3/31/2006

The US version of Downing Street Memo is found.. And ignored

Republicans have the folk tale about boiling a frog: Dems throw the frog in boiling water, it jumps out. Pugs throw the frog in tepid water and veeery slowly rase the temp. Frog enjoys a warm bath and eventually gets cooked w/o noticing. This is what Rove's genius did with the war lies: After 2.5 years of evidence this war was cooked up, the frog is so confy and used to his warm GOP pap that he barely protests the cooking up of intelligence.. Or his own rights being melted away.. Sigh -- law

For the record, this is the entire Waas article. Not mine, here just to make it easier for dems and liberals to find it and use it for discussion purposes. As usual, link to the original is at the bottom

By Murray Waas, National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Thursday, March 30, 2006

Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration. Rove expressed his concerns shortly after an informal review of classified government records by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address -- that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon -- might not be true, according to government records and interviews.


As the 2004 election loomed, the White House was determined to keep the wraps on a potentially damaging memo about Iraq.

Hadley was particularly concerned that the public might learn of a classified one-page summary of a National Intelligence Estimate, specifically written for Bush in October 2002. The summary said that although "most agencies judge" that the aluminum tubes were "related to a uranium enrichment effort," the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research and the Energy Department's intelligence branch "believe that the tubes more likely are intended for conventional weapons."

Three months after receiving that assessment, the president stated without qualification in his January 28, 2003, State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."

The previously undisclosed review by Hadley was part of a damage-control effort launched after former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV alleged that Bush's claims regarding the uranium were not true. The CIA had sent Wilson to the African nation of Niger in 2002 to investigate the purported procurement efforts by Iraq; he reported that they were most likely a hoax.

The White House was largely successful in defusing the Niger controversy because there was no evidence that Bush was aware that his claims about the uranium were based on faulty intelligence. Then-CIA Director George Tenet swiftly and publicly took the blame for the entire episode, saying that he and the CIA were at fault for not warning Bush and his aides that the information might be untrue.

But Hadley and other administration officials realized that it would be much more difficult to shield Bush from criticism for his statements regarding the aluminum tubes, for several reasons.

For one, Hadley's review concluded that Bush had been directly and repeatedly apprised of the deep rift within the intelligence community over whether Iraq wanted the high-strength aluminum tubes for a nuclear weapons program or for conventional weapons.

For another, the president and others in the administration had cited the aluminum tubes as the most compelling evidence that Saddam was determined to build a nuclear weapon -- even more than the allegations that he was attempting to purchase uranium.

And finally, full disclosure of the internal dissent over the importance of the tubes would have almost certainly raised broader questions about the administration's conduct in the months leading up to war.

"Presidential knowledge was the ball game," says a former senior government official outside the White House who was personally familiar with the damage-control effort. "The mission was to insulate the president. It was about making it appear that he wasn't in the know. You could do that on Niger. You couldn't do that with the tubes." A Republican political appointee involved in the process, who thought the Bush administration had a constitutional obligation to be more open with Congress, said: "This was about getting past the election."

The President's Summary
Most troublesome to those leading the damage-control effort was documentary evidence -- albeit in highly classified government records that they might be able to keep secret -- that the president had been advised that many in the intelligence community believed that the tubes were meant for conventional weapons.

The one-page documents known as the "President's Summary" are distilled from the much lengthier National Intelligence Estimates, which combine the analysis of as many as six intelligence agencies regarding major national security issues. Bush's knowledge of the State and Energy departments' dissent over the tubes was disclosed in a March 4, 2006, National Journal story -- more than three years after the intelligence assessment was provided to the president, and some 16 months after the 2004 presidential election.

The President's Summary was only one of several high-level warnings given to Bush and other senior administration officials that serious doubts existed about the intended use of the tubes, according to government records and interviews with former and current officials.

In mid-September 2002, two weeks before Bush received the October 2002 President's Summary, Tenet informed him that both State and Energy had doubts about the aluminum tubes and that even some within the CIA weren't certain that the tubes were meant for nuclear weapons, according to government records and interviews with two former senior officials.

Official records and interviews with current and former officials also reveal that the president was told that even then-Secretary of State Colin Powell had doubts that the tubes might be used for nuclear weapons.

When U.S. inspectors entered Iraq after the fall of Saddam's regime, they determined that Iraq's nuclear program had been dormant for more than a decade and that the aluminum tubes had been used only for conventional weapons.

In the end, the White House's damage control was largely successful, because the public did not learn until after the 2004 elections the full extent of the president's knowledge that the assessment linking the aluminum tubes to a nuclear weapons program might not be true. The most crucial information was kept under wraps until long after Bush's re-election.

Choreography
The new disclosures regarding the tubes may also shed light on why officials so vigorously attempted to discredit Wilson's allegations regarding Niger, including by leaking information to the media that his wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA. Administration officials hoped that the suggestion that Plame had played a role in the agency's choice of Wilson for the Niger trip might cast doubt on his allegations.

I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, then chief of staff and national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, was indicted on October 28 on five counts of making false statements, perjury, and obstruction of justice in attempting to conceal his role in outing Plame as an undercover CIA operative. Signaling a possible defense strategy, Libby's attorneys filed papers in federal court on March 17 asserting that he had not intentionally deceived FBI agents and a federal grand jury while answering questions about Plame because her role was only "peripheral" to potentially more serious questions regarding the Bush administration's use of intelligence in the prewar debate. "The media conflagration ignited by the failure to find [weapons of mass destruction] in Iraq and in part by Mr. Wilson's criticism of the administration, led officials within the White House, the State Department, and the CIA to blame each other, publicly and in private, for faulty prewar intelligence about Iraq's WMD capabilities," Libby's attorneys said in court papers.

Plame's identity was disclosed during "a period of increasing bureaucratic infighting, when certain officials at the CIA, the White House, and the State Department each sought to avoid or assign blame for intelligence failures relating to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability," the attorneys said. "The White House and the CIA were widely regarded to be at war."

Only two months before Wilson went public with his allegations, the Iraq war was being viewed as one of the greatest achievements of Bush's presidency. Rove, whom Bush would later call the "architect" of his re-election campaign, was determined to exploit the war for the president's electoral success. On May 1, 2003, Bush made a dramatic landing on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln to announce to the nation the cessation of major combat operations in Iraq. Dressed in a military flight suit, the president emerged from a four-seat Navy S-3B Viking with the words "George W. Bush Commander-in-Chief" painted just below the cockpit window.

The New York Times later reported that White House aides "had choreographed every aspect of the event, even down to the members of the Lincoln crew arrayed in coordinated shirt colors over Mr. Bush's right shoulder and the 'Mission Accomplished' banner placed to perfectly capture the president and the celebratory two words in a single shot."

On May 6, in a column in The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof quoted an unnamed former ambassador as saying that allegations that Saddam had attempted to procure uranium from Africa were "unequivocally wrong" and that "documents had been forged." But the column drew little notice.

A month later, on June 5, the president made a triumphant visit to Camp As Sayliyah, the regional headquarters of Central Command just outside Qatar's capital, where he spoke to 1,000 troops who were in camouflage fatigues. Afterward, Rove took out a camera and began snapping pictures of service personnel with various presidential advisers. "Step right up! Get your photo with Ari Fleischer -- get 'em while they're hot. Get your Condi Rice," Rove said, according to press accounts of the trip. On the trip home, as Air Force One flew at 31,000 feet over Iraqi airspace, escorted by pairs of F-18 fighters off each wing, the plane's pilots dipped the wings as a sign, an administration spokesperson explained, "that Iraq is now free."

There were few hints of what lay ahead: that sectarian violence would engulf Iraq to the point where some fear civil war and that more than 2,440 American troops and contractors would lose their lives in Iraq and an additional 17,260 servicemen and -women would be wounded.

Blame The CIA
The pre-election damage-control effort in response to Wilson's allegations and the broader issue of whether the Bush administration might have misrepresented intelligence information to make the case for war had three major components, according to government records and interviews with current and former officials: blame the CIA for the use of the Niger information in the president's State of the Union address; discredit and undermine Wilson; and make sure that the public did not learn that the president had been personally warned that the intelligence assessments he was citing about the aluminum tubes might be wrong.

On July 8, 2003, two days after Wilson challenged the Niger-uranium claim in an op-ed article in The New York Times, Libby met with Judith Miller, then a Times reporter, for breakfast at the St. Regis hotel in Washington. Libby told Miller that Wilson's wife, Plame, worked for the CIA, and he suggested that Wilson could not be trusted because his wife may have played a role in selecting him for the Niger mission. Also during that meeting, according to accounts given by both Miller and Libby, Libby provided the reporter with details of a then-classified National Intelligence Estimate. The NIE contained detailed information that Iraq had been attempting to procure uranium from Niger and perhaps two other African nations. Libby and other administration officials believed that the NIE showed that Bush's statements reflected the consensus view of the intelligence community at the time.

According to Miller's account of that meeting in The Times, Libby told her that "the assessments of the classified estimate" that Iraq had attempted to get uranium from Africa and was attempting to develop a nuclear weapons program "were even stronger" than a declassified White Paper on Iraq that the administration had made public to make the case for war.

The special prosecutor in the CIA leak case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has said that he considers the selective disclosure of elements of the NIE to be "inextricably intertwined" with the outing of Plame. Papers filed in federal court by Libby's attorneys on March 17 stated that Libby "believed his actions were authorized" and that he had "testified before the grand jury that this disclosure was authorized," a reference to the NIE details he gave to Miller.

In the same filings, Libby's attorneys said that Hadley played a key role in attempting to have the NIE declassified and made available to reporters: "Mr. Hadley was active in discussions about the need to declassify and disseminate the NIE and [also] had numerous conversations during [this] critical early-July period with Mr. Tenet about the 16 words [the Niger claim in the State of the Union address] and Mr. Tenet's public statements about that issue."

Three days later, on July 11, while on a visit to Africa, Bush and his top aides intensified their efforts to counter the damage done by Wilson's Niger allegations.

Aboard Air Force One, en route to Entebbe, Uganda, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice gave a background briefing for reporters. A reporter pointed out that when Secretary Powell had addressed the United Nations on February 5, 2003, he -- unlike others in the Bush administration -- had noted that some in the U.S. government did not believe that Iraq's procurement of high-strength aluminum tubes was for nuclear weapons.

Responding, Rice said: "I'm saying that when we put [Powell's speech] together ... the secretary decided that he would caveat the aluminum tubes, which he did.... The secretary also has an intelligence arm that happened to hold that view." Rice added, "Now, if there were any doubts about the underlying intelligence to that NIE, those doubts were not communicated to the president, to the vice president, or me."

In fact, contrary to Rice's statement, the president was indeed informed of such doubts when he received the October 2002 President's Summary of the NIE. Both Cheney and Rice also got copies of the summary, as well as a number of other intelligence reports about the State and Energy departments' doubts that the tubes were meant for a nuclear weapons program.

Discrediting Wilson
After Air Force One landed in Entebbe, the president placed the blame squarely on the CIA for the Niger information in the State of the Union: "I gave a speech to the nation that was cleared by the intelligence services." Within hours, Tenet accepted full responsibility. The intelligence information on Niger, Tenet said in a prepared statement, "did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches, and the CIA should have ensured that it was removed." Tenet went on to say, "I am responsible for the approval process in my agency. The president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president."

Behind the scenes, the White House and Tenet had coordinated their statements for maximum effect. Hadley, Libby, and Rove had reviewed drafts of Tenet's statement days in advance. And Hadley and Rove even suggested changes in the draft, according to government records and interviews.

Meanwhile, as the president, Rice, and White House advisers worked to contain the damage from overseas, Rove and Libby, who had remained in Washington, moved forward with their effort to discredit Wilson. That same day, July 11, the two spoke privately at the close of a White House senior staff meeting.

According to grand jury testimony from both men, Rove told Libby that he had spoken to columnist Robert Novak on July 9 and that Novak had said he would soon be writing a column about Valerie Plame. On July 12, the day after Rice's briefing, the president's and Tenet's comments, and the conversation between Rove and Libby regarding Novak, the issue of discrediting Wilson through his wife was still high on the agenda. According to the indictment of Libby: "Libby flew with the vice president and others to and from Norfolk, Virginia on Air Force Two." On the return trip, "Libby discussed with other officials aboard the plane what Libby should say in response to certain pending media inquiries" regarding Wilson's allegations.

Later that day, Libby spoke on the phone with Time magazine's Matthew Cooper. Cooper had been told days earlier that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. During this conversation, according to Libby's indictment, "Libby confirmed to Cooper, without elaboration or qualification, that he had heard this information, too." Also that day, Libby's indictment charged, "Libby spoke by telephone with Judith Miller ... and discussed Wilson's wife, and that she worked at the CIA."

On July 14, Novak published his now-famous column identifying Plame as a CIA "operative" and reporting that she had been responsible for sending her husband to Niger.

On July 18, the Bush administration declassified a relatively small portion of the NIE and held a press briefing to discuss it, in a further effort to show that the president had used the Niger information only because the intelligence community had vouched for it. Reporters noted that an "alternate view" box in the NIE stated that the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (known as INR) believed that claims of Iraqi purchases of uranium from Africa were "highly dubious" and that State and DOE also believed that the aluminum tubes were "most likely for the production of artillery shells."

But White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett suggested that both the president and Rice had been unaware of this information: "They did not read footnotes in a 90-page document." Later, addressing the same issue, Bartlett said, "The president of the United States is not a fact-checker."

Because the Bush administration was able to control what information would remain classified, however, reporters did not know that Bush had received the President's Summary that informed him that both State's INR and the Energy Department doubted that the aluminum tubes were to be used for a nuclear-related purpose.

(Ironically, at one point, before he had reviewed the one-page summary, Hadley considered declassifying it because it said nothing about the Niger intelligence information being untrue. However, after reviewing the summary and realizing that it would have disclosed presidential knowledge that INR and DOE had doubts about the tubes, senior Bush administration officials became preoccupied with ensuring that the text of the document remained classified, according to an account provided by an administration official.)

On July 22, the White House arranged yet another briefing for reporters regarding the Niger controversy. Hadley, when asked whether there was any reason that the president should have hesitated in citing Iraq's procurement of aluminum tubes as evidence of Saddam's nuclear ambitions, answered, "It is an assessment in which the director and the CIA stand by to this day. And, therefore, we have every reason to be confident."

Later that summer, the Senate Intelligence Committee launched an investigation of intelligence agencies to determine why they failed to accurately assess that Saddam had no viable programs to develop chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons at the time of the U.S. invasion.

As National Journal first disclosed on its Web site on October 27, 2005, Cheney, Libby, and Cheney's current chief of staff, David Addington, rejected advice given to them by other White House officials and decided to withhold from the committee crucial documents that might have shown that administration claims about Saddam's capabilities often went beyond information provided by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Among those documents was the President's Summary of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate.

In July 2004, when the Intelligence Committee released a 511-page report on its investigation of prewar intelligence by the CIA and other agencies, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said in his own "Additional Views" to the report, "Concurrent with the production of a National Intelligence Estimate is the production of a one-page President's Summary of the NIE. A one-page President's Summary was completed and disseminated for the October 2002 NIE ... though there is no mention of this fact in [this] report. These one-page NIE summaries are ... written exclusively for the president and senior policy makers and are therefore tailored for that audience."

Durbin concluded, "In determining what the president was told about the contents of the NIE dealing with Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- qualifiers and all -- there is nothing clearer than this single page."

-- Previous coverage of pre-war intelligence and the CIA leak investigation from Murray Waas. Brian Beutler provided research assistance for this report.



href="http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/0330nj1.htm">NATIONAL JOURNAL: Insulating Bush (03/30/2006)

First they came for the gays but I was indifferent: Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

Here's an oldie but goldie from Maryscott O'Connor about how apathy and indiference may bring the unthinkable. It did on Nazi Germany. Congrats to MSO and My Left Wing for being a finalist on Koufax! I voted for her and for Booman too. -- law

Slouching Toward Kristallnacht

How did the Holocaust happen? Something like this:

“You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for the one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even to talk, alone; you don’t want to “go out of your way to make trouble.” Why not? - Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

“Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, everyone is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there will be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, “It’s not so bad” or “You’re seeing things” or “You’re an alarmist.”

“And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.

Read it all.
My Left Wing :: MLW -- A Liberal Translation

Monument Pro-Life or Pro Anal Sex ?

Dear Mr. Edwards,
.
I just saw your sculpture "Monument to Pro-Life The Birth of Sean Preston." Wow! Talk about a hot mama! But I'm troubled by a couple of things:
.
First, being Pro-Life, you of course believe that life begins at CONCEPTION. Why then did you choose to depict Sean Preston at the advanced age of 40 weeks? The Pro-Life movement is about the rights of the PRE-BORN, not the ALREADY-BORN.
.
Second, WHERE IS THE DADDY? Daddies are just as important as mommies. Your sculpture implies that childbirth is something that women can do WITHOUT a man.
.
Fortunately, both defects can be fixed with one modification. i call my version "Monument to Pro-Life The CONCEPTION of Sean Preston." And in MY version, both the bearskin rug and Britney's bored expression ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE!
.
I look forward to hearing your opinion.
.
MM



Monument to Pro-Life The CONCEPTION of Sean Preston

3/30/2006

There Are Good Reasons Why 9/11 is Having Its 15 Minutes of Fame Now - Good for Bush

before getting all excited about Charlie Sheen’s recent CNN appearance expressing doubts about 9/11 it might be wise to ask why CNN would suddenly grant airplay to an actor when their studios have been off-limits to credible 9/11 research for 4 years. If the Charlie Sheen episode gets any more traction, the American public and the world will soon see these “public threats” conveniently, ruthlessly, and easily dismissed, discarded, and disgraced.

There Are Good Reasons Why 9/11 is Having Its 15 Minutes of Fame Now – Look at Who’s In the Spotlight
by Michael C. Ruppert

© Copyright 2006, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.

March 30, 2006 1300 PST (FTW) - ASHLAND - Michel Chossudovsky, Paul Thompson, Nafeez Ahmed, Mike Ruppert, Dan Hopsicker; these are the people who were front and center with credible, original, and groundbreaking research and investigation in the months following the attacks of September 11th. For the next three years, almost every major, incontrovertible piece of evidence showing government complicity in the attacks originated from this group. Add to this list David Ray Griffin, the late-comer author of two excellent books deconstructing the US government’s “explanation” of the attacks, and you have encompassed five of the best-selling books about 9/11—books which thoroughly and reliably discredit the US government. It is also from these scholars, investigative journalists, and researchers that almost every now-standard, unanswered issue debunking the government’s position originated.

There are other writers and researchers who made serious contributions to our knowledge of 9/11, but these five were there “firstest with the mostest.”

It is also no coincidence that these are the journalists and authors who have been universally ignored by the mainstream media. Why? Because their research doesn’t fall over with the first puff of opposing wind. That’s a lesson that the latest flock of 9/11 celebrities needs to be prepared for.

So before getting all excited about Charlie Sheen’s recent CNN appearance expressing doubts about the official version, followed by Ed Asner’s attempt to back Sheen up, it might be wise to ask why none of the pioneers made it to CNN’s airwaves over this last week. The immediate follow-up question is why CNN would suddenly grant airplay to a new host of characters when their studios have been off-limits to credible 9/11 research for four years.

Watching all the recent hullabaloo about Alex Jones interviewing Charlie Sheen and then both making the “big time” on CNN, you’d think that questions about the attacks, now four-and-a-half years old, were new news. In this latest media “frenzy” (yawn) which has Alex Jones parading like a puffed-up superstar version of Edward R. Murrow and a slightly-deranged, multi-pierced, obviously unstable, researcher named Nico Haupt wrapping himself in an ill-fitting label as the new “avant garde” of the 9/11 movement, 9/11 truth has sadly and predictably rounded a corner from Solid Avenue onto Surreal Boulevard. Add to this list of movement “leaders” Webster Tarpley, a former senior researcher for Lyndon LaRouche—whose intellectual capacity far exceeds his street smarts—and you have what the world now “sees” as the only real threats to the US version of events.

If the Charlie Sheen episode gets any more traction, the American public and the world will soon see these “public threats” conveniently, ruthlessly, and easily dismissed, discarded, and disgraced. Sheen may get a little adverse publicity or may lose a juicy part, but his future is not threatened. He’s a talented actor who will always find work in Hollywood. He risks nothing.

But I think I can safely speak for Chossudovsky, Thompson, Ahmed, and even Hopsicker when I say that all of us are glad not to be involved in this farce that is now posing as the only solid reason to disbelieve the US government and the so-called Independent Commission on 9/11.

This was all predictable. This has all happened before. The pattern hasn’t changed much in 40 years.

Following is a story released this week from The Wire, a New Hampshire publication where authentic and accurate journalism live, and which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about why the authentic 9/11 investigators are glad not to be involved in this passing tempest in a teapot:



System Breakdown

by Larry Clow

The Wire

Wednesday, March 29, 2006
http://www.wirenh.com/Features/Cover_Stories/system_breakdown_
200603291183.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

W. David Kubiak thought the 9/11 attacks would be a “wake up call.”

“Once you could accept 9/11, you could say, ‘I’ve really got to look at the world again with new eyes,’” he said during a recent phone interview with The Wire.

Kubiak is a member of the steering committee of 911truth.org, a group formed “to investigate, unearth, and widely publicize the full truth surrounding September 11th, 2001.”

It’s been three years since the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq, and while supporters and detractors of the war continue to debate the causes of and solutions to that conflict, one fact is almost indisputable: the long, bloody journey in Iraq began on Sept. 11, 2001.

I say almost indisputable because, in the world of the 9/11 truth movement, everything from photographic evidence to offhand statements and individual words are up for debate. The term “conspiracy theory” calls to mind images of a spider’s web. That’s an accurate description for the complex and intricately constructed narratives found in any number of conspiracy theories, but the actual building of conspiracy theories, the steady accumulation of new evidence, new proof, new witnesses, is more like sedimentary rock. A pebble here, a pebble there and, after a number of years, a looming monument to suspicion and paranoia.

But, as they say, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. We’ve got plenty of reason to be suspicious. Most recently, President George W. Bush has been stumping in support of his executive power to spy on American citizens, and the Bush administration’s claims that Iraq was hoarding stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction has so far turned out to be false. Then there are the Pentagon Papers, Watergate and the Iran-Contra affair, just some of the plots the government has come (somewhat) clean about. Even in the last decade, the CIA has admitted that it engaged in mind-control experiments using hallucinogenic drugs in the MK-ULTRA program. And since the 1970s, it’s been well known that the CIA used to assassinate foreign political leaders in order to sway policy. And that’s aside from the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Martin Luther King Jr., all of which still rouse suspicion to this day. Looking for shadowy plots, nefarious motives and sinister connections between the government and corporate elite is as American as baseball—and infinitely more entertaining.

Theories about the culprits behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy slowly infiltrated the mainstream in the following three decades, until it got to the point that believing there was a conspiracy was more mainstream than believing Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. But the theories about what really happened on 9/11 have accrued much faster, thanks in part to the Internet. Now, almost five years after the attacks, there are countless Web sites, books, videos and other sources claiming to know the truth. We’ve got a front-row seat for the development of what, in time, could turn out to be the biggest conspiracy theory of them all.

But the explanation offered by the 9/11 truth movement is just as slippery and hard to believe as the “official conspiracy” story offered by the U.S. government. Much of the evidence is comprised of scattered news reports, dribs and drabs of government memos, and inter-personal connections between President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Osama bin Laden and all the other major players, connections that are open to lots of interpretation.

It’s easy, almost too easy, to dismiss them all as members of the tinfoil hat brigade. But spend some time skimming the Web sites, reading the books or watching the videos, and it’s hard not to be sucked in. No corner of the Web is untouched—Google the phrase “temperature at which steel melts” and you’ll get dozens, if not hundreds, of Web pages about the collapse of the Towers. The aftermath of the 9/11 attacks ushered in a new age of paranoia, one which holds everyone, from the government and the media to corporations and the military, at fault for what happened.

A Rundown of Possibilities

Though he was a “Johnny-come-lately” to the 9/11 research field, theologian David Ray Griffin has become one of the central figures of the movement. In 2004, he released two books, “The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions” and “The New Pearl Harbor.” Since then, Griffin, a member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth—a self-described non-partisan group of professors, lawyers and former government officials that includes among its members Robert Bowman, former director of the U.S. Space Defense Program and Andreas von Buelow, former German defense minister—has become a fixture on the lecture circuit at colleges and universities.

Griffin was initially doubtful of the “inside job” theory. “My reaction was, ‘I don’t think even the Bush administration would do such a thing,’” he said.

The official version goes something like this: a team of 19 hijackers, all allegedly members of the al Qaeda terrorist network, boarded four airliners on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. After seizing control of the planes, they flew the aircraft into the two World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon; the fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pa., after passengers wrestled control of the plane from the hijackers.

But after looking at a timeline of events compiled by 9/11 researcher Paul Thompson, Griffin couldn’t ignore all of the contradictions between the events of the day and the official story. When his students at the Claremont School of Theology in California asked him to make a presentation on the Iraq war, Griffin instead focused on 9/11 as a pretext for the war.

Critics have said Griffin’s theological background doesn’t exactly make him an expert on federal emergency response plans, geopolitics and terrorism. But to Griffin, it’s no great leap to go from studying God to studying the hidden connection between Bush and bin Laden.

“Theologically, it’s not much of a stretch, because at least a certain kind of theology says our task is to try to imagine the world from a divine viewpoint, that is, to try to push the values we assume our creator is in favor of. An operation like this would clearly be against that,” he said.

Mapping out a conspiracy theory requires a frightening amount of vision and the ability to put everyone in the right place at the right time. Using the available data and occasionally making some logical leaps, there are a handful of unofficial explanations for how the attacks happened.

The first is simple governmental incompetence. It’s rather mundane, as far as conspiracy theories go, but is decidedly reflective of everyday government behavior. One need look no further than the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina to see just how badly the feds can screw up, even when all signs point to imminent disaster. The incompetence theory looks good on the surface—it’s easy to understand and doesn’t require a lot of speculation. At the same time, it’s intensely troubling, because if it’s true, that means that no system or organization is reliable—from the intelligence community and the military to our multi-billion dollar air-defense system to simple airport security measures.

But even more sinister than that is the two “happen on purpose” (HOP) camps in the 9/11 truth movement, both of which agree that the federal government is to blame for 9/11.

First, there’s the “let it happen on purpose” (LIHOP) camp, people who believe that, though the government had sufficient foreknowledge of the attacks, including warnings from German, Pakistani and other foreign intelligence sources, as well as red flags raised by the FBI, CIA and so forth, they were allowed to happen anyway. The motives for this acquiescence all depend on who you ask. Some theorists say Bush, Cheney and everyone else let the Twin Towers fall in order to jumpstart public support for war in the Middle East—much in the same way Franklin Roosevelt used the Pearl Harbor attacks to bring America into World War II. Others say the whole plan was an effort to pour money back into the defense budget. Or maybe it was for oil. Or maybe it was a way to bring about an increasingly totalitarian government. Or maybe all of the above.

Then there’s the “made it happen on purpose” (MIHOP) crowd, and that’s where much of the current batch of 9/11 research falls. Essentially, for all the reasons cited above—war, oil, totalitarianism, etc.—members of the government engineered, through various means, the entire 9/11 tragedy. Whodunnit? Most of the blame goes to the Bush/Cheney crowd, although the alleged masterminds behind the whole thing are members of the group Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think tank that, in 2000, published a position paper literally calling for some kind of new Pearl Harbor to set the American imperial machinery into motion: “The process of military transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.”

From The Wilderness

Former Los Angeles Police Department detective Michael Ruppert knew something was wrong once the second plane hit the WTC on the morning of Sept. 11.

“I’m an Air Force brat. My father flew interceptors … I grew up around NORAD, I lived with that stuff,” Ruppert said during a phone interview. “I know and knew the Air Force air defense system is much, much better than that. I knew the only way a second plane could have hit the tower was if someone wanted it to.”

Ruppert is one of the big names among 9/11 researchers. His 2004 book “Crossing the Rubicon” is a massive tome that links the Bush/Cheney cabal to everything from the CIA’s alleged drug trade activities during the Iran-Contra scandal to the imminent peak oil crisis. In the book, he plainly states that Dick Cheney masterminded the attacks and says that the 9/11 plot was all part of a plan for the United States to secure the remaining oil deposits in Iraq in order to stave off the looming energy crisis.

Ruppert is no stranger to the world of conspiracies and government skullduggery. Since 1998, he’s been editor and publisher of “From the Wilderness,” an Internet-based newsletter that offers alternative explanations for foreign and national affairs (www.fromthewilderness.com). But even before “FTW,” Ruppert was known in conspiracy circles for his research into the CIA’s drug trade in Los Angeles in the 1970s. It was a subject Ruppert was intimately involved with: he was a narcotics officer in the LAPD at the time, and his then-fiancée was allegedly working for the CIA.

Ruppert said he’s treated his research “almost like you would (if you were) a detective at a crime scene.” Following the attacks, he started looking at world and national news Web sites for initial reports because, he said, early reports often contradict what the “manufactured consensus” later states.

“I was finding major errors and major inconsistencies within the first week,” he said....

3/29/2006

Body Armor for Troops ? Ask David Brooks... Or his teenage daughter

A cool 10 million spent to entertain the little darling, David Brooks' 13 year old daughter.. that party was paid for with the blood of our country's finest. David Brooks is none other than the CEO of DHB Industries - maker of all that defective body armor; body armor cited as the leading cause of death and injury amongst American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The same body armor worn by our men and women in blue, by the way; lots of dead and injured police on his conscience as well, it seems. Interceptor by Second Chance, it was called. Second Chance. How fucking ironic. Recalled. Every bit of it. Why? It didn't bloody work!
But his daughter got a swell party!


Body Armor Cover Up Exposed
by: The Fat Lady Sings

You know all that defective body armor our troops have been saddled with? Well - the truth has been uncovered by Liz of BlondSense - and it will curl your hair! Remember David Brooks and his 13 year old daughter's outrageous coming of age party? A cool 10 million spent to entertain the little darling with the likes of 50 Cent and Aerosmith. Well - it looks like that party was paid for with the blood of our country's finest - both on the battlefield and fighting crime on our city streets. David Brooks is none other than the CEO of DHB Industries - maker of all that defective body armor; body armor cited as the leading cause of death and injury amongst American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The same body armor worn by our men and women in blue, by the way; lots of dead and injured police on his conscience as well, it seems. Interceptor by Second Chance, it was called. Second Chance. How fucking ironic. Recalled. Every bit of it. Why? It didn't bloody work!

Soldiers For The Truth has reported extensively on this. In fact, it was they who brought to light the Army's shameful policy of denying survivors benefits to any soldier choosing the better made Pinnacle Dragon Skin (purchased at their own expense, mind you).

Two deploying soldiers and a concerned mother reported Friday afternoon that the U.S. Army appears to be singling out soldiers who have purchased Pinnacle's Dragon Skin Body Armor for special treatment. The soldiers, who are currently staging for combat operations, reported that their commander told them if they were wearing Pinnacle Dragon Skin and were killed their beneficiaries might not receive the death benefits from their $400,000 SGLI life insurance policies. The soldiers were told to leave their privately purchased body armor at home or face the possibility of both losing their life insurance benefit and facing disciplinary action, they said.

Of course, Pinnacle was the choice of all the officers and other high mucky-mucks. God forbid they get blown to smithereens along with the common grunts. You all remember this - right? I sure as hell do. Did you also know David Brooks was a well known big money contributor to The Republican Party? Big fucking surprise, right? How do you think DHB Industries got that body armor contract in the first place? Pissed off? It gets worse. On top of all that, Davey boy managed to rook his stockholders with an Enron style 'pump and dump' scheme that netted him 185 million and left investors without one red cent.

David H. Brooks, CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB Industries, earned $70 million in 2004, 13,349% more than his 2001 compensation of $525,000. Brooks also sold company stock worth about $186 million last year, spooking investors who drove DHB’s share price from more than $22 to as low as $6.50 [DHB was trading at $4.20 Wednesday]. In May 2005, the U.S. Marines recalled more than 5,000 DHB armored vests after questions were raised about their effectiveness. By that time, Brooks had pocketed over $250 million in war windfalls.

David Brooks – War profiteer extraordinaire. I mean – who gives a flying fuck if teen-agers are coming home in press-board boxes, while their comrades in ‘arms’ arrive having left theirs behind on the battlefield? Brooks was able to educate his daughter on just what conspicuous consumption is all about. Christ! Are you awake yet, America?
(Sadly No - law)

My Left Wing :: Body Armor Cover Up Exposed

3/20/2006

You can help displaced Katrina victims vote!!!!

Help us get this message to displaced Louisianans in your city or state. Thousands of evacuees have moved several times since disaster struck their homes. Your local knowledge may be the only way for us to reach them. Otherwise they will lose their right to vote. Wouldn't Bush like that, heh ? -- law

"If you are a registered voter of Louisiana who has been displaced as a result of Hurricane Katrina or Rita, you are eligible to vote in your home parish if you have not registered to vote in another parish or state."
- Louisiana Secretary of State Al Ater

Help us get this message to displaced Louisianans in your city or state. Thousands of evacuees have moved several times since disaster struck their homes. Your local knowledge may be the only way for us to reach them.

Louisiana's primary election is scheduled to take place on April 22, 2006, and general election on May 20, 2006. There are also other local elections taking place this spring. Many changes have been made to Louisiana voting laws, dates, and polling places as a result of the hurricanes.

Time is very short. We need you to reach displaced voters with the information they need as soon as possible.

For information on how you can help, including handouts you can download and photocopy, visit our website at http://www.commoncause.org/Louisiana.

For additional information, visit the Louisiana Elections Displaced Voters webpage at http://www.sec.state.la.us/elections/elect-before.htm, email at: elections@sos.louisiana.gov, or call 1-800-833-2805.

Thank you,

Dot Wirth
Common Cause Louisiana

They knew about the WMD fiasco: Crazy people led by a crazy, drunken, ignorant president

NBC Investigative Unit: for a short time the CIA had contact with a secret source at the highest levels within Saddam Hussein’s government, who gave them information far more accurate than it's believed. When war broke out the source said: "Those aggressors are war criminals, colonialist war criminals. Crazy people led by a crazy, drunken, ignorant president,"


Saddam’s foreign minister told CIA the truth, so why didn’t agency listen?

NBC Investigative Unit
Updated: 7:36 p.m. ET March 20, 2006

In the period before the Iraq war, the CIA and the Bush administration erroneously believed that Saddam Hussein was hiding major programs for weapons of mass destruction. Now NBC News has learned that for a short time the CIA had contact with a secret source at the highest levels within Saddam Hussein’s government, who gave them information far more accurate than what they believed. It is a spy story that has never been told before, and raises new questions about prewar intelligence.

What makes the story significant is the high rank of the source. His name, officials tell NBC News, was Naji Sabri, Iraq’s foreign minister under Saddam. Although Sabri was in Saddam's inner circle, his cosmopolitan ways also helped him fit into diplomatic circles.

In September 2002, at a meeting of the U.N.’s General Assembly, Sabri came to New York to represent Saddam. In front of the assembled diplomats, he read a letter from the Iraqi leader. "The United States administration is acting on behalf of Zionism," he said. He announced that there were no weapons of mass destruction and that the U.S. planned war in Iraq because it wanted the country’s oil.

But on that very trip, there was also a secret contact made. The contact was brokered by the French intelligence service, sources say. Intelligence sources say that in a New York hotel room, CIA officers met with an intermediary who represented Sabri. All discussions between Sabri and the CIA were conducted through a "cutout," or third party. Through the intermediary, intelligence sources say, the CIA paid Sabri more than $100,000 in what was, essentially, "good-faith money." And for his part, Sabri, again through the intermediary, relayed information about Saddam’s actual capabilities.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case.

The sources say Sabri’s answers were much more accurate than his proclamations to the United Nations, where he demonized the U.S. and defended Saddam. At the same time, they also were closer to reality than the CIA's estimates, as spelled out in its October 2002 intelligence estimate.

For example, consider biological weapons, a key concern before the war. The CIA said Saddam had an "active" program for "R&D, production and weaponization" for biological agents such as anthrax. Intelligence sources say Sabri indicated Saddam had no significant, active biological weapons program. Sabri was right. After the war, it became clear that there was no program.

Another key issue was the nuclear question: How far away was Saddam from having a bomb? The CIA said if Saddam obtained enriched uranium, he could build a nuclear bomb in "several months to a year." Sabri said Saddam desperately wanted a bomb, but would need much more time than that. Sabri was more accurate.

On the issue of chemical weapons, the CIA said Saddam had stockpiled as much as "500 metric tons of chemical warfare agents" and had "renewed" production of deadly agents. Sabri said Iraq had stockpiled weapons and had "poison gas" left over from the first Gulf War. Both Sabri and the agency were wrong.

CONTINUED: Why didn't the CIA act on the intelligence?

In the weeks following September 2002, after first contact with Sabri was made in New York, the agency kept much of his information concealed within its ranks. Sabri would have been a potential gold mine of information, according to NBC News analyst retired Gen. Wayne Downing.

"I think it’s very significant that the CIA would have someone who could tell them what’s on the dictator’s mind," says Downing.

But, intelligence sources say, the CIA relationship with Sabri ended when the CIA, hoping for a public relations coup, pressured him to defect to the U.S. The U.S. hoped Sabri would leave Iraq and publicly renounce Saddam. He repeatedly refused, sources say, and contact was broken off...

When war broke out, Sabri was defiant and outspoken. "Those aggressors are war criminals, colonialist war criminals. Crazy people led by a crazy, drunken, ignorant president," he said.

After the war, former CIA director George Tenet once boasted of a secret Iraqi source.

"A source," he said in a speech on Feb. 5, 2004, "who had direct access to Saddam and his inner circle." Sources tell NBC News Tenet was alluding to Sabri. Tenet said that the source — meaning Sabri — had said Iraq was stockpiling chemical weapons and that equipment to produce insecticides, under the oil-for-food program, had been diverted to covert chemical weapons production. However, in that speech, Tenet also laid out what Sabri had disclosed: that there was no biological program, that Saddam wanted nuclear weapons but had none.

Meanwhile in Saudi America: 50 Million Potential Workers Lost to Abortion

Senator confesses why neocons hate abortion: makes for less workers competing w/ each other. Why outsource to the 3rd world when you can make US the new 3rd world country ? Abundant cheap Labor, corrupt government, Business and elite friendly laws... Those things sound heavenly to Neocons, bent on being the corrupt elite among a land of impoverished voters. I always suspected that Bush wanted to be just like his wealthy Saudi friends, reigning over a misogynist, thoroughly servile, cowed, bullied mass of serfs -- law

50 Million Potential Workers Lost to Abortion - Compassionate Conservatism at Work Dept:
MakeThemAccountable.com

Perhaps some of you were skeptical when I wrote last November that Republicans are concerned about baby production in the U.S., and had a number of proposals to increase it (“Warning: Baby Production Down, because of the danger to the country if there aren’t enough employees to feed the economic machine.

If you thought I was too harsh on Republicans by daring to think their concern for the birth rate has more to do with economic needs than moral requirements, then I must point you to the words of a Georgia Republican state senator, speaking on the subject of illegal immigration.

… Big employers may get the benefit of cheap labor, but the U.S. taxpayer will pay for their healthcare, food stamps, schooling for children, and income tax credits.

I am convinced it is a consequence to the almost 50 million children we have put to death in their mother's womb through abortion. The large unfilled job market in Georgia would not be a problem if the almost 50 million Americans were here filling many of those jobs…


Thanks to BuzzFlash.com for the tip.

Lots more really good stuff at MakeThemAccountable.com.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

FBI agent warned of possible hijacking before September 11

ALEXANDRIA, United States (AFP) - An FBI agent testified that he warned his bosses about Zacarias Moussaoui 70 times before the September 11 attacks, and raised fears he planned to hijack an airliner. Agent Harry Samit took the witness stand at the death penalty trial of the confessed Al-Qaeda plotter, as it resumed with dramatic testimony after a week in peril of being thrown out by a judge over a witness-coaching scandal.

Samit, who arrested Moussaoui, also admitted under cross-examination that he accused his superiors of "criminal negligence" and "careerism" in a US government inquiry into their failure to act upon his warnings. The FBI agent was shown a memo he sent to FBI headquarters in Washington on August 18, 2001, parts of which were sent across the federal government, in which he referred to Moussaoui 70 times.

"You needed people in Washington to help you out?" Defense Counsel Edward MacMahon asked Samit.

"They didn't do that, did they?"

Samit answered: "No."

In the document, Samit warned the 37-year-old Frenchman was learning how to steer a 747-400 airliner, had a portable GPS navigation system, was an Islamic fundamentalist who approved of martyrdom, and was armed with small knives and learning martial arts.

Moussaoui is the only man tried in the United States in connection with the September 11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

Prosecutors want to prove he deserves death, because his "lies" to investigators allowed the suicide hijackers time to carry out the strikes on New York and Washington.

Defense lawyers say the government knew far more than Moussaoui about the looming threat, and failed to act to stop it.

If he is not sentenced to death, Moussaoui, in jail on September 11, 2001, he will spend the rest of his life in prison, after confessing in April last year to conspiring to fly airliners into prominent US buildings.

He also said Moussaoui seemed to be in a hurry to finish his flight training on a jumbo jet simulator in Minnesota when he was arrested.

"You wanted the people in Washington to know that because you were concerned that Moussaoui was going to try to hijack a plane right?" defense lawyer Edward MacMahon asked Samit.

"Yes sir," the agent replied.

Samit also said he pleaded with his supervisors to warn the US
Secret Service, which protects the president, after learning Moussaoui had planned trips to New York and to look at the White House in Washington.

That revelation was especially alarming, because he discovered Moussaoui had told his flight simulator instructor to show him how to complete a flight between London Airport, and New York.

"If he seized an airliner flying from Heathrow to New York City, it would have enough fuel onboard to reach D.C.," he said he told a supervisor in Washington -- but got no word that the warning was ever passed on.

Samit also said superiors in FBI anti-terrorism units in Washington had stopped him from applying for a criminal search warrant or to a special intelligence court, so he could search Moussaoui's belongings.

MacMahon, who hopes to sow reasonable doubt among jurors that Moussaoui's failure to talk directly allowed the September 11 to go ahead, got Samit to agree such obstruction was a "bureaucratic bind" frustrating his investigation.

Samit finally got a criminal warrant on September 11, 2001 hours after the lethal attacks.

Procedural barriers known as "The Wall" which separated criminal and intelligence investigations before the September 11 attacks, which blocked Samit, have since been removed.

The trial resumed Monday after a week-long break, while Judge Leonie Brinkema probed a witness coaching drama.

Prosecution lawyers fought to save their case after Brinkema ruled out witnesses tainted by attorney Carla Martin and aviation security evidence which made up half their case.

She relented on Friday, allowing prosecutors to seek new, uncontaminated witnesses.

Brinkema did not discuss reasons for the delay with the jury.

FBI agent warned of possible hijacking before September 11 - Yahoo! News

Why are our soldiers overworked? Because suggestions went unheeded Ben Stein!

Does "Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?" Believe A Word Of This?

by Tony Peyser

Ben Stein of "Ferris Bueller" fame
That conservative funnyman
Claims the Oscars snubbed our troops
In Iraq and Afghanistan.

Stein rather bitterly maintains
That proper respect wasn't there
Due to any lack of silence
Or a fitting moment of prayer.

Stein also argues the real stars
Aren't on his Beverly Hills street
But overworked in body armor
Sweltering in Middle East heat.

Stein's man in The Oval Office
That well-known faux cowboy charmer
Never made sure that our soldiers
Were given that body armor.

Why are our soldiers overworked?
Because suggestions went unheeded
From generals who claimed we didn't
Send enough troops that were needed.

Our armed forces, Stein declares,
"Hollywood spits in the face of them"
But when they're killed, his party
Won't ever show a trace of them.

Stein's brash pontificating here
Rather badly overreaches
Leave that to Oscar winners in
Their shallow acceptance speeches.

What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It? Philip E. Agre

What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

Philip E. Agre
August 2004



Liberals in the United States have been losing political debates to conservatives for a quarter century. In order to start winning again, liberals must answer two simple questions: what is conservatism, and what is wrong with it? As it happens, the answers to these questions are also simple:

Q: What is conservatism?
A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.

Q: What is wrong with conservatism?
A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.

These ideas are not new. Indeed they were common sense until recently. Nowadays, though, most of the people who call themselves "conservatives" have little notion of what conservatism even is. They have been deceived by one of the great public relations campaigns of human history. Only by analyzing this deception will it become possible to revive democracy in the United States.

What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

Mahablog: Fearfulness is the foundation of political conservatism.

Mahablog says:" I’ve noticed that whether one enjoys or is frightened by foreign places and cultures is a nearly sure-fire predictor of whether one is a liberal or a conservative. Further, conservatives are clearly more frightened of terrorism than we liberals are (they think we’re naive; we think they’re weenies)." Right on the money -- law

according to some guys at Berkeley, 50 years of research literature reveal these common psychological factors linked to political conservatism:

* Fear and aggression
* Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
* Uncertainty avoidance
* Need for cognitive closure
* Terror management

Now we’ve got a new study that says whiny, insecure children are more likely to grow up to be righties. According to Kurt Kleiner of the Toronto Star,

In the 1960s Jack Block and his wife and fellow professor Jeanne Block (now deceased) began tracking more than 100 nursery school kids as part of a general study of personality. The kids’ personalities were rated at the time by teachers and assistants who had known them for months. There’s no reason to think political bias skewed the ratings — the investigators were not looking at political orientation back then. Even if they had been, it’s unlikely that 3- and 4-year-olds would have had much idea about their political leanings.

A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.

The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.

Block admits in his paper that liberal Berkeley is not representative of the whole country. But within his sample, he says, the results hold. He reasons that insecure kids look for the reassurance provided by tradition and authority, and find it in conservative politics. The more confident kids are eager to explore alternatives to the way things are, and find liberal politics more congenial.

This explains a lot.

You can tie this back to Philip Agre’s great essay “What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong With It.” Agre defines conservatism as “the domination of society by an aristocracy.” (Note: Please read the essay before you argue with me that he’s wrong.) People willingly cling to authoritarianism out of fear. This is true of people who feel they might lose wealth, power and privilege if society gets too egalitarian. But this can also be true of people who have little wealth, power and privilege to lose. Unprivileged people can sometimes identify with the privileged group or think that the privileged group deserves to be privileged (a variation on Stockholm Syndrome?).

And there’s also a connection to Eric Fromm’s proposition in Escape from Freedom that people who feel alone and powerless try to “escape” by, for example, following a powerful and charismatic leader.

Rightie projection, denial, bullying, and never-ending resentments are all about defending themselves from whatever it is they fear. Instead of trying to reason with them, maybe it would be easier to just get them on some meds.

The Mahablog » This Explains a Lot

Super secret document that vindicates bush turns out to be a printout from a website

this week the Weekly Standard has a Congressman addressing Bush by quoting Lincoln: 'Give the people the facts and the Republic will be saved.' This soap opera mise-en-scene big claim is that Bush wants to authorize the release of the documents that will prove the Administration's case for the war, but Negroponte refuses to do it. Turns out the republic saving tidibit is... an old English-language clipping from the Federation of American Scientists website.

From Sadly no, who recomends a Soundtrack of an all-tuba rendition of 'Flight of the Bumblebee.' to read the rest... -- law


Meanwhile, here are some counter-rumblings at the GOP carnival midway (and leak spittoon) RedState, saying that Hayes and Hinderaker and other bloggers ought to lay off Negroponte and not...wait, get this...cause a big headache for the intelligence community by influencing policy with their demands:

I sense the makings of a blogswarm. When Hindraker -- a creater of Powerline, one of the calmer and more thoughtful blogs* -- determines that Negroponte's hesitation to release is an indicator that he "won't get the job done," and then floats an observation that maybe Negroponte should go (an observation that Hindraker surely knows could easily get legs and sprint around the blogs), IMO that's not a good thing.

This is a recipe for crisis management-by-blogswarm.

There's much more there, and read it if you want to enter a strange and magical realm of Wha? but let's quickly hit that Santorum/Hoekstra item again.

"We're hoping to unleash the power of the Internet, unleash the power of the blogosphere, to get through these documents and give us a better understanding of what was going on in Iraq before the war," said Hoekstra, chairman of the House of Representatives' Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Welp, Hoekstra, you get what you pay for. Here's Hinderaker thinking that he's uncovering the terror secrets of Iraq, when he's really slipping down the stairs on a roller skate again and quoting from an old English-language clipping from the Federation of American Scientists website. (Click the link -- you can tell that it's full of genuine top-secret Iraqi terror secrets by the spooky animated .gif of a spy smoking a cigarette.)

MORE: Several readers have written to point out that what I took to be a translation of the original document is actually just a print-out from the web site of the Federation of American Scientists. So the question is, what does the Arabic portion, which apparently hasn't been translated, say? Presumably it comments on the FAS assessment. We'd like to hear from anyone who can translate the Arabic notes.

Nice recovery, Hinder.

Sadly, No!: Yes Sir, Right Away Mr. Congressman, Sir

You knew they were fake! Prof. Juan Cole has done the hard work of debunking the latest Saddam/9-11 documents

Right Blogosphere Scammed by Bogus Document Dump

Maha at Daily Kos has it right. It is falling down funny. The Right blogosphere is going crazy about this document [ pdf] in the Iraqi documents made available by the US government this week.

See also Sadly No.

The notorious liar, Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard led the charge. This is just an old Western document posted to the internet in 1997.

What does the Arabic say?



"The Institutions of the Apparatus of the Intelligence Service on the Internet:

You will find enclosed information on the Apparatus that has been published on the internet. It has information on our organization, but it is clear that the information is relatively old. Otherwise, it does not do more than mention some correct and important matters . . ."



It then goes on to list the names of some agents. As an intelligence service, its main concern was with cover, apparently.

In other words, Iraqi intelligence notes the appearance of the document on the internet in 1997, and laments that it is very basic ['does not do more than'] and then notes with some amusement how out of date it is (with the implication that Western intelligence on Iraq must be pretty bad). The "out of date" comment probably refers to the Western document's preoccupation with WMD, which Iraqi Intelligence would have known was gone by then. It may also refer to personnel having been switched around. Note that the Iraqi comment does not endorse the internet document. It not only says it is "old" intelligence, which is very damning in intelligence work, but it also uses the word "some" when referring to what is accurate and important in it. "Some correct and important matters." There will be those who read this as a blanket endorsement; it obviously is not.

Yeah, that's a find, all right. Kind of makes the whole last three years worthwhile, all by itself.

posted by Juan @ 3/18/2006 02:34:00 PM

Springtime for Bushland and Conservancy

Sidney Blumenthal, as accurate as usual. If Bush' speech reminds you of all his previous "Mission Accomplished" stunts, don't look at the Groundhog for clues. Unfortunately this is very real. This is not Groundhog Day -- law

The springtime of zeal

It is already hard to remember the heady days when the Iraq adventure began, trumpets blaring and banners unfurled. Vice-president Dick Cheney and the administration neo-conservatives arranged for the airlift of exiled Iraqi leader Ahmad Chalabi and about 500 of his fighters into the country. He had been a major source of the disinformation about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that had provided the justification for the war. Now he was expected to assume power, restore order and make Iraq into a base for the projection of US influence throughout the middle east.

Instantly, Iraq would become a beacon of democracy. Awestruck, the Palestinians would forswear terrorist groups like Hamas. From the Iraqi bastion, the US would topple the regimes of Syria and Iran, by military force if need be. The Iraq example would serve for invasions elsewhere. Saudi Arabia and Egypt would have no resort but democratising, their rulers yielding to secular figures in the inspiring mould of Chalabi. Like Saddam Hussein's regime, the entire region was supposedly a house of cards.

The month before the war was launched, in February 2003 neocon pundit Charles Krauthammer proclaimed that the Iraq war would transform the entire middle east in the neo-conservative image and that the task would be accomplished first in Iraq during a brief eighteen-month occupation.

In a column in Time on 17 February 2003, boldly titled "Coming Ashore", Krauthammer proudly embraced the arrogance of power. "Reformation and reconstruction of an alien culture are a daunting task. Risky and, yes, arrogant." Yet 9/11 justified not only invading Iraq but also, he insisted, overthrowing 22 other Arab governments. "Before 9/11, no one would have seriously even proposed it. After 9/11, we dare not shrink from it." And then again came out his bugle: "America is coming ashore."

Three years after coming ashore, some neo-conservatives are experiencing the torments of disillusionment. Their most cherished dreams are encrusted with the blood and sand of Iraq. There are no second chances. Having proclaimed Iraq as the ultimate test, neo-conservatism is being judged according to its own standard. Francis Fukuyama, neocon philosopher and signer of the original statement of the neocon Project for the New American Century, has produced a succinct synopsis of his disillusionment, America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy. Like communists of a previous generation, he rejects a god that failed...

"I did not like the original version of Leninism and was sceptical when the Bush administration turned Leninist", he writes. Fukuyama chastises the neocons for believing that all societies and cultures share universal aspirations and can rapidly undergo the same path of modernisation. He describes the administration's "bureaucratic tribalism" as "poisonous," and blames its close-mindedness for its failures.

But the administration brushes aside the laments of the disillusioned – whether Fukuyama or William F Buckley Jr ("One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed"), mere scriveners. Bush no more pays attention to the criticisms of conservative Republicans than to those of liberal Democrats. He is consistent in his rejection of criticism of any kind from any quarter. But his granitic impassivity does not resolve any actual problem; nor does ignoring critics make his arguments more convincing.

A time of torment

More striking, Bush seems unaware of or unconcerned with the conflict of his recent statements with those of his ambassador and generals in Iraq. Khalilzad, who has been assigned the mission impossible of creating a strong Iraqi state out of negotiations with the hostile factions, said last week that the invasion had opened "a Pandora's box" of sectarian violence that might spread across the whole middle east. With this single remark, he attributed the source of the Iraqi crisis to the invasion. Instead of "coming ashore" being the first step in the march of democracy, he depicted it as the beginning of a nightmare.

"Sectarian and ethnic conflict is the fundamental problem in Iraq", Khalilzad said at a news conference last month. He warned the Shi'a that the key ministries of the interior and defence must be in the hands of people "who are non-sectarian, broadly acceptable and who are not tied to militias." This was a direct challenge to the Shi'a militias burrowed into these ministries and using them as cover for assassinations and death-squads. "American taxpayers expect their money to be spent properly. We are not going to invest the resources of the American people and build forces that are run by people who are sectarian", he said. The "potential is there", he concluded grimly in remarks last week, for full-scale civil war.

Bush’s world of illusion Sidney Blumenthal - openDemocracy

It's a shame they have to die... A shadow on our eyes

Listening to CSN song for the last whale, I get reminded of all the dead under the Bush 2004 coup... Carry on -- law

in an interview on British television, the former prime minister of Iraq, Ayad Allawi, said his country already has descended into civil war.
"If this is not civil war," he told the BBC, "then God knows what civil war is."


A BuzzFlash News Analysis: Why Doesn't the Democratic Leadership in Congress Start Holding Bush Accountable for Crimes Against the Nation, Instead of Getting Upset with Feingold for Being Outraged?


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Still upbeat about Iraq, Bush and Cheney are taking the art of the con artist to new levels 3/20



Bush's State of Delusion in Iraq on Full Display. Medication Definitely Needed. America AND Iraq in Deep Peril with Boy in the Bubble at the Helm. 3/21


Norman Solomon: Why Are We Here? An "Incompetent" War Is Not the Problem - A BuzzFlash Guest Contribution


Four Alarmer: It Appears Bush Allowed Illegal Physical "Black Bag" Searches of American Citizens


Get "Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush" from BuzzFlash.com.


The BuzzFlash Mailbag -- Uncensored and Unvarnished Truth from BuzzFlash Readers.



Censure -- Editorial Cartoon by Kirk Anderson


Support Fair Trade on BuzzFlash.com: Empowering People, Creating Jobs, Sustaining Lives. It's in your hands to make a difference.


Denver Three: New Internal Report Reveals McClellan Lied to Reporters: Repeatedly Said "Volunteer" Ejected Citizens from Bush Town Hall, Report Reveals it was "White House Staff" 3/21


"Field Notes from a Catastrophe." What Americans Should Really Fear is the Disastrous Break Down of the Earth's Eco-System, Which the Bush Administration is Aiding and Abetting. Read this Book.


Leonard Pitts on Censure: "So I understand where Feingold and Conyers are coming from. Where good and frustrated people all over the country are coming from. History's verdict is all we have left. And when tomorrow calls today to account, some of us want to be able to say we stood up. We called out. We were not silent. It is small solace, but it is solace, nonetheless." 3/21


While Bush Fiddles, Planet Earth is Headed Toward an Eco-Catastrophe. This is What We Should Fear, Because the Busheviks are Accelerating the Looming Disaster. Get the Book, Alert the Public.



Stephen Crockett: Most Democratic Senators Fail As Presidential Candidates - A BuzzFlash Guest Contribution from the Co-Host of Democratic Talk Radio


Pentagon Says That It is Investigating Alleged Marine Atrocity in Iraq 3/21


Gulf cleanup profits bloat to 1700% due to corrupt middleman system. "If local governments tried to run things this way, we'd be run out of town." 3/20


Get Organic Fair-Trade Gourmet Chocolate Bars (1 Very Dark and 1 Dark Chocolate with Almonds)and Support Fair Wages: It's Fair Trade Monday on BuzzFlash.com!



Sign up for Free BuzzFlash Alerts! Be in the Know.


"Crash," Winner of the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year, Available on DVD from BuzzFlash.com. This is a profound, revealing and moving film about race relations, ethnic tensions, personal isolation and so much more. In the spirit of Robert Altman, by Award Winning Director Paul Haggis.



New Velvet Revolution Ad in Sunday's Washington Post; Demands Congress Hold Bush/Cheney Accountable, Stop Another Ill-Conceived War Before It Starts 3/21


BuzzFlash Headlines On YOUR Web Site for Free (You Can't Get Any Cheaper Than That!) -- Spread the Pro-Democracy, Anti-Hypocrisy Word!


Through the (Plastic) Looking Glass & Behind the Brown Door...Diebold's Toilet Paper Democracy -- a Photographic Essay 3/21


Dubai's $1.2 Bln Bid for U.S. Weapons Maker Delayed 3/21


Bushevik Cabal Madness: "Bush marks Iraq anniversary but doesn't mention war" 3/20



Get "Paper Clips" (DVD) Here, Along with "A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of its Survivors"


Cheney: "Pish, Pish, No One's Firing Me Because I'm an Arrogant S.O.B. Pulling the Strings, Enriching Halliburton at Taxpayer Expense, Having Thousands and Thousands of People Killed and Wounded, and Bankrupting America. Hey, If You Fired Me, Who Would Ruin the Country for You -- That Second Grader in the White House?" (BuzzFlash Translation) Dream On, Dick Tells Us, Dream On. 3/20


Barbara's Daily BuzzFlash Minute


Murtha rips up the "it's the media" defense: "They said the same thing about Vietnam. They said the same thing over and over and over about Vietnam. They said we’re winning the war in Vietnam. You could go back and get quotes from Vietnam and you’ll see the same kind of reports. The media is the one that’s distorting. Everything is going fine in Vietnam. Well, everything is not going fine in Iraq. They have to realize it."


Water crisis looms in India as Mexico City hosts forum and counter-forum on water issues; and more in the March 20th World Media Watch by Gloria Lalumia



Iraq War Expectations - Editorial Cartoon by Tony Peyser


Get Gun Control Alerts Here!


Does "Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?" Believe A Word Of This? -- Verse-Case Scenario by Tony Peyser


The Telltale Forensics of Criminal Politics - Ms. Smith Goes to Washington


How to spot a baby conservative; Whiny children, claims a new study, tend to grow up rigid and traditional. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals. 3/21



"The Silence of the Songs," Episode 18 of Steven C. Day's The Last Chance Democracy Cafe


It doesn't matter if Bush replaces his White House staff. 3/21


Memories of a forgotten pamphleteer -- The Last Chance Democracy Cafe by Steven C. Day


Cindy Sheehan for BuzzFlash: Iraq War's Third Anniversary - A BuzzFlash Guest Contribution


How to Understand the Modern Republican Party: A Guide to Cults 3/21



McCain Hires DeLay Accomplice: "Sen. McCain, Mr. Campaign Finance Reform, has just hired a man who (allegedly) played a key role in breaking a campaign finance law to advise him on how to spend his PAC's money. Anything to win in '08?" 3/21


The GOP advantages in 2006: Scared Democrats, Friendly Media, and Fear and Hate 3/21


Walt Uhler: A Letter to Rush Limbaugh 3/20


"Bring Them Back (From Iraq)" -- A Patriotic Song in Support of Our Troops by Bringing Them Home Safe and Sound. Three Years Later, It is Time.


In South Dakota, Anti-Choice Gov. Mike Rounds' Approval Plummets to 58% from 72% last month 3/21


Robert Parry: Iraq -- U.S. News Media's Waterloo 3/21



Newsweek: Censure wins majority support from Democrats (60 percent) and one in five Republicans (20 percent) say they’d support it. 3/21


For many Iraqis, a suffocating sense of vulnerability. They aren't living in a rich kid's bubble of arrogance like Bush. For them, it's a devastating disaster. 3/20




Don't Just Get Mad, Get America Informed. Fight Back. Support BuzzFlash.com. Outrage Matters. We Need Your Dollars. It's That Simple.

3/18/2006

Censorship Files: Life under a Right Wing Dictatorship

The year was 1963 but it felt like 1984 was going to come 20 decades ahead of schedule. A briefly liberal and tolerant Brazilian population was turning conservative and rabidly right wing. The years of propaganda were paying off. On April 1st, 1964, on the cruelest April Fool's joke ever Brazil changed from a democracy into a military dictatorship. On my diary at My Left Wing I tell you what it meant for the common day literate and politically aware Brazilian, through the eyes of one musician.

Censorship Files: Life under a Right Wing Dictatorship
by: lawnorder March 18, 2006 at 12:17:00 America/Chicago

The year was 1963 but it felt like 1984 was going to come 20 decades ahead of schedule. A briefly liberal and tolerant Brazilian population was turning conservative and rabidly right wing. The years of propaganda were paying off.

Suddenly the President, which some say was batshiite crazy, resigns. His VP was widely mistrusted by the businessmen, the army, the church and the fundies, for being a free thinker who was not sufficiently indoctrinated against communism or liberalism. He was a wild card and < gasp > had some leftist leanings, but he had a farm, owned property, and wasn't exactly your tree-hugging hippie.

Nevertheless, it was too much risk for some. On Brazil's farm belt, the South American equivalent of US' bible belt, families marched on the streets, demanding respect for "Tradition, Family, Property". None of this Gay, Commie, Heathen talk for them.

On April 1st, 1964, on the cruelest April Fool's joke ever Brazil changed from a democracy into a military dictatorship. (The date was "revised" to April 2nd later, in one of the frequent history rewrites done by the military junta to "correct" any unflattering or possibly subversive fact on the country's history)

Below the fold I will tell you what it meant for the common day literate and politically aware Brazilian, through music. I give you my blog's "Censorship Files" series.

You can also read it all on my blog Archives for 05/22/2005

My Left Wing :: Censorship Files: Life under a Right Wing Dictatorship

3/10/2006

Booman Tribune ~ BREAKING: Sandra Day O'Connor says the word dictatorship

Justice O'Connor has BLASTED the Republicans for their partisan attacks on the courts... She closed by saying (paraphrase) that it takes a long time to become a dictatorship but better to stop the slide at the beginning than the end.

BREAKING: Sandra Day O'Connor Speaks out and unbelievably says

by philinmaine
Fri Mar 10th, 2006 at 08:50:54 AM EST
cross posted at Kos

I don't have all the story but Justice O'Connor has BLASTED the Republicans for their partisan attacks on the courts. She stated (paraphrase) that partisan attacks on the courts for political purposes must stop. She included references to cutting a court's budget, intimidation, and poisioning the public against the judicial system. Wow! Then she said something off the charts...

She closed by saying (paraphrase) that it takes a long time to become a dictatorship but better to stop the slide at the beginning than the end. That's Right..Sandra Day O'Connor used the word dictatorship. Not some 'nutty blogger' not some 'left wing lezzy' but the most venerated, praised, widely respected, Justice O'Connor.

The audio was on NPR..I suppose the lead could be 'NPR finds its balls' cause I've been scouring the net and can't find the speech but the audio will be on the net at 10AM

Booman Tribune ~ BREAKING: Sandra Day O'Connor Speaks out and unbelievably says

Booman Tribune : Death Threats For Critics - It's What Bush Cultists Do

12 death treats just for comparing Bush to Hitler.. Steve D says "I guess simply calling us traitors, and hoping we get killed by terrorists just doesn't do it for them at this point" - Sigh... -- law


Perhaps you've heard the story of Jay Bennish, a geography teacher in a Colorado high school. One of his students secretly taped his class discussion without asking permission from Mr. Bennish. In that class discussion Bennish compared Bush's justifications for his pre-emptive war policy in Iraq to similar tactics employed by Hitler.



Not surprisingly, Mr. Bennish's penchant for apt comparisons caused an uproar among the character assassins of the right, one of whom sent an email to the school which led to Bennish's suspension [Note: The student who had taped the class and his father had not bothered to inform the school or the teacher in an attempt to resolve their concerns. Instead they simply went public on the internet with their outrage, which is why the school, and Mr. Bennish did not learn of the issue until the email was received.]



That wasn't enough for the rabid right, however. Bennish soon became a cause celebre on numerous right wing talk shows, and across the wingnut blogosphere, all because he dared to suggest that President Bush's war policies. However, while 150 student supporters of Bennish peacefully protested his suspension, Bennish opponents employed a different tactic to make their point:



DENVER - The father of a Colorado teacher who compared President Bush's State of the Union address to speeches made by Adolf Hitler said he and his family have received at least 12 death threats.


Booman Tribune ~ Death Threats For Critics - It's What Bush Cultists Do