Archive for category Biological Weapons

Yes, Iraq Definitely Had WMD, Vast Majority Of Polled Republicans Insist

To this day, the U.S. government has not come up with a credible reason why our military was ordered to invade Iraq in March 2003. One thing is certain, the invasion had nothing to do with so-called “weapons of mass destruction,” also known as nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. President Bush was informed unequivocally, well in advance of the invasion, that there were no such weapons in Iraq. The claim that the Iraqis posed an immediate threat to U.S. national security has been called “one of the greatest lies in modern American political history.”Oops no WMDs

How potent a lie was it? A recent foreign policy poll (PDF) by Dartmouth government professor Benjamin Valentino and conducted by YouGov from April 26 to May 2, found that fully 63 percent of Republican respondents still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded in 2003. Even 27 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats still buy the story about the nonexistent WMDs, eight years after it was disproved.

President Bill Clinton had the best explanation of how Americans get fooled. “When people are insecure, they’d rather have somebody who is strong and wrong than someone who’s weak and right.”

Also: 55.6% of Republicans agree with the statement, “I have always believed President Obama was born in another country,” while 14.7% say they don’t know. Another 8% of Republicans say, “I used to think President Obama was born in the United States, but now I think he was born in another country.” That adds up to 78.3 percent.

The entire poll is worth reading. It asks a lot of interesting questions, such as whether we want to be the world’s number one military power (Yes), and whether we’re willing to pay more taxes to keep the United States military the strongest in the world (Not so much).

h/t Dan Froomkin, HuffPo.

UPDATE: According to the Gallup Poll, 18% of Republicans believe President Obama is a Muslim, 24% say Christian and 47% don’t know.

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Sorry, False Alarm: ‘Curveball’ Confesses He Lied About Iraq WMD

45 minutes from attack!

From The Guardian (why don’t we see these stories in the U.S. media?)

The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons program has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war.

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed “Curveball” by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.

Eight years ago, then Secretary of State Colin Powell relied heavily on “Curveball’s” lies in a high-stakes presentation to the United Nations. He should have been more skeptical of a guy named “Curveball,” don’t you think? U.S. intelligence had far better sources, including none other than Hussein Kamel Hassan al-Majid, the top official who had been in charge of all of Iraq’s weapons programs until they were dismantled. “All weapons—biological, chemical, missile, nuclear—were destroyed,” Kamel told the CIA.

“Curveball’s” bioweapons allegations were subsequently proven to be false by the Iraq Survey Group’s final report published in 2004.

UPDATE: From FDL: Truth finally puts on its dockers, few notice.

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Giuliani Says 9/11 Never Happened

Via Think Progress:

Last November, former Bush press secretary Dana Perino declared that “we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.”

In December, GOP strategist Mary Matalin (who worked for former Vice President Dick Cheney), told CNN, “We inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history.”

On Fox News yesterday, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour declared that “after September 11, not one time did the terrorists who are trying to kill us and end our way of life, not one time were they able to attack the mainland United States.”

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani claimed on Good Morning America today that “We had no domestic attacks under Bush.”

“What he [Obama] should be doing is following the right things that Bush did – one of the right things he did was treat this as a war on terror. We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama,” Giuliani said. “Number two, he should correct the things that Bush didn’t do right. Sending people to Yemen was wrong, not getting this whole intelligence thing corrected.”

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani really doesn’t remember running for his life in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001? And why didn’t George Stephanopoulos remind him?

Spencer Ackerman:

Giuliani, the noun-verb-9/11 politician, is now a 9/11 denialist.

You actually need to give President George W. Bush credit for this. The Bush people did a wonderfully effective job of making it verboten in mainstream political discourse to consider the deaths of 3000 Americans on 9/11 in any sense Bush’s failing. To this day, there are people on the right who believe 9/11 is President Clinton’s failure; many of them would never dream of saying the system that Obama inherited from Bush was responsible for the near-miss on Flight 253.

What about the Americans who died from anthrax in 2001? Or the people shot at the El Al Airlines ticket counter at LAX in 2002 (see below if you don’t remember this one)? Or the thousands of Americans attacked, killed and wounded overseas during the Bush administration?

UPDATE:
“Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos concedes that letting Giuliani get away with his outrageous lie was a “mistake.”

UPDATE:
Giuliani: ‘I Do Remember Sept. 11′

Read the rest of this entry »

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Buttars is low-hanging fruit

He makes it too darn easy. He just opens his mouth, and we have ALL KINDS OF STUFF to write about. Give a listen.


Of course, I have to watch this documentary when it comes out. I just want to see him saying:

They’re the meanest buggers I’ve ever seen.

(Did he really say buggers?)

What is the morals of a gay person? You can’t answer that because anything goes.

They’re probably the greatest threat to America going down I know of.

Um. Threat to what?

Earlier today there was a video posted on YouTube, part of the Cowen interview, in which Buttars brings up the topic of “Pig Sex”. The video has been taken down now, but I did see it before it was removed. Buttars says gays engage in pig sex but he refuses to say on camera what that is. The interviewer looks it up and reads the definition. Buttars is dissatisfied as the definition is not explicit enough to suit him. Here‘s the definition from Urban Dictionary which sounds like the one read by the interviewer.

(UPDATE: Video is back up, so here it is)

And finally, I have to ask what so many others are asking tonight: Why doth Buttars protest so much?

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Bush lied, thousands died

On the last day of the Bush presidency, let’s review the greatest shame of his regime.

It’s almost 11 minutes in length, but extremely important. We must never forget. Will these criminals ever face justice?

Readers, please add your own links and videos in the comments. There are just too many to even narrow them down to the most succinct.

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Historical Sins

Yesterday, Thanksgiving 2008, a friend of mine received the following text:

“Happy Native American Genocide Day”

The timing was somewhat interesting, for me, since I’m reading Charles Mann’s 1491, and I was in the middle of the chapter of Native American demographics – namely the questions of how many people actually lived in the America’s before the arrival of Europeans and how many inhabitants of the America’s died following the widespread arrival of Europeans?

From the perspective of Native Americans, the arrival of Europeans was an unmitigated disaster – and it doesn’t matter if the deaths were accidental or intentional. From the European perspective, however, it’s far more ambiguous. Read the rest of this entry »

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Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After “Obsession” DVD Hits Ohio

 

From fifty-thousand feet all the way down to pebbles on the beach, the distribution of this anti-Muslim DVD on behalf of the Republican candidate for President evokes the Nazi rise to power.

 


photo credit: Kier42

From Chris Rodda. On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio, a "chemical irritant" was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain’s supporters has led to — Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.

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Senate Intelligence Committee Phase II Report: Bush and Cheney lied about Iraq intelligence findings

After four years of delays, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has finally released its Phase II report. In a sweeping review of the administration’s pre-war case for invasion, the Committee found that the American public was being fed information at odds with the truth about Iraq.

The lies came directly from President Bush, Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and CIA Director George Tenet.

The report was approved with on a 10-5 vote. Three Republican members of the committee, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Christopher Bond of Missouri and Richard Burr of North Carolina, denounced the report as “inconclusive, misleading and incomplete.” The findings were held up by a lengthy partisan political standoff.

The Committee’s report cites several conclusions in which the Administration’s public statements were NOT supported by the intelligence. They include:

  • Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qaeda had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qaeda with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.
  • Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.
  • Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.
  • Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.
  • The Secretary of Defense’s statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.
  • The Intelligence Community did not confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 as the Vice President repeatedly claimed.

Here’s a link to the full 172-page report (PDF): Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq By U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated By Intelligence Information. Some parts of the report are redacted.

UPDATE: It’s worth taking a look at the minority section that begins on page 100. Senator Hatch et al. indignantly levy the specious and irony-free charge that this report is “part of a partisan agenda.” The Intelligence Committee, not the Bush administration, “cherry-picked” and “distorted” facts, and “attempted to suppress intelligence information and skew the historical record.” ROFL.

UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Dana Perino explained that President Bush can’t be held responsible for his false statements in the run-up to the Iraq invasion simply because he was kept in the dark about the intelligence.

UPDATE: McClatchey’s John Walcott picks up on an interesting angle from the Senate report. Iranian agents may have fed fake Iraq intelligence to Dick Cheney’s office and Douglas Feith at the Pentagon, according to Defense Department counterintelligence investigators.

UPDATE: Walter Pincus of the Washington Post notes that the Phase II report neglected to investigate the activities of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG). As former White House press secretary Scott McClellan wrote in his recently released book, “What Happened,” the Iraq Group “had been set up in the summer of 2002 to coordinate the marketing of the war to the public.”

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The opportunity cost of Iraq

The New York Times reports on March 19 that whereas the Bush administration sold the Iraq war to the congress as a $50 billion investment, the actual costs are more like–

1.) ultra-conservative Pentagon estimate: $600 billion and counting

(note: this Honest Abe estimate categorically excludes “extras” such as operations in the war zone, support for troops, repair or replacement of equipment, reservists’ salaries, special combat pay for regular forces and some care for wounded veterans)

2.) Congressional Budget Office: $1 to $2 TRILLION

3.) Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz: over $4 TRILLION

–see Iraq War costs chart

Let’s stay for the moment with the most conservative estimate–that of our Honest Abe Pentagon.

Six hundred billion dollars for a war to protect ourselves from non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

With utmost caution and deference one may venture to ask: MIGHT there have been a wiser way to invest this money?

For the answer, let us turn to the book, Plan B 3.0, by Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute.

Lester Brown is a professional natural resource economist who has spent the past quarter century compiling and skillfully synthesizing massive quantities of data on global social and environmental problems and possible solutions to those problems.

His latest and most important contribution has been a lucid, rational, detailed, comprehensive plan for restoring the living environment of our entire planet, using existing, proven technology to convert, “at wartime speed”, from our wasteful, extremely dangerous and highly unstable dependency upon foreign sources of fossil fuels, to a fully sustainable and prosperous global economy–incidentally rescuing human civilization from dire threat of socioeconomic as well as environmental collapse, in the process. This plan for “mobilizing to save civilization” has been published in the book, “Plan B”, which has now gone through three releases and is becoming THE standard blueprint for a global restoration campaign.

The latest version of this classic work can be downloaded without charge from the Earth Policy Institute web site.

If you find yourself impressed enough to buy multiple copies of the paperback and distribute them to friends, you will be in good company: Ted Turner has purchased 3,600 and is passing them around like candy to heads of state, cabinet members, Fortune 500 CEO’s, the U. S. Congress, and the world’s 672 other billionaries.

So what might we have purchased with the money spent on Iraq?

Well let’s see: by the most conservative estimate Iraq has cost at least $600 billion in five and a half years, or about $109 billion per year according to the Pentagon’s calculations. But if we are to believe our own Congressional Budget Office, the true cost including “extras” has been at least $1 trillion or $181 billion per year–probably well over $200 billion per year.

And let’s note that the cost of Iraq alone is well below half of the annual U.S. taxpayer outlay for military services–$538 billion in 2006.

In that year, U.S. military spending was nearly equal to that of all other countries on earth combined ($675 billion.)

While the world’s poor go hungry and ravaged by disease, while the planet’s forests go up in smoke, while its oceans are sterilized, while supplies of fresh water are exhausted and the very crop land under our feet is dissolving away at a rate of 1,700 to 5,000 tons per square kilometer per year–the world’s preening politicians have felt obliged to spend $1.2 trillion per year on national defense. And they are calling THAT “LIFE insurance”?

That’s over six times the annual cost for restoring the entire planet–for solving the global warming problem, the food production problem, the population explosion problem, the ALREAD DIRE global water shortage problem, the soil erosion problem, the ocean fishery decimation problem, the rangeland-destruction-and-desertification problem–not to mention the poverty and economic-collapse-leading-to-world-wide-revolution, -chaos – and – terrorism – like – you’ve -n ever – even – imagined – it problems.

By the time we finally disengage from Iraq–if in fact we ever do–the cumulative cost of the Iraq war toilet-flush will have been enough to have powered comprehensive environmental, social and economic rehabilitation on a GLOBAL scale–at wartime speed– for an entire decade.

TRY to imagine how much good will our country could have generated if instead of conducting genocide in the name of democracy, it had it chosen to use our taxpayer dollars to preserve and restore forest and farmland, to repopulate fisheries, to replenish acquifers, to protect ecosystems and biodiversity, to end carbon loading and global warming, and to provide the means to feeding and educate of the poor–all across the entire planet.

Here are Lester Brown’s calculations for the annual cost of rescuing the planet and with it, human civilization, from its myriad self-imposed crises:

Table 13-2. Plan B Budget: Additional Annual Expenditures Needed to Meet Social Goals and to Restore the Earth

Goal ———————– Annual Funding (Billion Dollars)
Basic Social Goals
Universal primary education———————–10

Eradication of adult illiteracy————————4

School lunch programs for 44

poorest countries————————————6
Assistance to preschool children and pregnant
women in 44 poorest countries———————- 4
Reproductive health and family planning———– 17
Universal basic health care————————- 33
Closing the condom gap—————————– 3

Total ———————————————–77

Earth Restoration Goals
Planting trees to reduce flooding and conserve
soil ————————————————-6
Planting trees to sequester carbon—————–20
Protecting topsoil on cropland——————— 24
Restoring rangelands——————————- 9
Restoring fisheries——————————— 13
Protecting biological diversity———————- 31
Stabilizing water tables—————————- 10

Total———————————————- 113

Grand Total—————————————190

Source: Compiled by Earth Policy Institute.
This is part of a supporting dataset for Lester R. Brown, from Plan B 3.0, Mobilizing to save Civilization: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008).

For more information and a free download of the book, see Earth Policy Institute on-line at www.earthpolicy.org.

———————

It’s SUCH a shame that neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton nor any of their staff, for all the tens of millions we have spent on their presidential campaigns, have had either the intelligence, or the courage, to make social and environmental restoration into an ECONOMIC issue.

We need a new political party. And at wartime speed.

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From The Anals of History – Janeane Garofalo Hands Brian Kilmeade (Fox) His Ass

This “blast from the past” stands as a stark reminder of the chorus corporate controlled media, coordinated talking points and hyperbolic name-calling that manged to shout down anyone who presented reason and fact in the face of the drumbeat to attack Iraq.

This little piece contains all the now classic tactics so shamefully employed against the smartest and bravest among us. They are as delivered by Fox bully Brian Kilmeade…

“Saddam must love you.”
“If it weren’t for the defectors we’d have nothing. We’re still missing a hundred tons of anthrax”
“You don’t think its a good idea for Saddam Hussein to be out of power?”
“So you just distrust this government (Bush) inherently. You distrust Colin Powell when sat there and said here is intercepts, Iraq is trying to cover up nerve gas.”

At this point Janeane and Brian (the dick face) are shouting at each other…

Janeane: “The British dossier was bogus and you know it.”
Brian: “What was bogus about it?”
Janeane: “It was a British grad students paper that was cut and pasted so cavalierly, that they even left the grammatical errors in it.”

Now, due to the fact that this was a thoroughly established fact that until now had been well hidden from the innocently stupid but eveil Fox News audience, the the Fox stooge acting as mediator, cuts in and saves Brian’s ass declaring, “I think it would be safe to say Brian and Janeane don’t agree on this.”

I guess an honest media person would have said, “Brian, is that true the British Dossier Colin Powell referred to was in fact cut and pasted from a student’s paper?”

Brian: “You don’t think those people (the Iraqis) deserve a shot at freedom?”

It gets better. Listen right up to the end, and pass this on to everyone you know.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/3JCakTroF88" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]

Download:

h/t to Norm at OneGoodMove for one again, coming up with the gem of the week. Norm described this piece as, “A month before the war began Janeane Garofalo hands Brian Kilmeade his ass.” This of course would be true only

You can contact Brian Kilmeade and ask him why he is such an asshole and if he thinks little Bryan will respect him when he grows up and studies the History of American Media and his Father’s place in it, and sees this clip. God save little Bryan. BREAK THE CHAIN!

By Mail:
Fox & Friends
ATTN: Brian Kilmeade
1211 Ave of the Americas
17th floor
New York, NY 10036

By Email:
news@briankilmeade.com

Media contact:
phone 212-301-3938

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What About a Sin Tax For War Profiteering?

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The Story That Wouldn’t Go Away

There was a frightening recommended diary on Daily Kos this past Wednesday called Anthrax Attack on Congress may have been launched by Government Agency? I happened to notice it ended up with over 700 comments long after it fell off the recommended list at around 200 comments.

The implications of course are startling. No less startling perhaps than the idea that 9/11 was an inside job.

The other night, I watched a video of a press conference on May 9th 2001 at the Press Club in Washington DC. I was struck by one of the last speakers comments who repeated the warnings of Wernher von Braun about how the government would lie about national security threats to perpetuate the military industrial complex.

Of course 9/11 happened only three months later. WAS the anthrax attack a plan B that was executed cause plan A had gone so well…hey why not?

I’ve cobbled together a short video of Dr. Carol Rosin’s eerily prescient comments for your convenience with a couple of bonuses at the end (cause I can).

Download:

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