This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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Follow the Forger II

I don’t believe it is the same set of documents being talked about, but when reading today’s notes from Ron Suskind, I was reminded of my post “Follow the Forger” from October 2003. Well, Suskind claims to have found at least one forger of documents related to the Iraq/Niger/Yellowcake connection that was claimed but did not exist.

The Forged Iraqi Letter: What Just Happened?
(Ron Suskind, Huffington Post, 5 Aug 2008)

What just happened? Evidence. A secret that has been judiciously kept for five years just spilled out. All of what follows is new, never reported in any way:

The Iraq Intelligence Chief, Tahir Jalil Habbush — a man still carrying with $1 million reward for capture, the Jack of Diamonds in Bush’s famous deck of wanted men — has been America’s secret source on Iraq. Starting in January of 2003, with Blair and Bush watching, his secret reports began to flow to officials on both sides of the Atlantic, saying that there were no WMD and that Hussein was acting so odd because of fear that the Iranians would find out he was a toothless tiger. The U.S. deep-sixed the intelligence report in February, “resettled” Habbush to a safe house in Jordan during the invasion and then paid him $5 million in what could only be considered hush money.

In the fall of 2003, after the world learned there were no WMD — as Habbush had foretold — the White House ordered the CIA to carry out a deception. The mission: create a handwritten letter, dated July, 2001, from Habbush to Saddam saying that Atta trained in Iraq before the attacks and the Saddam was buying yellow cake for Niger with help from a “small team from the al Qaeda organization.”

The mission was carried out, the letter was created, popped up in Baghdad, and roiled the global newcycles in December, 2003 (conning even venerable journalists with Tom Brokaw). The mission is a statutory violation of the charter of CIA, and amendments added in 1991, prohibiting CIA from conduction disinformation campaigns on U.S. soil.

Mr Suskind is of course promoting a new book where he goes into these accusations in more detail I gather. I have not read it. I have no good way to evaluate if any of it is true.

But… If even 5% of all the things this administration has been accused of over the last 7+ years are even partially true, then the fact that there have not been full fledged impeachment proceedings is extremely shameful.

I wonder just how many preemptive pardons will be issued on January 19th. I am anticipating quite a few.

Not that I really think even a potential Obama administration would be interested in going after any of these jokers (including W). Instead they will look the other way and decide to worry about the future rather than the past, to not reopen old wounds, to “heal” etc. Blah Blah Blah.

Sorry, these folks need to be held to account. All the way up and down the command chain. Including W and Cheney.

Cinema: X-Files: I Want to Believe

Not this past weekend, but the weekend before that, we went to see the new X-Files movie. This was specifically prompted by Brandy, who REALLY wanted to see it, but both Amy and I wanted to see it too, so that was that.

I’ve seen a lot of reviews panning this movie for various reasons, but I’ll just say I liked it. I liked the X-files when it was on, and this was just like a giant episode. And not one of the “conspiracy” episodes either, but more like one of the one off episodes. I thought that was just fine though. I liked those kinds of episodes just fine when it was on TV.

And yes, it had more about Mulder and Scully and their relationship. Some people really hate that. I think it is just fine. And come on, given the whole history and all these two have been through, like they aren’t going to end up there? Geeze! :-) I like the two characters. I like exploring them as people. They don’t just have to run around doing the chasing aliens thing ALL the time. This was OK.

Anyway… as I said… basically just a long episode. If you liked the show, and you liked the non-arc episodes, then you should like this too.

If you didn’t like the show, or just didn’t care and never watched it, you are probably quite safe skipping this movie. You won’t miss a thing.

King County Initiative 26 and Council-Proposed Alternative Question 2

Official information here (pdf).

This is the follow on to Question 1 which I blogged about on Saturday. There are two possible initiatives to choose from. If Question 1 passes, then the winner in Question 2 will appear on the ballot.

Boiled down, the first option “Initiative 26” makes a number of local offices that have been partisan offices into non-partisan offices. The second option “Council-Proposed Alternative” does the same thing, but also provides for candidates to still identify their party preference on the ballot. (Although such identification would not imply the endorsement of the party.)

WTF?

The argument is that it is better to be open about a preference which will exist anyway than to hide it, and that putting the party preference on the ballot gives the voters more information in order to make a educated choice.

I frankly think that is bullshit, and is just an attempt to essentially keep the positions partisan, even while calling them non-partisan. It is an effort to maintain the status quo while pretending to do otherwise.

I generally am displeased with political parties and think that any effort to disrupt the influence of such organizations, and rather have people make decisions based not on party identification, but rather by evaluating the individuals involved and their specific views, is a positive development.

If candidates want to make known a party preference, then they can put it on their websites, they can talk about it, people can discuss it. But it should not be on the ballot. (Frankly, I think all elections should be that way.)

And honestly, I think that if an office is truly a non-partisan office, then close identification with any political party should be a major negative for any candidate. If it is a non-partisan office, then people running for those positions, or elected to those positions, should make a significant effort to NOT be tied to beholden to any political party.

In any case, as I’m sure is obvious by this point, my vote is for:

INITIATIVE 26

Paris Responds

For those of you who may not have seen it yet. Ouch. Poor McCain.

(via Huffington Post)

No Bayh

And another rumor gets popped. At least for the moment.

Bayh: Obama hasn’t asked me to join ticket
(Mary Beth Schneider, Indystar.com, 5 Aug 2008)

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., told The Indianapolis Star today that Sen. Barack Obama has not asked him to be his running mate and that he’s not expecting Obama to announce his vice presidential pick when Obama is in Indiana Wednesday.

Asked if he will be Obama’s vice presidential choice, Bayh said; “I have no idea. You’d have to ask him.”

Bayh will be introducing Obama at Wednesday’s town hall meeting in Elkhart, but said he knows of no plans for a private meeting with Obama, even though both men are flying into northern Indiana tonight. The length of Obama’s visit here — he arrives at about 6:30 p.m. and isn’t scheduled to leave until about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday — had acceleratd already flying rumors that Bayh will be Obama’s choice.

But Bayh said he believed the campaign was trying to add another stop in Indiana, accounting for the length of the visit.

(via TPM Election Central)