Duelfer’s Book on Saddam’s WMD and some other news

Just a few odds and ends.

Via War and PieceIn Book, Insider Recounts Hunt for Hussein’s Weapons

“Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq” chronicles Duelfer’s decade-long hunt for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, first as a top U.N. weapons inspector in the 1990s and later as head of the CIA-led Iraq Survey Group, which concluded in fall 2004 that Iraq had essentially dismantled its deadliest weapons program years before the U.S. invasion.

The book — which was held up for more than nine months by CIA reviewers — includes fresh allegations about the Vladimir Putin government’s corrupt oil dealings with Iraq and Putin’s effort to persuade Hussein to step down to avert a U.S. invasion.

[   ]…Duelfer describes numerous requests from senior Iraqi officials to start a dialogue with the United States to improve relations. “Each time I passed on such entreaties to Washington, there was never an answer,” he said. “If nothing else, they were missed opportunities for Washington to gain more knowledge.”

One assumes that Bush received the information from Iraqi officials. Since we have been told to the point of obnoxious repetition that Bush wanted to avoid war at all costs, Duelfer’s book lends even more weight to those Downing Street Minutes. BushCo pushed aside any information that interfered with the urgent national threat scenario with mushroom clouds waiting over the horizon if we didn’t get our war on ASAP. That Putin and Saddam were corrupt are hardly reasons to spend over 4000 American lives. if corruption were justification for war we should have invaded K-Street and Tom Delay’s office in 2003.

Saddam-Qaeda Conspiracy Theorist Surfaces Writing Iraq Reports For The Pentagon

Laurie Mylroie, the quintessential conspiracy theorist of the Iraq War era, wrote reports about Iraq for the Pentagon as recently as Fall 2007, years after she was discredited, according to documents obtained by TPMmuckraker.

Mylroie is the author of two studies — “Saddam’s Strategic Concepts: Dealing With UNSCOM,” dated Feb. 1, 2007, and “Saddam’s Foreign Intelligence Service,” dated Sept. 24, 2007 — on a list of reports from the Pentagon’s Office Of Net Assessment [ONA], obtained by TPMmuckraker through the Freedom Of Information Act. The ONA is the Defense Department’s internal think tank, once described by the Washington Post as “obscure but highly influential.”

Those who follow the neoconservative movement closely are stunned that Mylroie has surfaced again — and especially that she is doing government-sponsored work on Iraq. “It’s kind of astonishing that the ONA would come even within a mile of her,” says Jacob Heilbrunn, author of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons. “I think she is completely discredited.”

“I’m shocked,” Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation says. “If this came out in 2007, she was presumably working on it in 2006, and, by that time, the fate and fortunes of a lot of these people was already switching.”

[   ]…Bergen sums up the animating principle of Mylroie’s work: that “Saddam was the mastermind of a vast anti-U.S. terrorist conspiracy in the face of virtually all evidence and expert opinion to the contrary.”

Mylroie is quite a piece of work.

Clinton Lawyer On Bush’s Exec Privilege Claim: “There’s Only One President At A Time” – If Bush and his lawyers, like John Yoo and David Addington thought that being president was close to being the same thing as emperor, it is little wonder that Bush thinks his emperorish powers extend beyond his term in office.

Obama preserves renditions as counter-terrorism tool

One provision in one of Obama’s orders appears to preserve the CIA’s ability to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects as long as they are not held long-term. The little-noticed provision states that the instructions to close the CIA’s secret prison sites “do not refer to facilities used only to hold people on a short-term, transitory basis.”

[   ]…”Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place” for renditions, said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. “What I heard loud and clear from the president’s order was that they want to design a system that doesn’t result in people being sent to foreign dungeons to be tortured — but that designing that system is going to take some time.”

Renditions or at least the very limited use of them, was never the issue. It was about Bush picking up people for indefinite periods of time then sending them off to places where they were likely to be tortured or killed – all without benefit of anything approaching a fair trial.

From President Obama’s appearance at the Alfalfa Dinner,

But these are the kind of negotiations you have to deal with as President. In just the first few weeks, I’ve had to engage in some of the toughest diplomacy of my life. And that was just to keep my Blackberry. I finally agreed to limit the number of people who could email me. It’s a very exclusive list. How exclusive?

Everyone look at the person sitting on your left’ Now look at the person sitting on your right. None of you have my email address.

Africa Europe Middle East Antique Map. Sorry, don’t have date for this one. Toward the middle you can see that Persia is relatively small. So discounting any prejudices on the part of the map maker it was very late in the history of the formerly vast Persian Empire.