SADDAM CAUGHT..... WAR OVER..... LET'S GO HOME!
Note: Comments (sigh) working again...
Saturday, October 04, 2003
HOW BAD IS OUTING AN N.O.C. AGENT?
According to one contact I spoke to today:
"The equivalent of disclosing the location of a ship at sea during war."
i.e: "Loose lips sink ships"
or: "I liken that to the knee-capping of an athlete." Jim Marcinkowski, an ex-CIA officer who trained with her (link)
What percent of CIA employees are undercover? Less than 10%. Of those, how many are N.O.C.? Classified, but my guess would be 10-15%.
Slain CIA Agent's Dad Calls Leak Treason
By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer, October 2, 2003, 9:03 PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- The father of slain CIA officer Johnny "Mike" Spann said Thursday he believes an independent counsel should investigate allegations that someone in the Bush administration exposed a CIA officer's identity -- an act he called treasonous.
Spann, the first American killed in Afghanistan, died in a prison uprising. His father, also named Johnny Spann, said he is still angry because he feels his son's identity and hometown were disclosed before his son's family could be adequately protected.(underlines mine)
Democrats in Congress, led by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., are calling for a special counsel to be appointed to investigate who exposed a CIA operative who is married to a former ambassador, Joseph C. Wilson. Wilson had accused the administration of manipulating intelligence to exaggerate the threat posed by Iraq.
"If someone in the Bush administration leaked this, they need to be punished, and they need to be made an example of, because that's not just a leak, that's treason," Spann, of Winfield, Ala., told The Associated Press. "They should appoint an independent counsel so the American people can be sure, and let the chips fall where they may." link
I mentioned this a couple days ago (link). CIA employees around the world watched in shock as Johnnie Spann was buried 2 years ago in an unprecedentedly public ceremony.
Now they are even more outraged -- a living agent blown by her own government in an attempt to discredit the agency's own intelligence. This has never happened before and indeed was unimaginable...
Friday, October 03, 2003
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Eddie Angel of Los Straitjackets:
"It sounds kind of like California's in a real mess. I don't have a problem with Schwarzenegger running for office. I have a feeling in 100 years, all our politicians are going to be celebrities, and everyone's going to be 300 pounds. It's just the wave of the future."
-Las Vegas Review-Journal
CLINTON STOPPED SADDAM, 2003 WAR WAS UNNECESSARY, KAY REPORT SHOWS
From Easterblogg via Beltway Bandit:
Recall that in 1998, Saddam had thrown out U.N. inspectors. The United States and United Kingdom threatened airstrikes; most other Western nations waffled or counseled appeasement. In December 1998, U.S. and British aircraft bombed Iraq weapons facilities for several nights, while 400 cruise missiles were fired into Iraq. At the time, many conservatives and Republicans denounced the strikes as pinpricks and called for much more dramatic action. Clinton's decision to do everything from the air was derided as liberal fear of casualties.
Yet now it appears Desert Fox was a resounding success. Among the Iraq facilities pounded in 1998 was the Al Zaafaraniyah atomic weapons and missile complex. Al Zaafaraniyah was not bombed during the 1991 Gulf war, because the United States did not then know much about it. U.N. inspectors found the facility in the aftermath of the 1991 war; in 1993, Clinton ordered Al Zaafaraniyah hit with cruise missiles to stop Iraq atomic-weapons research; in 1998, Al Zaafaraniyah was reduced to rubble.
Set aside the question of whether the United States should have invaded Iraq in 2003; history may still judge this decision favorably, as a liberation of the oppressed. But if most of the Iraq atomic weapons program stopped in 1998, as Kay concludes, then Clinton administration policy on Iraq was far more effective than once assumed...
U.S. DECEIVING ITSELF AS N. KOREA ARMS IN SECRET
Nuclear Waiting Game Called Risky
North Korea may be working in secret as the U.S. holds out for diplomacy, critics warn.
By Sonni Efron, LA Times Staff Writer
October 3, 2003
WASHINGTON — When North Korea announced Thursday that it had finished reprocessing its 8,000 spent plutonium fuel rods — enough to make about six atomic bombs — official Washington all but yawned.
"This is the third time they have told us they have just finished reprocessing the rods," Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said dryly. "We have no evidence to confirm that."
A North Korean official's statement Wednesday that his government would not attend a second round of talks with five nations trying to persuade it to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs was likewise dismissed by a senior State Department official as no more credible than any of Pyongyang's claims...
... [but] North Korea knows that the U.S. is fully occupied in Iraq, and while the communist nation considers whether to attend talks, it may be expanding and improving its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, they warn.
"The most popular diplomatic plan still seems to be to kick the can down the road,"... link
ATTACKS ALMOST HOURLY IN IRAQ
U.S. General Says Iraqi Rebels Getting Stronger
By Tyler Marshall, Times Staff Writer October 3, 2003
BAGHDAD — In a week that has already seen five more U.S. combat deaths and the wounding of 41 soldiers, the commander of military forces in Iraq indicated Thursday that resistance to the occupying troops was strengthening and warned Americans to brace for more casualties.
With 313 American soldiers dead in the conflict so far, more than half since President Bush declared major combat over May 1, Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told reporters at a weekly news briefing here, "This is still wartime."
"There is still some intense fighting to be done, especially out in the west," he said. "We should not be surprised if one of these mornings we wake up and ... there has been a major firefight with some casualties or a significant terrorist attack that kills significant numbers of people."
Sanchez said the U.S.-led forces are engaging resistance groups 15 to 20 times a day, on average, with as many as 25 incidents on some days. Military spokesmen have cited lower figures in the past. more
Thursday, October 02, 2003
VALERIE PLAME NOT THE FIRST COVERT AGENT OUTED BY BUSH ADMIN.
Anyone remember Johnny "Mike" Spann? He was the first American casualty in the invasion of Afganistan. He died shortly after questioning the so-called "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh.
What you may not remember is that he also was a CIA operative under non-official cover. That his name and picture was revealed to the US Media by the Bush Administration was also an outrage to the intelligence community, even in death. The reason is that his posthumous outing endangered his family and all the people he worked with over the years.
In its quest to have an American hero, the Bush Administration did what it did two years later for revenge, that is, endanger lives of the innocent, lives of allies, and national security itself, all for a short term gain.
AMBASSADOR'S WIFE WAS A "KNOCKER"
The reason why the outing of the wife of Fmr. Ambassador Joseph Wilson is such an outrage is because she was one of a select few in the intelligence community known as "knockers". The term "knocker" is a play on the acronym N.O.C. for non-official cover. Nearly all CIA operatives, instead operate under official cover, which is a cover related to a non-CIA embassy posting. This cover gives them the protection of "diplomatic immunity" so that if they are arrested, they cannot be prosecuted or harmed by another country.
Knockers do not have this protection, and they do not because they they are involved in the most sensitive of operations, where the existence of an embassy link would draw suspicion.
They are the true spies and the ones in the most real danger. Knockers are often engaged in the recruitment of other clandestine agents, both knowing and unknowing hence the pun "knocker." Knockers often work under their own names because there is no official link between them and the government especially when urgent situations or time factors prevent construction of a cover identity..
That is why the outing of a knocker is so outrageous. Not only are they put at risk and their entire families, but every who has worked with them over the years has now been identified as a possible CIA recruit. Most of these people to this day did not know they were working for the CIA. Many would not have performed the tasks they did had they known they were. Scores of people therefore and perhaps a dozen or two operations have been jeopardized by this craven act. Some of these operations may be going on to this day, and may be subject to sabotage now or in the future.
One typical operation might be the bugging of say a Iranian diplomat's office by an employee of the phone company in a third nation. He might not be willing to do it for the US, but he might for a corporation or a neutral country. Exposing the knocker who set this up, might cause the employee to get angry and rip out the bug or harm the knockers associates who are still in place.
More information on Non-Official Cover is in todays NY TIMES
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
WHY THE PLAME AFFAIR COULD BE THE FINAL STRAW
The CIA's Patriotic Math: Adding Injury to Insult Equals War
By Major Barbara, OPEN SOURCE POLITICS
Lest anyone think that the Valerie Plame affair is guided strictly by political dynamics, consider the personal slights involved. Chief among them, of course, is the violation of a home and a marriage: Joe Wilson was attacked through his wife, endangering both. That element of the story is getting great play these days, thanks largely to the former Ambassador's willingness to get in front of cameras and make his case. Wilson is very available to the media right now.
Who can blame him? Who among us would not use every tool at their disposal to fend off attacks aimed at home and family?
Consider also the obvious slight to the CIA family. Exposing an operative is a mortal sin in intelligence. We're reminded of that in almost every news account that we read.
But a far more personal humiliation was visited upon George Tenet -- and it's this particular abuse that guarantees that this story will find its mark.
Don't write off this Justice Department investigation until factoring in the debasement of George Tenet -- and his ability to drive the matter to catharsis.
Much was made of Tenet's July 11 statement accepting responsibility for the infamous Sixteen Words included in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address. The Associated Press called it "a carefully scripted mea culpa."
Many were surprised by Tenet's loyalty to a President so opposed to the man who appointed him, Bill Clinton. Tenet took the blame, and took it like a man.
But three days later -- within 72 hours of Tenet's abject self-sacrifice -- the White House added injury to insult by outing Valerie Plame.
The timing itself was an assault, a biting derogation of Tenet's leadership.
That George Tenet is alive today is a tribute to his vascular system, because it's a certainty that his blood pressure was high enough to crush submarines when he got the news of that betrayal.
Tenet's "carefully scripted mea culpa" was undertaken for the sake of the country, to preserve the dignity and effectiveness of the national government during a time of uncertainty. It was, for many, a profoundly patriotic act, however misguided.
But it was a waste. Worse than a waste. His abasement degraded the CIA, and his apparent political inadequacy made the submission worse than irrelevant, for the White House willingly slaughtered an active CIA operative's cover in very short order. And it was an operative devoted to the very threat which loomed most dauntingly over the nation: weapons of mass destruction.
For Tenet, then, this is more than a matter of insult, or injury, or possible treason.
Don't believe for a minute the pundits who will spin the investigation as a dead-end. The resolution of this case doesn't depend on Ashcroft, or Novak, or any of the six other journalists who know the identities of the alleged traitors. None of them have to utter a peep.
It rests upon the shoulders of George Tenet, the man this White House has made the fateful mistake of humiliating beyond measure. "Senior administration officials" exploited his great sacrifice and attacked his CIA family -- timing it all to maximize the damage to Tenet's leadership. It was more than just a shot across the bow. It was a direct, personal assault.
And Tenet will now wage his war to the finish. He has nothing to lose, and everything to gain -- for his country. LINK
PS: Many people have been asking why Tenet was one of the few officials retained from the Clinton Administration. Some have speculated it was because of dirt he had on the Bushes. That may or may not have been the truth, but remember he does have access to the files on George Bush Sr, a former CIA head and reputedly a CIA operative for 20 years. What else might he have access to? Just maybe info on the Bush/ Bin Laden family connection. And whole lots more....
He is a man of honor but if push comes to shove and he needs to play dirty, it will be good bye Bushes.
ITS NOT ABOUT LEAKING
From Kleiman via Atrios:
When Bush says there are too many leaks, he means that too many reporters have access to evidence that makes him look bad. That is not, I submit, a problem that the nation needs to worry about. It would be horribly ironic if the result of this particular White House dirty trick were to tighten the administration's grip over what the citizens are, and are not, allowed to know.
No, this isn't about leaking. It's about exposing the name of an intelligence officer. That's a specific crime, covered by a specific statute. Let's not let Bush and his minions change the subject.
THEY'RE RIOTING IN IRAQ
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraqi police opened fire in downtown Baghdad Wednesday after demonstrators demanding jobs stormed a police station, set fire to two cars and threw stones at officers, police said. An American soldier was killed in a roadside bombing in Tikrit.
Later Wednesday, U.S. troops fired warning shots to disperse stone-throwers outside a Shiite mosque in southwestern Baghdad. The Shiites were angry over the brief detention Tuesday night of the mosque's main preacher, who was questioned and released. They demanded a written apology from U.S. and Iraqi authorities within three days.
In the northern city of Mosul, police also fired warning shots in the air to disperse hundreds of unemployed Iraqis who marched to an employment office and the city hall to demand jobs. There were no reports of injuries in the protests in Mosul, Iraq's third largest city. LINK
You know what I think they need? They need The Music Man.
That's a joke, son.
I THINK HE'S GOT IT
Mark B at dailykos offers this rhyme in the Valerie Plame CIA-outing name-the-scandal contest
The blame in Plame,
falls mainly on the Bush...
I can see Rex Harrison singing it...
BUSH PRETENDS TO BE INTERESTED IN FINDING LEAK SOURCE, BUT HOPES EVERYONE WILL CLAM UP
...Bush's press secretary, Scott McClellan, said nobody in the White House is inquiring about the leak. "It's the Department of Justice that is looking into this matter," he said.
TRANSLATION: We are not interested in finding out and we hope it just goes away.
RUSH LIMBAUGH=TRENT LOTT
What Rush said on ESPN on Sunday is exactly like what Trent Lott said last year. They both say these things all the time but get away with it because their audiences are Southerners or dittoheads.
Here's what Rush said:
"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,'' Limbaugh said. ``There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team.''
I've listened to Rush and that is exactly the same kind of thing he says every day...
IRAQI GUERILLAS COULD BE WELL ARMED FOR YEARS
Vast, Unsecure Iraqi Arms Depots Could Take Years to Dispose Of
By LOWELL BERGMAN and ERIC SCHMITT, NY TIMES, September 30, 2003
Senior American military officials say that as much as 650,000 tons of ammunition remains at thousands of sites used by the former Iraqi security forces, and that much of it has not been secured and will take years to destroy.
The scope of the problem is much larger than the Pentagon acknowledged three weeks ago, when senior military officials insisted that all known munitions sites in Iraq had been secured.
The daunting task facing the military is illustrated in an infrared videotape of a sprawling, unguarded Iraqi air base taken by an Army helicopter crew in June that shows several huge hangars stripped bare of their roofing and siding, revealing bombs, missiles and other weaponry stacked dozens of feet high.
On the videotape, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times by an American official in Baghdad, a crewman said: "It looks like there's hundreds of warheads or bombs."
Two months later, F.B.I. investigators returned to the site on a tip that it might have been the source of a 500-pound Soviet-made bomb that they suspect was used in the attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on Aug. 19.
They, too, were surprised to find piles of bombs, all unguarded. As of yesterday, military officials said that they had erected barriers and signs at the site and were patrolling it periodically, but that there were still no permanent guards. MORE
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of," Bush said during a fund-raising stop in Chicago. (link)
"...well taken care of," he muttered under his breath, as he slipped a suitcase full of hundred dollar bills to Karl Rove.
THE KEY QUESTION
from John LeBoutillier, NEWSMAX
... Now, here is a key question: who in the White House was so angry with Wilson for 'blowing the whistle' that they authorized these six phone calls? Certainly no one can believe that low-level aides would even know that Plame was a CIA agent let alone feel free to have a concerted 'leaking campaign.' LINK
This is Newsmax, the archconservative website. In the same issue that LeBoutillier is outraged, another Newsmax staffer writes Dems stayed silent on Clinton leaks.
Of course, those leaks didn't jeopardize the lives of our own agents (not just Wilson's wife but EVERYBODY who ever worked with her!) trying to do their duty. Newsmax's split probably represents a split within much of the conservative community between those who have the slightest sense of conscience and those who are utter hypocrites.
WE NEED AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL
The [Justice] department notified Gonzales about 8:30 p.m. Monday that it was launching an investigation but said he could wait until the next morning to notify staff and direct them to preserve relevant material, McClellan said. AP via atrios
So the Justice Dept "notified" the White House, and said you have until tommorrow to "preserve relevant material". OK then... Folks you have 12 hours to shred before you have to preserve. Go for it!
CONSPIRACY THEORY: Isn't it just too convenient that we no longer have an Independent Counsel law? How many investigations would there be going right now? Enron, Halliburton, 9-11, just for starters.
DON'T TELL ME 'CAUSE I DON'T WANT TO KNOW
from: Capital Games
CIA Leak Is Big Trouble For Bush
David Corn, THE NATION
...McClellan presented a poor case for why the Bush White House was refusing to look into the allegations, and the journalists got annoyed. Near the end of the briefing--after McClellan once more explained White House inaction by saying, "if there is specific information that you have to bring to our attention, please do so"--a frustrated reporter exclaimed, "You keep pointing the finger at us to step forward with information. I mean, you're asking us to come forward and reveal things, but you haven't asked the White House staff to." link
THEY'RE JUST PLAYING WITH OUR MINDS
NKorea has no interest in crisis talks, wants more nukes
YAHOO NEWS, Tuesday September 30, 8:07 PM
Communist North Korea said it had no interest in six-party talks and would forge ahead with nuclear weapons development as US, Japanese and South Korean officials admitted to growing confusion over the mixed signals from Pyonguang. LINK
I've said for a while that they are just playing with us. And why not? They have nothing to lose. Our military is bogged down in the Iraqmire. Why not play with our minds and see if they can get a few Benjamins out of it?
Monday, September 29, 2003
Coalition losing war for Iraqi arms
By P. Mitchell Prothero, UPI, Published 9/29/2003 2:35 PM
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S.-led coalition forces are losing a bidding war for sophisticated weapons still widely available in Iraq, nearly six months after the fall of Baghdad. Anti-occupation groups and supporters of the old regime are financially able and willing to spend more for weapons, a series of interviews with underground arms dealers by United Press International has determined.
Adding to the concern, private contractors involved in security consulting to companies operating in Iraq say the street prices for some weapons appear to be increasing, indicating weapons are being bought at a higher rate than previously during the occupation.
Some security experts, who asked they not be named, say the higher prices for common military staples such as the AK-47 assault rifle could indicate an impeding attack by anti-U.S. forces and supporters of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baath Party regime.
Hey, but aren't they just LETTING THE FREE MARKET DECIDE?
SUNBLOCK DON'T BLOCK
Sunscreens fail to offer full protection
17:30 29 September 03 NewScientist.com news service
Sunscreen creams do not adequately protect against all the Sun's harmful rays, warns a new study. Researchers found that current creams only blocked about 50 per cent of one type of ray thought to be linked to the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Sunblock creams do fully block ultraviolet-B rays, but not UV-A, say the team at the Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust (RAFT) based at Mount Vernon Hospital in Middlesex, UK.
UV-B causes sunburn and can lead to the most common types of skin cancer - basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. UV-A increases the production of highly reactive chemicals known as free radicals, which are also known to have carcinogenic effects. Scientists believe UV-A exposure is responsible for the most lethal skin cancer - malignant melanoma.
"We basically saw the sunscreen only cut down the amount of free radicals produced [by UV-A] in the skin by half," says Claire Linge, one of the team and head of cell biology at the RAFT Institute. "If you expect UV-A protection to be similar to UV-B, you would expect it to be cut down to a thirtieth." LINK
In fact, 5 years ago Mother Jones had this same story, but went further, suggesting that sunscreens might actually INCREASE cancer risks. Check it out: link
DAD: I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.
George H.W. Bush
April 16th, 1999
JUNIOR: ...But aides said Bush (Jr.) has no plans to ask his staff members whether they played a role in revealing the name of an undercover officer who is married to former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, one of the most visible critics of Bush's handling of intelligence about Iraq.
Sept. 28, 2003
Well, BushCo is consistent about one thing... hypocrisy
Sunday, September 28, 2003
BUSH SHIP SINKING FAST?
After a weekend of disastrous revelations and lame coverups one might be excused for thinking that BushCo's ship is sinking faster than Enron stock, but I'm convinced the big one is coming when the 9-11 commission deadline is coming in another ten days. At that point, BushCo will have to admit it is stonewalling the commission, and face the obvious conclusion that it had PRIOR KNOWLEDGE about 9-11, or it will have to start producing documents which will incriminate it.
If it chooses the latter, the rats will start deserting the ship in hordes, and the fingerpointing and pleas to become state's witnesses will abound.
If it chooses to continue to stonewall, the media has enough to unravel the case with the Wilson/ Niger Uranium case, which is going to end up with a special prosecutor like as not. Somebody big is going to have to take the fall on that one.
Their only other alternative? Another terrorist attack?
WHO KNOWS WHAT STUPIDITY LIES IN THE HEARTS OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION? NEWSWEEK KNOWS!
From this weeks Newsweek:
LAST FEBRUARY, retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner was trying to put together a team of experts to rebuild Iraq after the war was over, and his list included 20 State Department officials. The day before he was supposed to leave for the region, Garner got a call from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who ordered him to cut 16 of the 20 State officials from his roster. It seems that the State Department people were deemed to be Arabist apologists, or squishy about the United Nations, or in some way politically incorrect to the right-wing ideologues at the White House or the neocons in the office of the Secretary of Defense. The vetting process “got so bad that even doctors sent to restore medical services had to be anti-abortion,” recalled one of Garner’s team.
Heck - we wouldn't want them to be giving abortions on their breaks between tending wounded Iraqis, now would we?
CONDOLEZZA SCHULTZ: "I KNOW NOTHING, NO.....THING!"
Rice 'Knew Nothing' About CIA Agent Leak
18 minutes ago, By Lori Santos
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said on Sunday she knew "nothing of any" White House effort to leak the identity of an undercover CIA officer in July, a charge now under review at the Justice Department. LINK
Let's see if I have this straight: They knew nothing about something they themselves had to order, BUT they knew all KINDS of stuff about something that didn't exist at all (WMDs).
Wow, these guys are positively PSYCHEDELIC!
ZEITGEIST ALERT: Great minds think alike. Here's what Billmon posted:
MY DOG PEED ON THE WMD EVIDENCE DEPT.
White House Insists It Had Iraq WMD Intelligence
1 hour, 50 minutes ago, By Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said on Sunday there was new U.S. intelligence obtained before the Iraqi war about Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction programs, despite an assertion to the contrary by key congressional leaders. LINK