Crusaders

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.

Recidivist

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after the furor over the Abu Ghraib abuses, the presidential sanctioning of harsh interrogation tactics had not been rescinded.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.