Thursday, October 13, 2005

This stinks

Of course, now there are questions about the authenticity of the letter found in Iraq.
Ken Katzman, a terrorism expert with the Congressional Research Service -- the in-house think-tank of the U.S. Congress -- said the letter contained elements that raised doubts about its authenticity.

"The purported letter has Zawahri admitting to certain things that it's not realistic for him to admit, because he would know there's a potential this letter might be intercepted," Katzman said.

He said they included a request for money from Zarqawi, an admission that Pakistan's army is hunting for al Qaeda and how the arrest of a top operative affected the network.
Look, you can't help but question these guys. Their intelligence is too often either wrong or made up. Are those words too harsh for you? Then how about "inaccurate and wrong and in some cases, deliberately misleading" as Colin Powell put it?

On top of that, it just seemed too well-timed to go along with Bush's recent terror speech. There's a lot of that going around, though.

In the end, I can't say whether or not the document is real or not, but neither can any of the conservative bloggers who will trumpet this as an excuse to "stay the course." As a 13-year veteran of the armed forces, though, I find it repulsive that veterans like myself are put in the position where we're forced to decide whether our commander-in-chief is lying or al Qaeda is--and it's actually a hard decision!

However, what I find even more disgusting is this administration's use of the military as a wing of its party's propaganda machine. No, I'm not talking about the embarrassing bit of theater this morning (and, trust me, I know exactly how those things are put together), I'm talking about this web site that CentCom runs. Here's a snippet.
The letter demonstrates that pulling US forces out of Iraq is the wrong approach – that terrorists will not simply lay down their arms when American forces depart Iraq. Al-Qaida and its terrorist brethren will not go away when the Coalition hands over security control to Iraqi forces; rather, they are committed to overthrowing the elected, democratic Iraqi government and ruling the country according to their interpretation of Islamic law.

Quote: “And it is that the Mujahidin must not have their mission end with the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq , and then lay down their weapons, and silence the fighting zeal. We will return to having the secularists and traitors holding sway over us.”
Since when did it become the job of the military not to carry out a commander's orders but to justify them? Whatever happened to "ours is not to reason why"?

No one should be happy about the politicizing of the military (I've written about this before.) Would the Instapunditeers have liked it if the web had been flooded with "Why we're in Kosovo (and, no, it doesn't have anything to do with the president getting fellatio)" sites run by Wesley Clark? Hell, no. And neither would I. The military should not be a tool for either party.

Right now, I'm simply sickened by the fact that these goddamn chickenhawks feel like they can use the military in which they feared to serve as a tool for their wrongheaded, bullshit ideology. And, if you doubt my take on their leadership, consider this: If the Zawahiri letter is actually real, then doesn't it prove that the bad guys are actually smarter than the Bush administration? I mean, for all the claims that they're a bunch of thugs in a wounded operation, this letter, if true, proves that they're at least taking the time to do some post-war planning. The Bush administration, on the other hand, ignored the facts the were given and couldn't be bothered to plan for "winning the peace."

Because of that, sadly, there's no peace to win.

Update: As I said, I know how b.s. photo-ops are run in the military and, yeah, this sounds about right. (Link via Atrios.) Trust me, anyone who's ever even considered voting for a Democrat would be kept miles away from that little set-up. In fact, I was also ordered to stay away from Rush Limbaugh when he made his drive-by lying trip to Afghanistan. I was told by a Major that I couldn't disagree with the Commander-in-Chief on air. I said that the regs say nothing of the sort, but, anyway, I was going to disagree with Limbaugh if given the opportunity, not the president. I was told in no uncertain terms that I was to stay away. Limbaugh, she said, didn't want to deal with that on this trip. Like Bush, he's not only scared to serve, but scared of the honest opinions of those who do.


Blogger JT said...

You're so right, this does stink.

Bush with his 'I told you they're waiting for us to cut and run' speech immediately after the letters 'surfaced'. Not to mention the staged q&a with the troops.

It all seems like one massive PR blitz to revive support for the war.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Urban Queen Anne said...

This is pure and simple, disinformation that the BushCo and DoD are pushing out there. One must remember, there is an covert office of disinformation at the DoD (since the overt one was supposedly dismantled a few years back).

Its main objective is to: a) push up the US propaganda that everything is going a-ok and b) to dishearten the AlQ fighters on the ground (who might not even read it).

And it doesn't fool anyone.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Blake said...

Maybe it came from British intelligence. They could send a former ambassador to a Middle Eastern nation to investigate. Then after he discredits everything they say, they could defame him and undermine national security? Just a thought

5:21 PM  
Blogger samcatt said...

Y'all keep drinking the kool aid. It will make you feel better.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

Well argued, samcatt. YOU keep rigorously challenging yourself mentally.

4:44 AM  
Blogger JD Rhoades said...

Anyone checked the kerning?

5:06 AM  
Blogger Bliekker said...

Well, as for the's funny that the administration didn't worry about exposing 'sources and methods' by releasing it. How did they intercept the letter?

6:21 AM  
Blogger Spooked said...

since Al Qaeda is bogus, is it any wonder the letter is bogus?

6:43 AM  
Blogger davidj said...

Is it just me , or haven't the soldiers at these bush photo-ops always been whiter than the army as a whole?

6:53 AM  
Blogger Puritan Mama said...

Just so's ya know, they forced us whities to be at a Clinton soldier photo-op, and wouldn't let us disagree with him, either because "discussing policy or politics is not the intended purpose of this visit." Yeah, he's just the president, that's all. But we still had to smile and pretend we cared.
Guess it works on both sides.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...



Good Lord.

I would say, Mama, that Clinton never did this sort of scripted B.S. though and, when he held open forums they were, you guessed it, open forums. Weird, I know.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Sure, ok, yeah, I'll agree to believe what terrorists say. Of course they're going to say the letter is fake. Are you that stupid?

9:56 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I would say, Mama, that Clinton never did this sort of scripted B.S. though and, when he held open forums they were, you guessed it, open forums. Weird, I know.

Terry, were you coherant during the Clinton administration? There were more B.S. photo ops per capita than any administration in history. The Bible carrying, the lower lip bite, etc. were B.S. You're living in a fantasy world of your own making.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

I don't have any problem with B.S. photo ops. I really don't and I never said I did. That's part of the game. My problem is when anyone uses the military as a political tool. Are you with me now?

5:24 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I can understand that yes and agree with you, however when someone has stated a "loathing" for the military, as Clinton did, and he has "photo ops" with the military, did you react the same way? I suspect you didn't but I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

I don't mind photo ops with the military if, in fact, the president is a strong supporter of the miltary as Mr. Bush clearly is. Mr. Clinton, on the other hand, went in with a clear bias against the military, so the photo ops he had with them were B.S. The current president's photo ops with the military ring more true because he doesn't need any political points - he can't run for re-election. So the "political tool" argument is really moot. Those that like Mr. Bush are going to continue to like him and those that don't like him will continue down that course. It really doesn't matter anymore.

Listen, I don't have a problem with the way you view things. For the most part I'm fed up with all politicians, and not just on a partisan basis. But I really do not like the attacks on Mr. Bush's character that are unwarranted. There is no reason to attack his character or motives.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Puritan Mama said...

Sorry to offend anyone with "Whities" - just a little joke on Whatyhe's racial comment. You political bloggers are soooo serious...
I'll watch my tongue in the future. I Promise.

And I agree with you that it's ALL b.s., and the military shouldn't be a tool.

7:37 PM  
Blogger LiberalPride said...

I can't make up my mind whether the Bush administration is neo-fascist or neo-communist.

I'm certain historians will find the proper label to affix to the most corrupt and conniving group of people our nation has ever had the misfortune of having in the White House.

They've politicized the military. And part of their politicizing has been the loosing of the evangelical jackals on our military personnel.

Years ago, I was in the U.S. Air Force. Back then, I didn't know anyone else's political affiliation nor their religious background. Our mission was to defend our democracy and the U.S. Constitution from all our enemies, not to be political hacks for a specific political party or a religious hack for a specific religion.

My, oh my, how times have changed.

Now, we have a god-forsaking administration that demands both a political test and a religious test for every department under their nefarious control. That's why I call them either neo-fascist or neo-communist. Hey, isn't this exactly what the fascists and communists did, and are still doing, in one way or another.

In other words, instead of the paramount duty of any patriotic U.S. citizen being loyalty to our Constitution and the Bill of Rights (and defending the freedom of ALL our citizens from tyranny), the Bush administration has replaced that with their unpatriotic demand for loyalty only to Bush and the Republican Party. Screw them!! Screw their loyalty test!!!

Impeach Bush NOW and put the Hammer in the Slammer!!!

Or, maybe the scenario will be to put the Hammer in the Slammer first and then after enough Republicans are sent packing in 2006, we can finally remove the Bush blight on the White House and start disinfecting the place.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

All right, Mama.

I'll let you off with a warning this time, Honkie!

10:20 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

That's right, cast doubt upon the US military and intelligence services while believing the propaganda of terrorists! Amazing. Liberalism IS a mental disorder.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Xarian said...

Ken Katzman, a terrorism expert with the Congressional Research Service -- the in-house think-tank of the U.S. Congress -- said the letter contained elements that raised doubts about its authenticity.

Those goddamn terrorists in congress huh?

2:06 AM  
Blogger Puritan Mama said...

Ah, Terry, so you DO have a sense of humor. That's such a relief!

7:09 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I can't decide whether liberals are neo-insane or neo-deranged. Oh well, either describes them.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

Rob and Michael,

You can both go to hell.

I never said that I don't trust the military, but that I hate that these fuckers are using it as a tool.

Can you name one thing the Bushies have gotten right about Iraq? Did we find the chemical plants">Powell talked about? The nuclear facilities? The bullshit mobile labs? Even Powell said, as I noted in the post, that "the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and in some cases, deliberately misleading" and he regretted it.

Hell, even before the war we knew that Cheney was lying when he said "we now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Among other sources, we've gotten this from the firsthand testimony of defectors -- including Saddam's own son-in-law, who was subsequently murdered at Saddam's direction." That defector also said "All chemical weapons were destroyed. I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons -- biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed."

Dick must simply have forgotten that.

And of course, let's not forget the whole "cakewalk" aspect of the war we were promised.

No, these people have been proven wrong and/or stupid at every turn. Hell, even Bill O'Reilly said that their claims were bullshit and promised to be "much more skeptical about the Bush administration" (though it's hard to see how he's lived up to that commitment).

The truth is we all should be skeptical of these bastards.

However, I will point out that early in the day I made that post I read that al Qaeda in Iraq was denying it. The letter seemed a bit too perfect to me already, but I didn't write a word. It wasn't until Ken Katzman, a respected expert, said he had issues with the letter that I said anything about it.

So you're both welcome to swallow everything these fuckers tell you, but they've cried wolf at least a 100 too many times for anything they say to be accepted at face value. If you can't see that then you're just too stupid to be saved.

11:15 PM  
Blogger john_m_burt said...

It's all so very sad.

The military is politicized and corrupted. Religion is just a tool of control. Institutions that should have the instinctive trust of all people, regardless of political or religious affiliation, are regarded with distrust or contempt.

The people who have brought us to this condition have done so much harm.

And what did they do it for? Not for democracy in Iraq, not for freedom from terrorism, but for . . . what? Money? Power? What drives them to destroy so much, what does it gain them?

We have to get rid of these people. Now, not in 2009 or even 2007, but right now.

12:28 AM  
Blogger The Big Hit said...

Michael said: don't mind photo ops with the military if, in fact, the president is a strong supporter of the miltary as Mr. Bush clearly is.

You're wrong, Michael. There is no evidence that Mr. Bush is a supporter of the military. Mr. Bush is, in fact, clearly not a supporter of the military. Mr. Bush clearly enjoys saying that he supports the military, but he cuts funding for vets and health care, he issues those stops so people done with their military time can't leave...but doesn't actually issue a draft. He does not support the military. That is a lie.

7:18 AM  

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