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Texans for Truth challenge Bush's Air National Guard service.

Covering up Saudi involvement in 9/11

Imperial Hubris

Bush's Brain

ARTICLE, 8-14-04, By David H. Hackworth

``Attacking in the Wrong Direction

My good pal Jerry Sullivan recently floored me with the comment, "I'd rather fight 'em in Iraq than in the USA." ...

Could Sully be right?

Maybe he'd channeled Lyndon B. Johnson's rationalization that it was better to fight the commies in Vietnam than on the beaches of San Francisco. Or perhaps he was co-opted by George W. Bush's similar and, I believe, equally wrongheaded sound bite, "We will confront them overseas so we don't have to confront them here at home."

But my respect for Sully motivated me to review my thinking, and here's what came to mind:

In a conventional war, where nations are fighting nations, of course it's better to slug it out on the enemy's turf with the goal of taking a Berlin or a Tokyo and smashing your opponent's industrial base and army ...

But as we rediscovered in Vietnam and Somalia, insurgent warfare is a fight against a different animal, frequently a hit-and-run, stateless opponent without easily identified major targets to zero out.

Ironically, too, our bombs and heavy-handed firepower become major insurgent recruiters in guerrilla warfare. And that's what's happening in Iraq, where a significant percentage of the population is now openly clamoring for the Yankees to go home. Many Iraqis have already either turned to actively supporting the guerrillas or they're sitting on the sidelines, afraid to take sides and allowing the guerrillas to attack our forces at will.

So, fighting in Iraq bears not the slightest resemblance to our triumphant World War II march across Europe. Almost the entire Arab world views us not as liberators occupying that bludgeoned country solely to pull the Iraqis up by their sandal straps, but as Crusaders who've returned to finish the dirty work the Christian world started a thousand years ago. Deep in the hearts of most Arabs, we're just the latest wave of infidels who are into violating their sacred land.

Other disadvantages are that we don't speak the language, know the turf or understand the culture or the underlying basics, like who belongs to what tribe. As a result, our intell system, which is vital to winning a guerrilla war is about as effective as throwing darts in a darkroom.

Another downer is that our troops are at the end of a 10,000-mile supply line requiring both megabucks and megaguts to maintain. Once supplies are shipped to ports in Kuwait or Turkey, they still have to be trucked forward on "Highways of Death" treks, which daily take their nerve-shattering toll in U.S. casualties and destroyed vehicles and supplies.

And fighting the guerrillas in Iraq has worn out our regular ground force to the point that units committed there need a minimum of a year Stateside to recover from their tours in hell. Ditto the Guard and Reserve troops, who are meanwhile not available to defend the home front or put out any local U.S. fires.

We're also suddenly on high alert in Washington, D.C., Newark, N.J., and New York City, which have all morphed into Checkpoint Charlies, just as Boston was a maxi-fortress last month. Meanwhile, our southern border is being breached by hundreds of Muslim fanatics passing as Mexicans, and our northern border has more holes in it than the White House sprinkler system.

Sully, let's face it: The USA is only in Round One of what promises to be at least a 15-rounder, yet we're already performing like Mike Tyson in his last fight. For sure, our country's first priority should be defending this great land, which should certainly include securing our borders and rebuilding our exhausted, overextended Army and Marine Corps.

And without question a simultaneous priority should be winning in Afghanistan and finishing Osama.

I'm forced to conclude, Sully, that you and Mr. Bush have both made a bad call on our quagmire in Iraq.''

[Whoever wrote Bush's speech accepting the nomination was a top-knotch spinmaster. Was the word "oil" ever uttered?]

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NEWS ARTICLE from the Plain Dealer, 9-22-04, By Grant Segall, Plain Dealer Reporter

``Former Bush official tells CSU crowd president based war in Iraq on lies

Greg Thielmann says it's hard to admit that our children are dying for lies. "People are never comfortable with criticizing the commander in chief in wartime," Thielmann said.

But the U.S. State Department veteran has joined a long line of former Bush officials doing just that. "The Bush administration should be voted out of office for waging war under false pretenses," Thielmann said Tuesday [9-21-04] at Cleveland State University.

President Bush has said he believed all the charges he made before invading Iraq. But Thielmann said the administration knew better.

Before retiring in September 2002 after 28 years of federal work, Thielmann ran the Office of Strategic Proliferation ... Thielmann said the bureau debunked myths about Saddam Hussein's importing uranium, using aluminum tubes to make nuclear weapons and helping the al-Qaida terrorists, his [Saddam's] longtime enemies ...

Thielmann said, "We're much less safe because of the Iraqi war." He called our military overstretched, our ports undermanned and our enemies inflamed ...

One of Thielmann's hosts, Robert Charlick, politics professor, is an expert on Niger. Charlick called a document supposedly showing Niger steering uranium to Hussein an obvious forgery. "It had the wrong name, the wrong dates, the wrong seals," said Charlick.''

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: ggsegall@plaind.com,

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NEWS ARTICLE from U. S. NEWS, 9-12-04, By Kit R. Roane

``The service question

A review of President Bush's Guard years raises issues about the time he served

Last February [2004], White House spokesman Scott McClellan held aloft sections of President Bush's military record, declaring to the waiting press that the files "clearly document the president fulfilling his duties in the National Guard." Case closed, he said.

But last week the controversy reared up once again, as several news outlets, including U.S. News, disclosed new information casting doubt on White House claims.

A review of the regulations governing Bush's Guard service during the Vietnam War shows that the White House used an inappropriate--and less stringent--Air Force standard in determining that he had fulfilled his duty.

Because Bush signed a six-year "military service obligation," he was required to attend at least 44 inactive-duty training drills each fiscal year beginning July 1. But Bush's own records show that he fell short of that requirement, attending only 36 drills in the 1972-73 period, and only 12 in the 1973-74 period.

The White House has said that Bush's service should be calculated using 12-month periods beginning on his induction date in May 1968. Using this time frame, however, Bush still fails the Air Force obligation standard.

Moreover, White House officials say, Bush should be judged on whether he attended enough drills to count toward retirement. They say he accumulated sufficient points under this grading system. Yet, even using their method, which some military experts say is incorrect, U.S. News's analysis shows that Bush once again fell short. His military records reveal that he failed to attend enough active-duty training and weekend drills to gain the 50 points necessary to count his final year toward retirement.

The U.S. News analysis also showed that during the final two years of his obligation, Bush did not comply with Air Force regulations that impose a time limit on making up missed drills. What's more, he apparently never made up five months of drills he missed in 1972, contrary to assertions by the administration ...

Some experts say they remain mystified as to how Bush obtained an honorable discharge. Lawrence Korb, a former top Defense Department official in the Reagan administration, says the military records clearly show that Bush "had not fulfilled his obligation" and "should have been called to active duty."

Bush signed his commitment to the Texas Air National Guard on May 27, 1968, shortly after becoming eligible for the draft. In his "statement of understanding," he acknowledged that "satisfactory participation" included attending "48 scheduled inactive-duty training periods" each year. He also acknowledged that he could be ordered to active duty if he failed to meet these requirements.

Bush's records show that ... as the Vietnam War wound down, his performance slumped, and his attendance at required drills fell off markedly. He did no drills for one five-month period in 1972. He also missed his flight physical. By May 2, 1973, his superiors said they could not evaluate his performance because he "has not been observed."

Albert C. Lloyd Jr., a retired Air Force colonel who originally certified the White House position that Bush had completed his military obligation, stood by his analysis. After a reporter cited pertinent Air Force regulations from the period, he complained that if the entire unit were judged by such standards, "90 percent of the people in the [Texas Air National] Guard would not have made satisfactory participation." ...

The regulations must be followed, [said] James Currie, a retired colonel and author of an official history of the Army Reserve. "Clearly, if you were the average poor boy who got drafted and sent into the active force," he says, "they weren't going to let you out before you had completed your obligation."''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 9-9-04, By Ron Hutcheson, Knight Ridder Newspapers

``WASHINGTON -- ... Yesterday, a new ad and a high-profile television interview suggested that Bush used political influence to avoid service in Vietnam, then went AWOL from his Air National Guard unit. Neither allegation is new, and Bush hasn't documented the period of service in question ...

Biographer Kitty Kelley promises even more explosive allegations in her latest work, ''The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty,'' which hits bookstores Tuesday [9-14-04]. Kelley's publicists say the book will offer a ''shocking'' look at ''the mistresses, the marriages, the divorces, the jealousies'' and other personal foibles of the Bush clan.

The book's headline-grabbing passages reportedly include allegations of past drug use by Bush. Kelley, whose previous unauthorized biographies of Frank Sinatra, the British royal family and Nancy Reagan drew ... sales-boosting attention from mainstream journalists, will hit the morning talk-show circuit on Monday [9-13-04] ...

Texans for Truth, the group leading the challenge to Bush's Air National Guard service ... [stars] Bob Mintz ... in an ad questioning Bush's service ... The Texans for Truth ad suggests that Bush failed to report for National Guard duty in 1972, when he was detailed to an Alabama unit while working on a political campaign. In a conference call with reporters, Mintz said he served in the unit at the time and never saw Bush report for duty ...

The other attack on Bush's National Guard service came from Ben Barnes, a lobbyist who was once a rising star in the Texas Democratic Party. Barnes says he used his political influence to get Bush into the Texas Air National Guard in 1968, a move that kept Bush out of Vietnam.

Barnes, who was the Texas House speaker at the time, has said that he intervened at the request of Houston businessman Sid Adger, a friend of the Bush family. In an interview that aired yesterday on CBS's ''60 Minutes II,'' Barnes expressed remorse over his efforts to help well-connected Texans avoid service in Vietnam ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from the Air Force Times, 9-16-04

``Issue Date: September 20, 2004

News Briefs ...

New Bush records released

Months after insisting it could find no more records of President Bush's Air National Guard service, the Defense Department has released more than two dozen pages of files, including Bush's report card for flight training and dates of his flights.

The records were released under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The Associated Press.

The Pentagon and Bush's campaign have claimed for months that all records detailing his fighter pilot career have been made public, but defense officials acknowledged Sept. 7 [2004] they had found two dozen new records detailing his training and flight logs.

The newly released flight records were found despite a policy that those types of records were to be kept for only 24 months.

"Out of an abundance of caution," the government "searched a file that had been preserved in spite of this policy" and found the Bush records, a Pentagon letter to the AP said. "The Department of Defense regrets this oversight during the previous search efforts." ...

The records show [Bush's] last flight was in April 1972, which is consistent with pay records indicating Bush had a lapse of duty between April and October of that year. Bush has said he had permission to go to Alabama in 1972 to work on an unsuccessful Republican Senate campaign. Bush skipped a required medical exam that cost him his pilot's status in August of that year.

The newly released records do not include any from five categories of documents Bush's commanders had been required to keep in response to the gaps in Bush's training in 1972 and 1973. For example, National Guard commanders were required to perform an investigation whenever any pilot skipped a medical exam and forward the results up the Air Force chain of command. No such documents have surfaced ...''

NEWS ARTICLE from ABC, 9-17-04, By The Associated Press

``Commanding Officer of Texas Air National Guard Wrote Complimentary Letter to Bush's Father

WASHINGTON Sept. 17, 2004 -- A packet of Texas Air National Guard records released Friday showed that the commanding officer of President Bush's basic training unit took a special interest in him as a trainee and wrote to his father to praise his son.

Bush's father, then a congressman from Texas, said in reply to the commander, "That a major general in the Air Force would take interest in a brand new Air Force trainee made a big impression on me." ...

The letter and other material were the latest in a stream of documents released about Bush's service three decades ago during the Vietnam War, when Bush's critics say he got preferential treatment as the son of a congressman and U.N. ambassador. Critics have also questioned why Bush skipped a required medical examination in 1972 and failed to show up for drills during a six-month period that year ...

In addition to the letter from Bush's father, the latest documents contain news releases that the Texas Air National Guard sent to Houston newspapers in 1970 about young Bush, then a second lieutenant and new pilot. "George Bush is one member of the younger generation who doesn't get his kicks from pot or hashish or speed," the news release said. "Oh, he gets high, all right, but not from narcotics."

Three decades later, a new book by Kitty Kelley has alleged that Bush used cocaine while he was a student at Yale University and later at Camp David while his father was president ...''

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COLUMN from The Herald Tribune, 9-17-04, By Maureen Dowd NYT

``Here's how bad off the Democrats are: They're cowering behind closed doors, whispering that if it should ever turn out that Republicans are behind this [the CBS memos], it would be so exquisitely Machiavellian, so beyond what Democrats are capable of, they should just fold and concede the election now - before the Republicans have to go to the trouble to steal it again ...

The Democrats ... [are] consumed with speculation about whether Karl Rove, the master of dirty tricks and surrogate sleaze, could have set up CBS in a diabolical pre-emptive strike to undermine damaging revelations ...

In this ... conspiracy theory, Rove takes real evidence on W.'s shirking and transfers it to documents doomed to be exposed as phony (thereby undermining the real goods), then funnels it through third parties to Dan Rather. A perfect bank shot.

The secretary for W.'s squadron commander in the Texas Guard told The New York Times that the information in the disputed memos is correct - it's just the memos that seem fake. "It looks like someone may have read the originals and put that together," said a lucid 86-year-old Marian Carr Knox ...

Those who suspect Rove note that when he was Bill Clements's campaign strategist in a 1986 governor's race in Texas, he was accused of bugging his own office to distract from a debate, according to James Moore and Wayne Slater, authors of "Bush's Brain." ..."

The administration has been so dazzling in misleading the public with audacious, mendacious malarkey that the Democrats fear the Bushies are capable of any level of deceit ...''

E-mail: liberties@nytimes.com

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COLUMN from Daily Kos , 9-23-04, by Hunter

``It Was ROVE

... I have also, previous to now, been extremely skeptical of claims of Rovian involvement in the CBS document saga. For starters, it hasn't gone well for Bush, which would seem to rule it out as an act of Republican genius. But then it hit me. The only reason it's gone bad for Bush is because things didn't go according to the original plan. To put it bluntly, this was conclusively a Republican plot, but CBS screwed it up. The "Burkett memos" were a plot hatched last March [2004] in order to neutralize a very dangerous witness against the President. And it almost worked ...

NEWS ARTICLE from USA TODAY, Feb 11, 2004

``WASHINGTON -- As Texas Gov. George W. Bush prepared to run for president in the late 1990s, top-ranking Texas National Guard officers and Bush advisers ... were particularly worried about mentions in the records of arrests of Bush before he joined the National Guard in 1968, the second official said.''

Bill Burkett, then a top adviser to the state Guard commander, said he overheard conversations in which superiors discussed "cleansing" the file of damaging information ...

Burkett says that the [Texas] state Guard commander, Maj. Gen. Daniel James III, discussed "cleansing" Bush's military files of embarrassing or incriminating documents in the summer of 1997. At the time, Burkett was a lieutenant colonel and a chief adviser to James. He says he was just outside James' open office door when his boss discussed the records on a speakerphone with Joe Allbaugh, who was then Gov. Bush's chief of staff.

In Burkett's account, Allbaugh told James that Bush's press secretary, Karen Hughes, was preparing a biography and needed information on Bush's military service ...

Soon afterward, there was a series of meetings of top commanders at Texas Guard headquarters at Camp Mabry. Bush's records were carried between the base archives and the headquarters building, according to Burkett ...

Allbaugh, James and the White House denied Burkett's story. As president, Bush has since elevated James to be director of the Air National Guard for the entire country ...

Burkett's assertion ... would be little more than a footnote if it were not for several uncomfortable facts. First, the Bush files do have a large and unexplainable gap, for which there are simply no documents whatsoever. And second, around February [2004], investigators were discovering that the Bush records did seem to have been tampered with ...

Early on, the Bush camp -- which was apparently concerned about the missing years -- worked with a retired Guard personnel officer named Albert Lloyd, Jr., who has been identified as a friend of Bush's, to make sense of the candidate's records ...

Burkett was appearing, in February, as a result of his involvement, with James Moore, author of Bush's Brain, a damning portrait of Karl Rove ...

Because Burkett had confirmation of large parts of his story, because his story involved a felony on the part of administration officials, and because the Bush documents do indeed have gaping holes consistent with a "cleansing" of damaging information, Burkett was on the A-list of people in line for a Karl Rove ...

So Burkett was, indeed, given a poison pill of sorts. In March of 2004, soon after Burkett started appearing throughout the media telling his story, a woman by the name of "Lucy Ramirez" called him up to ask him to take documents she had discovered, but wanted no part of. [Does anyone have any information about Lucy Ramirez? Is anyone trying to track her down?] A meeting was arranged; the documents were handed to Burkett. The documents were ones that indeed matched the events in question precisely, and were very compelling; they were also a plant ...

Surely, if Burkett released those documents to the press, they would be discovered as fraudulent immediately, and Burkett would be made to look not only like an "unhinged" nutcase, but like a purveyor of forged documents as well.

His relationship with the media would be over. Kaput. He would go from media darling to untouchable, in the span of days.

This point is important: the original forgers never planned on the documents actually making it on television ...

The memos just had to look "real enough" to fool an amateur like Burkett, but not real enough that a media-consulted expert couldn't immediately recognize them as forged: a delicate balance, but one the operation thought it could pull off. But there was a problem that the creators of the memos didn't count on. Or, rather, there were several problems.

The first is that Burkett, when faced with the documents, simply got cold feet. He didn't show them to anyone. He kept them hidden, and sat on them for a number of months, not sure what to do ...

[Secondly], the forgers attempting to set Burkett up thought Burkett would be consigned to history the moment he tried to pass those documents off to anyone who would actually know about documents. But as it turns out, they didn't do enough research ...

They didn't know that typewriters in the 1970s did have the typeface in question, which would make the forgery-vs.-not discussions infinitely more complicated than they had planned for it to be. And that as a result of that unintentional level of credibility, the media outlet [CBS] to which Burkett would eventually release the documents would indeed run the documents, on national television, as genuine ...''

[The forgers] were simply not prepared for the media to not realize the documents were forged ... They had previously simply assumed, back ... in March [2004], that they'd be done with Burkett ... with plenty of time left over until the election ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 9-19-04, By Steve Gutterman, Associated Press

``Terror in Russia raises suspicions about West's role

MOSCOW -- The fight against terror was supposed to unite Russia and the West, pounding the last nail into the coffin of the Cold War. But three years after the Sept. 11 attacks, a series of stunning assaults on Russia has pried the lid open, prompting angry accusations that the West is hindering Moscow's battle against terrorists - and dark suggestions that it may even be aiding them.

The attacks here [culminated] in a hostage-taking raid that killed more than 338 people at a school ...

Russia has accused Western governments of interference, demanded they hand over Chechen rebel figures who have been granted asylum ...''

[Is the United States harboring Chechen terrorists?]

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 9-8-04, by Ken Guggenheim, Associated Press

``WASHINGTON -- Former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham accused the White House on Tuesday of covering up evidence that might have linked Saudi Arabia to the Sept. 11 hijackers ...

Graham's statements ... are at odds with the findings of the independent Sept. 11 commission ... The commission said it found no evidence that the Saudi government financed al-Qaida.

Graham said the commission "has given us its conclusions without giving us the facts upon which those conclusions were established."

The Florida senator co-chaired the joint congressional inquiry into the Sept. 11 attacks, which preceded the broader commission investigation.

The other co-chairman was Rep. Porter Goss, a Florida Republican who is now Bush's nominee to head the CIA ...

The cover-up charge stems from the FBI's refusal to allow inquiry staff to interview an informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, who had been the landlord in San Diego of Sept. 11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al- Hazmi.

In his book "Intelligence Matters," Graham said an FBI official wrote to Goss and Graham in November 2002 and said "the administration would not sanction a staff interview with the source. Nor did the administration agree to allow the FBI to serve a subpoena or a notice of deposition on the source."

In his telephone news conference, Graham called the letter "a smoking gun. " He said, "The reason for this cover-up goes right to the White House."

The joint inquiry report last year also noted its lack of access to Shaikh, placing responsibility on "the FBI, supported by the attorney general and the administration."

The inquiry's report added to suspicions about a Saudi role in the plot.

The Bush administration refused to allow the release of a 28-page section dealing with foreign support for hijackers. That section was believed to center on Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers ... ''

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4 decades of imperial hubris by David H. Hackworth

``In most of the wars we've fought, our leaders have understood our enemies and how to take them down. But in the current shootout, a continuation of the revolutionary fervor first ignited in Algeria in the 1960s, then fanned by the Iranian Revolution, a huge jihad victory against the Soviets in Afghanistan, Israel's humiliating withdrawal from Lebanon and its interminable fight in Palestine culminating in 9-11 and our retaliatory invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, America's leaders from both major parties and our military and intelligence establishments remain in deep denial and blindly continue to believe that because we've got the power, we shall overcome ...

It's a commonly held belief among Muslims that the United States is grabbing their land in order to destroy their faith and their ancient way of life. Most believe that our unconditional support of repressive Muslim regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and other "friendly" Arab lands is all about keeping the people in chains and sucking up their oil on the cheap at a price that Joe and Jane Doe can pay at the U.S. pump without stroking out.

"Bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us," writes "Anonymous," the author of "Imperial Hubris," a critically important book that defines Osama and what's driving his bombers. And the reasons don't "have anything to do with our freedom, liberty and democracy, but have everything to do with U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world." ...

Years after the fall of Tehran and almost 38 months after 9-11, our leaders still don't recognize the scope of the bin Laden threat and keep repeating the same mistakes so often that many of the folks we're fighting are convinced we're crazy ...

History is peppered with examples of a numerically inferior insurgent opponent destroying a Goliath. Especially a Goliath who obviously learned nothing from the Vietnam experience ...''

Editor's note: Eilhys England contributed to this column.

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Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, by Anonymous

Amazon.com Editorial Reviews

``The war on terror has created near unanimity on many points, at least within the American press and political leadership. One essential point of agreement: al Qaeda specifically and radical Islamism in general are stirred by a hatred of modernity. Or as President George W. Bush has articulated repeatedly, they hate freedom.

Nonsense, responds the nameless author of this work ...''

From Publishers Weekly

``It's unclear how, in an age when even office workers must sign confidentiality agreements, an alleged CIA Middle Eastern specialist has gotten permission to publish a sprawling, erudite book on the origins and present state of the "war on terror."

His main point is that Arab antagonism to the West (and even non-fundamentalist Arab regimes' winking at terrorism) has its root in real grievances that have gone unaddressed by U.S. measures. The actions of the Saudis, and their U.S. supporters, come in for some hard criticism, as does the elevation of Northern Alliance warlords to de facto governors of Afghanistan ...

According to the author, the greatest danger for Americans confronting the Islamist threat is to believe, at the urging of U.S. leaders, that Muslims attack us for what we are and what we think rather than for what we do ...''

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Imperial Hubris, 10-4-04, by Justin Raimondo

``A CIA analyst reveals why we are losing the 'war on terrorism'

... Michael Scheuer's recently published book, Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terrorism ...

"While the 11 September attack was a human-economic calamity, Washington's failure to have its military ready for a crippling next-day attack on al-Qaeda turned it into a catastrophe. It cost America its best, perhaps only, chance to deliver what is called a 'decapitation' operation, one with a chance to kill at a stroke many al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders." ...

In 263 pages of text, Scheuer, a currently serving CIA analyst writing as "Anonymous," takes apart the shibboleths promulgated by this administration as it fights a war in which the enemy is misperceived, underestimated, and ultimately enhanced by our actions.

The startling thesis of this book is stated in the first paragraph of the Introduction:

"As I complete this book, U.S., British, and other coalition forces are trying to govern apparently ungovernable postwar states in Afghanistan and Iraq, while simultaneously fighting growing Islamist insurgencies in each -- a state of affairs our leaders call victory. In conducting these activities, and the conventional military campaigns preceding them, U.S. forces and policies are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world, something Osama bin Laden has been trying to do with substantial but incomplete success since the early 1990s ...

Scheuer goes on to list instances in which American foreign policy has resulted in oppression, economic exploitation, and mass death for millions of Muslims from Morocco to Malaysia:

* U.S. support for Israel that keeps Palestinians in the Israelis' thrall

* U.S and other Western troops on the Arabian peninsula

* U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan

* U.S. support for Russia, India, and China against their Muslim militants

* U.S. pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low

* U.S. support for apostate, corrupt, and often tyrannical Muslim governments

[Nevertheless, they also hate us for what we are -- we do not make women cover their heads. But how far does it get us to believe that a terrorist is only someone who does not have an airplane to deliver his bomb? And, as Anand Patwardhan says in his docmentary of the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan, "War and Peace", for more than one organized religion, "murder is prayer."]

Scheuer speaks in his own distinctive voice, perhaps exemplified by his chapter titles: the chapter entitled "An Unprepared and Ignorant Lunge to Defeat -- the United States in Afghanistan" ...

We were not only unprepared to respond when the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked, but, when we did react, we did it half-heartedly, "out-sourcing" the task to local Afghan tribes, who gladly took our money and then looked the other way as OBL and the combined forces of al-Qaeda and the Taleban escaped ...

Scheuer cites a top aide to bin Laden, Abu-Ubayd al-Qurashi, who wrote after the climactic battle of Shahi Kowt:

"Anyone who follows the news from Afghanistan will see how the different factions are playing with the Americans in order to prolong the flow of dollars as much as possible, and are trying to strengthen their own interests without participating seriously in the American crusade." ...

The Afghans took our money, and then did precisely what they intended to do all along. They took our aid and weapons in the battle against the Russians, who pursued the very same strategy we are employing -- installing a "secular" regime with ideological pretensions of being "democratic," ... The result in our own case is doomed to be identical to that which befell the Russians and their Afghan sock puppets: utter defeat ...

The belief that al-Qaeda is fighting a defensive war against a Western incursion is at the core of bin Laden's widespread support throughout the Muslim world, and this is underscored by Scheuer, who points out that the insurgencies OBL and his cohorts support are, without exception, fighting to regain Muslim territory, not conquer new lands ...

We are doomed to fight a savage war in which "killing in large numbers is not enough to defeat our Muslim foes." Scheuer has been widely misinterpreted as advocating a savage war of attrition, including the "razing of infrastructure," as he puts it, but it is clear from the text that the author means only to give us fair warning:

"This sort of bloody-mindedness is neither admirable nor desirable, but it will remain America's only option so long as she stands by her failed policies toward the Muslim world." ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from the Boston Globe, 10-29-04, By Bryan Bender and Scott Allen, Globe Staff

[Doctors' survey of families estimates Iraqi wartime deaths at 100,000]

``Lancet report based on family interviews

WASHINGTON -- The first nationwide survey of Iraqi deaths since the US-led invasion concludes that about 100,000 people have died as a result of the war, including many women and children killed in coalition airstrikes.

The study last month by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, based on interviews with about 800 randomly selected Iraqi households, derived an estimated Iraqi death toll at least three times higher than previous estimates based on media reports. The study found that the risk of death in the 18 months since the war began was 1 to 2 times higher than in the 14-month period before the war, and the risk of a violent death was 58 times higher.

"Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths, or more, have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq," the medical team concluded. "Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and airstrikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths . . . the majority being violent death among women and children relating to military activity." ...

The report, to be published [10-29-04] in the British medical journal The Lancet, said that most of the deaths were the result of bombing or rocket attacks rather than caused by soldiers on the ground. The lead author was Les Roberts of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore ...

News reports and several nongovernmental organizations have previously estimated that between 10,000 and 30,000 Iraqis have died ...''

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Amazon review

``... "Now comes a new theory embedded in a book, Bush's Brain, by two Texas correspondents, James Moore, a TV broadcaster, and Wayne Slater, Austin bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News. They credit Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser, with persuading Bush to bring Iraq on to center stage where it is the dominant issue in the country today." -- Helen Thomas''

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A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

With James Moore, Co-Author (with Wayne Slater) of "Bush's Brain"

``... Karl Rove led the nation to war to improve the political prospects of George W. Bush. I know how surreal that sounds. But I also know it is true ...

Rove is probably the most powerful unelected person in American history.

The cause of the war in Iraq was not just about Saddam Hussein or weapons of mass destruction or Al Qaeda links to Iraq. Those may have been the stated causes, but every good lie should have a germ of truth.

[Rove] looked around and saw that the economy was anemic and people were complaining about the president's inability to find Osama bin Laden ... He convinced the president to connect Hussein to Bin Laden, even if the CIA could not.

This misdirection worked. A Pew survey taken during the war showed 61% of Americans believe that Hussein and Bin Laden were confederates in the 9/11 attacks.''

Here is the BuzzFlash interview with James Moore.

...

``BUZZFLASH: ... Clearly, there's a lot of moral relativism going on there because [Rove] doesn't have any compunction about starting a whispering campaign against John McCain in South Carolina, claiming that he has a black child, and he wasn't really a war hero and so forth. And yet Bush and Rove and the White House espouse these absolute, moral values. So how do those two things exist within him?

MOORE: Well, it's something I said all along. Compassionate conservatism in Texas is where they ask you if want green Jello or red Jello before they stick the needle in your arm and execute you. That's compassionate conservatism. But Karl's method for governance, which he has gotten this President to use very effectively, is completely cynical and it's based on the whole idea that we are all too busy to pay attention to the details of what's going on ...

He once told a consultant that we interviewed for "Bush's Brain" that you should run every political campaign as though people are watching television with the sound turned down. And toward that end, you rely heavily on imagery and not very much on substance, knowing that if the President is photographed in a school of minority and ethnic children, and is interested in their future in that particular photo op, that people will trust that image. And they don't go beyond that image to look at his policy, which is signing the "Leave No Child Behind Act" in a big, high-profile moment with Senator Ted Kennedy, and then gutting the heart out of that bill with the funding that he offers up for it. ...''

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Bush's Brain: How Did This Happen?

Reviewed by: Mel Valentin

``Who is Karl Rove? ...

The documentary briefly sketches in Karl Rove's background, from high school debate champion, to president of the Young Republicans, a position that drew him inexorably into the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., and later into the orbit of the elder George H.W. Bush, long before he became Vice-President. His interaction with the younger Bush was minimal at the time, but apparently Rove saw a potential political career ahead of the younger Bush.

Tutored by the Lee Atwater, a master political tactician also known for 'hardball politics' that often slid into outright dirty tactics. Atwater orchestrated the Willie Horton ad in 1988 that helped tip the momentum from then Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis to Vice-President (under Ronald Reagan), George H.W. Bush, who eventually won the 1988 election. That ad is considered a masterpiece of the smear tactic, based partly in fact, but drawing from the reserves of racism and fear of violent crime in the American public. Karl Rove seems to have learned his lessons well ...

Karl Rove's relationship with George W. Bush was renewed in the early nineties, after George W. Bush had become, with the help of family connections, a successful businessman and part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team. Rove saw a potential challenger for the popular governor of Texas, Democrat Ann Richards, who would run for reelection in 1994 ...

George W. Bush won the governorship of Texas in 1994, and was reelected in 1998. Only two years later, Rove quickly pushed for a then improbable presidential campaign.

The early primaries saw John McCain, a maverick, independent Senator from Arizona in the early lead. That lead evaporated during and after the South Carolina, after a series of negative ads, including one that alleged that McCain had fathered an African-American child illegitimately, as well as ads that questioned his mental stability (McCain had been a prisoner-of-war for five years during the Vietnam War). McCain lost that primary, and never seriously challenged for the presidential nomination again.

Flash forward two years, and a similar series of negative ads, this time aimed at Max Cleland, a triple amputee Vietnam War veteran and then U.S. Senator from Georgia. The negative ads compared Cleland to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin laden, and questioned his loyalty and support for congressional legislation related to national security.

Flash forward another two years, and the recent smear campaign against John Kerry's military service, funded by Texas Republicans with strong ties to Karl Rove ...''

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George Bush's Brain

by Sander Hicks

originally published by Heads Magazine, Toronto

``... If not for Rove, and if not for his ruthlessness, the hapless preppie George W. Bush would not be in the White House today ...

When challenged by the McCain camp on his unethical campaigning, Rove turned the tables. Piece by piece, week after week, he took apart John McCain in the media, and then went on television and shifted the blame onto McCain's staff. Soon, the public was left with an image of McCain as as hot-tempered, war-damaged veteran. McCain's underdog groundswell for a campaign finance reform was scuttled by Karl Rove ...

For Campaign 2000, Marxist-turned-Reaganite David Horowitz handed the Republicans a little book called The Art of Political War ... The Republican Party would not reclaim the White House until they crushed their opponent with the mercilessness of total war. Rove adopted the book as his own political Bible ...

Karl Rove praised The Art of Political War as indispensible ... It is recognized today as the genesis of "Compassionate Conservatism" ... since only 10% of the country identifies themselves as "hard Republicans," Horowitz realized that the right-wing agenda would be unpalatable to the majority, unless it was wrapped in a different package.

Compassionate Conservatism was born, a new brand indentity for the intolerance, fear and hate of the right-wing. Karl Rove became the salesman and Bush was the fun and fuzzy mascot ...

By February 2000, McCain was gaining on Bush in terms of charisma, message and experience. His promises of campaign finance reform struck a chord nationwide, and on the first of February, 2000, he blew Bush away in the New Hampshire primary ...

By the end of February, New Hampshire was in the distant past. Rumors were circulating (from who knows where?) that McCain was a bit crazy and had a bad temper from being a P.O.W. in Viet Nam ...''

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Film Review: Bush's Brain

By: Angela Hill 11/01/2004

Angela Hill reviews the documentary film "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential."

``... the film asserts Rove is behind shadowy whisper campaigns against two former Bush foes: the lethal rumour against conservative Governor of Texas, Ann Richards (D), that she was a lesbian and guilty of appointing homosexuals to political office and the infamous attack on John McCain, then potential Republican presidential nominee, that his time spent as a POW in Vietnam left him mentally unstable and unfit to lead ...''

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Review by Paul Sherman, 10-1-04

``Forget about ``Anacondas'' and ``Alien Vs. Predator.'' ``Bush's Brain'' is the scariest movie around.

... Taking a chronological path, ``Bush's Brain'' heats up in the early 1970s, when most people were disgusted by the dirty tricks carried out by the Nixon White House, but Rove seemed to take such tactics as inspiration ...

There's the fishy charge he made in the 1986 Texas gubernatorial campaign that his office had been bugged by his candidate's opponent, the smears against Texas incumbent Gov. Ann Richards when he led George W. Bush's campaign to unseat her in 1994, innuendo about John McCain in the 2000 South Carolina Republican primary and attacks on Georgia incumbent Sen. Max Cleland in the 2002 election.

The similarity between the recent Swift Boat Veterans for Truth anti-Kerry attacks and the dirty tricks against Richards, McCain and Cleland should give anyone pause. So should a C-SPAN clip of a March 2002 Rove speech in which he talks about war as a campaign tool ...''

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Bush's Brain

RATED: PG-13 RELEASED: 2004 RUN TIME: 01:20

``It's a point of pride among Republicans that Joseph Wilson's wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame, might have been outed by someone in the Bush administration--or maybe not. There's no smoking gun, after all. And Wilson's claims that Karl Rove once described Wilson's wife as "fair game"? The sheerest hearsay!

But did you know that a youthful Rove was tossed from the first Reagan-Bush campaign for leaking stories to Robert Novak? ...

Or that Rove (it is whispered--never proven!) was part of the murmur campaign that suggested John McCain's adopted daughter was, in point of fact, a Negro love child?''

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Bush's Brain

By Kirk Honeycutt

``Whatever the present Bush administration has done or not done to the nation's credibility abroad and political divisions at home, it has apparently done a world of good for documentarians. ... President Bush and his crew have inadvertently inspired a renaissance in political documentaries. Joining such recent, high-profile documentaries as Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" and Robert Greenwald's "Uncovered: The War on Iraq" is "Bush's Brain" by Joseph Mealey and Michael Paradies Shoob ...

The film all but accuses Bush and Rove of invading Iraq as a marketing tool: Rove, the filmmakers insist, wanted to turn Bush into a "war president" for the 2004 presidential campaign ...''

[Can something so grubby and banal be the reason for young Americans dying in Iraq? Or is there a greater greed at work here?]

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