Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something

US Iran intelligence ‘is incorrect’

At the heart of the debate are accusations – spearheaded by the US – that Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.

However, most of the tip-offs about supposed secret weapons sites provided by the CIA and other US intelligence agencies have led to dead ends when investigated by IAEA inspectors, according to informed sources in Vienna.

“Most of it has turned out to be incorrect,” a diplomat at the IAEA with detailed knowledge of the agency’s investigations said.

“They gave us a paper with a list of sites. [The inspectors] did some follow-up, they went to some military sites, but there was no sign of [banned nuclear] activities.

“Now [the inspectors] don’t go in blindly. Only if it passes a credibility test.”

One particularly contentious issue was records of plans to build a nuclear warhead, which the CIA said it found on a stolen laptop computer supplied by an informant inside Iran.

In July 2005, US intelligence officials showed printed versions of the material to IAEA officials, who judged it to be sufficiently specific to confront Iran.

Tehran rejected the material as forged, and there are still reservations within the IAEA about its authenticity, according to officials with knowledge of the internal debate in the agency.

“First of all, if you have a clandestine programme, you don’t put it on laptops which can walk away,” one official said. “The data is all in English which may be reasonable for some of the technical matters, but at some point you’d have thought there would be at least some notes in Farsi. So there is some doubt over the provenance of the computer.”

Here we go again, manipulated National Intelligence Estimates and going to war over a loony informant named Curveball for Iraq and now mysterious laptops that just so happen to fall into the Right hands.

CIA Agent Says Bosses Ordered Him To Falsify WMD Reports

Although the word “Iraq” does not appear in the heavily redacted version of the suit, the Washington Post reports that “the remaining language and context make clear that the officer’s work related to prewar intelligence on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.”

Accusations of intelligence officers being pressured on their Iraq findings in the lead-up to the war has long been alleged, but no CIA official has come public before with such claims.

According to the undercover agent, the CIA management retaliated against him by launching investigations of allegations that he had a sexual affair with a female asset and that he stole money meant to be pay off for sources.

There is an interview with the CIA agent’s lawyer at the link.

How Dick Cheney Helped Al Qaeda

Like most Americans, I considered American actions in Afghanistan to be a dismal but necessary act. An attack on United States soil requires, unequivocally, a disproportionate response; a valid military response in this case would have indeed been a removal of the Taliban from power, the complete and total removal of al Qaeda from Afghanistan and in any other countries in which they had found refuge, and a generous reconstruction of Afghanistan in such a fashion as to ensure al Qaeda’s continued inability to function there, thus demonstrating that terrorism against the United States would both fail in its purpose, and would result in disproportionate damage to the terrorists and hostile nations responsible. That’s how you prevent terrorism: you make the consequences worse than the possible upside.

That proposition, supported by nearly all Americans, lasted mere months, however, before the Bush administration’s eyes wandered away from the actual fight against al Qaeda and supporters and towards a large scale proxy war advocated by Rumsfeld and by neoconservative strategists looking to transfer American attention to the war they had wanted to fight, rather than the war they were actually in. The relatively small number of troops that had been committed to Afghanistan were drawn off to prepare for a larger Iraq conflict, including special forces tasked directly with tracking bin Laden. At no point was Afghanistan on the road to sure recovery: the Taliban remains a force in the country to this day.

Part of a good article by Hunter at Kos. Not only has the Taliban seemed to have as much power as before Bush invaded, al-Queda has expanded its power in our ally Pakistan’s territory and yet Bush and old slow Joe Lieberman see no need to shift resources there.

What is wrong with intelligent design?

“When scientific theories compete with each other, the usual pattern is that independently attested auxiliary propositions allow the theories to make predictions that disagree with each other,” Sober writes. “No such auxiliary propositions allow … ID to do this.” In developing this idea, Sober makes use of ideas that the French philosopher Pierre Duhem developed in connection with physical theories – theories usually do not, all by themselves, make testable predictions. Rather, they do so only when supplemented with auxiliary information. For example, the laws of optics do not, by themselves, predict when eclipses will occur; they do so when independently justified claims about the positions of the earth, moon, and sun are taken into account.

Similarly, ID claims make predictions when they are supplemented by auxiliary claims. The problem is that these auxiliary assumptions about the putative designer’s goals and abilities are not independently justified. Surprisingly, this is a point that several ID proponents concede.

It is a much easier path to take in life to simply believe something is true and that truth always seems to be untestable.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”- Giordano Bruno

“Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.” – Henry David Thoreau