Their War Party and Ours

Saturday on the Weekend Interview Show, 3-5 pm Texas time (that’s central) I will, in a case of the most blatant interest-conflicting nepotism, be interviewing my boss, Justin Raimondo, all about the neoconservatives, and how they lied us into war in Iraq.

In the second hour, I’ll be talking with Peter Lance about his book A Thousand Years for Revenge, and the history of bin Laden, Yousef, Rahman, Zawahiri, etc.

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Snap out of it

Jacob Hornberger reminds us of the true nature of our unlimited republic:

“Zacarias Moussaoui’s guilty plea to terrorism charges in U.S. federal district court does not end the Pentagon’s threat that hangs over the head of every federal judge who has jurisdiction over an indicted terrorist defendant.

Moussaoui’s punishment must still be decided, either by a jury or by the judge if both Moussaoui and the government waive a jury. The problem is that the Pentagon and the Justice Department are still claiming the power to remove Moussaoui from the jurisdiction of the federal court and transfer him to the military for punishment, including execution. Don’t forget that that’s in fact what they’ve done to Jose Padilla and Ali al-Marri and that they are fighting for the power to do this to every other American citizen and every foreigner whom they suspect of being a terrorist.

Thus, if it looks like the jury or the judge might be unwilling to impose the death penalty on Moussaoui, the military might simply take the law into its own hands and do the dirty deed itself, transferring Moussaoui to Gitmo and executing him there, independent of any federal judicial interference.

That’s why the Moussaoui case — or more accurately, the Pentagon’s claim of power to punish Americans and others without due process of law — still presents the most ominous threat to the freedom of the American people in our lifetime.”

The funny part is that the feds have said before that they don’t even really believe he was meant to be the twentieth hijacker. That was Ramzi Binalshibh. As Seymour Hersh has written,

“The assumption of government bungling was predicated on the assumption that Moussaoui was indeed the twentieth hijacker. (There were five hijackers on each of the three planes that hit their targets, but only four on the flight that went down in Pennsylvania.) Moussaoui has said in federal court that he was a member of Al Qaeda, but he has denied any involvement in the hijackings. Many present and former F.B.I. and C.I.A. officials have told me that they believe he was “a wanna-be,” as one put it, and far too volatile and unstable to handle a long-term undercover terrorist operation. Nevertheless, they said, Moussaoui may have crucial knowledge about Al Qaeda.”

Oh, well. Close enough for an execution, right?
If you’re not a terrorist, you don’t have anything to worry about.

The coming Pax Americana

An interesting piece in Haaretz by Efraim Halevy, former chief of the Mossad and National Security advisor to Ariel Sharon, about the wonderful potential of American Empire in the Middle East:

“At present the United States is torn between the immediate need to ensure a safe flow of oil, while maintaining close ties with the existing government in Riyadh, and the fear that every day that passes without genuine reform in Saudi Arabia is not only bringing the fall of the House of Saud closer but is also heightening the danger that the new rulers will take an extremist approach to the “infidel” states of the West. Thousands of citizens from Western countries live in Saudi Arabia, in well-fortified compounds that protect their families. These extreme measures of protection reflect the constantly widening gulf between the local population and the foreign guests.

Few observers of the Middle East scene are actually taking a good hard look at the situation in Saudi Arabia and examining coolly the terrifying scenarios, one of which might ensue. Some believe that there is a real danger that extremist religious figures will seize power in Saudi Arabia and establish an “Al-Qaida state” in Riyadh. Others note that the national identification of large numbers of the country’s population with the Saudi entity is feeble and that their main attachment is tribal or local-regional. Thus, a revolutionary situation might cause the disintegration of the state and the creation of parallel regimes in various regions of the kingdom.

In a visit to the United States two weeks ago, I was told by several well-informed observers that should one of the more severe scenarios come to pass, the United States will have no choice but to deepen its presence in the Middle East. To that end, it will have to renew the draft, to ensure that there are enough forces to deal with developing situations in countries like Saudi Arabia.

Superpower in the `neighborhood’

From being a superpower that exerts a potent influence in the Middle East, the United States has become a player that is present in the region. Its pattern of activity in Iraq illustrates not only the determination of President Bush to act consistently to realize his policy in Baghdad. There is a good possibility that Iraq will not be the last country in the region that will require a lengthy American military presence. The U.S. campaign in Iraq was perceived as a signal of long-term American commitment to do whatever is required and to stay in the “neighborhood” for as long as needed. It was none other than Martin Indyk, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel, who not long ago raised the idea of establishing an American trusteeship regime in the areas of the Palestinian Authority, if it should turn out that the Palestinians are not ripe for self-rule. That arrangement would require an American operational military presence along Israel’s border with the Palestinian territories.

The shapers of the basic political approach of the Bush administration say that the United States plans “to be in the area” for as long as 10 years and more, if needed. Speaking in a semi-closed forum during a visit to Israel a few months ago, Bill Kristol, one of the most influential “neocons” (neoconservatives) in the United States, noted in this connection that the American presence in Europe after World War II lasted for nearly 60 years. Israelis who are trying to promote a role for NATO in the region, in one form or another, are actually promoting a generation-long American presence.”

Sounds great so far, what else?

“In the light of the accumulated weight of all the developments cited above, it is possible that the favorable surprise of the years ahead will be nothing less than the containment of Iran and the neutralization of the danger it poses to Israel – without Israel’s having to consider whether to cope alone in the face of what it justly construes as the potential of a genuine existential threat.”

Potential Existential Threats everywhere beware! The U.S. is on its way to protect Israel from you. At least until we go bankrupt.

OKC ten years late(r)

Saturday on the Weekend Interview Show (4-6pm eastern time): In the first hour, the interview will be about something that has nothing to do with foreign policy or terrorism cases, but in the second hour, I’ll be interviewing survivor V.Z. Lawton about the real story of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in 1995, and no, Laurie Mylroie, It wasn’t Saddam.

Update: Show’s over, Archives.

Join Sibel Edmonds’ Protest Today

Sibel Edmonds to lead protest over government secrecy Thursday morning

Today was to be the oral hearing on Sibel’s lawsuit fighting the State Secrets Privilege imposed over her case. The court has made the extraordinary decision to close the hearing to the public and to Sibel as well. Please come help show our outrage about the excessive secrecy imposed on her case! Sibel is organizing an impromptu protest in front of the courthouse.

Where: E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse, Court of Appeals Courtroom, 333 Constitution Avenue, N.W., 5th Floor, Washington D.C.

When: Thursday, April 21, 9:00 a.m.-noon

Edmonds, a former Middle Eastern language specialist hired by the FBI shortly after 9/11, was fired in 2002 after repeatedly reporting serious security breaches and misconduct. Edmonds challenged her retaliatory dismissal by filing a lawsuit in federal court, but her case was dismissed last July after Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the so-called “state secrets privilege,” and retroactively classified briefings to Congress related to her case.

The government has argued that every aspect of Edmonds’ case involves state secrets — including where she was born and what languages she speaks — and therefore cannot go forward. Edmonds is appealing to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to reinstate her case. Several 9/11 family member advocacy groups filed a friend-of-the-court brief in her support. Ann Beeson, Associate Legal Director of the ACLU National Office, will argue on behalf of Edmonds. Oral arguments will be heard on April 21.

Beth Daley
Director of Communication
Project On Government Oversight
666 11th Street, NW, #500, Washington, DC 20010
Phone 202-347-1122 Fax 202-347-1116

Sibel Edmonds’ Website

This is all Woodrow Wilson’s fault

Saturday beginning at 4pm Eastern time on the Weekend Interview Show, I’ll be talking with Jim Powell, author of Wilson’s War: How Woodrow Wilson’s Great Blunder Led to Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and World War II. In the second hour, the guests will be Elaine Cassel to discuss Ahmed Abu Ali, and Laurence M. Vance about his book, Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State.

Update: Show’s over, Archives.