Monday, February 26, 2007
Hard Rain Journal 2-26-07: Is the Storm Yet to Come? Our Only Protection is An Old Piece of Parchment; Its Only Protection is Us.
Image: La Liberté guidant le peuple par Eugène Delacroix (1830) (Musée du Louvre, Paris)
Hard Rain Journal 2-26-07: Is the Storm Yet to Come? Our Only Protection is An Old Piece of Parchment; Its Only Protection is Us.
By Richard Power
There is a wall of denial in the US mainstream news media. Official lies are its bricks, and tabloid-style distraction is its mortar.
This wall has been built by those executives, editors and on-air talents who have followed Faust and Dorian Gray into existential oblivion (Keith Olbermann, of course, is one notable exception).
The wall is at its highest and thickest on the air waves.
In the realm of the big city newspapers, it is easier to punch through, you can often glimpse the light of truth on the back pages, and sometimes even on the front page.
On the air-waves, such glimpses are rare.
However, on Sunday, February 24, three big holes were punched through this wall. Two on the Sunday morning news shows, and one in prime-time.
Sy Hersh made it on to Wolf Bluster's Late Edition, and he delivered an urgent and deeply disturbing message, which corroborates what I have been writing about for several weeks (e.g., Hard Rain Journal 2-21-07: This is Madness -- Bush-Cheney Target Saddam and then the Iranians -- Both Sworn Enemies of Al Qaeda, Meanwhile...), the Bush-Cheney regime has chosen sides in the Middle East and have allied themselves with those forces that attacked the USA on 911:
New Yorker columnist Sy Hersh says the “single most explosive” element of his latest article involves an effort by the Bush administration to stem the growth of Shiite influence in the Middle East (specifically the Iranian government and Hezbollah in Lebanon) by funding violent Sunni groups.
Hersh says the U.S. has been “pumping money, a great deal of money, without congressional authority, without any congressional oversight” for covert operations in the Middle East where it wants to “stop the Shiite spread or the Shiite influence.” Hersh says these funds have ended up in the hands of “three Sunni jihadist groups” who are “connected to al Qaeda” but “want to take on Hezbollah.”
Hersh summed up his scoop in stark terms: “We are simply in a situation where this president is really taking his notion of executive privilege to the absolute limit here, running covert operations, using money that was not authorized by Congress, supporting groups indirectly that are involved with the same people that did 9/11.” Hersh added, “All of this should be investigated by Congress, by the way, and I trust it will be. In my talking to membership — members there, they are very upset that they know nothing about this. And they have great many suspicions.” Think Progress, 2-25-07
The implications of Sy Hersh's chilling revelations in The New Yorker were underscored by two stories that appeared in big city newspapers the same day:
SOME of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.
Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.
“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”
A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them. Times UK via Raw Story, 2-25-07
Although international concern is growing about Iran's nuclear program and its regional ambitions, diplomats here say most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has proved inaccurate and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran.
The officials said the CIA and other Western spy services had provided sensitive information to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency at least since 2002, when Iran's long-secret nuclear program was exposed. But none of the tips about supposed secret weapons sites provided clear evidence that the Islamic Republic was developing illicit weapons.
"Since 2002, pretty much all the intelligence that's come to us has proved to be wrong," a senior diplomat at the IAEA said. Another official here described the agency's intelligence stream as "very cold now" because "so little panned out."
The reliability of U.S. information and assessments on Iran is increasingly at issue as the Bush administration confronts the emerging regional power on several fronts: its expanding nuclear effort, its alleged support for insurgents in Iraq and its backing of Middle East militant groups. Los Angeles Times, 2-25-07
The second blast of truth on 2-25-07 occured in an ABC This Week interview with former US President Jimmy Carter:
Carter told ABC News, "If Al should decide to run -- which I'm afraid he won't -- I would support Al Gore." The former Democratic President asserted Gore could accomplish much more in the White House than he ever could as a private citizen, saying to Stephanopoulos, "His burning issue now is global warming and preventing it. He can do infinitely more to accomplish that goal as in the incumbent in the White House, than he can making even movies that get -- you know, that get Oscars." ... Despite public pressure from Carter and others, the former President does not believe Gore will make a second bid for the White House saying, "I don't think he will. I've put so much pressure on Al to run that he's almost gotten aggravated with me." Carter told Stephanopoulos that he had not called Gore "lately" adding, "He almost told me, the last time I talked, 'Don't call me anymore.'" Carter joked that Gore had offered to support him in 2008 and referred to Gore as "my favorite" in the interview, concluding, "I really have not expressed any public approval or endorsement or preference for any of the Democratic candidates except (Gore)." ABC News, 2-23-07
The third blast of truth to punch through the wall of denial on 2-25-07 occured during the prime-time broadcast of the Academy Awards ceremony:
"An Inconvenient Truth," the big-screen adaptation of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore's slide-show lecture about the perils of global warming, won Academy Awards on Sunday for documentary feature and best song.
The award for best documentary went to director Davis Guggenheim and producers Lawrence Bender ("Pulp Fiction") and Laurie David, the environmentalist wife of "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David.
But the film marked a personal triumph for Gore, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee who left politics after narrowly losing his White House bid to Republican George W. Bush and embarked on a new campaign calling attention to the threat of climate change.
"My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis," Gore said after taking the stage.
"It's not a political issue, it's a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started with the possible exception of the will to act. That's a renewable resource. Let's renew it."...Director Guggenheim handed Gore the Oscar and told the audience the movie was made "because we were moved to act by this man." Reuters, 2-26-07
We are careening toward catastrophe on several tracks.
Two great tasks -- thwarting regional war in the Middle East and coming to grips with the rapidly accelerating climate crisis -- are of paramount importance.
The two candidates christened "frontrunners" for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL) do not seem to understand the situation. They too are in denial, like the mainstream news media they futilely flirt with. Clinton wants to "chat" with you, Obama says he has been in Washington, DC long enough (two years) to know it has to be changed.
There is no time for this nonsense. Both of these stances are ludicrous under the present conditions.
We are in a national and global state of emergency.
Clinton is trying to triangulate with the political center of the 1990s (it has been shattered). Obama acts like life is a Frank Capra movie.
John Edwards understands much more, he has defined his candidacy on an issue big enough to make a difference: POVERTY. (For more on the Words of Power shortlist for 2008, click here.)
But only Gore has gone to the edge of the world, looked into the gaping mouth of the abyss and returned with the moral authority to speak about what he saw there.
It is Al Gore who has been defending the Constitution of the USA for the last seven years, not Bush-Cheney, and no, not Clinton or Obama either.
On every issue -- not only energy and the environment, but also Iraq, Abu Ghraib, the Bill of Rights, the 9/11 and Katrina failures, etc. -- he has been on the side of both the Founders and the Future, without equivocation or nuance. Perhaps he whispered the oath to himself back on that awful morning in January 2001. He has been the leader of the free world -- even in exile.
No, he can't run for President, at least not yet. Not until further into the arc of the campaign, e.g., if Clinton and Obama exhaust each other -- and only then if there is an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary. I hope that opportunity arises, and I hope he takes advantage of it.
Or, if it is not to be, in lieu of the Gore scenario, I hope that one of those now running decides to speak the truth and calls the people out to march with him or her to the barricades of the psyche.
And even if Gore did make the move, there are some hard questions that must be asked of him:
In 2000, he refused to call the people into the streets to resist the theft of the election; and in 2001, he gavelled down the Congressional Black Caucus as the Democratic-controlled US Senate conspired to deny its petition the one signature needed to challenge that theft. If Gore were confronted with another such moment, different in circumstances but similar in import, what would he do now?
Yes, he wanted to avoid bloodshed and chaos. Well, guess what, we got bloodshed and chaos anyway -- albeit in a different form.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Reps. Jack Murtha (D-PA) and John Conyers (D-MI), Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and the others must struggle on. And as I have said repeatedly, the fate of the Republic will probably be decided over the next six months.
Will Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CN) reveal himself to be an irredeemable Judas and turn the US Senate over to Dick Cheney?
Will shadowy forces deliver yet another "Pearl Harbor" -- a second "9/11" -- and will it lead to martial law?
Will Bush-Cheney either force or fabricate another "Gulf of Tonkin" incident to justify its yearning to launch an attack on Iran?
Or will Israel attack Iran and call for our help? And if it does, will the Democratic Party not roll over and give Bush-Cheney whatever it says it needs to come to the aid of Israel?
Prepare yourself and your families.
Perhaps the greatest storm is yet to come.
Our only protection is an old piece of parchment and whatever you remember of what is written on it; and its only protection is us.
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Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and Words of Power. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.wordsofpower.net
Iraq, Iran, Al Qaeda, Russ Feingold, Barbara Boxer, Seymour Hersh,Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Nancy Pelosi, Bush, Cheney, Laurie David, An Inconvenient Truth, Global Warming, Climate Change, Jack Murtha, John Conyers, IAEA, Richard Power, Words of Power