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Ah so it's been a decade eh comrades? The skrewing over of emergency personnel has gone almost unnoticed. FDNY member on 9/11 Truth “I support you guys” | We Are Change -- some new stuff has been trickling out -- pretty solid stuff, at that. The glorious official narrative got its booster shot, but noticeably absent from the necro-political media spectacle were all those sickly and/or dead 9-11 first responders. Over time we find more elements that are obviously pretty credible against the official narrative, but it's still difficult to get a larger picture. Let's nosh on some new goodies -- what better time than now?
Ali Soufan describes the situation behind the scenes with the FBI and 9-11 foreknowledge as well as the torture nightmare going on.... obviously Soufan was able to get better intel from captured militants by persuasion than cruel & unusual coercion, but what else is new?
CIA Threats of Federal Prosecution Delay 9/11 Documentary | 911 Truth News - this newly unearthed Rich Blee figure is one of the latest twists on the 9-11 CIA front. This is the project which the Richard Clarke speculation about hoping to flip al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar to the CIA was the reason their identities were buried... however that also doesn't track entirely because they were already in touch with another government operative or 2 (an FBI informant and a likely Saudi government operative)
I'm posting the whole bit as it's one of the more substantial elements in the scheme to surface lately.
On Thursday, the CIA threatened the journalists behind Who Is Rich Blee? with possible federal prosecution if their investigative podcast reveals the names of two CIA analysts at the center of a pattern of obstruction and mishandling of intelligence that many feel would have stopped the 9/11 attacks.
Like FBI agent Ali Soufan and Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer before them, the podcast team, including John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski, are being subjected to intimidation and censorship by government officials over blowing the whistle on the true story surrounding two alleged 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar.
The podcast originally scheduled for September 11th release presents a narrative of how three CIA analysts working under Richard Blee, the long unknown former head of CIA’s Bin Laden Station, deliberately misled their colleagues and withheld key intelligence from FBI and the White House regarding the presence of two known Al-Qaeda operatives in the U.S.
Four government investigations into CIA handling of pre-911 intelligence included personal details of the two CIA analysts and their actions. Nowosielski and Duffy deduced the identities of the two as yet unnamed CIA employees from internet research based on details provided from these and other open sources. When the producers used their full names in interviews, interviewees offered no correction. The CIA response provided the final confirmation.
In project updates posted at SecrecyKills.com the producers announced the delay of the podcast and posted background of a complicated case that involves dozens of violations of protocol, intimidation, and incidents of obstruction by the CIA, with the two yet named CIA analysts at the center of many of them.
Author and expert on the subject, Kevin Fenton, documents 35 such incidents between January 2000 and September 11th in his book, Disconnecting the Dots: How 9/11 Was Allowed to Happen.
Pulitzer-prize winner Lawrence Wright, interviewed for the podcast, told producers the actions of one of the unnamed CIA analysts still employed at CIA amounts to obstruction of justice in the FBI’s criminal investigation of the deaths of 17 seaman aboard the USS Cole.
The producers are not the first subject to government censorship over this case. Last month The New York Times reported on CIA efforts to censor an autobiography by Ali Soufan, a front-line FBI counter-terrorism special agent. Prior to 9/11, Soufan was interested in Mihdhar and Hazmi because of links to the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. The CIA censored references to a passport photo of Mihdhar the CIA had withheld from Soufan, despite three written requests.
Scott Shane of the New York Times reports today that, “Mr. Soufan accuses C.I.A. officials of deliberately withholding crucial documents and photographs of Qaeda operatives from the F.B.I. before Sept. 11, 2001, despite three written requests, and then later lying about it to the 9/11 Commission.”
Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, interviewed for the podcast, was himself intimidated, demoted and smeared by the Pentagon after he came forward to the 9/11 Commission with details of how, on three occasions, unnamed DoD officials prevented his Able Danger operation from meeting with the FBI prior the attacks.
In 2000 the Able Danger data-mining program placed Mohammed Atta in a Brooklyn terrorist cell but had also placed Hazmi and Mihdhar in a San Diego cell, the epicenter of intrigue around Alec Station’s Rich Blee, Tom Wilshere and the two as yet unnamed subordinates who themselves repeatedly withheld intelligence from the FBI. Though Shaffer was interviewed by 9/11 Commission’s Director Philip Zelikow and staffer Dieter Snell, the Commission left any mention of Able Danger from its final report.
In the planned podcast, 9/11 Commission Chair Tom Kean is asked about a scant footnote to Chapter 6 of the 9/11 Report referring to an intelligence cable, seen by 50 at the CIA, but prevented from reaching the FBI. For Kean the incident was not a case of bungling or intel ‘stovepiping’: “Oh, it wasn’t careless oversight. It was purposeful. No question about that in mind. It was purposeful.”
Whereas Kean explains it as a penchant for secrecy, Richard Clarke, the former head of counter-terrorism at the Bush White House, goes farther suggesting malfeasance and the possibility of illegal CIA-led domestic spying activity. Comments by Clarke released in a video in August led to a formal statement from George Tenet, Cofer Black and Richard Blee, and a response from the producers.
“This was perhaps the closest U.S. intelligence got to foiling the 9/11 plot,” explains Nowosielski, “but instead of stopping the attack, the CIA stopped intel on two high-value targets from getting to the right people, repeatedly. And still the CIA protects the individuals responsible by intimidating those who simply want to know the truth behind a shocking and possibly criminal pattern of obstruction”
In an email Thursday the CIA warned Nowosielski he could be subject to prosecution under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, a law intended to apply to government employees who violate their security clearance and never used to convict journalists.
The producer’s online response: “The Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics states that ‘journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know’ and should ‘be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.’ The day that journalists’ exposés of wrongdoing within government agencies require the approval of those government agencies before release, that is the day that transparency and accountability are lost.”
John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski, both graduates of Chicago’s Columbia College Film School, produced the critically acclaimed 2006 documentary “9/11: Press for Truth.”
This is Part 3 of our three-part one-of-a-kind interview series with author and researcher Paul Thompson. For additional background information please visit the complete 9/11 Timeline Investigative Project at HistoryCommons.Org.
Paul Thompson joins us to discuss one of the most blacked-out and censored aspects of Al-Qaeda-CIA connections: The partnership and alliance between the CIA and Al Qaeda and their joint operations in Central Asia, Balkans and Caucasus throughout the 1990’s. Mr. Thompson talks about Al-Qaeda’s Balkans operations, running training camps, money-laundering, and drug running networks in the region, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and his residence in Bulgaria in order to help manage the Al Qaeda effort in nearby Bosnia, the Al Qaeda cells in Chechnya and Azerbaijan, BCCI and more!
Frankly I think at this point it should be noted that George Tenet is just one of many intelligence establishment figures who are members of the Knights of Malta - a key authoritarian little nest of establishment weasels, probably more relevant to geopolitical happenings than, say, the Freemasons :)
The United Nations should avail itself as an instrument for a "new world order of the 21st century," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday in his first address to the General Assembly. Sarkozy, who won the presidency this year on a strong reform platform to modernize France, urged the world body to embark on programmes ranging from equal wealth distribution to fighting corruption in his speech full of references to France's past revolutionary ideals.
Jacobin Commie! Yikes!! The Neo Con New World Order etc. w00000!!11!!!
The United States uses a neutron-type bomb against the main Iranian nuclear research center at Natanz, which it had already bombed conventionally and destroyed. It vows to bomb again if Iran continues to resist. Iran is defiant and fires another wave of Silkworms at U.S. ships, sinking one. Suicide bombers hit U.S. targets in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia and China place their nuclear forces on high alert. Pakistani militants take over parliament, aided by radical elements in the army and the intelligence service. India launches a preemptive strike against the main Pakistani nuclear centers at Wah and Multan, where the country's arsenal is believed to be concentrated. Pakistan has hidden some of its nukes elsewhere, however, and is able to strike back by bombing New Delhi. World War III has begun.
Someone said recently that this stuff with total NSA surveillance and paramilitary Blackwater insanity looks like Baron Hausmann's reorganization of Paris: the creation of new forms and institutions that aren't really helpful against Islamic terrorists, but quite useful against violent domestic insurrections. Haussmann built those big Parisian avenues so that revolt organizers couldn't blockade parts of the city. Saddam took a page from this when rebuilding Baghdad...
Seems too true. And all the damn compasses keep pointing that way. The fascist shift, the real deal.......
A big feature of the literature on decolonization is the delight leaders such as Gamal Abdul Nasser and Ruhollah Khomeini took in abrogating laws bestowing 'extra-territoriality' on colonial personnel and even just civilians from the metropole, while in the subject country. Now extra-territoriality is back with a vengeance; and, of course, no colonial enterprise can be run without it. One can't have persons of the superior race hauled before a native judge; bad show, old boy, to let the wily oriental gentlemen get the upper hand that way.
The argument about whether Cheney/Bush went into Iraq over petroleum is not interesting. Of course they did, one way or another. The question is what exactly they thought they were doing about Iraq's petroleum. I would argue that they threw public resources (perhaps as much as two trillion dollars worth when all is said and done) to secure profits for private companies.
Dan Rather: the video producer, Mary Mapes, who got nailed by some kind of repackaged info bomb, thinks Dan Rather's big lawsuit is courageous. Mary Mapes: Courage for Dan Rather.
The Drugging of our children: Someone made a video, mainly about ADHD and pumping the kids' heads full of psychotropic social control agents. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's by someone named Gary Null (Google Video), who seems to have some other weird offbeat medical videos on Google Video.
AT&T going to tap the Internet & scan to catch your bad movies: Slashdot carried the story that:
Save the Internet writes "Ars Technica is reporting that the MPAA is trying to convince major ISPs to do content filtering. Now, merely wanting it is one thing, but the more important point is that 'AT&T has agreed to start filtering content at some mysterious point in the future.' We're left to wonder about the legal implications of that, but given that AT&T already has the ability to wiretap everything for the NSA, it was only a matter of time before they found a way to profit from it, too."
Zakariya Reed, a Toledo firefighter, said in an interview that he has been detained at least seven times at the Michigan border since fall 2006. Twice, he said, he was questioned by border officials about "politically charged" opinion pieces he had published in his local newspaper. The essays were critical of U.S. policy in the Middle East, he said. Once, during a secondary interview, he said, "they had them printed out on the table in front of me."
Fresh economic shocks on the scale of the current credit squeeze will occur if US house prices continue to fall, one of the country’s leading housing experts warned on Wednesday. Robert Shiller, a Yale university economist, told a US congressional panel that he feared “the collapse of home prices might turn out to be the most severe since the Great Depression”.
Gingrich said: "I can't imagine why they put up with this. I mean, either General Petraeus is wrong and the military spokesman's wrong or the current policies we have are stunningly ineffective. ... We should finance the students. We should finance a Radio Free Iran. We should covertly sabotage the only gasoline refinery in the country. We should be prepared, once the gasoline refinery's down, to stop all of the gasoline tankers and communicate to the Iranian government, that, if they want to move equipment into Iran - into Iraq - they're gonna have to walk."
What was legal beagle Greta's response to this bloodthirsty, illegal and immoral suggestion?
She said, "That actually seems rather simple and easy to do." The sheer insanity of this is mind-boggling.
Gingrich's open call for sabotage of Iran's gas industry lends more credence to my theory that Iran's natural gas infrastructure, including recent construction on a pipeline to India, is the real target of the Bush administration, not the nuclear plants.
That's why they've over-hyped the nuclear issue. Seek the money to find the hidden agenda. The target is gas, not the atom.
Iran's Ahmadinejad, public enemy No. 1? shorter: "Demonizing the Iranian president and making his visit to New York seem controversial are all part of the neoconservative push for yet another war" by Juan Cole.
Some crazy freakin' conservatives have a song about how much God hates America right now. This kind of masochism is how they are starting debates now. WHY SHOULD GOD BLESS AMERICA?!? These people WANT to KNOW!
It's a grim truism that the Bush White House doesn't care too much about the problems of Palestinians. And, um, well, basically chief nasty enforcer Elliot "Honduran Death Squad Organizer" Abrams dominates American policy, continuously ordering Condi Rice to put a sock in it. Abrams, an Iran-Contra veteran and convicted (but pardoned) felon, is master of the White House Mideast portfolio today.
Here's the basic idea: First, the White House assumes Arabs are a bunch of fucking morons who ought to be set against each other with violence. (See similar racist material among MS Word documents from the old Coalition Provisional Authority. More on that later.) Abrams is now trying to pour cash through Fatah figurehead Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, who then would disperse patronage in an effort to build his own political base. Then the U.S. and Israel provide a mountain of weapons to Fatah gunmen, who will blow Hamas away in a tidy little move.
The problem is that this plan is like most Mideast efforts nowadays: it's a malign effort to kick the can a few yards down the field and avoid putting Israel on the spot for negotiations. It's been the same song-and-dance since at least 1982, when Sharon invaded Lebanon to prevent negotiations with the PLO.
Here is the sinister Abrams plan via Asia Times. Yet again another dumb policy designed to enhance the military-industrial complex that strangles Israel, while facilitating more West Bank settlement construction. Just another day in the Mideast. Here's part one, wherein we learn how the Jordanians have censored this news. Ian Welsh over at the Agonist calls it "the essential insanity." Correct sir! Here's more on the Elliot Abrams plan of doom. Tony Karon aptly notes that Gazan Fatah chieftain Mohammad Dahlan is probably getting into fighting HAMAS because of foreign encouragement. This guy is gearing up to become the U.S./Israeli cats-paw or instrument of power, gendarme, whatever you want to call it.
Matt Yglesias bitterly observed the open anti-Palestinian racism of New Republic editor Martin Peretz. (Those guys are supposed to be liberal!) And then 234 he goes on and on without noting this whole thing was a consequence of American policy. Ygs:
Gone missing from this analysis is any recognition of the extent to which the current terrible situation is the result of stupid American policy choices. The dynamic on the US-Israeli side has become one of self-fulfilling prophesies, where the failure of ham-handed policy initiatives to produce the desired Palestinian quisling regime becomes the reason for more ham-handed initiatives whose failure then becomes yet another reason there can be no serious push for peace.
There's no end-game. Just wasting more time and blood.
It's been good to spend some time away from blogging. The massacre at Virginia Tech presented that ugly, insane side of America again. Everyone makes really familiar arguments, gun-control this-and-that, they crack down on the weird kids for a while.
The night before I was reading something of a JFK classic, The Man Who Knew Too Much, about US Army intel spook Richard Nagell (at left), who nearly stopped Lee Harvey Oswald. Nagell and Oswald spent years in the spy world of Tokyo and Mexico City at the same time. Oswald's bizarre past created the man in the Book Depository: even Lone Gunmen have a past, that's what we need to learn from Nagell.
When the news broke it was a "lone gunman" at VTech, there was almost palpable relief on the TV. Within hours, the conceptual frame of the murderous act was cemented in solitude. In strictly symbolic terms, Cho Seung-Hui was removed from his past and his connections, placed by the TV in some separate continuum that blew up colliding with our own. The indifferent bureaucracies, the gun distributors, all these factors that add up to such a heinous crime are flattened by the sledgehammer conclusion: he's a lone gunman. Whew!
Out of respect for the victims I refrained from posting much on such an ugly topic. But in any case, in the exactly 7 days since the shooting, we shouldn't already exclude any particular factors that might have compelled this individual to cross that terrible line. All the stuff in his life added up to the act, and the morally self-satisfied frame their arguments by tilting this basic reality.
Realistically I think poor Cho Seung-Hui was an example of something we're going to see more of: violently unstable, self-motivated "suicide by cop" type cases. Right now I generally believe the mainstream reported narrative is essentially the accurate one. Naturally Alex Jones sez he was a mind controlled assassin, and I would say if you are including Prozac and video games that might be fair.
2) SSRI anti-depressant:Like with VTech, A number of mass murders have been carried out by people on serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs. Including Columbine and others. SSRIs can also suddenly cause suicidal thinking.
3) Violent video game trance created by SSRIs? A little bit more strange. Basically, what is the real mental state of someone on a high Paxil dose who plays CounterStrike more than 20 hours a week? You could easily say that they could get detached from reality, basically trapped in a militaristic hall of mirrors.
4) Family ties to Military-industrial complex: His sister works for a huge shady contractor complex: honestly, if DynCorp can't create Manchurian Candidate assassins, I would be seriously disappointed. MK-ULTRA was not just a punchline...
WMR: April 20-22, 2007 -- Mass killer Cho Seung Hui's link to Iraq occupation and private military contractors. It has been discovered that Cho's older sister. identified as Cho Sun Kyung by South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper, works as a contractor for the State Department's Iraq Reconstruction Management Office.
Her employer is McNeil Technologies of Springfield, Virginia. McNeil, which was involved in prisoner interrogations for the Defense Department, is owned by Veritas Capital, a defense industry acquisitions firm that also owns two other Defense and US intelligence contractors, Dyncorp International and selected remnants of the former company of Mitchell Wade (of Duke Cunningham infamy), MZM Inc., renamed Athena Innovative Solutions, Inc. Cho Sun Kyung is three years older than her brother. While attending Princeton, Cho's sister served a stint as an intern at the US Embassy in Bangkok, where among other tasks, she studied the plight of Burmese migrant workers on the Thai-Burmese border.
I mean no disrespect to anyone harmed by the VTech massacre by posting material about some apparent loose ends around the case. Only by picking over each individual part of the story does the whole arc emerge – and people ought to be honest about that. My best regards to the families and friends suffering on that campus.
General Ivashov pointed to a partition of Iran along the same lines as Iraq, and a subsequent carving up of the Near and Middle East into smaller regions. "This concept worked well for them in the Balkans and will now be applied to the greater Middle East," he commented.
There's certainly a theory behind General Ivashov's view, that America can just slice and dice ethnic groups and trumpet freedom all the way down ("re-Ottomanization"). Problem is that this can't be done all "tidy" like in Yugoslavia. There, the "Kosovo Liberation Army" was an inspired creation of MPRI and DynCorp, linked with Saudi Wahhabi adventuring fundamentalists, Al Qaeda and financed by the Turkish opium smuggling establishment. Yugoslavia was kinda sweet in that way. Everyone had a piece of the action but it was close enough to responsible Europeans to get tamped down eventually.
Iran, on the other hand, is bracketed by the Persian Gulf, disintegrating Iraq and increasingly destabilized Afghanistan. The border-straddling Pashtuns and Baluchis are both in a troublesome position now, and this spells trouble in nuclear-armed Pakistan. The Baluchis and the U.S. Special Forces have been up to something since 2001. The smaller Central Asian states are at the mercy of bigger forces.
Classic blunders: At least they have the class to stage war provocations in a Gulf, just like the old days. Before we got SUCKED INTO A LAND WAR IN ASIA. God damn...
Russia is not happy. An American attack would unleash dozens of individual proxy forces (like the MEK, Baluchi mercenaries, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, etc) available to the highest bidder: Chalabi will really be the model here, I'd bet. Get the cash upfront, as it's always been, since Alexander the Great brought gold and opium. That doesn't serve Russia's interests, it seems to me.
I bet you there won't be an American attack on Iran April 6. However, with tensions mounting right alongside oil prices, Big Words ought to be coming from Russia, and apparently the Kremlin's General Staff itself is trying to ward off America's impending Iran war.
Just imagine it. They were prepared to push the button all through the Cold War. Now they're finally sitting back and getting rich a bit, and the United States, already occupying the adjacent two countries to Iran, is now actively stirring up trouble in Khuzestan and Balochistan. I think it's time for a chart!
I drew this little guy when I was having a migraine. I'll put up the rest later.
I think it has most of your basic factors of the situation. If I were the damn Joint Chiefs I sure as hell wouldn't park the carriers in the Persian Gulf. Look at it. The little triangles and X's I drew represent hundreds of clandestine docks full of suicide speedboats and probably very sweet missiles. Really. The US carriers are floating around in that without any room to maneuver. Which is why the Brits have been fucking around on their speedboats over the line in the narrow coastal estuary, the Shatt al-Arab, that Iran and Iraq have been bitching about forever. The local fishermen know exactly where the damn line is, and the British Navy engages in this idiocy?
What the hell, it's my website and I'll repost the material in full. However I'll also try to put half of it on the Read More fold, which should work nice and fast now. [original source in Russian]
Webster Tarpley is one of those conspiracy guys. Etc. I found this posted on the decidedly tinfoil Rense.com. But hey when there's obviously a conspiracy to start a war with Iran, why not see what the hatters have? This is really just a framing of a Russian article, which itself appears a bit of a desperate message from the once-fearsome Kremlin.
Anyhow here's the Tarpley story. Again my view is that everyone is blustering right now but the Russians are pretty fucking serious. For bonus points note that the Russians viewed the removal of Democratic law requiring Bush to visit Congress before an Iran attack as an absolute indicator war is ON. And for triple bonus points the Russians note that AIPAC representing the "Israeli extreme right" was crucial in getting Pelosi to pull that language.
Operation Bite - April 6 Sneak Attack By US Forces On Iran Planned - Russian Military Sources Warn
General Ivashov Calls For Emergency Session Of UN Security Council To Ward Off Looming US Aggression
By Webster G. Tarpley 3-25-7
WASHINGTON DC -- The long awaited US military attack on Iran is now on track for the first week of April, specifically for 4 AM on April 6, the Good Friday opening of Easter weekend, writes the well-known Russian journalist Andrei Uglanov in the Moscow weekly "Argumenty Nedeli." Uglanov cites Russian military experts close to the Russian General Staff for his account.
The attack is slated to last for twelve hours, according to Uglanov, lasting from 4 AM until 4 PM local time. Friday is a holiday in Iran. In the course of the attack, code named Operation Bite, about 20 targets are marked for bombing; the list includes uranium enrichment facilities, research centers, and laboratories.
The first reactor at the Bushehr nuclear plant, where Russian engineers are working, is supposed to be spared from destruction. The US attack plan reportedly calls for the Iranian air defense system to be degraded, for numerous Iranian warships to be sunk in the Persian Gulf, and the for the most important headquarters of the Iranian armed forces to be wiped out.
The attacks will be mounted from a number of bases, including the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Diego Garcia is currently home to B-52 bombers equipped with standoff missiles. Also participating in the air strikes will be US naval aviation from aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, as well as from those of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Additional cruise missiles will be fired from submarines in the Indian Ocean and off the coast of the Arabian peninsula. The goal is allegedly to set back Iran's nuclear program by several years, writes Uglanov, whose article was re-issued by RIA-Novosti in various languages, but apparently not English, several days ago. The story is the top item on numerous Italian and German blogs, but so far appears to have been ignored by US websites.
Observers comment that this dispatch represents a high-level orchestrated leak from the Kremlin, in effect a war warning, which draws on the formidable resources of the Russian intelligence services, and which deserves to be taken with the utmost seriousness by pro-peace forces around the world.
Asked by RIA-Novosti to comment on the Uglanov report, retired Colonel General Leonid Ivashov confirmed its essential features in a March 21 interview: "I have no doubt that there will be an operation, or more precisely a violent action against Iran." Ivashov, who has reportedly served at various times as an informal advisor to Putin, is currently the Vice President of the Moscow Academy for Geopolitical Sciences.
Ivashov attributed decisive importance to the decision of the Democratic leadership of the US House of Representatives to remove language from the just-passed Iraq supplemental military appropriations bill which would have demanded that Bush come to Congress before launching an attack on Iran. Ivashov pointed out that the language was eliminated under pressure from AIPAC, the lobbing group representing the Israeli extreme right, and of Israeli Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni.
"We have drawn the unmistakable conclusion that this operation will take place," said Ivashov. In his opinion, the US planning does not include a land operation: " Most probably there will be no ground attack, but rather massive air attacks with the goal of annihilating Iran's capacity for military resistance, the centers of administration, the key economic assets, and quite possibly the Iranian political leadership, or at least part of it," he continued.....
Pakistan is pretty much screwed right now. There is an ongoing covert effort by the U.S. to stir up the Baluchis to attack Iran, the Taliban is operating firmly out of the Pakistani city of Quetta (once the British 'garrison town' at the fringe of Colonial India), and the major interest groups underpinning Musharraf's rule are basically running for the door.
The latest crisis was when Musharraf fired the chief justice of the Supreme Court for failing to extend and further rationalize his military dictatorship. This crisis appears to have alienated Islamic fundamentalists, intelligence service heavies, and other major parts of the political scene from Musharraf. Meanwhile, Waziristan tribal areas and the Pashtun sector beyond Quetta trend towards a basically Taliban-oriented autonomous structure.
If we want to get buzzwordy, could say that "fourth generation warfare entities like religious foundations and tribal segments are focusing primary loyalties to themselves and acting independently, moving away from the central government's military dictatorship, as the factionalized army and ISI act accordingly and autonomously." Or something like that.
(note: the Baluchis, like the Pashtuns and Afghanistan's other major ethnic groups, were placed across national frontiers by meddlesome Europeans in the 19th century. The Baluchis, a historically nomadic people, are trisected between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. They have recently suffered repression from the Pak government)
So you'll want to read this analysis by Ahmed Rashid. No one really knows the cogs of Central Asia better than this journalist.
LAHORE, Pakistan -- In the rapidly unfolding crisis in Pakistan, no matter what happens to President Pervez Musharraf -- whether he survives politically or not -- he is a lame duck. He is unable to rein in Talibanization in Pakistan or guide the country toward a more democratic future.
Since March 9, when Musharraf suspended the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, public protests have escalated every day -- as has a violent crackdown by the police and intelligence agencies on the media and the nation's legal fraternity.
The legal convolutions about Chaudhry's dismissal boil down to one simple fact: He was not considered sufficiently reliable to deliver pleasing legal judgments in a year when Musharraf is seeking to extend his presidency by five more years, remain as army chief and hold what would undoubtedly be rigged general elections.
Musharraf's desire to replace Chaudhry with a more pliable judge has badly backfired. After just 10 days of protests, lawyers around the country have made it clear to the senior judiciary that they will not tolerate further legal validations for continued military rule or tolerate Musharraf remaining as president. At least seven judges and a deputy attorney general have resigned in protest.
Across the country, in law offices, in the media, among the opposition parties and other organized sections of civil society, the feeling is growing that Musharraf will have to quit sooner rather than later. After eight years of military rule it appears people have had enough.
JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesian prisons are a weak link in the country's fight against terrorism, with militants often emerging more organized and committed to violence than before they were jailed, a top anti-terror official said Monday.
Gen. Ansyad Mbai made the remarks on the sidelines of a six-nation conference aimed at strengthening cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Southeast Asia.
"The prisoners should be treated specially; they should be split up from one another," Mbai told reporters. "We must not allow them to become united, stronger and more radical while they are in jail."
He noted a recent case in which Indonesian police seized a laptop from a notorious militant who they said used it to communicate with sympathizers outside the prison.
Countries represented at the meeting included the Philippines, which is fighting the Abu Sayyaf Islamic militant group, Thailand, where militants are engaged in a bloody campaign for an Islamic state in the south, and Malaysia and Singapore, which have both locked up scores of militants in recent years.
The Australian and Indonesian foreign ministers said nations had made progress against Islamic terrorism in the region, but that radicals were continually changing tactics and remained a threat.
"We have foiled terrorist plots, captured and prosecuted terrorists and disrupted their networks, but they are still out there," said Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. "Even as our capacity to stop them improves, their methods and abilities become more sophisticated."
Indonesia has arrested and prosecuted almost 200 militants with direct or supporting roles in attacks on its soil, the most deadly being the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, 88 of them Australian tourists.
"We owe it to our citizens to wage an effective battle against terrorism," said Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, adding more regional cooperation was needed to "counter the clever and seductive propaganda of the terrorists."
Chef: I used to think if I died in an evil place then my soul wouldn't make it to heaven. Well, fuck. I don't care where it goes as long it ain't here.
Iraq is one of the world's most historic places. One site of interest is Nebuchadnezzar's old palace, the site of Daniel's prophetic dreams and all that weird stuff in the Old Testament. Google Earth shows us the lumpy ziggurat rendered near the palace and other historic sites, some rebuilt.
The "Whore of Babylon" and all that other stuff was technically located right here. Saddam rebuilt the palace and stamped his own name into the bricks, alongside Nebuchadnezzar's.
Kurtz: What do you call assassins who accuse assassins?
So, in six thousand years, what political entity might want to take control of this geographic point? What sort of thing would want to control the point where supposedly God crashed the tower of Babel and introduced discord to humanity? (eris discordia's headquarters, you R. Anton Wilson fans could say)
Hubert: You are fighting for the biggest nothing in history.
I'll give you a tip... it's got five sides and it can nuke the whole world....
Kurtz: The horror. The horror.
That's right! The Bush administration's Pentagon, esoterically compelled to assert direct control over the land of Babel and the Garden of Eden, plopped a huge military base right onto the site, parking a fleet of black helicopters on the very parcel of land once cursed by the Israelites. So the Pentagon, a vast and grim bureaucracy, seizes control of this most wicked of sites and builds a military base on top of it, another strange layer of history in the making.
It's another attempted religious conversion of a geographic point that some cultures believe to be a junction with the spiritual plane - like Al Aqsa/Temple Mount or those places the Hindus and Sikhs dicker over.
Note above how the helicopters are parked in two lines that converge about where that little white sphere icon is. That sphere (a wikipedia bookmark in Google Earth) marks the location of the Ishtar Gate, one of the original wonders of the world. The whole site has a strange geometry.
Now as an atheist I'm bound to discount all lines of reasoning that depend on theological primary claims, but seriously, if you believe in any kind of Judeo-Christian theology then this area has to have some kind of black magic - some sort of haywire quality in the cosmic order. Maybe that's why the Pentagon needed to seize it: the five pointed entity wanted to either rectify the location, or else use its mythical power as an infusion into itself.
Backing up a little further here, we see the rest of the base sprinkled around the lake area. The many trailers are the basic units of military materiel. There is a major highway just to the east (we are facing west here).
It's disturbing that no one in America knows or cares that Babylon itself has a US military base. You would think a few fundamentalist Christian preachers would be alarmed about it. Does Pat Robertson think this is a good idea? That, I think, would be the answer to where this whole project fits in the big worldview - the big strange ideology that guides the decisions.
I'm just getting a little dramatic here. The most fundamental point is that it's a cruel and callous act to build a foreign military base right on top of the world's top-level archaelogical sites, of major religious and cultural significance. It's just like they didn't give a fuck when the Baghdad museum got sacked.
[quoting Kurtz] Willard: As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned. I am beyond their timid lying morality, and so I am beyond caring.
They had this kind of eerie glint in their eye when it was all getting fucking burned. That's what the antiwar movement is all about: showing America that their crazy shit is nuts - and it won't deliver whatever the hell it promises.
Roxanne: The war will still be here tomorrow.
Sometimes I think it's just like what the Willard tells Kurtz in Apocalypse Now:
Kurtz: Did they say why, Willard, why they want to terminate my command?
Willard: I was sent on a classified mission, sir.
Kurtz: It's no longer classified, is it? Did they tell you?
Willard: They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.
Kurtz: Are my methods unsound?
Willard: I don't see any method at all, sir.
Kurtz: I expected someone like you. What did you expect? Are you an assassin?
Willard: I'm a soldier.
Kurtz: You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.
The bill is coming due. I don't know much, but I'm pretty fucking sure about that.
All right I'm going to put Brando's bloated rant in here too... If this was the site where God judged everyone should disagree all the time then it makes sense...
Kurtz: I've seen horrors... horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies.
I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember... I... I... I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead.
And I thought: My God... the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters. These were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love... but they had the strength... the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment. Because it's judgment that defeats us.
News today has been dominated by the release of the Iraq Study Group report, a 100+ page compendium with more than 70 specific recommendations. I have to say that I am very impressed.
The report is notable for its direct advocacy of negotiations with Iran and Syria, the importance of building a broader Middle East peace effort. I was pretty much shocked to see it included advocating a Israeli-Syrian peace deal entailing returning the whole Golan Heights to Syria! WTF?!
Given that such awful neocons as Reuel Marc Gerecht and Clifford May were in the ISG, it is an extremely conciliatory document that achieves a certain level of understanding of how Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish militias will all have to be diplomatically engaged in order to preserve American interests. Even negotiating with Sadr! Promising no permanent bases, no permanent American oil domination? Hot damn!
No group in Iraq is placed on a pedestal here. Sadr's militia is fragmenting, Shiite death squads are all over the bureaucracies, all of this is placed in realistic, stark terms. That alone seems like a giant accomplishment.
The doses of reality about how various Iraqi militant and paramilitary groups have run amok is an important step towards the Beltway finally getting a grip on reality. I was also impressed by the list of people the ISG consulted, including important Syrian and Iranian diplomats, as well as important Sunni Iraqi tribal leaders like the Dulaimis.
Also I listened to much of the hearings on Gates coming into Defense yesterday, and Gates sounded pretty good. He admitted we are not winning in Iraq, and that diplomacy is important all around. As NPR put it, he sounded more like someone for Secretary of State, not Defense. When Gates was questioned by Robert Byrd, he admitted that the scenarios of Iranian retaliation after American attacks would be disastrous.
Honestly, today marks a huge setback for the general neoconservative perspective – there are barely any shadings of neocon eschatological/threatening type bullshit in the ISG, and Gates is obviously not from that school at all. 'Hawkery' itself finds little comfort in the ISG or with Gates.
And seriously (Syriously?), giving the Golan back to Syria? AIPAC's going to shit a brick. Too damn good. A huge step forward for the Antiwar movement.
Everything is still fucked up. But at least it seems like the adults are in charge now. Throughout Mr. Gates' testimony and the ISG report, you can tell the old Project for a New American Century is just fuckin' done.
The curtain is down on the old days. The prospects aren't good right now, but they don't want to double down by bombing Damascus anymore. Good days.