MORE News on Jane Mayer’s Chronicle of How in the White House “Fear and Anxiety were Exploited by Fools”

-

jane mayer twn.jpgSee my note below. I will be hosting a live streaming discussion with New Yorker Washington Correspondent Jane Mayer on her new book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.
I just received permission from Random House to share with TWN readers the press release that they are issuing Monday evening on the key findings in her book.
Here is a roster of some of the revelations about the White House’s path towards embrace of a torture policy:

~ The single minded campaign, born in the office of the Vice President, to legalize torture and expand the President’s powers as “Commander-in-Chief” to the point of unchecked authority with the ability to violate virtually any law.
~ The first full account of the secret Red Cross report describing the detailed allegations of torture made by the CIA’s top fourteen terror suspects — all of whom are currently held in Guantanamo Bay — and the Red Cross’s warning to the United States government that this treatment unequivocally constituted “torture,” exposing Bush Administration officials to prosecution for war crimes.
~ The personal reasons that drove Dick Cheney to so many undisclosed locations post-9/11 — including his fear that he had personally been exposed to Anthrax.
~ Details about the scores of innocent people the United States Government has abused — including the inside story of a mistaken CIA “rendition,” and the revelation that the CIA is investigating a half-dozen more such erroneous kidnappings.
~ The unorthodox CIA psychologists who advocated the use of Cold War KGB methods intended to obtain false confessions, and the near complete lack of actionable intelligence gained from these un-American techniques.
~ The viral spread of legally dubious torture techniques from an obscure U.S. military training program, known as “SERE,” throughout the U.S. war on terror.
~ Previously unpublished, shocking details showing what the CIA did to detainees to make them talk and new revelations about the growing doubts and fights within the intelligence agency over these harrowing tactics.
~ The fear of criminal charges that drove the CIA to destroy interrogation videotapes — and what the tapes may have shown.
~ Vice President Cheney’s intimidation of the U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who admitted he disagreed with the torture program, but couldn’t fight back.
~ The stories of the brave dissenters, many of who were lifelong conservatives, inside the administration, as well as the military officers and FBI agents, who openly challenged the legality of these practices and lost their jobs in the process. Two top Justice Department officials critical of the White House became so fearful; they conversed in codes, in case their phones were tapped.
~ The crisis that caused the top State Department lawyer, John Bellinger III to threaten to resign.
~ The mounting of a secret internal rebellion aimed at closing Guantanamo.
~ The admission by Cofer Black, the former head of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, that he expected to be indicted some day for the program they ran.
~ The striking declaration by Condoleezza Rice’s former counselor, Phillip Zelikow, that the Bush Administration’s descent into torture will be seen as abhorrently as Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of the Japanese during World War Two. Zelikow declares candidly of the administration he served “Fear and anxiety were exploited by zealots and fools.”
~ David Addington openly admitted that they were going to “push and push and push until some larger force makes us stop.” Larger forces, in the form of the Supreme Court and public outrage have tried to put a stop to these programs, but most of them are still operational today.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

64 comments on “MORE News on Jane Mayer’s Chronicle of How in the White House “Fear and Anxiety were Exploited by Fools”

  1. John M. Gallagher says:

    We all own Jane Mayer a great debt for exposing this corrupt vice-president. It will take time for the gravity of this matter to soak into the public consciousness, but maybe there’s still enough time before the election.

    Reply

  2. charles cox says:

    As a victim of civilian torture for five years, I can say that Jane Mayer has just revealed the tip of the iceberg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  3. Holsy says:

    I watched the cspan program last night with Jane Mayer speaking about her book The Dark Side with Steve Clemens. No one asked what she thought regarding 9/11 being staged by Cheney’s office and/or inner circle. She along with some audience questions, seemed to elude to that. I thought the mystery and fear surrounding the Vice President’s office, along with his actions and those of others certainly made that quite a possibility. Where can more info be found? I read an archived version of the PNAC last night because PNAC was taken off the web July 8. Today I discovered the archived site was down as well. Very interesting. Hope you are all archiving what you find on the web. Wikipedia seems to get edited a lot regarding PNAC as well.

    Reply

  4. Kathleen says:

    Carroll, et al..Speaking of exploiting fear and anxiety…a blast from the past, From The Times, July 19, 2008, Jewish guerrillas told British: quit Palestine or die
    Fighters were led by future Israeli premier
    Marcus Leroux
    A pamphlet warning Britons to leave the Middle East or face death has come to light in a stash of illicit propaganda.
    The document does not hail from Basra or Baghdad, nor was it penned by the Islamists of al-Qaeda or the al-Mahdi Army. It was found in Haifa, about 60 years ago, and it was issued by the underground group led by Menachem Begin – the future Prime Minister of Israel and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
    The document, which surfaced at an auction house this week, is addressed to “the soldiers of the occupation army” and aimed at British soldiers serving in Palestine, then under the British Mandate, preceding the establishment of Israel in 1948. The print has faded and the paper has discoloured since it was unearthed from a grove of trees in Haifa in the summer of 1947. Yet the language and the concerns remain current.
    Bombings and murders by underground groups, such as Begin’s Irgun, hastened the British withdrawal and the United Nations declaration that led to the founding of modern Israel.
    Irgun propaganda targeted the British Army’s wavering morale, already dented by the bomb attack on the Mandate’s headquarters – the King David Hotel in Jerusalem – which killed 91 people.
    In the document, Irgun tells British troops: “It is unavoidable that many Jewish soldiers and many British soldiers should fall. And it is only fair that these people know at least why they may be killed.”
    It adds: “Most of you have been in this country for quite a long time. You have learned what the word ‘terrorist’ means, some of you may even have come into direct contact with them (and heartily desire not to repeat the experience). But what do you know about them? Why does a young man go underground?”
    It then draws a parallel with what would have happened if, seven years earlier, Britain had been overrun by Nazi Germany. “Remember 1940. Then it seemed quite possible that your island country would be conquered and subjugated by Hitler hordes . . . what would you have done? Would you have gone underground?” The pamphlet says that the occupation is “illegal and immoral” and “parallel to the mass assassination of a whole people”, in language that echoes that used on a note pinned to the booby-trapped bodies of two British intelligence officers executed by Irgun that same summer.
    The pamphlet came from a stash confiscated and burnt by cyptographers from the Royal Signals regiment. Corporal Raymond Smith found them buried in a secluded grove marked by a white Star of David and was ordered to destroy them, but took one as a memento. A collector acquired the document from Corporal Smith, and brought it to Mullock’s auctioneers in Shropshire.
    Richard Westwood-Brookes, Mullock’s historical documents specialist, said the pamphlet was a remarkable find, which “ amounted to a manifesto for terrorist action”. He added: “It also raises the question as to who are ‘terrorists’ and who are ‘freedom fighters’. It’s a debate which raged through the troubles of Northern Ireland and continues in the Middle East.”
    Begin’s Irgun set aside its differences with Haganah, a rival underground Jewish group led by David Ben Gurion – the first Prime Minister of Israel, who once likened Begin to Adolf Hitler.
    Begin forged a political career as a hardliner, but, after becoming Prime Minister, signed the Camp David agreement with Egypt in 1979.
    The pamphlet, which is expected to fetch about £500, goes on sale at Mullock’s, in Shropshire, on August 6.

    Reply

  5. arthurdecco says:

    I’ve just finished reading every post on this thread. (I’ve been away for a few days.)
    So far, Questions appears to be continuing to campaign to be the dominant, thin-skinned, defensive propagandist for Israel and the Zionist lobby, (though one with an unfortunate, whiney, ineffective approach to rebutting criticism),
    and
    Caroll and POA continue to champion the ideals of that mythical, mid 20th century America when you could still find quarters sitting on top of the newspapers in street boxes…
    (…and in spite of their wistful clutching at widescreen rainbows, I’m eternally grateful…!)
    Carroll said:
    “It will be a war for Israel brought about by US jewish lobby and Israel with the help of the evangelical leaders. It won’t be even be debatable, everyone will understand it. And if it happens the zionist jews will deny it in public and brag about it in private, and the christian zionist will tune in to the TV God merchants to celebrate it.”
    Unfortunately, most of us silently acknowledge the truth of what you’ve posted. Not because we’re anti-Semitic, but because we recognize the facts as you have presented them, and we will brood over them, until someday, SOMEDAY, we collectively erupt, horrified by our own complicity in crimes against our fellow earthlings, simply because a small minority, living amongst us, have coerced us into it.
    That’s unequivocal history.
    Questions said: “(He’s probably more right than I am most of the time!), [referring to Alexander Cockburn.]
    Of course he is – he doesn’t carry your ideological baggage, nor is he remotely interested in your convoluted and self-serving ‘logic’ in defense of Israel. And spare me your protestations of wide-eyed innocence, fer crissakes!
    Have you NO shame?
    So far, IMO, you’ve had nothing original to contribute to the conversation. Your intellectual adversaries are wiping the floor with you, questions. What justification could you have for continuing this humiliating conversation?
    You’re not stupid. Or irrational. Or vindictive. Or disingenuous. Or immoral. Or paid to be here.
    …Or are you?

    Reply

  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    What a bunch of horseshit. You really shouldn’t work so hard at it. A sentence or two of crap is sufficient, and would require far less effort on your part.

    Reply

  7. questions says:

    Since postings come in twos, here’s my second…
    I’m reading a book review of _Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health_ by Davaid Michaels — in the (hard copy)April 08 issue of American Prospect (I’m a little behind on magazines sometimes).
    The argument of the book seems a lot like what you charge me with except that the book’s charges are based on evidence while your charges of me are based on quoting people who agree with you.
    So the industries mentioned include tobacco, asbestos, lead and a bunch of others. In each case there has been established clear causal connections between the substance discussed and direct harm to individuals. And with global warming, the science supports causation though with somewhat less information. There is again a clear causal chain established and when the cause is absent, the result is absent, when the cause is present, the result is present. The molecular and biological and chemical processes have been worked out, The statistical significance of relations between events has been established…. In the face of this, idustry reps really do lie and obfuscate and cast doubt (as in “Doubt is their product”).
    Now from your position, I look just like one of those industry lawyers. I’ve sold out to the zio cause, I’m paid by them and so my soul has been taken over and all I can do is sell doubt and sow doubt wherever I go.
    From my position however, I know that I’m not a lawyer (you just have to take my word for it I guess), I’m not an apologist for any position (again, you have to take my word for it since I can’t possibly prove anything to you at all), and I have stated clearly the conditions under which my position can be found to be untenable and therefore I would have to admit I’m wrong, eat crow, apologize to the known universe, kowtow and the like.
    If I see evidence that members of Congress clearly are caused by AIPAC to vote utterly against the interests of this country, of their districts, of their re-election (doing the other two would surely undermine re-election, let’s face it) and for the interests of AIPAC, then I would have to day that AIPAC is the DUDE.
    And further, if I could be shown that absent zios/Israel, world peace reigns and struggles over identity, resources, land, water, spheres of influence, geostrategic positioning all would end POOF!, then I’d convert to your position.
    I don’t really think AIPAC is the be-all and end-all of world conflict and I don’t really think hundreds of members of Congress are betraying their country daily. And I don’t think removing Israel fixes much of anything. (See above post for more on this.)
    On the other hand, I DO THINK that if people didn’t smoke, they’d be less likely to get lung cancer, that if people didn’t take Vioxx, they’d be less likely to suffer from its side effects, that if people avoided other products KNOWN to have CAUSAL relations to bad consequences, then people would suffer less from those bad consequences.
    So I’m willing to admit that there can be causal relationships such that if you remove the cause, you remove the effect. If you can PROVE that zios are the cause and world events are the effect, then I have to believe it. I’m somewhat rational after all. I just haven’t seen the proof, though I have laid out what it would look like.
    And the fact that I can lay out what the proof looks like puts me in a different class from the obfuscaters, the lobbyists, the bad guys. For them, there’s never proof. For me, there is, and it’s not impossible to generate if this relationship is a true one. A dissertation or a tenure book could be written analyzing the voting patterns in Congress, comparing those patterns to AIPAC donations and district sentiment and speeches made in Congress and interviews with members of Congress — stats plus qualitative work, NOT speculation and idle gossip and outsider musing. Further, the author could do a historical survey of patterns of US foreign policy to see what we have tolerated, advocated and fought for and against. And the author could look at the history of middle east nations and their internal political structures.
    All of this together is doable, and would stand as proof should it all show that in fact Joe Lieberman is the single cause of every bad thing that happens in the ME and the US as related to the ME.
    (So no, quoting a former CIA agent really isn’t enough. And quoting twenty more websites isn’t really enough. CIA agents don’t prove causal relations between lobbying and voting patterns, between voting patterns and US interests, between foreign policy in the US and how other countries would behave should that policy shift.)

    Reply

  8. questions says:

    BEGIN SNARK ALERT
    First the snark, just to get it over with.
    Who am I to doubt anything an ex-Agency guy would ever say? The Agency is an honorable institution that has always analyzed everything correctly, honestly and without any selfish interests on the part of the analyst. Objective to the core….. And who would question a former agent who seems, in my brief look, to pal around with Ron Paul…. Therefore, my entire corporation of thousands of AIPACKERS have gotten together to come up with the following completely confusing response so that the AIPACKY trail will remain hidden under the fouled waters of the Cuyohoga River (isn’t that the one that caught fire in Ohio?) END SNARK ALERT
    On to the argument from hypothesis (high school geometry style proof, and sorry, it comes up in Plato, too.)
    Let’s grant your wish, POA. We admit the zios are the cause of every evil. We get rid of all of them. We chase the current occupation force of Israel off to the sea, reversing the current policy of chasing the Palestinians there. We take over Congress in the US and primary every single AIPACKIN’ SOB and every single AIPACKIN’ SOB loses election. POOF. No more zios/neos/or any other os.
    So what happens? The Palestinians never had inner tensions unrelated to Jewish people, so peace reigns. Saudis are able to make peace with the US bases in Saudi Arabia and now that the Jewish people are gone, Bin Laden doesn’t care about the Saudi government’s moral and political corruption or ties to the US, so he calls off his supporters who IMMEDIATELY desist from their anti-US activities. Syria and Lebanon find peace and stop assassinating each other’s rulers. Iran and Iraq no longer have strategic differences or Shia/Sunni or Persian/Arab tension. And, further, there’s no secular/religious tension within Islam anymore. All fixed once those wiley zios are gone. China doesn’t care anymore about the region because without Jewish people, they have no need of petroleum. The US also doesn’t need petroleum because our consumption patterns were caused directly by the zios and neos. (I really did hate it when I was forced to commute 80 miles a day in my Ford Explorer and live in a 4000 sq ft house because of those wiley zios and neos. And all that plastic stuff I had to buy? I’m so glad that the zios are gone. It was a burden!)
    Further, Afgahanis instantly no longer need to worry about opium or about women seeing male doctors. The Taliban only put forth these policies because of the Jewish people in Israel. Now that the Palestinians have the place to themselves, the Taliban have lost their raison d’etre and they dissolve.
    What a wonderful world.
    END OF ARGUMENT BY HYPOTHESIS
    The basic idea behind this argument structure is that you grant your hypothesis and see if ANY of the conclusions make ANY sense at all. Did you have a single causal chain correct?
    Would getting rid of zio/neo influence change ANY of the problems we face in the ME? I really don’t think so. I think that AGAIN, confusing, hard to understand, difficult to solve problems are embedded in the area and I don’t think anything so simple as “send them off to sea” is going to help.
    The question, then, is what might help? Clearly, humanizing the Palestinians, recognizing that yes, Israeli/Palestinian tension is one thread in the giant quilt of ME tensions. There are other threads including the self-interest and internal political structures of every country in the region. And you have to break a lot of those countries down into factions. And you have to break the factions down into indviduals who are jockeying for money and power. Remember, politicians who want to motivate people will make arguments based on all sorts of things. If we take away one of those things (say, Israelis), they will find something else. The goal isn’t really getting rid of Israelis. The goal is gaining and keeping power.
    But, there I go again obfuscating. I and the thousands of other cyborgs out there typing away keep finding more and more ways to complexify and to stump the enemy. It’s not at all that the world is complex. Oh no. It’s just my corporation. (A little more snark. Couldn’t help it. Sorry.)
    And if you look at your CIA friend and compare his rhetoric to what the Kos diary was discussing, you might just see some interesting parallels.

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Of course, whats some ex-upper level CIA guy know? He must be ignorant of all the intricacies, (obsfucations and deceptions), that “Questions Inc.” is so fond of muddying the waters with.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    July 16, 2008
    Turning the Tables
    on the Israel-Firsters
    by Michael Scheuer
    Now that the dust has settled in the spat between journalist Joe Klein and the ideologues at Commentary, it is time to regret the ink spilled over the non-issue of “dual loyalties.” The idea that there are U.S. citizens who have equal loyalties to the United States and Israel is passé. American Israel-firsters have long since dropped any pretense of loyalty to the United States and its genuine national interests. They have moved brazenly into the Israel first, last, and always camp. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Norman Podhoretz, Victor Davis Hanson, the Rev. Franklin Graham, Alan Dershowitz, Rudy Giuliani, Douglas Feith, the Rev. Rod Parsley, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, Bill Kristol, the Rev. John Hagee, and the thousands of wealthy supporters of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) appear to care about the United States only so far as Washington is willing to provide immense, unending funding and the lives of young U.S. service personnel to protect Israel. These individuals and their all-for-Israel journals – Commentary, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal – amount to nothing less than a fifth column intent on involving 300 million Americans in other peoples’ religious wars, making them pay and bleed to protect a nation in which the United States has no genuine national security interest at stake.
    The Israel-firsters’ success is, of course, the stuff of which legends are made. Most recently, for example, we heard President Bush echo Sen. Lieberman’s insane and subversive contention that the United States has a “duty” to ensure the fulfilling of God’s millennia-old promise to Abraham regarding the creation and survival of Israel. Bush told the Knesset all Americans are ready to endlessly bleed and pay to ensure Israel’s security. And where does the president derive authority to make such a commitment in the name of his countrymen? From the Constitution? On the basis of America’s dominant religion? From – heaven forbid – a thoughtful, hardheaded analysis of U.S. interests?
    No, Bush’s pledge was based on none of these. Bush’s decision to more deeply involve America in the eternal Arab-Israeli war was based on nothing less than the corruption wrought on the American political system by the Israel-firsters, AIPAC’s enormous treasury, and the lamentable but growing influence of America’s leading evangelical Protestant preachers.
    The Israel-firsters started the Iraq war and now have the United States locked into an occupation of that country that may not end in any of our lifetimes. Unless Americans ignore the likes of Hanson, Podhoretz, Lieberman, Woolsey, and Wolfowitz, the cost in blood and treasure will ultimately bankrupt America.
    AIPAC is a perfectly legal organization, and the wealth of its members is channeled into reliable campaign contributions for any candidate from either party who will put Israel’s interests above America’s. From McCain to Obama, from Pelosi to Giuliani, from Hillary Clinton to Vice President Cheney, AIPAC pumps money to any and every American politician who is willing to adopt an Israel-first policy.
    continues…….
    http://www.antiwar.com/scheuer/?articleid=13139

    Reply

  11. questions says:

    POA,
    “It was a triumphalist conference. Even this powerful organization (AIPAC), the most powerful group in the US Israel lobby, had never seen anything like. Seven thousand Jewish functionaries from all over the United States came together to accept the obeisance of the entire Washington elite. The three presidential hopefuls (Hillary went too) made speeches, trying to outdo each other in flattery. Three hundred senators and members of Congress crowded the hallways. Everybody who wanted to be elected or re-elected to any office came to see and be seen.” Uri Avnery, London Review of Books, July 3, 2008. page 18
    For what it’s worth, Avnery has a piece in (yesterday’s?) counterpunch.org arguing that neither the US nor Israel will bomb Iran.
    And for what it’s worth, members of Congress toady to lots of goups routinely. That’s how they survive. They need money, support, and they want to be re-elected. This scene is repeated in various guises all season long. Sometimes it’s private phone calls, sometimes it’s private meetings. Generally the lobbying does a disservice to the public. (And if you really think cattle/beef is harmless, look up destruction of rainforest, dietary health/food pyramid/ obesity and the like. Cattle not so good, meat not so good, land policies not so good, destruction of prairie dogs not so good (actually, pretty devastating for wild life (Read Alice Outwater’s lovely little book Water: A Natural History (I think that’s the title)))
    And note that there’s no context for knowing what “most powerful in the Jewish Lobby” means, nor any sense of what “7000 Jewish functionaries” means. Nor any PROOF that seeing and being seen at a lobbying extravaganza is the same as determining all votes by a member of Congress. The phrases are loaded with meaning but that meaning requires a carefully laid out context, not dark hints. What social scientists would then do with such material is barely comprehensible statistical analyses of voting records which could then be explained in an article. What qualitative analysis would demand is interviews with those 300 members of Congress. I ask for nothing less than these requests. The leap from observation to proof is a large one and it must be made. This is the correlation/causation thing coming at you. Lots of observations turn out not to lead to the causal chains we suspect. (Check out dietary advice for the easiest set of examples.) So I’m properly suspicious of observational political “science”. But if the science comes through with solid proff that can’t be explained in other ways, I’ll change my views. One more testimonial by one more “OH, they are SO powerful” won’t do a thing, nor would large numbers. I need voting patterns and no other way to explain those voting patterns to tell a coherent narrative. Again, the best case fr proving your point would be if a Congressman defied his or her constituency and voted pro-AIPAC because AIPAC controls that member’s soul. Then you could see AIPAC and not a confluence of interests. You’d have a clear causal chain, and not a lot of correlations because the usual correlations would be gone.
    If you read the Kos diary, you’ll see that it contains a plea. If you’re going to argue about the evils of Zionism, then at least do so without the trappings of some traditional arguments that come off making your readers think something very different.
    Argument style and structure matter deeply. If you use one analogy, your argument goes one way, if you use a different one, your argument goes elsewhere. (This thought was behind the “read Plato” suggestion. Plato is full of analogies that take the discussions in certain directions.)
    My guess at this point is that you could cite a thousand things that I would likely find just enough holes in to keep me from being convinced. And the opposite is true for you. You’ve settled on an explanatory mechanism and so have I. At least the “jackass” stuff seems to have lightened up. I don’t work for AIPAC, I don’t love war, I think huge numbers of Israeli policies are beyond wrongheaded, and the same holds for US policies. But I see these policies repeated in a pattern that is so much wider than ANYthing the US/Iraeli relationship would cover that I think it has little to do with causation and a lot to do with correlation. The US doesn’t care about human rights in: Africa, Latin America, Central Europe, Australia, island nations, Asia…. Why would our relationship with the Palestinians be any different? Again, it’s not Israel as an eminence grise. It’s altogether more structural in our way of being in the world. We want extracted resources controlled by MNCs on an open market that sells under conditions that we prefer. We don’t care about the labor conditions under which the extraction is done and we don’t care about the governing conditions under which the extraction is done. We care about having cheap STUFF come our way. And we care about arranging the world long term so that cheap STUFF comes our way. We have decided that right wing power guarantees cheap stuff better than left wing power. Beyond that, we don’t care.
    Israel fits into this paradigm by being a bulwark against a possibly hostile region. By being fully militarized and always ready to bomb, it serves as a constant warning to the region. By being a US ally, it serves as a reminder of US power.

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel: Good for America?
    Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power by James Petras challenges the claims of Zionist apologists who argue that the ‘Israel power configuration’ is just another lobby by empirically examining several major US policies.
    Clarity Press 07.12.2008
    Criticizing and exposing the powerful public role of American Zionism in shaping US policy in the Middle East is the biggest taboo in US politics. Politicians, academics, journalists, prelates and ordinary American citizens who publicly voice their dissent are targeted for political purges, denied academic tenure, and access to the mass media and scurrilously labeled as ‘anti-Semites’ by the Zionist power configuration.
    Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power by James Petras challenges the claims of Zionist apologists who argue that the ‘Israel power configuration’ is just another lobby by empirically examining several major US policies. The case studies demonstrate conclusively that today issues of war and peace, trade and investment agreements by US, European, and Asian oil companies and banks in the Middle East, and multi-billion dollar arms sales are all subject to ZPC scrutiny and veto.
    The new ‘broad definition’ of what affects Israel includes Lobby backing for Bush’s shredding of Constitutional restraints on his war powers. It is not merely regional expansion which ‘interests Israel’ but economic and military aid and sales—namely who determines what military goods the US can sell to Arab states as well as what high end military technology the US should provide to the world’s fourth biggest arms merchant, Israel (an arms export competitor)—the Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in the US Congress has blocked trade and sales to Saudi Arabia, despite the backing of the US oil and military-industrial sectors. Thanks to its influence in the mass media, the ZPC effectively delayed, degraded and then marginalized a long-awaited report by16 US national intelligence agencies on Iran’s non-military nuclear program in favor of dubious bellicose claims issued by the state of Israel.
    Building on Petras’ highly successful earlier works on the subject — The Power of Israel in the United States (2006, 4th printing) and Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists, Militants (2007, 2nd printing), with foreign language editions appearing in Japanese (hardcover), Spanish, Arabic, German, Indonesian and Italian— Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power examines how domestic Zion-Con forces can make a drumbeat for a US war on Iran even possible, given the current overstretch of US forces and public disgust and distaste for the war in Iraq.
    While it has been widely (and incorrectly) argued that the US war on Iraq was for Big Oil, only Zion-Con demands and Israeli interests can explain the current US moves against Iran—threats, infiltrations, naval blockades, US Treasury-imposed sanctions on the entire Iranian financial sector including threats to global finance for any linkages—policies which are contrary to the interests of Big Oil, US corporations, and the weakened US military. Petras empirically demonstrates that while the interests of the US do not in fact coincide with those of Israel, the effective power of the pro-Zionist Lobby gives Israel the capacity to replace the US agenda with its own.
    He analyzes the ongoing Zion-Con confrontation with the only significant domestic counterforce that might protect the US from the Zion-Con push to war—not the moribund peace movement, not the obsequious Congress, Executive, nor the AIPAC-fawning presidential candidates—but, paradoxically, the US military, which is fighting back through its National Intelligence Estimate, and ongoing resignations and public warnings by top military brass. That the military’s success is far from assured in this confrontation with domestic Zionist elements acting on behalf of a foreign power is little short of astounding.
    continues…….
    http://petras.lahaine.org/articulo.php?p=1743&more=1&c=1

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel ’s War with Iran and The Zionist Power Configuration in America
    by Prof. James Petras
    Global Research, July 15, 2008
    “My strong preference here is to handle all this (US conflict with Iran) diplomatically with the other powers of government, ours and many others as opposed to any kind of strike occurring…From the US perspective, from the United States military perspective in particular, opening up a third front (Israeli and/or US act of war against Iran) would be extremely stressful to us” testimony of Admiral Michael Mulligan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. July 2, 2008.
    “If Iran continues its nuclear arms program – we will attack it. The sanctions aren’t effective. There will be no choice but to attack Iran to halt the Iranian nuclear program.” Shaul Mofaz, Israeli Minister of Transportation in Yediot Ahronot , June 6, 2008.
    “The present economic sanctions on Iran have exhausted themselves. Iranian businesspeople who would not be able to land anywhere in the world would pressure the regime.” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, speaking to US House Speaker, Senator Nancy Pelosi in favor of a unilateral, pre-emptive US naval blockade of Iran. (Haaretz May 21, 2008.)
    “It was a triumphalist conference. Even this powerful organization (AIPAC), the most powerful group in the US Israel lobby, had never seen anything like. Seven thousand Jewish functionaries from all over the United States came together to accept the obeisance of the entire Washington elite. The three presidential hopefuls (Hillary went too) made speeches, trying to outdo each other in flattery. Three hundred senators and members of Congress crowded the hallways. Everybody who wanted to be elected or re-elected to any office came to see and be seen.” Uri Avnery, London Review of Books, July 3, 2008. page 18
    House Resolution 362 received unanimous support from all the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations including the 7,000 delegation attending the AIPAC Conference in Washington DC on June 2-4, 2008.
    “Resolution 362 became our chief legislative priority”, according to AIPAC’s website, June 4, 2008.
    “The President should prohibit the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products imposing stringent inspection requirements in all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo ships enters and departing Iran .” US House Resolution 362 introduced May 22, 2008.
    Resolution 362 gained 170 co-sponsors or nearly 40% of the House and 19 co-sponsors in the Senate in less than a month.
    Introduction
    Zionists and their allies in Congress authored, implemented and enforced sanctions against Iran , which hinder the ambitions of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies. Israeli war exercises and public declarations threatening a massive air assault on Iran has pushed petroleum prices to world records. This spring 2008, the most powerful pro-Israel Jewish Lobby in the US , AIPAC held their annual conference and secured the support and commitment of both major US Presidential candidates and the majority of US members of Congress for an Israeli initiative to impose extreme economic sanctions on Iran with threats of a US/Israeli military attack. In early summer 2008, the AIPAC operatives, who wrote this US Congressional resolution, successfully rounded up Congressional leaders’ support of an air and naval blockade of all critical imports into Iran – a blatant act of war.
    continues……..
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9590

    Reply

  14. David says:

    questions,
    I have that ongoing argument with my friend/former colleague, a history prof. I came to conclusions similar to yours fairly early on. I can see the argument for rationality if it is a very narrow view of rationality and reality. Once the view broadens, especially if global, and takes into account our overall destructive behavior relative to ecosystem earth, then if one values life, including human life, and the ongoing quality of human existence, rational is the last thing either nations or humans collectively have proven themselves to be.

    Reply

  15. questions says:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/7/15/134750/936/614/549585
    Kos Diary on Zionism. It probably won’t change anyone’s mind, but it is a coherent telling of the story.
    Hope it doesn’t totally disappear, but I didn’t want to post it on a more current thread and be an unwelcome TROLL.

    Reply

  16. Carroll says:

    Posted by JohnH Jul 14, 12:55AM – Link
    I believe Carroll describes “US interests” in the ME as they used to be.
    Bush/Cheney changed the “US interests” from just assuring US control of the Persian Gulf to gaining control of the production sites. This was in response to oil markets becoming sellers markets, which made the old definition obsolete: “impeding access” could be achieved not just by blocking the Persian Gulf, but also by refusing to exploit energy reserves fast enough to meet rising demand.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes I was…I think we need to return to stability policies we used in the past to support that interest.
    I agree Cheney’s motive was “control” of production sites.
    It was a PREMPTIVE move when there was no threat…because of that PREMPTIVE move we now have that exact threat.
    The why of Cheney plan?
    Because they believe in “force to attain not stability to maintain”.
    Israel is not a foil for oil interest. Israel has it’s own agenda, re-ordering the ME under the US for their own benefit.
    Both are real and active agendas.
    The fact is the oil and Israeli agendas both tried to hide behind the “wur on terriers’, “WMD” and “spreading democracy.”
    I don’t quite buy your arguement about “upping” ME production to contain prices and keep the US going as the main goal. I think there is more than that going on.
    There is the matter of the US oil companies blaming their own refineries for not being able to put out enough fuel. Even though they said the same thing 10 years ago in the same kind of congressional hearings congress is having today and haven’t spent a penny of their 300% profit increases to update refineries.
    Then there is the fall of the dollar, the speculators..which exist and have always existed.
    Then there is the matter of the fuel price increase being used to blackmail the public into supporting Anwar and offshore drilling because of pain at the pump. Amazing isn’t it that Bush has filled up the US reserves to the bursting point and could release some of it. But no, the oil politicans are trying to “pain” us into crying uncle and giving the oil companies their way.
    BTW …Bush today issued an exc order for off shore exploration. Mission accomplished.
    Our GE media is telling the public this can give us all the oil we need so congress will be to blame if they don’t o.k. it.
    Unless you are watching the worm can every single second you can get confused about motives and players. We are now in a cycle of various old and new interest manuvering to take advantage of both the intended and unintended results of our ittle foray into the ME.
    I don’t have time to watch the worm can every minute so my opinions aren’t written in stone and some are subject to change. I am just following the bread crumb trail of all the agendas and watching how they use events to their advantage.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Sometimes it just gets too fuckin’ complicated. Consistently I see premises forwarded here that are beyond poor little monkey boy Bush’s powers of comprehension. Are there deep thinkers in the wings, manipulating this malleable idiot Bush? Undoubtedly. But there are also the base frailties of man at play here, namely the age old weakness of bigotry, held by megolamanics in possession of obscene levels of power. They have abused their powers because we have allowed them to abuse their powers. Worse, we have allowed the rise of a political system that only allows the ascension of those who are most adept at abusing these powers.
    Further, I see those here that seek to obsfucate and confuse, distracting logic from assigning Israel its just amount of responsibility for this current mess in the middle east. One only need apply simple common sense to assign Israel its fair and ample share of the blame. What intelligence agency in the Middle East can claim the reach and competence level of the Mossad? Surely, while Britain and the US were “fixing the intelligence”, the Mossad had to have known that much of it was exagerated and fabricated. We know now that Mossad agents were keeping a number of the 9/11 hi-jackers under watch, and even stayed at the same motels and apartments as the hi-jackers. All the way through this thing, from 9/11 forward, the sinister presence of the Mossad rears its ugly head.
    As pointed out above, officials high up in the Israeli government advocated bringing pressure to bear on the United States to attack Iraq “sooner rather than later”. And what group is the Israeli vessel for bringing such “pressure”? And only an ass would deny the tremendous weight of the “pressure” that AIPAC can bring to bear.
    To deny that Israel was, and is, a driving force in pushing us to war is just plain asinine. This argument that it was just a British and American manufactured policy flies in the face of all logic and common sense.
    When has the cattle/beef lobbies goaded us to war? Don’t be confused or misled by doublespeak and obsfucation. Israel has Washington by the balls when it comes to the Middle East, and yes, they are working AGAINST our best interests, and spilling OUR BLOOD and OUR TREASURE in pursuit of poolicies that actually weaken the security, and “the interests”, of the United States.

    Reply

  18. jb says:

    Why does this administration think that national security can only be achieved by obtaining “information” illegally? They were unable to use and build security from the information they already had, they couldn’t connect the dots. I think this additional point, that there is no reason to think information obtained illegally will be handled any better than the information available before 9/11 needs to be hammered ad nauseum. The only reasons to institute such a program are to perpetuate fear and spy on your political enemies.

    Reply

  19. Yet another poster says:

    The study by Shlomo Brom referred to by RabbleRouser is here –> http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/sa/v6n3p3Bro.html

    Reply

  20. JohnH says:

    I believe Carroll describes “US interests” in the ME as they used to be. Bush/Cheney changed the “US interests” from just assuring US control of the Persian Gulf to gaining control of the production sites. This was in response to oil markets becoming sellers markets, which made the old definition obsolete: “impeding access” could be achieved not just by blocking the Persian Gulf, but also by refusing to exploit energy reserves fast enough to meet rising demand.
    They believed the change necessary because national oil companies (NOCs), who control most of the world’s reserves, can act perversely during sellers markets–once prices rise and they have all the money they need flowing in, they don’t tend to invest aggressively in new production. Conversely, during the 1990’s, when oil prices were dropping, NOCs constantly invested in new production to meet their government’s budgetary revenue targets. All that new production had the adverse effect of further depressing prices, reducing revenues and necessitating even more investment in new production. Now the oppositie is true–limiting new production tightens markets, driving prices higher, well beyond anything the NOCs, their governments or their economies can usefully absorb, depressing investment in new production even further.
    Given the seller’s market, Washington’s dilemma was how to motivate them to produce enough to meet the West’s needs and keep prices low. During the 2000 campaign, Bush promised to “convince” OPEC to open its spiggots. They only way to do that was to take control from the NOCs, starting with Iraq, which seemed ripe for the picking.
    The fields would be handed over to Western oil companies, who operate on an entirely different financial model: oil companies seek to maximize short term profit. That means maximizing production and bringing as much new production on stream as quickly as possible. They were supposed to do this first in Iraq, then Iran, two countries where exploitation of known oil reserves had been very low. The hope was that they would bring so much new production on stream that prices would plummet, OPEC and the sellers market would be destroyed, and NOCs would once again have to resort to increasing production just to meet their governments’ revenue needs.
    Of course, the Bushies strategy was doomed from the start of the insurgency, but they stubbornly cling to it still. It was their energy plan. They never had a Plan B, and they could never conceive of an alternative plan (like conservation).
    Iran presents a further problem, because it symbolizes defiance to Washington. They have complete control over their huge energy reserves, which become more valuable the longer Washington enforces sanctions, keeping a lot of potential new production off the market. They have not done business with Big Oil for 30 years, and there are no signs that they will anytime soon. And there is no obvious way that the Bushies can bomb their way to control of Iranian energy assets, though they keep threatening to try. Were other Persian Gulf countries to follow Iran’s lead, the West really would be put in the position of having to beg for energy.
    So essentially the bold energy security strategy devised by the oil marinated White House is in shambles, an utter catastrophy.
    Israel serves as a useful ally in all of this, becuase they conceive of Iraq and Iran as enemies and can be counted on to support anything that harms them. And they bring their incredible AIPAC influence to bear on anyone who dares oppose the strategy of attacking their enemies.
    So the Bushies’ strategy of controlling oil gets hidden behind the Israeli/neocon PR machine, because a lot of gullible people think it’s a righteous cause to defend Zionism, while few could be counted on to support the looting of other peoples’ energy reserves. US interests are clearly distinct from Israeli interests, but tactically they are joined at the hip because the targets are the same.

    Reply

  21. questions says:

    I think, Carroll, I’m not a realist! Actually, because realism asserts (it’s been years since I’ve done IR, please forgive mistakes and simplifications) that states are unitary rational actors, that states can determine a set of interests and act in accordance with them, that the international scene will respond in a like manner.
    Well, first, I’m not sure about unitary actors. I think Ollie North’s cabal and Cheney’s people are testiment to a lack of clear command.
    Second, I’d question the rationality of all actors given cultural issues, discount of future for present good (which for individuals means SPEND NOW instead of saving, take less now if it’s certain instead of a possible greater payoff in the future; for Congress, it’s get re-elected now and worry about the international consequences later.)
    Third, determining interests is way more complicated than what the list above would suggest. The issue of temporality is huge. A big risk now of instability for a future payoff of stability is, in theory, what the Bush admin was hoping for. War now leads to peace later. War there means no war here. Instability now so that there isn’t greater instability later (pre-emption). Of course, the huge risk early for the greater payoff later is what economists think we should do, and they call it rational. When we don’t do this, they call us irrational. So was Bush rational?
    Third revisited — whether or not we can really ever determine if our actions are rational, if our reading of our interests is rational is a big and wide open question. I’m not so sure we can determine interests so easily. One could trade hypothetical scenarios back and forth forever and make all sorts of actions seem rational and well justified. Stability and oil flow sound really really good. But we really wanted Iran and Iraq to beat each other up — not really stable. We tolerate horrible war conditions for stability’s sake, but those conditions generate intolerable refugee situations that are not at all stabilizng and can certainly cause war and economic disaster that spread throughout a region. We tolerate destabilizing refugee disasters in the name of stability? Not very sensible.
    Third re-revisited: We can’t necessarily control anything anyway. Congress members are individuals with minds of their own and widely differing notions of the good as are all of the other actors involved in decision-making. Here’s where unitary meets interest-determintation. There doesn’t seem to be much of either.
    Fourth– the international scene — it’s not clear that any two states looking at conflict are equally reading the scene well and therefore all of their calculations can fail any kind of realist test of rationality. Rationality can fail in numerous ways: failures of knowledge, failure to determine who the real ruler is (Ahmadinejad or the clerics) — whom do you look to for signals? failure to see that what a potential adversary values is not stability but aggression, failure to recognize that what looks like aggression can be posturing for the domestic market (or the international one) — all of these failures make determining the adversary’s sense of its own interest impossible. How can we deal with another nation if we cannot figure out our or their interest?
    The best place to look for more on these issues is probably some recent economics on the failure of rationality and the non-existence of homo economicus. I’d suggest that equally non-existent is homo-politicus — the rational unitary politician.
    And on deterring WMD, in fact we sell this stuff all around the world to potential adversaries. We’ve been arming some groups (I assume only with small arms but who really knows) in Iraq so that they can beat up on other groups in Iraq, but the situation is so fluid that our own arms could be used against us. We’re not good at judging friend and enemy, so we’re never going to deal with WMD in any rational way.
    We allow proliferation in part because we can’t stop it, in part because we probably sell stuff, and we encourage proliferation because we’re so unbelievably aggressive in the world. So we’re not rational on the WMD stuff near as I can tell.
    In fact, there’s nothing at all rational about foreign policy, and I’m not sure there can be rationality. I think honestly this makes me something other than a realist, but what that identity is, I do not know.
    And again, since I haven’t done IR is many many years, please feel free to weigh in and correct any huge mistakes I’ve just made.

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel Urges US to Attack Iraq: “Sooner, Rather than Later”
    Sharon’s advisor: Urges US to accelerate aggression on Iraq, says postponement bad for Israel
    Occupied Jerusalem: 18 January, 2003 (IAP News)
    A former Israeli ambassador to Washington who is now advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has urged the Israeli government to step up pressure on the Bush Administration to accelerate the war on Iraq.
    Zalman Shuval said in an article in the Hebrew newspaper Yedeot Ahranot, published Thursday 16 January, that Israel should make behind-the-scene efforts to get the American administration to attack Iraq “sooner rather than later.”
    Shuval argued that postponing or delaying the war, let alone cancelling it, would have “very negative consequences” on Israel.
    continues…..
    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=467

    Reply

  23. David says:

    “The real pattern that shows up is a wholly American desire to weaken BOTH Iran and Iraq, to keep them both out of the Soviet sphere of influence, to control oil resources from both countries, to encourage them to bomb the living daylights out of each other for as long as possible. The US doesn not want either country functioning well on its own or in conjunction with one another should that ever happen. There’s too much oil, too much of a possible leftist history. Does Israel want this too? Well, yeah probably they do. Does Israel FORCE us to go in? Well, probably not. We seem to have started the whole thing ourselves.”
    Excellent reminder, questions, and absolutely central to any meaningful discussion of this issue. I would say we and the Brits.

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    Before I go let me say that I am going to get Mayers book. BUT, I hope she has not entirely excluded the role the zionist played. If she did it would be dishonest and too much like the spate of books lately in which the neo-zionist attempt to down play or deny their involvement and throw it all on Bush and war mongering Americans in general.
    But if she gives Cheney -Addington a good working over it will be worth it for that alone.
    Also for questions who has asked about US interest. Here are the 3 basic policies to guard US INTEREST in the ME according to W&M and every other realist expert who has written on the subject. That INTEREST being solely the flow of oil.
    The policy of the US has always (until recently) been to maintain “Stability” (i.e. no conflicts) (or off shore balancing as they call it), in the ME.
    1)To ensure the flow of oil and gas from the Persian Gulf to the US will not be impeded. To do this we don’t have to control the Gulf we just have to make sure no other country would exert control and deny us access.
    2)Discouraging WMD not for fear of a deliberate nuclear attack on the US but to ensure no accident or civil or local state to state wars can co-opt any WMD devices and be used locally which would throw the region into chaos disrupting oil supplies. And so that the US with it’s own WMD power can continue to project an aura of power into the region.
    3)To reduce terrorism…and anti-American attitudes in the ME. Again for the above reason – Stability- so that oil flows will not be disrupted.
    O.K. so now that you know the (sort of) ideal (and prior) US policy:
    Did invading Iraq add to the stability of the ME?
    Did invading Iraq tamp down terrorism and anti American attitudes in the ME? Or Northeast Asia?
    Does supporting Israel and the occupation and land theft of Palestine that inflames the Arab street contribute to stability in the ME?
    Does threatening Iran, the seat of the Persian Gulf contribute to oil stability?
    No,No and No in answer to those questions.
    Now if some try to say that having Israel in the reigon with their nukes is some kind of US “outpost”, a deterent to others like Russia and a defender of our oil stability interest then consider that it is already proven that Israel could not do the job on Iran even if it was in our interest for them to do so which we have just shown it isn’t. And that Iran and everyone else knows Israel coudn’t finish that fight and win. Not to mention that Israel-Palestine is where at least 50% of anti Americanism comes from in the ME and certainly contributes to terrorism and grudges against the US.
    Notice that the realist list of US interest don’t even mention moral issues such as the Isr-Pal conflict. Here we are talking about only hard core bottom line US interest in the ME that are required for keeping the US engine running.
    Looking at this a sane person would think several things.
    First it is in our interest to have good relations with Iran instead of making them an enemy to ensure that oil flow thru the Persian Gulf.
    Second, that if we want to halt WMD spread we need to consider that we need to de nuke the entire region including Israel or other countries will surely get their own nuclear capability as a deterent to US-Israeli agression. So it’s either no one has them or every country who feels threatened by the US and Israel will get them. We can’t bomb every country in the ME without depriving ourselves of oil and the more we attack the more the other countries will see a good reason and need for nukes of their own.
    Third, if our current policy really was to simply ensure oil for America, Israel would be told to get behind the US stability program, tamp down anti americanism by settling with Palestine. They sure as hell wouldn’t have been allowed their forays into Lebanon and Syria and expansions in to Palestine and not have their agression supported by congress.
    Fourth….considering that Iraq has passed a resolution asking the US to get the hell out…that Hezbollah has gotten themselves a seat and veto power in the Lebanon parliment…that Hamas is still alive and well…..well then..picking up countries and throwing them against the wall as Ledeen said obviously doesn’t work as a stability or foreing relaitons program and we need to go back to old US policy of maintaining stability. Not rearranging the ME for Israel or democracy or the imperial neo crowd.
    And this isn’t even taking into consideration the moral humantiarian or any american “ideals” issues involved. The case for returning to a strict US interest only policy can be made on the realities and facts alone.
    I rest my case. …for now. Ciao all.

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20071101fareviewessay86611/walter-russell-mead/jerusalem-syndrome.html
    A review of Walt and Mearsheimer — gently critical
    http://www.counterpunch.org/ali02112008.html
    A loving interview w/ Walt and Mearsheimer
    I have long held a kind of distrust of M. Once you’re in his way of thinking, there’s no escaping his logic, so I try to stay out of his brain. I don’t “Miss the Cold War” (an op ed he wrote for the Times years ago.) I don’t think deterrence was really as stable as he thinks.
    The best criticism of the book I’ve come across is that the “Lobby” is so multifarious as to be undefinable (the For. Af. author suggests that even W and M could belong to it given their “definition”). I’d add that if “The Lobby” lobbies only for foreign interest and not for the good of Americans, then the same absolutely holds for PhrMA, Beef/cattle (the people who years ago sued Oprah for saying “ick” about beef on tv), oil, and a whole lot of other industries. They lobby for themselves, for their very own good and profit, and for the harm of others. That’s what competition is all about. My good, your harm. And further, if the standard is domestic only lobbying, most of “The Lobby” seems to be comprised of US citizens who have concerns. And even further, if “The Lobby” can’t lobby, then I’m guessing then that no one could lobby for foreign aid, for international disaster help, for supporting workers’ rights in Mexico…. It’s too hard to set up parameters for who’s allowed to lobby and who isn’t. So for me at least, the “foreign” thing just doesn’t wash. If controlling the effectiveness of lobbying is the goal (a noble one) then some kind of disclosure reform might be our best bet. But simply saying, “You can’t lobby” isn’t going to be practicable.
    What I’d like to see is a strong leftist push and I have hopes for this J Street thing. Heaven only knows if it’ll be a progressive voice in the universe and it’ll lead to better policies than what this administration has been doing. The pressure certainly needs to come from somewhere, why not from J Street? But the J Street Project would technically fall under W and M’s definition of “The Lobby.”
    It’s too much of a shorthand to say “The Lobby” and much better to spell the whole thing out. Feith is a problem as are many other individuals in the admin and in the media. I find my skin crawling at the language of “The Lobby” however.
    And on the conduit of false intell to Judy Miller, CounterPunch/Cockburn was on Miller instantly, and on all sorts of other claims made over the years. There was something about supposedly super high tech copper dishes used to make bombs all the nastier. Supposedly they could only be manufactured by, was it Iran? Cockburn deep sixed that as well. The point is that the debunking comes out from the left instantly. It just doesn’t get picked up by the press. Cockburn is a gem, even when I totally disagree with him. (He’s probably more right than I am most of the time!)

    Reply

  26. Carroll says:

    Posted by RabbleRouser Jul 13, 5:17PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You don’t have to disagree, we already agree. I know all about the OSP and Feith, that’s why I specifically mentioned Feith and the OSP in my post. I left out much like Leeden’s and others attempts to manuver intelligence because it is too much to go into.
    Steve never did review “The Israel Lobby” on here as I hoped he would…but if you haven’t read it you should. It’s dry reading and unemotional and unidealistic with 140 pages of footnotes but the section detailing official US policies put into effect for Israel, not just recently but over a long period of time, because of the Lobby pressure is eye opening. Also the chapter on our history with Iran explains a lot about why Israel wants us to regard Iran as an enemy, with or even without nukes.

    Reply

  27. Carroll says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim Jul 13, 3:45PM – Link
    Couldn`t have agreed more, Carroll. Now we`re talking.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Too bad you didn’t agree earlier before you “assumed” my motivations.
    I have been saying the exact same thing for the past 6 years. And for the 3 or 4 years I have been commenting here.
    And when I post tidbits about various activities of the zionst groups I am pointing out their far reaching efforts to influence not just congress, but every aspect in the US, from censorship in the press and education in our schools and universities to politics; to try and ensure average americans are kept in the dark about the real nature of the Isr-Pal conflict and to make sure US policy and money will remain slanted in Israel’s favor…however unfair and downright dangerous it is to other countries or the US population.
    As I also said before, insinuations of anti-semitism directed toward POA and me and others are laughable. If that were true we would be over there with the evangelicals pushing for an attack on Iran because that war’s fallout would eventually lead to the end of Israel and create world-wide anti-semitism for real.
    Now let us zip back to the heart of the Steve’s post from here on out.

    Reply

  28. PeterG says:

    Frank Rich, as usual, has another great op-ed in today’s NY Times…using Jane Mayer’s book as the focal point. Re: torture, war crimes, etc.

    Reply

  29. Steve Clemons says:

    just back from Hong Kong and am too exhausted to work through
    the thread, other than to say General Shlomo Bron is first rate guy
    and did great service here in Washington at the US Institute of
    Peace in demystifying a lot of the Israeli-portion of our Middle East
    drama. I am unfamiliar with the report RR refers to but do know
    that Bron is in the reasonable wing of Israeli security intellectuals.

    Reply

  30. RabbleRouser says:

    >
    Carroll I beg to disagree : Shlomo Brom, retired brigadier general
    of the Israel Defense Forces, in charge of intelligence no less,
    did a study for the Jaffee Center at Tel Aviv University (Israel)
    that stated UNEQUIVOCALLY that Israeli operatives fed false
    information about Iraq’s WMD through Douglas Feith’s Office of
    Special Plans at the Pentagon.
    That false info about Iraq’s non-existent WMDs was then stove-
    piped to Cheney’s office, which leaked them to Judith Miller and
    Michael Gordon of the New York Times, as well as other Israel-
    firsters in the U.S. press (which would be most prominent
    “journalists”)
    Then Cheney or one of his minions would go onto say “Meet the
    Press” and quote the New York Times about Iraq’s non-existent
    WMDs.
    Talk about a circle jerk.
    I’m too lazy to look up Brom’s study but a simple web search
    should do it.

    Reply

  31. questions says:

    Some numbers for lobbying spending(sorry, lots of sources, so no links, just google relevant phrases and the numbers show up):
    Telecomm (lots of groups under this label): 169.2 million in 2003, since 1998, 758 million — more than any other industry
    PhRma lobbying: 158 million in 2004
    “They are powerful. You can hardly swing a cat by the tail in that town without hitting a pharmaceutical lobbyist”– Chuck Grassley
    Oil industry 84 million last year, possibly as much as 106 million this year
    AIPAC 50 million
    And a new lobby group, J Street is up and challenging AIPAC — it’s the lefty alternative, but with a typical lefty (read teesy) budget
    Perhaps the numbers are inexact, they are what I found. Perhaps some groups are more effective than others. Perhaps EVERY Congress member says, Whoa, that’s a group. I don’t know.
    Just thought this all seemed relevant at some level.

    Reply

  32. Carroll says:

    Posted by questions Jul 13, 3:12PM
    >>>>>>>>>>
    I have never maintained that the Lobby or Israel was “solely” responsible for Iraq or “all” of US policy in the ME. I don’t personally believe that in the least. Our relationship with Saudi for example “is” dictated by our US oil interest even though the Israeli don’t like it and carry on slurring campaigns about the Saudis.
    I am well aquainted with US capitalism and how frequently “US security” (and allies) is used as a reason for protecing it and how it affects our policies around the world.
    However, I do think and have proved to myself that the US ME policy of the last 4 decades has been unduly influenced if not dictated by jewish pressure thru the Israeli Lobby…harming the US in reputation and in real interest. I came to that conclusion long before W&M published their book. Their examples are the same examples I found in my own research. I was concentrating at first strictly on exactly what the US-Isr relationship was in regard to US security and business interest.
    The second factor I looked at was in regard to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Why we haven’t stopped it, why we continue to give aid to Israel when it is our official policy that they not expand their settlements. Why we don’t enforce our aid requirements on them. All other aid we give has strings attached down to denying condoms to Africa.
    I think you or someone mentioned “The Israel Lobby” you should read it, it is factual regarding the damage the US has done to itself 99% because of the jewish political pressure. The evangelical group pressure is far more recent. Their conclusion is that Israel as it currently is is a libility, not an assest to the US and the US policy towards Israel is dictated by the Jewish Lobby. My own discoveries were a shock to me because I would never have believed the US with our capitalist system would subjugate it’s interest for another country’s…but we have in the case of Israel or to be more accurate in the case of the jewish lobby AIPAC and it’s affilates. If you don’t read the whole book then just start on page 152..Holding Sway on Capitol Hill – Guiding the Policy Process.
    What those trying to defend the lobby point out in the book is that W&M said that Jews had a right to lobby for their interest under our democratic tools just like other lobbies….what they leave out is what W& M said about the difference between a lobby that lobbies on domestic issues, drugs, education, business, etc… and one that lobbies for the interest of a “foreign country” whose interest aren’t and will never be identical to our own interest.
    “Foreign country” being the key here. I can’t imagine Israel allowing a “IIPAC” – Iran Israel Political Action Committee..or a Palestine one or a Saudi one or even an American one or any one at all whose agenda is to promote the welfare of another country above their own.
    In light of how far this foreign interest political peversion has now gone and the ramifications if it continues unchecked my position is it has to stop.

    Reply

  33. Paul Norheim says:

    “… because the subject behind Steve’s post really does need to
    be stuck to on this thread.”
    I agree.
    “But one myth that needs to be dispelled is that the sole reason
    for the US was oil. ”
    Ditto.
    “I think we can restate, as we have many times, that everything
    that has come about since 911 was the result of several
    cabals/agendas/delusions coming together in a perfect storm.
    Hubris, zionism, imperialism, the hard right ideology as in
    Cheney and Rumsfeld…all of them putrid in themselves.
    There is no doubt about the Israeli effect in the WH, Cheney’s
    office and the pentagon, stacked as they were with Israelis like
    Abrams and Feith.”
    Couldn`t have agreed more, Carroll. Now we`re talking.
    And even during the horrible Israel-Lebanon war two years ago,
    Cheney sent Abrams to follow every step Condolezza Rice took.
    Cheney is the enigmatic character here. Captain Ahab.

    Reply

  34. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican Jul 13, 1:08PM – Link
    It amazes me how these jackasses can come out of the woodwork and suggest to us that the inordinate amount of pro-zionists in the Bush/Cheney/neocon camp is irrelevant and just a coincidence.
    Anyone that thinks Israel is not up to its neck in these crimes is an absolute idiot
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    At the risk of stirring up the trolls again..which I advise against because the subject behind Steve’s post really does need to be stuck to on this thread.
    I think we can restate, as we have many times, that everything that has come about since 911 was the result of several cabals/agendas/delusions coming together in a perfect storm. Hubris, zionism, imperialism, the hard right ideology as in Cheney and Rumsfeld…all of them putrid in themselves.
    There is no doubt about the Israeli effect in the WH, Cheney’s office and the pentagon, stacked as they were with Israelis like Abrams and Feith.
    Would Bush have attacked Iraq without this influence? We will never know. We do know Bush went against the advise of Powell and the US military and fell for the zionist neo pitch about how easy it would all be. We know Bush is stupid and we can assume the zionist are also extremely stupid or were lying. I personally think they are both stupid and liars.
    But one myth that needs to be dispelled is that the sole reason for the US was oil. The major oil companies were not for invading Iraq..anyone follwing the oil companies and their articles in the Finanical Times could see that. The only factor that oil played was in the mind of Bush and Cheney about “control” of the oil region, under the guise of securing oil for America. The fact that Exxon and several others are back in Iraq to service their oil production as they did before is not half as important as looking at the fact that the smaller, lesser known friends of Bush-Cheney oil companies, like Hunt and the Texas firm are the ones now in the Kurd oil section. Securing oil for the US had nothing to do with it, securing “control” for friends of Cheney more likely did. There was nothing prior to Iraq that indicated that any country was making moves toward controlling the oil region and denying the US supply..the biggest threat prior to Iraq was that the euro would start to replace the oil dollar.
    But for where’s it’s really at I have to harp back on congress….that is the main point of pressure for Israel. The push for attacking Iran is coming more from congress and all the Iran resolutions they constantly gin up than it is from the WH.
    However, if we involve ourselves in any attack on Iran when it is so blatantly against our own US interest the zionist and Israeli pressure will be undeniable to all. It will be a war for Israel brought about by US jewish lobby and Israel with the help of the evangelical leaders. It won’t be even be debatable, everyone will understand it. And if it happens the zionist jews will deny it in public and brag about it in private, and the christian zionist will tune in to the TV God merchants to celebrate it.

    Reply

  35. Paul Norheim says:

    “The US wants to do precisely what it’s doing. We’re not being
    duped by wiley zionists.”
    Regarding the first sentence, I think you`re right, “questions”,
    The American hubris during Clinton and the first years with Bush
    makes this credible.
    However, regarding the last sentence – and this just as an
    example: why do you think Obama went out of his way to satisfy
    AIPAC recently? The “undivided Jerusalem”, the uncompromising
    formulations about Iran etc… It does not seem like AIPAC is just
    like any ordinary lobby, does it?

    Reply

  36. questions says:

    Hey Carroll,
    THANK YOU for finding that!! I used to read AlterNet daily but haven’t in a while. I should read more Hedges!
    I would say at first glance that if Israel couldn’t exist w/o the US, in fact the US equally would have to invent Israel. We want a foothold in the region, we want control of resources, we always need markets for weapons. There is a mutuality here, perhaps even a codependence.
    STILL, the US would be doing what it’s doing even without Israel’s existence. See my post above abut Mossadeq. That was oil, not Israel.
    And I will say that I have never defended Israel’s behavior towards the Palestinians in any post here, or in any other part of my life. There’s no excuse for the brutality, and brutality it is. My point over and over again is that US behavior around the ME doesn’t come because AIPAC hands out checks or threatens to primary some members of Congress. US policy serves a (bizarre) conception of US interests, but given our inability to live without resources from the ME, we should re-think the “bizarre” part. We’re not going to be well-behaved if the economy REALLY goes down over energy prices, especially if there are shortages to boot.
    Thank you for posting without calling me an idiot. It’s nice to be in a conversation instead of in a shouting match!
    I will read the continuation of the article soon.

    Reply

  37. questions says:

    Mossadeq was the premier of Iran 1951-53. In a US-supported coup he was knocked out because he was left-leaning and nationalized the oil industry. Clearly the guy had to go.
    Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi ends up consolidating power, modernizing and westernizing the country and in the process killing and arresting vast quantities of people. In 1979, coup/Carter/hostages/Reagan/Khomeini….
    Saddam Hussein nationalized the oil industry in Iraq, had a pact with the Soviets, was kind of lefty all in all.
    The Iran/Iraq War had, I believe, US support on both sides. After the Shah fell, Iran could no longer be our ally in the region, but Iraq was aligned with the Soviets until the end of the Soviet Union. Then, I believe, Saddam Hussein became OUR client and we (via April Glaspie) encouraged him to go into Kuwait leading to Bush I’s 100 Hour War. (Wish I knew how to get that little trademark thing!) I’m pretty sure we sold Iraq the mustard gas that Saddam used on the Kurds. Nothing like selling weapons to a country then invading the country because they have weapons we sold them…..
    Israel bombed the Osirak nuclear facility in Iraq in 1981 after its having been hit by Iran in 1980. So it’s not Israel alone that wanted to hit this facility.
    The point of this inexact history lesson (and feel free anyone to weigh in and correct inexactitudes and outright errors — it’s not my field — it was garnered from memory with a few Wikipedia checks to get dates straight) is that I don’t think AIPAC encouraged us to knock out Mossadeq since AIPAC wasn’t really AIPAC in 1953, though its precursor was getting underway at that point. And that’s where the whole sad story starts. It’s the Cold War and American anti-communism and concern for oil resources that are not nationalized but rather open to MNCs.
    The real pattern that shows up is a wholly American desire to weaken BOTH Iran and Iraq, to keep them both out of the Soviet sphere of influence, to control oil resources from both countries, to encourage them to bomb the living daylights out of each other for as long as possible. The US doesn not want either country functioning well on its own or in conjunction with one another should that ever happen. There’s too much oil, too much of a possible leftist history. Does Israel want this too? Well, yeah probably they do. Does Israel FORCE us to go in? Well, probably not. We seem to have started the whole thing ourselves.
    And we ought not forget that both Iran and Iraq have their own internal dynamics, SEPARATE from the US, as does Israel for that matter.
    The history is long and tawdry and nasty. The deaths are horrific. The trauma is unending. Having oil is a curse.
    Sincerely,
    your jackass idiot troll
    ps,
    And, re Greenwald via Carroll on complexity — that’s not quite my point. I’m not at all justifying torture, illegal wiretapping, the stripping of civil liberties, extraordinary rendition (which is getting pretty ordinary it would seem.) That’s not what I mean by “complexity”. What I mean is that motives are multiple, not that actions should be excused. The actions are wrong and that’s that. Blaming Israel is too easy. We could get rid of Israel and zionism and the rapture and we’d invent a substitute. That’s my point. Israel is along for the ride. The US wants to do precisely what it’s doing. We’re not being duped by wiley zionists.

    Reply

  38. Paul Norheim says:

    POA, here is a short list of probable reasons why these crimes
    were committed (and it could and should be much longer):
    The neocon ideology
    “American interests”
    SUV/suburban infrastructure
    Lawyers in the White House
    AIPAC/Israel
    The alliance between Evangelical Christians and right wing
    ideology
    George Bush trusting his gut
    Oil
    The military-industrial-congressional complex
    American exceptionalism
    Corporate media
    The need for a new enemy after the cold war to legitimate
    power
    Consumer habits and ideology
    Etc. Etc.
    John H is usually stressing the oil aspect. You, Caroll and others
    are often pointing at several factors, prominently the disrespect
    for the Constitution, rule of law, AIPAC/Israel. I have
    occasionally mentioned Yoo and the other lawyers.
    Instead of routinely attacking those who in your eyes are
    diminishing one of the factors here (AIPAC/Zionists/Israel) by
    calling them jackasses all the time, I believe that the political
    discussion would be better served by looking at the whole
    picture.
    There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO FEAR that the AIPAC/Israel
    aspect will disappear from the big picture at TWN anyway, as
    long as you and Carroll and others are posting so frequently
    with reference to this stuff. You may argue that “question”, just
    to mention one, is diminishing one of the aspects. But he is
    constructive by bringing in other aspects that are undeniably
    important factors. And I believe that the discussion at TWN as a
    whole is more valuable politically if more crucial issues are
    raised simultaneously, and if more voices are heard.

    Reply

  39. Carroll says:

    The book that questions mentioned – “War is the Force that Gives Us Meaning” – is by Chris Hedges former NYT Mideast bureau chief. Hedges has rentlentlessly covered Israel and the ME, the christian right militants, the lackies in the media and press, the jewish lobby and their others arms, US corruption, you name it he’s nailed it.
    He was also responsible for identifying the jewish terrorist in Calif. who killed a woman in a bombing. Hedges discovered him while doing this article on summer camps in Israel for jewish-american teenagers.
    http://www.alternet.org/story/64100/
    Summer Camp Teaches U.S. Teens To Fight Israeli Style
    By Chris Hedges
    (snip)
    “I discovered an American in Israel in 1989 named Robert Manning. A huge, burly man, Manning was living in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Kiyrat Arba. When I found him he was carrying a pistol, a large knife strapped to his leg and an M-16 assault rifle. He was part of a Jewish terrorist group called Committee for Protection and Safety of the Highways that set up ad hoc roadblocks and pulled Palestinians from cars to beat and often shoot them. He was a follower of Meir Kahane, the leader of the Jewish Defense League, who was implicated in terrorist attacks in the United States and Israel. Manning served as a reservist in the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank.
    Manning was wanted in California for murder. He had been charged in a 1980 mail-bomb killing as part of his involvement in the Jewish Defense League. The bomb was intended for the owner of a local computer firm, but the package holding the device was opened by the firm’s secretary, Patricia Wilkerson, who was killed instantly by the blast.
    Manning, full of bluster and a bitter racism toward Arabs, used as his pseudonym the name of the FBI agent in charge of his case, a bit of humor that backfired on him by confirming my suspicion of his identify. I obtained the picture from his California driver’s license and showed it to his neighbors at Kiyrat Arba. They identified him from the photo. I wrote an article affirming that Manning, heavily armed and an active member of the Israeli army, was living in a Jewish settlement. The Israeli government, until that moment, said it had no information about his location. He was extradited in 1993 and sentenced the next year to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 30 years. He is in a maximum-security prison in Florence, Colo.”
    Hedge minces no words about anything and has no one’s agenda in mind when he covers a subject. If you like your truth served straight up, he’s the guy to go to. He is one of the few true journalist who is always ahead of the curve instead of behind it.
    It’s Time for a Declaration of Independence From Israel
    By Chris Hedges, July 6, 2007.
    (The former New York Times Mideast bureau chief warns that America’s foreign policy, particularly under the Bush administration, has been subverted by an aggressive and dangerous Israeli agenda that could launch a nightmarish regional war.)
    Israel, without the United States, would probably not exist. The country came perilously close to extinction during the October 1973 war when Egypt, trained and backed by the Soviet Union, crossed the Suez and the Syrians poured in over the Golan Heights. Huge American military transport planes came to the rescue. They began landing every half-hour to refit the battered Israeli army, which had lost most of its heavy armor. By the time the war was over, the United States had given Israel $2.2 billion in emergency military aid.
    The intervention, which enraged the Arab world, triggered the OPEC oil embargo that for a time wreaked havoc on Western economies. This was perhaps the most dramatic example of the sustained life-support system the United States has provided to the Jewish state.
    Israel was born at midnight May 14, 1948. The U.S. recognized the new state 11 minutes later. The two countries have been locked in a deadly embrace ever since.
    Washington, at the beginning of the relationship, was able to be a moderating influence. An incensed President Eisenhower demanded and got Israel’s withdrawal after the Israelis occupied Gaza in 1956. During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israeli warplanes bombed the USS Liberty. The ship, flying the U.S. flag and stationed 15 miles off the Israeli coast, was intercepting tactical and strategic communications from both sides. The Israeli strikes killed 34 U.S. sailors and wounded 171. The deliberate attack froze, for a while, Washington’s enthusiasm for Israel. But ruptures like this one proved to be only bumps, soon smoothed out by an increasingly sophisticated and well-financed Israel lobby that set out to merge Israeli and American foreign policy in the Middle East.
    Israel has reaped tremendous rewards from this alliance. It has been given more than $140 billion in U.S. direct economic and military assistance. It receives about $3 billion in direct assistance annually, roughly one-fifth of the U.S. foreign aid budget. Although most American foreign aid packages stipulate that related military purchases have to be made in the United States, Israel is allowed to use about 25 percent of the money to subsidize its own growing and profitable defense industry. It is exempt, unlike other nations, from accounting for how it spends the aid money. And funds are routinely siphoned off to build new Jewish settlements, bolster the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories and construct the security barrier, which costs an estimated $1 million a mile.
    The barrier weaves its way through the West Bank, creating isolated pockets of impoverished Palestinians in ringed ghettos. By the time the barrier is finished it will probably in effect seize up to 40 percent of Palestinian land. This is the largest land grab by Israel since the 1967 war. And although the United States officially opposes settlement expansion and the barrier, it also funds them.
    The U.S. has provided Israel with nearly $3 billion to develop weapons systems and given Israel access to some of the most sophisticated items in its own military arsenal, including Blackhawk attack helicopters and F-16 fighter jets. The United States also gives Israel access to intelligence it denies to its NATO allies. And when Israel refused to sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, the United States stood by without a word of protest as the Israelis built the region’s first nuclear weapons program.
    U.S. foreign policy, especially under the current Bush administration, has become little more than an extension of Israeli foreign policy. The United States since 1982 has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members. It refuses to enforce the Security Council resolutions it claims to support. These resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.
    Next page »….you can finish it here:
    http://www.alternet.org/story/55827/?ses=4dade8232ff86f75d1247f8e618416ad

    Reply

  40. RabbleRouser says:

    Actually the Iraq war has had an amazing trickle-down effect on
    local and state budges. Please check out the National Priorities
    Project: there you can see exactly what Iraq has cost you,your
    community and your state.
    http://www.nationalpriorities.org
    Also, the New York Times about a month ago had an article
    about how basically the states are holding the financial bag for
    the U.S. government’s budget. Come, I believe it was the end of
    July, that bag will no longer be there, and we will feel the cuts
    very locally.
    I have bitched and moaned on this site about the cutbacks being
    made in my city, Los Angeles. The pools are cutting their hours
    while raising the prices, all sorts of services that benefit the
    people of Los Angeles are being cut.
    This includes our local emergency preparedness meetings,
    which are crucial to helping people survive when the “Big One”
    i.e., the San Andreas earthquake strikes as there is a very high
    chance it will within the next five years.
    The Northridge quake, which was no tea party, was nothing
    compared to what geologists are saying the San Andreas will be
    in terms of widespread devastation. Yet the Northridge quake at
    the time was the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.
    And, in terms of the federal budget, look at what’s happening to
    Medicare?
    And as many have said, if you go back to the plans of the neo-
    cons, which literally go back decades, they have allied with
    military/industrial types like Cheney to plan endless war. But the
    pro-Israel neo-cons are using our troops and our money to
    expand Israel’s regional hegemony. There is no benefit to us
    when we can negotiate for oil in our own hemisphere at a far
    cheaper rate than what Afghanistan and Iraq is costing.
    Beyond that, if we attack Iran it will be WW III — I read the Israeli
    papers, the Likudniks don’t seem to care.
    Varanassi, are you from there? I’ve been to Varanassi, India —
    what an amazing place.

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It amazes me how these jackasses can come out of the woodwork and suggest to us that the inordinate amount of pro-zionists in the Bush/Cheney/neocon camp is irrelevant and just a coincidence.
    Anyone that thinks Israel is not up to its neck in these crimes is an absolute idiot.

    Reply

  42. Paul Norheim says:

    And if I may add: Lawyers in other countries should study the
    work of Yoo & co to avoid this to happen in their own country. Be
    sure: those lawyers around the world who find “the rule of law”
    somewhat troublesome for their country, are already studying the
    available material.

    Reply

  43. Paul Norheim says:

    “There are two choices and only two choices for every country –
    – live under the rule of law or live under the rule of men.
    We’ve collectively decided that our most powerful political
    leaders are not bound by our laws — that when they break the
    law, there will be no consequences.” (Carroll)
    All this would have been much more difficult if not certain
    lawyers worked overtime – literally – in the hours, days, weeks
    and months after the WTC was destroyed, to find ways to secure
    that certain suspects ended in a legal limbo, and that the US
    president was elevated to a level above the law. All this on order
    from Cheney on 9.11; he seemed to be very well prepared for
    this kind of situation.
    Lawyers like Addington and Yoo prepared the legal framework
    that made the transition from living under the rule of law to
    living “under the law of men” possible. I`ve read a handful of
    John Yoo`s essays on this issue (university publications, written
    after he had done the work for the White House), and in some
    of the small print footnotes he suggested powers to the
    president that was indistinguishable from fascism.
    Carl Schmitt did a similar work for Hitler in the 1930`s, and
    some of the issues were identical. His “Theorie des Partisans”,
    written in the beginning of the 1960`s and published in Spain
    under Franco, dealing with the legal status of “Illegal enemy
    combatants” (among other issues) is also illuminating regarding
    Yoo`s work, Guantanamo, the Geneva Conventions etc. It was
    translated to English a few years ago.
    Lawyers in the United States with a democratic approach should
    work overtime in the coming months and years to undo the
    work Addington, Yoo and others did.

    Reply

  44. Carroll says:

    A few more things from Greenwald to add to my soapbox…hitting on a few of my favorite peeves.
    Like the dilettante pseudo intellectuals and their snake oil salesman intellectualism on how reasonable people can disagree.
    “And that’s true no matter how many Bush-loyal DOJ lawyers justify the behavior, no matter how many right-wing lawyers go on TV to defend the Government’s conduct, no matter how many Brookings “scholars” go to The New Republic in order flamboyantly to boast how deeply complex these matters are and how only Super-Experts (like themselves) can grapple with the fascinating intellectual puzzles they pose. Displaying cognitive angst and/or above-it-all indifference in the face of unambiguously illegal and morally reprehensible government conduct isn’t a sign of intellectual sophistication.”
    “Whether the U.S. Government has committed war crimes by torturing detainees — conduct that is illegal under domestic law and international treaties which are binding law in this country — isn’t an example of a reasonable, two-sided political dispute.
    “Hence, our political leaders operate in a climate where they know they can do anything — anything at all, including flagrantly breaking our most serious laws — and they will be defended, or at least have their behavior mitigated, by a virtually unanimous political and media establishment. The hand-wringing over Mayer’s latest revelations will be led by the very people who are responsible for what has taken place — responsible because they decided that rampant, deliberate lawbreaking by our Government officials was nothing to get worked up over.
    “I never thought I would say this, but I think it might, in fact, be time for the United States to be held internationally to a tribunal. I never thought, in my lifetime, that I would say that, that we have become like Serbia, where an international tribunal has to come to force us to apply the rule of law. I never imagined that a Congress, a Democratic-led Congress would refuse to take actions, even with the preeminent institution of the Red Cross saying, this is clearly torture and torture is a war crime. They are still refusing to take meaningful action. ”
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    But we have a bigger problem than the Bush adm. The Bush adm will soon be gone but congress will remain. The same congress that is just as corrupt and lawbreaking as Bush-Cheney, that aided them every step of the way. A congress that has two basic goals, get enough money to get re-elected and then legislate for their contributors and their own individual ideology, foreign interest and personal profit.

    Reply

  45. ... says:

    JohnH – once again i am impressed with your clarity and choice of words to describe things… the iraq genocide, instead of the iraq war is a much better description exactly what it is… thanks for posting..

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Considering that Israel has conducted a couple of KNOWN and irrefutable false flag on American interests, has been caught red-handed in masquerading Mossad agents as Al Qaeda operatives, and has also involved itself in espionage operations against the United States……
    Does anyone find it odd that the very company that was involved in the security at the airports that were key in the 9/11 attacks is now being tasked to provide security at LAX? Yep, folks. The self same known Mossad front company, ICTS, is now going to handle security at LAX. After all, they did such a great job on 9/11. I mean hey, why wouldn’t we reward them? Its not everyday you can win the trifecta.
    http://tinyurl.com/Wasn-t-one-trifecta-enough
    Jeremy Rothe-Kushel, founding member of WeAreChangeLA, and founder of ‘Jewish Voices of Conscience for Truth, Justice and Peace’ stands up strong and challenges the LA City Council to consider the dangers of a recent agreement to employ top Israeli security consultants in regular inspections at LAX. With serious questions still lingering about the role of Israeli-owned, Mossad-connected company ICTS in 9-11-01 security “breakdowns” at multiple airports, it seems appropriate to pause and consider the wisdom in creating such a close working relationship with Israeli experts without inquiry into potential security threats.

    Reply

  47. Carroll says:

    And I am glad to see Greenwald agrees with me. Holding these people accountable is fundamental to taking back our country, not just from Bush but from all the cabals of dirty power, inside and outside of government.
    “This is what a country becomes when it decides that it will not live under the rule of law, when it communicates to its political leaders that they are free to do whatever they want — including breaking our laws — and there will be no consequences.
    There are two choices and only two choices for every country — live under the rule of law or live under the rule of men.
    We’ve collectively decided that our most powerful political leaders are not bound by our laws — that when they break the law, there will be no consequences.
    We’ve thus become a country which lives under the proverbial “rule of men” — that is literally true, with no hyperbole needed — and Mayer’s revelations are nothing more than the inevitable by-product of that choice.
    From Glenn Greenwald’s July 12th commentary at Salon
    And even though most writers are years late in stating the obvious, buying this book and circulating it among your friends might help raise public demand for prosecuting the Bush-Cheney adm, Feith and his OSP cabal and all the others who have done this to our country.
    I can’t say it often enough..prosecute these poeple for war crimes and also demand that we undate and expand our treason laws to handle the 21st century reality of our corrupt politics and system.

    Reply

  48. JohnH says:

    Another reaction to the book: “Public discourse in the United States has yet to debate these violations of international law despite the fact that they attain the level of genocide. This is a groundbreaking work which for the first time exhaustively details American complicity in genocide…American actions against Iraq are undeniably a case of genocide given the death of over two million people, the displacement of five million, the more than one million who are in desperate need of emergency assistance, and the complete destruction of the infrastructure of Iraq. This level of death and destruction are a direct result of the 1991 bombing, the sanctions imposed between 1990 and 2003, the bombing between 1991 and 2003 in the no-fly zones and the 2003 bombing and occupation. The impact of American policies in Iraq irrefutably meets the criteria of genocide in the Genocide Convention.”
    http://www.stateofdarkness.com/
    Public discourse needs to stop referring to the Iraq venture as the Iraq War or the Iraqi Occuption. Call it what it is: the Iraqi Genocide. And discussion needs to refer to action against Iran as the impending Iranian Genocide, another abomination justified by Bush administration lies. Ironically the Bushies are being goaded on by an Israeli government which constantly howls about the immorality of genocide and the holocaust, but eagerly participates in it as long as it’s being perpetrated against someone else.

    Reply

  49. Carroll says:

    …”Turned into a War on American Ideals.”
    That “war on American ideals” is what all of us have been screaming and sounding alarms about from day one. You had to be blind not to see where it all was going.
    And I absolutely favor war crime trials. All the people involved in this are criminals. This notion that politicans and people in government shouldn’t face justice….they that are somehow protected by their job or position is ludicrous, disgusting and obscene. Not holding them accountable is officially conferring upon them and the ones that come behind them the right to do this again and again.
    Under US military law lowly grunts can be prosecuted for obeying even a direct order from a superior if that order breaks any criminal US or international laws. Did you know that? We have had enough of politicans being a protected criminal class. Politicans should be held to the same rules as the people they send to war.
    Prosecute these sob’s for war crimes and I guarantee you both the WH and congress will think twice before they ever lie and spin this country into war again.
    I don’t know that I will learn a whole lot new in this book but I am reading it anyway.

    Reply

  50. questions says:

    I think analyzing the current mess to death is going to be the task we are stuck with for generations. It’s not just a matter of talking the little people into feeling threatened and making sure that there’s enough economic misery to ensure willing recruits. Here a a few relevant issues in no particular order:
    It’s a matter of how conflict gives us identity (there’s some book floating around _War is the Force that Gives Us Meaning_ I think is the title.) We can be talked into conflict because we LIKE the feeling of having enemies and ourselves therefore feeling virtuous.
    It’s a matter of scarce resources: We like our suburbs and our Suburbans (oil), we like our tech-y stuff (toxic and pricey and scarce metals the labor conditions for obtaining the same causing endless evil around the world)
    It’s a matter of fantasies of domination: We like feeling like we’re number one (think of all the coming Olympics chants of USA USA that we’ll be hearing should be venture into TVland.)
    It’s a matter of entrepreneurial individuals who figure out how to play one side against another and sell supplies to both. (Rusty old ammo, shiny new ammo.)
    It’s a matter of a phenomenon George Bataille identified as the need for waste. We build stuff so that we have something to do. But if all of the stuff is already built, we have no projects anymore. So we destroy a bunch of stuff through war or waste of some sort. Then we have a new project — building new stuff. Think how depleted the military is of STUFF. Now we need new designs (that’ll keep a generation of engineers busy), we need more old stuff (that’ll keep some factories going), and eventually we’ll have to blow all that stuff up too. We need stuff to fight desert wars, jungle wars, ocean wars, air wars, space wars, city wars, suburban wars…. It’s a lot of stuff. It’ll keep a lot of people busy for a long long time.
    All of this and more plays into the war psyche. War is so overdetermined, so much a part of the way we have structured the world that I despair of ever being done. And yet, if we’re not all going to be dead, we’re going to have to restructure fundamentally. We in the US need to learn frugality with resources and ideological space. We’re not number one, we’re one of many, no ranking allowed.
    I wish us luck, and I hope (again in my troll/idiot/jackass sense of the world (sorry for harping but I’m feeling a little wounded from the name-calling I suppose)) that we can see the endless complexity of causes of conflict and that we can tell a coherent enough narrative one day that maybe we’ll really be able to avoid this kind of structurally determined destruction of life, possibility, hope, decency.

    Reply

  51. Linda says:

    I’ve summmarized this taking freely from several internet sources that are reliable and have taken some sentences directly:
    Nuremberg Diary by G. M. Gilbert published in 1947 is still available in paperback. It has gone in and out of print and was republished in 1961 just before the trial of Adolf Eichmann.
    Gustave Gilbert was born in 1911 to Ausrian-Jewish immigrant parents in NYC and got a Ph.D. in psychology at Columbia University. In World War II he was a military psychologist and was sent to Europe as a military intelligence officer because he could speak German.
    After the war in 1946 he was was sent to Nuremberg, Germany, as a translator for the International Military Tribunal trying the German War criminals and became the prison psychologist for them. Many of the prisoners spoke freely to him, and he published this book based on that experience in 1947.
    The most famous part of it is the following exchange with Herman Goring:
    Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
    Göring: Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
    I don’t happen to favor war crimes trials for Bush Administration officials. I think a full investigation and a truth and reconciliation type program would be far more effective. And as part of that, I hope the next U.S. President will start a required in-service training program for everyone at DOD, State Department, CIA, etc. with Gilbert’s book as required reading.
    It still is used in university psych classes but probably not enough of them and should be in all the military service academies, grad schools of international studies and foreign relations. And perhaps Oprah should make it one of her book selections.
    If the U.S. is to recover as a nation, we have to stop accusing each other and especially those of us like many who comment here–i.e., who opposed the war and this administration, i.e., stop being holier than thou because we didn’t do enough to stop what happened. Nobody did, or it would have been stopped. I only hope that we will take a lot of pages from the playbook of Germany.
    We can’t change what has already happened, but we need to do a lot to be sure that it never happens again.

    Reply

  52. kotzabasis says:

    Jane Mayer and the reviewer of her book Andrew Bacevich both of them have an unfathomable deficit of a sense of reality and are oblivious of the lessons of history. Like beatific angels they descend from “a fine cloud of solicitous idealism” to critique and accuse the Bush administration of American-made Gulags. Disregarding that the normal and complacent days of America ended on 9/11. On this fateful day America was attacked by an invisible deadly enemy whose only transparency was that he was wearing civilian clothes. In such circumstances the Administration was in the morally unenviable position to apprehend people not on hard legal evidence but on suspicion and to hold them for a long period because of the possible great danger. In the DARKNESS of this war against global terror the ENLIGHTENED civilized processes of the Geneva Conventions and due process became totally obsolete, not by the nefarious practices of the government but by the dicta of reality and history. On the latter criteria, Mayer and Bacevich are irredeemable failures. To quote the great Austrian writer Robert Musil, “to the mind good and evil… are not sceptical, relative concepts, but terms of function, values that depend on the CONTEXT (m.e.)they find themselves in.”
    Further, desperate to make their case against the Administration they throw the latter into the pool of the politics of fear. They are deliberately not making the nuanced distinction between the words threat and fear. While one can threaten even the fearless it does not follow that the latter reacts out of fear. He merely reacts to a plausible threat like any reasonable person would in the same circumstances. This is on their part legerdemain par excellence.

    Reply

  53. Mr.Murder says:

    “~ Details about the scores of innocent people the United States Government has abused — including the inside story of a mistaken CIA “rendition,” and the revelation that the CIA is investigating a half-dozen more such erroneous kidnappings.”
    Daniel Ellesberg revisited, see also Sy Hersh.
    “~ The unorthodox CIA psychologists who advocated the use of Cold War KGB methods intended to obtain false confessions, and the near complete lack of actionable intelligence gained from these un-American techniques.”
    Necessary evil, they had to shape the facts around the policy, see also the Downing Minutes.
    “~ The viral spread of legally dubious torture techniques from an obscure U.S. military training program, known as “SERE,” throughout the U.S. war on terror.”
    This included using torture on some of our own as a way to try and break the torturer so he/she would surpass the threshold of human remorse.
    “~ Previously unpublished, shocking details showing what the CIA did to detainees to make them talk and new revelations about the growing doubts and fights within the intelligence agency over these harrowing tactics.”
    Not just detainees, also their children. See also Hersh.
    “~ The fear of criminal charges that drove the CIA to destroy interrogation videotapes — and what the tapes may have shown”
    -repeat the preceding comment

    Reply

  54. Mr.Murder says:

    “~ The first full account of the secret Red Cross report describing the detailed allegations of torture made by the CIA’s top fourteen terror suspects — all of whom are currently held in Guantanamo Bay — and the Red Cross’s warning to the United States government that this treatment unequivocally constituted “torture,” exposing Bush Administration officials to prosecution for war crimes.”
    When the IC stopped CHeney from planting false flag evidence that was being delivered at the Kuwait border by Altnmia Mining COmpany, on which Marvin Bush was a board member, included were “falsely labelled” NGO items, including precursors that were marked as “Red Cross relief supplies.”

    Reply

  55. Mr.Murder says:

    “Two top Justice Department officials critical of the White House became so fearful; they conversed in codes, in case their phones were tapped.”
    Ashcroft and his acting deputy when he was ill.

    Reply

  56. Mr.Murder says:

    If not Israel, we would have made some other excuse.
    Before 9-11 went down there were basically huge factions in the Bush White House between parties of interest.
    Colin Powell was focused upon South America, probably planning to run as POTUS by ’08 on the Hemisphere advance of Chavez.
    He was in South America on 9-11 meeting the deposed King of Afghanistan, on a tour of several OPEC allies and getting items ready with Columbia for going against FARC, labor movements, and valid political elements of the left emerging there. Somehow the Buscho. crew managed to lump legitimate political groups with the rebels and terrorists. Powell was there in parallel move with Kissinger’s own private GH venture interests, the same group securing the initial bids on the Trans Asian pipeline that would hook the oil stans across Pakistan up to the Indian ocean.
    McCain picked up his playbook, though Powell himself appears ready to apply the race card in his upcoming endorsement. Who could have imagined?
    The other faction was some holdovers from the Scowcroft/James Baker faction that GHWB had helped cement our standing with in building the coalition for Desert Storm and getting the war paid for by Saudi royals. This included Tutwiler his former Undersec. and the first director of Iraq’s communications for the IPA, eventual NYSE vice pres.
    They wanted to work with Cheney/Rumsfeld to some means but appeared to stall over the coalition run-up. The war hawks called the shots. They capitulated the WH entirely by turning Condi Rice into a plausible vote for all things oil. A majority of the actual fighting seems more to have been over when and how to prosecute the illegal war, not over fighting it, outside of perhaps wanting to target Iran or Venezuela first.
    Powell tried to play the middle of each camp. Condi burned him, old crushes die hard but really sting when they do.
    Baker was put back in to some extent re:9-11 commission items, and the Iraq Survey Group. Strangely enough, Kissinger was the first choice for the 9-11 commission as well, but backed out due to his considerable tendency to bend policy and analysis under the critical eye of survivors and victims’ families.

    Reply

  57. varanassi says:

    RabbleRouser,
    i respect your oponions, but i also disagree with them.
    we got more problems in the good ‘ol us of a than israel can *possibly* be blamed for.
    geopolitically, economically, environmentaly, spiritually, we are falling apart at the seams.
    imo, to blame most or even many of these problems on israel is a mistake and a distraction from the the real issues at hand.
    i’m not trying to start a fight here, just expressing a differing opinion 🙂

    Reply

  58. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The head of this monster is 9/11. Until these journalists tackle that epic crime, and sincerely attempt to dismantle the impossibly ridiculous official story we were spoon fed, the rest of this is just horseshit.
    If this is just one more faux expose that claims that 9/11 was as presented, and the Bush crimes merely stem from him capitalizing on the event, than it is just more irrelevant fluff. The events of 9/11 are part of this whole picture, and only an idiot would buy into this amazing fairy tale we have been fed about this epic crime.
    It amazes me how optimistic people become every time they think someone is going to throw a little truth at us about these despicable lyin’ criminal monsters known as “the Bush Administration”. I can’t help but recall how Scotty boy’s belated and self serving “revelations” were recieved here. Gads, you woulda thought ‘ol Scotty was huffin’ and puffin’ right outside the Oval Office, fixing to blow the whole joint down.
    Pfffft. Just another fizzle.
    Look, we don’t need no more effin’ evidence, or belated tomes telling us we’ve been had. There’s been plenty of evidence of that for years now.
    So great, another “journalist” writes a book and cashes in on old news. Goody. Fantastic. I hope they buy a new Carrera.
    And Bush/Cheney skip gleefully into the history books, covered in the blood of over a million innocent Iraqi citizens, unpunished, obscenely wealthy, and still wearing smirks.

    Reply

  59. RabbleRouser says:

    Questions (and everyone else)
    Anyone who’d taken an 8th grade Civics class would have known
    that the “Patriot Act” destroyed our Bill of Rights.
    Anyone who had studied Dick Cheney’s past, and the nefarious
    characters surrounding him — David Wurmser, I Lewis Scooter
    Libby Liebowitz, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, et al, would have
    known their ties to Israel’s Likud party, and their ties to Israel’s
    goal of regional hegemony.
    Jane Mayer is a very poor excuse for a journalist or a very good
    limited hang-out propagandist. If it’s the latter she’s much like
    Noam Chomsky, who keeps insisting that its the U.S. dog
    wagging Israel’s tail.
    All one has to do is witness the craven suckfest on the part of
    the U.S. Congress (including stuffed shirt Obama) at the AIPAC
    (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) convention this year
    to know full well that it’s Israel’s tail wagging the American dog.
    We have paid for Israel in blood and treasure over and over,
    most severely in Iraq, but Iran awaits.
    “Journalists” like Jane Mayer give us enough “knowledge” to
    pacify people who think somewhat critically, but in the final
    analysis, she and Noam are the best propagandists Israel doesn’t
    even need to buy.

    Reply

  60. questions says:

    (At the risk of offending a few people from a previous thread…. Is it possible that Israel’s desires do not show up at the top of the list for explaining any of the evil that this admin. has perpetrated? Please note I have been labeled a troll for such thinking and I do not wish to intrude further. And I haven’t read the book to know if this surmise is way off base, so maybe it is, and I am a troll after all.)
    RabbleRouser, I appreciate your point, but remember that mainstream thinking moves way more slowly. Why, some news people and regular citizens probably still think that failing to wear a flag pin is unpatriotic while Bush and Cheney and McCain are the height of patriotism and the “real” Americans. Nothing like destroying a constitution to save it!

    Reply

  61. ... says:

    the real concern for me as a non american is the fact that neither obama or mccain appear set to hold this present administration accountable.. i see obama’s response to fisa as a complete cave in and i think it is a huge disapppointment that runs deeper then his actual support for this admin on this issue.. it suggests he doesn’t get how pissed a lot of americans are over what jane mayers and many others have been articulating about this administration for some time…to know that the future president of the usa will not address the illegal and deceitful actions of bush and cheney, while giving a pass to the telcoms is a statement of what is to come and it ain’t pretty…
    rooster – good post, but could have been better without the swear words…

    Reply

  62. RabbleRouser says:

    Oh please, many of us without the stature of Jane Mayer were
    trying to slay these dragons immediately after September 11, 2001.
    The “Patriot Act” was immediately abhorrent to me, as was our
    attack on Afghanistan, and it took Mayer, an “in-the-know”
    “connected” journalist how long to catch-on that we were being
    lied to by crooks and thugs, many of whom had been on the scene
    for decades?
    Hint: it’s almost September 2008.
    The New Yorker is limited hang-out, as is Jane Mayer. And as
    much as I respect Steve, which I do, sometimes I think that he is
    too (either that or incredibly polite — or perhaps both)

    Reply

  63. David says:

    What Rooster said. And god love Jane Mayer and the New Yorker. Mr. Dick really is a monster who, by any standards of human decency, is demon possessed. And W let him get away with it.
    Are you listening, Speaker Pelosi?

    Reply

  64. Rooster says:

    This is a note to some of the naysayers who have harassed Clemons in the past:
    Shut the fuck up. I have been reading this blog now for years. I recommend that others do so too. This blog is getting better and better.
    But what is amazing is how one sees Clemons’s hand in so much of the rollback of White House plans. Clemons beat John Bolton. He has done more than anyone to expose the cleavages of interest and power INSIDE the White House. He has shown the soft spots.
    And now low and behold (spelling?), Jane Mayer comes out with a book going after Clemons Enemy No. 1, David Addington, and highlighting Clemons Friends John Bellinger and Matthew Waxman.
    Clemons is a force to be reckoned with in Washington and it’s clear every day, every week, every month in this blog. It’s all heare.
    Fuck. I am quite honored that this guy works his ass off to help us tune in. I’ll be watching Tuesday morning.
    But Steve Clemons, you are da fucking bomb man. You put up with some shit from us, and I don’t always agree with you, but your batting average puts the rest of the blogosphere to shame.
    Good on Jane Mayer for taking a good deep snapshot of these White House monsters.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *