Monday, August 15, 2005

Leiter Reports: Why the Right Can't Tolerate Cindy Sheehan

Leiter Reports: Why the Right Can't Tolerate Cindy Sheehan

Now They're moving the Goalpost

Informed Comment

Perjury, Obstruction of Justice and Financing the 9/11 Attacks: Have Leading Figures in the Bush Administration Really Been Indicted?

Perjury, Obstruction of Justice and Financing the 9/11 Attacks: Have Leading Figures in the Bush Administration Really Been Indicted?

Blogger Comment: Great Summary of the Flocco / Heneghan Info

Disinformation :: Hiroshima Now

Disinformation :: Hiroshima Now

Blogger Comment: This probably takes an investment in time to dissect. Looks like some of it is clueless about 09/11/2001.

Is That Legal?: Be Vewwy Vewwy Quiet. They'we Hunting Witches.

Is That Legal?: Be Vewwy Vewwy Quiet. They'we Hunting Witches.

Blogger Thoughts: This is priceless.]

Over at Volokh, some just don't seem to know when to leave well enough alone.
First Eugene called for people to compile a handy-dandy little list of "Western commentators who defend the Iraqi insurgents, or at least justify their actions as being a supposed campaign for self-determination, allegedly justifiable rage at Western misbehavior, and so on."
Nobody could really name anyone other than Michael Moore.
Orin Kerr then suggested, ever so delicately, that Eugene's call for a list of insurgency supporters "might be generating more heat than light," and offered a template to explain why. (The template is helpful, but to my eye doesn't fully capture the most important point, which is that there's a big difference between saying you understand why some people in Iraq might be fighting to rid the country of an American occupying force and saying that you hope they succeed or that their tactics are justified. Eugene's post completely elides this crucial difference between perceiving or understanding something, on the one hand, and justifying it.)
But Orin's peacemaking efforts were in vain, because now David Kopel steps in, picks up the grenade Eugene tossed, and throws it a good bit further. Apparently frustrated that the search for "respectable" (that's David's word) Western insurgency-lovers was coming up dry, David does a search on Yahoo and adds several names: James Petras, an emeritus sociology professor from SUNY-Binghamton, the Indian novelist Arundhati Roy, comedian and radio personality Janeane Garofalo, and Virginia Rodino, who was apparently a Green Party congressional candidate in the 2004 election.
And, says David, they're just the tip of the traitorous iceberg: "This is obviously not a comprehensive list," he says, "just what was easy to find in a few minutes."
(Just a sec ... I want to jump over to Yahoo to compile a list of ball players who have hit more than 700 home runs. Let's see ... Hank Aaron. Ummm, Babe Ruth. Uhh .... Barry Bonds. OK, I'll stop there in the interest of time, but obviously, that's not a comprehensive list. It's just what was easy to find in a few minutes.)
If you follow David's links, you discover that Arundhati Roy supports not the violent Iraqi insurgency, but "a pristine Iraqi resistance [that] must conduct [a] secular, feminist, democratic, nonviolent battle." But Eugene was looking for Western commentators (query: is an Indian novelist a "Western" commentator?) "who defend the Iraqi insurgents, or at least justify their actions as being a supposed campaign for self-determination, allegedly justifiable rage at Western misbehavior, and so on." Roy doesn't even come close to fitting Eugene's profile.
You also discover that David's evidence for Janeane Garofalo's supposedly treasonous defense of the Iraqi insurgency is the following hearsay recollection of a person whose name I can't even find:
"As Janeane Garofalo and I talked about on Air America last week, it’s a fairly simple thought experiment: It’s 2030. The Chinese and Russians team up and invade the U.S. after manufacturing a non-existant threat. Would you be a collaborator or would you fight back, Red Dawn style?"Notice that from this source we don't even know what Garofalo said; we know only that she "talked about" that "thought experiment."
This, folks, is turning into a witch hunt.
(For what it's worth, I'll give David this James Petras character and the Green Party candidate who scored a whopping two percent of the vote in her congressional race to represent the City of Baltimore, though it's hard for me to believe that a retired SUNY sociologist and a fringe congressional candidate are who OpinionJournal had in mind in the piece that Eugene quoted.)
Posted by Eric at August 14, 2005 05:43 PM
For those who want a link to original thread at Volokh instead of a link to CNN's election news, here's a permalink:
I seem to remember a house represenative or two from the Northeast suggesting that the iraqi 'resistance' was was in the moral right, but strangely enough there's nothing on it outside of a couple blogs that actually pay attention to the House... strange, eh?
Posted by: blueeyes at August 14, 2005 10:21 PM
Not that it really matters, but actually only three MLB players have ever hit 700 plus homers: Ruth, Aaron, and Bonds. A Japanese player, Oh, hit over 700, as did, I think, Negro League player Josh Gibson.
I find the choice of the term "witch hunt" to be ironic, considering that his (Volokh's) past defense of torture is perhaps most effectively challenged by a close (or even cursory) look at the history of witch hunting and persecution in early modern Europe.
Posted by: Glen Bowman at August 15, 2005 12:03 AM
That was my point, Glenn. (About the home run hitters, that is.)
Posted by: Eric at August 15, 2005 07:15 AM
I left this at that "v" place:
'Good and honest' Iraqis fighting US forcesBy Phil Sands, Staff ReporterPublished: 9/6/2005, 06:25 (UAE)LinkTikritA senior US military chief has admitted "good, honest" Iraqis are fighting American forces.Major General Joseph Taluto said he could understand why some ordinary people would take up arms against the US military because "they're offended by our presence".In an interview with Gulf News, he said: "If a good, honest person feels having all these Humvees driving on the road, having us moving people out of the way, having us patrol the streets, having car bombs going off, you can understand how they could [want to fight us]."General Taluto also admitted he did not know how many insurgents there were. "I stay away from numbers how can I quantify this? We can make estimates by doing some kind of guesswork," he said.He added: "Who knows how big these networks are, or how widespread? I know it's substantial enough to be a threat to the government and it will be for some time."
Posted by: Steve J. at August 15, 2005 08:27 AM
Why are you taking seriously anything posted by a man who advocated following Iran's example and publicly torturing condemned criminals before they are executed?
Oh, excuse me, rightwingers remind me that Volokh only meant that for the most egregious cases, like serial murderers. That is, until he gets bored and decides that pre-execution torture/dismemberment should be extended to those convicted of manslaughter or rape or shoplifting from a Republican-owned supermarket.
Posted by: tristero at August 15, 2005 09:23 AM
"This James Petras character?"
Petras studied imperialism and the resistance to imperialism, subjects that tend to put one in a more or less irritable mode regarding the American escapade.
But Bloggers be oh so very important! And their debates be so very significant. Ignorance never stop bloggers. Heck, faced with no knowledge, just make shit up.
This post ain't much less wanking than the V gang.
Posted by: DeWayne at August 15, 2005 09:32 AM
Post a comment

Jack Kelly: Able Danger -- now they tell us

Jack Kelly: Able Danger -- now they tell us

Comment: What!, The 09/11/2001 Commission didn't have a complete wrapup of the case?

The Rest Of The 911 Flight 93 Story (Jon Carlson)

The Rest Of The 911 Flight 93 Story

Blogger Comment: Interesting Info...

pointe du petit minou

pointe du petit minou
Originally uploaded by heavenuphere.

Vague Nihilism: Same Shit, Different Democrats.

Vague Nihilism: Same Shit, Different Democrats.

Humint Events Online: The Newly Released 9/11 Witness Reports

Humint Events Online: The Newly Released 9/11 Witness Reports

Blogger Comment: Must Read!

Humint Events Online: How Mainstream Liberals Have Rationalized the "Able Danger" Story

Humint Events Online: How Mainstream Liberals Have Rationalized the "Able Danger" Story

Blogger Comment: Well Said....

Culture of Life News Guest Blog (What you have to do to get investigated the the SS)

Culture of Life News Guest Blog

From the linked entry:
"Readers of the comments sections here know that one of our reader/commentators here, Noel, was visited by a trio of Secret Service gents..."

Deadly tale of incompetence [Able Danger/911 Commission]

Deadly tale of incompetence [Able Danger/911 Commission]

Blogger comments: Yep, that incompetence is a bear. (NOT!!!!)

WTC7 collapse foreknowledge on FDNY tapes

TOTAL 911 INFO: "WTC 9/11 witness Angie on 911 via 911 Inside-Jobbers breaks down FDNY transcripts: "

WTC 9/11 witness Angie on 911 via 911 Inside-Jobbers breaks down FDNY transcripts:
FIREFIGHTER SCOTT HOLOWACHA. Yes, Stuyvesant High School, until they figured out, I guess, there was no gas leak or no secondary bomb. Or no bomb. I guess they put the PD in there to search it. They moved us back south. We ended up back up on Vesey Street and West Street and just hanging out until tower 7 came down.After tower 7 came down, we went right to work over at tower 7 to put the fires out. That's here we stayed until we were relieved.Q. Did you see a lot of civilians coming out owards you away by the water on West Street?A. There wasn't much civilians at the water, no, no.----------------------------------------------------------------LIEUTENANT WILLIAM RYANI remember Chief Hayden saying to me, "We have a six-story building over there, a seven-story building, fully involved." At that time he said, "7 has got fire on several floors." He said, "We've got a ten-story over there, another ten-story over there, a six-story over there, a 13-story over there." He just looked at me and said, "Fuck 'em all. Let 'em burn." He said, "Just tell the guys to keep looking for guys. Just keep looking for the brothers. We've got people trapped. We've got to get them out.". . .Then we found out, I guess around 3:00 o'clock, that they thought 7 was going to collapse.So, of course, we've got guys all in this pile over here and the main concern was get everybody out, and I guess it took us over an hour and a half, two hours to get everybody out of there.Q. Initially when you were there, you had said you heard a few Maydays?A. Oh, yes. We had Maydays like crazy.Q. You were getting radio transmissions?A. There were people talking. The guys I've talked to that were with us heard voices and were shouting to people. We had heard pass alarms, but then we didn't hear voices, no more pass alarms. The heat. . . So it took us a while and we ended up backing everybody out, and that's when 7 collapsed. Then, basically, after 7 collapsed, I went over and told the Chief that -- by then they had companies with handie-talkies, masks. You've got to remember, the first 200 guys went in there with no handie-talkies, no masks, some of them with bunker gear, some without. A lot of guys I recognized. I'm on the job 23 years, so I know a lot of guys, and they were just coming up to me. It was good to see everybody was there trying to do something. Basically, we fell back for 7 to collapse, and then we waited a while and it got a lot more organized, I would guess. By then there was some heavy equipment showing up and the Chiefs took over, and I basically kind of slipped away from the Chiefs because I didn't want to be doing what I was doing anymore. I kind of felt stuck there.. . . Position over here. I went in there to take a leak and I just looked around. I guess when we fell back for 7 to collapse I called her. I found a phone that worked, a landline, and I got through to her. I didn't know the Pentagon got hit. I didn't know. She started telling me all that shit.----------------------------------------------------------FIREFIGHTER FRANK SWEENEYNow the Fire Department is trying to gather the people and make some kind of organization out of it and getting companies together at that time. Once they got us back together and organized somewhat, they sent us back down to Vesey, where we stood and waited for Seven World Trade Center to come down.

Tom Flocco Officially Discredited (text from

Wing TV - Connect The Dots

Blogger Comments:

Now I think I finally see what got miffed at Wingtv, and the the reason that they are associating John Buchanan with From my perspective, this all seems to imply that someone at stewwebb is going off half-cocked. Been guilty of it myself, but it doesn't mean it's still not ugly.

Stew Webb Bush-Millman-Clinton Crime Family Breaking News

Stew Webb Bush-Millman-Clinton Crime Family Breaking News

Blogger Comments: Charge about


David Icke - Tell the Truth!: "DRAGON LADY - Part 2 "

Blog Comment: More details of Skolnick pointing the finger at Hillary (and Bill)
take it for what you will.

Sherman Skolnick's Report (Mary Mahoney)

Sherman Skolnick's Report

Okay, here's the Hillary trist with Mary write-up.

DSL Research: Mary Mahoney [Free Republic]

DSL Research: Mary Mahoney [Free Republic]: "Eric Butera"

Blogger Comment: Wow, now I'm actually using for info....

Too Many Dots

The Rise and Fall of Charles Moose

Too Many Dots

by Jim Rarey

Looking at today’s news, this writer was struck by the reappearance of names of people who have been involved in cover-ups in the recent past. Like Yogi Berra’s aphorism, it’s “deja vu all over again.”

Perhaps the best way to illustrate this is with some snippets from this writer’s articles over the past two years.

One of the most intriguing is the background of FBI agent Bradley Garrett. He was involved in a murder case the authorities considered a “run of the mill” robbery/murder. The people involved in that case would lead one to think it was a high national security case.

From this author’s article, “CHANDRA, JOYCE AND MARY - R.I.P.” of September 16, 2001:

“The murder of Mary Caitrin Mahoney and trial of her alleged killer, while probably not tied to the OKC bombing nevertheless involves an almost unbelievable cast of characters at a time large amounts of illegal campaign finance money were being raised and serious breaches of national security occurred.

Mahoney had landed an internship working in the office of the Secretary of Commerce, Norman Mineta (the Current Transportation Secretary) for Doris Matsui. Matsui is the wife of California Democrat Representative Robert Matsui. However, she had political connections of her own having served as a trustee of the California Economic Advisory Council with Public Official Executive Board members, Gray Davis, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.

Matsui worked closely with John Huang, with the title of deputy assistant to President Clinton. Together they raised over $3 million in campaign funds from Asia and Asian-Americans. $1.2 million had to be returned because it came from corporations and non-citizens.

It was in this time frame that John Huang worked first in the Commerce Department and then transferred to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) but kept his high security clearance. Huang had been attending CIA briefings and then immediately went across the street to the Washington office of Jackson Stephens, the Arkansas broker who was a financial angel of Bill Clinton and placed phone calls to his Chinese handler in the Lippo Group in Indonesia.

Stephens was a partner with James Riady of the Lippo Group in the Worthen bank in Little Rock. The bank was alleged to have been involved in laundering CIA drug money. The bank (and Stephens) were involved (along with the Rose Law firm and partners Hillary Clinton, Web Hubbell and Vince Foster) in the takeover of First American in Washington D.C. by BCCI. Robert Bartlett, the then Editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal said he first starting keeping his eye on the Rose Law firm when he heard of its involvement with BCCI.

And there sat intern Mary Mahoney in the midst of all that activity. The Clinton’s had another reason to keep an eye on her. Mary was an open lesbian and aggressive supporter of gay rights. She had become something of a “den mother” for younger interns who claimed to have suffered sexual harassment at the hands of the president (not including Monica) She had been threatening to do something about it.

Mary also held a part time job as assistant cashier at the local Starbucks coffee shop. In July of 1997, she and two other employees were gunned down around closing time by what police claimed was a robbery although no money was taken. Mahoney was shot five times. One of the shots was to the back of her head gangland execution style.

In March of the following year, FBI agent Bradley Garrett arrested Carl Derek Cooper for the three murders. After 54 hours of questioning by Garrett and another agent, Cooper signed a confession that he immediately repudiated as soon as he got to court. Garrett is currently in charge of the Chandra Levy “missing persons” case and was the lead agent on the Vince Foster death determined to be a “suicide.”

Judge Joyce Hens Green set a trial date for April 10, 1999. This is the point at which the cast of characters becomes bizarre starting with Judge Green who was first appointed as a federal judge by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

In the last year of President Reagan’s second term, Green was appointed to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to serve a non-renewable seven-year term. That court deals exclusively with national security and with international terrorism, and involves approving applications for electronic surveillance. Judges on that court require the highest security clearance available. In 1990, then President George Herbert Walker Bush appointed Green presiding judge of that court and she handled all emergency matters during the remaining five years of her term.

Judge Green also presided over the BCCI trial that had resulted from indictments obtained by New York Assistant District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Morgenthau’s investigation was stopped when the FBI stepped in under the direction of Robert Meuller (currently the new FBI Director) and no further investigation ensued. Judge Green approved plea bargains that resulted in BCCI forfeiting its assets in the United States. Two defendants had been indicted, Roger Altman and Clark Clifford an influential power broker in the Democrat party. The two men had accepted the two top spots in First American after the BCCI takeover but claimed they had no idea BCCI was involved in the nearly nine years they functioned in those capacities. Altman was acquitted and Clifford never stood trial because of ill health.

Back to the Cooper trial. Before the trial even started, a controversy arose when Janet Reno announced she was going to seek the death penalty for Cooper. D.C. officials were furious claiming Reno was overstepping her bounds. The district had never asked for the death penalty in any murder case.

Reno held a hearing on the matter. At that hearing, defense attorney William Martin (not connected with the Cooper case) urged Reno to ask for the death penalty. Yes, that’s the same Billy Martin who represented Monica Lewinski’s mother, Marcia Lewis, and currently represents Chandra Levy’s parents.

To complete the cast, Judge Green then appointed attorney Francis D. Carter to represent Cooper. Carter is the Frank Carter to whom Vernon Jordan took Monica Lewinski. Carter prepared the false affidavit for Monica’s signature, which put her at risk for perjury when she later testified in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case. Monica escaped prosecution when she was granted immunity by independent counsel Ken Starr.

With Carter as his defense counsel, Cooper was convicted despite a weak circumstantial evidence case. There were, of course, no eyewitnesses and Cooper’s fingerprints were not found at the murder scene. During his 54 hours of interrogation, Cooper had consistently denied the crime and volunteered several times to take a lie detector test. Most of the testimony against him was by FBI agent Garrett based on Garrett’s representation of what Cooper had said during the interrogation. The questioning was not recorded or videotaped although another agent took notes.

One wonders at the array of a high-powered Washington judge with ties to the intelligence community and an attorney who barely escaped being disbarred (in another high profile case) in a case claimed to be a routine robbery murder case by a career criminal.”

Garrett’s name has surfaced again as one of the two questioners of Lee Malvo, the alleged teenage sniper. When Malvo was transferred from Maryland to Virginia, he underwent seven hours of interrogation by Garrett and Fairfax County detective June Boyle. Boyle had told Malvo he would get to see the attorney he had requested but first they wanted to ask a few questions about his background as “part of the booking process.” Then followed the seven-hour interrogation.

Garrett has filed “summaries” of Malvo’s answers (which were taped) purporting to confess to some of the shootings. However, it appears Malvo was responding to “hypotheticals “ posed as to what the snipers may have done.

Much of Garrett’s summary has been leaked to the press. Officials have been quoted as saying no harm has been done since the “confessions” will probably be suppressed by the court and “at least the public will know.”

Two more names recently in the news were involved in the investigation of the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen.

From Bojinka – The Dog That Didn’t Bark” of June 18, 2002:
“Surely FBI terrorism expert John O’Neill would have known the details of Bojinka having investigated the 1993 WTC bombing and the plot to blow up 11 airliners. O’Neill’s departure from the FBI was started when he tangled with the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen over the investigation of the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. She banned him from Yemen. O’Neill’s reputation was further stained when his briefcase containing classified documents went missing for several hours when he was called away to the telephone during a conference in Tampa, Florida. As a result of that unexplained incident, he was told he would not get a position in the National Security Agency (NSA) that he believed he had earned.
O’Neill became the Director of Public Safety at the WTC after he resigned and died mysteriously during the 9/11 attack. He had phoned his girlfriend after the first tower was hit to inform her he was safe.”
When O’Neill was bounced from the Cole investigation, the search for the culprits effectively ended. The report of the navy admiral who headed the DOD investigation of the bombing concentrated on recommendations for improvements in security. It did not assess any blame. O’Neill later said he was removed because he was getting too close to foreign dignitaries. He had already had a run in with FBI Director Freeh over the free ride Saudi Arabia was getting in investigation of the bombings of the U.S. embassies.
The U.S. Ambassador to Yemen who squelched the Cole investigation is Barbara Bodine. She was just recently appointed by President Bush as a key player in Iraq’s transitional government. She will effectively be the “Mayor of Baghdad” said one former high-ranking Senate official. She is to administer one of the three sectors in which Iraq will be divided. Hers is the central sector that includes Baghdad.
A Pentagon official who asked not to be identified, according to Washington reporter Jerry Sepe, said “Miss Bodine dismissed warnings of terrorist attacks in Yemen against U.S. ships and allowed the Cole to enter port at a reduced security level because she felt the value of showing a U.S. presence in Yemen outweighed the risks.”
Sege also reports, “FBI executives and agents familiar with the Cole probe said Miss Bodine, as ambassador in Yemen, prevented the bureau from advancing its investigation into the bombing at a time when agents were beginning to focus on the Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden.”
The admiral, that didn’t want to know who bombed the Cole, and was at odds with O’Neill in the investigation, is Harold W. Gehman, Jr. He currently heads the investigation into the Columbia shuttle disaster. He is repeating his Cole “mandate” by only looking at improving methods and procedures and not trying to assess any blame.
We have previously reported on the makeup of the Commission appointed to investigate the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the earlier cover-ups in which many of that body have been involved.
It doesn’t seem to make any difference whether a Republican or Democrat administration is in office, many of the same “old reliables” are called back into service to “investigate” high profile incidents when the public doesn’t “need to know” all of the facts.

April 14, 2003

CHANDRA, JOYCE And Mary [Mahoney] RIP Psychological Operations News Archive: John Buchanan Archive: John Buchanan

Nightline Cancelled Broadcast with John Buchanan after Busheviks Threatened Bob Graham's Life
John Buchanan

"This week's INN World Report, includes a special interview with republican 9/11 Truth Candidate John Buchanan and a breaking story: Last year, Buchanan was invited together with former Intelligence Panelist Bob Graham to go on NIGHTLINE, where Buchanan built a treason dossier. Buchanan: 'The Bush Administration threatened (Graham's ) life and he cancelled the show...' INN Report includes also an interview with e-voting machine journalist Lynn Landes and reports about the latest scandals of Halliburton, an update about the oppressed story of Katherine Gun, background information about the Homeland Security Program CAPPS II and some new headers about 9/11." INN is doing outstanding work - stream their shows off the Internet or watch them on Free Speech TV (DISH Network #9415 plus many community access channels) -


Originally uploaded by Mylens.
You say yes, I say no,
You say stop, I say go, go, go.
Oh no.
You say goodbye and I say hello, hello, hello.
I don’t know why you say goodbye I say hello, hello, hello.
I don’t why you say goodbye I say hello.
I say high, you say low.
You say why and I say I don’t know.
Oh no.

Worldandnation: Angry widow calls for new 9/11 panel

Worldandnation: Angry widow calls for new 9/11 panel Was Mohammed Atta Overlooked? -- Page 1 Was Mohammed Atta Overlooked? -- Page 1

Blogger Comment: Worthless Reporting from Time Mag.

George Washington's Blog: How Did They Know? (9/11 Bldg. 7)

George Washington's Blog: How Did They Know?

On September 11th, none of the New York firefighters thought the twin towers would collapse. And no engineer in the country, including the designers of the world trade centers, thought they would collapse. Indeed, "experts said no building like it, a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire" (full article is pay-per-view), and the twin towers were designed to survive airplane strikes.

And yet, somehow, on 9/11, Mayor Rudy Giuliani knew in advance that world trade center building 7 was going to collapse.

And newly-release tapes of firefighters and other emergency personnel show that New York's Office of Emergency Management told a handful of people that buildings 1 and 2, as well as building 7, were going to collapse BEFORE each building actually collapsed. See also this statement.

What if a police detective was investigating the murder of a guy named Joe, who had previously been healthy, and discovered that a suspect had said on the day of the murder "Joe will be dead by midnight tonight"? The detective would believe that the suspect killed Joe, or at least conspired with those who did.

Similarly, the foreknowledge of the collapse of buildings 1, 2 and 7 – when steel-framed buildings simply do not collapse due to fire – is strong circumstantial evidence that Guiliani and/or some key people within New York's Office of Emergency Management are guilty for the demolition of those buildings.

We've all watched enough detective shows on TV to recognize this foreknowledge as evidence of guilt. posted by George Washington at 3:24 PM


The Washington Monthly

This Blogger's Comments: Kevin Drum Censored My Comments about Atta! They were there, now they are gone. Reposting my comment.

Update: (7:50 p.m.) Looks like my last comment is going stay posted.

Censored by MSNBC: Firefighter reported WTC basement explosions


Man-zilla - Sunrise in the sinking city

The hell-paradise tree

The hell-paradise tree
Originally uploaded by *Ivan*.
It lives again

Mo & Go

Mo & Go
Originally uploaded by Capital I.
Love. Montana, my daughter and our Great Dane Indigo who are both 5 years old.

Harvest time...

Harvest time...
Originally uploaded by Cilest.
...summer is over here in Austria.


Originally uploaded by sparkyfaisca.

Vatican stairs 2

Vatican stairs 2
Originally uploaded by magic_eye.

'I'm So Sorry' - Newsweek National News -

'I'm So Sorry' - Newsweek National News -

Comment: Such a waste!

Iraq blocks Saddam family bid to fire his lawyers

Top News Article |

Atta way to blow 9/11 panel's credibility

Atta way to blow 9/11 panel's credibility

If you want to know everything wrong with the 9/11 Commission in a single sound bite, consider this from Al Felzenberg, its official spokesman, speaking Wednesday:

''There was no way that Atta could have been in the United States at that time, which is why the staff didn't give this tremendous weight when they were writing the report. This information was not meshing with the other information that we had.''

In fairness to Felzenberg, he was having a bad week, and a hard time staying on top of the commission's ever-shifting version of events. It emerged that the U.S. military had fingered Mohammed Atta -- the guy who plowed Flight 11 into the first World Trade Center tower -- well over a year before before 9/11. Or as the Associated Press puts it:

"A classified military intelligence unit called 'Able Danger' identified Atta and three other hijackers in 1999 as potential members of a terrorist cell in New York City."

At first, the commission denied that it knew anything about "Able Danger": "The Sept. 11 Commission did not learn of any U.S. government knowledge prior to 9/11 of surveillance of Mohammed Atta or of his cell," insisted Lee Hamilton, the Democratic co-chair. "Had we learned of it, obviously, it would've been a major focus of our investigation."

But within 48 hours this version was non-operative. As the AP subsequently reported: "The Sept. 11 Commission knew military intelligence officials had identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as a member of al-Qaida who might be part of U.S.-based terror cell more than a year before the terror attacks but decided not to include that in its final report, a spokesman acknowledged Thursday."

So, far from being a "major focus" that they just happened to miss -- coulda happened to anyone -- it turns out they knew about it but "decided not to include" it.

How'd that happen? Well, as Felzenberg says so disarmingly, "this information was not meshing with the other information.'' As a glimpse into the mindset of the commission, that's astonishing. Sept. 11 happened, in part, because the various federal bureaucracies involved were unable to process information that didn't "mesh" with conventional wisdom. Now we find that the official commission intended to identify those problems and ensure they don't recur is, in fact, guilty of the very same fatal flaw. The new information didn't "mesh" with the old information, so they disregarded it.

But, hey, let's not have a philosophical discussion, let's keep it practical: There was "no way" that Atta could have been in the United States except when the official INS record says he was? No INS paper trail, "no way" he could have got in?

Here's one way just for a start. Forget the southern border, insofar as there is such a thing. Fact: On America's northern border, no record is kept of individual visitors to the United States. All that happens is that a photo scanner snaps your rear license plate. The scanner is said to be state-of-the-art, which is to say, as one Customs & Border official told me, it's "officially" 75 percent accurate. On the one occasion my own license plate was queried, it turned out the scanner had misread it. So, just for a start, without any particular difficulty, a friend of Mohammed Atta could have rented a car for him in Montreal and driven him down to New York -- and there would be never be any record to connect him to the vehicle anywhere in the United States or Canada.

Would al-Qaida types have such contacts in Montreal? Absolutely. The city's a hotbed of Islamist cells and sympathizers.

Fact: The only Islamist terrorist attack prevented by the U.S. government in the period before 9/11 was the attempt to blow up LAX by Ahmed Ressam, a Montrealer caught on the Washington/British Columbia frontier by an alert official who happened to notice he seemed to be a little sweaty. A different guard, a cooler Islamist, and it might just have been yet another routine unrecorded border crossing.

So, when the 9/11 Commission starts saying that there's "no way" something can happen when it happens every single day of the week, you start to wonder what exactly is the point of an official investigation so locked in to pre-set conclusions.

For example, they seemed oddly determined to fix June 3, 2000, as the official date of Atta's first landing on American soil -- even though there were several alleged sightings of him before that date, including a bizarre story that he'd trained at Maxwell/Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. Atta was a very mobile guy in the years before 9/11, shuttling between Germany, Spain, Afghanistan, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the Philippines with effortless ease. I've no hard evidence of where he was in, say, April 2000. The period between late 1999 and May 2000 is, in many ways, a big blur. He might have been in Germany, he might have been in Florida, attempting to get a U.S. Farm Service Agency loan for the world's biggest cropduster, as reported by USDA official Johnell Bryant.

But I do know it's absurd to suggest he was never in the United States until June 3, 2000, simply because that's what the INS says -- especially when U.S. military intelligence says something quite different.

Sept. 11 was a total government fiasco: CIA, FBI, INS, FAA, all the hot shot acronyms failed spectacularly. But appoint an official commission and let them issue an official report and suddenly everyone says, oh, well, this is the official version of 9/11; if they say something didn't happen, it can't possibly have happened.

Readers may recall that I never cared for the commission. There were too many showboating partisan hacks -- Richard ben Veniste, Bob Kerrey -- who seemed more interested in playing to the rhythms of election season. There was at least one person with an outrageous conflict of interest: Clinton Justice Department honcho Jamie Gorelick, who shouldn't have been on the commission but instead a key witness appearing in front of it. And there were far too many areas where the members appeared to be interested only in facts that supported a predetermined outcome.

Maybe we need a 9/11 Commission Commission to investigate the 9/11 Commission. A body intended to reassure Americans that the lessons of that terrible day had been learned instead engaged in what at best was transparent politicking and collusion in posterior-covering and at worst was something a whole lot darker and more disturbing.

The problem pre-9/11 was always political: that's to say, no matter how savvy individual operatives in various agencies may have been, the political culture of the day meant that nothing would happen except a memo would get typed up and shoveled into a filing cabinet. Together with other never fully explained episodes -- like Sandy Berger's pants-stuffing at the national archives -- the Able Danger story makes one thing plain: The problem is still political.

Wankers of the Day

The Washington Post, for posting without rebuttal the claim that DeLay severed contact with Abramoff in February of 2001, a claim which even a bunch of google monkeys after a few martinis on a Saturday night can clearly determine is bullshit.

We get the double bonus of confirming conservative ultrareligious nutcase Paul Weyrich as a known liar, one who feels comfortable bearing false witness when it serves him.

Another Day in the Empire » Sheehan: It’s About PNAC and the Neocons

Another Day in the Empire » Sheehan: It’s About PNAC and the Neocons


Originally uploaded by docman.
Found at the local supermarket yesterday: a -for me- new vegetable, called romanesco, seemingly a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. But foremost an interesting object with a shape and color reminding me of coral or outerworldly landscapes.
By the way, haven't tasted it yet!

Sun Halo

Sun Halo
Originally uploaded by bmb.
I like how this turned out. Wish I could have cut the tree out, though.