Out Damn Blot – A Letter to Colin Powell By Ray McGovern

Dandelion Salad

By Ray McGovern
08/16/08 “ICH”
Consortium News

Dear Colin,

You have said you regret the “blot” on your record caused by your parroting spurious intelligence at the U.N. to justify war on Iraq. On the chance you may not have noticed, I write to point out that you now have a unique opportunity to do some rehab on your reputation.

If you were blindsided, well, here’s an opportunity to try to wipe off some of the blot. There is no need for you to end up like Lady Macbeth, wandering around aimlessly muttering, Out damn spot…or blot.

It has always strained credulity, at least as far as I was concerned, to accept the notion that naiveté prevented you from seeing through the game Vice President Dick Cheney and then-CIA Director George Tenet were playing on Iraq.

And I was particularly suspicious when you chose to ignore the strong dissents of your own State Department intelligence analysts who, as you know, turned out to be far more on target than counterparts in more servile agencies.

It was equally difficult for me to believe that you thought that, by insisting that shameless George Tenet sit behind you on camera, you could ensure a modicum of truth in your speech before the U.N. Security Council. You were far savvier than that.

That is certainly the impression I got from our every-other-morning conversations in the mid-80s, before I went in to brief the President’s Daily Brief to your boss, then-Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, one-on-one.

I saw the street smarts you displayed then. The savvy was familiar to me. I concluded that it came, in part, from the two decades you and I spent growing up in the same neighborhood at the same time in the Bronx.

On those Bronx streets, rough as they were, there was also a strong sense of what was honorable -honorable even among thieves and liars, you might say. And we had words, which I will not repeat here, for sycophants, pimps, and cowards.

Your U.N. speech of Feb. 5, 2003 left me speechless, so to speak – largely because of the measure of respect I had had for you before then.

Outrage is too tame a word for what quickly became my reaction and that of my colleagues in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), as we watched you perform before the Security Council less than six weeks before the unnecessary, illegal attack on Iraq.

The purpose – as well as the speciousness – of your address were all too transparent and, in a same-day commentary, we VIPS warned President George W. Bush that, if he attacked Iraq, “the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

That’s history. Or, as investigative reporter Ron Suskind would say, “It’s all on the record.”

You have not yet summoned the courage to admit it, but I think I know you well enough to believe you have a Lady Macbeth-type conscience problem that goes far beyond the spot on your record.

With 4,141 American soldiers – not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens – dead, and over 30,000 GIs badly wounded, how could you not?

What Did You Know…and When?

Here is what could be good news for you, Colin.

Information that has come to light over the past two years or so could wipe some of the blot fouling your record. It all depends, I guess, on how truthful you are prepared to be now.

Much of the new data comes from former CIA officials who, ironically, have sought to assuage their own consciences by doing talk therapy with authors like Sidney Blumenthal and Ron Suskind.

At first blush, these revelations seem so outlandish that they themselves strain credulity. But they stand up to close scrutiny far better than what you presented in your U.N. speech, for example.

If you now depend on the fawning corporate media (FCM) for your information, you will have missed this very significant, two-pronged story.

In brief, with the help of Allied intelligence services, the CIA recruited your Iraqi counterpart, Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister, Naji Sabri, and Tahir Jalil Habbush, the chief of Iraqi intelligence. They were cajoled into remaining in place while giving us critical intelligence well before the war – actually, well before your speech laying the groundwork for war.

In other words, at a time when Saddam Hussein believed that Sabri and Habbush were working for him, we had “turned” them. They were working for us, and much of the information they provided had been evaluated and verified.

Most important, each independently affirmed that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, information that should have prevented you from making a fool of yourself before the U.N. Security Council.

The Iraqi Foreign Minister

The FCM gave almost no coverage (surprise, surprise!) to the reporting from Naji Sabri, which continues to be pretty much lost in the woodwork.

In case you missed it, we now know from former CIA officials that his information on the absence of WMD was concealed from Congress, from our senior military, and from intelligence analysts – including those working on the infamous National Intelligence Estimate of Oct. 1, 2002.

That NIE, titled “Iraq’s Continuing Programs for WMD,” was the one specifically designed to mislead Congress into authorizing the president to make war on Iraq.

One question is whether it is true that Sabri’s reporting was also concealed from you.

Tyler Drumheller, at the time a division chief in CIA’s clandestine service, was the first to tell the story of Naji Sabri, who is now living a comfortable retirement in Qatar. On CBS’s “60 Minutes” on April 23, 2006, Drumheller disclosed that the CIA had received documentary evidence from Sabri that Iraq had no WMD.

Drumheller added, “We continued to validate him the whole way through.”

Then two other former CIA officers confirmed this account to author Sidney Blumenthal, adding that George Tenet briefed this information to President George W. Bush on Sept. 18, 2002, and that Bush dismissed the information as worthless.

Wait. It gets worse. The two former CIA officers told Blumenthal that someone in the agency rewrote the report from Sabri to indicate that Saddam Hussein was “aggressively and covertly developing” nuclear weapons and already had chemical and biological weapons.

That altered report was shown to the likes of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was “duped,” according to one of the CIA officers.

Worse still, the former CIA officials reported that George Tenet never shared the unadulterated information from the Iraqi foreign minister with you, the Secretary of State and Naji Sabri’s counterpart. Again, whether that is true is a very large outstanding question.

The Chief of Iraqi Intelligence

Again, Colin, I am assuming you take your information from the FCM, so let me brief you, as in the old days, on what else has popped up over the past couple of weeks.

Two other CIA clandestine service officers have told author Ron Suskind that Iraqi intelligence chief Habbush had become one of our secret sources on Iraq, beginning in January 2003.

I hope you are sitting down, Colin, because Habbush also told us Iraq had no WMD. One of the helpful insights he passed along to us was that Saddam Hussein had decided that some ambiguity on the WMD issue would help prevent his main enemy, Iran, from thinking of Iraq as a toothless tiger.

Habbush, part of Saddam’s inner circle, had direct access to this kind of information. But when President Bush was first told of Habbush’s report that there were no WMD in Iraq, Suskind’s sources say the president reacted by saying, “Well, why don’t you tell him to give us something we can use to make our case?”

Apparently, Habbush was unable or unwilling to oblige by changing his story.

Nevertheless, later in 2003, when it became clear that he had been telling the unwelcome truth, Habbush was helped to resettle in Jordan and given $5 million to keep his mouth shut.

Suskind also reveals that in the fall of 2003, Habbush was asked to earn his keep by participating in a keystone-cops-type forgery aimed at “proving” that Saddam Hussein did, after all, have a direct hand in the tragedy of 9/11.

This crude forgery was not unlike the one that originally gave us the yarn about yellowcake uranium going from Niger to Iraq.

You will hardly be surprised to hear there is evidence, much of it circumstantial, that Vice President Dick Cheney was the intellectual author of both incredibly inept forgery operations.

Sorry to have to bring this up, but there is something else about Habbush that you need to know. He had actually been in charge of overseeing what was left of the Iraqi biological weapons program after the 1991 Gulf War, and reported that it was stopped in 1996.

Sabri vs. Curveball

Before the attack on Iraq, Tenet’s deputy, John McLaughlin, was repeatedly briefed on Sabri’s information, but complained that it was at variance with “our best source” – a reference to the infamous “Curveball,” the con-man whom German intelligence had warned the CIA not to take seriously.

You may recall hearing that on the evening before your U.N. speech, Drumheller warned Tenet not to use the information from Curveball on mobile biological weapons laboratories; Tenet gave Drumheller the brush-off.

The CIA artists’ renderings of those laboratories, to which you called such prominent attention during your speech, were spiffy, but bore no relationship to reality. Tenet and McLaughlin knew this almost as well as Sabri and Habbush did.

“We have firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and rails,” you will recall telling the world. Later, you lamented publicly that you had not been warned about Curveball either.

McLaughlin seemed to confirm that this was so, in an interview with the Washington Post in 2006: “If someone had made those doubts clear to me, I would not have permitted the reporting to be used in Secretary Powell’s speech.”

This is highly disingenuous, even by McLaughlin’s and Tenet’s standards, since they had deliberately chosen to ignore Drumheller’s warning. I know Drumheller; he is a far better bet for truthfulness that the other two.

Outright Lies

Although I am against the death penalty, I can sympathize with the vehement reaction of normally taciturn Carl Ford, head of State Department intelligence at the time. Ford has revealed that both Tenet and McLaughlin went to extraordinary lengths, and even took a personal hand in trying to salvage some credibility for the notorious Curveball.

In an interview for Hubris, a book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Carl Ford spared no words, asserting that Tenet’s and McLaughlin’s analysis “was not just wrong, they lied…they should have been shot.”

Though I’ve been around a while, I am not the best judge of character, Colin, and perhaps I am being too credulous in giving you the benefit of the doubt concerning what you knew – or didn’t. It could be, I suppose, that you were fully briefed on Naji Sabri, Habbush, Curveball, and all the rest of it, and have been able to orchestrate plausible denial.

If that is the case, I suppose it would seem safer to you to let sleeping dogs lie.

If, on the other hand, what my former colleagues say about your having been fenced off from this key intelligence is true, your reaction seems a bit … how shall I describe it? … understated.

Perhaps you are too long gone from the Bronx. Back there, back then, letting folks use you and make a fool of you without any response was just not done.

It was the equivalent to running away when someone was messing with your sister. And letting oneself be bullied always set a bad precedent, affirming for the bullies that they can push people around – especially understated ones – and risk nothing.

In sum, the CIA had both the Iraqi foreign minister and the Iraqi intelligence chief “turned” and reporting to us in the months before the war (in Naji Sabri’s case) and the weeks before your U.N. speech (in the case of Tahir Jalil Habbush).

Both were part of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle; both reported that there were no weapons of mass destruction.

But this was not what the president wanted to hear, so Tenet put the kibosh on Habbush and put Sabri on a cutter to Qatar.

So Here’s Your Opportunity

Either you knew about Sabri, Habbush and Curveball, or you did not. If you knew, I suppose you will keep hunkering down, licking your blot, and hoping that plausible denial will continue to work for you.

If you were kept in the dark, though, I would think you would want to raise holy hell – if not to hold accountable those of your former superiors and colleagues responsible for the carnage of the past five years, then at least to try to wipe the “blot” off your record.

Granted, it probably strikes you as a highly unwelcome choice – whether to appear complicit or naïve. Here’s an idea. Why not just tell the truth?

If House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers is any guide, Congress seems quite taken with the explosive revelations in Ron Suskind’s book “The Way of the World.”

On Thursday, Conyers joined Suskind on Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now,” and declared that he is “the third day into the most critical investigation of the entire Bush administration.” (He clearly was referring to the Suskind revelations.)

Conyers emphasized that, even though Congress is in recess, “We’re starting our work, and … I’m calling everyone back. We’ve got a huge amount of work to engage in.”

At the same time, though, Conyers said he is “maybe the most frustrated person attempting to exercise the oversight responsibilities that I have on Judiciary.”

A good deal of his frustration comes from stonewalling by the Bush/Cheney administration, which will surely cite national security or executive privilege to justify withholding any damaging information.

Bush Visits CIA

It was, no doubt, pure coincidence that President Bush made a highly unusual visit to CIA headquarters, also on Thursday, before leaving for Crawford on vacation.

The official line is that he wanted an update on the situation in Georgia and the Russian role there, but Bush did not need to go to Langley for that.

Rather, given the record of the past seven years, it is reasonable to suggest that he also wanted to assure malleable Mike Hayden, the CIA director, and his minions that they will be protected if they continue to stiff-arm appropriate congressional committees, denying them the information they need for a successful investigation.

Pardons dangled as hush money? Not so bizarre at all.

Some will recall that George H.W. Bush, just before leaving the White House, pardoned one of your former bosses, Casper Weinberger, who had been indicted and was about to go to trial for lying about his role in the Iran-Contra fiasco.

If past is precedent, sad to say, Conyers is not likely to get to first base, UNLESS he can get knowledgeable witnesses to come forward.

On Thursday he did not rule out a suggestion that Habbush be asked to come before Congress to testify, but the CIA can easily thwart that kind of thing – or delay it indefinitely.

In any case, your own credibility, though damaged, has got to be greater than Habbush’s.

Let me suggest that you offer yourself as a witness to help clear the air on these very important issues. This would seem the responsible, patriotic thing to do in the circumstances and could also have the salutary effect of beginning the atonement process for that day of infamy at the Security Council.

If we hear no peep out of you in the coming weeks, we shall not be able to escape concluding one of two things:

(1) That, as was the case with the White House Situation Room sessions on torture, you were a willing participant in suppressing/falsifying key intelligence on Iraq; or

(2) That you lack the courage to expose the scoundrels who betrayed not only you, but also that segment of our country and our world that still puts a premium on truth telling and the law.

Think about it.

With all due respect,

Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career in CIA’s analysis ranks, he chaired National Intelligence Estimates and briefed the President’s Daily Brief to the most senior national security officials. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

This article was first published at Consortium News

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.

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Kucinich Applauds Investigation of Claims by Suskind

Ron Suskind: Bush Admin forging documents that led to war (Part 2)

Ron Suskind: Bush Admin forging documents that led to war (Part 1)

Bush Will Issue a Mass Pardon By Brent Budowsky

Putin’s Winning Hand By Mike Whitney + video

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
08/16/08 “ICH”

Once the Atlantic Alliance is shattered, America’s lifeline to the world is kaput

There are no military installations in the city of Tskhinvali. In fact, there are no military targets at all. It is an industrial center consisting of lumber mills, manufacturing plants and residential areas. It is also the home to 30,000 South Ossetians. When Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered the city to be bombed by warplanes and shelled by heavy artillery last Thursday, he knew that he would be killing hundreds of civilians in their homes and neighborhoods. But he ordered the bombing anyway.

There was no “Battle of Tskhinvali”; that’s another fiction. A battle implies that there is an opposing force that is resisting or fighting back. That’s not the case here. The Georgian army entered the city unopposed; after all, how can unarmed civilians stop armed units. Most of the townspeople had already fled across the border into Russia or hid in their basements while the tanks and armored vehicles rumbled bye firing at anything that moved.

What took place in South Ossetia last Thursday, was not an invasion or a siege; it was a massacre. The people had no way to defend themselves against a fully-equiped modern army. It was a war crime.

In less than 24 hours, the Russian army was deployed to the war zone where it chased the Georgian army away without a fight. Journalist Michael Binyon put it like this, “The attack was short, sharp and deadly—enough to send the Georgians fleeing in humiliating panic.” Indeed, the Georgians left in such haste that many of their weapons were left behind. It was a complete rout; another black-eye for the US and Israeli advisers who trained the clatter of thugs they call the Georgian army. Soon vendors on the streets of Tskhinvali will be hawking weapons that were left behind with a mocking sign: “Georgia Army M-16; Never used, dropped once.”

By the time the army was driven out, the downtown area was in engulfed in flames and the bodies of those who had been killed by sniper-fire were strewn along the streets and sidewalks. Many of people who stayed behind were simply too old or infirm to leave. Instead, they huddled in their basements waiting for the shelling to stop. It was a bloodbath. The city’s only hospital was deliberately targeted and destroyed; another war crime. By day’s end, over 2,000 people were killed in an operation that was clearly engineered with the assistance of the Bush White House. Bush regards Saakashvilli as his main client in the region; they are friends. He is America’s cat’s paw in the Caucasus. Saakashvilli’s assignment is to try to get Putin to overreact militarily and demonstrate to European allies that Russia still poses a threat to their national security. Fortunately, many Europeans see through the ruse and know that the trouble originates in Washington.

For the most part, Americans are still in the dark about what really happened last weekend. There’s a great video circulating on the Internet by a Russian citizen that has been living in USA for the last 10 years. He sums up the role of the US media with great precision. He says, “The western media–especially CNN–is feeding you complete horseshit. Russia did not invade Georgia first.” The youtube can be seen here:

The truth about South Ossetia War, Georgia attack

air1180

The truth about South Ossetia War, Ge…“, posted with vodpod

The coverage of the western media has been abysmal. Nearly every article and TV news segment begins with accusations of Russian aggression concealing the fact that the Georgian Army bombarded and invaded the capital of South Ossetia one full day before the first Russian even tank crossed the border. By the time the Russians arrived, the city was already in a shambles and thousands were dead.

These facts are not in dispute by those who followed the developments as they took place. Now the media is revising the facts to manage public perceptions, just as they did with the fictional WMD in Iraq. Many people think that the media learned its lesson after they were exposed for using bogus information in the lead up to the war in Iraq. But that is not true. The corporate media–especially FOX News, CNN and PBS (the smug, liberal-sounding channel)—continue to operate like the propaganda arm of the Pentagon. Its disgraceful.

In a 2006 referendum, 99% of South Ossetians said they supported independence from Georgia. The voter turnout was 95% and the balloting was monitored by 34 international observers from the west. No one has challenged the results. The province has been under the protection of Russian and Georgian peacekeepers since 1992 and has been a de facto independent state ever since. If Putin applied the same standard as Bush did in Kosovo, he would unilaterally declare South Ossetia independent from Georgia and then thumb his nose at the UN. (Sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander) But Putin and newly-elected Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have taken a conciliatory attitude towards the international community and tried to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels. So far, they have conducted themselves with restraint and avoided any confrontation.

Still, Russia’s operation in South Ossetia has ignited a firestorm in the US political establishment and Democrats and Republicans alike are demanding that Russia be “taught a lesson”. Condoleeza Rice flew to Tbilisi on Friday and ordered Russian combat troops to withdraw from Georgia immediately. Saakashvili topped off Rice’s comments by saying that the Russian troops were “cold-blooded killers” and “barbarians”. So much for reconciliation.

Saakashvili’s hyperbolic rhetoric was followed by a surprise announcement from Poland that they had approved Bush’s plans for deploying the Missile Defense Shield in Eastern Europe. The system is supposed to defend Europe from the possibility of attacks from so-called “rogue states” like Iran, but the Kremlin knows that it is intended to neutralize their nuclear arsenal. Political analyst William Engdahl explains the importance of the proposed system in his recent article, “Missile Defense: Washington & Poland just moved the World closer to War“:

“The signing now insures an escalation of tensions between Russia and NATO and a new Cold War arms race in full force. It is important for readers to understand…the ability of one of two opposing sides to put anti-missile missiles to within 90 miles of the territory of the other in even a primitive first-generation anti-missile missile array gives that side virtual victory in a nuclear balance of power and forces the other to consider unconditional surrender or to pre-emptively react by launching its nuclear strike before 2012.”

The new “shield” will be integrated into the larger US nuclear weapons system placing the world’s most lethal weapons just a few hundred miles from Russia’s capital. It is a clear threat to Russia’s national security and it must be opposed at all cost. It is no different than nuclear weapons in Cuba. The timing of the announcement is particularly troubling as it only adds to the tensions between the two superpowers.

President Medvedev made this statement after hearing of Poland’s decision: “This decision clearly demonstrates everything we have said recently. The deployment of new anti-missile forces in Europe is aimed at the Russian Federation.”

It was President Ronald Reagan, the darling of the neoconservatives, who decided to remove short-range nuclear weapons from the European theater. Now, ironically, it is his ideological heir, George W. Bush, who is on track to restart the Cold War by putting a high-tech nuclear system on Russia’s perimeter. The younger Bush has already broken his father’s commitment to Mikail Gorbachev to never expand NATO beyond Germany. Presently, Bush is pushing to gain NATO membership for two former-Soviet states; Ukraine and Georgia. If they are approved, then any future dispute with Russia will pit the United States and Europe against Moscow. It’s no wonder Putin is trying to derail the process.

The Bush administration has been planning for a confrontation with Russia for more than a year. In fact, Raw Story reported on operations that were conducted by the military on July 14, 2008 which were probably a dress rehearsal for the current conflict. According to Raw Story:

“US troops on Monday (July 14) began military exercises near the Russian border in ex-Soviet Ukraine and were poised to launch them in Georgia, amid tense relations between Moscow and Washington. A ceremony inaugurating the Sea Breeze-2008 NATO exercise was held off Ukraine’s Black Sea coast against anti-NATO protests and a hostile reaction from officials in Russia. Sea Breeze-2008…includes forces from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Macedonia and Turkey…’The US-Georgia joint exercises will be held at the Vaziani military base’ less than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Russian border with a total of 1,650 servicemen taking part.”

So, it appears the Bush administration, working in conjunction with the Pentagon, did have contingency plans for dealing with a flare-up with Georgia. The real question is whether or not they planned to initiate those hostilities to advance their own regional agenda? No one knows for sure.

Now that Georgia’s American-trained army has been humiliated in front of the world, Bush is trying desperately to save face by demanding that Russia allow the US Air force to deliver humanitarian aid via C-17 military aircraft to the tens of thousands of Georgians who were displaced in the fighting. It is worth noting that, as yet, Bush has never delivered as much as a bag of rice to the 2 million Iraqi refugees living in Jordan and Syria due to his war in Iraq. Bush’s magnanimity is not only suspect, it also creates real problems for Putin who will have to decide whether the offer is sincere or just a ploy to open up the ports and airfields so that more weaponry and ordnance can be delivered. As Barry Grey suggests in his article “Bush Dispatches US Military forces to Georgia” the humanitarian operation could be a scam:

“This is a formula for an injection of US military and naval forces into Georgia of indeterminate scope and duration. It will certainly involve the presence of hundreds if not thousands of uniformed US military personnel on the ground, and a substantial number of warships in the region. The US is introducing this military force into a situation that remains highly unstable and combustible, raising the possibility of a direct military clash between the United States and Russia.”

Grey is right, but what choice does Putin have? His task is to avoid a military confrontation with the United States while demonstrating to his Europeon partners that their future lies with Russia not America. That’s the real goal. To achieve that, he needs to expose Bush as reckless, petulant, and incapable of being a responsible steward of the global system. Maybe Putin will have to back-down at some point and swallow his pride; it makes no difference. What matters, is the endgame; showing that Russia is strong and dependable and will provide its European allies with oil and natural gas in a businesslike manner. That’s the winning hand. Meanwhile, the United States will be forced to take a long-overdue look in the mirror and revisit its strategy for perennial war. Unfortunately, once the Atlantic Alliance is shattered; America’s lifeline to the world is kaput.

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.

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This is a tale of US expansion not Russian aggression

Russia-Georgia conflict is over control of oil

Fox News cuts American child for thanking Russian troops + PR campaign + evidence of Georgian ‘genocide’

All the Propaganda That’s Fit to Print: The New York Times, Again, Tells It Like It Ain’t

Russia-Asia cooperation a nightmare for US hawks

“Gori in ruins”? See for yourself + Paul Craig Roberts on Russia Today + Georgia is a US Project

Inventing Your Own History As It Happens By John Steppling

Missile Defense: Washington & Poland just moved the World closer to War

Wag the Dog: How to Conceal Massive Economic Collapse

Georgia

Mosaic News – 8/15/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

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

linktv

Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute
“Ahmadinejad Looks for Energy Deals in Turkey,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Olmert’s Proposal Rejected,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Israeli Soldiers Cleared of Killing Journalist,” IBA TV, Israel
“There Will Be More Assassinations,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Israeli Settlers Increase by 4% in the West Bank in 2007,” Al Aqsa, Gaza
“Israeli Companies Operate in Iraq,” New TV, Lebanon
“Independence Day in Pakistan,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“More than 50 Taliban Fighters Killed,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“What Did Bush Really See in Putin’s Eyes?,” Link TV, USA
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

This is a tale of US expansion not Russian aggression

Dandelion Salad

Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

By Seumas Milne
The Guardian, Thursday August 14 2008

“War in the Caucasus is as much the product of an American imperial drive as local conflicts. It’s likely to be a taste of things to come…”

The outcome of six grim days of bloodshed in the Caucasus has triggered an outpouring of the most nauseating hypocrisy from western politicians and their captive media. As talking heads thundered against Russian imperialism and brutal disproportionality, US vice-president Dick Cheney, faithfully echoed by Gordon Brown and David Miliband, declared that “Russian aggression must not go unanswered”. George Bush denounced Russia for having “invaded a sovereign neighbouring state” and threatening “a democratic government”. Such an action, he insisted, “is unacceptable in the 21st century”.

Could these by any chance be the leaders of the same governments that in 2003 invaded and occupied – along with Georgia, as luck would have it – the sovereign state of Iraq on a false pretext at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives? Or even the two governments that blocked a ceasefire in the summer of 2006 as Israel pulverised Lebanon’s infrastructure and killed more than a thousand civilians in retaliation for the capture or killing of five soldiers?

You’d be hard put to recall after all the fury over Russian aggression that it was actually Georgia that began the war last Thursday with an all-out attack on South Ossetia to “restore constitutional order” – in other words, rule over an area it has never controlled since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nor, amid the outrage at Russian bombardments, have there been much more than the briefest references to the atrocities committed by Georgian forces against citizens it claims as its own in South Ossetia’s capital Tskhinvali. Several hundred civilians were killed there by Georgian troops last week, along with Russian soldiers operating under a 1990s peace agreement: “I saw a Georgian soldier throw a grenade into a basement full of women and children,” one Tskhinvali resident, Saramat Tskhovredov, told reporters on Tuesday.

» This is a tale of US expansion not Russian aggression.

see

Russia-Georgia conflict is over control of oil

Fox News cuts American child for thanking Russian troops + PR campaign + evidence of Georgian ‘genocide’

All the Propaganda That’s Fit to Print: The New York Times, Again, Tells It Like It Ain’t

Russia-Asia cooperation a nightmare for US hawks

“Gori in ruins”? See for yourself + Paul Craig Roberts on Russia Today + Georgia is a US Project

Inventing Your Own History As It Happens By John Steppling

Wag the Dog: How to Conceal Massive Economic Collapse

Georgia

Russia-Georgia conflict is over control of oil

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!

Aug 15, 2008

Russia-Georgia Conflict Fueled by Rush to Control Caspian Energy Resources

Human Rights Watch has accused both Russian and Georgian forces of killing and injuring civilians through indiscriminate attacks over the past week of fighting. Professor and author Michael Klare joins us to talk about how the Russian-Georgian conflict is largely an energy war over who has access to the vast oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian region.

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see

Fox News cuts American child for thanking Russian troops + PR campaign + evidence of Georgian ‘genocide’

All the Propaganda That’s Fit to Print: The New York Times, Again, Tells It Like It Ain’t

Russia-Asia cooperation a nightmare for US hawks

“Gori in ruins”? See for yourself + Paul Craig Roberts on Russia Today + Georgia is a US Project

Inventing Your Own History As It Happens By John Steppling

Wag the Dog: How to Conceal Massive Economic Collapse

Georgia

Naomi Klein on China’s rising police state

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!
Aug 15, 2008

Naomi Klein and Christian Parenti on How Beijing Olympics Highlight Globalization of Police State, Inequality

The equipment and integrated security systems used to detain Olympic protesters will remain long after the Olympics, to be used, many fear, on China’s own population. And some of the biggest beneficiaries of this surveillance boom are US hedge funds and corporations, including Cisco, General Electric and Google. We speak to journalists Naomi Klein and Christian Parenti, both of whom have recently reported from China.

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After Georgia conflict – Missile agreement with Poland intensifies danger of US-Russian clash

Dandelion Salad

By Patrick Martin
http://www.wsws.org
16 August 2008

The agreement between the United States and the right-wing government of Poland to base a US anti-missile system in that country is the first major response of American imperialism to the Russian intervention in Georgia.

The Bush administration has pressed Poland and the Czech Republic to accept US anti-missile systems and radar installations on the pretext that they are being deployed to prevent an attack on Europe by Iran, which possesses neither the required ballistic missile warheads nor nuclear weapons. Despite vehement protests from Moscow, US officials have denied that the anti-missile systems represent a threat to Russia.

However, the circumstances in which the agreement with Poland was signed make clear that it is directed against Moscow. Long stalled by wrangling between Warsaw and Washington over Polish demands for high-tech anti-aircraft systems as the price for basing the missiles, the pact was wrapped up within days of the appearance of Polish President Lech Kaczynski alongside Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at an anti-Russian rally in Tbilisi.

After Georgia conflict Missile agreement with Poland intensifies danger of US-Russian clash.

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.

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Russia-Asia cooperation a nightmare for US hawks

Missile Defense: Washington & Poland just moved the World closer to War

Inventing Your Own History As It Happens By John Steppling

Will American Insouciance Destroy the World? By Paul Craig Roberts

Background on Georgia by Bruce Gagnon

Georgia

Fox News cuts American child for thanking Russian troops + PR campaign + evidence of Georgian ‘genocide’

Dandelion Salad

Warning

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

RussiaToday

A 12-year-old American girl visiting relatives during the conflict in South Ossetia has thanked Russian soldiers for saving her from the Georgian attack. However, America’s Fox News attempted to cut her and her aunt off air.

Kremlin failed by keeping western journalists away

The Russian government was too slow to react to the PR campaign launched by Tbilisi in the world’s media, believes Seamus Milne of Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

Ossetians collect evidence of Georgian ‘genocide’

South Ossetian residents and local journalists have launched their own investigation into claims of genocide perpetrated by Georgian soldiers. They accuse Georgians of attempting to destroy Ossetian graves and memorials to locals killed in earlier conflicts.

Rescuers restore war-hit settlements in South Ossetia

While the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali is attempting to return to some kind of normality, there are other locations that have also suffered from the Georgian attack. A number of South Ossetian villages were battered by severe strikes — with some of them turning into ghost towns.

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All the Propaganda That’s Fit to Print: The New York Times, Again, Tells It Like It Ain’t

Russia-Asia cooperation a nightmare for US hawks

“Gori in ruins”? See for yourself + Paul Craig Roberts on Russia Today + Georgia is a US Project

Inventing Your Own History As It Happens By John Steppling

Wag the Dog: How to Conceal Massive Economic Collapse

Georgia

Was 9/11 an Inside Job? by Mark H. Gaffney

Dandelion Salad

by Mark H. Gaffney
08/15/08 “ICH

The following is an excerpt from Mark H. Gaffney’s forthcoming book, THE 911 MYSTERY PLANE AND THE VANISHING OF AMERICA, to be released in September 2008.

Regrettably, there is considerable evidence that elements of the Bush administration were complicit in the 9/11 attack, and may even have helped stage it. Let us now examine some of what I regard as the most compelling evidence. However, the following discussion makes no claim to be comprehensive.

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Kucinich: Power through Peace (video links; 07.17.08)

Dandelion Salad

by Maya Schenwar
T r u t h o u t
July. 17, 2008

Truthout Kucinich Interview Part 1

t r u t h o u t | Truthout Kucinich Interview Part 1.

Truthout Kucinich Interview Part 2

t r u t h o u t | Truthout Kucinich Interview Part 2.

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Kucinich Applauds Investigation of Claims by Suskind

Kucinich Applauds Investigation of Claims by Suskind

Dandelion Salad

by Rep. Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Aug 13, 2008

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) applauded Monday’s announcement by Representative John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, that the Committee will investigate allegations of White House prewar intelligence manipulation.  The announcement followed a letter sent by Congressman Kucinich on Friday, August 8, requesting a hearing.

“I asked Chairman Conyers to investigate these claims because, if true, the Administration fabricated evidence and used it to lead the country into an unprovoked war,” said Kucinich.

Allegations that Bush Administration officials ordered the fabrication of a document they used to assert a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda were reported by Ron Suskind in his new book, “The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in the Age of Extremism.”

The Letter Follows:

August 8, 2008

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
House Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0001

Dear Chairman Conyers:

A number of major news outlets recently reported new allegations that the White House manipulated intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq.[i] If true, this would constitute a grave misuse of power and merit investigation by your Committee.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ron Suskind has alleged in his book, “The Way of the World” that the White House ordered the CIA to create a letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence service, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, to Saddam Hussein that alleged a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. The letter was reportedly backdated to July 1, 2001. Mr. Suskind also alleges that the White House moved Mr. Habbush to Jordan and gave him $5 million, which could be construed as “hush money.”[ii] Finally, Mr. Suskind writes that the White House “ignored the Iraq intelligence chiefs accurate disclosure that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”[iii]

These are serious allegations from a reputable source that, if confirmed, would create further evidence that the White House manipulated pre-war intelligence in order to lead the country into war. Congress must investigate these allegations. I urge you to take the lead on such an investigation.

Sincerely,
Dennis Kucinich
Member of Congress

[i] Warrick, Joby, “White House Denies Author’s Accusations of Document Forgery,” Washington Post, August 6,

2008; Blackledge, Brett 1., “CIA officials deny fake Iraq-al-Qaida link letter,” Associated Press, August 5, 2008

[ii] Allen, Mike, “Book Says White House ordered forgery,” Politico, August 5, 2008

[iii] Allen, Mike, “Book Says White House ordered forgery,” Politico, August 5, 2008

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.

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Ron Suskind: Bush Admin forging documents that led to war (Part 2)

Ron Suskind: Bush Admin forging documents that led to war (Part 1)

James McMurtry: We Can’t Make It Here Anymore

Dandelion Salad

An oldie but a goodie. Posted on my old blog on 08/23/2006.  I wonder if those claiming to want freedom understand that the workers are the ones that being used by the corporations?  That means you.  Please see my short post: Libertarians and Socialists as Workers Must Unite by Lo

“Will work for food. Will die for oil.”

This music video touches on America’s economic corporate control, struggles of workers, conditions of veterans, war in Iraq, and the prison industrial complex.

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