Sunday, July 02, 2006

Israel is completely racist

* xymphora:
"The fact that Israelis have no problem with the fact that Israel can brutalize and terrify and risk the lives of a million innocent civilians over one Jew proves, definitively, that Israel is completely racist, and irredeemably so. In fact, Israeli popular opinion seems to be that the current Israeli government batshit-insane response is too easy on the civilians of Gaza. When Israel disappears and moves to Oklahoma, it won’t be because of any external threat. It will be because Israel suffers a ‘legitimacy crisis’ based on a sudden realization that you cannot build a country in the 21st century based entirely on racial hatred. "
* xymphora:
"Right-wing American morons will never admit that they have been made fools of by Bush and his media pals, as that would make them lose again to the liberals. The worst thing is to have to admit how stupid you are, particularly to people who will never let you forget it. As they slowly come to realize how much they’ve been had, Cletus and Britney are acknowledging their foolishness by cutting back on their consumption of crap information. The ‘mainstream’ media corporations are having exactly the same problem as the more obviously right-wing media, for peddling exactly the same lies. Now they are spending millions hiring consultants to tell them how to get their customers back. Unfortunately for them, the only thing that will work is the one thing they cannot do, stop lying."
* simon:
"Emptywheel etc has plenty on the false US claims (yellowcake, aluminium tubes etc) but over here (UK) we don't even know what they wanted to, dare I say it, lie about."
(John Scarlett tried to insert 'nine nuggets' of bullshit into the ISG report - we still dont know what they were - apparently 3 of them were: "Saddam was working on a smallpox weapon, did have mobile biological laboratories and was developing research equipment for use in nuclear weapons.")


Simon said...


Something else I am picking up on re the labs is that Iraq may have had an interest in mobile biological DETECTION laboratories, as opposed to mobile biological PRODUCTION laboratories. Perhaps someone has (deliberately or accidentally) conflated the two?

One of the other 'nuggets' might have been about VX nerve gas - traces of which were supposedly found on Scud missile remnants. The question here is did Iraq deliberately contaminate items with a binary product (perhaps anything they had) in an attempt to account for all its 'special' CW warheads (some of which had been used in 1991 and therefore couldn't be accounted for)? If they had done this then they wouldn't be able to account for all their conventional warheads (which they couldn't), as they would have had to use some of them in the deception.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of right-wing media:

My partner works for a local fox news station and told me something very revealing the other day about the public's reaction to Fox.

One of their on-air talent doesn't want to do any man-on-the-street interviews anymore because steadily over the last 6 months the public has gotten very hostile towards the Fox crew. Doesn't matter what the story is about (even non-political stories) once people realize they are from Fox, they either refuse to talk to them or bitch them out. The on-air talent that related this said he sometimes feared that him or his crew would get assaulted.

My partner told me that what really surprised him was the reaction of co-workers to this - who were pretty much in agreement with the public sentiment and laughed and said "good for them".

- Jiminy Cricket

lukery said...

simon - interesting re the nuggets. i suspect that the answer could be found by reading colin powell's UN speech.

also interesting about the labs - although i cant really see how that would have worked. the MWL claims all appeared to have come from chalabi via curveball. by most accounts, it appears that curveball (mostly) accurately described the hydrogen trailers - so i'm not sure how/where the Detection lab issue was conflated.

according to judy: "After Iraq lost the 1991 Persian Gulf war and agreed to destroy its unconventional arms, Iraqi officials told United Nations inspectors that Baghdad had once considered making mobile germ plants."
so i guess thats where the initial story came from.

lukery said...

jiminy - thats very interesting. thnx.

(am sorry for your partner)

Simon said...


- so i'm not sure how/where the Detection lab issue was conflated.

I just have a few snippets about this:

Powell to the UN:

"Finally, a fourth source, an Iraqi major, who defected, confirmed that Iraq has mobile biological research laboratories, in addition to the production facilities I mentioned earlier."


"Several inspections have taken place at declared and undeclared sites in relation to mobile production facilities. Food testing mobile laboratories and mobile workshops have been seen, as well as large containers with seed processing equipment. No evidence of proscribed activities has so far been found."

Describing these items simply as mobile biological labs would be accurate to a degree, although not completely so being as they weren't intended for production.

Obviously the (Chalabi inspired) defectors had a big effect in persuading the US that labs really existed, but did the rumours out of Iraq all start with the relatively benign facilities that Iraq did in fact possess?

(I don't really doubt that a mobile production concept was considered by Iraq at some point, but whether it ever went any further than that is another question. Put these two things together and what do you get?)

lukery said...

simon - you might be on to something.

incidentally, the curveball appeared not long after chalabi was asked whether there were any M.w.labs.

Simon said...


So the next logical step would be (being as Curveball identified the configuration of the H machines fairly well) - was he taken to them and shown then - or at least one of them - and told to claim via the German intelligence service that they were MBLs? If so, it seems there is a common thread of spreading disinfo through third-party intel agencies. Again if so, maybe there is a deeper plot to make the (false) case for WMD in Iraq?

lukery said...

simon, heh:
"While Curveball is reported to have claimed to be a chemical engineer trained on the use of the trailers the nature of the intelligence he supplied, as reflected in the CIA/DIA white paper on the alleged mobile laboratories, indicates he was a poseur. A chemical engineer would be concerned with the function of components, material flow, energy flow, control of parameters, conditions. Nothing in what is claimed to be intelligence from Curveball appears to be anything other than an external description of trailer components, as would be made by a non-engineer. None of what is purported to be intelligence supplied by Curveball shows any glimmer of engineering awareness."

read this again: "they looked similar from a distance"

an interesting part of the story is that curveball was in a german camp in 98

Kathleen said...

Why think Chalabi and Curveball had to convince Das Bush and Darth VEEP?

I'll bet it was the other way around. Dopey and Darth offered them a ton of money to say all this shit. AND make it look good. We probably drew up the plans for those labs and sent them over to them to show us.

Who the hell is writing this script, Mel Brooks? They couldn't even get the right officials names and dates on that Niger stationary.

Anybody notice Darth VEEP had himself a mini health event this weekend? He's winding up to an "I"m too sick to testify in Libby's trial", then "I'm resigning" and Condi sliding into place to run as an incumbent and God knows what else.

Darth better pray they don't ship him to same hospital as Martha Mitchel and William Casey. We'll be doing a Dearth for Darth.

Kathleen said...


A pox on Fox!

lukery said...


i didnt see that his health was playing up again. did his heart actually start working for a minute?

Simon said...


Yeah, I re-read that. V.good it t'was too. You said "it looks like chalabi gave a photo of the mobile weather stations to curveball who reported it to the cia/dod".

Maybe someone gave him directions and he just drove there and had a look for himself (being as he was a taxi driver)?

Maybe he even drove himself to Germany as well?

lukery said...

simon. thnx.

as i mentioned above, it's interesting that curveball was in a refugee camp in 98 - hats off to them for their foresight and long-term thinking.

one thing that fascinates me tho (with many of these stories - eg this, and niger) is that i'd think that if you were going to plant these stories, you'd do a better job with it. eg curveball - if you are gonna put someone in deep undercover, long-term, why not spend another few bucks - and get something that ought withstand even a little bit of scrutiny. eg: get a real - or someone who isnt a drunk. "None of what is purported to be intelligence supplied by Curveball shows any glimmer of engineering awareness."

its baffling.

also baffling re your "it seems there is a common thread of spreading disinfo through third-party intel agencies." is that the CIA apparently couldnt get any access to CB - the germans wouldnt share him. by all accounts the germans knew he was talking nonsense - but for some reason (and i havent seen anything resembling a reasonable logic for this) they wouldnt give the americans access to him so that the americans could debunk the claims first-hand. (and as far as i know, unmovic didnt get any access either)

a deeper plot, indeed.

Simon said...


"its baffling."

"a deeper plot, indeed."

Yeah, I've been wondering about this. Was it so much that the Germans wouldn't give him up or was it more like the US didn't want him to look at him too closely? We're back to that age-old deliberate cut-out thing again, me thinks.

lukery said...

simon: "was it more like the US didn't want him to look at him too closely?"

hmmm - it kinda looks like that from above - but when you look a little closer, the witholding seems to have been from the germans - at least according to Tyler Drumheller:
" Drumheller was asked to press a counterpart from a European intelligence agency for direct access to Curveball. Other officials confirmed that it was the German intelligence service.
The German official declined but then offered a startlingly candid assessment, Drumheller recalled. "He said, 'I think the guy is a fabricator,' "" (link)

and there's this: "Except for a brief meeting between Curveball and a DIA medical technician in May 2000, German authorities refused to let U.S. intelligence officials interview their source until March 2004, a year after the war began." link

or this might be closer to the truth: "Drumheller said the German intelligence officer used the lunch to convey a stark warning: "Don't even ask to see him because he's a fabricator and he's crazy."" link
(that's a lot different to 'declined' and 'refused')

murky, as ever

lukery said...

one other thing - i havent seen (in the at least) any pushback from the germans about the fact that they are being blamed for the curveball thing.

lukery said...

the other piece of information, of course, is that while the germans 'refused' access, there were still 100 separate reports from CB back to the americans - which seems extraordinary all by itself. (not that i really have a clue how many is 'normal')

one other thing that stuck out to me - again, not for any particular reason - is that CB was a DIA asset. i dont really know the role of DIA - but is there anything weird about CB being DIA, rather than say, CIA?

emptywheel said...

Two things.

First, the reason given in the blockbuster LAT article on CB is that he told the Germans he despised Americans. If that's true, CB came in with a story that insulated him against being introduced to the Americans (and when the DIA doc visited him, he had to pretend he wasn't American).

Second, don't forget that Duelfer forced Ritter to go talk to Chalabi in 1998, and that in that conversation Ritter (by his own admission) described to Chalabi the things they suspected were there, but hadn't found yet. Chief among those was the mobile weapons labs. So CHalabi gets all the details directly from Ritter in 1998, then gets CB to leave as a refugee and head to Germany, to basically repeat the story Ritter has just told him.

lukery said...

thanks EW

re CB 'hating' the americans, it's amazing that these people managed to sell an invasion. in every case they seem to have just enough, and nothing more. it reminds me of my early college days where the mantra was that anything more than 51% was a waste of effort.

(also - i remember your point that CB's safe-house was decked out in americana.)

i was aware that CB scooted off to germany soon after chalabi got asked about the labs - but had forgotten that passage from Ritter, and hadn't realised that duelfer sent him. interesting.