Bomb Iran? What’s to Stop Us? By Ray McGovern

Dandelion Salad

By Ray McGovern
06/20/08 “ICH”
June 19, 2008

It’s crazy, but it’s coming soon – from the same folks who brought us Iraq.

Unlike the attack on Iraq five years ago, to deal with Iran there need be no massing of troops. And, with the propaganda buildup already well under way, there need be little, if any, forewarning before shock and awe and pox – in the form of air and missile attacks – begin.

This time it will be largely the Air Force’s show, punctuated by missile and air strikes by the Navy. Israeli-American agreement has now been reached at the highest level; the armed forces planners, plotters and pilots are working out the details.

Emerging from a 90-minute White House meeting with President George W. Bush on June 4, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the two leaders were of one mind:

“We reached agreement on the need to take care of the Iranian threat. I left with a lot less question marks [than] I had entered with regarding the means, the timetable restrictions, and American resoluteness to deal with the problem. George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian threat and the need to vanquish it, and intends to act on that matter before the end of his term in the White House.”

Does that sound like a man concerned that Bush is just bluff and bluster?

A member of Olmert’s delegation noted that same day that the two countries had agreed to cooperate in case of an attack by Iran, and that “the meetings focused on ‘operational matters’ pertaining to the Iranian threat.”  So bring ‘em on!

A show of hands please. How many believe Iran is about to attack the U.S. or Israel?

You say you missed Olmert’s account of what Bush has undertaken to do? So did I. We are indebted to intrepid journalist Chris Hedges for including the quote in his article of June 8, “The Iran Trap.”

We can perhaps be excused for missing Olmert’s confident words about “Israel’s best friend” that week. Your attention – like mine – may have been riveted on the June 5 release of the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding administration misrepresentations of pre-Iraq-war intelligence – the so-called “Phase II” investigation (also known, irreverently, as the “Waiting-for-Godot Study”).

Better late than never, I suppose.


Yet I found myself thinking: It took them five years, and that is what passes for oversight? Yes, the president and vice president and their courtiers lied us into war. And now a bipartisan report could assert that fact formally; and committee chair Jay Rockefeller could sum it up succinctly:

“In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”

But as I listened to Senator Rockefeller, I had this sinking feeling that in five or six years time, those of us still around will be listening to a very similar post mortem looking back on an even more disastrous attack on Iran.

My colleagues and I in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) issued repeated warnings, before the invasion of Iraq, about the warping of intelligence.  And our memoranda met considerable resonance in foreign media.

We could get no ink or airtime, however, in the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) in the U.S. Nor can we now.

In a same-day critique of Colin Powell’s unfortunate speech to the U.N. on Feb. 5, 2003, we warned the president to widen his circle of advisers “beyond those clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

It was a no-brainer for anyone who knew anything about intelligence, the Middle East, and the brown noses leading intelligence analysis at the CIA.

Former U.N. senior weapons inspector and former Marine major, Scott Ritter, and many others were saying the same thing. But none of us could get past the president’s praetorian guard to drop a memo into his in-box, so to speak. Nor can we now.

The “Iranian Threat”

However much the same warnings are called for now with respect to Iran, there is even less prospect that any contrarians could puncture and break through what former White House spokesman Scott McClellan calls the president’s “bubble.”

By all indications, Vice President Dick Cheney and his huge staff continue to control the flow of information to the president.

But, you say, the president cannot be unaware of the far-reaching disaster an attack on Iran would bring?

Well, this is a president who admits he does not read newspapers, but rather depends on his staff to keep him informed. And the memos Cheney does brief to Bush pooh-pooh the dangers.

This time no one is saying we will be welcomed as liberators, since the planning does not include – officially, at least – any U.S. boots on the ground.

Besides, even on important issues like the price of gasoline, the performance of the president’s staff has been spotty.

Think back on the White House press conference of Feb. 28, when Bush was asked what advice he would give to Americans facing the prospect of $4-a-gallon gasoline.

“Wait, what did you just say?” the president interrupted. “You’re predicting $4-a-gallon gasoline?…That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that.”

A poll in January showed that nearly three-quarters of Americans were expecting $4-a-gallon gas. That forecast was widely reported in late February, and discussed by the White House press secretary at the media briefing the day before the president’s press conference.

Here’s the alarming thing: Unlike Iraq, which was prostrate after the Gulf War and a dozen years of sanctions, Iran can retaliate in a number of dangerous ways, launching a war for which our forces are ill-prepared.

The lethality, intensity and breadth of ensuing hostilities will make the violence in Iraq look, in comparison, like a volleyball game between St. Helena’s High School and Mount St. Ursula.

Cheney’s Brainchild

Attacking Iran is Vice President Dick Cheney’s brainchild, if that is the correct word. Cheney proposed launching air strikes last summer on Iranian Revolutionary Guards bases, but was thwarted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff who insisted that would be unwise, according to J. Scott Carpenter, a senior State Department official at the time.

Chastened by the unending debacle in Iraq, this time around Pentagon officials reportedly are insisting on a “policy decision” regarding “what would happen after the Iranians would go after our folks,” according to Carpenter.

Serious concerns include the vulnerability of the critical U.S. supply line from Kuwait to Baghdad, our inability to reinforce and the eventual possibility that the U.S. might be forced into a choice between ignominious retreat and using, or threatening to use, “mini-nukes.”

Pentagon opposition was confirmed in a July 2007 commentary by former Bush adviser Michael Gerson, who noted the “fear of the military leadership” that Iran would have “escalation dominance” in any conflict with the U.S.

Writing in the Washington Post last July, Gerson indicated that “escalation dominance” means, “in a broadened conflict, the Iranians could complicate our lives in Iraq and the region more than we complicate theirs.”

The Joint Chiefs also have opposed the option of attacking Iran’s nuclear sites, according to former Iran specialist at the National Security Council, Hillary Mann, who has close ties with senior Pentagon officials.

Mann confirmed that Adm. William Fallon joined the Joint Chiefs in strongly opposing such an attack, adding that he made his opposition known to the White House, as well.

The outspoken Fallon was forced to resign in March, and will be replaced as CENTCOM commander by Gen. David Petraeus – apparently in September. Petraeus has already demonstrated his penchant to circumvent the chain of command in order to do Cheney’s bidding (by making false claims about Iranian weaponry in Iraq, for example).

In sum, a perfect storm seems to be gathering in late summer or early fall.

Controlled Media

The experience of those of us whose job it was to analyze the controlled media of the Soviet Union and China for insights into Russian and Chinese intentions have been able to put that experience to good use in monitoring our own controlled media as they parrot the party line.

Suffice it to say that the FCM is already well embarked, a la Iraq, on its accustomed mission to provide stenographic services for the White House to indoctrinate Americans on the “threat” from Iran and prepare them for the planned air and missile attacks.

At least this time we are spared the “mushroom cloud” bugaboo. Neither Bush nor Cheney wish to call attention, even indirectly, to the fact that all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last November that Iran had stopped nuclear weapons-related work in 2003 and had not resumed it as of last year.

In a pre-FCM age, it would have been looked on as inopportune, at the least, to manufacture intelligence to justify another war hard on the heels of a congressional report that on Iraq the administration made significant claims not supported by the intelligence.

But (surprise, surprise!) the very damning Senate Intelligence Committee report got meager exposure in the media.

So far it has been a handful of senior military officers that have kept us from war with Iran. It hardly suffices to give them vocal encouragement, or to warn them that the post WW-II Nuremberg Tribunal ruled explicitly that “just-following-orders” is no defense when war crimes are involved.

And still less when the “supreme international crime” – a war of aggression is involved.

Senior officers trying to slow the juggernaut lumbering along toward an attack on Iran have been scandalized watching what can only be described as unconscionable dereliction of duty in the House of Representatives, which the Constitution charges with the duty of impeaching a president, vice president or other senior official charged with high crimes and misdemeanors.

Where Are You, Conyers?

In 2005, before John Conyers became chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, he introduced a bill to explore impeaching the president and was asked by Lewis Lapham of Harpers why he was for impeachment then. He replied:

“To take away the excuse that we didn’t know. So that two, or four, or ten years from now, if somebody should ask, ‘Where were you, Conyers, and where was the U.S. Congress?’ when the Bush administration declared the Constitution inoperative…none of the company here present can plead ignorance or temporary insanity [or] say that ‘somehow it escaped our notice.’”

In the three years since then, the train of abuses and usurpations has gotten longer and Conyers has become chair of the committee. Yet he has dawdled and dawdled, and has shown no appetite for impeachment.

On July 23, 2007, Conyers told Cindy Sheehan, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, and me that he would need 218 votes in the House and they were not there.

A week ago, 251 members of the House voted to refer to Conyers’ committee the 35 Articles of Impeachment proposed by Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, who sat on Judiciary with Conyers when it voted out three articles of impeachment on President Richard Nixon, spoke out immediately: “The House should commence an impeachment inquiry forthwith.”

Much of the work has been done. As Holtzman noted, Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment, together with the Senate report that on Iraq we were led to war based on false pretenses – arguably the most serious charge – go a long way toward jump-starting any additional investigative work Congress needs to do.

And seldom mentioned is the voluminous book published by Conyers himself, “Constitution in Crisis,” containing a wealth of relevant detail on the crimes of the current executive.

Conyers’ complaint that there is not enough time is a dog that won’t hunt, as Lyndon Johnson would say.

How can Conyers say this one day, and on the next say that if Bush attacks Iran, well then, the House may move toward impeachment.

Afraid of the media?

During the meeting last July with Cindy Sheehan, Rev. Yearwood and me, and during an interview in December on “Democracy Now,” Conyers was surprisingly candid in expressing his fear of Fox News and how it could paint Democrats as divisive if they pursued impeachment.

Ironically, this time it is Fox and the rest of the FCM that is afraid – witness their virtual silence on Kucinich’s very damning 35 Articles of Impeachment.

The only way to encourage constructive media attention would be for Conyers to act.  The FCM could be expected to fulminate against that, but they could not afford to ignore impeachment, as they are able to ignore other unpleasant things – like preparations for another “war of choice.”

I would argue that perhaps the most effective way to prevent air and missile attacks on Iran and a wider Middle East war is to proceed as Elizabeth Holtzman urges – with impeachment “forthwith.”

Does Conyers not owe at least that much encouragement to those courageous officers who have stood up to Cheney in trying to prevent wider war and catastrophe in the Middle East?

Scott McClellan has been quite clear in reminding us that once the president decided to invade Iraq, he was not going to let anything stop him. There is ample evidence that Bush has taken a similar decision with respect to Iran – with Olmert as his chief counsel, no less.

It is getting late, but this is due largely to Conyers’ own dithering. Now, to his credit, Dennis Kucinich has forced the issue with 35 well-drafted Articles of Impeachment.

What the country needs is the young John Conyers back. Not the one now surrounded by fancy lawyers and held in check by the House leaders.

In October 1974, after he and the even younger Elizabeth Holtzman faced up to their duty on House Judiciary and voted out three Articles of Impeachment on President Richard Nixon, Conyers wrote this:

“This inquiry was forced on us by an accumulation of disclosures which, finally and after unnecessary delays, could no longer be ignored…Impeachment is difficult and it is painful, but the courage to do what must be done is the price of remaining free.”

Someone needs to ask John Conyers if he still believes that; and, if he does, he must summon the courage to “do what must be done.”

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He was Army intelligence/infantry officer and a CIA analyst for 27 years, and now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The Iran Trap By Chris Hedges

Office Arrests: The Shame of John Conyers By Dave Lindorff

Wexler Questions McClellan in House Judiciary Ctte; Calls for Impeachment of VP

John Conyers is Still Failing America + Veterans for Peace Meeting

Dennis Kucinich Documents Grounds for Impeachment of Bush & Cheney (4 hours)

Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution + videos + transcript

House Resolution Calls for Naval Blockade against Iran (AIPAC)

The Daily Show: Senate Intelligence Report #2 + Jim Webb: GI Bill

Stewart Speaks the Truth About Presidential Pandering to Israel!

Senate report on Bush war lies: Another cover-up of war crimes

Senators say report of planned US strikes on Iran untrue


Israel Lobby





Countdown: Unity on Immunity + McClellan Testimony + John Cusack

Dandelion Salad

June 20, 2008


Unity on Immunity

Keith reports on the Democrats caving on the FISA bill today. John Dean weighs in.

The McClellan Testimony

Keith reports on Scott McClellan’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee today. Dana Milbank weighs in.

John Cusack Interview

Keith talks to John Cusack about his McCain ads for MoveOn and his movie War Inc.

Worst Person

And the winner is….Paula Froelich. Runners up John Bolton and Chris Wallace.


Wexler Questions McClellan in House Judiciary Ctte; Calls for Impeachment of VP

Scott McClellan Before House Judiciary + Conyers’ & Nadler’s Questions

Kucinich & Sheila Jackson Lee Arguing Against Changes to FISA + Pelosi’s Support!

Mosaic News – 06/19/08: World News From The Middle East

Dandelion Salad



This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.


“Israel-Hamas Truce Takes Effect; Olmert Calls it ‘Fragile'” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Shalit’s Father: ‘Olmert Deceived Me'” IBA TV, Israel
“Israel’s Military Option Will Not Work in Gaza,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Congress Criticizes the Readniess of Afghan Forces,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Iraqi Forces Take Control in Amara,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Top US Diplomat Stoned in Lebanon,” NBN TV, Lebanon
“Lebanese Government in Limbo,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Wexler Questions McClellan in House Judiciary Ctte; Calls for Impeachment of VP

Dandelion Salad


Wexler Questions former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan in House Judiciary Committee on June 20, 2008.

Shorter clip:”The Raw Story | Dem Rep. calls for im…“, posted with vodpod

and story: Raw Story: Dem Rep. calls for impeachment at McClellan testimony: video


Scott McClellan Before House Judiciary + Conyers’ & Nadler’s Questions

Gore Vidal’s Article of Impeachment (+ audio)

Support Rep. Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment + video (take action)

Dennis Kucinich Documents Grounds for Impeachment of Bush & Cheney (4 hours)

Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution + videos + transcript


U.S. Says Exercise by Israel Seemed Directed at Iran

Dandelion Salad

06/20/08 “New York Times”

WASHINGTON — Israel carried out a major military exercise earlier this month that American officials say appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Several American officials said the Israeli exercise appeared to be an effort to develop the military’s capacity to carry out long-range strikes and to demonstrate the seriousness with which Israel views Iran’s nuclear program.

More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters participated in the maneuvers, which were carried out over the eastern Mediterranean and over Greece during the first week of June, American officials said.


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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Israeli attack on Iran: “not a matter of if, but when”

Israel Rehearsed Iran Nuclear Attack, say US Officials h/t: ICH

IAF apparently held major drill for strike on Iran: ‘NY Times’ h/t: CLG



Israeli attack on Iran: “not a matter of if, but when”

Dandelion Salad

By Stefan Steinberg
20 June 2008

An Israeli military strike is not a matter of if, but when, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel. The latest edition of the news weekly carries a four-page article entitled “Plan to Attack” devoted to preparations currently underway in Israel for air strikes against Iran.

The article begins by noting that the Israeli government has rejected economic sanctions as a means of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It states that “a broad consensus (in Israel) in favour of a military strike against Tehran’s nuclear facilities — without the Americans, if necessary — is beginning to take shape.”

The main propagandist for a military strike against Iran is the current Israeli Transport Minister and former defence minister Shaul Mofaz, who has been widely quoted as saying that military action against Iran is “unavoidable.” Mofaz first made this remark following recent talks with senior US officials in Washington.


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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Israel Rehearsed Iran Nuclear Attack, say US Officials h/t: ICH



Kucinich & Sheila Jackson Lee Arguing Against Changes to FISA + Pelosi’s Support!

Dandelion Salad


Dennis Kucinich on the House floor arguing against the changes to FISA.

Sheila Jackson Lee Arguing Against Changes to FISA

Sheila Jackson Lee on the House floor arguing against the changes to FISA.

Jay Inslee Arguing Against Changes to FISA

Jay Inslee on the House floor arguing against the changes to FISA.

Nancy Pelosi Explaining Her Support of FISA Bill

Nancy Pelosi on the House floor explaining to the American public why we should now be using our Constitution as a piece of toilet paper.


Countdown: Spies Like Us + Politics Of Distortion + Iraqi Oil

Spying on Americans: Democrats Ready to Gut the Constitution To Protect Their “Constituents” – The Telecoms

Kucinich-Dennis J. (newer posts)

Meat Wars – Why Are Those Wacky Koreans Dissin’ Our Beef?

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
06/20/08 “ICH

You wouldn’t know it from reading the newspapers, but the streets of Seoul are packed with tens of thousands of angry protestors who’ve brought business and government to a standstill. The demonstrations have dragged on for more than a month and show no sign of ending anytime soon. President Lee Myung-Bak’s decision to lift the ban on US beef imports has set off a political firestorm that is likely to bring down the government and put the kibosh on free trade agreements for years to come.

On Tuesday, the powerful Korean Confederation of Trade Unions threatened to call a general strike if the meat-deal with Washington was not rescinded. If the unions strike, the whole capital will shut down. That’s why the politicians are scrambling for solutions.

South Korea suspended the purchase of US beef in 2003 after an incident of mad cow was reported in Washington state. Many Koreans still don’t believe the government’s assurances that the meat is safe and they may have a point. According to the LA Times the USDA tests less than 1% of cattle. (USDA Mad Cow Madness” LA Times) In contrast, Japan tests every cow that enters the food chain. Also, according to the Associated Press: [edited]

The Myung-Bak administration is being strong-armed by the Bush team to ignore the massive protests and honor the terms of the trade agreement. It’s a “lose-lose” situation for the Korean president who can either incur the wrath of the corporate oligarchs by caving in or commit political seppuku by shrugging off the demands of his people. Either way, Lee’s career is kaput; he’ll never survive the fallout.

According to AFP:

“Seoul insists it cannot meet protesters’ demands to renegotiate the beef deal, saying it would jeopardize a separate, wider free trade agreement and cast doubt on South Korea’s good faith as a negotiator….The US apparently fears any official endorsement would breach World Trade Organization rules.”

Right; “a deal is a deal”; what were they thing? How could they expect to bend the rules for something as trivial as public safety? So on with the protests, on with the strike. The whole issue of free trade is now precariously balanced on a few pounds of sketchy brisket.

The media has done a first-rate job of diverting attention from the the central issue of whether meat is safe or not by characterizing the protests as “frustration with President Lee”. This is just more nonsense to protect the beef industry. In reality, people everywhere want to be sure that what they put in their mouths is safe to eat. The lack of confidence in US beef imports has struck a nerve in the public’s consciousness sending thousands of Koreans into the streets shouting slogans and waving fists. But is their rage is justified?

According to Martha Rosenberg:

“Eight people have died from probable Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in the US in the last nine months…Do trade officials know something we don’t know?

In May the Bush administration urged a federal appeals court to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed Arkansas City, KS-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to conduct advanced mad cow testing on its animals–presumably because it would raise consumer questions and make other packers look bad.

“This is the government telling the consumers, ‘You’re not entitled to this information,'” protested Creekstone attorney Russell Frye, according to the AP, a charge also heard in March when USDA refused to name companies selling 143 million pounds of recalled Westland/Hallmark beef because the information was “proprietary.” (“Do South Korean Meat Protesters Know Something We Don’t”, Martha Rosenberg)

Hmmmm. So, why is the Bush administration so surprised that foreigners don’t want our beef if it isn’t properly tested? What were they expecting?

In 2003 Dave Louthan wrote an article for counterpunch where he identified himself as one of the crew that was working at Vern’s Moses Lake Meats when tests came back on a cow that had BSE. (Mad cow) The USDA swooped in and tried to hush the whole thing up, but Louthan blew the whistle. He said:

“They asked me “was the cow in the food chain?” I told them of course it was, it’s meat. Where else would it be? They asked me if the cow was a downer. I told them no, it was just an old cow….(Uh, oh) How many other walkers have BSE? We will never know. The USDA only tested the downers and cripples and only at our plant.” (Now here’s the kicker) “When the USDA said no more downers would be slaughtered, they essentially said no more BSE testing would be done. Vern’s and every other slaughterhouse kept right on killing and selling Holstein meat from the same area as the mad cow with no BSE testing whatsoever. This is true and easily verifiable.” (Dave Louthan, “They are Lying about your Food”, counterpunch, 2003)

Yikes! So the USDA deliberately put the public at risk just to save a few bucks for the industry?

Apparently so.

But what’s the big deal, anyway; you get a bad steak and maybe you get a fever for a few days and throw up, right?

Wrong. As Louthan says: “BSE is 100% fatal — if you or your kids get it, you die a very painful death. It’s a slow, wasting disease. It’s terrible.”

Huh, it’s fatal?

According to Louthan, “If you eat mad cow, you are going to get sick and you are going to die.”

Louthan estimates that “there are over a million mad cows in this country” but we’ll never know for sure because the government is determined to limit testing to a very small percentage of the cows. The Bush administration would rather bully our trading partners into taking dodgy beef then do what’s necessary to keep the public safe.

There have been very few updates on the mad cow story with one exception that appeared in USA Today titled “US on Mad Cow: Don’t Test all cattle” (5-29-07) Here’s an excerpt:

“WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease….[edited: link to the story]

Great. So the Bush administration is leading the charge to stop additional testing because it might cost too much. There’s something to mull over before biting into that next juicy hamburger.

An editorial in the South Korea newspaper “The Hankyoreh” summed up the real reasons behind the “meat wars” like this:

“If the United States is going to be selling beef on the international market, it should make sure that it is safe. The thing is, there are doubts about the safety of American beef even within the United States. The New York Times has reported that in 2005, when there was a second confirmed case of mad cow disease, the U.S. Agriculture Department hid the fact for seven months. The Times also reported that of the 30 million cows slaughtered in the United States annually, only 650,000, or about 2 percent, are tested for mad cow disease. In the United States, the authority to test the safety of beef lies with the Agriculture Department, which defends the interests of the meat industry, and it even turned down a request by a meat exporter that it inspect all of its beef on hand. This is why the Korean people want to see imports only of beef without specified risk materials, and from cows younger than 30 months of age at time of slaughter…..Fixing the problems quickly and making it possible to market safety-assured beef would be helping American farmers.” (“The “U.S. role in the beef issue”, The Hankyoreh, South Korea)

If people are going to eat meat, it needs to be properly tested. The Bush administration needs to quit making excuses and get on with it.

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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Scott McClellan Before House Judiciary + Conyers’ & Nadler’s Questions

Dandelion Salad


June 20, 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Rep. Conyers (D-MI) opening statement at the testimony of Scott McClellan

Rep. Nadler’s Questions for Scott McClellan

Rep. Conyers’ Questions to Scott McClellan


Bruce Fein: McClellan, Impeachment and Congress

Kucinich: Articles of Impeachment 11-17 + 19


CIA Leak Case

CIA Leak/Plame Case

SuperCorridor Defeat? Don’t Bet On It

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research
June 20, 2008

The title refers to the I-69/Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) portion of the North American SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO) project. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced that, for now at least, it nixed this part of the $184 billion scheme calling for:

— a 4000 mile toll road network of transportation corridors;

— 10 lanes or 1200 feet wide;

— two or more trans-Texas corridors being considered; one paralleling I-35 from Laredo through San Antonio, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth to Gainesville; the other an extension following US 59 from Texarkana through Houston to Laredo or the Rio Grande Valley;

— others would parallel I-45 from Dallas/FortWorth to Houston and I-10 from El Paso to Orange;

— they’ll accommodate car and truck traffic;

— rail lines;

— pipelines and utilities; and

— communication systems.

It’s planned across Texas from Mexico to Oklahoma, would have annexed huge private land tracts, and may later on take much of it anyway. Enough to threaten organizations like the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), Texas Farm Bureau and other rural interests. Their member property rights are at stake, so they fought it, and for now, prevailed – at least partly, but the matter is far from settled.

On June 10, Executive Director Amadeo Saenz announced that TxDOT “narrowed the (TTC I-69) study area (to) existing highway (routes) whenever possible,” and “any area (outside) an existing (one) will not be considered” except for necessary portions. NASCO’s Texas highway remains viable. It’s just a little less “Super” and for now will use mostly existing state highways and connect them to northern links.

The larger project is far more ambitious. It’s to develop an international, integrated, secure superhighway running the length and breath of the continent for profit. It’s to militarize and annex it as part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) scheme – aka “Deep Integration” North American Union. If completed, it will extend nearly everywhere – North, South, East and West along four main cross-border regions:

— an Atlantic Corridor, including: the Canada-US East Coast; the Champlain-Hudson Corridor; the Appalachian region; and the Gulf of Mexico;

— a Central Eastern Corridor; an urban one through large cities and industrial areas; another through the Great Plains to the Canadian Prairies;

— a Central Western Corridor, including the largest Mexican maquiladora concentration; and

— a Pacific Corridor linking Fairbanks, Alaska to San Diego into Tijuana, Ciudad Obrego and Mazatlan, Mexico.

From north to south, it will extend from Fairbanks to Winnipeg, Manitoba; Edmonton, Alberta; and Windsor, Ontario, Canada through Kansas City, San Antonio and Laredo, Texas into Neuvo Laredo, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and the ports of Manzanillo, Colima and Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico. Other links will connect Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, Canada to New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Memphis, Dallas, Houston with still more routes to follow – East to West, North to South across Canada, the US and Mexico.

Canada’s plan is called CISCOR – the Canadian Intelligent SuperCorridor running west from Vancouver and Prince Rupert to Montreal and Halifax. Its web site explains it as follows: “The Saskatchen-based CISCOR Smart Inland Port Network will serve as the central logistics and coordination hub, creating a Canadian east-west land bridge (connecting) three major North American north-south corridors; North Americas SuperCorridor (NASCO), Canada America Mexico Corridor (CANAMEX) and River of Trade Corridor Coalition (ROTCC).

ROTCC was created in 2004 to facilitate trade across 3300 miles from Laredo, Texas to Detroit and into Canada. Another route along I-45 extends from Houston and the I-10 corridor and rail route from Los Angeles and Long Beach to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Overall, it will be a comprehensive energy and commerce-related transportation artery for trade and strategic resources with DHS and NORTHCOM in charge. They’ll monitor and militarize it through a network of high-tech sensors and trackers to secure the continent for profit at the expense of the greater public good the way these schemes always work.

Part of the plan involves a proposed arrangement between NASCO and a company called Savi Networks – a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Hutchison Ports Holdings, a Chinese ports management firm. If instituted, it will generate huge revenues by paying NASCO 25 cents for each of the millions of “revenue-generating intermodal ocean cargo container(s)” using the supercorridor as well as along other north-south routes being planned. The idea is to install an RFID chip network and put them in containers as well for tracking. They’ll monitor them from port of entry to final destination and make shippers pay tolls in addition to transportation costs. They’ll, in turn, pass on costs to buyers.

Lockheed Martin runs a Global Transport Network (GTN) Command and Control Center for the military that provides electronic tracking. On its web site, Savi Networks says it “was formed to improve the efficiency and security of global trade (through its) SaviTrack system.” It “utilizes a reliable network of wireless Automated Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) equipment and (Enterprise Resource Planning – ERP) software to provide shippers, logistics service providers, and terminal operators with precise and actionable information.”

For now, the Texas artery will be less ambitious but still part of the grander scheme. For its part, I-69/TTC remains a government-private partnership whereby new roads will charge tolls for maximum revenue generation and make the public to pay the tab for their use.

Besides the scaled back I-69/TTC, another planned project is just as worrisome. It’s called the TTC-35 600 mile corridor extension along I-35 from Oklahoma through Dallas/Forth Worth to Laredo to Mexico and possibly the Gulf Coast. A two-tiered environmental study for it began in spring 2004 and remains ongoing.

Tier One engendered sweeping opposition but not enough to stop it. Public hearings were held for input on potential corridor locations and promoted what’s called the Preferred Corridor Alternative. Federal Highway Administration approval comes next, after which a Tier Two phase would identify proposed highway alignments and other modes and potential access points. Hearings would follow for further public input and be as likely to generate hostility as did the I-69/TTC project. It slowed SuperCorridor momentum, but in Texas and across the country it’s very much alive and ongoing.

Powerful forces back it in spite of considerable opposition in states across the country. In support are organizations like:

— the Council on Foreign Relation and its influential members; it backed business having “unlimited (cross-border) access in its 2005 report titled “Building a North American Community; its Task Force “applauds the announced ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP)’ of North America” – aka North American Union and its SuperCorridor project; it also sees a step beyond with “a more ambitious vision of a new community by 2010 (giving) specific recommendations on how to achieve it.”

— the International Mobility & Trade Corridor Project (IMTC); it bills itself as a US – Canadian government and business coalition “promot(ing) improvements to mobility and security for the four border crossings between Whatcom County, Washington and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia” – combined called the Cascade Gateway;

— the CANAMEX Corridor Coalition for a superhighway linking Mexico City to Edmonton, Alberta; it supports the “seamless and efficient transportation of goods, services, people and information between Canada, Mexico and the US;”

— the Central North American Trade Corridor Association (CHATCA); it’s for a Central North American Trade Corridor fully integrated in the global economy and refers to “5 T’s” as “essential:” tourism, technology, trade, transportation and training;

— the Ports to Plains Trade (PTP) Corridor; it supports a multimodal one from Mexico through the four PTP states of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Oklahoma up to Canada and the Pacific Northwest;

— the Champlain-Hudson Trade Corridor and Gateway Coalition representing trade from Quebec City and Montreal to New York; and

— the I-95 Corridor Coalition alliance of transportation agencies, toll authorities, and related organizations (including law enforcement) from Canada to Florida in support of transportation managements and operational common interest issues favoring business.

Nothing so far is finalized, but SuperCorrider momentum remains viable. It’s slowed in Texas, but very much alive and viable.

In contrast, opposition groups are numerous, vocal, but yet to achieve enough critical mass to matter. They include groups like the “People’s Summit” that protested in New Orleans last April against the recent three-presidential secret summit to plot strategy. Also, the conservative Coalition to Block the North American Union condemns a “stealth plan” to erase national borders, merge three nations into one, end the sovereignty of each, build a SuperCorridor, put Washington and the military in charge, allow unlimited immigration, and replace the dollar with the “amero.”

Still another is a group of citizen-activist Oklahomans and the organization they formed: Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise. Like similar Texas and other state groups, it’s against the SuperCorridor and its proposed I-35 route through their state. It’s a conservative group believing that “a capitalist economy can regulate itself in a freely competitive market…with a minimum of governmental intervention and regulation.” It opposes government using the law to facilitate a “corporate takeover” of society and fund it with public tax dollars. On board as well is an Oklahoma state senator who says “the NAFTA Superhighway stops here.”

He’ll need other lawmakers with him and on April 29 failed. Despite vocal opposition, the Oklahoma state legislature authorized the creation of “Smart (inland) Ports” and SuperCorridor system despite earlier having passed a resolution urging Congress “to withdraw from the (SPP – North American Union)” and all activities related to it. Besides Oklahoma, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) lists 21 other states that have passed public-private partnership enabling legislation considered essential for private investment to go forward.

At the federal level, there’s also congressional opposition (but not enough to matter) in spite of Rep. Virgil Goode and six co-sponsors introducing House Concurrent Resolution 40 in January 2007. It expressed “the sense of (some but not enough in) Congress that the United States should not engage in (building a NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada.”

State legislatures as well are against it (in contrast to others in support) – thus far a dozen or more passing resolutions in 2008 and another 20 in 2007. Well and good but remember Adlai Stevenson’s response to an enthusiastic supporter during his first presidential campaign. He thanked the woman and replied: “That’s not enough madam. I need a majority.”

It’s no different for the SuperCorridor and North American Union. They’re progressing secretly in spite of activist opposition and a largely unaware public. A recent poll sheds light. It was conducted by the American Policy Center that calls itself “a privately funded, nonprofit, 501 c (4), tax-exempt grassroots action and education foundation dedicated to the promotion of free enterprise and limited government….”

It revealed no widespread public SPP opposition because most people (58% living along the proposed Texas to Minnesota route) don’t know about it or enough to matter. However, 95% of respondents with awareness opposed it but unfortunately in answer to biased questions. Their wording apparently conveyed the idea of “private corporations (having) power to enforce trade policy that may adversely affect our national sovereignty and independence.”

Market researchers know that questions must be neutral and unbiased to produce reliable results. For example, respondents should have been asked: From what you know about SPP, do you favor or oppose it? A follow-up should then ask “why” to get unguided replies. Other biased questions were also asked and elicited strong opposition to an “amero,” NAFTA courts superseding state and federal ones, the Bush administration being allowed to proceed without congressional approval, the US being “harmonized” or merged with Mexico and Canada, and more.

Most important is that public knowledge is sparse. What is known is incomplete, at times inaccurate, and either way plans (so far) are proceeding with or without congressional or public approval.

It means a corporate coup d’etat is advancing, aided and abetted by three governments. They plan to unite and become one, militarize the continent for enforcement, lay ribbons of concrete and rail lines across it, and hand it over to business for profit. That’s where things now stand. Imagine where they’ll end if a way isn’t found to stop them.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to the Global Research News Hour on Mondays from 11AM – 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening.

© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2008

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Pots and Kettles! By Michael C. Feltham

Dandelion Salad

By Michael C. Feltham
Jun 17, 2008, 06:12

Which prominent Western nation might support a state, which presents as wholly xenophobic, is in process of committing ongoing and cynical genocide, constant sequestration of tribal assets, torture and deprivation of men, women and children and human rights abuses which, employing an effective standard of the Geneva Convention would earn the pejorative sobriquet “Pariah State”?

If we progress yet further in a quantitative analysis, then we discover that not only does this one major Western state support these totally amoral actions, but other lesser Western states are queuing up to emulate their example!

We learn from the gradually worsening news that Israel is threatening to bomb Iranian atomic reactors.

Personally, I believe it’s time for something of a rethink on Western attitudes and support for a claimed nation state, which is evermore rapidly turning pariah.

Failure of the IAEA

Whilst in theory, The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was intended to reduce the threat of a global nuclear holocaust by limiting national ambitions and possession of nuclear weapons this august body has clearly failed!

So, what precisely do the USA and Israel and the states such as Great Britain which exclusively and persistently support Israel base their belief in this support on?

Looking for a moment at the IAEA, post World War Two and the dreadful annihilation of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, thereafter the arms race between the USA and Soviet Russia created a climate of ultimate Thermo-Nuclear fear: MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) became a reality, until the early SALT meetings between the Russian President and the US President, began in 1969, defused, gradually inter-nation tensions and threats.

Since that time and despite the IAEA, first China and then India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons and perhaps more critically, delivery platforms.

Now when the bully on the block threatens the little guy, well the little guy seeks some form of self-defence.

It’s not for nothing that the early products of one Samuel Colt came to be named “The Peacemaker”, since even a little guy, when faced with a much bigger and stronger guy could hold his own: hence the second popular name for a handgun became “The Equaliser”.

The Bullies and Iran

Right now, Islamic nations have been increasingly demonised: continuing the parlance as before, they are the Black Hats: Hiss! Boo!

But, let’s stop a while and ponder.

Are they really the bad guys? And if so, why?

During and after the Ayatollah’s Revolution, America came to be called The Great Satan:  or in Persian ÔíØÇä ÈÒѐ  and in Arabic ÇáÔíØÇä ÇáÃßÈÑ.


Well, here, we have to wind the historical clock right back to the early 1950s: in fact, 1953.

Post World War Two, the critical importance of crude oil supplies had been reinforced to allied nations, particularly the USA and Britain by the increasingly mechanised nature of warfare.

As the Middle East settled down from the effects of the conflict, social reform and its inevitable political energies accelerated.

Iran had elected a moderate leader, Mossadegh in 1951 and he started a rapid programme of social reform and, as had so many other states, nationalised Iran’s oil assets to the intense fury of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company – now BP –  (previously the Anglo-Persian Oil Company) a major British economic lynchpin.

Britain was furious and their collective perspective viewed all Iranians as unwashed stone-aged savages, particularly those pin-striped gents with bowler hats (Derbys) in the hallowed Foreign and Commonwealth Office, whose singular qualification for a senior “Desk” was usually zero knowledge and empathy with the country of their focus!

Meanwhile, the US had negotiated with its ME oil sources and had reached a reasonably fair accommodation on both ownership and price.

However, the DDG (Deputy Director General) of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, the SIS –normally incorrectly expressed as MI6 – Dick White, flew to Washington and conspired with Allan Dulles, head of the fledgling CIA; with the president’s eventual support, Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Teddy and CIA Desk head for ME, secretly flew to Iran and set about destabilising Mossedgh’s government and mounting a coup which would restore Shah Reza Pahlavi to the famed Peacock Throne, which was eventually achieved.

Thereafter a new oil company with ownership split between US and Iranian interests, NIOC, came into being.

Once returned to Iran, the Shah commenced a process, with the keen assistance of US intelligence staff and the military, of seeking out those who had previously opposed him. His regime brutally repressed any opposition, as well as attempting to squash any form of secularism and Islamic interest.

His secret police SAVAK, were noted for their cruelty and refined and esoteric methods of torture: a commonplace circumstance.

Whilst parts of Iran became industrially advanced – making it probably the most advanced industrial state in the region – its peoples were driven rapidly backwards, socially and in terms of their religion.

As oil prices rose rapidly post the OPEC price hikes in the early 70s, the huge oil revenues allowed many Iranians, in particular the “Bizzaris” to become spectacularly rich: whilst the Shah squanders billions on mainly US weapons and systems, with the UK adopting a sort of subservient but highly profitable secondary role. However, with such wealth moral corruption can follow and it did: young Iranian women wanted to copy their brethren in Paris, New York, Monet Carlo et al and with a new freedom to travel they did; their styles became provocative and the Mullahs outraged.

The greater the process of unfettered material Americanism, the greater the cultural and religious divide became: too much too quickly is perhaps a fair description.

Meanwhile, however, in the more remote Iranian regions, particularly those bordering what was then Russia and Pakistan, the people were still staunchly Islamic and poor. It now seems obvious that where a nation is suppressed, fundamentalism emerges as a sort of backstop to human self-respect, self-belief and future hopes.

Eventually, as we know, the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini managed to foment his own rebellion and in short process, the Shah and his family left once more but this time finally.

Thereafter, as societies do, Iran swung from one extreme to the other and a fundamentalist Shia society became the norm, as did the reintroduction of stoning adulterers and others who offended the moral code of archaic Islam.

Now, we might well find such practices anathema: that said, many Western practices, like public nudity, drunkenness, debauchery, abandonment of children and the poor, usury as typified perhaps by Sub Prime, gluttony and obesity are equally reprehensible and anathema to devout followers of Islam.

Brief Review of Nuclear History

United States: After the USA with the assistance of many leading physicists from the UK, Germany, Italy and Norway, numbering Edward Teller, Enrico Fermi, Bill Penney amongst them, led by Dr Robert Oppenheimer  in the Manhattan Project, a new dangerous world dawned.

IAEA: The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) was established in 1957 to try and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, since it was obvious as with all technological breakthroughs, once the core and difficult design dynamics had been cracked, less advanced countries would emulate the process.

Russia: After Russia developed its Thermo-Nuclear capacity, 1955, the UK followed suit with its own independent programme under Lord Penney, 1957; then France, with a first fission test in 1960 followed by a Thermo-Nuclear test in 1968.

China: The World was shocked when China, at the time seen as a backwards state, mired in political ideology and focused on spreading the words of its then leader Mao, revealed in 1964, after its first test, that it had atomic weapons. (Most Chinese tests were carried out underground and thus left little visible “Footprint” for snooping US satellites).

India & Pakistan: India and Pakistan followed (1974 and 1998 respectively); South Africa whilst being an acknowledged nuclear power, has never tested.

Israel: Israel, who has also never tested, was forced to admit, eventually, that it too had joined the semi-exclusive nuclear nation club, whilst such admission has been hinted rather absolute. Most authorities however, believe Israel possesses a nuclear capability, evidenced, perhaps by its top-secret atomic station, hidden in Dimona. (Authorities believe that with the advent of Super Computers, testing has been carried out by simulation).

Now with Israel, it is alleged that Mossad hatched a secret plan to highjack a cargo of Uranium Yellow Cake ore on the high seas in “Operation Plumbat. Other theories lean to a secret deal between South Africa  (from where much Uranium ore is found and mined) by then a pariah state and banned from official weapons purchases from the main armaments producing countries by UN embargo. (Also see Uranium: The Israeli Connection)

Whatever the truth concerning the precursors, without doubt, Israel possesses a nuclear arsenal, which, during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, was readied for operational use as a final desperate throw of the dice when it looked as if they might be overwhelmed.

Israel, with tacit support from the US has, thus far, bombed, without provocation, reactors in Iraq, 1981 and Syria, 2007,

Whatever the stated justification, these are hardly actions to please the Arab world!

WMD: Now, the West is rightly concerned about Weapons of Mass Destruction being vested in extremists and nuts: quite agree. Additionally, we are worried about such dreadful systems being potentially possessed by sabre rattling hawkish opportunists; concur once more.

Hold the phone!

Those previous descriptors can neatly be applied to one George Walker Bush, who has illegally invaded another sovereign state, massacred tens of thousands of its population and all on a pretext, which seemed to change by the hour!

First it was WMD: next it was a “Moral Cause”: and finally, it was a “War on Terrah!”, when firstly no WMDs were ever found; morals were frankly missing from the whole sorry exercise and the “Terrah” factually, non-existent.

And then we have Israel, a self-confessed “State”, squatting on other people’s lands, which they have possessed by dint of genocide, torture, theft and aggression: led by a militarised government, hell-bent on a continuum of their singular determination to anger all those states around them.

And Muslims no doubt, wonder and question why America thinks it has the sort of God given right to reprimand their countries, and act as the World’s policeman where Dubya “Born Again” Bush (The draft-dodging ex-drunk and druggie) acts as Chief of Global Police, aided and abetted by his spiritual advisers, (between jetting round in their executive jets and gathering cash from the naïve) and his closet criminal associates, like Cheney, have been busy ripping off the US taxpayer over Iraq, it is alleged, to the tune of some $27 billion.

Rather than support the action of a warlike and aggressive state, perhaps the West might brook the words of a hawk, Winston Spencer Churchill: “Jaw, Jaw, Jaw, is better than War, War, War!”

One is thus compelled, perhaps to quote from the New Testament.

Who knows; perhaps it might chime, with Dubya!

Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (Matthew Chapter Seven, verses 1 through 5)

© Copyright 2008 by

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2 Wall Street execs first to face charges for sub-prime chaos

Dandelion Salad

By Kevin G. Hal
McClatchy Newspapers
Thursday, June 19, 2008

WASHINGTON — With their arrest Thursday on a nine-count indictment, two former investment fund managers for banking titan Bear Stearns are now the public face of the nation’s mortgage finance meltdown.

FBI agents made the first high-level arrests of Wall Street executives in connection with the nation’s sub-prime meltdown, parading the handcuffed fund managers in front of cameras as the sun came up over Manhattan.


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The Food and the Energy crisis, fiction or reality?

Dandelion Salad

by Rev. Richard Skaff
Global Research
June 19, 2008

In these murky times, where priorities and values have been turned upside down by the political propaganda machines, where revenge is rendered into self-preservation,  aggression transformed into courage, fanaticism into a mark of the real man, dissent  into betrayal, sadism into protectionism, pathology into normalcy, and pre-emptive war into peace, the push to assassinate the middle class remains active and healthy. Continue reading