Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh has dropped yet another bombshell allegation: President Obama wasn't honest with the American people when he blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a sarin-gas attack in that killed hundreds of civilians.
In early September, Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States had proof that the nerve-gas attack was made on Assad's orders. "We know the Assad regime was responsible," President Obama told the nation in an address days after this revelation, which he said pushed him over the "red line" in considering military intervention.
But in a long story published Sunday for the London Review of Books, Hersh — best known for his exposés on the cover-ups of the My Lai Massacre and of Abu Ghraib – said the administration "cherry-picked intelligence," citing conversations with intelligence and military officials.
Of course they did.
I have written a number of articles on the Syria mess (you can find them by sticking the word "Syria" in the search box to the right.) What's been clear since the outset is that there was plenty of doubt as to who used chems over there -- but not that they were used.
It's nothing new for our government to intentionally distort data or even lie outright for political purposes when it comes to international matters, say much less domestic ones. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of the Obama administration in particular seems to be a willful and intentional refusal to deal with the truth. Then again Clinton liked bombing aspirin factories while at the same time ignoring the slaughter in Rwanda -- one had white people impacted, the other not-so-white -- so this is not exactly a new problem. We can charge Bush with the same crap too, if you'd like.
What continues to astound me is how we, the people in this country, refuse to stand up and eject our so-called "leaders" for this sort of crap. It's almost bad enough to charge the United States population with bullying, and then condemn us all as felons -- especially the fellating media which is quick to scream when a Republican President does something like this (as they did with Bush) but is oddly silent when a Democrat does the same thing.
The problem in this case is that al-Nusra, a radical muzzie group, was known to the administration to be able to both make and use Sarin -- and they intentionally buried that intelligence.
There are plenty of people who think Obama is a closet Muslim -- perhaps even a Wahhabi Muslim.
This sort of intentional obfuscation only serves to fuel that theory and to the extent that people come to believe it, the Obama administration can hardly complain when they act to intentionally bury intelligence data on radical Muslims being capable of making and using poison gas.
Are you really sure you know who you're eulogizing this evening, and mourning?
Be sure folks.
I don't have all the facts. But I do remember that he was imprisoned for allegedly doing some very evil things, as opposed to "just" protesting or "just" speaking.
Now maybe he was right, in the end, anyway.
But maybe he wasn't. Maybe the government he spawned and led wasn't either -- and still isn't.
Just look into a few points before you join the chorus -- like, for instance, whether he was a member of the SACP -- indeed, a leader in the SACP.
And if you find by a preponderance of the evidence that he was, then you've got a wee problem -- and that's before you examine whether he was involved in Umknonto we Sizwe in any particular form or fashion.
Never mind the outcome of South Africa since apartheid has "fallen."
Start reading here.... be a skeptic folks. For your own good. And when you hear "leaders" extolling Mendela's "achievements", including the current resident in the White House, well.....
Let me just leave you two words to contemplate tonight, because some time in the future, if I'm still writing Tickers, I suspect I'll be flying the flag on this one, and you know which flag it is too....
A truck carrying "extremely dangerous" radioactive material has been stolen in Mexico, authorities said Wednesday.
The vehicle was transporting the radioactive isotope cobalt-60 from a hospital where it was being used for radiotherapy, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
It's probable that the thieves have no idea what they stole.
The reasons for this are many -- first, in order to actually remove the cobalt-60 from the device without committing suicide (and it's a nasty, reasonably slow and painful way to die too) you'd have to have access to robotic manipulation (e.g. "remote hands") that you can operate behind heavy shielding. That's not exactly the sort of thing that most thieves -- or terrorists -- have laying around.
But -- if this was an intentional theft and the people who did it know what they were taking it's a very bad thing. Such a "source", if scattered in a major population center, would very effectively deny access to that area for a couple of decades if not longer -- and would be very, very hard to completely clean up.
Cobalt-60 has a half-life of ~5 years, which means that if spread around in any material amount unless you can recover all of it you're basically precluded from going near where it happened for 50 years or so (10 half-lives), with extreme risk for the first 20 or 30 of those years.
That's very bad.
Let's hope this is a case of someone stealing a truck and not targeting what was in it.
LONDON — Germany has become accustomed to being top of the class in Europe, the economic musterkind, or model pupil, of the Continent. But it was recently reprimanded by the United States Treasury for running a large trade surplus and imposing a “deflationary bias” on the euro zone. Germany was then told by the European Commission that the country could face action under the European Union’s “excessive imbalance procedure,” which gives the commission the right to demand action to address large trade surpluses and deficits.
Germany has a "duty" to deficit spend -- or to spend down surpluses at all?
Let me see if I can put this into a bit of context when you boil down what is being suggested:
I don't see the problem here. As for Germany they should erect the middle finger toward the rest of the Euro zone -- and if the EU doesn't like it, I hear stories about there being Deutsche Marks stored somewhere and ready for use.
Perhaps flashing a few of those around Brussels will shake up a few idiots.
H/t: Jonathan Sugarman for the poke
To those who think that Obama has "neutered" the Iranian nuclear problem (and that "agreement", by the way, appears to be good for an ~8pt spike in the S&P futures and ~70pts on the Dow futures) you might want to read this.
Addressing concerns over the language in the agreement between the six world powers and Iran regarding Tehran’s ability to continue work on its nuclear program, Rouhani said, “Let anyone make his own reading, but this right is clearly stated in the text of the agreement that Iran can continue its enrichment, and I announce to our people that our enrichment activities will continue as before.”
This is simply not our issue when it comes to whether Iran should or should not use nuclear power. I personally believe that all nations using a Uranium/Plutonium fuel cycle (that would be all of the present ones) are doing so because they want to leave open at least the capability if not the immediate and present production of nuclear weapons.
Why? Because there are alternatives in the nuclear realm that do not present the ridiculous waste problem that the uranium fuel cycle does, especially when combined with light-water civilian power use. These reactors inherently produce insane amounts of high-level radioactive waste that is extremely difficult to contain and dispose of safely. This is an inherent side effect of the technology.
So why do it when there are other alternatives? Yes, part of it I'm sure is that humans love to defer to tomorrow (at higher cost -- potentially catastrophic higher cost!) what we could deal with today.
But in addition these other fuel options make it very, very hard (but not impossible) to use the same infrastructure for both weapons production and military propulsion (specifically, submarines and ships) alongside civilian energy.
And that, my friends, is in my opinon why both the United States and every other nation today uses the uranium fuel cycle for nuclear energy.
So with that as a backdrop why shouldn't Iran do so as well?
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