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This isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.

CIA warned White House -- no WMD programs in Iraq. A retired senior CIA official interviewed by 60 Minutes claims that the White House ignored intelligence from Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri in the run-up to the invasion. CIA Director George Tenet delivered the information to President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other high-ranking officials in September 2002, according to the CIA official. A few days later the administration said it was no longer interested. "...we said 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.' " The interview airs on CBS, Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
posted by insomnia_lj on Apr 22, 2006 - 59 comments

The world's biggest thief?

The world's biggest thief? A warrant has been issued against former Iraqi Interim Defense Minister Hazim Shaalan for defrauding Iraq of over $1 billion. In January, I posted to MeFi about Shaalan's possible involvement in a $300 million fraud scheme and the murder of two American arms merchants. What is more troubling, however, is that the U.S. government may have turned a blind eye to this massive defrauding of the Iraqi people. Prior to his role as Defense Minister, Shaalan ran a real estate agency in Britain and had no prior military qualifications. For this reason, Juan Cole believes it likely that Shaalan was a CIA agent, while Ahmed Chalabi accused Sha'alan of spying for Saddam. Meanwhile, the insurgents accused Shaalan of conspiring with the Bush administration to scrap Iraq's heavy weaponry. What does seem clear is that he apparently tried to buy broken Soviet-era armored vehicles and 28-year-old, second-hand Polish helicopters too old to fly at a premium, while pocketing lucrative kickbacks. Which begs the question -- if the U.S. government really wanted a strong, independent Iraqi military, then why doesn't it give Iraq the heavy arms they'll need to defend themselves?
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 20, 2005 - 17 comments

The return of the frog march.

Time to name names in Plame affair. Time Magazine has announced that they will hand over the full notes and emails of their reporter to federal investigators, revealing the identity of the White House official(s) who leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA officer. Will Joseph Wilson finally get his frog march?
posted by insomnia_lj on Jun 30, 2005 - 80 comments

Is the CIA tampering with Venezuelan elections?

Is the CIA tampering with Venezuelan elections? A Venezuelan news organization reports that an email was sent to the world press this afternoon, claiming to be early election results indicating a defeat for outspoken Bush critic Hugo Chavez. The email in question appears to be a fraud, sent from a location in Virginia. There are also reports coming in of phony election results being broadcast on Venezuelan television, and rigged exit polls organized by the very people who supported an unsuccessful coup against Chavez in 2002 -- an organization funded by our government through the National Endowment for Democracy. Your tax dollars at work. Former President Carter reports that the elections are going well, with a huge turnout, but if Chavez wins, will there be an organized effort -- funded by U.S. tax dollars -- to discredit the election anyway?
posted by insomnia_lj on Aug 15, 2004 - 71 comments

Guardian names names

Journalists say off the record "it was Karl Rove that I spoke to..." (RealPlayer)
Julian Borger of the Guardian reveals that several journalists have revealed "off the record" that Karl Rove revealed the identity of the CIA operative, but that the reporters aren't publicly admitting it, in order to protect their source. But aren't they also material witnesses to a federal crime? Does not revealing their source make them accessories to that crime?
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 30, 2003 - 51 comments

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