CHENEYLIES part II: Liars and Crooks and Warmongers, Oh My!
Cheney loves Chalabi Who put the con in neocon? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / "There's a reason why Ahmad Chalabi and the Bush crowd were so simpatico for so long. They all considered themselves masters of the con. They all thought that they could fool all of the people all of the time." / - "Did Somebody Say War?", by BOB HERBERT, New York Times, May 24, 2004 / "Chalabi has been in exile for four decades and, in 1992, he was convicted on multiple counts of embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars in Jordan after the failure of his bank there. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He escaped from Jordan, reportedly in the trunk of a car, and wound up in London. Dick Cheney is also a Chalabi fan." / - Molly Ivins, (below) // / The divinely appointed Chalabi. "He's our kind of people"' say the Neocons. / / / ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ // Bush Offers Crooks And Warmongers To Lead Iraq / by Molly Ivins Creators Syndicate Wednesday 9 April 2003 / "So, we've got a crook, a Zionist and an old spy who thinks this is the beginning of WWIV set to run Iraq. How lucky can the Iraqis get? Is this what we thought we were fighting for?"
AUSTIN, Texas - Oh good. It looks as though we're going to have as big a fight over postwar plans for Iraq as we did over the war itself. Just what we need, more of everybody being at everybody else's throat.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who seems prepared to run the world, favors one Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress, an exile-emigre group, as postwar leader (read figurehead-puppet). Chalabi is bitterly opposed by both the State Department and the CIA.
According to Knight-Ridder's Jonathan Landay, American military planes flew Chalabi and 700 troops, the newly named "First Battalion of Free Iraqi Forces," into Nasiriyah Sunday to be integrated into Gen. Tommy Franks' command. Landay reports, "Senior administration officials said that Chalabi had had difficulty recruiting enough forces to go into southern Iraq and may have tapped the discredited Badr Brigade, an Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim group, to get his 700 soldiers." Think how happy the Iraqis will be to see some detachment from their old enemy Iran.
Landay also reports, "It was information provided by Chalabi that led Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz to a prewar belief that Iraqis would rise up and welcome the invading coalition with open arms, that the Republican Guard would surrender in droves and the government of Saddam Hussein would crumble in a matter of days."
One hesitates to make sweeping generalizations, but anyone who has studied the history of emigre groups knows the endless infighting and delusional quality of the emigre culture. (See if you can think of an example.)
This gets better. Chalabi has been in exile for four decades and, in 1992, he was convicted on multiple counts of embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars in Jordan after the failure of his bank there. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He escaped from Jordan, reportedly in the trunk of a car, and wound up in London. Dick Cheney is also a Chalabi fan.
The Iraqi National Congress has received millions in American aid money, but the accounting has been very poor (a familiar story) and quite a bit of the money is unaccounted for. Chalabi favors Savile Row suits.
The Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz choice for "viceroy designate" of Iraq is Gen. Jay Garner, head of the Pentagon's Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. Garner is a retired military man with links to both the international arms industry and a Jewish lobby group. After retiring from the Army, Garner became president of SY Coleman, a defense contractor specializing in military defense technology. He is currently on leave of absence from the company.
The problem of Garner's alleged Zionist sympathies is also causing talk: He visited Israel as the guest of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and signed a statement in October 2000 blaming the Palestinian Authority for the violence after the collapse of peace talks and praising the "remarkable restraint" of the Israeli army.
The third member of the triumvirate that Rumsfeld & Co. want to run Iraq is former CIA chief James Woolsey, who said last week that Iraq is the opening of the "Fourth World War" (counting the Cold War as III) and that America's enemies include the religious rulers in Iran, states like Syria and Islamic terrorist groups.
So, we've got a crook, a Zionist and an old spy who thinks this is the beginning of WWIV set to run Iraq. How lucky can the Iraqis get? Is this what we thought we were fighting for?
According to David Sanger's analysis in The New York Times, "Some hawks in the administration are convinced that Iraq will serve as a cautionary example of what can happen to other sates that refuse to abandon their programs to build weapons of mass destruction, an argument that John Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control, has made several times in recent speeches."
The administration's more pragmatic wing fears that the war's lesson will be just the opposite: that the best way to avoid American military action is to build a fearsome arsenal quickly and make the cost of conflict too high for Washington.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch ... Sen. Ted Stevens suggested last week that New York City's cops and firefighters should work overtime without pay as a wartime sacrifice. "I really feel strongly that we ought to find some way to convince the people that there ought to be some volunteerism at home. Those people overseas in the desert - they're not getting overtime. ... I don't know why the people working for the cities and counties ought to be paid overtime when they're responding to matters of national security."
Stevens, R-Alaska, had just voted for tax cuts that will give those who make a million dollars a year $92,000 more to spend on polo ponies. Some must sacrifice more than others.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / The Thief of Baghdad By Maureen Dowd The New York Times
In the Ford White House, Dick Cheney's Secret Service name was Backseat, because he was the model of an unobtrusive staffer, the perfect unflashy deputy chief of staff for that lord of the bureaucratic dance, Donald Rumsfeld.
As James Mann writes in his new book, "The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet," Cheney started out supervising such lowly matters as fixing a stopped-up drain in a White House bathroom sink; getting a headrest for Betty Ford's helicopter seat; and sorting out which salt shakers - the regular ones or, as he put it, the "little dishes of salt with funny little spoons" - would be best for stag dinners in the president's private quarters.
Rummy's alter ego rose quickly, though, because he seemed to have no ego. Good old Dick could be counted on to be the man behind the man, a butler to power. The new President Bush, a tabula rasa in foreign affairs, put himself in Cheney's hands.
But W. had barely settled into the Oval when Backseat clambered into the front seat. Retracing the rush to war, the names Cheney and Chalabi are entwined in bold relief.
Back when Cheney was fiddling with salt shakers, Ahmad Chalabi, a smooth-talking and wealthy young Iraqi MIT graduate, was founding the Petra Bank in Jordan.
As Cheney moved up in the capital, Chalabi was tripped up in Jordan by a small matter of embezzlement from his own bank. Jordanian officials have said the crime rocked their economy and they paid $300 million to depositors to cover the bank's losses. By the time Chalabi was convicted and received a sentence of 22 years of hard labor, he was a fugitive in London.
After 9/11, Chalabi's passionate desire to take out Saddam coincided with that of conservatives. All they needed for their belli was a casus, so Chalabi obligingly conned the neocons.
A wily expert in the politics of the bazaar, he knew he had to sell his scheme on what was good for Americans and their security. He was happy to funnel information to Cheney that painted a picture of Saddam hunkered on a hair-raising stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
His group, the Iraqi National Congress, tried to spin our government and media through its "information collection program." Intelligence officials now say that the prewar information provided to Washington by this group was suspect and useless, even disinformation.
But here's the wild thing: The propaganda program was underwritten by U.S. government funds. So Americans paid Chalabi to gull them into a war that is costing them a billion a week - and a precious human cost. Cops dealing with their snitches check out the information better than the Bush administration did.
Chalabi's seances swayed the political set, the intelligence set and the journalistic set. In an effect Sen. Bob Graham dubs "incestuous amplification," the bogus stories spewed by Iraqi exiles and defectors ricocheted through an echo chamber of government and media, making it sound as if multiple, reliable sources were corroborating the same story.
Rather, one self-interested source was replicating like computer spam.
The CIA was stung to find out its analysts had mistakenly thought Iraq weapons information had been confirmed by multiple sources, when it came from only a single source; that analysts had relied on a fabricating Iraqi defector and spin material from Iraqi exiles; and that this blather made its way into documents and speeches used by the Bush administration to justify war.
George Tenet ordered a major change in procedure last week, removing barricades so analysts can know more about the identities of clandestine agents' sources and their motives.
But even incestuous amplification could not have drowned out reality if Bush officials had not glommed onto the Chalabi flummery for their own reasons - to feed their fantasies about refashioning America's power, psyche and military, and making over the Middle East in our image.
Swept up in big dreams, the foreign policy dream team became dupes in Ahmad Chalabi's big con.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ // / Bay of Goats By MAUREEN DOWD New York Times May 23, 2004 / "We were going after the very guy who persuaded us to go after Saddam, the con man the naïve neo-cons cast as de Gaulle; the swindler who sold himself to Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz as Spartacus."
So let me get this straight:
We ransacked the house of the con man whom we paid millions to feed us fake intelligence on W.M.D. that would make the case for ransacking the country that the con man assured us would be a cinch to take over because he wanted to run it.
And now we're shocked, shocked and awed to discover that a crook is a crook and we have nobody to turn over Iraq to, and the Jordanian embezzler-turned-American puppet-turned-accused Iranian spy is trying to foment even more anger against us and the U.N. officials we've crawled back to for help, anger that may lead to civil war.
The party line that Paul Bremer was notified about the raid on Ahmad Chalabi's house after the fact is absurd. The Iraqi police, who can't seem to do anything without us, were just proxies. We were going after the very guy who persuaded us to go after Saddam, the con man the naïve neo-cons cast as de Gaulle; the swindler who sold himself to Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz as Spartacus.
One diplomat from the region grimly cited an old Punjabi saying: "It's very bad when grandma marries a crook, but it is even worse when she divorces the crook."
Mr. Chalabi's wealthy family was swept out of Iraq in a coup in 1958 and he spent much of his life plotting a coup to take back his homeland, a far-fetched scheme that took on life when he hooked up with Mr. Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Doug Feith, who had their own dream of staging a coup of American foreign policy to do an extreme Middle East makeover.
The hawks dismissed warnings from their own people - such as the Bush Middle East envoy Gen. Anthony Zinni - that the Iraqi National Congress was full of "silk-suited, Rolex-wearing guys in London." As General Zinni told The Times in 2000: "They are pie in the sky. They're going to lead us to a Bay of Goats, or something like that."
The C.I.A. and State Department, too, grew disgusted with Mr. Chalabi, even though State paid his organization $33 million from 2000 to 2003.
Cheney & Company swooned over Mr. Chalabi because he was telling them what they wanted to hear, that it would be simple to go back and rewrite the Persian Gulf war ending so that it was not bellum interruptus.
The president and his hawks insisted that only a "relatively small number" of "thugs," as Mr. Perle told George Stephanopoulos last month, were keeping the country from peace. Mr. Perle said the solution was "to repose a little bit of confidence in people who share our values and our objectives . . . people like Ahmad Chalabi." The neo-cons still think he can be Churchill.
On Thursday, an Iraqi judge, Hussain Muathin, also lamented the actions of "a small number of thugs." But he was announcing warrants for the arrest of thugs around Mr. Perle's own George Washington, Chalabi henchmen suspected of kidnapping, torture and theft. Didn't we sack Saddam to stop that stuff?
Now we're using Saddam's old generals to restore order - reversing the de-Baathification approach that Mr. Chalabi championed - while Mr. Chalabi snakes around like a bus-and-truck Tony Soprano, garnering less trust than Saddam in polls of Iraqis.
A half-dozen dunderheads who thought they knew everything assumed they could control Mr. Chalabi and use him as the instrument of their utopian fantasies. But one week after getting cut off from the $335,000-a-month Pentagon allowance arranged by his neo-con buddies, he glibly accepts the street cred that goes with bashing America. And he still won't give us all of Saddam's secret files, which he confiscated and is using to discredit his enemies.
Going from Spartacus to Moses, he proclaims to America, "Let my people go" - even as he plays footsie with the country that once denounced the U.S. as the Great Satan.
On Friday at Louisiana State University, President Bush told graduates: "On the job and elsewhere in life, choose your friends carefully. The company you keep has a way of rubbing off on you - and that can be a good thing, or a bad thing. In my job, I got to pick just about everybody I work with. I've been happy with my choices - although I wish someone had warned me about all of Dick Cheney's wild partying."
Mr. Bush thought he was kidding, but too bad he didn't get that warning before Dick Cheney took the world on such a wild ride.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
FALL FROM GRACE Iraqis Ordering Chalabi Arrest; He Vows Fight / By JOHN F. BURNS and DEXTER FILKINS New York Times August 9, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 8 - Ahmad Chalabi, the exile leader who returned to Iraq last year hoping to run the country with American support, was ordered arrested on counterfeiting charges, Iraqi officials said Sunday night.
Mr. Chalabi, whose fortunes fell into eclipse during the American occupation, was traveling in neighboring Iran and could not be reached for comment. In a television interview, he rejected the charges, calling them politically motivated, and vowed to return to Iraq to fight for his name.
At the same time, Mr. Chalabi's nephew, Salem Chalabi, was also ordered arrested on a separate charge relating to the murder of an Iraqi official. The younger Mr. Chalabi is spearheading the prosecution of Saddam Hussein. He was on a visit to London, and denied the charges against him.
Francis Brooke, a Washington adviser to Mr. Chalabi, said the charges against both men were categorically untrue and said both would return to Iraq to defend themselves. He said that the elder Mr. Chalabi would leave a vacation cabin in the mountains outside Tehran immediately and that the younger man would return to Iraq later from his home in London. Mr. Brooke assailed the magistrate who issued the charges, calling him an unqualified political appointee of L. Paul Bremer III, the former chief administrator of Iraq.
"I see him, personally, as acting as an agent of the U.S. government," Mr. Brooke said of the magistrate, Zuhair al-Maliky.
Details were sketchy on Sunday night, but Iraqi officials said they suspected that Mr. Chalabi had been counterfeiting old Iraqi dinar notes used during the reign of Saddam Hussien and exchanging them for newly minted notes, which came into circulation earlier this year.
The charges against the younger Chalabi, Salem, appear more serious, alleging his involvement in the killing of Haithem Fadhil, a director general of the Iraqi Finance Ministry, in June.
"They should be arrested and then questioned,'' Judge Maliky told The Associated Press. "If there is enough evidence, they will be sent to trial.''
If tried and convicted, Salem Chalabi, 41, could face the death penalty, the judge said. Capital punishment was restored by Iraqi officials on Sunday. His uncle, if tried and convicted, would face a sentence to be determined by the judges. One Iraqi newspaper, Al Ghad, reported that the case against the senior Mr. Chalabi was initiated by a complaint by the central bank, and that the other case followed a suit lodged by an individual who was not identified. The newspaper said Mr. Fadhil had been auditing the Chalabi family's financial holdings and real estate in Iraq.
The criminal charges against the senior Mr. Chalabi marked a personal nadir; as recently as six months ago he maintained the status of being the Bush administration's favored leader in Iraq. Pentagon officials favored him and once saw him as a likely successor to Mr. Hussein.
The relationship between the administration and Mr. Chalabi deteriorated markedly in recent months, as prewar intelligence provided by him about the military abilities of Mr. Hussein's government and its relationship to the terrorists of Al Qaeda was largely discredited.
But the charges also point to the first signs of full-scale political strife in Iraq.
The man presiding over the new government, Ayad Allawi, is a longtime rival of Mr. Chalabi in Iraq and also within the corridors of the American government. The move to arrest the two Chalabis, whether justified or not, will no doubt give rise to fears that Dr. Allawi, the interim prime minister ahead of elections scheduled for next year, is carrying out a political vendetta.
Mr. Chalabi's first fall came in May, when the Iraqi police, backed by American forces, raided his home and headquarters in Baghdad. American officials said later that they believed that he might have passed classified American information to Iranian agents.
While Dr. Allawi emerged as the new American ally here last June, Mr. Chalabi and his group, the Iraqi National Congress, were all but excluded from the new government.
Judge Maliky is the country's top investigative judge and a political maverick who has not shied from taking on some of the country's most powerful leaders.
The counterfeiting charge against Mr. Chalabi is not the first accusation of financial wrongdoing. In 1991, a Jordanian court convicted him in absentia for bank fraud and sentenced him to 22 years in jail. Mr. Chalabi has said the fraud prosecution was backed by Mr. Hussein.
In Washington, the Bush administration said it had no comment on the charges against the Chalabis. "This is a matter for the Iraqi authorities to resolve, and they are taking steps to do so," said a White House spokeswoman, Suzy DeFrancis.
Mr. Chalabi and the Bush administration also fell out on the question of how drastically former members of Mr. Hussein's Baath Party should be purged from the new Iraqi government. Mr. Chalabi pushed for a near total ban, but as American officials tried to rebuild a functioning Iraqi state, they decided on a more permissive stratregy.
With both men out of the country on Sunday, the warrants against them seemed issued with a view toward discouraging them from returning, and thus from playing any further role, at least from inside Iraq, in the political rivalries that are sharpening in the majority Shiite population as elections scheduled before the end of January draw nearer.
Mr. Chalabi has continued to maneuver for a possible appointment as prime minister after the elections, aligning himself with a powerful Shiite religious group, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, that could emerge as a crucial power-broker after the voting.
Dexter Filkins reported from Istanbul for this article and Patrick Healy contributed reporting from New York.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
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George W. Bush is running for a second term on the basis of his performance in the defense of our national security. Vice President Cheney has flatly stated that if Bush loses in 2004, the terrorists win. In truth, however, the national security of the United States of America has been raped by these people. 'Rape' is a strong word, but in truth, is not strong enough to describe what has taken place. This disaster can be summed up in one name: Ahmad Chalabi.
Chalabi was the head of the Iraqi National Congress, a dissident group organized for the purpose of overthrowing the regime of Saddam Hussein. Chalabi was a beloved ally of Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney before they came to power with this administration; Chalabi and his group were the impetus behind the passage of the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998, legislation advocated loudly by Rumsfeld, Cheney and the neo-conservatives who now occupy this government.
Rumsfeld personally groomed Chalabi to take control of Iraq once Hussein was removed. This, despite the fact that Chalabi was convicted of 32 counts of bank fraud in Jordan and sentenced in absentia to 22 years in prison, despite the fact that Chalabi had not set foot in Iraq since he was a teenager, despite the fact that he had no power base and no credibility in the Middle East. Because the neo-cons loved him, however, Chalabi saw his opening. More than anything, he lusted after the oil revenues available from an Iraq he controlled.
Flash forward to January 2001. George W. Bush and his crew took office, and within a week of the inauguration, began planning for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. These plans were kicked into high gear after the attacks of September 11. Bush, grudgingly, agreed to attack Afghanistan and dismantle that Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold. Iraq, however, was large in the minds of Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and the other architects of our current condition. By September of 2002, Afghanistan was left aside - another failed 'Mission Accomplished' - and Iraq was the new focus.
The attacks of September 11 made Ahmad Chalabi. The Bush administration had already decided to attack Iraq, and then began casting about for evidence to support the decision which had already been made. Don Rumsfeld organized a secretive group within the Defense Department called the Office of Special Plans, the purpose of which was to cherry-pick intelligence reports that made Iraq appear to be an imminent threat. Representatives of the OSP - including Vice President Cheney, Cheney deputy Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich - visited CIA headquarters on several occasions to browbeat the analysts into "toughening up" their analyses of the Iraqi threat.
More than any single person, Ahmad Chalabi was the source for the 'intelligence' on the Iraqi threat that was offered to the American people. Chalabi was the man who claimed Iraq was in possession of vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. He was able to broadband this lie by becoming the trusted source for New York Times journalist Judith Miller. Miller wrote article after article about the WMD threat posed by Iraq, based on the false data provided by Chalabi. The rest of the news media piggy-backed on the reputation of the Times and re-reported Miller's WMD information across the news spectrum, turning Chalabi's false data into axiomatic truth in the eyes of the American public. It was a masterful stroke.
Chalabi was the man who claimed Hussein enjoyed deep operational connections with Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terror network. This allegation, along with the claims of weapons of mass destruction, created the 'imminent threat' aura which greased the skids towards invasion. Like the WMD claims, no proof of the al Qaeda allegations could be established.
Finally, Chalabi was the man who told Rumsfeld and the rest of the crew that an invasion and occupation of Iraq would be a cakewalk, that the people of Iraq would welcome us with flowers and joy. 802 dead American soldiers later, thousands of wounded American soldiers later, at least ten thousand dead Iraqis later, uncounted billions of dollars later, we have come to see exactly how wrong this claim was. Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest believed him implicitly in every aspect, because he was telling them what they wanted to hear.
Rumsfeld, the OSP and the neo-cons in general did not have much use throughout all this for the American intelligence community. The CIA, for one, refused to deliver the clear-cut evidence of an Iraqi threat needed to justify the already-made decision to invade. Because Rumsfeld and the rest had Chalabi in hand, they happily cut the CIA and the rest of the American intelligence community completely out of the loop. This actually became funny last summer, when the Bush administration went out of its way to blame the CIA for the fact that no weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda connections could be found in Iraq.
Now, we come to discover that Chalabi, beloved by the Bush administration, was in fact serving the national security interests of Iran. For the record, Iran does have operational relationships with international terrorism, and does have a robust program for the development of weapons of mass destruction.
The CIA is in possession today of "rock-solid" evidence that Ahmad Chalabi is an agent of the Iranian government, that he used his position with the Bush administration to push false data upon the gullible hawks in Washington. According to a report by Julian Borger in the UK Guardian, "The CIA has hard evidence that Mr. Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions."
"The implications," writes Borger, "are far-reaching. Mr. Chalabi and Mr. Habib were the channels for much of the intelligence on Iraqi weapons on which Washington built its case for war. 'It's pretty clear that Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner,' said an intelligence source in Washington yesterday. 'Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi.' Larry Johnson, a former senior counter-terrorist official at the state department, said: 'When the story ultimately comes out we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy.'"
Iran's motives are crystal clear. Iraq has been a mortal enemy of Iran for decades. The process engineered by Chalabi has destroyed that enemy, and opened the way to a Shia-controlled Iraq that would be a natural ally of Shia-controlled Iran. In the process, Iran has come into possession of national security secrets so important that only a select few American officials were cleared for them. As a side benefit, Iran has watched the United States flail like a beached whale in Iraq, squandering billions of dollars and thousands of lives while shattering its reputation around the world.
W. Bush and his people delivered this boon to Iran on a silver
platter. Let us recap:
· The Bush administration, enamored of Chalabi, threw the American intelligence services under the bus, leaving us blind, deaf and dumb;
·The Bush administration barnstormed us into a catastrophic war in Iraq on the word of Chalabi, giving Osama bin Laden the kind of rallying point he had previously only fantasized about;
· Because the Bush administration trusted Chalabi so completely, he was able to give our national security secrets to Iran, while simultaneously feeding Bush's people disinformation about Iraq, which they were all too ready to hear and act upon;
· Because Chalabi was working for Iran, and because he has coughed up the deep national security secrets he gained via access provided by the Bush administration, there are more than 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq whose lives are in far greater danger than anyone previously imagined;
· The Bush administration paid Chalabi $340,000 a month to do this, over and above whatever he earned from Iranian intelligence for selling us down the river.
The damage all this has done is incalculable.
The hawks will try to put all the blame for this on Ahmad Chalabi alone, and will claim they were "duped." The truth, however, is that Bush's people have been courting Chalabi for years, long before they became a part of this administration. He is their creature. The truth is that Bush's people wanted this Iraq war, and were willing to do whatever was necessary to get it. Chalabi was their vehicle, and in using him, they have betrayed us all.
The truth is that George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the neo-conservatives are personally responsible for the delivery of our most precious national security secrets into the hands of Iran, a nation that has believed itself to be at war with us since the Carter administration. The method of that delivery, this Iraq invasion and occupation, has made the entire world a more dangerous place by orders of magnitude. Thousands are dead, and more will certainly die, because of this.
There is no repackaged 'Five-Point Plan' this administration can offer, no series of campaign speeches, which can salvage this situation. Bush and his people have lost the 'war,' they have lost the 'peace,' they have disgraced us throughout the world, and they have dim-witted their way through all of this for the benefit of Iran. This is the most damaging breach of national security in generations.
'Rape' is a strong word, but is all too appropriate for what has taken place here.
William Rivers Pitt is the senior editor and lead writer for t r u t h o u t. He is a New York Times and international bestselling author of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'
/ Cheney Dismisses Critic With Obscenity: Clash With Leahy About Halliburton / by Helen Dewar and Dana Milbank Washington Post Friday 25 June 2004 /
A brief argument between Vice President Cheney and a senior Democratic senator led Cheney to utter a big-time obscenity on the Senate floor this week.
On Tuesday, Cheney, serving in his role as president of the Senate, appeared in the chamber for a photo session. A chance meeting with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, became an argument about Cheney's ties to Halliburton Co., an international energy services corporation, and President Bush's judicial nominees. The exchange ended when Cheney offered some crass advice.
"Fuck yourself," said the man who is a heartbeat from the presidency.
Leahy's spokesman, David Carle, yesterday confirmed the brief but fierce exchange. "The vice president seemed to be taking personally the criticism that Senator Leahy and others have leveled against Halliburton's sole-source contracts in Iraq," Carle said.
As it happens, the exchange occurred on the same day the Senate passed legislation described as the "Defense of Decency Act" by 99 to 1.
Cheney's office did not deny that the phrase was uttered. His spokesman, Kevin S. Kellems, would say only that this language is not typical of the vice presidential vocabulary. "Reserving the right to revise and extend my remarks, that doesn't sound like language the vice president would use," Kellems said, "but there was a frank exchange of views."
Gleeful Democrats pointed out that the White House has not always been so forgiving of obscenity. In December, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry was quoted using the same word in describing Bush's Iraq policy as botched. The president's chief of staff reacted with indignation.
"That's beneath John Kerry," Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. said. "I'm very disappointed that he would use that kind of language. I'm hoping that he's apologizing at least to himself, because that's not the John Kerry that I know."
This was not the first foray into French by Cheney and his boss. During the 2000 campaign, Bush pointed out a New York Times reporter to Cheney and said, without knowing the microphone was picking it up, "major-league asshole." Cheney's response - "Big Time" - has become his official presidential nickname.
Then there was that famous Talk magazine interview of Bush by Tucker Carlson in 1999, in which the future president repeatedly used the F-word.
Tuesday's exchange began when Leahy crossed the aisle at the photo session and joked to Cheney about being on the Republican side, according to Carle. Then Cheney, according to Carle, "lashed into" Leahy for remarks he made Monday criticizing Iraq contracts won without competitive bidding by Halliburton, Cheney's former employer.
Leahy, Carle said, retorted that Democrats "have not appreciated White House collusion in smears" that Democrats were anti-Catholic for blocking judicial nominees such as William H. Pryor Jr. Democrats demanded that Bush disavow the allegations by conservative groups, but the White House did not.
The Democratic National Committee has declared this to be "Halliburton Week" to portray administration ties to the controversial company. "Sounds like it's making somebody a little testy," Kerry spokesman Chad Clanton said.
Republicans did their best to defend the vice president. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), while pointing out that he was unaware of the incident, described Cheney as "very honest" and said: "I don't blame anyone for standing up for his integrity."
There is no rule against obscene language by a vice president on the Senate floor. The senators were present for a group picture and not in session, so Rule 19 of the Senate rules - which prohibits vulgar statements "unbecoming a senator" - does not apply, according to a Senate official. Even if the Senate were in session, the vice president, though constitutionally the president of the Senate, is an executive branch official and therefore free to use whatever language he likes.
"Mankind was my business." - Condemned wraith Jacob Marley ngfnfxzd Which one looks more like Ebenezer Scrooge? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________'/ VDV U.S. Policies Defy Spirit of Season By Jesse Jackson The Chicago Sun Times Wednesday 21 December 2004
Early returns on Christmas are up modestly, we are told. Are these reports on an increase in church attendance? Or a decline in the numbers of homeless? The spread of peace in the world? No, the reports are about sales, which are better than last year, particularly in the high-end luxury stores. Christmas - the mass celebrating the birth of Christ - is the biggest shopping season of the year.
But, of course, that's not what the Christmas story is about. It's about a couple - Mary and Joseph - forced by an oppressive government to leave their home to travel far to be counted in the census. It's the story of a child born in a barn and placed in a manger - a makeshift crib. He might have died from exposure, but the stars aligned in the night to provide light and warmth. The innkeeper had no room for the strange couple. If he had understood who the baby was, he would have offered them his bed.
The measure of Christmas is not about what is bought and what is sold. It is not about consuming. Yes, Wise Men left their daily ways, followed the star, and brought gifts to the poor child. But their wisdom was not in the value of their gifts - much of what they brought were scents, to mask the smell of the barn, perhaps - but in their ability to see the power in the infant, even though he was lying in a wooden manger. They saw what the innkeeper could not. The Christmas story instructs us to treasure every child, for even the poorest child of a homeless couple has limitless potential.
Unlike the reports on the business page, the reports on the moral page are grim. Poverty is up in this country - more than 30 million now in poverty. Homelessness is up, with mayors reporting record numbers seeking shelter each night. Many of these are families with a working parent, still unable to afford an apartment or a house. More people go without health care for lack of insurance, or do without the prescriptions they need for lack of money. More than 45 million Americans lack health insurance.
Reports from the values page are also pretty bleak. Inequality is at record levels, yet the administration that insists on cutting taxes on the wealthy also opposes any increase in the minimum wage. College tuitions are soaring, but Congress just authorized a cut in college grants to more than 1 million students. Schools and classes are overcrowded, but across the country, teachers are being laid off and needed repairs are put off.
What was Christmas about? It was about an oppressed people who were praying for a Messiah, a mighty warrior who would conquer their oppressors. But when the Messiah came, he came as the prince of peace, not of war. He taught love and hope and charity, not violence and vengeance. He was the greatest liberator of them all, but he carried no arms, and provisioned no army. His army would be the legions of the faithful, struggling to follow in his path.
But this year, the reports from the peace page are also grim. Our soldiers are in armed occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Our cities are girded against the threat of terrorist attack. We possess the mightiest military, but we are more insecure than ever. We're losing young men and women each day in a war of choice, while generating more hatred against us every week.
War is not a present Jesus would seek. Nor tax breaks for the wealthy, nor a spread of hunger and homelessness.
A mass for Christ would not be about shopping. It would celebrate family and community. Measure yourself, taught the Messiah, by how you treat the "least of these." Today in America, millions of poor children head to school not ready to learn. They suffer from malnutrition, from inadequate health care, from broken homes. One of five children in wealthy America is raised in poverty. We are failing the standard he taught us.
Let us all remember the true spirit of Christmas this year. Protect the babies in the dawn of life. Care for the elderly in the dusk of life. Nurture the sick; shelter the homeless. Stop for the stranger on the Jericho Road. Work for the promise of peace. Surely that is what Jesus would want under his tree.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
George Bailey: "You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money.
"I think Howard Dean's over the top. I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does," Cheney told Fox News Channel. "That's not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party," Cheney said. / // (Whitehouse.org)
/ / An exchange heard between comedian Al Franken (Democrat) and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday, April 26,2003: Franken: "Clinton's military did pretty well in Iraq, huh?" Wolfowitz: "Fuck you." rhe//wh __________________________________________________________________ / The FCC Song
So fuck you very much, Dear Mr. Bush For heroically sitting on your tush // // For Halliburton, Enron, all the companies who fail Let's send them a clear signal and stick Martha straight in jail She's an uppity rich bitch and at least she isn't male So fuck you all so very much .hg So fuck you dickhead Mr. Cheney too Fuck you and fuck everything you do Your pacemaker must be a fake You haven't got a heart As far as I'm concerned you're just a pasty-faced old fart / / And as for Condoleeza she's an intellectual tart So fuck you all so very much
- George Harrison, "Beware Of Darkness" ( from tha album All Things Must Pass ) / _______________________________________________________________ / "MORE" iyfoiuuo Cheney, 64, has had four heart attacks, a quadruple bypass, and has a net worth of at least $94 million. So what does he still he want from life? iyfoiuuo sbbsbb".... the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see they are never satisfied, but always want more .... There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the people's money, then their lands, then make them and their children servants for ever ..." /- Benjamin Franklin, "Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy," in a Speech delivered during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 djjjdthdkj
In writer/director John Huston's Key Largo, Bogart says to Edward G. Robinson: db"I know what you want, Rocco."
And Rocco says, "Yeah? what do I want?" Bogart: "You want more."
"Yeah, that's right," Rocco says with a leer, "I want more." Bogart: "Will you ever have enough?"
Rocco: "Well, no ... I never have!" /ngnfdd __________________________________________
BILLION DOLLAR CHENEY (FLASH VIDEO) / "... Mammon was not originally a demon, but simply the Syrian term for 'money' or 'riches'. He entered the lists of demons in the words of Christ (Matthew, 6, 24): hfnmdfh "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
- Joseph Campbell, "Hero with a Thousand Faces" (p. 15, from discussion of King Minos) / / Eerily prophetic 1957 illustration by Lynd Ward for "The Moloch Broadside", by Allen Ginsberg / / ''...False gods they will erect offerings they will burn / ...And it is money that they worship and Lies are what they sell and Fear is their obsession / Ring the liberation bell..." / - Excerpt from "Beloved Infidel", lyrics by Todd Rundgren (from the album "The Individualist", 1995) X C \_______________________________________________________________________________________________ / /
And you rage and fume at the godless ones Cause they don't understand how the company runs bnf "GO FUCK YOURSELVES!" bnf And they think it's the money that you care about You pretend to be offended when they figure it out bnf ngfnfxzd Tell me what kind of heaven do you think awaits When your ass is too fat to fit the pearly gates? rhe/wh n fdn rhe/wh It's like the eye of a needle and a limosine Paradise is set aside for the less obscene / You only care for the power that the lucre brings / And you have no love for any living thing save Mammon . . And you'd like to rub our face in it/\ . -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. . "I am more fearful for the state of this nation than I have ever been - - because this country is in the hands of an evil man: Dick Cheney. It is eminently clear that it is he who is running the country, not George W. Bush." - Elmer L. Anderson, former Minnesota Governor and lifelong Republican -- until now. x Z ./ "The vice president is the single greatest threat to American and international security in the world today." "Not Osama Bin Laden. Not the ghost of Saddam Hussein. Not Ahmadinejad or Kim Jung Il. Not al-Qaida, the Taliban, or Jose Padilla himself. Not even George W. Bush can lay claim to this title. It is Dick Cheney's alone." / - Scott Ritter, "Why Cheney Really Is That Bad", Truthdig, Aug 21, 2007 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / s Who was right about Iraq-- Marine Gulf War I veteran Scott Ritter or five-time draft doger Dick Cheney? / "Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." / - Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003 / / /"The clock is ticking, and it's ticking towards war. And it's going to be a real war. It's going to be a war that will result in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. It's a war that is going to devastate Iraq. It's a war that's going to destroy the credibility of the United States of America." // - U.N weapons inspector, and Gulf War I veteran Scott Ritter speaking at Suffolk University in Boston on July 23, 2002 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ // ""...In this election, they will speak endlessly of risk. We will speak of progress. They will make accusations. We will make proposals. /They will feed fear. We will appeal to hope." / / cvv "...Senator Kerry has also said that if he were in charge he would fight a "more sensitive" war on terror. (Laughter.) America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was ever won by being "sensitive." (Applause.)
BOMBS!! (-and Halliburton to do the 'clean-up'.) / /
"The Red Cross report, published by The Wall Street Journal, said that Iraqi prisoners - - 70 to 90 percent of whom apparently did nothing wrong." -- were routinely abused when they were arrested, and their wives and mothers threatened." / = //
"Dick Cheney thought an Iraq whupping would make surly young anti-American Arab men scuttle away. Instead, it stoked their ire." "Scaring Up Votes", by MAUREEN DOWD, New York Times, November 23, 2003=/ .
"War is the no-win, all-lose option." / - Gore Vidal .
/ "...They clearly wanted to go after Iraq and they clearly wanted to do this reshaping of the middle east and they used the tragedy of 9/11 as an excuse to test their theories."= / - Former National Security Chief Richard A. Clarke /
kmrykty "...This is the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years." - KEN LIVINGSTONE, the MAYOR of LONDON ykmryktyk "What we have here is a form of looting. I think this is the worst government the US has ever had in its more than 200 years of history. " - GEORGE AKERLOF, NOBEL PRIZE WINNER IN ECONOMICS kmrykty "And now, having installed themselves as our federal government, or taken control of it from outside, they have squandered our public treasury and then some. They have created a public debt of such appalling magnitude that our descendants, for whom we had such high hopes, will come into this world as poor as church mice." - KURT VONNEGUT kmrykty "Nowadays, if your country is attacked, you immediately get a contract to rebuild something. Then perhaps you are a member of the cabinet who knocks down cities, and then you go over to the vice president and get his company, Halliburton, to rebuild them with treasury money." - GORE VIDAL / __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
DEMOCRACY NOW Tuesday, October 21st, 2003: "We spend the hour hearing a speech by acclaimed young author, political analyst and managing editor of truthout.org William Rivers Pitt. He is the author of War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You To Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence: Four Years in America. Author and Political Analyst William Rivers Pitt Speaks Out On The Bush Administration and Iraq - LISTEN
/."... the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see they are never satisfied, but always want more ... There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the people's money, then their lands, then make them and their children servants for ever ..." /// - Benjamin Franklin, "Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy," in a Speech delivered during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 . j / /"Direct threats require decisive action," Cheney said in a speech to the World Economic Forum. He urged European allies to "act with all the urgency that this danger demands." "There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are," Cheney said. "At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted. At that point, we must show that beyond our resolutions is actual resolve." "The days of looking the other way while despotic regimes trample human rights, rob their nations' wealth, and then excuse their failings by feeding their people a steady diet of hatred are over." e/w / "// - Dick Cheney, World Economic Forum January 24, 2004 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,109392,00.html / "...But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security."
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