What an excellent group of guest bloggers we have lined up for Sunday! Wow! I get a chance to mention Bob Koehler, Bob Fitrakis and Clint Curtis --- all in one sentence. And we'll all have a chance to blog with them, too.
The standard is getting uncomfortably high. We can't keep raising the bar forever.
We need to lower it once in a while. And there's no time like the present, is there?
Guest blogged by Winter Patriot
Famous sentences, these:
Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.
There's been plenty of discussion about what those sentences might mean, and some of the debate has hinged around the word "fixed".
Michael Smith, the reporter to whom the memos were leaked, seemed to settle the question when he wrote:
There are number of people asking about fixed and its meaning. This is a real joke. I do not know anyone in the UK who took it to mean anything other than fixed as in fixed a race, fixed an election, fixed the intelligence. If you fix something, you make it the way you want it. The intelligence was fixed ... the intelligence was being cooked to match what the administration wanted it to say to justify invading Iraq. Fixed means the same here as it does there.
But "fixed" also means the opposite of "broken", and in the war-is-peace world of bushspeak, the term couldn't be more appropriate.
Ron Suskind's watershed piece in the New York Times Magazine, "Without A Doubt", introduced us to "the reality-based community" this way:
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend --- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality --- judiciously, as you will --- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Even if we hadn't read Suskind, finding a phrase like "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" would send up a red flag for lunacy, or [what is equivalent] tell us that our so-called leaders are not reality-based.
In a reality-based policy-making environment, intelligence comes first. Policy-makers want to find out as much as they can about their problem before they decide what to do about it. This is a reality-based approach beacuse it works. Science is based on exactly the same idea. Knowledge is power and so on.
Fixing the policy around the intelligence would be a reality-based thing to do. Doing the opposite is an indication that we're in Lala Land ... unless it happens more than once. Then it begins to look a bit more sinister.
In the opinion of this lowly and nearly frozen blogger, "intelligence" has repeatedly been "fixed" and "intelligence agencies" have repeatedly been "broken". And this has not been an accident.
But who would plan such a thing? Who do you think?
Not everyone knows these things, but from where I sit they all appear to be true...
Osama bin Laden is a puppet disguised as a patsy. His so-called terrorist network, Al Qaeda, is a creation of the CIA, perhaps even a fictional one. Their modus operandi reads like a CIA "tradecraft" manual. Al Qaeda is Operation Gladio reborn with an Asian face, if it exists at all.
What's in a name? In this case the name is a joke. "Al Qaeda" means many things in Arabic: "the base", "the foundation", "the fundament", "the toilet". This name could only have been chosen by someone who was barely fluent in Arabic, someone who wasn't aware of all the meanings. No self-respecting Arab would ever name his terrorist group "The Toilet". And no self-respecting Arabic terrorist wanna-be would ever join a group with such a demeaning name.
The so-called terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, were an inside job, a black op, the grandchild of Operation Northwoods and a cousin once-removed of Operation Gladio. Osama bin Forgotten and The Toilet certainly played their parts, as orchestrated. But there was much more going on behind the scenes than we will ever know.
The FBI's failure to prevent the so-called terrorist attacks on 9/11 was a direct result of political pressures, repeatedly applied, closing off all investigative avenues which might possibly have compromised the plan. Sibel Edmonds knows way too much about this for the liking of the criminals who control this administration, and that's why she's been denied the basic rights of due process.
The bombing attack on and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan were based on pretexts at least as bogus as the pretexts supporting the attack on Iraq. We're only just beginning to learn about these things, for we have all these other layers of deception which we need to peel back first, and we're having trouble taking off more than one layer at a time. We will never see Afghanistan clearly until we can see Iraq, and we will never see 9/11 clearly until we see Afghanistan.
It's like an onion: we're dealing with an enormous multi-layered onion made of deception piled on deceit, stacked upon lies and wrapped in falsehoods. And we haven't been able to peel off the layers as fast as they have been sprouting; at least not so far.
But things are starting to change. The country is slowly waking up to the reality that the war we are waging against Iraq was "justified" by a tangled web of deliberate lies, sold to a gulllible population by a massive, expensive and still-ongoing propaganda barrage. The fact that the pro-war national news media are complicit in crimes against humanity does not seem to have dawned on pro-war middle America --- not yet anyway. The fact that pro-war middle America is complicit in crimes against humanity may never dawn on pro-war middle America. But this does not make the complicity any less real.
The propaganda campaign supporting the war has been based on the same false "evidence" that was used to "justify" the war in the first place.
So it makes some sense to ask a few questions. Like:
Where did the "faulty intelligence" come from? The CIA!
Why did the CIA deliver bogus intelligence? Because it was ordered to do so!
Who ordered it to do so? Dick Cheney.
How do we know that? We have reports of Cheney spending several days watching mid-level analysts at work.
Why would he do that? Aha! Now you're getting it!
Listen: Something similar happened to the FBI. And big changes followed.
Now we have a Department of "Homeland Security". What does it do? Mostly it raises and lowers color-coded threat levels for political purposes. But that's not all; it also wastes a lot of money.
Now we have a Director of National Intelligence. What a position! And what a selection!! That the first person selected for the position is a career diplomat has been well-trumpeted. That he has left a trail of death squads in his wake is often overlooked.
How did we get from there to here? Let's recap:
First they leaned on the FBI. This got them their "New Pearl Harbor", plus the so-called PATRIOT Act, plus an "opportunity" to invade Afghanistan.
But then they turned around and blamed the FBI for "its" "failure". And of course they used this "blame" as leverage to support a virtual purge of the FBI leadership. No more stubborn reality-based FBI leaders, no more stubborn reality-based FBI problems.
And how did it work? It worked so well that they did it again.
They leaned on the CIA. This got them their "faulty intelligence" and their long-sought war on Iraq, with all its attendant horrors.
But then they turned around and blamed the "faulty" "intelligence" on the CIA. And they used this "blame" as more leverage, this time supporting a purge of the CIA leadership. Now there are no more reality-based leaders in either agency. Not that it matters; Doctor Death Squad commands both of them!
The "intelligence" was well and truly "fixed".
And the "intelligence agencies" are well and truly broken.