Iraq: The forever treaty

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARDWith the clock ticking on our “commitments” in Iraq — the international mandate expires in less than a year — the Bush administration is left in an interesting position. It could create a plan for a troop withdrawal; instead, the plan being negotiated with the Iraqi government focuses on reasons to stay there, something The New York Times reports is seen by Democrats as a plan that would “bind the next president by locking in Mr. Bush’s policies and a long-term military presence.”

And we’re starting to learn about the byzantine tactic being employed to get this done. Senior administration officials will say they’re not interested in permanent bases in Iraq. They use terms like “long-term” and “enduring” (U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said as much on Thursday). It’s all a matter of slyly edited statements, woven to obscure their true meaning and aim: What’s being crafted is a treaty. Iraqi leaders seem to know this, and describe what’s being negotiated (formally named “Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America”) as a “long-term treaty.”

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A December 8, 2007 Freedom of Information Act request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seeking the release of all data contained by the Solid State Flight Data Recorders recovered from the crash scenes of American Airlines flight 77 and United Airlines flight 93, has been denied. The data sought, would presumably confirm the commercial flight histories and thus the federal registry identifications of N644AA (AA 77) and N591UA (UA 93), already provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, obtained by a December 28, 2007 FOIA release. (See BTS release letter)The FDR data requested of the FBI, was that which would presumably reveal the identity of flights occurring just before the final 9/11 flights (presumably matching flight history data provided by the BTS, for the said aircraft), carried out by N644AA (AA 77) and N591UA (UA 93), 2 of the 4 federally registered aircraft reportedly used to carry out the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. An appeal indicating that the requested records are unrelated to the events of September 11, 2001 and thus cannot interfere with 9/11 enforcement proceedings (indicated in refusal notice), is pending. (more…)

Luke Ryland | DissidentVoice.com 

In the last few weeks, London Times has run a series of articles about the so-called ‘Sibel Edmonds case’: (For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets,’ FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft‘ and ‘Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe‘)

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds stumbled into a world of espionage, nuclear black market, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and corruption at the highest levels of the US government.

I interviewed Sibel on Sunday regarding the current investigation and reporting by the Times, the failures of the US media, and last week’s decision by the Bush administration to legalize the sale of nuclear technology to Turkey, in an apparent effort to exonerate prior criminal activity by officials in his administration.

Sibel also has some urgent ‘action items’ so that we can stop these dangerous nuclear proliferation activities. I urge you to act on her suggestions.

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sst911.org/

Robert Mak | King5

Governor Christine Gregoire says, it’s a small inconvenience to save lives. She’s pushing to institute sobriety checkpoints in Washington State. But critics say, it’s a violation of your Constitutional rights…
Gregoire says, the checkpoints would have to be authorized by a judge, and publicized ahead of time. She believes the State Supreme Court may have left an opening to create checkpoints, though the idea has failed before in this state.

Is the public ready to accept a checkpoint? The ACLU and others have already lined up in opposition, saying a law-abiding citizen should not be stopped without reason. Gregoire says the inconvenience is only 20 seconds: “Is it wrong that I’m a law-abiding citizen when I go into a federal courthouse today and I go through a check to see if I’m armed? Is it wrong when I have to go through check points at the airport? I’m sorry this country has come to this, but it has. It’s reality.”

Your thoughts?

from blackboxvoting.org
Decrepit ballot box conditions explained but unspinnable; Officials assure citizens that labels secure ballot boxes, another demo of the post-it style “seals”.

Who is stealing our nuclear secrets – and why are they being shielded by the authorities? 

Justin Raimondo | antiwar.com  

The Valerie Plame case is, by journalistic standards, ancient history, and naturally any follow-up on a once-important story is considered bad form. Yet there is an interesting – and rather scary – new twist to the narrative. It turns out that Scooter Libby and friends weren’t the first to “out” CIA agent Plame, whose alleged employer, a company known as Brewster Jennings, was really a cover for a CIA unit investigating nuclear proliferation issues.

The London Times reveals that a former top U.S. State Department official tipped off Turkish agents about Brewster Jennings’ CIA connection, according to Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator assigned to produce English-language transcripts of intercepted conversations of Turkish targets – in this case recordings of Turkish embassy officials and a top State Department official discussing, among other things, Brewster Jennings’ relationship to the CIA.

As the Times reports, the recordings were made “between the summer and autumn of 2001. At that time, foreign agents were actively attempting to acquire the West’s nuclear secrets and technology. Among the buyers were Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s intelligence agency, which was working with Abdul Qadeer Khan, the ‘father of the Islamic bomb,’ who in turn was selling nuclear technology to rogue states such as Libya.”

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The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

GUY LAWSON | rollingstone.com

“So, what you wanna do?” the friend asked. “A target?” the wanna-be jihadi replied. “I want some type of city-hall-type stuff, federal courthouses.”

It was late November 2006, and twenty-two-year-old Derrick Shareef and his friend Jameel were hanging out in Rockford, Illinois, dreaming about staging a terrorist attack on America. The two men weren’t sure what kind of assault they could pull off. All Shareef knew was that he wanted to cause major damage, to wreak vengeance on the country he held responsible for oppressing Muslims worldwide. “Smoke a judge,” Shareef said. Maybe firebomb a government building.

But while Shareef harbored violent fantasies, he was hardly a serious threat as a jihadi. An American-born convert to Islam, he had no military training and no weapons. He had less than $100 in the bank. He worked in a dead-end job as a clerk in a video-game store. He didn’t own a car. So dire were his circumstances, Shareef had no place to live. Then one day, Jameel, a fellow Muslim, had shown up at EB Games and offered him shelter. Within hours of meeting his new brother, Shareef had moved in with Jameel and his three wives and nine children. Living together, the pair fantasized about targets in Rockford, a Midwestern city of 150,000, with a minuscule Muslim population and the lone claim to fame of being the hometown of Cheap Trick.

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Time Magazine | time.com

Many Americans of late have altered their views about the complex and bewildering war in Viet Nam without feeling obliged to offer elaborate justifications. Politicians, too, change their minds, and the good ones do so with such grace that people hardly notice, or such logic that everyone understands. Last week Michigan’s Governor George Romney offered so inept an explanation of his shifting views on Viet Nam that it could end his presidential ambitions.

Romney’s judgment has never been noticeably clouded by the hobgoblin of little minds. He strongly endorsed the war in July 1965 (before he first visited Viet Nam); he lent qualified support to the Administration’s policy at Hartford last spring (17 months after his return from Saigon); and, most recently, he unequivocally denounced the U.S. commitment as a “tragic” mistake. Last week, during a Labor Day interview on Detroit’s WKBD-TV, Commentator Lou Gordon wanted to know how Romney squared his current conviction that the U.S. should never have got involved in Asia with the comment he made after a tour of the war zone in November 1965 that “involvement was morally right and necessary.”

Replied Romney: “When I came back from Viet Nam, I had just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get when you go over to Viet Nam.”

Gordon: By the generals?

Romney: Not only by the generals but also by the diplomatic corps over there, and they do a very thorough job, and, since returning from Viet Nam, I’ve gone into the history of Viet Nam, all the way back into World War II and before that. And, as a result, I have changed my mind.

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From 911blogger.com
At a recent City Lights book reading from his latest; “Contrary Notions”, Michael Parenti dissects the mechanisms for official deceit to reveal a deliberate methodical power grab by the ruling class.
Parenti touches on the Bush lies around 9/11. Give this important progressive a listen. Michael creates a welcome atmosphere for inquiry with his ability to analyze official motives.

by Joshua Frank | antiwar.com

According to FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, there is a vast black market for nukes, and certain U.S. officials have been supplying sensitive nuclear technology information to Turkish and Israeli interests through its conduits. It’s a scathing allegation which was first published by the London Times two weeks ago, and Edmonds’ charge seems to be on the verge of vindication.

In likely reaction to the London Times report, the Bush Administration quietly announced on January 22 that the president would like Congress to approve the sale of nuclear secrets to Turkey. As with most stories of this magnitude, the U.S. media has put on blinders, opting to not report either Edmonds’ story or Bush’s recent announcement.

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by Peter Tremblay | Canadian National

Many Americans who seek to consider which candidate to vote for in upcoming Democratic Party Primaries may wonder which front runner candidate can they trust to best represent the expressed political party values: Hillary Clinton, John Edward or Barack Obama? These values and related policy agenda supposedly include defending America’s “middle class’; affirming labour and equality rights; increasing accessibility to healthcare insurance with other social issues; protecting America’s natural environmental heritage; redressing Global Warming; and getting America out of the costly Iraq War, which would free up needed public resources for domestic economic recovery. All the Democratic frontrunners have been very eloquent about their professed commitments. However, there is one critical issue, which exposes all of them to be apparent lying hypocrites.

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CNN Personal Finance editor Gerri Willis deciphers the gibberish that can be heard on other financial programs.


From blackboxvoting.org
They decided NOT to put the ballots in the vault and the “Seal” does NOT seal the box. Smoke and mirrors in New Hampshire recount.

By MIKE NIZZA | New York Times | The Lede

Paul D. Wolfowitz, who resigned as World Bank chief after serving as second-in-command at the Pentagon, has returned to the Bush administration, albeit in an advisory role. From a short news release put out this afternoon:

The Department of State is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Paul Wolfowitz as the Chairman of the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board.

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FOLLOWING 9/11, PRESIDENT BUSH AND SEVEN TOP OFFICIALS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION WAGED A CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED CAMPAIGN OF MISINFORMATION ABOUT THE THREAT POSED BY SADDAM HUSSEIN’S IRAQ.

By Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith | publicintegrity.org

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both.

This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration’s case for war.It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous bipartisan government investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose “Duelfer Report” established that Saddam Hussein had terminated Iraq’s nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to restart it.

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by David Ray Griffin 

With regard to the morning of 9/11, everyone agrees that at some time after 9:03 (when the South Tower of the World Trade Center was struck) and before 10:00, Vice President Dick Cheney went down to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC), sometimes simply called the “bunker,” under the east wing of the White House. Everyone also agrees that, once there, Cheney was in charge—that he was either making decisions or relaying decisions from President Bush. But there is enormous disagreement as to exactly when Cheney entered the PEOC.

According to The 9/11 Commission Report, Cheney arrived “shortly before 10:00, perhaps at 9:58”(The 9/11 Commission Report [henceforth 9/11CR], 40). This official time, however, contradicts almost all previous reports, some of which had him there before 9:20. This difference is important because, if the 9/11 Commission’s time is correct, Cheney was not in charge in the PEOC when the Pentagon was struck, or for most of the period during which United Flight 93 was approaching Washington. But if the reports that have him there by 9:20 are correct, he was in charge in the PEOC all that time.

Mineta’s Report of Cheney’s Early Arrival

The most well-known statement contradicting the 9/11 Commission was made by Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta during his public testimony to the 9/11 Commission on May 23, 2003. Saying that he “arrived at the PEOC at about 9:20 AM,” Mineta reported that he then overheard part of an ongoing conversation, which had obviously begun before he arrived, between a young man and Vice President Cheney. This conversation was about a plane coming toward Washington and ended with Cheney confirming that “the orders still stand.” When Commissioner Timothy Roemer later asked Mineta how long after his arrival he overheard this conversation about whether the orders still stood, Mineta replied: “Probably about five or six minutes.” This would mean, Roemer pointed out, “about 9:25 or 9:26.”

This is a remarkable contradiction. Given the fact that Cheney, according to Mineta, had been engaged in an ongoing exchange, he must have been in the PEOC for several minutes before Mineta’s 9:20 arrival. If Cheney had been there since 9:15, there would be a 43-minute contradiction between Mineta’s testimony and The 9/11 Commission Report. Why would such an enormous contradiction exist?

One possible explanation would be that Mineta was wrong. His story, however, is in line with that of many other witnesses.

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