Mark Danner has been writing a series in the New York Review Of Books
: Rumsfeld's War And Its Consequences Now
A bare two weeks after the attacks of September 11, at the end of a long and emotional day at the White House, a sixty-nine-year-old politician and businessman—a midwesterner, born of modest means but grown wealthy and prominent and powerful—returned to his enormous suite of offices on the seventh floor of the flood-lit and wounded Pentagon and, as was his habit, scrawled out a memorandum on his calendar:
NSC mtg. with President—
As [it] ended he asked to see me alone…
After the meeting ended I went to Oval Office—He was alone
He was at his desk—
He talked about the meet
Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]
Prone to Violence
FROM THE French Revolution to contemporary Iraq, the beginning phase of democratization in unsettled circumstances has often spurred a rise in militant nationalism. Democracy means rule by the people, but when territorial control and popular loyalties are in flux, a prior question has to be settled: Which people will form the nation? Nationalist politicians vie for popular support to answer that question in a way that suits their purposes. When groups are at loggerheads and the rules guiding domestic politics are unclear, the answer is more often based on a test of force and political manipulation than on democratic procedures.
While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.
Regarding the Torture Papers
, which detail Torture's Paper Trail
, and, then there's Hungry for Air
: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
Factfilter: Sen. Bob Graham's new book shows coverup.on Saudi's behalf Bush had concluded that ''a nation-state that had aided the terrorists should not be held publicly to account,'' Graham wrote. "It was as if the president's loyalty lay more with Saudi Arabia than with America's safety.''
And there's stuff about Iraq, too. After wearing 9/11 like a tiara during the convention, will the facts finally be aired?
confirms denies confirms link between Iraq and terrorism! " The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction."
In other news, we're at war with Eastasia. We've always been at war with Eastasia... Food rations have jumped by 10%! Doubleplusgood!
Chaos in Iraq is breeding support for terrorists.
This is a refreshingly lucid piece by Jessica Stern on the situation in Iraq. Stern has also written recently on al Qaeda's protean nature
. She is the author of Terror in the Name of God
, and apparently she was the inspiration for Nicole Kidman's character in The Peacemaker
Iraq in a Nutshell
by O'Reilly Books (not really)
A WARMONGER EXPLAINS WAR TO A PEACENIK
A light hearted look at the oft repeated justifications for war in Iraq and their counter arguments.
There's a revolt in the ranks.
Office of National Assessment senior analyst Andrew Wilkie resigned in protest against the stance on Iraq. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has questioned Mr Wilkie's seniority and suggested he did not have access to all available information on Iraq but Opposition leader Mr Crean disputes that. "Not senior? This is a person who has had involvement on terrorism briefings - we know that from the reports," Mr Crean said. "He's also a person that according to the same reports was going to be put on the Iraq taskforce if Australia went to war. Now don't tell me that's not senior, don't tell me that's not connected."
Standing With Osama? "Some of the more bilious right-wing pundits... have taken to describing those who oppose the invasion as 'siding with Saddam.' But if such sleazy rhetoric is allowable, then maybe we should say that those like our President, who seem to have ignored Osama’s decrees, or like Powell, who are hawking a Saddam/Al Qaeda connection based on overblown evidence, are standing with Osama."
Is this accusation fair? If so, is it productive? I doubt it, but I'm not certain. Rohan Gunaratna, the author of "Inside Al Qaeda,"
warns that an invasion of Iraq would undermine the international campaign against Al Qaeda
and give terrorist groups a new lease on life. Oh well, at least it's funny
. [Via Cursor
.] [More inside.]
Finally, finally, finally!! Someone in the mainstream media is finally asking some questions.
Lots of people (here and abroad) have known about this book for some time. I think it deserves some checking into.