Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The only deadline the disasterpresident wants in Iraq.............
From: Usama I. Al-Khudairy [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 10:03 PM
To: aaaaa aaaaa
Subject: Help Iraqis keep their oil
Amidst rising bloodshed, President Bush has told the Iraqi Parliament they have till the 31st of May to pass a flawed oil law that could give multinational companies unprecedented control of Iraq's oil fields. But some Iraqi leaders are daring to resist - and they need our help.
Take Action Now
Two weeks from now, members of the Iraqi Parliament -- including Sunni, Kurdish and Shia leaders -- are planning to read Avaaz's petition of solidarity from the floor of Parliament. They say this statement of global support for Iraqi sovereignty will strengthen the resolve of their colleagues to face down Bush and big oil companies by opposing this law. So sign the petition today--let's make 100,000 voices heard in Iraq's Parliament before they vote:
Our simple message: we support Iraq's sovereign right to its own oil. Revenue from oil should be distributed fairly to the Iraqi people. And the Iraqi national parliament should decide this without foreign influence.
Oil accounts for 70% of Iraq's national income. The proposed oil law would give multinational companies broad control of those revenues for three decades -- a deal more generous than any in the Middle East. In most countries, oil corporations perform services under contracts with governments. In Iraq, foreign companies would sit on the national council that gives out the contracts.
Here's how the head of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hassan Jum'a Awwad, put it:
"Iraq is passing through the most difficult of times, because all and sundry are hounding it and covet a share of its riches. Everyone knows that the oil law does not serve the Iraqi people, and that it serves Bush, his supporters and the foreign companies at their expense."
It's a rare sign of hope to see Iraqis coming together on anything, but this law is bad enough to unite almost everyone. Iraqis are asking for our help. Let's tell them the world supports their right to set their own future. Sign on and help us reach 100,000 voices before they present the petition to the Parliament:
Ricken, Graziela, Paul and the Avaaz Team
Now the Iraqi's have to hold on to their wallets also.......
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Current mood: determined
Category: News and Politics
Conservative spinster Salil has been arguing for days that there are well established links between Iraq and al Quaida and furthermore that the report that the Inspector General of the Department of Defense produced (on the pre-war intelligence of an Iraq al Quaida link), doesn't exist. Well, here are the findings of the Department of Defense Inspector General's Report of February 2007:
- The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy [OUSD(P)] developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al-Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision makers.
- While such actions were not illegal or unauthorized, the actions were, in our opinion, inappropriate given that the products did not clearly show the variance with the consensus of the Intelligence Community and were, in some cases, shown as intelligence products.
- This condition occurred because the OUSD(P) expanded its role and mission from formulating Defense Policy to analyzing and disseminating alternative intelligence. As a result, the OUSD(P) did not provide "the most accurate analysis of intelligence" to senior decision makers.
A couple of the questions answered in the report:
Q: Did the intelligence analysis produced by Under Secretary Feith's office differ from the lntelligence Community analysis on the relationship between lraq and al quaeda?
A: Yes. The OUSD(P) analysis included some conclusions that differed from that of the Intelligence Community.
Q:Did the OSD Policy briefing to the White House draw conclusions (or 'findings') that were not supported by the available intelligence, such as the 'intelligence indicates cooperation in all categories; mature, symbiotic relationship', or that there were 'multiple areas of cooperation,' and shared interest and pursuit of WMD, ' and 'some indications of possible Iraqi coordination with a1 Qaida specifically related to 9/7 7 '
A: Yes. The briefing did draw conclusions that were not fully supported by the available intelligence.
Q: Did the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy prepare and present briefing charts concerning the relationship between lraq and a1 Qaeda that went beyond available intelligence by asserting that an alleged meeting between lead 9/77 hijacker Mohammed Atta and lraqi intelligence officer al-Ani in Prague inApril 2001 was a 'known' contact?'
A: Yes. The OUSD(P) produced a briefing, "Assessing the Relationship between lraq and al-Qaida," in which one slide discussed the alleged meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta and lraqi Intelligence officer al-Ani as a "known contact."
The 10-page report can be found here:
Article on the Report:
Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides "all confirmed" that Hussein's regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.
The declassified version of the report, by acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, also contains new details about the intelligence community's prewar consensus that the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda figures had only limited contacts, and about its judgments that reports of deeper links were based on dubious or unconfirmed information. The report had been released in summary form in February.
The report's release came on the same day that Vice President Cheney, appearing on Rush Limbaugh's radio program, repeated his allegation that al-Qaeda was operating inside Iraq "before we ever launched" the war, under the direction of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist killed last June.
"This is al-Qaeda operating in Iraq," Cheney told Limbaugh's listeners about Zarqawi, who he said had "led the charge for Iraq." Cheney cited the alleged history to illustrate his argument that withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq would "play right into the hands of al-Qaeda."
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), who requested the report's declassification, said in a written statement that the complete text demonstrates more fully why the inspector general concluded that a key Pentagon office -- run by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith -- had inappropriately written intelligence assessments before the March 2003 invasion alleging connections between al-Qaeda and Iraq that the U.S. intelligence consensus disputed.
The report, in a passage previously marked secret, said Feith's office had asserted in a briefing given to Cheney's chief of staff in September 2002 that the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda was "mature" and "symbiotic," marked by shared interests and evidenced by cooperation across 10 categories, including training, financing and logistics.
Instead, the report said, the CIA had concluded in June 2002 that there were few substantiated contacts between al-Qaeda operatives and Iraqi officials and had said that it lacked evidence of a long-term relationship like the ones Iraq had forged with other terrorist groups.
"Overall, the reporting provides no conclusive signs of cooperation on specific terrorist operations," that CIA report said, adding that discussions on the issue were "necessarily speculative."
The CIA had separately concluded that reports of Iraqi training on weapons of mass destruction were "episodic, sketchy, or not corroborated in other channels," the inspector general's report said. It quoted an August 2002 CIA report describing the relationship as more closely resembling "two organizations trying to feel out or exploit each other" rather than cooperating operationally.
The CIA was not alone, the defense report emphasized. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) had concluded that year that "available reporting is not firm enough to demonstrate an ongoing relationship" between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda, it said.
But the contrary conclusions reached by Feith's office -- and leaked to the conservative Weekly Standard magazine before the war -- were publicly praised by Cheney as the best source of information on the topic, a circumstance the Pentagon report cites in documenting the impact of what it described as "inappropriate" work.
… The defense report states that at the time, "the intelligence community disagreed with the briefing's assessment that the alleged meeting constituted a 'known contact' " -- a circumstance that the report said was known to Feith's office. But his office had bluntly concluded in a July 2002 critique of a CIA report on Iraq's relationship with al-Qaeda that the CIA's interpretation of the facts it cited "ought to be ignored."
… That idea was dismissed in 2004 by a presidential commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, noting that "no credible evidence" existed to support it.
When a senior intelligence analyst working for the government's counterterrorism task force obtained an early account of the conclusions by Feith's office -- titled "Iraq and al-Qaida: Making the Case" -- the analyst prepared a detailed rebuttal calling it of "no intelligence value" and taking issue with 15 of 26 key conclusions, the report states. The analyst's rebuttal was shared with intelligence officers on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but evidently not with others.
But the inspector general's report, in a footnote, commented that it is "noteworthy . . . that post-war debriefs of Sadaam Hussein, [former Iraqi foreign minister] Tariq Aziz, [former Iraqi intelligence minister Mani al-Rashid] al Tikriti, and [senior al-Qaeda operative Ibn al-Shaykh] al-Libi, as well as document exploitation by DIA all confirmed that the Intelligence Community was correct: Iraq and al-Qaida did not cooperate…"
Some quotes on the non-existent connection:
"Arguing that the case for links between Iraq and al Qaeda was weak, the memo pointed out that Bin Ladin resented the secularism of Saddam Hussein's regime. Finally, the memo said, there was no confirmed reporting on Saddam cooperating with Bin Ladin on unconventional weapons." 9/11 Commission Report
"This report shows that in the case of Iraq's relationship with al Qaeda, intelligence was exaggerated to support Administration policy aims primarily by the Feith policy office, which was determined to find a strong connection between Iraq and al Qaeda, rather than by the IC, which was consistently dubious of such a connection. In order to present a public case that heightened the sense of threat from Iraq, Administration officials reflected more closely the analysis of Under Secretary Feith's policy office rather than the more cautious analysis of the IC." Senate Armed Service Committee Report 2004
"In fact, assertions that Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship have been downplayed by the Department of Defense, discredited by the 9-11 Commission, and contradicted by various other sources as documented in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Newsweek." Media Matters
"Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter." The National Journal
"Saddam viewed Al Qaeda as well as other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime. At one point, analysts believed, Saddam considered infiltrating the ranks of Al Qaeda with Iraqi nationals or even Iraqi intelligence operatives to learn more about its inner workings, according to records and sources." The National Journal
"In fact, the U.S. intelligence community had conflicting evidence on this issue and was divided regarding whether there was an operational relationship." House Oversight Committee
"There are no current links between the Iraqi regime and the al-Qaeda network, according to an official British intelligence report seen by BBC News." BBC News in 2003
"There's only one problem with the ties the White House alleges between Saddam and al-Qaeda. According to most experts on Iraq , those ties barely exist, if they exist at all." CBC in 2002
"Experts point out that Saddam, a secular Iraqi nationalist who refuses to rule by the Muslim religious law of Sharia, is a natural enemy of Osama bin Laden. As for bin Laden, he has vowed to topple Arab leaders like Saddam who don't embrace Islamic fundamentalism. 'Osama bin Laden hates Saddam Hussein and considers him an infidel,' said Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based Arabic newspaper Al Quds . He says bin Laden was even ready to help liberate Kuwait when it was invaded by Iraq in 1990. " CBC News in 2002
"But the intelligence analysts in the US and Britain on whose work Mr Bush's claim was supposedly based say the connections are tangential at best, and the available evidence falls far short of proving a secret relationship between Baghdad and Osama bin Laden." SMH News (Australia) in 2003
"But several intelligence experts, including some within the U.S. government, expressed skepticism about the reports. A Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity, called the new assertions an "exaggeration." Other intelligence experts said some of the charges appeared to be based on old information and that there was still no "smoking gun" connecting Iraq with the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States" USA Today in 2002
"Yet the evidence for this claim is somewhere between tenuous and non-existent. Every year the US state department releases an authoritative survey of global terrorism. According to its 2000 report: Iraq "has not attempted an anti-western attack since its failed attempt to assassinate former President Bush in 1993 in Kuwait". Even after September 11 the heaviest charge made in the state department's subsequent report was pretty mild: "Iraq was the only Arab-Muslim country that did not condemn the September 11 attacks against the United States." Moreover, an al-Qaida-Saddam alliance defies common sense. Osama bin Laden is an Islamist zealot who despises secular fascists such as Saddam. I heard from Bin Laden himself that he is no fan of Saddam. When I met with the Saudi exile in Afghanistan five years ago he volunteered that he thought the Iraqi dictator was a "bad Muslim". For Bin Laden, that's as bad as it gets. " The Guardian in 2003
"The evidence on al-Qaeda is very flimsy. Claims of a meeting between an Iraqi intelligence officer and Mohamed Atta, one of the 9/11 suicide bombers, are shaky at best. So too is knowledge of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an alleged associate of Osama bin Laden's, who is said to have been in Baghdad for medical treatment. President George Bush has pointed to the existence of al-Ansar, a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda in Kurdistan, which shares Saddam's agenda of fighting the Kurds. But it operates in territory not controlled by Iraq." The Observer in 2003
"Barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, the Secretary of Defense was telling his aides to start thinking about striking Iraq, even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks." CBS Evening News 9/4/2002
"There was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein." General Wesley Clark
"Hundreds of pages of confidential German law-enforcement records raise new questions about the Bush administration's core evidence purporting to show solid links between Osama bin Laden's terror network and Saddam Hussein's regime." MSNBC in 2003
"The U.N. terrorism committee has found no evidence linking Iraq to al-Qaida." The United Nations in June of 2003
" U.S. intelligence services unanimously agreed last fall that "no specific intelligence information" tied Iraq to U.S. terrorist attacks, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Their findings were presented to the president Oct. 2 in a still-secret report on Iraq. The summary, or "key judgments" section, of the 90-page National Intelligence Estimate was declassified Friday." World Net Daily in July of 2003
"As recently as January 2004, a top Defense Department official misrepresented to Congress the view of American intelligence agencies about the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda, according to classified documents" International Herald Tribune in October of 2004.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The Link Between Sadam and Osama
James Staples (Seamus da TROLL)
This was originally posted as a comment to an excellent blog by Pleasant Surmise", entitled, "Sadam-bin Laden Connection Found!" This is a great piece, which is typical of the whole blog. -THINK TRUTH- highly recommends Pleasant Surmise's blog page. The pieces are well-researched, highly detailed and calmly rational.
Perhaps I am over-simplifying, but it seems that, if you want to find a link between Sadam Hussein and the bin Ladens, it is fairly easy to find it in the Bush family, and reference to information that has been in the public domain for a long time is more than sufficient to show it.
We all know the infamous photo of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Sadam Hussein (you can find it on this blog, below, originally posted by jumelle soeur). The United States helped Sadam become the president of Iraq, back in the '80s. Reagan was using him to get at Iran.
The close ties between the Bush family and the House of Saud, which includes the bin Ladens, are also well-documented. When the towers were coming down on 9-11, the elder George Bush was having breakfast with Faisal bin Laden, Osama's elder brother. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is a simple fact. Google it. Any legitimate resource will back me up.
Sadam Hussein was a longtime ally of Reagan and the Bush family. The Bush family are longtime friends of the bin Ladens. There is no speculation here, no rhetoric, no politics, no framing, no spin, no bullshit and no doubt about it. Hussein-Bush/Bush-bin Laden ...there's your connection.
That's why George Bush, sr. thinks his son is messing everything up in the Middle-East (another fact that is available, in Geroge H.W. Bush's own words, to anyone who wants to read it). Alliances that have been forged since 1946 are all being shot to shit by Monkey-Boy and his thugs.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
If you really want Peace in the Middle East, you need to treat both sides as equals. Work with whoever the Palestinians ELECT and work with whoever the Israelis ELECT. Or, since we have chosen to BOYCOTT their FREELY ELECTED GOVERNMENT and EMBARGO their trade and WITH HOLD aid and the TAXES that they pay, we need to do the same for Israel. This will be seen as the only EQUITABLE solution by the world. Otherwise, we will breed a whole new generation of Palestinian that will have nothing to lose and will like nothing better than to blow themselves up, taking a few Americans with them. Come to your senses America. Everyone in the Senate that forwards Israeli foreign policy and puts forward what is best for Israel is a TRAITOR to this country and needs to be voted out of office.
It is time to elect people who are representing America first. Democrats, Republicans, it does not matter; they are both guilty of this 49 year old policy blunder. Supporting Israel right or wrong(Israel has never followed the UN resolution 242). As long as we continue our uneven handed policy in the Middle East with the Palestinians, they will want to kill Americans. As long as we do not abide by the rule of International Law, they will want to kill Americans. As long as we stand by as Israel commits GENOCIDE, they will want to kill Americans. As long as we resupply Israel after their disastrous military adventures in Palestine and Lebanon, they will want to kill Americans.
To get out of the cross hairs of the terrorists, we need to step on Israel TODAY, to end the OCCUPATION and GENOCIDE being committed in Palestine. Israel must give back the Golan Heights to Syria. Israel must give back the disputed territories to Lebanon. Only then will we have Iraq calm down, civil unrest will wane, and our troops can come home. You will see an Iraq that will be able to stand up. You will see an Iraq that might even be favorable to our Oil interests for their own capitalistic terms. We could see Peace in a Middle East that was moving toward Democratic and more secular institutions. It wont happen under the current disasterpresident.
Let's see what you get if you take a pompous CIA Director, a no-name FBI Director, a featherweight National Security Adviser, a gullible Secretary of State and add to the mix an intellectually challenged President, a Vice President who does not know the truth from fiction, a gutless Congress and a bunch of neo-cons who have a messianic view of the role ofthe US in the Middle East.
You have a war based on half-truths, mis-truths and outright lies that has been incompetently run, thousands of people dead, a destroyed country in civil war, and a President who can not define victory. We are in a war that has no light at the end of the tunnel.
James G. Updegraff
If you want to understand your options to promote peace follow Jim and I to the following website:
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Raw Deals for US Soldiers and Veterans
· Several weeks ago, Nation magazine had a disturbing article about the increased number of D-13's from the military during the past six years. A discharge 13 order is a fairly quick way to be dropped from the military for alleged "personality disorders".
· Military doctors and the Department of Defense, not subject to legal suit for malpractice due to being part of the federal government, have cut off over 6,000 army and marine soldiers and over 20,000 total from Defense. It is a convenient way for the government not to be obliged to provide disability and medical care to these troops/ veterans. It is a quick way for commanders to quickly get rid of a disabled soldier to be replaced more quickly as cannon fodder.
· Soldiers with actual or potential head injuries, or with posttraumatic stress disorder (battle stress, shell-shock; psychological disorders due to injury while in military service) are being urged to sign off on D-13s. They are apparently be told by doctors and superiors that they will be able to get disability and other veterans benefits. That is a lie; the soldier is thrown out on the street with nothing.
· In fact, some of these soldiers leave the military owing the military money because their sign-up bonuses are rescinded. Many of these soldiers, with undiagnosed injuries, end up as homeless, dysfunctional, and suicide victims. Some probably end up in prison.
· "Personality disorder" is something that should be determined by diagnosed problems before and after military service. Military doctors are saying that the problems only became evident because of military service. A civilian doctor doing this would be guilty of malpractice.
· I spoke with newly elected US Representative David Loebsack (Democrat, 2nd District, Iowa) on this matter at a roundtable discussion in Iowa City on May 4. He was there to discuss health care, disability compensation and other soldier/ veterans' issues. He is a member of the House Committee on the Armed Services.
· Also discussed Friday:
· Loebsack is a member of the readiness subcommittee. He related that the military lacks any C-1 (combat ready, level 1) unit ready to deploy. The military is now saying that they must get up to C-1 during theater deployment.
· One female soldier related the continued problems with supply in Iraq and Afghanistan for our troops. There are still problems with antiquated unarmored humvees—many with little more than cloth windows.
· A female veteran related how she has been on treatment for suicidal stresses for thirty years. She was able to achieve a degree of independence from medication and therapeutic relief from her companion animal—a dog. A veterans group and others provided the dog to her. The Veterans Administration refused to fund this therapy for her due to not being a defined viable treatment.
· Discussion was held on the increased head injuries from today's combat survivor. Apparently many of the soldiers' helmets are a contributory factor in many injuries.
· Discussion was held on inadequacies of rifles, personal armor, and vehicles. Mr. Loebsack said it would be very instructive if members of Congress could see the huge vehicle wreckage pile in Kuwait to see the vulnerability of our soldiers to the IED explosive devices used by insurgents.
· Another person talked about the difficulty of former soldiers getting preference and other services from the government due to incurring a criminal record. He suggested that some forgiveness and understanding would often be in order for many. I wonder how many D-13's are in that category.
· I would urge friends and readers to contact their Senators and Representatives, particularly those on the Armed Services Committee (armedservices.house.gov) or Veterans Affairs (veterans.house.gov) in the House, and those in the Senate serving on the Armed Services Committee (armed-services.senate.gov) or Veterans Affairs (veterans.senate.gov). We need to make amends for the poor way our nation treats its military and veterans. This has been the case throughout most of our history, except, for the GI benefits of WWII (which were essentially denied to African Americans and other non-whites).
Friday, May 04, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Injustice and double standards...
Palestinians are labeled terrorists for struggling against the occupation. And lately, they are accused of being governed by a "terrorist" government.
These accusers fail to remember that Hamas was established in 1987; and that the occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank started 20 years before that. They fail to note basic facts, or purposely overlook them. Some of these facts, required for any objective outlook on the situation, are that Palestinians:
-are not occupying the land of another nation.
-are not uprooting another nation from their homes.
-are not constructing illegal settlement in another country's land.
-are not violating international law on a daily basis.
For some, it is convenient to get caught in the daily incidents, and forget the roots and basics of the conflict. They prefer to muddle in the symptoms of the case, and ignore the cause. For others, it is easier to blame the victim rather than face up to the strong aggressor.
And so, Palestinians are faced with a strange situation where the aggressor is praised for its crimes under the heroic notion of "self defense;" while Palestinian self defense is demonized as "terrorism."
It is extremely difficult not to reach the conclusion that there are two sets of values and scales applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the one hand, Israelis are given vast leeway and space, allowing them to commit war crimes without international retribution. And on the other hand, Palestinians are not allowed to commit a single act, deemed as a mistake by those that apply double standards, without paying a heavy price.
The international community has become accustomed to viewing occupation actions as "self defense" and Palestinian reactions as "terrorism." That is why the international community is vocal when demanding that Hamas "renounce violence," while not issuing a single statement condemning the death and murder of Palestinian civilians, and the confiscation and destruction of their property.
The Palestinian people are aware of, and are tired of, the double standards adopted by some countries in the international community. If violence is to be renounced, then it is the violence of aggression and occupation, not the resistance of the victims.
As far back as 1948 Israel made a promise to repatriate 100,000 Palestinians - but it was a broken promise. Though admitted into the UN on the condition that it implemented the resolution, Israel continues to refuse to allow refugees back. Even in the face of compelling historical evidence from Arab and Israeli historians, Tel Aviv still denies its responsibility for them.
All the parties to the peace process acknowledge that finding a just solution for the refugees is fundamental to achieving a durable peace for the region.
It has been argued that Resolution 194 is ambiguous, but subsequent resolutions affirm that Palestinian repatriation is a matter of right. Resolution 3236 refers to the: "Inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted."
The passage of time, rather than reducing the importance of the refugee situation, has made it all the more urgent due to the growth of the Diaspora and decades of inaction. Neither time nor space constitutes genuine obstacles to their return – but both have been used as arguments against repatriating them. Returning to our Palestine is not a dream according to any Palestinian refugee. They are holding the keys of their homes and still wait to return To Jerusalem and the occupied territories around.