Taking Out Iraq's Future Leaders


Laura linked to this story on Charles Duelfer’s new book. And boy did my hackles rise up when I read this passage:

After he left the United Nations in 2000, Duelfer went to a Washington think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he began working informally with a unit in the CIA’s Near East division, the Iraq Operations Group, which was tasked with regime change.

Duelfer assembled a list of more than 40 high-level officials who could help run Iraq following an invasion. He cultivated old contacts in the oil industry and the Iraqi government, meeting secretly with a top Iraqi official at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. He traveled to Vienna for OPEC meetings that included key Iraqi oil officials. But the plan to put together a team that would form the basis of a future government was shelved.

"Once U.S. forces were in Iraq, they used the lists as targets," he writes. "Those named would find their homes raided, and they would be thrown in jail. . . . We continued to make more enemies." [my emphasis]

Basically, the CIA worked with Duelfer to pull together a list of top Iraqis who could take over the country. And–this story doesn’t say directly, but suggests–once DOD took over in Iraq, those on the list were targeted for harassment and arrest. 

I couldn’t help but think of something I noted when reporting on Judy Miller’s work in Iraq. She was writing, recall, at a time when DOD was undercutting State’s efforts to set up a broad-based Iraqi government, incorporating representatives of all constituencies in Iraq. DOD did so by carting Ahmed Chalabi and his band of would-be warriors around Iraq, always pre-empting State’s efforts. At precisely that time, Judy may have outed her first CIA spy, revealed in the name of de-Baathification, just 6 weeks before Valerie Wilson would be outed as a spy.

First, Judy writes an article for Chalabi that tries to discredit Saad Janabi by highlighting his ties to the CIA. As I mentioned in Part Three, as part of Judy’s coverage of Chalabi’s case for de-Baathification, Judy included the following passage:

Mr. Chalabi declined to name names, but other representatives of the Iraqi National Congress, said that the Central Intelligence Agency had retained Saad Janabi as a key adviser. The opposition members identified Mr. Janabi as a former assistant to Hussein Kamel, Mr. Hussein’s son-in-law who oversaw weapons programs, defected to Jordan in 1995, and was killed by Mr. Hussein’s government when he later returned to Iraq.

A C.I.A. spokesman in Washington said he had no comment on whether Mr. Janabi was advising the agency. [emphasis mine]

Now, before we get to the realationship between CIA and Janabi, a little background. Janabi, it seems, is a direct rival to Chalabi’s position as a top returned-exile-businessman. From a June 2, 2003 profile on Janabi we learn Janabi has returned at about the same time as the Chalabi profile appears–and that Janabi is already critical of Chalabi for the same reasons the State Department was:

Janabi returned a month ago from eight years of exile in California and has quickly emerged as a quiet but harsh critic of the well-funded exile opposition groups like Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress, which enjoys the support of key Bush administration officials. Though Janabi insists that he does not want to run for office himself, he often speaks like a budding politician (even mentioning his connections to California Republicans and Arnold Schwarzenegger). He says the INC and the two largest Kurdish parties have limited constituencies. "The Iraqi people need their own choices," says Janabi. "They are educated, but they have no education in democracy."

In spite of his denials, Janabi ends up being a worthy enough candidate that he was briefly floated to be President of interim government.

At the very least, Janabi was almost certainly involved in Duelfer’s efforts to draw up a list of future leaders of Iraq, as he had reached out to various Iraqi generals before the war started to attempt to gain their assistance. But he, too, was floated to take on a leadership role in Iraq. And in return for that, the INC branded him as a Baathist.

These efforts could, of course, be totally separate, one officially undertaken by the US government (I look forward to figuring out whether this was done by DOD or what), and one undertaken by Janabi’s rival, Ahmed Chalabi. 

But I do wonder whether there was a more concerted effort undertaken by those close to Cheney to not just hoist Ahmed Chalabi on the Iraqi people, but to make way for him by undercutting all natural Iraqi leaders, conveniently identified on one centralized list put together by the CIA.

  1. bobschacht says:

    The criminality of CheneyCo. knows no bounds, apparently.
    Thanks for casting some sunlight on these sordid dealings.
    We need more of this from more media!

    Bob in HI

  2. phred says:

    Assuming the allegation is true, I do not see how it could be possible that targeting those on Duelfer’s list was a coincidence. Viewed through the prism of Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, destabilizing the country would have been a central goal of the invasion in order to remake the country in the neo-con image. It would have been part of the whole clean slate approach she describes in her book. Removing Saddam, installing a competent government, and leaving the country in the control of Iraqis with a vested interest in self-determination was never the game plan of BushCo — it doesn’t fit with their world view.

  3. Dismayed says:

    I have no doubt that Darth Dick and company succeeded in their real goals. A smooth transition to a new government was never it the corpratist interest. They wanted a cash cow for Haliburton and Black water, and they wanted a good reason to seend billions in fresh printed greenbacks overseas, to be simply spirited away without a trace. Why fool with contracts when you can haul off truck loads of cash?

    By the way, Off topic but Tom Daschle needs to step down. 2 million in consulting fee? Every damn day it becomes more clear to me that both parties are rotten with corruption.

    Sorry you have to copy and paste I don’t know how to link:


    The first three paragraphs tells you all you need to know – Every damn person in congress needs to be brought before a special procecuter, examined, and every damn one that’s been doing this kind of crap needs to be brought up on charges. This country has cancer.

    • jdmckay says:

      (…)they wanted a good reason to seend billions in fresh printed greenbacks overseas, to be simply spirited away without a trace. Why fool with contracts when you can haul off truck loads of cash?

      FWIW, I have a good friend who was in foriegn serivice for +/- 15yrs, last 5 in Chile. He got out in ‘05, as a consequence of pressure because he complained of W’s strongarming down there (Bolivia, Argentian, Venezuala). Anyway, he says it was well know in “the service” that those pallets of cash never stopped showing up, rather BushCo simply kept it all a little more under wraps.

      I’m loathe to jump on unsubstantiated rumors and realize this would qualify. I’ll just say I’ve know this guy a long time, he’s smart (3 graduate degrees including engineering), fit like Jason Strachan, and a damn fine human being. He told me this over 2 yrs ago now, it was long coversation. He pulled out emails both that he send to his (embassy) boss of complaints I mentioned above, and their responses as well. It was in this context that he made these claims.

  4. klynn says:

    Wow. Can we revisit the 9-11 Commission?

    …boy did my hackles rise up when I read this passage:

    Mine too

    Too disturbing.

  5. scribe says:

    Same logical method as in the Tice revelations: we don’t want to monitor the journalists, so segregate them over here. Only the toss pile turns out to be the save pile.

    Same method speaks to same source for the order setting the method in gear.

  6. nextstopchicago says:

    Daschle received more in “car service” in a year than most American families live off of.

    What exactly is “car service” anyway? Was that something the Spitzer and Sen. Vitter used to enjoy? At those rates, it ought to be. Though I’m sure it just means you get to use a car. But crap, couldn’t you pay a full-time chauffeur and still get by on far less than $70K/year?

    Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Your sleuthing on the Chalabi/Janabi stuff and the new Duelffer revelations is interesting.

    However, you’ve linked to someone who didn’t do anything – this Laura. This is a blog-sin, in my opinion. Go to sources, don’t give fake credit to someone who’s done nothing more than post a link.

    The review of the Duelfer book is in the Washington Post:

    And you can find the exact passage from the Duelfer book in the Google-books excerpt, as of now (search the book for “targets” and then skim the offerings). What you’ll find is that Duelfer does NOT say that his list was used. His language is confusing, but he says that “some of these same individuals” were blacklisted “because of their individual positions” under Saddam. He then says “these lists” (i.e., not his list, but the blacklists generally) were used to harass people.

    So he is definitely not saying, implying, or really even allowing the inference that Cheney’s people or anyone else targeted those that CIA and State had carefully listed as possibly friendly influential Iraqis from the regime on behalf of their pet Chalabi (which is something like a pet wallaby).

    Instead, he is saying something pretty commonplace – that OSD blacklisted and harassed high-level Baathists generally, which inevitably included many of the people he had identified.

    This is still, of course, one of the biggest disasters of the war. But it lends little support for your theory of the special ruthlessness of Cheney against Chalabi’s most competent rivals. Cheney has many sins to answer for, but I don’t see much evidence from Duelfer that this is one of them.

    • emptywheel says:

      Hey next stop

      Before you accuse me of a damn sin, check the damn links–it’s right there in the post (along with a hat tip, which is where I got to it from which is known as common courtesy).

      Thanks for your search through the google book. I agree that it doesn’t mean they did take out people on the list–but along with a lot of other evidence, it doesn’t mean they didn’t either.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    At the very least, this invites inquiry into whether it was explicit strategy to keep Iraq enmeshed in chaos, inevitably deadly, in order to make its occupation and the expropriation of its oil easier. If so, it would be a simple variation on methods used by European colonialists and for hundreds of years: “cut off the head, it’s easier to kill the chicken”. The American CIA experimented with it for years in Latin America.

    If Bush had understood and meant the “freedom” rhetoric he broadcast, he would have sought out potential Iraqi leaders and groomed them for significant new responsibilities in a state whose government he expressly set out to topple and whose dictator he was determined to “take out”.

    Instead, Mr. Bush seems to have “targeted” a transition state’s leadership for “enhanced treatment”. In a sane world, that would roundly be condemned as a war crime. In the world outside of the reach of the American media’s talking points, it is.

  8. nextstopchicago says:

    Just thought I’d add that while Duelfer’s language is confusing, it really doesn’t allow confusion if read carefully.

    It’s the Post reviewer who screws it all up, conflating the Duelfer “list” with the OSD “lists”. Marcy seems just to have followed the Post in the error.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    It is by no means a special, new and improved “blogger sin” to cite reporters who elaborate on a story that originated elsewhere. The AP’s business model is built on it; they do it daily and claim a monopoly on it. In fact, the opposite is true. It would be wrong to follow the AP’s example and not credit such interim sources.

    The “original source” and source language, the late Stephen Jay Gould often repeated, is essential. So are quality interim reporters and analysts, like EW — as opposed to spin doctors who repackage solely to protect their patrons or hurt their rivals. They add new information, draw out further, reasonable conclusions from the material, or provide a more useful way of looking at it, such as by using timelines or other analytical templates. The latter is especially important because the MSM has virtually given up doing it.

    New information isn’t required to establish that Cheney controlled the DoD under Rumsfeld’s leadership, or that he and it were the architects for “Mr. Bush’s” wars, the way they were fought and for what ends. What requires elaboration are specifics that might be useful in documenting errors and quite likely crimes that require further investigation.

    • bobschacht says:

      The “original source” and source language, the late Stephen Jay Gould often repeated, is essential.

      Y’know, what the new generation of netophiles mostly doesn’t know is how to evaluate information on the web. Evaluating sources is a big piece of that. Yeah, its Journalism 101, as well as Science 101, but do most kids today know that?

      I’d like to see more information compiled in one handy and concise link that FDL could refer people to, posted in a prominent place, for brushing up on their research & blogging skills. Yes, Mr. Google is our friend, but Mr. Google is not very discriminating.

      Bob in HI

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Great point and suggestion, especially about Google, which discriminates solely on “hit volume”. It substitutes popularity for quality or accuracy. Page one entries substitute for all later ones. It can be like reading a hot barbecue as if it were written in braille.

        Students used to learn that wikipedia, weekly news magazines, AP stories, etc., were inherently incomplete because compiled of second-hand sources. Possibly valuable, but you never knew how reliably they translated or added to the original until you’d seen it or had enough experience with it. Now, schools feel pressure to promote and graduate students to keep their stats high and to avoid recognizing problems that require resources they don’t have.

        Education might also be something Mr. Obama focuses on, after he institutes programs to keep students and their parents healthy enough that they can get to and stay in school.

  10. LabDancer says:

    I particularly like the part where Duelfer claims to get from Tikriti that Putin sent Primakov with a message to Hussein to get him to step down from titular head of the Iraqi govt to ‘just’ head the Ba’ath party – from which one [just me?] gets the impression the CIA obtained license to treat the Ba’ath party as they would a nest of KGB vipers, leading to the dissembling of the one & only bureaucratic structure capable of keeping water running, the lights on & trashed getting removed. Apparently the CIA didn’t get the Reagan and Daddy Bush PR messages about defeating Soviet Russia and ending the Cold War. And why should Russians conclude differently, when Reagan is succeeded by the chief of the US spy system, and after a period featuring some American form of glasnost with its own party animal as the head, that same former CIA chief’s son ‘takes over’ – in the face of apparent electoral will to the contrary – and promptly installs all the old Cold Warriors in key positions.

    But it’s all different now, right? Except that on the death of uber Cold Warrior Bill Casey, who was it that Reagan & Daddy Bush succeed in installing as the head of the CIA? And where is that guy now?

  11. nextstopchicago says:


    Laura didn’t elaborate at all. She just linked. I’ve rarely seen a link with less elaboration. I come here because I do respect Marcy a lot. But in this case, there is nothing in the Duelfer book that provides any new evidence for the theory, any “elaboration of specifics that might be useful”, at least not in proving the theory advanced here.


    Sorry I didn’t move my cursor over to the right half of the hypertexted words. It looked like a single link, so I didn’t notice that there were actually two links disguised as one. You certainly did link to the Post. I still don’t get the concept of making the hat-tip more prominent than the link where the real credit lies, frankly. You mention Laura, who did nothing but say ‘hey, here’s a book review’. You don’t mention the Post. I wrote too strongly the first time, but I really don’t like it.

  12. plunger says:

    Another item on Think Progress’ blog today attacks Richard Perle and his relationship with Ahmed Chalabi. This is not the first time that Think Progress has attacked the Bush administration’s association with Chalabi. In November 2005, Think Progress included an item entitled, “Sleeping With the Enemy: Chalabi’s Sordid History.” In the item, Think Progress offered a “short rap sheet on the man who the administration used to provide justification for the Iraq war.” Like Al Gore before them, Think Progress noted that Chalabi had been convicted of embezzlement by a Jordanian court in 1992. However, there is a gap in Think Progress’ “sordid history” and “rap sheet” on Chalabi. They went from 1992 to the Bush administration years and completely left out Chalabi’s activities between 1992 and 2001.

    So, what was Chalabi doing during the 1990s? During much of that decade Chalabi led the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an umbrella Iraqi opposition group formed with the aid and direction of the United States government following the Gulf War. INC’s goal was the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. During 1999 and 2000, Chalabi and the INC met with many Clinton administration officials, including Thomas Pickering, Madeleine Albright, and, yes, Al Gore himself. (Note that Gore’s meeting with Chalabi came just seven years after Chalabi was convicted of embezzlement. Gore kind of gives hypocrisy a bad name.)

    Of course, Clinton’s chief of staff had to be aware of the fact that members of the Clinton administration were meeting with Chalabi and offering him support. Who was that chief of staff? None other than John Podesta, who is now the Center for American Progress’ president and chief executive officer.

  13. plunger says:



    Chalabi aide arrested on suspicion of Baghdad bombings
    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    By Nicholas Spangler and Hussein Kadhim | McClatchy Newspapers

    BAGHDAD — U.S. forces have arrested a deputy of Ahmad Chalabi, who was once the Bush administration’s favorite Iraqi politician, and implicated him in bombings that killed Americans and Iraqis, Chalabi and Iraqi government officials said Thursday.

    The U.S. military alleged that the arrested official was working with the “highest echelons” of the Iranian “special groups” criminals, referring to what the U.S. military says are Iranian-backed militias operating in Iraq.

    Ali Faisal al Lami, a Shiite Muslim official and a member of the Sadrist Party who’s serving as an executive of the Justice and Accountability Committee, which Chalabi heads, was arrested Wednesday at Baghdad International Airport as he returned from a family vacation in Lebanon, Iraqi officials said. The Justice and Accountability Committee screens former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party who are applying for jobs in the government.

    Losing on purpose was the goal from the outset.

  14. plunger says:

    Rumsfeld actually threatened to fire any General who continued to work on the planning for the aftermath of the invasion (“The future Of Iraq Project”). Makes total sense when you consider that the actual goal of Donald Rumsfeld was to “AVOID WINNING.”


    Washington, DC, September 1, 2006 – The National Security Archive is today posting State Department documents from 2002 tracing the inception of the “Future of Iraq Project,” alongside the final, mammoth 13-volume study, previously obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. “The Future of Iraq Project” was one of the most comprehensive U.S. government planning efforts for raising that country out of the ashes of combat and establishing a functioning democracy. The new materials complement previous postings on the Archive’s site relating to the United States’ complex relationship with Iraq during the years leading up to the 2003 invasion:


    From an

    Q. When did you hear Chalabi being flown into Nasiriyah?

    A. Pretty much when everybody else heard about it. When it became public. …

    Q. But you’re in charge of policy, I mean, you’re at a high level. Presumably, you would have known.

    A. I learn never to use the word “presumably” when it comes to government. All I can tell you is, I didn’t know about it in advance, and I don’t know who of my colleagues might have known about it. … I don’t know that anyone knew about it in advance. All I can say is, in my own view, such initiatives were and are unwise, because they’re an attempt to get too involved in the internal politics of Iraq. I just don’t think that’s the sort of thing that’s wise or sustainable.

    Q. I spoke to General Garner. He told me that he was instructed by Secretary Rumsfeld to shelve the “Future of Iraq Project.”

    A. I can’t speak to that. I don’t know what sort of instructions or communications went on within the Pentagon. I would just simply hope it’s not true, because I thought a lot of good work went into that project.

    Q. That’s what he said. He said that he looked at the papers. He talked to the some of the people in the State Department. He thought it was good work. He wanted to use the work. But then he was instructed not to. Does that surprise you?

    A. Yes.

  15. plunger says:

    We have enough evidence now to prove the globalist’s tactics. Failing on purpose is a tactic, and they rely on it to enrich themselves. They always manage to blame the outcome on incompetence or surprise, but they are using their plans for success to now how to accomplish the opposite, by doing the opposite:

    They put the best minds on a study that would lead to the most successful outcome in Iraq.

    They put the best minds on a study to ensure the steady flow of oil from Iraq to ensure that the price of oil remained low and the oil revenues would offset the cost of the “quick war.”

    They put the best minds on a study to prevent an attack using planes against the WTC.

    They put the best minds on what it would take to avoid a repeat of the Great Depression.

    What they did with the information is evident by the outcome of each. This is why Rove couldn’t help tip his hand by using the term “discernible reality.” You need to turn your brain inside out to comprehend this level of evil, for profit and power.

    But the road map is now crystal clear with their most recent “successful failure,” led by the guy whose Masters thesis was on the great depression, Mr. Bernanke (the invisible man). Behold:


    A tangle of secrecy, conflicts of interest, and favoritism plagues the process of recovery.

    Lehman drowned, but Goldman Sachs, where Paulson was formerly CEO, was saved. The day before AIG reaped its initial $85 billion bonanza, Paulson met with his successor, Lloyd Blankfein, who reportedly argued that Goldman would lose $20 billion and fail unless AIG was rescued. AIG got the money.

    Had Goldman bought from AIG credit derivatives that it needed to redeem? Like most other huge financial traders, Goldman has a secretive hedge fund, Global Alpha, that refuses to reveal its transactions. Regardless, Paulson’s meeting with Blankfein was a low point. If Dick Cheney had met with his successor at Halliburton and, the very next day, written a check for billions that guaranteed its survival, the press would have screamed for his head.

    The second most shifty bailout went to Citigroup, a money sewer that won last year’s layoff super bowl with 73,000. Instead of being parceled to efficient operators, Citi received a $45 billion bailout and $300 billion loan package, at least in part because of Robert Rubin’s juice. While Treasury Secretary under Clinton, Rubin led us into the derivatives maelstrom, deported jobs with NAFTA, and championed bank deregulation so that companies like Citi could mimic Wall Street speculators. After he joined Citi’s leadership in 1999, the bank went long on mortgages and other risks du jour, enmeshed itself in Enron’s web, tanked in value, and suffered haphazard management, while Rubin made more than $100 million.

    Rockefeller’s CFR controlled Chalabi, Cheney, Greenspan, Geithner, Ruben, – literally everyone.

    Rockefeller’s Exxon-Mobil enjoys record profits, while Rockefeller’s Goldman and JP Morgan Chase reap the rewards of credit default swaps paid with YOUR MONEY by Rockefeller insiders Paulson and Geithner – on bets made AGAINST the economy based on the knowledge that their man, Greenspan, has virtually assured this outcome.

    ‘For more than a century ideological extremists [sic] at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicised incidents such as my encounter with Castro, to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and over economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure ? one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it’.

    David Rockefeller – 2002

    • 4jkb4ia says:

      But as far as I have heard, and Stirling will agree with me, Bernanke has behaved consistently with his theories on the causes of the Depression. The atrocious management of TARP isn’t bureaucratically Bernanke’s fault.

      • plunger says:

        Agreed. I simply stated that Bernanke studied the CAUSES of the Great Depression, and obviously imparted that knowledge onto Greenspan who used that insight for nefarious purposes – to that same path of destruction to the letter, per Bernanke’s observations.

        We all make the assumption that the knowledge retained by those we assume represent our best interests will in fact be used to our best interest. My contention is that just the opposite is true. It is now clear that they care not for our interests, and are therefore employing their knowledge to accomplish results diametrically opposed to the best interests of we the people, placing bets in advance that flow solely to the benefit of those insiders.

        Have you seen the list of the insiders who front-ran the 9/11 attacks? Have you seen any of them prosecuted by the SEC?

        • Stephen says:

          So can we say now that with all the ingredients in place, it was just a matter of timing once the Cabal realized Obama would rule? In other words they decided to flick the switch and up pops Paulson giving directives about the bailouts. Similar to scuttling a ship. You have indicated that Greenspan used Bernanke’s Great Depression outline to facilitate a meltdown. What about the banks, were they conspirators as well and ran up massive bad debts knowing they would be reimbursed, bankrupting the American People and the country? Or with all the deregulation did the Bankers just become blind with greed?

  16. JohnLopresti says:

    Ritter had a voluble report published a year ago, about a Washington DC banquet and his retrospective of some regional byzantine politics.

    Mainstream Republicanism during the recent presidential contest, similarly preserved its historical interests in Inc prototype solutions in which many conservatives among their ranks were vested.

    re subTopic: links to LR’s W+P site are welcome. LR provides a wealth of ways to view her own sources, as well as offering her own evaluations more expansively. I certainly access academic sources whose work is competent, follow their vectored sourceworks, and include only the germane links in a brief comment I might jot. Sometimes the principal researchers’ simply providing a sense of origins and parallel threads helps place an article in context, saving the visitor the time it might take to launch many concurrent sessions. Several times a reminder of LR’s work’s most recent directions has resulted in this reader’s embarking upon a multi-day hiatus from the more common archives, while following LR’s latest projects.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Remarkable link to the Scott Ritter piece, which puts a new sheen on this:

      But I do wonder whether there was a more concerted effort undertaken by those close to Cheney to not just hoist Ahmed Chalabi on the Iraqi people, but to make way for him by undercutting all natural Iraqi leaders, conveniently identified on one centralized list put together by the CIA.

      I’m with freep — it’s impossible to believe otherwise.
      Looking simply at the depth of support for Chalabi, it’s easy to guess that so many ‘key GOP/neocon players’ had so much invested with Chalabi’s future leadership that they’d have seen anyone else as a threat. I offer supporting evidence:

      JohnLopresti’s link to Ritter is a tip of an iceberg showing the neocons’ use of Chalabi to advocate for ‘regime change’ in Iraq, both to bash Clinton and probably also to use Chalabi as a vehicle for controlling: Kurdistan (oil fields, north) and Basra (oil fields, south)’.

      Future historians will be interested in the collection of Republican Senators, a Congressman, former head of the CIA, think tankers (neocon) and a House Foreign Relations Legal Counsel all setting up Chalabi to be the next Iraqi leader circa 1998 – 2003.

      Note Stephen Rademaker, in 1998 both a Legal Counsel to the House Foreign Affairs Comm and ardent Chalabi supporter, along with his wife (Ploetke?) who as of 2006 was at AEI and still supporting Chalabi. By 2006, the support for Chalabi took the form of writing up the ‘Iraq Planning Group’ surge-enabling report. Might be worth noting that AEI is the same clan associated with PNAC, is it not? GWBush/Cheney used that AEI report to undercut James Baker Establishment’s 2006 ‘Iraq Study Report’.

      Wasn’t one of the problems identified in the ISG Report the fact that so many potential leaders had been killed in Iraq that the upshot was a leadership ‘vacuum’?

      Isn’t the fact that so many leaders were murdered a key factor behind the rise of Moqtada al Sadr? Really, who else was left?! When you kill all the other potential, wiser leaders, you pretty much end up with punks. Too bad the neocons couldn’t see that coming when they ‘outed’ Chalabi’s potential challengers, eh?

      Score one more sorry point for the neocon Chalabi supporters, even as late as 2006 — which was two years after the WH had (evidently) dropped him in 2004. (The WH dropped Chalabi in 2004 for enlightening the Iranians about US success de-encrypting their top-secret nuke messages.) But IIRC, as late as 2006 Chalabi was still Minister of Oil for Iraq. Ritter states that was the position Chalabi had really wanted. It was rather nice for the neocons and Cheney to help him nail it, eh? (And they must have had plenty of fun running up oil prices in the non-regulated London Oil Market last summer, but I digress…)

      Rademaker is evidently now at Barbour, Halley, Griffiths, which makes a morbid kind of sense. Barbour was the head of the GOP, as well as one-time Gov of Mississippi. And Barbour’s senator was a gentleman who demonstrably supported Chalabi as a future leader of Iraq — Sen. Majority Leader Sen. Trent Lott. Of Mississippi.

      And who was Trent Lott’s foreign policy advisor back in 1998, when PNAC was written by the neocon cabal? Randy Scheuemann, more recently spotted as John McCain’s 1998 national security advisor, and a principle in a number of lobbyist-foreign adverturer gigs, including the 2002-created Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (which he set up and directed, on behalf of Chalabi).

      Randy Scheunemann, the once-and-ever national security advisor (and Palin promoter) to John McCain hooked Scott Ritter up with Chalabi in 1998. At that time, Scheunemann was national security advisor to Sen Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-MISS (who has since suddenly resigned from Congress, and it would surely be juicy if it were ever revealed that his sudden and unexpected resignation circled back to Chalabi and/or Scheunemann, but I won’t hold my breath). By 2002, Scheunemann was setting up the Comm for the Liberation of Iraq, along with — you guessed it! Chalabi!

      Note that Chalabi evidently didn’t have to control the oil by being the PM of Iraq. He only needed to be the Oil Minister. From which position, it’s probably an easy surmise that he was in a position to help control international oil prices, assist Iran, make obscene profits in the unregulated oil markets (based in London, as near as I can tell). Less visibility than the PM, but loads more money and global influence, eh? At least the neocons must have felt that — embezzler that he evidently is — he’d have no qualms cutting the kind of ruthless deals they were after for Big Oil and heaven only knows who else.

      But enough details for one day!
      I have no evidence that they were out to destroy challengers to Chalabi, but the rise of al Sadr speaks to a power vacuum. Had there been more qualified leaders, such a vacuum would not have developed.

      One has only to look at Chalabi’s ability to get his hands on the Ministry of Oil to that he surely had help getting to that position.

      • Hmmm says:

        the rise of al Sadr speaks to a power vacuum. Had there been more qualified leaders, such a vacuum would not have developed.

        Wow. Thank you for drawing that connection!

        • LabDancer says:

          Haven’t you folks read Rory Stewart?

          Sadr isn’t ‘news’: he’s the latest in a long line in the family business, which from at least as far back as when Hussein seized power aimed to fill the demand among the ‘disenfranchised’ Shia urban poor for a sense of community & meaning & to provide some semblance of social & medical support. His father & at least two of his uncles are regarded as martyrs to the rise of Iraqi Shiite political expression, and their martyrdom flows to and empowers him, in ways that would have happened regardless of the establishment of some post-invasion stabilization plan. Moreover, his early death would not resolve the phenomenon that he embodies, but rather simply have added to his success the power of his martyrdom.

          Stewart’s Prince of the Marshes, covering the period of his involvement in US-”overseen” administration of Iraq in the southeast corner near the border with Iran, during the time between the invasion and the elections makes the reach of Sadr’s influence quite clear.

          All this talk only serves the “fiasco” point of view. The first mistake was invading, and after that it was a matter how bad it could possibly get. At least we know the answer to that one.

            • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

              Wow, maybe someone else recalls, but you may be correct.
              He may well have been ‘on the list’ but wasn’t he off hiding/training in Iran?

              Anyone remember?

              • prostratedragon says:

                He was in Baghdad at least within a week or so of the U.S. troops’ arrival. Definitely one of the few visible non-Chalabi Shiites with any sort of leadership claim, as I recall. Some reporter, American I think, did a standup with him on the street in which he launched a diatribe and then disappeared quickly, because I think he and his security were fully aware of his exposed position.

            • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

              I dunno.
              It just seems to me that if Chalabi is a double-agent for Iran, then al Sadr would have been ’safer’ than say…. those dead Iraqi Air Force pilots someone mentioned above.

              And DEEE-fense, indeed.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            Well, damnit! I have a copy of Rory Stewart’s “Prince of Marshes”, but seem to spend 70% of my ‘reading time’ on the blogs, so haven’t actually read it yet. (I savored his “The Places In Between“, mostly because he seems to have such a nuanced sense of history and respect for the immensity (and poverty) of the region we call Afghanistan. He saw the lunacy in his predicaments and shrugged most of them off. Like other charming Scots I know; good on ‘im.)

            Nevertheless, if you recommend his “Marshes“, then it will levitate to a higher position on my 3 foot tall current stack of ‘must reads’.

            As for this:

            Stewart’s Prince of the Marshes…makes the reach of Sadr’s influence quite clear.
            All this talk only serves the “fiasco” point of view. The first mistake was invading, and after that it was a matter how bad it could possibly get. At least we know the answer to that one.

            I’m not actually convinced we do know the answer yet. I think we still have much to learn and hope Sy Hersh and others will explain soon.

            Although you make a good point about Sadr’s unique role in focusing emotion, I still contend that other promising lights were snuffed out. That’s a formula for gangsta’s to dominate over reason.

            But as for Rory Stewart, one final note:
            Dear Rory Stewart… please start a blog… or at least, please comment here at EWs.
            Sincerely, rOTL

            • LabDancer says:

              Having read The Places In Between, you’ll recall that ancient civilization’s fort [the Turquoise I think?] he encountered in his walk across Iraq – the one being pillaged by the locals. After Iraq, he was able to return to that as the head of a foundation aimed at preserving it through recovery. He’s also showing up from time to time in op-eds as in the NY Times & the substrata of video talk programs the Toobz serves. I don’t have it at my fingertips [I’ll look for it & if found will post.], but he was part of a recent talk if memory served linked to on Juan Cole’s blog.

              By the end of Places, I felt I missed that dog as much as Rory did.

              • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                Totally comprehend missing that dog. As for the Turquoise… whole other topic.

                Of particular interest to me were descriptions of what I can only call ‘barren’ land. In a nation of ‘permanent war’, look what’s happened to the soils: they’re so depleted of nutrients that they can’t hold roots, can’t hold water, can’t sustain life. Ominous.

                Well, we’ve seen the result: drug lords controlling a tribal population that may as well be living in the 8th century. I once knew a young man (Afghani by birth, fled the Russians) whose dream in life would be to one day build a canal to bring water to his old village. But he once said he’d not return; the danger of unexploded land mines is too great.

                All the more reason to marvel at Rory Stewart.

                FWIW, I’m sick to death of hearing about ‘national security’ as military and munitions. The role of soil is tragically, vastly under-appreciated.

  17. freepatriot says:

    so let me see if I got this right:

    A, somebody was asked to make a list of people who could help rebuild Iraq

    B, the people on the list were targeted by the bushbots

    C, you are surprised by this

    have I got that right ???

    I’d only be surprised if anybody on the list is still alive

    if george bush ever intended to rebuild a stable Iraq, he would have protected Sergio De Mello a little better

    Colin Powell explained the pottery barn rule to george, and george was determined to break Iraq. end of story

  18. LabDancer says:

    Does it says something about the times that this is the third straight post to receive a wanderer bearing something of a dead-ender message?

      • plunger says:

        I’m saying that the greatest depression is just in its infancy. Wait until you see the implosion of Manhattan real estate, and all commercial real estate. This thing is coming down in waves.

        With $500 trillion in global derivatives to settle, and no adults telling the holders of those derivatives to simply lose money on their bets, the banksters, through their appointed agents in Congress, will simply continue to bury citizens in debt as they use your money to pay off bets made by them to their friends (betting on the certain economic destruction that they willfully and intentionally caused) …and apparently no one will even offer an accounting of the cash distributions, let alone stop them.

        The largest theft in the history of the world is being perpetrated this very moment as we debate the minutia of Blaggo’s hair style and the true intentions of the Shadow Government as it pertains to the theft of the World’s Oil and Opium supply.

        I have no idea how bad it’s going to get in the US, but I assume it’s going to rival the magnitude of the world’s largest speculative and inflationary bubble, albeit in reverse, for at least a decade…longer if they continue to try to prevent it.

        Don’t rule out force majeure (to facilitate the non-payment of the remaining derivatives and CDOs) and martial law (as US citizens figure out how completely screwed they are when they can’t get their money out of the market or the banks.

        They didn’t build all those detention facilities for nothin.’

  19. tanbark says:

    This is not the least bit surprising. Don’t forget, these are the people for whom one of the big reasons for the invasion was that they thought that they could rebuild that old post WWI Mosul-to-Haifa oil pipeline, and that Assad would let them cross Syria with it, and they could route all the oil from those big fields around Kirkuk into Israel (where they would get a good, healthy, skim) and then load it onto tankers for the west.

    I think it was Wolfowitz’s wet dream/fantasy, or one of them.

    No luck so far, and I don’t care how many purple fingers are being waved around; with 140,000-plus of our troops still there, and with it costing us that $2.5 billion a week, all the frabjous-daying is as premature as it was when the Crawford-Bismarck and his crew of clusterfuck-wizards was talking happytimes.

  20. tanbark says:

    Patriot; I don’t think he wanted to break it. I think he believed all the bullshit from Chalabi, ect., about how the Iraqis would welcome our troops like it was Paris in 1945. He really thought he could “liberate” a Muslim country, even one as riven with factions as Iraq. It’s the old argument: Were these dipshits REALLY this dumb, or was this a plan?

    I think the former. They had NO idea that they would be going into the election in 2008 with American troops still dying and with car-bombs going off in Baghdad, and with it still draining the U.S. Treasury.

    So far, no statue of Bush in a Grand Square in Baghdad, as prophesied by Perle…just lots and lots of graves, of our troops and their people…and no end in sight, I’m thinking. I’ve never thought there could be a happy ending for us there, and I don’t think Obama can deliver one, either. He should take advantage of this lull and bail, and do it quickly instead of incrementally.

    Betting one more american life, or one more billion, that it’s going to keep getting better, is doubling down on a really bad hand.

  21. plunger says:

    “Operation Greenquest” was in fact: “Operation Bury The Money Trail.”

    Indeed, one of the new department’s biggest intramural furors was a branding fight with the FBI. It began when the director of a new DHS agency known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement — or ICE — decided to keep the catchy acronym but change the name to Investigation and Criminal Enforcement. The FBI, it turned out, had some proprietary feelings about the word “investigation.”

    At the FBI’s insistence, the White House had already forced ICE to give up its Operation Greenquest program investigating terrorism financing — and forced Ridge to sign a memo pledging to keep his department away from similar investigations. But Ridge thought this spat was just silly; nobody was going to mistake ICE for the FBI.

    Nevertheless, the White House told Ridge to back off.

    What does it take to bring a charge of OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE?

  22. tryggth says:

    Just for footnote completeness, per this ATimes article there was also a CIA list that sort of “worked”…

    According to contacts that Asia Times Online spoke to in Iraq, the activities of the Badr Organization against Arab Sunnis started with the targeting of former Iraqi Air Force officers and pilots. Several of the pilots were assassinated, including some who had flown aircraft to Iran for safekeeping during the first Gulf War in 1991. A number of these Iraqi pilots and officers had been trained in Pakistan during the 1980s.

    The contacts said that over three dozen former Iraqi Air Force personnel have been killed. The Iraqi resistance is sure that the Badr Organization is behind most of the killings, having been provided information on some of the targets by Iranian intelligence.

    However, the Iraqi resistance is surprised how a list of the officers trained in Pakistan was handed over to Badr. The only possible conduit is Pakistan’s cooperation with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under which it provided the list to the CIA, and it was then passed on to Badr.

    Including this to be be filed under “an oldie but a goodie.”

  23. wigwam says:

    BREAKING: Obama continues rendition program:

    Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.

    Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the rendition program might be poised to play an expanded role going forward because it was the main remaining mechanism — aside from Predator missile strikes — for taking suspected terrorists off the street.

    • plunger says:

      for taking suspected terrorists off the street.

      Is that the same as “the battlefield?”

      Isn’t it great when you never actually declare war, and you can define “enemy combatants” as “anyone we choose” and define “the battlefield” as broadly as “planet earth and the galaxies beyond?”

    • skdadl says:

      If true, that is sickening. Do the lawyers present read Obama’s EO (link from the LA Times article) to mean that he is contemplating a continuing program of renditions?

      I don’t know what to say about this kind of smug arrogance –

      CIA veterans involved in renditions characterized the program as important but of limited intelligence-gathering use. It is used mainly for terrorism suspects not considered valuable enough for the CIA to keep, they said.

      “The reason we did interrogations [ourselves] is because renditions for the most part weren’t very productive,” said a former senior CIA official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject.

      The most valuable intelligence on Al Qaeda came from prisoners who were in CIA custody and questioned by agency experts, the official said. Once prisoners were turned over to Egypt, Jordan or elsewhere, the agency had limited influence over how much intelligence was shared, how prisoners were treated and whether they were later released.

      “In some ways, [rendition] is the worst option,” the former official said. “If they are in U.S. hands, you have a lot of checks and balances, medics and lawyers. Once you turn them over to another service, you lose control.”

      – except that it has to stop. Where is the logic in saying that a sadistic program was important but of limited value? Anyone who knows the stories of El-Masri or Arar or the scores of others who became playthings for the ignorant but pumped-up frat-boys of the torture regime knows that this just plain has to come to an end.

      Remember this? “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal …” That doesn’t say “all Americans.” It doesn’t say “all Harvard graduates.” It speaks of all mankind, and nothing is going to get better until people who wield power can recite it in good faith, which they sure are not doing now.

      Sorry: I got very angry reading that report. There is nothing I believe in more deeply than freedom of conscience, and no crime I consider greater than mucking about with someone else’s head. Put criminals in jail, sure, for their criminal behaviour; but it is a crime and a sin to try to take their minds from them, which is the whole point of torture. We are a damned species if we don’t learn that.

      • bmaz says:

        The better question is how it is used. There has long been a “rendition” program; it is really nothing more than extradition to a foreign state with a warrant or legal claim upon the person of the individual transferred. There is a legal process, even if somewhat weak. Then there are extraordinary renditions, which is what you are reacting to, and which were abused by the Bush Administration. Extraordinary renditions are extra-judicial and, although started in a very limited fashion and used a few times, very selectively, by the Clinton administration, exploded in use under Bush/Cheney and were used not primarily to export terrorists from the US to foreign nations with a claim, but, instead, were used to snatch individuals in foreign lands and transfer them to other foreign locations for torture, all without legal process of any kind. So, there is a degree of conduct that must be considered when evaluating “renditions”. If Obama sticks to some defined legal process, then okay; if he intends to continue the Bush/Cheney practice, that is unacceptable.

        • wigwam says:

          This sort of thing can be justified under the principle of universal juristiction:

          How many states have used universal jurisdiction in their national courts?
          Amnesty International’s study of universal jurisdiction shows that since the end of the Second World War more than a dozen states have conducted investigations, commenced prosecutions and completed trials based on universal jurisdiction for the crimes or arrested people with a view to extraditing the persons to a state seeking to prosecute them. These states include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States (for more details of these cases see: Universal Jurisdiction: The duty of states to enact and implement legislation). [Amnesty International]

  24. tanbark says:

    Plunger, just so. Same old story; truth is the first casualty of war.

    Bush and his minions like Powell drowned it in a vial of salt and “The British Government has learned…” koolaid before the first Abrams rolled across the dry-bed Rubicon in Kuwait.

  25. nextstopchicago says:

    Overwhelmingly, the people Duelfer was talking about on his list, including those who would have wound up on the blacklist for harassment, were Sunnis. The Duelfer list certainly doesn’t explain the rise of Sadr.

    As to Wigwam at 51 about Obama and rendition, I think the article is a little loose with words. What is the essence of rendition, as we oppose it? For me, it’s the idea of secret kidnapping and sending people to secret dungeons in other countries, and of course torture.

    The article states that Obama’s executive order says renditions can’t result in “transfer to other nations to face torture.” And then there are quotes from Tom Malinowski at Human Rights Watch, that he believes this will be a limited rendition program with carefully circumscribed rules, and he’s still pushing for the requirement that suspects only be transferred to a country where they’ll be given a public court hearing. To me, if those conditions are in place, it has nothing to do with the Bush administration’s rendition program.

    In general, if Human Rights Watch is still maintaining a wait-and-see attitude, I am too. I respect them a lot, and I’m a member. My letters often carry their little blue return address labels (a little tidbit for those whack jobs who think I’m a Cheney dead-ender because I pointed out Duelfer’s book didn’t offer the evidence people were saying it did – sheesh! I’m not letting Cheney or Rumsfeld off any hooks. I just think following the facts closely is more important that following the mistakes of reviewers in the Post.)

  26. skdadl says:

    Hmmn. To me, that is extradition, which is different from rendition of either kind. Canada, eg, will extradite at the request of another nation (ok: some other nations), under certain conditions. In theory, anyway, we will not extradite anyone without an assurance that s/he will not be subject to a capital charge. (Stephen Harper has been making that principle a little more elastic lately.)

    Rendition of any kind seems to me to mean that one state is moving a person under its control to another nation for reasons of its own, not because the other nation made the request in the first place. I do not understand why this is done.

  27. JohnLopresti says:

    OT re extraordinaryRendition: US gave Aznar few hours notice January 10, 2002 of arrival of US ghostplane; foreign press published details November 30 2008.

  28. freepatriot says:

    right now, I just can’t wrap my brain around a discussion of the difference between rendition and extraordinary rendition

    let the future take care of itself for a few hours

    Warren Sapp just said the cards ain’t played a team that hits like pittsburo

    not philly, not carolina

    stillers haveheld every back under 100 yards rushing, and kept every qb under 300 yards passing

    mmmmm, DEE FENSE

  29. MadDog says:

    One thing that struck me in this conversation about “extraordinary rendition” is “language”, and that in fact, words do have meaning.

    As bmaz and others have pointed out, “rendition” itself has some defining characteristics:

    1. The lawful transfer of persons by the sending country.
    2. The lawful reception of the persons by the receiving country.
    3. The intent for the transferred persons to be subject to the lawful judicial processes by the receiving country.

    Notice the word “lawful”. It has meaning.

    Now consider the Bush/Cheney Administration’s choice of the the word “extraordinary”.

    What could the Bush/Cheney Administration have had in mind by an “extraordinary” rendition?

    Something “extraordinary” wouldn’t one surmise? Such as:

    1. The unlawful transfer of persons by the sending country.
    2. The unlawful reception of the persons by the receiving country.
    3. The intent for the transferred persons to be subject to the unlawful non-judicial processes by the receiving country.

    Sometimes words are meant to obfuscate. Sometimes in doing so, they unintentionally illuminate.

  30. bmaz says:

    And that is exactly what I was trying to get across. Semantics matter sometimes, and here may be one of those times I guess. The rubber meets the road in what Obama does, not arguing over the word itself. Extraordinary rendition is not rendition etc. etc.

      • texasaggie says:

        rendition is to send someone you don’t want to where they don’t want to go to be received by someone that really doesn’t want them, sort of like we rendered a Canadian to Syria to be tortured.

        extradition is to return someone to a country that is demanding their return to face criminal charges, sort of like Colombia has extradited some of the narcos to the US to face charges here.

        • bmaz says:

          With all due respect, that is not the case. That is simply what you, and many others have now conveniently decided to call it. Historically, as I pointed out earlier, that is flat out wrong however. In fact, originally, rendition was a form of extradition. If you wish to say your piece about extraordinary rendition, fine; but that should not be commingled with traditional rendition. If you are going to make clear cut definitions for people, please do not be lazy and wrong.

          • eCAHNomics says:

            So why was it called rendition, instead of sticking to the word extradition? What is the difference, and if there’s none, why invent a new word?

  31. texasaggie says:

    It would seem logical that the Cheney/Bush regime would want to identify those who would be in their way when they made Iraq into an oil producing colony of the American Empire. This way of working is the type of thing that they were very good at. First identify the leaders whose allegiance is to the Iraqis and then get rid of them.

  32. bmaz says:

    Beats me, I didn’t invent this stuff. Go look it up; rendition has been around for a while, it did not start with Bush, nor Clinton for that matter. There is a history, I am not responsible for it; I am simply trying to correct a misperception.

    • skdadl says:

      It is my entirely amateurish understanding that extradition works by individual treaties between states.

      My country has an extradition treaty with the U.S., as it does with a number of other states. They all probably say much the same thing, but they set conditions. The other state applies, and we agree to send the alleged perp back to applicant state only if the conditions are met.

      Please don’t extradite me for saying that I don’t think that rendition is anything like that. I am a nice guy.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That’s pretty close. Extradition is the transfer of alleged criminals from state to state via an agreed international legal process. It provides the person who is the subject of an extradition an opportunity to contest his or her removal in open court. There are various grounds for protest, commonly including that the “crime” be a crime in the sending state as well as the requesting state, that the nature of the punishment to be received on conviction is not abhorrent to the sending state, and that the requesting state’s legal process meet minimum, generally recognized standards of due process. I don’t think that thought crimes and torture qualify.

        Rendition is pretty much being stuck in the back of the panel van with duct tape covering your opportunity to be heard while en route to an airstrip and an undisclosed location for further enhanced interrogation. Rendition pre-dated the Augusto Cheney regime as an infrequently used extraordinary measure. Adolf Eichmann’s abduction and transport to Israel, for example. As with other steps his administration “invented”, Mr. Cheney made the exceptional, in extremis act common, purported to legalize it, and stripped the object of rendition of any legal process on the receiving end, thereby fundamentally changing the act in all but name. It mirrors what Karl Rove did in making routine campaigning the principal activity, replacing governing, in the White House.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          That should be “extraordinary” rendition rather than simple rendition, though under Bush the former subsumed the latter, hence, the need for an Addington-like adjective to make something new seem venerable and accepted.

  33. CTuttle says:

    Bremer’s first viceroyal decree on De-Ba’athification was nothing short of an abomination as was his order No. 2 in the disbanding of the Iraqi army… Both, set back the Iraqis by years… One thing that keeps getting lost in the history of this fiasco is the notion that there were two competing factions within the WH over how to proceed in Iraq… You had Rummy/Darth/Feith’s DoD OSP neocon cabal and the weakened CIA/State Dept. professionals all vying for Shrub’s short attention span… Altho, Tenet was a panderer, he and Powell were relegated to the sidelines mostly… We need to keep that distinction in mind…!

  34. nextstopchicago says:


    If what you’re saying was the proper division, then who were the conduits to Bush for the CIA/State people? You say not Tenet nor Powell. Then who?

    • CTuttle says:

      Therein lies the rub… Tenet and Powell were the sole conduits for State/CIA…! Darth owned Shrub’s ear… You do recall the phrase ’stovepipe’, eh…? Wilkerson/Woodward/etal… Have all memorialized the OSP’s undue influence over the entire fiasco!

      • nextstopchicago says:

        I thought you were arguing that something that “gets lost” is that there was some other CIA/State faction. The Powell/State/etc. faction and their increasing marginalization hardly seems to have gotten lost in retrospectives of the Iraq build-up.

        Tenet was so weak (I don’t even mean bureaucratically, but personally, his character was so weak, so lacking in any underpinnings, morally or otherwise) that it’s impossible even to know what his viewpoint was and who he spoke for, so I wouldn’t put him in an anti-cheney/rumsfeld faction at all.

  35. JClausen says:

    Might not the distinction between extradiction and rendition lie in the “secret” detention and return as opposed to the “legal arrest” and return via treaty?

  36. bobschacht says:

    Doesn’t look like any trash talk either here or over at the Tillman thread. I got my beverages and snacks all set to go. The Star has been Spangled, and the Banner Waved, so after a zillion ads, we’re ready for intros, I guess.

    Bob in HI

  37. bobschacht says:

    Geez, now they’re trotting out Gen. David Petraus. What’s he doing there?

    Oh… This is General Publicity Hound. Why does Obama keep him around?

    Bob in HI

    • dakine01 says:

      I believe Petraeus is CentCom Commander. Headquartered at MacDill AFB. In Tampa. Location of Super Bowl XLIII.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Continuing with the militarization of America. Next up, Jon Stuart in uniform. Well, maybe a nurse’s uniform.

  38. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As bmaz insists, semantics matter; that’s why Cheney, Addington & Co., went to such lengths to make what they did seem routine when it was a perversion of the law and justice.

    Rendition is a general term simply meaning rendering or delivering a person up to a requesting state pursuant to one of a variety of processes, extradition today being the most common.

    Extraordinary rendition is a pun on extradition, which is not its contraction. The latter is a process replete with legal safeguards for an accused. The former is the political version of Augusto Pinocheney slapping his onto the table and claiming it’s the biggest in town.

    The Congressional Research Service’s 2007 report on rendition and torture contains useful definitions:


    • skdadl says:

      Thanks very much, eoh. That report is very practical, describes (to some extent anyway) what U.S. practice has been, where conflicts and controversies have been perceived — that was interesting.

  39. bluebutterfly says:

    This trial has been delayed a few times since it began on June 2007. If it goes ahead, it might put an end to rendition.

    ” The Milan trial involves 26 Americans and five Italian intelligence agents charged in the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric. Most of the Americans are CIA agents. “

    ” It is the first trial to involve the CIA’s program of secretly transferring terrorism suspects to third countries where, critics of the program contend, they risked torture. “

    ” Judge Oscar Magi suspended the trial until March 18 in the expectation that Italy’s Constitutional Court would have resolved the national security issue by then. A ruling from the high court is due March 10.”


  40. tanbark says:

    BobSchacht @ 84; he can’t afford to let go of him this soon. But as long as leaves him there, along with Odierno channelling George Patton, the two of them will continue to make policy in Iraq. And it won’t be the policy of getting us out. Fairly soon, he’s going to have to replace them with someone who’s not willing to use our military for a career advancement agenda, or as Bush’s residual jackoff rag.

    It shouldn’t be hard to find someone who understands that we have to leave, and sooner rather than later, and Obama should take advantage of the relative stability, while it holds. I expect 3-6 months, for regime change at CentCom. :o)