Friday, February 09, 2007

'Dubious' Intelligence Fueled Push for War


Intelligence provided by former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith to buttress the White House case for invading Iraq included "reporting of dubious quality or reliability" that supported the political views of senior administration officials rather than the conclusions of the intelligence community, according to a report by the Pentagon's inspector general.

Feith's office "was predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda," according to portions of the report, released yesterday by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.). The inspector general described Feith's activities as "an alternative intelligence assessment process."


"The bottom line is that intelligence relating to the Iraq-al-Qaeda relationship was manipulated by high-ranking officials in the Department of Defense to support the administration's decision to invade Iraq," Levin said yesterday. "The inspector general's report is a devastating condemnation of inappropriate activities in the DOD policy office that helped take this nation to war."


Aqua Teen Hunger Force

friday random ten

Photo by Ryan McManus

friday random ten

1. "To Live and Die in the Airport Lounge" - My Teenage Stride [Ears Like Golden Bats]

The Raincoats - The Raincoats
2. "No Looking" - The Raincoats [The Raincoats]

Sidewinders - Auntie Ramos' Pool Hall
3. "7 & 7 Is" - Sidewinders [Auntie Ramos' Pool Hall]

John Lennon - Shaved Fish
4. "Woman is the Nigger of the World" - John Lennon [Shaved Fish]

Madder Rose - Bring It Down
5. "Swim" - Madder Rose [Bring it Down]

Wayne/Jayne County - Rock 'N' Roll Cleopatra
6. "Un-con-troll-able" - Wayne County and the Electric Chairs [Rock N Roll Cleopatra]

The Boats - Tomorrow Time
7. "I'm Talking Facts, Not Shit" - The Boats [Tomorrow Time]

Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
8. "Whitey on the Moon" - Gil Scott-Heron [The Revolution Will Not Be Televised]

Poster Children - Tool of the Man
9. "Blatant Dis" - Poster Children [Tool of the Man]

MC 900 Ft Jesus - Welcome to My Dream
10. "Adventures in Failure" - MC 900 Ft Jesus [Welcome to My Dream]


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Officials indict 5 in Iraq contract scam

Three U.S. Army Reserve officers were indicted Wednesday, accused of taking part in a bid-rigging scam that steered millions of dollars for Iraq reconstruction projects to a contractor in exchange for cash, luxury cars and jewelry.

An American businessman in Romania was charged as the go-between for the military officers and the contractor. The husband of one of the reservists was accused of helping smuggle tens of thousands of dollars into the United States that the couple used to pay for a deck and a hot tub at their New Jersey house.

Together, the five used the $26 billion Iraqi rebuilding fund "as their own personal ATM machines," Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty said in announcing the charges.

wednesday reads

The United States loaded 363 tons of cash on palettes and airlifted it to Iraq during the reign of provisional authority L. Paul Bremer.

As Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) gears up for the second day of his House Hearings on Waste, Fraud and Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars, the focus will shift to North Carolina-based Blackwater International.

CIA officers operating in northern Iraq bought drinking water from a bottling plant there for years prior to the 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

That changed soon afterward. A CIA officer handling logistics for the Middle East and other regions recommended that an American company provide water and other supplies, according to former government officials.

The U.S. contractor that benefited from the multimillion-dollar deal wasn't just anyone. The company had personal ties to the officer, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who would soon leave his logistics post in Frankfurt, Germany, and move to Washington to become the CIA's third-ranking official.

In at least one written communication, a Baghdad CIA officer complained about the no-bid contract. According to one official, the officer believed the deal was simply unnecessary because safe water was available commercially but he was ignored.

The water contract, while small on the scale of the billions that flowed into Iraq, raises questions about why U.S. taxpayer dollars went to well-connected businessmen rather than Iraqis who could have benefited from a share of postwar reconstruction business. And the case provides a window into the murky world of covert government business arrangements.

At long last, the fog of mystification generated by the Bush administration and the Washington media is lifting, so that everyone can see clearly why I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby is on trial and why his prosecution is important. Whether the jury eventually finds the former White House aide innocent or guilty of perjury, the evidence shows that his bosses George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have misled the public from the very beginning about the vengeful leaking of Valerie Plame Wilson’s C.I.A. identity.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

He's U.S. journalist imprisoned longest in contempt of court

San Fancisco Chronicle

Josh Wolf, a blogger who refused to give a videotape of a San Francisco anarchist protest to a federal grand jury, achieves an unwanted distinction today, when he becomes the longest-imprisoned journalist for contempt of court in U.S. history.

Wolf, 24, is spending his 169th day at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, surpassing the imprisonment of Vanessa Leggett, a Texas freelancer who defied a grand jury's subpoena in 2001 for notes from a book she was writing about a murder case.

Leggett was freed when the grand jury's term expired. The grand jury in Wolf's case, which is investigating an alleged arson attempt on a San Francisco police car, is scheduled to adjourn in July. But a prosecutor said in court papers last month that the term could be extended six months.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup held Wolf in contempt of court in August, denied furloughs for him for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and turned down his latest bid for freedom in a one-paragraph order Jan. 30 without holding a hearing.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Heck of a job FEMA

Texarkana Gazette

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has more than 8,500 trailers stockpiled in Hope, Ark. These trailers, originally intended for housing for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina, are just sitting there, going to waste.

FEMA can sell or donate the trailers to federal, state or local governments or nonprofit agencies. Or FEMA can just let them sit in Hope.

The Southwest Arkansas Domestic Violence Center in De Queen would like to take a few of the trailers off FEMA’s hands.

The agency is part of a five-county coalition of state, county and private nonprofit agencies that provide housing for those in need. The trailers could serve as transitional housing for battered women and their children as they leave abusive relationships, as well as others who face homelessness.

The Domestic Violence Center requested five trailers from FEMA. A very modest request indeed. Just five trailers out of more than 8,500 stored in Hope.

FEMA said no.