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GIs limited combat tour legislation failed.... Posted on Sep 19, 2007 at 10:00 PM
Falcon stated a few weeks back something like, well if the Dems wanted the occupation to end why don't they pass a bill. The answer is simple; each time a bill is brought into the senate, the GOPs either block the vote [filibuster] or vote against it. The latest GOP victory, Webb Amdt. No. 2909: which specifies minimum periods between deployment of units and members of the Armed Forces deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. All but 6 GOPs voted for indefinite tours of duty. The 6 GOPs who really support the troops: Collins (R-ME), Snowe (R-ME), Coleman (R-MN), Hagel (R-NE), Sununu (R-NH), Smith (R-OR). Not one Dem voted against limiting CONTINOUS tours. Hagel, [R-NE], said the White House also "has been very effective at making this a loyalty test for the Republican Party." Now that is the GOP party's verse of supporting the troops. I see the NEW nation pledge should go something like, "I pledge Allegiance to the Bush and the GOP National Party". You got to love those hypocrites.
Justice for All? Posted on Sep 19, 2007 at 02:39 PM
Today, the GOPs in the US Senate filibuster a bill that would return habeas corpus rights to "terrorism suspects". For those who may not know, a filibuster means that the senate body will not allow a vote on a pending bill. The US courts have stated that the Shrub's removal of Habeas Corpus is unconstitutional. Just to remind people the following words from the United State pledge of Allegiance: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all." Funny, but it seems 'justice for all' is no longer valid. Who stated, "they [the terrorist] hate US for are freedoms"? Remember that lie? Here is the real issue: why shouldn't anyone who is arrested/detained be notified of the reason(s) of their detainment, and why should not they be allowed civil or military court proceeding(s)? I'm sure many at this site can 'relate' to being arrested. So, how would you like it if you were held indefinitely without being given the right to have your arrest and detainment contested in a court of law? Bye bye to Justice for all eh? You got to love the GOP verson of the US constitution.
Iraqi kick-out Soldiers of Forture.. but Posted on Sep 17, 2007 at 03:30 PM
Yahoo News 09/17/07 "BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government announced Monday it was ordering Blackwater USA, the security firm [soldiers of forture] that protects U.S. diplomats, to leave the country after what it said was the fatal shooting of eight Iraqi civilians following a car bomb attack against a State Department convoy. The presence of so many visible, aggressive Western security contractors has angered many Iraqis, who consider them a mercenary force that runs roughshod over people in their own country. Sunday's shooting was the latest in a series of incidents in which Blackwater and other foreign contractors have been accused of shooting to death Iraqi citizens. None has faced charges or prosecution." And none will if the Scrub gets his way. "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki late Monday and the two agreed to conduct a "fair and transparent investigation" and hold any wrongdoers accountable, said Yassin Majid, an adviser to the prime minister. Rice was expected to visit the Mideast on Tuesday." Yeah, Bush will take care of Blackwater like he took care of the people that outted Plames [the CIA WMD Agent who spent 20 years of her life developing covert contacts in Iran and Iraq] who Libby outted on orders from Cheney. Mission accomplished.
The War As We Saw It #4/5 Posted on Sep 07, 2007 at 07:50 AM
The war as we saw it #4/5 New York Times - 08/19/07 The Iraqi government is run by the main coalition partners of the Shiite-dominated United Iraqi Alliance, with Kurds as minority members. The Shiite clerical establishment formed the alliance to make sure its people did not succumb to the same mistake as in 1920: rebelling against the occupying Western force (then the British) and losing what they believed was their inherent right to rule Iraq as the majority. The qualified and reluctant welcome we received from the Shiites since the invasion has to be seen in that historical context. They saw in us something useful for the moment. Now that moment is passing, as the Shiites have achieved what they believe is rightfully theirs. Their next task is to figure out how best to consolidate the gains, because reconciliation without consolidation risks losing it all. Washington's insistence that the Iraqis correct the three gravest mistakes we made - de-Baathification, the dismantling of the Iraqi Army and the creation of a loose federalist system of government - places us at cross purposes with the government we have committed to support. Political reconciliation in Iraq will occur, but not at our insistence or in ways that meet our benchmarks. It will happen on Iraqi terms when the reality on the battlefield is congruent with that in the political sphere. There will be no magnanimous solutions that please every party the way we expect, and there will be winners and losers. The choice we have left is to decide which side we will take. Trying to please every party in the conflict - as we do now - will only ensure we are hated by all in the long run. At the same time, the most important front in the Counterinsurgency, improving basic social and economic conditions, is the one on which we have failed most miserably. Two million Iraqis are in refugee camps in bordering countries. Close to two million more are internally displaced and now fill many urban slums.
The War As We Saw It #3/5 Posted on Sep 07, 2007 at 07:41 AM
The war as we saw it #3/5 New York Times - 08/19/07 By Army Specialist Sergeant Buddhika Jayamaha, Sergeant Wesley D. Smith, Sergeant Jeremy Roebuck, Ssergeant Omar Mora, Sergeant dward Sandmeier, Sergeant Yance T. Gray, Staff Sergeant Jeremy A. Murphy (In the course of writing this article, this fact became all too clear: one of us, Staff Sergeant Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head during a "time-sensitive target acquisition mission" on Aug. 12; he is expected to survive and is being flown to a military hospital in the United States.) While we have the will and the resources to fight in this context, we are effectively hamstrung because realities on the ground require measures we will always refuse - namely, the widespread use of lethal and brutal force. Given the situation, it is important not to assess security from an American-centered perspective. The ability of, say, American observers to safely walk down the streets of formerly violent towns is not a resounding indicator of security. What matters is the experience of the local citizenry and the future of our counterinsurgency. When we take this view, we see that a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side. Coupling our military strategy to an insistence that the Iraqis meet political benchmarks for reconciliation is also unhelpful. The morass in the government has fueled impatience and confusion while providing no semblance of security to average Iraqis. Leaders are far from arriving at a lasting political settlement. This should not be surprising, since a lasting political solution will not be possible while the military situation remains in constant flux.
The War As We Saw It #1/5 Posted on Sep 07, 2007 at 07:32 AM
The war as we saw it #1/5 New York Times - 08/19/07 By Army Specialist Sergeant Buddhika Jayamaha, Sergeant Wesley D. Smith, Sergeant Jeremy Roebuck, Ssergeant Omar Mora, Sergeant dward Sandmeier, Sergeant Yance T. Gray, Staff Sergeant Jeremy A. Murphy Viewed from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.) The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere. What soldiers call the "battle space" remains the same, with changes only at the margins. It is crowded with actors who do not fit neatly into boxes: Sunni extremists, Al Qaeda terrorists, Shiite militiamen, criminals and armed tribes. This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at United States taxpayers' expense. A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between an Iraqi Army checkpoint and a po...
John Bruhns, US Army Infantry Sergeant Posted on Sep 06, 2007 at 07:29 PM
Original post date: 09/05/07 By John Bruhns Former US Army Infantry Sergeant "I served in Baghdad as an army sergeant for the first year of the war. Within my first days there, I realized that so much of what I had been told?about weapons of mass destruction, connections to 9/11?was just White House spin to sell the war. I'm seeing the same thing all over again now. Even with this being the bloodiest summer for US troops in Iraq, even with Iraqi casualties running at twice the pace of last year, and even with 15 of 18 of President Bush's own benchmarks unmet, the White House is at it again. They're telling us that black is white, up is down, and things in Iraq are going just great thanks to the troop "surge." This month Congress is going to vote on war policy for the next year?and Bush is hoping all this "progress" talk will scare Congress away from voting for withdrawal. We can't let that happen. Almost 4,000 US troops have died. We've spent half a trillion dollars in Iraq. Every day you turn on the news and more people are killed. We need Congress to stand up and fight to bring our troops home this fall. I need your help to make sure that happens. Can you sign this petition demanding that Congress begin a fully funded redeployment and start bringing our troops home from Iraq immediately? I'll deliver your comments to Congress myself next week. Clicking below will add your name: (Google it) I left Iraq on February 27, 2004 and from what I hear from my friends who are still there?many on their third or fourth deployments?it's worse now than ever before. The "surge" was a failure and it's time to draw down our troops. This president can't be trusted, his policy is reckless and it's more and more dangerous every day." Another crazy Peace-nik?
The war as we saw it #5/5 Posted on Sep 05, 2007 at 10:48 PM
The war as we saw it #5/5 from newyorktimes 08/19/07 By Army Specialist Sergeant Buddhika Jayamaha, Sergeant Wesley D. Smith, Sergeant Jeremy Roebuck, Ssergeant Omar Mora, Sergeant dward Sandmeier, Sergeant Yance T. Gray, Staff Sergeant Jeremy A. Murphy Cities lack regular electricity, telephone services and sanitation. "Lucky" Iraqis live in gated communities barricaded with concrete blast walls that provide them with a sense of communal claustrophobia rather than any sense of security we would consider normal. In a lawless environment where men with guns rule the streets, engaging in the banalities of life has become a death-defying act. Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages. As an Iraqi man told us a few days ago with deep resignation, "We need security, not free food." In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are - an army of occupation - and force our withdrawal. Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities. We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through. My Comments: Now don't that make the majority of you chickhawks look like fools? Stay tuned fools m...
The war as we saw it #2/5 Posted on Sep 05, 2007 at 10:41 PM
The war as we saw it #2/5 By Army Specialist Sergeant Buddhika Jayamaha, Sergeant Wesley D. Smith, Sergeant Jeremy Roebuck, Ssergeant Omar Mora, Sergeant dward Sandmeier, Sergeant Yance T. Gray, Staff Sergeant Jeremy A. Murphy Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and Army officers escorted the triggermen and helped plant the bomb. These civilians highlighted their own predicament: had they informed the Americans of the bomb before the incident, the Iraqi Army, the police or the local Shiite militia would have killed their families. As many grunts will tell you, this is a near-routine event. Reports that a majority of Iraqi Army commanders are now reliable partners can be considered only misleading rhetoric. The truth is that battalion commanders, even if well meaning, have little to no influence over the thousands of obstinate men under them, in an incoherent chain of command, who are really loyal only to their militias. Similarly, Sunnis, who have been underrepresented in the new Iraqi armed forces, now find themselves forming militias, sometimes with our tacit support. Sunnis recognize that the best guarantee they may have against Shiite militias and the Shiite-dominated government is to form their own armed bands. We arm them to aid in our fight against Al Qaeda. However, while creating proxies is essential in winning a counterinsurgency, it requires that the proxies are loyal to the center that we claim to support. Armed Sunni tribes have indeed become effective surrogates, but the enduring question is where their loyalties would lie in our absence. The Iraqi government finds itself working at cross purposes with us on this issue because it is justifiably fearful that Sunni militias will turn on it should the Americans leave. In short, we operate in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear.
Sorry, but I ain't leaving Posted on Sep 04, 2007 at 03:27 PM
For all my wonderful supporters I just wanted to let you know I have not stopped blogging, I just didn't want to take over someone else blog. Yep, you will still have an opportunity to view me bad sp3lling and piss pour grammor, as I will have an opportunity to see how the cowed reiche-wing continue to twist the facts and scare their supported into the terrorist are coming BS. The laugh of the week is how one bk member thinks CNN is left wing. Honorible dis-mention are the bk members using the fear card of terrorism. You scared cats need to get some balls or buy a gun to protect yourselves from all them there terrorist.
7 out of 18... Posted on Sep 04, 2007 at 03:06 PM
That little know agency the non-partisan Government Accountability Office GAO, stated today that there has been no political progress by the Iraqi government. In a draft version of the GAO. report obtained last week by reporters, the agency found that the Iraqi government had failed to meet 13 of 18 military and political objectives agreed to by President Bush not 11, as the final version states. I guess someone made some changes eh? Well 7 of 18 ain't bad no?
The ethics of many .... Posted on Aug 15, 2007 at 01:45 PM
Can you believe this BS, quoted from Erin Burnett on MSNBC's Hardball, dated 08/10/07: "..or China is to start making, say, toys that don't have lead in them or food that isn't poisonous, their costs of production are going to go up and that means prices at Walmart here in the United States are going to go up too. So I would say China is our greatest friend right now. They're keeping prices low. " Nothing like the corporate run media eh? I would say it's time to stop watching crap like Hardball.
Petraeus's GI support via AK-47 give-away. Posted on Aug 13, 2007 at 08:12 PM
The Pentagon has "lost track" of about 190,000 AK47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to the Washington Post which refers to a new government report. The United States has spent $19.2 billion trying to develop Iraqi security forces since 2003, the GAO said, including $2.8 billion to buy and deliver equipment. But the GAO said weapons distribution was haphazard and rushed and failed to follow established procedures, particularly from 2004 to 2005, when security training was led by General David H. Petraeus, who now commands all U.S. forces in Iraq. The report is raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq. One senior Pentagon official acknowledged that some of the weapons probably are being used against U.S. forces. He cited the Iraqi brigade created at Fallujah that quickly dissolved in September 2004 and turned its weapons against the Americans. Petraeus just another bushtard-f-up. Mission accomplished...
bye bye Rove. Posted on Aug 13, 2007 at 08:01 PM
So now what does he do?
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Army Major General Taguba Story Part 3 of 4 Posted on Jun 23, 2007 at 12:43 PM
The General's Report by Seymour M. Hersh (NewYorker June 25, 2007) DENIABILITY A dozen government investigations have been conducted into Abu Ghraib and detainee abuse. A few of them picked up on matters raised by Taguba's report, but none followed through on the question of ultimate responsibility. Military investigators were precluded from looking into the role of Rumsfeld and other civilian leaders in the Pentagon; the result was that none found any high-level intelligence involvement in the abuse. An independent panel headed by James R. Schlesinger, a former Secretary of Defense, did conclude that there was "institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels" for Abu Ghraib, but cleared Rumsfeld of any direct responsibility. In an August, 2004, report, the Schlesinger panel endorsed Rumsfeld's complaints, citing "the reluctance to move bad news up the chain of command" as the most important factor in Washington's failure to understand the significance of Abu Ghraib. "Given the magnitude of this problem, the Secretary of Defense and other senior DoD officials need a more effective information pipeline to inform them of high-profile incidents," the report said. Schlesinger and his colleagues apparently were unaware of the early e-mail messages that had informed the Pentagon of Abu Ghraib. The official inquiries consistently provided the public with less information about abuses than outside studies conducted by human-rights groups. In one case, in November, 2004, an Army investigation, by Brigadier General Richard Formica, into the treatment of detainees at Camp Nama, a Special Forces detention center at Baghdad International Airport, concluded that detainees who reported being sodomized or beaten were seeking sympathy and better treatment, and thus were not credible. For example, Army doctors had initially noted that a complaining detainee's wounds were "consistent with the history [of abuse] he provided.... The doctor did find scars on his wrists and noted what he believed to be an anal fissure." Formica had the detainee reexamined two days later, by another doctor, who found "no fissure, and no scarring.... As a result, I did not find medical evidence of the sodomy." In the case of a detainee who died in custody, Formica noted that there had been bruising to the "shoulders, chest, hip, and knees" but added, "It is not unusual for detainees to have minor bruising, cuts and scrapes." In July, 2006, however, Human Rights Watch issued a fifty-three-page report on the "serious mistreatment" of detainees at Camp Nama and two other sites, largely based on witness accounts from Special Forces interrogators and others who served there. Formica, asked to comment, wrote in an e-mail, "I conducted a thorough investigation... and stand by my report." He said that "several issues" he discovered "were corrected." His assignment, Formica noted, was to investigate a unit, and not to conduct "a systematic analysis of Special Operations activities." The Army also protected General Miller. Since 2002, F.B.I. agents at Guantanamo had been telling their superiors that their military counterparts were abusing detainees. The F.B.I. complaints were ignored until after Abu Ghraib. When an investigation was opened, in December, 2004, General Craddock, Rumsfeld's former military aide, was in charge of the Army's Southern Command, with jurisdiction over Guantanamo -he had been promoted a few months after Taguba's visit to Rumsfeld's office. Craddock appointed Air Force Lieutenant General Randall M. Schmidt, a straight-talking fighter pilot, to investigate the charges, which included alleged abuses during Miller's tenure. "I followed the bread-crumb trail," Schmidt, who retired last year, told me. "I found some things that didn't seem right. For lack of a camera, you could have seen in Guantanamo what was seen at Abu Ghraib." Schmidt found that Miller, with the encouragement of Rumsfeld, had focussed great attention on the interrogation of Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi who was believed to be the so-called "twentieth hijacker." Qahtani was interrogated "for twenty hours a day for at least fifty-four days," Schmidt told investigators from the Army Inspector General's office, who were reviewing his findings. "I mean, here's this guy manacled, chained down, dogs brought in, put in his face, told to growl, show teeth, and that kind of stuff. And you can imagine the fear." At Guantanamo, Schmidt told the investigators, Miller "was responsible for the conduct of interrogations that I found to be abusive and degrading. The intent of those might have been to be abusive and degrading to get the information they needed.... Did the means justify the ends? That' fine.... He was responsible." Schmidt formally recommended that Miller be "held accountable" and "admonished." Craddock rejected this recommendation and absolved Miller of any responsibility for the mistreatment of the prisoners. The Inspector General inquiry endorsed Craddock's action. "I was open with them," Schmidt told me, referring to the I.G. investigators. "I told them, 'I'll do anything to help you get the truth.'" But when he read their final report, he said, "I didn't recognize the five hours of interviews with me." Schmidt learned of Craddock's reversal the day before they were to meet with Rumsfeld, in July, 2005. Rumsfeld was in frequent contact with Miller about the progress of Qahtani's interrogation, and personally approved the most severe interrogation tactics. ("This wasn't just daily business, when the Secretary of Defense is personally involved," Schmidt told the Army investigators.) Nonetheless, Schmidt was impressed by Rumsfeld's demonstrative surprise, dismay, and concern upon being told of the abuse. "He was going, 'My God! Did I authorize putting a bra and underwear on this guy's head and telling him all his buddies knew he was a homosexual?'" Schmidt was convinced. "I got to tell you that I never got the feeling that Secretary Rumsfeld was trying to hide anythianything," he told me. "He got very frustrated. He's a control guy, and this had gotten out of control. He got pissed." Rumsfeld's response to Schmidt was similar to his expressed surprise over Taguba's Abu Ghraib report. "Rummy did what we called 'case law' policy -verbal and not in writing," Taguba said. "What he's really saying is that if this decision comes back to haunt me I'll deny it." Taguba eventually concluded that there was a reason for the evasions and stonewalling by Rumsfeld and his aides. At the time he filed his report, in March of 2004, Taguba said, "I knew there was C.I.A. involvement, but I was oblivious of what else was happening" in terms of covert military-intelligence operations. Later that summer, however, he learned that the C.I.A. had serious concerns about the abusive interrogation techniques that military-intelligence operatives were using on high-value detainees. In one secret memorandum, dated June 2, 2003, General George Casey, Jr., then the director of the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, issued a warning to General Michael DeLong, at the Central Command: CIA has advised that the techniques the military forces are using to interrogate high value detainees (HVDs)... are more aggressive than the techniques used by CIA who is [sic] interviewing the same HVDs. DeLong replied to Casey that the techniques in use were "doctrinally appropriate techniques," in accordance with Army regulations and Rumsfeld's direction.
Army Major General Taguba Story Part 4 of 4 Posted on Jun 23, 2007 at 09:59 AM
The General's Report by Seymour M. Hersh (NewYorker June 25, 2007) THE TASK FORCES Abu Ghraib had opened the door on the issue of the treatment of detainees, and from the beginning the Administration feared that the publicity would expose more secret operations and practices. Shortly after September 11th, Rumsfeld, with the support of President Bush, had set up military task forces whose main target was the senior leadership of Al Qaeda. Their essential tactic was seizing and interrogating terrorists and suspected terrorists; they also had authority from the President to kill certain high-value targets on sight. The most secret task-force operations were categorized as Special Access Programs, or S.A.P.s. The military task forces were under the control of the Joint Special Operations Command, the branch of the Special Operations Command that is responsible for counterterrorism. One of Miller's unacknowledged missions had been to bring the J.S.O.C.'s "strategic interrogation" techniques to Abu Ghraib. In special cases, the task forces could bypass the chain of command and deal directly with Rumsfeld's office. A former senior intelligence official told me that the White House was also briefed on task-force operations. The former senior intelligence official said that when the images of Abu Ghraib were published, there were some in the Pentagon and the White House who "didn't think the photographs were that bad" -in that they put the focus on enlisted soldiers, rather than on secret task-force operations. Referring to the task-force members, he said, "Guys on the inside ask me, 'What's the difference between shooting a guy on the street, or in his bed, or in a prison?'" A Pentagon consultant on the war on terror also said that the "basic strategy was 'prosecute the kids in the photographs but protect the big picture.'" A recently retired C.I.A. officer, who served more than fifteen years in the clandestine service, told me that the task-force teams "had full authority to whack -to go in and conduct 'executive action,'" the phrase for political assassination. "It was surrealistic what these guys were doing," the retired operative added. "They were running around the world without clearing their operations with the ambassador or the chief of station." J.S.O.C.'s special status undermined military discipline. Richard Armitage, the former Deputy Secretary of State, told me that, on his visits to Iraq, he increasingly found that "the commanders would say one thing and the guys in the field would say, 'I don't care what he says. I'm going to do what I want.' We've sacrificed the chain of command to the notion of Special Operations and GWOT" -the global war on terrorism. "You're painting on a canvas so big that it's hard to comprehend," Armitage said. Thomas W. O'Connell, who resigned this spring after nearly four years as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, defended the task forces. He blamed the criticisms on the resentment of the rest of the military: "From my observation, the operations run by Special Ops units are extraordinarily open in terms of interagency visibility to embassies and C.I.A. stations -even to the point where there's been a question of security." O'Connell said that he dropped in unannounced to Special Operations interrogation centers in Iraq, "and the treatment of detainees was aboveboard." He added, "If people want to say we've got a serious problem with Special Operations, let them say it on the record." Representative Obey told me that he had been troubled, before the Iraq war, by the Administration's decision to run clandestine operations from the Pentagon, saying that he "found some of the things they were doing to be disquieting." At the time, his Republican colleagues blocked his attempts to have the House Appropriations Committee investigate these activities. "One of the things that bugs me is that Congress has failed in its oversight abilities," Obey said. Early last year, at his urging, his subcommittee began demanding a classified quarterly report on the operations, but Obey said that he has no reason to believe that the reports are complete. A former high-level Defense Department official said that, when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, Senator John Warner, then the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, was warned "to back off" on the investigation, because "it would spill over to more important things." A spokesman for Warner acknowledged that there had been pressure on the Senator, but said that Warner had stood up to it -insisting on putting Rumsfeld under oath for his May 7th testimony, for example, to the Secretary's great displeasure. An aggressive congressional inquiry into Abu Ghraib could have provoked unwanted questions about what the Pentagon was doing, in Iraq and elsewhere, and under what authority. By law, the President must make a formal finding authorizing a C.I.A. covert operation, and inform the senior leadership of the House and the Senate Intelligence Committees. However, the Bush Administration unilaterally determined after 9/11 that intelligence operations conducted by the military -including the Pentagon's covert task forces- for the purposes of "preparing the battlefield" could be authorized by the President, as Commander-in-Chief, without telling Congress. There was coordination between the C.I.A. and the task forces, but also tension. The C.I.A. officers, who were under pressure to produce better intelligence in the field, wanted explicit legal authority before aggressively interrogating high-value targets. A finding would give operatives some legal protection for questionable actions, but the White House was reluctant to put what it wanted in writing. A recently retired high-level C.I.A. official, who served during this period and was involved in the drafting of findings, described to me the bitter disagreements between the White House and the agency over the issue. "The problem is what constituted approval," the retired C.I.A. official said. "My people fought about this all the time. Why should we put our people on the firing line somewhere down the road? If you want me to kill Joe Smith, just tell me to kill Joe Smith. If I was the Vice-President or the President, I'd say, 'This guy Smith is a bad guy and it's in the interest of the United States for this guy to be killed.' They don't say that. Instead, George" -George Tenet, the director of the C.I.A. until mid-2004- "goes to the White House and is told, 'You guys are professionals. You know how important it is. We know you'll get the intelligence.' George would come back and say to us, 'Do what you gotta do.'" Bill Harlow, a spokesman for Tenet, depicted as "absurd" the notion that the C.I.A. director told his agents to operate outside official guidelines. He added, in an e-mailed statement, "The intelligence community insists that its officers not exceed the very explicit authorities granted." In his recently published memoir, however, Tenet acknowledged that there had been a struggle "to get clear guidance" in terms of how far to go during high-value-detainee interrogations. The Pentagon consultant said in an interview late last year that "the C.I.A. never got the exact language it wanted." The findings, when promulgated by the White House, were "very calibrated" to minimize political risk, and limited to a few countries; later, they were expanded, turning several nations in North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia into free-fire zones with regard to high-value targets. I was told by the former senior intelligence official and a government consultant that after the existence of secret C.I.A. prisons in Europe was revealed, in the Washington Post, in late 2005, the Administration responded with a new detainee center in Mauritania. After a new government friendly to the U.S. took power, in a bloodless coup d'etat in August, 2005, they said, it was much easier for the intelligence community to mask secret flights there. "The dirt and secrets are in the back channel," the former senior intelligence officer noted. "All this open business -sitting in staff meetings, etc., etc.- is the Potemkin Village stuff. And the good guys -like Taguba- are gone." In some cases, the secret operations remained unaccountable. In an April, 2005, memorandum, a C.I.D. officer -his name was redacted- complained to C.I.D. headquarters, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, about the impossibility of investigating military members of a Special Access Program suspected of prisoner abuse: [C.I.D] has been unable to thoroughly investigate... due to the suspects and witnesses involvement in Special Access Programs (SAP) and/or the security classification of the unit they were assigned to during the offense under investigation. Attempts by Special Agents to be "read on" to these programs has [sic] been unsuccessful. The C.I.D. officer wrote that "fake names were used" by members of the task force; he also told investigators that the unit had a "major computer malfunction which resulted in them losing 70 per cent of their files; therefore, they can't find the cases we need to review." The officer concluded that the investigation "does not need to be reopened. Hell, even if we reopened it we wouldn't get any more information than we already have." CONSEQUENCES Rumsfeld was vague, in his appearances before Congress, about when he had informed the President about Abu Ghraib, saying that it could have been late January or early February. He explained that he routinely met with the President "once or twice a week ... and I don't keep notes about what I do." He did remember that in mid-March he and General Myers were "meeting with the President and discussed the reports that we had obviously heard" about Abu Ghraib. Whether the President was told about Abu Ghraib in January (when e-mails informed the Pentagon of the seriousness of the abuses and of the existence of photographs) or in March (when Taguba
Army Major General Taguba Story Part 2 of 3 Posted on Jun 23, 2007 at 09:50 AM
The General's Report by Seymour M. Hersh (NewYorker June 25, 2007) THE INVESTIGATION Taguba was given the job of investigating Abu Ghraib because of circumstance: the senior officer of the 800th Military Police Brigade, to which the soldiers in the photographs belonged, was a one-star general; Army regulations required that the head of the inquiry be senior to the commander of the unit being investigated, and Taguba, a two-star general, was available. "It was as simple as that," he said. He vividly remembers his first thought upon seeing the photographs in late January of 2004: "Unbelievable! What were these people doing?" There was an immediate second thought: "This is big." Taguba decided to keep the photographs from most of the interrogators and researchers on his staff of twenty-three officers. "I didn't want them to prejudge the soldiers they were investigating, so I put the photos in a safe," he told me. "Anyone who wanted to see them had to have a need-to-know and go through me." His decision to keep the staff in the background was also intended to insure that none of them suffered damage to his or her career because of involvement in the inquiry. "I knew it was going to be very sensitive because of the gravity of what was in front of us," he said. The team spent much of February, 2004, in Iraq. Taguba was overwhelmed by the scale of the wrongdoing. "These were people who were taken off the streets and put in jail -teen-agers and old men and women," he said. "I kept on asking these questions of the officers I interviewed: 'You knew what was going on. Why didn't you do something to stop it?'" Taguba's assignment was limited to investigating the 800th M.P.s, but he quickly found signs of the involvement of military intelligence -both the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, commanded by Colonel Thomas Pappas, which worked closely with the M.P.s, and what were called "other government agencies," or O.G.A.s, a euphemism for the C.I.A. and special-operations units operating undercover in Iraq. Some of the earliest evidence involved Lieutenant Colonel Steven L. Jordan, whose name was mentioned in interviews with several M.P.s. For the first three weeks of the investigation, Jordan was nowhere to be found, despite repeated requests. When the investigators finally located him, he asked whether he needed to shave his beard before being interviewed- Taguba suspected that he had been dressing as a civilian. "When I asked him about his assignment, he says, 'I'm a liaison officer for intelligence from Army headquarters in Iraq.'" But in the course of three or four interviews with Jordan, Taguba said, he began to suspect that the lieutenant colonel had been more intimately involved in the interrogation process -some of it brutal- for "high value" detainees. "Jordan denied everything, and yet he had the authority to enter the prison's 'hard site'" -where the most important detainees were held- "carrying a carbine and an M9 pistol, which is against regulations," Taguba said. Jordan had also led a squad of military policemen in a shoot-out inside the hard site with a detainee from Syria who had managed to obtain a gun. (A lawyer for Jordan disputed these allegations; in the shoot-out, he said, Jordan was "just another gun on the extraction team" and not the leader. He noted that Jordan was not a trained interrogator.) Taguba said that Jordan's "record reflected an extensive intelligence background." He also had reason to believe that Jordan was not reporting through the chain of command. But Taguba's narrowly focussed mission constrained the questions he could ask. "I suspected that somebody was giving them guidance, but I could not print that," Taguba said. "After all Jordan's evasiveness and misleading responses, his rights were read to him," Taguba went on. Jordan subsequently became the only officer facing trial on criminal charges in connection with Abu Ghraib and is scheduled to be court-martialled in late August. (Seven M.P.s were convicted of charges that included dereliction of duty, maltreatment, and assault; one defendant, Specialist Charles Graner, was sentenced to ten years in prison.) Last month, a military judge ruled that Jordan, who is still assigned to the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, had not been appropriately advised of his rights during his interviews with Taguba, undermining the Army's allegation that he lied during the Taguba inquiry. Six other charges remain, including failure to obey an order or regulation; cruelty and maltreatment; and false swearing and obstruction of justice. (His lawyer said, "The evidence clearly shows that he is innocent.") Taguba came to believe that Lieutenant General Sanchez, the Army commander in Iraq, and some of the generals assigned to the military headquarters in Baghdad had extensive knowledge of the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib even before Joseph Darby came forward with the CD. Taguba was aware that in the fall of 2003 -when much of the abuse took place-Sanchez routinely visited the prison, and witnessed at least one interrogation. According to Taguba, "Sanchez knew exactly what was going on." Taguba learned that in August, 2003, as the Sunni insurgency in Iraq was gaining force, the Pentagon had ordered Major General Geoffrey Miller, the commander at Guantanamo, to Iraq. His mission was to survey the prison system there and to find ways to improve the flow of intelligence. The core of Miller's recommendations, as summarized in the Taguba report, was that the military police at Abu Ghraib should become part of the interrogation process: they should work closely with interrogators and intelligence officers in "setting the conditions for successful exploitation of the internees." Taguba concluded that Miller's approach was not consistent with Army doctrine, which gave military police the overriding mission of making sure that the prisons were secure and orderly. His report cited testimony that interrogators and other intelligence personnel were encouraging the abuse of detainees. "Loosen this guy up for us," one M.P. said he was told by a member of military intelligence. "Make sure he has a bad night." The M.P.s, Taguba said, "were being literally exploited by the military interrogators. My view is that those kids" -even the soldiers in the photographs- "were poorly led, not trained, and had not been given any standard operating procedures on how they should guard the detainees." Surprisingly, given Taguba's findings, Miller was the officer chosen to restore order at Abu Ghraib. In April, 2004, a month after the report was filed, he was reassigned there as the deputy commander for detainee operations. "Miller called in the spring and asked to meet with me to discuss Abu Ghraib, but I waited for him and we never did meet," Taguba recounted. Miller later told Taguba that he'd been ordered to Washington to meet with Rumsfeld before travelling to Iraq, but he never attempted to reschedule the meeting. If they had spoken, Taguba said, he would have reminded Miller that at Abu Ghraib, unlike at Guantanamo, very few prisoners were affiliated with any terrorist group. Taguba had seen classified documents revealing that there were only "one or two" suspected Al Qaeda prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Most of the detainees had nothing to do with the insurgency. A few of them were common criminals. Taguba had known Miller for years. "We served together in Korea and in the Pentagon, and his wife and mine used to go shopping together," Taguba said. But, after his report became public, "Miller didn't talk to me. He didn't say a word when I passed him in the hallway." Despite the subsequent public furor over Abu Ghraib, neither the House nor the Senate Armed Services Committee hearings led to a serious effort to determine whether the scandal was a result of a high-level interrogation policy that encouraged abuse. At the House Committee hearing on May 7, 2004, a freshman Democratic congressman, Kendrick Meek, of Florida, asked Rumsfeld if it was time for him to resign. Rumsfeld replied, "I would resign in a minute if I thought that I couldn't be effective.... I have to wrestle with that." But, he added, "I'm certainly not going to resign because some people are trying to make a political issue out of it." (Rumsfeld stayed in office for the next two and a half years, until the day after the 2006 congressional elections.) When I spoke to Meek recently, he said, "There was no way Rumsfeld didn't know what was going on. He's a guy who wants to know everything, and what he was giving us was hard to believe." Later that month, Rumsfeld appeared before a closed hearing of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which votes on the funds for all secret operations in the military. Representative David Obey, of Wisconsin, the senior Democrat at the hearing, told me that he had been angry when a fellow subcommittee member "made the comment that 'Abu Ghraib was the price of defending democracy.' I said that wasn't the way I saw it, and that I didn't want to see some corporal made into a scapegoat. This could not have happened without people in the upper echelon of the Administration giving signals. I just didn't see how this was not systemic." Obey asked Rumsfeld a series of pointed questions. Taguba attended the closed hearing with Rumsfeld and recalled him bristling at Obey's inquiries. "I don't know what happened!" Rumsfeld told Obey. "Maybe you want to ask General Taguba." Taguba got a chance to answer questions on May 11th, when he was summoned to appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Under-Secretary Stephen Cambone sat beside him. (Cambone was Rumsfeld's point man on interrogation policy.) Cambone, too, told the committee that he hadn't known about the specific abuses at Abu Ghraib until he saw Taguba?s report, "when I was exposed to some of those photographs." Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, tried to focus on whether Abu Ghraib was the consequence of a lar
Army Major General Taguba Story Part 1 of 4 Posted on Jun 23, 2007 at 09:22 AM
How Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties. The General's Report by Seymour M. Hersh (NewYorker June 25, 2007) On the afternoon of May 6, 2004, Army Major General Antonio M. Taguba was summoned to meet, for the first time, with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in his Pentagon conference room. Rumsfeld and his senior staff were to testify the next day, in televised hearings before the Senate and the House Armed Services Committees, about abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, in Iraq. The previous week, revelations about Abu Ghraib, including photographs showing prisoners stripped, abused, and sexually humiliated, had appeared on CBS and in The New Yorker. In response, Administration officials had insisted that only a few low-ranking soldiers were involved and that America did not torture prisoners. They emphasized that the Army itself had uncovered the scandal. If there was a redeeming aspect to the affair, it was in the thoroughness and the passion of the Army's initial investigation. The inquiry had begun in January, and was led by General Taguba, who was stationed in Kuwait at the time. Taguba filed his report in March. In it he found: Numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees... systemic and illegal abuse. Taguba was met at the door of the conference room by an old friend, Lieutenant General Bantz J. Craddock, who was Rumsfeld's senior military assistant. Craddock's daughter had been a babysitter for Taguba's two children when the officers served together years earlier at Fort Stewart, Georgia. But that afternoon, Taguba recalled, "Craddock just said, very coldly, 'Wait here.'" In a series of interviews early this year, the first he has given, Taguba told me that he understood when he began the inquiry that it could damage his career; early on, a senior general in Iraq had pointed out to him that the abused detainees were "only Iraqis." Even so, he was not prepared for the greeting he received when he was finally ushered in. "Here... comes... that famous General Taguba -of the Taguba report!" Rumsfeld declared, in a mocking voice. The meeting was attended by Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld's deputy; Stephen Cambone, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (J.C.S.); and General Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, along with Craddock and other officials. Taguba, describing the moment nearly three years later, said, sadly, "I thought they wanted to know. I assumed they wanted to know. I was ignorant of the setting." In the meeting, the officials professed ignorance about Abu Ghraib. "Could you tell us what happened?" Wolfowitz asked. Someone else asked, "Is it abuse or torture?" At that point, Taguba recalled, "I described a naked detainee lying on the wet floor, handcuffed, with an interrogator shoving things up his rectum, and said, 'That's not abuse. That's torture.' There was quiet." Rumsfeld was particularly concerned about how the classified report had become public. "General," he asked, "who do you think leaked the report?" Taguba responded that perhaps a senior military leader who knew about the investigation had done so. "It was just my speculation," he recalled. "Rumsfeld didn't say anything." (I did not meet Taguba until mid-2006 and obtained his report elsewhere.) Rumsfeld also complained about not being given the information he needed. "Here I am," Taguba recalled Rumsfeld saying, "just a Secretary of Defense, and we have not seen a copy of your report. I have not seen the photographs, and I have to testify to Congress tomorrow and talk about this." As Rumsfeld spoke, Taguba said, "He's looking at me. It was a statement." At best, Taguba said, "Rumsfeld was in denial." Taguba had submitted more than a dozen copies of his report through several channels at the Pentagon and to the Central Command headquarters, in Tampa, Florida, which ran the war in Iraq. By the time he walked into Rumsfeld's conference room, he had spent weeks briefing senior military leaders on the report, but he received no indication that any of them, with the exception of General Schoomaker, had actually read it. (Schoomaker later sent Taguba a note praising his honesty and leadership.) When Taguba urged one lieutenant general to look at the photographs, he rebuffed him, saying, "I don't want to get involved by looking, because what do you do with that information, once you know what they show?" Taguba also knew that senior officials in Rumsfeld's office and elsewhere in the Pentagon had been given a graphic account of the pictures from Abu Ghraib, and told of their potential strategic significance, within days of the first complaint. On January 13, 2004, a military policeman named Joseph Darby gave the Army's Criminal Investigation Division (C.I.D.) a CD full of images of abuse. Two days later, General Craddock and Vice-Admiral Timothy Keating, the director of the Joint Staff of the J.C.S., were e-mailed a summary of the abuses depicted on the CD. It said that approximately ten soldiers were shown, involved in acts that included: "Having male detainees pose nude while female guards pointed at their genitals; having female detainees exposing themselves to the guards; having detainees perform indecent acts with each other; and guards physically assaulting detainees by beating and dragging them with choker chains." Taguba said, "You didn't need to 'see' anything -just take the secure e-mail traffic at face value." I learned from Taguba that the first wave of materials included descriptions of the sexual humiliation of a father with his son, who were both detainees. Several of these images, including one of an Iraqi woman detainee baring her breasts, have since surfaced; others have not. (Taguba's report noted that photographs and videos were being held by the C.I.D. because of ongoing criminal investigations and their "extremely sensitive nature.") Taguba said that he saw a ?video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee." The video was not made public in any of the subsequent court proceedings, nor has there been any public government mention of it. Such images would have added an even more inflammatory element to the outcry over Abu Ghraib. "It's bad enough that there were photographs of Arab men wearing women's panties," Taguba said. On January 20th, the chief of staff at Central Command sent another e-mail to Admiral Keating, copied to General Craddock and Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the Army commander in Iraq. The chief of staff wrote, "Sir: update on alleged detainee abuse per our discussion. DID IT REALLY HAPPEN? Yes, currently have 4 confessions implicating perhaps 10 soldiers. DO PHOTOS EXIST? Yes. A CD with approx 100 photos and a video -CID has these in their possession." In subsequent testimony, General Myers, the J.C.S. chairman, acknowledged, without mentioning the e-mails, that in January information about the photographs had been given "to me and the Secretary up through the chain of command... And the general nature of the photos, about nudity, some mock sexual acts and other abuse, was described." Nevertheless, Rumsfeld, in his appearances before the Senate and the House Armed Services Committees on May 7th, claimed to have had no idea of the extensive abuse. "It breaks our hearts that in fact someone didn't say, 'Wait, look, this is terrible. We need to do something,'" Rumsfeld told the congressmen. "I wish we had known more, sooner, and been able to tell you more sooner, but we didn't." Rumsfeld told the legislators that, when stories about the Taguba report appeared, "it was not yet in the Pentagon, to my knowledge." As for the photographs, Rumsfeld told the senators, "I say no one in the Pentagon had seen them"; at the House hearing, he said, "I didn't see them until last night at 7:30." Asked specifically when he had been made aware of the photographs, Rumsfeld said: There were rumors of photographs in a criminal prosecution chain back sometime after January 13th... I don't remember precisely when, but sometime in that period of January, February, March... The legal part of it was proceeding along fine. What wasn't proceeding along fine is the fact that the President didn't know, and you didn't know, and I didn't know. "And, as a result, somebody just sent a secret report to the press, and there they are," Rumsfeld said. Taguba, watching the hearings, was appalled. He believed that Rumsfeld's testimony was simply not true. "The photographs were available to him -if he wanted to see them," Taguba said. Rumsfeld's lack of knowledge was hard to credit. Taguba later wondered if perhaps Cambone had the photographs and kept them from Rumsfeld because he was reluctant to give his notoriously difficult boss bad news. But Taguba also recalled thinking, "Rumsfeld is very perceptive and has a mind like a steel trap. There's no way he's suffering from C.R.S. -Can't Remember Shit. He's trying to acquit himself, and a lot of people are lying to protect themselves." It distressed Taguba that Rumsfeld was accompanied in his Senate and House appearances by senior military officers who concurred with his denials. "The whole idea that Rumsfeld projects -'We're here to protect the nation from terrorism'- is an oxymoron," Taguba said. "He and his aides have abused their offices and have no idea of the values and high standards that are expected of them. And they've dragged a lot of officers with them." In response to detailed queries about this article, Colonel Gary Keck, a Pentagon spokesman, said in an e-mail, "The department did not promulgate interrogation policies or guidelines that directed, sanctioned, or encouraged abuse." He added, "When there have been abuses, those violations are taken seriously, acted upon promptly, investigated thoroughly, and the wrongdoers are held accountable." Regarding early warnings abou
Neocon Threat by Paul Craig Roberts Posted on Jun 13, 2007 at 07:23 PM
The Neocon Threat to World Peace and American Freedom by Paul Craig Roberts The Bush/Cheney White House, which told the American people in 2003 that the Iraqi invasion would be a three-to-six-week affair, now tells us that the U.S. occupation is permanent. Forever. Attentive Americans, of which, alas, there are so few, had already concluded that the occupation was permanent. Permanence is the obvious message from the massive and fortified U.S. embassy under construction in Iraq and from the large permanent military bases that the Bush regime is building in Iraq. Bush regime propagandists have created a false analogy with "the Korean model" in their effort to sell the permanent occupation of Iraq as necessary for Iraq's security. More than one half century after the close of the Korean war, U.S. troops continue to be based in Korea, as they are in Germany more than six decades after the end of World War II. The rationale for the U.S. troops in South Korea is to remind North Korea that an attack on South Korea is an attack on the U.S. itself. The rationale for U.S. troops in Germany disappeared when Reagan and Gorbachev brought the Cold War to an end. There is, of course, no similarity between Iraq and Korea. There was no insurgency in Korea and no attacks on U.S. troops based in South Korea once the fighting stopped. The presence of U.S. troops in South Korea has produced many protest demonstrations by South Koreans, but the U.S. troops in South Korea have had no exposure to combat since the war ended in 1953. In contrast, the insurgency in Iraq continues to rage and could expand dramatically if Shi'ites were to join the Sunnis in attacks on U.S. forces. Most American military leaders no longer believe the insurgency can be defeated. Permanent occupation means permanent insurgency. Indeed, an attempt at permanent occupation could possibly unify the Arabs in a joint effort to expel the Americans. The absurd analogy with Korea is so far-fetched that it raises the question whether the Bush/Cheney regime has entered a new, higher level of delusion. Bush cannot keep troops in Iraq permanently unless he intends to remain permanently in the White House. Even some Republicans in Congress are talking about beginning withdrawals of U.S. troops in September. Republicans believe that if withdrawals do not begin, their party will be wiped out in the 2008 election. The wild card is the neoconservatives' long-standing alliance with Israeli Zionists. The neoconservatives still have a death grip on the discredited Bush regime. Jim Lobe describes the extensive international organization that the neoconservatives have put into place for the purpose of orchestrating an attack on Iran. A sane reader might wonder why neoconservatives would want to expand a conflict in which the U.S. has failed. Surely, even delusional "cakewalk" neoconservatives must realize that attacking Iran would greatly increase the threat to U.S. troops in Iraq and perhaps bring missile attacks on oil facilities and U.S. bases throughout the Middle East. An attack on Iran would further radicalize Muslims and further undermine U.S. puppets in the Middle East. It could bring war to the entire region. The point is that the neoconservatives do realize this. Their defeat in Iraq and Israel's defeat in Lebanon have taught the neoconservatives that the U.S. cannot prevail in the Middle East by conventional military means. As I have previously explained, the neoconservatives' plan is to escape the failure of their Iraq plan by orchestrating a war with Iran in which the U.S. can prevail only by using nuclear weapons. As previously reported, the neoconservatives believe that the use of nuclear weapons against Iran will convince Muslims that they must accept U.S. hegemony. The neoconservatives have put the elements of their plan in place. They have powerful naval forces on station off Iran's coast. They have convinced President Bush that only by attacking Iran can he prevail in Iraq. The neoconservatives have rewritten U.S. war doctrine to permit preemptive U.S. nuclear attacks on non-nuclear countries. They have demonized Iran as the greatest threat since Hitler. Neoconservatives have invented "Islamofascism," something that exists only in the neoconservative propaganda used to instill in Americans hatred of Muslims. The neoconservatives have dehumanized Muslims as monsters who must be destroyed at all costs. Recent statements by neoconservative leaders such as Norman Podhoretz read like the ravings of ignorant lunatics. Podhoretz has written Muslims out of the human race. He demands that their culture be deracinated. Neoconservatives, convinced that a nuclear attack will bring Muslims to heel, are ignoring the likely blowback and unintended consequences of an attack on Iran, just as they ignored the likely consequences of their attack on Iraq. If the neoconservatives are mistaken in their assumption that nuclear weapons will cause Muslims to submit to the U.S., the consequences will be unmanageable. The neoconservative Bush regime has got away with more than I thought possible, perhaps because most of Congress and the American public cannot imagine the degree of insanity that lies behind the Bush administration. Most Americans who have turned against the regime think that the administration is incompetent, that it jumped to wrong conclusions about Iraq, and that it mismanaged the war and will not admit its mistakes. As every reason Bush gave for the war has proven to be false, people see no point in continuing the struggle. If Americans understood the enormity of the deception behind the invasion of Iraq (and Afghanistan) and the pending attack on Iran, Bush and Cheney would be impeached and turned over to the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague, and AIPAC would be forced to register as a foreign agent. Just as Goebbels said, some lies are too big to be disbelieved. It is this disbelief that is so dangerous. The inability of Americans to see through the Big Lie to the secret agenda allows the neoconservatives to escape accountability and continue with their plot. The neoconservatives also believe that nuclear attack on Iran will isolate America in the world and thereby give the government control over the American people. The denunciations that will be hurled at Americans from every quarter will force the country to wrap itself in the flag and treat domestic critics as foreign enemies. Not only free speech but also truth itself will disappear along with every civil liberty.
for Bill34whatever.... Posted on Jun 13, 2007 at 07:18 PM
Bill Bill Bill, Where do I begin? Is this how you debate? 1) "This is not only a war it's a clash of civilizations...But the main reason they hate us is because all Americans are free". Wow! And you know this because/how? Let me guess, Druggie-Limp-Dick Rush, or was it Sean Heil Hannity? Yeah right "they hate us for our freedoms". Would you like to cite any Al Qaeda or Islamic website, newspaper article, or any other Muslim source to back up your 'opinion'? I would love to see that. 2) Berg...Ah yes, I had a few unanswered questions about Berg. Where do I begin? How about the known facts? That is always a good start. Berg arrived in Iraq for the first time in December 2003. In mid March, Berg was held by the U.S. military in the northern city of Mosul for no apparent reason, prompting his father to file a lawsuit in a federal court in Philadelphia, (British daily The Independent). He was released by the Americans on April 6 and disappeared around April 9 in unknown circumstances. His father Michael lashed out at the U.S. military and the Bush administration saying his son might still be alive had he not been detained by U.S. officials in Iraq. Berg was held without being charged and without access to a lawyer. My questions, so why was Berg held by the US military and how many or which Iraqis had access to Berg, his ID and resides in Baghdad? There are lots of unanswered questions about that. I imagine in your mind if a small group of so-called Muslims torture and murder Berg they all should pay. My only question to you is all 2 billion Muslims, or perhaps just the 19 million Muslims in Iraq? Good logic Billy. Have you read the what the Islamic Committee stated about the murder of Berg? I bet you haven't. Let me clue you in. Dr Muthana Harith al-Dhari, Secretary General of Muslim Scholars Association, strongly denounced the killing, saying it runs counter to the teachings of Islam and "does disservice to our religion and our cause." The Sunni scholar stressed this is a condemned operation whether carried out by Iraqis or non-Iraqis and whether the slain was a civilian or a military personnel. "Even if he was a military personnel he should be treated as a prisoner who, according to Shari'ah, must not be killed". Deputy Head of the Islamic Party Iyaad Samarrai said the abhorrent treatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers should never give an excuse for treating U.S. prisoners the same way. Samarrai said such acts harm the interest of the Iraqi people and their cause to end the U.S.-led occupation. Al-Dawa Party, led by Shiite Interim Governing Council member Ibrahim Al-Jafari, also condemned the decapitation of the American citizen in the strongest possible terms. "Undoubtedly, we reject these acts, which run counter to the true essence of Islam and are totally unjustified", said Jawad Al-Malki, a member of the party's politburo. He said such acts tarnish the image of Islam and play into the hands of subjective media. "The beheading of Berg is shocking, grisly, unjustified violence and an act of terrorism. By the same token, we condemn the barbaric and terrorist practices of U.S. soldiers against Iraqi prisoners, but as we don't want this to befall our people, we don't want it to befall others as well". Learn anything Bill? 3) Billy those so-called Iraqi women rights have been curtailed ever since the illegal US invasion. Perhaps you need to do a bit more reading one that one. 4) I like this one, "You are from the crowd of the Blame America first group". Nope, I in the blame Bush, the Neocons, the 2002/2003 GOP controlled Senate and House of Representatives, the US corporate controlled media for not asking the hard questions, and people just like you for not looking for the truth and who are currently perpetuating the lies under the clock of patriotism or the flag, and who are spinning right-wing bull shit. 5) I love this load of crap, "America isn't perfect and we have made mistakes in our past...It makes this country better because we have the God given right to make right our wrongs". Wow, a God given right? So how do you make right all the Iraqis who died because of our actions? How do you make right all the US GIs murdered for an oil war based on lies? How do you make right all the US GIs who will live the rest of their life crippled? It would be interesting to see how you weasel out a justification for those issues. I bet you can't. 6) I love your WWII analogy. Yeah, we invaded Iraq and now you compare our actions to events in WWII. I would stop drinking the right-wing Kool-Aid and be very careful with that analogy. Perhaps you missed this little charm of a news article: President Vladimir Putin of Russia obliquely compared the foreign policy of the United States to the Third Reich in a speech Wednesday commemorating the 62nd anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, in an apparent escalation of anti-American rhetoric within the Russian government (International Herald Tribune May 9, 2007). 7) "When war hits we fight to end tyranny. We help to stabilize the country". Yeah, I see your Idiot and Chief is doing a wonderful job in Iraq, and now the Shrub and the Neocons want to take the fight to Iran. Wonderful... 8) I'm confused on this one Bill, "We have the statue of Liberty standing tall in New York harbor. It was a gift from the French". Don't you Neocon and Shrub supporters hate the French? Oh a flippy-floppy eh? Bill now since you gave me some advise about how I should spend my free time, I will offer you some advise. Here is the address of the VA Hospital in Sacramento, 10535 Hospital Way, Mather, CA 95655 We can always use the help of a clear thinking American like you. Why do you get off your ass and volunteer? Now any time you wish to really debate the issue I presented or have presented in a past Blog you come back here and I will be happy to discuss them with you. Here are the current topics: 1) Why did bush ignore all the 911 warnings? 2) Why are we fighting in the middle of a civil war? Remember Bush stated Ameria will leave if Iraq fell into a civil war? So why are we there? Note, last poll of Iraqi Nationals stated over 80% of them want the US out. 3) Why hasn't Bush gone into Pakistan and stop Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents there? 4) Why hasn't Bush got the Master Mind of 911 (Bin Laden)? 5) Why was daddy Bush watching 911 happen with the brother of Bin Laden? 6) Why did Bush allow all the Bin Ladens to leave the US after 911 without being questioned by the FBI and over the objections of the FBI? 7) Why did the Bush administration out a CIA WMD spy? Her assignment was Iran. Now all her Iranian contacts are dead or MIA. So now where is the Chimp getting the Iran WMD Intel? I bet he is pulling it out of his ass like the 'Saddam's immediate threat to America'. Remember that lie? 8) Why did Bush state he would fire anyone who outted Plames the CIA WDM spy, and then quietly stopped the investigation? I leave you with the words of Jefferson to Madison, "And say, finally, whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government, or information to the people. This last is the most certain, and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." You see Billy, the Bushtards and Neocons love people that don't question their mandates. Until you are ready to come back and debate any of the above issues please keep your bull shit off my blog. I don't need a lesson in patriotism, but I really believe you do!