Friday, February 9, 2007

Libby in Recess/News Flash: Neocon Manipulated Prewar Intelligence


The Scotter Libby trial is on recess today--and so am I (as far as blogging goes).

But allow me to point out that several years too late the Inspector General of the Pentagon has finished an investigation of the Defense Department intelligence cell that was created before the Iraq war by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, a neocon hawk.
Feith's outfit dug up and manipulated raw intelligence tidbits to support the charge that Saddam Hussein was in league with al Qaeda. This was a key part of the White House sales campaign for the war (as Michael Isikoff and I note in our book).

For years, Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who now chairs the armed services committee, pushed for a full investigation of the Feith operation. The Republicans in charge in the Senate resisted, and kicked the inquiry to the IG.

The IG's report is classified. But the declassified summary states that Feith's outfit engaged in "inappropriate" (though not unlawful) activity, that it had been wrong to claim that al Qaeda and Saddam had "a mature symbiotic relationship." and that it produced material that was not "the most accurate analysis of intelligence." Now they tell us. You can read the summary here.

Let's give Levin the last word. In a statement on the IG report, he noted:

The bottom line is that intelligence relating to the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship was manipulated by high ranking officials in the Department of Defense to support the Administration's decision to invade Iraq when the intelligence assessments of the professional analysts of the Intelligence Community did not provide the desired compelling case. The Inspector General's report is a devastating condemnation of inappropriate activities in the DOD policy office that helped take this nation to war.


Posted by David Corn at February 9, 2007 11:12 AM

89 comments:

David B. Benson said...

"... this nation to war."

Yup.

kathleen said...

I posted several articles at 2 sites back of Larisa @ Raw Story on the Inspector Generals report on the pre-war intelligence.

Just how reliable can an investigation be by the INspector General of the Penatagon of another Pentagon office the OFFICE OF SPECIAL PLANS. Come on Republican Senator Pat Roberts de-directed the Senates investigation of the Office of Special Plans without even telling Senator Jay Rockerfeller. Can we trust any report from the IG, can we trust the findings of someone Senator Pat Roberts handed the investigation to. No NO NO Especially when the IG came out and said that the manipulation of the intelligence was "dubious, but that Douglas Feith did nothing illegal". Holy shit so the message is that it is o.k. to create and manipulate intelligence and feed it to the Bush administration trumping the normal intelligence organizations and appropriate paths. That the use of this false intelligence by the Bush administration to convince "some" of the American public to support an illegal and immoral invasion is "dubious but not illegal" HOly fuck!

While I respect Senator Levin deeply and appreciate that he spoke some strong words in regard to the creation and dessimination of this false intelligence. I think calling the use of this false intelligence "inappropriate" is just a little week.

So Doug Feith and the rest(Micheal Ledeen, Rhode) of the criminals that created and dessiminated false intelligence have now had their hands slapped. Take that you psychopathic killers. And as David Corn said in one of his past articles what lesson has this group of sociopathe learned "that they can get away with it"

Let's just fucking hope that Senator Levin and Senator Jay Rockerfeller and the rest of the Democrats have the "chutzpah" and the integrity to demand that these people are held accountable for the part that they have played in starting a "war of choice" and the deaths and injuries of hundreds of thousnads of lives.

Let's hope that it does not take lies about a blowjob for this congress to take an INTELLIGENCE SNOWJOB seriously. We are the laughing stock of the world, and the lack of justice in regard to the lies that took us into war will keep it that way if congress does not do their job. They have not only lost their integrity but it looks as though their souls have also been lost

The whole world is watching and waiting for justice in regard to the manipulation of pre-war intelligence! We are waiting for ACCOUNTABILITY

PHASE II OF THE SSCI BETTER DO MORE THAN SLAP SOME HANDS!

kathleen said...

NEWS FLASH. IAEA'S MR. EL RARADEI TOLD THAT THE PRE-WAR INTELLIGENCE WAS MANIPULATED IN EARLY 2002. THE DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, THE MSM IN THIS COUNTRY IGNORED HIS EFFORTS.

NEWS FLASH! SCOTT RITTER, HANS BLIX, UN KOFI ANAN, CIA ANALYST AND OTHERS ANNOUNCED LOUD AND CLEAR LONG BEFORE THE INVASION THAT THE PRE-WAR INTELLIGENCE WAS MANIPULATED !

kathleen said...

Saladin and others. I would really appreciate it if you would go listen to the Diane Rehms show today (friday the first houR) David Corn was on. While I respect and agree many of David's opinions and his reporting.

When a caller on the DR show focused on the "alleged" involvement of Israel and the run-up to the war. David's response was rather protective and did not demonstrate the ability to be neutral and clear headed about this issue. He responded to the callers point by saying "that we do not need to look off shore to lay blame". These are not his words verbatum but very close. I will go back myself and listen again. Will you go listen and share your opinion?

My response to DAvid is " If Israel was being handed classified intelligence about Iran (Aipac/Rosen/Franklin) and then influenced the manipulation of intelligence via Feith, Libby etc.. Then focusing on Israel and Aipac and the disproportionate and dangerous influence that they have on U.s. foreign policy is CRITICAL !

Come on David...My ancestors are from France, Iraland and Poland. If any of these countries were "allegedly" spying, illegally accessing U.S. classified intelligence, and disproportionately influencing U.S. foreign policy. I would be one of the first people to say put these couuntries and any foreign aid that the U.S. gives them under the microscope. INVESTIGATE AND HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.

David what is your problem with questioning and investigating Israel's involvement and influence on the invasion of Iraq?

David B. Benson said...

Kathleen --- Well, we don't have to look elsewhere than within the beltway to lay the blaim (for whatever good that might possibly do at this juncture).

That includes the passing of secrets to anyone not entitled to receive them? Except many matters are kept secret just to covver up. So it is quite a difficult matter, in general. But passing to foreign agents (not entitled to recieve them) certainly ought to be a criminal activity?

David B. Benson said...

Over the cliff? See Tom Engelhardt today!

kathleen said...

Investigate inside the beltway and follow where it leads. Office of Special Plans.....White HOuse Iraq Group...Israel.....Italy get to the bottom of the false intelligence.

capt said...

"When the President starts lying he begins to need evidence to back up his lies because in this democracy he is questioned on his statements. It then percolates down through the bureaucracy that you are helping the Boss if you come up with evidence that is supportive of our public position and you are distinctly unhelpful if you commit to paper statements that might leak to the wrong people.

The effect of that is to poison the flow of information to the President himself and to create a situation where a President can be almost, to use a metaphor, psychotically divorced from the realities in which he is acting...." : Daniel Ellsburg to the US Senate on Foreign Relations, May 13, 1970

=
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kathleen said...

I have also spent a fair amount of time with people who have served in this "war of choice" and they know they were sent to Iraq based on LIES>

And you Micheal "faster please, creative destruction, noble lie" Ledeen consider American soldiers cannon fodder for Israel.

Those Who Serve
Our latest generation of fighters.

By Michael Ledeen

I’ve spent a lot of time of late with military people, and I am reminded of Tocqueville’s observation that the best Americans generally do not go into politics or the academy; they go into business or the law or religion, and, in times of war, the armed forces.

Military people are not happy with the media or with the American public. Many of them say, I think quite accurately, that most Americans view them — the soldiers — as an annoyance. The people just want this Iraq thing to go away, they are tired of it, they are depressed by it, and they have tuned it out. Not that this undermines morale on the battlefield, mind you. Our fighters have a much better appreciation of the stakes than most of the scribblers and chatters; they have seen the terrorists at work, they know that if we fail in the Middle East, terrorism will get an enormous boost. They know that they, or their younger siblings, will have to fight again, closer to home or down home. So they do everything they are permitted to do on today’s battlefields.

2/9/07 6:08 PM

kathleen said...

February 9, 2007
Lebanon, Again
The Israelis want another go
by Justin Raimondo
The Israelis, stung by their defeat at the hands of Hezbollah, are aching for a rematch. There have been a number of border incidents since the IDF retreated and the blockade was lifted, the most recent – and most brazen – occurring when the Israelis crossed a security fence, purportedly to search for explosives planted by Hezbollah. They could – and did – use this pretext to launch an invasion, and, in the process, level half the country. The Israelis are merely waiting for the right moment, and that moment, I'm afraid, will come fairly soon unless they're reined in by Washington.

This last is highly unlikely, however: indeed, the dynamics run the other way. Last time around, the neocons in the administration reportedly egged the somewhat reluctant Israelis on, and were sorely disappointed when Tel Aviv relented. Next time, they'll go all the way to Beirut – and won't stop until the Americans get to Tehran.

Those who fear war with Iran had best look to Lebanon, where the first shots are being fired. It is, so far, a proxy war, with the Israelis as our stand-ins and Hezbollah allied with the Iranians. It is only a matter of time, however, before the proxies are dispensed with, and the Americans meet the Iranians on the battlefield.

This is what the American "surge" in Iraq is all about: the White House is preparing for a confrontation with the Iranians. Washington knows full well that, in answer to U.S. airstrikes, Tehran will target U.S. troops caught in the middle of Iraq's civil war. The President has authorized U.S. troops to go after the Iranians supposedly infiltrating Iraq, and the storming of that Iranian consulate in Irbil was not just a random incident. The timing of the crackdown on Shi'ite party militias is also no accident – or does it just so happen that Iran's staunchest Iraqi allies are being suddenly disarmed?

The big problem for the Bush administration, however, is that these militias are the military components of the ruling coalition, a government installed by American force of arms, and – so far – defended by U.S. troops. Having defeated Saddam Hussein, destroyed Ba'athist-Sunni hegemony, and ushered in the new era of Shi'ite dominance, the Americans are now turning on a dime and demanding the disarmament of their own monstrous creation. Could there be a clearer demonstration of the libertarian complaint that government exists to "solve" problems largely generated by its policies?

Lebanon is a ticking time bomb, and it will go off shortly after the Israelis, and their Washington handlers, light the fuse. Increased Israeli overflights are bound to provoke a Lebanese response, and, remember, all this takes place against the backdrop of considerable political turmoil. The Lebanese people are in rebellion against a government that ordered its "army" to stand down as Israeli jets pounded Beirut – and bombed Lebanese "army" barracks. The only use the government has for its soldiers is for killing anti-government demonstrators.

When push came to shove it was Hezbollah that fought – and beat – the IDF. This amazing feat has impressed many Lebanese Christians, formerly Hezbollah's deadly enemies. What is disturbing to the Israelis is that this has spawned a cross-confessional alliance of Lebanese Christian nationalists and Shi'ite Muslims.

The appearance of Michel Aoun and Hassan Nasrallah on the same stage, rallying the people against the U.S.-backed government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is a veritable replay of the famous Cedar Revolution, when a mass movement from below ousted the pro-Syrian government. Given that the Cedar revolutionaries had as one of their major goals the return of Aoun from exile in France, the Christian leader's alliance with the main Shi'ite party augurs a seismic shift in the balance of power. This was made possible by the recent Israeli aggression, which has forged a new nationalist consensus.

There is only one way Israel can defeat this rising obstacle to their agenda of smashing up and neutralizing its Muslim neighbors, and that is militarily: their Lebanese proxies are too weak to do anything other than protest halfheartedly as the nation rallies around a Hezbollah-Christian alliance. However, it isn't only Lebanese politics driving the Israelis to once again unleash the IDF, but also the political situation in the United States.

Remember how easily both parties in Congress rushed to endorse Israel's cruel bombardment? The Israel lobby has no reason to expect anything but a repeat of this shameless complicity. You'll also recall that the "antiwar" liberals of the Huffington Post crowd had practically zero to say about the deaths of thousands of Lebanese, and the rape of a nation. After all, their favorite Democrats in congress voted to endorse the merciless Israeli attack. Hillary Clinton hailed the bombardment of Beirut airport as a valiant act of "self-defense" on Israel's part. Nancy Pelosi, one of AIPAC's best friends in Congress, followed suit.

In short, American political support for another go at Lebanon is virtually assured: aside from a few on the left, and the right, who are beginning to challenge the Lobby's hegemony over U.S. foreign policy, there will be very few voices raised against renewed Israeli aggression. Our supine Congress – which Pat Buchanan trenchantly called "Israeli-occupied territory" – will shout hosannas as U.S.-made -and-paid-for jets drop cluster bombs on schools, hospitals, factories, and other nests of "terrorism." Arianna Huffington will ignore it for weeks, and then rationalize it: the Bush administration will rush more military aid and subsidies to the Israeli war machine, and both wings of the War Party – the Democrats, no less than the Republicans – will cheerlead the action.

Israel's probing the Lebanese frontier is a deliberate provocation, one that will end, if all goes according to plan, in U.S. military action against Iran. Opposing the war in Iraq, now that it's clearly a disaster, is – oddly enough – beside the point. The present danger is the regionalization of the war, which is the real objective of the "surge" – and the clock is ticking. That's why the partisan bickering over how the debate over the anti-surge resolution should proceed in Congress is so dangerous – aside from the sad fact that these wise solons don't even realize what they're voting on. They think they're debating the escalation of the war in Iraq, when what's really going on is an attempt by this administration to extend the war to neighboring countries.

Crippled by their unwillingness to criticize Israel, antiwar Democrats will be sucked into supporting the opening shots of the coming U.S. attack on Iran. The rumblings in Lebanon are the premonitory tremors of a regional earthquake that will shake most of the nations of the Middle East. George W. Bush is far from finished with the long-suffering peoples of the Middle East. The great tragedy is that political resistance to the administration's war moves are too little, too late.

capt said...

Agricultural Noah's Ark: Doomsday Seed Vault In Arctic To Outlast Major Sea Level Rise And Permafrost Warming



The Norwegian government has revealed the architectural design for the Svalbard International Seed Vault, to be carved deep into frozen rock on an island not far from the North Pole. The entrance to the "fail-safe" seed vault will "gleam like a gem in the midnight sun," signaling a priceless treasure within: seed samples of nearly every food crop of every country. The vault is designed to protect the agricultural heritage of humankind -- the seeds essential to agriculture of every nation.

"This design takes us one step closer to guaranteeing the safety of the world's most important natural resource," said Dr. Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which will co-fund the vault's operations and pay for the preparation and transport of seeds from all developing nations to the Arctic island of Svalbard. "Every day that passes we lose crop biodiversity. We must conserve the seeds that will allow agriculture to adapt to challenges such as climate change and crop disease. This design is as awesome physically as it is attractive aesthetically, and both are fitting tributes to the importance of the biological treasure to be stored there."

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

I hope it is not too late already. Petrochemical and genetic engineering has already established a strong foothold and is more prevalent that most people think it is.



capt

capt said...

Action: Please help our soldiers get the truth



For nearly six years, Pinnacle Armor has been trying to convince the Pentagon that Pinnacle's Dragon Skin is a superior product to the Interceptor Body Armor that has been in use since the early 1990s. The Pentagon has been very reluctant to give Dragon Skin a fair shake, and only after much wheedling, cajoling and some negative press did the Army finally consent to new tests of Dragon Skin. Those tests were commenced in May of last year, but were never completed. The person conducting the tests for the Army stopped the tests about 30% of the way through; the tests have never been resumed.

In the meantime, soldiers are dying in the field.

There is much anecdotal evidence to support the contention that Dragon Skin is a much superior system to the Interceptor system that is currently being issued to our troops (but not, I guess, to George Bush's Secret Service bodyguard detail, since they use Dragon Skin). Pentagon officials, however, refuse to admit this. And you know what? Dragon Skin just might not be a better system; no one knows for sure.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

We have a trillion dollar military that can spend billions on failed weapon systems while the CIC wears better body armor to protect his sorry ass while the better armor could be saving lives today? Grrrrrr.

The video is about 7 minutes but to sum it up - the test sure looks good and I imagine the Secret Service would use the better set-up.



capt

Hajji said...

Congress Must Act On Iraq
_______________


By Tom Vilsack
Saturday, February 10, 2007; Page A17

Think of the last time you were in a public place with 1,000 people -- a sports event, a Fourth of July parade, a concert.

Now imagine all 1,000 of those people dead.

If the number of American military deaths in Iraq in recent years is any guide, that's how many Americans will die in that country in the next year if Congress doesn't act immediately to take our troops out of harm's way in Iraq's civil war.

Now imagine the 5,000 more Americans likely to be wounded and maimed if Congress doesn't fulfill its duty to get our young men and women out of Iraq's war zone.

In each of the past three years, more than 820 American soldiers have been killed in the war. Given the increased violence this year, America is on pace to lose more than 1,000 soldiers in Iraq. Over 23,000 American soldiers have been wounded since the war began, nearly 6,000 each year. It is time for us to clearly say that our troops must be brought home now.

Military commanders in Iraq, the Iraq Study Group and the American people have all said the status quo is wrong. Further, the president's closest intelligence and military advisers state in the latest National Intelligence Estimate that Iraq is in the throes of a civil war and that the capacity of U.S. troops to influence the outcome is severely limited. This war will end only with a political solution -- not a military one.

Members of Congress have a constitutional and moral obligation to exercise their authority to stop funding President Bush's failed policy in Iraq. Not eventually, but immediately.

The war in Iraq and the president's mismanagement of our military resources have recklessly endangered our national security and depleted our military and National Guard units across America. By nearly every standard, the homeland security of our country has been weakened and compromised by the president's policies and a lack of congressional oversight.

It has been said that all our options in Iraq are bad, but some options are worse than others. Leaving American troops in harm's way while acknowledging that they have little to accomplish is the worst-case scenario. Congress has the ability to pull our combat brigades out of the most violent areas, maintain a strategic military presence in northern Iraq and bring the rest of our troops home now.

Nearly a year ago, I went to Iraq to hear firsthand from U.S. troops, military leaders and Iraqis.

This is what I heard from our military commanders: If the Iraqi government can't provide better security for its people in six months, U.S. troops in central and southern Iraq should leave. That time has now come and gone -- and so should our servicemen and women who are needlessly in danger.

Unfortunately, this administration refuses to listen to our military leaders or our citizens. So the question is: What will Congress do?

Congress has the constitutional ability and the moral responsibility to pass legislation cutting off funding for the status quo.

Not one soldier will or should be deprived of ammunition or armor.

A modest number of peacekeeping troops would temporarily remain in northern Iraq, protect civilians against sectarian violence, discourage Iran from border incursions and help maintain regional stability -- without recklessly endangering American lives.

As governor, I called 43 Iowa families after their loved ones had been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. These soldiers and their families made a tremendous sacrifice to protect our freedom and help keep America safe. Make no mistake, our soldiers have done the job they were asked to do, and they have done it well. But too many of these patriots have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Supporting a cap on troops is really just support for staying the course with a failed policy. A toothless congressional resolution is meaningless. And a delay in congressional action will guarantee that more American soldiers will die.

Those who voted for the war, those who voted to continue to support the war and those who voted to continue funding the war can all surely vote to stop the war and do what's right for our military personnel and nation.

Not in 2008 or 2009, but now.

The writer, a former governor of Iowa, is a Democratic candidate for president.
_______________

-T

Hajji said...

U.S. Army Battling To Save Equipment
_____________

Gear Piles Up at Depots, Awaiting Repair

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 5, 2006; Page A01

ANNISTON, Ala. -- Field upon field of more than 1,000 battered M1 tanks, howitzers and other armored vehicles sit amid weeds here at the 15,000-acre Anniston Army Depot -- the idle, hulking formations symbolic of an Army that is wearing out faster than it is being rebuilt.

The Army and Marine Corps have sunk more than 40 percent of their ground combat equipment into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to government data. An estimated $17 billion-plus worth of military equipment is destroyed or worn out each year, blasted by bombs, ground down by desert sand and used up to nine times the rate in times of peace. The gear is piling up at depots such as Anniston, waiting to be repaired.

The depletion of major equipment such as tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and especially helicopters and armored Humvees has left many military units in the United States without adequate training gear, officials say. Partly as a result of the shortages, many U.S. units are rated "unready" to deploy, officials say, raising alarm in Congress and concern among military leaders at a time when Iraq strategy is under review by the White House and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.

Lt. Col. Mike Johnson, a senior Army planner, said: "Before, if a unit was less than C-1," or fully ready, "someone would get fired." Now, he said, that is accepted as combat-zone rotations are sapping all units of gear and manpower. "It's a cost of continuous operations. You can't be ready all the time," he said.

Across the military, scarce equipment is being shifted from unit to unit for training. For example, a brigade of 3,800 soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division that will deploy to Iraq next month has been passing around a single training set of 44 Humvees, none of which has the added armor of the Humvees they will drive in Iraq.

The military's ground forces are only beginning the vast and costly job of replacing, repairing and upgrading combat equipment -- work that will cost an estimated $17 billion to $19 billion annually for several more years, regardless of any shift in Iraq strategy. The Army alone has 280,000 major pieces of equipment in combat zones that will eventually have to be fixed or replaced. Before the war, the Army spent $2.5 billion to $3 billion a year on wear and tear.

MORE
______________

...and the wing-nuts say it is the DEBATE that is destroying the Military's abilities...

sigh...

-T

Saladin said...

Interesting how Mr. Corn describes a criminl trial. It's more like a baseball game than an attempt to see justice served, what a joke. That is why this libby fiasco doesn't interest me, if his side "loses" he'll just get a pardon so why are they why are they wasting all this money? Because that's what govt. is best at.
Kathleen, there is something VERY fucking weird going on with Israel. No other country on earth would EVER get away with the shit they get away with everyday, it is really starting to worry me.
Hajji, I seriously doubt if those casuality numbers are truthful, the reality is most likely far worse.

Saladin said...

The NY Times returns to pre-Iraq-war "journalism"
Glenn Greenwald

Over the past few weeks, The Los Angeles Times has published several detailed and well-documented articles casting serious doubt on the administration's claims that Iran is fueling the Iraqi insurgency with weapons. A couple of months ago, The Washington Post published a very well-researched article reporting that extensive searches by British military brigades in Southern Iraq -- specifically in the areas where such weapons would almost certainly be transported and maintained -- have turned up nothing. It seemed as though the media was treating the war-inflaming claims of Bush officials against Iran much more skeptically, refusing to simply pass along accusations without first conducting an investigation to determine if those claims were true.

But today, The New York Times does precisely the opposite -- it has published a lengthy, prominent front-page article by Michael Gordon that does nothing, literally, but mindlessly recite administration claims about Iran's weapons-supplying activities without the slightest questioning, investigation, or presentation of ample counter-evidence. The entire article is nothing more than one accusatory claim about Iran after the next, all emanating from the mouths of anonymous military and "intelligence officials" without the slightest verified evidence, and Gordon just mindlessly repeats what he has been told in one provocative paragraph after the next...
==============
I'm thinking of the uproar the pelosi rumor caused and wondering why the so-called left leaning NY Times is allowed to get by with these same lies that have gotten so many endless thousands of innocents murdered? The whole world has gone off the deep end.

capt said...

The NY Times returns to pre-Iraq-war "journalism"



Over the past few weeks, The Los Angeles Times has published several detailed and well-documented articles casting serious doubt on the administration's claims that Iran is fueling the Iraqi insurgency with weapons. A couple of months ago, The Washington Post published a very well-researched article reporting that extensive searches by British military brigades in Southern Iraq -- specifically in the areas where such weapons would almost certainly be transported and maintained -- have turned up nothing. It seemed as though the media was treating the war-inflaming claims of Bush officials against Iran much more skeptically, refusing to simply pass along accusations without first conducting an investigation to determine if those claims were true.

But today, The New York Times does precisely the opposite -- it has published a lengthy, prominent front-page article by Michael Gordon that does nothing, literally, but mindlessly recite administration claims about Iran's weapons-supplying activities without the slightest questioning, investigation, or presentation of ample counter-evidence. The entire article is nothing more than one accusatory claim about Iran after the next, all emanating from the mouths of anonymous military and "intelligence officials" without the slightest verified evidence, and Gordon just mindlessly repeats what he has been told in one provocative paragraph after the next.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

A good piece at GG's site!


capt

capt said...

Saladin,

JINX! HA!


Good piece. Also check out:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/2/10/04417/0435

AND

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003544369

It is Deja Vu all over again.


capt

PS - Neil drop me an email! Yes I was at GG.

Saladin said...

Capt, JINX!

capt said...

Saladin,

Great (albeit negative) minds think alike!

HA!



capt

Saladin said...

The Nattering Naybob society welcomes you!
James, if you're out there, I saw your comments at DWF, very good! Although I wish "certain" people would leave off the cryptic comments and just say what they mean.

Saladin said...

9/11 — What Did the Israelis Know?
Friday, February 9th, 2007 in News by Justin Raimondo|
Antiwar

A new piece by the talented Christopher Ketcham in Counterpunch relates a story well-known to longtime readers of Antiwar.com: we were, after all, the first to write about the Israeli connection to the events of 9/11. A month later, Carl Cameron came out with his famous four-part series which opened with these chilling words:

There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9/11 attacks, but investigators suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are ‘tie-ins’. But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, ‘evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. ‘I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.’

Ketcham, author of a previous piece detailing the “Israeli art student” phenomenon, offers up intriguing new insights and information from inside sources about the story that won’t die — in spite of repeated attempts by the Lobby to quash it. Amy Goodman interviews Ketcham, Alexander Cockburn, and Forward reporter Marc Perelman (one of the first to break this story in 2002).

Easily the most interesting aspect of Ketcham’s story is his description of the five Israelis, employees of a Weehawken, New Jersey, moving company, who were observed, on the morning of 9/11, cheering and laughing in the parking lot of Liberty State Park, overlooking the Hudson — and with a clear view of the burning twin towers. A radio alert went out to police officers, and the white 2000 Chevie van they were in was spotted shortly afterwards, and apprehended. As Ketcham relates: They had not been told the reasons for their arrest. Yet, according to DeCarlo’s report, “this officer was told without question by the driver [Sivan Kurzberg],

‘We are Israeli. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are the problem.’ Another of the five Israelis, again without prompting, told Officer DeCarlo – falsely – that ‘we were on the West Side Highway in New York City during the incident.’

Ketcham cites a former CIA counter-terrorism expert as saying:

One story was that [the Israelis] appeared at Liberty State Park very quickly after the first plane hit. The other was that they were at the park location already.

“Either way,” avers Ketcham, “investigators wanted to know exactly what the men were expecting when they got there.”

Indeed. This story was originally written as a follow-up to Ketcham’s original piece in Salon, and then rejected — an hour before it was to be posted — in the dubious grounds that it reported “nothing new.” Then The Nation was supposed to publish it, but backed down at the last moment. Ketcham’s piece isn’t online yet, but if you want to find out how to get a copy (yes, on dead tree!), go here.

(I wrote a short book, The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection, published in 2003. Go buy it. And you might want to check out Antiwar.com’s archive of documentary materials in our “Israeli Art Students Files.”)
==========
What DID they know indeed?

Saladin said...

Friday, February 9, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Even on Skid Row, it was shocking: a paraplegic man in a soiled gown sliding along the sidewalk with his hands, clutching a plastic bag with his belongings between his teeth. Police said the man, who was dragging a broken colostomy bag behind him, was dumped on the sidewalk Thursday in one of the worst parts of the city by the driver of a hospital van. The area is the same location where city officials say hospitals have dumped the homeless before.

Witnesses, all homeless people, began shouting, "Where is his wheelchair? Where is his walker?" Detective Russ Long said Friday. They told officers the driver responded that the man defecated in the van and had to be removed.

"If there is an explanation it just eludes me at this point," Long said.

"He was sliding along on his bottom using his hands. He had a hospital property bag in his mouth, in his teeth, and he was trailing a colostomy bag, which was malfunctioning."

Witnesses told police a van from Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center pulled up to a tiny park in the grimy area near downtown at 10:45 a.m. Thursday, a side door opened and a man, dressed in a green hospital gown and pants, began struggling to get out. The driver looked on.

"His pants fell around his ankles. He fell onto the curb with his legs dangling onto the street," Long said. "He reached down and grabbed his pants, pulled his legs onto the sidewalk. Witnesses said the van would have run over his legs if he hadn't have done that."

Homeless people in the area helped the disoriented man into the park. A police bicycle patrol arrived by chance within a minute and called an ambulance.

The 41-year-old man's name was not released, but he was wearing a bracelet from the hospital, Long said.

Dan Springer, a spokesman for the medical center, said an internal investigation was under way and pledged cooperation with any outside investigation.

"These are very serious allegations. Our goal is to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. If we determine a mistake of this magnitude was made, we will respond swiftly and appropriately," Springer said.

Springer said the man was released on Wednesday night. He asked to be taken to a Skid Row mission and was transported by a company contracted by Hollywood Presbyterian, Springer said. The mission had no vacancies and the man was taken back to the hospital, where he spent the night in the lobby of the emergency room.

The next day, he asked to return to Skid Row and "instructed the driver to open the door and let him out at a local park in the vicinity of Midnight Mission," Springer said.

"He assured the driver the mission was his home and could propel himself home from the park," Springer said. "The driver opened the door, he propelled and waved the driver away, and the driver left the area."

The man was ultimately taken to another hospital. Police did not disclose his condition.

The case comes three months after the city attorney's office filed its first indictment alleging homeless dumping, against Kaiser Permanente Hospital. In that case, a 63-year-old patient from the hospital's Bellflower medical center was videotaped wandering the streets of Skid Row in a hospital gown and socks.
==========
This was also reported in the LA Times. There is something very sick going on in this country.

Saladin said...

NYPD Officer Heard Building 7 Bombs

"The whole time you're hearing boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. I think I know an explosion when I hear it"

Following our reports this week about three different ground zero rescue workers who all testified that they were told Building 7 was to be brought down, yet more revealing testimony has come to light - this time from a former NYPD officer and first responder, who states that he clearly heard bombs tear down Building 7 as he ran away from its collapse.

NYPD officer Craig Bartmer awoke on 9/11 to images of the World Trade Center burning. Knowing colleagues who worked inside the towers, he immediately headed for ground zero to help with the rescue efforts. He is now suffering from respiratory illnesses as a result of the toxic dust inhaled at the site. Bartmer was in the immediate vicinity of Building 7 before its collapse at approximately 5:20pm.

It is worthwhile to watch the entire 27 minute video interview below (conducted by Dylan Avery of Loose Change) but in the context of this article, Bartmer's comments on the subject of Building 7 alone are transcribed after the jump...
===========
There are also several EMP who have come forward to say they were ordered to leave the area because #7 was was being pulled. It was only a matter of time until this whole bullshit story began to unravel.

capt said...

"There is something very sick going on in this country."

When the truth no longer matters - dignity and humanity follows it down the drain.

What ever happened to being better, more compassionate, more human?

I fear most of the damage is self-inflicted.

We all have to return to a quest for good against all this evil bullshit.


capt

Saladin said...

No Muslim Peril
by Charley Reese
Lew Rockwell


Let's suppose that I interviewed David Duke, the Louisiana politician who rails against what he calls Jewish supremacy, and also interviewed the lunatic preacher who disrupted the funerals of American servicemen with his message of killing all the gays.

And let's suppose I presented these men's views as typical of American Christian thought.

You'd say, and rightly so, that these men are not representative of mainstream Christianity, much less mainstream America. Well, the same thing applies to Islam. There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. Broadcasting or reporting the words of a few extremists does not reflect mainstream Muslim thought.

Yellow journalism is never all right, but as long as it's confined to celebrities and other nonimportant matters, it is at least not too harmful. But yellow journalism applied to national security and to foreign affairs should be considered unacceptable.

A number of irresponsible journalists and broadcasters, egged on by the crazy neocons, are trying to duplicate the mass fear of foreigners that characterized earlier times in America when demagogues spoke of the "yellow peril." Now demagogues speak of the "jihadi peril." And, as was inevitable, the demagoguery slips away from Muslim extremists and talks about Muslims and Islam as if there were no difference.

Yes, there are some Muslim extremists, just as there are some Christian extremists, Hindu extremists, Jewish extremists and so forth. Extremism is a personality disorder not confined to any one religion or political system. Anyone can become infected with it.

Islam has been around for more than 1,300 years. The overwhelming majority of Muslims are peaceful people, just like you and I, and they are not plotting to storm the citadels of the West. Muslim countries are full of universities, professors, poets, novelists, scientists and engineers. It was the Muslims who preserved the wisdom of the classical world and passed it on to the Europeans, thus making the Renaissance possible.

And there have been American Muslims since at least the late 1800s. Most of them so assimilated into American society that no one noticed them. They are as patriotic as any other American.

Most of the conflict in the Middle East – at least until we stirred the caldron in Iraq – is about secular matters, not religion. Hamas and Islamic Jihad oppose Israeli occupation of Palestine. Hezbollah opposes Israeli occupation of Lebanon. Even Osama bin Laden, if you bother to read what he says, opposes us on secular matters – support for Israel, the invasion of two Muslim countries and our massive military presence in the Persian Gulf.

The neocons would like to convince you that it is a war over religious matters so they won't have to address the real causes, which are our own bad policies in that part of the world.

You should know that the wealthy powers in this world wouldn't waste a dime on a religious conflict. It's control of the world's oil that interests them, and also the arms business. War to them is a profitable enterprise, especially since they and their children don't have to fight the wars.

These elite almost panicked when communism collapsed. How could they maintain power and make money without an enemy at the gate? Then bin Laden gave them exactly what they wanted with the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Now they have an enemy so ill-defined, their "war on terror" can go on forever, provided they can keep the American public ignorant and ill-informed.
===========
Let's not be rational though!

capt said...

"provided they can keep the American public ignorant and ill-informed."

That has been accomplished - now we have to recover, inform and educate.

capt said...

Bang Pots and Pans for Molly Ivins



Molly, I hardly knew ye.

The untimely death of Molly Ivins last week, after a long battle with breast cancer, has provoked a surge of impassioned eulogies -- yes, that would be the appropriate use of the term "surge."

Ivins was first and foremost a journalist, in the highest and best sense of the word. She spent the time, did the digging. She had a remarkable gift for words, a command of English coupled with her flamboyant Texas wit. She directed her reportorial skill at the powerful, holding to account the elected and the self-appointed. She first questioned authority, then skewered it.

I had the good fortune to meet Molly, but on too few occasions. I went to Austin, Texas, for the 50th anniversary celebration of The Texas Observer, the plucky, progressive news magazine that was Molly's journalistic home for so long. Texas' former governor, Ann Richards, was there. Richards, a Democrat, was not immune to Molly's practiced barbs. The governor said of the writer:

"I know it's been a shock to all of us, but over the last 10 or 15 years our girl Molly Ivins has learned to dress, run a comb through her hair now and then and give a fairly decent speech. A truly remarkable woman who goes around America making speeches and telling lies about me. And I welcome her attentions any time. May God bless this woman who has more survivor blood in her veins than anyone I have ever known."

Richards preceded Molly in death by cancer by just a few months.

Molly's legacy rings out, clarion calls to action from the beyond. After she was diagnosed with cancer in 1999, she implored her readers: "Get. The. Damn. Mammogram. Now." The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be more than 40,000 breast cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2007. Death rates are declining, although detection and survival rates are lower for women of color. Improvements can be attributed in part to women following Molly's advice: "Get. The. Damn. Mammogram. Now."

In her final column, titled "Stand Up Against the Surge," Molly wrote:

"We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. ... We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!' "

Her hallmark was to call it as she saw it, and on Iraq she was clear: "It is not a matter of whether we will lose or we are losing. We have lost." She took Sen. John McCain to task for supporting the "surge." The coordinated acts of civil disobedience at his Senate offices in Washington, D.C., and in Arizona on Feb. 5 were a fitting tribute to Molly. Meanwhile, houston.indymedia.org announced the formation of The Molly Ivins Brigade, to protest the war with pots and pans.

I asked Molly about The Texas Observer. "As we watch the concentration of ownership of mass media," she said, "it's more and more important to keep these little independent voices alive. I think that's where the hope of journalism lies."
Fighting cancer. Fighting to stop the war. Fighting fiercely to protect independent media institutions such as The Texas Observer. Molly, while I hardly knew ye, we know you by your good works. Molly has died, but the fight goes on. She asked that donations be made to the non-profit Texas Observer, texasobserver.org. In this time of the Clear Channeling of America, it is pennies well spent.

The final performer at The Texas Observer anniversary event was the venerable Willie Nelson, whose sonorous voice and trenchant lyrics have become synonymous with Texas. He sang:

"Fly on, fly on past the speed of sound ...

Leave me if you need to

I will still remember

Angel flying too close to the ground."


Molly has made her sound in the world. Now it's up to us to bang those pots and pans.



More HERE

*****end of clip*****

In case anybody missed this one.

What will we do without her? UGH!



capt

capt said...

General urges 'gated' Iraq communities



BAGHDAD, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The new U.S. commander in Iraq says the gated community concept seen in upscale neighborhoods in his country could help curb sectarian violence in Baghdad.

Lt. Gen. David Petraeus said the idea has worked in Fallujah following Operation Phantom Fury two years ago and will be expanded to help protect beleaguered Shia and Sunni neighborhoods.

"I think there are certain areas in Baghdad where we will have to control access with checkpoints because otherwise there will be people trying their best to blow them up," Petraeus said at Saturday's change-of-command ceremony.

The Times of London said the idea of controlled-access neighborhoods is part of a plan to put an end to the religious violence that has become the bane of Baghdad.

Petraeus, whose command begins just as 21,500 new troops are being sent to Iraq, described his job as "hard but not hopeless."

A short time after the ceremony at Camp Victory, a car bomb exploded outside a Baghdad bakery, killing four people and injuring 10, police said, the BBC reported.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

My better half and I were speaking on the subject of gated communities yesterday and were reminded gates can keep people in as well as keep people out.

Like a self-imposed prison, I imagine those gated communities are one flu virus or ?? from having the gates imposed on the community. (for their safety of course)

It is all about total control over the people.

Maybe I am just too paranoid. As luck would have it, there are no gates on my locale.


capt

Saladin said...

Paranoid?

capt said...

"Leave It in the Ground!"



Indigeneous Peoples Call for Global Ban on Uranium Mining

Indigenous peoples from around the world, victims of uranium mining, nuclear testing, and nuclear dumping, issued a global ban on uranium mining on native lands.

The declaration, signed during the Indigenous World Uranium Summit, held Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2006 on the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona, brought together Australian aboriginals and villagers from India and Africa. Pacific islanders joined with indigenous peoples from the Americas to take action and halt the cancer, birth defects, and death from uranium and nuclear industries on native lands.

Villagers from India testified to the alarming number of babies who die before they are born or are born with serious birth defects, and of the high rates of cancer that are claiming the lives of those who live near the uranium mines.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

We have uranium mines here in NM. I have friends that worked in the mines. Some died years ago, others just won a cash settlement in 2006 from a suit filed many years ago.



capt

capt said...

"A Historic, Strategic and Moral Calamity"



Brzezinski's Damning Indictment

Most Americans are probably unaware of former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski's damning indictment of the Bush Regime in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 1, 2007, as the United States no longer has a media--only a government propaganda ministry.

Brzezinski damned the Bush Regime's war in Iraq as "a historic, strategic, and moral calamity." Brzezinski damned the war as "driven by Manichean impulses and imperial hubris." He damned the war for "intensifying regional instability" and for "undermining America's global legitimacy."

Finally, a voice with weight speaks. Brzezinski is a real intellect, a real expert, unlike the political hacks who have followed him in the office.

Brzezinski told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam." Brzezinski predicts "some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a 'defensive' U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan."

There is something deadly wrong with a society and a political system that permits a Regime capable of such insane and criminal "leadership" to remain in power. By the time Hitler launched World War II, the German Reichstag had no power to prevent him. But we have not yet reached that point in the United States.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

We allow this and much more to be done in our name - all of our names. We are all permitting this if we are not stopping it.


capt

capt said...

NASA's Largest Space Telescope Mirror Will See Deeper Into Space



When scientists are looking into space, the more they can see, the easier it is to piece together the puzzle of the cosmos. The James Webb Space Telescope's mirror blanks have now been constructed. When polished and assembled, together they will form a mirror whose area is over seven times larger than the Hubble Telescope's mirror.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

What new discoveries await?

capt

Gerald said...

capt, before we put gated communities in Baghdad, Nazi America must have gated communities to protect us from madmen, like Feith who manipulated intelligence and over one million people are either dead, maimed, or suffering from the loss of a loved one.

capt said...

"Our job this day is to become part of the answer to the world's immense and protracted suffering rather than continuing our ancient task of being part of the difficulty.": Hugh Prather - Author, minister

=
There is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you're fighting for: Paulo Coelho:

=
Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. ln those transparent moments we know other people's joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own.: Fritz Williams

=
...when we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the
fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all being.: Sogyal
Rinpoche

=
"By far the most dangerous foe we have to fight is apathy - indifference from whatever cause, not from a lack of knowledge, but from carelessness, from absorption in other pursuits, from a contempt bred of self satisfaction" : William Osler (Canadian Physician, 1849-1919)

=
"My generation's apathy. I'm disgusted with it. I'm disgusted with my own apathy too, for being spineless and not always standing up against racism, sexism and all those other -isms the counterculture has been whinning about for years." : Kurt Cobain (American Musician and Singer of the grunge rock band Nirvana. 1967-1994)

=
"Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand" : Bodie Thoene


===

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http://www.ichblog.eu/text/

===

Read this newsletter online http://tinyurl.com/dy6yy

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Earth Mantle 'Ocean': 3-D Seismic Model Of Vast Water Reservoir Revealed



A seismologist at Washington University in St. Louis has made the first 3-D model of seismic wave damping — diminishing — deep in the Earth's mantle and has revealed the existence of an underground water reservoir at least the volume of the Arctic Ocean.

It is the first evidence for water existing in the Earth's deep mantle.

Michael E. Wysession, Ph.D., Washington University professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, working with former graduate student Jesse Lawrence (now at the University of California, San Diego), analyzed 80,000 shear waves from more than 600,000 seismograms and found a large area in Earth's lower mantle beneath eastern Asia where water is damping out, or attenuating, seismic waves from earthquakes.

The traditional method seismologists use to image the Earth below us is to measure the speed of seismic waves. This will provide a sort of CAT scan of the Earth's core and mantle. Using wave speeds alone is a problem, however, because they cannot distinguish between temperature and composition variations.

The research is described in a forthcoming monograph, Earth's Deep Water Cycle, which is in press to be published by the American Geophysical Union.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Another ocean of water? Now - if we can come up with a way to pump our sewerage and pollutants into it.


capt

capt said...

Real Life Thoughts from Newt



"If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don't have upper body strength. I mean, some do, but they're relatively rare. On the other hand, men are basically little piglets, you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it, doesn't matter, you know. These things are very real. On the other hand, if combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for twelve ships and their rockets, a female may be again dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes."

-- Adjunct Professor Newt Gingrich, Reinhardt College, January 7, 1995, "Renewing American Civilization."

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

When I hear people talking about Newt running for prez I always remember his take on women in combat (and in general). The Reich-wingnuts and MSM pundits think this guy could run - seriously?


capt

Saladin said...

Capt, he's an idiot, in every way. But nothing they say surprises me anymore, it's all so tiring.

capt said...

The Triangular Universe



Instead of string theory, four-dimensional tetrahedrons

Imagine a landscape composed of microscopic triangular structures that constantly rearrange themselves into new patterns. Seen from afar, the landscape looks perfectly smooth, but up close it is a churning cauldron of strange geometries. This deceptively simple model is at the heart of a new theory called causal dynamical triangulation (CDT), which has emerged as a promising approach to solving the most vexing problem in physics--unifying the laws of gravity with those of quantum mechanics.

For more than 20 years, the leading contender in the quest for unification has been string theory, which posits that the fundamental particles and forces are actually minuscule strings of energy. But some scientists say this theory is misguided because it sets the strings against a fixed background; a better model, they argue, would generate not only particles and forces but also the spacetime they inhabit. In the 1980s and 1990s these researchers developed loop quantum gravity, which describes space as a network of tiny volumes only 10-33 centimeter across. Although this approach has achieved some notable successes, such as predicting the properties of black holes, it has yet to pass an essential test: showing that the jumble of volumes always comes together to form the familiar four-dimensional spacetime of our everyday world....

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

That is the whole tease from Scientific American Digital - one must buy this issue or subscribe to read the whole article.


capt

capt said...

More here:

QUANTA of TETRAHEDRAL SPACETIME VACUUM?

capt said...

Kristol: Obama Is ‘The Opposite Of Lincoln,’ Would Have Been Pro-Slavery



Yesterday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) announced his candidacy for president in Springfield, IL, where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous "House Divided" address. In his speech, Obama reiterated his call to redeploy U.S. forces out of Iraq by March 2008.

This morning on Fox News Sunday, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol attacked Obama’s Iraq policy, saying he wants to appease terrorists like pro-slavery politician Stephen Douglas tried to appease slave-owners. Kristol said, "Obama’s speech is a ‘can’t we get along’ speech — sort of the opposite of Lincoln. He would have been with Stephen Douglas in 1858."

Watch it: (at the link)

Stephen Douglas supported the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857, and took the pro-slavery position that each territory should decide whether or not to allow slave-owning.

Transcript:

KRISTOL: We’re electing a war president in 2008. If I can go back to Obama and Lincoln for just one second, Lincoln’s "house divided" speech in 1858 was a speech saying we cannot live as a house divided on slavery. And he implicitly says we’ll have to fight a civil war if necessary on this.
Obama’s speech is a "can’t we get along" speech — sort of the opposite of Lincoln. He would have been with Stephen Douglas in 1858. Let’s paper over these differences, rise above politics and all get along. That’s not Giuliani’s mode. And I think in a war context, social conservatives want to win the war against Islamic jihadism.



More HERE

*****end of clip*****

This is a "likeable guy?"




capt

capt said...

Pentagon blames Iran for 170 US deaths


America today blamed Iran for the deaths of 170 US troops inside Iraq, accusing Teheran of supplying insurgents with increasingly sophisticated bombs.

Senior defence officials in Baghdad said that Iranian-supplied "explosively formed projectiles" were frequently being used against coalition forces.

They said the "highest levels" of Iran’s regime were responsible for giving them to Shia militias in Iraq.

These bombs are specially designed to penetrate heavily armoured military vehicles and are capable of crippling the US army’s main battle tank, the Abrams M1.

They have killed 170 US troops since June 2004, according to the American officials. They added that some weapons have been captured and they bore the hallmarks of having been manufactured in Iran.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

All 170 eh? I wonder how that stacks up against the number of our troops that died because of a lack of adequate body armor or armored vehicles? How many IED's were made from the high explosives from Al Qaqaa?


capt

capt said...

Rumors of War



Jalal Sharafi was carrying a videogame, a gift for his daughter, when he found himself surrounded. On that chilly Sunday morning, the second secretary at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad had driven himself to the commercial district of Arasat Hindi to checkout the site for a new Iranian bank. He had ducked into a nearby electronics store with his bodyguards, and as they emerged four armored cars roared up and disgorged at least 20 gunmen wearing bulletproof vests and Iraqi National Guard uniforms. They flashed official IDs, and manhandled Sharafi into one car. Iraqi police gave chase, guns blazing. They shot up one of the other vehicles, capturing four assailants who by late last week had yet to be publicly identified. Sharafi and the others disappeared.

At the embassy, the diplomat's colleagues were furious. "This was a group directly under American supervision," said one distraught Iranian official, who was not authorized to speak on the record. Abdul Karim Inizi, a former Iraqi Security minister close to the Iranians, pointed the finger at an Iraqi black-ops unit based out at the Baghdad airport, who answer to American Special Forces officers. "It's plausible," says a senior Coalition adviser who is also not authorized to speak on the record. The unit does exist—and does specialize in snatch operations.

The Iranians have reason to feel paranoid. In recent weeks senior American officers have condemned Tehran for providing training and deadly explosives to insurgents. In a predawn raid on Dec. 21, U.S. troops barged into the compound of the most powerful political party in the country, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and grabbed two men they claimed were officers in Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Three weeks later U.S. troops stormed an Iranian diplomatic office in Irbil, arresting five more Iranians. The Americans have hinted that as part of an escalating tit-for-tat, Iranians may have had a hand in a spectacular raid in Karbala on Jan. 20, in which four American soldiers were kidnapped and later found shot, execution style, in the head. U.S. forces promised to defend themselves.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Now we have a third carrier group headed to the gulf?


capt

David B. Benson said...

The 2007 Jan 29 issue of The Nation has a quite depressing article about the decline of newspapers. If continued, soon no reporters and that will be very bad for democracy (such portions as we still have)...

On the other hand, it does mention the Scandinavian approach. That would be better...

Robert S. said...

NYT MONDAY: CHENEY EXPECTED TO MAKE HISTORIC APPEARANCE ON WITNESS STAND... DEVELOPING...

capt said...

Australia's prime minister: Al-Qaeda 'prays' Obama, Dems win; Obama spokesman dismisses 'cowboy rhetoric'



(Update: Obama lashes back at 'Bush ally's bunch of empty rhetoric')

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has involved himself in the US presidential race by stating that Al-Qaeda is "praying" that Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), and the Democrats in general, will win in 2008. An Obama spokesman dismissed the criticism as "cowboy rhetoric."

Howard has been a staunch supporter of President Bush's war in Iraq, and has faced tremendous criticism in his homeland for his unwavering stance.

"Mr Howard's stinging attack against the popular Democrat, who formally launched his bid for the Democratic candidacy overnight, also appears to commit Australian troops to staying in Iraq well into 2008," an Australian news agency reports. "Only days after saying Australia's alliance with the US was about more than his personal friendship with US President George W Bush, Mr Howard warned that an Obama victory would be a boost for the terrorists."

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Obama is a disappointment. Imagine it was prez Barack and Howard called his bluff and committed 20,000 troops on the spot? Then what? Does that serve any purpose?

Talk about hollow rhetoric.


capt

capt said...

"the decline of newspapers"

I think the news/media outlets are masters of their own fate. Their decline is because of their failure to report the news honestly and completely.

The problem is not with newspapers per se - it is with the mega-dollar corporations OWNING the process and product called "the news" and selling it at a profit.

Get rid of the same money that influences our politics as our stream of current events reporting and the truth would be more possible.

However, there is a problem. The money that is responsible to inform us is the same pool of wealth that is hopelessly intertwined into both politics and the MSM.

I don't think anything short of a revolution in both institutions will bring about any meaningful change.

People have a hunger for current events and I predict as the mega-dollar corporate "news" fades (if that happens) the smaller and independent publications will prosper - it doesn't matter that much whether the independent publications are on paper or on the net.

How the NYT and WaPo keep people reading their swill I will never know. It is propaganda pure and simple and both have proven time and again who they serve (hint: not us).




capt

capt said...

Gas: Iran turns up the heat


[…]

Ironically, expanding Russian-Iranian energy cooperation coincides with the first US deployments of its missile defense system in Central Europe, on the pretext of countering an Iranian threat.

At a press conference in Moscow on February 1, Putin brusquely dismissed the US reasoning on the tests. He said, "Our military experts do not think that the missile defense systems the United States wants to deploy in Eastern Europe are aimed at countering threats from, say, Iran ... The trajectories of missiles fired from Iranian territory are already well known. And they do not have ballistic missiles either. They have medium-range missiles ... We think therefore that these [US] arguments do not carry much weight. This does directly concern us, of course, and it will lead to an appropriate response. As I already said, our response will be asymmetrical, but it will be highly effective."

The specter of a nuclear arms race being forced on Russia haunts the Kremlin. Nothing brings this home more than the Russian proposal to Washington to conclude a non-aggression pact ("legally binding agreements guaranteeing that their military potentials will not be targeted against each other"). Russia-Iran cooperation seems to gather pace almost in direct proportion to the deterioration of Russian-US relations. Moscow's post-haste delivery of Tor-M1 air-defense systems to Iran in December was extraordinary.

Former Russian prime minister Yevgeni Primakov last week summed up the calculus: "Russia is on the way to becoming one of the pillars, if you like, one of the centers, of the multipolar world and one should reckon with Russia ... The Americans will have to retreat, they are at a dead end, and they don't know how to back out of it. They understand it and they are now turning to the United Nations ... Our task is, together with Europe, together with China, together with India, to make sure that a world order that emerges is based on stability."

Primakov added, "You see, we want the American hegemonistic aggressiveness to be blunted. Objectively, things will be moving in this direction because giants such as China and India are rising. By the way, the combined GDP [gross domestic product] of China and India is exceeding that of the United States and they are growing 2.5 times faster than the United States."

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

An excellent article.


capt

capt said...

Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006)

capt said...

"What no one seemed to notice was the ever widening gap between the government and the people. And it became always wider.....the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting, it provided an excuse not to think....for people who did not want to think anyway gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about.....and kept us so busy with continuous changes and 'crises' and so fascinated.....by the machinations of the 'national enemies,' without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us.....

"Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted,' that unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures'.....must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing.....Each act is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next.

"You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow. You don't want to act, or even talk, alone.....you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes.

"That's the difficulty. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves, when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed.

"You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father.....could never have imagined."

Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955)

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capt said...

Sun Tzu's art of investing


[…]

One of the easiest changes to foreign-exchange reserve management is for central banks to sell their dollar holdings, substituting them with other global currencies such as the euro, sterling and the yen. [1] Notably, bond yields in all three of these markets have declined in real terms (ie, compared with economic growth) over the past few years. Alongside this, prices of equities have also gone up, as some central banks are allocating money away from bonds altogether.

Second, prices of commodities have increased sharply, but speculative activity has grown even more. China has a stated goal of building a strategic petroleum reserve, like the United States and reportedly Russia.

Third, any slowdown in the US economy such as being indicated by the decline in employment growth in the January payrolls will cause fewer dollars to flow into the coffers of developing countries. In turn, this will cause their purchases of US securities to fall, thereby pushing up US bond yields. This is a new "conundrum" for financial markets, when an economy heading into a recession sees its bond yields rising.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

If we just print twice as many dollars we are twice as rich and can pay off everything.


capt

David B. Benson said...

Victory is not an option --- Wm Odom.

capt said...

All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal.
~ John Steinbeck (1902 - 1968), "Once There Was A War" 1943

capt said...

Saying "the country wants ... a little bit of fascism," on Imus Matthews further saluted Giuliani


On the February 7 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews heaped praise on GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, calling the former New York mayor "the kind of gutsy, street-corner politician we all grew up with" who "stood on the corner during the fire and told us what was going on." Matthews said that he would like "[a] guy who wasn't on the ranch during Katrina -- who was out on the street corner answering questions," adding: "I'm so sick of southern guys with ranches running this country. I want a guy to run for president who doesn't have a fucking -- I'm sorry -- a ranch. Wouldn't that be good?"



More HERE

Saladin said...

"If we just print twice as many dollars we are twice as rich and can pay off everything."

Capt, the awful thing is that is what people believe, economic cluelessness in a plastic society. Wiemar can't happen here, not to us, no how, no way.

capt said...

Juan Cole - Informed Comment


[…]

We now know that Iran came to the US early in 2003 with a proposal to cooperate with Washington in overthrowing Saddam Hussein, and that VP Richard Bruce Cheney rebuffed it. The US could have had Iran on its side in Iraq!

The attempt to blame these US deaths on Iran is in my view a black psy-ops operation. The claim is framed as though this was a matter of direct Iranian government transfer to the deadliest guerrillas. In fact, the most fractious Shiites are the ones who hate Iran the most. If 25 percent of US troops are being killed and wounded by explosively formed projectiles, then someone should look into who is giving those EFPs to Sunni Arab guerrillas. It isn't Iran.

Finally, it is obvious that if Iran did not exist, US troops would still be being blown up in large numbers. Sunni guerrillas in al-Anbar and West Baghdad are responsible for most of the deaths. The Bush administration's talent for blaming everyone but itself for its own screw-ups is on clear display here.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

If the WH is saying it and the MSM is reporting it - it is most likely not true. Especially when the WH is blaming others.



capt

Robert S. said...

9/11 Widows Keep on Asking the Tough Questions

February 12, 2007 -- When it comes to 9/11, America right now is divided between two camps, those who trust the official account of the attacks, and those who, well, have questions. It’s occasionally the case that the first camp will publicly denounce the second camp as a bunch of nutcases, and when this happens, it’s usually the rowdier section of Camp Two, the Loose Change, bullhorn-wielding, “death to the New World Order” crowd, that takes the most heat.

What tends to get ignored, however, is the quieter section of Camp Two, and especially a group of widowed mothers from New Jersey and New York who over the last six years have worked harder than just about anyone to protect the country from terrorism. Few people realize that had it not been for the tireless efforts of the “Jersey girls” – Mindy Kleinberg, Kristen Breitweiser, Lorie Van Auken, Patty Casazza, and Monica Gabrielle – not only would the 9/11 Commission never have happened, but there most likely never would have been any investigation into what was the worst loss of life on American soil since the Civil War. No inquiry into our failed military defenses, or the collapse of the towers, or just why it was that President Bush sat in that Florida classroom for a full seven minutes after the second plane struck. No scientific reports, no effort to discover what went wrong, no hearings of any kind. No attempt to figure out the details of the whole who, what, where, when and why of the attacks. And again, what few people realize is that today, six years later, the Jersey girls are still fighting the exact same fight they were fighting on September 12, 2001, and for the same reason: to keep you, and me, and everyone we know, safe from terrorism.

“The story of how we got started with this is really simple,” says Mindy Kleinberg, who lost her husband Alan in WTC I. “After my husband was killed, I got involved with a support group that included family members of the victims of Pan AM 103 that blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. And I realized that if the government had only hardened cockpit doors like those family members had demanded prior to 2001, the 9/11 hijackings never could have taken place. And I felt terrible, personally responsible for not having spoken up sooner. But it also made me realize that there are practical steps people can take to keep horrible things like this from happening. So that’s why we went to Washington. It was a moral obligation. There was no agenda, nothing political. We just wanted to do whatever needed to be done to make sure the country would be safe for our kids.”

Long before the Jersey girls ever began appearing on national TV, they were leaving their children with friends and relatives and making repeated trips to Washington, where they went from office to office, pressuring Congress into establishing an official investigation into the attacks. The 9/11 Commission was largely the work of the Family Steering Committee, a group formed by the Jersey widows along with several other 9/11 families who, after reading everything they could get their hands on about 9/11, drew up a voluminous list of questions they wanted to see answered, the goal being to provide the 9/11 Commission with every piece of information it would need to do a solid investigation.

The questions covered everything from the president’s actions on the morning of 9/11, to why hijacked airplanes were permitted to fly around for nearly two hours in U.S. airspace without any military response, to why no one at any level of the government has ever been held responsible for the many failings leading up to the attacks. The widows had high hopes for the 9/11 Commission Report, but when it was published in July of 2004 they were bitterly disappointed. While the public moved on, widely assuming 9/11 to be a bygone issue, the widows were stuck with the frustrating realization that the investigation they’d worked so hard to achieve had utterly failed to meet their expectations.

“It was a pathetic excuse of a report,” says Lorie Van Auken, whose husband Kenneth was killed in WTC I. “Seventy percent of our questions went unanswered. The legislation gave the Commission eighteen months to do the investigation, and even though they had subpoena power from the start, they waited a full ten months to use it and then only reluctantly. Also, anyone who appeared for questioning, from Rudy Guliani to George Tenet, was handled with kid gloves and lauded with accolades. The Commissioners would say, ‘You’re fabulous, you did a fantastic job on 9/11,’ and they would run out the clock. We couldn’t understand what the point was in having a hearing if no substantive questions were being asked or answered.”

Particularly frustrating for the widows was the way the White House initially responded to the idea of an investigation, and they were astonished to find the Bush administration stacking the odds against them. Vice-President Cheney answered their call for legislation by personally phoning congressmen to voice his opposition, and he publicly stated that “an investigation must not interfere with the ongoing efforts to prevent the next attack, because without a doubt a very real threat of another perhaps more devastating attack still exists.” But it was the widows’ opinion that another attack couldn’t be prevented without first knowing what had gone wrong. Caving under political pressure in the end, the White House grudgingly agreed to cooperate, appointing Henry Kissinger as Chairman of the Commission. Kissinger later stepped down when he was unwilling to release his confidential client list and was replaced by former New Jersey governor Tom Kean.

But the widows’ struggles were far from over. The White House named Philip Zelikow, a Bush-appointee who served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Executive Director of the Commission. A close friend of Condaleeza Rice’s, Zelikow had co-authored a book with her and helped in drawing up the plans for the invasion of Iraq. Based on these conflicts of interest, the Jersey widows called for his resignation, but their request was ignored.

“It’s hard for us to come to any other conclusion than that the 9/11 Commission was a political cover-up from the word go,” says Patty Casazza, who lost her husband John in WTC I. “We were so na├»ve, we had no idea we were going to run into this kind of fight. We just wanted an investigation into the attacks, for safety reasons. And yet it took President Bush fourteen months to agree to the 9/11 Commission. This was the man I’d voted for in 2000, and all of a sudden he was my biggest adversary. I look back, and I think, well, at least we got them to put down their version of the events on record, so you can see where they weren’t being thorough. It was supposed to be a complete account, but it was anything but. If my husband had been run over by a car I’d know more.”

I asked the widows their opinions on the legislation recently passed through Congress implementing several of the 9/11 Commission recommendations.

“You know, on certain issues,” says Van Auken, “it’s a no-brainer. Hardening cockpit doors, securing our ports, checking luggage, these are all commonsense things that should be happening anyway, we shouldn’t have needed a 9/11 Commission report to get them done. But as for the rest of it, no, we don’t believe the recommendations are complete because the report is incomplete. We wish the Commission had been handled more like a trial, with actual evidence produced to back up statements, like they do in a courtroom. But that never happened.”

Many of the original questions put to the 9/11 Commission by the Family Steering Committee have since become staples of what’s known as the 9/11 truth movement. For instance, as the widows point out, exactly what made WTC 7 collapse when it was never hit by a plane is still just as much of an enigma today as it was prior to the 9/11 Commission, and they also wonder why NORAD’s protocols weren’t followed during the attacks. Moreover, they find it strange that 9/11 isn’t listed on Osama bin Laden’s FBI most wanted poster, when the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa are. (In June of 2006, Muckraker Report editor Ed Haas spoke on the phone with Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI, who told him the reason why 9/11 wasn’t listed on the poster was because Osama bin Laden had never been formally indicted by the Justice Department in connection with 9/11 and the FBI has no hard evidence linking him to the attacks).

“There are just so many unanswered questions,” says Van Auken. “I would say you need roughly 400 hours of research to graduate from 9/11 kindergarten class. That’s why it’s so hard to keep people on the same page, because they’re coming at this issue from a million different angles. A friend might tell them about building 7, or they might watch Loose Change on the internet, or they’ll say, ‘Hold it a second, you can’t make cell phone calls from an airplane.’ And then suddenly a little alarm bell goes off in their brain, and they say, ‘Wow, we don’t know the whole story about this.’ That’s all it takes, the little alarm bell, and then, bam, welcome to the place we’ve been living in for the last six years.”

“Addressing all these unanswered questions out there is about more than simply trying to quell conspiracy theories,” says Monica Gabrielle, whose husband Richard died in WTC II. “It’s about making sure Americans are safe by revealing the unfettered truth about the failures. Because you can’t make recommendations on distortions, omissions, and half-truths, which is basically what the 9/11 Commission did.”

As disappointed as the widows are with the results of the 9/11 Commission, they haven’t given up hope. They’ve set up a petition online demanding that the government release all transcripts and documents relating to the July 10, 2001 meeting that took place between George Tenet and Condaleeza Rice, which received some media attention last fall when it was referenced in Bob Woodward’s book State of Denial. They’re also requesting the release of the twenty-eight redacted pages in the Joint Inquiry into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (JICI), as well as the CIA Inspector General’s report, “CIA Accountability With Respect to the 9/11 Attacks.” You can find the petition online at http://www.petitiononline.com/july10/petition.html.

“There’s no good reason for not signing this petition,” says Van Auken. “They’re just documents that help explain events leading up 9/11, and they should be in the public domain. If this petition were ever to hit 15,000 names, we’d take it to Washington.”

The widows also got together last year with a couple of independent filmmakers and made a documentary called 9/11 Press for Truth, which tells their story alongside the stories of other 9/11 families who were involved in the 9/11 Commission. As Kyle Hence, the producer of 9/11 Press for Truth explained to me, the point of the film was simply to let people know that the Commission hadn’t done its job properly and that the jury was still very much out on 9/11. “We were trying to build a bridge to the mainstream media,” Hence explains, “to connect the dots the media, for whatever reason, just wasn’t connecting. Our goal was to take the issue to middle-America, to make it legitimate in people’s eyes.”

9/11 Press for Truth is available on Google video, where it’s been somewhat overshadowed by the 9/11 documentary Loose Change. (Interestingly enough, in a debate last December, Dylan Avery, the producer of Loose Change, claimed he doesn’t endorse the second edition of his own movie anymore and urged people to watch 9/11 Press for Truth instead, calling it “the 9/11 film you can show to anybody”). Still, the widows have been astonished at the film’s reception.

“We never thought the movie would get widespread attention,” says Gabrielle. “But the response has been absolutely incredible. Kyle Hence has done a terrific job getting the word out. Thanks to his devotion and hard work, we’re hearing from people as far away as Prague who are expressing interest in the movie.”

9/11 Press for Truth is based on the work of independent researcher Paul Thompson, whose book the Terror Timeline is an enormous compilation of over 5,000 reports and articles relating to the 9/11 attacks. House of Bush, House of Saud author Chris Unger has called it “a spectacular resource that is an essential tool for anyone who is truly interested in understanding the events leading up to 9/11,” and Thompson received an endorsement from former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke when the latter put the book on the reading list for his course on terrorism at Harvard. By going back through buried news stories, Thompson was able to reconstruct an extraordinarily detailed timeline that contradicts statements by several Bush administration officials immediately following 9/11 claiming no one in the upper levels of the government could have anticipated the attacks.

As Thompson’s work shows, not only did the White House receive repeated urgent warnings of impending terrorist attacks from the intelligence agencies of at least a dozen different countries in the months leading up to 9/11, but at the G-8 summit in Genoa, Italy in July of 2001 George W. Bush slept offshore in an aircraft carrier because of threats that Osama bin Laden might fly airplanes packed with explosives into the embassy hotel. As Thompson asks at one point in 9/11 Press for Truth, “The press has reported on this one, that one, but they haven’t really put it all together and said, ‘God, how many different warnings did you get?’ ‘How many different ways was this information coming at you, and why wasn’t anything done about all of these warnings?’”

For the most part, however, 9/11 Press for Truth steers clear of overt speculation about the government’s role in the attacks and instead focuses on the personal recollections of the families who spearheaded the drive to establish the 9/11 Commission. Not only do we witness firsthand the stonewalling they received at the hands of the federal government, but also the extent to which very few in the government really seemed interested in figuring out what had gone wrong. By the end of the documentary, it’s hard to blame Bob McIlvaine, whose son Bobby was killed in the attacks, for saying, “I’m so pissed off at the American people, I’m so pissed off at this government, because of this cover-up.”

I asked the widows where they stand in relation to the 9/11 truth movement and some of its other claims, such as the view that controlled demolitions brought down the towers or that a missile hit the Pentagon.

“All these videos out there,” says Kleinberg, “they’re just giving their take on the various questions the official reports failed to answer. The girls and I, we won’t jump to any conclusions until all the facts are in, but we do share many of the same questions they do, and we definitely share the basic view that we haven’t learned the whole truth about 9/11.”

“It’s the old ‘if there’s nothing to hide, why are they hiding everything’ logic,” says Van Auken. “If you hide information, if you keep everything behind closed doors, people are going to get suspicious. If the government were to answer all of our questions, we’d be encouraged. But the fact is the government has barely answered any of them. It’s outrageous that six years on, after two preemptive wars in the Middle East and maybe a third to come, we still don’t have the whole story behind these attacks. Without that story, we can’t adequately secure the homeland. We want to know the truth, and we feel we’re strong enough to handle it, wherever that truth might lead us, because it’s the only way to be safe.”

“What I saw on 9/11 totally flew in the face of everything I thought this country was about,” says Casazza. “For the people standing crowded and on their own in the opening of the broken windows of the towers, there were no police, Coast Guard, or military helicopters. They could have at least been thrown parachutes so that they could have attempted their own rescue. In ’93, there were rooftop evacuations, why were the doors to the rooftop locked in 2001? With all the warnings of terrorism the government had received, why no alerts that day, no jets scrambled? Bear in mind, the building was a known target. There should have been some evacuation preparation. When guys go to war, no one gets left behind. Those people got left behind. And we need to understand why.”

I asked the women what their plans are for the future, if they are seeking another investigation.

“Not if it was anything like the last one,” says Kleinberg. “We’d be for congressional hearings, but only if they were held like a trial, with real legal authority exercised. We hope the 110th Congress sees fit to do so. We’re not giving up.”

“My hope is that September 11,” says Gabrielle “might force more Americans to realize they have to pay attention, participate in civic affairs, and hold their government accountable. It doesn’t matter who is in power, whether it’s the Democrats or the Republicans, you really need to hold their feet to the fire. People can be so complacent. We were guilty of it too, before our husbands died. But that’s a mistake we can never afford to make again.”

“It’s absolutely exhausting, what we’ve been through,” says Casazza. “We had to go down to Washington to try and make our country safer, at a time when no one in our country felt safe, especially in D.C. We entered into this world few ordinary Americans ever see, and it’s nothing like they teach you in civics class. It astonished me that we had to take our binders full of empirical evidence and educate and convince so many in Congress that there were actually procedures broken on 9/11, only to have them stare blankly back at us and deny the need to support legislation authorizing a full investigation into what had happened. The lack of urgency we witnessed from the White House on down defied every expectation we had of the way things worked in Washington. I never would have imagined that we’d have to push so hard during the worst time of our lives for something that was so obviously needed. I only wish that people would take it upon themselves to go to Washington, instead of just writing about what ought to be done by others. We’ll go back, if we have to, because we know it’s the right thing to do. We’re not going away."

***************************

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. -
Aldous Huxley

capt said...

RS,

One would think the widows would have standing and people would listen.

I will sign the petition (as I always do)

Thanks


capt

capt said...

Bob Novak is suppose to testify? (per Wells)

I wonder if he is going to tell the truth?

I wonder if he will say Russert told him too?


capt

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Off topic--If you use CounterSpy, beware. It has started giving false positive readings for the Gromozon trojan. The CS folks are working to fix it. I spent much of the weekend worrying about this before I found the reference saying it was a false positive. *argh*

I hope all of you are doing well. I haven't come here much lately; I'm just too busy to keep up with the intricacies of the trial, so I couldn't contribute much. The machines at the Ministry of Silly Walks are raising Cain, Abel, Seth, and Pharaoh's drowned army thanks to a stupid quirk in the new antivirus program. Also, my apartment looks like a tornado hit it and then returned to be sure it had done the job right, so I'll have to spend the next two weekends on that. [Random apartment inspections the transitional week from February to March--if I wanted my living quarters inspected, I'd have joined the Army! :)]

From the swamps of Arkansas, Ivory Bill Woodpecker

capt said...

IBW!

Never be a stranger!

Off topic is always a good thing.



capt

Saladin said...

Robert, anyone with even rudimentary powers of observation can see that BS 9/11 story is a crock. I saw the Jersey Girls on 9/11 Press For Truth, they were very rational, calm and completely reasonable with their questions. They laid to waste the lies and obfuscation that infests the "official" narrative and anyone who hasn't seen that documentary should do so. Thanks for that post.

Saladin said...

After signing the petition I read some of the people's comments, very encouraging!

Robert S. said...

Target Tehran: Washington sets stage for a new confrontation
By Patrick Cockburn
Published: 12 February 2007


The United States is moving closer to war with Iran by accusing the "highest levels" of the Iranian government of supplying sophisticated roadside bombs that have killed 170 US troops and wounded 620.

The allegations against Iran are similar in tone and credibility to those made four years ago by the US government about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the invasion of 2003.

Senior US defence officials in Baghdad, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they believed the bombs were manufactured in Iran and smuggled across the border to Shia militants in Iraq. The weapons, identified as "explosively formed penetrators" (EFPs) are said to be capable of destroying an Abrams tank.

The officials speaking in Baghdad used aggressive rhetoric suggesting that Washington wants to ratchet up its confrontation with Tehran. It has not ruled out using armed force and has sent a second carrier task force to the Gulf.

"We assess that these activities are coming from senior levels of the Iranian government," said an official in Baghdad, charging that the explosive devices come from the al-Quds Brigade and noting that it answers to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader. This is the first time the US has openly accused the Iranian government of being involved in sending weapons that kill Americans to Iraq.

The allegations by senior but unnamed US officials in Baghdad and Washington are bizarre. The US has been fighting a Sunni insurgency in Iraq since 2003 that is deeply hostile to Iran.

The insurgent groups have repeatedly denounced the democratically elected Iraqi government as pawns of Iran. It is unlikely that the Sunni guerrillas have received significant quantities of military equipment from Tehran. Some 1,190 US soldiers have been killed by so-called improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. But most of them consist of heavy artillery shells (often 120mm or 155mm) taken from the arsenals of the former regime and detonated by blasting caps wired to a small battery. The current is switched on either by a command wire or a simple device such as the remote control used for children's toys or to open garage doors.

Such bombs were used by guerrillas during the Irish war of independence in 1919-21 against British patrols and convoys. They were commonly used in the Second World War, when "shaped charges", similar in purpose to the EFPs of which the US is now complaining, were employed by all armies. The very name - explosive formed penetrators - may have been chosen to imply that a menacing new weapon has been developed.

At the end of last year the Baker-Hamilton report, written by a bipartisan commission of Republicans and Democrats, suggested opening talks with Iran and Syria to resolve the Iraq crisis. Instead, President Bush has taken a precisely opposite line, blaming Iran and Syria for US losses in Iraq.

In the past month Washington has arrested five Iranian officials in a long-established office in Arbil, the Kurdish capital. An Iranian diplomat was kidnapped in Baghdad, allegedly by members of an Iraqi military unit under US influence. President George Bush had earlier said that Iranians deemed to be targeting US forces could be killed, which seemed to be opening the door to assassinations.

The statements from Washington give the impression that the US has been at war with Shia militias for the past three-and-a-half years while almost all the fighting has been with the Sunni insurgents. These are often led by highly trained former officers and men from Saddam Hussein's elite military and intelligence units. During the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988, the Iraqi leader, backed by the US and the Soviet Union, was able to obtain training in advanced weapons for his forces.

The US stance on the military capabilities of Iraqis today is the exact opposite of its position in four years ago. Then President Bush and Tony Blair claimed that Iraqis were technically advanced enough to produce long-range missiles and to be close to producing a nuclear device. Washington is now saying that Iraqis are too backward to produce an effective roadside bomb and must seek Iranian help.

The White House may have decided that, in the run up to the 2008 presidential election, it would be much to its political advantage in the US to divert attention from its failure in Iraq by blaming Iran for being the hidden hand supporting its opponents.

It is likely that Shia militias have received weapons and money from Iran and possible that the Sunni insurgents have received some aid. But most Iraqi men possess weapons. Many millions of them received military training under Saddam Hussein. His well-supplied arsenals were all looted after his fall. No specialist on Iraq believes that Iran has ever been a serious promoter of the Sunni insurgency.

The evidence against Iran is even more insubstantial than the faked or mistaken evidence for Iraqi WMDs disseminated by the US and Britain in 2002 and 2003. The allegations appear to be full of exaggerations. Few Abrams tanks have been destroyed. It implies the Shias have been at war with the US while in fact they are controlled by parties which make up the Iraqi government.

Saladin said...

All they have to do now is recycle the Niger documents and they'll have a slam dunk!

Robert S. said...

Capt., and Saladin,

Keeping an eye on that petition...I signed at #6008 it is now up to 6088. That is 80 signatures in just a couple of hours.

Gerald said...

Believe My Words

Dear Posters:

I TRULY BELIEVE THESE WORDS.

Nazi America’s foreign policy is to drop nuclear bombs and missiles to destabilize countries through death and destruction. Nazi America becomes truly glorified in murdering human beings and in committing crimes against humanity. Nazi America is an evil, vile, and wicked country.

Sincerely,

Gerald

David B. Benson said...

Eleven feet of snow in upstate New York --- maybe an all-time record. So there can't be global warming, right?

Wrong! The prediction is for more extreme weather, both summer and winter. So this snow is in keeping with the prediction...

capt said...

Discovering What Democracy Means



We are often asked whether our kind of journalism matters. People are curious about why we give so much time to novelists, playwrights, artists, historians, philosophers, composers, scholars, teachers—all of whom we consider public thinkers. The answer is simple: They are worth listening to.

Some years ago I was invited to testify before a House of Representatives committee on funding of the arts and humanities. Opponents were making their skepticism felt toward PBS, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. I had been present at the creation of all three during my time in the White House with Lyndon Johnson, and now all three were once again in the crosshairs of conservatives like Ronald Reagan who were asking: "Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" Reading Shakespeare, it was said, does not erase the budget deficit. Plunging into the history of the 15th century does not ease traffic jams. Listening to Mozart or reading the ancient Greeks does not repair the ozone layer.

We had recently produced two series on poetry called "The Language of Life" and "The Power of the Word." Our series on "Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth" was resonating far and wide, much to the displeasure of sectarian dogmatists. We had created a documentary special called "The Power of the Past," about how Florence valued art for public, and not merely private, consumption. Our series "A World of Ideas" offered conversations from a wide spectrum of voices: Chinua Achebe, Carlos Fuentes, Northrop Frye, Joseph Heller, Thomas Wolfe, Richard Rodriguez, Bharati Mukherjee, Jonas Salk, William L. Shirer, Tu Wei-ming, Toni Morrison, Joanne Ciulla, Ernesto Cortes, M.F.K. Fisher, Mary Ann Glendon, Leon Kass, and so many others who opened viewers to what my old friend and colleague Eric Sevareid once called "news of the mind."

Critics said these programs taught no one how to bake bread or build bridges. And they were right. Despite public television—not to mention symphony orchestras, municipal libraries, art museums, and public theaters—crime was still rampant, the divorce rate was soaring, corruption flourished, legislatures remained stubbornly profligate, corporations cooked their books, liberals were loose in the world doing the work of the devil, and you still couldn’t get a good meal on the Metro to Washington. Why persist, some members of Congress wanted to know, when there are so many more urgent needs to be met and so many practical problems to be solved?

I did not have a tried-and-true answer for members of the committee. I could not hand them a ledger showing that ideas have consequences. I chose instead to tell them what they could have learned if they had been listening to the people who appeared in our broadcasts.

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Bill Moyers - always good.




capt

capt said...

RS,

That is 50 after I signed and that was right after you posted!

I can usually round up ten or so locally.

I have put the word out here in NM.


capt

capt said...

Here is an "ESCALATION video (animation) from many moons ago.

It kind of took me back. S&H GreenStamps, Lucky Strikes, and with that came the memories flooding back of grown men without legs on garage creepers using wooden blocks to push themselves around. They were WW2 and Korean amputees.


capt

Robert S. said...

Clinton: Rove, other Republicans fear my candidacy
RAW STORY
Published: Monday February 12, 2007


Karl Rove fears the presidential candidacy of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a report at the website The Politico. The news was based on a statement by the candidate herself in a New Hampshire campaign trail appearance.

Carrie Burdoff writes that Senator Clinton observed the fear of many in the Republican establishment of her candidacy for president.

"I know what Gingrich tells people privately, I know what DeLay tells people privately, I know what Karl Rove tells people privately," Burdoff quotes Clinton as stating. The remark was paired with her assurance that she and her husband had defeated the Republican establishment twice for the nation's highest office, and that she would be able to do so again.

"Bill and I have beaten them before, and we will again," the former first lady said.

Burdoff added that Clinton made the statement as New Hampshire voters questioned Clinton on her vote in the Iraq war. She said it was time for the war to end.

"I'm sorry; it's over. We are not going to baby-sit a civil war," Clinton said of how she would treat the situation if she was president, according to Burdoff.

The full story can be read at The Politico's website.

*******************************

Dear Hillary, the American people aren't too thrilled with the prospect, either.

Gerald said...

Writing off the 2008 election

Gerald said...

Not-so-little secret!

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: February 11

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: February 12

Gerald said...

And what is Nazi America sending Israel and India? Bubble Gum?

Gerald said...

Wake Up!

Gerald said...

The real fly in the ointment—the real aim of the U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf and of threatening gestures elsewhere—has to do with Iran’s nuclear plans. Recent revelations that the Bush administration summarily rejected Iranian overtures in 2003 to include this neuralgic topic among others in a broad bilateral discussion strengthens the impression that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney actually prefer the military option to destroy Iranian nuclear-related facilities. In any case, the recent hype and provocative actions are likely to end up with an attack on Iran, unless Congress moves quickly to head it off.

Congress is both castrated and impotent. We do not have a Congress. All they are are old farts whose stench makes everyone nauseous.

Gerald said...

With Bush and Cheney murdering humanity here is the World's National Anthem

Gerald said...

Here is our only hope from Bush and Cheney's murderous ways

Gerald said...

Nazi America has a sorry record

Gerald said...

According to the World Policy Institute, "In 2003, the last year for which full information is available, the United States transferred weaponry to 18 of the 25 countries involved in active conflicts." The list of belligerents we aided circles the globe.

Furthermore, "In 2003, more than half of the top 25 recipients of U.S. arms transfers in the developing world (13 of 25) were defined as undemocratic by" our very own State Department’s Human Rights Report.

And "When countries designated by the ... Report to have poor human rights records or serious patterns of abuse are factored in, 20 of the top 25 U.S. arms clients in the developing world in 2003 -- a full 80% -- were either undemocratic regimes or governments with records of major human rights abuses."

In short, we possess a sorry record to be lecturing others on arms transfers to the less than democratically giddy. Nor will the historical record of third-party interventionism square with the "unique circumstances" of Iran's interference that we're about to be fed by the trigger-happy Bush administration.

As the neocons gin up the war drums again, it would be well advised to keep the above items uppermost in mind, rather than entertaining for even one minute their inventive propaganda.

Gerald said...

Believe My Words

Dear Posters:

I TRULY BELIEVE THESE WORDS.

Nazi America’s foreign policy is to drop nuclear bombs and missiles to destabilize countries through death and destruction. Nazi America becomes truly glorified in murdering human beings and in committing crimes against humanity. Nazi America is an evil, vile, and wicked country.

Sincerely,

Gerald

Gerald said...

Nazi America and evil are synonymous

Gerald said...

Israel’s power after 1947 was based on its military supremacy over its weaker neighbors. It is in the process of losing it – if it has not already. Lesser problems, mainly demographic, will only be aggravated if tension persists. It simply cannot survive allied with the United States, because the Americans will either leave the region or embark on a war that risks Israel’s very existence. It is time for it to become "normal" and make peace with its neighbors, and that will require it to make major concessions. It can do that if it embarks upon an independent foreign policy, and it can start immediately to do so with Syria.

Nazi Israel is too embedded with Nazi America. Nazism will destroy countries but it will also destroy Nazi America, Nazi Israel, and Nazi England.

Nazi America's nuclear war against Iran will give sympathy to the Islamic religion and Islam will have more converts. The future is with the Muslim world.

Nazi America's evil ways will be eventually crushed because Nazi America has aligned herself with the devil.

capt said...

Teraflop chip hints at the future



A chip with 80 processing cores and capable of more than a trillion calculations per second (teraflop) has been unveiled by Intel.

The Teraflop chip is not a commercial release but could point the way to more powerful processors, said the firm.

The chip achieves performance on a piece of silicon no bigger than a fingernail that 11 years ago required a machine with 10,000 chips inside it.


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

Amazing.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
~ Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM in 1943

"If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside."
~ Robert X. Cringely, InfoWorld magazine

"Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons."
~ unknown, Popular Mechanics, March 1949



capt

capt said...

"The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole, men are more good than bad; that, however, isn't the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance which fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill." Aalbert Campus: The Plague, Modern Library Edition, p. 120

=
War creates peace like hate creates love: David L. Wilson

=
During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism: Howard Thurman


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capt said...

New thread