Noam Chomsky: Giving Up Hegemony for Lent

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How should Americans, as a whole, consider the season of Lent? Using Noam Chomsky as a lens, it would be good to start with our misuse of the planet, our militarization of space, and ultimately our irrational commitment to global hegemony….all of which threaten our own survival and the future lives of our grandchildren.

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Vice President Dick Cheney’s Incredible and Deadly Lie By John W. Dean

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Note: new tag for videos on Dandelion Salad: Dandelion Salad Videos

By John W. Dean
09/19/08 “FindLaw”

By Deceiving a Congressional Leader, Cheney Sent Us to War on False Pretenses and Violated the Separation of Powers – as Well as the Criminal Law

This week, I agreed to deliver a “Constitution Day” talk on a college campus. My talk was not partisan. Yet the subject matter I selected was prompted by the most incredible – not to mention the most deadly – lie Dick Cheney has yet told, which was reported earlier this week.

Last year, Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman and Jo Baker, now of the New York Times, did an extensive series for the Post on Cheney. Now, Gellman has done some more digging, and published the result in a book he released this week: Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency. The book reveals a lie told to a high-ranking fellow Republican, and the difference that lie made. In this column, I’ll explain how Cheney defied the separation of powers, and go back to the founding history to show why actions like his matter so profoundly.

Vice President Dick Cheney’s Incredible and Deadly Lie     : Information Clearing House – ICH.


Democracy Now

Book: Cheney’s Drive for Warrantless Spying Nearly Brought Down Bush Presidency

We speak to award-winning journalist Barton Gellman about his new book, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency. Gellman reveals Cheney played a crucial role in maintaining warrantless spying even after Justice Department officials began to doubt its legality in 2004. Gellman writes: “The history of the Bush administration cannot be written without close attention to the moments when Cheney took the helm—sometimes at Bush’s direction, sometimes with his tacit consent, and sometimes without the president’s apparent awareness.” [includes rush transcript]

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Democracy Now | Book: Cheney’s Drive for Warrantless Spying Nearly Brought Down Bush Presidency.


Leaving No Tracks By Jo Becker and Barton Gellman (Cheney; Angler)

A Strong Push From Back Stage By Jo Becker and Barton Gellman (Cheney)

Pushing the Envelope on Presidential Power By Barton Gellman and Jo Becker

‘A Different Understanding With the President’ By Barton Gellman and Jo Becker

The Vices of Cheney: Where Impeachment Must Begin by William E. Jackson Jr.



The New Impeachment Trial Play + Free DVD

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Finally, the dramatic event we’ve all been waiting for . . .

During Shirley Golub’s primary challenge against Nancy Pelosi a couple of months ago, a valiant band of thespians staged a full theatrical production of an impeachment play. The video of that historic performance is now available for viewing in its entirety on this site.

And all you have to do to get a free copy of the full high resolution DVD (while supplies last) is submit the form below. If you CAN make a contribution of some kind to support our work that would be gratefully appreciated, but not required.

To request your new DVD, just submit the form below, and we’ll ship them out just as fast as we can. And so that as many people get to see this inspirational work as possible, if you enter the email addresses of any of your friends we send them an invitation from you to come to this page to watch the play, and get their own copy of the DVD.

Video and DVD offer:

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PR Push for Iraq War Preceded Intelligence Findings – “White Paper” Drafted before NIE even Requested

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by John Prados
Global Research, August 24, 2008
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 254 – 2008-08-22

The U.S. intelligence community buckled sooner in 2002 than previously reported to Bush administration pressure for data justifying an invasion of Iraq, according to a documents posting on the Web today by National Security Archive senior fellow John Prados.

The documents suggest that the public relations push for war came before the intelligence analysis, which then conformed to public positions taken by Pentagon and White House officials. For example, a July 2002 draft of the “White Paper” ultimately issued by the CIA in October 2002 actually pre-dated the National Intelligence Estimate that the paper purportedly summarized, but which Congress did not insist on until September 2002.

A similar comparison between a declassified draft and the final version of the British government’s “White Paper” on Iraq weapons of mass destruction adds to evidence that the two nations colluded in the effort to build public support for the invasion of Iraq. Dr. Prados concludes that the new evidence tends to support charges raised by former White House press secretary Scott McClellan and by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in its long-delayed June 2008 “Phase II” report on politicization of intelligence.

U.S. Intelligence and Iraq WMD

Compiled and edited by Dr. John Prados

On June 5, 2008 the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) released a report examining whether the public statements made by U.S. officials, including President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, and others were consonant with U.S. intelligence information. This report forms part of a second phase of the SSCI’s investigation of Iraq intelligence issues, most especially Saddam Hussein’s possible Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program, originally approved by the Intelligence Committee in February 2004 but stalled by its Republican majority for several years, until the majority changed with the current 110th Congress. Committee chairman Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) then ordered work on this inquiry resumed, and the present report is the result.

The appearance of this long-awaited SSCI “Phase II” report coincided with controversy over the revelations of former White House press secretary Scott McClellan who, in a memoir appearing almost simultaneously, argued that “in the fall of 2002, Bush and his White House were engaging in a carefully orchestrated campaign to shape and manipulate sources of public approval to our advantage.” (Note 1) A review of new evidence along with previously-available documents sheds important new light on this debate. Among the findings:

  • The Phase II report on Bush administration public statements, in conjunction with the SSCI’s original July 2004 report on Iraq’s alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction, indicates that political manipulation extended beyond the intelligence itself to affect investigation of the intelligence failures on Iraq as well as the Bush administration’s use of that information.
  • In conjunction with other recently declassified materials, the Phase II report shows that the Bush administration solicited intelligence then used to “substantiate” its public claims.
  • A recently declassified draft of the CIA’s October 2002 white paper on Iraqi WMD programs demonstrates that that paper long pre-dated the compilation of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraqi capabilities.
  • The timing of the CIA’s draft white paper coincides with a previously available draft of the British Government’s white paper on Iraqi WMD, demonstrating that the Bush administration and the Tony Blair government began acting in concert to build support for an invasion of Iraq two to three months earlier than previously understood.
  • A comparison of the CIA draft white paper with its publicly released edition shows that all the changes made were in the nature of strengthening its charges against Iraq by inserting additional alarming claims, in the manner of an advocacy, or public relations document. The draft and final papers show no evidence of intelligence analysis applied to the information contained. Similar comparison of the British white paper shows the same phenomenon at work.
  • Declassified Pentagon documents demonstrate that the CIA white paper was modified in ways that conformed to the desires of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and his office, in much the same way that British documents indicate that country’s white paper was changed to conform to the desires of the Blair government.

The many official investigations and unofficial investigations carried out, plus the statements and speeches of former CIA officials defending themselves against charges of distortion, have established a few points beyond question. Most important, following Saddam Hussein’s 1998 final expulsion of UN weapons inspectors from Iraq, very little new information fell into the hands of U.S. intelligence. Notable exceptions include data from Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, recruited as a CIA source (Note 2), and from Iraqi scientists clandestinely approached by the CIA under a covert program. (Note 3) Both these streams of information denied the existence of Iraqi WMD. On the other side were data from Iraqi exile sources that claimed all sorts of WMD and a set of fabricated documents alleging an Iraqi deal to buy uranium ore in Niger. The only concrete “find” was of a shipment of aluminum tubes being imported into Iraq, but analysts were divided over whether these tubes had anything to do with WMD at all. U.S. intelligence largely discounted the (accurate) details from Sabri and the scientists and—despite the CIA’s expressed misgivings—made use of the exile data. This thin data conditioned the intelligence analysis.

There was also a source of intelligence failure that flowed not from bad information but from analytical procedures. American intelligence knew that Saddam had worked through the 1990s to deceive UN weapons inspectors—they assumed he was hiding his WMDs rather than concealing the lack of them. On specific weapons, for example long-range Iraqi missiles, intelligence took a standard accounting approach, and since they could not account for every Iraqi missile, assumed Saddam was hiding a covert force of ballistic missiles. U.S. intelligence was coming off a record of underestimating Iraqi WMD progress in the 1980s and now overcompensated in the other direction.

The recent SSCI Phase II report concludes that Bush administration statements, while “substantiated” by the CIA reporting, went beyond that data. The Republican minority on the committee attacked that conclusion. The main defense offered—and repeated by media commentators—is that the root cause of the administration’s Iraq hysteria was intelligence failure, not intent to manipulate the American public. A typical formulation is that of columnist Fred Hiatt in the Washington Post, who argued that “the phony ‘Bush Lied’ story line distracts from the biggest prewar failure: the fact that so much of the intelligence upon which Bush and Rockefeller and everyone else relied turned out to be tragically, catastrophically wrong.” (Note 4)

But the question of the role of threat manipulation in the origins of the Iraq war is complex and goes beyond analytical failure. Its center is the degree to which the Iraq intelligence was politicized. Absent the drumbeat for war, even exaggerated estimates of Iraqi WMD prowess would have represented only a standard foreign policy problem. Bush administration intentions made a difference. Both the SSCI Phase I report and that of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States on Weapons of Mass Destruction (the Silberman-Robb Commission) investigation, though arguing that no politicization had occurred, also cited cases suggesting the opposite. Former national intelligence officer Paul Pillar told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations that the Silberman-Robb finding did not surprise him for two reasons: because any intelligence analyst would be reluctant to make the damning admission that his paper had been politicized, and because “in my experience, the great majority of cases of actual politicization—successful politicization—are invariably subtle.” (Note 5)

There were several avenues by which the Bush administration made its preferences clear. Vice President Richard Cheney questioned his CIA briefers aggressively, pressing them to the wall when he saw intelligence from other agencies that portrayed a more somber picture than that in CIA’s reporting. He sent briefers back for more information, including in instances when they checked with headquarters and returned with the same word. Cheney was especially acerbic on CIA’s rejection of claims that one of the 9/11 terrorists had met with Iraqi intelligence officers in Prague. On a number of occasions, Cheney sent his chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, to CIA headquarters to follow up on his concerns. Mr. Cheney went there himself, not just once but on almost a dozen occasions. The practice encouraged the CIA to censor itself, driven, as Pillar put it, by “the desire to avoid the unpleasantness of putting unwelcome assessments on the desks of policymakers.” (Note 6)

A second avenue to influence U.S. intelligence lay through Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon. There, William Luti’s Near East and South Asia unit of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (OUSDP) was in close touch with the Vice President’s office. Papers circulated back and forth, and both offices utilized claims from Iraqi exiles—claims that Saddam trained terrorists or possessed various WMDs—to press the intelligence agencies for similar information. Under Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the undersecretary for policy, Douglas Feith, the Pentagon formed a special group to review reports on Saddam’s links to Al Qaeda. This unit, the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG) has been represented by Feith as merely charged with assembling a briefing on terrorism, but its real function was to bring additional pressure to bear on the CIA.

Not all the manipulation was visible. Behind the scenes at the State Department, Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton, also closely allied with the Office of the Vice President, pressured both the State Department and the CIA to fire individuals who refused to clear text in his speeches leveling the most extreme charges against other countries. Although Bolton’s actions did not concern Iraq directly, they came to a high point during the summer of 2002—the exact moment when Iraq intelligence issues were on the front burner—and they aimed at offices which played a central role in producing Iraq intelligence. These included the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at State plus the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and the Weapons Intelligence, Proliferation and Arms Control (WINPAC) center at CIA.  Analysts working on Iraq intelligence could not be blamed for concluding that their own careers might be in jeopardy if they supplied answers other than what the Bush administration wanted to hear.

Under the circumstances, it is difficult to avoid the impression that the CIA and other intelligence agencies defended themselves against the dangers of attack from the Bush administration through a process of self-censorship. That is the very essence of politicization in intelligence. And the degree to which public statements on Iraq by Cheney, Bush, and others were “substantiated” by the existing intelligence must be viewed through that prism.

We shall offer only a few examples here. First is the case of the CIA white paper, “Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs.” That document is dated October 2002 [Document 1] and was issued on October 4. It has been represented as a distillation of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq published two days earlier, with the most sensitive, secret information stripped out. Posted here today is the major portion of the text of the same paper in draft [Document 2], as it existed in July 2002. This document demonstrates that the white paper existed long before the NIE was even requested by Congress. In fact the illustrations in the July version are the same as those in the final report. A close comparison of the text shows, further, that much of the argumentation is identical, and that the differences between the two are strictly in the nature of separating text to insert more charges or to sharpen them. The entire product has the character of rhetoric. Little of the text shows the kind of approach characteristic of intelligence analysis. The fact that this document was in preparation at the CIA in July indicates that the Bush administration was actively engaged in a process of building support for war months ahead of the time it has previously been understood to have done so. In fact evidence exists that the CIA white paper was commissioned as early as May 2002. (Note 7)

This point is made even sharper by recently declassified Department of Defense documents, including a memorandum from the OUSDP that details the kinds of information seen as desirable to obtain from intelligence in order to strengthen the case for war against Iraq [Document 3]. The timing of this document suggests that this  text was a response to the draft CIA white paper, created at a point when Pentagon critics of CIA reporting were actively pressing their case against the agency’s refusal to accept arguments that Saddam Hussein was allied with Al Qaeda. Changes in the CIA white paper between its July draft and the final document track closely with the OUSDP comments. The net impression is that the CIA white paper was rewritten to conform to administration preferences. If so, U.S. intelligence a priori made itself a tool of a political effort, vitiating the intelligence function and confirming the presence of a politicized process. The specific analytic failures on Iraq intelligence become much less significant in such a climate, especially in that they all yielded intelligence predictions of exactly the kind the Bush administration wanted to hear.

This impression is strengthened, and suspicions of collusion broadened, when the record of the British government’s white paper on Iraqi WMD is laid side by side with that of the CIA.  In the course of British official investigations of the antecedents to the war, and the death of physicist David Kelly, a draft of the British white paper was released that is dated June 20 [Document 4]. As in the American case, the Joint Intelligence Committee, which originated this document and plays a role similar to that of the National Intelligence Council in the U.S., modified its draft to issue a final version on September 24, 2002, that was even more somber [Document 5]. There is a considerable record on the Blair government’s efforts to shape the content of the British white paper in directions not supported by the intelligence.

The second example concerns the U.S. government’s use of information drawn from Iraqi exile sources, principally those of the organization known as the Iraqi National Congress (INC) [Document 6]. This anti-Saddam group has had a long and stormy history with the CIA, which actually severed relations with it, an action the Clinton administration’s NSC Deputies Committee approved in December 1996. The agency was later forced to resume ties, and even to fund the group, as a result of the Iraq Liberation Act, which Congress passed in 1998. Proponents of that legislation included many individuals who became senior officials of the Bush administration. The State Department took up funding of the INC. Both State and CIA questioned the value of the intelligence it provided, and State in turn sought to end the relationship. In 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) took over responsibility for the Iraqi exiles. During this period the INC opened channels to the Office of the Vice President as well as Pentagon units responsible to Douglas Feith. In his own account of this period, Feith takes pains to defend the exile group and its leaders. (Note 8)

In the summer of 2002, the intelligence community compiled a detailed assessment of the material provided by the INC on several subjects and found it to have little current intelligence value, with sourcing and attribution impossible to verify. (Note 9) Despite this, and in spite of the fact that the INC went beyond providing intelligence to using the defectors it brought to the attention of the U.S. government as part of an anti-Saddam publicity campaign, the SSCI report on the group concludes that “false information from the Iraqi National Congress (INC)-affiliated sources was used to support key Intelligence Community Assessments on Iraq and was widely distributed in intelligence products prior to the war” (pp. 113-122). Intelligence agencies also avoided identifying these sources as INC-related in their reporting. Among the defectors was the notorious source “Curveball,” whose false allegations concerning Iraqi mobile biological weapons factories underlay some of the most alarming Bush administration charges against Baghdad.

This begs the question why, given distrust of the INC’s information at both the CIA and State Department, and an awareness of these doubts even within the DIA, the data was used at all, much less relied upon. Part of the answer no doubt has to do with the desperation of U.S. intelligence to obtain any information from inside Iraq—in itself a reflection of an intelligence failure. But the other part of the answer most likely flows directly from the prodding of the intelligence community by high levels at the Pentagon and White House for reactions to the defector information. This point stands out in stark relief when contrasted with the fact that the alternate stream of Iraqi insider information—from high-level agent sources and Iraqi scientists—seems to have had no discernable role in U.S. intelligence reporting. That is very arguably politicization.

Our third example has to do with the charges that Saddam sought to buy uranium ore from the African country of Niger. As widely reported, this affair involved fabricated documents, a Bush administration effort to discredit the U.S. envoy sent to check on the report by outing his wife, a CIA undercover officer; and ultimately, the criminal trial of Vice President Cheney’s top national security aide; but those matters are not of concern now. What is disturbing here, in the context of politicization of the intelligence, is the specific treatment the CIA gave to the information it developed. The record is established by the SSCI Phase I report, the Silberman-Robb report, and the proceedings of the trial of “Scooter” Libby, Mr. Cheney’s national security assistant. (Note 10)

On February 13, 2002 Vice President Cheney asked his CIA briefer about reports that Iraq was procuring uranium in Niger [Document 7]. Cheney represented the information as having come from the DIA, which indeed had issued an “executive highlight” on February 12. If this was in actuality what Cheney saw, the DIA was basing its account on information provided by Italian military intelligence, already aware of the fabricated Nigerien documents that later became the heart of this affair. The CIA had reported the same information a week earlier. The briefer promised to check, and the CIA’s WINPAC center prepared a note which observed that the foreign information on which the claim was based was only single-source and lacked crucial detail [Document 8]. The agency subsequently set up a trip to Niger by retired Ambassador Joseph V. Wilson IV, who returned with the conclusion that there was no substance to these claims. Wilson arrived in Niger on February 26 and returned on March 4. Just as Wilson came home, Vice President Cheney renewed his inquiry into the Niger allegation, and WINPAC responded by noting that the foreign intelligence service had no new information, that the Nigerien government insisted it was making all efforts to ensure that its uranium was used only for peaceful purposes, and that CIA was about to debrief “a source who may have information related to the alleged sale.”

Ambassador Wilson was in fact debriefed by two CIA officers on March 5. The way this was handled is what raises questions. Wilson’s data was recorded by the officers and written up by a reports officer who, according to the SSCI, “added additional relevant information from his notes.”  The declassified text of this March 8, 2002, report [Document 9] shows that CIA Headquarters added the comment that the officials who provided information to Wilson “may have intended to influence as well as inform.” The ambassador himself was described as “a contact with excellent access who does not have an established reporting record.” However, Wilson had in fact carried out a mission on behalf of CIA previously, and he had been the senior U.S. envoy in Baghdad (the deputy chief of mission) before the first Gulf War. Therefore, Wilson did have an established reporting record. The comment regarding the Nigerien officials was gratuitous. The combination of these remarks cast doubt within the U.S. government on the information.

The report on Wilson’s information was then circulated in routine channels but never given to the Vice President. Director George Tenet’s comment: “This unremarkable report was disseminated, but because it produced no solid answers, there wasn’t any urgency to brief its results to senior officials such as the vice president.” (Note 11) But a look at the trip report we post here shows Wilson’s information was in fact quite solid. It simply does not say the uranium charge was real. Tenet has a secondary defense that the report was completed just after Vice President Cheney left on a trip to drum up support for war with Iraq, and that when he returned other matters seemed more pressing. Yet Cheney had renewed his inquiry into the Niger claim and surely its refutation had an impact on the arguments he had just made to encourage support for an American military option.These points drive the conclusion that the CIA was loathe to confront Mr. Cheney with a direct refutation of the Niger uranium claim. This too smacks of politicization.

Wilson’s was only one of a number of streams of reporting that undermined the Niger story, including an investigation by French intelligence and inquiries from the current U.S. ambassador and a senior U.S. military officer. Likely based on these materials and on the embassy cables reporting on Wilson from Niger, State Department intelligence filed a report doubting the claims of a Nigerien sale to Iraq [Document 10], and filed a dissent when the claim was included in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate. But the developments of early 2002 became only the beginning of a highly ambivalent treatment of the uranium claim. On the one hand, the CIA intervened to keep this material out of the major speech President Bush gave in Cincinnati in October 2002, and also objected when British intelligence included it in their own white paper about the Iraqi threat. On the other hand, senior CIA officials mentioned the uranium claim in congressional testimony at the same time, permitted it to be included in a December 2002 “fact sheet” on Iraq, and mounted only tepid opposition to inclusion of the charge in President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address, where it would become notorious as the “16 Words.”

The SSCI later investigated the Iraq intelligence in detail, reporting on it in 2004.  This was followed by the Silberman-Robb commission account.  The SSCI Phase II report on the use of that intelligence [Document 11] examines Bush administration public statements regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction plus certain other topics related to war in Iraq against the inventory of intelligence reports circulated within the U.S. government. The idea was to determine whether administration claims were supported by the available intelligence. The “public statements” were winnowed down to a few, essentially the speech by Vice President Cheney in Nashville on August 26, 2002, those by President Bush to the United Nations General Assembly, in Cincinnati, and before the U.S. Congress at the 2003 State of the Union address (September 12 and October 7, 2002, and January 29, 2003), and the presentation to the United Nations Security Council by Secretary of State Powell (February 5, 2003). The subjects covered include nuclear weapons, biological weapons, chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction generally, delivery systems, the Saddam Hussein regime’s alleged links to terrorists, Iraqi regime intent, and predictions for post-war Iraq.

In most of these cases the SSCI study found administration claims “substantiated” by the available intelligence but portraying the data as more certain than it was, thus going beyond the intelligence, while failing to convey disagreements among intelligence experts. The Committee found claims regarding Saddam’s intentions were contradicted by the intelligence (p. 82) and those about a rosy post-Saddam future as not reflecting intelligence concerns (p. 88). In the case of Bush administration claims about links between Saddam and terrorists the report reached several conclusions, judging that the intelligence substantiated general claims of Iraqi knowledge of and support for terrorist activities, but that claims of an Iraqi-terrorist alliance or of Iraqi training of terrorists were not backed up by the intelligence reporting (p. 71-2). In general Bush administration claims asserted greater certainty than existed in CIA reports.

This analysis was assailed by Republican members even before the SSCI report appeared. In minority statements attached to the eventual primary document (pp. 100-170) they detailed their objections. The minority charges that the investigation improperly confined itself to comparisons with finished intelligence products rather than the wider range of material actually available to top officials, and that it did not make similar assessments of the statements made by Democratic Party politicians, including Senator Rockefeller himself. Republican members and staff were not permitted to be involved in the drafting work on the report and the numerous amendments they offered were rejected.

The question of whether the “Iraqi threat” resulted from manipulation, as Scott McClellan and the SSCI majority suggest, or simple intelligence failure, as in the view of the Committee minority, is a key issue for all concerned. A real intelligence failure did occur. This is plain from the Intelligence Committee’s 2004 “Phase I” report as well as that of the Silberman-Robb Commission. (Note 12) The present author argued as much even before those studies appeared. (Note 13) The CIA director of that time, George Tenet, concedes, “In many ways, we were prisoners of our own history.” (Note 14) Retired CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman, observing this analytical effort from the outside, concludes, “The U.S. rush to war against Iraq marked the worst intelligence scandal in the history of the United States.” (Note 15) But intelligence failure was abetted and magnified by the Bush administration’s drive to use charges about alleged Iraqi WMDs as justification for war.

Ascertaining the truth in this matter does not seem to have been as important as seeming to do so, at least for the Senate Intelligence Committee. A review of the minority statements contained in the new SSCI report in comparison to similar ones in the Phase I report—by the then-Democratic minority [Document 12]—reveals identical complaints regarding the conduct of the investigation. The present Republican minority’s charge that the report errs on politicization because both the Phase I SSCI and Silberman-Robb Commission concluded there was no evidence of this flies in the face of the strong assertions by the Democratic minority during Phase I that allegations of this type had not been taken seriously. Current Republican charges that the report erred by failing to check the public statements of Democrats against the intelligence are a red herring: they effectively rely upon the Bush administration’s success at hoodwinking political opponents and then take those opponents’ statements as authoritative evidence, an example of reverse logic. The SSCI staff rules which the Republican minority now says were used to shut it out of the investigation are the same ones a Republican majority previously relied upon to limit Democrats’ influence on the scope and content of the inquiry.

The preparation of white papers on both the United States and British sides also needs to be taken into account. That Bush and Blair each turned to their intelligence agencies for the papers is significant—they were evoking the imprimatur of secret intelligence to justify policy preferences. Both papers had the function of justification, not analysis, and neither government waited until it had compiled all the evidence before demanding these products. Neither government asked for intelligence estimates, fashioned in secret, in order to inform policy on Iraq. Instead, both Bush and Blair did want their intelligence agencies to carry out avowed political agendas. And the timing of the white paper drafts—now established as being in the summer of 2002, before there ever was a UN debate or a Security Council resolution—clearly indicates their true function. The accumulating weight of evidence currently supports the interpretation Scott McClellan gives, not that supplied by apologists for the Iraq war.


1. Scott McClellan, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception. New York: Public Affairs Press, 2008, p. 125.

2. Joseph Weisberg, “With Spies Like These,” Washington Post, December 15, 2007, p. A21.

3. James Risen, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. New York: Free Press, 2006, pp.  85-107.

4. For example, Fred Hiatt, “Bush Lied? If Only It Were That Simple,” Washington Post, June 9, 2008, p. A17.

5. Paul Pillar Talk, “Intelligence, Policy, and the War in Iraq,” Council on Foreign Relations, March 7, 2006.

6. Ibid.

7. Paul Pillar at the Council on Foreign Relations. In an interview with the Public Broadcasting Corporation program Frontline, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence John McLaughlin stated that the white paper had been requested in the summer of 2002 (Frontline: “The Dark Side, Interview: John McLaughlin, January 11, 2006, p. 16.

8. United States Congress (109th Congress, 2nd Session), Senate, Select Committee on Intelligence, Report: The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress. Washington, September 8, 2006, pp. 5-34. Douglas Feith, War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terroris. New York: Harper, 2008,pp. 243-244, 277, and passim.

9. SSCI, Iraqi National Congress Report, p. 35-36.

10. For the Libby Trial proceedings see Murray Waas, ed. The United States v. I. Lewis Libby. New York: Union Square Press, 2007.

11. George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm, p. 454.

12. The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (Silberman-Robb Commission), Report to the President of the United States. March 31, 2005.

13. John Prados, Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War. New York: The New Press, 2004.

14. George J. Tenet with Bill Harlow, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA. New York: HarperCollins, 2007, p. 330.

15. Melvin A. Goodman, Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA. Lanham (MD): Rowman & Littlefield, 2008, p. 253.

© Copyright John Prados, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 254, 2008

The url address of this article is:

[“These materials are reproduced from with the permission of the National Security Archive.” ]



‘Where Are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?’ By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
Aug. 8, 2008

In the past two decades I have had the opportunity to participate in certain experiences pertaining to my work that fall into the category of “no one will ever believe this.” I usually file these away, calling on them only when events transpire that breathe new life into these extraordinary memories. Ron Suskind, a noted and accomplished journalist, has written a new book, “The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism,” in which he claims that the “White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush [Tahir Jalil Habbush, the director of the Mukhabarat], to Saddam [Hussein], backdated to July 1, 2001.” According to Suskind, the letter said that “9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq—thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq.”

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STRATCOM Cancels Controversial Preemption Strike Plan

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By Hans M. Kristensen
July 25, 2008

The U.S. military has canceled a controversial war plan designed to strike adversaries promptly – even preemptively – with conventional and nuclear weapons. The strike plan was known as Concept Plan (CONPLAN) 8022 and first entered into effect in the summer of 2004 to provide the president with a prompt, global strike capability against time-urgent and mobile targets.

CONPLAN 8022 was the first attempt to operationalize the “Global Strike” mission assigned to U.S. Strategic Command in January 2003. The mission was triggered by new White House guidance following the terrorist attacks in September 2001 and fear of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.


h/t: CLG

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The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

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By Vincent Bugliosi
05/10/08 “

There is direct evidence that President George W. Bush did not honorably lead this nation, but deliberately misled it into a war he wanted. Bush and his administration knowingly lied to Congress and to the American public — lies that have cost the lives of more than 4,000 young American soldiers and close to $1 trillion.

A Monumental Lie

In his first nationally televised address on the Iraqi crisis on October 7, 2002, six days after receiving the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), a classified CIA report, President Bush told millions of Americans the exact opposite of what the CIA was telling him -a monumental lie to the nation and the world.

On the evening of October 7, 2002, the very latest CIA intelligence was that Hussein was not an imminent threat to the U.S. This same information was delivered to the Bush administration as early as October 1, 2002, in the NIE, including input from the CIA and 15 other U.S. intelligence agencies. In addition, CIA director George Tenet briefed Bush in the Oval Office on the morning of October 7th.

According to the October 1, 2002 NIE, “Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW [chemical and biological warfare] against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger case for making war.” The report concluded that Hussein was not planning to use any weapons of mass destruction; further, Hussein would only use weapons of mass destruction he was believed to have if he were first attacked, that is, he would only use them in self-defense.

Preparing its declassified version of the NIE for Congress, which became known as the White Paper, the Bush administration edited the classified NIE document in ways that significantly changed its inference and meaning, making the threat seem imminent and ominous.

In the original NIE report, members of the U.S. intelligence community vigorously disagreed with the CIA’s bloated and inaccurate conclusions. All such opposing commentary was eliminated from the declassified White Paper prepared for Congress and the American people.

The Manning Memo

On January 31, 2003, Bush met in the Oval Office with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In a memo summarizing the meeting discussion, Blair’s chief foreign policy advisor David Manning wrote that Bush and Blair expressed their doubts that any chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons would ever be found in Iraq, and that there was tension between Bush and Blair over finding some justification for the war that would be acceptable to other nations. Bush was so worried about the failure of the UN inspectors to find hard evidence against Hussein that he talked about three possible ways, Manning wrote, to “provoke a confrontation” with Hussein. One way, Bush said, was to fly “U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, [falsely] painted in UN colors. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach” of UN resolutions and that would justify war. Bush was calculating to create a war, not prevent one.

Denying Blix’s Findings

Hans Blix, the United Nation’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq, in his March 7, 2003, address to the UN Security Council, said that as of that date, less than 3 weeks before Bush invaded Iraq, that Iraq had capitulated to all demands for professional, no-notice weapons inspections all over Iraq and agreed to increased aerial surveillance by the U.S. over the “no-fly” zones. Iraq had directed the UN inspectors to sites where illicit weapons had been destroyed and had begun to demolish its Al Samoud 2 missiles, as requested by the UN. Blix added that “no evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found” by his inspectors and “no underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far.” He said that for his inspectors to absolutely confirm that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) “will not take years, nor weeks, but months.”

Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief UN nuclear inspector in Iraq and director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the UN Security Council that, “we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq.”

The UN inspectors were making substantial progress and Hussein was giving them unlimited access. Why was Bush in such an incredible rush to go to war?

Hussein Disarms, so Bush … Goes to War

When it became clear that the whole purpose of Bush’s prewar campaign — to get Hussein to disarm — was being (or already had been) met, Bush and his people came up with a demand they had never once made before — that Hussein resign and leave Iraq. On March 17, 2003, Bush said in a speech to the nation that, “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict.” Military conflict — the lives of thousands of young Americans on the line — because Bush trumped up a new line in the sand?

The Niger Allegation

One of the most notorious instances of the Bush administration using thoroughly discredited information to frighten the American public was the 16 words in Bush’s January 28, 2003 State of the Union speech: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” The Niger allegation was false, and the Bush administration knew it was false.

Joseph C. Wilson IV, the former ambassador to Iraq, was sent to Niger by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate a supposed memo that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake (a form of lightly processed ore) to Iraq by Niger in the late 1990s. Wilson reported back to the CIA that it was “highly doubtful” such a transaction had ever taken place.

On March 7, 2003, Mohamed ElBaradei told the UN Security Council that “based on thorough analysis” his agency concluded that the “documents which formed the basis for the report of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger are in fact not authentic.” Indeed, author Craig Unger uncovered at least 14 instances prior to the 2003 State of the Union address in which analysts at the CIA, the State Department, or other government agencies that had examined the Niger documents “raised serious doubts about their legitimacy — only to be rebuffed by Bush administration officials who wanted to use them.”

On October 5 and 6, 2002, the CIA sent memos to the National Security Council, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and to the White House Situation Room stating that the Niger information was no good.

On January 24, 2003, four days before the president’s State of the Union address, the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, which oversees all federal agencies that deal with intelligence, sent a memo to the White House stating that “the Niger story is baseless and should be laid to rest.”

The 9/11 Lie

The Bush administration put undue pressure on U.S. intelligence agencies to provide it with conclusions that would help them in their quest for war. Bush’s former counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke, said that on September 12, 2001, one day after 9/11, “The President in a very intimidating way left us — me and my staff — with the clear indication that he wanted us to come back with the word that there was an Iraqi hand behind 9/11.”

Bush said on October 7, 2002, “We know that Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy — the United States of America. We know that Iraq and Al Qaeda have had high level contacts that go back a decade,” and that “Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gasses.” Of Hussein, he said on November 1, 2002, “We know he’s got ties with Al Qaeda.”

Even after Bush admitted on September 17, 2003, that he had “no evidence” that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, he audaciously continued, in the months and years that followed, to clearly suggest, without stating it outright, that Hussein was involved in 9/11.

On March 20, 2006, Bush said, “I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack on America.”

Vincent Bugliosi received his law degree in 1964. In his career at the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, he successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder convictions without a single loss. His most famous trial, the Charles Manson case, became the basis of his classic, Helter Skelter, the biggest selling true-crime book in publishing history. The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder is available May 27.

For more information visit

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Remember: They Are Liars By William Rivers Pitt

Dandelion Salad

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t
Tuesday 08 April 2008

No one is such a liar as the indignant man.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, along with a slew of administration underlings and a revolving-door cavalcade of brass hats from the Pentagon, have been making claims regarding Iraq for many years now.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, “enough to kill several million people,” according to a page on the White House web site titled Disarm Saddam Hussein.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of 500 tons, which equals 1,000,000 pounds, of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of nearly 30,000 munitions capable of delivering these agents.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of several mobile biological weapons labs.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq was operating an “advanced” nuclear weapons program.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq had been seeking “significant quantities” of uranium from Africa for use in this “advanced” nuclear weapons program.

They lied.

They claimed Iraq attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes “suitable for nuclear weapons.”

They lied.

They claimed America needed to invade, overthrow and occupy Iraq in order to remove this menace from our world. “It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country,” went the White House line, “to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known.”

They lied.

“Simply stated,” said Dick Cheney in August of 2002, “there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”


“Right now,” said George W. Bush in September of 2002, “Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of nuclear weapons.”


“We know for a fact,” said White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in January of 2003, “that there are weapons there.”


“We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction,” said Colin Powell in February of 2003, “is determined to make more.”


“We know where they are,” said Donald Rumsfeld in March of 2003. “They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad, and east, south, west and north somewhat.”


“The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about,” said Paul Wolfowitz in March of 2003. “Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator.”


“No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were,” said Condoleezza Rice in June of 2003, “where they were stored.”


“I have absolute confidence that there are weapons of mass destruction inside this country,” said Gen. Tommy Franks in April of 2003. “Whether we will turn out, at the end of the day, to find them in one of the 2,000 or 3,000 sites we already know about or whether contact with one of these officials who we may come in contact with will tell us, ‘Oh, well, there’s actually another site,’ and we’ll find it there, I’m not sure.”


“Before the war,” said Gen. Michael Hagee in May of 2003, “there’s no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.”


“Given time,” said Gen. Richard Myers in May of 2003, “given the number of prisoners now that we’re interrogating, I’m confident that we’re going to find weapons of mass destruction.”


“Do I think we’re going to find something? Yeah, I kind of do,” said Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton in May of 2003, “because I think there’s a lot of information out there.”


Gen. David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, is about to give testimony before the Senate regarding the current state of affairs in that battle-savaged country. He is a political general, one of many America has seen and heard over the last five years, one who would leap nude from the Capitol dome before telling the real truth about matters in Iraq … or who would speak using words fed to him by liars, and thus be wrong.

Remember: they lie. They all lie, from the top man down to the bottom. If their lips are moving, a lie is unfolding. If they say water is wet, get into the shower to make sure.

They lie.


End of file.

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: “War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know” and “The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.” His newest book, “House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America’s Ravaged Reputation,” is now available from PoliPointPress.

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.

A Less than Grand Strategy: NATO’s New Vision, The Preemptive Use of Nuclear Weapons

Dandelion Salad

by Spencer Spratley
Global Research, March 21, 2008

A few months ago, a report was published entitled “Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership”. It was written by five generals and it proposes a new vision for the NATO alliance and a strengthening of ties between the United States and the European Union. The report outlines the major security threats facing the world today and it asserts that NATO, in spite of its shortcomings, remains the most effective body for confronting these threats. The five generals outline a strategy for NATO to adopt in its effort to make the world a more “certain” place and for ensuring the dominance of the Western world in global security matters.

The report contains some shocking and alarming statements which demand further attention and analysis. The most unnerving idea put forth is that the preemptive use of nuclear weapons must remain in the NATO toolkit as a viable option for confronting entities which pose an “imminent threat” to global security. The following passages taken from the report clearly illustrate this point:

“The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction, in order to avoid truly existential dangers.”

“What is needed is a policy of deterrence by proactive denial, in which preemption is a form of reaction when a threat is imminent, and prevention is the attempt to regain the initiative in order to end the conflict.”

“Regrettably, nuclear weapons – and with them the option of first use – are indispensable, since there is simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world. On the contrary, the risk of further proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible. This development must be prevented. It should therefore be kept in mind that technology could produce options that go beyond the traditional role of nuclear weapons in preventing a nuclear armed opponent from using nuclear weapons. In sum, nuclear weapons remain indispensable, and nuclear escalation continues to remain an element of any modern strategy.”

In short, the publication suggests that NATO should adhere to the Bush administration’s credo of “strike first” and that the definition of “proportional” can, and must, include the use of tactical nuclear weapons. The flawed logic is that the Western world should be prepared to use nuclear weapons in order to prevent their “enemies” from developing and/or using those same weapons. It goes without saying that that this position carries with it a whole host of problems. The following issues immediately spring to mind:

1) The naive belief that “mini-nukes” are somehow a safe and proportional response to perceived threats is an unproven and frightening proposition which contains the potential to plunge the world into a nuclear holocaust. Reducing parts of the world to a massive laboratory where NATO will bomb first and asses the accuracy of their beliefs in retrospect is frightening indeed. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the use of nuclear weapons would not have grave implications for civilian casualties and massive environmental contamination. The report also offers no comforting assurances that other nations who are “allies” of the targeted country would not respond to the use of nuclear weapons by retaliating in kind.

2) A policy of preemptive use eliminates any real notion of deterrence. If a government felt it was being targeted for attack or regime change, what incentive would there be for that nation to refrain from striking first with WMD’s or any other means at their disposal? In addition, what incentive would there be for these nations to refrain from forming strategic alliances with terrorist organizations which may help them retaliate in the event of an attack? If anything, the whole notion of preemptive strikes serves to make the world a less certain and stable place.

3) It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where this policy would not, in fact, encourage the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (and weapons of all kinds). Common sense suggests that nations who feel cornered would likely adopt an attitude of, “If we’re gonna be hit, lets make sure we can hit back.”

4) The publication does not address the long-term implications of a preemptive attack. Decapitating the leadership of a nation and laying waste to its terrain does not provide any reason to hope that from the ashes of such a calamity would emerge a model state which would pose no further threat to the Western world. The American invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, without the use of nuclear weapons, should illustrate the dangers inherent in this philosophy. Would a nuclear attack on Iran, for example, be based on “intelligence” that was also completely erroneous and deceptive? The world is not any safer as a result of the invasion of Iraq. Adding nuclear weapons to the mix would only make the situation worse from a humanitarian and security perspective.

These issues are only those that spring to mind from a “layperson’s” perspective. Other analysts with a more sophisticated understanding of the issue could likely demonstrate innumerable problems with the doctrine of preemptive use. At a basic level, the idea is simply counter intuitive and seemingly immoral. The argument seems devoid of all reason and logic and carries with it some very grave risks for the future of humanity.

The report itself contains other flaws and arguments which only serve to polarize groups and nations and move us further from a spirit of co-operation and understanding. The publication also contains messages that wreak of cultural superiority and arrogance. For example, the report states that, “In some Western societies, faith in purely irrational belief systems has overtaken belief in religions that have moral and rational substance, as well as cultural roots. But symptoms such as the decline of interest in science reflect an intellectual decline that might have more immediately palpable social consequences in areas such as journalism, law, and even public health. It reflects a more general loss of respect for the value of evidence and argument. As a direct consequence of the globalisation of information flows, all kinds of irrational belief or political fanaticism circulate freely in the public domain.” Have the generals who prepared this report elevated themselves to the status of experts on which religions are moral and contain “rational substance”? Are they suggesting that religions that are not homogeneous with “traditional” Western belief systems are somehow inferior and contributing to “intellectual decline”? The suggestion, only slightly veiled, is clear and it’s obnoxious.

The report further states that, “If the irrational and fanatical get out of hand, there is a risk that, in the long term, the instability of uncertainties, the rise of fundamentalisms and despotisms will usher in a new, illiberal age, in which the liberties that Western societies enjoy – but will not defend – are seriously jeopardised”. If the authors had not displayed a clear bias in this report, the reader might be tempted to imagine that they are referring to neo-conservatism and not the Islamic faith.

The authors of the report explore, at great length, the challenges that they perceive as constituting the greatest threats to global security. Unfortunately, they completely ignore the greatest threat to stability and harmony on the planet: poverty. Their complete failure to address this issue in any depth makes it difficult to give the report, as a whole, any credibility. Any discussion of global security must take poverty into account. The widening gap between those who have more than enough and those who have less than they need must be central to any discussion on global security and making the world a safer place for everyone.

On the whole, the report contains an unabashed support for increased militarism and an arrogant endorsement of continuing Western hegemony throughout the world. The “Western way of life” must be preserved at all costs and those groups and/or nations which pose a threat to Western dominance must be wiped off the face of the earth. For these, and other reasons, the report is disturbing and presents a strategy which is something far less than grand. It is time for military leaders, security elites, and Western governments to engage in a level of thoughtfulness, creativity, consultation, and broad-mindedness which might result in perspectives that truly serve to unify the nations of the world and create greater harmony among its populations. No-one likes a bully and this report simply encourages the Western world to continue to threaten other nations into submission and to destroy them when they will not bow down. For the rest of the world, these bullies are not just after your lunch money. They are after your culture, your beliefs, your resources, your right to self-determination, your territory, and, ultimately, your life.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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The US-NATO Preemptive Nuclear Doctrine: Trigger a Middle East Nuclear Holocaust to Defend “The Western Way of Life” by Michel Chossudovsky

NATO and Israel: Instruments of America’s Wars in the Middle East by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

NATO; Kucinich; Political Intelligence; Keep on Preaching to the Choir by William Blum

In Response to NATO Threat: Russian Armed Forces prepare for Nuclear Onslaught by Andrei Kislyako

Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike a Key Option, NATO Told By Ian Traynor

The New New World Order: A First-Strike NATO Über Alles by Chris Floyd

MIR: Iraq – Five More Years? (video)

Dandelion Salad


Five years since the toppling of Saddam Hussein, and Bush’s photo-op on the USS Lincoln, the War in Iraq continues. Has the “mission been accomplished”? Or will it take another five years?

Answers to these questions and more on Link TV’s Mosaic Intelligence Report, presented by Jamal Dajani.

For more info, visit

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Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal Part 3

Dandelion Salad



Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal pt1

NOTE that in the video I should have said “two senior administration officials” instead of saying “two former administration officials” (which is even worse than what I said):
“But almost a year before, Ms. Rice’s staff had been told that the government’s foremost nuclear experts seriously doubted that the tubes were for nuclear weapons, according to four officials at the Central Intelligence Agency and two senior administration officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. The experts, at the Energy Department, believed the tubes were likely intended for small artillery rockets.”

Precisely how knowledge of the intelligence dispute traveled through the upper reaches of the administration is unclear. Ms. Rice knew about the debate before her Sept. 2002 CNN appearance, but only learned of the alternative rocket theory of the tubes soon afterward, according to two senior administration officials. President Bush learned of the debate at roughly the same time, a senior administration official said. ” – THE NUCLEAR CARD: The Aluminum Tube Story — A special report.; How White House Embraced Suspect Iraq Arms Intelligence NYT October 3, 2004…
“Dr. Rice’s statements in 2002 were not only wrong; they also did not accurately reflect the intelligence reports of the time. Declassified portions of the CIA’s National Intelligence Estimate from October 2002 make it abundantly clear that there were disagreements among our intelligence analysts about the state of Iraq’s nuclear program. But Dr. Rice seriously misrepresented their disputes when she categorically stated, “We do know that Saddam is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon.” Her allegation also misrepresented to the American people the controversy in those same intelligence reports about the aluminum tubes. Again, Dr. Rice said that these tubes were really only suited for nuclear weapons programs. But intelligence experts at the State Department and the Department of Energy believed that those tubes had nothing to do with building a nuclear weapon, and they made their dissent known in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate.” – Sen. Robert Byrd (D–West Virginia), United States Senate, January 25, 2005…

Please join for the mailing list so critical activist info can be easily shared:……

Isn’t it true that you had intelligence that cast doubt on your repeated claims that Iraq did have WMD?

Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal pt3

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Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal (video)

Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal Part 2

The Death of David Kelly & the “Sexed Up” WMD Report

Dandelion Salad

by Paul Brandon and C Stephen Frost and David Halpin, Christopher Burns-Cox
Global Research, February 21, 2008

Was BBC Andrew Gilligan’s Original Source a Senior Member of Her Majesty’s Government?

The importance of identifying Andrew Gilligan’s “original” source (for his infamous BBC Radio 4 Today programme story on the sexing up of the September 2002 dossier, which was later used to justify the UK’s, and thereby the US’s, illegal invasion of Iraq) is not immediately obvious, but we think, after painstaking research, cannot be over-emphasised.

Suffice to say that the BBC eventually did what the UK Government had wanted them to do all along i.e. name Kelly as their source (the Government seemed determined to make Kelly the source from the moment that Kelly came forward and admitted to the Ministry of Defence that he had talked to Gilligan).

It seems highly likely to us that Kelly was indeed the fall guy, that he was indeed set up, as was suggested to him at the Foreign Affairs Committee when he gave his evidence on 15 July 2003.

On Sunday 20 July 2003, only two days after Kelly’s body had been found, the BBC surprised many people by breaking confidentiality (which one could reasonably argue was even more important to observe after death) and volunteering that Kelly was their “principal” source (when Kelly could no longer answer back). Most people took this to mean that Kelly was the ONLY source, when he clearly was not, indeed he was almost certainly not even the “principal” or “main” source. Crucially, the BBC did nothing to correct the almost universal misapprehension caused by their statement.

Thus the BBC (wittingly or unwittingly) assisted the Government in halting the search for the “real” source (or sources), and, in the context of Mr Toad’s references (see below) to “civil war within the Cabinet of HMG (Her Majesty’s Government)” and “USG’s (United States’s Government’s) plans to help HMG make up its mind with regard to Iraq’s WMD”, and the connection betwen the two, it is surely not difficult to appreciate the importance of halting that search (for the “real” source of Gilligan’s story).

Considerable suspicions have surrounded many aspects of the death of Dr David Kelly in July 2003, including the alleged manner of the death, its subsequent investigation, and the coverage of the whole affair in the mainstream media. Claims of murder by Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker have continued to fuel speculation of foul play. Yet, in the light of these persisting suspicions, little attention has been paid to what could be the most important question of all: if David Kelly was not the only source for Andrew Gilligan’s “sexed-up” story, as he was not, who was the original source?

On Sunday, 20 July 2003, two days after David Kelly was found dead in the woods, Richard Sambrook, Director of BBC News, named Kelly in a statement as the “principal source for both Andrew Gilligan’s report and for Susan Watts’s reports on Newsnight on 2 and 4 June”.[1] Sambrook chose one word carefully, the word “principal”. Subsequent reports described the BBC as admitting Kelly was the “main source”.[2] “Principal” means first or foremost, or “main”. “Principal”, or “main”, certainly does not mean the one and only source. Unfortunately, this is how the wider world came to understand the Sambrook/BBC statement.

Did Gilligan use Kelly to corroborate information from another source?

Sambrook’s evidence to the Hutton Inquiry clearly suggests the possibility of another source. Gilligan’s infamous Radio 4 report is described in an internal report as resulting “from two separate but related information sources”.[3] Sambrook goes on to describe the other source as more general, and as “a background of concerns”.[4] The fact that he talks about other sources or “concerns” in the context of Gilligan’s story is important. It is surely not unreasonable to consider that out of the “background of concerns” a prime and headline-grabbing piece of information was given to Gilligan, before he had spoken to Kelly, perhaps from a disgruntled person connected with the compilation of the September 2002 dossier. At the Hutton Inquiry, Sambrook also spoke of “unattributable briefings from members of the security services” to a number of journalists at the BBC who were “expressing some unease at the way Intelligence had been presented in public”.[5]

Did a prime piece of information come Gilligan’s way through these channels? Did Gilligan take this original source and corroborate it during his conversation with Kelly on 22 May 2003? Kelly came forward voluntarily and always claimed he did not recognise some elements of Gilligan’s story. Kelly was also sure he was not the “main source” of the story, and shortly before Kelly’s death, after Kelly had given his evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), that committee publicly concluded that Dr Kelly was not the “main source”.

Gilligan’s e-mail to Greg Simpson MP

One of the more mysterious and under-reported parts of the David Kelly affair concerns an e-mail sent by Andrew Gilligan to the Liberal Democrat MP, Greg Simpson. It was sent on 14 July 2003, on the eve of Kelly’s televised appearance before the Foreign Affairs Committee.[6]

The subject heading of the e-mail reads “David Kelly – pls onpass David Chidgey'”. David Chidgey was also a Liberal Democrat MP, and, more importantly, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee charged with questioning Kelly. In one part of the e-mail, Gilligan refers to “my colleague Susan Watts” having spoken with Kelly, clearly indicating that the BBC were exchanging information internally. Towards the end of the e-mail, Gilligan poses the question: “Is Kelly our source?” and answers his own question with: “we are not ruling anyone in or out as the source”, and: “I had many conversations with people inside and outside the Intelligence community about the issue of Iraqi WMD and the dossier. We suspect the MOD of playing games to try to eliminate names.”

The existence of the e-mail came close to being exposed three days later, on 17 July 2003, during Gilligan’s oral evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee:

Mr Chidgey: That is good. Thank you. I wonder if you can help me clear up something in the way that Dr Kelly responded to some questions from me. You are, of course, aware that he has spoken to other BBC journalists, in particular Sue Watts, I think.

Mr Gilligan: Sorry?

Mr Chidgey: You are aware that he spoke to…

Mr Gilligan: I am not aware of anything about Dr Kelly’s dealings with other journalists, how could I be?[7]
At this point, Chidgey could have told the world about the e-mail, and that Gilligan was indeed “aware” of “dealings with other journalists”, thereby providing the committee with a new line of inquiry. Chidgey declined to pursue.

Gilligan later apologised to the Hutton Inquiry for sending the e-mail. More questions need to be asked about this e-mail (along with Gilligan’s oral evidence to the FAC), as it contains leads that suggest Gilligan had an original source BEFORE he approached Kelly.

“I have tried to persuade my source to go on the record, for obvious career reasons he is unable to … “

At the FAC hearing on 17 July 2003 Gilligan makes some extraordinary and again under-reported remarks:

Gilligan I would respectfully submit to the Committee that anonymous source journalism does have its value and although I have tried to persuade my source to go on the record, for obvious career reasons he is unable to, and I must respect that confidence.

Sir John Stanley: The fact you have just said that is clearly absolute confirmation from you that your source is not Dr Kelly.

Gilligan: I simply cannot add anything at all to the evidence I gave about my source.[8]

Why was Committee member Sir John Stanley so sure that the BBC’s source was not Dr Kelly? Because, two days earlier Kelly had gone on the record, in the fall glare of the television cameras and the wider world. So, who was the “anonymous source” who was “unable to go on the record”?

The other sources …

In Gilligan’s e-mail to Simpson, he says the source is someone “closely involved in compiling the document until a late stage”.[9] Previously, he had said that the source was “one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up the dossier”.[10] The mainstream version of events says this is David Kelly. The evidence appears to show beyond doubt that Kelly was around at a late stage, and involved in some discussions about the dossier. However there were others around at a late stage, perhaps up to seven or eight. Perhaps one of them spoke with Gilligan?

According to the BBC Conspiracy Files Dr Kelly timeline (online), on 19 September 2002, five days before the September dossier was published, “Dr Kelly takes part in an hour-long DIS meeting reviewing the draft of the dossier, in the Old War Office. Dr Brian Jones chairs the meeting with another seven or eight people present. Four pages of detailed comments were made. Entitled: “Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Dossier – Comments on Revised Draft (15 Sept 2002)”.[11]

“Mr A”, revealed in Norman Baker’s book as Rod Godfrey, a chemical weapons expert, later told the Hutton Inquiry about 12 comments which were made by Dr Kelly. The DIS drafting suggestions were passed on to the JIO Intelligence staff. None of those suggestions mentioned the 45 minute claim.[12]

Gilligan said he spoke to sources “inside and outside the Intelligence community” and the source was “closely involved in compiling the document until a late stage”.[13] Perhaps, one of those ‘seven or eight’, mentioned by Dr Brian Jones, provided Gilligan with some information? Perhaps one of them had a grudge against the Government, did not approve of the “sexing-up” of the dossier?

At 14.58 on 25 September 2002, Mr A sent an e-mail to David Kelly pointing to a mistake relating to the al-Qaeda plant: “Another example supporting our view that you and I should have been more involved in this than the spin merchants of this administration. No doubt you will have more to tell me as a result of your antics today. Let’s hope it turns into tomorrow’s chip wrappers …”[14]

Mr Toad: “This from my friends on the river bank …”

Andrew Gilligan may have received some prime information from a source inside or outside the Intelligence services, and Dr Kelly was used to corroborate it. Any research into the mysterious death of Dr David Kelly entails encountering many sources of information. One particularly plausible scenario was described by a “Mr Toad” in his one and only post on the Guardian Talk forum website. We reprint the post below and in full. We do not consider Mr Toad’s version to be definitive, but we do conclude that it provides leads worth exploring. It outlines a version of events which could be argued was unravelling before our eyes in July 2003, but was stopped by the death of Dr David Kelly.

Mr. Toad posts on the Guardian Talk forum on 30 December 2003:

“This from my friends on the river bank:

Hutton is a jigsaw puzzle. And like all the best puzzles there was a piece missing. Some people have found the missing piece, but they keep trying to put it in upside-down.

1998 – Mai Pederson attached to Kelly as UNSCOM translator.

1998 – UNSCOM out of Iraq

1998 – Tom Mangold presents Panorama documentary revealing extensive infiltration of UNSCOM by national security services.

1998+ Pederson / Kelly relationship remains close

2000-2003 MoD becomes suspicious of Kelly’s relationship with Pederson. Begins moving Kelly towards the door marked ‘exit’, but does it quietly so as not to alarm Kelly or his friends overseas. No grading increase, retirement age reduced from 65 to 60, moved to PR role with no access to classified information.

May 2003 Gilligan interviews senior member of HMG, who makes the Campbell 45 minute claim ‘off the record’. Gilligan cannot run the story without a creditable source, so is pointed to Kelly as ‘unattributable’ MoD source. Gilligan goes to Kelly, tells him he knows the 45 minute claim is fictitious and plays the ‘name game’, then goes home and writes up his piece overnight using info from source 1 effectively attributed to Kelly. Kelly is baffled by Gilligan’s interview, but once Gilligan’s piece goes out he realises he has been set up. He writes to MoD to admit the unauthorised interview but denies he is the original source of Gilligan’s information. Kelly is called to meeting with line managers and told that orders from on high dictate that he will be the ‘fall guy’ or will lose his pension and find his relationship with Pederson plastered across the front page of the Telegraph and tv news. What Kelly did not realise was that this was a bluff. MoD were well aware of Pederson’s actual role and would never have allowed the name to come out in this way at the time. Kelly does as he’s told and goes before the parliamentary committee and ISC. This should be the end of it, except that Kelly broods on it and decides he will take steps to clear his name. Unfortunately, to do this he has to admit to the Pederson relationship. throughout the whole saga Kelly has been in close touch with Pederson, who has been reporting back to her masters. On July 17th Kelly tells Pederson he is going to leave his wife and going to the press to clear his name. Pederson reports immediately to her managers, the alarm bells go off in Washington as they believe she is about to be ‘outed’ and it’s ‘goodnight Vienna’.

Here’s why:

The CIA did to Kelly what they did to everyone, lied to him about Iraq’s WMD. The difference is that they thought Kelly’s position as MoD bio-weapons expert would allow him to influence the policy of HMG. Here’s how it was done: Pederson was a US airforce translator working from Arabic to English. After the removal of UNSCOM from Iraq in 1998, evidence of WMD capability came from satellites and smuggled documents. These would land first on the desk of Ms Pederson and her colleagues for translation, before passing to the scientists for analysis, who then advised USG. In the case of Pederson, however, the documents did not come from Iraq, but from the CIA. Pederson ‘leaked’ fake intelligence to Kelly over an extended period, which she claimed came from smuggled Iraqi documents indicating the existence of WMD.

By 2003, Kelly was completely convinced not only of the existence of WMD in Iraq, but also believed he knew what they were and where they were. However, when Kelly attempted to go to Iraq (post invasion) to locate them, he found his was mysteriously barred. On a first occasion his official visa proved worthless and he was turned back at Kuwait. On a second occasion he found himself confined to an airbase for the duration of his stay on security grounds.There may be some evidence that shortly before his death, Kelly became aware of the nature of Pederson’s information.

In preparation for his next planned visit to Iraq Kelly appears to have shared informaton from Pederson with Gabriele Kraatz-Wadsack, a German army weapons inspector and biological weapons expert. It appears from her reply, however, that she was less than convinced as to the veracity of the information, as made clear by the ‘concerns’ she expressed. In short, Kelly’s death was the result of two conspiracies colliding. The first being the civil war within the cabinet of HMG, which nearly resulted in the exposure of the second, USG’s plans to help HMG make up its mind with regard to Iraq’s WMD.Ultimately, it wasn’t murder or suicide, but a series of unfortunate accidents. Trouble with this jigsaw puzzle is, once you put it together, you realise it’s just a part of a much bigger puzzle.”[15]


[3] 112, 13 at
[4] 113, 9 at
[5] 112, 25 at
[6] Andrew Gilligan e-mail to the Liberal Democrat MP, Greg Simpson
[7] Q228,
[8] Q342,
[9] See note 6
full text of defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan’s original report on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme from 29 May, 2003.
[11] 19 September 2002 –
[12] See note 11
[13] See note 6
[14] 25 Septemeber 2002 –
[15] Mr Toad transcript taken from

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MP says Kelly’s 2003 death not suicide By Michael Holden

Blair ‘knew Iraq had no WMD’ By David Cracknell

Media Disinformation regarding the Death of David Kelly by Xymphora

Weapons Expert Dr David Kelly was Murdered by Norman Baker

Did two hired assassins snatch weapons inspector David Kelly? by Norman Baker

Secret Iraq Dossier Published By Chris Ames

Dandelion Salad

By Chris Ames
02/18/08 “New Statesman

Read the draft here

The government has been forced to publish the secret first draft of the Iraq WMD dossier written by a Foreign Office spin doctor

The secret first draft of the Iraq WMD dossier written by Foreign Office spin doctor John Williams has finally been published after a ruling back in January under the Freedom of Information Act.

The document contains an early version of the executive summary of the next draft, which was attributed to Intelligence chief John Scarlett. The document places a spin doctor at the heart of the process of drafting the dossier and blows a hole in the government’s evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.

Last month the Foreign Office was ordered by the Information Tribunal to hand over the Williams draft, which I first requested under the Freedom of Information Act in February 2005.

From the time that the row first erupted over Andrew Gilligan’s allegations that the dossier had been sexed-up, the government has claimed that Scarlett’s draft, produced on 10 September 2002, was the first full draft and produced without interference from spin doctors. But the Williams draft, dated a day earlier, shows that spin doctors were sexing up the dossier at the time the notorious 45 minutes claim was included.

Initially the government withheld the draft from the Hutton Inquiry. Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s director of communications, denied its existence. But when Scarlett admitted that Williams had done some early drafting, the BBC asked to see it.

The government then supplied a copy of the draft to Lord Hutton but told him that it was “not taken forward” because a “fresh start” was made with Scarlett’s draft. Confirmation that Scarlett took up elements of Williams’s drafting shows that the government misled Hutton.

Williams did not include the 45 minutes claim in his draft but it is now clear that he did not have access to the intelligence on the claim at the time. However, it has recently been confirmed that Williams attended the meeting that produced Scarlett’s draft.

At this meeting, he and other spin doctors saw the intelligence assessment that contained the claim. Scarlett’s draft then included it for the first time. When he sent his draft to Campbell, Scarlett wrote of “considerable help from John Williams”.

The draft also shows that Williams was responsible for a number of key changes that strengthened the dossier’s claims. His executive summary claimed that Iraq had “acquired” uranium. Previous versions only alleged the material had been “sought”.

Scarlett’s draft also alleged that Iraq had got hold of uranium, stating that it had “purchased” it.

Williams appears largely to have been working on a version of the dossier that was produced during the summer of 2002, before Tony Blair announced in September of that year that a dossier would be published.

He appears not to have made substantial changes to the body text of the document’s section on Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) but it is clear that he was aware that this section was being rewritten. In fact, the WMD section contains a comment: “I don’t propose to rewrite this until I take delivery of the new version.” This shows that Williams intended to continue to rewrite the dossier.

Subsequent versions of the dossier show that the executive summary expressed its claims about Iraq’s WMD more strongly than the main text. In many cases, including the 45 minutes claim, the main text was then brought into line with the executive summary.

The involvement of spin doctors in drafting the summary process suggests that they led the sexing up of the dossier.

Read the draft here

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Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal Part 2

Dandelion Salad



Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal pt1

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Isn’t it true that you had intelligence that cast doubt on your repeated claims that Iraq did have WMD?

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Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal (video)

Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal Part 3