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Saturday, 29 January 2005
Rummy's unruhe.

As I noted on the 16th of Dec., and the WaPo is just getting around to reporting, Rummy is having second thoughts about going to Germany for a major security conference in Munich.

The belated report in today's edition says:

"Will Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld skip a major security affairs conference in Germany next month or won't he?

Two weeks ago, he sent word to organizers of the annual event not to expect him, saying he would be traveling elsewhere in mid-February.

The news, reported in Germany but not announced here, prompted complaints that Rumsfeld was snubbing Europe and speculation that his move was in reaction to a legal complaint filed against him in Germany.

By late yesterday, however, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, Lawrence T. Di Rita, was waffling on the secretary's plans. He said Rumsfeld is weighing a number of "competing scheduling priorities," including other possible travel and preparation for congressional testimony on the defense budget. Di Rita left open the possibility Rumsfeld will attend the conference.

"I just don't know who will end up representing the Department of Defense," Di Rita said in a phone interview. [Sounds like they're a little off message.]

The German press agency Deutsche Presse Agentur first reported last week that Rumsfeld had decided not to go to Munich. The agency said the decision was prompted by a criminal complaint, filed Nov. 30 with the federal prosecutor's office in Germany, accusing him of war crimes in connection with detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The 160-page complaint was brought by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, a group of lawyers representing four Iraqis who say they were mistreated at the prison outside Baghdad.

In addition to Rumsfeld, the complaint singles out eight other high-ranking U.S. military authorities and former CIA director George J. Tenet.

It is based on a German law, enacted in 2002, that gives the Karlsruhe Court "universal jurisdiction" in cases involving alleged war crimes. A prosecutor is obligated to investigate the claims but does not have to act on them further.

So far, German authorities have said that the complaint against Rumsfeld and the others is being studied.

Rumsfeld is known to have fumed privately with aides about the case. But Di Rita said it has had "nothing to do" with the secretary's deliberations over whether to attend the conference..." [Yeah, right.]

"Geneva Conventions? Obsolete rubbish."

Michael Ratner, the lawyer leading this case said on Democracynow.org yesterday about this issue:

"There was an article in the Washington Post today that said that the Pentagon denies that he isn't going because of the lawsuit. What I think is really happened here is floated a - it's not a rumor, it may be true he's not going - but floated it as a way of putting pressure on the German government to say: "Get rid of this lawsuit."

This is serious business, we're considering not sending Rumsfeld there. But on the high -- on the level of calling them, "No, no, no, this isn't what this is about." And I think what the conferences February 11 and 12, it is the major security conference for Europe, the Secretary of Defense has been going for 40-some years.

My view is we're reaching a point in this lawsuit in Germany where something is going to give.

We're filing major new papers, actually, today and Monday. One of them, of course, names Alberto Gonzales now as an additional defendant in the case."

One of the key people, Keitel,(Wilhelm Keitel) who got a death sentence in Germany was the man who scrawled on a memo to the high command about Russian soldiers that said, "Geneva Conventions? Obsolete rubbish."

Remember the word that Gonzales used to describe Geneva, "obsolete". And when they sentenced Keitel to death, what they said was one of the reasons we're giving you the death penalty is for basically saying the Geneva Conventions are obsolete."

Yes, that Alberto Gonzales is a real piece of work. Turns out the dems in the senate want to have more debate on the nomination before they're ready to vote.

Gosh, it looked so easy for Bush and Co. before the inauguration didn't it? Condi would be confirmed as W was being sworn in and Alberto (Waterboard boy) would be right after.

That pesky torture memo and his lies and distortions in his oral and written testimony are making even some republicans queasy. Do we have another Bernard Kerik here?

The Bushies seems very off balance here the past few days. They've swallowed the Koolaid and they believe their own hype and I think all this opposition is knocking them for a loop.

Voting holiday in Iraq.

That's what their calling the lock down of Iraq, a "holiday!" That's rich.

On the first day of the holiday, insurgents pierced the green zone and killed two Americans on the grounds of the embassy. If we can't protect the green zone, how can we protect anything there?

A.P. reports:

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents hit the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with a rocket Saturday, killing two Americans.

Militants also set off explosions that killed eight Iraqis and a U.S. soldier and blasted polling places across the country Saturday as Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's government urged Iraqis to overcome their fear of violence and vote in landmark elections.

Seven American soldiers were killed Friday in the Baghdad area, including two pilots who died in the crash of their OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter. [Two helicopters and 44 soldiers dead in two days.]

Attacks on polling stations were reported in at least eight cities from Dohuk in the far north to Basra in the south.

In Basra...hundreds of Iraqi police uniforms have gone missing in Iraq's second largest city and may be in the hands of insurgents to help them slip through checkpoints, according to a report by the British media pool.

Four police vehicles were stolen by insurgents from a prison at Umm Qasr south if Basra, British authorities said, raising fears the cars could be used in suicide attacks."

Have no fear,though, our naked emperor said in his Saturday radio address that:

"As democracy takes hold in Iraq, America's mission there will continue. Our military forces, diplomats and civilian personnel will help the newly elected government of Iraq establish security and train Iraqi military police and other forces.

Terrorist violence will not end with the election. [Now, he tells us!] Yet the terrorists will fail because the Iraqi people reject their ideology of murder."

Or maybe the Iraqis, our puppets and the insurgents, will just force us out altogether.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:04 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 29 January 2005 4:05 PM EST
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Friday, 28 January 2005
Plausible denial of everything for W.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to do this thing these days so I missed a bunch of stuff I'd like to make snarky comments about, but can I just say that inauguration was a total sham.

I mean, look at the amount of security around bush going down Pennsylvania Ave. My God, it looked like we were invading Baghdad again. Did anyone notice the 10 lines of police in front of the protest pen at John Marshall park?

What did they think they were going to do? There were obviously many dangerous people like Michael Berg and that crazy Sue Niederer! Quick, call out Delta Force!

The Washington Post reported that despite the ring of steel around the motorcade someone managed to hit the M1 limo with an orange at 13th and Penn.

Condi, uniquely unqualified.

Condi Rice showed her usual lack of respect for the truth and the congress with her testimony at her confirmation hearing. Thank God for Barbara Boxer.

Can you believe Diane Feinstein? What is her deal?
Has she forgotten about Harvey Milk and where she came from and what she fought for? Disgusting!

One thing no one brought up was Rice's insistence that nobody could have known Al-Qaeda would use planes as weapons.

As I wrote last year:

"In her Op-ED "9/11: For The Record" [March,22] Condoleezza Rice continues to claim "Despite what some have suggested, we received no intelligence that terrorists were preparing to attack the homeland using airplanes as missiles." There is, however, ample evidence to the contrary.

An article in the Washington Post by Steve Fainaru [Clues pointed to changing terrorist tactics, May 19 2002] reported that Abdul Hakim Murad, a Pakistani national, told Philippine authorities in the mid-nineties he would "crash a light aircraft loaded with explosives into CIA headquarters at Langley."

The article also says that during the Genoa summit in July of 2001 "...the Italian government closed airspace over Genoa and mounted antiaircraft batteries based on information that Islamic extremists were planning to use an airplane to kill President Bush."

Other examples of terrorist plots employing airplanes as missiles that should have been known to Ms. Rice have been cited to the National Commission on Terrorism Attacks Upon the United States."

Before she testified at the 9/11 commission, which she said on 60 minutes she would never do to preserve a "very important principle," she said she had "misspoke" and that she did know about planes being used as weapons.

Here is a record of her Misstatements on this subject.

To me, lying to the American people and the families of the 9/11 attacks is much more of an issue and should have disqualified her for such a high office.

How about that "Iraqi Stabilization Group" that Bush appointed her to lead, by the way? How's that going?
Remember, she was supposed to go in there and cut through the BS and get it done? What happened?

[Washington, 8 October 2003 (RFE/RL--

At a news conference in Washington on 6 October, U.S. President George W. Bush expressed confidence that all is going well in Iraq.

"The situation is improving on a daily basis inside Iraq. People are freer, the security situation is getting better, the infrastructure is getting better, the schools are opening, the hospitals are being modernized," Bush said.

During the same appearance, however, Bush appeared to contradict that conclusion by discussing the creation of the Iraq Stabilization Group, under which the ultimate oversight of Iraqi reconstruction will no longer rest with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld but with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and the White House National Security Council.]

I really can't think of anyone less qualified for the job of Secretary of State. She is just a travesty.

But, don't say anything, she like Alberto "waterboard" Gonzales, are great American success stories. Is this the republican version of Affirmative action?

37 killed yesterday, defending freedom.

We lost a lot of good people yesterday, so its good that the president came right out and said he was sorry. Oh, he didn't? He had to be asked about it?

What did he say about it?

"The story today is going to be very discouraging to the American people. I understand that. We value life. And we weep and mourn when soldiers lose their life.

But it is the long-term objective that is vital, and that is to spread freedom.

I though it was mushroom clouds and WMD that they were dying for. I hope the parents and family members of those who died realize it's for the freedom of the world they died for.

Remember, Iran is next.

Since W didn't read Seymour Hersh's article, or the Washington Post story on secret pentagon teams going around the world doing god knows what in our name, he can't comment. Seems like everything the White House does is designed to be plausibly denied.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:28 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 29 January 2005 4:19 PM EST
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Friday, 21 January 2005
It's all about freedom...

The media is falling over itself to figure out what the hell Bush meant in his inaugural speech.

"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

Does he really mean it? Are we going into the world building biz? This from a president who accused Clinton of too much nation building?

The truth is, this is all about laying the groundwork for attacking Iran. They're tyrants right? Somehow we'll find some Iranians somewhere who are hell bent on us bombing the crap out of them.

Remember the tearjerking congressional testimony of the Kuwaiti girl relating the baby being taken out of the incubators story, which was totally bogus? The girl who later turned out to be the daughter of a Kuwaiti diplomat?

The Shah's son lives in Potomic, a very snooty rich part of DC, and he's got a lot of money to throw around. Maybe, we set him up after we "liberate" the Iranians.

If we don't do it Israel will!!!!

While everyone was scratchig their heads over Bush's new plan for world freedom Cheney was scaring everyone. (As usual.)

According to the Jerusalem Post:

"If the Israelis became convinced the Iranians had significant nuclear capability, given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards," Cheney said.

Senior Israeli officials said Cheney's comment was more a warning to the Europeans and the international community that they have to take a more concerted action to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power, than a warning to Israel not to act."

In other words, blackmailing the world with Israel's nukes again.

"One official, who said that Cheney "never misspeaks," said it was telling that the first part of Cheney's statement gave a justification for Israeli action, since he said that Iran's has as a stated objective the elimination of Israel.

"The point of his comments is that he is telling the world that unless they act, there is no telling what Israel would do. And then who knows what the consequence may be," the official said. "His point is that the world should act now, rather than have to deal with a much more difficult situation later."

Of course, it's all about Israel.

Condi Rice also weighed in on the Iranian situation as relates to Israel in her testimony to the senate foreign relations commitee. She told Senator Chefee:

"It's really hard to find common ground with a government that thinks Israel should be extinguished.

It's difficult to find common ground with a government that is supporting Hezbollah and terrorist organizations that are determined to undermine the Middle East peace that we seek."

I should think Ariel Sharon was more of an inpedimrnt, but what do I know? She's going to be the new Secretary of State, right? And she's so well qualified.

She's a good liar anyway.

She went on...

"...a theocratic government that has a view that the mullahs ought to rule, that has no rights -- or has a human rights record that is really appalling and that treats its citizens, its women in that way, is not a regime with which I think we have very much common ground, particularly given the way that we would like to see the Middle East develop."

Was she taling about Iran or Saudi Arabia?

According to the NY Times:

"In a rare public display, the Saudi government announced on Tuesday that a religious court had sentenced 15 demonstrators, including one woman, to public lashings and prison terms for taking part in demonstrations against the government..."


We don't have any problems finding common ground with 14th century mullahs who have lots of oil.


Neocons gone wild.

The point of this whole thing, which the media is missing out on, is that the neocons have totally taken over the White House. Cheney and Rummy are firmly in control.

They have seen no downside to their egregious mistakes so far, in fact they've gotten medals, so they are on to their next disaster.

Anyone who thinks they've learned their lesson in Iraq is dreaming.

Iraq is a great success! They're moving on.

Read the "March of Folly" by Barbara Tuchman!

Cassandra is at Gitmo!

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:46 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 28 January 2005 3:56 PM EST
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Tuesday, 18 January 2005
News flash! President: "Bin Laden is hiding."

It appears now that the president has had his "accountability moment" and decided the people want him to continue the good job he's doing in Iraq. According to the WaPo in an extensive interview he said :

"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections,"

"The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."

Well, that's that.

See David Frommkin's Washington briefing which says to the contrary that:

"...when it comes to Iraq, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that "58 percent disapprove of his handling of the situation to 40 percent who approve, and 44 percent said the war was worth fighting."

It doesn't matter what the facts may be, the president isn't a fact checker, remember?

And he doesn't read papers. We're all viewing things through the "filter."

On to Iran...

Seymour Hersh is at it again, he says in a New Yorker article we've got troops in Iran and we're getting ready for a big strike there.

"In my interviews, I was repeatedly told that the next strategic target was Iran. "Everyone is saying, `You can't be serious about targeting Iran. Look at Iraq,'" the former intelligence official told me.

"But they say, `We've got some lessons learned--not militarily, but how we did it politically. We're not going to rely on agency pissants.' No loose ends, and that's why the C.I.A. is out of there."

Hear an interview at democracynow.

The pentagon is naturally poo pooing the notion but they haven't denied it.

Where's Osama?

In case you were wondering what ever happened to Osama, by the way...

Asked why Bin Laden hadn't been found yet, you remember him, the one who actually attacked us?

Bush answers "Because he's hiding."

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:39 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 29 January 2005 4:24 PM EST
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Wednesday, 29 December 2004
Cheap bastards!

The U.S. first announced they would give $15 million in disaster relief for the Southeast Asia's Tsunami victoms.

But when some questioned the level of the commitment of the U.S., the administration got touchy.

NYT:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 - Rejecting a United Nations official's suggestion that it had been a "stingy" aid donor, the Bush administration on Tuesday announced another $20 million in relief for victims of the Asian earthquake and tsunamis and dispatched an aircraft carrier and other ships to the region for possible relief operations. [They meant to do that all along, I'm sure.]

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, displaying irritation with the suggestion of American stinginess, said the United States had been the most generous of aid donors in recent years and that, in any case, the sums announced so far were "just a start" of a larger sustained effort.

According to the Congressional Research Service, an independent agency, the United States is the largest aid donor in terms of dollars, but its record of donating two-tenths of 1 percent of its national economy for foreign aid makes it among the smallest donors as a proportion of what it could theoretically afford.

Countering that argument, the State Department acknowledges on an official Web site that its direct economic aid is "the smallest among government foreign assistance programs" but that the "true measure" of American generosity should include private money.

80 Billion more for Iraq:

If we could have only bombed the crap out of that damn tidal wave...

AP:

US President George W. Bush is expected to seek authorisation for spending of an additional 80 billion dollars in Iraq , the head of a visiting congressional delegation said.

"In early February, there will be ... a supplemental appropriation in addition to the 2006 budget for defence submitted to Congress," Jim Kolbe, Republican congressman from Arizona, told reporters.
He estimated the extra funding to range between 75 to 80 billion dollars.

If we only had to money to lend, really we would, but...

Currently Iraq has cost us somewhere in the range of...

$147,393,300,000

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:55 PM EST
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Tuesday, 21 December 2004
Torture A-okay.
At his year end press conference Bush waxed poetic on Rummy and his love for the troops...

"I know Secretary Rumsfeld's heart," Bush said..."Sometimes, perhaps, his demeanor is rough and gruff, but beneath that rough and gruff, no-nonsense demeanor is a good human being who cares deeply about the military, and deeply about the grief that war causes," Bush said.

Right, grumpy old grandpa just doesn't care too much about human rights or the rule of law.

The NYT reports today:

"...documents, released Monday in connection with a lawsuit accusing the government of being complicit in torture, also include accounts by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who said they had seen detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, being chained in uncomfortable positions for up to 24 hours and left to urinate and defecate on themselves.

An agent wrote that in one case a detainee who was nearly unconscious had pulled out much of his hair during the night.

One of the memorandums released Monday was addressed to Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director, and other senior bureau officials, and it provided the account of someone "who observed serious physical abuses of civilian detainees" in Iraq.

The memorandum, dated June 24 this year, was an "Urgent Report," meaning that the sender regarded it as a priority. It said the witness "described that such abuses included strangulation, beatings, placement of lit cigarettes into the detainees' ear openings and unauthorized interrogations."

But it's all okay because the Wall Street Journal says:

Bush administration lawyers contended last year that the president wasn't bound by laws prohibiting torture and that government agents who might torture prisoners at his direction couldn't be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

The advice was part of a classified report on interrogation methods prepared for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after commanders at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, complained in late 2002 that with conventional methods they weren't getting enough information from prisoners.

The president, despite domestic and international laws constraining the use of torture, has the authority as commander in chief to approve almost any physical or psychological actions during interrogation, up to and including torture, the report argued.

The Sgt. Schultz defense

Civilian or military personnel accused of torture or other war crimes have several potential defenses, including the "necessity" of using such methods to extract information to head off an attack, or "superior orders," sometimes known as the Nuremberg defense: namely that the accused was acting pursuant to an order and, as the Nuremberg tribunal put it, no "moral choice was in fact possible."

Evidence abtained by torture a-okay too

Evidence gained by torture can be used by the U.S. military in deciding whether to imprison a foreigner indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an enemy combatant, the government says.

Statements produced under torture have been inadmissible in U.S. courts for about 70 years. But the U.S. military panels reviewing the detention of 550 foreigners as enemy combatants at the U.S. naval base in Cuba are allowed to use such evidence, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Brian Boyle acknowledged at a U.S. District Court hearing Thursday.

About 70 years ago, the Supreme Court stopped the use of evidence produced by third-degree tactics largely on the theory that it was totally unreliable," Harvard Law Professor Philip B. Heymann, a former deputy U.S. attorney general, said in an interview. Subsequent high court rulings were based on revulsion at "the unfairness and brutality of it and later on the idea that confessions ought to be free and uncompelled."

Leon asked whether U.S. courts could review detentions based on evidence from torture conducted by U.S. personnel.

Boyle said torture was against U.S. policy and any allegations of it would be "forwarded through command channels for military discipline." He added, "I don't think anything remotely like torture has occurred at Guantanamo" but noted that some U.S. soldiers there had been disciplined for misconduct...

Of course, always the lowly soldier never the 'Gruff" old secretary of defence.

Meanwhile at our closest ally's own gitmo.

The British Law Lords ruled indefinite detentions are more dangerous than terrorists.

BBC:

Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, in his ruling, said: "Indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial is anathema in any country which observes the rule of law.

"It deprives the detained person of the protection a criminal trial is intended to afford."

In a blow to the government's anti-terror measures, the House of Lords ruled by an eight to one majority in favour of appeals by nine detainees.

The Law Lords said the measures were incompatible with European human rights laws..." [That must be old Europe.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:41 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 29 December 2004 4:20 PM EST
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Saturday, 18 December 2004
Iraqi borders secure, security forces in control.

What was Bush thinking with the Bernard Kerik nomination for Homeland [Die Heimat!] security?

NYT reports today:

"Mr. Kerik, Republicans said, was just the kind of plain-talking law-and-order man held in awe by the president.

"The president loves cops," said a Republican close to the White House who insisted on anonymity because he did not want the president and his advisers to know he was talking about an embarrassing blow-up of a cabinet nomination.

"They're not pretentious, they do a hard job, they don't get paid a lot of money [Just like Bush!], they're real people and they live in a world that is fairly black and white, with good guys and bad guys. And that's the way President Bush looks at the world."

Mr. Bush was especially grateful, White House officials said, that Mr. Kerik agreed to train a police force in Iraq in the summer of 2003..."

Yeah, that went well. He said at the time "I will be there at least six months - until the job is done," but left just three months later. Soon after, the UN compound was blown up. Mission Accomplished.

Read Sidney Blumenthal's take on this issue. It's hillarious. This guy has got his head so far up his tuchus...oy! Unglaub'

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:28 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 18 December 2004 2:33 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Thursday, 16 December 2004
We want Rumsfeld's head!

It's bad enough John McCain says he has "no confidence" in Donald Rumsfeld, but when William Kristal turns on you, you know your goose is cooked.

He says in an Op-Ed in the WaPo:

"All defense secretaries in wartime have, needless to say, made misjudgments. Some have stubbornly persisted in their misjudgments. But have any so breezily dodged responsibility and so glibly passed the buck?

...Contrast the magnificent performance of our soldiers with the arrogant buck-passing of Rumsfeld.

...These soldiers deserve a better defense secretary than the one we have."

Pretty strong stuff. But wait, there's more. Now Trent "the confederacy yet lives!" Lott is out to get him...

AP reports:

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should be replaced sometime in the next year, Sen. Trent Lott says.

"I'm not a fan of Secretary Rumsfeld," Lott told the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. "I don't think he listens enough to his uniformed officers."

War Criminal too?

We already know Henry Kissinger can't go to certain countries, such as France, because he might wind up under arrest, but it is a surprise to find out Rummy might be canceling his trip to another "old Europe" country-namely Germany-because of all things, he might be indicted:

Democracy Now reports:

"Donald Rumsfeld is considering canceling a planned trip to Germany after U.S. lawyers filed a lawsuit against Rumsfeld in German courts. This according to a report in the German magazine Focus.

The center for constitutional rights filed a complaint accusing Rumsfeld of war crimes and torture in connection with the mistreatment of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib.

German laws allows the trial of war crimes regardless of where they are carried out. Rumsfeld said he won't go to Germany for the Munich Security Conference if the government indicates it will investigate the war crime complaint."

See more on this issue at Scoop.

Of course, the more incompetent you are the more likely you are to get a Medal, just like George "slam dunk" Tenent and L. Paul "fire the Iraqi army" Bremer.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:55 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 18 December 2004 2:05 PM EST
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Tuesday, 14 December 2004
Gary Webb dead and still discredited.

Today the L.A. Times reported on the death of Gary Webb author of "Dark Alliance" a book investigating the Contra/CIA/cocaine connection during the eighties.

The Times said:

"His 1996 San Jose Mercury News series contended that Nicaraguan drug traffickers had sold tons of crack cocaine from Colombian cartels in Los Angeles' black neighborhoods and then funneled millions in profits back to the CIA-supported Nicaraguan Contras.

Three months after the series was published, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said it conducted an exhaustive investigation but found no evidence of a connection between the CIA and Southern California drug traffickers. [Well, there you go, case closed!]

Major newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Washington Post, wrote reports discrediting elements of Webb's reporting.

"But the available evidence, based on an extensive review of court documents and more than 100 interviews in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington and Managua, fails to support any of those allegations," The Times reported." [All bow down to the TIMES!]

Because of Webb's reports in the San Jose Mercuriy News, from which he left after they demoted him, the CIA's Inspector General launched an investigation about which Robert Parry writes at consortiumnews.com:

"In secret congressional testimony, senior CIA officials admitted that the spy agency turned a blind eye to evidence of cocaine trafficking by U.S.-backed Nicaraguan contra rebels in the 1980s and generally did not treat drug smuggling through Central America as a high priority during the Reagan administration.

"In the end the objective of unseating the Sandinistas appears to have taken precedence over dealing properly with potentially serious allegations against those with whom the agency was working," CIA Inspector General Britt Snider said in classified testimony on May 25, 1999.

He conceded that the CIA did not treat the drug allegations in "a consistent, reasoned or justifiable manner."

Still, Snider and other officials sought to minimize the seriousness of the CIA's misconduct - a position echoed by a House Intelligence Committee report released in May and by press coverage it received. In particular, CIA officials insisted that CIA personnel did not order the contras to engage in drug trafficking and did not directly join in the smuggling.

Deep in the report, the House committee noted that in some cases, "CIA employees did nothing to verify or disprove drug trafficking information, even when they had the opportunity to do so. In some of these, receipt of a drug allegation appeared to provoke no specific response, and business went on as usual."

Parry's interview on democracynow.org

The CIA Inspector General said more than 50 Contras and Contra units were implicated in the cocaine trade, that the CIA knew about it in real time, that it hid the evidence, that it obstructed justice. All of these things were admitted by the CIA itself, by 1998, in response to Webb's series.

The great tragedy, I suppose, of the personal tragedy and professional, is that despite these admissions, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the L.A. Times still refused to deal with the facts. It seemed almost like the editors had more of a stake in covering up the truth than the CIA did. So, Gary Webb's career was allowed to be ruined.

The people who were involved in these -- in protecting the CIA from those major papers, their careers blossomed. Jerry Seapost, the executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News, who sold out Webb and his series received an award from the Society of Professional Journalists for ethics because of what he did.

So, it seemed like all of the people that did the wrong thing got the benefits, and Gary Webb and people who -- including John Kerry, who did honorable work on this topic, received no benefits at all, and in fact were damaged."

It should also be noted at the time when all the media was gunning for Webb the major papers like the New York Times and the L.A. Times were writing about blacks like they were some sort of idiots for believing the government was behind crack.

See This Modern World's take on this issue. Very funny!

Crazy blacks! It's not like General Claire Chennault, of the famous WWII "Flying Tigers" wasn't flying heroin out of China and flying prostitues back in. And it's not like he had anything to do with CIA airlines during Vietnam, flying heroin out in body bags.

See Drug Fallout: by Alfred McCoy for more on this.

Also, includes background on our involvment with the opium trade in Afghanistan in the Soviet invasion era. God knows what they're up to now.

I'm sure we're doing our best to irradicate that scurge! That's why Afghani opium is the #1 source of heroin in Europe.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:52 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 14 December 2004 4:55 PM EST
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Monday, 13 December 2004
News from Fallujah, the

On Sunday we lost 8 more marines in Fallujah and we dropped 10 "precision" bombs on insurgent positions.

Its pretty obvious we've broken their will to fight.

One soldier was killed today and a number were injured.

According to the AP:

"In the northern city of Mosul, a car bomb blast struck a U.S. Stryker brigade patrol Monday, wounding two American soldiers. U.S. troops and gunmen fought gun battles after the blast.

In Tarmiyah, on Baghdad's northern outskirts, three more U.S. troops were wounded in a car bombing that wrecked two Humvees, pieces of which were raised into the air by jubilant Iraqi men who danced around their charred hulks and a large crater blown into the road."

McCain on Rummy:

PHOENEX- U.S. Sen. John McCain said Monday that he has "no confidence" in Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, citing Rumsfeld's handling of the war in Iraq and the failure to send more troops.

McCain, speaking to The Associated Press in an hourlong interview, said his comments were not a call for Rumsfeld's resignation, explaining that President Bush "can have the team that he wants around him."

Like Bernard Kerlik?

The WaPo reports beside the nanny issue there were about a zillion other problems with this nomination:

And although Kerik's nanny problems are what officially sunk him, it turns out there were several other controversies erupting -- or about to erupt -- that the White House either missed or wasn't concerned about.

"Newsday reported that Kerik just last week was forced to testify in a civil lawsuit about an alleged affair with a subordinate. The New York Daily News reported Sunday that Kerik accepted thousands of dollars in cash and gifts without making proper public disclosures.

Newsweek on Friday Web-posted a story that a New Jersey judge had issued a warrant for Kerik's arrest in 1998 in a civil dispute over unpaid condominium fees.

And this morning, the New York Times describes a "web of relationships Mr. Kerik developed with officials of a New Jersey construction company long suspected by New York authorities of connections to organized crime."

Democracy Now adds this is just the tip of the iceberg.:

"The Washington Post reports that nine employees of the hospital Kerik worked at providing security in Saudi Arabia accused him of using his policing powers to pursue the personal agenda of his immediate boss.

Questions have also been raised about Kerik's misuse of police power while the head of the New York police department. In one example, he was fined for using the services of three police officers to help research his autobiography "The Lost Son." He was also accused of sending homicide police officers to question Fox News journalists after the book's publisher, Judith Regan, lost a mobile phone after an interview at the Fox studios. It turned out to have just been misplaced.

Kerik has also coming under close scrutiny for his windfall profit from stock options in stun-gun manufacturer, Taser International. He netted over $5.5 million on the options, without ever having invested any of his own money.

Questions have also raised about his failure in Iraq to train a new Iraqi police force. Kerik went to Iraq for a six month tour of duty to help rebuild the Iraqi police force but he abruptly left after just three months.

On Thursday, the day before he withdrew his name from contention, Kerik was forced to testify in a civil lawsuit about an alleged affair with a subordinate.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a close friend of Kerik who reportedly pressed hard for his nomination, apologized to the President Bush Sunday for the problems with his nomination.

Do these guys read the newspapers?

The NYT reports:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 - Senior administration officials on Sunday defended the White House review of Bernard B. Kerik's background before his nomination as secretary of homeland security. One official said that even "controversial" material uncovered in a weeklong review had not appeared to endanger Mr. Kerik's confirmation. [Ha!]

In interviews, the officials denied that the White House review of Mr. Kerik's background had been rushed. Scott McClellan, President Bush's press secretary, called it "a very thorough vetting process" that "looked at all the issues relating to his public, financial and personal background."

The review of Mr. Kerik's record was centered in the office of the White House counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, who is himself in the midst of the preconfirmation process as the president's nominee to succeed John Ashcroft as attorney general."

Nice work Alberto! Lets hope he has better luck with Bin Laden.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:45 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 18 December 2004 2:07 PM EST
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