Posts filed under “War/Defense”
As prophesied on Sunday, my travel plans have once again caused a dislocation in the global balance of market forces. In other words, the futures are getting whacked, and it look like the day will start pretty ugly.
SPX is down about 20; Dow off over 120. Oil rocket up nealy 10% after 250 protesters were killed in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, by government forces. Witnesses described “an obscene amount of gunfire. They were strafing these people. People were running in every direction.” In addition to the Libyan army, Qaddafi deploys mercenaries to facilitate killing the citizens of Libya.
More later . . .
Source of the Iraqi WMD Claims Comes Clean … And Shows that the American and British Governments Willfully Manipulated the Evidence
As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, everyone knew that Iraq didn’t have WMDs.
The Guardian just interviewed the the infamous “Curveball” who provided false evidence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Curveball admitted that he knowingly lied about WMDs, in order to topple Saddam Hussein. The Guardian has a series notes in a series of articles out today on the issue which reinforce the conclusion that the American and British governments deliberately manipulated the evidence to justify the Iraqi invasion.
In one article, the Guardian notes :
The former head of the CIA in Europe … Tyler Drumheller, who says he warned the head of the US intelligence agency before the 2003 invasion of Iraq that Curveball might be a liar ….
“My impression was always that his reporting was done in January and February,” said Drumheller, adding that he had been warned well before 2003 by his counterparts in the German secret service (BND) that Curveball might not be reliable. “We didn’t know if it was true. We knew there were real problems with it and there were inconsistencies.”
He passed on this information to the head of the CIA, George Tenet, he said, and yet Curveball’s testimony still made it into Colin Powell’s famous February 2003 speech justifying an invasion. “Right up to the night of Powell’s speech, I said, don’t use that German reporting because there’s a problem with that,” said Drumheller.
He recalled a conversation he had with John McLaughlin, then the CIA’s deputy director. “The week before the speech, I talked to the Deputy McLaughlin, and someone says to him, ‘Tyler’s worried that Curveball might be a fabricator.
“And McLaughlin said, ‘Oh, I hope not, because this is really all we have.’ And I said, and I’ve got to be honest with you, I said: ‘You’ve got to be kidding? his is all we have!’”
In a second article, the Guardian reports:
A senior aide to Colin Powell at the time of his pivotal speech to the United Nations said on Tuesday that Curveball’s admission raised questions about the CIA’s role.
Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to the then US secretary of state Powell in the build-up to the invasion, said the lies of Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, also known by the codename Curveball, raised questions about how the CIA had briefed Powell ahead of his crucial speech to the UN security council presenting the case for war.
In particular, why did the CIA’s then director George Tenet and his deputy John McLaughlin believe the claim by Curveball, “and convey that to Powell even though the CIA’s own European chief Tyler Drumheller had already raised serious doubts.
“And why did Tenet and McLaughlin portray the presence of mobile biological labs in Iraq to the secretary of state with a degree of conviction bordering on passionate, soul-felt certainty?”
“This is very damning testimony and an indictment of the work the US put into the pre-war intelligence. The decision to go to war, to spend billions on sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers to the region, was in large part taken on the basis of an admitted liar,” said Ashwin Madia, head of an organisation of progressive US military veterans, VoteVets.
Judith Yaphe, a former CIA analyst on Iraq now at the National Defence University in Washington, said … “There were people at the time who doubted what Curveball was saying, but if the administration doesn’t want to believe it, it doesn’t make much difference.”
It is obvious that America has long supported dictators, instead of democracies, in developing countries.
Is it simply – as Noam Chomsky asserts – that America supports strong men who will ensure that their country acts as a “client state” to the U.S., and moves to crush countries which refuse to act as satellites to the U.S.?
But – as usual – faulty economic models are part of the problem.
Specifically, Morton Halperin, Joe Siegel and Michael Weinstein co-wrote a book called The Democracy Advantage: How Democracies Promote Prosperity and Peace, published by the Council on Foreign Relations in 2005, which provides insight into the economic model used to justify America’s historic support for dictators.
Halperin is no outsider, being a high-level adviser in the Clinton, Nixon and Johnson administrations and to the Council on Foreign Relations. In the Johnson Administration, he worked in the Department of Defense where he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs), responsible for political-military planning and arms control. During the first nine months of the Nixon administration, Halperin was a Senior Staff member of the National Security Council staff with responsibility for National Security Planning. In the Clinton administration, he served Director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State, the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy at the National Security Council, and consultant to the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. He was nominated by the President for the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping.
Halperin, Siegel and Weinstein gave a speech at the Carnegie Foundation in 2005 explaining their research findings.
Successive American presidents have said, particularly since the end of the Cold War, that a major goal of American foreign policy was to spread or enlarge or enhance democracy, and that our foreign policy was geared to supporting those who were struggling to establish and maintain democratic regimes.
Yet if you look at development assistance from the United States, from the international financial institutions, and even from the Europeans and the European Community, you find that there is no democracy advantage. That is, democratic countries, in fact, receive less development assistance than do non-democratic countries. You also find in the rhetoric, and even the charters, of development agencies a belief that democracy is not their business. They increasingly talk about good governance as one aspect of development, but not about democracy. The people who run USAID believe that their job is to promote development, and not democracy. That permits them to consider good-governance issues, but not to ask the fundamental question: Is this a democratic society that we want to support?
Indeed, the international financial institutions have, with one exception, charters which require them not to take account of whether a country is a democracy, or as it is referred to in the charters, its political criteria.
Underlying this policy of governments and international financial institutions is a belief about how democracy relates to development. There is a widely held view that poor countries need to delay democracy until they develop. Back when I was in college, this was the Scandinavian view of democracy, that only Scandinavian countries were capable of being democratic, and that you needed to have a solid middle class before you could contemplate democracy. The argument went—as presented in the writings of Samuel Huntington and Seymour Martin Lipset —that if a poor country became democratic, because of the pressures in a democracy to respond to the interests of the people, they would borrow too much, they would spend the money in ways that did not advance development—arguments that the current president of Mexico is making about his possible successor. These poor decisions would mean that development would not occur; and because people would then be disappointed, they would return to a dictatorship.
Therefore, the prescription was, get yourself a benign dictator—it was never quite explained how you would make sure you had a dictator that spent the money to develop the country rather than ship it off to a Swiss bank account—wait until that produces development, which produces a middle class, and then, inevitably, the middle class will demand freedom, and you will have a democratic government.
That proposition was wrong.
Siegel picked up from there. Siegel is a Senior Research Scholar at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, and an expert on the political economy of democratic transitions , who has contributed articles to leading policy journals and newspapers including Foreign Affairs , Harvard International Review , Georgetown Journal for International Affairs, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Newsweek International, Wall Street Journal, and The International Herald Tribune. Siegel was also a high-level researcher for the CFR.
Time’s Man of the Year. Now the new Moses? The guy who’s invisible connectivity community helped bring down the Pharaoh of Egypt. Mark Zuckerberg getting credit for Egypt’s revolution? We were stunned last night as we watched Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer interview the de facto leader of Egypt’s revolution, the “Google Ganhdi,” Wael…Read More
This is already old news, but here is a quick round up of Egypt headlines: • Al Jazeera English: Live Stream • Egypt’s joy as Mubarak quits (Guardian) • Mubarak Resigns, Delegates Affairs to Army (WSJ) • Why Mubarak is Out (Ratigan) • Egypt’s Mubarak Resigns, Hands Power to Military (Bloomberg) • Mubarak Steps Down,…Read More
Washington’s Blog strives to provide real-time, well-researched and actionable information. George – the head writer at Washington’s Blog – is a busy professional and a former adjunct professor. ~~~ Connecticut’s newspaper The Day noted on January 24th: Connecticut National Guard Detachment 2, Company I, 185th Aviation Regiment of Groton has mobilized and will deploy to…Read More
To friends and colleagues on the bcc list. The American sense of democracy, human rights, transparent government and the rest of the list we all know pulls me in favor of the inevitable (now) changes coming in most of the autocratic regimes in the Middle East. But the issue of what the new regimes will…Read More
> Above you see the results from our Egypt Poll. The widget I used is pretty cool — from a company whose Board I am on called Democrasoft. Their Collaborize product is a unique mash up of a survey and comment system. It allows the normally rambling, non-resolved comment stream to produce an actual result….Read More