by ilene - September 26th, 2010 2:50 pm
Courtes of Washington’s Blog
[And see also Washington's 9-11 post if you missed it, here.]
We’ve been told that 9/11 changed everything.
Is it true?
- The decision to launch the Iraq war was made before 9/11. Indeed, former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before9/11, and inserted "crap" in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before9/11. And top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change one month after Bush took office
- Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11
- The Patriot Act was planned before 9/11
- Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
- Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11. And see this
- Cheney and the rest of the neocons lamented - before 9/11 - that America could not truly project its power globally without the justification of a "new Pearl Harbor"
- The decision to threaten to bomb Iran was made before 9/11
- The government knew that terrorists could use planes as weapons — and had even run its own drills of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings, using REAL airplanes — all before 9/11
- The government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers’ own mouths before 9/11
- Cheney was in charge of all counter-terrorism programs for the United States before (and on) 9/11. See this Department of State announcement, this CNN article andthis essay
- It was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn’t work to produce accurate intelligence, but is an effective way to terrorize people
So did 9/11 really "change everything"? Or was it simply an excuse to implement existing plans?
by ilene - July 28th, 2010 7:44 pm
Courtesy of Washington’s Blog
Numerous current stories show how disconnected mainstream policy-makers are from reality.
For example, Ryan Grim points out that there is an "unbelievable disconnect" between the American people (who are people are against the Afghanistan war) and Congress and the political elite (gung-ho to escalate this never-ending war):
Even after the Wikileaks revelations, even though there is no logical reason to be in Afghanistan, even though the war won’t help the economy, and even though most Americans want us to get out, Congress keeps increasing funding for the endless war.
And Alan Blinder (economist, banking consultant and former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System) and chief Moody’s economist Mark Zandi wrote a paper yesterday called How We Ended the Great Recession:
A source on Capitol Hill sent this to me, telling me that the paper is making the rounds on the Hill.
In the paper, Blinder and Zandi congratulate the Bush and Obama administrations for saving us from the Great Depression 2.0:
Eighteen months ago, the global financial system was on the brink of collapse and the U.S. was suffering its worst economic downturn since the 1930s. The Great Recession gave way to recovery as quickly as it did largely because of the unprecedented responses by monetary and fiscal policymakers.
In other words: "Mission Accomplished".
In the real world, however, the economy is on the second leg down of the crash, and the government’s policies have not addressed the real problems. See this and this (no wonder consumer confidence is plunging but Wall Street is partying like it’s 1999).
Indeed, while Blinder and Zandi and Congress are patting themselves on the back for a job well done, the facts simply do not bear out their claims. As just one example, they claim that the TARP bank bailouts helped the economy. But as I pointed out in March 2009, the bailout money didn’t actually…
by ilene - July 27th, 2010 6:20 pm
Courtesy of Mish
The questions on my mind are: How many trillions of dollars do we have to spend, how many lives need to be wasted, and how much longer are we going to be involved in the boondoggle known as Afghanistan?
Such questions were on my mind even before Leaked Documents Underscore Lawmakers’ Concerns on Afghan War
President Barack Obama faces renewed concern about his Afghanistan war strategy after leaked military documents suggested Pakistan’s main intelligence agency secretly aided the Taliban and others the U.S is trying to defeat.
Disclosure of the documents, as Congress this week considers funding for the U.S. troop buildup in Afghanistan, underscored questions about the war while many lawmakers prepare to go home to campaign in August.
Some of the 92,000 classified reports, disclosed July 25 by the website Wikileaks, say that members of Pakistan’s Inter- Services Intelligence Directorate helped the Taliban and other Islamic rebels. The documents, covering 2004 through 2009, were reported by the New York Times, the London-based Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel, which said Wikileaks provided them the reports three weeks ago.
The leaked documents “raise serious questions about the reality of America’s policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat. “Those policies are at a critical stage,” and the documents “make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent.”
“I’ve been to a number of briefings and I’ve always been provided a more upbeat picture than the one” depicted by the documents, said Representative James McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat who opposes Obama’s Afghan policy. “The picture that is painted here is not pretty.”
Obama announced in December plans to send another 30,000 combat troops to Afghanistan, and Congress is under pressure to pass legislation paying for the buildup before taking its monthlong summer recess. Obama has said he will start to draw down U.S. forces in July 2011 and give more security responsibility to the Afghans, depending on conditions.
Polls show support for the war waning. Almost 6 in 10 respondents in a Bloomberg National Poll conducted July 9-12 said Afghanistan is a lost cause.
Also, 60 percent of Americans surveyed thought the withdrawal of forces should start in July 2011 even if the situation in