SHORT TAKES: The Torturers, Syrian Nukes, NC Dem Debate, the Political Low Road, Bolivia and CIA, Beirut Tourism

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addington.jpgTHEY AUTHORIZED TORTURE. . .AND THEN WATCHED

Cheney chief of staff David Addington — author of one of the key “torture memos” — actually went to Guantanamo to see torture harsh interrogation techniques applied to Guantanamo prisoners.
Accompanying him were Alberto Gonzales and Department of Defense General Counsel Jim Haynes.
All of this is described in a forthcoming book by a friend and colleague Philippe Sands titled Torture Team: Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law.
Phillippe Sands, Lawrence Wilkerson, and Steve Clemons will be speaking on “The Torturers” on Tuesday, 6 May, 3:30-5:00 pm at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC.

SYRIAN NUKES???

In a closed congressional session tomorrow, Israeli intelligence officers will provide Members of Congress with details regarding Israel’s air raid last September on an alleged nuclear installation Syria was constructing with North Korean assistance. However, there is no solid evidence to date that Syria was actually building a nuclear facility, according to highly-placed U.S. intelligence officials.
CIA analysts suggest the Syrians might have been building some kind of air missile facility. But the Bush administration is keen on darkening Syria’s image, as are the Israelis, so they must promote the nuclear line. President Assad of Syria has joked to Western visitors that his engineers are so incompetent that if they tried to build a nuclear facility it would become another Chernobyl.
Vice-President Dick Cheney continues to tell associates that the Syrians were constructing a chemical weapons plant. At the time of the attack, UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei accused the Israelis of taking “the law into their own hands” and demanded more information about what was hit. To date, the IAEA chief has received no such briefing…….

NO DNC DEBATE IN NORTH CAROLINA

Clintonistas are furious at DNC chairman Howard Dean for interceding and canceling a planned debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that was scheduled to take place in North Carolina before the May 6th primary there. But the NC state democratic party says that both candidates have agreed to speak at a Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Raleigh on May 2nd.

LOW ROAD TO VICTORY?

For the New York Times to publish a lead editorial attack on Hillary Clinton for running a “low road” campaign in Pennsylvania, as it did in today’s paper, is quite astonishing . But will such an editorial persuade the Clinton or McCain campaigns from doing whatever they can to uncover Obama’s “black nationalist roots”? No chance. We have learned that McCain and Clinton investigators are on the ground in Chicago looking into Farrakhanism and any connections to Barack Obama’s machine.

TROUBLE IN BOLIVIA?

Bolivia is a big topic in the cafeteria at the CIA these days; specifically regarding the planned referendum that President Evo Morales will hold on May 4th.
The referendum will consist of two questions. It will let voters decide between 5,000 and 10,000 hectares as the maximum size for an estate. Secondly, the referendum will ask voters whether they approve of a newly drafted constitution that says the government should have ownership of all natural resources.
The crisis between the government of Bolivia and the country’s wealthiest estates is palpable. In a little covered speech at the UN earlier this week, Morales denounced the rich in his country for trying to stop his social programs and foreign companies which put their products before people’s lives. So why is the CIA so interested in what happens in Bolivia on May 4th? Why are there so many American agents scurrying around La Paz these days?

BEIRUT’S EMPTY HOTELS

Beirut is one of the world’s great cosmopolitan cities. But the political stand-off between the American-backed government and the Syrian-backed opposition is keeping tourists away. The occupancy rate in Beirut hotels was 35 percent in 2007, down from 50 percent in 2006, according to a recently released annual survey of the Middle East hotel market by Ernst and Young. The occupancy rate in Beirut was the lowest among 19 markets in the region last year.

— TWN Staff

Comments

8 comments on “SHORT TAKES: The Torturers, Syrian Nukes, NC Dem Debate, the Political Low Road, Bolivia and CIA, Beirut Tourism

  1. Ben Rosengart says:

    Steve,
    I value your insight on foreign policy. When it comes to the
    horserace, I am pained to say that I frequently find your
    contributions less than edifying.
    More foreign policy, please.

    Reply

  2. SHORT TAKES says:

    Dear Steve and TWN Team:
    Thanks for your hard, creative work on behalf of us blog junkies. I like the Short Takes a lot. I think when you can you should add some links. But it’s great to broaden your playing field and dip into some things that you may not have time to write full exposes about but which are important for us to know.
    I work in DC on the Hill, and I actually heard two people in the Dirksen cafeteria talking about this post on Syria Nukes today.
    Congrats and thank you!

    Reply

  3. dalivision says:

    Dear Staff,
    I like this however would like to see links to each topic.
    Keep it up.
    thanks

    Reply

  4. fljim says:

    Thanks again Steve for doing your part on the torture issue. Once the war criminals are out of office, what’s the chance that they will be seriously pursued for their shameful and criminal behavior? I worry we’ll get the “let bygones be bygones” approach once we have a new administration as new administrations tend to do. This issue speaks so directly to our national character that I think that would be a huge mistake.

    Reply

  5. Steve Clemons says:

    questions — thanks for your note about it. we’re experimenting with this feature. try it out a bit longer and let’s see where it goes. this helps me broaden our reach a bit at TWN and i’ve recruited some new staff to dig in some places and on issues I dont often have the time to do myself.
    thanks for the note though — i thought today’s roster was full of zingers as well….particularly the syria nukes story which has generated about six calls today from DC insider notables who didn’t know it was going on.
    best, steve

    Reply

  6. questions says:

    Dear Staff,
    Please discontinue this feature as I have hardly a chance to recover from the first revelation before you throw a new one out. I’m reeling. If every item is in its own post, I will have an easier time regaining my equilibrium in between knockout blows.
    Thank you!

    Reply

  7. bubbagump says:

    Obama camp is getting ready to toss a number of “bubba bombs” in an effort to win Indiana and knock HRC out.

    Reply

  8. leo says:

    “But will such an editorial persuade the Clinton or McCain campaigns from doing whatever they can to uncover Obama’s “black nationalist roots”? No chance. We have learned that McCain and Clinton investigators are on the ground in Chicago looking into Farrakhanism and any connections to Barack Obama’s machine.”
    Shoot, I’d like to blame Steve for floating this hysterical and irresponsible (and pro-Clinton) balloon.

    Reply

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