Report on Hardened Underground Facility near Natanz

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Natanz.jpg
(Natanz nuclear enrichment facility)
Just released in the Washington Post is an interesting story on the existence of a new — heretofore unreported — hardened underground facility and set of tunnels conneted to Natanz. Some analysts believe that it this facility is probably meant to disperse and protect nuclear assets in case of attack.
Given the earlier reports on TWN confirmed by other major journalistic establishments that a member of Vice President Cheney’s staff was reporting that the Vice President was afraid of losing the “policy argument” on Iran with the President’s other advisors and wanted to tie Bush’s hands by encouraging an Israeli cruise missile attack against Natanz, this new report does give one pause.
— Steve Clemons
Ed Note: I am reporting from Berlin, Germany today through Thursday and will be meeting various German politicians of the CDU this evening. More later, Steve Clemons

Comments

110 comments on “Report on Hardened Underground Facility near Natanz

  1. tower defense says:

    I have stated my theory before so I will just repeat what my friend who was a trans atlantic pilot for Pan Am and Singapore A/L and pilot aircraft trainer for Boeing for 40 years said….” the guy who hit the pentagon had to have been a hell of a pilot to make that turn and hit his target”. Another friend who was a former Navy pilot also expressed surprise at the pentagon hit based on what came out about the hijackers limited training.

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  2. MP says:

    Fair enough. I’ll look for some myself.
    But there are differences here. The WTC were HUGE buildings. Their collapse left HUGE amounts of rubble. Some piece of the core should be left.
    Comparatively speaking, the plane was tiny and built to be flimsy, or rather flexible, and hit an immovable object that was famously overbuilt-sturdy so it could house government files. It isn’t hard to imagine the plane disintegrating on impact.
    Moreover, why would they have used airliners on the WTC and, what?, a missile on the Pentagon?
    And what about the folks who say they saw the plane crash into the Pentagon?
    Are there folks who say they saw the concrete core being poured or who did the pouring themselves? Or did the designing themselves? Thousands of people worked on that project. The REAL Leslie should know–why hasn’t he spoken up? Or even a lowly construction worker?
    And, if that plane didn’t hit the Pentagon, where did it go? What happened to the passengers on board? Wouldn’t at least one of them have come forward and said, “Here we are. We’re not dead after all.”

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  3. pauline says:

    MP wrote:
    “If this were true, shouldn’t there be a picture of some concrete inside the steel beams–even one photograph”
    I can say exactly the same for a complete lack of anything that is part of a 757, in ANY of the the Pentagon wreckage photos published.
    Some photographs do show a part of a turbofan jet engine and were taken by Jocelyn Augustino, a photographer for FEMA, at the Pentagon crash site on September 13, 2001. The round piece shown appears to be less than 3 feet in diameter and is propped up against what appears to be part of the engine housing and thick pieces of insulating material.
    A Boeing 757 has two large engines, which are about 9 feet in diameter and 12 feet in length. A Pratt & Whitney PW2043 engine, used on some 757 aircraft, has a fan tip diameter of 78.5 inches.
    Nothing approaching this size is to be seen in the FEMA photographs or ANY other Pentagon wreckage photos.

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  4. MP says:

    Pauline writes: “To use your tactic, I want absolute proof the towers were not constructed with casted concrete cores.”
    If this were true, shouldn’t there be a picture of some concrete inside the steel beams–even one photograph that shows this?
    All the photos I’ve seen of the site aftermath and the building as it was being built show hollow–not a trace of it left.

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  5. MP says:

    Okay. This is a snippet…
    I’ll try to get more for you…
    “There was a 3 to 4 inch layer of concrete on the average floor. There were reinforced concrete floors in the core as well. Contrary to what some conspiracy theorists say, the core walls were NOT concrete reinforced. This was an error made by a news organization which grew a life of its own.”
    As to proof, I think the burden of proof is on the conspiracy theorists because: a) they claim certain things are IMPOSSIBLE and CANNOT be explained by the official story; and b) they are arguing against what most people saw with their own eyes and for other things that NO ONE saw, i.e., folks setting charges.

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  6. pauline says:

    To use your tactic, I want absolute proof the towers were not constructed with casted concrete cores.
    This site, while not engineering proof, leans toward that very conclusion. There was a two hour tv special on the towers’ construction years before 9/11 and many say they remember the casted concrete cores being mentioned.
    http://911review.org/WTC/concrete-core.html
    What does your 9/11 debunker say here?

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  7. MP says:

    Posted by pauline at July 18, 2007 12:22 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Just checked this out a little bit more. LA didn’t write this. It was written by a Sock puppet, using “LA” as a screen name.
    As far as I can tell, the buildings were NOT constructed with a concrete core.

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  8. MP says:

    “I have yet to get a report from a structural engineer or demolitions expert that support the theories of internal explosions and too many witnesses saw the planes. If an engineer or expert with credentials that could be verified came forward I might be willing to take another look at this but in the absence of such, I’ll go with the conclusions of experts I trust.”
    This strikes me as unassailably rational.
    I guess we’ll see if Leslie’s business goes down the tubes. Of course, if he starts baying at the moon, then, of course, some clients might not want to work with him. But again, that would be a rational decision in my view. You want your engineer to stick to the discernible facts.

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  9. pauline says:

    “I know my government. They’re just not good enough to pull off something like this.”
    Now let me think for a minute…who could help a very small neo-con cabal pull this off?…let’s see now, someone with lots of money, the means and the motives.
    Know anyone who fits that description? Maybe, just maybe, someone better take a closer look at that cabal.

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  10. pauline says:

    Maybe, just maybe, architects, structural engineers and demolitions experts have been scared to publicly state their thoughts on 9/11 because of their fear of ruining their business and reputations or becoming targets of government harassments. Obviously Leslie Robertson had similar thoughts nearly five years since 9/11.
    Maybe, just maybe, logical, reasonable people could conclude that’s a real possibility for why so many have not raised their voices.
    The Official 9/11 Commission Report has Bobby Eberle as a quoted witness of the airplane striking the Pentagon. Of course, he is owner of gopusa.com in Texas and a generous financial contributor to the bush campaign. He also was the creator of the fake news source and employer of jeff gannon, gay news reporter who threw softball questions at bush for over two years during presidential press conferences — instead of using legitimate American or foreign press reporters.
    Of course, last month at a White House ceremony for top high school students, bush looked the girl (who handed him a letter signed by many from this group asking for human rights for detainees) in her eyes and said, “[our government] does not torture and that we value human rights…”
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19424797
    For you, unfortunately, all is fine in DC, including the official 9/11 story.

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  11. MP says:

    And then we have Doug Thompson from that same page, Pauline:
    “The conspiracy claims by those who say Osama bin Laden and is rabid band of followers could not possibly have planned and executed the attacks that killed more than 3,000 Americans on that fateful day are, in my opinion, just plain wrong.
    I was at the Pentagon the day the plane hit, taking pictures and interviewing witnesses. I talked to the cab driver who saw the plane swoop low over Columbia Pike, knocking down a light pole that fell on his cab. I talked to the driver of the car behind him, an Arlington businessman still haunted by the nightmares of what he saw. I interviewed dozens of others who saw the plane hit. I smelled the burning jet fuel.
    Months later, I stood in a lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland as an engineer I’ve known for 25 years ran the computer simulation that shows how the unique construction of the World Trade Center towers contributed to the inevitable collapse after the planes hit.
    In July and August of 2003, I watched hours and hours of video and film footage shot by news crews, film students and private citizens in New York on September 11 and edited it into a short documentary for the second anniversary of the attacks. As part of that project, I talked to firemen, police officers and first responders in New York City and then with friends who have worked in the American and foreign intelligence communities for many, many years.
    Everything that I’ve learned from these folks – those who were there and those whose judgment I trust – support the facts that Al Qaeda planned and executed the attacks.
    Some say there are no way novice pilots with only a few hours of simulator training could have guided three modern jetliners into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. I’m a pilot and have flown Boeing 757, 767 and 777 simulators as part of research on stories. The maneuvers made by the hijackers on September 11 were relatively simple course corrections that are not that difficult in planes equipped with modern navigational computers. Some evidence uncovered during the investigations say the hijackers originally wanted to hit the Potomac River side of the Pentagon where Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s office is located but that would have required more difficult navigation to miss the Washington Monument.
    Others base their beliefs of a conspiracy on the collapse of Building 7 in New York, which did not appear to be seriously damaged. They say video of the collapse suggests it was imploded by an internal explosion. I asked demolition experts and structural engineers to watch video footage from several angles. Thye concluded the collapse was not consistent with a detonated implosion. First responders at the scene also reported large chunks of steel and concrete striking the building. The NIST study, conducted by a Democratic member of their staff, concluded the building was damaged internally.
    I’m usually the first to suspect my government of malfeasance. I love a good conspiracy theory as much as Oliver Stone but I cannot buy into this one.
    Reasonable doubts about the Kennedy and King deaths exists to this day because of striking conflicts of reports from witnesses on the scene and the existence of credible evidence from experts that refute the “offiical” versions. But the many theories surrounding 9/11 come mostly from conspiracy buffs. I have yet to get a report from a structural engineer or demolitions expert that support the theories of internal explosions and too many witnesses saw the planes. If an engineer or expert with credentials that could be verified came forward I might be willing to take another look at this but in the absence of such, I’ll go with the conclusions of experts I trust.
    My 40-plus years as a journalist, coupled with too many years working inside the government, tell me that the scenarios laid out by the 9/11 conspiracy buffs just don’t pass the smell test.
    The 9/11 attacks succeeded because of the incredible improbability that such a ragtag group could pull it off and our lackluster intelligence agencies failed to act on credible reports of terrorist activity. I know my government. They’re just not good enough to pull off something like this.”

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  12. pauline says:

    Long Live The 9/11 Conspiracy!
    By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
    March 29, 2006
    Anyone still care about the heap of disturbing, unsolved questions surrounding Our Great Tragedy?
    Here is your must-read for the month. Here is your oh-my-God- I’m-sending-this-piece- to-every-smart-person-I-know hunk of outstanding, distressing, disquieting media bliss.
    Here it is: an absolutely exceptional inside scoop on the white-hot world of Sept. 11 conspiracy theories, writ large and smart by Mark Jacobson over at New York magazine, and it’s mandatory reading for anyone and everyone who’s ever entertained the nagging thought that something � or rather, far more than one something � is deeply wrong with the official line on what actually happened on Sept. 11.
    See, it is very likely that you already know that Sept. 11 will go down in the conspiracy history books as a far more sinister affair than, say, the murky swirl of the Kennedy assassination. You probably already know that much of what exactly happened on Sept. 11 remains deeply unsettling and largely unsolved � or to put another way, if you don’t know all of this and if you fully and blithely accept the official Sept. 11 story, well, you haven’t been paying close enough attention.
    But on this, the third anniversary of the launch of Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq by way of whoring the tragedy of Sept. 11 for his cronies’ appalling gain, what you might not know, what gets so easily forgotten in the mists of time and via the endless repetition of the orthodox Sept. 11 tale, is the sheer volume, the staggering array of unanswered questions about just about every single aspect of Sept. 11 � the planes, the WTC towers, the Pentagon, the fires, the passengers and the cell phone calls and the firefighters and, well, just about everything. It is, when you look closely, all merely a matter of how far down the rabbit hole you are willing to go.
    Verily, Jacobson, in his New York mag piece, encounters crackpots and fringe nutballs and those who think Sept. 11 was connected to aliens and electromagnetic fields and the Illuminati. It can, unfortunately, get a little crazy. But there is also a very smart, grounded, intelligent and surprisingly large faction � which includes eyewitnesses, Sept. 11 widows, former generals, pilots, professors, engineers, WTC maintenance workers and many, many more � who point to a rather shocking pile of evidence that says there is simply no way 19 fanatics with box cutters sent by some bearded lunatic in a cave could have pulled off the most perfectly orchestrated air attack of the century. Not without serious help, anyway.
    Whose help? This, of course, is the biggest question of all, one which many of the more well-researched theories go a surprisingly long way toward answering.
    You have to sift and sort. There are disturbing questions about collapse speeds and controlled demolitions and why the towers fell when the all-steel infrastructure was designed to easily withstand the temperatures of any sort of fire, even burning jet fuel. There are questions of the mysterious, media-documented blasts deep in the WTC towers that took place after the planes hit. There are questions of why there was such a short-selling spree on shares of American Airlines and United Air Lines the day before the attack, huge doubts about the failures of NORAD and the FAA, the bizarre case of the missing plane in the Pentagon crash, and also the downing of Flight 93 where, according to the coroner, no blood or major plane wreckage was actually found. There is, ultimately, the stunning failure of the entire multi-trillion-dollar American air-defense system. Just for starters.
    There is also the very big question of what happened to 7 WTC, the only building not hit by anything at all, but which collapsed anyway, in a perfect controlled-demolition sort of way, for no reason anyone can sufficiently explain. But which just so happened to contain vital offices for the IRS, the Department of Defense, the CIA, the Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and more.
    But perhaps Jacobson’s article is insufficient for you. Perhaps you have heard much of it before, or you’re more of the visceral type and need to actually see the proofs in order to delve deeper, have them laid out like gruesome body parts in a mesmerizing autopsy. Fair enough.
    For you, we have the surprisingly compelling indie documentary “9/11 Loose Change” (Google it), freely available on the Internet and produced by three very astute and very young and very strong-willed dudes who managed to cobble together a truly astounding array of proofs and interviews and evidence, a full 1 hour and 20 minutes’ worth of mesmerizing footage you will not be able to easily forget.
    Or maybe you should peruse one of the countless Sept. 11 conspiracy sites, many of which link to relevant video and one of which � scholarsfor911truth.org � claims to be “a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, in fields as diverse as history, science, military affairs, psychology, and philosophy, dedicated to exposing falsehoods and to revealing truths behind 9/11.” Start there.
    Now, it’s very true that some of the more specious conspiracy claims have been largely discredited and proved false. Some of the more radical “evidence” gathered by theorists is quite suspect and easily placed in the category of no-way-in-hell. This is valid. This is as it should be. You have to chew through a lot of skin and gristle to get to the real meat.
    But oh the meat. The overwhelming quantity, the bloody, deadly stench of it. Fact is, it is quite impossible to watch the entire “Loose Change” documentary and not come away just a little shaken, a little awed by the sheer number of perversely interrelated facts and aberrant coincidences-that-aren’t-coincidences, shaking your head at how it all seems to irrefutably prove there is far, far more to the Sept. 11 tragedy than just crazy Osama and his band of zealots, as you begin to sink into a sighing morass of rage and frustration and suspicion and mistrust. You almost can’t help it.
    Of course, there is another option. There is another way out. You may, as is the standard cultural default, simply ignore it all, scoff and roll your eyes and shrug it all off because it’s just too bleak and distasteful to entertain the idea that the dark Sept. 11 thread winds all the way through the NSA and the FBI and the White House and the Project for the New American Century and *** Cheney’s mangled soul and God only knows where else.
    But then again, no. You have to look. You have to try. Knowledge is power, and while the truth may be spurious and slippery and messy and deep, the pursuit of it is just about the only thing we have left. Give that up, and all that’s left is spiritual numbness, emotional stasis and death. So what are you waiting for?

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  13. MP says:

    Most definitely an interesting quote from Robertson.
    Here’s something else:
    “Since the collapse of the World Trade Center, debate about the safety of his rent-space-maximized designs have engaged the profession, but most would agree that the design of the World Trade Center actually withstood the impact of the plane with enough time to allow many thousands to evacuate safely. While he had designed the buildings to withstand the impact of a fully loaded Boeing 707, which was the biggest plane of its time when they were built, he did not take into account the effects of subsequent fires, ignited by jet fuel.”
    Does Robertson have an interest in showing that his buildings can withstand the impact of a jet plane?
    Maybe.

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  14. pauline says:

    From Physorg Forum
    Leslie E. Robertson Unregistered
    Posted: Apr 1 2006, 06:33 PM
    Christophera is correct in stating that the Twin Towers were constructed with a concrete core. Although in my original design the core was to be a steel framed one that decision was overridden by Minoru Yamasaki the architect.
    That core should have resisted the airplane impacts AND the fires.
    I have said nothing for four and a half years but can remain silent no longer. My belief is that only explosives could have caused WTC 1 & WTC 2 to collapse the way they did on September 11, 2001.
    Leslie E. Robertson
    Director Leslie E. Robertson Associates, R.L.L.P. and lead engineer of the World Trade Center
    http://forum.physorg.com/index.php?showtopic=3108&st=9390&#entry78752

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  15. MP says:

    Pauline writes: “MP thinks all is ok with the official 9/11 story,
    apparently believing politicans and governments never lie or deceive. Whew, I was worried he was going to start searching for the truth!!”
    Pauline, I never said that “politicans and governments never lie or deceive.” That isn’t my argument. However, that doesn’t force me to believe in what you post, either.
    It would not be news (any longer) if we concluded from this testimony that Richard Myers was incompetent…or that government is often incompetent. But this is not an argument that shows that government or the Israelis masterminded 9/11 or that the plane was flown remotely into the Pentagon. It just isn’t. Government lack of preparedness is a much simpler, and more likely, cause. But to be fair to them, how many times have they actually faced this kind of situation? What if firefighters only had to fight a fire once every 50 years–how competent and johnny-on-the-spot would they be?

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  16. pauline says:

    MP thinks all is ok with the official 9/11 story,
    apparently believing politicans and governments never lie or deceive. Whew, I was worried he was going to start searching for the truth!!
    General Myers was acting head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 11th. On September 13th, he is going for a nomination hearing to be made head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This is the most important day of his life because on this day that Myers, an Air Force General with thousands of hours of time flying fighter planes, is acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It’s the only day in history that the continental United States has ever been attacked from the air.
    Myers claims he is at Senator Max Cleland’s office at 8:40 EDT. He sees on TV that the first plane has hit the World Trade Center. He claims on Armed Services Radio that at that point he went in and met with Cleland for an hour. Nobody called him and told him that a second plane had hit, that the air corridor had been closed between Washington and Cleveland, that a plane had been hijacked in Ohio and was flying back to the Pentagon. Then he also claims that when he walked out of Cleland’s office, he was handed a portable phone and it was the head of NORAD–the North American Aerospace Defense Command–telling him the Pentagon had been hit.
    Now these are unbelievable assertions. Doesn’t the man have a beeper? Doesn’t the man have a cell phone? Doesn’t the man have a secretary who knows where he is? General Myers was, after all, acting head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military. Wouldn’t anybody inform him that planes were being hijacked and flying into buildings? And you know what Myers said he talked to Max Cleland about? He claims he sat there and they discussed the dangers of terrorism. Now this is like a satire, isn’t it?
    Here is General Myers’ response at his confirmation hearing. Note Senator Max Cleland’s out-of-the-blue nonsequitur which gives Myers his alibi.
    Senate Armed Services Committee Holds Hearing On Nomination of General Richard Myers to be Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., SEPTEMBER 13, 2001.
    SENATOR LEVIN: Was the Defense Department contacted by the FAA or the FBI or any other agency after the first two hijacked aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center, prior to the time that the Pentagon was hit?
    GENERAL MYERS: Sir, I don’t know the answer to that question. I can get that for you, for the record…That order, to the best of my knowledge, was after the Pentagon was struck. … I was with Senator Cleland when this happened and went back to the Pentagon. And they were evacuating, of course, the Pentagon at the time. And I went into the National Military Command Center because that’s essentially my battle station when things are happening.
    SENATOR LEVIN: Was the Defense Department contacted by the FAA or the FBI or any other agency after the first two hijacked aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center, prior to the time that the Pentagon was hit?
    GENERAL MYERS: Sir, I don’t know the answer to that question. I can get that for you, for the record.
    SENATOR LEVIN: Thank you. Did the Defense Department take — or was the Defense Department asked to take action against any specific aircraft?
    GENERAL MYERS: Sir, we were . . .
    SENATOR LEVIN: And did you take action against — for instance, there have been statements that the aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania was shot down. Those stories continue to exist.
    GENERAL MYERS: Mr. Chairman, the armed forces did not shoot down any aircraft. When it became clear what the threat was, we did scramble fighter aircraft, AWACS, radar aircraft and tanker aircraft to begin to establish orbits in case other aircraft showed up in the FAA system that were hijacked. But we never actually had to use force.
    SENATOR CLELAND: General, it’s a good thing that, as I look back at that morning, that you and I were meeting. It’s a good thing we were meeting here and not us meeting in the Pentagon because about the time you and I were having our visit, discussing the need to boost our conventional forces, to look at the question of terrorism and attacks on the United States, at just about that very moment, the Pentagon was being hit.
    GENERAL MYERS: Yes, sir.
    SENATOR BILL NELSON: … General Myers, The second World Trade tower was hit shortly after 9:00. And the Pentagon was hit approximately 40 minutes later. That’s approximately. You would know specifically what the timeline was. The crash that occurred in Pennsylvania after the Newark westbound flight was turned around 180 degrees and started heading back to Washington was approximately an hour after the World Trade Center second explosion. You said earlier in your testimony that we had not scrambled any military aircraft until after the Pentagon was hit. And so, my question would be: why?
    GENERAL MYERS: I think I had that right, that it was not until then. I’d have to go back and review the exact timelines.
    SENATOR BILL NELSON: … If we knew that there was a general threat on terrorist activity, which we did, and we suddenly have two trade towers in New York being obviously hit by terrorist activity, of commercial airliners taken off course from Boston to Los Angeles, then what happened to the response of the defense establishment once we saw the diversion of the aircraft headed west from Dulles turning around 180degrees and, likewise, in the aircraft taking off from Newark and, in flight, turning 180 degrees? That’s the question. I leave it to you as to how you would like to answer it. But we would like an answer.
    GENERAL MYERS: You bet. I spoke, after the second tower was hit, I spoke to the commander of NORAD, General Eberhart. And at that point, I think the decision was at that point to start launching aircraft…
    {NOTE: OK, so if he talked to Eberhart after the second tower was hit, why did he then meet with Cleland for 35 minutes to talk about “the question of terrorism and attacks on the United States”? I mean, wasn’t he aware that America was currently experiencing just such an attack–the very worst such attack in its entire history? How in the world did he manage to while away the 45 minutes with Cleland such that he didn’t arrive at the National Military Command Center, his admitted “battle station when things are happening,” until the Pentagon was being evacuated (around 9:45 at the earliest)? Didn’t having hijacker terrorists hit the two tallest buildings in the United States with passenger jets qualify as a time “when things are happening”?}
    (GENERAL MYERS:) In this case, if my memory serves me — and I’ll have to get back to you for the record — my memory says that we had launched on the one that eventually crashed in Pennsylvania. I mean, we had gotten somebody close to it, as I recall. I’ll have to check that out.
    SENATOR BILL NELSON: … Commenting from CNN on the timeline, 9:03 is the correct time that the United Airlines flight crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center; 9:43 is the time that American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. And 10:10 a.m. is the time that United Airlines flight 93crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. So that was 40 minutes between the second tower being hit and the Pentagon crash. And it is an hour ands even minutes until the crash occurred in Pennsylvania.
    SENATOR LEVIN: The time that we don’t have is when the Pentagon was notified, if they were, by the FAA or the FBI or any other agency, relative to any potential threat or any planes having changed direction or anything like that. And that’s the same which you will give us because that’s . . .
    GENERAL MYERS: I can answer that. At the time of the first impact on the World Trade Center {NOTE: around 8:46}, we stood up our crisis action team. That was done immediately. So we stood it up. And we started talking to the federal agencies. The time I do not know is when NORAD responded with fighter aircraft. I don’t know that time.
    SENATOR LEVIN: Or the time that I asked you for, which was whether the FAA or FBI notified you that other planes had turned direction from their path, their scheduled path, and were returning or aiming towards Washington, whether there was any notice from any of them, because that’s such an obvious shortfall if there wasn’t.
    GENERAL MYERS: Right.
    SENATOR LEVIN: And in any event, but more important, if you could get us that information.
    GENERAL MYERS: It probably happened. As you remember, I was not in the Pentagon at that time, so that part of it is a little hazy. {NOTE: This is now two days after 9/11.} After that, we started getting regular notifications through NORAD, FAA to NORAD, on other flights that we were worried about. And we knew about the one that eventually crashed in Pennsylvania. I do not know, again, whether we had fighters scrambled on it. I have to . . .
    SENATOR LEVIN: If you could get us those times then. We know you don’ t know them.
    GENERAL MYERS: But we’ll get them.
    {NOTE: Thank God the Senate quickly confirmed this knowledgeable bastion of combat-ready competence as the head of the entire US military structure!}
    http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20040814220906511

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  17. MP says:

    Pauline writes: “And maybe, just maybe, a “remote control of airplanes” was used to eliminate Hanjour’s bad piloting abilities and ensure exacting flight manuevers?”
    My principal problem with most of these types of theories is that they are complicated. They involve a number of people being complicit in doing things that no one else notices–even in highly peopled places and in often inspected vehicles such as commerical airplanes, three of them, in fact.
    In this case, they also involve highly sophisticated technology.
    I’m not even sure that remote control technology is to the point where this kind of feat could be pulled off. I looked at the web site you cited, but couldn’t tell from their sparse copy.
    Anyway, unless you have some reason to believe that this DID happen–and isn’t just a logical possibility–then I can’t get too excited about it. Assuming Hanjour flew the plan–do we know that for sure? maybe one of his colleagues did–I think it’s easier to assume that he had a great flight and perhaps missed his target, the Capitol, and hit the Pentagon.
    What if Hanjour was feigning incompetence as pilot to ward off suspicion?
    But again, nothing I’ve heard so far discredits the official story, especially as the alternative stories seem more incredible.

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  18. MP says:

    Pauline writes: “And maybe, just maybe, a “remote control of airplanes” was used to eliminate Hanjour’s bad piloting abilities and ensure exacting flight manuevers?”
    My principal problem with most of these types of theories is that they are complicated. They involved a number of people being complicit in doing things that no one else notices–even in highly peopled places and in often inspected vehicles such as commerical airplanes, three of them, in fact.
    I’m not even sure that remote control technology is to the point where this kind of feat could be pulled off. I looked at the web site you cited, but couldn’t tell from their sparse copy.
    Anyway, unless you have some reason to believe that this DID happen–and isn’t just a logical possibility–then I can’t get too excited about it. Assuming Hanjour flew the plan–do we know that for sure? maybe one of his colleagues did–I think it’s easier to assume that he had a great flight and perhaps missed his target, the Capitol, and hit the Pentagon.
    What if Hanjour was feigning incompetence as pilot to ward off suspicion?
    But again, nothing I’ve heard so far discredits the official story, especially as the alternative stories seem more incredible.

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  19. MP says:

    Pauline writes: “And maybe, just maybe, a “remote control of airplanes” was used to eliminate Hanjour’s bad piloting abilities and ensure exacting flight manuevers?”
    My principal problem with most of these types of theories is that they are complicated. They involved a number of people being complicit in doing things that no one else notices–even in highly peopled places and in often inspected vehicles such as commerical airplanes, three of them, in fact.
    I’m not even sure that remote control technology is to the point where this kind of feat could be pulled off. I looked at the web site you cited, but couldn’t tell from their sparse copy.
    Anyway, unless you have some reason to believe that this DID happen–and isn’t just a logical possibility–then I can’t get too excited about it. Assuming Hanjour flew the plan–do we know that for sure? maybe one of his colleagues did–I think it’s easier to assume that he had a great flight and perhaps missed his target, the Capitol, and hit the Pentagon.
    What if Hanjour was feigning incompetence as pilot to ward off suspicion?
    But again, nothing I’ve heard so far discredits the official story, especially as the alternative stories seem more incredible.

    Reply

  20. pauline says:

    “We used to have John Ashscroft’s major announcements. We used to have David Paulison’s breathless advisories about how to use duct tape against radiation attacks. We used to have Tom Ridge’s color-coded threat levels. Now we have Michael Chertoff’s gut,” began Keith Olbermann in a scathing ‘Special Comment’ on MSNBC’s Countdown.
    Olbermann laid out five possible explanations for “Mr. Chertoff’s remarkable revelations about his transcendently important, counter-terrorism stomach.”
    Of his conclusions, “bureaucratic self protection, political manipulation of the worst kind, the dropping of opaque hints, a gaffe backfilled by an instant report, or the complete disintegration of our counter-terrorism effort,” Olbermann found the last to be the real “nightmare scenario.”
    “That we really have been reduced to listening to see if [Chertoff’s] gut will growl, that [his] intestines are our best defense,” mocked Olbermann. “All hail the prophetic gut!”
    Olbermann concludes that Chertoff has “reduced [himself] to status of a hunch-driven clown” and that he should turn over his duties to someone who “represents that brain, and not the gut.”
    see video at —
    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Olbermann_unleashes_Special_Comment_on_Chertoff_0712.html

    Reply

  21. Dons Blog says:

    While there are a list of peculiarities regarding 9/11, on the other hand is the utter incompetence of this administration.
    It’s hard to reconcile the two.

    Reply

  22. pauline says:

    Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards slammed President Bush’s connecting of insurgents in Iraq with the terrorists who attacked the US on Sept. 11, 2001, saying the president’s remarks “border on the delusional” and accusing him of ignoring his role in allowing al Qaeda to gain strength in Iraq.
    “The president’s remarks today defending his Iraq policy without regard to actual facts border on the delusional,” Edwards said in a statement released Thursday, hours after a Bush press conference. “The president claimed that the same people attacking U.S. troops today are the ones who perpetrated 9/11.”
    more at —
    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Edwards_Bush_delusional_in_connecting_Iraq_0712.html

    Reply

  23. pauline says:

    President Bush, defending his troop surge in Iraq, insisted Thursday that the insurgents attacking US troops in Iraq “are the same ones who attacked us on Sept. 11.”
    Bush was speaking at a White House press conference on the same day an interim progress report on his troop surge in Iraq was released. Asked for proof of the connection between insurgents in Iraq and the 9/11 hijackers, Bush said both had pledged their allegiance to Osama bin Laden.
    “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq are the ones who attacked us on Sept. 11,” Bush said.
    The president was responding to a question from NBC correspondent David Gregory, who asked why Americans shouldn’t believe he is “stubborn or in denial.” Gregory was referencing a report in Thursday’s Washington Post that indicated CIA Director Michael Hayden saw as “irreversible” the lack of progress in Iraq.
    more at —
    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Bush_Insurgents_in_Iraq_same_as_0712.html

    Reply

  24. pauline says:

    MP wrote:
    “Maybe the pilots were more experienced than we know?”
    And maybe, just maybe, a “remote control of airplanes” was used to eliminate Hanjour’s bad piloting abilities and ensure exacting flight manuevers?
    Is that possible, MP?
    MP, for instance, a company like System Planning Corporation? (www.sysplan.com)
    Is that possible, MP, or did Hanjour fly a great manuever on 9/11, but just hit the wrong part of his target?

    Reply

  25. pauline says:

    Carroll:
    Hani Hanjour was “lucky” on his way to see his 69 virgins. I guess he was just about as “lucky” as Silverstein in his money making ventures in the WTC. (Hey, maybe Osama made special “arrangements” for Hanjour to only receive 59 virgins, because, after he did all those unnecessary flying aerobatics, he failed to hit the most important area of the Pentagon, and he “settled” for the least important. I mean, such a wasted effort!)
    And don’t forget, with the FOIA suit to get Flight 77’s passenger list revealed, there weren’t any Arab names on the list!! Not one name!! Gee, Hani and his buddies must have bought some great makeup kits for that day to fool all the airline attendants when they checked and rechecked the names on the list and the faces and their photo id’s.
    And then to go right along with your pilot friends —
    “Hani Hanjour, aerobatic jet pilot?”
    Alleged flight 77 (Pentagon) pilot Hani Hanjour had a history of great difficulties in his efforts to learn to fly. As late as Aug. 2001, he was unable to demonstrate enough piloting skills to rent a Cessna 172.
    At Freeway Airport in Bowie, Md., 20 miles west of Washington, flight instructor Sheri Baxter instantly recognized the name of alleged hijacker Hani Hanjour when the FBI released a list of 19 suspects in the four hijackings. Hanjour, the only suspect on Flight 77 the FBI listed as a pilot, had come to the airport one month earlier seeking to rent a small plane.
    However, when Baxter and fellow instructor Ben Conner took the slender, soft-spoken Hanjour on three test runs during the second week of August, they found he had trouble controlling and landing the single-engine Cessna 172. Even though Hanjour showed a federal pilot’s license and a log book cataloging 600 hours of flying experience, chief flight instructor Marcel Bernard declined to rent him a plane without more lessons.
    Certainly there is no evidence that Hanjour ever had any sort of practice flying commercial jetliners or any jet-propelled aircraft.
    However, air traffic controller Danielle O’Brien, who tracked the radar signal from Flight 77, stated that it was flown like a fighter jet.
    “The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane,” says O’Brien. “You don’t fly a 757 in that manner. It’s unsafe.”
    The plane was between 12 and 14 miles away, says O’Brien, “and it was just a countdown. Ten miles west. Nine miles west — our supervisor picked up our line to the White House and started relaying to them the information, [that] we have an unidentified very fast-moving aircraft inbound toward your vicinity, 8 miles west.”
    “And it went six, five, four. And I had it in my mouth to say, three, and all of a sudden the plane turned away. In the room, it was almost a sense of relief. This must be a fighter. This must be one of our guys sent in, scrambled to patrol our capital, and to protect our president, and we sat back in our chairs and breathed for just a second,” says O’Brien.
    But the plane continued to turn right until it had made a 360-degree maneuver.
    “We lost radar contact with that aircraft. And we waited. And we waited. And your heart is just beating out of your chest waiting to hear what’s happened,” says O’Brien. “And then the Washington National [Airport] controllers came over our speakers in our room and said, ‘Dulles, hold all of our inbound traffic. The Pentagon’s been hit.'”

    Reply

  26. MP says:

    Carroll writes: ”
    If these very experienced guys are bumfuzzeled at how “lucky” the pentagon hit was…then I also wonder.”
    How do they feel about WT?
    Maybe the pilots were more experienced than we know?

    Reply

  27. Carroll says:

    Well..to everyone on the 911 theory.
    I have stated my theory before so I will just repeat what my friend who was a trans atlantic pilot for Pan Am and Singapore A/L and pilot aircraft trainer for Boeing for 40 years said….” the guy who hit the pentagon had to have been a hell of a pilot to make that turn and hit his target”. Another friend who was a former Navy pilot also expressed surprise at the pentagon hit based on what came out about the hijackers limited training.
    If these very experienced guys are bumfuzzeled at how “lucky” the pentagon hit was…then I also wonder.

    Reply

  28. MP says:

    Posted by pauline at July 11, 2007 06:00 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    I can’t make sense of this. You’ll have to spell out your point a bit more clearly.

    Reply

  29. MP says:

    Sorry…sighted.

    Reply

  30. MP says:

    Pauline, as to sources, I like Debunking 9/11. A lot of what is posted there makes a lot of sense to me. Also, there is at least one peer-reviewed article by civil engineers that offers an alternative explanation (from your point of view) that supports the more mainstream version. Supports in the sense that it shows that mainstream explanation isn’t impossible, as is often asserted by the conspiracy theorists.
    I’m not saying I have proof of anything, but there are credible reasons to doubt the theories you’ve posted here. Moreover, the burden of proof is on the conspiracists, because folks actually saw two planes crash into the Twin Towers, and some people saw a plane hit the Pentagon. OTOH, no one saw anyone planting charges, as far as I know. Nor did anyone see a missile–or whatever you think it was–hit the Pentagon.
    For what it’s worth, Noam Chomsky, no friend of the government, finds the conspiracy theories not credible, and you can find the clip on the Debunking 9/11 site of him saying so. One of the points he makes is that even in highly controlled scientific experiments, there are often results that can’t be explained–how much more so with a highly complex, uncontrolled event on this kind of scale. While this doesn’t prove anything, it also allows one to say, credibly, that the lack of an explanation for XYZ isn’t necessarily a suspicious fact.
    You write: “1. Where is the proof that a 757 truly hit the Pentagon?” On Debunking 9/11, you will find a clip by the reporter from Gannett who saw the plane crash into the Pentagon. His office overlooks the Pentagon, I believe. He claims he’s been misquoted or misunderstood by the conspiracy theorists. In any event, pieces of the plane were found. Talk to POA: Last I checked, even HE doesn’t believe this part of the story and believes it harms the conspiracists’ cause.
    Lots of interesting “facts” are debunked on Debunking 9/11 and elsewhere on the Web, including that the building fell at freefall speed and collapsed symetrically–it appears that neither of these two things were necessarily true. At the very least, it is unclear whether they are true, given the after-the-fact, uncontrolled nature of the event. But here again, it is up to the conspiracists to prove that these facts are, indeed, facts, since that is what their arguments and questions are based on. Otherwise, they are just generating questions in thin air.
    Conspiracists often say, dismissively, “Oh right, 20 Arabs armed with box cutters.” But, in fact, from where I sit, it isn’t at all implausible that 20 people armed with box cutters could hijack three planes and fly them into big buildings. Here’s why:
    • Hijacking has been done before by unsophisticated people without a lot of organizational support or resources. I believe, single individuals have done it.
    • Since airplanes hadn’t been hijacked for use as bombs before, the passengers wouldn’t have been wise to what was about to happen in time for them to revolt. The sole exception is plane three where, once it was clear what was going to happen, the passengers did revolt. So the hijackers had the element of surprise on their side–what they were about to do was unimaginable to the people on the plane.
    • Announcing that one has a bomb is often enough to keep scared passengers docile and in their seats–easy to picture that, right? They aren’t going to demand to see the bomb.
    • At least half of any planeload of people is scared they’re going to die WHENEVER they fly. They aren’t in the mood to be heroes. They reason that if they just shut up and follow orders, the plane will eventually land and they’ll be safe.
    • If the hijackers can fly the plane, as it appears they learned to do, they fly planes into the buildings. If they need help, they force the pilots to help them. The pilots believe that the goal is simply to hijack the plane, so they follow orders until the target is sited; then they’re killed.
    • By the time anyone sees where the plane is headed, it is too late to wrest control of the plane and divert it.

    Reply

  31. MP says:

    Pauline writes or quotes: “Another little “coincidence” — Mr. Silversten, who made a down-payment of $124 million on this $3.2 billion complex, promptly insured it for $7 Billion. Not only that, he covered the complex against “terrorist attacks”.
    Following the attacks, Silverstein filed TWO insurance claims for the maximum amount of the policy ($7B), based on the two — in Silverstein’s view — separate attacks. The insurance company, Swiss Re, paid Mr. Silverstein $4.6 Billion — a princely return on a relatively paltry investment of $124 million.”
    Not sure what all these coincidences add up to for you, but I’ll ask you question. If the buildings weren’t worth what they were insured for–as seems to be asserted here–doesn’t someone(s) at Swiss Re–an eminent firm in the reinsurance industry–have to be “in on it” too? Or have you not gotten to that part, yet?

    Reply

  32. pauline says:

    From Amb. Joe Wilson to the House Judiciary Committee today on C-Span —
    “Ultimately this concerted effort to discredit me, ruining my wife’s career along the way has had a larger objective. This matter has always been about this administration’s case for war and its willingness to mislead the American people to justify it.”
    MP, can you think of any bushwacker highly-placed admin staff and/or neo-con firsters who were influencing bushwacker up to the March, 2003, invasion of Iraq? hmm…? anyone come to mind?…or should I give you some documented help here?
    Or instead of thinking about war, were these parties running around frothing at the mouth because they’re just selling some weapons and ammunition, and if a little gencide happens along the way, hey, it’s just part of the business.

    Reply

  33. pauline says:

    Sandy:
    Dave McGowan is a great speaker, too.
    See —
    http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/
    start down at newsletter #86 and read through #91.
    Let others know and pass it around if you like what he writes and how he thinks, and of course, tell us if you think what he’s detailing here is approaching the truth!

    Reply

  34. Sandy says:

    Wow, Pauline. I hadn’t heard a lot of this. Do you have a Dan McGowan website?

    Reply

  35. pauline says:

    Here’s one from Dave McGowan’s 2006 9/11 opinion newsletters that should be read carefully by 9/11 “official story” questioners. MP, you can take a break for a while as we already know your response. This piece, among other things, shows 9/11 relationships many do not know.
    “You’ve got to be lucky to make $4 Billion killing on a 6-month investment of $124 Million”
    Larry Silverstein is the New York property tycoon who purchased the entire WTC complex just 6 months prior to the 9/11 attacks. That was the first time in its 33-year history the complex had EVER changed ownership.
    Mr. Silverstein�s first order of business as the new owner was to change the company responsible for the security of the complex. The new security company he hired was Securacom (now Stratasec). George W. Bush’s brother, Marvin Bush, was on its board of directors, and Marvin’s cousin, Wirt Walker III, was its CEO. According to public records, not only did Securacom provide electronic security for the World Trade Center, it also covered Dulles International Airport and United Airlines — two key players in the 9/11 attacks.
    The company was backed by an investment firm, the Kuwait-American Corp., also linked for many years to the Bush family. KuwAm has been linked to the Bush family financially since the Gulf War. One of its principals and a member of the Kuwaiti royal family, Mishal Yousef Saud al Sabah, served on the board of Stratesec.
    Now, consider: The members of a small cabal owned the WTC complex, controlled its electronic security, and also controlled the security not only for one of the airlines whose aircraft were hijacked on 9/11, but the airport from which they originated.
    Another little “coincidence” — Mr. Silversten, who made a down-payment of $124 million on this $3.2 billion complex, promptly insured it for $7 Billion. Not only that, he covered the complex against “terrorist attacks”.
    Following the attacks, Silverstein filed TWO insurance claims for the maximum amount of the policy ($7B), based on the two — in Silverstein’s view — separate attacks. The insurance company, Swiss Re, paid Mr. Silverstein $4.6 Billion — a princely return on a relatively paltry investment of $124 million.
    There’s more. You see, the World Trade Towers were not the real estate plum we are led to believe. From an economic standpoint, the trade center — subsidized since its inception by the NY Port Authority — has never functioned, nor was it intended to function, unprotected in the rough-and-tumble real estate marketplace. How could Silverstein Group have been ignorant of this?
    The towers required some $200 million in renovations and improvements, most of which related to removal and replacement of building materials declared to be health hazards in the years since the towers were built. It was well-known by the city of New York that the WTC was an asbestos bombshell. For years, the Port Authority treated the building like an aging dinosaur, attempting on several occasions to get permits to demolish the building for liability reasons, but being turned down due the known asbestos problem.
    Further, it was well-known the only reason the building was still standing until 9/11 was because it was too costly to disassemble the twin towers floor by floor since the Port Authority was prohibited legally from demolishing the buildings.
    The projected cost to disassemble the towers: $15 Billion. Just the scaffolding for the operation was estimated at $2.4 Billion!
    In other words, the Twin Towers were condemned structures. How convenient that an unexpected “terrorist” attack demolished the buildings completely.
    WTC Building 7 was a part of the WTC complex, and covered under the same insurance policy. This 47-storey steel-framed structure, which was NOT struck by an aircraft, mysteriously collapsed 8 hours later that same day into its own footprint at freefall speed — exactly in the manner of the Twin Towers.
    How could this have happened? Mr. Silverstein gave the world the answer when he slipped up during a PBS television interview a year later, on 9/11/2002:
    “I remember getting a call from the…er…fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, ‘We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.’ And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse.”
    As anyone who knows anything about construction can tell you, “Pull” is common industry jargon for a controlled demolition.
    One thing is for sure, the decision to ‘pull’ WTC 7 would have delighted many people. Especially because it has been reported that thousands of sensitive files relating to some of the biggest financial scams in history — including Enron and WorldCom — were stored in the offices of some of the building’s tenants:
    � US Secret Service
    � NSA
    � CIA
    � IRS
    � BATF
    � SEC
    � NAIC Securities
    � Salomon Smith Barney
    � American Express Bank International
    � Standard Chartered Bank
    � Provident Financial Management
    � ITT Hartford Insurance Group
    � Federal Home Loan Bank
    The Securities and Exchange Commission has not quantified the number of active cases in which substantial files were destroyed by the collapse of WTC 7. Reuters news service and the Los Angeles Times published reports estimating them at 3,000 to 4,000. They include the agency’s major inquiry into the manner in which investment banks divvied up hot shares of initial public offerings during the high-tech boom. …”Ongoing investigations at the New York SEC will be dramatically affected because so much of their work is paper-intensive,” said Max Berger of New York’s Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann. “This is a disaster for these cases.”
    Citigroup says some information that the committee is seeking [about WorldCom] was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terror attack on the World Trade Center. Salomon had offices in 7 World Trade Center. The bank says that back-up tapes of corporate emails from September 1998 through December 2000 were stored at the building and destroyed in the attack.
    Inside WTC 7 was the US Secret Service’s largest field office with more than 200 employees. “All the evidence that we stored at 7 World Trade, in all our cases, went down with the building,” according to US Secret Service Special Agent David Curran.
    What a neat, complete, and fortuitous turn of events was 9/11.
    Incidentally, it’s worth noting that one of Lucky Larry’s closest friends — a person with whom it’s said he speaks almost daily by phone — is none other than former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    More on that cozy little relationship later…

    Reply

  36. pauline says:

    MP wrote:
    “Ynet is referenced here often, always without complaint from any quarter, so why now?…”
    Don’t misinterpret me. Ynetnews is fine.
    I attempt to read a variety of sources to find who says what about a particular subject. There is so much dis-info going on in all forms of media these days, and it’s not just ignorance that creates an array of “facts” and cover-ups of world events.
    But since you are the questioner of a lot of twn 9/11 posters, I am asking, “who are your chosen ‘reliable’ media sources, other than The Jerusalem Post and ynetnews?” Who does MP go to on a regular basis to say WITH CERTAINLY, “this is true, I don’t doubt what the media source is telling me.” And once you tell us, are these the same sources you’ve used to doubt all the “questionable” 9/11 posts you’ve seen and doubted, because your ULTIMATE MEDIA SOURCES are right-on with 9/11 explanations?
    I seriously will check out your list, and who knows, maybe I’ll start agreeing with you!
    MP, I just don’t like the fact that I cannot recall one 9/11 post you’ve made that answers these most basic 9/11 questions many twn posters have.
    1. Where is the proof that a 757 truly hit the Pentagon?
    2. What happened to WTC7 and how could it fall the same as the North and South towers?
    3. Where is the wreckage of Flight 93 and the proof that Flight 93 crashed where the feds said it crashed and not miles away as several, unrelated people witnessed?
    4. Why did Bush stay 20 some minutes later in a Florida classroom after he was told by Andy Card a second plane struck the Towers?
    If you can’t show credible and provable answers from your ULTIMATE MEDIA SOURCES for these basic 9/11 questions, while you do not apparently question the “official” 9/11 story, how can you really prove anything?

    Reply

  37. Carroll says:

    ….Make that “not so much humane”.

    Reply

  38. Carroll says:

    As for the move to get jews to leave Iran by the
    “expatriate group of Iranian Jewish donors”..I have a feeling that their motives are so much humane as they are tied to the new Iran exile lobby that is just like the previous Iraq exile lobby in DC that is working for a regime change or bombing of Iran same way the Iraqi exile lobby and the famous Chalbi did.

    Reply

  39. Carroll says:

    Posted by MP at July 11, 2007 10:42 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>
    Yea..I saw that about the Chinese FDA guy….rather extreme punishment to me if his acts didn’t actually kill anyone, but maybe it did…it certainly shows how serious China is about nothing “hurting” their trade exports…very cold blooded.
    I would like to see the US get a bit more cold blooded on punishing our grafters…like long, long prison terms, but don’t know that I would go for excutions unless it involved crimes that caused deaths of people. As always I am amazed what lengths humans will go to for money. I might be in favor of prison terms with painful beatings administered regulary every month for some of the HMO CEO’s and enabling politicans who have killed people legally thru their greedy health care mafiso’s.

    Reply

  40. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “I think also the fact that not many Jews have accepted this offer of money to leave Iran and go to Israel reinforces those who say that Iran and it’s society is misrepresented and not the total evil some portray it as.”
    An easier explanation may be that as the rhetoric between Iran and Israel heats up, folks in Israel may be worried that the Iranians will retaliate against Iranian Jews.
    Following Pauline’s general line of thinking, however, if Israel really were planning a strike, or knew of an impending strike, they might actually SAY SOMETHING to Iranian Jews to get them to leave a la Odigo.
    Still another reason is that when some people move, others are inevitably left behind. Those who might want to leave might be worried for those left behind.
    Then again, emigrating to another country where you don’t speak the language is always tough–especially for older people–and Israel can be very tough with or without the violence–so it would be good to know the general age of the Iranian Jewish population. And young people might not want to leave their parents or older relatives.
    Lots of good explanations, including yours. I like your idea, though, for a general exchange of populations. We each need to be guardians of the other’s history and perspective.
    BTW, an article in WaPo today talks about how the Chinese executed the head of their “FDA” for problems with food contamination, and had executed another government official for taking about 800K in bribes. I thought of you when I read it because it seemed to fit with your BWTTGASO approach -:)

    Reply

  41. MP says:

    POA writes: “If you’re saying there is no evidence these Israelis, and their employer, were Mossad, than you’re full of shit. You going to deny the moving company too? Or the art students?”
    The “evidence,” such as it is, is highly suspect. If you want to believe, be my guest. I will continue to question it, however. Bring real proof, and I’ll be happy to read it. My standing offer. Simply calling me “full of shit” (though I’m used to it now) isn’t an argument; nor is it evidence.

    Reply

  42. MP says:

    Pauline writes: “Israel a “bit player”, MP? What sources, other than the Jerusdalem Post or ynetnews, do you use as reliable to draw that conclusion?
    What I wrote was that Israel appears to be a bit player in terms of the size of its arms exports…according to the sources I posted. I gave you another source, other than ynetnews, which can consult if you wish. Ynet is referenced here often, always without complaint from any quarter, so why now? I did a bit more searching and the 4.1 billion figure seemed to stick.
    It seems odd, if not overly convenient, that on virtually all the critical parts of the 9/11 story readers of twn have posted that would call into question the “official” 9/11 story and 9/11 Commission, you end up doubting all those pieces of facts and evidence that may lead to logical alternative conclusions.
    I doubt them because they are full of holes and the arguments aren’t terribly logical. “Facts” often turn out not to be facts, or to put it more accurately, there is strong reason to doubt that they are facts. Alternative and logical explanations for a lot, if not all of it, is easily found on the Web. If you want to come with REAL PROOF and arguments that truly are logical, then fine, I’ll take a look. If it turns out that Israel was behind 9/11, then I will condemn her and break all ties, meager though they are.

    Reply

  43. Dons Blog says:

    There’s a certain cynical part of me that wonders if all this isn’t just part of a great money making scheme.
    Cheney cries bogeyman and congress is forced to buy more weapons. Israel cries bogeyman and calls for more foreign aid from the US, world Jews and Christian evangelicals. Saudi Arabia and Iran say their oil supplies are threatened pushing oil prices up, and US refineries push them even higher.
    US citizens say we’re scared and vote in politicians that send even more money to all of them.
    Meanwhile not much has really happened around the world. Amateurs are caught torching cars and planning to blow up all of New Jersey with a match near an oil pipeline. The rich are getting exceedingly richer and the middle class and poor are getting much, much, poorer. And multinational corporations get more tax breaks by moving their resources out of the United States and save money for their domestic operations by hiring the tens of thousands of supposed Al-Qaida streaming over the border working under minimum wage, which will be sped up by the great North American toll road.
    Fortunately as we spend more on ‘the war’ and less on education people spend little time reading articles that may say something different than FCC controlled cable news programs and just sign their w2s.
    Ah, it’s a great life.

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerica says:

    “Your references to 9/11 are another case in point. No evidence, but the implication that there is evidence.”
    If you’re saying there is no evidence these Israelis, and their employer, were Mossad, than you’re full of shit. You going to deny the moving company too? Or the art students?

    Reply

  45. Carroll says:

    Thinking about my post above.
    One way to change the dynamics of Isr-ME would be for about a million Jews from Israel to go to Iran and stay there as a statement of peace for as long as it took for Israel and the US to get a grip on their nutcases.
    A million American taking turns vacationing in Iran for a month or so as a statement would mkae it even better.
    I am sure there are at least a million retired or non working Israelis and Americans who could take the time to do this.
    It would be the ultimate throw down challenge to the Isr/USA neo’s.

    Reply

  46. Carroll says:

    This doesn’t sound good…it may or may not have something to do with removing Jews from Iran before it is bombed.
    JTA Daily Briefing:
    “Israel is using cash incentives to encourage Jewish immigration from Iran.
    An expatriate group of Iranian Jewish donors is behind a $1 million fund offering $10,000 to each Jew willing to leave the Islamic Republic for the Jewish state, according to media reports.
    The fund was offering $5,000 per immigrant several months ago, but sparse interest prompted the sponsors to up the ante. For an entire Jewish family the cash incentive is $60,000, in addition to the standard aliyah benefits given to Jewish immigrants to Israel.
    Few of Iran’s 20,000 Jews have taken advantage of the offer.
    >>>>>>
    I think also the fact that not many Jews have accepted this offer of money to leave Iran and go to Israel reinforces those who say that Iran and it’s society is misrepresented and not the total evil some portray it as.

    Reply

  47. pauline says:

    MP wrote:
    “I wish Israel weren’t selling arms or bombs. I wish the same for the US. . .”I’m more concerned about what my country is doing to stem the flow of arms than I am about Israel which, at any rate and by comparison, appears to be a bit player.”
    Wasn’t it just so “wonderful” to hear the news that Israel continued to bomb southern Lebanon against every applicable Geneva Convention all for some (good? justifiable? moral?) reason. And probably from armaments made in Colorado and Arkansas, and paid for with some of the billions of U.S. foreign aid dollars Israel gets yearly.
    And then to watch msm continue to report on the tough talk from bushwacker neocons who continue to say “terrorists in Iraq are getting bomb making material from Iran and they must be held accountable.” Both the U.S. and Israel sell so many weapons internationally, why it’s as if both are shouting, “We can provide everyone with any weapon which he wants if he has money. It’s just a business.”
    Isn’t the international version of the military-industrial-complex great?
    Israel a “bit player”, MP? What sources, other than the Jerusdalem Post or ynetnews, do you use as reliable to draw that conclusion?
    It seems odd, if not overly convenient, that on virtually all the critical parts of the 9/11 story readers of twn have posted that would call into question the “official” 9/11 story and 9/11 Commission, you end up doubting all those pieces of facts and evidence that may lead to logical alternative conclusions.
    The NY Times also reported this “delightful” news from Lebanon not long ago —
    “Carpenters are running out of wood for coffins. Bodies are stacked three or four high in a truck at the local hospital morgue. The stench is spreading in the rubble.
    The morbid reality of Israel’s bombing campaign of the south is reaching almost every corner of this city. Just a few miles from the Rest House hotel, where the United Nations was evacuating civilians on Thursday, wild dogs gnawed at the charred remains of a family bombed as they were trying to escape the village of Hosh, officials said.
    Officials at the Tyre Government Hospital inside a local Palestinian refugee camp said they counted the bodies of 50 children among the 115 in the refrigerated truck in the morgue, though their count could not be independently confirmed.”
    Isn’t it great and wonderful having the Big Dog fight someone else’s enemy with their own blood and money, so the little dog can pick a fight with a weak neighbor?!

    Reply

  48. dalivision says:

    Steve
    Either you or someone mentioned that two aircraft carriers is “normal” but if there is a third we need to watch as there may be potential military action. Reports are that a third carrier is on the way and it appears to time with the “surge report” that is due.
    Any comments??
    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20070710/tpl-uk-usnavy-carrier-9562ed3.html

    Reply

  49. MP says:

    Thanks for your comments … and JohnH.

    Reply

  50. JohnH says:

    MP, I just finished reading Stefan Zweig’s “The World of Yesterday,” where he recounts his life in the European social, political and cultural context of the first half of the last century. On the one hand, it deepened my understanding of the tragic situation faced by Jews and many others. On the other hand, it helped me understand who financed Hitler’s rise–heavy industry and munitions industries among others. Unfortunately, now the shoe is on the other foot–Israel’s security industry needs terrorism, and its industry is booming on account of it: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070702/klein
    When I say that Likudites purposely miss the distinction between those who wish Israel harm and those who pose an existential threat, I suspect that cynical economic motives lurk just below the surface. Unfortunately, the United States increasingly suffers from exactly the same malady Eager advocates and hired pens hyping fear are found throughout the foreign policy establishment, the national security mafia, and corporate media.

    Reply

  51. ... says:

    mp – very good points and i agree with you that usa is very high on the list with regard to exploiting arms sales around the globe, while preaching peace in the other.. a very hypocritical position, but hey it is the usa. thanks for your comments.

    Reply

  52. MP says:

    JohnH writes: “Unfortunately, MP, one shouldn’t confuse someone who wishes you harm with someone who poses an existential threat. Likudites puposely miss the distinction. Iraq was an annoyance to Israel–they paid the families of suicide bombers. But Likudites, like neocons, treated Saddam as if he was an existential threat. The same is happening with Iran, which is being pushed into becoming an existential threat to Israel precisely because Likudites and US neocons pose an existential threat to the Iranian regime (read control of oil).”
    I largely agree with you. I don’t know, however, whether they “purposely” miss the distinction or simply fail to make the distinction for a variety of reasons. I’m not sure also that the suicide bombers–and the encouragement they got from Saddam–were merely an annoyances. Were the same thing happening in US cities, at the same ratio of bomber-to-population, or even in absolute numbers, and with encouragement from Mexico, I’m willing to bet that most Americans would regard it as more than an annoyance.
    Just for the hell of it, I’ll mention that the PERSONAL stories of many Israelis, includinig recent arrivals, including those from
    Arab countries, contain many such annoyances, and they are less willing than perhaps they should be to put up with it. They feel the under-dog, because they have lived and suffered as an under-dog for a long time.
    This is–and I say this with no snark–a weakness on their part, and something they have to overcome. American Jews could and should, given our experience here, help them to move forward on this, assuming there are ways to do so.
    Steve, a while back, made the point that Israel has to realize that she is a mature nation and not the under-dog and is not facing an existential threat around every corner. As a principle, I agree with his assessment.

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  53. MP says:

    … writes: “mp, no doubt if sales is all it is about then israel is probably busy selling plenty of bombs too, when they aren’t using them on innocent people that is.”
    I wish Israel weren’t selling arms or bombs. I wish the same for the US and the other arms traffickers in the world. Given that it’s a worldwide phenomenon, however, I see no reason to hold Israel particularly responsible for it or to condemn in particular.
    I haven’t “studied” the issue as deeply as, say POA, but a quick perusal of globalissues.org (Arms Trade–a major cause of suffering) suggests that the US is far and away the biggest supplier of arms at about $97 billion in 2005, followed by Russia with half that amount, followed by France with a third that amount, followed by Germany with about a fifth that amount.
    According to ynet news.com (12.10.06), Israel exported about 4.2 billion in 2006, which is half of what China exported and just a tad under what Italy exported at 5.6 billion and WAY under the “other European” category (at 33.8 billion) and even well under the “others” category (of which it may be a part) at 17.3 billion.
    As an American, I’m more concerned about what my country is doing to stem the flow of arms than I am about Israel which, at any rate and by comparison, appears to be a bit player. That’s also my view on nuclear non-proliferation–as the leader, the US has to lead.

    Reply

  54. JohnH says:

    Unfortunately, MP, one shouldn’t confuse someone who wishes you harm with someone who poses an existential threat. Likudites puposely miss the distinction. Iraq was an annoyance to Israel–they paid the families of suicide bombers. But Likudites, like neocons, treated Saddam as if he was an existential threat. The same is happening with Iran, which is being pushed into becoming an existential threat to Israel precisely because Likudites and US neocons pose an existential threat to the Iranian regime (read control of oil).
    The longer that Likudites play this game, the more likely it becomes that Israel will really face an existential threat. Rockets are becoming cheaper and more powerful are cannot be stopped, particularly when fired within a few hundred miles. An early test could be with Syria this summer… http://www.upi.com/International_Intelligence/Analysis/2007/07/09/analysis_rumors_of_syriaisrael_war/2584/

    Reply

  55. MP says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerica at July 10, 2007 10:49 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I enter the conversation mostly when the evidence put forth, or the reasoning used, is faulty. I’ve also stood up for folks (Zathras and Birnbaum come to mind) who’ve been pilloried for stepping outside the approved orthodoxy on these threads.
    Your Nigeria reference above is a case in point. As far as I can see, it says nothing about the forgeries–maybe I missed it.
    Your references to 9/11 are another case in point. No evidence, but the implication that there is evidence (“there’s a reason…”). It’s all innuendo and riddled with problems.
    I’ve said multiple times on these threads that if Israel is ever shown to have been the 9/11 culprit, I will condemn her. Full stop.
    As to the Liberty, the evidence I’ve seen raises doubts about what really happened; I haven’t made up my mind; nor have I commented ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.
    As to the cluster bombing, it was a war crime and contemptible –I haven’t joined the chorus (much), because the issue has been well covered by others. I tend to raise it on Jewish sites–to folks who really need to hear the message.
    As to AIPAC…well, I’ve covered that before…

    Reply

  56. ... says:

    mp, no doubt if sales is all it is about then israel is probably busy selling plenty of bombs too, when they aren’t using them on innocent people that is. i like your analogy with drug dealers as that is just what it is, but those who do it are unwilling to admit to the ugliness of it, or even worse – don’t care..

    Reply

  57. MP says:

    … writes: “mp quote “i wish they were all bogeymen” why not wish for some sanity instead? those who go chasing after real or imagined bogeymen all the time, sooner or later end up as one. ”
    Sanity? That’s what I’ve been arguing for–or you can call it “balance.” Real bogeymen, however, aren’t bogeymen at all. They are people who wish you harm.

    Reply

  58. MP says:

    POA writes: “This small country in the Middle East, Israel, is the fourth largest arms producer and sales entity on the planet. While we hear a constant mantra of holocaust reminders, the world’s most abused people, (to hear them tell it), are selling death and mayhem on a global scale. While Iran is demonized and threatened due to its nuclear program, Israel rakes in billions, selling instruments of death worldwide.”
    For every seller, there’s a buyer, yes? If no one wanted to buy, there would be no sales. Isn’t that what they say about the drug trade? Having said that, you are the one who regards guns as a useful tool of self-defense. After centuries of being among the world’s most abused minorities, some Jews have learned that lesson, too.
    As to the terrorist’s favorite weapon (your question above), I’d have to answer…bombs. As in Iraq, Madrid, the Cole, Kenya, London (now and during the days of the IRA), Paris, Buenos Aires, Israel, Istanbul, Bali, India, Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the US. While small arms are used, of course, nothing terrorizes like the bomb.

    Reply

  59. PissedOffAmerica says:

    History should really lay the foundation upon which we build our beliefs about what Israel is capable of.
    Have you ever noticed that MP only comments about events and policies, concerning Israel, where there is a window of deniability? Have you ever seen MP join a discussion about the Liberty incident? About the illegal clusterbombing of Lebanon?
    Read the above article carefully. Note the Nigerian references. Where, exactly, did the more recent Niger forgeries originate?
    Despite all our aid, all our support, Israel has proven time and again that no action against us is too despicable, no treachery unconsidered, as long as it advances the Israeli agenda.
    There is reason Fox News purged it websites of the inexplicable events surrounding the Israeli spies apprehended on 9/11. There is a reason their employer abandoned his business and fled back to Israel immediately after their apprehension.
    I have posted links here to irrefutable propaganda and lies about Iran on the AIPAC website. Many of you have seen them. You have also witnessed the purging of those lies from the website, as articles were removed, and not archived. What else, if not espionage, is the purposeful disemination of propaganda to the American public, with the express purpose of exagerating a threat against our national security?

    Reply

  60. PissedOffAmerica says:

    And heres a little blast from the past. Like Steve said….
    White is black. Black is white. Up is down.
    http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/1186/8611002.html
    Washington Report, November 1986, Page 2
    Special Report
    Israeli Arms Sales to Iran
    By Jane Hunter
    In September, when the Israeli government radio accused Iranian troops of training Lebanese Shiite guerrillas for attacks on the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army, and said that Iranians themselves might also have been among those who attacked Israeli positions in Lebanon, the US media reported those charges in great detail. None found the time or space, however, to note how ironic it was for Israel to complain about Iranian military activities.
    Iran might have been hard put to continue its costly six-year-old war with Iraq—not to mention simultaneously stirring up followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini in Lebanon—if Israel had not been willing to sell the Khomeini government great quantities of the weapons Iran desperately needed to keep its army in the field. That is only one of the anomalies of Israel’s booming arms trade. US law and US policy also come in for some stretching and twisting.
    Over the course of the Gulf war, Iran’s quest for weapons has become legendary, with many countries and hordes of private arms dealers eager to conclude arms deals and reap the premium commissions Iran offers. Israel, with standing access to the same models of US-made arms upon which the Shah based Iran’s arsenal, and with its desire to build up an indigenous arms industry, has led the pack. The London Observer estimated that Israel’s arms sales to Iran total $500 million annually.
    Before 1979, when Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi held power, Iran was the world’s biggest buyer of Israeli arms. The Islamic fundamentalist government which succeeded the Shah militantly damned Zionism up and down and hung a prominent Iranian Jew for “spying for Israel.” In 1980, however, when the Iraq-Iran war began, Iranian representatives met in Paris with Israel’s deputy defense minister and worked out a “Jews for arms” deal. Iran permitted Jews to emigrate and Israel sold Iran ammunition and spare parts for Chieftain tanks and US-made F-4 Phantom aircraft. Channeled through a private Israeli arms dealer, this particular agreement appropriately ended in 1984, when Iran was slow in paying its bills.
    Although secrecy is the first principle in the netherworld of arms trading, details of several subsequent major Israeli arms sales to Iran have come to light. In 1981, Ya’acov Nimrodi, an intimate of leaders across the Israeli political spectrum, sold the Iranian defense ministry $135,842,000 worth of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles, 155 mm. mortars, ammunition, and other weapons through his Tel Aviv-based company, International Desalination Equipment, Ltd. From 1955 to 1979 Nimrodi had been Israel’s military attache in Tehran.
    On July 24, 1984, Radio Luxembourg reported that Nimrodi had met in Zurich with the deputy defense minister and the top intelligence officer of Iran and with Rif’at al-Assad, the brother of Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. Swiss government sources said that the meeting resulted in a deal to ship 40 truckloads of weapons a day from Israel to Iran, via Syria and Turkey.
    On September 15, 1985, a DC-8 cargo plane returning from Iran and supposedly bound for Malaga, Spain, made an emergency landing in Tel Aviv. Investigation revealed that the plane— recently acquired from an obscure Miami firm by a shadowy Brussels-based “Nigerian” company—had been flying Hawk missiles from the US to Iran via Israel. A Boeing 707 registered to the company had been carrying loads of 1,250 TOW missiles from Israel to Iran via Malaga.
    At about the same time the London Observer reported that a ship carrying 25,000 tons of Israeli material was making a rush delivery, sailing directly to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas rather than first going to Zaire where the Iranian buyers would inspect the cargo.
    In May, 1986, West German authorities foiled an $81 million ammunition deal and uncovered a tank deal in the process. Charged in the case were an Israeli and a former Israeli citizen. The West German weekly Stern said a telex from the state-owned Israeli Military Industries dated April 1 indicated official Israeli involvement.
    In June of this year a Swedish businessman was reported to have acted as intermediary for Israeli sales of explosives to Iran. The shipments went from Israel to Iran via Argentina. In September, 1986, United Press International reported that the Danish Sailor’s Union had logs and records to prove that since May a Danish freighter had taken four 900-ton shipments from the Israeli port of Eilat to Bandar Abbas in Iran. The union was certain the arms were US-made.
    Re-selling without permission arms acquired from the US and the sale of US weapons to Iran are both prohibited by US law. In separate incidents involving sales negotiated within the US, federal authorities have arrested two Israeli military reservists and a Yugoslav-American, Paul Cutter. Cutter, who has connections to Israeli Minister of Trade and Industry Ariel Sharon, and who also told co-workers he was authorized to sell arms Israel captured in Lebanon in 1982, has been convicted and jailed. The Israeli government disassociated itself from these men.
    Now, however, a federal “sting” operation has cracked the biggest arms deal yet. US Customs Service agents drew retired Israeli army general Avraham Bar-Am and 12 co-conspirators (three of them Israelis) into a carefully-laid trap last April, Tapes made by the Customs Service reveal Israeli government involvement in a $2.6 billion conspiracy to sell US-made arms to Iran through third countries.
    On recordings made available to the Chicago Tribune, Samuel Evans, a London-based American lawyer who coordinated two separate conspiracies to offer sophisticated aircraft, missiles, and ordnance to Iran, is heard to say that he would be discussing the deal with Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin and that the authority for the transaction went “right through to (Prime Minister) Peres.”
    The case is particularly serious because federal authorities presented evidence in their indictment that the deal included phony re-export certificates attesting that Israel was re-selling surplus arms to Turkey, which is legal, rather than to Iran, which is not.
    General Bar-Am claimed from his jail cell that he had an Israeli government license to sell arms. Denying any involvement, Israeli officials insisted that the license was only to prospect for sales, one of a thousand distributed to former military officers. The Israelis have worked hard to bolster this contention. In late September Defense Minister Rabin called a press conference to say the permit process would be changed to avoid the appearance of government approval. But an earlier statement by Ya’acov Nimrodi that such sales are government-authorized and that permits come from a special department in the Israeli Defense Ministry and are difficult to get contradicts Rabin—as have many reports over the years that it is common Israeli practice to sell arms through fronts and agents.
    The US government has avoided dealing head-on in public with the Israeli government over this issue. When the Bermuda conspirators were arrested it was reported that the Israeli ambassador was called in for a stern warning. It is unlikely, however, that prosecutors will focus on the Israeli government’s role when the Bermuda conspirators stand trial in New York this November.
    Over the last six years Washington has several times expressed its disapproval of arms sales to Iran. During the 1979-1981 hostage crisis, Israel was specifically asked to stop deliveries while Iran was holding US hostages and it is possible that Israel complied. At an October I luncheon he hosted, Secretary of State George Shultz assured diplomats from the Arab states of the Gulf that Israel had told US officials it had stopped selling arms to Iran in 1983. Shultz, in fact, accused the Soviet Union of not clamping down on sales by its allies to Iran!
    During the Reagan administration US policy has swung through various levels of support for Iraq. Israel’s often-stated policy on the Gulf war is to keep it going as long as possible because the dreadful carnage ties up the combatants and prevents either from attacking Israel.
    In 1983, then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon blurted out duringa US speaking engagement that Israel sold arms to Iran because it regarded Iraq as the greater enemy, and that the sales had been thoroughly discussed with US officials. US officials acknowledged such discussions but denied that Israel had US permission.”
    Last spring what turned out to be an Israeli disinformation campaign propounded the notion that the US had asked Israel to sell arms to Iran. The tapes in the Bar-Am case are said to suggest that the US was considering shifting its support to Iran while the conspiracy-sting was being hatched.
    This kind of last-ditch Israeli government defense, probably supported by pro-Israel political obscurantists in Washington, has almost certainly been used before. When it was revealed that Israel was shipping arms to the Soviet-supported government of Ethiopia to fight Western-assisted resistance movements, and arms to the Argentine junta during the Malvinas-Falklands war, Israeli disinformationists in Washington sought to argue that Israeli actions which directly contravened stated US government objectives were really part of a “double game” somehow coordinated with Washington. This time, arrests by the US government of Israeli “players” have left no doubt that the US interest is to halt, not abet, Israeli arms sales to America’s enemies.

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  61. PissedOffAmerica says:

    Interesting, isn’t it? This small country in the Middle East, Israel, is the fourth largest arms producer and sales entity on the planet. While we hear a constant mantra of holocaust reminders, the world’s most abused people, (to hear them tell it), are selling death and mayhem on a global scale. While Iran is demonized and threatened due to its nuclear program, Israel rakes in billions, selling instruments of death worldwide. Convienient, isn’t it, that Israel and America profit from war and death. The bigger the conflict, the more deaths required, the bigger the profits.
    Damn, its sure a good thing our leaders aren’t cashing in on this windfall, isn’t it? ‘Cause gosh, if they were, they might just instigate conflict on false pretenses.
    Now, whats that about Iran’s nuclear program?
    http://tinyurl.com/2rupv7
    In Tense Times, Israeli Arms Biz Booms
    Growing demand for cutting-edge unmanned airplanes and military electronics equipment are contributing to record revenues
    by Neal Sandler
    In an era of geopolitical tensions, worldwide defense budgets last year reached a staggering new threshold of $1.1 trillion—nearly half of that from the U.S. Lining up for its share of the business is Israel, the world’s fourth-largest arms supplier after the U.S, Russia, and France. Military exports from the small Mideast nation rose 20% last year, to $4.2 billion, and Israeli arms suppliers signed a record $5 billion in new contracts in 2006.
    Israel’s defense industry is benefiting from demand for its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and sophisticated electronic warfare equipment of the sort used in the ongoing Palestinian conflict and during last summer’s war in Lebanon. “We’re looking for defense exports to grow by a 20% annual clip at least through 2010,” predicts Joshua Yeres, defense analyst at Giza Singer Even, an investment and consulting firm in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv.
    India Overtakes U.S. as Top Customer
    The arms industry gets about two-thirds of its business abroad, with sales to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) accounting for the remainder. Some 90% of all export sales are accounted for by just four giants: publicly traded Elbit Systems (ESLT) and three state-owned companies, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), RAFAEL Armament Development Authority, and Israel Military Industries (IMI).
    The government doesn’t reveal sales by country, but other sources suggest some intriguing trends. For decades, Israel’s top arms customer was the U.S. But earlier this year, the Indian government released figures showing that in 2006 it bought $1.5 billion in weapons from Israel. That made New Delhi Israel’s largest customer for the year, ahead of the No. 2 U.S.
    Among the deals: In November India is scheduled to take delivery of the first of three AWACS-type aerial reconnaissance planes, called Phalcons, that it ordered from IAI in a $1.1 billion deal. India has also purchased a Barak antimissile defense system, UAVs, and Israel’s Green Pine missile-detection and tracking radar.
    Backing Off on Chinese Deals
    Other major buyers of Israeli weapons and arms include Turkey, Singapore, Spain, Romania, and Poland. But sales to China, once a major customer, have been a source of tension between Jerusalem and Washington. In 2000 Israel was forced to cancel a lucrative sale of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) planes because of Pentagon objections and had to pay $350 million in damages to Beijing for terminating the deal.
    More recently, Israel reshuffled senior Defense Ministry officials and agreed to tighten arms export regulations after the Pentagon complained about maintenance work on UAVs that Israel sold the Chinese a decade earlier. Sales to China have now resumed, though at lower levels than in the past. Precise figures aren’t available.
    Demand elsewhere has more than offset the decline of the Chinese market. “We’re witnessing an unprecedented rise in demand for advanced military electronics, and Israel is a recognized leader in this field,” says Joseph Ackerman, chief executive officer of Elbit, the country’s largest private sector defense company. That has paid off handsomely for Elbit. In 2005 the company won a landmark £700 million ($1.4 billion) joint-venture deal with Thales UK to supply Britain with its Hermes UAV.
    Robust Growth for Top Suppliers
    The growing global demand for its UAVs and sophisticated “command and control” computer intelligence equipment led to a doubling in 2006 of Elbit’s net income, to $72.2 million, on revenues of $1.45 billion, up 42%. Earlier this month, investment bank UBS (UBS) predicted company revenues would reach $1.9 billion in 2007 with continued improvement in its bottom line. The company’s stock price has nearly doubled in the past year.
    Israel’s largest defense company, IAI, also has seen a big upswing. Defense industry experts attribute the results to its new CEO, Yitzhak Nissan, who took over in February, 2006. He has instituted a sharp cost-cutting campaign and boosted marketing. The company, which for years was only marginally profitable, reported a record $115 million net profit on sales of $2 billion in the first nine months of 2006—and booked more than $4 billion in new contracts.
    The upturn is due in large part to demand for IAI’s larger UAV, called the Heron, which has been a big hit with the U.S. and India, and has been used in the Iraq war. It has also gained business from missiles, sophisticated electronic warfare equipment, and upgrade work on existing military planes owned by clients around the world. Earlier this month Northrop Grumman (NOC) announced that it was teaming up with IAI to build and launch small reconnaissance satellites based on the Israeli company’s technology. The estimated cost of each satellite is put at $200 million. “This has huge potential for us in the American and other markets,” says a senior IAI official.
    Another state-owned company, Rafael Armament Development Authority, also has seen a sharp increase in business. The once top-secret weapons development agency was converted into a standalone company several years ago to let it compete better in world markets. The developer of air, naval, and land-based rocket and weapons systems reported a net profit of $26 million on sales of just over $1 billion.
    IMI Loses Out with Small Arms
    The only Israeli company that has not joined in the boom is IMI, a maker of mostly small arms, including the Uzi submachine gun, grenades, and artillery and mortar ammunition. According to government sources, the company had 2006 sales of around $410 million, much of it in exports, but it is in such deep financial trouble that it hasn’t issued financial statements in two years. The problem? Many countries are now producing their own ammunition, making it far more difficult for companies like IMI to survive.
    Last year the Israeli government decided to sell IMI in an attempt to keep it afloat, but so far the privatization process has met with little success. To rescue IMI, former senior defense industry official Avner Raz was appointed to be the company’s new CEO on May 16.
    Increased demand from the Israeli Defense Forces following last summer’s war in Lebanon is expected to help IMI out somewhat. But unless the financially strapped company transforms itself into a high-tech player like the other local defense giants, its chances of benefiting from the current export boom seem slim.

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  62. MP says:

    dafletcha chimes in with a good example of the thinking here. Worth quoting in full:
    “Regarding the “intercepted” arms shipment, though, here’s another thing I firmly believe about the Israelis: they are willing to look bad/dishonest/inept if it means it takes everyone’s eyes off the real objective. Remember the “student spy ring” in mid-2001? Seemed pretty amateurish, right? I believe that’s exactly how it was supposed to look. Then when theories inevitably start flying about Israeli involvement in 9/11, our wise leaders will point to the “spy ring”, saying: a) the Israelis couldn’t possibly have pulled off something as complicated as 9/11, or b) the Israeli’s wouldn’t dare get involved in 9/11 when they’re already on “notice” about the “spy ring”.
    Anti-semitic conspiracy theory? No. Anti-Zionist conspiracy theory? Heck, yeah. All I’m saying is when Israel is “caught” doing something amateurishly stupid, be aware that they might be planning something unthinkable.”
    You see…even when they’re stupid, they’re smart! Even when they fail, they succeed! And when they succeed, they really succeed! Crafty!! Underhanded!!! As Carroll once said, not honorable. This stuff is too rich.

    Reply

  63. MP says:

    dafletcha chimes in with a good example of the thinking here. Worth quoting in full:
    “Regarding the “intercepted” arms shipment, though, here’s another thing I firmly believe about the Israelis: they are willing to look bad/dishonest/inept if it means it takes everyone’s eyes off the real objective. Remember the “student spy ring” in mid-2001? Seemed pretty amateurish, right? I believe that’s exactly how it was supposed to look. Then when theories inevitably start flying about Israeli involvement in 9/11, our wise leaders will point to the “spy ring”, saying: a) the Israelis couldn’t possibly have pulled off something as complicated as 9/11, or b) the Israeli’s wouldn’t dare get involved in 9/11 when they’re already on “notice” about the “spy ring”.
    Anti-semitic conspiracy theory? No. Anti-Zionist conspiracy theory? Heck, yeah. All I’m saying is when Israel is “caught” doing something amateurishly stupid, be aware that they might be planning something unthinkable.”
    You see…even when they’re stupid, they’re smart! Even when they fail, they succeed! And when they succeed, they really succeed! Crafty!! Underhanded!!! As Carroll once said, not honorable. This stuff is too rich.

    Reply

  64. MP says:

    No one has ever characterized them as that except your side….that is stricly a “strawie” talking point to try and say the Arabs are responsible for their actions on their own and aren’t provoked by anything Isr/US does or doesn’t do…or in other words they are just radicals all on their own becuase they are Arabs. It’s a bullshit talking point trying to reduce Isr’s and USA’s imput in Arab terrorism to the absurd. Sorry doesn’t work.
    Well let’s try the other shoe, then…are Zionists Zionists all on their own…leaders and all? Have they been provoked to hate Arabs because of Arab “input”? Did Zionism arise…and Jews move to Palestine in the 20s and 30s because they were provoked by European and, indeed, American “input”? Or did they get these ideas all on their ownd?

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  65. johnf says:

    New tunnels may or may not have been dug around Iran’s nuclear facilities – no one knows whether to trust “intelligence” reports or not – but one thing does seem to be true, from experts you can trust, namely, the IAEA:
    IAEA chief says Iran slowing enrichment
    By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer Mon Jul 9, 1:43 PM ET
    VIENNA, Austria – Iran has scaled back its uranium enrichment program, the head of the U.N. atomic agency said Monday, suggesting a new willingness from the government to resolve the international standoff over its nuclear defiance.
    IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei spoke at the end of a special meeting of his agency’s 35-nation board that approved sending an agency team to North Korea, a decision that began the process meant to dismantle that country’s nuclear program.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070709/ap_on_re_mi_ea/nuclear_agency;_ylt=AiNwJRjoh0_cRmStsHyWTULMWM0F

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  66. ... says:

    you could run for president of ismerica then, lol..

    Reply

  67. Dan Kervick says:

    Hey, I think I can see a mobile chemical weapons van in that photo. Right there – next to that pile of aluminum tubes.

    Reply

  68. Carroll says:

    Well Hey!…I have to give a big bravo for Ken Silverstein of Harpers…the expose he just did on the “Lobby industry for Harpers is outstanding. (No its not about “the” lobby..but about the PR and law firms that work for lobbies and how they operate in general…which is very, very dirty.
    If you thought the lobby industry was bad before you ought to read this…you will really be outraged.

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  69. Arun says:

    As another person of Indian origin, I register my disagreement with Kali. Of course it is entirely possible that the expatriate Indian lobby has interests significantly different from India, which is rather different from the case of Israel and the Israeli lobby.
    Even today, Indians working in the Middle East are a bigger earner for India than the software industry. Given the state of India-Pakistan relations, Iran is a crucial backdoor for India into Afghanistan and to Central Asia. Iran is also a faster route into Russia and Eastern Europe for Indian trade than via the Suez canal. Iran is crucial to Indian energy needs. Most Indians see Pakistan as an epicenter of terrorism, not an ally against terrorism. Most Indians would like to see Musharraf go and civilian government reinstituted in Pakistan – in this and in all the previous one can see that India’s interests collide with the American ones – at least as they currently are.
    Indians have a very different view of the need of their country for nuclear weapons than does the American government.
    Finally, any Indian government has to take into account the sentiments of 150 million Indian Muslims who are not exactly enamored of American policies.
    There is no segment of the American electorate that will back India as it does Israel simply for the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. Support for India will be (as it should be in a healthy relationship) based on real American interests.
    A pro-India expatriate lobby can thus at best seek to mediate, to keep fissures from growing in the Indo-American relationship over the various natural differences.

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  70. PissedOffCitizen says:

    “See the Entebbe post above, not its first appearance here, as an example of speciousness. Let’s grant the veracity of the account even though it may well not be true. What’s the point of it? That the Mossad is the root of all evil and Israel’s enemies aren’t really enemies at all.”
    What a load of shit. Gads, I’m sick of your endless supply of straw.

    Reply

  71. PissedOffCitizen says:

    “As arms shipments go, this certainly doesn’t seem like much of a much.”
    Posted by MP
    It figures you’d say that, MP. It really depends on whose hands they land in, doesn’t it? As army’s go, it ain’t much. But if you’re salting a country with terrorists, you could arm a whole hell of a lot of them, couldn’t you? Or if you wanted to provide the spark for a bonfire, there’d be plenty enough armament to get the job done.
    Tell me, MP, what kind of weapons are responsible for the most terrorist caused deaths over the last decade, small arms, or WMDs?

    Reply

  72. Carroll says:

    As a person of Indian (as in India) descent myself I have always predicted that the pro-Israel and pro-Indian lobbies would either go head to head to wrest control of the U.S./ world, or unite in their mutual fear of Islam, divide the world and then fight to the death.
    In any case, the world loses.
    BTW: Americans of South Asian descent are the most well-educated and richest ethnic group in the U.S. — at least that’s what the New Yorker reported about ten years ago.
    And they ( I refuse to put myself into this group) have the same lack of ethics as the pro-Israeli neo-cons, and again, I say this as an Indian myself.
    Posted by Kali at July 9, 2007 07:40 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    That’s interesting about India and Isr. I don’t know much about that allience other than what I mentioned above.
    And I read the same thing about the Asian Americans.

    Reply

  73. Carroll says:

    Carroll writes: “…radical Islam has to be fed….and Israel has fed it plenty…of course the US has fed it plenty also.”
    To some degree, yes. But characterizing radical Islam as something sort of inanimate object, like a fire, diminishes the phenomenon and treats radical islamists as children who have no ideas or volition or culpability of their own, but are simple humans who are easily manipulated by the adults around. I don’t buy it.
    I could say the same thing about revisionist Zionism–it has to be fed. And that’s true to some degree.
    Posted by MP at July 9, 2007 03:41 PM
    >>>>>>>>>
    I don’t buy it either…the talking point I mean, about we are characterizing …”radical islamists as children who have no ideas or volition or culpability of their own.
    No one has ever characterized them as that except your side….that is stricly a “strawie” talking point to try and say the Arabs are responsible for their actions on their own and aren’t provoked by anything Isr/US does or doesn’t do…or in other words they are just radicals all on their own becuase they are Arabs. It’s a bullshit talking point trying to reduce Isr’s and USA’s imput in Arab terrorism to the absurd. Sorry doesn’t work.
    “Islamic terrorism” is a ridiculous term anyway…
    how many are actual religious terrorist?….not that many…this conflict with Islam is a conflict with Arab nationalism (with the added mixture of tribal Arabs and tribal nationalitic Jews and empire America)….for 90% of Arabs.
    Trying to reduce it to soley religious fanatics is such poor propaganda if doesn’t even fly with anyone except other religious fanatics like the evangelicals.

    Reply

  74. Kali says:

    As a person of Indian (as in India) descent myself I have always predicted that the pro-Israel and pro-Indian lobbies would either go head to head to wrest control of the U.S./ world, or unite in their mutual fear of Islam, divide the world and then fight to the death.
    In any case, the world loses.
    BTW: Americans of South Asian descent are the most well-educated and richest ethnic group in the U.S. — at least that’s what the New Yorker reported about ten years ago.
    And they ( I refuse to put myself into this group) have the same lack of ethics as the pro-Israeli neo-cons, and again, I say this as an Indian myself.

    Reply

  75. Arun says:

    Since we’ve criticized The Washington Note for e.g., its love and affection for Senator Chuck Hagel, it is only fair to also mention approving notes; this one from dkos:
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/7/9/171442/9889
    >>>>Say what you will about Chuck Hagel, and there’s plenty of unflattering things to say about about the man, when he broke with Bush on Iraq, he broke with Bush on Iraq.
    That included standing with Jim Webb today in support of his amendment requiring that active duty troops have at least the same time at home as the length of their previous tour of duty overseas, and setting a minimum floor for National Guard and Reserve mobilization and deployments.
    That’s a real break with Bush.<<<<<

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  76. ... says:

    allowing – allowed –

    Reply

  77. ... says:

    mp quote “i wish they were all bogeymen” why not wish for some sanity instead? those who go chasing after real or imagined bogeymen all the time, sooner or later end up as one. that is what isamerica has become. a bogeyman that may or may not strike fear into other countries with its military might, while suggesting these same countries are not allowing to gain the equivalent militarily.. actually isamerica is a hypocritical bogeynam which is even worse.

    Reply

  78. dafletcha says:

    Totally agree with the comments about Israel’s willingness to use false-flag ops to achieve their objectives.
    Regarding the “intercepted” arms shipment, though, here’s another thing I firmly believe about the Israelis: they are willing to look bad/dishonest/inept if it means it takes everyone’s eyes off the real objective. Remember the “student spy ring” in mid-2001? Seemed pretty amateurish, right? I believe that’s exactly how it was supposed to look. Then when theories inevitably start flying about Israeli involvement in 9/11, our wise leaders will point to the “spy ring”, saying: a) the Israelis couldn’t possibly have pulled off something as complicated as 9/11, or b) the Israeli’s wouldn’t dare get involved in 9/11 when they’re already on “notice” about the “spy ring”.
    Anti-semitic conspiracy theory? No. Anti-Zionist conspiracy theory? Heck, yeah. All I’m saying is when Israel is “caught” doing something amateurishly stupid, be aware that they might be planning something unthinkable.

    Reply

  79. johnf says:

    New tunnels may or may not have been dug around Iran’s nuclear facilities – no one knows whether to trust “intelligence” reports or not – but one thing does seem to be true, from experts you can trust, namely, the IAEA:
    IAEA chief says Iran slowing enrichment
    By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer Mon Jul 9, 1:43 PM ET
    VIENNA, Austria – Iran has scaled back its uranium enrichment program, the head of the U.N. atomic agency said Monday, suggesting a new willingness from the government to resolve the international standoff over its nuclear defiance.
    IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei spoke at the end of a special meeting of his agency’s 35-nation board that approved sending an agency team to North Korea, a decision that began the process meant to dismantle that country’s nuclear program.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070709/ap_on_re_mi_ea/nuclear_agency;_ylt=AiNwJRjoh0_cRmStsHyWTULMWM0F

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  80. MP says:

    Yes, “Zionism–it has to be fed”–with bogeymen.
    In part, true. I wish they were all bogeymen.

    Reply

  81. JohnH says:

    Yes, “Zionism–it has to be fed”–with bogeymen. With Egypt and Jordan having signed peace treaties, new enemies had to be found. Iraq fit the bill. When Iraq was destroyed, Iran’s eventual nuclear threat was hyped as imminent. If Iran gets taken care of, who will the Likuddites discover next? Russia? China? Martians? Since there is apparently no end to Likuddites’ ability to conjure paranoia as a way to justify their own existence, someone has to be found to act as the responsible adult. Unfortunately, in Washington, responsible adults happen to be the scarcest of commodities. Or maybe Israelis will finally wake up to the game that is being played in their name.

    Reply

  82. MP says:

    Sandy writes: “And, when you say “…comforting to have one answer for everything…” ….for the weeks that I’ve been here now, MP, mostly all I’ve ever heard you discuss is ONE THING — how everyone else talks about Israel and the Jewish people. (When, in fact, it is primarily Neo-conservative individuals, ideology and politics vis a vis American policy and actions that are being discussed.)”
    Here’s the formula that’s endlessly repeated on these threads, not by everyone, but by a large number of regular posters: Zionism = neoconservatism = Israel (and, sometimes) = Jews = the root cause of everything wrong with US foreign policy and, in particular, the ME = Israel has nothing to blame but itself for its troubles with its neighbors = Mossad is everywhere and at the root of almost all heinous acts, including those that “appear” to be perpetrated by Muslims, including and especially 9/11.
    As to the Jews, it’s often pointed out (maybe even by you to me) that many neos are Jews. How many Jews are in government. How many Jews are dual citizens. As if these facts are significant (I don’t think they are particularly), especiall when the most powerful neos are non-Jews and not Israeli citizens.
    My contribution is to suggest that there might be more to it than this one explanation and to point out that a LOT of specious arguments are simply swallowed whole here.
    See the Entebbe post above, not its first appearance here, as an example of speciousness. Let’s grant the veracity of the account even though it may well not be true. What’s the point of it? That the Mossad is the root of all evil and Israel’s enemies aren’t really enemies at all. That, as Carroll might say, they lack honor. And, they aren’t such great commandos after all! They faked it.
    But what of the Palestinian participation in this plot? Aren’t they double crossing their own people for the sake of internal politics or even pecuniary gain? I think an objective observer would conclude that both hands were dirty in this plot, assuming that this account is true; but that is not the point of the post–is it? Or are we to dismiss the Palestinian involvement by saying something like, well, they were simply being manipulated by the Israelis, so who could blame them?
    There are any number of peculiar things about this account, which Raimondo is forced to admit, though quick to rationalize with the all-pupose–“there is NOTHING the Israelis wouldn’t do, even put their own people in peril, even cause or contribute to the deaths of Jews! in order to pursue their nefarious ends.”

    Reply

  83. erichwwk says:

    Speaking of “historical amnesia”, some seem to have forgotten the European scandal (only lightly reported in the states) when it was discovered that Echelon (at Griessen, germany) was not being used to spy on terrorist, but rather to give American companies an advantage by diverting European proprietary contract informative to its American rivals. AS was the case in fascist Germany, the spy program is more aimed at keeping internal, rather than external, enemies in check. After all, the terrorists most to be feared unfortunately sit in the White House.
    Steve writes: “this new report does give one pause.” I certainly hope Steve means it is the new report of the “cartoons on biological weapons lab” that gives us pause, as an indicator of the Cheney spin machine, rather than any threat that is in any way “REAL”.
    In regards to the absurdity of hyping the “Iranian nuclear threat”/Bull Shit, the following Zmag essay by Edward Herman may be of interest:
    The U. S. Now Poses the Greatest Threat of
    Any Country in History
    By Edward S. Herman
    My harsh title is not based on the belief that U.S. leaders are the most vicious ever, although they are amply arrogant, ruthless, and even vicious, rendered more hypocritical by the veneer of self-righteousness and “godly” service. Rather it rests, first, on the fact that they have far more destructive power than any predecessors, have already used it, threaten to escalate their violence, and are not only subject to inadequate constraints, but operate in a political culture that is volatile, manipulable, and contains threatening irrational elements. The rise of U.S. destructive power, far beyond anything related to national “defense,” and far beyond the capabilities of any potential rivals, was clearly purposeful and designed to serve both the transnational business and financial interests of the U.S. elite and the contractor-Pentagon-politician vested interests of mili- tarization—the military-industrial complex (MIC).
    The so-called “defense budget” should properly be called an “offense budget.” ……Rest is at:
    http://tinyurl.com/23p3xp
    including a GREAT cartoon.

    Reply

  84. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “…radical Islam has to be fed….and Israel has fed it plenty…of course the US has fed it plenty also.”
    To some degree, yes. But characterizing radical Islam as something sort of inanimate object, like a fire, diminishes the phenomenon and treats radical islamists as children who have no ideas or volition or culpability of their own, but are simple humans who are easily manipulated by the adults around. I don’t buy it.
    I could say the same thing about revisionist Zionism–it has to be fed. And that’s true to some degree.

    Reply

  85. pauline says:

    Who Runs the CIA? Outsiders for Hire.
    By R.J. Hillhouse Wash. Post – Sunday, July 8, 2007
    The most intriguing secrets of the “war on terror” have nothing to do with al-Qaeda and its fellow travelers. They’re about the mammoth private spying industry that all but runs U.S. intelligence operations today.
    Surprised? No wonder. In April, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell was poised to publicize a year-long examination of outsourcing by U.S. intelligence agencies. But the report was inexplicably delayed — and suddenly classified a national secret. What McConnell doesn’t want you to know is that the private spy industry has succeeded where no foreign government has: It has penetrated the CIA and is running the show.
    Over the past five years (some say almost a decade), there has been a revolution in the intelligence community toward wide-scale outsourcing. Private companies now perform key intelligence-agency functions, to the tune, I’m told, of more than $42 billion a year. Intelligence professionals tell me that more than 50 percent of the National Clandestine Service (NCS) — the heart, brains and soul of the CIA — has been outsourced to private firms such as Abraxas, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.
    These firms recruit spies, create non-official cover identities and control the movements of CIA case officers. They also provide case officers and watch officers at crisis centers and regional desk officers who control clandestine operations worldwide. As the Los Angeles Times first reported last October, more than half the workforce in two key CIA stations in the fight against terrorism — Baghdad and Islamabad, Pakistan — is made up of industrial contractors, or “green badgers,” in CIA parlance.
    Intelligence insiders say that entire branches of the NCS have been outsourced to private industry. These branches are still managed by U.S. government employees (“blue badgers”) who are accountable to the agency’s chain of command. But beneath them, insiders say, is a supervisory structure that’s controlled entirely by contractors; in some cases, green badgers are managing green badgers from other corporations.
    Sensing problems — and possibly fearing congressional action — the CIA recently conducted a hasty review of all of its job classifications to determine which perform “essential government functions” that should not be outsourced. But it’s highly doubtful that such a short-term exercise can comprehensively identify the proper “blue/green” mix, especially because contractors’ work statements have long been carefully formulated to blur the distinction between approvable and debatable functions.
    Although the contracting system is Byzantine, there’s no question that the private sector delivers high-quality professional intelligence services. Outsourcing has provided solutions to personnel-management problems that have always plagued the CIA’s operations side. Rather than tying agents up in the kind of office politics that government employees have to engage in to advance their careers, outsourcing permits them to focus on what they do best, which boosts morale and performance. Privatization also immediately increased the number of trained, experienced agents in the field after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
    Even though wide-scale outsourcing may not immediately endanger national security, it’s worrisome. The contractors in charge of espionage are still chiefly CIA alumni who have absorbed its public service values. But as the center of gravity shifts from the public sector to the private, more than one independent intelligence firm has developed plans to “raise” succeeding generations of officers within its own training systems. These corporate-grown agents will be inculcated with corporate values and ethics, not those of public service.
    And the current piecemeal system has introduced some vulnerabilities. Historically, the system offered members of the intelligence community the kind of stability that ensured that they would keep its secrets. That dynamic is now being eroded. Contracts come and go. So do workforces. The spies of the past came of age professionally in a strong extended family, but the spies of the future will be more like children raised in multiple foster homes — at risk.
    Today, when Booz Allen Hamilton loses a contract to SAIC, people rush from one to the other in a game of musical chairs, with not enough chairs for all the workers who possess both the highest security clearances and expertise in the art of espionage. Some inevitably lose out. Any good counterintelligence officer knows what can happen next. Down-on-their-luck spies begin to do what spies do best: spy. Other companies offer them jobs in exchange for industry secrets. Foreign governments approach them. And some day, terrorists will clue in to this potential workforce.
    The director of national intelligence has put our security at risk by classifying the study on outsourcing and keeping the truth about this inadequately planned and managed system out of the light. Much of what has been outsourced makes sense, but much of the structure doesn’t, not for the longer term. It’s time for the public and Congress to demand the study’s release. More important, it’s past time for the industry — an industry conceived of and run by some of the best and brightest the CIA has ever produced — to come up with the kind of innovative solutions it’s legendary for, before the damage goes too deep.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/06/AR2007070601993.html

    Reply

  86. Sandy says:

    “…It’s always comforting to have one answer for everything. Hey, and when that doesn’t do the trick, you just move on to the next thing. So much easier than having a serious discussion….” MP
    Gee, MP, some of THE most serious discussions of the issues occurs right here on this blog….and, as a retiree, I have time to read….and compare….lots of them. This is one of the best IMO.
    And, when you say “…comforting to have one answer for everything…” ….for the weeks that I’ve been here now, MP, mostly all I’ve ever heard you discuss is ONE THING — how everyone else talks about Israel and the Jewish people. (When, in fact, it is primarily Neo-conservative individuals, ideology and politics vis a vis American policy and actions that are being discussed.)
    Isn’t that projection, then? Doing exactly, yourself, what you say everyone else is doing?
    What is YOUR “serious discussion” of this item??

    Reply

  87. ... says:

    ismerica, good word.. here’s another one i read this morning – busharraf, then i got to thinking – israeli lobby, how about israeli libby.. many similarities.

    Reply

  88. Carroll says:

    Posted by MP at July 9, 2007 02:48 PM
    >>>>>>>
    As we all know, including Scheuer, who is a demented crackpot himself in many ways as anyone who watched his bizarre performance in the congressional inguiry could see for themselves…radical Islam has to be fed….and Israel has fed it plenty…of course the US has fed it plenty also…the pictures of Israel’s bombing of Lebanon and assaults on Palestine and the US bombings in Iraq will provide more than enough fuel to keep the terrier fire going.
    After all that is goal of Isrmerica,…isn’t it?
    People who have watched the terrier wur from the begining… I hate to tell you…see thur it all.
    If all Americans had the time and wherewithall like some of us on this site had and have to follow the bread crumbs of Isrmerica’s march to the great wur of civilizations with the Green Peril both Washington and Israel would already be smoldering ruins by popular demand.

    Reply

  89. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “Let us not forget that aside from the US bases around Saudi that OBL was against, what really boils the blood of Arab terrorism/nationalist was inspired by the terrorism of Israel.”
    True-ish. But if you read Scheuer–the leading expert on OBL, at least in the 1990s–there were quite a few other points of dispute boiling OBL’s blood. At least six others, including Scheuer’s decidedly non-benign view of radical Islam. In short, the notion that if the US were more even-handed in its approach to the Israelis and Palestinians that we’d sap terrorism of its lifeblood is mistaken.
    It’s always comforting to have one answer for everything. Hey, and when that doesn’t do the trick, you just move on to the next thing. So much easier than having a serious discussion.

    Reply

  90. Carroll says:

    Let us not forget that aside from the US bases around Saudi that OBL was against, what really boils the blood of Arab terrorism/nationalist was inspired by the terrorism of Israel.
    What motivated Osama bin Laden?
    While largely ignored by the American Press, the [Israeli] massacre at Qana was front page News in London, much of Europe, and throughout the Middle East … the pictures of headless Arab babies and other grisly photographs were likely the final shove, pushing bin Laden over the edge and leading him to dedicating his life to war against what he would call the Israeli-United State alliance. From then on, he would often use the massacre at Qana as a battle cry, and it would become the match lighting the fuse that would eventually lead to the WTC on Tuesday morning five years later.
    James Bamford, page 144 of A Pretext for War.

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  91. MP says:

    “The Spanish customs service found 1,085 guns and pistols on a ship making its way from Israel to Nicaragua during a routine inspection of the ship while it was docking in Algeciras in southern Spain.”
    As arms shipments go, this certainly doesn’t seem like much of a much.

    Reply

  92. Carroll says:

    If Isreal could attack the USS Liberty without repercussions, is there anything they won’t do?
    Posted by JohnH at July 9, 2007 01:23 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    To answer your question..No, there isn’t anything they won’t do..just look at their record.
    But we need to ask also if there is anything the US government won’t do to cover up for Israel. The answer to that is also NO.
    So what are we going to do about it? Any ideas?

    Reply

  93. Carroll says:

    As a follow up to the India thing. I read an article some time ago on the collusion between AIPAC and the India Lobby. Seems that AIPAC took them in hand and taught them the ropes of lobbying on Capitol Hill. Then AIPAC set up a joint meeting for them with congress. I think it was in the WP but I could not find the original article and don’t have time to search for it. However this I think, is a reference to AIPAC help that India has in it’s lobbying efforts because Israel sees India as another domino in Israel vrs Arabia.
    “Ackerman is also a Congressional point-man for the “India lobby”. A former chairman of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, he unequivocally backs India on Kashmir, lays all the blame for the conflict there on Pakistan and pushes for increased US-India arms trade and military collaboration.
    In 2003, Ackerman helped organise the first-ever joint Capitol Hill forum between AIPAC and AJC, on the one side, and the newly formed US Indian Political Action Committee, on the other. Ackerman stressed the two countries’ common concerns: Israel, he said, was “surrounded by 120 million Muslims” while ” India has 120 million Muslims [within]”. Last year, he was the leading Democratic sponsor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s address to a joint session of Congress.–Mike Marqusee, “India, Israel and the US,” ZNet, June 18, 2006]
    >>>>>>
    Just like with the mafia it’s “always the money”, with Jewish congressmen it’s “always Israel”.

    Reply

  94. JohnH says:

    There is no doubt that nothing is out of bounds for the Israeli government and their neocon allies.
    Today the chief counsel to the Navy’s Court of Inquiry broke his silence on the attack on the U.S. Navy intelligence ship Liberty. He believes “with certainty that this attack was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew.”
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070608/news_lz1e8boston.html
    If Isreal could attack the USS Liberty without repercussions, is there anything they won’t do?
    With Olmert’s ratings approaching single digits and Bush’s under 30%, what better than a little war to restore support?

    Reply

  95. Carroll says:

    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Friday, March 3, 2006; Page A01
    NEW DELHI, March 2 — President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced Thursday an unprecedented agreement that would provide U.S. nuclear power assistance to India while allowing the country to substantially step up its nuclear weapons production.
    The Bush administration originally sought a plan that would have allowed India to continue producing material for six to 10 weapons each year, but the new plan would allow India enough fissile material for as many as 50 weapons a year. Experts said this would far exceed what is believed to be its current capacity.
    “The nuclear options that India insisted on protecting in this deal cast serious doubt on its declared policy of seeking only a credible minimum deterrent,” said Robert J. Einhorn, a former assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation, now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
    Bush and Singh described the deal, which has been in the works since July, as an important breakthrough in U.S.-India relations, less than a decade after the two nations were estranged and bitterly divided over India’s nuclear ambitions.
    “What this agreement says is — things change, times change, that leadership can make a difference,” Bush said at the news conference. “I am trying to think differently, not to stay stuck in the past, and recognize that by thinking differently, particularly on nuclear power, we can achieve some important objectives.”
    >>>>>>>>>
    If you join the Israel-US allience to “colonize” the ME under the “Isr”merica thumb you get nukes, if you don’t you get bombed.
    Makes perfect sense doesn’t it? NOT
    As always: BURN WASHINGTON TO THE GROUND AND START OVER

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  96. easy e says:

    Too bad U.S. viewers won’t see this…..
    (–English version–) An episode of the Dutch documentary program “Tegenlicht” about the Israeli Lobby in the USA.
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2894821400057137878

    Reply

  97. erichwwk says:

    POA wrote:
    “Steve, perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us EXACTLY what treaty, or what UN resolution, Iran is currently in violation of?”
    I too would we quite interested in Steve’s response to that, and am equally fed up with “historical amnesia”.

    Reply

  98. Kathleen says:

    The UN IAEA has NEVER reported that Iran is developing weapons grade uranium. Clearly Democratz have not learned a thing from our Iraq debacle. They have not read the fine print, again, but rather are posing as “tough on national security” in some lazy, misguided attempt to secure their own re-election.
    Well, I’ll not vote for the lesser of two evils again and Demz can do the math till the cows come home. If they can’t nominate a candidate who was right from the git go on Iraq, and courageous enough to impeach that juvenile jerk, they can watch third parties grow and grow.
    Coming Soon to a theater near you:
    The Incredible Shrinking Two Party System in techicolor with deafening surround sound.

    Reply

  99. rich says:

    If Prznt Bush can unilaterally withdraw from the Kyoto Accords, the ABM Treaty (etc.), there’s no reason whatsoever that Iran cannot also withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty–unilaterally.
    Or, perhaps I should frame that as a question. Why can’t Iran also withdraw from whatever treaty they choose?
    Oh, I see: they’re not a sovereign nation.
    That’s the premise here, isn’t it. No nation is sovereign, if we say it’s not. Bad move.
    And no, muttering cheap excuses such as “We are talking about nuclear weapons, here” and “The UN said,” are utterly, completely irrelevant.
    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If Bush can , Iran can. Iran can do as it chooses, by any American standard. Any attempt to order Iran’s govt around regarding nuke power or nuke weapons is wholly contradictory of the American principle of self-governance. And such a stance is inconsistent with any real attempt to preserve/defend our national security, by definition.

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  100. Carroll says:

    Too bad Iran doesn’t yet have any nukes.
    The sooner they get them, the better not to get attacked by Isrmerica.
    Russia should just give them some of theirs so we can one of those peaceful perpetual standoffs.

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  101. cds says:

    “It would, however, effectively end many of these pesky Congressional investigations, as more important biz would be necessary to debate.”
    As a registered Democrat, I’m mad as hell that the Dems weren’t a better opposition party for the last 2 years (at least) during Bush’s popularity slide. We have no leadership that represents us. Frankly, I see these investigations as a weak gesture to placate the Dem base. But nothing will come of it because this administration has stacked the deck against us in the courts. Why else would they so openly thumb the noses at Congress – going so far as to urge a FORMER agency worker to refuse to testify.

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  102. easy e says:

    Israelis/AIPAC succeeeded in erasing virtually all coverage of weapons seizure in Spain. Appreciate the following before it “disappears”.
    http://forum.mpacuk.org/showthread.php?p=379649#post379649
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3421317,00.html
    July 4, 2007: Spain intercepts arms shipment from Israel to Nicaragua
    Spanish customs confiscate container with 1,085 guns and pistols found on vessel headed for Central America
    AFP Published: 07.04.07, 19:39 / Israel News
    The Spanish customs service found 1,085 guns and pistols on a ship making its way from Israel to Nicaragua during a routine inspection of the ship while it was docking in Algeciras in southern Spain.
    The container was confiscated by the Spanish authorities, and the ship was later permitted to set sail.
    The ship’s bill of customs noted that the ship was carrying air rifles.
    The weapons container was found on the vessel Maersk Detroit, which set out from Haifa and was headed for the Managua Port in Nicaragua, via the US.
    Local security personnel confirmed the report, but failed to indicate the number of weapons found.
    Following the September 11 terror attack, the US issued an instruction requiring all cargo ships headed for the US to stop at the Spanish port and undergo an inspection before continuing on their journey.

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  103. easy e says:

    All the more reason to move on the following:
    Kucinich: ‘Imperial’ vice president needs to be impeached
    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/MSNBC_Scarborough_quizzes_Kucinich_on_Cheney_0709.html

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  104. PissedOffCitizen says:

    Interesting I cannot find any internet news reference to the Israeli arms shipment that was intercepted last week in Central Spain. Bound for central america, via the USA.
    Yet……
    Iran, the boogie man that just keeps giving.
    From today’s postings at the AIPAC website.
    Solana Suggests Iran Behind Gaza, Lebanon Violence
    Connecting the dots of recent violence in the Middle East, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana this week suggested that the Hamas takeover of Gaza, the Palestinian attacks on the Lebanese army and the bombing of European peacekeepers in Lebanon could be linked to Iran, Reuters reported. “All this is connected,” Solana said. “It didn’t happen by accident or miracle, it was probably planned.” Regarding the car bomb that killed six Spanish members of the U.N. force in Lebanon, Solana said: “It would be naive not to see this as part of a global approach.” The State Department consistently lists Iran — a prime benefactor of Hamas and Hizballah — as the world’s leading state sponsor of international terrorism.
    http://www.aipac.org/130.asp#3899

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  105. PissedOffCitizen says:

    “Cheney’s not a rational actor. He gives me pause, as he’s a man gone over to the dark side, full of lust for violence and hate.”
    In summary; evil.
    We will rue the day we did not remove this man from office. So will the millions of people that will die because of his actions, and the groundwork he has layed.

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  106. PissedOffCitizen says:

    Steve, perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us EXACTLY what treaty, or what UN resolution, Iran is currently in violation of?
    BTW, did you see Musharif just gave Kahn his full freedom? You’re a smart guy, surely the irony doesn’t escape you.
    Like you said….
    Up is down. Down is up. Black is white.

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  107. PissedOffCitizen says:

    Unholy Alliance
    The myth of Entebbe and the history of Israeli false-flag operations
    by Justin Raimondo
    While Americans were celebrating their independence from the British Empire with displays of fireworks and other patriotic observances, another anniversary was pointedly not being observed, or even much noted, in Israel: on that day in 1976, a daring raid by Israeli commandos freed the hostages of Air France flight 139, held by PFLP terrorists and members of the German “Revolutionary Cells,” at the Entebbe airport in Uganda. The plane had been originally headed to Paris from Athens, but the hijackers diverted it to Benghazi, Libya, for refueling, and then on to Entebbe, where Idi Amin greeted the terrorists as friends and allies. The raid, launched on the night of July 3 and carried out until the morning of July 4, caught the world’s attention as a heroic and entirely justified operation aimed at freeing innocent victims of terrorism. Score one for Israel. The effect of this incident on world opinion, especially within the U.S. and Britain, was to increase sympathy for the Israelis and paint a portrait of the Palestinians as violent brutes. And that may very well have been the real motive behind the operation, according to secret documents recently released by the British government.
    Among the cache of documents is a memo by David H. Colvin, then first secretary of the British embassy in Paris, who averred that a contact in the Euro-Arab Parliamentary Association had told him the “hijack was the work of the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine], with help from the Israeli secret service, the Shin Bet.” The operation, wrote Colvin, was “an unholy alliance” and “was designed to torpedo the PLO’s [Palestine Liberation Organization] standing in France and to prevent what they see as a growing rapprochement between the PLO and the Americans.” Colvin detailed a very plausible scenario whereby Israel stood to benefit:
    “Their nightmare is that after the November elections, one will witness the imposition in the Middle East of a Pax Americana, which will be the advantage of the PLO (who will gain international respectability and perhaps the right to establish a state on evacuated territories) and to the disadvantage of the Refusal Front (who will be squeezed right out in any overall peace settlement and will lose their raison d’être) and Israel (who will be forced to evacuate occupied territory).”
    Colvin went on to say that “the PFLP had attracted all sorts of wild elements, some of whom had been planted by the Israelis.” The document cache also contains a report from another British official citing a reporter for the Liverpool Post, Leo Murray, whose inside sources confirmed the hijacking was all about internal Palestinian politics, at least from the PFLP’s perspective.
    From the Israeli perspective, however, the propagandistic effect of the Entebbe incident on Western opinion, particularly in the United States and France, was crucial. The U.S. was seen as an unreliable partner who had to be manipulated into rejecting PLO proposals for an independent Palestinian state, and the French, who were in favor of some kind of equanimity in negotiating a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, also needed to be educated as to the inherent inability of the Palestinians to make peace.
    The Israeli response to the Colvin revelations has been outrage, disbelief, and the denigration of this account as an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.” Yet it isn’t that hard to believe the Israelis would launch a false-flag operation in order to generate diplomatic and political blowback helpful to their cause – and it wouldn’t be the only example of covert Israeli aid to the more militant wing of the Palestinian movement in order to undercut the PLO. Go here for the story on how the Israelis succored and funded Hamas in its early days as an Islamist irritant in Arafat’s side.
    And then there is the Lavon incident, in which the Israelis sent agents into Egypt, who then planted bombs in American and British facilities, including a USIA library and a British-owned movie theater: the idea was to pin the blame on the Muslim Brotherhood and show the Americans – who were tilting toward Egypt’s rising leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser – that the Egyptians were unreliable allies.
    The Entebbe narrative reiterated and dramatized the Israelis’ insistence that they had the “right” to reach beyond their own borders in their “war on terrorism” – an early version, if you will, of the Bush Doctrine. Yet the Colvin memo shows that this official story was and is just a cover for an act of supreme cynicism and ruthlessness that would cause Machiavelli to blush.
    Three hostages, one Israeli soldier, 45 Ugandan soldiers, and six hijackers were killed in Operation Thunderbolt. Particularly disturbing is the fact that the hijackers, once in Benghazi, separated out the Israeli and Jewish passengers from the rest, letting the Gentiles go and taking the remainder to Entebbe.
    To think that this heinous act was carried out with the cooperation and collusion of Israeli intelligence may seem counterintuitive, yet this is precisely the sort of crazy decision too-clever-by-half government officials would make in pursuit of that formless concept known as “the national interest.” This floating abstraction, of course, is whatever government officials say it is, and since ideology and ambition can make the most egregious acts seem necessary and even virtuous, no doubt the Shin Bet officials who colluded with the PFLP did so thinking they were serving Israel’s cause.
    In any case, the “divide and conquer” strategy has always been the linchpin of Israel’s strategy for survival, and this is true right up to the present day, when a U.S.-Israeli “redirection,” as Seymour Hersh calls it, is behind a recent pro-Sunni tilt designed to exacerbate the Sunni-Shi’ite split in the Muslim world. The idea is to unite America’s traditional allies in the Middle East against Iran and the rising “Shia crescent.”
    “By way of deception, thou shalt make war” – that’s the motto of the Mossad, Israeli’s main intelligence agency, and it doubtless inspires its various auxiliaries, such as Shin Bet. Israel, a small country beset by legions of hostile neighbors, has relied not only on its military prowess – often likened to that of Sparta, another completely militarized, socialist state – but also on pure duplicity to achieve its goals. In evaluating Israel’s actions, and especially in trying to understand what is going on in the Middle East, it is best to always keep this in mind. When it comes to that troubled region, the realization that events are not always what they seem is the beginning of wisdom.
    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=11259

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  108. John Shreffler says:

    Col. Lang seems to think the thing will kick off with a false flag incident staged by the Israelis. Who knows how far that would go. Scott Ritter’s book on Iran is very detailed on how obsessed the Israeli national security apparatus is about Iran. One report, which Steve alludes to, is that the Israelis would hit Natanz with sub-launched cruise missiles. The Iranians are supposed to take that as a US sponsored act, thereby initiating attacks on our various installations, troops, and interests. It’s easy to see all kinds of things coming from a war with Syria that Israel could point to as Iranian provocation. A bit like a bar fight in a western, where the thing becomes a general fracas, irrespective of what started it. Also, kep in mind that Bush is reduced to being Commander-in-Chief these days and depends on Cheney to think for him. Scary stuff. The thing only has to be sold to Bush, as he’s past worrying about popular support;it’s gone, already. Glenn Greenwald’s new book on Bush, the Manichean has a big chapter on Iran and seems oddly prescient just today

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  109. Punchy says:

    It’s been clear for a year that the US has not the political support to initiate another war. Therefore, the Israeli initiation is perfect for Cheney as it automatically commits the US to their defense. I don’t, however, understand how Israel invading Syria gets the US into Iran. The press and Americans in general will be highly atune to why we’re fighting another country, and I don’t think they can wash Iran into a Syrian/Israeli conflict. 2 years ago, maybe. Today, it would be a very hard sell.
    It would, however, effectively end many of these pesky Congressional investigations, as more important biz would be necessary to debate.

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  110. John Shreffler says:

    Steve,
    Cheney’s not a rational actor. He gives me pause, as he’s a man gone over to the dark side, full of lust for violence and hate. He also still has the President’s ear and is engineering his war on Iran. Col. Lang over at Sic Semper Tyrannis has a post about an impending Israeli invasion of Syria as a means of flanking the Hezbollah defensive belt in South Lebanon. I strongly suspect that this is intended to get out of hand to provide a pretext for a strike on Iran. Things are moving all over the place and in that direction.

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