Updated: 5/16/2006; 2:59:20 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses

daily link  Thursday, October 28, 2004

Where do they find these guys? "Eight months before the White House appointed him the Homeland Security Department’s top intelligence official, retired U.S. Army Gen. Patrick M. Hughes told a public forum at Harvard last year that the government would have to “abridge individual rights” and take domestic security measures “not in accordance with our values and traditions” to prevent terrorist attacks in the United States.  “What I’m about to say is very arrogant — arrogant to a fault,” said Hughes, a former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in previously unreported remarks at a March 2003 Harvard University forum on “Future Conditions: The Character and Conduct of War, 2010 and 2020.”

“Set aside what the mass of people think. Some things are so bad for them that you cannot allow them to have them. One of them is war in the context of terrorism in the United States,” Hughes said, according to a transcript obtained by CQ Homeland Security. “Therefore, we have to abridge individual rights, change the societal conditions, and act in ways that heretofore were not in accordance with our values and traditions, like giving a police officer or security official the right to search you without a judicial finding of probable cause,” said Hughes.

“Things are changing, and this change is happening because things can be brought to us that we cannot afford to absorb. We can’t deal with them, so we’re going to reach out and do something ahead of time to preclude them.  “Is that going to change your lives?” Hughes asked rhetorically. “It already has.”"

  10:59:46 PM  permalink  

Krugman in The Texas Observer: "So, my column to Kerry, my open letter to him if he wins, will be: Do not be magnanimous. You need to expose and dismantle this machine. .. The biggest thing would be to end the reign of terror in the agencies, so that the CIA and the Treasury Department—the civil servants—can talk about what actually happened. It’s obvious that there was intense pressure placed upon the agencies to come up with the conclusion that [the Administration] wanted. But very few people are willing to say that, because these guys play rough. There’s a lot of funny stuff involving the Justice Department, where officials who’ve criticized Ashcroft’s handling of stuff—which is disastrous, right? Not a single successful terror prosecution [but] a lot of grandstanding—have found themselves subject to internal investigations. If we can get to a point where these people can speak freely, it will matter a lot. Homeland Security: I want people to be able to talk freely about the timing of terror alerts. You can draw a chart and it’s obvious that terror alerts increase when Bush is down in the polls and vanish when he’s up in the polls. But we need someone to go on the record and say that they’ve been used as a political tool."  10:18:12 PM  permalink  

Eyewitness to a failure in Iraq: A short piece worth reading for details of how Wolfowitz & Co. ignored explicit information.  "In 2003 I went to tell Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz what I had seen in Baghdad in the days following Saddam Hussein's overthrow. For nearly an hour, I described the catastrophic aftermath of the invasion .. As I pointed out to Wolfowitz, as long as [the weapon] sites remained unprotected, their deadly materials could end up not with ill-educated slum dwellers but with those who knew exactly what they were doing. .. [Today,] this equipment could be anywhere. But one good bet is Iran, which has had allies and agents in Iraq since shortly after the US-led forces arrived. ..

I supported President Bush's decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein. At Wolfowitz's request, I helped advance the case for war, drawing on my work in previous years in documenting Saddam's atrocities, including the use of chemical weapons on the Kurds. In spite of the chaos that followed the war, I am sure that Iraq is better off without Saddam Hussein.

It is my own country that is worse off -- 1,100 dead soldiers, billions added to the deficit, and the enmity of much of the world. Someone out there has nuclear bomb-making equipment, and they may not be well disposed toward the United States. Much of this could have been avoided with a competent postwar strategy. But without having planned or provided enough troops, we would be a lot safer if we hadn't gone to war."

  9:14:04 AM  permalink  

Embedding blow back: "Minneapolis/St. Paul ABC affiliate KSTP has put the video and pictures of the explosives cache their embeds saw on April 18, 2003, online. Click on "video" at the top for the news report. It's really devastating. You can see the American military cutting open the doors to explosives-containing facilities with bolt cutters, and then just leaving the doors open when they leave. There's even a shot of a couple of military guys jokingly posing with a big, dusty metal object, saying, "What do you think America? Is this a big bomb, or what?""  Interesting effects of a video, with GPS coordinates placing the date and time it was taken.  Update: the video appears to show a bunker sealed by the IAEA, closing the argument about whether IAEA material was still on-site.  8:26:46 AM  permalink  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 2:59:20 PM.