Regime Change Begins at Home

Second Quarter of 2003

April 2003 ... May 2003 ... June 2003

April 2003

 

 

4/03/03a

http://www.buzzflash.com/

The Neocon Con: Deception and the Drive to WWIII by Maureen Farrell "Nothing Saddam does can save him, says Powell"

"Even if Baghdad readmits United Nations arms inspectors, the United States will still pursue a 'regime change' policy, with or without the support of its allies."

- The Sydney Morning Herald, February 8, 2002 (nine months before U.N. inspectors returned to Iraq) http://old.smh.com.au/news/

Anyone who's been paying attention recognizes the prescient futility expressed in the article above. Serving as a marker of sorts, it's but a sliver in a body of evidence regarding the duplicitous nature of Bush's United Nations "diplomacy." Yet many Americans, equating blindness with patriotism, are convinced the president acted in good faith and went the "extra mile" to reach a diplomatic solution. And sadly, in confusing our allies' disarmament intentions with Bush's regime change imperative, they've funneled angst and anger towards the French, while missing vital subplots to this saga. In short, "patriotic Americans" have failed to notice that: 1) The Bush administration relied on a series of fabrications and forgeries to make its case 2) This war was planned before Sept. 11 and 3) The neocons are deliberating driving us towards World War III. There is a startling amount of deception in all this -- of hawks deceiving the American people, and perhaps in some cases even themselves." http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

Military Matters

A more troubling deception lies in the ways neocons have misled American troops. Though the CIA warned the Bush administration about possible Iraqi tactics, Ken Adelman, Dick Cheney and Richard Perle brayed about quick and certain success. "I believe demolishing (Iraqi President Saddam) Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk," Adelman wrote in the Washington Post last year, making Sgt. Mark N. Redford's comments all the more poignant. Serving with the Third Infantry Division in central Iraq, Redford said, "I expected a lot more people to surrender. From all the reports we got, I thought they would all capitulate."

http://www.nytimes.com/

Though some stories, like those about Marines living on one daily meal ration or soldiers "war-gaming" against the wrong enemy sound more like byproducts of incompetence and hubris than deception, one overriding question arises: How do the neocons propose to wage "multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars"?

With half of the U.S. armed forces deployed in Iraq and others stationed in various global hot spots, PNAC's "cavalry on the new American frontier" will need to be replenished. And as one reporter recently observed, "If the presence of 10,000 American soldiers is generating a resistance movement in Afghanistan, one can conjecture what the presence of more than 250,000 soldiers will do in Iraq?" Article Link

In 2000, (when PNAC's plan was published), Delaware became the first state to link drivers' license applications to Selective Service registration. Since then, 28 states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted similar legislation. http://www.sss.gov/FSdrivers.htm. In January, the Universal Service Act 2003 (H.R. 163) was introduced, and if passed, the bill would reinstate the draft, while insuring, according to Rep. Pete Stark, that "the well-off or the well connected" won't be able to "dodge military service for their country, as did our President." http://www.house.gov/stark/

Unanswered Questions:

Following Sept. 11, the media lobbed fluffballs at the Bush administration. When Donald Rumsfeld appeared on Larry King in Dec. 2001, for example, he admitted that at 8:00 a.m.on Sept. 11, he told a congressional delegation that "sometime in the next two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve months there would be an event that would occur in the world that would be sufficiently shocking that it would remind people again how important it is to have a strong healthy defense department." Did that raise an eyeball? Or inspire follow-up questions? No. King responded, "You were pretty prophetic that morning." http://www.defenselink.mil/news

As the president's recent visit to Andrews Air Force base reminded, we're still paying for the media's ineptitude and complicity. Why, once again, weren't jets scrambled from Andrews to at least save people in the Pentagon? And why, 19 months later, do we still not know the answer to that and other disturbing questions? Though the PNAC neocons suspiciously admitted that it would take "some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor" to set their WWIII plans in motion, shouldn't the press and American citizens be demanding accountability?

Although the alternative media and various organizations have researched 911 oddities, and Greg Palast http://www.gregpalast.com/ Gore Vidal http://www.observer.co.uk/l and Michael Moore http://www.observer.co.uk have expressed misgivings about the official story, mainstream sources are finally questioning the Bush administration's reluctance to investigate 911. In March, Newsweek reported on Florida Sen. Bob Graham's "911 outrage" over FBI and CIA failures, as well as "facilitation" of the hijackers by a "sovereign nation" (reportedly Saudi Arabia). He also accused the Bush administration of suppressing information. "There's been a cover-up of this," he said.

Later, Time asked "Is the Bush White House trying to put the brakes on the congressional panel created last fall to investigate 9-11 attacks?" http://www.time.com/time/, while the New York Times reported that while an estimated $14 million is needed to fund the 9-11 independent commission, and find out how terrorists were able to conspire to kill 3000 Americans, only $3 million has been made available. "In comparison," the Times said, "the inquiry into the shuttle disaster's loss of seven lives may cost an estimated $40 million, and the inquiry into the Whitewater controversy ate up more than $30 million." http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/31/opinion/31MON2.htm

Nonetheless, with the first public hearings on 9/11 underway, hopefully some answers will be forthcoming. http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/index.htm


4/14/03a

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0412-01.htm

Published on Saturday, April 12, 2003 by the International Herald Tribune Global Domination Carries Grave Risks by William Pfaff

PARIS -- Statements by both President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell at the start of last week made it clear that the United States does not intend to give the United Nations a political role of any consequence in postwar Iraq.

Washington says that as the United States and Britain waged and won the war they will also manage the peace. The United Nations, a Pentagon official says, will have no role ŒŒin constructing a democratic Iraq.‚‚

The intellectual and political position of the administration and its supporters is that the United States, as sole superpower, legitimately defends international order because the United Nations has defaulted on this responsibility, having never enforced its resolutions demanding Saddam Hussein‚s disarmament.

Unilateralism and preemptive war are said to be necessary to defend the United States, and to establish and maintain a democratic international order, which the United Nations cannot or will not do.

However, Iraq is not that simple. The Fourth Geneva Convention imposes on the military occupier full responsibility for the well-being of the civil population. It severely restricts the occupier‚s right to make use of the occupied country‚s resources.

No one is going to stop Washington from doing what it pleases in Iraq, but if it goes against international law it will have to pay and stay. The Bush administration would prefer to have the international community pay for reconstruction and have other countries‚ forces do the peacekeeping.

Otherwise some kind of deal will have to be struck with the members of the self-proclaimed ŒŒpeace camp‚‚ in the Security Council, and with the European Union, the principal potential international source of reconstruction aid.

This confronts the United States with a problem the Bush administration is unwilling to acknowledge.

The Iraq intervention destroyed ŒŒthe reputation the United States has enjoyed for so long as a benevolent power,‚‚ to quote Robert Pape of the University of Chicago, writing in The Boston Globe.

Pape says that the United States broke the rule "that democracies do not wage preventive wars" by doing what no other democratic state has done in the more than 200 years of the American nation‚s existence.


4/17/03a

http://www.observer.co.uk/

Syria could be next, warns Washington

Ed Vulliamy in Washington Sunday April 13, 200 The Observer

The United States has pledged to tackle the Syrian-backed Hizbollah group in the next phase of its 'war on terror' in a move which could threaten military action against President Bashar Assad's regime in Damascus.

The move is part of Washington's efforts to persuade Israel to support a new peace settlement with the Palestinians. Washington has promised Israel that it will take 'all effective action' to cut off Syria's support for Hizbollah - implying a military strike if necessary, sources in the Bush administration have told The Observer .

Hizbollah is a Shia Muslim organisation based in Lebanon, whose fighters have attacked northern Israeli settlements and harassed occupying Israeli troops to the point of forcing an Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon three years ago.

4/17/03b

http://www.globeandmail.com/

Washington is trying to portray its battle as one of liberation, not conquest, but Iraq is about to be invaded by thousands of U.S. evangelical missionaries who say they are bent on a "spiritual warfare" campaign to convert the country's Muslims to Christianity.

Among the largest aid groups preparing to provide humanitarian assistance to Iraqis ravaged by the war are a number of Christian charities based in the southern United States that make no secret of their desire to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and win over Muslim souls.

The largest of these is the Southern Baptist Convention, an ardent supporter of the war as an opportunity to bring Christianity to the Middle East. It says it has 25,000 trained evangelists ready to enter Iraq.

"That would [mean] a heart change would go on in that part of the world," Mark Liederbach of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary explained in a recent speech to the SBC. "That's what we need to be praying for. That's how a Christian wages spiritual warfare."

Such words have caused deep alarm among military and diplomatic authorities. Although Christian aid organizations have worked comfortably alongside secular groups in other conflicts, Muslims around the world are already suspicious of U.S. motives in Iraq, and the worry is that missionaries could reinforce the widespread popular belief that the war is really a "clash of civilizations" between Christians and Muslims.

4/17/03c

http://www.haaretzdaily.com/

Analysis / Washington turns its sights on Damascus By Ze'ev Schiff

Why is the volume of rebuke leveled by the U.S. administration against Damascus getting higher while the war in Iraq is actually coming to a close? Two reasons seem to underly America's rage, which was quite evident first in the statements of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and then of President George W. Bush. One is that Washington has learned that Damascus has decided to "turn Iraq into a new Lebanon," and the second is the suspicion, which is probably based on reliable intelligence, that Damascus is ready to shelter fleeing Iraqi leaders and let them pass through to other hiding places worldwide.

Hardly a day has gone by recently without Washington lashing out against Syria. The headquarters of U.S. forces in Qatar concured, saying that during the fighting in Iraq, volunteer Syrian soldiers opened fired on American troops; the Syrians also fired anti-tank missiles and old Strela missiles against U.S. aircraft. Since these are weapons that individuals usually do not own, the Syrian volunteers must have received them before crossing into Iraq.

In his comments yesterday, Rumsfeld distinguished between the Syrian people on the one hand and its leadership, which supports terror, on the other. He stressed the link between Syria and Hezbollah, which the U.S. has recognized as a terror organization. Rumsfeld did not threaten military retaliation, but wondered who would invest in a country like Syria. And for the first time, Bush yesterday demanded that Syria dispose of its chemical weapons.

4/17/03d

http://www.commondreams.org/

Published on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 by Agence France Presse

Large Protests Greet US-Backed Talks on Post-Saddam Iraq Around 20,000 demonstrators converged on the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah to protest US-brokered talks aimed at sketching out a post-Saddam Hussein administration.

The Pentagon said it was not yet prepared to declare victory after 26 days of war, but US commanders expressed hope Tuesday the main stage of hostilities was over with the fall of Saddam's hometown of Tikrit. And a drawdown of the 300,000 US force deployed in the region was already underway. Two US aircraft carriers -- the USS Kitty Hawk and the USS Constellation -- are due to head home from the Gulf as early as this week.

US troops have worked alongside Iraqi police in joint patrols to try to restore order.

But life in Baghdad remained far from normal six days after US troops entered. Most shops remained closed, and many parts of the city still lacked water or electricity.

And US forces tried Tuesday to prevent the media from covering a third day of anti-US protests by Iraqis outside the hotel housing a US operations base in central Baghdad.

Some 200-300 Iraqis gathered outside the Palestine Hotel to express their rage at what they said was the US failure to restore order after the fall of Saddam's regime. For the first time, visibly-angered US military officials sought to distance the media from the protest.


4/25/03a

http://pfaff.tcc.virginia.edu/

Iraq's scavengers have thieved and destroyed what they have been allowed to loot and burn by the Americans ? and a two-hour drive around Baghdad shows clearly what the US intends to protect. After days of arson and pillage, here's a short but revealing scorecard. US troops have sat back and allowed mobs to wreck and then burn the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Irrigation, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Information. They did nothing to prevent looters from destroying priceless treasures of Iraq's history in the Baghdad Archaeological Museum and in the museum in the northern city of Mosul, or from looting three hospitals. The Americans have, though, put hundreds of troops inside two Iraqi ministries that remain untouched -- and untouchable -- because tanks and armoured personnel carriers and Humvees have been placed inside and outside both institutions.And which ministries proved to be so important for the Americans? Why, the Ministry of Interior, of course -- with its vast wealth of intelligence information on Iraq -- and the Ministry of Oil. The archives and files of Iraq's most valuable asset -- its oilfields and, even more important, its massive reserves -- are safe and sound, sealed off from the mobs and looters, and safe to be shared, as Washington almost certainly intends, with American oil companies.

4/25/03b

http://baltimore.indymedia.org/

CHERYL SEAL REPORTS: Peabody Coal Co. Barons Top Cheney's Secret Energy Task Force List by Cheryl Seal 18 Apr 2003

The list of "task force" members has been jealously guarded by Cheney because it is, in essence, a list of top contributors to the Bush campaign. These contributors were not just rewarded with slots on the task force list, but showered with favors that came at a devastating cost to America. At least one of the names on the list, a little bird reports, are top execs at the Peabody Coal Company, the largest, most ruthless barons in the world, infamous for originating the practice of ripping off the tops of mountains to get cheaply and easily at coal. Where Peabody has gone in, environmental devastation has followed. Many a coal miner's life has been lost, either catastrophically through accidents, or slowly and painfully through black lung, through Peabody's routine practice of failing to comply with safety standards, then covering up the evidence. Go up to this google.com page and look at the list of cases against Peabody just on this one page:

http://www.google.com/search?

Until Bush was elected, progress was being made toward putting a leash on the coal companies wanton excesses against humankind and the ecosystem. A push was even being made to phase out coal-powered power plants, the chief sources of major greenhouse gases today. American coal-powered plants pump 2.3 billion tons of CO2 into the air each year. That is twice as much as the amount of C02 emitted by vehicles.

4/25/03c

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2003/040803a.html

In the latest sign of a troubled American democracy, a large majority of U.S. citizens now say they wouldn't mind if no weapons of mass destruction are found in Iraq, though it was George W. Bush's chief rationale for war. Americans also don't seem to mind that Bush appears to have deceived them for months when he claimed he hadn't made up his mind about invading Iraq.

As he marched the nation to war, Bush presented himself as a Christian man of peace who saw war only as a last resort. But in a remarkable though little noted disclosure, Time magazine reported that in March 2002 &endash; a full year before the invasion &endash; Bush outlined his real thinking to three U.S. senators, "Fuck Saddam," Bush said. "We're taking him out."

Time actually didn't report the quote exactly that way. Apparently not to offend readers who admire Bush's moral clarity, Time printed the quote as "F--- Saddam. We're taking him out."

Bush offered his pithy judgment after sticking his head in the door of a White House meeting between National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and three senators who had been discussing strategies for dealing with Iraq through the United Nations. The senators laughed uncomfortably at Bush's remark, Time reported. [Time story posted March 23, 2003]

It now is clear that Bush never intended to avoid a war in Iraq, a conflict which has so far claimed the lives of at least 85 American soldiers and possibly thousands of Iraqis.

As of Monday, April 7, the U.S. military had located two suspicious caches of chemicals that were undergoing tests, but still had not confirmed any chemical or biological weapons. Whatever those ultimate findings, however, there's little doubt that the long-running drama over United Nations inspections to ensure that Iraq had rid itself of weapons of mass destruction was a charade designed to mask Bush's predetermined course of action -- to test out his new doctrine of preemptive war.


4/27/03a

http://www.9-11commission.gov/

(This is just the start of the article, she goes on at legnth about everyone from the DOD to Mr. Bush, it is really quite something, see the link for the whole shebang!)

First public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States Statement of Mindy Kleinberg to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States March 31, 2003

My name is Mindy Kleinberg. My husband Alan Kleinberg, 39 yrs old, was killed in the WTC on September 11, 2001. As I testify here today about the 9/11 attacks, I will begin by saying that my thoughts are very much with the men and women who are involved in armed conflict overseas and their families who wait patiently for them to return.

This war is being fought on two fronts, overseas as well as here on our shores; this means that we are all soldiers in this fight against terrorism. As the threat of terrorism mounts here in the United States, the need to address the failures of September 11 is more important than ever. It is an essential part of "lessons learned".

As such, this commission has an extremely important task before it. I am here today to ask you, the commissioners, to help us understand how this could have happened; help us understand where the breakdown was in our nation's defense capabilities.

Where were we on the morning of September 11th? On the morning of September 11th my three-year-old son, Sam, and I walked Jacob 10, and Lauren, 7 to the bus stop at about 8:40 a.m. It was the fourth day of a new school year and you could still feel everyone's excitement. It was such a beautiful day that Sam and I literally skipped home oblivious to what was happening in NYC.

At around 8:55 I was confirming play date plans for Sam with a friend when she said, "I can't believe what I am watching on TV, a plane has just hit the World Trade Center." For some reason it did not register with me until a few minutes later when I calmly asked, "what building did you say?" "Oh that's Alan's building I have to call you back."

There was no answer when I tried to reach him at the office. By now my house started filling with people--his mother, my parents, our sisters and friends. The seriousness of the situation was beginning to register. We spent the rest of the day calling hospitals, and the Red Cross and any place else we could think of to see if we could find him.

I'll never forget thinking all day long, "how am I going to tell Jacob and Lauren that their father was missing?"

They came home to a house filled with people but no Daddy. How were they going to be able to wait calmly for his return? What if he was really hurt? This was their hero, their king their best friend, their father. The thoughts of that day replay over and over in our heads always wishing for a different outcome. We are trying to learn to live with the pain. We will never forget where we were or how we felt on September 11th.

But where was our government, its agencies, and institutions prior to and on the morning of September 11th?

The Theory of Luck :

With regard to the 9/11 attacks, it has been said that the intelligence agencies have to be right 100% of the time and the terrorists only have to get lucky once. This explanation for the devastating attacks of September 11th, simple on its face, is wrong in its value. Because the 9/11 terrorists were not just lucky once: they were lucky over and over again. Allow me to illustrate.

The SEC:

The terrorist's lucky streak began the week before September 11th with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. The SEC, in concert with the United States intelligence agencies, has sophisticated software programs that are used in "real-time" to watch both domestic and overseas markets to seek out trends that may indicate a present or future crime. In the week prior to September 11th both the SEC and U.S. intelligence agencies ignored one major stock market indicator, one that could have yielded valuable information with regard to the September 11th attacks.

On the Chicago Board Options Exchange during the week before September 11th, put options were purchased on American and United Airlines, the two airlines involved in the attacks. The investors who placed these orders were gambling that in the short term the stock prices of both Airlines would plummet. Never before on the Chicago Exchange were such large amounts of United and American Airlines options traded. These investors netted a profit of at least $5 million after the September 11th attacks. Interestingly, the names of the investors remain undisclosed and the $5 million remains unclaimed in the Chicago Exchange account.

Why these aberrant trades were not discovered prior to 9/11? Who were the individuals who placed these trades? Have they been investigated? Who was responsible for monitoring these activities? Have those individuals been held responsible for their inaction?

 

4/27/03b

http://reuters.com/news

BBC Chief Attacks U.S. Media War Coverage Thu April 24, 2003 03:22 PM ET By Merissa Marr

LONDON (Reuters) - The head of the BBC launched a broadside against American broadcasters on Thursday, accusing them of "unquestioning" coverage of the Iraq war and blatant patriotism.

BBC Director General Greg Dyke said many U.S. television networks had lacked impartiality during the conflict and risked losing credibility if they persisted with their stance. "Personally I was shocked while in the United States by how unquestioning the broadcast news media was during this war," Dyke said in a speech at a University of London conference.

"If Iraq proved anything, it was that the BBC cannot afford to mix patriotism and journalism. This is happening in the United States and if it continues, will undermine the credibility of the U.S. electronic news media."

U.S. broadcasters came under attack for "cheerleading" during the Iraq conflict, with what some critics saw as gung-ho reporting and flag-waving patriotism. In one example, a U.S. network described U.S. soldiers as "heroes" and "liberators."

Dyke singled out Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, the most popular U.S. cable news network during the conflict, for its "gung-ho patriotism." "We are still surprised when we see Fox News with such a committed political position," said Dyke. "For the health of our democracy, it's vital we don't follow the path of many American networks."


4/28/03a

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/

Case of the Homeland Whodunnit By Randy Schultz, Palm Beach Post Editor of the Editorial Page

Sunday, April 20, 2003

What is the biggest terrorism-related mystery the United States is trying to solve? Is it the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein? No, because we know he's guilty. The lingering question is how many counts the indictment contains. Is it the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden? No, because we know he's guilty, too, and we know what he did.

The biggest terrorism-related mystery is who sent anthrax around the country and where he or she got the anthrax. Because "only" five people died, compared with 3,000 on Sept. 11, 2001, the hunt for the anthrax killer has received less attention. Because of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the search has receded more in the public mind.

Around the Stevens house, however, it's still the big story. Robert Stevens, a photo editor who lived in Lantana and worked at American Media in Boca Raton, was the first person to die from the anthrax that came through the mail just after the Twin Towers fell. News reports suggest that the anthrax may have come from the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (AMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Md.

In January 2002, it was reported that anthrax spores were among the pathogens that disappeared from Fort Detrick. The Ames strain of anthrax, according to news stories, is believed to have come from Fort Detrick. When a new commander took over at Fort Detrick in February 1992, he said there had been "little or no accountability" at the facility." A former employee said, "7-Eleven had better inventory control."

4/27/03b

http://www.commondreams.org/

Published on Friday, April 25, 2003 by

Ex-CIA Professionals: Weapons of Mass Distraction: Where? Find? Plant? by David MacMichael and Ray McGovern

(Check out the link for a set of the "lies" we've been led to believe and the nations we've attacked based on those lies, then ask yourself, could we be "doing it again"? Below is just one of the stories, from Bush the elder's days as commander and chief.)

5. Fabricated evidence also played an important role in the first President Bush's attempt to secure congressional and UN approval for the 1991 Gulf War.

(a) Few will forget the heart-rending testimony before a congressional committee by the sobbing 15 year-old Kuwaiti girl called Nayirah on October 10, 1990:

"I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where 15 babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die. "

No congressperson, no journalist took the trouble to probe the identity of "Nayirah," who was said to be an escapee from Kuwait but was later revealed to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador in Washington. With consummate skill, the story had been manufactured out of whole cloth and the 15 year-old coached by the PR firm Hill & Knowlton, which has a rich history of being "imbedded" in Republican administrations. Similar unsubstantiated yarns made their debut several weeks later at the UN, where a team of seven "witnesses," also coached by Hill & Knowlton, testified about atrocities in Iraq. (It was later learned that the seven had used false names.) And in an unprecedented move, the UN Security Council allowed the US to show a video created by Hill & Knowlton.

All to good effect. The PR campaign had the desired impact, and Congress voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq on January 12, 1991. (The UN did so on November 29, 1990.) "Nayirah's" true identity did not become known until two years later. And Hill & Knowlton's coffers bulged when the proceeds arrived from its billing of Kuwait.

Interestingly, the General Manager of Hill & Knowlton's Washington, DC office at the time was a woman named Victoria Clarke. She turned out to be less successful in her next job, as Press Secretary for the re-election campaign of President George Bush in 1992. But she is now back in her element as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.

(b) There was a corollary fabrication that proved equally effective in garnering support in Congress for the war resolution in 1991. The White House claimed there were satellite photos showing Iraqi tanks and troops massing on the borders of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, threatening to invade Saudi Arabia. This fueled the campaign for war and frightened the Saudis into agreeing to cooperate fully with US military forces.

On September 11, 1990, President George H. W. Bush, addressing a joint session of Congress, claimed "120,000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks have poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia." But an enterprising journalist, Jean Heller, reported in the St. Petersburg Times on January 6, 1991 (a bare ten days before the Gulf War began) that commercial satellite photos taken on September 11, the day the president spoke, showed no sign of a massive buildup of Iraqi forces in Kuwait. When the Pentagon was asked to provide evidence to support the president's claim, it refused to do so˜and continues to refuse to this day.

Interestingly, the national media in the US chose to ignore Heller's story. Heller's explanation:

"I think part of the reason the story was ignored was that it was published too close to the start of the war. Second, and more importantly, I do not think that people wanted to hear that we might have been deceived. A lot of the reporters who have seen the story thinks it is dynamite, but the editors seem to have the attitude, "At this point, who cares?‚ "

 

4/27/03c

http://www.commondreams.org/

Published on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 by Ted Rall

Bush Comes Clean: It Was About the Oil Corporate Vultures Swoop Into the Killing by Ted Rall

But let's forget this penny ante stuff. Let the real looting begin! George W. Bush's bestest buddies, corporate executives at companies which donate money in exchange for a few rounds of golf and a few million-dollar favors, are being handed the keys to Iraq's oil fields.

Bush's brazen Genghis Khan act seems carefully calculated to confirm our worst suspicions. First he appoints retired general Jay Garner, president of a GOP-connected defense contractor, SYColeman Corp., as viceroy of occupied Iraq. "The idea is we are in Iraq not as occupiers but as liberators, and here comes a guy who has attachments to companies that provided the wherewithal for the military assault on that country," marvels David Armstrong, a defense analyst at the National Security News Service. A smart and/or decent president would have picked a civilian for a civil administration post.

Then Bush slips a $680 million contract to the Bechtel Group, whose Republican-oriented board includes such Reagan-era GOP luminaries as secretary of state George Schulz and defense secretary Caspar Weinberger (the late William Casey, Reagan's CIA director, was a Bechtel executive). The deal puts the company in position to receive a big part of the $100 billion estimated total cost of Iraqi reconstruction. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bechtel gave Republican candidates, including Bush, about $765,000 in PAC, soft money and individual campaign contributions between 1999 and 2002.

Finally, refusing to accept bids from potential competitors, Bush grants a two-year, $490 million contract for Iraqi oil field repairs to Halliburton Co., the Houston-based company where Dick Cheney worked as CEO from 1995 to 2000. "It will look a lot worse if Halliburton gets the USAID [Agency for International Development] contract, too," Bathsheba Crocker, an Iraq specialist for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned in March. "Then it really starts looking bad." Guess what! Halliburton has since scored a piece of that $600 million USAID contract.

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May 2003

 

 

5/05/03

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/

Media AWOL in noting irony of Bush's flight Eric Zorn May 6, 2003

So much for that myth--the cynical distortion that has become conventional wisdom in many circles. During the presidential campaign of 2000, it started going around that Texas Gov. George W. Bush, then the leading Republican candidate, had significant gaps in his military record.

Specifically, that Bush failed to report for duty for an entire year toward the end of his hitch with the Texas Air National Guard.

The short version: In May 1968 the silver-spoon son of a U.S. congressman jumped to the top of a long waiting list despite mediocre scores on his pilot-aptitude test and was allowed to enlist in the Guard, a common way to avoid being drafted into combat in Vietnam.

In May 1972 he sought a transfer from Houston, where he flew F-102s on weekends, to a unit in Montgomery, Ala. There, he worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of a friend of his father's and, records indicate, blew off his military obligations.

 

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/5792329.htm

Posted on Mon, May. 05, 2003

White House refuses to release Sept. 11 info By FRANK DAVIES Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration and the nation's intelligence agencies are blocking the release of sensitive information about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, delaying publication of a 900-page congressional report on how the terrorist assault happened.

Intelligence officials insist the information must be kept secret for national security reasons. But some of the information is already broadly available on the Internet or has been revealed in interim reports on the investigation, leading to charges that the administration is simply trying to avoid enshrining embarrassing details in the report.

Disputed information includes a well publicized warning from an FBI agent that al-Qaida supporters might be training in U.S. flight schools and the names of the president and his national security adviser as people who may have received warnings that a terrorist attack was possible before Sept. 11, one official said

 

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0506-03.htm

Published on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 by the Times/UK Envoy Dubs US a Police State by Roger Boyes in Berlin

THE strained relations between Germany and the United States took a turn for the worse yesterday after a senior Berlin diplomat was reported to have told Foreign Ministry colleagues that America was turning into a "police state".

The comments of Jürgen Chrobog, the State Secretary, reported in the German Focus magazine, threatened to disrupt intense diplomatic efforts to repair the relationship between Gerhard Schröder, the Chancellor, and President Bush.

Herr Chrobog is said to have given a blistering critique of the US-German relationship during the annual meeting of German ambassadors, complaining that America was "restricting more and more its civic liberties at home".


5/09/03

This next link is for a set of stories, only some of which are described below. It is a good primer for mainstream sources of glitches in team Bush's programed information of what went on with 9/11.

http://www.buzzflash.com/perspectives/911bush.html

9/11: Bush knew The Secrets of September 11 April 30, 2003

"One such CIA briefing, in July 2001, was particularly chilling and prophetic. It predicted that Osama bin Laden was about to launch a terrorist strike 'in the coming weeks,' the congressional investigators found. The intelligence briefing went on to say: 'The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning.'" http://www.msnbc.com/news/907379.asp?0cv=CB10

Is Bush A Liar - or is memory serving him badly? Posted October 10, 2002 http://www.visualjournalism.com/Files/reviews/bush911/pageBig.shtml

FBI Warned D.C. It Was A Target September 25, 2002

"A Minnesota FBI agent investigating Zacarias Moussaoui testified yesterday that he notified the Secret Service weeks before Sept. 11 that a terror team might hijack a plane and 'hit the nation's capital.'" http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/57848.htm

Moussaoui Warnings Ignored September 24, 2002

"An FBI supervisor, sounding a prophetic pre-Sept. 11 alarm, warned FBI headquarters that student pilot Zacarias Moussaoui was so dangerous he might 'take control of a plane and fly it into the World Trade Center,' a congressional investigator said in a report Tuesday." http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?

America had 12 warnings of aircraft attack September 19, 2002

"American intelligence received many more clues before the 11 September attacks than previously disclosed, that terrorists might hijack planes and turn them into weapons, a joint congressional committee was told yesterday." http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/ story.jsp?story=334633

U.S. Was Aware on bin Laden Threat September 19, 2002

"Basically, we know that bin Laden had the means and the intent to attack Americans, both at home and abroad." http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?

9/11 Probers Say Agencies Failed to Heed Attack SignsSeptember 19, 2002

"U.S. intelligence agencies received many more indications than previously disclosed that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network was planning imminent "spectacular" attacks in the summer of 2001 aimed at inflicting mass casualties." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36754-2002Sep18.html

9/11 report documents credible clues September 18, 2002

"The U.S. intelligence community received a surprising number of credible reports of a likely terrorist attack prior to Sept. 11, including some threats to domestic targets, according to a congressional report to be unveiled today."

http://www.msnbc.com/news/809370.asp?pne=msntv

U.S. knew of 12 plots for jet attacks September 18, 2002

"Plan to attack WTC was among warnings that preceded 9/11, panel told." http://www.msnbc.com/news/809484.asp

Panel Presents 9/11 Intelligence September 18, 2002

"An intelligence briefing two months before the Sept. 11 attack warned that Osama bin Laden ( news - web sites) would launch a spectacular terrorist attack against U.S. or Israeli interests, congressional investigators said Wednesday." http://news.yahoo.com/news?

Spy Agencies Had Pre-9/11 Threats on U.S. Soil September 17, 2002

"U.S. intelligence agencies picked up threats of attacks inside the United States and of using airplanes as weapons during the spring and summer before last year's Sept. 11 attacks, but were more focused on the possibility of an assault overseas, a congressional source said on Tuesday."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?

Ashcroft Flying High July 26, 2001

"In response to inquiries from CBS News over why Ashcroft was traveling exclusively by leased jet aircraft instead of commercial airlines, the Justice Department cited what it called a "threat assessment" by the FBI, and said Ashcroft has been advised to travel only by private jet for the remainder of his term." http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/07/26/national/printable303601.shtml

Al-Qaida monitored U.S. negotiations with Taliban over oil pipeline June 5, 2002

"A memo by military chief Mohammed Atef raises new questions about whether failed U.S. efforts to reform Afghanistan's radical regime -- and build the pipeline-- set the stage for Sept. 11." http://www.salon.com/news/feature/

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0506-03.htm

Published on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 by the Times/UK Envoy Dubs US a Police State by Roger Boyes in Berlin

THE strained relations between Germany and the United States took a turn for the worse yesterday after a senior Berlin diplomat was reported to have told Foreign Ministry colleagues that America was turning into a "police state".

The comments of Jürgen Chrobog, the State Secretary, reported in the German Focus magazine, threatened to disrupt intense diplomatic efforts to repair the relationship between Gerhard Schröder, the Chancellor, and President Bush.

 

5/09/03b

http://www.eians.com/ (You have to get a password to access the stories on this site) WEDNESDAY, MAY 07, 2003 01:34:20 PM

PARIS: A renowned French thinker and writer has challenged Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's claims of being in total control of his country's nuclear arsenal and says there is a real risk that such weapons may find their way to terrorist organisations like the al-Qaeda.

Bernard Henri Levy, also known by his initials BHL, has said that terrorists could lay their hands on the nuclear weapons in Pakistan since the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was continuing its collaboration with the al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic terrorist groups.

In his latest book, Levy -- who has also served as a special envoy to President Jacques Chirac -- has stirred a hornet's nest with a string of serious accusations against not just the ISI, but the entire administration of Musharraf.

Entitled Qui a tue Daniel Pearl (Who killed Daniel Pearl), the book has been right at the top of best selling books in France since it was released three weeks ago. Levy said that he had spent over a year researching the latest book, with long sojourns in Karachi, Kandahar, Islamabad, New Delhi, London and Washington.

In the book, Levy said that Pearl was kidnapped and killed because he was on the verge of establishing the existence of an extensive network linking the ISI and al-Qaeda.

5/05/03c

http://www.commondreams.org/

Published on Sunday, April 27, 2003 by the lndependent/UK

Revealed: How the Road to War was Paved with Lies Intelligence agencies accuse Bush and Blair of distorting and fabricating evidence in rush to war by Raymond Whitaker

The case for invading Iraq to remove its weapons of mass destruction was based on selective use of intelligence, exaggeration, use of sources known to be discredited and outright fabrication, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

A high-level UK source said last night that intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic were furious that briefings they gave political leaders were distorted in the rush to war with Iraq. "They ignored intelligence assessments which said Iraq was not a threat," the source said. Quoting an editorial in a Middle East newspaper which said, "Washington has to prove its case. If it does not, the world will for ever believe that it paved the road to war with lies", he added: "You can draw your own conclusions."

5/05/03d

http://www.commondreams.org/

Published on Monday, April 28, 2003 by the Guardian/UK

Fury at Agriculture Post for US Businessman by Heather Stewart

Oxfam last night launched a scathing attack on the man the US has put in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq.

Dan Amstutz is a former senior executive of Cargill, the biggest grain exporter in the world, and served in the Reagan administration as a trade negotiator in the Uruguay round of world trade talks.

Oxfam is concerned that his involvement is an example of the potentially damaging commercialization of the reconstruction effort in Iraq, which it would prefer to see conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.

Kevin Watkins, Oxfam's policy director, said Mr Amstutz would "arrive with a suitcase full of open-market rhetoric", and was more likely to try to dump cheap US grain on the potentially lucrative Iraqi market than encourage the country to rebuild its once-successful agricultural sector.

"Putting Dan Amstutz in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq is like putting Saddam Hussein in the chair of a human rights commission," Mr Watkins said.

5/05/03e

http://www.msnbc.com/news/

The Secrets of September 11: The White House is battling to keep a report on the terror attacks secret. Does the 2004 election have anything to do with it?

April 30 ˜ Even as White House political aides plot a 2004 campaign plan designed to capitalize on the emotions and issues raised by the September 11 terror attacks, administration officials are waging a behind-the-scenes battle to restrict public disclosure of key events relating to the attacks.

AT THE CENTER of the dispute is a more-than-800-page secret report prepared by a joint congressional inquiry detailing the intelligence and law-enforcement failures that preceded the attacks˜including provocative, if unheeded warnings, given President Bush and his top advisers during the summer of 2001.

The report was completed last December; only a bare-bones list of "findings" with virtually no details was made public. But nearly six months later, a "working group" of Bush administration intelligence officials assigned to review the document has taken a hard line against further public disclosure. By refusing to declassify many of its most significant conclusions, the administration has essentially thwarted congressional plans to release the report by the end of this month, congressional and administration sources tell NEWSWEEK. In some cases, these sources say, the administration has even sought to "reclassify" some material that was already discussed in public testimony˜a move one Senate staffer described as "ludicrous." The administration's stand has infuriated the two members of Congress who oversaw the report˜Democratic Sen. Bob Graham and Republican Rep. Porter Goss. The two are now preparing a letter of complaint to Vice President Dick Cheney.

5/05/03f

http://www.nytimes.com/

April 29, 2003 Matters of Emphasis By PAUL KRUGMAN

'We were not lying," a Bush administration official told ABC News. "But it was just a matter of emphasis." The official was referring to the way the administration hyped the threat that Saddam Hussein posed to the United States. According to the ABC report, the real reason for the war was that the administration "wanted to make a statement." And why Iraq? "Officials acknowledge that Saddam had all the requirements to make him, from their standpoint, the perfect target."

A British newspaper, The Independent, reports that "intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic were furious that briefings they gave political leaders were distorted in the rush to war." One "high-level source" told the paper that "they ignored intelligence assessments which said Iraq was not a threat."

Sure enough, we have yet to find any weapons of mass destruction. It's hard to believe that we won't eventually find some poison gas or crude biological weapons. But those aren't true W.M.D.'s, the sort of weapons that can make a small, poor country a threat to the greatest power the world has ever known. Remember that President Bush made his case for war by warning of a "mushroom cloud." Clearly, Iraq didn't have anything like that ˜ and Mr. Bush must have known that it didn't.

Does it matter that we were misled into war? Some people say that it doesn't: we won, and the Iraqi people have been freed. But we ought to ask some hard questions ˜ not just about Iraq, but about ourselves.

5/05/03g

http://truthout.org/

Accuses Media of Aiding U.S. War Propaganda By David Morgan Reuters Friday 2 May 2003

PHILADELPHIA - It is one of the most famous images of the war in Iraq: a U.S. soldier scaling a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and draping the Stars and Stripes over the black metal visage of the ousted despot.

But for Harper's magazine publisher John MacArthur, that same image of U.S. military victory is also indicative of a propaganda campaign being waged by the Bush administration. "It was absolutely a photo-op created for (U.S.

President George W.) Bush's re-election campaign commercials," MacArthur, a self-appointed authority on U.S. government propaganda, said in an interview. "CNN, MSNBC and Fox swallowed it whole."

In 1992, MacArthur wrote "Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War," a withering critique of government and media actions that he says misled the public after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

In MacArthur's opinion, little has changed during the latest Iraq war, prompting him to begin work on an updated edition of "Second Front." U.S. government public relations specialists are still concocting bogus stories to serve government interests, he says, and credulous journalists stand ready to scarf up the baloney.

"The concept of a self-governing American republic has been crippled by this propaganda," MacArthur said. "The whole idea that we can govern ourselves and have an intelligent debate, free of cant, free of disinformation, I think it's dead."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan denied the existence of any administration propaganda campaign and predicted the American public would reject such notions as ridiculous.

A Pentagon spokesman also denied high-level planning in the appearance of the American flag in Baghdad. "It sure looked spontaneous to me," said Marine Lt. Col. Mike Humm.

In fact, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that Americans were happy with Iraq war coverage, though many wanted less news coverage of anti-war activism and fewer TV appearances by former military officers.

But MacArthur insists that both Gulf wars have been marked by phony tales calculated to deceive public opinion at crucial junctures.

5/05/03g

BABIES AND BOMBS

On the eve of the 1991 Gulf War, Americans were asked to believe that Iraqi soldiers tossed Kuwaiti infants from hospital incubators, leaving them to die. Not true, he says.

This time, MacArthur says the Bush administration made false claims about Iraqi nuclear weapons, charging Baghdad was trying to import aluminum tubes to make enriched uranium and that the country was six months from building a warhead.

The International Atomic Energy Agency found those tubes were for artillery rockets, not nuclear weapons. And MacArthur says a supposed IAEA report, on which the White House based claims about Iraqi weapons-making ability, did not exist.


5/12/03a

http://www.eians.com/

WEDNESDAY, MAY 07, 2003 01:34:20 PM

(You have to get a password to access the stories on this site)

PARIS: A renowned French thinker and writer has challenged Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's claims of being in total control of his country's nuclear arsenal and says there is a real risk that such weapons may find their way to terrorist organisations like the al-Qaeda.

Bernard Henri Levy, also known by his initials BHL, has said that terrorists could lay their hands on the nuclear weapons in Pakistan since the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was continuing its collaboration with the al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic terrorist groups.

In his latest book, Levy -- who has also served as a special envoy to President Jacques Chirac -- has stirred a hornet's nest with a string of serious accusations against not just the ISI, but the entire administration of Musharraf.

Entitled Qui a tue Daniel Pearl (Who killed Daniel Pearl), the book has been right at the top of best selling books in France since it was released three weeks ago. Levy said that he had spent over a year researching the latest book, with long sojourns in Karachi, Kandahar, Islamabad, New Delhi, London and Washington.

In the book, Levy said that Pearl was kidnapped and killed because he was on the verge of establishing the existence of an extensive network linking the ISI and al-Qaeda. He said that Pearl had been working on a report that showed that ISI was actually sharing the nuclear capability of Pakistan with al-Qaeda and other rogue groups.

"They knew that he was close to finishing the report and that he was on to something so big that threatened to unravel the whole structure of terrorism in Pakistan. That is why Pearl was kidnapped and later killed in such a barbarous manner," said Levy.

He further said that in his investigation, during which he met hundreds of people in various cities, he found that several top nuclear scientists of Pakistan had been in close contact with terror groups.

He added that though the General kept on claiming to be in total control of the situation in Pakistan, it was far from true

"The Western intelligence agencies are getting so desperate that they are actually willing to believe that Musharraf has much more influence on events in Pakistan than he actually wields," said Levy, adding even Musharraf's claim of being in total control of the nuclear weapons of his country was highly dubious since ISI had consistently misinformed the General.

5/12/03b

http://www.commondreams.org/

Published on Sunday, April 27, 2003 by the lndependent/UK

Revealed: How the Road to War was Paved with Lies

Intelligence agencies accuse Bush and Blair of distorting and fabricating evidence in rush to war by Raymond Whitaker

The case for invading Iraq to remove its weapons of mass destruction was based on selective use of intelligence, exaggeration, use of sources known to be discredited and outright fabrication, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

A high-level UK source said last night that intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic were furious that briefings they gave political leaders were distorted in the rush to war with Iraq. "They ignored intelligence assessments which said Iraq was not a threat," the source said. Quoting an editorial in a Middle East newspaper which said, "Washington has to prove its case. If it does not, the world will for ever believe that it paved the road to war with lies", he added: "You can draw your own conclusions."

UN inspectors who left Iraq just before the war started were searching for four categories of weapons: nuclear, chemical, biological and missiles capable of flying beyond a range of 93 miles. They found ample evidence that Iraq was not co-operating, but none to support British and American assertions that Saddam Hussein's regime posed an imminent threat to the world.

On nuclear weapons, the British Government claimed that the former regime sought uranium feed material from the government of Niger in west Africa. This was based on letters later described by the International Atomic Energy Agency as crude forgeries.

5/12/03c

http://www.commondreams.org/

Published on Monday, April 28, 2003 by the Guardian/UK

Fury at Agriculture Post for US Businessman by Heather Stewart

Oxfam last night launched a scathing attack on the man the US has put in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq.

Dan Amstutz is a former senior executive of Cargill, the biggest grain exporter in the world, and served in the Reagan administration as a trade negotiator in the Uruguay round of world trade talks.

Oxfam is concerned that his involvement is an example of the potentially damaging commercialization of the reconstruction effort in Iraq, which it would prefer to see conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.

Kevin Watkins, Oxfam's policy director, said Mr Amstutz would "arrive with a suitcase full of open-market rhetoric", and was more likely to try to dump cheap US grain on the potentially lucrative Iraqi market than encourage the country to rebuild its successful agricultural sector.

"Putting Dan Amstutz in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq is like putting Saddam Hussein in the chair of a human rights commission," Mr Watkins said.

"This guy is uniquely well-placed to advance the commercial interests of American grain companies and bust open the Iraqi market - but singularly ill-equipped to lead a reconstruction effort in a developing country."

With President Bush on record as saying he wants American farmers to feed the world, Oxfam is worried that the Iraqi agricultural sector will be left unprotected from cut-price US competition at the crucial early stages of its reconstruction.

In a statement on Mr Amstutz's appointment, the US agriculture secretary, Ann Veneman, said the head of reconstruction would "help us achieve our national objective of creating a democratic and prosperous Iraq while at the same time best utilize resources of our farmers and good industry in the effort, both for the interim and the long term".

The US government has been repeatedly criticized for giving preferential treatment to US firms in contracts to reconstruct Iraq.

5/12/03d

http://www.msnbc.com/news/

The Secrets of September 11

The White House is battling to keep a report on the terror attacks secret. Does the 2004 election have anything to do with it?

NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE

April 30 ˜ Even as White House political aides plot a 2004 campaign plan designed to capitalize on the emotions and issues raised by the September 11 terror attacks, administration officials are waging a behind-the-scenes battle to restrict public disclosure of key events relating to the attacks.

AT THE CENTER of the dispute is a more-than-800-page secret report prepared by a joint congressional inquiry detailing the intelligence and law-enforcement failures that preceded the attacks˜including provocative, if unheeded warnings, given President Bush and his top advisers during the summer of 2001.

The report was completed last December; only a bare-bones list of "findings" with virtually no details was made public. But nearly six months later, a "working group" of Bush administration intelligence officials assigned to review the document has taken a hard line against further public disclosure. By refusing to declassify many of its most significant

conclusions, the administration has essentially thwarted congressional plans to release the report by the end of this month, congressional and administration sources tell NEWSWEEK. In some cases, these sources say, the administration has even sought to "reclassify" some material that was already discussed in public testimony˜a move one Senate staffer described as "ludicrous." The administration's stand has infuriated the two members of Congress who oversaw the report˜Democratic Sen. Bob Graham and Republican Rep. Porter Goss. The two are now preparing a letter of complaint to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Graham is "increasingly frustrated" by the Administration's "unwillingness to release what he regards as important information the public should have about 9-11," a spokesman said. In Graham's view, the Bush administration isn't protecting legitimate issues of national security but information that could be a political "embarrassment," the aide said. Graham, who last year served as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, recently told NEWSWEEK: "There has been a cover-up of this."

Graham's stand may not be terribly surprising, given that the Florida Democrat is running for president and is seeking to use the issue himself politically. But he has found a strong ally in House Intelligence Committee Chairman Goss, a staunch Republican (and former CIA officer) who in the past has consistently defended the administration's handling of 9-11 issues and is considered especially close to Cheney.

"I find this process horrendously frustrating," Goss said in an interview. He was particularly piqued that the administration was refusing to declassify material that top intelligence officials had already testified about. "Senior intelligence officials said things in public hearings that they [administration officials] don't want us to put in the report," said Goss. "That's not something I can rationally accept without further public explanation."

5/12/03e

http://www.nytimes.com/

April 29, 2003 Matters of Emphasis By PAUL KRUGMAN

'We were not lying," a Bush administration official told ABC News. "But it was just a matter of emphasis." The official was referring to the way the administration hyped the threat that Saddam Hussein posed to the United States. According to the ABC report, the real reason for the war was that the administration "wanted to make a statement." And why Iraq? "Officials acknowledge that Saddam had all the requirements to make him, from their standpoint, the perfect target."

A British newspaper, The Independent, reports that "intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic were furious that briefings they gave political leaders were distorted in the rush to war." One "high-level source" told the paper that "they ignored intelligence assessments which said Iraq was not a threat."

Sure enough, we have yet to find any weapons of mass destruction. It's hard to believe that we won't eventually find some poison gas or crude biological weapons. But those aren't true W.M.D.'s, the sort of weapons that can make a small, poor country a threat to the greatest power the world has ever known. Remember that President Bush made his case for war by warning of a "mushroom cloud." Clearly, Iraq didn't have anything like that ˜ and Mr. Bush must have known that it didn't.

Does it matter that we were misled into war? Some people say that it doesn't: we won, and the Iraqi people have been freed. But we ought to ask some hard questions ˜ not just about Iraq, but about ourselves.

5/12/03f

http://truthout.org/

Accuses Media of Aiding U.S. War Propaganda By David Morgan Reuters Friday 2 May 2003

PHILADELPHIA - It is one of the most famous images of the war in Iraq: a U.S. soldier scaling a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and draping the Stars and Stripes over the black metal visage of the ousted despot.

But for Harper's magazine publisher John MacArthur, that same image of U.S. military victory is also indicative of a propaganda campaign being waged by the Bush administration.

"It was absolutely a photo-op created for (U.S. President George W.) Bush's re-election campaign commercials," MacArthur, a self-appointed authority on U.S. government propaganda, said in an interview. "CNN, MSNBC and Fox swallowed it whole."

In 1992, MacArthur wrote "Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War," a withering critique of government and media actions that he says misled the public after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

In MacArthur's opinion, little has changed during the latest Iraq war, prompting him to begin work on an updated edition of "Second Front." U.S. government public relations specialists are still concocting bogus stories to serve government interests, he says, and credulous journalists stand ready to scarf up the baloney.

"The concept of a self-governing American republic has been crippled by this propaganda," MacArthur said. "The whole idea that we can govern ourselves and have an intelligent debate, free of cant, free of disinformation, I think it's dead."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan denied the existence of any administration propaganda campaign and predicted the American public would reject such notions as ridiculous.

A Pentagon spokesman also denied high-level planning in the appearance of the American flag in Baghdad. "It sure looked spontaneous to me," said Marine Lt. Col. Mike Humm.

In fact, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that Americans were happy with Iraq war coverage, though many wanted less news coverage of anti-war activism and fewer TV appearances by former military officers.

But MacArthur insists that both Gulf wars have been marked by phony tales calculated to deceive public opinion at crucial junctures.

BABIES AND BOMBS

On the eve of the 1991 Gulf War, Americans were asked to believe that Iraqi soldiers tossed Kuwaiti infants from hospital incubators, leaving them to die. Not true, he says.

This time, MacArthur says the Bush administration made false claims about Iraqi nuclear weapons, charging Baghdad was trying to import aluminum tubes to make enriched uranium and that the country was six months from building a warhead.

The International Atomic Energy Agency found those tubes were for artillery rockets, not nuclear weapons. And MacArthur says a supposed IAEA report, on which the White House based claims about Iraqi weapons-making ability, did not exist.

5/12/03g

http://www.commondreams.org/

Published on Wednesday, May 7, 2003 by Agence France Presse

Contract Much Larger Than Previously Known US says Halliburton Deal Includes Operating Iraq Oil Fields

WASHINGTON - The US Army has revealed for the first time that a subsidiary of Halliburton Co. has a contract encompassing the operation of Iraqi oil fields, a senior US lawmaker said.

It's extremely troubling that our government is using taxpayer money to deliver lucrative contracts to companies like Halliburton that have used offshore subsidiaries to maneuver around restrictions on doing business with state sponsors of terrorism. Charlie Cray Citizen Works

Previously, the US Army Corps of Engineers had described the contract given to Halliburton -- run by US Vice President Dick Cheney from 1995 to 2000 -- as involving oil well firefighting.

But in a May 2 letter replying to questions from a senior Democratic lawmaker, Henry Waxman, the army said the contract also included "operation of facilities and distribution of products." Waxman, the top-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives' committee on government reform, asked for an explanation Tuesday.

"Your May 2 letter indicates that the contract is considerably broader in scope than previously known," Waxman told Army Corps of Engineers military programs chief Lieutenant General Robert Flowers.

"Prior descriptions of the Halliburton contract had indicated that the contract was for extinguishing fires at oil wells and for related repair activities," the lawmaker said, according to a copy of the letter.

"These new disclosures are significant and they seem at odds with the administration's repeated assurances that the Iraqi oil belongs to the Iraqi people."

5/12/03h

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/

Real American agenda now becoming clear by HAROON SIDDIQUI

A superpower like the United States does not invade a pipsqueak power like Iraq ˜ outside the framework of international law and against worldwide opposition ˜ only for its publicly stated reasons, in this case, fighting terrorism, liberating Iraq and triggering a domino effect for the democratization of the Middle East.

The real American agenda is only now becoming clearer.

The conquest of Iraq is enabling a new Pax Americana that goes well beyond the much-discussed control of oil, as central as that is to the enterprise.

America is redrawing the military map of the region with amazing alacrity. It has pulled its bases out of Saudi Arabia and Turkey in favour of less-demanding hosts.

Its relations with Egypt have been placed on the back burner.

It is no accident that those three nations are the region's more populous. And that America's newest partners ˜ Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates ˜ are thinly populated and tightly controlled monarchies.

People are a problem for America in the Arab and Muslim world. They are bristling with Anti-Americanism, principally over the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

The pullout of 10,000 U.S. troops from a Saudi air base was long overdue, not just because it was a favourite target of Osama bin Laden. It so embarrassed the ruling House of Saud that the Americans had to be kept in purdah, away from the public at a remote base in the desert.

The base is obviously no longer needed since Saddam Hussein is gone. But its closure, in fact, is America's answer to Saudi resistance to the war and the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were bin Laden Saudis.

As the two nations begin a new chapter in their 50-year relationship, America will be less dependant on, though not free of the need for, Saudi oil.


5/15/03a

http://www.lowcountrynow.com/stories/050203/LOCrose.shtml

Rose: The White House lied By John David Rose Carolina Morning News

"The White House Lied" was the headline on the ABCNews.com Web site on April 25. They weren't harking back to the days of Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Nobody died from Clinton's dalliance or his lies.

The ABC News report reveals a White House so depraved that it makes Clinton seem like a choir boy.

Wrote ABC News reporter John Cochran: "To build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush administration argued that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but some officials now privately acknowledge the White House had another reason for war - a global show of American power and democracy."

That poor dupe Colin Powell stood before the United Nations narrating a slide-show of phony intelligence trying to convince the world that Hussein was a threat.

Was he lying or was he lied to?

"We're not lying," said a White House official to ABC News. "But it was just a matter of emphasis."

A matter of emphasis? Good lord, it's a matter of life and death!

Tell that "emphasis" story to the families of Staff Sgt. Stevon Booker of Apollo, Pa., Pfc. Gregory Huxley of Forestport, N.Y., 2nd Lt. Jeffrey Kaylor of Clifton, Va., and Pfc. Anthony Miller of San Antonio, Texas, all from the Third Infantry Division of Fort Stewart. And tell the rest of the 150 American families now grieving over lost sons and daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.

 

5/15/03b

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-0305060077may06,1,502324.column?coll=chi%2Dnews%2Dnav

Media AWOL in noting irony of Bush's flight Eric Zorn May 6, 2003

So much for that myth--the cynical distortion that has become conventional wisdom in many circles. During the presidential campaign of 2000, it started going around that Texas Gov. George W. Bush, then the leading Republican candidate, had significant gaps in his military record.

Specifically, that Bush failed to report for duty for an entire year toward the end of his hitch with the Texas Air National Guard.

The short version: In May 1968 the silver-spoon son of a U.S. congressman jumped to the top of a long waiting list despite mediocre scores on his pilot-aptitude test and was allowed to enlist in the Guard, a common way to avoid being drafted into combat in Vietnam.

In May 1972 he sought a transfer from Houston, where he flew F-102s on weekends, to a unit in Montgomery, Ala. There, he worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of a friend of his father's and, records indicate, blew off his military obligations.

Bush failed to take his annual flight physical in 1972 so Guard officials grounded him, the story went. He never flew again and received an early discharge to go to graduate school. His final officer-efficiency report from May 1973 noted only that supervisors hadn't seen him or heard from him.

 

5/15/03C

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/5792329.htm Posted on Mon, May. 05, 2003

White House refuses to release Sept. 11 info By FRANK DAVIES Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration and the nation's intelligence agencies are blocking the release of sensitive information about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, delaying publication of a 900-page congressional report on how the terrorist assault happened.

Intelligence officials insist the information must be kept secret for national security reasons. But some of the information is already broadly available on the Internet or has been revealed in interim reports on the investigation, leading to charges that the administration is simply trying to avoid enshrining embarrassing details in the report.

Disputed information includes a well publicized warning from an FBI agent that al-Qaida supporters might be training in U.S. flight schools and the names of the president and his national security adviser as people who may have received warnings that a terrorist attack was possible before Sept. 11, one official said.

 

"We're trying to keep in this report some matters that have been talked about in public, discussed in newspapers, and not to do that, flies in the face of common sense," Rep. Porter Goss, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Monday.

 

5/15/03d

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0506-03.htm

Published on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 by the Times/UK Envoy Dubs US a Police State by Roger Boyes in Berlin

THE strained relations between Germany and the United States took a turn for the worse yesterday after a senior Berlin diplomat was reported to have told Foreign Ministry colleagues that America was turning into a "police state".

The comments of Jürgen Chrobog, the State Secretary, reported in the German Focus magazine, threatened to disrupt intense diplomatic efforts to repair the relationship between Gerhard Schröder, the Chancellor, and President Bush.

Herr Chrobog is said to have given a blistering critique of the US-German relationship during the annual meeting of German ambassadors, complaining that America was "restricting more and more its civic liberties at home".

 

 

http://www.buzzflash.com/perspectives/911bush.html

9/11: Bush knew The Secrets of September 11 April 30, 2003

"One such CIA briefing, in July 2001, was particularly chilling and prophetic. It predicted that Osama bin Laden was about to launch a terrorist strike 'in the coming weeks,' the congressional investigators found. The intelligence briefing went on to say: 'The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning.'" http://www.msnbc.com/news/907379.asp?0cv=CB10

Is Bush A Liar - or is memory serving him badly? Posted October 10, 2002

http://www.visualjournalism.com/Files/reviews/bush911/pageBig.shtml

FBI Warned D.C. It Was A Target September 25, 2002 http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/57848.htm

 

Moussaoui Warnings Ignored September 24, 2002

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=512&ncid=716&e=4&u=/ap/20020924/ap_on_go_co/attacks_intelligence

America had 12 warnings of aircraft attack September 19, 2002 http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=334633

U.S. Was Aware on bin Laden Threat September 19, 2002 http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=512&ncid=716&e=5&u=/ap/20020919/ap_on_go_co/attacks_intelligence

9/11 Probers Say Agencies Failed to Heed Attack Signs September 19, 2002 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36754-2002Sep18.html

9/11 report documents credible clues September 18, 2002 http://www.msnbc.com/news/809370.asp?pne=msntv

U.S. knew of 12 plots for jet attacks September 18, 2002 http://www.msnbc.com/news/809484.asp

Panel Presents 9/11 Intelligence September 18, 2002

"An intelligence briefing two months before the Sept. 11 attack warned that Osama bin Laden ( news - web sites) would launch a spectacular terrorist attack against U.S. or Israeli interests, congressional investigators said Wednesday."

http://news.yahoo.com/news?

Spy Agencies Had Pre-9/11 Threats on U.S. SoilSeptember 17, 2002

"U.S. intelligence agencies picked up threats of attacks inside the United States and of using airplanes as weapons during the spring and summer before last year's Sept. 11 attacks, but were more focused on the possibility of an assault overseas, a congressional source said on Tuesday."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?

Ashcroft Flying High July 26, 2001"http://www.cbsnews.com/

Bush briefed on hijacking threat before September 11 May 16, 2002

"President Bush's daily intelligence briefings in the weeks leading up to the September 11 terror attacks included a warning of the possibility that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network would attempt to hijack a U.S.-based airliner, senior administration officials said Wednesday." http://www.cnn.com

Revealed: The Taliban minister, the US envoy and the warning of September 11 that was ignored September 7, 2002

"Weeks before the terrorist attacks on 11 September, the United States and the United Nations ignored warnings from a secret Taliban emissary that Osama bin Laden was planning a huge attack on American soil." http://news.independent.co.uk/

Why would Osama bin Laden want to kill Dubya, his former business partner? July 3, 2001 "A plot by Saudi master terrorist, Osama bin Laden, to assassinate Dubya during the July 20 economic summit of world leaders, was uncovered after dozens of suspected Islamic militants linked to bin Laden's international terror network were arrested in Frankfurt, Germany, and Milan, Italy, in April." http://www.onlinejournal.com/

Bin Laden‚s Relatives Evacuated From NYC October 2, 2001 http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0110/S00008.htm

Our Pearl Harbor: The latest NSA revelations suggest the 9-11 plot could have been foiled. June 21, 2002

http://www.prospect.org/webfeatures

Al-Qaida monitored U.S. negotiations with Taliban overoil pipeline June 5, 2002 http://www.salon.com/news/

U.S. had agents inside al-Qaeda June 4, 2002 http://www.usatoday.com/news/attack/2002/06/03/cia-attacks.htm

"Don't let them fool you" http://www.sfgate.com/

Egypt Warned U.S. of a Qaeda Plot, Mubarak Asserts June 3, 2002 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/04/national/04WARN.html

U.S. Ignored Warnings From French May 28, 2002 http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0222/ridgeway2.php

"Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." http://slate.msn.com/?id=2066154

Tracking a Counterterrorism Breakdown Timeline Shows Failure to Connect Key Clues Before Sept. 11 May 23, 2002

http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/may/timeline/index.html

"Who knew what, and when? Could the FBI have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks?"

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2002/05/23/warning/index_np.html

Poppies for planes: White House hides behind veil of executive privilege May 22, 2002

http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemId=13365

The U.S. ignored foreign warnings, too May 21, 2002 http://www.iht.com/articles/58269.html

Bush knew of terrorist plot to hijack US planes May 20, 2002 http://www.guardian.co.uk/september11/story/0,11209,718312,00.html

Britain warned US to expect September 11 al-Qaeda hijackings May 19, 2002 http://www.sundayherald.com/24822

U.S. planned for attack on al-Qaida May 16, 2002 http://www.msnbc.com/news/753359.asp

Bush Was Warned bin Laden Wanted to Hijack Planes May 15, 2002 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/16/politics/16INQU.html?

US agents told: Back off bin Ladens November 7, 2001 http://www.old.smh.com.au/news/0111/07/world/world100.html

On Sept. 12, Woods called the FBI to tell investigators about his experience. He was interviewed by agents on Sept. 13, but has had no comment." http://www.gazettenet.com/americantragedy/10112001/7363.htm

Bush: We're At War‚September 24th, 2001 http://www.msnbc.com/news/629606.asp

US 'planned attack on Taleban' September 18, 2001 http://news.bbc.co.uk/

Israeli security issued urgent warning to CIA of large-scale terror attacks September 16, 2001 http://news.telegraph.co.uk/

Willie Brown got low-key early warning about air travel September 12, 2001 http://www.sfgate.com/

Commission warned Bush September 12, 2001 http://www.salon.com/politics/f

Jeb Bush signs Executive Order allowing him to declare martial law in Florida... September 7, 2001

http://sun6.dms.state.fl.us/

 

5/15/03f

http://truthout.org/docs_03/051003E.shtml

100th Anti-Patriot Act Resolution Passed In Broward, Florida t r u t h o u t | Report by Jennifer Van Bergen

Wednesday 07 May 2003

Broward County, Florida, the 14th largest county in the U.S., yesterday unanimously passed a resolution affirming the Bill of Rights and registering strong concerns about the PATRIOT Act. Broward is the 100th community to pass such a resolution and the largest to have done so, according to the Northampton Bill of Rights Defense Committee, which tracks all resolutions.

The Resolution was submitted by the Broward Human Rights Board and supported by the Broward Bill of Rights Defense Coalition. The Broward Coalition, a non-partisan coalition formed to raise public awareness of this issue in south Florida, met with Commissioners in January, and has been holding area meetings and sponsoring forums on the PATRIOT Act and civil rights over the past year.

Broward is best known nationally as being one of the counties where the election controversy of 2000 played out.

The Commissioners, some of whom are staunch Republicans, broke today with that negative image and showed the nation that they support the important efforts to uphold the Bill of Rights and repeal or amendment of the USA PATRIOT Act.

 

5/15/03g

http://www.madison.com/

Ed Garvey: Mainstream media still treating Bush with kid gloves By Ed Garvey May 13, 2003

The New York Times ran a front-page apology Sunday for a reporter who filed deceptive stories. It is unusual for a news source to admit a mistake and the Times is to be commended.

But read the opening paragraph and ask if it should be applied to a much broader group of journalists: "A staff reporter for the New York Times committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud while covering significant news events in recent months, aninvestigation by Times journalists has found."

Wouldn't it be refreshing if Fox News, CNBC, CBS and others were to make the same apology for the what can only be described as "journalistic fraud" as they slant the news to favor President Bush and his factually unsupportable justification of the invasion of another country?

Substitute Bill Clinton for Bush over the past six months and you will see my point. What would TV talking heads be saying today? William Kristol, Sean Hannity and the others would be demanding Clinton's impeachment. They would be screaming that there were no weapons of mass destruction and Clinton knew it. He lied to the U.N., to the American people, and he deliberately and unnecessarily placed American troops in harm's way.

And if that was insufficient to start an impeachment proceeding, they would be screaming that he did all of this without a congressional declaration of war. This would be "Wag the Dog" all over again. A war to divert attention from a flagging economy. And, to top it off, Clinton did not secure the Iraqi nuclear sites to prevent looting, did not protect the national museum, did not capture Saddam or his sons. He led people to believe that the invasion of Iraq was about Sept. 11, not oil.

They would save the best until last. Do you remember the famous haircut on Air Force One? Clinton supposedly had his hair cut while planes were diverted around Los Angeles International Airport. It didn't happen, but Clinton was condemned on right-wing talk shows throughout America for this alleged waste of funds.

Imagine if Bill Clinton had slowed down an aircraft carrier and had landed on the deck in a jet for photo ops for his campaign. Oh, my goodness! The folks at Fox would be in cardiac arrest. Rush would froth at the mouth.

 

5/15/03g

Telegraph (London) May 16, 2003

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news

Bomber 'moles' in Saudi forces By Robin Gedye and John R Bradley in Jeddah (Filed: 16/05/2003)

Al-Qa'eda has infiltrated Saudi Arabia's military and security forces at the highest level, including those entrusted with the protection of western residential compounds, American intelligence officials believe.

They are convinced that Tuesday's suicide bombers depended on a significant level of "insider" knowledge of the compounds that were hit and that al-Qa'eda eve infiltrated the elite National Guard, which is involved in compound security.

Riyadh remained on edge last night, with airlines reporting a flood of bookings for flights from Saudi Arabia to Britain and America and bomb scares forcing the evacuation of a compound near those attacked and the landmark Faisaliya Tower.

Intelligence sources said several bombers were wearing National Guard uniforms to help them get into the three bombed complexes.

"The only area where there is no evidence of a significant al-Qa'ed presence is in the Saudi air force," one intelligence official said. "The police, army, navy and National Guard have all been infiltrated."

American military and intelligence officers say the attack on the residential quarters of the Vinnell corporation, whose ex-US army officers train the National Guard, must have had detailed insider knowledge.

 


5/27/03a

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A61585-2003May15?language=printer

FCC Sees Local Gain to Age of Max Media By Frank Ahrens Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, May 16, 2003; Page E01

Sen. John McCain was pushing hard to find out if media consolidation has led to control of the news. In his hand, the feisty Arizona Republican had a list. He wanted answers.

McCain squinted and leaned into the microphone at Tuesday's hearing before his Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. His gaze was fixed on witness William Dean Singleton, president of both the newspaper industry's lobbying group and MediaNews Group, which owns 50 newspapers, including the flagship Denver Post. What followed was a telling moment, largely overlooked in that day's news coverage of the hearing, that illustrated the escalating tension on media ownership.

When the Federal Communications Commission was debating whether it should give away or sell $70 billion worth of digital broadcast spectrum in 1996, newspaper editorial pages weighed in. McCain's list, a consumer group survey, found that every paper favoring a giveaway was owned by a company that also owned television stations that, naturally, wanted the spectrum for free.

Every paper opposing a giveaway was owned by a company with no substantial interest in television.

"Do you think that's an anomaly?" McCain asked, referring to his list.

"I do," Singleton replied.

"So, it's a coincidence," McCain finished, with more than a little sarcasm in his voice.

The FCC is preparing to relax or eliminate several key media ownership rules, letting media companies buy more newspapers and television stations. The agency is set to vote on June 2 to drop the 28-year-old ban that prohibits a newspaper from buying a television or radio station in the same city, except in the smallest cities.

5/27/03b

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/16/1052885398462.html

Fatal attraction: Why everybody now wants the bomb May 17 2003

Nuclear disarmament is dead as the United States flaunts its weapons superiority and small nations rush to make their own bombs. The second cold war is here, writes Christopher Kremmer.

For almost half a century nuclear weapons poisoned the global imagination, a force so devastating it could literally destroy life on our planet. It's a nightmare that could return if the Bush Administration gets its way. It almost did last week, when a US Senate committee voted to lift a decade-old ban on the research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons, providing $US15.5 million ($24 million) for research on a "bunker buster" hydrogen bomb called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.

Designed to take out enemy command and control facilities, the tactical bomb is billed as a "useable" nuke with a yield as low as 0.3 of a kiloton, much smaller than strategic nuclear weapons.

Yet scientists believe human casualties from radiation would still be in the order of 10,000 to 15,000 dead if such a weapon were used in a built-up area. Thousands more would die in the fires and building collapses caused by the blast.

This week, the Senate committee's vote was overturned by the House Armed Services Committee, but trench warfare over the proposal will continue.

Already, a string of decisions and pronouncements from Washington have convinced many experts that the United States is on an ambitious program to revitalise its nuclear arsenal and widen the scope of its possible uses.

The Doomsday Clock, which is maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists as a measure of global insecurity, now stands at seven minutes to midnight, 10 minutes closer to Armageddon than it was at the end of the Cold War in 1991.

On May 1, 2001, the US President, George Bush, declared: "Nuclear weapons still have a vital role to play in our security and that of our allies."

 

5/27/03c

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0516-01.htm

Published on Friday, May 16, 2003 by the New York Times Paths of Glory by Paul Krugman

The central dogma of American politics right now is that George W. Bush, whatever his other failings, has been an effective leader in the fight against terrorism. But the more you know about the state of the world, the less you believe that dogma. The Iraq war, in particular, did nothing to make America safer in fact, it did the terrorists a favor.

How is the war on terror going? You know about the Riyadh bombings. But something else happened this week: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, a respected British think tank with no discernible anti-Bush animus, declared that Al Qaeda is "more insidious and just as dangerous" as it was before Sept. 11. So much for claims that we had terrorists on the run.

Still, isn't the Bush administration doing its best to fight terrorism? No.

The administration's antiterror campaign makes me think of the way television studios really look. The fancy set usually sits in the middle of a shabby room, full of cardboard and duct tape. Networks take great care with what viewers see on their TV screens; they spend as little as possible on anything off camera.

And so it has been with the campaign against terrorism. Mr. Bush strikes heroic poses on TV, but his administration neglects anything that isn't photogenic.

I've written before about the Bush administration's amazing refusal to pay for even minimal measures to protect the nation against future attacks ˜ measures that would secure ports, chemical plants, nuclear facilities and so on. (But the Department of Homeland Security isn't completely ineffectual: this week it helped Texas Republicans track down their Democratic colleagues, who had staged a walkout.)

The neglect of homeland security is mirrored by the Bush administration's failure to follow through on overseas efforts once the TV-friendly part of the operation has come to an end. The overthrow of the Taliban was a real victory ˜ arguably our only important victory against terrorism. But as soon as Kabul fell, the administration lost interest. Now most of Afghanistan is under the control of warlords, the Karzai government is barely hanging on, and the Taliban are making a comeback. None of Singleton's papers editorialized on the giveaway, but he happened to be the guy who wandered into McCain's cross hairs. He also happened to be testifying that the FCC should loosen its ownership rules to let newspaper companies buy television stations, meaning media companies could extend their influence even further than McCain suggested it already has reached.

 

5/27/03d

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0527-01.htm

Published on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 by the Guardian/UK

UN Chief Warns of Anti-American Backlash in Iraq by Rory McCarthy in Baghdad

The UN's most senior humanitarian official in Iraq warned yesterday that US attempts to rebuild the country were overly dominated by "ideology" and risked triggering a violent backlash.

Ramiro Lopes da Silva said the sudden decision last week to demobilize 400,000 Iraqi soldiers without any re-employment program could generate a "low-intensity conflict" in the countryside

Back to the top 

June 2003

 

6/04/03a

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/

9/11 panel told of cover-ups before attacks Witnesses: U.S. suppressed warnings

By Bryan A. Keogh Washington Bureau May 24, 2003

WASHINGTON -- The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were made possible by gaping holes in airline security, government cover-ups that prevented problems from being fixed and a failure to respond to a growing threat that terrorists might use airliners as weapons, witnesses told an independent commission this week.

"The notion that these hijackings and terrorism were an unforeseen and unforeseeable risk is an airline and FAA public-relations management myth," said Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general at the Department of Transportation, in testimony Friday.

But Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta told the 10-member panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks that the federal government was caught unawares and had not anticipated such an attack.

"I don't think we ever thought of an aircraft being used as a missile," he said, acknowledging that the United States was unprepared.

During two days of hearings, some commission members argued there were plenty of indications that terrorists were planning a major attack against this country in the months before Sept. 11. These members said they were stunned by Mineta's comments and by how they conflicted with other testimony.

A security inspector with the Transportation Security Administration told the commission Thursday that undercover tests he had conducted revealed persistent, egregious weaknesses in airport security systems.

"Although we breached security with ridiculous ease up to 90 percent of the time, the FAA suppressed these warnings," said Bogdan Dzakovic, who became a Federal Aviation Administration whistleblower one month after Sept. 11.

Dzakovic called the state of airline security "unsafe" and said his "Red Team" of undercover security agents were frequently able to smuggle bombs and firearms aboard airplanes. After he informed the FAA of these security lapses, Dzakovic says, little was done to fix the problem.

 

6/04/03b

http://www.democracynow.org/transcripts/gorevidal.shtml

Gore Vidal on the "United States of Amnesia," 9/11, the 2000 Election and the War in Iraq

Gore Vidal is one of America's most prolific and best-known writers. He has written more than 22 books and more than 200 essays -- a collection of his essays won the National Book Award in 1993. Vidal is the author most recently of Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace and Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Bush-Cheney Junta. Taken together, the books constitute a comprehensive attack on America's imperialist ambitions and the military industrial complex. Writing in the Scotsman, critic Gavin Esler called Perpetual War "the finest serious critique of America's use and abuse of power in the 21st century that I have read."

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman recently met up with Gore Vidal for an extensive interview. The interview aired on May 13, 2003.

GORE VIDAL:The United States is not a normal country. We are a homeland now under military surveillance and military control. The President asked the Congress right after 9-11 not to conduct a major investigation. "As it might deter our search for terrorism wherever it might be in the world." So Congress obediently rolled over.

There was, I remember, Pearl Harbor. I was a kid then. And within three years of it I enlisted in the army. That's what we did in those days; we did not go off to the Texas Air Force and hide. I realize the country has totally changed, that the government is not responsive to the people. Either in protecting us from something like 9-11, which they should¸ve done, could¸ve done. Did not do. And then when it did happen, to investigate, investigate, investigate.

So I wrote two little books, one called Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, in which I try to go into the why Osama Bin Laden, if it were he, or whoever it was, why it was done. And I wrote anther one, Dreaming War, on why we were not protected on 9-11, which ordinarily would have led to the impeachment of the President of the United States who had allowed it to happen. They said they had no information. Since then every day the New York Times prints another mountain of people that say they had warned the government, President Putin of Russia, he had warned us, President Mubarek, of Egypt, he had warned us, three members of Mossad claim they had come to the US to warn us that sometime in September something unpleasant might come out of the sky in our direction.

 

6/04/03c

Were we defended? No we were not defended. Has this ever been investigated?

http://www.stopgeorge.com/

You are not alone.

There are millions of Americans from all walks of life and all political beliefs who feel that George W. Bush is leading our country down the wrong path. There are millions more Americans whose positive opinion of George can be changed through exposure to the darker side of our President's actions and policies. Help us begin the long process of reversing public opinion and help us fight the notion that George is guaranteed to win in 2004

(A complex article that deals with various aspects of the current situation in Iraq/Iran)

http://www.motherjones.com/news/warwatch/2003/22/we_424_02.html

Posturing or Policy?

In the days after the fall of Baghdad, pundits in Washington seemed interested in answering only one question: Who's next? The neocons populating the capital's think-tanks had an easy answer: Iran.

As the weeks passed, as the US reconstruction effort in Iraq showed signs of faltering, as Afghanistan's US-backed government showed signs of crumbling, those neocons stayed on message. Earlier this month, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol made the argument in typically triumphalist fashion, declaring that "the next great battle... will be for Iran." That battle, Kristol notes, need not be a military one. But Kristol's fevered rhetoric was distinctly martial.

"We are already in a death struggle with Iran over the future of Iraq. The theocrats ruling Iran understand that the stakes are now double or nothing. They can stay in power by disrupting efforts to create a pluralist, non-theocratic, Shia-majority state next door--or they can fall, as success in Iraq sounds the death knell for the Iranian revolution.

So we must help our friends and allies in Iraq block Iranian-backed subversion. And we must also take the fight to Iran, with measures ranging from public diplomacy to covert operations. Iran is the tipping point in the war on proliferation, the war on terror, and the effort to reshape the Middle East."

6/04/03d

http://www.thestar.com/NASA

Anti-U.S. Russo-Chinese alliance may be in works ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOSCOW ˜ Chinese President Hu Jintao called today for a "multipolar world" and a strategic partnership with Russia to counter U.S. dominance while oil executives signed a preliminary deal for a pipeline to carry Siberian oil to China.

"The trend toward a multipolar world is irreversible and dominant," Hu said in a speech at a Moscow university specializing in international relations.

A joint call for a "multipolar world," the term Russia and China used to describe their shared ambition to offset U.S. global dominance, has cemented the post-Soviet friendship between the two former rivals.

On the sidelines of Hu's visit, China National Petroleum Corp. and Russia's Yukos oil company signed a preliminary agreement on shipping Siberian oil to China by a 2,250-kilometre pipeline that would link Angarsk in eastern Siberia and Daqing, China.

Along with the Chinese route, the Russian cabinet considered a rival, Japanese-backed proposal that

would first lay the pipeline to Russia's Pacific port Nakhodka. But the cabinet now appears to favour building the Chinese section first with the route to Nakhodka to come later. A final decision is expected in the next few weeks.

Under Wednesday's deal, Yukos would ship about 5.1 billion barrels along the new pipeline to Daqing over 25 years beginning in 2005. The deal is estimated to be worth the equivalent of about than $210 billion Cdn.

Hu chose Russia for his first trip abroad after replacing Jiang Zemin as president in March. He hailed a friendship treaty Jiang signed with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2001, saying it created "political guarantees for the long-term and steady development of Chinese-Russian relations."

The treaty became the first such document since 1950, when the late Soviet leader Josef Stalin and his Chinese counterpart Mao Zedong created an alliance that slid into rivalry and then hostility in the 1960s.

Hu said warmer ties have helped to clear border disputes and increase bilateral trade from the equivalent of about $8 billion in the mid-1990s to $16 billion last year.

Without naming the United States, Hu assailed unilateralism in world affairs and condemned the use of force in settling disputes.

"Peace can't be achieved through using force," he said.

On Tuesday, Hu and Putin issued a joint declaration urging North Korea to relinquish its nuclear ambitions but also voiced support for the North's demand for security guarantees and warned against using force to resolve the crisis.

On Thursday, Hu and Putin will take part in a Moscow summit of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization, a six-country group that also includes four former Soviet Central Asian republics. Hu also is scheduled to attend weekend festivities marking the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, Russia's former imperial capital.

 

6/04/03e

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56132-2003May29.html

Monopoly or Democracy? By Ted Turner Friday, May 30, 2003; Page A23

On Monday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to adopt dramatic rule changes that will extend the market dominance of the five media corporations that control most of what Americans read, see and hear. I am a major shareholder in the largest of those five corporations, yet -- speaking only for myself, and not for AOL Time Warner -- I oppose these rules. They will stifle debate, inhibit new ideas and shut out smaller businesses trying to compete. If these rules had been in place in 1970, it would have been virtually impossible for me to start Turner Broadcasting or, 10 years later, to launch CNN.

The FCC will vote on several proposals, including raising the cap on how many TV stations can be owned by one corporation and allowing single corporations to own TV stations and newspapers in the same market.

If a young media entrepreneur were trying to get started today under these proposed rules, he or she wouldn't be able to buy a UHF station, as I did. They're all bought up. But even if someone did manage to buy a TV station, that wouldn't be enough. To compete, you have to have good programming and good distribution. Today both are owned by conglomerates that keep the best for themselves and leave the worst for you -- if they sell anything to you at all. It's hard to compete when your suppliers are owned by your competitors. We bought MGM, and we later sold Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner, because we had little choice. The big were getting bigger. The small were disappearing. We had to gain access to programming to survive.

Many other independent media companies were swallowed up for the same reason -- because they didn't have everything they needed under their own roof, and their competitors did. The climate after Monday's expected FCC decision will encourage even more consolidation and be even more inhospitable to smaller businesses.

Why should the country care? When you lose small businesses, you lose big ideas. People who own their own businesses are their own bosses. They are independent thinkers. They know they can't compete by imitating the big guys; they have to innovate. So they are less obsessed with earnings than they are with ideas. They're willing to take risks. When, on my initiative, Turner Communications (now Turner Broadcasting) bought its first TV station, which at the time was losing $50,000 a month, my board strongly objected. When TBS bought its second station, which was in even worse shape than the first, our accountant quit in protest.

Large media corporations are far more profit-focused and risk-averse. They sometimes confuse short-term profits and long-term value. They kill local programming because it's expensive, and they push national programming because it's cheap -- even if it runs counter to local interests and community values. For a corporation to launch a new idea, you have to get the backing of executives who are obsessed with quarterly earnings and afraid of being fired for an idea that fails. They often prefer to sit on the sidelines waiting to buy the businesses or imitate the models of the risk-takers who succeed. (Two large media corporations turned down my invitation to invest in the launch of CNN.)

That's an understandable approach for a corporation -- but for a society, it's like overfishing the oceans. When the smaller businesses are gone, where will the new ideas come from? Nor does this trend bode well for new ideas in our democracy -- ideas that come only from diverse news and vigorous reporting. Under the new rules, there will be more consolidation and more news sharing. That means laying off reporters or, in other words, downsizing the workforce that helps us our problems and makes us think about solutions. Even more troubling are the warning signs that large media corporations -- with massive market power -- could abuse that power by slanting news coverage in ways that serve their political or financial interests. There is always the danger that news organizations can push positive stories to gain friends in government, or unleash negative stories on artists, activists or politicians who cross them, or tell their audiences only the news that confirms their views. But the danger is greater when there are no competitors to air the side of the story the corporation wants to ignore.

 

6/04/03f

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0530-11.htm

One of the few sane, brave, principled and well-positioned voices remaining in the US mainstream news media...

Published on Friday, May 30, 2003 by NOW with Bill Moyers Deep in a Black Hole of Red Ink by Bill Moyers

You no doubt saw this - Mr. Bush signing his tax cut. A big day for the President. But in fact, it's the richest Americans - the top one percent - who get the lion's share of the tax cuts - people like Secretary of the Treasury John Snow, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Commerce Don Evans, multimillionaires all. Mr. Cheney actually cast the deciding tie-breaker vote in favor of the tax cut in the Senate...as this headline in the Wall Street Journal says, some people could wind up paying virtually no tax at all.

Where's that money coming from to make the rich richer? Some of it's coming from the working poor.

Remember that $400 per child tax credit that was in the tax bill? We have now learned that at the very last minute, behind closed doors, the Republican leaders in Congress pulled a bait-and-switch. They eliminate from the bill that $400 child credit for families who make just above the minimum wage. They will use that money to pay for the cut on dividend taxes. Eleven million children in families with incomes roughly between ten thousand and twenty six thousand dollars a year won't be getting the check that was supposed to be in the mail this summer. Eleven million children punished for being poor, even as the rich are rewarded for being rich.

Nothing was said about cutting out the working poor from this tax credit as Mr. Bush signed his tax bill. Nor was anything said when the President closed the door to his office and quietly put his signature on another bill, this one raising the debt ceiling to its highest level in history. No sooner had this happened than it was revealed by the Financial Times - a British newspaper by the way - that the White House withheld a Treasury department study showing that the country faces chronic deficits totaling over $44 trillion dollars. They kept it secret lest it throw the fear of God into Congress and the financial markets and cost them the tax cut for the rich.

This was enough to send us over to the debt clock just a few blocks from our offices in mid-town New York. Standing there you can watch the country's future slip deeper and deeper into a black hole of red ink. At mid-day today the national debt was over 6 trillion dollars makes you wonder...exactly why are these rich guys smiling?

From NOW with Bill Moyers on Friday May 30th, 2003 at 9pm E.T. on PBS check local listings at

http://www.pbs.org/now/sched.html

 

6/04/03g

MAY 30, 2003

MOVEABLE FEAST By Thane Peterson Stop the FCC's Covert Operation

Michael Powell & Co. seem determined to ignore overwhelming public opposition and endorse a secret proposal on media consolidation Here's a quiz. Name a hot political issue that unites the following people and groups: Singer Neil Diamond The National Rifle Assn. The Consumers Union, the organization that publishes Consumer Reports Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.) Media mogul Ted Turner, founder of CNN Entertainment and Internet mogul Barry Diller The National Organization for Women Conservative New York Times columnist William Safire Code Pink, Women for Peace, an antiwar group The African American/Asian American/Hispanic Caucus of Congress

The answer: All are publicly opposed to the Federal Communications Commission's plans to vote on new rules governing media ownership on June 2. It's not clear exactly what the FCC will be voting on because, incredibly, Commission Chairman Michael Powell has never deigned to make public the 250-page document laying out the plan. But the general idea is to loosen rules that restrict the share any one company can own of the national TV market and allow cross-ownership of TV stations and newspapers in local markets.

Most analysts believe the changes would lead to a wave of consolidation in the national media market, which is already dominated by a handful of big companies such as AOL TimeWarner (AOL ), Viacom (VIA ), and News Corp. (NWS ).

APPALLED AND UNITED. Barring a last-minute change of heart, Powell intends to go ahead with the vote, despite requests for a delay from the two Democrats (out of five members) on the FCC and a passel of lawmakers from both parties. Powell won't share the details of the plan even with Congress.

This is undemocratic and disgraceful. Whether you're conservative, liberal, or in the middle, we should all be appalled by the way the FCC is acting in this case.

First off, allowing further consolidation of the U.S. media business is wrong on its face. Most of the usual "bigger is better" arguments don't apply. Media companies don't face the same sort of harsh foreign competition that confront auto and steel companies, for instance, partly because foreign ownership of them is restricted.

Moreover, our system of government invests print and broadcast media with special privileges (one reason they're so profitable) but also with special responsibilities precisely because they are so important to the functioning of our democracy. The "efficiencies" that come with mergers will likely mean fewer reporters, less local news, and a diminishing of the debate democracy needs to function.

NEW MATH. New technology simply isn't taking up the slack. You may think what you know about the world comes from the Internet, radio, and TV. But most actual news gathering is still done by print organizations such as newspapers, news agencies like the Associated Press and Bloomberg, and news magazines like BusinessWeek. Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and your favorite news anchor may put a spin on information in the public domain, but they aren't out gathering it. In small and medium-sized communities, the local newspaper is the sole source of information about government policies and local elections. More consolidation is likely to hurt, not help.

Yet, Powell has held only one official public hearing on the proposed changes, and has refused to attend most of the ad hoc meetings held around the country by Kenneth Adelstein and Michael Copps, the two Democrats on the FCC. The reason, Powell says, is that he prefers to focus on empirical studies -- and, in any case, the public has had plenty of chance to comment via the FCC's Web Site (www.fcc.gov).

6/04/03h

http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/7952

Mega Media Madness

John Nichols is the editorial page editor for the Capital Times. Josh Silver is managing director of Free Press.

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 to meet the demands of big communications corporations. Rigorously opposed by consumer, religious, labor, community and public interest groups across the country, FCC Chairman Michael Powell warped the decision-making process to deliver a result allowing conglomerates to buy up hundreds of newspapers, television and radio stations in communities across the United States. Competition, diversity and local content will be undermined in local markets and nationally.

The FCC's decision was the product of a corrupt process that was awash in special-interest money, and that saw industries that are supposed to be regulated telling the regulators how to proceed. The Center for Public Integrity recently revealed that over the past eight years, media companies and their associations paid for 2,500 travel junkets by FCC commissioners and staffers, at a cost of $2.8 million. The Center also revealed that FCC commissioners, their aides and top staffers hosted 71 off-the-record meetings with industry executives in the months leading up to today's vote. At the same time, only five meetings were held with organizations representing the public interest. Already, watchdog groups and members of Congress are calling for investigations of the cozy relationship between the FCC and the firms that will benefit from these rules changes.

Citizens across the United States are furious with FCC Chairman Powell for limiting public input by scheduling only one official hearing on the rules changes, by withholding the changes until just three weeks before the vote, by neglecting to order adequate studies of the impact of these rule changes, and by refusing a request from Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein -- as well as more than 120 members of Congress -- for a delay in the vote.

FCC Commissioners Copps and Adelstein voted against the rule changes, and highlighted the fact that more than 95 percent of comments filed by members of the public to the FCC opposed making the changes. In the final week before the vote, close to 500,000 communications were delivered to the FCC by groups ranging from MoveOn.org to the National Rifle Association, all of which expressed firm opposition. As Commissioner Adelstein said, "Of the hundreds of citizens I heard from, many extremely articulate, not one person stood up to say, 'I want to see even more concentration in our media ownership.' Not one."

FCC Chairman Powell said he wanted to produce rules that were consistent and that would survive legal scrutiny. But no legal issues were settled. Instead, Chairman Powell has forced adoption of rules that violate the mandate from Congress contained in the 1996 Telecommunications Act. That act said that media ownership rules should only be eliminated or relaxed if new communication technologies generated an increase in bona fide commercial competition that would justify eliminating or relaxing the ownership rules. Market conditions, researched extensively by the Consumers Federation of America, Consumers Union and independent scholars have not changed in such a way to justify the elimination of media ownership rules.

6/04/03i

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0602-13.ht

Published on Monday, June 2, 2003 by CommonDreams.org

Statement Of FCC Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein A Dark Storm Cloud is Looming Over the Future of the American Media...

by Jonathan S. Adelstein

This is a sad day for me, and I think for the country. I'm afraid a dark storm cloud is now looming over the future of the American media. This is the most sweeping and destructive rollback of consumer protection rules in the history of American broadcasting.

The public stands little to gain and everything to lose by slashing the protections that have served them for decades. This plan is likely to damage the media landscape for generations to come. It threatens to degrade civil discourse and the quality of our society's intellectual, cultural and political life. I dissent, finding today's Order poor public policy, indefensible under the law, and inimical to the public interest and the health of our democracy.

6/04/03j

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0602-14.htm

Published on Monday, June 2, 2003 by CommonDreams.org

Statement Of FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps

I Dissent Because Today the FCC Empowers America's New Media Elite with Unacceptable Levels of Influence...by Michael J. Copps

I dissent to this decision. I dissent on grounds of substance. I dissent on grounds of process. I dissent because today the Federal Communications Commission empowers America's new Media Elite with unacceptable levels of influence over the ideas and information upon which our society and our democracy so heavily depend.

This morning we are at a crossroads - for television, radio and newspapers and for the American people. The decision we five make today will recast our entire media landscape for years to come. At issue is whether a few corporations will be ceded enhanced gatekeeper control over the civil dialogue of our country; more content control over our music, entertainment and information; and veto power over the majority of what our families watch, hear and read.

Two very divergent paths beckon us.

Down one road is a reaffirmation of America's commitment to local control of our media, diversity in news and editorial viewpoint, and the importance of competition. This path implores us not to abandon core values going to the heart of what the media mean in a country. On this path we reaffirm that FCC licensees have been given very special privileges and that they have very special responsibilities to serve the public interest.

Down the other road is more media control by ever fewer corporate giants. This path surrenders to a handful of corporations awesome powers over our news, information and entertainment. On this path we endanger time-honored safeguards and time-proven values that have strengthened the country as well as the media.

So the stakes are high - higher than they have been for any decision the five people sitting here today have ever made at this Commission. How do we decide which path to choose?

We should begin by examining the law. What does the law tell us? The Communications Act tells us to use our rules to promote localism, diversity and competition. It reminds us that the airwaves belong to the American people, and that no broadcast station, no company, no single individual owns an airwave in America. The airwaves belong to all the people. And the Supreme Court has upheld media protections, stating that "it is the purpose of the First Amendment to preserve an uninhibited marketplace of ideas in which truth will ultimately prevail, rather than to countenance monopolization of that market, whether it be by the Government itself or a private licensee."

The majority instead chooses radical deregulation - perhaps not quite so radical as originally intended a year ago before Americans found out what was going on and began to speak out - but radical nevertheless. This decision allows a corporation to control three television stations in a single city. Why does any company need to control three television stations anywhere? The decision allows the giant media companies to buy up the remaining local newspaper and exert massive influence over a community by wielding three TV stations, eight radio stations, the cable operator, plus the already monopolistic newspaper. The decision further allows the already massive television networks to buy up even more local TV stations, so that they could control up to an unbelievable 90 percent of the national television audience. Where are the blessings of localism, diversity and competition here? I see centralization, not localism; I see uniformity, not diversity; I see monopoly and oligopoly, not competition.


6/07/03a

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,970331,00.htm

Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil George Wright Wednesday June 04 2003 The Guardia

Oil was the main reason for military action against Iraq, a leading White House hawk has claimed, confirming the worst fears of those opposed to the US-led war.

The US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is "swimming"in oil.

The latest comments were made by Mr Wolfowitz in an address to delegates at an Asian security summit in Singapore at the weekend, and reported today by German newspapers Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt.

Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defence minister said: "Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."

Mr Wolfowitz went on to tell journalists at the

conference that the US was set on a path of negotiation to help defuse tensions between North Korea and its neighbours - in contrast to the more belligerent attitude the Bush administration displayed in its dealings with Iraq.

His latest comments follow his widely reported statement from an interview in Vanity Fair last month, in which he said that "for reasons that have a lot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on: weapons of mass destruction."

Prior to that, his boss, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, had already undermined the British government's position by saying Saddam Hussein may have destroyed his banned weapons before the war.

Mr Wolfowitz's frank assessment of the importance of oil could not come at a worse time for the US and UK governments, which are both facing fierce criticism at home and abroad over allegations that they exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in order to justify the war.

Amid growing calls from all parties for a public inquiry, the foreign affairs select committee announced last night it would investigate claims that the UK government misled the country over its evidence of Iraq's WMD.

The move is a major setback for Tony Blair, who had hoped to contain any inquiry within the intelligence and security committee, which meets in secret and reports to the prime minister.

 

6/07/03b

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/06/06

Downing Street 'told spy chiefs to rewrite dossier six times' By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent (Filed: 06/06/2003)

Intelligence chiefs were asked to rewrite the controversial dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction at least six times, it was claimed yesterday.

A source told the BBC that at one point the Prime Minister was personally involved in the decision to get the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) to redraft the document.

The revelation undermined Downing Street's attempts to draw a line under the affair and coincided with a call by Lord Healey for Tony Blair to resign if weapons of mass destruction were not found in Iraq.

On Wednesday, in a combative Commons performance, the Prime Minister strongly denied putting pressure on the JIC to strengthen its assessment of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. Only 11 Labour MPs voted for an Opposition motion calling for an independent inquiry into the affair.

But yesterday the BBC quoted "a source close to British intelligence" making a new claim about the events leading up to the publication of the Government dossier Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction last September.

According to the BBC's source, Downing Street returned draft versions of the dossier to JIC "six to eight times".

The new allegation appears to confirm the claim, originally reported by Andrew Gilligan on Radio 4's Today programme, that the intelligence services were asked to "sex up" the dossier to make the threat posed by Saddam appear more serious.

Yesterday's development also suggests that members of the intelligence services have not been intimidated by complaints about leaking and that the Government's attack on the behaviour of "rogue elements" among them may have backfired.

Downing Street refused to comment directly on the BBC's report. "We would not offer a running commentary on the drafting of documents," a spokesman said.

But he repeated the Government's insistence that the dossier was "entirely the work of the intelligence services" and that the idea that they were put under pressure to deliver a particular verdict was "entirely false".

Lord Healey, the former chancellor and deputy Labour leader, yesterday said the issue was so serious that Mr Blair could be forced to stand down.

6/07/03c

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0606-01.htm

Published on Friday, June 6, 2003 by Bloomberg News Pentagon in 2002 Found 'No Reliable' Iraq Arms Data

A U.S. Defense Department report in September 2002 found ``no reliable information'' proving that Iraq had chemical weapons, even as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was saying the country had amassed stockpiles of the banned arms.

The DIA report suggests that before the Iraq War, the U.S. intelligence community did not have hard evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed large stocks of chemical and biological warfare agents that posed an imminent threat to U.S. national security.

The unreleased report said Iraq ``probably'' had stockpiles of banned chemicals, a more tentative conclusion than Rumsfeld was presenting in public remarks. Iraq has ``amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, sarin and mustard gas,'' he told Congress on Sept. 19.

The summary from the report suggests ``substantially more uncertainty than was stated by senior administration officials,'' said Kenneth Katzman, a specialist on Iraq's military for the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, who was told of the contents by Bloomberg.

No banned weapons have been found in Iraq. Lawmakers in the U.S. and the U.K. are demanding to know more about the intelligence cited as a reason for invading the Middle East country in March.

6/07/03d

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/06/06/1054700387263.html

Bush ignores UN call for inspectors By Colum Lynch at the United Nations and David Sanger aboard Air Force One June 7 2003

United Nations Security Council members have called on the Bush Administration to allow UN weapons inspectors to return to Iraq to certify whether Baghdad possessed biological and chemical weapons before the war. But their plea was shrugged off by President George Bush, who vowed to "reveal the truth" about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

The call for a resumption of UN inspections, which was endorsed on Thursday by an overwhelming majority of council members, including Britain, America's closest military ally, came as the Bush Administration faces charges by members of Congress and some intelligence analysts that it may have exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq to justify the invasion.

It also reflected a growing consensus in the 15-nation council that the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) should test US and British claims that Iraq continued to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.


6/09/03a

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,970331,00.html

(Readers: note this report became controversial because of how Mr. Wolfowitz was translated into English. The original story was written by a German speaking reporter)

Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil George Wright Wednesday June 04 2003 The Guardian

Oil was the main reason for military action against Iraq, a leading White House hawk has claimed, confirming the worst fears of those opposed to the US-led war.

The US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is "swimming"in oil.

The latest comments were made by Mr Wolfowitz in an address to delegates at an Asian security summit in Singapore at the weekend, and reported today by German newspapers Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt.

Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defence minister said: "Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."

Mr Wolfowitz went on to tell journalists at the conference that the US was set on a path of negotiation to help defuse tensions between North Korea and its neighbours - in contrast to the more belligerent attitude the Bush administration displayed in its dealings with Iraq.

His latest comments follow his widely reported statement from an interview in Vanity Fair last month, in which he said that "for reasons that have a lot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on: weapons of mass destruction."

Prior to that, his boss, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, had already undermined the British government's position by saying Saddam Hussein may have destroyed his banned weapons before the war.

Mr Wolfowitz's frank assessment of the importance of oil could not come at a worse time for the US and UK governments, which are both facing fierce criticism at home and abroad over allegations that they exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in order to justify the war.

Amid growing calls from all parties for a public inquiry, the foreign affairs select committee announced last night it would investigate claims that the UK government misled the country over its evidence of Iraq's WMD.

The move is a major setback for Tony Blair, who had hoped to contain any inquiry within the intelligence and security committee, which meets in secret and reports to the prime minister.

 

6/09/03b

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/06/06

Downing Street 'told spy chiefs to rewrite dossier six times' By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent (Filed: 06/06/2003)

Intelligence chiefs were asked to rewrite the controversial dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction at least six times, it was claimed yesterday.

A source told the BBC that at one point the Prime Minister was personally involved in the decision to get the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) to redraft the document.

The revelation undermined Downing Street's attempts to draw a line under the affair and coincided with a call by Lord Healey for Tony Blair to resign if weapons of mass destruction were not found in Iraq.

On Wednesday, in a combative Commons performance, the Prime Minister strongly denied putting pressure on the JIC to strengthen its assessment of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. Only 11 Labour MPs voted for an Opposition motion calling for an independent inquiry into the affair.

But yesterday the BBC quoted "a source close to British intelligence" making a new claim about the events leading up to the publication of the Government dossier Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction last September.

According to the BBC's source, Downing Street returned draft versions of the dossier to JIC "six to eight times".

The new allegation appears to confirm the claim, originally reported by Andrew Gilligan on Radio 4's Today programme, that the intelligence services were asked to "sex up" the dossier to make the threat posed by Saddam appear more serious.

Yesterday's development also suggests that members of the intelligence services have not been intimidated by complaints about leaking and that the Government's attack on the behaviour of "rogue elements" among them may have backfired

Downing Street refused to comment directly on the BBC's report. "We would not offer a running commentary on the drafting of documents," a spokesman said.

But he repeated the Government's insistence that the dossier was "entirely the work of the intelligence services" and that the idea that they were put under pressure to deliver a particular verdict was "entirely false".

Lord Healey, the former chancellor and deputy Labour leader, yesterday said the issue was so serious that Mr Blair could be forced to stand down.

 

6/09/03c

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0606-01.htm

Published on Friday, June 6, 2003 by Bloomberg News Pentagon in 2002 Found 'No Reliable' Iraq Arms Data

A U.S. Defense Department report in September 2002 found ``no reliable information'' proving that Iraq had chemical weapons, even as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was saying the country had amassed stockpiles of the banned arms.

The DIA report suggests that before the Iraq War, the U.S. intelligence community did not have hard evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed large stocks of chemical and biological warfare agents that posed an imminent threat to U.S. national security.

The unreleased report said Iraq ``probably'' had stockpiles of banned chemicals, a more tentative conclusion than Rumsfeld was presenting in public remarks. Iraq has ``amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, sarin and mustard gas,'' he told Congress on Sept. 19.

The summary from the report suggests ``substantially more uncertainty than was stated by senior administration officials,'' said Kenneth Katzman, a specialist on Iraq's military for the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, who was told of the contents by Bloomberg.

No banned weapons have been found in Iraq. Lawmakers in the U.S. and the U.K. are demanding to know more about the intelligence cited as a reason for invading the Middle East country in March.

 

6/09/03d

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/06/06/1054700387263.html

Bush ignores UN call for inspectors By Colum Lynch at the United Nations and David Sanger aboard Air Force One June 7 2003

United Nations Security Council members have called on the Bush Administration to allow UN weapons inspectors to return to Iraq to certify whether Baghdad possessed biological and chemical weapons before the war.

But their plea was shrugged off by President George Bush, who vowed to "reveal the truth" about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

The call for a resumption of UN inspections, which was endorsed on Thursday by an overwhelming majority of council members, including Britain, America's closest military ally, came as the Bush Administration faces charges by members of Congress and some intelligence analysts that it may have exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq to justify the invasion.

It also reflected a growing consensus in the 15-nation council that the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) should test US and British claims that Iraq continued to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

 

6/09/03e

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/06/08/

No 10 says sorry to MI6 for 'dodgy' Iraq dossier By Colin Brown and Francis Elliott (Filed: 08/06/2003)

Tony Blair's closest adviser has written a personal letter apologising to Sir Richard Dearlove, the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, for discrediting the service with the release to journalists last January of the so-called "dodgy dossier" on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.

The disclosure that Alastair Campbell, the Prime Minister's director of strategy and communications, apologised to the head of MI6 for the dossier, Iraq: Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation, will fuel claims that Downing Street was involved in "doctoring" intelligence reports before the war.

The Telegraph has learnt that Mr Campbell put his apology in writing to end a potentially damaging row with the intelligence service over the dossier after it was revealed that parts were lifted via the internet from a 12-year-old thesis by an American student.

Senior intelligence officers were furious that randomly assembled material had been combined with MI6 intelligence reports by the coalition information centre, a special unit set up by Mr Campbell inside the Foreign Office.

 


6/14/03a

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/

Jules Witcover

WASHINGTON - In a few short months, President Bush has turned from being Paul Revere on the "imminent threat" of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction into a patient teacher of recent history.

"Intelligence throughout the decade showed that they had a weapons program," he instructed White House reporters the other day. "I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program."

Nobody argues, though, with Saddam Hussein having had such weapons in the early 1990s, that he used them against rebellious Kurds and that U.N. inspectors found and directed the destruction of weapons components before they withdrew from Iraq in 1998.

So the pertinent question has always been whether, as the Bush administration insisted in launching the invasion, those weapons were in hand and so ready for use as to constitute a clear and present danger requiring immediate military action.

Mr. Bush's latest expressions of conviction that the Iraqis had a "weapons program" seemed a distinction and a hedge from his earlier statement on Polish television that "we found the weapons of mass destruction." His reference was to the two mobile facilities suspected of being capable of producing deadly chemical or biological agents.

With reporters parsing his words as if he were Bill Clinton playing semantic games over his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer found it necessary to say that Mr. Bush, "in saying programs, also applies to weapons," and "that includes everything knowable up to the opening shots of the war."

In the absence of the discovery of such weapons, however, the president is now actively engaged in low-balling the WMD rationale for the war. In saying that history will conclude he made the "absolute right decision" in invading Iraq, he is substituting Iraqi "liberation" as his justification, itself a somewhat premature self-congratulation in light of the continued turmoil in the conquered country, including more U.S. military casualties.

Forged Evidence

Democrat Henry Waxman represents the 30th District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Editor's Note: The following letter was sent on June 10, 2003, from Rep. Henry Waxman, the ranking member of the House Committee on Government Reform. The full text with footnotes may be found on the minority office of the House Government Reform Web site.

 

6/14/03b

http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/8069

June 10, 2003

To: The Honorable Condoleezza Rice, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, The White House Washington, DC 20500

Dear Dr. Rice:

Since March 17, 2003, I have been trying without success to get a direct answer to one simple question: Why did President Bush cite forged evidence about Iraq's nuclear capabilities in his State of the Union address?

Although you addressed this issue on Sunday on both Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos, your comments did nothing to clarify this issue. In fact, your responses contradicted other known facts and raised a host of new questions.

During your interviews, you said the Bush Administration welcomes inquiries into this matter. Yesterday, The Washington Post also reported that Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet has agreed to provide "full documentation" of the intelligence information "in regards to Secretary Powell's comments, the president's comments and anybody else's comments." Consistent with these sentiments, I am writing to seek further information about this important matter.

Bush Administration Knowledge of Forgeries

The forged documents in question describe efforts by Iraq to obtain uranium from an African country, Niger. During your interviews over the weekend, you asserted that no doubts or suspicions about these efforts or the underlying documents were communicated to senior officials in the Bush Administration before the President's State of the Union address. For example, when you were asked about this issue on Meet the Press, you made the following statement:

We did not know at the time -- no one knew at the time, in our circles -- maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery. Of course, it was information that was mistaken.

Similarly, when you appeared on This Week, you repeated this statement, claiming that you made multiple inquiries of the intelligence agencies regarding the allegation that Iraq sought to obtain uranium from an African country. You stated:

George, somebody, somebody down may have known. But I will tell you that when this issue was raised with the intelligence community... the intelligence community did not know at that time, or at levels that got to us, that this, that there were serious questions about this report.

Your claims, however, are directly contradicted by other evidence. Contrary to your assertion, senior Administration officials had serious doubts about the forged evidence well before the President's State of the Union address. For example, Greg Thielmann, Director of the Office of Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Issues in the State Department, told Newsweek last week that the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) had concluded the documents were "garbage." As you surely know, INR is part of what you call "the intelligence community." It is headed by an Assistant Secretary of State, Carl Ford; it reports directly to the Secretary of State; and it was a full participant in the debate over Iraq's nuclear capabilities. According to Newsweek:

"When I saw that, it really blew me away," Thielmann told Newsweek. Thielmann knew about the source of the allegation. The CIA had come up with some documents purporting to show Saddam had attempted to buy up to 500 tons of uranium oxide from the African country of Niger. INR had concluded that the purchases were implausible - and made that point clear to Powell's office. As Thielmann read that the president had relied on these documents to report to the nation, he thought, "Not that stupid piece of garbage. My thought was, how did that get into the speech?"

Moreover, New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has reported that the Vice President's office was aware of the fraudulent nature of the evidence as early as February 2002 - nearly a year before the President gave his State of the Union address. In his column, Mr. Kristof reported:

I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.

The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade.... The envoy's debunking of the forgery was passed around the administration and seemed to be accepted - except that President Bush and the State Department kept citing it anyway.

"It's disingenuous for the State Department people to say they were bamboozled because they knew about this for a year," one insider said

 

6/14/03c

http://cnn.usnews.printthis.clickability.com/

Nicholas Kristof: Why truth matters By Nicholas D. Kristof Op-Ed Columnist, New York Times

When I raised the Mystery of the Missing W.M.D. recently, hawks fired barrages of reproachful e-mail at me. The gist was: "You **! Who cares if we never find weapons of mass destruction, because we've liberated the Iraqi people from a murderous tyrant."

But it does matter, enormously, for American credibility. After all, as Ari Fleischer said on April 10 about W.M.D.: "That is what this war was about."

I rejoice in the newfound freedoms in Iraq. But there are indications that the U.S. government souped up intelligence, leaned on spooks to change their conclusions and concealed contrary information to deceive people at home and around the world.

Let's fervently hope that tomorrow we find an Iraqi superdome filled with 500 tons of mustard gas and nerve gas, 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 29,984 prohibited munitions capable of delivering chemical agents, several dozen Scud missiles, gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, 18 mobile biological warfare factories, long-range unmanned aerial vehicles to dispense anthrax, and proof of close ties with Al Qaeda. Those are the things that President Bush or his aides suggested Iraq might have, and I don't want to believe that top administration officials tried to win support for the war with a campaign of wholesale deceit.

Consider the now-disproved claims by President Bush and Colin Powell that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger so it could build nuclear weapons. As Seymour Hersh noted in The New Yorker, the claims were based on documents that had been forged so amateurishly that they should never have been taken seriously.

I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.

The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade. In addition, the Niger mining program was structured so that the uranium diversion had been impossible. The envoy's debunking of the forgery was passed around the administration and seemed to be accepted &emdash; except that President Bush and the State Department kept citing it anyway.

"It's disingenuous for the State Department people to say they were bamboozled because they knew about this for a year," one insider said.

Another example is the abuse of intelligence from Hussein Kamel, a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein and head of Iraq's biological weapons program until his defection in 1995. Top British and American officials kept citing information from Mr. Kamel as evidence of a huge secret Iraqi program, even though Mr. Kamel had actually emphasized that Iraq had mostly given up its W.M.D. program in the early 1990's. Glen Rangwala, a British Iraq expert, says the transcript of Mr. Kamel's debriefing was leaked because insiders resented the way politicians were misleading the public.

Patrick Lang, a former head of Middle Eastern affairs in the Defense Intelligence Agency, says that he hears from those still in the intelligence world that when experts wrote reports that were skeptical about Iraq's W.M.D., "they were encouraged to think it over again."

"In this administration, the pressure to get product `right' is coming out of O.S.D. [the Office of the Secretary of Defense]," Mr. Lang said. He added that intelligence experts had cautioned that Iraqis would not necessarily line up to cheer U.S. troops and that the Shiite clergy could be a problem. "The guys who tried to tell them that came to understand that this advice was not welcome," he said.

"The intelligence that our officials was given regarding W.M.D. was either defective or manipulated," Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico noted. Another senator is even more blunt and, sadly, exactly right: "Intelligence was manipulated."

 

6/14/03d

http://www.counterpunch.org/madsen06122003.html

June 12, 2003, Unfit for Office Time for Rumsfeld to Resign By WAYNE MADSEN

It is no secret that Donald Rumsfeld treats his flag rank officers with contempt and disdain. Rumsfeld's latest dissing of his senior officers came when he chose retired General Peter Shoomaker, the former head of the US Special Operations Command, to succeed outgoing Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki.

Rumsfeld was faced with the problem that neither of the two active duty generals he first asked to take the Army Chief of Staff job, wanted it. CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks, fresh from his victory over Iraq, decided to retire rather than preside over Rumsfeld's plan to restructure the U.S. Army into small mobile SWAT teams. Shinseki's Vice Chief of Staff, General John Keane, turned down Rumsfeld's offer because of his wife's illness.

Rumsfeld vainly looked for others to take their turn in the lion's den. The job that every flag rank officer covets was systematically turned down by Army commanders around the world: General B.B. Bell of the US Army European Command, General James Campbell of the US Army Pacific Command, General Larry Ellis of the US Army Forces Command, and General Philip Kensinger, commander of the US Army's Special Operations Command.

The deputy head of CENTCOM, Lt. Gen. John Abazaid, an Arab-American, also turned down Rumsfeld. Shinseki, Franks, Keane, and Abazaid could not stand the thought of putting up with Rumsfeld and his chickenhawk advisers on a daily basis. It was Rumsfeld's gruff manner that similarly forced Army Secretary, retired General Thomas White, to resign.

In its typical "Inside the Beltway" sycophantic manner, The Washington Post described Shoomaker, who Rumsfeld selected over the heads of every one of his 3- and 4- star active duty generals as an "innovative" move. The Post also hailed Shoomaker's experience as the head of the Special Operations Command as fitting in with Rumsfeld's plans to transform the Army. The Post conveniently omitted the fact that Rumsfeld has had problems with the current head of Special Operations, General Charles Holland, who Rumsfeld obnoxiously said had a "case of the slows" in developing war plans against Iraq. In Rumsfeld's world, it's "my way or the highway." Anyone who has ever taken a management course knows that is considered a totally ineffective leadership method by most experts.

 

6/14/03e

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/10/opinion/10KRUG.html

Who's Accountable? By PAUL KRUGMAN

The Bush and Blair administrations are trying to silence critics ˜ many of them current or former intelligence analysts ˜ who say that they exaggerated the threat from Iraq. Last week a Blair official accused Britain's intelligence agencies of plotting against the government. (Tony Blair's government has since apologized for January's "dodgy dossier.") In this country, Colin Powell has declared that questions about the justification for war are "outrageous."

Yet dishonest salesmanship has been the hallmark of the Bush administration's approach to domestic policy. And it has become increasingly clear that the selling of the war with Iraq was no different.

For example, look at the way the administration rhetorically linked Saddam to Sept. 11. As The Associated Press put it: "The implication from Bush on down was that Saddam supported Osama bin Laden's network. Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks frequently were mentioned in the same sentence, even though officials have no good evidence of such a link." Not only was there no good evidence: according to The New York Times, captured leaders of Al Qaeda explicitly told the C.I.A. that they had not been working with Saddam.

Or look at the affair of the infamous "germ warfare" trailers. I don't know whether those trailers were intended to produce bioweapons or merely to inflate balloons, as the Iraqis claim ˜ a claim supported by a number of outside experts. (According to the newspaper The Observer, Britain sold Iraq a similar system back in 1987.) What is clear is that an initial report concluding that they were weapons labs was, as one analyst told The Times, "a rushed job and looks political." President Bush had no business declaring "we have found the weapons of mass destruction."

We can guess how Mr. Bush came to make that statement. The first teams of analysts told administration officials what they wanted to hear, doubts were brushed aside, and officials then made public pronouncements greatly overstating even what the analysts had said.

A similar process of cherry-picking, of choosing and exaggerating intelligence that suited the administration's preconceptions, unfolded over the issue of W.M.D.'s before the war. Most intelligence professionals believed that Saddam had some biological and chemical weapons, but they did not believe that these posed any imminent threat. According to the newspaper The Independent, a March 2002 report by Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee found no evidence that Saddam posed a significantly greater threat than in 1991. But such conclusions weren't acceptable.

 

6/14/03f

http://www.madison.com/captimes/opinion/column/guest/50702.php

David Rozelle: Drifting toward fascism By David Rozelle June 12, 2003

What shall I call this new America in-the-making just three years into a new century?

These days I find myself unable to swallow what I have told myself, in both the best and worst of times, about ourselves as Americans. All the old words have broken loose from reality. They rattle like falsehoods in the nation's throat.

Based upon how our America now conducts itself among its fellow human beings - including us, its own citizenry - what is our nation becoming? What, if we're honest with ourselves, are we to call a system of government that behaves in these ways:

* Taxes its ordinary people into unfathomable national debt, thereby ensuring that its rich revel in even more riches, its poor regress into even more poverty, its military rejoice in even more militarism?

* Devises and enforces policies that starve public services for its most vulnerable citizenry - its children, its elderly, its working poor, its racial minorities?

* Sells national and state legislation to the highest bidders from among wealthy interest groups, while vigorously resisting reforms that would restore democratic power to the individual?

* Exercises its contempt for the collective will of other nations by unilaterally tearing up global arms and environmental treaties, while dismissing both the legal and moral authority of the United Nations?

* Invades and conquers a sovereign country by fabricating military intelligence as a pretext for invasion, then, declares "liberation" as its real intention all along as it expropriates that nation's oil fields?

* Turns one cataracted eye to atrocities in dozens of other countries that have no oil wells to liberate, the other to a report by Amnesty International critical of its own behavior as a "liberator"?

* In a work of egregious TV propaganda, lands its supreme leader "at sea" (costumed as a fighter pilot) on the state-of-the-art USS Abraham Lincoln to proclaim victory over a third-rate, enfeebled nation?

* Holds nameless prisoners incommunicado, without counsel or charges, for indefinite periods of time, in addition incarcerating the highest proportion of its own citizens (most of them black) in the world?

* Actively attempts to nullify laws intended to ensure equality for racial and other minorities, at the same time invoking evangelical Christianity as the primary motive for all of its policies?

* Alone among Western nations preserves capital punishment, even seeking to try alleged murderers in states where, upon conviction, the likelihood of execution is most probable?

* Threatens the civil rights of individual citizens by expanding its surveillance and policing powers, including pressuring libraries to release to federal authorities the reading records of library patrons?

* Conspires to consolidate media control - and thereby dissemination of "news" information - among corporate leviathans lavishly invested in perpetuating the incumbent party's political power?

Footnote: Fascism: "A philosophy of government that stresses the primacy and glory of the state ... obedience to its leader, subordination of the individual will to the state's authority ... suppression of dissent. Martial virtues are celebrated, while liberal democratic values are denigrated ... led by charismatic leaders who represented to their publics the strength that could rescue their nation from political and economic conditions." - Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia.

David Rozelle lives in rural Spring Green. E-mail: rozelle@mhtc.net.

Published: 7:10 AM 6/12/03

 

6/14/03g

http://www.TomPaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/8034

Worse Than Watergate? By John Dean, a FindLaw columnist, former counsel to the president of the United States.

Editor's Note: This article first appeared on Findlaw.com on June 6, 2003

Editor's Note: The source for a quote by Paul Wolfowitz in this article -- the British newspaper, The Guardian -- has written a retraction on the quote. Click here to read the retraction by The Guardian. We have put the false quotation in bold to notify the reader.

President George W. Bush has got a very serious problem. Before asking Congress for a Joint Resolution authorizing the use of American military forces in Iraq, he made a number of unequivocal statements about the reason the United States needed to pursue the most radical actions any nation can undertake -- acts of war against another nation.

Now it is clear that many of his statements appear to be false. In the past, Bush's White House has been very good at sweeping ugly issues like this under the carpet and out of sight. But it is not clear that they will be able to make the question of what happened to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) go away -- unless, perhaps, they start another war.

That seems unlikely. Until the questions surrounding the Iraqi war are answered, Congress and the public may strongly resist more of President Bush's warmaking.

Presidential statements, particularly on matters of national security, are held to an expectation of the highest standard of truthfulness. A president cannot stretch, twist or distort facts and get away with it. President Lyndon Johnson's distortions of the truth about Vietnam forced him to stand down from reelection. President Richard Nixon's false statements about Watergate forced his resignation.

Frankly, I hope the WMD are found, for it will end the matter. Clearly, the story of the missing WMD is far from over. And it is too early, of course, to draw conclusions. But it is not too early to explore the relevant issues.

President Bush's Statements On Iraq's Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Readers may not recall exactly what President Bush said about weapons of mass destruction; I certainly didn't. Thus, I have compiled these statements below. In reviewing them, I saw that he had, indeed, been as explicit and declarative as I had recalled.

Bush's statements, in chronological order, were:

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons." -United Nations Address, Sept. 12, 2002

"Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons."

"We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have." -Radio Address, Oct. 5, 2002

"The Iraqi regime... possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons."

"We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."

"We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States."

"The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons." -Cincinnati, Ohio Speech, Oct. 7, 2002

"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent." -State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2003

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." -Address to the Nation, March 17, 2003

 

6/14/03h

A great piece with good perspectives. The entire article is worth reading, outloud....

http://www.TomPaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/8028

Declaring Independence

Jim Jeffords represents the state of Vermont in the U.S. Senate as an Independent.

The following speech by Sen. Jim Jeffords was delivered at the National Press Club on June 5, 2003 to commemorate the second anniversary of his decision to leave the Republican Party and become the Senate's only Independent.

Two years ago, I was big news. I got to know many of you for the first time. I was followed in airports and recognized on the street. Network news people, who until then couldn't identify me as a senator in a police line-up, were now calling my home number. Subsequent events put me back in my place: 9/11, two wars, the space shuttle disaster and a worsening economy took back the nation's attention -- as they should have done.

Instead of confronting pressing national problems, our president lands airplanes while Rome burns.

Yet the reasons for my switch, while apparent to me then, have become painfully clear to me now. The events of the past two years have only heightened my concern over the president's veer to the right, and the poisoning of our democratic process of government.

The promises of candidate Bush, who pledged to bring a new tone to Washington and packaged himself as a compassionate conservative, are unmet. On issue after issue the Bush administration is not what it claims to be. Since coming into office, the president has dragged the Republican Party into short-sighted positions that maximize short-term gain while neglecting the long-term needs of families and the nation.

Pundits asked after last November's election: will the president over-reach with his Republican majorities in the House and Senate? Well, President Bush hasn't just over-reached, he has set a new standard for extreme partisan politics that on many occasions has been supported by the Republican-controlled Congress.

In place of thoughtful policy we now have superficial and cynical sound-bites. Instead of confronting pressing national problems, our president lands airplanes while Rome burns.

While our troops search for WMD in Iraq, we have found our own WMD right here in Washington -- at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. They are President Bush's weapons of mass distortion, or better, distraction. The Bush administration says one thing and does another to take the focus off the present realities.

Does he think we don't notice? (see article for complete text)

 

6/14/03i

Fri, Jun. 13, 2003 CIA officer: Bush ignored warnings By Jonathan S. Landay KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS

WASHINGTON - Making his case for war with Iraq, President Bush in his State of the Union address this year accused Saddam Hussein of trying to buy uranium from Africa, even though the CIA had warned White House and other officials that the story did not check out.

A senior CIA official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the intelligence agency informed the White House on March 9, 2002 -- 10 months before Bush's nationally televised speech -- that an agency source who had traveled to Niger could not confirm European intelligence reports that Iraq was attempting to buy uranium from the West African country.

Despite the CIA's misgivings, Bush said in his State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa."

Three senior administration officials said Vice President Dick Cheney and some officials on the National Security Council staff and at the Pentagon ignored the CIA's reservations and argued that the president and others should include the allegation in their case against Saddam.

Forgeries involved?

The claim later turned out to be based on crude forgeries that an African diplomat had sold to Italian intelligence officials.

The revelation of the CIA warning is the strongest evidence to date that pro-war administration officials manipulated, exaggerated or ignored intelligence information in their eagerness to make the case for invading Iraq.

"We've acknowledged that some documents were forged, and we know now it was a mistake to give them credence," said a fourth senior administration official who defended the White House's handling of the matter.

"But they were only one piece of evidence in a larger body of evidence suggesting that Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Africa."

Noting that Iraq had obtained uranium from Africa in the 1980s, he said the most recent allegations "were not central pieces of the case illustrating Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction and their WMD programs."

The CIA's March 2002 warning about Iraq's alleged uranium-shopping expedition in Niger was sent to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Justice Department and the FBI the same day it went to the White House, the CIA official said.

In the months before the State of the Union speech, the CIA official said, agency personnel told the State Department, National Security Council staffers and members of Congress that they doubted Iraq had been trying to buy uranium from Niger.

One senior administration official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity because the intelligence reports remain classified, said the CIA's doubts were well-known and widely shared throughout the government before Bush's speech.

Secretary of State Colin Powell didn't include the uranium story in his Feb. 5 presentation on Iraq to the United Nations Security Council, and senior CIA officials excluded it from their assessments of Iraq's illicit weapons programs and from their congressional testimony.

Among the most vocal proponents of publicizing the alleged Niger connection, two senior officials said, were Cheney and officials in the office of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The effort was led by Robert G. Joseph, the top National Security Council staff official on nuclear proliferation, the officials said.

Cheney alleged in an Aug. 26, 2002, speech that Saddam "has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons," and this March 16 he went much further, saying: "We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."

Unaware of CIA doubts?

On last Sunday's television talk shows, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said the White House was unaware of the CIA's doubts.

"Maybe someone knew in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery," she said on NBC.

The CIA's March 2002 warning about the Niger connection was just one in a daily flood of diplomatic and intelligence reports on Iraq, and it's possible that Rice never saw it.

However, the inclusion of the uranium story in Bush's speech appears to support charges that some pro-invasion officials ignored intelligence that could hurt the administration's case that Saddam was pursuing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs.

Rep. Henry Waxman of Los Angeles, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has demanded that the White House explain why the Niger uranium story was in the president's State of the Union address.

The report of an Iraq-Niger deal was exposed as a fraud when U.N. nuclear officials determined that the documents on which the allegations were based -- reportedly letters between Iraqi and Niger officials -- were forgeries.

(see article for complete text)


6/18/03a

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0615-02.htm

Published on Sunday, June 15, 2003 by the Observer/UK

Iraqi Mobile Labs Nothing To Do With Germ Warfare, Report Finds by Peter Beaumont, Antony Barnett and Gaby Hinsliff

An official British investigation into two trailers found in northern Iraq has concluded they are not mobile germ warfare labs, as was claimed by Tony Blair and President George Bush, but were for the production of hydrogen to fill artillery balloons, as the Iraqis have continued to insist.

NO SMOKING GUN

Members of a weapons inspection team examine a trailer in northern Iraq in late April. Photo by Dept. Of Defense/Reuters

The conclusion by biological weapons experts working for the British Government is an embarrassment for the Prime Minister, who has claimed that the discovery of the labs proved that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction and justified the case for going to war against Saddam Hussein.

Instead, a British scientist and biological weapons expert, who has examined the trailers in Iraq, told The Observer last week: 'They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were - facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.'

The conclusion of the investigation ordered by the British Government - and revealed by The Observer last week - is hugely embarrassing for Blair, who had used the discovery of the alleged mobile labs as part of his efforts to silence criticism over the failure of Britain and the US to find any weapons of mass destruction since the invasion of Iraq.

The row is expected to be re-ignited this week with Robin Cook and Clare Short, the two Cabinet Ministers who resigned over the war, both due to give evidence to a House of Commons inquiry into whether intelligence was manipulated in the run-up to the war. It will be the first time that both have been grilled by their peers on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee over what the Cabinet was told in the run-up to the war.

MPs will be keen to explore Cook's explanation when he resigned that, while he believed Iraq did have some WMD capability, he did not believe it was weaponized.

The Prime Minister and his director of strategy and communications, Alastair Campbell, are expected to decline invitations to appear. While MPs could attempt to force them, this is now thought unlikely to happen.The Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, is expected to give evidence the week after.

The revelation that the mobile labs were to produce hydrogen for artillery balloons will also cause discomfort for the British authorities because the Iraqi army's original system was sold to it by the British company, Marconi Command & Control.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

 

6/18/03b

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62941-2003Jun15.html?nav=hptop_tb

Former Aide Takes Aim at War on Terror

By Laura Blumenfeld Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, June 16, 2003; Page A01

Five days before the war began in Iraq, as President Bush prepared to raise the terrorism threat level to orange, a top White House counterterrorism adviser unlocked the steel door to his office, an intelligence vault secured by an electronic keypad, a combination lock and an alarm. He sat down and turned to his inbox.

"Things were dicey," said Rand Beers, recalling the stack of classified reports about plots to shoot, bomb, burn and poison Americans. He stared at the color-coded threats for five minutes. Then he called his wife: I'm quitting.

Beers's resignation surprised Washington, but what he did next was even more astounding. Eight weeks after leaving the Bush White House, he volunteered as national security adviser for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), a Democratic candidate for president, in a campaign to oust his former boss. All of which points to a question: What does this intelligence insider know?

"The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," said Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism. "As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out."

No single issue has defined the Bush presidency more than fighting terrorism. And no issue has both animated and intimidated Democrats. Into this tricky intersection of terrorism, policy and politics steps Beers, a lifelong bureaucrat, unassuming and tight-lipped until now. He is an unlikely insurgent. He served on the NSC under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and the current Bush. The oath of office hangs on the wall by his bed; he tears up when he watches "The West Wing." Yet Beers decided that he wanted out, and he is offering a rare glimpse in.

"Counterterrorism is like a team sport. The game is deadly. There has to be offense and defense," Beers said. "The Bush administration is primarily offense, and not into teamwork."

In a series of interviews, Beers, 60, critiqued Bush's war on terrorism. He is a man in transition, alternately reluctant about and empowered by his criticism of the government. After 35 years of issuing measured statements from inside intelligence circles, he speaks more like a public servant than a public figure. Much of what he knows is classified and cannot be discussed. Nevertheless, Beers will say that the administration is "underestimating the enemy." It has failed to address the root causes of terror, he said. "The difficult, long-term issues both at home and abroad have been avoided, neglected or shortchanged and generally underfunded."

The focus on Iraq has robbed domestic security of manpower, brainpower and money, he said. The Iraq war created fissures in the United States' counterterrorism alliances, he said, and could breed a new generation of al Qaeda recruits. Many of his government colleagues, he said, thought Iraq was an "ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

 

6/18/03c

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2 003-06-17-turner-usat_x.htm

Ex-CIA director says administration stretched facts on Iraq By John Diamond, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON ˜ Former CIA director Stansfield Turner accused the Bush administration Tuesday of "overstretching the facts" about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in making its case for invading that country. Turner's broadside adds the retired admiral's name to a list of former intelligence professionals concerned that the CIA and its intelligence reports were manipulated to justify the war. Since Baghdad fell April 9, U.S. forces have been unable to find chemical and biological weapons the White House said were in Iraq.

Turner, who headed the CIA under President Carter, paused for a long moment when asked by reporters whether current CIA Director George Tenet should resign. "That's a tough one," Turner said. The problem did not appear to lie with the CIA, he said, but Tenet should consider resigning if he lost the confidence of President Bush or the American people. A CIA spokesman declined to comment.

 

6/18/03d

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/insider/0603/061603.html

Monday 6.16.03 Max returns, with fire in his eyes

Cleland's Speech (Think of us as the print version of CSPAN)

When I volunteered for Vietnam as a young Lieutenant in the United States Army in the spring of 1967, my country was at war. It was at war with an enemy which used guerrilla warfare, attacks on civilians and suicide bombers. In Vietnam, we called the suicide bombers "sappers." They would strap a satchel charge with explosives on their back and attack a U.S. command post, barracks, or restaurant in Saigon where U.S. soldiers hung out and blow everyone, including themselves, to bits. It was a war of terror against a U.S. ally. The terrorists were determined, willing to wait a long time for the success of their strategy and seemed undeterred by American will, technical know-how and military strength. Does all this have a familiar ring to it? It does to me.

Before I went to Vietnam, I had the privilege of a personal meeting with Sen. Dick Russell from Georgia. He was then the chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. It was the summer of 1965. I was an intern on the House side of the Congress and had a rare opportunity to sit at the feet of one of Georgia's political giants. Among Russell's personal doubts about the American military engagement on the ground in an open-ended guerrilla war with no exit strategy was his fear of our lack of intelligence. I remember he said, "The French had 10 times better intelligence than we have." He was of course referring to the French battle against the Viet Minh, which the French lost. The Viet Minh were the precursors to the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong that we fought in our war.

In 1968, on 1 February, the American military was surprised by an all-out attack by the enemy known at the Tet Offensive. I was caught up in that attack. Several hundred thousand North Vietnamese and VC were sacrificed to make a political point. But that point stuck. President Lyndon Johnson dropped out of the presidential race 60 days later and sued for peace. The war, for all practical purposes, was lost. Later, on April 8, 1968, in relieving the siege of Khe Sanh, I was wounded. For the rest of my life I will remember the sense of surprise and shock by the enemy offensive based on our lack of intelligence up against a determined foe.

I would like to fast-forward to September 11, 2001. I was in my office in the Senate discussing the future of American defenses, particularly against worldwide terrorism, with the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Meyers. The first plane had already hit the World Trade Center and Gen. Meyers bolted from his seat. We rushed into an adjoining office as we saw on TV the second plane slam into the second tower. Gen. Meyers rushed out of my office, headed for the Pentagon. At that moment, the Pentagon was hit. I stared out my window and looked at the Capitol. I had a strange feeling that I was back in Vietnam. I knew the Capitol was next. Thank God it still stands, primarily because of the courage of some wonderful American citizens who sacrificed their lives on a Pennsylvania field.

Since 9/11, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and now as a member of the Independent Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States responsible for finding out what happened on 9/11, and why, I have formed some definite opinions about how we should defend our country both at home and abroad.

First of all, let's not make the same mistakes we made in Vietnam. We got sucked into an open-ended ground war with guerrillas and terrorists, and we had no ultimate plan for our exit strategy or what victory looked like. The enemy we faced then had better intelligence then we did. They knew the terrain and the countryside better than we did, and they were fighting for their concept of their own homeland. We underestimated the determination and will of our enemy, and overestimated our willingness at home to pay a political price in blood and treasure over a long period of time. We also over-stayed our military effectiveness.

We cannot afford to make those same mistakes again. However, I am afraid we are getting sucked into a major ground involvement in Iraq and in Afghanistan with no exit strategy. To say that a three-week war in Iraq against an adversary not linked to 9/11 was a victory against terrorism, and, then, proclaim victory on an aircraft carrier by the President of the United States, is misleading at best. Within days of the so-called victory in Iraq, Al Qaeda was alive and well and killing Europeans, Americans and upper-class Saudis in Riyadh, the very capital of Saudi Arabia. Additionally, LTG. David McKiernan in Iraq says the war is not over. He is right. Since the President declared a so-called "victory," we have buried 34 young Americans killed in Iraq. We are losing young men and women every day. We are trapped in a quagmire. We have 240,000 American troops tied down in Iraq and Kuwait. We have no clear exit strategy. So far we have found no WMD. We have taken our eye off the ball. In so many ways, we have substituted a rogue regime for the true target. The real target is Osama bin Laden and his terrorist cadre around the world.

This administration has not found Osama bin Laden. It has not found Saddam Hussein. And it has not yet found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Supposedly all of that was the rationale for losing over 200 American lives and wounding over 500 American troops so far. We do have to go on the strategic offensive against the terrorists, but we have to chase them down in their own holes, in their own caves, in their own lairs and in their own sanctuaries, wherever they may be. We let Osama bin Laden escape into Western Pakistan in the Tora Bora Mountains of Afghanistan because as we closed the loop on him we violated one of the basic lessons of counter insurgency I learned in ROTC in 1962. You cordon off the enemy and close the loop with your own troops. We relied on Afghan rebels and warlords in the operation and Osama bin Laden skipped country. He slipped through the net. Just like in Vietnam, reliance on South Vietnamese intelligence and South Vietnamese troops always proved costly.

This issue of fresh battlefield intelligence is critical because the way we fight and win the war against terrorism is primarily through intelligence and the network that we create with our allies. We need allies all over the world. We need as many friends as we can get. We must not ignore the warning signals our allies provide, as was the case in the months leading up to 9/11. We can't use our technology and our force if we don't know where the terrorist are and can't target them.

For all the hoopla of the president declaring victory, we have to understand Iraq and Afghanistan are still boiling sores. As long as chaos continues to reign in Baghdad, Basra, and other parts of Iraq, resentment will continue to fester and resistance by native Iraqis will foment. We are increasingly looked upon as outsiders and as an occupying force. If only those in the administration had heeded the warnings of the challenge of post-war stability given by Republican Sen. Lugar, and my fellow Vietnam veteran Chuck Hagel, perhaps our troops would not be under constant threat of attack. We have taken on an almost impossible mission. We are trying to police an area as big as California. We can't even keep the peace in California much less in Iraq and Afghanistan. (more, see the link)


6/24/03a

Published on Friday, June 20, 2003 by the Boston Globe

http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/062103A.shtml

Media Silent on Clark's 9/11 Comments Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting Friday 20 June 2003

Gen. says White House pushed Saddam link without evidence

Sunday morning talk shows like ABC's This Week or Fox News Sunday often make news for days afterward. Since prominent government officials dominate the guest lists of the programs, it is not unusual for the Monday editions of major newspapers to report on interviews done by the Sunday chat shows.

But the June 15 edition of NBC's Meet the Press was unusual for the buzz that it didn't generate. Former General Wesley Clark told anchor Tim Russert that Bush administration officials had engaged in a campaign to implicate Saddam Hussein in the September 11 attacks-- starting that very day. Clark said that he'd been called on September 11 and urged to link Baghdad to the terror attacks, but declined to do so because of a lack of evidence.

Here is a transcript of the exchange:

CLARK: "There was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein."

RUSSERT: "By who? Who did that?"

CLARK: "Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' I said, 'But--I'm willing to say it, but what's your evidence?' And I never got any evidence."

Clark's assertion corroborates a little-noted CBS Evening News story that aired on September 4, 2002. As correspondent David Martin reported: "Barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, the secretary of defense was telling his aides to start thinking about striking Iraq, even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks." According to CBS, a Pentagon aide's notes from that day quote Rumsfeld asking for the "best info fast" to "judge whether good enough to hit SH at the same time, not only UBL." (The initials SH and UBL stand for Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.) The notes then quote Rumsfeld as demanding, ominously, that the administration's response "go massive...sweep it all up, things related and not."

Despite its implications, Martin's report was greeted largely with silence when it aired. Now, nine months later, media are covering damaging revelations about the Bush administration's intelligence on Iraq, yet still seem strangely reluctant to pursue stories suggesting that the flawed intelligence-- and therefore the war-- may have been a result of deliberate deception, rather than incompetence. The public deserves a fuller accounting of this story.

 

6/24/03b

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0622-05.htm

US General Condemns Iraq Failures by Ed Vulliamy in New York

One of the most experienced and respected figures in a generation of American warfare and peacekeeping yesterday accused the US administration of 'failing to prepare for the consequences of victory' in Iraq.

At the end of a week that saw a war of attrition develop against the US military, General William Nash told The Observer that the US had 'lost its window of opportunity' after felling Saddam Hussein's regime and was embarking on a long-term expenditure of people and dollars for which it had not planned.

'It is an endeavor which was not understood by the administration to begin with,' he said.

Maj. Gen. William L. Nash, U.S. Army, is the retired Commanding General, 1st Armored Division

Now retired, Nash served in the Vietnam war and in Operation Desert Storm (the first Gulf War) before becoming commander of US forces in Bosnia and then an acclaimed UN Civil Affairs administrator in Kosovo.

He is currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, specializing in conflict prevention.

In one of the most outspoken critiques from a man of his standing, Nash said the US had 'failed to understand the mindset and attitudes of the Iraqi people and the depth of hostility towards the US in much of the country'.

'It is much greater and deeper than just the consequences of war,' he added. 'It comes from 12 years of sanctions, Israel and Palestinians, and a host of issues.'

As a result, he says, 'we are now seeing the re-emergence of a reasonably organized military opposition - small scale, but it could escalate.'

It was insufficient for the US to presume that the forces now harassing and killing American troops were necessarily confined to what he called a residue of the Saddam regime. 'What we are facing today is a confluence of various forces which channel the disgruntlement of the people,' said Nash.

'You can't tell who is behind the latest rocket propelled grenade. It could be a father whose daughter has been killed; it could be a political leader trying to gain a following, or it could be rump Saddam. Either way, they are starting to converge.'

 

 

6/24/03c

Published on Thursday, June 19, 2003 by the New York Times

Report by the E.P.A. Leaves Out Data on Climate Change by Andrew C. Revkin and Katharine Q. Seelye

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to publish a draft report next week on the state of the environment, but after editing by the White House, a long section describing risks from rising global temperatures has been whittled to a few noncommittal paragraphs.

The report, commissioned in 2001 by the agency's administrator, Christie Whitman, was intended to provide the first comprehensive review of what is known about various environmental problems, where gaps in understanding exist and how to fill them.

Agency officials said it was tentatively scheduled to be released early next week, before Mrs. Whitman steps down on June 27, ending a troubled time in office that often put her at odds with President Bush.

Drafts of the climate section, with changes sought by the White House, were given to The New York Times yesterday by a former E.P.A. official, along with earlier drafts and an internal memorandum in which some officials protested the changes. Two agency officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the documents were authentic.

The editing eliminated references to many studies concluding that warming is at least partly caused by rising concentrations of smokestack and tail-pipe emissions and could threaten health and ecosystems.

Among the deletions were conclusions about the likely human contribution to warming from a 2001 report on climate by the National Research Council that the White House had commissioned and that President Bush had endorsed in speeches that year. White House

officials also deleted a reference to a 1999 study showing that global temperatures had risen sharply in the previous decade compared with the last 1,000 years. In its place, administration officials added a reference to a new study, partly financed by the American Petroleum Institute, questioning that conclusion.

In the end, E.P.A. staff members, after discussions with administration officials, said they decided to delete the entire discussion to avoid criticism that were selectively filtering science to suit policy.

 

6/24/03d

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,979787,00.html

Short: I was briefed on Blair's secret war pact

Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent Wednesday June 18, 2003 The Guardian

Senior figures in the intelligence community and across Whitehall briefed the former international development secretary Clare Short that Tony Blair had made a secret agreement last summer with George Bush to invade Iraq in February or March, she claimed yesterday.

In damning evidence to the foreign affairs select committee, Ms Short refused to identify the three figures, but she cited their authority for making her claim that Mr Blair had actively deceived the cabinet and the country in persuading them of the need to go to war.

Ms Short told the first day of the committee's inquiry into the events leading up to the Iraq conflict that Mr Blair had "used a series of half-truths, exaggerations, reassurances that were not the case to get us into conflict by the spring".

She claimed Mr Blair told President Bush that "we will be with you" without laying down conditions to temper US ambitions.

She also claimed that the intelligence and diplomatic community had privately opposed the war. This is the first time she has alleged that intelligence figures had serious doubts about the need for early military action.

Justifying her charge of deception, she said: "Three extremely senior people in the Whitehall system said to me very clearly and specifically that the target date was mid-February."

She went on: "I believe that the prime minister must have concluded that it was honourable and desirable to back the US in going for military action in Iraq and it was honourable for him to persuade us through various ruses and ways to get us there - so for him I think it was an honourable deception."

No 10 last night denied Ms Short's charge and said Mr Blair had worked as hard as possible to secure support for a second UN resolution that might have persuaded Saddam Hussein to cooperate.

In the same evidence session Mr Cook exonerated Mr Blair of the charge of deliberately misleading the country, but asserted that intelligence material was chosen selectively to fit a predetermined policy.

 

6/24/03e

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/insider/0603/061603.html

Max returns, with fire in his eyes

Cleland's Speech (Think of us as the print version of CSPAN)

When I volunteered for Vietnam as a young Lieutenant in the United States Army in the spring of 1967, my country was at war. It was at war with an enemy which used guerrilla warfare, attacks on civilians and suicide bombers. In Vietnam, we called the suicide bombers "sappers." They would strap a satchel charge with explosives on their back and attack a U.S. command post, barracks, or restaurant in Saigon where U.S. soldiers hung out and blow everyone, including themselves, to bits. It was a war of terror against a U.S. ally. The terrorists were determined, willing to wait a long time for the success of their strategy and seemed undeterred by American will, technical know-how and military strength. Does all this have a familiar ring to it? It does to me.

 

6/24/03f

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2003/061703a.html

Bush and the End of Reason By Nat Parry June 17, 2003

The United States is at a crossroads, with neither route offering an easy journey. In one direction lies a pretend land ˆ where tax cuts increase revenue, where war is peace, where any twisted bits of intelligence justify whatever the leader wants and the people follow. In the other direction lies a painful struggle to bring accountability to political forces that have operated with impunity now for years.

The choice is so big, so intimidating, so important that many in politics, in the U.S. news media and on Main Street America don‚t want to believe that there is a crossroads or that there is a choice. They want to think everything‚s okay and go about their lives without making a choice. Or they hope someone else will do the hard work so they can stay on the sidelines as bemused observers.

But more and more Americans have a sinking feeling that the institutions that they count on to check abuses ˆ the Congress, the courts, the press ˆ are no longer there as bulwarks. The dawning reality is, too, that what ultimately is at stake is not simply the fiscal stability of the United States or the relative comfort of the American people. Nor even the awful shedding of blood by U.S. soldiers and foreign inhabitants in faraway lands.

What may be in the balance is an era of history that many Americans take for granted, an era that has lasted for a quarter of a millennium, an era that has given rise to scientific invention, to a flourishing of the arts and commerce, to modern democracy itself. There is a gnawing realization that the United States might be careening down a course leading to the end of the Age of Reason.

This possibility can be seen best in the details that still push their way to the surface, though the powers-that-be tell the people to ignore those facts or to reject the logical conclusions that flow from the facts.

Those troublesome facts may emanate from budget bean-counters who project a U.S. federal deficit smashing records of a decade ago, soaring beyond $400 billion a year and aiming toward the bankruptcy of Social Security and other basic government programs. Or the facts may come from cold economic data about the rise of poverty and the loss of 2 million jobs in America in the past couple of years.

But perhaps the most dramatic facts that we are told to ignore represent the gap between what George W. Bush claimed about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, his chief rationale for war, and what's been found.

 

6/24/03g

http://www.counterpunch.com/madsen06102003.html

WeaponsGate:

The Coming Downfall of Lying Regimes? By WAYNE MADSEN

You wouldn't know if from listening to the leading Democratic candidates for President, but "Weaponsgate" may ultimately bring about the downfall of the Bush regime and its allies in London, Canberra, and elsewhere. The neo-conservatives may have also finally stirred something in the Fourth Estate, which has suddenly begun challenging the lying echo chambers in the White House and Number 10 Downing Street.

The arrogance displayed by the Bush regime, somewhat surprising since it gained power through a fraudulent election process, is what may result in its eventual undoing. Bush may or may not ever realize how he was ill served by the neo-con blight that took root within his administration, particularly within the Department of Defense. But the historians and scholars, who will look back on what turned the tide for a supposedly "popular" war president, will point to the self-described "cabal" whose lies brought about a credibility gap unseen in the United States since the days of Watergate. In fact, Bush's "Weaponsgate" will be viewed as a more serious scandal than Watergate because 1) U.S. and allied military personnel were killed and injured as a result of the caper; 2) Innocent Iraqi civilians, including women and children, died in a needless military adventure; and 3) the political effects of the scandal extended far beyond U.S. shores to the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, and other countries.

Other effects of Weaponsgate are already apparent. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the majordomo of the neo-cons within the Pentagon, cannot find anyone to take the place of outgoing Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki. Generals Tommy Franks and Shinseki's vice chief, General John "Jack" Keane, want no part of the job. After winning a lightning war against Iraq, Franks suddenly announced his retirement. He and Keane witnessed how Rumsfeld and his coterie of advisers and consultants, who never once lifted a weapon in the defense of their country, constantly ignored and publicly abused Shinseki. Army Secretar y and retired General Tom White resigned after a number of clashes with Rumsfeld and his cabal. The Commander of the First Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq, Lt. Gen. James Conway, said he was surprised that he encountered no chemical weapons in Iraq.

 

6/24/03h

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=3&u=/ap/20030624

Officials: U.S. Slow on Bin Laden Drones Tue Jun 24, 7:31 PM ET Add Top Stories - AP to My Yahoo!

By TED BRIDIS and JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON - When President Bush took office in January 2001, the White House was told that Predator drones had recently spotted Osama bin Laden as many as three times and officials were urged to arm the unmanned planes with missiles to kill the al-Qaida leader. But the administration failed to get drones back into the Afghan skies until after the Sept. 11 attacks later that year, current and former U.S. officials say.

Top administration officials discussed the mission to kill bin Laden as late as one week before the suicide attacks on New York and Washington, but they had not yet resolved a debate over whether the CIA (news - web sites) or Pentagon (news - web sites) should operate the armed Predators and whether the missiles would be sufficiently lethal, officials told The Associated Press.

In the month before that meeting, the Pentagon and CIA successfully tested an armed Predator on at least three occasions ˜ including once when it destroyed a mock-up home resembling an Afghan structure bin Laden supposedly used, the officials said.

The disappearance in 2001 of U.S. Predators from the skies over Afghanistan (news - web sites) is discussed in classified sections of Congress' report into pre-Sept. 11 intelligence failures and is expected to be examined by an independent commission appointed by the president and Congress, officials said.


7/25/03a

Weapons of Mass Destruction Found in Iraq

Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence, Hosts of Democratic Talk Radio June 25, 2003

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1 616&dept_id=160079&newsid=8666215&PAG=461&rfi=9

Weapons of mass destruction were quietly found in Iraq earlier this month. For reasons that will be revealed in this column, the Bush Administration has been reluctant to promote the discovery of a very large number of offensive missiles.

The find was reported in the "Periscope" section of the June 9th 2003 issue of Newsweek in a short article titled, "Return to Sender."

While the current Bush Administration is pushing the likely fictional notion that two mobile labs discovered in Iraq were WMD weapons factories, most experts disagree. It looks increasingly likely they were really designed solely to produce hydrogen for artillery balloons. See www.truthout. org/docs_03/061603A.shtml for details. The hydrogen use has been verified by investigators for the British government.

The offensive missiles discovered are an entirely different matter. The weapons are offensive in nature and definitely threatened peace in the region. They could have killed many civilians in surrounding countries. These WMD missiles were legally sold to Saddam by an irresponsible Western government seeking profit and influence. They helped protect Saddam from international pressure and made international pressure against his government for killing his own people much less effective.

The most shocking element in the WMD missile story is the country of origin for the missile hoard. Bush Republicans stirring up hatred for our French and German allies for opposing the Iraq Invasion predicted that those countries would be found to be suppliers to Saddam's WMD programs. Neither sold the missiles nor did China or Russia. They were sold to Saddam by the United States of America during the Reagan-Bush Administration. We all know the Reagan-Bush Administration supplied missiles illegally to the mullahs of Iran during the Iran-Contra Affair. It now looks like this was not the only WMD export to rogue nations under Reagan and the senior George Bush. We need public hearings into their actions during that time. The current Bush Administration has restricted public access to the official papers of the Reagan- Bush Administration by executive order since long before the 9-11 attacks. Why? What crimes or mistakes are being covered up? Are we doomed to repeat

Participate in the Each One, Reach One initiative, and by http://www.votetoimpeach.org/eachone.htm clicking here you will be taken to the Each One, Reach One page where you can send an email inviting one or more friends, family members or colleagues to join the Impeachment movement.


6/27/03a

Contaiment Was Working CIA: Seven Months Before 9/11, the Agency Said Iraq Posed No Threat to the US By JASON LEOPOLD

Seven months before two-dozen or so al-Qaida terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes and flew three of the aircrafts directly into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, killing 3,000 innocent civilians, CIA Director George Tenet, testified before Congress that Iraq posed no immediate threat to the United States or to other countries in the Middle East.

But immediately after the terrorist attacks on 9-11, which the Bush administration claims Iraq is partially responsible for, the President and his advisers were already making a case for war against Iraq without so much as providing a shred of evidence to back up the allegations that Iraq and its former President, Saddam Hussein, was aware of the attacks or helped the al-Qaida hijackers plan the catastrophe.

It was then, after the 9-11 attacks, that intelligence reports from the CIA radically changed from previous months, which said Iraq posed no immediate threat to the U.S., to now show Iraq had a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and was in hot pursuit of a nuclear bomb. The Bush administration seized upon the reports to build public support for the war and used the information to eventually justify a preemptive strike against the country in March even though much of the information in the CIA report has since been disputed.

In just seven short months, beginning as early as February 2001, Bush administration officials said Iraq went from being a threat only to its own people to posing an imminent threat to the world. Indeed, in a Feb. 12, 2001 interview with the Fox News Channel Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said: "Iraq is probably not a nuclear threat at the present time."

But Rumsfeld testified before the House Armed Services Committee on Sept. 18, 2002 that Iraq is close to acquiring the materials needed to build a nuclear bomb.

"Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent -- that Saddam is at least 5-7 years away from having nuclear weapons," Rumsfeld testified before the committee.

http://www.useu.be/Categories/GlobalAffairs/Sept1802RumsfeldIraqDisarmament.html

"We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since (Operation) Desert Fox to reconstitute its WMD programs, although given its past behavior, this type of activity must be regarded as likely," CIA director Tenet said in an agency report to Congress on Feb 7, 2001 .

http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/US/CIA/CIA-2-23-01.htm

 


6/29/3a

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story /0,6903,987279,00.html

Iraq's resistance war was planned

Jason Burke, Baghdad Sunday June 29, 2003 The Observer

The bodies of two missing American soldiers were found yesterday as news emerged that a growing campaign of Iraqi resistance to coalition occupation may have been planned before the war began.

Allied officials now believe that a document recently found in Iraq detailing an 'emergency plan' for looting and sabotage in the wake of an invasion is probably authentic. It was prepared by the Iraqi intelligence service in January and marked 'top secret'. It outlined 11 kinds of sabotage, including burning government offices, cutting power and communication lines and attacking water purification plants.

What gives the document particular credence is that it appears to match exactly the growing chaos and large number of guerrilla attacks on coalition soldiers, oil facilities and power plants.

At least 61 US troops have died in Iraq since major combat was declared to be over on 1 May, including at least 23 in attacks. The latest death came on Friday when a soldier was in an ambush, and another shot in the neck and critically injured. Grenades were thrown at a US convoy as it passed through the Thawra area, a poor, mainly Shia Muslim part of the capital that had been largely free of anti-American violence.

 

6/29/03b

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=419982

Ministers knew war papers were forged, says diplomat

US official who identified documents incriminating Iraq as fakes says Britain must have been aware of findings

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington and Raymond Whitaker in London 29 June 2003

A high-ranking American official who investigated claims for the CIA that Iraq was seeking uranium to restart its nuclear programme last night accused Britain and the US of deliberately ignoring his findings to make the case for war against Saddam Hussein.

The retired US ambassador said it was all but impossible that British intelligence had not received his report - drawn up by the CIA - which revealed that documents, purporting to show a deal between Iraq and the west African state of Niger, were forgeries. When he saw similar claims in Britain's dossier on Iraq last September, he even went as far as telling CIA officials that they needed to alert their British counterparts to his investigation.

The allegation will add to the suspicions of opponents to the war that last week's row between the BBC and Tony Blair's director of communications Alastair Campbell was a sideshow to draw attention away from more serious questions about the justification for the war.

The comments of the former US diplomat appear to be at odds with those of the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. Appearing before a parliamentary committee last week, Mr Straw said the British intelligence community had not known of the forged documents' existence "at the time when [the September dossier] was put together".

 

6/29/03c

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,987279,00.html

Iraq's resistance war was planned

Jason Burke, Baghdad Sunday June 29, 2003 The Observer

The bodies of two missing American soldiers were found yesterday as news emerged that a growing campaign of Iraqi resistance to coalition occupation may have been planned before the war began.

Allied officials now believe that a document recently found in Iraq detailing an 'emergency plan' for looting and sabotage in the wake of an invasion is probably authentic. It was prepared by the Iraqi intelligence service in January and marked 'top secret'. It outlined 11 kinds of sabotage, including burning government offices, cutting power and communication lines and attacking water purification plants.

What gives the document particular credence is that it appears to match exactly the growing chaos and large number of guerrilla attacks on coalition soldiers, oil facilities and power plants.

At least 61 US troops have died in Iraq since major combat was declared to be over on 1 May, including at least 23 in attacks. The latest death came on Friday when a soldier was killed in an ambush, and another shot in the neck and critically injured. Grenades were thrown at a US convoy as it passed through the Thawra area, a poor, mainly Shia Muslim part of the capital that had been largely free of anti-American violence.

US officials dismiss their casualties as 'militarily insignificant' and point out that there are 55,000 US troops in Baghdad. But the repeated attacks damage the forces' image of invulnerability and lead to harsher security measures that risk alienating swaths of the population.

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