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    22 May 2004
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    Old news finally makes it to cable.

    I have maintained that Ahmad Chalabi was the wrong man for Iraq. He left Iraq as a pre-teen and he is wanted in Jordan for embezzlement or something like that.

    In Febuary 2004 there was this article:


    and then this from Newsweek in early May:


    Dr. Cole summs it up best from his Blog "informed Comment" on May 3rd:

    MONDAY, MAY 03, 2004
    Chalabi Gave Sensitive Information to Iran: Newsweek

    Mark Hosenball of Newsweek reports that US intelligence has intercepted telephone calls among high-ranking Iranian officials that prove that Ahmad Chalabi has provided Tehran with sensitive information about US political plans in Iraq.

    ' top Bush administration officials have been briefed on intelligence indicating that Chalabi and some of his top aides have supplied Iran with "sensitive" information on the American occupation in Iraq. U.S. officials say that electronic intercepts of discussions between Iranian leaders indicate that Chalabi and his entourage told Iranian contacts about American political plans in Iraq. There are also indications that Chalabi has provided details of U.S. security operations. According to one U.S. government source, some of the information Chalabi turned over to Iran could "get people killed." (A Chalabi aide calls the allegations "absolutely false.") '

    Some comments here. First, Chalabi's close links to Tehran have been known for a long time (the Stratfor article is suggestive but I wouldn't take everything in it at face value).. In fall of 2002 when he had a brief falling out with the Americans, Chalabi convened a conference of expatriate Iraqi politicians in Tehran, just to demonstrate that he could switch patrons if necessary.

    It seems to me more likely that the US has tapped Chalabi's phone calls to Tehran than that they are effectively listening in on calls between Khamenei and Rafsanjani in Tehran, but it is impolitic to admit this.

    The leak of the Chalabi/Tehran link so breathlessly at this juncture seems intended to checkmate his Neoconservative patrons in the Department of Defense and in Dick Cheney's office (indeed, Cheney himself). The CIA and State have long held that Chalabi is unreliable and that he was unable to account for the money they gave him in the 1990s. If they got damning evidence on tape that he was passing sensitive information to the Iranians, they would certainly use it this way against him.

    A question for the investigators: Did any of the sensitive information Chalabi have come from his Neconservative backers in Washington?


    20 May 2004
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    from moveon.org...


    Last April, President Bush visited a Timken Company manufacturing plant in Ohio to press for passage of new tax cuts that he said would spur the economy. During the speech Bush said that "the future of this company is bright and therefore, the future of employment is bright for the families that work here" (1). Less than a year after the tax cuts for the wealthy passed, that same factory is shutting down -- putting about 1,300 people out
    of work (2) and inflicting a "devastating" blow to the Canton community (3). With the White House pushing even more tax cuts for the wealthy (4) and supporting outsourcing of American jobs (5), Ohio has lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs since President Bush took office (6).

    Of course, one person who will not be feeling the pain of the President's economic policies is W.R. "Tim" Timken - a top Bush fundraiser and the man who decided to shut down the factory. Having earned more than $2.6 million last year, Timken stands to receive $59,000 in new tax breaks from President Bush this year (7) - Timken also happens to have raised $600,000 for the President in one night (8). By contrast, 89% of Ohio residents will receive less than $100 by 2006 from the latest Bush tax cuts (9).

    1. President Discusses Plan for Economic Growth in Ohio, 04/24/2003,
    2. "Timken to close Ohio factory", Pittsburgh Business Times,
    3. "Timken Layoffs Potentially Devastating For Canton", NewsNet5.com,
    05/16/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1296882&l=36060.
    4. "Bush seeks to make tax cuts permanent", Washington Times,
    5. "Bush Econ Advisor: Outsourcing OK", CBS News, 02/13/2004,
    7. Citizens for Tax Justice, Fall 2003,
    8. Campaign Money Watch,
    9. Citizens for Tax Justice Brief,

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    I love weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed. . .

    Use Of Cannabis Not Causally Linked To Problematic Behavior In Adolescents, Study Says

    Birmingham, United Kingdom: No strong evidence exists indicating that the use of cannabis in itself has negative consequences on the psychological or social health of adolescents, according to a systemic review of general population longitudinal studies published this week in the journal The Lancet . . .

    For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. Abstracts of the study are available online at:


    19 May 2004
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    by juan cole:

    All Bush wants to Do Is Dance

    They're pickin' up the prisoners and puttin'
    'em in the pen
    And all Bush wants to do is dance, dance
    Rebels been rebels since I don't know when
    And all Bush wants to do is dance
    Molotov cocktail-the local drink
    And all Bush wants to do is dance, dance, dance
    They mix 'em up right in the kitchen sink
    And all Bush wants to do is dance
    Crazy people walkin' round
    with blood in their eyes
    And all Bush wants to do is dance, dance
    Wild-eyed pistol wavers
    who ain't afraid to die
    And all Bush wants to do is-
    And all Bush wants to do is dance
    and make romance
    Bush can't feel the heat comin' off the street
    Bush wants to party (oooo)
    Bush wants to get down (oooo)
    And all Bush wants to do is-
    And all Bush wants to do is dance

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    the religious-right is crazy,
    they got time w/ this administration to be sure that Israel would be in good order to accept jesus when he returns. What the F!!


    Italy is on its way out of Iraq, 3000 strong and 3rd behind US and UK:


    F bush and the right

    18 May 2004
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    Why own up when you can blame others?
    Tuesday, May 18, 2004

    By Reg Henry

    For those of strong moral character, a sense of personal responsibility has always been indispensable. In the best sense, this is a fundamentally conservative virtue. It insists that honorable people stand up and accept the consequences of their actions.

    Unfortunately, personal responsibility -- taken together with accountability -- is a stern and unforgiving master, which is why I have always tried to avoid this in my own life. When faced with accusations of incompetency and sloth, I have found the phrase "What, me?" especially useful.

    It would be nice to say that I feel guilty that the buck never stops with me, but that would be an admission of wrongdoing -- and that wouldn't do at all. In my view, it is always someone else's fault. Indeed, it is really shocking to me how other people never accept responsibility when I have screwed up.

    Nevertheless, on behalf of that tiny part of me that feels theoretically guilty for being blissfully unaccountable, today I applaud President Bush's support for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

    With the recent reports of abuse of Iraqi prisoners, and the war generally going to hell in a handbasket, the blame merchants have been calling on Mr. Rumsfeld to resign just because he is in charge. How ridiculous! Why, the idea is almost un-American.

    As Mr. Bush said on a visit to the Pentagon the other day, the defense chief is "doing a superb job."

    Obviously, that is true. I say so not just because I am doing a superb job myself in the face of grumbling by certain readers. It is not just because if (heaven forbid) Mr. Rumsfeld were fired, the president would have one fewer person to tell him what to do. And it certainly isn't just because there is no buck to stop anyway, since the last one was given to rich campaign contributors.

    No, I think the president's praise for his defense chief is liberating to those good people like myself who find personal responsibility and accountability a huge bore. After all, President Bush is a conservative fellow, and if he indicates that individual character doesn't require such stern traits in today's happy-go-lucky world, well, he is undoubtedly right.

    Let us not forget the others in the administration who are doing a superb job. That George Tenet over at the CIA is one. There is only one word to describe the intelligence both pre-9/11 and pre-the war in Iraq. Superb.

    Well, a few things may have been missed, but that sort of thing happens, and it doesn't diminish one bit the superbness of the work done.

    Because the president is an important role model, we in the media should follow his lead. I am suggesting newspapers abandon their corrections/clarifications sections -- which, after all, are an admission of mistakes and hurtful to the self-esteem of the sensitive reporters and editors. Instead, there could be a Superb Corner, which would still list errors, but in a way that would show that various little slips were someone else's fault.

    In the political arena, who can be blamed for all that has gone wrong if not the current administration? Thanks to my conservative readers, I know the answer to that one: Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    I never cared for them, but I did not realize how much mischief those two rascals had gotten up to. They are responsible for everything that has gone wrong with America, from international disasters to the obesity crisis, from the deficit to the incidence of flat feet. When in doubt, blame them -- that is what I have learned from my conservative friends.

    It is a good plan because if those who are actually responsible for things started 'fessing up, the enemies of freedom would only be emboldened. As it is, there's no way our leaders can be superb if they are restricted by absurdly old-fashioned notions of accountability.


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    From Dr. Juan Cole,

    Powell Admission Begs Question

    By now most persons with a television and an interest in US affairs will have seen the bizarre scene in which Deputy Press Secretary Emily Miller, an aide to Colin Powell, attempted to pull him off camera and stop him from answering a question put by Tim Russert of Meet the Press. What is bizarre is that she actually tried to lie to Powell and convince him that Russert had finished the interview. If I were Powell, I'd try to find out for whom she is really working. When Powell told her to get out of the way and came back on camera, he made a startling admission.

    MR. RUSSERT: Thank you very much, sir.

    In February of 2003, you put your enormous personal reputation on the line before the United Nations and said that you had solid sources for the case against Saddam Hussein. It now appears that an agent called "Curve Ball" had misled the CIA by suggesting that Saddam had trucks and trains that were delivering biological chemical weapons.

    How concerned are you that some of the information you shared with the world is now inaccurate and discredited?

    SECRETARY POWELL: I'm very concerned. When I made that presentation in February 2003, it was based on the best information that the Central Intelligence Agency made available to me. We studied it carefully. We looked at the sourcing and the case of the mobile trucks and trains. There was multiple sourcing for that. Unfortunately, that multiple sourcing over time has turned out to be not accurate, and so I'm deeply disappointed.

    But I'm also comfortable that at the time that I made the presentation it reflected the collective judgment, the sound judgment, of the intelligence community, but it turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading. And for that I'm disappointed, and I regret it.

    Powell for the first time has gone beyond admitting that the intel on Iraq WMD was inaccurate to calling some of it deliberately misleading. If it was deliberately misleading, however, that implies that someone deliberately misled. That is, there are human actors with intentions. If a government official deliberately misled Powell on this matter, that is clearly a crime that should be prosecuted.

    So, will the other shoe now drop? Is Powell laying the groundwork for an impeachment of Douglas Feith or Paul Wolfowitz?

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    Hello All,

    George Soros and Warren Buffet are sounding the same note concerning the "War on Ill Will". These guys are among the richest (Buffet is 2nd) in the world because of their ability to foresee future trends and the big picture. Take a look at what Soros is saying.


    Also, we need to look no further than Israel to see how Wars on Terror turn out. Wars on things other than countries don't seem to turn out well. Anyone remember the War on Drugs? The war on drugs was totally ineffectual because the root of the problem was not attacked. The cause of the demand for drugs needed to be 'fought', not foreign producers. In this case, the cause of the hatred of America needs to be 'fought' and less emphasis should be put on killing terrorists. Killing terrorists makes more terrorists (See Israel). Does anyone think that terrorism would stop if Osama Bin Laden and all terrorist leaders were killed? (Israel two weeks ago killed THE Hamas leader AND HIS REPLACEMENT but oddly terrorism continued and some Israelis were dismembered by Hamas) How are we not smart enough to look at this ongoing case study? Why don't we look at what worked in Northern Ireland???

    I think we can be smarter (But I'm just an arrogant liberal)


    17 May 2004
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    Last April 2003 a rich man said:

    “The President is here today because he understands manufacturing is the engine of growth and creator for our American economy. While I was National Association of Manufacturing chairman, he spoke passionately to me about providing every American with an opportunity for a good job. He understands what it means for families when slow growth limits employment possibilities. The NAM and I endorse the President's plan for jobs and economic growth. We believe the package should be passed by the Congress quickly. This is the best way to put people to work and drive our economy. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States, George W. Bush.”

    - W.R. "Tim" Timken, Jr.


    The Timken Corporation announced recently that it, the larges employer in Canton, Ohio, will slash ¼ of there work force.


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    Major blow to the occuping forces in Iraq. Abdel-Zahraa Othman, also known as Izzadine Saleem, was murdered in a suicide attack in Baghdad.



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