Saturday, June 4

AfterDowningStreet on C-Span

Posted on Sat Jun 4th, 2005 at 09:17:22 AM EST at Dembloggers.com


WMV Link

The Downing Street Memo still hasn't gotten any play in the mainstream media but today's Washington Journal featured Steve Cobble, the co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org. Steve Cobble was joined by Kevin Aylward from Wizbang (right-wing blog).

New Deep Throats?

With the revelation that W. Mark Felt, former deputy FBI Director, was the Washington Post informant known as "Deep Throat", calls have gone out in Democratic Circles for a new Deep Throat for the Bush era. Yet, it seems to me - we've already have five of them:

o Richard Clarke - Former NSA Counterrorism Chief ("The Lights are blinking Red", "Bush wanted to get Saddam from day one")

o Joe Wilson - Former Ambassador ("The Yellow-Cake documents were forged")

o Paul O'Neill - Former Bush Teasury Secratary ("Bush is like a blind man in a room full of deaf people")

The three above are fairly well-known, but the next two are not - although they should be:

o Michael Scheuer - Former Head of the CIA Bin Ladin Desk ("While al Qaeda-led, anti-U.S. hatred grows among Muslims, U.S. leaders boast of being able to create democracy anywhere they choose, ignoring history and, as Stanley Kurtz reminded them in Policy Review, failing to regard Hobbes's warning that nothing is more disruptive to peace within a state of nature than vainglory...")

and...

o Lt. Col Karen Kwaitkowski - Former Aide to the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans ("the pressure of the intelligence community to conform, the rejection of it when it failed to produce intelligence suitable for supporting the “Iraq is an imminent threat to the United States” agenda, and the amazing things I was hearing in both Bush and Cheney speeches told me that not only do neoconservatives hold a theory based on ideas not embraced by the American mainstream, but they also have a collective contempt for fact.")

According to Journalist Sy Hersh (who was on of reporters who broke the original Mai Lai story from Vietnam), the Bush administration has been in the act of implement a massive "purge" of any dissenters from ranking levels of the government for severals years, long before the host of resignations that immediately followed the placing of Porter Goss as the new DCI (Director of Central Intelilgence). If there are any potential Whistle-Blowers or Deep Throats left -- most likely they're already talking to Sy. ("I've been doing an alternate history of the war, from inside, because people, right after 9/11, because people inside — and there are a lot of good people inside — are scared, as scared as anybody watching this tonight I think should be")

Vyan

Downing Street Perspective - PNAC 101

Originally Posted on Democratic Underground:

George W. Bush constantly reminds the nation about the threat of terrorism that began with 911 but he leaves out a few important details that you should know.........

In June 1997, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) was born. Populated by influential Movers of industry and Shakers of public opinion, the PNAC is an organization united in the vision for a global U.S. empire - "Pax Americana" - through coercion and military domination. Their philosophy can be simply summarized:


  • There are countries to plunder and fortunes to be made. You have it, we want it. Do as we say or suffer the consequences.

  • The U.S. already has a powerful military but we plan to nurture and grow it until it's massive and we are indominable. Resistance is futile. We are.......


Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Steve Forbes, William J. Bennett, Frank Gaffney, and I. Lewis ("Scooter") Libby, signator's - among others - of the PNAC's "Statement of Principles".

"We need to...challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values."

"We need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future."

"It is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge."
http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples...


JANUARY 1998 - The PNAC knew that he who owns the oil also owns the world so they sent a letter to President Clinton urging him to attack Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power since he put "a significant portion of the world's supply of oil at hazard". Clinton didn't grant them their wish and the PNAC was disheartened that they couldn't manipulate the military while outside of the White House power structure.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm


MARCH - APRIL 1999 - In an effort to capture and control the castle and all its warriors and weapons, the PNAC offered up members Steve Forbes, Dan Quayle and Gary Bauer to run as Republican candidates in the upcoming Presidential election.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/election/profile.htm


JUNE 1999 - Ever persistent and determined to maximize their potential for success in the Presidential campaign, the PNAC exercised their power of nepotism and member-Jeb Bush's brother George stepped up to the plate to join the race.


SPRING 2000 - The PNAC may have felt confident with their candidate's chances for winning the White House but they were absolutely smug over what they saw as a possible Fallback Plan...electronic voting machines with severe security flaws that included hidden backdoors, erasable audit trails and multiple vote totals with the potential to propel vote tampering to new heights through the magic of remote access.

How To Rig An Election In The United States
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0307/S00065.htm

Can the votes be changed?
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/access-diebold.htm

Bettter yet, Chuck Hagel - a fellow Republican loyalist - owned the ES&S voting machine company that counted 60% of all U.S. votes. He had already won one election and was part of the U.S. Senate power team in Washington.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0301/S00166.htm

Assured that the White House would soon be theirs, the PNAC debuted their 76-page blueprint to achieve world domination. "Rebuilding America's Defenses" became the PNAC's manifesto, detailing the ideal level of military power to specifically eliminate the hostile regimes of Iraq, Iran, Syria and North Korea and it endorsed pre-emptive strikes against them, tradition be damned. Iraq was given star billing as Control Central for their Mideast base of operations.

At present the United States faces no global rival. America’s grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible."

"American landpower is the essential link in the chain that translates U.S. military supremacy into American geopolitical preeminence.

"We cannot allow North Korea, Iran, Iraq or similar states to undermine American leadership."

"While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

What is particularly foreboding and chilling in view of events to later unfold, is this statement bemoaning the lengthy process of rebuilding the existing U.S. military according to the heightened standards and specifications the PNAC aspired to.

...the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor."
http://cryptome.org/rad.htm


NOVEMBER 2000 - Saddam may have sensed an ill wind in the air when he made the first strike, turned his back on the U.S. Dollar and accepted only Euros as payment for his oil. This had the potential of seriously destabilizing the U.S. economy and the PNAC considered this an hostile act of aggression towards their personal and business interests. The heat was on for them to make their first move.

http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/2000/11/0111200016084...


DECEMBER 2000 - In a highly contentious Presidential vote battle on the home turf of PNAC-Jeb Bush, the Supreme Court decided that George Bush was the new President.

Bush now had the green light to seamlessly merge members of the PNAC into his Administration with no one the wiser. PNAC members elevated to the Bush hierarchy include, among others:

  • Donald Rumsfeld - Secretary of Defense

  • Paul Wolfowitz - Deputy Secretary of Defense

  • Elliott Abrams - Member of the National Security Council

  • John Bolton - Undersecretary for Arms Control and InternationalSecurity

  • Richard Perle - Chairman of the advisory Defense Policy Board

  • Richard Armitage - Deputy Secretary of State

  • John Bolton - Undersecretary of State for Disarmament

  • Zalmay Khalilzad - White House liaison to the Iraqi opposition


An Honorable Mention was awarded to Condoleezza Rice - National Security Advisor - who is a former oil-company consultant having been on the board of directors of Chevron as its main expert on Kazakhstan.

The PNAC agenda had now passed "Go". The most powerful military machine in the world stood at their ready and Saddam was in the crosshair.

Wasting no time, Cheney secretly assembled an advisory panel of oil and gas executives from Enron, Dynergy, Shell Oil, Chevron/Texaco and British Petroleum under the direction of James Baker (former Secretary of State under George Bush Sr.) to help shape our national energy policy and justify the PNAC's anticipated war with Iraq.

Contributing substantially to the task force discussions and recommendations was a shadowy group of unidentified observers who still remain unknown. Sheikh Saud Al Nasser Al Sabah, the former Kuwaiti oil minister, also made a contribution to the group's final report which was funded through Khalid Al-Turki (a Saudi Arabian oil and gas enterprise) and the Arthur Ross Foundation (a non-profit organization that - on the surface - appears to be a supporter of the Arts.)

http://www.yuricareport.com/PoliticalAnalysis/FraudinWh...

MARCH 2001 - Cheney closely guarded the details surrounding his energy task force but documents released through the Freedom of Information Act reveal a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.”

http://www.judicialwatch.org/071703.c_.shtml

As one internet poster pointed out:

"The Iraq map is not a map, it's a plan

"There are several areas marked 'earmarked for production sharing' (look at the map
legend), which means privatized oil fields. Iraq did not have privatized oil fields and
production sharing agreements before the US took it over.

"There are also parcels marked on the Iraq oil field and exploration map (numbered
'Block 1' through '9'). Iraq did not have an active, privatized oil exploration program
going on before it was conquered by the US.

"If you read the footnotes and entire contents of the other documents, there is a heavy
emphasis on business concerns, such as contracts and vendors over items one might
think would be more important in a government discussion, such as capacity, long term
reserves, etc...

"One footnote (in UAEOilProj.pdf) even contains investment advice for the participants
at the meeting, suggesting opportunities in downstream projects, such as power
desalination and pipeline projects.

"These are not 'just maps'. Read them."

It can be argued that the spoils of war were being doled out two years before Iraq once again became a household word. Perhaps this explains why Cheney worked so hard and so long to keep this information suppressed until Iraq was under U.S. military control...by then it would be too late for the public to object to the invasion.

Iraq, circa March 2001, painted a completely different picture than the Evil Empire the Bush Administrations tried to portray in their determined rush to war.

"Iraq was one of the more progressive Islamic countries in the region. It provided full
rights for women and public education for its citizens who enjoyed a decent standard
of living."

"Despite the years of bombings and the even greater toll on human life taken by the
sanctions, visitors to Baghdad don't see a city in ruins. Much of the wreckage has
been cleared away, much has been repaired.

"In our hotel, there's running water throughout the day, hot water in the morning.
Various streets in Baghdad are lined with little stores, surprisingly well-stocked with
household appliances, hardware goods, furniture, and clothes (much of which has a
second-hand look).

"We see no derelicts or homeless people on the streets, no prostitutes or ragged
bands of abandoned children, though there are occasional youngsters eager to
shine shoes or solicit spare change. But even they seem to be well-fed and decently
clothed. ......large swaths of the city used to be shrouded in complete darkness;
today, there are lights just about everywhere

"People used to feel hopelessly isolated and now there seems to be more hope and
better morale

Sadly though, "more and more children are turning up with leukemia" (a result of
the tons of depleted uranium the U.S. military used and left behind after Gulf War I.)

"The Iraqi leadership could turn US policy completely around by uttering just two
magic words: "free market." All they have to do is invite the International Monetary
Fund and World Bank into Iraq, eliminate free education and free medical care,
abolish the minimal food ration that goes to every Iraqi, abolish the housing
transportation subsidies, and hand over the country's oil industry to the corporate
cartels. To lift the sanctions, Iraq must surrender to the tender mercies of the
free-market paradise....

"Until then, Iraq will continue to be designated a "rogue nation" by those policy
makers in Washington who themselves are the meanest profit-driven, power-mongering
rogues on earth."
http://www.towardfreedom.com/2001/mar01/iraq.htm

The issue of trade sanctions against Iraq put the Bush Administration in a bind - the sanctions had been designed to punish Saddam for not conceding to U.S. demands but it ended up handicapping U.S. corporations and undermining the PNAC's drive for U.S. economic supremacy. The Bush Administration was on a tight four year schedule to oust Saddam and launch the PNAC's Grand Plan for World Domination but they still didn't have a viable script to sell to the public. Yet.

"It is important to shape circumstances...... ." - PNAC Statement of Principles

In May 2001 the U.S. State Department met with Iran, German and Italian officials to discuss Afghanistan. It was decided that the ruling Taliban would be toppled and a "broad-based government" would control the country so a gas pipeline could be built there.

http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/7969.pdf .
http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/features/fex20867.htm

Even as plans were being made to remove the Taliban rulers from power, Colin Powell announced a $43 million "gift" to Afghanistan.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-09170...
http://www.cato.org/dailys/08-02-02.html

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in the UAE received a call that Bin Laden supporters were in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives. It was rumored that Bin Laden was interested in hijacking U.S. aircraft.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/images/04/10/whitehouse.pdf

In June 2001 the decades-old procedure for a quick response by the nation’s air defense was changed. NORAD’s military commanders could no longer issue the command to launch fighter jets because approval had to be sought from the civilian Defense Secretary and PNAC-member, Donald Rumsfeld.

http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/hearing7/for_the...


In July 2001, the private plot formulated in May for toppling the Taliban was divulged during the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy. Immediately after the conference, American, Russian, German and Pakistani officials secretly met in Berlin to finalize the strategy for military strikes against the Taliban, scheduled to begin before mid-October 2001

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,55...
http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/features/fex20867.htm


In September 2001 the "catastrophic and catalyzing" modern-day Pearl Harbor envisioned years earlier by the PNAC came to pass when the WTC and Pentagon were attacked as Rumsfeld sat passive and unresponsive. The finger of blame was pointed at Osama bin Laden, a former CIA operative with ties to Afghanistan. Suddenly, the U.S. "gift" of $43 million to the Taliban in May was cast in a new light. Coincidentally, Pakistan had participated in the plan to attack Afghanistan and the chief of Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) agency was later linked to a 911 hijacker after wiring him $100,00 just days before the WTC fell. Pakistan's ISI also had a long-standing working relationship with the CIA.

http://cryptome.org/rad.htm
http://www.observer.com/pages/story.asp?ID=8830
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO109C.html
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1266317,...

The PNAC had scored a home run with the bases loaded with the 911 event: shock, horror and fear gripped the nation, the war on "terrorism" had been established in no uncertain terms, attacking Afghanistan with public approval was a foregone conclusion and the stage was set for building a public case against Saddam.

Not one to let a good attack go to waste, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld sprung into action.

  • He told his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq, even though Saddam wasn't linked to the attacks.

  • PNAC-James Woolsey, former CIA director, was dispatched to London to look for and 'firm up' evidence of Iraqi involvement in the 911 attacks.

  • PNAC-member and Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was authorized to create the Office of Special Plans.


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/09/04/september11/m...


"It is important to shape circumstances..........."- PNAC Statement of Principles

The Office of Special Plans (OSP) was a secret group of analysts and policy advisors with no status in the intelligence community. Nevertheless they reported directly to the White House and National Security office with cherry-picked intelligence from questionable sources to support the case for invading Iraq. The OSP circumvented formal, well-established oversight procedures, ignored intelligence that didn't further their agenda, expanded the intelligence on weapons beyond what was justified and over-emphasized the national security risk. They became more influential than the C.I.A. or the Defense Intelligence Agency who didn't even know the ultra-secret OSP existed for at least a year.

Because they were based in the Pentagon, it was assumed that the OSP was an intelligence-gathering agency that was second-guessing the C.I.A. but in actuality it was the White House Military Marketing Machine charged with the task of writing the PNAC's "Get Saddam" sales pitch for the public. Shading and bending reality to suit their own purpose, it wasn't important for the OSP's stories about Saddam to be factual, only that the average American believed them to be - in true Hollywood fashion.

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030512fa_fact

While the nation was stripped to the emotional bone and painfully vulnerable, the White House capitalized on the opportunity to reshape public perceptions and responses to conform with the PNAC's new American agenda. Rather than buoy the "can do" American spirit with optimism and hope for the future as Presidents before him had done in times of crisis, Bush spoke with an alarmist and pessimistic tone that served to perpetuate the high anxiety, excitability and fear in the populace.

To hear him speak, the world was a dark, evil and dangerous place....terrorism was here to stay....it would be a long struggle....America was helpless without the military might of the Government to keep the nation safe. The intent was to create a psychologically broken, weary and docile populace that would be easier to lead into war.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/130534_focusecond...

Fear became the Administration's strategic tactic for reprogramming the public into accepting the PNAC's militaristic designs. Still shell-shocked and exhausted from the enormity of the WTC and Pentagon tragedies, the public's panic shifted into frenzied over-drive when anthrax-laced envelopes arrived in government and media offices, killing five people. A perpetrator was never identified but the investigation eventually centered around the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, one of the nation's main anthrax research centers.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,126244,00.html

Using classic "operant learning" techniques from the realm of consumer psychology, the public was purposely kept on High Alert and continually "shaped" with ominous sound bites on the nightly news and "Level Orange Terror Alerts" at regularly scheduled but discrete intervals.

http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/#Perception


In October 2001, with flags waving, crowds cheering, and anthems playing, the "War On Terror" and the hunt for Osama began when Afghanistan was attacked right on schedule of July's secret meeting

Immediately afterwards the PNAC and White House collaboration of "GET SADDAM" played relentlessly on televisions and in newspapers across the nation and the World as the "War on Terror" waged on and the litany of lies began.


The only terrorists we have to fear are those that occupy the White House.




Pass it on

This has been a presentation of The Whispering Campaign - an opportunity to become ACTIVELY involved in educating the American public without drawing attention to yourself. This is a game of Political "Gossip" where the story of our Government's deception and betrayal gets passed from one villager to another. Anyone can play. The rules are simple: make ten copies of this timeline and leave it in a public place where someone else will find it and read it. Ideal locations for maximum exposure include book stores, copy shops, libraries and train stations. Buses, taxis, laundromats, and check-out lines at the grocery store. Hair salons, rest rooms, gas stations and convenience stores. Anywhere you happen to be will work just fine. The American public deserves to know the TRUTH!

On-line version of this document with clickable links:
http://demopedia.democraticunderground.com/index.php/PN...

PNAC_101 - Rise of the Neocons - Designed with "Dropaganda" in mind!

Friday, June 3

Taking Back Congress in 06

Posted on Democratic Underground : What are our winning issues in 2006 again?
I know that Democrats can triumph merely by their winsome smiles and sparkling personalities, but what big-issue items can we prevail with in the midterms?

Iraq: There's no united front here, unless you consider overwhelmingly authorizing billions upon billions of dollars to fund the war without demanding one shred of accountability of the administration, from how the funding is spent to what his exact future plans are for our operations there, to be a united front. Yes, some House Democrats tried to get that accountability, but Democrats also voted in large numbers against the measure. Most leading Democrats subscribe to the Pottery Barn theory - so this issue is a big scratch, unfortunately.

Environmental Issues: Yes, we squeak about these on occasion, but when push comes to shove, it was the Democrats in the Senate who finally allowed our overlords to begin drilling in ANWR. This might have been a win, and an important one, but it was pissed away and dead as a campaign issue forever.

Populism: This might have been promising, given the falling living standards of the middle class. Yet, in this session, the Democrats have openly shared the credit for passing some of the most vicious anti-consumer, pro-business legislation in my lifetime - tort reform and the bankruptcy bill. We can no longer use the message of how big business has become very relevant in our daily lives, like it or not, over the last four and a half years - because our hands are just as dirty. Hell, we're proud of our participation.

The Judiciary: Another potentially fertile issue that's been pissed into the wind. Whatever you think of the compromise, the fact remains that three of the most poisonous nominees for lifetime appointments have been handed over, carte blanche, after excellent cases had been made NOT to confirm these nominees. We can hardly use the issue of ensuring moderation on the federal bench when Owen and Brown were given a free pass. If the Republicans had gone nuclear, this again would have been a short-term disadvantage for long-term gain. Gone.

Economic Policy: Granted, Democrats have been shut out of most economic policy, but one area where we could have had an impact was the endless stream of treasury funds being poured down the Iraq rathole as noted above. We passed this funding - money we don't have - without a whimper, or at least making a public issue over the missing funds that have already melted away into the desert because we're afraid of not being 'supportive of the troops', even when the majority of Americans question this entire misadventure and politically it's not nearly as unsafe as it was even two years ago to start taking a stand. Nope, too afraid, so the huge blank checks to Bush will continue to sap our economy for the rest of our lifetimes. We also are unwilling to be truthful to the American people about the danger of foreign investment floating our debt - can't rock the boat.

So, it's back to:

Our winsome smiles and sparkling personalities: We aren't Republicans and we dislike Bush. We know how far this got us in 2004.

And the final kicker:

Social Security The only issue we have left, diluted somewhat since we helped Bush pass his fiscally irresponsible (ref: Economic Policy) and pro-business (ref: populism) Medicare drug bill. All it's going to take is another Gang of 14, or 10, or 6, to piss this advantage away, also. And it's a potent one - again, the public is on our side overwhelmingly, and it's always been a Democratic strength. If we compromise this, we're finished.

Did I miss anything? I suppose I could discuss how we're becoming a big-tent on reproductive rights now, but I'm too depressed at the moment.



My response: Only one issue needed : Tom Delay - Tom Delay and Tom Delay!

All but five members of the Republican Congressional Caucus have not received money from Delay's ARMPAC, or given to his criminal defense fund. The first and foremost issue needs to be Ethics in Government.

Everything else is irrelevant if you can't trust the people you're electing.

But to be fair, we also need to have a specific strategy to counter their secondary attacks.

Dems need to stop being afraid of the abortion issue and start hammering home the fact that more women are alive and healthy today than would have been if Roe v. Wade hadn't been passed, yet the number of abortions has infact stayed nearly the same since 1973 and today (1.2 Million to 1.3 Million). Don't the lives of future Mother's Count?

We need to address the values issues - and point out that Democrats not only value life, they value a life of quality. They value jobs, they value health-care and child-care for working families. They value commitment and privacy between consenting adults.

Dems value Freedom - Freedom to keep your personal business, personal - rather than part of a corporate or governmental database.

Dems value our Troops - by protecting veterans benefits, and bankrupcy protection when members of the national guard can't afford to pay their bills because they've been stopped-lossed on extended leave from their jobs and families.

We can argue what we're for - by pointing out what we're against, and what the Repubs have failed to do while they've been in power:

Dem are against:

.. Rampant Lobbyist Influence

.. Rampant Corporate Corruption ala Enron, Tyco, Adelphia, Worldcom.

.. Unlimited Defecits

.. Unprovoked War

.. Unsecured Borders and Ports

.. Rampant environmental exploitation

Dems are for:

.. Protecting Personal Privacy

.. Protecting Pension Funds and Social Security

.. Lowering Energy Cost and fostering alternative and hybrid sources

.. Global Cooperation in a Global "War on Terror".

.. Protecting personal liberty

.. Improving the Quality of every American's Life, not just the fact that they are alive.

The big area that Dems lose on is Taxes. Right now, we can't beat the "It's Your Money - you know better what to do with it" argument. So we need a new approach to taxation and government expenditures, I support the idea of letting enough of the Bush tax cuts naturally sunset to cover the deficit - but instead of taking the remainder and simply raising taxes, we should offer an alternative of tax credits and deductions which specifically offset mandatory government spending requirements.

For example if a company gives an American a job, instead of shipping a job overseas, that saves the government money it would spend on unemployment benefits and Medicare - so the company should *keep* that portion of it's current tax cut and have it rolled over into a tax credit or deduction. The tax effect on the company, minus the deficit gap, is essentially the same (assuming they don't continue shipping jobs overseas), but the net result for the government is less spending on support services for out of work people without reducing service quality, (John Kerry proposed a tax-credit of this type during his Presidential Campaign)

During the Clinton Presidency, he proposed a environmental tax credit that would lower taxes for companies that implemented enviromentally friendly processes - this tax cut was blocked by Newt Gingrich. So it appears that there IS a tax cut that Republicans don't like after all.

We need to hammer them with this stuff, and take back the high-ground on taxation and deficit spending. A Democratic President with a Democratic Congress (in 1993) was the only combination that hasn't wasted taxpayer money by the billions and heaped mountains of debt on our children.

Yes, It's Americans' money - and when Americans spend it in a way that HELPS America, and makes government spending unnecessary, we'll make sure they get to keep as much of it as possible - now, and in the future.

But the main issue is Delay and Abramoff. We take them down, and we take back the Congress in 06.

Vyan

Recruitment Games

This story first appeared some weeks ago and I didn't post anything at the time, but with the latest data that military recruitment goals are down over 40% in recent months - it seems worth highlighting.


David McSwane
Army Recruiters Face Investigation

(CBS) In an attempt to boost slumping recruitment numbers, the U.S. Army has started offering stronger incentives, including increased enlistment bonuses.

But two recruiters from Colorado have been suspended as the Army investigates accusations that they encouraged a teenager to lie and cheat so he could join up.

Reporter Rick Sallinger of Denver TV station KCNC reports that 17-year-old high school journalist and honor student David McSwane is just the kind of guy the military would like.

But McSwane tells Sallinger, "I wanted to see how far the Army would go during a war to get one more solider."

So, says Sallinger, McSwane contacted his local Army recruiting office, in Golden, with a scenario he created.

For one thing, he told his recruiter, he was a dropout and didn't have a high school diploma.

No problem, McSwane says the recruiter explained. He suggested that McSwane create a fake diploma from a nonexistent school.

McSwane recorded the recruiter saying on the phone: "It can be like Faith Hill Baptist School. Whatever you choose."

So, as instructed, McSwane went to a Web site and, for $200, arranged to have a phony diploma created. It certified McSwane as a graduate of Faith Hill Baptist High School, the very name the recruiter had suggested, and came complete with a fake grade transcript.

What was McSwane's reaction to them encouraging him to get a phony diploma? "I was shocked. I'm sitting there looking at a poster that says, 'Integrity, honor, respect,' and he is telling me to lie."

And, says Sallinger, there was more.

The Army doesn't accept enlistees with a drug problem, but that's what McSwane pretended to have when he spoke with the recruiter.

"I have a problem with drugs. I can't kick the habit. Just marijuana," McSwane recalls telling the recruiter. "And he says, 'Not a problem. Just take this detox." He said he would pay for half of it, and told me where to go (to get it)."

Drug testers Sallinger contacted insist it doesn't work, but the recruiter claimed in another recorded phone conversation that taking the detoxification capsules and liquid would help McSwane pass the required test.

"The two times that I had the guys use it," the recruiter says on the tape, "it's worked both times. We didn't have to worry about anything."

More...

Vyan

Thursday, June 2

Amnesty's William Schultz on Hardball

Chris Matthews interview Amnesty International President William Schultz on Hardball last night was a sad sight to see. He and his expected right-wing no name counter-spin guest (Frank Gaffney), treated Amnesty's recent report as if it were just a set of scurilous rumours, without any evidence to backup their doubting-Thomas claims what-so-ever.

Mr Schultz on the other hand presented multiple sources, the detainees who've been released (which logic indicates are NOT al-Qaeda, or else why are they being released?), as well as information for the FBI and Department of Defense which the ACLU has aquired via the Freedom of Information Act and posted for all to see, and are the key sources for their suit against Donald Rumsfeld and others -- yet, Matthews and his neo-conartist guest-du-jour sat there with a straight face and asked Schultz "Where are you getting your information"! How can it be that he didn't even bother to even skim the AI Report on the US before having Schultz on as a guest?

The amount of facts and documentation - not coming from "Former Al-Qaeda Fighters" but from respectable members of the FBI and Military is overwhelming - not simply a "rumor being blown out of proportion just to harm the United States".

Amnesty International Report on the U.S.

We can do far better than this - we must do better than this.

Full Transcript of Show.

Vyan

Wednesday, June 1

The Open Secret

A Public Secret

Jeremy Scahill Wed Jun 1, 6:29 PM ET


It was a huge air assault: Approximately 100 US and British planes flew from Kuwait into Iraqi airspace. At least seven types of aircraft were part of this massive operation, including US F-15 Strike Eagles and Royal Air Force Tornado ground-attack planes. They dropped precision-guided munitions on
Saddam Hussein's major western air-defense facility, clearing the path for Special Forces helicopters that lay in wait in Jordan. Earlier attacks had been carried out against Iraqi command and control centers, radar detection systems, Revolutionary Guard units, communication centers and mobile air-defense systems. The
Pentagon's goal was clear: Destroy
Iraq's ability to resist. This was war.


But there was a catch: The war hadn't started yet, at least not officially. This was September 2002--a month before Congress had voted to give
President Bush the authority he used to invade Iraq, two months before the
United Nations brought the matter to a vote and more than six months before "shock and awe" officially began.


At the time, the Bush Administration publicly played down the extent of the air strikes, claiming the United States was just defending the so-called no-fly zones. But new information that has come out in response to the Downing Street memo reveals that, by this time, the war was already a foregone conclusion and attacks were no less than the undeclared beginning of the invasion of Iraq.


The Sunday Times of London recently reported on new evidence showing that "The RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war." The paper cites newly released statistics from the British Defense Ministry showing that "the Allies dropped twice as many bombs on Iraq in the second half of 2002 as they did during the whole of 2001" and that "a full air offensive" was under way months before the invasion had officially begun.


The implications of this information for US lawmakers are profound. It was already well known in Washington and international diplomatic circles that the real aim of the US attacks in the no-fly zones was not to protect Shiites and Kurds. But the new disclosures prove that while Congress debated whether to grant Bush the authority to go to war, while Hans Blix had his UN weapons-inspection teams scrutinizing Iraq and while international diplomats scurried to broker an eleventh-hour peace deal, the Bush Administration was already in full combat mode--not just building the dossier of manipulated intelligence, as the Downing Street memo demonstrated, but acting on it by beginning the war itself. And according to the Sunday Times article, the Administration even hoped the attacks would push Saddam into a response that could be used to justify a war the Administration was struggling to sell.


On the eve of the official invasion, on March 8, 2003, Bush said in his national radio address: "We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if Saddam Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force." Bush said this after nearly a year of systematic, aggressive bombings of Iraq, during which Iraq was already being disarmed by force, in preparation for the invasion to come. By the Pentagon's own admission, it carried out seventy-eight individual, offensive airstrikes against Iraq in 2002 alone.


"It reminded me of a boxing match in which one of the boxers is told not to move while the other is allowed to punch and only stop when he is convinced that he has weakened his opponent to the point where he is defeated before the fight begins," says former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans Von Sponeck, a thirty-year career diplomat who was the top UN official in Iraq from 1998 to 2000. During both the Clinton and Bush administrations, Washington has consistently and falsely claimed these attacks were mandated by UN Resolution 688, passed after the
Gulf War, which called for an end to the Iraqi government's repression in the Kurdish north and the Shiite south. Von Sponeck dismissed this justification as a "total misnomer." In an interview with The Nation, Von Sponeck said that the new information "belatedly confirms" what he has long argued: "The no-fly zones had little to do with protecting ethnic and religious groups from Saddam Hussein's brutality" but were in fact an "illegal establishment...for bilateral interests of the US and the UK."


These attacks were barely covered in the press and Von Sponeck says that as far back as 1999, the United States and Britain pressured the UN not to call attention to them. During his time in Iraq, Von Sponeck began documenting each of the airstrikes, showing "regular attacks on civilian installations including food warehouses, residences, mosques, roads and people." These reports, he said, were "welcomed" by Secretary General
Kofi Annan, but "the US and UK governments strongly objected to this reporting." Von Sponeck says that he was pressured to end the practice, with a senior British diplomat telling him, "All you are doing is putting a UN stamp of approval on Iraqi propaganda." But Von Sponeck continued documenting the damage and visited many attack sites. In 1999 alone, he confirmed the death of 144 civilians and more than 400 wounded by the US/UK bombings.


After September 11, there was a major change in attitude within the Bush Administration toward the attacks. Gone was any pretext that they were about protecting Shiites and Kurds--this was a plan to systematically degrade Iraq's ability to defend itself from a foreign attack: bombing Iraq's air defenses, striking command facilities, destroying communication and radar infrastructure. As an Associated Press report noted in November 2002, "Those costly, hard-to-repair facilities are essential to Iraq's air defense."


Rear Admiral David Gove, former deputy director of global operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on November 20, 2002, that US and British pilots were "essentially flying combat missions." On October 3, 2002, the New York Times reported that US pilots were using southern Iraq for "practice runs, mock strikes and real attacks" against a variety of targets. But the full significance of this dramatic change in policy toward Iraq only became clear last month, with the release of the Downing Street memo. In it, British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon is reported to have said in 2002, after meeting with US officials, that "the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime," a reference to the stepped-up airstrikes. Now the Sunday Times of London has revealed that these spikes "had become a full air offensive"--in other words, a war.


Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers (news, bio, voting record) has called the latest revelations about these attacks "the smoking bullet in the smoking gun," irrefutable proof that President Bush misled Congress before the vote on Iraq. When Bush asked Congress to authorize the use of force in Iraq, he also said he would use it only as a last resort, after all other avenues had been exhausted. But the Downing Street memo reveals that the Administration had already decided to topple Saddam by force and was manipulating intelligence to justify the decision. That information puts the increase in unprovoked air attacks in the year prior to the war in an entirely new light: The Bush Administration was not only determined to wage war on Iraq, regardless of the evidence; it had already started that war months before it was put to a vote in Congress.


It only takes one member of Congress to begin an impeachment process, and Conyers is said to be considering the option. The process would certainly be revealing. Congress could subpoena Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Richard Myers, Gen.Tommy Franks and all of the military commanders and pilots involved with the no-fly zone bombings going back into the late 1990s. What were their orders, both given and received? In those answers might lie a case for impeachment.


But another question looms, particularly for Democrats who voted for the war and now say they were misled: Why weren't these unprovoked and unauthorized attacks investigated when they were happening, when it might have had a real impact on the Administration's drive to war? Perhaps that's why the growing grassroots campaign to use the Downing Street memo to impeach Bush can't get a hearing on Capitol Hill. A real probing of this "smoking gun" would not be uncomfortable only for Republicans. The truth is that Bush, like President
Bill Clinton before him, oversaw the longest sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam against a sovereign country with no international or US mandate. That gun is probably too hot for either party to touch.

Tuesday, May 31

Tenet thrown a Curveball?

Ex-CIA Chiefs Dispute Bush Intel Panel Claims

Friday, April 01, 2005


WASHINGTON — Two former CIA chiefs on Friday disputed claims cited by a presidential commission that agency officials warned them that the government's leading source on Iraq's biological weapons was making things up.

In a scathing report released Thursday, President Bush's intelligence commission found that the CIA "failed to convey to policy-makers new information casting serious doubt on the reliability of a human intelligence source known as 'Curveball."' The commission found that several agency officers said they had doubts about the source and raised those doubts with senior leadership, including then-CIA Director George Tenet (search).

In separate statements Friday, Tenet and former acting CIA Director John McLaughlin (search) denied the accounts.

"It is deeply troubling to me that there was information apparently available within CIA (search) as of late September or October of 2002 indicating that Curveball may have been a fabricator," Tenet said in a detailed seven-page rebuttal. "There is nothing more serious or galvanizing in the intelligence business than associating the word fabricator with a human source."

<>McLaughlin said "unequivocally" that he wouldn't have allowed Curveball's information to be used "if someone had made these doubts clear.

Despite the apparent concerns, the commission found that information from Curveball remained a centerpiece of former Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations about the need to attack Iraq, as well as in an authoritative intelligence estimate prepared for policy-makers in the run-up to the Iraq war.

Curveball was an Iraqi defector living in Europe who became a source for German intelligence officials, who then passed the information to Americans. He provided detailed accounts of Iraq's purported mobile weapons labs and other aspects of the fallen regime's biological weapons programs that turned out to be false.

The report said interviews with Curveball's childhood friends revealed he had a reputation as a "liar" and a "con artist," according to one CIA analyst.

"Worse than having no human sources is being seduced by a human source who is telling lies," the commission said.