Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More Family Jewels?

I'm surprised. There's a lot of material in the 700-page "Family Jewels" file released by the CIA yesterday (see the post below), but neither of the two major media accounts of this release mention one of the hot items in the file: that John McCone, a CIA chief in the 1960s, bugged his own offices and home study, that other directors might have done the same, and that the bugged conversations were transcribed. The New York Times account and The Washington Post report say nothing about this nugget contained in a memo written by Walter Elder, who had been McCone's executive assistant. (If you're looking through the "Family Jewels"--which is available here--the Elder memo starts on page 457 of the file.)

Talk about gems! Imagine transcripts of conversations conducted by McCone and other CIA directors. McCone served as CIA director when the CIA (at the urging of Robert Kennedy) was trying to bump off Castro, the United States and the Soviet Union nearly entered a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the United States was being drawn further into Vietnam. If there are transcripts recording the conversations of other directors, historians and reporters, if they ever could get their hands on these documents, might be able to uncover scandals and revelations that would make Watergate seem small. Tom Blanton, the head of the National Security Archive, a nonprofit outfit, tells me that his group will be filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the McCone transcripts and any others. The CIA will probably resist releasing such material if it exists. But it could turn out that the "Family Jewels" file is no more than a treasure map for the real pot of (historical) gold.

By the way, neither the Times nor the Post pointed out, as I did, that one of the lead "jewels" was censored from the documents released by the CIA (see below)--though they do note that the CIA did excise material before making this file public.

HERE COMES WARNER? Yesterday, I noted that Republican Senator Dick Lugar's newly voiced opposition to the war might become a turning point--if other leading GOP senators were encouraged by Lugar's remarks to express their true concerns and feelings. I singled out Senator John Warner, the ranking Republican on the armed services committee. And Warner came through--kind of. From

John W. Warner, R-Va., the former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who warned last October that the war in Iraq was "drifting sideways," said he expected Lugar's speech to add steam to the vigorous Iraq debate during consideration of the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill (S 567, HR 1585), something expected to take place after the July Fourth recess.

The debate is expected to coincide with the July 15 release of an interim report on the Iraq War.

Warner has said he is considering an amendment that would rewrite the 2002 authorization for the war. As long ago as last August, Warner said the resolution (PL 107-243) had been overtaken by events in Iraq.

"I hail what he did," Warner said of Lugar's speech. "It shows the strength that each of us individually must bring to this debate."

Warner, who commands enormous respect as an expert on military affairs, said he agreed with Lugar that the September reporting date is too long to wait to revise U.S. war policy and that Lugar's speech captured the sentiments of many other lawmakers.

"He's drawing on many of the principles that many senators have expressed," Warner said.

Senator George Voinovich was one Republican who followed Lugar's example. He sent a letter to George W. Bush calling for initiating the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

As ominous as Lugar's words were, the White House faced another key defection on Tuesday when Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, said he, too, felt it was time for the United States to start withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Voinovich had criticized Bush's plan for a surge in American combat forces in January, but hadn't voted for resolutions condemning the president's move -- or demanding troop withdrawals. However, the senator said Tuesday that he sent Bush a letter outlining his "Plan E, for Exit," as the Ohioan put it.

Voinovich said it is time to send Iraq's battling factions and its neighbors a firm signal that American forces are pulling out.

"If everyone knows we're leaving, it will put the fear of God in them," said Voinovich. That would force the Iraqis to settle their internal differences or see their country descend into chaos."

It certainly is late for Republican adults in the Senate to have reached this point. But the drip-drip-drip may soon turn into a flood that even Dick Cheney will have a hard time ignoring or dismissing.

Posted by David Corn at June 27, 2007 11:17 AM


David B. Benson said...

David Corn --- Re "Republican adults in the Senate": I didn't know there were any. Are you sure?

capt said...

" I didn't know there were any"

Good point. If there were any adults we wouldn't be in this mess.


Hajji said...

"...But the drip-drip-drip may soon turn into a flood that even Dick Cheney will have a hard time ignoring or dismissing."


Whatever in the world would be the incentive for Cheney, et al. to cooperate with even an ADULT, bi-partisan congress, hellbent on discovering and EXPOSING the sins of this malAdministration?

I mean, with IMPEACHMENT "set aside", why would the crooks aide in their own incrimination?

Until the threat of serious CRIMINAL, LEGAL REPERCUSSIONS for ignoring Congress's demanands are hanging over their hubris-filled heads, congress is simply a gang of fleas living off the political blood of their hosts. Irritating, perhaps, but lacking the ability to do any real damage.

C'mon, beat the heat by jumping in the MMMMM-PEACH-MINT pond...The water is cool and refreshing!

-and thanks for all your work!


David B. Benson said...

Related an older topic, illegal immigrants, is the H-2 so-called guest worker program. In the 2007 June 25 issue of The Nation there is an article about the lives of guest workers. For the H-2A agricultural workers its not too bad. (The article didn't mention anything about how difficult it is to obtain enough field workers at picking/harvesting time here in Washington State.)

But the H-2B 'other' workers are, in effect, for the most part, temporary slaves. Worse, the proposed revisions being considered in the Senate don't appear to be designed to make life more bearable for them...

capt said...

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph: Haile Selassie

"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein

There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country - if the people lose their confidence in themselves - and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance. - Walt Whitman


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

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