Cheney’s Former Firm Could Earn Billions in Iraq

May 31, 2003 at 10:18 am
Contributed by:

Oh, I know, Cheney has no influence over awarding contracts to Halliburton,
and doesn’t stand to profit from it personally. What a wonderful and bizarre
coincidence then that Halliburton alone stands to earn billions in revenues
from its post-war contracts! How lucky for them. Too bad no other US
companies are going to get a shot at those
contracts.

–C

This article was pulled from the wires of that radical organization:
Associated Press.

————————————–
Cheney’s Former Firm Could Earn Billions in Iraq

By David Pace/Associated Press

WASHINGTON (May 30) – Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company already
has
garnered more than $600 million in military work related to the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq, and potentially could earn billions more without
having to
compete with other companies.

As the Army’s sole provider of troop support services, Halliburton’s Kellogg
Brown & Root subsidiary has received work orders totaling $529.4 million
related to the two wars under a 10-year contract that has no spending
ceiling.

Rather than put the Iraq work up for bidding, the government has used the
2001 Halliburton contract to place the various work orders in Iraq,
prompting
criticism from some Democrats that Cheney’s former company is receiving
favored
treatment.

“The amount Halliburton could receive in the future is virtually
limitless,” said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who disclosed the troop
support work
orders Thursday. “It is simply remarkable that a single company could earn
so much
money from the war in Iraq.”

Halliburton, a Houston-based oilfield-services and construction company,
disputes those characterizations, noting it had to compete to win the
original
contract and that each of its work orders is covered by strict guidelines
and
costs controls.

“U.S. government contracts are awarded, not by politicians, but by
government civil servants, under strict guidelines,” company spokeswoman
Wendy Hall
said. “Government civil servants are well aware of and consistently abide
by
the requirements of the process. Privatizing this work allows the military
to
concentrate on its mission. “

“Any allegation that this contract is set up to encourage unwarranted
spending is unfounded and untrue,” she said. “The vice president has
nothing to do
with the awarding of contracts, the bidding process or task orders.”

Cheney headed Halliburton from 1995 until George W. Bush picked him as his
running mate in July 2000.

The Army Corps of Engineers, using a separate no-bid contract, has awarded
Kellogg Brown & Root $71.3 million in work orders to repair and operate oil
wells in Iraq. That contract has a two-year duration of a spending ceiling
of $7
billion.

Kellogg Brown & Root competed with two other companies in 2001 to win the
logistics contract that makes it the Army’s only private supplier of troop
support services such as housing, amenities and food over the next decade.

The initial logistics contract award carried no value. The Army negotiates
each task order with the company and then verifies the costs as they are
billed.

There is no ceiling on spending, because the contract is designed to provide
rapid troop support wherever and whenever U.S. forces move into action
overseas.

Under similar contracts, the Army paid Kellogg Brown & Root $1.2 billion
from
1992 through 1999 to support U.S. troops, mainly in the Balkans. An
extension
of that contract from 1999 through 2004 is projected to cost $1.8 billion.

Since March 2002, the Army has issued 24 task orders totaling $425.5 million
under the contract for work related to Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to
Army records provided Waxman. Eleven more work orders totaling $103.9
million
have been issued under the same contract for work related to the war in
Afghanistan.

Dan Carlson, spokesman for the Army Field Support Command, said the Army has
paid $42 million to Kellogg Brown & Root through April for work under the
contract related to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Carlson said the more than $500 million in work orders under the logistics
contract represents the Army’s best estimate of the final costs of the
projects.
He said the company must justify its spending to Army contract officials
before it can be paid.

“Costs are verified as they are billed,” he said. “We may spend more or
we
may spend less.”

Much of a $60 million obligation to Brown & Root to provide logistical
supply
line services and locations in Turkey was never spent because the Turkish
government refused to allow U.S. troops to launch an invasion of Iraq from
Turkey, Carlson said.

WMD? Where? Pt 4: The world reacts

May 31, 2003 at 10:07 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Interesting developments are under way…we have a new,
large team of “weapon hunters” going in to Iraq, CIA officials are starting to
break ranks with the administration, and the credibility of the US/Brit
assertions about WMD is crumbling. Unfortunately for Bush Co, the world really
does expect some justification to surface for the Iraq war…this one, they’re
not going to be able to dismiss, or throw us off the trail using their weapons
of mass distraction.

 

“The
time has come when the British government needs to concede that we did not go to
war because Saddam was a threat to our national interests,” Cook wrote in The
Independent newspaper. “We went to war for reasons of U.S. foreign policy and
Republican domestic politics.”

 

http://www.msnbc.com/news/919535.asp?vts=053120030220

 

http://www.msnbc.com/news/920207.asp?0bl=-0

 

–C


“To announce that there must be no
criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or
wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the
American public.”  — Teddy Roosevelt 


 

WMD? Where? Pt. 5: Wolfowitz admits WMD just a convenient excuse for war

May 31, 2003 at 3:03 am
Contributed by:

Folks,


Please note the below clarification on what Wolfowitz actually said, submitted by an alert reader.


Still, I don’t think this clarification changes much. All three reasons remain as weak as they were before.


1. WMD is a multiple standard and we are the worst offender. Next?


2. Support for terrorism? Largely unproven in Iraq’s case. Easily proven in the case of the Saudis, our friends. Next?


3. Criminal treatment of the Iraqi people? OK, then how about the equally bad dictatorial regimes that we have installed and continue to support in the rest of the world, especially in drug-producing nations? Next??

—–Original Message—–


FYI, he didn’t actually say this. The quote was:


Q: Was that one of the arguments that was raised early on by you and others that Iraq actually does connect, not to connect the dots too much, but the relationship between Saudi Arabia, our troops being there, and bin Laden’s rage about that, which he’s built on so many years, also connects the World Trade Center attacks, that there’s a logic of motive or something like that? Or does that read too much into —

Wolfowitz: No, I think it happens to be correct. The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but — hold on one second —


(Pause)


Kellems: Sam there may be some value in clarity on the point that it may take years to get post-Saddam Iraq right. It can be easily misconstrued, especially when it comes to —


Wolfowitz: — there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there’s a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two.


The Independent report left out the last paragraph of the quote, which undermines the thrust of their story.


Here’s a link to the transcript.



—–Original Message—–

WMD just a convenient excuse for war, admits Wolfowitz

The case for war is blown apart


By David Usborne/The Independent


The Bush administration focused on alleged weapons of mass

destruction as the primary justification for toppling Saddam Hussein

by force because it was politically convenient, a top-level official

at the Pentagon has acknowledged.


The extraordinary admission comes in an interview with Paul

Wolfowitz, the Deputy Defence Secretary, in the July issue of the

magazine Vanity Fair.


Mr Wolfowitz also discloses that there was one justification that

was “almost unnoticed but huge”. That was the prospect of the United

States being able to withdraw all of its forces from Saudi Arabia

once the threat of Saddam had been removed. Since the taking of

Baghdad, Washington has said that it is taking its troops out of the

kingdom. “Just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going

to the door” towards making progress elsewhere in achieving Middle

East peace, Mr Wolfowitz said. The presence of the US military in

Saudi Arabia has been one of the main grievances of al-Qa’ida and

other terrorist groups.


“For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass

destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on,”

Mr Wolfowitz tells the magazine.


The comments suggest that, even for the US administration, the logic

that was presented for going to war may have been an empty shell.

They come to light, moreover, just two days after Mr Wolfowitz’s

immediate boss, Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, conceded for

the first time that the arms might never be found.


The failure to find a single example of the weapons that London and

Washington said were inside Iraq only makes the embarrassment more

acute. Voices are increasingly being raised in the US – and Britain

– demanding an explanation for why nothing has been found.


Most striking is the fact that these latest remarks come from Mr

Wolfowitz, recognised widely as the leader of the hawks’ camp in

Washington most responsible for urging President George Bush to use

military might in Iraq. The magazine article reveals that Mr

Wolfowitz was even pushing Mr Bush to attack Iraq immediately after

the 11 September attacks in the US, instead of invading Afghanistan.


There have long been suspicions that Mr Wolfowitz has essentially

been running a shadow administration out of his Pentagon office,

ensuring that the right-wing views of himself and his followers find

their way into the practice of American foreign policy. He is best

known as the author of the policy of first-strike pre-emption in

world affairs that was adopted by Mr Bush shortly after the

al-Qa’ida attacks.


In asserting that weapons of mass destruction gave a rationale for

attacking Iraq that was acceptable to everyone, Mr Wolfowitz was

presumably referring in particular to the US Secretary of State,

Colin Powell. He was the last senior member of the administration to

agree to the push earlier this year to persuade the rest of the

world that removing Saddam by force was the only remaining viable

option.


The conversion of Mr Powell was on full view in the UN Security

Council in February when he made a forceful presentation of evidence

that allegedly proved that Saddam was concealing weapons of mass

destruction.


Critics of the administration and of the war will now want to know

how convinced the Americans really were that the weapons existed in

Iraq to the extent that was publicly stated. Questions are also

multiplying as to the quality of the intelligence provided to the

White House. Was it simply faulty – given that nothing has been

found in Iraq – or was it influenced by the White House’s fixation

on the weapons issue? Or were the intelligence agencies telling the

White House what it wanted to hear?


This week, Sam Nunn, a former senator, urged Congress to investigate

whether the argument for war in Iraq was based on distorted

intelligence. He raised the possibility that Mr Bush’s policy

against Saddam had influenced the intelligence that indicated

Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction.


This week, the CIA and the other American intelligence agencies have

promised to conduct internal reviews of the quality of the material

they supplied the administration on what was going on in Iraq. The

heat on the White House was only made fiercer by Mr Rumsfeld’s

admission that nothing may now be found in Iraq to back up those

earlier claims, if only because the Iraqis may have got rid of any

evidence before the conflict.


“It is also possible that they decided that they would destroy them

prior to a conflict,” the Defence Secretary said.


The US military said last night that it had released a suspected

Iraqi war criminal by mistake. US Central Command said it was

offering a $25,000 (315,000) reward for the capture of Mohammed

Jawad An-Neifus, suspected of being involved in the murder of

thousands of Iraqi Shia Muslims whose remains were found at a mass

grave in Mahawil, southern Iraq, last month.


As scepticism grows over the failure to find weapons of mass

destruction in Iraq, London and Washington are attempting to turn

the focus of attention to Iraq’s alleged possession of mobile

weapons labs.


A joint CIA and Defence Intelligence Agency report released this

week claimed that two trucks found in northern Iraq last month were

mobile labs used to develop biological weapons. The trucks were

fitted with hi-tech laboratory equipment and the report said the

discovery represented the “strongest evidence to date that Iraq was

hiding a biowarfare program”.


The design of the vehicles made them “an ingeniously simple

self-contained bioprocessing system”. The report said no other

purpose, for example water purification, medical laboratory or

vaccine production, would justify such effort and expense.


But critics arenot convinced. No biological agents were found on the

trucks and experts point out that, unlike the trucks described by

Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, in a speech to the UN Security

Council, they were open sided and would therefore have left a trace

easy for weapons inspectors to detect. One former UN inspector said

that the trucks would have been a very inefficient way to produce

anthrax.


(c) 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

===============================================

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this

material is distributed without profit to those who have

expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information

for research and educational purposes.

===============================================

About the CA \"energy crisis\"

May 29, 2003 at 8:22 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

This
may not be of interest to all of you, but I thought it worth sending around.
Those of us in CA are still taking it in the neck on energy prices, and if you
believe these guys, the media have gotten the story utterly wrong.

 



Krugman discusses an economic model to explain what happened during the
CA energy crisis. It’s a bit academic, but it makes a lot of sense, and the
punchline is great.

 

The
link at the end of Krugman’s article is a fine summary of the political
dimensions:


Meanwhile, has anybody heard a single whisper about a special prosecutor
assigned to “Kenny Boy”? Or even some basic attention from the press? Nah, I
haven’t either. I guess that kind of fervor for justice is only meted out on
Democrats.

–C

The Fictional War on Terrorism

May 29, 2003 at 7:54 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

This
is thought-provoking. I’d be interested in your feedback on it. Can this ‘war’
be won? Have we really done any good at all in Afghanistan and Iraq?

—–Original Message—–

Remember the “War on Drugs”?   This smacks of the same
thing.

[forwards removed]


THE FICTIONAL WAR ON TERRORISM


Add Op/Ed – Ted Rall to My Yahoo!

By Ted Rall


How Bush’s Smoke and Mirrors Endanger America

NEW
YORK–We’ve killed thousands of Muslims and taken over two of their countries.
We’re spending billions of dollars to make it easier for our government to spy
on us. But we haven’t caught Osama, Al Qaeda is doing better than ever and
airport security is still a sick joke. So when are Americans going to demand a
real war on terrorism?

Recent suicide bombings in Riyadh and
Casablanca proved with bloody eloquence that Al Qaeda and similar extremist
groups are anything but “on the run,” as George W. Bush puts it. Bush’s tactics
are a 100 percent failure, yet his band of clueless Christian soldiers continues
to go after mosquitoes with shotguns. “So far,” Bush furiously spun after the
latest round of attacks, “nearly one-half of Al Qaeda’s senior operatives have
been captured or killed,” promising to “remain on the hunt until they are all
brought to justice.”

Can Bush really be this stupid? All underground
organizations, including Al Qaeda, employ a loose hierarchical structure. No
individual member is indispensable, so the capture of even a high-ranking
official cannot compromise the group. Each lost member is instantly replaced by
the next man down in his cell. It doesn’t matter whether we catch half,
three-quarters or all of Al Qaeda’s leadership–hunting down individual
terrorists is an expensive and pointless game of whack-a-mole. Only Allah knows
how many eager recruits have sprung up, hydra-like, to fill Khalid Sheikh
Mohammad’s flip-flops.

Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bob
Graham caught heat for calling the war on Iraq ( news
-web sites ) “a distraction” from the war on
terrorism, but he was far too kind. The invasions of Afghanistan ( news -web sites ) and Iraq have
replaced a real war on terrorism, and they’ve vastly increased the
likelihood of future September 11’s. Bombing Afghanistan scattered bin Laden,
his lieutenants and their foot soldiers everywhere from Chechnya ( news -web sites ) to Sudan to
China’s Xinjiang province; fleeing Talibs spread new anti-American seed cells
while the Taliban and other radical groups retain their pre-9/11 Pakistani
headquarters. With radical Shiite clerics like the Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer
al-Hakim poised to fill the post-Saddam power vacuum, Iraq could become a Shia
version of Taliban-era Afghanistan: an anarchic collection of fiefdoms run by
extremist warlords happy to host training camps for terrorist organizations.


“We’re much safer,” Tom Ridge claims. If this is safety, give me danger.


Taking over Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t score us any new fans among
Muslims. We could have won them over with carefully crafted occupations, but
chose instead to allow the two states to disintegrate into chaos and civil war.


Rarely have incompetence and cheapness been wed with such impressively
disastrous results. In Afghanistan, we paid off warlords whom we should have
dropped bombs upon. Puppet president Hamid Karzai is threatening to abdicate his
Kabul city-state because “there is no money in the government treasury.” One of
Karzai’s ministers warns The New York Times : “Very soon we will see
armed conflict.”

As USA Today reported on May 7, “Iraqis say they
view the U.S. military with suspicion, anger and frustration. Many even say life
was in some ways better under the regime of Saddam Hussein ( news -web sites ): the streets,
they say, were safter, jobs more secure, food more plentiful and electricity and
water supplies reliable.” That’s not the message we want on Al Jazeera TV–whose
Baghdad correspondent, in the ultimate case of PR gone bad, we assassinated in
Iraq.

“Governance is a long-term process,” says Bush Administration
reconstruction official Chris Milligan, but that’s just another lame excuse. The
truth is that we haven’t even tried to restore law and order, much less
govern. The Pentagon ( news -web
sites ) plans to leave just two divisions–30,000 men–to patrol Iraq.
That’s significantly fewer than the 50,000 peacekeeping troops NATO ( news -web sites ) stationed in
Kosovo–a nation less than one-fifth the size of Iraq. 95 percent of
Afghanistan has no peacekeepers whatsoever, with fewer than 8,000 in Kabul.


We’re sleeping soundly– do you think Scott Peterson ( news -web sites ) really did it?
–but the guys who hate us so much they’re willing to die to make their
point are industriously exploiting our stupidity to sign up new jihadis. “Since
the United States invaded Iraq in March,” the Times quoted top
Administration honchos on May 16, “the [Al Qaeda] network has experienced a
spike in recruitment. ‘There is an increase in radical fundamentalism all over
the world,’ said a senior counterterrorism official based in Europe.”


Ariel Sharon ( news -web
sites ) offers living proof that hard-ass tactics strengthen, rather than
weaken terrorist groups. Each time Israel assassinates a Palestinian leader or
demolishes an Arab home, moderates angered by those actions become radicalized.
Israelis and Palestinians have suffered through this endless
attack-retaliation-attack cycle for decades. Surely we can learn from their
pain.

It’s still early in this game. Shut down the bloated and pointless
Homeland Security bureaucracy–since it doesn’t include the CIA ( news -web sites ) and FBI (
news -web sites ), it
didn’t stop interagency squabbling–and apply the money we’ll save into a
fully-funded rebuilding of Iraq and Afghanistan. Stop squandering money and our
civil rights on boneheaded data-mining schemes like Total Information Awareness
(now renamed Terrorism Information Awareness), and recruit some old-fashioned
spies to infiltrate extremist groups. Charge the Guantánamo detainees with a
crime or send them home; their legal limbo is an international embarrassment.
Stop fingerprinting Muslim tourists–it’s insulting and does nothing to prevent
terrorists from entering the country. Quit supporting brutal anti-American
military dictators like Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf, whose oppressed subjects
rightly blame us for their misery.

“The only way to deal with
[terrorists] is to bring them to justice,” Bush says. “You can’t talk to them,
you can’t negotiate with them, you must find them.” He couldn’t be more
mistaken. We’ll never find them all. And while we shouldn’t negotiate with those
who call us the Great Satan, we must talk to the millions of Muslims who
watch the news every night. Their donations keep Al Qaeda going. If we want them
to stop financing the terrorists, we’d better stop acting like a Great Satan.


(Ted Rall is the author of “Gas War: The Truth Behind the American
Occupation of Afghanistan,” an analysis of the underreported Trans-Afghanistan
Pipeline project and the real motivations behind the war on terrorism. Ordering
information is available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.)

WMD? Where? Part 3: Is the New York Times breaking the news–or flacking for the military?

May 29, 2003 at 7:22 pm
Contributed by:



Folks,

 

Here’s
an interesting one. Is anybody else waiting for the NYT to change its slogan to
“All The News That’s Print To Fit”?

 

Allow
me to cut ‘n paste from another exchange I had with a reader about this today:

 


First,
I don’t think Iraq ever had nearly as much in the way of WMDs as we’ve been made
to believe. Clearly, there was a huge inflation of the Iraqi threat in the
Administration’s propoganda.

 

As for
the WMDs that they did supposedly have…I think the relevant question is
“when?” If we’re talking about the weapons they admitted to having, that was
several years ago. They could be anywhere by now.

 

The
WMDs they may have actually possessed at the start of the war are another
matter. It’s utterly preposterous to say that they were transported to Syria in
the early days of the war…that’s just another deceitful innuendo to lend
credence to the overall assertion that Iraq was a clear and present threat.
Under so many watchful eyes from space and aircraft, that could never have
been accomplished.

 

I
agree, if they’re anywhere, they’re somewhere in Iraq, probably buried.

 

But
for now, I’m calling the whole thing a big, fat, lie. We went to lengths to
discredit Blix and the rest of his team because their findings didn’t line up
with our agenda. We have flown in the face of international opinion about the
credibility of the Iraqi threat. We have manufactured ‘evidence’ and Powell
presented ‘facts’ about their WMD to the UN that were drawn from a kid’s term
paper. The Administration’s claim at this point is demonstrably and utterly
empty. As far as I’m concerned, the onus of proof rests with them…and dammit,
the proof they produce better stand up to scrutiny this time.

 

O villain, villain, smiling damned
villain!
My tables, my tables,–meet it is I set it down!
That one may
smile, smile, and be a villain!

Hamlet in _Hamlet_ 1.5.106-8

–C


 

press box
Follow
That Story: Deep Miller

Is the New York Times
breaking the news—or flacking for the
military?

By Jack Shafer
Posted Wednesday, April
23, 2003, at 3:52 PM PT




On Monday, Press
Box
fastballed a couple of bricks at New York Times reporter
Judith Miller for the rococo—and somewhat creepy—sourcing behind her Page One
scoop about the search for unconventional weapons (“Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, an Iraqi
Scientist Is Said To Assert
,” April 21).


The story chronicles the exploits of Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha—a U.S.
military team searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq—and a scientist
who alleges that he worked on Iraqi chemical weapons programs. The scientist,
say Miller’s military sources, led them to chemical precursors used to
manufacture biological and chemical weapons. This scientist claims that Iraq
destroyed unconventional weapons and equipment before the war and sent other
“unconventional weapons and technology to Syria.” He also maintains that in the
years before the war, Iraq had shifted its R & D to making illegal weapons
that can’t be detected easily.


Quite a story. But Miller provides no independent confirmation for any
of her blockbuster findings, though she described her news as “the most
important discovery to date in the hunt for illegal weapons.” Furthermore, the
deal she made with her sources prevented her from interviewing the scientist or
even visiting his home. Her military handlers asked that she not identify the
scientist or name the uncovered chemicals, that she hold her story for three
days, and that she let the military check it prior to publication.


Miller’s passive wording—”the copy was then submitted for a check by military
officials”—obscures whether the military required her to submit it or if she
volunteered. But according to New York Observer reporter Sridhar Pappu, the
Times‘ decision to accept military censorship has caused an internal
uproar at the paper. Pappu writes, “One source inside the
Times
called it a ‘wacky-assed piece,’ adding that there were ‘real
questions about it and why it was on page 1.’ “


The facts in Miller’s Monday story appear to have flowed directly from the
mouths of her MET Alpha military sources. Her copy reads more like a government
press release than a news story—all the more so since MET Alpha tied Miller up
one side and down the other with elaborate sourcing rules and limited her
ability to independently confirm the facts. The MET Alpha team’s one concession:
They allowed her to view the scientist, dressed in “nondescript clothes and a
baseball cap … point[ing] to several spots in the sand.” Gee thanks, guys!


On Tuesday, the day after the big story, Miller discussed it on The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.
Miller attempted to advance her own story with new, salacious allegations, but
she didn’t add any sorely needed independent verification to her account. And
her language indicated that she knows—or thinks she knows—more than the
Times allowed her to write.


On the NewsHour, the singular “scientist” described in the Times
story becomes “scientists” plural, indicating either that a) MET Alpha has
more than one scientist/informant or b) she was mistranscribed twice. The
transcript reads as follows:



[The Bush administration has] changed the political environment, and
they’ve enabled people like the scientists that MET Alpha has found
to come forth. …


But those stockpiles that we’ve heard about, well, those have either been
destroyed by Saddam Hussein, according to the scientists, or they
have been shipped to Syria for safekeeping. [Emphasis added]


Miller calls the mystery scientist a “silver bullet” who has “led MET Team
Alpha people to some pretty startling conclusions that have kind of challenged
the American intelligence community’s under … previous understanding of, you
know, what we thought the Iraqis were doing.”


The “previous understanding” was that investigators would find “stockpiles”
of WMD in Iraq. The new understanding is that Saddam Hussein destroyed
all the weapons of mass destruction, right up to the date of the invasion, or
shipped them to Syria. All that remains in Iraq today are the chemicals and
means to fabricate WMD, surmise the MET Alpha boys. Miller let loose with
another disclosure not included in her Times piece. She states:



And the scientist who has been cooperating with MET Alpha has actually said
that he participated in … he kind of watched, you know, a warehouse being
burned that contained potentially incriminating biological equipment.


Participated in, or kind of watched? There’s a difference. Is Miller holding
something back? What did he see? When did he see it? What does it really
mean?


Miller expresses, without any substantiation, the “rather clear” finding that
the Iraqis intended to keep anyone from finding a WMD “smoking gun” by
distributing “dual-use equipment” at armories throughout the nation. Miller says
further searching in Iraq would reveal no more than “a little bit of the
program. You would find a program very much, these days, in the research and
development stages.” But if the Iraqis made illegal weapons so supremely
undetectible, why wasn’t Saddam more hospitable to the inspections process? If
MET Alpha hasn’t unearthed the hidden program so far, surely the inspectors
would never have found it.


Miller doesn’t say.


Miller retreats from the candor of her NewsHour discussion with
another piece in today’s New York Times: “Focus Shifts From Weapons to the People Behind
Them
” (April 23). If the April 21 story was about “the most important
discovery to date in the hunt for illegal weapons,” today’s story is about
reducing the inflated expectations created by that scoop—and never mind that
cheerleading NewsHour proclamation that a “silver bullet” has been
found.


Miller quotes an unnamed MET Alpha source who says the “paradigm has shifted”
in the search for weapons of mass destruction. At first, the United States was
trying to locate the vast stores of WMD that were described in Secretary of
State Colin Powell’s presentation before the U.N. Security Council. Finding none
in 75 of the 150 suspected sites, it pared back its search to WMD precursors.
Now, says the MET Alpha source, the investigators are concentrating on
finding scientists who worked on WMD programs. She writes:



Based on what the Iraqi scientist had said about weapons being destroyed or
stocks being hidden, military experts said they now believed they might not
find large caches of illicit chemicals or biological agents, at least not in
Iraq.


Paradigm shift, my ass! Powell’s intelligence report insisted there were tons
of WMD and now the military—and Miller—are preparing us for their complete
absence. That’s what I call the most important discovery to date in the hunt for
illegal weapons!


We can assume today’s dispatch wasn’t reviewed by military censors
because Miller is silent on that score. But we can also safely assume Miller has
been told a lot more than she’s writing and is actively self-censoring. What
isn’t she telling us? That some Iraqi Dr. Evil found a way to convert George
Foreman grills into WMD machines that transmogrify Bisquick and toluene into
sarin, and the ubiquity of this technology makes the Iraqi WMD program invisible
to military investigators?


And a final note on Miller’s sourcing: On NewsHour, Miller confides
for the first time I’ve seen that she’s embedded with the unit searching for
WMD. But, since the embedding rules specifically freed reporters from direct
military censorship, inquiring minds want to know: Why did Miller agree to their
review?


Investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein suggests a more
elegant way to uncover WMDs or a WMD program than MET Alpha’s barnstorming.
Award $1 million in gold plus safe haven in the United States or United Kingdom
to the first person (and his nuclear family) who leads investigators to a cache
of chemical or biological artillery shells, mines, unmanned aerial-vehicle
bombs, or other weapons. The offer would set off a gold rush if Iraq issued tens
of thousands of WMD to battle units or even stockpiled them. If no one claims
the prize, there would be only two possible conclusions: No Iraqi was motivated
sufficiently to come forward, or U.S. intelligence may have seriously erred in
its assessment.


******


Send $1 million via PayPal—or your e-mail comments—to pressbox@hotmail.com.


Article URL: http://slate.msn.com/id/2081905/

WMD? Where?

May 29, 2003 at 4:15 pm
Contributed by:

WMD? Where?

An
interesting compilation here.

 

But
I’m going to jump you straight to the punchline. This has to be the most honest
statement about the Iraq war that I’ve ever heard made by anyone in the
Administration.

 

For bureaucratic
reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification
for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree
on.
Paul Wolfowitz
May 28, 2003


—–Original Message—–


From:  http://billmon.org.v.sabren.com/archives/000172.html

What a Tangled Web We Weave . .
.


. . . when first we practice to deceive!


Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has
weapons of mass destruction.
Dick Cheney
August 26, 2002


Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were
used for the production of biological weapons.
George W. Bush

September 12, 2002

If he declares he has none, then we will
know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.
Ari
Fleischer
December 2, 2002

We know for a fact that there
are weapons there.

Ari Fleischer
January 9, 2003


Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the
materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve
agent.
George W. Bush
January 28, 2003

We know
that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is
determined to make more.
Colin Powell
February 5, 2003


We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently
authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons — the very weapons
the dictator tells us he does not have.
George Bush
February
8, 2003

So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of
its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our
judgment has to be clearly not.
Colin Powell
March 8, 2003


Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt
that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal
weapons ever devised.
George Bush
March 17, 2003


Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information
that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical
particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation,
for whatever duration it takes.
Ari Fleisher
March 21, 2003


There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses
weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will
be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who
guard them.
Gen. Tommy Franks
March 22, 2003

 
I have no doubt we’re going to find big stores of weapons of
mass destruction.
Defense Policy Board member Kenneth Adelman

March 23, 2003

One of our top objectives is to find and
destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.

Pentagon Spokeswoman
Victoria Clark
March 22, 2003

We know where they are.
They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.
Donald Rumsfeld

March 30, 2003

Obviously the administration intends to
publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find — and there
will be plenty.
Neocon scholar Robert Kagan
April 9, 2003


I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from
officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass
destruction will be found.
Ari Fleischer
April 10, 2003


We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with
Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he
destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.


George Bush
April 24, 2003

There are people who in
large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down
the weapons of mass destruction in that country.
Donald Rumsfeld

April 25, 2003

We’ll find them. It’ll be a matter of time
to do so.
George Bush
May 3, 2003

I am confident
that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass
destruction.
Colin Powell
May 4, 2003

I never
believed that we’d just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that
country.
Donald Rumsfeld
May 4, 2003

I’m not
surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein —
because he had a weapons program.
George W. Bush
May 6, 2003


U.S. officials never expected that “we were going to open garages
and find” weapons of mass destruction.
Condoleeza Rice
May
12, 2003

I just don’t know whether it was all destroyed years ago
— I mean, there’s no question that there were chemical weapons years ago —
whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they’re still
hidden.
Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne

May 13, 2003

Before the war, there’s no doubt in my mind that
Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I
expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.

Gen.
Michael Hagee
, Commandant of the Marine Corps
May 21, 2003


Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we’re
interrogating, I’m confident that we’re going to find weapons of mass
destruction.
Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff

May 26, 2003

They may have had time to destroy them, and I
don’t know the answer.
Donald Rumsfeld
May 27, 2003


For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass
destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason
everyone could agree on.
Paul Wolfowitz
May 28, 2003

 

WMD? Where? Pt. 2: “Hey, War Supporters”

May 29, 2003 at 4:14 pm
Contributed by: Chris
Folks,
 
I don’t think I’ll be running
short of material on the “WMD? Where?” question any time soon, so
I’m going to make a series out of it. I’m kind of suprised that
somebody in Hollywood hasn’t already done it. It would surely be a
lot funnier than That’s My Bush.
 
To their credit, Dr.
Strangelove, Ari, and the rest moved on pretty quickly from
squirming over the utter lack of WMD evidence uncovered, to a
dismissive posture spinning all kinds of Freedom Lies around the
question. Man, they are good. And yes, I did see Ari’s statement
today about the trucks that were discovered which reportedly have
no other use than the making of biological weapons. But we shall
see if that bears up under scrutiny. I’m going to consider it a
ruse for the time being, as pretty much all of the Adminstration’s
statements about WMD so far have been proven false.
 
–C
 
—–Original Message—–

Hey, War Supporters
by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/woods/woods21.html
      
There’s no delicate way to say this, but to supporters of the
Iraq war I have a little message.

All together now, people: you were scammed .

No “weapons of mass destruction” have been found. None.

Some of us figured as much, since the rationale for the war kept
changing so frequently. And when the search for these weapons was
carried out in such a lackluster manner, one had to assume the
administration wasn’t really worried about them. (We were
casually told that perhaps seven suspected Iraqi nuclear sites had
been looted. Nice planning there.)

Some people will believe administration propaganda no matter what.
In reply to an article I wrote for SeattleCatholic.com , one person
wrote to the editor : “Contrary to Dr. Woods’ reference to
the lack of Al Qaeda–Iraqi links, we have all read of the
proof of links dating to before 9/11.” Have we? That’s funny,
because every news article one reads these days concedes that the
link has not been made, and that experts prior to the war insisted
the alleged link was a mere fantasy. I wonder what special
intelligence briefings this critic received.

Some supporters of the war will doubtless plead, “But,
but…that’s what Hannity and Limbaugh told me to
think!”

Well, it’s time now to start doing your own thinking, since
Hannity and Limbaugh wouldn’t know conservatism if it punched
them in the face.

The automatons who send you angry emails when you write an article
like this condemn you for not wanting to “liberate the Iraqis.” ( I
dealt with that one in an earlier piece .) They’ll point to
the toppling of the statue of Saddam as a glorious moment of
liberation. They somehow missed the news items informing us that
that spectacle was entirely staged: 500 Iraqi National Congress
goons were flown in by the Pentagon to put on that display for us.
A wide-angle camera shot of the incident shows American tanks
patrolling a completely deserted square (apart from the 500 goons).

Moreover, the likelihood increases with each passing day that Iraq
will, whether we like it or not, wind up an Islamic state. (The
idea that enfranchised Iraqis would vote for feminism and its
allied ideologies was, in retrospect, a little ridiculous.)
That’s just one of the answers to the veritable army of
propagandized automatons who spend their time telling atrocity
stories from the days of Saddam’s regime. “Nothing could be
worse than Saddam.” Well, Woodrow Wilson didn’t think
anything could be worse than the Kaiser in Germany. A decade after
the President’s death, intelligent men longed for the old
Kaiser.

I’ve already explained on this site why crusades for
democracy are in no sense “conservative”; the very fact that this
needs to be pointed out is something of a barometer of conservative
thought at the moment. The neoconservatives, not exactly known for
their knowledge of history, point to Japan and Germany as
democracy-at-gunpoint success stories, but Japan’s
intellectuals had been acquainted with and increasingly interested
in Western ideas for nearly a century by 1945, and Germany had been
at the heart of Western civilization for millennia. Neither is true
of Iraq, to say the least.

It is in the nature of the state to want to keep its people
permanently mesmerized by some terrible dictator somewhere.
(“Ethel, did you hear he used weapons of mass destruction against
his own people ?”) Saddam may well have been a monster.
There are plenty of monsters ruling African nations right now.
Anyone care to depose them all? To the brainwashed among us, of
whom there are many, try to think: do you suppose that would lead
to more stability or less?

To peddle this silly campaign of installing democracy by force, you
would have to impugn the patriotism of every early American leader,
from Washington to Jefferson to Hamilton to John Quincy Adams to
Henry Clay. Every one of them considered it dangerous utopianism to
suggest that the United States should right the wrongs of the world
(as if the matter were that simple in the first place, a point
which the aftermath of the most recent conflict should be bringing
home if anyone were paying attention). Anyone criticizing opponents
of the Iraq war should have the integrity to condemn these great
Americans as well, and be explicit in their repudiation of the
American tradition. Now who’s “anti-American”?

Meanwhile, Afghanistan, another example of goodness and light being
brought to a benighted people, continues to degenerate into chaos.
But for people even to remember Afghanistan, they’d have to
have an attention span longer than ten minutes.

Just think about how this is going to go over in the history books,
or in history classrooms. The neocons had better enjoy themselves
now. History doesn’t look kindly upon those who asked no
questions about the alleged Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, and
the prospects for the present boondoggle don’t look much
better.

“Didn’t people know that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11?”

“Yes and no. The easily suggestible among us were carried away by
the carefully worded insinuations of the Bush Administration.”

“So you mean the patriotism of many decent Americans was exploited
and taken advantage of by government officials whose motives
couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with ‘weapons
of mass destruction’ or any of this other nonsense?”

“I’m afraid so.”

“So let’s see. We alienated some of our oldest allies, often
gratuitously. We made accusations based on cooked evidence (e.g.,
the forged documents ‘proving’ an Iraqi nuclear
program, the 12-year-old student term paper plagiarized to produce
a dossier on Iraqi activity in 2003). We destroyed our credibility
in the world through our reckless statements and our transparent
desire for war throughout the inspections process, thereby making
it less likely that other countries would cooperate with us against
real terrorists. Some countries, including some of our friends,
even suspected we might plant weapons in Iraq if we couldn’t
find any. That’s a new low.”

“Correct.”

“Then we invaded and found no weapons at all – none of the
allegedly huge stockpiles of anthrax and whatever else was
supposedly on the verge of being used against us. Meanwhile, order
collapsed in the country, and enormous demonstrations favoring an
Islamic state broke out.”

“Right.”

“And hatred of the U.S. grew to an all-time high.”

“Indeed.”

“And there were people foolish enough to denounce as
‘unpatriotic’ those who had warned that this would
happen?”

“Believe it or not, there were.”

“And people who called themselves conservative considered this a
glorious event? They think conservatism means ignorant, bungling
belligerence, and that considerations of diplomacy or their
country’s image around the world are the stuff of carping
liberals?”

“Yes.”

Good thing the neocons have no sense of history, or they’d
worry about this: in the decades to come, fewer and fewer people
will be able to hear about the Iraq war without snickering and
shaking their heads.

May 21, 2003

Professor Thomas E. Woods, Jr. holds an AB from Harvard and a PhD
from Columbia. He teaches history, is associate editor of The Latin
Mass Magazine, and is co-author (with Christopher A. Ferrara)
of
The Great Façade: Vatican II and the Regime of
Novelty in the Roman Catholic Church (2002). The book (as well
as a sample chapter) is available at greatfacade.com .

Jesus Plus Nothing: Undercover among America\’s secret theocrats

May 28, 2003 at 8:23 am
Contributed by:

Folks,


This article is really something. I’m still trying to assimilate it. Is a
semi-secret Jesus cult really the puppetmaster here? Frightening.
Disturbing. Bizarre. I highly recommend printing this one out and reading it
all.


Jesus plus nothing / Undercover among America’s secret theocrats

Harper’s, April 2003


A reporter goes undercover to learn about the Ivanwald “Family,” an
“invisible” group of Jesus-worshippers in government and business.


–C

FTW and the Washington Post: follow-up

May 28, 2003 at 8:15 am
Contributed by:


Folks,

 

A few days ago I sent out the original story about FTW buying their first
full-page ad in the Washington Post. Apparently, the story generated a lot of
interest, and now they’re seeking donations to help them place more ads in major
national newspapers. If you can spare $10 in the interest of fighting for the
truth, won’t you help them out? Note: this
is time-sensitive, they’ve got about 24 days left to make it happen.

—–Original Message—–
Subject: The Mouse that Roared –
only 24 days

FTW is attempting to buy ad
space in 12 of the nations major newspapers.  A small contribution can make
you part of a greater good – seeing a similar ad run all across the U.S., and
making an attempt at reclaiming our country and the freedoms which have been
stolen from underneath us.

[forwards removed]


The Mouse That Roared

9,000 FTW
Subscribers Take on America (and the World)!

May 21, 2003, 1500 PDT (FTW ) – Since our ad ran in The
Washington Post
last Friday we have been completely overwhelmed with email
and calls from people who want to help run the ad in more newspapers in America
and around the world.

Well, we’ve got your request
covered!



First Some Statistics

The Washington Post
ad reached an audience of more than 2.5 million people.

According to Washington insiders we have spoken to, the effects of it are
still reverberating throughout our nation’s capitol. While we are confident that
our ad hastened and very likely caused, the April 26 firing of Army Secretary
Thomas White, other recent departures were also very likely influenced by it.
Those include:

* Ari Fleischer (White House press secretary)  who
announced his departure on May 17 th ;

*
 Mitch Daniels (White House
budget director) who announced his resignation on May 6 th (after The Washington Post had received the ad copy); and,


*  Christie Todd Whitman (EPA Administrator) who announced her departure on
May 21.

While it would be unreasonable to assume
that our ad was solely responsible for their departures, we do know that the ad
addressed issues that touched all four of them directly. In the case of Daniels
it was announced that he had been subpoenaed in a stock fraud investigation
right after his resignation. That had been in the works for some time. The point
is that our ad highlighted either the personal liabilities each person carried
with them, or the risks inherent in the position itself. It made a difference!
These departures going in to an election cycle are the administration’s way of
shedding liabilities and possibly (in Whitman’s case) someone saying, “I just
can’t do this anymore!”

That’s part of what ads like
this can do.


The Game

Ken at our ad agency has put together an
amazing ad buy, the Top 12 newspapers (readership wise) in the United States:


Atlanta Journal Constitution
Boston Globe

Chicago Tribune  
Dallas Morning News  
Los Angeles Times
  
Miami Herald
New York Times   
Philadelphia
Inquirer   
San Francisco Chronicle  
Seattle Times

Minneapolis Tribune
Arizona Republic

Together, the readership of these newspapers is between 25-40 Million
people!

If someone purchased these full-page ads
individually in these newspapers it would cost well over $500,000. We got a
price of just $100,000 for all 12 cities!


Let’s Do The Math

FTW has a little
over 9,000 subscribers. If everyone put in JUST $10.00 (ten) dollars we would
have $90,000 to run the ads!  That’s it. That simple.

9,000 FTW subscribers could affect the thinking of 40 MILLION
AMERICANS! Now that’s saying something! That is voting with your money!



What Spirit!

A gentleman in Seattle phoned to say
he and his wife discussed foregoing their summer vacation plans and put their
$4,000 towards running the FTW ad in Seattle. Another long time
subscriber has pledged several thousand more to see the ad run in more places. A
kid in Florida is putting on a benefit concert with his band to raise money to
see the ad run in Florida.


Reality

This is our time. This is our
chance to reach and influence many, many millions of Americans (and
readers world-wide)…and to wake them up!

We know
that not all of you will send in $10 to make this happen.

We also know that many of you will and can gladly offer several hundred
or several thousand dollars to make this happen. Please do.

This may be our last chance at free speech.

NEVER in the history of America has such a message had the opportunity to
reach this many people in print!

A separate account
has been set up through our advertising agency to handle all of the donations.
The money will be used EXCLUSIVELY to buy ad space.

We have 30 days to raise $100,000 to buy the ad space. This is completely
possible! The Mouse That Roared…will make a difference. Be part of this.


Make checks payable to: More Than News
Productions – memo: FTW AD

Send to:


From The Wilderness
Ad Donation
PO Box
6061-350
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

You can also
donate online at:

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/FTW_Ad.html

Note: Credit cards can be used to make
donations but once the ad buys are placed, no refunds can be
given.

Senator Byrd: \"The Truth Will Emerge\"

May 28, 2003 at 8:15 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Once
again, Sen. Byrd has beat me to the punch with this message. I had something
very similar cooking in my head, but his words are eloquent and more than
sufficient. I just hope he’s right, that the truth will emerge from all these
“freedom lies” (credit to Jon Stewart for that one).

–CPublished on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 by CommonDreams.org


The Truth Will Emerge

by US Senator Robert Byrd
Senate
Floor Remarks – May 21, 2003

“Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise
again, – –
The eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded,
writhes in pain,
And dies among his worshippers.”

Truth has a
way of asserting itself despite all attempts to obscure it.  Distortion
only serves to derail it for a time.  No matter to what lengths we humans
may go to obfuscate facts or delude our fellows, truth has a way of squeezing
out through the cracks, eventually.

But the danger is that at some point
it may no longer matter.  The danger is that damage is done before the
truth is widely realized.  The reality is that, sometimes, it is easier to
ignore uncomfortable facts and go along with whatever distortion is currently in
vogue.  We see a lot of this today in politics.  I see a lot of it —
more than I would ever have believed — right on this Senate Floor.


Regarding the situation in Iraq, it appears to this Senator that the
American people may have been lured into accepting the unprovoked invasion of a
sovereign nation, in violation of long-standing International law, under false
premises.  There is ample evidence that the horrific events of September 11
have been carefully manipulated to switch public focus from Osama Bin Laden and
Al Queda who masterminded the September 11th attacks, to Saddam Hussein who did
not.  The run up to our invasion of Iraq featured the President and members
of his cabinet invoking every frightening image they could conjure, from
mushroom clouds, to buried caches of germ warfare, to drones poised to deliver
germ laden death in our major cities.  We were treated to a heavy dose of
overstatement concerning Saddam Hussein’s direct threat to our freedoms.
 The tactic was guaranteed to provoke a sure reaction from a nation still
suffering from a combination of post traumatic stress and justifiable anger
after the attacks of 9/11.  It was the exploitation of fear.  It was a
placebo for the anger.

Since the war’s end, every subsequent revelation
which has seemed to refute the previous dire claims of the Bush Administration
has been brushed aside.  Instead of addressing the contradictory evidence,
the White House deftly changes the subject.  No weapons of mass destruction
have yet turned up, but we are told that they will in time.  Perhaps they
yet will.  But, our costly and destructive bunker busting attack on Iraq
seems to have proven, in the main, precisely the opposite of what we were told
was the urgent reason to go in.  It seems also to have, for the present,
verified the assertions of Hans Blix and the inspection team he led, which
President Bush and company so derided.  As Blix always said, a lot of time
will be needed to find such weapons, if they do, indeed, exist.  Meanwhile
Bin Laden is still on the loose and Saddam Hussein has come up missing.


The Administration assured the U.S. public and the world, over and over
again, that an attack was necessary to protect our people and the world from
terrorism.  It assiduously worked to alarm the public and blur the faces of
Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden until they virtually became one.

What
has become painfully clear in the aftermath of war is that Iraq was no immediate
threat to the U.S.  Ravaged by years of sanctions, Iraq did not even lift
an airplane against us.  Iraq’s threatening death-dealing fleet of unmanned
drones about which we heard so much morphed into one prototype made of plywood
and string.  Their missiles proved to be outdated and of limited range.
 Their army was quickly overwhelmed by our technology and our well trained
troops.

Presently our loyal military personnel continue their mission of
diligently searching for WMD. They have so far turned up only fertilizer, vacuum
cleaners, conventional weapons, and the occasional buried swimming pool. They
are misused on such a mission and they continue to be at grave risk. But, the
Bush team’s extensive hype of WMD in Iraq as justification for a preemptive
invasion  has become more than embarrassing.  It has raised serious
questions about prevarication and the reckless use of power.  Were our
troops needlessly put at risk?  Were countless Iraqi civilians killed and
maimed when war was not really necessary?  Was the American public
deliberately misled?  Was the world?  

What makes me cringe
even more is the continued claim that we are “liberators.” The facts don’t seem
to support the label we have so euphemistically attached to ourselves.
 True, we have unseated a brutal, despicable despot, but “liberation”
implies the follow up of freedom, self-determination and a better life for the
common people.  In fact, if the situation in Iraq is the result of
“liberation,” we may have set the cause of freedom back 200 years.


Despite our high-blown claims of a better life for the Iraqi people,
water is scarce, and often foul, electricity is a sometime thing, food is in
short supply, hospitals are stacked with the wounded and maimed, historic
treasures of the region and of the Iraqi people have been looted, and nuclear
material may have been disseminated to heaven knows where, while U.S. troops, on
orders, looked on and guarded the oil supply.

Meanwhile, lucrative
contracts to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure and refurbish its oil industry are
awarded to Administration cronies, without benefit of competitive bidding, and
the U.S. steadfastly resists offers of U.N. assistance to participate.  Is
there any wonder that the real motives of the U.S. government are the subject of
worldwide speculation and mistrust?

And in what may be the most damaging
development, the U.S. appears to be pushing off Iraq’s clamor for
self-government.  Jay Garner has been summarily replaced, and it is
becoming all too clear that the smiling face of the U.S. as liberator is quickly
assuming the scowl of an occupier.  The image of the boot on the throat has
replaced the beckoning hand of freedom.  Chaos and rioting only exacerbate
that image, as U.S. soldiers try to sustain order in a land ravaged by poverty
and disease. “Regime change” in Iraq has so far meant anarchy, curbed only by an
occupying military force and a U.S. administrative presence that is evasive
about if and when it intends to depart.

Democracy and Freedom cannot be
force fed at the point of an occupier’s gun.  To think otherwise is folly.
 One has to stop and ponder.  How could we have been so impossibly
naive?  How could we expect to easily plant a clone of U.S. culture,
values, and government in a country so riven with religious, territorial, and
tribal rivalries, so suspicious of U.S. motives, and so at odds with the
galloping materialism which drives the western-style economies?

As so
many warned this Administration before it launched its misguided war on Iraq,
there is evidence that our crack down in Iraq is likely to convince 1,000 new
Bin Ladens to plan other horrors of the type we have seen in the past several
days.  Instead of damaging the terrorists, we have given them new fuel for
their fury.  We did not complete our mission in Afghanistan because we were
so eager to attack Iraq.  Now it appears that Al Queda is back with a
vengeance. We have returned to orange alert in the U.S., and we may well have
destabilized the Mideast region, a region we have never fully understood.
 We have alienated friends around the globe with our dissembling and our
haughty insistence on punishing former friends who may not see things quite our
way.  

The path of diplomacy and reason have gone out the window to
be replaced by force, unilateralism, and punishment for transgressions.  I
read most recently with amazement our harsh castigation of Turkey, our longtime
friend and strategic ally.  It is astonishing that our government is
berating the new Turkish government for conducting its affairs in accordance
with its own Constitution and its democratic institutions.

Indeed, we
may have sparked a new international arms race as countries move ahead to
develop WMD as a last ditch attempt to ward off a possible preemptive strike
from a newly belligerent U.S. which claims the right to hit where it wants.
 In fact, there is little to constrain this President.  Congress, in
what will go down in history as its most unfortunate act, handed away its power
to declare war for the foreseeable future and empowered this President to wage
war at will.

As if that were not bad enough, members of Congress are
reluctant to ask questions which are begging to be asked.  How long will we
occupy Iraq?  We have already heard disputes on the numbers of troops which
will be needed to retain order.  What is the truth?  How costly will
the occupation and rebuilding be?  No one has given a straight answer. How
will we afford this long-term massive commitment, fight terrorism at home,
address a serious crisis in domestic healthcare, afford behemoth military
spending and give away billions in tax cuts amidst a deficit which has climbed
to over $340 billion for this year alone?  If the President’s tax cut
passes it will be $400 billion.  We cower in the shadows while false
statements proliferate.  We accept soft answers and shaky explanations
because to demand the truth is hard, or unpopular, or may be politically costly.
 

But, I contend that, through it all, the people know.  The
American people unfortunately are used to political shading, spin, and the usual
chicanery they hear from public officials.  They patiently tolerate it up
to a point.  But there is a line.  It may seem to be drawn in
invisible ink for a time, but eventually it will appear in dark colors, tinged
with anger.  When it comes to shedding American blood – – when it comes to
wreaking havoc on civilians, on innocent men, women, and children, callous
dissembling is not acceptable.  Nothing is worth that kind of lie – – not
oil, not revenge, not reelection, not somebody’s grand pipedream of a democratic
domino theory.

And mark my words, the calculated intimidation which we
see so often of late by the “powers that be” will only keep the loyal opposition
quiet for just so long.  Because eventually, like it always does, the truth
will emerge.  And when it does, this house of cards, built of deceit, will
fall.

William Rivers Pitt – Baseball and Politics: At the Turning of the Tide

May 23, 2003 at 12:25 pm
Contributed by: Chris
Howdy
Defenders of Truth, Justice, and the American Way!

 

 

Well
it’s been another fairly long spell since I sent anything out to the list. Not
that there’s been a dearth of things to send you, I only wish it were so. No,
things have been steadily going from bad to worse, no mistake about it, and
lately I’ve had another period where keeping up with the reading, alone, uses up
my available energy, and the writing and sending suffer. But fear not: there’s
plenty of fight left in me yet. I hope you feel the same way.
This one seemed like an appropriate way to break the fast. I hope we can all all “capture the
mentality of the Red Sox fan” and get busy! And if all this stuff is too much to
absorb all at once, let me suggest that you do what I do: print it out, put it
on the coffee table or in the bathroom or wherever, and pick it up when you’ve
got a few minutes. If we don’t educate ourselves, we will surely remain in the
dark, because that’s exactly where the powers that be and the major media are
exerting all their will to keep us.
More to come,
–C

(more…)

FTW and the Washington Post

May 22, 2003 at 9:43 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,


This is a very interesting story.


You’re probably familiar, by now, with Michael Ruppert and From The Wilderness Publications. They’re the ones who produced the video “Truth and Lies of 9-11” (which is a very interesting piece that I highly recommend).


Through a contributor, they were recently able to publish an ad in the Washington Post, to make their points heard. The story about how it ran, and the effects that it had, is almost as interesting as the substance of their ad. Check it out. I would like to hope, with the authors, that this will set a precedent to motivate political action groups who care to preserve our liberties and throw these evildoers out of office.


Subscriber Buys FTW Full Page Ad
in The Washington Post


–C

Barbs Aside, 9/11 Questions Aren\’t Going Away

May 22, 2003 at 9:34 pm
Contributed by: Chris
Folks,
 
There are a lot of questions
yet to be answered about what happened on 9/11. Yet, not only are
the major media apparently not interested in them, but the Bush
administration has actively blocked any real investigation. Why?
It’s a very curious situation. While the shell game that they’ve
been playing for the last year or so may have been largely
effective in keeping our attention elsewhere, I have to believe
that no true patriot will settle for less than a proper
explanation, and that this won’t become another question for the
ages, like “who killed Kennedy?” For all we know, both events have
been obscured by the same spooks.
 
Write your Congressmen and
tell them that you really DO want to know what
happened.
 
First, read this
article:
 

Then read the below. It’s clear
that anyone who questions the host of contradictory stories that
the Bush administration has been feeding us better be wearing a
flak jacket.

–C
Barbs aside, 9/11 questions aren’t going away

MICHELE LANDSBERG

I was just listening to the latest CIA transmissions through the
fillings in my molars last week when I accidentally intercepted a
secret internal memo from the National Post.

It went something like this: “Post readership hits bottom,
journalistic integrity under question, editor dumped, columnists
fleeing sinking ship — attack Toronto Star writer at
once!”

Seriously, if I may be serious for a moment about the National
Post, it was not so surprising to find myself the subject of a
hostile editorial in that paper after I wrote about my unanswered
9/11 questions. The Post is a staunch voice for Bush America and
brooks no dissenting voices. In tabloid fashion, it headed its
editorial
“Michele Landsberg Loses It.”

I fully expected to be labelled a “conspiracy theorist” after
interviewing Vision TV’s Barrie Zwicker and writing about his
challenges to the official version of what happened at the World
Trade Center. But I was surprised by the nature of the ensuing
attacks. The Post, and the dozen or so readers who were similarly
enraged by my column, didn’t come up with a single argument or
documented fact. It was all quivering jowls, wild insults and
expostulations.

The Post’s entire argument, once I filtered out the verbiage
(“crock”, “nonsense,” “comical,” “embarrassing” and, that good old
standby, “blinding hatred of the United States”) came down to this:
captured Al Qaeda commanders have confessed to the 9/11 crimes. End
of story.

Except that what I was asking was a little different. Few of us
doubt that murderous Saudi Arabian terrorists executed this
massacre. But I wanted to know more. Why did the U.S. military,
with the most powerful arsenal in world history, fail to prevent or
at least try to stop a series of hijackings and crashes that went
on for nearly two hours? Where was the Air Force?

If President Bush and his cabinet were not, at this very moment,
still trying to censor, suppress and delay the publication of the
Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, if there had been honest
disclosure and straight stories from the beginning, perhaps all
these “dark questions,” as the Post puts it, would never have
arisen.

The great majority of people, sickened and overwhelmed by the
horror of the attacks, unquestioningly accepts the White House
version. Many thousands, however, are patiently stitching together
the documented evidence and noting the huge holes in the fabric of
that official story.

Just ask yourself how the United States, with its vast intelligence
establishment and spy power, could have been caught unawares in
such a drastic state of unpreparedness on Sept. 11.

President Bush, or, as he delights to call himself, the
commander-in-chief, must certainly have been briefed about the
ominous drumbeat of terrorist threats that were accumulating over
the spring and summer of 2001. According to the report by Eleanor
Hill, staff director for the Joint Inquiry, there had been “an
unprecedented rise in threat” during that summer. U.S. government
agencies had been warned by the intelligence community that there
was a high probability of “spectacular” terrorist attacks by Al
Qaeda “designed to inflict mass casualties. … Attacks will occur
with little or no warning.”

The warnings included the possibility that airplanes would be used
as weapons. There was even an April, 2001, intelligence report that
terrorists planned “a spectacular and traumatic attack” like the
first World Trade Center bombing, as well as an earlier report a
group of Arabs planned to fly a plane into the World Trade Center
or CIA headquarters.

According to Hill, these warnings went to “senior government
officials” whom she was not allowed to name.

On that fateful morning, the first pictures of the burning tower
were broadcast at 8:48 a.m. By then, according to a carefully
documented timeline at http://www.cooperativeresearch.net , the
Federal Aviation Administration, NORAD (joint U.S.-Canada air
defence), the Pentagon, the White House and the Secret Service all
knew that three commercial passenger jets had been hijacked.

Here begin the obfuscation and deceit, in small matters and large,
that permeate the official narrative.

Disinformation was spewing all over the place that week after
Sept.11. Serious newspapers actually reported that one hijacker’s
passport fluttered down from the roaring inferno to be found in the
rubble by sharp-eyed intelligence officers.

The key question to me was one of air defence. There are, after
all, standard procedures in the event of airplane emergencies. The
FAA and NORAD have clear rules about any plane that suddenly loses
radio contact with the tower or veers more than 15 degrees from its
course.

Once the air traffic controller detects an emergency, he or she
must inform aviation officials who alert NORAD. Fighter jets are
then sent up to check out the straying plane, signal to it with
dipped wings, escort it back on course or even force it down.

“We scramble aircraft to respond to any potential threat,” said
Marine Corps Maj. Mike Snyder, a NORAD spokesman, in an interview
with the Boston Globe.

But it didn’t happen that way on Sept. 11. The first reports from
authoritative sources (NORAD’s Snyder, Vice-President Dick Cheney
and, most significantly, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers) all
stated that no jets took off until it was too late.

Just two days after the catastrophe, on Sept. 13, Gen. Myers was
confirmed as the new chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On that
day, he told the Senate Armed Forces Committee that no Air Force
jets got into the air until after the attack on the Pentagon.

On Sept. 15, The Boston Globe reported on a strange contradiction.
The Globe quoted NORAD spokesman Snyder, who insisted that “the
command did not immediately scramble any fighters even though it
was alerted to a hijacking 10 minutes before the first plane …
slammed into the World Trade Center.” He said the fighters remained
on the ground until after the Pentagon was hit at 9:40 a.m. But The
Globe also expressed puzzlement over the new official story that
had just emerged. Now Americans were being told that fighter jets
roared up from Cape Cod and from Virginia, but just didn’t make it
in time.

Furthermore, no explanation was ever offered for the bizarre fact
that Andrews Air Force base, whose job it is to defend the U.S.
capital just 19 kilometres away, had no fighter jets ready to go
into action — despite the months of serious warnings of
impending terrorist attacks.

And these are the people we’re to trust with a missile defence
system? They can’t even get their stories straight, let alone
defend their air space.

According to The Post and to some of their hot-eyed followers, to
ask these questions is to indulge in “poisonous delusions … that
do not belong in a mainstream newspaper.” I’m not sure they’re the
proper arbiters of mainstream journalism, but I’m willing to be
“unintentionally comical” in pursuit of understanding.

And Nostradamus rocks!

Just kidding.

Michele Landsberg ‘s column usually appears in the
Star Saturday and Sunday. Her e-mail address is
mlandsb@thestar.ca

Additional articles by Michele Landsberg


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