Friday, April 27, 2007

Tenet Owes Public an Apology, not a Sales Campaign

Should Americans have to pay to get the truth about how their government failed them?

In a few days, former CIA director George Tenet's new book goes on sale. For $30.00, a reader will be able to find out what really happened in that December 2002 meeting at the White House when Tenet used the phrase "slam dunk." Or what really happened with the prewar WMD intelligence and how it was used--or abused--by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and others.

The usual promotional theatrics are under way. Tenet will appear on 60 Minutes on Sunday, and CBS has already released some choice tidbits of that interview. Meanwhile, The New York Times has obtained a copy of the under-wraps book and has reported some of its disclosures. (News flash: Cheney pushed the nation to war without ever seriously examining the threat posed by Iraq.)

All of this is making Tenet, the man who was in charge of an intelligence establishment that failed the country before 9/11 and that then produced an intelligence estimate that vastly overstated the WMD threat posed by Iraq, a rich fellow. He reportedly bagged millions of dollars for writing this book.

But here's an out-of-the-box question: don't the citizens of the United States deserve to know what happened in the run-up to the war (and to 9/11) for free? Tenet may feel--as he claims--damn lousy about the screwed-up National Intelligence Estimate that helped pave the way to war in Iraq. But he did not feel bad enough to resign--or to disclose earlier what had gone wrong. He sat on the story and now is peddling it for personal profit.

Tenet should have long ago been questioned openly by a congressional committee about all this--though no Republican committee chair would have dared--or he should have spilled all to 60 Minutes and other media, as a public service, not as an advertisement for his book. On Friday, Representative Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House oversight and government reform committee, sent Tenet a letter asking him to testify before his committee on May 10 regarding "one of the claims used to justify the war in Iraq--the assertion that Iraq sought to import uranium from Niger--and related issues." Let's hope Tenet can take time from the book tour to appear.

I am looking forward to reading Tenet's account. He's a smart guy who saw much. And he was screwed by the White House, even though he did fail to make sure the intelligence on Iraq was properly vetted and responsibly used. But if Tenet indeed believed before the invasion of Iraq that Bush and Cheney were pushing the nation to war without adequately assessing the threat or assessing options other than full-scale war, he had an obligation at the time to make that known--at least to members of Congress, if not the public at large. He did not do so. Consequently, he owes the public a full accounting and an apology--not a sales campaign.

Posted by David Corn at April 27, 2007 11:39 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

Too bad we couldn't get some kind of a committee or commission together on 911 and get some truthful answers.

Thanks for all of your work!


capt said...

A replay of "recap" came via email from CLW (Council for a Livable World).

Mark Fiore's February 21, 2007 cartoon "Recap."


Robert S said...

But here's an out-of-the-box question: don't the citizens of the United States deserve to know what happened in the run-up to the war (and to 9/11) for free? Tenet may feel--as he claims--damn lousy about the screwed-up National Intelligence Estimate that helped pave the way to war in Iraq. But he did not feel bad enough to resign--or to disclose earlier what had gone wrong. He sat on the story and now is peddling it for personal profit. - David Corn

News shows, of late, have become part of the synergistic publishing complex; the book helps the pundit, or the candidate travel, make the rounds, get asked the same boring question ad infinitum by the ever so serious wonk, or irreverent comic alike.

Its all about profit...hope the $$$suit&tie&smile (don't mention the haircut) doesn't show up the book cover...

micki said...

Sure, Tenet should have spoken up earlier. But, it's not as though we didn't already know that bush and his boyfriends didn't take Tenet's warnings seriously:

In Richard Clarke's book, Against All Enemies, on Page 235:

[Tenet] and I regularly commiserated that al Qaeda was not being addressed more seriously by the new administration. Sometimes I would walk into my office and find the Director of Central Intelligence sitting at my desk or the desk of my assistant, Beverly Roundtree, waiting to vent his frustration. We agreed that Tenet would ensure that the president's daily briefings would continue to be replete with threat information on al Qaeda.

Saladin said...

Watch Senator Gravel hand those spineless dems their heads on a platter!


David B. Benson said...

Heads on platters. Hmmm.

Wasn't that Salome?

micki said...


micki said...

John the Baptist served salami to Salome?

micki said...

Oh wait, it was his head, wasn't it?

capt said...

"One of the great attractions to patriotism, it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of a nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat while feeling we're profoundly virtuous." : Aldous Huxley

"A nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and a common fear of its neighbors." : W. R. Inge

"Patriotism is fierce as a fever, pitiless as the grave, blind as a stone and as irrational as a headless hen." -Ambrose Bierce

"Patriotism is a religion, the egg from which wars are hatched." : Guy de Maupassant

"Patriotism is a menace to liberty.": Emma Goldman


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Our Captive Media

Bill Moyers indicts media reporting in the run-up to war

That the media is the handmaiden of power in 21st America comes as no surprise: after all, this is what decadence is all about – a quest for comfort above any principle, and safety (especially career safety) above all. In any age or era, cowardice is the rule rather than the exception: in a truly decadent society, however, bravery is almost unknown – and, in any case, atavistic individuals likely to exhibit it are almost entirely excluded the higher up one travels in the social hierarchy. The worst rise to the top, while the best achieve only obscurity – until the society is so top-heavy with venality that the whole structure is in danger of collapsing.

No, we at didn’t buy the war: but, then again, we were just doing our job – subjecting the "evidence" dished out by the War Party to the strictest scrutiny. Too bad the "mainstream" media didn’t do their job. What scares me is that all the excuses they give for their failure – "reporting is hard," whines Dan Rather – are good for another round of being manipulated by the Powers-That-Be. After all, reporting is still hard: it’s still difficult to stand up against war hysteria, and next time – and there will be a next time, trust me – one fully expects them to revert to their role as government stenographers.

Yes, I suppose I should take the opportunity to point out that this underscores the vital importance of as an alternative source of news and opinion, and yet – well, yes, it’s true enough. But it’s depressing to realize that integrity is so rare, and that so much of the burden is falling on us. Sad, and a bit scary, too.


Gerald said...

Greg Palast said that Gonzo should not be fired. He makes a compelling case to use Gonzo in the 2008 election (if we have one and if we have one that will not be rigged).

Tenet does owe the nation an apology and not a sales campaign. Lately, I have found David Corn's articles more interesting. David, like many other writers, need to stick out their necks.

Nazi Americans deserve the truth and not be saddled with lies.

My defribulator kicked in on April 27. My gait or walk is becoming more tenuous. Is my heart becoming weaker? On May 2 I will be at the University Hospital to check the defribulator. This was the second time that the defribulator kicked in and saved my life. How many more times will the defribulator be needed, I do not know. Just as I am ready to blackout, the defribulator has kicked in. At first I become lightheaded. The lightheadedness has become more frequent. I have slowed down my postings. My word to you is "take good care of your heart!!!"

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: April 28

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day

Gerald said...

Finding Your True Calling

Like so many, Stephen Malkoff encountered a few detours on the way to finding his true calling.

As a youngster in Alabama, Malkoff loved trees. He’d climb the tall elms or oaks and feel the peaceful presence of God. “Sitting up there amid the swaying branches was almost like praying.”

Malkoff studied architecture, but his real talent was elsewhere. “My buildings always ended up being attractive, but unbuildable,” says Malkoff. “But my professors always liked the trees and plants that I’d put into my drawings to make the buildings look more realistic.”

Although Malkoff switched to art, things really fell into place when he discovered his niche drawing trees. His work led to a commission to draw historically significant trees in every state. “When I’m drawing trees, I get that same feeling I got as a kid…trees bring me closer to God.”

Find your true calling. You’ll find yourself closer to God.

O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. (Psalm 104:24)

Blessed Father, help me find You in my paid work and in my household chores.




Gerald said...

Pulling the Trigger on Iran

God may be calling me to my judgment before I witness Nazi America's attack on Iran?

capt said...

U.S. media have lost the will to dig deep

I reported on the phony felon purge in Britain's Guardian and Observer and on the BBC while Gore was still in the race, while the count was still on.

Yet the story of the Florida purge never appeared in the U.S. daily papers or on television. Until months later, that is, after the Supreme Court had decided the election, when it was picked up by the Washington Post and others.

U.S. papers delayed the story until the U.S. Civil Rights Commission issued a report saying our Guardian/BBC story was correct: Innocents lost their vote. At that point, protected by the official imprimatur, American editors felt it safe enough to venture out with the story. But by then, George W. Bush could read it from his chair in the Oval Office.

Again and again, I see this pattern repeated. Until there is some official investigation or allegation made by a politician, there is no story.

Or sometimes the media like to cover the controversy, not the substance, preferring an ambiguous and unsatisfying "he said, she said" report. Safe reporting, but not investigative.

I know some of the reasons why investigative reporting is on the decline. To begin with, investigations take time and money. A producer from "60 Minutes," watching my team's work on another voter purge list, said: "My God! You'd have to make hundreds of calls to make this case." In America's cash-short, instant-deadline world, there's not much room for that.

Are there still aggressive, talented investigative reporters in the U.S.? There are hundreds. I'll mention two: Seymour Hersh, formerly of the New York Times, and Robert Parry, formerly of the Associated Press, who uncovered the Iran-Contra scandal. The operative word here is "formerly." Parry tells me that he can no longer do this kind of investigative work within the confines of a U.S. daily newsroom.

One of the biggest disincentives to doing investigative journalism is that it jeopardizes future access to politicians and corporate elite. During the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby trial, the testimony of Judith Miller and other U.S. journalists about the confidences they were willing to keep in order to maintain access seemed to me sadly illuminating.

Expose the critters and the door is slammed. That's not a price many American journalists are willing to pay.

It's different in Britain. After the 2000 election, when Harris' lawyer refused to respond to our evidence, my BBC producer made sure I chased him down the hall waving the damning documents. That's one sure way to end "access."

Reporters in Britain must adhere to extraordinarily strict standards of accuracy because there is no Bill of Rights, no "freedom of the press" to provide cover against lawsuits. Further, the British government fines reporters who make false accusations and jails others who reveal "official secrets."

I've long argued that Britain needs a 1st Amendment right to press freedom. It could, of course, borrow ours. We don't use it.


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

The MSM sucks. It is just commercial crap.


capt said...

Washington's Bloody Make-Believe


Though impeachment isn't the focus of his book, David Corn lists dozens of Bush's and Cheney's serious deceptions in The Lies of George W. Bush. The information in this book alone would give any member of Congress ample reason to issue subpoenas and follow up with impeachment proceedings.

Corn makes it clear the Bush administration exaggerated the threat from Iraq and lied about and fixed the intelligence. He describes how Bush, in his 2003 State of the Union Address, falsely implied that U.N. inspectors believed Iraq had large amounts of WMD.

Instead, U.N. inspectors expressed doubt, stating they had dismantled Iraq's key weapons-making facilities and destroyed most existing WMD. Corn refers to a September 2002 report by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The document said: "There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing or stockpiling chemical weapons, or whether Iraq has - or will - establish its chemical warfare production facilities."

In conclusion, Corn says it was obvious Bush had "misinformed - if not misled - his own country and the world. It was undeniable that he had launched a war on the basis of false assertions…George W. Bush had also provided the entire world with good reason to doubt the word of America. And that was unlikely to make the nation safer."

Many Americans act as if we're aware the administration deceived us to war, while others, including some in Congress, operate as if they fail to see that reality. Those who don't or won't see and respond to what actually happened are living in a make-believe state of mind, a form of denial that resembles a psychotic break with reality.

Burying the pre-war lies under the rug harms this country on many levels. The national pretending is disturbing, because Bush's and Cheney's pre-war fabrications aren't just any lies; they're lies that led to, and continue to cause, widespread loss of life and limb, not only for Americans, but also for soldiers of other nationalities and for Iraqi civilians.


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

We fail to impeach at our collective peril.


capt said...

Hitler's Hell

On Aug. 31, 1944, Adolf Hitler spoke his mind to a group of German generals al his secret headquarters. According to a stenographic transcript found last week in the resort town of Wiesbaden, the Führer said:

"This war is no convenience to me. For five years I've been shut off from the other world. I've not visited the theater, I've not heard a concert, and I've not seen a film.*

"I live only for a single mission, to lead this battle because I know if there is not iron will power behind it, the battle will not be won.

"I blame the General Staff because they, instead of always exhibiting iron will, have weakened the front officers, for when General Staff officers come to the front they spread pessimism."

Latest Hitler rumor, circulating in Bavaria: he is alive and plotting another war against the western Allies—in collaboration with Generalissimo Stalin.

* Actually, Hitler often saw movies in private showings during the war's first years.


capt said...

Saturday Funnies at Bob Geiger HERE


capt said...

I am also sure that there is no such thing as free- thinking in as much as all thinking must be must be bound by its own laws.
James Joyce (1882 - 1941), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Nothing is permanent in this wicked world - not even our troubles.
Charlie Chaplin (1889 - 1977), O Magazine, October 2002

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968)

When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they'll remember and be kind to someone else. And it'll become like a wildfire.
Whoopi Goldberg

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.
Eckhart Tolle

The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession, what there is of it.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), Following the Equator


Carey said...

Mr. Corn,

Right on target with George Tenant. Egocentrism and arrogance are core personality traits of the current administration and its cronies.

The weather here in San Diego is incredible. Can't stay indoors.

The Democrats are in town today for a convention. Air America is there broadcasting through it's various local syndicates. Clinton, Edwards and Obama all refused to do an interview with the San Diego deejay.

THAT'S A NO-NO! Air America is the only progressive talk radio station. San Diego is hosting the convention. It's the sixth largest market in America.

If the family still had the! I could imagine the phone calls back and forth.

The only progressive national talk radio station. I can't believe it's being passed over. Wrong way to take the campaigns. Way too packaged. Not people-oriented enough.

Saladin said...

Capt, I love that surge pic! I am adding it to my space, it's perfect.

Hajji said...

Hey Y'all!

Just finished catching up on the political scene. It has been kinda crazy, locally...

Hillary, Edwards, Obama all in town. Locals are befuddled at the media frenzy...

Most follow the cameras around thinkin' the focus will turn out to be George Clooney or Rene Zeillwegger (in town shooting "Leatherheads")

A vast majority have their hopes dashed when it turns out to be just Mike or Dennis or Chris.

Edwards is a local born n' bred, knows how to "talk right".

Barack's a rock star here, but will NEVER beat Kevin Costner, here for the Bi-Lo open next month!

I'm lurkin', but waaaaay busy of late!

Thanks for keepin' me up-to-date and semi-sane!


Bill Moyer's journal with Jon Stewart is priceless.

Charley Rose is pushing George lotsa ex-CIA (Drumhueller, etc) giving lip to his version of history.

I gotta boil some chicken...

a 15.5 year-old canine stomache is a delicate thing to fill!


capt said...

Putting the worst face on things

Nepotism, corruption cause US to lose 'indespensible nation' title

While international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations may still seem remote to most Americans, those institutions symbolize the increasing integration of a planet that deeply needs capable, trusted and farsighted guidance. Not so long ago, the United States was known as the "indispensable nation," the one that could be relied upon to lead in times of crisis. That forfeited reputation is not only the world’s loss, but ours as well.
Cronyism, neglect, corruption, rigidity and plain stupidity -- perpetrated by figures who had billed themselves (and were billed by the mainstream media) as the geniuses of our time -- have exacted an awesome toll on the inheritance we received from previous generations. Our heritage of world leadership in the last century was built not upon military power alone, but arose from economic, diplomatic and moral foundations that somehow survived despite many earlier mistakes and even crimes.

With the advent of the Bush administration, however, our luck has obviously run out. Neither allies nor adversaries pretend to believe that the ludicrous characters sent forth by the President to represent us are statesmen. Not only does nobody much care what we think, but most people are now inclined to distrust and oppose us on principle.

The latest example of American decline is, of course, the embarrassing little scandal that has besmirched World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz. Always an overrated bureaucrat, he seems to have spent an inordinate amount of time and effort in recent years fashioning literal sweetheart deals for his paramour -- a Tunisian-born Saudi named Shaha Riza -- at the bank, the State Department and the Pentagon.

Even while Mr. Wolfowitz was serving as Deputy Defense Secretary, he allegedly pressured a major defense contractor to hire Ms. Riza. For a month, she worked in Iraq on "democracy promotion" -- a traditional American objective thoroughly discredited because of Mr. Wolfowitz and his fellow neoconservatives.

Considering Mr. Wolfowitz’s monumental failure at the Pentagon, where he overruled wiser and more experienced staff in preparing for the invasion of Iraq, his own promotion to the World Bank presidency was mystifying. His vaunted brilliance notwithstanding, he may well be the single most incompetent public servant of the past quarter-century, with the only significant competition coming from his former boss, Donald Rumsfeld. Together, they ensured that the occupation of Iraq had too few troops and too little planning, while allowing Republican cronies and crooks to siphon away billions of taxpayer dollars.

It was all going to pay for itself with Iraqi oil revenues, or so Mr. Wolfowitz had testified in Congress with his usual confidence. By the time that particular bill came due, he had moved on.

When Mr. Wolfowitz showed up at the World Bank, he touted another worthy agenda. Like John Bolton, his fellow ideologue appointed to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, he said that he intended to promote reform and fight corruption. But in both cases, those high-minded purposes were thwarted by personal inadequacies -- while zealous certainty in their own moral purposes blinded them to those shortcomings.

In Mr. Wolfowitz’s case, that characteristic arrogance enabled him to inveigh against corruption and scourge bank employees while he simultaneously arranged an extraordinary sinecure for Ms. Riza. She was seconded to the State Department, with an enormous tax-free salary exceeding the compensation of the Secretary of State, where she worked under the supervision of Elizabeth Cheney (whose rank as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs was owed wholly to her father, the Vice President).

Under the deal set up by her boyfriend, Ms. Riza would automatically receive "outstanding" ratings, with a top position waiting for her on her return to the World Bank as soon as Mr. Wolfowitz’s term expires. Neoconservatives apparently believe fervently in merit and competition and hate affirmative action, unless their own careers (or the careers of their lovers) are at stake.

All this familial boodling proceeded happily while Vice President Dick Cheney whispered lies about the supposed "nepotism" behind former Ambassador Joe Wilson’s unpaid mission to Niger. The White House didn’t appreciate Mr. Wilson’s exposure of the truth behind the administration’s "mushroom cloud" fear-mongering about the perils of Saddam Hussein, so they exposed his wife’s C.I.A. identity to smear him. Hypocrisy is too inadequate a term to describe these people.

With its endless procession of tawdry scandals and buffoonish antics, the Bush administration often looks and sounds like a sitcom. In retrospect, as America and the world confront terror, disease, poverty and environmental peril, it will be recognized as a tragedy.


Saladin said...

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross."
- Sinclair Lewis
Notice he said WHEN, not IF.

capt said...

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear."

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero - (106-43 B.C.) Roman Statesman, Philosopher and Orator.

capt said...

Officeholding Liars

It's been said often that while everyone is entitled to his own opinion, no one is entitled to his own facts. Today, we hear misstatements all the time. Some of them are deliberate lies. Some of them are just mistakes.

A House committee has just exposed the terrible fact that Army officials fabricated a story about the death of Pat Tillman and lied through their teeth. The Army knew from Day One that Tillman died from so-called friendly fire, but it was five weeks before Army officials got around to telling the family.

In the meantime, the Army falsified a citation to give him a Silver Star at his memorial service, which was turned into a media event – conveniently timed, his family now believes, to distract attention from the scandal of Abu Ghraib prison.


capt said...

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official..."

~ Theodore Roosevelt

capt said...

Bush Has Gone AWOL

The following is a transcript of the Democratic Radio Address delivered by Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.) on Saturday April 28, 2007:

"Good morning, this is Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army, retired.

"I am not now nor have I ever been a Democrat or a Republican. Thus, I do not speak for the Democratic Party. I speak for myself, as a non-partisan retired military officer who is a former Director of the National Security Agency. I do so because Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, asked me.

"In principle, I do not favor Congressional involvement in the execution of U.S. foreign and military policy. I have seen its perverse effects in many cases. The conflict in Iraq is different. Over the past couple of years, the President has let it proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued.

"Thus, he lets the United States fly further and further into trouble, squandering its influence, money, and blood, facilitating the gains of our enemies. The Congress is the only mechanism we have to fill this vacuum in command judgment.

"To put this in a simple army metaphor, the Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is ‘absent without leave.’ He neither acts nor talks as though he is in charge. Rather, he engages in tit-for-tat games.

"Some in Congress on both sides of the aisle have responded with their own tits-for-tats. These kinds of games, however, are no longer helpful, much less amusing. They merely reflect the absence of effective leadership in a crisis. And we are in a crisis.

"Most Americans suspect that something is fundamentally wrong with the President’s management of the conflict in Iraq. And they are right.

"The challenge we face today is not how to win in Iraq; it is how to recover from a strategic mistake: invading Iraq in the first place. The war could never have served American interests.

"But it has served Iran’s interest by revenging Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran in the 1980s and enhancing Iran’s influence within Iraq. It has also served al Qaeda’s interests, providing a much better training ground than did Afghanistan, allowing it to build its ranks far above the levels and competence that otherwise would have been possible.

"We cannot ‘win’ a war that serves our enemies interests and not our own. Thus continuing to pursue the illusion of victory in Iraq makes no sense. We can now see that it never did.

"A wise commander in this situation normally revises his objectives and changes his strategy, not just marginally, but radically. Nothing less today will limit the death and destruction that the invasion of Iraq has unleashed.

"No effective new strategy can be devised for the United States until it begins withdrawing its forces from Iraq. Only that step will break the paralysis that now confronts us. Withdrawal is the pre-condition for winning support from countries in Europe that have stood aside and other major powers including India, China, Japan, Russia.

"It will also shock and change attitudes in Iran, Syria, and other countries on Iraq’s borders, making them far more likely to take seriously new U.S. approaches, not just to Iraq, but to restoring regional stability and heading off the spreading chaos that our war has caused.

"The bill that Congress approved this week, with bipartisan support, setting schedules for withdrawal, provides the President an opportunity to begin this kind of strategic shift, one that defines regional stability as the measure of victory, not some impossible outcome.

"I hope the President seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill the Congress has sent him. I will respect him greatly for such a rare act of courage, and so too, I suspect, will most Americans.

"This is retired General Odom. Thank you for listening."

General Odom has served as Director of the National Security Agency and Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the Army’s senior intelligence officer. In his address, General Odom will discuss why he believes President Bush should sign the conference report on the Iraq Accountability Act.

You can download the radio address by clicking here.

capt said...

Failure that came back to bite Tenet

Disowned by the Bush administration, the CIA chief had nowhere to turn in the face of impending criticism, reports

As George Tenet walks away from a brutal seven-year term as director of central intelligence, there is one moment, above all, that he would surely rather forget. It came on the eve of the Iraq war, during a top-secret Oval Office briefing for President George W Bush, on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.

The briefing left Mr Bush visibly troubled, Bob Woodward reported in his recent inside account of the war, Plan of Attack.

The president turned to Mr Tenet. "I've been told all this intelligence about having WMD and this is the best we've got?" he asked.

Mr Tenet knew how to reassure Mr Bush, a boss whom he met six mornings a week for intelligence briefings. He drew on the language of basketball. "It's a slam dunk case!" Mr Tenet said, throwing his arms in the air. "Don't worry, it's a slam dunk."


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

Was the term "slam dunk" mischaracterized by Woodward? Did he twist the facts to support the WH?


Gerald said...

Do you recall the repugs restating that the Democrats waste money? Well, Posters, from Reagan to now the repugs have squander our money and our human potential with incessant lies. Invading Iraq was not in the best interest of the USA. It was in the best interest of Nazi Israel.

Robert S said...

Protesters demand impeachment as President Bush speaks at Miami-Dade College
Larisa Alexandrovna
Published: Saturday April 28, 2007

Robert S said...

Student protesters upset Attorney General's Harvard reunion
Published: Saturday April 28, 2007

Student protesters wearing hoods and Guantanamo Bay garb found their way into the US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' 25th Harvard Law School reunion Saturday.

A release sent by the group to RAW STORY claims Gonzales was "forced to leave through a back door."

Gonzales apparently arrived unannounced. Students met him and his fellow classmates outside the law library where the class of 1982 had posed for a photo.

As the photographer said cheese, the group said students yelled that "torture," "resign" or "I don't recall" might be more appropriate.

The Justice Department could not immediately be reached for comment.

"When I heard he was on campus, I was stuffing envelopes with letters to Congress in an office two floors above," said Deborah Popowski, a second-year law student, according to the release. "I dropped everything. Gonzales needs to know that after approving poorly-reasoned memos that distort the rule of law and justify torture, he is simply not welcome here."

According the the group, Popowski slipped though the law library's front doors and approached Gonzales from behind as the Attorney General's security detail kept protesters at bay.

"On behalf of many other Harvard Law students," she said, "I'd like to tell you that we are ashamed to have you as an alumnus of this school. And we're glad you're here to be able to tell you that."

Gonzales thanked the student and offered to shake her hand, but was refused.

Following the photo, Gonzales was said to have entered the library, traveled to the reading room, then ducked out through a basement emergency exit and into a waiting SUV.

Robert S said...

Heck of a job, reexamined.

Robert S said...

Letter to George Tenet
By Phil Giraldi, Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson, Jim Marcinkowski, Vince Cannistraro and David MacMichael
t r u t h o u t | Report

The following was sent to George Tenet today in care of his publisher. The letter, written by a group of former intelligence officers, reflects disgust with George Tenet's effort to burnish his image with his new "tell all" book.

28 April 2007
Mr. George Tenet
c/o Harper Collins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street 8th Floor
New York City, New York 10022

ATTN: Ms. Tina Andredis

Dear Mr. Tenet:

We write to you on the occasion of the release of your book, At the Center of the Storm. You are on the record complaining about the "damage to your reputation". In our view the damage to your reputation is inconsequential compared to the harm your actions have caused for the U.S. soldiers engaged in combat in Iraq and the national security of the United States. We believe you have a moral obligation to return the Medal of Freedom you received from President George Bush. We also call for you to dedicate a significant percentage of the royalties from your book to the U.S. soldiers and their families who have been killed and wounded in Iraq.

We agree with you that Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials took the United States to war for flimsy reasons. We agree that the war of choice in Iraq was ill-advised and wrong headed. But your lament that you are a victim in a process you helped direct is self-serving, misleading and, as head of the intelligence community, an admission of failed leadership. You were not a victim. You were a willing participant in a poorly considered policy to start an unnecessary war and you share culpability with Dick Cheney and George Bush for the debacle in Iraq.

You are not alone in failing to speak up and protest the twisting and shading of intelligence. Those who remained silent when they could have made a difference also share the blame for not protesting the abuse and misuse of intelligence that occurred under your watch. But ultimately you were in charge and you signed off on the CIA products and you briefed the President.

This is not a case of Monday morning quarterbacking. You helped send very mixed signals to the American people and their legislators in the fall of 2002. CIA field operatives produced solid intelligence in September 2002 that stated clearly there was no stockpile of any kind of WMD in Iraq. This intelligence was ignored and later misused. On October 1 you signed and gave to President Bush and senior policy makers a fraudulent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) - which dovetailed with unsupported threats presented by Vice President Dick Cheney in an alarmist speech on August 26, 2002.

You were well aware that the White House tried to present as fact intelligence you knew was unreliable. And yet you tried to have it both ways. On October 7, just hours before the president gave a major speech in Cincinnati, you were successful in preventing him from using the fable about Iraq purchasing uranium in Africa, although that same claim appeared in the NIE you signed only six days before.

Although CIA officers learned in late September 2002 from a high-level member of Saddam Hussein's inner circle that Iraq had no past or present contact with Osama bin Laden and that the Iraqi leader considered bin Laden an enemy of the Baghdad regime, you still went before Congress in February 2003 and testified that Iraq did indeed have links to Al Qaeda.

You showed a lack of leadership and courage in January of 2003 as the Bush Administration pushed and cajoled analysts and managers to let them make the bogus claim that Iraq was on the verge of getting its hands on uranium. You signed off on Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations. And, at his insistence, you sat behind him and visibly squandered CIA's most precious asset - credibility.

You may now feel you were bullied and victimized but you were also one of the bullies. In the end you allowed suspect sources, like Curveball, to be used based on very limited reporting and evidence. Yet you were informed in no uncertain terms that Curveball was not reliable. You broke with CIA standard practice and insisted on voluminous evidence to refute this reporting rather than treat the information as suspect. You helped set the bar very low for reporting that supported favored White House positions, while raising the bar astronomically high when it came to raw intelligence that did not support the case for war being hawked by the president and vice president.

It now turns out that you were the Alberto Gonzales of the intelligence community - a grotesque mixture of incompetence and sycophancy shielded by a genial personality. Decisions were made, you were in charge, but you have no idea how decisions were made even though you were in charge. Curiously, you focus your anger on the likes of Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and Condi Rice, but you decline to criticize the President.

Mr. Tenet, as head of the intelligence community, you failed to use your position of power and influence to protect the intelligence process and, more importantly, the country. What should you have done? What could you have done?

For starters, during the critical summer and fall of 2002, you could have gone to key Republicans and Democrats in the Congress and warned them of the pressure. But you remained silent. Your candor during your one-on-one with Sir Richard Dearlove, then-head of British Intelligence, of July 20, 2002 provides documentary evidence that you knew exactly what you were doing; namely, "fixing" the intelligence to the policy.

By your silence you helped build the case for war. You betrayed the CIA officers who collected the intelligence that made it clear that Saddam did not pose an imminent threat. You betrayed the analysts who tried to withstand the pressure applied by Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Most importantly and tragically, you failed to meet your obligations to the people of the United States. Instead of resigning in protest, when it could have made a difference in the public debate, you remained silent and allowed the Bush Administration to cite your participation in these deliberations to justify their decision to go to war. Your silence contributed to the willingness of the public to support the disastrous war in Iraq, which has killed more than 3300 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

If you are committed to correcting the record about your past failings then you should start by returning the Medal of Freedom you willingly received from President Bush in December 2004. You claim it was given only because of the war on terror, but you were standing next to General Tommy Franks and L. Paul Bremer, who also contributed to the disaster in Iraq. President Bush said that you "played pivotal roles in great events, and [your] efforts have made our country more secure and advanced the cause of human liberty."

The reality of Iraq, however, has not made our nation more secure nor has the cause of human liberty been advanced. In fact, your tenure as head of the CIA has helped create a world that is more dangerous. The damage to the credibility of the CIA is serious but can eventually be repaired. Many of the U.S. soldiers maimed in the streets of Fallujah and Baghdad cannot be fixed. Many will live the rest of their lives missing limbs, blinded, mentally disabled, or physically disfigured. And the dead have passed into history.

Mr. Tenet, you cannot undo what has been done. It is doubly sad that you seem still to lack an adequate appreciation of the enormous amount of death and carnage you have facilitated. If reflection on these matters serves to prick your conscience we encourage you to donate at least half of the royalties from your book sales to the veterans and their families, who have paid and are paying the price for your failure to speak up when you could have made a difference. That would be the decent and honorable thing to do.

Sincerely yours,

Phil Giraldi

Ray McGovern

Larry Johnson

Jim Marcinkowski

Vince Cannistraro

David MacMichael

Robert S said...

The "Stab in the Back" Trap
By Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributors
Friday 27 April 2007

capt said...

Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country: Bertrand Russell, attributed

I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in: George McGovern

The ability and inclination to use physical strength is no indication of bravery or tenacity to life. The greatest cowards are often the greatest bullies. Nothing is cheaper and more common than physical bravery: Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

"Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on his own dunghill." : R. Aldington

"Patriotism is the belief your country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." : George Bernard Shaw

"To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography." : George Santayana

I wouldn't call it fascism exactly, but a political system nominally controlled by an irresponsible, dumbed down electorate who are manipulated by dishonest, cynical, controlled mass media that dispense the propaganda of a corrupt political establishment can hardly be described as democracy either: Edward Zehr


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

David B. Benson said...

Tom Englhardt today points out that the Democrat's so-called withdrawal plan is wimpy, full of holes.


Hajji said...

Today marks a gruesome day as "Coalition" (US, UK and Poland) soldier's deaths "surge" to heights not seen since the winter of '05.

Civilian formerly known as Sgt.Karl announced that there's a baby on the way...Grandbaby #4 by expected sometime around Christmas this year!

Civilian formerly known as Cpl.Spanky's in 'Medic School, looking forward to a June Mexican Beach vacation.

We love that our own are ok.

We remain abhorred by the senseless slaughter, the abject stupidity causing the crippling, the maiming the psychological twisting of millions more.

This won't stop until the puppet masters pulling the strings are exposed for the evil monsters they are!

Your congress isn't likely to do that to their personal money and power supply.

Pitchfork and torches time, soon! A popular uprising, civil disobedience and economic withdrawl is pretty much all that is left.

Ideas, plans, plots...?


Saladin said...

Hajji, "Remember Remember the 5th of November." If you want to meet people of like mind check out myspace page and click on any of my friends. The people are fast reaching the end of their patience. And I, for one, am heartened to know it! The powers that be are already exposed and their puppets in congress will not be able to defend their treason against this country.

Saladin said...

"We should take them out of this sectarian civil war where they're not even sure whose side they are fighting on."
"We should also do more to require the Iraqi government to defend itself. We can't win this war for them. It's their war."

H. Clinton
HUH???????? What fucking planet has she been living on?

Saladin said...

Dropping 'D' Bomb On Cancer

by Bill Sardi
Lew Rockwell

Cancer is part of America... This week many Americans will be busy fighting cancer, holding bowling marathons and running races to raise money for cancer research. Americans receive advice on how to prevent cancer, to stop smoking, eat more vegetables and fruits, stay out of the sun. May is skin cancer awareness month, so Americans will be reminded of the potentially harmful effects of the sun. These Americans are unaware of the bomb that is ready to drop on the cancer world... the first direct scientific evidence that cancer can be defeated in a major way.

A knife is ready to be thrust through the heart of this most dreaded disease. The heralded antidote will not be a pricey cancer drug, but rather a 10-cent cure. Here is how the Globe & Mail described the upcoming breakthrough:

But perhaps the biggest bombshell …. is about to go off. In June, U.S. researchers will announce the first direct link between cancer prevention. Their results are nothing short of astounding.

A four-year clinical trial involving 1,200 women found those taking vitamin D pills had about a 60-per-cent reduction in cancer incidence, compared with those who didn't take it, a drop so large – twice the impact on cancer attributed to smoking – it almost looks like a typographical error.

And in an era of pricey medical advances, the reduction seems even more remarkable because it was achieved with an over-the-counter supplement costing pennies a day. [Martin Mittelstaedt, Vitamin D casts cancer prevention in new light. Globe & Mail, April 28, 2007]

Prior evidence that vitamin D prevents cancer has been gleaned from population studies which indirectly show sunny areas of the U.S. have lower cancer rates. Because there are so many factors involved in cancer, it has been difficult to identify vitamin D as the sole factor responsible for lower rates of cancer in certain geographical areas. That is, till now.

Sunshine in a bottle, vitamin D pills, are about to do more to defeat cancer than any pricey cancer drug or other measure to prevent cancer. Recognize the National Cancer Institute’s 5-A-Day program to encourage consumption of five servings of plant foods a day has been a failure in reducing cancer rates. So has the advice to say out of the sun.

Advice to avoid sun exposure has been misguided information "of just breathtaking proportions," says Dr. John Cannell, head of the Vitamin D Council, a non-profit, California-based organization. "Fifteen hundred Americans die every year from skin cancers. Fifteen hundred Americans die every day from the serious cancers."

Skin cancer mortality rates didn’t rise steeply till 1971 when Americans were advised to use sunscreen lotions that blocked the vitamin D–producing UV-B sun rays. This permitted the deep penetrating UV-A sun rays to attack the skin without the protection of vitamin D. Only recently have researchers conceded that UV-A rays cause skin cancer. [Oncogene 25(26): 3680–8. June 22, 2006]
But if the FDA gets their way this cheap preventative measure will be considered a drug requiring a prescription. We will not tolerate competition from some upstart vitamin!

Saladin said...

Theater Of Death

As the American press goes, so go the Democrats. For all their phony talk about "withdrawal" and "ending the war," the Democrats have said next to nothing about these huge bases, their future, or their purpose.

Identical silence surrounds the U.S. embassy in Baghdad:

Among the many secrets the American government cannot keep, one of its biggest (104 acres) and most expensive ($592 million) is the American Embassy being built in Baghdad. Surrounded by fifteen-foot-thick walls, almost as large as the Vatican on a scale comparable to the Mall of America, to which it seems to have a certain spiritual affinity, this is no simple object to hide.

So you think the Bush Administration is planning on leaving Iraq? Read on.

The Chicago Tribune reports, "Trucks shuttle building materials to and fro. Cranes, at least a dozen of them, punch toward the sky. Concrete structures are beginning to take form. At a time when most Iraqis are enduring blackouts of up to 22 hours a day, the site is floodlighted by night so work can continue around the clock."

According to Knight Ridder, "US officials here [in Baghdad] greet questions about the site with a curtness that borders on hostility. Reporters are referred to the State Department in Washington, which declined to answer questions for security reasons." Photographers attempting to get pictures of what the locals call "George W's Palace" are confined to using telephoto lenses on this, the largest construction project undertaken by Iraq's American visitors.

Nonetheless, we know much of what is going on in the place, where there will soon be twenty-one buildings, 619 apartments with very fancy digs for the big shots, restaurants, shops, gym facilities, a swimming pool, a food court, a beauty salon, a movie theater (we can't say if it's a multiplex) and, as the Times of London reports, "a swish club for evening functions." This should be ideal for announcing the various new milestones marking the trudge of the Iraqi people toward democracy and freedom.

USA Today has learned that the "massive new embassy, being built on the banks of the Tigris River, is designed to be entirely self-sufficient and won't be dependent on Iraq's unreliable public utilities." Thus, there will be no reason or excuse for any of the thousands of Americans working in this space, which is about the size of eighty football fields, to share the daily life experience of an Iraqi or even come in accidental contact with one.

This gigantic complex does not square with the repeated assertions by the people who run the American government that the United States will not stay in the country after Iraq becomes a stand-alone, democratic entity. An "embassy" in which 8,000 people labor, along with the however many thousand military personnel necessary to defend them, is not a diplomatic outpost. It is a base. A permanent base.

Is anyone, Republican or Democrat, talking about this embassy, its construction, or what it signifies about our government's plans? No.

I will make this point very slowly. I will use simple words. The Democrats and Republicans, the governing class, and the foreign policy establishment all agree that our foreign policy should be directed to ensuring global hegemony for the United States. See my series "Dominion Over the World" for the details. They all agree that the United States is "entitled" to direct events around the world, and that we must have the most powerful military the world has ever seen to make certain that our will can never be thwarted. They all agree that we must always have our way. There is no country and no event around the world that is immune to our interference. With only a handful of exceptions, no one in government or in a position of significant influence thinks otherwise. Historically, the Democrats have been in the vanguard of this policy, and they have been its most vociferous advocates, beginning with Woodrow Wilson. The Democrats have initiated more overseas interventions, both covert and by means of outright war, than the Republicans, by far. If you have any remaining doubts on this score, read Barack Obama's recent foreign policy address. A more complete compendium of the vacuous but deadly phrases expressing belief in "American exceptionalism," our indisputable "right" to rule the world, and the religious belief in U.S. "indispensability" would be close to impossible to find. (See Max Sawicky and IOZ for more on Obama's awful utterances.)

Given the unbroken through-line of U.S. foreign policy going back to World War I (and to the Spanish-American War even earlier), and since this foreign policy is virtually entirely unchallenged by anyone among our governing elites, there is only one conclusion with regard to our presence in Iraq. No, we will not always be there in the current numbers. But as the above facts indicate – and I said I will keep this simple –

LIARS, TRAITORS, concerned with power and nothing more. Democrats and Republicans, the two heads of the same vile serpent.

Robert S said...

'They sold out the world for an F-16 sale'
Luke Ryland
Published: Monday April 30, 2007

capt said...


Gonzales should step down, says Wolfowitz

Escort service employee linked to Bush administration resigns

House panel asks for Rice, gets beans

Surging economy led by for-profit prisons

Doctor: Castro 'alive as a fiddle'

Paranoid schizophrenics oppose closing gun law loophole

Holocaust denier says global warming real

Gore campaign denies he's running

FDA begins hiring food tasters

Paris Hilton expected to vote along party lines

April's top stories: Cho, ho's, Don Ho

Spector found guilty of ruining 'Let It Be'

Anarchist debate turns ugly

Dollar falls against IOU


We do live in some Ironic Times


Robert S said...

Tomgram: Scahill, A Democratic Sell-out on Bush's Mercenaries


How to make a torch:

Considering all the different types of torches out there, is is actually a bit difficult to give a general guide. Here are a few recipes for regular wicking torches though, in advancing level of difficulty:

1 - The branch

This one hardly takes any explaining. Find a dry branch, and set it on fire. It doesn't work too well, and can not really be said to be wind-proof

2 - Simple wicked torch

Get some cotton, and cut it into long streaks. Wrap it around the end of a round wooden stick, use nails or staples to fix the cotton to the stick, dip in paraffin, and set alight. This torch is reasonably wind proof, and lasts a good while. If you make sure not to let your torch burn out (rather extinguish it, dip in paraffin, and light it again)



"There's three ways or four ways to influence a president," Murtha said on CBS's "Face the Nation" program. "One is popular opinion, the election, third is impeachment and fourth is the purse."


Is it possible that there are some democrats that notice the gathering discontent...

Photos from Beach Impeach #2

Robert S said...

Times: Trial by jury on verge of extinction, democracy at risk
Published: Sunday April 29, 2007

According to a story in tomorrow's New York Times (reg. req.), trials by jury are "on the verge of extinction" and are being "replaced by settlements and plea deals, by mediations and arbitrations and by decisions from judges." In fact, "only 1.3 percent of federal civil cases ended in trials last year, down from 11.5 percent in 1962."

The Times points out in particular that "in criminal cases, the vast majority of prosecutions end in plea bargains" and quotes a judge as complaining that defendents "who have the temerity to 'request the jury trial guaranteed them under the U.S. Constitution' ... face 'savage sentences' that can be five times as long as those meted out to defendants who plead guilty and cooperate with the government."


For $82 a Day, Booking a Cell in a 5-Star Jail
Monica Almeida/The New York Times
Published: April 29, 2007

SANTA ANA, Calif., April 25 — Anyone convicted of a crime knows a debt to society often must be paid in jail. But a slice of Californians willing to supplement that debt with cash (no personal checks, please) are finding that the time can be almost bearable.

For offenders whose crimes are usually relatively minor (carjackers should not bother) and whose bank accounts remain lofty, a dozen or so city jails across the state offer pay-to-stay upgrades. Theirs are a clean, quiet, if not exactly recherché alternative to the standard county jails, where the walls are bars, the fellow inmates are hardened and privileges are few.


Somebody get me a cheeseburger! - Steve Miller

capt said...

New Thread