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The Iraq Study Group Article - you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll hurl

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posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 06:10 AM
I just came across this article from the Washington Post, and it really made me chuckle.

It's a perfect example of the mainstream media taking an absolutely uncritical look at whatever's happening, and being perfectly happy to regurgitate patriotic rhetoric at the drop of a hat.

Let's take a look at it in detail. (All quotations, unless otherwise attributed, are from the article referenced above)

On his third trip to Iraq, in September 2005, Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) knew the American mission was imperiled.

"We were up in Tikrit and went to a hospital, and it was guarded with guns and security to the point they were pushing weapons into women's faces," Wolf said. "I saw we can't be successful if we're going into an operating room with pistols and weapons."

Well, this is refreshing candour, isn't it? Quite a change from the usual "stay the course"/"cut and run" dichotomy. But does Mr. Wolf ("what's the time, Mr. Wolf?") suggest that security is less heavy-handed with the ladies? We are not told. What we are told, however, is that this moment of illumination is the genesis of the Iraq Study Group.

Now I want to leapfrog just a little bit, here, for reasons that will become obvious.

The composition of the study group was also crucial.

"You had to get a group not connected to the administration, people who were not going to be campaigning and who could come to a consensus," he said. "We wanted a bipartisan group, people senior enough that they weren't looking to get placed in a law firm or good job. The test was: Do you love your country?"

It's a good job I wasn't drinking coffee when I read this, or there's a danger that my keyboard might have been seriously damaged. It's not often that allegedly serious news items make me do the nose trick, but this one could have. And why?

Well... let's look at who's on the panel.

Iraq Study Group, led by Republican former secretary of state James A. Baker III and Democratic former congressman Lee H. Hamilton (Ind.), who was a vice chairman of the panel that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Exqueeze me? Didn't he say they were looking for people

not connected to the administration

Yeah... thought so. But... isn't that the same James Addison Baker III who was Bush's chief legal advisor in the 2000 campaign? Didn't he oversee that Florida recount? Isn't he senior legal counsel to the Carlyle Group? Wasn't he one of Bush 41's closest advisors, and got to be his Secretary of State? Didn't he recently become the "debt envoy" to Iraq, in charge of getting the world to forgive its debt?

Oh, wait, there's more to this last point. According to The Guardian, Baker's also hip deep (working for Carlyle) in a sneaky plan to get commission from Kuwait, if he can swing it so that Kuwait get some or all of their $57bn from Iraq while the rest of the world forgives Iraq's debts. That's interesting. Is that the end of it? Nah, course not. I think I'm really starting to see what bipartisan really means in this context. From the Guardian article:

According to the documents, Carlyle is seeking to secure as part of the deal an extraordinary $1bn investment from the Kuwaiti government.

The main proposal would transfer ownership of $57bn in unpaid Iraqi debts. The debts would be assigned to a foundation created and controlled by a consortium in which the key players are the Carlyle Group, the Albright Group (headed by another former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright) and several other well-connected firms.

Under the deal, Kuwait would also give the consortium $2bn to invest in a private equity fund devised by the consortium, with half of that going to Carlyle.

The consortium would then use its personal connections to persuade world leaders that Iraq must "maximize" its reparation payments to Kuwait. The more the consortium gets Iraq to pay over a period, the more Kuwait collects, with the consortium taking a 5% commission or more.

Ah. So that's what "bipartisan" means. The Bushies and Baker get to print money... and so does Madeleine Allbright.

Question: why isn't this all on the front pages of the US print media, and front and centre in every news broadcast?

I only noticed after reading it that it's by the awesome (and beautiful, rrrrawwrrrr!) Naomi Klein. Read the whole thing. It's priceless. But what were we saying? Oh yes, we wanted to find someone

not connected to the administration
didn't we? And what was the other thing? Someone who wasn't

looking to get placed in a law firm or good job.

Well, we can count Baker out. He's already got a good job! And he's in a law firm! They're called Baker, Botts! And looky, looky!

They were named Oil and Gas Firm of the Year for 2006!

I wonder why?

Is anyone getting the feeling that Lyndsey Layton,Washington Post Staff Writer, could have asked a few more pertinent questions of her interlocutor? I know I am. Instead, she prefers to go with patriotic guff...

"The test was: Do you love your country?"


Wolf said he hopes that the group's recommendations, expected to be delivered to President Bush and Congress next month, will reconnect a nation splintered by war. (Is he talking about Iraq or the US? I can't tell* - r23)

"When our country is together, we're strong -- Truman and Roosevelt showed that," he said. "When we're divided, I think the country's going to be in trouble. I hope something good comes from this, that we can develop consensus."

This article is not journalism. It's something rather more insidious, but I don't have a name for it.

* Actually, I can. See the post below.

[edit on 22-11-2006 by rich23]

posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 06:47 AM
Hm... 20 views and no replies yet. Oh, well.

I just thought I'd link to a thread I started earlier that suggests that the ISG will recommend the breaking-up of Iraq into 3 provinces, which, coincidentally, will make extracting the oil that much easier...

Divide and Conquer in Iraq: the memory hole at work

Just more stuff for you to look at, really, to put the article referenced in the first post into more context.

WHY do journalists treat every story like it just manifested out of thin air?

posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 06:54 AM
lol when i saw Baker written in bold that was it for me

you got a WATS for this short but beautifull piece of investigative journalism

BS Alert! BS Alert!

posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 06:59 AM
Most kind.

And your sig made me lol - perhaps because stupidity IS painful. Painful to behold, that is.

posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 11:51 AM
51 views and only one reply.

Nobody cares... (sniff, blubble)... nobody cares that disinfo is rampant out there. I wrote to the article's author, btw, and if anything comes of it (I'm not holding my breath, as you'd expect) I'll post it here, for the curious few (and responsive, er, fewer).

No-one cares that Baker is in charge of this when he's too corrupt to be running a hot-dog stand. Apparently.

OK! I ADMIT IT! It's a naked bump because I don't yet want this thread (such as it is) to slump into the obscurity it no doubt richly deserves. Let me have my fun and then I'll let it die quietly.

posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 11:57 AM

James baker III is at the helm....

Well thats a sure fire guarentee that your gonna get screwed over....

and as for the forgive Iraq its debts stunt....omg there is a massive potential for some sneaky treble dealing being done to make a few dollars on the side..

Rich get richer, poor get to stay poor and down trodden... no wonder the Iraqis hate the USA and UK if this is whats going on behind the scenes.

posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 12:13 PM
Baker, he's just a prince among men.

And love that avatar... you sick bugger...

I've seen it before, but never really noticed it, you know what I mean? Superb. ROFL.

[edit on 22-11-2006 by rich23]

posted on Nov, 23 2006 @ 04:57 AM
You know, in all this fuss about Jim Bakker, whoops, Baker, I completely forgot about Lee H. Hamilton.

Now, what was that phrase that Mister Wolf used? They wanted someone, no, not just someone, in fact

a group not connected to the administration

So, well, you can click on the link, which is my first effort, where everybody goes... Wikipedia. Now, you'd think that Lyndsey Leyton of the Washington Post might have heard of Wikipedia. You would think that, wouldn't you? Or maybe that she might have, gosh, even better sources? Because when we look at Lee's Wiki entry, we find a couple of intriguing factoids...

Lee Herbert Hamilton (born April 20, 1931) was the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and currently serves on the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council

What? You mean this is another member of this group that's not

not connected to the administration

Oooh, spooky! Now, no false modesty here, but all I'm doing here is stuff literally anybody with a computer and time on their hands can do. Nothing special, no budget, no "inside track knowledge". And c'mon people, I'm just demolishing this story. Oh, but wait! Does Lee pass The Test? You remember The Test, don't you? In case you don't, (back to that first article):

"The test was: Do you love your country?"

Now I can say, without fear of contradiction that ol' Lee passes The Test with flying colours. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool, rock-ribbed patriot. How do I know this? Wikipedia tells me.

As chair of the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, Hamilton chose not to investigate President Ronald Reagan or President George H. W. Bush, stating that he did not think it would be "good for the country" to put the public through another impeachment trial.

Well... even if he is connected to the Administration, just a teeny bit, I think we can forgive him that because this is clearly someone who loves his country sooooo much that he's prepared to put partisanship behind him and give two of his political opponents "get out of jail free" cards. And one of them just happened to be Dubya's dad! Aren't coincidences fun?

By the way, at this point, I'd just like to say that Lyndsey Leyton of the Washington Post has not yet responded to my email. I think I might write to her again and maybe even point her at this thread: I'll certainly keep her apprised of my researches on the members of the Iraq Study Group. And, you know, I'm not recommending any course of action here, but if anyone does feel strongly enough that here article is an absolute crock, you can write to her yourself by clicking the original link to her story, where you'll find another link to her email. If anyone gets an answer out of her, I'd be really interested to see it.

Back to Lee H. Hamilton... so, I'm looking at the Wiki article, and what catches my eye is that the ISG is

organized by United States Institute of Peace, of which Hamilton is the Democratic co-chair, along with James Baker.

US Institute of PEACE? Whoa! Let's check this baby out!

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and democratic transformations, and increase peacebuilding capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by its direct involvement in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.

Is anyone else looking at the bit about its goals being

to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability

and just thinking... Iraq...Iraq...Iraq...Iraq...Iraq...Iraq...Iraq...Iraq...Iraq...

I mean, couldn't these people start at the top? Let's face it, despite the denials by Mister Wolf, they are, after all, connected to the Administration. Couldn't they have had a word with Rummy about promoting post-conflict stability back in 2003 when he was threatening to fire the next general in the room who wanted to talk about planning for the aftermath of the invasion? I know, I'm Monday-morning-quarterbacking... but it just seems so, well, obvious.

And shouldn't these people be tapping Bush on the shoulder right now and doing a bit of judicious finger-waving about Iran? Couldn't he be a candidate for their programme of

empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources

I mean, resources, yes... but Dubya could be regarded as mildly deficient in the knowledge and skills areas, particularly when it comes to promoting peace. But actually, the USIP is kind of weird, because it's not really a government body, yet Dubya appoints all its Directors:

Chartered as an independent nonprofit corporation, the Institute is governed by a bipartisan Board of Directors appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate

So, anyway... if anyone wants to know what the ISG is up to right now, here's their latest press release.

“The ISG is independent, bipartisan, and open to all views,” Baker and Hamilton said. “We were pleased to meet with senior administration officials today and look forward to our consultations with some prominent Democrats tomorrow. We are working expeditiously to complete our report and recommendations.”

I now have this image of Baker and Hamilton standing side-by-side at a podium and reading the statement above in perfect chorus, perhaps doing a little bow at the end. And I say it's very helpful of them to give all sorts of email and cellphone details for the staffers. It's a pity there aren't more really feisty people on this board who'd ring 'em up and maybe ask them what they're doing to stop Dubya bombing Iran, because I think they need that kind of action. I'm NOT condoning that sort of thing, but it would make me laugh.

The report also gives the names of the other members of the ISG:

The other members of the study group include Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Edwin Meese III, Sandra Day O'Connor, Leon J. Panetta, William J. Perry, Charles S. Robb, and Alan K. Simpson. Robert Gates recently resigned from the Study Group upon his nomination to be Secretary of Defense.

Whew! Thank heavens! Good for Bobby, resigning like that, because we definitely don't want anyone on this panel who's connected to the Administration.

I think I'll be returning to these names in due course. But I suspect we're not quite done with Lee H. Hamilton yet.

So now I'm trying to find out exactly what the Homeland Security Advisory Council actually does, and it seems to be... nothing.

Well, that's probably not true. It's just a big secret, that's all. Apparently they got together in 2004 to reconsider the colour-coded "ok, panic now" security levels thing, but it's still around, I believe. But an effort by Robert Byrd to stop them getting secret funds failed, apparently.

If anyone out there wants to consider doing some research on this themselves and contributing to the thread, please feel free. I think this is rather interesting and could lead somewhere. I mean, Lee Hamilton can't have been sitting on his hand and spending lots of secret funds over the past few years, can he?

Anyway, I think that's enough for now. I'll be coming back to this topic, for sure. But if anyone reading this remembers the last line from my first post:

This article is not journalism. It's something rather more insidious, but I don't have a name for it.

Well, actually, a really obvious word has sprung to mind: propaganda.

posted on Nov, 23 2006 @ 05:32 AM
Im not very good at names or politics at all. But the "Do you love your country?" Test is hilarious.

I would like to have official Do you love your country tests everywhere: In School, Professional Education, Driving License.. or if you are a politician and need to pledge for loyality: "Do you love your country?" - *Austin Powers Voice*: "Yeaaaaah! Groovy Baby!"

The current level of global mind-retardation is so tremendous that they don't even have to properly "hide" anything within their publications anymore.

You can simply replace words like "Peace" with "War", "are" with "are not" or "Protection" with "Control" and you know what really is going on.

Specially when you look @ the Bush torture Interviews, amongst others...

I guess if I was able to mantain a succesfully "hidden" Nazi-Regime I would probably do the same: Make some obvious fun of it. Some nice Discriminating jokes and stuff.

It would probably get boring without this type of Humor and Evidence. I mean after all they are pretty much dominating.

posted on Nov, 23 2006 @ 07:29 AM
I've been looking aound a little more and will post again soon... There might even be a unifying theme to some of the people on the ISG - apart from them all passing the Test.

Ed Meese... mmm...

More fun to come, I think.

posted on Nov, 23 2006 @ 07:35 AM
Excellent Research my Friend!

You have voted rich23 for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.

It's just Business my Friend - and the EX-Presidents club, AKA the Carlyle Group, is very good at doing great business, and creating profits out of human blood and guts. I just can't wait to see this Report by this Group, which is of course NOT connected to the current administration in any way, shape or form! They are completly Independant and will sure present us a completly Independant Report!

posted on Nov, 23 2006 @ 10:15 PM
Edwin Meese III

Here's a nifty little quote that, in its way, sums up the slippery Mr. Meese:

"You don't have many suspects who are innocent of a crime. That's contradictory. If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect."
-- U.S. News and World Report, 10/14/85

Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, himself later the target of a federal grand jury investigation.

This is a surprising statement for a lawyer in an allegedly free country to make. One would expect him to be intimately familiar with the legal axiom "innocent until proven guilty", and one would expect him to be extremely careful with his words.

Ed Meese was Reagan's Attorney-General from 1985-88, and is most famous for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal, of which more later. He's also a member of the Federalist Society, an ultra-right group of lawyers founded in 1982 at Yale, Harvard and Chicago U simultaneously, which is interesting in itself. From the first, its agenda was to roll back the supposedly leftwing drift that happened in the legal field in the seventies, by recruiting young lawyers and building a ladder of connections to promote them. According to the Wiki entry, its stated policy is that

The Federalist Society states that it is founded on the principles that "the state exists to preserve freedom," that "the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution," and that the duty of the judicial branch is "to say what the law is, not what the law should be.

Sounds fine... except, as usual, it all depends on what such concepts as "freedom" mean. For example, for some people, Roe v. Wade gave women the freedom to decide what to do with their own bodies. This is not the definition of freedom that the Federalists approve.

A clue about the ideological slant of the Federalists as outlined in the quotation referenced above is that it's deeply authoritarian and conservative - "to say what the law is, not what the law should be". Now the tension between legislature and judiciary is a given in Western-style governments. On the one hand, you have a body making laws, often hastily and shoddily drafted in response to perceived political pressure. On the other hand you have a body of people who know intimately how the law works on a practical level, and are charged with implementing these (as I say, often confusing and poorly-drafted) laws.

Consequently, there is usually a little, shall we say, give and take, between these two branches of government. In the US in particular, judges have a power denied in the UK: they can strike down a law as unconstitutional. The Federalists' assertion that the function of the judiciary is "to say what the law is, not what the law should be" is a clear and authoritarian signal that the Legislature and the President know best and the judges' job is to help the people in power get what they want, and damn the common man for the ignorant, powerless peon he most surely is.

Quite how this "promotes freedom" I can't see... unless you happen to be the President. Then it's certainly promoting your freedom.

The all-important Test: does Ed Meese Love His Country?

Oh, I think he does. Remember Lee Hamilton and how (from his Wiki article, referenced in a previous post)

As chair of the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, Hamilton chose not to investigate President Ronald Reagan or President George H. W. Bush, stating that he did not think it would be "good for the country" to put the public through another impeachment trial.

Well, funnily enough, Ed Meese helped Ronnie out in Irangate too! It's all a little bit complex, but it boils down to ignoring inconvenient legalities (while you're the executive's top legal official) and conducting damage limitation for Ronnie. More details can be found here.

Attorney General Edwin Meese III became directly involved in the Reagan Administration's secret plan to sell weapons to Iran in January 1986, when he was asked for a legal opinion to support the plan. When the secret arms sales became exposed in November 1986, raising questions of legality and prompting congressional and public scrutiny, Meese became the point man for the Reagan Administration's effort, in Meese's words, "to limit the damage."

Yeah... that legal opinion to support the plan... well, you kind of had to ignore all the people and bits of paper that said "selling arms secretly to Iran is illegal" and just blithely say, "Legal? Sure it is... but, you know, for reasons of state security, let's just not tell anyone, especially as we're selling arms to Iraq too! And let's keep the whole selling crack angle really really quiet, okey-dokey?"

So... I guess Ed Meese does pass The Test.

Is he connected to the Administration? Well, he's a member of the ultra-right think tank The Heritage Foundation (you should click on that link, you know, it's a lot more fun than it looks) which is a rousing cheerleader for all that good stuff - no taxes, let's bankrupt the Government (no, seriously, check the link if you think I'm making this up) - more wars for oil, let's concrete over the entire middle east and start again - except for Beacon of Democracy Israel, of course.

He's also a member of The Discovery Institute, a Christian think tank which promotes "intelligent design". Top of the pick of fellows' essays: "Much Lies Beyond the Grasp of Arrogant Atheism". Doesn't say anything a bout smug evangelicals... pity.

And I found this interview with him, which is a lot of fun. I have to say that I don't agree with the article's strapline that Ed Meese "defined Bush's presidency", and he's not as blatantly connected as some of the other members of the ISG. But he is, nonetheless, right in there with the movers, shakers and grifters. Here are just a couple of highlights from the interview...

Karl Rove may have made George W. Bush president. But it was Ed Meese who defined his presidency

Another outcry lately has been over the uses of interrogation techniques that involve sleep deprivation and uncomfortable positions. Do you think that the Bush administration has pushed the boundaries on that?
I don't know. A lot of this has been classified. There have been a lot of accusations, but I haven't seen much evidence, so I really don't know enough to render a judgment. But my own belief is that the administration is committed not to engage in anything that we would call torture. They're committed to humane treatment.

It seems like some of these techniques, like waterboarding, are a long way from humane.
Well, again, I have a great deal of confidence that the administration would not engage in torture.

Would you call that torture?
I don't know. I don't know about waterboarding.

It's putting a wet rag over someone's mouth and making them think that they're going to drown.
Yeah, I don't know. As I said, I don't know enough about it to give a firm determination.

That doesn't necessarily sound like torture to you?
I don't know whether they're doing that.

And if they are?
I don't know, because I don't know enough about it.

I'm asking, if that is what they're doing, does that sound like torture?
Well, I'd have to find out how long they do it and whether it does create the impression of drowning. I've never heard of this using a washcloth in their mouth before.

You know, this is also the twentieth anniversary of the whole Iran-Contra nightmare.
Not really. Well, I guess it is.

And so it goes on... but there's an even more interesting article here.

When Mr. Meese had to sell his house in California in order to move to Washington he was not a wealthy man. Thomas Barrack loaned a purchaser of Mr. Meese’s house $70,000 so he could buy the house. The buyer gave the $70,000 to Mr. Meese as a down payment. Thereafter, Mr. Barrack received a job as deputy under secretary of the Interior Department. Thereafter, Mr. Barrack forgave the $70,000 loan.

John McKean was Mr. Meese’s CPA. He loaned Mr. Meese $60,000. When asked about the loan Mr. Meese said he paid interest in a timely fashion. Subsequent investigation showed that to have been a lie. No interest was paid by him until after the reporter inquired. According to the General Accounting Office, the unpaid interest should have been reported by Mr. Meese as a gift.

Instead of foreclosing on Mr. Meese’s California house when Mr. Meese missed 15 consecutive loan payments, a California bank loaned him an additional $20,000 so he could bring his payments current. The bank’s president became an alternate delegate to the United Nations. Another bank officer became chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.

Wow! I wonder if I could lend him some money. That's one way to get a phat job, for sure, lending Ed Meese money.

So anyway, that's all for now. I'll do some more digging later. Enjoy.

posted on Nov, 23 2006 @ 10:56 PM
Well Rich, at least one blogger picked up on the WaPo article. And he tacked the complete list of names to his post:

Who are the members?

· James A. Baker III, secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush
· Lee H. Hamilton, Democratic former representative from Indiana
· Lawrence Eagleburger, secretary of state under the first President Bush
· Vernon E. Jordan Jr., former adviser to President Bill Clinton
· Edwin Meese III, attorney general under President Ronald Reagan
· Sandra Day O'Connor, former Supreme Court justice
· Leon E. Panetta, chief of staff under Clinton, Democratic former representative from California
· William J. Perry, secretary of defense under Clinton
· Charles S. Robb, Democratic former senator from Virginia
· Alan K. Simpson, Republican former senator from Wyoming


No comments there either.

posted on Nov, 23 2006 @ 11:22 PM
I'm right there, psyopswatcher... if you look towards the end of the Lee Hamilton post, you'll find I do have the list already in this thread. But yours is better laid out!

If you have any interesting information on any of the members please feel free to share.

posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 02:14 AM
Wow Rich, thats a good buncha researchin there. You get one of my coveted, and seldomly handed out WATS. Good on ya and keep up the great work. Cant wait to see what else you dig up on these so called "not connected to the administration" board members. God is everything about this administration a contradiction in terms these days???

posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 06:28 AM
I'm having trouble.

I thought, as I was working my way down the list, I'd take a democrat next. Now me, I really am bipartisan. I think both sides are just the terrible and the really appalling halves of a system that oppresses people across the world for gain, and I was looking forward to finding some really blatant skeletons in the closet of each of these fine upstanding people, not forgetting the two tests that we've developed during the course of this thread:

  1. are they connected to the Administration? (hopefully not)
  2. do they truly love their country? (please provide evidence)

So, really, please don't accuse me of partisanship if I can't come up with any real dirt on William Perry. He's a member of the (spooky string music please!) Trilateral Commission, a fact curiously not mentioned in his Wikipedia entry. Now I know the TC is a bit of a fave with conspiracy buffs out there, but I really don't know too much about it. It looks innocuous enough to me, except that it seems to favour globalization (boo hiss). But I'm happy to confess my ignorance and for anyone who actually takes the time to read all this stuff to post information that might educate me and other gentle readers of this thread about why it's such a bad thing.

However, he was Secretary of Defense under Clinton, and oversaw Operation Restore Democracy, which is one of my all-time-favourites-of-all-time names for a military operation. Why? Well, for many years, the US backed a murderous thug called "Papa Doc" Duvalier, who ran death squads (so often a problem in countries where the US has too much influence) that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti. His son, "Baby Doc", succeeded him, with similar US support.

Then, there was a terrible mistake. The US allowed free elections to occur, and the locals went for a priest from the backwoods who preached Liberation Theology called Aristide. So the CIA went to work "funding democratic opposition" (against a guy who came from nowhere and won by a ####ing landslide) and, sure enough, there was a military coup (backed by the US), and Aristide had to flee. More death squad action followed to try to repress the locals.

Who went ape.

Remember the Haitian refugee crisis? Remember boatloads of Haitian refugees trying to get to the US? Remember that embarrassing occasion when a whole boatload was turned back to face the death squads - except for a Cuban guy they'd picked up floating on a raft in the Caribbean? This was just too much egg on Clinton's face. I dunno, maybe he's just weak. Bush would have smirked it out, I know... but he insituted Operation Restore Democracy, which restored Aristide, under severe restrictions (he could not stand for re-election at the end of his term, financial constraints, yadda yadda).

This was followed by Operation Uphold Democracy, in which US forces sat on their hands while the police (financed by Aristide's rich opponents) beat the tar out of celebrating Aristide supporters.

Anyway... you might notice that I'm not really writing much about William Pery. He actually seems (whisper it low) fairly clean, at least by Washington standards.

If anyone can suggest otherwise, please feel free to post. I say this NOT because I'm looking for dirt on these people (although, let's face it, I am) but simply to emphasise the fact that I am genuinely non-partisan.

posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 08:22 PM
Lawrence Eagleburger

Now this guy's kind of interesting, in that he's actually prepared to be something of a dissenting voice. Check this out...

Monday 14 April 2003

President Bush warned Syria last night not to harbour any fleeing Iraqi leaders and insisted that Damascus has chemical weapons.

But he stopped short of threatening military action, insisting: "They just need to co-operate."


Lawrence Eagleburger, Secretary of State under George Bush Senior, said American public opinion would not tolerate action against Syria or Iran.

He was speaking as Colin Powell, the current Secretary of State, ramped up the pressure on Syria not to shield Saddam Hussein or his cronies.

Washington hawks are spoiling for a fight with Syria and Iran following the collapse of the Iraqi regime.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday said there was "no question" that Syria was harbouring senior Iraqi figures. But Mr Eagleburger, who accused Syria of having an outrageous record on terror, said an extension of the war was unthinkable.

"You saw the furore that went on before the President got sufficient support to do this," he said. "This is still a democracy and public opinion rules. If George Bush decided he was going to turn troops on Syria now and then Iran he'd be in office about 15 minutes.

"If President Bush were to try it now, even I would feel he should be impeached. You can't get away with that sort of thing in a democracy."

What I think this reflects actually is the division between the Bush 41 brigade and the guys who apparently (according, if memory serves, to CIA analyst Ray McGovern) used to be called "the crazies" and are now known as "the neocons". Bush 41 was, whatever else he was, at least smarter than his son. Before the invasion in 2003, he had a piece about why it would have been a bad idea to go all the way to Baghdad at the end of Gulf War I re-published. There was clearly some friction between the somewhat more cautious old guard and the new (crazy) order... and the old guard have certainly been proved right in terms of what has happened in Iraq.

So... he was Bush 41's Secretary of State, having worked himself up through the no.2 and no.3 positions in the State Department, he was Ambassador to Yugoslavia for a while, yadda yadda... not terribly interesting to conspiracy buffs. However, there's an interview with him on the Council on Foreign Relations site, which has some statements that perhaps bear a closer look.

There is no question but that this administration is much less interested in multilateralism than its predecessors were. This relates in particular to traditional ties between the United States and its Western European partners. It is not that Washington today wants to throw out those relationships. It is just far less concerned about the significance of those ties. There is much more of a tendency in Washington toward unilateralism, and I tend to agree with that approach. Whether we like it or not, now that we are the world’s only superpower, we have to expect what in fact happened as a consequence of Iraq. We were condemned by a good many of our traditional allies. The condemnation was the result more of a concern on their part that we were going off on our own, and that we were demonstrating an unfettered use of our strength, than on any objective judgment about the Iraq policy.

The French and the Germans took the lead in this in part because of jealousy, and in part because of legitimate concerns that they cannot influence American policies much in this new era. Some of this is obviously because, purely and simply, we are the only superpower now; whatever we do will result in a tendency to object.

Yeah. All the small kids are really jealous of the school bully - they all secretly want to be just like him. Sorry Lawrence, but your accusations of pettiness might play at home, but in the wider world what gets people's goat is not merely the US' propensity to throw its weight around like a mindless jock "just because it can", it's the damage that it does. Take Iraq as an example. Pretty much everyone this side of the Atlantic (with the dishonourable exceptions of Blair and Aznar) could see what a terrible idea the Iraq war was going to be. Why? Because we were much more clear-eyed about the shape the war was going to take. We knew that, far from being an attempt to bring democracy to the middle east (pull the other one, pal, it's got bells on), it would herald the neoliberal asset-stripping of Iraq, which would really make it impossible to win the hearts and minds of the locals. Result: a disaster unpredictable only in the sheer crassness of the policies that brought it about.

China still has a lot of nukes, you know. So does Russia. Despite the terrible things going on in Tibet and Chechnya, neither country generates the animus that the US creates so effortlessly. Neither of them are going halfway round the world to a tiny country, already weakened by sanctions, and taking its natural resources, and privatising its businesses.

But his whole line on Iraq boils down to "you're just jealous":

Did the administration rush into the Iraq war without preparing the diplomatic groundwork well enough and by skewing intelligence about Iraq’s unconventional weapons?

I don’t think there was anything we could have done that would have convinced the chief NATO allies that this was a legitimate effort. That relates, of course, to their concerns about how we were using our strength. This is not to say we did a particularly good job with the allies in trying to convince them.

I am stunned that this is regarded as rational dialogue, frankly. Of course you couldn't convince your chief NATO allies that it was a legitimate effort. It wasn't. Everyone else (except, as I say, Blair and Asnar, who were clearly under some sort of mind-control MKULTRA programme and will probably, in their dotage, be used as assassins by the CIA) could see what was coming.

To be fair, this interview is from 2003. Before the Iraq war, Eagleburger expressed reservations about its necessity. He, however, now far less temperate and more keen on action in Iran. You'd think he'd learn.

Now... how does he do on our tests?

Well... he's certainly connected to the Poppy Old Guard... and he's a member (now this is intriguing) of the Bretton Woods Committee. Now, Bretton Woods, for those who don't know, was a turning point in US financial history: it was the point at which the US abandoned the gold standard and turned the dollar into a "fiat currency" - "it's worth a dollar because we say so, so there!" And when we look at the membership list, whom do we see?

Henry Kissinger, George H. W. Bush, Lee Hamilton, James Baker, Madeleine Allbright, ... and a few other interesting names. Check it out.

Funny how certain names crop up over and over, isn't it? Bretton Woods is one of those names that few people know about, but does seem to be quite important... and is definitely bandied about by "conspiracy nutjobs" like half the people who post in this forum. Their mission statement:

The Bretton Woods Committee is a bipartisan group of distinguished citizens dedicated to increasing understanding of the vital role the international financial institutions play in promoting growth and stability for the U.S. and global economy. We believe that the United States must work to maintain its leadership position and cooperate closely with other governments through the "Bretton Woods Institutions" -- the World Bank, the regional development banks, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.

The Globalization Agenda starts here.

posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 11:55 AM
I'm really starting to warm to Alan K. Simpson.

Even though he's a Republican and a lawyer (not usually a good combination).

For example, I came across this page of quotes.

They reveal him as someone who does think for himself and actually has a proper understanding of the word "liberal" in its original and various meanings, rather than in the distorted coin that is the current American usage:

Any education that matters is liberal. All the saving truths, all the healing graces that distinguish a good education from a bad one or a full education from a half empty one are contained in that word.

The word liberal distinguishes whatever nourishes the mind and spirit from the training which is merely practical or professional or from the trivialities which are no training at all.

And I particularly like this one. There are quite a few people who post on ATS that it describes to a tee:

Here we can brag and bluster and blather and almost like a comic book character you could invent, Captain Bombast, pull the cape around the shoulders and shout the magic words, "Get him." And rise above it all in a blast of hot air.

This interview with him is quite fun. He comes across as being rather honest and likable. And again, there's a love of language and humour that I find very endearing:

those who travel the high road of humility in Washington are not bothered by heavy traffic.

This is the only guy so far who has several pages of quotes (usually the same ones, it's true, but they're pretty good) and a section of quotes in his Wiki entry, too.

And a conspicuous lack of dirt. There are some run-ins with the press, and he has opinions I disagree with. So what? This guy is good value. I particularly like this incident, reported in this review of his book:

There was the time, for instance, when he lashed the press corps for invading Gary Hart's privacy in the matter of his dalliance with Donna Rice, and for forgetting that everyone has his flaws -- even, presumably, Jesus Christ: "Where was he from the age of twelve .. . until the scribes picked him up again when he was about thirty? Likely . . . doing all the things we ever did." The comment created such a public furor that Simpson was forced to issue a clarification: "No possible extension of my remarks could be seen to equate Jesus to Gary Hart."

The interview cited earlier also reveals someone who understands the law and takes pride and pleasure in drafting legislation in plain English and for a good purpose. From my limited research he also seems to have been involved in issues (for example, immigration) which don't offer much in the way of kick-backs. He's not in the pocket of the oil companies, for example. Mr. Deeds goes to Washington?

posted on Dec, 8 2006 @ 01:54 AM
Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Still, you live and learn, right?

I should have realised that the Wiki entries wouldn't have the most interesting stuff in.

So I've just found this article, which deals with some of the ISG's recommendations. Hey, guess what? They want to privatise Iraq's oil industry! Not exactly a surprise. But there are some interesting business connections revealed in the article.

For instance, I didn't know that Eagleburger was a director of Halliburton at one point. That's interesting. He also used to work for Kissinger Associates. Amazing, huh?

In 1984, Baker became treasury secretary, Reagan opened full diplomatic relations with Iraq, and Eagleburger became president of Henry Kissinger's corporate consultancy firm, Kissinger Associates.

Kissinger Associates participated in the U.S.-Iraq Business Forum through managing director Alan Stoga. The Forum was a trade association representing some 60 American companies, including Bechtel, Lockheed, Texaco, Exxon, Mobil, and Hunt Oil. The Iraqi ambassador to the United States told a Washington, D.C., audience in 1985, "Our people in Baghdad will give priority -- when there is a competition between two companies -- to the one that is a member of the Forum." Stoga appeared regularly at Forum events and traveled to Iraq on a Forum-sponsored trip in 1989 during which he met directly with Hussein. Many Kissinger clients were also members of the Forum and became recipients of contracts with Hussein.

So the ISG basically wants to help the multinationals get into Iraq's oil fields, even if it means keeping troops there...

This past July, U.S. Energy Secretary Bodman announced in Baghdad that senior U.S. oil company executives would not enter Iraq without passage of the new law. Petroleum Economist magazine later reported that U.S. oil companies put passage of the oil law before security concerns as the deciding factor over their entry into Iraq. Put simply, the oil companies are trying to get what they were denied before the war or at anytime in modern Iraqi history: access to Iraq's oil under the ground. They are also trying to get the best deal possible out of a war-ravaged and occupied nation. However, waiting for the law's passage and the need to guarantee security of U.S. firms once they get to work, may well be a key factor driving the one proposal by the Iraq Study Group that has received great media attention: extending the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq at least until 2008.

posted on Dec, 8 2006 @ 06:12 AM
You know the average American does not put all the info together like you have, they depend on the media to get the info for them and present it to them, they don't seem to be aware that the media they call the free press is owned by large corporations and that they no longer have a free press.

When you look at the democrats finally winning the majority in the both the house and the senate and then you see how Bush's own people come back with the so called devastating report one can't help but wonder, was this all part of the plan too? You notice you no longer hear the term, "cut and run", the American people are so manipulated. The media spits out what they are told to.

I don't know when it happened but there has been one group running this country for a long time, the democrat/republican parties and elections are just a ruse to keep the people fooled into believing they have a say so they will keep paying their taxes.

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