Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 17, 2009

CIA vs. Pelosi

Comments on the Pelosi fight with the CIA took over several threads here - so lets give it a dedicated one.

My view:

  • Did Pelosi know that torture was going on?
  • Likely yes, but not through official sources. The informal sources did not provide hard proof. As the minority leader withe the public and the media supporting Bush what could she do?
  • Was Pelosi officially briefed on torture?
  • Likely yes, but in very obfuscated ways - 'we probably could use this technique ...'.
  • Did the CIA brief her on specific 'methods' used on specific persons?
  • Likely not.


  • The CIA is professional in the business of lying.
  • The CIA did lie (and still lies) about abducting and torturing people.
  • The current Panetta/CIA uttering about having briefed Pelosi are non-denial denials.

This is not a case about Pelosi. That's just an artificial sideshow.

But in total I welcome this fight and the discussion. It makes the torture issue more public and will lead, in one way or another, to a wider public opening of the whole case.

Obama's argument that publishing more torture pictures would incite more resistance to the U.S. military is stupid. The people who have been tortured know. They tell their stories all the time (just not in our media). Their sons, fathers, uncles and cousins know. Their experience gets broadcast on Al Jazeera.

The pictures will not change that. Publishing the pictures will not change the knowledge the people have. It will shock for a moment but the fact that they get published will also convince that the U.S. can indeed turn away from erroneous paths. The only way for the U.S. to redeem itself in the eyes of many, many people is to let the truth out and to publicly repent its deeds.

That could be done through:

  • A truth commission (likely a whitewash and thereby bad)
  • A Congress investigation (too political)
  • An independent counsel investigation (difficult minefield - depends on person)
  • Individual court cases (good but too slow).

Whatever. It will be impossible to keep the story under wraps and will be impossible, as the Republicans try, to redefine it. The evidence is out there and the number of witnesses is just too big.

My favorite solution?

An investigation by an independent counsel with full legal powers and dedicated to the issue. Real legal consequences for all involved. Nominated lead person: Patrick Fitzgerald.

Posted by b on May 17, 2009 at 19:26 UTC | Permalink


great post, i agree

anna missed

Wonder when she’ll get around to admitting that the military is misleading the Congress

while you're there check out

super fly (paper) strategy (w/excellent graphic)

w/Major Mathew Alexander

I suggest they also release statistics from Iraq showing the number of foreign fighters that were recruited because of our policy of torture and abuse. It was tracked. I know because I saw the slides and because I heard captured foreign fighters state this day in and day out. The government can also release the statistics that show that 90% of suicide bombers in Iraq were these same foreign fighters. These foreign fighters killed hundreds, if not thousands, of American soldiers.


I’m pretty sure that this is the first we’ve heard about this - that the U.S. military has been tracking the number of foreign fighters that were recruited because of our policy of torture and abuse. Having these statistics released would go a long way in settling this notion “that torture works”, and “torture saves lives” currently being promoted by Dick Cheney. Whats more, seeing that these statistics were gathered post Abu Ghraib, during the Majors service there, it would follow that the statistic gathering continues to tract the period since interrogation reforms were put into place.

Posted by: annie | May 17 2009 19:39 utc | 1

btw, frank rich linked to this story @ the telegraph

Graphic photographs of alleged prisoner abuse, thought to be among up to 2,000 images Barack Obama is trying to prevent from being released, have been unearthed.

i doubt they are going to be able to keep the lid on this.

Posted by: annie | May 17 2009 20:07 utc | 2

I can't agree about Fitzgerald. He is a trusted member of the national security state, and has always been very able in capping investigations before they expose too much of its shenanigans. The 1993 WTC bombing is a good example.

The problem is, there aren't many people out there who aren't compromised, one way or another. Carter would be my choice, but there isn't a chance in hell of that happening. Or maybe they should just reconvene the 9/11 commission, ha, ha!

Posted by: Dick Durata | May 17 2009 20:47 utc | 3

Greenwald has a clip where some talking heads are arguing about this and the chairman of the republican party wants to investigate pelosi. my gosh what an opportunity! why in the hell doesn't holder and obama take this and run? they could have republican support to investigate torture. it is hard to believe steele is that stupid, party politics so extreme that they have lost track of who ordered the torture in the first place and think they can put it on pelosi.

is this real or is it the Onion?

Posted by: dan of steele | May 17 2009 22:49 utc | 4

my guess about the heel-dragging is a fear of world reaction to videos of "our" sodomizing captured young Iraqi boys. I remember reading, a while ago, they screamed so horribly that *Rumsfeld* couldn't stand to watch it...

and, more recently, Sy Hersh seems to believe the story...

we'll see...

Posted by: lambent1 | May 17 2009 22:53 utc | 5


Yes! Patrick Fitzgerald! Independent, fully powered!

Wonderful idea!

We *need* fresh air!

Posted by: lambent1 | May 17 2009 23:16 utc | 6

assume for the sake of argument that i'm the guy that told the avionics techs to install a sleeper virus --a GPS flight path-- into those 9/11 airliners...

would the techs know what they were doing? ...hell no. ...they'd be told they were upgrading the navigation software in the airplanes' nav systems.

okay... so i'm the guy that dreamed this scheme up, but i need to find someone to blame... and that's where the torture comes in... i can rip out guys' fingernails or roast their weenies with BICs until i find a guy who can confess convincingly to something he didnt do ...and then i'm home free.

see why torture is so important to the project?

...another little facet of gibson's "spook country", whether you want to admit to it or not.

Posted by: wadosy | May 18 2009 0:14 utc | 7

i can rip out guys' fingernails or roast their weenies with BICs until i find a guy who can confess convincingly to something he didnt do ...and then i'm home free.

as long as you can be assure he will 'commit suicide' once the story begins to unravel.

Posted by: annie | May 18 2009 0:24 utc | 8

what's gonna unravel when you've intimidated potential media or enforcement troublemakers by mailing them anthrax letters?

what's gonna unravel when the investigation is conducted in large part by the perps, who have a vested interest in ensuring the success of the operation?

what's gonna unravel when the main media is totally onboard, and suffocates anyone who dares to question the official conspiracy theory, nevermind how lame it is?

Posted by: wadosy | May 18 2009 0:29 utc | 9

STOP! The Attacks On Speaker Pelosi

Last time they tried to attack Speaker Pelosi ( second in line to the President of the United States) it was about her alleged abuse of military transportation. This attack as expected turned out to be bogus. It turned out that the previous Speaker (Hastert - a Republican) made far more use of military transportation. It turned out that Speaker Pelosi was possibly overly prudent and too self-restrained in her use of military transportation.

Now Republicans are trying to attack her about allegedly having been told by the Bush administration about things she was not told about, like water boarding. Republicans are attacking her because she is being so effective at getting the peoples work done in congress, like healthcare. And Republicans want to stop her. Don't put up with that. Every time they attack Speaker Pelosi they are attacking you and the rest of the American people. If they go after her, go after them even harder.

They are trying to con Speaker Pelosi and the American people. And here is how it works. Approximately 6 years ago CIA had a briefing with Pelosi and congress, but DID NOT tell congress and Pelosi that the Bush administration was using torture ( water boarding ) on detainees. Then the Bush administration sent in Porter Goss to head the CIA and to destroy, and doctor records in part to make it look like Pelosi, and the Democrats in congress were onboard with the illegal torture of detainees by the Bush administration.

See, apparently at these intelligence briefings members of congress are not allowed to take notes. And if they do, they are not allowed to keep them. Apparently the CIA makes notes, but the members of congress are not allowed to see those notes either. And they can't tell anybody about what was said at the briefings. But the CIA can come back six years later and claim they told members of congress something six years ago that they did not tell them at that time. And they can use falsified notes to substantiate their claim. Planting disinformation was the type of thing the CIA became very good at during the time Porter Goss was a young CIA agent. Just gotta love it. :-)

If you will remember, their was a mass exodus of senior CIA officials after Porter Goss took over. And the complaint at the time was that longtime, highly experienced agents were being replaced by other people based mostly on their political loyalties to the Bush administration and their extreme right-wing ideologies. Which is just exactly what you need if you want people who will be willing to break the law under orders. Sound familiar? I don't think you can trust any CIA records after Goss took over.

I have nothing but the utmost respect, and admiration for the dedicated and patriotic members of OUR! Central Intelligence Agency. When the Bush administration betrayed one of OUR! agents (Mrs. Wilson) it made me boiling MAD! I think our new Director Pennetta has got some internal investigation and agency house cleaning to do. If you backtrack on the individuals that have been making the false attacks on Speaker Pelosi, and trace who they have had contact and conversations with, you should be able to connect the dots and catch your conspirators.

The key that the CIA records are falsified is Sen. Bob Graham and his journal, and common sense. :-) By the way, I think Mr. Pennetta is an excellent choice to head the CIA and fix it.

They are trying to kill healthcare reform. And continue our healthcare crisis. Don't put up with that.


To The Congress Of The United States:

If it is true that you are not allowed to have or make any permanent records of your intelligence briefings for later clarifications, and protection, that is ridiculous. That leaves all of you vulnerable to just this type of scam that is being perpetrated on Speaker Pelosi. So here is what you can do about it to protect your-selves in the future.

Members should be able to make notes and other recordings of these briefings. Then these briefings and recordings can be reduced to a computer file that can then be encrypted and digitally signed with a detached digital signature using key encryption. Then each of you can encrypt, and sign each others copy of the record that can only be unlocked with the other parties key. And both parties copies can be verified with each others copy of the files detached digital signature.

Very easy. Very secure. No more exposure to falsified records down the road. :-)

You see, it almost doesn't really matter what CIA allegedly did or didn't tell Speaker Pelosi, and congress. Because the briefing format is so deficient of any checks, balances, or verification that all we know is that all external briefing accounts support Speaker Pelosi's version of events. Pelosi and congress should have been given every benefit of the doubt. And that should have been it.

There are many other booby traps out there set for you congress. Be careful.

God Bless You

jacksmith — WORKING CLASS

p.s. I still think the timing of Sen. Bob Graham's ruptured cerebral aneurism was suspicious. More so now, than before.

Posted by: jacksmith | May 18 2009 2:54 utc | 10

js 10) Right on, and don't forget ever since zap Reagan told NSA to start psyops on the American people, from the moment the PNACons pulled off their coup in 2000, the explicit instructions from Cheney to CIA and NSA was to spy on the American people, conduct a deliberate disinformation and propaganda campaign in the American media.

Gates is NOT on the Obama team glide path, he's got a different agenda. Pennetta is an apparatchik. His job is to make the CIA appear rehabilitated, even as the black ops budget is doubled to more than $20B, and NSA and their Israeli subcontractors are still spying on American cell phone and e-mail communications, and AIPAC is running unrestricted espionage at every level of American government and business.

It's not just healthcare they're trying to stop, it's the rest of the pie they're trying to take! Obama has put into play the pauperization of Every American, if the Neocons can just freeze bailout in place, before any Great Society II legislation. They've already defeated Carbon Cap & Trade, now it's just a question of pushing Medicare into bankruptcy and sucking the pulp out of SSTF to pay for their bail.

They pulled off the largest heist in human history, and got a liberal in behind to bail them out of jail, and restore all their loot. Now they just have to hold the line on any backwards litigation or comeuppance, freeze any attempt to spend more money on social programs, and in three years from now, lead the pauper class off to their new Federal income tax-subsidized block housing retirement internment camps.

"R" is for rentier, "D" is for debtor, is for emperia.

Posted by: Nancy Drew | May 18 2009 4:55 utc | 11

Lee Hamilton on line one!

Circle the wagons and make the issues too complicated for too long and it will all go away. After the farces of justice with OYPAC and Plame/Libby, I'm done expecting any truth to come from anything connected with Washington. But stay tuned for the finale of American Idol.

Posted by: biklett | May 18 2009 6:11 utc | 12

Have to agree with Dick Durata @#3...

Fitzgerald is the Seymour Hersch of JD.
The ptmb (powers that make believe) long for one thing and one thing alone, to remain the sorcerers they think they are, in other words, the powers that be, long for one thing and one thing alone, to remain the powers that be.

As our society continues to decay, the term wasp virtue seems to be becoming an oxymoron. Fitzgerald is Opus Dei and prolly wears a hair shirt.

He's in the same electric hell-fire Beelzebub club as the rest of these Calvinists. It's the same Great Judeo-Christian Sin, Outlaw, Guilt, Crime & Punishment T.V. Show it's always been. Guest-staring, well, uh, you.

Welcome to the 'Chinese Finger Trap' you willingly stuck your appendage into.

Fuck consensus reality and it's corny cop show script: Create your own.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 18 2009 8:05 utc | 13

The Pelosi-Cheney Palooza Torture Tour.

She wanted to play w/the beltway bullies, it's been the dream of her ever-contrapuntal life.

In 'recovery' circles, they call denial a form of sickness, or survival. Better, a form of sickness OF survival. Denial is an illusionary system, but a powerful tool. Using this tool makes reality more palatable.

Our society/system is sick, soul sick. Soul sick in the way an addict/junkie is sick. And lets face it, our society has become an addict. In The Birth and Death of Meaning A Perspective in Psychiatry and Anthropology Ernest Becker wrote, "If everybody lives roughly the same lies about the same things, there is no one to call them liars. They jointly establish their own sanity and call themselves normal." Perhaps this explains the Dkos crowd and the possibly the rest of the Coke and Pepsi SYSTEM? Are they also useful idiots? Or being lead around like abuse survivors w/collective PTSD? Abuse survivors often get stuck in archetypal 'magical thinking'. Further, I'd say not only have the citizen of this republic been abused, they have also come to enjoy their abuse. They subconsciously feel they deserve it.

Anne Wilson Schaef asked, in her decades old book, THE ADDICTIVE ORGANIZATION What are the implications IF organizations continue to function "addictively? I think we are beginning to know what we know.

Anne Wilson Schaef has shown how an Addictive Organization such as our whole political system works. Her theories explain a great deal about the way it functions for the Corporate wing.

For example, DKos banning someone for recommending a book. Yes, you read that right. Talk about denial, Someone wrote a diary at Dailykos simply about a book and was banned.

Sat May 16, 2009 at 01:09:42 AM PDT

Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, this is about a new book, titled "The Ground Truth: The Story Behind America's Defense on 9/11".

And before you get all outraged (The FAQ! The FAQ!), here is the author of the book, John Farmer:

John Farmer served as Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission, where his areas of responsibility included assessing the national response to the terrorist attacks and evaluating the current state of national preparedness for terrorist attacks and natural disasters, he also served as attorney general of New Jersey (1999-2002), as chief counsel to Governor Whitman, and as a federal prosecutor. He recently served as a subject matter/rule of law expert on security to the special envoy for Middle East regional security. He is currently a partner of a New Jersey law form and an adjunct professor of national security law at Rutgers University Law School. His editorials and articles have appeared in "The New York Times" and elsewhere

And my diary title are the words of Farmer's publisher, Houghton Mifflin.

I wrote a couple of nights ago, here --

'9/11 Commission Report -- Info Obtained Through Torture" ( )

-- as to how much of what was published in the 9/11 Commission report was obtained through torture, and is therefore completely without credibility.

Scandalous enough, right?

Well, it gets worse.

The above described James Farmer has just come out with his new book. It was released April 14. I have not read it (I just heard about it maybe ten minutes ago) and it is difficult to find any reviews of it by any mainstream book reviewers (gee, what a surprise!).

But according to the publisher, it's quite a bombshell:

As of the 9/11 Commission’s one of the primary authors report, John Farmer is proud of his and his colleagues’ work. Yet he came away from the experience convinced that there was a further story to be told, one he was uniquely qualified to write.

Now that story can be told. Tape recordings, transcripts, and contemporaneous records that had been classified have since been declassified, and the inspector general’s investigations of government conduct have been completed. Drawing on his knowledge of those sources, as well as his years as an attorney in public and private practice, Farmer reconstructs the truth of what happened on that fateful day and the disastrous circumstances that allowed it: the institutionalized disconnect between what those on the ground knew and what those in power did. He reveals — terrifyingly and illuminatingly — the key moments in the years, months, weeks, and days that preceded the attacks, then descends almost in real time through the attacks themselves, revealing them as they have never before been seen.

Ultimately Farmer builds the inescapably convincing case that the official version not only is almost entirely untrue but serves to create a false impression of order and security. The ground truth that Farmer captures tells a very different story — a story that is doomed to be repeated unless the systemic failures he reveals are confronted and remedied.

It goes on .....

I'm just amazed. Yes, I know perhaps I shouldn't be, but if you read about this book, you realize that it's finally coming out that the 9/11 Commission actually did CONSPIRE to lie about what they knew.

And who bans that? Dailykos of all people, even though the guy who wrote it was a Commission insider.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but how fucking stupid is that?

They also banned another guy, TocqueDeville, who is one of the only good writers over there.

The lid is starting to blow on this whole thing, the torture, 9/11, conspiracy, all of it, and this is how people are responding?

I know, I shouldn't be surprised, but it's so .... of them to simply deny FACTS. To shut down whistle-blowers.

I mean, fucking Dick Cheney could put out a fucking FULL CONFESSION and they would simply BAN IT. And if Dailykos would ban it you can bet the rest of the media would, too.

Man. Maybe all the bullshit about Kos being CIA is true.

Ive been saying it loudly since 2005: With a few minority exceptions, MOST if not ALL liberal slanted news/blog/media sites HATE 9/11 Truth and censor anything that challenges the official story. To this day, I find so called leftists allegedly opposed to wars and Bush get the most pissed off and irritated
by people who question 9/11. The Fox News crowd just kind of laughs, but for some reason the left reallllly hates that and is very quick to throw out the "conspiracy theorist" label. Did you see the Huffington Post "Conspiracies take precious time away from real issues" bullshit piece?

Richard Clarke, Colin Powell and Joe Biden could come out on national tv and say 9/11 was not as we were told, and the left leaning press would censor it and anyone who talked about it.

I mean its shocking, Ive found more 9/11 truth articles on Fox News(Israeli involvement, Able Danger, etc) than I have on MotherJones, Common Dreams, etc. least a few leftists are starting to break ranks on the pro Afghan war position.

(And the reason I attack the left more than the right; is because we already know the right is a laughable cesspool.

guy who wrote this book in question. He's a total insider, an actual whistleblower, if you will.

And he gets censored at a "liberal" blog?

I sometimes think that places like Dailykos are perfect "salt licks" for liberals, you know? I mean if you wanted to create a place to attract liberals, so you could identify them, a place like that would be perfect.

For the gov't, it's pretty freaking easy to do that. We look at the news to see what we are supposed to think. That's now called (in the 'hip' circles) prop-agenda, coined by Brian Eno. "The problem is not propaganda but the relentless control of the kind of things we think about..."

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 18 2009 11:41 utc | 14

oh, and speaking of Lee Hamilton...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 18 2009 11:50 utc | 15

So at this moment then U$cam, and this moment could be a few years in length maybe, the question I'm looking at is whether a) the sick system will fall/is falling apart from its own reliance for power on squooshy (false) info/input, OR b) said sick system can/will perpetuate itself in spite of squooshiness because it controls and utilises mass mind control. Included of course is humanity's natural need to accept lies in lieu of painful truths, so we are willing.

Lets take the "b" part first and ask a few more questions related to it. Perpetuate for how long, to what end, and with whose blessing? You/we have a hard time believing that such a system can last very long, but in some form, perhaps less open and obvious, it has already been here for centuries or longer. Those World Wars I and II for example, plus many smaller ones, are known to have been unnecessary and preventable. We fought them anyway and we loved it, according to the textbooks. We won!

So the precedent for perpetuation is there, and so far we have been shown that those in power are in favor of it. What is a citizen to do? Yes it does seem more fragile than ever, ready to collapse at the first serious uprising, or when a small stone is pulled from its crumbly foundation. I hope for this but I do not necessarily expect it.

Back to "a" now. "It is already falling." I call this the most likely of the two, but it brings up even more serious questions. In this case, or in any case really, there appears to be a gaping unknown hole ahead. Without this towering pile of bullshit we've built, govt can't work in any accustomed way, nor can "commerce" or shipping or mining or oil refining, farming etc etc etc because the structure has collapsed. How long would that stuff take to rebuild if all parties with prior complicity in corruption were eliminated? I have to assume they would be, otherwise we'd still be in the old system.

That is just a long way of saying that any collapse is a total collapse, and none of us can really tolerate that, or would wish it upon ourselves. To me the alternatives now get clearer: Either the Cheney gang wins, and civilisation is destroyed (what other objective could he/they have?) The Lizards now claim Earth as their own property. OR the neocon devils are defeated and humanity progresses somehow to a new nirvana which we can't yet comprehend.

From our present perspective it is a big open unknown hole either way. IOW the future cannot be known.

Posted by: rapt | May 18 2009 20:05 utc | 16

Don't count on domestic anything. The country's way too sick.

Posted by: ...---... | May 18 2009 22:08 utc | 17

@14: According to Powell's, the John Farmer book is scheduled for a September release date.

Posted by: unrequited narcissist | May 19 2009 12:33 utc | 18

Goddamn it. So now typepad retroactively disappears links? I wanted to show someone my post @14 and although it was there at one time -- on my screen at least--, it's now been changed back to plain text?

Fuck it, I guess since I seem to be the only poster that has a problem w/typepad, guess it doesn't matter.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 20 2009 4:45 utc | 19

uncle - looks like the option to have formatted comments has been turned off, which strips all markup from the entries. hopefully it's just a bug on the server w/ the display & the full comments are still stored in the database

Posted by: b real | May 20 2009 5:39 utc | 20

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