"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"
Intel Dead Wrong * Exit Polls * Missile Defense Gap
03 April 2005 "Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government
owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.
To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance
between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task
of the statesmanship of the day."
(April 19, 1906)1) Intel Dead Wrong ~ the facade of dishonesty
- - "Honest Intelligence Needed" by Ray McGovern
- - Dahr Jamail: "Life in Falluja is a horror story"
- - Will US apply Army Regulations on DU?
- - Bolton Faces Stiff Fight Over UN Nomination2) Chance of Exit Polls Wrong in '04 Vote is One-in-959,000
- - Relaunching kucinich.us by Congressman Dennis Kucinich3) The Real Missile Defense Gap
- - Join the campaign to Stop New Nuclear Weapons
- - Earth's Health in Sharp Decline, Massive Study FindsEditor's Notes:
The news is going so fast that I can hardly keep up. Confirmations for the crazy positions of the Bush-appointed administration is like a blurr. Negroponte had hardly any opposition for taking over the direction of US Intelligence. That is BAD NEWS. Before the significance of this appointment, confirmation could be absorbed, Bush received the confirmation of Wolfowitz as President of the World Bank. Is the wolf guarding the hen house too obvious of a comparison? And now in this issue, thinking people are wondering how in the world did John Bolton get nominated for US ambassador to the United Nations, and what we can do about it.
The above Theodore Roosevelt quote was stated about 100 years ago. Now, with little united opposition to overcome a more entrenched intelligence-controlling corrupt political-corporate facade of democracy, I wonder will there be a united effort to effectively win back a democracy in our life times.
Besides the actions contained in the items, please consider contacting your representative to vote against the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (HR 685). The bill was written for credit card companies, which made $30 billion in profits in 2004. The bill will prevent you from declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 7, which pays off your debts by liquidating your assets, and giving you a fresh start financially. Instead, it would force you into a rigid 5-year repayment plan. "Simply put, you would become a debt slave to the credit card companies."
Learn more ==> DebtSlavery.org
Take Action ==> Tell your congress member to vote against the Bankruptcy Bill now!
The state has, in order to control us, introduced division into our thinking,
so that we come to distrust others and look to the state for protection!
But the roots of our individualism remind us that what we are
is inseparable from the source from which all others derive;
that coercive practices that threaten our neighbor also threaten us.
1) Intel Dead Wrong ~ the facade of dishonesty
- - "Honest Intelligence Needed" by Ray McGovern
- - Dahr Jamail: "Life in Falluja is a horror story"
- - Will US apply Army Regulations on DU?
- - Bolton Faces Stiff Fight Over UN Nomination
- - Oppose John Bolton for US ambassador to the United Nations
- - Intelligence Analysts Whiffed on a 'Curveball'
Published on Friday, April 1, 2005 by the Los Angeles Times
Intelligence Analysts Whiffed on a 'Curveball'
Report says one Iraqi defector singlehandedly corrupted prewar weapons estimates.
by Greg Miller and Bob Drogin
WASHINGTON — Prewar claims by the United States that Iraq was producing biological weapons were based almost entirely on accounts from a defector who was described as "crazy" by his intelligence handlers and a "congenital liar" by his friends.
The defector, code-named "Curveball," spoke with alarming specificity about Iraq's alleged biological weapons programs and fleet of mobile labs. But postwar investigations showed that he wasn't even in the country at times when he claimed to have taken part in illicit weapons work.
Despite persistent doubts about his credibility, Curveball's claims were included in the Bush administration's case for war without so much as a caveat. And when CIA analysts argued after the war that the agency needed to admit it had been duped, they were forced out of their jobs.
The disclosures about Curveball and the extensive role he played in corrupting U.S. intelligence estimates on Iraq were included in a devastating report released Thursday by a commission established by President Bush to evaluate U.S. intelligence on weapons of mass destruction.
The 601-page document is a sweeping assessment of U.S. intelligence failures that identifies breakdowns in dozens of cases involving multiple countries and terrorist organizations.
But in many ways, Curveball's story is the centerpiece of the report, a cautionary tale told in excruciating detail to highlight failures that plagued U.S. spy agencies at almost every step in the intelligence process — from collection to analysis to presentation to policymakers..
..Curveball's claims were crucial to the case for war. An October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded Iraq "has" biological weapons was "based almost exclusively on information obtained" from Curveball, according to the report.
Four months later, when then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell made a presentation to the United Nations, he showed illustrations of Iraq's alleged bioweapons labs and described an accident in which 12 Iraqis had died operating one of the vehicles. Curveball was the main source for both assertions. Concerns about Curveball's credibility were never conveyed to Powell or other administration officials, the commission found.
But there were problems with Curveball's claims at an early stage. Some CIA officials noted that Curveball's memory showed significant "improvement" as he pursued a European immigration deal and deteriorated when it was granted.
In May 2000, a Defense Department official assigned to the CIA was allowed to meet with Curveball, apparently to examine the source physically to see whether he bore signs of having survived a biological weapons accident or had been vaccinated for exposure to such agents.
The evaluation was "inconclusive," according to the commission. But the official expressed concern that Curveball had a "hangover" during their meeting and "might be an alcoholic." Further, the official was surprised that Curveball spoke excellent English because the Germans had said he didn't speak the language.
By early 2001, the CIA was getting messages from German intelligence that Curveball was "out of control" and could not be located. Some of Curveball's information was contradicted by other intelligence. His description of a depot for the weapons labs didn't match surveillance images, which showed a wall where Curveball said vehicles were entering and exiting.
As war approached, new problems surfaced. Before Powell's presentation, the CIA pressed for permission to speak directly with Curveball. The head of one of the agency's divisions arranged a lunch with a German intelligence official.
Finally, about midnight before the day of Powell's U.N. presentation, an agency officer described a telephone conversation with then-CIA Director George J. Tenet in which the officer warned against relying on Curveball. "Tenet replied with words to the effect of 'yeah, yeah,' and that he was 'exhausted,' " the commission's report said. Pavitt told the commission he was aware of "handling problems" with Curveball but did not know Curveball was the dominant source for biological weapons assessments. McLaughlin and Tenet told the panel that they did not recall receiving those warnings about Curveball.
Tenet, McLaughlin and Pavitt all left the CIA last year.
The commission report revealed details about problems with other prominent prewar claims. The CIA asserted that Iraq was importing aluminum tubes to be used as centrifuges in a nuclear weapons program, although authorities have since concluded they were for conventional rockets.
An allegation that Iraq was seeking to acquire uranium from Niger was based on "transparently forged documents" purporting to show a contract between the countries, the commission concluded. There were "flaws in the letterhead, forged signatures, misspelled words, incorrect titles for individuals and government entities," the report said.
The contract document also referred to an alleged meeting "that took place on 'Wednesday, July 7, 2000,' even though July 7, 2000, was a Friday," the report said.
All of these assertions unraveled, but none in more embarrassing fashion than the case built on Curveball's accounts.
After the invasion, intelligence officials tracked down Iraqis who Curveball had claimed were his co-workers in the biological weapons program. All denied there was a mobile biological weapons program, and none "even knew who Curveball was," the commission found.
When CIA officers finally got direct access to Curveball in May 2004, he was "unwilling or unable" to explain discrepancies in his account, and any remaining questions about his lack of reliability "were removed," the commission said.
The panel challenged one persistent suspicion about Curveball: that his deception was the result of coaching by the Iraqi National Congress, an organization led by Ahmad Chalabi that had spent years urging the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. The panel found that at least two national congress defectors were fabricators, but said it was "unable to uncover any evidence that the INC or any other organization was directing Curveball."
The agency rescinded all of its intelligence reports that were based on Curveball in May 2004.
For the complete copyright © 2005 Los Angeles Times article, see:www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-na-curveball1apr01,1,6941547,print.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage
and also posted at: www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0401-10.htm
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = - - "Honest Intelligence Needed" by Ray McGovern
Published on Friday, April 1, 2005 by the Miami Herald
Honest Intelligence Needed
by Ray McGovern
The latest commission looking into intelligence failures on Iraq reports a certain consistency in the performance of the intelligence community. We are informed that we also ''know disturbingly little about the weapons programs'' of other countries -- such as Iran. One might think this would counsel caution for a Pentagon planning to ''take out'' Iran's fledgling nuclear capability.
Think again. The recent reassertion of administration policy on preemptive war in the ''National Defense Strategy'' just promulgated by Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, together with his well-known insistence that ''the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'' suggest that Iran may well be the next target -- intelligence or no. The more so, since many of the malleable analysts who, according to the commission, were ''dead wrong'' about Iraq's ''weapons of mass destruction'' are now putting the finishing touches to a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.
I find myself wondering if it is also the case that Vice President Dick Cheney has resumed his frequent visits to CIA headquarters -- this time to help the analysts come to the right conclusions on Iran?
For the complete article, "Honest Intelligence Needed" by Ray McGovern
published by the Miami Herald, see:www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/11283036.htm
and posted also at: www.commondreams.org/views05/0401-22.htmRay McGovern (firstname.lastname@example.org), a 27-year veteran of CIA's intelligence analysis directorate,
serves on the steering group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Dahr Jamail: "Life in Falluja is a horror story"
Interview with ERIC RUDER, Socialist Worker Magazine
Independent journalist Dahr Jamail:
"Life in Falluja is a horror story"
April 01, 2005
April 1, 2005 - DAHR JAMAIL spent eight months working as an independent journalist in Iraq. As one of the few journalists not "embedded" with U.S. forces, his reports earned a reputation for being an uncompromising look at life under occupation.
Currently, Jamail is back in the U.S. on a speaking tour that will take him to several West Coast cities. He spoke to Socialist Worker's ERIC RUDER about the destruction unleashed on Iraq by the U.S. during two years of occupation.
Continue reading "Independent journalist Dahr Jamail:"Life in Falluja is a horror story""http://dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/archives/interviews/000229.php#more
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = - - Will US apply Army Regulations on DU?
From: Charles Jenks < email@example.com >
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005
Subject: Will US apply Army regs on DU?
The US military has recently 'recognized' its own Army regulations on uranium weapons (DU) in two publications. But will it now comply with its environmental and health care mandates? Or will Iraq be left to deal with this radioactive and toxic mess on its own?
While the military continues to claim that DU is virtually harmless, its own documents admit to its serious health risks to soldiers and civilians alike.
This article cites numerous resources, and asks people to take action.
For url link for article and resources, visit:www.traprockpeace.org/depleted_uranium_regs.html
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Bolton Faces Stiff Fight Over UN Nomination
By Paul Richter
The Los Angeles Times
Thursday 31 March 2005
Democrats on panel might all vote against Bolton.
Washington - Democrats are likely to vote unanimously against John Bolton when his nomination to be US ambassador to the United Nations comes before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next week, according to Democratic and Republican lawmakers and aides.
It would mark the first time committee Democrats unanimously opposed a Bush diplomatic nominee and would put the nomination in peril if Republicans defected to vote against him.
But Republicans say they believe the outspoken conservative will win solid GOP backing in the committee, including from moderate Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), who has voiced reservations about Bolton's nomination to be UN ambassador.
The split on the panel is one of several signs that the proceedings, set for April 7, will be acrimonious. Advocates have organized letter-writing and ad campaigns for and against Bolton.
For the complete article, published by Chicago Tribune, see:www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0503310297mar31,1,5263524.story
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - Oppose John Bolton for US ambassador to the United Nations To sign a petition, and send a letter to your Senators
urging them to oppose Bolton's nomination, visit:http://capwiz.com/pdamerica/issues/alert/?alertid=7322176&type=TA
"Bolton's nomination is a serious threat to America's time-honored tradition of working with other nations to solve global problems. His obvious and well-known contempt for global cooperation could prove disastrous to U.S. national security. Sign this petition today to tell your Senators to oppose Bolton's nomination to the United Nations. Please act now - confirmation hearings start on April 7th, just days away! ....."
* Read and sign this petition to send, too:www.care2.com/go/z/22701
2) Chance of Exit Polls Wrong in '04 Vote is One-in-959,000
- - Relaunching kucinich.us by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
- - Chance of Exit Polls Wrong in '04 Vote is One-in-959,000
Published on Friday, April 1, 2005 by the Akron Beacon Journal / Ohio
Analysis Points to Election 'Corruption'
Group Says Chance of Exit Polls Being So Wrong in '04 Vote is One-in-959,000
by Stephen Dyer
There's a one-in-959,000 chance that exit polls could have been so wrong in predicting the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, according to a statistical analysis released Thursday.
Exit polls in the November election showed Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., winning by 3 percent, but President George W. Bush won the vote count by 2.5 percent.
The explanation for the discrepancy that was offered by the exit polling firm -- that Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polling -- is an ``implausible theory,'' according to the report issued Thursday by US Count Votes, a group that claims it's made up of about two dozen statisticians.
Twelve -- including a Case Western Reserve University mathematics instructor -- signed the report.
Instead, the data support the idea that ``corruption of the vote count occurred more freely in districts that were overwhelmingly Bush strongholds.''
The report dismisses chance and inaccurate exit polling as the reasons for their discrepancy with the results.
They found that the one hypothesis that can't be ruled out is inaccurate election results.
``The hypothesis that the voters' intent was not accurately recorded or counted... needs further investigation,'' it said.
The conclusion drew a yawn from Ohio election officials, who repeated that the discrepancy issue was settled when the polling firms Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International disavowed its polls because Kerry voters were more likely to answer exit polls -- the theory Thursday's report deemed ``implausible.''
Ohio has been at the center of a voter disenfranchisement debate since the election.
``What are you going to do except laugh at it?'' said Carlo LoParo, spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, who's responsible for administering Ohio's elections and is a Republican candidate for governor. ``We're not particularly interested in (the report's findings). We wish them luck, but hope they find something more interesting to do.''
The statistical analysis, though, shows that the discrepancy between polls and results was especially high in precincts that voted for Bush -- as high as a 10 percent difference.
The report says if the official explanation -- that Bush voters were more shy about filling out exit polls in precincts with more Kerry voters -- is true, then the precincts with large Bush votes should be more accurate, not less accurate as the data indicate.
The report also called into question new voting machine technologies.
``All voting equipment technologies except paper ballots were associated with large unexplained exit poll discrepancies all favoring the same party, (which) certainly warrants further inquiry,'' the report concludes.
However, LoParo remained unimpressed.
``These (Bush) voters have been much maligned by outside political forces who didn't like the way they voted,'' he said. ``The weather's turning nice. There are more interesting things to do than beat a dead horse.''
© 2005 Beacon Journal and wire service sourceswww.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/11284237.htm
also posted at: www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0401-06.htm
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Relaunching kucinich.us by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
A message from Congressman Dennis Kucinich:
In seven days, on Tuesday, April 5, I will relaunch kucinich.us
, the Web site originally used for my 2004 Presidential campaign. Dedicated to empowering activists nationwide, Kucinich.us will be a platform for educating and organizing around the issues that brought millions of people together to create a politics with heart and intelligence, celebrating our highest capabilities and enabling the triumph of hope over fear.
The theme of the new Kucinich.us will be "Insight and Action." To aid in the education and empowerment of activists everywhere, I will share my insights on a range of critical issues. I'll give calls to specific action and provide specific tools to help engage supporters in working to change the world, starting in your own communities.
In a new feature, Report from Washington, I will provide my inside view of late-breaking events from right inside the Capitol. Updated frequently, even several times a day if issues warrant, this report will be your link to what's happening, as it happens.
In a new streaming video presentation, I challenge the Administration's plan for privatization of Social Security. This presentation also will be available for purchase on disk and tape, and in a downloadable slide show, suitable for use in grassroots organizing. Those who are prepared to take organizing to a new level and wish to hold Town Hall meetings in their communities will be able to sign up through the website to arrange to have me call in to answer questions after the presentation of this video.
This is just the beginning of a new series of Town Hall videos, starting with Social Security and extending to a range of other critical topics. With these insights and tools, you'll be empowered to discuss the issues confidently, to organize, and to carry the message to others.
Spring is here. We're back. Together, we'll create a new beginning.
3) The Real Missile Defense Gap
- - Join the campaign to Stop New Nuclear Weapons
- - The Real Missile Defense Gap
By David Ignatius
Published by the Washington Post
Wednesday, March 23, 2005; Page A15
Here's a macabre defense quiz for the post-Sept. 11 world: Which kind of attack on the United States is more likely over the next 20 years -- a ballistic missile launched from another continent, or a low-flying cruise missile or rocket fired by terrorists from a ship off the U.S. coast?
For me, the answer unfortunately is a no-brainer. The more plausible threat is the short-range cruise missile or rocket attack, not the distant ICBM. The ICBM is the old Cold War paradigm of what could get Americans killed; the short-range threat is an all-too-believable image of what terrorists could do today, using missiles bought on the black market and homemade chemical or biological warheads.
Okay, now let's test how U.S. defense dollars are actually being spent: For the current fiscal year, Congress has appropriated $9 billion for the Missile Defense Agency to develop an exotic system based on land, at sea, in air and in space that, in theory, will be able to destroy ICBMs with airborne lasers and kinetic "kill vehicles" traveling at more than 7,000 miles per hour. Meanwhile, the amount being spent specifically for homeland defense against a close-in cruise missile or rocket attack is, as near as I can discover, zero.
That mismatch bothers me. We're spending billions to fight a version of the last war with costly space-based weapons. Meanwhile, we are all but ignoring the real-world weapons that could be used in the next war. I can testify personally to this threat because I was in Kuwait in March 2003 when an Iraqi cruise missile slammed into a shopping center in the middle of town. It was not detected by radar.
But it makes no sense that the United States is spending $9 billion a year to defend against an ICBM threat that, for now, is well in the future -- and nothing to protect against real and present dangers. The United States may face threats from Iran or North Korea down the road, but we're at war with al Qaeda today. If the Bush administration is serious about missile defense, then surely it ought to think harder about stopping the missiles that might actually be used, right now, by America's known enemies.
For the complete article, see:www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58463-2005Mar22.html?sub=AR
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For learning about campaigns to stop weapons and nuclear power in space, visit:space4peace.org
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Join the campaign to Stop New Nuclear Weapons
The Bush administration this year is reviving its proposal for a new generation of "usable" nuclear weapons, often described as "bunker busters." Your actions and the efforts of thousands of others helped support efforts by Rep. David Hobson (OH) to eliminate funding for these weapons in 2004. Now we need to mobilize again to slam the door shut on these new nuclear weapons before the administration proposal gains momentum.
To learn more, visit the resource web site,
Friends Committee on National Legislation:http://www.fcnl.org/nuclear/index.htm
To contact your representative, go to:http://capwiz.com/fconl/issues/alert/?alertid=7330336&type=CO
Urge him or her to eliminate funds for the bunker buster in the defense authorization bill and the energy and water appropriations bill.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Earth's Health in Sharp Decline, Massive Study Finds
for National Geographic News
March 31, 2005
The report card has arrived from the largest ever scientific Earth analysis, and many of the planet's ecosystems are simply not making the grade.
The UN-backed Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report found that nearly two-thirds of Earth's life-supporting ecosystems, including clean water, pure air, and stable climate, are being degraded by unsustainable use.
Humans have caused much of this damage during the past half century. Soaring demand for food, fresh water, timber, fiber, and fuel have led to dramatic environmental changes, from deforestation to chemical pollution, the report says.
The already grim situation may worsen dramatically during the first half of the 21st century, the report's authors warn.
Over 1,300 governmental and private-sector contributors from 95 countries collaborated to create the landmark study. For four years they examined the planet's many habitats and species and the systems that bind them together.
The United Nations Environment Programme compiled the report and released the results yesterday in Beijing, China.
"Only by understanding the environment and how it works, can we make the necessary decisions to protect it," UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a press statement accompanying the report's release. "Only by valuing all our precious natural and human resources, can we hope to build a sustainable future."
Read the rest of the article here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/03/0331_050330_unenvironment.html
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