The Militarization Of The Mexican Border by Guadamour

GUADAMOUR

Dandelion Salad
featured writer

Sept 7, 2007WTF, I live in a small city ass-ended up against the Mexican border in an obscure corner of the State of Disbelief and Paranoia. I only live nine blocks from the international line.

Today I was out walking west of town in the desert by myself and without my dogs tagging along. I was just walking, minding my own business.

I wasn’t within a hundred yards of the international boundary. Walking along, spacing out in my own head, working on writing with my mental computer. I had just re-booted and all the electrons, the neurological synapses, were clicking.

I could have walked off the edge of the world and not realized it.
If the ‘puter were whirling any faster, I would be floating in the air, a balloon drifting free of its tether.

It’s moments like this I think of when I’m offered a joint. I tell people no thank you, I’m crazy enough anyway. I don’t need any help.

So I’m out there, having slipped the moorings within myself, totally fucked up in my own natural pleasant way. You could have walked up to me and sucker punched me, and I would have no idea of what happened. It’s a great space I don’t have the opportunity of reaching often.

I’m not too pleased when I find this meditation is going to be broken. Who would be?

A Border Patrol Agent comes racing up to me in a brand new Dodge four-wheel drive pickup, with a holding box for undocumented border crossers on the back.

He’s raising a hell of a lot of dust, and doing great damage to the desert. He flattens at least an eighty-year-old barrel, squashes it to a green slippery mush.

I’m a blood-shot blond and fair skinned with All-American red white and blue eyes.

This kid of about twenty-two, looking like a young Tom Hanks, comes up to me very threateningly and demands, “Where are you from?”

Christ. I’m a native Arizonan, an American and spent two years in Nam, and most everyone around here knows me.

“Vulgaria,” I say. I think this is a legitimate response because vulgar thoughts are almost always running through my mind.

This throws him for a loop. I realize he thinks he heard Bulgaria.

He almost screams in my face, “Got any ID?”

I decide to fuck with him. This farm boy from the mid west is making over eighty grand a year with overtime of my taxpayer money. “Si,” I say.

He bares his teeth in a grimace and says, “Let me see it.”

“Chinga tu madre,” I say, “No necesito mostrar nada a ti.”

This slows him down. I can almost hear the wheels in his head turning. He says in his cleaver chopped Spanish. “Tu,” (he points to me) necesita come me (and he points to himself).

I shake my head my head and start to walk away.

He grabs my arm and twirls me around.

I shake this young National Socialist Democrat (aka Nazi) off and I think he’s going to go ballistic.

I’m unarmed and not even wearing a hat.

As he is going through this tirade I notice a couple of typical Mexican border crossers slip down a wash. The agent is oblivious and hasn’t caught sight of them.

He pulls out his gun and levels it at me. I generally don’t like to have guns aimed at me.

He gestures with his gun to the truck and says, “Ondale.”

I walk slow and don’t rush ondale, and say, “Tango derechos constitucionales.”

He says, ‘Fuck constitutional rights.”

As I climb up into the back of the truck, he jabs me hard in the back with his gun and I go sprawling into the back of the dirty prisoner carrier.

This really pisses me off.

We haul ass to the Border Patrol Station. I’m being thrown all around the place, because this young Nazi asshole is driving through the desert like it’s a fucking race track, chewing great stretches of it up in the process and polluting the air with mononucleosis carrying dust.

My blood is starting to boil. I really don’t like dealing with these motherfuckers.

At the station I’m shoved into a small gray holding cell with a metal bench and stainless steel toilet. I don’t think the toilet has been flushed in weeks.

I stew in this vile shit smelling room for almost two hours.

Finally I’m led out. We go up to an older agent behind a desk. He is obviously a supervisor. I don’t know him by name, but I’ve seen him around town, and I know he recognizes me.

He frowns and says, “What’s the problem?”

“There was no problem,” I say, “Until your agent started abusing my constitutional rights.”

This angers him. He says, “Fuck your constitutional rights.”

This pisses me off even more. Why are we paying for this dick-head government? I say, “If that’s the way you want it.”

They give me a ride back into town, again in the back of a paddy wagon, but at least this time we use the highway.

At one time I knew a great deal about the law, but that was a distant past life in this incarnate.

I go home, do some research and file a lawsuit against the Border Patrol and US Federal Government.

I continue to hit the law books, and know I will be offered a settlement.

I won’t accept anything less than twenty-five grand for my lost time, and for disturbing the perfect equilibrium of my mind which said events totally fucked.

‘We Are Moving Rapidly Towards an Abyss’ – Spiegel Interview With Mohamed El Baradei

Dandelion Salad

ICH
09/07/07 “Spiegel
09/03/07

United Nations chief weapons inspector Mohamed ElBaradei spoke to SPIEGEL about Iran’s last chance to convince the world of the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, his problems with the US government and his fear of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.

 

SPIEGEL: Mr. ElBaradei, the international community suspects that Iran aims to build nuclear weapons. Tehran denies this. Have we now reached the decisive phase in which we will finally get an answer to this central question of world politics?

Mohamed ElBaradei: Yes. The next few months will be crucial for the overall situation in the Middle East. Whether we move in the direction of escalation or in the direction of a peaceful solution.

SPIEGEL: You have been given a central role. The new report on Iran by your International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) could lead to more severe sanctions against Tehran.

ElBaradei: The international community will have to make that decision. We can only deliver the facts and our assessment of the situation. There are hopeful and positive signs. For the first time, we have agreed, with the Iranians, to a sort of roadmap, a schedule, if you will, for clarifying the outstanding issues. We should know by November, or December at the latest, whether the Iranians will keep their promises. If they don’t, Tehran will have missed a great opportunity — possibly the last one.

SPIEGEL: The US government has described Iran’s new willingness to cooperate as a transparent attempt to distract from its true intentions and from its continued development of the capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon. Is the IAEA too gullible?

Continued…

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Having Modem Problems…again by Lo

Just a quick note to say that my modem has been going out on me almost daily for a few hours at a time. Sounds like it’s time to get a new one.

So, if there haven’t been many new posts at least you’ll know why. Just modem trouble, I haven’t been kidnapped and sent to some undisclosed detention center. Not yet, anyway.

Thanks everyone for dropping by the blog. Love all your comments even if I don’t agree with you.

cheers,

Lo

Exclusive Report: Murder Ron Paul by William Mac

William’s blog: The Mac Manifesto

This Week In Time

by William Mac
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Sept. 7, 2007

Murder Ron Paul

Perhaps one of the most humorous things about watching Ron Paul speak during a debate is the cut-to camera shot that capture his fellow candidates’ reactions. Each time I see one of these candidates’ faces when reacting to one of Ron Paul’s eloquent rebuttals, then I begin to notice how much they would very much like to murder poor ol’ Ron. It’s true. Rudy Giuliani begins chomping at the bit and chewing on his molars every time Candidate Paul begins talking about the constitution and how they’ve used it as toilet paper. I see McCain’s eyes glow red, and his jowls begin to twitter with anger when Candidate Paul begins offering the simple idea of leaving Iraq and not going into Iran. It’s as if the lot of all the other Republican Candidates are holding knives behind their backs and suppressing their anger as best they can without shouting “shut him up!” and proceeding to bludgeon Ron Paul to death during some kind of gang formed massacre.

It’s staggering to me as to how Ron Paul was able to make it so far in the candidacy. Such a champion for truth and blatant straight-forward speaking from a person that actually holds the original ideals of America and its people in higher regard than his/her own greed – enter Ron Paul – is a giant threat to those who are used to running unopposed. After all, when it’s all kept in the family it doesn’t really matter who is elected from either side of the spectrum, they’ll just continue on being friends. Unfortunately, that is the way it is primarily for both the Democrats and Republicans… it’s almost a wonder as to why an election is being held in the first place since nearly any candidate that would be elected right now would be furthering the same administration since Nixon and Gerald Ford. I’m rather considering it to be a sham… just a bunch of glitz and hoopla so the American people think a new president is coming to town, and they can sit in their living rooms and watch the results having, of course, not voted themselves.

Yet, much to the dismay of those who wish to keep it in the family, along comes this goddamned rock star Ron Paul who is awfully popular with those kids on the Internets. I can imagine them convening during a luncheon. “What are we going to do about that son of a bitch,” one of them will say “we have to shut him up before people actually start believing him.” Sadly enough, I don’t think that Ron Paul will be elected, even though I would love to see that happen. And, even if Ron Paul is elected, I fear that the proverbial fat men behind the curtain may just try to murder him, and perhaps most unfortunately, that wouldn’t be anything new either.

see:
Surrender Should Not Be an Option By Congressman Ron Paul

Ron Paul Deprecated by Chris Wallace at GOP Debate + Ron Paul at GOP Debate (videos)

Ron Paul “Peace Train” at the Summer of Love (video; links)

Paul-Ron

Impeach Bush Vol. 3 – War Profiteers and Democrat Pussies (music video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

April 09, 2007
From:  suni2h Music by Eminem, Song: Business. WA…

Music by Eminem, Song: Business. WARNING – This video contains graphic war photos, expletive language, and violent content which some may find gruesome and offensive.

Condoleeza Rice’s transformational diplomacy doctrine is nothing more than an excuse for us to go to war with every country on the planet and pour billions of dollars into the pockets of the financiers that put Bush into office: specifically, the war profiteers such as Halliburton and Blackwater and the major oil companies who want to take the oil from the country once its invaded. The Bush administration personally has no financial incentive whatsoever to impose any diplomatic doctrines.

Sending our soldiers to fight an engineered war for oil company and defense contractors to make money is pure treason, abuse of power, crime against humanity and is rock solid ground for impeachment. It is the reason that the impeachment process was put into place.

Meanwhile, the Democrats in office refuse to impeach Bush and Cheney because Nancy Pelosi won’t put it on the table.

h/t: Florida4Kucinich

Revolution Redux: Czar’s Cossacks Charge in Lafayette Square by Glitzqueen (aka The Other Katherine Harris) + Adam Kokesh, Tina Richards Arrested for Defying Poster Ban (video)

glitzqueen

Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

by The Other Katherine Harris

Glitzqueen’s blog post

Sept. 7, 2007

A charge by mounted police yesterday led journalists and anti-war activists at a Washington press conference to “scatter in terror,” according to the attendee from Agence France Presse.

Yes, it sounds damned unbelievable, but believe it. The AFP wire story is HERE and there’s more to see on the ANSWER Coalition website — including a link to video on YouTube (which starts slow, but gets shocking). Ahead of the horsemen came some smarmy little thugs, muttering insanities about “threats to national security” that were variously attributed to posters advertising the Sept. 15 march, biodegradable wheat paste, a small press table and a podium.

Three people were arrested and, at this writing, are believed still held: the long-suffering Adam Kokesh of Iraq Veterans Against the War; Tina Richards, mother of a veteran; and ANSWER attorney Ian Thompson. It’s clear from the video that they were doing nothing untoward.

Accounts of the outrage are beginning to appear elsewhere — I spotted the AFP piece on rawstory and democraticunderground — but nobody seems to have any new material yet.

***

Adam Kokesh, Tina Richards Arrested for Defying Poster Ban

Sept. 6, 2007
liamh2

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EAfPgX7gs0

see:

Bush Supresses “Impeach Bush” Press conference (Sept 15)

Ron Paul “Peace Train” at the Summer of Love (video; links)

Dandelion Salad

AnarchoCapital Ron Paul activism California style! I…

Ron Paul activism California style! Included are interviews with members from the San Francisco and Sacramento meetup groups and information on topics ranging from abortion and the war on drugs to the federal reserve and community autonomy, including special guest appearances by the Ron Paul Liberty Van and libertarian activist StarChild.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08dbADJq9F8

Parts 2-5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-p72OULZIk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzTGagMYTes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fI2akW3rDCU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa71dQ2KHkY

On Myspace:

Bon Bon

Bush Supresses “Impeach Bush” Press conference (Sept 15)

Dandelion Salad

Global Research, September 7, 2007
Impeach Bush

Bush’s police suppress Sept. 15 press conference

While the momentum for the Sept. 15 Peace/Impeachment demonstration grows, the Bush Administration is going to extraordinary lengths to suppress the mobilizing for this mass demonstration.

Less than 18 hours ago, National Park Service Police turned a September 15 Press Conference, held in front of the White House, into a chaotic scene. On the pretext that there was no permit for a three foot long folding table that the media placed their microphones on, the police intervened in the middle of the press conference to announce that it was an unpermitted activity. Three people were arrested and are still being held in jail. They include Adam Kokesh, an Iraq war veteran; Tina Richards of Grassroots America; and Ian Thompson an ANSWER Coalition organizer.

The Parks Police even rode a horse directly into the crowd of reporters and shocked onlookers. The National Parks Police is an agency in the Interior Department whose Secretary is a member of George W. Bush’s cabinet. In recent weeks September 15 organizers have been fined more than $30,000 for putting up posters promoting the September 15 March on Washington.

We encourage ImpeachBush.org members to circulate this email and the important story from the AFP wire story that documents this outrageous assault against Free Speech rights by the Bush Administration. At the end of this email we are also enclosing a link to a video on YouTube that shows some part of the suppression of the September 15 press conference yesterday.

Bush and company want to prevent people from coming out for a mass action led by Iraq war veterans and their families that will expose his war propaganda as a lie. The Administration wants to suppress the growing movement for impeachment. This is a showdown of great magnitude.

Please make every effort to come to Washington DC on September 15. We will not be intimidated. Join the tens of thousands who are coming to Washington, DC on September 15. Buses, car caravans and vans are coming from more than 100 cities.

If you cannot personally come you can help by making a generous donation. The buses, literature, posters, stage, sound and other expenses are immense. Many have already contributed. Please do your part and make a contribution today by clicking this link.

***

Police break up anti-war meeting in Washington

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Mounted police charged in to break up an outdoor press conference and demonstration against the Iraq war in Washington on Thursday, arresting three people, organizers and an AFP reporter said.

“The police suppressed the press conference. In the middle of the speeches, they grabbed the podium” erected in a park in front of the White House for the small gathering, Brian Becker, national organizer of the ANSWER anti-war coalition, told AFP.

“Then, mounted police charged the media present to disperse them,” Becker said.

The charge caused a peaceful crowd of some 20 journalists and four or five protestors to scatter in terror, an AFP correspondent at the event in Lafayette Square said. No one appeared to have been hurt.

Three people — Tina Richards, the mother of a marine who did two tours of duty in Iraq; Adam Kokesh, a leader of the Iraq Veterans Against the War group; and lawyer Ian Thompson, who is an organizer for ANSWER in Los Angeles — were arrested, Becker said.

The ANSWER coalition is trying to rally support for an anti-war demonstration in Washington that is due to take place on September 15.

Last month, the movement was threatened with a fine of at least 10,000 dollars unless it removed posters in the city announcing the September 15 march.

Washington city authorities have said the posters had to come down because they were stuck on with adhesive that did not meet city regulations.

“At our demonstration today we were showing the media that the paste we use conforms to the rules,” Becker said. “One of our activists was making a speech when the police barged in and grabbed the podium. At that point, Tina Richards started to put up a poster, so they arrested her and two others.”

“This strategy of suppression has not worked. We expect many tens of thousands of people” in Washington for the September 15 anti-war demonstration, he said.

The march has been timed to coincide with the release of a report by the US military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and will be part of a week of protests led by veterans of the Iraq war.

A petition calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush, allegedly carrying one million signatures and endorsed by former US attorney general Ramsey Clark, will also be submitted to officials during the week’s activities, ANSWER has told AFP.

see:

Revolution Redux: Czar’s Cossacks Charge in Lafayette Square by Glitzqueen (aka The Other Katherine Harris) + Adam Kokesh, Tina Richards Arrested for Defying Poster Ban (video)

Can’t do DC on 9/15? Telephone Protest for September 2007 + Write to YOUR Elected Officials!

To become a Member of Global Research

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© Copyright , Impeach Bush, 2007 The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6702


Fed Judge Rules Parts of Patriot Act Unconstitutional By Manila Ryce


Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce
The Largest Minority
Published Friday, September 7th, 2007, 3:18 am

The Patriot Act is unconstitutional? Yeah, we could’ve filed that revelation under the “no shit” category years ago. Amongst many other abuses, the Patriot Act has expanded the FBI’s ability to get information on the customers of internet service providers with the help of national security letters. Yesterday, a federal judge barred the FBI from issuing these letters, ruling that parts of the Patriot Act are unconstitutional. US District Judge Victor Marrero, sitting in New York, said that part of the act was “the legislative equivalent of breaking and entering.”Over the past few years, the judiciary has been the only protection our civil liberties have had as wave after wave of Democratic capitulation has allowed the US to turn into a fascist police state. Marrero remarked, “In light of the seriousness of the potential intrusion into the individual’s personal affairs and the significant possibility of a chilling effect on speech and association — particularly of expression that is critical of the government or its policies — a compelling need exists to ensure that the use of NSLs is subject to the safeguards of public accountability, checks and balances, and separation of powers that our Constitution prescribes.”

source

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Bowing Before an American Tyranny By Robert Parry


Dandelion Salad

By Robert Parry
Consortium News
September 6, 2007

The 9/11 tragedy did become a demarcation point for the United States, although not in the way many Americans understand. Before that date six years ago, there existed an American Republic – albeit one in decline – but afterwards a New Age authoritarian state quickly took shape.

Though some defenders of the old Republic rose up, nobody was strong enough to protect it.

How this historic calamity happened – one of the most under-reported events of modern times – is the centerpiece of our new book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, which looks at the roles of aggressive Republicans, accommodating Democrats, bullying pundits and careerist journalists.

But the fact that the eclipse of the Republic did happen has gained more corroboration from a new book by Jack Goldsmith, the former chief of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) who clashed with senior White House lawyers over their expansive interpretation of presidential power.

“We’re going to push and push and push until some larger force makes us stop,” explained Vice President’s Dick Cheney’s legal counsel David Addington, according to Goldsmith’s new book, The Terror Presidency.

Goldsmith wrote that Addington “and, I presumed, his boss viewed power as the absence of constraint.”

However, “the absence of constraint” in the context of political leaders wielding the extraordinary authority of a powerful state is synonymous with tyranny, the antithesis of a democratic Republic with checks and balances, rule of law and respect for the will of an informed electorate.

This Bush tyranny combined its lust for unrestrained power with a parallel contempt for logic and objective information, becoming what might be called an imperial presidency in an anti-empirical world. Rationality and legality were brushed aside; action and toughness were all that mattered.

Even as President Bush stripped away the inalienable rights guaranteed by the Founders in the Constitution, he kept much of the population confused with misdirection, by asserting that he was taking these actions to defend “liberty” and “freedom.”

Continued…

see:

Neck Deep: The Real Colin Powell by Robert Parry

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Fact Checking the Republican Debate (video; Gitmo; torture)

Dandelion Salad

CSPANJUNKIEdotORG

SEPTEMBER 04, 2007 CNN WOLF BLITZER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHBaACPrp8c

 

see:

 

Pat Buchanan: Ron Paul Won the Debate (video)

NH Republican Debate Sept. 5, 2007 (videos)

GOP Candidates Take Pot Shots at Fred Thompson + Fred Thompson Announces Presidential Candidacy (videos)

Ron Paul Deprecated by Chris Wallace at GOP Debate (video)

Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction By Sidney Blumenthal

Dandelion Salad

By Sidney Blumenthal
ICH
09/06/07 “
Salon

Salon exclusive: Two former CIA officers say the president squelched top-secret intelligence, and a briefing by George Tenet, months before invading Iraq.


On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, according to two former senior CIA officers. Bush dismissed as worthless this information from the Iraqi foreign minister, a member of Saddam’s inner circle, although it turned out to be accurate in every detail. Tenet never brought it up again.

Nor was the intelligence included in the National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002, which stated categorically that Iraq possessed WMD. No one in Congress was aware of the secret intelligence that Saddam had no WMD as the House of Representatives and the Senate voted, a week after the submission of the NIE, on the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq. The information, moreover, was not circulated within the CIA among those agents involved in operations to prove whether Saddam had WMD.

On April 23, 2006, CBS’s “60 Minutes” interviewed Tyler Drumheller, the former CIA chief of clandestine operations for Europe, who disclosed that the agency had received documentary intelligence from Naji Sabri, Saddam’s foreign minister, that Saddam did not have WMD. “We continued to validate him the whole way through,” said Drumheller. “The policy was set. The war in Iraq was coming, and they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy, to justify the policy.”

Now two former senior CIA officers have confirmed Drumheller’s account to me and provided the background to the story of how the information that might have stopped the invasion of Iraq was twisted in order to justify it. They described what Tenet said to Bush about the lack of WMD, and how Bush responded, and noted that Tenet never shared Sabri’s intelligence with then Secretary of State Colin Powell. According to the former officers, the intelligence was also never shared with the senior military planning the invasion, which required U.S. soldiers to receive medical shots against the ill effects of WMD and to wear protective uniforms in the desert.

Instead, said the former officials, the information was distorted in a report written to fit the preconception that Saddam did have WMD programs. That false and restructured report was passed to Richard Dearlove, chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), who briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair on it as validation of the cause for war.

Secretary of State Powell, in preparation for his presentation of evidence of Saddam’s WMD to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003, spent days at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., and had Tenet sit directly behind him as a sign of credibility. But Tenet, according to the sources, never told Powell about existing intelligence that there were no WMD, and Powell’s speech was later revealed to be a series of falsehoods.

Both the French intelligence service and the CIA paid Sabri hundreds of thousands of dollars (at least $200,000 in the case of the CIA) to give them documents on Saddam’s WMD programs. “The information detailed that Saddam may have wished to have a program, that his engineers had told him they could build a nuclear weapon within two years if they had fissile material, which they didn’t, and that they had no chemical or biological weapons,” one of the former CIA officers told me.

On the eve of Sabri’s appearance at the United Nations in September 2002 to present Saddam’s case, the officer in charge of this operation met in New York with a “cutout” who had debriefed Sabri for the CIA. Then the officer flew to Washington, where he met with CIA deputy director John McLaughlin, who was “excited” about the report. Nonetheless, McLaughlin expressed his reservations. He said that Sabri’s information was at odds with “our best source.” That source was code-named “Curveball,” later exposed as a fabricator, con man and former Iraqi taxi driver posing as a chemical engineer.

The next day, Sept. 18, Tenet briefed Bush on Sabri. “Tenet told me he briefed the president personally,” said one of the former CIA officers. According to Tenet, Bush’s response was to call the information “the same old thing.” Bush insisted it was simply what Saddam wanted him to think. “The president had no interest in the intelligence,” said the CIA officer. The other officer said, “Bush didn’t give a fuck about the intelligence. He had his mind made up.”

But the CIA officers working on the Sabri case kept collecting information. “We checked on everything he told us.” French intelligence eavesdropped on his telephone conversations and shared them with the CIA. These taps “validated” Sabri’s claims, according to one of the CIA officers. The officers brought this material to the attention of the newly formed Iraqi Operations Group within the CIA. But those in charge of the IOG were on a mission to prove that Saddam did have WMD and would not give credit to anything that came from the French. “They kept saying the French were trying to undermine the war,” said one of the CIA officers.

The officers continued to insist on the significance of Sabri’s information, but one of Tenet’s deputies told them, “You haven’t figured this out yet. This isn’t about intelligence. It’s about regime change.”

The CIA officers on the case awaited the report they had submitted on Sabri to be circulated back to them, but they never received it. They learned later that a new report had been written. “It was written by someone in the agency, but unclear who or where, it was so tightly controlled. They knew what would please the White House. They knew what the king wanted,” one of the officers told me.

That report contained a false preamble stating that Saddam was “aggressively and covertly developing” nuclear weapons and that he already possessed chemical and biological weapons. “Totally out of whack,” said one of the CIA officers. “The first [para]graph of an intelligence report is the most important and most read and colors the rest of the report.” He pointed out that the case officer who wrote the initial report had not written the preamble and the new memo. “That’s not what the original memo said.”

The report with the misleading introduction was given to Dearlove of MI6, who briefed the prime minister. “They were given a scaled-down version of the report,” said one of the CIA officers. “It was a summary given for liaison, with the sourcing taken out. They showed the British the statement Saddam was pursuing an aggressive program, and rewrote the report to attempt to support that statement. It was insidious. Blair bought it.” “Blair was duped,” said the other CIA officer. “He was shown the altered report.”

The information provided by Sabri was considered so sensitive that it was never shown to those who assembled the NIE on Iraqi WMD. Later revealed to be utterly wrong, the NIE read: “We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade.”

In the congressional debate over the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, even those voting against it gave credence to the notion that Saddam possessed WMD. Even a leading opponent such as Sen. Bob Graham, then the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who had instigated the production of the NIE, declared in his floor speech on Oct. 12, 2002, “Saddam Hussein’s regime has chemical and biological weapons and is trying to get nuclear capacity.” Not a single senator contested otherwise. None of them had an inkling of the Sabri intelligence.

The CIA officers assigned to Sabri still argued within the agency that his information must be taken seriously, but instead the administration preferred to rely on Curveball. Drumheller learned from the German intelligence service that held Curveball that it considered him and his claims about WMD to be highly unreliable. But the CIA’s Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) insisted that Curveball was credible because what he said was supposedly congruent with available public information.

For two months, Drumheller fought against the use of Curveball, raising the red flag that he was likely a fraud, as he turned out to be. “Oh, my! I hope that’s not true,” said Deputy Director McLaughlin, according to Drumheller’s book “On the Brink,” published in 2006. When Curveball’s information was put into Bush’s Jan. 28, 2003, State of the Union address, McLaughlin and Tenet allowed it to pass into the speech. “From three Iraqi defectors,” Bush declared, “we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs … Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities. He’s given no evidence that he has destroyed them.” In fact, there was only one Iraqi source — Curveball — and there were no labs.

When the mobile weapons labs were inserted into the draft of Powell’s United Nations speech, Drumheller strongly objected again and believed that the error had been removed. He was shocked watching Powell’s speech. “We have firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails,” Powell announced. Without the reference to the mobile weapons labs, there was no image of a threat.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell’s chief of staff, and Powell himself later lamented that they had not been warned about Curveball. And McLaughlin told the Washington Post in 2006, “If someone had made these doubts clear to me, I would not have permitted the reporting to be used in Secretary Powell’s speech.” But, in fact, Drumheller’s caution was ignored.

As war appeared imminent, the CIA officers on the Sabri case tried to arrange his defection in order to demonstrate that he stood by his information. But he would not leave without bringing out his entire family. “He dithered,” said one former CIA officer. And the war came before his escape could be handled.

Tellingly, Sabri’s picture was never put on the deck of playing cards of former Saddam officials to be hunted down, a tacit acknowledgment of his covert relationship with the CIA. Today, Sabri lives in Qatar.

In 2005, the Silberman-Robb commission investigating intelligence in the Iraq war failed to interview the case officer directly involved with Sabri; instead its report blamed the entire WMD fiasco on “groupthink” at the CIA. “They didn’t want to trace this back to the White House,” said the officer.

On Feb. 5, 2004, Tenet delivered a speech at Georgetown University that alluded to Sabri and defended his position on the existence of WMD, which, even then, he contended would still be found. “Several sensitive reports crossed my desk from two sources characterized by our foreign partners as established and reliable,” he said. “The first from a source who had direct access to Saddam and his inner circle” — Naji Sabri — “said Iraq was not in the possession of a nuclear weapon. However, Iraq was aggressively and covertly developing such a weapon.”

Then Tenet claimed with assurance, “The same source said that Iraq was stockpiling chemical weapons.” He explained that this intelligence had been central to his belief in the reason for war. “As this information and other sensitive information came across my desk, it solidified and reinforced the judgments that we had reached in my own view of the danger posed by Saddam Hussein and I conveyed this view to our nation’s leaders.” (Tenet doesn’t mention Sabri in his recently published memoir, “At the Center of the Storm.”)

But where were the WMD? “Now, I’m sure you’re all asking, ‘Why haven’t we found the weapons?’ I’ve told you the search must continue and it will be difficult.”

On Sept. 8, 2006, three Republican senators on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — Orrin Hatch, Saxby Chambliss and Pat Roberts — signed a letter attempting to counter Drumheller’s revelation about Sabri on “60 Minutes”: “All of the information about this case so far indicates that the information from this source was that Iraq did have WMD programs.” The Republicans also quoted Tenet, who had testified before the committee in July 2006 that Drumheller had “mischaracterized” the intelligence. Still, Drumheller stuck to his guns, telling Reuters, “We have differing interpretations, and I think mine’s right.”

One of the former senior CIA officers told me that despite the certitude of the three Republican senators, the Senate committee never had the original memo on Sabri. “The committee never got that report,” he said. “The material was hidden or lost, and because it was a restricted case, a lot of it was done in hard copy. The whole thing was fogged up, like Curveball.”

While one Iraqi source told the CIA that there were no WMD, information that was true but distorted to prove the opposite, another Iraqi source was a fabricator whose lies were eagerly embraced. “The real tragedy is that they had a good source that they misused,” said one of the former CIA officers. “The fact is there was nothing there, no threat. But Bush wanted to hear what he wanted to hear.”

— By Sidney Blumenthal

Copyright ©2007 Salon Media Group, Inc.

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