"Ex-State Dept. Official Warns of Broad U.S. Attack on IranClemons has more on the conference, FT too.
A former top State Department official is warning the Bush administration has drawn up plans for a broad attack against Iran. The official, Wayne White, said "I've seen some of the planning ... You're not talking about a surgical strike." Up until 2005 White was a top Middle East analyst for the State Department's bureau of intelligence and research. White predicted a war against Iran would likely destabilize the Middle East for years. On Sunday, former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle said President Bush will order an attack on Iran if it becomes clear to him that Iran is set to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities. Perle's comments came during a conference in Israel."
Secret Service Questions 81-Year-Old Over Letter to Editor
In Pennsylvania, Secret Service agents questioned an 81-year-old man on Thursday after he wrote a letter to the editor criticizing Saddam Hussein's execution. In the letter, Dan Tilli, wrote "they hanged the wrong man." The Secret Service agents searched his house and took photos of him before deciding he was not a threat.
"The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is disputing claims that Iran has barred 38 nuclear inspectors from visiting the country, RAW STORY can reveal.Larisa got the AP to retract. Great work, LA.
A Reuters report earlier today -- followed up by a report from AP -- sent shockwaves through the international community by airing allegations that Iran had kicked out inspectors from the U.N. atomic watchdog organization. Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki posited that Iran had barred 38 inspectors with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
This, however, does not align with comments from the IAEA itself. Shockingly, no comment from the agency appeared in either Reuters or AP's article."
* Bernie Sanders:
'And I want to spend just a minute in telling you what I suspect most of you already know. If you are concerned, as been said, about healthcare, if you are concerned about foreign policy and Iraq, if you are concerned about the economy, if you are concerned about global warming, you are kidding yourselves if you are not concerned about corporate control over the media, because every one of these issues is directly controlled and directly relevant to the media.
Let me just talk about a few. Four years ago, George W. Bush told the American people that a third-rate military power country called Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that they were about to attack the United States of America. That's what he told us. I can tell you, because I was there in the middle of that, in opposition to that -- that day after day, those of us who oppose the war, among many other things, would be holding national press conferences that you never saw. I can tell you, as you know, that hundreds of thousands of people in our country were so disgusted with the media simply acting as a megaphone for the President that they turned off American media, and they went to the BBC or the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
In terms of the war in Iraq, the American media failed, and failed grotesquely, in exposing the dishonest and misleading assertions of the Bush administration in the lead-up to that war, and they are as responsible as is President Bush for the disaster that now befalls us. Media plays a role. And the disintegration of Iraq, the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, of over 3,000 Americans, the cost of hundreds of billons of dollars out of our pockets -- directly related to the failure of the media."
"The pomp of the State of the Union address and the deference given to Bush's office will prevent the night from turning into an outright rout.
But as a defensive measure, White House speechwriters are said to have crafted a speech that avoids the traditional laundry list of proposals and applause lines that would almost surely have fallen flat -- or even led to boos and groans -- given Bush's new circumstances.
To some extent, what's amazing is that it has taken this long."
* Helen Thomas on DemNow:
"HELEN THOMAS: Sure. I think the astounding thing, if you were in a room with many people and you went to ten people and asked them why we're in this war, you would get ten different answers, and that's no way to go to war. So I asked the President, what is the real reason, when every reason turned out to be untrue? Weapons of mass destruction, no. Ties to al-Qaeda, no. A threat from a third world country, no, to the world's only military superpower. So I asked him, what was his real reason? And then he said the Taliban. I said, “I’m talking about Iraq, Mr. President.” Then he said 9/11. I said, “But the Iraqis had nothing to do with 9/11.” And on it went.
The thing is, I certainly didn't get a clear-cut answer. It isn't for me. It's for the world. It's for the country. Why are you being asked to die? What is the valid reason? There are reasons. We have been in wars that I think people feel were -- it was the right cause. Certainly World War II. But to send people to war, and under what pretenses now? Now, it's nuclear war, I think, in terms of Iran."
"In Lipstadt’s view, which is the view shared by all Jewish defenders of Israel, Carter is wrong for failing to emphasize the Holocaust in a book about what Israel is doing to the Palestinians today. This lack of logic from Lipstadt would be the stuff of comedy if it did not form the basis for all the atrocities that Israel commits. Most apologists for Israel are too smart to put it in so many words, so we owe a bid debt of gratitude to Lipstadt for being so fucking stupid as to let the cat out of the bag. In fact, I think many people sympathetic to Israel don’t really realize the basis for the chip on Israel’s shoulder as they can’t bring themselves to believe that the basis could be something that is so insane.
The bigger picture is that many Jews feel that the Holocaust gives Jews, and by extension the Jewish state, a permanent ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card. The world stood by and let horrible things happen to the Jews, so the Jews have a unique right to obtain retribution in whatever way they see fit. One of the main ways they have seen fit to obtain justice is to grab themselves a country. No non-Jew has the moral right to complain about it, as every non-Jew inherits the guilt for the Holocaust. Thus, Jimmy Carter has no right to criticize the Jewish state for what it is doing to the Palestinians. Despite the fact the Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust (in fact hardly anyone alive today had anything to do with the Holocaust), they also have no moral right to criticize what is being done to them. This is the kind of reasoning which makes sense to young children, and many criminals (“I have a right to rob banks because I had a sad childhood’), but doesn’t make any sense to the rest of us."
"Can I just interrupt and say how much I appreciate the folks who are going to serve on their jury? Because their life is about to be turned upside down for the next bunch of weeks, what with having to report to an undisclosed location each day to be picked up to be brought to the courtroom. And imagine, going for 6 weeks without reading ANY blogs!?!?!?! "