DSM Day

Today was DSM (Downing Street Minutes) Day, the third anniversay of the infamous Downing Street meeting, a meeting of high-level British government officials, the minutes of which offer pretty clear proof that the Bush administration fed the world a pack of lies as they prepared for war in Iraq.

Reading the minutes makes it pretty clear that Bush was lying about Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, and lying about their own plans for war as they claimed they were pursuing a peaceful resolution. And, of course, a large (but hopefully shrinking) segment of our population still doesn’t give a damn. In an attempt to raise awareness, DSM Day events were scheduled around the country, and of course I couldn’t miss the local one.

Being fairly lazy and not very creative, I showed up without a sign, knowing I could probably borrow one from a more energertic fellow hippie. I was not disappointed; I ended up with a reversible model, with “Save America, Impeach Bush” on one side, and “Bush: Lying War Criminal” on the other side. But the one I really coveted was the one pictured here; I think it conveys the message simply and effectively.

And, on the subject of illegal wars, there’s an item that’s been recently featured in a lot of blogs that, if true, should frighten people. It’s an excerpt from an article by ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi in the recent issue of American Conservative magazine (apparently not online):

The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick
Cheney’s office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command
(STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in
response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States.
The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both
conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are
more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected
nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are
hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by
conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of
Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being
involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States.
Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are
reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing–that
Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack–but no one is
prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.

I have no idea how reliable this is. I know nothing about Giraldi or American Conservative. I know there are a lot of nutcases out there. I routinely get email from people offering yet more “proof” that George Bush planned the 9/11 attacks, and I don’t bother repeating those here. This one doesn’t seem quite that wacky; it’s really no more crazy than the idea of attacking Iraq in response to the 9/11 attacks. So I’m taking it with a grain of salt, but not completely ruling it out.

And meanwhile, the issues surrounding the Bush administration’s leak of a clandestine agent’s identity continue to get even more interesting. Congressman Waxman recently issued a fact sheet documenting a total of 11 security breaches. The one I thought was most interesting was number 10, The Disclosure by an Unidentified Source to James Guckert of Talon News:

On October 28, 2003, Talon News posted on its website an interview with Ambassador Joseph Wilson in which the questioner asked: “An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency or clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?” Talon News is tied to a group called GOP USA and is operated by Texas Republican Robert Eberle. Its only reporter, James Guckert (also known as Jeff Gannon), resigned when it was revealed that he gained access to the White House using a false name after his press credentials were rejected by House and Senate press galleries. In a March 2004 interview with his own news service, Mr. Guckert stated that the classified document was “easily accessible.” In a February 11, 2005, interview with Wolf Blitzer of CNN, Mr. Guckert said the FBI interviewed him about “how I knew or received a copy of a confidential CIA memo,” but he refused to answer FBI questions because of his status as a “journalist.” A week later, Mr. Guckert changed his account, claiming he “was given no special information by the White House or by anybody else.”

I think this has a chance (admittedly a very slight one) for some very sweet irony. Remember Gannon/Guckert’s other career? When he wasn’t working for a “news service” that was just a mouthpiece for the Republican party, or using bogus credentials to pose as a reporter in the White House press room, he was running websites advertising his services as a gay prostitute. Some interesting questions have been raised about Gannon/Guckert’s “back door” (pun intended) access to the White House.

Now consider this. Gannon’s self-contradictions indicate that he must have been lying at least once. Now I’m really stretching here, but play along with me just for fun. Suppose he ends up getting indicted for perjury. And suppose that it turns out that whoever was feeding him information, and helping fill up all those unexplained hours in the Secret Service logs, was getting a discount rate on his services in return. Hell, let’s go all out and suppose that individual was Karl Rove! Whether it was Rove or someone else, suppose he ends up committing perjury when asked about his affair with Gannon/Guckert. Wouldn’t you love the irony of somebody in the Bush White House being indicted for perjury about a blow job? Okay, I already admitted I was really stretching, but still, wouldn’t you just love it??

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