Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, The nation that keeps faith.” [The quote appears over an image of tanks entering an Iraqi city]

In a lengthy article on Donald Rumsfeld’s rocky tenure as Defense Secretary, GQ published never-before-seen cover sheets from top-secret intelligence briefings produced by Rumsfeld’s Pentagon. Starting in the days surrounding the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the cover sheets featured inspirational Bible verses printed over military images, “and were delivered by Rumsfeld himself to the White House” to the president, “who referred to America’s war on terror as a ‘crusade,’” GQ writes.


Oops, Bush’s secret executive order connects him directly to Abu Ghraib and he kept torture provisions in place after Abu Ghraib went public, rotten apples in his head forcing his hand to sign things maybe? (ht2 Otto)

Senior FBI agents stationed in Iraq in 2004 alleged in an e-mail that President George W. Bush signed an executive order approving the use of dogs, sleep  deprivation and other tactics to intimidate Iraqi detainees.

The FBI e-mail — dated May 22, 2004 — followed disclosures about abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and sought guidance on whether FBI agents in Iraq were obligated to report the U.S. military’s harsh interrogation of inmates when that treatment violated FBI standards but fit within the guidelines of a presidential executive order.

According to the e-mail, Bush’s executive order authorized interrogators to use military dogs, “stress positions,” sleep “management,” loud music and “sensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc.” to extract information from detainees in Iraq, which would is considered a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Bush has never before been directly linked to authorizing specific interrogation techniques at Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib.

The May 2004 FBI e-mail stated that the FBI interrogation team in Iraq understood that despite revisions in the executive order that occurred after the furor over the Abu Ghraib abuses, the presidential sanctioning of harsh interrogation tactics had not been rescinded.

“I have been told that all interrogation techniques previously authorized by the executive order are still on the table but that certain techniques can only be used if very high-level authority is granted,” the author of the FBI e-mail said.

Posted in Torture, War on Terror Scam. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Recidivist

Try To Act Surprised- US Evidence of Iranian WMD, A Bit Forge-y

(ht2 Naj) Oh yes, the Laptop of Death only single celled organisms found credible suffers another blow (Iran version not the FARC one, hmmm notice a pattern?- US enemies, conveniently incriminating laptop, since found to be dodgy- like we’d fall for WMD lies…), Investigative reporter Gareth Porter-

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has obtained evidence suggesting that documents which have been described as technical studies for a secret Iranian nuclear weapons-related research program may have been fabricated.

The documents in question were acquired by U.S. intelligence in 2004 from a still unknown source — most of them in the form of electronic files allegedly stolen from a laptop computer belonging to an Iranian researcher. The US has based much of its push for sanctions against Iran on these documents.

The new evidence of possible fraud has increased pressure within the IAEA secretariat to distance the agency from the laptop documents, according to a Vienna-based diplomatic source close to the IAEA, who spoke to RAW STORY on condition of anonymity.

The laptop documents include what the IAEA has described in a published report as technical drawings of efforts to redesign the nosecone of the Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missile “to accommodate a nuclear warhead.” The documents are also said to include studies on the use of a high explosive detonation system, drawings of a shaft apparently to be used for nuclear tests, and studies on a bench-scale uranium conversion facility.

These technical papers, along with some correspondence related to the alleged secret Iranian program — referred to by the IAEA as “alleged studies” — have been the primary basis during 2008 for the insistence by the US-led international coalition pushing for sanctions against Iran that the Iranian case must be kept going in the United Nations Security Council. Read the rest of this entry »

Petraeus Takes Over US Military Central Command

General David Petraeus, the former commander of US forces in Iraq, has taken charge of the US military’s Central Command. Petraeus, 55, will now oversee US forces in the Middle East, east Africa and Central Asia after being sworn in at a ceremony at the centre’s headquarters in Tampa, Florida, on Friday.

Presiding over the ceremony, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, praised Petraeus as “the pre-eminent soldier-scholar-statesman of his generation and precisely the man we need at this command at this time. Under his leadership, our troops have dealt our enemies in Iraq a tremendous blow. Now, he will take aim at our adversaries in Afghanistan,”

Gates then went to say- “David invented the computer, the space shuttle, he will soon release cures for cancer and AIDS and is a shoe in American Idol ’09. Just because several generals refused the Bush regimes insanity and Davey was the first careerist fundamentalist Christian to do whatever was asked and put a political spin on it (and big D, I’m right there for you on the Palin/Petraeus ’12 ticket) does not in any way mean he is a cack handed yes man dominionist who nevertheless is revered as a god by our cheerleading bloodthirsty corporate media (as am I, hey you never hear my name tagged with Iran-Contra, result!). Also he can fly and is bullet proof. Becky, I’m leaving you.”

How Iran Helped The US Fight Al Qaeda

Via Iran Affairs the AP (hmmm) report on the help Iran gave America after 9/11 yet the Bush regime (and it’s difficult not to see the hand of AIPAC & the neocons as a major factor here) took the help and in return called them part of the ‘axis of evil’. It’s a common story, how the world was horrified by 9/11 but the Bush regime managed to turn that solidarity into contempt by reacting as it did. Using the attacks as cover for a pre-determined set of bloody imperial polices & domestic repression that bore no relation to dealing with the attacks and their causes.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an effort to help the United States counter al-Qaida after the 9/11 attack, Iran rounded up hundreds of Arabs who had crossed the border from Afghanistan, expelled many of them and made copies of nearly 300 of their passports, a former Bush administration official said Tuesday. The copies were sent to Kofi Annan, the U.N. secretary-general, who passed them on to the United States, while U.S. interrogators were given a chance by Iran to question some of the detainees, Hillary Mann Leverett said in an Associated Press interview.

Leverett, who said she negotiated with Iran for the Bush administration in the 2001-3 period, said Iran sought a broader relationship with the United States. “They thought they had been helpful on al-Qaida, and they were,” she said. For one thing, she said, suspected al-Qaida operatives were not given sanctuary in Iran. Some administration officials took the view, however, that Iran had not acknowledged all likely al-Qaida members nor provided access to them, Leverett said. Many of the expelled Arabs were deported to Saudi Arabia and to other Arab and Muslim countries, even though Iran had poor relations with the Saudi monarchy and some other countries in the region, Leverett said.

James F. Dobbins, the Bush administration’s chief negotiator on Afghanistan in late 2001, said that Iran was “comprehensively helpful” in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack in working to overthrow the Taliban and collaborating with the United States in installing the Karzai government in Kabul. Iranian diplomats made clear at the time they were looking for broader cooperation with the United States, but the Bush administration was not interested, the author of “After the Taliban: Nation-Building in Afghanistan,” said in a separate interview. The Bush administration has acknowledged contacts with Iran over the years even while denouncing Iran as part of an “axis of evil” and declining to consider a resumption of diplomatic relations.

“It isn’t something that is talked about,” Leverett said in describing Iran’s role during a forum at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan policy institute. Leverett and her husband, Flynt Leverett, a former career CIA analyst and a former National Security Council official, jointly proposed the next U.S. president seek a “grand bargain” with Iran to settle all major outstanding differences.

“The next president needs to reorient U.S. policy toward Iran as fundamentally as President Nixon did with China in the 1970s,” Flynt Leverett said. Among the provisions: The United States would clarify that it is not seeking change in the nature of the Iranian regime but rather in its policies, while Iran would agree to “certain limits” on its nuclear program. Iran considers most of its neighbors as enemies. Among its incentives for improving U.S. relations is that they feel that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would be less provocative, the Leveretts said.

I’m guessing this won’t puncture the bubble of presidential campaign/financial thing obsessed homeland media, especially as the level of debate the right perpetuates is a flavour of imperial functioning racism with eliminationist goals –Obama’s middle name is Hussein, so he’s a terrorist like all Arabs & Muslims, we must kill them all– (not to mention Iranians are erm, not Arabs). Still, what can be expected from an administration led by a man who was unaware there were two major sects of Islam before invading Iraq.

PS. Apparently the police in Ohio are not treating the gas attack on a mosque as a terrorist act or a hate crime while the rubbish & hateful ‘Obsession’ DVD continues to be distributed by a well funded secretive hate group that maintains that crucial polite deniable distance from the McCain campaign.

Bush Rejects Iranian Diplomacy

Via Monte @ Stop the Second Holocaust

Asia Times, Kaveh L Afrasiabi – By announcing that the United States is no longer interested in opening a consular office in Iran, the George W Bush administration has forfeited a golden opportunity for a timely diplomatic breakthrough with Iran. Instead, it prefers to exit the White House with a veneer of foreign policy consistency, given Bush’s labeling of Iran as a member of the “axis of evil”, along with Iraq and North Korea.

This announcement came a day after a major foreign policy speech by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York at which he used the opportunity to reiterate Iran’s genuine interest in this possibility.

Responding to a question, Mottaki even went further and expressed his frustration with the US government, wondering aloud how much longer Iran should wait for Washington’s “official request” to open an interest section in Tehran. Not only that, Mottaki also stated clearly and unambiguously Iran’s willingness to consider a “freeze-for-freeze” option on its nuclear program. In terms of this, for six weeks or so Iran would freeze its uranium-enrichment activities in exchange for a reciprocal freeze in the implementation of sanctions on Iran. Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, has echoed Mottaki on this subject and, yet, Iran’s new signs of compromise have fallen on deaf ears in the US.

One can only speculate on the stated and hidden reasons behind the White House’s decision to discard a realistic step toward rapprochement with Iran and to completely ignore Tehran’s strong signals welcoming this idea. US commentators have focused on the opposition by Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain, who in his debate with his Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, reiterated his steadfast objection to any direct contacts with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Had Bush given a green light to a diplomatic presence in Iran, it would have undermined McCain’s foreign policy objectives, benefiting Obama.

But, more than the election concerns, the role and influence of pro-Israel lobbyists deserves consideration. This is in light of Israel’s constant alarms about Iran’s nuclear program and a seeming growing willingness to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities in the name of Israel’s national security.

Whatever the primary reason behind Bush’s decision not to initiate a mini-breakthrough with Iran during his waning days in office. it simply means that no major changes in the US’s Iran policy will be introduced under the outgoing administration and the policy options on Iran remain wide open for the next president.

Bush’s decision is yet another blunder that ranks with the negative reaction of the White House to an Iranian peace initiative in 2003. The US scolded the Swiss diplomats who had funneled the comprehensive peace proposal, and then rejected it without a pause for reflection.

Once In A Lifetime

Handel arranged the first performance of The Messiah as a benefit to raise money to bail debtors out of Irish debtors’ prisons, and every year the oratorio was repeated for that charitable purpose. Martin Luther warned about the mathematics of compound interest as the monster Cacus, devouring all. Yet Luther’s denunciations of usury are excluded from his collected works in English, and are available in this language only in Vol. III of Marx’s Capital and Book III of his Theories of Surplus Value. The discussion of interest and banking has become so marginalized that even when I taught money and banking at the New School in New York City in the late 1960s and early  ‘70s, it was not part of the core curriculum but treated as a special topic. (Fortunately, that is not the case where I am now happily situated at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. But it took a long time to get here.)

Behind this shift in legislative choice was the perception that no economy can keep up with the burden of debts growing at exponential rates faster than the economy itself is growing. No economy can grow at steady exponential rates; only debts can multiply in this way. That is why Mr. Paulson’s $700 billion giveaway to his Wall Street colleagues cannot work.

What it can do is provide a one-time transfer of wealth to insiders who already have been playing the debt-credit system and siphoning off its predatory financial proceeds to themselves. The Wall Street bankers, brokers and fund managers to whom I’ve been speaking for many decades all know this. That is why they pay themselves such large annual bonuses and large salaries each year. The idea is to take as much as you can. As the saying goes: “You only have to make a fortune once in a lifetime.” They have been salting away their fortunes year after year, mainly in hard assets: real estate (free of mortgages), fine furniture, boats and trophy art. One last $700 billion heist and they can make their getaway.


According to the NYT

Judges around the world have long looked to the decisions of the United States Supreme Court for guidance, citing and often following them in hundreds of their own rulings since the Second World War. But now American legal influence is waning. Even as a debate continues in the court over whether its decisions should ever cite foreign law, a diminishing number of foreign courts seem to pay attention to the writings of American justices.

The story is similar around the globe, legal experts say, particularly in cases involving human rights. These days, foreign courts in developed democracies often cite the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning equality, liberty and prohibitions against cruel treatment, said Harold Hongju Koh, the dean of the Yale Law School. In those areas, Dean Koh said, “they tend not to look to the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Another reason is the diminished reputation of the United States in some parts of the world, which experts here and abroad said is in part a consequence of the Bush administration’s unpopularity abroad.

Err, no. They are not cited, because they endorse criminal actions, which is y’know sort of like the opposite of what courts sort of are meant to do, is that too complex a concept for the ‘post 911 mindest’? Whether it’s a war of aggression, surveillance, retroactive immunity for corporations or TORTURE. The US courts are utterly corrupted, no it’s not friggin’ Bush’s rep, it is because it is a criminal regime running a brutal empire cancerous with insularist nationalism, and soft soaping it for the Homeland’s audience ain’t gonna help.

Cat Exits Bag

Our government conspired with the US in rendition and torture and now…the High Court just ordered them to release the evidence-

British security services colluded in the unlawful detention and facilitated the interrogation of a British resident detained in Afghanistan six years ago, the high court ruled today.

Two judges ordered the foreign secretary to hand over to Binyam Mohamed’s legal team secret information that could support his case that he was tortured in Pakistan and Morocco before being sent to Guantánamo Bay.

The judges said the court had established that the British secret service facilitated the questioning of Mohamed. “By seeking to interview BM in the circumstances found [in Pakistan] and supplying information and questions for his interviews, the relationship between the United Kingdom government and the United States authorities was far beyond that of bystander or witness to the alleged wrongdoing.”

During the hearing of the case, Dinah Rose QC, for Mohamed, said he was tortured after his detention in Pakistan. He was rendered to Morocco where he was subjected to more prolonged and brutal torture after being made to “disappear”, she said.

The former Kensington caretaker alleges he was repeatedly slashed in the genitals with a razor blade while being held in Morocco. Finally, he was rendered to Guantánamo, where he has spent the past four years.

The lawyer told the judges the US authorities denied that Mohamed had been subjected to extraordinary rendition or torture. But there were strong grounds for believing that MI6 and MI5 held independent evidence supporting his story of torture.

Lawyers for the Foreign Office argued at the hearing that the government had acted within its powers and was not legally obliged to make the disclosures sought. The foreign secretary was entitled to proceed on the basis that the US legal system would safeguard Mohamed’s rights, they said.

To disclose the documents sought would cause serious damage to national security, it was submitted. A significant part of the case took place in closed session due to the sensitivity of much of the material before the court.

The Government has repeatedly lied, dragged it’s heels, denied and again has been ordered to ‘fess up, what will they do? Binyam Mohamed has been an ‘unperson’ for six years, his health both mental and physical are catastrophically compromised and while some are swooning over Miliband he is personally culpable in covering up the kidnapping and torture of Mohamed. Which makes him  a crook as far as I am concerned, sorry boy wonder fans. This is what our government and the Bush regime have conspired together to do to Binyam Mohamed-

Mr Stafford Smith said: “The urgency is underlined today because Mr Mohamed has been repeatedly smearing his cell walls with faeces. This is not because Mr Mohamed is trying to violate the rules (as the US military apparently believes), but because of his mental instability. The military’s response is to cut the water to his cell off, compounding an obvious health hazard.”

A preliminary medical opinion, commissioned by Reprieve, has found Mr Mohamed to be suffering from severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr Daniel Creson, a respected psychiatrist from Texas who has extensive experience in the treatment of the victims of torture, warns that the deterioration in Mr Mohamed’s health suggests that he “is reaching the end of his psychological tether”.

Craig Murray famously was forced out of the Foreign Office & harassed because he made a stand, he did not go along with covering up torture and the government’s use of information gained under it [and in this pathetic world where morons support torture –well Jack Bauer does it and he’s kewl– I sadly need to point out: Information gained under torture, apart from it being absolutely immoral to do so, is largely worthless, any good professional interrogator will tell you that. What would you say -kidnapped for years in a foreign dungeon, disappeared by the most powerful military empire on earth- not to have the razor cut into your genitals again? Torture is about realising and validating the perpetrators reality through the medium of others suffering, it’s also a basic tactic of control through terrorism].

The government has for years covered up its cooperation with the Bush regime in the worst behaviour any malevolent tyranny can summon. Every single utterance from this government’s mouth about rights, responsibilities, fairness and justice fall as ash from their criminal lips. They are lying snivelling cowards, a mockery of civilisation. Admit your crimes and take the consequences and unlike you victims you will not be disappeared & tortured and you will be afforded a full & open trial under the law. Because that’s how decent people on planet Earth do things, their governments may fight against that, but from Burma to Iran to Colombia to China to everywhere, people know right from wrong and they stand up for it. Pity you didn’t have the spine to defend our country in the most important and profound way a leadership can by supporting liberty & open democracy and preventing, not helping, the pre-planned criminal attack on Iraq. Instead you did what all the other corrupt elites do, entrench your power with paranoia, nationalism, terror and lies.

Pakistani Democracy Healthier Than American

It’s called -impeachment- people and they are doing it right in Pakistan, to coincidentally a close ally of George Bush-

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who is facing impeachment by parliament, says he will resign. The charges against the president include violation of the constitution and gross misconduct.

And as bad as Pervy is (let’s remember he was a military dictator) he didn’t actually lie his country into invading another nation thousands of miles away on another continent and killing over a million of its people and making refugees of another 5 million. No, only Empires bastions of freedom and democracy do that apparently. So really Democratic leadership your refusal to impeach looks not like politics anymore but what it really is- an imperial bipartisan conspiracy of the guilty. Pelosi!

‘Missing’ Or In A US Ghost Site?

First the US government version-

Siddiqui was shot in the abdomen last month when the United States says she tried to fire on a group of American troops who wanted to question her in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province. She had resurfaced after being declared missing for five years by human rights groups. The United States flew her to New York from Afghanistan last week and charged her with attempting to kill and assault U.S. soldiers.

Or (again)-

Siddiqui’s family and activists think that she was in the hands of Pakistani intelligence and then handed over to the United States. Several former detainees at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan have said they heard the screams of a woman, who’s been dubbed “The Gray Lady of Bagram.” Fauzia Siddiqui, Aafia Siddiqui’s sister, and Yvonne Ridley, a British journalist turned human rights campaigner, said they think the cries came from Aafia Siddiqui, who they contend was physically and sexually abused at the air base.

…the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent organization, called the U.S. account a “cock and bull story.”

And the strange ‘arrest’ story-

The complaint says that she got hold of an officer’s M-4 rifle in an interrogation room and fired two shots, which missed. The officer used his pistol to fire back and hit her at least once in the torso, according to the charges.

Afghan police, however, said that U.S. soldiers demanded that local police hand over Siddiqui, but they refused, according to a report from Ghazni by the Reuters news agency. When the Americans disarmed the Afghan police at gunpoint, Siddiqui approached the Americans, complaining of mistreatment by the police, according to this account.

The U.S. troops, according to an unnamed Afghan police officer, “thinking that she had explosives and would attack them as a suicide bomber, shot her and took her,” Reuters reported.

Her lawyer-

Sharp also commented about Siddiqui’s current condition and in particular the gunshot wound she has received. Not having been given proper medical treatment for the wound, there is a real concern that it will become infected as it is believed to be septic. She is extremely weak and had to be wheeled into her legal visit.

Legal visits have also become a problem for Sharp and her client. They were only allowed to meet with Siddiqui in a cell behind glass with bars and their only method of communication was through the slot in the door used for food. Sharp was forced to bend over for the several hours of their meeting in order to listen and speak through the food slot. This resulted in extreme difficult for lawyer and client as they attempted to speak to one another. Sharp further commented:

“In that open situation, we were forced to keep our voices low as we were aware that we were video and tape recorded. The whole situation made it impossible for me to meet properly with my client.” Of great concern to Cageprisoners is the detention of Ahmed, the twelve-year-old son of Siddiqui who is still being detained in Afghanistan, alone and away from his mother, despite his status as a US citizen. It is imperative that the US place him in the custody of his relatives.

Yes folks that’s a 12 year old boy …god knows where, knowing what we do of the Bush regime he is probably being used as leverage on his mother- we’d sure hate accidentally lock him in a cell with 12 child rapists, but we get real stressed and forgetful when terrorists don’t admit their evil crimes.

Now after a week of being denied medical treatment a judge orders she receive attention-

NEW YORK (Reuters) A Pakistani woman suspected of links to al Qaeda and accused of trying to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan was examined by a doctor on Tuesday after complaining of pain from gunshot wounds, her lawyer said. Aafia Siddiqui, 36, a U.S.-trained neuroscientist, was ordered by a judge to receive urgent medical treatment after she appeared in court in a wheelchair and had been held in custody for a week without seeing a doctor.

What’s remarkable is this ‘missing ‘time is now being claimed by the Bush regime as nothing to do with them, they point to-

Since 2003, Siddiqui’s whereabouts have been the source of much speculation. According to Amnesty International, Siddiqui and her three small children were reported apprehended in Karachi, Pakistan, in March 2003 after the FBI issued at alert requesting information about her location earlier that month. Several reports indicated Siddiqui was in US custody after her arrest in Karachi. But in May 2004 then-Attorney General Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller identified Siddiqui among several sought-after al Qaeda members. Human rights group and a lawyer for Ms. Siddiqui, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, say they believe that she has been secretly detained since 2003, for much of that time at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

So if you trust Ashcroft and Mueller to be fully informed of ghost sites and therefore aware of who’s in or not in them (which is unlikely as it puts them in legal jeopardy) OR B/. being used by the Whitehouse to maintain a narrative which is not actually reality based. Or C/. Bureaucratic incompetence. Can you imagine such a thing? And as the case progresses do remember her ‘missing’ son, leverage…

Whitehouse Faked Letter To Tie Saddam To 911


Editor’s note: The letter mentioned in this report was first produced as “evidence” of a link between Saddam and Al-Qaeda by Daily Telegraph journalist Con-Coughlin. See related press releases by CASMII and Media Lens. Coughlin’s report was used by the British government as one of the main justifications of attacking Iraq.

A blockbuster new book from investigative journalist Ron Suskind adds another revelation to the growing canon demonstrating the lengths to which President Bush and members of his administration lied, misled and deceived the American people to pursue its invasion of Iraq.

Bush allegedly ordered the CIA to forge a handwritten letter from the head of Iraq’s intelligence service to Saddam Hussein that purported to link the Iraqi dictator to the ringleader of the hijackers who toppled the Twin Towers on 9/11, according to news accounts of Suskind’s new book, The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism. Such use of an intelligence service to influence domestic political debate could be an impeachable offense, Suskind writes.

Politico’s Mike Allen reports:
According to Suskind, the administration had been in contact with the director of the Iraqi intelligence service in the last years of Hussein’s regime, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti.

“The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,” Suskind writes. “It 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. There is no link.” […]
The author claims that such an operation, part of “false pretenses” for war, would apparently constitute illegal White House use of the CIA to influence a domestic audience, an arguably impeachable offense.

The faked letter was first reported as genuine by the conservative London Sunday Telegraph in December 2003. Right-wing commentators and Bush defenders harped on that disclosure as evidence of Saddam Hussein’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

According to Suskind’s book, the CIA had been protecting Habbush in the early months of the invasion; the agency persuaded the Iraqi intelligence chief to write the letter in his own handwriting and paid him $5 million. CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante reported Tuesday that Suskind’s sources had seen a draft of the letter written on White House stationary.

There is also a lot more to say about the activities of Con Coughlin (Con!) whose consistent role in disseminating intelligence and government propaganda make him as close to being in the pay of those agencies as makes no difference. He is currently the executive foreign editor of the Daily Telegraph, which shows their regard for their readers and journalistic ethics. However that’s a side issue to the fraudulent activities that enabled and was used to justify the murder of 1 million people, and still to this day supply the justifications to the pro-war fools. The scale of this crime is impossible to contemplate fully and the prospect of any accountability seems small as does any kind of justice. Then there are the revelations coming out about the anthrax attacks and the role of corporate media in propelling the Whitehouse story that aided the war cause. Like Dr David Kelly another dead scientist who can tell no tales that contradict the hastily constructed narrative.

We’re an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality.

How do you counter that?

Just So We’re Clear About This Occupation Thingy

You know when sometimes pro-war politicians are asked about withdrawal from Iraq and they act all innocent and shrug saying things like- We are there at the insistence of the democratically elected Iraqi government and When they want us to leave we will and Talk of withdrawal damages the democratically elected Iraq government’s security and that of our forces etc etc blah blah blah.

…in June 2006 in which al-Maliki circulated a draft policy calling for negotiation of just such a withdrawal timetable and the George W. Bush administration had to intervene to force the prime minister to drop it.

“We must agree on a time schedule to pull out the troops from Iraq, while at the same time building up the Iraqi forces that will guarantee Iraqi security, and this must be supported by a United Nations Security Council decision.”

That formula, linking a withdrawal timetable with the buildup of Iraqi forces, was consistent with the position taken by Sunni armed groups in their previous talks with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, which was that the timetable for withdrawal would be “linked to the timescale necessary to rebuild Iraq’s armed forces and security services”. One of the Sunni commanders who had negotiated with Khalilzad described the resistance position in those words to the London-based Arabic-language Alsharq al Awsat in May 2006.

The Iraqi government draft was already completed when Bush arrived in Baghdad Jun. 13 without any previous consultation with al-Maliki, giving the Iraqi leader five minutes’ notice that Bush would be meeting him in person rather than by videoconference.

The al-Maliki cabinet sought to persuade Bush to go along with the withdrawal provision of the document. In his press conference upon returning, Bush conceded that Iraqi cabinet members in the meeting had repeatedly brought up the issue of reconciliation with the Sunni insurgents.

In fact, after Bush had left, Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni, said he had asked Bush to agree to a timetable for withdrawal of all foreign forces. Then President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, released a statement of support for that request.

Nevertheless, Bush signaled his rejection of the Iraqi initiative in his Jun. 14 press conference, deceitfully attributing his own rejection of a timetable to the Iraqi government. “And the willingness of some to say that if we’re in power we’ll withdraw on a set timetable concerns people in Iraq,” Bush declared.

When the final version of the plan was released to the public Jun. 25, the offending withdrawal timetable provision had disappeared. Bush was insisting that the al-Maliki government embrace the idea of a “conditions-based” U.S. troop withdrawal. Khalilzad gave an interview with Newsweek the week the final reconciliation plan was made public in which he referred to a “conditions-driven roadmap”.

I mean only the weak of thinking buy that schtick about being there because the Iraqis want us to keep killling them some more stay, but this incident from June 06 needs to be thrown in their face anytime they try and pull that shit. Which y’know, is quite often.

Techno Lynch Mob

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — A defense lawyer lets slip at the war court convening here that a battlefield commander changed an Afghanistan firefight report in a way that seemed to help a U.S. government murder case. Reporters hear the field commander’s name but are forbidden to report it.

In another case, a judge approves the release of a captive’s interrogation video showing the blurred face of an American agent. But a federal prosecutor on loan to the Pentagon withholds it “out of an abundance of caution.”

Even as the U.S. government edges toward full-blown, war-crimes trials by military commission here, with more hearings next week, all sides are grappling with what information can be made public and what must be kept secret.

Consider: A new courtroom here sequesters Pentagon-approved spectators behind a soundproofed window. If a terror suspect tries to shout about his treatment in U.S. custody, a military censor can mute the audio feed that observers hear.

Under rules that protect interrogation techniques, the Pentagon’s war court won’t let the reputed 9/11 architect, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, say he was waterboarded — something the CIA director, Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, confirmed on Feb. 5.

Reporters and other observers must agree to a series of regulations that have no counterpart in the civilian court system. Journalists are forbidden, for example, to report anything uttered in court that a Pentagon security officer declares “protected information.”

Under the system, the Pentagon says the Office of Military Commissions — not the judge — has the last word on what the public can see. 

To call these things a ‘trial’ is akin to calling torture ‘enhanced interrogation’, oh… they already did that. The abyss is certainly staring back hard. Good German style Mushroom Soup.

Torture From The Top

Edited excerpts from the Vanity Fair piece The Green Light by Phillippe Sands, go read the whole piece here, it’s quite a polite article to say the least. Here are some of the main perpetrators, people who should be tried for war crimes, over torture, also many are responsible for the supreme crime- the invasion of Iraq:

  • George W. Bush, Dick Cheney & Donald Rumsfeld.
  • David Addington
  • Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver
  • Jay Bybee
  • Lieutenant General Bantz Craddock
  • Daniel Dell’Orto
  • Major General Michael E. Dunlavey
  • Douglas Feith
  • Alberto Gonzales
  • Jim Haynes
  • General Tom Hill
  • Major General Geoffrey Miller
  • General Richard Myers
  • Lieutenant Colonel Jerald Phifer
  • Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez
  • George Tenet
  • Paul Wolfowitz
  • John Yoo

John Yoo is a law professor at  Berkley in California, Larisa Alexandrovna has all the details to contact his employer and make them aware of your feelings that they are tolerating a war criminal in their midst. Here is his shit eating defence of some of his actions in a Wall Street Journal opinion column providing an illuminating insight into the self serving delusional worldview him and maybe many of the people listed above maintain.

In my efforts to get to the heart of this story, and its possible consequences, I visited a judge and a prosecutor in a major European city, and guided them through all the materials pertaining to the Guantánamo case. The judge and prosecutor were particularly struck by the immunity from prosecution provided by the Military Commissions Act. “That is very stupid,” said the prosecutor, explaining that it would make it much easier for investigators outside the United States to argue that possible war crimes would never be addressed by the justice system in the home country—one of the trip wires enabling foreign courts to intervene. For some of those involved in the Guantánamo decisions, prudence may well dictate a more cautious approach to international travel. And for some the future may hold a tap on the shoulder. 

The real story, pieced together from many hours of interviews with most of the people involved in the decisions about interrogation, goes something like this: The Geneva decision was not a case of following the logic of the law but rather was designed to give effect to a prior decision to take the gloves off and allow coercive interrogation; it deliberately created a legal black hole into which the detainees were meant to fall. The new interrogation techniques did not arise spontaneously from the field but came about as a direct result of intense pressure and input from Rumsfeld’s office. The Yoo-Bybee Memo was not simply some theoretical document, an academic exercise in blue-sky hypothesizing, but rather played a crucial role in giving those at the top the confidence to put pressure on those at the bottom.

The fingerprints of the most senior lawyers in the administration were all over the design and implementation of the abusive interrogation policies. Addington, Bybee, Gonzales, Haynes, and Yoo became, in effect, a torture team of lawyers, freeing the administration from the constraints of all international rules prohibiting abuse. Read the rest of this entry »

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