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..

Muse’s Monday Menagerie

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Its Monday morning, and the last week of school (FOREVER) for the last of my children. Yay!
This photo is of line after line of caterpillars nose to tail, and moving at quite a lick (description by photographer). Interesting..

New York Times had an editorial this morning called “Mr. Rove Talks, but Doesn’t Answer“. In the op-ed, they refer to the political prosecution of Don Siegelman, and they call on Congress to find the truth. ThinProgress had a post concerning 54 former state attorneys general that support Siegelman.

Luke Ryland has another post today on Sibel Edmonds: Sibel Edmonds Case: Dennis Hastert to receive payoffs for ‘services rendered’

So, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is again proved right. For more than a year Sibel has been predicting that Dennis Hastert will join a lobbying firm involved with Turkey, and now we learn that Hastert is joining Dickstein Shapiro.

In the “Representative Engagements” section of Dickstein’s website, we learn that they represented “the government of Turkey in connection with the development and financing by private sponsors of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and TransCaspian gas pipeline spanning from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean.” More…

Ryland includes a clip from the documentary film about Sibel Edmonds “Kill The Messenger“.

This morning Ted Kennedy is undergoing brain surgery for his tumor. I want to wish him and his family well.

Saturday the DNC met, where they made the decision to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida, but giving them only one-half vote each. That made the magic number to reach for delegates at 2,118. Barack Obama is now has 2,072 delegates (1,728.5 pledged delegates, and 332.5 superdelegates). He only needs 44 more delegates to clinch the nomination. Hillary Clinton is still trailing with 1,915.5 delegates..

After her win in Puerto Rico yesterday, she had this to say:

“So, when the voting concludes on Tuesday, neither Sen. Obama nor I will have the number of delegates to be the nominee. I will lead the popular vote, he will maintain a slight lead in the delegate count. The decision will fall on the shoulders of those leaders in our party, empowered by the rules, to vote at the Democratic convention.”

She is counting the votes in Michigan, even though Senator Obama was not even on the ballot. In that state 40% voted “uncommitted”. For her to claim Michigan’s votes, Obama would have to had 0 votes there. It sounds like she is taking her advice (and talking points) from Harold Ickes..

And here is the entire clip of Harold Ickes being interviewed on Meet The Press with Tim Russert. (I couldn’t embed it).

The Times Online (UK) suggests that Obama isn’t going to wait for Hillary to concede.

Aides suggest that he may declare victory even without a formal concession from Mrs Clinton. “He’s not going to wait by the phone like a high-school girl waiting for a date,” said one. “That’s not Barack Obama.”

The Carpetbagger Report then asks this question:

So, even if the race looks over this week, there’s no guarantee the Clinton campaign will believe it is over. The Clinton campaign would be within its rights — and would be playing by the rules — if it kept on going, trying to win the nomination by hoping to flip Obama superdelegates to their side.

Geez, will this ever end…

Juan Cole of Informed Comment today talks about a possible trip to Iraq by Barack Obama, and offers some advice.

Robert Scheer of Truthdig writes a very good opinion piece called “Indefensible Spending

Photo by psd. Used with by permission.

It Ain’t Over ‘Til it’s Over, and Even Then it Ain’t Over

Peter Pan refused to grow up. Hillary Clinton refuses to give up. In latest twist on the campaign that wouldn’t die, Hillary is now going after superdelegates committed to Obama.

“One thing about superdelegates is that they can change their minds,” she told reporters aboard her campaign plane Sunday night.

The former first lady enters this week with an insurgent strategy not only to win over undecided superdelegates but to peel away Obama’s support from those party leaders and elected officials who already have committed to back him for the nomination.

Clinton’s strongest argument for becoming the nominee is that she leads in the popular vote. That is, after you count Florida, where neither candidate campaigned, and Michigan, where Obama voluntarily removed his name from the ballot, leaving Hillary to run unopposed. After initially agreeing that those states didn’t count, she now agressively argues that their votes should be counted, giving her the “lead” in popular votes. She somehow manages to divine the popular vote from states with caucuses to arrive at her popular vote totals giving her the lead.

All in all, it sounds like Hillary is playing from the NeoCon playbook: if you can’t beat ’em, change the rules.