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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Suskindgate?

Suskindgate

It is the August silly season, and just to prove it we have a book filled with many claims and no proof.

When asked by Vieira for further proof of the letter, Suskind said: “Well, the CIA folks involved in the book and others talk about George Tenet coming back from the White House with the assignment on White House stationery, and turning to the CIA operatives, who are professionals, and saying, ‘You may not like this, but here is our next mission.’


Sounds official, yes? Well, the official himself who supposedly was in charge, doesn’t agree.

Former CIA director George Tenet also released a statement in which he ridicules the credibility Suskind’s sources and calls the White House’s supposed directive to forge the document as “a complete fabrication.”


And people who make up stories often over reach. Here we have “the assignment on White House Stationery.” What? I’m going to have the CIA make up a story so I write it on White House stationery? Excuse me, but that’s giggle time.

But what does Suskind say?

But Suskind stands by his work. “It’s not off the record,” he says. “It’s on the record. It’s in the book and people can read it for themselves.”


On what record? Who are the CIA people making the claims? What are their names? What proof do they have? “It’s in the book,” isn’t proof and is just another claim.

Read what he said.

Suskind said it took about seven months to get his storied “nailed.” “I’d done this sort of thing for a while, and the way it worked was there were off-the-record sources who played out the story, and then I went to people actually involved,” he told Vieira.

“They were freed up because they’re not the original source, if you will … to sort of talk about the context, what they felt, what they did [and] the people actually involved. And of course they’re all, through the book, on the record talking about how it all worked.”


So they’re “not the original source?” That’s called rumor and hearsay in courtrooms and can’t be used. Yet it is lapped up and published in the midst of a Presidential election as “fact.” Can we name this what it is, “Suskindgate?”

And let’s examine the Iraqi side.

Suskind reports that the head of Iraqi intelligence, Tahir Jalil Habbush, met secretly with British intelligence in Jordan in the early days of 2003. In weekly meetings with Michael Shipster, the British director of Iraqi operations, Habbush conveyed that Iraq had no active nuclear, chemical or biological weapons programs and no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.


Let me see. You have the head of your enemies intelligence secretly claim that Iraq had no ACTIVE nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Wow. Did they have any INACTIVE weapons? How long does it take to make an INACTIVE nuclear weapon an ACTIVE nuclear weapon?

Oh. Did I mention that the person making the claim is the head of our ENEMY’s intelligence service. He wouldn’t lie, would he? Well, would he? A visit to the real world.

“And a lot of people, at the end of the day, said it was hard for him to prove the negative, that what he said was no weapons were actually not there. That’s hard to do.”


And let’s examine this little jewel.

When Tenet was informed of the findings in early February, he said, “They’re not going to like this downtown,” Suskind wrote, meaning the White House. Suskind says that Bush’s reaction to the report was: “Why don’t they ask him to give us something we can use to help make our case?”


Does Suskind expect us to believe that is a quote from Bush, or is that Suskind quoting Suskind’s understanding of Bush’s reaction? I believe it to be the latter, but think about this. All of the previous intelligence from all of the world’s major intelligence agencies has Iraq having WMD’s.

The administration is on record that they do, as are many leading Democrats. If they now decide they do not and go public, confusion will reign and the Democrats will start charging that Bush is not protecting the country.

So Bush saying:

“Why don’t they ask him to give us something we can use to help make our case?”
makes perfect sense.

Dear chums we are going to have to get the CIA out of politics. And that means they can’t talk to anyone, for good reasons or bad. The reason is as simple as this. The people we elect to protect the country have to make decisions based on a lot of inputs.

There are times when they will have to say, “Well I’m only 70% sure, but if I’m right and don’t take action then millions of Americans will die.”

Do we really want them worrying about a politicized CIA feeding information to a political opposition’s author?




Conversation with a self identified Muslim - Response

The following was sent as a comment on my post/conversation with a self identified Muslim. I have made it a post because it has some interesting points. As in the other the writer is self-identified as a Muslim.

Muslim Youths

Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist because they have been mis-educated and de-educated by the British schooling. Muslim children are confused because they are being educated in a wrong place at a wrong time in state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. They face lots of problems of growing up in two distinctive cultural traditions and value systems, which may come into conflict over issues such as the role of women in the society, and adherence to religious and cultural traditions. The conflicting demands made by home and schools on behaviour, loyalties and obligations can be a source of psychological conflict and tension in Muslim youngsters. There are also the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination to deal with, in education and employment. They have been victim of racism and bullying in all walks of life. According to DCSF, 56% of Pakistanis and 54% of Bangladeshi children has been victims of bullies. The first wave of Muslim migrants were happy to send their children to state schools, thinking their children would get a much better education. Than little by little, the overt and covert discrimination in the system turned them off. There are fifteen areas where Muslim parents find themselves offended by state schools.


The writer has a point, but forgets that this has been true of all immigrant groups. Sad to say, it is something that must be, and was, worked through by the Irish, Italians, Jewish, Germans and other large groups that have came into this country.

It was also true about the Mexicans, but that is starting to fade as the politicians stupidly try and use them as political pawns to get and keep power. I think this is also true to a large extent with Muslims.

The real bottom line is this. If you immigrate to a country with a culture that is vastly different, why should you expect that culture to change for you?? The various Muslim cultures, and I recognize there are different cultures, that come here are vastly different than the west. To me it appears that the driver on resisting assimilation is the Islamic religion and Sharia law.

The right to education in one’s own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right that should be available to all people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious background. Schools do not belong to state, they belong to parents. It is the parents’ choice to have faith schools for their children. Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. An ICM Poll of British Muslims showed that nearly half wanted their children to attend Muslim schools. There are only 143 Muslim schools. A state funded Muslim school in Birmingham has 220 pupils and more than 1000 applicants chasing just 60.


The explosions of rights in this world isn’t limited to just Muslims, but they certainly are in the top ten. The claim:

“The right to education in one’s own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right that should be available to all people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious background.”

is obviously illogical and not supported by any factual information. It might have some claim if the people involved were being forced to live where they live. In fact, they are not and there are many countries in which the Islamic faith controls the government, including education. SA, Egypt and Iran come immediately to mind.

Shorter.

You have moved to a western country with a western culture. If you don’t like it, find a more agreeable place.

Majority of anti-Muslim stories are not about terrorism but about Muslim
culture--the hijab, Muslim schools, family life and religiosity. Muslims in the west ought to be recognised as a western community, not as an alien culture.
Iftikhar Ahmad
www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk


If the Muslims in the west want to be recognized as a western community they must adapt the culture of that community. That would certainly require embracing a secular legal system and rejecting Sharia law and other current cultural norms, among many groups, such as “Honor Killings,” genital mutilation and forced marriages to mention just a few.

I thank the writer and note that understanding can only come through frank and open exchanges.