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New Thread… 5 January 2010

Posted by marisacat in Germany, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.

Friedrichshafen, Germany: Swans swim on the Bodensee [Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty Images]

I hardly know what to say about the news, such as it is anymore.  The future seems to be nothing but war and restriction.  Sanctions, bannings.  Extra-judicial murder.


Maybe just a pic of swans eternally drifting on one of those lakes that seem as glass moving out from the land.



1. marisacat - 5 January 2010

I suppose this can get more fucked up, but hard to see how.

I find it hard to believe that Downing St in the actual person of Gordon Brown was involved if the Brits were not certain… nor that this was nto an easy thing to track.

catnip - 5 January 2010

Meet the new poodle – same as the old poodle.

2. mattes - 5 January 2010

Worth watching:

Michael Scheuer, Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief (1996-99)

Michael Scheuer, Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief (1996-99), discussed the latest on the alleged terrorist attack on Northwest flight 253, new security procedures, the recent killings of CIA employees in Afghanistan and the Obama administration’s response to foreign terrorists.


catnip - 5 January 2010

I saw him interviewed on some cable news show recently and he said that repatrioting and “reforming” Gitmo detainees was basically a joke – directly contrasting with other talking heads like Peter Bergen who’ve claimed that Saudi Arabia’s reform program had about a 10% failure rate.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

well my feeling is that S Arabia knows their “reform school” is a joke… but are fine with it.

It’s interesting that any of the players, the state entities, bother with the sham of friendship or even [marginally] allied interests.

mattes - 5 January 2010

Scheuer mentions the Saudis are the second most powerful lobby in Washington, and that they own most of our debt behind China. Can’t piss them off too much without penalties.

I’m sure Scheuer speaks for a portion of the CIA with his opinions. I found it interesting.

mattes - 5 January 2010

It would be interesting to see the % of repeat offenders released from american prisons, (in general). That’s not to say I don’t believe in rehabilitation, only that it’s even more complicated than that in this instance.
Gitmo seems to be a mix people that were in the wrong place at the wrong time and others fighting for their country or ideology.
The latter two will probably continue to fight if facts on the ground have not changed, and with the rest after their abuse at Gitmo could easily be radicalized.

What I find more interesting in Scheuer’s words, is his continuing focus on Israel as the reason “they hate us”.

catnip - 5 January 2010

What I find more interesting in Scheuer’s words, is his continuing focus on Israel as the reason “they hate us”.

I can’t follow the whole interview because the streaming is too choppy but I did hear him qualify that remark by saying (paraphrasing) not that our unconditional support of Israel is wrong. Well, if you’re starting from that premise, you can’t even begin to address the question of “why they hate us” honestly, imho.

mattes - 5 January 2010

I ended up agreeing with most [not all] of his analysis, but not all of his recommendations.
He got fired from a gig for stating Obama is playing the Tel Aviv two step.

Time will tell.

3. catnip - 5 January 2010

How Visa, Using Card Fees, Dominates a Market

Every day, millions of Americans stand at store checkout counters and make a seemingly random decision: after swiping their debit card, they choose whether to punch in a code, or to sign their name.

It is a pointless distinction to most consumers, since the price is the same either way. But behind the scenes, billions of dollars are at stake.

When you sign a debit card receipt at a large retailer, the store pays your bank an average of 75 cents for every $100 spent, more than twice as much as when you punch in a four-digit code.

The difference is so large that Costco will not allow you to sign for your debit purchase in its checkout lines. Wal-Mart and Home Depot steer customers to use a PIN, the debit card norm outside the United States.

Despite all this, signature debit cards dominate debit use in this country, accounting for 61 percent of all such transactions, even though PIN debit cards are less expensive and less vulnerable to fraud.

Bizarre – but obviously profitable.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

I use the PIN, all the time. From what I understood, sometime ago, using it makes the card act as a straight debit card, the money comes out of my account immediately the transaction is completed. Other wise you travel into some modified form of a credit transaction.

4. marisacat - 5 January 2010

hmmm Fom Politico “44” on the Gibbs daily briefing:

In a question about security, Helen Thomas asks Gibbs about “your president,” to which Gibbs interrupts: “He’s your president, too.” (1:45 p.m.)

5. catnip - 5 January 2010

Quite the development over at dkos. Now, if you support Obama’s centrism and have sympathy for the Blue Dogs, you get to call yourself a “pragmatic progressive” (as opposed to “idealistic progressives” who are basically the new dirty fucking hippies). So desperate to reframe their caving in Happy Talk terms.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

I think I have read some punditry refer to Obama’s pragmatism. It’s up there with “historic” and “unprecendented”.

Historically unprecedented pragmatism. (which of course it is not)

It sings iwth poetry!

marisacat - 5 January 2010

Speaking of which… now the “after the meeting” closed press – press only – remarks have morphed. It is now a public News Conference. (1 PM Pacific time, in 30 mins)

Please, No speech.

Off to make hot tea to wake myself up………………………

catnip - 5 January 2010

They can’t seem to utter neoliberal, so apparently that’s the next best thing.

6. mattes - 5 January 2010

From Veterans Today site:




ICTS [ and Israeli company] provides security at Amsterdam airport.


marisacat - 5 January 2010


have to toss the Democrats in the mix. NONE Of this is happening without them. Unless war on terra stopped and I missed the memo.

ICTS [ and Israeli company] provides security at Amsterdam airport.

An Israeli company trains BART in security… mostly Democrats in office around here, SF, Oakland, SJ, all of the mayors are Dems. BART HQ is in Oakland…

BTW, after all that hoopla that there would be a presser at 1 PM pacific, announced by both CBS and ABC……… I don’t see it ahppening. Soaps are on, which I guess is usual.

mattes - 5 January 2010

No doubt the neo-con agenda controls most parties. We witness first hand anyone that points out the obvious.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

well.. neo liberal is just the soft face of the neo con agenda. They, the left side of the bloody bed, claim they put guns and “advisors” on the ground to protect feeding stations for the starving. Africom uses that one.

And so on.

7. mattes - 5 January 2010

Long article but key points:


Let’s review what we know thus far:

Our terrorist traveled to Yemen to meet with terrorist there
The terrorists in Yemen had been in Guantanamo but had been ordered released by the Bush Administration though they were, perhaps the most dangerous detainees held
The government of Yemen tells us that Islamic terrorists there have been arrested who have proven ties to Israeli intelligence
Our terrorists father, though we are told is a retired “Nigerian banker” actually ran their defense industry in close cooperation with Israeli Intelligence (Mossad)
Our terrorist’s visa to the US was never with withdrawn, though he was on a “terrorist watchlist”
Our terrorist, though flying from Nigeria, entered the Netherlands without passing thru customs, something impossible to do without assistance from an intelligence agency
Our terrorist, while at the Amsterdam airport, was being assisted by a man appearing to be Indian, who claimed our Nigerian terrorist was a Sudanese refugee with no passport (no passport was used entering the EU, something technically impossible)
However, Dutch authorities, the same ones who confirmed he entered the country with no passport also confirmed he had a valid US visa, though on a terrorist watch list that is shared with Dutch authorities.
Airport security in Amsterdam is contracted to an Israeli controlled company with, not only the most sophisticated technologies, but, in fact, the company that had developed the concept of security profiling.
The parallels between this case and the Richard Reid “shoe bomber” case are much more than admitted.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

where does this come from, this list?

I personally think at this point we know nothing. There is an ”official” story, there is what I think might be disinfo (some of the travelling iwth no passport stories strike me as shakey) around… and really, we know nothing.

BooHooHooMan - 5 January 2010

where does this come from, this list?

Technically, its OTDD and generally ATDDD.
(Out the Doo Dah / All the Doo Dah Day.)


8. mattes - 5 January 2010
9. catnip - 5 January 2010

The Calgary airport is getting one of those full-body scanners. Looks like Canada is still on the US anti-terrorist shit-list.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

Villaraigosa has announced he wants EVERY ONE at LAX to go thru scanning or you don’t board.


And i just heard he used to be the ACLU chapter head there. … 🙄 … and ya know a Dem. Not running for higher office either… (scrwed too many wimmens as it happens)


marisacat - 5 January 2010

But we are safe from Joan Rivers (via Sully).

05 Jan 2010 04:52 pm

From The Annals Of Airline Security

Not the Onion:

Rivers wasn’t allowed on her Newark-bound flight in Costa Rica this past weekend by a “jittery Continental Airlines gate agent” who thought the two names on her passport, which reads “Joan Rosenberg AKA Joan Rivers,” seemed “fishy.”

But a dude who paid cash for a one-way ticket, checked no bags, and whose father had begged the CIA to keep an eye on him … well the system worked, didn’t it? And no one – no one – will be fired.

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 January 2010

gotta keep that fucking socialized medicine somehow.

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 January 2010

keep OUT etc

10. BooHooHooMan - 5 January 2010

Byron Dorgan D- North Dakota
drops out of 2010 re-election bid.

{Raises hand about chest level,
makes fist while extending index finger in upright position …
slowly rotates index finger in inverse conical shaped orbit. }

marisacat - 5 January 2010

he was polling poorly………………. and i think lacked partay support… the dems kept him and his book on trade [and against nafta] off every media / print outlet, book review column… etc… he appeared on cspan and rose.

the hand of reid and all the ”free traders”… read clinton and others

marisacat - 5 January 2010

hmm fwiw

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, piqued with White House pressure to accept the Senate health reform bill, threw a rare rhetorical elbow at President Barack Obama Tuesday, questioning his commitment to his 2008 campaign promises.

A leadership aide said it was no accident.

Pelosi emerged from a meeting with her leadership team and committee chairs in the Capitol to face an aggressive throng of reporters who immediately hit her with C-SPAN’s request that she permit closed-door final talks on the bill to be televised.

A reporter reminded the San Francisco Democrat that in 2008, then-candidate Obama opined that all such negotiations be open to C-SPAN cameras.

“There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail,” quipped Pelosi, who has no intention of making the deliberations public.

People familiar with Pelosi’s thinking wasted little time in explaining precisely what she meant by a “number of things” – saying it reflected weeks of simmering tension on health care between two Democratic power players who have functioned largely in lock-step during Obama’s first year in office.

Senior House Democratic leadership aides say Pelosi was pointedly referring to Obama’s ’08 pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class, which she interprets to include a tax on so-called “Cadillac” health care plans that offer lavish benefit packages to many union members. ….

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 January 2010

that’s a bummer … he’s good on some stuff.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

I think he was one of the workers… adn there are so few.

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 January 2010

I imagine the last couple of years were probably the last straw, not to mention the poor poll numbers and an endless summer of teabaggers at every event.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

well — and no support from the Partay.

I doubt Rahm and Obama and the Daley brothers and the Clintons and all the other well dressed low life shit kickers care for his sort.

I am sure I would disagree with Dorgon on a lot (I assume he is pro life)…. but …………………….

11. catnip - 5 January 2010
12. marisacat - 5 January 2010

laugh laugh laugh laugh… and then just let loose with the guffaws.. the belly laughs… the screams of laughter. And the snickers…

And yeah, why link, everyone knew it was coming. Lvoe their thin little fig leaf, “if other……….”

US House Leaders Back Off Public Health Insurance Option

Wall Street Journal – Martin Vaughan – ‎3 hours ago‎

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–US House leaders signaled Tuesday they are willing to agree to a final health overhaul bill without a government-run health insurance option if other parts of the bill would fulfill the …

BooHooHooMan - 5 January 2010

Miller tonight on the Mr. Ed show…
when asked point blank if the P.O. was dead….

{ cue suspenseful music from orchestra pit}

stood there all but beefy tits fuckin naked,
frantically reaching for that fig leaf shoot to cover his root,
and of course LIED.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

ugh I hate Miller……………. the “education” House member… who along with Teddy, colluded with Bush to bring NCLB into being.

We are so blessed.

13. marisacat - 5 January 2010

Post at Consortium News … background on the dirty war, of which FOB Chapman where the CIA were killed, was a part.

The model is Vietnam.

It also supports a snippet that I caught from ABC’s Brian Ross earlier today… we apparently, quel nooz, have been relying on people like Balawi (the bomber) to identify targets for us.

[T]he case of the Jordanian double agent also raises questions about the quality of the intelligence that the CIA collects to mount drone and paramilitary attacks. If supposed informants include people willing to die while killing CIA personnel, it is a reasonable assumption that informants might be passing along bogus tips to discredit the CIA. ….

How’s that vote for Obama working out…………… for the believers. I wonder.

I knwo I know.. he inherited so much.. .life is so hard. Poor Foundling.

Leaders count on followers.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

Some more:

PRTs in Iraq

The CIA’s RDC program in Vietnam has now been cloned into the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan and Iraq. The PRT program started in Afghanistan in 2002 and migrated to Iraq in 2004. PRTs consist of anywhere between 50-100 civilian and military specialists.

A typical Provincial Reconstruction Team has a military police unit, a psychological operations unit, an explosive ordinance/demining unit, an intelligence team, medics, a force protection unit, and administrative and support personnel.

Like Scotton’s teams in South Vietnam, they conduct “counter-terror,” as well as political and psychological operations, under cover of fostering economic development and democracy.

Long ago the American people grew weary of the heavily censored but universally bad news that they got about Iraq, and are now quite happy to believe they have helped put Iraq back on its feet. They also are quite happy to forget the devastation they wrought. [BINGO!]

But few Iraqis are fooled by the “war as economic development” shell game, or by the standards the U.S. government uses to measure the success of its PRT program.

In his correspondence with reporter Dahr Jamail, one Iraqi political analyst from Fallujah (a neighborhood that was destroyed in order to save it) put it succinctly when he said: “In a country that used to feed much of Arab world, starvation is the norm.”

14. BooHooHooMan - 5 January 2010

Richard Wolffe last night on Olberman.(verbatim)

It seems the The President is leaning very much towards thinking this is a systemic failure by individuals who may have an alternative agenda.

{ casts sinister look around room}

Richard Wolffe tonight on Olberman.(close enough)

Carry On! Forward rather than Back!
Why ask Why? Drink Bud Dry!

marisacat - 5 January 2010

I think we are down to “Polly want a cracker”… and everyone smiles and laughs. Richard oopens his mouth for the cracker…………………

I just read last night about some parrot, people would play “hello” with her, they’d say hello, she’d say hello, repeat, repeat…. then suddenly she’d switch and say:

“let’s say something else”

Richard Parrot Wolffe. And Parrots are a lot more handsome and have more dignity.

15. marisacat - 5 January 2010

laugh laugh laugh… Newark airport surveillance cameras, apparently right where they were needed, were broken…

Speaking of surveillance.. other than snaps on the plane,

anyone seen airport surveillance film of Abdulmutallab? Anywhere?

Or a shot of him and his father togther?

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 January 2010
17. BooHooHooMan - 5 January 2010

It’s coming out a bit late that Obama’s DNI Blair
released a statement shouldering the Great Panty Fire Panic of ’09.
Some Obama bolstering language @ We heard the Pretzel Loud and clear. We got the message..etc..
some shit released after Ob’s lacking little skit.
Let’s see how long their Borrow a Stick of Gum style holds up…
wait till Obama’s rented Brass turns on him …as they will…

marisacat - 5 January 2010

well I think Blair is one that needs to go… Of course the City of Washington DC could go… 😆 so what is one more bureaucrat.

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 January 2010

An American World of War

Although our country delivers war regularly to distant lands in the name of our “safety,” we don’t really consider ourselves at war (despite the endless talk of “supporting our troops”), and the money that has simply poured into Pentagon coffers, and then into weaponry and conflicts is, with rare exceptions, never linked to economic distress in this country. And yet, if we are no nation of warriors, from the point of view of the rest of the world we are certainly the planet’s foremost war-makers. If money talks, then war may be what we care most about as a society and fund above all else, with the least possible discussion or debate.

In fact, according to military expert William Hartung, the Pentagon budget has risen in every year of the new century, an unprecedented run in our history. We dominate the global arms trade, monopolizing almost 70% of the arms business in 2008, with Italy coming in a vanishingly distant second. We put more money into the funding of war, our armed forces, and the weaponry of war than the next 25 countries combined (and that’s without even including Iraq and Afghan war costs). We garrison the planet in a way no empire or nation in history has ever done. And we plan for the future, for “the next war” — on the ground, on the seas, and in space — in a way that is surely unique. If our two major wars of the twenty-first century in Iraq and Afghanistan are any measure, we also get less bang for our buck than any nation in recent history.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

Although our country delivers war regularly to distant lands in the name of our “safety,” we don’t really consider ourselves at war (despite the endless talk of “supporting our troops”), and the money that has simply poured into Pentagon coffers, and then into weaponry and conflicts is, with rare exceptions, never linked to economic distress in this country

We’re for war!

Back at Orange Blimp … when our armies were massing at the Iraq border in Feb and March in the run up to invasion, I pointed out that was our health care system… right there at the border. The one we will never get.

19. BooHooHooMan - 5 January 2010

Welp. Not everybody is following the script..

some ledes via Haaretz-

I didn’t see THIS one anywhere else yet…

China: Now is not the time for new Iran sanctions
Clinton: West should not insist on a hard-and-fast deadline for starting talks over Iran’s nuclear program.

These two pieces have been around…and around…
but I’ll neither complain….. nor hold my breath…

Deputy FM: Arrest warrants harming Britain-Israel ties
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Tuesday met Tuesday with British Attorney General Baroness Patricia Janet Scotland to protest the slew of arrest warrants issued against senior Israeli officials in the United Kingdom.

A delegation of senior Israel Defense Forces officers recently canceled a planned visit to the U.K. for fear they would be arrested upon landing.

The four unidentified officers, holding ranks from major to colonel, are the latest in a string of Israeli politicians and military officials forced to call off travel to Britain over fears of legal prosecution relating to last year’s offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Comment / Israel must stop boycotting institutions of international law
By Haaretz Editorial

Joining the International Criminal Court would place Israel on the side of the enlightened nations.

Hear Hear.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

Thanks for posting that.. I just sw a headline in one (and only one) of the UK papers on the warrants in the UK for Israelis… and slipped past it…

As if Israel (or us) will be stopping extra judicial killings. Nor anything else.

So sorry they did not nab Tzipi Livni. Chienne de guerre.

20. BooHooHooMan - 5 January 2010

Well we didn’t have to wait long for the long for the backbiting…
from a U.S. Two Star / Dep COS for AfPAk Intel…

US spies in Afghanistan ‘ignorant’
The report highlights simmering tensions between
the US military and intelligence agencies [Getty]

A senior US military intelligence official in Afghanistan has lambasted Washington’s spy networks, calling them ignorant of the situation in the country.

Major-General Michael Flynn, the deputy chief of staff for intelligence for the US and its Nato allies in Afghanistan, said in a withering report on Tuesday that the intelligence services were out of touch with the Afghan people.

😆 { We’re not In like Flynn, evidently. – BHHM}

In the report published by the Centre for New American Security think-tank, Flynn said the intelligence community had been only “marginally relevant to the overall strategy” in Afghanistan since the war began eight years ago.

Flynn said in the report that US intelligence officials in Afghanistan were “ignorant of local economics and landowners, hazy about who the powerbrokers are and how they might be influenced … and disengaged from people in the best position to find answers”.

Pentagon: Irregular report

The Washington DC-based think-thank that published the report was co-founded by Michele Flournoy, who was appointed undersecretary of defence for policy in February.

The Pentagon expressed surprise on Tuesday at the criticism, calling it an “unusual and irregular way to publish a document of this nature”.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

NYT has a story up too………..

[T]his is the C.I.A’s top priority, and when I was in Afghanistan, if any intelligence came about the possible whereabouts of Zawahri or bin Laden, you dropped everything to run it to ground,” said a former senior C.I.A. officer. “Everyone would have wanted to be on the team that caught Zawahri. That’s the kind of thing that makes careers.” ….

marisacat - 5 January 2010

Fisk in the Independent:

[I]f this seems far-fetched, we should remember that just as the CIA first supported Arab fighters against the Soviet army in Afghanistan, it was Saudi money which paid them. In the early Eighties, Saudi Arabia’s own intelligence commander held regular meetings with Osama bin Laden in the Saudi embassy in Islamabad and with the Pakistani secret service, which gave logistical help to the “mujahedin” and then to the Taliban – as it still does today. If the Americans believe that the Saudis are not sending money to their enemies in Afghanistan – or to their equally fundamentalist enemies in Iraq and Jordan – then the CIA hasn’t much idea of what is going on in the Middle East.

But this, unfortunately, is probably the case. The American desire to be loved as well as feared has long misled their intelligence services into trusting those who are ostensibly their friends, while bestialising those who are their supposed enemies. This is exactly what happened in Lebanon before a Shia Muslim suicide bomber blew up the US embassy in Beirut in 1983, when almost the entire staff of the CIA’s operations in the Middle East were meeting inside. Most were killed. The entrance to the CIA’s offices in their seafront embassy was closely guarded. But their local operatives in Lebanon included men and women working for both the Israelis and the early version of the Hizbollah. US embassy intelligence staffers dated Lebanese women who had no security clearance. ….

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 January 2010

That’s the kind of thing that makes careers.” ….

that is such a corporate-flunky style statement …

This is what happens when you run EVERYTHING as though you were running a corporation.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

I laughed at it. They died doing everything wrong.

I have no soft spot for old CIA guys… but ALL of them, all of them… have demolished what hapened at FOB Chapman.

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 January 2010

The Pictures of War You Aren’t Supposed to See

Look beyond the nationalist cant used to justify war. Look beyond the seduction of the weapons and the pornography of violence. Look beyond Barack Obama’s ridiculous rhetoric about finishing the job or fighting terror. Focus on the evil of war. War begins by calling for the annihilation of the others but ends ultimately in self-annihilation. It corrupts souls and mutilates bodies. It destroys homes and villages and murders children on their way to school. It grinds into the dirt all that is tender and beautiful and sacred. It empowers human deformities—warlords, Shiite death squads, Sunni insurgents, the Taliban, al-Qaida and our own killers—who can speak only in the despicable language of force. War is a scourge. It is a plague. It is industrial murder. And before you support war, especially the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, look into the hollow eyes of the men, women and children who know it.

22. marisacat - 5 January 2010

HA! I laughed all the way thru this post. One born every minute. (I have no idea wht will happen in the 2010 elections, and I think it hardly matters, the wars grind on.)

marisacat - 5 January 2010

wham bam.. Dodd drops out. Announces tomorrow.

Don’t let the door……………… etc.

Madman in the Marketplace - 5 January 2010

dropping like flies

good riddance.

marisacat - 5 January 2010

Kinda great, no?

After lumping and limping along for years………….. maybe he can join Teddy …………

23. marisacat - 5 January 2010


Neue thread………………


……………. 🙄 ……………..

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