“Not with a bang…”

Spqr "Then-Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith sent two Pentagon employees to the Rome meetings with Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian dissident already dismissed by the CIA as untrustworthy, and several Iranians who were former and current members of the security service. It also involved an unspecified foreign government’s intelligence service.

Ghorbanifar used one of those meetings to press for regime change in Iran, and outlined a plan for it on a napkin, according to the report, saying it would cost about $5 million to start.

The report said then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley failed to inform then-CIA Director George Tenet and then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage fully about the meeting, either before or after it occurred. It said, however, that Hadley and the Pentagon did not exceed their authority in conducting the meeting.

It also said that Defense Department officials refused to allow "potentially useful and actionable intelligence" to be shared with intelligence agencies, even the Pentagon’s own Defense Intelligence Agency.

Senate Intelligence Committee Republicans strongly dissented from the report, calling it a "disappointment" to those looking for evidence that anything "unlawful" occurred."  AP


If you can remember back that far, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,  the SSCI, began an investigation several years ago into both the quality of the intelligence information that was the supposed basis of the US decision to go to war against Iraq and the use that the Bush Administration made of it in obtaining national agreement for that decision.

At the time the Republicans controlled the senate, and they managed (with the help of a few collaborators) to push through a report that essentially blamed the intelligence agencies for poor work and which carefully made a case (by bullying people in the IC) that no one in the intelligence community had been bullied into doing such poor work.  It was a "put up job."    That was "phase one."

At the same time it had been agreed among the members of the SSCI that there would be a second phase of the investigation which was to examine the use that the Bush Administration made of all that ersatz information.  The Republican chairman of the SSCI stonewalled the work of the second phase until the Republicans lost control of Congress in ’06.  With the Democrats in charge the work went forward, and today we have the report.


The Republicans have won.  Nobody cares.  pl 

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20 Responses to “Not with a bang…”

  1. walrus says:

    I agree, the Republicans have won.
    The work though will form important source material for Chinese historians analysing the fall of the United States.

  2. Eric Anderson says:

    I guess the only thing missing from the narrative is “the public allowed each (criminal/ill informed) act”?

  3. arbogast says:

    They’ve also made the United States economy strong for the duration of this thousand year Republican hegemony:

  4. jonst says:

    No Col, lots of people care. Not enough. But lots. But, you are correct, in any event, the Republicans win. As always these days. The Dems/MSM can connect the dots, or some of the dots anyway, to ‘guess the puzzle’. But they can’t pounce the words in public. So, everyone in the village knows…but no one confirms.

  5. JohnH says:

    The Republicans won in part because a lot of “good Democrats” served as enablers. They are still occupying positions of leadership and continue to recruit pro-war candidates for Congress. This is why it’s important not to give money to the Party, only to candidates.

  6. Buzz says:

    Actually many people do care. The problem is that our government remains under the control of the NeoCons and their “coalition of the willing” commercial partners.
    Who really has the power to change this?

  7. Even if “No one Cares” and the reports are completed with different points of view at different times, they still help to calibrate for the interested public and historians and others what the subject was that dictated the need for the report and who was active in preparation and the conclusions. We often find that the report staff later end up being sent up as appointees in some later administration and the report becomes useful fodder to cross-examine the nominee. But it is interesting to see the struggle to control the “history” by many different people. Those who endure the longest tend to have the greatest success. Certainly both Nixon and Kissinger are masters at manipulation of the facts of the past. I would argue that the statement by Secretary Stanton at the moment of Lincoln’s death “Now he is for the ages” often arrives long before death for some. For President George W. Bush it was consenting to look out the plane window down at Hurricane Katrina when posed by Karl Rove. At least Bush danced with the one who brought him. Is it possible that the ending of the American involvment in Iraq will be so much more important than the beginning? I think so but only time will tell. Reminds me of a movie entitled “No Way Out”. How many coherent alternative exit plans exist? Are there any? What policy options has the NSC given the President, or will give his successor. Are those who led in Iraq condemned to “Groundhog Day” repetition in Iraq or elsewhere. The world is certainly filled with many opportunities for the US to act stupidly without reason or forethought. Perhaps one way to reform national security policy making is to prohibit military officers from dominating the National Security Council staff by their numbers. Perhaps a statutory limit. Also let’s abolish the Homeland Security Council since the NSC has always had the statutory charge of protecting the national security by integration of military, international and domestic policies impacting natinal security. Oh, and how about adding the AG and the Secretary DHS to the statutory membership of the NSC. D. Rothkop’s book “Ruling the World” published several years ago and tracking the NSC through the Eisenhow to clinton era demonstartes how filled with hubris and ego and dangerous to American foreign relations that operation is. The President should get who he wants to lead the NSC but not always what he wants. Knowing the difference is the key. No more cheerleaders but people who have had substantive foreign policy careers whether civilian or military and not just academic credentials. Same goes for staff. Note in all the Congressional reports on the Iraq run-up the remarkable absence of the NSC as to its views and discussion of options. Essentially NSC views and options did not exist. To write up is to be made accountable in an adminstration that has desperately tried to avoid accountability. Two Presidents in a row by my count.

  8. zanzibar says:

    Yes. The subversives have won and in recent decades many of them have been Republicans. In any case voter somnambulation fed by inane 24hr news cycle and the fact that both parties believe in politician preservation means the losers are our Constitutional framework and our liberty.
    As we have seen since none of these subversives have ever been held to account all these Nixon alumni from Cheney to Rumsfeld and their acolytes have gotten more and more brazen. They got away with Iran-Contra to give us Iraq deception, spying on Americans, rendition, torture and repeal of habeas corpus.
    Since they will get away once again what will they do next? What is the message that we are sending by letting these traitors get away scot free? What does it say about our republic that treason committed by our political elites are condoned?

  9. Cold War Zoomie says:

    The work though will form important source material for Chinese historians analysing the fall of the United States.
    As I’ve said many times here before, I think our fall will actually be the best thing that can happen to us. We were never meant to be an 18th century empire. Granted, that never stopped our imperial tendencies – and we’ve always had visions of empire starting with Manifest Destiny.
    Your idea of our fall and mine are probably quite different. I’m envisioning us becoming another Britain, France, Spain, and Italy: plenty of wealth left over from the heydays to sustain a decent living and an adequate self defense force, while gaining a renewed interest in our civil liberties and rights.
    I would like us to be strong enough to manage our affairs without fear of invasion but too weak to “spread democracy.”
    That’s my dream, anyway, whether or not it’s realistic.

  10. rjj says:

    The Republicans have won. Nobody cares.

    Who decided to release the report during the last act of The Primary Show?

  11. Mike Martin says:

    The Republicans have won in the sense that they are stooges of Israel, yes.

  12. Nancy K says:

    Maybe the Republicans won, but they will lose the 08 elections.
    The public did not really allow any of this, since when have we had a say except during an election year.
    I do believe that many Americans are clueless when it comes to what our government is doing, and when they finally wake up, they will not be happy.

  13. Curious says:

    Something bothers me for awhile about Ghorbanifar meeting with Ladeen. Hadley knew! (And hadley is hardcore neocon with Italian connection.)
    I can’t decide which one is bigger neocon player Hadley or Cheney. Those two has incredible amount of access and connection. They can stove pipe and rig the system if they want to.
    Hadley is involved everywhere. Yellow cake forgery, Syria, Iran..
    The report chastised several officials for their role in authorizing the meetings and keeping them secret. “Deputy National Security Advisor Hadley failed to inform [Director of Central Intelligence] Tenet and Deputy Secretary of State Armitage of the full nature of the planned contact with the Iranians in Rome, to include the involvement of Mr. Ledeen and Mr. Ghorbanifar in proposing and facilitating the meeting,” the report stated.
    I have it on good authority that Steven Hadley, the director of the US National Security Council, called the President of the Italian senate to asked if he had a candidate to replace Bashar al-Asad as President of Syria. The Italians were horrified. Italy is one of Syria’s biggest trading partners so it seemed a reasonable place to ask! This is what Washington has been up to.
    BTW, that senate intel report is just a ripoff from open source research. (Senate intel is hiding something, they had another report out by same name months ago.)
    Senate intel committee is part of the lie machine and cover up.

  14. par4 says:

    If they wake up,Nancy K

  15. Steve says:

    Hard to believe this wasn’t front and center with the MSM. But of course, they were complicit all along.
    I guess they’re too distracted with important issues of state such as whether Hillary’s concession speech was too little, too late, or just right.
    Anyway, I would hope that during the debates, the issue would be raised again.
    Hopefully, there are some young journalists out there just getting started who look on the media of the past 6 years with horror.

  16. VietnamVet says:

    The 1994 election that brought on the Republican Era was energized by the Angry White Males. The 2008 election is energized by Angry American Citizens from the Pacific to the Atlantic who will bring the Republicans down.
    Riding Portland, Or MAX light rail, the passengers are angry due to disruptions caused by increased ridership. Republican skyrocketing gasoline prices have forced commuters onto mass transit not equipped or funded to handle it.
    Yesterday, my Boss was angry because he is into his second day without electricity after a Thunderstorm hit Northern Virginia. Republican electrical deregulation ended the requirement to spend money on consumer service and storm repair and switched the flow of money into offshore shareholder accounts.
    The Republican Federal Government has ceased to serve its citizens. Corporate Media ignoring citizen anger does not make it any less real.
    The real fear in Friday’s jump in oil prices is that the White House will use any pretext to bomb Iran in the delusional belief that it will assure a John McCain victory that will keep them out of jail.

  17. J says:

    it’s sad that the ssci report fails to cast blame where blame is due regarding bogus intel — israel’s mossad and italian sismi.
    ‘because of’ the bogus intel ‘stuff’ on the part of israeli mossad and italian sismi, we have over 4,000 dead u.s. military personnel.
    where did the bush admin. get their ‘hard & fast intel’ regarding iraqi/saddam wmds — from the neocons. and where did the neocons get their ‘intel’ regarding iraq from — israeli mossad.

  18. Jose says:

    “The Republicans have won. Nobody cares.”
    “Dumbya” of Epirus has to be a proud man today..

  19. As a recovering centrist I probably would never have said this as recently as 3-4 years ago, but I have come to believe that the best hope of turning things around lies with the progressive left of the Democratic Party. They still need to work on the wussieness of their understanding of and framing on national security issues, but I’ve come to believe that they get an essence of what has gone wrong more than any other segment that has any realistic chance of influencing positive outcomes.
    I’m just coming off attending the National Conference for Media Reform that took place here in the Twin Cities over this past weekend (http://www.freepress.net/conference) , and this movement, which is populated mostly but not exclusively by that element, is growing by leaps and bounds. And it’s their activism that has caught the attention of enough of the Blue Dog Bush enablers in their party to so far stop such things as the immunity clause in the bill amending FISA. It’s also that element that constitutes much of the unprecedented grass-roots movement that Obama has generated at the national level, and that some progressive Democratic candidates for federal office have accomplished in their districts and states. An example of the latter is Ashwin Madia, the young Indian-American and ex-Marine who took the DFL endorsement away from the establishment candidate for the MN 3CD seat being vacated by moderate Republican Jim Ramstad. (http://www.madiaforcongress.com/)
    As for Obama, I think a blogger whose identity I don’t recall hit the nail on the head a few months ago when s/he said that voting for President is like being set up with a blind date; you never know for sure what you’re getting. Personally, after Edwards dropped out I was pretty much agnostic between Obama and Clinton, but over time have come to lean toward Obama because it seems to me he is more likely the one who will be inclined to undertake the major repositioning of the USA on the world stage that is as urgently needed as it is long overdue. I don’t see any chance of that happening with a President McBush, and with Clinton it’s iffy at best. We’ll see.

  20. Fred says:

    Mr. Cummings, I like the NSC reform ideas. While we are at it perhaps a reform to the Department of Defense. Change the name back to the ‘War’ Department. Everyone is for defense, and everyone used to know we only fought wars to defend America. Perhaps then we could get congress to actually look at the spending on ‘defense’.

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