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The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was

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Posted on Jun 26, 2008
AP photo / Henry Arvidsson / United Nations

An Iraqi Scud missile awaits destruction by United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq in this undated file photo.

By Scott Ritter

Editor’s note: Frank von Hippel has written a response to this column in the comments below. Click here to read his rebuttal.

I am a former U.N. weapons inspector. I started my work with the United Nations in September 1991, and between that date and my resignation in August 1998, I participated in over 30 inspections, 14 as chief inspector. The United Nations Special Commission, or UNSCOM, was the organization mandated by the Security Council with the implementation of its resolutions requiring Iraq to be disarmed of its weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities. While UNSCOM oversaw the areas of chemical and biological weapons, and ballistic missiles, it shared the nuclear file with the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA. As such, UNSCOM, through a small cell of nuclear experts on loan from the various national weapons laboratories, would coordinate with the nuclear safeguards inspectors from the IAEA, organized into an “Action Team” dedicated to the Iraq nuclear disarmament problem. UNSCOM maintained political control of the process, insofar as its executive chairman was the only one authorized to approve a given inspection mission. At first, the IAEA and UNSCOM shared the technical oversight of the inspection process, but soon this was transferred completely to the IAEA’s Action Team, and UNSCOM’s nuclear staff assumed more of an advisory and liaison function.

In August 1992 I began cooperating closely with IAEA’s Action Team, traveling to Vienna, where the IAEA maintained its headquarters. The IAEA had in its possession a huge cache of documents seized from Iraq during a series of inspections in the summer of 1991 and, together with other U.N. inspectors, I was able to gain access to these documents for the purpose of extracting any information which might relate to UNSCOM’s non-nuclear mission. These documents proved to be very valuable in that regard, and a strong working relationship was developed. Over the coming years I frequently traveled to Vienna, where I came to know the members of the IAEA Action Team as friends and dedicated professionals. Whether poring over documents, examining bits and pieces of equipment (the IAEA kept a sample of an Iraqi nuclear centrifuge in its office) or ruminating about the difficult political situation that was Iraq over wine and cheese on a Friday afternoon, I became familiar with the core team of experts who composed the IAEA Action Team.

I bring up this history because during the entire time of my intense, somewhat intimate cooperation with the IAEA Action Team, one name that never entered into the mix was David Albright. Albright is the president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS, an institute which he himself founded), and has for some time now dominated the news as the “go-to” guy for the U.S. mainstream media when they need “expert opinion” on news pertaining to nuclear issues. Most recently, Albright could be seen commenting on a report he authored, released by ISIS on June 16, in which he discusses the alleged existence of a computer owned by Swiss-based businessmen who were involved in the A.Q. Khan nuclear black market ring. According to Albright, this computer contained sensitive design drawings of a small, sophisticated nuclear warhead which, he speculates, could fit on a missile delivery system such as that possessed by Iran.

I have no objection to an academically based think tank capable of producing sound analysis about the myriad nuclear-based threats the world faces today. But David Albright has a track record of making half-baked analyses derived from questionable sources seem mainstream. He breathes false legitimacy into these factually challenged stories by cloaking himself in a résumé which is disingenuous in the extreme. Eventually, one must begin to question the motives of Albright and ISIS. No self-respecting think tank would allow itself to be used in such an egregious manner. The fact that ISIS is a creation of Albright himself, and as such operates as a mirror image of its founder and president, only underscores the concerns raised when an individual lacking in any demonstrable foundation of expertise has installed himself into the mainstream media in a manner that corrupts the public discourse and debate by propagating factually incorrect, illogical and misleading information.

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In his résumé Albright prominently advertises himself as a “former U.N. weapons inspector.” Indeed, this is the first thing that is mentioned when he describes himself to the public. Witness an Op-Ed piece in The Washington Post which he jointly authored with Jacqueline Shire in January 2008, wherein he is described as such: “David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector, is president of the Institute for Science and International Security.” His erstwhile U.N. credentials appear before his actual job title. Now, this is not uncommon. I do the same thing when describing myself, noting that I was a former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. I feel comfortable doing this, because it’s true and because my résumé is relevant to my writing. In his official ISIS biography, Albright details his “U.N. inspector” experience as such: “Albright cooperated actively with the IAEA Action Team from 1992 until 1997, focusing on analyses of Iraqi documents and past procurement activities. In June 1996, he was the first non-governmental inspector of the Iraqi nuclear program. On this inspection mission, Albright questioned members of Iraq’s former uranium enrichment programs about their statements in Iraq’s draft Full, Final, and Complete Declaration.”

Now, as I have explained previously, I cooperated actively between 1992 and 1998 with the IAEA Action team, covering the same ground that David Albright claims to have. I do not doubt his assertion that he was in contact with the IAEA during the period claimed; I just doubt the use of the word actively to describe this cooperation. Maybe Albright was part of a top-secret “shadow” inspection activity that I was unaware of. I strongly doubt this. In 1992, when Albright states he began his “active cooperation” with the IAEA, he was serving as a “Senior Staff Scientist” with the Federation of American Scientists. That same year Albright, in collaboration with Frans Berkhout of Sussex University and William Walker of the University of St. Andrews, published “World Inventory of Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium,”  1992 (SIPRI and Oxford University Press). From March 1991 until July 1992, Albright, together with Mark Hibbs, wrote a series of seven articles on the Iraqi nuclear weapons programs for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The final three articles of this series, entitled “Iraq’s Bomb: Blueprints and Artifacts,” “Iraq: It’s all over at Al Atheer” and “Iraq’s shop-till-you-drop nuclear program,” were in part based upon information provided to Albright and Hibbs by the IAEA in response to questions posed by the two authors. So far as I can tell, this is the true nature of David Albright’s “active cooperation.” Far from being a subject-matter expert brought in by the IAEA to review Iraqi documents, Albright was simply an outsider with questions.


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By Oscar BullFrog, July 25, 2008 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems that the frog of liberty, freedom and democracy, while being boiled in oil slowly (intended, grim-grin), got a sudden scalding (9/11) and, after maximum medical/diplomatic intervention(s), enacted the dangerous but necessary surgical operation(s) for the body politic of world humanity not to die from a metastasizing disease.

I can only hope that when this surgery is successful the patient lives. And, as the frog, the limbs of humanity would regenerate in co-dependent peace and industry.

The next ‘last, best hope’ would have to be a successful colonizing of Mars if accomplished in time. But, hey, Mars would be a useful addition anyway.

Stop blaming the collection of surgeons in the middle of the operation. I refuse to accept planetary hospice nor will I be held hostage by it.

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By Alexander DeVolpi, July 9, 2008 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

FIELD EXPERIENCE. What’s so special about hands-on experience?  It’s simply not gained without many years working in the field or in laboratories, well beyond graduate-level academic and specialized training in occupations.  Those who attain hands-on field experience — usually under distracting and sometimes dangerous conditions — find out that good data collection, patience, luck, calculated risk, indulgence, leadership, subservience, practical skills, inadvertent radiation exposures, bruises, disappointment, details, experiment design, equipment, science fundamentals, analytic skills, jury-rigging, self-effacement, open-mindedness, tolerance, technical publication, and knowledge reinforcement are some aspects of direct participation not found much in books or in the classroom for either teacher or student.

  Academic institutions do a great job giving researchers a good start; just look at the graduate degrees and prominent educational institutions (United States, Great Britain, etc.) where the Iraqi nuclear-weapon developers acquired their basic scientific and technological knowledge.  The remaining requisite experience is gained in the field the hard way.  (It should be noted, however, that even after two decades of effort, Saddam Hussein — lavishing authority and money — failed to have even a single functional nuclear weapon produced.)

  Once in a while it does become necessary to challenge the credentials and experience of those who take outspoken positions on topics they seem to misunderstand or misrepresent, often because of they lack meaningful field experience, as Scott Ritter has noted.  If a more insightful author-evaluation process were routinely available, policymakers would have less cover for the type of premature or egregious data selection experienced particularly with regard to events in the Mid-East.

CREDENTIALS AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST. In general, one inherent qualification of the academic community is comparatively less conflict of financial and institutional interest.  Even so, more weight to meaningful qualifications and explicit disclaimers should be required of academics when they address issues without having the type of field experience that Scott Ridder and David Kay have had.  I find that to be particularly the case when it comes a technical understanding of nuclear reactors and the risks of radiation and proliferation.  Academic or NGO papers having essentially no professional foundation are a disservice to our common interest in an improved energy economy that would be accompanied by reducing risk and chronic hazard.

  This isn’t meant to imply that questions they raise shouldn’t be answered — just that those who answer should have an applicable track record.

  In any event, a good disassociated test of validity is to examine technical statements and papers for rigorous recognition, analysis, and presentation of potential systematic errors in measurements; it is the keystone to credibility.  Too many consequential predictions have been made on the basis of selected or functionally dependent data.  Those who don’t recognize the limitations of their estimates do not warrant much credibility.

  In short, academic/NGO papers and presentations should start out with a disclaimer if not based on actual laboratory or field experience, and if the authors cannot or do not fathom or report systematic measurement errors.  Why don’t they just admit, “I’ve really had no field experience on this topic, and I don’t know how to characterize the validity of my results, but caveat emptor, here they are!”

  Academic and NGO communities should police their own qualifications for speaking out on critical issues so that experienced professionals, such as Scott Ridder and myself, don’t have to come forward with the risk of appearing to respond with ad-hominem attacks.

—A. DeVolpi, retired physicist

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By Alexander DeVolpi, July 9, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

CRITIQUING NUCLEAR EXPERTS AND NUCLEAR EXPERTISE (PART 2 OF 3)
THE PROFESSORS. For progress in non-proliferation, we need be saved from the assumed or accorded authoritarianism of well-intentioned professors, especially from the East Coast, who have titles mistaken as credentials.  Frank von Hippel of Princeton comes to mind.  Notwithstanding good intentions, pleasant personality, teaching experience, and published papers — these do not constitute hands-on field or laboratory experience.  Nor does time spent in Washington corridors, offices, conference rooms count.

  I hold Frank partially responsible for the decade-long hiatus in reaching agreement with Korea on nuclear demilitarization, for decades of lack of progress in conversion of the Siberian plutonium reactors, for stalling growth of nuclear power in the United States, for misrepresenting the weaponizability of reactor-grade plutonium, and for sustaining radiophobia.

  On the latter point, over two decades after the Chernobyl accident, Frank is yet to acknowledge in print that he was utterly wrong in projecting or implying a huge number of fatalities due to the accident.  He and others cling to unvalidated beliefs regarding the effects of low levels of radiation.  That particular professional impropriety about predicting Chernobyl radiation effects was written in collaboration with Tom Cochran.  Frank’s other nuclear-policy distortions often came with like-minded, but equally unrepentant collaborators.

  Another fundamental lapse,  more common in academic circles compared to those who have gained field experience, is insufficient awareness of systematic error in data and computed results.  Much of the debacle regarding unfounded projections of excess cancers (for adults and juveniles) from the Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island accidents would have averted if proper scientific methodology were applied to the estimates.

  Were it not for the prevalence of contemporary East-Coast academics, U.S. oil- and coal-burning electrical power stations might long have been on the wane, along with the carbon-dioxide and chronic pollution they emit.  Certainly shortages and prices of oil would not have reached their present levels had more nuclear-power stations been built as a carbon-disengaged source of baseload electricity.

  Steve Fetter, now at University of Maryland, is another bright fellow with Harvard physics graduate degrees, but has weighed in on topics with which he evinces little or no practical field experience.  I know about these people because I once had to bring them up to speed on fundamentals regarding practical nuclear and instrument technology.

  Include Tom Cochran in the good-hearted, under-experienced list.  Academic qualifications aside, professorships or PhDs do not necessarily correspond to the experiential foundations of a John Pike or Steve Aftergood.  Hal Feiverson of Princeton, though, is an example of a professor who has exhibited a learning process well beyond the university norm.

  Moreover, were it not for the professors of the ̓30s and ̓40s who gained hands-on laboratory and field experience, we would not have succeeded in the timely development of nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors.  With the demise of Hans Bethe and Pief Panofsky, a good example remaining is Dick Garwin (aside from some uncharacteristic overreaching he has done with regard to Chernobyl cancer projections).
 
  Finally, there is the matter of “political” scientists, such as Graham Allison of Harvard, who have leaned over from the political to the technical side to address issues regarding “nuclear terrorism,” and others who have presented overhyped views about “dirty bombs.”  The political scientists do better when they have sound technical advice or stick to their field.

—A. DeVolpi, retired physicist

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By Alexander DeVolpi, July 9, 2008 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

CRITIQUING NUCLEAR EXPERTS AND NUCLEAR EXPERTISE (PART 1 OF 3)
Scott Ritter’s challenge regarding the credentials of some outspoken “nuclear experts” is worthy of further comment, both in terms of the specific individuals and in terms of others who need to be “outed.”  Too often proponents or critics with impressive resumes, especially from academia, gloss over their lack of fundamental training and experience in the fields of technical discussion.  Although relevant credentials and biases are very pertinent, it is extremely difficult to challenge credentials after formal publication or media publicity.

ALBRIGHT. Having been acquainted with David Albright since the early 1980s on the Washington NGO scene, I regrettably must second Scott Ritter’s outing of Dave’s overworked credentials.

  My official role at Argonne National Laboratory in arms-control and verification technology led me to relevant contracts with the Defense Nuclear Agency well before the beginning of formalized on-site inspection, including OSIA, as well as interactions with all the DOE weapons labs, with DOD, and at overseas laboratories.  My volunteer activities allowed contribution of technical expertise to various NGO groups with which I collaborated, such as the FAS, NRDC, ACA, CDI, and others.  My professional activities at Argonne (and other laboratories) involved nearly 40 years of lab, field, and analytical activities in instrumentation, nuclear physics, nuclear engineering, reactor safety, radioisotopes, experiments, verification technology, and arms control.  I have technical papers, review articles, and patents to back this up.

  Besides being a technical consultant to the joint FAS/NRDC (Federation of American Scientists/Natural Resources Defense Council) verification project, I worked with European arms-control projects involving Soviet and Eastern European counterparts before the Cold War came to an end (http://www.NuclearShadowboxing.Info).  Despite a half-century close involvement, I don’t recall Dave’s (or anyone else’s) position as a “Senior Staff Scientist” for the FAS (although they could use some professional help nowadays on nuclear issues).

  Aside from Albright’s book compilation on fissile materials, there are some other useful contributions he has made to arms control and non-proliferation, such as his interpretation of country-specific proliferation activities.  Dave’s a friendly guy, but I always found him shallow on experience, and — now realizing that he was once on the research staff of Princeton University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies — I have a better understanding of his predisposition and educational preparation.  With no substantive foundation he has expressed himself as philosophically opposed to nuclear power.  This is not uncommon, particularly with academics associated with Princeton who evince no hands-on or other practical field experience regarding nuclear-weapons, nuclear-reactor technology, or verification methodology.

KHIDIR HAMZA. In connection with the “hands-on” criterion, I confess reluctance to accept some of the negative assessments about Dr. Khidir Hamza.  He has evidenced both academic and insider experience that really cannot be challenged in terms of insufficient qualifications.  As far has the technical content of his book, I find it quite plausible.  Regarding his derring-do exploits and memoirs, they make a good read.  I notice that David Kay, a highly qualified IAEA inspector that I was once acquainted with, praised the book.  I sense considerable self-effacing dissonance among Iraqi defectors regarding Hamza and each other.

—A. DeVolpi, retired physicist

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By cann4ing, July 9, 2008 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

As usual, the content of my posts escapes Rus’s tiny little mind.  The question is not simply the accuracy of the number you place as to how may Iraqi children died but the little matter of who is responsible for those deaths.  How many of those children were killed by bombs dropped on Iraq from Gulf War I?  How many died because UN sanctions imposed throughout that decade prevented Iraq from acquiring basic medicines, etc.?

To blame Saddam for those deaths would be like blaming Winston Churchill for the number of British citizens who lost their lives when the Nazis attacked that country from the air.

But, like a conditioned Pavlov dog, you only know to blame the objectified “enemy” for all that goes wrong; to never look to what your heroes in the WH have done.  You are the essence of a true believer—impervious to any evidence that reflects the duplicity of those whom you follow and admire.

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By cann4ing, July 9, 2008 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

And, of course, DFC, you leave out Rus’s lack of verification that Saddam was personally responsible for “any” of the horrendous but unsubstantiated statistics that he cites.  I am not certain where the one million Iraqi children figure comes from but I do know that per UN statistics, over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five died as a result of the 13 year UN sanctions regime.  When pressed, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said, “it was worth it.”

Rus’s hero, George W. Bush, is responsible for the deaths of more than one million Iraqis, the displacement of 4 million Iraqis, half that number in exile, 4,200 American soldiers and counting, tens of thousands of our own soldiers who have returned maimed, disfigured and emotionally scarred for life, but, hey, we got to see those gruesome photos of Saddam’s lynching, so I suppose Rus can say, “it was worth it.”

Rus, the typical Orwellian, is blind to a mountain of evidence that exposes the criminal cabal operating inside the White House, but is prepared to condemn the objectified “enemy” on no evidence at all.  The point was exemplified by Bugliosi, who in “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” notes that where it was claimed Saddam was responsible 300,000 Iraqis, he was prosecuted for “no crime at all.”  Instead, he was prosecuted for signing an order permitting the prosecution of 148 men for alleged complicity in a plot to assassinate him, an order he signed on the recommendations of his legal advisers and a 361-page dossier of evidence compiled against them.

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By Schaper, July 9, 2008 at 3:02 am Link to this comment

Scott Ritter writes three pages in order to denounce a collegue for being called “a former U.N weapons inspector” although his role was more marginal than that of Scott Ritter.

My respect for David Albright stems from the quality of his work. I have met many “inspectors”, “officials”, “professors”, and “weapon physicists”, as well as “students”, “commentators”, or “colleagues” and many more. In the many years of my work I have learned at least one thing, and that is: Look at the quality, seriousness, usefulness, and honesty of one’s work and derive the respect from this. Don’t look at titles or press attention.

In this sense, the results that David Albright, often together with colleagues, has given to the international nonproliferation community rank among the highest. Just some examples:

The book “Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1996”, co-authored by Albright, Berkhout, and Walker, together with updates on the ISIS Web site, is up to today THE basis for a large range of follow-up work: examples are topics like a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, safeguards, future nuclear material control regimes, assessment of proliferation dangers etc. What makes the book valuable are not only the figures, but also the honest and transparent description of the methods how these figures have been gained, to which extent they may be trusted, which error margins must be assumed and why. Not only non-governmental experts work with them but also generations of diplomats and governments of non-nuclear weapon states. Definitely, it would be desirable if governments and their “officials” would publish more precise figures. This is just the case the book makes.

Another example are the timely comments by ISIS on topics of North Korea, Iran, Iraq and other proliferation cases. It is always clear what is INFORMATION and what is an offer of interpretation of this information. Colleages like myself are most thankful for this service.

On his three pages, Scott Ritter repeats again and again how important his own experience as an inspector is. Unfortunately, he forgets to explain his criteria for the use of the term “dilettante”. Instead he even fortifies this term by adding “in every sense”. Being himself a historian, how can he have the qualification to decide about the physics skills of a physicist? How can he know how well another physicist understands topics like energy and fuel consumption of a nuclear reactor etc? A little more modesty would have been more convincing, this way I feel reminded of an aggrieved child who complaints that although his singing sounded so much better, the other child got so much more applause.

A dilettante in diplomacy might be an excellent expert in nuclear weapon physics, or the other way round, an expert in psychology of deceiving inspectors might be a dilettant in designing an implosion design etc. That’s why you always need interdisciplinary teams with eagerness to respect and learn from each other.

Finally, being a physicist myself who “never worked as a nuclear physicist on any program dedicated to the design and/or manufacture of nuclear weapons.” (in our country you won’t find a single one), I nevertheless feel and - I believe - am regarded qualified to comment on nonproliferation, proliferation risks of various nuclear technologies, nuclear safeguards, nuclear disarmament etc. Ritter’s superficial comment to disqualify a respespectable expert although not being himself a “nuclear weapon physicist”, is an insult not only to Albright but also to all his colleagues world wide.

Annette Schaper, http://hsfk.de/index.php?id=10&no_cache=0&detail=111&cHash=f46523b506&L=1

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By Schaper, July 9, 2008 at 2:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scott Ritter writes three pages in order to denounce a collegue for being called “a former U.N weapons inspector” although his role was more marginal than that of Scott Ritter.

My respect for David Albright stems from the quality of his work. I have met many “inspectors”, “officials”, “professors”, and “weapon physicists”, as well as “students”, “commentators”, or “colleagues” and many more. In the many years of my work I have learned at least one thing, and that is: Look at the quality, seriousness, usefulness, and honesty of one’s work and derive the respect from this. Don’t look at titles or press attention.

In this sense, the results that David Albright, often together with colleagues, has given to the international nonproliferation community rank among the highest. Just some examples:

The book “Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1996”, co-authored by Albright, Berkhout, and Walker, together with updates on the ISIS Web site, is up to today THE basis for a large range of follow-up work: examples are topics like a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, safeguards, future nuclear material control regimes, assessment of proliferation dangers etc. What makes the book valuable are not only the figures, but also the honest and transparent description of the methods how these figures have been gained, to which extent they may be trusted, which error margins must be assumed and why. Not only non-governmental experts work with them but also generations of diplomats and governments of non-nuclear weapon states. Definitely, it would be desirable if governments and their “officials” would publish more precise figures. This is just the case the book makes.

Another example are the timely comments by ISIS on topics of North Korea, Iran, Iraq and other proliferation cases. It is always clear what is INFORMATION and what is an offer of interpretation of this information. Colleages like myself are most thankful for this service.

On his three pages, Scott Ritter repeats again and again how important his own experience as an inspector is. Unfortunately, he forgets to explain his criteria for the use of the term “dilettante”. Instead he even fortifies this term by adding “in every sense”. Being himself a historian, how can he have the qualification to decide about the physics skills of a physicist? How can he know how well another physicist understands topics like energy and fuel consumption of a nuclear reactor etc? A little more modesty would have been more convincing, this way I feel reminded of an aggrieved child who complaints that although his singing sounded so much better, the other child got so much more applause.

A dilettante in diplomacy might be an excellent expert in nuclear weapon physics, or the other way round, an expert in psychology of deceiving inspectors might be a dilettant in designing an implosion design etc. That’s why you always need interdisciplinary teams with eagerness to respect and learn from each other.

Finally, being a physicist myself who “never worked as a nuclear physicist on any program dedicated to the design and/or manufacture of nuclear weapons.” (in our country you won’t find a single one), I nevertheless feel and - I believe - am regarded qualified to comment on nonproliferation, proliferation risks of various nuclear technologies, nuclear safeguards, nuclear disarmament etc. Ritter’s superficial comment to disqualify a respespectable expert although not being himself a “nuclear weapon physicist”, is an insult not only to Albright but also to all his colleagues world wide.

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By DFC, July 8, 2008 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well then, thank God Saddam Hussein is no longer. It only took three trillion dollars, 4000 American lives, numerous breaches of international law, and four million Iraqis turned into refugees. It only took decimating the Iraqi intelligentsia, breaking down the walls preventng daily sectarian murder, and making Iraq the graduate training academy for Al Qaida. It only took doubling the divorce rate in Iraq. It only took raising up a new hierachy of religious fanatics. It only took pushing Iraq into Iran’s shi’ite arms and making Iran the supreme power in the Middle East. It only took $150 a barrel oil. But it wa a moral victory and that’s what counts, so when the average Iraqi can’t get a job, has four hours of electriticy per day, shoots his daughter in an honor killing, dumps his wife because he can’t afford to be married, and spies for the still-at-large Osama Bin Laden, America can hold its head high in spoof videos as we look for WMD under the furniture in the Oval Office. It was a moral victory. That’s what matters. Our morality.

That Clinton. What a failure.

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By cyrena, July 7, 2008 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Yes Rus, on this we actually agree. No parent should EVER outlive their children. Sadly, it happens. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, even though I have few.

I wouldn’t even wish it on JBlack. (although it’s difficult to believe he would even have any kids, or didn’t kill them himself if he did).

At any rate, it is not important whether you believe me or not. I have no reason to lie about that or anything else.

Hopefully, this is not a pain that you will ever have to suffer, but we know there are at least a million others who have suffered the same heartache as a result of the US actions in Iraq. Lots of them and US, burying our children.

Meantime, Cyrena is beyond all harm now.

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By mrmb, July 7, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Must read


http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9447

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By DFC, July 6, 2008 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By cann4ing, July 6 at 5:41 pm #


DFC—The core problem with the JBlack/rus argument is that they accept at face value the claims made by Bush/Cheney that they “believed” Saddam possessed WMD, had links to WMD and 9/11 when there is compelling evidence that demostrates clearly that they knew no of these claims were true, yet ordered the invasion anyway.

Wake up.

Rus and JBlack aren’t arguing. They’re playing, That’s all this is for them, play. There is no resolution, no final determinations, no verdict that can come from this. The information is entirely irrelevant. They’re just here to bait and provoke. This is fun for them. That’s the whole point.

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By cann4ing, July 6, 2008 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

DFC—The core problem with the JBlack/rus argument is that they accept at face value the claims made by Bush/Cheney that they “believed” Saddam possessed WMD, had links to WMD and 9/11 when there is compelling evidence that demostrates clearly that they knew no of these claims were true, yet ordered the invasion anyway.

A classic construct of the CIA, to which both George Bushes have a long standing connection, is “plausible denial.”  In his book by that title, Mark Lane, commenting upon the Iran/Contra hearings, observed that George H. W. “Bush routinely keeps a diary of plausible deniability, with the same skill employed by a crooked accountant who maintains two sets of corporate books, one of them cooked.”

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By cyrena, July 6, 2008 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

DFC,

There was never any doubt for me or I’m sure anyone else posting regularly on this thread, that the post was your own. As an academic, I can spot plagiarism and similar writing styles quite well. I suspect that anybody does best at what they do most often. At least that is normally the case.

You’ve by now been introduced to Rus7355’s clone…JBlack. Both are psychotic, and may in fact be one in the same person. I hadn’t considered that until they accused me of it. (at least one of those identities have). That’s always a give-away with these types. They accuse others of their own behavior, failing to realize the clues that it provides to whom they are. In short, it says far more about THEM then it does about whomever they happen to be directing the accusations.

For the record, I post under one name, and one name only…both here and on the limited number of other blogs where I occasionally post. The one name that I use is not my own given name, simply because of the hassles and harassment that have resulted in the past, from people like JRusBlack, whom I’m sure have posted under other identities here as well. So I use instead my daughter’s given name, (given to her by me of course) since she passed away many years ago, and so is beyond whatever threats they pose. Their obsession with attacking me personally, (though it is not limited to me, since we now have them on cann4ing’s case as well) is a testament to why I use her name and not my own.

That said, I realize it provides only limited protection, and only from those who are not so smart. The more technically savvy (and psychotic) can in fact take it farther, and that’s simply a risk that we all take in utilizing the technology. That is the paradox of the Internet. It brings both the good/informative knowledge to our fingertips, and at the same time brings the dangerous and the dysfunctional to the just below the surface as well.

Even that though, provides some usefulness. I’ve frequently used some of these pathological posts for material in some of my courses, so that students can come to recognize these signs of the pathology that exists within the society.

Meantime, thanks again for your contributions. They are very helpful and much appreciated.

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By DFC, July 6, 2008 at 10:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By JBlack, July 6 at 6:39 am #
If a person believes what they say it’s clearly not a lie. Why anyone would argue with that is foolish.


JBlack, evidently you have no experience at all in business, law and law enforcement, or for that matter, most of adult life.

You allege that “If a person believes what they say it’s clearly not a lie.” This is obviously not the case in business, where, if you have a position of any responsibility, you are legally required not simply to “believe” what you say, but to understand the truth and the factuality behind what you say. If your CFO is embezzling, if your suppliers double their prices, if your competitors outflank you completely, you cannot tell your directors that you “believed” that every thing was fine. Your duty was to understand the situation, not to assume, then to believe your assumptions, and then share those mistaken assumptions. The sincerity of your mistaken beliefs is irrelevant. Only the most egregious failures in business ever say that they just didn’t undertand what was going on around them. Most of the time they are not believed by the people to whom they are accountable.

If you are in a position of strategic importance, it is highly improbable that you could be so utterly ignorant of the realities on the ground. Your job is to know and to make reasoned, mature decisions based on facts. Your company takes every poissible measure to see that you have the respources and the information to understand everything.

It is very unlikely that a jury would believe you if you ran a Fortune 500 company and told them you weren’t lying because “If a person believes what they say it’s clearly not a lie.” That just doesn’t work in the adult world. You’d be convicted. Chances are you’d be charged as well with perjury because no adult could be that stupid.

Your argument adds up to an attempt to escape accountability. You say “If a person believes what they say it’s clearly not a lie,” but in the real world, simple naïve belief is worth zero. We are accountable for our grasp of the world, for what we say and do, and for our mistakes. If you ever say “If a person believes what they say it’s clearly not a lie” in a job interview, you will not get the job. Tell that to a jury and they will not believe you. Say it to investors and your company will be investigated for fraud. It is imposible to function competently as an adult with that belief. The only person you can lie to with this childish attitude is yourself.

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By cann4ing, July 6, 2008 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Enter JBlack, the high Party member, reformulating Rus’s amateurish effort at Newspeak.

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By DFC, July 5, 2008 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment
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Post #167226 is mine entirely. I pasted the quote from Cann4ing into it, but the parts about “What amazes me most about Rus’s thinking” and “If a cop stopped him on the road” are mine. If anyone has a bone to pick with them, pick it here.

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By DFC, July 5, 2008 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
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To continue…

What must it be like to think like Rus does? Here’s Orwell again:

“His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully-constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them; to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy; to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved using doublethink.”

Ultimately it means that you must delude yourself and keep deluding yourself. There’s only one place where you can get away with that for any length of time: blogs. Where endless meaningless nonsense can be shoveled out in bulk by the doublethinkers; where you can exclude any facts, indulge in fantasy, be congratulated by other members of the community of the deluded, and feel important.

That’s all this is about: feeling important. Rus craves attention, and he feels important when he gets it from himself or from anyone else.

The real tragedy of this is that conservatism used to pride itself on being intellectually rigorous and innovative, and now it is riddled with children like this who abuse its vocabulary and let its real ideas rot. Rus wants to be the heir to Burke and Buckley and Goldwater and Kirk, and instead he’s like an eight-year-old kid who got the keys to the family Rolls Royce and drove it into a wall. America needs both conservatism and liberalism to be strong and to drive each other’s improvement. Conservatives like Rus are incapable of that. They’re just playing.

By himself he is harmless. But I fear people like Rus because they are passionate and eager to follow someone who tells them what they want to hear. Rus’s terrible version of freedom is the freedom to think for himself that four is five; his version of defending freedom is to force you to think that four is five no matter the cost. Fascist movements happen because of followers like this. Leaders like Mao and Lenin had a name for people like Rus: useful idiots. They make good brownshirts and Cultural Revolutionaries. They are eager to follow; incapable of introspection or maturity until it’s too late; and disposable.

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By DFC, July 5, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
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I’ll need to break my reply into two parts.

By cann4ing, July 5 at 2:01 pm #

Actually, DFC, when I read your post, I thought of the movie version of “1984” when O’Brien was torturing Winston Smith inside the “Ministry of Love” and convinced him that reality was whatever the Party says it is.

Exactly.

Rus is a doublethinker. He has the illness of pathological subjectivity that has infected the right wing, to its tragic impairment.

Orwell described it this way in 1984:

“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

As Rus himself puts it, “’So if I believe that four is five, it’s five’. That is correct.” No doubt it works as well that five is four, if that suits the situation. All it means, of course, is that factuality itself doesn’t exist, and so any logical argument is impossible, despite Rus’s comical protests that everyone else’s logic is questionable.

Orwell goes on—”. . . To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”

Rus is suffering from this every time he posts. He cannot believe in facts because facts would trap him and obligate him to be rigorous and truthful for his own good. That isn’t why he’s here. He doesn’t want to “win” arguments. He doesn’t even want to make any. All he wants is the fun of the endless game of tag, and to bandy imporant-sounding words that seemingly one-up someone for just a moment. That’s the fun. The problem is, it doesn’t work in real life. You can’t suspend reality in reality. You can’t rope off a section of medicine or physics or finance and call it your universe. You’re accountable, and you have to acknowledge accountability. Four is four. Five is five. How you feel about it has nothing to do with it.

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By cyrena, July 5, 2008 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

DFC,

Thank you so much for this post #167226. I’ve saved it, just because I find it very helpful in explaining this phenomena to others who want to learn. You sum it up very well…

•  “…If “It’s not a lie if you believe it. It’s not a lie to dismiss contrary information to your own beliefs,” and the point of arguing is to discover truth, then you are yourself just a lie…”

That’s what it boils down to. Rus7355 is a lie himself. We could entertain WHY that is, and cann4ing has. (we’ve been plagued with this from Rus for several months now).

Cann4ing suggests this:

•  “What amazes me most about Rus’s thinking is that it answers some definitions of clinical impairment and even insanity, and he asserts it quite proudly.”

And it’s true. Rus does appear to be quite proud of it, which confirms another point by cann4ing..

•  “If a cop stopped him on the road and Rus insisted that four fingers was five, the cop would have to conclude that he was drunk or high, and arrest him rather than let him drive…If he kept insising that four was five, he’d be kept for observation for his own safety. …If he insisted to a judge that four was five, he’d be hospitalized.”
So, Rus should have been hospitalized long ago, and for all we know…maybe he is. Maybe his keepers think that allowing him to post on the internet is ‘therapy’ or something, except of course all it amounts to is him terrorizing the on-line public with BS propaganda.

That means that he probably is NOT hospitalized, and that’s the tragedy of the times. Too many of these people go ‘undetected’ and some of them even manage to make oodles of money spreading this stuff. Cann4ing made that point not long ago. Witness Bill O’Reiley and Rush Limbaugh. Oh hell…witness George Bush.

Yes, this is the tragedy of the era. People who should be either hospitalized or incarcerated are running the county. (into the ground I might add, though that seems to be a mote point at this stage.)

Anyway, thanks again for the comments in this as well as #167204. That one hits the head on a current academic topic for me.

•  “…Rus’s worldview is nothing but latent fascism. It assumes that facts and beliefs are the same. Facts may be ugly and disagreeable, but they are the same for everyone. If reality becomes a matter of personal perception, as Rus says it is—“’So if I believe that four is five, it’s five’. That is correct.”—then whomever takes charge can assert a new one, and given sufficient consensus, they can dictate any reality they choose, and punish any dissenters they wish. Holding the idea of factuality in mind would itself become a crime, even if you agreed with the consensus, because it presumes some higher reality than the one in charge and permits the thought that the consensus is beholden to anything except itself…”

This is not an easy thing to understand about the properties of Fascism, (at least for me) if only because it is based on the irrational. How does rationality attempt to explain irrationality?  It’s not easy, but I’ve finally come to understand how it works. This has been the base worldview of all Fascists and the creators of Totalitarian regimes.

Thanks again.

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By cann4ing, July 5, 2008 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Actually, DFC, when I read your post, I thought of the movie version of “1984” when O’Brien was torturing Winston Smith inside the “Ministry of Love” and convinced him that reality was whatever the Party says it is.

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By DFC, July 5, 2008 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
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Rus, if you believe as you say that “It’s not a lie if you believe it. It’s not a lie to dismiss contrary information to your own beliefs. Each of us does that daily”, then this is not an argument.

Fairness is essential in an argument. You demand the right to be unfair. You reserve the right to disengage, reframe, and dismiss anything that sits outside the artificial ecology of your bubble. Your only response to anything you wish not to accept is something along the lines of, “of course I believe most of the rest of what you write is cumbersome, unwieldy and a massive rationalization.”

This simply negates all the terms of argument. You aren’t arguing. You’re simply posing. You mouth the words as though you’re genuinely engaged and open to learning, but in fact your sole objective is to not to argue—you need to avoid arguing—but only to fight. No learning happens because learning threatens you; there is no possibility of change because you are here to insist that you need never change; there is no concession of something inconvenient, no real evidence being presented or accepted, and no conclusions are possible.

This is no more an argument than is spraying graffiti on someone else’s wall.

You don’t need to learn; you need to believe. You treat anything that threatens your belief as dismissible, and you attempt to insult it with nonsense like “cumbersome, unwieldy and a massive rationalization” that just parodies someone else’s eloquence.

There are no theses in what you say, no proofs offered, no ideas defended. All you have is passion, words you don’t understand, and too much time on your hands.

The terrible tragedy of Bush-Era Conservatism is that it gutted itself from within, taking a school of rigorous thought and reducing it to this kind of mindless chatter. If “It’s not a lie if you believe it. It’s not a lie to dismiss contrary information to your own beliefs,” and the point of arguing is to discover truth, then you are yourself just a lie.

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By cann4ing, July 5, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

Utter rubbish!

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By DFC, July 5, 2008 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
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By Rus7355, July 5 at 5:12 am #
DFC,
“So if I believe that four is five, it’s five”.
That is correct.

By cann4ing, July 5 at 7:04 am #
Excellent point, DFC.  There is an Orwellian quality to our Rus’s inability to apply basic logic, a point he underscored with his latest post, which, rather than addressing the massive evidence surrounding events in 2002/2003 that Bush lied about a supposed Iraqi threat, about WMD & supposed links between Iraq and al Qaeda/9/11, Rus has busied himself digging up old quotes from Clinton & Sandy Berger where they expressed the belief that Iraq was a threat.

What amazes me most about Rus’s thinking is that it answers some definitions of clinical impairment and even insanity, and he asserts it quite proudly.

If a cop stopped him on the road and Rus insisted that four fingers was five, the cop would have to conclude that he was drunk or high, and arrest him rather than let him drive.

If he kept insising that four was five, he’d be kept for observation for his own safety.

If he insisted to a judge that four was five, he’d be hospitalized.

Belief doesn’t make four into five. There is, in the end, such a thing as a fact. No matter how hard you believe it, four dollars doesn’t become five, four feet tall doesn’t become five, and four votes don’t become five. It doesn’t matter if you believe it by yourself or if your whole community believes it with you. It doesn’t matter if you can get fifty thousand people to concur with you today on truthdig, and if a majority takes your side. Four is still four. You can’t elect your own set of facts.

If he has this worldview alone he’s insane, but he’s still very dangerous, to himself and to the people around him, especially to his own community. Rus’s worldview is nothing but latent fascism. It assumes that facts and beliefs are the same. Facts may be ugly and disagreeable, but they are the same for everyone. If reality becomes a matter of personal perception, as Rus says it is—“‘So if I believe that four is five, it’s five’. That is correct.”—then whomever takes charge can assert a new one, and given sufficient consensus, they can dictate any reality they choose, and punish any dissenters they wish. Holding the idea of factuality in mind would itself become a crime, even if you agreed with the consensus, because it presumes some higher reality than the one in charge and permits the thought that the consensus is beholden to anything except itself.

Rus’s defense throughout this thread appears to be that Bush was wildly incorrect in determining fact, but that others were as well. That isn’t the point. That anyone would arrogate to himself the capacity to dismiss the very idea of factuality, to decide that four is five, and then to commit lives and treasure to their fantasy, is a tragedy with the seeds of its own failure inside it. Eventually the facts reassert themselves. Facts are essential for people’s survival, as individuals or as nations, and sane people don’t surrender facts and factuality forever. Those who do it for a day or a year pay for it in the end.

The downfall of Bush’s Fantasy Conservatism is happening because even his own supporters have to admit some facts. It’s a fact that over 4000 Americans are dead in Iraq. It’s a fact that the war will cost is over a trillion dollars. Rationalizing, revisionism and rubbing the genie’s lamp won’t change those facts.

Only the truest true believers remain, like Rus, bleeding themselves to the last in the service of the delusion that freedom is the freedom to concoct reality as you like it.

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By cann4ing, July 5, 2008 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

Excellent point, DFC.  There is an Orwellian quality to our Rus’s inability to apply basic logic, a point he underscored with his latest post, which, rather than addressing the massive evidence surrounding events in 2002/2003 that Bush lied about a supposed Iraqi threat, about WMD & supposed links between Iraq and al Qaeda/9/11, Rus has busied himself digging up old quotes from Clinton & Sandy Berger where they expressed the belief that Iraq was a threat.  Since they said they believed it, and Bush said he believed it in 2002/2003, then Iraq must have been a threat.  Oceania is a war with Eurasia.  Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.  He also quotes two Democratic Senators who in 2002 expressed the belief that Iraq had WMD & was reconstituting its nuclear program.

Of course, there are several points that our little Orwellian choses to ignore.  1)Clinton did not order U.S. troops to invade and occupy Iraq.  2)  Much of the belief expressed by U.S. Senators arose from the deliberately deceptive information that was spoon fed to Congress by the Bush regime, including an unclassified summary of the 10/1/02 classified NIE which became known as the “White Paper”—a propaganda piece in which all dissents and qualifications from the classified NIE had been deleted by the Bushies, including language which expressly stated that Saddam was not likely to try to use WMD against the US unless he feared a U.S. assault on Iraq was imminent;  (3) the fact that this or that Senator, irrespective of party affiliation, expressed the belief that Iraq possessed WMD does not establish that the Bushies possessed the honest belief that Iraq possessed WMD, and, in fact, as Vince Bugliosi amply demonstrates, the evidence compels the conclusion that the Bushies knew full well that Iraq (a) did not possess WMD; (b) was not trying to reconstitute its nuclear program, (c) had no connection to al Qaeda or 9/11, and (d) ordered the invasion anyway.

But then neither facts nor logic are likely to pierce the dense disinformation bubble surrounding Rus’s little mind, so I suspect that his latest mumblings will not be his last.

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By DFC, July 5, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment
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By Rus7355, July 5 at 5:12 am #


Part 1.

DFC,

“So if I believe that four is five, it’s five”.

That is correct. Of course I believe most of the rest of what you write is cumbersome, unwieldy and a massive rationalization.

Thanks. This tells me everything I need to know about you.

I’d be interested to see you use this sometime as a defense in a criminal trial, preferaly with those exact words.

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By mrmb, July 5, 2008 at 12:06 am Link to this comment
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http://100777.com/911/coincidences#3

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By DFC, July 4, 2008 at 11:10 am Link to this comment
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It’s not a lie if you believe it, says Rus7355.

So if I believe that four is five, it’s five. If someone can make me believe, through persuasion, coercion, or force, then four is five. There is no such thing as a lie if lies can be forced into truth. OJ Simpson is not a murderer because he believes he is not a murderer. There is no such thing as a physical law or a chemical reaction if I choose to believe otherwise. And if can persuade or coerce or force you to believe that four is five, and you do, then reality is simply a matter of b elief, and the prevailing consensus creates reality regardless of anything that disagrees.

And there is no such thing as criminal negligence. There is no such thing as incompetence, or even responsibility, if you believed you were doing the right thing. No deug dealer is culpable, no killer is guilty, and George Bush was a great president because he and his supporters beleved he was great.

And you love Big Brother.

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By cyrena, July 3, 2008 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Ernest,

Good point about the comparison there with Marshall, who probably IS a disinfo agent.

Rus is just crazy.

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By cann4ing, July 3, 2008 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Well, Cyrena, I was with you until the “paid for disinformation agent.”  I could certainly see them hiring someone like Marshall, who, though a die hard neocon, is actually quite erudite.  But this guy doesn’t know how to get from point A to point B.  Why would anyone hire him?  Oops, maybe they did.  After all Billo and Rush Limbaugh get paid millions to espouse illogical drivel over the airways, so why not hire the very confused Rus?

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By cyrena, July 3, 2008 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, July 3 at 7:04 am #

Cyrena, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a waste of time to attempt an honest intellectual exchange with our Rus, who either lacks the capacity of reason or is disingenuous.

#############

Ernest,

I figured this out a while back. And, I suspect that it is both. He lacks the capacity for reason, or is disingenuous.

I’m more inclined to simply call him a troll or disinformation agent, devoted to distracting conversation from the real issues at hand. It’s either that, or he’s insane, in the worst sorts of denial and delusion, like any other insane person.

I mean, we’ve had the clues all along, but when he recently blamed Saddam Hussein for affecting global weather patterns for a year, I knew he was on a different universe than the rest of us.

He’s like niloroth. Remember him? (he’s back by the way). So…same perfidy there. He could even be a reincarnation of Chalmers. (that was one suspicion of mine a while back).

WHATEVER the case…he’s a waste, and the times are too urgent to bother with even acknowledging anything he put out there.

There are times when even freedom of speech should have it’s limits. I can’t think of a better example than rus7355.

The worst part of it is that our tax dollars are probably paying for this BS that we get from him. I’m
equally convinced that he’s probably a paid disinfo and propaganda agent.

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By cann4ing, July 3, 2008 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Rus, It is truly sad that you lack the capacity to understand that my refusal to be drawn into a discussion on irrelevancies reflects not intellectual dishonesty but instead simply a desire to avoid pointlessly conversing with a Mad Hatter.

You remind me, Rus, of the kid you gets caught cheating on a test and says, “but other people did it!”  Clinton did not order our troops to invade Iraq.  Madeleine Albright did not order our troops to invade Iraq.  Whatever was or was not contained in a 1997 NIE has absolutely no relevance to Bush’s March 19, 2003 order that the U.S. armed forces invade the then sovereign nation of Iraq.

What does have a direct bearing is the testimony presented to the UN less than two weeks prior to the invasion by Hans Blix, the chief inspector.  Blix testified that, by that “juncture we are able to perform professional, no-notice inspections all over Iraq and to increase aerial surveillance.”  The Iraqis, said Blix, had “accelerated” their efforts to resolve the disarmament issue; that “no evidence of proscribed activities have been found…no underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far,” and that he anticipated that verification that Iraq had no WMD “will not take years, nor weeks, but months;” that even after “verified disarmament” per UN Resolutions, “a sustained inspection and monitoring system is to remain in place.” 

What is also relevant is that Mohamed ElBaradei testified “we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq.”

What is also relevant is that Bush, knowing well that his WMD excuse was crumbling before him, moved the goal posts, telling the nation on March 17, 2003 that the only way to avoid war was regime change.  “Saddam…and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours.  Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict.”

On 2/24/04 the “People’s Daily” quoted Blix:  “The Americans and British ‘created’ facts where there were no facts at all.”

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By mrmb, July 3, 2008 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment
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Rus,

You cant be oblivious to historical facts and realities. The neo-crazy (of both varieties: liberal and conservative) agenda and ideology has been turned on its head. The complete disregard for the constitution, all checks and balances, rule of law and human decency, international norms and laws and regulations are so clear to all novice observers that I am actually amazed that you and zealots like yourself just close your eyes and act as if nothing has happened.

If you were a high office holder, or a neo crazy ideologue in AEI or ..... then I would understand to some extent why you would hold on so dearly but if you are an average joe like most of us I am sorry to say that your imperial dreams have already been shattered and reality is about to set in really hard and fast.

Just hope you can handle it when you finally decide to face the truth.

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By mrmb, July 3, 2008 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
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Rus,

All previous resolutions passed by congress dont mean jack. Let me clarify it for the last time so you dont waste everyones time.

Our polity is occupied territory. Occupied by zionists. Hope thats simple enough.

Just because former zionist occupied congress and white house said and did things that were totally wrong doesnt mean king george and his gang of criminals in and out of the government are off the hook.

The lies that were fed, the propaganda that was built, was to serve the following objectives (just a few):

1- Ensure the public is properly convinced and brainwashed.

2- Ensure that all opposition to such things are exposed and defanged.

3- Ensure that all players fall into line and play ball.

4- Use Americas’s considerable political, diplomatic and media assets to circulate the propaganda and lies and half truths around the world.

In all of the above threads noone seems to properly and clearly say that israeli officials, diplomats, and major zionist jewish figures used to tour the US and espew and drill home such lies as gospel. And guess what, noone would dare ask them tough questions, noone would dare say who the hell are you to say things like this, god forbid how could anyone dare ask israelis tough questions, put them to task for their thievery and criminal conduct, they are god personified as men, how dare.

Not only did these zionist criminals do this in the public domain but also in private when they were with our elected officials, diplomats, reportrs / journalists, military officers and intelligence establishment.

Ask Scott about how the isralis are viewed with reverence inside our intelligence community and they are looked upon with awe and considerable respect. And when the isralis say something regarding the ME the American polity in its totality listens and takes note and thats being kind.

Now, the house passed resolutions, and former presidents (zionists) accepted the notion that saddam had an active nuclear weapons program. Well, its simple Rus, connect the dots together you will see why.

Dont have to be a conspiracy theorists to see it just an open eye and an open mind and you will see the facts as they are.

I know its hard for some people to do that but try.

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By cann4ing, July 3, 2008 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Rus, as I said to Cyrena, you either lack the intellectual capacity to separate the wheat from the chaff or you are utterly dishonest.  I have no intention of interacting further with someone who is either incapable of discerning what is or is not relevant to the question at hand or who continuously seeks to interject irrelevant materials as part of a dishonest effort to evade the truth.

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By cann4ing, July 3, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Rus, whatever the assessments were or were not in 1998 has no relevance to a decision made in 2003, so I will not get into answering your silly questions.  As to the distortions of the Nov. 2002 NIE, Vince Bugliosi devotes an entire chapter of “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” to it.  If you are interested in the truth, go buy the book.

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By cann4ing, July 3, 2008 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

The evidence that the Bush regime lied is far too lengthy to be contained in a single TD post.  If you are interested in truth, and I seriously doubt that you are Rus, pick up a copy of “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” by Vincent Bugliosi, which compiles that evidence in book form with detailed references to original sources.

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By cann4ing, July 3, 2008 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

Cyrena, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a waste of time to attempt an honest intellectual exchange with our Rus, who either lacks the capacity of reason or is disingenuous.  So Iraq lost 85% of its wetlands.  Horrible, but what does that have to do with the subject at hand—whether Bush intentionally deceived Congress and the American people in order to take this nation to war?  Or is Rus suggesting that the loss of wetlands justified the invasion?  The U.S. itself has experienced a significant loss of wetlands.  Bush regime policies have produced ecological disasters such as the one we saw in Katrina.  Does that mean Mexico has a right to invade us?

Of course, during the period Rus mentioned, 1975-2000, Iraq was engaged in two major wars.  In the first, the U.S. furnished weapons and intelligence to Saddam to fight Iran.  In the second, Iraq’s entire infrastructure was devastated by a massive aerial assault—and during the 13 years between Gulf War I and George Bush’s war, US/UK planes repeatedly struck.  Perhaps, just perhaps, some, if not most, of Iraq’s loss of wetlands is the result of war?  Ya’ think?

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By cann4ing, July 3, 2008 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

Rus, your heroes in the Bush regime did not merely “dismiss” contrary information “because they didn’t believe it.”  They willfully deleted that information from the NIE—concealing from Congress and the American people information which was vital for “their” independent assessment as to whether what Bush was saying about Iraq had any validity whatsoever.

Your attempt to cling to the “belief” that the Bush people did not willfully deceive Congress and the American people as part of their drive to take this nation to war is irrational, as is your suggestion that an earlier remark made by Senator Kennedy that he “believed” Iraq was a threat translates into Iraq was, in fact, a threat.

Whatever doubts you may have had as to the validity of the “claim” that Iraq was a threat should have been thoroughly dispelled when the US/UK forces rolled over the Iraqi army almost as quickly as Hitler’s armies rolled through the Netherlands at the outset of WW II.

Finally, in trying to excuse the willful perfidy of neoconservatives like Richard Perle by pointing to the Clinton administration remarks, you ignore one very important detail.  Clinton did not order the invasion of Iraq, even though the neocons sent him a letter urging that he do so.  While many of the same neocons held powerful positions inside the administration of George H. W. Bush, the first President Bush rejected their advice and stopped short of a full scale invasion of Iraq.  At that time, the real conservatives within the Bush I administration referred to the neocons as “the crazies.”

With the election of George W. Bush, the neocons ascended to full power.  Bush/Cheney did not develop the desire to invade Iraq after 9/11.  That was their goal the moment they took office.

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By cyrena, July 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

Okee dokee. Rus is even further off the deep end than I realized, and I can only think that at this point, engaging with him at all puts the rest of us in very close proximity to the rabbit hole as well.

I just noticed this, from one of the most bizarre posts to come from him yet.

“.. Not only that but the majority of these thousands of people spoke of Hussein in terms of being a threat to whole world—The man did effect weather patterns on the entire globe for over a year…”

Now he’s got Saddam effecting global weather patterns. Now I specifically remember about 30 years ago, the characters on the soap opera, “General Hospital” thought they could control the weather as well. That’s when I knew something had gone seriously awry with the American mentality…at least for those who actually believed the stuff. I mean come on…are they trying to put Lewis Carroll to shame?

But Rus says it’s all true, just because he believes it, even when all of those policy papers that the gang has written over the decades are all false, (according to Rus) as posted. Nobody wrote any of those papers, and nobody ever said any of that stuff. Nope. Don’t believe any of it, because Rus can prove it wrong, just like I’m sure he has proof that Saddam effected global weather patterns for over a year. (what time period was that anyway rus, and what made him decide to stop changing those global weather patterns?)

Never mind. It’s not important.

In fact, we have some very serious fires in my area, and they’ve caused a great deal of damage. We’ve been without power for several hours now, as the fires grow larger, (and closer to my own area).

We’re just finding out that these fires were apparently intentionally started. Did you do this thing Rus? They started right about the time you claimed to be ‘traveling’. So now I believe that it must have been you who started them.

And, as long as I believe it, it isn’t a lie.

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By cyrena, July 2, 2008 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

t’s not a lie if you believe it. It’s not a lie to dismiss contrary information. We all do it every day of our lives. You may say I am wrong. But I assure you I believe it. Will any of you here be lying if you dismiss my context?

I know, Cyrena, I’m stupid and should go away.

————-

Maybe you aren’t stupid at all rus. Maybe it’s something else entirely. Maybe it’s actually YOU who are ‘evil’. I don’t know.

I do know that you’re intentionally baiting not only me, but others here as well, by claiming the very complex and long organized operation of the PNAC to be ‘my’ *evil neo-con theory* even though I’ve corrected you a few dozen times, and even though you know that anything I’ve advanced here has been common knowledge for years and years, and has been put forth by dozens of posters on this site.

Despite all of that, you intentionally continue to refer to this as ‘my theory’. So, you know what that is Rus? It’s harassment. It’s also prohibited by law. And, you’ve finally crossed the line. So, when circumstances permit, we’ll fix this so that you don’t have to concern yourself with anybody thinking that you’re stupid, and the rest of us won’t have to worry about your harassment.

In short, you’ve asserted yourself as no less a ‘threat’ than Saddam Hussein.

And the more you write, the deeper you dig yourself in.

So, it’s not going to be a lie when I file some action against your ass, because I believe that you’re harassing me. In fact, I am CONVINCED that you are a threat to others, and should be committed, and to a facility of some sort before you can cause bodily harm to me or others.

Since I believe this, it must be true. We’ll get started with the paperwork tomorrow.

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By cyrena, July 2, 2008 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

•  “I quite honestly believe Cyrena’s evil “Neo-Con” theory to be an impossible claim to hold.”

Rus7355,

I’m going to say this again, and I guess I’ll just have to keep saying it until it is as clear to you as it is to everyone else.

THE ‘EVIL’ NEO-CON THEORY IS NOT ‘MY’ THEORY’

That is something that YOU have come up with, because you ‘reacted’ very extremely to my use of the term in relation to the entire regime that ‘came to power’ in the Coup of 2000. I have never used the term ‘evil’ in relation to them, because it’s a stupid subjective term. Yes, they are ‘evil’ if we wanted to simply discuss BS without substance. But I have not relied on such emotional labels as ‘evil’ nor did I come up with the term ‘Neo-Con” and I don’t know where it originated.

So lets be very, very, CLEAR here Rus, because I see your deceitful perfidy and personal attacks embedded in your insistence to attach YOUR wording and twisted/perverted O’Reilly style tactics to the position that *I* have stated a million times over. Clearly you are so ignorant in your arrogance that you fail to see how transparent you are. But I’ll continue to point it out.

Let me state my position again Rus, which you are as well aware of as anyone else who pays attention.

The decision to remove Saddam Hussein AND PERMANENTLY occupy Iraq was a decision derived from the ideology represented in a collection of position/policy papers that made up what has been collectively termed THE PROJECT FOR A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY. AKA *PNAC*.

There were approximately 25 authors of these papers, and many of those you call the ‘neo-cons’ did NOT have any part in authoring the papers, but did in fact sign them. You can call these people ‘neo-cons’ if YOU CHOOSE TO, but that title or term is of little value other than as a short cut for referencing this group of authors. If one doesn’t know who the individuals are, then the term is useless.

The PNAC is NOT a figment of anyone’s imagination RUS, and ALL American’s should know who these people are, and what they are responsible for, because it is this group –the authors of these various papers, including but not limited to:

“Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, - Co-authored by Lewis Libby, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, et al

“A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” – Co-authored by Perle, Feith,

“The Afghan Vortex” – Perle et all, published for the IASPS – one of the many of these organizations involving ‘the gang’.

“The Defense Planning Guidance”  - Authored by Paul Wolfowitz with his former student, Lewis Libby in 1992.

Here are a few excerpts from one of hundreds of full information sources available..

PNAC’s papers were written by the same people who wrote Israeli policy papers who hold dual citizenship to Israel. The Iraq war and control over energy resources is outlined in Israel’s A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” which was written by Richard Perle and Douglas Feith. You can read the IASPS’s (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Science) paper called The Afghan Vortex, written a year before the invasion.”

http://www.reachingtruth.com/pnacosp.html

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By cyrena, July 2, 2008 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2

In 1992 Paul Wolfowitz wrote the Defense Planning Guidance, with his former student, Lewis Libby:

•  “The foreign strategy of the US must be unapologetic, idealistic, assertive and well funded. America must not only be the world’s policeman or its sheriff, it must be its beacon and guide… Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union, and Southwest Asia..There are three additional aspects to this objective: First the U.S must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. Second, in the non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. Finally, we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.”
Here’s more

•  “This WMDs claim is so important because it legally justified the invasion. Paul Wolfowitz presented an open letter to Bill Clinton on January 26, 1998 about the need for war with Iraq. Wolfowitz urged Clinton to recognize a provisional [Iraqi] government headed by the Iraqi National Congress under Ahmed Chalabi. This is what later became PNAC’s doctrine and US foreign policy.”

Same source here

http://www.reachingtruth.com/pnacosp.html

You should read this and all attached information Rus,

As for the so-called “neo-cons’; they can be whomever you want them to be Rus. I didn’t create them. I *will* give you a list of who DID sign these papers, and these signatories include both the authors of the papers, as well as others belonging to the OSP (Office of Special Planning) who carried out these policies, along with others who have had less visible ‘jobs’ within the apparatus.

Again, I don’t care what you call them.

Original 25 PNAC signatories

Elliott Abrams
Gary Bauer
William J. Bennett
Jeb Bush
Dick Cheney
Eliot A. Cohen
Midge Decter
Paula Dobriansky
Steve Forbes
Aaron Friedberg
Francis Fukuyama
Frank Gaffney
Fred C. Ikle
Donald Kagan
Zalmay Khalilzad
Lewis “Scooter” Libby
Norman Podhoretz
Dan Quayle
Peter W. Rodman
Stephen P. Rosen
Henry S. Rowen
Donald Rumsfeld
Vin Weber
George Weigel
Paul Wolfowitz

You can check the list of additional signatories, (too lengthy to list here) at the link below. 
Additional PNAC Signatories

http://www.king-george.biz/wst_page5.html

My own position remains the same. It is the original gang that came up with the plans to remove Saddam Hussein to affect ‘regime change’ in Iraq, and they did this a very long time ago.

That doesn’t change that Saddam Hussein was certainly a bad actor. That isn’t the argument here. The argument is that he did not have WMD (as the lie went) nor was he a ‘threat’ to anyone at the time of the illegal invasion and occupation of that nation in 2003.

Those *lies* have claimed millions of lives, left even more millions homeless, wounded, and orphaned. It has destroyed an entire nation, and the economies of several nations, including our own.
And again. This is not ‘my theory’. Educate yourself Rus, and quite trying to stifle the truth with your malicious and treacherous practices.

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By cann4ing, July 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Rus, with all due respect, your latest mumblings are almost incoherent.  The issue is not whether Bush “had to lie” about the threat assessment.  He did lie, pure and simple.  Bush wasn’t misled by faulty intelligence.  Bush was handed a top secret NIE on 10/1/02, which NIE, among other things, noted that Iraq was not an immediate threat and would not be unless Baghdad feared an imminent attack by the U.S.  Just six days later, Bush announced in Cincinnati that Iraq was an imminent threat.

The original, classified NIE, was replete with cautionary language and dissenting views.  The Bush regime presented a declassified White Paper that presented an unqualified assessment that Iraq did, indeed, have WMD and was seeking to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program.  For example, where the original NIE stated “although we have little specific information in Iraq’s WC [chemical weapons] stockpile, Saddam probably has stocked at least 100 metric tons…”  The White Paper given to Congress and the “although we have little specific information” language and began, “Saddam probably has.”  The deleted language exposes the “Saddam probably has” as worthless speculation.

Moreover, the NIE was itself the product of political pressure.  While the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee agreed that the Bush administration did not “coerce an intelligence agency to ‘change’ a finding,” Sen. Rockefeller said the committee’s report “fails to explain the environment of intense pressure” applied by the Bush regime.  And Bugliosi cites multiple former officials who attest to that intense pressure, including Richard Kerr, a former deputy director of CIA who said the “administration ‘hammering’ on Iraq intelligence was harder than anything he had seen in his thirty-two years at the agency.”  When Richard Clarke told Bush on 9/12/01 there was no link between Iraq and either al Qaeda or 9/11, Bush “testily” replied, “Look into Iraq, Saddam.”

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By mrmb, July 2, 2008 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Folks,

Interesting analysis of our duplicitous and criminial involvement in Lebanon’s internal affiars to the detriment of all Lebanese.

House resolution that is a mockery and a joke pushed by zionists, look at the sponsors names, says it all.

This is just one example of our moral involvement in this world. Take this and apply it everywhere, it makes things pretty clear.

http://www.antiwar.com/zunes/?articleid=12988

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By Ed Harges, July 2, 2008 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Rus, several points:

This article concerns Iran, and if you look at my posts, you’ll find that they overwhelming concern Iran, not Iraq. For one thing, that’s the main subject of the article.

[I’m a little fuzzy on the details of what Saddam did and didn’t do back when. You obviously keep some kind of auto-paste list in front of you of everything Saddam is supposed to have done. Fine. I’m just not that interested. The point is (if we are to talk about Iraq at all) that Clinton rejected the idea that ANY of this, whether he believed all of it or not, amounted to reason to undertake an all-out war. And THAT is why Clinton for all of his faults was a far wiser steward of the national interest. Now, that is ALL I’m going to say about Iraq, because what’s on our plate now is IRAN.]

Please stick to Iran, not just because that’s the subject of the article, but because this matter is extremely urgent. You can talk about Saddam with Cyrena, if she wants.

Now: Ritter correctly asserts that the war against Iran is being fomented for and by Israel.

Unfortunately, reality has an anti-Israel bias.

And if “anti-Israel” equals “anti-Semitic”, then the facts have an anti-Semitic bias.

Tough. You’ll just have to deal with it.

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By cann4ing, July 2, 2008 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Rus, I did not ask you why you quoted Senator Kennedy but why you think quoting a statement by someone that reflects a “belief” that there was a threat.  As to the PNAC neocons, their goal of turning Iraq into a permanent base for extending U.S. hegemony over the whole of the Middle East while they were inside the administration of Geo. H.W. Bush, who wisely chose to end Gulf War I with the liberation of Kuwait.

The fact is that Iraq was never a serious threat to the U.S.  George W. Bush knew this, and as revealed by the Manning memo, was so concerned that the inspectors would find that Iraq had disarmed that he told Tony Blair that he was considering sending a U-2 over Iraq, falsely marked in UN colors, in the hopes of provoking a confrontation.

So please answer my real question—how does quoting this or that Senator, president or other politician’s “claim” that Iraq was a threat establish that Iraq was in fact a threat?  Simple question.  I am still awaiting your answer.

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By mrmb, July 2, 2008 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ed,

According to Scott in his interviews and etc….. he clasifies himself as a friend of israel and therefore a zionist.

If Scott disagrees with this he can certainly correct it.

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By Ed Harges, July 2, 2008 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

OK, Rus7355, you answer MY question for once.

Scott Ritter himself writes in his book, Target Iran:

“Let there be no doubt: If there is an American war with Iran, it is a war that was made in Israel ....”

http://www.forward.com/articles/book-israel-lobby-push ing-iran-war/

My question:

IS SCOTT RITTER AN ANTI-SEMITE?

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By Ed Harges, July 2, 2008 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

Rus writes: “Are you saying that Iraq did not fire over one thousand six hundred missiles on American and British planes?”

I don’t have any idea whether this factoid is true, but if it is: that’s kind of what you can expect when you’re flying bombing and spying missions over somebody else’s country, eh?

Or did Saddam fire missiles at US planes flying over Iowa?

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By Ed Harges, July 2, 2008 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

Rus7355:

“How would you explain the Iraq Liberation Act?”

Two words: ISRAEL LOBBY. And yes, that was before GWB was in office. So what. I have never claimed that the lobby’s outrageously excessive influence began with the present administration.

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By Ed Harges, July 2, 2008 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Rus7355, no one blames Israel for “all the worlds ills”. That’s a straw man you’re attacking.

But Scott Ritter himself writes in his book, Target Iran:

“Let there be no doubt: If there is an American war with Iran, it is a war that was made in Israel ....”

http://www.forward.com/articles/book-israel-lobby-pushing-iran-war/

The campaign to get the US to go to war against Iran is overwhelmingly generated by Israel and its radical “American” partisans. And no, they’re not just pretending to want this for Israel, while actually desiring it for Chevron’s benefit. These people have a long paper trail, and their sincere devotion to Israel uber alles cannot be doubted.

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By Ed Harges, July 2, 2008 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Rus7355 writes:

“And thank you for pointing out that regime change had been the goal years before the evil Neo-Cons entered the White House”

Well, Rus,  I certainly have never denied it. But it is one thing to adopt a policy saying that “regime change” in Iraq is a desirable goal, and quite another to undertake an all-out war and occupation to effect such regime change.

Certainly both major political parties have colluded in the ever-increasing Israeli takeover of US Middle East policy, to the grave detriment of US interests.

What is clear, however, is that Clinton only went along with — more like “paid lip service to” — a lot of Israel-lobby-generated crap about the “threat” from Iraq, but was never so stupid and disloyal to his country as to give the neocons what they most wanted: an actual war of aggression aimed at destroying Iraq for Israel.

Yes, that does perhaps mean that Clinton pursued a somewhat self-contradictory policy, officially agreeing with Israeli bullshit “intelligence” on Mideast “threats”, but not doing what Israel wanted done about these “threats”.

Rus, this was a messy policy, but it was far, far better than the Bush/Cheney policy of actually implementing fully Israel’s scheme to have the US destroy all its rivals in a series of catastrophic wars!

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By cann4ing, July 2, 2008 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

To Scott Ritter:  Under the current Truthdig format, prior posts drop off after they reach the bottom of the page.  I am not certain what you perceived as an anti-Semitic rant, but I would hope that you are not one of those who conflates opposition to Israel’s brutal 40-year illegal occupation of Palestinian lands in violation of UN Resolution 242 with anti-Semitism.

If you do, I would respectfully suggest you read Prof. Norm Finkelstein’s “Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History.”

You may not be aware of it, but a prominent group of Jewish Americans has started the “J Street Project” so as to counter the undue influence of the neoconservatives at AIPAC.  J Street is not anti-Israel, but it is anti-occupation.

Finally, while your Truthdig articles are truly informative, that does not mean that you, as the author, have the right to regulate the range of thought they provoke.  That does not diminish your right to criticize anti-Semitic remarks, but I do think it incumbent upon you when rendering such criticism to be a bit more specific.

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By Andrew, July 2, 2008 at 3:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A Nuclear Expert Who Is

Scott Ritter’s attack on David Albright, “The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was,” suggests that only those who have spent years on the “inside” or have some other official credential are true experts.  He is wrong.

Ritter is correct that Albright’s expertise does not stem from either his participation in IAEA inspections or a PhD in nuclear physics.  You can’t get the kind of expertise that Albright has developed that easily.  Albright started to work on nuclear-proliferation issues as a researcher in Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security. He ultimately established his own NGO, the Institute on Science and International Security (ISIS).

One measure of Albright’s expertise is the invaluable and authoritative book, Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1996: World Inventories Capabilities and Policies (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and Oxford University Press, 1997).  Albright was the lead author both alphabetically and in terms of his contributions.  As an academic, I would be proud to be a co-author.  Indeed, Albright’s two co-authors are senior professors at distinguished universities in the U.K. and Netherlands.

Albright was not interested in an academic career, however.  He decided that it was more important to inform the public debate over nonproliferation – initially through his excellent articles in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and then, as journalists began to beat their way to his door, directly through releases to the media.

Albright pioneered the use of commercial satellite images to provide independent information on nuclear-related construction in countries of proliferation concern.  The ISIS book, Solving the North Korean Nuclear Puzzle that he co-edited with Kevin O’Neill in 2000, is still the most authoritative published work on the subject.

As Albright became more visible and trusted as an independent expert, insiders with important information began to come to him for help to get their story out. Some governmental experts who disagreed with the CIA claim that the aluminum tubes that Iraq was importing were for manufacturing centrifuges came to Albright, for example, at a critical time in the U.S. debate over Iraq’s supposedly resurgent nuclear-weapons program. 

Albright is also obviously well respected in the IAEA.  He is always the first outsider I know to get a copy of the latest IAEA report on the results of its inspections in Iran.  This gives him a chance to make a quick analysis to inform the media on the significance of the new findings.  I am glad that the media has this alternative to whatever spin the Administration decides to apply.

Albright’s role has its risks.  In a confusing situation, he does not have the luxury of being able to sit on a result for months as is possible in academia.  As a result, he has made some mistakes—as we all have.  But there is no doubt that the communities of academics, NGOs and journalists who have come to depend upon his analyses are much better off with his guidance than we would be without it.  Indeed, in 2006, the American Physical Society, the professional society of American physicists, gave Albright its Joseph A. Burton Forum Award. The citation was “For his tireless and productive efforts to slow the transfer of nuclear weapons technology. He brings a unique combination of deep understanding, objectivity, and effectiveness to this vexed area.”

I don’t know what set Scott Ritter off but his attack on Albright, while incendiary, is almost completely without substance. There is virtually no discussion of specific issues where he believes Albright was mistaken. Ritter is way off base.

Frank von Hippel, Professor of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Co-chair International Panel on Fissile Materials
Former Assistant Director for National Security, White House Office on Science and Technology Policy, 1993-94

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By Ed Harges, July 1, 2008 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

re: By THE MANGEMEISTER, July 1 at 8:06 pm:

Thanks for the support. I hope Truthdig will do more to cut the fluff and keep the focus more sharply on matters of dire urgency.

As for getting smeared for criticizing Israel in honest and therefore offensive terms: it is impossible to be both honest and inoffensive in criticizing Israel’s influence over US mideast policy — because the honest truth is very, very ugly.

Furthermore, I have seen a pattern: Israel’s critics often smear each other as anti-Semites, in the craven hope that this will get them a better hearing from the pro-Israel ideologues who police our politics and journalism.

One example is a recent book called “They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons,” by Jacob Heilbrunn. Heilbrunn (who is Jewish) has some very harsh and ethnically pointed things to say about the neocons, but he tries to establish his bona fides with skeptical readers by trashing Mearsheimer and Walt, Jimmy Carter, and Edward Said.

In fact, Heilbrunn is much more guilty than M & W of writing things that could be construed as anti-Jewish. For example, he explicitly labels neoconservatism itself as a “Jewish movement”.

“And you can trust me on this”, he implies, “because I dislike the same people you don’t like!”

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By THE MANGEMEISTER, July 1, 2008 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges I share your view about priorities at Truthdig with the comment you posted July 1 11:17am.I love this web site but I feel a change.It seems Truthdig is becoming more mainstream especially with all this celebrity stuff.As much as you are criticized on your comments about Israel I offer you a quote from Kevin Alfred Storm.“If you want to identify the real rulers of any society,simply ask yourself this question.Who is it that I cannot criticize?

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By John Konop, July 1, 2008 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

AP-A former CIA operative who says he tried to warn the agency about faulty intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs now contends that CIA officials also ignored evidence that Iran had suspended work on a nuclear bomb.

The onetime undercover agent, who has been barred by the CIA from using his real name, has filed a motion in federal court asking the government to declassify legal documents describing what he says was a deliberate suppression of findings on Iran.

The former operative alleged in a 2004 lawsuit that the CIA fired him after he repeatedly clashed with senior managers over his attempts to file reports that challenged the conventional wisdom about weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

“On five occasions he was ordered to either falsify his reporting on WMD in the Near East, or not to file his reports at all,” his attorney, Roy Krieger, said in an interview.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano declined to comment on the specifics of the case but flatly rejected the allegation that the agency had suppressed reports.

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By cann4ing, July 1, 2008 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

Scott:  Since you appear to be one of those rare individuals who actually reads comments posted to an article written by you, I wonder if you would mind a couple questions.

In one of his books, Mark Crispin Miller notes that while Bush & Co. were spinning their tale of ominous “mushroom clouds,” you were in Baghdad trying to convince the Iraqis they faced an imminent invasion unless they granted the inspectors immediate and unlimited access and that, for this, you were slammed on CNN by Clifford May, a former communications director of the RNC as a “misguided” fool who had “becomoe an apologist for and a defender of Saddam Hussein.”  Miller states this view was briefly “obliterated” when you were interviewed by CNN’s Miles O’Brien, noting that by the time UNSCOM left Iraq, they had ascertained “a 95% level of disarmament that included all production equipment and means of production used by Iraq to produce these weapons;” that you set the record strait.  The inspectors were not kicked out by the Iraqis but ordered out by the U.S. which “manipulated the inspection process to create a confrontation that led to Operation Desert Fox.”

Rather than being attacked by the administration, the attack came from Eason Jordan, CNN’s chief news executive, who described your behavior as “chameleon-like” and added that “US officials no longer give Scott Ritter much credibility.”

My question Scott is whether the network sought to find out what you would say in advance of your appearance?  (Note:  At least CNN had you on, according to Jeff Cohen, a founder of F.A.I.R., his efforts to book you were thwarted by a vicious smear—the claim that you were receiving funds from the Iraqi government.)

Finally, there is ample evidence that oil was one of a number of economic factors motivating this imperial conquest.  It is reflected by the maps drawn up by the Cheney Energy task force pre-9/11, the PNAC documents reflecting a desire to secure regime change in order to establish a permanent base for extending U.S. hegemony over the whole of the oil rich Middle East and the now pending no-bid contracts.  Other economic factors are amply supply by Naomi Klein, “The Shock Doctrine,” Antonia Juhasz, “The Bush Agenda” to name but a couple of the books touching on the topic.

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By cyrena, July 1, 2008 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena,
•  “Again you are avoiding the question.”

No, I’ve continued to answer the question, in every disingenuous form that you’ve posed it.

•  “The question has remained the same.”

No, it hasn’t but that’s fine, since you’re about to pose it in yet another form.

•  “Your position has been that Saddam was never a threat and WMD was a lie.”

AND THAT IS STILL MY POSITION, AND IT HAS BEEN VERIFIED.

•  “…The questions, Cyrena, is the assessment of Saddam’s Iraq.

TA DA! How about that, you finally posed it in straightforward and connected language. On the assessment of Saddam’s Iraq: Refer to my repeated position above, and in CAPS. Saddam was NOT a threat. Dick Bush LIED about WMD, because he KNEW that Saddam was not a threat, and did NOT possess WMD.

Refer to the post by cann4ing #166383 of which you apparently ‘approve’.

In that post, he reminds you, (for the umpteeth time) that bush knew, at the very least 6 days before he blasted Iraq, that Saddam DID NOT possess WMD. (I’m sure he knew it long before that – the rest of us did.)

I noticed Rus, that the first two times you posted the unrelated quote from Sen. Kennedy, you included the ENTIRE statement, including the first sentence. This is from your post #166286 on 6/30 at 1:01pm

•  ““No one disputes that America has lasting and important interests in the Persian Gulf, or that Iraq poses a significant challenge to U.S. interests. There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein’s regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant.—Senator Edward M. Kennedy—remarks to Senate, September 27, 2002”

AMERICA HAS LASTING AND IMPORTANT INTERESTS IN THE PERSIAN GULF. (no kidding, we need their oil). Then he says that Iraq poses a significant challenge to those ‘interests’. (I’d say that was true – at least at the time he said it. Saddam had already begun selling his oil to anyone he wanted, and in Eruos, not dollars). THEN he says that Saddam’s regime is a serious danger, (presumably to those very same ‘lasting and important US *interests*) and that Saddam is a tyrant. (no kidding on the tyrant part.)

Now in your subsequent posts, you skip all the rest of the connected language/context to that statement, and you just quote THIS, in your post #166365 on 7/1 at 3:17am

•  “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein’s regime is a serious danger”—Senator Edward M. Kennedy 2002.”

Therein lies the intentionally disingenuous and corrupt nature of your intentions, which are typical of your entire presence on this site, in light of ALL your comments. And now that you’ve boxed yourself into a hole by your own pompous, arrogant, combatively aggressive O’Reilly and Limbaugh tactics,  you’re too cowardly to answer the questions that cann4ing has put to YOU. Because now you’re ‘traveling’.

Pathetic.

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By Ed Harges, July 1, 2008 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Scott Ritter (at least that’s who he says he is) writes:

“Likewise, I do not take kindly to those who use my writing as a vehicle to facilitate their anti-Semitic rants against Israel.

Well, sir, I’m not sure to whom this refers, but let me point out that in your book, “Target Iran”, you write: “Let there be no doubt: If there is an American war with Iran, it is a war that was made in Israel ....” That’s an exact quite.

It’s impossible to state the truth about this looming war in a way that is more unflattering to Israel than that; furthermore, it’s the plain truth.

Don’t try to score cheap points with your pro-Israel critics by smearing others as anti-Semites because, like you, we don’t mince words about what Israel is doing to America.

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By Scott Ritter, July 1, 2008 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Whether or not his stint as an accidental inspector was facilitated by Maurizzio Zifferero or anyone else in the IAEA is not the point of the article, which was focused on the role played by an outsider, David Albright, in presenting sensitive information to the public in a manner which oversold his credentials for doing so, and as such gave artificial weight and gravitas to assertions and conclusions which were subsequently repeated within the main stream media as ‘expert’ opinion.  The dissection of this disingenuous activity by exposing the flaws in its construct was the topic at hand, not the role played by oil in the Iraq War, or how the Israeli Lobby manipulates events in Washington DC.

I have, in fact, written about my opinion/assessment concerning the role played by oil in the lead-up to the Iraq War.  I base my assessments on my previous interactions with Amer Rashid, the former Iraqi Minister of Oil prior to the US invasion in 2003, consultations with a large US-based oil company prior to and after the invasion of Iraq, and through other contacts inside the international oil industry community. 

To say that the war in Iraq was all about oil ignores so many other facets of the problem.  When the focus of effort for all Americans should be how to extricate ourselves from Iraq, and prevent similar irresponsible involvement in Iran, any effort which wrongly defines the true nature of the problem precludes any solid definition of the solution.  I choose not to write about oil as the end-all of Iraq war conspiracies because the facts as I am familiar with do not lend themselves to such a conclusion.  Anyone who believes different is free to do so, and even write about it in any forum which lends itself to such arguments.  All I ask is that in doing so the critic cites some sort of-fact based data, as opposed to baseless attacks against my motivations for not choosing to embrace their particular interpretation of the world.

Likewise, I do not take kindly to those who use my writing as a vehicle to facilitate their anti-Semitic rants against Israel.  I am on record with my strong criticism of Israeli policy.  I have spoken out against the undue influence of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  And yet, I am not anti-Israeli, nor even anti-AIPAC.  How can I be?  From 1994 until 1998 I served as a senior liaison between the United Nations and Israel, working at the highest levels on a cooperation which facilitated the fundamental disarmament of Iraq.  Those who have cited this cooperation as evidence of any nefarious bond between Israel and myself do so in vain:  the Clinton administration has beaten you to the punch, charging me with passing secrets to Israel in the conduct of my official UN work.  The charges were unfounded, and the US Government formally terminated the investigation in 2003. 

I would speak before AIPAC today, in the same way that I spoke before the American Jewish Federation in 2006, not because I am pro-AIPAC, but because there is not better audience to voice a cautionary warning about the fundamental flaws inherent in the policy positions on Iran being pushed by AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups in America today.  The American-Israeli relationship is complex, deserving of sound, rational fact-based analysis of the kind offered by Walt and Mearsheimer.

Sound, fact-based discussion is what TruthDig is all about.  That is why I agreed to write for them last year, and that is why I am proud to be writing for them still today.  That’s why I wrote the essay on David Albright, and why I will write another essay on some as-of-yet-undetermined topic next week.  I look forward to informed comment, critical or otherwise.  Just make sure to keep it civil, as well.

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By Scott Ritter, July 1, 2008 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

For the most part, I get it right.  In writing about David Albright, the “Inspector who never was’, I made a point at refuting the qualifications of someone who has injected himself into a debate which has life-or-death consequences.  This is the privilege of us all, especially as concerned citizens.  But when the observations and comments of some are given more weight than others due to experience and expertise, it is important that the basis of this experience and expertise be evaluated fairly and accurately so as to neither underplay nor exaggerate their relevance.

In 1992 David Albright was a researcher, not in any formal capacity as a governmental analyst or ‘expert on mission’, but rather as an individual working for a private organization dedicated to nuclear matters.  His impressive study on the inventory of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, published in 1992, brought him to the attention of Maurizio Zifferero, the head of the IEA Iraq Action Team, either as a result of a collaboration which began prior to the publication of the study, or afterwards.  This collaboration was well underway by the time Bob Kelley arrived at the IAEA in 1992, and it was Maurizio, not Bob, who served as the primary conduit of sensitive IAEA information to David Albright.  Bob actively participated in this cooperation, but as part of a larger corporate effort, spearheaded by Maurizio Zifferero, and not any individual initiative.  The initial focus of effort for David Albright was Iraq’s electromagnetic isotope separation, or EMIS, work, and associated procurement activities.  Why Maurizio decided to share sensitive information with a non-government affiliated individual lacking in any formal training on either EMIS or procurement networks may never be known;  Maurizio passed away in 1997.  Maurizio Zifferero’s passing brought with it a corresponding ‘house cleaning’ at the IAEA, with Zifferero’s successor, Gary Dillon, severing all of the informal, unofficial contacts Zifferero had established between the IAEA Iraq Action Team and outsiders, including David Albright.

In my essay on David Albright, I discussed the role played by Bob Kelley in facilitating Albright’s access to the IAEA.  That there was a close relationship between the two is without debate.  Bob Kelley left the IAEA in 1993 to return to the United States, where he worked on behalf of the Department of Energy.  He returned to the IAEA to participate in inspections in both 1994 and 1995, and later in 2002-2003.  During this time he co-authored an article with David Albright which assessed Iraq’s veracity following the defection of Hussein Kamal in August 1995.  David Albright had indicated his desire to travel to Iraq as a member of an IAEA inspection team ever since he started his relationship with Maurizzio Zifferero in 1992; in June 1996 he finally got his wish, more because of the intervention of Zifferero than any relationship with Bob Kelley or any other IAEA personnel.  Bob Kelley today has no involvement with the IAEA’s activities in either Iran or Syria, and does not interact with David Albright as had been the case back in the 1990’s.  Any inference that Bob Kelley continues to serve as a source for David Albright’s writings on Iran and Syria was unintentional.  Clearly there is a source inside the IAEA who shares sensitive nuclear investigation-related materials with Albright.  This person is not Bob Kelley, who continues to serve the world community in support of ongoing nuclear non-proliferation activities.

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By Scott Ritter, July 1, 2008 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

I enjoy writing for TruthDig.  I respect its editors, and am honored to be included among its impressive array of writers.  The purpose of writing for TruthDig is simple and straightforward:  to inject information into the information superhighway in hopes of promoting informed debate, dialogue and discussion.  Based upon the widespread distribution of essays and articles I and others have written for TruthDig, and on many of the comments made in response, I would deem my efforts a success.

I certainly do not hope, or want, 100% agreement with everything I write.  That would make the world, and writing for TruthDig, very boring indeed.  However, when promoting informed debate, dialogue and discussion generated by my writing, I not only emphasize the term ‘informed’, but also imply ‘civil’.  Failure to adhere to the standards associated with these words lends itself to interaction that is in danger of becoming ‘ignorant’ and ‘rude’.  Based upon some of the comments my most current and past essays have generated, the latter outweighs the former.

I write about topics that are important to me, and which I believe may serve to better inform the public directly, by reading what I wrote, or indirectly, through associated discussion.  I do my best to stay within the limits of what I am capable of, and qualified to, discuss.  I am, when writing for TruthDig, neither a reporter nor formal researcher, but rather as an observer and commentator.  I draw upon past experience, and I research a topic to the extent that I try to be as assiduous with the facts as possible.  If I happen upon a unique source of information which is able to be referred to, quoted or otherwise attributed, I will make use of the relevant information in a manner which incorporates integrity and balance.

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By Ed Harges, July 1, 2008 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

re: By cann4ing, July 1 at 11:49 am:

Yeah, and I feel like that partisan political calculus has to a certain extent infected “progressive” websites like this one. Just as in 2006, as you recount, there seems to be this mentality of “Keep your heads down, because if we just don’t rock the boat, the Democrats will win in the upcoming elections!”

I’m so sick of everything being eternally put off, because there’s always a next round of elections coming. Don’t think the Israelis didn’t take that into account when they conducted their murderous assault on Lebanon in late summer 2006: “The cowards in the US Congress will be afraid to criticize us, because their elections are coming up, and they fear the wrath of our lobby!”

And sure enough, the Democrats, including Obama, fell all over themselves to bless Israel’s rampage. And now they are stuck with that position, because they don’t want to get pegged for “flip-flopping”.

So now, at a time when this Iran cataclysm looms in the near future, Truthdig says to itself, “Let’s see - what can we all agree on? Ah, polar bears - don’t we all like polar bears, and wish them the very best?....

“And Iran? Well, if we have to bring it up, we’ll let it slip down the page, buried in a column by Scott Ritter, headlined, “Ritter questions qualifications of nuclear expert (see boring details below)’ “.

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By cann4ing, July 1, 2008 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Ed, frustration would not begin to express, my feelings on the matter—disgust, revulsion would perhaps be better.  Time and again the so-called Democratic leadership has been willing to hand over our national treasury and our civil liberties to the Bush cabal in exchange for our votes out of a cynical political calculus, which was explained when far too many Democrats joined with Republicans in passing the Military Commissions Act of 2006—a desire to limit the daylight between Republicans and Democrats on national security issues in the Nov. 2006 mid-term.  Their success only led to more of the same—the refusal to place impeachment on the table, time and again forking pouring money into the coffers of KBR, Blackwater and the other war profiteers, enabling the regime to secure a sweetheart of an oil deal for Big oil, but betraying our young men and women in uniform who have been forced into fourth and fifth tours of duty, and soon to come, an unnecessary FISA bill that not only provides Telecom immunity but eviscerates the Fourth Amendment.

I don’t know which I despise more, the lying fascists inside the Bush regime or their enablers in the so-called Democratic leadership.  For progressives, the way forward will not be easy.  Yes we need to insure that McCain does not perpetuate the assault on our constitution and the rule of law, but, through organizations like the PDA, we need to one-by-one replace the corporate sellouts inside the Democratic Party with true progressives who will bring us healthcare and not warfare.

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By Ed Harges, July 1, 2008 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Contact your Congressional representative right now and say no to war against Iran, no to blockading Iran, no to House Resolution 362, and no to any more wars for Israel or for oil:

https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml

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By Ed Harges, July 1, 2008 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, July 1 at 11:08 am:

I’m just very frustrated because at a time when, in the House and Senate, resolutions are pending which call for things like an immediate blockade against Iran, which is already an act of war, Truthdig’s featured story is about polar bears! If Iran is not a stark raving emergency, what the hell is? This is doom staring us in the face!

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By cann4ing, July 1, 2008 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Ed, I appreciate the link, but question Cockburn’s assertion that Hersh and The New Yorker are somehow belatedly stealing the counterpunch thunder, which appears to be a reflection of professional jealousy.  Hersh was to first journalist to expose the administration’s Iran plans.  He did so more than two years ago.  On the subject of the role of the Democratic leadership, Hersh was just as critical as Cockburn.  He told Amy Goodman that while the balance of Congress was kept in the dark, the “Gang of Eight” which included four Democrats, Peolsi, Reid, Rockefeller and Reyes, were all given the finding; “lawyers looked at it—and did nothing.”  He said that “the Democratic position was very sort of cynical.  Which is that ‘We’re going to do well next year in the election…Let’s not give Bush an issue, right now.”  He noted that the Finding was presented to the Gang of Eight right after the NIE debunking the myth that Iran was developing nuclear weapons came out.  He questioned why Obama appears to be ignoring the NIE results in his recent rhetoric.

The timing of the Hersh piece may well be due to the fact, as relayed by sources, that Bush would be more inclined to attack Iran if Obama is elected because Bush believes McCain would eventually carry out the attack once in office.

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By Ed Harges, July 1, 2008 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

re: By cann4ing, June 30 at 5:33 pm:

I’m sorry, but Truthdig was ALREADY lagging in coverage of this subject - because in fact The New Yorker an Seymour Hersh are also coming to this belatedly. But now we can take it “Seriously” because Hersh is saying it.

In a new article at Counterpunch.com, Alexander Cockburn summarizes the failure of The New Yorker and much of the “progressive” media and blogosphere to give adequate coverage to what Counterpunch and Antiwar.com have been almost alone in alerting us to:

“Re-Breaking the News: Two Months Later, Hersh and the New Yorker Strain to Catch Up With CounterPunch”

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

“Late last week the New Yorker released a 6,000 word story by Seymour Hersh under the vague title, “Preparing the Battlefield”....

“As Hersh’s hodge-podge narrative got play over the weekend, CounterPunchers read his supposed disclosures with an impatient and knowing sigh. They, after all, had learned of the Finding back on May 2, when Andrew Cockburn disclosed its contents here, with a good deal more pep and hard information…”

http://counterpunch.org/cockburn07012008.html

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By cann4ing, July 1, 2008 at 7:17 am Link to this comment

Rus, if you ever get around to actually reading something of value, like Scott Ritter’s “Iraq Confidential” you would learn that the Clinton administration had bought much of the neocon goal by targeting Iraq for regime change.  In fact that was the goal of three successive administrations—Bush I, Clinton, Bush II.  They just differed in methodology, with Bush II coming up with preemptive war.  It was the reason, Ritter explains, why there was consistent tension between UNSCOM and the U.S. intelligence agencies.  UNSCOM’s mandate was to verify that Iraq had disarmed.  The U.S. was interested only in regime change, which would be hampered if UNSCOM succeeded in verifying the true state of Iraq’s former WMD programs.

As to Madeleine Albright, while she and Clinton did not engage in preemptive war, I find her position no less despicable than the one played by your neocon friends.  When asked about a UN finding that the sanctions regime had cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, Albright responded:  “It was worth it.”

Now that I have answered the loaded question you repeatedly posed to Cyrena, how bout answering mine.  How does quoting a statement by T. Kennedy prove that Iraq was in fact a threat?  How can you defend the pre-war claim made by Bush that Iraq was an imminent threat when the NIE given to Bush just six days before he made that statement said just the opposite?

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By cyrena, July 1, 2008 at 4:32 am Link to this comment

Just answer the question. How does Kennedy and Albright fit into your evil Neo-Con theory?

****

Rus, *I* don’t have an ‘evil’ Neo-Con theory. Only YOU have suggested an ‘evil’ Neo-Con theory.

All *I* ever said was that the Dick Bush, et al regime LIED when they said that Saddam Hussein had WMD, and used it as a reason to lie to the American public as a reason to attack Iraq in 2003.

That’s ALL *I’ve* ever claimed. The alleged ‘evil neo-con theory’ is of your own making.

You’re a really troubled dude. Some might suggest mentally unstable. Dangerously so.

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By cann4ing, June 30, 2008 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

Ed, I hope TD covers it, but it’s a little early for the criticism.  The Hersh article was only recently posted at its original source, The New Yorker magazine, and Hersh first appeared to discuss the article today on Democracy Now.  The article is to appear in the July 7, 2008 print edition of the New Yorker.  So I think the editors at TD should be granted a bit of leeway to get on board.

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By cyrena, June 30, 2008 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Rus,

You don’t have a question. That’s pretty much what it comes down to. It SOUNDS like you’re asking me why other people (outside of the PNAC team) have made the claim that Iraq has nukes. IS that what you’re asking me Rus? Are you asking me to explain why Israel busted up Iraq’s nuclear program nearly 30 years ago with bombs from their airplanes? I don’t know rus.

Are you asking me why Donald Rumsfeld did business with Saddam Hussein back in the 80’s, (when he answered to Regan) and they were really good buddies and all, and then he claimed 20 years later that Saddam had nukes, and needed to be wiped out? I can’t imagine Rus.

Are you asking me if the question of nukes came up when Bush I invaded Iraq in the 1st Gulf war? That wasn’t the reason he used to get a resolution from the UNSC, but I’m sure it came up, since Iraq has been a signatory to the NPT for decades, and has attempted to have a nuclear programme, (otherwise there would be no need to sign on to the Treaty). So just what is it that you’re asking me Rus?

Again, it SEEMS like you somehow want to prove that other people besides the NEO-Cons of the PNAC have accused Iraq of having Nuclear Weapons. That’s a no-brainer Rus, and that’s why I said you were stupid. OBVIOUSLY, others have suggested that Iraq might (over the past 30 years) have nuclear weapons, or that Saddam might be trying to acquire them. I’m sure that DOEZENS of people have made such suggestions.

But here’s the thing Rus…JUST SAYING IT, DOESN’T MAKE IT TRUE!! And when Georgie Jr. made the claim to start a war in 2003, we all KNEW IT WASN’T TRUE. In other words, he LIED. Now I don’t care how many other people have claimed or otherwise suggested over the years, that Saddam Hussein might have nukes, because nobody decided to kill millions of the people of Iraq just because they ‘said’ that. Only your hero told the LIE, even AFTER it had been CONFIRMED by the UN weapons inspection team, (remember Hans Blix) that there were NOT ANY NUKES or other WMD in Iraq. And, that’s all that matters Rus. George lied when he said there were WMD in Iraq. Dick Cheney LIED when he did the same. Donald Rumsfeld lied, and Richard Perle lied. Condi Rice lied. They ALL lied when they claimed that Saddam had WMD in 2002 and 2003, because they KNEW THAT HE DID NOT! That’s why the UNSC refused to provide the resolution they wanted to attack Iraq, and that’s why they did the illegal attack/invasion/occupation WITHOUT the resolution.

We’re done with this conversation Rus, because I’m tired of answering the same question over and over again. Cann4ing has answered the same question as well, and so have numerous others on these threads. If you don’t get it by now, then you’ve simply proven that you are stupid.

Meantime, I didn’t say that I didn’t like Madeline Albright,  (though she is a warmonger) and I DEFINITELY didn’t call her stupid. She clearly is NOT stupid. But YOU are. My pointing that out doesn’t make me look small. It just makes it clear that you’re stupid.

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By Ed Harges, June 30, 2008 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

re: By cann4ing, June 30 at 1:27 pm”

I find it appalling that Truthdig has not made this alarming new Hersh article on Iran the subject of one of its front page articles. The looming war on Iran is a five-alarm emergency of the most urgent kind, and Truthdig just shuffles along, barely noticing.

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By cann4ing, June 30, 2008 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Russ, the notion that a nation crippled by Gulf War I, thirteen years of sanctions that were so severe as to cause the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five, and a near continuous aerial assault by US/UK forces inside the so-called “no-fly zones” somehow posed a threat to the U.S., a nation which spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined and possesses the most awesome and sophisticated arsenal and delivery systems ever known to man would be a sick joke if the consequences had not been so serious.

As Vincent Bugliosi demonstrates beyond all reasonable doubt in “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,”  Bush knowingly lied to Congress and the American people.  The case against your neoconservative hero is a compelling one that includes the deliberate deletions of the reservations expressed by multiple agencies in the then completely classified 2002 NIE, which was replaced by an unclassified White Paper.  The deception began early on—a point revealed by Richard Clarke who says he personally told Bush there was no link between Iraq and either al Qaeda or 9/11 on 9/12/01, only to encounter a terse reply in which the president told him to go find one.

You can not defend the indefensible by relying upon non sequitors.  The fact that this or that Democratic Senator had been taken in by the lie does not change the fact that the Bush men knowingly deceived Congress and the American people.

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By cann4ing, June 30, 2008 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

Apropos to this article is a piece just published by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker entitled “Preparing the Battlefield.”

Hersh reveals that last November, in the wake of the debunking of the Bush regime’s Iran nuclear claims by an NIE which established that there was no evidence that Iran had made any effort to develop nuclear weapons, the Bush regime went to Congress, presidential finding in hand, seeking Congressional funding for “a major escalation of covert operations against Iran.”  “Clandestine operations against Iran are not new.  U.S. Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq sincew last year.  These have included seizing members of Al Quds…and taking them to Iraq for interrogation…But the scale and scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) have now been significantly expanded….
....
“‘The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change’...”  Precisely what we did over an extended period in the run up to Iraq.

Hersh told Amy Goodman that the Finding was made known only to the so-called Gang of Eight, which includes the leadership and ranking members and that the Dems went along out of the usual cynical political calculus of limiting the daylight between Republicans and Dems in national security issues in the coming election.

One senior Dem Senator told Hersh that Sec. of Def. Gates warned the Democratic caucus of potentially dire consequences if Bush staged a preemptive strike in Iran.  “‘We’ll create gene4rations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America,’” but then told the stunned Senators he was speaking for himself and not the administration.

Hersh says the Joint Chiefs are “‘pushing back very hard’ against White House pressure to undertake a military strike against Iran….‘at least ten senior flag and general officers…have weighed in on the issue.’”

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh

Of course, if between now and January, Bush, as Commander in Chief, orders the strike, can anyone doubt that the same Pentagon will carry it out?

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By cyrena, June 30, 2008 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

Hey rus, why do you keep calling the neo-cons ‘evil’? I never suggested that they were. (not that they aren’t, but that’s just soooo juvenile.)

As for why somebody (ANYBODY) suggested that Iraq might have a nuclear program, (or even weapons) you just really are stupid.

Could it be the same reason that Israel bombed the facility at Osirak nearly 30 years ago..long before the ‘neo-con’ term ever became know.

Why are you so stupid rus?

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By Ed Harges, June 30, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Sam Snedegar writes:

“Why hasn’t the US and the UN jumped in to take Israel’s nukes away? because Israel HAS NO NUKES.”

I don’t know which is the more astounding claim here —  that Israel has no nuclear weapons, or that if it did, the UN and US would “jump in” to take them away!

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By cyrena, June 30, 2008 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

“You’re very fond of writting that the threats from Iraq are nothing but “Neo-Con” lies. Please explain how Madeline Albright fits into your “Neo-Con” theories.”

**********

Talk about changing the subject.

Madeline Albright??????????

Rus, do you get many, many, many, people have claimed that Saddam Hussein had WMD. And we know rus, that Saddam Hussein DID in fact have nuclear facilities long, long ago, because Israel bombed it and destroyed it.

~“On 7 June 1981, eight Israeli air force pilots conducted a bold and dangerous raid deep into hostile territory. Hugging the ground to avoid detection, they flew more than 600 miles before dropping their bombs on a nuclear reactor under construction at Osirak, on the outskirts of Baghdad. The reactor was badly damaged, Iraq’s nuclear program was severely impaired, and none of the attacking planes were lost. The pilots became national heroes…”

From War Law, Michael Byers.

That was 1981 Rus. This is from the chapter of Michael Byers book that explains the international laws regarding what is called “Pre-emptive self-defense”.

The US and Israel are very fond of using this pre-emptive self defense, though admittedly, Israel has been using it for over 40 years. Now it is called the Bush Doctrine, ever since he did the same in March of 2003.

None of this has anything to do with Madeline Albright (though she was a war monger as well) and nothing changes the fact that at the time of the US invasion of Iraq, there were NO WMD. That was a lie.

Let’s get this clear again Rus. The NEOCONS initiated what became the BUSH Doctrine of pre-emptive war. That is to make a claim that some nation (any nation) has nuclear or other weapons that they ‘might use’ on us or our ‘allies’.

IF in fact this were the case, (that any nation was suspected of harboring a nuclear weapons programme within their perfectly legitimate nuclear civilian program) the IAEA (nuclear watchdog for the UN) is responsible for finding this out, and they do. (you might want to read the article again, to get a general idea on this stuff and how it works.) I have previously directed you to the text of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, so that you can understand how this process is accomplished.

Should there be such a danger, or if such a danger needs verification or clarification, the UN is qualified to assess such a danger, and make it’s findings known to the UN Security Council, AT WHICH TIME that BODY determines what actions should be taken against the offending nation.

The BUSH DOCTRINE says that the US can say whatever it wants, about any nation, and then proceed ON ITS OWN, (as in unilateral) to make war on that nation. In the case of Iraq now, (and Iran in the plan) we knew that there were no WMD, but the NEO CON BUSH DOCTRINE proceeded with it’s UNILATERAL attack anyway, (or, for the sake of appearances we can say that Britain was involved, but that too was the plan, since Tony Blair was another mole).

This has zip to do with Madeline Albright or whether or not Iraq had WMD 10 years ago.

Go away rus.

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By cann4ing, June 30, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Albright’s ISIS sounds very much like the U.S. version of the I.N.C., responsible for so much of the pre-war Iraq WMD propaganda.  What is disturbing about this piece is no so much Ritter’s revelation that Albright is a phony but that a pliant corporate media continues to relay propaganda rather than do the hard work of thoroughly examining the credentials of a key source.  Ritter’s piece should be made available to all commercial media, so that when Albright is relied on in future broadcasts and articles, there will be no wiggle room for the corporate media to deny complicity as a perpetrator of Bush regime propaganda.

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By SamSnedegar, June 30, 2008 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

oh my; caca was up to his elbows in drugs, extortion, prostitution, gambling, and money laundering, and at least a thousand people were delighted that caca was shot dead in the street.

so which of the thousand people who wanted caca dead did the job on him? none of them.

caca was offed by a nine year-old gang banger carrying heat who asked caca to give him a stick of gum when caca took out his pack to extract one for himself, and got the reply from caca, “fuck off, baby-shit!” The gang banger capped caca and took the whole pack of gum.

I don’t suppose one can really blame the cops for hauling in five hundred of the thousand people who wanted caca dead, but the FACT is that none of those people killed caca, no matter how much they wanted him dead and wanted credit for his demise.

The truth eventually will out (thanks Will), and no matter how many of the people who wanted caca dead were Jewish, his killer wasn’t a Jew and really wasn’t old enough to know what a Jew was and did.

Why hasn’t the US and the UN jumped in to take Israel’s nukes away? because Israel HAS NO NUKES. The US doesn’t mind the Izzies using the threat of a nuclear holacaust in the mideast to keep the arabs away from their door, but really, could we truly countenance THEM having a nuke while we supposedly went and murdered Saddam for merely THREATENING to get one of his own? Of course not.

The truth will out.

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By Outraged, June 29, 2008 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

Reading through the comments it is STRIKINGLY signifigant to say the least that JBlack and rus7355 completely ignore Mr. Gates’ comment.  Which I will repost.  Is this a “lie of ommission” so to speak? 

Is it that JBlack and rus7355 cannot refute or refuse to engage Mr. Gates?  One might wonder, why?  As it is… YES, JBlack and rus7355 I think you’re full of shit, got your head up someone’s ass..etc…etc, brown-noser and the like.  Again…Mr. Gate’s post:

“Scott Ritter knows a fake when he sees one in his slaying of the demon , Albright.

The US neocons have garnered this sort of support from experts like, Rumsfeld on shack and awe, Limbaugh on conservatism, and Pentagon generals as witnesses to the truth concerning Iraq’s WMD’s, all with dubious credentials and most with a paycheck that can be traced to AIPAC or another Lobby which makes hay of the war on terrors largese.

While Ritter has had his share of being a resident expert for Israel, the US and EU non proliferation policy wonks, has has turned his tail to the good work of exposing graft and corruption as well as panderers to the religious right’s fascination for Armageddon.

Ritter was a frequent contributer to Information Clearinghouse and had his share of the vitriol there for those who took bed and breakfast with Israeli war mongers, as Ritter is rumored to have done in his earlier days . Information Clearing house is down today, suspiciously , on the heels of a US/EU information shareing agreement which may find US CIA poring over the files in Brussels of this giant among left leaning sites where Ritter had his share of fame and fortune along with the usual insults and rages against the machines of which Ritter was once a member.

Scott Ritter is Scott Ritter, he is a good writer, and honest analyst and a credible expert in nuclear technology.

My past, as a nuclear arms custodial agent, serving in NATO in 1975, tells me that the nuke spook game is getting interesting these days as private hands have gotten hold of components which add up to a package of doom for some city in some nation, unbeknownst to Ritter or his former employers. Iran is not the real menace in nuclear arms proliferation when we look at the US turning a blind eye to Pakistan’s program, India’s reluctance to enjoin the US as their supervisor of nukes and the EU’s continueing drive to isolate any rogue nuclear powers as if they had some monoploy on nuclear arms used to make a balance of powers which is trustworthy not to break their codes of conduct concerning the use of such weaponry.

Iran is an odd case for Ritter and had his view of this nations nuclear program edited by his superiors, while advocating that Iran had not one iota of a weapons program in it’s strategies for becoming a player in the middle east’s Islamic ascendency.

Islam is not the type of agressor that the US, Israel or the EU, by association are, but still is maligned by the non proliferation advocates as a direct threat to Israel, which we all know doesn’t tolerate being asked to change the policies to make Arabs happy, or Persian leaders who feel that non violent words are the pathway to change, not guns and nukes, which are the barbarian way of being on top of the heaps of resource grabs in hapless nations such as Iraq.

Albright is an apologist for his masters claims of righteousness , but falls wildy short of being a credible expert on anything other than pandering to big bucks for fun and profit, his own.”

> DANCING AROUND an issue seems to be your MO, JBlack and rus7355.  It is apparent that personal attacks are “more your style”.  I would say that speaks volumes for “wearing the corporate logo”.

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By cyrena, June 29, 2008 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Re: rus7355 and other warmongering trollers part 1 of 2

No rus. None of what you’ve posted ‘sinks’ in, other than as continued proof of who you are, and what you are about. The only thing you ever do is to mimic what I write in calling YOU out for what YOU are, and attempt to put it back on me.

This whole Jewish thing is one of your obsessions. YOU accused me of suggesting that you were Jewish, (several times, and I will find those posts when I have time, and if I feel like it). My response to you at the time, was that I had NEVER suggested such a thing, and I specifically asked you what was wrong with being Jewish anyway! Now this is the 5th or 6th post where you go on and on about it. Thou doest protest too much.

*I* did *not* make a reference to you as an O’Reilly type. Outraged did, and I responded. In neither case was your name even mentioned, so there you go again with your immediate protests. Must have hit a nerve, since you felt the need to respond, and are doing it again.

It’s true that I have accused both you and JBlack of loving the Dick Bush regime. The use of that word ‘love’ could certainly be interpreted as a bit of hyperbole on my part, and since I’ve been posting here for far longer than you have, most of the same readers will interpret it as my own particular writing style when confronting people like you on these blogs. I *did* also accuse you of being a ‘troll’ in the sense of what that means in blogosphere terminology, and I will repeat now, that I am convinced of that still.

You claim most recently that you just happen to agree with both Bill Clinton and George Bush on both Iraq and Iran. That puts you out there as the troll that you are. Iraq was never a threat to the US or any of our so-called ‘allies’ in the ME, and neither is Iran. I know, (as do at least 1/3 of Americans who pay any attention) that the attacks upon, and invasions of both Iraq and Iran have long ago been planned by the Dick Bush regime, which includes every single signatory to the PNAC and all of the paper positions that were ultimately taken up by that group. It is a rogue group of Fascist Totalitarians that have long ago planned exactly what has taken place since the Judicial Coup that put them in the Oval Office. YOUR job has been to try and prevent these truth from becoming self-evident, and your performance has been sloppy, which is how you so immediately identified yourself as a troll.

Your innuendo in this latest post suggests that Bill Clinton and Dick Bush Cheney agree on the policies for Iraq and Iran, when the truth is that the PNAC wrote to Bill Clinton in 1996 and again in 1997 asking him (begging him) to attack Iraq, and he wouldn’t do it. There was no need. The same goes for Iran, because they are not a threat either. In other words rus, we KNOW that there has been a concerted effort on the part of this regime, (including the state department, and the shoving of John Bolton onto the UN despite the fact that the US Congress rejected his appointment time after time) to gin up a fabrication to attack Iran, just as they did with Iraq. We know that as a part of these efforts, the state department has employed hundreds of types like you and other disgruntled/exiled Iranians who would like to overthrow the regime in Iran, and we average American citizens are paying our tax dollars to groups like you and yours, to spread this propaganda, both here and in Iran. This is not a secret, because it’s been on going for years, and can be carefully documented, (including the dollars spent) since at LEAST 2003. (the same was done in the run-up to Iraq, though exiles and dissidents in Iran have been around for decades..that’s how the AQ Khan *nuclear secret* rumors began).

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By cyrena, June 29, 2008 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2 to trollers and warmongers.

We’ve heard (over the past 3 ½ years) from people like Larry Wilkerson, (former chief of staff to Colin Powell) about ALL of these details Rus. In short, and I will repeat this until it ‘sinks in’, the Neocon-Dick Bush-PNAC agenda has been, and continues to be, the total geopolitical control of the ME and all of it’s resources via military aggression. This plan, in the works for what is now well over a decade, did not originally appear to include the Clintons, at least not in any way that could be documented at the time. We KNOW that AIPAC however, has been used as a primary tool to advance this agenda. Not ALL members of PNAC are Jewish, so your paranoia is exposed there again, and it also confirms that you don’t know what you’re talking about either. You are part of the ‘cell’ without knowing who all of the other patsies in the cell are. You only know ‘your part’ of the overall terrorist action, and you’re at the very lowest level of the operation, along with all of these other trolls. That’s why you keep telling me to ‘talk to some Iranians’ when in fact I’ve made it clear that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for several years now.

So, you can call me a liar as often as you want Rus, but anybody following the threads on this website, (and that obviously BEGINS with the information contained in the articles like those from Scott Ritter) understands perfectly what I add to it, (along with other posters here who also know what’s going on) and the nuance involved. So, while it may be your ‘job’ to *prevent* that kind of understanding (including what people like Scott Ritter put forth) we see through those pathetic efforts as the charade that they are.

So here’s the deal AGAIN rus7355. (that’s another dead giveaway you know) I will continue to post here, and I will continue to expose you for what you are. I will challenge every lie that you put forth, and that’s a promise. Anyone reading the articles on this site, and choosing to engage in the discussions of any of these articles can decide for themselves, (IF they are interested) where the truth is, since I DO support my own analysis with facts and documentation. (that’s why you always have to claim that I get all of my information from the internet, when in fact that is the most reliable way to actually site the source of factual information in this age of technology). You either DON’T know HOW to do that, or…more likely, these facts have become very inconvenient to the propaganda that you are committed to perpetrating. In other words, your intent (as is the intent of millions of others in your operation) is to use the Internet to spread your warmongering propaganda to incite, without comprehending that the same tool can be used to expose it for exactly what it is, by simply putting the truth out there, right alongside the propaganda, allowing intelligent people to understand which is which.

In short, PROPANGANDA is an absolute necessity to the efforts of totalitarian and other authoritarian regimes/entities. Their operations would never succeed without it. Hitler and Stalin both utilized this tool to the ultimate maximum, though I’d say that Hitler and some of the later regimes (like the genociders of Rwanda) probably used it even better than Stalin. YOU are engaged in the same Rus7355, although it’s debatable as to how much you’re really aware of yourself.

Regardless, I will continue to expose you at every available opportunity, *even* as you EXPOSE YOURSELF! You should at least advise your ‘handlers’ that you’ve ‘been made.’ And if you actually *are* ignorantly arrogant enough to be attempting this as an independent operation, then you need to understand that it’s time to give up the ghost, or at least start over with a new identity.

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By bill payne, June 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Late James Orlin Grabbe’s website is back including

http://www.aci.net/kalliste/speccoll.htm

and

http://www.aci.net/kalliste/bw1.htm

regards
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4138/359968

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By scud, June 29, 2008 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Scott Ritter is not being as frequently interviewed as David Albright by the “mainstream media”, it is simply because Scott Ritter has not proven to be as constantly a reliable, honest, careful and dispassionate analyst as David Albright.

It does seem that Mr. Albright is, er, stretching his resume and qualifications a little bit, and we should thank Scott Ritter for exposing that. But how far should this matter? What matters is whether or not he has proven to be a reliable source of analysis and expertise. So far, he has - so give the guy a break.

And, please, Mr. Ritter (or Dr., I don’t know and I don’t care), remember that Albright was as opposed to the Iraq war as you were.

PS: about Iran: your claims about Albright using MeK and/or CIA data for the “discovery” of the Natanz and Arak installations are misplaced: just see the chronology of the whole 2002 episod and you will see that it actually happened the other way round.

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By Ed Harges, June 29, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

re: By cyrena, June 29 at 6:42 am:

Thank-you very much, Cyrena, for pointing us to that article. It’s particularly important as we slide ever more irreversably to the war against Iran which Ritter has been warning us about for years.

I feel much more hopeful about Obama now, judging from the fuller content his speech to AIPAC (though I was planning to vote for him anyway, as the least bad option). I will study the article very carefully.

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By Ed Harges, June 29, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

re: By cyrena, June 29 at 6:42 am:

Thanks-you very much, Cyrena, for pointing us to that article. It’s particularly important as we slide ever more irreversably to the war against Iran which Ritter has been warning us about for years.

I feel much more hopeful about Obama now, judging from the fuller content his speech to AIPAC (though I was planning to vote for him anyway, as the least bad option). I will study the article very carefully.

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By cyrena, June 29, 2008 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2 reply to Outraged’s gift in #166055
http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20080627_a_place_called_unity/

Outraged, you are a genius! Thank you for sharing this link. Felicity was right. Obama is a few steps ahead of us all the time. In time, all things shall be revealed. (that’s the closest I get to any kind of scripture).


•  “…Obama appeared to lavish praise on an organization that has unflinchingly supported the failed foreign policy of George W. Bush. In this rush to judgment of Obama’s obeisance to AIPAC, the backstory is rarely considered, and the political dimension of his strategy to confront John McCain appears never to have been taken into serious account…”

One should MOST DEFINITELY consult this full article to find out not just the back story, but to discover the speech that McSame Thug made as well, to this same group. Maybe then, some of the smarter ones among us will be able to tune right in to Obama’s strategy for confronting McSame Thug and all of the other dirty bastards.

Another excerpt:


•  The Republicans’ political strategy is now perfectly clear. Aided and abetted by their fellow neocons in the US and Israel, Republican operatives ultimately under the command of Karl Rove are in the process of defining Barack Obama as a closet Muslim and the hand-picked presidential candidate of Iran. Soft on Iran, soft on Iraq and not to be trusted with national security, Obama will be attacked by the Republicans as unfit for the presidency. These arguments are designed to gain traction on the back of open hostilities in the Middle East and will crystallize during a US and or Israeli assault on Iran that could take place at any time from now until the day of the election.


•  “In his remarks to AIPAC, Obama promised an aggressive pursuit of peace from the earliest days of his presidency, and he called for the removal of Israeli settlements from the West Bank. These were not popular points with his audience.”

Funny, I never ever heard these remarks from his speech.

•  “In contrast, Senator John McCain promised AIPAC a broader war in the Middle East spilling over into Iran, but he did not stop there. McCain advocated a permanent occupation of Iraq and many other sites in the Middle East from Kurdistan to Kandahar. But that was not all. Quoting suspicious sources, McCain led his audience at AIPAC to believe that the unpopular president of Iran had called for a resumption of the Holocaust. Of course, McCain’s remarks were absurd. For years, McCain and many others have painted Ahmadinejad as a denier of the Holocaust. When he addressed AIPAC, McCain depicted Ahmadinejad as the proponent of a Holocaust that he has been demonized for denying. McCain’s little studied speech to AIPAC was littered with absurdities, but they were absurdities designed to appeal to the deepest fears palpitating in the hearts of that august chamber.”


•  “In contrast to McCain’s absurdist nightmares of a renewal of the Holocaust and promises of a pre-emptive war against Iran plus the eternal occupation of Iraq and a future engulfed in global war, terrorism and economic deprivation, Obama’s statement emphasizing diplomacy, peace negotiations and the return of land to Palestinians should be interpreted as a bold model of rationality placed before a rabidly hostile audience.”

Funny how NONE of the MSM even covered McCain’s speech to AIPAC. And Obama’s was only ‘selectively’ covered.

Equally odd is how Obama’s speech has been consistently framed as major ‘pandering’ to AIPAC, when in fact he was telling them some stuff that they really didn’t wanna hear.

I won’t bother to remind that I *did* interpret the part of it that I WAS aware of, and what I believed it meant, that the AIPAC people probably didn’t much like. And of course I was attacked for that as ‘defending’ Obama again.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=9436

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By cyrena, June 29, 2008 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2
Same here:

•  “The most egregious statement Obama made during his star-crossed speech to AIPAC involved the city of Jerusalem. Obama called for an era of peace in an “undivided” Jerusalem. Avnery reproached Obama for this remark, reminding him that Jerusalem had been the capital of Palestine, and there was no conceivable set of circumstances that could change that fact. After hearing the cries of those appalled by his mistake, Obama clarified his statement on Jerusalem with a refinement designed to reassure the Palestinians over the future of their beloved city. Obama’s clarification was revealing. In his clarification, Obama stated that he had meant that Jerusalem must not be divided by walls or barricades or check-points in a clear slap at current Israeli policy on the West Bank where the grotesque security wall has disfigured the landscape. But, Obama’s clarification came one day too late. A great deal of damage had already been done to Obama’s credibility in the Middle East.”

This WAS the most egregious part of the entire statement, *that I read*. (I didn’t read any of this other stuff, about returning Palestinian lands to Palestinians, and the MSM never published it that I’m aware of.)

Still, I remember wondering, (and commenting) on whether or not Barack knew of the long ago arrangement for Jerusalem. I’m still not sure.

In context with the rest of what we DIDN’T know about McSame Thug’s speech, it makes perfectly good sense that Obama told them that he would *eliminate any threat* from Iran,  (because I KNOW that he knows they are NOT a threat) and *without* blasting them to smithereens, but rather via the same diplomacy that he said he would employ now well over 6 months ago.

Oh yes…this is a must read article. It all makes so much more sense now.

Thanks Outraged! You’ve done it again.

(Of course the usual suspects either won’t read it, or will intentionally not ‘get it’.

The url address of this article is:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=9436

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By cyrena, June 29, 2008 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Hi Ed…I’m about to answer your last question, (well sorta..about what the deal might be with Albright). But first…there’s this huge bombshell, that may or may not help. It goes hand and hand with what you were mentioning about ever Jewish Liberals.

It’s an article that Outraged posted from global research. (I swear I love that site..I used to use it all the time for academic research, but I’m on a semi-break now).

Anyway, this article really sort of blew my socks off, because it answered some questions for me, that really had me puzzled about Obama and his AIPAC speech. In short, while I’ve consistently been accused of ‘defending’ him, I really didn’t find a whole lot that incredibly wrong in his speech, EXCEPT the deal with Jerusalem.

In fact, I even sort of blew off his comments about Iran, and how they were a threat, but that he would eliminate *the threat* because I figured he was just sort of pacifying them. AND…because I also know that as seemingly all powerful as that lobby is, I know too many American Jews that are NOT represented by AIPAC, and don’t like their influence any more than the rest of us do. I guess what I’m saying is that from what I’ve been able to determine, AIPAC represents about 30% of Jewish Americans, and then of course the whole extremist regime that heads up Israel. So, I’ve just never really been able to wrap my mind around how they got so flippin’ much political power in a nation of 300 plus people, even if only 1/4 of us are conscious.

But I digress. My point was that I’ve paid close attention to Obama’s comments on Israel, as well as this 60-year old conflict, and the genocide of the Palestinians by Israel. Now of course he’s not all loud and super vocal like I am, because he’s a politician and has to practice diplomacy, and I don’t. I can say anything I want. I’m not running for office, and I don’t even have to behave in the corporate slave manner any more.

Still, this whole thing with the speech to AIPAC, and all of the complaints about Obama bowing to them, just really had me confused, because I’ve heard too much from him, (albeit mild enough) to know how he feels about the situation there, and he’s been consistent about it.

Anyway, I said all of that to say that the article that Outraged posted was quite an eye-opener, and confirmed some stuff for me that we always sort of expected, but was just another one of those things that we had to wait to be ‘revealed.’ So, I’m going to post some excerpts from that article, (which is lengthy) along with the link. You’ll be able to read the political nuance in it, and see what the deal is.

After that, it’ll be easier to make the case for what I believe you’re correct in assuming about Albright.

So, standby. I’m gonna post it in two parts, since I’ve already done that on the original thread where Outraged posted the link. (the one about the team-up of Obama and Hillary in Unity. - of all places).

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By Ed Harges, June 29, 2008 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

re: By Blackspeare, June 28 at 10:59 am:

Blackspeare writes:

“Obama and the liberal Jewish heads in Congress who support him are as committed to the safety of Israel as any neocon.”

But see, Blackspeare, many of us liberal Democrats who used to support Israel have now disabused ourselves of the myths that even Jewish “liberals” insist that we believe. The scales have fallen from our eyes, and we now realize that it never made sense for our foreign policy to be “committed”, as a core obligation, to furthering the interests of another nation.

It never made sense that we should be “committed” to Israel as the supposedly “liberal” Israeli government under Ehud Barak accelerated settlement building in the occupied territories during the post-Oslo years under Clinton. It never made sense that even “liberal” Israeli governments regularly spat in America’s face as America tried to help bring about a just resolution which Israel has blatantly never wanted.

It was all crazy from the get-go. Even under Clinton, Israel was behaving abominably, and getting away with it. Even going back to the “good old days” of Clinton’s Israel policy is not good enough.

Because, at its core, Blackspeare, even “liberal” US Israeli policy has been based on the bedrock assumption that Jewish Israelis are better than people — better than Arabs, better than Muslims, and better than non-Jewish Americans.

You can’t put this ugly genie back in the bottle.

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By Ed Harges, June 29, 2008 at 5:11 am Link to this comment

re: By cyrena, June 28 at 6:21 pm:

Hi, Cyrena. Thank goodness the other grownups are back.

Cyrena, one thing I wonder about this article: Ritter does a good job showing that this Albright fellow is a phony, but what he doesn’t really explore is what interests are behind the guy. What’s his motivation? Is he connected to the Bush/Cheney gang and trying to please them? Is he connected with the Israel lobby?  Is he a passionate ideologue, or is he simply being paid to do this, and if so, by whom?

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By cyrena, June 28, 2008 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

By Ed Harges, June 28 at 6:06 am
•  “..Did anyone else notice that the post “By Rus7355, June 28 at 5:31 am” is completely without substance, completely failing to respond to any of the many specifics and sources and facts that its writer refuses to take in?”

Ed, every single thing that Rus7355 posts is WITHOUT SUBSTANCE. Same with his buddie JBlack. They never respond to anything, other than to decide that anyone who writes anything they don’t like is a bigot. Myopic is another one of their favorite words. (must be like the word of the month in their vocabulary class or something).

JBlack claims to be a black man, though nobody asked or probably cares. Rus7777 claims that he is NOT a Jew, though nobody asked or probably cares about that either. They both love George W. Bush, and are convinced that he’s the best thing since sliced bread. That should be the only clue you need.

So if it’s substance you’re looking for, look further and beyond their posts. (I generally use speed scroll).

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By Ed Harges, June 28, 2008 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

By JBlack, June 28 at 4:09 pm:

Piffle.

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By Ed Harges, June 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

re: By JBlack, June 28 at 7:55 am:

JBlack writes: “This Ritter article has nothing to do with Israel…”

JBack, this exchange began with another poster, Sam Snedegar, bringing up something that also “has nothing to do with” this article, by your standards: oil.

Sam complained that the Ritter piece doesn’t say anything about the Iraq war being about oil. The word oil occurs nowhere in the article. Snedegar insists that the Iraq war and the upcoming Iran war are exclusively about oil.

Sam was complaining that Ritter SHOULD emphasize the exclusive culpability of Big Oil for the wars, but doesn’t — not only in this article, but in Ritter’s work in general. (and by the way, in Ritter’s writings, though not in this particular example, he frequently brings up Israel’s pivotal role in pushing for these wars.)

Now, you’ll notice that no one complained that Sam was wrong to write a post about oil, when the article “has nothing to do with oil”.

It’s only when it comes to Israel that the thought police come out and tell us to shut up. Only a formal invitation, engraved in gold on vellum, counts as permission to mention Israel, unless its to sing praises to the Holy Nation.

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By Blackspeare, June 28, 2008 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Just one comment that probably doesn’t apply directly to this post, but what the Hell….

There is the possibility that an Armageddon is shaping up in the American Jewish community between the liberals and the neocons. The liberal Jewish intelligentsia knows that the best way to support the real interests of Israel is by getting diplomatically and economically tough with Iran without bombing them the neocon way (at least until everything else has been tried).  It is very likely an attack on Iran would result in giving John Q. Public $15 gas at the pump and bankrupting him on heating oil, and turning “the silent majority” of Americans into rabid anti-Israel voters. Obama and the liberal Jewish heads in Congress who support him are as committed to the safety of Israel as any neocon. They’re just much savvier than the suicidal neocons about the complex necessities of protecting Israel militarily there and politically here. The neocons and their perceived puppet Bush, with their hawkish allies in Israel, have pushed Israel and America to the brink. If cooler American Jewish heads don’t prevail, the neocons will pull the temple down on Israel and American Jews along with it! This is by far the most critical moment in the history of Israel since the 6-Day War because of the very real threat that Iran will be able, within the near future, to construct a nuclear weapon and also because a precipitous bombing to forestall that potential now threatens to destroy political support for Israel in America, and leave Israel absolutely friendless in a world increasingly hostile to its survival.

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By dihey, June 28, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

In the distant past I have briefly participated in a “Western Country” in the non-secret development of ultracentrifuges for mild enrichment of U235. I will accept Ritter’s conclusions over Albright’s any time.

The aluminum used for the UC tubes must withstand large tensile stress when rotated at high speeds. Only aluminum alloys of very specific chemical composition can be used. The mislead that the Bush administration spouted about “UC tubes for Iran” could have been averted by a very simple chemical analysis called electron micro-probing which is available in every good geology department of our country. I do not remember that Albright or Bob Kelley called for such an analysis at that time. I did.

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By mrmb, June 28, 2008 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since israel is at the center of events this piece should be of interest to all.

Valuable stolen Iraqi books in Israel
Sat, 28 Jun 2008 20:04:30
Some 300 rare and valuable Iraqi books which were stolen after the US-led invasion of the country have been secretly moved into Israel.

According to Israeli Ha’aretz daily, the Jewish manuscripts included a1487 commentary on the biblical Book of Job and another volume of biblical prophets printed in Venice in 1617.

The books were part of massive collection which was kept in the headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s secret police, Mukhabahrat in Baghdad. Many of the volumes were damaged during the bombardment of the Iraqi capital by the US-led forces in March 2003.

A large number of the volumes of the collection were stolen after the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), a division of the US Department of Defense which administered Iraq at that time, decided to send the books to the Library of Congress in Washington to be repaired.

“We bought them from thieves,” Mordechai Ben-Porat, an Iraqi-born Jew and the founder of al-Quds’ Babylonian Jewry Heritage centre told the newspaper.

Porat, who is also a Knesset (Parliament) member, added that his foundation spent some 25,000 dollars (16,000 euros) to transfer the books to Israel.

Iraq once hosted a 2,600 year-old Jewish community that numbered some 130,000 people in 1948.

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