too.
The Wal-Marting of the publishing business (as well as
every other business) invites the inverse strategy:
You’re too dumb, too low-class, too fat for our
magazine. Sorry, it’s not for you. That’s a marketing
approach that could potentially be worth real dough.

There is also, perhaps, a logical progression here.
For the past generation, American publishers have
imported British editors—the natural next step is to
import British publications.

And there is, of course, the very Englishness of the
Guardian brand—and in publishing, no one has ever gone
broke appealing to a reader’s inner Anglophile.

Then there is the political point: The Europeans have
long divided their media along ideological lines—they
know about this sort of market segmentation. It seems
obvious that such targeting is coming to the U.S.

But meanwhile, the Fox-led conservative fatwa—or
merely its clever marketing ploy—against liberal media
has largely purged the slightest liberal inclination
from the media, meaning there’s a yawning market hole.
Between the New York Times and liberal trade magazines
like The New Republic and The Nation, there’s nothing.
It’s an open field. The very down-and-out-ness of
left-leaning media, together with the great antipathy
to smarties in America, means a blissful business
condition of absolutely no competition at all. What’s
more, the left wing in America has always had terrible
packaging skills.

These are, of course, dark days for liberals
(out-Foxed, Bush-whacked) and for magazine people
(more celebrities, more “elements,” fewer words), so
it is natural to latch onto any potential sign of a

There’s Al Gore’s liberal television network, which
seems rather too well-intentioned to be true. And
there is talk of the launch of a radio network
featuring liberal shock jocks.

And now there’s the prospect of a genuine,
rough-up-the-president-and-the-nabobs magazine.

Well, it could happen.

You go so far in one direction that common sense
suggests the real opportunity lies in the other.

Related Links:
Author E-mail: michael@burnrate.com
Previous Stories: This Media Life Archive
Also In This Issue: New York Magazine - July 14, 2003

From the July 14, 2003 issue of New York Magazine.

Posted by richard at 02:07 PM

US admits Iraq-African uranium link 'bogus'

Hundreds of US soldiers are already dead, and more are
dying almost daily. Thousands of Iraqis are already
dead. There is no end in sight. But at least this one
sliver of the Truth could not be ignored any longer.
On Sunday, Joseph C. Wilson identified himself as the
US diplomat who had been sent to Africa at the request
of the VICE _resident to follow-up on a story about
Iraq attempting to buy uranium in Niger during the
post-9/11 ramp up to the Anglo-American invasion. Of
course, if you read the LNS, you know that this
allegation has been discredited for quite awhile. The
NYTwits and the WASHPs finally deemed it worthy of
their front pages this morning...The White House has
been forced to begrudingly admit that the _resident's
State of the Union address was at least in part
factually incorrect. Will they consume hours every
night with rancorous TV debate between
propapunditgandists (skewed against him)on whether or
not the _resident, the VICE _resident or Condi the
White House au pair knew knew it was a bogus story?
Will we see the video tape of that moment in the State
of the Union speech over and over again? How about
Calm 'Em Powell's speech to the UN? Will the
propapunditgandists dissect it now? Will Tim Russert
roast some hihg-ranking Bush administration official
next Sunday morning on NotBeSeen's Meat the Press?
Nope. We'll "put this behind us." We'll hear about
Liberia and AIDS in Africa (you know it is bad for
them when Rove has him stumping on AIDS in Africa,
something that should be one of the US's three top
international priorities, along with global warming
and a real war on root causes of "terrorism") The "US mainstream news media" is spinning it as best they can, but it is quicksand ("Out, out damn spot!")
...Well, here is the headline news that actually made it to the
front page today at least in Washington and New York.
But because we have been through so much and seen so
much here at the LNS, we will post the story that ran
on the front page of London's Financial Times
(America's best business newspaper) this morning...


US admits Iraq-African uranium link 'bogus'
By James Harding and Guy Dinmore in Washington and
James Blitz in London
Published: July 7 2003 20:55 | Last Updated: July 8
2003 7:37

The two chief advocates of war in Iraq - George W.
Bush and Tony Blair - came under concerted pressure on
Monday over their use of intelligence to justify
military action against Saddam Hussein.

The White House was forced to admit that an assertion
by President Bush this year that Iraq was seeking to
buy uranium from Africa was based on "bogus"

Responding to accusations that the White House twisted
information to exaggerate the Iraqi threat, Ari
Fleischer, the president's press secretary, insisted
Mr Bush did not know the reports were wrong when he
made the allegation - one of the central elements of
his case against Iraq - in the State of the Union
address in January.

In London, Tony Blair's government faced its first
formal criticism for the way it made the case for war
on Iraq. A parliamentary committee said parts of a
dossier on Mr Hussein's weapons of mass destruction
had been "more assertive" than would normally have
been the case and warned of "disquiet" for the
government until WMD are found.

News in-depth: Weapons of mass destruction
Click here

Mr Bush has not faced the same level of outcry over
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as Mr Blair. But
the White House is being dogged by a growing number of
questions about the president's eagerness to suggest
Iraq was developing a nuclear capability by citing
evidence of efforts to buy uranium and aluminium tubes
to serve as centrifuges.

The gathering concern over possible manipulation of
intelligence comes amid rising levels of national
anxiety about the prospects of a long, bloody
deployment of US soldiers in Iraq. US military
personnel have been dying at the rate of roughly one a
day since Mr Bush declared the end of combat

The Bush administration confirmed on Monday that
Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador, investigated the
attempted purchase of uranium in Niger for the Central
Intelligence Agency. Nearly a year before Mr Bush's
State of the Union address, he delivered his findings
to the administration that there was no truth to the
allegations. Mr Wilson wrote in the New York Times on
Sunday that "some of the intelligence related to
Iraq's nuclear weapons programme was twisted to
exaggerate the Iraqi threat".

Mr Fleischer insisted that Mr Bush, and vice-president
Dick Cheney, were not aware that the Niger report had
been found to be inaccurate when the president made
his case at the State of the Union on January 28.

Mr Fleischer promised to publish a more detailed
expla- nation of Mr Bush's comment.

The White House has previously acknowledged the Niger
account was later discovered to be false, but Mr
Fleischer's admission yesterday was the clearest to
date that Mr Bush based a statement in the State of
the Union on misleading information. The other element
of Mr Bush's State of the Union allegation that Iraq
had "much to hide" is also under scrutiny. xref Iraq's

Posted by richard at 01:54 PM

July 07, 2003

Ex-Envoy: Nuclear Report Ignored

"All the _resident's men" may be able to distract the
propapunditgandists and the network nighly news shows
with their photo ops in Africa, BUT not the
LNS...Three more US GI's die (for what?) in Iraq over
the last 24 hours. Again, why is no one asking these
questions: what is the clearly defined goal? what is
the time-table? what is the exit strategy? and most
importantly, what did you expect? Meanwhile, there is
another name to scrawl on the John O'Neil wall of
heroes: Joseph C. Wilson (hitherto, he was


Ex-Envoy: Nuclear Report Ignored
Iraqi Purchases Were Doubted by CIA

By Richard Leiby and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, July 6, 2003; Page A13

Joseph C. Wilson, the retired United States ambassador
whose CIA-directed mission to Niger in early 2002
helped debunk claims that Iraq had tried to obtain
uranium there for nuclear weapons, has said for the
first time publicly that U.S. and British officials
ignored his findings and exaggerated the public case
for invading Iraq.

Wilson, whose 23-year career included senior positions
in Africa and Iraq, where he was acting ambassador in
1991, said the false allegations that Iraq was trying
to buy uranium oxide from Niger about three years ago
were used by President Bush and senior administration
officials as a central piece of evidence to support
their assertions that Iraq had reconstituted its
nuclear weapons program.

"It really comes down to the administration
misrepresenting the facts on an issue that was a
fundamental justification for going to war," Wilson
said yesterday. "It begs the question, what else are
they lying about?"

The Niger story -- one piece of the administration's
larger argument that Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction posed an imminent threat -- was not
debunked until shortly before the war began, when the
United Nations' chief nuclear inspector told the
Security Council the documents were forgeries. The
White House has acknowledged that some documents were
bogus, but a spokesman has said there was "a larger
body of evidence suggesting Iraq attempted to purchase
uranium in Africa," indicating it may have involved a
country other than Niger.

For the past year, Wilson has spoken out against the
U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, but until he was
interviewed by The Post and wrote an op-ed article
published in today's New York Times, he had never
disclosed his key role in the Niger controversy.

The CIA turned to Wilson in February 2002 because of
his extensive experience with intelligence and his
relationship with senior officials in Niger.

Wilson's account of his eight-day mission to Niger,
including a statement he was told Vice President
Cheney's staff was interested in the truth of the
allegations, has not been contradicted by
administration officials, but they have played down
his importance and denied his accusations.

A senior administration official said yesterday that
Wilson's mission originated within the CIA's
clandestine service after Cheney aides raised
questions during a briefing. "It was not orchestrated
by the vice president," the official said. He added
that it was reported in a routine way, did not mention
Wilson's name and did not say anything about

Wilson has been interviewed recently by the House and
Senate intelligence committees, which are expected to
focus on who in the National Security Council and the
vice president's office had access to a CIA cable,
sent March 9, 2002, that did not name Wilson but said
Niger officials had denied the allegations.

Wilson said he went to Niger skeptical, knowing that
the structure of the uranium industry -- controlled by
a consortium of French, Spanish, German and Japanese
firms -- made it highly unlikely that anyone would
officially deal with Iraq because of U.N. sanctions.
Wilson never saw the disputed documents but talked
with officials whose signatures would have been
required and concluded the allegations were almost
certainly false. Back in Washington, he briefed CIA
officers but did not draft his own report.

In September 2002, the story of Iraq purchasing
uranium in Africa made its way into a published
British dossier on Hussein's weapons of mass
destruction that got wide coverage. Wilson was

""[I]t was unfathomable to me that this information
would not have been shared" with the British, he said.

In late September, CIA Director George J. Tenet and
top aides made two presentations in closed session on
Capitol Hill. They said there was information that
Iraq had attempted to buy uranium but that there was
some doubt the information was credible. But on Dec.
19, 2002, a State Department fact sheet listed
attempts to purchase uranium, specifically from Niger,
as an item omitted from Iraq's supposedly full
disclosure of its weapons of mass destruction program.

Bush, in his State of the Union speech on Jan. 23,
declared that "the British government has learned that
Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities
of uranium from Africa."

After Bush's speech, Wilson said he contacted the
State Department, noted that the Niger story had been
debunked and said, "You might want to make sure the
facts are straight."

In early February, the CIA received a translation of
the Niger documents and in early March, copies of the
documents, which it turned over to the International
Atomic Energy Agency.

After IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei announced they
were bogus, Wilson read a March 8 front-page story in
The Washington Post that quoted an unidentified U.S.
official as saying, "We fell for it."

The quote provided "a wake-up call . . . that somebody
was not being candid about this Niger business," he
said. Interviewed that day on CNN, Wilson said: "I
think it's safe to say that the U.S. government should
have or did know that this report was a fake before
Dr. ElBaradei mentioned it in his report at the U.N.

In June, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice
said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that top administration
officials were unaware of the faked documents at the
time of the State of the Union. "Maybe someone knew
down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our
circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions
that this might be a forgery."

But Wilson said he considers that "inconceivable."
Based on his experience at the NSC, Wilson does not
believe his report would have been buried. Having been
told the vice president's office was interested, he
said, "If you are senior enough to ask this question,
you are well above the bowels of the bureaucracy. You
are in that circle."

Last week, Wilson said of Hussein: "I'm glad the
tyrant is gone." But he does not believe the war was
ever about eliminating Hussein's weapons of mass
destruction. It was, he said, a political push to
"redraw the map of the Middle East."

While his family prepared for a Fourth of July dinner,
he proudly showed a reporter photos of himself with
Bush's parents. On a den wall was a framed cable to
him in Baghdad, from the first President Bush, dated
Nov. 20, 1990:

"What you are doing day in and day out under the most
trying conditions is truly inspiring," the cable
states. "Keep fighting the good fight. You and your
stalwart colleagues are always in our thoughts and

Wilson observed: "I guess he didn't realize that one
of these days I would carry that fight against his
son's administration."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Posted by richard at 12:18 PM

Continued hubris in high places heightens risks for

No, these are not words from one of the Internet's
information rebellion sites, these words are from an
editorial in the Philadelphia Enquirer...Pennsylvania,
of course, is one of the battleground states won by
Gore in 2000, just like Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota
and Wisconsin....the majority of them went for
Gore...just as Fraudida did, in reality, of course, as
well as New York, New Jersey and California and all of
New England and the Northwest as well as New Mexico
and Iowa...This editorial, from the Philadelphia
Enquirer, is a healthy sign. Yes, there is a
disconnect between the Editorial pages and the Front
Pages, BUT this strong a statement is still a positive
omen...Enjoy it, and share it with others as proof
that you are not in the minority, you are indeed in
the majority. Remember the butchered truth of 2000,
Gore won a majority of the electoral college votes as
well as the popular vote nationwide in spite of a
heavy media bias against him and the Bush cabal's
overwhelming cash advantage and the cravenness of
Ralph Nada campaigning in Fraudida and other key
states in the final days of the process, delcaring as
he still does that there is no difference between Bush
and Gore...You are not alone...


Posted on Sun, Jul. 06, 2003

Editorial | Bring reality on
Continued hubris in high places heightens risks for
U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

"Bring 'em on"?

U.S. soldiers are dying and dodging guerrilla bullets
in a hot and hostile country and their
commander-in-chief says, "Bring 'em on"?

Mr. President, do you live in a play house or the
White House? No matter how Ari Fleischer tries to spin
it, childish taunts such as that are not the
calibrated words demanded of the United States
president at this turn of history's wheel.

Calibrated does not mean sterile or soft. But a
president's words have global impact. And these words
have people here and abroad scratching their heads
about this war that's supposedly over, but clearly

The President's macho quip rankles in particular
because American troops have been put at greater risk
by the awful U.S. planning for Iraq post-Saddam. From
the moment U.S. forces so ably captured the Iraqi
capital, it was the United States' legal and moral
obligation to act as provider and protector of the
Iraqi citizens with whom the President always said we
had no quarrel.

Instead, there's been as much chaos as calm, as much
pillaging as progress. As of Thursday afternoon,
combat deaths since the May 1 "end" of the war stood
at 25 American and 14 British soldiers.

The tumult has led the U.S. reconstruction chief in
Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, to request more troops and
civilian personnel.

That recommendation slammed headlong into a familiar
problem: the unwillingness of top administration
officials to let reality intrude on their hubris. In
fact, the President's quip came as he ridiculed those
who suggest more troops are needed to stabilize Iraq.

Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul
Wolfowitz assured America before the war that Iraqis
would gladly welcome U.S. troops. They assumed Iraqis
would gratefully accept the Iraqi exiles the Bush team
had handpicked as Saddam's replacements. They
predicted a smooth transition to democracy requiring
no help from individual nations or the United Nations,
and little investment of American dollars, thanks to
Iraqi oil riches.

The reality evolving on the ground is vastly different
from that gauzy picture. Yet those officials still
seem loathe to admit any mistakes.

So here are a few items, call it a get-real list, to
get the Bush team's head out of the clouds and into
the hot and hostile reality where U.S. soldiers
bravely toil on:

Get real about the number of U.S. troops needed to
establish and maintain order for months to come.
Retiring Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki estimates
that as many as 300,000 soldiers might be needed.
(Current troop size is about 158,000.)

Get real about the full scope of reconstructing Iraq -
its cost and duration. Repeating a sound bite - "As
long as it takes, and not a moment longer" - is no
answer. It's political camouflage. Americans don't
expect exact promises, just reasonable estimates. The
U.N. Development Program says reconstruction could
cost $30 billion over two-and-a-half years (not
including the tab for U.S. troops). The Council on
Foreign Relations projected $20 billion a year for at
least 10 years. Is that true? If so, then...

Get real about cutting taxes. The incumbent is the
only president in the nation's history to cut taxes in
the middle of a hot war. Now, the only thing soaring
higher than presidential rhetoric about freedom is the
country's deficit. And those tardy Iraqi oil revenues
have been spent several times over by U.S. planners.

Get real about spurning the value of the United
Nations. Responses from U.S. pleas for help from other
nations have been skimpy. Officials in India
reportedly want a "better understanding" of U.S. plans
for Iraqi civil order and democracy before committing.
Who can blame them?

Get real about the democratic aspirations you unwisely
inflated among the long-oppressed, divided Iraqi
population. Sure, it would have been smarter to get
electricity flowing, the streets safe, courts and
banks operating before launching into risky elections.
But now America has made promises. Reneging on them
only puts its troops at greater peril.

The trick here is to persuade people without jobs,
water or phones to be patient. One hint: Don't use
he-man colloquialisms that suggest you see the
situation as Americans vs. Iraqis.

Finally, get real about admitting mistakes, about
reliance on wildly optimistic scenarios. That's the
only path to effective remedies.

So much rides on this gamble. Not just the future of
Iraq, though that alone is vital. American
credibility. Middle East peace. The war on terror.

Despite the White House's hype and flim-flammery,
there were decent arguments to fight this war. The
initial battle was swiftly won. But America may now
stand on the edge of blunders of colossal scope.

At such moments, an American president needs to do
better, much better, than: "Bring 'em on."

Posted by richard at 12:16 PM

Entire Rainforests Set to Disappear in Next Decade

We are so desperately far from coming to grips with
the gravest threats to our future on this planet.
Every day that the _resident's small-minded,
short-sighted, mean-spirited world-view remains
unchallenged at the highest levels of our
three-branched government and in the mainstream news
media we drift farther and farther from reality. The
international community is in dire need of inspired


Published on Saturday, July 5, 2003 by the
Entire Rainforests Set to Disappear in Next Decade
by Marie Woolf

More than 23 million acres of the world's forests -
enough to cover the whole of Scotland - are
disappearing each year because of logging, mining and
land clearance for agriculture.

The scale of deforestation is so great that some
countries, such as Indonesia, could lose entire
rainforests in the next 10 years. The appetite for
wood for furniture, floors and building in Europe and
North America is shrinking the world's forests at a
rate of 2.4 per cent every 10 years, official figures

Hilary Benn, an International Development minister,
who released the United Nations statistics, said that
they did not take into account deforestation caused by
"trade in illegal timber".

According to the UN figures showing the depletion of
forests between 1990 and 2000, the worst-affected
country was Haiti, which lost 5.7 per cent of its
stock in that period. Saint Lucia's forestry was
eroded by 4.9 per cent and El Salvador's by 4.6 per
cent. Other big losers included Micronesia (4.5 per
cent), Comoros (4.3 per cent) and Rwanda (3.9 per

The habitats of the orang-utan, bonobo ape and lowland
gorilla are under threat and the world's rarest
creatures, including the Sumatran tiger and rhino, are
being forced to retreat into Indonesia's ever-
shrinking forests.

The figures follow the disclosure by The Independent
of the alarming rate at which the Amazon rainforest is
being destroyed. Logging of Brazil's rainforests has
leapt by 40 per cent in the past year, with 25,500sq
km felled in that time.

Andy Tait, the forests campaigner at Greenpeace, said:
"The world bank estimates that the lowland rainforest
of Sumatra and Kalimantan in Indonesia, which is the
home of the orang-utan, has less than 10 years to go
until it is completely logged out."

MPs called on the Government to put more pressure on
international governments to use wood produced in
sustainable logging programs.

Norman Baker, Environment spokesman for the Liberal
Democrats, said the Government must stop using
mahogany and sapele wood in its public building

"Deforestation is an almost irreversible process. You
cannot grow a forest overnight. Excessive forest
farming must be curbed. Otherwise the adage that
'forests proceed man, deserts follow him' will sadly
ring true," he said.

© 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd


Posted by richard at 12:14 PM

A Former Special Forces Soldier Responds to Bush's

In 2000, the Bush cabal was frantic to get the
absentee ballots of military men and women counted
(why is another question for another time). Indeed,
they were so frantic they even forced the counting of
many ballots that arrived past the deadline for
absentee. Even the NYTwits acknowledged that...But of
course they soft-pedaled the fact that the number of
absentee ballots illegally counted was greater than
Bush's phoney margin of victory (it wasn't that close,
Gore won by much more than a few hundred hanging
chads). But I digress...The point is that in 2004 "all
the _resident's men" will be frantic to AVOID having
the absentee ballots of men and women in the military


July 3, 2003

A Former Special Forces Soldier Responds to Bush's
Invitation for Iraqis to Attack US Troops
"Bring 'Em On?"

In 1970, when I arrived at my unit, Company A, 4th
Battalion/503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade, in
what was then the Republic of Vietnam, I was charged
up for a fight. I believed that if we didn't stop the
communists in Vietnam, we'd eventually be fighting
this global conspiracy in the streets of Hot Springs,
Arkansas. I'd been toughened by Basic Training,
Infantry Training and Parachute Training, taught how
to use my weapons and equipment, and I was confident
in my ability to vanquish the skinny unter-menschen.
So I was dismayed when one of my new colleagues--a
veteran who'd been there ten months--told me, "We are
losing this war."

Not only that, he said, if I wanted to survive for my
one year there, I had to understand one very basic
thing. All Vietnamese were the enemy, and for us, the
grunts on the ground, this was a race war. Within one
month, it was apparent that everything he told me was
true, and that every reason that was being given to
the American public for the war was not true.

We had a battalion commander whom I never saw. He
would fly over in a Loach helicopter and give cavalier
instructions to do things like "take your unit 13
kilometers to the north." In the Central Highlands, 13
kilometers is something we had to hack out with
machetes, in 98-degree heat, carrying sometimes 90
pounds over our body weights, over steep, slippery
terrain. The battalion commander never picked up a
machete as far as we knew, and after these directives
he'd fly back to an air-conditioned headquarters in LZ
English near Bong-son. We often fantasized together
about shooting his helicopter down as a way of
relieving our deep resentment against this faceless,
starched and spit-shined despot.

Yesterday, when I read that US Commander-in-Chief
George W. Bush, in a moment of blustering arm-chair
machismo, sent a message to the 'non-existent' Iraqi
guerrillas to "bring 'em on," the first image in my
mind was a 20-year-old soldier in an ever-more-fragile
marriage, who'd been away from home for 8 months. He
participated in the initial invasion, and was told
he'd be home for the 4th of July. He has a newfound
familiarity with corpses, and everything he thought he
knew last year is now under revision. He is sent out
into the streets of Fallujah (or some other city),
where he has already been shot at once or twice with
automatic weapons or an RPG, and his nerves are raw.
He is wearing Kevlar and ceramic body armor, a Kevlar
helmet, a load carrying harness with ammunition,
grenades, flex-cuffs, first-aid gear, water, and
assorted other paraphernalia. His weapon weighs seven
pounds, ten with a double magazine. His boots are
bloused, and his long-sleeve shirt is buttoned at the
wrist. It is between 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit at
midday. He's been eating MRE's three times a day, when
he has an appetite in this heat, and even his urine is
beginning to smell like preservatives. Mosquitoes and
sand flies plague him in the evenings, and he probably
pulls a guard shift every night, never sleeping
straight through. He and his comrades are beginning to
get on each others' nerves. The rumors of 'going-home,
not-going-home' are keeping him on an emotional roller
coaster. Directives from on high are contradictory,
confusing, and often stupid. The whole population
seems hostile to him and he is developing a deep
animosity for Iraq and all its people--as well as for
official narratives.

This is the lad who will hear from someone that George
W. Bush, dressed in a suit with a belly full of rich
food, just hurled a manly taunt from a 72-degree
studio at the 'non-existent' Iraqi resistance.

This de facto president is finally seeing his poll
numbers fall. Even chauvinist paranoia has a
half-life, it seems. His legitimacy is being eroded as
even the mainstream press has discovered now that the
pretext for the war was a lie. It may have been
control over the oil, after all. Anti-war forces are
regrouping as an anti-occupation movement. Now,
exercising his one true talent--blundering--George W.
Bush has begun the improbable process of alienating
the very troops upon whom he depends to carry out the
neo-con ambition of restructuring the world by arms.

Somewhere in Balad, or Fallujah, or Baghdad, there is
a soldier telling a new replacement, "We are losing
this war."

Stan Goff is the author of "Hideous Dream: A Soldier's
Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti" (Soft Skull Press,
2000) and of the upcoming book "Full Spectrum
Disorder" (Soft Skull Press, 2003). He retired in 1996
from the US Army, from 3rd Special Forces. He lives in

He can be reached at: stan@ncwarn.org

Posted by richard at 12:12 PM

130 U.S. Communities Saying No to Repression

Such resolutions are not passed in a vacuum. The local
officials who have taken this brave, principled action
have done so because the communities demanded it.
These actions, representing 16 million people,
translate into votes. You are not alone.
They are hoping that the triple lock--i.e., their
overwhelming lead in corporately controlled campaign
contributions, their though-control (i.e. corporate
kulchure) of the corporately owned "US mainstream news
media" and their tampering at the voting booth (i.e.
blacb box voting," the end of "exit polls," etc.--but
they may yet be proven wrong.


Published on Saturday, July 5, 2003 by OneWorld.net
130 U.S. Communities Saying No to Repression
by Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON - More than 130 communities with a combined
population of more than 16 million people in 26 states
have passed resolutions directing local police to
refrain from using racial profiling, enforcing
immigration laws, or participating in federal
investigations that violate civil liberties, according
to a new report released on the eve of this year's
Fourth of July celebrations by the American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU).

The 23-page report credits Ann Arbor, Michigan, with
adopting the first resolution opposing key provisions
of the USA PATRIOT Act, thus setting off a trend that
shows no sign of abating.

"In my conversations with people from across the
political spectrum, I hear one refrain over and over,"
says Laura Murphy, who heads the ACLU's Washington,
D.C. legislative office. "If we give up our freedoms
in the name of national security, we will have lost
the war on terrorism."

"As this year's Fourth of July rolls around, we hope
that this report will demonstrate to the White House,
the Justice Department and Congress that we must be
both safe and free."

The ACLU, whose local offices played a major role in
support of dozens of resolutions around the country,
stressed that among the jurisdications that have taken
action are a number of traditionally conservative
areas of the country, such as Oklahoma City, Missoula,
Montana; and Falgstaff, Arizona.

Some of the larger cities include Denver, Colorado;
Oakland and San Francisco, California; Seattle,
Washington; Detroit, Michigan; Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania; and Baltimore, Maryland. Three states
have also adopted measures that call for strict
respect for constitutional rights: Hawaii, Alaska, and

The report, 'Independence Day 2003: Main Street Fights
the Federal Government's Insatiable Appetite for New
Powers in the Post 9/11 Era,' says the burgeoning
grassroots movement was launched after demands by
Attorney General John Aschroft were agreed to by
Congress, which, it charges, "encouraged an atmosphere
of hysteria," by approving the USA PATRIOT Act in late
October 2001 with little debate and few dissenting

The Act included a number of controversial provisions
that, in the ACLU's view, upset the balance between
the citizen's privacy and political rights and the
state's responsibility to ensure the security of the

Some of those provisions included expanding the power
of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act;
approval of "sneak and peek" warrants which allow
federal agents to enter private homes without
notifying the owner until much later; weakening the
standards for intelligence wiretaps by permitting them
to be used for criminal invstigations under some
circumstances; and making it easier for federal agents
to obtain highly personal "business records," such as
library loan records, of possible terrorist suspects.

The Act itself was followed up with a flurry of
executive orders, regulations, policies and practices,
such as denying the right to a fair trial for citizens
and non-citizens labeled "enemy combatants" and
establishing military commissions that fall short of
minimum due process standards, which further eroded
civil liberties protection, according to the ACLU.

On January 7, 2002, Ann Arbor became the first city in
the country to pass a resolution in direct response to
the PATRIOT Act and new federal policies. "We're very
concerned about civil rights and the about the
potential discrimination," City Councilwoman Heidi
Herrell told ABC News at the time. "We spent a lot of
time since September 11 making sure that the Muslim
members of our community felt safe."

Denver became the second city to approve a resolution
after the ACLU there discovered the existence of 3,400
secret files on social activists that had been
collected by the Denver Police over several years.
That resolution called for the police not to gather
information on individuals' First Amendment activities
unless the information related to criminal activity
and the subject was suspected of engaging in criminal

The movement has gathered steam. In February, 2003,
alone, 22 communities passed resolutions affirming
civil liberties, while the three states have all acted
in the last three months.

The momentum behind the resolution movement has drawn
the increasing ire of the Justice Department,
according to the report. Ashcroft himself recently
acknowledged public fears about the possibility for
abuse of the PATRIOT Act and called on the media to
help the Justice Department explain it. It has also
enlisted Republican lawmakers in an effort to oppose
local resolutions.

"This report just goes to show the importance of local
activism," Murphy said. "Although the Attorney General
and his staff have said that this movement is but a
flash in the pan, the fact that they'd take the time
to actively work to defeat these things speaks volumes
about their political importance."

The movement has not only involved local governments.
Librarians are refusing to cooperate with federal
authorities, and dozens of state library associations
have passed their own anti-PATRIOT Act resolutions. In
Congress. Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has
introduced the "Freedom to Read Protection Act" which
would exempt libraries and bookstores from the Act.
The bill currently has 122 co-sponsors, and California
Sen. Barbara Boxer has introduced a companion bill in
the Senate.

"Nothing is more precious in a democracy than freedom
of speech and free access to information without
government intrusion," the report asserts. "The
American people seem to understand that, even if
Attorney General Ashcroft does not."

Copyright 2003 OneWorld.net


Posted by richard at 12:09 PM

Pilger & Fisk on Iraq Coverage: The Real Danger Lies

If the US newspapers had the courage and indepdendence
of the British newspapers, either a) we would not be
in Iraq today, or b) or the _resident's regime would
be on the brink of collapse and Congress would be
force by the public outrage to hold open hearings
investigating why we declared war unilaterally in
violation of the UN Charter and fractured the Western
Alliance in the process, and why 200+ (and counting)
US soldiers had died...IF (as is now painfully
evident) the intel was cooked...and of course the
central question is at what level was it cooked? And
at whose command? The trail will lead to the Oval
Office or at least to Cheney's "undisclosed, secure
location." But, of course, if the big city US
newspapers (even one) and major TV networks (even
one)had the courage of the British press or of the BBC
(i.e. if the truth had come out) about 9/11, there
would have been public outrage which would have forced
Congress into open hearings investigating exactly
where the "intel failure" occured. Because you see it
is was an "intel failure" (there was plenty of intel
prior to 9/11, plenty and much more specific then yu
have been led to believe), BUT that intel was not
acted upon in the White House. The ensuing scandal
from an open expose of the pre-9/11 inaction of
_resident, the White House au pair (i.e. National
Security Advisor) and the VICE _resident, would have
put the Bush cabal's long-term goal of occupying Iraq
out of reach for the forseeable future. But alas that
is what happens when a free press forfeits its
responsibility in a democratic system...


Published on Thursday, July 3, 2003 by Inter Press
Pilger & Fisk on Iraq Coverage: The Real Danger Lies
by Gørill Hus and Guri Wiggen

OSLO - If the reality in Iraq is one thing and the
reporting of it remains another, it is because much of
the media wants it that way, say two leading
journalists who have been reporting the 'other' side
of the Iraq story.

The level of self-censorship in the media has risen
not just during the Iraq war but also since 9/11, says
Robert Fisk from The Independent newspaper published
in Britain and John Pilger, Australian broadcaster and

Pilger and Fisk both spoke to IPS on visits to Oslo.
Pilger came to receive the $100,000 Sophie Prize for
30 years of work to expose deception and war against
humanity. Fisk came to give a lecture at Fritt Ord, a
Norwegian media foundation.

”Propaganda is not found just in totalitarian states,”
Pilger says. ”There at least they know they are being
lied to. We tend to assume it is the truth. In the
U.S., censorship is rampant.”

Self-censorship, that is. This kind of self-censorship
is an increasing problem, and leads to one-dimensional
coverage that journalists must learn to transcend,
Pilger says.

”The most important soldiers in the Iraq war were not
the troops, but the journalists and the broadcasters,”
Pilger says. ”Lies were transformed into themes for
public debate. The true reason was of course--as we
all now know--not to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein and
remove their alleged weapons of mass destruction, but
to achieve the real Anglo-American aim; to capture an
oil rich country and to control the Middle East.”

Self-censorship is a particular problem because of the
”myth of neutrality” around western media. ”When you
declare yourself neutral, everybody else seems
biased,” Pilger says. ”But as seen in the Iraq
coverage and elsewhere, journalists very often assume
the culture of the media institution and all its
unwritten restrictions.”

But even the term self-censorship is not quite right,
Pilger says, ”because many journalists are unaware
that they are censoring themselves.”

Media organizations are now under tight control,
Pilger says. Just five corporations rule the
broadcasters in the United States. In Australia Rupert
Murdoch controls 70 percent of the media. ”We live in
an age of information,” he says. ”Yet the media is not
attacking the ruling system. The media has never
before been so controlled, and propaganda is all
around. Most of us don't even see it.”

The three main dangers facing the world, he says, are
silence, betrayal and power--and journalists can make
silence dangerous.

Fisk says the story in Iraq most correspondents chose
not to report was the ”bomb now, die later” policy
through use of depleted uranium (DU). Since the Gulf
war of 1991 the number of cancer patients had risen,
and ”strange vegetables” had begun to appear on the
market. The distortions were most likely to have been
caused by use of DU, he says.

”I told my colleagues that this was an interesting
story that should be reported,” Fisk says. ”But most
of them said, honestly Bob, we do not want to write
home about sick children. An official American
military document states that DU dust can indeed be
spread in battles and lead to serious illness in
humans, but this is not reported.”

The public and civil society opposed the Iraq war
because they understood the hidden agenda, but
”editors have a tendency to underestimate their
readership,” he says. Readers are seen as ignorant or

Self-censorship continues in Iraq after the war, and
elsewhere, Fisk says. ”Many more people have died so
far in the war against terrorism than on September 11
2001,” Fisk says. ”That is the story of our time, and
very few are writing it.”

Twenty thousand people have died just in the
Afghanistan war, seven times more than on September
11, Fisk says. This is just one example of the ”great
power of silence that is threatening to dominate us

Coupled with the self-censorship is the censorship
being imposed on the Iraqi media, Fisk says. This too
is not being reported adequately in the United States.
The U.S. administration has set up a committee for
press censorship in Iraq, which means the Iraqi press
can publish anything to remind people about the terror
of Saddam, but is not allowed to write freely about
current events crucial to them and their future.

Pilger sees reason for optimism. ”There is a movement
of resistance globally from the landless peoples
movement in Brazil to the huge anti-war movement,” he
says. ”Nothing like this has ever happened before in
my lifetime.” The superpower in Washington is being
challenged by the other superpower, he says; the
superpower of public opinion.

Copyright 2003 IPS


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Posted by richard at 12:07 PM

Graham Rebukes Bush for Iraq Comments

For the record, here are the remarks of Sen. Bob
Graham (D-Fraudida) on the _resident's disrgaceful,
irresponsible and foolish "Bring 'em on" taunt...Of
course, the US mainstream news media's eagerness to
allow Calm 'Em Powell and Condi Rice the White au pair
to change the subect at least as disgraceful and
irresponsible. Change the subject to ransom for Saddam
(before it was "Saddam is not relevant," because they
could not produce him, now it is "Saddam is behind
this..." because they will not admit to the
insurgency). They gave the sound bytes last night to
several GOP Senators on their way back from Iraq
saying, "Oh yes, we must catch Saddam. Everything will
OK after that..." Well, even if that were true (which
it is not), why doesn't the US news media hold
Rumsfeld and Ari Flicka Fleischer responsible for
their comments about Saddam's whereabouts and status
being larely insignificant? And of course the sound
bytes you heard were GOP Senators talking about
Saddam, not Democratics like Lautenberg, Graham and
Kerry (D-Mekong Delta) who all made powerful
statements. Don't show leadership in the opposition,
because people will rally around it. Don't show
leadership in the opposition, because then you can
have Michael Moore and Ralph Nada say it isn't
there...Remember, this July 4th, that we have one
election left to save this Republic (including its
Consitution, and its promise) from brain-death...2+2=4


Graham Rebukes Bush for Iraq Comments

Manchester, NH - On a visit to New Hampshire today,
Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bob
Graham commented on President Bush's challenge made
yesterday to insurgents in Iraq: "There are some who
feel like that, you know, the conditions are such that
they can attack us there. My answer is bring it on."

"That was not the kind of statement a president should
make because it may entice the Iraqis to continue
their attacks," Graham said today in New Hampshire.
"'Bring it on' may be appropriate for a referee in a
Las Vegas boxing match to say, but not for the man we
trust to lead our men and women who are in harm's

According to the Washington Post, as of July 3, 2003
"there have been 64 Americans killed since Bush
declared the bulk of fighting over two months ago."


Posted by richard at 12:03 PM

July 03, 2003

Lautenberg Criticizes Bush "Bring Them On" Rhetoric

Yesterday, the _resident made one of the most
politically stupid statements of his disasterous
reign: "Bring 'em on." Yes, the _resident incited
fresh attacks on US soldiers. (200+ have already died,
an average of one every day or two, and dozens since
his publicity stunt on the aircraft carrier in front
of a banner that said "Mission Accomplished.") Indeed,
within hours six more US soldiers had been injured. It
was a disgraceful and embarrassing moment, the
_resident talked like a college football coach, not a
world leader. "Bring them 'on." An awfully callous and
reckless statement from someone who apparently went
AWOL for the last year of his draft-dodging stint in
the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam war.
And what did the US mainstream media do with this
story? Ann Incompetent, AnythingButSee's White
House "correspondent," was flustered and apologetic.
Dana Milktoast of the WASHPs tread very lightly.
The NYTwits did not deem it worthy of the front page (at least in the national edition). AnythingButSee radio spent more time on their lead story (an out-of-control escalator at Coors Staduim). SeeNotNews made sure it only ran the political fall-out story with Ari "Flicka" Fleischer's spin right under the lead, and the most credible Democratic attack buried farther down...
Here is what Sen. Frank Launtenberg (D-NJ) said (and
yes, his name should be scrawled on the John O'Neal
wall of heroes)in its entirety, since you probably
won't get to hear a Lautenberg sound byte.
NOTE: Dick LoseHeart (D-Misery) also spoke out, but
from him it is too little too late.


July 2, 2003
Lautenberg Criticizes Bush "Bring Them On" Rhetoric on
NEWARK, N.J. – United Senator Frank R. Lautenberg
sharply criticized the irresponsible and inciteful
rhetoric used by President Bush today in his speech
about intensified violence against U.S. forces by
Iraqi insurgents. With regard to those oppositional
forces attacking American troops, Bush said: "My
answer is bring them on…We got the force necessary to
deal with the security situation.'' Minutes after
learning about the speech, Lautenberg said:

"I am shaking my head in disbelief. When I served in
the army in Europe during World War II, I never heard
any military commander – let alone the Commander in
Chief – invite enemies to attack U.S. troops," said

Lautenberg described Bush's word choice –"bring them
on"-- as tantamount to inciting and inviting more
attacks against U.S. forces. He said that the U.S.
should be aspiring for the opposite military

"We want to see the Iraqi opposition disappear. We
want to see law and order restored to Iraq, which will
allow the Iraqi people to live in security and
freedom. These should be our goals – rather than
encouraging more violence and bloodshed," Lautenberg

Lautenberg wrote a letter to Secretary Rumsfeld today
expressing his concerns over the lack of a post-war
strategy in Iraq in light of the number of casualties
the U.S. has sustained since President Bush declared
that major combat operations had ended on May 1. One
third of U.S. casualties in Iraq have occurred since
May 1st.

Posted by richard at 10:40 AM

Anthrax link to US Army trainer

This posting is just a placeholder, just a reminder, passed on to you from
Agence France Press, via the Sidney Morning Herald. It is distilled from a story by Judith Miller (Chalabi's mouthpiece) and two other NYTwit
correspondents (probably to mitigate Miller's credibility problem)...is this story simply more disinformation? is someone toying with us all (e.g., waiting to "crack the case" to dominate an otherwise really damaging news cycle)? or is someone really trying to avoid cracking the case because of where it will lead? STAY TUNED...sooner or later, the
truth of the post-9/11 anthrax snail mail attacks on
the Democratic leaders of the US Senate and the network TV anchors will be


Anthrax link to US Army trainer

July 3 2003

The man described by US Attorney-General, John
Ashcroft, as a "person of interest" in an inquiry into
the anthrax postal attacks in 2001 trained US special
forces in biological warfare before the Iraq war, The
New York Times reported yesterday.

Steven Hatfill helped set up a mobile bioweapons
laboratory that was used to teach troops what to look
for in Iraq, the newspaper said, citing unnamed
government officials and experts.

At the heart of the project was a covert plan to build
a mobile germ plant, real in all its parts but never
actually "plugged in" to make weapons, it was claimed.
To design the unit, the Government turned to Dr
Hatfill, then a rising star in the world of biological

According to the report, the officials now say a major
reason Dr Hatfill came under suspicion following the
anthrax attacks, which left five people dead, was his
work on the mobile unit. In any case, investigators
found no evidence suggesting that the plant ever made
anthrax, the paper said.

Even after the FBI began investigating Dr Hatfill, the
Pentagon continued to draw on his expertise.


This story was found at:

Posted by richard at 08:38 AM

July 02, 2003

U.S. Troops Trapped In Iraq

"President Bush is wrong, the war is not over. Secretary of Defense is wrong, the attackers are not criminals. It is a guerrilla war. Guerrillas do not need a jungle to operate, only somewhere to hide, somewhere to pounce from and somewhere to retreat into. Urban environments can be ideal, the sprawing, maze-like Iraqi cities certainly are. "

Here are some questions to ask over and over again, of those who fell asleep in the yellow poppies, until November 2004: what are these GIs dying for? what are the realizable goals of this mission (if any)? what is the exit strategy? and most importantly, what did you expect? certainly, you did not choose to become involved in a guerrila war, so who is responsible for blundering into one on fabricated evidence?


According to Confused Rummy & Chickenhawk George, the Iraq War is over, there are only small pockets of criminals; according to this Vietnam veteran, the war has not ended but changed, changed to a guerrilla war the U.S. will lose.

By Stewart Nusbaumer

Nearly two months after President Bush declared an end to the war in Iraq, with great fanfare and total self-confidence, 61 U.S. soldiers have died and the Iraqi attacks are escalating on our troops. Clearly the fighting is not over, some say it’s only beginning. But what kind of fighting?

The New York Times wrote that U.S. troops in Iraq are facing “an organized campaign of guerrilla warfare.” Yet, when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked whether the recent assailants of U.S. troops were guerrillas, he replied, “I don't know that I would use that word.” The word Rumsfeld did use was “criminals.” The problem is not guerrilla war, according to Rummy, but criminal activity.

As for the public, it seems to be perplexed, which is risky for Republicans since being perplexed has been known to lead to serious thinking. Americans witnessed our troops being warmly embraced as liberators, the hugs, the kissed and all of that, after a quick victory spin in their SUVs, they returned to the “fair and balanced” to hear our troops were being angrily killed as occupiers. The typical American is beginning to think something isn’t kosher about this peace.

President Bush is wrong, the war is not over. Secretary of Defense is wrong, the attackers are not criminals. It is a guerrilla war. Guerrillas do not need a jungle to operate, only somewhere to hide, somewhere to pounce from and somewhere to retreat into. Urban environments can be ideal, the sprawing, maze-like Iraqi cities certainly are.

Guerrilla Warfare Recognition Course For Chickenhawks

The initial stage of a guerrilla war normally includes small groups of fighters, such as those small groups now shooting at and harassing the U.S. troops in Iraq. Yet, Rummy uses the prevalence of small attack groups as a sign that they’re not guerrillas but criminals. A little background, especially for our Confused Rummy: criminals kill for money, guerrillas kill for politics. American GIs in combat zones do not carry diamonds and stock certificates and rolls of 100 dollar bills, Iraqis are killing Americans to take back their country!

When Confused Rummy and Chickenhawk George look at the armed resistance in Iraq, what they see is disorganization, uncoordinated rag-tag gangs with little military know-how. Yet, what these finely destroyed minds consider disorganization of the rag-tag is actually another trait of guerrilla warfare: decentralization. In the early stage of a guerrilla war it is not uncommon for centralized coordination to be inconsistent, spotty, since the infrastructure of command remains underdeveloped. On the other hand, decentralization makes guerrillas unpredictable and difficult to defend against, limited coordination guards against a sudden decapitation of the movement’s leadership.

If Confused Rummy can locate Iraq on a map, that beautiful cluster of oil wells that he dreams about, he will notice that the attacks on our soldiers are consistent with another characteristic of guerrilla warfare: strike your enemy over a wide geographical space. This extends the occupiers -- Rummy, that’s us -- supply lines and thins out their defenses, which makes the troops vulnerable to small unit guerrilla attacks. The French know all about this, but I don’t think Confused Rummy is talking to the French.

Finally, the lengthening series and the greater frequency of the attacks is raising our causalities. There have been six U.S. soldiers’ killed and many more wounded in just the past week, and this is merely the official figure, plus six British soldiers killed. The increasing number of dead in this so-called post-war period of criminal activity is catching the stupefied eye of the media. This is another tactic of those sneaky guerrillas, “bleed” the occupying forces onto the evening news and into the newspaper headlines to make the political cost of the war greater than the economic benefits to the oil companies. Chickenhawk George should talk to his fellow Texan Lyndon Johnson, he has the skinny on this guerrilla tactic.

It is unfortunate Confused Rummy or Chickenhawk George did not make it to Vietnam, which was an excellent training school for recognizing guerrilla wars. Something else Vietnam taught very well: knowing when your butt is sinking fast into a hopeless quagmire.

What Is Obvious Should Not Be Surprising

It certainly is not surprising that the United States is facing a guerrilla war in Iraq. In fact, for the three million Americans schooled in Vietnam -- I was in the class of 1967 -- and the millions more who studied that bloody fiasco, we would have been shocked if our “victory” was not followed by a guerrilla war.

Here is something from CNN’s Crossfire. Question: how do you spell Vietnam in Arabic? Answer: Vietnam.

Remnants of the Baath Party and elements of the military are waging an organized guerrilla war, and foreign Islamists are joining the fight, just as they have done in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan. Iraqi patriots, infuriated a foreign power is running (or attempting to run) their country, are climbing aboard the mushrooming oppositional movement.

In Baghdad the temperature is topping 107, yet four-fifths of the city is without or has pitifully little electricity. (The U.S. military does an admirable job in destroying, but as repairmen and –women they fail miserably.) When the thermometer crests triple digits and there is no fan, then forget sleeping, forget eating, and forget patience! All of which is pushing millions of ordinary yet outraged Iraqis into supporting the guerrillas.

The social and logistical framework for the Iraqi quagmire is taking hold, shopkeepers are being persuaded to look the other way, mothers are agreeing to supply food to the guerrillas, old men are offering their spare bedrooms for hiding, and tough young men want to join the freedom fighters. Some have relatives killed by the Americans, while others have no jobs but plenty of complaints against the U.S. troops. The cement of national resistance is hardening.

Excluding Fox News and political numskulls unable to recognize a guerrilla war, is anyone really surprised there are people in Iraq who are willing to risk their lives to throw out a foreign occupier? Would American nationalists take up arms against, say, French troops occupying America? After freeing us from a John Ascroft-type dictator, would Americans tolerate the French military stealing our California grapes? The delusional in literature can make for interesting reading, but in politics it is mostly deadly.

This twisted delusion that the war is over and only small pockets of criminals are resisting the liberation is reminiscent of another Chickenhawk President and his Confused Secretary of Defense. During our downward spiral in Southwest Asia (instead of Southeast Asia), both insisted they saw “light at the end of the tunnel.” This light, it turned out, was from the muzzle blast of a gun, fired not by a Vietnamese criminal, but by a Vietnamese guerrilla. It is this same mistaken light that Confused Rummy and Chickenhawk George see today, and the same guerrilla will outlast our leaders’ fantasy that we almost have everything under control.

With National Butt In Sling, What Next?

To extricate ourselves -- with “honor,” of course -- from this quickly developing quagmire, the Administration has two options. Why only two? Because once a guerrilla war has been successfully launched, once the guerrillas’ support mechanism has established solid roots in the civilian population, and once the young identity resistance with patriotism, then, in the vernacular of U.S. Marine grunts, “you can’t squeeze that fat pig back into a square bottle.”

This is especially true when guerrillas are fighting a United States blinded by superpower hubris and distracted by an unquenchable thirst for profit, like in the 1960s in Vietnam and today in Iraq. Whereas in the Vietnam the motive was to defend an economic system against a competitor, the quagmire in Iraq is built upon pure greed for oil profits. The results will be equally ugly for the United States, in the end we will be forced to acknowledge the limits of military force.

Option one is for the Bush Administration to declare total, unequivocal victory and yank our troops out of Iraq, then quickly invade Pago Pago to distract the press (a press already distracted), followed by a vicious polemical attack on the Democrats for losing Iraq -- an Iraq War we supposedly just won. Note, the first causality of Chickenhawk spin is logic.

Option two is for the Bush Administration to declare total, unequivocal victory and keep our troops in Iraq. (It’s not their kids that will bleed.) Then quickly invade Pago Pago to distract the press (a press already distracted), followed by a vicious polemical attack on the Democrats for losing Iraq -- an Iraq War we are supposedly winning. Note, the second causality of Chickenhawk spin is logic.

What these two choices boil down to this, hightail out of Iraq now or hightail out of Iraq later. Since the purpose of the Iraq War and the bloody peace is oil, money extracted from extracted oil, I assume we will run later. After the oil companies have fattened their profits and their top executives have raked in stock options roughly equal to the world’s combined wealth. Otherwise, all those Americans would have died for nothing.

Stewart Nusbaumer is editor of Intervention Magazine. He attended Guerrilla Recognition School in Vietnam, in El Salvador, on the Honduras/Nicaragua border, in the boondocks of Cambodia, in an endless number of pubs in Northern Ireland, in southern Lebanon in 1973 -- certainly a ripe year for southern Lebanon education -- in the guerrilla mountains of the Philippines, and in a few other locations that post-recall deficiency (PRD) insure Stewart will never remember.

Posted by richard at 08:07 AM

Mistrust Mixes With Misery In Heat of Baghdad Police Post - Frustrated Reservists See a Mission Impossible

"U.S. officials need to get our [expletive] out of here," said the 43-year-old reservist from Pittsburgh, who arrived in Iraq with the 307th Military Police Company on May 24. "I say that seriously. We have no business being here. We will not change the culture they have in Iraq, in Baghdad. Baghdad is so corrupted. All we are here is potential people to be killed and sitting ducks."

Staff Sgt. Charles Pollard has just earned a place of honor on the John O'Neal wall of heroes for his courage in standing up to the _resident and Rumsfeld... Read this incredible piece of reporting... The WASHPs have roused from their stupor. They have at least allowed this piece on the misery of the US soldiers, and of the Iraqis. Perhaps the WASHPs will rise to this historic moment and reclaim their dignity. Perhaps...Don't hold your breath, but if they do...The political landscape could start changing rapidly..."The arc of the moral universe is long," MLK promised on his last night among us, "but it bends towards justice."


By Anthony Shadid

BAGHDAD, June 30 -- To Staff Sgt. Charles Pollard, the working-class suburb of Mashtal is a "very, very, very, very bad neighborhood." And he sees just one solution.

"U.S. officials need to get our [expletive] out of here," said the 43-year-old reservist from Pittsburgh, who arrived in Iraq with the 307th Military Police Company on May 24. "I say that seriously. We have no business being here. We will not change the culture they have in Iraq, in Baghdad. Baghdad is so corrupted. All we are here is potential people to be killed and sitting ducks."

To Sgt. Sami Jalil, a 14-year veteran of the local police force, the Americans are to blame. He and his colleagues have no badges, no uniforms. The soldiers don't trust them with weapons. In his eyes, his U.S. counterparts have already lost the people's trust.

"We're facing the danger. We're in the front lines. We're taking all the risks, only us," said the 33-year-old officer. "They're arrogant. They treat all the people as if they're criminals."

These are the dog days of summer in Mashtal, and tempers are flaring along a divide as wide as the temperatures are high.

Throughout the neighborhood, as in much of Baghdad, residents are almost frantic in their complaints about basic needs that have gone unmet -- enough electricity to keep food from spoiling, enough water to drink, enough security on the streets. At Mashtal's Rashad police station, where Pollard's unit is working to protect the police and get the Baath Party-era force back on its feet, the frustrations are personal and professional.

Many of the Iraqi officers despise the U.S. soldiers for what they see as unreasonable demands and a lack of respect. Many of the soldiers in Pollard's unit -- homesick, frustrated and miserable in heat that soars well into the 100s -- deem their mission to reconstitute the force impossible.

The Rashad station, where a new coat of paint has done little to conceal unmet expectations, is an example of the darker side of the mundane details of the U.S. occupation. While perhaps not representative, it offers a grim, small window on the daunting task of rebuilding a capital and how the course of that reconstruction, so far, has defied the expectations of virtually everyone involved.

"I pray every day on the roof. I pray that we make it safe, that we make it safe home," Pollard said. "The president needs to know it's in his hands, and we all need to recognize this isn't our home, America is, and we just pray that he does something about it."

Pollard is a 22-year veteran, and he had thought about retiring before his Iraq tour. Now, he says, he doesn't know when he will return to his job at the maintenance department at a community college in Pittsburgh, and that uncertainty nags at him.

Asked when he wanted to leave, he was blunt: "As soon as we can get the hell out of here."

This morning, in a dusty second-floor room with sandbags piled against the windows, helmets hung on nails over flak jackets and a sprawling map of Baghdad on the wall, Pollard's unit debated that question. Gossip swirled.

"There's a rumor going around that we'll be here for two years," Spec. Ron Beach said.

Others rolled their eyes and shook their heads. "You can put me up in a five-star hotel, and I'm not going to be here for two years," said Sgt. Jennifer Appelbaum, 26, a legal secretary from Philadelphia.

They started talking about what they lacked: hot meals, air conditioners, bathrooms a notch above plywood outhouses and something to do on their 12 hours off other than sweat. Electricity is on one hour, off five. Staff Sgt. Kenneth Kaczmarek called his flak jacket an "Iraqi weight loss system" and said he had shed at least 15 pounds. Pollard said he had lost 18.

Pollard's second granddaughter was born this month, but he hasn't been able to call home to learn her name. Kaczmarek's daughter, Isabella Jolie, was born May 28 -- eight days after he arrived in Iraq as part of an advance team.

"It makes life miserable," Pollard said. "The morale, it's hard to stay high with these problems."

Once largely undefended, Rashad police station -- 12 tiles missing from its blue sign -- has taken on the look of a bunker. Two cream-colored, armored Humvees are parked outside; another Humvee with a .50-caliber machine gun is at the side. Pollard said he wants barbed wire strung atop the cinder-block wall behind, and an engineering team is preparing to heighten the brick-and-cement wall in front. In coming days, he said, he would put sand barricades along the street outside the entrance.

Shots are fired every day at U.S. troops in Baghdad, and on Friday night, an ambush on a military convoy down the road killed one soldier and left at least one other wounded. As Pollard recalled, the blast shook the entire block. He said he suspects everyone. Two Iraqi journalists, one with a camera, visited two weeks ago, and he was convinced the men were casing the station.

He once sat at a desk outside, then moved indoors. "Let the Iraqis guard the gate," he said, next to a sandbagged window.

The way Pollard sees it, the Iraqi police should be taking the risks, not his 13 reservists at the station.

"It's not fair to our troops to build a country that's not even ours and our lives are at risk," he said. "They've got to take control. They may have to kill some of their own people to make a statement that we're back in control. No doubt."

For the most part, the Iraqi police and Pollard's soldiers say little to each other -- and even then it's done through interpreters. The Iraqis dislike Pollard, and he has little regard for them. The neighborhood is dangerous, he said, and fighting crime here might require twice the 86 police officers they still have. But of the 86, he said, at least half should be dismissed for corruption or ineptitude.

"This is a crooked cop sitting here," he said, pointing to a major who didn't understand English.

He walked through the station, leaning into a room with two officers busy at a desk. "Here's a room where they're acting like they're doing real important paperwork," he said. He walked outside to a balcony where three officers were sitting on newspapers and a green burlap sack, one with his shoes off. "This is a couple more lazy cops, sitting down when they should be outside," he said. They all greeted Pollard with cold stares, forgoing the traditional greetings that are almost obligatory in their culture.

Near an iron gate, where residents gathered in hopes of filing a complaint, Shoja Shaltak, an Iraqi lieutenant, brought a brown folder with an order from a judge to release three men. Pollard suspected a bribe.

"Tell him he can go, go, go," Pollard said to an interpreter. "I don't jump at their requests."

The lieutenant protested, insisting that the order came from a judge. The interpreter, Ziad Tarek, answered on his own. "The judge has nothing to do with this anymore," Tarek told Shaltak. He pointed to Pollard, "He's the judge now."

Jalil, the veteran Iraqi policeman, watched with disgust.

"It's embarrassing. It's embarrassing for us and for the lieutenant," he said. "We are police and they don't respect us. How is it possible for them to respect the Iraqi people?"

His complaints were aired by virtually all the station's officers: They don't receive the flak jackets the Americans wear, they have to check out rifles from the soldiers, they have no uniforms, they have no badges and they don't like Pollard.

Asked if he was afraid to go on patrol, Jalil shot back angrily, "The opposite.

"They're the ones who are scared," he said. "I'm ready to go out alone, but they should give me the equipment."

Jalil said he was so frustrated that he planned to quit in days. He said he can't support his parents, wife and 8-month-old daughter on a salary of $60 a month. He spends half of that on daily lunches and the 30-cent fares for a shared taxi to and from work.

With water in short supply or of poor quality, he buys a bottle of mineral water every two days for his daughter -- a cheap variety but still another 50 cents. Sewage floods daily into his home, where four families totaling 30 people share six rooms. And, with electricity running no more than six hours a day, Jalil worries that his daughter will become ill from the heat.

"The truth has become apparent," he said.

"The Americans painted a picture that they would come, provide good things to the Iraqi people, spread security, but regrettably" -- his voice trailed off.

"Iraqi people hate the Americans," he said.

The one thing on which everyone agrees is that Mashtal is a tough neighborhood. Gunfire crackles at night. A chop shop is down the street. Parked outside the station are six stolen cars recovered by the police. Kaczmarek called it "Chicago in the '30s" and said he saw someone the other day toting a tommy gun. Jalil called murder the easiest crime to commit. Last week in his neighborhood, an Iraqi hit his 28-year-old ex-wife with a bicycle, then, as she lay on the ground on a hot afternoon, shot her in the face with an AK-47 rifle.

"People just watched," Jalil said. "If they interfered, they would be killed, too."

Outside the police station's gate, Qassim Kadhim, a 30-year-old day laborer, had been waiting for hours to report a stolen motorcycle. On Thursday, three thieves broke into his house, a two-room shack where he lives with his wife and four children. He said he knew who they were, and when he went the next day to confront them, one of them beat him with a rifle butt. He still had a black eye.

"There's no security, there's no stability in Iraq," he said. "I swear to God, things are going to get worse."

Posted by richard at 12:31 AM

July 01, 2003

Where Are The Standards (PART 1)?

Almost before Dean could open his mouth, Russert made an unforced error (at a teen-ager’s expense), telling the nation that Dean’s son had been “indicted” in a recent incident. It’s hard to know how such instant errors could occur in such an important session, but two things should be crystal clear. First: No pundit will ever say a word about Tim Russert’s unfortunate error. And second: Rightly or wrongly, a number of Dems have stopped believing that these “errors” are really mistakes.

If you doubt that GE's ownership of NotBeSeen (NBC), and until recently Jack Welch's personal involvement, do not factor into news coverage, consider wwww.dailyhowler.com dissection of the hatchet job Tim Russert attempted on Howard Dean (D-Jeffords) recently and put it in its proper context. Russert's bias is flagrant and contemptible. And remember Jack Welch? Well, Russert is his boy. Welch is the guy who stood in the NBC news room on the night of the fateful 2000 Presidential election, and bullied them into "calling" it for Bush, despite the trends and the anomalies that night. There is a video tape of it. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA.) has repeatedly demanded the video tape, but NotBeSeen has refused...



WHERE ARE STANDARDS (PART 1)? Are hopefuls judged by a single standard? When Russert battled Dean, we weren't sure:

RUSSERT'S INDICTMENT: Let's face it-when a White House hopeful does Meet the Press, we expect top-flight preparation. With so much at stake for the nation we love, a guy can't show up on the program and start making careless blunders! But last Sunday, Howard Dean did Meet the Press, and the factual errors began almost instantly. In fact, in the very first Dean-Russert exchange, this unforced error occurred:

RUSSERT: You said that your son got in a scrap. He was arrested for driving a car in which some of his friends broke into a beer cooler and stole some beer- DEAN: Right.

RUSSERT: -and was indicted. How are you-

DEAN: He hasn't been indicted, but he-


DEAN: He's been cited, right.

That's right, people. Almost before Dean could open his mouth, Russert made an unforced error (at a teen-ager's expense), telling the nation that Dean's son had been "indicted" in a recent incident. It's hard to know how such instant errors could occur in such an important session, but two things should be crystal clear. First: No pundit will ever say a word about Tim Russert's unfortunate error. And second: Rightly or wrongly, a number of Dems have stopped believing that these "errors" are really mistakes. But the pundit corps has a Standard Story whenever Dem hopefuls do Meet the Press. They say how brilliant Russert was-and they lament the Dem's gruesome performance. Since Sunday, Dean has been battered for his performance. But there's nothing new about this, of course. When Candidate Gore did Meet the Press on July 16, 2000, Russert made a string of errors-and Gore was hammered for a grisly outing. "Liberal" pundit Margaret Carlson raced to express the Standard Outlook. "Russert chopped [Gore] up in little pieces," she colorfully said. "It looked like he was a candidate who was bolted together by the people at the robot factory." But so it goes when your "liberal" pundits express their Conventional Wisdom.

In this morning's New York Times, Jake Tapper says that Dean's performance wasn't as bad as portrayed. We agree with that general assessment. But Standard Pundits raced into print, eager to type Standard Stories. As always, Katharine Seelye was the most foolish. Here was part of her next-day assessment, offered as a "news report" in the New York Times:

SEELYE: Under questioning, [Dean] said he did not know how many American military personnel were on active duty around the world, guessing there were one million to two million. According to the Pentagon's Web site, there were 1.4 million as of March. Dr. Dean estimated that there were 135,000 American troops in Iraq and said there should be more. The actual number is 146,000.

Ah, the familiar Seelye trademarks! Dean "guessed" at the number of personnel, we're told. Meanwhile, students of SeelyeThink can surely translate the passage she offered on Iraq. Dean said there were 135,000 troops in Iraq; the "actual number" is 146,000, Seelye said. And trust us: Readers are supposed to think that this shows that Dean doesn't know his stuff. Dean said we need more troops-and he didn't know that we already have them! Trust us-weird as it sounds, that was Seelye's message. (Later in the interview, Dean suggested that we need over 200,000 troops in Iraq.) Yes, the presidential race is picking up steam, and familiar presentations are appearing. Gore bombed on Meet the Press, we were told; now we learn that Dean bombed too. (Edwards bombed on the program last May.) As readers know, we always urge caution about "double standard" assertions; it's the easiest claim of all to make, and the hardest claim of all to prove. It's rare that two cases are perfectly comparable. But as the press corps starts to have its way with another White House race, we'll at least suggest that Dems should ask if Double Standards aren't sometimes lurking.

HE TOO DIDN'T KNOW: Dean has been widely battered for his "guess" about the size of the military. Troubled pundits have asked themselves if he's ready to be a real candidate. As usual, Russert was willing to lecture the hopeful, helping Dean better comprehend his grave responsibilities:

DEAN: For me to have to know right now, participating in the Democratic Party, how many troops are actively on duty in the United States military when that is actually a number that's composed both of people on duty today and people who are National Guard people who are on duty today, it's silly. That's like asking me who the ambassador to Rwanda is. RUSSERT: Oh, no, no, no. Not at all. Not if you want to be commander in chief.

Russert continued his helpful instruction: RUSSERT: If somebody wants to be president of the United States, have a sense of the military- DEAN: I do have a sense of the military.

RUSSERT: -of how many people roughly-

DEAN: I know there are roughly between a million and two million people active duty. I know that we don't have enough people in Iraq.

Russert will always lecture the hopefuls. Or will he? On November 21, 1999, Candidate Bush did Meet the Press, and it's hard to avoid the sneaky feeling that he got a different ride. We'll examine that in more detail next week, but let's start with what these candidates said about knowledge of military affairs. Should Dean know the answer to Russert's question? The Dem offered this opinion:

DEAN: As someone who's running in the Democratic Party primary, I know that it's somewhere in the neighborhood of one to two million people, but I don't know the exact number, and I don't think I need to know that to run in the Democratic Party primary.Tim, you have to understand, and I know you do understand, that as you run a campaign and as you acquire the nomination and as you go on to be president, you acquire military advisers who will tell you these things. Soon, Russert was offering his helpful lecture. But no such lecture was heard in 1999, when Bush made that first Meet the Press appearance. And Candidate Bush-speaking sensibly, like Dean-said much the same thing Dean did: RUSSERT: In your speech, you said that arms reductions are not our most pressing challenge. Right now, we have 7,200 nuclear weapons; the Russians have 6,000. What to you is an acceptable level? BUSH: That's going to depend upon generals helping me make that decision, Tim. That's going to depend upon the people whose judgment I will rely upon to make sure that we have a peaceful world.

RUSSERT: What would START II bring us down to?

BUSH: I can't remember the exact number. But I know that we've got to spend enough money to help them dismantle the weaponry down to the START I level. And then hopefully they'll ratify START II, secondly .

RUSSERT: But in terms of priorities, if START II brings it down to 3,500, would you be willing to go down to 1,000 with START III?

BUSH: That depends upon my advisers and the people who know a heck of a lot more about the subject than I do.

Did Bush have an opinion about Prime Minister Putin, a possible successor to President Yeltsin? "I really don't," the hopeful said. "I will if I'm the president." But Russert offered no lectures this day. Nor did he start the high-profile session "indicting" Bush's daughters for something. No, these Meet the Press sessions aren't perfectly comparable. But many Dems no longer feel that Russert-or the press corps-play these things straight. By the way, one final question: Could President Bush have answered Tim's question last Sunday? For ourselves, we wouldn't bet the house. And guess what? It wouldn't really matter.

Posted by richard at 11:30 AM

Bush Delivers Unprecedented Snub to Mandela in Africa Visit

"President George Bush will make history next week when he becomes the first head of state not to ask for a meeting with Nelson Mandela while on a visit to South Africa."

You are not alone. You are in excellent company.

Several days ago, LNS reported that Nelson Mandela, one of the planet's leading stateman, might refuse to meet with _resident in protest over the unilteral Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in violation of the UN Charter...Well, the _resident's handlers didn't want to risk it, so they have snubbed Mandela. Mandela says the _resident "cannot think properly."

If the Democrat leadership would show Mandela's courage, the US public would respond to them. But Mandela learned about courage surviving a 20 + years of imprisoment in racist South Africa. The Democratic leadership is intimidated by the likes of Tim Russert.

Meanwhile, four US soldiers died today, for what?



Published on Tuesday, July 1, 2003 by the lndependent/UK
Bush Delivers Unprecedented Snub to Mandela in Africa Visit
by Basildon Peta

President George Bush will make history next week when he becomes the first head of state not to ask for a meeting with Nelson Mandela while on a visit to South Africa. Officials say there is no precedent, except during large summits such as the UN earth summit in Johannesburg last year when heads of state visited in huge numbers. But even then, world leaders lined up to visit Mr Mandela at his upmarket residence in Johannesburg, and others met him at official events.

But when Mr Bush lands in South Africa next week on his first visit to Africa, the world's most powerful leader will not meet the world's most famous statesman. Mr Bush had not asked for a meeting with Mr Mandela, the former president's spokeswoman said.

The two met at the White House soon after the 11 September suicide attacks, and Mr Mandela expressed support for Mr Bush in hunting down those responsible in Afghanistan. But they fell out when Mr Bush turned on Iraq, and Mr Mandela dismissed the US leader as a President who "cannot think properly" for bypassing the United Nations.

Mr Mandela also made a scathing attack on Tony Blair, labeling him the "Foreign Affairs Minister of the United States". He has reportedly made peace with Mr Blair after apologizing in a phone discussion in which he admitted that his vitriol might have been a bit over the top. But Mr Mandela did not retract his firm opposition to the Iraq war.

He repeated his attack on Mr Bush when he met the French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, in Johannesburg on Friday, and heaped praise on the French President, Jacques Chirac, who opposed the war.

Asked whether he would voice his concerns to Mr Bush during his visit, Mr Mandela replied: "Do not assume that he will meet with me," in what was taken as a snub addressed to the US President. Apparently, Mr Bush will not easily forgive a man widely regarded as the moral conscience of the world.

A US embassy spokesman said that Mr Bush's schedule had not been finalized, but he held out little prospects of a Bush-Mandela meeting. The US President, who will meet President Thabo Mbeki, visits Africa from 7 to 12 July for talks, including how to help the continent out of poverty so it does not become a breeding ground for terrorists. Other items on the agenda will cover Zimbabwe, US help for fighting Aids, removal of US farm subsidies that helped to destroy African agriculture, and support for the economic renewal program, the New Partnership for African Development.

Posted by richard at 10:19 AM