They just can't leave well enough alone. Via.
Ah, the spy game. When it comes to our national security, who better than George W. Bush and his neo-cons to oversee top secret programs? You remember GW, the man who ignored warnings of a possible attack on 9-11; the chief executive who felt it more important to read to kindergarten students when told of the attack than move to defend this country; the President who ordered Air Force One to the wrong position after the terrorists attack; and the man who raged war against the wrong country for weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist. Let's face it, this dude was in over his head. But only now are we finding out the further adventures in counter-terrorism of our former leader. Seems, according to the Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the early years after 9/11, the CIA turned some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents then sent them home to help the U.S. kill terrorists, current and former U.S. officials said.
The CIA promised the prisoners freedom, safety for their families and millions of dollars from the agency's secret accounts.
It was a risky gamble. Officials knew there was a chance that some prisoners might quickly spurn their deal and kill Americans.
For the CIA, that was an acceptable risk in a dangerous business. For the American public, which was never told, the program was one of the many secret trade-offs the government made on its behalf. At the same time the government used the risk of terrorism to justify imprisoning people indefinitely, it was releasing dangerous people from prison to work for the CIA.
The idea that infiltrating Al Qaeda to prevent more attacks is very sound. But how you do it takes some really well thought out assessment. And GW wasn't the guy to make that decision. Nor were his cohorts, Cheney and Rumsfeld.
So the pool of candidates was the Gitmo prisoners. Okay, maybe they were a logical place to start. But with all the torture and waterboarding going on, could these prisoners be trusted? What was to stop them from just lying and making it easier on themselves?
Candidates were ushered from the confines of prison to Penny Lane's (the cottages used for the double-agent trainees) relative hominess, officials said. The cottages had private kitchens, showers and televisions. Each had a small patio.
Some prisoners asked for and received pornography. One official said the biggest luxury in each cottage was the bed - not a military-issued cot but a real bed with a mattress.
The cottages were designed to feel more like hotel rooms than prison cells, and some CIA officials jokingly referred to them collectively as the Marriott.
So, those were the conditions at the Gitmo Marriott. With treatment like that, I'm sure the program was a huge success -- so many volunteers that you had to beat them off with a stick -- if you weren't already beating them with a stick.
This was sure to be a successful program.
The U.S. government says it has confirmed that about 16 percent of former Guantanamo Bay detainees rejoined the fight against America. Officials suspect but have not confirmed that another 12 percent more rejoined.
That would make for a potential of roughly 3 in 10 returned to their old ways and killed American soldiers. A 70% win rate might be good in baseball or basketball, but it sure isn't in counter-intelligence. Each mistake made there could have cost hundreds of lives. But what can you expect from these hijacked soldiers, cuffed and hooded and whisked off to the balmy shores of Cuba?
Vice President Dick Cheney called the prisoners "the worst of a very bad lot." Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said they were "among the most dangerous, best trained, vicious killers on the face of the Earth."
Now isn't that a great pool of volunteers. I guess Bush and company saw something in these truly dangerous men that the outside world might find hard to see. It must be like trying to train people to have charisma or to grow taller, or develop a discerning sense for smell.
The U.S. government had such high hopes for Penny Lane that one former intelligence official recalled discussions about whether to secretly release a pair of Pakistani men into the United States on student or business visas. The hope was that they would connect with al-Qaida and lead authorities to members of a U.S. cell.
Of course. What a great plan! Finance, arm and set up the worst of the worst on American soil, setting them free to roam among us. No risk there. That's the surest way for the Al Qaeda guys in the middle east to pick up former freedom fighter ex-patriots and enlist them to run the domestic cells here. Surely nobody in the Al Qaeda hierarchy would be suspicious that these guys who were captured in Iraq, held prisoner in Guantanamo, then set free on U.S mainland soil with walking around money might have cut a deal and been secret double agents.
George W. must have thought the masterminds of the 9-11 attack would be pretty ignorant? Maybe he was looking at a group picture of his own cabinet and thought, hey, it's worked on these idiots.
So, how successful was the genius executive branch plan for counter-intelligence, code named, Penny Lane?
There's not a single shred of evidence than any of these turned double agents provided any intel that caused a disruption in any of the Iraq war plans. So much for the Republican brain trust and the neo-cons who actually ran our country and choreographed the war.
And these are the same people, the same party, that are imploring us to not seek out a peaceful solution the the nuclear potential in Iran. Let's see, trust the administration that ended the war in Iraq, is winding down the war in Afghanistan, tracked down Bin Laden, found a peaceful means of removing Syria's chemical weapons... or the people who started the war in Iraq to start with -- over faulty intelligence or just plain lies?
Remember back in 2009 how Republicans were screaming and panicking over the possibility of holding 9/11 trials in a downtown Manhattan, USA federal court? OH MY GOD! TERRISTS ON U.S. SOIL!
Right there in our USA courtrooms!
They'll all whisper propaganda into their ultra super duper Muslim Dick Tracy magic transmitters to signal all the other terrists to gather in New York, USA during the trials and spread their Al Qaedaitude all over Amurika, USA! During the trials! Right there!
Our national security machine can't handle a shackled guy in federal USA court, for Christiangodsake, don't you KNOW that, B. Hussein Obama?!
So the president scrapped the federal trials and moved everything to military tribunals. Even though we've had plenty of successful trials right here in the U.S.A. of plenty of bad guy terrorists that turned out just fine in which the bad guy terrorists were convicted, thrown in high security prisons, and were never heard from again.
No propaganda was spread, there was no retaliation, nobody was infected with Al Qaeda germs, and we all lived happily ever after under that big conservative thumb that keeps infringing on the rights of others.
Attorney General Eric Holder said he was right to push for trying the 9/11 defendants in federal court in New York.
Holder said Monday that if the trial for alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-conspirators had been held in federal court, rather than a military tribunal at Guantánamo Bay, the defendants would already be on death row.
To quote Holder, "I was right." He sure as hell was.
The Guantánamo trial for the five 9/11 defendants remains in pre-trial proceedings, with the trial not expected to begin for another year at least. Defense attorneys have said the pre-trial classification fights will push the trial date back to 2016. [...]
“I think that had we gone along the path that I announced at that time, we would not have had to close down half of Manhattan, it wouldn't have cost the $200 million a year and the defendants would be on death row as we speak,” he said.
But that doesn't matter. Republican cowards got their way, again. And justice has not been properly served, again. And Americans pay the price, again.
Among the economic Tea Party debt-ceiling danger deniers are the pictured Ted Yoho, Richard Burr, Steven King and Mo Brooks. The leader of this brigade is Sen. Tom Coburn, General of the Wackadoo militia. This gaggle of ingnorants have been spreading their ignorance across the news-waves, and sadly, there are too many vulnerables who might actually believe them.
Wackadoo is a term that's being used more and more often by pundits to describe elected officials, generally Republicans and Tea Partiers who just don't get it. They are birthers, climate change deniers, creationists and now economist gurus. These deniers are political terrorists who are determined to see this country destroyed so they can save it. Kind of the Werner Erhard (EST) philosophy of how to make you feel good. They suffer from hero complex -- but to be a hero, you need a damsel or dude in distress. So these sick puppies have set out to create catastrophe.
What is their take on this debt ceiling looming showdown?
“Tough luck,” these people say. The nation spends too much as it is. Blocking a debt ceiling increase will provide the radical shock therapy the nation desperately needs to start living within its means.
That seems so diametrically opposed to just about every valid, responsible person or organization, Democratic or Republican.
Wall Street and the White House are warning that failure to raise the nation’s debt limit will result in an economic apocalypse. “There is no silver bullet. There is no magic wand that allows us to wish away the chaos that could result,” President Barack Obama said on Tuesday.
So, who's right. Sadly, the wackadoos want to take us over the cliff to find out. Can we afford this experiment? Here it is in a Politico video, a short breakdown on the debt ceiling. It's succinct and precise. It's all you want or need to know.
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Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:
In a rare moment of diplomatic candor, US Secretary of State John Kerry told a congressional hearing Wednesday that oil sheiks have offered to pay the United States to unseat Bashar al-Assad as Syrian strong man. [...]
Apparently trying to assuage concerns about billions and billions of taxpayer dollars financing a "punishment strike" that most legislators know in their guts is the opening salvo in another Libyan style war of degrading the Syrian military (while untold numbers of civilians are also killed in the process), Kerry, according to The Washington Post, revealed more than he probably meant to [...]
“With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assess, the answer is profoundly yes,” Kerry said. “They have. That offer is on the table.” [...]
“In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing the way we’ve done it previously in other places, they’ll carry that cost,” Kerry said. “That’s how dedicated they are at this. That’s not in the cards, and nobody’s talking about it, but they’re talking in serious ways about getting this done."
The conundrum for Kerry is that you can't say "nobody's talking about it" when you've just said that an offer is on the table in case the Syrian conflict becomes a full-fledged Libyan style regime replacement operation. [...]
The only thing that has been stopping the US up until now from dislodging Assad is that the Syrian rebels are split among many different ideological groups, with the most powerful segment perhaps being Al-Qaeda or Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers. So if Assad is overthrown, it could open the way for a pro-Iranian Islamic fundamentalist government. [...]
So what's the end game? That's the question that has everyone scratching their heads in Washington. If Obama is authorized to strike Syria to punish Assad and the military for an alleged chemical attack, what will be the targets? They can't be the chemical weapons themselves because that would cause a disbursement that would probably kill tens of thousands of civilians.
What could the US military do that would actually deter the Syrian army from using chemical weapons, if they were the ones that actually did? And what would prevent the "radical" Islamic forces from seizing the chemical weapons (the largest stockpile in the world, according to President Obama) amidst the chaos created by a "shock and awe" attack. Then who might the chemical weapons be used against, us?
So much for protecting Americans.
Please read the entire post here.
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Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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