Today’s Items – Clueless, Giddy, Treasonous

August 5, 2008 at 9:24 am | Posted in American politics | 2 Comments

Clueless Ambassadors

Courtesy of Obsidian Wings, the quality, er, or lack thereof, of a Bush administration ambassador to Pakistan!

“”One thing we never understood is that India has always been the major threat for Pakistan,” said former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlain, now the president of the Middle East Institute.”

We never understood that India has always been a major threat for Pakistan? Are you kidding me? Forgot this little incident, did you Ms. Chamberlain? Or the three major wars that they have fought since 1947? No, let’s make this clear. One thing YOU never understood is that India and Pakistan don’t like each other.

The Obama Tire Pressure Gauge

Republicans cannot win this election on the issues. Their policies are failures. So what are they running on? They mock and tease and belittle their opponent, even when their opponent says something very sound and, well, correct. Take the issue that Obama raised that if your tires have proper pressure, you save on gas at the pump. This is actually correct. And it is sound. And it is backed by numerous people. Many many people, including some of the smarter Republicans out there (yes there are a few left) have counseled to keep your tires properly pressured. But that doesn’t stop the John McCain campaign from using this, somehow, against Obama.

A practically giddy Mark Salter, the senior aide to John McCain best known for his gruffness, told the traveling press corps before takeoff Monday morning that the would be handing out copies of Barack Obama’s energy plan during flight.

Moments after the Boeing 737 was airborne, Salter swooped past the cabin-dividing curtain and gleefully handed out tire gauges that read “Obama’s Energy Plan.” The stunt pokes fun at Obama’s suggestion that American’s improve their gas mileage by filling up their tires and will be reportedly be replicated, compliments of McCain supporters, at Obama’s appearance in Michigan Monday.

See, the issue here is not that Obama’s plan is right or wrong. It is in fact, right. The issue is to make fun of Obama. It is to ridicule him. Because that is all that Republicans have left. They can’t run on McCain. He is so tied to Bush, it isn’t funny. He gets hundreds of thousands of dollars from oil executives. They want him in power because he will give them tax breaks because clearly they are in dire need of a tax break.

I know it is hard to be outraged at this. This is par for the course. It even doesn’t work to call it despicable anymore. It is so common a practice on the Republican side. This has been how they have worked these past 30 years. It is utterly awful but it doesn’t matter because enough Americans buy into it and believe it themselves.

There is no decency in the Republican party today. There is little decency in the Democratic party today. We’re ripening up for a good revolution soon. That’s the inexorable direction of such entropic, degrading, corrupted systems. At some point, they get cleaned out. It doesn’t have to be this way, but alas, that is our future.

White House Ordered Forgery

This comes as no surprise to those of us who have been against the Bush administration from the getgo, but the White House ordered the CIA to forge documents that Iraq had nuclear weapons.

A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.

Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.

The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”

The letter’s existence has been reported before, and it had been written about as if it were genuine. It was passed in Baghdad to a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph who wrote about it on the front page of Dec. 14, 2003, under the headline, “Terrorist behind September 11 strike ‘was trained by Saddam.’”

The Telegraph story by Con Coughlin (which, coincidentally, ran the day Hussein was captured in his “spider hole”) was touted in the U.S. media by supporters of the war, and he was interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Over the next few days, the Habbush letter continued to be featured prominently in the United States and across the globe,” Suskind writes. “Fox’s Bill O’Reilly trumpeted the story Sunday night on ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ talking breathlessly about details of the story and exhorting, ‘Now, if this is true, that blows the lid off al Qaeda—Saddam.'”

According to Suskind, the administration had been in contact with the director of the Iraqi intelligence service in the last years of Hussein’s regime, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti.

“The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,” Suskind writes. “It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq – thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link.”

This is of course a very serious allegation. This harbors on accusing the White House of treason, of creating a false scenario in which to wage war. But, like I said, this is no surprise to those who did not buy into the rationale for the war.

And as Kevin Drum extrapolates:

The White House, of course, adamantly denies Suskind’s story. Coincidentally, though, the Daily News reports that the FBI received similar treatment after the 2001 anthrax attacks:

In the immediate aftermath of the 2001 anthrax attacks, White House officials repeatedly pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller to prove it was a second-wave assault by Al Qaeda….Mueller was “beaten up” during President Bush’s morning intelligence briefings for not producing proof the killer spores were the handiwork of terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden, according to a former aide. “They really wanted to blame somebody in the Middle East,” the retired senior FBI official told The News.

Add to this the uncontested fact that George Bush once mused to Tony Blair about flying fake UN planes over Iraq to try and create a pretext for war, as well as Seymour Hersh’s revelation that Dick Cheney recently discussed similar kinds of schemes to foment war with Iran. Maybe it’s coincidence. Maybe all these sources are just making stuff up. Maybe. But that’s a helluva similar pattern of allegations, isn’t it?

It is indeed a hell of a similar pattern of allegations. Probably because they did indeed discuss ways to manufacture a pretext for war in all those cases. One has to wonder then about the Anthrax attacks. Something about Bruce Ivins’s death just doesn’t feel right.

I think that when we get a final accounting of this period in our history, we will be repulsed. But I’m assuming (and I really shouldn’t) that our children and children’s children will be repulsed by torture, lying, backstabbing, treason, and the like. Or are they going to be a product of their parents, who currently, are not repulsed enough to demand that our treasonous president be tried for his crimes?



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  1. On the White House forgery, it gets better. According to Anonymous Liberal, that letter contained an additional gem. As explained by Con Coughlin who first saw the forged letter:

    The second item explains how Iraqi intelligence, helped by “a small team from the al-Qaeda organisation”, arranged for an (unspecified) shipment from Niger to reach Baghdad by way of Libya and Syria.

    Iraqi officials believe this is a reference to the controversial shipments of uranium ore that Iraq acquired from Niger to aid Saddam in his efforts to develop an atom bomb.

    While it is almost impossible to ascertain whether the document is legitimate, Iraqi officials are convinced of its authenticity, even though they decline to reveal where and how they obtained it.

    of course they couldn’t reveal where and how they obtained it. That would mean revealing the White House.

    so let’s see

    1. The White House forged a letter as proof of Iraq’s WMDs and ties to Mohammed Atta.
    2. The White House mused with Tony Blair about painting American planes with the UN colors to have Iraq shoot them down to get people to support their war.
    3. The White House has been musing about giving American soldiers Iranian uniforms, putting them on an Iranian-like PT boat and shooting them down in the Straits of Hormutz, creating the reason for going to war with Iran.

    If that is not treason, there is no such thing as treason.

  2. I think that when we get a final accounting of this period in our history, we will be repulsed.

    [waving hand in air]

    I’m already there!

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