desperate Saddam-on-the-run is reportedly in
secret negotiations with the Americans – he's having second
thoughts about his formerly expressed belief that "that no
honorable hand has stretched out to greet" the "miscreant,
murderous and cowardly occupier," as he put it in his message
of late April, "only those of traitors and valets." It
must be a trend, because, as I pointed out in a recent column, the Bush
administration-on-the-run is reportedly having
second thoughts about its commitment to the neocon program
of perpetual war in the Middle East. Check it out:
with rising costs, sinking polls, unsympathetic allies, an
increasingly skeptical Congress and potential splits in his
political party, President Bush has begun to question the
hard-line Iraq policies long championed by Vice President
Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.
Bushies are desperate to make some kind of a deal – with the
UN, with the Iraqis, and, most of all, with the American people,
who are waking up to the unfolding disaster in Iraq. John
Walcott, of Knight-Ridder, continues:
concerns and domestic politics are prompting the administration
to rethink its approach to Iraq, said a number of administration
foreign and domestic-policy officials, who all spoke on the
condition of anonymity because, as one of them put it, 'the
president hates seeing internal debates in the paper.'"
the Prez hates seeing his administration's faction fights
reported in the papers, then it must have been a tough year
all around for George W. Bush. And the blood hasn't yet begun
to flow: calls for the resignations of Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz,
Richard Perle, and a rising chorus of demands that the whole
neocon gang be turned out on its ear are being heard from
the right side of the aisle as well as the left.
neocons, in full retreat, have taken to fighting among themselves.
As Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service put
"But rather than rally together to fight off these attacks,
the hawks appear to be squawking at one another. After Cheney
revived a 2-year-old story on a
nationally broadcast television news program last Sunday
about an alleged meeting between one of the hijackers and
an Iraqi spy in Prague in April 2001, Rumsfeld told reporters
three days later he had seen nothing to connect Saddam Hussein
to the 9/11 attacks, an assessment backed up by Rice and then
by Bush himself."
President himself took to the field,
denying the alleged link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11
terrorist attacks – even as a majority of the American people
doubt continue to believe they were somehow connected.
That statistic is a monument to the success of this administration's
effort to channel American anger away from Osama bin Forgotten
and focus it on Iraq, a feat of creative conflation that surely
qualifies as a lie of mythic
Bookman, writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
makes the trenchant point that the myth-making capabilities
of this administration are key to understanding how we got
in this mess to begin with::
remarks on 'Meet the Press' deserve further scrutiny, however,
particularly his attempt to link Saddam to the first attack
on the World Trade Center, which killed six people. Once that
claim is placed in context, it helps to illuminate the internal
process by which the Bush administration decided to take this
nation to war."
points to the source of the Cheney conspiracy theory, one
Laurie Mylroie, a prolific author whose
thesis is that Saddam Hussein is the Machiavellian enigma
behind most of the terrorist events of the past decade, including
the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in which 10 people
were killed, the 1998 assaults on our embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania, 9/11, and even the anthrax attacks. I don't know
if she has yet exposed Saddam's responsibility for whipping
up Hurricane Isabel, but the evidence
is no doubt forthcoming.
FBI, the CIA, independent analysts including everyone from
Vince Cannistrano to Daniel
Pipes have pointed out that Mylroie's meticulous accumulation
of evidence doesn't even come close to proving her contentions.
That hasn't stopped the American Enterprise Institute from
publishing (and then reissuing) her book, Study
in Revenge, and adorning it with endorsements from
top officials, including Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Perle.
conspiracy theories, as I pointed out in a recent column, get
respectful attention no matter how implausible. But other
conspiracy theories, being politically incorrect, are relegated
to the Memory
Hole, even as evidence of their validity begins to break
through the wall of silence.
Israeli "art students" – you know, the ones who attempted
to penetrate U.S. government facilities in the months leading up to 9/11,
showed up at the homes
of federal employees, and were said to be watching
the 9/11 hijackers 24/7 have popped up yet again, this
time in Canada:
Israeli nationals who CSIS suspects are possible foreign
agents were arrested by Immigration and Ottawa police
tactical officers last Friday, blocks from Parliament Hill.
The nine have all been charged by Immigration for working
in Canada illegally. All are in their 20s and were apparently
selling art in Ottawa. The arrests follow similar takedowns
of Israelis in Toronto and Calgary over the past few weeks.
An Ottawa police source said police were told members of the
group were possible agents from Mossad, Israel's spy agency,
but given no further information by CSIS.
declined to comment yesterday."
"Nine Israelis face deportation: Spy agency suspects they
may be foreign agents," this story appeared in the Ottawa
Sun, on Friday, September 19 – and disappeared from the
paper's website completely in less than a day, unlike the
Sun's other articles, which are archived and available.
Here is the Google cache. Check
it out before it disappears, just like Carl Cameron's
December 2001 series on the same subject.
Cameron's case, this disappearing act was the result of outside
pressure and a campaign
of calumniation against Fox's crack investigative reporter:
Israel's amen corner hissed that Cameron was disqualified
as an objective reporter because he spent his youth in a Muslim
the case of the Ottawa Sun, it's a case
of Izzy Asper strikes again. The
owner of Canada's largest newspaper chain is famous for his
directive that no criticism of Israel be printed in his newspapers,
leading to resignations and increasing resentment of media
monopolism via mega-mergers.*
the suspicion that won't die – no matter how many times, and
in how many different ways, they try to kill it. Cameron broke
the story on Fox News – hardly a nexus of anti-Israeli sentiment
amid the apocalyptic tumult of '01, and it has survived
in spite of numerous attempts to debunk it and
smear anyone who gives it credence. Cameron's
words echo down through the years, haunting us as we observe,
uneasily, the second anniversary of our misfortune:
is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11
attacks, but investigators suspect that the Israelis may have
gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not
shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are – quote
– 'tie-ins.' But when asked for details, he flatly refused
to describe them, saying, – quote – 'evidence linking these
Israelis to 9-11 is classified.'"
the President tries to undo the great harm done by the Iraq
war, and designs an exit strategy that will take him off the
hook politically, the U.S.-Israel relationship – already strained
by the failure of the "road map" and other issues is bound
to deteriorate even further. How much access the U.S. will
have, under these circumstances, to Israel's worldwide surveillance
of Islamist groups, is a matter of pure speculation, but I'm
willing to bet it falls far short of total.
is more than merely frightening to imagine what the reappearance
of these enigmatic
"art students" portends. Two years ago, their mysterious
invasion of American shores augured the worst terrorist attack
in American history. Does their sudden emergence in Canada
signal a similar disaster in the near future?
help us all.
turns out that Quebecor (the Sun Media Corporation), publisher
of the Ottawa Sun, is not part of Israel Asper's media empire;
Asper owns the Hollinger and Southam chains, and the National
Post newspaper. So unfortunately, this means there are at
least two different Canadian media empires practicing voluntary
self-censorship when it comes to criticism of, or information
potentially embarrassing to, Israel. Thanks to reader Will
S. for pointing this out. And my apologies to Mr. Asper
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