Wednesday, November 30, 2005

News of the Day

Democrats are feeling the heat from the rank and file on the war in Iraq as Nancy Pelosi endorses Rep. John Murtha's call to withdraw troops over the next six months: Link

Israel is slowly driving Israeli Bedouin from their land to make room for Jewish housing developments: Link

Is Israel's Atomic weapons program in violation of past pledges of peaceful use and inspection: Link

The Israel first political machine rolls over Howard Dean: Link

How the neocons make Russia look reasonable, again: Link

China caught spying. Nobody claims it is anti-Asianism: Link

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ex-Powell Aid on Iraq

Only crazy people think that the Bush administration lied to get us into a war, right?

Until recently, [Ex-Powell aid Lawrence] Wilkerson said, he had tended to accept the White House explanation that - along with the intelligence services of Britain, Germany and other countries - the CIA and other US agencies had simply been fooled over Iraq's presumed weapons threat. "You begin to wonder, was this intelligence spun? Was it politicised? Was it cherry-picked? I am beginning to have my concerns," Mr Wilkerson said.


American Conservative on Issues of Concern

The latest issue of the American Conservative has a few articles that will be of interest to readers of this blog.

All the Veep’s Men
By Justin Raimondo
In the neocons’ alternate reality, an indictment is no cause for concern.

The Chutzpah of Alan Dershowitz
By Michael C. Desch
Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History by Norman G. Finkelstein

Were We Lied Into War?
By Patrick J. Buchanan
The Democrats don’t deserve a pass on Iraq.

Deep Background: Torturing the CIA; Dial 1-800-Mossad

You should consider picking up a copy or, better yet, a trial subscription.

Lettery to Hillary Clinton

Hillary was in Bethlehem, Israel a few weeks ago. She has become quite a hawk in the last few months and the neocons are looking to her as a potential new host, as the current host is dying rapidly.

While Hillary was posing for photo ops someone took the trouble to write her a letter asking some important questions:

I was surprised last week when I saw your picture in Haaretz (November 15, 2005), which was taken near the Wall, just outside of our town. I know that many Palestinians would have loved to welcome you in their homes in Bethlehem, but you did not come to visit us. Perhaps you simply did not have time to stop by and greet us, the people who would be the other half of any agreement which would allow Israel to live in security and peace. Or perhaps while you had Bethlehem in the background of the publicity photos, you had certain of your constituents in New York in the forefront of your mind. In one month s time you will be singing O Little Town of Bethlehem. I wonder how you will sing it this year, having declared your support for transforming our little town into a big, open-air prison, leaving no green space for our children to play or our olive trees to grow?

More here.

Hat Tip: jewssansfrontieres

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Price You Paid

Rep John Murtha discussing one of his constituents:

"Now, let me personalize this thing for youI have a young fellow in my district who was blinded and he lost his foot. And they did everything they could for him at Walter Reed, then they sent him home. His father was in jail; he had nobody at home -- imagine this: young kid that age -- 22, 23 years old -- goes home to nobody. V.A. did everything they could do to help him. He was reaching out, so they sent him -- to make sure that he was blind, they sent him to John Hopkins. John Hopkins started to send him bills. Then the collection agency started sending billsImagine, a young person being blinded, without a foot, and he's getting bills from a collection agency."


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Jack Abramoff and Israel

The American Conservative has some comments about Jack Abramoff and his connections to Israel.

One of the more intriguing aspects of the federal investigation into the activities of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff is his Israeli connections. His large $2.2 million bail is reported to be due to fears that he would flee to Israel, as some of his business associates have already done, to avoid prosecution. Abramoff, an Orthodox Jew and ardent Zionist, set up a charity called Capital Athletic Foundation, which illegally provided $140,000 worth of weapons and security equipment to hard-line Israeli settlers.

Abramoff also allegedly convinced Congressman Robert Ney, House Administrative Committee chairman, to award a contract worth $3 million to a start-up Israeli telecommunications firm called Foxcom Wireless. The contract was for the installation of antennas in House of Representatives buildings to improve cell-phone reception. Not surprisingly, such equipment can be designed to have what is known as a "back door" to enable a third party, in this case Mossad, to listen in. That an Israeli firm should be given such a contract through a selection process that was described as "deeply flawed and unfair" is explicable, particularly as there were American suppliers of the same equipment, and it suggest that the private conversations of some of our Congressmen might not be so private after all.

In a previous scandal in 2001, FBI investigators strongly suspected that two Israeli companies, AMDOCS and Comverse Infosys, which had been allowed to obtain U.S. government telecommunications contracts, were able to use back-door technology to compromise the security of DEA, Pentagon, and White House phones.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Latest from Frank Rich

Frank Rich says the fat lady is singing in the opera that is Iraq.

They know the voters have decided the war is over, no matter what symbolic resolutions are passed or defeated in Congress nor how many Republicans try to Swift-boat Representative John Murtha, the marine hero who wants the troops out. A USA Today/CNN/Gallup survey last week found that the percentage (52) of Americans who want to get out of Iraq fast, in 12 months or less, is even larger than the percentage (48) that favored a quick withdrawal from Vietnam when that war's casualty toll neared 54,000 in the apocalyptic year of 1970. The Ohio State political scientist John Mueller, writing in Foreign Affairs , found that "if history is any indication, there is little the Bush administration can do to reverse this decline."


Mr. Bush may disdain timetables for our pullout, but, hello, there already is one, set by the Santorums of his own party: the expiration date for a sizable American presence in Iraq is Election Day 2006. As Mr. Mueller says, the decline in support for the war won't reverse itself. The public knows progress is not being made, no matter how many times it is told that Iraqis will soon stand up so we can stand down.

I won't be posting for the rest of the week. Have a happy holiday and see you on Monday.


LA Times reports that the Bush administration was either stupd or they were just using a crazy man as a pretext to invade Iraq. My vote is for the latter.

An investigation by The Times based on interviews since May with about 30 current and former intelligence officials in the U.S., Germany, England, Iraq and the United Nations, as well as other experts, shows that U.S. bungling in the Curveball case was worse than official reports have disclosed.

The White House, for example, ignored evidence gathered by United Nations weapons inspectors shortly before the war that disproved Curveball's account. Bush and his aides issued increasingly dire warnings about Iraq's biological weapons before the war even though intelligence from Curveball had not changed in two years.

At the Central Intelligence Agency, officials embraced Curveball's account even though they could not confirm it or interview him until a year after the invasion. They ignored multiple warnings about his reliability before the war, punished in-house critics who provided proof that he had lied and refused to admit error until May 2004, 14 months after the invasion.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Zuhir Ibn Mohamed Said Saddik

Zuhir Ibn Mohamed Said Saddik is a name you may be hearing more of in the upcoming weeks.

Another slam dunk forgery is being used to convict Syria. The United Nations' Detlev Mehlis inquiry into the murder of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafiq Hairri depends on a central witness, Zuhir Ibn Mohamed Said Saddik, who has faced accusations of being a swindler and embezzler. Der Spiegel exposed Saddik's brags of "becoming a millionaire" from his testimony to the Mehlis Commission. Saddik was referred to the Mehlis Commission by Syrian regime critic Rifaat Assad, the uncle of current Syrian President Bashar Assad. Rifaat has been lobbying the Bush administration to become the president of Syria in the event his nephew Bashar is ousted.

Replacing an uncle with a nephew. Sounds very middle eastern to me.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Woodward Bombs

Arrianna discusses the Fitzgerald investigation and Bob Woodward's "bomb" that he knew Valerie Plame was a CIA asset.

I called Carl Bernstein to ask what he thought of his old partner’s behavior. He was loyal as ever but he did say something very revealing -- and unintentionally damning. “This investigation,” he told me, “has cast a constant searchlight that the White House can’t turn off the way it has succeeded in turning off the press. So their methodology and their dishonesty and their disingenuousness -- particularly about how we went to war -- as well as their willingness to attack and rough up people who don’t agree with them are now there for all to see. They can’t turn off this searchlight, which is shining on a White House that runs a media apparatus so sophisticated in discrediting its critics it makes the Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Ziegler press shop look like a small-time operation.” And these are the very thugs that Woodward was protecting while attacking the guy operating the searchlight.

Bob has not comported himself very well in this instance.


More on Abe Foxman

Mark Krikorian writes in the Cornerabout Abe Foxman's newly declared war on the religious right:

Steve Steinlight, former policy director at the American Jewish Committee and a Fellow at my center, wrote a piece for me last year with an excerpt that’s relevant here: “Reality is dawning on many American Jews that something is amiss, although it seems lost on some of the country’s most venerable Jewish organizations. There’s a sad, if comic irony associated with the fact that employees at organizations like ADL, the American Jewish Committee, and the Presidents’ Conference must pass through a gauntlet of concrete barriers, armed guards, metal detectors, and double bulletproof anterooms as they come to work each morning to protect them from radical Islamic terrorists, in order to spend their days studying and disseminating reports on the "threat" posed by Evangelical Christians. Meanwhile, the legislative affairs staffs of these organizations are directed to lobby against immigration reforms that could minimize the danger.”

Clearly, Abe didn't get that memo.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Recluse Bush?

If the following is true, the question is why doesn't Bush dump some of his staff and get some fresh blood in there?

Bush rarely speaks to father, ‘family is split’
Tue Nov 15 2005 11:23:51 ET

President Bush feels betrayed by several of his most senior aides and advisors and has severely restricted access to the Oval Office, INSIGHT magazine claims in a new report.

The president’s reclusiveness in the face of relentless public scrutiny of the U.S.-led war in Iraq and White House leaks regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame has become so extreme that Mr. Bush has also reduced contact with his father, former President George H.W. Bush, administration sources said on the condition of anonymity.

“The atmosphere in the Oval Office has become unbearable,” a source said. “Even the family is split.”

INSIGHT: Sources close to the White House say that Mr. Bush has become isolated and feels betrayed by key officials in the wake of plunging domestic support, the continued insurgency in Iraq and the CIA-leak investigation that has resulted in the indictment and resignation of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff.

The sources said Mr. Bush maintains daily contact with only four people: first lady Laura Bush, his mother, Barbara Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes. The sources also say that Mr. Bush has stopped talking with his father, except on family occasions.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bill Kristol's War

The American Conservative has a great article on the influence of The Weekly Standard in the decision to invade Iraq:

In the first issue the magazine published after 9/11, Gary Schmitt and Tom Donnelly, two employees of Kristol’s PNAC, clarified what ought to be the country’s war aims. Their rhetoric—which laid down a line from which the magazine would not waver over the next 18 months—was to link Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in virtually every paragraph, to join them at the hip in the minds of readers, and then to lay out a strategy that actually gave attacking Saddam priority over eliminating al-Qaeda. The first piece was illustrated with a caricature of Saddam, not bin Laden, and the proposed operational plan against bin Laden was astonishingly soft. “While it is probably not necessary to go to war with Afghanistan, a broad approach will be required, ” they wrote. Taliban failure to help root out bin Laden ought to be “rewarded by aid to its Afghan opposition.” Presumably Ramsey Clark was tendering advice more dovish than this, but it could not have been by much.

Excellent article.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

An Evening with Abe Foxman

Interesting commentary on a discussion with Abe Foxman of the ADL. I think it confirms the concerns many have with Mr. Foxman, who demands a "liberal" secular American state, but who works so hard for a hard line sectarian Israeli state.

The other day I was invited to participate in an hour-long discussion with Abraham Foxman from the ADL. The setting was pretty intimate - about 20 students attended - and I must say I was not impressed by the guy who leads one of the most important Jewish and "anti-Hate" organizations in the world.


Foxman brought up the example of divestment to show that the unique negative attention Israel receives is an indication of anti-Semitism. It wouldn't be anti-Semitic, he argued, if a group calling for divestment listed Israel among many other countries who perpetuate much worse war crimes. Such a list wouldn't be accurate according to him (Israel - commiting war crimes?! Has ve'halila!), but it since it didn't single out Israel it wouldn't be anti-Semitic.

I challenged this view by bringing up the following possibility: What if Students for a Free Tibet came out with a divestment campaign against China? Would singling out China be derived from a hatred for the Chinese people?[Nice!]

At this point Abe Foxman lost it, cut me off and went on and on about two thousand years of prosecution and anti-Semitism. How dare I compare a recent historical conflict to such deep-seated hatred that goes back so far?! It seems then, that his original argument collapsed: At first he tried to use the "singling out" argument to prove anti-Semitism. Then, he was forced to assume anti-Semitism in order to argue that one case of "singling out" as different than another.

This is an excellent debunking of a common, and incorrect, argument used to claim any criticism of Israel is actually anti-semitism.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Senate asks for Feith Probe

This will probably be a whitewash, but at least the Senate is asking the right questions.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The
Pentagon's inspector general has been asked to investigate the prewar intelligence role of a planning office headed by former U.S. defense policy chief Douglas Feith, a main architect of the
Iraq war, officials said on Tuesday.

The request was made by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in a letter sent in August.

It said the Defense Department should determine whether Feith and his Office of Special Plans wielded excessive influence over intelligence that claimed
Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

The threat of such weapons, which have never been found in Iraq, was cited as a main justification for
President George W. Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003

Interesting Books

These books look interesting.

A quick overview of the books can be found here.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Neocons Not Slowing Down

Despite all the setbacks, including an Iraq situation where even the defense attorneys for Saddam and his gang are not safe, the Bush administration and his neocon com-padres seem determined to continue to "secure the realm."

As planned, Syria is next and more troops are headed to Iraq as we have the nerve to seek UN approval to extend our stay in Iraq.

All this while the Bush polls are in the basement.

The disconnect is startling. Something has to give.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Abe Foxman thinks the US is getting a little too christian for his tastes.

ADL's Foxman warns of efforts to 'Christianize America'

NEW YORK - Institutionalized Christianity in the U.S. has grown so extremist that it poses a tangible danger to the principle of separation of church and state and threatens to undermine the religious tolerance that characterizes the country, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, warned in his address to the League's national commission, meeting in New York City over the weekend.

"Today we face a better financed, more sophisticated, coordinated, unified, energized and organized coalition of groups in opposition to our policy positions on church-state separation than ever before. Their goal is to implement their Christian worldview. To Christianize America. To save us!" he said.

Foxman proceeded to describe the process and to name names: "Major players include Focus On Family. Alliance Defense Fund, the American Family Association, Family Research Council and more. They and other groups have established new organizations and church-based networks, and built infrastructure throughout the country designed to promote traditional Christian values."

Abe is a known Zionist. He obviously believes the idea of a Jewish state is ok, so in the abstract he does not believe that a state with religious basis is a bad idea. It is just the US that can't tolerate religious groups influencing politics.

The constitution has was interpreted in the 1960s to forbid states from religious demonstrations (they "found" this prohibition more that 175 years after the document was written), but if people want to fight or change this, Abe shouldn't have a problem? He clearly believes a religious state is both moral and desirable, doesn't he?


Friday, November 04, 2005


The information coming out of Italy regarding the niger document is contradictory and confusing. That is absolutely normal for Italy.

Try to sift through it starting here.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Neocon Marketing

It was only a matter of time before the neocons added slick marketing to there act. Learn more about their products here.

UPDATE: Be sure to vote for the greatest threat to the empire.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Steve On Fire

Just a quick blurb from the best blog on the Internet:

Now, it's crucial to note that there isn't a closely organized Russia-Israel-U.S. Jewish Mafia-with-a-capital-M. There are merely a number of opportunists who tend, for reasons of family ties, educational connections, personal style, ethnic solidarity (we all hang together or we all hang separately), and personal comfort level, to do illegal business with each other rather than with people from other ethnic groups.

Over time, these opportunists proved more successful than their competitors on a per capita, for a variety of reasons -- brains, experience, the existence of Israel as a refuge from arrest, and ties to the business, media and think tank worlds in America generating financial and political capital.

But one huge advantage has been that they've achieved what the Italian-American Civil Rights League attempted and failed at: freedom from criticism.

The previous, and far more competent, owner of this blog, tried to keep his identity secret, and still, for some still unknown reason, had to delete the entire blog without leaving so much as a clue why. I can think of no other political criticism the consequences for which are so high.

This is wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with critiquing US policy in the middle east. Those who are trying to claim otherwise are just hiding behind false claims of anti-semitism in order to avoid real debate on the issue.

Unfortunately, quite often it works.

I highly recommend you read the entire post from Steve.


37 Months

Scooter Libby has some very hard decisions to make. The Bush admin has 37 months to go. Libby can probably expect to get a pardon from second term pres GWB sometime after the 2008 election.

So, the question becomes will it take much less that 37 months for the trial to take place? Appeals may also keep him out of jail for some period of time after trial.

Also, Libby will be tried in DC, where the Jury will be dominated by black women. Only 5% of black women in DC voted for Bush, so I don't think he will get the benefit of any doubt at trial.

Decisions, decisions.

< Link to follow >

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


The Libby indictment is a very good thing. Even though it is not for the real crime committed, it will punish the perpetrator and, more importantly, keep this story in the news for many months. If that is all we get from the investigation it is still a very positive outcome.

Some are hoping that more is on the way. Frankly, I have not seen much to support that hope. However, this piece of background information did peak my interest:

The last case that Fitzgerald prosecuted, and successfully it seems, had to do with a crowd – dare I say cabal? – of elected, appointed and state-employed persons in Illinois. These people were part of a ring selling commercial licenses to truck drivers, among other things. Fitzgerald prosecuted the case slowly, quietly, efficiently and precisely, overseeing the issuance of 65 indictments, before he got to the final one.

That last indictment was for George Ryan, former governor of Illinois.

The truck driver analogy begins to makes sense. Fitzgerald’s Illinois investigation resulted in indictments of many people, including politicians, their assistants, and numerous truck drivers. Some of these truck drivers were indicted and prosecuted for nothing more than making false statements, obstructing justice and perjury.

Patrick Fitzgerald communicates refreshingly and strikingly, in clear language, without notes or teleprompters. He stood patiently for questions, and he handled each one in a way that seemed strange these days. He listened intently, was not evasive, and was not afraid.

So, maybe it is Fitzgerald's style to start small and build up. We can only hope.

Karen Kwiatkowski

Democrat Nads Small, but Growing

Senator Reid has called a special session to confront Sen Pat Robert about the phase II investigation, or lack thereof.

Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session Tuesday, questioning intelligence that President Bush used in the run-up to the war in Iraq and accusing Republicans of ignoring the issue.
"They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why," Democratic leader Harry Reid said.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Reid demanded the Senate go into closed session. The public was ordered out of the chamber, the lights were dimmed, and the doors were closed. No vote is required in such circumstances.
Reid's move shone a spotlight on the continuing controversy over intelligence that President Bush cited in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Despite prewar claims, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and some Democrats have accused the administration of manipulating the information that was in their possession.
"The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really all about, how this administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions," Reid said before invoking Senate rules that led to the closed session.

Phase II was to examine manipulation of intelligence including the items such as the forged Niger yellowcake document.

This a surprisingly timely move by Reid and one for which we should provide support. You should call you Senator's office today or sometime this week and demand that they support the effort to have the investigation move forward.