“Inappropriate but not Illegal”

2566421848 The Inspector General of the Department of Defence has issued a report which deals with the intelligence "review" efforts of the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the period before the intervention in Iraq.  It concludes that this effort produced reults and employed methods which were "inappropriate but not illegel."  This result is being received by those involved as vindication.  This morning a pair of TV cable news readers speculated on whether or not Douglas Feith, the man at the center of the "information" project was not being made a "scapegoat" in the report.  One wonders who suggested that line of thought to them.  It now seems that the people who twisted and twisted the available information until they could produce fabricated untruths to "feed" the American people are still protected and will "get away with it."

Douglas Feith has been variously described as the "dumbest" this or the dumbest that.  Dumb?  How?  He "got away with it" and now the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) employ him at Georgetown University in teaching the young how to be public servants at the School of Foreign Service.  How can that be?

I wrote the article "Drinking the Koolaid" in 2004.  In it, I described how this man and his friends distorted the truth in such a way as to deceive the American people and draw them into war.  Feith’s neocon comrades ridiculed the article at the time.  It would seem that their criticism was "inappropriate but not illegal," nevertheless, they are clearly the winners in the public discussion of their infamy.



Douglas Feith is now gone from the Pentagon but his spirit marches on there.  The "Iraq Project" is reborn with new goals.  We now have the "Iran Project."  pl


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47 Responses to “Inappropriate but not Illegal”

  1. Brian Hart says:

    Betrayal of the public trust. Incompetence. Treason.
    Nothing to see here folks, just move along.
    … No one held to account. Witness the death of the American dream.
    Nothing to see here folks, just move along.

  2. Duncan Kinder says:

    It would be extremely pertinent to establish some objective standards here.
    Has the Inspector General previously issued such reports, with regard to Vietnam, Korea, Iran Contra, Bay of Pigs or some other such incident.
    If not, why not?
    If so, then what conclusions did those reports arrive at and upon the basis of what?
    How did the media and Congress then respond to those reports?
    In short, is Feith currently being treated differently than historically has been the norm for Defense Dept. officials?

  3. confusedponderer says:

    To quote Feith: “This was not ‘alternative intelligence assessment,’ ” he said. “It was from the start a criticism of the consensus of the intelligence community, and in presenting it I was not endorsing its substance.”
    Right. Who does he think he can fool? The intent was whipping through a policy, no matter what the facts. Period.

  4. HerbEly says:

    Politicization of Intelligence, Part VI

    We’ve been at this for quite a while. . Now we read extracts from the Pentagon’s acting inspector general, Thomas V. Gimble. Here is the lead paragraph from the Washington Post’s Walter Pincus and R. Jeffrey Smith: Intelligence provided by

  5. Jim Henley says:

    Shouldn’t any just sentence construction read “not illegal but inappropriate,” rather than the reverse? Do I curse the IG or the reporter for getting it backwards?

  6. Inappropriate but not Illegal

  7. Charles says:

    As I’ve commented previously, America is so far through the looking glass – witness the tremendous clarity and resolve of the new congress – that it may never come back. Yesterday’s Doonesbury, in which Bush is told there’s only one person left to carry the can, and then wonders how God will take to that blame says it all. No one mis responsible – its always somebody else.
    We now have a Frank Luntz counselled Prime Minister with a minority government here in Canada. These people NEVER look back, so they don’t really give a shit what anybody said they said last year, last week or yesterday. They are fiendishly accomplished simple-minded message deliverers. I’m waiting to see if our populace will drink the kool-aid. I’m cautiously optimistic, notwithstanding that our PM called the long-planned Israeli attack on Lebanon “a measured response.” and that foreign minister came in his pants whilst gushing at Condi before the press.
    The real problem is, your media has been spewing atomized particles of kool-aid into the atmosphere for so long, that the sky is no longer a recognizable reference shade of blue. The debate has been successfully shifted from “What can Government do to serve us” to “Government bad. Taxes Bad. Individual response and accountability to globalization good. Current trends inevitable. Not much we can do for you. Don’t argue – that’s treasonous aid to the “ENEMY”.”
    Your legislators have swallowed this gibberish hook, line, and sinker. Then the universal formula is applied: Apply generously to affected area. Rinse. Repeat. Repeat daily as necessary.

  8. anna missed says:

    or, to quote John McCain:
    “I believe in American exceptionalism. I believe we were meant to transform history. I believe that the progress of all humanity will depend, as it has for many years now, on the global progress of American interests and values. I believe we are still the last, best hope of Earth.”
    So, no matter the methods the Douglas Feiths’ of the world employ nor the mountain of evidence attesting to their utter incompetence — they remain the standard bearers of American exceptionalism and so must persist. Bill Krystal, Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams,etc. all remain credible witness and respected authors to what must then can only be considered as unquestionable, divine rule by decree — and subject to no consequence, least the myth of exceptionalism be shattered.

  9. VietnamVet says:

    After the defeat of the Soviet Union and the movement of manufacturing offshore, the only growth industry is bilking of Americans by privatization, no equity loans and contracting out of government services. Read Vanity’s Fair article on Science Applications International Corporation.
    Corruption and the revolving door are the Standard Operating Procedure in Washington DC. Iraq is the ultimate outcome. An unnecessary War built on lies and fought to enrich the wealthy.

  10. johnieb says:

    Thank you for re-posting your previous material, Colonel; I am finding it most helpful, as I have this site and its many participants.
    Grace to all

  11. arbogast says:

    When Jim Webb runs for President (and may that day come very, very soon), I would like Patrick Lang to be the Secretary of Defense.

  12. Babak Makkinejad says:

    anna missed:
    McCain is not completely wrong – the religion of Americans is “America”.

  13. jamzo says:

    news stories describe the IG report as “long awaited”
    what is the backstory for the report being released now?
    is it simply that rumsfeld is gone?

  14. taters says:

    Absolutely disgusting and far beyond a travesty. Maybe a letter writing campaign to Georgetown is in order. At one time not too long ago – Tom DeLay’s name was far from a household word. Doug Feith’s name should have the same ring as Quisling, Aldrich Ames or Benedict Arnold, synonymous with treachery.
    I have re read Drinking the Kool Aid numerous times, it is always well worth the read. Welcome back, Col. Lang.

  15. walrus says:

    I was afraid of this. I feel like throwing up. Good people, Americans and Iraqis, have died because of this mans treason.
    But this is merely the tip of the iceberg. AIPAC and the Israeli lobby are like a parasite stuck in Americas brain and controlling it.
    They OWN the Democratic members of Congress which is why they have been squirming around for three weeks trying to craft an anti war resolution to satisfy the grassroots without offending AIPAC.
    Look at the lengths Hilary goes to do the same thing.
    There is no other simple explanation as to why we continue to do things and act in ways that are totally and completely NOT in our national interest, from Al Ghraib and rendition onwards, but are obviously in Israels interest.
    Some time in the not too distant future, there is going to be a backlash against jews holding public office as a direct result of the activities of these Likudniks, and all jews are going to suffer as a result.
    Of course the REAL test now underway is to convince us that attacking Iran is in our national interest.
    And regrettably as a result, before I read news reports or op-eds about Iran, I have to determine the religion of the writer. You simply cannot trust anything written by a Jew about Iran or Iraq.

  16. W. Patrick Lang says:

    anna missed
    That explains a lot about McCain. This is a good reason not to vote for him. I do not believe in American exceptionalism. I believe that we Americans are not excused for anything on the basis of some special mythical quest that God has sent us on. I believe that we must seek salvation on the basis of our actions like all others. pl

  17. Sgt.York says:

    Does it matter? They just refilled the pitcher of koolaid. CNN is currently airing the wild assertion that Iran is responsible for half of all US Military deaths in Iraq because they are providing IED technology to the ‘terrorists’ and half of the deaths were caused by IEDs.
    Apparently television bobble-heads with journalism degrees are too stupid to ask why Iran – who is supporting the partisan Shia Iraqi groups SCIRI, Badr, and Dawa – would arm Sunnis that hate Iran, hate Shias and are killing them daily, and hate SCIRI, Badr, and Dawa. Doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.

  18. zanzibar says:

    When there are no clean hands how can anyone be held accountable?
    The Democrats did not kick up a fuss when all the shenanigans were taking place. They acquiesced. Do they have the courage now in the face of the “patriotism” barrage to have open hearings so that the American people can know what actually happened and how the country was misled to supporting the Decider’s decision to invade and occupy Iraq on the basis of false premise? I doubt!
    Will the corporate media highlight how the country was hijacked? No. Its contrary to their interest.
    The neo-cons and American Likudniks will continue to ply their trade. Like a cancer they will grow their infection of the American body politic.

  19. Chris Marlowe says:

    The problem with American exceptionalism is it talks only about American rights, with no discussion of responsibilities to other countries’ peoples and interests.
    The only thing exceptional about America today is its worship of violence for resolving conflicts, arrogance to other nations and general overall stupidity. We flaunt our “strength” the way Anna Nicole Smith flaunted her boobs, expecting the rest of the world to drop their jaws in collective amazement and awe.
    No wonder no one respects us.

  20. Grimgrin says:

    Is it just me or does McCain’s quote call to mind Soviet ideas of the historical inevitability of Communism?

  21. Matthew says:

    Col. Lang: American Exceptionalism used to be based on our unique belief in rationalism and objectivity. Pragmatism was our gift to the world. McCain doesn’t realize that Scipio Africanus made “his” speech 2200 years ago.

  22. Will says:

    The religion of America is Israel Until the Israeli-Palestinian problem is solved, American extemist Jesw such as NeoKon Likudnik Douglas Feith, Irwin “Scooter Libby,” Josephy Lieberman, et al will endlessly embroil the U.S. in MidEast Wars. That is just a fact of life. So to answer the question George Will posed. On hearing that the Palestinians and Israelis had made Peace will the Sunni or Shiite in Irak on his suicide mission halt in his tracks and say, No need? NO George Stupid-Arse Will, but that stituation wouldn’t have come to pass were the American NeoKon Likudnik decided it was necessary to have America invade Irak for Israel’s interests.
    Feith is the guy that was No.3 at he Pentagon after fellow Likudnik Wolfie and he directed Lewis Paul Bremer to rip up the one remaining national social fabrik in Irak, to wit: the Iraki Army. I think it was on purpose, the Neokon Likudniks wanted Irak in choas, never to rise again- the hell with American G.I.s. This is called dual loyalty.
    From the wikipedia article on Feith, selected portions on dual loyalty:
    “Former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice
    According to the long-running Washington newsletter, The Nelson Report, edited by Christopher Nelson, quoting an anonymous source, Feith was standing in for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at a 2003 interagency ‘Principals’ Meeting’ debating the Middle East, and ended his remarks on behalf of the Pentagon. Then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said, “Thanks Doug, but when we want the Israeli position we’ll invite the ambassador.” [30]
    [edit] Former Secretary of State Colin Powell
    In Bob Woodward’s book Plan of Attack, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell called Feith’s operation at the Pentagon the “Gestapo” office because Powell believed it amounted to a separate, unchecked governing authority within the Pentagon.[31]
    [edit] Former Pentagon Desk Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski (ret)
    Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who was a Desk Officer in Feith’s Policy organization, spoke of Feith’s style:
    “He was very arrogant,” Feith’s former deputy, says, describing what it was like to work with him. “He doesn’t utilize a wide variety of inputs. He seeks information that confirms what he already thinks. And he may go to jail for leaking classified information to The Weekly Standard.” [33]
    (Karen Kwiatkowski believes an article that appeared in The Weekly Standard included a classified memo written by Feith alleging ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.)
    Regarding Feith and his colleague, David Wurmser, Colonel Wilkerson has stated:
    A lot of these guys, including Wurmser, I looked at as card-carrying members of the Likud party, as I did with Feith. You wouldn’t open their wallet and find a card, but I often wondered if their primary allegiance was to their own country or to Israel. That was the thing that troubled me, because there was so much that they said and did that looked like it was more reflective of Israel’s interest than our own.[39]
    [edit] Former CENTCOM Deputy Director, Lt. General Michael DeLong
    In an interview with PBS on 14 February 2006, General DeLong was asked about the information coming from Feith’s office in the lead-up to the Iraq war. He replied:
    Feith wasn’t somebody we enjoyed working with, and to go much further than that would probably not be a good thing. To be honest, we blew him off lots of times. Told the secretary that he’s full of baloney, his people working for him are full of baloney. It was a real distraction for us, because he was the number three guy in the Department of Defense.[40]”
    No. 1 U.S. Priority should be Israel-Palestinian Peace followed up by Saudi-Beirut initiative callling for full peace and trade with Israel and the 22 Arab Nations. Iran would not be far behind. As Sayed Hasan Nasralah of Hezbollah said
    “Despite declaring “death to Israel” in his public appearances, Nasrallah said in an interview to The New Yorker, “at the end of the road no one can go to war on behalf of the Palestinians, even if that one is not in agreement with what the Palestinians agreed on.” [15] When asked whether he was prepared to live with a two-state settlement between Israel and Palestine, he said he would not sabotage what is a Palestinian matter. ”

  23. TR Stone says:

    It is getting to the point where no new revelations or bizarre pronouncements by those who have national name recognition should mean anything. When has anything that these chattering class yokels have pontificated about, been true or truthful? The real question is “How do saner, more rational voices, get propagated.
    As much as I enjoy reading all the intellectual discourses about the “Battle of Agincourt”, General “Lighthorse” Henry Lee, or Stillwell’s China Experience, the problem today is how do we change a catastrophic policy that both the civil administration (including the congress), supported by a compliant military class, is leading this country towards? We have the knowledge of history so rehashing it in detail may show how we know the minutae, but that is not solving the pressing current problems. BTW, Jim Webb is not our savior!
    The discussions should be about actions not words that will prevent the seemingly imminent expansion to a wider war in the ME.

  24. zanzibar says:

    Isn’t it interesting that Nick Kristof’s May 2003 article has now culminated in the Libby trial?
    Kristof was early in laying out the importance of the veracity of the Decider’s administration claims. Did folks push back enough when the Darth went on a “tirade” of compromising a covert CIA agent? Will Libby just be the fall guy who got nailed and later pardoned or will those that really made the decisions to embroil America in the Iraqi quagmire on the basis of fabrications and deceit and the wholsale “corruption” of our constitutional system be held to account?

  25. Adam Stilson says:

    This is a bit off topic.
    Someone with more direct explosives knowledge, please feel free to comment.
    As I watch CNN, I hear reporters and military spokesmen assert, without any hesiation that Iran must be behind suppling/educatating Iraqi insurgents because of the sophistication of the Improvied Explosive Devices. The implication is that only a crafty enemy could make explosives that can piece our armoured vechicles. And I often hear them speak about ‘shapped charges’.
    This is what bothers me. This technology has been around in almost unchanged form since WW2 Panzerfausts… you can get it in many ‘Poor Man’s James Bond” style wacko manuals or in many physics textbooks. I cannot stress how low-tech and simple it is to make armour piercing explosives. I ran across them in physics graduate school.. these explosives come up when wave properties are studied in electrodynamics and acustics courses (the game is all about waveguides. Explosive shock waves and sound waves are the same thing.. they are traveling pressure gradiants. If you tweak the shape of the coil/chamber of a good subwoofer, replace the wood with a decent metal alloy [the metal doesn’t need to be hitech because the metal is guiding the wave and absorbs little of the energy], and you got what you need to make a modest explosive be able to pierce a tank. A good waveguide can increase the amplitude over a limited area by factors of 10000’s)
    I don’t doubt that Iran has a large hand in Iraq. What bothers me is using this IED crap as supporting evidence. It is the same arrogance which has led us to underestimate and belttle our enemy throught this whole conflict. We seem to say these backwater Iraqi hicks could never touch us.. so it must be some higher force at work. The Iraqis, like the Vietnamese before them, are a smart, determined, and learning enemy. Give them some credit or else make critcal mistakes.

  26. J says:

    amen to your comments, amen.

  27. Chris Marlowe says:

    Just saw Doug Feith on CNN with Wolf Blitzer; he was having a hissy fit over the charges by the inspector general, going on and on saying that it was perfectly alright for policy guys to challenge intelligence guys, blah, blah, blah.
    Man, this guy’s really dumb. He goes beyond Texas dumb; we’re into the realm of non-sentient beings.
    I’d have more faith in this government if a gypsy woman and Dr. Ruth, with a crystal ball, were advising the Defense Department on Iraqi policy. I’m sure they’d be a lot cheaper and just as accurate…

  28. confusedponderer says:

    As the topic turned to ‘American exceptionalism’, a self-congratulatory and self-serving myth I ridicule and scorn whenever I have to endure it, there was a good article on it, just a couple of days ago:
    “Other American leaders before George Bush have made the same claim [of American Exceptionalism] in matters of less moment. It is something like a national heresy to suggest that the United States does not have a unique moral status and role to play in the history of nations, and therefore in the affairs of the contemporary world. In fact it does not.
    Even Francis Fukuyama, a recovering neoconservative, acknowledges in a recent book that American economic and political policies today rest on an unearned claim to privilege, the American “belief in American exceptionalism that most non-Americans simply find not credible [amazing that got through].” Nor, he adds, is the claim tenable, since “it presupposes an extremely high level of competence” which the country does not demonstrate.”

  29. davidS says:

    Considering the advances in casuistry that the Jesuits developed Feith ought to feel right at home at Georgetown.

  30. Frank Durkee says:

    “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it”. Santayana, I think, and am not sure. Is th response to those qho doubt the relevance of knowledge of the past. Unless those who oppose the present policies are willing to bring the country to a halt through non-violent methods so as to compel Congress to act; we are essentially stuck with what the present players will decide to do. Baring legitimate citizen action we too ” have drunk the coolaid”.

  31. Nabil says:

    The insurgents have better background music on their video clips than our troops. All the marines use is Coal Chamber and Rob Zombie and other ‘pop metal’.
    Support our troops! Teach them to sing a capella!

  32. rudolf says:

    i think anna missed goes straight to the point: these folks act as they were living in a hollywood movie, where, at the end, there’s a happy end, and all evil things gets fixed because “american (sic) interests and values” are the “best hope of Earth”.
    At least, that’s what they merchandise, and some many other folks buy… actualy.
    Feith’s appearance in the documentary “Power of Nightmares” is pathetic…
    http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares (dvd quality download).
    Babak, I think America is not a country, it is a continent… I am from this continent and I am not from US. The United Staters (as they miss a proper designation) took the name to themselves… I am american as well, wtf?
    [sniping me]
    And, in this way of “taking for me, something that is colective”, they transformed nationalism into ideology… Being “American” it’s not a geographic status, and it never was, it’s an ideology: a powerful ‘meme’, aamof.
    And, gosh… Grod help us all… It’s a meme infected with aipac mutant virus…
    Let us rest, and act, in peace…

  33. jang says:

    TR: Perhaps one starts targeting the NeoCon BS by explaining in simple language how this surging will be done. What are we asking our US soldiers to? Knock on doors in the bowels of Baghdad’s hi density population area? They will know the enemy by being shot at?
    An eye for an eye to bring democracy to Baghdad thus retain the illusion of safety of the prize US Kubla Khan palace on the Tigris.
    The Neo Con is conscienceless in his lack of regard for the lives of others and exibits a stunningly strong sense of entitlement to persue his ever changing plans on the backs and lives of our soldiers.

  34. canuck says:

    Anyone that can read knew the intelligence was fixed!
    Condemnation of Report, but nothing recommended.
    Why aren’t there any recommendations? Senator Levine condemned and Sen. Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says whether intelligence activities “were authorized or not, it appears that they were not in compliance with the law.”
    There is no one held responsible for the intelligence fiasco. At a minimum Feith should be tried for treason and not be allowed to spend the rest of his days spreading his lies at a place of higher learning. Jeez, he’s in the process of writing a book that justifies his treason.
    “No accountability,” should be stamped, using indelible ink, on the foreheads of every damn Senator and Representative in the House, until they get off their butts and start taking up their share of the burden of responsibility and do their F#%$*ing jobs that was entrusted to them.
    How tragic that no elected official in the Senate or the House, regardless of which party they belong to has the integrity to act in the capacity to which they were elected. “Shame on them!” History will not be kind to them.

  35. Jon Tupper says:

    Yes, exactly.
    What actions to take ?
    It looks to me, a simple
    school bus driver,
    like many people
    want a wider war in ME.
    What do people who feel
    otherwise do other
    than pray and meditate?
    I don’t think Douglas Feith
    or Paul Wolfowitz really
    give any attention to folks like me. There will
    always be people like that.
    So how do I choose to be?
    I don’t fit into Leo Strauss’ agenda. Nonetheless the Bush Admin have the gall to tell me they are protecting my freedom. Really?
    My sense is I accept my freedom from my Higher Power as a gift, no matter my circumstance. It is grace not from a human power. It is not given to me by the death of my next door neighbor who went to Iraq for duty, honor, God, country, job, or for the rush. That connection is a non sequitor, fallacious.
    American interests are being threatened, intoned George Bush, up the street from my house, 12 miles or so, at the USMA in 2002, when he said “we reserve the right to attack pre-emptively any country that threatens our National Interests, or any group that supports that threat.” What national interest is that? Providing jobs for the poor kids in Newburgh, fixing roads and bridges, improving health care so it is equitable for all people, including Physicians, concentrating on developing sustainable lifestyle, educating people that we don’t need so many cars? That’s not the National Interest of the Ruling Class, as represented by Cheney, Rice, Bush, Casey, Petraeus, Feith, Perle, Hadley,and others in their camp. Their National Interest appears to be corporate power, their interest appears to be bringing free market capitalism to other countries, aligning power loci to suit their needs, and promulgating wider war. Maybe I am wrong, could be. It’s happened before. However, carrying the idea of The City on the Hill, the Shining Light, for me starts with telling the truth, living with dignity, and integrity. If that’s too simpleminded, then how about this: the Mujahadeen defeated the Spetznatz and the Soviet Army in a war of attrition, a people’s war. Do we want to follow the same path. Or are we plain and simple preparing to use, or have our proxies use, the nuclear option. I don’t recall Jesus anywhere saying kill them all and let our Father sort them out. The City on the Hill does come from the Bible and the idea in that verse in Matthew is to live as Christ did. He did not plan wars and then lie about those plans.

  36. ali says:

    The Inspector General of the DOD does not mince his words. What Doug did was naughty but legal. That’s a pretty hard slap on the wrist. But Doug didn’t even get a freedom medal anyway, he must be gutted.
    You did need to be deeply credulous to believe the OSPs loony output. Fact is the US public embraced truthiness gleefully like a former junkie told one little fix won’t hurt him.

  37. Will says:

    did someone say “shaped charge?”
    they have been around awhile. Deustchland was also blessed with a Great Decider who waged Agressive War.
    from wikipedia
    “Eben-Emael was a Belgian fortress in between Liège and Maastricht, near the Albert Canal, defending the Belgian-German border. Constructed in 1931-1935, it was reputed to be impregnable. But on 10 May 1940, 85 paratroopers of the 1st Fallschirmjäger Division landed in the fortress with gliders (type DFS 230). One day later, they were reinforced by the German 151st Infantry Regiment. At 13:30 h on 11 May, the fortress surrendered. 1200 Belgian soldiers were captured. ”
    “Adolf Hitler himself conceived of a plan to take over the fort by getting men on the fort by using gliders (it would have been difficult and messy to parachute a large number of men into the small area) and utilizing top secret new shaped charge (also called “hollow charge”) bombs to penetrate the cupolas. ”

  38. Got A Watch says:

    Incompetent idiots like Feith and his ilk are a sideshow, a sympton of the simple minded belief that America has some “God-given” right to decide how the rest of the world should conduct themselves. The fiction that American “exceptionalism” is justified in any way is the oxygen that supports lower orders of life like the neo-cons.
    As has ben ably pointed out above, this Emperor has no clothes…all the crowd can see this plainly, but the Emperor and his fawning retinue can’t seem to perceive reality. Given the unfounded arrogance and rampant over-estimation of their own abilities, even after the Iraq reality check (!), there is no reason to believe these people will not try to steer America right over the cliff in service to their warped Washington-centric vision of how the world should be ordered, not how it really is.
    Reviewing their sorry past record of vast incompetence, the odds of changing this disastrous course look slim to none. Until America suffers military and/or economic defeat large enough to cause a majority of the population to question why the military-industrial complex has been allowed to run amok and why Tel Aviv is controlling their nation, reversing course seems unlikely.
    The neo-cons have inflicted so much damage that pre-2001 levels of power and influence may never be reached again, a fact which has escaped the notice of the public in the West, but not the rest of the world who do not wear the rose-colored glasses of the blind neo-con “exceptionalism” faith. The future is looking grim, the next 18 months are a crucial inflection point.

  39. Rider says:

    It definitely was “alternative intelligence assessment.” What the OSP was engaged in was taking the intelligence products of various agencies and regressing them back to the state of raw intelligence, then packaging the raw intelligence around foregone conclusions to support “pre-emptive” (aggressive) attack. This wasn’t abstract “criticism” nor did it take place in a vacuum.

  40. Babak Makkinejad says:

    This is purported to be a conversation, in the run up to the 2003 US-Iraq War, of Douglas Feith and a US State Department official.
    State Dept. Official: “Doug, after the smoke clears, what is the plan?”
    Feith: “Think of Iraq as being like a computer. And think of Saddam as like a processor. We just take out the old processor, and put in a new one–Chalabi.”
    State Dept. Official: “Put in a new processor?”
    Feith: “Yes! It will all be over in 6 weeks.”
    State Dept. Official: “You mean six months.”
    Feith: “No, six weeks. You’ll see.”
    State Dept. Official: “Doug.”
    Feith: “Yes?”
    State Dept. Official: “You’re smoking crack, Doug.”
    Feith: “Oh, so you’re disloyal to the President, are you?”

  41. Stan Henning says:

    Intelligence Sources of Higher Classification?
    This latest case of manipulating intelligence is the third such significant case in our country’s history since 1898 that I am aware of. This is also by far the most destructive. The first was the sinking of the Battleship Maine, which tipped the scales toward war with Spain in 1898. The actual cause was here was internal combustion from unsafe coal storage, but the Spaniard’s were blamed based on “intelligence sources of higher classification”. The second case was our insistence in putting Marines on Koh Thang island to “free” the ship’s crew in the Mayaguez Incident in 1975 as we pulled out of Southeast Asia. Here, U.S. Marines lost their lives in a fruitless adventure based on an “intelligence source of higher classification”. But the latest case – totally inexcusable – was based on giving credence to a separately established office – an intelligence source of ‘higher classification’ in terms of delegated power and leadership-preferred credibility.

  42. Kevin Hayden says:

    I especially appreciate your comment, Colonel: I do not believe in American exceptionalism. I believe that we Americans are not excused for anything on the basis of some special mythical quest that God has sent us on. I believe that we must seek salvation on the basis of our actions like all others.
    Not only a moral lesson, but one mpre should be aware of for historical reasons. Great empires fall on the hubris that accompanies exceptionalism.
    One should look upon every fresh superpower for signs of evolution towards greater civilization not exceptional bullyism. Diplomacy and statesmanship are treated like 98 lb. weaklings at the beach by this administration and media-advanced culture despite the fact that they usually outswim that beefy guy in the lifeguard tower preening himself for the cameras.

  43. pbrownlee says:

    They all dreamed of being John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper; they will end up as homicidal, surreal versions of Moe, Larry and Curly.
    Acting assistant deputy heads will roll!

  44. Rider says:

    The other thing was that Feith was put in charge of post-combat reconstruction and was behind the de-baathification program. My guess would be that decision was also based on OSP’s pre-war assessments (combined of course with total ignorance of the pressure cooker of sectarian and ethnic enmity we had walked into). Feith’s claim that he did not endorse the conclusions in their report is disingenuous and self-serving, to say the least.

  45. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Interesting that you did not include Audi Murphy – he actually did fight in WWII and lived to write a book about it; “To Hell and Back”

  46. confusedponderer says:

    you overlook that the Iraqis are kinda stupid. They don’t have the know-how to build hollow charges. That’s why their possesion shaped charges is undeniable proof or Iranian involvement.
    from my tinkering experience with computers (like the one I’m just typing on) I’d presume that Feith misunderestimated complexities of hardware. Like that an AhMeD chip would be incompatible with an Intel motherboard. Now that was a pun 😉
    Vietnam Vet,
    I think what we see in the death of the US industry is the third world approach to profitability, trying to remain competitive through cutting wages because there is no money for investments in efficiency improvements as a result of capital shortage. I do not think that it’s capital shortage in the US. It’s just greed.
    I think that’s also the reason for the US industry lobbying against fiercely ‘global warming’. The requirement to make outdated plants clean would force to invest in modernisation and filters and the like, and that money is better spent on dividends. Paying the lobbying firms is investment enough. Pay a hundret lobbyists 200 million over a decade, is cheaper than modernising plans for several billions. Quite simple.
    I think minimising investment is the general idea behind outsourcing too. Instead of modernising a plant fot a billion, it’s cheaper to dismantle it and rebuild it in China for 500 million and keep it operating profitably thanks to miserable chinese wages. That’s what got GE’s CEO the nick ‘Neutron Jack’. Kill the workers, leave the factory intact. Problem for the US workers is that there is no alternative company to go to. They are fucked. Who cares, the shareholders are happy. And happy shareholders are good for the economy. I think that 15.000 unemployed in a way also affect the economy, in terms of spending capability and amounts of taxes paid – smart shareholders pay very little, if any taxes. But that’s just my hazy impression.
    Insofar I think you have a point, the real growth industry is privatization of government and contracting out of government services. If they follow the same trajectory than US industry, Black Water’s ‘China Corps’ is just around the corner to fight America’s next Middle East war. When they start fighting for China in mid-fight, that’s because the Chinese made an irresistible offer, and generated many happy Blackwater shareholders (which might be Chinese banks). Which is good for the economy.
    Arms manufacturing business looks weird, too: The big defense companies dominate the world market. If you look at lower technology like small arms, however, the picture becomes much different: The army’s service pistol is an Italian Beretta design – the prime competitors were the German-Swiss SIG-Sauer design, and the Austrian Glock didn’t join because of not wanting to breed a US competitor due to of the US demand to forsake their patents to a US license producer (they were right, they now own a large share of the US market). SOCOM’s fav pistol is from Germany’s HK iirc. The new US service shotgun is from Italy’s Benelli. The squad automatic weapon and light and medium mashine guns are of Belgian FN design. The new assault rifle is either the German HK XM-8/ G36, or the German improved M-16 variant HK416. SOCOM’s new rifle is then either the aforementioned HK416 or another Belgian design, the SCAR. Springfield Armory sells as their most modern gun … a Croatian design. Smith & Wesson’s hot newcomer is basically a German Walther P99, after S&W getting their ass whooped in court by Glock for patent infringement in their SIGMA gun. So it’s either license production, copy-cat-ing or tinkering with known techology like cloning the M1911 and M16 indefinitely. Like, uh, how innovative.
    What’s happening? Why all this? The US are the biggest single domestic market for firearms. Are US small arms desgners just incompetent wusses? Are the Germans, Russians, Italians, Swiss and Belgians so much better? Customer preferences? Or is it simply because no one bothers to really invest into R&D unless the new worth of the contract is at least 100 million and R&D is government financed? Are they risk averse? Is it cheaper to let someone else do the R&D and then assemble prefabricated parts under license and do the marketing? Uh, don’t we do about that in third world country government contracts as well (except for the marketing)?

  47. Sustain says:

    Lion Kuntz of Santa Rosa, Ca., has crunched the numbers on producing hydrogen and using it as an oil replacement – see here: http://hydrogentruth.info/
    Call your banker, investment counsellor, advisor, attorney, spouse or business partner(s) and render irrelevant the current economic/political paradigm. The alternative is too scary to imagine.

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