TruthOut

Intelligence Breakdown: The Controversy Surrounding pre-9/11 Orders to Stop Tracking bin Laden

An interesting story recently appeared on Truthout, titled Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden. Specifically, the story by Jeffrey Kaye intimates that

Ques­tions about what in­tel­lig­ence agen­cies knew or didn't know about al-Qaeda ac­tivit­ies go back some years, most pro­minent­ly in the con­trover­sy over the ex­ist­ence of a joint US Speci­al For­ces Com­mand and De­fen­se In­tel­lig­ence Agen­cy (DIA) data min­ing ef­fort known as "Able Dang­er."

What hasn't been dis­cus­sed is a Sep­temb­er 2008 De­part­ment of De­fen­se (DoD) in­spec­tor gener­al (IG) re­port, sum­mariz­ing an in­ves­tiga­tion made in re­spon­se to an ac­cusa­tion by a Joint For­ces In­tel­lig­ence Com­mand (JFIC) whistleb­low­er, which in­dicated that a sen­ior JFIC com­mand­er had hal­ted ac­tions track­ing Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11.

Here's where the story gets interesting:

Earlier this year, a blogger, Susie Dow, who has been following the story of Kirk von Ackermann , a US Army contractor in Iraq who disappeared on the road between Tikrit and Kirkuk in October 2003, asserted that von Ackermann had earlier belonged to JFIC's Asymmetric Threat Division.

According to Truthout, the Asymmetric Threat Division was known within the Department of Defense primarily by its DoD designation, DO5.

The Truthout piece also goes on to mention Susie's work with ePluribus Media, specifically the piece she wrote, with Stephen Reich, entitled One Missing, One Dead; An Iraq Contractor in the Fog of War.

The potential implications are damning.

Susie Dow has also recently posted about the Truthout piece, now front-paged here. Check it out.

 

The Krugman Equation and Ending Political Theater To Save A Nation's Economy

Paul Krugman's OpEd in The New York Times yesterday, titled "Willie Sutton Wept," makes a few very important points for anyone who's truly interested in learning about the factors affecting our current budget 'crunch' and the ongoing debates on what to cut. (Read it here.) He makes three points about the current "budget debate" right off the bat, summarized in my bullet list below:

  1. It's essentially fraudulent
  2. Self-proclaimed deficit "hawks" ~aren't~
  3. President Obama deserves a lot more credit for fiscal responsibility than he's been getting

Most of this boils down to the reality that the current budget "crisis" is ignoring the realities of what is impacting the economy the most, while the kabuki theater that the GOP is performing (and not performing alone) in the Potemkin village of our nation's capital isn't just for show -- it's also damaging our meager recovery. Krugman reiterates what we've already seen from looking at the CBO's numbers and from additional sources -- that the core costs which will rise sharply over the next few years will be from health insurance programs, not Social Security. And the lack of revenues from the additional taxes that we lost due to the tax cuts are making the whole situation much worse.

 

Strange Bedfellows: The GOP Helps Clinton, Fearing Obama Victory

Game on, folks: looks like the GOP has decided that McCain's only chance is against Hillary Clinton, and they are pulling out all the stops to garner more "support" -- in appearance only -- to help defeat any chance of a Barack Obama nomination.

This is classic tactic -- not only a GOP one, but also a Democratic one: remember gaming the system during their primaries to keep their players in the race longer? The Democratic interference was less likely to kill a viable candidate's chances -- the entire Republican field sucked; now it simply sucks with an army of one instead of many. But the Republican party has played this game to great effect before: remember the Lamont/Lieberman primary? ePluribus Media covered the GOP/Lieberman alliance at that time:

As long as we're aware of it, we can counter it and let our own voters decide. Let's not be faced with another Liebermanesque type of "victory" due to Republican manipulations.