American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, March 06, 2004
Political insiders suggest Ohio could become as decisive this year
as Florida was four years ago. Which is why the state's plan to use

paperless touch-screen voting machines has so many up in arms.
That label sounds ominously accurate to the many who are skeptical of computerized voting. In addition to being as decisive as the 2000 polling in Florida, they worry this year's vote in Ohio could be just as flawed. Specifically, they worry that it could be rigged. And they wonder why state officials seem so unconcerned by the fact that the two companies in line to sell touch-screen voting machines to Ohio have deep and continuing ties to the Republican Party. Those companies, Ohio's own Diebold Election Systems and Election Systems & Software of Nebraska, are lobbying fiercely ahead of a public hearing on the matter in Columbus next week.
Think Diebold Chairman Walden "Wally" O'Dell is a problem? Try W.R. "Tim" Timken, one of the longest-serving Diebold directors:
Since 1991 the Timken Company and members of the Timken family have contributed more than a million dollars to the Republican Party and to GOP presidential candidates such as George W. Bush. Between 2000 and 2002 alone, Timken's Canton-based bearing and steel company gave more than $350,000 to Republican causes, while Timken himself gave more than $120,000. This year, he is one of George W. Bush's campaign Pioneers, and has already pulled in more than $350,000 for the president's reelection bid.
And the beat goes on. But there's lot's more in this article.


The View from Benedict
Have E-vote machines been rigged before? A lot of evidence points to that, but only those who did the rigging (if it was done) would know that. And this is precisely the problem with the current generation of E-voting machines. One simply cannot tell if they have been rigged.

There is one thing we know about vote rigging however. If there is a way to do it, someone will find it and use it. E-voting is no different.

Look. We've got to grow up here, and this is not just about E-voting. This country is in terrible shape, and there are people who have spent hundreds of millions (surely billions) of dollars to get us here. They have spent these dollars to insure their own personal successes, and they have achieved these. The problem is that they will not stop for having done so. For every gain they achieve, they simply must achieve another. This is simply what makes them tick. And that money must come from somewhere, and right now that somewhere is you!

What I'm trying to say here is that these people have simply invested too much money on our political system. They have invested this and gotten their very substantial Return on Investment (ROI). That they now expect this ROI? Is anyone stupid enough to think that they will give this up? After all they've spent?

The fact of the matter is that they have no intention of doing this. This is what the predictions of a $200 million campaign fund are all about. Bush has established a feeding trough at our national treasury, and their continued ROI depends entirely on that feeding trough remaining open for business. And if they will spend that much to keep that trough open, they will do anything.

And you can quote me on that.

Let the games begin:
Democrats launch broad frontal
attack on Iraq intelligence
Kennedy, Harman Tag-Team Bush
 
In separate speeches Friday, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA) attacked the Bush administration's use of intelligence information during the run-up to the Iraq War. Kennedy spoke before the Council on Foreign Relations, while Harman spoke at the American Enterprise Institute.

"Facts are stubborn things"
Kennedy by far presented the more blistering attack, stopping perhaps just short of a direct accusation that the administration had been lying.
Over two centuries ago, John Adams spoke eloquently about the need to let facts and evidence guide actions and policies. He said, "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." Listen to those words again, and you can hear John Adams speaking to us now about Iraq. "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

Tragically, in making the decision to go to war in Iraq, the Bush Administration allowed its wishes, its inclinations and its passions to alter the state of facts and the evidence of the threat we faced from Iraq.

Kennedy proceeded to document a long list of statements and mis-statements by members of the administration and CIA head George Tenet, drawing from numerous speeches and press interviews given by these people. Kennedy also drew references from Ron Suskind's book on former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, The Price of Loyalty, Greg Thielmann, former Director at the State Department, David Albright, a former weapons inspector with the IAEA, Ken Pollack, a former CIA analyst, Mel Goodman, a long-time CIA analyst, retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, and news articles from the New York Times and Washington Post.

Kennedy successively derided the administration's claims of a Saddam-Al Qaeda connection, their denial of presenting an Iraqi nuclear threat as "imminent", and their claims that Iraq was pursuing a chemical and biological weapons program, offering dozens of specific pieces of evidence against each and portraying all of these as "pure, unadulterated fear-mongering".

The CAP Connection
That Kennedy was so impressively armed with facts was hardly an accident. Much of his material was drawn directly from the research performed by the newly-created Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive think tank under the guidance of former Clinton Chief of Staff and National Security Council member John Podesta. In particular, Kennedy's "imminent threat" denial came from CAP's extensively-researched "In Their Own Words: Iraq's 'Imminent' Threat" compiled in late January:

The Bush Administration is now saying it never told the public that Iraq was an "imminent" threat, and therefore it should be absolved for overstating the case for war and misleading the American people about Iraq's WMD. Just this week, White House spokesman Scott McClellan lashed out at critics saying "Some in the media have chosen to use the word 'imminent'. Those were not words we used." But a closer look at the record shows that McClellan himself and others did use the phrase "imminent threat" -- while also using the synonymous phrases "mortal threat," "urgent threat," "immediate threat", "serious and mounting threat", "unique threat," and claiming that Iraq was actively seeking to "strike the United States with weapons of mass destruction" -- all just months after Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted that Iraq was "contained" and "threatens not the United States."
This document then proceeds to cite thirty-one specific instances where key members of the administration used these phrases in speeches and interviews. (Kennedy in fact cited only nine of these, but the point was effectively made.)

The administration responds:
Predictably, of course.
"I don't think this is the first time we've heard Senator Kennedy make such unsubstantiated and baseless charges," press secretary Scott "I don't think this is the first time we've heard Senator Kennedy make such unsubstantiated and baseless charges," press secretary Scott McClellan said in Crawford, Tex. "Given that it's an election year, it won't be the last time." said in Crawford, Tex. "Given that it's an election year, it won't be the last time."
McClellan clearly had not heard Kennedy's speech.

Tag-team in the lion's den
It is almost certain that attempts will be made to write off Kennedy's attack as "typical negativism" by the Democrats, and so in a move that was clearly designed as a co-ordinated attack, Congresswoman Jane Harman was simultaneously presenting the keynote address at the very conservative American Enterprise Institute's "Serious Intelligence Reform" seminar. Harman's speech was distinctly gentler in tone than Kennedy's, offering credit for positive intelligence developments as she presented a five-point Democratic plan for intelligence reform.

Harman did not however completely avoid the fray, mentioning several times in her speech (to what was certainly a Hawkish audience) that the White House seemed unwilling to take on intelligence reform during an election year, and suggesting that waiting to do so was not prudent.

Recent actions inside the CIA are encouraging, but there are no discernible signs from the Vice President or President acknowledging the obvious flaws in our intelligence systems. The White House is unwilling to fix the problems in an election year, and so it has kicked the can down the road until March 2005, when a new WMD Commission - our sixth such effort to review the Iraq problems - makes its recommendations. That will not make us safer. That is like the auto-mechanic who says, "I'm sorry I can't fix your brakes this week, but don't worry because I made your horn louder."

On this issue, I actually think the President put it best when he said, in a different context, that the terrorists will not wait for us. They will not wait until after November, and neither should we. We must act now to make our country safer.

The Democrats it seems are at last starting to learn from their more aggressive Republican counterparts. While Kennedy's remarks were by far the more inflammatory and therefore grabbed the headlines and the bulk of the print, both the New York Times and the Washington Post stories on this also provided coverage of Harman's speech, noting her five-point plan.

This is good smart politics. The one hand wielding "the big stick"; the other holding out a better way. A very good day for the Democrats.


Meanwhile, John Kerry said nothing. Sometimes it's best not to.



Resources:

[ Via Benedict@Large.]

An NPR analysis:
Morning in Bush's Head
The president's new feel-good ads
 
NPR reviews the three new Bush ads, and finds them to have little substance.
Among the three in fact, only one factual claim is made, and it is false.

NPR audio        View the ads
Capitol Hill Blue:
Dumb Dubya
Only a drunk and a pothead could think using the [9/11] images
would not cause the uproar that has erupted over the ads.
Bushís minions claim the ads showcase his leadership.

What leadership? An economy in the crapper? Millions of Americans out of work? Hundreds of Americans dead in a war waged under false pretenses? Billions wasted in a war against Iraq while Osama bin Laden, the man behind the death of more than 3,000 Americans remains at large? A goose-stepping attorney general who tramples on the privacy and rights of Americans and uses the Constitution to wipe his ass after he craps on all our freedoms?

Well said.
Friday, March 05, 2004
 
Guess they won't be asking for two dollars a day now, eh?Chris Floyd:
This week, the Bush administration added another violent "regime change" notch to its gunbelt, toppling the democratically elected president of Haiti and replacing him with an unelected gang of convicted killers, death squad leaders, militarists, narcoterrorists, CIA operatives, hereditary elitists and corporate predators -- a bit like Team Bush itself, in other words.

Although the Haiti coup was widely portrayed as an irresistible upsurge of popular discontent, it was of course the result of years of hard work by Bush's dedicated corrupters of democracy, ...

"No, Aristide did something far worse than stuffing ballots or killing people -- he tried to raise the minimum wage to the princely sum of two dollars a day."
Common Dreams:
A Deafening Silence
 
Californian Brian D. Barry tells of his feelings on first using an E-vote terminal:
I've always wondered what sound Democracy would make if it died.

Last night, I found out in Santa Clara, California. The sound it makes is a deafening silence, and it sent chills up and down my spine. This sound scared me more than anything I've ever heard in my life.

Last night, I experienced the illusion of casting my vote on a state of the art touch screen "DRE" (direct recording electronic) computer voting system. ...

From the
"I hope the real one works better"
Department

Barry used "AVC Edge" E-vote terminal manufactured by Sequoia Voting Systems. Sequoia provides a demonstration of how the AVC Edge works on their company web site.

If you try that demo, you'll get three pages of votes to cast, with the third page consisting of two referendums. Once you vote on those, hit the "Review" button. Oops, it didn't record your votes on those referendums!

But wait. There's more. Click on one of those referendums to re-cast those votes. This time, hit the "Next" button. Your votes were recorded this time. Fine, but now try to go back and change one of those votes. It won't let you!

I sure hope the real ones work better!

[ From Black Box Notes. ]

Grand jury to review call logs from Bushís jet
in probe of how a CIA agentís cover was blown
 
This is BIG. Not one, but three subpoenas to the White House. This grand jury is casting a wide net and is certainly smelling something.
The federal grand jury probing the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity has subpoenaed records of Air Force One telephone calls in the week before the officer's name was published in a column in July, according to documents obtained by Newsday.

Also sought in the wide-ranging document requests contained in three grand jury subpoenas to the Executive Office of President George W. Bush are records created in July by the White House Iraq Group, a little-known internal task force established in August 2002 to create a strategy to publicize the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

And the subpoenas asked for a transcript of a White House spokesman's press briefing in Nigeria, a list of those attending a birthday reception for a former president, and, casting a much wider net than previously reported, records of White House contacts with more than two dozen journalists and news media outlets.

Josh Marshal has more.

[ Via Calpundit.]

Thursday, March 04, 2004
Attitudes to old conflicts are a key issue in the presidential race
 
This article (from last week) makes a nice pair to Sidney Blumenthal's "Bush goes to war with modernity". That article spoke of the alignment between Neocons and Theocons that formed back in the late 60's, while this one gets into why that alliance was formed from the Neocon perspective. Essentially, the Neocons were angry about "losing" Vietnam. In spite of all of the information that came out back then (and more since) saying that the Vietnam War was not winable, the Neocons then (and to this day) believe that the war was "lost" because of lack of resolve.

Martin Woollacott takes an important look at this:

The phrase ["axis of evil"] was used in a speech focused on dangers ahead, but in truth it was as much about the past as it was about pre-emption and the future. All three countries had imposed notable defeats on the United States. North Korea, with the help of China, sent American forces reeling back from the Yalu half a century ago. Iran threw out the Shah, who had retained power in that country with the assistance of Britain and the United States, and brought in a regime that added to America's humility by taking its diplomats hostage. Iraq defied the United States over Kuwait, and Saddam Hussein, against what appeared to be the odds, then recovered control of most of his country, resisted American pressure to disarm and made the United States look ineffective and foolish.
This is a curious paragraph by the way, in that I disagree with Woollacott's portrayal of each of these conflicts. In Korea, Truman wanted North Korea to continue to exist as a buffer between us and China. In Vietnam, we simply can to the same conclusion as the French had when they pulled out after a 200-year occupation. And with Kuwait, there was simply a total communication breakdown that between us and Iraq that caused Saddam's (eventually) fatal mistake. But what makes this paragraph most curious is that this really is the Neocon views these conflicts; as elements of national shame.

Important reading, especially in light of Kerry's history of Vietnam protest following his service in that war. The Neocons will hate Kerry for this, and they will be very much itching to try to use this to portray Kerry as dishonorable. They will try to trot out this argument not so much because it will win (it probably won't), but because they must. It is simply too central to their belief system to remain silent on it.

Super Tuesday Diebold Watch
A Black Box Notes Special Report
Axis of Logic:
Laughter of the Gods
 
Sheila Samples looks at the "religions" of the Neocons, the "God People", and the "Chosen One" and finds them to be following some God different than the rest of us. From the Neocons, Michael Ledeen:
... Ledeen says, "Creative destruction is our middle name. We do it automatically...It is time once again to export the democratic revolution."

"God," Ledeen explains, "understands that all men are evil, and the only way to achieve peace is through total war." Ledeen believes "the sparing of civilian lives cannot be the total war's first priority...The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people."

From the "God People", Tom Delay:
(Delay) once told a group of evangelical Christians that God was "using him" to promote a biblical worldview. "Only Christianity offers a comprehensive worldview that covers all areas of life and thought -- every aspect of creation," DeLay said. "Only Christianity offers a way to live in response to the realities that we find in this world. Only Christianity." Like his counterparts, DeLay believes that fundamentalists should "overturn the separation of church and state and bring government under religious control."
And the "Chosen One":
From Jesus is my philosopher to God is my co-pilot, George Bush has been nothing if not ghoulishly entertaining. Far more talented writers than I have gone completely berserk while attempting to explain what makes Bush tick. It's simple, really. The answer is Nothing. Nothing makes him tick. That's why he's the perfect foil for the warhawks and religious zealots.
Good reading.
The world cringes as George Bush, militant neocons and the completely mad religious right steer the Bush Ship of State toward the jagged shoals. God has left the building.

Is it any wonder the lesser gods are shrieking with laughter...?

Sayeth John Pilger:

While the rise to power of the Bush gang, the neoconservatives, belatedly preoccupied the American media, the message of their equivalents in the Democratic Party has been of little interest. Yet the similarities are compelling. Shortly before Bush's "election" in 2000, the Project for the New American Century, the neoconservative pressure group, published an ideological blueprint for "maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests". Every one of its recommendations for aggression and conquest was adopted by the administration.

One year later, the Progressive Policy Institute, an arm of the Democratic Leadership Council, published a 19-page manifesto for the "New Democrats", who include all the principal Democratic Party candidates, and especially John Kerry. This called for "the bold exercise of American power" at the heart of "a new Democratic strategy, grounded in the party's tradition of muscular internationalism". Such a strategy would "keep Americans safer than the Republicans' go-it-alone policy, which has alienated our natural allies and overstretched our resources. We aim to rebuild the moral foundation of US global leadership ..."

What is the difference from the vainglorious claptrap of Bush? Apart from euphemisms, there is none.

[...]

What the New Democrats object to is the Bush gang's outspokenness - its crude honesty, if you like - in stating its plans openly, and not from behind the usual veil or in the usual specious code of imperial liberalism and its "moral authority". New Democrats of Kerry's sort are all for the American empire; understandably, they would prefer that those words remained unsaid. "Progressive internationalism" is far more acceptable. [more]
Comments like these are sure to arouse the easily-arousable "liberal intelligentsia."

Update: This article by Pilger draws heavily from an earlier essay by Mark Hand.
From MoveOn.org (action updates-email):

In the months after the attacks on September 11th, President Bush told reporters that he had "no ambition whatsoever to use this as a political issue." But the campaign ads he revealed today use imagery of Ground Zero and of a fire fighter's funeral to argue for his re-election.

9/11 family members are furious about it. The New York Daily News covered the story this morning:

"It's a slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people," said Monica Gabrielle, whose husband died in the twin tower attacks. "It is unconscionable."

Firefighter Tommy Fee in Rescue Squad 270 in Queens was appalled. "It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place. The image of firefighters at Ground Zero should not be used for this stuff, for politics," Fee said.

(The whole article is online here.)
A timeline for the return of the military draft in the United States.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
{...a delicious watergate-era quote...}

    "...When one speaks about public confidence and trust, that is the heart of the matter: people are entitled to something more than confidence that their highest public officials do not break the law; they are also entitled to know that these officials do not lie and cheat and corrupt the institutions of government....."


{greetings from jon walz & the friendly, insane folks at the {jon's mind} family of blog companies. Enjoy, read with caution, and, most importantly, with your eyes...}
As Jesuit schoolboys studying world history we learned that Copernicus and Galileo self-censored for many decades their proofs that the earth revolved around the sun and that a less restrained heliocentrist, Giordano Bruno, was burned alive in 1600 for the crime of sound science. With the encouragement of our professor, Father Joyce, we marveled at the capacity of human leaders to corrupt noble institutions. Lust for power had caused the Catholic hierarchy to subvert the church's most central purpose--the search for existential truths.

Today, flat-earthers within the Bush Administration--aided by right-wing allies who have produced assorted hired guns and conservative think tanks to further their goals--are engaged in a campaign to suppress science that is arguably unmatched in the Western world since the Inquisition. Sometimes, rather than suppress good science, they simply order up their own. Meanwhile, the Bush White House is purging, censoring and blacklisting scientists and engineers whose work threatens the profits of the Administration's corporate paymasters or challenges the ideological underpinnings of their radical anti-environmental agenda. Indeed, so extreme is this campaign that more than sixty scientists, including Nobel laureates and medical experts, released a statement on February 18 that accuses the Bush Administration of deliberately distorting scientific fact "for partisan political ends." [more]
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Political Dish Crossword Puzzle
I had such a good time creating my first interactive crossword puzzle (about Bush's State of the Unon speech) that I decided to do another. I hope you enjoy my Political Dish crossword puzzle.
The White House and Pentagon on Monday dismissed allegations that Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped by U.S. forces eager for him to resign and flee into exile.

With U.S. military forces already on the ground in the Caribbean nation and more on the way, chief presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said, "It's nonsense, and conspiracy theories do nothing to help the Haitian people move forward to a better more free, more prosperous future." [more]

Newsflash to Scott: a 'conspiracy theory' is something concocted by those on the outside of events . . . whereas if Aristide himself claims he was abducted--THAT'S FRIGGIN' FUCKING FIRST-HAND TESTIMONY YA DUMB ASSHOLE!!!
An Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran says Army officials at Fort Knox, Ky., refused him medical treatment after he talked publicly about poor care at the base, which helped spark hearings in Congress.

Fort Knox officials charged that soldier, Lt. Jullian Goodrum, with being absent without leave and cut off his pay after he then went to a private doctor who hospitalized him for serious mental stress from Iraq, Goodrum said.

"They are coming after me pretty bad," said Goodrum, 33, a veteran who has served the military for more than 14 years, including the first Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. [more]
This is an interesting point raised by The Center for American Progress:

The 9/11 commission has struggled with the White House for access to the "Presidential Daily Brief" (PDB), a document presented to the President each morning with that day's intelligence. Only these documents can answer questions about what the Administration knew. The White House has denied most of the commissioners access to the PDBs Ė only recently, after being threatened with a subpoena, has the full committee been granted access to even a summary of their contents. But [Bob] Woodward was given extensive access to the PDBs for his book [Bush At War]. Newsweek reports that Woodward's book is "sprinkled with a number of precise references to PDBs." For example, on page 40, Woodward "quotes from the Sept. 12, 2001 PDB that CIA George Tenet gave Bush linking the terror attacks to Al Qaeda." In a separate newspaper article, Woodward gives details of an 8/06/01 PDB, given to Bush while he was vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. According to Woodward, the title of the PDB, given to the President a little more than a month prior to 9/11, was "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."
The CAP also notes that while Bush is only pledging a single hour for testimony before the 9/11 commission, he gave Woodward four hours of his time for interviews for Bush At War.

Sounds like a double standard to me...
Monday, March 01, 2004
AWOL Jobs
Jobs are AWOL, and so's my brain. I say that because in my flu-frazzled state I forgot to mention my latest satirical poem. It starts:

AWOL Jobs
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Our jobs are disappearing
To nations far and wide.
While Dubya has no plan at all
To stem this risky tide.

His people make up numbers
Of jobs they will produce.

The whole poem is here.
Oh, my God!
What do the Ten Commandments, gay marriage
and Janet Jackson all have in common?
All three are symbols, for the religious right, of "everything that is wrong with America." The fact that a judge was prevented from having the Ten Commandments placed in an Alabama courthouse; that a Massachusetts court legalized gay marriage, followed by the civil-disobedience action by San Francisco authorities in similarly recognizing such unions; and that Jackson was able to "shock" Super Bowl audiences long ago jaded by half-naked cheerleaders and beer commercials by briefly baring her breast -- all these, according to the folks who want to remake America as a "Christian nation," are clear signs that the nation's moral depravity has gone too far.
David Neiwert again, this time with a report on a series of bills being introduced by among others Zell Miller. Zell of course, claiming to be a Democrat, has become a poster boy for the Right. "See," the Right says, "even one of yours knows we are right."

So what has Zell been up to lately? Seems he's been cosponsoring a number of bills being introduced by the radical fundamentalists, namely the "Liberties Restoration Act" and the "Constitution Restoration Act of 2004", the latter also being introduced in the House. These are hidious bills, the former about forcing religious displays on governmenment property, and the latter about forbidding the Supreme Court from ever reviewing laws allowing religious displays. Together, they seek to overturn the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment.

Important reading.

Twenty years ago, Greenspan made a promise . . .
      Twenty years later, we're still waiting.
Thanks for the memories, Al.
Alan Greenspan, left, and Senator
Charles Grassley of Iowa at a
hearing on Social Security in 1983.
Social Security retirement benefits are going to have to be cut, Alan Greenspan announced last week, because there just is not enough money to pay the promised benefits. President Bush said those already retired or "near retirement age'' should not worry. They will get their promised benefits. ...

But there is an element that was forgotten in the rush of news. It dates back 21 years to the events that catapulted Mr. Greenspan into national prominence and led to his becoming chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Since 1983, American workers have been paying more into Social Security than it has paid out in benefits, about $1.8 trillion more so far. This year Americans will pay about 50 percent more in Social Security taxes than the government will pay out in benefits.

Those taxes were imposed at the urging of Mr. Greenspan, who was chairman of a bipartisan commission that in 1983 said that one way to make sure Social Security remains solvent once the baby boomers reached retirement age was to tax them in advance.

On Mr. Greenspan's recommendation Social Security was converted from a pay-as-you-go system to one in which taxes are collected in advance. After Congress adopted the plan, Mr. Greenspan rose to become chairman of the Federal Reserve. ...

So what has happened to that $1.8 trillion?

The advance payments have all been spent.

George Bush calls this tax cuts. I call it grand theft.
Bush style democracy in action:

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ousted as Haitian president on Sunday, told U.S. lawmakers and other contacts by telephone on Monday that he was abducted by U.S. soldiers and left his homeland against his will.



Check out Liberal Oasis for some background and more details.
Sunday, February 29, 2004
A Neocon Reader
or
Bedtime for Bonzos
A drop-dead exposť!
 
The idea that some of the major Neocon players might be "dual loyalists" has been around for a while, although it's generally been balanced by the idea that one should not rush to over-read what simply might be staunch advocacies of Israeli concerns. This report puts an end to this question. With fact after fact after fact and covering a span of thirty-five years, Stephen Green paints the professional resumťs of key Neocons repeatedly compromising or being suspected of compromising U.S. national security interests in favor of those of Israel. Green changes the question from one of dual loyalist or stranch advocate to one of dual loyalist or outright spy.

Consider Stephen Bryen, under investigation for espionage (for Israel) in 1979 and subverting technology transfer rules (for Israel) in 1988, only to find himself in 2001 on a commission to investigate illegal technology transfer (by Israel) to China.

Or consider Michael Ledeen, who in the mid-80's was classified by official CIA documents as an "agent of influence" of Israel. Michael, it seems, has a long history of discomforting his co-workers by hanging around when documents he wasn't cleared to see were present and even asking for those documents by the classified names of then he was not even supposed to know.

And then there are the principles, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith, who have not avoided their own investigations and keep bringing both Bryen and Ledeen back in. At every turn, all of these men seem to be under investigation for some sort of security breach or illegal technology transfer. At every turn, they seem to be losing their Top Secret access. And at every turn, they seem to be conspiring with each other to regain that Top Secret access. But most of all, they all have that access now, and until Richard Perle's resignation last week, they were all employed by or consult to the Bush administration's defense policy apparatus.

A lengthy but alarming exposť. Don't miss it!


From Mother Jones:
The Lie Factory
"Feith-based intelligence"
 
Only weeks after 9/11, the Bush administration set up a secret Pentagon unit to create the case for invading Iraq. Headed by Douglas Feith under the leadership of Paul Wolfowitz, the unit set about it's task of "proving" what did not exist.
Both Wolfowitz and Feith have deep roots in the neoconservative movement. One of the most influential Washington neo- conservatives in the foreign-policy establishment during the Republicans' wilderness years of the 1990s, Wolfowitz has long held that not taking Baghdad in 1991 was a grievous mistake. He and others now prominent in the administration said so repeatedly over the past decade in a slew of letters and policy papers from neoconservative groups like the Project for the New American Century and the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. Feith, a former aide to Richard Perle at the Pentagon in the 1980s and an activist in far-right Zionist circles, held the view that there was no difference between U.S. and Israeli security policy and that the best way to secure both countries' future was to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem not by serving as a broker, but with the United States as a force for "regime change" in the region.

More Karen Kwiatkowski:
Pygmalion, Neocon-Style
Did I mention that Karen Kwiatkowski doesn't think much of Neocons?
Chalabi, if I may interpret, means to say that words and facts have no intrinsic value, but only instrumental value, as a means to an end. Words don't have to mean anything, and facts exist only to be described in such a way to ensure we get what we want. For neocons and other pre-logic humans, getting what one wants is the only thing that matters.

In fact, like three-year-olds, neocon "thought processes are characterized by great awareness; yet these islands of sophistication exist in a sea of uncertainty. Children during this period still understand relatively little about the world in which they live and have little or no control over it. They are prone to fears and they combat their growing self-awareness of being small by wishful, magical thinking."

Hanging around people like this, and getting his policy advice from them, itís no wonder Secretary Higgins, er, Rumsfeld is often confused about what we know, donít know, think we know, think we donít know, and know we don't think we know. Donít get me started with what we know now, and what we now know we donít know.

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