NY Times: 15 Years Late on Iraq

On Thursday July 16, The NY Times posted “Colin Powell Still Wants Answers”, a long article by Robert Draper to appear in this Sunday’s NYT Magazine. The article is based on Draper’s upcoming book, “To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq”.  ( See: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/16/magazine/colin-powell-iraq-war.html  )

Google Books calls it “the definitive, revelatory reckoning with arguably the most consequential decision in the history of American foreign policy”.

Draper’s article focuses on Powell and his UN speech of February 5, 2003.  A lot of the detail will be new to most readers, not very much new to Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which had been established a month before. VIPS watched the speech, dissected it, and sent their verdict to President George W. Bush before close of business that same afternoon ( See: https://consortiumnews.com/2003/02/05/powells-un-speech-and-the-case-for-war/. ). We gave Powell a charitable grade of “C” for providing not much in the way of context and perspective.  We should have flunked him outright.

Here’s our final paragraph:

No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is irrefutable or undeniable [as Powell had claimed his was]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond violations of Resolution 1441, and beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.

As war clouds gathered, VIPS chose to assume that President Bush was not fully informed about how Cheney and Rumsfeld had shaped the intelligence and about the “catastrophe” we saw coming.  So VIPS issued two more Memoranda before the ‘Shock and Awe’ attack on Iraq.

Cooking Intelligence for War in Iraq March 12, 2003
https://consortiumnews.com/2003/03/12/cooking-intelligence-for-war-in-iraq/

Iraq Intel: Forgery, Hyperbole, Half-Truth March 18, 2003
https://consortiumnews.com/2003/03/18/iraq-intel-forgery-hyperbole-half-truth/

As for a “definitive revelatory reckoning”, Ray published one 15 years ago in a chapter for “Neo-CONNED Again!”, a collection of essays on Iraq. His chapter was titled: Sham Dunk: Cooking Intelligence for the President.  A link to the full text of the chapter is posted below — for those who may wish to compare what Draper says in his book, and the “adaptation” regarding Powell that The NY Times has just posted.

SHAM DUNK: COOKING INTELLIGENCE FOR THE PRESIDENT
By Ray McGovern, (in “Neo-CONNED Again!”, 2005
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vBsKG1CRHTpqKrtOm4_bftQSOWtjF_PE/view?usp=sharing

MICIMATT Keeping Us Stuck in Afghanistan

Ray uses the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-MEDIA-Academia-Think-Tank) acronym because it’s easy to understand and remember. It sounds like Mickey Mouse (who should be trusted in foreign policy to just about the same degree as the MCIMATT complex) and reminds us of Eisenhower’s MIC warning (which, sadly, is proving uncannily prescient.) In its most recent betrayal of what is right and just, the MICIMATT complex is thwarting all attempts to pull out of Afghanistan. Ray discusses on Crosstalk:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHTD7Vbkeg8

Don’t Be Like Mike

CIA’s Mike Morell tells us what “a normal administration” would have done w Russian bounty “intel.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/03/heres-how-normal-administration-would-have-handled-russian-bounty-intel/

Let’s examine Mike Morell’s track record. His boss George Tenet wrote that Mike was “the perfect guy” to brief Bush on how sure they were that Iraq had WMD’s and that he “coordinated” Colin Powell’s UN speech explaining how sure they were that Iraq had WMD’s. 
https://consortiumnews.com/2011/08/29/rise-of-another-cia-yes-man/

The Power of Song: The Black National Anthem

By Ray McGovern, July 4, 2020

You be the judge.  How moving do you find the tune and and lyrics of this poignant song, which we sang loud and clear on occasions like the 4th of July at the Washington inner-city church where I worshipped?

Below is included (1) a short video of introduction to the song; (2) the lyrics; (3) my favorite video of a most joyful recording of the song; (4) the Spelman College Glee Club rendition; and (5) a chorus of young men singing it.

(1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38sxYtHRGGw
4 minutes

(2) Lyrics of:

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING — “THE BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM”

Lift ev’ry voice and sing
‘Til earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty

Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on ’til victory is won

Stony the road we trod
Bitter the chastening rod
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died

Yet with a steady beat
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered

Out from the gloomy past
‘Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast

God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way

Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path, we pray

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee

Shadowed beneath Thy hand
May we forever stand
True to our God
True to our native land

(3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwWhu8tw4nU
(10 minutes); a fun video of a recording, w/ Deniece Williams, Al Green et al.

(4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOyVho1E4ZY
(3 minutes); the Spelman College Glee Club

(5) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngFDy52eCZY
(4 minutes); a chorus of young men

Happy Fourth of July!

Ray on the Archdeacon of NYT Pulitzer presstitutes re “Russian bounties” for killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan


July 1, 2020
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8mMmJ17n3Q
Ray’s 6 minutes begin at minute 3:20, but the intro is also interesting.

Ray’s article exposing/describing the “Archdeacon of Flat Fact” was published a couple of hours before the interview: https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/01/ray-mcgovern-new-york-times-deploys-heavy-gun-to-back-intel-on-russian-bounties/

UN Reporting on Torture of Assange Banned from Corporate Media

Marking International Day in Support of Torture Victims
By Ray McGovern, June 26, 2019

Nils Melzer, UN Rapporteur on Torture, belatedly learned that Julian Assange was being tortured.  Meltzer came to realize that he had been misled by the “news” about Assange in the Establishment media, so he did his own investigation.

With his findings and impressions in hand, Melzer thought that June 26, the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, would be a fitting occasion to publish an op-ed on the results of his investigation.  It turned out that his draft was as welcome as the proverbial skunk at a picnic.  Here is a note that Melzer appended to his op-ed once it was finally posted — in Medium:

“This Op-Ed has been offered for publication to the Guardian, The Times, the Financial Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, the Canberra Times, the Telegraph, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Newsweek. None responded positively.”

The title given his op-ed in Medium on June 26, 2019 was Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange: On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Torture Victims.  (See: https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian-assange-b252ffdcb768 .). Here’s a sample:

Beginning of text of Melzer op-ed, (with thanks to Medium):

I know, you may think I am deluded. How could life in an Embassy with a cat and a skateboard ever amount to torture? That’s exactly what I thought, too, when Assange first appealed to my office for protection. Like most of the public, I had been subconsciously poisoned by the relentless smear campaign, which had been disseminated over the years. So it took a second knock on my door to get my reluctant attention. But once I looked into the facts of this case, what I found filled me with repulsion and disbelief.

Surely, I thought, Assange must be a rapist! But what I found is that he has never been charged with a sexual offence.

True, soon after the United States had encouraged allies to find reasons to prosecute Assange, Swedish prosecution informed the tabloid press that he was suspected of having raped two women. Strangely, however, the women themselves never claimed to have been raped, nor did they intend to report a criminal offence. Go figure.

Moreover, the forensic examination of a condom submitted as evidence, supposedly worn and torn during intercourse with Assange, revealed no DNA whatsoever — neither his, nor hers, nor anybody else’s. Go figure again. One woman even texted that she only wanted Assange to take an HIV test, but that the police were “keen on getting their hands on him”. Go figure, once more.

Ever since, both Sweden and Britain have done everything to prevent Assange from confronting these allegations without simultaneously having to expose himself to US extradition and, thus, to a show-trial followed by life in jail. His last refuge had been the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Alright, I thought, but surely Assange must be a hacker! But what I found is … (For the rest, click on ( https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian-assange-b252ffdcb768 .)

Baby Steps in Truth

Expect to find almost nothing in the U.S. or other Western media about how a publisher of authentic documents has been set up to spend the rest of his live in prison, but there were some glimmers of truth shining through German, Swiss, and Austrian media early this year.  In February, one of the main German TV channels (ZDF) did a highly unusual, and instructive, interview with Melzer, focusing on the sexual allegations in Sweden.

Melzer is fluent in Swedish — a big help as he personally poured through the relevant documents, some of which had been “fixed”.  On hearing of the ZDF programs, Ray published “German TV Exposes the Lies That Entrapped Julian Assange”: https://consortiumnews.com/2020/02/06/ray-mcgovern-german-tv-exposes-the-lies-that-entrapped-julian-assange/ , February 6, 2020.

His article begins:

Truth has broken through for those confused about how a publisher ended up in a maximum security prison in London with a one-way extradition ticket to court in the U.S. and the rest of his life behind bars.
One of the main German TV channels (ZDF) ran two prime-time segments on Wednesday night exposing authorities in Sweden for having “made up” the story about Julian Assange being a rapist. 
Until last night most Germans, as well as other consumers of “major media” in Europe, had no idea of the trickery that enmeshed Assange in a spider-web almost certainly designed by the U.S. and woven by accomplices in vassal states like Sweden, Britain and, eventually, Ecuador. 
ZDF punctured that web by interviewing UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer. One ZDF “Heute Sendung” segment (in German) is especially telling from minute 13:00 to 15:30 . The second is ZDF “Heute Journal” (minute 25:49 to 30:19.)
Both ZDF programs show Melzer being interviewed, with minimal interruption or commentary, letting his findings speak for themselves about how allegations against Assange were “made up” and manipulated to hold him captive. 
The particularly scurrilous allegation that led many, including initially Melzer, to believe Assange was a rapist — a tried and tested smear technique of covert action — was especially effective.  The Swedes never formally charged him with rape — or with any crime, for that matter.  ZDF exhibited some of the documents Melzer uncovered that show the sexual allegations were just as “invented” as the evidence for WMD before the attack on Iraq. …
Melzer’s indefatigable efforts to expose what Assange has gone through, including “psychological torture”, met with some modest success ( See: https://raymcgovern.com/2020/01/31/a-must-read-on-assange/ ) in the days before the German ZDF aired their stories. Embedded in that Swiss article (in English) is by far the best interview (See:  https://www.republik.ch/2020/01/31/nils-melzer-about-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange ) of Melzer on Julian Assange.
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You are encouraged to click on the two links in the above paragraph. The second link, in particular, is definitely worth a read.