Afghanistan is Lost!

source:www.defense.gov

This is one major scoop of investigative journalism, just right next to The Pentagon Papers.

Wikileaks has produced over 90’000 partly classified documents covering a six year stretch of the Afghan mission. The Guardian in the UK, Der Spiegel in Germany and The New York Times have each received the documents a while ago for review and released their findings today. As I am writing this I cannot reach the wikileaks webpage, which must be overwhelmed with traffic, I suspect, so I give you a gist of what the three news outlets are making of the documents.

Der Spiegel:

The documents offer a window into the war in the Hindu Kush — one which promises to change the way we think about the ongoing violence in Afghanistan. They will also be indispensible for anyone seeking to inform themselves about the war in the future. (read article)

The newspaper then highlights five issues, one of them the situation in the North where German forces are stationed:

The Germans thought that the northern provinces where their soldiers are stationed would be more peaceful compared to other provinces and that the situation would remain that way.

They were wrong. (read more)

In an interview with the weekly Julian Assange, founder of Wikipedia, says:

Assange: These files are the most comprehensive description of a war to be published during the course of a war — in other words, at a time when they still have a chance of doing some good. They cover more than 90,000 different incidents, together with precise geographical locations. They cover the small and the large. A single body of information, they eclipse all that has been previously said about Afghanistan. They will change our perspective on not only the war in Afghanistan, but on all modern wars. (read full interview)

The Guardian obviously eyes the British side of the conflict:

Questionable shootings of civilians by UK troops also figure. The US compilers detail an unusual cluster of four British shootings in Kabul in the space of barely a month, in October/November 2007, culminating in the death of the son of an Afghan general. Of one shooting, they wrote: “Investigation controlled by the British. We are not able to get [sic] complete story.” (read all)

and more here

The US army’s archives contain descriptions of at least 21 separate occasions in which British troops are said to have shot or bombed Afghan civilians, including women and children.

The logs identify at least 26 people killed and another 20 wounded as a result. Some casualties were accidentally caused by air strikes, but many also are said to involve British troops firing on unarmed drivers or motorcyclists who come “too close” to convoys or patrols. Their injuries result from what are described as “warning shots” or “disabling shots” fired into the engine block, as required by the military’s “escalation of force” regulations.

They explain how they came by the data:

The Afghanistan war logs series of reports on the war in Afghanistan published by the Guardian is based on the US military’s internal logs of the conflict between January 2004 and December 2009. The material, largely classified by the US as secret, was obtained by the whistleblower website Wikileaks, which has published the full archive. The Guardian, along with the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel, was given access to the logs before publication to verify their authenticity and assess their significance. (read all and watch video)

The New York Times explains to its readers:

Deciding whether to publish secret information is always difficult, and after weighing the risks and public interest, we sometimes chose not to publish. But there are times when the information is of significant public interest, and this is one of those times. The documents illuminate the extraordinary difficulty of what the United States and its allies have undertaken in a way that other accounts have not. (read more)

The role of Pakistan in the Afghan war is of special interest to the NYT:

Some of the reports describe Pakistani intelligence working alongside Al Qaeda to plan attacks. Experts cautioned that although Pakistan’s militant groups and Al Qaeda work together, directly linking the Pakistani spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, with Al Qaeda is difficult.

[...]

Such accusations are usually met with angry denials, particularly by the Pakistani military, which insists that the ISI severed its remaining ties to the groups years ago. An ISI spokesman in Islamabad said Sunday that the agency would have no comment until it saw the documents. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said, “The documents circulated by WikiLeaks do not reflect the current on-ground realities.”

[...]

On June 19, 2006, ISI operatives allegedly met with the Taliban leaders in Quetta, the city in southern Pakistan where American and other Western officials have long believed top Taliban leaders have been given refuge by the Pakistani authorities. At the meeting, according to the report, they pressed the Taliban to mount attacks on Maruf, a district of Kandahar that lies along the Pakistani border. (read more)

There is heaps more in all three newspapers and this story is going to be hot for weeks to come, due to the vast expanse of the information made available. This may well be the final nail into the coffin of the Afghanistan war. There already is growing opposition against the mission and seeing the stark truth will further convince people, that the fight is not worth it. The documents cover the time from January 2004 to December 2009 after Iraq has been attacked on March 20th 2003 and the focus shifted away from the Afghan mission. The leaked documents don’t say anything about the time between October 2001 and 2004. I do hold on to the belief, however, that the Afghanistan mission wasn’t doomed from the beginning. But absolutely after the decision was made to attack Iraq. And again, as it is with most conflicts, the people of Afghanistan have suffered before the war, during the war and will continue to suffer after the international troops have long left.

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The Daily Show Exclusive – Anna Baltzer & Mustafa Barghouti Extended Interview Pt. 1 & 2

HT: Reddit

Again, Jon Stewart is doing the job “proper” news should be doing. This episode is the first time in eleven years, that The Daily Show had a heckler. Please share this video with as many people as possible. There’s more to the Middle East conflict than mainstream media would let you know. There are, after all, Jewish and Palestinian activists out there, who defy their respective lobbies to really work for peace.

 

In case you missed it..

On Bill Moyers Journal [PBS] of Friday Oct. 9, 2009, Bill Moyers discussed health-industry lobbying and its ties to political legislators, particularly Baucus, who are shaping the current health-care reform bills with guests Simon Johnson and Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

Continue reading

Wednesday Open Thread – The Watergate Break-in

On June 17, 1972 a guard at the Watergate complex noticed that several office locks had been taped open. He removed the tape and on a later pass noticed that the locks were again taped open. At that point, he called on the police and thus started a sequence of events [1] that led to the resignation of the president of the United  States – Richard Milhous Nixon a bit over two years later (August 9, 1974) and stretched into the 21st Century.

The Watergate Complex

The Watergate Complex

 The Watergate Break-in[2] was a watershed moment in American history. This was not the first illegal entry of Democrat offices by Republican operatives.  An earlier break-in[2] had gone undetected. Nixon would have probably escaped with only a few scrapes if he had not vigorously pursued a cover-up of the incident.

And just yesterday, the FBI released its records on E Howard Hunt[3]. It bears today’s date because Japan is on the other side of the IDL.
[1] The Washington Post
[2] Wikipedia
[3] Japan Today

Saturday Open Thread

June 13, 1971. This was the day the New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers.

From Wikipedia:

The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States–Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, were a top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States‘ political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. Commissioned by United States Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in 1967, the study was completed in 1968. The papers first surfaced on the front page on the New York Times in 1971.

The study was classified as top secret and was not intended for publication, however, contributor Daniel Ellsberg gave most of the Pentagon Papers to New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan, with Ellsberg’s friend Anthony Russo assisting in their copying. The Times began publishing excerpts in a series of articles on June 13, 1971. Street protests, political controversy and lawsuits followed.

To ensure the possibility of public debate about the content of the papers, on June 29, U.S. Senator Mike Gravel (then Democrat, Alaska) entered 4,100 pages of the Papers to the record of his Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds. These portions of the Papers were subsequently published by Beacon Press, the publishing arm of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

Article I, Section 6 of the United States Constitution provides that “for any Speech or Debate in either House, [a Senator or Representative] shall not be questioned in any other Place”, thus the Senator could not be prosecuted for anything said on the Senate floor, and, by extension, for anything entered to the Congressional Record, allowing the Papers to be publicly read without threat of a treason trial and conviction.

Later, Ellsberg said the documents “demonstrated unconstitutional behavior by a succession of presidents, the violation of their oath and the violation of the oath of every one of their subordinates”, and that he had leaked the papers in the hopes of getting the nation out of “a wrongful war.”

The most damaging revelation in the papers was that the U.S. had deliberately expanded its war with carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks — which had all gone previously unreported in the US. The revelations widened the credibility gap between the US government and the people, hurting President Richard Nixon‘s war effort.

Another controversy was that President Johnson sent combat troops to Vietnam by July 17, 1965, after pretending to consult his advisors on July 21–July 27, per the cable stating that Deputy Secretary of Defense Cyrus Vance informs McNamara that President had approved 34 Battalion Plan and will try to push through reserve call-up.” In 1988, when that cable was declassified, it revealed “there was a continuing uncertainty as to [Johnson's] final decision, which would have to await Secretary McNamara’s recommendation and the views of Congressional leaders, particularly the views of Senator [Richard] Russell.”

As the press rooms of the Times and the Post began to hum to the lifting of the censorship order, the journalists of America pondered with grave concern the fact that for fifteen days the ‘free press’ of the nation had been prevented from publishing an important document and for their troubles had been given an inconclusive and uninspiring ‘burden-of-proof’ decision by a sharply divided Supreme Court. There was relief, but no great rejoicing, in the editorial offices of America’s publishers and broadcasters.

Was it right to expose what the government was doing behind the curtains in regards to the Vietnam War in order to try and end it? Does the exposing abuse of powers and lies make us as a nation MORE safe, or LESS safe?

Your thoughts…

UPS dumps Billo

HT TP:

Today UPS announced it will stop advertising on O’Reilly’s show. Here is the statement UPS emailed out just moments ago:

Thank you for sending an e-mail expressing concern about UPS advertising during the Bill O’Reilly show on FOX News. We do consider such comments as we review ad placement decisions which involve a variety of news, entertainment and sports programming. At this time, we have no plans to continue advertising during this show.

After ThinkProgress’ Amanda Turkel was stalked and ambushed by Bill O’s hitmen, TP fought back with an email campaign to Bill O’s sponsors.

Bill O responded by calling those who post on Think Progress “insects.” Well, those bugs can bite!

UPS’s announcement that it will discontinue advertising on Bill O’s show is a perfect example of the free market at work. We, the consumer, have a right to spend our money with companies we support. This right has been exercised in the recent past, most notably by boycotting companies that exploit child labor overseas.

Boycotts are effective in bringing about social change.

A big THANK YOU goes out to UPS. Next time I have a package to deliver, I’m going to look to the Brown as my first choice.

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Robert Scheer of TruthDig on Democracy Now!

Veteran Journalist Robert Scheer, of TruthDig, is a guest on Democracy Now! and discusses the AIG Bonuses, the “Backdoor Bailout” and Why Obama Should Fire Geithner, Summers. This interview, seriously, is a must see.

Perp Walks Instead of Bonuses“:

There must be a criminal investigation of the AIG debacle, and it looks as if New York’s top lawman is on the case. The collusion to save this toxic company in order to salvage the rogue financiers who conspired to enrich themselves by impoverishing millions is being revealed as the greatest financial scandal in U.S. history. Instead of taking bonuses, the culprits should be taking perp walks… Read this excellent piece.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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Jon Stewart Stuffs, Trusses and Roasts Jim Cramer

Last night’s Daily Show was supposed to be a debate between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer. Instead, Jon skewered Jim, who was almost mute during the episode. The damage was so great that Cramer is in hiding now.  Watch the carnage below: (Warning – The video is too gory to be watched by anyone under the age of 18).

The Intro:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:


Update:

Andrew Sullivan had this to say and James Fallows said this.

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Good Night, and Good Luck…

Edward R. Murrow

Over the last few months, in the heat of this presidential campaign, we have begun to hear labels being attributed to the person and policies of Barack Obama by the Right, the McCain/Palin campaign, and their surrogates, which are meant to inject fear and doubt into the minds of the American people.  They are attempting to diminish or destroy the character and motives of Senator Obama, resulting in an open door to hatred and racism. The labels are simply false character attacks meant to diminish and demean him.

What these people whisper, hint, and now just come right out and say in recent days, misrepresent and distort Barack Obama’s words and vision for the future of this country on the heels of eight disastrous years of Bush and Cheney.

These labels:  “appeaser,” “Muslim,” “terrorist,” “Socialist,” “Marxist,” and “Communist” are shouted at political rallies and allowed to hang in the air to create a terrifying emotional response in Americans.  Our country needs real leadership to guide us through these frightening times of deep financial crisis and war.

There are people in the news and in the blogosphere who now have have begun to see parallels to another time in our history — a time when Senator Joseph McCarthy used his power to create a climate of fear and distrust in the hearts of all Americans, and to divide us as a nation. McCarthy made claims that there were large numbers of Communists, Soviet spies, and their sympathizers in the federal government and elsewhere.  In fear, people turned against their friends, neighbors, co-workers and employees. People looked at each other differently, terrified of being accused of being, knowing or associating with a “Communist.” McCarthy was responsible for destroying the lives and careers of many, and turning this country upside down.

One man stood up and was the voice of reason in unreasoned times. That man was Edward R. Murrow. His words were strong reminders of who we are as a nation, and who we must continue to be, and that we must not let fear overcome and control us. He put everything on the line — his reputation and his career — in order to do what was right for the country and stand up to McCarthy.

Below are clips from “Good Night and Good Luck,” a film which portrays the tumultuous events of the 1950s, and some very wise words by Edward R. Murrow (played brilliantly by David Strathairn).

Continue reading

John McCain, Maverick?

Many of us have been wondering exactlywhat makes John McCain a maverick. To quote George Castanza from Seinfeld, “Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.” Does McCain believe he’s a maverick or does he believe that if by saying it over and over he can make us believe.

Either way it seems like it is just a myth and that McCain is really just a legend in his own mind. Rolling Stone has an extensive look at John McCain by Tim Dickinson called “Make-Believe Maverick” that is truly in-depth.
It starts here:

At Fort McNair, an army base located along the Potomac River in the nation’s capital, a chance reunion takes place one day between two former POWs. It’s the spring of 1974, and Navy commander John Sidney McCain III has returned home from the experience in Hanoi that, according to legend, transformed him from a callow and reckless youth into a serious man of patriotism and purpose. Walking along the grounds at Fort McNair, McCain runs into John Dramesi, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who was also imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam.

McCain is studying at the National War College, a prestigious graduate program he had to pull strings with the Secretary of the Navy to get into. Dramesi is enrolled, on his own merit, at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in the building next door.

There’s a distance between the two men that belies their shared experience in North Vietnam — call it an honor gap. Like many American POWs, McCain broke down under torture and offered a “confession” to his North Vietnamese captors. Dramesi, in contrast, attempted two daring escapes. For the second he was brutalized for a month with daily torture sessions that nearly killed him. His partner in the escape, Lt. Col. Ed Atterberry, didn’t survive the mistreatment. But Dramesi never said a disloyal word, and for his heroism was awarded two Air Force Crosses, one of the service’s highest distinctions. McCain would later hail him as “one of the toughest guys I’ve ever met.”

On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.

“I’m going to the Middle East,” Dramesi says. “Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran.”

“Why are you going to the Middle East?” McCain asks, dismissively.

“It’s a place we’re probably going to have some problems,” Dramesi says.

“Why? Where are you going to, John?”

“Oh, I’m going to Rio.”

“What the hell are you going to Rio for?”

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

“I got a better chance of getting laid.”

Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. “McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man,” Dramesi says today. “But he’s still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in.”

But there is much more of the Make-Believe Maverick at Rolling Stone.

Also at Rolling Stone is an article by Matt Taibbi called “Mad Dog Palin” that includes this:

Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she’s a new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power. Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she’s the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV — and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation.

Read the rest of Mad Dog Palin at Rolling Stone.

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Cocaine, Sex and Oil, Oh My!

Following up on a story from yesterday, a story which seems to be getting little media attention,* oil companies cozied up to Interior Department officials and plied them with sex, alcohol, cocaine, and gifts to ensure they would get what they want.  What did they want?  Contracts!  More leased land (of which they already have more than 60 million acres and do nothing with),  Offshore leases for drilling.  Your blood.  In short, what they want is every last cent of your hard-earned income at whatever cost it takes to get it.

Lobbyists?  These are lobbyists on steroids! (Yet, another illegal substance.)

Next time you hear Drill Here! Drill Now! Pay Less! remember that this is brought to you by Big Oil and the Republicans, the same companies who have netted tens of BILLIONS of dollars in profits – on your shoulders, and the same Republican government which has given you less, and less.

* Little media attention?  Virtuallly none.  I checked the New York Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and other smaller major city newspapers online – the only “coverage” was a headline link buried deep down a page.

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Former Haliburton Exec Pleads Guilty

As a Haliburton executive Albert “Jack” Stanley is well known in the world of Big Oil for his ability to secure billion dollar contracts in third world countries.

In the wake of his admission in a guilty plea last week that he had resorted to bribes, kickbacks and high-level corruption to secure deals in Nigeria, however, Stanley now lies at the center of a widening scandal in the oil industry that has implications for corporations and governments across the globe.

Stanley’s case is the first in what federal officials believe will be a string of indictments in coming months against U.S. corporate executives who have participated in bribing foreign officials in recent years.

Previously Stanley had said that Vice President Dick Cheney, who was CEO of Halliburton at the time, had no knowledge of the bribes. At the time though Stanley was not a cooperating witness. Stanley’s sentence will be determined based on his compliance with the plea agreement. Stanley’s attorney, Larry Veselka, has said that his client will cooperate fully in any investigation. Cheney’s office has refused to comment citing continuing litigation.

And the FBI is actively involved in this case so this case is not likely to disappear into the realm of the Justice Department.

The active involvement of the FBI is particularly worrisome to such people. In contrast to white-collar investigations handled by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI is believed to be prepared to use techniques more familiar to investigations of organized crime, including wiretapping and undercover agents.

There is much, much more to this story from ProPublica and PBS’ “Frontline”.

HT joe cantwell

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Zeitgeist – The Movie: Federal Reserve

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“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Thomas Jefferson

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Pigeon Shoots – Elmer Fudd’s Day at the Field

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Pennsylvania is the only State that still holds pigeon shoots. This is barbaric and is animal cruelty. The PA HB 2130 would ban any type of “caged” hunting including tying turkeys’ legs with wire to hay bales and then using the turkeys for bow and arrow target practice.

DO SOMETHING: Link to Pennsylvania HB 2130

The Allentown Call tells it like is in this article.

Frankly, I can’t think of anything less sporting than a pigeon shoot, except maybe shooting animals you have tied up. Here’s how it works.

They set up a bunch of ”traps” — small wooden boxes — in one or more shooting rings. When a spring-loaded trap pops open, the dazed bird is propelled out, tries to flutter away and is blasted by Elmer Fudd.

Link to the USA Humane Society

“Shooting pigeons and calling yourself a sportsman is like hiring an escort service and calling yourself a ladies man.

~ by Walter Brasch (complete article published with the permission of the author)

Dave Comroe stepped to the firing line, raised his 12-gauge Browning over and under shotgun, aimed and fired. Before him, a pigeon fell, moments after being released from a box less than 20 yards away. About 25 times that day Comroe fired, hitting about three-fourths of the birds. He was 16 at the time.

“It’s not easy to shoot them,” he says, explaining, “there’s some talent involved. When a live pigeon is released, you have no idea where it’s going.”

Where it’s going is usually no more than five to ten feet from its cage. Many are shot on the ground or while standing on top of the cages, stunned by the noise, unable to fly because of being malnourished, dehydrated, and confined to a small space for hours, often days.

Nevertheless, even with “expert” shooters on the line, only about one-fifth of the pigeons are killed outright, according to Heidi Prescott, senior vice-president of the Humane Society of the United States. About a tenth of the birds usually escape. But about two-thirds are wounded.

“There really isn’t much you can do for a wounded pigeon except put it out of its misery,” says Comroe. Prior to an order in 2002 by the Court of Common Pleas in Berks County, most of the wounded were picked up by trapper boys and girls, some as young as eight years old, who killed the birds by stomping on their bodies, hitting them against structures, stuffing them into sacks, and dumping them, some still breathing, into large barrels. Some also wrung the birds’ necks or ripped them from their bodies. Since that order, the “trappers” are at least 18 years old and have gone “high-tech”; they now use garden shears to sever a bird’s head.

Trappers can’t get all of the birds. Hundreds at a large shoot will fly to surrounding areas and remain untreated as long as several days to die a painful death, says Johnna Seeton, Humane Society police officer. Pigeon shoot organizers do their best to keep observers from the scene, and don’t allow volunteers to pick up and treat wounded birds unless they fly off the property, even if there’s no shooting at the time. “We have only been able to rescue a few birds,” says Seeton.

Dave Comroe, now 32 years old, had begun hunting when he was 12 years old. That first year he killed his only deer. Although he has been deer hunting many times, he says he has “only taken a shot once.” He has gone pheasant and dove hunting about a half dozen times.

Continue reading

Here’s what happened…

Nukes & Spooks blog, McClatchy

Nukes & Spooks blog has a post explaining why Scott McClellan’s book, What Happened, just isn’t news — no matter what the Bush gang and Corporate Media would have us believe.

I’ve had my own reservations about Scott McClellan. I think he was truthful in his interview with Keith Olbermann, but at the same time I really don’t believe he’s “converted” from his water-carrying ways. And he’s certainly not telling us much we didn’t already know. The White House had this book for a month before McClellan’s book tour began, and all they’re doing is being “puzzled” and disappointed — they’re not even calling him a liar. Doesn’t that seem rather unusual?

Here’s Nukes & Spooks list of their reporting as it happened:

* The Bush administration was gunning for Iraq within days of the 9/11 attacks, dispatching a former CIA director, on a flight authorized by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, to find evidence for a bizarre theory that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. (Note: See also Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill on this point).

* Bush decided by February 2002, at the latest, that he was going to remove Saddam by hook or by crook. (Yes, we reported that at the time).

* White House officials, led by Dick Cheney, began making the case for war in August 2002, in speeches and reports that not only were wrong, but also went well beyond what the available intelligence said at that time, and contained outright fantasies and falsehoods. Indeed, some of that material was never vetted with the intelligence agencies before it was peddled to the public.Dissenters, or even those who voiced worry about where the policy was going, were ignored, excluded or punished. (Note: See Gen. Eric Shinseki, Paul O’Neill, Joseph Wilson and all of the State Department ‘s Arab specialists and much of its intelligence bureau).

* The Bush administration didn’t even want to produce the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs that’s justly received so much criticism since. The White House thought it was unneeded. It actually was demanded by Congress and slapped together in a matter of weeks before the congressional votes to authorize war on Iraq.

* The October 2002 NIE was flawed, no doubt. But it contained dissents questioning the extent of Saddam’s WMD programs, dissents that were buried in the report. Doubts and dissents were then stripped from the publicly released, unclassified version of the NIE.

* The core of the administration’s case for war was not just that Saddam was developing WMDs, but also that, unchecked, he might give them to terrorists to attack the United States. Remember smoking guns and mushroom clouds? Inconveniently, the CIA had determined just the opposite: Saddam would attack the United States only if he concluded a U.S. attack on him was unavoidable. He’d give WMD to Islamist terrorists only “as a last chance to exact revenge.”

* The Bush administration relied heavily on an Iraqi exile, Ahmed Chalabi, who had been found to be untrustworthy by the State Department and the CIA. Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress were given millions, and produced “defectors” whose tales of WMD sites and terrorist training were false, fanciful and bogus. But the information was fed directly to senior officials and included in official White House documents. Continue reading

Rove says no to testifying?

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Raw Story:

A House Judiciary Committee deadline passed Monday with former White House adviser Karl Rove standing by his refusal to testify about allegations that he pushed the Justice Department to prosecute former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

In his latest offer to settle the matter, Rove sent the panel a letter offering to respond to questions in writing, according to his attorney. But he reiterated that he would not testify publicly and under oath.

Committee leaders did not immediately answer questions about how they will respond. Earlier this month, they threatened to subpoena Rove if he did not agree to appear voluntarily by Monday.

The dispute is the latest in a standoff between President Bush and Congress over testimony from current and former White House staffers on a variety of issues.

Hmmmm. Seems he’s now singing a different tune… What a liar – and a coward.

On April 7th, 2008, Rove’s attorney said he would agree to testify if subpoenaed by Congress. I wonder what changed his mind..? Perhaps the fact that Don Siegelman is out of prison awaiting an appeal – and talking?

Will Karl Rove stall over the course of the next six months in hopes of receiving his very own “get out of jail free” card (more likely “keep out of jail” card) from the president?

For more on Don Siegelman, who he is and how this all relates to Karl Rove, read these previous posts:

From TheZoo

From BradBlog

From Larisa Alexandrovna

From Scott Horton (Harper’s Magazine)

From Raw Story (Part 1), Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.