Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 22, 2007

Open Threat

If you don't comment, BLOGCOM may win.

News & views ....

Posted by b on February 22, 2007 at 08:11 AM | Permalink

Comments

re vbo link (liberated as there is no permanent link)


ROBERT FISK INTERVIEW

What to do about Iraq? The British are scaling back their troops in Basra. Australia is refusing to budge, pledging to stay the course with allies the United States. But it's not just about Iraq - the Middle East is beset with Shia-Sunni Muslim conflict, an increasingly powerful Iran and the Palestinian-Israeli peace process stalled. We spoke to a correspondent for 'The Independent' newspaper, Robert Fisk, to obtain his views on the latest developments.

STAN GRANT: Robert Fisk, a lot of things to get to in a short period of time, unfortunately, but let's start in Basra. Depending on who you listen to, this is mission accomplished or a sign of failure - the British scaling back the troops. How do you see it?

ROBERT FISK, BRITAIN'S 'INDEPENDENT' NEWSPAPER: Well, it's a total sign of failure. The whole project in Iraq, which is basically President Bush's project, is in a state of total collapse. We've lost, we've lost the war in Iraq and that's the first thing. And we're in the process, by the way, of losing the war in Afghanistan. I think there is no other way of looking at it. Mind you, Britain is not actually withdrawing a huge number of troops and given the lack of credibility of anything Blair says at the moment I'm not sure we'll actually see those withdrawals within the next few months of Blair claims. Not many people in Britain actually believe their own prime minister anymore because he's told so many lies. But, clearly, it is a sign first of all that British military commanders are getting the message home to the government that they've got to get out and it's clearly a sign that the so-called coalition of the willing, as you say, of which Britain was supposed to be part of the backbone, and certainly was one of the invading forces, is falling apart. STAN GRANT: Let me pick you up on the point you made about the war in Iraq being lost. Does that then mean, in your assessment, that the US, the Australians and others should all just pack up and leave or should they stay and try to maintain or bring some order to Iraq?

ROBERT FISK: There was quite a lot of order in Iraq before we invaded and we obviously have a moral responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who've been cruelly killed since 2003, but we keep saying, "We didn't intend this to happen but now we've got to stay to sort it out." I don't think the Americans are going to. It's very interesting that American commentators are now in papers like the 'New York Times' making some extremely unpleasant comments about the Iraqi people as a people - that they're tribal, that they're bloodthirsty. We had a comment from a State Department spokesman the other day saying that American patience won't last forever. We were impatient to invade in 2003 and now we're impatient to leave. The whole thing comes down to this - we must leave, we will leave and we can't leave. And that is the equation that turns sand into blood. STAN GRANT: If the Americans leave, as you say they must, you create a power vacuum. What happens then? You have a loss of American prestige, implications for that in the Middle-East and also Iran stepping in to that power vacuum. How are you see that playing out?

ROBERT FISK: First of all there is a power vacuum already because America can no longer assert any kind of control over most of Iraq, with the exception of the Kurdish north, and there aren't many Americans there anyway. You've got to realise that Iran, in a sense, is already in Iraq. It's in the government, which lives in the little green zone. Most of the major parties which are part of the Iraqi government, supported by us - you and the Americans and my country - most of these parties were actually created inside Iran during the Saddam Hussein period, many of them, actually during the period of the Iran-Iraq War. So in a sense, you see, the Iranians are already in the Iraqi government. There's no point in saying, "Oh, my goodness. What will happen in the power vacuum?"

STAN GRANT: That raises the question, though, doesn't it, about how do you then deal with Iran? Should the US deal directly with Iran. This is a country that under Ahmadinejad that is denying the Holocaust, threatening to wipe Israel off the map, arming Hezbollah, training and arming Hamas. How do you deal with Iran under those circumstances?

ROBERT FISK: The Americans will have to talk to Iran if they're not already doing so and they'll have to talk to Syria as well. The fact that the President or Iran is obviously a bit cracked shouldn't change the fact that he doesn't actually command armies or field missiles. That's done by much more serious people, perhaps more sinister, but certainly more serious. I think it's easy to find in the Middle East various crackpots of which Colonel Gaddafi of Libya is another whom we can then focus on as being the centre of world madness. Iran is not a crazy country. You've got to remember, by the way, as we like to forget that it was the Shah he brought nuclear power to Iran. He actually said he wanted a nuclear weapon and was politely interviewed in New York about it. And it was Ayatollah Khomenei on the takeover of the government by the Islamic revolution that actually closed down nuclear facilities. I was in Tehran and Khomenei called it the work of the devil. He wanted it closed down. It was only restarted when Saddam, with our support, started showering gas into Iran during the Iran-Iraq War from 1980-1988 that the Iranians decided, "Well, Saddam will use nuclear weapons next. We better reopen our nuclear facilities." This is part of the story we're not told. We just believe a bunch of mullahs the moors want nuclear weapons. I don't think Iran is anything like the danger it's claimed to be.

STAN GRANT: If, as you say, the war in Iraq is lost, US prestige is suffering, what does that then mean for trying to bring a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis?

ROBERT FISK: The Americans have shown themselves totally incapable of doing that. They will put no pressure on Israel. They're still chanting the same words as Israel does - that Hamas has to hold by all its agreements reached by the former PLO administration. I think it should, but so should Israel and Israel has broken every withdrawal agreement under Oslo, but that's not being mentioned. I think the Americans have proved themselves a fake peacemaker in the Middle East and I think the more they have mature discussions with everyone and stop spreading their soldiers all over the region, a lot more peaceful this area will become.

Posted by: DM | Feb 22, 2007 8:26:29 AM | 1

RIOTS IN SYDNEY AHEAD OF CHENEY VISIT
Police and demonstrators have clashed in the centre of Sydney tonight in a protest against the visit of United States Vice-President Dick Cheney. Police moved in when the protesters started to march down George Street from their Town Hall rallying point. Mounted police assisted in the operation as up to three demonstrators were led away. The protest which police say was not authorised comes just hours before Mr Cheney's arrival in Sydney.

Posted by: DM | Feb 22, 2007 8:28:36 AM | 2

Beppe Grillo is probably completely unknown outside of Italy but he would fit in very well with this crowd. Here is what he says about the current government of Italy.

The TAV is going ahead. Base 2 at Vicenza is going ahead. We’re in the Lebanon. We’re staying in Kabul. The conflict of interests is of no interest. The election law is just fine as it is. The “ad personam” laws are even useful to the Left and they are not eliminated. The pardon has even been of use to the Left and that is why it got voted in. The government listens. It’s always listening. It’s a good government. It does things that don’t even please its Ministers. Who aren’t pleasing to the Italians. But they are very pleasing to the Americans, to the bankers, to the pretend industrialists, to the pretend journalists, to the local house of liberty. Prodi Marquis of Grillo doesn’t know what to say. He’s often silent. Sometimes he raises his voice but just with his wife. The message that goes out to the Nation, loud and clear, is always the same: “I’m very sorry, but we are who we are and you are nothing!” To get elected as a mayor in Italy you have to be a former Trades Unionist or a millionaire. The result doesn’t change. The arrogance of mayors and of local cabinet members as witnessed daily in this blog is without measure. The Broni-Mortara costs 900,000,000,000 Euro, the companies in the area are against it, as are the residents. But it is going ahead. The people of Milan don’t want the Zona Fiera to be disastrously entombed in tons of cement. But it is going ahead. The people of Serre don’t want a mega tip to destroy a wildlife reserve. But it is going ahead. The TAV in Val di Susa will cost 13,000,000,000 Euro. It’s of no use. The experts say so. University professors. The Valley is in revolt. But it is going ahead. My tour has started recently and even before I arrive in a town, the mayor and cabinet members declare that they don’t want to meet me. Even though I haven’t asked to meet them. The local administrators and politicians should be representing the citizens. There are a few thousand of them compared to 58 million Italians who count for nothing whatever they do. Does this seem normal to you? How long can it last?

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 22, 2007 8:33:06 AM | 3

Christiane Amanpour: Iranian official offers glimpse from within: A desire for U.S. ally

As I sat down recently with a senior Iranian government official, he urgently waved a column by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times in my face, one about how the United States and Iran need to engage each other.

''Natural allies,'' this official said.

It was a surprising choice of words considering the barbs Washington and Tehran have been trading of late.

"We are not after conflict. We are not after crisis. We are not after war," said this official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "But we don't know whether the same is true in the U.S. or not. If the same is true on the U.S. side, the first step must be to end this vicious cycle that can lead to dangerous action -- war."

He confided that what he was telling me was not shared by all in the Iranian government, but it was endorsed so high up in the religious leadership that he felt confident spelling out the rationale.

"This view is not off the streets. It's not the reformist view and it's not even the view of the whole government," he replied.

But he insisted he was describing the thinking at the highest levels of the religious leadership -- the center of decision-making power in Iran.

I asked whether he meant Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself.

I guess she talked with Rafsandschani ... quite a peace offer.

Posted by: b | Feb 22, 2007 9:22:41 AM | 4

@b, re 4, what was the quote attributed to Sharon, is he dead yet BTW, about "we got the matches and they got the oil"?

This is what Israel fears most, a Iranian/US deal on Iranian terms.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Feb 22, 2007 11:15:06 AM | 5

Main reason why US is not talking to Iran is Israel. US Foreign poicy is hostage by Israel Government, they have the last words.
It is not in the interest of US to go into war with Iran , but it is in IOsrael interests...

Posted by: Haftruz | Feb 22, 2007 1:01:33 PM | 6

Permanent link to the interview with Fisk

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Feb 22, 2007 1:28:24 PM | 7

does anybody have a link to patrick cockburn's article this week - it's not at counterpunch

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 22, 2007 2:06:06 PM | 8

r'giap - Cockburn has piece today in The Independent: The retreat from Basra

It is an admission of defeat. Iraq is turning into one of the world's bloodiest battlefields in which nobody is safe.
...

Posted by: b | Feb 22, 2007 2:21:06 PM | 9

quite amazing reportage from afghanistan on aljazeera international - showing the complete control of helmand province by the taliban - & the complete absence of presence of any other authority

the taliban spoke of the fear of the british army to leave their bases

strange reportage tho - aljazeera must be taking their journalist straight from cambridge - very authoritative & firm

reporter also spoke of the strategic preparation as being very very stron indeed - this report is a fist in the face of all other commentaries & what was noticeable was the youth of the taliban

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 22, 2007 2:25:26 PM | 10

thanks b - that was the one i was looking for - do you get aljazeera int in germany - it is of extremely high quality - incomparable really - really does cover the globe - without them & b real i'd be lost in african affairs but as i've sd their reportage from south east asia & latin america - exceptional

one small example - in my knowledge they are the only ones to follow report by un icondemning the extrajudicial killings in the phillipines by the us trained army

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 22, 2007 2:29:52 PM | 11

Al-jazeera/eng is available in Germany with a paid subscription to the English cable package - @ €15/month with Kabel Deutschland. Many former CNNI and BBC personnel including Riz Khan. Although you see the same format and stage sets and running headlines below, etc. there are indeed longer reports, interviews and programming you do not find on other channels.

Posted by: Hamburger | Feb 22, 2007 3:43:09 PM | 12

I just noticed this thread was titled "Open Threat" not "Open Thread" -- ha ha b, you are making puns in English ... this one actually gave me quite a chuckle, once I noticed it. As for BLOGCOM... noooooooooooo... perish the thought.

LOL

Posted by: Bea | Feb 22, 2007 4:57:13 PM | 13

Is Sharon dead yet? mostly

Posted by: jcairo | Feb 22, 2007 6:40:36 PM | 14

jjust watched an imbecilic reportage faux defence of faux journalists on pbs

defending the honour of journalists

what honout?
what journalists?

for their responsibility/stenography in the illegal wars of the empire i'd happily see them - cooper, novak, miller et al spend the rest of their days in thpse maximum security prison big business builds

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 22, 2007 7:36:23 PM | 15

http://www.utne.com/webwatch/2007_288/news/12455-1.html> Those prisons big business builds...

Border control these days looks more like traffic control. While one hand closes the borders to undocumented immigrants, the other funnels them through cell doors. And the prison industry is all too happy to accept them. As reported on DemocracyNow!, the League of United Latino American Citizens (LULAC) says that a record number of more than 26,000 undocumented immigrants are now being detained in the United States.

According to Deepa Fernandes of CorpWatch, immigrants are the fastest growing prison population in the United States today, with courts processing 350,000 immigrants in fiscal year 2005. Those numbers translate to dollar signs for a prison industry that only six years ago was wallowing in a $1 billion debt. But that, Fernandes reports, was before a post-9/11 border crackdown, and before the "government began to target non-citizens with mass arrests during sweeps through immigrant communities."

Now the increase in detainees is winning the prison industry contracts to build new prisons to house them. And the influx of incarcerated immigrants has the added business value of providing prisons with a cheap labor force; since the Department of Homeland Security restricts non-citizen prisoners from earning more than $1 a day, the prisons get maintenance workers and janitors for a pittance. "The war on drugs has conveniently become a war on immigrants," Tucson attorney and human rights activist Isabel García told CorpWatch, "and there is a lot of money to be made in detaining immigrants."

one hand scratches the other.

and the GDP rises.

Posted by: DeAnander | Feb 22, 2007 8:35:38 PM | 16

She was LaVena Johnson, private first class, and she died near Balad, Iraq, on July 19, 2005, just eight days shy of her twentieth birthday. She was the first woman soldier from Missouri to die while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

another coverup?

Posted by: beq | Feb 22, 2007 9:07:20 PM | 17

Is reality television?

The idea was to purchase the trusted brand names of America’s fine journalistic institutions and use the fifty years of credibility they had established, that is, the authority they had as purveyors of reliable facts, to distribute psychological munitions that would allow them to do whatever they wanted brashly, publicly and conveniently, while shorting out any public opposition that might result by driving everyone in the country bat-shit insane.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 22, 2007 9:08:37 PM | 18

BTW I forgot to mention that they are http://www.alternet.org/rights/48308/>getting paid to jail children -- including toddlers.

words fail me.

Posted by: DeAnander | Feb 22, 2007 9:24:42 PM | 19

Unalienable Rights Department

Regarding DeAnander posts 16 & 19:
The hyper-linked articles illustrate very appalling situations that dig deep into America’s soul. The essence of human dignity, although progressing generally over the last 300 years, is now being degraded quickly and without outrage.

This document of July 4, 1776 declares that certain unalienable rights apply to all, specifically the right to life, the right to equality in dignity and law, the right to liberty, and the right to pursue happiness. Persons, laws or social contracts do not grant these unalienable rights, but to the contrary, governments are only ‘just’ when they hold or protect these truths.

To believe that 'foreigners' do not possess these unalienable rights is contrary to the ideals upon which America was founded.

Similarly, this recent decision by a U.S. District Court disallowing foreign detainees to challenge cases is equally disturbing.

[snip]
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 that civilian courts no longer have the authority to consider whether the military is illegally holding foreigners.
Barring detainees from the U.S. court system was a key provision in the Military Commissions Act, which Bush pushed through Congress last year to set up a system to prosecute terrorism suspects.

[snip]

Posted by: Rick | Feb 23, 2007 12:04:57 AM | 20

This article in The Guardian is about how widely torture is now used by the US government, and how it may have driven many to insanity.

We have to go the UK media to get this kind of information. Says a lot...

Please pass this information on to your friends and acquaintances.

Posted by: Chris Marlowe | Feb 23, 2007 12:50:30 AM | 21

Follow up from annie's tip on the Oklahoma City bombing...

Attorney: Ashcroft Gagged Nichols From Exposing McVeigh's OKC Bombing Conspirators

Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue dropped more bombshells on the U.S. government's involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing and its cover-up today, including the revelation that Timothy McVeigh's co-conspirator Terry Nichols was gagged from talking to the media years ago by John Ashcroft, in an attempt to silence Nichols from exposing the men who were directing McVeigh's attack on the Alfred P. Murrah building.

Can you say, 'methodical'?

Also, let's
FLASHBACK: Why Did Bill Clintons NSA fund BATF Research on ANFO Bombs?

According to the federal government, an Ammonia Nitrate-Fuel Oil (ANFO) truck bomb allegedly destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah building in downtown Oklahoma City on the morning of Wednesday, April 19, 1995. Also, according to recently released government documents, an individual experienced in loading large amounts of ammonia nitrate fertilizer into a vehicle for use as a terrorist truck bomb was present at the OKC scene and actually witnessed the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history [till then]. Records indicate that this ANFO explosives expert and his associates had constructed and destroyed at least eight vehicles in "test bombing experiments" out at a secret range in the New Mexico desert in the twelve months prior to the OKC bombing. He and his fellow explosives experts even photographed and videotaped these truck bombs as they detonated.

This individual is, however, not a known associate of suspects Terry Lynn Nichols and Timothy James McVeigh or any so-called "anti government militia" in the United States. The "vehicle bomb expert," Special Agent Harry Everhart, is an employee of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. And, according to federal government records obtained by Media Bypass, Everhart, an accomplished ATF expert in ANFO truck bombs, was actually one of the first federal law officers to report the details of the bombing to his superiors from the scene in front of the Murrah Building, within minutes of the blast.

Can you say, 'long term plans'?


New OKC Revelations Spotlight FBI Involvement In Bombing

New claims by Oklahoma City Bombing conspirator Terry Nichols that Timothy McVeigh was being steered by a high-level FBI official are supported by a plethora of evidence that proves McVeigh did not act alone and that authorities had prior warnings and were complicit in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building.

conspiracy theory, hardly, we have been herded like cows...

Can you say, 'moo'?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 23, 2007 2:08:39 AM | 22

The Iraqis are voting with their SA-16s. Guess the answer is a firm "no" to our quest to shock and awe our little brown brothers into letting us steal their oil and and forcing them to look the other way while our murderous little apartheid "ally" continues its theft of Palestinian land and resources.

Posted by: ran | Feb 23, 2007 3:11:48 AM | 23

Adventures in dkos dumpster diving...

Veblen--a political economist for today

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 23, 2007 4:32:50 AM | 24

Occupied Gaza like apartheid South Africa, says UN report

A UN human rights investigator has likened Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories to apartheid South Africa and says there should be "serious consideration" over bringing the occupation to the international court of justice.

The report by John Dugard, a South African law professor who is the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, represents some of the most forceful criticism yet of Israel's 40-year occupation.
...
After describing the situation for Palestinians in the West Bank, with closed zones, demolitions and preference given to settlers on roads, with building rights and by the army, he said: "Can it seriously be denied that the purpose of such action is to establish and maintain domination by one racial group (Jews) over another racial group (Palestinians) and systematically oppressing them? Israel denies that this is its intention or purpose. But such an intention or purpose may be inferred from the actions described in this report."

Posted by: b | Feb 23, 2007 4:41:21 AM | 25

I hope you didn't need Kos to tell you about Thorstein Veblen. Theory of the Leisure Class has held up even better than Marx and Engel's collective kvetching.

Posted by: Monolycus | Feb 23, 2007 4:58:03 AM | 26

U.S. hardens line on talks between Israel and Syria

The United States demanded that Israel desist from even exploratory contacts with Syria, of the sort that would test whether Damascus is serious in its declared intentions to hold peace talks with Israel.

In meetings with Israeli officials recently, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was forceful in expressing Washington's view on the matter.

The American argument is that even "exploratory talks" would be considered a prize in Damascus, whose policy and actions continue to undermine Lebanon's sovereignty and the functioning of its government, while it also continues to stir unrest in Iraq, to the detriment of the U.S. presence there.
...
When Israeli officials asked Secretary Rice about the possibility of exploring the seriousness of Syria in its calls for peace talks, her response was unequivocal: Don't even think about it.

Posted by: b | Feb 23, 2007 6:08:36 AM | 27

Monolycus, MOA archives
are your friend...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 23, 2007 6:15:11 AM | 28

Thanks DM.

Posted by: jonku | Feb 23, 2007 7:16:29 AM | 29

And why Bernhard is highly valued: Bernhard poses intriguing questions, and some synthesis.

Synthesis is what we need although the details are interesting and make good fodder for argument.

rememberinggiap my friend, my country's soldiers are fighting and dying in Afghanistan. These Canadian cousins are doing what any peacetime volunteer army does: enjoying the chance to practice their profession. It is an old one, maybe second oldest profession.

Commentary suggests that the Taliban is now a brand name for Afghanistan resistance, no longer the religious movement that gained power in that country.

It is now a name for any fighter against the Italian, Canadian, Polish British and US troops trying to occupy their country. And probably funded by the opium trade that has transnational exploiters. Or fighting against them.

Who the heck knows when the US has sent some 12 billion US dollars into Iraq, with some 8 billion unnacounted for. That is 8 thousand million, not the British billion.

Still a trainload of cash in 100 dollar bills. This is why I say stop the funding.

Posted by: jonku | Feb 23, 2007 7:33:33 AM | 30

brainwash. rinse. repeat.
brainwash. rinse. repeat.

pr watch: Not-So-Liberal Hollywood

"Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have acquired screen rights to 'Jihadists in Paradise,' a Mark Bowden article," reports Variety. The article "details the emergence in the Philippines of the Islamic terrorist faction Abu Sayyaf and one of its leaders," who kidnapped 20 tourists, including Americans. The new film project was not welcomed by some in the Philippines. In a statement, the spokesman for the Fisherfolk Alliance of the Philippines (described as "a leading progressive group") called "Jihadists in Paradise" a "propaganda film and psychological warfare movie." He added that the film will promote the "U.S. war on terror and amplify its [U.S.] tagging of the Philippines as the second front for U.S. military aggression," reports All Headline News. Bruckheimer previously produced "Black Hawk Down," about U.S. military operations in Somalia; that film was adapted from a Bowden book. Bowden "is also penning a drama for Imagine and Paramount based on the subject of 'extraordinary rendition,'" where CIA agents kidnap terrorist suspects and deport them, without trial, for detention and interrogation overseas -- often in countries where prisoners are routinely tortured.

Posted by: b real | Feb 23, 2007 10:50:31 AM | 31

THE PEOPLE V. RICHARD CHENEY: Resolved, that Richard B. Cheney, vice president of the United States, should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that these articles of impeachment be submitted to the American people by Gentleman's Quarterly?

Posted by: beq | Feb 23, 2007 12:26:01 PM | 32

Following on from Chris’ post (Guardian on Torture)

Now, the 'good guys' are torturers

By David Bauder, AP

"This week on Fox's "24" a counter terrorism agent was tortured with a quarter-inch bit drilled into his chest. Earlier this season on the show agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) tortured his own brother by putting a plastic bag over his head.

In previous seasons Jack has cut off the head of a tortured terrorist suspect who had died to send a message and pretended to kill a terrorist's bound and gagged child before his eyes to get him to talk. Even Jack himself has died under torture, only to be resuscitated back to life.

The scenes from Fox's "24" are haunting, but hardly unusual. The advocacy group Human Rights First says there's been a startling increase in the number of torture scenes depicted on prime-time television in the post-2001 world.

Even more chilling, there are indications that real-life American interrogators in Iraq are taking cues from what they see on TV, said Jill Savitt, the group's PR director."

etc.

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070214/LIFE/702140338/1005/LIFE>link

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 23, 2007 1:56:07 PM | 33

Yet another...

TPM....Another prosecutor purged.

How many does this make?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 23, 2007 5:01:16 PM | 34

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/070219fa_fact_mayer>Jane Mayer at New Yorker on "24" and its creator Surnow.
The West Point commander and real interrogators raised serious objections with writers, due to the show's false representation of torture's effectiveness and the show's influence on WP cadets. Surnow's conclusion: "I don't believe it [that torture is ineffective]. Surnow chose not to attend the actual meeting with the general.

The show’s appeal lies less in its violence than in its giddily literal rendering of a classic thriller trope: the “ticking time bomb” plot.

...Bob Cochran, who created the show with Surnow, admitted, “Most terrorism experts will tell you that the ‘ticking time bomb’ situation never occurs in real life, or very rarely. But on our show it happens every week.”

According to Darius Rejali, a professor of political science at Reed College and the author of the forthcoming book “Torture and Democracy,” the conceit of the ticking time bomb first appeared in Jean Lartéguy’s 1960 novel “Les Centurions,” written during the brutal French occupation of Algeria. ... In his view, the story line of “Les Centurions” provided French liberals a more palatable rationale for torture than the racist explanations supplied by others (such as the notion that the Algerians, inherently simpleminded, understood only brute force).
* * * *
This past November, U.S. Army Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, the dean of the United States Military Academy at West Point, flew to Southern California to meet with the creative team behind “24.” Finnegan was accompanied by three of the most experienced military and F.B.I. interrogators in the country. [They] had come to voice their concern that the show’s central political premise—that the letter of American law must be sacrificed for the country’s security—was having a toxic effect. In their view, the show promoted unethical and illegal behavior and had adversely affected the training and performance of real American soldiers. “I’d like them to stop,” Finnegan said of the show’s producers. “They should do a show where torture backfires.”

Navarro, who estimates that he has conducted some twelve thousand interrogations, replied that torture was not an effective response. “These are very determined people, and they won’t turn just because you pull a fingernail out.” A ticking time bomb, Finnegan pointed out, would make a suspect only more unwilling to talk. “They know if they can simply hold out several hours, all the more glory—the ticking time bomb will go off!"

DVDs of shows such as “24” circulate widely among soldiers stationed in Iraq. Lagouranis, [an Army interrogator who has worked in Iraq] said, “People watch the shows, and then walk into the interrogation booths and do the same things they’ve just seen.” “In Iraq, I never saw pain produce intelligence.” Lagouranis told the “24” team what the U.S. military and the F.B.I. teach real intelligence professionals: “rapport-building,” the slow process of winning over informants, is the method that generally works best.

[After the meeting] Lagouranis said of the “24” team, “They were a bit prickly.They have this money-making machine, and we were telling them it’s immoral.”

On the other hand, Chertoff at Homeland Security and Lynn Cheney are big fans. Says Chertoff, “Frankly, it reflects real life."

Roger Director, Surnow’s friend, joked that the conservative writers at “24” have become “like a Hollywood television annex to the White House. It’s like an auxiliary wing.

Posted by: small coke | Feb 23, 2007 5:49:40 PM | 35

@Unca (#28)

Good man. I knew crusty old Thorstein must have gotten some props in these parts long before now. The major difference between Veblen and Marx/Engels to me has always seemed to be that they observed the same data set, and whereas M&E concluded that these blatant inequalities would inevitably produce a series of revolutions that would, in time, result in a communal worker's paradise, Veblen shrugged his shoulders and essentially said "People suck".

I'm siding with Veblen on this one... if there's a situation so obscene that the people would refuse to stomach it, I haven't seen it.

Speaking of archives, those things seem to be biting everyone in the ass lately.

“The notion that we ought to now go to Baghdad and somehow take control of the country strikes me as an extremely serious one in terms of what we’d have to do once we got there. You’d probably have to put some new government in place. It’s not clear what kind of government that would be, how long you’d have to stay. For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who’s going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire.” ~Richard Cheney, 1991.

While we're enjoying the hypocrisy, Sen. Joe Lieberman appears to be preparing to celebrate the birthday of fellow Republican-In-Democrat's Clothing Zell Miller by threatening to switch sides. Again.

Posted by: Monolycus | Feb 24, 2007 1:18:45 AM | 36

@b - careful. Chris Floyd's website has been vandalized.

Posted by: DM | Feb 24, 2007 10:32:46 AM | 37

the guard as victim

Posted by: r'giap | Feb 24, 2007 1:12:51 PM | 38

DeAnander 16&18
Amy Goodman spoke to an Iranian man yesterday whose whole family is jailed in Texas. They have been imprisoned for 19 days.

The family was flying from Ghana to Canada. They were designated illegal immigrants, because their Canadian flight made an emergency stop in Puerto Rico, when another passenger suffered a heart attack. All passengers were told to leave the plane. The Iranian family was then designated illegal and arrested because they lacked a US visa. After 4 days they were moved from PR to a large, immigrant jail in Texas.

Posted by: small coke | Feb 24, 2007 1:14:02 PM | 39

Will Israel Bomb Iran? Youtube bbc documentary on the subject of israel and its intentions towards iran. Since when did youtube start letting uploaded vids over ten minutes? This one is over 45 minutes..

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 24, 2007 4:34:50 PM | 40

Floyd is back.

Bearing False Witness: A New Tool for Authoritarians
Written by Chris Floyd
Thursday, 22 February 2007
Florida Bill Would Make It Legal To Falsify Court Records (Winter Patriot)

Our friend and colleague Winter Patriot unearths a disturbing new innovation in law enforcement now being pushed down in JebWorld: giving public officials the authority to create phony documents and plant them in public record. This includes court documents and other official papers, all created out of whole cloth in "covert ops" kept secret from other agencies and from -- surely it goes without saying -- that worthless gaggle of teeming rabble known as "the people."

This astounding proposal -- in a bill now being dangled like so much dripping red meat before the rightwing Florida legislature, ever ready to embrace any authoritarian notion that comes along, including "shoot to kill if you're feeling paranoid" laws -- would "convey authority to falsify any public record to prosecutors, judges, mayors, sheriffs, coroners and other public officers," the Miami Herald reports.

Now, if you read a story like this about, say, Iran or China or Venezuela or Zimbabwe, you would probably exclaim, "My god! They're trying to construct a police state! Give government the power to falsify documents, and they will be able to rig up a case against anyone they please -- false confessions, false witness statements, false previous convictions, the works! No matter what excuse is offered for such draconian authority, the risk of its wanton abuse is far too great for any government that pretends to popular legitimacy. Only a tyrant, or a would-be tyrant -- or a bunch of authoritarian bootlickers -- would ever call for such a law!"

Posted by: DM | Feb 24, 2007 5:54:40 PM | 41

"Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind."

Posted by: DM | Feb 24, 2007 5:59:31 PM | 42

Pyschotics Unite, you have nothing to lose but your medications which you can exchange fo' guns 'n' bullets.

Santorum working to unite Theocrats & Neonuts...Santorum & Lieberman in bed together... America's Crusaders. (Even the Very Conservative author thought these guy were foaming at the mouth.)

Leading far-right social conservative Rick Santorum, a devout Catholic and former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, is heading up a new initiative, called the "America's Enemies" program at the neoconservative-aligned Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), to awaken the slumbering public to what he sees as a "gathering storm" of adversaries. At the same time, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), a devout Jew who co-chairs the Committee on the Present Danger, is calling for a global political and military alliance to defeat the threat of "Islamic extremism."

Ironically, while the ideology and faith-based politics of "America's enemies" routinely come under attack by U.S. social conservatives and neoconservatives as dangerous manifestations of radicalism, the ideology and faith-based politics of America's would-be defenders are presented as redemptive forces in world affairs.

...

Rather than regarding his overwhelming electoral defeat last November as an indicator that his own extreme notions about domestic and foreign policy were misguided, Santorum concluded that Americans are slumbering while at the gates gather barbarians such as "Islamic fascism."

...

"Iraq is only one front in a larger war waged against the Western world," Santorum says. It is a war of ideas, according to him, waged by Islamic fascists—whose tentacles extend beyond Iraq and Afghanistan and into Iran and Venezuela. "We are under siege by a people with an ideology, a plan, hundreds of millions of dollars, and an ever-increasing presence on virtually every continent". ...

...

Topping the list of priorities is the need "to confront Iran," says Santorum, ...

Likening the current array of countries that oppose the United States to what Winston Churchill called the "gathering storm" before World War II, Santorum paints a picture of enemies closing in on the United States. "With the exception of the state of Israel, we are fighting this battle alone, and I suspect we will for quite some time," laments Santorum.


Along with Islamic fascists, Santorum points to supposed threats to U.S. national interests and security coming from Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Russia, and China. To support his alarmist rhetoric, Santorum claims, apparently without evidence, that Hugo Chavez of Venezuela "plans to spend $30 billion to build 20 military bases in neighboring [sic] Bolivia," where Bolivian soldiers will answer to Venezuelan and Cuban officers. In a speech last December, Santorum warned that the "Sandinista revolution" in Nicaragua and the "Bolivarian revolution" are constructing a 21st-century socialism in the U.S. backyard.

While Santorum concentrates on waking America to the danger of newly emboldened enemies, Lieberman recently took to the world stage to advocate stepping up the ideological campaign against Islamic extremism and to organize a new global alliance to confront that threat. At the Munich Conference on Security Policy in mid-February, Lieberman said: "What we are fighting is an ideology—the totalitarian ideology of radical Islam, as brutal and hostile to personal freedom as the communism we fought and defeated in the last century."


Lieberman described NATO—the transatlantic military alliance founded in 1949 as part of the Cold War—as "the gold standard for the security of free nations." To confront the supposed global threat of Islamic extremism, Lieberman called for "a global NATO" that "would profoundly reshape the ideological 21st century" and that would be "capable of acting globally."

...

Lieberman criticized Putin's address as "confrontational," ... he [said] "power is freedom".

Posted by: jj | Feb 24, 2007 7:32:26 PM | 44

***TV ALERT***

SAT NITE/SUN AM ***TARIQ ALI ON BOOKTV. 11:30pm -2:30 am - (PST ->EDT)

Posted by: jj | Feb 24, 2007 7:51:57 PM | 45

If this hasn't been posted yet, this is the perfect context. Bill Engdahl's first rate geo-strategic analysis of Washington's drive for Global Military Supremacy & Nuclear Primacy, shows implicitly that the function of the buffoons cited is to provide good cover. They'll generate a phony causus belli domestically to divert attention of the masses & a convenient rationale for bankrupting our nation thru diversion of virtually the entire treasury into the Dept. of Mass Slaughter. Putin and the Geopolitics of the New Cold War: Or, what happens when Cowboys don’t shoot straight like they used to…

Posted by: jj | Feb 24, 2007 8:57:35 PM | 46

Anyone seen this yet ... ?

Senior">http://www.patriotsquestion911.com/">Senior Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement,
and Government Officials Question
the 9/11 Commission Report

When we prognosticate on the liklihood or otherwise of these psychos starting a shooting war with Iran, maybe we should also consider the liklihood of this gaining traction (unless, of course, you still believe that it was bin laden wot done it).

Posted by: DM | Feb 25, 2007 5:09:59 AM | 47

Sorry, stuffed-up the link for Patriots Question 911 (above).

Posted by: DM | Feb 25, 2007 5:17:08 AM | 48

This Pat Buchanan character is a weird bastard.

One week he has an essay on Anti-War.com - the next week he has drivel like this.

Posted by: DM | Feb 25, 2007 5:25:00 AM | 49

Pat Buchanan is a republican, first last and always. he was ronald reagan's speech writer. he sees communists behind every tree and knows instinctively that it is up to him to slay those evil bastards. that is why the US stayed in Europe all those years, to defend the hapless helpless europeans from the evil russians. now that the US has singlehandedly destroyed the great soviet bear, those same europeans need to show some gratitude and at least help defeat the next great enemy that we now know to be Islam, especially Islam in oil producing areas because after all, it is the US's national interest to have and control the world's oil supply.

buchanan really believes this stuff. he doesn't see that the US benefited from occupying Europe all those years. he is not alone as nearly all US citizens I know share this viewpoint. Many europeans do too.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 25, 2007 8:52:07 AM | 51

QUOTE:

BUMPY AFTERMATH TO CHENEY VISIT

There's been a dramatic end to US Vice-President Dick Cheney's visit to Australia. His official plane suffered a minor mechanical problem after taking off from Sydney this morning on its way back to the US. After initial fears, the White House said there were no safety concerns for the aircraft carrying the deputy to the world's most powerful leader.

http://www.worldnewsaustralia.com.au/transcript.php#

Posted by: vbo | Feb 25, 2007 9:37:12 AM | 52

israel stages a surge

Israeli forces launch Nablus raid

Israeli forces are carrying out a raid across parts of the West Bank town of Nablus, military officials say.

Witnesses say dozens of army vehicles have surrounded several buildings, including the two main hospitals.

A curfew has been imposed and there are reports of bulldozers piling up rubble on main roads making them impassable.

The army says the operation is aimed at finding caches of arms and explosives, and arresting people responsible for attacks against Israeli targets.

Main routes into the city have been closed, witnesses say. Schools and a university in Nablus have been closed in response to the raid.

The official Palestinian news agency says many houses have been raided and searched, and a number of people have been detained.

The governor of Nablus, Kamal al-Sheikh, has condemned what he described as an unjustified aggression against the city's inhabitants.

He has demanded the Israelis lift the blockade of the hospitals and allow medical staff to carry out their work.

Posted by: annie | Feb 25, 2007 2:06:24 PM | 53

uncle, #50. i have considered this plame scenario multiple times. everything regarding this khan character and the neocon hands off US approach is weird.

Posted by: annie | Feb 25, 2007 2:13:02 PM | 54

Eeyew, I just got a flyer in the mail for Twentieth Century Fox's latest marketing line: FoxFaith, "a new branded distribution label..., created to house and distribute its growing portfolio of morally-driven, family-friendly programming." Films about Xtian topics, films by Xtian authors, family friendly films, church resources available, blah blah blah.

Titles include: One Night with the King, The Passion of the Christ, My Friend Flicka, The Last Sin Eater.

Coming soon: "The Democratic Convention: Den of Iniquity"

How the hell did I get on their mailing list?

Posted by: catlady | Feb 25, 2007 6:25:53 PM | 55

Oops, meant to include a link, careless with HTML tags:

Foxfaith

Posted by: catlady | Feb 25, 2007 6:28:44 PM | 56

Dunno catlady - you did something wrong, or they're rich enough to buy huge cache of mailing lists. I hate when the fundies call themselves family friendly, when they're the most radically anti-family of any group around, along w/the war-mongers.

Posted by: jj | Feb 25, 2007 7:19:55 PM | 57

http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/070305fa_fact_hersh>Hersh lays out the new ME policy. Make the Iraq war regional, and strip Iranian influence from Iraq. Breathtaking.

Posted by: anna missed | Feb 26, 2007 4:16:48 AM | 58

"You provide the 5th Fleet, I'll provide the war."

Posted by: DM | Feb 26, 2007 5:16:43 AM | 59

Robert Fisk: 27 July 1880. A date Mr Blair should look up
Those sending British troops to Afghanistan should learn the lessons of the Battle of Maiwand
Published: 25 February 2007

Out of the frying pan, into the historical fire. If only our leaders read history. In 1915, the British swept up from Basra, believing that the Iraqis would reward them with flowers and love, only to find themselves surrounded at Kut al-Amara, cut down by Turkish shellfire and cholera. Now we are reinforcing Nato in that tomb of the British Army, Afghanistan.

Hands up any soldiers who know that another of Britain's great military defeats took place in the very sands in which your colleagues are now fighting the Taliban. Yes, the Battle of Maiwand - on 27 July, 1880 - destroyed an entire British brigade, overrun by thousands of armed Afghan tribesmen, some of whom the official enquiry into the disaster would later describe as "Talibs". The Brits had been trying to secure Helmand province. Sound familiar?


rest of the Fisk Article

Posted by: DM | Feb 26, 2007 5:44:21 AM | 60

Rumsfeld in Fantasyland

There were other changes too. In earlier times the specialists selected to run the "shadow government" had been drawn from across the political spectrum, Democrats and Republicans alike. But now, down in the bunkers, Rumsfeld found himself in politically congenial company, the players' roster being filled almost exclusively with Republican hawks.

"It was one way for these people to stay in touch. They'd meet, do the exercise but also sit around and castigate the Clinton administration in the most extreme way," a former Pentagon official with direct knowledge of the phenomenon told me. "You could say this was a secret government-in-waiting. The Clinton administration was extraordinarily inattentive, [they had] no idea what was going on."

Posted by: mats | Feb 26, 2007 9:01:49 AM | 61

Colombia political scandal imperiling US ties

BOGOTÁ -- Just two weeks ahead of a high-profile visit by President Bush to Latin America, the United States' key partner on the continent is engulfed in an extraordinary scandal that threatens to undermine the credibility of US alliances and policy priorities from Mexico to Argentina.

The widening probe linking dozens of political allies of Colombia's president, Álvaro Uribe, to the country's right-wing death squads and drug traffickers has started to erode support on Capitol Hill for Colombia, the biggest recipient of US aid outside the Middle East and Afghanistan.
...

The "para-political" scandal burst open last fall, when a computer seized from paramilitary leader "Jorge 40" revealed the names of dozens of politicians who supposedly collaborated with paramilitaries in intimidating voters, seizing land, and kidnapping or killing labor unionists and political rivals. Other revelations followed, including secret documents signed by officials pledging moral support or kickbacks to the illegal militias.

Posted by: annie | Feb 26, 2007 11:14:34 AM | 62

narconews: Bush administration's abuse of FISA warrants linked to Sibel Edmonds case

FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds is continuing her fight to expose what she claims is serious corruption within the Bush administration. To date, the Bush administration has used the state-secrets privilege claim to silence Edmonds and prevent her from presenting evidence in the courts or Congress.

However, it now appears Edmonds has found a way to beat the state-secrets gag order.

In the coming weeks, insiders tell Narco News, Edmonds and the group she founded, the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, will be coming forward with hard evidence, obtained legally from third-party sources, demonstrating that the Bush administration has used FISA warrants to engage in unauthorized surveillance of members of Congress and their staffs, and allegedly the FISA court was not aware of this misuse of the warrants.

The federal FISA court (set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) issues surveillance warrants (usually to the FBI) that target foreign intelligence agents operating in the United States. However, the warrants are not supposed to be used to conduct surveillance on U.S. citizens who are not acting illegally in the interest of a foreign power, such as members of Congress.

The fact that over the past five years, no known criminal investigations or indictments have resulted from the FISA warrants in question, Narco News sources claim, leads to the possibility that the information gathered through the warrants was being used by the Bush administration for political control and not law enforcement purposes.

These allegations go to the heart of Edmonds claims that she is being silenced for attempting to expose espionage-related activities (intercepted through wiretaps) that would reveal a trail of corruption within the Bush administration that is a threat to the national security of the country.

peacock report: DoD 'Colocation' of Military Investigative HQs to Cost Over Quarter Billion

The U.S. Dept. of Defense will spend an estimated $250-$350 million to build a new facility whose primary purpose is to bring together the headquarters of various military department (MILDEP) investigative agencies. According to a Feb. 5 "sources sought" notice that The Peacock Report located during a routine search of the FedBizOpps contractor database, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command is coordinating the 'Colocation MILDEP" project at Marine Corps Base, Quantico (Virginia), where the Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS), Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), and Defense Security Service (DSS) will, within the next few years, work in close proximity to each other.

and counterpunch over the w/e ran another excerpt from r.t. naylor's book satanic purses: money, myth, and misinformation in the war on terror
Mall Versus Mosque in the War on Terror: Inside Islamic Charity

Posted by: b real | Feb 26, 2007 2:23:34 PM | 63

Madrid bombing suspect challenges taped evidence

An alleged ringleader of the 2004 Madrid train bombings said that his voice did not feature in incriminating taped conversations at the heart of the case against him.

"That is not my voice," said Rabei Ousmane Sayed Ahmed, as he rejected the case against which is him based largely on the conversations recorded at his apartment by Italian police in Milan.

Ousmane, who is known by the alias "Mohammed the Egyptian", also challenged the accuracy of a translation of a recording in which one speaker purportedly claimed that "the Madrid blasts were my idea."

Asked if he had claimed to be the brains behind the blasts he said "the person in this recording never says that."

He added: "I am not the speaker. No, it is not my voice. I never said such a thing. I condemn terrorism."

...

Italian police found in a Milan apartment used by Ousmane a diary with an entry for the day of the bombings which read: "11-03-04, shahid, honey."

The prosecution says the words respectively signify "martyr" and "explosive." But Ousmane said handwriting tests suggested the note was written by someone else.

.....

Others to testify Monday included Mohamed Moussaten, the 22-year-old nephew of Belhadj, who is accused of collaborating with a terrorist group.

Moussaten said interrogators made him say his uncle was a member of a terrorist group and a fundraiser for terror groups in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Everything I said about my uncle was under threats from the police," Moussaten insisted, adding most of his friends were Spanish, including a non-Muslim girlfriend and when it came to religion he just knew the basic prayer rituals.

"I made declarations without a lawyer present and said what I had to. They said they'd cut off my hand, or send me back to Morocco," he related, adding he was against all forms of violence.

Another suspect accused of collaboration, Mohamed Bouharrat, said he had left behind photographs of himself later found in the rubble after seven men blew themselves up in a police raid three weeks after the bombings in the car of Jamal Ahmidan.

that's convenient. some incriminating photos survives the explosion. sounds very galido to me.

Posted by: annie | Feb 26, 2007 6:10:55 PM | 64

b real between you & b & the girl gang herculean work is done even in the darkest moments

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 26, 2007 6:14:57 PM | 65

A snack for y'all: I painstakingly http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2007/2/22/182915/491/29#29>transcribed dos Passos' loving tribute to Thorstein Veblen, over at ET. Worth a read for the force and style of the prose, even if you are not a Veblen fan. Consider this insight: In the Scandihoovian colonies the price of wheat and the belief in God and Saint Olaf were going down together. The farmers of the Northwest were starting their long losing fight against the parasite businessmen who were sucking them dry. There was a mortgage on the farm, interest on debts to pay, always fertilizer, new machines to buy to speed production to pump in a halfcentury the wealth out of the soil laid down in a million years of buffalograss.

[emphasis mine] -- the process whose endgame is now approaching.

Posted by: DeAnander | Feb 26, 2007 7:45:51 PM | 66

Bravo and thanks for the transcrption-footwork De @#66...

Here's one you don't see often: (prepare yourself)
Veblen by H.L. Mencken.

He (Thorstein), was definitely one of the first thinkers to recognize the great importance of technological change, and that it would have a tremendous effect on the economy, social structure, and thought patterns, although he misjudged its result. Also, many of his ideas about the “Council of Engineers” contributed to the development of more social control of and government activity in the marketplace. In addition, he gave us a new view of the vain, viscous business class, doing it “all for the glory”, and of the pathetic neurosis which drives the middle and working classes to emulate them. He forced his readers to re-evaluate their insatiable lust for “the good things in life”, and that is perhaps the most important lesson he could ever hope to teach.


And yet, more ?


"The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before."

~ Thorstein Veblen

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 26, 2007 10:44:39 PM | 67

I have not been able to read here lately so not sure if anyone has posted this already.

Iraqi Cabinet Approves Oil Law

Now apparently it must go to the Parliament.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 26, 2007 10:58:34 PM | 68

Yep! At last! Mission Accomplished!

Posted by: DM | Feb 27, 2007 5:31:49 AM | 69

.. and the fine print. I'm sure they could just as easily have bought this contract from Saddam for around $350,000,000,000.

Posted by: DM | Feb 27, 2007 6:00:50 AM | 70

There are things that you do not say, that you cannot say, whether they are correct or not:
FREEDOM OF SPEECH - AS LONG AS YOUR TOPIC IS ACCEPTABLE

t is simply not relevant! It is anti-semitic!

We have heard Israel and AIPAC beating the war drum against Iran and Syria for several months now, but God help the hapless politician who would speak about it!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 27, 2007 7:54:02 AM | 71

Chalmers Johnson on Democracy Now this A.M.
With some ominous words...

Chalmers Johnson: “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic"

In his new book, CIA analyst, distinguished scholar, and best-selling author Chalmers Johnson argues that US military and economic overreach may actually lead to the nation's collapse as a constitutional republic. It's the last volume in his Blowback trilogy, following the best-selling "Blowback" and "The Sorrows of Empire." In those two, Johnson argued American clandestine and military activity has led to un-intended, but direct disaster here in the United States.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 27, 2007 10:03:08 AM | 72

@ Unca (#71)

Freedom of Speech is so 1770's. Nowadays, the prisons get filled with people who say unacceptable things.

The Blogger-Martyr of Egypt

Of course, many will reflexively notice that we're not talking about "Amerika" here (wonder what Riverbend has to look forward to?)... so the White House, in a spirit of solidarity, is dutifully scrubbing their own dotgovs of anything that might not look good for the Empire...

(Updated) The White House website is getting scrubbed

Posted by: Monolycus | Feb 27, 2007 10:15:08 AM | 73

The following post is rated: CD(TM) for 'critical discernment': Remember, CRITICAL DISCERNMENT IS REQUIRED.
assumptions and beliefs Knowledge and awareness are recommended....
VIDEO: BBC WAS HALF AN HOUR TOO EARLY REPORTING ON WTC7 COLLAPSE

On September 11th 2001, BBC World reported at 4:57pm Eastern Time that the Salomon Brothers Building (more commonly known as WTC7 or World Trade Building 7) had collapsed.

This even made the 5pm EST headlines, what is bizarre is that the building did not actually collapse until 5:20pm EST.

9/11 was unusual enough, without BBC World being able to foretell the destiny of WTC 7.

What is even stranger, is that the women reporter is telling the world that the building had collapsed when you can see it in the background over her left shoulder.

Then at 5:15pm EST, just five minutes before the building did actually collapse, her live connection from New York to London mysteriously fails.

So the question is, on 9/11 how did the BBC learn that WTC7 collapsed 23 minutes before it actually did.

Building Seven was 47 storeys, modern in design with structural steel throughout, yet symmetrically collapsed in 6.5 seconds, was someone leaking information.

No steel framed skyscraper has ever collapsed due to fire, before or after 9/11, most people who find out about WTC7, believe it was brought down by a controlled demolition, even demolition experts agree.

That video above has been yanked from Google, YouTube, and I suspect that LiveLink won't last long. Get it while you can.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 27, 2007 10:41:46 AM | 74

uncle, i watched about half of that video. the announcer says, while talking to the woman reporter in new york said "it's been 8 hrs since the attacks"

the soloman building would have already collapsed at that time.

Posted by: annie | Feb 27, 2007 11:45:10 AM | 75

The Afghan war is a failure, according to this report from CSIS sponsored by USAid. Just a snippet (pdf).

Even the Afghan army, on which the future stability of the occupation depends, is unable to retain new recruits. The insurgents are winning over disillusioned soldiers and pay four times the rate of the national army – despite it receiving billions of dollars of US military aid. The army “remains ineffective and held in low esteem”.


Posted by: Cloned Poster | Feb 27, 2007 1:50:07 PM | 76

is it just me or is there http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0227-30.htm>some kind of a fight to the death going on inside the US government -- an ongoing slo-mo purge/coup attempt by the BushCo gang being covertly resisted by Constitutionalists of various stripes, but everyone conspiring in Omerta to keep the happy dumb public from knowing there is civil war afoot in high places?

Posted by: DeAnander | Feb 27, 2007 6:08:59 PM | 77

deanander, fortunately there has been protest against this by the dems. feinstein has submitted legislation to close the loophole in the patriot reauthorization act and restore the senate's oversight. epluribusmedia has been researching this and has several articles up examining the circumstances of "the gonzalez seven" and their replacements as they are named. link

Posted by: conchita | Feb 27, 2007 8:54:23 PM | 78

@DeA- there's also Gates & top military guys opposed to Iran nightmare. Of course, that only insure they'll pull a 9/11 - The Sequel (cf. BlackStinkyWater Inc.). But since there's huge dissension on this issue w/in Israeli High Command - both military & Intel - it's not entirely clear they can rely on Mossad to pull it off.

I exchanged msgs. on what's left of americablog w/someone who understand how the legal system work regarding the purges. He/she said that they were purging the Constitutionalists. The way it works is Gonzo issues order for who he wants arrested, but it's the local US Attorneys who have to take those orders before local judge to get a warrant - I guess sometimes somewhere Constitutional "niceties" are still observed. Fascists want to get anti-Constitutionalists in place who are docile. Of course, could also be that those they're eliminating are located in areas where Bush Crime Family & their henchmen engaged in particular crimes they want to be sure are covered up.

Posted by: jj | Feb 27, 2007 9:28:09 PM | 79

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