....LMB: "The New Campaign"....

June 07, 2003

Here's an interesting development:

Ex-Official: Evidence Distorted for War

I believe this is the first intelligence agent (well, ex-) to publicly come forward about the White House manipulating evidence to mislead the public into the Iraq war. There have been many anonymous "officials" leaking these sorts of stories to the press lately, but this fellow is on the record. And he had access to all the U.S. intelligence reports until he quit the job in September of 2002. And since the Bush administration really ramped up its anti-Iraq propaganda in August of 2002, he was in a good position to see some of this.

Why are all these intelligence officials coming out to point fingers at the White House these days?

Politics, of course.

The Bush administration is starting to feel some heat for the lack of evidence of WMD in Iraq. And if they can't find any such evidence, they'll appear as either a bunch of liars who tricked the nation into war, or as a bunch of incompetents who invaded an innocent country.

The best strategy for Bush to dodge all this is to shift the blame. They'll claim that they made these decisions based upon the intelliegence gathered by the CIA and DIA and FBI. If it turns out that there are no weapons of mass destruction, then the error will have been the fault of these agencies that provided the intelligence, not poor decisions made by the executive branch. Shifting this blame would also be a good way for Bush to introduce a "Fire All the Head Guys in Intelligence Who Didn't Fabricate Anti-Iraq Reports for Me and Replace Them with More Obedient Guys, or with Some of My Corporate Pals Act of 2003."

The intelligence community is fighting back (or are they fighting pre-emptively?). by telling the tales of distortion and pressure that kept the beat for the drumbeat of war. They don't want to be saddled with the blame, especially if that blame is misplaced.

I'm not sure where all this will lead, mainly because the American public doesn't seem overly concerned about whether or not they were lied to about the necessity for war, as long as the Iraqi people are "free," and don't make too much of a fuss (which sure as hell ain't guaranteed). But if this story above gets printed in a few major media outlets, I feel assured in saying that this man is going to be smeared like nobody's business. Think Scott Ritter, or to a lesser degree, Hans Blix. I'm betting that they'll first say that he didn't have access to the deep intelligence that the White House did, then imply that he was a sloppy and unintelligent agent, and then maybe start questioning why he "retired," and hint at incompetence or some sort of scandal.

Posted by Jake at 12:57 AM | TrackBack (0)
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Geez, aren't these the same intelligence analysts who may have failed to provide adeqaute warning of 9/11? (We don't know because Bush, Cheney, et al have stalled any public examination of the intelligence failures.)

It all leads back to Bush anyway. How many people have lost their jobs over the 9/11 intelligence failure? Are you counting? It takes a while, but I think the answer is: zero.

Take the argument backto Bush again: how can we reform the intelligence community if we haven't thoroughly examined what we knew, what we didn't know, why we didn't know it, or why we knew it but didn't act upon it -- it being the clues that would have led us to take precautions against hijacking airplanes and using them as projectiles.

Posted by: Tom Burka at June 10, 2003 12:06 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:

Failure.

What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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