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Guest FAS   
Guest FAS

The Library of Congress confirmed on Friday that it had blocked access from all Library computers to the Wikileaks web site in order to prevent unauthorized downloading of classified records such as those in the large cache of diplomatic cables that Wikileaks began to publish on November 28.

 

Since the Congressional Research Service is a component of the Library, this means that CRS researchers will be unable to access or to cite the leaked materials in their research reports to Congress. Several current and former CRS analysts expressed perplexity and dismay about the move, and they said it could undermine the institution's research activities.

 

"It's a difficult situation," said one CRS analyst. "The information was released illegally, and it's not right for government agencies to be aiding and abetting this illegal dissemination. But the information is out there. Presumably, any Library of Congress researcher who wants to access the information that Wikileaks illegally released will simply use their home computers or cellphones to do so. Will they be able to refer directly to the information in their writings for the Library? Apparently not, unless a secondary source, like a newspaper, happens to have already cited it."

 

"I can understand LOC blocking the public's access to Wikileaks," a former CRS analyst said. "It would have no control over someone from the public using classified information for impermissible or improper purposes. [but] the connection between LOC and CRS has always been somewhat fuzzy because Congress intended CRS to have a certain amount of autonomy. There should be room for CRS to adopt a different policy, particularly for specialists who have security clearances, know how to protect classified information, and can be entrusted to use Wikileaks appropriately. To me, it is a wrong course to simply close the door tightly without searching for a compromise needed to continue providing Congress with high-level professional analysis."

 

In fact, if CRS is "Congress's brain," then the new access restrictions could mean a partial lobotomy.

 

"I don't know that you can make a credible argument that CRS reports are the gold standard of analytical reporting, as is often claimed, when its analysts are denied access to information that historians and public policy types call a treasure trove of data," another former CRS employee said.

 

"I understand the rationale behind the policy decision to preclude government agencies from making the information available via their sites as a matter of pure principle. On the other hand (as CRS is famous for saying), in some cases it would clearly diminish the weight of some of the analysis CRS does on policy issues, particularly on foreign affairs and military strategy where it is widely known that key information that would help inform thoughtful and comprehensive analysis was released on Wikileaks."

 

"As an example, when [CRS Middle East analyst] Ken Katzman writes on U.S. policy towards Iran I don't know how he could meet the high professional standards for completeness and accuracy he routinely meets if he can't refer to the information in the [leaked] diplomatic notes that express the thoughts of key leaders in the region on the need to strike Iran's nuclear program. The same with North Korea; how do you provide Congress complete and accurate analysis to inform their decision making that ignores the [leaked] information on China's increasing frustration with Pyongyang? The examples could go on and on."

 

"I'm sure public policy analysts from other organizations are going to use the [Wikileaks] information and their reports may prove more valuable to decision makers than CRS reports," the former CRS employee said.

 

Another former analyst questioned the legal basis for the Library of Congress's action.

 

"In its press release, LOC seems to be saying that it is following OMB advice regarding the obligation of federal agencies and federal employees to protect classified information and to otherwise protect the integrity of government information technology systems. But LOC is statutorily chartered as the library of the House and the Senate. It is a legislative branch agency. I don't recall either chamber directing the blocking of access to Wikileaks for/or by its committees, offices, agencies, or Members."

 

Interestingly, the OMB guidance did not require federal agencies to block access to Wikileaks, only to warn employees against downloading classified information. So by imposing such blocks, the Library of Congress has actually exceeded the instructions of OMB.

 

The Library did not reply to an inquiry from Secrecy News over the weekend concerning the impact of its restricted access policy on CRS. If a reply is forthcoming, it will be posted on the Secrecy News blog.

 

 

NATIONAL SECURITY SECRECY: HOW THE LIMITS CHANGE

 

On December 3, I participated in an interesting, somewhat testy discussion about Wikileaks on the show Democracy Now along with Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, who is a passionate defender of the project. The ultimate victory of Wikileaks (or something like it) is guaranteed, Mr. Greenwald suggested, so any criticism of it is basically irrelevant.

 

"We can debate WikiLeaks all we want," he said, "but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter, because the technology that exists is inevitably going to subvert these institutions' secrecy regimes. It's too easy to take massive amounts of secret [material] and dump it on the internet.... And I think that what we're talking about is inevitable, whether people like Steven Aftergood or Joe Lieberman or others like it or not."

 

This seems like wishful thinking. It is true that Wikileaks offers the most direct public access to the diplomatic cables and other records that it has published, most of which could not be obtained any time soon through normal channels. But instead of subverting secrecy regimes, Wikileaks appears to be strengthening them, as new restrictions on information sharing are added and security measures are tightened. (Technology can be used to bolster secrecy as well as subvert it.)

 

In fact, Wikileaks may deliberately be attempting, in a quasi-Marxist way, to subvert secrecy by provoking governments to strengthen it. But please try this in your own country first.

 

It was ordinary political advocacy, not leaks, that produced reversals of longstanding U.S. government secrecy policies this year on nuclear stockpile secrecy and intelligence budget secrecy. It was also political advocacy, not leaks, that led to the declassification of more than a billion pages of classified records since 1995. Obviously, much more remains to be done, and the tools available to transparency advocates are not as powerful as one would wish. Leaks that serve the public interest have their honored place; more would be welcome. Advocacy may fail, and often does. Nothing is inevitable, as far as I know. But so far it is still politics, not the subversion or repudiation of politics, that has produced the greater impact on U.S. secrecy policy. (The calculation may well be different in other countries.)

 

The susceptibility of secrecy policy to political action was discussed in a paper I wrote on "National Security Secrecy: How the Limits Change" (pdf). It will appear in the forthcoming Fall 2010 issue of the journal Social Research that is devoted to the topic of "Limiting Knowledge in a Democracy."

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Guest LAW   
Guest LAW

Following the release of classified diplomatic cables by Wikileaks revealing that Saudi donors are the primary financiers of Sunni extremist groups like Al Qaeda, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D – Queens and Brooklyn) released the following statement:

 

“The fact that Saudi Arabia is the biggest financial supporter of Al Qaeda shouldn’t surprise anyone. This is a country that fails to help us when we need it, teaches hate in its schools, and has a history of funding terrorists.”

 

“What is surprising is that we continue to reward the Saudis with multi-billion dollar arms deals like the one the White House announced while Congress was in recess last month. The leaks reveal a troubling willingness to ignore common sense and the recent history of the Saudis. It is simply bad policy.”

 

Earlier this month, Weiner introduced in Congress a resolution of disapproval of the arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

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Guest Shiekh   
Guest Shiekh

Following the release of classified diplomatic cables by Wikileaks revealing that Saudi donors are the primary financiers of Sunni extremist groups like Al Qaeda, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D – Queens and Brooklyn) released the following statement:

 

“The fact that Saudi Arabia is the biggest financial supporter of Al Qaeda shouldn’t surprise anyone. This is a country that fails to help us when we need it, teaches hate in its schools, and has a history of funding terrorists.”

 

“What is surprising is that we continue to reward the Saudis with multi-billion dollar arms deals like the one the White House announced while Congress was in recess last month. The leaks reveal a troubling willingness to ignore common sense and the recent history of the Saudis. It is simply bad policy.”

 

Earlier this month, Weiner introduced in Congress a resolution of disapproval of the arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

This stuff drives me crazy. Of course Saudi's are against us: all the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. It's amazing how many people are in the dark about how much disdain Saudi Arabia has for the USA. I'd like to see a breakdown of congressional members who voted for the "Saudi arms deal" last month.

All it is is selling weapons we'll have to defend ourselves against in the coming years. Does no-one get it?

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Guest human   
Guest human

Saudi's came to our aid when it came to defending the dollar as the world’s main currency. Unless this country is suicidal it's not a good idea to piss off the Saudi’s.

 

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This stuff drives me crazy. Of course Saudi's are against us: all the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. It's amazing how many people are in the dark about how much disdain Saudi Arabia has for the USA. I'd like to see a breakdown of congressional members who voted for the "Saudi arms deal" last month.

All it is is selling weapons we'll have to defend ourselves against in the coming years. Does no-one get it?

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Guest Shiekh   
Guest Shiekh

Saudi's came to our aid when it came to defending the dollar as the world’s main currency. Unless this country is suicidal it's not a good idea to piss off the Saudi’s.

 

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I'm not buying it. I think we have a deal with the devil in the Saudi's. It's common knowledge they finance terrorists, always have; always will.

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Guest human   
Guest human

Whether you like it or not? This is still the reality.

 

"Saudi's came to our aid when it came to defending the dollar as the world’s main currency. Unless this country is suicidal it's not a good idea to piss off the Saudi’s."

 

 

 

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I'm not buying it. I think we have a deal with the devil in the Saudi's. It's common knowledge they finance terrorists, always have; always will.

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Guest Shiekh   
Guest Shiekh

Whether you like it or not? This is still the reality.

 

"Saudi's came to our aid when it came to defending the dollar as the world’s main currency. Unless this country is suicidal it's not a good idea to piss off the Saudi’s."

 

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

So what you're saying is Saudi Arabia holds the fate of the US in its hands if we were to decide to 'piss them off?'

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Guest x   
Guest x

SUBJECT: CHINA CONVENTIONAL ARMS TRANSFERS TO IRAN

 

In April 2008, Coalition forces recovered from a cache in Basra, Iraq at least two Chinese-produced Iranian-supplied QW-1 MANPADS that we assess were provided by Iran to Iraqi Shia militants. The date of production for the recovered QW-1 systems is 2003, but it is not known when these particular launchers were transferred by China to Iran or when the launchers entered Iraq. We have demarched China repeatedly on its conventional arms transfers to Iran, urging Beijing to stop these transfers due to unacceptably high risk that such weapons would be diverted to militants and terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere. Beijing has typically responded by asserting that its sales are in accordance with international law, that it requires end-users to sign agreements pledging not to retransfer the weapons, or -- disingenuously in the judgment of USG technical experts -- that it cannot confirm that the weapons recovered by Coalition forces in Iraq are actually Chinese in origin. This latest recovery of Chinese-origin weapons in Iraq gives us yet another opportunity to present the Chinese government with concrete evidence that Iran is illicitly diverting Chinese-origin weapons and to urge Beijing to take concrete steps to halt future diversions and investigate past transfers to Tehran.

 

-- We have repeatedly raised with you our concerns regarding Iran,s retransfer of Chinese-produced weapons to extremists and terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere.

-- We understand that you have provided Iran with QW-1 MANPADS in the past, and Iran has publicly asserted that it produces the Misagh-1, which is based on the Chinese QW-1.

-- We previously raised with you the recovery in Iraq in 2004 of an Iranian-origin Misagh-1 MANPAD that had been fired at a civilian airliner.

-- We have recently acquired additional information about Iranian diversions of Chinese-origin MANPADS that we would like to share with you.

BEGIN IC POINTS THAT MUST BE USED VERBATIM:

-- Coalition forces recovered at least two Chinese QW-1 MANPADS missiles from a militant cache in Basra, Iraq in April 2008. The missiles had 2003 production markings, had not been fired, and were still intact in their launch tubes.

-- We assess that these missiles were provided to Iraqi Shia militants by Iran.

 

END IC POINTS THAT MUST BE USED VERBATIM.

MANPADS TRANSFERS TO STATE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM

--------------------------------------------- ---

 

-- Iran is the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism. We know that Iran has provided Chinese weapons to extremist groups in Iraq and Afghanistan that are using these weapons to kill Americans and Iraqis, something we take very seriously.

-- Iran is not a responsible purchaser of military equipment. There is an unacceptably high risk that any military equipment sold to Iran, especially weapons like MANPADS, that are highly sought-after by terrorists, will be diverted to non-state actors who threaten U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as civilians across the region.

-- It is for that reason UNSCR 1747 calls on states to exercise vigilance and restraint in the transfer of systems contained in the UN Register of Conventional Arms, such as MANPADS. Likewise, the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution A/62/391 encouraging state members to ban the transfer of MANPADS to non-state actors.

-- We strongly urge you to:

terminate all weapons-related, including further MANPADS-related transfers and technical assistance to Iran, in accordance with UNSCR 1747;

insist that Iran cease any weapons-production related activities based on or including Chinese technology, to include MANPADS technology;

insist that Iran stop illicit retransfers of Chinese-origin weapons, or Iranian-produced weapons based on Chinese designs, to non-state actors;

insist that Iran provide an accounting of all Chinese-origin weapons; and institute thorough, regular inspections of Chinese-origin weapons already in Iranian stocks to determine how many may have been diverted and to prevent future diversions.

-- We ask that you share with us the results of your investigations into this matter.

 

SERIAL NUMBERS OF WEAPONS SOLD TO IRAQ:

------------------------------------------

 

-- We have provided you with information on specific Chinese weapons systems that we have recovered in Iraq.

-- Further information you can provide to us on your sales of these systems to Iran would help our investigators on the ground distinguish between weapons newly transferred to Shia militants and those transferred prior to the commencement of armed conflict in 2003. Serial numbers of equipment sold to Iran would be most helpful in this regard.

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Guest human   
Guest human

We are in economic wars right now. With out the help of our Allies the economic situation we are in right now would look like a picnic.

 

We have allies in the Middle East, its best not to distance ourselves from them.

 

In handling terrorism we have to be smart about it, instead of a one size fits all approach of which the democrats practice.

 

In this age of instant access to information and as I have stated so many countless times in here that the lines between the intranet and internet has blurred. Web sites like wikileaks

are not surprising.

 

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So what you're saying is Saudi Arabia holds the fate of the US in its hands if we were to decide to 'piss them off?'

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Guest PBS   
Guest PBS

The arrest of WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange is only one of the many problems beginning to mount against him. The U.S. government is looking into prosecuting the website for releasing 250,000 secret diplomatic cables last week. Gwen Ifill gets two views on the matter.

 

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Guest x   
Guest x

In response to an invitation by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), ESTH officer traveled to Hefei, Anhui Province, in December 2009 to visit several Chinese government-sponsored scientific institutions. During this time, ESTH officer learned of the below information through official presentations, personal observation, and informal/discreet conversations with CAS staff members. Most significantly, the Institute of Plasma Physics continues to conduct research on how to use nuclear fusion as a sustainable means to produce energy. At the same time, China is expanding its use of nuclear fission as an energy source and plans to open at least 70 nuclear fission power Qnts within the next 10 years. In 2009, CAS’s Institute of Plasma Physics budget was USD $20 million. Additionally, other CAS institutes are conducting research in biometrics, computational physics and material science, nanoscience and nanomaterials, soft-matter physics, environmental spectrometry, fiber optic wave-length division multiplexing, quantum communications, superconductors and spintroncis, and cognitive sciences. End Summary.

 

Institute of Plasma Physics - Nuclear Research

------------------------------------

 

In mid-December 2009, the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) in Hefei, Anhui Province was preparing for another cycle of experiments with its Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST). EAST was designed to be a controlled nuclear fusion tokamark reactor with superconductive toroidal and poloidal field magnets and a D-shaped cross-section. One of the experimental goals of this device was to prove that a nuclear fusion reaction can be sustained indefinitely, at high enough temperatures, to produce energy in a cost-effective way. In 2009, IIP successfully maintained a 10 million degree Celsius plasma nuclear fusion reaction for 400 seconds. IIP also successfully maintained a 100 million degree Celsius plasma nuclear fusion reaction for 60 seconds. One of IIP’s immediate goals is now to maintain a 100 million degree Celsius plasma nuclear fusion reaction for over 400 seconds. Currently, IIP is also conducting research into hybrid fusion-fission nuclear reactors that may be able to sustain nuclear reactions indefinitely, and at sufficient temperatures, to cost-effectively produce energy. IIP officials stated that China has the explicit goal of building at least 70 nuclear fission power plants within the next 10 years. IIP scientists claimed current Chinese nuclear energy production efforts use Uranium 235, but research is being done to make Uranium 238 a feasible alternative. IIP’s 2009 budget was USD$20 million - a two-fold increase over the previous year - and IIP leadership expects their budget to increase again in 2010. Roughly one-third of IIP’s budget comes from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC); another one-third of the budget comes directly from CAS, and the final one-third comes from China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). According to IIP leadership, NDRC has been very laissez-faire in its oversight, but MOST tends to micromanage projects and the expenditure of money. (COMMENT: Based on personal/discreet conversations with IIP staff members, the relationship between CAS and MOST is strained due to officious and annoying oversight insisted upon by MOST. IIP scientists much prefer the NDRC management style and wish more of their funding could come from this body rather than MOST. END COMMENT) IIP has roughly 450 full-time staff members, over 400 graduate students, and approximately 100 contractors under its purview.

 

Institute of Intelligent Machines - Biometrics Research

------------------------------------

 

The Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Institute of Intelligent Machines (IIM) in Hefei has developed a biometrics device that uses a person’s pace to identify them. The device measure weight and two-dimensional sheer forces applied by a person’s foot during walking to create a uniquely identifiable biometrics profile. The device can be covertly installed in a floor and is able to collect biometrics data on individuals covertly without their knowledge. When questioned about the device’s potential applications, IIM officials stated the device was being used by “secret” customers and was not available on the commercial market. IIM also said they were involved with China’s “Program 863.” (COMMENT: Program 863 is China’s national high-technology development plan that includes both military and civilian technology development programs; therefore, it is likely the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is one of the customers for whom this biometrics device was developed.

 

Institute of Solid State Physics - Nanotechnology Research

------------------------------------

 

In mid-December 2009, the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Institute of Solid State Physics (ISSP) in Hefei was conducting research in the fields of computational physics and material science, nanomaterials, and soft-matter physics. ISSP’s 2009 budget was roughly $6 million (USD). ISSP’s top priority projects are: one-dimensional nanomaterials, spin and charge research using perovskite manganese oxides, and the design and preparation of high-dampening materials. ISSP also conducts research on nanomaterials and nanostructures for China’s “Program 973.” (NOTE: Program 973 is China’s national plan for improving basic scientific research and development.

 

Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics - Spectrometry & Fiber Optic Research

------------------------------------

In mid-December 2009, the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (IOFM) in Hefei was modifying environmental spectrometry technology to detect TATP explosives for use in counter-terrorism efforts. IOFM was also conducting fiber optic research on wave-length division multiplexing (WDM) technologies using pulsed and continuous laser sources at both single-mode and multi-mode wavelengths. A cursory walk through one of their labs revealed that IOFM was specifically conducting experiments in the 980-1150 nanometer range, and that they were conducting experiments using hydrogen-filled fiber optic communication lines. Hydrogen-filled fiber optic lines are technologically challenging to manufacture, but provide many advantages; one of which is increased security and protection from tampering.

 

University of Science and Technology of China - Organization & Research

------------------------------------

 

In mid-December 2009, the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei had academic programs focusing on Math, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Nuclear Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Information Technology, Management, Humanities, and a department dedicated to the development of gifted young people. USTC has 37,000 staff and 40,000 graduate students. USTC oversees two national laboratories: the National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and the Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Science at the Microscale (HFNL). HFNL has 95 faculty members and roughly 400 graduate students. HFNL research focuses on quantum communication, nanoscience, superconductors, spintronics, and cognitive sciences. In the area of quantum communication, HFNL was conducting research in quantum teleportation and free space quantum cryptography that scientists hope will result in “totally secure” communications. USTC also oversees China’s “Program 178,” although they did not describe the nature of this program. (COMMENT: A cursory walk through their labs seemed to indicate they had already succeeded in single-particle quantum teleportation and are now trying to conduct dual-particle quantum teleportation.

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Guest human   
Guest human

lol the government hasn't blocked all the web sites. The IRC's are still active. But that's a place where you better be computer savy.

 

Not for the light of heart.

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Guest Steven Aftergood   
Guest Steven Aftergood

The U.S. Government insists that the classification markings on many of the leaked documents being published by Wikileaks and other organizations are still in force, even though the documents are effectively in the public domain, and it has directed federal employees and contractors not to access or read the records outside of a classified network.

 

But by strictly adhering to the letter of security policy and elevating security above mission performance, some say the government may be causing additional damage.

 

"At DHS we are getting regular messages [warning not to access classified records from Wikileaks]," one Department of Homeland Security official told us in an email message. "It has even been suggested that if it is discovered that we have accessed a classified Wikileaks cable on our personal computers, that will be a security violation. So, my grandmother would be allowed to access the cables, but not me. This seems ludicrous."

 

"As someone who has spent many years with the USG dealing with senior officials of foreign governments, it seems to me that the problem faced by CRS researchers (and raised by you) is going to be widespread across our government if we follow this policy."

 

"Part of making informed judgments about what a foreign government or leader will do or think about something is based on an understanding and analysis of what information has gone into their own deliberative processes. If foreign government workers know about something in the Wikileaks documents, which clearly originated with the U.S., then they will certainly (and reasonably) assume that their US counterparts will know about it too, including the staffers. If we don't, they will assume that we simply do not care, are too arrogant, stupid or negligent to find and read the material, or are so unimportant that we've been intentionally left out of the information loop. In any such instance, senior staff will be handicapped in their preparation and in their inter-governmental relationships," the DHS official said.

 

"I think more damage will be done by keeping the federal workforce largely in the dark about what other interested parties worldwide are going to be reading and analyzing. It does not solve the problem to let only a small coterie of analysts review documents that may be deemed relevant to their own particular 'stovepiped' subject area. Good analysis requires finding and putting together all the puzzle pieces."

 

So far, however, this kind of thinking is not finding a receptive audience in government. There has been no sign of leadership from any Administration official who would stand up and say: "National security classification is a means, and not an end in itself. What any reader in the world can discover is no longer a national security secret. We should not pretend otherwise."

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Guest HUMAN   
Guest HUMAN

Sadly agreed, this information is no longer classified. In it's upon initial release that was it. Everyone including our enemies has the information.

 

Secrecy policy is no longer in affect.

 

The amount of people who will be executed or jailed because of this information being released will damage the Intel community for years to come.

 

It won't be reported upon. Pray for those whom none of you will ever know about.

 

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The U.S. Government insists that the classification markings on many of the leaked documents being published by Wikileaks and other organizations are still in force, even though the documents are effectively in the public domain, and it has directed federal employees and contractors not to access or read the records outside of a classified network.

 

But by strictly adhering to the letter of security policy and elevating security above mission performance, some say the government may be causing additional damage.

 

"At DHS we are getting regular messages [warning not to access classified records from Wikileaks]," one Department of Homeland Security official told us in an email message. "It has even been suggested that if it is discovered that we have accessed a classified Wikileaks cable on our personal computers, that will be a security violation. So, my grandmother would be allowed to access the cables, but not me. This seems ludicrous."

 

"As someone who has spent many years with the USG dealing with senior officials of foreign governments, it seems to me that the problem faced by CRS researchers (and raised by you) is going to be widespread across our government if we follow this policy."

 

"Part of making informed judgments about what a foreign government or leader will do or think about something is based on an understanding and analysis of what information has gone into their own deliberative processes. If foreign government workers know about something in the Wikileaks documents, which clearly originated with the U.S., then they will certainly (and reasonably) assume that their US counterparts will know about it too, including the staffers. If we don't, they will assume that we simply do not care, are too arrogant, stupid or negligent to find and read the material, or are so unimportant that we've been intentionally left out of the information loop. In any such instance, senior staff will be handicapped in their preparation and in their inter-governmental relationships," the DHS official said.

 

"I think more damage will be done by keeping the federal workforce largely in the dark about what other interested parties worldwide are going to be reading and analyzing. It does not solve the problem to let only a small coterie of analysts review documents that may be deemed relevant to their own particular 'stovepiped' subject area. Good analysis requires finding and putting together all the puzzle pieces."

 

So far, however, this kind of thinking is not finding a receptive audience in government. There has been no sign of leadership from any Administration official who would stand up and say: "National security classification is a means, and not an end in itself. What any reader in the world can discover is no longer a national security secret. We should not pretend otherwise."

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Guest human   
Guest human

That's true, but our intel will suffer for this big time.

 

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We are still the greatest country in the world.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

We are humans. Not robots. No Country is perfect. We just need to reboot and move forward making America great again.

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Guest Steven Aftergood   
Guest Steven Aftergood

Last Wednesday, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) read brief excerpts from a classified U.S. State Department cable on the House floor. The cable was written in 1990 by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie and described her conversation with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein shortly prior to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. It was released January 1 by WikiLeaks.

 

Since the cable specified that its "entire text" is classified secret, this means that by reading a passage or two from the document, Rep. Paul was technically publicizing classified information and introducing it into the Congressional Record.

 

This action was not nearly comparable in significance or audacity to Sen. Mike Gravel reading the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971. It would hardly be noteworthy at all except for the contrast it presents with current congressional guidance to avoid the material released by WikiLeaks altogether. The Senate Office of Security, for example, has directed that Senate employees should not even visit the WikiLeaks website, much less circulate its contents.

 

Like other members of the House of Representatives, Rep. Paul has taken an oath (under House Rule XXIII, clause 13) that "I will not disclose any classified information received in the course of my service with the House of Representatives, except as authorized by the House of Representatives or in accordance with its Rules."

 

Presumably, Rep. Paul could say that he did not receive the classified cable "in the course of my service with the House of Representatives" and that it is therefore outside the scope of his oath.

 

"The secrecy of the [Glaspie cable] was designed to hide the truth from the American people and keep our government from being embarrassed," Rep. Paul said, assigning malicious intent to the classification of the document.

 

But since many unembarrassing and uninformative documents are also classified, a better explanation might be that the application of classification controls today is indiscriminately broad, and that classification status is not a reliable indicator of sensitivity.

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Guest Ron Paul 2012   
Guest Ron Paul 2012

I for one am glad that he put out for public record.

 

[Congressional Record: January 26, 2011 (House)]

( Page H503 )

 

HOW THE 20-YEAR WAR STARTED

 

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the

gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, how did the 20-year war get started? It had

been long assumed that the United States Government, shortly before

Iraq invaded Kuwait in August of 1990, gave Saddam Hussein a green

light to attack. A State Department cable recently published by

WikiLeaks confirmed that U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie did indeed have

a conversation with Saddam Hussein one week prior to Iraq's August 1,

1990, invasion of Kuwait. Amazingly, the released cable was entitled,

``Saddam's Message of Friendship to President Bush.'' In it, Ambassador

Glaspie affirmed to Saddam that ``the President had instructed her to

broaden and deepen our relations with Iraq.'' As Saddam Hussein

outlined Iraq's ongoing border dispute with Kuwait, Ambassador Glaspie

was quite clear that, ``we took no position on these Arab affairs.''

There would have been no reason for Saddam Hussein not to take this

assurance at face value. The U.S. was quite supportive of his invasion

and war of aggression against Iran in the 1980s. With this approval

from the U.S. Government, it wasn't surprising that the invasion

occurred. The shock and surprise was how quickly the tables were turned

and our friend, Saddam Hussein, all of a sudden became Hitler

personified.

The document was classified, supposedly to protect national security,

yet this information in no way jeopardized our security. Instead, it

served to keep the truth from the American people about an event

leading up to our initial military involvement in Iraq and the region

that continues to today.

 

{time} 1440

 

The secrecy of the memo was designed to hide the truth from the

American people and keep our government from being embarrassed.

This was the initial event that had led to so much death and

destruction--not to mention the financial costs--these past 20 years.

Our response and persistent militarism toward Iraq was directly related

to 9/11, as our presence on the Arabian Peninsula--and in particular

Saudi Arabia--was listed by al Qaeda as a major grievance that outraged

the radicals who carried out the heinous attacks against New York and

Washington on that fateful day.

Today, the conflict has spread through the Middle East and Central

Asia with no end in sight.

The reason this information is so important is that if Congress and

the American people had known about this green light incident 20 years

ago, they would have been a lot more reluctant to give a green light to

our government to pursue the current war--a war that is ongoing and

expanding to this very day.

The tough question that remains is was this done deliberately to

create the justification to redesign the Middle East, as many neo-

conservatives desired, and to secure oil supplies for the West; or was

it just a diplomatic blunder followed up by many more strategic

military blunders? Regardless, we have blundered into a war that no one

seems willing to end.

Julian Assange, the publisher of the WikiLeaks memo, is now considered an enemy of the state. Politicians are calling for drastic

punishment and even assassination; and, sadly, the majority of the

American people seem to support such moves.

But why should we so fear the truth? Why should our government's lies

and mistakes be hidden from the American people in the name of

patriotism? Once it becomes acceptable to equate truth with treason, we

can no longer call ourselves a free society.

 

 

 

Here is the actual message.

 

 

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 BAGHDAD 04237

 

E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR

TAGS: MOPS PREL US KU IZ

SUBJECT: SADDAM'S MESSAGE OF FRIENDSHIP TO PRESIDENT BUSH

 

1. SECRET - ENTIRE TEXT.

 

2. SUMMARY: SADDAM TOLD THE AMBASSADOR JULY 25

THAT MUBARAK HAS ARRANGED FOR KUWAITI AND IRAQI

DELEGATIONS TO MEET IN RIYADH, AND THEN ON

JULY 28, 29 OR 30, THE KUWAITI CROWN PRINCE WILL

COME TO BAGHDAD FOR SERIOUS NEGOTIATIONS. "NOTHING

WILL HAPPEN" BEFORE THEN, SADDAM HAD PROMISED

MUBARAK.

 

--SADDAM WISHED TO CONVEY AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO

PRESIDENT BUSH: IRAQ WANTS FRIENDSHIP, BUT DOES

THE USG? IRAQ SUFFERED 100,000'S OF CASUALTIES

AND IS NOW SO POOR THAT WAR ORPHAN PENSIONS WILL

SOON BE CUT; YET RICH KUWAIT WILL NOT EVEN ACCEPT

OPEC DISCIPLINE. IRAQ IS SICK OF WAR, BUT KUWAIT

HAS IGNORED DIPLOMACY. USG MANEUVERS WITH THE UAE

WILL ENCOURAGE THE UAE AND KUWAIT TO IGNORE

CONVENTIONAL DIPLOMACY. IF IRAQ IS PUBLICLY

HUMILIATED BY THE USG, IT WILL HAVE NO CHOICE

BUT TO "RESPOND," HOWEVER ILLOGICAL AND SELF

DESTRUCTIVE THAT WOULD PROVE.

 

--ALTHOUGH NOT QUITE EXPLICIT, SADDAM'S MESSAGE

TO US SEEMED TO BE THAT HE WILL MAKE A MAJOR PUSH

TO COOPERATE WITH MUBARAK'S DIPLOMACY, BUT WE MUST

TRY TO UNDERSTAND KUWAITI/UAE "SELFISHNESS" IS

UNBEARABLE. AMBASSADOR MADE CLEAR THAT WE CAN

NEVER EXCUSE SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES BY OTHER THAN

PEACEFUL MEANS. END SUMMARY.

 

3. AMBASSADOR WAS SUMMONED BY PRESIDENT

SADDAM HUSAYN AT NOON JULY 25. ALSO PRESENT

WERE FONMIN AZIZ, THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE

DIRECTOR, TWO NOTETAKERS, AND THE IRAQI

INTERPRETER.

 

4. SADDAM, WHOSE MANNER WAS CORDIAL,

REASONABLE AND EVEN WARM THROUGHOUT THE ENSUING

TWO HOURS, SAID HE WISHED THE AMBASSADOR TO

CONVEY A MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT BUSH. SADDAM

THEN RECALLED IN DETAIL THE HISTORY OF IRAQ'S

DECISION TO REESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

AND ITS POSTPONING IMPLEMENTATION OF THAT

DECISION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR, RATHER THAN BE

THOUGHT WEAK AND NEEDY. HE THEN SPOKE ABOUT THE

MANY "BLOWS" OUR RELATIONS HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO

SINCE 1984, CHIEF AMONG THEM IRANGATE. IT WAS

AFTER THE FAW VICTORY, SADDAM SAID, THAT IRAQI

MISAPPREHENSIONS ABOUT USG PURPOSES BEGAN TO

SURFACE AGAIN, I.E., SUSPICIONS THAT THE U.S. WAS

NOT HAPPY TO SEE THE WAR END.

 

5. PICKING HIS WORDS WITH CARE, SADDAM SAID

THAT THERE ARE "SOME CIRCLES" IN THE USG,

INCLUDING IN CIA AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT,

BUT EMPHATICALLY EXCLUDING THE PRESIDENT AND

SECRETARY BAKER, WHO ARE NOT FRIENDLY TOWARD

IRAQ-U.S. RELATIONS. HE THEN LISTED WHAT HE

SEEMED TO REGARD AS FACTS TO SUPPORT THIS

CONCLUSION: "SOME CIRCLES ARE GATHERING

INFORMATION ON WHO MIGHT BE SADDAM HUSAYN'S

SUCCESSOR;" THEY KEPT UP CONTACTS IN THE GULF

WARNING AGAINST IRAQ; THEY WORKED TO ENSURE

NO HELP WOULD GO TO IRAQ (READ EXIM AND CCC).

 

6. IRAQ, THE PRESIDENT STRESSED, IS IN SERIOUS

FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES, WITH 40 BILLION USD DEBTS.

IRAQ, WHOSE VICTORY IN THE WAR AGAINST IRAN

MADE AN HISTORIC DIFFERENCE TO THE ARAB WORLD

AND THE WEST, NEEDS A MARSHALL PLAN. BUT "YOU

WANT THE OIL PRICE DOWN," SADDAM CHARGED.

 

7. RESUMING HIS LIST OF GRIEVANCES WHICH HE

BELIEVED WERE ALL INSPIRED BY

"SOME CIRCLES" IN THE USG, HE RECALLED THE

"USIA CAMPAIGN" AGAINST HIMSELF, AND THE

GENERAL MEDIA ASSAULT ON IRAQ AND ITS PRESIDENT.

 

8. DESPITE ALL THESE BLOWS, SADDAM SAID, AND

ALTHOUGH "WE WERE SOMEWHAT ANNOYED," WE STILL

HOPED THAT WE COULD DEVELOP A GOOD RELATIONSHIP.

BUT THOSE WHO FORCE OIL PRICES DOWN ARE ENGAGING

IN ECONOMIC WARFARE AND IRAQ CANNOT ACCEPT SUCH

A TRESPASS ON ITS DIGNITY AND PROSPERITY.

 

9. THE SPEARHEADS (FOR THE USG) HAVE BEEN KUWAIT

AND THE UAE, SADDAM SAID. SADDAM SAID CAREFULLY

THAT JUST AS IRAQ WILL NOT THREATEN OTHERS, IT

WILL ACCEPT NO THREAT AGAINST ITSELF. "WE HOPE

THE USG WILL NOT MISUNDERSTAND:" IRAQ ACCEPTS,

AS THE STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN SAID, THAT ANY

COUNTRY MAY CHOOSE ITS FRIENDS. BUT THE USG KNOWS

THAT IT WAS IRAQ, NOT THE USG, WHICH DECISIVELY

PROTECTED THOSE USG FRIENDS DURING THE WAR--AND THAT

IS UNDERSTANDABLE SINCE PUBLIC OPINION IN THE USG,

TO SAY NOTHING OF GEOGRAPHY, WOULD HAVE MADE IT

IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE AMERICANS TO ACCEPT 10,000 DEAD

IN A SINGLE BATTLE, AS IRAQ DID.

 

10. SADDAM ASKED WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE USG

TO ANNOUNCE IT IS COMMITTED TO THE DEFENSE OF

ITS FRIENDS, INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY.

ANSWERING HIS OWN QUESTION, HE SAID THAT TO IRAQ

IT MEANS FLAGRANT BIAS AGAINST THE GOI.

 

11. COMING TO ONE OF HIS MAIN POINTS, SADDAM

ARGUED THAT USG MANEUVERS WITH THE UAE AND KUWAIT (SIC)

ENCOURAGED THEM IN THEIR UNGENEROUS POLICIES. THE

IRAQI RIGHTS, SADDAM EMPHASIZED, WILL BE RESTORED

ONE BY ONE, THOUGH IT MAY TAKE A MONTH OR MUCH

MORE THAN A YEAR. IRAQ HOPES THE USG WILL BE

IN HARMONY WITH ALL THE PARTIES TO THIS DISPUTE.

 

12. SADDAM SAID HE UNDERSTANDS THAT THE USG IS

DETERMINED TO KEEP THE OIL FLOWING AND TO

MAINTAIN ITS FRIENDSHIPS IN THE GULF. WHAT HE

CANNOT UNDERSTAND IS WHY WE ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO

ARE DAMAGING IRAQ, WHICH IS WHAT OUR GULF MANEUVERS

WILL DO.

 

13. SADDAM SAID HE FULLY BELIEVES THE USG WANTS

PEACE, AND THAT IS GOOD. BUT DO NOT, HE ASKED,

USE METHODS WHICH YOU SAY YOU DO NOT LIKE,

METHODS LIKE ARM-TWISTING-

 

14. AT THIS POINT SADDAM SPOKE AT LENGTH ABOUT

PRIDE OF IRAQIS, WHO BELIEVE IN "LIBERTY OR DEATH."

IRAQ WILL HAVE TO RESPOND IF THE U.S. USES THESE

METHODS. IRAQ KNOWS THE USG CAN SEND PLANES AND

ROCKETS AND HURT IRAQ DEEPLY. SADDAM ASKS THAT

THE USG NOT FORCE IRAQ TO THE POINT OF HUMILIATION

AT WHICH LOGIC MUST BE DISREGARDED. IRAQ DOES NOT

CONSIDER THE U.S. AN ENEMY AND HAS TRIED TO BE

FRIENDS.

 

15. AS FOR THE INTRA-ARAB DISPUTES, SADDAM SAID

HE IS NOT ASKING THE USG TO TAKE UP ANY PARTICULAR

ROLE SINCE THE SOLUTIONS MUST COME THROUGH ARAB

AND BILATERAL DIPLOMACY.

 

16. RETURNING TO HIS THEME THAT IRAQ WANTS

DIGNITY AND FREEDOM AS WELL AS FRIENDSHIP WITH THE

U.S., HE CHARGED THAT IN THE LAST YEAR THERE WERE

MANY OFFICIAL STATEMENTS WHICH MADE IT SEEM THAT

THE U.S. DOES NOT WANT TO RECIPROCATE. HOW, FOR

EXAMPLE, SADDAM ASKED,CAN WE INTERPRET THE

INVITATION FOR ARENS TO VISIT AT A TIME OF CRISIS

IN THE GULF? WHY DID THE U.S- DEFENSE MINISTER

MAKE "INFLAMMATORY" STATEMENTS?

 

17. SADDAM SAID THAT THE IRAQIS KNOW WHAT

WAR IS, WANT NO MORE OF IT--"DO NOT PUSH US TO IT;

DO NOT MAKE IT THE ONLY OPTION LEFT WITH WHICH WE

CAN PROTECT OUR DIGNITY."

 

18. PRESIDENT BUSH, SADDAM SAID, HAS MADE NO MISTAKE

IN HIS PRESIDENCY VIS-A-VIS THE ARABS. THE DECISION

ON THE PLO DIALOGUE WAS "MISTAKEN," BUT IT WAS

TAKEN UNDER "ZIONIST PRESSURE" AND, SADDAM SAID, IS

PERHAPS A CLEVER TACTIC TO ABSORB THAT PRESSURE.

 

19. AFTER A SHORT DIVERSION ON THE NEED FOR THE

U.S. TO CONSIDER THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF 200,000

ARABS WITH THE SAME VIGOR AND INTEREST AS THE HUMAN

RIGHTS OF THE ISRAELIS, SADDAM CONCLUDED BY

RESTATING THAT IRAQ WANTS AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP

"ALTHOUGH WE WILL NOT PANT FOR IT, WE WILL DO OUR

PART AS FRIENDS."

 

20. SADDAM THEN OFFERED AN ANECDOTE TO ILLUSTRATE

HIS POINT. HE HAD TOLD THE IRAQI KURDISH LEADER

IN 1974 THAT HE WAS PREPARED TO GIVE UP HALF OF

THE SHATT AL-ARAB TO IRAN TO OBTAIN ALL OF A

PROSPEROUS IRAQ. THE KURD HAD BET THAT SADDAM WOULD

NOT GIVE HALF THE SHATT--THE KURD WAS WRONG. EVEN

NOW, THE ONLY REAL ISSUE WITH IRAN IS THE SHATT, AND

IF GIVING AWAY HALF OF THE WATERWAY IS THE ONLY

THING STANDING BETWEEN THE CURRENT SITUATION AND

IRAQI PROSPERITY, SADDAM SAID HE WOULD BE GUIDED

BY WHAT HE DID IN 1974.

 

21. THE AMBASSADOR THANKED SADDAM FOR THE

OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS DIRECTLY WITH HIM SOME OF

HIS AND OUR CONCERNS. PRESIDENT BUSH, TOO, WANTS

FRIENDSHIP, AS HE HAD WRITTEN AT THE 'ID AND ON

THE OCCASION OF IRAQ'S NATIONAL DAY. SADDAM

INTERRUPTED TO SAY HE HAD BEEN TOUCHED BY THOSE

 

22. AMBASSADOR RESUMED HER THEME, RECALLING THAT

THE PRESIDENT HAD INSTRUCTED HER TO BROADEN AND

DEEPEN OUR RELATIONS WITH IRAQ. SADDAM HAD REFERRED

TO "SOME CIRCLES" ANTIPATHETIC TO THAT AIM. SUCH

CIRCLES CERTAINLY EXISTED, BUT THE U.S. ADMINISTRATION

IS INSTRUCTED BY THE PRESIDENT. ON THE OTHER HAND,

THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT CONTROL THE AMERICAN PRESS;

IF HE DID, CRITICISM OF THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD NOT

EXIST. SADDAM AGAIN INTERRUPTED TO SAY HE UNDERSTOOD

THAT. THE AMBASSADOR SAID SHE HAD SEEN THE DIANE

SAWYER SHOW AND THOUGHT THAT IT WAS CHEP AND UNFAIR.

BUT THE AMERICAN PRESS TREATS ALL POLITICIANS

WITHOUT KID GLOVES--THAT IS OUR WAY.

 

23. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS

VERY RECENTLY REAFFIRMED HIS DESIRE FOR A BETTER

RELATIONSHIP AND HAS PROVEN THAT BY, FOR EXAMPLE,

OPPOSING SANCTIONS BILLS. HERE SADDAM INTERRUPTED

AGAIN. LAUGHING, HE SAID THERE IS NOTHING LEFT

FOR IRAQ TO BUY IN THE U.S. EVERYTHING IS

PROHIBITED EXCEPT FOR WHEAT, AND NO DOUBT THAT WILL

SOON BE DECLARED A DUAL-USE ITEM- SADDAM SAID, HOWEVER,

HE HAD DECIDED NOT TO RAISE THIS ISSUE, BUT RATHER

CONCENTRATE ON THE FAR MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES AT HAND.

 

24. AMBASSADOR SAID THERE WERE MANY ISSUES HE

HAD RAISED SHE WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON, BUT

SHE WISHED TO USE HER LIMITED TIME WITH THE

PRESIDENT TO STRESS FIRST PRESIDENT BUSH'S DESIRE

FOR FRIENDSHIP AND, SECOND, HIS STRONG DESIRE, SHARED

WE ASSUME BY IRAQ, FOR PEACE AND STABILITY IN THE MID

EAST. IS IT NOT REASONABLE FOR US TO BE CONCERNED

WHEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE FOREIGN MINISTER BOTH

SAY PUBLICLY THAT KUWAITI ACTIONS ARE THE

EQUIVALENT OF MILITARY AGGRESSION, AND THEN WE

LEARN THAT MANY UNITS OF THE REPUBLICAN GUARD

HAVE BEEN SENT TO THE BORDER? IS IT NOT REASONABLE

FOR US TO ASK, IN THE SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP, NOT

CONFRONTATION, THE SIMPLE QUESTION: WHAT ARE YOUR

INTENTIONS?

 

25. SADDAM SAID THAT WAS INDEED A REASONABLE

QUESTION. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT WE SHOULD BE

CONCERNED FOR REGIONAL PEACE, IN FACT IT IS OUR

DUTY AS A SUPERPOWER. "BUT HOW CAN WE MAKE THEM

(KUWAIT AND UAE) UNDERSTAND HOW DEEPLY WE ARE

SUFFERING." THE FINANCIAL SITUATION IS SUCH THAT

THE PENSIONS FOR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS WILL HAVE

TO BE CUT. AT THIS POINT, THE INTERPRETER AND

ONE OF THE NOTETAKERS BROKE DOWN AND WEPT.

 

26. AFTER A PAUSE FOR RECUPERATION, SADDAM SAID,

IN EFFECT, BELIEVE ME I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING: WE

SENT ENVOYS, WROTE MESSAGES, ASKED FAHD TO

ARRANGE QUADRAPARTITE SUMMIT (IRAQ, SAG, UE,

KUWAIT). FAHD SUGGESTFD OIL MINISTERS INSTEAD AND

WE AGREED TO THE JEDDAH AGREEMENT ALTHOUGH IT WAS

WELL BELOW OUR HOPES. THEN, SADDAM CONTINUED,

TWO DAYS LATER THE KUWAITI OIL MINISTER ANNOUNCED

HE WOULD WANT TO ANNUL THAT AGREEMENT WITHIN TWO

MONTHS. AS FOR THE UAE, SADDAM SAID, I BEGGED

SHAYKH ZAYID TO UNDERSTAND OUR PROBLEMS (WHEN

SADDAM ENTERTAINED HIM IN MOSUL AFTER THE BAGHDAD

SUMMIT), AND ZAYID SAID JUST WAIT UNTIL I GET

BACK TO ABU DHABI. BUT THEN HIS MINISTER OF OIL

MADE "BAD STATEMENTS."

 

27. AT THIS POINT, SADDAM LEFT THE ROOM TO TAKE

AN URGENT CALL FROM MUBARAK. AFTER HIS RETURN,

THE AMBASSADOR ASKED IF HE COULD TELL HER IF

THERE HAS ANY PROGRESS IN FINDING A PEACEFUL WAY

TO DEFUSE THE DISPUTE. THIS WAS SOMETHING PRESIDENT

BUSH WOULD BE KEENLY INTERESTED TO KNOW. SADDAM

SAID THAT HE HAD JUST LEARNED FROM MUBARAK THE

KUWAITIS HAVE AGREED TO NEGOTIATE. THE KUWAITI

CROWN PRINCE/PRIME MINISTER WOULD MEET IN RIYADH

WITH SADDAM'S NUMBER TWO, IZZAT IBRAHIM, AND THEN

THE KUWAITI WOULD COME TO BAGHDAD ON SATURDAY,

SUNDAY OR, AT THE LATEST, MONDAY, JULY 30.

 

28. "I TOLD MUBARAK," SADDAM SAID, THAT "NOTHING

WILL HAPPEN UNTIL THE MEETING," AND NOTHING WILL

HAPPEN DURING OR AFTER THE MEETING IF THE KUWAITIS

WILL AT LAST "GIVE US SOME HOPE."

 

29. THE AMBASSADOR SAID SHE WAS DELIGHTED TO HEAR

THIS GOOD NEWS. SADDAM THEN ASKED HER TO CONVEY

HIS WARM GREETINGS TO PRESIDENT BUSH AND TO

CONVEY HIS MESSAGE TO HIM.

 

30. NOTE: ON THE BORDER QUESTION, SADDAM REFERRED

TO THE 1961 AGREEMENT AND A "LINE OF PATROL" IT

HAD ESTABLISHED. THE KUWAITIS, HE SAID, HAD TOLD

MUBARAK IRAQ WAS 20 KILOMETERS "IN FRONT" OF THIS

LINE. THE AMBASSADOR SAID THAT SHE HAD SERVED IN

KUWAIT 20 YEARS BEFORE; THEN, AS NOW, WE TOOK NO

POSITION ON THESE ARAB AFFAIRS.

 

31. COMMENT: IN THE MEMORY QF THE CURRENT

DIPLOMATIC CORPS, SADDAM HAS NEVER SUMMONED AN

AMBASSADOR. HE IS WORRIED.

 

ACCORDING TO HIS OWN POLITICAL THEORIZING

(U.S. THE SOLE MAJOR POWER IN THE MIDDLE EAST),

HE NEEDS AT A MINIMUM A CORRECT RELATIONSHIP

WITH US FOR OBVIOUS GEOPOLITICAL REASONS,

ESPECIALLY AS LONG AS HE PERCEIVES MORTAL

THREATS FROM ISRAEL AND IRAN. AMBASSADOR

BELIEVES SADDAM SUSPECTS OUR DECISION SUDDENLY

TO UNDERTAKE MANEUVERS WITH ABU DHABI IS A

HARBINGER OF A USG DECISION TO TAKE SIDES.

FURTHER, SADDAM, HIMSELF BEGINNING TO HAVE AN

INKLING OF HOW MUCH HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND ABOUT

THE U.S., IS APPREHENSIVE THAT WE DO NOT

UNDERSTAND CERTAIN POLITICAL FACTORS WHICH

INHIBIT HIM, SUCH AS:

 

--HE CANNOT ALLOW HIMSELF TO BE PERCEIVED AS

CAVING IN TO SUPERPOWER BULLYING (AS U/S HAMDUN

FRANKLY WARNED US IN LATE 1988);

 

--IRAQ, WHICH LOST 100,000'S OF CASUALTIES, IS

SUFFERING AND KUWAIT IS "MISERLY" AND "SELFISH."

 

32. IT WAS PROGRESS TO HAVE SADDAM ADMIT

THAT THE USG HAS A "RESPONSIBILITY" IN THE

REGION, AND HAS EVERY RIGHT TO EXPECT AN

ANSWER WHEN WE ASK IRAQ'S INTENTIONS. HIS

RESPONSE IN EFFECT THAT HE TRIED VARIOUS

DIPLOMATIC/CHANNELS BEFORE RESORTING TO

UNADULTERATED INTIMIDATION HAS AT LEAST THE

VIRTUE OF FRANKNESS. HIS EMPHASIS THAT HE

WANTS PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT IS SURELY SINCERE

(IRAQIS ARE SICK OF WAR), BUT THE TERMS SOUND

DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE. SADDAM SEEMS TO WANT

PLEDGES NOW ON OIL PRICES AND PRODUCTION TO

COVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS.

 

 

GLASPIE

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Guest 3rdEye   
Guest 3rdEye

The whistleblower website WikiLeaks has been nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. A Norwegian parliamentarian nominated the site, arguing its contributions to freedom of speech and transparency were among the most important of the 21st century.

 

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Guest wiki   
Guest wiki

US military brig officials order whistle-blowing suspect to sleep unclothed

 

United States soldier Bradley Manning, accused of leaking US state secrets to WikiLeaks and detained under restrictive conditions at the Marine base at Quantico, Virginia since July 2010, was ordered Wednesday to sleep stripped of all clothing. According to his attorney, this condition was imposed because Manning made a "sarcastic quip" about the harsh conditions of his confinement.

 

For most of the eight months he has been held there, Manning has been required to sleep only in his boxer shorts because he has been under "prevention of injury watch," according to First Lieutenant Brian Villiard, a spokesman for the Quantico facility. David Coombs, Manning's legal representative for the upcoming court marshal, said that on Wednesday Manning complained of his clothing restrictions and joked that if he wanted to, he might be able to harm himself "with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops."

 

On Wednesday night, the brig commander determined that Manning must give up his boxer shorts also. Villiard said, "The intention is to ensure the safety and security of the detainee and make sure he is able to stand trial." Villiard, citing privacy rules designed to protect the detainees, did not explain how Manning could harm himself if allowed to wear his underwear.

 

Coombs said Manning was not put under a suicide watch because that would have required the decision of a mental health professional. As a result of the tightening of Manning's conditions, he will be required for the indefinite future to sleep unclothed in his cell, and endure, according to Coombs, the "humiliation of standing unclothed at attention for the morning roll call".

 

In a statement, Senator John Kerry suggested recent publicity will cast light on Manning's situation and the balance between humane treatment and suicide prevention: "I think that a lot of people are now reviewing this very, very closely, people have weighed in, myself included, I think that analyses are being made. ... And I'm convinced that there will be real scrutiny with respect to that issue."

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Guest FAS   
Guest FAS

P.J. CROWLEY AND THE LIMITS OF OPENNESS

 

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned yesterday facing an Obama Administration backlash against his remarks declaring the treatment of suspected leaker Pfc. Bradley E. Manning "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid."

 

The conditions of Private Manning's detention became the subject of controversy when his lawyer complained that Manning was being involuntarily forced to surrender his clothing to his Quantico military guards each night, supposedly in order to protect him from self-injury. Neither Manning, his attorney, nor any competent medical authority had requested any such "protection." Instead, the compulsory nudity was widely perceived as a punitive measure, prompting protests from Amnesty International, among others. (We urged the DoD Inspector General to investigate the matter, to no known effect.)

 

Mr. Crowley, an uncompromising critic of leaks of classified information, is no friend of Private Manning who, he said, "is in the right place" (i.e., in jail). It was the gratuitous abuse of the prisoner that he deemed "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid."

 

He was right. In America, the pre-trial detention of any person who has not been convicted of a crime should be beyond reproach. In the Manning case (and in too many others), it hasn't been.

 

Though in criticizing Defense Department detention policy Mr. Crowley was clearly outside of his bureaucratic "lane," he deserves credit for speaking out on a matter of principle. In an intelligent system of government, such views would be freely aired and honestly attended to. But it seems that there is not much place for such speech in the current Administration.

 

To its credit, the State Department did publish Mr. Crowley's non-retraction on its website. "My recent comments regarding the conditions of the pre-trial detention of Private First Class Bradley Manning were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discrete actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership," Mr. Crowley said. "The exercise of power in today's challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values."

 

That is to say, the exercise of power today is not always prudent or consistent with our laws and values. Sadly, Crowley's departure under these circumstances makes corrective action more difficult.

 

However, the Defense Department reportedly rescinded its forced nudity policy towards Manning. "On Friday, officials said they are again providing him with sleeping garments," the Washington Post reported.

 

In a new sign of public dissent from the Obama Administration's intensive pursuit of suspected leakers, former NSA official Thomas Drake, who is accused of unlawful retention of classified information, was designated as the recipient of an award for "truth-telling."

 

Named for the late Ron Ridenhour, who brought the My Lai massacre to public attention, "The Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling is presented to a citizen, corporate or government whistleblower, investigative journalist, or organization for bringing a specific issue of social importance to the public's attention." (In previous years, but not this year, I was involved in the Award selection process.) The award to Mr. Drake will be presented in Washington, DC on April 13. Mr. Drake's Espionage Act trial is scheduled to begin on April 25.

 

http://www.ridenhour.org/

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Guest LordCheebahawk   
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Where is the Ron Paul coverage in the mainstream media? Oh right. There is none.

 

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