Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Whackey World of Curt Weldon Republican of Pennsylvania, District 7

Weldon talks loud and forcefully, but that doesn't give him the credibility that his zealotry craves.
Here are some links to get started on the whackey world of this Pennsylvanian with some kind of compulsive disorder.

Hard-liners want evidence that Iran is up to no good. And they’re turning to strange sources to get it. by Laura Rozen and Jeet Heer at Prospect
Unlike the stock characters in Clancy’s novels, however, the source Weldon calls “Ali” is a real person; in fact, he’s a former Iranian government official. And so convinced is Weldon of the man’s veracity that he has not only tried to persuade the CIA to pay Ali, he is also shopping a book based on the startling information that the Iranian exile has passed along to him. According to a report last December in The New York Sun, Weldon hopes to soon publish an exposé of Iranian terrorist conspiracies, including an alleged 2003 plot to crash a plane into New Hampshire’s Seabrook nuclear-power plant that the congressman claims was later confirmed in the press.

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Responding to inquiries from the Prospect, Weldon’s office confirmed that the representative has met twice with “Ali” in Paris, and maintained an active correspondence with him. Their meetings were arranged by Peter Pry, a former CIA strategic-weapons analyst and House Armed Services Committee staffer, who advises the congressman on nuclear-proliferation issues. Eventually Weldon tried to interest the CIA in “Ali,” but the agency was wary because the informant won’t elaborate on his sources in Iran. Frustrated by what he sees as a failure of the intelligence community, Weldon wants to take the “Ali” story to the public. His press aides say that former CIA Director James Woolsey -- a neoconservative stalwart who endorsed the theory that Iraqi agents were probably behind the September 11 attacks -- has read Weldon’s new book manuscript and was most impressed by it.

This is probably legal, but isn't it strange that a Congressman is in fact running his own little Intelligence shop?

WELDON'S WHACKY WORLD AND THE TRUTH ABOUT IRAN by
Larry C. Johnson
According to Congressman Weldon, Republican from Pennsylvania, the CIA is incompentent because it will not accept as fact the bogus claims of a source who is being spoon fed by a confirmed liar, Manocher Ghobanifar. No doubt that Congressman Weldon is a well meaning American, but he is clearly over his head in dealing with the realities of intelligence.

The conventional wisdom in Washington is that the CIA is rife with buffoons who couldn't find a rogue agent if you stapled one to their forehead. Fortunately this cartoon view of intel is not accurate. Unfortunately the fact that this lie keeps being repeated by the likes of Weldon ends up damaging the morale and effectiveness of the CIA.

Iran represents a threat to the United States. Both Weldon and the CIA agree on that. Unlike Weldon, who is more eager garner headlines than do hard thinking about tough issues, the CIA case officers have put their lives on the line to actually do something about the threat. Unfortunately they cannot talk publicly about their accomplishments. One of my closest friends was involved in a still classified attempt to cold pitch an Iranian intelligence officer who was being targeted by his own government. The Iranians tried to kill him for his effort. The fact is that the CIA has been working diligently behind the scenes and out of the limelight to recruit and manage reliable Iranian intelligence assets. And, best of all, we are having success. Weldon simply lacks the clearances to know what is going on.

This is Weldon's soft under belly, he either pretends to have knowledge that he doesn't have or suggests that dark forces within the CIA are stopping him from finding out the whole truth. The truth is that old Curt is simply not in the "circle of trust". Given the guys addiction to high handed publicity, why should the CIA share sensitive national security secrets with him when it'll be posted on some roght-wing web site the next day.

Congressman's Book Calls C.I.A. Unfit
Mr. Weldon's book, "Countdown to Terror: The Top-Secret Information That Could Prevent the Next Terrorist Attack on America ... and How the C.I.A. Has Ignored It," reproduces dozens of faxes sent to Mr. Weldon since 2003 by a "former high-ranking member in the government of the shah of Iran." The book, produced by conservative Regnery Publishing, includes Mr. Weldon's commentary and proposals for intelligence reform, including a "mass purge of the intelligence community" in which virtually the entire top tier of management would be fired.

Regnery Publishing ? Sound familiar ?
Regnery Publishing is a publisher of conservative books based in Washington, DC. It was founded in 1947 by Henry Regnery, Sr., and was acquired by Eagle Publishing in 1993. It has published books by Mona Charen, David Limbaugh, Gary Aldrich and others.

So Weldon is published by the guys that basically are is the business of publishing right-wing wet dreams to get the so-called truth out to the american people.
Laura Rozen comments on the transcript of Weldon on Meet the Press
It's curious that Weldon claims here he knew nothing about Mahdavi's association with Ghorbanifar. He describes just such an association in his book on page 4. Furthermore, according to three sources, Weldon himself met with Ghorbanifar and Mahdavi in April 2004 (a meeting he failed to report to the US embassy in Paris), in the Sofitel hotel around the corner from the US embassy. So it's hard to understand how Weldon claims not to know of any connection between the information he was getting from Mahdavi and Ghorbanifar.

As to Weldon's claim that the CIA created Ghorbanifar, it's not clear how he could have concluded that. From as early as 1982, Ghorbanifar was the subject of a rare CIA burn notice. It was the Reagan White House/National Security Council that pursued working with Gorba on Iran Contra in 1985-1986, not the CIA, which later issued a second burn notice on Ghorbanifar.

A flexible set of moral principles runs in the family, CORRUPTION – EXPLOITING FAMILY TIES FOR PROFIT
The LA Times reports, "Karen Weldon, an inexperienced 29-year-old lobbyist from suburban Philadelphia... was selected last year for a plum $240,000 contract to promote the good works of a wealthy Serbian family that had been linked to accused war criminal Slobodan Milosevic." Why? Her father, U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), "is a leading voice in Washington on former Eastern Bloc affairs." After his daughter won the lucrative contract, Curt Weldon "championed the efforts of two family members, Dragomir and Bogoljub Karic, to win U.S. visas from the State Department." All told, Karen has signed lobbying contracts "worth almost $1 million a year to her firm for services that have included joining her father on congressional trips and in meetings with clients." According to the LA Times, "The Weldons are the latest example of special interests hiring relatives of important members of Congress as lobbyists and consultants." The paper also uncovered "11 other House members and 17 senators with relatives who lobby or consult, many of them for clients the members have helped through legislative or other action."

and from the LA Times article
• The congressman helped round up 30 congressional colleagues for a dinner at the Library of Congress to honor the chairman of a Russian natural gas company, Itera International Energy Corp., that had just agreed to pay his daughter's firm $500,000 a year to "create good public relations." Records show Solutions North America helped arrange the privately funded affair for the company, which has been trying to improve its image with U.S. officials after questions were raised about its acquisition of vast natural gas fields in post-Soviet Russia.

• Karen Weldon's firm paid for her father's chief of staff to take a "fact-finding" trip to Serbia, where he met with U.S. Embassy officials about the Karics' visa problems. The congressman approved the arrangement, travel records show. House ethics rules bar members or staff from taking official trips paid for by lobbyists or registered agents of foreign companies. The chief of staff, Michael J. Conallen Jr., said he reimbursed Solutions with his own money last week after The Times raised questions about the trip.

On the other hand Porter Goss had tried to cut CIA funding by 20 % before he became the Director. Strange world of right-wing politics and the CIA. It would all be easier to understand if there was some coherent narrative to all this, but there's not.

Reagan was no FDR

ESSAY; The Legacy Project
In any event, was Reagan's wattage ever really the issue? His critics -- and many of his closest advisers -- were less concerned about Reagan's intellectual capacity than about his lack of intellectual engagement in the Oval Office. Shirley is right: Reagan snapped and crackled in the 1970's. His radio addresses of that period show a sharpness of tongue and focus that seemed to abandon him in the White House, where -- as numerous accounts have suggested -- he seemed to go a bit fuzzy, tuning out and even falling asleep in meetings. This is the Reagan whose pose at press conferences -- head cocked, eyes unfocused, lips pursed in puzzlement -- launched a thousand parodies. This is the Reagan whose inattention engendered budget chicanery, vicious staff squalls and Iran-contra. Showing him to be smarter than we thought does not explain this away.

Still, with the impending publication of Reagan's White House diaries, the legacy-building is likely to intensify -- if only because his followers are banking everything on him. In the pantheon of modern presidents, the Democrats claim Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson. The Republicans have only Reagan. Neither Ford nor Nixon commands his party's devotion, and Eisenhower, who resisted McCarthyism, has little to offer the cultural and religious conservatives who dominate the party today.

Reagan has become the Great Touchstone. Yet to be truly useful to his present-day heirs, his record has to be retouched. As president, he cut deals with Democrats; boosted taxes, public spending and the size of government; sought arms reductions with the Soviet Union; and did less than promised to regulate private behavior. Within the Reagan administration, the true believers, more often than not, lost badly at the hands of moderates.

Badly, and bitterly. When the ideologues lashed back at Reagan -- which they did frequently -- they went not for his jugular but for his frontal lobe. Reagan's arms control initiatives led Howard Phillips, the chairman of the Conservative Caucus, to call the president ''a useful idiot for Soviet propaganda'' and ''little more than the speech reader in chief.'' Reagan's departures from economic orthodoxy prompted accusations of weakness, laziness and outright ignorance. The right, now ascendant, has absolved Reagan of these sins. His legacy, too, is being corrected. His pragmatism is being written out of the picture, replaced by ideological purity. His detachment is shrugged off as a left-wing myth.

Nonbelievers may be tempted to dismiss all this as hero worship, but the legacy-building project is more than that. It is a strenuous act of self-promotion. Reagan's heirs attribute to him what they wish to see in themselves, or wish others to see in them. His redemption is their redemption. He is, as he must be, everything now -- at once the Great Oz and the man behind the curtain.

Remember the Bush official that said they create their own reality. That tendency continues. Modern Republicans, no relation to the party of Lincoln or Eisenhower are so desparate in their search for heros that they must erect one from the nearly empty shell that was Ronnie Raygun.I believe Ron Jr when he says his dad was nice to people, but a pleasant persona does not always make a person of moral substance. Unless you want to call Bush Jr's resurrection of voodoo economics a leagcy Reagan had no legacy. The collapse of the Soviet Union not only would have occured no matter who was president in the eighties, but because of his bungling, Reagan almost extended it a few years. The blood of thousands of latin americans is on Reagans hands, yet america and the righties still have their blinders on. The blinder effect in regards to Reagan isn't just about guarding the legacy that never was, its the right's moral shallowness in all its glory.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Bush and his "complex"

Two Years Before 9/11, Candidate Bush was Already Talking Privately About Attacking Iraq, According to His Former Ghost Writer
HOUSTON -- Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.

"He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999," said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. "It was on his mind. He said to me: 'One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he said, 'My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.' He said, 'If I have a chance to invade .if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency." Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father's shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. "Suddenly, he's at 91 percent in the polls, and he'd barely crawled out of the bunker."

So most americans are being lead by a guy whose marbles are cracked, rational debate is useless, because you can't have rational differences with a life long dismal failure with a daddy complex.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Is Bush sowing tall tales about the Patriot Act

U.S. Campaign Produces Few Convictions on Terrorism Charges
On Thursday, President Bush stepped to a lectern at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy in Columbus to urge renewal of the USA Patriot Act and to boast of the government's success in prosecuting terrorists.

Flanked by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Bush said that "federal terrorism investigations have resulted in charges against more than 400 suspects, and more than half of those charged have been convicted."

Those statistics have been used repeatedly by Bush and other administration officials, including Gonzales and his predecessor, John D. Ashcroft, to characterize the government's efforts against terrorism.

But the numbers are misleading at best.

An analysis of the Justice Department's own list of terrorism prosecutions by The Washington Post shows that 39 people -- not 200, as officials have implied -- were convicted of crimes related to terrorism or national security.

Most of the others were convicted of relatively minor crimes such as making false statements and violating immigration law -- and had nothing to do with terrorism, the analysis shows. For the entire list, the median sentence was just 11 months.

We're going to be attacked by the vast armies of Iraq with nuclear weapons, social security is in crisis, cutting taxes for the wealthiest americans is good economic policy, I did finish my TANG service I just can't find anyone that remembers seeing me, and the Patriot Act is essential to America's safety.On the BLIE ( short for Bush lies ) Fabrication Graph that's a solid line stretching from 2000 to present. And ya know kids thats the way you should lie. Don't do the Bill Clinton deal where you tell a stupid lie about once a year, just do it all the time. It gives people LIE BURN-OUT and they just stop paying attention.