Thursday, June 03, 2004

Like Sunnis, Shiites Now Love the Extra (extra) Crispy

Like the Sunnis, Shiites Now Love the Extra (extra) Crispy

...and Americans are less safe than ever..

I had to quote this gem from Juan Cole. From 'Making Americans Safer':

The riots in Karachi on Tuesday, protesting a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Pakistan's major port, involved setting fire to American fast food outlets. This sort of attack had previously been common among radical Sunnis, but it is ominous that now the Shiite mobs are asking for very extra crispy KFC. Now I find that in my old stomping grounds of Lucknow, India, where the Shiite community had been so kind to me in the early 1980s, Americans are now unwelcome. Why, if the Bush administration has any more successes in the War on Terror, I just don't know how we'll be able to survive them.


*Actually, this won't be the first time Extra Crispy was ordered..just a batch of new customers.*

Also, be sure to see the cheery Sistani Fatwa on the New Government of Iraq!

Porter Goss raised as one possibility for Tenet job

Porter Goss raised as one possibility for Tenet job

Ex-CIA Goss poo-pooed the fury over Valerie Plame outing as "partisan politics"; Claimed CIA leak was not worthy of committee action

I heard a pundit on a cable news network name Porter Goss (R-Fla), an ex-CIA-man, as a fitting replacement for George Tenet. It's out in the press, too.

I certainly am not impressed with the look of his past voting record in Congress, from a purely ideological standpoint. Look at what he said indicating his feelings about the non-importance of the treasonous outing of Joseph Wilson's wife, agent Valerie Plame. Does that matter, you ask? Nonchalance about this outing of an agent coming from an ex-CIA, I should say so! Given the fact we need to regain out trust in someone to be totally independent from partisanship and totally independent in their CIA position, I'd have to say YES--it matters a lot.

Interestingly, Juan Cole believes Tenet's resignation may have much to do with the Valerie Plame case.

I'm sure he's not the best person to put into the job at this precarious and divisive time in our nation. I have a feeling we'll wind up getting him, anyhow.

FYI, here is a question posed to Goss just after 9-11 in an interview with PBS/Frontline:

FRONTLINE: Do we need a James Bond agency that goes out and basically whacks people?

Porter Goss: No, we don't. We don't need that. ... We have been trying to redefine our defense capabilities to respond to the kinds of threats we have today, and we're trying to do the same exact thing with intelligence, change the capabilities we have. Do we need more arrows in the quiver of small "c," covert action? The answer is yes. There is no doubt about that. Is it a James Bond assassination squad? Certainly not. It's a great movie, but movies, unfortunately, are not reality.

Back in the day when James Bond was popular, that was sort of the image of intelligence. Those were, in many ways, the heydays. ... Now we're in the position where we have had to overcome this sort of bad period where intelligence is not only unfashionable, it's un-American, and we don't want to do that any more. We've had to resist that, rebuild the financing for it, rebuild the recruiting, rebuild the morale. It has been a very hard problem, and we are caught a little short, and that's one of the reasons.

So when you say, *"Was this a cultural problem that we had?" The answer is partly yes, because we decided that the world didn't need quite as much intelligence, and we weren't sure what it exactly it should be. So we backed off from some stuff. I can't say we would have prevented the tragedies of last Tuesday if we'd had more intelligence. I'd just say the odds were higher that we could have.


From an informative Washington Post article about Goss:

Before President Bush's election, Goss's name surfaced as a candidate for the top CIA job amid speculation that Bush would replace Director George Tenet, a Clinton appointee.

Goss supported Tenet as a holdover and has not wavered in his support amid calls by others for Tenet's resignation after 9/11. After blasting Tenet last fall, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman, also described Goss as "close to a lot of people" at the CIA, telling Roll Call, "I don't think we should be too close to anybody we have oversight of, because you can't do your job."

But other prominent Republicans -- namely Bush and Vice President Cheney -- maintain great faith in Goss. Though Goss had said he would not run again, Cheney was dispatched earlier this year and helped persuade him not to retire. Goss also recalls seeing the president on two occasions and quotes him thusly:

" 'Porter, listen, I really want you to stay.' He said, 'This intelligence stuff is important. I want you here.' " And, Bush told him, "You've got it exactly right."


George Tenet Has Resigned

George Tenet Has Resigned

The CIA deputy director will serve as acting director until a replacement is found.

The singing birds in the Rose Garden were far more animated and interesting than Bush when he made shell-shocked comment on the resignation today.


Tenet's biggest mistake was behaving more as part of the Bush administration and less as a properly independent Director. That was not his job. He especially crossed the line on WMDs in Iraq, where he, Colin Powell, and the Pentagon all provided tainted information that was not nearly accurate and contributed to the (patently false) rationale to make pre-emptive attack.

I'll never understand why Tenet and Powell sat together at the UN and gave that faulty dog and pony show about WMDs in February, 2003.

I somehow trust, from sheer intuition, that Tenet and Powell were somehow ill-used and are truly, truly decent men at heart.

Tenet is going to spend quality time with his family. I wish him happiness.

It's odd timing....while Ashcroft stands at a podium and tells us terrorists are ready to strike domestically, Tenet walks away.

These are strange days, indeed.

Now Colin Powell (and the good Mr. Armitage) should turn in resignations and leave the worst of the liars behind to rot away.

Books should be written.

'60 Minutes' appearance schedule slots should be filled.


Robert G. Kaiser, Associate Editor at the Washington Post, thinks (perhaps) Tenet must have been livid to discover (if it's actually the case) that someone in or affiliated with the Pentagon had caused the disaster of Ahmad Chalabi telling the Iranians that their code had been broken. He says he can imagine him thinking this was the straw that broke the camel's back. [LINK]

Meanwhile, the used-up-spook Ahmad Chalabi is bad-mouthing George Tenet. I really don't think that's going to go over big with the American public now that Chalabi's been soundly trashed, sliced, and diced in the American media, deservedly or undeservedly. His credibility has been "flushed from the bathroom of our hearts", as the late singer Johnny Cash would have said.

See Miss-information for a look at reactions around the world about the Tenet resignation.

Bush seeks credibility for Iraq failure through WWII analogy

Bush seeks credibility for Iraq failure through WWII analogy

"........mustn't say Viet Nam.........say Hitler...
.....mustn't say Viet Nam...say Pearl Harbor..."

What can we do about a President whose brain-washing "vision-speeches" have no connection to facts on the ground?
*(We could start by not re-electing the buffoon)*

Sidney Blumenthal (who is NeoCon Michael Ledeen's favorite "liar") rips away the political brainwash-curtain to reveal the simple fact that Iraq is far closer to a VietNam than it will ever be to WWII.

But don't ask Sidney. Ask the fine folks at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennslyvania:

....on the eve of Bush's appearance at the Army War College, its strategic studies institute released a report, Vietnam and Iraq: Differences, Similarities and Insights, observing the similarities as failures of strategy, maintaining public support and nation building.

It also noted:

"Prospects for creating a stable, prosperous, and democratic Iraq are problematic, and observers and decision makers should not be misled by false analogies to American state-building success in Germany and Japan after World War II."

"They haven't known what they've been doing since the statue of Saddam came down," a military strategist at the Army War College told me. "Bush's speech was a vision speech with no connection to facts on the ground. That seems to be the limit of his understanding and ability. Even Vietnam doesn't look so bad in retrospect." But Bush will not make reference to "Vietnam and Iraq" in Europe.

[LINK-Guardian-Can You say VietNam? Bush won't.]

Pre-War Iraq: Journalists forgot what journalism is for

Pre-War Iraq: Journalists forgot what journalism is for

I found a particular quote from this Boston Phoenix article too important to be allowed to pass without special mention:

If Judith Miller, the New York Times, and the mainstream media in general had done a better job of covering the run-up to the war in Iraq — if they had given greater voice to the skeptics, if they had made it clear that the case for WMD was not a "slam-dunk," to borrow one of CIA director George Tenet’s favorite expressions — perhaps a few more moderates in Congress would have voted against authorizing President Bush to go war. Perhaps public-opinion polls would have been more mixed. Perhaps a few fence-straddling commentators would have gotten off the fence.

But the case for Iraq’s weapons capabilities and terrorist ties couldn’t have been absolutely disproven any more than it could have been proven. The media didn’t fail because they were unsuccessful in stopping the war. Rather, they failed because, in all too many instances, they parroted the White House’s rationale for war rather than subjecting it to rigorous, skeptical analysis. That is to say, they failed because they forgot what journalism is for.