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« Amazing: Iran’s public threats to destroy the U.S. are hardly reported | Main | Doing the right thing: Putin won’t run again »

October 31, 2005

Comments

Nicholas

I hate to generalise, but it seems more and more these days, in this media-based news-society, people will believe what you feed them. I won't bother repating the Goebbles quote.

The news organisations are complicit in this, whether on purpose or not, possibly because there are really only a couple of sources of international news (AP and Reuters) and so when some poorly-researched or biased article comes down the pipe, it's in all the newspapers, on the TV screens, radios and internet. (This is probably also because reporters get news form these other sources and use it to form opinions and base articles on).

Once the water is muddied and the damage is done, it's very hard to change peoples' minds it seems. If they see something in the news that seems to reinforce their views (which may already be twisted by more of this "news"), they'll latch on to it and if you try to explain the truth to them they'll refuse to argue with you; they'll just parrot off something catchy (and probably wrong).

What ever happened to subtle analysis? Debates? Balanced inquiry? Don't people want to watch experts civilly debating an issue? Maybe the problem is that it's hard to find people on certain sides of issues who will be civil about it and not use dodgy tactics like character assassination and topic changing to argue their points.

Hell, sometimes I feel the urge to play devil's advocate and argue against points I believe in, simply to spur lively debate rather than just mud-slinging.

I think the subtle analysis and such does still exist, it's just so hard to find that most people aren't exposed to it. You certainly aren't afraid to state your views here but at least you back them up with fact and analysis rather than hyperbole.

What really bothers me about this whole issue is that there are people doing much worse things than this Libby guy, or even this Wilson idiot, but nobody seems to care. Talk about a "one track mind"...

jj mollo

I think Cheney and Libby abused their power. I don't agree with Wilson, and I'm not sure his motives were pure as the driven snow, but he had very little power, beyond his voice. Was he culpable in not revealing everything he knew? It could be argued that that's exactly what Libby is being accused of. The effect of Libby's leak on Wilson's wife was a bit of collateral damage that I find totally unjustified. Wilson tells about it from his point of view.

Nicholas

I don't know about this case, but I'm pretty sure, assuming that what I have heard is correct, that Cheney has abused his power in the past.

In short, he used his power as Secretary of Defense to put Grumman out of business over some kind of a personal vendetta, and in the process IMO greatly compromised the US Navy's ability to participate in a large scale war, if one were to break out in the short term.

"Grumman had submitted several proposals to the Navy to upgrade the Tomcat beyond the D model (such as the Super Tomcat 21, the cheaper QuickStrike version, and the more advanced Attack Super Tomcat 21) but the Super Hornet was chosen as the future Navy attack aircraft instead. Speculation was that Grumman felt they were the only serious option for the Navy to consider and quoted them an inflated estimate for building new F-14s (the airframes already in use were approaching the end of their lives). In an act of reprisal, then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney ordered Grumman to destroy the tooling and molds for the F-14. There is some debate whether the destruction was actually carried out in full. Grumman was acquired by Northrop in 1994 (the F-14 was probably the only program keeping them in business), sealing the fate of the F-14."

It's hard to find much hard information on this but it certainly would explain why Grumman, the US Navy's #1 fighter aircraft manufacturer for 50 years, lost out to Boeing (who had never build a successful fighter until they acquired McDonnell Douglass, I think) and built the fiasco which is the F-18E/F.

Frank Warner

I've suggested repeatedly that Cheney resign, principally for his dishonorable conflict of interest involving Halliburton.

That conflict fed the fascists as much as Wilson's dishonesty.

Frank Warner

If Valerie Plame Wilson has been through hell, it's because her publicity-seeking husband put her through it.

Valerie Plame's pals at the CIA might have said she didn't recommend her husband, but check out the bipartisan report of the Senate Intelligence Committee. She recommended him.

Not revealing her recommendation would have cast Joseph Wilson's findings in the wrong light. When he went public, he put her in the spotlight, too.

George

Before Novak, The Joe Wilson Speech that Made Clear His Agenda:
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2005/10/before-novak-joe-wilson-speech-that.html

Frank Warner

Wilson still insists his wife didn't recommend him for the Niger trip, and says she did little more than give the CIA his resume.

If the CIA wanted him for the job, they shouldn't have needed her input. They should have kept her out of it.

turnerBroadcasting

This deserves to be looked into.

Nicholas

I'm sick of this whole thing. Can we move on to the next shocking revelation which allows status-quo-heaters to complain ad nauseum about government lies etc. so that I don't have to keep hearing about Wilson? Is the secret CIA prison thing sufficient or do we have to wait for some other "revelation" before we can forget all about this?

Sarcastically yours.

turerBroadcasting

No, this is bogus. The blackout refers to the Deal having never been consummated.

The Bush administration in fact rolled their policy decision that Niger yellowcake was off the table into their blanket policy decision about al qaeda. In August 2001 , after the PDB was released that stated "Bin Laden Determined to Attack the United States" was delivered to the president and summarily ignored, look how it fits into their existing policy decisions about Al Qaeda (and note well, that Al Qaeda and Iraq are two separate things).


"...it took the issue of al Qaeda as part of a cluster of policy issues, including nuclear proliferation in South Asia, democratization in Pakistan, how to treat the problems, the various problems, including narcotics and other problems in Afghanistan, and, launched on a series of deputies meetings extending over several months to address al Qaeda in the context of all of those interrelated issues. That process probably ended, I think, in July of 2001, so we were readying for a principals meeting in July, but the principals' calendar was full, and then they went on vacation, many of them, in August, so we couldn't meet in August, and therefore the principals met in September."


Note in the above statement, the policy focusses in some sense on keeping Al Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalists from getting nukes, but there's no mention of Iraq.


It was, in fact, at that point that counterterrorism money was cut 12% from the FBI budget by the Bush administration under John Ashcroft in that same month.

The essential reading of the policy here is that a) The fact that no WMD existed in Iraq is taken as a given, b) Niger never closed any deals with Iraq.

Also, according to the Downing Street Memo, British Intelligence noted that "facts were being fixed" in the use of their product.

It may never be known how a forged document was delivered to the White House that showed a contract of purchase for Yellowcake uranium, however, Wilson was sent to verify that this was in fact the case. Wilson returns, and reports that no sale ever took place. Nobody got anything.

But in the context of what is going on, the fact that Scooter Libby delivered doctored fotos to Colin Powell for his speech to the UN to rationalize action that Saddam had somehow breached his requirement to keep away from nukes - including the laughable pictures of those trailer trucks that were being passed off as "mobile chemical weapons labs" which were in fact, british manufacture.. by the way..

So here's what I'm coming up with, out of all of this. First, its a good point to have thought this out and posted it. We have to question everything.

But where all of this falls apart imho is how the author of this post first lifts off the time of the agreement. In 1999 the year before, the deal was already dead. The administration first starts off in 2001 with a blanket policy that not only blows off Iraq having any yellowcake, but also, incidentally, Al Qaeda as well.

But then a contract shows up, and is widely regarded as a fake - except that Wilson is dispatched to determine if in fact a deal went through.

Wilson reports that there was no deal somewhere before the speech, and so the Speech seems to first sort of soft step , to the UN , that the American CIA would report that anything was going on.

Lets stop to think about that for a moment. Why would we be using intelligence product from some other country "British intel reports.." etc. ? In the case for us to basically hammer this dusty country with barely any real army - and oh by the way happens to have a lot of texas sized oil wells...


The key in where this falls apart is in the blackouts.


This is not new for this administration.

For example, the person who was - and I quote - "to have full authority over the disbursement of Bin Laden funds in the United States" , was also the guy who Bush was suspended alongside of, in the Air National Guard. James R. Bath. of 2330 bellefontaine lane, houston texas.. (then address).

The administration is acting in a policy that helps Al Qaeda, in my view, when it attacks anyone trying to hunt down Al Qaeda.

That is where this settles out for me. James Bath had his name blacked out of the White House Press release of that set of Bush's records from his early days - they blacked it out so that no-one could see this administration is really on the side of Al Qaeda.

Now that Al Qaeda has exploded in popularity and growth in Iraq, maybe the real story isn't about
Wilson anymore - after all, a Grand Jury pretty much took care of that thing - but how we let 100 top secret documents go over to the Al Qaeda stronghold of the phillipines (the same place where the hijackers staged before they came to "Amriki") - out of Dick Cheney's office -

And how Karl Rove, who had all of these ties to guys like James R. Bath in Texas, and all the oil Companies who carved up the persian gulf in 2000 winter, with a map he was circulating to the Pioneers and Rangers -


How Rove was "Senior Administration A" - because whatever happened to Wilson, the one thing that keeps coming up over and over again to short out this story here is that no-one, even 'scooter' libby told anyone that Iraq had WMD -

There was this whole thing going on at the time before the war, this "pre-emptive" self defense.

It wasn't about 3 long years it was about a deal that was supposed to go down, right then. It was all about this smoking gun .. there was no smoking gun.

There are, however, a circle of traitors around Bush and if we can get rid of people like Karl Rove,
we will win against Al Qaeda.

Wasn't it Karl Rove who orchestrated that whole thing with the Taliban Visiting George W. Bush as Governor of Texas?
Even while they were hiding Bin Laden?

Frank Warner

Keep in mind how the world wondered in November 2002 whether Saddam Hussein had given the United States the "smoking gun," another "material breach" of U.N. resolutions in his failure to submit a complete accounting of how he had disposed of his weapons of mass destruction.

The point is, it was Saddam’s obligation to prove he had no WMDs, not the world’s obligation to prove he had them. By nature of his especially irresponsible, secretive and deadly government, Saddam had the burden.

At that time, November 2002, the case for regime change in Iraq was based more evenly on a wide range of objectives: the end of Saddam’s repression, the establishment of an Arab democracy, ending Saddam’s support for terrorists, punishing Saddam’s failure to return 600 Kuwaiti POWs and responding to Saddam’s refusal to cooperate with U.N. arms inspectors.

It was good to have many good reasons to go to battle in Iraq. A president who orders the invasion of another nation for only one reason probably hasn’t given the decision enough thought.

But the four-month delay that followed – six months, really, if you start from Sept. 12, 2002, when President Bush made his case for action against Saddam at the U.N. – focused far too much attention whether we could prove Saddam had WMDs. That was Saddam’s job, not ours.

Saddam’s regular massacres, and his willingness to starve his own people of food and freedom were justification enough to eliminate his regime. His executions of about 200,000 Shiite Iraqis in 1991 added another moral imperative. Those Iraqis rose up for something; it was a liberation they and their fellow Iraqis always deserved.

Saddam’s continual flouting of his cease-fire obligations and other U.N. resolutions was only further proof of his tyrannical depravity. He wasn’t supposed to be hiding a nuclear arms program in 1993. He wasn’t supposed to be stealing from the U.N. Oil-for-Food program from 1996 to 2003. He wasn’t supposed be shopping for Nigerien uranium in 1999.

He wasn’t supposed to be cutting out the tongues of Iraqis who happened to offend him.

In 2002 and 2003, we didn’t know whether Saddam had WMDs. We weren’t particularly afraid of his WMDs, but we were no longer willing to wait for him to prove he had none. As Bush said in his Jan. 28, 2003, State of the Union address, two months before the invasion:

"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option."

We think we know now that Saddam didn’t have WMDs in 2002 and 2003. We’re 99 percent sure. But we wouldn’t be 10 percent sure if the U.S.-led coalition hadn’t taken over Iraq by force and given it a good close shakedown. Saddam’s regime just couldn’t be trusted.

Saddam had violated one provision after another of the 1991 cease-fire agreement, which is enshrined in at least a dozen U.N. resolutions. Each one of his violations amounted to a declaration of war on the United States and the world.

Some have pretended the invasion was a case of "Blood for Oil." That lie has been disproven 1,000 times. Saddam was only too desperate to sell us his oil. We aren’t stealing it now, and we never will. If we’d wanted to grab a nation for its oil, it would have been infinitely easier to take Venezuela.

The conspiracy theory about the oil companies and U.S. allies secretly dividing up Iraq’s oil fields before the invasion is part of the lie, which seemed to gather steam with the CBS "60 Minutes" Jan. 14, 2004, broadcast of an innocuous March 5, 2001, Iraq map prepared by the U.S. Commerce Department.

Even Ron Suskind, who dredged up that map for a book, has admitted the map was misrepresented on "60 Minutes." It wasn’t a map showing how the allies would divvy up the oil fields. It was a map showing how Saddam himself divvied up the oil fields among friendly nations. (Thirty foreign nations are on the map. The U.S. is not one of them. Some American "Blood-for-Oil" plan.)

So, TurerBroadcasting, I think we disagree.

jj mollo

Hey turerB,

You are just a boiling vat of theory and information. I'm not quite sure what you're saying though. Could you summarize your assertions into terse sound-bitable sentences. You say that the administration has been deliberately helping Al Qaeda? You say that Karl Rove is a traitor? I'll agree that the White House is a menagerie of incompetents and paranoids, but I think you're going a little too far. How about some links. What exactly are you saying?

jj mollo

Here is an article that I thought was interesting in a horrible way. It's a Leftist crowing about the Libby indictment. Now I don't know or care much about the case, but I recognize that some people think the importance of the war resides in the reasons it began. This guy, Justin Raimondo, is clearly very intelligent, but rather than demonstrate facts and analyze their impact, he unleashes a stampede of low rhetorical devices, slurs, sound bites and innuendo -- displaying righteous anger in abundance. There seem to be a mix of conservative and liberal viewpoints on this site, but I can't discern anything in the specific article which is useful. Yet it sounds like it ought to have something of substance in there somewhere. Why is that?

Maybe someone could parse it for me.

Kevin

I will parse it for you! Angry democrat attempts to spin. Fails. Very good at slurring people though. This is so clearly a non-issue and Woodworth only makes it clearer.

The sad thing is, someone is going to spend time in jail for this. The moral of the story is, when questioned by the FBI, shut your mouth and keep it shut. No one questioned by them gets away with anything less than perjury. It's seems that it is hard to not perjure yourself, even when being honest. And if you are being DISHONEST, God help you.

jj mollo

I don't know that it fails. I think a lot of people are impressed with this kind of thing. I was just frustrated. It reminds me of a popular song that slurs the words. It sounds great, but you can't quite crack the code.

Frank Warner

This Justin Raimondo apparently believes someone intentionally and criminally revealed Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative in order to retaliate against her "whistleblower" husband Joseph Wilson.

Raimondo apparently agrees with prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that damage was done.

Obviously, there is a major disagreement here. The facts don't seem to indicate that Wilson blew the whistle on anything. He himself says he didn't debunk President Bush's statement that Saddam sought uranium from Africa. And, of course, Wilson in 2002 failed to blow the whistle loudly when he found out that, in 1999, an Iraq delegation obviously sought to buy uranium from Niger.

The Bush administration had the right and obligation to explain how the hell Wilson won a CIA plane ticket to Niger in 2002. It wasn't because Wilson was Mr. Reliable on collecting information. It was because he was married to a CIA employee, Plame, who just happened to recommend him.

As far as any damage done to Wilson or Plame, it's hard to detect. That Wilson and Plame posed for Vanity Fair cover photo suggests strongly the couple only gained from Plame's new celebrity.

Kevin

I think the reason some people are impressed by this type of article is because they are angry too. I have trouble reading articles like this. Here's an example of why:

Speaking of shills, the really fun part of all this – aside from anticipating more indictments for Christmas – is the spectacle of the loudest, most obnoxious laptop bombardiers flailing about in defense of the war, just as the entire process by which the country was lied into Iraq is coming under intense public scrutiny.

He could of simply typed "Christopher Hitchens", the man who the diatribe refers to. Instead, he chose to berate a person he disagrees with.

If you remove all the name-calling and hatefulness, here is what's left (his opinions, not mine):

-Woodward did not the Libby case.
-Rove may not be off the hook.
-He has some conspiracy theories.
-Scooter Libby has a defense fund.
-Hitchens' last article is wrong, and Republicans are going to be demoralized or destroyed over it.
-He has an intense dislike of Christopher Hitchens.

Aside from the fact that most of his points are incorrect, I've just wasted 20 minutes of my life figuring out what those points are! This type of article is boilerplate for Kos, Atrios and DU, and is exactly why I can't go to those sites.

I agree some people get charged up about these articles, but I try not to associate with them. I don't want to be angry. I think they do.

Frank Warner

I think that sums it up.

Nicholas

The reason they hate Hitchens so much is because he's leftward leaning and not stupid, so he's split off from those who are riding off into the policial sunset. He's not ashamed to call them on it either.

There's nothing people hate more than one of their own showing them up.

I don't agree with 100% of what Hitchens says but he has a brain and he's not afraid to use it. The far left's positions rely on people's brains being switched off. I wrote about it here.

maria peralta collares


Onde posso falar com o sr. Ibrahim Mayaki. Ele foi meu colega na universidade em Paris

George

Portugese to English translation: "Where I can speak with Mr. Ibrahim Mayaki? He was my colleague at a university in Paris."

English to street translation: "I'm looking for some yellowcake. Allah Akhbar!"

Frank Warner

I'd like to speak with him, too.

jj mollo

David Corn takes on Hitchens.

Christopher Hitchens reduces Corn to ashes.

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