Sunday, June 18, 2006

larisa interview: Iran, leopold, and stolen elections

On Wednesday, Larisa co-hosted the Peter B Collins show for the 2nd hour (mp3 here)

I did an approximate transcription. all errors are mine, some paraphrasing involved. I've also snipped a lot out (and not necessarily indicated where - so if she appears disjointed it's completely my fault) - including the questions that she was responding to and what not, so you might miss some context, etc. Also, I've re-arranged some quotes, hastily. (again, errors are mine)

On Iran:
Cheney's office - and presumably Cheney himself - is using Ghorbanifar... to surveil our ambassador to iraq. He's monitoring any 'unauthorized' activity by ambassador Khalilzad with any of the Iranians.
And then there's the aircraft carrier movements that everyone is keeping an eye on. One carrier is already there - and two on the way. But that's not what's alarming. What's alarming is the exercise that's being done called Valiant Shield - and this I haven't covered because I think it's fairly well-known. And if it's not, well - now i'm telling you! There's an exercise being done called Valiant Shield - it's the largest Navy exercise since Vietnam... we can use all of these little particulars as markers, if you will, to say 'Ok - something is wrong here, this doesnt make sense, this doesnt make sense'

There are other things going on - and that is the fact that Iran does not have this Nuclear Weapons Program - that everyone claims that they do. Obviously if they did we'd have to have serious discussions - but we're not having discussions - we're playing games. Certainly, this whole 'incentives package' is just ridiculous - because it's got all these deal-killers in it. So - ya know - I don't know if they're buying time, or what they're doing.

Generally I'm told that for such activities - regime change - they generally prefer the summer because the students are all back from school and usually it's the students who you 'prepare' for the 'civil unrest', if you will.

As far as I know, the (timing) estimates (for the Iran invasion) have not changed for those people who believe we are going in. It's not a question of 'if' - it's a question of 'when' - and the time range that they're saying is that it's either summer or fall. It used to be the spring of 2007 - but that estimate has since really quieted down - and now i'm hearing the summer or fall. Is this going to happen? Frankly, I don't know - but enough people think that something is going on that it's absolutely important that we continue to stay on this story.

I think first what we're doing - and we've already started - is causing disorder and unrest - trying to (promote) the concept of 'freedom fighters' and the revolution - ya know - the George Washington scenario. I think that is what we're doing - and then we're going to be doing the air strikes at locations that we don't even know where they are! But we're going to be doing 'surgical strikes' - but we don't even know what we're looking for - or where these supposed locations really are - so yeah, these 'surgical strikes' should be fairly accurate, right? (sarcasm)

The American foreign policy is regime change - whether the Iranians stop enrichment or not. It doesnt matter. They've set up traps in these 'incentive packages' that make it impossible for Iran to agree to - for example, Iran has to prove that enrichment makes 'economic sense.'

But Iran is trying establish an energy non-dependence - they're trying to establish their own energy program - and I don't see how, when you're dealing with internal policies, how that has to produce a profit! But that's what America is saying: "We want you to prove that this is profitable"

This incentive package in unconscionable. It's immoral because it's a trick - because you have to prove that the thing you need internally is going to be profitable - but you arent doing it for profit.

My concern is also over what appears to be the looming cold war. When you've got China and Russia standing together backing Iran - and China basically owns all of our debt. We have a serious problem - because any action we take, they don't need to retailiate, I would think, in a military sense - they can just call in the loans - and that's it, we're done.

It is a bombing campaign that they're talking about. Sam Gardiner has discussed this. So yeah - (if we attack Iran) there's going to be airstrikes - and Gardiner has pointed specifically to using B2 bombers and B52's. He doesn't think that we'll need ground troops.

Obviously we know that these have put the nuclear option on the table - and as a result you've seen a mass exodus of generals, who are also saying that others will step down if a nuclear strike is even considered a possibility. I, for one, don't think we'll use any nukes. I think it's a scare tactic - because I think if we even attempted - I believe (but maybe I'm fooling myself) that there are enough people in the military who would refuse. The military can refuse an illegal order - in fact they're required to. I believe enough people would step down. There'd be a revolt. There'd be a mutiny, I would think. We know that there are people on the inside who are saying 'we're gonna leave, walk, step down, resign and we're outta here if you even have this in any contingency plan'
On the cabal, in answer to a question about Rumsfeld saying on 9/10, 01 that the military has kinda lost track of $2.3 trillion:
If you look at the Pentagon under Rumsfeld for example, where you had Douglas Feith, and Paul Wolfowitz, and you had Richard Perle on the advisory board. These guys have had their security clearances in the past - for leaking classified information. And especially Feith and Perle are notorious for some of their shady dealings - and in fact, Perle had to resign - because yet again he was involved in something.

But what these guys do - is when they're pushed out, they just wait for a friendly administration to put them back in... What I'm saying is - you've got these culprits - and i do call them culprits because of their history. So you've got these culprits in the Pentagon, making decisions, you've got contractors getting no-bid contracts awarded to their friends that they over-pay for. So a lot of it is like 'Hey - let's use this as our own personal piggy bank'

On Jason Leopold, and the attack on JL and Truthout:
Although I have issues with some of (Leopold's) approaches, I don't believe he would cook a story - and so the celebration of someone's failure, and this whole "ha ha - i told you so" attitude, and the celebration that an alternative publication 'failed' is alarming to me. More so than anything that happened to Rove - because whatever else, truth has enough enemies - but it has very few people trying to get it out.

This, to me, is just an assault on everybody who's trying to do good work - and it discourages writers. I've spoken to a bunch of alternative writers this week and they're all like "who am I writing for? forget it! Because if I make one mistake..."

Ya know - nobody wants to make mistakes - and you do the best that you can, with the facts that you are given. You check, your editors check - for a story like this, I know Marc Ash flew to another state to meet with these sources, over a two week period, they had many meetings. Ya know, it's not like someone is sitting in their basement making this up. This was a serious investigation. Something went wrong - something changed - and people are assuming that because something changed, the original report is false. Is it false? I don't know. Could it have been a mistake? Maybe. Could he have been set-up? maybe. Did he cook it? No way!
On election fraud and the media/bloggy blackout:
In Robert Kennedy Jnr's article on election fraud, one of my articles was cited. It was an investigation that I did that was months long, that cited 7 people at the end (although I started off with 20 witnesses) - it had footage, it had - you name it. It had an FBI investigation - and yet somehow, nobody thought that article worthy at the time - and now you have someone of Kennedy's stature - saying very publicly - something that many people, for a very long time, have researched and agree with - and it's certainly something that I agree with - because facts are fact. There's no 'fair and balanced' when you deal with facts. Just facts.

Versions of the story about how the election was stolen might be different - but did it happen? Absolutely! You'd have to deny your own senses to say that something wasn't orchestrated. It wasn't even just Ohio - but Ohio was the best example - because you had people with cell-phones taking pictures - you had people who knew this would happen who took tape-recordings, you had people with video cameras. People documented these things. In Florida, I witnessed a Miami Herald journalist being beaten by the police. This appeared in the Miami Herald - for just a blip - and then it disappeared - and then I couldn't find it again afterwards. I don't want to start a war between bloggers and the alternative press - but they have made it almost a blanket policy. Anyone who talks about this won't be taken seriously - but, I'm sorry, facts are facts.
great interview - and unlike last time she co-hosted there, she didn't get deluged with requests for dates...


Miguel said...

" I know Marc Ash flew to another state to meet with these sources, over a two week period, they had many meetings."

That gives me some comfort the story wasn't fabricated.

lukery said...

i agree - that's why i wanted to go through the pain of transcribing this interview

if it wasnt fabricated - then what happened?

Don said...

Fred Dwyer at HuffPo (link) fired out the question of why we should be surprised that Rove skated in an investigation run by a Republican-appointed special prosecutor? Why did we pin our hopes on a man whose 'maverick' crededtials had been built up by a media that we have no reason to trust?

These days all the noise in high profile Leftblogistan is made over working within the system to make changes. "Gotta get our Dem candidates in, the DLC is useless and they're gonna support Lieberman as an independent against Lamont, the fuckers."

Others are 'busy' analyzing Busby's loss to see what tactics they have to change, while Brad Friedman is screaming into the silence that the damn thing was probably as fixed as every other Republican win in the last 7 years!

I think the answer goes back to the reason put forth by Mark Crispin Miller , also posted at HuffPo, in an Open Letter to Salon.

Denial and fear.

We pinned so many of our hopes on Fitz that we can't accept the possibility that he was compromised from the start.

We continually bitch over this and that Dem's vote because can't accept that so many Democratic "leaders" are as bought and paid for as their Repug counterparts.

We can't admit that the elections were fixed because that means the cancer has reached the heart of the American democratic system and metastasized.

Rove skated because that's what was in his script for this portion of the show. Busby/Bilbray was the intro act for the 'Elections '06' production. Rove's non-indictment 'exoneration' is just another pro-Republican piece of his great, grand (old party) narrative.

We're all focusing on small pieces of the puzzle. This bastard's still looking at the big picture.

noise said...

The Plame case didn't take place in a vacuum.

The Etablishment hasn't done a F'ing thing so far as accountability goes with 9/11 and the invasion/occupation of Iraq. Even if one buys the "We are there now so we can't leave" argument it doesn't mean that the A-holes who are responsible for this policy should be in the clear.

Why on earth would anyone in D.C. not have a problem with the constant exploitation of 9/11 for political gain? And why would anyone in D.C. not tell Pat Roberts to go F himself?

Larisa Alexandrovna said...

Don, very interesting. I had not read that piece in HuffPo. Will check now. Thanks for that.

Don said...


Don, very interesting. I had not read that piece in HuffPo. Will check now. Thanks for that.

Whichever of the 7 I linked that it was, you're certainly welcome.

I think I need a tranquilizer now...

lukery said...

i'm with larisa. good post. i've FP'd it.

noise - agreed. pat roberts needs to be bitch-slapped.

Kathleen said...

Excuse me, but did the fat lady sing? JL said, if his sources prove to be wrong, he would disclose their identity, but until Fitz says something about Rove or we see the letter, we won't know the answer to that question. I'm not prepared to take Luskin's interpretation of the letter as gospel. If there is a sealed indictment, then silence is golden. Don't rock that boat.

noise said...

Pat Roberts and Rove both love to see things in a Dem vs. Repub paradigm. The tragic thing is they hurt the soldiers with their sickening rabid Bush Co. support.

Are they willing to get a lot more soldiers and Iraqi citizens killed in order to maintain power? That appears to be the case.

lukery said...

noise - i think the answer is defintely 'yes' - but i'm with you: how and why are they allowed to do this?