“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Zinni, sitting right next to Cheney’s lectern, says he “literally bolted” when he heard the vice president’s comments. “In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD [weapons of mass destruction], through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.”
Rachel Maddow hosts Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War
, a documentary special, based on the eponymous book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn
, that will air Monday, February 18 on MSNBC at 9 p.m.
Cartoonist Tim Kreider
) of The Pain
talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1
What killed Sgt. Gray?
"He survived the war only to die at home. An exploration of his death and his combat unit's activities reveals what can happen to soldiers who feel the freedom -- or the pressure -- to do things in war they can't live with later." -- An American Radioworks documentary.
“You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas."
A Vanity Fair
reporter investigates the chain of command that tossed out the Geneva Conventions and instituted coercive interrogation techniques -- some might call them torture or even war crimes
-- in Bush's Global War on Terror. UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo's now-obsolete 81-page memo to the Pentagon in 2003 [available as PDFs here and here
] was crucial, offering a broad range of legal justifications and deniability for disregarding international law in the name of "self-defense."
that Yoo was just making "a clear point about the limits of Congress to intrude on the executive branch in its exercise of duties as Commander in Chief." [previously here
In honor of the 5-year anniversary of the Iraq War, PBS' Frontline
presented a fantastic 2- part special on the issue this past Monday and Tuesday. It is now available in it's entirety online along with interview transcripts from senior officials, a video timeline of the war, and battlefield stories from soldiers. Bush's War
shock doctrine at work
Fisk documents the dismantling of Iraqi culture - Klein exposes the history behind the destruction.
learn why cleveland is the capital of polka, bowling and kielbasa.
Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted.
A newly declassified report
(PDF) by the Pentagon's inspector general claims that Iraq was not working with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion and that the intelligence was manipulated
by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith
. On the same day as the report came out, Dick Cheney claimed that they did have a relationship
via Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
. Zarqawi may be dead, but he's still useful
. [Via TalkLeft.]
: In opening arguments today
in the Plame investigation perjury case against Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, the prosecutor portrayed Libby as an agent of a Cheney-driven media offensive
. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day came from Libby's attorney, who portrayed his client as a White House-chosen scapegoat for Karl Rove's misdeeds
. A conservative reporter saw in Libby's emerging defense a "dramatic split inside the Bush White House
." An MSNBC host asked whether
this hullabaloo could lead to Cheney's resignation.
Background on the case. Liveblogging of today's arguments from an anti-administration perspective.
Cheney Clarifies Iraq, Afghanistan on Meet the Press.
For the first time in three years, Cheney appears on Meet the Press. Transcript here
. "We’ve never been able to confirm any connection between Iraq and 9/11[,]" but Iraq "...was a state sponsor of terror" and "while they found no stockpiles...[the Duelfer report claimed that] Saddam did in fact have the capability and that as soon as the sanctions were ended—and they were badly eroded—he would be back in business again." "[T]his was the place where, probably, there was a greater prospect of a connection between terrorists on the one hand and a terrorist-sponsoring state and weapons of mass destruction than any place else." "...if we had to do it again, we would do exactly the same thing..."
Newsfilter: CIA director Porter Goss resigns.
After taking some of the
heat for bad intelligence in the months before 9/11, Cheney's "cat's paw"
finally gets out of the kitchen.
"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on
in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," writes former CIA official Paul Pillar, coordinator of U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until 2005, in an article soon to appear in Foreign Affairs
, hardly a radical rag. More confirmation that Seymour Hersh was right about the administration "cherry-picking" intelligence
to justify a foregone conclusion to go to war in Iraq.
Marine's One Finger Salute
becomes an iconic image in the Iraqi War. Analysis and politics aside, this guy is one tough mother.
Bush Buzzword Bingo
- If you can't stand listening to the president speak, try playing this game. Like the Thanksgiving version, you get a bingo card randomly printed with Bush's favorite buzzwords, bushisms and talking points. First to get five in a row gets bingo, but probably will just end up feeling bad about the world. For more bush/bushism fun, try the "Give Bush a Brain" game
from egreetings. (see if you can beat my high score of 8)
Has the C.I.A. legally killed prisoners? Two years ago, Manadel al-Jamadi, a suspected Iraqi insurgent, walked into a Baghdad interrogation room. He was dead in 45 minutes, his head covered with a plastic bag, shackled in a crucifixion-like pose that led to his asphyxiation. U.S. authorities classified his death a homicide. His CIA interrogator has not been charged with a crime and continues to work for the agency.
President Bush says "We do not torture."
But if that’s true, then why is Vice President Cheney fighting to exempt CIA interrogators from a torture ban?
And al-Jamadi? His case is stalled in the Alberto Gonzalez
Justice Department, two years after soldiers posed for thumbs-up pictures next to his corpse.
In case of emergency, nuke Iran.
From the folks
who brought you Operation Iraqi Freedom
and the "last throes"
of the insurgency, the latest strategy for enhancing homeland security and US global standing is to launch a nuclear first-strike against Iran in the event of another 9/11-style attack -- whether Iran has ties to the attackers or not. As Juan Cole points out, turning a Shiite Muslim nation into the next Hiroshima could have disagreeable consequences
. (First reported by the American Conservative
, not your typical liberal rag, and via DailyKos
"Pull out, pull out", she cried, "Before it's too late!"
- Sex sells. Amidst the ongoing PR conflagration - as newly released
imagery of the psychosexual humiliation, by US guards at Abu Ghraib, of imprisoned Iraqis (a naked Iraqi man on a leash held by a female American soldier
, notably) provokes widespread outrage (and the Red Cross says things are much worse
than those pictures show), the BBC reports on informed speculation that the perfect storm of a growing insurgency, political reversals, and a PR debacle will lead to a hasty coalition pullout from Iraq. A frustrated and tense "Machine Gun Cheney"
achieves release, via his wheelbarrel load of 30 guns (including a Thompson), blasting away at a Secret Service gun range. His aim, they say, is very good. But will Cheney bite the bullet and level with the American public about what it will now take for the US to prevail in Iraq ?
Cheney outlines Bush's vision of the war on terrorism
in a January 14th speech
, likening it to the Cold War in both scope and duration. Does this represent a change in tenor for the 2004 campaign and a move away from Reagan-esque
sunny optimism that defined the 2000 run?
Contractor Halliburton served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens
Well, Bush served up clean turkey and these guys were busy overcharging the Pentagon on energy so they could reap big bucks...Cheney remains in his gopher hole.
Judicial Watch, the group that's been suing for access to Cheney's Energy Task Force notes, finally gets some docs, and guess what? Way back in 2001, Cheney, et al, were looking at maps of Iraqi oil fields. Is this the bookend clue, that coupled with Rumsfields 9/12 comments about going after Iraq, starts to shed real light on the administrations foreign policy objectives?
Halliburton Handed No-Bid Iraqi Oil Firefighting Contract
You still believe this war is about nothing more then WMD's? I wonder how many other of Bush and Cheney's friends are benefiting from this war? The US government didn't even bother to give other companies a chance to bid for this contract. While on the topic of WMD's you might want to check out this
, about the lack of skepticism when it comes to the media making claims for weapons in Iraq. Remember Fox and their claim of a "HUGE" chemical weapons stash? How are we to get accurate news on this war if the journalist's we rely on are nothing more then puppets for this administration?
Bush and Chirac debate Iraq
"I will bomb him in his car;
I will bomb him from afar.
I will bomb him in his house;
I do not like him, he’s a louse.
I’m going to bomb him here and there.
I’m going to bomb him everywhere."
U.S. Stops Iraq-Al Qaeda Talk
From the Washington Post. Beyond the superficial significance of administration back-tracking, in regards to intelligence there seems to be two key aspects to this story: 1) The article talks about how the CIA was unable to "validate two prominent allegations made by high-ranking administration officials," implying that Bush/Cheney/etc. have been making baseless assumptions about Iraq in their pro-war arguments, and 2) it brings into question whether we know anything at all about Iraq, anyway. What if the same can be said of Hussein's nuclear plans?
Cheney caught in lie.
"According to oil industry executives and confidential United Nations records, however, Halliburton held stakes in two firms that signed contracts to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based company."
That would be the same Iraq Cheney/Bush blew to smithereens for his oil buddies.