Surprise Surprise: “Laptop of Death” a Possible Forgery

Almost four years ago today, Colin Powell presented some dodgy intelligence suggesting Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons. Powell’s announcement had all the trappings of Bush propaganda: sketchy exiles, the pre-emption of IAEA counter-evidence, technical specs that make a known civilian application look like a nuclear weapon, and, of course, Powell himself.

Does it surprise you to learn, via Juan Cole, that that intelligence may well have been forged?

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has obtained evidence suggesting that documents which have been described as technical studies for a secret Iranian nuclear weapons-related research program may have been fabricated.

The documents in question were acquired by U.S. intelligence in 2004 from a still unknown source — most of them in the form of electronic files allegedly stolen from a laptop computer belonging to an Iranian researcher. The US has based much of its push for sanctions against Iran on these documents.

Nope, it doesn’t surprise me either.

Still, even though none of us are surprised, don’t you think it’d be a good idea to figure out who forged all the evidence tailored to get the US involved in wars in the Middle East? Before Dick Cheney absconds with the evidence?

89 replies
  1. bobschacht says:

    Is it too late now for Darth Cheney to get his war with Iran?
    (I say, hopefully).

    Iran scoffed at Bush (and Cheney).
    But Obama seems to worry them.

    Bob in HI

    • Leen says:

      Thanks Ew
      I have heard Obama repeat unsubstantiated claims about Iran 2 times now. Once on Face the Nation on Sept 28, 2008 with Bob Schiefer and just recently. I was shocked to hear Obama “Iran IS developing nuclear weapons” There is absolutely no hard evidence to back this up. This was the first time I had ever heard Obama repeat the neo-cons inflammatory and false claims about Iran. Bob Schieffer did not challenge this claim.

      No one in the press called Obama out on this false statement

      Listen for yourselves
      Obama’s comment is in the second clip at 3:20. “IRAN IS DEVELOPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS” Why do those in the press allow these outrageous and unsubstantiated claims to roll by? I have heard Chris Matthews allow McCain and others to repeat these claims, George Stephanapolous, Terri Gross, Diane Rehm, Neil Conan has let these claims be repeated so often I can’t keep count.

      These unsubstantiated claims about Iran have been repeated so often many Americans will tell you that Iran HAS nuclear weapons. Give it a shot..start asking folks.

      We expect these false statements about Iran to come out of Cheney, Lieberman, McCain or Palin but not Obama.

      I deeply respect Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter’s persistent efforts and commitment to getting down to the truth on weapons issues.

      Scott Ritter was asking that the sources of the Iranian laptop be investigated a long while back…..038;id=161…..losersgame

      Scott has also been asking for a hearing about this intelligence and the sources. I contacted my Reps and others just after I read that Scott Ritter was pushing for a hearing. Wonder if folks piled on if that would help? Seymour Hersh, (who has reported that U.S. and Israeli forces have been on the ground in Iran quite a ways back) Scott Ritter, Ray McGovern and many others all have different opinions about whether the Bush administration will still attempt to strike Irans nuclear facilities

      More Scott Ritter…..ainst_war/
      “WHEREAS, The Bush Administration and its Congressional allies are engaging in a systematic campaign to convince the American people that the Islamic Republic of Iran poses an imminent threat to the American nation, American troops in the Middle East and U.S. allies.”

      The propaganda war being waged by the Bush administration in this regard has been as intense and relentless as any in recent memory. Either directly or through proxy, the administration has painted a one-sided portrait of Iran which is inaccurate and misleading in the extreme. To have a nation of nearly 80 million people, possessing a history and culture several thousands of years old, suddenly personified in the image of a single individual, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a gross misrepresentation. Imagine if one tried to characterize the entire American people in the form of George W. Bush. Iran is a diverse nation, with numerous political and social constituencies which compete across a broad spectrum of forums, governmental and nongovernmental alike. To take the words and deeds of one man, out of context in some cases and inaccurately in others, and use them to paint a picture of national policy is as wrong as it is deceitful.

      Iran today poses no threat to the American nation, its allies (including Israel) or American troops in the region. To the extent that U.S. service members are threatened in Iraq, one must consider the reality of a genuine popular resistance by Iraqis to a brutal and illegitimate occupation. It should also be noted that Iran is primarily interested in securing a stable Iraq in the post-Saddam period, a policy requiring Iran to back the current Iraqi government, a Shiite-dominated government which the United States helped empower and which the United States currently supports.”

  2. BoxTurtle says:

    I’d love to check out the serial number of that laptop. Might lead to an OVP surplus list.

    Boxturtle (Wonder what will happen when Obama’s folks get a look at the original laptop)

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh, it wasn’t until much later that there ever WAS a laptop.

      Of course, by taht point, it was pretty clear it was bogus–unless you’d believe that Iran would store all their most damning documents on one, easily misplaced laptop, and you’d believe that one guy was touching all the most sensitive parts of the program.

      Still, it was fun propaganda while it lasted…

      • Petrocelli says:

        *gasp* … you mean Ahmad-asamothafucka didn’t crack the Da Vince code ?

        Seriously, I can’t wait for Jan 21st, when Seymour Hirsch begins to unleash more bombshells.

        • Mindroth says:

          neither can I, thats when the real truth will start to come out. Hey are you planning on joining the new Obama secret police, Maybe you can find some more books that Palin had banned. You know the ones that weren’t written. Pretty smart to ban a book before it is even written, don’cha think. Oh I forgot you don’t think

  3. JohnForde says:

    Abscond? Cheney doesn’t abscond. He has a ceremonial fire in his regular office. Or, at least has Addington do it.

    Hey, Dick! See you at The Hague!

  4. egregious says:

    Another phony laptop scam. Shows a lack of imagination, really.

    I called this at the time, amid much noise pushing for war against Iran. Thinking and writing about war against Iran was so stressful I had to quit, with reluctance, hoping other people would carry it.

  5. plunger says:

    There’s enough circumstantial evidence that Michael Ledeen was involved in the Niger Forgery to launch a full scale investigation into his potential role in the Iran forgery as well.

    The AGENDA of his favorite client state is the creation of Eretz Israel.

    It’s his sole priority.

    It’s also Treason.

  6. BoxTurtle says:

    Of course, by taht point, it was pretty clear it was bogus–unless you’d believe that Iran would store all their most damning documents on one, easily misplaced laptop, and you’d believe that one guy was touching all the most sensitive parts of the program.

    That was the most believable part of it for me. I can’t count how many times the Government/corporate america has discovered that some employee violated standards and kept SSN’s or such on a traveling laptop. I see no reason to believe that Iran couldn’t have the same problems…probably does, in fact.

    It didn’t make their story any more believable for me, it simply indicated that somebody at the OVP was at least reading the headlines.

    Boxturtle (Osama has never lied to the american people..can Cheney make that claim?)

    • bmaz says:

      Well chief, would you be surprised to learn that the laptop in question was actually a 2006 model Dell Inspiron originally registered to Heather Poe?

      • Loo Hoo. says:

        Is Heather Poe someone we should know? Checking Wiki:

        Since 1992, Cheney has been in a long-term lesbian relationship with Heather Poe, a former park ranger and UPS manager.

        Wow. The laptop really belonged to her?

        • jayt says:

          oh fer chrissakes.

          How is is that these would-be/wanna-be devious motherfuckers are so incomprehensibly maroonish?

        • plunger says:


          This old friend is Michael A. Ledeen, a veteran of American parallel intelligence conduits, who had been previously declared persona non grata by Rome during 1980s. [Likely because of kidnapping of Abu Abbas, orchestrated by Ledeen and Oliver North, and the attempted “extraordinary rendition” of Abbas through Italy–Nur.] Ledeen is in Rome on a mission from the Office of Special Plans, created at the Pentagon by Paul Wolfowitz to collect intelligence which would support a war on Iraq. A source at Forte Braschi [equivalent to Langley, VA, the headquarters of the CIA–Nur] tells La Repubblica: On the subject of intelligence collected on the uranium purchase, Pollari gets the cold shoulder from CIA Station Chief Jeff Castelli. Apparently, Castelli has dropped the matter entirely. Taking a hint, Pollari discusses the matter with Michael Ledeen. … No one knows what prompts Ledeen to return to Washington. But at the beginning of 2002, Paul Wolfowitz convinces Dick Cheney that the uranium trail picked up by Italian intelligence should be explored in closer detail. As the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence relates, a determined Vice President makes request to the CIA to take another look into “the possible acquisition of Niger uranium.” During a meeting, Dick Cheney explicitly states that a crucial piece of intelligence is held by “a foreign intelligence agency”.

          The parallel intelligence conduit [”Stovepipe”–Nur] over at the Pentagon circulates “new information” according to which there exists an agreement between Niger and Iraq for the supply of 500 tons of uranium per year. The technicians at the Department of State raise an eyebrow at the report–500 tons of uranium! An exaggerated quantity! The report is manifestly devoid of all plausibility. Every independent report ordered following the circulation of the Italian memorandum indicates that the Niger uranium mines at Arlit and Akouta can yield at most 300 tons per year. But time is growing short. George Tenet, stung by the intelligence gaps of 9-11, grins and bears it but becomes incredibly unreceptive when State Department intelligence controverts him, recounts Greg Thielmann to La Repubblica, by saying that the intelligence collected in Rome is inconsistent, that the uranium story is phony and that a bunch of things contained in the report are fabricated.

    • emptywheel says:

      No, it was not that they lost the laptop. It was that the laptop included technical information from every area of Iran’s purported nuclear program. Even in the US, I’d bet money, there is not one person who is touching that many areas of the nuclear program in that much detail. Heck, I don’t even think there was in Iraq at its height.

      • freepatriot says:

        fookin Oppenheimer didn’t know that much

        why does a bomb designer need to know about missile nose cone designs ???

        he just makes the bomb, he don’t put it in the box

        • freepatriot says:

          specifically, degraded trajectories associated with different missile nose cone designs

          why does a bomb maker need to know about missile range ???

          why is that shit in this laptop

          in case ya think I’m crazy …

      • eCAHNomics says:

        The original NYT story was coauthored by William Broad iirc. I had a modest email relationship with him and queried why he thought it would not be a forgery. That was around the time he stopped responding to my emails.

        • emptywheel says:

          William Broad was a collaborator with Judy Miller on the Mobile Bioweapons Labs. He’s a bad one…Him and Michael Gordon–the NYT hasn’t changed its ways.

      • BoxTurtle says:

        You’d lose that bet. However, (in the usa anyway) the few people who would have access to all that info at once are very high up. Info tends to be better controlled at those levels, but is not infallable. NRO controls the risk by simply not permitting portable computers inside and the computers the average person accesses has no external connections for flash drives or such.

        See, it all boils down to the source of the laptop. If the source was high enough up in the defense area, it COULD happen.

        But a randomly discovered laptop in the field? No way. Every other part of the story is even less likely!

        This was an attempt to start a war with Iran that backfired. I wonder if the original laptop will be available for study or if it will simply vanish?

        We need a Hall of Suspect Evidence in the Smithsonian.

        Boxturtle (and good morning, all!)

    • freepatriot says:

      (Osama has never lied to the american people..can Cheney make that claim?)

      this is America

      dead eye dick has the right to claim anything he wants

      (disclaimer; my definition of what it means to be an American: it means you got the right to try anything you think you can get away with)

      wanna bet dead eye dick starts claiming protections under the fifth amendment soon ???

      by the time dick gets done, he’s gonna OWN a good sized chunk of the fifth amendment …


  7. freepatriot says:

    the dodgy evidence from the sketchy exiles might be fake ???

    what’s next, gambling in the casino ???

    you wouldn’t be able to round up any suspects, would you ???

    and yes, we want the “Usual” variety, as always

    see, I too could be a “literati” …

    or is the et tu ???

    • Petrocelli says:

      … said fire began in Cheney’s Orifice, when someone saw Obama in the White house and remarked that Hell Hath frozen over, which in turn prompted Cheney to become enraged that he was now homeless …

      • LabDancer says:

        If so, then all that’s required for Cheney [you betcha] Ledeen [?] et al to dance away from the consequences is a modicum of “unpredictable grace”*.

        *US v Archibald R Schaffer III US Circuit Court of Appeals FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT Feb 2, 2001 # 99-3153 Panel: Edwards CJ Williams Ginsburg Henderson Rogers & Tatel; a.k.a. Meat the Briber.

        Question [or, as them lawyers like to put it, “quaera”]: Is there anything in the Constitution, or the judicial authorities bearing on its interpretation, preventing a POTUS from issuing a classified pocket-size pardon, suitable for lamination and insertion into one’s billfold, or attachment onto one’s ring of keys and Swiss Army pocket knife?

        No one would ever expect the Pocket Pardon.

  8. freepatriot says:


    the Iranians faked a missile launch, so everybody does it, right ???

    I’m not really stupid, I just needed the vegetables …

  9. spoonful says:

    Saw a picture of the shredder truck parked outside the Cheney residence about 2 years ago – it’s already gone.

  10. wavpeac says:

    Well, I thought it was interesting that O has signaled the desire to rescind those signing statements? If I were bushco…I would find that scary since I think alot of those signing statements were for the soul purpose of covering hides.

    Hey, didn’t Cheney already have a fire?? Yes I think he did, both at home AND at work.

    I think evidence was “absconded” along time ago.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      All W’s nice kissy huggy public transition stuff is a cover for their enormous document destruction.

  11. rkilowatt says:

    Re Obama: Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and Briefer of Pesidents, posits President Elect’s Queries to his Briefer [already selected as CIA’s Mike Morell]…

    “…9. Mike, one of my aides has read carefully through the memoir of your former boss, ex-CIA director George Tenet, who speaks very highly of you. The reader gets the clear impression you were one of his protégés; he appointed you personal briefer to President George W. Bush.

    Now two questions for you, Mike:
    (1) Tenet told his British counterpart, Sir Richard Dearlove, on July 20, 2002, that the “intelligence was being fixed around the policy” of invading Iraq to bring “regime change” there. (I refer, of course, to the so-called “Downing Street Minutes” of Dearlove’s briefing of British Prime Minister Tony Blair on July 23, 2002.) Did you know, Mike, the intelligence was being “fixed?”

    (2) Tenet also says in his memoirs that you “coordinated the CIA review” of Colin Powell’s speech at the U.N. on Feb. 5, 2003. Your comment?

    Nothing personal, Mike. But with all due respect, you will be able to understand why I would like to start with a fresh slate. Please inform your management that I would prefer a briefer untainted by the intelligence fiasco regarding Iraq. Add that I am offended that they would send me someone so closely associated with George Tenet, the consummate “fixer” of intelligence.

    And please do not forget to pass along to your successor the requests I have made.

    Thank you.”

    Full text at http://www.informationclearing…..e21174.htm

      • MarkH says:

        Should Obama put McGovern on his national security team? And Clarke?

        I would kinda like to see them on a new 9/11 commission. They might have too much water under the bridge to go back in at this point. I remember hearing Clarke say he was happy to retire.

        Wes Clark would be good in some national security capacity, but I recommend him for Homeland Security Secretary to manage the humongous new department and help ensure we really do have some security. I suspect one of the problems of that department is that it’s far too much for one person to oversee. Clark might be able to recommend changes (or ways to divide it up) to make it more manageable while he in fact does run it.

  12. rosalind says:

    ot: novakula in interview, discussing outing valerie plame –

    From a personal point of view, I said in the book I probably should have ignored what I’d been told about Mrs. Wilson. Now I’m much less ambivalent. I’d go full speed ahead because of the hateful and beastly way in which my left-wing critics in the press and Congress tried to make a political affair out of it and tried to ruin me…I would do the same thing over again because I don’t think I hurt Valerie Plame whatsoever.

    mean ol’ left wing critics, making a political affair out of a…political affair.

    • bmaz says:

      Of course, on the other hand, Bob might want to check the headrest in his dickmobile Corvette for a polonium pellet or two of Langley origin.

      • rosalind says:

        i could pull quote after quote from this interview, better for plameologists to just go read.

        oh ok, one more:

        I thought one of the worst columns written on the Plame affair was by William Safire. He wrote a stupid column saying I should reveal the name of my source. He wanted to get his colleague at the New York Times, Judy Miller, off the hook with the prosecutors. He didn’t know, as I knew, that my source, Richard Armitage, had long before identified himself to the FBI and the Justice Department.

        paging EW…

    • emptywheel says:

      Ooh, that whole interview is a gem. This is a point I made to Harry Reid personally.

      If you go by accomplishments, the best was Lyndon Johnson. There’s not even a close second in terms of getting bills passed. The reason: He was a trader, and he never took no for an answer. He could bargain into the night.

      I am always amused when I watch Harry Reid come out on television and bemoan the fact that he had devised a unanimous-consent agreement but the evil Republicans violated it, so he couldn’t get a unanimous-consent agreement. I compare that with Johnson, who never gave up. Sometimes when there was an impasse, I’d be sitting in the press section and see him retreat to the cloakroom. A little later, he’d come back with a couple of senators and they’d have an agreement. He was unique.

      • hackworth says:

        Reid thinks he is effective. He is actually proud of himself. The budget, Reid says. We made a budget, when the Republicanc couldn’t do it.

        Wasn’t the budget a big giant cave-in?

      • Phoenix Woman says:

        Can you imagine LBJ now in Reid’s job?

        This is the guy who, as president, didn’t hesitate to do what he’d said he’d do to an old buddy of his who didn’t vote for the Civil Rights Act: He took away the funding for a hospital that was supposed to go in the guy’s CD. He. Played. Hardball.

        • ratfood says:

          LBJ had Eartha Kitt blackballed for criticizing our undeclared war in Vietnam to Ladybird. Maybe Americans should think long and hard before nominating any more candidates from Texas.

        • emptywheel says:

          I remember, right before Reid came for a chat, Caro doing an Economist thing talking about how LBJ only ever had the same kind of majorities (that is, barely one at all) as Reid had.

          Reid denied that was the case.

  13. perris says:

    Still, even though none of us are surprised, don’t you think it’d be a good idea to figure out who forged all the evidence tailored to get the US involved in wars in the Middle East? Before Dick Cheney absconds with the evidence?

    that is the point I know of this excellant post marcy

    I would like to point out, we knew the evidence was forged the day he made it

    the very people who he used for his “aluminum tubes of mass destruction” told us point blank these tubes could not be used for that

    the very scientists who examined those “vans of mass destruction” told us they could find no trace of chemical weaponwry’

    the people that found that “balsa wood drone of mass destruction” told us themselves this was a childs toy, a balsa wood line of site prop plane the kind you give your nephew for his birthday, in such ill repair it was held together with duct tape

    powell himself in an interview, when asked why he didn’t show one of those “aluminum tubes of mass destruction said;

    “why would I show the weakest link in the pitch”

    get htat?

    “in the pitch”

    we knew long before we went to war the evidence was forged

    but I see your point marcy, we need to prove cheney the criminals responsible are traitors to this nation

    • hackworth says:

      Before capitulating, didn’t Colin Powell initially defy his masters by refusing to read the speech – proclaiming loudly – “This is Bullshit!”.

        • neurophius says:

          reason enough (that he gave the speech anyway) to exclude him from the Obama administration. he’s not the change we need.

        • hackworth says:

          In spite of Colin’s bullshit, he would be as good as anybody at SecDef. IMHO, he’d be better than Wesley Clarke. Powell’s Republican bonafides would take some heat off Obama so that he could focus on other areas. Clarke is a magnet for criticism. Powell would be much better than Bush Toady Gates.

        • Dismayed says:

          Reid and Pelosi are both a couple of empty suits, both about qualified to be copier salesmen.

          What on earth we gotta do to get new leadership in both houses.

          Please, someone tell me what it would take for this to happen. On the otherhand perhaps Obama will be running both houses through the iorn grip of Rahm. Thinking…. thinking… Na. Fuck ‘em both -new leadership.

    • MarkH says:

      the people that found that “balsa wood drone of mass destruction” told us themselves this was a childs toy, a balsa wood line of site prop plane the kind you give your nephew for his birthday, in such ill repair it was held together with duct tape

      “duct tape”? OMG, are you kidding? That stuff is lethal. You can do anything with duct tape. You could even make an H bomb. At least that’s what Dick Cheney told my unnamed source.

  14. LabDancer says:

    “Wassila Wonder”… “Underwear Audit”… “Laptop of Death”…

    Is someone putting in for recognition as Supreme Grand Mistress status in the category of Blogger – Headline Writing – Snark – Most Consistently Appropriate and/or Memorable?

    Last time I saw headlines at this level was in the early years of the Bullwinkle & Rocky Show.

  15. posaune says:

    drational @32:

    you must be thinking of the electrical fire at DOJ in March 2007 on a Saturday night coincident with Gonzo’s memory failure . . .

  16. Leen says:

    Source for the Niger Document? Other false WMD intelligence? Where is Doug Feith and the OSP crew now?

    Senate Select Committee on Intelligence/Phase II

    (U) On October 6, 2002, the CIA sent a fax to the White House providing
    information on why the DCI had advised that a reference to Iraq seeking uranium
    from Africa be removed from a speech the President intended to deliver in
    Cincinnati. CIA offered three points: “(1) The evidence is weak. One of the two
    mines cited by the source as the location of the uranium oxide is flooded. The
    other mine cited by the source is under the control of the French authorities. (2)
    The procurement is not particularly significant to Iraq’s nuclear ambitions because
    the Iraqis already have a large stock of uranium oxide in their inventory. And (3)
    we have shared points one and two with Congress, telling them that the Africa
    story is overblown and telling them this is one of the two issues where we differed
    with the British.”23

    The end of this report is so interesting
    “Additional and Minority Views of Senators Bond, Hatch, Lott,

    (U) We joined the Senate Intelligence Committee to conduct oversight, not
    to perform witch hunts; we serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee to make
    our Intelligence Community better, not to use it for partisan politics; we travel
    overseas to speak with our operators on the ground in order to gain insights in how
    to support them and make them successful. As such, we have endeavored to work
    with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to accommodate as many concerns as
    possible, and we believe it is time to move forward with active intelligence
    (U) The easiest way for Congress to give the impression that it is
    conducting oversight without doing so is to conduct another investigation.
    Investigations are important, yet it is only when steps are taken to act on valid
    issues that surface during an investigation that Congress performs the job that the
    American people elected members to do; namely, oversight. This is why we
    joined the Committee several years ago, to conduct effective oversight. It is our
    sincere desire that the Committee will return its full effort to such oversight sooner
    than later. As the foiled terrorist plot in Britain in August 2006 reminded us, the
    terrorists won’t wait; neither should we.
    Christopher S. Bond,
    Orrin G. Hatch,
    Trent Lott,
    Saxby Chambliss.

    OOPS they forgot about holding anyone ACCOUNTABLE


    The long delayed two final sections of the investigation into pre-war intelligence…..?id=298775
    The Final 2 sections of Phase II (June 2008)

    • klynn says:

      Looking at the similarities of the Niger, WMD, Laptop and other facility forgeries laundry list is key…Especially the methodology of introduction (leaking) to the public.

      • Leen says:

        You could hear the “next stop Iran” chant immediately after the illegal invasion of Iraq. Ledeen, Cheney, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Woolsey, etc etc were all over the media immediately repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran. It was relentless.

        Scott Ritter’s book “Target Iran” is a great book

  17. plunger says:

    If Obama continues to falsely claim that Iran is any kind of threat, imminent or otherwise, to the United States, he is lying intentionally. He simply knows better.

    This would evidence his stewardship on behalf of Israel (Feith, Libby, Wurmser, Wolfowitz, Pearle, Zakheim et al) at the expense of the citizens of America…which is what the entire Iraq War was premised on – placing the aspirations of a foreign country (seeking territory and resources under the banner of self-protection) above America’s OWN SELF INTEREST (see Katrina).

    The money and National Guard troops that have been squandered in Iraq have been and continue to be needed here at home. They were sent to Iraq under a now-proven false premise. This is Treason of the highest order.

    Mr. Obama had best take care not to commit his own misprisions by aiding and abetting the original conspirators in their zeal to create Eretz Israel at the expense of US blood and treasure.

  18. JoeBuck says:

    I’ve had similar suspicions about the Venezuelan laptop, you know, the one that “proves” that Hugo Chavez is sending hundreds of millions to the FARC.

  19. Mary says:

    OT or maybe not – at least Obama’s crew are making it very clear that when it comes to “intelligence policies” (aka torture, kidnap, child disappearances, object based sodomy and live burial, ya know, intelligent stuff) Obama will be … staying the course.…..15991.html

    Meanwhile, after trillions of dollars and stacks of bodies and body parts, Iraq and China have been able to take up where they left off:….._china_oil

    Iraq and China have signed the final agreement on a $3 billion deal to develop the Ahdab oil field south of Baghdad over a 22 year-period, an Oil Ministry official said Tuesday.

    An initial agreement was signed in Beijing last August, restoring a Saddam Hussein-era deal that was canceled after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      I’m gonna back Obama on that at this point. BushCo kept interrogation more secret than anything else. Obama is probably going to learn a LOT he didn’t know while he was campaigning.

      I don’t think they’re talking about continuing torture. But the wiretapping programs and other questionable domestic intel work will likely continue at least until Obama is fully briefed.

      If Obam were to come out and say “Okay, we NEED to be able to use Carnivore because of ” and put a plan before congress, I’d at least listen.

      Boxturtle (But 4th amendment comes first)

    • WilliamOckham says:

      That article is bs. Siobhan Gorman is a great reporter, but she’s just writing what people are saying. Most of the stuff in that article is wishful thinking:

      The new president could take a similar approach to revising the rules for CIA interrogations, said one current government official familiar with the transition. Upon review, Mr. Obama may decide he wants to keep the road open in certain cases for the CIA to use techniques not approved by the military, but with much greater oversight.

      Let me translate that:

      Please don’t expose our lawbreaking.

      Now, you may be right about what Obama ends up doing. I don’t think you are. I certainly hope and pray you’re wrong. This article less than useless. It’s an active attempt by certain factions to spread misinformation.

    • Leen says:

      What about this indicator

      Obama puts ‘hundreds’ of Bush rulings under review…..06626.html

      “Mr Obama has made clear for months, however, that he wants to scrap as many as 200 of the most controversial decisions of Mr Bush’s eight years in office. A team of 48 advisers is already drawing up a list of measures they intend to undo, relating to torture, federal funding for stem cell research, reproductive rights and climate change.”

  20. Leen says:

    Did anyone else think that Michelle Obama looked like she gave Bush the cold shoulder when they first met yesterday. From what I saw of that first encounter it looked like you could cut the air with a knife the tension seemed thick. Bush looked like he was ready to shake Michelle’s hand and she just ignored him. He looked a bit stunned.
    Barack Obama arrives at the White House

    am I off?..I really think Michelle looked like she purposely ignored him

  21. Mary says:

    82 – I think tha you can “undo” policies on stem cell research, reproductive rights and climate chagne. On torture, you don’t “undo” you prosecute.

    81 – I tend to add the list of his Intel advisors, and his telecom and Executive Branch immunity actions, and his failure to ever speak out about things like Arar’s case, to the article. Since intel has been her beat and since so much of the Obama intel crew has tight ties with the torturers and none have ever, ever (did I mention NONE and EVER?) spoken about prosecution of Executive branch crimes, I don’t really discount the story so easily as wishful thinking, and I have thought for a long long time that any expectations that Obama will prosecute Executive crime is really where the wishful thinking can be found. I guess the difference is that I’ll be very happy to be proven wrong. I wasn’t over telecom immunity, but I’m still hoping.

    WO – who do you see on his intel advisor’s crew that gives you confidence? I’d love to have some if you can share.

    • bmaz says:

      Almost looks like a mis-comunication between you and WO; let me give the two bit bmaz translation. There will be some “undoing” around the fringes as Obama to the extent possible, a more sane policy and procedure set going forward, and little to nothing as fara as prosecution or substantial accountability for that done in the past by the Bushies.

      • Leen says:

        The two teams have both been singing “move forward, turn the page, nothing here” chorus for a while now. They seem to ignore the lack of confidence that Americans have in their ability hold anyone accountable for the long list of Bush administration crimes. Moving forward is impossible when the vehicle has four flat tires

  22. bmaz says:

    Heh heh. Yeah, well, I was pretty sure you had the gig down to start with….

    I guess we take what we can get; no reason for us to stand silent about it along the way though.

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