Archive for the ‘CIA’ Category

I can’t even post this article – the corruption just continues to trickle down.  To quote an acquaintance: “The balance of power in government (executive, legislative & judicial) is just a whisper in the wind.”

If you can stomach it – read the article in the Washington Post.  (There are rumors but no “factual evidence” that some covert agents died as a direct result of this serious breach of conduct.  But, hey – they’ve already proven that life matters little to any of them – unless it is their own.)

Say “When.” 

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We’re All Gonna Die
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist
Friday 13 July 2007

We are all wired into a survival trip now.

– Hunter S. Thompson

Who can forget the incredible scandal that erupted back in May of 2002? Around about the middle of that month, details began to emerge about the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing that specifically warned Bush about Osama bin Laden’s determination to strike the United States.

Wait. Actually, everyone forgot, because two days later, the Bush administration unleashed a blizzard of dire warnings about impending terrorist attacks. FBI Director Robert Mueller intoned such attacks were “inevitable,” and the Department of Homeland Security announced the imminent, explosive destruction of all American railroads, along with the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

Who can forget the incredible scandal that erupted back in June of 2003? Over the course of two days, reports emerged about serious doubts held by the CIA regarding the credibility of the administration’s claim Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger. On the heels of this, Congress unfurled its 9/11 report, which criticized all levels of the Bush administration for its performance before and during the attacks.

Wait. Actually, everyone forgot, because the Bush administration unleashed another blizzard of warnings about impending terrorist attacks. Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security warned terrorists were, once again, preparing to attack the United States with suicide missions using commercial airliners as bombs.

Who can forget the incredible scandal that erupted back in December of 2003? 9/11 Commission chairman Thomas Keane declared the attacks of 9/11 should have been prevented. The next day, a Federal appeals court ruled against the administration on the case of suspected terrorist Jose Padilla, stating Padilla could not be held indefinitely without being charged.

Wait. Actually, everyone forgot, because the Bush administration increased the terrorism threat level to Orange and claimed more suicide planes were about to come zooming out of the sky. Six international flights were diverted due to potential terrorist actions of some passengers who were later identified as an insurance salesman, an elderly Chinese woman and a five-year-old boy.

Who can forget the incredible scandal that erupted back in May of 2004? Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared on Meet the Press and stated the intelligence on Iraqi WMD he’d been given for his UN presentation had been “inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading.” Horrifying new pictures of the torture, rape and murder of prisoners by Americans at Abu Ghraib prison became public. The American military accidentally bombed a wedding party in Iraq, killing 40 civilians.

Wait. Actually, everyone forgot, because FBI Director Mueller and Attorney General John Ashcroft announced they had reports from multiple sources of al Qaeda’s “specific intention to hit the United States hard.” The threat levels were not raised, but dire warnings of impending catastrophe were offered by the administration for the next several days.

The recipe is simple, like the directions on the back of a shampoo bottle. Damaging reports of Bush administration malfeasance emerge. Warnings of imminent terrorist-borne doom immediately follow, all spread far and wide by said Bush administration. Lather, rinse, repeat.

There are many more instances of this curious timing to be found, but apparently, no one in the administration is concerned this dubious pattern – spreading fear among the populace to change the subject, an act of terrorism itself – might start to wear thin.

Who is going to forget the incredible scandals of June and July of 2007? The Bush administration leaves Nixon in the dust by commuting the prison sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. This action strongly suggests the existence of a quid pro quo between Libby and Bush’s people to cover up the criminal activities of powerful officials like Vice President Dick Cheney, who had recently claimed his office wasn’t part of the executive branch to avoid handing papers over to the National Archives.

The administration deploys spurious claims of Executive Privilege to avoid subpoenas regarding the patently illegal NSA wiretapping of American citizens. That privilege is extended to deny Congressional access to Harriet Miers, former White House counsel, regarding the issue of fired US attorneys. Contempt charges are threatened against Miers, and the NSA subpoena stonewall comes closer to getting openly challenged in court. Alberto Gonzales is exposed as having lied to the Senate in his testimony about FBI abuses of the Patriot Act.

Few of the benchmarks for success in Iraq are met. Desperate to halt a tide of GOP defections from his Iraq policy, Bush again coughs up the totally discredited link between 9/11 and Iraq, saying, “The same people that attacked us on September the 11th is a crowd that is now bombing people, killing innocent men, women and children.” The House again votes to withdraw American troops from Iraq. A new Harris poll on Bush’s approval rating is published. The number reads 26 percent.

Wait.

Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff all but guarantees devastating new terror attacks against the United States this summer. He bases this warning on a “gut feeling.” White House spokesman Tony Snow threatens that withdrawal from Iraq would bring terrorism “to a shopping mall near you.”

Meanwhile, al Qaeda is alleged to be as secure in Pakistan and Afghanistan as they were before 9/11, yet no one in the administration connects this new security to the drain of resources happening in Iraq. Additionally, no one in the administration points out the fact that, if Chertoff’s gut is indeed correct, and we are indeed attacked again, responsibility for that attack will fall upon those who manufactured war in Iraq. Never mind the fact that if an attack is allowed to happen, even a minor one, more of our constitutional rights and protections will be eviscerated by the very same people who failed to stop it again.

Will everyone forget about the scandals of June and July 2007 amid these deadly warnings of coming death?

Lather, rinse, repeat.


William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know andThe Greatest Sedition Is Silence.” His newest book, House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America’s Ravaged Reputation,” is now available from PoliPointPress.

Bush Refuses to Explain Libby Order

Jul 11, 8:02 PM (ET)

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush refused to explain to Congress on Wednesday why he commuted the prison sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. The husband of the CIA agent outed in the case testified during a House hearing that the clemency grant had cast a pall of suspicion over the presidency.

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., Bush counsel Fred Fielding said Congress had no authority to review a presidential clemency decision.

“To allow such an inquiry would chill the complete and candid advice that President Bush, and future presidents, must be able to rely upon in discharging their constitutional responsibilities,” he wrote.

The letter came in the middle of a politically charged hearing by the Judiciary panel on Bush’s move last week to erase Libby’s 2 1/2-year prison sentence. Libby, a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of obstructing justice in a federal probe of the leak of former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity.

When he issued the commutation July 2, Bush said in a statement that he respected the jury’s verdict but thought the prison term was too harsh.

The hearing’s star witness was her husband Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former diplomat whose 2003 newspaper column challenging Bush’s case for the Iraq war precipitated Plame’s unmasking and the resulting investigation that ensnared Libby.

“In commuting Mr. Libby’s sentence, the president has removed any incentive for Mr. Libby to cooperate with the prosecutor. The obstruction of justice is ongoing, and now the president has emerged as its greatest protector,” Wilson testified.

Wilson said Bush “at the very least owes the American people a full and honest explanation of his actions and those of other senior administration officials in this matter, including but not limited to the vice president.”

Conyers said he recognized Bush’s constitutional right to grant clemency, but he argued that using the power to benefit a former aide who was in a position to incriminate other administration officials was suspect.

Even President Clinton’s pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich “did not involve someone who worked in the White House and could potentially implicate others there, as may be or appears to be the case in this instance,” Conyers said.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., compared the commutation to the pardons issued by President George H.W. Bush in the Iran-Contra affair, arguing that both excused actions that “frustrated a legitimate investigation, and the pardons guaranteed … that that investigation could go no further.”

Republicans angrily derided the hearing as a partisan stunt that could accomplish nothing, since the president has inherent constitutional authority to pardon or grant clemency to whomever he wishes.

“What’s going on here today is more braying at the moon by my friends on the other side of the aisle, who spend more time looking into real or imagined misconduct on the part of the Bush administration, rather than doing the job that we were elected to do,” said Sen. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., said Democrats were right that Bush might have handled the matter differently, but added: “The big difference is, he’s the president and you’re not, and he made the judgment to exercise his constitutional authority the way he did.”

At one point the hearing degenerated into name-calling, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., accused Plame of lying to the Judiciary Committee during testimony in March when she said she had not tapped her husband to travel to Niger for the fact-finding mission that led to his op-ed questioning Bush’s Iraq war claims.

“This is yet a further smear of my wife’s good name and my good name,” Wilson loudly protested later, as Issa objected repeatedly and Conyers fought to gain control of the hearing.

From My Way News

Say “When.”

Bush acknowledges his administration leaked CIA operative’s name

Thursday, July 12, 2007

 


WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush on Thursday acknowledged publicly for the first time that someone in his administration likely leaked the name of a CIA operative, although he also said he hopes the controversy over his decision to spare prison for a former White House aide has “run its course.”

“And now we’re going to move on,” Bush said in a White House news conference.

The president had initially said he would fire anyone in his administration found to have publicly disclosed the identity of Valerie Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and a CIA operative. Wilson is an outspoken Iraq war critic.

Ten days ago, Bush commuted the 30-month sentence given to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby by a federal judge in connection with the case.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, had been convicted of lying and obstruction of justice in the CIA-leak case.

Bush would not directly address answer a question about whether he is disappointed in the White House officials who leaked Plame’s name.

“I’m aware of the fact that perhaps somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person,” Bush said. “I’ve often thought about what would have happened if that person had come forth and said, ‘I did it.’ Would we have had this endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter? But, so, it’s been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House. It’s run its course and now we’re going to move on.”

He also defended the decision to commute Libby’s sentence. “The Scooter Libby decision was, I thought, a fair and balanced decision,” Bush said.

Bush also presented a mixed picture of progress in Iraq, coinciding with an interim report to Congress by his administration that asserted progress on some fronts but not on others.

He said he understood the growing opposition to the war among the American public and recent defections by some Republicans in Congress.

“There’s war fatigue in America. It’s affecting our psychology. I understand that. It’s an ugly war,” Bush said.

He said he had listened carefully to influential Republican senators who had recently been critical of his war strategy. But, in the end, he said, he was commander in chief and he would rely on advice from his military commanders.

“I value the advice of those senators, I appreciate their concern. … I’m going to continue to listen to them,” Bush said.

He said he still believed the war could — and must — be won. “If we increase our support at this crucial moment, we can hasten the day when our troops come home,” Bush said.

Questions on Iraq dominated Bush’s news conference, his first full-blown question and answer session with reporters once since May 24.

The administration’s report said there has been satisfactory progress on eight political and military benchmarks, unsatisfactory progress on another eight, and mixed results in two other areas.

On one of the few other questions of the news conference not related to Iraq, Bush was asked whether he also had a “gut feeling” there might be a terror attack this summer, as Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff had recently suggested.

“My gut tells me that, which my head tells as well, is that: When we find a credible threat, we’ll share it with you.”

From the International Herald

Say “When.”