Information gathered by Mark McCarron
( MarkMcCarron_ITT@hotmail.com, email@example.com)
How the White House Embraced Disputed Arms Intelligence
By DAVID BARSTOW, WILLIAM J. BROAD and JEFF GERTH
Published: October 3, 2004
In 2002, at a crucial juncture on the path to war, senior members of the Bush administration gave a series of speeches and interviews in which they asserted that Saddam Hussein was rebuilding his nuclear weapons program. Speaking to a group of Wyoming Republicans in September, Vice President Dick Cheney said the United States now had "irrefutable evidence" - thousands of tubes made of high-strength aluminum, tubes that the Bush administration said were destined for clandestine Iraqi uranium centrifuges, before some were seized at the behest of the United States.
Those tubes became a critical exhibit in the administration's brief against Iraq. As the only physical evidence the United States could brandish of Mr. Hussein's revived nuclear ambitions, they gave credibility to the apocalyptic imagery invoked by President Bush and his advisers. The tubes were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs," Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, explained on CNN on Sept. 8, 2002. "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
But almost a year before, Ms. Rice's staff had been told that the government's foremost nuclear experts seriously doubted that the tubes were for nuclear weapons, according to four officials at the Central Intelligence Agency and two senior administration officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. The experts, at the Energy Department, believed the tubes were likely intended for small artillery rockets.
The White House, though, embraced the disputed theory that the tubes were for nuclear centrifuges, an idea first championed in April 2001 by a junior analyst at the C.I.A. Senior nuclear scientists considered that notion implausible, yet in the months after 9/11, as the administration built a case for confronting Iraq, the centrifuge theory gained currency as it rose to the top of the government.
Senior administration officials repeatedly failed to fully disclose the contrary views of America's leading nuclear scientists, an examination by The New York Times has found. They sometimes overstated even the most dire intelligence assessments of the tubes, yet minimized or rejected the strong doubts of nuclear experts. They worried privately that the nuclear case was weak, but expressed sober certitude in public.
One result was a largely one-sided presentation to the public that did not convey the depth of evidence and argument against the administration's most tangible proof of a revived nuclear weapons program in Iraq.
Today, 18 months after the invasion of Iraq, investigators there have found no evidence of hidden centrifuges or a revived nuclear weapons program. The absence of unconventional weapons in Iraq is now widely seen as evidence of a profound intelligence failure, of an intelligence community blinded by "group think," false assumptions and unreliable human sources.
Yet the tale of the tubes, pieced together through records and interviews with senior intelligence officers, nuclear experts, administration officials and Congressional investigators, reveals a different failure.
Far from "group think," American nuclear and intelligence experts argued bitterly over the tubes. A "holy war" is how one Congressional investigator described it. But if the opinions of the nuclear experts were seemingly disregarded at every turn, an overwhelming momentum gathered behind the C.I.A. assessment. It was a momentum built on a pattern of haste, secrecy, ambiguity, bureaucratic maneuver and a persistent failure in the Bush administration and among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to ask hard questions.
Precisely how knowledge of the intelligence dispute traveled through the upper reaches of the administration is unclear. Ms. Rice knew about the debate before her Sept. 2002 CNN appearance, but only learned of the alternative rocket theory of the tubes soon afterward, according to two senior administration officials. President Bush learned of the debate at roughly the same time, a senior administration official said.
Last week, when asked about the tubes, administration officials said they relied on repeated assurances by George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, that the tubes were in fact for centrifuges. They also noted that the intelligence community, including the Energy Department, largely agreed that Mr. Hussein had revived his nuclear program.
"These judgments sometimes require members of the intelligence community to make tough assessments about competing interpretations of facts," said Sean McCormack, a spokesman for the president.
The principle behind VisualID is that humans can remember pictures better than words, and can navigate faster and easier with distinct, individual images than with generic icons (like the consistent, omnipresent "W" that tags Microsoft Word documents).
"Our visual brains 'suck up' the appearance of everything we see. It doesn't require effort or even conscious thought. We just do it, all the time," J.P. Lewis, a researcher at the University of Southern California and the principal author of the project, wrote in an e-mail interview. Researchers at USC and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are cooperating on the project.
The appeal of VisualID is that it takes advantage of the familiarity of the graphical icons concept and the hardwiring of human psychology.
It turns out that "scenery" of this sort is not used by the brain for data visualization but instead enables visual search and memory, according to Lewis. The icons of VisualID can relate to each other.
Most organizations don’t realize that USB and Firewire ports offer an unbelievably easy and accessible way to take sensitive information outside of the enterprise--and this naivete could cost them dearly.
If you look at the new corporate desktop releases from top makers Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway, a single system can easily have up to eight USB ports. But it's not the sheer number of ports--it's the default plug-and-play configurations of operating systems like Microsoft Windows XP that are the real problem.
spam is US generated
Paul Wood, of anti-spam firm Messagelabs, said: "There has been a blip. There are probably only 200 spammers in the world and most of them are in Florida." Steve Linford, of junk email watch group Spamhaus, added: "There are 35 billion emails a day and 85 per cent are spam. After the hurricanes, that fell to around 75 per cent but we're now seeing it climb again very steeply."
keeps US anti-spam market afloat.
Nazi-style 'concentration camps' and techniques
Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty, said: "The use of detention without trial damages the legal system and Britain's reputation internationally."
And former Pentagon intelligence official Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Christino also claimed interrogating suspects at Guantanamo Bay had failed to yield any vital intelligence in the war on terror.
share jump without any reason
Microsoft share price rise is a puzzle
By Graham Lea
Published Thursday 26th August 1999 14:11 GMT
For no agreed reason, Microsoft shares have increased in value by 14 per cent this week. There's an opinion from Michael Stanek of Lehman Brothers which noted that Microsoft is "somewhat immune from Y2K", and projects a price of 130 within 12 months. Bloomberg and Dow Jones cited "a favourable court ruling" which may be an optimistic way of describing the failure of the judge to give some reasons for decisions in Sun's action against Microsoft over Java. Bloomberg also mentioned as a reason the expected appointment of Richard Belluzzo to head Microsoft's Internet activities, but this was unrelated, according to Bill Epifanio of JP Morgan, who though the approach of Windows 2000 was more important. Steve Ballmer is on holiday and Gates is essentially out of operational matters, so the word from Microsoft is "no comment" about Belluzzo. Since he is tipped to start on 1 September, he is no doubt negotiating his contract details and reading the relevant Dummies book on the Internet, since his background is strongest in printer sales. The rise in Microsoft's share price will be bad news for head lawyer Bill Neukom, who sold 90,000 shares last week, just before the price rose. There has also been some curious activity in the Pacifc Exchange Microsoft options market, with many out-of-money calls being sold earlier in the week (essentially they are a bet that Microsoft's price will go higher). The proceeds from the sale of the calls was being spent on buying Microsoft stock, according to traders. The volatility index, which is seen a kind of fear gauge, was down 4 per cent at one point, according to a Microsoft trader. There are also mixed views as to whether there is an increased or decreased likelihood of a tracking stock to spin off Microsoft's Internet activities, to be known as the Consumer and Commerce group. Some were of the opinion that it would be a way to measure Belluzzo's performance, but whether Microsoft would be willing to entrust to him what could be around $50 billion of its $486 billion of assets is uncertain. Microsoft's Internet business showed revenue of $725 million in the FY which ended in June, but the losses are not disclosed. Another advantage of a tracker could be that it would provide a way to make expensive Internet acquisitions without diluting profits. Gates is believed to be against the tracker idea because of "implementation challenges" and CFO Greg Maffei thinks it would be expensive and complex to initiate. Of course, there could be trouble with other Microsoft staff if employees saw those with Internet options doing better - although this appears to be rather unlikely in the near future. Separately, AT&T may be considering creating a tracking stock since it scrapped a plan to create shares for its cable and wireless businesses. This could now have a tracker, with another for its long-distance services. AT&T's rationale is that investors have not valued AT&T shares sufficiently - they are down 20 per cent on their high last month. Of course, all this speculative analysis is based on an assumption that the markets are rational.
Rumsfeld backs off al Qaeda assertions
Also concedes WMD claims about Iraq were proved wrong
From Jamie McIntyre
CNN Washington Bureau
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld addresses the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Monday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld appeared Monday to back off earlier statements suggesting Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had links to al Qaeda.
He also conceded that U.S. intelligence was "wrong" in its conclusions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
"Why the intelligence proved wrong, I'm not in a position to say. I simply don't know," Rumsfeld said in remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
When asked about any connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, Rumsfeld said, "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two."
As recently as June, Vice President Dick Cheney was saying the opposite.
"There clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming," Cheney said in an interview on CNBC's "Capitol Report."
"It goes back to the early '90s. It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts with Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials." (Full story)
Before the war, in a speech in Atlanta, Georgia, in September 2002, Rumsfeld said the CIA had "bulletproof" evidence demonstrating "that there are in fact al Qaeda in Iraq."
In his speech Monday, Rumsfeld said the U.S. intelligence analysts have changed their assessment: "I have seen the answer to that question migrate in the intelligence community over a period of a year in the most amazing way."
The independent commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, found no evident that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out attacks against the United States.
The final report by the 9/11 commission, issued in July, also concluded that Iraqi officials might have met with Osama bin Laden or his aides in 1999, but there was "no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship."
In June, President Bush repeated his administration's claim that Iraq under Saddam's rule was in league with al Qaeda, saying that fugitive Islamist militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ties Saddam to the terrorist network.
"Zarqawi's the best evidence of a connection to al Qaeda affiliates and al Qaeda," Bush told reporters at the White House. "He's the person who's still killing." (Full story)
But in his speech Monday, Rumsfeld questioned whether the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi, who is suspected of being a major force in the current insurgency in Iraq, was working with al Qaeda even as he seemed to have a similar agenda.
"In the case of al Qaeda, my impression is most of the senior people have actually sworn an oath to Osama bin Laden," Rumsfeld said.
"And to my knowledge, even as of this late date, I don't believe Zarqawi ... has sworn an oath, even though what they're doing -- I mean, they're just two peas in a pod in terms of what they're doing."
On the question of whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Rumsfeld dropped his common assertion that weapons "may yet be found." Instead, he said the world was "a lot better off" without Saddam in charge of Iraq.
"It turns out that we have not found weapons of mass destruction. And does everyone know he had them at one point? Certainly. Does everyone believe -- even those in the U.N. who voted the other way -- acknowledge the fact that he had filed a fraudulent declaration with the United Nations?" Rumsfeld said.
"And why the intelligence proved wrong, I'm not in a position to say. I simply don't know. But the world is a lot better off with Saddam Hussein in jail than they were with him in power."
Rumsfeld also said the United States must remain steadfast in Iraq, lest the perception of wavering empower its enemies.
Comparing the war against terrorism to the Cold War, he credited a firm approach for the ultimate success of the United States against the Soviet Union.
Although many Americans failed to take communism seriously, the United States and its allies "showed perseverance and resolve," Rumsfeld said.
"Year after year, they fought for freedom. They dared to confront what many thought might be an unbeatable foe. And eventually, the Soviet regime collapsed," Rumsfeld said.
But the lesson "that weakness can be provocative" has to be relearned, he said.
To have second thoughts in Iraq, he said, "would embolden the extremists and make the world a far more dangerous place."
Asked if the "no-go" zones that exist in a number of major cities in Iraq would invalidate the results of January's planned elections, Rumsfeld was circumspect.
"It seems to me that that is up to the Iraqis, No. 1. They have a sovereign country. They're going to decide what their elections are. They're going to make every call with respect to it."
He added, "Needless to say, your first choice is to say that every -- we know every Iraqi deserves the right to vote. And one would anticipate that that would be the case.
That answer differed from the one he gave to a similar question last month, when he implied that voting need not be universal.
"Let's say you tried to have an election and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country, but some places you couldn't because the violence was too great," he said at that time.
"Well, that's -- so be it. Nothing's perfect in life. So you have an election that's not quite perfect."
Bush Implicated in 911
source url: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/newsnight/1645527.stm
BBC Newsnight transcript implicating Presient Bush with 911.
This transcript is produced from the teletext subtitles that are generated live for Newsnight. It has been checked against the programme as broadcast, however Newsnight can accept no responsibility for any factual inaccuracies. We will be happy to correct serious errors.
Has someone been sitting on the FBI?
The CIA and Saudi Arabia, the Bushes and the Bin Ladens. Did their connections cause America to turn a blind eye to terrorism?
There is a hidden agenda at the very highest levels of our government.
JOE TRENTO, (AUTHOR, "SECRET HISTORY OF THE CIA"):
The sad thing is that thousands of Americans had to die needlessly.
How can it be that the former President of the US and the current President of the US have business dealings with characters that need to be investigated?
In the eight weeks since the attacks, over 1,000 suspects and potential witnesses have been detained. Yet, just days after the hijackers took off from Boston aiming for the Twin Towers, a special charter flight out of the same airport whisked 11 members of Osama Bin Laden's family off to Saudi Arabia. That did not concern the White House.
Their official line is that the Bin Ladens are above suspicion - apart from Osama, the black sheep, who they say hijacked the family name. That's fortunate for the Bush family and the Saudi royal household, whose links with the Bin Ladens could otherwise prove embarrassing. But Newsnight has obtained evidence that the FBI was on the trail of other members of the] Bin Laden family for links to terrorist organisations before and after September 11th.
This document is marked "Secret". Case ID - 199-Eye WF 213 589. 199 is FBI code for case type. 9 would be murder. 65 would be espionage. 199 means national security. WF indicates Washington field office special agents were investigating ABL - because of it's relationship with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, WAMY - a suspected terrorist organisation. ABL is Abdullah Bin Laden, president and treasurer of WAMY.
This is the sleepy Washington suburb of Falls Church, Virginia where almost every home displays the Stars and Stripes. On this unremarkable street, at 3411 Silver Maple Place, we located the former home of Abdullah and another brother, Omar, also an FBI suspect. It's conveniently close to WAMY. The World Assembly of Muslim Youth is in this building, in a little room in the basement at 5613 Leesburg Pike. And here, just a couple blocks down the road at 5913 Leesburg, is where four of the hijackers that attacked New York and Washington are listed as having lived.
The US Treasury has not frozen WAMY's assets, and when we talked to them, they insisted they are a charity. Yet, just weeks ago, Pakistan expelled WAMY operatives. And India claimed that WAMY was funding an organisation linked to bombings in Kashmir. And the Philippines military has accused WAMY of funding Muslim insurgency. The FBI did look into WAMY, but, for some reason, agents were pulled off the trail.
The FBI wanted to investigate these guys. This is not something that they didn't want to do - they wanted to, they weren't permitted to.
The secret file fell into the hands of national security expert, Joe Trento. The Washington spook-tracker has been looking into the FBI's allegations about WAMY.
They've had connections to Osama Bin Laden's people. They've had connections to Muslim cultural and financial aid groups that have terrorist connections. They fit the pattern of groups that the Saudi royal family and Saudi community of princes - the 20,000 princes - have funded who've engaged in terrorist activity.
Now, do I know that WAMY has done anything that's illegal? No, I don't know that. Do I know that as far back as 1996 the FBI was very concerned about this organisation? I do.
Newsnight has uncovered a long history of shadowy connections between the State Department, the CIA and the Saudis. The former head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah is Michael Springman.
In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high level State Dept officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. These were, essentially, people who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained bitterly at the time there. I returned to the US, I complained to the State Dept here, to the General Accounting Office, to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and to the Inspector General's office. I was met with silence.
By now, Bush Sr, once CIA director, was in the White House. Springman was shocked to find this wasn't visa fraud. Rather, State and CIA were playing "the Great Game".
What I was protesting was, in reality, an effort to bring recruits, rounded up by Osama Bin Laden, to the US for terrorist training by the CIA. They would then be returned to Afghanistan to fight against the then-Soviets.
The attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 did not shake the State Department's faith in the Saudis, nor did the attack on American barracks at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia three years later, in which 19 Americans died. FBI agents began to feel their investigation was being obstructed. Would you be surprised to find out that FBI agents are a bit frustrated that they can't be looking into some Saudi connections?
MICHAEL WILDES, ( LAWYER)
I would never be surprised with that. They're cut off at the hip sometimes by supervisors or given shots that are being called from Washington at the highest levels.
I showed lawyer Michael Wildes our FBI documents. One of the Khobar Towers bombers was represented by Wildes, who thought he had useful intelligence for the US. He also represents a Saudi diplomat who defected to the USA with 14,000 documents which Wildes claims implicates Saudi citizens in financing terrorism and more. Wildes met with FBI men who told him they were not permitted to read all the documents. Nevertheless, he tried to give them to the agents.
"Take these with you. We're not going to charge for the copies. Keep them. Do something with them. Get some bad guys with them." They refused.
In the hall of mirrors that is the US intelligence community, Wildes, a former US federal attorney, said the FBI field agents wanted the documents, but they were told to "see no evil."
You see a difference between the rank-and-file counter-intelligence agents, who are regarded by some as the motor pool of the FBI, who drive following diplomats, and the people who are getting the shots called at the highest level of our government, who have a different agenda - it's unconscionable.
State wanted to keep the pro-American Saudi royal family in control of the world's biggest oil spigot, even at the price of turning a blind eye to any terrorist connection so long as America was safe. In recent years, CIA operatives had other reasons for not exposing Saudi-backed suspects.
If you recruited somebody who is a member of a terrorist organisation, who happens to make his way here to the US, and even though you're not in touch with that person anymore but you have used him in the past, it would be unseemly if he were arrested by the FBI and word got back that he'd once been on the payroll of the CIA. What we're talking about is blow-back. What we're talking about is embarrassing, career-destroying blow-back for intelligence officials.
Does the Bush family also have to worry about political blow-back? The younger Bush made his first million 20 years ago with an oil company partly funded by Salem Bin Laden's chief US representative. Young George also received fees as director of a subsidiary of Carlyle Corporation, a little known private company which has, in just a few years of its founding, become one of Americas biggest defence contractors. His father, Bush Senior, is also a paid advisor. And what became embarrassing was the revelation that the Bin Ladens held a stake in Carlyle, sold just after September 11.
You have a key relationship between the Saudis and the former President of the US who happens to be the father of the current President of the US. And you have all sorts of questions about where does policy begin and where does good business and good profits for the company, Carlyle, end?
I received a phone call from a high-placed member of a US intelligence agency. He tells me that while there's always been constraints on investigating Saudis, under George Bush it's gotten much worse. After the elections, the agencies were told to "back off" investigating the Bin Ladens and Saudi royals, and that angered agents. I'm told that since September 11th the policy has been reversed. FBI headquarters told us they could not comment on our findings. A spokesman said: "There are lots of things that only the intelligence community knows and that no-one else ought to know.
Business, National Defence And Terrorism Do Not Mix
By Mark McCarron
( MarkMcCarron_ITT@hotmail.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Many governments, are not aware, that terrorists throughout the world have identified electronic voting, as a means to both subvert countries and plant both terrorist and those, sympathetic to terrorist causes in key government positions.
To assist governments in preparation, for real terrorist threats, we are going to have a brief discussion on the tactical advantages observed by terrorists. Any government approaching elections, should pay careful attention, to the various forms of assault, a country will be subject to.
Opportunity, is the greatest weapon a terrorist has and electronic voting, presents a new class of opportunity in international terrorism. As you are about to see, the scale of operations, is far larger than anyone dared to imagine.
Remote political and direct technological manipulation.
The Problem Defined.
Many countries are beginning to adopt electronic voting systems. This allows for an undetectable form of alteration of voting within any country. Automated assaults, spyware and direct physical alteration of election results, has been planned on a global basis.
No country can secure this form of voting.
This is just a small list, to enable government's across the world to follow the pattern of behavior, to identify such deployments and remove them.
1. Government fragmentation to disrupt policy.
2. Appointing key people, to key positions.
3. As a method of gain accessing to confidential material.
4. As a method of obtaining weapons research, in specific, nuclear technology and alternative weapons.
5. As a method of undermining an economy through espionage, weak policies, legal inrastructures, etc.
6. To remove political problems that block a terrorist organisation's agenda on a global basis.
8. To change the entire government of a country, or the entire western hemisphere.
9. To have the ability to put an entire terrorist team in government office, or several teams, creating a network throughout your enemy's country.
10. To sieze control of an entire government, with a complete replacement by terrorists and those sympathetic to their cause.
(Bold, but feasible, who would expect it?, How could you prove it? Clever.)
11. With political control weak national defences can be implemented.
(RFID is a great example, it provides real-time information on the food chain, medical supplies and a wide variety of national defense critical system throughout an entire country.
Not only this, but after invasion, it allows rapid identification, collect and destruction of highly specific catagories of civilian equiptment such as radios, TVs, transmitters and anything that may provide any benefit to a populations defense.
By embedding this into clothes, even tracking and direct assaults can be automated against individuals, groups, or public assemblies.
An entire country could be crippled, on an automated basis, highly rapidly, with such information. In fact, it should take less than 24 hours.
Ban this technology, before terrorists use it, to mass murder millions. It is a stupid, redundant, example of 'technology for technology's sake'.)
Most military and terrorism experts will now see, the highly dangerous situation, we have almost walked into.
Private Sector Terrorism
Terrorist's function in the private sector to introduce weak and broken technologies, in the same manner business does, to increase profits.
Therefore, it may appear that a consortium of companies were in control, when it is really, extensive amounts of terrorists from various different organisations, operating within those organisations.
They have been staging the west for an assault by implanting technologies into society. Anything you can do, terrorists can do better.
The upshot is, the 'New World Order' would never know what hit them. :)
If you now sit back and examine the west, from this point of view, you will clearly see, that we were in the process of being the creators of our own destruction.
Every country, without exception, has been duped into deploying a 'command and control' platform, for strategic country wide strikes. Without exception, no one is safe.
The west's technology deployments are progressing towards an ideal platform from which to launch nation wide assaults and still be able to control the flow of information. Digital TV, Internet and video on demand can create unique points of view for entire nations, regions or even individuals.
Single-sign on services, such as Microsoft's Passport, provide the basis from which such a system is launched.
This is why 'The GIEIS Project' is pushing for communication to become community held, on a local basis, with an umbrella charity.
It is for our survival, not for money.
A giant bin. Sorry, but that's just the facts we are facing at present.
Business and national defence, do not mix. Money will always be placed first. All military defense must begin a process, of 'in-house technological development', excluding the entire private sector. I offer, as my proof, the series of technologies I have been examing this last week, or so.
The policy of allowing business, any form of access to National Defence projects, is quite clearly, bordering on the insane. The risk of terrorist manipulation is too great, they are masters in this field, not just guys with explosives.
That policy almost cost us millions of our people and that is not acceptable for a split second. A government's role is to defend the people, and in return, the people help the government with its decisions, through information releases such as this.
Save your people, before the combination of terrorist influence and business interest's get millions murdered, please. Review everything from a pure National Defence perspective, before its too late.
Again, Microsoft's business stratagy, clearly shows, it is actively involved in the preparation, planning and implementation of these systems.
This was a close one guys and gals. :)
Whilst this news was breaking across the internet
"TONY [Blair] WAS NEVER IN DANGER OF LOSING HIS LIFE.. THE TIMING OF HIS OP WAS CYNICAL" - SAYS PETER STRINGFELLOW
The 63-year-old nightclub owner said: "Of course Tony has never been in danger of losing his life.
"His operation was done at a cynical time. He could have done it at any time. As a showbiz man, I'm in awe of the man."
initating social decay as a diversion by hampering FBI
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI's seismic shift from a broad attack on crime to an intense focus on counterterrorism has resulted in tens of thousands fewer investigations into traditional crimes since the 9/11 attacks, according to a new Justice Department study.
The detailed analysis by the department's inspector general found that cases related to violent fugitives alone have dropped sharply, with 11,617 fewer opened in 2003 than in 2000
The comparison of the two years also shows that in 30 areas where the FBI reduced agents in the wake of 9/11, a total of more than 17,000 fewer cases were opened.
The report, however, did not criticize the FBI, nor offer opinions on the FBI's performance in undertaking the dramatic shift of resources to fight terrorism.
here's something every parent will love, a way for anyone to track their kids
It won’t be cheap at £229 but, as well as gaming, Gizmondo will offer music and video playback, SMS and MMS messaging, GPS navigation and a built-in digital camera.
The hardware is hi-spec - including an NVIDIA processor - but success will depend largely on the quality of the games.
And there will be stiff competition from the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS hand-helds, which were unveiled at this year’s E3 games fest in Los Angeles.
Wise up, tracking is OFF THE CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You'll get people murdered.
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps today said he plans to hold a series of field hearings on proposals to ease agency media ownership restrictions, whether Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell comes along for the ride or not.
"This is potentially the most important, the most valuable, information we're going to get," said Mr. Copps, the agency's sole sitting Democrat, at a briefing for reporters in Washington.
Under a massive proceeding launched earlier this year, the FCC is poised to relax or eliminate many of the regulations that limit concentration of ownership in the media.
At the time the proceeding was announced, Mr. Copps asked Mr. Powell to commit to public field hearings intended to ascertain what citizens outside industry and the Washington Beltway think about the case for further deregulation. But according to Mr. Copps, the chairman's reaction has been "unenthusiastic."
Nazi tactics of "Gold star" using bigotry, hatred and pain as motivation
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Gov. Jim Douglas on Friday will inaugurate Vermont's sex offender registry, an online database that will have information and photographs of 135 sex offenders.
Douglas calls the registry an important step toward protecting children and neighborhoods.
The governor will inaugurate the Web site at the state police barracks in Williston.
Nazi style manipulation of the democratic process, divide the opposition's vote
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (CNN) -- Despite intensive public scrutiny and extensive reforms, Democratic criticisms heard in 2000 are echoing again in Florida, setting up another possibly bitter election, and perhaps another post-election battle.
Democrats have decried ineffective voting machines, discrimination against African-American voters and boosting Ralph Nader as a way of hurting Democrats -- all stemming from, they say, Republicans' attempts to manipulate elections in their favor.
Media under consortium control through political manipulation
Take Back The Media.
The public airwaves in this country have slowly been taken away from the public. There was a time when broadcasters were called upon to be responsive to the needs of the citizenry and present all sides of any given issue. It was part of their calling - to be the Watchdog of Democracy.
In the year 2002, our media has abandoned their responsibility to the country. The view that gets advanced is no longer the view of the 'little guy' - it's the view of ownership, of top management, of major corporations. Editorial decisions are made with one eye on the political slant that will best benefit the company, and one eye on the bottom line. The corporate view is tainted, in that it looks for the best way to advance the corporation's financial interests. The result is this - instead of behaving as the Watchdog of Democracy, the media has become the Lapdog of government.
We are fed hours and hours of distraction instead of hard news. Instead of hearing both sides of the debate on the pending war on Iraq, we are given hours of justification for going to war. The anti-war position is marginalized, even mocked, by supposedly 'objective' journalists. Instead of an open debate on both sides of any issue, the side which will benefit the Corporate Media is advanced as the 'correct' side.
Talk radio in this country is a hotbed of vicious right-wing hate speech. Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage routinely proclaim that progressive thought is tantamount to an assault on Democracy. Any questioning of government policy is framed as 'obstructionist'. And instead of attempting to call any of these hate-mongers to account, they are dismissed as 'entertainment' and the government focuses on the 'indecency' of a harmless Victoria's Secret fashion show.
Something is wrong here. Very, very wrong.
What Can We Do About It?
As the media in this country continues to consolidate into the hands of larger corporations, they become less and less responsive to the concerns of the average citizen. But one thing has not changed - these media outlets rely on advertising revenue from sponsors to fatten their bottom line, and we are the ones who patronize those companies who advertise on their airwaves. Nothing gets a media outlet's attention faster than reduced revenues. And that is the pressure point we must attack in order to get their attention.
We are in the midst of researching just who buys advertising time on the cable news networks, and we will publish comprehensive lists of those sponsors on this site shortly. Our intention is to call targetted boycotts of specific media outlets over the next few months. The actions you can take will include contacting sponsor companies and local media outlets, and notifying them that your household will not purchase any product or service they manufacture unless and until they bring pressure to bear to better represent the full spectrum of American opinion.
The second line of attack is the media outlets themselves. We have already listed the main offices and contact information for news outlets in this country. A simple email, letter or phone call registering your dissatisfaction with a media outlet's news policy may not seem like much in itself, but a few thousand phone calls to a media outlet will surely get their attention. Over time, we will publish the more egregious instances of corporate bias by the news networks and call for an action against specific new bureaus or 'talking heads'. They think they can operate with impunity because no one is paying attention. We must make them aware that we are keeping a close eye on what they're reporting (or not reporting), and we will not hesitate to stop providing revenue by avoiding their sponsors. This tactic has been used for years by the Religious Right in this country, and while we're late to the game in terms of organization, we will try to provide our viewers with every tool possible to bring the media to account.
Take Back The Media. It may not be as easy as it looks, but it's not as hard as it seems. If we make our presence felt, they will have no choice but to respond.
Even Ted Kennedy has a shot
The Effect of the War in Iraq on America's Security
By Senator Edward M. Kennedy
t r u t h o u t | Speech
Monday 27 September 2004
Remarks delivered by Senator Edward M. Kennedy at George Washington University.
Thank you Steve, for that generous introduction. Your many years of impressive leadership at GW have benefited the students, the faculty, and the whole city. I commend you as well for your support for the DC public schools, and your commitment to help them in their time of need, and increase opportunities for their students. Thank you for all you do so well.
I'm honored to be at GW today, and to have this opportunity to speak to all of you at this defining moment for our nation. Five weeks from tomorrow, the American people will decide the next President of the United States. The consequences of the election will be enormous for our country here at home and our role in the world. Every American has a responsibility to vote, and I know you'll approach that responsibility with the seriousness it deserves.
Most of you will probably be voting for the first time, as will many other college students throughout America. One of the few positive results of the Vietnam War is the irresistible momentum it gave Congress thirty-four years ago to pass legislation lowering the voting age to 18. Long-standing opposition crumbled in the face of one simple truth-"Old enough to fight, old enough to vote." Hopefully, because of the war in Iraq, young voters in communities across America will finally be moved to help our democracy work, by going to the polls in the large numbers long expected.
My topic today, as you can guess, is the war in Iraq. In another presidential election campaign 24 years ago, a Republican governor named Ronald Reagan posed the defining question to the American people in that election, when he asked, "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?" That simple question has even greater relevance now than when Ronald Reagan asked it.
The defining issue today is our national security. Especially in this post-9/11 world, people have the right to ask Ronald Reagan's question in a very specific and all-important way-are we safer today because of the policies of President George W. Bush?
Any honest assessment can lead to only one answer, and that answer is an emphatic no. President Bush is dead wrong and John Kerry is absolutely right. We are not safer today. And the reason we are not safer is because of President Bush's misguided war in Iraq.
The President's handling of the war has been a toxic mix of ignorance, arrogance, and stubborn ideology. No amount of Presidential rhetoric or preposterous campaign spin can conceal the truth about the steady downward spiral in our national security since President Bush made the decision to go to war in Iraq. If this election is decided on the question of whether America is safer because of President George Bush, John Kerry will win in a landslide.
Enough time has now passed to make us sure of that verdict, beyond any reasonable doubt.
Shakespeare stated the enduring age-old principle eloquently and wisely when he wrote: "Time's glory is to calm contending kings, to unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light."
No issue is more important today. The battle against terrorism is a battle we must win. Even those who opposed the war in Iraq understand that we cannot cut and run, that this is an American issue. But to remain silent in the face of mounting failures by this President and this White House is to weaken our security even further, and we cannot let that happen.
I thank God that President Bush was not our President at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Even after 9/11, it is wrong for this President or any president to shoot first and ask questions later, to rush to war and ignore or even muzzle serious doubts by experienced military officers and experienced officials in the State Department and the CIA about the rationale and justification for the war, and the strategy for waging it.
We all know that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator. We've known it for more than 20 years. We're proud, very proud, of our troops for their extraordinary and swift success in removing Saddam from power. But as we also now know beyond doubt, he did not pose the kind of immediate threat to our national security that could possibly justify a unilateral, preventive war without the broad support of the international community. There was no reason whatsoever to go to war when we did, in the way we did, and for the false reasons we were given.
The Administration's insistence that Saddam could provide nuclear material, or even nuclear weapons to Al Qaeda has been exposed as an empty threat. It should have never been used by George W. Bush to justify an ideological war that America never should have fought.
Saddam had no nuclear weapons. In fact, not only were there no nuclear weapons, there were no chemical or biological weapons either, no weapons of mass destruction of any kind.
Nor was there any persuasive link between Al Qaeda and Saddam and the 9/11 attacks. A 9/11 Commission Staff Statement put it plainly: "Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between Al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States." The 9/11 Commission Report stated clearly that there was no "operational" connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda.
Secretary of State Colin Powell now agrees that there was no correlation between 9/11 and Saddam's regime. So does Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Nonetheless, President Bush continues to cling to the fiction that there was a relationship between Saddam and Al Qaeda. As the President said in his familiar Bush-speak, "The reason that I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda is because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda."
That's the same logic President Bush keeps using today in his repeated stubborn insistence that the situation is improving in Iraq, and that we and the world are safer because Saddam is gone.
The President and his administration continue to paint a rosy picture of progress in Iraq. Just last Wednesday, he referred to the growing insurgency as "a handful of people." Some handful!
Vice President Cheney says we're "moving in the right direction," despite the worsening violence. Our troops are increasingly the targets of deadly attacks. American citizens are being kidnapped and brutally beheaded. But Secretary Rumsfeld says he's "encouraged" by developments in Iraq.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina doesn't buy that, and he has said so clearly: "We do not need to paint a rosy scenario for the American people."
Neither does Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Vietnam veteran and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He stated unequivocally last week, "I don't think we're....winning. The fact is, we're in trouble. We're in deep trouble in Iraq."
The National Intelligence Estimate in July, although not yet made public, made this point as well-and made it with such breathtaking clarity that for the good of our country, unnamed officials discussed it with the press. The New York Times said the estimate "spells out a dark assessment of prospects for Iraq." According to the same New York Times report and other reports, the National Intelligence Estimate outlines three possibilities for Iraq through the end of next year. The worst case scenario is that Iraq plunges into outright civil war. The best case scenario it says-the best case-is an Iraq with violence still at current levels, with tenuous political and economic stability. Yet President Bush categorically rejected that description, saying the CIA was "just guessing." Last week, he retreated somewhat. He said he should have used "estimate," instead of "guess."
In other words, the best-case scenario, between now and the end of 2005-2005--is that our soldiers will be bogged down in a continuing quagmire with no end in sight. President Bush refuses to give the time of day to advice like that by the best intelligence analysts in his Administration, but the American people need to hear it.
The outlook is bleak, and it's easy to understand why. It's because the number of insurgents has gone up. The number of their attacks on our troops has gone up. The sophistication of the attacks has gone up. The number of our soldiers killed or wounded has gone up. The number of hostages seized and even savagely executed has gone up.
Our troops are under increasing fire. More than a thousand of America's finest young men and women have been killed. More than seven-thousand have been wounded.
In August alone, we had 863 American casualties. Our forces were attacked an average of 70 times a day-higher than for any other month since President Bush dressed up in a flight suit, flew out to the aircraft carrier, and recklessly declared "Mission Accomplished" a year and a half ago.
The President, the Vice President, the National Security Council, Secretary Rumsfeld, and other civilian leaders in the Pentagon failed to see the insurgency that took root last year and that began to metastasize like a deadly cancer. How could they not have noticed that?
Perhaps because they were still celebrating their mission accomplished.
For two years, terrorist cells have been spreading like cancer cells. Any doctor who let that happen would be guilty of malpractice. Is it only coincidence that one of the principal domestic priorities of the Bush Administration is to protect doctors from malpractice lawsuits?
In many places in Iraq today, it is too dangerous to go out, even with guards. The State Department does not attempt to conceal the truth, at least in its travel warnings. Its September 17th advisory states that Iraq remains "very dangerous."
As much as 15 to 20% of the country has inadequate security. Whole cities are considered "no-go" zones for our troops-presumably to avoid even greater casualties until after the election.
We continue to use so-called "precision" bombing in Iraq, even though our bombs can't tell whether it's terrorists or innocent families inside the buildings they hit.
What is helping to unite so many Iraqi people in hatred of America is their emerging sense that America is unwilling - not just unable - to rebuild their shattered country and provide for their basic needs. Far from sharing President Bush's unrealistically rosy view, they see up-close that their hopes for peace and stability are receding every day. Inevitably, more and more Iraqis feel that attacks on American forces are acceptable, even if they would not resort to violence themselves.
For every mistake we make, for every innocent Iraqi child we accidentally kill in another bombing raid, the ranks of the insurgents climb, and so does their fanatical determination to stop at nothing to drive us out. An Army Reservist described the deteriorating situation this way: "For every guerilla we kill with a 'smart bomb,' we kill many more innocent civilians and create rage and anger in the Iraqi community. This rage and anger translates into more recruits for the terrorists and less support for us."
The Iraqi people's anger is also fueled by the persistent blackouts, the power shortages, the lack of electricity, the destroyed infrastructure, the relentless violence, the massive lack of jobs and basic necessities and services.
By any reasonable standard, our policy in Iraq is failing. We are steadily losing ground in the war. The American people are seeing through the White House smokescreen more clearly every day - seeing the catastrophic failures resulting from the Bush Administration's gross incompetence in managing so many aspects of our occupation of Iraq. We can't go on like this.
Before the war, President Bush and his advisers manipulated, mishandled, and misled the American people about the intelligence, because they were so focused - so blindly focused - on removing Saddam Hussein from power.
They bungled the pre-war diplomacy on Iraq, insulted our friends, and left us more isolated in the world than ever before in our history, unable to obtain real allied support.
They failed to plan for the possibility that the liberation of Iraq would not be the cakewalk they predicted. They arrogantly rejected the counsel, the cautions, and the expertise of the professionals in the State Department most familiar with planning for post-war and post-conflict conditions.
Our soldiers were not adequately trained for the missions thrust upon them. Month after month, our courageous troops could not get even enough armored vests of their own or enough armor for their humvees to protect themselves on patrol. What kind of leadership is it, when month after month, our troops on patrol are so urgently in need of protective armor that they call home in desperation and ask their loved ones to buy armor at the local store and fed-ex it to them in Iraq?
The Administration shrugged when the massive looting began after the fall of Saddam. Secretary Rumsfeld said, "Stuff happens." They foolishly disbanded the Iraqi army, but let them keep their weapon and left ammunitions depots unguarded, creating a bonanza for the insurgents. The Bush Administration has yet to effectively train a new Iraqi army, or even provide the existing units with adequate equipment.
President Bush's repeated insistence that the United States will stay in Iraq "as long as necessary and not one day longer" now has a hollow and tragic ring to our men and women in uniform and their increasingly worried families. They deserve to hear more from our President than happy talk like that.
President Bush speaks about his commitment to genuine sovereignty for Iraq, so that the Iraqi people can govern themselves. But many signs on the ground strongly suggest that we are preparing a long-term military presence. We are also building and staffing the largest American embassy in the world, a huge additional permanent American presence.
Yet another serious failure is the way the Bush Administration has so badly botched every aspect of the reconstruction of Iraq. These failures have also inflamed tensions and created serious dangers as well. Seeds of the insurgency were sown in the earliest days of reconstruction, when we failed to guarantee the openness and the fairness of the reconstruction process. Our failure to have Iraqis perform as much of the reconstruction work as possible may have created huge profits for American contractors, but it also created huge numbers of disgruntled Iraqis, who are easy prey for insurgents to recruit and even pay to kill our soldiers.
The contracts themselves have led to incredible absurdities. Cement is being imported at a far higher cost that what Iraqis could manufacture for themselves. What kind of reconstruction policy is that?
As more evidence of gross mismanagement, the Bush Administration can't account for 8 billion dollars in Iraqi oil funds, apparently because so many of those dollars went to phantom Iraqi soldiers and phantom policemen. Thousands of them magically appeared on payrolls of the new Iraqi government, but they never existed. Eight billion dollars is just lost? Who is being held accountable?
The Administration has also mismanaged the 18 billion dollars approved by Congress a year ago for the reconstruction. Despite the vast need, only a tiny fraction of that amount has actually been spent. Republican Senator Richard Lugar, the highly respected chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says the slow rate of spending "means that we are failing to fully take advantage of one of our most potent tools to influence Iraq." Of the bungled reconstruction work, he says, "This is the incompetence in the Administration."
Why has the reconstruction effort been so disastrous? Only partly because the security situation is so dangerous. A more fundamental reason is emerging. The Bush Administration tried to carry out the reconstruction with its ideology, instead of an honest strategy. Instead of trying seriously to create jobs for Iraqis, they tried to carry out a plan to privatize virtually every part of the Iraqi economy. It's Republican ideology run amuck. It's bad enough that they're trying to do that to the American economy. It's preposterous to try and do it in Iraq.
The Administration didn't anticipate the obvious result of precipitously opening up Iraq's economy to foreign competition after decades of stagnation. They thought they could use Iraq as an experiment in laissez-faire economics. But the result has been far fewer jobs for Iraqis and far greater support for insurgents. Meanwhile, Vice President Cheney's friends at Halliburton were among the first in line for the gravy train.
Across Iraq, these blunders unleashed forces so powerful and so violent that the Administration didn't even know what hit them. Their disastrous economic strategy was clearly a major factor in the rise of the armed resistance, and it never should have happened.
Twelve years ago, the first President Bush lost his campaign for re-election, because he couldn't understand how deeply the American people felt about the troubled economy. The fundamental concern of that time was summed up in four blunt words, "It's the economy, stupid." The fundamental concern of today takes one less word to sum up -"It's Iraq, stupid."
In the dirtiest tactic so far in the Presidential election campaign, Vice President Cheney claims that Al Qaeda wants John Kerry to win this election. It's despicable to say something like that. It is not unpatriotic to tell the truth to the American people about the war in Iraq. In this grave moment for our country, to use the words of Thomas Jefferson, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
Most likely, Mr. Cheney's ugly charge is a desperate and cynical attempt by the Bush campaign to immunize President Bush, in case another terrorist attack takes place in our country on his watch, in the remaining days before the election.
Another brazen tactic is being used as well. How dare President Bush accuse John Kerry of flip flops on the war in Iraq. My response is "Physician, heal thyself." President Bush is the all-time world-record-holder for flip flops.
Nothing John Kerry has said remotely compares with the President's gigantic flip flops on the reasons he went to war in Iraq.
The President keeps saying America and the world are safer today and better off today because Saddam Hussein is gone. In any meaningful sense, he's wrong. A brutal dictator is gone because of the war in Iraq, and that's good. But no matter how many rhetorical double-twisting back flips President Bush performs, his disingenuous claim that the war has made America safer is wrong-- and may well be catastrophically wrong.
Let's count the ways that George Bush's war has not made America safer.
Number One: Iraq has been a constant perilous distraction from the real war on terrorism. There was no persuasive link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. We should have finished the job in Afghanistan, finished the job on Al Qaeda, and finished the job on Osama bin Laden.
Number Two: The mismanagement of the war in Iraq has created a fertile and very dangerous new breeding ground for terrorists in Iraq and a powerful magnet for Al Qaeda that did not exist before the war. We can't go a day now without hearing of attacks in Iraq by insurgents and Al Qaeda terrorists, and our troops are in far greater danger because of it.
Number Three: Saddam Hussein may be behind bars, and that's a significant plus for America and the world, as President Bush says. But the war in Iraq has clearly distracted us from putting Osama bin Laden behind bars-- and that's a huge minus. The President likes to talk about school reform, so let's try a little third grade math. If you add a significant plus and a huge minus, you don't wind up with a plus.
Number Four: Because of the war, the danger of terrorist attacks against America itself has become far greater. Our preoccupation with Iraq has given Al Qaeda more than two full years to regroup and plan murderous new assaults on us. We know that Al Qaeda will try to attack America again and again here at home, if it possibly can. Yet instead of staying focused on the real war on terror, President Bush rushed headlong into an unnecessary war in Iraq
Number Five, and most ominously: The Bush Administration's focus on Iraq has left us needlessly more vulnerable to an Al Qaeda attack with a nuclear weapon. The greatest threat of all to our homeland is a nuclear attack. A mushroom cloud over any American city is the ultimate nightmare, and the risk is all too real. Osama bin Laden calls the acquisition of a nuclear device a "religious duty." Documents captured from a key Al Qaeda aide three years ago revealed plans even then to smuggle high-grade radioactive materials into the United States in shipping containers.
If Al Qaeda can obtain or assemble a nuclear weapon, they will certainly use it - on New York, or Washington, or any other major American city. The greatest danger we face in the days and weeks and months ahead is a nuclear 9/11, and we hope and pray that it is not already too late to prevent. The war in Iraq has made the mushroom cloud more likely, not less likely, and it never should have happened.
Number Six: The war in Iraqhas provided a powerful new worldwide recruiting tool for Al Qaeda. We know Al Qaeda is getting stronger, because its attacks in other parts of the world are increasing. In the eight years before 9/11, Al Qaeda conducted three attacks. But in the three years since 9/11, it has carried out a dozen more attacks, killing hundreds in Spain, Pakistan, Indonesia, and elsewhere in the world.
Number Seven: Because of the war, Afghanistan itself is still unstable. Taliban and Al Qaeda elements roam the country. A dangerous border with Pakistan, where terrorists can easily cross continues to be wide open. President Hamid Karzai is frequently forced to negotiate with warlords who control private armies in the tens of thousands. Opium production is at a record level, and is being used to finance terrorism. Our troops there are in greater danger. Free and fair elections there are in greater danger. The war in Iraq has stretched our troops thin to the point where we can't provide enough additional forces to stop the rising drug trade and enable President Karzai to gain full control of the country and root out Al Qaeda. How can we afford not to do that?
Number Eight: We've alienated long-time friends and leaders in other nations, whom we heavily depend on for intelligence, for border enforcement, for shutting off funds to Al Qaeda, and for many other types of support in the ongoing war against international terrorism. Mistrust of America has soared throughout the world. We're especially hated in the Muslin world. The past two years have seen the steepest and deepest fall from grace our country has ever suffered in the eyes of the world community in all our history. We remember the enormous goodwill that flowed to America in the aftermath of September 11th, and we should never have squandered it.
Does President Bush ever learn? His chip-on-the-shoulder address to the United Nations last week was yet another missed opportunity to turn the page and start regaining the genuine support of the world community for a sensible policy on Iraq.
In fact, the President's arrogance toward the world community has left our soldiers increasingly isolated and alone. We have nearly ninety percent of the troops on the ground in Iraq. More than ninety-five percent of the killed and wounded are Americans. Instead of other nations joining us, initially supportive nations are pulling out. The so-called coalition of the willing has become the coalition of the dwindling.
Number Nine: Our overall military forces are stretched to the breaking point because of the war in Iraq. As the Defense Science Board recently told Secretary Rumsfeld, "Current and projected force structure will not sustain our current and projected global stabilization commitments." Our troops in Iraq are under an order that prevents them from leaving active-duty when their term of service is over.
Lt. Gen. John Riggs said it clearly: "I have been in the Army 39 years, and I've never seen the Army as stretched in that 39 years as I have today."
That fact makes it harder for us to respond to threats elsewhere in the world. As John McCain warned last week, if we have a problem in some other flash-point in the world, "it's clear, at least to most observers, that we don't have sufficient personnel."
The war has also undermined the Guard and Reserve. The average tour for reservists recalled to active duty is now 320 days. In the first Gulf War, it was 156 days. In Bosnia and Kosovo, 200 days. A survey by the Defense Department last May found that reservists, their spouses, their families, and their employers are less supportive now of remaining in the military than they were a year ago. Since Guard members are also first-responders for any terrorist attack in the United States, our homeland security as well is being weakened because of their loss. Surely, no one in America wants the legacy of George W. Bush to be that America reinstated the draft.
In the words of the person for whom this city and this distinguished university are named, "There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well-prepared to meet the enemy." George Washington would be appalled at how unprepared the war in Iraq has made us to produce peace-and we should be appalled as well.
Number Ten: The war in Iraq has undermined the basic rule of international law that protects captured American soldiers. The Geneva Conventions are supposed to protect our forces, but the brutal interrogation techniques used at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq have lowered the bar for treatment of POWs and endangered our soldiers throughout the world.
Number Eleven: While President Bush has been pre-occupied with Iraq, not just one, but two, serious nuclear threats have been rising-from North Korea, and Iran. Four years ago, North Korea's plutonium program was inactive. Its nuclear rods were under seal. Two years ago, as the Iraq debate became intense, North Korea expelled the international inspectors and began turning its fuel rods into nuclear weapons. At the beginning of the Bush Administration, North Korea was already thought to have two such weapons. Now they may have eight or more-- and the danger is far greater.
Iran too is now on a faster track that could produce nuclear weapons. The international inspectors found traces of highly enriched uranium at two nuclear sites, and Iran admitted last March that it had centrifuges to enrich uranium. The international community might be more willing to act, if President Bush had not abused the U.N. resolution passed on Iraq two years ago, when he took the words "serious consequences" as a license for launching his unilateral war in Iraq. Now, after that breach of faith with the world community, other nations now refuse to trust us enough to enact a similar U.N. resolution on Iran--because they fear President Bush will use it to justify another reckless preventive war.
Number Twelve: While we focused on the non-existent nuclear threat from Saddam, we have not done enough to safeguard the vast amounts of unsecured nuclear material in the world. According to a joint report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and Harvard's Managing-the-Atom-Project, "scores of nuclear terrorist opportunities lie in wait in countries all around the world" - especially at sites in the former Soviet Union that contain enough nuclear material for a nuclear weapon and are poorly defended against terrorists and criminals. As former Senator Sam Nunn said, "The most effective, least expensive way to prevent nuclear terrorism is to secure nuclear weapons and materials at the source." How loudly does the alarm bell have to ring before President Bush wakes up?
Number Thirteen: The neglect of the Bush Administration on all aspects of homeland security because of the war is frightening. We're pouring nearly five billion dollars a month into Iraq - yet we're grossly short-changing the urgent need both to strengthen our ability to prevent terrorist attacks here at home, and to strengthen our preparedness to respond to them if they occur. As former Republican Senator Warren Rudman, Chairman of the Independent Task Force on Emergency Responders, said recently, "Homeland security is terribly under-funded, and we cannot allow that to continue." Chemical plants across the country have been called "ticking time bombs," highly vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Police, firefighters, and other first responders have seven billion dollars less in basic equipment they urgently need. Our hospitals are unprepared for a bioterrorist attack. Our land borders, our seaports, our shipping containers, our railroads, our transit systems, our waterways, our nuclear power plants-none of these have sufficient funds for protection against terrorist attacks, even though the Bush Administration has put the nation on high alert for such attacks five times in the past three years.
You can't pack all these reasons why America is not safer into a 30-second television response ad or a news story or an editorial. But as anyone who cares about the issue can quickly learn, our President has utterly no credibility when he keeps telling us that America and the world are safer because he went to war in Iraq and rid us of Saddam.
President Bush's record on Iraq is clearly costing American lives and endangering America in the world. Our President won't change, or even admit how wrong he's been and still is. Despite the long line of mistakes and blunders and outright deception, there has been no accountability. As election day draws closer, the buck is circling more and more closely over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Only a new President can right the extraordinary wrongs of the Bush Administration on our foreign policy and our national security.
On November 2nd, the American people will decide whether or not they still have confidence in this President's leadership. When we ask ourselves the fundamental question whether President Bush has made us safer, there can be only one answer: no, he has not. That's why America needs new leadership.
We could have been, and we should have been, much safer than we are today. We cannot afford to stay this very dangerous course. This election cannot come too soon. As I've said before, the only thing America has to fear is four more years of George Bush.
Al-Qaeda is a frabication between the Bush family, the Bin Laden Family, Microsoft, Israel, the CIA. In attempt to gain money, control and world power, with the assistance of a wide consortium of companies and major media broadcasters.
You cannot get leads on what does not exist. It is simply a scattering of a 'handful' of units that have been duped into this entire plot. Idiots.
Al-Qaeda: Few Leads and Few Clues
By Jean-Pierre Perrin
Saturday 11 September 2004
For three years and in spite of enormous resources deployed, the search for Bin Laden has not achieved its end.
Billions of dollars spent, thousands of soldiers and police mobilized, hundreds of researchers employed to follow up on the slightest clue that would allow any hint whatsoever that could lead to Al-Qaeda to be accomplished. Nonetheless, three years after September 11, the most formidable hunt ever launched after any organization has yielded only meager results. Not only have Osama Ben Laden and his right hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri still not been discovered, but they continue, especially the latter, to express themselves via videos and Internet messages. Thursday, in a recording judged authentic by American intelligence services that was broadcast by the Qatari Al-Jezira station, Al-Zawahiri promised new set-backs for the United States. "The defeat of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan is a question of time (...). In these two countries, the Americans are between a rock and a hard place: if they stay, they'll bleed to death; and if they leave, they will have lost everything," shouted the one considered to be Al-Qaeda's brain.
Intelligence services regularly congratulate themselves on a good catch, like the July arrest in Pakistan of Tanzanian Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who appeared on the FBI's "most wanted" terrorist list for his presumed involvement in the 1988 attacks against the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (224 deaths altogether). However. these arrests don't prevent Islamic terrorism from remaining active still, three years after the attack on the World Trade Center, active as the recent attack in Madrid (191 deaths), or again, Thursday's attack against Australia in Jakarta (9 deaths and 200 wounded) prove.
The American intervention in Afghanistan had destroyed two-thirds of the organization's apparatus. Al-Qaeda's functioning has, however, evolved since then. Centralization is over. Terrorist groups only have contacts among themselves, which makes them virtually impenetrable. "In 2003, the networks reconstituted themselves from Morocco to the Philippines on a split-out basis. Today, Al-Qaeda is a network of networks that has antennae available everywhere in the world, including among Western countries' immigrant populations. In Indonesia, the Jemaah Islamiyah comprises about 20% of the population, or about 40 million people! It's not difficult to find a few hundred fanatics determined to act among them," emphasizes specialist Gérard Chaliand (1).
The hunt for networks linked to Al-Qaeda is all the more difficult because it functions differently from other terrorist groups. For example, if it has proved to be true that their money comes largely from the Persian Gulf, it is unusual for money transfers to go through banks. "What terrorist groups have in common is their ideology, Wahabism that's been spreading for thirty years. They have the shared feeling of living an epic, of struggling for the grandeur and reconstruction of Islam against the corrupt American-Western hydra," adds Gérard Chaliand. A trademark identifies them: the internationalization of their targets and recourse to identical methods (suicide attacks, hostage-taking, booby-trapped vehicles...).
At this point, it's not at all certain that the elimination of Ben Laden and Al-Zawahiri would weaken the networks. The trail of the two leaders has been lost in Afghanistan, where they no longer are, any more than they are in the Pakistani tribal zones, an extremely closed milieu where everything ends up being known. Even though Ben Laden justified the Madrid attacks in an April 15th message broadcast by Al-Arabiya and authenticated by the CIA, some experts wonder whether the Saudi Islamist is still alive, given his poor health - he was on dialysis - unless some "friendly country" has clandestinely taken him in.
Distortion of the facts - 'holocaust denial techniques' - claim Bin Laden did not 'work for CIA'. When it is on public record that he did and even 'a public scandal', that he was on the payroll of the CIA, after 911 still.
"The Americans Didn't Manufacture bin Laden"
By José Garçon and Jean-Pierre Perrin
Yes and no. It's in fashion to say that the Americans manufactured bin Laden. It's not true. As is frequently the case, it was negligence and a sequence of events... I don't believe he ever worked for the CIA
US DoD condones Nazi tactics
U.S. Colonel: Guantánamo has 'Failed to Prevent Terror Attacks'
By Martin Bright
The Observer U.K.
Sunday 03 October 2004
Prisoner interrogations at Guantánamo Bay, the controversial US military detention centre where guards have been accused of brutality and torture, have not prevented a single terrorist attack, according to a senior Pentagon intelligence officer who worked at the heart of the US war on terror.
Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Christino, who retired last June after 20 years in military intelligence, says that President George W Bush and US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have 'wildly exaggerated' their intelligence value.
Christino's revelations, to be published this week in Guantánamo: America's War on Human Rights, by British journalist David Rose, are supported by three further intelligence officials. Christino also disclosed that the 'screening' process in Afghanistan which determined whether detainees were sent to Guantánamo was 'hopelessly flawed from the get-go'.
It was performed by new recruits who had almost no training, and were forced to rely on incompetent interpreters. They were 'far too poorly trained to identify real terrorists from the ordinary Taliban militia'.
According to Christino, most of the approximately 600 detainees at Guantánamo - including four Britons - at worst had supported the Taliban in the civil war it had been fighting against the Northern Alliance before the 11 September attacks, but had had no contact with Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda.
For six months in the middle of 2003 until his retirement, Christino had regular access to material derived from Guantánamo prisoner interrogations, serving as senior watch officer for the central Pentagon unit known as the Joint Intelligence Task Force-Combating Terrorism (JITF-CT). This made him responsible for every piece of information that went in or out of the unit, including what he describes as 'analysis of critical, time-sensitive intelligence'.
In his previous assignment in Germany, one of his roles had been to co-ordinate intelligence support to the US army in Afghanistan, at Guantánamo, and to units responsible for transporting prisoners there.
Bush, Rumsfeld and Major General Geoffrey Miller, Guantánamo's former commandant who is now in charge of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, have repeatedly claimed that Guantánamo interrogations have provided 'enormously valuable intelligence,' thanks to a system of punishments, physical and mental abuse and rewards for for co-operation, introduced by Miller and approved by Rumsfeld.
In a speech in Miami, Rumsfeld claimed: 'Detaining enemy combatants... can help us prevent future acts of terrorism. It can save lives and I am convinced it can speed victory.'
However, Christino says, General Miller had never worked in intelligence before being assigned to Guantánamo, and his system seems almost calculated to produce entirely bogus confessions.
Earlier this year, three British released detainees, Asif Iqbal, Shafiq Rasul Rhuhel Ahmed, revealed that they had all confessed to meeting bin Laden and Mohamed Atta, leader of the 11 September hijackers, at a camp in Afghanistan in 2000. All had cracked after three months isolated in solitary confinement and interrogation sessions in chains that lasted up to 12 hours daily.
Eventually, MI5 proved what they had said initially - that none had left the UK that year. Rasul had been working at a branch of Currys. The disclosures come on the eve of a House of Lords appeal on the fate of the foreign terrorist suspects held without trial in British prisons.
Tomorrow, the Lords will determine whether it was lawful for the government to opt out of the European Convention on Human Rights to allow for the detention of the men at Belmarsh and Woodhill prisons. It is widely believed that some of the men are held on evidence obtained from prisoners at Guantánamo. An officer from MI5 admitted under cross-examination by lawyers acting for the detainees that the British intelligence services would make use of information obtained under torture by foreign governments.
A high court appeal in August found that it was lawful for the British government to use information obtained under torture by foreign governments to avert an imminent attack, but there was no evidence that it had done so in the case of the detainees held in British jails.
Speaking at an Observer fringe meeting at the Labour party conference last week, Lord Chancellor Charlie Falconer backed the decision of the court but said it was 'an almost impossible ethical question'.
While emphasizing that Britain repudiated the use of torture he said: 'We cannot condone torture, but the basis of those incarcerations is protection of other people. If we thought that 'X' was going to blow up the Tube and we thought that information was obtained by a foreign intelligence service, can we really say that we can't detain people because that information was obtained by torture?
'That's the dilemma the government is faced with. The courts have taken the view as a matter of law, that we are entitled to rely on it and I have the awful feeling that is probably the right conclusion.'
Nazi tactics of 'out of country' torture centres - Nazi concentration camp theme
White House Backs Torture-Abroad Law
By Michelle Shephard
The Toronto Star
Friday 01 October 2004
'Rendition' bill angers Canadian Arar, bypasses U.S. interrogation restraints.
The White House has endorsed a proposed bill that would make it legal for U.S. intelligence officials to deport individuals to countries known to use torture to extract information.
The "9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act" marks the first time the U.S. government has officially scripted its policy known as "extraordinary rendition," whereby American authorities can circumvent their own restraints on interrogations by sending suspects to countries known to employ harsh tactics.
Canadian Maher Arar alleges he was a victim of this practice, which is the crux of the lawsuit he has launched against the U.S. government. Arar was detained in New York on Sept. 26, 2002, on a stopover flight to Canada, and after two weeks was quietly deported on a private plane to Syria, via Jordan. He says he was questioned and tortured for almost two weeks, then held without charges in deplorable conditions for a year.
"What does this mean for Canada? Should we keep maintaining the sharing of information knowing now, publicly, that this is going to happen?" Arar said in an interview Wednesday. "This administration is now showing their real face and hopefully people now understand what kind of human rights they're trying to violate."
Arar's lawyer, Lorne Waldman, said passage of the legislation would provide further impetus for Canada to review current arrangements with the U.S. on intelligence sharing agreements and immigration laws.
In particular Waldman pointed to the proposed Safe Third Country Agreement, a Canada-U.S. regulation that would force refugees to seek safe haven in the first country they reach. As many as one-third of refugees seeking asylum in Canada come from the U.S., which means they would be sent back there to make refugee claims.
The entire world hates Bush and thinks he's a Nazi.
U.S. Policies Stir More Fear Than Confidence
By Jeffrey Fleishman
The Los Angeles Times
Sunday 03 October 2004
Berlin - The white guard shack still stands, but the American GIs have long since departed and there's a nostalgic cheapness to the postcards, gas masks, helmets and rusted Maxwell House coffee tins. Checkpoint Charlie, the fabled slice of concrete and barbed wire that epitomized the Cold War, seems an innocent artifact in a world awash in new dangers.
"There was a time when World War III could have started right here," said Juergen Thiel, standing amid bits of the Berlin Wall that sell for less than $20. "That's all changed."
International terrorism has given rise to new ground zeros. Much of Europe and the world feel insecure, but a growing number of nations no longer look to the U.S. for leadership and sanctuary. The Bush administration's unilateralist policies in Iraq and its perceived aloofness have left it less trusted at a time of widening global vulnerability, according to polls and interviews in more than 30 countries.
Osama bin Laden remains on the loose. Videos of hostage beheadings in Iraq flicker across the Internet. The nuclear aspirations of North Korea and Iran are troubling. Many countries feel powerless to stop the onslaught and recognize that the U.S. is the only nation militarily strong enough to serve as a bulwark against increasing dangers. But they also feel powerless to persuade Washington to adopt a more nuanced, multilateral strategy.
One of the sharpest differences between the U.S. and its longtime allies is over the issue of when to use force. A June poll conducted in part by the German Marshall Fund of the United States found that 54% of the Americans surveyed, compared with 28% of the Europeans, believed that military strength would ensure peace. Among Europeans, 73% said the war in Iraq had increased the threat of terrorism.
The disparity represents two dynamics: The world has yet to understand how Sept. 11, 2001, jolted America's sense of security, and the U.S. has underestimated how much international credibility it sacrificed in the Iraq war.
Analysts suggest that America's foreign policy wouldn't significantly change if Sen. John F. Kerry defeats President Bush in November. The division between the men, as seen by much of the world, comes down to style and personality.
Although his policies have yet to be fully articulated, Kerry is considered by much of the international community as the antidote to a bullying Bush administration. Bush's recent speech at the United Nations, analysts say, reaffirmed that the president was an ideologue with little inclination for building consensus or defusing terrorism by quieter means such as political and economic reforms.
"It is such a great humiliation," said Viktor A. Kremenyuk of the USA-Canada Institute in Moscow, "for other countries to be in a situation where they have to swallow something they do not like. And the one who makes them swallow this doesn't even try to put a decent face on this sorry business."
The citizens of 30 out of 35 countries from different regions, including Germany, Mexico, Italy and Argentina, support Kerry by more than a 2-1 margin over Bush, according to a poll by the Canadian research group GlobeScan and the University of Maryland. The survey also found that on average, 58% of respondents in those countries said the Bush administration made them feel worse about the U.S. versus 19% who said the president's policies made them feel better.
Writing recently in La Opinion, a conservative Buenos Aires daily, novelist Tomas Eloy Martinez lamented the prospect of a second Bush term. "The world - which is hostile to Bush with an almost unanimous passion - would be subjected to another period of rapaciousness, darkness and threats of war."
Roman newspapers last month quoted Britain's ambassador to Italy, Ivor Roberts, describing Bush as "the best recruiting sergeant" for the Al Qaeda terrorist network.
America's superpower status and the world's security fears have sparked conspiracy theories and made Washington a prism for disenchantment over everything from war to holes in the ozone layer. The grist for much of this is the lack of a significant ideological counterbalance to U.S. power. With Soviet-style communism vanquished, global anxiety is driven not by Moscow but by masked men instigating jihad and cagey regimes such as those in Tehran and Pyongyang.
In an essay, "The Five Stages of Anti-Americanism," author Judy Colp Rubin says that suspicion of Washington is so widespread that "many Chinese believe the U.S. deliberately started the SARS epidemic. Islamic leaders in three Nigerian states blocked critical polio inoculations for children, denouncing them as a U.S. plot to spread AIDS or infertility among Muslims."
The U.S. has seen periods of intense anti-Americanism throughout its history. Latin American regimes, for example, have often considered Washington an imperialist troublemaker. In his book "The Sewers of the Empire," a recent bestseller in Buenos Aires, Spanish writer Santiago Camacho calls the U.S. a sham democracy run by secret societies, multinational corporations and a "ministry of lies" operating out of the White House.
Despite such ill will, however, many capitals acknowledge that no nation besides the U.S. has the resources to combat Al Qaeda, root out weapons of mass destruction and rein in reckless governments. U.S. troops protected Europe and South Korea against communist regimes for decades. And although the international community condemned the invasion of Iraq, the war highlighted the United States' ability to destroy "rogue" regimes.
"Think about it for a split second," said Kirill Dolinsky, a postgraduate biology student in Moscow. "The U.S. is paying its own money and exposing its own citizens to lethal danger just to make sure the rest of the world can sleep in peace and quiet, knowing that Saddam's or North Korea's missiles won't land in your courtyard one night."
Part of the Japanese-U.S. relationship is based on such anxiety. Tokyo fears a nuclear strike by North Korea's unpredictable leader, Kim Jong II. The regime in Pyongyang threatened recently to turn Japan into a "nuclear sea of fire" if Washington were to move against Kim. The Japanese consider U.S. military and diplomatic clout crucial to stemming the threat.
Others question the intent of U.S. military power and suggest that Bush's rhetoric of a world under siege is an exaggeration when weighed against history. North Korea is a significant danger, Europeans say, but Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, although lethal, have not approached the destructive scale of an Adolf Hitler or fomented anything like World War II, in which 50 million people perished.
"Europe has become safer," said Peter Rudolf, an analyst with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and a child of the Cold War. "There are terrorist threats, but when I grew up we lived under the shadow of destruction in Germany. The American role as a protector or as a pacifier is a role of the past."
The European Union wants to strengthen the continent's role in world affairs - some say to complement, others suggest to contain, U.S. ambitions. Seventy-one percent of Europeans polled by the German Marshall Fund believe that the EU should become a superpower. However, such aspirations appear unlikely to become reality: 47% withdrew their support for the idea if it would mean higher military spending.
The notion that the U.S. is the "world's policeman" by default angers many and illuminates animosities from regions long suspicious of U.S. policy. Seventy-two percent of Mexicans surveyed by Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas rejected the idea that Washington should be the sole law-and-order power.
"I believe the U.S. poses a greater risk to Egypt and the Islamic world than terrorism," said Tarek Refaat, a software engineer from Cairo. "If we have to have a global policeman, it should be the United Nations, not the U.S. What good does America do for me as a global policeman? I might need this global policeman to protect me if Egypt is attacked by Israel. And you think America will rush to protect Egypt from the Israelis, their strongest allies?"
Galina Babayan, a Moscow mathematics professor, offered this assessment: "It would be more appropriate to compare the U.S. not with a global policeman, but with an ill-natured teenager sent back to the first grade. He is bigger and stronger than anybody else. He bullies everyone around him. But he is slow on the uptake."
From cafes to parliaments, the U.S. mystifies and Bush angers. Many see America as a country that professes a deep belief in religion but unsheathes its sword too quickly, a land that claims moral authority but violates international charters, a nation saddled with the images of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison and the inability to calm a seething Iraq. But it is also admired as a land of possibility, economic opportunity and unparalleled personal freedom.
The other day, stopping on his way home from the Beijing subway, Huang Jie mused about the disparate images of the U.S.
"When I'm with my friends," the 32-year-old investment manager said, "we will sometimes talk about [the U.S.] and we'd really like to be like America, to see China develop as America. But politically we are not satisfied with America, especially the Iraq war. It's not good for America, in order to achieve its own interests, to harm other people. Even when China becomes a superpower, we would not like to see it behave as America behaves."
Wang Jisi, a high-ranking Chinese Communist Party official, said the American people don't comprehend the world. "They don't travel, and they don't talk to foreigners.... And they don't read any foreign-language materials, so it is not very difficult for people to deceive them, to give them some propaganda [to] inflame ideological and nationalist feelings."
Thousands of miles away, at Checkpoint Charlie, tourists snapped photos of the guard shack and wandered through the Cold War museum. Cafes dotted the once-barren Friedrichstrasse. Turkish vendors sold old East German helmets and gas masks beneath a huge poster of an American soldier.
"The U.S. can't be the world policeman anymore," said Erika Thiel, standing with her son, Juergen, remembering when U.S. boots echoed through the streets. "Muslims don't want to be watched over, and sovereign nations want to be independent from the U.S. shadow."
Christian Schulz crossed the street and headed away from the guard shack.
"Before Sept. 11, America was not seen as an aggressor," he said. "But since Sept. 11 and the break in the U.S. economy, people look at America as no longer a man who can fix all problems. Look at Iraq - soldiers are dying every day. I think these days it's more dangerous to be affiliated with the U.S."
Go to Original
Bush Tempers Argument for Pre-emptive Strikes
By James Sterngold
The San Francisco Chronicle
Saturday 02 October 2004
Experts say Iraq war precludes similar future engagements.
George Bush has insisted repeatedly on the campaign trail that his presidency has been characterized by unwavering policies based on core convictions. But a key component of his security and military strategy - a willingness to wage war "pre-emptively" against perceived enemies - lies largely in tatters, say experts and policy-makers.
These experts, from both sides of the political spectrum, say the brutal experience in Iraq has eroded many elements of what has come to be called the "Bush doctrine," leaving the United States with less flexibility in the war on terror.
President Bush himself appeared to dial back on the doctrine during Thursday night's debate when asked whether he would launch future pre-emptive strikes in the wake of the Iraq war. Bush replied, somewhat unenthusiastically, that "a president must always be willing to use troops," but only "as a last resort."
That is a far cry from the bold policy the president articulated in 2002, which rejected the traditional focus on containing threats or responding only after an enemy had staged a clear act of aggression.
In fact, say policy experts, the violent insurgency in Iraq, which has tied down 140,000 U.S. troops, has all but removed Americans' stomach for a similar pre-emptive engagement against an enemy who has not actually launched or prepared an imminent attack on the United States.
Iraq "will leave a long and damaging legacy," said Fred Ikle, a senior government arms control expert for decades who has argued that the United States must be more willing to use military might to achieve its goals. "It will inhibit us more than is good for our future. We fumbled."
Ikle was one of the founders of the Project for the New American Century, a neoconservative group that has long pressed for a more muscular American military posture, and includes Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz - key architects of the Iraq war - among its members.
Ikle's views are echoed by other prominent neoconservative thinkers.
"The appetite for this kind of action in the country is pretty low at the moment," said Max Boot, a senior fellow in national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Boot, an early supporter of the Iraq war, said that the United States is likely to launch small-scale pre-emptive strikes as needed in the future, much as Israel does against its enemies, but not the kind of large-scale attacks that were at the center of the Bush doctrine's aim of pressuring enemies to change or risk being destroyed.
"If, by some miracle, Iraq looks better in a few years, maybe there will be greater interest in the idea," said Boot.
The Bush administration continues to insist that the doctrine remains U.S. policy. It has a number of elements, including an insistence that any state that supports terrorists will be considered an enemy, that the United States has the right to attack such countries pre-emptively - even, as in the case of Iraq, before an enemy has mounted a challenge or the president feels there is an imminent threat of an attack.
Under the doctrine, the United States would also act to prevent any country from even attempting to match American military might.
Most of these elements were outlined in speeches in 2002 and then codified in September 2002, in a 33-page document called "The National Security Strategy of the United States." It stated that terrorism presented a new kind of danger and needed a new kind of response.
"As a matter of common sense and self-defense, America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed," the document said.
Bush went further and targeted three countries in his famous "axis of evil" State of the Union speech in 2002, hinting that Iran and North Korea, as well as Iraq, might be attacked pre-emptively if they were perceived as threatening the United States.
But many experts say that the first broad pre-emptive invasion might be the last, at least for now, because of the expense of Iraq, the apparently poor planning for the occupation, the violent backlash and the lack of resources or troops for another such venture.
Rather than be cowed by President Bush's earlier hints, or by the U.S. invasion of Iraq, both Iran and North Korea have defied international demands, and both appear to be developing nuclear weapons, without any indication that the president might seek to resort to a pre-emptive attack. In the presidential debate Thursday night, President Bush emphasized multilateral talks, involving China, to resolve the North Korea crisis, and Bush has looked primarily to European negotiators to deal with Iran.
"Pre-emption is valid only if you have a situation where you are about to be attacked," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a critic of Bush's policies. "In my view, it is not useful in the war on terror."
The administration said that its aim in invading Iraq was, in part, to send a message to other hostile governments, as well as removing Saddam Hussein from power. Officials suggested that it was intended to let countries like Syria, Iran and even North Korea know that the United States had the capability and the will to launch rapid pre-emptive attacks to eliminate any challenges. It was also said to be an effort to spread democratic reforms throughout the Middle East, creating a kind of bandwagon effect, beginning with the democratization of Iraq.
John Mearsheimer, a political science professor at the University of Chicago and the author of "The Tragedy of Great Power Politics," said the persuasive power behind Bush's policy depended on great U.S. military flexibility, which has since been lost.
"The problem is that if you get bogged down in Iraq, you can't reload the shotgun quickly and put Iran or Syria in the crosshairs," said Mearsheimer. "So you can't influence their behavior the way you wanted to. The policy failed."
He added that the administration has undermined its credibility with Americans by arguing that Iraq was an imminent threat and that it was armed with weapons of mass destruction. That has not been borne out, eliminating at least some of the potential for popular support of future pre-emptive strikes.
"It's a failed doctrine now because it has failed militarily on the ground and because it caused the administration to be deceitful to the American people," said Mearsheimer.
Historians point out that pre-emptive attacks have been tools of American policy from the nation's earliest years, and many presidents have launched or contemplated such strikes, from the early 19th century to the present.
For instance, President John F. Kennedy threatened a pre-emptive attack during the Cuban missile crisis, and President Bill Clinton launched pre- emptive bombing strikes against suspected al Qaeda targets in Sudan.
What is new is that, in response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration articulated a strategy in which the United States, anticipating possible future terrorist attacks, would strike long before they could be mounted. The era of containment and quiet diplomacy was over, the new strategy suggested.
Vice President Dick Cheney was one of the first to call this the "Bush doctrine" and to repeat his support for its many elements in a number of speeches.
Many experts say that they still support the idea of some kinds of pre- emptive strikes, but only if the threat is unequivocally clear and imminent.
"The president always has the right and always has had the right for pre- emptive strike," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said in the televised debate with President Bush on Thursday night.
"It remains an important option," added Ashton Carter, a Defense Department official in the Clinton administration and now a senior Kerry campaign adviser. "It has to be an option."
Anthony Cordesman, a former Pentagon official and national security adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said pre-emption should be seen as one possible tool, not part of an overarching "doctrine."
"When an administration reacts to something, it's always case-specific, not based on a doctrine," said Cordesman, now a national security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Cordesman blamed the problems in Iraq on poor planning, not the basic concept of a pre-emptive strike. "What was wrong was all of our assumptions used to go in," he said.
Presidential candidate is forced to request his opponants 'not to commit an act of treason' by manipulating the vote.
Kerry Accuses GOP of Suppressing Voting
By Mary Dalrymple
The Associated Press
Monday 04 October 2004
CLEVELAND - Republicans have been trying to suppress voting in states where the presidential race is too close to call, Democratic nominee John Kerry said Sunday at one of the city's largest predominantly black churches.
"In battleground states across the country, we're hearing stories of how people are trying to make it harder to file for additional time, or how they're making it harder to even register," Kerry told an enthusiastic congregation at East Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
"We're not going to let that happen because the memories of 2000 are too strong. We're not going to allow 1 million African Americans to be disenfranchised."
At a stop in Ohio earlier Sunday, Kerry told a voter concerned about ballots cast by military personnel overseas that Democrats are aware of voting problems and are concerned.
"We're seeing efforts by the Republicans, unfortunately, in various parts of the country to suppress votes and intimidate people, to do things that bring back memories that are pretty bitter in the American mind from the year 2000."
With just a month left in the presidential campaign, Kerry said the campaign would take steps nationally to ensure voters access to the ballot box.
The Bush-Cheney campaign said the charges of voter suppression "have no basis in reality."
"Like so much of his campaign, John Kerry's false charges of voter intimidation are baseless," said spokesman Steve Schmidt. He said Democrats rejected a GOP offer to put a lawyer from each party in every voting district across the nation on Election Day.
Kerry said he has his own team of lawyers "of all color and all mix" examining possible voting problems to try to prevent a repeat of the 2000 election disputes. He also has said he has thousands of lawyers around the country prepared to monitor the polls on Nov. 2.
The Massachusetts senator has been fighting hard to win a number of closely divided states with enough Electoral College votes at stake to swing the election, leading both campaigns to put legal teams in place ready to challenge voting irregularities.
To prevent Ohio from becoming this election's Florida, Democratic Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones gave the churchgoers some advice.
"When you go to the ballot box, if you make a mistake you can get another ballot," she said. She also urged voters with punch card ballots to hold them up for examination before turning them in.
"No hanging chads will mess with this election," she said.
Bush continues to mass US forces without any need. Even talking about the draft. Why????
Where's the war, Mr Bush?????????????
Its all in your head, you nut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Army to Call Up 5,000 More Ex-Soldiers in 2005
Friday 01 October 2004
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Army, now mobilizing 5,600 former soldiers from a rarely used personnel pool to go to Iraq and Afghanistan, plans to summon a similar number next year for duty in those war zones, a senior official said on Friday.
The Army also said it plans to step up recruitment efforts to try to meet goals to sign up 80,000 new soldiers for the regular Army and 22,000 for the Army Reserve in the fiscal year that began on Friday. The Army recruiting command's chief acknowledged the wars were deterring some potential recruits.
To plug shortfalls in certain skills in units being deployed, the Army has tapped the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), made up of 111,000 people who have completed voluntary military commitments and have returned to civilian life but remain eligible to be mobilized in a national emergency.
The Army said about 3,900 of the 5,600 IRR soldiers scheduled to be summoned to active duty already have received orders to report. The mobilization, which began in July, is intended to yield about 4,400 soldiers for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming weeks and months after the Army provides service exemptions for medical problems and other hardships.
Robert Smiley, a senior Army official involved in personnel mobilization, said the Army also expected in mid-2005 to begin mobilizing about another 5,600 from the IRR.
"It will be a one-for-one swap, essentially," Smiley told reporters, with the 5,600 IRR soldiers being mobilized next year, replacing the current IRR soldiers after they complete 12-month combat tours.
"It will be a one-for-one swap, essentially," for the IRR soldiers currently being mobilized after they complete 12-month combat tours, Smiley told reporters.
Critics have cited the Army's reliance on the IRR as evidence that it has too few soldiers to sustain force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan.
'A NATION AT WAR'
"We're a nation at war. And we need these people to come on active duty," said Brig. Gen. Sean Byrne, the Army's director of personnel policy.
Of the IRR members whose date to report for duty has already arrived, roughly one-third have not shown up on time, with most of those requesting service exemptions or a delay in reporting, Byrne said.
Lt. Col. Pamela Hart, an Army spokeswoman at the Pentagon, said the Army has identified six IRR members who have not reported by the date ordered, and have not requested an exemption from service or a delay in reporting.
These six people potentially could face future criminal charges if deemed absent without leave, or AWOL, although Hart said charges were unlikely and noted that commanders have a great deal of discretion in how to handle these cases.
A spokeswoman for the Army Human Resources Command had said on Tuesday that eight IRR members had been listed as AWOL.
Byrne said the Human Resources Command was mistaken, adding, "No one is considered in an AWOL status right now."
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Michael Rochelle, head of the Army Recruiting Command, said the Army is adding 1,000 recruiters and $12 million in advertising money to boost efforts to sign up fresh soldiers. In the fiscal year that ended Thursday, the regular Army and Army Reserve met recruiting goals, while the Army National Guard fell short.
"Obviously there's a war going on. No one would deny that. And for some people, for some of our prospects for our target age, young men and women, that is in fact a drawback. And it will deter some of them," Rochelle told reporters.
"Many of them, once presented with the facts, can be convinced otherwise."
The new york times, recognises George Bush, has lost grip of reality. He has really, gone insane, in the literal sense.
Bush and Reality
By Bob Herbert
The New York Times
Monday 04 October 2004
For 90 minutes, at least, democracy seemed to be working. The two men in dark suits took their places at the lecterns. The analysts, the handlers, the spinmeisters and the hangers-on had been cleared out of the way. With no commercial interruptions, more than 60 million Americans got a rare, unedited, close-up look at the candidates in one of the most important presidential elections in the nation's history.
John Kerry got the better of President Bush in last Thursday's debate in Coral Gables, Fla. The president seemed listless, defensive and not particularly well prepared. His facial expressions and body language at times were odd. Some of his strongest supporters were dismayed by his performance, and polls are showing they had reason to be concerned.
There undoubtedly were many reasons for Mr. Bush's lackluster effort. But I think there was one factor, above all, that undermined the president in last week's debate, and will continue to plague him throughout the campaign. And that was his problematic relationship with reality.
Mr. Bush is a man who will frequently tell you - and may even believe - that up is down, or square is round, when logic and all the available evidence say otherwise. During the debate, this was most clearly displayed when, in response to a question about the war in Iraq, Mr. Bush told the moderator, Jim Lehrer, "The enemy attacked us, Jim, and I have a solemn duty to protect the American people, to do everything I can to protect us."
Moments later Senator Kerry clarified, for the audience and the president, just who had attacked the United States. "Saddam Hussein didn't attack us," said Mr. Kerry. "Osama bin Laden attacked us. Al Qaeda attacked us."
Given a chance to respond, Mr. Bush flashed an unappreciative look at Senator Kerry and said, "Of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us - I know that."
With no weapons of mass destruction to exhibit, and no link between Saddam and Al Qaeda, Mr. Bush has nevertheless tried to portray the war in Iraq as not only the right thing to do but as largely successful. The increasing violence and chaos suggest otherwise. Even as the presidential debate was being conducted, details were coming in about car bombings earlier in the day in Baghdad that killed dozens of Iraqis, including at least 34 children.
The children were not in school because the turmoil had prevented the opening of schools.
The political problem for Mr. Bush is that while he is offering a rosy picture of events in Iraq - perhaps because he believes it, or because he wants to bolster American morale - voters are increasingly seeing the bitter, tragic reality of those events. A president can stay out of step with reality only so long. Eventually there's a political price to pay. Lyndon Johnson's deceit with regard to Vietnam, for example, has never been forgiven.
The president likes to tell us that "freedom is winning" in Iraq, that democracy is on the march. But Americans are coming to realize that Iraq is, in fact, a country in agony, beset by bombings, firefights, kidnappings, beheadings and myriad other forms of mayhem. The president may think that freedom is winning, but television viewers in the U.S. could see images over the weekend of distraught Iraqis pulling the bodies of small children from smoking rubble - a tragic but perfect metaphor for a policy in ruins.
Mr. Bush got his big bounce in the public opinion polls from the Swift boat nonsense and the mocking, nonstop criticism of Senator Kerry at the Republican National Convention. Those were distractions from the real world. But reality cannot be kept at bay indefinitely. Readers of The Washington Post got a disturbing dose of it yesterday from a front-page article about the strain being put on the overloaded systems of veterans' disability benefits and health care by the thousands of American troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with physical injuries and mental health problems.
The article noted that "President Bush's budget for 2005 calls for cutting the Department of Veterans Affairs staff that handles benefits claims."
A staff sergeant who was paralyzed in a mortar attack near Baghdad was quoted as saying: "I love the military; that was my life. But I don't believe they're taking care of me now."
The real world is President Bush's Achilles' heel. He can't keep his distance from it forever.
The UK Guardian is very blunt about it, they clearly state 'He's lost the plot.' He was incoherant the night he was on television, he is in a psychosis, and bording on a full psychotic episode.
Retreat Into a Substitute Reality
By Sidney Blumenthal
The Guardian U.K.
Friday 01 September 2004
By touching on Bush's ambivalent relations with his father, Kerry exposed his delusions about Iraq.
After months of flawless execution in a well-orchestrated campaign, President Bush had to stand alone in an unpredictable debate. He had travelled the country, appearing before adoring pre-selected crowds, delivered a carefully crafted acceptance speech before his convention, and approved tens of millions of dollars in TV commercials to belittle his opponent. In the lead, Bush believed he had only to assert his superiority to end the contest once and for all.
But onstage the president ran out of talking points. Unable to explain the logic for his policies, or think on his feet, he was thrown back on the raw elements of his personality and leadership style.
Every time he was confronted with ambivalence, his impulse was to sweep it aside. He claimed he must be followed because he is the leader. Fate, in the form of September 11, had placed authority in his hands as a man of destiny. Scepticism, pragmatism and empiricism are enemies. Absolute faith prevails over open-ended reason, subjectivity over fact. Belief in belief is the ultimate sacrament of his political legitimacy.
In the split TV screen, how Bush felt was written all over his face. His grimaces exposed his irritation and anger at being challenged. Lacking intellectual stamina and repeating points as though on a feedback loop, he tried to close argument by assertion. With no one interrupting him, he protested, "Let me finish" - a phrase he occasionally deploys to great effect before the cowed White House press corps.
John Kerry was set up beforehand as Bush's foil: long-winded, dour, dull. But the Kerry who showed up was crisp, nimble and formidable. His thrusts brought out Bush's rigidity and stubbornness. The more Bush pleaded his own decisiveness, the more he appeared reactive.
Time and again, as he tried to halt Kerry, he accused him of "mixed signals" and "inconsistency." For Bush, certainty equals strength. Kerry responded with a devastating deconstruction of Bush's epistemology. Nothing like this critique of pure reason has ever been heard in a presidential debate. "It's one thing to be certain, but you can be certain and be wrong," said Kerry.
Kerry's analysis of Bush's "colossal error of judgment" in Iraq was systematic, factual and historical. The coup de grace was the citation of the president's father's actions in the Gulf war. "You know," said Kerry, "the president's father did not go into Iraq, into Baghdad, beyond Basra. And the reason he didn't is, he said - he wrote in his book - because there was no viable exit strategy. And he said our troops would be occupiers in a bitterly hostile land. That's exactly where we find ourselves today." With that, Kerry touched on Bush's most ambivalent relationship, the father he recently called "the wrong father," compared to the "Higher Father".
In flustered response, Bush simply insisted on his authority. "I just know how this world works ... there must be certainty from the US president." He reverted to his claim that September 11 justified the invasion of Iraq because "the enemy" - Saddam Hussein - "attacked us." A stunned but swift-footed Kerry observed: "The president just said something extraordinarily revealing and frankly very important ... he just said, 'The enemy attacked us'. Saddam Hussein didn't attack us. Osama bin Laden attacked us." In his effort to banish all doubt, Bush had retreated into a substitute reality, a delusional version of Iraq, ultimately faith-based.
Bush's attack lines on Kerry did not describe the surprising man standing opposite him. They had been effective last week, but were suddenly shopworn. But Bush couldn't adjust. The greater his frustration in the debate, the more frequently he spoke of his difficulties in coping with "my job." Ten times he spoke of his "hard work": listening to intelligence briefings, talking to allies, having to comfort a bereaved mother whose son was killed in Iraq.
Near the end, Kerry praised Bush for his public service, and his wife, and his daughters. "I'm trying to put a leash on them," Bush said. That was hard work, too. "Well, I don't know," replied Kerry, who also has daughters. "I've learned not to do that, Mr President." Even in the banter, Kerry gained the upper-hand.
But Bush lost more than control in the first debate. He has lost the plot.
This analysis is from willthomas.net and conducted by psychologists.
Is Bush Nuts? by William Thomas
What drives a man to go against the wishes of his countryfolk and the entire world community - including the presidents of Russia, China, France and Germany? How can a professed Christian continue to defy church leaders worldwide - including the Bishops of Britain and the Pope? How does he rationalize breaking the commandments of his God, which clearly prohibit coveting another's property, theft of their oil, and mass murder of defenseless populations?
How can he ignore his own generals when they complain, "We're advocating a policy that says we will invade another nation that is not currently attacking us or invading any of our allies." [Capitol Hill Blue Jan, 22, 2003]
To those who deem it unseemly to count the brick's on one man's load, let us recall that this unelected President is one brick short of killing what the UN fears could be up to a half-million people in Iraq. This massacre could easily see Pakistan's government - and its 30 to 40 nukes - falling to an al Qaeda/Taliban majority. Bush's announced plans to attack North Korea and Iran have already prompted both countries to hit the nuclear gas pedal, virtually assuring a "nuclear event". And his $5 trillion blowout has taken the American economy to a $2 trillion deficit in two short years. As ignored global warming triggers Extreme Weather Events, frightened Nobel price-winning economists warn that GW's proposed $600 billion tax cut is "fiscal madness" - "a very serious economic error" that will collapse the country in exactly the same way the ex-Soviet Empire went bust buying and deploying so many arms in so many places. Ditto Imperial Rome.
Are these the acts of a rational person?
Not since Nixon's famous freak-outs in the White House, which saw National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger ordering military commanders to ignore nuclear launch orders from their Commander-In-Chief, is it so urgent that we examine a president's cognitive capacities. [The Trial of Henry Kissinger]
It might be useful to scrutinize the following findings. While everyone "goes nuts" from time to time, the salient question is whether traits described below dominate and drive today's presidential decisions. Is a man called by other government reps, "an idiot" "an imbecile" "dangerously incompetent" and "a moron" competent, capable and qualified to direct America's unchallenged military might?
Read on. If you dare.
" Is The 'President' Nuts?" asks Carol Wolman, M.D. "Many people, inside and especially outside this country, believe that the American president is nuts, and is taking the world on a suicidal path." [Counterpunch Oct. 2, 2002]
A board-certified psychiatrist in practice for 30 years, Dr. Wolman feels compelled to understand the "psychopathology" of man "under tremendous pressure from both his family/junta, and from the world at large." Dr. Wolman wonders if GW is suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Edition:
"There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others: 1) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest; 2) deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure; 5) reckless disregard for safety of self or others; 7) lack of remorse by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated or stolen from others."
GW Bush is highly regarded for "kicking" the twin demons of cocaine and alcohol addiction. If he is still off both wagons and there is no proof that isn't - such a triumph, encouraged and aided by his wife, is commendable.
When probing the mysteries of GW's brain chemistry, a key point to ponder is that damage done to brain cells from drug abuse is permanent and irreversible.
Quaker and university professor Katherine van Wormer co-authored the definitive, 2002, Addiction Treatment. This expert writes that "George W. Bush manifests all the classic patterns of what alcoholics in recovery call 'the dry drunk'. His behavior is consistent with being brought on by years of heavy drinking and possible cocaine use." [Counterpunch Oct. 11, 2002]
"Dry drunk," explains the professor, "is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking - one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded."
Such an individual is 'dry' but not truly sober. Such individuals tend to go to overboard. A good example of Bush' "polarized thinking" is his call for "crusades" based on "infinite justice" for "evil-doers" comprising an "axis of evil".
Bush's "obsessive repetition" also remind this professor, "of many of the recovering alcoholics/addicts I had treated." Van Wormer worriers, "His power, in fact, is such that if he collapses into paranoia, a large part of the world will collapse with him."
Paranoia? Impatience? Rigid judgmental outlook? Grandiose behavior? Childish behavior? Irresponsible behavior? Irrational rationalization? Projection? Overreaction? these are all "dry drunk" traits.
Van Wormer observers that Bush's pompous pledge: "We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction" is a projection from the world's leading rogue state preparing to attack with nuclear weapons.
"Bush's tendency to dichotomize reality" should be emphasized. Prof. van Wormer describes this is as either/or reasoning - "either you are with us or against us". A White House spokesperson puts it this way: "The President considers this nation to be at war, and, as such, considers any opposition to his policies to be no less than an act of treason.'' [Capitol Hill Blue Jan, 22, 2003]
BUSH'S BINGES - HISTORY IMPACTS THE PRESENT
Bush's binges were legendary. Van Wormer describes "years of binge drinking starting in college, at least one conviction for DUI in 1976 in Maine, and one arrest before that for a drunken episode involving theft of a Christmas wreath." She adds:
"The Bush biography reveals the story of a boy named for his father, sent to the exclusive private school in the East where his father's reputation as star athlete and later war hero were still remembered. The younger George's achievements were dwarfed in the school's memory of his father. Athletically he could not achieve his father's laurels, being smaller and perhaps less strong. His drinking bouts and lack of intellectual gifts held him back as well. His military record was mediocre as compared to his father's as well. [He went AWOL] "
In Fortunate Son, Bush himself explained: "Alcohol began to compete with my energies ... I'd lose focus". Though he once said he couldn't remember a day he hadn't had a drink, he quickly added the giveaway phrase that he didn't believe he was "clinically alcoholic".
Van Wormer notes that "Bush drank heavily for over 20 years until he made the decision to abstain at age 40. About this time he became a 'born again Christian' - going as usual from one extreme to the other." When asked in an interview about his reported cocaine use, he answered reasonably, "I'm not going to talk about what I did 20 to 30 years ago".
One motive driving Dubya could be his need "to prove himself to his father - to achieve what his father failed to do - to finish the job of the Gulf War, to get the 'evildoer' Saddam." Adds van Wormer, "His drive to finish his father's battles is of no small significance, psychologically."
According to Van Wormer, "scientists can now observe changes that occur in the brain as a result of heavy alcohol and other drug abuse. Some of these changes may be permanent."
Van Wormer characterizes this damage as "barely noticeable but meaningful." Researchers have found that brain chemistry irregularities caused by long bouts of drinking or drug abuse cause "messages in one part of the brain to become stuck there. This leads to maddening repetition of thoughts."
One of these powerful "stuck" thoughts, says van Wormer, is that "President Bush seems unduly focused upon getting revenge on Saddam Hussein ('He tried to kill my Dad'), leading the country and the world into war, accordingly."
Grandiosity is another major trait of former addicts brain-damaged by their addiction. Bush has reversed the successful, five-decade old U.S. policy of containment and no first strikes. Now he says, Americans can attack anyone, anywhere at any time with any weapons of their choosing - including banned cluster bomb munitions, radioactive explosives and nuclear bombs.
AN AGENT OF ARMAGEDDON?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a person suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, "Has a grandiose sense of self-importance-exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements."
This personality is preoccupied with fantasies of power and being loved. Such a person requires "automatic compliance". He or she is "exploitative" of others, "lacks empathy, is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others." And also "shows arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes."
"This set of characteristics," says Dr. Wolman, not too reassuringly, "may describe Rumsfeld and Cheney better than Dubya."
For those who, like Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stieglitz, warn that Bush "has been captured by a small group of ideologues,” Dependent Personality Disorder describes someone who "has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others." [CBC Feb. 10, 2003]
From a Jungian perspective, writes Dr. Wolman, "Dubya may be identifying with an archetype - something out of Revelations, perhaps, whereby he sees himself as an instrument of God's will to bring about Armageddon." Concurs Katherine van Wormer, "To fight evil, Bush is ready to take on the world, in almost a Biblical sense."
A PRESIDENTIAL PATHOLOGY
Is Bush's belligerence bent on securing another oil fix? Katherine van Wormer believes that a Portland peace protestor's sign, "Drunk on Power" nailed it. Says this quiet Quaker, "The drive for power can be an unquenchable thirst, addictive in itself."
Senator William Fulbright agrees. His bestseller, The Arrogance of Power defined power politics as the pursuit of power. "The causes and consequences of war may have more to do with pathology than with politics," Fulbright wrote.
A key "dry drunk" trait is impatience. Bush, who often describes himself as "a patient man", is not. Just four weeks after inspectors went into Iraq, he called for obliterating Baghdad. "If we wait for threats to fully materialize", Bush pointed out to West Pointers, "we will have waited too long". Translations: It's okay to attack projections of our own fearful imaginings - in case those phantom threats someday become real.
Alan Bisbort's "Dry Drunk - Is Bush Making a Cry for Help?" appeared in American Politics Journal. Bisbort believes that Bush's "incoherence" when speaking away from prepared scripts is a classic sign of addicted brain damage.
For Bisbort, another "dry drunk" tip-off is Dubya's irritability with anyone who dares disagree with him - including Germany's new leader, who insists he is opposing Bush's folly in Iraq as a concerned long-time friend of America. (Schroeder's wife is American.)
Another "Dry drunk" sign says van Wormer, is Dubya's "dangerous obsessing about only one thing (Iraq) to the exclusion of all other things."
Van Wormer's bottom line prognosis: "George W. Bush seems to possess the traits characteristic of addictive persons who still have the thought patterns that accompany substance abuse. The fact that some residual effects from his earlier substance abuse - however slight - might cloud the U.S. President's thinking and judgment is frightening, however, in the context of the current global crisis."
The Toronto Star recounts how NYU author and media critic Mark Crispin Miller attempted to catalogue GW's verbal gaffes. Some favorites: "The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country." "If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
"The future will be better tomorrow."
"He meant it for a laugh," wrote the Star. "Not now."
The author of Boxed In: The Culture of TV believes "Bush is not an imbecile. He's not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality. I think he's incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of his own entitlement, and he's a very skilled manipulator. And in all the snickering about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss."
Miller's judgment - that an unelected president might suffer from a clinical personality disorder - is much heavier than being called the global village idiot. "He has no trouble speaking off the cuff when he's speaking punitively, when he's talking about violence, when he's talking about revenge. When he struts and thumps his chest, his syntax and grammar are fine," Miller mentions. "It's only when he leaps into the wild blue yonder of compassion, or idealism, or altruism, that he makes these hilarious mistakes."
Bush even has trouble repeating comforting clichés. "Fool me once, shame ... shame on ... you," Long, uncomfortable pause. "Fool me - can't get fooled again!"
While the world was laughing, Miller saw something darker. "What's revealing about this is that Bush could not say, `Shame on me' to save his life. That's a completely alien idea to him. This is a guy who is absolutely proud of his own inflexibility and rectitude," wrote Miller.
Miller says that Bush saying, "I know how hard it is to put food on your family" is not 'cause he's stupid, but "because he doesn't care about people who can't put food on the table."
When Bush is envisioning "a foreign-handed foreign policy," Miller contends it's because he can't keep his focus on things that mean nothing to him. "When he tries to talk about what this country stands for, or about democracy, he can't do it," Miller observes.
According to Miller, this is why GW is so closely watched by his handlers. "Not because he'll say something stupid," the Star paraphrased, "but because he'll overindulge in the language of violence and punishment at which he excels."
"He's a very angry guy, a hostile guy," Miller says. "He's much like Nixon. So they're very, very careful to choreograph every move he makes. They don't want him anywhere near protestors, because he would lose his temper." Adds this media expert, "It would be a grave mistake to just play him for laughs."
DEPRESSION CAN BE DANGEROUSLY DEPRESSING
Confronted by a man who will not listen to anyone but a few "chickenhawks" urging worldwide war, why shouldn't we feel depressed? Not surprisingly, we do.
Seventy percent of U.S. pastors constantly fight depression. Right now, almost three million Canadians are seriously depressed. (Multiply by four or five for approximate U.S. figures.) We can't blame GW for this. Or the fact that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in 15 to 24 year olds. But as the man responsible for perpetrating a worldwide bummer, George isn't helping! [www.tonycooke.org; National Institute of Mental Health]
If it's politically incorrect to ask these questions, how "correct" is it to launch 800 cruise missiles and thousands of one-ton bombs on a captive urban population already suffering the ravages of deliberately imposed hunger and disease?
Another big clue to Dubya's displays of dementia comes in "photo-ops" showing him slugging back diet Coke with other Aspartame addicts, like Chicago's mayor Richard Daley. Their beet red faces spell either embarrassment over Bush's hijacking of America, or aspartame poisoning. [Chicago Sun Times, Sept. 27, 2002]
According to Carol Guilford, an Aspartame expert and support worker, the President-Select's "pretzel" pratfall was most likely an Aspartame seizure. Bush, like Carter, Al Gore and millions of Americans, is addicted to this constant caffeine hit. Among the FDA's listed 92 symptoms for Aspartame poisoning are: "Difficulty Swallowing", "Fainting" and "Unconsciousness".
Bush's facial lesions, removed as a result of "Too much sun" is another sign of Aspartame poisoning. So was his recent knee surgery: Aspartame depletes synovial fluid lubricating the joints.
Would you drink 6 to 12 cans of formaldehyde a day? It turns out that methanol in Aspartame converts to formaldehyde in the tissues. As Guildford wrote to USN Captain Eleanor Marino, Physician to the President (Feb. 21, 2002): 10% of a 200mg can of diet soda is straight methanol wood alcohol! Methanol is such a gross cumulative poison, the EPA's limit for drinking water is 7.8 mg daily. For serious addicts like Bush, the methanol intake can exceed 32 times the EPA's recommended limit..
Now the punch line: Clinical case studies shows that, among other symptoms, Aspartame ingestion results in "mind fog", feeling "unreal", poor memory, confusion, anxiety, irritability, depression, mania, and slurred speech. [Neurology 1994]
Alcohol-related brain damage is not helped by chugging formaldehyde. James Turner, consumer protection lawyer and author of The Chemical Feast learned that an Oct. 1980 FDA inquiry found that the formaldehyde formed by Aspartame actually eats microscopic holes and triggers tumors in the brain.
That finding banned Aspartame from the food supply. But three months later, Searle CEO Donald Rumsfeld told that pharma giant's sales staff he would get Aspartame approved pronto. The next month, the FDA commissioner was replaced by Dr. Arthur Hayes. In Nov. 1983 the FDA approved aspartame for soft drinks. Under fire for accepting corporate bribes, Hayes went to work for Searle's public-relations firm. Searle lawyer Robert Shapiro coined the name NutraSweet. Monsanto bought Searle. Rumsfeld received $12 million for his help. Shapiro now heads Monsanto.
The same "revolving door" swings wide for arms makers and the oil mafia. The Big Question is: Why hasn't Dick warned George that the diet drinks he's swilling are eating his brain and making him crazy?
Crazy? Am I calling the President-Select of the Excited States crazy? Not me. As a journalist, I can only point out that published medical evidence goes frighteningly far in explaining GW's behavior. For certain, this good ol' boy should go in for a brain scan before being allowed to command more firepower than the next 11 nations combined. If George W. Bush is not crazy - he's sure acting like it.
Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides By DOUG THOMPSON Jun 4, 2004, 06:30 Email this article Printer friendly page
President George W. Bush’s increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings have the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader’s state of mind.
In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as “enemies of the state.”
Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.
“It reminds me of the Nixon days,” says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. “Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That’s the mood over there.”
In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, a picture of an administration under siege has emerged, led by a man who declares his decisions to be “God’s will” and then tells aides to “fuck over” anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration.
“We’re at war, there’s no doubt about it. What I don’t know anymore is just who the enemy might be,” says one troubled White House aide. “We seem to spend more time trying to destroy John Kerry than al Qaeda and our enemies list just keeps growing and growing.”
Aides say the President gets “hung up on minor details,” micromanaging to the extreme while ignoring the bigger picture. He will spend hours personally reviewing and approving every attack ad against his Democratic opponent and then kiss off a meeting on economic issues.
“This is what is killing us on Iraq,” one aide says. “We lost focus. The President got hung up on the weapons of mass destruction and an unproven link to al Qaeda. We could have found other justifiable reasons for the war but the President insisted the focus stay on those two, tenuous items.”
Aides who raise questions quickly find themselves shut out of access to the President or other top advisors. Among top officials, Bush’s inner circle is shrinking. Secretary of State Colin Powell has fallen out of favor because of his growing doubts about the administration’s war against Iraq.
The President's abrupt dismissal of CIA Directory George Tenet Wednesday night is, aides say, an example of how he works.
"Tenet wanted to quit last year but the President got his back up and wouldn't hear of it," says an aide. "That would have been the opportune time to make a change, not in the middle of an election campaign but when the director challenged the President during the meeting Wednesday, the President cut him off by saying 'that's it George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now."
Tenet was allowed to resign "voluntarily" and Bush informed his shocked staff of the decision Thursday morning. One aide says the President actually described the decision as "God's will."
God may also be the reason Attorney General John Ashcroft, the administration’s lightning rod because of his questionable actions that critics argue threatens freedoms granted by the Constitution, remains part of the power elite. West Wing staffers call Bush and Ashcroft “the Blues Brothers” because “they’re on a mission from God.”
“The Attorney General is tight with the President because of religion,” says one aide. “They both believe any action is justifiable in the name of God.”
But the President who says he rules at the behest of God can also tongue-lash those he perceives as disloyal, calling them “fucking assholes” in front of other staff, berating one cabinet official in front of others and labeling anyone who disagrees with him “unpatriotic” or “anti-American.”
“The mood here is that we’re under siege, there’s no doubt about it,” says one troubled aide who admits he is looking for work elsewhere. “In this administration, you don’t have to wear a turban or speak Farsi to be an enemy of the United States. All you have to do is disagree with the President.”
The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the record.
Would somebody please put this guy in a mental institution and dose him up with thorazine. Stat!!!!!!!!