Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Name:
Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Oversight

The Bush regime is using the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance on American citizens without the oversight of any court. Using a foreign intelligence agency to spy on Americans in the United States is unprecedented. Bush admits ignoring the stipulations of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He acknowledged personally overseeing this domestic spying program for years and announced that he will continue to disregard the law.

This activity is even more disturbing because it is unnecessary, since the administration already has access to a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. A court created by Congress to specifically provide a speedy, secure judicial review of the actions of our intelligence agencies.

The FICA allows authorities to immediately respond to threats, but requires they apply for a retroactive warrant after the surveillance has already begun. Secret warrants have been approved over 19,000 times, with only five applications being rejected in thirty years. The court, which acts within hours, is not a roadblock, but prevents abuse by providing the oversight required by our constitutional system of checks and balances.

Bush realized that even a Republican-controlled Congress wouldn't authorize such an unconstitutional measure, so he decided to ignore current law and proceed with the program. The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter has promised to convene hearings in January. Bob Barr was one of the most conservative members of Congress said: "It's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency... It's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight...It's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order."

In an interview, Richard Nixon announced, "if the president does it, it can't be illegal." He found out that wasn't true. Bush needs a reminder.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bad Man

In a speech designed to regain public support for the invasion of Iraq; Bush announced: "It is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong." As president, I'm responsible for the decision to go into Iraq, and I'm also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities."

There was no need to reform our intelligence capabilities. The evidence is that the Bush regime fixed the intelligence the CIA provided, by cherry picking and embellishing what the intelligence community was prepared to say. Eventually, there was a resignation within the agency that we were going to war and it didn't make any difference. The most experienced and credible intelligence analyst left in disgust or were forced to retire.

Furthermore, a chill went through the intelligence community, after Joseph Wilson publicly shared his information about Bush's false claim in the State of the Union Address, and Republican columnist Bob Novak revealed Valerie Plame Wilson's identity as a covert CIA agent. James Marcinkowski, former CIA Officer insists: "The issue here is, how are you going to tell agents that their identity is going to be protected when this government can't even protect the home team."

Bush has acknowledged that he'd have gone to war knowing the intelligence was wrong. His reason is because Saddam Hussein was a "bad man". Bush would not have been able to secure public support for the invasion based on Saddam being a "bad man". Americans would not have been willing to risk the lives of thousands of their sons and daughters to remove a "bad man". Bush's propagandist convince many Americans and Congress with the threat of a mushroom cloud. Some in Congress wouldn't risk being labeled obstructionist or weak on defense. Others foolishly trusted Bush to explore all options before going to war.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Price of telling the truth

Bush's surrogates sought to discredit the integrity of any professional with the courage to disagree with his decision to invade Iraq.

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson wrote an article in the "New York Times", which contradicted Bush's assertion in his 2003 State of The Union Address that Iraq was trying to obtain uranium from Niger. Wilson knew Bush's claim was false and that he had purposely deceived Congress and the American people to gain support for the invasion of Iraq. A day after Wilson shared his conclusions in the Times, the White House finally acknowledged Bush's assertion; "did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of The Union Address".

The President knowingly misled Congress in his State of the Union Address, in order to gain support for the invasion of Iraq. Normally, this would be an impeachable offense, but with a Republican controlled Congress it will not happen. Meanwhile, the war grinds on without any end in sight.

Joseph Wilson was acting ambassador to Iraq, under the first President Bush, prior to the start of the Persian Gulf War. Under Clinton, he served our country as an ambassador in African countries. Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame Wilson served this nation for a total of 43 years. Valerie Plame Wilson worked overseas on assignments in areas related to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. She worked as a covert agent to recruit foreigners who knew murky deals involving WMDs.

After Joseph Wilson publicly shared his information about Bush's false claim in the State of the Union Address, Republican columnist Bob Novak revealed Valerie Plame Wilson's identity as a covert CIA agent. She had meticulously crafted her cover over a period of 18 years. Novak has acknowledged that he learned her identity from a top official in the White House. Revealing Mrs. Wilson's identity is viewed as political payback for her husband revealing the truth about Bush misleading Congress in his State of the Union Address. The threat of a nuclear weapon was the key component in gaining support for the invasion of Iraq. By revealing Mrs. Wilson's identity, the Bush regime served notice to all other conscientious citizens that there would be a price to be paid for contradicting this president.

Our enemies are now aware that the spouse of every ambassador is a potential CIA covert agent. Potential foreign agents have seen a CIA officer betrayed by officials in her own government.

Former senior member of the U.S. intelligence community, Michael Scheuer has decades of experience in national security issues. Concerning the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, he asserts: "To have someone exposed deliberately and, on top of that, for political reasons, I think, yes, it probably sends a chill throughout the clandestine service."

James Marcinkowski, former CIA Officer insists: "The issue here is, how are you going to tell agents that their identity is going to be protected when this government can't even protect the home team."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Deception and Deceit

Donald Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were among 18 signatures on a letter to then President Clinton in 1998, which urged a preemptive war against Saddam Hussein. Of the eighteen signers of the letter; eleven held post in the Bush administration, when Iraq was invaded. In Ron Suskin's "The Price of Loyalty" former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill confirms that ten days after Bush's inauguration the focus at the first National Security Council meeting was war with Iraq.

Robert Baer's "See No Evil": "I knew enough about the way Washington worked to know that when it didn't like some piece of information it did everything in its power to discredit the messenger"... "The problem is the White House didn't go to the CIA and ask, tell me the truth, it said give me ammunition." Robert Baer a legendary CIA field officer, who served most of his 21 year career in the Middle East. In the movie "Syriana" the covert Arabic-speaking CIA agent played by George Clooney is partly based on the exploits of author Baer.

Bush supporters insist it was erroneous intelligence by the CIA, which resulted in his administration being wrong about weapons of mass destruction and a link between Saddam and al Qaeda. CNN's special "Dead Wrong", sought to analyze the process by which the argument for a preemptive war was made. Several quotes from the program provide insight into how the process got it wrong.

"Policy makers love intelligence when it supports their policy and they have difficulty with intelligence when it does not. The spies call it cherry picking, choosing scraps of intelligence to prove a worst case scenario." - former CIA deputy director of operations James Pavitt.

"As they embellished what the intelligence community was prepared to say and as the press reported that information, it began to acquire its own sense of truth and reality."- Rand Beers - former National Security Council Official, who resigned his White House post to work against the reelection of Bush.

"There was just a resignation within the agency that we were going to war against Iraq and it didn't make any difference what the analysis was or what kind of objections or countervailing forces there were to the invasion. We were going to war."- Former senior member of the U. S. intelligence community, Michael Scheuer has two decades of experience in national security issues. While with the CIA, he wrote "Imperial Hubris" under the pseudonym Anonymous.

"Imperial Hubris" warns: "One of the greatest dangers for Americans in deciding how to confront the threat from al Qaeda lies in continuing to believe... Muslims hate us for what we think, rather than for what we do. We repeatedly hear: ( because they hate freedom ) from senior U.S. leaders. Such a conclusion is potentially fatal nonsense".

Michael Scheuers "Imperial Hubris explores why they hate us and why our policies and actions are bin Laden's only indispensable allies. Scheuer quotes terrorist leader al Zawahiri: "Americans are facing a delicate situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. If they withdraw they will lose everything and if they stay, they will continue to bleed to death."

Scheuer emphasizes:" We must recognize that our invasion of Iraq was not preemptive; it was an avarice, premeditated, unprovoked war against a foe who posed no immediate threat but whose defeat did offer economic advantages." He wrote "Imperial Hubris" with certainty that: " al Qaeda will attack the continental U. S. again, that its next strike will be more damaging than 9/11."

Michael Parent's "Superpatriotism" points out: "We are told that during times of crisis we must trust the president. Democracy is not about trust; it's about distrust, accountability, public exposure and responsible government. We must enlist our fellow Americans to trust their leaders less and themselves more. Once fear takes hold, evidence becomes largely irrelevant."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Invasion of Iraq

Marine General Anthony Zinni established his impeccable credentials during nearly forty years of military service. After retirement, he served as Colin Powell's special envoy to the Middle East, before disagreements over the Iraq war and its probable aftermath caused him to resign. Zinni is quoted by Tom Clancy in "Battle Ready;" a segment entitled "The Obligation to Speak the Truth."

He says: "In the lead-up to the Iraq war and its later conduct, I saw at minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility; at worst, lying, incompetence, and corruption. False rationales presented as justification; a flawed strategy; lack of planning; the unnecessary alienation of our allies; the underestimation of the task; the unnecessary distraction from real threats, and the unbearable strain dumped on our overstretched military, all of these caused me to speak out."

For speaking out Zinni was called a traitor and a turncoat by Pentagon officials. Zinni strongly disagrees with the mentality which says: "As long as guys are dying out there, it is morally reprehensible to criticize the flawed policies and tactics that put them into the predicaments."

Career counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke served under four presidents beginning as an analyst on nuclear weapons under Reagan and established a record for continuous service in national security policy positions. His book "Against All Enemies" is a non-partisan chronology of the facts before, during and after 9/11. He was the nations crisis manager in Bush’s White House situation room. Clarke reports that within hours of the 9/11 attack, Donald Rumsfeld was suggesting Iraq as a battlefield. Not because al Qaeda was there, but because it offered "better targets" than the elusive bin Laden in Afghanistan.

He has written: "We invaded and occupied an oil rich Arab country that posed no threat to us...We delivered to al Qaeda the greatest recruitment propaganda imaginable."

In 1993, Clinton ordered cruise missiles launched against Iraqi intelligence headquarters. Initially, Clarke was disappointed that the response had been so small. Ten years later he wrote: ....."U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities never developed any evidence of further Iraqi support for terrorism directed against Americans. Until we invaded Iraq in 2003."

Friday, December 02, 2005

Expendable

Many of the congressional politicians that voted for the war in Iraq consider the young adults, who are unable to attend college to be expendable. If there was the slightest possibility that the offsprings, of members of Congress would be placed in jeopardy, they would have been more diligent in clarifying the WMD issue.

Our youth should carefully evaluate Bush's claim that the war in Iraq is a "noble cause". The most reliable way to determine the nobility of this cause is to wait to see if a child or grandchild of a member of Congress comes home in a flag draped coffin. We can't expect members of the Bush regime to allow their children or grandchildren to be placed in harms way, because their offsprings are part of the ruling nobility and such risks are unacceptable.

The veil of dishonesty has been lifted and the truth has been revealed. Our troops are dying for what the ruling elite consider is "our God given right", to take whatever we want from the Middle East. We are sacrificing the lives of young Americans for Iraqi oil. Henceforth, we don't have to wonder why they hate us?

Bush and Congressional Republicans insist; "We must now focus on creating an independent, stable, and free Iraq." Unfortunately, that has never been the goal of the Bush administration. They will not withdraw our troops until Iraq becomes a docile client state, run by a puppet regime for the benefit of international oil conglomerates.

Anthony Cordesman is a former intelligence analyst with the State and Defense Department, who specialized in Middle East issues. He believes Bush will refuse to give up on his effort to turn Iraq into a docile client state. Cordesman's "Inexcusable Failure" cautions: "all the training in the world will be for naught, if the Iraqi National Guard and Police are corrupt or view their government as a puppet regime of American imperialist".

The promise, that American soldiers will stay only as long as they are needed to help provide security and stability for that country is a sham. If our troops are not completely out of Iraq before Nov. 2006, young Americans will continue to die until Bush is out of office. If you watched "Hardball" with Chris Mathews on 12/2/05, you heard Republican Congressman Bill Schuster state that it may take as long as 25-30 years.

If Republicans want democracy for Iraq, they would begin by recognizing that; eighty percent of Iraqis resent the occupation of US forces for delivering death, destruction and destitution upon their shattered nation and want our troops out. Our occupation created and continues the terrorism upon the Iraqi people.