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

Need a new bathroom reader?

Larry Craig aka Tappy McWideStance* aka my Senator, who should have resigned last summer, is working on a book on “the state of politics” in Washington DC, and will write “a bit” on his excellent adventure in a Minnesota men’s room last year.

What else could a lame duck State Senator do after his wife confiscated his tap shoes? 😉 Oh yeah, endlessly appeal the conviction resulting from his guilty plea, spending way more money than his fine amounted to, and drawing ever more attention to his mortifying situation.

Looking forward to that book, Tappy! I have a table that needs leveling…

*HT to our Spudge_Boy for the name, and thanks to nwmuse for the ingenius photo. 😉

US Accused of Holding Terror Suspects on Prison Ships

Truthout

The United States is operating “floating prisons” to house those arrested in its war on terror, according to human rights lawyers, who claim there has been an attempt to conceal the numbers and whereabouts of detainees.

Details of ships where detainees have been held and sites allegedly being used in countries across the world have been compiled as the debate over detention without trial intensifies on both sides of the Atlantic. The US government was yesterday urged to list the names and whereabouts of all those detained.

Information about the operation of prison ships has emerged through a number of sources, including statements from the US military, the Council of Europe and related parliamentary bodies, and the testimonies of prisoners.

The analysis, due to be published this year by the human rights organization Reprieve, also claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006, when President George Bush declared that the practice had stopped.

It is the use of ships to detain prisoners, however, that is raising fresh concern and demands for inquiries in Britain and the US.

Read on..