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Where’s the Outrage? 10/28/06 Podcast

Ops.  I have gotten behind in posting my show. Here’s the podcast.

We have never been about staying the course.  We are for changing language without really changing anything.  Tony Snow only found eight times where the President said “stay the course.”  Olbermann found 29 repetitions of “stay[ing] the course.”  Google remains a tool that the White House can’t figure out how to use.  (He even hears “stay the course” in Spanish.)  94 deaths in Iraq so far this month beg the question why did we go to Iraq?

My guests.  I feel very lucky that I have had some great guests.  I’m happy to say that I’m continuing the tradition.  Bill Scher, the founder and editor of Liberal Oasis, is in the HOUSE. We discuss his new book – Wait! Don’t Move to Canada.  Great book.  He doesn’t just point out some of the problems in the US.  He also puts forth a plan to take back the discussion and the government.

My second guest is really a hero of mine.  I have heard him on the Diane Rhem Show tons of times.  He doesn’t back down in the face of neo-con noise.  He is very detail-oriented.  I cited his previous book many times in my own book, A Letter to America.  He is the Washington editor of The Nation, David Corn. His new book, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War, is written with Michael Isikoff.  On the show, we discuss a few of the reasons that the Bush Administration told us that we needed to invade Iraq.  This is one of the best books that I have read in the last couple of years.  If you don’t have it, I highly recommend it.

Remember I’m on iTunes and several other podcasting sites.

By |2013-02-19T21:20:38-04:00February 19th, 2013|Iraq, Podcasts|Comments Off on Where’s the Outrage? 10/28/06 Podcast

500 Days by Kurt Eichenwald

500 days by Kurt Eichenwald

For generations we will be studying the immediate aftermath of 9/11 with the same intense scrutiny that we studied the Civil War, Pearl Harbor and the Revolutionary war. There will be scholars who will agree and disagree about this decision or that decision. There are several books that have already addressed the atmosphere before 9/11 and immediately afterward. One of the best books, in my opinion, was Richard Clarke’s Against All Enemies. This book was a personal yet comprehensive account of how the United States throughout the 1990s and early in the Bush administration struggled to get a handle on the growing threat from terrorism. Whether you like Richard Clarke or not, this is not the issue. His information has stood the test of time. The second book, less popular, but no less important, is Bob Graham’s book, Intelligence Matters. Sen. Bob Graham was chairman of the Senate intelligence committee during 9/11. His book focuses more on intelligence failures or lapses. He looks for ways in which the intelligence community could have connected the dots and possibly prevented the 9/11 tragedy. Another book that I would like to put on this list is Bob Woodward’s Bush at War. The reason that I am hesitant to place this book on this list is that Bob Woodward’s work has become so politicized. Some of his work is excellent, as in Bush at War. Some of his work is more sensational and, in my opinion, designed to sell books rather than to deliver information. Jane Mayer’s book, The Dark Side, must also be placed on this list.

500 Days belongs in this same category. It is a fantastic work which looks at the first 500 days of the Bush administration. If you’re looking for a book that either praises or condemns President George W. Bush, then you need to find another book. This book, instead of heaping superficial praise on any one individual, examines specific policies and attempts to figure out who made the decision, why the decision was made and on what evidence the decision was made. If you’re looking for a definitive answer, or whether a particular decision was great or awful, those sorts of judgments are not in this book.

There are several themes developed in 500 Days. One of the most important themes is how the United States conducted the War on Terror. The War on Terror is multifaceted. It involves the military, the CIA, the FBI, the Justice Department, the State Department, the Border Patrol and the Department of the Treasury, just to name a few. This book discusses the decisions made in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 in order to try to prevent a second attack. George Tenet, director of Central Intelligence, was convinced tate 9/11 was the first in a series of attacks. The FBI and the CIA were convinced that there were sleeper cells here in the United States and abroad and that these cells were ready to act. Because of this, the Bush administration always felt that they were behind the eight ball. The Bush administration felt that they needed to catch up in order to prevent the next attack. (more…)

By |2012-10-30T22:36:19-04:00October 30th, 2012|Books|Comments Off on 500 Days by Kurt Eichenwald

Prior to the Invasion of Iraq, America Was Like a Runaway Train

I will still submit that State of War: The Secret History of the CIA And the Bush Administration by James Risen is a great book, one that I’ve highly recommended. It is simply one of the best books I’ve read about the Bush administration in the last three or four years. I keep referring to that book over and over again. The book recounts a number of scenarios that the CIA tried prior to the invasion of Iraq in order to really delineate whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. One of those efforts focused on an anesthesiologist named Dr. Sawsan Alhaddad. Her brother was a nuclear weapons scientist who worked on weapons of mass destruction for Saddam Hussein. The CIA actually flew her to Baghdad in September 2002. She spoke with her brother in person and on the telephone. He told her in no uncertain terms that there was no nuclear program. In all, the CIA flew more than 30 people to Iraq in order to meet with their family members. All of them came back with the same information, that there were no weapons of mass destruction.

It appears that the intelligence community actually did their jobs. They actually tried to find out the answer. There was no failure of intelligence but a failure of leadership.

From across the pond, Britain’s own MI6 had a meeting with the head of Iraqi intelligence prior to our invasion. Michael Shipster, of MI6, met with the head of Iraqi intelligence, Tahir Jalil Habbush, who gave the British everything that they needed to know. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was worried about his image in the region. He was also worried about Iran and other competitors in the region. All of this information was immediately passed to the White House. All of this is recounted in Ron Suskind’s book, The Way of the World.

So, the White House “knew” that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction prior to the invasion. They had information from multiple sources which stated that Saddam Hussein was not reconstituting a nuclear, biological or chemical weapons program. Yet we still went to war. Why? Don’t President Bush and Vice President Cheney need to answer this question in front of the American people? With over 4300 Americans dead, shouldn’t Bush and Cheney have to say something to us and to the families of those who have died beause of these actions?

Update from Political Animal:

Fester at Newhoggers links to a set of right-wing bloggers’ predictions for 2003. It’s pretty stunning. For instance:

If we go into Iraq, how many casualties do you expect to see (on the side of the US and our allies)

John Hawkins: “Probably 300 or less”

Charles Johnson:”Very few”

Henry Hanks: “Less than 200”

Laurence Simon: “A Few hundred”

Rachael Lucas: “Less than three thousand”

Scott Ott: “Dozens”

Glenn Reynolds: “Fewer than 100”

Tim Blair: “Below 50”

Ken Layne: “a few hundred”

Steven Den Beste: “50-150”

More from another pre-war interview with Tim Blair:

“John Hawkins: If and when do you see the United States hitting Iraq? How do you think it’ll work out?

Tim Blair: It all depends on Iraq’s fearsome Elite Republican Guard. Why, those feisty desert warriors could hold out for minutes. Dozens of US troops will be required. Perhaps they’ll even need their weapons.”

By |2009-07-16T20:57:56-04:00July 16th, 2009|Bush Administration, Iraq|Comments Off on Prior to the Invasion of Iraq, America Was Like a Runaway Train
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