Thursday, February 15, 2007

Photo: An Iraqi policeman watches a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter leaving an Iraqi Police base southeast of Baghdad, February 14, 2007. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (IRAQ)
Bring 'em on: Task Force Lightning Soldiers were attacked while conducting combat operations in Diyala Province Feb. 14. Three Task Force Lightning Soldiers were killed as a result of injuries sustained following explosions near their vehicles. A fourth Soldier later died of wounds at a Coalition medical facility. Two other Soldiers were wounded and taken to a Coalition medical facility for treatment. (CENTCOM)
Bring 'em on: A Marine assigned to Multi-National Force-West was killed Wednesday while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province. (MNF - Iraq)
A mortar attack struck near the heavily fortified Green Zone and the U.S. Embassy said two people were injured, including an American contractor. The mortar shells landed near an entrance to the vast complex that houses the U.S. and British embassies, as well as Iraqi government offices. U.S. Embassy spokesman Lou Fintor said preliminary reports indicated that two people, including an American contractor, were injured and nobody was killed in an incident at about 6:45 a.m. outside the Green Zone. He declined to give more details.
Fintor also confirmed that an Iraqi employee of the U.S. Embassy had been killed Wednesday outside the Green Zone in what he called a tragic act of random violence.
A car bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol wounded a soldier near al-Shurta tunnel in western Baghdad, police said
The Iraqi army killed two insurgents and wounded 33 others during the last 24 hours in different parts of Iraq, the Defence Ministry said
On Wednesday, only five bodies were found in Baghdad, an extremely low number by the capital's gruesome standards and an indication that supposed Shiite death squads had their hands full dealing with the crackdown.
Two parked car bombs struck Dora near a major intersection with a highway leading to Shiite areas in southern Iraq, killing at least four civilians and wounding 15, police said. The blasts occurred about 80 yards from an Iraqi checkpoint on the southern edge of the district as patrols were passing, but no Iraqi forces were reported killed or wounded
A car packed with explosives targeted an Iraqi army patrol in the district of Jamiaa in western Baghdad, wounding two soldiers
Clashes erupted in another volatile Sunni area, leading to the detention of four suspects, police said.
A joint Iraqi and US military force stormed a Shiite mosque in northern Baghdad. During the raid on the Bratha mosque, money, weapons, computers and mobile phones were seized, witnesses said. Parliament member Jalal al-Din al-Saghir is the imam of the mosque, one of the oldest Shiite mosques in Baghdad.
At least two people were killed and more than five others wounded when a homemade bomb detonated inside a mini-van in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, an Interior Ministry source said on Thursday. "A homemade bomb went off at about 4:15 p.m. (1315 GMT) inside a mini-van near a busy popular market in Sadr City neighborhood, killing at least two people and wounding five others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
A booby-trapped car exploded killing seven civilians and injuring 17 others in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad.
Diyala prv:
A total of six people, including three policemen, were killed in four attacks in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad.
Unknown gunmen shot and killed a major tribal chief on the highway near Kut
, a police source said. "Unknown gunmen in a car shot and killed today sheikh Abdul-Razzaq al-Farhood, chief of Quraish tribe in Wassit province, while driving his private car on the highway near Kut," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq.
One Iraqi was killed and two British soldiers were hurt during an armed attack on British forces in dowtown Basra, British armed forces stationed in southern Iraq said on Thursday. British military Spokeswoman said one of the two injured soldiers was severely wounded when an armed group attacked a British force at one of the checkpoints in the city.
Earlier, the British Spokeswoman said British forces were also attacked by unknown gunmen using RBG's and light weapons.
Five children were killed when a mortar shell hit a house near to Tikrit University, a police source said. "Five children, between 4 and 12 years, were playing in their house backyard when a mortar shell hit their house in al-Qadissiyah neighborhood north of Tikrit", the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). "All of them were killed on the spot", the source noted. The destroyed house hosts displaced families, who fled their homes in Baghdad due to sectarian violence, he added.
A roadside bomb hit a police patrol, killing a policeman in the northern city of Mosul
, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.
Gunmen killed a policeman in the city of Mosul, police said.
A roadside bomb killed two people and wounded a third when it exploded next to their car near the city of Kirkuk.
Iraqi troops have killed nine gunmen and injured 15 others as they repelled an attack by around 150 fighters in Hawijah, an Iraqi commander said. Amin said attackers used mortars and car bombs in their fight with Iraqi army troops, policemen and US forces, but were repelled following a fierce battle in the town west of Kirkuk Thursday.
Shortly after the attack, fierce clashes were also reported elsewhere in the town, when gunmen attacked several police and army checkpoints with small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades, Hammad said. The clashes resulted in the killing of a gunman and two of the attackers' vehicles were destroyed, he added.
Since Wednesday, passes by combat aircraft have intensified in Baghdad, with fighter jets racing at low altitude along paths that criss-cross the Iraqi capital. Three pairs of US Apache attack helicopters circled above the districts of Rusafa and Sadr City in eastern Baghdad around midday (0900 GMT) and numerous detonations were heard in the southeast of the capital. An Iraqi defence source said operations were underway in northern, eastern and southern districts, including the predominantly Sunni area of Dura and the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City. Iraqi and US troops had not met resistence, the source added, while streets in Saduun, central Baghdad, were deserted.
An adviser to Iraq's prime minister said that radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is in Iran, but denied he fled due to fear of arrest during an escalating security crackdown. Sami al-Askari said al-Sadr traveled to Iran by land "a few days ago," but gave no further details on how long he would stay. A member of al-Sadr's bloc in parliament, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals, said he left three weeks ago. (...)
Another lawmaker loyal to al-Sadr, Saleh al-Ukaili, insisted that al-Sadr is in Iraq and claimed the accounts of his departure were part of a "campaign by the U.S. military" to track down the elusive cleric.
U.S. and Iraqi forces have increased pressure on backers of the anti-American cleric and other militants in a major security operation that began in force this week. Conflicting reports on al-Sadr's whereabouts have been exchanged for days.
In Iran, there was no word from the government or media on al-Sadr's whereabouts. The brother of the cleric regarded as al-Sadr's spiritual mentor, Grand Ayatollah Kazem al-Hosseini al-Haeri, said he did not know if the Iraqi leader had crossed the border.
"We have had no contact with him for a long time," said Mohammad Hossein Haeri, speaking on the phone from the Iranian holy city of Qom. There has reportedly been friction between al-Haeri and al-Sadr in recent years.
The chief U.S. military spokesman, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, said al-Sadr "is not in the country" and that "all indications are, in fact, that he is in Iran." Caldwell said U.S. authorities have been tracking al-Sadr's movements for months. He would not speculate on whether al-Sadr fled to escape the crackdown.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki denied the existence of a judicial order out for arrest of Muqtada al-Sadr in the Baghdad security plan, that began yesterday. He referred to reports that Sadr has gone to Iran "illogical".
Maliki said "There is no order for the arrest of Sayid Muqtada al-Sadr at the present time in relation with the Baghdad security plan".
In a press conference in front of the Karbala Province administrative building, Maliki also referred to reports that Sadr has gone to Iran "illogical," saying the story was "unrealistic" and "couldn't be accepted."
The U.S. government is at risk of squandering significantly more money in an Iraq war and reconstruction effort that has already wasted or otherwise overcharged taxpayers billions of dollars, federal investigators said Thursday. (...)
The three top auditors overseeing contract work in Iraq told a House committee of $10 billion in spending that was wasteful or poorly tracked. They pointed to numerous instances in which Defense and State department officials condoned or otherwise allowed poor accounting, repeated work delays, bloated expenses and payments for work shoddily or never done by U.S. contractors.
That problem could worsen, the Government Accountability Office said, given limited improvement so far by the Department of Defense even as the Bush administration prepares to boost the U.S. presence in Iraq.
Pre-war plans for the US invasion of Iraq assumed that only 5,000 US troops would be left in the country by the end of 2006, disclosed military briefing slides disclosed show.
Prepared by the US Central Command in August 2002, the briefing slides set forth a series of other assumptions about post invasion Iraq that also turned out to be wildly off the mark.
Planners believed a credible provisional government would be in place by "D-Day;" that a co-opted Iraqi army would not fight and that the US invasion force would number 383,000 troops.
A slide titled "Phase IV - Notional Ground Force Composition" showed US force levels declining steadily from 270,000 to just 5,000 within 45 months of the invasion phase, as Iraq proceeded from "stabilization" to "recovery" to "transition."
None of those things happened, in part because the war plan changed in the months before the March 2003 invasion but also because the military failed to anticipate and plan for the bitter insurgency that arose months later.
Egyptian newspaper almesryoon reported that a call issued by the lawyer of the so called "Zarqawi's successor" = "Abu Ayoub Al-Masri", for his release from prison after he has been detained since ten years.
The US claim that he is the one who took the leadership of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Sharif Haza'a, is in hunger strike since June last year after he was transferred to a new prison and kept in isolation, Egyptian authorities denied him from meeting his family and visitors.
His lawyer still insists that Haza'a never traveled to Iraq in his life, had nothing to do with "Al-Qaeda" and never met Ayman al-Zawahiri or any leadership b Al Qaeda.
Linda J. Bilmes, a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University, calls her latest paper "pretty dry."
That hasn't prevented it from riling high-ranking Pentagon officials - who called her and her dean to complain about her work.
When they questioned her sources of material, they ran into a bit of a problem: She did most of her research with data on federal Web sites.
So what did the Pentagon do? It changed the Web sites, and now continues to trash her research.
The story begins with a paper Bilmes wrote last year with Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor and Nobel laureate in economics. In their study, they found that the Bush administration has seriously underestimated the economic costs of the war in Iraq.
After the study was publicized, Bilmes was approached by some experts on veterans' benefits who said that one cost of the war hadn't received enough attention in their work (or from the government): the costs of caring for veterans injured in the conflict.
And that's the question that led Bilmes to prepare a 21-page study that she presented this month in Chicago at the Allied Social Sciences Association meeting. The presentation of "Soldiers Returning From Iraq and Afghanistan: The Long-Term Costs of Providing Veterans Medical Care and Disability Benefits" went off without controversy and might have escaped Pentagon notice.
But Bilmes also published an op-ed version of her findings in the Los Angeles Times. The Pentagon did notice that piece.
What set off the Pentagon was Bilmes' estimate for the current number of injured of 50,500.
William Winkenwender Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, called the Los Angeles Times, Bilmes, and David T. Ellwood - dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government - to complain that the real figure is less than half that - just over 22,000.
When Bilmes was asked where she got her data, she pointed out that it came from the Department of Veterans Affairs, which in turn gets its data from the Pentagon.
The Pentagon investigated further and found that the VA "misunderstood" the Pentagon's reports, according to Cynthia Smith, a Department of Defense spokeswoman.
She acknowledged that the VA had been using numbers consistent with what Bilmes reported, but said that once the Pentagon explained "the error," the Veterans Affairs department changed its Web site so its injury numbers are consistent with those of the Pentagon.
Why the misunderstanding and the "error"?
The original figures from Veterans Affairs were for "non-mortal" injuries. But that doesn't include only those who are shot at in combat. That includes people who get sick, people who are in accidents and so forth - a group of people that is as large as those injured in combat.
The Pentagon doesn't want those people counted.
read in full...
On both sides of the Atlantic, a process of spinning science is preventing a serious discussion about the state of affairs in Iraq.
The government in Iraq claimed last month that since the 2003 invasion between 40,000 and 50,000 violent deaths have occurred. Few have pointed out the absurdity of this statement. (...)
Several other estimates have placed the death toll far higher than the Iraqi government estimates, but those have received less press attention. When in 2005, a UN survey reported that 90 per cent of violent attacks in Scotland were not recorded by the police, no one, not even the police, disputed this finding.
Representative surveys are the next best thing to a census for counting deaths, and nowhere but Iraq have partial tallies from morgues and hospitals been given such credence when representative survey results are available.
The Pentagon will not release information about deaths induced or amounts of weaponry used in Iraq. On 9 January of this year, the embedded Fox News reporter Brit Hume went along for an air attack, and we learned that at least 25 targets were bombed that day with almost no reports of the damage appearing in the press.
Saddam Hussein's surveillance network, which only captured one third of all deaths before the invasion, has certainly deteriorated even further. During last July, there were numerous televised clashes in Anbar, yet the system recorded exactly zero violent deaths from the province. The last Minister of Health to honestly assess the surveillance network, Dr Ala'din Alwan, admitted that it was not reporting from most of the country by August 2004. He was sacked months later after, among other things, reports appeared based on the limited government data suggesting that most violent deaths were associated with coalition forces.
The consequences of downplaying the number of deaths in Iraq are profound for both the UK and the US. How can the Americans have a surge of troops to secure the population and promise success when the coalition cannot measure the level of security to within a factor of 10? How can the US and Britain pretend they understand the level of resentment in Iraq if they are not sure if, on average, one in 80 families have lost a household member, or one in seven, as our study suggests?
If these two countries have triggered an episode more deadly than the Rwandan genocide, and have actively worked to mask this fact, how will they credibly be able to criticise Sudan or Zimbabwe or the next government that kills thousands of its own people?
read in full...
Sami Moubayed, Asia Times Onlune: MUQTADA: HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE
Muqtada's supporters have denied that he has left the country, and it is possible that the whole episode is a public relations stunt on the part of both Maliki and Muqtada.
Muqtada is not the kind of person to walk out on a battle. And Maliki cannot survive without him. Maliki lacks the charisma, the legitimacy, the religious standing, the patronage system, the youth following and the money.
It is unclear, however, whether the United States is involved in a "Muqtada disappearance" conspiracy. The US is clearly not fond of the cleric, as he has led two insurgencies against US forces and declares that his prime objective is to drive them out of Iraq. The US, however, wants Maliki in power. If the Americans were involved, it would be to give Maliki some credibility and to show the world that contrary to what everybody says, he is not a puppet of the Sadrists, nor is he dependent on Muqtada for survival.
Muqtada and Maliki have become dangerously too close, and while this might be useful in domestic Iraqi politics, it harms Maliki in the international community, and in the eyes of Iraq's Sunni neighbors.
Muqtada's disappearance - or distancing - from the scene would bolster the image of the premier, showing him as a serious man who has the ability to bring even the strongest of men, like Muqtada, to his knees: a "triumph" for Maliki and the Bush administration.
Another argument says that the US was not consulted over the Muqtada-Maliki bluff and was led to believe that the young rebel is in hiding. Again, this would reaffirm the United States' confidence in Maliki.
One also has to ask why Muqtada would go to Iran. He is not an ally of the Iranians, nor is he fond of their meddling in Iraqi affairs. His supporters stormed the Iranian Consulate in Basra last summer, downing the Iranian flag and replacing it with the Iraqi one, showing just how distant Muqtada is from Tehran.
Last year, Muqtada voted against Adel Abdul-Mehdi, the Iran-backed candidate for the premiership, during Shi'ite elections, to prevent Iran from gaining more influence in Iraqi affairs.
Muqtada and his influential father before him were very proud of never having fled Iraq, even during the harshest years of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. They paid the price for refusing to leave: Muqtada's father was killed on Saddam's orders in 1999. If they did not leave under Saddam, it is very unlikely Muqtada would leave under the Americans.
Muqtada has ridiculed Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim for fleeing to Iran during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s and accepted shelter from the Iranian regime, coloring him forever, in his eyes, as an Iranian stooge. Muqtada has worked hard to maintain his image as an independent and surely it would be political suicide for him to backtrack now.
read in full...
Is the high command of the US military breaking ranks with the Bush Regime?
With the "mainstream media," that is, the government's propaganda ministry, bombarding the American public with "news reports" from unidentified sources that the US government has proof that "the highest reaches of the Iranian government" is supplying weapons to the Iraqi insurgency, Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, demurred.
General Pace told the Voice of America on February 12 that he has no information indicating that Iran's government is supplying weapons to the Iraqi insurgency.
General Pace said that "Iranians are involved," but "what I would not say is that the Iranian government, per se, knows about this . . . I would not say by what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit."
Unlike the New York Times, Fox "news," CNN, and the TV networks, General Pace refused to lie for the Bush Regime.
Perhaps America could regain its reputation if General Pace would send a division of US Marines to arrest Bush, Cheney, the entire civilian contingent in the Pentagon, the neoconservative nazis, and the complicit members of Congress and send them off to the Hague to be tried for war crimes.
But he did the best he could and refused to lie for warmongers.
read in full...
The bombing of the Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra is the cornerstone of Bush's psychological operations (psy-ops) in Iraq. That's why it is critical to have an independent investigation and discover who is really responsible. The bombing has been used as a "Pearl Harbor-type" event which has deflected responsibility for the 650,000 Iraqi casualties and more than 3 million refugees. These are the victims of American occupation not civil war.
The bombing was concocted by men who believe that they can control the public through perception management. In practical terms, this means that they create events which can be used to support their far-right doctrine. In this case, the destruction of the mosque has been used to confuse the public about the real origins of the rising sectarian tensions and hostilities.
The fighting between Sunni and Shiite is the predictable upshot of random bombings and violence which bears the signature of covert operations carried out by intelligence organizations. Most of the pandemonium in Iraq is the result of counterinsurgency operations (black-ops) on a massive scale not civil war. (…)
Just as 9-11 has been used to justify the enhanced powers of the "unitary" president, the evisceration of civil liberties, and a permanent state of war; so too, the bombing of the Golden Mosque, has been used to create a fictional narrative of deeply ingrained sectarian animosity that has no historical precedent. Both events need to be exposed by thorough and independent investigations.
The Bush administration has consistently abandoned the limitations of "reality-based" politics. They govern through demagoguery, force and deception. This is no different.
9-11 and the Golden Mosque are the foundation blocks in the Pentagon's "Strategic Information" program. It is a war that is directed at the American people and it relies heavily on the power of myth.
read in full...
The [Iraq Study] Group frequently invokes "terrorism" and "democracy." Yet it never defines these spongy terms. (As the bumper sticker puts it, war is terrorism with a bigger budget.)
From its very first paragraph and often thereafter the Group invokes "our interests and values." But it never spells these out. It assumes that of course its readers all understand the code...and share the imperialist dream.
Thanks to their Iraq war-related contracts, the industrial/military complex is laughing all the way to the bank. But the Study Group ignores the profiteering that helps perpetuate the occupation.
Its key message -- its dominating anxiety -- is that, with the U.S. bogged down in Iraq, the U.S. lacks the wherewithal to impose its will elsewhere: "The American military has little reserve force to call on if it needs ground forces to respond to other crises around the world." [p.7] Or again, "First, and most importantly, the United States faces other security dangers in the world, and a continuing Iraqi commitment of ground forces at present levels will leave no reserve available to meet other contingencies." [p.73, italics added]
The Study Group, unlike Mr. Bush, grasps that the Iraq war is killing the goose that lays the golden eggs -- the imperial scheme. With the U.S. now stretched so thin, it can no longer intimidate rivals, other nationalists or anti-imperialists. It's having a harder time extorting its customary highly profitable trade terms. This is true whether in Afghanistan, elsewhere in the Middle East...or in Latin America.
Hugo Chavez and the resurgent populists south of the Rio Grande are surely well aware they owe an enormous debt to the tireless resisters and the bloodied people of Iraq.
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Dear reader,
I'm gonna tell you something that all the Iraqis who pretend they're full of pride and shit don't tell you, every Iraqi who knows what's good for him wants the US military plan to happen - it's a known fact today that while US soldiers do occasionally rape 15-year-olds and add naked photos of our hairy butts to their family albums, they are still infintely more trustworthy than any Iraqi soldier from anywhere. When an American soldier knocks on your door for a search, you go 'oh thank god' but when Iraqis do the same, you are instantly on your toes. Forget about all those Iraqis and Arab bloggers who live outside or have never been in there recently, they don't know what it is like - Iraq is dead - we are living in a newfound, and very real, age of sect. The intellects and all the other deadbeats like you and me who do nothing but bitch about how Iraq is great and how we had a beautiful country before the war are having a hard time accepting this, but they're going to have to deal with it.
The American forces are the only forces that are to be relied upon in Iraq, as sloppy and careless as they are, because they don't have anything personal against Abu Haneefa or Musa al-Kadhim, I may have comitted national blasphemy by saying this, but it's 100% better to be honest than a nationalist hypocritical asswipe like most Arabs and Iraqis are. First step towards healing is diagnosis. I really hope they completely remove Sadr City and Adhamiya from the map.
read in full...
Judging from Al-Hayat's news from Washington, there appears to be an important difference between two sides of new Iraq security plan, as far as the Americans are concerned, one focused directly on Baghdad security, and the other having to do with tracking down and publicizing anything that could be described as part of a arms-network traceable to Iran. (...)
It would appear from the above comments that what you could call the "Iran-connections operation" is distinct from the "Baghdad-security operation", and that is exactly what senior cleric and SCIRI politician Jalaladdin al-Saghir said after his mosque-office in Baghdad was raided by US forces yesterday. Saghir told the Al-Hayat reporter:
The forces that raided the mosque yesterday were from US intelligence, and they were looking for personal correspondence...This wasn't part of the [Baghdad] security plan, and they weren't looking for weapons. Rather it was part of the hidden agenda [literally, the implicitly-directed agenda] relating to Tehran".
I think an understanding of the distinction between the two operations (Baghdad security and Iran-connections) can be a help in sorting out likely misinformation. For instance, there is the vast US-sourced rumor-mill about Sadr having fled to Iran. But the point, quite likely, is that to show any connection between the two operations, there is a need to paint Sadr, illogically and un-historically, as somehow Iranian. What better way than to say he is hiding there?
read in full...
Left I on the News: MORE HARD(LY) EVIDENCE
In an article on yesterday's George Bush press conference, McClatchy (formerly Knight-Ridder) reporters Ron Hutcheson and Margaret Talev make the following assertion:
Bush outlined the circumstantial evidence against Iran at a White House news conference dominated by questions on Iraq.
The claim that Bush "outlined the circumstantial evidence against Iran" is absolute nonsense, but serves as one more contribution from the corporate media towards persuading the American public that there is such evidence to begin with. Bush did not offer a single piece of "evidence" on the subject, either in the speech which started the press conference nor in any of his answers. What he did do was to repeat, on six different occasions with slight variations of wording, this: "What we do know is that the Quds force was instrumental in providing these deadly IEDs to networks inside of Iraq." But that's not "evidence," even circumstantial evidence, it's simply an unsupported accusation and nothing more.
For the record, the second half of the McClatchy claim is flat-out wrong as well -- of the questions asked at the news conference, six were about Iraq, nine about Iran, and four about other subjects. If anything, the news conference was dominated by questions about Iran, not Iraq.
Bush may be dumb, but what he and his advisers who tell him what to say accomplished in this press conference was quite a sophisticated shell game. As noted, Bush asserted "with certainty" six times that the Quds force, "a part of the Iranian government," was supplying IEDs to Iraq, but claimed (again, several times) that "What we don't know is whether or not the head leaders of Iran ordered the Quds force to do what they did." Watching the subsequent coverage on TV, this shell game was completely successful is shifting the debate from whether weapons were being supplied by Iran, which was taken as simple fact, to the almost irrelevant (given the "Bush doctrine") question of who exactly initiated the effort.
Needless to say, the concept that Iran has as much right to provide weapons to forces in Iraq as do the Americans, or the question of American provision of support and perhaps even weapons to groups inside Iran, didn't come up.
Update: For comparison, here's the Prensa Latina lead on this story, which is headlined "Bush Shakes Finger at Iran Again":
US President George W. Bush again accused Iran of supplying weapons to Iraqi resistance, in spite of total absence of proof.
Someday, you are going to read a whole lot about the shenanigans of one Douglas J. Feith and an elaborate scheme to get the United States to invade Iraq. That is because Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., has been determined to get to the bottom of this sordid tale and is now, fortunately, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee and thereby empowered to get at the truth.
Last week, his focus led to the partial declassification of a report produced by the Pentagon’s inspector general. Although its shocking revelations did not get the coverage they deserved—what with a jealous astronaut under arrest and the death of a certain voluptuous stripper/heiress—efforts such as Levin’s eventually will uncover the full picture of why President Bush committed to a war costing tens of thousands of lives and an expected $1 trillion that served no valid national security purpose.
The tale begins with Feith, who was appointed undersecretary of defense for policy in the Pentagon by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after Bush was installed in the White House in 2000 by the Supreme Court. Feith’s office manufactured an “Alternative Analysis on the Iraq-Al Qaeda Relationship,” which ignored the consensus of the intelligence community that the two natural enemies—one a secular Arab government, the other a fundamentalist terror group bent on destruction of same—were not, nor ever had been, working together, despite a shared enmity for the United States.
read in full…
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Surveying U.S. history, one is hard-pressed to find presidential decisions as monumentally ill-informed and counterproductive as the decision to invade and occupy Iraq; however, a decision to go to war against Iran would arguably surpass the Iraq war as the worst foreign policy decision ever made by an American president." -- A. Richard Norton, professor of international relations at Boston University, an adviser to the Iraq Study Group, quoted in "Hell-Bent on War" by Justin Raymondo


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