Saturday, November 12, 2005
An intelligence analyst temporarily lost his top-secret security clearance because he faxed his resume using a commercial machine.
An employee of the Defense Department had her clearance suspended for months because a jilted boyfriend called to say she might not be reliable.
An Army officer who spoke publicly about intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks had his clearance revoked over questions about $67 in personal charges to a military cellphone.
But in the White House, where Karl Rove is under federal investigation for his role in the exposure of a covert CIA officer, the longtime advisor to President Bush continues to enjoy full access to government secrets. ...
This week, the broadcast of a shattering new documentary provided fresh confirmation of a gruesome war crime covered by this column nine months ago: the use of chemical weapons by U.S. forces during the frenzied destruction of Fallujah in November 2004.
Using filmed and photographic evidence, eyewitness accounts and the direct testimony of U.S. soldiers who took part in the attacks, the documentary -- "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre" -- catalogs the American use of white phosphorus shells and a new, "improved" form of napalm that turned human beings into "caramelized" fossils, with their skin dissolved and turned to leather on their bones. The film was produced by RAI, the Italian state network run by a government that backed the war.
Vivid images show civilians, including women and children, who had been burned alive in their homes, even in their beds. This illegal use of chemical weapons -- at the order of the Bushist brass -- and the killing of civilians are confirmed by former U.S. soldiers interviewed on camera. "I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah," said one soldier, quoted in The Independent. "In military jargon, it's known as Willy Pete. Phosphorus burns bodies; in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone. ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 meters is done for." ...
Friday, November 11, 2005
by Ray McGovern
Allegations keep cropping up in the press that CIA professionals are undermining the administration. In at least one sense, I suppose, this is true. For when an administration embarks on a war justified by little or no intelligence, speaking truth can be regarded as treachery. The country could use more of that kind of "treachery."
Cheney's current situation has the makings of a Greek tragedy in the way he is about to self-destruct. The tragic flaw of overweening arrogance - the Greeks called it hubris - did not begin with Euripides. Nor will it end with the inexorably approaching demise of the vice president and other leaders of the current US administration. ...
... In September 2004, St. Louis Circuit Judge David Dowd ruled that St. Louis’s privately funded “quality of life” court was unconstitutional. According to the ruling, the court violated the due process rights of individuals tried and sentenced within its confines, in violation of the US and Missouri state constitutions. Furthermore, Dowd noted, “the different treatment for persons arrested within the specified downtown area constituted an unconstitutional special law.”
In a second federal lawsuit (Johnson v. Board of Police Commissioners) 25 homeless workers and others charged that the City of St. Louis, its metropolitan police department and the Downtown St. Louis Partnership regularly organized “sweeps” designed to get them off the streets. Legal Clinic attorneys had tried unsuccessfully in 2003 to get the city to voluntarily stop the sweeps.
The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the Civil Justice Clinic (Washington University School of Law) and the Legal Clinic (Saint Louis University School of Law), accused St. Louis police officers of harassing and unjustly jailing them. The complainants zeroed in on one “sweep” of downtown St. Louis organized by the police during Independence Day festivities last July 4. The ugly details of how this process was carried out are documented in their court pleading.
One complainant, 54-year-old Kenneth Tate, was taken from his place near a post office where he was performing under a valid busker’s permit issued by the city. According to Tate’s official testimony, “‘the police drove-up.’ Officer Browning, a short Caucasian male, ‘threw me on the car, handcuffed me very tightly, and punched me near my kidneys.” ...
At today's White House press briefing, Scott McClellan was hit with a number of questions about the "ethics classes" the president's staffers are now attending. But much of the briefing featured efforts by Helen Thomas, at the start, and then other reporters to get McClellan to explain the apparent contradiction between his claims that the U.S. does not torture anyone and Vice President Cheney's request for an exemption in this matter. ...
Dumb-ya’s “aw shucks” demeanor and “born again status”, lulled the sheep in this country into a deep, deep sleep, leaving the Right free to wage war crimes and loot the treasury. Assume good faith? Tell it to Neville Chamberlain. Get out of my kitchen with that bullshit! ...