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Archive for September 6th, 2007

Cheney & Iran: Here We Go Again?

by Geezer Power …7:52 PM PDT


Juan Cole Thursday, August 30, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007

Barnett Rubin relays a message from a well-connected friend in Washington on the Cheney Administration’s plans to roll out a military confrontation with Iran in September. He writes at the Global Affairs blog:

” My friend had spoken to someone in one of the leading neo-conservative institutions. He summarized what he was told this way:

They [the source's institution] have “instructions” (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don’t think they’ll ever get majority support for this–they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is “plenty.”

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Judge Rejects Government Secrecy Claims

by Geezer Power …7:07 PM PDT

ACLU 9/05/2007

The Justice Department must give more substantial reasons for not complying with the ACLU’s FOIA request for NSA spy program documents.

“Today’s ruling deals a blow to the administration’s sweeping and often unfounded secrecy claims,” said Nasrina Bargzie, an attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “When documents are withheld under the Freedom of Information Act, the government must have a better excuse for keeping the documents secret than ‘because we said so.’”

In December 2005, the ACLU and the National Security Archive submitted requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking records relating to the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program. The ACLU and the Archive filed a lawsuit to enforce the FOIA requests and the case was consolidated with a similar lawsuit brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). The government asked the court to permit it to keep the NSA documents secret.

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Dems Already Discount War Report

by- Suzie-Q @ 5:17 PM MST

Congressional Democrats are trying to undermine U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus’ credibility before he delivers a report on the Iraq war next week, saying the general is a mouthpiece for President Bush and his findings can’t be trusted.

“The Bush report?” Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin said when asked about the upcoming report from Gen. Petraeus, U.S. commander in Iraq.

“We know what is going to be in it. It’s clear. I think the president’s trip over to Iraq makes it very obvious,” the Illinois Democrat said. “I expect the Bush report to say, ‘The surge is working. Let’s have more of the same.’ “

The top Democrats — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California — also referred to the general’s briefing as the “Bush report.”

Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Gen. Petraeus’ report was potentially compromised by the White House’s involvement in drafting it.

“If the same people who were so wrong about this war from the start are writing substantial portions of this report, that raises credibility questions,” he said.

More

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DIANA DOSSIER ‘HAS VANISHED’

anthony @ 20:10

From The Daily Express

THE entire French dossier into the death of Princess Diana has disappeared, it was revealed last night.

Authorities in Paris are set to launch an investigation after the highly-sensitive 6,000-page report vanished in mysterious circumstances.

The files contain every shred of evidence compiled over 18 months during a £6.4million inquiry. Its loss will fuel conspiracy theories that French investigators found information showing Diana’s death was more than an accident.

Many believe the Princess was murdered by secret service assassins who forced her vehicle to crash.

Harrods tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi was also killed in the crash, is convinced Diana was murdered in an Establishment plot.

It is feared the disappearance of the dossier could prevent an official inquiry from ever establishing the truth about the Princess’ death.

It is scarcely believable that such crucial evidence could be lost just weeks before the inquest.”

A British Lawyer

(more…)

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Beware the Wounded Beast: Bush Has Lost the Iraq War

Sudhan@19:50 CET

By Dave Lindorff | Sep 5 2007

The Iraq War has been lost.

The British are acknowledging this fact by pulling out their troops from Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, handing over the city to the control of Shia militias. For all intents and purposes, the “Coalition of the Willing” is now dead. America is now going it alone.

Bush is not acknowledging defeat, but has indirectly admitted it by saying that some troops can start being brought home soon, even though clearly nothing has been accomplished with the addition of 30,000 troops for the last six months.

He acknowledged defeat too, by flying into Iraq stealthily in the dead of night this week, landing at a remote desert outpost in western Iraq, instead of going to Baghdad, and meeting with American military officials, instead of with the Iraqi government. (So much for Iraq’s being a “sovereign nation”! Can you imaging a head of state of some foreign government, together with his war secretary and his secretary of state, flying in unannounced to some remote American state, and not even meeting with American government officials?) Clearly the US military could not guarantee the president’s safety in Baghdad and the Green Zone, so he had to go to a remote outpost where he was safe behind razor wire, mines and an obscene arsenal of soldiers, tanks and gunships.

article continues…

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Why Is This Man Smiling?

anthony @ 18:40 BST

Bush at Al-Asad

All smiles: President Bush poses with the troops at Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq’s Anbar province.By Robert Scheer

OK, throw another $50 billion down the rat hole that is the Iraq occupation. It’s only money, if you ignore the lives being destroyed. That’s what the White House is asking for, in addition to the $147 billion in supplementary funds already requested, and Congress will grant it after Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker follow President Bush’s photo op in Iraq’s Anbar province with a dog and pony show of their own. Meanwhile, the Democrats are totally cynical about this continuing waste of taxpayer dollars and of American and Iraqi lives, and, wanting Bush to hang himself with his own rope, they will deny him nothing.

(more…)

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by- Suzie-Q @ 8:32 AM MST

Months before the Iraq invasion, President Bush apparently ignored a 2002 Oval Office briefing in which CIA director George Tenet provided the president with intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction, according to former Clinton advisor and Salon columnist Sidney Blumenthal.

Reporting in Salon, Blumenthal writes that according to his sources, two former CIA officers,”Bush dismissed as worthless this information from the Iraqi foreign minister, a member of Saddam’s inner circle, although it turned out to be accurate in every detail. Tenet never brought it up again.”

Blumenthal also adds that the intelligence from that day was left out of the National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002, which definitively stated that had WMD.

“The president had no interest in the intelligence,” a CIA officer disclosed. “Bush didn’t give a fuck about the intelligence. He had his mind made up.”

“No one in Congress was aware of the secret intelligence that Saddam had no WMD as the House of Representatives and the Senate voted, a week after the submission of the NIE, on the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq,” Blumenthal writes. “The information, moreover, was not circulated within the CIA among those agents involved in operations to prove whether Saddam had WMD.”

More

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Opera legend Pavarotti dies

anthony @ 14:45 BST

from Stuff.co.nz

Luciano Pavarotti, one of the world’s best-known tenors, has died at the age of 71 in his hometown of Modena in north-central Italy.

“The great tenor Luciano Pavarotti died today at 5am (3pm NZT) at his home in Modena,” Pavarotti’s manager Terri Robson said in a statement.

“The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life.

“In fitting with the approach that characterised his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness.”

The rotund, black-bearded tenor known as “Big Luciano” helped bring opera to the masses and performed to vast stadium audiences round the world.

Anthony says: Nobody, but nobody could sing “Nessun Dorma”, from Puccini’s Turandot, like Pavarotti. He made it almost his own:

Keep reading to see Pavarotti sing “Nessun Dorma” in a more recent recording (live, Paris, 1998, conductor: NY Met’s James Levine), the heartbreakingly sad, Caruso, from Caruso the Movie, by Bolognese rock artist Lucio Dalla, which I first heard when living in Italy in the 1980s (from the same concert, I think), and the exhuberantly cheerful, “O Sole Mio” (lyrics: Giovanni Capurro, melody: Eduardo di Capua), the best-known of the many songs from Naples, where L’Arte di Opera Lirica was born, and which he sings with Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo at the concert in Rome, 1990 (conductor: Zubin Mehta), following the 1990 Italian World Cup.

(more…)

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True or false: Can Bush tell difference?

Sudhan@09:50 CET

Chicago Sun Times, September 5, 2007

Is President Bush able to distinguish truth from falsehood? Is he too caught up in the double-talk generated by his spin masters to grasp the difference? After reading his talk to the VFW last week, I think that at this stage of his presidency he is utterly incapable of honest communication with the rest of the country. Objectively, his claim that the United States can win in Iraq, his comment that the Iraqi prime minister is a good guy and his history of the Vietnam War go far beyond the boundaries of truth. Granted, the speech was ground out by one of the spin masters (perhaps trained in dishonesty by Karl Rove), the president ultimately is responsible for it. It follows logically from all the falsehoods going back to weapons of mass destruction. It is contradicted by the intelligence estimate released the same day by the director of National Intelligence. The killing continues, the Iraq government is not improving, the war continues.

And, one would add, Americans continue to die.

More . . .

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