Consider this to be an open thread on which to make nominations for additions to the two that I contributed in "Liars or Fools?" Additional categories are welcomed, i.e., crooks, military and intelligence incompetents, "useful idiots," etc. Caution: no scurrilous personal attacks will be tolerated. There must be narrative and justification for nominations.
Don’t bother to nominate me. I already know who I am.
For obvious reasons.
Former federal prosecutor, his argument would carry some weight, seeing as how he was involved in the Rahman trial.
Dick Cheney: Liar, fool, incompetent, crook and propagandist-in-chief.
# # #
“‘You can’t distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror,’ President Bush said on September 25, 2002.
The next day, Rumsfeld said, “We have what we consider to be credible evidence that Al Qaeda leaders have sought contacts with Iraq who could help them acquire … weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities.”
The most explosive of allegations came from Cheney, who said that September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta, the pilot of the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center, had met in Prague, in the Czech Republic, with a senior Iraqi intelligence agent, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, five months before the attacks. On December 9, 2001, Cheney said on NBC’s Meet the Press: “[I]t’s pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in [the Czech Republic] last April, several months before the attack.”
Cheney continued to make the charge, even after he was briefed, according to government records and officials, that both the CIA and the FBI discounted the possibility of such a meeting.
Credit card and phone records appear to demonstrate that Atta was in Virginia Beach, Va., at the time of the alleged meeting, according to law enforcement and intelligence officials. Al-Ani, the Iraqi intelligence official with whom Atta was said to have met in Prague, was later taken into custody by U.S. authorities. He not only denied the report of the meeting with Atta, but said that he was not in Prague at the time of the supposed meeting, according to published reports.”
[Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel – by Murray Waas, special to National Journal – Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005]
Thanks for the open thread..
There is One KEY Word that comes to my Mind in Analyzing the Current Series of Events that seems to Apply.. To All the Participants..
There are those that Manipilate for Various Reasons and those that get Manipulated in all levels of society..
Including Religions, Sects and Government..
it seems to me that those “Manipulations” often Result in “GROUP THINK”..
Wikipedia has a Good Article on “Group Think “and How it works..along with many Links to other Terms that seem to apply to The Series of Events we are Discussng..
Other Applicable Terms Are,
Group serving Bias
Spiral of Silence
The Applicable Defined Eight Symptoms of “Group Think” are..
Illusion of Invunerability
Unquestioned belief in the Inherent Morality of the Group
collective rationalization of the groups decisions..
Shared stereotypes of outgroup, especially opponents..
Self cencorship..members withhold Criticisms..
Illusion of Unanimity
Direct pressure on Dissenters tyo Conform..
Self Appointed “Mind guards” Protect Group from negative information….
The Seven Symptoms of a Decision affected by “Group Think..” are:
Incomplete Survey of Alternatives..
Incomplete survey of Objectives..
Failure to examine Risks ofr Preferred Choice..
Failure to re~appraise initially rejected Alternatives..
Poor Information search..
Selective Bias in Processing Information on Hand..
Failure to work out Contingency Plans..
in My opinion..these ALL Apply to the Process the Bush Administration has Used..
That still leaves the qustion of “MOTIVE”..
Michael Ledeen – Crook & Agent Provocateur
Ledeen was a founding member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and he continues to serve on the JINSA Board of Advisors. In 2003, the Washington Post alleged that he was consulted by Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s closest advisor, as his main international affairs adviser.
In 1974, Michael Ledeen moved to Rome where he studied Italian fascism and terrorism. In 1977, he went to Washington to join the Center for Strategic and International Studies affiliated with Georgetown University. He continues to visit Italy frequently.
In 1980, Leeden worked for the Italian military intelligence service as a “risk assessment” consultant. In 1981, Michael Ledeen then became Special Adviser to secretary of state Alexander Haig, previously head of SACEUR (Supreme Allied Commander Europe – NATO’s European command center).
Ledeen was a major figure in the biggest foreign policy scandal of the Ronald Reagan administration. As a consultant of National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane, Ledeen vouched for Iranian intermediary Manucher Ghorbanifar, and met with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, and officials of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the CIA to arrange meetings with high-ranking Iranian officials and the much-criticized weapons-for-hostages deal with Iran that would become known as the Iran-Contra scandal.
The Bush administration invaded Iraq claiming Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger. As much of Washington knew, and the world soon learned, the charge was false. Worse, it appears to have been the cornerstone of a highly successful “black propaganda” campaign with links to the White House.
Key member of the Israel-neo-con nexus!
It sounds like a silly question, but it keeps coming up again and again :
Wasn’t there anyone in the upper echelons of the Intelligence Community whose first loyalty was to the United States? Who could see where all this was heading and felt he or she had to take a stand?
And the even more important question : Are there any such today?
“Smiling Al” Gonzales, Harriet “Dreamer” Miers, John “The Quaint Torturer” Yoo and the other current and former nitwits on the Bush “legal” team who seem to have scant knowledge or awareness of – let alone respect for – the rule of law or simple courtroom practice and procedure.
“Even though comments from the justices at oral argument had suggested that they might rule against the administration’s detainee policies, the White House counsel had made no contingency plans for a loss and was stunned by the decision.”
These legal “counsel” would be unlikely to provide effective advocacy to beat a parking ticket. However unpalatable, losing is always an option.
Such clowns not only are not earning their pay, they should return whatever taxpayer funds have already been totally wasted on their “counsel”.
One other truly petty observation – has anyone noticed how oddly (and similarly – are they related? Such things run in families, I have noticed) Bush and Dr Rice walk? As if they are so beset by awkwardness and physical clumsiness that they are fearful of falling down, even when walking on level ground on their own turf. Perhaps these guys simply not comfortable in their own skins, especially when away from the security of the coven.
Maybe it makes more sense to ask if anyone responsible in this burning sack came out well? The Chairman of the JCS and the Theater CINC were sycophants like Voroshilov or Keitel; the civilians at DOD were snake oil salesmen; the NSC was the same; the DCI was desperately trying to please; the President and VP were combat-averse chairborne rangers, to say the least. The Secretary of State sort of did his job but, finally, went along when he should have known better. The Justice Department wrote torture memos. Congress said “How High, Sir?” Looks like sysytems failure to me but what the hell do I know? I’m only a former Junior ROTC top kick, who never got to the Senior program due to bad eyesight. Tell you what though– I could see the insugrgency coming back in Jan. of 2003, so what’s with the rest of these bright boys, with all their PHD’s in National Security and the rest?
I second Michael Ledeen. For a million reasons, but principally for his disgusting open letter to the commandant of the Marine Corps. Has he ever been right about anything?
Rumsfeld: There’s no fool like an old fool.
1. Stingy allocation of troops to Afghanistan during pursuit of Bin Laden. (viz. Jawbreaker by ex-CIA team leader Gary Berntsen)
2. Needless and heedless alienation of allies in “old Europe” during run-up to Iraq war.
3. Failure to plan for phase 4 operations in post-invasion Iraq, arrogant dismissal of looting and destruction in Iraq as “stuff happens.”
4. Squeezing down troop levels in early months of Iraq occupation, when greater public order and infrastructure building would have paid great benefits.
5. Kooky, haphazard, politicized and inadequate staffing of occupation.
6. Despite the obvious need for more troops, fighting expanding the size of the Army, thereby causing lengthy, repeated tours for those unlucky enough to be serving under him.
I nominate for the Fools category, the 51% of the American electorate, who should have known better than to give Bush and the Republican Congress and Senate a victory in 200.
“Useful idiots” = 95% of the mainstream media.
(Does anyone have the precise reference in Lenin’s voluminous works? Might actually be apocryphal counter-Comintern stuff – if the earliest known usage is 1948 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot – Lenin had not much to do with it.)
Anyway, just this morning on Australian ABC I could have heard Woolsey (unblanced by anyone, including himself – has he been nominated yet?) giving his assessment of the current state of the Global War on Terror (their terror, not ours) but I switched the radio off. He was being introduced as Clinton’s DCI and thus a notable critic of the Bush Brigade!
I nominate ALL the right-wing talking head media, from FOX News to AEI/PNAC to Anne Coulter and everyone in between in the “useful idiots” category. Their idiotic cheer leading for the neocon agenda helped to ensure its “success”. History will show that everything they claimed to be working for was actually greatly diminished by their efforts. Perhaps their worst offence is claiming great “patriotism” was behind their stance, since it has manifestly worked against the long-term national interest of the USA. If your “patriotism” does great damage to your nation, I would call you a traitor, not a patriot.
It’s odd no one has yet mentioned the biggest Fool of them all – Colin Powell. An excellent example of the military’s propensity to propel fools to high rank (another prime specimen : Tommy Franks). Having spent a working lifetime in the institution, I can vouch for this phenomenon. Of course, as with all general rules there are exceptions; Zinni is one (though I am sorry to see that he has lately chosen discretion over valour).
We’ll all remember Orwell’s 1984 descriptions of Winston Smith’s manipulating the news, ostensibly history. The current 911 movie that ABC is showing only extends the effort by the neocons to neutralize the massive organs of cultural reproduction that are the MSM and Hollywood. Perhaps more ominously, it is the shadow of things to come as the Pentagon’s efforts to “influence” the news stream becomes more integrated with the Internet.
It’s not news that those who control the telling of history hold the reins of power. That crudely conceived cliché has been a commonplace among deconstructionists for some time. As much as the neocons and other Rightist culture warriors have castigated the Left’s attachment to this deconstructionist insight, they put its truth into practice every day. I imagine the neocons and rightists believe that because they practice a historiography that espouses absolute values–versus the relativist ones of the left–their version of history is the most correct one.
It’s been said by some that the modus operandi of the neocon propaganda machine is to take the strengths of the Left and turn them against them. I think the brilliance of this propaganda machine is to take Leftist clichés and turn them on their head by filling them with neocon content. This no doubt reflects the Trotskyist background of many of these same neocons. Concepts such as fascism and international democracy take on a seemingly new and vibrant life when they find a new enemy and a new threat. Such concepts account, no doubt, for how formerly ultra-leftists like Christopher Hitchens joined the neocon cause after 911.
Americans have never liked intellectuals. The “smart-allecky” eggheads make a nuisance of asking too many questions when there’s always a healthy need to see things closer to the bone. But the intelligentsia has always played a key role in asking the hard questions, keeping the corporate memory free of errors, and formulating the big issues which then get disseminated to the masses by lesser minds.
The neocons have been very effective, I think, at decapitating the US intelligentsia. This effort began directly after 911 when teachers and professors were scared into silence by threats of losing tenure if they taught a different line or interpretation from the one espoused by the neocon white house. In effect, what the neocons have accomplished is a bloodless version of what the Soviets did in 1940at Katyn to the Polish intelligentsia after it invaded Poland.
Of course, the ivory tower types often only have themselves to blame for this, since their abstruse interests rarely intersect with the reality of the masses. Still, that they would rather engage in their vicious internecine department wars than deal with the freedoms that underpin the republic will only make them less and less relevant.
The neocons have filled the ensuing vacuum left by the decapitation of the intelligentsia with their think tank luminaries like Kristol, Brooks, Perle, et al. Backed by infusions of millions of dollars from conservative backers, they’ve taken over the cultural apparatus that has solidified the basics of the republic’s intellectual heritage for 200 years. Now we face the prospect not of free and open dialog and discussion about the republic’s fate, but an ideologically based regime with effective means of disseminating that ideology.
In a speech before the Nazi Party at Nuremberg, Hitler defined what it meant to be a Nazi. What distinguished the Nazi party from every other political party, he said, was that it was a party of ideology. It would be ruled by ideology and assessed by how well and comprehensively that ideology was put into practice. Obviously, anything or anyone that questioned, opposed, or undermined this ideology was to be exterminated.
While the atmosphere of ideological intimidation that came after 911 has seemingly dissipated, there are warning signs indicating that there’s more ideologically based efforts afoot by the neocon Bush white house. Infusing the reified term fascist with the blood and skin of Islamic jihadists is one such effort. The new 911 film is another. Just as an iceberg is unseen, it seems well to determine how much the ideologically based programme of the neocons has adapted to twist the facts of history to their advantage.
In a little noticed article on the web, sociologist Richard Sennett noted that there are two types of fascism—-hard and soft. The hard type is the jack boot in the face and the iron fist. The soft type is an environment of intimidation and fear that squashes all dissent, internal or external. Orwell called it thoughtcrime. We haven’t reached that nadir in ideological austerity. Yet, as the disinformation of the Pentagon-based propaganda machine ratchets up its efforts, we will face further confusion and further displays historigraphical fascism.
Just because no one else has nominated them and they’re all so deserving:
Wolfowitz, Feith, Luti, Perle, Bolton, Fleitz, Kristol, Kagen, Horowitz,
Boot – I could go on for hours – how about just the entire support structure, membership and staff of the American Enterprise Institute….?
I am surprised no one yet has mentioned the biggest Fool of all – Colin Powell. He is a good example of the military’s propensity to propel fools to high rank (another prime example : Tommy Franks). Having spent a working lifetime in that institution, I can testify to this phenomenon. Of course, as with all general rules there are exceptions; Zinni is one (though I am sorry to note that he seems to have lately chosen discretion over valour).
Interestingly, from the public’s perspective, Powell was also the biggest Liar!
Any member of the US Congress. Those who are not liars, are fools.
Caught in the act, our two top Fools of 9/11/2006:
How ’bout “enabler?”
My nominees there are Tom DeLay and Bill Frist for giving us the worst of both worlds between a parlimentary system and our own constitution and thus allowing the administration to do its worst with minimal questioning. I’m no fan of parlimentary government but after Katrina Dubya would have had to face a vote of confidence.
I nominate all american goverment and from polish politics all who support agresion on Iraq and Lebanon
i nominate paul bremer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bremer
under the ‘liar’ column.
All the clowns telling us the “significance” of 9/11 — especially politicians in high security cocoons.
Having just read Frank Hornig’s “Stairway from Hell” in Der Spiegel — English version at http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,druck-436333,00.html — it seems to me the only proper response for those not personally involved in 9/11 is a decent silence.