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Posts Tagged ‘Dick Cheney’

Colin Powell: Mass Murderer and War Pimp

Posted by terres on May 27, 2009

The following article was posted at ConsortiumNews.com and is mirrored here because of its public information value.

Colin Powell Skates Free on Torture

By Robert Parry
May 25, 2009

http://consortiumnews.com/2009/052509.html

There is no one, it seems, that the U.S. mainstream news media loves more than Colin Powell, a “moderate” Republican who gives a careerist journalist the chance to do some smart positioning in the “center.” But the truth about this retired four-star general is that he is the ultimate careerist.

That was apparent again during Powell’s May 24 interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” as Powell juxtaposed himself as the reasonable Republican in contrast to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who vowed last week that there was “no middle ground” in the “war on terror.”

Pimping for attack on Iraq. Mass murderer Colin Powell holds a model vial of anthrax at the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003 to support his argument that Iraq most likely possessed WMDs. A few weeks later, on March 20, 2003, United States invaded Iraq.

The press coverage of Powell’s CBS appearance focused on his reaffirmation of his membership in the Republican Party – after Cheney and talk show host Rush Limbaugh suggested that he should or had already left the party – and on Powell’s reasonable talk about the GOP’s need to be “more inclusive.”

Given far less attention was Powell’s disingenuous response to Bob Schieffer’s question about the ex-Secretary of State’s knowledge regarding “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which the International Committee of the Red Cross and virtually all other objective observers say constituted torture.

Powell, who was a member of President George W. Bush’s Principals Committee which oversaw the interrogation policies, claimed to have been kept mostly out of the loop. He asserted that while the techniques “were outlined” at meetings he attended, he was “not privy” to the legal memos authorizing the abusive treatment, nor many other details.

“I think it was unfortunate but we had a system that kept that in a very compartmented manner,” Powell said. “And so I was aware that these enhanced interrogation techniques were being considered. And they were judged not to be torture at the time.”

Powell also repeated the all-purpose Cheney-Bush excuse for all manner of sins: “9/11.”

“Facing the possibility of a 9/11, you had to give some — some flexibility to the CIA,” Powell said. “It’s easy now in the cold light of day to look back and say, you shouldn’t have done any of that.”

Outside the CBS News’ Washington offices after the interview, media analyst Sam Husseini asked Powell what he knew about the torture of al-Qaeda suspect Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, who made false claims linking Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and al-Qaeda, lies that Powell then cited in his infamous pro-invasion speech before the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003.

“I don’t have any details on the al-Libi case,” Powell responded.

When asked when he learned that some of the bogus evidence had been extracted by torture, Powell said, “I don’t know that. I don’t know what information you’re referring to. So I can’t answer.”

Told that the information had been publicly discussed by Powell’s former chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell answered, “So what?” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “How Torture Trapped Colin Powell.”]

So what was it? Did Powell participate in the Principals Committee as it – according to some reports – “choreographed” the torture sessions or didn’t he? Did he favor giving the CIA “some flexibility” or did he object to the abusive techniques, including the near-drowning of waterboarding, that he says “were judged not to be torture”?

For a Washington press corps that has been up in arms challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the CIA obscured key details of the harsh interrogations from congressional leaders, it was impressive to see how little skepticism was evinced by Powell’s claim of ignorance from his seat on Bush’s Principals Committee.

On CBS, Powell deflected attention from his dubious torture explanation by boldly rejecting one of the new absurd “wedge” issues developed by the Republican Right, that it would be dangerous to bring accused terrorists from the Guantanamo Bay prison to the United States for trial or incarceration. But Powell then maneuvered himself back to the “center” by also criticizing President Barack Obama’s handling of the Guantanamo issue.

While saying that the Guantanamo prisoners could safely come to the United States, Powell faulted Obama for not moving faster on the prison closing and “frankly giving enough time to opponents of it to marshal their forces as to why we shouldn’t do this.”

Glass-House Stone Throwing

But second-guessing by Colin Powell represents the classic case of a glass-house resident throwing stones. Throughout his career – dating back more than four decades – Powell has almost always taken the route of least resistance that pointed toward the top, but his actions have, in hindsight, failed the test of history.

From his whitewash investigation of My Lai-related complaints as a young Army officer to his key role giving legitimacy to George W. Bush’s presidency and the Iraq War, Powell almost always did what was best for his career, not for his country.

In the 1960s, during Powell’s two tours in Vietnam, he never joined with other U.S. military officers who risked their careers to warn their superiors about the brutal and self-defeating strategies that, eventually, ended up costing the lives of 58,000 Americans and millions of Indochinese.

Indeed, in his memoir, My American Journey, Powell justifies many of the worst tactics, such as burning down Vietnamese villages and shooting unarmed peasants from helicopters, acts that objectively would constitute war crimes.

During his first tour in 1963, Powell describes his work as an adviser to a South Vietnamese army unit that systematically destroyed the homes and food stocks of villagers who were believed sympathetic to the Viet Cong.

“We burned down the thatched huts, starting the blaze with Ronson and Zippo lighters,” Powell recalled. “Why were we torching houses and destroying crops? Ho Chi Minh had said the people were like the sea in which his guerrillas swam. …

“We tried to solve the problem by making the whole sea uninhabitable. In the hard logic of war, what difference did it make if you shot your enemy or starved him to death?”

On his second tour in 1968, as an executive officer for the Americal Division, Powell was asked to investigate allegations from a distraught U.S. soldier who was aware of brutality committed by other Americal Division soldiers against Vietnamese civilians and captives. This complaint was an early official warning about the My Lai massacre, which an Americal unit had committed several months earlier.

However, for Colin Powell, it was another chance to impress the brass. Without interviewing the soldier, Cpl. Tom Glen, Powell simply accepted a claim from Glen’s superior officer that Glen was not close enough to the front lines to know what he was writing about.

After that cursory investigation, Powell drafted a response on Dec. 13, 1968, admitting no pattern of wrongdoing. “In direct refutation of this [Glen’s] portrayal,” Powell wrote, “is the fact that relations between Americal soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent.”

Exposing My Lai

It would take another Americal Division veteran, an infantryman named Ron Ridenhour, to piece together the truth about the atrocity at My Lai. After returning to the United States, Ridenhour interviewed Americal comrades who had participated in the massacre.

On his own, Ridenhour compiled this shocking information into a report and forwarded it to the Army inspector general. The IG’s office conducted an aggressive official investigation, in contrast to Powell’s review. Courts martial were held against officers and enlisted men who were implicated in the murder of the My Lai civilians.

In his memoir, Powell did not mention his brush-off of Tom Glen’s complaint, but did include another troubling recollection that belied a statement in his 1968 report, in which he had denied that U.S. soldiers “without provocation or justification shoot at the people themselves.”

“I recall a phrase we used in the field, MAM, for military-age male,” Powell wrote. “If a helo spotted a peasant in black pajamas who looked remotely suspicious, a possible MAM, the pilot would circle and fire in front of him.

“If he moved, his movement was judged evidence of hostile intent, and the next burst was not in front, but at him. Brutal? Maybe so. But an able battalion commander with whom I had served at Gelnhausen [West Germany], Lt. Col. Walter Pritchard, was killed by enemy sniper fire while observing MAMs from a helicopter.

“And Pritchard was only one of many. The kill-or-be-killed nature of combat tends to dull fine perceptions of right and wrong.”

While it’s certainly true that combat is brutal and judgments can be clouded by fear, the mowing down of unarmed civilians in cold blood does not constitute combat. It is murder and a war crime.

Neither can the combat death of a fellow soldier be cited as an excuse to murder civilians. That was precisely the rationalization that the My Lai killers cited in their own defense.

A Murder Case

After returning home from Vietnam in 1969, Powell was drawn into another Vietnam controversy involving the killing of civilians. In a court martial, Powell sided with an Americal Division general who was accused by the Army of murdering unarmed civilians while flying over Quang Ngai province.

Helicopter pilots who flew Brig. Gen. John W. Donaldson had alleged that the general gunned down civilian Vietnamese almost for sport.

In an interview in 1995, a senior Army investigator from the Donaldson case told me that two of the Vietnamese victims were an old man and an old woman who were shot to death while bathing.

Though long retired – and quite elderly himself – the Army investigator spoke with a raw disgust about the events of a quarter century earlier. He requested anonymity before talking about the behavior of senior Americal officers.

“They used to bet in the morning how many people they could kill – old people, civilians, it didn’t matter,” the investigator said. “Some of the stuff would curl your hair.”

For eight months at Americal headquarters in Chu Lai during 1968-69, Powell had worked with Donaldson and apparently developed a great respect for this superior officer. When the Army charged Donaldson with murder on June 2, 1971, Powell rose in the general’s defense.

Powell submitted an affidavit dated Aug. 10, 1971, which lauded Donaldson as “an aggressive and courageous brigade commander.” Powell added that helicopter forays in Vietnam had been an “effective means of separating hostiles from the general population.”

In the 1995 interview, the old Army investigator told me that “we had him [Donaldson] dead to rights,” with the testimony of two helicopter pilots who had flown Donaldson on his shooting expeditions.

Still, the investigation collapsed after the two pilot-witnesses were transferred to another Army base and apparently came under pressure from military superiors. The two pilots withdrew their testimony, and the Army dropped all charges against Donaldson.

But this complex and troubling history of Powell’s time in Vietnam is routinely white-washed by Washington journalists who uniformly treat Powell with the respect owed a genuine war hero. The U.S. news media’s fawning over Colin Powell also has not been a victimless exercise.

By holding Powell up as a near-perfect hero, journalists have allowed Powell to steer public opinion at key moments – from his work containing the Iran-Contra scandal in the late 1980s, to his political embrace of George W. Bush during the Florida recount battle in 2000, to his selling of the Iraq War in 2003, to his support for Bush’s second term in 2004. [For more details on Powell’s record, see our book Neck Deep.]

Now, at this late date, the Washington press corps doesn’t want to spoil its splendid narrative of Colin Powell’s heroic career by concentrating too much on his role on Bush’s Principals Committee as it oversaw torture.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.

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Posted in 9/11, CIA, George W. Bush, Nancy Pelosi, waterboarding | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

President, Murderer, Lecturer, Author

Posted by terres on March 22, 2009

What Can Bush Teach Us?

by Ralph Nader

George W. Bush is hitting the lecture circuit. Represented by the Washington Speakers Bureau, Mr. Bush for a fee of at least $150,000 flew up to Calgary, Canada and spoke to a conservative business audience amidst street protests.

protest-bush-3As protesters outside carried signs urging Bush to be tried as a war criminal, the former president hinted that incarcerating and interrogating suspected terrorists without trial at Guantanamo was the right thing to do. Calgary Herald. Image may be subject to copyright.

He also has signed a book contract with Crown Publishers tentatively titled “Decision Points” about a dozen personal and presidential decisions ranging from giving up booze to choosing Dick Cheney to invading Iraq.

Now that he is becoming a lecturer and an author, why not also be a teacher? The 43rd president has much to teach Americans about how weak their democracy is—rights, institutions, processes and the sovereignty of the people.

His first lecture to students could be how he and Cheney violated, circumvented and trampled our Constitution. It was as if they replaced the opening preamble of “we, the people” with “we, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.”

Early in his Administration, Mr. Bush showed a determination to pick up on King George III and root himself in something called “the inherent powers of the Presidency,” often called the “unitary Presidency.” With that, King George IV was establishing his unilateral kingdom, though instead of invoking his divine right, his mantra was the “war on Terror.”

He became the most recidivist criminal president, the most variously impeachable president on a regular day-to-day basis in American history. Violating repeatedly our Constitution, laws and treaties, Mr. Bush warred, terrorized, tortured, imprisoned without charges, illegally snooped on masses of Americans and set a record for signing statements saying he “the decider” would determine which laws he signed he would obey and when. And that’s just what is public knowledge so far from a very secretive regime.

The ways this outlaw President devastated the rule of law has been well documented in many firsthand accounts of former members of his government in the military, intelligence, and diplomatic service. The lies and deceptions that took our country to war, with immense loss of life and limb, and turned the rights and lives of millions of families upside down have been the material of many books, public hearings and admissions. Even the conservative American Bar Association condemned the Bush White House three times for unconstitutional practices.

Mr. Bush taught us how cowardly the Congress could be in not defending its constitutional authorities and the crucial checks and balances to hold the White House accountable. He taught us the degree of abdication by the major opposition Democratic Party which allowed him and his ilk to do what they did and to leave office on January 20, 2009 without being subjected to impeachment and trial, without even being subjected to a Congressional censure resolution.

He taught us that the courts, with few exceptions, cannot be counted on to defend the constitution from the marauding President—avoiding doing so by excuses that these seizures of power are “political questions.” Sure, Bush going to war without a declaration of war is too political?  Tell that to Jefferson, Madison and other founding fathers who made a big matter out of taking away the war-making authority from any future would-be monarch and decisively repositing it with the Congress.

He taught us how easily you could fool, manipulate, delay or intimidate the mainstream media into becoming a cheerleader for war and a collaborator in covering up what a few intrepid reporters uncovered.

He showed that truth is indeed the first casualty of war and that lies have no consequences for him other than a 70% disapproval rating.

He did tell the truth, however, when he announced to a big business audience in Texas early in his first term that they were “his base.” Acting like a corporation masquerading as a human in the White House, Mr. Bush pursued policies unleashing the greed and control of Wall Street that tanked the economy and destroyed trillions of dollars of the people’s money in an orgy of reckless speculation.

bush-protest1
About 300 protesters greeted Bush with banners in Calgary, and attempted  to hamper his lecture. Photo
submitted by a reader, source unknown. Image may be subject to copyright.

As Jamal Simmons wrote recently, “Unlike the story of King Midas, everything Bush touched turned to coal.”

Mr. Bush threw the gauntlet down to 800,000 American lawyers and unlike the marching Pakistani lawyers, only a handful such as Michael Greco, Ramsay Clark, David Cole and Jonathan Turley took up his challenge. The vast majority of lawyers went about their own business, shrugging off what it means to be “officers of the court.”

Bush, former American Caesar tore the pretense off our democratic pretensions. By not holding him and his top collaborators responsible for violating the constitutional, criminal and civil laws of the land, those persons, entrusted with their observance, took a holiday. These outrageous practices—still unchecked—are becoming institutionalized as illustrated in the several (but not all) ways that President Obama is continuing Bush’s legacy of license.

Democracies when they are eroded must show resiliency to recover and strengthen what was lost by way of freedom and justice. Otherwise the erosions fester and deepen. Who, you might ask, must be the tribunes of such resiliency? You will not find them now in officialdom.

The wise early twentieth century judge, Learned Hand, gave us the compass. He wrote these words: “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.”

End.

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Posted in Congress, King George III, King Midas, unitary Presidency, war on terror | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Out Damn Blot: A Letter to Colin Powell

Posted by terres on August 18, 2008

By Ray McGovern
August 15, 2008

Source: Consortium News

Dear Colin,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Did You Know…and When?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Iraqi Foreign Minister

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Chief of Iraqi Intelligence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sabri vs. Curveball

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outright Lies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Here’s Your Opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bush Visits CIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think about it.

With all due respect,

Ray McGovern

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

Posted in Baghdad, GENOCIDE, George W Butcher of Baghdad, human rights, Iraq, Israel, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Did You Know?

Posted by terres on June 19, 2008

Arizona Legislator Karen Johnson Asks McCain to Meet on 9/11

Jun 3, 2008

Johnson’s letter requests that McCain allow a meeting with Scottsdale professor, Blair Gadsby, who has been on a hunger strike outside McCain’s office on 16th Street for nine days.


Senator Karen Johnson: “More than six years after 9/11, we still have not had a thorough investigation of the causes of that tragedy. I am so impressed by the research of Dr. Steven Jones, Frank Legge, Tony Szamboti, David Ray Griffin, and so many others. My concern deepens every time I read a new article. As the evidence of controlled demolition mounts, my desire for a new investigation increases. I want to add my voice to the voices of AE for 911 Truth.”


Blair Gadsby is hungry for 9/11 Truth, as is Senator Johnson, sitting beside him.

Arizona state senator Karen Johnson [R-18] today delivered a letter to the office of U.S. Senator John McCain asking him to meet with a group of professionals to discuss the events of 9/11 when terrorists hijacked four airplanes and attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. One plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

Johnson recently announced her support for a new, independent investigation of 9/11. “Even the chairman of the commission has announced his dissatisfaction with the report,” said Johnson. “Anyone who reads the report can see that much was left out and that there are many discrepancies,” she said.

Johnson’s letter requests that McCain allow a meeting with Scottsdale professor, Blair Gadsby, who has been on a hunger strike outside McCain’s office on 16th Street for nine days. Gadsby has arranged for architect Richard Gage and physicist Steven Jones to meet with McCain at his convenience to present evidence of controlled demolition gathered from the ruins of Ground Zero. Gage is the founder of Archetects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth – a group consisting of hundreds of building professionals who want Congress to open up a new investigation of 9/11. Dr. Jones is a physicist who has done laboratory analysis of residue from the rubble of the World Trade Center and found evidence of explosives. Both Gage and Jones believe that the Twin Towers and Building 7 collapsed as a result of explosives that were planted in the buildings before September 11.

“Their evidence is very significant,” said Johnson, “because it wasn’t presented to the 9/11 Commission when they did their original investigation, and it completely changes the conclusions of the Commission. There’s nothing wrong with going back and having another look. If the Commission didn’t have all the facts, then so be it. But we need to know what happened on 9/11. Nearly 3,000 Americans died that day, and we deserve to know the truth about what happened. It’s time to get to the bottom of this.”

Johnson and Hunger-Striker Gadsby want McCain to allow Jones and Gage to present the evidence to him. “Senator McCain wants to be elected to the highest office in this country,” said Senator Johnson, “and he needs to know the truth about 9/11. Finding answers to 9/11 should be a significant part of this presidential campaign. The events of 9/11 led to this war with Iraq, to the creation of the Dept. of Homeland Security, to the loss of habeus corpus, the use of wiretaps, the push for a national ID, and other legislation that deprives us of freedom. This is a very significant issue, and no one is discussing it. Our presidential candidates need to talk about this.” (Source)

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Posted in bush, environment, GENOCIDE, human rights, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Iraq: That Expensive Hellhole of Genocide

Posted by terres on April 25, 2008

Gen. George, “One-Eyed” Monster, the Pious Bastard Blair, Iraqi Genocide, Human and Monetary Costs

The three trillion dollar war: The cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have grown to staggering proportions ~ Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes

“The only war in our history which cost more was the Second World War, when 16.3 million U.S. troops fought in a campaign lasting four years, at a total cost (in 2007 dollars, after adjusting for inflation) of about $5 trillion (that’s $5 million million, or £2.5 million million). With virtually the entire armed forces committed to fighting the Germans and Japanese, the cost per troop (in today’s dollars) was less than $100,000 in 2007 dollars. By contrast, the Iraq war is costing upward of $400,000 per troop.”


Illustration by Edward Sorel. Vanity Fair (Image may be subject to copyright.) See RTSF Fair Use Notice.

“As the fifth year of the war draws to a close, operating costs (spending on the war itself, what you might call “running expenses”) for 2008 are projected to exceed $12.5 billion a month for Iraq alone, up from $4.4 billion in 2003, and with Afghanistan the total is $16 billion a month. Sixteen billion dollars is equal to the annual budget of the United Nations, or of all but 13 of the US states. Even so, it does not include the $500 billion we already spend per year on the regular expenses of the Defense Department. Nor does it include other hidden expenditures, such as intelligence gathering, or funds mixed in with the budgets of other departments.” (Source)

War On Iraq: The Costs

  • Number of Iraqis wounded: UNKNOWN
  • Other Coalition Troops deaths: 309
  • Number of foreign mercenaries killed and wounded in Iraq: UNKNOWN

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Posted in # Pelosi, bush, Hillary Klinton, human rights, Israel, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Arrest Abdullah, He Is a War Criminal!

Posted by terres on November 1, 2007

Arrest Abdullah, He Is a War Criminal!

‘King’ Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is a war criminal like GW Bush, Tony Blair, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell …. Without Abdullah’s approval, his financial and material support for ‘the coalition of the willing’ and their mercenaries, the Iraqi genocide would not have occurred.


Abdullah of Arabia: Complicit in Iraqi Genocide

He should be arrested and detained by the British police while he is visiting London until he can be formally indicted for complicity in genocide.

Submitted by Harry Saloor
Founder
The Management School of
Restorative Business (MSRB)

Related links: [Updated Nov. 1]

How nice that we make King Abdullah feel at home
King Abdullah flies in to lecture on terrorism?
Shouts of ‘murderers’ and ‘torturers’ greet King Abdullah on Palace tour
Boos and catcalls cloud state visit of Saudi king
Lib Dems boycott Saudi king visit in arms-deal protest
A Saudi state visit: five jumbo jets, 100 servants… several wives
Coalition of the willing? Make that war criminals
War Crimes
US War Crimes During the Gulf War
Exporting Democracy to the Middle East
After Baker-Hamilton: What to Do in Iraq
The Saudis are responsible for most of the violence and terrorism that is going on in Iraq
The Saudis are responsible for the bulk of suicide bombings
Guns and money are flowing across the Saudi-Iraq border in vast quantities

Posted in America, GENOCIDE, Iran, Iraq, King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia, war on terror | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »