Author: BooMan

How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

Does anyone remember this Seymour M. Hersh story, SELECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Donald Rumsfeld has his own special sources. Are they reliable?, from the May, 2003 issue of the New Yorker?

They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal—a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans. In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community. These advisers and analysts, who began their work in the days after September 11, 2001, have produced a skein of intelligence reviews that have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward Iraq. They relied on data gathered by other intelligence agencies and also on information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, or I.N.C., the exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi. By last fall, the operation rivalled both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon’s own Defense Intelligence Agency, the D.I.A., as President Bush’s main source of intelligence regarding Iraq’s possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and connection with Al Qaeda. As of last week, no such weapons had been found. And although many people, within the Administration and outside it, profess confidence that something will turn up, the integrity of much of that intelligence is now in question.

The director of the Special Plans operation is Abram Shulsky, a scholarly expert in the works of the political philosopher Leo Strauss. Shulsky has been quietly working on intelligence and foreign-policy issues for three decades; he was on the staff of the Senate Intelligence Com-mittee in the early nineteen-eighties and served in the Pentagon under Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle during the Reagan Administration, after which he joined the Rand Corporation. The Office of Special Plans is overseen by Under-Secretary of Defense William Luti, a retired Navy captain. Luti was an early advocate of military action against Iraq, and, as the Administration moved toward war and policymaking power shifted toward the civilians in the Pentagon, he took on increasingly important responsibilities.

W. Patrick Lang, the former chief of Middle East intelligence at the D.I.A., said, “The Pentagon has banded together to dominate the government’s foreign policy, and they’ve pulled it off. They’re running Chalabi. The D.I.A. has been intimidated and beaten to a pulp. And there’s no guts at all in the C.I.A.”

The hostility goes both ways. A Pentagon official who works for Luti told me, “I did a job when the intelligence community wasn’t doing theirs. We recognized the fact that they hadn’t done the analysis. We were providing information to Wolfowitz that he hadn’t seen before. The intelligence community is still looking for a mission like they had in the Cold War, when they spoon-fed the policymakers.”

A Pentagon adviser who has worked with Special Plans dismissed any criticism of the operation as little more than bureaucratic whining. “Shulsky and Luti won the policy debate,” the adviser said. “They beat ’em—they cleaned up against State and the C.I.A. There’s no mystery why they won—because they were more effective in making their argument. Luti is smarter than the opposition. Wolfowitz is smarter. They out-argued them. It was a fair fight. They persuaded the President of the need to make a new security policy. Those who lose are so good at trying to undercut those who won.” He added, “I’d love to be the historian who writes the story of how this small group of eight or nine people made the case and won.”

Now, let me ask you all a question. If Chalabi was working with the OSP ‘Cabal’, does the following make sense?

Chalabi’s nephew, codenamed Curveball, was handled by German intelligence, who fed his information to the Defense Intelligence Agency, which supplied the information to the Central Intelligence Agency. The DIA says it was only a conduit to the CIA, and it was not their responsibility to vet the credibility of the intelligence. Former DCI, George Tenet, says he was unaware of any concerns about Curveball’s veracity.

Do you see how this works?

If not, keep reading.

Tri-State Residents! Grab Your Duct Tape

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary: Contact: 202-282-8010: March 17, 2005.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today announced that the United States, United Kingdom and Canada will cooperate in conduct of TOPOFF 3, a Congressionally-mandated counterterrorism exercise for top officials. DHS will conduct the TOPOFF 3 full scale exercise in April 2005, with terrorist attack scenarios staged in Connecticut and New Jersey. Additional activities will occur in related exercises within the United Kingdom (Atlantic Blue) and Canada (Triple Play).

“The TOPOFF exercises are a key piece of the United States homeland security national preparedness efforts. By responding realistically to simulated attacks, we are able to identify our strengths and weaknesses and make our national response system stronger,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. “Our partnerships with the United Kingdom and Canada will further enhance our ability to deal with terrorism on an international level.”

TOPOFF 3 does not stand for the constant replenishment of cold beer or hot coffee to your mug. It stands for: Top Officials 3. “TOPOFF 3 is the third exercise in the TOPOFF series, a congressionally mandated exercise series designed to strengthen the nation’s capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).”

So, if you see anything suspicious in the next few days, don’t fret. Your government is responsible.

Read more:

Play Ball!! Go Yanks!!

“This is like deja vu all over again.”
–Yogi Berra

“Half the game is 90% mental.”

“If I didn’t wake up, I’d still be sleeping.”

“Slump? I ain’t in no slump. I just ain’t hittin.”

“Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.”

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”

“He must have made that before he died.” — Referring to a Steve McQueen movie.

When Will There Be a Reckoning?

Of all the claims U.S. intelligence made about Iraq’s arsenal in the fall and winter of 2002, it was a handful of new charges that seemed the most significant: secret purchases of uranium from Africa, biological weapons being made in mobile laboratories, and pilotless planes that could disperse anthrax or sarin gas into the air above U.S. cities.

By the time President Bush ordered U.S. troops to disarm Saddam Hussein of the deadly weapons he was allegedly trying to build, every piece of fresh evidence had been tested — and disproved — by U.N. inspectors, according to a report commissioned by the president and released Thursday.
Washington Post: free registration

I don’t know if Americans will EVER seriously consider the legality of the Iraq war. We had a chance to vote Bush out of office and something happened…something that is still not clear…that prevented us from doing so.

But voter suppression, funky exit polls, and vulnerable code aside, the election should not have been close. And when lackey commissions come out with conclusions like the one above, you know that something is seriously off kilter in the American electorate.

Perhaps the ‘duct-tape fatwa’ was so effective that we were terrified into submission. Perhaps the 9/11 attacks were so visually horrifying, that our collective lust for revenge needed to be assuaged.

Perhaps the media has become such a mouthpiece for our military-industrial complex, that we can be moved to accept whatever agenda they lay before us.

But sometime soon, and the day cannot be far off, there has to be a reckoning for the lies that we have been told.

At least, that is what I keep telling myself.

Sunday Morning Lineup

Special Edition of “Meet the Press” — the Life and Death of Pope John Paul II

Archbishop John P. Foley, Rev. Thomas Reese, Monsignor John Strynkowski, Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, Raymond Flynn, Judge Anne Burke, Jon Meacham and Chester Gillis.

Face the Nation

Guests: Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, (Former National Security Adviser), Monsignor Brian Ferme, (Dean, School of Canon Law, Catholic University Of America), Peter Steinfels (New York Times Religious Columnist).

This Week with George Stephanopoulos

From the Vatican. Among his guests will be Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer

Wolf looks at the political and cultural impact of John Paul II’s papacy, and how the pope will be remembered.

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.

Here’s a Look At Our International Crowd

We have a lot of new members, thanks to Welshman and Jerome’s efforts to steer new readers here.

This is a reminder on the rules. When you pick your country, pick the country of your primary residence. If you are an American living in Germany, choose Germany. If you are a German, living in America, pick USA. And if you are operating on a long-term visa or something, pick your primary residence:

Eric Blair- Canada, SneakySnu- Canada, Kaya- Canada,
Catnip-Canada, Thor Heyerdahl-Canada, MaggieEh-Canada, S from Van-Canada, D52boy-Canada, Sybil-Canada, Scipio-Canada, Pr Halios- Canada

Luam-Great Britian, Ukrich-Great Britian, Welshman-Great Britian, Febble-Great Britian, Saugatojas-Great Britian, LondonBear- Great Britian, Gary J- Great Britian, dove- Great Britian

Dvx- Germany, Neutral Observer- Germany, Hausfrau- Germany, Cached- Germany, Jandsm- Germany, Detlef- Germany, hesk- Germany

Jerome a Paris- France, Melanchthon- France, LEP- France, ViVeLaMe- France

Frank- Netherlands, Oui- Netherlands

Donna in Rome-Italy, melo- Italy

Fran- Switzerland, whataboutbob, Switzerland

Sersan- Mexico
Outlanddish- India
Canberra boy- Australia

Caneel- Virgin Islands

Wayward Wind- Malta

Athenian- Greece

Lieutenant C-Iraq

Rob511-New Zealand

Ragnark- Iceland

Revel8n- Ireland

Soj- Romania

Observer393-Thailand

Sirocco-Norway

Pohjola-Finland

Can the President Read?

The commission looking into the ostensible intelligence failures that led our country to believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, has quietly released a 601-page report.

There was almost no media coverage of the launch of this investigation, there was no commentary on the progress of this investigation, and there has been almost no television coverage of the conclusions of this investigation.

One of their conclusions was that the harm done to American credibility over the WMD issue would take years to overcome.

There will be a lot to say about the commission report in the coming days. But what struck me was the following:

In an interview Friday at the commission’s offices in Arlington, Va., Mr. Robb and Judge Silberman said they were gratified by President Bush’s initial reaction to the report in a 70-minute meeting Thursday…

…”He went into our report in great detail,” Judge Silberman said. “It was obvious that he’d certainly read the executive summary and he’d been briefed extensively on the rest of the report.”

New York Times: Free Registration

In my opinion, this report is a big steaming pile of cowdung. It is but one more specimen of blame-shifting by this faultless administration. But it just seems farcical that the commission members feel the need to reassure us that the President has read the executive summary.

Pat Buchanan Hit With Salad Dressing


CNN.com

Boogal sent this to me. We are both so proud of our alma mater.

From the article:

Commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan cut short an appearance after an opponent of his conservative views doused him with salad dressing.

“Stop the bigotry!” the demonstrator shouted as he hurled the liquid Thursday night during the program at Western Michigan University. The incident came just two days after another noted conservative, William Kristol, was struck by a pie during an appearance at a college in Indiana.