Friday, February 10, 2006

CIA Whistleblower Finally Blows Whistle

My Way News:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East during the Iraq invasion accused the White House of misusing prewar intelligence to justify its case for war.

Paul Pillar, who was national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, also said the Senate intelligence committee and a presidential commission overlooked evidence that the Bush administration politicized the intelligence process to support White House policymakers.

'Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war,' Pillar said in an article written for the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs and posted on the magazine's Web site on Friday.

'If the entire body of official intelligence analysis on Iraq had a policy implication, it was to avoid war -- or, if war was going to be launched, to prepare for a messy aftermath,' he said.


But Pillar, a widely respected intelligence analyst who spent 28 years at the CIA, said it has become clear since the 2003 invasion that the White House did not use official intelligence analysis in making even the most significant national security decisions.

Policymakers instead employed a "cherry-picking" approach that selected pieces of raw intelligence that seemed most favorable to its WMD claims and the charge of a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.

The White House ignored intelligence reports that said Iraq was not fertile ground for democracy and warned of a long, difficult turbulent post-invasion period that would require a Marshall Plan-type effort to restore the country's economy despite its abundant oil reserves.

Reports also predicted an occupying force would be a target of resentment and attacks including guerrilla warfare.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is's GOP Hypocrite of the Week

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is's GOP Hypocrite of the Week:
Let's see, Alberto's condoned illegal wiretapping, justified torture that violates the Geneva Convention, allowed the destruction of documents relating to the outing of a CIA operative, was involved with the removal of a prosecutor who was about to indict Abramoff a few years ago....well, Alberto, like the consigliere for the Corleone family knows that when you are married to the mob, the only commodity that is of value is loyalty.

And Alberto proved, once again, in the farcical Senate hearings this week that his allegiance is to George W. Bush, not the Constitution of the United States of America.

Isn't it a little hypocritical for the chief law enforcement officer of the nation to defend criminal activity? We find that a bit sketchy, don't you?
And of course, he didn't need to be under oath for his song-and-dance on Monday, since he didn't say anything important. This whole government is a sham and a disgrace. Rise up, America! Let them know we're watching. Let them know this will not stand!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Full House Committee Gets Briefing on Eavesdropping - New York Times

Full House Committee Gets Briefing on Eavesdropping - New York Times:
"It's a good start, and it was very useful," said Representative Jane Harman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House panel. "But I don't believe it complies with the National Security Act, which requires that the committees be kept fully informed of intelligence activities."


The White House change of heart occurred at the last minute, said both Ms. Wilson and Ms. Harman, who said they learned just an hour or so before the 1 p.m. briefing that General Hayden would be offering 'a general description of how the program operates,' in Ms. Harman's words.

Ms. Wilson said that even after the briefing, she still did not believe she had a full view of the program. But she said she expected that her questions would be addressed in additional closed-door meetings.

Republican Who Oversees N.S.A. Calls for Wiretap Inquiry - New York Times

Republican Who Oversees N.S.A. Calls for Wiretap Inquiry - New York Times:
"The lawmaker, Representative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, said in an interview that she had 'serious concerns' about the surveillance program. By withholding information about its operations from many lawmakers, she said, the administration has deepened her apprehension about whom the agency is monitoring and why."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Seems Like A Long Time, Seems Like A Mighty Long Time....

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Washington digs in for a 'long war' as Rumsfeld issues global call to arms:
The Bush administration's re-characterisation of its 'global war on terror' as the 'long war' will be seen by critics as an admission that the US has started something it cannot finish. But from the Pentagon's perspective, the change reflects a significant upgrading of the 'generational' threat posed by worldwide Islamist militancy which it believes to have been seriously underestimated.

The reassessment, contained in the Pentagon's quadrennial defence review presented to Congress yesterday, presages a new US drive to rally international allies for an ongoing conflict unlimited by time and space. That presents a problematic political, financial and military prospect for many European Nato members including Britain, as well as Middle Eastern governments(emphasis mine).
The Brits are so good at understatement.

US general maps out strategic refit for Iraq, Middle East and Asia

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | US general maps out strategic refit for Iraq, Middle East and Asia:
However, he made plain that the new strategy in America's 'long war' against al-Qaida and its affiliates would ensure that US forces, when they left Iraq, would not be far away.

The US would have 'sufficient forces to deter, and to protect partners and its key national interests' in the region, Brig Gen Kimmitt said.

And he said that America's preoccupations in Iraq should not lead to what he called 'misunderstandings' about its ability to conduct other operations in the area. The US would 'retain sufficient military capability' to strike Iran, he said. Those who believed otherwise were making a 'very serious mistake', he added.

He made it clear that under America's military 'reposturing', its forces would be withdrawn from army bases in Iraq and other countries in the region, although the US will keep its Bagram base in Afghanistan under a new 'strategic agreement' signed by the two countries.

With that exception, the idea is to base fewer, more mobile, special forces - along with strike aircraft - further afield, where their presence would be less visible and less provocative.
So, we'll still be there, just not where we can be seen and hurt. Notice the mention of Iran. Think they'd do it again? Much?

If You're Feeling Safer, Feel Again

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Pentagon sets up robot unit to identify source of nuclear attacks:
The Pentagon has set up a special unit complete with robots to conduct forensic tests in the event of a nuclear attack on the US, with the aim of identifying attackers for possible retaliation, a Pentagon official said yesterday.

Major Susan Idziak, a defence department spokeswoman, told The Guardian that the unit was called the the Domestic Nuclear Event Attribution (DNEA) program and that it had been launched in 2000. It is made up of nuclear experts equipped with 'specifically modified' robots for collecting and analysing fallout at ground zero of any future attack by a nuclear device or a dirty bomb (radioactive material scattered by conventional explosives).

ABC News: Horse Slaughter to Continue Despite Action

ABC News: Horse Slaughter to Continue Despite Action:
Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., denounced the decision, saying that 'commerce and greed have ruled the day.'

'To end this practice, Congress, with widespread public support, passed this amendment by a landslide vote in both the House and the Senate,' said Sweeney, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee. 'This action is a direct defiance of congressional intent.'
Bush isn't the only one ignoring Congress' intent. Apparently, Congress ignores itself.

CIA Leak Probe a 'Witch Hunt'?

ABC News: EXCLUSIVE: Is CIA Leak Probe a 'Witch Hunt'?

Administration Faulted on Katrina

Administration Faulted on Katrina:
Responsibility for the government's bungled response to Hurricane Katrina extends widely but begins at the top of the Bush administration, which failed before the storm to name a White House, homeland security or other senior aide to take command of disaster relief, congressional investigators reported yesterday.

Four years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, administration officials did not establish a clear chain of command for the domestic emergency; disregarded early warnings of a Category 5 hurricane inundating New Orleans and southeast Louisiana; and did not ensure that cities and states had adequate plans and training before the Aug. 29 storm, according to the Government Accountability Office.

firedoglake: 02/05/2006 - 02/11/2006

firedoglake: 02/05/2006 - 02/11/2006

Fitzgerald is still working on the case, and he's getting closer to the truth (and the top). Go, Fitz, go!

Still Trying To Gag The Critics And Stem The Truth

Politics News Article |
"WASHINGTON (Hollywood Reporter) - President George W. Bush took a swipe at Big Bird and his ilk Monday as he proposed slashing funds to public broadcasting by more than $150 million."

Crooks and Liars: Rove Threatens Any Non-conforming Repubs

Crooks and Liars:
"'Congressional sources said Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove has threatened to blacklist any Republican who votes against the president. The sources said the blacklist would mean a halt in any White House political or financial support of senators running for re-election in November..."

Exclusive: Can the President Order a Killing on U.S. Soil? - Newsweek Politics -

Exclusive: Can the President Order a Killing on U.S. Soil? - Newsweek Politics -
Feb. 13, 2006 issue - In the latest twist in the debate over presidential powers, a Justice Department official suggested that in certain circumstances, the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States. Steven Bradbury, acting head of the department's Office of Legal Counsel, went to a closed-door Senate intelligence committee meeting last week to defend President George W. Bush's surveillance program. During the briefing, said administration and Capitol Hill officials (who declined to be identified because the session was private), California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Bradbury questions about the extent of presidential powers to fight Al Qaeda; could Bush, for instance, order the killing of a Qaeda suspect known to be on U.S. soil? Bradbury replied that he believed Bush could indeed do this, at least in certain circumstances.
"How far does it have to go before somebody calls Bush for going too far? They later denied that this was really the case, that the closed-door session was "off the record" and that Bradbury was basically talking out of his ass. Yet it begs the question. If this administration felt it had the right to assassinate, here or abroad, wouldn't it do so? Indeed, from what we know so far of this administration's end runs around the Constitution and written statutes, would they not be likely to feel compelled to do so if they thought it advanced their case against terrorism? And just who, in this administration's estimation, is a terrorist? Haven't they said that critics of the administration are in effect aiding and abetting the terrorists? "If you are not with us, you are with the terrorists."

Is this issues, along with domestic surveillance, Katrina, aid cuts, etc., enough to convince the rest of the public (i.e., a good portion of those 38% who still somehow approve of this president and his henchmen) that they are dangerous and should be removed from office? A year from now, will I still be able to write such a question for anybody to read? I hope so. I truly hope so.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Unbelievable! Or Not.


Oil Graft Fuels the Insurgency, Iraq and U.S. Say - New York Times

Oil Graft Fuels the Insurgency, Iraq and U.S. Say - New York Times:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 4 — Iraqi and American officials say they are seeing a troubling pattern of government corruption enabling the flow of oil money and other funds to the insurgency and threatening to undermine Iraq's struggling economy.

In Iraq, which depends almost exclusively on oil for its revenues, the officials say that any diversion of money to an insurgency that is killing its citizens and tearing apart its infrastructure adds a new and menacing element to the challenge of holding the country together.

In one example, a sitting member of the Iraqi National Assembly has been indicted in the theft of millions of dollars meant for protecting a critical oil pipeline against attacks and is suspected of funneling some of that money to the insurgency, said Radhi Hamza al-Radhi, the chairman of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity. The indictment has not been made public.

The charges against the Sunni lawmaker, Meshaan al-Juburi, are far from the only indication that the insurgency is profiting from Iraq's oil riches.
So, the new Iraqi government is corrupt? Where do you think they learned that? No, really. They probably came up with it on their own. It's not like there's a good example around to teach them otherwise.

Mia Culpa: Plame covert status verified -- again.

Mia Culpa: Plame covert status verified -- again.


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