Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 09, 2007

OT 07-014

News & views ... another open thread ...

Posted by b on February 9, 2007 at 9:35 UTC | Permalink


Cut off the funding

Posted by: jonku | Feb 9 2007 9:57 utc | 1

An Iraq Interrogator's Nightmare

Despite my best efforts, I cannot ignore the mistakes I made at the interrogation facility in Fallujah. I failed to disobey a meritless order, I failed to protect a prisoner in my custody, and I failed to uphold the standards of human decency. Instead, I intimidated, degraded and humiliated a man who could not defend himself. I compromised my values. I will never forgive myself.

American authorities continue to insist that the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib was an isolated incident in an otherwise well-run detention system. That insistence, however, stands in sharp contrast to my own experiences as an interrogator in Iraq. I watched as detainees were forced to stand naked all night, shivering in their cold cells and pleading with their captors for help. Others were subjected to long periods of isolation in pitch-black rooms. Food and sleep deprivation were common, along with a variety of physical abuse, including punching and kicking. Aggressive, and in many ways abusive, techniques were used daily in Iraq, all in the name of acquiring the intelligence necessary to bring an end to the insurgency. The violence raging there today is evidence that those tactics never worked. My memories are evidence that those tactics were terribly wrong.
Regardless of how many young Americans we send to war, or how many militia members we kill, or how many Iraqis we train, or how much money we spend on reconstruction, we will not escape the damage we have done to the people of Iraq in our prisons.
The citizens and the leadership of this country have an obligation to revisit what took place in the interrogation booths of Iraq, unpleasant as it may be. The story of Abu Ghraib isn't over. In many ways, we have yet to open the book.

Posted by: b | Feb 9 2007 10:07 utc | 2

I suspect some here may appreciate this read. The authors, father & son (M.D. & PhD, respectively) appear tho have credible and distinguished credentials. Of course it supports what I already choose to believe but I think has pertinence to today’s developments.

Why Bush's Inner "Reality" Has Poisoned His Own Troop Plan


... As with many other aspects of the president's sometimes odd behavior, the root of this new self-subverting plan lies not in political expediency, in the advice he's received, or in his intellectual abilities as such, but in a psychological twist that begins with his long and well-documented history of failure (and his sense of his own failure) within his family of origin.

... To protect his psyche against humiliating feelings - inadequacy, isolation, incompetence, guilt - Bush has developed during his life several defenses that suppress, disguise and deflect those feelings. These defenses have included alcoholism, clownish behavior, emotional bullying, and Christian salvation. Six years ago, Bush found what must seem to him the near-perfect defense (though it was also a trap): The "presidential defense" allows him to avoid any feelings of humiliation by presenting himself as the plain-spoken, divinely inspired "decider" whose choices can't be seriously challenged as incompetent or inadequate, because only distant history (or a guiding Divinity) can judge a president's actions...

Posted by: Juannie | Feb 9 2007 10:42 utc | 3

See above. Cut off the funding.

Posted by: jonku | Feb 9 2007 11:19 utc | 4

Thanks Juannie #3

Good read...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 9 2007 14:23 utc | 5

vanity fair : SAIC

Science Applications International Corporation

To get some idea of the scale: contractors absorb the taxes paid by everyone in America with incomes under $100,000. In other words, more than 90 percent of all taxpayers might as well remit everything they owe directly to SAIC or some other contractor rather than to the IRS. In Washington these companies go by the generic name "body shops"

But the biggest, most powerful of the "body shops"—SAIC, which employs 44,000 people and took in $8 billion last year—sells brainpower, including a lot of the "expertise" behind the Iraq war.

It sells human beings who have a particular expertise—expertise about weapons, about homeland security, about surveillance, about computer systems, about "information dominance" and "information warfare."

Robert M. Gates, the new secretary of defense, whose confirmation hearings lasted all of a day, is a former member of SAIC's board of directors.

burglars managed to break into SAIC's headquarters, pry open 13 private offices, and walk out with one desktop-computer hard drive and four laptops. By SAIC's account, the computers contained personal data on thousands of present and past employees, presumably including the company's many former C.I.A. operatives, N.S.A. executives, and Pentagon officials. To date, the burglary remains unsolved.

SAIC has displayed an uncanny ability to thrive in every conceivable political climate. It is the invisible hand behind a huge portion of the national-security state—the one sector of the government whose funds are limitless and whose continued growth is assured every time a politician utters the word "terrorism."

SAIC represents, in other words, a private business that has become a form of permanent government.

Civilians at SAIC used to joke that the company had so many admirals and generals in its ranks it could start its own war. Some might argue that, in the case of Iraq, it did.

In October of 2006 the company told would-be investors flatly that the war on terror would continue to be a lucrative growth industry.

the article even includes gossip

Beyster's close associates within SAIC were a succession of young men. Known as aides-de-camp, they were usually handsome, well educated, and intelligent, with a facility for numbers and a willingness to perform personal tasks for their boss. Beyster was an ardent sailor, and in the summertime he liked to spend afternoons cruising the waters off San Diego aboard his yacht in the company of these young men. George Wilson, who once headed SAIC's public-relations operation, has stated in a legal proceeding that the young men provided a variety of personal services for Beyster, including using SAIC equipment to make copies of pornographic movies that Beyster would watch aboard his boat.

When Beyster traveled on business, he often took one of the aides-de-camp with him, and asked his secretary to arrange for them to stay in the same hotel room—this according to the secretary's courtroom testimony. Wilson said in a deposition that one of the young men he knew who slept in the same room with Beyster on these trips told him that he didn't like doing it, but that "it was part of traveling with Beyster." Some of the young aides-de-camp went on to become executives at SAIC. Bernice King testified that Beyster had a name for his young assistants: he called them his "baby boys."

Posted by: annie | Feb 9 2007 15:01 utc | 7

An Appeal to People Outside the United States to Break US Imperial Power
by Stan Goff

NOTE: Please translate this into as many languages as possible, and distribute as widely as possible.

This series of suggestions is written because my country is on a path that will first destroy other societies -- upon which we depend -- and the biospheric basis of life itself; and this means eventually our own society. Our society now -- an imperial society -- is deeply alienated, desperately unhappy, and thoroughly indoctrinated into the acquisitive individualism that creates that alienation and unhappiness. We continue down this path because the weight of the system gives it such enormous inertia. We need you to do these things, not just to ensure your own futures... but for our own good.

The United States now exists as a parasite upon the rest of the world. In this system, this political entity called the United States of America is not only a parasite, but a parasite that is destroying its own host. There is only one outcome in the end for such a relationship; we will all perish together. With the help of the people of the world -- and I will outline ten ways you can help us -- we can all escape this fate. Each of us -- with the destruction of US imperial power -- will be in a better position to work for a sustainable and indpendent future for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren....

I imagine this to be at least one way to get through the echo chamber of a newly closed society, as average Americans seem to be marginalized within. Perhaps, to hop over the tesseract. In other words, hop the fold, each ONE of you... the tesseract... What we need is an 'New Era of Thought'.

There is a "group spot" in the brain, that constantly assesses collections for similarities. It doesn't seem to matter what the elements are, the collection attains, eventually, the same sense of reality that concrete objects do. We are fighting a shadow, nothing material. And it is hopeless until we understand that this is an Ideology war. A Meme war. And you are the domestic enemy.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 9 2007 15:23 utc | 8

missing links

the gist of an allegedly all-group meeting supposedly held recently to plan the response to the new Baghdad security plan, including divisions of Sunni Baghdad into military districts, assignment of infrastructure and supply tasks, and so on, and the reporter said each group, including the Islamic State of Iraq, the IAI and others, promised surprises on the military level. The "reporter" said the overall plan was proposed by the Islamic State of Iraq and was approved by acclamation.

Posted by: annie | Feb 9 2007 15:34 utc | 9

Yet, another from the dumpster of dkos...

A Broken Windows Theory Of Tyranny (from hip)

The obvious and oft repeated has some truth -- deeply empathic people get their hearts broken young, and learn to "toughen up". Some get toughened into monsters, and some find weird paths to walk between their hardened skin and still soft hearts. If you've read Alice Miller, or any of the people who write about how authoritarian societies "break" children, and encourage this as necessary and important, you've got some idea. Breaking children is the Republican factory, near as I can tell sitting here. You learn that truth is a function of power; and what you feel is a function of what daddy or mommy want you to feel; and then you get 60 more years to untangle it, if you don't turn into a war criminal or vote one into office along the way (or even if you do). But what interested me this morning, and inspired this rant, was not the deeper cause in child rearing, but the effect of a society so cruel and insane that you cannot turn on a TV, or read a paper, or talk to a friend, without some ready evidence of the boot descending on a human face, another fresh example of cruelty and gratuitous control....

I for one am glad we i.e., MOA, are not on the blog roll there...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 9 2007 15:36 utc | 10, Dispatches from the Bolivarian Revolution, is worth a daily stop. here's a dispatch from today,
Electrical “Expropriation” Ends in Corporate Photo-Op

I don’t want to get all heavy on you, but today we have an Important Media Lesson for you. Like an NBC public service announcement, we all learn something and come away better people.

All that huffing and puffing over Venezuela’s imminent commie takeover of the Caracas electrical sector ended in an all-smiles photo-op today, as the majority stakeholder AES Corporation was paid fair market value (739.3 million smackers) for their share in the company. As the company CEO put it, “Of all the business we have done in 62 countries, this turns out to be the most beneficial."

Of course, all along the Venezuelan government had said they planned to do it this way, although the US media vigorously refused to belive it. CNN said it would probably be an expropriation “very similar to those taken in the early years of the Cuban Revolution,” and the Washington Post editorial page argued it would be a giant “leap backward" for the region. Over at the Wall Street Journal, Mary Anastacia O’Grady went all blah blah blah pinko baiting about it, while the Florida papers said Chavez had “finally revealed his true colors…a bright, bold communist red.” All bullshit.

The Important Lesson here is that there are going to be many more speculative media freakouts in the months and years ahead. As with the expropriation storyline (like the elections, like the terrorism ties, like the Rule By Decree meme, like the oil sector decline, like the impending economic catastrophe, like the “one party rule,” like the anti-Semitism BS…), the press will pump up the worst possible scenario for weeks, and then one or two articles will quietly note it didn’t play out that way. Read with care.

Posted by: b real | Feb 9 2007 15:47 utc | 11

Any news on billmon?

Posted by: izzet | Feb 9 2007 15:59 utc | 12

salon: Alberto Gonzalez's coup d'etat

sounds about right. this is starting to get more airplay in seattle because david mc kay announced yesterday he was ordered to resign

A Senate panel advanced a bill Thursday to curb the Justice Department's power to replace federal prosecutors after seven forced resignations sparked accusations of political favoritism.

The Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 to send the measure to the Senate floor. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would eliminate a provision in the Patriot Act that gave the attorney general new power to replace fired U.S. attorneys indefinitely, avoiding the Senate confirmation process.

The panel's action came a day after one of those fired, former U.S. Attorney John McKay of Seattle, said his resignation was ordered by the administration without explanation seven months after he received a favorable job evaluation.

Posted by: annie | Feb 9 2007 16:00 utc | 13

izzet, i wish

Posted by: annie | Feb 9 2007 16:01 utc | 14

Propaganda stepping up a notch: Gates: US has evidence of Iran helping insurgents

My favorite line:

"Offering some of the first public details of evidence the military has collected, Gates said, "I think there's some serial numbers, there may be some markings on some of the projectile fragments that we found," that point to Iran."

I think? May be some? Smoking gun indeed.

Also, would the Iranians be providing arms to the insurgents? The Sunnis? Really? It's like these guys aren't even trying. I'd add "anymore" but I'm not sure they ever were.

Posted by: Rowan | Feb 9 2007 16:50 utc | 15

Standby for another Uncle $cam PSA:

I got a feeling we will be needing something like this, very soon...

Amateur radio on Linux How-To

Dave Freese has just released version 1.2 of Fldigi, a popular new program for Linux and FreeBSD which enables amateur radio operators to join their radios and their computers at the hip and create a new kind of ham shack: a digital ham shack.

X Amateur Tracking and Information System


EchoLink for windoz...

especially when they try to choke the internets during the coming clampdown, that we ALL KNOW is coming...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 9 2007 17:02 utc | 16

rowan, have you checked out the #7 link? i wonder if this is more of the same saic expertise?

Posted by: annie | Feb 9 2007 17:21 utc | 17

Rochester Radio repeater Network

The University of Rochester Medical Center has called on its own Amateur Radio community to establish an avenue for emergency communications that would augment its pre-existing communications for use in times of emergency or disaster. [Interesting, no?*]

As quoted from the Amateur Radio Disaster Service, "Disasters come in all shapes and sizes. From a category 5 hurricane affecting thousands, to a localized hailstorm, nature can unleash more destructive energy in a single thunderstorm than is released in a nuclear explosion, devastating communities and destroying their normal lines of communication. It is at this point when Amateur Radio Operators come into their own. No matter the scale of the emergency or disaster, they are there providing communications for relief and rescue organizations. As our motto states, Amateur operators have the ability to get the message out 'when all normal means of communications fail!'"

In recent months following September 11th, being prepared for disaster is blazingly present in all of our minds. Amateur radio's public service commitment is a highly valuable tool to assist in our emergency preparedness. As precious as this component of the Amateur Radio Service is to us, it is "Not for Profit" and comes at little expense.

A coordinated effort initiated by the hospital and carried forth by a combination of Facilities and other staff (as well as Amateur operators from the community) has resulted in the launch of a new UHF repeater system atop of the hospital. Due to funding made possible by the hospital, radio equipment donated by a Medical Center Amateur operator, and space accommodations on the roof and in the Facilities penthouse, the system has been installed and has been providing communications throughout the county and further. Amateur operators from miles away have been testing and using the system, literally even before its installation was complete. The system is currently attached to the hospitals emergency generators for continuous operation during power outages. It maintains inter-connectivity with the telephone system for incoming or outgoing telephony interfacing. Most popular is the ability to connect to the internet via IRLP and Echolink, extending it's reach to, virtually, the world.

*emphasis mine...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 9 2007 17:32 utc | 18

(tough) asia times online review of pepe escobar's book
The Roving Eye's grim world view

Globalistan by Pepe Escobar
Voracious readers of Asia Times Online won't find all that much new in Globalistan. Various ATol contributors, as well as Escobar himself, have written much on the subjects that make up this volume. Several of them, including Syed Saleem Shahzad, Henry C K Liu, F William Engdahl and others are cited therein. What makes the book valuable - and fascinating - is the way it ties so many apparently disparate threads of 21st-century geopolitics into a single tapestry. These disparate threads are the "stans" that compose this bizarre atlas - Corporatistan, Jihadistan, Talibanistan, of course Americastan, even Osamastan and many others, transported and intermixed by Pipelineistan and overseen by the mother - or rather the unruly daughter - of all "stans", Globalistan itself.

Probably the most important chapter in the book is "Pipelineistan", which describes in intricate detail the complexities and the politics of the transport system for oil and gas. Intrigue, regional, ethnic and religious rivalry, economic ideology, the challenges of geography - all that and more are in the mix. Much has been written elsewhere about exploring for oil (and gas), extracting oil, fighting over oil, and yes, transporting oil in gigantic tankers, but the lowly pipeline - itself a multibillion-dollar business - is crucial to all of this. For example, everyone knows that Iran ships oil through the Persian Gulf; far less has been written about the complicated deals Iran has with the Central Asian republics to import their oil and export Iranian oil in a swap arrangement.

It's all here, as is analysis of how Pipelineistan affects - and is affected by - the politics not only of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and the Persian Gulf states but of the Central Asian dictatorships, the vast nation of Putinistan, the rising Asian giant Chindia, and even South America - now noticed even by the lethargic US media because of the antics of Hugo Chavez, yet we learn here that Bolivarian Pipelineistan extends far beyond Venezuela, under whose startlingly beautiful Orinoco rainforest lie petroleum riches that might make even the Arab oil sheikdoms envious.

Excerpt from Pepe Escobar's Globalistan: How the Globalized World Is Dissolving into Liquid War

Posted by: b real | Feb 9 2007 19:17 utc | 19

good, lengthy article up by keith harmon snow: Oil in Darfur? Special Ops in Somalia?: The New Old "Humanitarian" Warfare in Africa

Posted by: b real | Feb 9 2007 19:44 utc | 20

Bush was elected through TV propaganda and in a bureaucratic, nationalistic, imperialistic State, through vote fraud. This is not new in the world, though some of the methods leave one gasping.

Bush himself is not to blame, though a stronger character might have refused - but that is more than one can expect, as one Bush may hide another.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 9 2007 20:02 utc | 21

who bankrolls asia times? i read the site, especially the "reporting" of escobar w/ great skepticism.

just curious if anyone knows who runs the thing beyond what is mentioned on the actual site.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 9 2007 21:00 utc | 22

especially the "reporting" of escobar

Oh, so you checked out the advertising rates and decided it is not a going concern? There is no-one else investing in this business for market share?

You did, of course, check out the site usage:-
Current monthly visitors (Nov 2006) - 2,449,130
Average monthly visitors (Oct 06 - Dec 06) - 2,462,171
Current daily visitors (Nov 2006) - 81,638
Average daily visitors (Oct 06 - Dec 06) - 80,288
Current monthly page views (Nov 2006) - 6,714,444
Average monthly page views (Oct 06 - Dec 06) - 6,716,864
Current average daily page views (Oct 06 - Dec 06) - 219,028

So's who's bankroling them, slothrop? Those nasty Chinese? The A-rabs?

Yea, I mean, this "great skepticism" that you have about Pepe Escobar. I mean, geez, that doesn't even sound like an American name.

Posted by: DM | Feb 9 2007 22:41 utc | 23

no, i just wondered who owned/ran the website. that's all.

i think pepe's full of shit, much of the time. jmo. maybe, cuz he's an immgrint.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 9 2007 22:57 utc | 24

Re: Armature Radio, #16:

Brings back memories. I once was a “ham” in training but was too young to spend the effort to master Morse Code, a requirement for a operators license back then. I still remember a little code: ....-, --.- (pronounced: di-di-di-di-da da-da-di-da) It is code for “4 Q”. In those days I was totally fascinated with that “4" letter word. Thus the on-demand imprint from my nervous system.

Anyway, I think a way out of this planetary mess, if there possibly is one, is not to oppose Empire but to bypass empire. David Korten’s book “The Great Turning, Form Empire to Earth Community” which has been mentioned here before, I think is a good starting blueprint.

Part of the idea is finding ways to be self sufficient and not depend on corporate sponsored markets. Local markets, yes. The idea of going back to easily transmitted Morse Code for communication,
[low wattage can be transmitted long distances on what’s known as CW (Continuous Wave, it was an early version of digital. You transmit a continuous single frequency and interrupt it in either short (di’s) or long (da’s) intervals. No AM nor FM (Amplitude Modulated, Frequency Modulated) modulation of the carrier frequency needed]
might just be a low tech way to bypass a lot of the high tech corporate/government controlled communication channels. I hadn’t heard of PSK, MFSK or RTTY modes/tecnology but I will research them.

I like it. Thanks for the links Uncle.

PS. Your link from post #8 Uncle, to Stan Goff is appreciated. I had lost contact with him lately. Glad he’s still at it.

Posted by: Juannie | Feb 9 2007 22:59 utc | 25

b real (our latin american/african correspondant)

these links valuable especially Tpepe escobar

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 9 2007 23:17 utc | 26

Is Billmon still missing in action?

Posted by: mattes | Feb 9 2007 23:43 utc | 27

No mattes. He’s entered into a telepathic-symbiotic relationship with Bernhard and they are posing as b.

Masterful b

Posted by: Juannie | Feb 10 2007 1:32 utc | 28

pepe constantly repeats the strategic fiction that the u.s. has created the iraq civil war. he repeatedly claims that religious communities in iraq lived in edenic equanimity prior to u.s. occupation. he also annoyingly kludges one datum to another in order to achieve climax of u.s.-hate. and the most deceptive ploy in his writing is to offer prognostication as fact, fx.:

The resistance plan is a mirror image of the Pentagon's. It also divides the capital into military sectors under a central command. Shoulder-fired missiles will be downing more CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters in (still Sunni) western Baghdad - as happened on Wednesday.

and so on.

i share his outrage, but am annoyed w/ the cloyingly ideological disingenuousness. that's what foxnews does, no?

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 10 2007 1:38 utc | 29

I don't know what planet you have been living on slothrop, but divide-and-conquer has been modus operandi on this planet since the year dot.

And you have a problem with “equanimity prior to u.s. occupation”? Like -- we didn’t fuck it up -- it was already fucked-up. So what’s your problem?

Slothrop, I don’t follow your posts very carefully, but unless I am mistaken, you share the “outrage” but want the Empire and the Occupation to continue?

I don’t think Escobar was offering prognostication as fact. The prognostication was clearly prognostication at the conclusion of the article.

Posted by: DM | Feb 10 2007 2:34 utc | 30

he's sloppy. atimes is sloppy.

yes, you should follow my posts more carefully.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 10 2007 3:38 utc | 31

atime's china news is persistently uncritical. not always. but mainly uncritical, especially business news.

it's as if it were owned by the ccp.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 10 2007 3:53 utc | 32

Oh I am sure you are a rigorous intellect. I'll pass on that, thanks.

Posted by: DM | Feb 10 2007 3:54 utc | 33

Partial List of IP Blocks Used by US "Terrorist Surveillance Program"

The following partial list of IP blocks are routinely used by the US government entities (supported by private contractors) to gain access to, to monitor, and in some cases, to destroy IT networks.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 10 2007 3:56 utc | 34

i stated my case. and you whine. whining isn't a worthy response, but it fetches more mother's milk.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 10 2007 4:02 utc | 35


Asia Times is Chinese. Do you want only the Murdoch, American and Wall Street views of the world?

There is a pretty broad spectrum of opinion on Asia Times.

Just an idle thought: If the New York Times could measure up to the diversity of opinion expressed on Asia Times, maybe the fruitcakes in the American Regime would have a harder time pursuing their agenda to control ME energy resources at any cost.

It's a bit late in the day for Commie scares, don't you think?

Posted by: DM | Feb 10 2007 4:04 utc | 36

i believe a ruthless critique evades vanity when it can also find in the verification of preferred opinions tendentious made-to-seed-the-leftist-brainpan bullshit.

i often agree w/ atimes badly concxocted overt criticism of u.s. foreign policy, but am aware how this is contradicted by its business news. i just want to know what i'm reading, that's all.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 10 2007 4:14 utc | 37

What follows is more from the: “What has happened to America’s Soul?” department.

Paraplegic allegedly 'dumped' on skid row
L.A. police say man was dropped off in front of dozens of witnesses by van linked to Hollywood Presbyterian hospital.

February 9, 2007
Los Angeles Police Department detectives said they connected the van to Hollywood Presbyterian after witnesses wrote down a phone number on the van and took down its license-plate number.

They are questioning officials from the hospital, which the LAPD had accused in an earlier dumping case that is now under investigation.

Witnesses shouted at the female driver of the van, "Where's his wheelchair, where's his walker?"

Posted by: Rick | Feb 10 2007 4:51 utc | 38

“What has happened to America’s Soul?”

Sold to the devil? The War in Iraq Costs: $301,215,185,400

Posted by: DM | Feb 10 2007 5:04 utc | 39

Stateville Prison in Joliet, 1992
Panopticon shot

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 10 2007 5:18 utc | 40

is presbyterian the same as evangelical?

Posted by: annie | Feb 10 2007 8:18 utc | 41

atimes badly concxocted overt criticism of u.s. foreign policy............cough........ i just want to know what i'm reading, that's all.

what is your daily newsource of choice slothrop?

Posted by: annie | Feb 10 2007 8:37 utc | 42

@ annie #41

is presbyterian the same as evangelical?

this time we can direct our anger at another group.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 10 2007 9:39 utc | 43

The Guardian: Target Iran: US able to strike in the spring
Despite denials, Pentagon plans for possible attack on nuclear sites are well advanced

The present military build-up in the Gulf would allow the US to mount an attack by the spring. But the sources said that if there was an attack, it was more likely next year, just before Mr Bush leaves office.

Neo-conservatives, particularly at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, are urging Mr Bush to open a new front against Iran. So too is the vice-president, Dick Cheney. The state department and the Pentagon are opposed, as are Democratic congressmen and the overwhelming majority of Republicans. The sources said Mr Bush had not yet made a decision.

Hmm - I am not so sure about "had not yet made a decision"

Posted by: b | Feb 10 2007 10:52 utc | 44

Deutsche Welle: Putin Slams US for Making World More Dangerous

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-frontal attack on the United States on Saturday, saying it had made the world a more dangerous place and left successive conflicts unresolved.

Addressing an audience of senior officials and politicians including many from the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Putin said the United States had "overstepped" its borders with disastrous results.

The Russian leader, who spearheaded opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, accused Washington of operating by "separate norms."

"The United States has overstepped its borders in all spheres -- economic, political and humanitarian and has imposed itself on other states," he told delegates at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy.

I don't like Putin, I don't trust him, but gosh, he is right! It's time that world leaders start to speak out against the rogue behavior of the US.

Posted by: Fran | Feb 10 2007 17:11 utc | 45

Asia Times. Surely one should judge a newspaper first on the quality of the articles, the reporting, originality, interest, gripping perhaps, their presentation of checkable facts, their broader (or not) pov etc.? Their discussion of ideology or motive?

Always in the eye of the beholder!...obviously.

Escobar is an excellent journalist; one may disagree with what he writes; so? Their ‘Spengler’ infuriates readers all the time, people love him or mostly hate him, still it provokes thought and debate.

The editorials in the Wall Street Journal are designed to have their narrow readership nod their heads and say YES.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 10 2007 18:39 utc | 46


employees of the three branches of the federal government have to give staff lists for the Plum Book, but the OVP apparently believes its not part any of the three branches. At the risk of sounding overdramatic, its one of those horrifying arguments that makes me worry about the integrity of our constitutional system.

Cheneys office seems to have declared itself some kind of fourth branch of the government. Its legislative, its executive, its accountable to no one .. its the super branch.

Posted by: annie | Feb 10 2007 19:01 utc | 47

Putin press conference, Feb 1, 2007

Long, but worth reading.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Feb 10 2007 21:17 utc | 48

Awfully embarrasing to compare Bush and Putin.

Posted by: DM | Feb 10 2007 21:48 utc | 49

What would martial law in the United States look like? I think of that often as I wait for the bus in my metropolitan commute to work. Would my ATM card still work? Would my work still work? More importantly, would the toilet still work? I can't see it happening... for any great length of time... martial law.

Posted by: gus | Feb 10 2007 23:00 utc | 50

Oh, I don't know Gus. But if you sometimes catch the plane rather than the bus, you can get at least get an inkling of what it might be like. Queueing up, standing in you socks waiting to be scanned; being harangued by minimum wage brownshirts who now have a purpose to their life (because your shampoo bottle has more than 2oz.). We have been putting up with this shit for so long now, that people are beginning to consider this as normal behaviour.

The toilets would still work, but maybe there wouldn't be any privacy there either.

Posted by: DM | Feb 10 2007 23:24 utc | 51

patrick cockburn & nir rosen are great reporters. certainly, escobar is not in their company. escobar reads like propaganda. whose, i'm not yet sure.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 11 2007 3:52 utc | 52

In the ’Every little bit helps’ department, this letter was published today in the New Bern Sun Journal: (Couldn’t find any links directly to the ‘Letters to the Editor’, so this link is only to the paper’s home page.)

The Sun Journal’s editorial of Saturday, February 3rd, concerned me quite a bit. Just two sentences destroyed an otherwise fine essay. The Sun Journal stated: “There are people out there who want to kill Americans, and there may be a rare instance here and there when extraordinary measures might help to protect Americans. But outsourcing torture should not be a common practice.”

Has America sunk so low that torture is now an option? Even tried and convicted criminals are spared “cruel and unusual punishment” under our Constitution. And if torture is now an acceptable practice (on a limited number of souls, of course), then logically, why outsource torture at all? Why not perform the dirty deeds right here in America?

Rick Happ
Pamlico County

Unfortunately, the circulation is not real impressive. Still working on the ‘Help stop a U.S./Iran War’ Letter. I will send that to both ‘The Pamlico News’ (a small weekly county newspaper) and the New Bern Sun Journal (a daily paper in an adjacent county).

Posted by: Rick | Feb 11 2007 4:35 utc | 53

Barbarians at the gates of Rome ?

New U.S. commander in Iraq says 'barbarians' must be defeated

To the people of ancient Greece and Rome, a Barbarian">">Barbarian was anyone who was not of their extraction or culture.

Because most of these "strangers" regularly practiced raids upon these civilizations, the term Barbarian gradually evolved into a perjorative term: a person who was sub-human, uncivilized, and regularly practiced the most vile and inhuman acts imaginable. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

Posted by: DM | Feb 11 2007 5:43 utc | 54

@Rick - 53 - good - thank you!

Posted by: b | Feb 11 2007 7:58 utc | 55

DM,speaking of barbarians. there is a very popular ME singer, apparently one of the most popular

Kadhum al-Sahir whose interview and song 'herders of the fire' are at the link. i totally recommend the political video, very moving complete w/barbarians/torture images.

another website arab woman blues has this to say

"Al Roa3t wal Nar"
New song by Iraqi Singer Kazem al Saher.
"Roa3t" means hordes of barbarians and "nar" means fire.

another website mentioned "the clip is now playing on almost every Arab TV and Satellite channel, hugely popular."

Posted by: annie | Feb 11 2007 9:47 utc | 56

CIA Analysts: Over 50% Of Bush's Iraq War Justifications Untrue

Los Angeles Times | February 10, 2007 05:32 PM

As the Bush administration began assembling its case for war, analysts across the U.S. intelligence community were disturbed by the report of a secretive Pentagon team that concluded Iraq had significant ties to Al Qaeda.

Analysts from the CIA and other agencies "disagreed with more than 50%" of 26 findings the Pentagon team laid out in a controversial paper, according to testimony Friday from Thomas F. Gimble, acting inspector general of the Pentagon.


"They weren't creating intelligence, but they were assembling the pieces to create a rationale for war," Crowley said. "Their production was discredited, but they had the desired effect. The little pieces ended up infecting the process."

Here are some excerpts from that article pertinent to the historical "Team B":


Although the Pentagon Inspector General's report released Friday did not address the accuracy of such assessments, it documented the unusual efforts by Defense Department policymakers to bypass regular intelligence channels and influence officials at the highest level of government .

Feith's work was of critical importance to Vice President Dick Cheney, who once referred to the Pentagon team's conclusions as the "best source" for understanding the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.


A critical question raised by the inspector general's report is whether Feith and his office were just critiquing CIA analysis, or were creating their own intelligence assessment, a role that is supposed to be left to the CIA and other intelligence agencies .


Feith's work had the blessing of his boss, former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. The operation was set up at the behest of then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz with approval from Rumsfeld, Gimble noted. By most accounts, those three officials had distrust, if not disdain, for the work of the CIA and other intelligence agencies.


P.J. Crowley, a retired Air Force colonel and a senior fellow at the Center of American Progress, said that the intelligence peddled by Feith tainted the public dialogue .

" They weren't creating intelligence, but they were assembling the pieces to create a rationale for war," Crowley said. "Their production was discredited, but they had the desired effect. The little pieces ended up infecting the process ."

So, here we have a striking resemblance to "Team B" from the 70's. Note below the players involved. (Also of interest is that "The Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) was resurrected in June 2004 by a largely neoconservative group of 41 members...Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut serve as CPD's honorary cochairmen, giving the CPD the appearance of a bipartisan initiative. Like the second CPD, the current CPD is largely a grouping of national security militarists and neoconservatives..."

Also see, Committee on the Present Danger

Overview of "Team B"

Team B was part of a competitive analysis exercise initiated by U.S. government officials in the 1970s to analyze intelligence on the Soviet Union. Team B was a group of "outside experts" who would counter a group of established CIA intelligence officials known as Team A.(1) Team B argued that the National Intelligence Estimate on the Soviet Union, generated yearly by the CIA, underestimated Soviet military power and misinterpreted Soviet strategic intentions. Its findings were leaked to the press in an unsuccessful attempt at an October surprise to derail Jimmy Carter's 1976 presidential bid.(2) The Team B reports became the intellectual foundation for the idea of "the window of vulnerability" and of the massive arms buildup that began toward the end of the Carter administration and accelerated under President Reagan.(3)

Team B was approved by the Director of Central Intelligence George H. W. Bush. A team of 16 "outside experts" were to take an independent look at highly classified data used by the intelligence community to assess Soviet strategic forces in the yearly National Intelligence Estimates.(3)(4)

There were three teams:

One studied Soviet low-altitude air defense capabilities,
One examined Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) accuracy, and
One investigated Soviet strategic policy and objectives.
It is the third team, chaired by Harvard professor Richard Pipes, that ultimately received considerable publicity and is most commonly referred to as Team B.(3)


In 1974, Albert Wohlstetter, a professor at the University of Chicago, accused the CIA of systematically underestimating Soviet missile deployment, in his 1974 Foreign Policy article entitled "Is There a Strategic Arms Race?" Wohlstetter concluded that the United States was allowing the Soviet Union to achieve military superiority by not closing the missile gap. Many conservatives then began a concerted attack on the CIA's annual assessment of the Soviet threat.(2)(3)

The organization chosen in the administration to challenge the CIA's analysis was the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB). PFIAB's Team B was headed by:

Richard Pipes, a Harvard historian and specialist in Russian history.
Paul Nitze, who also helped to create the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), the objectives of which were to raise awareness about the Soviets' alleged nuclear dominance and to pressure the American leadership to close the gap.(5)
Team B's members included:

Clare Booth Luce
John Connally
Daniel O. Graham
Edward Teller
Thomas Wolf
Paul Wolfowitz
William Van Cleave (6)

In 1975, PFIAB members asked director of the CIA William Colby to approve the initiative of producing comparative assessments of the Soviet threat. Colby refused, stating it was hard "to envisage how an ad hoc independent group of analysts could prepare a more thorough, comprehensive assessment of Soviet strategic capabilities than could the intelligence community."<5>

In 1976, when George H. W. Bush became the new director of central intelligence, the PFIAB renewed its request for competitive threat assessments. Although his top analysts argued against such an undertaking, Bush checked with the White House, obtained a go-ahead, and by May 26 signed off on the experiment.

Here's some more information on "Team B", highlighting Wolfowitz's and Rumsfeld's historical involvement:

To set the stage for this excerpt (no link) -- Sometime during the Ford administration, when Reagan was making his move in his bid for presidency, Reagan was attacking Ford's foreign policy (Ford and Kissinger believed detente was the best approach with Soviet Union, others thought not: Cheney was Ford's new chief of staff and was not supportive of detente, nor was Rumsfeld, Cheney's predecessor. Rumsfeld was, at this time, Ford's secretary of defense). Ford eventually retreated from using the word 'detente' so much.

While Rumsfeld and Cheney were eviscerating Kissinger's Soviet policies at the top levels of the Ford administration and the Republican party, Paul Wolfowitz was engaged in a parallel effort inside the US intelligence community.

At the end of each year, at a time when new defense budgets were being drafted, the CIA ... produced a secret National Intelligence Estimate on the intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union. ...congressional critics complained that the intelligence community was offering too benign and too optimistic a view of the Soviet leadership and military. The underlying issue was whether the CIA and other agencies were underestimating the threat, either intentionally tailoring intelligence to support Kissinger's policy of detente or by simply failing to give enough weight to darker interpretations of Soviet intentions.

In 1976 Bush, the CIA new director from the Soviet Union, moved to counter the criticism. He appointed a team of outside experts, called the B Team, to review the classified data and to draw up its own separate report on the Soviet Union and its intentions. Team B was headed by Richard Pipes, a professor of Russian history from Harvard University. Wolfowitz, still working at the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, was one of the ten members.

The report, delivered at the end of 1976, presented an analysis of Soviet motivations profoundly different from the one US intelligence had been offering. The team concluded it was possible to interpret the available intelligence data as showing that the Soviet Union was striving for military superiority over the United States and that it viewed detente as a means of achieving this goal ... it criticized the CIA for relying too much on satellites and other technology and for failing to give enough weight to what Soviet leaders were saying.

This Team B exercise represented an important step in Wolfowitz's career. For the first time he was focusing on the underpinnings of American foreign policy, on the hidden assumptions and leaps of logic that lay beneath the dry, purportedly unbiased studies of the intelligence community. Many years later, in a retrospective interview with the CIA's own internal historians, Wolfowitz said he came to the conclusion that US intelligence analysts had been operating in the fashion of priesthood, issuing conclusions as if they were commandments written on tablets. "The B-Team demonstrated that it was possible to construct a sharply different view of Soviet motivation from the consensus view of the analysts, and one that provided a much closer fit to the Soviets' observed behavior (and also provided a much closer fit to the Soviets' observed behavior up to and through the invasion of Afghanistan)," Wolfowitz said.

The Team B exercise created an important precedent. From that point forward, whenever members of Congress believed that the CIA was minimizing the seriousness of a foreign policy problem, there were calls for a Team B to review the intelligence and make its own independent evaluation. During the mid-1990s, the Republican majority in Congress set up a special commission, modeled upon Team B, to study the threat to the United from ballistic missiles. After reviewing the intelligence, an independent commission concluded that the danger of a missile attack was considerably greater than the US intelligence community had reported. That missile defense commission was headed by Donald Rumsfeld, and one of its leading members was Paul Wolfowitz.

Wolfowitz's work on the B Team seems to have had a particularly strong influence on his own thinking. From then on the inadequacies of American intelligence became a frequent Wolfowitz theme. From his own perspective, the intelligence community simply wasn't being skeptical enough; it was too satisfied with information that confirmed its preconceptions. Critics made the reverse accusation against him; there were complaints that Wolfowitz was too eager to obtain intelligence reports that fitted in with his own conservative views. The Rise of the Vulcans, James Mann, pp. 73-75

And, lastly, a final note from rightweb:


Shortly after President Gerald Ford appointed Bush to be the new director of intelligence, replacing the beleaguered William Colby, Bush authorized PFIAB’s plan for an alternative review. The review consisted of three panels: one to assess the threat posed by Soviet missile accuracy; another to determine the effect of Soviet air defenses on U.S. strategic bombers; and a third--the Strategic Objectives Panel--to determine the Soviet Union’s intentions. The work of this last panel, which became known as the Team B Report, was the most controversial. As Paul Warnke, an official at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency at the time of the Team B exercise, wrote: “Whatever might be said for evaluation of strategic capabilities by a group of outside experts, the impracticality of achieving useful results by ‘independent’ analysis of strategic objectives should have been self-evident. Moreover, the futility of the Team B enterprise was assured by the selection of the panel’s members. Rather than including a diversity of views ... the Strategic Objectives Panel was composed entirely of individuals who made careers of viewing the Soviet menace with alarm.”


Right-wing ideologues and militarists frequently cite the example of Team B as a successful model for challenging moderate threat assessments by the foreign policy establishment, particularly the CIA and the State Department. In prevailing over the CIA, Team B demonstrated that “strategic intelligence” based on a policy-driven analysis of an adversary’s perceived intentions could triumph over fact-based intelligence. Through adroit organizing by hawks inside and outside of government, the Team B effort helped re-launch the cold war.

The end of the cold war did not bring to a close the long-running dispute between the national security alarmists on the right and the more conservative analysis of security threats by the CIA, the State Department, and the military itself. In the case of Iraq, the ideologues and militarists, following the Team B model, insisted on the primacy of strategic intelligence. Once again the U.S. government allowed a militarist policy by ideology and fear-mongering to trump facts and reason--at a tremendous cost to U.S. taxpayers as well as a mounting casualty list in the case of the Iraq invasion and occupation.

Team B Strategic Objectives Panel

This should be known to many MOA's, however, it also needs to be spread far and wide to the average world citizen imho.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 11 2007 12:42 utc | 57

The New Yorker: WHATEVER IT TAKES - The politics of the man behind “24.”

Surnow, a cigar enthusiast, has converted a room down the hall from his office into a salon with burled-wood humidors and a full bar; his friend Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk-radio host, sometimes joins him there for a smoke. (Not long ago, Surnow threw Limbaugh a party and presented him with a custom-made “24” smoking jacket.)
Since September 11th, depictions of torture have become much more common on American television. Before the attacks, fewer than four acts of torture appeared on prime-time television each year, according to Human Rights First, a nonprofit organization. Now there are more than a hundred, and, as David Danzig, a project director at Human Rights First, noted, “the torturers have changed. It used to be almost exclusively the villains who tortured. Today, torture is often perpetrated by the heroes.” The Parents’ Television Council, a nonpartisan watchdog group, has counted what it says are sixty-seven torture scenes during the first five seasons of “24”—more than one every other show.
Howard Gordon, who is the series’ “show runner,” or lead writer, told me that he concocts many of the torture scenes himself. “Honest to God, I’d call them improvisations in sadism,” he said. Several copies of the C.I.A.’s 1963 KUBARK interrogation manual can be found at the “24” offices, but Gordon said that, “for the most part, our imaginations are the source.
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 told the producers that “24,” by suggesting that the U.S. government perpetrates myriad forms of torture, hurts the country’s image internationally. ... [I]t had become increasingly hard to convince some cadets that America had to respect the rule of law and human rights, even when terrorists did not. One reason for the growing resistance, he suggested, was misperceptions spread by “24,” which was exceptionally popular with his students.
The third expert at the meeting was Tony Lagouranis, a former Army interrogator in the war in Iraq. He told the show’s staff that DVDs of shows such as “24” circulate widely among soldiers stationed in Iraq. Lagouranis said to me, “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 me. “I worked with someone who used waterboarding”—an interrogation method involving the repeated near-drowning of a suspect. “I used severe hypothermia, dogs, and sleep deprivation. I saw suspects after soldiers had gone into their homes and broken their bones, or made them sit on a Humvee’s hot exhaust pipes until they got third-degree burns. Nothing happened"
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.”
Last March, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Virginia, joined Surnow and Howard Gordon for a private dinner at Rush Limbaugh’s Florida home. The gathering inspired Virginia Thomas—who works at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank—to organize a panel discussion on “24.” The symposium, sponsored by the foundation and held in June, was entitled “ ‘24’ and America’s Image in Fighting Terrorism: Fact, Fiction, or Does It Matter?” Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who participated in the discussion, praised the show’s depiction of the war on terrorism as “trying to make the best choice with a series of bad options.” He went on, “Frankly, it reflects real life.”
The same day as the Heritage Foundation event, a private luncheon was held in the Wardrobe Room of the White House for Surnow and several others from the show. (The event was not publicized.) Among the attendees were Karl Rove, the deputy chief of staff; Tony Snow, the White House spokesman; Mary Cheney, the Vice-President’s daughter; and Lynn Cheney, the Vice-President’s wife, who, Surnow said, is “an extreme ‘24’ fan.” After the meal, Surnow recalled, he and his colleagues spent more than an hour visiting with Rove in his office.

Posted by: b | Feb 11 2007 14:02 utc | 58


Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 11 2007 19:06 utc | 59

In a strange twist, the star of 24 is the grandson of this fella

Posted by: jcairo | Feb 11 2007 21:49 utc | 60

jcairo, his father is a famous anti war activist and his mom also,

It was in the late 1960s and early 1970s that Shirley Douglas became involved in the American protest movement -- first in the campaign against the Vietnam War and later on behalf of those suffering oppression, such as immigrants and women. Douglas helped to establish the fundraising group called Friends of the Black Panthers, but due to this involvement, was subsequently refused a U.S. work permit. In 1977, as a single mother, she left California to return to Toronto.

Posted by: annie | Feb 11 2007 23:13 utc | 61

Remember the good old days when you could get state and federal level kickbacks under the table or through the quiet anonymity of your own shell company? A few tiny little Enrons and Savings & Loans later, and people want to put American entrepreneurs under a microscope as if they were common... well... commoners.

Yes, there have been a few bad apples, but is that really grounds to do away with the entire system of entitlement? John McCain still believes in American Exceptionalism, and that should be good enough for all of us! Do we really want to live in a world in which Karl Rove's children have to do menial work like... well... like common potential terrorists? It seems to me that we've turned the spirit of the domestic surveillance program on its ear when the aristocracy is forced to sacrifice their civil liberties alongside the riff raff. This is madness! MADNESS!

Sustainibility? Equality? What, do you want us to live like cavemen or something? Are we committed to progress and worshipping the forces of Mammon or aren't we here? Honestly, I can get behind thinking outside the box and everything, but I think people are starting to take their eyes off the prize. The War on Terror™ is supposed to entrench the Privileged... not break down boundaries.

I'm sorry. I'm very, very disappointed that some folk have allowed themselves to get carried away with things and want to apply the New Rules with such a broad brush. The temerity of treating American nobility like this staggers the imagination!

And speaking of that, is it my imagination or are there more zetas in my sky these days?

Posted by: Monolycus | Feb 12 2007 4:51 utc | 62

Given that dailysoros has given Obomination favorable play, inquiring minds want how that's aligned w/Sugah Daddy's wallet. SURPRISE!!

Here's a sample of one:
George Soros has abandoned Hillary Clinton for Barack Obama. Soros, who spent $26 million trying to beat Bush two years ago, is now a key supporter of the media-darling Illinois Democrat's presidential campaign. ...


Soros' switch was a stunner in the Clinton camp, which had hoped to woo him back amid a flurry of exchanges, reports the Post.

Posted by: jj | Feb 12 2007 6:56 utc | 63

a useful analogy from Matt Taibbi in the event that someone tells you that criticism of war in Iraq is somehow anti-American:

For most of us, if we thought there was any chance this thing could work, we'd have been for it, or at least not so violently against it. Instead, our opposition to the war was based on our absolute conviction that it would end in disaster -- which it incidentally has. But according to Klein, if we see a guy step off the top of the Empire State Building, we're supposed to root for him to nail the dismount. The whole issue is irrelevant and absurd. This is a catastrophe, not a baseball game. "Rooting" is a kid's word; grow the fuck up.

Posted by: citizen | Feb 12 2007 7:24 utc | 64

For those that want a razor-sharp summary of the weekly Sunday Morning mouse circus (talk shows) I cannot recommend Driftglass's Sunday Morning Comin' Down highly enough. eg.

[John Boehner] stands over the rotting corpse. Long, loooong dead. Demanding to know how Democrats will “save” it. Demanding to know what our plan for Reanimation is. That nothing short of Reanimation will do.

And when you point out that Reanimation is impossible? A delusion? A deadly fiction?

Well then you are demoralizing the troops and that you support the terrorists.

Posted by: PeeDee | Feb 12 2007 20:01 utc | 65

a meditation on the release this month of a member of the red army faction in germany. she is only one of four people left in german prison for actions taken during the 'années de plomb' - the years of lead

what our own slothrop fails to see - is how deeply implicated were the u s intelligence & military intelligence services were implicated in the strategies of tension - that allowed the putschists to arrive in power in greece, for andreotti- prince bhorgesi, the fascists in portugal & in spain - in fact the whole anti democratic movement in europe was completely organised through the united states - whether it was operation 'gladio', the strategy of tension - or the compromising of almost a generation of european parliamentarians of their respective countries- created in the 50's by james jesus angleton bore its fascist fruits in the 60's, 70's & 80's

the u s made of european politics a rubbish bin of their own sordid habitude

the left was doomed to its own destruction at just the point where it was most integrated with the masses - this was especially true in italy & france. & an organised left was something germany had through its shame created. in france - it is impossible to look at the so called leadership struggles in the parti communiste français without seeing the hands of the cia - a political left could not have been led by a more comprimised leadership, in italy the left was destroyed by the infiltration of fascist agents within the their organisation. in germany what gave birth to an armed opposstion (the propoganda of facts) was immediately comprimised with connections to the turkish grey wolves, the italina new order - all under the instructions of the cia. all comprimised & corrupted by american agencies

in 2007, it is horrifying to look at the damage done to the left - by their enemy & finally by themselves & all the major players of this u s led fascism like andreotti - alive & well

i remember this moment very clearly, very precisely & i remember it in more detail today than perhaps then. i rememember & remember categorically that even the armed op^pôsition to us politics was borne in the horror to what was beiong done in vietnam - that time's illegal & immoral war. good people, a generation of the best were swallowed up in a politics that was conceived somewhere at langley & the bureaus of 'intelligence' services in every country you can name

it was in that momenbt of histroy that i understood deeply the profound immorality of the politics that dominates those united states, it was in that particular history that i would witness exactly how far those pathological policies would go.

only someone who is completely blind to what has happened in the history of the last fifty years of the 20th century would be capable of defending that national entity, those united states

in those days the fascist were glad to call themselves exactly that - they were proud of their heritage - the elites were lost in their own venality (as they caricaturally are in latin america or asia for example) that they could not see they had already won their battle when the bitch thatcher - who was a symbiosis of the stupidity & criminality of both andreotti & reagan - herded her people behind the barriers of fear from where they can view the world that passes them by - it is no wonder they neeed that antiquated service - the bbc to tell them of their own heroism, their own humour & their own intelligence because - we the world have forgotten them. we forgot them when they sacrificed their miners, when they sacrificed their rail & ship workers, when they destroyed the printers & any movement of workers that could produce a menace to their power

& we were not so stupid to not see their criminalisation of politics in ireland & within their own borders as a testimony of their failure to conduct real politics. they, with criminal disposition - destroyed the social fabric of that nation - they liue about their underclass, their homeless, their drug & drug addled public who are wound around the fingers of state through the subvention of needs

they might have won & yes sarkozy might win here - what was collaboration then - is called atlantism today - the collaboration of an elite against the interests of their people manipulating the fear of those people - which was in the last analysis the reason for the 'strategy of tension' - to create the conditions where the elites could rule without fear of a real oppossition

it is bush & the u s elites deepest desire that wwe return to that moment - to the moment where europe follows fearfully in the us/israel worldview & not seeing the natural & organic relation that the european people have with the people of the middle east

so in the month when they will release a member of the red army fraction - i do not salute her but i do salute the movement that gave birth to her & i taken notice that the enemy then is the same enemy today

sorry for being so brutal but that is exactly how i feel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 12 2007 22:10 utc | 66

Militainment, Inc. is a nine-part critical investigation of the militarization of popular culture. (About two hours, chopped into ten-minute YouTube videos.)

Militainment, Inc.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 13 2007 3:50 utc | 67


P.S. if you do not watch the whole of the above, at least watch the first two...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 13 2007 4:28 utc | 68

now that AFRICOM is a reality & taking over the EUCOM strategic objective of securing west african -- primarily nigerian -- oil & LNG supplies, don't be surprised to see an escalation of perception-shaping stories on "terrorists" in the niger delta atttributed to MEND. CNN is accused of doing just that.

MEND not keeping 24 Pinoy as hostages - Nigerian gov't

Nigeria’s federal government has described the group holding the 24 Filipino seamen in the Niger Delta as “hired miscreants, vandals, criminals, drug peddlers, and kidnappers" posing as members of the militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

Frank Nweke, Nigeria’s minister of information and communications, was quoted in a report Sunday in the Nigerian Tribune ( as saying that the abduction of the Filipino seafarers was meant to embarrass the federal government.

Nweke said the comprehensive report on the Filipino hostages aired by the Cable News Network (CNN) on Thursday was “a hoax, stage-managed" by the network’s correspondent in Nigeria and made to appear MEND was involved in it.

It was the same line taken by the MEND through an e-mail from Jomo Gbomo, the group’s spokesman, to Nigerian newspapers on Friday.

Gbomo said on Friday that the group keeping the 24 Filipino seafarers was “a collection of thugs, pirates and bunkerers" who “had nothing to do with MEND."

He said the group was hired by local politicians and some “misguided" Ijaw leaders to prevent an Itsekiri man emerging as governor in Delta State. The group’s leader, a certain Major General Tamuno," he said, “is unknown to us and is a fraud."

A few days after the January 20 abduction of the 24 Filipinos, Gbomo already issued a statement through an e-mail to the media in Nigeria categorically saying that MEND had nothing to do with it.

Nweke said the CNN report that featured the Filipino captives purportedly held by the MEND militants was intended to “wrongfully denigrate Nigeria and her peoples, send the wrong signals to the international community about the state of affairs in the country, create unnecessary panic, foster the feeling of insecurity, advance an outdated thesis of neglect of the Niger Delta, and portray Nigeria as a country in perpetual crises."

FG Lampoons CNN over N/Delta Report

The Federal Government has denied last Thursday's Cable Network News (CNN) documentary on the militants of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), describing it as false, unethical and unacceptable.

Information and Communications Minister, Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr in an interview with CNN news caster, Mr. Jim Clancy yesterday maintained that the CNN reporter, Mr. Jeff Koinage contrived the said documentary, insisting that the people who acted it were paid for the job done.

However, in a swift response, Clancy who interviewed Nweke said there was nothing false in the documentary adding that there was no error in it neither did the management of CNN pay to contrive the report.

Clancy also stated that some security operatives in the region confirmed that the alleged militants shown in the documentary were real, contrary to the declaration of the Nigerian Government.

But Nweke maintained that there were evidences in the custody of the federal Government of Nigeria that the documentary was contrived and that the some alleged militants shown in the documentary were paid for it.
He stated categorically that Jeff Koinage had approached some people before his last report whereas this set of people outrightly refused to act as Niger Delta Militants.
The report, which featured some Filipino workers allegedly held by members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), was described as a 'hoax, stage-managed with hired miscreants, vandals and criminals.'

Last week, Nweke said that the Nigerian government had a response from MEND stating that those shown in the report were not its members.

The minister said CNN had aired several features and reports in the last eight months depicting Nigeria as a country in perpetual crisis in spite of the fact that its correspondents had unrestricted access to government officials.

The Nigerian government and its people have protested to CNN demanding an apology and right of reply, which should be given the same prominence and repetitive airing,' he said.
Dozens of foreign oil workers have been kidnapped in the region over the past few months, though they are later released unharmed.

Nigeria: Militants Disown CNN Report

Spokesman of the militant group, Jomo Gbomo, while disputing the report threatened to release the correspondence between MEND and CNN Correspondent, Mr. Jeff Koinange if he dared dispute their claims.

The letter from MEND yesterday states: "On Monday January 22, 2007, we were approached by Mr. Jeff Koinange who implicitly acknowledged this email account to be the authentic voice of MEND.

"He requested we stage some scenes for a very important CNN programme which was supposed to air in the first week of February.

"We stated clearly we would not be disposed to fit into his tight schedule. Our struggle is much more to us than parading before everyone willing to film fighters. I'm sure the world has seen enough of that.

"What CNN has presented as the truth to its unsuspecting viewers, is a collection of thugs, pirates and bunkerers put together by Jeff Koinange and CNN to meet up with the deadline given to Mr. Koinange by his editors in CNN. It is far from the truth.

"The band of criminals paraded by CNN as MEND have nothing to do with MEND. They are indeed the kidnappers of the Filipinos and as earlier stated, carried out this act at the behest of politicians and some misguided so-called Ijaw leaders to prevent an Itsekiri man emerging as governor in Delta State.
Apparently refering to another group which claimed to have kidnapped the Filipinos, Gbomo said the so called Major General Tamuno "is unknown to us and is a fraud."

The Filipinoes, he said, "were abducted by a community in Gbaramatu with the connivance of FNDIC in Warri who were paid by local politicians to blackmail the government into annulling the PDP primaries in Delta State."

Gbomo said the FNDIC in a bid to "lend credence to their fraud and cover up this disgraceful act carried out in the name of the struggle for the liberation of the Niger Delta, they added our original list of demands to their intended goals."

The struggle for the liberation of the Niger Delta, he said in the release, "has no relationship with the PDP primaries for which the Filipinos are being held. This same group of frauds in their earlier release claimed to hold the Italian hostages as well. This has long been disproved"

CNN denies Nigerian allegations of staging report

CNN and Koinange flatly denied the charge. In a written statement, CNN said it did not pay for any part of the report, nor does the network pay for interviews.

The report showed the hostages, held captive since their cargo ship was seized January 20, seated on white plastic chairs, lined up in a row.

As dozens of militants, dressed in black and wearing black ski masks, danced and fired automatic weapons into the air, the hostages appeared immobilized by fear.

i am currently working up a brief on the niger delta that i hope to have up in a couple days time which will expand on the topic of oil, the niger delta, the u.s. military & AFRICOM, the GWOT, MEND, and the upcoming 2007 presidential elections.

Posted by: b real | Feb 13 2007 5:31 utc | 69

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