Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We Don't Need War On Terror (Rand)

Now, they tell us!

After how many trillions spent for this silliness?

Of course, many of us knew this from the beginning, but the people in this appalling administration nor their conspirators in Congress will ever say they were wrong, let alone that we were right.

Editor’s Note: Since the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration’s formulation of a “war on terror” was always a dangerous one. Not only was this “war” vague and open-ended, it could be used for a variety of other purposes, such as invading Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9/11) and redefining the U.S. Constitution (to create an all-powerful Commander in Chief).

A new report by the RAND Corporation also concludes that the “war on terror,” as it has been defined, isn't even an effective way to win the “war on terror,” as the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland notes in this guest essay:

In fact, Barack Obama led the parade to initiate a troop surge in Afghanistan after having opposed it in Iraq. The more hawkish John McCain, not to be outdone by a weak-kneed Democrat, proposed that even more troops be sent to Afghanistan.

In American politics after 9/11, it seems that candidates have to support some sort of war or they will be perceived as being too wimpy to get elected.

Only a small minority of foreign policy gadflies has doubted whether any war on terrorism is needed in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Now a new report by RAND, the government's own captive think tank, supports this small band of renegades.

The study, "How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al-Qaeda," written by terrorism experts Seth Jones and Martin Libicki, followed more than 600 terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, over the long-term.

The report concluded that the administration's war on terrorism has not significantly degraded al-Qaeda and that the group has morphed into a more formidable enemy. In fact, al-Qaeda has perpetrated more attacks after September 11, 2001 than before it.

RAND deduced that the best way to kill a terrorist group is to capture or kill its leaders. This task is best carried out, according to the study, by law enforcement, intelligence, and, if needed, troops from the local country.

Instead of giving terrorists the exalted status of warriors, they should be deemed criminals.

In other words, the authors conclude that in most past cases in which terrorist groups have been defeated by getting their leaders, local law enforcement did the job. They say that when troops are needed, local troops have a better understanding of the culture and terrain and thus have more legitimacy than do U.S. forces.

In fact, the study says that the presence of U.S. forces on Muslim soil can create more terrorists to fight; thus the authors argue that the U.S. military should confine itself to training the locals.

It is nice when government-paid researchers can provide empirical data to confirm what should have been obvious to any informed citizen years ago!

After a major terrorist crime, such as the one on 9/11, the objective should be to get the perpetrators. The U.S. government should not militarily invade countries and try to change their form of government, economic system or money-making activities (for example, growing opium). This applies to both Afghanistan and Iraq.

It might be nice to have free market economies and democratic governments in these remote places, but it is a diversion from the main show: getting the terrorist leaders.

The niggling fact is that Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and their merry band of followers are not likely to be in Afghanistan or Iraq, but in Pakistan.

So the United States must convince the local government in Pakistan to apprehend them. Right now, some in the Pakistani intelligence service, with close ties to Islamist militants in the Taliban, probably know where they are hiding.

But as long as these outlaws are on the loose, the government of Pakistan pockets billions per year in U.S. military and economic aid. So the Pakistanis have no incentive to get the al-Qaeda leaders.

The United States should give up the losing nation-building distraction in Afghanistan (as well as in Iraq) and offer to withdraw NATO forces from that country, thus letting the resurgent Pashtun allies of Pakistani intelligence services—the Taliban—take over the eastern and southern parts of the Afghan landscape.

Pakistan has long wanted influence in neighboring Afghanistan and wholeheartedly supported the Taliban rulers of that country before 9/11. In return, for increased influence in Afghanistan through its Taliban proxy, Pakistan would have to find the al-Qaeda leadership and turn it over to the United States.

(If a stick is needed, the U.S. could threaten to cut off the billions in military and economic aid Pakistan receives if the Pakistanis do not produce the al-Qaeda chieftains.)

Although the Taliban were harsh rulers of Afghanistan, the U.S. has few other options to motivate the Pakistani government to fork over the al-Qaeda kingpins, which still threaten the U.S. homeland. As harsh as they are, the Taliban don't so threaten the United States.

The counterproductive war on terrorism must end and we must motivate the local Pakistani government to catch the criminals that are harbored in its midst.

Ivan Eland is Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute. Dr. Eland has spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues, including stints as an investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. His books include The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, and Putting “Defense” Back into U.S. Defense Policy.

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Why McCain May Well Win ; The Lying Liars, Again

It might seem unlikely that the United States would elect John McCain to succeed George W. Bush when that would ensure continuation of many unpopular Bush policies: an ill-defined war with the Muslim world, right-wing consolidation of the U.S. Supreme Court, a drill-oriented energy strategy, tax cuts creating massive federal deficits, etc., etc.

But there are reasons – beyond understandable concerns about Barack Obama’s limited experience – that make a McCain victory possible, indeed maybe probable.

Here is one of the big ones: The U.S. news media is as bad as ever, arguably worse.

On Monday, Obama gave a detail-rich speech on how he would address the energy crisis, which is a major point of concern among Americans. From ideas for energy innovation to retrofitting the U.S. auto industry to conservation steps to limited new offshore drilling, Obama did what he is often accused of not doing, fleshing out his soaring rhetoric.

McCain responded with a harsh critique of Obama’s calls for more conservation, claiming that Obama wants to solve the energy crisis by having people inflate their tires. McCain’s campaign even passed out a tire gauge marked as Obama’s energy plan.

For his part, McCain made clear he wanted to drill for more oil wherever it could be found and to build many more nuclear power plants.

These competing plans offered a chance for the evening news to address an issue of substance that is high on the voters’ agenda. Instead, NBC News anchor Brian Williams devoted 30 seconds to the dueling energy speeches, without any details and with the witty opening line that Obama was “refining” his energy plan.

So, instead of dealing with a serious issue in a serious way, NBC News ignored the substance and went for a clever slight against Obama, hitting his political maneuvering in his softened opposition to more offshore drilling.

Williams’s quip fit with one of the press corps’ favorite campaign narratives, Obama’s flip-flopping. But the coverage ignored far more important elements of the story, such as the feasibility of Obama’s vow that “we must end the age of oil in our time” or the wisdom of McCain’s emphasis on drilling – and nuking – the nation out of its energy mess.

And, as for flip-flops, McCain’s dramatic repositioning of himself as an anti-environmentalist – after years of being one of the green movement’s favorite Republicans – represents a far more significant change than Obama’s modest waffling on offshore oil.

The Sierra Club, one of the nation’s premier environmental organizations, has repudiated McCain and now is running ads attacking his energy plan. But McCain’s flip-flops – even complete reversals – remain an underplayed part of the campaign story. They just don't fit the narrative of maverick John McCain on the "Straight Talk Express."

Loving the ‘Surge’

The major U.S. news media has been equally superficial in dealing with the Iraq War and the “war on terror.” It is now a fully enshrined conventional wisdom that George W. Bush’s troop “surge” was a huge success and vindicates McCain’s early support for it.

On Obama’s overseas trip, it became de rigueur for each interviewer to pound him for the first 10 or 15 minutes with demands that he accept the accepted wisdom about the “surge” and admit that he was wrong and McCain was right.

Obama’s attempts to offer a more subtle explanation of what had occurred in Iraq – that key reasons for the declining violence actually predated the “surge” – were treated with bafflement by the interviewers, who simply reframed their questions and came back at him in a show of toughness against Obama’s supposed evasions.

CBS News anchor Katie Couric started this pattern, but others fell smartly in line, including NBC’s Tom Brokaw on “Meet the Press.” Indeed, many of the same media stars who had cheered the nation to war in 2003 (such as Brokaw) were now hectoring Obama, who had spoken out against the invasion in real time.

Conversely, McCain is never challenged about his misjudgment in advocating a rapid pivot from Afghanistan to Iraq in late 2001 and early 2002, before Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaeda were captured and before Afghanistan had stabilized.

That premature pivot now stands as one of the biggest military blunders in U.S. history, leaving American troops bogged down in two open-ended wars and allowing the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks to regroup and to plot in safe havens inside Pakistan.

However, American voters who rely on the major news media for their information would have no idea about McCain’s central role in this fiasco. All they hear about is how McCain was right about the “surge” and how Obama won’t admit he was wrong.


When American news consumers aren’t hearing misinformation, they’re almost surely hearing trivia. The TV news shows couldn’t resist endlessly repeating McCain’s attack ad that compared Obama and his enthusiastic reception in Berlin to misbehaving celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

Though the juxtaposition was clearly meant to demean – and reminded some political observers of the “call me” ads of a sexy white woman whispering to black Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford – McCain’s campaign insisted it was all in good fun.

While some pundits did take note of McCain’s detour onto the low road, others picked up McCain’s campaign theme that Obama is a “presumptuous” elitist who looks down on others.

That powerful attack line, which touches on the grievances of working-class whites who feel that some blacks have gotten unfair advantages from affirmative action, is at the heart of modern American racism. Since the Nixon era, Republicans have played this Southern Strategy with great success, telling whites that they’re the real victims.

This Obama-elitist theme reached its apex (or nadir, if you prefer) when the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank distorted a reported quote from Obama to a closed Democratic caucus and used it to prove Obama was a “presumptuous nominee.” [Washington Post, July 30, 2008]

Jonathan Capehart, Milbank’s colleague from the Washington Post’s neoconservative editorial page, then took the point a step further on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show, citing Milbank’s misleading quote to establish that Obama is an “uppity” black man.

Yet, the true meaning of the Obama quote appears to have been almost the opposite of how Milbank used it.

Painting Obama as a megalomaniac, Milbank wrote: “Inside [the caucus], according to a witness, [Obama] told the House members, ‘This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for,’ adding: ‘I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.’"

However, other people who attended the caucus complained that Milbank had yanked the words out of context to support his “presumptuous” thesis, not to reflect what Obama actually said.

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina, said Obama’s comment was “in response to what one of the [House] members prefaced the question by,” a reference to the crowd of 200,000 that turned out to hear Obama speak in Berlin.

According to Clyburn, Obama “said, ‘I wish I could take credit for that, but I can't. Because it's not about me. It's about America. It's about the people of Germany and the people of Europe looking for a new hope, new relationships, as we go forward in the world.’ So, he expressly said that it's not about me.”

A House Democratic aide sent an e-mail to Fox News saying, “Lots of people are reading the quote about Obama being a symbol and getting it wrong. His entire point of that riff was that the campaign IS NOT about him.

“The Post left out the important first half of the sentence, which was something along the lines of: ‘It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have just become a symbol …’”

So, it appears that Obama’s attempt to show humility was transformed into its opposite, establishing that, as Capehart put it, Obama is an “uppity” black man. [Capehart himself is black.]

A week after Milbank pulled the Obama quote inside out, the Washington Post had yet to run a correction or a clarification. The august Post apparently judges that Obama’s supporters don’t have the clout to punish a news organization for getting a quote wrong, even if it continues to reverberate through the media echo chamber to millions of Americans.

Putting Obama at Risk

Yet possibly even more offensive than the quote, Milbank’s column shoved everything, including the Secret Service security arrangements for Obama, through the lens of proving that the candidate is arrogant.

When Washington police and the Secret Service blocked off roads for Obama’s motorcade, that was not simply prudence in the face of extraordinary security concerns for Obama’s life; it was proof that Obama already sees himself as a head of state.

“He traveled in a bubble more insulating than the actual President's. Traffic was shut down for him as he zoomed about town in a long, presidential-style motorcade, while the public and most of the press were kept in the dark about his activities.”

Milbank groused, too, about the tight security that the police put around Obama’s movements on Capitol Hill.

“Capitol Police cleared the halls -- just as they do for the actual President. The Secret Service hustled him in through a side door -- just as they do for the actual President,” Milbank wrote.

While Milbank portrayed these security steps as further evidence of Obama’s hubris, there is no reason to believe that Obama had any say in the decisions of his security detail to protect the candidate.

Milbank and the Post were behaving as if they were oblivious to the physical danger that surrounds the first African-American to have a serious chance to be elected President of the United States. It was almost as if they were baiting him to order the Secret Service to pull back or face the accusation that he is, as Capehart put it, “uppity.”

This pattern of how the major media treats Obama also is not new. Although the McCain campaign and the right-wing media insist that Obama gets easy treatment from the press corps, that amounts to more “working the refs” than a legitimate complaint.

Just because Obama gets more coverage than McCain – the centerpiece of the Republican complaint – doesn’t mean that the press favors Obama, anymore than the fact that Bill Clinton got lots of coverage in 1998 over the Monica Lewinsky scandal meant that the press was favoring him.

Indeed, there have been repeated examples of media double standards working against Obama.

For instance, during the primaries, the major media obsessed for weeks over controversies that would have blown over for other candidates in days. The stupid remarks by Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, were endless fodder for news programs, while offensive comments from pro-McCain pastors were just tiny blips and soon disappeared.

Similarly, Obama’s lack of a flag-lapel pin became a theme that was used to challenge his patriotism, although neither John McCain nor Hillary Clinton wore a pin. Neither, by the way, did ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson as they moderated the April 16 debate in Philadelphia where Obama was grilled over his lack of a flag-lapel pin.

(The flag-lapel “issue” was first given national prominence by New York Times columnist William Kristol and was given more impetus by Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer. To put the issue to rest, Obama finally began wearing a flag pin, though McCain still doesn’t wear one regularly.)

Economic Determinism

Every presidential election year, it seems, some economist publishes an article that declares that economic data – good or bad – will decide whether the White House will be won by the in-power party or the out-of-power party. For instance, the booming economy of 2000 supposedly assured Al Gore a resounding victory.

In Campaign 2008, this thinking holds that Americans – faced with severe economic troubles – will throw the Republicans out of the White House and elect a Democrat.

However, this economic determinism may no longer hold sway in a nation that is as inundated with media as the United States is. The ability to float false “themes” against one candidate or another and have the major media constantly repeat the propaganda is an extraordinarily powerful force in deciding American elections.

As we describe in our book Neck Deep, millions of Americans went to the polls in November 2000 believing a number of false claims that had been circulated about Vice President Gore (including the bogus notion that he had been part of a plan to sell nuclear secrets to China, when those secrets actually had been compromised during the Reagan years.)

Given the persistent superficiality – and cowardice – of the major U.S. news media, there’s even the larger question of whether a meaningful democracy can survive when the public is so thoroughly misinformed.

Although there are some Internet sites that challenge the major media’s errors, the imbalance remains tilted heavily toward the ideological Right. Especially when prestige newspapers like the Washington Post contribute to the distribution of false or misleading information – as with Milbank’s quote about Obama – the pro-Republican media eagerly amplifies it and most Americans never hear the other side.

Right-wing Internet sites also have proven to be very adept at inserting completely false claims about Obama that stick with many Americans, such as the oft-repeated lie that Obama is a Muslim or that he trained at a radical Islamic madrassah.

To assume that people will somehow see through such distortions has proven to be naïve in the past. More likely, many millions of Americans will head to the polls in November having internalized a hodgepodge of negative themes about Obama. Indeed, a significant number who have absorbed the uglier accusations will have come to hate him.

So, even if a McCain victory guarantees that the United States would solidify the policies of a deeply disliked President, many Americans may set aside what may be good for the country – or even good for their own pocketbooks – and vote against Obama, more based on perceptions than reality.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Arrest Them Now!!!!

This just in from a slightly to-the-right-of-center friend:

If I needed one more push toward the left it is the latest anthrax revelation. There is no GOP anymore. Just a boatload of fascists. I am a conservative and we must always be on the lookout for fascism, because that is what we can become at out worst, and authoritarian, harshly judgmental fear-mongers.

These guys are truly psychotic and need to be arrested now, before they can do any more harm. If, that is, anyone remembers the Constitution.

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

This is not constitutional crisis!

If one regards said constitution even the slightest bit more than toilet paper, it is really quite simple. If a high crime or misdemeanor has been committed and a prima facia case can be made that certain crimes have been committed, all executive privilege goes right out the window. Just ask Nixon. Well....he's dead, so ask John Dean.

Looks like even the Goopers are beiginning to rise to the occassion, or are like rats from a sinking ship; their political party, not the ship of state. If they had the well-being of the nation at heart, they would have jumped ship long ago. The GOP has no defense against the finger pointing, now by most of the world's population.

Quite a few Democrats aren't a damn bit better, and we know who you are.

Bush Appointee Bates: Meirs Must Testify, Sets Up Constitutional Crisis

With Judge Bates ruling against immunity for Harriet Meirs, and ruling that "executive privilege" claims are invalid against orders to produce certain documents, it is clear that congress has no business going into recess in the middle of a constitutional crisis. They have just been handed a major victory, by a Bush appointee, no less. Republicans of integrity are emerging from the shadows, most dramatically with the nine who broke with the party to vote for having the hearings which took place on July 25. Judge Bates said: Even if you're my friend, George, you still have to, um, obey the law.

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

No Quid Pro Quo Here....LOL

Multiple Oil Company Executives Gave Huge Contributions To Electing McCain Just Days After Offshore Drilling Reversal

Ten senior Hess Corporation executives and/or members of the Hess family each gave $28,500 to the joint RNC-McCain fundraising committee, just days after McCain reversed himself to favor offshore drilling, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Suskind: W.H. Ordered Forgery

A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.

Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.

The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”

The letter’s existence has been reported before, and it had been written about as if it were genuine. It was passed in Baghdad to a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph who wrote about it on the front page of Dec. 14, 2003, under the headline, “Terrorist behind September 11 strike ‘was trained by Saddam.’”

The Telegraph story by Con Coughlin (which, coincidentally, ran the day Hussein was captured in his “spider hole”) was touted in the U.S. media by supporters of the war, and he was interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"Over the next few days, the Habbush letter continued to be featured prominently in the United States and across the globe," Suskind writes. "Fox's Bill O'Reilly trumpeted the story Sunday night on 'The O'Reilly Factor,' talking breathlessly about details of the story and exhorting, 'Now, if this is true, that blows the lid off al Qaeda—Saddam.'"

According to Suskind, the administration had been in contact with the director of the Iraqi intelligence service in the last years of Hussein’s regime, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti.

“The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,” Suskind writes. “It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq – thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link.”

The White House flatly denied Suskind’s account. Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary, told Politico: “The allegation that the White House directed anyone to forge a document from Habbush to Saddam is just absurd.”

ABSURD. Yep, that's the word for the W.H. ordering forgeries, along with other words like "murderous conspiracies."

The White House plans to push back hard. Fratto added: "Ron Suskind makes a living from gutter journalism. He is about selling books and making wild allegations that no one can verify, including the numerous bipartisan commissions that have reported on pre-war intelligence."

Watch it, Fratto (odd name. Haven't I heard that name somewhere before?) The whole rotten mess in unraveling at a very fast pace. If you don't have anything to lose but Bush loyalty, I'd get the hell out of the way, if I were you. It just ain't worth what's coming, little mobster.

Before “The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism,” Suskind wrote two New York Times bestsellers critical of the Bush administration – “The Price of Loyalty” (2004), which featured extensive comments by former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, and “The One Percent Doctrine” (2006).

Suskind writes in his new book that the order to create the letter was written on “creamy White House stationery.” The book suggests that the letter was subsequently created by the CIA and delivered to Iraq, but does not say how.

The author claims that such an operation, part of “false pretenses” for war, would apparently constitute illegal White House use of the CIA to influence a domestic audience, an arguably impeachable offense.

Hell's bells, just about everything they have done is agruably impeachable, if not a capital crime?

Suskind writes that the White House had “ignored the Iraq intelligence chief’s accurate disclosure that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.

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(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Journalists, Their Lying Sources and Anthrax

(Updated below - Update II - Update III - Update IV)

The death of government scientist Bruce Ivins has generated far more questions about the anthrax attacks than it has answered. I want to return to the role the establishment media played in obfuscating the anthrax investigation for so long and, at times, aiding in what was clearly the deliberate deceit on the part of Government sources. This is yet another case where the establishment media possesses -- yet steadfastly conceals -- some of the most critical facts about what the Government has done, and insists on protecting the wrongdoers. Obtaining these answers from these media outlets is as important as obtaining them from the Government. Writing about ABC's dissemination of the false Iraq/anthrax story, The New Republic's Dayo Olopade wrote yesterday: "Pressure on ABC to out their sources should be swift and sustained."

The Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum argued yesterday that despite the need for journalists to use confidential sources, "the profession -- and the rest of us -- [are] better off if sources know that they run the risk of being unmasked if their mendacity is egregious enough to become newsworthy in its own right." Drum added: "I'd say that part of [Ross'] re-reporting ought to include a full explanation of exactly who was peddling the bentonite lie in the first place, and why they were doing it." Nonetheless, Drum said: "In practice, most journalists refuse to identify their sources under any circumstances at all, even when it's clear that those sources deliberately lied to them."

Drum is right that it is unusual for journalists to out their "sources" even when they are exploiting the confidentiality pledge to disseminate lies to the public, but such outing is by no means unprecedented. Last year, when I first wrote about ABC's broadcasting of this false Saddam/anthrax story, I spoke with numerous experts in "journalistic ethics," such as they are, and all of them -- journalists, Journalism Professors, and media critics alike -- agreed that while the obligation of source confidentiality is close to absolute, it does not extend to a source who deliberately exploits confidentiality to disseminate lies to the public. Under those circumstances, it's axiomatic in journalistic ethics that a reporter is not only permitted, but required, to disclose the identity of the source who purposely used the reporter to spread lies.

There are examples where even large media outlets have followed that principle. Back in 1987, Oliver North was justifying his having lied to Congress about the Iran-contra program by complaining that Congress couldn't be trusted with National Security secrets. When asked at a Senate hearing for an example, North cited what he claimed were Congressional leaks to Newsweek about key details of a U.S. military operation to intercept an Egyptian plane carrying the men believed to be the hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise ship.

But North was lying. It was North himself -- not Congress -- who had leaked details of that operation to Newsweek. And Newsweek, knowing that North was blatantly lying to the public by blaming Congress for leaks for which North himself was actually responsible, outed North as its source. As this 1987 New York Times article reported:

In its latest issue, Newsweek noted that Colonel North testified at the Iran-contra hearings that "a number of members of Congress" made revelations about the Achille Lauro operation "that very seriously compromised our intelligence activities."

"But the colonel did not mention," the Newsweek article continued, "that details of the interception, first published in a Newsweek cover story, were leaked by none other than Colonel North himself."

The Newsweek reporter who outed North was Jonathan Alter, who at the time was that magazine's media critic. Here is what Alter wrote, in 2003, about why he did so:

The year was 1987 and Oliver North was testifying before a congressional committee investigating the Iran-contra affair. As I sat listening to him in the Senate Caucus Room, I couldn't believe my ears. North was talking about the 1985 apprehension of Arab terrorists who had tossed an elderly Jewish man in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer, over the side of the cruise ship Achille Lauro. The already famous Marine colonel was accusing members of Congress of being untrustworthy because they revealed the military details of that capture. I knew that North was shamelessly accusing other people of leaking something that he, in fact, had leaked himself -- not to me, but to other reporters. He was using confidentiality as a weapon. I decided to blow the whistle in NEWSWEEK and identify him as the source. This didn't exactly make me Mr. Popularity with my colleagues or with North, who threatened to sue. But I would do it all over again.

Alter added: "The whole game of reporters and their confidential sources has gone so far in Washington that too many of us have forgotten our first obligation. It's not to the Oliver Norths of the world and the reporters protecting them. It's to readers and viewers and, yes, to the truth."

About that incident, Alter emphasized to me this morning in an email that he was not outing his own source, but another Newsweek reporter's source, but nonetheless told me: "Many other reporters were mad at me but some commentators rightly pointed out that some values -- the obligation of reporters to their readers -- superseded the reporter-source relationship, and that if you used that relationship as a cover for lying, you broke the implicit contract." That is exactly what ABC News' "bentonite" sources did in the anthrax case -- "used that relationship as a cover for lying" and thus "broke the implicit contract." ABC News is not only permitted, but obligated, to reveal to the public who did that.

In a 1987 article ambivalently discussing Alter's actions, Time's Laurence Zuckerman wrote:

But the widespread practice of granting sources anonymity has dangers of its own. It allows officials to manipulate the press without being held accountable. North's charge that Congress was responsible for leaks about the Libyan raid and the Achille Lauro had serious policy implications. It was also wrong; most stories about both events, including TIME's cover just before the Libyan raid, were based on Administration sources. Says Michael Gartner, editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal: "In this instance, where the source publicly accuses someone else of leaking a story for devious purposes, it's incumbent upon you to set the record straight."

Everette Dennis, executive director of New York's Gannett Center for Media Studies, agrees. "The standard ought always to be the public interest," he says.

Whoever fed ABC News the false "bentonite" stories weren't "sources" in any meaningful sense; they used ABC to disseminate to the public highly significant, and very consequential, lies. What possible justification is there for ABC to continue to protect the identity of those who deliberately foisted on the public such a destructive fraud?

* * * * *

The North/Newsweek episode was 20 years ago. Does anyone doubt that the relationship between the establishment media and the Government has changed significantly, become far less adversarial and far more cooperative, so that the media now serves to advance the Government's interest far more than it checks or undermines it? That the media is now so frequently a tool used by Government wrongdoers, rather than a check against them, only heightens the need for the media to reveal the identity of those who use them to spread deliberate lies or to break the law.

There are certainly cases -- critically important cases -- where reporters protect the anonymity of sources who blow the whistle on Government wrongdoing -- those who told Dana Priest about the CIA's black sites, or who told Jim Risen and Eric Lichtblau about the illegal NSA spying program. With reporting of that kind, source confidentiality is indispensable, particularly in an age where so much of what our Government does is shrouded in total secrecy, Congress couldn't be more impotent in uncovering what has happened, and whistle-blowers who anonymously disclose Government wrongdoing to reporters have become one of our only means for uncovering serious Government misconduct.

But at least as frequently, if not more so, source confidentiality is used by reporters -- as it was in the Plame case, and in the ABC anthrax reporting -- to protect and conceal the identity of Government wrongdoers, not to uncover Government wrongdoing. I defy anyone to go and read basic accounts of what the Government and media jointly did to destroy Steven Hatfill's life and then argue that such corrupt and dangerous Government-media cooperation is entitled to protection from exposure. Here's a summary of what the Government and media did from a brief filed by Hatfill in his lawsuit (.pdf) against the Government:

All of that leaking was illegal, and it destroyed the life of a completely innocent man. What possible rationale is there for protecting that process, allowing reporters to protect the government lawbreakers who used them?

Hatfill's lawyer, Mark Grannis, obviously and understandably quite disillusioned by how the establishment media works in light of its eager dissemination of government lies about his client, followed by vigorous efforts to protect -- rather than expose -- the responsible government officials, wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall St. Journal inveighing against the proposed new federal shield law as follows:

How can the arguments and behavior of journalists in a case such as this be reconciled with the profession's self-image as the public watchdog, bringing accountability to government? The public officials who leaked investigative information to [USA Today reporter Toni] Locy broke the law, ruined an innocent man, and violated the public trust. Shouldn't our watchdog bark or something?

The leakers should be fired, prosecuted, or both -- and reporters who care about government accountability should be racing each other to tell us who these miscreants are. The fact that they shut their mouths tight and run the other way suggests that the image of reporter-as-watchdog does not reflect the current place of journalism in society, whatever may have been true in the past.

Third, if the law prevents courts from ordering reporters to identify anonymous sources, what will prevent government officials from using the private information they keep on us for personal or political score-settling? What will prevent them from simply lying? What will prevent reporters from inventing anonymous sources who don't actually exist?

Fourth, how is a senator who votes for a shield law to convince his constituents that it is anything but a special favor for an influential lobby? . . . . Similarly, when the Washington Post editorialized in favor of a shield law just days earlier, its readers heaped scorn on the idea. One wrote that "if a shield law is put in place, irresponsible journalists can print anything and get away with destroying lives. There has to be some sort of checks and balances here" . . . .

Ideally journalists would ask these questions themselves. But it's not an ideal world. That's why they occasionally need to be held accountable, too.

That is really the critical point here. Source confidentiality is premised on a model of journalism where the media is adversarial to the Government, and safeguarding the anonymity of sources is the only way to find out what the Government is doing. But these days, so frequently, the media serves as an arm of the Government -- the Government uses the establishment media to disseminate propaganda and outright lies to the public (Jessica Lynch, Pat Tillman, Saddam's aluminum tubes) or even uses leaks to the media to commit crimes (as it did in the Plame case). When the journalists who are used to spread these lies or commit these crimes then conceal who it is who has done such things, they are complicit in the Government wrongdoing, key enablers of it.

By endorsing the sanctity of that Government-media relationship through shield laws and the like (which I've always supported in the past), it's actually -- perversely -- bestowing the Government with yet another tool to shield its misconduct from the public. Because the establishment media so frequently now serves as a tool used by the Government to amplify its false claims and promote its agenda, rather than as a watchdog against it, increasing the Government and media's power to keep that relationship secret is to empower the Government even further -- the exact opposite of what source confidentiality is intended to achieve [and, indeed, proposed federal shield laws provide large exceptions for national security leaks, which means that such a law would still allow the Governments to try to invade, and courts to destroy, the good kind of confidentiality (e.g., the CIA black sites and NSA leaks) while protecting the bad kind (where the Government uses the media to spread lies and other disinformation)].

* * * * *

The unanswered questions in the anthrax case are literally too numerous to chronicle. It is so vital to emphasize that not a shred of evidence has yet been presented that the now-deceased Bruce Ivins played any role in the anthrax attacks, let alone that he was the sole or even primary culprit. Nonetheless, just as they did with Steven Hatfill, the media (with some notable and important exceptions) are reporting this case as though the matter is resolved.

Given the significance of the anthrax attacks, it would be unconscionable for there to be anything other than a full-scale Congressional or independent investigation -- with a full airing of all the facts -- regarding everything that happened here. Those issues should include exploration of the following questions, many of which might well have perfectly reasonable and benign explanations, and some of which may not, but until there is a full airing, it will necessarily be the case -- and it should be the case -- that this episode will only serve to further erode whatever lingering trust there is in media and government institutions:

  • Why were White House aides given cipro weeks before the anthrax attacks, and why "on the night of the Sept. 11 attacks, [did] the White House Medical Office dispense[] Cipro to staff accompanying Vice President Dick Cheney as he was secreted off to the safety of Camp David"? [Washington Post, 10/23/2001];
  • Why, if Cheney was given cipro on the night of the 9/11 attacks, was he allegedly "convinced that he had been subjected to a lethal dose of anthrax" on October 18, and that this fear is what led him to seek refuge in "undisclosed locations" and thereafter support an array of hard-line tactics against suspected terrorists? [Jane Mayer, The Dark Side, 2008];
  • Which "high government official" told Richard Cohen to take cipro prior to the anthrax attacks (it wasn't a "source" who did so, since Cohen didn't write about it and apparently never intended to; it was just someone high up in Government passing along a helpful tip to a media friend) [Richard Cohen, Slate, March 18, 2008];
  • Did the FBI meaningfully investigate who sent an anonymous letter to the FBI after the anthrax letters were sent, but before they were made public, accusing a former Fort Detrick scientist -- the Arab-American Ayaad Assaad -- of being a "potential biological terrorist," after Assaad was forced out of Fort Detrick by a group of USAMRIID bioweapons researchers who had exhibited extreme anti-Arab animus? [Laura Rozen, Salon, 1/26/2002];
  • Why did the FBI gives its consent in October, 2001 for the remaining samples of the Ames anthrax strain to be destroyed, thereby losing crucial "genetic clues valuable to the criminal inquiry"? [San Francisco Chronicle, 11/9/2001];
  • If -- as was publicly disclosed as early as 2004 -- Bruce Ivins' behavior in 2001 and 2002 in conducting unauthorized tests on anthrax residue was so suspicious, why was he allowed to remain with access to the nation's most dangerous toxins for many years after, and why wasn't he a top suspect much earlier? [USA Today, 10/13/2004];
  • If it's really the case -- as principal Ivins antagonist Jean Duley claims -- that Ivins, as far back as 2000, had "actually attempted to murder several other people, [including] through poisoning" and had threatened to kill his co-workers at his Fort Detrick lab, then why did he continue to maintain clearance to work on biological weapons, and why are his co-workers and friends, with virtual unanimity, insisting that he never displayed any behavior suggestive of being the anthrax attacker? [Washington Post, August 3, 2008];
  • What was John McCain referencing when he went on national television in October, 2001 and claimed "there is some indication, and I don't have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may -- and I emphasize may -- have come from Iraq"? [Late Show with David Letterman, 10/18/2001];
  • What was Joe Lieberman's basis for stating on national television, three days after McCain's Letterman appearance and in the midst of advocating a U.S. attack on Iraq, that the anthrax was so complex and potent that "there's either a significant amount of money behind this, or this is state-sponsored, or this is stuff that was stolen from the former Soviet program"? [Meet the Press, 10/21/2001];
  • What did Pat Leahy mean when he said the following in a September, 2007 interview:
    Leahy: What I want to know -- I have a theory. But what I want to know is why me, why Tom Daschle, why Tom Brokaw?

    VDB: Right. That all fits into the profile of a kind of hard-core and obviously insane ideologue on the far Right, somebody who would fixate on especially Tom Daschle, who at that point was the target of daily, vitriolic attacks on Right-wing talk radio.

    Leahy: [Slowly, with a little shake of the head] I don't think it’s somebody insane. I'd accept everything else you said. But I don’t think it's somebody insane. And I think there are people within our government -- certainly from the source of it -- who know where it came from. [Taps the table to let that settle in] And these people may not have had anything to do with it, but they certainly know where it came from.

    [Vermont Daily Briefing, 9/5/2007];
  • Who were the "four separate and well-placed sources" who told ABC News, falsely, that tests conducted at Fort Detrick had found the presence of bentonite in the anthrax sent to Tom Daschle, causing ABC News to aggressively link the attacks to Iraq for five straight days in October, 2001? [Salon, 4/9/2007];
  • Who was responsible for the numerous leaks even before the ABC News bentonite reports linking the anthrax attacks to Iraq? [The Guardian; 10/14/2001; Wall St. Journal Editorial, 10/15/2001 ("Is Iraq unleashing biological weapons on America?"); CNN, 10/15/2001].

There are plenty of other similar questions. As I said, many of these events could have perfectly reasonable explanations, ranging from significant ineptitude in the FBI investigation to acute caution on the part of the White House in ordering cipro. But given the magnitude of this episode, the far-from-convincing case made against Ivins, and the way in which -- even by the most generous account -- the Government and media's conduct have been driven by extreme unreliability and chronic errors, who could argue against a very sweeping and serious Congressional investigation -- or a genuinely independent investigative body -- devoted to disclosing all of the facts here, along the lines of what the 9/11 Commission was charged with doing?

Congressman Rush Holt, whose Central New Jersey district contained the mail box where at least some of the anthrax letters were mailed, issued a statement on Friday pointing out that "[w]hat we learn will not change the fact that this has been a poorly-handled investigation that has lasted six years and already has resulted in a trail of embarrassment and personal tragedy." On the same day, Rep. Holt wrote to FBI Director Robert Mueller requesting that if the FBI closes the investigation, then Mueller appear at a hearing before the House Committee on Appropriations' Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, which Holt chairs, in order to answer questions about the FBI's investigation.

Perhaps that is the appropriate venue for full-scale hearings into these questions. Any investigative body ought to be endowed with far-reaching subpoena power and should use it, and should further be committed to full public disclosure of all the facts. The anthrax attacks were the first lethal biological attack on the United States. The attacker(s) sought falsely to link the anthrax to Muslim extremists, as did numerous "sources" who fed the media with such claims. The U.S. Government itself claims that the attacks came from a U.S. Army research facility, perpetrated by a U.S. Government scientist. Excluding (arguably) only the 9/11 attack itself, the consequences of the anthrax attacks were as significant as anything that has happened in this country in the last decade. Full disclosure of all key facts -- and we have nothing of the kind right now -- is indisputably vital.

UPDATE: In comments, Jestaplero, a New York state prosecutor, argues that it's highly likely that Brian Ross' "bentonite" sources are material witnesses who committed obstruction of justice (since the false Iraq story came from the same lab where the attacks originated and thus was designed to distract investigators away from the true culprits), and Ross could easily be compelled to disclose those sources for that reason alone (just as Judy Miller was compelled to disclose her sources in the Plame case).

UPDATE II: See this very persuasive statement from Dr. Alan Pearson, Director of the Biological and Chemical Weapons Control Program at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, as to all the unanswered questions that remain, and why it is so imperative that the investigation into the anthrax attacks continue (h/t Plutonium Page).

UPDATE III: I'll be on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman tomorrow at 8:10 a.m. EST to discuss these anthrax issues. Local listings and live audio/video feed are here.

UPDATE IV: The New Republic's John Judis reports that he was present at a two-day CIA conference for reporters in 2003, shortly before the attack on Iraq, and learned that various factions in the CIA were still, even as of that time, pushing the claim that Iraq was responsible for the anthrax attacks. Judis notes -- and several people have distorted this point with regard to my broader argument about ABC's Iraq/anthrax story -- that this doesn't mean that "the Bush administration" as a collective, coordinated entity was pushing the false anthrax/Iraq link, but rather, "that there was a network [of] people who were promoting a theory about anthrax that helped make the case for war." Precisely. Judis says of the Iraq/anthrax claim that "there are too many echoes of Niger and uranium," and for that reason, he "join[s] those who believe that some kind of Congressional investigation is in order."

-- Glenn Greenwald

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Scientists Question Anthrax Probe By FBI

Ivins Could Not Have Been Attacker, Some Say

By Joby Warrick, Marilyn W. Thompson and Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, August 3, 2008; A01

For nearly seven years, scientist Bruce E. Ivins and a small circle of fellow anthrax specialists at Fort Detrick's Army medical lab lived in a curious limbo: They served as occasional consultants for the FBI in the investigation of the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks, yet they were all potential suspects.

Over lunch in the bacteriology division, nervous scientists would share stories about their latest unpleasant encounters with the FBI and ponder whether they should hire criminal defense lawyers, according to one of Ivins's former supervisors. In tactics that the researchers considered heavy-handed and often threatening, they were interviewed and polygraphed as early as 2002, and re-interviewed numerous times. Their labs were searched, and their computers and equipment carted away.

The FBI eventually focused on Ivins, whom federal prosecutors were planning to indict when he committed suicide last week. In interviews yesterday, knowledgeable officials asserted that Ivins had the skills and access to equipment needed to turn anthrax bacteria into an ultra-fine powder that could be used as a lethal weapon. Court documents and tapes also reveal a therapist's deep concern that Ivins, 62, was homicidal and obsessed with the notion of revenge.

Yet, colleagues and friends of the vaccine specialist remained convinced that Ivins was innocent: They contended that he had neither the motive nor the means to create the fine, lethal powder that was sent by mail to news outlets and congressional offices in the late summer and fall of 2001. Mindful of previous FBI mistakes in fingering others in the case, many are deeply skeptical that the bureau has gotten it right this time.

"I really don't think he's the guy. I say to the FBI, 'Show me your evidence,' " said Jeffrey J. Adamovicz, former director of the bacteriology division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID, on the grounds of the sprawling Army fort in Frederick. "A lot of the tactics they used were designed to isolate him from his support. The FBI just continued to push his buttons."

Investigators are so confident of Ivins's involvement that they have been debating since Friday whether and how to close the seven-year-old anthrax investigation. That would involve disbanding a grand jury in the District and unsealing scores of documents that form the basis of the government's case against Ivins.

Negotiations over the legal issues continue, but a government source said that the probe could be shuttered as early as tomorrow. The move would amount to a strong signal that the FBI and Justice Department think they got their man -- and that he is dead, foreclosing the possibility of a prosecution. No charges are likely against others, that source added.

Once the case is closed, the FBI and Justice Department will face questions -- and possibly public hearings -- from congressional oversight committees, which have been largely shut out of the case the past five years. The investigators have cited the ongoing nature of the case, as well as accusations of leaks to the media, for the information blackout to Capitol Hill.

One bioweapons expert familiar with the FBI investigation said Ivins indeed possessed the skills needed to create the dust-fine powder used in the attacks. At the Army lab where he worked, Ivins specialized in making sophisticated preparations of anthrax bacteria spores for use in animal tests, said the expert, who requested anonymity because the investigation remains active.

Ivins's daily routine included the use of processes and equipment the anthrax terrorist likely used in making his weapons. He also is known to have had ready access to the specific strain of Bacillus anthracis used in the attack -- a strain found to match samples found in Ivins's lab, he said.

"You could make it in a week," the expert said. "And you could leave USAMRIID with nothing more than a couple of vials. Bear in mind, they weren't exactly doing body searches of scientists back then."

But others, including former colleagues and scientists with backgrounds in biological weapons defense, disagreed that Ivins could have created the anthrax powder, even if he were motivated to do so.

"USAMRIID doesn't deal with powdered anthrax," said Richard O. Spertzel, a former biodefense scientist who worked with Ivins at the Army lab. "I don't think there's anyone there who would have the foggiest idea how to do it. You would need to have the opportunity, the capability and the motivation, and he didn't possess any of those."

Another scientist who worked with Ivins acknowledged it would have been technically possible to manufacture powdered anthrax at Fort Detrick, but unlikely that anyone could have done so without being detected.

"As well as we knew each other, and the way the labs were run, someone would discover what was going on," said the scientist, "especially since dry spores were not something that we prepared or worked with."

Scientists, co-workers and people who for years have researched the anthrax investigation, only to encounter frustration, misinformation and false leads, say law enforcement authorities should lay out their case as soon as possible. They want authorities to explain how Ivins, who led a seemingly normal life as a family man, churchgoer and volunteer, could have been responsible for one of the nation's most notorious unsolved crimes. (make that terrorist attack, the second, during the Bush administration. One does not have to be foreign to commit terrorist attacks. Timothy McVey was not a member of Al Qaeda, nor was he a person of another nationality.)

Authorities cast doubt yesterday on reports that Ivins had acted for financial gain based on patents and scientific advances he had made. Experiments by Ivins, working with several other Fort Detrick colleagues, led to two patented inventions considered crucial in the development of a genetically modified anthrax vaccine made by VaxGen, a California company that secured large government contracts after the 2001 anthrax attacks.

But sources familiar with details of the Army's patent process said it was unlikely that Ivins or the other scientists would reap a big financial windfall from VaxGen's vaccine production. They say the government restricts income from inventions produced in its laboratories to no more than $150,000 per year, but the amount is often considerably less.

Jaye Holly, who lived next door to the Ivinses until she and her husband moved to New York a month ago, said she couldn't believe that her former neighbor, who was obsessed with grass recycling and who happily drove a 20-year-old faded red van, would endanger others for financial gain.

"I can't imagine him being involved in a scheme to make money or to make a profit, especially one that would put people at risk or even die," Holly said. "That's not the Bruce we knew. He was sweet, friendly. I mean, he was into grass recycling."

Court records obtained yesterday shed further light on the concerns of a mental health professional who met Ivins during his final months -- a period when, friends say, he fell into depression under the strain of constant FBI scrutiny. The records also suggest that a Frederick social worker, Jean Duley, passed on her concerns to the FBI after receiving death threats from Ivins.

Duley became so worried that she petitioned a local judge for a protective order against Ivins. According to an audio recording of the hearing, she said she had seen Ivins as a therapist for six months, and thought he had tried to kill people in the past.

"As far back as the year 2000, [Ivins] has actually attempted to murder several other people, [including] through poisoning," she said "He is a revenge killer, when he feels that he's been slighted . . . especially towards women. He plots and actually tries to carry out revenge killings," she told a judge.

(So why did she not call the cops, THEN? Information like this is not privileged. She should lose her license to practice.)

She described a July 9 group therapy session in which Ivins allegedly talked of mass murder.

"He was extremely agitated, out of control," she said. Ivins told the group he had bought a gun, and proceeded to lay out a "long and detailed homicidal plan," she said.

"Because he was about to be indicted on capital murder charges, he was going to go out in a blaze of glory; that he was going to take everybody out with him," she said.

Staff writers Carrie Johnson and Paul Kane and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Ivins Is The Third Bioweapons Scientist....

Ivins is the third scientist whom the government has accused of being the Anthrax killer.

First the Egyptian scientist, Dr. Ayaad Assaad, was framed. When that frame-up fell apart, they tried to frame Stephen Hatfill.

Now, a couple of weeks after the frame-up against Hatfill unravelled, they are claiming that Ivins is the guy.

As a top anthrax expert says:

"I am struck by the fact that there appears to have been at least two previous people who were pointed to who appear to have been patsies -- Steven Hatfill being one and Ayaad Assaad being another."
No wonder the former Senate Majority leader - who was himself mailed anthrax - said "he did not know if the investigation involving Ivins 'is just another false track and a real diversion of where they need to be. We don't know, and they aren't telling us.' "

George Washington George Washington is a pen name. I am using the pen name, with the approval of the publisher, because I have received death threats due to my 9/11 research and writing. I am using a pen name to protect myself and my family.

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Prosecuting Bush Cheney, etal.

By David Swanson

Last week two judges encouraged me to look to courts to help us recover from the damage done by an outlaw executive and a spineless corrupt legislature. The first was Bush-appointed federal Judge John Bates who ruled that people must comply with Congressional subpoenas even if they used to work for the president, and this because - you know - the law requires it. The second was Judge William Price in Iowa who was hearing the case of citizens arrested for trying to make a citizens' arrest of Karl Rove. When told what they had been trying to do, the judge said "Well, it's about time!"

Sort of makes you want to go out and arrest a war criminal or two, doesn't it? Here's how:

Next month, on September 13th and 14th in Andover, Massachusetts, a major conference will be held to discuss the possibilities for prosecuting high-level American war criminals, including Bush and Cheney. The agenda and information on how to attend can be found at

A somewhat similar conference was held in Paris, France, in September 2005, organized by the Association for the Defence of International Humanitarian Law, France (ADIF) and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) ( ). The remarks of a long list of outstanding expert speakers have been updated, translated, and just published as "International Justice and Impunity: The Case of the United States," from Clarity Press.

It would be enlightening to many Americans to read this book, which documents the discussion of top proponents of human rights from around the world, including the United States -- a discussion focusing on the single biggest impediment to establishing the international rule of law, to eliminating war as an instrument of policy, and to defending human rights around the world, namely the fierce opposition of the U.S. government to all of the above.

Of course, the United States played a key role in creating the United Nations, in convening the tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo, in developing and promoting the ideas of human rights and international law. And, of course, the United States favors, to this day, the concept of international law as applied to the crimes of any nation other than the United States. But this two-tiered system in which the United States operates with a set of rules completely unlike those for everyone else is eroding support for the entire idea of law as something applicable to the actions of nations, rulers, and militaries.

As one example of the intense attack the Bush-Cheney White House has launched against international law, we can look at the case of Belgium, where the national government was developing the laws and practice needed to prosecute crimes against humanity whether or not related in any way to Belgium. But in May 2003 an attorney lodged a complaint on behalf of a number of Iraqi and Jordanian victims against U.S. General Tommy Franks and some members of his staff for war crimes in Iraq. The crimes included the bombing of civilian targets, the use of cluster bombs, and the targeting of the Palestine Hotel, which was known to house only journalists. The U.S. Congress quickly passed a law allowing the U.S. president to attack anyone (including Belgium) who would detain members of the U.S. military. The White House also told Belgium to drop the case and change the law that permitted it ever to be brought, or the headquarters of NATO would be moved to another country taking thousands of jobs with it. The law was changed and the case dropped before the US media ever mentioned it.

To learn much else that the US media doesn't tell you, read this book and go to At that site we are organizing ongoing activities and reporting on the possibilities for prosecuting members of Cheney-Bush Inc., through the International Criminal Court, through the courts of foreign countries, through the U.S. Department of Justice, and through state and local district attorneys. The purpose, of course, is not vengeance but deterrence, not retribution but justice for the sake of peace. The aim is not to disguise the complicity of so many thousands in the government and the military or to excuse the apathy of the public, but to begin a healing process by holding accountable the chief instigators of the worst crimes against the human race that we have seen in recent years. If we do not do so, all will fade into silence within the fragile bubble stretching from Atlantic to Pacific, while a raging storm of anger and resentment gathers into a global hurricane.

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Monday, August 4, 2008

How Dare Them; To Do This In My Name?

Held Hostage For Six Years In Guantanamo

They beat us up. They taunted us with racist insults. They locked us in cold rooms, below zero, with one cold meal a day. They hung us up by our hands. They deprived us of sleep, and when we started to fall asleep, they beat us on the head. They showed us films of the most horrendous torture sessions. They showed us photographs of torture victims – dead, swollen, covered in blood. They kept us under constant threat of being moved elsewhere to be tortured even more. They doused us with cold water. They forced us to do the military salute to the American national anthem. They forced us to wear women’s clothes. They forced us to look at pornographic images. They threatened us with rape. They would strip us naked and make us walk like donkeys, ordering us around. They made us sit down and stand up five hundred times in a row. They humiliated the detainees by wrapping them up in the Israeli and American flags, which was their way of telling us that we were imprisoned because of a religious war. When a detainee, filthy and riddled with fleas, is taken out of his cell to be submitted to more torture sessions in an attempt to make him collaborate, he ends up not knowing what he is saying or even who he is any more.

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Leaks to Sy Hersh...........

Could it make us feel the inevitability of it, "ah, Crap!" " What the hell can any of us possibly do about it?"

Well, think about that, will you?

I wonder if we, Madam and Sir, have lost all sense of decency? Have we?

(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. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Effing Corporate Media Is Going To Have More Blood On Their Hands

Corporate Media Ignores White House Planning of "False Flag" Operations to Trigger War with Iran

White House Plans "False Flag" Operations to Trigger War with Iran, and the Corporate Media Ignores Such a Criminal Enterprise As If It Were Anthrax


Mark Karlin

Editor and Publisher

August 4, 2008

Seymour Hersh is the most trusted and well-connected national security investigative reporter in the nation. (His heir apparent at The New Yorker is Jane Mayer.) He has reliable connections everywhere, including the Bush White House, the CIA, and the Pentagon.

Almost no one vigorously attacks Hersh’s reporting, including the White House and the right-wing media echo chamber. Why? Because many of his sources are from inside the administration and he has such credibility that they would just be drawing attention to his revelations.

Unfortunately, while some of Hersh’s bombshells get picked up by the corporate media, they are usually the ones that the White House actually wants disseminated, such as Hersh’s New Yorker piece on how the Bush Administration is currently conducting special military operations inside of Iran to destabilize the government. The White House wants to ratchet up the pressure on Iran with this sort of saber rattling.

But if the White House doesn’t want a Hersh disclosure to travel far, you can bet that the corporate media will treat it as if it were radioactive, or like they treated the anthrax story, ignoring the telling questions of potential U.S. government involvement, via the biological warfare lab at Fort Detrick, in the attacks on liberal senate leadership just before the vote on the Patriot Act. Nor did the corporate media follow through on why the White House and its shills – like John McCain and Joe Lieberman – were so quick to blame the anthrax attacks on Iraq, providing another casus belli – although a clearly false one, since the anthrax was manufactured in our own military research facility in Maryland -- for attacking that nation.

Last week, Think Progress offered us a Hersh disclosure that should have been on the front page of the major papers and the lead story on corporate broadcast news across the United States: the White House staff, led by Cheney, have been debating ways to provoke a war with Iran. If you are thinking Gulf of Tonkin, you don’t have to go back that far.

Remember just a few months ago that the U.S. corporate media breathlessly reported how an Iranian gun boat allegedly threatened a U.S. naval vessel. Only, it turned out that the recording that the White House had the Pentagon disseminate was doctored and no verbal threat had occurred.

And that is exactly what the White House has been planning, as in "kicking around ideas" that would precipitate a confrontation with Iran that would get the American public behind a war.

We’ll turn it over to the Think Progress report on Hersh’s comments so that you can get a better idea of the horrendous and criminal implications of what Cheney and his crew are still up to, even after the debacle of Iraq. (Remember that Cheney is after control over the oil and assertion of U.S. hegemony over the region.):

Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran.

In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The "meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. 'The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,’" according to one of Hersh’s sources.

During the journalism conference event, I asked Hersh specifically about this meeting and if he could elaborate on what occurred. Hersh explained that, during the meeting in Cheney’s office, an idea was considered to dress up Navy Seals as Iranians, put them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shoot at them. This idea, intended to provoke an Iran war, was ultimately rejected:

HERSH: There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.

Okay, so that specific "false flag" Hollywood style operation was rejected, but ideas for creating the pretext to nuke Iran haven’t been deep-sixed. Apparently, no one but Think Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress, thinks that this sort of treachery and betrayal of the nation is worth reporting upon.

Our policy at has been to be very careful about conspiracy theories, because so many of them rely on speculation, since the very nature of a cover-up is to deny us information. We know that we don’t know the truth about the JFK assassination or 9/11, but we can only hypothesize about what really happened because so much of the evidence has already been shredded or, in the case of unwelcome people with unwanted information, rendered "inoperable."

But here, you have America’s premier investigative reporter informing us that the White House has been actively "brainstorming" ways to fabricate a "justification" for a war with Iran.

It’s another war crime, a war crime against the American people and the innocent civilian population of Iran, and again for oil. (The nuclear issue is of interest, but not the real reason motivating Cheney. He wants another Shah-like puppet in power and Iranian oil under de facto American control.)

By the way, many BuzzFlash readers are familiar with the confirmed plan by the Pentagon in the early ‘60s, "Operation Northwoods," to create a war with Cuba and the Soviet Union by attacking our own civilians. "Operation Northwoods" included an idea to shoot down one of our own civilian airliners and blame it on the Cubans, thus raising the battle cry among Americans to invade the island. This is no conspiracy theory, "Operation Northwoods" is well-documented as a plan (even covered by ABC News when it was finally documented some 40 years later in 2001), but fortunately it was buried and never put into action. Saner and less criminal minds prevailed, as President Kennedy nixed the entire Northwoods plan when he first saw it.

But we don’t have JFK in the White House; we have George W. Bush and Dick Cheney – and they aren’t throwing treacherous ideas like "Operation Northwoods" in the shredder; to the contrary, they are creating plans like Northwoods.

And the corporate mainstream media isn’t even informing the American people.

But as soon as one of these ideas is activated, you’ll know about it because the television news networks and newspapers will be covering it breathlessly as if it is for real.

Lives are at stake, as Cheney plots another war based on deception.

And no one but some Netroot sites seems to be interested in alerting the American public.

That is how bad the mess that we are in is.

The corporate media has become the third partner in the military-industrial complex.

War and peace hang in the balance.

Let us not forget that the media spewed administration lies before the Iraq war and the media ran with it like the whipped dogs or the sickening cowards that they are.
Can Your spell "Judith Miller?" Of course there were others, but none so personified undercover Neocon or Neocon dupe.

If we attack Iran, I will have not choice but to ask for asylum in a neutral country!

I will do the one thing I never thought I would have to do.

I believe in moral principle more than I believe in the people who have sadly governed this nation for the last 7 1/2 years. My country has renounced me., anonymous though I may be; the proverbial microbe, number or statistic.

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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.