American Entropy is dedicated to the disruption and discrediting of neoconservative actions and the extreme ideals of the religious right.
Chip falsely claims that Clinton didn’t have or leave a plan for UBL
In a recent post, Chip asserts that “no such plan existed” to capture or kill bin Laden in the Clinton administration. In reality Clinton not only reacted to terror alerts in an expedient way, he also left a plan for the incoming Bush Administration. Despite the lack of 'W' keys, this plan was fairly conclusive.
But first the effort.
In 1998 Clinton received a Presidential Daily Brief entitled "Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks." His response according to the 9/11 Commision:
The same day, [Counterterrorism Czar Richard] Clarke convened a meeting of his CSG [Counterterrorism Security Group] to discuss both the hijacking concern and the antiaircraft missile threat. To address the hijacking warning, the group agreed that New York airports should go to maximum security starting that weekend. They agreed to boost security at other East coast airports. The CIA agreed to distribute versions of the report to the FBI and FAA to pass to the New York Police Department and the airlines. The FAA issued a security directive on December 8, with specific requirements for more intensive air carrier screening of passengers and more oversight of the screening process, at all three New York area airports. [pg. 128-30]
In 2001 when Bush got his famous Presidential Daily Brief entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S." Bush's response, according to the 9/11 commision was:
[President Bush] did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so.[p. 260]
We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States. DCI Tenet visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas, on August 17 and participated in the PDB briefings of the President between August 31 (after the President had returned to Washington) and September 10. But Tenet does not recall any discussions with the President of the domestic threat during this period. [p. 262]
Now as the Clinton Administration drew to a close, the 9/11 Commision reported that:
...Clarke and his staff developed a policy paper of their own [which] incorporated the CIA’s new ideas from the Blue Sky memo, and posed several near-term policy options. Clarke and his staff proposed a goal to "roll back" al Qaeda over a period of three to five years ...[including] covert aid to the Northern Alliance, covert aid to Uzbekistan, and renewed Predator flights in March 2001. A sentence called for military action to destroy al Qaeda command and control targets and infrastructure and Taliban military and command assets. The paper also expressed concern about the presence of al Qaeda operatives in the United States. [p. 197]
Nothing was done when the ball was in Bush’s court until after 11 September 2001.
Furthermore, we learn from Bob Woodward’s latest book that an effort to alert Dr. Rice of possible al Qaeda activity was made in July 2001 by George Tenet and his counterterrorism coordinator but they were "brushed off." Having read the 9/11 Commission Report, and currently possessing a copy of it, I can conclude that this alleged meeting was not in the report. Jamie S. Gorelick, a member of the Commission, was quoted today as saying "We didn't know about the meeting itself ... I can assure you it would have been in our report if we had known to ask about it." So if three people knew and all three forgot to mention it to the Commission, then that would indicate the possibility of a cover-up, no? Maybe Chip would like to discuss this in his next post?
Posted by Geoff
All comments will be moderated from now on. You are encouraged to comment, but they will have to be vetted before hand. You know the rap; the actions of one ruined it for all...
So from now on, comments should be civil. The problem arises when people disagree. That is fine but don’t disagree by submitting a rant on tangential or peripheral topics, ad hominem attacks, or assertions based on assumption. State the problem and, if you want, try to debunk it. But keep your head and I'll try to as well for I am no innocent party in this.
An example of what I'm not looking for would be if a commenter thought I had misrepresented a quote. The commenter then replies with conjecture and ad hominem attacks:
Did you just hear something on TV, think you heard it right, and then rush to blog about it. Because I KNOW you didn't read about it. If you'd read about it, like I did, you'd have seen that he wasn't talking about intelligence agencies, he was talking about idiots like you who love to mischaracterize, obfuscate, and, well, lie...
This instance contained ad hominem attacks, assumptions, and lack of critical thinking before commenting. This comment and subsequent responses were deconstructive, and that's not what I'm aiming for here.
I like to blog, but I'm also a double major in Physics and Political Science and am in my senior year. I don’t have time to endlessly reply to the pointless ramblings from the people who hate people like me and are unwilling to accept freedom of opinion.
A more appropriate response would have been to point out where I was believed to misrepresented the speaker and civilly provide a reasonable explanation of your case. In this case I was taking a bush quote, an attack on democrats and critics, and applying it to his own intelligence agencies. The disagreement was warranted had it been civil, I would have happily explained the concept of a hypothetical superposition and the basics of ‘if’ and ‘then’ logic, but I implore readers to think a little bit before they get all uppity. In this case calling me an idiot and a liar is deconstructive and, therefore, will be ignored.
I'll end this with one of my favorite quotes by John Stuart Mill in "On Liberty" which is relevant to this subject:
The necessity to the mental well-being of mankind (on which all their other well-beings depends) of freedom of opinion, and freedom of the expression of opinion, [rests] on four distinct grounds. . . .
First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.
Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may, and very often does, contain a portion of truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied.
Third, even if the received opinion be not only true, but the whole truth; unless it is suffered to be, and actually is, vigorously and earnestly contested, it will, by most of those who receive it, be held in the manner of a prejudice, with little comprehension or feeling of its rational grounds. And not only this, but, fourthly, the meaning of the doctrine itself will be in danger of being lost or enfeebled, and deprived of its vital effect of the character and conduct -- the dogma becoming a mere formal profession, inefficacious for good, but cumbering the ground and preventing the growth of any real and heartfelt conviction from reason or personal experience. . . .
If you want to get to the truth, then keep it civil and lose the great man syndrome. It pains me to limit the few comments I get here, but this was my only alternative given my current situation.
I've removed those annoying fill in the blank tests that determine if you are a human, since I'll be reviewing each comment it is no longer necessary. I'll deem the anonymous comments worthy based on substance. Since it is easy to deceive when behind a cloak, I'll stop any comments that are critical of any target. If you are here to criticizre within the above rules, you should be able to put your name on it. Here is a recent example:
###### represents the side of the Republican party (or any party, for that matter) that is truly offensive - and keeps those of us interested in hearing both sides from doing so. ###### - you're a disgrace to the party that you say you represent.
I'm serious folks, this is borderline, and with no name it will not pass. In case your wondering it was the last sentence that did it, that and being unsigned.
Posted by Geoff
From someone close to the White House
"It's hard to overstate how frantically the White House has swung into damage control in response to the NIE on terrorism. It's the biggest deal here this week - not the escalation in Bush's rhetoric on terrorism, not Abramoff, not Bob Woodward's new book, not the housing picture. Bush has not discussed Iraq without trying to spin the NIE. For quite some time, we'd heard Bush use his speeches to challenge the idea that attacking Iraq had stirred up a "hornet's nest." And he'd been offering up variations on "some say Iraq made terrorism worse, I disagree." Now we know who "some" were: The US intelligence community." [Link]
Ha! Imagine when he has to release the full NIE. Or when he has to release the NIE that is actually on Iraq.
The incompetence of this administration and the sheer unmitigated ignorance of his supporters has really wrecked our chances in winning in Iraq thus making the global war on terror that much harder.
Pat yourselves on your backs, you bunch of assholes!
Posted by Geoff
Did Bush slams intel agencies for buying into propaganda?
[UPDATE] Title changed for Chip.
He says, those who argue that our wars cause people to attack us -- as the most recent NIE on global terrorism concludes -- is the result of some grand scheme of UBL's; devised in a cave in Afghanistan, in between dialysis sessions and prayer.
What we are seeing here are the death-pangs of a presidency, a foreign policy, and an ideology. All coming from the mouth of a fool.
Posted by Geoff
Conservative bamboozlement and the NIE on global terrorism
As I touched on below, conservatives are bustling about trying to downplay the significance of the April National Intelligence Estimate on Global Terrorism that paints Iraq as a main culprit in the rise of global Jihadism and in a bigger sense highlights the failures of their foreign policy. The first way they are doing this is by having Mr. Bush release a vetted version of the document; a documented less than one-tenth the length of the real document. This selected version (.pdf) is a series of statements, one saying the obvious, "We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives" followed by talking points like "perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere." There's one.
Additionally, conservatives are taking this bad news and using it to smear free speech. Michelle Malkin fingered Paul Pillar as a possible of the info in the NIE, and then droned on and on about him, with no real point being made only that he might be a leaker and that he has views that don't agree with her warped view of how things should be. The reporter that broke the story, Mark Mazzetti of the NYT, has been saying (I heard on the To the Point podcast, 27 September 2006) that he wrote the story based on the leaks of "more than a dozen" officials who had a hand preparing the Estimate or had seen a copy of it. Some conservatives try to paint this leak of intelligence as somehow threatening our security, which is not the case.
Furthermore, the argument has been made that this proves why we must stay in Iraq, and while I agree, they say nothing about the current trajectory we are on and the need to change the course. This sobering reality is lost on the true believers and the naive, but Bruce Hoffman, professor of security studies at Georgetown, gets it. He says, "I guess the overall conclusion that you get from it is that we don't have enough bullets given all the enemies we are creating."
Finally, one last thrust of conservative confusion mongering is to say that we need to win the war in Iraq or else the terrorists would be further motivated. Well our goal in Iraq is a stable democracy, not ridding it of terrorists, which is nearly impossible in this region. The motivator behind this spike of extremism we've created was the invasion and the conduct of the ongoing occupation; not so much the idea of us losing (though that would be acceptible from their point of view). Bush said somewhere recently that if we had never went into Iraq the terrorist would still have found motivations elsewhere for recruitment. If we win the war, meaning establishing a functioning democracy, the terrorists will have yet another rallying cry for Jihad, as another Western regime surfaces in their midst. So this is all just noise from desperate politicians that have failed.
We're dammed if we stay the course, we're damned if we leave. The only logical suggestion is a change of course.
Posted by Geoff
British MoD: Iraq is a "recruiting sergeant" of Jihadist
A report presented to a British MoD thinktank concludes that the West is "in a fix," that the British went in the Afghanistan "with its eyes closed," and that "The war in Iraq ... has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world ... Iraq has served to radicalise an already disillusioned youth and al-Qaida has given them the will, intent, purpose and ideology to act."
Posted by Geoff
What is a NIE?
According to Tony Snow, the NIE is a collection of "...detailed information collected by (human intelligence) agents, technical means, and also in cooperation with foreign governments." In this context, full disclosure would "...place at risk the lives of our agents ... as well as compromising our ability to work with foreign governments or, for that matter, to employ the means that we use," and therefore can not be revealed as it would compromise our GWoT.
According to someone who has actually had a central part -- as head of the DIA negotiating team, among other positions -- in negotiating and writing "many" NIE's, they are"...not written in such a way as to make "sources and methods" vulnerable to discernment by reading the text." I''m of course referring to Col. Lang. He comes to this conclusion in a follow up post earlier today with respect to this administration and it's minions, they "...are impervious to rational persuasion, and will take any unfavorable evidence and spin it into a web of deception and half truths that serves their purposes. This does not mean that I think they are lying. No. It is worse than that. They believe their own baloney. Their baloney is based on esoteric understandings of history and the "progress " of history." We've already seen this in spades coming from the usual suspects.
Here's the bottom line, the April NIE won't see the light of day until after 7 November. Its sister report -- that focuses on Iraq only -- won't be ready till early next year as it is "slow-walked" through the agencies, to the DNI. And as always, the conservatives will continue to believe their "baloney."
Here is a little more about NIE's, if you're interested...
Posted by Geoff
Declassified NIE does not fall in line with Administration logic
The declassified summary of the April NIE on Iraq and terrorist networks (.pdf), which I've just read, indicates that the Iraq war has empowered the terrorists and made our post-9/11 world more insecure. This is not what the administration and its faithful have said. Quoting Tony Snow, "...one thing that the reports do not say is that war in Iraq has made terrorism worse."
However, key excerpts from the summary indicate otherwise. But before we look at some key portions of the April NIE summary it's important to place this in context. Before Iraq we got a summary of the NIE on Iraqi WMD capabilities and programs. We know that what was presented in the executive summary was contradicted in the full document. In short the intel was picked. Now I'm not claiming that they would do or did this again and if they did I'm sure we'll hear about it soon. This country is far less accepting of warmongers than it was in 2002. So if this is the best they can do, as far as fixing the debate in their favor, then Iraq has been a tremendous vice for us in the GWoT.
Some quotes from the document that proves Bush/Administration logic as flawed.
We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives..."
The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep
resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for
the global jihadist movement.
We assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its
vulnerabilities and are likely to do so for the duration of the timeframe of this Estimate.
This summary creates the image of Iraq being a vice in the GWoT, period. At the very least, it seeks to state how much worse it's going to be the longer we stay there, and -- even worse -- how bad it's going to be once we lose. This document is a testament to the need for a new approach and the only way that will happen is with new leadership.
I'm sure everyone will have their own opinions of this, that's what the comments are for.
Posted by Geoff