Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hey NPR! What's with all the Neocons?

Many of you coming to this blog lately might have concluded all I do is blame Israel for everything under the sun. This is not true. In fact, I really try my best to avoid the Israel/Palestine issue because it's so damned complicated and enraging.

So, for your edification I give another topic not related to Israel: My latest campaign to get NPR to stop inviting former neocon Bush administration officials on to their airwaves to spout neocon bullshit and revisionist history.

This post involves my bewilderment at NPR's Talk of the Nation program inviting Douglas Feith, Mr. "Office of Special Plans," on to discuss whether the US should be the policeman of the world. Huh?

"Isn't Douglas Feith the guy who was investigated by the the Department of Defense's Office of Inspector General (IG) for "inappropriately" producing evidence that said there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda?

He also was found to have produced 'some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community.'

Those would be Saddam's WMD.

He was found to have given intelligence briefings to senior policy makers 'containing information that was different from the briefing presented to [Director of Central Intelligence], not vetted by the Intelligence Community, and that was not supported by the available intelligence.'

In other words, he fixed the the intelligence and facts around the policy for his boss Donald Rumsfeld.

He is as responsible as anyone for the disastrous invasion of Iraq.

Again, it mystifies me to no end that NPR is giving airtime to the former neocon members of the Bush administration and foisting them on their listeners as 'policy experts.'

If someone drove me into a ditch, I wouldn't let him teach my daughter how to drive, yet NPR just can't seem to get enough of these former neocons

Actually, I should have changed that last bit to just "neocons," since he isn't a former one. Or maybe former Bush administration officials was what I meant. I was in a rush and I was pigbiting mad!

In any event, the many others that left comments at the TOTN comment page gave my post 13 recommendations and also focused on the absurdity of having Dougie-boy on.

Right Web background on Rummy's Feith-based intel:

"Besides his work with the OSP, Feith was also responsible for establishing two other controversial offices in the Pentagon during the lead-up to the Iraq War: the very short-lived Office of Strategic Influence, which was closed down after creating a furor in Congress because of its purported aim of 'providing news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of an effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers,' and the Counterterrorism Evaluation Group,' a small unit of intelligence analysts who examined possible links between Mr. Hussein and Al Qaeda" that issued a classified report directly contradicting CIA conclusions about such ties"

Once the invasion was done he also had a hand in making sure the people we sent over there to rebuild Iraq were loyal bushies and especially incapable of doing their jobs. A W. & Co. trademark.

Comment on Inauguration Day coverage:

"OK, seriously, Matt Continenti of the 'Weakly' Standard? When is NPR going to learn the lessons of this election? The neocon ideology has been roundly rejected by the American people. They were wrong about absolutely everything, from Iraq being a 'Cake Walk' to their dreams of American Hegemony.

Why does NPR continue to insist on giving these people air time? Something tells me the Standard's circulation is going to take a nose dive, now that the old regime and their backers have been rousted out of DC.

No one is listening to these people anymore. Get a clue!"

To which another commenter replied:

"William, (My nom de plume)

I think the point of Rep. Ryan and Continetti of the Weekly Standard was to give some opposition perspective on the inauguration and the speech. While specific neo-con viewpoints have been exposed for the worthless tripe they are, it does not mean that opposition views are inherently valueless.

A few mis-steps by the administration (or, more likely bumbling by Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Reid) could push the demos back into the minority again

To which, I replied:

"Darren, I don't think 'opposition views are inherently valueless,' either. I just don't get having people on as political 'experts' who're anything but. I think the people sitting at home listening to NPR sort of expect the people on the air to know what the hell they're talking about, which Continenti clearly doesn't.

I feel kind of insulted, actually, that NPR keeps feeding us this tripe and expecting us to call it steak.

This is not the 'intelligent commentary' NPR claims they're providing

Comment to ATC on interview with John Bilinger (Condi's legal advisor):

"Two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, the UK's most senior law officer Lord Goldsmith told PM Tony Blair in a secret legal finding that 'I remain of the opinion that the safest legal course would be to secure the adoption of a further resolution to authorise the use of force.'

He further found: "A 'reasonable case' does not mean that if the matter ever came before a court I would be confident that the court would agree with the view."

Then in came your guest John Bilinger: 'On February 11, 2003, as war approached, and with Mr Blair close to panic over the legal fiasco, Goldsmith flew to the White House to meet US National Security Council legal chief, John Bellinger. His message was clear: the US had no legal worries because Congress had already given Mr Bush the power to rule the war legal. In addition it believed there was no need for a second UN resolution. Mr Bellinger later boasted: 'We had a problem with your Attorney General who was telling us it was legally doubtful under international law. We straightened him out.'(The Daily Mail)

Perhaps Mr. Billinger should focus less on the Gitmo detainees' legal problems and more on his own. His name is on a war crimes prosecutor's list somewhere in the world
." (Source Watch)

Some joker replied to my comment later on, but I just found out about it and I'm not quite sure what the hell he's trying to say. Something about the 'coalition of the paid-off' endorsing the US/UK sponsored UN resolution 1441, which somehow knowledge of was suppressed by the liberal media.

That's great, except that the text above kind of points out that Lord Goldsmith gave the opinion that 1441 wasn't good enough, his legal opinion (later changed by Bilinger & Co.) was that there had to be an explicit war authorization to invade Iraq from the Security Council. As I recall, in fact, the only way W. & Co were able to get 1441 through at all was because they put a provision in there, to placate their many detractors from every other country (beside the 26 paid-off or bullied) to seek a second resolution before invading. Knowing there was no way in the hell they were going to get a second resolution, they tried to do an end 'round by claiming early Iraq resolutions would suffice. Geez, talk about revisionist history!

An update on the Lord Goldsmith question, on whether he was or wasn't pressured to revise his initial legal finding that a second resolution was required.

The Guardian, Jan 14 2009:

"Fresh questions over the legality of the Iraq war were raised today after the government admitted it could not substantiate its claim that Lord Goldsmith had changed his mind over the legal basis for the invasion before a highly controversial meeting with two of Tony Blair's closest allies.

The admission has revived allegations that the former attorney general was pressured to revise his opinion that an invasion could be illegal without an explicit UN resolution.

Opposition MPs have renewed calls for a full Iraq inquiry in light of the new information . . .

Two weeks before the invasion, in March 2003, Goldsmith gave Blair a detailed legal opinion that doubted its legality.

Six days later, on 13 March, Goldsmith met Lord Falconer, then a junior minister, and Sally (now Lady) Morgan from Blair's office.

On 17 March, he published a single-page parliamentary answer, asserting that the war would be legal on the basis of existing UN resolutions . . .

Last November, Lord Bingham, a former senior law lord, said Goldsmith's view was 'flawed' and called the invasion 'a serious violation of international law and of the rule of law'.

Critics of the war have alleged that Goldsmith had been pressured by Blair's allies to change his mind, which he has repeatedly denied.

Most ministers were not shown Goldsmith's original advice or told that he had expressed doubts on the issue

Anyway . . .

There you have it, my efforts so far to get NPR to stop wasting every body's time with neocons trying to rewrite history.

Did anyone let the PTB at NPR know there's a new sheriff in town, one that doesn't base his decisions on wishful thinking and Faux snooNews stories?

(I edited the posts to NPR to correct for typos.)


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