Saturday, April 10, 2004

"I’m not into conspiracy theories except those that are true"

I don't know about you but I'm willing to think unthinkable thoughts:
There were several benefits that could have been anticipated from 9/11. One was the so-called Patriot Act. It did appear that the Patriot Act, given how fast it was rushed into Congress, voting had already been prepared. The Patriot Act is so large that it’s inconceivable it could have been written after 9/11. Rushing it through Congress when most members had not even read a small portion of it was clearly one benefit, giving the government increased powers.
Also, there was the desire to wage war in Afghanistan to force out the Taliban and put an American-friendly government in place because of the desire of Unical and other gas companies to build an oil pipeline, which they felt was too dangerous with the Taliban in power. There was a meeting in Berlin in July 2001, a final effort to get an agreement between the Taliban and the United States that would allow a sort of joint government, where the Taliban would share power with more American-friendly leaders. The Taliban refused, at which point they were told, “If you don’t take our carpet of gold, we’ll bury you under a carpet of bombs.” The Pakistani representative at this meeting said the Americans told him that the war would start before the snows came that October. And after 9/11 happened, there was exactly the right amount of time for the U.S. forces to get organized to begin the war, and the war began on October 7.
Another benefit is that many senior members of the Bush administration had for a long time wanted to attack Iraq. Getting control of the oil there was one motive; the more general motive was to secure a military presence in that part of the world.

Friday, April 09, 2004

How do these people sleep at night?
Chicken and Rice

Wayne Madsen ties all the loose ends together (thanks to Smirking Chimp for the link)
She told the 911 Commission, "I brought in Zalmay Khalilzad, an expert on Afghanistan, who, as a senior diplomat in the 1980s, had worked closely with the Afghan mujahedeen, helping them to turn back the Soviet invasion."
However, Khalilzad had been a consultant for Cambridge Energy Research Associates and had been negotiating with the Taliban on the proposed trans-Afghanistan Central Asia Gas Pipeline (CentGas) deal involving UNOCAL, Halliburton, and other oil companies, including Rice's former company, Chevron. Enron conducted the feasibility study for the pipeline and current Afghan President Hamid Karzai was a consultant to the U.S. oil consortium and its liaison to Mullah Mohammed Omar, the leader of the Taliban whose base was Kandahar. The Bush administration, including Rice, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Christina Rocca, held meetings with Taliban officials in the weeks prior to 911, and they met with Pakistani intelligence chief Gen. Mahmud Ahmed, a supporter of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, on the days just prior to 911. Before joining the administration, Rice and Armitage had jobs with oil companies that had a vested interest in the CentGas pipeline.


It is clear that Bush and his national security team, with the exception of principled individuals like FBI special agents Coleen Rowley in Minneapolis and John O'Neill in New York, and some, as yet unnamed, intelligence professionals within the U.S. intelligence community, were asleep at the wheel prior to America's second "day of infamy."
Just read it.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004


Jon Stewart is going to be on the The O'Franken Factor in a few minutes.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Having caught Christopher Hitchens on the Dennis Miller show (don’t ask why) I saw that Hitchens’s reasoning for his support of Bush’s work in Iraq has fallen apart even within the narrow confines within which it made at least some sense. Hitchens’s post-9/11 line has been that we have long been in a state of war against jihad (to find out what this has to do with Iraq read on), but that only the Bushites have had the clarity and the courage to acknowledge this and to pursue the attack. Of course, Richard Clarke’s book and the news we keep hearing from the 9/11 commission prove otherwise, but Hitchens will not be deterred (he selectively uses Clarke’s book against Clarke’s own conclusions) It doesn’t matter that the Clinton administration was more aware of and engaged with the Al Qaeda threat than the Bush administration before 9/11--the litmus test of seriousness is whether or not we should have attacked Iraq last year. Say “Yes,” and you are a foe of terrorism; say “No” and you might as well strap a dynamite belt to your chest. In fact, I misstate: if you check out Hitichen’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal the litmus test turns out to be whether or not you supported marching into Baghad during Gulf War I. Confrontation with Iraq was inevitable according to this reasoning. And since going to war was something we would have had to do anyway, it doesn’t much matter what was said to us to garner support for that war. Of course, neither Hitchens nor the Bushites have the courage to admit that “prolonged occupation” is the only way to achieve their professed goal (Hitchens’s preferred, New Agey term is “intervention”), and that the only way to make such an occupation a success is to enlist the support of the world community and a majority of the US public. And so far Hitchens and W. have not shown the slightest inclination to do either.

the professor