06:43 | Posted by liminal | Edit Post
9/11 Reforms Could Weaken Rights, Says White House
By Maura Reynolds and Greg Miller, Times Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration warned Friday that the two central reforms proposed by the Sept. 11 commission — creating a powerful intelligence chief and establishing a new counterterrorism center — may remove barriers protecting intelligence from political influence and undermine civil liberties. ...
"We need to, in considering each of these recommendations, place a premium and real attention on how to protect civil liberties while better safeguarding our homeland," the official said.
Since when has this administration been concerned about our civil liberties? This statement rings so hollow and is disingenious. If it is true or not doesn't matter.
Also, a heads up for Juan Cole's latest post: 'Did al-Qaeda Game Bush into Iraq War?'
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz allowed themselves to be manipulated by Libi and Chalabi because it suited them.
The question is whether letting ourselves be duped in this way suits the American public.
The idea of deliberate allowance of disillusionment on the part of those named in order to bring about the war is what I've thought about for far too long. I'm not sure they thought Iraq would be as difficult of a situation. But they didn't bother to learn a thing about Iraqi society before the invasion/occupation, so that is essentially support for this premise. A big thanks to Professor Cole for stating it so plainly. The concept that this administration was being willingly fooled needs to be given credibility and stated in such a manner. And does it suit anybody in the world for that matter? There is no doubt that time will tell.
There is also Dana Priest's 12 July article in the Washington Post & today's Harold A. Gould's article, 'Was Iraq a Mutual Charade?' that support the idea that this was deliberate duping.
I honestly hope that it will have been worth it. I want to be convinced that it was and is worth it right now. But I just can't bring myself to this conclusion because there are too many disturbing realities that have come about on the ground in Iraq as a direct result to the 1) lack of security and its direct relation to a lack of employment [the unemployment rate is at 70% and that's hard to believe] 2) lack of trust in Iraqis [as thousands of South Asians and other foreigners are responsible for jobs that Iraqis could easily do] 3) lack of control by Iraqis of promised funds after the country's infrastructure was destroyed, especially the important electricity and water systems [only 400 million dollars have been used while hundreds of million dollars that were from selling Iraqi oil have gone missing] 4) prison abuse as a system problem that has caused an incalcuable amount of psychological damage to Iraqi society that will manifest itself in only negative ways in the future 5) lack of medical supplies and equipment and a possible humanitarian crisis caused directly because of incompetence in planning 6) lack of legitimacy of the interim government that grows by the minute and could result in complete failure and illegitimate elections if any at all 7) lack of real progress with school rebuilding and repairs and the list can go on and on. See Abu Khaleel's several blogs if you want an eloquent Iraqi expressing these matters forthrightly.
All these mistakes do is sow tainted relations and resentment between Iraqis and those "trying" to help. I want to talk about the good news, but the thing is we need security first. And until security is reached, we have to bring attention squarely upon matters that cause continued pain and suffering of Iraqis. I praise those IP and ING that are trying to do this very dangerous job. They are true patriots of Iraq.
I noticed today Iraq has completely disappeared from the front page of CNN.com, even though things are much worse than a year ago. And we ask why are our leaders disillusioned? Iraqis wish for self-determination will not go away. Iraq won't be quietly swept under the carpet like Afghanistan was. There must be elections. It is so important. There must be legitimacy. It is the only way security shall be truly established. It is in nobody's interest-except extremists from both ends of the cultural spectru-for Iraq to continue to be unstable.
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