WTC Bush War * 9/11 Initiative * Peace

Flyby News Notes -
Editor - Jonathan Mark -
March 26, 2008 - WTC Bush War * 9/11 Initiative * Peace

"It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy
that our country is now geared to an arms economy
which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis
of war hysteria and nurtured upon
an incessant propaganda of fear."

-- General Douglas MacArthur
May 15, 1951

1) Escalation in US Energy Coalition War
- - Bush's Plan To Steal Iraq's Oil
- - Mahdi Army arrested 17 American soldiers
- - Late Breaking News from Citizens for a Legitimate Government
- - El Salvador in Iraq?
- - Bear Stearns Bailout Proves US Fed is Merely an Extension of the Financial Industry
- - Pentagon will not send Adm. Fallon to Congress on Iraq
- - Progress Report & Take Action- Tumult In Tibet
- - The Coming War on Venezuela
2) Inside Shell Game, Bush War, Popular Mechanics..
- - Inside the Shell Game by Paul Craig Roberts
- - Bush's War: PBS/FRONTLINE
- - Engineer Society Accused of Cover-Ups
- - David Ray Griffin's review of Philip Shenon's book
- - Debunking Popular Mechanics?
- - 9/11 Steelworker Speaks Out About His Ground Zero Recovery Experiences
- - Postscript to “Spitzer taken down by Mossad?”
- - Ron Paul on Coast To Coast AM - Supports A New 9/11 Investigation
- - On a thread – Devouring our Own
- - New England 9/11 Symposium – May 17 Keene, NH
3) Exposed Bribes to Scientists, Global Warming, Aerial Spraying
- - Bribes offered to scientists
- - Bush Administration to Blue-State California: Drop Dead!
- - Alex Jones Hurts Truth By Ignoring Human-Made Excess in Air

Editor’s Notes:

It appears that in Iraq the plan has always been for civil war. The US-coalition tax-generated war helped to even the sides for a coalition to support its interests with an oil-rich nation. Should war escalate, it could pull in Iran and an aerial invasion on nuclear facilities. All hell could be let loose. The removal or resignation of Admiral Fallon could be disastrous regarding US security and principles in the United States Constitution. These are desperate times for those wanting to maintain control of the world’s precious resources.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political
and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind
to overcome oppression and violence without resorting
to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all
human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression,
and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

So, what is crux for us to focus on with love to solve this mess we’re in? For strategic effectiveness I believe it could be in supporting the people’s power to investigate September 11. The peace and impeachment movements think 9/11 truthers are frozen in time; it is actually in reverse. But, in any case, it is now time to unite for investigations. On this coming national election day, November 4th, we can help initiate a public-funded-overview and report on what happened in NYC on 9/11/01 and aftermath.

Anyone questioning if 9/11 was not used as the impetus to attack Iraq and Afghanistan should watch Frontline’s documentary “Bush’s War.” Collapsing towers were front and center, a lynchpin to enable the Neocons to fulfill their desires for war in the Middle East. Without a thorough investigation into what really happened on 9/11, we increase the likelihood of another falsehood leading into an attack on Iran. It could happen before an election; we can have martial law, protecting the scoundrels, yet putting the rest of us in jeopardy.

Your help is vital in supporting NYC residents investigate September 11. One suggestion is to help Steve Altman break 9/11 truth into mainstream awareness everywhere, while looking ahead to stop a repeating of a pattern. Consider, especially in the week of April 9-15, to buy one or more copies of The Shell Game to read, to send to residents of NYC, and/or donate to the NYC Ballot Initiative. Also you can also support the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative by writing a check made payable to St. Marks Church/The 9/11 Account, and mail it to NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative, 1173A Second Avenue, Suite 155, New York, NY 10065.

In item 2 make sure you read the article by Paul Craig Roberts “Inside the Shell Game.” Like the natural coalition of the 9/11 Truth and peace movements, this book is at first difficult to deal with, since it is based on 9/11 evidence. However, it extrapolates itself into an adventure thriller cautionary tale. Let's keep fiction as fiction, to help stop the war in Iran before it happens. The Reflecting Pool, Able Danger, the movie, Loose Change are special gifts by talented compassionate people, helpful tools for truth to set us free before we are externally enslaved or killed.

For issue with articles and links, see:
March 26, 2008 - WTC Bush War * 9/11 Initiative * Peace
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Frontline's Timid Iraq Retrospective

I submitted the info on Frontline Bush's War to blogger a week ago in hopes that there might be something useful there to help wake the masses.
When the Series opened with a faithful retelling of the official story of 911 I knew what was in store.

Frontline's Timid Iraq Retrospective

By Ray McGovern
March 26, 2008

Frontline’s “Bush’s War” on PBS Monday and Tuesday evening was a nicely put-together rehash of the top players’ trickery that led to the attack on Iraq, together with the power-grabbing, back-stabbing and limitless incompetence of the occupation.

Except for an inside-the-beltway tidbit here and there – for example, about how the pitiable Secretary of State Colin Powell had to suffer so many indignities at the hands of other type-A hard chargers – Frontline added little to the discussion.

Notably missing was any allusion to the unconscionable role of the Fourth Estate as indiscriminate cheerleader for the home team, nor any mention that the invasion was a serious violation of international law. But those omissions, I suppose, should have come as no surprise.

Nor was it a surprise that any viewer hoping for insight into why Cheney and Bush were so eager to attack Iraq was left with very thin gruel.

It was more infotainment, bereft of substantive discussion of the whys and wherefores of what in my view is the most disastrous foreign policy move in our nation’s history.

Despite recent acknowledgements from the likes of Alan Greenspan, Gen. John Abizaid and others that oil and permanent (or, if you prefer, “enduring”) military bases were among the main objectives, Frontline avoided any real discussion of such delicate factors.

Someone not already aware of how our media has become a tool of the Bush administration might have been shocked at how Frontline could have missed one of President George W. Bush’s most telling “signing statements.”

Underneath the recent Defense Authorization Act, he wrote that he did not feel bound by the law’s specific prohibitions:

“(1) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq,” or

“(2) To exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq.”

So the Frontline show was largely pap.

At one point, however, the garrulous former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage did allude to one of the largest elephants in the living room – Israel’s far-right Likudniks – and their close alliance with the so-called neo-conservatives running our policy toward the Middle East.

But Armitage did so only tangentially, referring to the welcome (if totally unrealistic) promise by Ahmed Chalabi that, upon being put in power in Baghdad, he would recognize Israel.

Not surprisingly, the interviewer did not pick up on that comment; indeed, I’m surprised the remark avoided the cutting room floor.

Courage No Longer a Frontline Hallmark

Frontline has done no timely reportage that might be looked upon as disparaging the Bush administration – I mean, for example, the real aims behind the war, not simply the gross incompetence characterizing its conduct.

Like so many others, Frontline has been, let’s just say it, cowardly in real time — no doubt intimidated partly by attacks on its funding that were inspired by the White House.

And now? Well the retrospective criticism of incompetence comes as polling shows two-thirds of the country against the Iraq occupation (and the number is surely higher among PBS viewers).

So, Frontline is repositioning itself as a mild ex-post-facto critic of the war, but still unwilling to go very far out on a limb. Explaining the aims behind war crimes can, of course, be risky. It is as though an invisible Joseph Goebbels holds sway.

On Monday evening I found myself initially applauding Frontline’s matter-of-fact, who-shot-John chronology of how our country got lied into attacking and occupying Iraq. Then I got to thinking – have I not seen this picture before? Many times?

It took a Hollywood producer to recognize and act on the con games that sober observers could not miss as the war progressed: Where were the celebrated “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD)?

Robert Greenwald simply could not abide the president’s switch to “weapons of mass destruction programs,” which presumably might be easier to find than the much-ballyhooed WMD so heavily advertised before the attack on Iraq.

You remember – those remarkable WMD about which UN chief inspector Hans Blix quipped that the U.S. had 100 percent certainty of their existence in Iraq, but zero percent certainty as to where they were.

Robert Greenwald called me in May 2003. He had read a few of the memoranda published by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) exposing the various charades being acted out by the administration and wanted to know what we thought of the president’s new circumlocution on WMD.

I complimented him on smelling a rat and gave him names of my VIPS colleagues and other experienced folks who could fill him in on the details.

Wasting no time, he arrived here in Washington in June, armed simply with copious notes and a cameraman. Greenwald conducted the interviews, flew back to his eager young crew in Hollywood and, poof, the DVD “Uncovered: The War on Iraq” was released at the beginning of November 2003.

So Frontline is four and a half years behind a Hollywood producer with appropriate interest and skepticism. (Full disclosure: I appear in “Uncovered,” as do many of the interviewees appearing in Frontline’s “Bush’s War.”)

Actually, the interviewing by Frontline occurred just a few months later. I know because I was among those interviewed for that as well, as was my good friend and former colleague at the CIA, Mel Goodman.

I was struck that Mel looked four years younger on this week’s Frontline. It only then dawned on me that he was four years younger when interviewed.

Have a look at “Uncovered,” [http://www.truthunc index.php ] and see how you think it compares to Frontline’s “Bush’s War.”

Safety in Retrospectives

It also struck me that producing a Frontline-style retrospective going back several years is a much less risky genre to work with. Chalk it up to my perspective as an intelligence analyst, but ducking the incredibly important issues at stake over the next several months is, in my opinion, unconscionable. The troop “surge” in Iraq, for example.

Only toward the very end of the program does Frontline allow a bit of relevant candor on a point that has been self-evident since Cheney and Bush, against strong opposition from Generals Abizaid and Casey (and apparently even Rumsfeld), decided to double down by sending 30,000 more troops into Iraq.

A malleable new Secretary of Defense [Robert Gates] would deal with the recalcitrant generals and pick a Petreaus ex Machina of equal malleability and political astuteness to implement this stop-gap plan.

One of the last Frontline interviewees concedes that the purpose of the “surge” was to stave off definitive defeat in Iraq, so that Bush’s war could be handed off to his successor somewhat intact. (Even that seems doubtful at this point.)

“That decision [to order the ‘surge’] at a minimum guaranteed that his [Bush’s] presidency would not end with a defeat in history’s eyes, that by committing to the ‘surge’ he was certain to at least achieve a stalemate,” said journalist and author Steve Coll.

Okay, a small kudo to Frontline for including that bit of truth – however obvious.

Rather Not, Thank You

Intimidation of the media is what has happened all around, including with Frontline, which not so many years ago was able to do some gutsy reporting. Let me give you another example about which few are aware.

Do you remember when Dan Rather made his Apologia Pro Vita Sua, admitting that the American media, including him, was failing to reveal the truth about things like Iraq?

Speaking to the BBC on May 16, 2002, Rather compared the situation to the fear of “necklacing” in South Africa.

"It's an obscene comparison," Rather said, "but there was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tires around peoples' necks if they dissented. In some ways, the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck."

Talking to another reporter, Dan told it straight about the careerism that keeps U.S. journalists in line: "It's that fear that keeps [American] journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions and to continue to bore-in on the tough questions so often."

The comparison to “necklacing” may be “obscene” but, sadly, it is not far off the mark.

So what happened to the newly outspoken Dan Rather with the newly found courage, when he ran afoul of Vice President Dick Cheney and the immense pressure he exerts on the corporate media?

We know about the lies and the cheerleading for attacking Iraq. But there is much more most of us do not know and remain unable to learn if Rather and other journalists keep acting the part of the lion in the Wizard of Oz, before he gets his courage.

For Dan Rather, the fear would simply not go away – even after leaving CBS for HDNet and promising that, on his new “Dan Rather Reports” show, viewers would see hard-hitting and courageous reporting that he said he couldn’t do at CBS.

Will it surprise you that Dan Rather cannot shake the necklace?

I refer specifically to a program for “Dan Rather Reports,” meticulously prepared by award-winning producer, Kristina Borjesson. The special included interviews with an impressive string of first-hand witnesses to neocon machinations prior to the U.S. attack on Iraq, and provides real insights into motivations – the kind of insights Frontline did not even attempt.

Nipped in the Bud

Last year Borjesson’s taping was finished and the editing had begun.

Borjesson’s requests to interview people working for the vice president had been denied. But, following standard journalistic practice (not to mention common courtesy), she sent an e-mail to John Hannah in Cheney’s office in order to give Hannah a chance to react to what others – including several of the same senior folks on Frontline last evening – had said about him for her forthcoming report.

At that point all hell broke loose. Borjesson was abruptly told by Rather’s executive producer that by sending the e-mail, Borjesson could have “brought down the whole (‘Dan Rather Reports’) operation.”

The show was killed and Borjesson sacked. For good measure, she was also accused of “coaching” interview subjects and taking their words out of context.

Since neither Rather nor his executive producer would provide proof to substantiate that allegation, Borjesson took the unprecedented step of sending her script and transcripts to all her interview subjects and asking them to confirm or deny that she had coached them or taken their words out of context.

Not one of them found her script inaccurate or said they were coached. She has the e-mails to prove this.

This sorry episode and Frontline’s careful avoidance of basic issues like the strategic aims of the Bush administration in invading and occupying Iraq are proof, if further proof were needed, that the White House, and especially Cheney’s swollen office, exert enormous pressure over what we are allowed to see and hear.

The fear they instill in the corporate press, and in what once was serious investigative reporting of programs like Frontline, translates into programs getting neutered or killed outright – and massive public ignorance.

Some consolation is to be found in the good news that, in this particular case, Kristina Borjesson is made of stronger stuff; she has not given up, and was greatly encouraged by how many of the very senior officials and former officials she had already interviewed consented to be re-interviewed (since the tapes belonged to the “Rather Not” folks).

Now who looks forward to being re-interviewed?

Borjesson’s original interviewees took into account her problems with the cowards and the censors – and her atypical, gutsy refusal to self-censor – and went the extra mile. A tribute to them as well, and their interest in getting the truth out.

Borjesson is now completing the program on her own. Look for an announcement in the coming months, if you’re interested in real sustenance rather than the pabulum served up, no doubt under duress, by Frontline.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington, DC. He was an Army infantry/intelligen ce officer in the early sixties, then a CIA analyst for 27 years. He now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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