Tuesday, November 11

Iraq War: Impeach the Bit*hes and Bast**ds!

"Who does the President think he's f***in' kiddin'."--Keith Olderman, MSNBC

"[They] should be in f***ing jail."--Sean Penn, The Bill Maher Show, HBO

"Seig heil, you nazi son-of-a-bi*ch."--College Student to program speaker Paul Wolfowitz

You hear all those quotes--and much more--below in the brilliant collage of images and sound-bytes gleaned from eight years of fascist rule in America.

For whatever it may be worth to the Die-Harder faithful at this late juncture of the Bush White House's 9/11 and post-9/11 global crime spree, Rep. John Conyers, Democrat chair of the US House Judiciary Committee, again is saying he'll drink the impeachment-ade.

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Sunday, November 2

Bogus Iraq "War" $500,000-a-minute Theft Upstaged by Bankers' Bailout Billions

On 5 August, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind's new book The Way of the World met with mixed reviews, though the Wall Street Journal said it was "'the biggest release' of a crop of late summer 'big titles'." In it, Suskind documents his bombshell allegation that the Bush White House "ordered the CIA to forge and disseminate false intelligence documents" to justify Iraq's invasion. On 14 August, Suskind appeared on Pacificia Radio's Democracy Now! with Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, who told listeners he was "calling everybody back" early to Washington from their August recess to convene hearings into the allegations. But Conyers wasn't completely honest about his call-back of colleagues. And by September, they all had moved on to the mortgage market bailout.

The American Friends Service Committee (www.afsc.org) currently has this video posted on the front page of the organization's website.

Those are some remarkable numbers, no? Especially in light of some incendiary revelations that surfaced--and then promptly disappeared--this past summer.

On August 14, Pulitzer-Prize winning author Ron Suskind told Pacificia Radio's Democracy Now! hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez
that in 2003 the White House ordered the CIA to forge and disseminate false intelligence documents linking al-Qaeda and Iraq [one of two reasons the White House cited for invading Saddam Hussein]. While much of the attention on the book has focused on the forged letter, Suskind also reveals that the Bush administration and the British government knew prior to the war that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.
Here we are again.... More evidence that all our billions in tax dollars were siphoned off from helping needy Americans into the contrived carnage in Iraq.

Can anyone answer a question for me?

Just how many times will the Downing Street Memo--the classified document, orginally published 1 May 2005 in London's Sunday Times, detailing a series of principals meeting among US and British administration officials on plans to have evidence "fixed" for war in Iraq-- just how many times will this story of faked evidence resurface before the treasonous criminals ensconced at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in DC will be investigated for the manufactured carnage in Iraq?

Cult of the Hammerlocked Message : Manufactured War

Late into their interview with Suskind on the 14th (segment 1 on the 13th is here), Juan Gonzalez raised the provocative topic of US- manufactured foreign wars:
JG: I’d like to—I mean, you’ve written now several books, as you say, on this administration. And I’d like to ask you, for those who, looking at American history, say this is not the first time that presidents have fabricated reasons to go to war—John Quincy Adams accusing President Polk of fabricating reasons to go to war with Mexico, obviously the Gulf of Tonkin—what, in your view, makes this administration unique or distinct compared to the other lies that have been foisted on the American people in the past?
In response, Suskind suggests that public knowledge of contrived American wars is contested democratic terrain. Rather than alert the public to the truth, the Fourth Estate, in tandem with unprecedented official secrecy, serves war-mongering by deflecting attention away from real to bogus issues.
RS: You know what? The fact is that we are ever in a pull and tug, an ebb and flow, when it comes to these issues, in terms of what the public says. We have a right to know in a democracy, especially on issues of greatest import, where [our] young and women may die in battle. And what an administration often will say, a president will say, “This is my business. You’re on a need-to-know basis. I’ll tell you what I believe you’re supposed to know.” This back-and-forth has gone on for many years.

I think it’s clear in these past few years that we’ve had a kind of hammerlock here between the cult of message, where, frankly, people are not having discussions that are real ones, certainly not in the Fourth Estate, as we might have in previous decades, with senior officials, even with a president, where they’re giving the good enough reasons that underlie action A and B.

Combine that with an extraordinary spread of secrecy. You know, they are classifying everything down to the most minor documents. And I’ve looked at documents that are classified, and you say, “That is impossible that you would think that is an issue of national security.” That is a core problem of this period. You know, and frankly, some people inside of the administration, you know, and some wise heads who have served other presidents say what we need, we need a 9/11 Commission-style group, bipartisan, elder statesmen, who say these things should be made public, because right now everything gets classified. And there is nobody, nobody of consequence, inside of this government—and it may be true going forward—who says this must be made public, even if it’s going to hurt like hell. And that’s really an issue now for the democracy.....
During the first segment on the 13th, Goodman told listeners Rep. John Coyners "was 'troubled' by the claims in the book and that his staff would 'conduct a careful review of Mr. Suskind’s allegations and the role played by senior administration officials in this matter'.”

Conyers made a cameo appearance on the 14th, briefly noting by phone from Washington "that’s what we’re investigating now," in reference to Suskind's claims. Though Washington was midway into annual ritual of taking off the month of August, Conyers told listeners the allegations had prompted him to "calling everyone back" early to Washington, citing "the huge amount of work to engage in."

Near the end of the interview on the 14th, Goodman again introduces Coyners, who tells listeners that mainstream media first should investigate Suskind's claims before congress feels compelled to establish the 9/11 Commission-styled bipartisan panel.
AG: Finally, Congressman Conyers, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, do you think there is any chance of a bipartisan commission like this being set up?

REP. JC: It has been suggested. It’s under investigation and consideration right now. But the importance of this discussion today is critical not only to the committees—there are four committees, and how they relate to each other will come forward very shortly—but there is also the question of the media, the Fourth Estate, the press. This is now public information that, it seems to me, shouldn’t be great breaking news over a progressive news program, but this has to be investigated by the rest of the media, unless they consider this to be irrelevant or too late, or whatever reasons are, that they’re coerced or afraid themselves, too timid. But what you’re doing is a great service. And I consider the relationship of the committees on the subject matter, the responsibility of the media, and the American people being brought into this discussion as the citizens, that in a representative democracy, that’s what all of us are supposed to be working on. And so, you have my congratulations for allowing me to be here and with you and with all of the large number of people that are also taking part in this by listening to it.
"Irrelevant?" "Too Late?" "Coerced?" "Afraid Themsevles?" "Timid?": Conyers Tables House Probe

The mainstream media's coverage of Suskind's allegations was understated compared to their volitility, but there was something of the coverage Conyers suggested for convening another 9/11 Commission-style bipartisan probe. The response of the congressman from Detroit, however was ... well, flaccid, based on an examination of his U.S. House Judiciary Committee's schedule of press releases and formal hearings.

On August 11 (Monday), Conyer's office issued a press release ("Conyers Announces Review of Allegations of Bush Administration’s Forged Iraq Intelligence") citing Suskind and his allegations. That was six days after Suskind appeared on NBC's The Today Show and his book appeared on bookshelves (5 August). On 7 August, Suskind appeared on NPR's Fresh Air and on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show on the 11th.

The day after the completed his Democracy Now! two-art interview (the 15th), Fox News Network's Hannity and Colmes hosted the author, where the dialogue on occasion turned puglistic.


SUSKIND: Yes, Sean?

HANNITY: Because you're accusing George Tenet of carrying out illegal White House orders. Did you ever ask Mr. Tenet -- did you ever ask him, himself, if the allegation was true?

SUSKIND: You know, what we did here -- I talked to George Tenet many, many times. He doesn't remember virtually anything...

HANNITY: I didn't ask you if he remembers anything. Did you ever ask him specifically about the orders that you say the White House asked him to carry out illegally? Did you ask him specifically about it?

SUSKIND: What I did in this case, having dealt with George Tenet many times in previous works, I talked to the people with memories, daybooks and they were involved.

HANNITY: Did you -- Ron, did you ask him? Because you're saying he was the one that that was told to do it. Did you ask him?

SUSKIND: I -- I have said many times that I didn't talk to George Tenet in this book.

HANNITY: OK. But George Tenet -- wait a minute. His public statement came out, and he says he does remember. And he explicitly said that the incident you concoct didn't happen. Why didn't you ask him?

SUSKIND: No, Sean, George Tenet says, "To the best of my memory." He's been saying that for years. He doesn't remember briefing Bush before 9/11. He doesn't remember "slam dunk." He doesn't remember virtually anything.

Look, I feel bad for George. He's not a bad guy, but I went to people with specific memories of actions they were involved in.

Earlier that morning Das Kos's Ralph Lopez reviewed Suskind's Democracy Now! appearance, noting "Conyers Calls Committee Back from Summer Recess to Investigate Suskind Allegations." But Lopez's updated his blog entry with this note:

"... Conyers now says he did not call committee back, but only "staff," whom I thought stayed on anyway while congressmen were on "District Work Period." Left message seeking clarification."

On the 20th, Conyers's office, however, mailed five letters to US intelligence officials, including George "I Don't Not Recall" Tenet and A.B. "Buzzy" Kongard, who "had expressed concern about the CIA's involvement in the production or implementation of the fabricated letter [claiming Saddam Hussein provided terrorist attack training to 9/11 hijacking ringleader Mohamed Atta], to the point of anticipating your need to resign..."

Conyers claims Rob Ricther, the CIA's Deputy Director of Clandestine Operations and Chief of the Near East Division in 2003, is the alleged mastermind of the critical "Habbush forgery" linking Atta to Iraq.

But when did headlines of the Mortgage Industry bailout begin to garner wide attention? Though the Senate voted 74-25 on 1 October on the bailout, the first mention I found about it was a 13 August investment note on an adjustment by the Fed on 12 August. Keep in mind that Bear Stearns was magically merged with J.P. Morgan Chase in March 2008.
But the media coverage didn't stir on the multibillion-dollar bailout.

Ah, but that's probably just a coincidence, right?

As is the norm, no hearings were scheduled in August for the House Judiciary Committee or any of its subcommittees. Conyers also failed to hold any hearings in either September or October into Suskind's allegations.

But I'm sure he's busy with more pressing crises than a bogusly contrived war, right?

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