Saturday, June 05, 2004

Online Exclusive... 27-Year CIA Vet Ray McGovern On George Tenet's Surprise Resignation.
George Tenet is clearly the first sacrificial lamb here. Things are going quite badly here in Washington. Somebody has to start being held accountable. And Tenet is sort of a tragic figure because he did all he could to help George Bush, much more than he should have as an objective intelligence professional. For example, the estimate that was prepared in September and October of 2002, which was used to persuade our Congress that Saddam Hussein was about to rain mushroom clouds upon us. That was George Tenet actually corrupting the Intelligence process to the policy that had already been decided.

Just speculating out loud; I wonder what kind of deal Tenet cut with BushCo. He could be the single most damaging witness to the fact that a political agenda guided Bush's policy toward Iraq and terrorism rather then cold hard facts. Facts that should have determinded policy.

Well as is well known, it has been the Pentagon that had sort of adopted Chalabi. The CIA and State department dismissed him as a swindler several years ago. I don’t see any direct connection there between George Tenet’s resignation and the Chalabi thing. But I must say that if it weren’t so sad, one could sort of, one could sort of focus and then say, well there’s poetic justice for you, you know? The folks that were running Chalabi or vice versa as the case may be that is, the folks that were being run by Chalabi, were the Neo-cons who are responsible for the fix that this country is in now in Iraq.

Chalabi may have been the straw that broke Tenet or Bush's back depending on your point of view. Bush has sought legal advice on the Plame affair and has supported Chalabi who either directly or through his staff was passing secrets to Iran. Chalabi was Bush's Iraqi golden boy and golden boy betrayed the U.S. That makes twice that that the Bush administration has betrayed the CIA and national security. Tenet's resignation of forced departure was surely to deflect some of that heat. That Bush is almost even in some polls speaks to the idolatry that masks the deep moral depravity of the right. The Right has made "Integrity" into a marketing gimmick used to win the hearts of an America that they have betrayed.

In the tradition of the 101st Fight Keyboarders Kool-Aid Kid Stephen F. Hayes writes Case Closed
From the November 24, 2003 issue: The U.S. government's secret memo detailing cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
Problem is that Kool-Aid intoxicated Hayes assumes that no one will check the lies that he's regurgitated for the benefit of the Bush apologists that have been bruised and battered by the lies about the Saddam-OBL connection and the cooked up intelligence that belies their so-called evidence.

Case Decidedly Not Closed
by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Within the U.S. intelligence establishment, the predominant view—then as now—is that the Feith-Carney case was murky at best. Culling through intelligence files, the Feith team indeed found multiple “reports” of alleged meetings between Iraqi officials and Al Qaeda operatives dating back to the early 1990s when Osama first set up shop in Sudan. But many of these reports were old, uncorroborated and came from sources of unknown if not dubious credibility, U.S. intelligence officials say. (Not unlike, as it has turned out, much of the “reporting” on Iraq’s ever-elusive weapons of mass destruction.) Moreover, other reports—some of which came foreign intelligence services and Iraqi defectors—were selectively presented by the Feith team and are, as one U.S. official told NEWSWEEK, “contradicted by other things.”

Thursday, June 03, 2004

According to Faux news this morning, the FBI is giving polygraph tests at the Pentagon regarding the solid leads concerning Chalabi and leaking CIA knowledge of Iran's secret communication codes. Who are some of the likely candidates for a polygraph at the Pentagon and beyond?

*Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
*Richard Perle, who previously ran the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board.( While a member of the Pentagon's Defence Policy Board, Perle is managing partner of venture capital company Trireme, which invests in companies dealing in products of value to homeland security. It sent a letter to Saudi arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi arguing that fear of terrorism would boost demand in Europe, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.)
*Pentagon's Middle-East-which would include Peter Rodman, Douglas Feith( His now-defunct Office of Special Plans (OSP) is alleged to have collected - often with the help of the neo-conservatives' favorite Iraqi exile, Ahmed Chalabi - and "cooked" the most alarmist pre-war intelligence against Saddam Hussein and then "stovepiped" it to the White House via Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, unvetted by the intelligence agencies.)
David Wurmser and Michael Rubin.
*Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
*former CIA Director Jim Woolsey-unlikely that Woolsey would betray the CIA, but Jimbo has been a good little war booster and profiteer.
and finally, Dick Cheney and his staff.
Dec. 15 issue - A memo written by a top Washington lobbyist for the controversial Iraqi National Congress raises new questions about the role Vice President Dick Cheney’s office played in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

The memo, obtained by NEWSWEEK, suggests that the INC last year was directly feeding intelligence reports about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and purported ties to terrorism to one of Cheney’s top foreign- policy aides. Cheney staffers later pushed INC info—including defectors’ claims about WMD and terror ties—to bolster the case that Saddam’s government posed a direct threat to America. But the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have strongly questioned the reliability of defectors supplied by the INC.

MSNBC - FBI probes source of intelligence leak to Iran
The officials, who would speak only on condition of anonymity because the information remained classified, said the U.S. government has evidence that Chalabi or his followers told Iran that Washington had cracked some of it secret codes for transmitting sensitive information.

Monday, May 31, 2004

The following is from a comment left at one of my daily must reads, Democratic Veteran under a post called John Warner, unlikely hero?. I thought it would make a great Memorial Day tribute.
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Why I bitch

You're probably saying to yourself. "Boy, the old Fixer-man is a bigger idiot than usual, bitching about this Memorial Day thing, and Americans forgetting what this weekend is all about."

You know why? Because I dodged bullets for four years in Asia, drug interdiction in South America, and killing a few Cuban Communists in Grenada. I've lost friends over the years, guys (and gals, you politically-correct busybodies) who had the same things to live for that I did, families, hopes and dreams to make something of themselves and a better life for their kids. In short, I hate war.

I am a child of war, but call me the silver lining in the dark cloud of World War II. My mom was a German Army nurse during that war, and my dad was a British paratrooper. They met in Jamaica, Queens in 1953, after dad came back from the Korean Conflict. Yes, the poor bastard moved to the U.S. after WWII and was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950. They met and married and gave birth to one child, yours truly. In my family, on both sides, going back five hundred years, military service was understood.

I had to be coaxed, at age 17, to enlist (It was either enlist or serve 6 months on a Grand Theft Auto charge). And I'm grateful that my dad convinced the judge to give me a chance to redeem myself. I served eight years total (6 regular AF, 2 active reserve), and I'm proud of the part I played in protecting the country. I'd go again if they'd take this broken down old carcass, and there are many who would also go to protect this country without question. Old bastards like me who love America and would gladly lay down our lives to protect what we have. There are many like me, a couple million of them serving on active duty right now.

They go, without question, to where our leaders send them. They lay their lives on the line every day to do what our leaders say is a noble job. They will do it again and again because they made the commitment, officers and enlisted, generals to privates, they all made their commitments to the noble ideals of the United States of America. It is our leaders' responsiblity to assure the correctness of their sacrifice. People with such commitment do not deserve to have their lives wasted by those who have never looked into the business end of an enemy rifle. Unfortunately, I feel the lives of our boys and girls are being wasted in Iraq, and that pisses me off.

We have a bnch of guys in Washington who've never served in the military. Yes, I include President No Nuts because the only reason he went into the Guard was that there was no other way out. To these guys, the lives of our military personnel are just numbers on a ledger sheet, not exeptionally trained, valuable resources who should not be squandered in pursuit of imperialistic dreams.

Solders hate war. Anybody who enjoys killing, even in wartime, is a psychopath, period. Ask any general if he wants to put his people in harm's way. he'll tell you that a reality of war is that he has to, but he doesn't want to, and he doesn't want to do it frivolously. The glib frivoloity with which the Bush Administration went to war in Iraq is criminal, and the lack of planning for the aftermath is treasonous. I'm sorry, to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who have perished in Iraq, to the families who will have an empty chair at future holiday gatherings, to all those who have suffered because of this fiasco, but 800 lives have been lost for NOTHING. You have not sacrificed your lives to protect this great nation and the Constitution, you were murdered by people who only see your lives as a means to an end. Hopefully, some time soon, they will be forced to pay.

Yes, I am one pissed off motherfucker this Memorial Day. 800 of my brothers and sisters are dead, close to 5000 wounded, for NOTHING. They say Bush went to war to avenge his daddy. Well, I want vengeance for our honored dead this past year. Getting Bush out in November is not good enough. I want him in jail.
Posted by The Fixer at May 29, 2004 07:07 AM

Via Bad Attitudes via Atrios

Letter to the Editor
by Sharon Underwood, Sunday, April 30, 2000
from the Valley News (White River Junction, VT/Hanover, NH)

As the mother of a gay son, I've seen firsthand how cruel and misguided people can be.

Many letters have been sent to the Valley News concerning the homosexual menace in Vermont. I am the mother of a gay son and I've taken enough from you good people.

I'm tired of your foolish rhetoric about the "homosexual agenda" and your allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing as advocating sex with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been robbing me of the joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.

My firstborn son started suffering at the hands of the moral little thugs from your moral, upright families from the time he was in the first grade. He was physically and verbally abused from first grade straight through high school because he was perceived to be gay.

He never professed to be gay or had any association with anything gay, but he had the misfortune not to walk or have gestures like the other boys. He was called "fag" incessantly, starting when he was 6.

In high school, while your children were doing what kids that age should be doing, mine labored over a suicide note, drafting and redrafting it to be sure his family knew how much he loved them. My sobbing 17-year-old tore the heart out of me as he choked out that he just couldn't bear to continue living any longer, that he didn't want to be gay and that he couldn't face a life without dignity.

You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and drive children to despair. I don't know why my son is gay, but I do know that God didn't put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to give you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and it's about time you started doing that.

At the core of all your misguided beliefs is the belief that this could never happen to you, that there is some kind of subculture out there that people have chosen to join. The fact is that if it can happen to my family, it can happen to yours, and you won't get to choose. Whether it is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal development, I don't know. I can only tell you with an absolute certainty that it is inborn.

If you want to tout your own morality, you'd best come up with something more substantive than your heterosexuality. You did nothing to earn it; it was given to you. If you disagree, I would be interested in hearing your story, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing I received with no effort whatsoever on my part. It is so woven into the very soul of me that nothing could ever change it. For those of you who reduce sexual orientation to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad habit or something that can be changed by a 10-step program, I'm puzzled. Are you saying that your own sexual orientation is nothing more than something you have chosen, that you could change it at will? If that's not the case, then why would you suggest that someone else can?

A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont has been infiltrated by outsiders. Both sides of my family have lived in Vermont for generations. I am heart and soul a Vermonter, so I'll thank you to stop saying that you are speaking for "true Vermonters."

You invoke the memory of the brave people who have fought on the battlefield for this great country, saying that they didn't give their lives so that the "homosexual agenda "could tear down the principles they died defending. My 83-year-old father fought in some of the most horrific battles of World War II, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart.

He shakes his head in sadness at the life his grandson has had to live. He says he fought alongside homosexuals in those battles, that they did their part and bothered no one. One of his best friends in the service was gay, and he never knew it until the end, and when he did find out, it mattered not at all. That wasn't the measure of the man.

You religious folk just can't bear the thought that as my son emerges from the hell that was his childhood he might like to find a lifelong companion and have a measure of happiness. It offends your sensibilities that he should request the right to visit that companion in the hospital, to make medical decisions for him or to benefit from tax laws governing inheritance.

How dare he? you say. These outrageous requests would threaten the very existence of your family, would undermine the sanctity of marriage.

You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.

The deep-thinking author of a letter to the April 12 Valley News who lectures about homosexual sin and tells us about "those of us who have been blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing" asks: "What ever happened to the idea of be better human beings than we are?"

Indeed, sir, what ever happened to that?

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Can you imagine a black man riding or marching shoulder to shoulder with the KKK?

"If the KKK opposes gay marriage, I would ride with them," Reverend Gregory Daniels, a black minister from Chicago, announced from the pulpit in February."

Even Jesse Jackson seems to filp-flop on the issue of gay rights, speaking aaginst gay marriage, he has said, "Gays were never called three-fifths human in the Constitution," he said, and "they did not require the Voting Rights Act to have the right to vote."
Yet Jackson visited Zimbabwe in 1997 and spook up for gays and lesbians in that country.
It appears that some blacks are willing to co-op ideals about equality and justice as regards the way society treats certain classes of people, in the same way that whites viewed African-Americans in terms of voting rights, inter-racial marriage, and a myriad of cultural and economic road blocks. Not all black leaders follow this line, as black supporters of gay rights includes black leaders: Al Sharpton, Joseph Lowery, Coretta Scott King, Carol Moseley Braun, and Julian Bond.
Isn't the bottom line, that Americans should be treated with dignity, respect, and equality under our laws. If black ministers or white can use irrelevant dogma to deny rights to any group based on a characteristic that leaves the door open to the good-bad old days of racial discriminations or gender discrimination. When one group is denied rights, its axiomatic that another group with more power is thus deserving of special rights. There's not much difference in consequence, when one group says that another is not entitled to the cultural, economic, and marital privledges of another. Yes, gays can hide their gay-ness. Is that a fair way to expect someone to live their life. If Black-ness where a quality that could be hidden would it be just to expect blacks to hide that quality. This seems to me at least an unspoken truth at the core of discrimnation against gays by black and white, that homosexuality is abnormal, the least gays can do is hide it. While the Declaration of Independence is not law document in the way the Constitution is, it's principles underlie our laws, it says the right to, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It does not say that those rights only apply to white males, black women, latin men, or any one quorum of folks, it applies to all.

P.S. by way of a contrarian thought. It does not serve the "Gay Community" well that some individual gays are incredibily obnoxious about exerting their lifestyle. This is just about having a little consideration about other's sensitivties. Yep, it's a pain in the ass to walk that fine line between asserting your rights and respecting others, but everyone is obligated to do so, if you care about taking the higher ground.
NBJC Fires Back At Homophobic Black Ministers

“Bishop Paul Morton Sr. and other ministers of black churches should take a hard look at their church from the pulpit to the congregation and remember that the majority of black gays and lesbians attend black churches and not ‘homosexual’ churches.” said National Black Justice Coalition member Jasmyne Cannick. “When tithes are given in church, heterosexuality is not a perquisite. The churches accept everyone’s tithes. Furthermore, ones sexual orientation does not supersede their race and culture. I am a black lesbian. I was raised in an African American household. I don’t eat gay food I eat soul food, I don’t attend a gay church, I attend a black church.”