Saturday, December 10, 2005
Far more US casualties in Iraq
But by Dec. 8, 2005, the military had evacuated another 25,289 service members from Iraq and Afghanistan for injuries or illnesses not caused directly by enemy bullets or bombs, according to the U.S. Transportation Command. That statistic includes everything from serious injuries in Humvee wrecks or other accidents to more routine illnesses that could be unrelated to field battles. ....
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides soldiers with medical care after leaving the military. An October V.A. report shows that 119,247 service members who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan -- and are now off duty -- are receiving health care from the V.A. Presumably, some of those health problems are unrelated to the war.
Now, certainly, a fair number of those Iraq and Afghanistan vets are seeking treatment for other things, but remember these guys are in the prime of their lives. Also, I don't have the number handy, but you have to figure that that 119,247 comes out of a total pool of 500,000(?) that have rotated through those theaters. I'm not sure of that number, but even if you double it, you're looking at 10%.
(This link is from Salon, so you have to watch the ad, but after that it's free.)
President George W. Bush has placed suspects in his "war on terror" under arrest as "enemy combatants" in hopes of denying them access to lawyers and judges.That's the President of the United States who is trying to circumvent the Constitution.
(And, light blogging day today, I got stuff to do.)
Friday, December 09, 2005
Are you ready for a shitstorm?
A judge could rule on whether to order the release of new photographs from the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison anytime after Dec. 15, an ACLU spokesperson told RAW STORY.
Ironic that it might be the day of the Iraqi election, eh?
(and Sorry about the cussing tonight. I watched Bad Santa and I think it rubbed off.)
He knows if you've been bad or good.
Just put the chip in behind my ear and be done with it.
Serious about the environment.
Bush-administration officials privately threatened organizers of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, telling them that any chance there might’ve been for the United States to sign on to the Kyoto global-warming protocol would be scuttled if they allowed Bill Clinton to speak at the gathering today in Montreal, according to a source involved with the negotiations who spoke to New York Magazine on condition of anonymity.
Bush officials informed organizers of their intention to pull out of the new Kyoto deal late Thursday afternoon, soon after news leaked that Clinton was scheduled to speak, the source said.
Here's a story on what Clinton said. Bottom line, he said Bush was "flat wrong."
And NYTimes confirms the walkout, not the reason.
Tancredo's "Preserving our National Identity"
"It cheapens the whole concept of citizenship," said Tancredo, R-Littleton. "People are coming here simply for the purpose of having a child here and then, because they're the anchor, they can have all the family come in on that child's ticket. ... There are thousands upon thousands of people who are doing it," he said.
He cited "surprising" momentum behind the plan. A House bill to make the policy change has 77 co-sponsors....(all republican?)
...the measure is unlikely to become law, and would face a constitutional challenge in court if it did.
But it promises to make the debate over illegal immigration even more divisive and could reverberate in next year's midterm elections.
Overturning the 14th amendment seems to be no big deal to Tancredo. Again, to see how far out Tancredo is on this, don't miss Kevin Drum's entry on "Preserving our National Identity."
British subway shooting update
Officers involved in the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes on the Tube could face charges, it has emerged.
Don't bomb me!
I just found them interesting.
Oh, and Michael put this good link in the comments this morning. Obviously anti-administration, but if you're looking for a reference site for quotes on WMD, this is probably a great place to start.
Also related, I think it got lost yesterday in the long posts, but here is the whitehouse link to the Oct. 7, 2002 Bush speech in Cincinnati. This was the speech where he went the farthest pressing the bad intel besides the 16 words. It's worth a read/listen/watch to see just how brazenly they were pressing for war.
Hearts and Minds
"In Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the two countries where the U.S. has focused its democracy message, the effort appeared to backfire," according to Zogby. "Of the four percent in Egypt and nine percent in Saudi Arabia who said that 'President Bush's promotion of democracy and reform' was the most important factor determining their attitudes toward the U.S., over 80 percent said this effort worsened their view of the U.S." .....
Two out of every three respondents in Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco said their overall opinion of the U.S. was unfavourable. In the UAE, the ratio was three out of every four, while in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, 85 percent and 89 percent of respondents, respectively, expressed negative views.....
Views of China were far more favourable, particularly in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, where majorities expressed positive views of Beijing. India was also viewed significantly more favourably than the United States. Even Russia received more favourable ratings, except in Morocco and the UAE.
Asked what were the most important factors in determining their attitudes towards the U.S., the most common answer given by respondents in every country except UAE was the war in Iraq, followed by "American treatment of Arabs and Muslims".
Sources familiar with their conversations say Novak's and Luskin's accounts to Fitzgerald appear to conflict on when they spoke. ....
But one person close to the case said the conversation took place before Rove's first grand jury appearance in February. This person said the conversation was not the event that led Rove to change his testimony.
This is huge. Luskin's whole last gasp effort to keep Rove out of jail is based on this conversation, that Rove's "remembering" midway through his four Grand Jury appearances was based on that conversation.
So, what's the truth? That "one person close to the case" source has been damning this Luskin defense all along. I keep thinking that somebody on Fitzgerald's team is talking to Vandehei, but there's no proof.
Nobody will buy this now.
The Pentagon, in a major four-year decision, has decided to stick with having the capability of being able to fight two major conflicts at once, The Washington Times has learned.
Two officials said that when the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is completed next month, it will retain the requirement that the Pentagon maintain active forces and reserves able to repel and occupy an enemy in one war and defeat a second enemy but not necessarily occupy the capital.
Rice wins reprieve on torture
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice won a reprieve from European governments over the U.S. treatment of detainees this week but public pressure is unlikely to ease over allegations of secret CIA jails. ....
Allies, who had responded to public pressure by seeking answers from Washington before Rice's trip, quickly retreated in the face of her defense that the United States respected their sovereignty and acted within the law in its war on terrorism.
US official admits ICRC not allowed access to all prisoners.
The US has admitted for the first time that it has not given the Red Cross access to all detainees in its custody.
Oh, and while looking for another version of this story, I noticed it was already up on Al Jazeera.
Picture of the Day
Your modern society with all the lights and noises confuses me and this $3,000 Armani suit I'm wearing feels strange on my skin.
But, even being a caveman, there's one thing I do know, and that one thing is that Karl Rove will be indicted.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Update on the Cheney effort to shield himself from torture prosecution
McCain is now offering to allow CIA officers immunity from torture prosecution if they provide a defense that a reasonable person would have believed they were following a lawful order. The White House on the other hand is seeking a blanket immunity for those CIA officers. The difference?
Under McCain's provision, in their defense they would have to supply information as to who issued the order they thought was lawful. And once that ball starts rolling, a direct chain to who signed off on the unlawful orders to torture would be established. (And yes, I do see this argument over immunity as a tacit admission of torture.) So, now we know why Cheney might be fighting McCain so hard on the torture issue.
So, I'm keeping up with this, and today's tidbit.
On the issue of detainee treatment, Rumsfeld said negotiations between the White House and McCain were continuing. The White House hopes to reach a compromise that would satisfy administration concerns. ....
In recent days, Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, has been seeking some protection from prosecution for agents, in some cases, who are accused of violating the McCain provisions.....
So, will they subject Dick Cheney to the methods he claims aren't torture to find out what he knows? They're not torture after all.
And, all this was buried way down at the bottom of an article titled, Troop Levels in Iraq may Drop, Rumsfeld says.
Rumor post - Wilkes edition
Wilkes befriended other legislators, too. He ran a hospitality suite, with several bedrooms, in Washington – first in the Watergate Hotel and then in the Westin Grand near Capitol Hill.
To this Josh Marshall says:
I probably should have been a bit more explicit about this last evening but the wording the reporters for the Union-Tribune used was almost certainly code for some sort of legislative love shack Wilkes used to lubricate the pay-for-play operation that made him and his pals so much cash before Duke brought the whole movable feast down on their heads. It may match up with reports about fast times down at the marina on the various Dukeboats.
Also, Laura Rozen who has been digging into the companies associated with Wilkes and some of their questionable contracts, comes out with this.
1rst post: Latest gossip I am hearing from San Diego is that Brent Wilkes is liquidating his considerable assets and -- get this -- thinking of heading towards Belize. Which apparently according to this same gossip does not have an extradition agreement with the US and citizenship can be bought for $30,000. Urban legend? Who knows.
2nd post: And by the way. That gossip about Wilkes liquidating some assets and exploring options for Belize? Not as outlandish as it originally sounded to me. In fact, a certain congressman may have gone with Wilkes on a recent trip there for fun -- and to open a bank account. And it wasn't the Duke.
Sorry for all the rumor, but this guy's just bigger than life. I keep imagining the "Duke" character from Doonesbury. I mean there's crooked, then there's "running to Belize before the FBI finds out you were running hookers for congressman" crooked. Ya know?
Al Libi testimony coerced, but where?
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 - The Bush administration based a crucial prewar assertion about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda on detailed statements made by a prisoner while in Egyptian custody who later said he had fabricated them to escape harsh treatment, according to current and former government officials.
The officials said the captive, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, provided his most specific and elaborate accounts about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda only after he was secretly handed over to Egypt by the United States in January 2002, in a process known as rendition.....
There's a previous report by Jehl on al Libi(Nov. 6 - NYTimes) which refers to a declassified DIA document that Sen. Carl Levin released. It refers to al Libi as a "likely fabbricator." It makes the point that Bush, Cheney, and Powell, as well as other administration officials repeatedly cited Libi's information, that Iraq trained Al Qaeda in chemical weapons, as "credible." This was the source Bush cited as truth in his infamous Oct. 7, 2002 Cincinnati speech. Here's the pertinent paragraph. (If you want to take a trip in the wayback machine to see just how forcefully they were making these bad claims, read, listen to, or watch this speech. I counted the word "nuclear" twenty times in this speech.)
We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy -- the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America.
Now, let's take a look at the claims regarding al-Libi provided by the CIA to ABCNews on Nov. 18th of this year.
All three of these reports show the same thing, that al Libi was a known fabricator that the Bush Whitehouse cited as "credible", but the interesting thing to me is that the CIA version(last excerpt) leaves out the untidy fact that al Libi was shipped to Egypt. So, did he crack after two weeks of "harsh interrogation" tactics in US custody as the CIA claims, or was that a cover and he was really broken by the Egyptians? Or did they just ship this guy around shopping torture regimens until he finally broke and started spouting nonsense?
According to CIA sources, Ibn al Shaykh al Libbi, after two weeks of enhanced interrogation, made statements that were designed to tell the interrogators what they wanted to hear. Sources say Al Libbi had been subjected to each of the progressively harsher techniques in turn and finally broke after being water boarded and then left to stand naked in his cold cell overnight where he was doused with cold water at regular intervals.
His statements became part of the basis for the Bush administration claims that Iraq trained al Qaeda members to use biochemical weapons. Sources tell ABC that it was later established that al Libbi had no knowledge of such training or weapons and fabricated the statements because he was terrified of further harsh treatment.
And if that's the case, should we have gone to war based on that?
(So, I went ahead and listened to that Cincinnati speech again while I was folding laundry and such, and it contains every bad bit of intelligence there was besides the famous 16 words which were stricken from this speech by the CIA. All the greatest hits are there. Atta in Prague, aluminum tubes, UAV's, mobile Bio labs, connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda, smoking gun as a mushroom cloud, that inspectors were thrown out, not pulled out, all of them. I really recommend you take a read, listen, watch of this speech to really remember the brazenness of the lies. It's 29 minutes and unfortunately not MP3, so no ipod.)
9-11 and Pearl Harbor - a few questions
Did FDR mention Pearl Harbor frequently in his speeches up into 1945? Reading Bush's speech yesterday got me wondering about that.
Does Pearl Harbor Day have any emotional content for you? I'm not trying to minimize the sacrifice of that day, I actually thought about the Japanese attack alot yesterday. I'm just curious how and on what level it's perceived.
I read a very interesting article a couple of months ago around this year's 9-11 remembrance that postulated how the future would view that day. This article used a Civil War event I don't remember, a WWI event, Pearl Harbor, the shooting of JFK and 9-11 and attempted to show how observance of these dates and events shifted through time as those who observed them passed on. The events seemed to lose their emotionality and immediacy and faded more into their historical role. Pearl Harbor, for instance, became more important for it's political role in getting the US into the war rather than for the emotional impact it had on the people.
Just curious for thoughts.
ALSO, while I'm asking open ended questions, let me ask this one. I don't know very much detail about the heyday of the British Empire, but how similar is the rhetoric of "spreading democracy and freedom" to the language the British used of "christianizing" the world?
Picture of the Day - 2
Gott Mit Uns and the Christmas debate.
I guess those comparisons to Henry Ford weren't so overblown.
Let's take a minute here.
The American Right is challenging everyone's patriotism but the most pro-war. Ideologues are attacking Immigrants, Gays, and Jews saying they are undermining our "national character." They're eroding civil liberties, and all along claiming, "Gott Mit Uns." (God is with us.)
Just how far away are we?
Plame Gossip - V. Novak get big money lawyer
I'd be really curious to know who is paying her fees. No evidence that she's not, but that's pretty big money, and if someone else is bankrolling her lawyer, that would be big news.
UPDATE: USAToday is reporting that Fitzgerald spent "more than an hour," which I would guess is less than an hour and a half, meeting with and deposing Viveca Novak and her new lawyer. That' doesn't seem to me to be very long, so the deposition could be just a quick "checking the facts" of the indictment.
It's beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas.
UPDATE 2: It's all starting to come together now.
So, Fitzgerald deposes Luskin last Friday, reads part or all of the deposition into the record for three hours yesterday, then deposes V. Fox for less than an hour today just to check Luskin's story. Whose story do you think he believed?
I included that last line because it can be read two ways, that Rove is still under investigation, or that Luskin was saying that he's not under investigation for his V. Fox conduct/testimony. No basis, but as some of his conduct has been suspect, I'm just throwing that out there.
Firedoglake has a pretty good, "it's coming soon" post. If you want to believe that it's coming, take a look.
Bush poll numbers ticking up
US "misleads" families about how those 10 marines died last week
USA today says get yer guns the flu is coming
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
[T]he line between gossip and intelligence is too-often thin, as we've seen the past few years. With that caution in mind, Washington buzz today focused on reports of a three-hour grand jury meeting (presentation?) by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, with no witnesses called. Our legal advisors confess no inside information, but say this sort of an event usually precedes an indictment being handed down.
Not too sure about this, see my Fitzgerald/Jaws theory below, but I would think that this would be very quick with Viveca Novak's deposition scheduled tomorrow(?) unless Fitzgerald only asks her a few questions with very definitive answers he expects her to give. (When did you talk to Luskin? Feb 2004.)
If that's her tesimony, it offers Rove very little cover, mainly because the meeting occurred before Rove first came before the grand jury and lied, and nine months before he finally recanted in his fourth grand jury appearance. If that's the case, a quick indictment is a possibility. (next week? before Christmas?)
The bottom line is the shark is circling Rove and everybody knows it. If there isn't some life raft we haven't heard about, I think it's only a matter of time at this point.
White House seeking immunity for previous detainee treatment?
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 - The White House has all but abandoned its effort to persuade Senator John McCain to exempt Central Intelligence Agency employees from legislation barring inhumane or degrading treatment of prisoners in American custody. But a top presidential aide continued to negotiate a deal on Tuesday that would offer covert officers some protection from prosecution, administration and Senate officials said.....
Mr. McCain is balking at agreeing to any kind of exemption for intelligence officials, members of his staff say. Instead, he has offered to include some language, modeled after military standards, under which soldiers can provide a defense if a "reasonable" person could have concluded that he or she was following a lawful order about how to treat prisoners. The senator's offer was first reported Saturday by The Wall Street Journal.
Is the point of these negotiations to obtain immunity for CIA personnel, and, in turn, legal protection for the administration officials who signed off on the detainee practices?
McCain is pushing to allow a nearly Nuremburg defense. The CIA agents in jeopardy could be cleared if they offer a defense that they were following what they believed to be lawful orders. By the nature of that defense, they would have to reveal the source of the "lawful orders" that could lead right up the chain.
Watch these negotiations closely.
(LATER) I think one thing we can gather from this is that both sides of this negotiation have a tacit understanding that some CIA officers, perhaps unknowingly, broke the law on orders from above.
Here's the Whitehouse's text of the President's speech this morning. Did anybody actually watch it? And the press briefing is up but there's nothing in it.
Josh Marshall has two good ones. 1) Susan Ralston, the Rove aid who was rumored to have taken the Matt Cooper call out of the call log, left Rove's office for the Commerce dept. Guess that's what happens when you tell the truth about your boss. 2) Hastert and Blunt plan to keep the house closed two more weeks after the "holiday" break til Jan.31, which would give Delay two more weeks to try to wriggle off the hook. Thinkprogress has a better excerpt.
Firedoglake has piece of how Haley "I think the president is doing a fine job on hurricane relief" Barbour's family is benefitting from Katrina related no bid contracts.
Libby found a pretty good Juan Cole piece How Bush Created a Theocracy.
And Fitzgerald's grand jury visit was three hours.
Plame gossip - Fitzgerald back at grand jury
Six weeks after White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted in the CIA leak case, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was back at work Wednesday before another grand jury in the drawn-out federal probe.
Fitzgerald, accompanied by several deputies seen carrying files as they walked into the grand jury area of the courthouse, made no comment to reporters about the nature of his visit.
Probably reading the V. Novak and related testimonies into the Grand Jury record. But, I don't think you do that if you're not going towards indictment.
Also, last night I was struck by how similar the Fitzgerald appearances are to the monster in a monster movie. Take Jaws for example. It starts out as unsubstantiated reports, then maybe you get a shot of a fin or a flipper or an eye, a little testimony or a leak, a little creepy music and a shot of the worried soon to be victim who begins paddling slowly, then frantically to get away. Then you get the harder music and everybody sees the shadowy shape beneath the water suddenly speeding towards the hapless victim. He makes a mistake, or maybe the boat is bumped, and the victim falls in the water. Only then do you get the full creature shot of Jaws as he tears the subject apart at the indictment.
Then you get the calm recovering music as Jaws disappears from view, but everybody knows that the shark is still out there, still hunting, and there are still more people on the beach.
Da-dum. Da-dum. Rove is hearing the music right about now, and he's about to start paddling frantically. The only question left is will he push someone elase over the side so he can get away.
Huge post on prewar intel lies as policy
Picture of the day - 2
The US talks about the "flowering of democracy", and yet this has made barely a ripple in the American press. No ink stained fingers, no "Orange revolution," no hyped coverage of anti-Syrian protests.
Hats off to them. I don't agree with their politics at all, or the Brotherhood's secondary connection with numerous terror acts, but these people are trying to vote. They're trying to do it the right way.
Bush officials throwing the women overboard
Not being sexist here, quite frankly I think Hughes and Rice are probably the toughest people on this list, but isn't it odd that this administration of manly men sends it's women out almost exclusively for this duty?
Picture of the Day
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
So, this is a great find by Duke Skorich. Put it in your reference bookmarks today, cause sooner or later, you're gonna want it.
Pro-Bush poem in Pakistani textbook.
Picture of the Day - 3
Delay fundraiser update
Two attendees went on record with quotes praising Delay, Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs and Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt. (I would encourage my fellow Houstonians to never support them again.)
And lastly, Nick Lampson(his site) will probably be the Dem candidate in that district.(Still waiting to see if the Repubs will challenge Delay in the primary) He's actually pretty good. To give you an idea how good, the republicans decided to redraw his district away from him in the contentious Texas redistricting boondoggle.
As another sign of just how good he is, look at the level of this anti-Lampson site from the last election. Can you imagine if the Dems did stuff like this?
(I'm in Tx. 07. Jim Henley(the DCCC's choice) will probably be challenging John Culberson. Unless something happens, I don't think you can look for Tx. 07 to help turn the house.)
Here's the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) site for their choices in congressional races(most probables to win primaries). If you don't know your district, go to http://www.house.gov/ and type in your zip code under find your representative.
For God's Sake, answer just one question, Scott McClellan
Q What is the purpose of rendition, other than, if it is not, in fact, to subject detainees to a degree of interrogation somewhat more difficult than that which they would be subjected to in the United States? And that being the case, what definition of torture does the United States understand and accept?
MR. McCLELLAN: The ones that are defined in our law and our international treaty obligations. We have laws --
Q If that's the case, then why bother to render anybody?
Q Then what's the purpose of rendition?
Q But if we are committed to international conventions against torture, what, then, is the purpose of rendition?
Q But you seem to be suggesting that --
Q -- there's more to be gained by interrogating these people outside the United States than there is inside.
Q But how do we know they weren't tortured? They claim they were.
Q How do we know they weren't tortured?
Then the questions veer into monitoring whether or not torture is taking place to individuals we've rendered.
No Picture of the Day - Cheney and Delay edition
The only images I can find are protesters and this great shot of Delay's family rushing away from photographers outside the hall.
Why do you think that is?
Also, living here in Houston, if anybody comes across a guest list or some of the attendees, I would love to see it.
US "Secret Prisons" moved out of Europe after exposure
Dec. 5, 2005 — Two CIA secret prisons were operating in Eastern Europe until last month when they were shut down following Human Rights Watch reports of their existence in Poland and Romania.Be sure to check here for the ABCNews story where the CIA offers it's version of "enhanced interrogation techniques." And how broken down are these people after months of "interrogation"?
Current and former CIA officers speaking to ABC News on the condition of confidentiality say the United States scrambled to get all the suspects off European soil before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived there today. The officers say 11 top al Qaeda suspects have now been moved to a new CIA facility in the North African desert......
All but one of these 11 high-value al Qaeda prisoners were subjected to the harshest interrogation techniques in the CIA's secret arsenal, the so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" authorized for use by about 14 CIA officers and first reported by ABC News on Nov. 18.
In exchange for cooperation, prisoners were sometimes given hard candies, desserts and chocolates. Abu Zubaydah was partial to Kit Kats, the same treat Saddam Hussein fancied in his captivity.
Or is this just CIA propaganda telling other Al Qaeda members that Abu Zubaydah is selling them out for Kit Kats? ABCNews now has a CIA source, but judging from the explanatory nature of the two stories it has broken, I wonder just how much of this is planted rather than reported.
It also appears that Romania's payoff was, in part, new US military bases with assets moved from Germany.(AFP)
Also, the WaPo has a big A01 story on how the CIA lied to the Italians about the Nasr rendition. Nothing really big or new as far as I can tell, but the first time the story has made a major front page.
BUT: The LATimes has some news on the Nasr rendition with this: The former CIA station Chief is outlining his defense to the Italian charges and seeking to extend immunity into his retirement.
Quote of the Day -
"To be responsible, one needs to stop defining success in Iraq as the absence of terrorist attacks," he said.
In other words, don't judge my boxer's success by how many times he's knocked down....
I know it's out of character for this blog.
We got out of the group stages in the last two world cups, and although it's highly flawed, we rank usually around 10 in the FIFA world rankings.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Picture of the Day - 3
The Tinkerbell theory on Iraq.
DUBAI The training of Iraqi security forces has suffered a big "setback" in the last six months, with the army and other forces being increasingly used to settle scores and make other political gains, Iraqi Vice President Ghazi al-Yawer said Monday.
You can clap as much as you want Mr. Bush, Tinkerbell is dying.
(Later) Question: With the current Iraqi government facing an election in ten days, do they have an incentive to try to pin all the failures in Iraq on the US? If so, I would expect to see more of this.
Picture of the Day - 2
FBI reopening Niger forgeries case (Repost)
What new evidence prompted the reopening and pointed at US citizens? And from where did the impetus from the reopening come, Franklin/AIPAC, Plame? Remember, Larry Franklin was involved in the meeting between Ledeen, Rhode, Sismi, Iranian exiles, and Chalabi who was "in possession" of the Niger forgeries in late 2001.
No answers, just questions at this point.
WASHINGTON — The FBI has reopened an inquiry into one of the most intriguing aspects of the pre-Iraq war intelligence fiasco: how the Bush administration came to rely on forged documents linking Iraq to nuclear weapons materials as part of its justification for the invasion......
Federal officials familiar with the case say investigators might examine whether the forgeries were instigated by U.S. citizens who advocated an invasion of Iraq or by members of the Iraqi National Congress — the group led by Ahmad Chalabi that worked closely with Bush administration officials in the buildup to the war......
Until now, the FBI's inquiry had been limited to probing whether foreign governments were involved in the forgeries,
(I'm reposting this, because it could be huge, and I'm afraid that it may have gotten lost in the Friday night/ Saturday morning "document dump" to miss the news cycles. )
If you're interested in the Niger forgeries story, eriposte at the LeftCoaster has been doing, by far, the best work on it. This is his most recent post, follow the links to part1, part2, etc. if you want to see some incredible work by a blogger.
Dear British readers, British gov't breaking law?
The British government is guilty of breaking international law if it allowed secret CIA "rendition" flights of terror suspects to land at UK airports, according to a report by American legal scholars.
Merely giving permission for the flights to refuel while en route to the Middle East to collect a prisoner would constitute a breach of the law, according to the opinion commissioned by an all-party group of MPs, which meets in parliament for the first time today.
(By the way, I also find it funny that this story got listed below the Benitez to Real Madrid piece. And what's it gonna take for Souness to lose his job?)
Picture of the Day
I'm not editorializing, I just thought this was a powerful picture. Feel it.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Hey, Bush Supporter
WASHINGTON - The U.S. is at great risk for more terrorist attacks because Congress and the White House have failed to enact several strong security measures, members of the former Sept. 11 commission said Sunday.
Oh, and let's remember that this guy isn't some "wild eyed Michael Moore worshipper" as apparently all Bush critics appear from the far right wing.
(Kean)He proved so popular in office that in 1985, he won reelection with the largest margin of victory in the history of the office.
Kean delivered the keynote speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans.
Kean was known for attracting a number of bright, rising stars with deep public policy expertise.
The Strategy for Victory in Iraq was written by a Poly Sci professor?
If you want us to seriously accept that you have a plan for victory in Iraq, maybe you should let somebody who knows something about war, not a professor of Political Science from Duke who "has closely studied public opinion on the war," write the plan to get us out.
Put this letter in the FBI file as always,
PS. And while we're at it, can you explain this to me?
Is Focus on the Family a hate group?
DENVER (AP) - The conservative Christian group Focus on the Family says it's withdrawing its funds from Wells Fargo because of the bank's support of gay organizations.
Replace the words gay/homosexual with black, or Vietnamese, or Jewish and tell me there wouldn't be an outcry. Is it okay to be a hate group, so long as you claim a religious backing?
(On their creepily named website, www.family.org (anybody else get a cult flash from that) they've also called on boycotts of Ford, Procter & Gamble in their anti-gay campaign, and Target for using "Holidays" instead of "Christmas". And let's not forget their the same loonies who were going after the doll maker "American Girl" because the donated to a charity called Girls, inc.)
"Erroneous Renditions" - CIA Inspector General
One official said about three dozen names fall in that category; others believe it is fewer. The list includes several people whose identities were offered by al Qaeda figures during CIA interrogations, officials said. One turned out to be an innocent college professor who had given the al Qaeda member a bad grade, one official said.
If you have concerns about the rendition and detention policies put in place by the Bush administration, this is a must read.
And there's a very interesting bit about the German/Masri rendition, including CIA/administration debates on what to do once they realized he was innocent(p.4). Named officials in this discussion, Tenet, Rice, and Armitage.
(If you don't have a WaPo account, try www.bugmenot.com linked on the right. It's a newsjunkie's dream offering username and passwords for sites that require them. Crap, it's gone. Anybody know of a similar site.)