Posted by: quiscus | September 17, 2009

September 17, 2009

1.  “Intelligence Agencies Say No New Nukes in Iran

Secret updates to White House challenge European and Israeli assessments.

The U.S. intelligence community is reporting to the White House that Iran has not restarted its nuclear-weapons development program

This latest U.S. intelligence-community assessment is potentially controversial for several reasons, not the least of which is that it is at odds with more alarming assessments propounded by key U.S. allies, most notably Israel. Officials of Israel’s conservative-led government have been delivering increasingly dire assessments of Iran’s nuclear progress and have leaked shrill threats about a possible Israeli military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

An Obama administration official says that top policymakers are being told that there is no significant disagreement among U.S. intelligence agencies and experts about the latest assessments regarding Iran’s nuclear effort.”

2.  “Presidents Need a War to Call Their Own — Now Obama Has His

On Afghanistan, there seems to be no coherent reason or vision as to why we are there. To “catch” Osama bin Laden, nearly 10 years after his crime? But you don’t have to take control of a country of 250,000 square miles and 33 million people in order to catch a terrorist leader. (Especially when it is taken for granted that he is in Pakistan.) You don’t have to take it upon yourself to solve Afghanistan’s internal social problems or to “defeat” (how, no one knows) the Taliban military, political and religious uprising in the country.

I think the American government now has become institutionally a war government, which finds its purpose in waging war against small and troublesome countries and peoples, in the generalized pursuit of running the world for the world’s own good. In this effort, one war is pretty much like another, and every president, to be re-elected, needs one.”

3.  ”

Jamie Rubin, one of the leading Democratic Party hawks, was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Wednesday to discuss Afghanistan policy. Rubin, who served as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s top deputy in the 1990s, was a major figure in shaping and refining Clinton’s “military humanism” doctrine. He was a passionate advocate for war against Iraq, which Clinton waged militarily and economically throughout the 1990s; he was a central player in the US-led NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and, significantly, US support for the Kosovo Liberation Army, which a senior US official, Richard Gelbard, had labeled “without any questions, a terrorist group.”

Rubin is a famed cruise-missile liberal who has seldom seen a war he didn’t like. It is no surprise that he would be hitting the cable shows to support the war in Afghanistan at a time when public opinion is increasingly against US involvement.

Rubin is predictably finding himself on the side of a band of discredited neoconservatives led by William Kristol who have launched a campaign to support the US war in Afghanistan. He is not alone among Democrats. Howard Dean recently got along swimmingly with Newt Gingrich and Chris Wallace on FOX News discussing his support for the war in Afghanistan and the Center for American Progress has issued pro-war reports and done events with neoconservatives. Rubin, who is married to CNN’s Christianne Amanpour, is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International Politics and Public Affairs. Rubin remains an informal advisor to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On Morning Joe, Rubin laid out what can only be described as a crude plan to hypnotize Americans into believing falsehoods about the Afghan war.

In other words, do what the Bush folks did with their carnival of ever-evolving justifications for these wars. Moreover, Rubin never did mention what “mission” he believes “we can achieve.”

4.  If being a CIA employee didn’t require someon eto lie for a living, maybe we never would have gotten into Vietnam, where we killed 3.4 million people:

By exaggerating the Soviet menace, these hardliners manipulated the American people into allowing vast sums of taxpayers’ money to flow into the military-industrial complex.

A recently declassified study on Soviet intentions during the Cold War identifies significant failures in U.S. intelligence analysis on Soviet military intentions and demonstrates the constant exaggeration of the Soviet threat.

It demonstrates the consistent U.S. exaggeration of Soviet “aggressiveness” and the failure to recognize Soviet fears of a U.S. first strike. The study begs serious questions about current U.S. exaggeration of “threats” emanating from Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan.

The exaggeration of the Soviet threat in the 1980s led to an additional trillion and a half dollars in defense spending against a Soviet Union that was in decline and a Soviet military threat that was disappearing.

It is time to recognize the great harm that was done to the intelligence community and the CIA with the politicization of intelligence in the 1980s as well as the militarization of intelligence over the past twenty years.

If we don’t reform the intelligence process and create a genuinely independent intelligence capability there will continue to be threat exaggerations that cost us greatly in blood and treasure over the next 10 years.”

5.  “Congressman Grayson: Fed Secretly “Stuffed” $500 Billion into “Foreign Private Pockets” and Gave $230 Billion to Citi “As a Secret Bailout”

Just a few weeks ago, while Chairman Bernanke was testifying to Congress, we examined the Fed balance sheet and P&L statement only to find what looked like the Fed handing over half a trillion dollars to foreigners. This was very surprising! When I asked Chairman Bernanke if this was true, he said, “Yes.” When I asked him who got the money, he said, “Fourteen foreign Central Banks.” And when I asked to who did they give the money, he said, “I don’t know.” “I don’t know” is not good enough when you’re talking about $500 billion. That’s $1700 for every man, woman, and child in this country…”

6.  What a surprise they killed him, just before he went public:

“Corporate Control over the Electronic Ballot Booth

Merger of ES&S with Diebold: A dangerous monopoly?

The recent announcement of the pending merger of Election Systems & Software (ES&S) of Omaha, Nebraska with Diebold/Premier has raised warning flags that a monopoly in vote counting will be the inevitable result. See the maps attached here for the coverage of the new ES&S.

Suspicions of rigged ballot-counting via manipulation of computer-transmitted data reached a fever pitch one year ago with the affidavit filed in federal court by Stephen Spoonamore, a business associate of Mike Connell, the leading Republican Party specialist in IT and web development.  Spoonamore’s affidavit was explosive, because the whistleblower revealed that Mike Connell had informed him that radical Republican operatives could have manipulated the results of elections including the presidential election of 2004 and the general election of 2006.  An attorney sent a letter to then Attorney General Michael Mukasey that stated:

“We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, that if he does not agree to “take the fall” for election fraud in Ohio, his wife Heather will be prosecuted for supposed lobby law violations.”
Mike Connell died on December 19, 2008 while piloting his small airplane near the Akron airport.

The nature and circumstanced of Connell’s death raised suspicions about the entire controversy swirling around him at the time of his fatal air crash.”

7.  ”

Earlier this week, I wrote about how the Fox-News/Glenn-Beck/Rush-Limbaugh leadership trains its protesting followers to focus the vast bulk of their resentment and anxieties on largely powerless and downtrodden factions, while ignoring, and even revering, the outright pillaging by virtually omnipotent corporate interests that own and control their Government (and, not coincidentally, Fox News).  It’s hard to imagine a more perfectly illustrative example of all of that than the hysterical furor over ACORN.

If one were to watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh — as millions do — one would believe that the burden of the ordinary American taxpayer, and the unfair plight of America’s rich, is that their money is being stolen by the poorest and most powerless sectors of the society.

John Cole highlights what might be the most telling aspect of all of this:  demands for a “Special Prosecutor” into Obama’s so-called “relationship with ACORN” from the very same circles that vehemently objected to investigations into torture, illegal government spying, politicized prosecutions, military contractor theft, Lewis Libby’s obstruction of justice, and virtually every other instance of Bush-era act of criminality.  Those, of course, are the very same people who, before that, demanded endless inquiries into Whitewater and Vince Foster’s murder.

But look at who the lead supporters are:  Rush Limbaugh, the Murdoch-owned Fox News, Glenn Beck, the right-wing blogosphere and talk radio generally, business groups led by Dick Armey.  Does anyone actually believe that was motivates them is concern over the excessive, corrupting influence of Wall Street and large corporations in government?  Please.  They are pure GOP partisans who are exploiting citizen anger to undermine Democratic politicians in order to return the GOP to political power.  It’s nothing more noble or profound than that.  In fact, many of the movement leaders are among the most vocal advocates for unfettered corporate power. ”

8.  Politicians are like CIA employees – they lie for a living, and people die as a result:

Democrats Now Comprise Majority of ‘Most Corrupt in Congress’ List

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