Friday, February 22, 2013




But on his first “guys weekend" away since he was reelected, the president chose to spend his free time with Jim Crane and Milton Carroll, leading figures in the Texas oil and gas industry, along with other men who run companies that deal in the same kinds of carbon-based services that Keystone would enlarge. They hit the links at the Floridian Yacht and Golf Club, which is owned by Crane and located on the Treasure Coast in Palm City, Fla.




Despite getting billions to run the US 'mission' in Iraq, the State Dept  doesn't spend much time on Iraq.  In Fiscal Year 2012, Congress began giving the State Dept and USAID billions of dollars for Iraq.  The American taxpayer has a right to expect that with those billions comes some additional level of focus.  But that's not the case.

"Our focus in the past year, 80% of our interest has been in Syria, Kenya leading up to the elections, Burma and North Central America, particularly Honduras.  That doesn't mean that we've negleceted the rest of the world but that's where 80% of our effort is," declared the State Dept's Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations Frederick Barton declared yesterday.

So you take billions, you pump up the State Dept with billions of extra dollars, you tell the Congress -- the American people's representatives -- that you need this money for Iraq and with DoD stepping out of the leadership role, now the State Dept will lead on Iraq. 

And yet 80% of time by the State Dept was spent on Syria, Kenya, Burma and Honduras?  We are aware that violence has gone up, right?  We're aware that just as the bulk of US troops were leaving Iraq in December of 2011, Nouri began going after political rivals, sending the Iraqi military to circle their homes?  We're aware that there are no gains to speak of in Iraq?  And hopefully, the State Dept is also aware that since 2009, Iraq has had three US Ambassadors:  the awful Chris Hill, James Jeffrey who now works with the Kurds and the current US Ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft?  In four years, three ambassadors. 

Maybe the State Dept should have been putting 40% of its focus on Iraq?

Remember that it was just last June when Walter Pincus (Washington Post) reported, "The State Department is planning to spend up to $115 million to upgrade the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad, already its biggest and most expensive in the world, according to pre-solicitation notices published this month." June 28th, the House Oversight and Government Reform's Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations held a hearing on Iraq and the Subcommittee's Chair pointed out a few more basics.

Chair Jason Chaffetz: The State Dept has greatly expanded its footprint in Iraq. 
 There are approximately 2,000 direct-hire personnel and 14,000 support contractors 
-- roughly a seven-to-one ratio.  This includes 7,000 private security contractors to 
guard our facilities and move personnel throughout Iraq.  Leading up to the withdrawal, 
the State Dept's mission seemed clear.  Ambassador Patrick Kennedy testified that the diplomatic mission was "designed to maximize influence in key locations."  And later 
said, "State will continue the police development programs moving beyond basic 
policing skills to provide police forces with the capabilities to uphold the rule of law.  
The Office of Security Cooperation will help close gaps in Iraq's security forces 
capabilities through security assistance and cooperation."  This is an unprecedented 
mission for the State Dept.

All that money and 80% of the State Dept's time and focus last year were spent elsewhere -- spent on four countries.  Are we to expect things to improve and for Iraq to actually get attention from the State Dept?  While it's true that there is a new Secretary of State, John Kerry, it's also true that Kerry spoke yesterday at the University of Virginia, outlining his vision of diplomacy and Iraq appeared no where in the speech.  Considering that Iraq is still the State Dept's biggest ticket item -- and considering what is taking place in Iraq currently -- that bothers me.  But what really troubles me is the remarks Barton made.  We already quoted him on where the focus was in 2012.  We were quoting from a talk he gave in DC yesterday morning.  I didn't attend it, I was told it would be disappointing.  I streamed it at C-SPAN today, after a friend at CNN asked me what I thought of the talk, and disappointing doesn't begin to describe it.

This is how the talk was billed, "Ambassador Frederick Barton, assistant secretary of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at the U.S. Department of State, discusses the future of the American civilian operations in Iraq and Afghanistan."  Afghanistan was mentioned briefly.  Iraq?  Unless Burma's in Iraq, no.  Unless Mozambique is a few miles north of Baghdad, no.  We heard about Tanzania and Kenya.  Now he can argue that he answered questions after 'setting' the topic.  His time setting the topic didn't include mentioning Iraq.  And the questions -- especially when it was 'we have time for one more' -- should have involved the moderator saying, "Does anyone have a question on Iraq?"  That was the scheduled topic.  He had plenty of time to discuss State Dept internal business and policies and training.  He even had time -- made time -- to trash the pianist Van Cliburn.  I have no idea why.  The man just learned he has advanced bone cancer, does he really need a State Dept official trashing the way he plays piano and saying they don't want to do the State Dept like Van Cliburn plays the piano?

Silly me, I thought diplomacy was the State Dept's mission and that tact was a part of diplomacy.  But then, silly me, I would think a talk billed as being about Iraq and Afghanistan would actually be about Iraq and Afghanistan.  I'm sorry I wasn't there now because I would have said something regarding Barton's insulting attack on Van Cliburn.  Maybe asked if Cliburn is so awful, why did US President Barack Obama present him with a National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts?  Here's what the NEA notes:

Van Cliburn has been hailed as one of the greatest pianists in the history of music as well as one of the most persuasive ambassadors of American culture. Cliburn entered the Juilliard School at age 17.  At age 20, he won the Leventritt Award and made his Carnegie Hall debut. In 1958, Cliburn’s victory at the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War propelled him to international fame.
Cliburn has received Kennedy Center Honors and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He received the Order of Friendship from President Vladimir Putin in 2004, and in 2003 President George W. Bush bestowed upon him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

And at that page, you'll see Barack and the pianist in a photograph from the March 2, 2011 ceremony.  Yesterday, a different take was offered.

Assistant Secretary Frederick Barton:  It reminds me of a Van Cliburn concert.  The guy looks great.  He's got the tails.  He can play the whole keyboard.  But at the end, you haven't necessarily settled on what needed to be done the most.  And the US can't afford to be Van Cliburn in these cases.  We have to be much more focused, much more targeted.

Wow.  If Barton wants to be the Ambassador of Bitchy, have at it.  In fact, let me know because I could use a few days off and he could fill in for me here.  But if he's working for the State Dept, he needs to demonstrate a little more savvy when speaking publicly.

Iraqi Spring MC and The BRussells Tribunal offer a photo essay of last Friday's protests and note, "It continues to amaze us. Who is only informed by the mainstream media, has usually not heard, not seen or not read about the weekly Friday demonstrations in Iraq. There is however massively demonstrated: against the Mailiki-government, against the occupation and for a free and united Iraq. Find here some pictures of the demonstration in Iraq on Friday February 15."  Maybe Ambassador Bitchy has no idea and needs to check out the photo essay so that the next time he's scheduled a talk on Iraq, he can actually mention Iraq?

Alsumaria reports the spokesperson for the Hawija demonstrators has been arrested by Nouri al-Maliki's Tigris Operation Command forces.   The arrest happened as a Hawija raid took place carried out by the Tigris Operation Command in what sounds like one of the US raids in the early days of the war.  This is another attempt by Nouri to intimidate the protesters.  He wasn't counting on the attention -- or the push-back -- on this detention.  Alsumaria reports this evening that Mohammed al-Jubouri was released by the Tigris Operation Command.  If this was like Nouri's 2011 detention of protesters and if al-Jubouri had a cell phone on him, all the information in his contacts is now part of a data base.  The same is not doubt true of the 10 released from the raid -- 14 were detained, only ten have been arrested.

As Al Mada was reporting yesterday, Nouri's forces were following protesters in Diyala and Anbar, trailing them, attempting to intimidate them.  Monday is said to have been the 60th day in the ongoing protests.  20 activists in Baquba were arrested, Al Mada reported, for unknown reasons and this included Leith Kazim Mehdawi.

Iraqi Spring MC quotes Dr. Wissal al-Azzawi declaring that the Tigris command is extracting a form of payback, trying to scare the crowds and intimadate them but the protesters will not be silenced.  Nouri's Tigris Operation Command firing on peaceful demonstrators in Falluja January 25th resulting in 11 deaths did not silence them.  Nouri may think he's going to scare them -- or bully them --  into silence but that seems unlikely.  In addition, they're also noting that checkpoints are going up in some areas and people are being prevented from entering unless they have proof on them that they live in that area.

Activist Awad Abdan Tweets that the Tigris Operation Command bullying is taking place before the government's eyes and ears.

  1. جيش المختار يهدد اهل السنة في بغداد أمام مرأى ومسمع الحكومة #الربيع_العراقي
    Retweeted 96 times
    View photo

And we'll note another reaction.
  1. now .. what can we say after two months from our revolution? in short .. we are staying #iraqi_spring #الربيع_العراقي

The Tigris Command has been busy.  Dar Addustour reports (ignore date in article's timeline, it's incorrect) that the Tigris Operation Command forces attempted to grab Said Lafi (also spelled Saeed Lafi) yesterday after cornering him in a Ramadi mosque but he was able to escape.  His home was raided and there is an arrest warrant for him that was supposedly issued by Nouri al-Maliki himself.  (Nouri is the prime minister and chief thug of Iraq.)  Lafi is the spokesperson for the Anbar protests.  Kitabat notes that the forces surrounded the mosque and demanded that Lafi come out of the mosque  but activists helped Saeed escape the forces with the assistance of at least a dozen bodyguards of MP Ahmed al-Alwani.

On the state of Iraq, Al Mada's Adnan Hussein pens a column for The New Statesman entitled "A new kind of dictatorship:"

The loopholes in the constitution were described as a “minefield” by the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, just 15 months ago. The civil war of 2006-2008 was sparked by the explosion of some of these mines, and so were the current demonstrations in the western Sunni provinces. Yet al-Maliki took advantage of the loopholes, shortcomings and vague articles to enhance his personal, extra-constitutional power and to weaken the power of the parliament, the judiciary and independent or civil society bodies.
Ultimately, al-Maliki and his Dawa Party have managed to create a new kind of dictatorship. This is a curse not only to the Sunnis, or the Kurds, or the swaths of Shias, but to the country as a whole.
As an editor and columnist of al-Mada, a critical, oppositional newspaper in Iraq, I am given considerable editorial freedom, and there is certainly no shortage of subjects to cover. I am, however, concerned about the freedom of the press.


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Thursday, February 21, 2013








Rome was thought to have had the largest February 15, 2003 protest -- and the largest anti-war protest in history -- with three million people taking part.  Protests took place throughout the US.  Dick Bernard (Daily Planet) offers a photo essay of the February 15, 2003 protest in Minneapolis.  There was nothing in the US on the tenth anniversary of the protests.  There was no effort to create anything, there was no effort to even note it really.  How come?  Because the peace organizations of 2003 weren't peace organizations.  MoveOn, United for Peace and Justice, Win Without War, etc.  They were anti-Bush organizations, they were elect Democrats organizations, but they weren't concerned with ending the war.  Earlier this month, Cindy Sheehan was under the weather and her radio program Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox dug into the archives for a 2011 interview done by RT's Abby Martin.  If you have no idea how the peace movement was used by various organizations, listen to Cindy explain it.  While still at the first Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas, Win Without War lost all interest in her because she wouldn't support their proposal of a Congressional measure that called for Out of Iraq . . . Someday . . . Hopefully Soon . . . But If Not, Okay.  United for Peace and Justice didn't want anymore protests after the November 2006 elections gave Democrats control of both houses of Congress.  They didn't want to embarrass the Democrats?  Embarrass? 

First off a peace organization is supposed to call for an end to war.  As for it embarrassing Democrats, grasp what UPFJ (Leslie Cagan and a bunch of other frauds) was saying:  Calling for an end to war would embarrass Democratic politicians.  Because?  Clearly UPFJ knew, before Dems got control of both houses, that the Democratic Party they backed  was not interested in ending the war.  Leslie Cagan and others need to be held accountable.  First step, don't ever trust them again.  Don't listen to them.  They whored and they lied.  They pretended to give a damn about the Iraqi people.  If their behavior was embarrassing after the November 2006 elections, it was especially embarrassing after the 2008 election when they all packed up their tents and went home. 

Protests are not new to Iraq. And unlike Leslie Cagan, Iraqis actually risk a great deal to protest.  You might think this is from the days of Saddam Hussein:

We, feminist activists from 12 countries, stand in support of our sisters and brothers peacefully demonstrating for basic rights in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square.
This morning, June 10, demonstrators were brutally targeted with sexual violence and beatings by men who were reportedly bussed in by the thousands to disrupt the weekly protest. Protesters suffered broken bones, knife wounds and beatings. Several women were severely beaten and violently groped; armed attackers attempted to forcibly strip off the women’s clothing. The activists, who work with the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, report that their attackers were organized and paid by government security forces who used the un-uniformed men to avoid accountability for the violence. 
As feminists, we strongly condemn assaults against peaceful protesters and the specifically gender-based violence against women. As in so many of our countries, the use of sexual violence against Iraqi women is designed to terrorize, shame and silence those women who dare to exercise their fundamental rights as citizens and raise political demands in the public sphere.  We stand with our sisters who exercise their rights to political participation and dissent.
Today’s attacks represent a noted escalation of violence against protesters in Iraq as well as a crime and a fundamental violation of human rights. We call on the government to uphold its obligations to guarantee freedom of peaceful assembly and to respond to the demands of demonstrators.

It's not from that time period.  It's from June 2011.  (And the organization issuing the statement supporting Iraqi protesters is Defending Women, Defending Our Rights.)  That's what Iraqi women had to face to take part in the protests.  They were assaulted.  Iraqi women and men were kidnapped and beaten by the security forces.  One of those beaten and kidnapped by the security forces (the security forces that Nouri al-Maliki -- prime minister and chief thug -- commands) was journalist Haidi al-Mahdi. 

NPR's Kelly McEvers interviewed him for Morning Edition after he had been released and she noted he had been "beaten in the leg, eyes, and head." He explained that he was accused of attempting to "topple" Nouri al-Maliki's government -- accused by the soldiers under Nouri al-Maliki, the soldiers who beat him.  Excerpt:
Hadi al-Mahdi: I replied, I told the guy who was investigating me, I'm pretty sure that your brother is unemployed and the street in your area is unpaved and you know that this political regime is a very corrupt one.
Kelly McEvers: Mahdi was later put in a room with what he says were about 200 detainees, some of them journalists and intellectuals, many of them young protesters.

Hadi al-Mahdi: I started hearing voices of other people.  So, for instance, one guy was crying, another was saying, "Where's my brother?" And a third one was saying, "For the sake of God, help me."

Kelly McEvers: Mahdi was shown lists of names and asked to reveal people's addresses.  He was forced to sign documents while blindfolded.  Eventually he was released.  Mahdi says the experience was worse than the times he was detained under Saddam Hussein.  He says the regime that's taken Sadam's place is no improvement on the past. This, he says, should serve as a cautionary tale for other Arab countries trying to oust dictators. 

Hadi al-Mahdi: They toppled the regime, but they brought the worst -- they brought a bunch of thieves, thugs, killers and corrupt people, stealers.

Hadi was only one person tortured.  He was a journalist, he was an activist.  Was.  From the September 8, 2011 snapshot:

In Iraq, a journalist has been murdered.  In addition to being a journalist, he was also a leader of change and part of the movement to create an Iraq that was responsive to Iraqis. 
Al Mada reports Iraqi journalist Hadi al-Mahdi is dead according to an Interior Ministry source who says police discovered him murdered in his Baghdad home.  Along with being a journalist, Al Mada notes he was one of the chief organizers of the demonstrations demanding change and service reform that began on February 25th -- the day he was arrested by Iraqi security forces and beaten in broad daylight as he and others, after the February 25th protest, were eating in a restaurant. The New York Times didn't want to tell you about, the Washington Post did.  And now the man is dead. Gee, which paper has the archives that matter to any real degree.  Maybe it's time to act like a newspaper and not a "news magazine" with pithy little human interest stories?  (That is not a dig at Tim Arango but at the paper's diva male 'reporter' who went on NPR to talk of an Iraqi college this week.)  So while the Times missed the story (actaully, they misled on the story -- cowtowing to Nouri as usual),  Stephanie McCrummen (Washington Post) reported:
Four journalists who had been released described being rounded up well after they had left a protest at Baghdad's Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit.
"It was like they were dealing with a bunch of al-Qaeda operatives, not a group of journalists," said Hussam al-Ssairi, a journalist and poet, who was among a group and described seeing hundreds of protesters in black hoods at the detention facility. "Yesterday was like a test, like a picture of the new democracy in Iraq."
You'll never convince me Nouri al-Maliki wasn't behind the assassination of Hadi.  It's been over two years now and Hadi's killer's never been found.  Yet earlier this week, you saw an intelligence officer killed and today's news cycle was the government bragging that they had caught the murderer.  In Nouri's Iraq, the police 'catch' who they want to.

Despite the above and so much more, Iraqis continue to protest.  This despite numerous attempts by Nouri and his forces to stop them.  January 25th, Nouri's forces began shooting at Falluja protesters -- the death toll would reach eleven.  That didn't stop the protests.  They call it the Iraqi Spring and they protest despite the fact that so much risk is involved in protesting in Iraq.  Al Mada notes that yesterday was day sixty of the protests and that Anbar Province demonstrators are calling for the tribal leaders to stand with them.  In recent days, Nouri's Tigris Operation Command has attempted to intimidate the tribal leaders. Baquba protesters say they are prepared to continue protesting but that they are fearful of what Nouri's Tigris Operation Command forces will do them.

Anadolu Agency reports today, "UN Special Representative Martin Kobler headed to Falluja in order to discuss the demands of Iraqi protestors."  He's met with protesters elsewhere in Iraq already.  Jason Ditz ( offers this take on the protests:

The Maliki government has repeatedly claimed it is “considering” the protesters demands, but its only visible actions have been military moves to stall protests and public threats against the protesters.
Leaders say if there is not action soon they will hold a full scale march on Baghdad, aimed at grinding government operations to a halt and forcing parliament to follow through on calls for early elections.

Among the demands protesters have made is calling for, the release of innocents who have been disappeared into the 'justice' system.  Article IX  of the Constitution is a problem as well because it adds to innocents arrested by allowing you to be arrested merely for being related to a suspect -- you can be the mother of someone suspected of a crime and be arrested because you're the mother (or father, brother, sister, child, grandparent, etc).  Dar Addustour reports that the Ministry of the Interior is bragging that they have released 1077 people accused of 'terrorism.'  If you're thinking, "1077?  That seems smaller than the numbers a gullible western press was pimping a few weeks back," you're not wrong.

3,000 was the claim in early February.  But thing was, the provinces were asking, "Where are these people?"  Because they weren't seeing a huge influx returning.  And then the provinces began demanding that  the Ministry provide a list of names of the released which the Ministry refused to do earlier.  Dar Addustour publishes the list (PDF format) here and here.  Once a list was provided, the numbers dropped, didn't they?

Because when no proof is required Nouri can -- and will -- say anything.   Al Mada notes that the 1077 are released.  There are others that are 'transferred' and being considered for release.  Nouri's laughable committee -- headed by the joke that is Hussain al-Shahristani -- is claiming higher numbers but refusing to release a list of names saying that will come later.

Is it a promise?  Like when Nouri promised to honor The Erbil Agreement?  Or like when Nouri promised in Feb. 2011 that if protesters stopped protesting and gave him 100 days, he would meet their demands?  Nouri never honored The Erbil Agreement and he never met the protesters demands.  So promises from his flunky al-Shahristani aren't worth anything.

But Iraqis continue to rally.  Iraqi Spring Media Center posts this video of the protest tonight in Samarra.   And here's an Iraqi Spring Media Center of the protest today in Mosul

With all they've faced -- including the illegal US war -- Iraqis still take to the street to make their voices heard.  Al Mada reports that activists in Anbar Province and Diyala Province are being watched and followed by Nouri's security forces.  Generally, this is to intimidate.  But this can also be where -- as happened during the 2011 protests -- Iraqis start disappearing. Members of Nouri's own Cabinet, it's worth remembering, have stated Nouri has the technology to listen in on cell phones and that he often does.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013







Last night, MSNBC aired Rachel Maddow's awful special entitled Hubris and based on the over six-year-old book of the same title written by David Corn and Michael IsikoffAs noted here yesterday, the 'documentary' wasn't at all interested in anything other than Bully Boy Bush Lied.  What effect did this have?  That's what makes the lie matter.  A person making a real documentary would grasp that.  Hubris wasn't a documentary.  It failed to show the consequences and the consequences are what the illegal war did to the Iraqi people.  Yesterday, we contrasted the garbage Maddow offered with an actual documentary about Vietnam after US forces had left:

You can hear some of it in An Introduction To The Enemy, the documentary film Jane Fonda made with director Haskell Wexler and with Tom Hayden.  (Click here for a video of Haskell Wexler discussing his films and the politics around them.)

The Pacifica Radio Archives has an interview, conducted by Paul McIsaac,  with Jane about the documentary.

Jane Fonda:  Well Tom and I felt -- and Haskell Wexler -- and the other people in the organization, the Indochina Peace Campaign, we all share the feeling that it's becoming possible now, even though the war continues in South Vietnam, but it is becoming possible to start to deal with the Vietnamese as people.  It wasn't so easy when there were American troops there, POWs there, but now these people who have been viewed as victims or the enemy for so long must begin to be addressed as human beings.  They are very eager to open up human relations with American people.

In contrast, Hubris celebrates xenophobia.  What has happened to the Iraqis?  Who cares? MSNBC doesn't.  The Iraq War was a tragedy -- for all from the countries who participated but most of all for the Iraqi people.

Hubris is xenophobia, it's reducing the people whose lives were most effected to bit players in order to navel gaze and celebrity watch.  It's as offensive as the initial war coverage was.

Remember the criticism?  We see the missiles launch but we don't see the targets hit.

That is Hubris.  And it's also hubris.

To watch MSNBC's awful special was to be left with the impression that the worst thing in the world was that Daddy lied to small children because small children need to believe Daddy never lies.  It was not an anti-war special, it wasn't even an anti-Iraq War special in reality.  There was no interest in the people who had been most effected and the term for that is xenophobia. That's not a minor point, that's key to understanding the crap that MSNBC threw on the air last night.  David Swanson (War Is A Crime) hints at it in his review:

Hubris is the wrong word for what took the United States into war with Iraq.  The forces at work were greed, lust for power, and sadistic vengeance.  The word "hubris" suggests the tragic downfall of the guilty party.  But the war on Iraq did not destroy the United States; it destroyed Iraq.  It damaged the United States, to be sure, but in a manner hardly worthy of mention in comparison to the sociocide committed against Iraq. 
Hubris, the film, provides a reprehensibly ludicrous underestimation of Iraqi deaths, and only after listing U.S. casualties.

And where were the Iraqi people on camera?  Well they weren't on camera. They were rendered faceless.  They weren't talking heads because, apparently, the fact that a US leader would lie was not something shocking to the Iraqi people.

If xenophobia is your fetish, you can click here to stream the awful special.  You'll see Colin The Blot Powell's work-wife Lawrence Wilkerson gab a lot.  And that's the most damning thing about the special and about the people writing about it and those whoring for Larry Wilkerson.

What MSNBC (and others -- Democracy Now!, Consortium News) have done is allow a liar to lie repeatedly.  Author, activist and media analyst Norman Solomon writes about when he confronted Wilkerson on some of his lies and Wilkerson immediately shifted from we-did-not-lie-we-did-not-know to why-didn't-you-call-me-why-didn't-you-try-to-meet-with-me.

That's ridiculous.  Rachel Maddow's had Larry Wilkerson on how many times now?  The two of been together so often, you'd think they were planning a family.  But where's Greg Thielmann? Where's Houston Wood?

Last night on MSNBC, Maddow again presented the revisionary lies that Colin Powell was tricked.  But, too bad for Rachel, CBS News was on this story long before she was. Click here for Rebecca Leung (CBS News) writing up the report of Scott Pelley's October 2003 report for 60 Minutes II on how Colin Powell was advised about the inaccuracies but Powell included them.  So much for Wilkerson's oft repeated lie that his wet dream Colin just didn't know the truth.  (Do not e-mail this site and say, "It's 2009."  We have noted before that about two years ago, CBS revamped their site.  When that happened, dates went wrong.  Ignore the date.  If you don't trust my memory -- fine by me -- click here for Common Dreams' repost -- in October 2003 -- of the CBS notice about that report by Pelley.  You can also click here, at CBS News, for the original date on Rebecca Leung's report.)

The audience reaction was intense to the original airing of the report and K. Jordan Chadwick, in her response, asked, "Please do not let this story die."  But Rachel Maddow and MSNBC have spent years now killing this story.  Rewriting history to make Colin Powell look innocent.

Here's an exchange from the program:

PELLEY: If the secretary took the information that his own intelligence bureau had developed and turned it on its head, which is what you're saying, to what end?

MR. THIELMANN: I can only assume he was doing it to loyally support the president of the United States and build the strongest possible case for arguing that there was no alternative to the use of military force.

Powell lied.  Powell knowing lied and it was established in 2003 by 60 Minutes II.  Rachel Maddow lied Monday night and she, Consortium News, Democracy Now and all the other outlets that have allowed Lawrence Wilkerson to repeatedly lie to their audiences -- those outlets are guilty of abetting a War Criminal.  Think about that before you applaud Rachel's latest garbage.  It wasn't just know, it was widely known.  And CBS may have vanished the program, but we can thank Jon Corzine right now.  The day after it originally aired?  October 16, 2003, then-Senator Jon Corzine entered the full transcript of the report into the Congressional record. 

It's there, it's part of the record and it refutes every damn lie Lawrence Wilkerson's been telling since 2006.  It rebukes the Rachel Maddows, the Amy Goodmans, the Ray McGoverns and all the other sad liars who have shilled for Lawrence Wilkerson in the last seven years.  Shame on them all.

And for those who think maybe Greg Thielmann no longer speaks about this topic?  It would be a very sudden clamp-down.  At the end of last month, Harry Shearer (Le Show -- link is audio and transcript) was interviewing Thielman.  Excerpt.

HARRY SHEARER:  All right. Let me just review something he said. This is on Meet the Press, January 13th of this year.

COLIN POWELL:  We were basing all of our actions on a National Intelligence Estimate that the Congress asked for. It was provided to the Congress by the CIA. And all of us in the Bush administration at that time accepted the judgment of our 16 intelligence communities. I presented it to the UN. We subsequently found out that a lot of that information was not accurate, and that is very unfortunate, but that’s the way it unfolded… The president had more than sufficient basis to believe that there were weapons of mass destruction that were a danger to the world, and the possibility of those weapons going to terrorists, and so he undertook military action. I think that was the correct thing to do and it was well supported by the intelligence.

HARRY SHEARER:  Is that an accurate statement?

GREG THIELMANN:  I’m very sorry to hear him put it that way, because I had a lot of respect for Colin Powell as Secretary of State. I felt honored working for him as Secretary of State.   One of the things that I particularly dislike about what he just said was, in the fall of 2002 there was a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraqi WMD. On the most important assessment in that estimate concerning the Iraqi nuclear weapons program – and there was a nuclear weapons program prior to the first Gulf war, but 15 agencies in that estimate said that Iraq had reconstituted the nuclear program, which had been dormant and had ended after the first Gulf war. One agency, Colin Powell’s own agency, the intelligence bureau of the State Department, said that the evidence did not support that conclusion. That is, that the evidence showed that Iraq had not reconstituted its nuclear weapons program.  And of all the various assessments about chemical weapons, about biological weapons, about missiles, that was the most critical assessment. And the State Department not only dissented, as the State Department would sometimes do, with an asterisk and a one-liner, it was basically a dissent with the entire judgment requiring a lot of words and was on the front page of the executive summary of the estimate. It was on the one-pager that went to the president of the United States. And that should raise alarm bells, not because the State Department intelligence bureau is always right, although I would argue that INR, which is its acronym, INR was more often right than not when we dissented from the majority, but that Colin Powell in particular, who knew or should have known from our memoranda and from his conversations with the head of our bureau the reasons, the detailed reasons why the evidence was not sound behind that conclusion.

Powell lied and Wilkerson been allowed to lie repeatedly over and over.  Greg Thielmann is not anti-Powell.  Read the transcript or listen to the show.  I am anti-Powell because I have a low tolerance for War Criminals. 

MSNBC wanted to sanitize Powell.  They were more interested in piling on the hate at the feet of Bully Boy Bush and because Lawrence Wilkerson will join in on that, they'll gladly let him lie. 

What comes from that?  In one instance, a sicko believes he can break the law.   Raw Story does a write-up that  toes the Maddow line.  The result?

RetiredVet David Emghee an hour ago

That is a stupid question, apparently you have no idea how the Military and Politics work. The General is ORDERED to follow ORDERS, period, not a fairy tale but FACT. Unlike the COWARDLY, PIKES that never serve or understand whats it takes to serve (they are to busy STEALING and Lying), just because you retire you DO NOT hang up all those years of Discip0line, you FOLLOW ORDERS, that is why a lot of retires get in trouble with flash backs you DO NOT QUESTION a ORDER. One small note Mr. Powell can PROVE his Military Service, but the WAR CRIMINAL and TRAITOR to this day has NOT produced papers to show he served HONORABLY, just a small footnote.
As for the descenders of Mr Powell, I will defend this man to the Death, and with GREAT Joy and Jubilation put a BULLET in the head of the COWARD and TRAITOR bush, is that clear enough. The WAR CRIMINAL and TRAITOR ordered this man to LIE, and the PUKE, GUTLESS, SPINELESS, Noise Media did NOTHING because they wanted Access and to have a beer with these WAR CRIMINALS and TRAITORS.

To be clear, the "RetiredVet" is the one commenting.  He's responding to "David Emghee."  The words above are not the words of "David Emghee."

RetiredVet means "dissenters" -- those not feeling Powell was a lovely -- and he explains that he will defend Powell with his dying breath -- get the feeling someone's mainlining MSNBC? -- and then he goes on to say of "TRAITOR bush,"  "The WAR CRIMINAL and TRAITOR ordered this man to LIE" -- no, silly fool.  You're an idiot and someone facing questioning from the feds.  Bully Boy Bush could tell someone to do something but he can't order the Cabinet to do a damn thing.  Elliot Richardson was the Attorney General of the US when then-President Richard Nixon 'ordered' him to fire Archibald Cox as Special Prosecutor on the Watergate investigation.  Did Richardson do it?  No.  He resigned.  As Secretary of State, Powell was a civilian.  More importantly for RetiredVet, writing that you will "with GREAT Joy and Jubilation put a BULLET in the head of the COWARD and Traitor bush"?  That's a threat and will most like be investigated as such.  You aired your ignorance throughout your comment but you also aired a threat. 

I can't stand Bully Boy Bush.  I have no desire to kill him.  He has made his own hell and will live in it. 

There's probably no hope for RetiredVet -- look at his other comments which include wishing that "four or five people walk in to Congress both National and Random States with semi automatic weapons and unlimited magazines and a few drums, then OPEN UP and slaughter every Congressional Leader, WOW, what an exciting NOISE Day that would be."  You have to wonder about Raw Story -- why in the world would they allow these kind of comments to be posted? 

There may be more disturbing (or more threats) from him in the comments, you can click here if you're interested.  I don't choose to wallow in his sickness.

But this is the simplistic rage that Maddow's special encourages.  Maybe if it had focused even just a little on the Iraqi people, RetiredVet would be obsessing over how to help them and not over his desire to kill Bully Boy Bush?  So, to recap, Maddow's special was xenophobic and dishonest.

 "Talking Iraq"