On PDB Day, a New Direction against Terrorism? John Brennan’s Coming Out Party?

Eight years ago, our President was on vacation, ignoring a Presidential Daily Brief that warned, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US." The brush on a pig farm in Texas, you see, was far more  important.

And here we are now, six whole days in to August, and Obama’s just got one week planned on Martha’s Vineyard. How will the brush get cleared? How will the PDBs get ignored?

Obama has chosen today, PDB day, for John Brennan’s coming out party, where Brennan will present Obama’s new direction in counterterrorism. (Spencer will be liveblogging from the talk at the Windy).

There are parts of today’s speech that are welcome. This is a reiteration of Obama’s March renunciation of the War on Terror.

"This is not a ‘war on terror.’ . . . We cannot let the terror prism guide how we’re going to interact and be involved in different parts of the world." 

It’s an embrace of soft power–a real engagement with the rest of the world. (Mind you, Bush tried it, but sent Karen Hughes to do the job.)

Washington must couple the military strikes that have depleted al-Qaeda’s middle ranks with more sustained use of economic, diplomatic and cultural levers to diminish Islamist radicalization, he said, exercising "soft power" in ways that President George W. Bush came to embrace but had trouble carrying out.

 But it also seems to represent the ascendancy of John Brennan, Obama’s holdover from Bush’s War on Terror team.

"His portfolio is growing, not shrinking," said Mark Lippert, a longtime Obama foreign policy aide and now chief of staff for the National Security Council, which is run by Brennan’s boss, national security adviser James L. Jones. Brennan’s role spans terrorism, cybersecurity, swine flu and some intelligence matters. "He has the president’s trust. . . . Folks from all parts of the policy and intelligence community respect him," Lippert said. 

I’m sure John Brennan is very knowledgable and all. But he was also, apparently, intimately involved in the illegal activities of the Bush Administration, particularly Bush’s domestic surveillance program

So soft power is all well and good–provided we make a more competent attempt at it than Karen Hughes was able to muster. But will it move beyond the abuse of power Brennan was involved in under Bush?

Spencer has an appropriately skeptical look at this at the Windy:

… it’s on Brennan to explain how this approach is more than saying, No, no, we mean it this time … Is there an ideological component? Or does that implicitly overestimate the intellectual force that al-Qaeda possesses and counterproductively links al-Qaeda to a mainstream of Islamic thought? How does Brennan link Afghanistan, where the mission appears to be moving to something beyond counterterrorism, to this effort? Are these changes in policy or changes in branding?

And: how do the Republicans react? If the Obama administration is doing anything, it’s slowly killing the idea of a war on terrorism, which became almost a culture-war issue during the Bush era. “You cannot win a war when you don’t believe you’re fighting one,” President George W. Bush hectored in the days before the 2004 election.

Maybe it’ll draw Cheney out of his cave to attack Obama–we haven’t had a Darth Cheney sighting in a while.

  1. plunger says:

    “Washington must couple the military strikes that have depleted al-Qaeda’s middle ranks with more sustained use of economic, diplomatic and cultural levers to diminish Islamist radicalization, he said, exercising “soft power” in ways that President George W. Bush came to embrace but had trouble carrying out.”

    Depleted al-Qaeda’s middle ranks?

    Hell, the Bush Administration claimed to have killed “Bin Laden’s #2″ (as if he were alive himself) no less than thirty times over the course of their crusades.

    If the middle ranks are depleted and the alleged number two guy has been killed, repeatedly, who’s allegedly left?

    We could ask Banazir Bhutto, if Cheney hadn’t offed her for spilling the beans about Bin Laden’s murder on the BBC’s air with David Frost.

  2. BoxTurtle says:

    Remember, ObamaCo doesn’t seem to consider BushCo spying programs illegal. In fact, ObamaCo seem strongly supportive that the programs continue and expand.

    So Brennan’s link to the programs would be considered a plus, not a minus.

    Boxturtle (They know who you are and they saw what you did – The Paranoids Guide to THEM)

    • emptywheel says:

      I think Brennan’s actually the egg that came before that chicken. As he got more and more centrally involved in, first, the campaign and, then, the Administration, Obama and Holder backed off their assessments that it was illegal more and more.

      • Phoenix Woman says:

        One big problem seems to be that intelligence services, almost by definition, are set up to be dirty — or so many intel folk will tell you. Even when they start out relatively clean like Panetta, they soon get sucked into the whole “we must do this or the country gets it” mindset.

        • Hugh says:

          Even when they start out relatively clean like Panetta, they soon get sucked into the whole “we must do this or the country gets it” mindset

          Panetta has been Director for all of 5 1/2 months. I think very little sucking in was involved. I say this all the time but the Democratic Establishment agreed with most of what Bush did. They thought his execution and his PR were bad, and they think they can do both of these better but they still want to do the same kinds of things that Bush did. Obama’s choice of Brennan is typical of this mindset. Obama’s Presidency is not a break with but a continuation of the Bush Administration, but “done” better and better packaged for the rubes.

        • Sara says:

          “One big problem seems to be that intelligence services, almost by definition, are set up to be dirty — or so many intel folk will tell you. Even when they start out relatively clean like Panetta, they soon get sucked into the whole “we must do this or the country gets it” mindset.”

          This was set up for us in popular fiction back in the late 1960’s — One must remember that the identity of 007 — James Bond — was that he had a license to kill. And the personnel behind the scenes, what we call the anaylitical side, has license to lie, cheat and steal. That assumption was there from the very beginning. The legacy for CIA was OSS, which did things like jumping Jedburgh teams into occupied France to meet up with resistance groups, provide them with radio transmission assets so they could attack and kill the right German units, and blow up the essential bridges so as to protect the Normandy Landings.

          Perhaps a better example of the legacy “license to Kill” and the equally important legacy of a “License to lie, cheat and steal” is the story of Moe Berg, the famous Baseball Catcher, (Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago White Sox) who was also an exceptional linguist, who was recruited by Donovan and Leslie Groves to do espionage on the probable German Nuclear Program during WWII. It is a lengthy and fascinating story, but ultimately Moe Berg ends up attending a series of lectures by Heisenberg in Switzerland in 1944, on Nuclear Physics Research. He is tasked with figuring out whether Heisenberg is working on a bomb — asks leading questions during the technical seminar, and concludes his work is not in that direction. Yet while following Heisenberg around — he is also equipt with a gun with silencer. Moe Berg, famous for catching fastballs, had both licenses — the license to lie, cheat and steal to acquire information regarding Heisenberg’s interests and then current work — and if the answers on those matters was wrong, then he had the license to kill.

          Things have not really changed all that much in the spying game — some call it the second oldest Profession. Getting a handle on how any spy service operates involves analysis of these famous old cases to comprehend why they were undertaken, and how. And yes — a license to lie, cheat and steal on one hand, and a liscense to kill on the other has always been part of how it works.

      • BoxTurtle says:

        I will always wonder if they backed off of illegal because they didn’t want to prosecute BushCo or because the illegal stuff was so darn handy to have around.

        Boxturtle (Could be both, I suppose)

      • Mary says:

        This is what happens in boys clubs, even the ones that end up with a few of us women in them these days. Once you get wrapped in the day to day associations with someone, working with them, the boys club response is close ranks and provide cover – to not be the one to rat out the bad guys in your club. It’s why there have been no heroes and its why, with torture and murder and corrupt lies to the nation to take it to a war that has destroyed the lives and families and futures and minds and bodies of millions – the only thing that perked up anyone at DOJ was when they started picking off other members of the club.

        Bomb someone’s wife, kidnap and torture their children, commit a few million FISA felonies, send innocent people off to be used in torture experiments all to test how much executive imperialism Americans will stomach – that’s all ok. But give walking papers to a fellow DOJer who doesn’t have a more lucrative gig lined up — that’s gonna generate an indignant response!

        And notice that’s the only one Obama has really done much about – giving a slot to Iglesias, to Bogden, etc. The boys club is what matters to him, more and more and more.

        To the point that no one even has a marginal awareness that “soft power” won’t change much without justice. And justice isn’t found, literally or figuratively, shooting hoops with torture conspirators.

        • Leen says:

          thank you Mary. And many of the girls allowed into the “boys club” do not really ask challenging questions either. Keep wondering when will they allow Jane or EW into that WH Press Corp room? The MSM is represented in that rook but not the blogosphere…

          Obama took cupcakes to Helen Thomas for her birthday (sweet) yet does not call on her during press conferences. We know she would ask a zinger of a question cutting to the core of the issues.

          Helen “Nixon didn’t try to do that,” Thomas said. “They couldn’t control (the media). They didn’t try.

          “What the hell do they think we are, puppets?” Thomas said. “They’re supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them.”

          Thomas said she was especially concerned about the arrangement between the Obama Administration and a writer from the liberal Huffington Post Web site. The writer was invited by the White House to President Obama’s press conference last week on the understanding that he would ask Obama a question about Iran from among questions that had been sent to him by people in Iran.

          “When you call the reporter the night before you know damn well what they are going to ask to control you,” Thomas said.”


          • Mary says:

            That’s right, boys club is just the euphemism. They have a diversity that spans from a Bush to a Gonzales to a Goodling to Townsend. The worst results come when you have people who were excluded young from the “it” crowds and are then given the opportunities they dangled in front of Yoo and Bradbury, to be important and in the loop and … special.

        • fatster says:

          It’s also a matter of selecting people you know you can control, too, isn’t it? A Howard Dean would be too threatening because he is not necessarily someone who is going to toe the line at all times. Ditto Krugman, etc. I have observed boys’ clubs lo all these years, and only the obedient who recognize and kowtow to the Alpha Male in the club are allowed inside. These days, a token female or two, perhaps, but only if they’re quiet and do as they’re told.

          Here we are looking for leadership, intelligent and savvy leadership, and we end up with a boys’ club. Sheesh.

  3. Leen says:

    “Maybe it’ll draw Cheney out of his cave to attack Obama–we haven’t had a Darth Cheney sighting in a while.”

    Heard my 82 year old dad and a 103 year old Clara (still sharp as a tack) say very similar things the other day in the nursing home. They were both wondering where Cheney is hiding out

    “soft power” under Bush sure left hundreds of thousands of people turned to dust and crippled

  4. Mary says:

    And on the smiting front, could the WaPo reporters be more smitten?

    A “Jesuit-like” hero who can righteously reconcile forever detentions of CIA torture victims and bombing to kill family members of targets with the absence of a war. A man who can understand the nuance of expanding the civilian killing campaigns not only into Pakistan, but Somalia and Yemen as well.

    A “Jesuit-like” hero who can gently handle that “fragile bipartisan consensus over continuing Bush-era policies that damaged al-Qaeda” (Nothing damaged al-Qaeda like the Iraq war and torturing al-libi to order after all – and there’s nothing more “Jesuit-like” than bombing wives and children and kidnap for torture and touting it as effective policy to damage evil doers)

    A “Jesuit-like” hero who can “lower the temperature” of discussions with his contemplative answers to the fragile, bipartisan question of “who WOULD Jesus bomb” and then sell the need to advance American ideals – of Executive power to torture with no justice for innocent victims – as a further prong of Satan’s Pitchfork um, *regional stability.*

    What the hell did the Jesuits do to WaPo to justify that piece?

      • Mary says:

        Give Georgetown its due – Gonzales’ reception.

        Granted, there was no hanging in effigy and screams and shouts like the Freakdom Smirks demonstrations we get these days, but turning the back was a nice touch imo.

        A serious comment on soft power. They don’t have a model for it, and they aren’t going to generate a model for it with CIA torture conspirators involved. Yes, they have models for supposedly providing assistance along the lines of education, jobs, etc. But how do you go into communities where you’ve blown up children in their beds and get the big group hug? How does the State Department go in and work “through” the corrupt govts that we put in place and the Blackwaters and KBRs and generate anything but more resentment and waste? How does a State dept run by the wife of someone who kicked off the extraordinary renditions program – a State Dept that will not condemn any abuses of Islamic populations by our own governments or the puppets we have in control – how does that State Dept gain legitimacy?

        Sure, you can “go soft” when what you are really wanting is to just buy off strong arm dictators as opposed to addressing underlynig issues. But how has that “soft power” approach worked in even more “stable” areas like Egypt and Saudi Arabia? It’s not like those countries generated any … Well, at least its not like they are exporting …

        Who do you affiliate with to try to provide services to address education and poverty and transport and communication – soft power to address some of the underlying issues – when you support war crimes, as long as they are committed by “us’uns?” What legitimate organization affiliates itself with that, and if they do, how do they keep their legitimacy in local eyes? Sure, people will que up for jobs and for education and they may even disavow from something like the extreme edges of Taliban ideology. But if we think they just forget the refugees, the mass graves we refused to unearth, the wedding parties bombed, the corruption we supported, the checkpoint killings, the disappearances, the courts forced into corruption or judges forced out of the courts in order to accomodate US wishes, etc. then we are wrong.

        If Brennan has really sold Obama on “hey, let’s just go tell the orphans we created not to look back, then it’ll all be great and if not, we’ll just bomb, ‘kay?” as the winning pathway, then it’s pretty sad to think Obama was our “best” choice.

        Would a “soft power” effort in Chile, led by a CIA-ex, to clean up the Pinochet mess have a lot of crediblity?

        We can’t even trust our own Government not to assist in the murder of US citizen missionary families, even an infant – but yeah, we can sell whole tribes and geographic regions who have seen much worse on “not looking back” by offering up the kind of “soft power” that lines KBR’s pockets while providing jobs for ex-Blackwater “security.” And you’ll need that security, bc for everyone who does que up to try to benefit from our “soft power” there will be those who don’t forget, won’t forget and will always be waiting for their moment.

        Whether it is soft or not, power is the enemy of the powerless – justice is their ally. If you don’t balance your power with justice, you will always be the enemy. Domestic or abroad.

        • Petrocelli says:

          Mary, I would like your permission to send this comment to Obama … if that last line does not illicit a response,
          I won’t waste any more time e-mailing him in the future.

          • Gitcheegumee says:

            I think its one of the best comments I have ever read and said so Bravo,upthread.

            And although I couldn’t be so eloquent as Mary,might I make a tiny suggestion to the last sentence?

            Whether it is soft or not, power is the enemy of the powerless – justice is their ally——————–

            Power is not the enemy,but abuse of power is the enemy of the powerless.


            • Petrocelli says:

              From my own knowledge as a meditation teacher, I disagree with your version.

              Power = energy. Justice = conscience = consciousness. At their root, energy and consciousness are distinct from each other. Energy centered in itself is ignorant of conscience and therefore justice.

              Power driven/power hungry = ego- centered. Therefore abuse of power in its essence is repetitive.

              Power must be intrinsically linked to justice, or you hurt yourself and others. Power without Justice makes you destructive to yourself [ domestic ] and others [ abroad ]. Obama is smart enough to understand this, whether he does enough with this knowledge remains to be seen.

              • Mary says:

                You know, I think you just gave me more to think about with your comment than my comment would give Obama to think about. As a matter of fact, I think maybe you should send your comment – it’s a really good perspective.

                • Petrocelli says:

                  I had to take my two darlings for Fresh Cherry Cheesecake (where on Earth did they get that fetish ?)

                  Your comment leads nicely into mine, so I’ll send both … if his peeps respond, I will let you know.

                  And your praise is well noted, thank you. My comment hints at one of the tenets that my Books are based on,
                  and came after lots of meditations (and Cheesecake).

          • Mary says:

            Feel free to send it, reword it, shape it, etc. I’ve rambled enough for long enough to not have much hope that words will count for anything, but I always root for hope, even when I don’t have it.

  5. Gitcheegumee says:


    FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Subpoenaed, Set to ‘Break’ Gag Order Unless DoJ Intercedes
    Former agency translator called to testify in Ohio election case this Saturday on Turkish infiltration of U.S. government…

    Unless the Dept. of Justice re-invokes their twice-invoked “state secrets privilege” claim in order to once again gag former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, her attorneys have notified the department by hand-delivered, sworn letter of declaration this week, that she intends to give a public deposition, open to the media, in response to a subpoena this Saturday in Washington D.C..

    Edmonds has confirmed her intentions to answer any questions asked of her during the sworn proceedings, fully and publicly, during conversations with The BRAD BLOG this week. She notes that her agreement with her former employer, the FBI — who fired her illegally after she filed whistleblower allegations about corruption and foreign infiltration in the linguistics department — includes certain non-disclosure requirements. However, those requirements do not preclude her answering to a legally issued court subpoena.

    The subpoena and request for sworn deposition is part of a case now pending before the Ohio Elections Commission in which Ohio’s Republican U.S. Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-2nd District) has filed a complaint against her 2008 independent challenger, David Krikorian who Schmidt has charged distributed false statements about her during last year’s campaign…

    FULL STORY: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7341

    Read more: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7341

  6. klynn says:

    Maybe it’ll draw Cheney out of his cave to attack Obama–we haven’t had a Darth Cheney sighting in a while.

    It’s not so much the sighting I care about, or the hiding. It’s the plotting of events to attack that concern me about Cheney.

    • Leen says:

      the undermining of U.S. National Security to protect his own ass and the interest of $$$$ and power

    • siri says:

      i’m with YOU, klynn. When Dick “dick” Chainey [sic] is quiet, i am CONCERNED. What’s he DOING? Who’s he meeting with and what are the “plans”???
      and is baby dick included?

      • maryo2 says:

        I have been thinking that GWB is staying quiet to distance the Bush name from things that happened in his two terms (everything from torture to politicizing the DOJ, to invading Iraq, just everything). Little Dick is out doing the heavy lifting. I wonder if they are planning to run a Jeb/Lil Dick ticket in 2012.

  7. Gitcheegumee says:

    I am putting this one in my WTF? file,for right now:

    Kenya — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says it is a “great regret” that the United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court.

    Clinton spoke Thursday in Kenya during a seven-nation tour of Africa.

    The court is the first permanent institution authorized to try individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so.

    The U.S. formally rejected U.S. participation in May 2002. A main concern was that American servicemen hunting down terrorists abroad might not be safe from politically motivated prosecutions.

    Clinton said it is “a great regret but it is a fact that we are not yet a signatory. But we have supported the court and continue to do so.”

    Huf Po_____________________________________

    Is this MORE Kabuki theater?

  8. fatster says:

    Good article, EW. Yet again.

    Meanwhile, a few things I just picked up on my way over here..

    GOP Congressman Jokes: Dems “Almost Got Lynched
    By Eric Kleefeld – August 6, 2009, 9:13AM

    “Here’s another way for Republicans to handle the disruptions at Democratic town hall events: Joke about lynching.”


    Dem Congressman Cancels Town Halls, Says He Fears “Brown Shirt Tactics”

    “Republicans think they’ve nabbed a Dem Congressman in a bad gaffe, and are hoping to use it today to shift the argument over the town hall meetings their way.

    “Specifically: Dem Rep. Brian Baird of Washington State has canceled in-person town halls, citing the protestors’ use of “Brown Shirt tactics.” ‘


  9. Boston1775 says:

    Due to the fact that Steven Jones, Niels Harrit and seven other scientists have discovered nano-thermite in WTC dust


    and a group of architects and engineers has clearly stated that WTC buildings 1, 2, and 7 fell at near freefall speeds which is not possible unless the steel and concrete was somehow not adding resistance/force,


    I am completely re-examining the War on Terror/Cover-up/Torture for purposes of Mind Control.

  10. Gitcheegumee says:


    Thanks for your opinion.

    I will be the first to admit that I have done scant research on Edmonds,although there seems to be MUCH enthusiasm for her alleged insider knowledge as a translator.

    Could you explain why you seem to have a negative opinion of her testimony,before she has even testified?

    WHO knows what she may reveal,unless DOJ shuts her down at the last minute?

    • bmaz says:

      She was a common line lever interpreter, and not on the job long at that; yet she claims to have the goods to solve everything. It is fantastical and not credible. It is like the infamous Sealed v. Sealed case; never proof, nor even evidence that there was anything there, but desperate people bite off on the bullshit and think it is some savior link in the chain. It wasn’t and never was; same with Edmonds. Here is a quote from Marcy about a year ago:

      I’ve seen evidence (regarding Brewster and Jennings) that seems to refute some things Edmonds has said; I’ve seen reasons to believe she was describing an entire world as viewed through one slat of the blinds on a picture window; and I’ve seen Chuck Grassley, a champion of whistle blowers, move on from Edmonds’ case. Which suggests many things.

      From what I have seen, she was being kind to Edmonds; Edmonds fantastical legend has grown geometrically greater than her truth could ever be. She may have a couple of nuggets of information gleaned from listening to conversations in her role as translator, I’ll grant that. But the rest is pure hype by my estimation.

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        Thank you again, for your response.

        Once again, I will say that all opinions are subjective.

        The truth,on the other hand, is not-although it can be shaded and obscured through a variey of lenses.

        The authenticity of what she may or may not testify to will certainly be subject to the court of public opinion.

        What IS of interest to me is the TIMING of this upcoming testimony,and that at this point,unlike the previos Bush administration, there seems to be little pressure to prevent her testimony.

        This could be a way for the Obama administration to get info out,without their appearing to do so,so to speak.

        Time will tell, and apparently, so will Edmonds.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh my, you also think this is some eleven dimensional chess by Obama “to get the info out”? You have got to be kidding me. I guess anything is technically possible; but I wouldn’t bet one red cent on it.

      • Leen says:

        Bmaz “yet she claims to have the goods to solve everything.”

        Have never heard her or read anything that she has written that claims anything like this. Exaggeration?

        Bmaz “never proof, nor even evidence that there was anything there,”

        Sure could apply that line to much of what is repeated in D.C. and on our MSM including the WMD’s in Iraq and the unsubstantiated claims that have been repeated by some of our elected and appointed leaders as well as the war team that lied this nation into an unnecessary and immoral war.

  11. fatster says:

    There’s also this one on detention, but I’m not sure the link is going to work.

    U.S. to Reform Policy on Detention for Immigrants

    Published: August 5, 2009

    “The Obama administration intends to announce an ambitious plan on Thursday to overhaul the much-criticized way the nation detains immigration violators, trying to transform it from a patchwork of jail and prison cells to what its new chief called a “truly civil detention system.”’


  12. Gitcheegumee says:

    and I’ve seen Chuck Grassley, a champion of whistle blowers, move on from Edmonds’ case. Which suggests many things………………

    Yes, I saw Chuck Grassley move on from the investigation into the multi-billion Televangelist investigations a couple of years ago,right about the time McCain ran for President-when a couple of the televangelists being investigated just happened to be McCain’s spiritual advisors,i.e,John Hagee and Rod Parsley.

    And am I mistaken that Grassley was just yesterday using Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor as a scare tactic in the health reform debate?

    Yes, apparently Grassley HAS moved on to other things.

  13. Gitcheegumee says:


    Les jeux sont deja faites.

    Once again, the timing is significant to me in that the testimony is in relation to the OHIO elections.

    The history of election hijinks in Ohio has been well researched on Brad Blog,epluribus media,and others.
    Incidentally, the Pastor Parsley mentioned above was part of the Patriot Pastors that “got out the vote ” for Ken Blackwell up in Ohio,Parsley’s home state.

    And need I even mention Mike Connell ?

  14. tanbark says:

    “PDB Day”…too good, Marcie. :o)

    Reckon we can get a postal stamp of Augustus courageously wielding his trusty Stihl chainsaw while Mohommad Atta and the rest were gearing up for 9-11?

  15. flyarm616 says:

    Well it seems there is some big giant “truth” Edmonds has that the Bush admins and our government does not want us to know..otherwise she would not have been silenced as she has been and to the extent that our government went to to shut her up..ever think there was a darn good reason she has gone so big?? Like the Wilson’s people learned ..be front and center to stay alive!

    • bmaz says:

      Um, yeah, I think the reason is a bunch of wild eyed people, desperate to believe, glommed onto her fantastical statements. There are a lot of other people in the Senate familiar with her debriefing, including Feingold; nobody has bitten off on her stuff. Nobody. Ever think there might be a reason for that? Or are they all in on the conspiracy, that only little old Sibel Edmunds can unlock, too??

      • flyarm616 says:

        The ACLU has stated Edmonds is, “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America”.

        They don’t just make false statements nilly willy..
        And a person does not beome “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America”…if there isn’t a reason our government wants to use States Secrets to silence someone..they have to have reasons.

        Sibel’s case went to the Supreme Court..and she wasn’t even allowed to go into the court to defend herself or what she knows.

        That is not done lightly, or for “wild eyed people” or someone who has “fantastical statements”

        The 9/11 families walked Sibel into the 9/11 commission..they are not “wild eyed people”. And yet even the 9/11 commission would only allow Sibel to speak to them private classified testimony.

        None of us knows what Sibel knows, we haven’t been allowed to hear what she knows..and that is not because she is frivolous or “fantastical”

        And even if she is deposed..we will only know the answers to which she is asked, nothing more.
        Personally, I worked for one of the airlines involved on 9/11 and I want to know exactly what she knows..I have waited a long time for those answers! And my co-workers families deserve to have those answers, as well as my 2 neighbors who lost their Son and Daughter on 9/11!

  16. Gitcheegumee says:

    It would appear that is more than enough reason for a bunch of desperate pols and the lobbyists who love ,them to discredit,and reject out of hand, that informtion which has yet to be given in testimony -especially in a public deposition.

    After all, the defining moments in the depostions will be determined by the interlocutors,themseves,namely the attorneys asking the questions.

    THAT is what the value of her testimony will hinge upon.

    Not what she knows,but WHAT she is asked.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, Sibel Edmunds will solve all the problems by her stirring testimony in some little pissant Mean Jean Schmidt case in Ohio. I would be thrilled if you were right, but there is not a chance in hell.

  17. SanderO says:

    What people missed about Obama, and maybe he was not out front about this… is he is into this “team of rivals” approach to government.

    We see it in the bi partisanship he calls for an has implemented in his administration.

    He is NOT going off on a left wing (port) tack. Not gonna happen.

    The question is if he wants to get on port tack eventually.

    To use a sailing analogy. Large square riggers cannot tack like modern sailboat. To change direction THROUGH the wind they have to do what’s called waring – they go down wind… essentially backwards in a large slow circle and end up on port tack.

    • Mary says:

      I’ll go with the boat analogy.

      Big ships turn slowly, but with no one at the wheel, they just drift along just like wreckage.

  18. bmaz says:

    “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America”.

    By what standard? What a pile of rubbish. Listen, if you want to believe in the all encompassing truth of Sibel Edmonds, have at it. More power to you. I have merely pointed out that there is not diddly squat reason or evidence to believe she could, in fact, be all that she claims. I know how heretical it is to say that, but there you have it. I hope you are right and I am wrong, and will leave this discussion with that.

    • SanderO says:

      I believe Sibel knows where some bodies are.

      I also believe that if what she knows is no biggie she would not be gagged as she has.

      We need to hear what she has to say, and at some point she need to defy the gag order, say it and see what happens. She may be sent to jail for breaching a gag order.

      But if what she reveals is a powerful as she claims then I think people would support her and her punishment would be / could be waived… or be pardoned.

  19. Dem02020 says:

    But it didn’t actually say that airplanes would be used as weapons and how could we ever connect the dots and there was a wall between the CIA and FBI and you saw the same intelligence that we did and the whole world thought he had WMDs even Bill Clinton…

    And so there, it’s OK that 3,000 Americans were murdered on the single morning of September 11 2001.

  20. Gitcheegumee says:


    Would you be so quick to dismiss a MAN’s insight,using the perjorative terms like “overhyped and hysterical”?

  21. Mary says:

    OT – Clinton calls for “prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officials [to] step up to their responsibility,” to prosecute war crimes!

    Um, in Kenya. Via Greenwald who was commenting on this NYT report. (BTW – the NYT report has much better linking than I have seen in WaPo and NYT stuff before) It seems that NYT has changed the headline since Greenwald put his piece up (where it was “Clinton Calls for Accountability in Kenya” it is now “Kenya’s Volatile Politics Shadow Clinton”)

    Of course we all know she’s putting the cart before the horse. You can’t ahve any kind of investigations in Kenya until they clear it with Chuck Todd.

    • Leen says:

      People around the world are watching and laughing at our arrogance and hypocrisy. Piles of dead bones in Iraq,Afghanistan, Pakistan as we spread democracy through the middle east (choke, cough)

  22. Gitcheegumee says:


    Can anyone tell me if Glenn Greenwald and Robert Greenwald are related?

    I know Robert Greenwald is affiliated with the BRAVE NEW FILMS that is doing the Mike Stark interviews.(Am I correct on this?) He has done some exceptional films,imho,in the past.

    Anybody know?

  23. Gitcheegumee says:

    No, I haven’t been around here for long.

    But I have been around long enough to recognize pomposity.

  24. Rayne says:

    Perhaps Brennan could be the poster child for reform. They keep one of them around, put them up front in high visibility, make them go through all the motions of re-learning how to implement soft power. If he screws up by backsliding, they put him on a political pike; if he manages to walk the new straight-and-narrow, they keep him and use him as an example of how the old dogs can stay if they but learn new tricks.

    There’s a method to this kind of madness. The only way the entire intel community will move forward is by persuading the Bushistas to adopt the new program, otherwise they will continue to foment dissension and sabotage the efforts to move to soft power. It’s a component of spiral dynamics in practice, the process of reshaping values at work.

    See Don Beck and Chris Cowan, authors of Spiral Dynamics; they applied their theory of spiral dynamics in South Africa post-apartheid, to ease the racial tensions once whites no longer were dominant politically. Their work is founded on Jungian psychology* — more closely aligned with the newer field of transpersonal psychology. South Africa still has substantial strategic challenges, but it no longer has the same level of tension it had immediately following the repeal of apartheid.

    Brennan might be a first step; if this were going to be broadly effective, there’d have to be a truth-and-reconciliation commission or something like it as well as the conversion of many other poster children.

    [* edit — should have added “as well as the work of Dr. Clare Graves.”]

  25. Boston1775 says:

    In the first link on the post it begins:

    Washington, D.C., 12 April 2004 – President Bush on Saturday, 10 April 2004, became the first sitting president ever to release publicly even a portion of his Daily Brief from the CIA. The page-and-a-half section of the President’s Daily Brief from 6 August 2001, headlined “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US,”

    What would cause this President to set precedent and release a portion of the PDB for the first time since the creation of the CIA?


    There have been countless threads implicating Bin Laden and the CIA.

    We know from the Afghan war that the US supported the Mujahadeen. That is fact. Was he still on the payroll prior to 911? Well, that is what we are here to find out. The CIA met with him in July of 2001 a few months prior to the 911 attacks. They must have known something was up then.


  26. bmaz says:

    Nice. Thanks for that. I have responded to every question you have posed and done so honestly. And for that you call me pompous because I have a different view? That is not very chivalrous now is it? Again, I truly hope you are right and I am wrong about the worth of Edmunds, I really do; we need a break in this somewhere. But I have never seen any supporting evidence that she could or does have any evidence other than some minor things that could come out of the translations she was working on for what was really a pretty short period. If you want to call me pompous for sticking to the facts and reasonable inferences therefrom, more power to you; go ahead and get your jollies.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Thank you .

      I realize that the medium of communicating via “teh toobz” leaves much to one’s subjective interpretation.

      However when one pontificates with authority over that WHICH IS NOT KNOWN OR HAS YET BEEN INTRODUCED into EVIDENCE, to my ear and eye, it denotes pomposity.

      I have no wish to offend you or defend Edmonds.

      And I certainly do not wish to sound pompous,either.

      I am merely expressing my opinion as to my perception.

    • Sara says:

      “Sara !

      Did you see who’s chairing the Senate Vote on Sotomayor ?”

      Yep — my post got delayed cause I had to sit right in front of the TV so as to get the picture in full. Once he gets the hang of the script he is going to do “Senator-in-Charge” very professionally.

      Watching Al has been fun. About ten days ago when they did the Armed Services Appropriations Bill late one night, he was hanging over Senator Levin’s shoulder following every in and out of the process by which he disposed of a huge list of amendments, stripped the House Bill of whole reams worth of pages, cut and pasted in the Senate Version, and then dealt with the question. Al was following every word Levin uttered closely — clearly asking questions which Levin answered by pointing to big piles of paper either tossed out, or pasted in — and he was reading Levin’s script as he moved the monster through. On the Job education.

      • Leen says:

        Am really glad that Franken is there. Intelligent, fair, balanced and “dog gone’ we like him. Sometimes I can’t help myself when I watch him he just brings a smile to my face.

        Just hope and pray he can be fair when it comes to legislation having to do with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Would be refreshing

      • Petrocelli says:

        I have been a yoga/meditation aficionado for 23+ years and I find Comedians & Musicians who keep their head clear, to be among the most intelligent people I’ve ever met.

        Of course, I’m saying this on a blog overflowing with wisdom & intelligence …

        If Feingold can get the Progressives united and make Al their mouthpiece, Senate Hearings in the Fall will be very entertaining !

        • bobschacht says:

          Feingold would be my choice for Progressive Leader. He is the ONLY Democrat to vote against the Republicans in Glenn Greenwald’s list of the 12 worst “Bipartisan” legislation bills approved during the Bush administration in his diary on January 30, 2008.

          Bob in HI

  27. Nell says:

    I don’t think it’s kabuki. Then-Pres. Clinton signed us on to the ICC, and was pained by Bush’s early action to retract our sign-on. The executive branch could (and should) sign us back up at any time, but it will be purely symbolic without ratification by Senate.

    Good symbolism, though… Obama’s favorite. But it would be awkward to re-sign on while we have all these agreements we’ve forced countries where we send mil aid and/or have bases to sign (renouncing invocation of ICC against us). Otherwise it would be a perfect Obama wordswordswords gesture.

    (As in Honduras, where the U.S. government has taken two significant, concrete actions to pressure the coup government in the five weeks since they took over. Now U.S. policy seems to be that whatever Arias can get people to sign, that’s what we want, and the hell with what that has to do with the desires of the people of Honduras or the legitimate elected government. It’s an objectively pro-coup policy with decorative gestures and mouthing of support for Zelaya’s restoration as president. But I digress.)

    If we were actually moving in a different direction with torture, impunity, detention, rendition, then restarting the process to joining the ICC would be a natural accompaniment of the move toward accountability. (Cases only tried against U.S. actors when U.S. itself declines to prosecute.)

    For now, and foreseeable future, excuse will be that the Senate won’t ratify.

  28. Boston1775 says:

    How will the PDBs get ignored?

    By writing that GWB ignored the CIA’s warning, you participate in repropagandizing your readers. There is ample evidence that the demolition of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2 and 7 required much more technology and preparation than could have been handled from a cave in Afghanistan.

    • bmaz says:

      That is complete nonsense and don’t wander in here and accuse authors of “repropagandizing” anybody. If you want to pitch that truther bunk, do it somewhere else; this is not the place. Other people’s chops have been busted for that, yours will be too. There are forums available all over the net; this isn’t one of them, your comment is not responsive to the subject of the thread and it is not your place to tell the authors here what to write.

  29. Boston1775 says:

    Hey bmaz, there is ample evidence that the demolition of World Trade Center Buildings 1,2 and 7 did, indeed, require much more technology and preparation than could have been handled from a cave in Afghanistan.

    Why do you have a problem with me challenging Marcy’s assertion that President Bush ignored the PDB about Bin Laden?

    I have backed up what I put out with evidence from scientists, architects, and engineers.

  30. bmaz says:

    Honestly, and I mean this respectfully, this is not a truther forum, that discussion is nowhere near the subject of the post, and I felt what you said unnecessarily disrespectful of the proprietor of the blog. This is a position taken with others in the past, and it would be inconsistent to not take it with your comment too.

  31. Boston1775 says:

    I guess I also don’t understand your tone.
    Why do you talk like this to people?

    You’re going to bust my chops?
    I’m pitching bunk?
    I should go somewhere else?

    How am I not on topic?
    And even if I weren’t, why do you think you have the right to threaten me?

    I responded to what Marcy wrote.
    As a woman who works with middle school children, I follow a policy at school which is to caution kids who talk the way you did to me.

    I thought the point here was to think critically.
    To challenge assumptions.

    I am definitely afraid of you.
    I’ve seen how you’ve written to others and felt relief it wasn’t me.
    But I know it is right to stand up to your threats.
    I find what you just did abusive.

  32. Boston1775 says:

    How in the world was I unnecessarily disrespectful of the proprietor of the blog?

    I challenged an assertion.