What I Heard about Iraq
In 1992, a year after the first Gulf War, I heard Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, say that the US had been wise not to invade Baghdad and get 'bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq'. I heard him say: 'The question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is: not that damned many.'
In February 2001, I heard Colin Powell say that Saddam Hussein 'has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.'
That same month, I heard that a CIA report stated: 'We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programmes.'
In July 2001, I heard Condoleezza Rice say: '
Global warming reaches 'tipping point' - report
Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:38 AM IST
The department still needs to approve a few polling place changes but otherwise gave its blessing to plans to hold elections for mayor, City Council and other posts on April 22. Department officials also said they will send observers to monitor the balloting.
Black leaders have charged that Louisiana officials have not done enough to ensure that voters scattered by the storm will be able to vote. The state plans to set up satellite polling places around the state for New Orleans residents driven from their homes, but chose not to create such stations outside Louisiana.
17 March 2006
In light of today's analysis on Costa Rica, the following are recent PINR analyses that cover other countries in the region:
"Chile Enters Period of Political Normalization"
"Bolivia's Evo Morales Shifts the Hemispheric Balance of Power"
"Intelligence Brief: Elections in Honduras"
"Summit of the Americas Fails to Establish Agreement on F.T.A.A."
"Intelligence Brief: Rumsfeld Visits Paraguay and Peru"
"Venezuela's Hugo Chavez Makes His Bid for a Bolivarian Revolution"
"Uruguay Completes the Leftward Realignment of the Southern Cone"
Bush Administration Renews "Preemptive War" Strategy
U.N. Creates New Watchdog Over U.S. Opposition
War Is Here
by Robert Dreyfuss, TomPaine.com
The Iraqi Civil War has begun -- but to understand it think Beirut, not Bull Run.
Sen. Harkin: "We have a President who likes to break things. He has broken the federal budget, running up $3 trillion in new debt. He has broken the Geneva Conventions, giving the green light to torture. He has repeatedly broken promises – and broken faith – with the American people. And now, worst of all, he has broken the law."
Since today's dispatch is by a former federal prosecutor, let me suggest a small "law" of my own, one fit for the present moment: When it comes to the Bush administration, whatever the subject may be and however bad you think things are, they're going to be at least several fallback positions worse than whatever top administration officials may be fessing up to at any given moment. This, after all, is the administration of adamant denials, followed by forceful non-confessions, followed by proud statements, followed by limited hang-outs, followed by even more grudging, only slightly less limited hang-outs....
Reprogramming the Infinite Loop
The NSA Spying Debate
By Elizabeth de la Vega
It has now been three months since the Bush administration reluctantly admitted that it has been conducting warrantless surveillance on American citizens, despite the explicit prohibitions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Since then, the public has been treated to endless and, unfortunately, fruitless discussion about the issue. We have experts and scholars earnestly responding, and responding yet again, to administration arguments (both legal and factual) that can best be described as protean, internally inconsistent, and occasionally evanescent. We have the administration refusing to explain the program, but enjoining everyone to "trust them." And we have legislators trying to "fix" a problem that is undefined by proposing new laws that the administration doesn't want. We are, in short, trapped in an infinite loop.
Right-Wing Blocks Funding For Port Security, Disaster Preparedness
America's nuclear hypocrisy undermines its stance on Iran
mission accomplished according to CNN
THURSDAY, MARCH 16, 2006
WP's Pincus isn't terribly concerned about sources drying up
Columbia Journalism Review
Despite the chill being generated by the Valerie Plame and Wen Ho Lee
cases, Washington Post veteran Walter Pincus says he isn't terribly
alarmed that sources will dry up. "You never know who's dissuaded
these periods when the government is more active in trying to stop
he tells David Glenn. "But in the national security field, people who
concerned find a way" to get the information out.
Posted at 10:49:33 AM
Officer Says He Wrongly Approved Use of Dogs
Tactic Employed At Abu Ghraib
By Josh WhiteWashington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 16, 2006; Page A01
The top U.S. military intelligence officer at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq testified yesterday that he inappropriately approved the use of dogs for interrogations without consulting higher-ranking officers, accepting responsibility for giving his subordinates an aggressive tool that was used to terrify detainees.
Libby Lawyers Subpoena New York Times, Judy Miller (NYT)
Lawyers for I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who faces charges of obstruction of justice, are seeking documents concerning the disclosure of the identity of undercover C.I.A. operative Valerie Plame
FRANCIS FUKUYAMA: Your provocative new book, American Vertigo, begins with an attack on the thoughtless European anti-Americanism that has become rampant since the Iraq war, and argues persuasively that the only antidote for it is to take a fresh look at America, at its virtues as well as its vices. This is frequently something done much better by non-Americans, and you are following in the footsteps of one of the most acute observers of all time—Alexis de Tocqueville.
Nonetheless, I want to begin by criticizing something I think you've gotten wrong, namely your dislike of Las Vegas. You find that sex is packaged there in a way that makes it, ironically, puritanical and sterile. This comes as a result of your visits to a strip club and one of those famous legal brothels in rural Nevada, and you keep referring to Las Vegas with considerable distaste throughout the rest of the book.
Now, I happen to know Las Vegas very well, not because I go to strip clubs or brothels, but because I've been going out there regularly with my family to visit relatives for the past 15 years. And that is precisely my problem with your account: You have this image of Las Vegas as "sin city", and then you were disappointed with the poor quality of the sin.
But this view of Las Vegas is at least thirty years out of date. Las Vegas is a real city with real people, not just sex workers, in it. It has been on and off the fastest growing city in the fastest growing county in the United States, with an incredible amount of energy and entrepreneurship. Much of the new employment centers around the gaming industry, but Las Vegas is as economically diverse as other American cities. It is home to huge numbers of retirees, like my relatives; it is the location of Nellis Air Force Base, host to Red Flag exercises and a lot of defense contractors; it has a burgeoning high-tech industry that has escaped the high costs of California; and it has a large Latino population working mainly in low-skill service industries and manufacturing.
Siege of Jericho prison: US, Britain complicit in Israeli war crime
Intelligence Brief: Sectarian Violence Moves Iraq Closer to Civil War
Between March 13-14, Iraqi security forces uncovered at least 86 bodies in Baghdad. The victims were all murdered, many killed in large groups as a result of gunshot wounds to the head. Some 29 bodies killed in this manner were found in a Shi'a neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, while 15 bodies, all victims of strangulation, were discovered in the back of a truck in a Sunni Arab neighborhood in western Baghdad.
Garrison Keillor | Day of Reckoning For the Current Occupant
Deleted Webpages from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
exclusive: Federal agency removes health info for gay-lesbian-bi-trans
populations. The Memory Hole restores it
Garrison Keillor | Day of Reckoning For the Current Occupant
Guatemala's Cursed Armed Forces: Washington's Old Friend is Back in Town
Jonathan Tasini | Stand Up to the Beltway Democrats
and more. . .
This Magazine is Great. That's All. [Unbeige]
Just a "this is cool" type of link: We happened upon the web-based magazine Polar Inertia earlier today and it's just terrific. It sometimes takes us a little while to get into photography journals, but this one is so well designed and consistent, it just keeps us flipping the pages.
Center for Constitutional Rights: Attorneys Representing Guantanamo Detainees React to Shocking Guantanamo Suicide Letter Just Released by the US