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Old 11-19-2005, 11:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
Why Have Dems & Repubs Sold Out To Chalabi & How Do We Take Back the Government?

It starts innocently enough with this conservative columnist's explanation:
Ahmed Chalabi and the Arabist Alternative
By Barbara Lerner
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 16, 2005

How can America win in Iraq? How soon can substantial numbers of our troops come home, satisfied that they are leaving behind a better Iraq — a difficult, often dangerous place still, but a freer, fairer, more hopeful one, no longer an enemy state, but one allied with us in the war against Islamofascist terror?

The answer to both questions depends, in great part, on whom the Iraqis choose as their new national leader, starting with the crucial Iraqi election, now less than a month away. If Iraqis end up with an effective prime minister who will fight hard against both terror and corruption, and work just as hard to give all Iraqis a stake in the unity of their state, and a loyal, decently equipped Iraqi security force to defend it, we could see substantial reductions in US troop requirements in 2006. If, on the other hand, Iraqis choose a weak, corrupt, and/or hopelessly sectarian and divisive prime minister, the odds on a satisfactory outcome any time soon are low. Thus, all Americans have a big stake in this Iraqi election, and if our press was doing its job, American voters would know enough about the main candidates, their past records, and their plans for Iraq's future to make a reasoned judgment about which one is most likely to advance the goals outlined above.

What Americans have gotten instead is a savage, sustained smear campaign against one candidate, Ahmed Chalabi, and a see-no-evil whitewash of another, Iyad Allawi. Dr. Chalabi is the candidate long favored by American officials in the office of the Vice-president and the Secretary of Defense, officials who believe we were right to topple Saddam Hussein and try to put someone truly different in his place. Dr. Allawi is the candidate favored by the Arab League and by American Arabists — former high officials and current members of the permanent bureaucracy at CIA and State — who were against the Iraq war from the start, convinced that the best we can realistically hope for in Iraq is another Sunni despot like the twenty we already have. The argument between these two groups is legitimate; the means the Arabists use to advance their argument — a CIA disinformation campaign against Chalabi and his American supporters — is not.

As Zell Miller pointed out in connection with the Wilson-Plame disinformation campaign that forced Lewis Libby, the Vice-president's national security advisor, from office, it is both illegal and unacceptable for CIA agents to mount disinformation campaigns at home. If our press were doing its job, these campaigns would be relentlessly exposed, not just in occasional editorials, but in regular news stories, and the actual records and plans of men like Chalabi and Allawi would be clearly and prominently displayed to the American people. Instead, with only a few honorable exceptions, both the mainstream media and far Left publications like the Nation have acted as one in echoing false charges against Dr. Chalabi, and ignoring disturbing charges about Dr. Allawi.................
Okay, so far.....if you are a conservative....you just have to ignore the reports that Ahmed Chlalabi was paid $320,000 per month to con our country into invading Iraq. He's a good guy...Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice were correct in meeting with him this past week, and the reports last year that he spied for Iran were just part of a smear campaign. <b>But, wait, what's all this ? </b>
<div id="columntext"> November 9, 2005
<P><FONT size=7><B>A</B></FONT>s blowback from the lies that duped us into war
plunges Washington into a maelstrom of <A href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/04/AR2005110401892.html">investigations</A>
<A href="http://reuters.myway.com/article/20051108/2005-11-08T233554Z_01_SIB866698_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-SECURITY-PRISONS-CONGRESS-DC.html">counter-investigations</A>,
Ahmed Chalabi adds insult to injury by making a return trip to the Imperial
City. He's staying at the ritzy-glitzy
<A href="http://www.ritzcarlton.com/hotels/georgetown/">Ritz-Carlton</A>, where he's
staked out a whole bloc of rooms at (U.S.) taxpayers' expense, and is slated
to meet with
<A href="http://thinkprogress.org/2005/11/07/cheney-to-meet-chalabi/">Dick Cheney</A>,
Condi Rice, Treasury Secretary John Snow, and the
<A href="http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/000751.html">Chalabi fan club</A> over
at the American Enterprise Institute. </P>

<P>Gee, that's funny: I could've sworn Chalabi was
<A href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/20/iraq/main618637.shtml">under
investigation</A> for turning over highly sensitive U.S. intelligence to the
Iranians, and had his Iraqi home and headquarters
<A href="http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/05/20/chalabi.raid/">raided</A> by
American and Iraqi troops last year. Not to mention the fabrications he retailed
to <I>New York Times</I> reporter Judith Miller, who reported them
<A href="http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn08182003.html">as fact</A> and
plastered them <A href="http://www.slate.com/id/2086110/">all over</A> the <A href="http://www.realdemocracy.com/abomb.htm">front</A>
<A href="http://www.realdemocracy.com/iraqidef.htm">page</A> of the "newspaper of
record." </P>

<P>A lot of people are mad about this:
<A href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-conyers/mr-chalabi-comes-to-wash_b_10319.html">John
Conyers</A>, for one, and the congressman has a whole list of people who have
questions similar to his own.
<A href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Durbin">Senator Richard Durbin</A> has
some, too, as Arianna Huffington helpfully
<A href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/dick-durbin-tees-off_b_10317.html">informs
us</A>: Durbin is outraged that Chalabi is back in town, and he wants to know
what Ms. Rice and other administration officials are doing meeting with a man
who may very well have endangered American troops in Iraq. Says Durbin:</P>
<P><I>"So don't be surprised if you watch the Chalabi motorcade speed up when
they pass the Department of Justice. I guess they're concerned whether an FBI
agent will come out and pursue this so-called active investigation."</I></P>
<P>If I were Chalabi, I wouldn't worry too much.
<A href="http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news2/chalabi-probe.html">According</A> to
the <I>Wall Street Journal</I>, the "investigation" into his
<A href="http://www.defensetech.org/archives/000925.html">two-timing shenanigans</A>
with Tehran is stalled to the point of being cryogenically frozen, with little
hope of revival – and that's because there are just too many people in both
parties who have befriended this scamster over the years.</P>

<P>If Durbin is trying to stick Chalabi on the Republicans, then perhaps he
doesn't remember his own vote
<A href="http://www.fas.org/news/iraq/1998/10/981009-in.htm">in favor</A> of the
<A href="http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/US/Legislation/ILA.htm">Iraq
Liberation Act</A>,
<A href="http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec98/cr100598.htm">passed</A> with
the <A href="http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/libera.htm">total
support</A> of the Clinton administration in 1998. Although Chalabi was somewhat
halfheartedly backed by Bush I, this act of Congress officially put Chalabi and
the INC on the U.S. dole and funneled
<A href="http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/04/27/1434258">more than
$100 million</A> into his coffers until he was
<A href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/18/politics/18CHAL.html?ex=1400299200&amp;en=9aebed392c002f06&amp;ei=5007&amp;partner=USERLAND">cut
off</A> in 2004. It was during the first years of the Clinton administration,
when the CIA was under the thumb of
<A href="http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/04/03/sprj.irq.woolsey.world.war/">über-neocon</A>

James R. Woolsey, that Chalabi's group really came into its own as a
Washington-based lobbyist. </P>
<P>The Iraqi National Congress (INC)
<A href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_National_Congress">originated</A> as a
project of <A href="http://www.rendon.com/">the Rendon Group</A> – a public
relations firm founded by
<A href="http://www.politicalfriendster.com/showPerson.php?id=1487&amp;name=John-Rendon">former</A>
Democratic National Committee executive John Rendon – which signed a contract
with the CIA to build up the Iraqi opposition. This was under George Herbert
Walker Bush, who never had any intention of toppling Saddam, but once Clinton
got into office the money – and congressional support, including from liberals
like Durbin – began to roll in, and the INC set up a formidable lobbying
organization. As Jane Mayer relates in an excellent <I>New Yorker</I>
<A href="http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content?040607fa_fact1">piece</A>:</P>

<P><I>"In 1994 and 1995, Robert Baer, the former CIA officer, met Chalabi
several times in Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, an autonomous area protected from
Saddam by the United States. Chalabi had established an outpost in Kurdistan.
'He was like the American Ambassador to Iraq,' Baer recalled. 'He could get to
the White House and the CIA. He would move around Iraq with five or six Land
<P>We didn't hear from Dick Durbin back then. It was okay with him that the U.S.
was openly proclaiming its alleged right to engage in a policy of "regime change"
in Iraq – and throughout the world, including the Balkans. (Although, to his
credit, he did try to
<A href="http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/kosovo_c.htm">limit</A> the Kosovo
war by trying to ban the introduction of ground troops.) As Baer puts it:</P>
<P><I>"Hundreds of thousands of dollars were flowing each month 'to this shadowy
operator – in cars, salaries – and it was just a Potemkin village. He was
reporting no intel; it was total trash. The INC's intelligence was so bad, we
weren't even sending it in." </I></P>
<P>Chalabi's agenda was to convince the United States that Iraq under Saddam was
"a leaking warehouse of gas, and all we had to do was light a match." And the
Democrats were eager to start the conflagration, including longtime Chalabi
<A href="http://www.salve.edu/pellcenter/functions/biography_detail.cfm?bio_ID=43">Peter
W. Galbraith</A>, former ambassador to Croatia and one of the main architects of
the "humanitarian" intervention in Kosovo that put in power the "Kosovo
Liberation Army" – <A href="http://www.antiwar.com/kla.html">a gang</A> of
scamsters, gangsters, and thugs in every way similar to the INC. Says
<P><I>"Chalabi is one of the smartest people I know. He figured out in the
eighties that the road to Baghdad ran through Washington. He cultivated whom he
needed to know. If he didn't get what he wanted from State, he went to Capitol
Hill. It's a sign of being effective. It's not his fault that his strategy
succeeded. It's not his fault that the Bush administration believed everything
he said. Should they have? Of course not. They should have looked critically.
He's not a liar; he believed the information he was purveying, and part of it
was valuable. But his goal was to get the U.S. to invade Iraq."</I></P>

<P>It wasn't just the Bush administration that helped build Chalabi's
empire-in-exile, funded it, succored it, and helped install it in Baghdad. The
Democrats continued the policy of supporting the "democratic" Iraqi opposition,
signing the Iraq Liberation Act into law on Halloween 1998 – a portent of things
to come. Upon passage of the bill, Chalabi issued a
<A href="http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1514463/posts">statement</A>,
which said in part:</P>
<P><I>"Today, October 31, 1998 is a great day for the Iraqi people. Today
President Clinton signed into law the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. The American
people have given their support for the end of dictatorship and for democracy in
Iraq. The INC welcomes this courageous and historic action by President Clinton
and thanks him for it. I will begin immediate consultations with leaders in the
INC and others to work for a united response on how best to take advantage of
the provisions of the Iraq Liberation Act. We will present a united front to
maximize the chances of success. We look to President Clinton to support and
work with a united INC to achieve our common goals."</I></P>
<P>In short: thanks for the dough, Bill – and I know there's more where that
came from.</P>
<P>The Great Pants-Dropper, for his part, was unequivocal in his support for a
change of regime in Iraq, and asked Americans to "just consider the facts":</P>
<P><I>"We have to defend our future from these predators of the 21st century.
They will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear,
chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them."</I></P>
<P>Yes, but who was going to defend America from the predator Chalabi? </P>
<P>Clinton's former CIA director,
<A href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._James_Woolsey">R. James Woolsey</A>, took
up the cause of Chalabi some years later, serving as a pro bono lawyer for INC
members – including
<A href="http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/002992.php">Aras Habib
Karim</A>, Chalabi's intelligence chief and known to be on the Iranian payroll
for years. These INC members were
<A href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec98/iraq_9-4.html">in
trouble</A> with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which was trying to
deport them as likely Iranian agents.
<A href="http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/wools.htm">According to
Woolsey</A>, however, </P>

<P><I>"Aras was known to have seriously irritated a senior CIA official who
resented Aras' and Chalabi's disinclination to follow orders. It was indeed
possible, Woolsey speculated, that Ali had simply been the victim of a private
CIA 'jihad' against his cousin and ended up spending three years in
<P>Yeah, sure: poor victimized Chalabi, who
<A href="http://www.kuna.net.kw/home/story.aspx?Language=en&amp;DSNO=784522">stopped
off in Tehran</A> before arriving in Washington. He doesn't even bother to hide
his real allegiances anymore. As Steve Clemons
<A href="http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/000010.html">reports</A>:</P>
<P><I>"Woolsey's client Ahmed Chalabi secured Woolsey's services in 1998
clearing from an INS detention center in Guam six Iraqi National Congress
associates of Chalabi that the INS (and CIA) believed to be threats to American
interests. As it turned out, the INS and CIA were right as one of the detainees,
Aras Habib Karim, became Chalabi's Chief of Intelligence and was a sieve of
sensitive and classified American information to Iran, now under investigation
by the FBI. "</I></P>
<P>The neocon-INC propaganda machine enlisted politicians in both parties in an
effort to free these "political prisoners," who were supposedly victims of CIA
"persecution," including Congressman David Bonior (D-Mich.), Senators Spencer
Abraham (R-Mich.), Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Jesse Helms
(R-N.C.), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Dennis
Kucinich (D-Ohio) gave a leftish tinge to the campaign to "free the Guam Six"
(as they were known). </P>
<P>The Chalabi-Aras-Iranian connection was <A
href="http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/002993.php">confirmed by the
Jordanians</A> last year, which, in tandem with the discovery that Chalabi had
passed highly compartmentalized secret information to the Iranians, was a
pivotal factor in turning Washington – temporarily – against its former
<A href="http://chalabigate.blogspot.com/2003/05/leo-strauss-philosophy-of-deception.html">protégé</A>.

<P>Pardon my political incorrectness, but I just can't take Senator Durbin's
outrage all that seriously. Both parties collaborated in the rise of the
scamster Chalabi and in the fateful invasion that catapulted him to
<A href="http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/1759">the top</A> of
the new Iraqi government. If the Democrats are really going to launch the
much-vaunted "
<A href="http://www.democracyarsenal.org/2005/11/the_senate_and_.html">phase
two</A>" of the SSCI investigation into how officials "misused" intelligence and
<A href="http://www.antiwar.com/justin?articleid=7931">perhaps</A> even
fabricated the rationale for war with Iraq, they are in large part promising to
investigate themselves and their own collusion with the Republicans, not only
more recently but as far back as the Clinton years. </P>
<P>That's one promise I don't expect they'll keep.</P>
<P>The Democrats are getting way up there on their high horse, righteously
demanding explanations for the
<A href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,79450,00.html">transparent lies</A>
that were somehow so convincing at the time that most of them were "
<A href="">duped</A>"
into voting for war. I don't buy it for a minute. The Iraq Liberation Act passed
the Senate
<A href="http://www.fas.org/news/iraq/1998/10/981009-in.htm">unanimously</A>. And
here's how Salon.com, the virtual playhouse of the Clintonian democracy,
<A href=";hl=en">describes</A>

the process that led to its passage:</P>
<P><I>"For Ahmed Chalabi, the neoconservatives' support was the key to getting
Washington on his side. And Chalabi's leadership, in turn, was key to the
neocons' support for the INC. Perle and Feith, along with future Bush
administration officials Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld, signed the February
1998 'open letter' to President Clinton, in which they listed nine policy steps
that were in the 'vital national interest' of the United States. The first of
these was 'Recognize a provisional government of Iraq based on the principles
and leaders of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) that is representative of all
the peoples of Iraq.' In October 1998, under intense lobbying pressure from the
neocons, Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the 'Iraqi Liberation
Act,' which provided money and U.S. legitimacy for Chalabi's INC, along with six
other exile groups. "</I></P>
<P>Oh, I see: Clinton and his party "were under intense lobbying pressure from
the neocons," were they? It's
<A href="http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j061303.html">as if</A> the neoconservatives
were akin to NARAL, the labor unions, or some other <A
Democratic</A> constituency. And we wonder how and why we went to war. </P>
<P>Both wings of the War Party – the Republicans and the Democrats – lied us
into war, and if the latter are now claiming they were "
<A href="http://www.prwatch.org/node/2596">duped</A>," well, it didn't take much,
did it? Let Congress investigate not only the machinations of the neocons but
also congressional complicity in giving this administration – and previous ones
– <A href="http://www.cs.indiana.edu/statecraft/warpow.html">a blank check</A>

when it comes to foreign policy. </P>
<P>I am willing to concede that it's possible some Democrats have learned their
lesson and won't easily support another crusade abroad – even if it's launched
by a Democratic White House. But I wouldn't bet the farm on it. Put not your
trust in politicians, lest you be sorely – grievously – disappointed. </P>
<P>By all means let the Senate Intelligence Committee launch "phase two" of its
long-promised probe of U.S.
<A href="http://www.laweekly.com/ink/04/13/news-cooper.php">intelligence-gathering</A>
during the run-up to war with Iraq. But pinning all our hopes on a congressional
investigation is unwise for several reasons, not the least of which is that
politicians can hardly be trusted with investigating… themselves. We are asking
politicians to do the work of journalists – and that just isn't going to fly.
And who is former Democratic party operator, John Rendon? Here is an excerpt from a new Rolling Stone Magazine report....
<b>The Man Who Sold the War</b>
Meet John Rendon, Bush's general in the propaganda war

..........Strapped to the polygraph machine was Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, a forty-three-year-old Iraqi who had fled his homeland in Kurdistan and was now determined to bring down Saddam Hussein. For hours, as thin mechanical styluses traced black lines on rolling graph paper, al-Haideri laid out an explosive tale. Answering yes and no to a series of questions, he insisted repeatedly that he was a civil engineer who had helped Saddam's men to secretly bury tons of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. The illegal arms, according to al-Haideri, were buried in subterranean wells, hidden in private villas, even stashed beneath the Saddam Hussein Hospital, the largest medical facility in Baghdad.

It was damning stuff -- just the kind of evidence the Bush administration was looking for. If the charges were true, they would offer the White House a compelling reason to invade Iraq and depose Saddam. That's why the Pentagon had flown a CIA polygraph expert to Pattaya: to question al-Haideri and confirm, once and for all, that Saddam was secretly stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

There was only one problem: It was all a lie. After a review of the sharp peaks and deep valleys on the polygraph chart, the intelligence officer concluded that al-Haideri had made up the entire story, apparently in the hopes of securing a visa.

The fabrication might have ended there, the tale of another political refugee trying to scheme his way to a better life. But just because the story wasn't true didn't mean it couldn't be put to good use. Al-Haideri, in fact, was the product of a clandestine operation -- part espionage, part PR campaign -- that had been set up and funded by the CIA and the Pentagon for the express purpose of selling the world a war. And the man who had long been in charge of the marketing was a secretive and mysterious creature of the Washington establishment named <b>John Rendon</b>.

<b>Rendon is a man who fills a need that few people even know exists.</b> Two months before al-Haideri took the lie-detector test, the Pentagon had secretly awarded him a $16 million contract to target Iraq and other adversaries with propaganda. One of the most powerful people in Washington, Rendon is a leader in the strategic field known as "perception management," manipulating information -- and, by extension, the news media -- to achieve the desired result. His firm, the <b>Rendon</b> Group, has made millions off government contracts since 1991, when it was hired by the CIA to help "create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power." Working under this extraordinary transfer of secret authority, Rendon assembled a group of anti-Saddam militants, personally gave them their name -- the Iraqi National Congress -- and served as their media guru and "senior adviser" as they set out to engineer an uprising against Saddam. It was as if President John F. Kennedy had outsourced the Bay of Pigs operation to the advertising and public-relations firm of J. Walter Thompson.

"They're very closemouthed about what they do," says Kevin McCauley, an editor of the industry trade publication O'Dwyer's PR Daily. "It's all cloak-and-dagger stuff."

Although <b>Rendon</b> denies any direct involvement with al-Haideri, the defector was the latest salvo in a secret media war set in motion by Rendon. In an operation directed by <b>Ahmad Chalabi</b> -- the man <b>Rendon</b> helped install as leader of the INC -- the defector had been brought to Thailand, where he huddled in a hotel room for days with the group's spokesman, Zaab Sethna. The INC routinely coached defectors on their stories, prepping them for polygraph exams, and Sethna was certainly up to the task -- he got his training in the art of propaganda on the payroll of the Rendon Group. According to Francis Brooke, the INC's man in Washington and himself a former Rendon employee, the goal of the al-Haideri operation was simple: pressure the United States to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein.

As the CIA official flew back to Washington with failed lie-detector charts in his briefcase, <b>Chalabi</b> and Sethna didn't hesitate. They picked up the phone, called two journalists who had a long history of helping the INC promote its cause and offered them an exclusive on Saddam's terrifying cache of WMDs.............
I've never heard of John Rendon. If Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com is reporting accurate information, what does the "man in the street", the other than average, informed, aware, and outrage American do in the face of this?
Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice just met with this criminal, Chalabi, last week.
The hands of elected former and current democrats are not clean, but they are making noises in protest of Chalabi's secret meetings with Bush administration officials. If these reports are true, we cannot trust elected officials of either party, or of the party organizations.

Do you think that this is accurate information? What do you propose that we do to take back our own government, stop Chalabi, and hold all politicians and politcal operators who have committed crimes against the U.S. and Iraq, accountable?

Last edited by host; 11-19-2005 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 11-19-2005, 12:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
Deja Moo
Elphaba's Avatar
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
It explains a question I have had. Why was Rockefeller so willing to allow Phase II to be delayed until after the 2004 election, and why did he show no interest in picking it up again after the election? It was Reid's closed session that kick-started that investigation again, but Roberts' has attempted another delaying strategy that would delay Phase II until after the midterm elections.

This tells me that both parties have their hands dirty in this mess, and they have no intention of an honest investigation of themselves. I believe a fully independent inquiry is required to hold everyone accountable.
"You can't ignore politics, no matter how much you'd like to." Molly Ivins - 1944-2007
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Old 11-19-2005, 01:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
Originally Posted by Elphaba
.......This tells me that both parties have their hands dirty in this mess, and they have no intention of an honest investigation of themselves. I believe a fully independent inquiry is required to hold everyone accountable.
If we convince ourselves, after fully looking into the details, that there is no way to trust or to redeem elected federal officials who hold key offices, what recourse will we have, other than to attempt to convince sufficient numbers of our countrymen to join us in a groundswell of relentless, coordinated acts of peaceful civil disobedience and non-cooperation....and if that strategy does not influence them to resign quickly enough from their offices, and in sufficient numbers to insure that we can regain control of the checks and balances designed into our system, we will be forced to review all options mentioned by our forefathers, especially options mentioned by Thomas Jefferson?
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
Here is another set of circumstance that make both major political parties look highly suspect.....

....the first quote box contains a report dated January 13, 2002 (the "2001" diplayed is an error in the article header)

The last was written a few days ago by Bob Dreyfuss, author of a new book, the "Devil's Game".

The crux of this thread is that while we engage in the distraction of partisan bickering, our country has been rendered less safe and our kids who enlisted in good faith in our military are now getting killed by the <b>thousands</b>, while our current and past presidential administrations have cozied up to business interests and allowed or intellligence agencies to run amok. Recently, the chickens have come home to roost because of our meddling in the parts pf the globe where fundamentalist Islam has it's roots. Does are government even know what it is doing? This seems to be at least a fifty year problem in our past that is undermining us now.
Zalmay Khalilzad and the Bush Agenda
by Jennifer Van Bergen

t r u t h o u t | January 13, 2001 - The appointment by the Bush Administration of Zalmay Khalilzad as special envoy to Afghanistan which was announced on December 31, 2001, only nine days after the U.S.-backed interim government of Hamid Karzai took office in Kabul, seems timely and logical. Khalilzad, a U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan with extensive knowledge of the region and experience, appears to be the right person for the job.

Khalilzad's presence, however, is the fruit of an older agenda, one that reaches back at least to the Reagan era, and Khalilzad has more connections to that agenda than meets the eye.

Simply put, Khalilzad's appointment means oil. Oil for the United States. Oil for Unocal, a U.S. company long criticized for doing business in countries with repressive governments and rumored to have close ties to the Department of State and the intelligence community.

Zalmay Khalilzad was an advisor for Unocal. In the mid 1990s, while working for the Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Khalilzad conducted risk analyses for Unocal at the time it had signed letters of approval from the Taliban. The analyses were for a proposed 890-mile, $2-billion, 1.9-billion-cubic-feet-per-day natural gas pipeline project which would have extended from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. In December 1997, Khalilzad joined Unocal officials at a reception for an invited Taliban delegation to Texas.



<b>Unocal was the "Development Manager" of the Centgas consortium. The purpose of Centgas was to build an 890-mile-long pipeline from Turkmenistan through Aghanistan to Pakistan.</b>

Centgas, or the Central Asia Gas and Pipeline Consortium, was a group formed in the mid-1990s which was made up of the government of Turkmenistan and six international companies: Delta Oil Company (Saudi Arabia), Indonesia Petroleum, ITOCHU Oil Exploration Co. (Japan), Hyandai Engineering & Construction Co. (South Korea), Crescent Group (Pakistan) and Gazprom (Russia). Unocal owned nearly half of the shares of Centgas.

As Centgas' Development Manager, Unocal opened talks with the Taliban and the Northern Alliance. To show its good will, Unocal donated money to CARE projects in Afghanistan and provided support for earthquake relief efforts. (According to the CIA World Factbook, damaging earthquakes are known to occur in the Hindu Kush mountains, which run across the center of the country.)

According to L.A. Weekly, Unocal also gave nearly a million dollars to the University of Nebraska's Center for Afghan Studies, which Unocal stated was not used to "provide pipeline constructions skills training." Unocal said the money was used to provide "basic job skills training and education" for Afghans and elementary schooling for their children. However, according to the Asia Times, the Center for Afghan Studies also at one time produced a study of oil and gas reserves in Central Asia, placing their total worth at around US$3 trillion. Thus, the Center was not only interested in helping Afghans obtain basic education and job skills.

<b>Thomas E. Gouttierre</b>, the director of the Center for Aghan Studies, <b>is an old friend of Zalmay Khalilzad</b>. In fact, Gouttierre coached Khalilzad on a high school basketball team when "Zal" first visited America as an exchange student.

<b>The Clinton administration offered backing for Unocal's Centgas project</b>, but after the U.S. bombed Aghanistan in 1998 in retaliation for the Embassy bombings, Unocal withdrew from the consortium, citing "sharply deteriorating political conditions."

Unocal stated that it would only participate in a Centgas pipeline project "when and if" Aghanistan achieved the "peace and stability necessary to obtain financing from international agencies and a government that is recognized by the United States and the United Nations." In February 1999, Unocal denied reports published in Pakistan that it was considering rejoining Centgas, and Unocal continues to state on its Homepage that it has no plans to return to the consortium. Unocal spokesman, Mike Thatcher, stated last October that "We're not going to do it, but sooner or later, someone will."..............
<b>How the U.S. Government financed millions of Islamist textbooks in cooperation with the Taliban.</b>

By John Stuart Blackton

............Let me start with a direct quotation from The <b>Devil's Game:</b>

"During the U.S.-Taliban era of cooperation from 1994 to 1998 - which ended with the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa...<b>a key UNOCAL consultant [on cutting a deal for an oil pipeline through Taliban territory] was a University of Nebraska academic named Tom Goutierre...... funding for Goutierre's work was funded through the State Department's Agency for International Development, the CIA was is sponsor.</b> It turned out that Goutierre's education program consisted of blatant Islamist propaganda including the creation of children's textbooks in which young Afghanis were taught to count by enumerating dead Russian soldiers and adding up Kalishnikov rifles"...........

..........Bob's [author Dreyfuss] evidence is unfairly called into question by some of the readers at TPM because he doesn't read Arabic. Jane's insights into Iraq are questioned because some readers (ignorantly) believe they were honed inside the Green Zone in Baghdad.

As someone who knows many of the events in Bob's book firsthand, speaks Arabic and (like Jane) regularly ventures well beyond the Green Zone, <b> I find the bulk of the book's empirical evidence to be accurate and helpful</b> in considering the questions that the author poses.....

...........I will wind up my engagement in the book club this week with a complimentary bow to Bob Dreyfuss' recounting of a little-known but telling bit of misguided interventionist policy in the world of the Islamists - a story in which I was directly involved.

Let me start with a direct quotation from The Devil's Game:

"During the U.S.-Taliban era of cooperation from 1994 to 1998 - which ended with the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa...a key UNOCAL consultant [on cutting a deal for an oil pipeline through Taliban territory] was a University of Nebraska academic named Tom Goutierre...... funding for Goutierre's work was funded through the State Department's Agency for International Development, the CIA was is sponsor. It turned out that Goutierre's education program consisted of blatant Islamist propaganda including the creation of children's textbooks in which young Afghanis were taught to count by enumerating dead Russian soldiers and adding up Kalishnikov rifles".

Bob doesn't go on to say that some 6 million of these American printed and American financed Islamist text books were vetted with our knowledge by a council of Sunni and Shia clerics who were the chosen religious representatives key warlords with whom we were allied in the fight against the Russians.

<b>Goutierre actively sought to have his Afghan team and their textbooks recycled for another generation after U.S. forces toppled the Taliban regime. Sometimes, however, we do learn from our mistakes. </b>

This time around, the US government listened to Afghan intellectual leaders who cautioned that Nebraska was known throughout the Afghan Diaspora as "Taliban U".
From Publishers Weekly Starred Review.

One of the CIA's first great moments of institutional reflection occurred in 1953, after American covert operatives helped overthrow Iran's left-leaning government and restored the Shah to power. The agency, then only six years old, had funded ayatollahs, mobilized the religious right and engineered a sophisticated propaganda campaign to successfully further its aims, and it wanted to know how it could reapply such tradecraft elsewhere, so it commissioned an internal report. Half a century later, the most prescient line from that report is one of caution, not optimism. "Possibilities of blowback against the United States should always be in the back of the minds of all CIA officers," the document warned. Since this first known use of the term "blowback," countless journalists and scholars have chronicled the greatest blowback of all: how the staggering quantities of aid that America provided to anti-Marxist Islamic extremists during the Cold War inadvertently positioned those very same extremists to become America's next great enemy. (Indeed, Iran's religious leaders were among the first to turn against the United States.) Dreyfuss's volume reaches farther and deeper into the subject than most. He convincingly situates America's attempt to build an Islamic bulwark against Soviet expansion into Britain's history of imperialism in the region. And where other authors restrict their focus to the Afghan mujahideen, <b>Dreyfuss details a history of American support—sometimes conducted with startling blindness, sometimes, tacitly through proxies—for Islamic radicals in Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Syria.</b> At times, the assistance occurred openly through the American private sector, as Dreyfuss describes in a fascinating digression on Islamic banking. But ultimately, too few government officials were paying attention to the growth and dangers of political Islam. A CIA officer summarizes Dreyfuss's case when he says, "We saw it all in a short-term perspective"—the long-term consequences are what we're facing now. (Nov.)
by Bob Dreyfuss

........Yet throughout the book you will find, here and there, citations of prescient warnings from people involved in the game that <b>by consorting with this or that force on the Islamic right we were "playing with fire."</b> Perhaps that is the job of a policymaker--to play with fire. If so, that ought to have known a lot more about the flames they were fueling. And they did not.

To me, at least, the stories recounted in Devil's Game are as tragic as they are shocking. And it is my firm belief that we are making many of the same mistakes, again..........
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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interesting material host--thanks....thinking about it....
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it make you sick.

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Old 11-19-2005, 11:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Gee, I had one of my posts deleted in this thread, with no comment and no PM to explain why by the mod who did it.

I would appreciate an explanation.
"You can't ignore politics, no matter how much you'd like to." Molly Ivins - 1944-2007
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Old 11-20-2005, 06:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
Originally Posted by roachboy
interesting material host--thanks....thinking about it....
I was surprised to see Lawence Wilkerson say the following to Wolf Blitzer, earlier today Those who rep for the right, here on TFP make comments about CNN having a leftist bias, but that is inacurrate. As can be observed in Wolf''s lack of interest in Wilkerson's comments......

Folks...even the news sources that you may think are "liberal", all have two common, top priorities....making money, and defending the status quo that they perceive is helping them to make money.....

Interview With Donald Rumsfeld; Interview With Lawrence Wilkerson

Aired November 20, 2005 - 11:00 ET

BLITZER: And I didn't mean to suggest you're a Democrat or a Republican. I don't know what you are.

Politically I know you're a retired senior military officer in the U.S. Army. You worked for Colin Powell at the State Department as his chief of staff. And you wrote this recently in the Los Angeles Times: "The decisions of this cabal were sometimes made with the full and witting support of the president and sometimes with something less. More often than not, then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was simply steamrolled by this cabal. Its insular and secret workings were efficient and swift, not unlike the decision making one would associate more with a dictatorship than a democracy."

This cabal being, in your words, "the vice president, Dick Cheney, the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, basically got what they wanted in getting the United States to war against Saddam Hussein."

WILKERSON: Well, Wolf, my points were a little more precise than that.

My points had to do with the two issues, decision issues that I had the most profound insights into -- the one being the post-invasion situation in Iraq, and the inept and incompetent planning therefore, mostly led by Douglas Feith under secretary of defense for policy's outfit.

BLITZER: At the Pentagon.

WILKERSON: At the Pentagon.

And the issue which finally broke the -- the straw that broke the camel's back for me and made me want to go public, the issue of detainee abuse, which has done so much damage to my armed forces and so much damage to America's image and credibility around the world. Those were the two issues that I had the most profound insights into.

Now, let me add, there are other things that I think this different, alternative decision-making process had impact on. And I just don't have the profound insights into those other things.

For example, <b>I've recently learned that the Office of Strategic Intelligence that Secretary Rumsfeld wanted to set up in the Pentagon, which would essentially be an office of disinformation, due to the congressional pressure and the pressure from the American people, media and so forth, couldn't be set up.

I've learned that millions of taxpayer dollars were used to outsource that operation to the Rendon Group. And I'm looking into that now, too, because I have some insights into that. I've read the fine book by James Bamford, "Pretext for War" and then his recent article 15 November, I believe, in Rolling Stone which details the relationship between the Rendon Group, Ahmed Chalabi, the INC and so forth.</b>
Yesterday, I had no awareness of the "Rendon Group". My own curiosity is aroused and now I hope that yourswill be, too.

Here's a link to video of Wilkerson's interview....
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Old 11-20-2005, 09:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't see a discussion here.

Let's see if we can make one happen.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." – C. S. Lewis

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Old 11-21-2005, 02:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
Deja Moo
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My attempt at a discussion got deleted without comment. Why should I continue?
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Old 11-23-2005, 06:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just a quick note, we are able to see summaries of all moderating activity in threads and there have been no posts deleted in this thread. I can't explain WHERE Elphaba's post went, but it didn't disappear due to the actions of any moderator or admin. Please let this be a reminder that if you have a concern over something, especially moderation issues, you should PM one of the other mods/admins rather than post them in threads. 99% of the time the truth is not as juicy as one might have it be.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand...
Le temps détruit tout

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Last edited by SecretMethod70; 11-24-2005 at 04:57 AM..
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
Location: home
Originally Posted by host
What do you propose that we do to take back our own government
Vote them all out!
vote independant, libertarian, green.
republican and democrat are the same.....elite....politicians from elite families.
The corruption will not stop in the two party system
With more parties perhaps people will vote for the canidate,
rather than the party.
Also I think a good idea would to be to lower the
restrictions needed to get on the ballot.
A non-elite has to jump through 50 different hoops
in 50 states. Making the chance nil a non-elite will get elected.
All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
"The Voices" (TM). All rights reserved.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
Deja Moo
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Host, I had not seen the Rendon Group before your post, but that name is popping up frequently now in various news sources. My first thought about Rendon was "Wag the Dog".
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
Location: home
Originally Posted by Elphaba
Host, I had not seen the Rendon Group before your post, but that name is popping up frequently now in various news sources. My first thought about Rendon was "Wag the Dog".
I hadn't either they seem to be a huge PR firm
specalizing in propaganda.
sourcewatch and pr watch have a detailed history



They do have a rebuttal to the rollingstone article above on their site

it seems to claim they didn't do what they advertise they do
All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
Deja Moo
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Wonderful find, alpha phi!
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
Just an update to bring attention to an unsual occurence last friday night
July 14, '06 at the Herbst theatre in San Francisco.

John Rendon of the Rendon Group came out from "behind the curtain". His seminar is sponsored by Stewart Brand, former Ken Kesey "merry prankster", futurist, and founder of the late 60's "Whole Earth Catalogue".

John Rendon took questions from the audience after his low key, 30 min. talk.

Since this "news" will most likely attract the interest of an extremely limited audience of TFPers, (you know who you are...) I'll limit this to a post of the link that contains Stewart Brand's synopsus of what John Rendon said during his July 14 "seminar" titled:
"Long-term Policy to Make the War on Terror Short"

....and a few other "tidbits":

and pre-seminar July 10 background on Rendon's seminar:

and a reaction to Stewart Brand's synopsus that subtely ponders whether Brand has spent a long career working secretly for "the company".

Behind the techo-hippie curtain

Here is a report on the "seminar" from an angry, purported eyewitness:

.....Stewart Brand introduced Rendon and mentioned that five of the board members on his Long Now Foundation had worked with Rendon and that Rendon's presence always seemed to make meetings run more smoothly. It was a very friendly intro. Rendon, surprisingly, only spoke for 30 minutes maximum and then the questions and answers began.

For someone who specializes in PR, his talk was remarkably unimpressive, but he did make a few key points.

Whoever writes "the history of 9/11 and the War on Terrorism" in the next few years that gets disseminated to the current/future generations will determine how long the "War on Terror" will last.

He urged that the US follow a "soft policy" rather than a "hard policy" to win over public support in the US and abroad- earmarking more resources towards "education" and "health." (I wonder what his position is on eliminating 90% of the world's population through man-made viruses, so heartily endorsed by the mad scientists in Austin last spring (Meeting Dr. Doom.)

Then came the many questions, some excellent, many challenging the war on terrorism, and the events of September 11th. Brand read the questions, and acknowledged who wrote them. I believe he even read mine in its entirety which went something like this-

"Since the US government has lost its credibility, and most people believe that the Administration is criminal, would the impeachment of Bush/Cheney redeem the US in the eyes of the world, if we also changed from the destructive global domination policy we're on?"

Brand bundled the question with some others and Rendon had greater and greater difficulty in responding.

He refused to answer questions about Chalabi, and on one side of his mouth he said that his firm only gave out "truthful, accurate, information" and from the other side of his mouth that his work was "classified" and he could not "compromise his oath" and talk about anything regarded as secret.

His worst moment was when asked about the agenda behind the War on Terrorism which he has been paid between 50-100 million dollars to sell to the American people- he could give absolutely no reason for it- except that soldiers had been convinced that there was a reason to die for (most of them have been sold on Fox News lies that Hussein did 9-11).

There was a bit of heckling and comments, questions, noise directly from the audience, when Brand was too soft on him.

I was sitting in the middle of the second row and when they utterly faltered on stage about 9/11, I felt compelled to clarify reality for them and yelled-

"9/11 was an inside job! It's not a War on Terrorism; it's a "War of Terrorism" against the American people and the world. Bush and Cheney should be impeached, go to jail and we should redirect resources from killing and controlling people towards healing."

Brand and Rendon looked extremely distressed by my outburst and tried to change the subject as soon as possible.

Apparently, the numbers in the audience were not nearly as important to them as to the numbers of people the event would reach via the internet, the whole thing- video and audio will be available online.

When it comes to facts and spin, it does seem pretty obvious that the US Government, Rendon, the transnational elite, have already lost the war for public opinion. Almost every move that they make worsens the situation for the planet's inhabitants and destroys whatever husks of legitimacy/credibility that they cling to, with the help of a bought off press. I wonder if Rumsfeld will bring down the internet, try to cut off "global communications" because the irrepressible discourse between people noting reality and ripping apart the government lies, propaganda, spin are such a powerful threat to them. (Pentagon document outlines plan to take down global communications)

Brand at least hinted that those in power were nuts and might have deceived themselves with their own propaganda, and <b>queried Rendon on how dissenting views of reality might pierce through the powerholders psychological barriers. Rendon hinted that they weren't open to threats upon their "self delusion/officially approved worldview/description of the world that they were trying to force on the rest of the world."</b>

Oddly enough, Rendon said he was an optimist and that he could imagine world peace. I rather doubt, though, that I would buy his "peace" anymore than I am buying the wars which he has been promoting these past twenty years.
I'll update this when a transcript or podcast of the July 14 Rendon appearance is available:

Was John Rendon paid by the "company" to speak publicly and answer questions, or is he trying to rehablitate his own "cred" in S.F., of all places?
I suspect the former reason was what "incentivized" him to speak publicly.
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Old 07-16-2006, 03:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
Host, I think I've made perfectly clear that I don't give your threads/posts anymore than a quick scan at best. For whatever reason (perhaps because I noticed that without any antagonism Elphaba's already managed to become a victim of censorship) I thought I'd give it a shot with this thread. For the life of me I can't figure out what your point is here. I gave you a good 20 minutes of my time, reading and re-reading your OP. Admittedly I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box, but I graduated from college and am relatively successfull in the professional world so I think it's fair to say I'm not a complete idiot.

I have a unique challenge for you, or Roachboy as he finds the topic interesting.... Without anymore links, cause you've provided plenty, and in your own words, what exactly is the problem here?
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Old 07-16-2006, 04:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
Originally Posted by matthew330
Host, I think I've made perfectly clear that I don't give your threads/posts anymore than a quick scan at best. For whatever reason (perhaps because I noticed that without any antagonism Elphaba's already managed to become a victim of censorship) I thought I'd give it a shot with this thread. For the life of me I can't figure out what your point is here. I gave you a good 20 minutes of my time, reading and re-reading your OP. Admittedly I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box, but I graduated from college and am relatively successfull in the professional world so I think it's fair to say I'm not a complete idiot.

I have a unique challenge for you, or Roachboy as he finds the topic interesting.... Without anymore links, cause you've provided plenty, and in your own words, what exactly is the problem here?
Thank you, matthew330. I suggest that if you have not already....read the Rolling Stone mag's report about John Rendon, linked and excerpted on the bottom of my OP on this thread.

I became curious last fall, when I read that Ahmed Chalabi, disgraced and out of favor among Iraqis and the U.S. Iraqi military occupation command, (if you recall, his home was searched more than a year ago, by U.S. forces and it was reported that he was suspected of being an agent of the Iranian government, while he was on the pre-invasion of Iraq, CIA payroll.) was in the U.S. again.

I thought then that there was an even chance that he was being intentionally maligned by the U.S., to rehab his image among the Shiite voting majority, to improve his chances for election to office in the impending elections.

This was reinforced when he secretly met with Bush admin. officials, around the same time when the Rolling Stone article that described John Rendon's role in shaping U.S. domestic opinion, something the CIA is prohibited from engaging in...directly. There was also the matter of who in the U.S. government authorized Chalabi's admission into the U.S., since he was under investigation in Iraq, the last we heard, concerning his "double cross" of the CIA, related to preinvasion WMD intelligence.

Bottomline.....I have no idea what to believe, because everybody on "our side" has been reported to want us only to believe what they tell us, and that keeps changing. John Rendon is a curiousity, he kept completely under the radar before the Rolling Stone report, 8 months ago, and now this new development....a public "seminar" by Rendon, followed by a public Q&A.

I remembered ole Stewart Brand as a character portrayed in the book, "Electric Kool Ade Acid Test". No conclusions from me, but it is interesting that the guy who posted under Brand's email about the seminar, threw the thought out that the CIA may have pushed the psychedelic drug experimentation on the 60's youth to weaken the anti war movement....It would be amazing if Brand has worked for CIA since 1960 or so, and we'll never know...

Last edited by host; 07-16-2006 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 07-18-2006, 04:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
This is just a web of information that I know so little of I can't honestly comment on, as much as I wish I could. I did feel the need to post and say thanks for obliging me. Thanks to your last post, and unlike previous ones, I have some interest in the matter. I know where to go if I question anything your saying - if all else fails, to you for a source. I'm not one to tell you how to frame your posts, but I'd be alot more receptive to them if they were all like the above. That's just me though and I thought I'd let you know that.
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back, chalabi, dems, government, repubs, sold

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