Ho-Hum

Chris Hedges– There is a lot riding on whom President Obama names as his special envoy to Iran. If, as expected, it is Dennis Ross, a former official of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, we will be in deep trouble. Ross, who is expected to be placed in charge of the Iranian portfolio this week, is a vocal supporter of Israel’s call for increased pressure on Iran. He is distrusted, even despised, in the Muslim world and especially in Tehran. With good reason, he is not viewed as an impartial broker.

And ta-da!

(Reuters) – U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross has been appointed special advisor on the Gulf and southwest Asia, which includes Iran, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the State Department announced on Monday.

Which Part of Commander In Chief Don’t They Understand?

Pardon my French, but isn’t this, y’know, a tad coup-y?

(IPS) – CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus, supported by Defence Secretary Robert Gates, tried to convince President Barack Obama that he had to back down from his campaign pledge to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months at an Oval Office meeting Jan. 21.

But Obama informed Gates, Petraeus and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen that he wasn’t convinced and that he wanted Gates and the military leaders to come back quickly with a detailed 16-month plan, according to two sources who have talked with participants in the meeting.

Obama’s decision to override Petraeus’s recommendation has not ended the conflict between the president and senior military officers over troop withdrawal, however. There are indications that Petraeus and his allies in the military and the Pentagon, including Gen. Ray Odierno, now the top commander in Iraq, have already begun to try to pressure Obama to change his withdrawal policy.

A network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilising public opinion against Obama’s decision.

And really no one, but no one, understands chain of command better than these upper echelon mamajammers. So, fire the warmongering right wing crypto-fascists.

Or.

It’s paving the way to blame Obama going back on his promises on the top brass, not that anyone should feel sorry for them, they are all full on Bush crime family scum (and y’know, de facto war criminals)

The machinations of Empire.

Empire of The Propagandised

WASHINGTON– The American public supports Israel in its military incursion into Gaza, according to a recent poll conducted by Ipsos.

The poll results published Tuesday show that 44% of Americans blame Hamas for the current conflict while only 14% blame Israel. Nine percent said both sides were to blame, and 29% were undecided.

Also, 57% of Americans thought that Hamas had used “excessive” force, whereas 44% thought that Israel had used “appropriate” force.

Regarding a resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, a surprising number of people were opposed to the two-state solution so often voiced by US leaders.

When asked whether the US should support the establishment of a Palestinian state, 45% answered negatively while just 31% answered positively, and 24% were undecided.

Raw Story Unredacts Iran

Remember when-

The New York Times has taken the unusual step of publishing an op-ed in which parts of the contents have been “redacted” or blacked out by government censors, who believe that its contents would reveal “sensitive” information that the White House wants to withold.

The authors Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann made available a set of publicly-available sources of information which they had “provided…to the board to demonstrate that all of the material the White House objected to is already in the public domain.” However, as they noted, “to make sense of much of our Op-Ed article, readers will have to read the citations for themselves.”

RAW STORY has examined these sources and has attempted to connect the previously published materials to the redacted paragraphs in the op-ed.

Go here.

Among the things you learn is…the Bush regime wanted Tehran to keep Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the brutal pro-Al Qaeda warlord, from returning to Afghanistan to lead jihadist resistance there.

Which Iran did, Bush then said in the January 2002 State of the Union address, how evil Iran was because they harboured Al Qaeda, ie he asked them to hold him there, they did, then Bush says they are harbouring a terrorist. See how that works?

There is also much about the MEK, Afghanistan and also the way Bush and Cheney turned down Iranian offers of talks. And all this redacted by the government in the NYT (free press?) in order to keep up the animosity towards Iran and cover up neocon lies in the service of more conflict. (ht2 Iran Affairs)

Magic Laptops Of Death Aren’t What They Used To Be

Or- Dead men tell no tales, but laptops can sing any tune the authorities want.

So…the Magic Laptop of Death procured via a cross border raid into Ecuador by Colombian ‘special’ forces, CIA ahem, (just to distinguish it for the Magic Laptop of Death the Bush regime procured which according to them show Iran has a super top secret nuclear weapons program that the 16 US intelligence agencies found no evidence of, ahem) hey wait a minute…seeing any common threads here. Anyways, the Magic Laptop of Death that was meant to be full of emails tying deceased (as in they whacked him & 25 others in the raid/ambush, most in their pj’s) FARC leader Raúl Reyes to the Empire’s public enemy Number 1, a Mr Huge Chávez along with various other nemeses of Washington & Uribe. Well, the thing is…um how shall I put this…Captain Ronald Hayden Coy Cortiz an anti-terrorism investigator of the Colombian police said under oath before the prosecution lawyers-

“We haven’t seen any e-mails, I haven’t found them so far. They found a large number of e-mail addresses, but Reyes kept these in a Word document and other Microsoft documents,” the investigator said in his testimony.

Coy Cortiz made the statements in the investigation of an Ecuadorean politician with alleged ties to the guerrillas. Several journalists and politicians are accused of having ties to the guerrillas.

Reyes was killed on March 1st, so there’s been plenty of time to find any emails on a laptop, even the shittiest IT support could manage that. So…that leaves the supporters of the Magic Laptop of Death super incrimination device a bit…fucked?

BoRev- (click for links) Yeah, so…this raises some questions, like–Christ where to begin?–what exactly were the “huge caches of Emails” the Colombians leaked to the Economist last March, that formed the basis for their big hyperventilating profile thingy here? And what was the “leaked Email” that Guardian reporter Rory Carroll intercepted in May, showing that the FARC might be about to secure money from the Venezuelans? And then what were the “dozens of e-mails in the rebel computers” that were shown to narcissist-retardist Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer last July? And what were the emails that Human Rights Watch said “raised serious questions about Venezuela’s relationship with the Colombian guerrillas”?

I guess the thing is when you get away with WMD lies about the most serious thing on Earth- a war, faking up shit on the odd laptop comes pretty easy as does slavish reporting on it by sympathetic hacks. Otto @ Inca Kola News who led the way on this also noted the suspiciously shiny newness of the 3 procured laptops-

It does remind me of the pristine condition of those laptops, as shown by Colombia to the world in May. That’s the official police photo above….I mean, just look at it. There’s not a scratch on those machines. Don’t you find that slightly weird for three pieces of computer equipment carried round the jungle by a bunch of terrorists? Don’t you find it weird after Reyes and his cohorts had the crap bombed out of them by several bombing runs and then commandos piling in to give them lesde grace a few minutes later? And then there was this story uncovered by Daniel Denvir.…the one about how the photos that Colombia leaked as from the FARC machines were proven to be Colombia intelligence snaps.

So will our news organs apologise (Carroll *cough*), mea culpas all round or as Otto says-

I find it amazing that yesterday’s revelation (no other word will do) there were no e-mails on the Raul Reyes FARC laptop computer hasn’t made any headlines this morning. I’ve just checked on Google and nobody’s running this story outside of fringe media in the Spanish language.

Surely you remember how world publications up to and including The Economist told us about the “huge caches of e-mails” that implicated the world and his wife (most notably Chávez, but natch natch and thrice natch, yeah?). In fact that Economist note is shown to be a very large crock, as it makes constant references to e-mails that (and get this very clear) do not exist.

This is, of course, precisely why the media won’t be dwelling much on this story. The news that the “thousands of e-mails” they used to whack those nasty lefty people over the head with do not exist is rather embarrassing. So in true style, the story will be ignored and spiked in newsrooms around the world. Not a single apology, not a single correction.

More background from The Real News Network back in May, who were somewhat more diligent in their reporting-

There May Be Trouble Ahead…

The US Department of Defense plans to deploy 20,000 troops nationwide by 2011 to help state and local officials respond to terror or nuclear attacks and emergencies, The Washington Post said Monday.

Citing Pentagon officials, the newspaper said the plan calls for three rapid-reaction forces.

The first 4,700-strong unit, built around an active-duty combat brigade, is based at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and is already available for deployment, according to General Victor Renuart, commander of the US Northern Command, it said.

Two additional groups will later join nearly 80 smaller National Guard and reserve units made up of about 6,000 troops to support local and state authorities nationwide, The Post said.

They will all would be trained to respond to domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive attacks.

The newspaper said that civil liberties groups and libertarians had expressed concern that the plan could undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old law restricting the military’s role in domestic law enforcement.

Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, dedicating 20,000 troops to domestic response — a nearly sevenfold increase in five years — “would have been extraordinary to the point of unbelievable,” Paul McHale, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, said in remarks last month noted by the Post. But the recognition that civilian authorities may be overwhelmed in a catastrophe [Hurricane Katrina might be used as an example] prompted “a fundamental change in military culture.”

Perfect shock doctrine sales pitch, you send the military and National Guard into an imperial war of conquest then allow a natural disaster and starved infrastructure to overwhelm the Gulf coast & New Orleans and bingo you get a nice reason to militarise society (even more, 1st BCT already deployed) and ensure the Pentagon keeps sucking up the cash…just as recession bites and the rich siphon off more than ever (banks got the bailout but you? Well they are probably about to close $2 trillion in credit lines, so um live within your means and work harder -hoping that means you get more income, not always a given eh?- Lost your job? Have you considered suicide prole scum?). This is a tell, they expect civil unrest as the corporatists of both parties remain unrepentant for the recession/depression they created. Deployment also gives the Pentagon more political power, what representative with troops deployed in their constituency will move against military spending and lose the troops vote (already any area with bases or industrial plants for war -not ‘defense’- is beholden to the almighty patrio war porn worship), so the Empire goes. This rightfully should be seen as another cost of the Iraq war, the army have crossed the Rubicon. 911/waronterror ™ the fig leaf for the lockdown. The real motor for this, unbound US imperialism, goes unmentioned largely even as its beneficiaries and salesmen are exposed.

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 »