UPDATES later this evening.
ABC The Note June 9,2006-
The grand jury investigating the CIA leak case is expected to meet at 9:30 am ET.Some say ABC doesn't really know. It is true Grand Juries meet each Wed and Friday, but not necessarily for this case. Unfortunately...
C'mon Fitz! The walls will fall down around you, if they wait any longer.
Prissy is hearing reports from soldiers who are "very surprised" about the Zarqawi thing. All this time, not a soul mentioned to those on regular patrol to be "on the look out" for this person...
Also from The Note for Ohio residents:
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is scheduled to give the commencement address for the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH on Sunday and then raise some funds for Sen. DeWine's reelection campaign.
Sounds like a protestable event to Prissy-we will post when we find out where DeWines fund raiser will be held. Prissy thinks the many OSU kids will protest their guest speaker, so we can take care of the DeWine event. So far mums the word on this super-secret fundraiser. Like everything else neorepublican.
The Note continues:
US News & World Report's Gilgoff on Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) efforts to convince his House Republican colleagues that he is viewed quite differently back home in Ohio than he is in Washington, where he is now best known as Representative #1.
Wayne Madsen Wayne Madsen Reports
June 8, 2006 -- Jordanian Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi, born Fadel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, was killed in a U.S. air strike last night at 6:15 pm (Iraq time) in an Al Qaeda safe house north of Baghdad. Killed with Zarqawi were his "spiritual adviser" Sheikh Abdul Rahman, and an unidentified woman and child. Eight to ten other Zarqawi lieutenants were also reported to have been killed in the attack. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad this morning stated at a news conference that Zarqawi was identified based on fingerprints, facial recognition, known scars, and tattoos. The attack on Zarqawi was apparently carried out in close coordination with Jordan's General Intelligence Department, which had received a tip on Zarqawi's location from its agents operating inside Iraq.
The U.S. military spokesman's revelation that Zarqawi's body was partly identified from tattoos is noteworthy. Abu Abdel-Rahman al-Iraqi, described as the Deputy Emir of Al Qaeda in Iraq on an Al Qaeda web site, stated that Zarqawi was a martyred mujahed sheikh. Zarqawi was a lieutenant of strict Wahhabi Islam adherent Osama Bin Laden. However, why Zarqawi would have had tattoos is baffling. Islam specifically forbids tattoos. According to Islamic texts, the Prophet Mohammed forbade tattooing:
Narrated Abu Huraira: "Allah's Apostle said, 'The evil eye is a fact,' and he forbade tattooing. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Dress, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 827)"
Also from WMR:
June 8, 2006 -- The story about Laura Bush and her marital problems with George W. Bush and Mr. Bush's reported extramarital affair with Condoleezza Rice is not going away. The alternative media continues to write and talk about this story. With the killing of Zarqawi in Iraq, the mainstream media now has a reason to avoid the Bush infidelity story entirely. The Zarqawi story came at an opportune time for Messrs. Bush and Rove. Some mainstream media reporters were beginning to look into the Bush marital issues the same day the attack came on the Al Qaeda safe house in Iraq.
The yammer, Washington Post Unrepentant, 'the Hammer' Urges GOP to Keep Up Fight
The one-time pest exterminator from the Houston suburbs declared that he has "few regrets, no doubts," and assured his colleagues that he always served "honorably and honestly."
Good thing he did not say that in church, lighting might have struck him.
China View Iran ready to talk to end nuclear issue
TEHRAN, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that Iran was ready to talk about mutual concerns with the international community in a bid to end "misunderstandings" over its disputed nuclear issue.
"Iran will talk about mutual concerns and the ways to resolve misunderstandings in the international arena, but we will never negotiate on our legal rights," said Ahmadinejad in a speech to a large crowd in Qazvin province west of Tehran, which was aired by state television.
"Any negotiations on Iran's nuclear issue must take place in a fair atmosphere," he said, adding "If the international community thinks it can use a stick to threat the Iranian nation and negotiate at the same time, it should understand that the Iranian people will never accept this."
Dearest readers, question it when Condi makes any claim that they "aren't cooperating". Iran signed the agreement in 2003 stating they would only use enriched uranium for nuclear power. They have not actually breached the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty , despite Dubya's innuendo that Iran has violated agreements. They have threatened to pull out of the NNT, if Duyba doesn't back off from threats of attack.
It is a sad day when we must hope China, a known human rights violator, is telling us the truth because our leaders and news cannot be trusted to do so. Even at the demise of our and theirs- democracy. And they used to call war protestors anti-American.
The Scotsman 'Stop the sniping at the UN'
Mr Malloch Brown told a conference in New York that "the prevailing [US] practice of seeking to use the UN almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up for it against its domestic critics is simply not sustainable. You will lose the UN one way or another."
Washington, he said, was too happy to tolerate "too much unchecked UN-bashing and stereotyping".
His comments provoked a furious response from John Bolten, the pugnacious American ambassador to the UN. "I spoke to the secretary-general this morning, I said 'I've known you since 1989 and I'm telling you this is the worst mistake by a senior UN official that I have seen in that entire time," said Mr Bolten.
Mr Malloch Brown told reporters after his speech. "You [the US] have to engage to help make this institution a better institution. And you need to engage, if I dare say so, with your own public opinion to explain better why the UN matters to American interests."
Prissy reminds you that Dubya stripped the security clearance from 92 Senators after 911. So no, they didn't all have the best information in the lead up to the war in Iraq. More about what they did know. See previous post for list of represenatives with clearance. Gotta love Rove still has his...
From Post Chronicle
:Additionally, this is how he describes the quality of the information provided to rank-and-file senators: Recounts a Sept 5, 2002 meeting he and Senators Durbin and Levin had with then CIA director George Tenet and his staff. Though the administration had long before decided on invasion, to the senators' amazement no National Intelligence Estimate for Iraq had yet been produced. Graham, Durbin and Levin demanded to see one, and three weeks later Tenet produced a 90-page document rife with caveats and qualifications (though these were buried in footnotes) about what we knew--or didn't know--about WMD in Iraq.
That report was classified, and as such was available only to those on the House and Senate intelligence committees. Graham pressed for it to be declassified, and got what he asked for on Oct 4--less than a week before Congress was to vote on the use of force. However, this declassified version was more like a marketing brochure: 20 pages in length, slickly produced with splashy grahics and maps, and with none of the caveats contained in the original. Graham described it later as "a vivid and terrifying case for war."
This 20-page, unqualified summary was presented to our senators and representatives as the best information on Iraq's WMDs, and it was provided to them one week before the vote on the use of force. The intelligence material Congress had was what the administration was willing to give them, namely a promotional piece whose lies of omission outweighed what was included.
Like Americans in general, US congresspeople are increasingly resentful of how their trust was abused.
Here's an interesting interview with Seymour Hersh and Scott Ritter.
SEYMOUR HERSH: One of the things that's overwhelming to me as a journalist was the notion that everybody believed before March of '03 that Saddam had weapons. This is just an urban myth. The fact of the matter is that "and my personal experience " and this, I ran into Scott when? In about 1998, 1999? And in talking to people who worked on the UNSCOM and also on the International Atomic Energy Agency, which did a lot of very first-rate reporting. And you know some of the people who wrote some of the reports, former intelligence agents from Britain, among others, they were pretty much clear by 1997 that there was very little likelihood that Saddam had weapons, and there were many people in our State Department, our Department of Energy, in the C.I.A., who didn't believe there were weapons. And I think history is going to judge the -- what I can almost call almost mass hysteria we had about Saddam and weapons. And one of the questions that keeps on coming up now is: Why didn't Saddam tell us? Did he tell us?
SCOTT RITTER (former UN Chief Weapons Inspector): Well, of course, he told. Look, let's be honest. The Iraqis were obligated in 1991 to submit a full declaration listing the totality of their holdings of W.M.D., and they didn't do this. They lied. They failed to declare a nuclear weapons program. They failed to declare a biological weapons program, and they under-declared their chemical and ballistic missile capabilities.
Saddam Hussein intended to retain a strategic deterrent capability, not only to take care of Iran, but also to focus on Israel. What he didn't count on was the tenacity of the inspectors. And very rapidly by June 1991 we had compelled him into acknowledging that he had a nuclear weapons program, and we pushed him so hard that by the summer of 1991, in the same way that a drug dealer who has police knocking at his door flushes drugs down a toilet to get rid of his stash so that he can tell the cops, "I don't have any drugs," the Iraqis, not wanting to admit that they lied, flushed their stash down the toilet. They blew up all of their weapons and buried it in the desert, and then tried to maintain the fiction that they had told the truth.
And by 1992 they were compelled again because of the tenacity of inspectors to come clean. People say why didn't Saddam Hussein admit being disarmed? In 1992 they submitted a declaration that said everything's been destroyed, we have nothing left. In 1995 they turned over the totality of their document cache. Again, not willingly, it took years of inspections to pressure them. But the bottom line is by 1995 there were no more weapons in Iraq, there were no more documents in Iraq, there was no more production capability in Iraq, because we were monitoring the totality of Iraq's industrial infrastructure with the most technologically advanced, the most intrusive arms control regime in the history of arms control.
And we knew that while we couldn't account for everything that the Iraqis said they had destroyed, we could only account for ninety to ninety-five percent, we knew that: (a) we had no evidence of a retained capability and, (b) no evidence that Iraq was reconstituting. And furthermore, the C.I.A. knew this. The British intelligence knew this; Israeli intelligence knew this; German intelligence. The whole world knew this. They weren't going to say that Iraq was disarmed, because nobody could say that. But they definitely knew that the Iraqi capability regarding W.M.D. had been reduced to as near to zero as you could bring it and that Iraq represented a threat to no one when it came to weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit turned down a petition aimed at overturning a decision by regulators requiring facilities-based broadband providers and those that offer Internet telephone service to comply with U.S. wiretap laws.
Moscow Times June 9, 2006U.S. Plans Responses to Possible Flu Pandemic
"We are overdue and we are under-prepared," Alex Azar, the deputy health secretary, told a group of Kansas emergency responders in Topeka last week.
Azar said the federal government would not be able to provide a safety net if a pandemic hit. States will have to rely on their own ingenuity to provide health care, keep essential services operating and distribute food and medicines.
The state efforts have been augmented with $100 million in federal money so far, including $1.2 million earmarked for Kansas. The Department of Health and Human Services will distribute another $250 million to states later this year, according to Azar.
And...And in Washington state, the King County public health department in Seattle has warned people that if body bags and refrigerated trucks are in short supply, flu victims should be buried in backyards, provided the graves are far from septic systems.
Latin America News Agency US Govt Spying Censured by Europe
Washington, Jun 7 (Prensa Latina) The US Government declared itself disappointed with the tone and content of a report presented by the European Council on secret CIA flights and kidnappings in Europe.
Spokesman for the State Department Sean McCormack said the text shows no conclusive elements and just reiterates previous allegations.
These nations were allegedly part of a support network of CIA secret flights to transfer prisoners: Spain, Germany, Cyprus and Turkey were cited among participants of the CIA network, according to the document. Ireland, Britain, Portugal, Greece and Italy are cited as points where the secret CIA flights stopped in the illegal transfer of alleged terrorists.
The Star MylasiaZarqawi found, but bin Laden still eludes U.S.
Rumsfeld said in December bin Laden is "probably spending a major fraction of his time trying to avoid being caught," and doubted he was able to operate sufficiently to command al Qaeda operations worldwide. Charles Pena, a senior fellow with George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute, said the Pentagon transferred key special-operations personnel and assets to Iraq from Afghanistan ahead of the Iraq invasion in 2003 that could have been vital in the hunt for bin Laden.
Pena said the United States has focused more on Iraq than al Qaeda in recent years with President George W. Bush describing Iraq as the "central front" in the "war on terror."
"That's how you avoid the embarrassment of not having captured or killed the man who was responsible for 9/11," Pena said.
WaPo tells a story Zarqawi Did Not Die Instantly, U.S. General Says
"The first people on the scene were the Iraqi police," he said. "They had found him and put him into some kind of gurney/stretcher kind of thing, and then American coalition forces arrived immediately thereafter on-site. They immediately went to the person in the stretcher, were able to start identifying by some distinguishing marks on his body. They had some kind of visual facial recognition."
Citing a briefing he received during a visit to the area today, Caldwell said, "Zarqawi attempted to, sort of, turn away off the stretcher. Everybody resecured him back onto the stretcher, but he died almost immediately thereafter from the wounds he'd received from this airstrike."
He did not characterize Zarqawi's action as an attempt to escape, but as "some kind of movement he had on the stretcher."
U.S. troops who arrived on the scene "went into the process to provide medical care to him," Caldwell said. He did not know exactly how long Zarqawi was alive after the airstrike.
The Hill June 8, 2006 House GOP braces for Iraq floor debate
House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) met yesterday with President Bush at the White House to discuss a number of topics, including an upcoming floor debate on Iraq.
While Hastert and the administration have been at odds on the recent raid of Rep. William Jefferson's (D-La.) congressional office, the White House has been supportive of House efforts to debate the war, leadership aides said.
The debate is expected to encompass one day next week but Republican leaders have not yet finalized the language of the resolution. The measure is expected to tie the war to an overarching effort to fight terrorism in the U.S. and abroad.
The war has grown increasingly unpopular since Bush formally declared an end to 'major combat' in Iraq in May 2003. Republican leaders are confident that the debate would play in their favor.
Certainly makes sense as to why military families were told by representatives in April that "it isn't the right time to debate Iraq." Correct, it should have been done before the war...but they needed to have some "good news" on their side first. Timing is everything...A dead terrorist is a harmless terrorist-however, the price for one dead terrorist was far too high. True justice for his victims would have been a trial him at the Hague.
President George W Bush hailed the American military yesterday for "delivering justice" to the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who had taunted him for three years and eluded an intensive manhunt.
But Washington and London were united in cautioning that Zarqawi's death in an air strike would not on its own bring a swift end to the bloody insurgency in Iraq.
A framed picture of the terrorist, shown bruised and bloated, was displayed at a triumphant Baghdad news conference, reinforcing the sense that the killing was a trophy operation.
And Dubya will order a soldier to stand right next to him while he does it...
Current Concern Feb 2006 Interview with Gen Peter Pace
In an interview at the National Press Club on Feb. 17, 2006, the chairman of the US-Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, said: "It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral. They [the troops] will be held accountable for the decisions they make. So they should in fact not obey the illegal and immoral orders to use weapons of mass destruction." Asked if commanders aren't supposed to follow orders from their superiors, General Pace states "They still have very clear choices to make, and their choices will have major impact, both on the troops who look to them for leadership right now and on their own personal fate when this is all over."
Even orders from superiors, "including the president and the secretary of defense" do not give legitimation to "commit crimes against humanity." Therefore every soldier is fully responsible for the decision he makes, and he obeys his orders at his own risk. The International Court of Justice determined in 1996 that "the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law."
Consequently any order that could lead with reasonable probability to the use of nuclear weapons should be disobeyed. Preparations for the purpose of committing an illegal and immoral act are also forbidden. According to the principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal the fact that a person acted pursuent to order of his government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.
Furthermore complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Nuremberg Principles VI is a crime under international law.
Pakistan Daily Times 'Zarqawi's death will not end insurgency'
Experts agreed the violence in Iraq was far from being over despite Zarqawi's death. "The dilemma now is that with that come expectations that the insurgency will dissipate. I don't think it will happen, it will continue," said Ranstrop. "Of course, it's not enough," agreed Rosemary Hollis, Middle East specialist at British think tank Chatham House. "Does the terrorism taking place on the edges of the insurgency require Zarqawi to go forward, I fear not. It reminds me of when Saddam Hussein was captured," she said, adding people had feared the Iraqi dictator would come back, "but it didn't bring an end to the insurgency".
Diaa Rashwan, an expert on Islamist groups at the al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, said the United States had repeatedly exaggerated the probable effect of their occasional successes in Iraq and would do so again.
"Al-Zarqawi in recent times did not represent an important element in violent operations on the ground in Iraq. Other groups which are not extreme, resistance groups not terrorist groups, have grown in strength," he told Reuters.
Hostility and admiration: Several ordinary Arabs expressed hostility towards Zarqawi and welcomed his killing. But just as many others said they saw him as a martyr who died fighting for the noble cause of ending the US occupation of a leading Arab and Muslim country.
The February 22 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra, attributed to Al-Qaeda, unleashed a wave of sectarian killing throughout the country that has claimed the lives of thousands and continues in place like Baghdad and Baquba.
The Sunnis, however, point out that Shiite militias are carrying out their fair share of violence as well, especially in the case of feuding between rival groups in the predominantly Shiite southern provinces.
"The situation there has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda or Zarqawi. The daily killings, kidnappings and decaptitations, the majority of these are due to miltias linked to the political parites, not to Zarqawi," said Zhafer al-Ani, a political scientist from Baghdad University and a leading Sunni politician.
Wired News Report: Abramoff ex-partner knew of slaying
Does Dubya give them Ambien before his speeches-claiming "national security"?
Kidan's attorney, Joseph R. Conway, confirmed Friday that his client did meet with authorities in May, but he would not discuss what was said. Abramoff's attorney in Miami, Neal Sonnett, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.Prissy heard Ambramoff sings to prosecutors
Both Kidan and Abramoff are cooperating with authorities after pleading guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in the SunCruz purchase. They were sentenced in March to nearly six years in prison for concocting a fake wire transfer to get bank funding for the purchase. Abramoff also pleaded guilty in a federal bribery investigation that is examining his dealings with members of Congress.
The three men charged with murder in Boulis' death are Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, 68; Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, 49; and James "Pudgy" Fiorillo, 28. All have pleaded not guilty.
Kidan told investigators he learned the details of the killing from Moscatiello and Ferrari but that he was not told the triggerman's name, the newspaper reported. He said Moscatiello told him in 2004 that the man was dead and he pieced together who it was after learning the man was killed in a Florida deli by his business partner in 2003.
We pay attention to everything up here at West Point, Mister Bush. Even the fact that you told the same joke about giving cadets amnesty that you told four years ago. You should be more respectful of West Point, Mister Bush. That seems to be a pattern in your behavior, smackhead. Telling the same stories over and over. And you throw around the names of old grads like Eisenhower and Bradley, using them to somehow justify what you and your big buddies in DC have done to the world. What do you know about Eisenhower or Bradley? You might get away with that stuff in the oval office, but not up here. Not at West Point. You got that, wack? You got that loud and clear, beansmack? Good. Retain same. Fop
The Long Gray Line spans the generations, mister. Its spirit fills the geographic, intellectual, and moral space that is West Point. The old grads are always there. Mister Bush, you want to buy this place? No? Well stop gawking! Keep those slimy eyeballs straight ahead. Pick a spot on the opposite wall and examine it! You never said anything about what those old grads said. You just got the cadets' attention by saying the words, Eisenhower and Bradley, but then that was the idea, wasn't it? Then you launched into how President Truman did this, that, and the other thing. You even pulled a Winston Churchill with your "never back down . . . never give in . . . never accept anything less than a complete victory" routine. It reminded many of us of that "mission accomplished" crud that you blabbed off the coast of San Diego a few years ago. Just who are you, Mister Bush? Makes cadets wonder whether there's anything inside that fine civilian suit of yours? You read me, Mister Bush?
Do you remember what you said here at the Academy four years ago? About pre-emptive action? Do you know what Dwight Eisenhower said about that much earlier? Don't hem and haw, Mister Bush. Here at West Point there are only three answers for smacks like you: Yes sir. No sir. No excuse sir. Remember that! And remember this! And his fellow classmate from the class of 1915, the class the stars fell on, Omar Bradley was even clearer. "Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked," he said, "and we who fail to prevent them must share the guilt for the dead."
Selfishness is the greatest curse of the human race--William E. Gladstone quotes (British Statesman and Prime Minister (1868-1894)
In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying.-- Bertrand Russell
Clip of Bush: "America is a free society, which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens. In this country, people are free to choose how they live their lives." Jon Stewart: "And that's why I want to ban gay people from getting married."
"Some are surprised that President Bush would back a gay marriage amendment when he clearly doesn't have the votes to pass it. ... I mean, since when has a lack of votes held back President Bush? It's never been a problem in the past." --Jay Leno
"Some excitement at the White House yesterday. The Secret Service caught a man trying to climb over the White House fence. ... When they caught the man, the Secret Service said, 'Not so fast. You have three more years, Mr. President.'" --Conan O'Brien