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11 December 2014


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different clue


I believe ( with no evidence or proof, just personal suspicion and belief) that the reason Pelosi took impeachment off the table is because she supported the torture program and wished to see it preserved and extended. She wanted Cheney and Bush kept in POWer as well as in "office" till the very last day. Had there been a grinding Impeachment drama, the CheneyBushites might have staid in office till the very last day regardless, but their power ( to practice torture, among other things) would have been diminished. And the power to practice torture was part of the CheneyBush power which Pelosi wished to protect and maintain.

If a bitter mass-movement of millions could actually force people in the relevant parts of government to take the steps called for here, against their every deepest belief and desire and theory of governance; they might fear that the movement for prosecution might eat its way higher up the chain to people like Pelosi herself, for example. It would take a mass-movement of well organized millions of people several years at least to overcome bitter dead-ender governmental resistance to that possibility coming to pass.

We owe it to make the attempt, but we should understand that it will be made in the teeth of years of unified governmental opposition to any legal assignment of blame and any legal handing out of punishment.


"IMO President Obama did not "win" in 2008 but McCain did lose."

That's ridiculous. For one thing, McCain was pretty much the best (ha!) the Republicans could scrape up. And he embarrassed himself with **many** stunts aside from Palin.

An aside: My job detailed me to Michigan a few months before the 2008 election. I was anxious to vote against the Republicans in a state where my vote might actually make a difference, as opposed to the solid Blue state where I live permamnently. Imagine my disappointment when, right after I got my voter registration card, McCain announced that he was going to SHUT DOWN his Michigan campaign operation altogether!! That's jawdropping boneheadedness.

Your distaste for Obama is affecting your judgement, here. Obama doesn't really enter into it. The Dems could have run a cheeseburger in '08, against ANY Republican "leader". The result would have been the same. That's what the Republicans earned by marching in lockstep behind Bush the Lesser and his bent vizier.


I don't know that Pelosi supported torture in the strict sense of "support". But I'd never dispute that congressional Dems, like Republicans, purposely DID NOT want to know much or anything about what was actually going on. Starting on Sep 11, 2001, Congress as an institution totally abdicated its constitutional role. (Prior to that, of course, they'd only done about a 90% abdication, at least as far as foreign policy goes.)

I believe Pelosi wanted the Bush-Cheney gangster cult to run it out to the end simply because they were such easy, obvious targets. National-level Dems are cowardly dullards, but even they can spot the easy punching bag. Actually, that might be the **only** thing they can manage.

However, let's not kid ourselves: In a lot of ways the Congress was only mirroring the way most Americans were thinking. It's not like the rot in American society is **all** "up there"....


Thank you, so much, for this post. That a statement like this comes from retired military brass restores my faith, which needs a lot of restoring. So much so, that I don't think there's even a slight chance that it will happen, and yes P/VP will be violating their oaths. But maybe, if there are enough like you in positions of influence, the chances are better than I might think?


The country as we know it is gone, and has been for some time. My generation will never know how great the USA once was. Instead we have become a bazaar with a ditty and a piece of cloth to be waved at appropriate occasions.

If there is hope, it is in what comes next, built upon the pillars of what made us what we were.



Well, glad to know what LeAnder REALLY thinks of me.

robt willmann


A twist to the destruction of the video tapes of some of the torture sessions is that last year, since the director of the CIA National Clandestine Service was retiring, John Brennan would be naming a replacement to that important management position. He wanted to appoint a woman who had been in charge of one of the secret "black sites" where the torture was taking place, she was also in the chain of command in the development of the "detention and interrogation" [sic] program, and, as icing on the cake, she was chief of staff to Jose Rodriguez (or whatever his real name is), she wanted the torture tapes destroyed (of course), and co-signed the "order" to destroy them!

Then, because the woman had supposedly been "undercover", her name remained secret from the public when the question of her appointment came up. Being involved in developing the detention and interrogation program is being undercover? Being a CIA station chief in London and New York (!) is being undercover? Being chief of staff to Jose Rodriguez is being undercover? I thought being undercover was hanging out there in a make-believe role, with little protection or help if you are discovered, kind of like Valerie Plame may have been doing. A station chief has plenty of protection and help.

(You will have to turn on "cookies" on the web browser to look at the NY Times article.)



Brennan ended up not appointing the woman but instead appointed a man who was head of the CIA Latin American Division, who had been the station chief in Pakistan and ran the covert operation that removed Slobodan Milosevic from power in Serbia. The new appointee is "widely known in intelligence, diplomatic, and journalistic circles", but the CIA does not want his name revealed because he is "technically" undercover. As usual, what is "secret" is kept secret from the U.S. taxpayers and not from the rest of the world. So now there is a "secret" director of the National Clandestine Service, and part of his job is working with Congress, the members of which allegedly "represent" the people. Does Congress get to play "I've Got a Secret" and know his name, or do they not get to know, either?


Retiring Senator Carl Levin (Dem. Mich.) tried to get a bill passed that would have set up a separate committee or commission to look into the detention and interrogation practices, but it narrowly failed--


As you know, the "special" counsel appointed to investigate the destruction of the torture tapes decided not to prosecute. I had previously read, and the article indicates, that there was even a federal court order that such evidence should not be destroyed, but it was. And, of course, the federal courts did nothing about it.


William R. Cumming

robt willmann!

Many thanks for this helpful info and links!


On a side note, I found this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCLSi55vukY on YouTube and thought you might be interested.


Exactly so. Bent vizier and all.

alba etie

Secretary of State Powell did famously invoke the Party Barn Rule , you break it - you own it . But Secretary of State Powell also held up that little vial of white powder at the Security Council . After the very least we could have hoped that General Colin Powell would have resigned.

alba etie

President Obama was to release I think 2100 photos documenting the torture at Abu Gharib in 2009 - but then as he so famous for now - 'reconsidered" and the photos were not released. I also believe a Federal Judge will rule soon on the law suit that demands the photos be released. We must have sunlight of public disclosure - IMO - to begin the prosecution of our War Criminals who committed torture in our name - starting with Cheney . it will be interseting to see how the judge rules on the .release of the photos

alba etie

Is it time for a third party ?

alba etie

Most of us here at SST know that you are anything but "a not so bright common soldier " - And those of us who will respectfully disagree here with you are always mindful not to 'misunderestimate 'you or any other veterans of the recent NeoCon Wars in SW Asia.
Do you have an opinion on how the Abu Gharib torture was started , and continued - and further do you have an opinion who in 'chain of command ' above Cpl Lindsey should be held accountable for the torture ?


LeAnder's description does fit her example, the kids of Abu G.

When AbuG was first on the news PL referred to them as lumpen something or other (??) - anyway, some locution for trash.

I know them well: I and the kids I went to school with are their grandparents.



The Army Reserve MP detachment from Appalachia that sinned at AG were reflective of Appalachia not of soldiers of the US Army as a whole. If you go out in the woods in Maine where you live and peer into the dark corners of a long destroyed industrial economy you will find tiny support units (trucks, MPs, etc. in the Army Reserve and ARNG that are filled with people who cannot make a living without membership and who are undereducated and unworldly. To compare the soldiers of the US Army as a whole to them is pathetically elitist and ignorant. pl


Retired General Miller is one to research closely on these matters. http://tortureaccountability.org/geoffrey_miller http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_D._Miller


Interesting, William, and interesting choice of names. I respect Andrew Bacevich and the late Chalmer Johnson. Maybe I'll read Tom Englehardt's recent book.

I just checked his website (Tomdispatch) and ended up with reading his recent "War on the Horizon" about Hagel's "resignation" (?), which admittedly somewhat puzzled me, even more since I haven't followed American politics closely recently. And Hagel felt a very good choice.

I have no idea if Shadow Goverment is the correct way to look at all this. Maybe I am more drawn to systemics to "systemic forces". But yes, in the decade after 911 with its war-without-end-till-pacification looked a bit like a self-fulfilling prophesy. Hybris, Nemesis? I don't have much love for nationalist pride, the special American variation neither.

Concerning the Nuclear Priesthood, I better admit to my nitwit-chattering-status in this realm; but yes, recently it was hard to ignore that economics and/or new markets and war or the military complex and its offer for the confrontational option seem tightly entwined. And yes, if I am not completely misguided there was a line in some news that some American circles thought this type of weapons urgently needed to be upgraded too. Maybe I am wrong. I hope I am.
take care


Hmm? Didn't know that either.

Reflected on my own experiences but will restrain myself. Basically: University education doesn't mean the load of debts once you finished, at least for now, over here. Except for the growing private sector, maybe.

The group that would interest me statistically in your first paragraph are the 10% and their post IVIES life after exam. Not least since I still haven't read the thesis of my niece's friend who got a scholarship in one of the "private" universities in Norway. I had been aware of accumulated Habilitations before:
but really his Prof. was the first I encountered with a accumulated dissertation by now. I read the basis for his doctorship or the "accumulated articles" of his "helpful", I am told, guy. There was a strong American angle, again if I recall correctly, not only concerning the co-authors of his articles, but also a link to a special American institution.

Charles I

"All have by now heard that Harvard Law Students, among others, are asking to have their exams delayed because of the “trauma” they are undergoing after the Ferguson Grand Jury verdict."


Well I've heard it now, but still don't quite believe it.

Way I recall it, law school exams were, albeit mostly 100%'ers, a minor ordeal that you procrastinated, crammed, peaked, puked or shat through as the case was, wrote, and were ecstatic over their passing in the bar afterwards as you emptied the bathtub of easily forgotten minutia down the drain of fatalistic relief. Something best gotten out of the way asap.

Course I'm no Harvard man, Robson Hall class of 89.

Charles I

One of the earliest analysis and publishing using the term I have come across came from Professor Peter Dale Scott. See

"The "Deep State" behind U.S. democracy

In his book The Road to 9/11, now available in French, Professor Peter Dale Scott traces back the history of the "Deep State" in the United States, that is to say the secret structure that steers defense and foreign policy behind the facade of democracy. His analysis lifts the veil on the group that organised the September 11 attacks and which finances itself through international trafficking networks. Regarded as a reference book, The Road to 9/11 already features as recommended reading at military-diplomatic academies."


Charles I

". . . at least as moral" Agreed

In my experience, the common people, as opposed to sophisticated brainiacs, are much less capable of and inclined to much much less prodigious feats of intellectualization and rationalization. Those astounding dialectical leaps of cognitive dissonance resolution, er, squelching, that are the hallmark of the shameless narcissist.

This was pointed out to me in rehab: bullshit baffles brains, and no more so than the self-selected brainiest of the self-deluded.


All that means is that Powell chose to overlook or ignore the advice of his own subordinates. I don't understand what you're trying to get at. It's not like the BIR was something Powell created.



Wilkerson said in my presence that he and Powell chose to ignore BIR in their consideration of the "evidence" presented by CIA. pl

different clue

Why should I care about Dershowitz? He wears his depravity on his sleeve for all to stare at.
He doesn't have any governmental power. He isn't in position to write legal cover for desired policy the way John Yoo was.

John Yoo has a better chance of getting onto the Supreme Court than Dershowitz does. So I will worry about John Yoo. By Dershowitz I will merely be offended and repelled.

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