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May 20, 2009

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verner

I think Armitage has credibility problems, don't all of you? And I think Colin is doing his usual above the fray act.

Why would he want to come forward now and admit that he knew? It would only help Cheney, and we can't have that.

mark

Er... What does Abu Ghraib have to do with EIT? Is that what the prison guards were practicing with the nude pyramids? Enhanced interrogation?
webcam

mark

Are Armitage or Wilkerson saying that this is what the enhanced interrogation brouhaha is all about? Lynndie England with a dog leash tied to a prisoner's neck?


Isn't it pretty easy to say "I didn't know about the sexual abuse at Abu Ghraib," implying that Cheney did know and condoned it? Geeze, these people are snakes. I hope Cheney has a nice juicy chapter in his book for Powell and his back-stabbing gang.

N. O'Brain

" Is that what the prison guards were practicing with the nude pyramids? Enhanced interrogation?"

I think it's called "A Weekend In San Francisco".

Jane

I hope Cheney has a nice juicy chapter in his book for Powell and his back-stabbing gang

I really hope that what goes around comes around.

Appalled

TM:

Check the LUN for the what I gather is the fullest account of Powell talking about what he knew. Sounds like he dodged the relevent questions.

fdcol63

Obama is the first "black" (well, half black) President of the United States only because Colin Powell decided not to run.

Thank God I never got the chance to vote for him. I'd regret it today.

I respect him greatly for his military service to the country, but he's lost any respect I may have had for him as a politician.

maryrose

Cheney is picking Limbaugh over Powell, you know some things must have gone down that we are not privy to. I think Powell was systematically undercutting the Bush administration for his own benefit.

Rob Crawford

I think Powell was systematically undercutting the Bush administration for his own benefit.

Really?! You think?!

I wonder what Scotter Libby might say about that argument?

narciso

Why am I not surprised that an Air America reporter would get the narrative wrong. Wilkerson I've learned to loath since he was a source in those G.Q. and Esquire pieces, in the early days of the war.Powell was yet another figure, who turned out have fleet of clay, or possibly pewter over the years, and his role in obscuring the role of Armitage in the Plame case, which added to the perspective I already had of his role in Azeri oil, through the Baku Chamber of Commerce, unearthed by Hitchens at the time of the Tamraz case, a dozen years ago.
Interestingly, the Azeri tie shows up with Obama, lobbying on behalf of Burger King of all things, in Azeibaijan in 2005, which is followed by his valet, receiving honoraria
from a pro Aliev group, in 2009. In the LUN,
yet more confirmation that Jane is right about Steele

Rick Ballard

fdcol63,

Which part of the Powell "Sledgehammer Flyswatter Doctrine" do you believe deserves the highest praise? The part where the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff interjects himself in operations to halt the utter destruction of enemy forces on the basis of hysterical reporting concerning the bombing of looter's caravans is my favorite. Powell's hysteria about the "Highway of Death" crap killed more people and did more to strengthen the rule of a tyrant than any other single decision by an incompetent that I can think of. I'll grant that, for sheer stupidity, his BS about a nonexistent "Pottery Barn" rule gives his hysteria over the bombing a run for its money but the hysteria cost more lives.

He was always a politician, whether wearing a uniform or kissing ass at cocktail parties in DC in a suit. Beyond that, he was always a weathervane, a man without much in the way of conviction with a spine to match. I appreciate his service in the military, I just wish that it had ended a decade or two earlier.

Rob Crawford

Er... What does Abu Ghraib have to do with EIT?

In truth, nothing.

But in Pravda-land, well... the defense lawyers for the Abu Ghraib abusers fed a line to the press (in particular Mary Mapes and Sy Hersh) that they were "just following orders" or that they were aping what they had seen done under orders. This quickly became the Conventional Wisdom among the press, since it allowed them to turn the Abu Ghraib story on its head and shriek "COVER UP!!!!" despite the investigation having been announced months earlier in a daily press briefing.

As the press never lets facts get in the way of a narrative that is politically useful for the Democrats, they've never let go of their belief that Abu Ghraib was ordered by the White House.

Barry Dauphin

If Armitage was so incompetent as to not know what we were doing to gather intelligence, then he should have been fired.

fdcol63

Rick,

I now agree with everything you said. My only weak defense is that, at the time, I "knew not what I now know", and I considered Bob Dole too interested in the job for his own sake (his 3rd run) and not the best interests of the country, though I respected his military service as well.

Tom Maguire

Thanks, Appalled, that is brutal.

Jane

Appalled,

Your link has an extra letter in it for me. Can you repost it?

clarice

"I think Powell was systematically undercutting the Bush administration for his own benefit."

I know he was and documented it:


http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/10/richard_armitage_and_the_quiet.html

He's a perfidious liar and I wouldn't credit anything he said.

clarice

I can read it either.

My comment about "prefidious liar" is intended for Armitage though in the instance of perfidy I wrote of--and probably most of it including Libby--he did with Powell's knowledge and apparent approval.

clarice

**PERfidious liar** I need even more sleep, I guess.

fdcol63

From the comments in Appalled's link, it's clear that Powell forgot the adage:

"When you try to be all things to all people, you eventually become nothing to everyone."

clarice

Here's the link:

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/04/02/powell-maddow-torture/

Porchlight

[i]"When you try to be all things to all people, you eventually become nothing to everyone."[/i]

Come now, one must give Powell a little credit. After all, he's been extremely useful to the left.

clarice

And here's a better link to my article:
Perfidious liar

Appalled

OK. LUN Corrected.

clarice

TP is eating my link--I'm going to LUN

Steve C.

Armitage would have resigned if he had known about the interrogation techniques. And yet, he did not have the personal honor to admit to identifying Valerie Plame?

Seems inconsistent to me.

RichatUF

fdcol63-

Or Powell, like Pavlov's dog, is responding to an adage in Obama's rulebook: "Law 39:Stir up Waters to Catch Fish".

By releasing the OLC memos and allowing a host of military investigations and a seperate CIA program to become conflated, the Obama Administration is "stirring up the waters" so he can clip Pelosi's wings and gain allies inside the CIA bureaucracy who will work with him outside of Congressional oversight (and keep pressure on GOP partisians as weaker members of the previous administration defect and blindly cut deals "to be spared"). By increasing the fear factor of investigations and the possibility he will capriciously release material selectivly and without context, the bureaucracy also has to be on its toes to not appear disloyal to him.

For Obama, it may seem like an efficient way to run an intelligence bureaucracy, or at least make it amenable to his wishes, but for its actual mission it is devastating. Pretty sure every intelligence service in the world that has a list of potential recruits is now working overtime making deals. The US could see our intelligence capabilities collapse across the Middle East and North Africa by this time next year from moles and defections.

It is worth remembering that the Pike and Church Committee and the disasterous Turner directorship lead directly to a mole infestation and the collapse of the CIA specifically in Central and South America and a crippling of its capabilities globally.

fdcol63

While some want to attribute the negative consequences of Obama's actions and policies on all issues including the economy, intelligence, and defense to "incompetence" and "naivete", I personally believe we're seeing a very shrewed, competent, and efficient pursuit of Antonio Gramsci's "long march through the culture" strategy by the Left of undermining all the major institutions of American and Western society.

With the full support and complicity of the Fourth Estate which has become nothing more than a subversive Fifth Column, partisan shills for - and the propaganda arm of - the Democratic Party.

Danube of Thought

Let's get 'em all under oath.

drjohn

MADDOW: There have been two Bush administration officials now who have said explicitly that what we did at Guantanamo was torture.

Who was waterboarded at Gitmo? Who was tortured?

Reportedly Zubaydah was moved to Gitmo in 2006.

KSM was apparently not at Gitmo for his "torture."

So why is the left asserting that waterboarding occured at Gitmo?

clarice

For the same reason they suggest Abu Ghraib and the EIT program were part of the same thing.The more they conflate it all the less people will bother with the facts which aren't on their side.

MayBee

My favorite thing from people like Maddow- and many on the left- is their constant proclamations that Gitmo is a torture facility, then their cries we must close it *because* it is a symbol of torture throughout the world.

Yeah. How did it get that way? Certainly not because torture actually happened there.

fdcol63

I'm sure of one thing:

Were any of us to be captured by KSM and the rest of these rag-headed MOFO's, we wouldn't be treated nearly as humanely as they've been treated at Gitmo.

The fact that liberals want to adhere to the notion that "we're better than they are" just proves the fallacy of the "cultural" and "moral" equivalency BS they've been prattling on about for the past 30-50 years.

Thomass

The same old same old of trying to link the Army's Abu Ghraib problems to the CIA's enhanced interogations.... To Al Jazeera no less.... and these cretins do it under the banner of claiming outrage due to their integrity.... whatever....

kaitian

You know, the question that I've got this stupid debate is when Obama says "We're closing Guantanamo Bay", does that mean we're shutting down the naval base completely and turning it back over to the Cubans?

Original MikeS

...we wouldn't be treated nearly as humanely...

I'm not willing to vote for anyone who would not support harsh interrogations (including waterboarding) in extreme cases.

PMII

They wouldn't know the truth even if it bit them in the @#@!

Besides term limit for all, I wish every member of congress was given truth serum before on an annual basis to insure they were up to no good. Wonder how many could pass.

matt

the longer this goes on, the worse it is for our country in many ways. We can take joy in the destruction of our enemies, but we should hang our heads in shame when the people who were supposed to be leaders instead resort to passing the buck and running for the shadows like a bunch of damned cockroaches.

the failure here is on the heads of Pelosi, Rockefeller, Reid, Obama, Powell, Armitage, etc who somehow still do not understand that the rest of us sleep soundly at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.Our country has a serious lack of integrity at the top these days.

Randy

FWIW: They've got the dates on Abu Ghraib wrong. They always do.

The "world" was actually told about the abuse at Abu Ghraib in January 2004 when the Army announced their investigation. They learned more when the first charges were filed in March.

The reason people say it was April is because that's when 60 Minutes showed the pictures. Nobody cared before that.

roux

I'd guess... "is blowing smoke to protect his own reputation and that of Colin Powell".

Powell and Armitgage two peas in a pod.

Willieisdead

Powell & Armitage deserve each other. When I think of the disloyalty they showed over Valerie Plame I want to puke.

J

OK folks, now that we are older and wiser can we all agree affirmative action has been a failure?
Powell/Obama, how exactly did they attain their seats of power? Based on what we now know (having watched them in action), I think the answer is obvious.
Armitage and Wilkerson always served as powell's hitmen.

richard mcenroe

We're only nine years into the new century, yet I think Colin Powell has pretty much cemented his reputation as Blue Falcon* of the New Millenium....

*Buddy Fucker, for you civvies.

cathyf

Bullshit, J. We judge Powell and Obama by the content of their characters, not the color of their skins.

onebadapple

I'm sure you all will be happy to know that Lynndie England's only authorized biography by Gary Winkler titled "Tortured: Lynndie England, Abu Ghraib, and the Photographs that Shocked the World" will be released next week - June 1. It is published by "Bad Apple Books"

...and yes, the Reservists were instructed about how to use these techniques to soften up prisoners prior to interrogation - in fact, Grainer was commended by Chris Brinson for his tactics....

Lynndie did not torture or even touch any of the prisoners. She didn't work at the Hard Site - she stepped into the photos for Graner...and yes, prisoners were being stripped naked and paraded in front of females long before the 372nd arrived. General Miller introduced those techniques from Gitmo.

Dostoyevsky

Having seen Colin Powell speak twice since his departure from the Bush administration,I can easily discern what a back-stabbing, double-dealing rat he would be. Every anecdote he relates confirms his own lofty opinion of his brilliance, wisdom, patriotism, and yes, his humility. What a sanctimonious creep!

onebadapple

and, you, Randy have it wrong as well:

FWIW: They've got the dates on Abu Ghraib wrong. They always do.

The "world" was actually told about the abuse at Abu Ghraib in January 2004 when the Army announced their investigation. They learned more when the first charges were filed in March.

The reason people say it was April is because that's when 60 Minutes showed the pictures. Nobody cared before that.


1. The military kept the investigation under wraps when the photos were turned over in Jan. The "world" was told nothing- remember. According to Rumsfeld's testimony before Congress on or about May 7, he claimed he had not see the photos, knew nothing about the abuse, and had not seen the photographs until the night before the Congressional hearing. As far as he was concerned he hadn't even seen the Taguba Report at that time, an assertion that retired General Taguba denies claiming it a "falsehood". Taguba said they were lying to cover their asses.

2. It was "60 Minutes II" - that might be splitting hairs, but you obviously are, so I thought I would correct you.

bad

[[[Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) took the Central Intelligence Agency to task today for what he said was the Agency's history of keeping information from Congress and even the president. "The CIA has a very bad record when it comes to honesty," Specter told the American Law Institute in Washington today.]]]

The sacrificial lamb is being prepared....

LUN

peter jackson

...and yes, the Reservists were instructed about how to use these techniques to soften up prisoners prior to interrogation - in fact, Grainer was commended by Chris Brinson for his tactics...

None of the prisoners abused at Abu Ghraib were "war" prisoners, and thus were never intended to be interrogated for anything. Most had been arrested during a civilian riot. To my knowledge none of them were ever interrogated about anything other than the abuse incident itself. Your assertion is nothing more than "six degrees to Kevin Bacon" logic, i.e. it's total bullshit.

Randy

I stand by what I said, onebadapple.

Gen. Taguba began his investigation within days of one soldier coming forward to report the abuse. The "world" knew then (or would have if it was worth paying attention). In fact, the broader investigation that followed also began prior to the 60 Minutes program.

That all the details weren't immediately released is irrelevant. The point is, the Army handled this properly. They didn't cover anything up.

I don't know what you think Rumsfeld's lack of awareness should mean to you. Criminal investigations go on all the time in the military. (There were so many in WWII that 140 soldiers were executed.) SecDefs aren't expected to keep up all of them.

Were there problems at Abu Ghraib? Yes. Is that a surprise? No. Do I expect the forthcoming book on Lynndie England to reveal the real unbiased truth about Abu Ghraib? Sorry, I don't.

MayBee

Randy's right. Kimmit first announced the investigation at a media briefing in Iraq January 15, and CentCom issued a news release.

Nobody paid attention until there were pictures. Which is why the ACLU wants more pictures released.

Presumably, the ACLU does not want the pictures of Lynndie having sex with her boyfriend after they'd abused the prisoners for foreplay.

MayBee

And CNN first reported it January 21.

LUN

Rob Crawford

Um, "onebadapple", as I recall the announcement that there was an investigation into abuses at Abu Ghraib was made in late 2003. October, I believe, during a daily press briefing. There was a single follow-up question at the time, and then the press ignored the matter until the defense attorneys leaked the photos to friendly reporters, angling for the defense you aped above.

But, please, clarify something for me -- is it a coincidence that your handle is "onebadapple" and the Lyndie England "nea culpa" is being published by "Bad Apple Books"?

Rob Crawford

Also, "onebadapple", it's correct that your client, er, England, wasn't working at the Hard Site. In fact, she'd been ordered to stay out of it. She disregarded orders, as Graner et. al. disregard orders in how to handle the prisoners.

Don't try to rewrite history for people who were paying attention while it happened. You can get away with that when you're talking to those who buy into the story line your peddling, but there are plenty others who got the facts straight from the start.

Rob Crawford

MayBee -- the timeline you linked to has the first press story about abuses at Abu Ghraib running on Nov 1, 2003, and that the press briefing was in January 2004.

I misremembered the January date as October (when it was happening, which is why that month stuck in my mind), but the point still stands: there was no cover-up, the military was as up-front as can be expected of a criminal investigation.

MayBee

You are right, Rob. The press ran a story in October, and the official announcement was in January.
I hope onebadapple has someone fact-checking Lynndie's book.

onebadapple

Well, I guess when it comes straight from Lynndie's mouth, court documents, medical records, and sworn testimony - it just can't have any merit.

You are biased, so I won't even try. I hope you live happily ever after with Sarah Palen leading your cause....

Rick Ballard

Wow, the sworn testimony of a sadistic, dishonorably discharged convicted slut. Who wouldn't believe her?

narciso

Take it to Sy Hersh, bad apple, when he gets back from Dubai, or Amy Goodman, she'll buy anything, so will Bill Arkin.

Rob Crawford

Lynndie England couldn't even be bothered to obey a direct order to stay out of a men's prison -- she's too stupid to be believable. The categories of "court documents" and "sworn testimony" can include the lies of the defendants desperately trying to escape their punishment, so that's not all that convincing.

That leaves "medical records", which have bugger-all to do with the time line MayBee linked to, or with the announcement I recalled from the very month the investigation began.

Your declaration that we're "biased" is meaningless, because we're citing verifiable facts. It also obscures the fact that YOU are peddling England's book, and have a stake in the line of bull she's spinning and in the True Believers who will purchase it.

I hope you had a good lawyer check the claims England's ghost writer made.

Rob Crawford

Naw, narciso. Hersh already peddled that line. He's onto raving about Cheney's Death Squad now.

bad

I wish Cheney really had a death squad. A number of problems would no longer exist...

narciso

That's why I made the Dubai line, I had just a tiny bit of satisfaction when the Guardian reporter, got his reward at the opening to the last Bourne film, it went
down hill from there.

MayBee

Medical records = OB records? The date she conceived?

Maybe I am biased, but I know myself well enough to know if I stumbled into a scenario like that, my last response would be horniness.

 Ann

LOL, MayBee!

TheScandalAboutNothing

badapple, not sure about your account here.

CPA public affairs officials "teased" the story about an Army investigation at a detainee facility - I think twice - at daily press briefings at the Convention Center press room, AKA conference room 3 (this building is now the Iraqi parliament building). In January, I believe. No press showed any interest at all.

The photos were made public by defense counsel to one defendant in a (futile) attempt to derail the case or otherwise help his client.

The press had absolutely nothing to do with detecting, investigating, or prosecuting this case. I believe there were something like 77 above-the-fold front page NYT stories on it - compared to a dozen or so on the Pearl Harbor attack - but it's hard to argue the press did anything other than grossly inflate and distort the case to blacken the name of the US and its military. Which it didn't do, BTW, among most Iraqis - who naturally were puzzled by the brouhaha over the trivial hijinks at a place believed to have seen over 30,000 summary executions and untold cases of mutilation and other torture (real torture). But that's just my personal observation from contact with many Iraqis of all backgrounds, including Sunnis - I'm sure some nitwit Beltway scribbler or "analyst" or knows better, or something.

JAGs or others who know, jump in here to correct me, but I've always assumed that if the defendants in the resulting courts martial had a scintilla of evidence to back up a claim of acting under orders, there's no way they would have been convicted, much less given draconian and even grossly excessive sentences.

This doesn't have any bearing on whether Gen. Miller brought in Gitmo-tested techniques or not. But waterboarding has been the focus here - not cold rooms or sleep-deprivation. Unless I've missed something.

I worked around Armitage in a previous Washington life and he was the most impressive, no-nonsense operator I'd ever seen. I remain shocked at his behavior for the last few years - and generally astonished that he'd morph from smart realist back in the 80s/early 90s into triangulating snake when things got interesting post-9/11. One Iraq buddy worked in the Powell-Armitage inner circle for a time, have never asked him much about it, but perhaps it's time.

Wilkerson just comes off crazy as a s**t-house rat, and angry, and pretty weird. Sort of completes the picture of Powell, a substantive lightweight with bizarre concepts of honor and loyalty. Along with Lebanon, perhaps Reagan's worst foreign policy blunder was putting Powell on the power track.

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Wilson/Plame