....LMB: "Forgetting the Past"....

July 20, 2004

Although I wrote a little parable or something about the "Iraq was the CIA's fault" thing, I think it's important to keep reminding everyone that it's a whitewash. The Bush administration would like us all to believe that the war was noble and righteous. Barring that, they'd like to think that the war wasn't the White House's fault.

When, of course, it was the White House's fault.

The "it's the CIA's fault" line comes from the recent Senate report which criticizes the National Intelligence Estimate of Iraq (NIE) which was released in October 2002.

Problem is that the Bush administration decided to go to war in December 2001.

Yeah.

I'm very pleased with Eric Margolis' piece on this issue, "CIA Did Not Fail - The US Was Deceived Into the Iraq War". Let's quote him a bit:

The Iraq weapons fiasco was absolutely not caused by an 'intelligence failure,' as the White House and the recent Senate whitewash claim. It was not an understandable mistake made by all, as a rigged British 'inquiry' concluded.

US national security and CIA were corrupted and blinded by extremist ideology, cowardice, and careerism. The failure at CIA was not of the organization, but its leadership...

Here's what really happened. In 2002, Cheney thundered that Iraq was seeking nuclear weapons. A month later, Secretary Colin Powell proclaimed 'no doubt he (Saddam) has chemical weapons.' Shortly after, President George Bush assured the UN that Iraq had biological weapons.

National Insecurity Advisor Condoleeza Rice warned a 'mushroom cloud' threatened America. Britain's glib prime minister, Tony Blair, made similar ludicrous claims.

Many veteran CIA officers dismissed these alarms as politically-motivated propaganda. The US State Department, Air Force, and French intelligence challenged claims Iraq had threatening offensive weapons systems. Many senior Pentagon military officers opposed invading Iraq.

But the word went out: Now here this. If you value your job and pension, do not, repeat, do not contradict the boss. The president is hell-bent on invading Iraq. Make it so.

This was not a case of George Bush going about his business, suddenly receiving a report about Iraqi danger, and then leaping into action. With no real evidence of Iraqi danger, the White House wanted to invade Iraq; they were looking for a "smoking gun", and didn't mind if that gun was stretched into unnatural shapes. If you get sucked into arguments about intelligence or weapons or liberation, then you, my friend, have been suckered.

Posted by Jake at 11:43 PM | TrackBack (0)
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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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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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