Today's Note From a Madman
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) Exposed!
This is BIG! I had a gut feeling that Pat Roberts (R-KS) was dirty. He is a bit too eager to shut down the Valerie Plame Wilson investigation and to suppress the investigation on the pre-war intelligence. There is a good reason - he has something to hide!
There is a need for a special prosecutor to investigate the DSM. As reported in Raw Story by Larisa Alexandrovna:
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush issued an order to the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department, and his cabinet members that severely curtailed intelligence oversight by restricting classified information to just eight members of Congress.
"The only Members of Congress whom you or your expressly designated officers may brief regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement information," he writes, "are the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate."
The order is aimed at protecting "military security" and "sensitive law enforcement."
But what was said to be an effort to protect the United States became a tool by which the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Pat Roberts (R-KS) ensured there was no serious investigation into how the administration fixed the intelligence that took the United States to war in Iraq or the fabricated documents used as evidence to do so.
Timeline: How Roberts helped fix pre-war intelligence
Coupled with limited access to intelligence documents, RAW STORY has found that Roberts and a handful of other strategically-placed Washington players stymied all questions into pre-war intelligence on Iraq and post-invasion cover-ups, including the outing of a CIA covert agent, by using targeted leaks and artfully deflecting blame from the White House.
The Senate and House intelligence committees were created in the 1970s after a series of congressional investigations found that the CIA had acted like a "rogue elephant" carrying out illegal covert action abroad.
By the late 1990s, members of the committees and their staffs were seeing more than 2,200 CIA reports and receiving more than 1,200 substantive briefings from agency officials each year to assist them in their role of providing proper oversight.
But the little-reported 2001 Bush directive changed that, ensuring that only two members of each committee received full briefings on intelligence operations, and preventing committee staffs from carrying out meaningful research.
Tom Reynolds, spokesman for the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, Jane Harman (D-CA), downplayed the significance of the order, saying members continued to have access. He acknowledged, however, that the "gang of eight" had higher-level clearances.
The spokesman for the Senate Intelligence Committee deferred comment to the White House; the White House did not return requests for comment.
At the time of the order, Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL) chaired the House Intelligence Committee. His counterpart in the Senate was Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), whom Sen. Roberts replaced in 2003.
Chairman Pat Roberts
In a sense, the pre-invasion of Iraq and the post-invasion intelligence blame game can be seen through the lens of a chess game, with the pieces in place well before any troops set foot on the ground.
Roberts appears to become an extension of the White House in selling the war beginning in January 2003. That month, he is appointed to chair the Senate Intelligence Committee, picking up one of the eight coveted clearances.
By the end of the month, Roberts is convinced that Saddam is harboring both al Qaeda and weapons of mass destruction. Much of what convinces Roberts is a series of briefings organized by then-Deputy National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley. Hadley led a White House team to help sift through CIA intelligence, filtering information for Congressional briefings.
Roberts embraces a larger pro-war role. His voice is joined by Vice President Dick Cheney and then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
Their calls align with President Bush in his State of the Union address, in which he declares, "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Shortly thereafter, the Administration hits a snag: Documents alleging Iraq’s intention to reconstitute its nuclear program by purchasing uranium from Niger are publicly acknowledged to be forgeries.
Background on the Niger forgeries
The Administration asserts that they didn't hear the documents were forgeries until after the speech.
But the U.S. Embassy in Rome has already had the Niger forgeries for three months.
British intelligence say they passed the documents to Vice President Dick Cheney's office in early 2002. The Vice President subsequently makes several visits to the CIA with "questions" about recent Niger to Iraq uranium sales.
The International Atomic Energy Agency questions the Niger claim in December after the National Security Agency issues a fact sheet on Iraq's weapons omissions to the UN Security Council. As NSA deputy, Hadley may have already had the documents as well.
The IAEA, however, is not given the documents until the end of February 2003, a year after the U.S. first acquires them. Once acquired, they determine the documents are fakes within several hours.
John Pike, director of the Washington military watchdog GlobalSecurity.org, says the Administration's line on the Niger documents raises questions.
"The thing that was so embarrassing about the episode was not simply that the documents were forgeries, but that they were clumsy forgeries, as was so quickly determined by the IAEA," he told RAW STORY. "It is one thing to be taken in, but to be so easily taken in, suggested either bewildering incompetence or intentional deception, or possibly both."
Roberts blocks Niger questions
Whether Roberts actually saw the Niger forgeries during Hadley’s briefings is unclear. What is clear is that by March of 2003, the Intelligence chairman was in a position to head off any serious investigation into concerns raised by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), the committee's ranking Democrat and vice-chair.
Rockefeller has grave concerns about deceptive intelligence, so serious that he pens a formal letter to FBI director Robert Mueller.
Rockefeller urges Mueller to investigate the Niger forgeries as part of what he feared to be "…a larger deception campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion and foreign policy regarding Iraq," writes the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh.
Roberts declines to sign the Rockefeller letter, seeing the involvement of the FBI as inappropriate. As a result, Rockefeller's letter falls on deaf ears.
On July 11, 2003, faced with public pressure to investigate the Niger forgeries, Roberts blames the CIA and defends the White House.
"Sen. Rockefeller and I are committed to continue our close examination of all of the issues surrounding the Niger documents," the Kansas senator declares. "So far, I am very disturbed by what appears to be extremely sloppy handling of the issue from the outset by the CIA."
More astonishing is that CIA spokesman William Harlow stated that the agency had not obtained the Niger documents until "after the President's State of the Union speech and after the congressional briefings, and therefore had been unable to evaluate them."
Roberts blocks WMD questions
Roberts also figures prominently in warding off bipartisan efforts to investigate WMD in Iraq - the reason given by the Bush administration for going to war.
As pressure heats up, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John Warner (R-VA) says he would support joint hearings with Roberts on "the issue" and that Roberts "had been receptive to the idea."
That sentiment changes, however, after Roberts meets with Senate GOP leadership and Vice President Dick Cheney. The Kansas senator then says talk of hearings is "premature."
Roberts soon announces he will hold a closed-door review of intelligence documentation and the lead-up to war. He begins to spin questions and skeptics of the war as politically motivated.
"I will not allow the committee to be politicized or to be used as an unwitting tool for any political strategist," he says.
Simply disgusting. This guy is dirty! Keep in mind that is now trying to shut down the Valerie Plame Wilson investigation. I believe that Pat Roberts should recuse himself from the committee and allow a complete investigation into the DSM and pre-war intelligence.
forwarded by Robert Scardapane
Who are we fighting?
I wonder how did the "war against Al Qaeda" turn into the "war against the Axis of Evil"? What is the logic behind fighting nations that had nothing to do with 9/11?
With the release of the Downing Street Memos, we know that the neoconservatives misled America into the Iraq war. The same hawks are now screeching about Iran's nuclear program. Meanwhile, the master mind of 9/11 camps out in Pakistan - a nation that has nuclear weapons. The Bush administration acts as if they don't care.
I understood why we attacked Afghanistan - UBL was there along with Taliban sponsored terrorist training facilities. But, after Bush's Axis Of Evil speech, I developed a growing sense that our response to 9/11 was heading in the wrong direction. The attack on Iraq has inflamed terrorism and extremism in the Middle East.
The reformers in Iran were making progress but now a hard-liner has been elected who may be determined to start up a nuclear program. Our actions in Iraq actually bolstered extremism in Iran. The war mongers should consider that widening the conflict to Iran will only make matters worst.
NEED APPROVAL TO WALK IN THE "UN"FREEDOM WALK
Will amazements never cease? Apparently a person cannot just show up and go to the Bush phony Freedom Walk, YOU HAVE TO REGISTER AND BE APPROVED. Mike Molloy in Air America had a listener who wrote to them at the government website and was told he would have to register and get a number and would not be ‘free’ to walk or go to the concert without a number.
Don’t republicans see what progressives and democrats see about how repressive and oppressive this regime of Ruler Bush is? I am appalled that the tactics he used in his campaign to minimize the freedoms of ordinary citizens he continues to impose and there is no way to stop him. It is the first time I have ever felt there is a reason to fear freedom of speech or action in this country. My relatives that go back to the American Revolution on both sides are rolling in their graves. Bush’s “be afraid, be very afraid” attitude about everything permeates every message from this regime.
I always wondered why NRA/gun people were so ferocious about the government not knowing about their guns and I have heard some say they are entitled to protect themselves. Not one person I know from where I was born and raised in NH has ever had to use a gun for protection except against an animal. But, now that I feel the fear and threat of rights and privacy slipping away, I understand what these gun lovers are afraid of and want to protect against – their very own beloved republican party that has taken a sharp right whether they like it or not.
Handcuffs No More
It appears that the "arrest" rumor was only a rumor, and what would the Bushwhackers gain by it? They may have been talking about it, which could explain how it got into circulation, and they are used to performing outrageous insults on us peons. It's come to the point where we can believe almost anything from them.
So the rumor was not unbelievable, but perhaps one or two of Bush's minions might possess a slight amount of common sense. To arrest a Gold Star mother who is camping on public property and asking nothing but to speak with the president, especially in a week during which many young Americans were killed and wounded in an ever-more-unpopular war, might have sent a shock wave through the nation. The inexplicable refusal to speak to her is, if not suicidal, very stupid.
It just goes to show you the lack of respect President Bush has for our troops and their mothers, fathers and other family members. GW would rather spend hours "clearing brush" than minutes hearing out a broken-hearted "Gold Star Mother". -NG
In response to "President Bush has made US weaker and less of a threat to our enemies throughout the world. Viewing his current poll numbers, it easy to see that the American people are taking note. Bush is a "lame duck" and the only way to make him pay is by voting his 'yes-men' out of office in November of 2006," Robert Scardapane writes:
I agree that Bush is simply lame. The failure to negotiate with Iran is yet another Bush mess. I suspect that Iran's thinking goes something like this:
1) The United States has never attacked a nation that has nuclear weapons.
2) The United States attacked Iraq and considers Iran to be a member of the "axis of evil".
3) North Korea, the other member of the "axis of evil", has a nuclear weapon so they won't be attacked.
4) Therefore, Iran is next!
So, the Iranians elect a "hard-liner" and start up the nuclear program again. Swell, thank you GWB for nothing. At this point, I think the EU has limited clout. Russia and China have more clout as they are the largest buyers of Iranian oil and Russia supplies Iran with nuclear technology. At least, Russia is now negotiating with Iran on this issue.
Ultimately, Americans need to ask - does the United States want to shed blood to prevent other nations from acquiring nuclear weapons? We didn't flinch when Pakistan developed a nuclear bomb and yet they have a strong Al Qaeda presence in their country. Bin Laden is most likely camped out in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area. Are we fighting against Al Qaeda or are we fighting to control the Middle East? That's the real question.
In response to Thomas Friedman's "We are in a war…mounted by Islamo-fascists…financed by medieval regimes sustained by our oil purchases. Yes, we are financing both sides of the war on terrorism: our soldiers and the fascist terrorists. George Bush’s failure, on the morning after 9/11, to call on Americans to accept a gasoline tax to curb our oil imports was one of the greatest wasted opportunities in U.S. history," Robert Scardapane writes:
Mr. Friedman assumes that the problem is strictly the consumer. The Energy Bill of 2005 stinks but punishing the American people with a gasoline tax is not the answer. Mr Friedman does not even consider that many people are squeezed already. Assuming that everyone is being wasteful is simply not fair. Besides, gas prices are going to go up simply because of the market value of oil. We don't need a tax to get the prices to go up. Instead of punishing consumption, how about improving efficiency and investing in new technology? How punishing the automobile makers, domestic and foreign, if they don't manufacture cars with higher fuel efficiency?
In response to Iran's Nuclear Program, Robert Scardapane writes:
Please keep in mind that what Iran is doing right now is technically speaking not illegal. The enrichment they are doing creates fuel that can be used in a nuclear power plant. There are several other steps that must be undertaken to create a weapon. A recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) asserts that Iran is 10 years away from creating a weapon.
Why should Iran need nuclear power when they have oil? I think the obvious answer is that oil is their main commodity and they want to sell most of it. Otherwise, they would end up consuming it domestically.
With all that said, I think we need to remain vigilant. I would not want Iran to have a nuclear weapon. There is potential that they might want a weapon to deter an attack against them. Sadly, I think that the Iraq war gave the hard-liners rhetoric to use against the United States and damaged the Iranian reform movement. Good going GWB!
On the other hand, we should not allow ourselves to be deceived by the same sort of war hawking as was done with Iraq. The EU and Russia continue to negotiate with Iran. Basically, the EU wants them to purchase the nuclear fuel rather than enrich the uranium themselves. There is talk of taking the issue to the United Nations Security Council.
Watch out for boiling Rice and jolting Bolton. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail.
I fear an Iran with nuclear weapons, now or ten years from now. All of what Robert says may be true, but the thesis of my article was that "G"lobal "W"arming Bush has made US weaker and less formative in the eyes of our enemies, including Iran and North Korea. If the Bushies use Iran's nuclear threat as a means to invade Iran, then there would have to be a draft. THAT could be the REAL REASON the Bushies are picking a fight, and they don't care if it comes from North Korea or Iran. -NG
"I understand the anguish that some feel about the death that takes place,'
-President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush, regarding, but not addressing Spc. Casey Sheehan's mother, Cindy Sheehan, a Gold Star Mother for Peace
Understand? I doubt it. When did GW ever have to deal with anguish or death?
"I also have heard the voices of those saying: 'Pull out now!'. And I've thought about their cry and their sincere desire to reduce the loss of life by pulling our troops out. I just strongly disagree."
And yet you won't, or maybe can't explain why, GW.
"I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan. She feels strongly about her position, and she has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America. She has a right to her position, and I thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others, which is: Get out of Iraq now. And it would be a mistake for the security of this country and the ability to lay the foundations for peace in the long run if we were to do so."
And yet, as we speak, the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party are putting out the talking points as we speak. Stuff like, "Well, she didn't say anything when she met with Bush before," just days after her don died. The Bill O'Reilly's and Matt Drudge's of the world can take heart that they will probably never know what the loss of a loved one might feel like.
One has to have love in their heart to begin with for that.
"The president says he feels compassion for me, but the best way to show that compassion is by meeting with me and the other mothers and families who are here. All we're asking is that he sacrifice an hour out of his five-week vacation to talk to us, before the next mother loses her son in Iraq."
You ought to know that the word "sacrifice" is foreign to George W. Bush, Mrs. Sheehan. That word falls into the same category as "responsibility", "respect", and "duty".
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