Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Turkey and September 11

In response to a Wot Is It Good 4 question, I have nothing to add.  Frankly, I am still having trouble getting my mind around a Turkish connection to September 11.  Any reference to Turkey is conspicuous by its absence.  You could understand Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan, but Turkey comes completely out of left field.  There was a reference that one of Atta’s German-speaking pals in Florida returned to Turkey, and the neocon lie that Atta met with the Iraqi ambassador to Turkey in Prague.  Sibel Edmonds is the sole source for any Turkish connection, and it is difficult to imagine any official Turkish reason to attack the United States.

Turkey refused to assist the Americans in their attack on Iraq, and took a lot of heat for it, and you would have thought, if there was some kind of high-level plot, that Iraq would have been included in the deal (particularly as we now know that Iraq was on the neocon menu prior to 9–11).  There is also a slight possibility of Turkey being interested in the proposed pipeline through Afghanistan carrying gas from Turkmenistan (part of ‘Greater Turkey’), but that is a long way to go to find a motive.  The Karni-Giza Technologies story is intriguing, but seems to be much more of an Israeli smuggling story than a Turkish one (which is probably why it hardly was mentioned in the disgusting American media).  Similarly, the fact that high-level neocons lobbied for Turkish interests may only reflect the Turkey-Israel diplomatic connection, and the fact that Israeli-American-connected neocons were in a powerful position to lobby for anyone.

Of course, no one can rule out the fact that individuals working for Turkey may have had another agenda.  The Turkish ultra-nationalist fascist mafia controls much of the drug trade to Europe, and must have been hurting because the Taliban had restricted the flow of Afghan heroin.  The Turkish mafia would have had a motive to assist the neocons in creating the ‘Pearl Harbor’ that would lead to an attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan.  In fact, the heroin trade has been completely restored (and then some).  Could there have been some kind of neocon/Turkish mafia deal, coordinated through Turkish employees in the United States, whereby the Turkish mafia assisted in pulling off 9–11 in return for a promise of an attack against the Taliban?  Could be.  However, there is no evidence for it whatsoever except for vague allegations of possible FBI investigations made by one, uncorroborated, whistleblower. 

As usual, I need to find a good reason for people to take big risks, and I just don’t see it.  In the absence of any other evidence, and the possibility that Edmonds simply misunderstood what the FBI was investigating, I remain unconvinced of the Turkish angle. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Marc Rich, Xstrata and Falconbridge

Swiss-based mining company Xstrata is trying to buy Canadian mining company Falconbridge (see here, and earlier background here).  Xstrata is controlled by a company called Glencore, which was founded by a fellow named Marc Rich (Glencore used to be called Marc Rich & Co. AG).  Rich, of course, was the recipient of the last-second pardon granted by Bill Clinton, a pardon that Clinton now says he regrets.  Rich was pardoned despite the fact that he fled from American justice and never served any of his sentence.  We can now see the pardon as being an early pre-Bush example of the power of the Israel Lobby.  Rich has been accused of working for the Mossad.  Libby was Rich’s attorney for years (and made two million in fees from Rich), and testified at the House Committee hearings on the pardon.  The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya was founded with money from Marc Rich (Rich also funds Birthright Israel).  The LaRouche-ites claim that Laurent Murawiec received money from Rich (Murawiec’s July 10, 2002 power-point presentation – Iraq is the tactical pivot/Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot/Egypt the prize - is, unfortunately, starting to make sense).  Rich is a proto-Lobby-ist. 

Although Xstrata and Glencore both claim to no longer have any connections to Rich, they are all based in Rich’s town of Zug, and Glencore is still run by Rich’s people, many of whom are also on the board of Xstrata.  In addition to Rich’s own criminal baggage, Glencore has a ‘rich’ history of allegedly participating in various shenanigans, including attempted union busting in the United States (where Rich hid his involvement through using front companies), involvement with Arkadi Gaydamak in AngolaGate, and participation in breaking the sanctions against Iraq. Glencore’s unsavory reputation is starting to be a political issue in both Canada (see pdf here) and the United States.  It had also been an issue in Glencore’s failed 2005 bid for Australian WMC Resources.  Although the rival for Falconbridge is another Canadian company Inco (itself now subject to a takeover bid from Teck Cominco), Canada is notoriously slutty when it comes to foreign investment, and I doubt that the very unsavory reputation of Glencore will be a factor in whether Xstrata succeeds (on the other hand, Inco seems to fear that European regulators will delay approval of Inco’s bid in such a way as to favor Xstrata’s bid, a fact which may influence Canadian regulators, and the fact that the enormously politically-powerful Caisse – the Quebec pension-fund manager, described as “Canada's largest institutional investor, the primary holder of TSX-listed stocks and the holder of the country's largest real property portfolio” - owns a big chunk of Teck may mean that Teck somehow ends up winning in the end).  One has to wonder, however, whether the world will feel comfortable having its strategic resources in the hands of a crazed Zionist with an awful reputation.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Truth in cartooning

Even a year ago, this kind of cartoon wouldn’t have been allowed.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Confirmation of Plamegate as a CIA set-up

You know I’ve been going on a long time about how I feel Plamegate is just an CIA operation against the White House.  Confirmation comes in this report of an allegation in Libby’s court filings that it was the CIA itself that told Libby about Plame’s identity.  If the allegation is true, Plamegate was a CIA set-up.  Ironically, perhaps, the first mention of this possibility was by Jason Leopold.

The time-line would be as follows:

  • Wilson waits until after invasion to discuss the lies of the Bush White House
  • White House is furious
  • CIA cunningly lets slip to Libby information about their burned and therefore useless agent Plame, including the fatal idea that it was Plame who arranged to have Wilson sent to Niger
  • Libby and the White House fall into the sting
  • CIA talks up Plame’s role, making her sound like James Bond on steroids.

By the way, the recent imbroglio about Truthout ‘premature’ reporting on Rove, and the discussions at Democratic Underground, provided confirmation of this.  William Pitt let slip that Joe Wilson was the guy who rounded up the sources.  What the hell is going on?  This is earth-shattering (and has apparently been deleted from DU).  Of course, Rove’s whole argument is that Plamegate is a partisan political attack by the Democrats on hard-working American civil servants who are only trying to protect Americans from terrorism while fending off bogus attacks from the CIA and the Democrats.  In particular, the White House claims it has been set up by Wilson-directed-by-Plame-directed-by-vengeful-CIA.  If Wilson is behind the latest Truthout mess, it just proves Rove’s point, and provides even more confirmation to the idea that the entire matter is a CIA plot.

Chomsky or Blum?

Noam Chomsky has been making a lot of hay on the idea that he can’t be heard in the establishment media.  Despite this, everybody seems to know who he is.  Chomsky was recently lecturing to West Point of all places, demonstrating that he is not quite as dangerous as we are supposed to think.  His type of opposition is comfortable to the Establishment, particularly as Chomsky provides no real solution for all the problems that he raises.

On the other hand, since William Blum’s name was mentioned on one of the bin Laden tapes – almost certainly phony and probably an example of CIA psychological operations – no one has been willing to have him as a speaker (scroll down to end to read Blum’s complaint, but read the rest too).  As between Chomsky and Blum, who do you think is really making the Establishment nervous?

Stinkin' yellow badges and Israel's Nuremberg Race Law

You have to wonder what the National Post was up to, when it published its amazing lying articles on alleged Iranian sumptuary laws involving identification of minority groups.  By publishing the original front-page article with a huge picture from Nazi Germany (front page reprinted here and here, but the article itself appears to have disappeared; by the way, is there an uglier front page design in the world?), it explicitly connected the current Iranian government with Nazi Germany.  Since the entire story was an outright lie, a fact which you could easily see from the preposterousness of the story as well as a fact which an editor at the Post could have instantly discovered with one phone call to the Iranian embassy in Ottawa, a Holocaust revisionist might use this incident as evidence that the entire story of German treatment of the Jews is also a lie.  Two similar lies on the same front page!  You would think the Zionists who run the Post would be a little more careful with the legacy of the Holocaust.

The original article by Amir Taheri (the article with the front page picture was by Chris Wattie, who also wrote the clean-up article – note another deceitful picture beside it!), which attempted to be a little more circumspect (but is still factually untrue), is obvious anti-Iranian propaganda, a fact made even clearer by the fact that the writer is associated with Benador Associates, the extreme right-wing political PR spinners.  But why did the Post run it so ridiculously prominently, above-the-fold front page with a huge headline and a huge picture?  My guess is that the fake racism-in-Iran story was intended to deflect attention from the real racism-in-Israel story.  David Frum even apologized for the story on Iran by stating that the original idea for Nazi sumptuary laws came from Baghdad in the era of Charlemagne, so it is not unfair to Iran (wtf? – is David Frum on drugs?).  The massage is that Islam, and in particular this Iranian government, is racist.

Just before the National Post story came out, the Israeli Supreme court approved the Israeli laws barring family reunification for Israelis married to Palestinians from the Occupied Territories.  Since it is only Arab Israeli citizens who marry Palestinians, it forces Israeli citizens to leave the country based entirely on their racial origin. It is an expressly racist law, and has an exact parallel in the first Nuremberg Race Law of 1935, in which Nazi Germany prohibited marriage between ‘Germans’ and Jews (see here with a handy German chart which the Israelis should translate into Hebrew and post in public places).  This law is apparently deeply troubling for North American Jews, and it is impossible to explain how its approval by the Israeli Supreme Court can be consistent with the stories we hear of how Israel is a ‘democracy’ which supports human rights.  This little lyin’ story about Iran may be a clumsy attempt to hide real Zionist racism behind phony Islamic racism. 

Completely backwards

With the judge in the AIPAC case waiting for a quiet time in August to announce that the AIPAC case has to be thrown out as what the AIPAC defendants did is constitutionally-protected speech (a good rebuttal of the AIPAC arguments is here or here), and American Attorney General Gonzales announcing that he believes American journalists should be prosecuted for writing about classified materials, the United States is headed to the interesting position where disclosure of classified material, obtained by de facto agents for a foreign government with the intent to deliver such material to a spy for that foreign government so foreign generals and spies can read it and act on it, will result in no crime as laws against espionage are unconstitutional, while the exact same classified material, handed to an American journalist so that Americans may find out about it, will result in prosecution of the journalist with no constitutional protection.  They have it completely backwards.

John Bolton, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations

Via Jews sans frontieres, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations has confirmed that John Bolton, the American ambassador to the UN, is Israel’s bitch:

“. . . Ambassador Dan Gillerman, addressing a New York meeting of B'nai B'rith International, a Jewish humanitarian organization, heaped praise on U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, jokingly describing him at one point as a secret member of Israel's own team at the United Nations.

Noting that just five diplomats worked in the busy Israeli U.N. Mission, he told the group: ‘Today the secret is out. We really are not just five diplomats. We are at least six including John Bolton.’”

Nothing we didn’t already know, but in these days of the desperate efforts of Chomskowitz and their ilk to hide the truth of the Israel Lobby thesis, with Bolton an absolutely key part of the mechanics of the Lobby, this is an odd time to be boasting about it.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Mr. Wiggles does blogging

Mr. Wiggles asks: What kind of blogger are you?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Zionist rain of death on Sudan

The Israeli and worldwide Zionist movement doesn't like the current government in Sudan. Sudan is one of the 'periphery' states of non-Arab Muslims, like Turkey and Iran, particularly targeted by Israeli geopolitical theoreticians, but has a government that is too strongly Islamist for Zionist tastes. Israel has in fact been accused of providing arms to rebels against the central government. The current campaign to attack Sudan under the guise of protecting the people of Darfur is another manifestation of Zionist attempts to create 'regime change' in Sudan. Examples:

  1. Protests in the United States have been led by an outfit called 'Save Darfur', described by the Jerusalem Post:

    "Little known, however, is that the coalition, which has presented itself as 'an alliance of over 130 diverse faith-based, humanitarian, and human rights organization' was actually begun exclusively as an initiative of the American Jewish community.

    And even now, days before the rally, that coalition is heavily weighted with a politically and religiously diverse collection of local and national Jewish groups.

    A collection of local Jewish bodies, including the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, United Jewish Communities, UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, sponsored the largest and most expensive ad for the rally, a full-page in The New York Times on April 15."


    "Besides the Jewish origins and character of the rally - a fact the organizers consistently played down in conversations with The Jerusalem Post - the other striking aspect of the coalition is the noted absence of major African-American groups like the NAACP or the larger Africa lobby groups like Africa Action. When asked to comment, representatives of both groups insisted they were publicizing the rally but had not become part of the coalition or signed the Unity Statement declaring Save Darfur's objectives."

    We are being told this because the Jerusalem Post is proud of the fact that Jews are behind the rallies.

  2. The relatively small rallies to kill the people of Sudan under the guise of saving Darfur were held on the same day as the much larger anti-war rallies to protest the American attack on Iraq. Coincidence? Needless to say, the disgusting American media gave full coverage to the Darfur rallies, and used that to avoid (or here) covering (or here) the anti-war rallies.

  3. 'Uncle Tom' James Zogby attended, with an apology noting the odd composition of the protest groups.

  4. Canadian parliamentarians were given green ribbons in solidarity with the people of Darfur when they debated the issue. Who supplied the ribbons? The Canadian Jewish Congress:

    "CJC distributed the ribbons to members of the House of Commons, Quebec's National Assembly and the legislatures of British Columbia and Ontario to wear on Yom Hashoah to draw a connection between the Holocaust and the current Darfur crisis."

    More trivialization of the Holocaust in aid of current Israeli fancies. The Darfur rally in Toronto was organized by "Project Equity, an effort of five young Jewish students".

Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, expecting a different result. I am completely baffled why the 'left' thinks that repeating the Iraq adventure in Sudan will result in a miraculous improvement in the lives of the people of Sudan or the people of Darfur. Just as baffling is how sanctions, which killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, will help the people of Sudan or the people of Darfur. Exactly like the attack on Iraq, and efforts to foment an attack on innocent civilians in Iran, the proposed attack on the people of Sudan is just another in a line of Zionist attempts - both Christian and Jewish Zionists, by the way, and the Christian ones have an explicitly evangelical mandate to convert the 'heathens' - to use American military power to fight the wars of the extreme Israeli right and their 'fair-weather' Christian fruitcake pals.

I've already written about Darfur, and see no reason to change anything I've said. The only people who can work this out are the people of Sudan itself. Hard as it may be for people to believe watching the benign rule of Americans in Iraq, American death squads in Sudan won't help. The hypocrisy of concern for the people of Darfur is exemplified in the fact that, at the same time as all the rallies for violent intervention, the UN announced that it can no longer send regular food rations to the people of Darfur. Why? No money to pay for it. It looks like the people of Darfur are on the same diet plan as Palestinians. After all, if you are going to slaughter people, there is no sense wasting money on feeding them first.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Improved memory of a Pentagon media eye-witness

From The Sideshow (see also here):

“Mike Malloy just played the clips of CNN's Jamie McIntyre on 9/11 and after seeing the newly-released footage from the Pentagon on that day. In the new clip, he talks about how he was there and he f'sure saw the evidence of a plane having hit the Pentagon. But that's not what he said on the day.”

Jamie McIntyre was one of the first reporters on the scene, presumably before the Official Story was dictated to the media, and was clear on what happened, or didn’t:

“JAMIE MCINTYRE: From my close-up inspection, there's no evidence of a plane having crashed anywhere near the Pentagon.

The only site, is the actual side of the building that's crashed in. And as I said, the only pieces left that you can see are small enough that you pick up in your hand. There are no large tail sections, wing sections, fuselage, nothing like that anywhere around which would indicate that the entire plane crashed into the side of the Pentagon and then caused the side to collapse.

Even though if you look at the pictures of the Pentagon you see that the floors have all collapsed, that didn't happen immediately. It wasn't until almost about 45 minutes later that the structure was weakened enough that all of the floors collapsed.”

McIntyre has an explanation (but see here), that he was quoted out of context answering a question about whether a plane had crashed in front of the Pentagon:

“MCINTYRE: The Web sites often take statements out of context, such as this exchange from CNN in which I - myself - appear to be questioning whether a plane really hit the building: From my close-up inspection, there's no evidence of a plane having crashed anywhere near the Pentagon. In fact, I was answering a question based on a eyewitness account who thought the American Airlines plane landed short of the Pentagon. I was indicated there was no crash site near the pentagon only at the Pentagon

MCINTYRE AUDIO: The only site is the actual site of the building that's crashed in, quote 'the actual site of the building that's crashed in.'

MCINTYRE: In fact there were thousands of tiny pieces of the plane, and I personally photographed a piece of the fuselage and what appeared to be part of the cockpit.

McINTYRE: The video isn't clear enough to convince the most ardent conspiracy theorists and there's still some mystery that surrounds the day. For instance, what happened to video from a hotel security camera nearby that sources tell CNN caught at least part of the attack. No one in the government even acknowledges that tape exists. Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.”

If you watch the original McIntyre video, he does seem to emphasize the word ‘near’ slightly, as if he was discussing where the plane landed, but then confuses things by immediately going on say that he has seen no physical evidence to indicate that “the entire plane crashed into the side of the Pentagon and then caused the side to collapse.”

Friday, May 19, 2006

Scaife, Judicial Watch, and the Pentacrash

A thread at started by ‘superyumancrew’ attempts to discuss Judicial Watch:

“Judicial Watch, which recently released video supposedly showing a plane hitting the Pentagon, is essentially a tool of Richard Mellon Scaife, who has given 8.5 million dollars, at least, to support this organization. Though officially a watchdog group, Judicial Watch got its start by filing over 50 nuisance lawsuits against the Clintons.

By a curious coincidence, Barbara Olson, wife of Ted Olson the Solicitor General of the United States, was supposedly aboard the plane that supposedly struck the Pentagon. And Ted Olson purportedly received a phone call from Barbara Olson. And Ted Olson also ran the Arkansas Project for Richard Mellon Scaife - a several million dollar project to harass and build public support for the impeachment of Bill Clinton, as reported in Joe Conason's excellent book The Hunting of The President.

It seems curious how many connections there are from Richard Mellon Scaife to the plane that supposedly hit the Pentagon. First, the guy who ran Scaife's Arkansas Project gets a phone call from his wife, who was supposedly on the plane. Now, his pet ‘watchdog group’ shows up with a (not very informative) video that they claim lays to rest any conspiracy theories about the Pentagon.”

I might add that Scaife also supports Regnery Publishing, and, by remarkable coinkydink, Alfred S. Regnery is one of the famous ‘witnesses’ to the fact that Flight 77 was involved in the Pentacrash.  The thread deteriorates into a discussion of some nut named xymphora, at which point the moderator, smelling a conspiracy to tread on forbidden ground, and probably thinking of the mental health of the readers, wisely shut it down.

Lobbies versus empire

I was watching a rebroadcast of the excellent CBC documentary on the sugar industry, “Big Sugar” (the whole CBC website is worth reading;  take the quiz!;  see also here), and noted an example from Canadian history explained in the documentary by historian Denis Vaugeios, of how a dedicated lobby can work against the interests of the Empire (my emphasis in red):

“In 1759, during the Seven Year's War, England captured Canada, Guadeloupe and Martinique from France. The two 'sugar' islands (Guadeloupe and Martinique) were among France's most valuable possessions. During the negotiations for peace in 1763 England agreed to give back some of the captured territories.

Canada was no economic match for the highly prized Caribbean islands. Guadeloupe alone produced forty-three times more revenue than Canada, a backwater land with a struggling fur trade. Even France didn't want it back.

England's powerful sugar lobby was led by Alderman William Beckford, a man of immense wealth. He felt that the French sugar islands would increase competition with his own sugar growing business. Beckford and his associates wielded an enormous influence on the government to ensure that they would get the outcome they wanted.

In the end, the British parliament choose to keep Canada. France celebrated saying that England had traded sugar for snow.”

The sugar lobby bribed British politicians, and plied them with women to make them subject to blackmail, thus forcing through a decision to keep Canada rather than the Caribbean islands, clearly against the interests of the British Empire at the time (although, oddly, in the long run the decision made was the right one for the Empire).  Chomsky would tell us that this kind of thing is simply impossible, while it happens all the time! 

I wonder if Americans realize that they pay three times what the rest of the world pays for sugar.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

You can't know the program without the players

Michael Massing tries his hand at the new science of lobby-ology, the study of the Israel Lobby.  I don’t recommend most of it, too much quibbling and, like every other NYRB article, about three times too long (do you think they pay by the letter?), but the last ten paragraphs in particular do a good job of pointing out the tiny, incestuous world of the Lobby apparachniks.  Some examples (I’ve marked various institutions in red, and Lobby-ists in magenta; the ‘Gang of Four are the four dominant financiers of AIPAC, identified by Massing as Robert Asher, a retired lighting fixtures dealer in Chicago; Edward Levy, a building supplies executive in Detroit; Mayer ‘Bubba’ Mitchell, a construction materials dealer in Mobile, Alabama; and Larry Weinberg, a real estate developer in Los Angeles):

“One key part of the network is the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. AIPAC helped to create this think tank in 1985, with Martin Indyk, AIPAC's research director, becoming its first director. Today, the Washington Institute is fully independent of AIPAC, and there is some diversity among its fellows (Dennis Ross is one). Overall, though, its policies mirror AIPAC's. Its executive director, Robert Satloff, is a neoconservative with very hawkish views on the Middle East. Its deputy director of research, Patrick Clawson, has been a leading proponent of regime change in Iran and of a US confrontation with Tehran over its nuclear program. (AIPAC features him as an expert on its Web site.) Raymond Tanter, an adjunct scholar at the institute, has been championing the MEK, or People's Mujaheddin, a shadowy group of Iranian guerrillas who want to overthrow the government in Tehran (and whom the State Department regards as terrorists). Members of the Washington Institute's board of advisers include Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Mort Zuckerman, and Max Kampelman; its single most important source of funding is Larry Weinberg, one of AIPAC's Gang of Four, and his wife Barbi.”


Richard Perle, in addition to sitting on the boards of both the Washington Institute and JINSA, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. So are Joshua Muravchik, a neocon who's also an adjunct scholar at the Washington Institute; Michael Rubin, an up-and-coming neocon who worked in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans before becoming a political adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq; and Michael Ledeen, who helped to set up JINSA and who has spent the last several years seeking official US backing for regime change in Iran. Together with Morris Amitay, a former executive director of AIPAC, Ledeen is an important force at the Coalition for Democracy in Iran, another advocate for overthrowing the Iranian government. Muravchik, Tanter, and Woolsey are all listed as supporters on that coalition's Web site.

Michael Rubin, meanwhile, is also the editor of The Middle East Quarterly, which is published by the Middle East Forum, a think tank dedicated to fighting terrorism, countering Islamic extremism, and promoting pro-Israel views on college campuses. MEF was founded by Daniel Pipes, an energetic neoconservative whose views seem extreme even within that world. In 2002, Pipes created a Web site called Campus Watch, which ‘reviews and critiques’ Middle East studies in North America ‘with an aim to improving them.’ (Initially, Campus Watch also encouraged students to take notes on lectures by professors critical of Israel, with the goal of ‘exposing’ them on the MEF Web site, but this feature was dropped after it was widely condemned as a form of McCarthyism.) MEF's work on campuses parallels that of AIPAC's own college advocacy program.

Pipes is also an adjunct scholar at the Washington Institute as well as a columnist for The Jerusalem Post, whose editorial page editor, Saul Singer, is a neoconservative and is married to Wendy Singer Senor, who runs AIPAC's Jerusalem office. She is the sister of Dan Senor, who was Paul Bremer's chief spokesman at the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Pipes is also a regular contributor to The New York Sun, which is co-owned by Bruce Kovner, a hedge fund manager who ranked ninety-third on Forbes magazine's list of the 400 richest Americans and who is the chairman of the American Enterprise Institute's board of trustees, and by the money manager Roger Hertog, who is a trustee of both AEI and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and who is a co-owner (along with former hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt) of The New Republic. That magazine's editor in chief, Martin Peretz, another co-owner, also sits on the Washington Institute's board of advisers.”

It will be worthwhile to keep an eye out for the four money men listed in the last paragraph, as well as the AIPAC ‘Gang of Four’.  We also mustn’t forget big names like the Wurmsers (more on David Wurmser to come).  Massing goes on to point out that AIPAC e-mails its supporters an ‘Activities Update’:

“ The editor of ‘Activities Update’ is Michael Lewis, the son of Bernard Lewis, the Princeton scholar and interpreter of the Arab world who gave advice to the Bush administration in the months preceding the war in Iraq.”

The world of the Cabal behind the Lobby is quite small, but fits together nicely once you recognize the players.

The Iraq war and the oil weapon

Via Wot Is It Good For,  Greg Palast interviewed by Amy Goodman:

“Is the war in Iraq for oil? Yes, it's about the oil, but not for the oil. In my investigations for Armed Madhouse, I ended up with a story far more fascinating and difficult than I imagined. We didn't go in to grab the oil. Just the opposite. We went in to control the oil and make sure we didn't get it. It goes back to 1920, when the oil companies sat in a room in Brussels in a hotel room, drew a red line around Iraq and said, ‘There'll be no oil coming out of that nation.’ They have to suppress oil coming out of Iraq. Otherwise, the price of oil will collapse, and OPEC and Saudi Arabia will collapse.”

Full credit to Palast for stating the obvious fact that nobody is supposed to notice, that the Americans didn’t go into Iraq to grab the oil.  However, his alternative makes no sense.  Remember the sanctions?  A system under the control of the United States and Britain which completely controlled the flow of oil out of Iraq.  Some oil was allowed to ooze out, but largely only if Republicans could make some money off it (American right-wingers tried to make a big deal out of alleged corruption of Kofi Annan and his son, but have been quiet about the fact that both have been cleared, and the only real crooks involved were connected to the Republican Party).  For all intents and purposes, the oil in Iraq was completely under wraps, and would have stayed that way until the Americans decided otherwise.  There was no need for a war to keep oil off the market.

The attack was indeed about oil, but not in any of the obvious ways.  It was intended to be a part of a larger plan to take the oil weapon away from the Arabs.  The larger plan, David Wurmser’s plan, is one of the main reasons for the war, and demonstrates that the war was indeed for Israel, the only country that has any reason to fear the oil weapon.  Wurmser’s plan will require more thought if we are really to understand the reasons for war.

Israeli massacres

A partial list of Israeli massacres.  What’s that I hear about terrorism?

Zionism lite

Why are otherwise respected American commentators prepared to risk their entire academic reputations in denying the Israel Lobby thesis?  Chomsky, Finkelstein, and Zunes have all weighed in, denying the thesis to varying extents.  In the case of Chomsky, his denial is a kind of revisionism that completely obviates his life’s work as a political writer.  Finkelstein tries to be a little more sophisticated by insisting that the Lobby’s influence only applies to the Occupied Territories, an idea which makes no sense – why would American geopolitical ‘realists’ support the Likudnik’s position on the one issue which provides the United States with absolutely no benefit but which creates most of the enmity towards the United States around the world? – and the alleged value of Israel to the United States – an idea that made some sense twenty or thirty years ago during the Cold War, which is why these guys all use old examples to make their case - is decimated by Michael Neumann.  Zunes can be good when he wants to be, so his inability to be cogent on the issue of Israel is very suspect.  Watching these guys is like watching a group of astronomers in a debate about whether the moon exists or not.  The Lobby thesis is so blindingly obvious that we have to look for a motive for denying it.

I believe what we’re seeing is Zionism lite.  While they quibble about the methods being used in ethnic cleansing the Palestinians and stealing their lands, the lite Zionists are terrified that the American people might finally come to a realization of what is going on, and force American politicians to stop American support for Israel.  These guys all support the idea of Israel (possibly within the 1967 borders), and realize that Israel doesn't exist without massive American support, both monetary and diplomatic.  If that support ends, Israel is finished in a very short time.  It won’t require military means;  Israel will just collapse under the weight of its own contradictions.  It is therefore necessary to risk their academic reputations, and deny the undeniable, in order to save Israel.

Unfortunately, what they fail to note is that it is a zero-sum game, and is a zero-sum game due entirely to the actions of the Israelis.  The Israelis are putting in place policies which are intended to result in the eventual destruction of the Palestinian people.  Denying the Lobby thesis allows this to happen.  It is the modern equivalent of Holocaust revisionism, but is even worse as, unlike revisionists who talk about the past, it is prospective, and allows the new Holocaust to occur. 

Where was Fitzgerald on Friday?

The whereabouts of Patrick Fitzgerald on Friday has become a bit of an issue, as he can’t be in two places at the same time.  Luskin suggests he may have been in Chicago.  On Monday, Hollinger Incorporated announced that it had signed a letter of agreement with the United States Attorney’s office in Chicago to obtain immunity from prosecution in return for ratting out Lord Black.  The letter agreement is dated May 15 and is signed by Fitzgerald and Hollinger’s lawyer in Chicago.  Assuming the lawyers drafted the document over the weekend, it would make sense for Fitzgerald to be in Chicago on Friday, negotiating the terms of the agreement, and then staying home for the weekend to sign the agreement on Monday.  Strange as it may seem, Fitzgerald may very well feel that his successful prosecution of Black is more important than his ongoing fishing expeditions with Rove.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Judicial Watch and the Pentagon 'video'

Judicial Watch was known as a Republican Party attack dog against the Clinton Administration, but went a long way to rehabilitating its partisan image when it went after the secret activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, eventually revealing some maps of hydrocarbon deposits and oil and gas installations in Iraq and neighboring countries, seemingly showing that the war in Iraq was about oil.  Now it has apparently ‘forced’ the Pentagon to release a video of the crash into the Pentagon building.  This video appears to be the source of the stills that have already been released, and remains the only purported visual evidence of what crashed into the Pentagon.  I have a few comments:

  1. If you look at the video (I downloaded a copy from here), you can see that it is a collection of stills joined together, and of such bad quality that you cannot tell what hit the Pentagon.  It is a manufactured product, and therefore can’t be analyzed to provide any evidence as to the speed of the plane, and can’t be analyzed to see if there are anomalies in the video.  It is literally mostly smoke.  It really is of no more use than the stills that have already been released, and the most amazing thing about it is that people claim that it now settles the issue of what hit the Pentagon.  It certainly does not.  You would think that if the American government had evidence that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon - and we know they have other tapes - they might allow us to see it.  Now that the Pentagon has established the precedent of releasing one ‘video’, there is absolutely no reason to withhold the other tape evidence.  This release indicates to me that they are afraid to show us the real evidence.  It is far past the time when the critics of the conspiracy theories ought to be admitting that the unexplained and mysterious absence of evidence is in itself evidence of a cover-up.   
  2. What (or who) leaves a shadow in front of the camera on the bottom left about forty per cent through?
  3. From Judicial Watch: 

“Judicial Watch originally filed a Freedom of Information Act request on December 15, 2004, seeking all records pertaining to September 11, 2001 camera recordings of the Pentagon attack from the Sheraton National Hotel, the Nexcomm/Citgo gas station, Pentagon security cameras and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The Department of Defense admitted in a January 26, 2005 letter that it possessed a videotape responsive to Judicial Watch's request. However, the Pentagon refused to release the videotape because it was, ‘part of an ongoing investigation involving Zacarias Moussaoui.’ Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit on February 22, 2006 arguing that there was ‘no legal basis’ for the Defense Department's refusal to release the tape.

‘We fought hard to obtain this video because we felt that it was very important to complete the public record with respect to the terrorist attacks of September 11,’ said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

‘Finally, we hope that this video will put to rest the conspiracy theories involving American Airlines Flight 77. As always, our prayers remain with all those who suffered as a result of those murderous attacks.’”

Although Judicial Watch asked for all the recordings, it pronounced itself satisfied after getting just one, one which did not, and could not, put to rest the conspiracy theories.  I smell a rat.

It is probably time to question whether the Bush Administration really wanted to hide the Cheney Energy Task Force information, or only wanted to appear to be hiding what Judicial Watch claims to have forced out.  We still don’t know anything of what Cheney was up to except the released documents, which the ‘left’ was happy to accept as proof that the attack on Iraq was all about oil.  Or was that what we were supposed to think?  From the John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt devastating and cool reply to critics:

“Probably the most popular argument made about a countervailing force is Herf and Markovits’s claim that the centrepiece of US Middle East policy is oil, not Israel. There is no question that access to that region’s oil is a vital US strategic interest. Washington is also deeply committed to supporting Israel. Thus, the relevant question is, how does each of those interests affect US policy? We maintain that US policy in the Middle East is driven primarily by the commitment to Israel, not oil interests. If the oil companies or the oil-producing countries were driving policy, Washington would be tempted to favour the Palestinians instead of Israel. Moreover, the United States would almost certainly not have gone to war against Iraq in March 2003, and the Bush administration would not be threatening to use military force against Iran. Although many claim that the Iraq war was all about oil, there is hardly any evidence to support that supposition, and much evidence of the lobby’s influence. Oil is clearly an important concern for US policymakers, but with the exception of episodes like the 1973 Opec oil embargo, the US commitment to Israel has yet to threaten access to oil. It does, however, contribute to America’s terrorism problem, complicates its efforts to halt nuclear proliferation, and helped get the United States involved in wars like Iraq.”

The United States has effectively abandoned the Iraqi oil fields and the pipelines to the insurgency, and the oil production, small to begin with, continues to drop month by month.  Indeed, abandoning maintenance of the oil fields means that significant production will be lost permanently.  There is not the slightest indication that the United States cares a whit about Iraqi oil, or about allowing American firms to develop it.  The ‘forced’ release of the Cheney documents was another Judicial Watch charade, intended to fool us into thinking we’d uncovered the real reason for the attack.  The ‘forced’ release of this ridiculous manufactured ‘video’ of the attack on the Pentagon is another example of Judicial Watch carrying the can for the same people for whom it has continued to work since its days of attacking Clinton.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Rove M. O.

I’ve already written about Rove’s modus operandi when he needs to deflect something politically embarrassing (see here).  Pick someone with a potential weakness in credibility, feed them a story with some parts true and some parts untrue, wait for the story to come out, reveal that some of the details can’t be true and that the author of the story has a political or personal agenda and an iffy past, and bury the true parts of the story under the ensuing controversy.  The process is playing itself out with blanket denials of some of the facts reported by Leopold [corrected], and the deniers have no reason to damage their own credibility by unequivocally denying things that will soon come out (they could just refuse to answer or say ‘no comment’).  

This isn’t just some Dick Tuck prank or even a Donald Segretti-style dirty trick;  Hatfield ended up being suicided to complete the destruction of his credibility.  Rove fights hard, and he fights dirty.

The secret tapes and the strategy of tension in London

There is now even more evidence that the London bombers were connected to the British security establishment, just as the Madrid bombers were connected to the Spanish security establishment.  MI5 had secret tape recordings of one of the bombers discussing the building of a bomb, failed to properly monitor him, and then hid the existence of such tapes from the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, which investigated the attacks.  It wasn’t just that the MI5 innocently let the bombers slip through their hands by failing to know the importance of specific people.  They knew exactly what was going on, and let it happen.  

MI5 was cleared on the basis it it made an innocent mistake based on the volume of suspects it had to watch, and expressly on the fact that, at the time, “there was no intelligence of a current credible plot to attack the UK”, but the tape proves that there was no mistake and it wasn’t innocent.  MI5 intentionally withheld the tape from the parliamentary committee in order to protect its guilty ass.  I would have thought that, at the very least, the head of MI5 should be fired over withholding the tapes, if not also for negligence in monitoring the suspects, if not also for direct involvement in the plot. 

Rove, Hatfield, Leopold?

Possibly bad news for Leopold (though I trust Leopold more than Byron York):

“I talked with Rove defense spokesman Mark Corallo, who told me the story was completely baseless.  Part of our conversation:

Did Patrick Fitzgerald come to Patton Boggs for 15 hours Friday?
Did he come to Patton Boggs for any period of time Friday?
Did he meet anywhere else with Karl Rove's representatives?
Did he communicate in any way with Karl Rove's representatives?
Did he inform Rove or Rove's representatives that Rove had been indicted?

So there seems to be nothing to the story, certainly nothing which any other reporter has seen fit to report.  Which raises a question: What is going on here? The journalists who checked out the story, quite properly, did not repeat Leopold's bad information.  But for some media blogger out there, it might be reasonable to ask: Where are these reports coming from?”

I don’t want to dump all over Leopold, as, unlike everybody else, he seems to be trying.  On the other hand, his background makes him, exactly like James Hatfield, an excellent target for Rovean disinformation.  The Rove pattern is to pick somebody with an iffy history to spread rumors about a touchy topic, rumors which have a basis in truth but which are technically wrong, and then use the character of the person reporting the rumors to deflect attention from the real issues.  They used the same method in dealing with Bush’s military service, or lack thereof.

Wilkes and the cult of intelligence

Thoughtful War and Piece (is this some kind of bad pun?) on Wilkes, Cunningham, et al (I’ve taken out the links in the original):

“But what has particularly interested me about the Wilkes case is the controversial national security policies he has been connected to, via his lobbying and contracting work, recently and going back to the Reagan era. The fact that he and his former partner Wade were going for not just any federal contract that fell off the truck, but for defense and intelligence contracts, including increasingly in recent years off-the-books, ‘black’ contracts. What is the common theme, if there is one, between the policies that generated those black and gray contracts, and the unusual degree of corruption that seemed to accompany them? I've been thinking about this a lot, and it's not an obvious one. Why is it in some ways the more prosaic, superficial issue - the corruption - that gets surfaced and investigated - rather than the policies connected to it? Is it an easier, or politically safer, topic to investigate how they got the contracts, than to investigate the underlying purpose of some of the more controversial contracts doled out to Wilkes and Wade?”

and (on the fact that corruption is a symptom of the disease, and not the cause of the disease):

“Certainly the fact that black contracts - along with the secret policies that generate them - have zero public scrutiny is a factor in the accompanying propensity for corruption. 'We can get away with it, because who's going to know but us?'”

and (interesting patterns here which could include all varieties of institutional ‘anti-communism’ up to and including the World Anti-Communist League, John Singlaub - also a Californian - and Moon):

“It seems there is perhaps something deeper, a mutual buying-into a philosophy of governance, combined with a set of deep common cultural experiences from a certain era in southern California Republican circles, that connects those who doled out these contracts to those who received them, lavishing favors in return. These people - Cunningham, Wilkes, Foggo, Lowery, Brant ‘Nine Fingers’ Bassett, and perhaps others - were truly sympatico. They came from similar backgrounds, had many shared experiences, and were on the same wave length. One senses that in some way, they felt themselves to be part of a fraternity, this club that had as one of its principals unquestioning supporting for perhaps controversial national security policies (arming the contras, the anti communist cause, the extraordinary renditions, the Top Gun stuff, etc.). That's my theory, looking at how long and overlapping the history is, the common experiences in the southern California GOP and San Diego's Naval aviation community and the SDSU College Republicans, Wilkes' and Bassett's ancestral roots in Mormon Idaho, the common tour many of them took to central America to be part of the covert US effort to arm the contras, the later flocking together to almost a southern Californian/Hollywood idea of Washington power, from the Watergate to the houseboats, etc. They were their own sort of fraternity, with a fraternity's peculiar sort of self-selecting cultural insularity, debauchery, and ritual displays of machismo - and a fraternity's tradition of helping each other out later professionally.”

Guys like Wilkes very rarely, if ever, end up in jail.  They may have heart attacks, die in mysterious plane crashes, or commit suicide with multiple gun shot wounds to the head.  But jail?  Hardly ever.  Why is that?  Because Wilkes was working under official sanction.  You can’t jail a guy for working for his country.  Rather than blame it on the United States being Californicated, the real bad guy is the cult of intelligence and its ties to the American elite far right.  Wilkes is protected because he works for the CIA, and the CIA is protected because it does what the Powers That Be want done, but can’t be seen to be doing.  The corruption is what trips them up – and always does, back to the days of Watergate – but the corruption is really a side issue.  The real issue is that there are a lot of Americans – not just in California and not just Republicans (although most are) – who are prepared to use covert power to attempt to impose the American version of a neo-fascist utopia on the United States and the world.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Leopold on Rove

It’s been over 24 hours since Jason Leopold first reported that Karl Rove is to be indicted for perjury, and he continues to run, absolutely alone, with the story.  Isn’t that just a bit odd?  I know the disgusting American media is, well, disgusting, but I find it hard to believe that there has been not one peep out of them since Leopold first nailed it down on Friday.  There have been reports that such a thing might be coming, but we have seen vague reports like that for almost a year.  If this or something like this – Leopold may not have the mechanics of the indictment process exactly right –  is true, Leopold has an amazing scoop and is a hero of journalism, and the disgusting American media is still disgusting.  If it is not true, and Leopold has been spun by Rove or made a terrible mistake, he becomes the new Tom Flocco.  Leopold has been the boy who cried wolf on Rove’s indictment for quite a while now, and has a book out which he may want to promote.  He has quite a history which does not provide a great deal of comfort.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Neo-nazis in Israel

From Haaretz:

“A week after the desecration of the Great Synagogue in Petah Tikva, nothing remains of the horror the worshipers encountered there last Thursday when they arrived for morning prayers. The walls, which had been sprayed with swastikas and blasphemy, have been newly painted, the floor polished and the curtain covering the holy ark replaced.

However, the danger is far from over. For the past two years the ultra-Orthodox community there, which includes some 5,000 families and 300 synagogues, has been subjected to incessant attacks by street gangs from the former Soviet Union (FSU). The gangs have been beating ultra-Orthodox men, hurling curses at them and desecrating synagogues.

‘These youths feel out of place in the Russian community they belong to, but they are not accepted in Israeli society either,’ says Bella Alexandrov, the director of the multi-disciplinary youth center in Petah Tikva. She distinguishes between two kinds of immigrants - punks and skinheads.”

France should send some officials to Israel to encourage the beleaguered Jewish minority in Israel to emigrate to a country that is much safer for Jews, like France.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Weapons for civil war

If you want to start a civil war somewhere like Iraq, the best thing to do is seed it with a lot of weapons.  We’re already seen evidence of this with the Berettas being used by the insurgents. 

Bush has expressly tied the success of his Presidency to the need to keep enough order and stability in Iraq to allow the phony Iraqi government to function.  The appearance that the phony government is functioning has been tied to the success in the war on terror, and the illusion of success in the war on terror is the essence of Bush’s Presidency.  Bush in a recent speech in Cleveland :

“The terrorists who are setting off bombs in mosques and markets in Iraq share the same hateful ideology as the terrorists who attacked us on September the 11th, 2001, those who blew up commuters in London and Madrid, and those who murdered tourists in Bali, or workers in Riyadh, or guests at a wedding in Amman, Jordan. In the war on terror we face a global enemy - and if we were not fighting this enemy in Iraq, they would not be idle. They would be plotting and trying to kill Americans across the world and within our own borders. Against this enemy, there can be no compromise. So we will fight them in Iraq, we'll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.”

and (my emphasis in red):

The security of our country is directly linked to the liberty of the Iraqi people - and we will settle for nothing less than victory. Victory will come when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy, when the Iraqi security forces can provide for the safety of their citizens on their own, and when Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot new attacks against our nation. There will be more days of sacrifice and tough fighting before the victory is achieved. Yet by helping the Iraqis defeat the terrorists in their land, we bring greater security to our own.

As we make progress toward victory, Iraqis will continue to take more responsibility for their own security, and fewer U.S. forces will be needed to complete the mission. But it's important for the Iraqis to hear this: The United States will not abandon Iraq. We will not leave that country to the terrorists who attacked America and want to attack us again. We will leave Iraq, but when we do, it will be from a position of strength, not weakness. Americans have never retreated in the face of thugs and assassins, and we will not begin now.”

Bush said much the same thing a few days later at Freedom House (my emphasis in red):

“. . . some Americans are asking if it's time to pull out our troops and leave the Iraqis to settle their own differences. I know the work in Iraq is really difficult, but I strongly feel it's vital to the security of our country. The terrorists are killing and maiming and fighting desperately to stop the formation of a unity government because they understand what a free Iraq in the heart of the Middle East means for them and their ideology. They know that when freedom sets root in Iraq, it will be a mortal blow to their aspirations to dominate the region and advance their hateful vision. So they're determined to stop the advance of a free Iraq, and we must be equally determined to stop them.

The irony is that the enemy seems to have a much clearer sense of what's at stake than some of the politicians here in Washington, D.C. One member of Congress who has proposed an immediate withdrawal of American forces in Iraq recently explained that what would happen after American forces pulled out was this: He said, ‘They'll fight each other, somebody will win, they'll settle it for themselves.’ While it might sound attractive to some, it would have disastrous consequences for American security. The Iraqi government is still in transition, and the Iraqi security forces are still gathering capacity. If we leave Iraq before they're capable of defending their own democracy, the terrorists will win. They will achieve their stated goal. This is what the terrorists have told us they want to achieve. They will turn Iraq into a safe haven. They will seek to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction. They will use Iraq as a base to overthrow moderate governments in the Middle East. They will use Iraq as a base from which to launch further attacks against the United States of America.”

That’s why American troops are staying, and won’t be coming home soon.  By tying the situation in Iraq to the war on terror and the security of America, Bush has painted himself into a corner.  He can’t afford to let Americans see the Iraqi government fail when American troops are withdrawn.  Therefore, there can’t be a withdrawal as long as he is President. 

On the other hand, the longer American troops stay, the more likely the country is to eventually break up.  Ensuring that the insurgency is well armed keeps the necessity for American troops in Iraq, and thus eventually ensures that the country will end up in a full civil war, just as the neocons planned.

More mysteries

From David Ignatius:

“Foggo was an affable employee of the CIA's Directorate of Support, managing logistical activities in Germany, when he came to the attention of then-Rep. Goss and his aides on the House intelligence committee. Foggo is said to have endeared himself to Goss and his staff director, Patrick Murray, by facilitating trips overseas for members of the House panel.”

Foggo is elevated to the number 3 guy – described as the equivalent of the chief operating officer - at the CIA because he was a good travel agent?  There is something missing here.

Ignatius again:

“The chronic mismanagement of the CIA under Goss and Murray has been an open secret for many months, and the real question is why it took the Bush White House so long to fix it. When I posed this question a few weeks ago to a senior administration official, he repeated the line that the agency was full of leakers and obstructionists. The political vendetta against the CIA went to the top, in other words. It did real damage to the country before President Bush finally called a halt.”

On that analysis, Bush saves the CIA from “the top”, i. e., Cheney.  Yet Goss was originally supposed to be Cheney’s guy.

The spin is that the removal of Goss was Negroponte’s – and Bush’s – way of saving the CIA from the predations of Rumsfeld.  Yet the Pentagon’s man in charge of grabbing turf from the CIA is none other than  Jerry “my God was bigger than his” Boykin, the religious nut who hates Islam and isn’t afraid to talk about it, a guy who gets his tremendous pull from his connections to evangelical Christianity (note the fine print correction at the top of the article here).  Since Bush gives the evangelicals whatever they want, you have to wonder what is really going on here.  On the face of it, and regardless of the spin, replacing an old CIA hand with a general looks like a clear win for Rumsfeld and the Pentagon.

While all this is going on, Negroponte is apparently refusing to support the neocon plans for Iran by refusing to suck and blow about the intelligence in the way that George Tenet did about Iraq.  Negroponte is being so fair and objective about it that he has prominent neocons foaming at the mouth even more than they normally foam.

Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham is withholding his promised cooperation to Pentagon investigators of the bribery scheme, even though such cooperation might result in a reduction in his sentence (and putting the lie to his feigned contriteness before he was sentenced).  Apparently he prefers to take the risk of dying in jail rather than whatever risk is entailed in ratting out the people behind the bribes.  The guy whose name always surfaces as the main bribery instigator, Brent Wilkes, is the only guy who seems to be immune from prosecution.

Nothing makes any sense.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Feith's Pearl Harbor

Via A Tiny Revolution, a report from Newsweek which I also missed (my emphasis in red):

“Days after 9/11, a senior Pentagon official lamented the lack of good targets in Afghanistan and proposed instead U.S. military attacks in South America or Southeast Asia as ‘a surprise to the terrorists,’ according to a footnote in the recent 9/11 Commission Report. The unsigned top-secret memo, which the panel's report said appears to have been written by Defense Under Secretary Douglas Feith, is one of several Pentagon documents uncovered by the commission which advance unorthodox ideas for the war on terror. The memo suggested ‘hitting targets outside the Middle East in the initial offensive’ or a ‘non-Al Qaeda target like Iraq,’ the panel's report states. U.S. attacks in Latin America and Southeast Asia were portrayed as a way to catch the terrorists off guard when they were expecting an assault on Afghanistan.”

The content for the memo came from usual suspects Michael Maloof and David Wurmser:

“They argued that an attack on terrorists in South America – for example, a remote region on the border of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil where intelligence reports said Iranian-backed Hizbullah had a presence – would have ripple effects on other terrorist operations.”

The report goes on to note that Wolfowitz wrote a September 17, 2001 memo advocating an attack on Iraq, based on the theories of nutjob Laurie Mylroie. 

Conspiracy theorists have noted that the events of September 11 look suspiciously like the desired event in the PNAC document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”:

“. . . 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.”

The Feith/Maloof/Wurmser/Wolfowitz (quite a group right there, but don’t forget, there is no Lobby, and it has no power!) cynicism is so extreme that they are ready to use September 11 as their Pearl Harbor for attacks wherever and whenever it is most convenient (note that even early on the liars didn’t believe their own lies, describing Iraq as a “non-Al Qaeda target”).  It didn’t matter to them whether there was even the slightest reason to believe that the area under attack had anything to do with the attacks on the United States.  Afghanistan’s lack of good targets reminds me of the joke of the drunk searching for his lost wallet under the street lamp, not because he lost it there, but because the light was better. 

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The CIA's sin

The CIA's sin, according to the peculiar ethics of Dick Cheney, is not that it came up with intelligence that contradicted the neocon position on Iraq. That was to be expected, as the truth is always to be expected. The neocons had a plan to deal with the truth, called the Office of Special Plans. Together with their complete control over the disgusting American media, the truth was not going to be a problem. No, the problem was that the CIA, and in particular George Tenet, tried to play both ends against the middle. Everything, or just about everything, was fine with the CIA until after the war, when suddenly all the quibbles started pouring out. Curveball, biolabs, nukes - the CIA apparently knew all these things were bullshit, but chose, in Cheney's view (and he is not entirely wrong), to wait until after the war to use them as political ammunition against the Bush Administration. Joe Wilson and David Kelly were guilty of exactly the same crime, and paid for it in different ways. As far as Cheney is concerned, that crime is treason.

Porter Goss was put into the CIA with specific instructions to wreck the place, at least with respect to its intelligence-gathering and analysis capability. The problem was that he was an old CIA guy (very old, if you follow Hopsicker's view), and seemed to believe that his job was to try to limit the damage caused by Cheney as much as possible. The negative reaction to his 'resignation' within the CIA indicates that the CIA establishment felt he was doing the best he could, and his replacement will be much worse. 

The exact opposite view – that Goss was pulled by Negroponte in a power struggle with Rumsfeld as Goss was being too successful in wrecking the CIA - seems to be contradicted by the reaction of the CIA.  There is no indication that the CIA is being saved by Negroponte.

'Dusty' Foggo is described as having been a mid-level 'procurement officer', suddenly elevated by Goss to be the number three man in the Agency, essentially running the operations. A procurement officer is the kind of guy who hangs around the water cooler, ordering such essential CIA office supplies as notebooks, pens, cattle prods, and eye gougers. Yet he is also described as being - my emphasis in red - "a logistics expert well known to junketing congressmen who visited Frankfurt, Germany, where Foggo was based."  Do you think he gave ‘parties’ in Frankfurt.  What exactly did he ‘procure’?

If Foggo is just a professional CIA blackmailer hiding behind the name of procurement officer (an example of the CIA sense of humor?), he – and Goss – may be guilty of no more than blackmailing the wrong guys.  The neocon view of the Iraq war is that it was a splendid success, if only for the fact that the CIA fouled up the PR with its competing view of the truth.  Eliminate the competition, and the next war, and PR war, will be a complete success.  The way to eliminate the competition is to route all the intelligence gathering through the Pentagon.

Goss was fired in such a big hurry that he didn’t even know, the morning of the ‘resignation’, that he was going.  Everyone seems to feel that the speed has to do with the upcoming revelations about Hookergate.  Since I very much doubt that either Goss or Foggo would get their hookers in such an obviously dangerous place - and in fact wonder whether Foggo was john or pimp - I also doubt that either would be caught in that way.  Patrick Kennedy got hopped up and crashed his car the night before.  Could it be that the Pentagon destruction of the CIA had been planned for a long time and was just waiting the time when a competing juicy story would help to conceal the operation?

Neocon diplomacy

F William Engdahl discusses (or here) the disastrous geopolitical missteps of the Bush Administration, including abetting the rise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a Sino-Russian power bloc which is about to include Iran:

“The admission of Iran into the SCO opens many new options for Iran and the region. By virtue of SCO membership, Iran will now be able to take part in SCO projects, which in turn means access to badly needed technology, investment, trade and infrastructure development. It will have major implications for global energy security.

The SCO has reportedly set up a working group of experts ahead of the June summit to develop a common SCO Asian energy strategy, and discuss joint pipeline projects, oil exploration and related activities. Iran sits on the world's second-largest natural-gas reserves, and Russia has the largest. Russia is the world's second-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia. These are no small moves.”

 Engdahl also summarizes the rather amazing neocon insulting of China:

“. . . the recent diplomatic insult from Bush to visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao is doubly disastrous for the US foreign position. Bush acted on a script written by the anti-China neo-conservatives, deliberately to insult and humiliate Hu at the White House.

First was the incident of allowing a Taiwanese ‘journalist’, a Falungong member, into the carefully screened White House press conference, to rant in a tirade against Chinese human rights for more than three minutes, with no attempt at removal, at a filmed White House press conference.

Then came the playing of the Chinese national anthem for Hu, which was introduced as the anthem for the Republic of China - Taiwan. It was no slip-up by the professional White House protocol people. It was a deliberate effort to humiliate the Chinese leader.”

The neocons also downgraded the diplomatic status of the visit, and gave Hu just a luncheon, and not a state dinner, all clear insults in the protocol-heavy world of diplomacy.  Now Cheney, out of the blue, has decided to pick an unnecessary fight with the Russians (Engdahl, Margolis, Buchanan:  I only find truth in right-wingers now).  What are these neocon idiots up to?

Engdahl seems optimistic that the ‘realists’ are retaking control in Washington (on the wider topic of ‘realism’, or should I say – ha! – ‘realisms’, I need to blog about this latest bit of Noamist Zionist bullshit).  Unfortunately, I see no signs of it.


Video psychological warfare

In the fine tradition of the Nick Berg beheading video, many bin Laden videos and tapes (link found via Copenhagen Interpretation, which looks like an excellent blog), and the Zarqawi videos, the latest execution outrage video, of the death of Iraqi journalist Atwar Bahjat, turns out to be fake (see UPDATE 4).  You can’t even believe your eyes any more.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Goss, Foggo, and the honeytrap

From Cannonfire:

“Larry Johnson claims that his sources tell him that Goss did not partake of the hookers at chateau Wilkes. Here's a thought: What if Goss, old spook that he is, helped set up the sting, in order to entrap his fellow congressmen? Maybe he's a mack, not a john. After all, someone had to introduce those legislators to spooked-up ‘businessmen’ Brent Wilkes and Mitchell Wade...”

Exactly what I thought on hearing the story.  Goss and Foggo are both old CIA hands, and know how the game is played.  Neither would be stupid enough to fall into such an obvious ‘honeytrap’, and the most likely scenario, if Foggo is involved, is that he set it up (“Foggo, who occasionally hosted the poker parties at his house in northern Virginia, is under investigation by the CIA's inspector general to determine whether he helped Wilkes gain CIA contracts.”; see also here, for a certain kind of CIA take, a kind I frankly don’t put much trust in, on the matter of Goss and Foggo).  Since the quick timing indicates that Goss was fired on very short notice, and Foggo may be resigning, you have to wonder whether Goss tried to use Foggo’s blackmail pictures to gain some ground on the White House in the ongoing CIA-Cheney turf wars, and Cheney proved again that he is the biggest sumabitch around (Goss on the resignation:  “it's one of those mysteries”).  The odd firing by Goss of Mary McCarthy – fired for leaking to the press when she probably didn’t leak – probably has something to do with this.  If you read between the lines a bit, you can see that there are indications that Goss is an old hand at using sexual blackmail to deal with his political obstacles.