Roland99's Journal - Archives
THE STOVEPIPE by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
How conflicts between the Bush Administration and the intelligence community marred the reporting on Iraq’s weapons.
The point is not that the President and his senior aides were consciously lying. What was taking place was much more systematic—and potentially just as troublesome. Kenneth Pollack, a former National Security Council expert on Iraq, whose book “The Threatening Storm” generally supported the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein, told me that what the Bush people did was “dismantle the existing filtering process that for fifty years had been preventing the policymakers from getting bad information. They created stovepipes to get the information they wanted directly to the top leadership. Their position is that the professional bureaucracy is deliberately and maliciously keeping information from them.
“They always had information to back up their public claims, but it was often very bad information,” Pollack continued. “They were forcing the intelligence community to defend its good information and good analysis so aggressively that the intelligence analysts didn’t have the time or the energy to go after the bad information.”
The Administration eventually got its way, a former C.I.A. official said. “The analysts at the C.I.A. were beaten down defending their assessments. And they blame George Tenet”—the C.I.A. director—“for not protecting them. I’ve never seen a government like this.”
SELECTIVE INTELLIGENCE by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
Donald Rumsfeld has his own special sources. Are they reliable?
There was a close personal bond, too, between Chalabi and Wolfowitz and Perle, dating back many years. Their relationship deepened after the Bush Administration took office, and Chalabi’s ties extended to others in the Administration, including Rumsfeld; Douglas Feith, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy; and I. Lewis Libby, Vice-President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. For years, Chalabi has had the support of prominent members of the American Enterprise Institute and other conservatives. Chalabi had some Democratic supporters, too, including James Woolsey, the former head of the C.I.A.
There was another level to Chalabi’s relationship with the United States: in the mid-nineteen-nineties, the C.I.A. was secretly funnelling millions of dollars annually to the I.N.C. Those payments ended around 1996, a former C.I.A. Middle East station chief told me, essentially because the agency had doubts about Chalabi’s integrity. (In 1992, Chalabi was convicted in absentia of bank fraud in Jordan. He has always denied any wrongdoing.) “You had to treat them with suspicion,” another former Middle East station chief said of Chalabi’s people. “The I.N.C. has a track record of manipulating information because it has an agenda. It’s a political unit—not an intelligence agency.”
With the Pentagon’s support, Chalabi’s group worked to put defectors with compelling stories in touch with reporters in the United States and Europe. The resulting articles had dramatic accounts of advances in weapons of mass destruction or told of ties to terrorist groups. In some cases, these stories were disputed in analyses by the C.I.A. Misstatements and inconsistencies in I.N.C. defector accounts were also discovered after the final series of U.N. weapons inspections, which ended a few days before the American assault. Dr. Glen Rangwala, a lecturer in political science at Cambridge University, compiled and examined the information that had been made public and concluded that the U.N. inspections had failed to find evidence to support the defectors’ claims.
A former Bush Administration intelligence official recalled a case in which Chalabi’s group, working with the Pentagon, produced a defector from Iraq who was interviewed overseas by an agent from the D.I.A. The agent relied on an interpreter supplied by Chalabi’s people. Last summer, the D.I.A. report, which was classified, was leaked. In a detailed account, the London Times described how the defector had trained with Al Qaeda terrorists in the late nineteen-nineties at secret camps in Iraq, how the Iraqis received instructions in the use of chemical and biological weapons, and how the defector was given a new identity and relocated. A month later, however, a team of C.I.A. agents went to interview the man with their own interpreter. “He says, ‘No, that’s not what I said,’ ” the former intelligence official told me. “He said, ‘I worked at a fedayeen camp; it wasn’t Al Qaeda.’ He never saw any chemical or biological training.” Afterward, the former official said, “the C.I.A. sent out a piece of paper saying that this information was incorrect. They put it in writing.” But the C.I.A. rebuttal, like the original report, was classified. “I remember wondering whether this one would leak and correct the earlier, invalid leak. Of course, it didn’t.”
The former intelligence official went on, “One of the reasons I left was my sense that they were using the intelligence from the C.I.A. and other agencies only when it fit their agenda. They didn’t like the intelligence they were getting, and so they brought in people to write the stuff. They were so crazed and so far out and so difficult to reason with—to the point of being bizarre. Dogmatic, as if they were on a mission from God.” He added, “If it doesn’t fit their theory, they don’t want to accept it.”
The new Pentagon papers - By Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski
Trigilio and I had hallway debates, as friends. The one I remember most clearly was shortly after President Bush gave his famous "mushroom cloud" speech in Cincinnati in October 2002, asserting that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction as well as ties to "international terrorists," and was working feverishly to develop nuclear weapons with "nuclear holy warriors." I asked John who was feeding the president all the bull about Saddam and the threat he posed us in terms of WMD delivery and his links to terrorists, as none of this was in secret intelligence I had seen in the past years. John insisted that it wasn't an exaggeration, but when pressed to say which actual intelligence reports made these claims, he would only say, "Karen, we have sources that you don't have access to." It was widely felt by those of us in the office not in the neoconservatives' inner circle that these "sources" related to the chummy relationship that Ahmad Chalabi had with both the Office of Special Plans and the office of the vice president.
But evolve they did, and the subtle changes I saw from September to late January revealed what the Office of Special Plans was contributing to national security. Two key types of modifications were directed or approved by Shulsky and his team of politicos. First was the deletion of entire references or bullets. The one I remember most specifically is when they dropped the bullet that said one of Saddam's intelligence operatives had met with Mohammad Atta in Prague, supposedly salient proof that Saddam was in part responsible for the 9/11 attack. That claim had lasted through a number of revisions, but after the media reported the claim as unsubstantiated by U.S. intelligence, denied by the Czech government, and that Atta's location had been confirmed by the FBI to be elsewhere, that particular bullet was dropped entirely from our "advice on things to say" to senior Pentagon officials when they met with guests or outsiders.
Some bullets were softened, particularly statements of Saddam's readiness and capability in the chemical, biological or nuclear arena. Others were altered over time to match more exactly something Bush and Cheney said in recent speeches. One item I never saw in our talking points was a reference to Saddam's purported attempt to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger. The OSP list of crime and evil had included Saddam's attempts to seek fissionable materials or uranium in Africa. This point was written mostly in the present tense and conveniently left off the dates of the last known attempt, sometime in the late 1980s. I was surprised to hear the president's mention of the yellowcake in Niger in his 2003 State of the Union address because that indeed was new and in theory might have represented new intelligence, something that seemed remarkably absent in any of the products provided us by the OSP (although not for lack of trying). After hearing of it, I checked with my old office of Sub-Saharan African Affairs -- and it was news to them, too. It also turned out to be false.
It is interesting today that the "defense" for those who lied or prevaricated about Iraq is to point the finger at the intelligence. But the National Intelligence Estimate, published in September 2002, as remarked upon recently by former CIA Middle East chief Ray McGovern, was an afterthought. It was provoked only after Sens. Bob Graham and Dick Durban noted in August 2002, as Congress was being asked to support a resolution for preemptive war, that no NIE elaborating real threats to the United States had been provided. In fact, it had not been written, but a suitable NIE was dutifully prepared and submitted the very next month. Naturally, this document largely supported most of the outrageous statements already made publicly by Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld about the threat Iraq posed to the United States. All the caveats, reservations and dissents made by intelligence were relegated to footnotes and kept from the public. Funny how that worked.
I shared some of my concerns with a civilian who had been remotely acquainted with the Luti-Feith-Perle political clan in his previous work for one of the senior Pentagon witnesses during the Iran-Contra hearings. He told me these guys were engaged in something worse than Iran-Contra. I was curious but he wouldn't tell me anything more. I figured he knew what he was talking about. I thought of him when I read much later about the 2002 and 2003 meetings between Michael Ledeen, Reuel Marc Gerecht and Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar -- all Iran-Contra figures.
War is generally crafted and pursued for political reasons, but the reasons given to the Congress and to the American people for this one were inaccurate and so misleading as to be false. Moreover, they were false by design. Certainly, the neoconservatives never bothered to sell the rest of the country on the real reasons for occupation of Iraq -- more bases from which to flex U.S. muscle with Syria and Iran, and better positioning for the inevitable fall of the regional ruling sheikdoms. Maintaining OPEC on a dollar track and not a euro and fulfilling a half-baked imperial vision also played a role. These more accurate reasons for invading and occupying could have been argued on their merits -- an angry and aggressive U.S. population might indeed have supported the war and occupation for those reasons. But Americans didn't get the chance for an honest debate.
Hijacking Catastrophe - by Karen Kwiatkowski (Lt. Col. USAF retired)
Hijacking Catastrophe is powerful, understated, straightforward and educational. In a single meticulously organized hour of evidence and analysis, viewers are treated to a thoughtful explanation of modern American empire, neo-conservatism as a driving force for the current Bush administration.
Video (right-click and Save As)...this requires Real Player (I use Real Alternative) to view
Colin Powell and Condi Rice stating (in 2001) Saddam had no WMDs and was contained
The facts and the truth are there for ALL to see. There is NO denying, logically or sanely, the treasonous actions commited by these neocons against the US Constitution, international law, and the people of Iraq.
How long must we wait until the "liberal media" finally and fully outs the criminals for what they are?
Gen. Petraeus: "We have never given weapons to tribals," he said. "What we have done is applaud when they ask if they can point their guns at al-Qaeda."
U.S. arming Sunnis in Iraq to battle old Qaeda allies
BAGHDAD: With the four-month-old increase in American troops showing only modest success in curbing insurgent attacks, American commanders are turning to another strategy that they acknowledge is fraught with risk: arming Sunni Arab groups that have promised to fight militants linked with Al Qaeda who have been their allies in the past.
American commanders say they have successfully tested the strategy in Anbar Province west of Baghdad and have held talks with Sunni groups in at least four areas of central and north-central Iraq where the insurgency has been strong. In some cases, the American commanders say, the Sunni groups are suspected of involvement in past attacks on American troops or of links to such groups. Some of these groups, they say, have been provided, usually through Iraqi military units allied with the Americans, with arms, ammunition, cash, fuel and supplies.
American officers who have engaged in what they call outreach to the Sunni groups say many of them have had past links to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia but grew disillusioned with the Islamic militants' extremist tactics, particularly suicide bombings that have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians. In exchange for American backing, these officials say, the Sunni groups have agreed to fight Al Qaeda and halt attacks on American units. Commanders who have undertaken these negotiations say that in some cases, Sunni groups have agreed to alert American troops to the location of roadside bombs and other lethal boobytraps.
American field commanders met this month in Baghdad with General David Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, to discuss the conditions Sunni groups would have to meet to win American assistance. Senior officers who attended the meeting said that Petraeus and the operational commander who is the second-ranking American officer here, Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, gave cautious approval to field commanders to negotiate with Sunni groups in their areas.
US arms Sunni dissidents in risky bid to contain al-Qaida fighters in Iraq
Petraeus stating plans were afoot and that Maliki supported one in Anbar:
Gen. Petraeus concerned about US arming insurgents
The Iraqi government has strongly objected to to the US strategy of arming Sunni insurgents. In a Newsweek interview published Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki blasted that strategy, saying that it "will create new militias."
"I believe that the Coalition forces do not know the backgrounds of the tribes. It is a job of the
Petraeus indicated that the Iraqi government was behind the plan, however, saying that the US has had "good discussions" with the parliament in Iraq, and implying that Maliki was behind a similar plan in Anbar province.
Will the real Gen. Petraeus please rise???
Bush Says (2004) Election Ratified Iraq Policy
the president urged Americans to show patience as Iraq moves slowly toward creating a democratic nation where a dictatorship once stood.
Bush Cites Progress, Urges Patience on Iraq
Iraqi troops are increasingly taking the lead in battle but that "this will take time and patience."
Bush calls for patience as vote nears
After Iraq Visit, Bush Urges Patience
Conceding Missteps, Bush Urges Patience on Iraq
Bush in Independence Day plea for war patience
And I mean that. In fact, in more ways than one.
The first and most glaring way the horribly waged war of aggression in Iraq has damaged us more is in the loss of life. We lost 2,973 persons in the 9/11 attacks. As of May 1, 2007, we've lost 4,017 (Coalition troops + contractors). Over 1,000 more are dead as a result of invading Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11, than the original attacks themselves. Plus, that doesn't begin to cover the number of Iraqis killed which is at least ~63,000 per Iraqbodycount.net. And there's no end in sight to additional carnage courtesy of the ill-advised "surge" and continued sectarian violence.
Second, financially we have been hit harder. A Milliken Institute study came up with about $300 billion in losses (buildings, jobs, investments, etc.) due directly to the 9/11 attacks. The total for the Iraq War spent-to-date is $422 billion according to costofwar.com and probably another $100 billion in the new legislation being sent to Bush today is for Iraq? Half a trillion dollars. And that doesn't cover the potential for $1-2 trillion in future healthcare costs for injured soldiers. Nor does it cover the expansion of our military and other aspects of national security receiving more money now.
Lastly, the US was a nation (even an entire planet) largely united as one after being hit so devastatingly hard. Now, however, the US is a nation largely divided by sharp, partisan rhetoric from both sides of the political spectrum. The US is now arguably a rogue nation intent on using wars of aggression to enact foreign policy for national "security". The US has become that which it despised. Killing in the name of ideology.
Arrogance is not a valued trait. Neither is ignorance nor obstinance in the face of failure (or facts).
It's time to heal.
It's time to change course.
US troops seize gang 'smuggling bombs from Iran'
So, judging from that headline which, arguably, is what many people stop at these days when perusing the web for their news, it would appear that, as a statement of fact, bombs were being smuggled from Iran. BUT, let's look at the first paragraph:
US forces on Friday detained four members of a gang suspected of smuggling armour-piercing bombs from Iran to Iraq and sending back militants for "terrorist training", the military said.
So, right off the bat the story calls the accuracy of its own headline into question.
And, the rest of the article goes on about statements made in a Pentagon release. No questioning of the accuracy, no asking for any proof, no second-guessing. Just acceptance as fact.
That, ladies and gents, are what we're faced with as this administration lights the fires and kicks the tires as they prepare for yet another disastrous war.
Future of America's financial health is at stake. Comptroller David Walker on 60 Minutes this Sunday
Posted by Roland99 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Mar 01st 2007, 06:23 PM
The Comptroller of the United States, David Walker, will be on CBS' 60 Minutes this coming Sunday, March 4.
DO NOT MISS IT!!
Walker is a key member of The Concord Coalition's Fiscal Wake-Up Tour
Our mission is to cut through the usual partisan rhetoric and stimulate a more realistic public dialogue on what we want our nation's future to look like, along with the required trade-offs. We believe that elected leaders in Washington know there is a problem, but they are unlikely to act unless their constituents better understand the need for action, and indeed, demand it. Members of the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour do not necessarily agree on the ideal levels of spending, taxes and debt, but we do agree on the following key points:
* Current fiscal policy is unsustainable
* There are no free lunch solutions, such as cutting waste fraud and abuse or growing our way out of the problem.
* The best way to make the hard choices is through a bipartisan process with all options on the table.
* Public engagement and understanding is vital in finding solutions.
* This is not about numbers. It is a moral issue.
We remind audiences that each of the realistic options comes with economic and political consequences that must be carefully weighed, and that there must be tradeoffs. Those who want to raise taxes are asked to explain what level of taxation they are willing to support and the manner in which the new revenue should be raised. Those who argue that spending must come down from projected levels are asked which programs they would target and how the savings would be achieved. Those who are unwilling to do either are asked how much debt they are willing to impose on future generations.
Our experience is that when audiences are told the facts, and shown that if they demand their "rights" to programs or policies it will have damaging economic effects to other groups or generations represented in the audience, they begin to accept the need for tradeoffs. The Fiscal Wake-Up Tour does not presume to know the "correct" answers, but we are trying to make sure that the American people and their elected leaders are asking the correct questions.
From Sludge's site currently:
U.S. COMPTROLLER: PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILL 'MAY BE THE MOST FINANCIALLY IRRESPONSIBLE LAW IN 40 YEARS'; Bill Will Add $8 Trillion to Long-Term Medicare Obligations
Thu Mar 1 2007 13:41:11 ET
That Could Already Bankrupt the U.S.
The U.S. government's top accountant says the law that added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare may be the most financially irresponsible legislation passed since the 1960s. U.S. Comptroller General David Walker says Medicare -- barring vast reform to the program and the nation's healthcare system -- is already on course to possibly bankrupt the treasury and adding the prescription bill just makes the situation worse. Walker appears in a Steve Kroft report to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, March 4 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
"The prescription drug bill is probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s," says Walker, "because we promise way more than we can afford to keep." He argues that the federal government would need to have $8 trillion today, invested at treasury rates, to cover the gap between what the program is expected to take in and what it is expected to cost over the next 75 years Ð and that is in addition to more than $20 trillion that will be needed to pay for other parts of Medicare. "We can't afford to keep the promises we've already made, much less to be piling on top of them," he tells Kroft.
The problem is the baby boomers. The 78 million people born between 1946 and 1964 start becoming eligible for Social Security benefits next year. "They'll be eligible for Medicare just three years later and when those boomers start retiring en masse, then that will be a tsunami of spending that could swamp our ship of state if we don't get serious," says Walker.
As life expectancies increase and the cost of health care continues to rise at twice the rate of inflation, radical reform in health care will be necessary, Walker says. He says the federal government is also going to have to find ways to increase revenue and reduce benefits. The alternative is ugly. Walker shows Kroft General Accounting Office long-term projections that assume the status quo continues, with the same levels of taxation, spending, and economic growth. By the year 2040, Walker says, "If nothing changes, the federal government is not going to be able to do much more than pay interest on the mounting debt and some entitlement benefits. It won't have money left for anything else...."
DO NOT MISS IT!!
TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!!
edit: Oh, and here's Walker from nearly TWO YEARS AGO:
"The only thing the United States is able to do a little after 2040 is pay interest on massive and growing federal debt," Walker said. "The model blows up in the mid-2040s. What does that mean? Argentina."
"To do nothing," Butler added, "would lead to deficits of the scale we've never seen in this country or any major in industrialized country. We've seen them in Argentina. That's a chilling thought, but it would mean that."
Walker put U.S. debt and obligations at $45 trillion in current dollars -- almost as much as the total net worth of all Americans, or $150,000 per person. Balancing the budget in 2040, he said, could require cutting total federal spending as much as 60 percent or raising taxes to 2 1/2 times today's levels.
Butler pointed out that without changes to Social Security and Medicare, in 25 years either a quarter of discretionary spending would need to be cut or U.S. tax rates would have to approach European levels. Putting it slightly differently, Sawhill posed a choice of 10 percent cuts in spending and much larger cuts in Social Security and Medicare, or a 40 percent increase in government spending relative to the size of the economy, and equivalent tax increases.
The plan was announced on 14 June 2006 by the then-recently installed Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and intended to increase security conditions in Baghdad through instituting major new measures. Operation Together Forward was planned as an operation to be led primarily by Iraqis but with Coalition support and would put about 70,000 security forces on the streets of Baghdad.
On 24 July 2006, it was announced that Prime Minister Maliki was heading to Washington, D.C. for talks about the security situation with President George W. Bush. The White House also publicly admitted for the first time that the Operation had been a failure, and that a new security strategy for Baghdad would be designed.
On 1 August it was announced that the U.S. would redeploy 3,700 troops from Mosul to Baghdad to bolster security in the capital. On the same day, 70 Iraqis (including 20 soldiers) were killed in Baghdad violence and bombings.
The Iraq Study Group, in its December 2006 report <3> cited Operation Together Forward II (i.e. the second phase of the Operation), writing:
In a major effort to quell the violence in Iraq, U.S. military forces joined with Iraqi forces to establish security in Baghdad with an operation called Operation Together Forward II, which began in August 2006. Under Operation Together Forward II, U.S. forces are working with members of the Iraqi Army and police to “clear, hold, and build” in Baghdad, moving neighborhood by neighborhood. There are roughly 15,000 U.S. troops in Baghdad. This operation—and the security of Baghdad—is crucial to security in Iraq more generally... The results of Operation Together Forward II are disheartening. Violence in Baghdad—already at high levels—jumped more than 43 percent between the summer and October 2006. U.S. forces continue to suffer high casualties.
So, why will 20,000 troops work wonders where 15,000 (plus thousands of Iraqi forces) troops resulted in ABJECT FAILURE and THOUSANDS OF DEATHS?!?!?!
Just look at the words of an al-Maliki advisor:
"Prime Minister al-Maliki has told everyone that there will be no escape from attack," a senior Shiite legislator and close al-Maliki adviser said. "The government has told the Sadrists: 'If we want to build a state we have no other choice but to attack armed groups.'"
The militia has more fighters, weapons and sophistication today than it did in 2004, when it battled U.S. forces to a standstill in two strongholds, the Shiite holy city of Najaf and Sadr City, Baghdad's sprawling Shiite slum.
There will be MASSIVE air assaults/bombing campaigns that will turn large areas of Baghdad in Falluja look-alike zones of complete destruction. No way will troops be going in and engaging in firefights without massive air support (the aspect that is NOT being discussed).
Also note that the US originally supported the idea that it was Iranians killed by the gas, not Kurds.
Interesting how facts change with the political climate, eh?
Al Gore on the neocons:
We simply cannot afford to further increase the risk to our country with more blunders by this team. Donald Rumsfeld, as the chief architect of the war plan, should resign today. His deputies Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and his intelligence chief Stephen Cambone should also resign. The nation is especially at risk every single day that Rumsfeld remains as Secretary of Defense.
THE GRAY ZONE
How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib.
One Pentagon official who was deeply involved in the program was Stephen Cambone, who was named Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence in March, 2003. The office was new; it was created as part of Rumsfeld’s reorganization of the Pentagon. Cambone was unpopular among military and civilian intelligence bureaucrats in the Pentagon, essentially because he had little experience in running intelligence programs, though in 1998 he had served as staff director for a committee, headed by Rumsfeld, that warned of an emerging ballistic-missile threat to the United States. He was known instead for his closeness to Rumsfeld. “Remember Henry II—‘Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?’ ” the senior C.I.A. official said to me, with a laugh, last week. “Whatever Rumsfeld whimsically says, Cambone will do ten times that much.”
Cambone was a strong advocate for war against Iraq. He shared Rumsfeld’s disdain for the analysis and assessments proffered by the C.I.A., viewing them as too cautious, and chafed, as did Rumsfeld, at the C.I.A.’s inability, before the Iraq war, to state conclusively that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction. Cambone’s military assistant, Army Lieutenant General William G. (Jerry) Boykin, was also controversial. Last fall, he generated unwanted headlines after it was reported that, in a speech at an Oregon church, he equated the Muslim world with Satan.
Early in his tenure, Cambone provoked a bureaucratic battle within the Pentagon by insisting that he be given control of all special-access programs that were relevant to the war on terror. Those programs, which had been viewed by many in the Pentagon as sacrosanct, were monitored by Kenneth deGraffenreid, who had experience in counter-intelligence programs. Cambone got control, and deGraffenreid subsequently left the Pentagon. Asked for comment on this story, a Pentagon spokesman said, “I will not discuss any covert programs; however, Dr. Cambone did not assume his position as the Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence until March 7, 2003, and had no involvement in the decision-making process regarding interrogation procedures in Iraq or anywhere else.”
The solution, endorsed by Rumsfeld and carried out by Stephen Cambone, was to get tough with those Iraqis in the Army prison system who were suspected of being insurgents. A key player was Major General Geoffrey Miller, the commander of the detention and interrogation center at Guantánamo, who had been summoned to Baghdad in late August to review prison interrogation procedures. The internal Army report on the abuse charges, written by Major General Antonio Taguba in February, revealed that Miller urged that the commanders in Baghdad change policy and place military intelligence in charge of the prison. The report quoted Miller as recommending that “detention operations must act as an enabler for interrogation.”
Secret Unit Expands Rumsfeld's Domain
Under Title 10, for example, the Defense Department must report to Congress all "deployment orders," or formal instructions from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to position U.S. forces for combat. But guidelines issued this month by Undersecretary for Intelligence Stephen A. Cambone state that special operations forces may "conduct clandestine HUMINT operations . . . before publication" of a deployment order, rendering notification unnecessary. Pentagon lawyers also define the "war on terror" as ongoing, indefinite and global in scope. That analysis effectively discards the limitation of the defense secretary's war powers to times and places of imminent combat.
In late November, 2004, the Times reported that Bush had set up an interagency group to study whether it “would best serve the nation” to give the Pentagon complete control over the C.I.A.’s own élite paramilitary unit, which has operated covertly in trouble spots around the world for decades. The panel’s conclusions, due in February, are foregone, in the view of many former C.I.A. officers. “It seems like it’s going to happen,” Howard Hart, who was chief of the C.I.A.’s Paramilitary Operations Division before retiring in 1991, told me.
Rumsfeld and two of his key deputies, Stephen Cambone, the Under-secretary of Defense for Intelligence, and Army Lieutenant General William G. (Jerry) Boykin, will be part of the chain of command for the new commando operations. Relevant members of the House and Senate intelligence committees have been briefed on the Defense Department’s expanded role in covert affairs, a Pentagon adviser assured me, but he did not know how extensive the briefings had been.
A retired four-star general said, “The basic concept has always been solid, but how do you insure that the people doing it operate within the concept of the law? This is pushing the edge of the envelope.” The general added, “It’s the oversight. And you’re not going to get Warner”—John Warner, of Virginia, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee—“and those guys to exercise oversight. This whole thing goes to the Fourth Deck.” He was referring to the floor in the Pentagon where Rumsfeld and Cambone have their offices.
“It’s a finesse to give power to Rumsfeld—giving him the right to act swiftly, decisively, and lethally,” the first Pentagon adviser told me. “It’s a global free-fire zone.”
The vermin are fleeing but, hopefully, the Dems' investigations will reign them into court and on to prison!
Video forum only takes YouTube videos.
This is not one for the squeamish.
For the new Pew poll, the results are skewed as more respondents are Conservative and fewer are Liberal. Just look at their sampling:
Nov. 2006 (Rep/Lean Rep...Dem/Lean Dem...Other)
Conservative: 73...21... 6
Liberal: 8...82.. 9
Oct. 2006 (Rep/Lean Rep...Dem/Lean Dem...Other)
Conservative: 70...24... 6
Moderate: 23...67... 9
Liberal: 9...90... 1
For the ABC/Washington Post poll...
908a. Would you say your views on most political matters are liberal, moderate, or conservative?
Liberal Moderate Conservative Don't think in those terms (vol.) op.
11/4/06 19 42 36 2 1
10/22/06 22 42 32 2 2
How convenient neither poll's skew toward Republican is noted in the poll results in the M$M, setting the stage for a closer election and making it easier to pass off another election theft by the public.
1999 war games foresaw problems in Iraq
The U.S. government conducted a series of secret war games in 1999 that anticipated an invasion of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, and even then chaos might ensue.
"The conventional wisdom is the U.S. mistake in Iraq was not enough troops," said Thomas Blanton, the archive's director. "But the Desert Crossing war game in 1999 suggests we would have ended up with a failed state even with 400,000 troops on the ground."
-"A change in regimes does not guarantee stability," the 1999 seminar briefings said. "A number of factors including aggressive neighbors, fragmentation along religious and/or ethnic lines, and chaos created by rival forces bidding for power could adversely affect regional stability."
-"Even when civil order is restored and borders are secured, the replacement regime could be problematic - especially if perceived as weak, a puppet, or out-of-step with prevailing regional governments."
Appears that the Clinton administration at least looked into the possibility of invading/occupying Iraq, possibly due to pressure from groups like the PNAC?
This might also explain why even Powell and Rice both are on the record, in early 2001, as saying Saddam was not a threat and was contained because the thought of invading/occupying Iraq was known to be wrought with peril.
But, alas, the PNAC got its "new Pearl Harbor" and were able to come to the forefront since DICK had installed his war criminal underlings/cohorts/spies for Israel all over the WH, State Dept., and the Pentagon.
They were warned, many times over, and still invaded with no plan for a post-invasion Iraq other than some fantasy ideology held by a group of insane narcissists.
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