Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Repost _ Proof of Fixing Facts To Justify The Iraq War

Read it and judge for yourselves:


SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY
DAVID MANNING
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02

cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell

IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER'S MEETING, 23 JULY

Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. 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. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:

(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.

John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.

Conclusions:

(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)

MATTHEW RYCROFT

(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)

Source:

AfterDowningStreet.org

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Neocons are Unraveling Witness: Their Desperation...Obvious, Their Propaganda...Ridiculous

Witness the evidence of their demise:

Fox News in Ratings Free Fall

'TV Newser cited a CNN press release which gave these totals for Fox's primetime audience in the 25 to 54 age bracket: Oct. 04: 1,074,000; Nov. 04: 891,000; Dec. 04: 568,000; Jan. 05: 564,000; Feb. 05: 520,000; March 05: 498,000; April 05: 445,000. That amounts to a decline of 58 percent, with no sign of leveling off.'


Now witness the desperate rediculous rhetoric:

The Case for the Empire
From the May 16, 2002 Daily Standard: Everything you think you know about Star Wars is wrong.
by Jonathan V. Last
12/26/2002 12:00:00 AM

"STAR WARS RETURNS today with its fifth installment, "Attack of the Clones." There will be talk of the Force and the Dark Side and the epic morality of George Lucas's series. But the truth is that from the beginning, Lucas confused the good guys with the bad. The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good.

It's a difficult leap to make--embracing Darth Vader and the Emperor over the plucky and attractive Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia--but a careful examination of the facts, sorted apart from Lucas's off-the-shelf moral cues, makes a quite convincing case."

Star Wars and the Radical Right

You may ask yourself why does the radical right care about Star Wars so much? Why would Star Wars be on every right wing propaganda show in the country? Are they trying to convince us Star Wars is anti Bush?

Folks the answer is surprisingly simple.

The idea is to get ahead of their supporters. To make sure that no one does any thinking on their own about this. They aren't trying to convince us to think of Star Wars as bad. They are trying to make sure that their base doesn't go into Star Wars without a bias. They don't want Neocons waking up in the middle of the show and realizing that their politicians are just like the bad guys in the movie.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Take the Bunkport Pledge

I will no longer sit on the sidelines, I will not allow negativity and defeatism to influence me and I will take action to satisfy my own conscience and for no other reason.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Check out this story from Pissed On Politics

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Real Memogate - Proof of Fixing Facts To Justify The Iraq War

Read it and judge for yourselves:


SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY
DAVID MANNING
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02

cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell

IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER'S MEETING, 23 JULY

Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. 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. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:

(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.

John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.

Conclusions:

(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)

MATTHEW RYCROFT

(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)

Source:

IMPEACHMENT TIME: "FACTS WERE FIXED."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Senator Harry Reid Doesn't Mince Words

Blames Bush for "a fictitious crisis on Social Security," "deficits that are absolutely unbelievable," "an intractable war in Iraq," "destroying public education," "attempting to change the very basis of this country," paying "no attention" to the uninsured and leaving people "begging for prescription drugs."

"So maybe my choice of words was improper," Reid allows. "But I want everyone here, I repeat, to know I'm going to continue to call things the way that I see them. And I think this administration has done a very, very bad job for this nation and the world."

Reid turns and departs leaving his listeners scribbling. "Tell us what you really feel," one jokes.

From Democrat Reid Shoots From the Lip

We need more Senator like him. Tell it like it is Harry!

In Defense of the Judiciary - A Libertarian Voice in the Wilderness

Paul Gaston, professor emeritus of southern and civil rights history at the University of Virginia, has written a masterful piece that ran today on the official Libertarian blog . Gaston outlines the fundamental aspects of the right wing's attack on the Judiciary. Here are some excerpts, a link to the full article is provided below.
"People calling themselves Christians are gathering once again for a crusade against what they consider to be the secular humanist subversion of Christian values. This time the object of their wrath is the judiciary."
"The assault on the judiciary is especially revealing. The vicious attacks on Judge George Greer, the Florida jurist who presided over the Schiavo case, reveal the bizarre nature of right-wing Christian fantasies. A regular recipient of hate mail and threats against his life that required him to walk to court with an armed marshal, Judge Greer is a lifelong Southern Baptist, a regular in church and a conservative Republican. None of those credentials protected him from the assaults of fellow Christians, including messages saying he would go straight to Hell."
"All Americans, of whatever religious or non-religious persuasion, need to be on the alert to preserve those principles. The burden falls especially heavily on the mainstream Christians who are slowly awakening to the gravity of the challenge facing them. Too long tolerant of their brethren, too much given to forgiveness rather than to confrontation, they need to mount a spirited, nationwide response to what constitutes a dangerous distortion of Christian truths and a frightening threat to the republic they love. "

Read the full artile

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bill O'riely lies and Rupert Murdoch cries

Fox New's misinformation king has lost over 30% of his viewers since the November election. That's a million people who aren't interested in marrying goats or having phone sex with employees. People are smarter than Bill O'riely thinks and are tired of one sided commentary and Neocon radicalism. Bush apologists are a dime a dozen and O'riely, the self appointed guardian of American morality, is just another worthless propagandist.

In contrast, CBS lost only 13% this year in a reaction to the Dan Rather Memogate scandal (which turned out to be true by the way).

Source:
O'Reilly hemorrhaging viewers

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Iraq Disaster - 300 people dead in 10 days

300 human lives lost. Men, women and children.

There are people on the right that don't think 300 human lives are important. They are convinced that misinformation and blind allegiance to Bush's policies will do the trick in Iraq. Meanwhile Iraqis pay a horrific price for our failed policies.

America is a pragmatic country. Our citizens strongly believe things that don't work should be corrected. The "stay the course" rhetoric from the right is irresponsible and un-American.

For further details:

300 people dead in 10 days

Thursday, May 05, 2005

How short is a Republicans memory?

How do Republicans get away with their lies and hypocrisy?

Their supporters have short memories.


Never mind the states rights and limited government rhetoric that Rush and others touted all through the 90's. Never mind the "Republican Contract with America" or fiscal responsibility. I don't expect Republicans to remember that far back. But, what about just a few months ago? What about the changing of the rules on the House Ethics committee and the stacking of that committee with Tom Delay supporters? I expect them to remember their vehement denials that the committee's integrity was compromised when the rules were changes and moderate Republicans were replaced with those close to Delay.

Now the truth is coming to light:


Two Republicans won't join DeLay ethics probe


Ethics panel members gave money to aid his legal defense

"Republican members of the House ethics committee recused themselves Wednesday from any investigation of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, saying their presence on the panel could pose a potential conflict of interest because they both contributed to DeLay's legal defense fund."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

What's the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?

When a Democrat finds out someone breaks the rules he/she calls for an investigation regardless of party.

A Republican says, "well the Democrats do this too, and the rules are really just guidelines, and Hannity told me the sky is red and not blue.

That's right I'm talking about Delay. The Republican propaganda machines best arguement is that Democratic representatives do the same kinds of dirty things.

Well, if they do we don't want them in our party so let's investigate.