This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



August 2008

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.

8 comments to Follow the Forger II

  • chris

    Some of this is covered in the Richard Clarke book as well, and I agree 100% that the entire chain of command (political at least) really needs to be held accountable. I can’t believe they have gotten away this long without more official proceedings against them.

    As to the military commanders, Clarke makes some compelling arguements for why/how they got to be where they now are… essentially some were hen-pecked into the positions they are in today because they were known to not put up a fight with upper management and would go along with what the wishes of their commander-in-chief were at that time.

    Shameful, this entire period in our history is just shameful.

  • Abulsme

    Not much longer now. Even if McCain wins, it will be better than it has been.

  • gregh

    the fact that there have not been full fledged impeachment proceedings is extremely shameful

    I see things like this all the time, but no one ever seems to have a good explanation of what the mandatory “high crimes and misdemeanors” are that have been committed. Unlike California, we don’t do recalls in the federal government, which seems to be what the “Impeach Bush!” folks are all about.

    Things the Bush administration has done may be “criminal,” but there’s not much evidence I’ve ever seen that what they’ve done is criminal.

  • Abulsme

    You left out the first part of my sentence where I said “if even 5% is true…”.

    Now, although I dare say that every single one of the items people have brought up which they say is criminal… not just a “bad thing”… is disputable. The administration certainly argues that these things were perfectly legitimate under their interpretation of the relevant laws. Others obviously disagree.

    For the maximal (certainly overreaching in many of the points) list of these, there are of course the items listed in Kucinich’s articles of impeachment.

    In most cases here though, Kucinich offers up item that are bad behavior in various ways, but which are not listed as violations of specific laws or constitutional prohibitions. I agree those are questionable.

    Some of them do directly tie to specific violations of law though.

    Although again, all of those items are clearly disputable under certain interpretations of the relevant laws, and of the limits of inherent executive power.

  • gregh

    I see two items in that list that appear criminal to me. Constitutional violations are not criminal; for instance, it’s not a crime to deny a citizen his Fourth Amendment rights.

    So, at best, you’ve got the Valerie Plame situation, for which it’s not clear to me that the President, as the chief executive, may be held accountable for violating an act of Congress that protects members of the Executive, and you’ve got a conspiracy charge regarding the VRA.

    Not that it matters. The tough-talking Democrats swaggered into office, apparently leaving their spines at the door.

  • Abulsme

    Of course, there is a strong argument that congress basically has sole authority to determine what are “high crimes and misdemeanors” in the context of impeachment, and that it does not necessarily need to be tied to violations of specific laws. For me, of things that aren’t direct violations of statutes, constitutional violations would be high on my list to bring under that umbrella, in the context of the President violating his oath of office.

  • gregh

    Yes, Congress undoubtedly has authority to determine what violations constitute “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

    However, surely a literalist such as yourself couldn’t consider something a high crime or misdemeanor if it is not, in fact, a crime or a misdemeanor. What’s more, since your arguments generally suggest that you blend your literalism with originalism, one must take count of what misdemeanors were at the time of ratification.

    Furthermore, if (arguable, at best) violations of the Constitution were to comprise crimes or misdemeanors, surely that would be spelled out in the Constitution itself. Even if they weren’t, I’m struggling to see how many of those things asserted violate the oath of office.

  • Abulsme

    Aw man, you caught me. I of course said an argument could be made, not that I would make it. :-)

    I had been thinking that more issues would be direct violations of the law than the two you mentioned. But honestly I haven’t had the time to look in detail. Although of course even one such item should be enough.

    Feel free to educate me on what “high crimes and misdemeanors” meant in the context of the late 1700’s. (I gather from the 5 seconds of reading I did a while back that it is actually fairly tightly constrained.)

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