Tuesday, February 27, 2007


If you haven't read the Seymour Hersh article in the New Yorker, put aside a few minutes and give it a read. It's quite a bit to digest, but a few things jumped out at me. This in particular:

The Bush Administration’s reliance on clandestine operations that have not been reported to Congress and its dealings with intermediaries with questionable agendas have recalled, for some in Washington, an earlier chapter in history. Two decades ago, the Reagan Administration attempted to fund the Nicaraguan contras illegally, with the help of secret arms sales to Iran. Saudi money was involved in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal, and a few of the players back then—notably Prince Bandar and Elliott Abrams—are involved in today’s dealings.

Iran-Contra was the subject of an informal “lessons learned” discussion two years ago among veterans of the scandal. Abrams led the discussion. One conclusion was that even though the program was eventually exposed, it had been possible to execute it without telling Congress. As to what the experience taught them, in terms of future covert operations, the participants found: “One, you can’t trust our friends. Two, the C.I.A. has got to be totally out of it. Three, you can’t trust the uniformed military, and four, it’s got to be run out of the Vice-President’s office”—a reference to Cheney’s role, the former senior intelligence official said.
I was subsequently told by the two government consultants and the former senior intelligence official that the echoes of Iran-Contra were a factor in Negroponte’s decision to resign from the National Intelligence directorship and accept a sub-Cabinet position of Deputy Secretary of State. (Negroponte declined to comment.)

Yeah, I'm sure he declined to comment on this. Negroponte knows you don't betray the family. People who stray might, for example, decide to go kayaking in the middle in the night...in the middle of a thunderstorm, and then..umm..drown.

Hypothetically speaking of course.

You have got to love the absolute myopia here though. What is the lesson of Iran Contra? Hey, we almost got away with it, let's try again. C'mon gang, let's put on a show! That has got to be one of the most appalling things I have read since the day George Bush took the oath of office. The fact that the Iran/Contra scandal almost brought down the Reagan Presidency and almost sent several of them to jail never breaks through the myopia. The true depths of what went on during that time I doubt has ever been truly grasped. I think the closest anyone came was John Kerry's investigation into BCCI, an angle on the opposition to the Kerry candidacy that was not explored by the David Broders and Maureen Dowds because, well, they're worthless. Maureen Dowds little hit piece on Hilary Clinton tells you all you need to know about the Kool Kids and what they will be doing in 2008. Trying to get Rudy Giuliani or John McCain elected President, to be precise. They are so authentic, and sooo dreaammmy.

Sorry..I digress..

Another thing that jumped out at me was the degree the Saudi's are shaping our policies and actions in the Middle East. Help me out here, did I dream the fact that 15 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi's? And, is anyone actually in any doubt where the Sunni insurgents in Iraq, not to mention Al-Queda, are getting the cash to run their operations. Did they hold a bake sale? Is their a lemonade stand on the road to Basra? It's American money, shipped to Saudi Arabia to pay for our oil thirst, and filtered to the members of the royal family who are sympathetic to Al-Queda and other Sunni fanatics. No REDSTATE, it's not the ghost of Saddam Hussein, or the Shia's of Iran. Sunni extremists regard Shia's as heretics, worse than the crusader infidels in Iraq. Iran is not going to provide much support for these people. The Administration position on this makes no sense. At least in terms of any relation to objective reality. I'm sure it would make perfect sense if I put on my Hugh Hewitt tinfoil headset. Perfect clarity for these disturbing times.

It's pretty clear to all but the paste eaters that the Administration is looking for an opportunity to justify an attack on Iran. My suspicion is they would have done it by now, but GOP leaders in Congress and in the party have expressed to the White House that unless they can shore up public support for that idea with a plausible reason that the pubic will accept, they will not stick their necks out. At that point, the President could be in threat of impeachment and removal from office. The pathetic attempts to set the Iranians up as the culprits behind the insurgency is just getting started, as are the hack articles by their pet reporters at the Post and Times. I'm sure TIMMAH is keeping Dick Cheney's seat on Beat the Press warm for him. (Dont ask how, this is a family friendly blog. Sort of.)

I think we might need to brace ourselves.

Monday, February 26, 2007

In Other News, Anna Nicole Smith Is Still Dead

...but pay no attention to that.

Our hero forever, the mighty Spackerman, writes at TPMmuckraker about *tomorrow*'s big news today.
Tomorrow morning, the Senate Armed Services Committee becomes the epicenter of a prospective war with Iran. That's because senior intelligence officials will deliver an annual assessment to Congress known as the Worldwide Threat briefing. Over the past several years, the Worldwide Threat has made for a few days' worth of news at most. Tomorrow's, however, will be more significant than usual: it will be a public forum for the intelligence community to either support or dissent from the Bush administration's increasing insistence that Iran is a greater threat to U.S. interests than al-Qaeda.
Provider three bids twelve-thousand quatloos on the intelligence officials lining up in full chorus behind the President.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Progress! It's *PROGRESSIVE*, Don't You Know?

It's so nice to know that officially sanctioned rape is no longer happening in Iraq.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


This is absolutely priceless. From Murray Waas at the National Journal:
Because someone had leaked the highly classified information from the NSA intercepts, Cheney warned Graham, the Bush administration was considering ending all cooperation with the joint inquiry by the Senate and House Intelligence committees on the government's failure to predict and prevent the September 11 attacks. Classified records would no longer be turned over to the Hill, the vice president threatened, and administration witnesses would not be available for interviews or testimony.

Having your elected representives overseeing the intelligence hijinks of the Executive Branch is UnAmerican, or Communism, errr...umm..feminism? gay marriage?
On that morning in June 2002, Cheney could not have known that his complaints to Graham about the leaking of classified information would help set events in motion that eventually would lead to the prosecution of his own chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, as the result of a separate leak investigation.

Waas goes on to detail how Cheney and his cronies maneuvered Congress into allowing an FBI investigation into the NSA leak. That investigation eventually settled on ranking member of the Committee at the time, Republican Senator Richard Shelby. But, by making such a huge stink about the leaks, they maneuvered themselves into a place where they were forced to accept a similar investigation into their own leaks. An investigation that is on the verge of sending a senior Cheney staffer to prison, and lays suspicion bordering on near certainty, that Vice President Cheney himself ordered the leak. I know it's an apriori assumption among the editors and readers of this blog that this Administration makes the character of the Sopranos look like the Von Trapp family singers, but sometimes the depths of their venality defies augury.

This is yet another Maybery Machiavelli scheme, this time to end in any practical sense the oversight of Congress on the intelligence machinations of the Executive Branch. The timing was well played, the political landscape, shaped by the 9/11 attacks and the grotesquely obsequious press corp in the Beltway made the Vice Presidents threat a plausible one. I cannot imagine a more terrible notion than to allow national intelligence services to be free of oversight, even the sometimes problematic oversight of the American Congress. Props to the Vice President and the Imperial Officer Corps at the Naval Observatory for cooking this one up. It also seems to me that this scheme worked. Oversight of the intelligence agencies has been compromised to the point of absurdity.

But wait, it gets better. It is gospel in the right wing media, indeed in much of the regular media that; A) Plame was not covert and therefore the IIPA investigation was a witch hunt, B) Plames lack of covert status means the national security implications are inconsequential. We can find factual rebuttals to those claims in the Waas story, and in the Sidney Blumental column from today in Salon.
First, in regards to Plames status we find this fact in regards to Plames status from Blumenthals description from Armitages leak of Plames name to Bob Woodward
Armitage had learned of Plame from reading a State Department memo that conspicuously marked an "S" next to her name, indicating that her identity was top secret

Her identity of course was Top Secret because of her work in the Counter-Proliferation bureau of the CIA. Something that was the responsibility of Cheney and the arrogant pricks that worked for him to know before they started leaking her name and employment around to reporters for publication. I find it appalling, but not surprising, that The Vice President has not been excoriated by every pundit and columinst in America for the betrayal of a CIA agent by her senior leadership for cheap political payback.

Next, the oft made claim leaking Plames identity was inconsequential. From Murray Waas again:
Craig Schmall, who was a CIA briefing officer for both Cheney and Libby, has testified at Libby's trial that on the morning of July 14, 2003, when journalist Robert Novak outed Plame's covert identity in his newspaper column, Schmall commented to Cheney and Libby, "I thought there was a grave danger leaking the name of a CIA officer. Foreign intelligence services where she served now have the opportunity to investigate everyone whom she had come in contact with. They could be arrested, tortured, or killed."

You Think?? This was a golden opportunity by foreign intelligence services to crack open the CIA's CPD operations. Something further abetted by Robert Novaks unfathomable followup column to his Plame story where he disclosed the name of the cover business Plame AND her fellow agents were "employed" by in order to give them a plausible cover. Nice work Bob, you made it easier for America's enemies to figure out who Plames contacts and fellow agents were so they could be spaced out the nearest airlock.

I truly believed a few short weeks ago I had seen it all from these people. I thought writing future Mojowires would be difficult, because we clearly had figured out the depths these people had sunk too.

Thank you Bush Administration! For making my job as a Mojowire editor that much easier. You people absolutely RULE!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A done deal?

Apparently, according to this story, there is a general consensus among the elder and wise among the GOP politico machine that a Hilary Clinton Presidency is a "fait accompli". Now, this might be more of the standard psy-ops on the part of the GOP to push for a canddiate they feel will help them, but I think there is some truth to the idea that, to Republican operatives, Hillary will get the nomination and the White House.

The reason for this is that the Clinton machine is modeled after the successful GOP machines that have managed to elect George Bush. Top down, very disciplined, expert at separating donors from their cash, and has a cadre of pretty good political operatives that are not afraid to gouge out the eyes of their opponents. It really is a mirror image of the old Clinton campaigns for Bill coupled with a message discipline that is required for a candidate like Hillary, and that was required for Junior.

I'm not nearly as covinced as the GOP is that she is such a shoe-in. She has improved as a candidate on the campaign trail. Her machine is, at least to my eyes, organizationally light years ahead of anyone on either side, including McCains. I have serious doubts, so far, that she is up to handling the inevitable shocks and surprises that roll over candidates during their campaigns. Plus there is a healthy skepticism among the Democratic base about her electibility and her center-right positions on Iraq and national security issues, although I can understand why she thinks she needs to be hawkish. I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

In Which, We Chastise The AP For Its Shoddy Reporting

Once again, The Terrorists have struck a blow against the critical infrastructure of the Western technocratic powers, and Associated Press is getting the story wrong. So, we are compelled to ask...
is it deliberate?
Read the main AP report from any of the lovely sources compiled by Google News. Go ahead. We'll wait for you here.

Notice that it tells you the attack was mounted against the "root" DNS servers, but the Truth, which they obviously don't want you to know, is that the attack was really mounted against the TLD servers.

Why can't we have a real press corps, please?

How much longer must we continue to labor with a Main Stream Media dominated by so-called "news organizations" that are functionally equivalent to propaganda outlets for terrorists? When will the silent and long-suffering majority of Real Americans rise up and say they're not going to take it anymore?

When will it finally be time to spit on our collective hands, raise the figurative black flag and commence to the doing of that which we are too polite to commit in writing before the lidless eyes of the Google spiders, whose cold and alien memories will persist long after the stars burn out and fall from the skies?

I ask you— how much longer?

Where Is Conan The Parliamentarian When We Need Him?

A reader over at JMM's place notices one of the things that I find to be a continual disappointment with the Democratic leadership in Congress: they're freakin feckless when it comes to parliamentary procedure. ZOMG, I am appalled.

p.s. Once again, Navy dominates. Just saying.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Today's Thought From Mr.HappyZen™

"Violent ground acquisition games such as football are in fact a crypto-fascist metaphor for nuclear war."
—"Back To School" (1986)
Once again via Digby, we find Quiddity analyzing the the darkness of the Super Bowl ads, and I'm compelled to remind our readers that the one indicator of the rise incipient fascism in America that we haven't really seen much until now is the glorification of violence in the culture for its own sake.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Best Presser Evar!

ZOMG! I am in awe. We are not worthy.