Archive for October 20th, 2007

The Spin, I’m In!

by GEF @ 7:22 PM MST

Squirell Nut Zippers – Put a Lid on it!

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anthony @ 21:56 BST

Dr Kelly was probably the world’s leading expert on biological and chemical weapons, and had travelled many times to Iraq to investigate whether Saddam was attempting to produce WMDs.

In the summer of 2003, he revealed to a BBC journalist concerns within the British intelligence community over whether intelligence on such weapons was being “sexed up” for Blair’s dossier on going to war in order to make stronger the case for invading Iraq.

He was publicly exposed, interrogated by a Parliamentary Committee in a televised proceeding, and humiliated before the entire nation.

 A few days later, he disappeared.

During my father’s 70th birthday anniversary (and his and my step-mother’s 40th wedding anniversary), I learnt that his body had been found in a wood near his home in Oxfordshire, his wrists slashed. At the time, I took at face value the story that he had committed suicide. I no longer do so.

Had Kelly not “squealed”, we would have been none the wiser as to the flimsiness of the case for war against Iraq. For me, he counts as among the many victims of 9/11 who have died in order to justify this ghastly war.

FIONA BARTON | UK Daily Mail | Saturday October 20, 2007

Weapons expert Dr David Kelly was assassinated, an MP claims today.

Campaigning politician Norman Baker believes Dr Kelly, who exposed the Government’s “sexed-up” Iraq dossier, was killed to stop him making further revelations about the lies that took Britain to war.

He says the murderers may have been anti-Saddam Iraqis, and suggests the crime was covered up by elements within the British establishment to prevent a diplomatic crisis. (more…)

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Just How Stupid Is Duke Cunningham?

By- Suzie-Q @ 9:20 AM MST

If there’s a burning question that’s arisen from Brent Wilkes’ trial, it’s not whether Wilkes is guilty. It’s: ‘Just how stupid is Duke Cunningham?’

According to testimony, Cunningham’s (alleged) bribers were in agreement: his stupidity made him an easy mark. Wilkes’ former employee testified that Wilkes told her Duke was “not the brightest congressman up there. We can work with him.”

And Mitchell Wade told jurors that Wilkes and Wade considered him to be “of below-average intelligence.” So while the unending stream of bribes kept Cunningham willing to do whatever the defense contractors wanted, you couldn’t just tell him to go harass Pentagon officials because they weren’t paying the bills. Wade said that the lawmaker was so thick that they had to “spell out for Duke exactly what he had to say.”

He wasn’t kidding. Earlier this week, prosecutors entered into evidence a set of talking points that Wade had prepared for Cunningham in 2004 for a call to a Pentagon official. We’ve posted a copy here, courtesy of Seth Hettena, the author of the recent book on Cunningham, Feasting on The Spoils, who’s been blogging the trial. In the talking points, Wade made sure Duke’s mind wasn’t upset by any ambiguity. A sample:

Certainly Wade knew what he was doing. After all, look what happens when Cunningham is left to his own devices.


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The Casualties of Iraq

Sudhan@11:05 CET

By Conn Hallinan| Foreign Policy In Focus, October 17, 2007

The great 19th-century Tory Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli once remarked there were three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. It is a dictum the Bush administration has taken to heart when it comes to totaling up the carnage in Iraq: If you don’t like the numbers, just change them; and when in doubt, look ’em in the eye and lie.

For instance, according to the Department of Defense (DOD), the United States does not track civilian casualties. As former commander General Tommy Franks put it, “We don’t do body counts.”

But testimony in the recent trial of U.S. Army snipers from the First Battalion of the 501 Infantry regiment indicated the generals indeed do body counts. In a July hearing at Fort Liberty, Iraq, Sgt. Anthony G. Murphy said he and other snipers felt “an underlying tone” of disappointment from their commanders when they didn’t rack up big body counts.

“It just kind of felt like, ‘What are you guys doing wrong out there?'” he testified. When the snipers started setting traps to lure in unsuspecting Iraqis, the kill ratios went up and the commanders, he said, were pleased.

The choreography the Bush administration does around casualties is aimed at creating a dance of lies and disinformation to cover up one of the worst humanitarian crises to strike the Middle East since the Mongols sacked Baghdad.

That is not an overstatement.

Keep reading . . .

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