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American Hypocrisy. Former C.I.A. Analyst And Army Veteran Beaten And Jailed At Clinton Speech.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was at George Washington University yesterday giving a speech criticizing governments that arrest protestors and deny or restrict free expression or air grievances that are critical. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, age 71, who became at activist for truth after the Bush administration’s lies to war and is a peace activist was in attendance and standing in the audience and he turned his back as Clinton spoke while wearing a Veterans For Peace T shirt. McGovern was grabbed by an unidentified plain clothes official and officers (in full view of her). McGovern remarked as he was carried out the door, “So this is America?”. McGovern was brutalized and left bleeding and bruised in jail as reported at the Partnership for Civil Justice.

McGovern will be represented by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF). “It is the ultimate definition of lip service that Secretary of State Clinton would be trumpeting the U.S. government’s supposed concerns for free speech rights and this man would be simultaneously brutalized and arrested for engaging in a peaceful act of dissent at her speech,” stated attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the PCJF.

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2,666 Days. The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Crossed The Kuwait Border Last In Symbolic End To Combat Operations.

2,666 days after the previous administration declared “mission accomplished” and boldly told a gullible American people that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, the 4th Styker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division represented the last combat brigade to cross back over into Kuwait leaving Iraq on August 18th. Under the cover of darkness and military secrecy, NBC and MSNBC presented the only live coverage by American media. All the other corporate news organizations that helped the Bush administration sell the lies that led to war were not. The difference in tone was striking, especially given the circus like atmosphere of flag waving Fox News inspired propaganda of “shock and awe” in a war that was deemed illegal by the international community and now even in the country of Bush’s “poodle” as Blair came to be called. In the US, there is a refusal to deal with the underlying facts of the launching of an unprovoked aggressive war against another country and its illegalities in both domestic and international law (and impeachable offenses). Another thing that was striking is that our men and women in service are A+ people even if the government that sent them there was not and we are well served.

The coverage by MSNBC was done by Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and NBC’s Richard Engel. Engel, when the war started, was with the international press community staying at the Palestine Hotel when U.S. tanks fired on them and journalists were killed. The message from the Pentagon was clear. If media was not embedded with US forces, and thus the message control that entails, they would be subject to being fired upon.

Lingering lies and unaddressed issues

Just as soon as the last stryker vehicle’s tires crossed into Kuwait, one of the Bush Administration’s grandest liars, Former Undersecretary for Policy for the DoD under Rumsfeld Doug Feith was on television telling the lie that the CIA gave faulty intelligence that led to war (WMD’s etc.). You see, Feith was in charge of Rumfeld’s Office of Special Plans, the group charged with creating false intelligence because the CIA wouldn’t do it. It became the emphasis of what the Downing Street memos were all about, fixing the intelligence around policy instead of policy being determined by intelligence. Besides the administration relying on unreliable persons such as “curveball”, Chalabi, and the exiled Iraqi National Congress, it relied on the false torture (illegal) produced confessions of Abu Zubaydah and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (later found dead in a Libyan jail cell), the Niger yellow cake document forgeries of Valerie Plame Wilson fame (soon to be a must watch movie) and the Habbush letter forgery among other things. By now you are familiar with the lies such as Saddam had operational weapons of mass destruction, had a nuclear weapons program, was involved with al Qaeda and 9/11, etc., and many on the right still believe them. And can this really be the end with 50,000 troops remaining and a large imperial footprint in place?

And what were the real reasons for invading Iraq?

If they were lying, then what were the real reasons over 4,000 American service members lost their lives, over 30,000 injured, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians lost their lives and millions made refugees? The answer can be found in the original name before Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Iraqi Liberation or oil. It can be seen revealed in the FOIA request by Judicial Watch into the secret Cheney Energy Task Force before the war showing Iraqi oil fields and a multi-national corporate suitors list (oil fields map, corporate suitors for Iraqi oilfield contracts list 1, corporate suitors for Iraqi oilfield contracts list 2). It can also be seen in the Bremer Orders

Order 1-deBathification , Order 2- Dissolve the Iraqi military and intelligence apparatus, Order 12 and Order 54- Trade Liberalization, Order 14 –Prohibited media activity, Order17 -Contractor and military immunity from Iraqi laws, Order 37 and 49- Replace progressive tax system with flat tax system, Order 40 and 94- Iraqi banking open to foreign ownership, Order 62 -Bremer to determine who could run for office, Order 65 Iraqi Communications and Media Commission appointed by Bremer, Order 57 and 77-place American representatives in key decision making positions in the government ministries, Order 80, 81, and 83 Rewrote Iraq’s patent, trademark, and copyright laws. But the most obvious is Order 39. Provision-1, privatization, Provision 2-100 percent Foreign Ownership of Iraqi Businesses, Provision 3 National treatment of foreign investment, Provision-4 Unrestricted Repatriation of Profits for Foreign Investors, Provision 5-Forty Year Leases of Iraqi Real Estate by Foreign Entities and Provision 6 Disputes could be settled in international tribunals instead of Iraqi Courts.

So isn’t Iraq better off?

Well let’s look at some comparisons of pre-war Iraq to post-war Iraq. In a report written by Adil E. Shamoo, former born and raised in Baghdad, and now a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in a piece titled, “U.S. Occupation of Iraq More Than Doubles Poverty, Sickness — Leaves Country a Total Disaster” does just that using a report from UN-HABITAT, an agency of the United Nations. Some of the highlights include unemployment between 20 and 50 percent, continual sporadic violence that did not occur before the invasion, a dysfunctional parliament, and they no longer are in control of their oil assets. The population living in slums pre-war was under 20 percent, even during the period of severe economic sanctions imposed by the United States and a no fly zone (and an Iraq without a navy or air force). The population now living in slums is reported to be 53 percent and electricity is sporadic, maybe totalling only a few hours a day. The equivalency in the US would be around 121 million in slums for a comparison.

Republicans thought Obama should have given Bush more credit in his speech for this success.

Give it to him. America has gone from international leader and a creator of international law through the rule of law and the Nuremberg priniciples to international beligerent and violator of international law with “pre-emptive war” and torture prisons outside the rule of law. By all means, if they want this disgrace, let him have it. Or maybe I just have a pre 9/11 mindset, eh?

Will The WikiLeaks Saga End The Near 40 Year U.S. Involvement In Afghani Conflict? A Look At The Real Questions Assange Has Brought To The Table.

Is it a signal of the beginning of the end of direct U.S. war in Afghanistan? Is it really a new Pentagon Papers?

On July 31st, 2010, Frank Rich had an interesting op-ed in the New York Times titled, “Kiss This War Goodbye” concerning the recent WikiLeaks release of the Afghanistan war logs. Besides the obvious implications of his title, the reasoning of those implications are linked to the Pentagon Papers and the drawing down to the end of the Vietnam war. In expressing those feelings, he essentially wrote,

The only people that seem to be drawing parallels between Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers and Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks document dump are Ellsberg and Assange. The Pentagon Papers didn’t impact the Vietnam War as much as it did the press and the same scenario is likely concerning the WikiLeaks revelations. But the parallel is spot on in that they are narratives on downward trendlines in both wars.

The public is hardly interested anymore and according to a recent CBS News poll, nearly two-thirds think the war is going badly. Add in a Post-ABC News survey that found support of Obama’s handling of the war is at 45 percent with only 43 percent thinking the war is worth it.

It’s hard to argue with any of the op-ed. The information, despite massive enforced secrecy by the U.S. government and two Presidents, revealed precious little to informed people (Fox and right wing radio propaganda afficionados the exception) or to enemies. In fact, the only thing that sticks out is the narrative of nine years of the Afghanistan conflict. That narrative is, of course, one that the United States was just sitting here, uninvolved in Afghanistan and that Osama Bin Laden ordered an attack by plane hijack, on the United States because radical Muslims hated our “freedoms” and Christians and Jews. Since there are closer targets to Afghanistan, or Hamburg Germany where the largely Saudi Arabian contingent of hijackers left from, than the United States that do not have a military garrisoned in 135 countries across the globe and fit those categories, a logical mind would think that rationale a little weak. In fact, the CIA has a term for terrorism, which is “blowback”. But that can be forgiven given the premise of the op-ed that rings true.

As written previously at American Commentary Blog in December of 2009 titled, “Where The U.S. Military Meets Frankensten’s Monster At The Grave Yard Of Conquerors. Obama’s Afghan Decision.” the history and motives are much more involved and long.

As I wrote in 2008 at the DailyKos and the Democratic Underground in a piece titled, “Colonial Wars In A Postcolonial Era (Benazir Bhutto on Iraq)” the Taliban and the groups that ultimately formed al Queda are our “Frankenstein’s monster” by borrowing Benazir Bhutto’s quote

Post cold war imperial ambitions of the U.S. have pushed the Middle East and Central Asia into intolerable peril for these regions the U.S. desires to control for unmatched hegemony. Benazir Bhutto knowing the true nature of the mujahideen coalition even down to each leader of each group and what they were capable of, warned George H.W. Bush in June of 1989, “Mr. President, I fear we have created a Frankenstein that will come back to haunt us” according to her book. The United States, blinded by the Wolfowitz doctrine, has not seen the warning signs until too late. It did not see bin Laden’s rebellion among its jihad network.

and that we should understand the historical background of where we currently find ourselves

The road to 9/11 and its continued bloody aftermath began in earnest at the tail end of the Carter administration when the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI decided it would be a good idea to train and fund a coalition of groups of mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan to give the Soviet backed government of President Mohammed Najibullah more problems than it could handle. For the Pakistani military, the strategy was to provide itself with more reach and influence. For the United States, it was to create a Vietnam type of quagmire for the Soviet Union and its success began when the USSR invaded Afghanistan on Christmas Day, 1979. Ironically, this Soviet quagmire that ultimately led to the implosion of the USSR now threatens us with the same fate.

Of equally important background information is this from The Nation and it’s online blog from 2008 titled, “The Afghan Pipeline You Don’t Know About

Just as Americans were getting used to Big Oil and Iraq, they were hit with revelations on Afghanistan. Did anyone remember in 1999 Unocal providing an all expense paid trip for Taliban officials to the United States (including a trip to Mt. Rushmore) while negotiating a $1.9 billion pipeline bringing Turkmeni natural gas through Afghanistan to Pakistan? What about who was a special consultant to Unocal or the Karzai connection? How about George W. Bush’s neocon ambassador to the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad being rumored as a future “Afghan” presidential candidate?

The pipeline negotiations broke down for good in August, 2001, one month before “well, you know”. Toronto’s Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin put it, “Washington was furious, leading to speculation it might take out the Taliban. After 9/11, the Taliban, with good reason, were removed — and pipeline planning continued with the Karzai government. U.S. forces installed bases near Kandahar, where the pipeline was to run. A key motivation for the pipeline was to block a competing bid involving Iran, a charter member of the ‘axis of evil.'”

Turns out in April (2008), Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (TAPI) signed a Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement to build a US supported $7.6 billion pipeline. It would by-pass Iran and energy giant Russia carrying Turkmeni natural gas to Pakistan and India. Construction would begin in 2010 and go through Kandahar right through the heart of Taliban country (think of the additional troop request)

and this news item from the BBC in 2002 titled, “Afghan pipeline given go-ahead” . Also, the blog at The Nation online magazine went on to state Americans would not know these things unless they regularly scan news items from foreign press sources. The question is, is this still about al Queda and the right war (since the US’s own assessments are that there are maybe only about 100 persons connected to the al Queda groups left in Afghanistan) or is this just a continuation of the strategic game of the empire project concerning Central Asian oil and gas trade?

Recently, there has been some press about Pakistan’s ISI being involved with the Taliban and current insurgency. This has been well known by people in the know, especially given that the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia created most of these groups and funded and trained many of them to drive out the Soviet Union. In fact, many sources had connected Pakistan’s ISI officials and the flow of money to 9/11 hijacker Atta. The religious radicalization of many of the groups and their recruits through those years was funded by U.S. taxpayers as revealed in a 2002 report titled “From U.S., the ABC’s of Jihad” in the Washington Post including the textbooks for the religious schools. This was, of course, what the military industrial complex had decided to do in order to control the resources and the flow of oil and natural gas for multi-national corporations since the fall of the Soviet Union leaving many former soviet states in the region to U.S. hegemonic exploitation. There was not going to be a peace dividend following the cold war for the American people if the profiteers were to have their say and they had both political parties on board.

A warning and a choice

A dire warning to the U.S., which is now following the footsteps of the now defunct U.S.S.R., came from former Soviet General Igor Rodionov in an article from 2009 titled “Veterans of Soviet war see same errors by US” by Charles Clover of the Financial Times where he said “they would come, the insurgency would leave, then we would leave, and they would return and it just went around in circles for 10 years”. He said “sending more troops is just going to mean more deaths.” Indeed, Afghanistan throughout history, has shed its would be conquerors. These lessons come amid the recent collapse of the U.S. economy under deregulation and the Bush tax cuts which have deprived the government of billions and if preserved will cost the budget $700 billion in the next decade while state budget cuts have further contracted economic activity. With current budget cuts including shutting down schools to shutting off street lights at night across America or breaking up roads to gravel to avoid the cost of repaving as revealed in pieces by Glenn Greenwald titled “What collapsing empire looks like” and Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman’s column called “America Goes Dark“, isn’t it time to shift away from tax cuts at the top and the massive spending on the American Security State and imperial priorities of this neocon empire to our millions of unemployed people in dire straits? Isn’t it time to put our priorities back on our people and their welfare before we suffer a fate like that of the Soviet collapse?

While Karma Catches Up To Republican Brownshirt James O’Keefe And A Mentor, Propagandist Breitbart, Examination Of Fellow Thugs In The Landrieu Office Phone Tampering Attempt Turns Up Questionable Connections That Require Official Investigation.

January 31, 2010 1 comment

Lawsuits have been starting to pile up on the dark hero and rube of the American right wing, James O’Keefe. In a Pennsylvania lawsuit,

According to the lawsuit, O’Keefe and Giles met with Conway-Russell in an “attempt to entrap” ACORN workers into behaving inappropriately. Conway-Russell told O’Keefe and Giles that she could help them only with mortgage opportunities but not with other matters, the lawsuit said.

O’Keefe and Giles later disseminated the audio and video recording of the interview to “injure and harm” Conway-Russell, according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.

Such activities violate Pennsylvania’s wiretap laws. In Maryland, O’Keefe, accomplice Giles, and Breitbart.com are being sued in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City for,

“The video and audio footage was taken without the knowledge of Williams and/or Thompson and in violation of Maryland’s Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code §§ 10-402(a) and 10-410, which requires two party consent to all electronic surveillance. Violation of the law is a felony, and entitles parties whose rights were violated to sue,” ACORN said in a statement announcing the suit.

ACORN’s general counsel, Arthur Schwartz, said the acts of O’Keefe and Giles in making the hidden-camera taping were “clear violations of Maryland law.”

Of course, all these attacks on ACORN along with the dubious “voter fraud” charges the rightwing has continually tried to gin up to tap into some racist tendencies in the “tea bag” movement and insinuate that was how Obama got elected and the obvious attempt to defund it was to attack any infrastructure the have nots can have for a political organizing voice as revealed in “ACORN’s Vindication: Too Little Too Late” by Katrina Vanden Heuval,

According to Lewis, damage to ACORN’s work on the ground includes “10,000 people minimum” who will not obtain free tax preparation services from ACORN. In the past, ACORN has helped them file for the Earned Income Tax Credit and thereby “put billions of dollars back into low-income neighborhoods.”

“We’ve had to suspend that. That’s a direct affect on poor people, and you know we were commended by the IRS prior to the right-wing attacks,” said Lewis.

Lewis also said ACORN must curtail its fight against foreclosures. “About 200,000 people that we won’t be able to help directly,” she said, noting that this comes at a moment when the Obama Administration has admitted its own anti-foreclosure plan has fallen short because bailed-out banks aren’t cooperating.

Finally, Lewis said loss of funding has impacted ACORN’s fight to address wage and hour disparities — workers who aren’t paid the minimum wage, cheated out of overtime, unfairly dismissed or discriminated against — “people just totally taking advantage of low-wage workers in this economy.”

And now we have the arrest of O’Keefe in more illegal activity involving Senator Landrieu’s office. Let’s look into the connections into this operation. Arrested along with O’Keefe were Stan Dai, Joseph Basel, and Robert Flanagan, son of William Flanagan, who is the acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. Let’s take a peek at one of them, the circumstances and also the various rigtwing organizations surrounding the episode and events around Mary Landrieu’s (D) La., office. As reported by Lindsay Beyerstein at Alternet in “James Bond Wannabe Part of Right-Wing Plot to Tamper with Senator’s Phones“,

The circumstances of Dai’s arrest are difficult to square any theory that the men were just checking the protocols of Landrieu’s phone system. A federal law enforcement official told the Associated Press that one of the four suspects was arrested a few blocks away in a car with “a listening device that could pick up transmissions.” Another anonymous official told MSNBC that the man in the car was Stan Dai. It’s unclear why the listening device wasn’t mentioned in the affidavit. The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Louisiana declined my request for further comment.

So who is Stan Dai and what and who is he connected with? Well let’s take a look in the same article,

In 2008, Dai served as associate director of the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity Washington University. The ICCAE is funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and charged with recruiting the next generation of spooks. A university official assured Laura Rozen of Politico that Dai was a civilian whose job with the university ended in 2008 when the grant money ran out.

Last June, Dai was a featured speaker on torture and terrorism at a “CIA Day” for students in the Junior Statesmen of America’s summer school. The mission of the Junior Statesmen, according to the organization’s Web site, “is to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society.” The students visited Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Va., and then returned to Georgetown for a series of lectures.

Let’s look at the brochure or packets from the CIA program at which Dai was a speaker called “Annual Junior Statesman Summer School” Speakers Program. It cites his occupation as “freelance consultant”. It lists his career history as
a former Assistant Director of the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity Washington University, as serving as the Operations Officer of a Department of Defense irregular warfare fellowship program, and also as an Undergraduate Fellow on Terrorism of the Foundation for the Defense of the Democracies (a neoconservative think tank with ties to Richard Perle). The topics listed he spoke about at that session concerned “Torture” and “Domestic terrorism”. Concerning questions listed as “possible questions” are listed,

D. Possible Questions
1. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has defended the Bush administration’s policies on surveillance, interrogation and detention as crucial factors that have protected the homeland. How much valid is the former administration’s assertions that these kinds of policies have prevented another terrorist attack on the United States?

2. President Obama has announced he will close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. He has announced he will close CIA black sites around the world, where they interrogate terror suspects. Says he will make CIA interrogators abide by the Army Field Manual, defined waterboarding as torture and ban it, suspend trials for terrorists by military commission, and now eliminate the label of enemy combatants. By taking those steps, do you believe the president of the United States has made Americans less safe?

Of course to anyone that supports the rule of law, the Constitution of the United States, and International Law based on the Principles set at Nuremberg, knows that torture, Guantanamo Bay, and CIA black sites are all illegal through the aforementioned. Who else does the ODNI fund besides the ICCAE? It funds or directs Proteus USA. Why would O’Keefe need such an connection or such “expertise”?

What about the groups harrassing Landrieu’s office? Are they helping the “spin” by participating in disruption? As quoted in AlterNet article,

Their defenders hypothesize they were just “checking” on the senator’s phone lines to make sure that constituent calls weren’t being blocked. Some conservative groups have complained bitterly in recent weeks that they couldn’t get through to Landrieu. Certain paranoid elements of the right speculated that Landrieu had “done something” to her phones to make it easier to ignore their calls. (A rather pervasive and simpler technology for that does exist; it’s called voicemail.)

Groups involved in defending or aiding the bogus defense of this felony it seems are the Family Research Council , the Baton Rouge Tea Party, and the Chamber of Commerce (who must still be working from the Powell Memo). The American people need for a political party or movement to emerge that will fight the attacks on our democracy. The Democratic Party under the influence of the DLC or “centrists” seems or has been inadequate.

Reindeer Games

January 10, 2010 5 comments

The ginned up theme of “terrorism” again started raising its ugly deceptive head to the gullible American masses by politicians and the “media” over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. It’s not that terrorism isn’t real but that terrorism again is being used to cover US foreign policy intentions and to restoke the profitable police state and its contracts and to keep Constitutional law and protections at bay. I suppose it is fitting given this decade of deceit is coming to an end and violators of law such as Cheney would like to keep the status quo going as well as Republican politicians (with notable exceptions) use of it to scare their mindless minions into giving them the reins of power again. Afterall, this decade has been a cornucopia of deceit and intrigue involving false flag operations and betrayal and a willing media circus of lies complete with plants and government propaganda operations. With the latest round of terrorism soundbites raining in on our TV networks due to the underwear bomber, do we want to reenter the madness of it’s color coded madness and possible permanent loss of habeas corpus and loss of Constitutional freedom? Could it be that someone does and the train won’t leave the madness behind? Let’s take a look at the underwear bomber situation and see if it is conspiracy.

Michael Collins has come out with interesting takes and comments on the political theatre playing out before our eyes in a piece titled, “Conspiracy or cock up?” White House reaction to ersatz bomber. Let’s see how it played out and the back and forth that occured on MSNBC’s Countdown and what Richard Wolffe may have been saying. Here follows Collin’s observations on it:

The underpants bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is a curious terrorist. He became disillusioned with his privileged life as the son of a bank chairman and member of the Nigerian elite, it would seem. Rather than pursuing his studies in London, he retreated to Yemen to learn the ways of al Qaeda inspired terrorism.

Farouk was so indiscreet that his father reported him to the U.S. Embassy as a potential terrorist in November. A month later, he managed to get on a jumbo jet headed for Detroit to complete a terror mission. Despite his training in engineering at the prestigious London School of Economics, Farouk failed in his mission. He couldn’t mix his explosives to achieve the desired effect. He apparently forgot to detonate the explosive device in mid flight, waiting until just before landing in Detroit to start his task. He retrieved and set off the chemicals to create the explosion in full view of passengers.

What kind of terrorist is this? He doesn’t know when, how or where to conduct his criminal enterprise.

Is this the best al Qaeda can do?

Is this the justification to for a media manufactured scare-a-thon about the danger Farouk poses to our “freedoms?”

Or is this guy some sort of ringer in yet another moronic master plan ?

Pardon my cynicism about the perpetual power structure but there is a spectacular history of lying by those in power to further their own endeavors: Operation Northwoods; the Gulf of Tonkin incident; the perjured testimony about babies thrown out of incubators used to justify Gulf War I; the lies about WMD before Gulf War II; and so forth.

Few are willing to discuss deep conspiracies either as a real phenomena or as an influence on our nation’s history. The inquiring mind that wanders into that minefield is labeled a “conspiracy theorist” and shoved to the sidelines of public discourse.

But Judith Miller changed all that. She was the ultimate bogus conspiracy theorist who was endorsed and headlined by the New York Times. Who could tell bigger lies better than Miller.

Game on- January 4th

On January 4, 2010, Keith Olbermann ran a segment on Countdown that featured our curious terrorist and the apparatus that somehow missed him despite his concerned father’s pleadings. After the setup, current insider in chief and apparent White House spokesman, Richard Wolffe emerged. He provided some remarkable information from inside the White House deliberations.

“It’s clear the president is still deeply concerned and troubled and even angry at the intelligence lapses. They see this more as an intelligence lapse more than a situation of airport security faults. Why didn’t the centralized system of intelligence after 911, why didn’t it work.” Richard Wolffe, January 4

Wolffe then asked and answered this question:

“Is this conspiracy or cock up?”

“It seems that the president is leaning very much toward this as a systemic failure by individuals who maybe had an alternative agenda.” Wolffe

“An alternative agenda”– what could that mean?

On the 4th, the answer to the question, “why didn’t it work” was clearly on the side of the “alternative agenda” explanation. This was extraordinary.

Olbermann was like a dog on point with this question.

“… you suggested in there that the administration is looking into perhaps mixed motives or misplaced priorities. … Are people thought to have been deliberately withholding information so the dots cant’ be connected?” Keith Olbermann

Wolffe didn’t waiver and indicated that there was something seriously wrong with the intelligence process, particularly concerning the November intelligence gathered from Farouk’s father. Watch the segment starting at 3:50 and decide for yourself.

January 4th Countdown, Richard Wolffe at 3:50

Were we on the verge of finally having someone or some faction held accountable for insulting the citizens of this country with ridiculous excuses to expand this or that war or surveillance program, deny yet more rights,and impose even greater surveillance? Not quite.

Game off (or is it) – January 5

By the very next day, Wolffe was back with Olbermann to revise the view from the White House.

“It’s closer to the cock-up rather than the conspiracy I was talking about.” Richard Wolffe

The president’s view had changed after his all hands meeting on the 4th . It was really just a screw up (cock up). There was to be “no finger pointing” and the administration would be focus on preventing future such episodes

January 5th Countdown, Richard Wolffe at 4:00

The denial of the original speculation by Wolffe lost credibility the more he expanded on his message, as I understand him. He says:

“I wasn’t talking about, as some online commentators have interpreted it, a political plot to embarrass the president by allowing civilians to die. This really gets to the heart of intent versus pure accident. An intent can be non malicious, it can be … a failure to cooperate, it can be a lack of confidence in the system. Which the president has concluded that’s where he’s at. Richard Wolffe, January 5

It’s difficult to understand how failing to report the father’s warnings about his son, warnings that proved highly accurate, can be without malice. Even if we rule out malice, it is impossible to argue that this failure to inform was anything other than gross negligence.

Collins continues by providing opinion by Obama critic Webster Tarpley,

What’s going on?

It’s important to understand that on January 4, a preferred spokesman for the White House, Richard Wolffe, told us that the president was leaning toward a conspiracy of malefactors who “maybe” let it happen, namely the Farouk mission. The motive for their “alternative agenda” was never explicated but it was clearly there, in living color commentary.

There has been little cogent speculation on what all this means. One unlikely source emerged in the president’s corner (and rightly so if he’s correct) was long time Obama critic Webster Tarpley. He noted:

“Wolffe offered two possible explanations cited by his White House sources for the intentional sabotage of security procedures, resulting in yet another egregious failure to connect the dots. The first was a “turf war” inside the intelligence community, with one agency seeking to hoard information and deny it to others. The second was the desire to ‘embarrass’ some leading figures, presumably referring to partisan animus or other resentments against Obama and his top appointees.” Webster Tarpley, January 4

And also,

Tarpley went on to provide a third possibility:

“But Obama and his advisors should be urged to consider a third explanation far more plausible than either of these. This third explanation would include the desire of a rogue network inside the US government to unleash a new wave of Islamophobic hysteria to rehabilitate the discredited ‘global war on terror’ strategy in a new and more sophisticated form, while imposing a new round of outrageous and degrading search procedures at airports (such as the full body scanners peddled by the venal Michael Chertoff) to soften up the American people for heightened totalitarian control and political repression. All of this, moreover, in ways that will be politically harmful to Obama.” Tarpley

and ends it this way,

The failure to enter the information into usable intelligence systems would seem to have alternative explanations. It could have been the CIA as a unit that did it, as Wolffe stated as though it was fact. Or it could have been rogue elements within the intelligence community doing this, with malicious intent or deliberate negligence, to achieve the ends suggested by Tarpley or broader analysis.

By tagging the CIA, the president via Richard Wolffe, finessed the real question: Are there those in the government who deliberately allowed an obvious terrorist, an incompetent one at that, to slip through the system and, as a result, revive the entire apparatus of anti terrorism based on one obviously incompetent individual?

Maybe President Obama dropped his deliberative style and turned on a dime from Monday to Tuesday.
Maybe you can fail to enter the name of an obvious risk for terrorism without any malice.
Maybe the president caved after taking a bold stance in defense of sanity.

Or maybe he’s made his point for now and is regrouping to clean house.

Or maybe the huge error of failing to enter the name was just a “screw up.”

And maybe there really were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as Judith Miller and the New York Times promised based on their stellar sources.

Before we march down the road to ratify the permanent loss of habeas corpus and other vital rights; before we spend even more money on making travel truly unbearable; and, before we finally lose the best elements of our society due to one incompetent terrorist, maybe we should get the entire truth behind the fascinating revelations of Richard Wolffe. One can only hope./i]

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Further thought on this issue is how the media and certain politicians have made all terrorism into “al Queda” and the repeated imagery of highly sophisticated terror network instead of the reality that “al Queda” was originally an CIA term meaning the database of different terrorist groups and names. A database that can be used if someone wanted to engage in shotgun destabilization of a country for instance that could provide a pretext for military action or overthrow. And are we to believe that a bumbling Nigerian engineering student who set his underwear ablaze after safely arriving at his destination is somehow related to the bomber in Afghanistan that gained the trust of the CIA before detonating an explosive among them killing members? It can also be used politically as a pretext for removing Constitutionally provided civil liberties. Or it could be used to change the rules of engagement to something foreign and unAmerican away from the precedents set forth in the past such as principles of the rule of law set forth at Nuremberg and set the stage for what is normally considered crimes such as preventive war or torture camps outside the rule of law. Where do we go from here?

More On The Obama Afghanistan Decision And The Escalation/Withdrawal Double Speak.

In continuing the points made in my previous post titled,”Where The US Military Meets Frankenstein’s Monster At The Grave Yard Of Conquerors” , I decided to pull three videos together to give the reader a broader look along with background. That way, a person can sift through what is political talk, propaganda to further a geopolitical and economic hegemony game for trans-national oil interests, and how it relates to growing debt and economic conditions in the United States (sorry but it doesn’t have anything to do with liberals, or spending too much of the public’s money on the public’s welfare).

Does anyone get the symbolism of the targets now of the acts of the terrorists that flew the planes on 9/11/01 of the World Trade Center , the Pentagon , and Capitol Hill ?. And if you want a wider look at the grand chess board of American geopolitical hegemony policy, read or reread “Moon Water And Sibel Edmonds” . It is also important to keep in mind that since the formalization of OPEC, the U.S. dollar has been has been tied to oil instead of gold (countries have to pay for oil in US currency) and in recent years, Iraq and Iran were attempting to trade oil in Euros. If you contemplate that in recent years, more countries have been contemplating this move and have been changing their reserve currencies to a mixed bag of currencies and subsequently dumping or buying less US bonds, it should make you a little nervous. Should we continue this game or adjust policy to avoid any potential of it being a house of cards? Shouldn’t we have a national conversation on the issues at hand especially given our trade deficits and increasing lack of a manufacturing base not to mention the moral issues?

Where The U.S. Military Meets Frankensten’s Monster At The Grave Yard Of Conquerors. Obama’s Afghan Decision.

December 3, 2009 1 comment

Obama’s decision on escalating the conflict in Afghanistan should not come as a surprise. Afterall, candidate Obama said he was going to shift forces to Afghanistan (which he said was the “good war” as opposed to Iraq which was the “bad war”). That however, doesn’t mean that description is complete nor the decision necessarily wise at this point. As I wrote in 2008 at the DailyKos and the Democratic Underground in a piece titled, “Colonial Wars In A Postcolonial Era (Benazir Bhutto on Iraq)” the Taliban and the groups that ultimately formed al Queda are our “Frankenstein’s monster” by borrowing Benazir Bhutto’s quote

Post cold war imperial ambitions of the U.S. have pushed the Middle East and Central Asia into intolerable peril for these regions the U.S. desires to control for unmatched hegemony. Benazir Bhutto knowing the true nature of the mujahideen coalition even down to each leader of each group and what they were capable of, warned George H.W. Bush in June of 1989, “Mr. President, I fear we have created a Frankenstein that will come back to haunt us” according to her book. The United States, blinded by the Wolfowitz doctrine, has not seen the warning signs until too late. It did not see bin Laden’s rebellion among its jihad network.

and that we should understand the historical background of where we currently find ourselves

The road to 9/11 and its continued bloody aftermath began in earnest at the tail end of the Carter administration when the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI decided it would be a good idea to train and fund a coalition of groups of mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan to give the Soviet backed government of President Mohammed Najibullah more problems than it could handle. For the Pakistani military, the strategy was to provide itself with more reach and influence. For the United States, it was to create a Vietnam type of quagmire for the Soviet Union and its success began when the USSR invaded Afghanistan on Christmas Day, 1979. Ironically, this Soviet quagmire that ultimately led to the implosion of the USSR now threatens us with the same fate.

Of equally important background information is this from The Nation and it’s online blog from 2008 titled, “The Afghan Pipeline You Don’t Know About”

…and speaking of oil, just when we were barely getting used to Big Oil and Iraq hitting the front pages of American newspapers in tandem, here comes Afghanistan! Who now remembers that delegation of Taliban officials, shepherded by Unocal (“We’re an oil and gas company. We go where the oil and gas is…”), back in 1999, that made an all-expenses paid visit to the U.S. There was even that side trip to Mt. Rushmore, while the company (with U.S. encouragement) was negotiating a $1.9 billion pipeline that would bring Central Asian oil and natural gas through Afghanistan to Pakistan? Oh, and who was a special consultant to Unocal on the prospective deal? Zalmay Khalilzad, our present neocon ambassador to the U.N., George W. Bush’s former viceroy of Kabul and then Baghdad, and a rumored future “Afghan” presidential candidate.

Those pipeline negotiations only broke down definitively in August 2001, one month before, well, you know… and, as Toronto’s Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin put it, “Washington was furious, leading to speculation it might take out the Taliban. After 9/11, the Taliban, with good reason, were removed — and pipeline planning continued with the Karzai government. U.S. forces installed bases near Kandahar, where the pipeline was to run. A key motivation for the pipeline was to block a competing bid involving Iran, a charter member of the ‘axis of evil.'”

Well, speak of the dead and not-quite-buried. It turns out that, in April, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (acronymically TAPI) signed a Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement to build a U.S.-backed $7.6 billion pipeline. It would, of course, bypass Iran and new energy giant Russia, carrying Turkmeni natural gas and oil to Pakistan and India. Construction would, theoretically, begin in 2010. Put the emphasis on “theoretically,” because the pipeline is, once again, to run straight through Kandahar and so directly into the heartland of the Taliban insurgency.

and this news item from the BBC in 2002 titled, “Afghan pipeline given go-ahead” . Also, the blog at The Nation online magazine went on to state Americans would not know these things unless they regularly scan news items from foreign press sources. The question is, is this still about al Queda and the right war (since the US’s own assessments are that there are maybe only about 100 persons connected to the al Queda groups left in Afghanistan) or is this just a continuation of the strategic game of the empire project concerning Central Asian oil?

Well let’s look at Obama’s announcement and see how convincing it is and what information is given in it. Author Will Pitt in a post at Democratic Underground said that “President Barack Obama delivered the best speech George W. Bush ever gave in his life.” and went on to say,

It took exactly 130 words for Mr. Obama to invoke the attacks of September 11, which is just about how long it usually took Mr. Bush whenever he unleashed one of his linguistic muggings upon the populace.

Mr. Obama blessed the calamity of Iraq as a success – “We have given Iraqis a chance to shape their future, and we are successfully leaving Iraq to its people,” said the president – which was a favorite habit of Mr. Bush, no matter how brazen facts to the contrary happened to be.

Mr. Obama likewise blessed the recent fraud-riddled election in Afghanistan as a positive thing, despite the cancerous effect that farce of a vote has had on the confidence of the Afghan people. In this, the president echoed Mr. Bush once again, as it was often Mr. Bush’s practice to fete Iraqi elections that were controlled by Iran and riven with violence as successful steps towards democracy.

Mr. Obama re-introduced the American people to the menace of weapons of mass destruction, a favorite note of Mr. Bush. Obama did not go so far as to say that Afghanistan is in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent, 30,000 missiles to deliver the stuff, mobile biological weapons labs, and uranium from Niger for use in a robust nuclear weapons program, as Mr. Bush did during another memorable prime-time speech, but the call to dread was there all the same. The threat of “loose nukes” is indeed real enough, but it was a kick in the stomach to see the Bush Handbook on Fear put into play once again.

Will Pitt seems unconvinced. On the Ed Schultz show, Rep. Eric Massa (D)NY and a member of the Armed Services Committee had this to say when asked if Obama’s speech convinced him,

“NO. And I would have to ask a question: Why 30,000 troops and not 40? Why 30,000 troops and not 20? Why 18 months and not 16 or 24? These are artificial time lines and numbers that have no true military significance as planners sit down and develop what’s called “troop to task” requirements. There is nothing that I heard tonite that would convince me that we are embarking on a strategic mission that is both vital and necessary. We invaded Afghanistan with less than 1,000 special forces personnel and killed or captured over 98% of all the terrorists that we could identify. And now with the remaining few, less than 100 according to the national security adviser, we are going to deploy an army of 100,000 to rebuild a nation?

“The President says, as one of his major points, we are going to act as a partnership with the Afghan government and yet we all know, anyone who has studied it, anyone who has his eyes and ears open, that that government is corrupt beyond malice. I think and I hold strong objection to sending American soldiers into harms’ way and combat to prop up a government that is more corrupt than Tony Soprano and his lieutenants. And so, no, I heard nothing tonight that would sway me against my absolute objection to
what I consider to be a fool’s errand.

Another no from Rep. Massa. And then there is this quote from Rep. Bernie Sanders (I) Vermont,

“Why, in the midst of a severe recession with 17% of our people unemployed
or under-employed and one out of four kids on food stamps — are we going to
be spending $100 Billion a year on Afghanistan when have so many pressing needs
at home?”

Cenk of The Young Turks appeared unconvinced while appearing on Countdown and listening to political double speak of both escalation and withdrawal from Karen Finney

And finally, an ominous undertone from someone who was a part of Afghanistan’s history of being a grave yard for would be conquerors in a Financial Times article

The Soviet 40th Army comprised 120,000 troops at the height of the war, and operations focused on manoeuvring helicopter-borne paratroopers on to mountains, to control high ground, and then moving tanks through the valleys.

In a decade nearly 15,000 Soviet troops lost their lives – and hundreds of thousands of Afghans – in many of the same places that US forces and their allies are struggling to control today: the border regions in the south-east of the country near Pakistan, and the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand.

“The war, all 10 years of it, went in circles. We would come and they [the insurgents] would leave. Then we leave, and they would return,” Gen Rodionov said.

General Rodionov went on to say everything that could be tried in Afghanistan has been tried. If there ever was a time to heed lessons from another country’s historic walk into oblivion, this is it.