Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The president loves to talk to operators

* froomkin:
"Matthias Gebauer and Georg Mascolo interview author Ron Suskind for Der Spiegel online:
"SPIEGEL ONLINE: With all your access to high-level sources, have you come across anyone who still thinks it is a good idea for the U.S. to torture people?

"Suskind: No. Most of the folks involved say that we made mistakes at the start. The president wants to keep all options open because he never wants his hands tied in any fashion, as he says, because he doesn't know what's ahead. But those involved in the interrogation protocol, I think are more or less in concert in saying that, in our panic in the early days, we made some mistakes.

"SPIEGEL ONLINE: Because they could have gotten information through normal interrogations . . . .

"Suskind: . . . yes, and without paying this terrific price, namely: America's moral standing. We poured plenteous gasoline on the fires of jihadist recruitment.

"SPIEGEL ONLINE: So the average interrogator at a Black Site understands more about the mistakes made than the president?

"Suskind: The president understands more about the mistakes than he lets on. He knows what the most-skilled interrogators know too. He gets briefed, and he was deeply involved in this process from the beginning. The president loves to talk to operators.""
* amy:
"Report: Israel May Have Dropped Uranium-Based Bombs in Lebanon
British journalist Robert Fisk is reporting that Israel may have dropped uranium-based munitions on targets during its war against Lebanon. A leading British scientist has found that soil samples in Lebanon show elevated radiation and the concentration of uranium isotopes. According to the scientist, Dr. Chris Busby, there are two possible reasons for the contamination. Israel might have dropped a small experimental nuclear fission device or Israel used a bunker-busting conventional uranium bomb that employed enriched uranium. Robert Fisk reports that a photograph of one explosion shows large clouds of black smoke that might result from burning uranium. Israel has denied the report. However, last week the Israeli military admitted for the first time that it had dropped phosphorous bombs on Lebanon."

* amy:
"U.S. Carries Out War Games In Persian Gulf
The United States has begun carrying out a naval exercise in the Persian Gulf near the coast of Iran. The U.S.-led war games are reportedly designed to test the ability of nations to intercept ships carrying weapons of mass destruction. The exercises are being conducted in the waters off of Bahrain. The ships will be within 120 miles of the Iranian coast. Iran called the naval exercise “adventurous.”"

* soto:
"There is a growing meme developing in the center-left blogosphere over the last several days that goes something like this:
Despite the pre-election polls and expert analysis by folks like those at Congressional Quarterly, the GOP steals enough close races through electronic voting fraud to keep the House and Senate. To deal with the immediate backlash from Democrats and the media stemming from these discrepancies and the charges of another stolen election, Bush springs a November surprise to distract the public through an attack on Iran. To suppress the reaction to this Wag the Dog maneuver here at home, he uses newly-granted and just-discovered powers to mobilize the National Guard here at home to implement martial law under the pretense of national security while we are at war with Iran. So Bush steals the election and then ensures that no one can do anything about it."

7 comments:

profmarcus said...

i'm with soto... i don't WANT to be with soto, but i am with soto...

Simon said...

I'm not with Amy (or Fisk or Busby for that matter)!

"Report: Israel May Have Dropped Uranium-Based Bombs in Lebanon - British journalist Robert Fisk is reporting that Israel may have dropped uranium-based munitions on targets during its war against Lebanon. A leading British scientist has found that soil samples in Lebanon show elevated radiation and the concentration of uranium isotopes. According to the scientist, Dr. Chris Busby, there are two possible reasons for the contamination. Israel might have dropped a small experimental nuclear fission device or Israel used a bunker-busting conventional uranium bomb that employed enriched uranium...

A load of old tosh in my book. It's going to be nearly all U-238 in any case of any considered weapon in any category short of a nuclear explosion, and someone over there might just have noticed that had it happened. Depleted uranium (oxide) fallout (almost all 238) from Iraq is travelling (and has been since 1991) all across the region and far far beyond. It's been detected as far away as here in Britain.

And what is the point in putting ENRICHED uranium into a munition?

The whole point about using DU is that not only it is dead (pun intended) good at killing tanks, but also that it's cheap and plentiful as well, this is primarily because it's the major waste material from the various enrichment processes. You only want the enriched stuff for the other nuclear purposes, you don't get much of that and it costs you a fortune, so why shoot something with it with no advantage over shooting it with just the 'ordinary' and obtainable DU product?

(And you also honestly think Israel's own nuclear ('weapons' is that I hear you saying Mr Vanunu?) facilities are going to be 100% clean? Which way are the straw men-of-war blowing in the winds over there I wonder???)

oldschool said...

Isn't the use of phosphorous bombs a war crime?

lukery said...

thnx simon.

Prof - it's not a very pretty thought is it. but i've seen it around the place, and it makes some sense.

oldschool - only if other peope do it (actually the 'rule' is something like 'you can use it for certain purposes, but not to kill people'!)

noise said...

Re: Suskind interview

IMO, Suskind's access to power has turned him into another Woodruff.

Are we getting the real story or a bunch of spin with criticism of the Bush administration sprinkled throughout to gain credibility with the anti-Bush crowd?

IMO, we are getting well crafted spin.

noise said...

Meant Woodward.

lukery said...

woodward is a CW hack