Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Aviation Update

The reporting on the crash of the Dassault Falcon 50 in Moscow carrying French oil giant Total's CEO has become typically weird.  Not to say there is a giant conspiracy, but not to say one should be ruled out.

As usual there are conflicting reports.  Some examples are shown below, with items of note in bold.  First, here's something from an AP wire report:
The crash occurred at 11.57 p.m. Monday local time when the French-made Dassault Falcon 50 burst into flames after hitting the snowplow during takeoff from Vnukovo airport, which is used by Russian government officials, including President Vladimir Putin, and visiting foreign leaders.
So AP says it was during "takeoff". Makes sense when considering the destruction of the aircraft, which apparently inverted before its tragic end. But here's the press spokeslady from the Vnukovo airport (the government facility Putin uses to fly in and out):
During the taxiing before take-off, at around 0:10 am Moscow time on Tuesday, the light aircraft hit a snow-clearing machine, the head of Vnukovo’s press service, Elena Krylova, told the media. “A Falcon airplane that was en route from Moscow to Paris collided with a snowplow while the jet was preparing to take off. The plane caught fire after the collision and all the people onboard – including a passenger and three crew members - died,” Krylova said.
The aircraft did not leave the ground after hitting the vehicle, she added, refuting earlier reports that the plane did eventually take off but then the pilot made a decision to turn back and land. The investigators have already found the aircraft’s black boxes while the airport staff were writing explanatory reports, she added.
So we're being asked to believe the Falcon jet slammed the plow as it was lining up for takeoff?  With debris strewn hundreds of meters and the aircraft being inverted?  But despite the widespread debris the plow driver survived and amazingly, the airport was cleared to reopen only 2 hours later:
Vnukovo Airport temporarily suspended all flights following the incident, but by 2 am all operations were restored.
Perhaps at this juncture it would help to show a picture of the airport..

Two main runways, lots of taxiways, more than enough potential confusion with low visibility.  And they could have resumed operations with only one runway, it appears.  So what about the weather? According to this report the temperature at crash time was 34F with humidity at 100 percent with a light southeast wind--all conducive to fog formation, and indeed the weather observation mentioned visibility at only 1/4 mile in light drizzle. So, why was a snow plow on the runway?  Were they releasing urea or some other substance to melt possible slush and ice?  Maybe--Moscow was expecting snow.  And it's entirely conceivable the allegedly drunken plow driver got lost in the mist and took the wrong taxiway or crossed an active runway and nobody in the tower could see it.  But we're back to the plow driver surviving, which sounds like a miracle. 

By the way, here's another story that described the crash this way:
"During run-up at 11:57 pm (1957 GMT), there was a collision with the airport's snowplough...
Misinformation after crashes is as predictable as sunrise, especially with the clown car media involved, but this report was from the airport PR person, not the media.  And she claims the plane wasn't taking off, because if it was taking off it wouldn't be 'running up'. 

But here's a presumed eyewitness report of airport operations this morning--only hours after the crash:
I was in Vnukovo today. I couldn't find any rests of the aircraft. Last night, at 12.15, I was returning home, driving through eastern Moscow. Heavy rains after a snowy sunday. It wasn't snowing at all. It was just raining. As I got to my house, 8nm from Vnukovo, around 12.35, there was almost no rain left. Flights today were mostly in order, no big delays. Heavy winds in the West-East direction. Lately, runway 24 is mostly used for take offs while runway 01 for landings. Anyone knows where was the crash? I saw nothing, although it was a 4 minutes drop off visit to Vnukovo, but i deeply checked in the around and couldn't find a single piece of aircraft, smoke, nothing. I was there at 11am.
Hard to believe there would be no sign of some debris there the morning after.  And it would be nice to see what the plow looks like now.

In other words, we getting some conflicting information. Sorting out the factual information from the misinformation, or possible disinformation, is the key. There is a difference. Proving 'disinformation' is always the hardest.

One way to guess is an analysis of where stories about the event are taking viewers/readers.  Right now almost all the stories are blaming a drunken cartoonish Russian plow driver.  They are also keying on the notion that de Margerie was against isolating Russia with punishing sanctions due to Ukraine, ie, why would a friend of Pooty Poot get rubbed out in Moscow?  But there's also this:
Total is a major shareholder in Novatek, Russia's largest independent natural gas producer. The two companies were planning to develop a massive liquified natural gas reserve in Siberia.
But the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine in July prompted Total to suspend buying additional shares in Novatek.
So as oil prices crater (less cash for Russia and the Middle East) perhaps Vlad couldn't twist his arm into more positive action.  Things are getting strange out there.

Speaking of oil, a few stories are also mentioning de Margerie and Total Oil's roles in the Iraq "Oil for Food" program where he was suspected of helping the Saddam regime sell oil on the underground markets to get around UN/US sanctions, charges of which the company was only recently cleared.  But take a look at this from the OFF memory hole and it gets weirder (added emphasis):
Thirty percent of the oil vouchers were issued to beneficiaries in Russia, including individual officials in the president’s office, the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Russian Communist Party, members of the Russian parliament, and the oil firms Lukoil, Gazprom, Zarubezhneft, Sibneft, Rosneft, and Tatneft.
Fifteen percent of the beneficiaries were French, including a former interior minister, the Iraqi-French Friendship Society, and the oil company Total.
Yes, both the Russians and French were helping Saddam back in the day so combined with the abovementioned bits of history it would seem to make the West, and not Russia, prime suspects for sabotage.  Then again, if something nefarious is up in Russia it doesn't necessarily always have to originate in Putin's office.  Their investigations committee is already laying blame!  But sometimes accidents just happen--even in Russia. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Crisis management, as usual

The Pentagon just announced they are forming 30 unit rapid-response teams to be dispatched within the US to combat any Ebola non-outbreak outbreaks.  Hmmmm.  This comes a few days after Obama described CDC rapid response teams as "SWAT".   On Saturday the same guy urged Americans not to "give in to hysteria" on the issue while today he was blasting the GOP for "peddling fear". 

Words from a man who suspended his fund raiser schedule to have photo-op meetings in the White House, something that didn't even happen after the murder of an ambassador in an AQ terrorist attack or after Russia captured part of Ukraine or an American journalist was beheaded by a terror group shown on worldwide video.  So don't take that to mean anything as it would be giving in to hysteria.

Anyway, they made a big production of a formal White House meeting with all the big-wigs sitting around the long table looking stupid.  The NY Times filled in the blanks by informing us Obama was angry (no doubt after reading about Dallas in the paper)--matter of fact he was so furious he appointed a Democrat political fixer with no medical background as an "Ebola czar", a move that can focus blame elsewhere if needed while allowing him to get back on the links and the campaign fund raiser circuit so he can resume hurling barbs at the GOP for cash from people with names like Rich Richman.  If the Ebola virus peters out it will be "Ron who?'

In other words, crisis management as usual.   Hey, the reason people are fearful is the thought of a killer virus with over a 50 percent mortality rate being 'handled' by the current administration, who couldn't even handle building a web site. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Aviation Update

The temperature screening at five airports has finally commenced, although it's doubtful the program will have a very soothing affect on the public at large, especially after today's Ebola hearings in Congress.

The question of why the administration has not restricted travel to the hot zones was asked of White House spokesman Josh Earnest today, and briefly provided a moment of levity..

But the question remains open.  The administration seems fine with taking a risk that some asymptomatic Ebola victims will arrive in America despite the screening efforts, expressing confidence the system will protect Americans if they later present at the local hospitals with symptoms.  This despite the FUBAR with index patient zero, Mr. Duncan, in Dallas.  That's not a very comforting assurance.  It almost has the impression of a cost-benefit analysis, ie, a few American deaths are worth trading to prevent a collapse of west African governments, which could lead to a bigger world problem.  Just hope you're not collateral damage.

But isn't there almost a de facto travel ban in place already?  Here's some information on current airline services into the hot zone countries...

For Monrovia, Liberia, it appears there are only two: Brussels Airlines, with flights to Brussels, and  Royal Air Maroc, with flights to Freetown and Casablanca.  It's a bit humorous to see that Delta suspended its much-heralded flights from JFK to Monrovia on August 31st due to "weak passenger demand".

For Freetown, Sierra Leone,  the same two still flying to Monrovia, Brussels and Royal Air Maroc to the same destinations as from Monrovia.

And for Conakry airport in Guinea, it appears Air France with service to Paris, Royal Air Maroc with service to Casablanca, and Brussels Airlines with service to Brussels is the extent of it.

So it's not like Obama could use his pen and phone and shut down Brussels Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and Air France operations to west Africa.  As of this minute there's no American flag carrier service to this area already and no non-stop flights on any airlines.  Maybe that's why they can come across so cavalierly in opposing a travel ban--it's basically in place already.  In today's hearings (and other media questioning) CDC chief Frieden stressed that a ban would make it harder to track people arriving here from the hot zone countries and cause a widespread world outbreak.  Thing is, the surrounding countries have already imposed bans, which they credit with keeping the spread under control so far.

That doesn't leave many ways for sick people in the hot zone countries to get out.  They can't drive out of their area and can only fly to 3 or 4 cities if they can get past screeners.  In other words, maybe US authorities feel they have the few conduits of passage well viewed, perhaps even with the assistance of FBI or DHS tracking.

Of course, if law enforcement or transportation agencies are actually monitoring people it didn't work too well for Mr. Duncan.  One could even question why he wasn't moved to one of the top-notch Ebola treatment facilities as have all the other American cases so far.  Were they rigidly trying to follow a stupid protocol that was later changed, or was someone trying to send a subtle message to foreigners that coming here via deception might not result in a good outcome?   The Pentagon was only yesterday warning about a mass migration across our borders should Ebola spread to our southern neighbors, which would be based on the notion that once here they would have to be treated.   But treated how, like Duncan or the Americans?  

But let's end this on a positive note.  We are coming closer to the end of the 21 day incubation period for Mr. Duncan's friends and relatives who at last check were spending some quality time in an undisclosed quarantine location.  As far as the media has been told none of them have come down with the virus.  Also, nobody on the plane with Duncan came down with it.  So it's entirely possible the public quasi-panic will begin to subside soon if none of the casual contacts with Duncan or his nurses show any symptoms.  Other nurses or doctors working close to the patients coming down with it would not spread the same panic. 

Taken another way, if in a few weeks Obama takes full credit for solving Ebola that will actually be a good thing for the nation because it will mean, 1) we know more about the virus and how to handle it, and 2) it didn't become a widespread outbreak, none of which would be blamed on Obama if things get worse.  Politically speaking, this good news would not likely affect the mid-term elections very much because people expect the government to act when bad things come up and everyone knows the initial reaction was poor. If things get worse nobody will care about the elections.

BANS..   10/16/14

To co-opt an Obama phrase, let me be clear.  This blog called for Visa/passport bans weeks ago.  Those are not travel bans.  As pointed out above, there are no US carriers running flights into the hot zones anyway.  Flights will still run if the overseas airlines want to run them.  That's why the State Department's incessant argument that banning travel would cause huge problems in fighting the disease there deserves a big "how"?  The only thing that would change would be the delay of people in the hot zones getting into the US.  Run a quarantine, like the relatives of the Dallas index patient.  How f-ing hard is that?  We've heard our military will be subject to quarantines.

Simply standing there at the podium and arrogantly refusing while admitting that as many as 100 Visa applications are coming in per day in the hot zones is beyond the pale.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hans Blix didn't find them after all

Is this the October surprise Bob Beckel on Fox was rumormongering about last month?
From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.
In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
It's a pretty slick Times report, complete with animated GIFs, all highlighting reporter CJ Chivers' account of thousands of chemical weapons shells found all over Iraq per ground reports and a Pentagon FOIA.

Wait thousands of shells, doesn't that qualify as a stockpile?   Not so fast, says Chivers...
All had been manufactured before 1991, participants said. Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all. Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin.
Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area, according to those who collected the majority of them. In case after case, participants said, analysis of these warheads and shells reaffirmed intelligence failures. First, the American government did not find what it had been looking for at the war’s outset, then it failed to prepare its troops and medical corps for the aged weapons it did find.
Chivers stopped just short of saying the United States was manufacturing chemical weapons for Saddam, but he went right up to the waters' edge, saying that American-designed shells had been sold to Iraq by European nations, wink wink, cue the Rummy shaking hands with Saddam photo.  While the story implicates certain European nations of actually selling the material to Iraq, nobody will cue the Jacques Chirac handshake picture with Saddam.

But we're left with this--there WERE chemical weapons in Iraq, lots of them, and they were never acknowledged.  Now ISIS likely has possession of the remainder.  All of which makes the reports out of Syria last year about rebels having used Sarin gas more credible.  And if true, part of the blame lies with Maliki, since the Iraqis, as members of the Chemical Weapons Convention, were responsible for getting rid of their old rusty chemical stockpile--but they never finished before ISIS rolled into town. 

But the Times didn't splash this report across the front page to vindicate BushCheneyBurton.  They did so presumably to give Obama an out card by saying the Pentagon/Bush covered up the fact that chemicals were found because they weren't the right chemicals, so it's not the Democrats' fault.  And Bush still lied because he said Saddam had active programs.

But Ace of Spades challenges the definition of "active", ie, the Times piece says, "The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West."

Hmm, looking back at history Bush had been fairly careful to avoid saying Saddam had active chemical weapons programs as a casus belli for war. He did leave the impression there were active programs, but mostly stuck to the idea that Iraq possessed chemical weapons and the facilities to produce them, which the Times has now authenticated.  Let's go back to the Iraq AUMF that Hillary, Biden and Kerry voted for:
Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;
That's to say Iraq entered a cease-fire agreement to destroy their chem-weapons and program.  While they might have mothballed their active program, they didn't destroy the "means to deliver" such as artillery shells. Instead they buried them all over the place.  And there were likely individuals who had the treasure maps to dig them up later.  One of those was not Hans Blix, whose UN team never found them in 2003 before the invasion.  Ergo, Saddam was in material breach.  Back to the AUMF:
Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;
Doesn't thousands of shells constitute a stockpile?  At what point does a stockpile stop being a stockpile if they are not destroyed or rendered inert?  And notice again it says nothing about an active chem-weapons program.  More..
Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;
"Continuing to possess"--check. The left will point out "and develop" in reference to the chemical weapons (and biological), perhaps dredging up this brutal report by the WaPo in 2004 describing the Duelfer Report, which noted:
...no chemical weapons existed and that there is no evidence of attempts to make such weapons over the past 12 years. Iraq retained dual-use equipment that could be used for such an effort.
Which was simply wrong--munitions were there, buried underground.  What else did Mr. Duelfer get wrong?  The Kay Report on the Iraqi Survey Group done a year earlier stated:
We have multiple reports that Iraq retained CW munitions made prior to 1991, possibly including mustard - a long-lasting chemical agent -- but we have to date been unable to locate any such munitions.
Which was closer to correct.  The Times has finally located them.  Kay's report also left open the possibility that Saddam had explored reactivation of the chem program as late as 2002-2003, something Duelfer threw cold water on a year later.  Which was correct, considering the current revelations?

Of course this story leaves open the obvious political question:  if chemical weapons were indeed found in large quantities in Iraq why did the Bush administration remain silent about them?  Was it, as the left might say, a reminder of past sins in helping to arm the tyrant in an attempt to stop a worse band of tyrants (Iran), actions which might implicate the Bush family and friends?  Did we get rolled by our realpolitik of the past to the point where Dubya just said "the heck with it, we got Saddam, let's move on"?

Possible.  It would interesting to hear what James Baker has to say about it, assuming he could ever talk candidly. Hell, or George HW Bush.

Or maybe the Bush folks felt they couldn't justify going to war over old shells alone, which, even if passed along to AQ wouldn't do the kind of damage a bio or nuclear (or dirty bomb) would do.  This was borne out by the several attacks on coalition soldiers in Iraq using Sarin shells, which did relatively little damage.  Such munitions are also not easily transportable.  With terrorists swarming the country during the insurgency years it probably made no sense to start trumpeting "but they had chemical stockpiles"!  In the end this story is probably not going to change any minds either way.

But we don't live in history, we live in the present. Presently ISIS controls a lot of the areas where shells were found and were never destroyed, ergo, ISIS has chemical weapons. They may have already used them. A current political question would be "who allowed this"? The simple answer is partially contained in the idea that a certain president 'ended the war' in Iraq a little too soon.  In non-political terms perhaps this could explain why the 60 nation coalition hasn't been able to do very much to stop the advance of ISIS yet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CNN: War on Islamic Woman, too!

One cannot read this CNN op-ed entitled "I'm a Feminist, and I Converted to Islam" without considering for a moment it might simply be satire designed to gather web hits rather than pass on a rational perspective..
I am a Muslim, but I wasn't always. I converted to Islam in November 2001, two months after 9/11. I was 21 and living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was a bad time to be a Muslim. But after four years of studying, poking and prodding at world religions and their adherents, I decided to take the plunge.
Well OK then. The barbaric act of 9/11 pushed her over the edge and she converted shortly thereafter to the religion of the attackers. Moving along..
I was drawn to Islam's appeal to intellect and heartened by the prophet Mohammed's quote, "The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female."
I was astounded that science and rationality were embraced by Muslim thinkers such as Al-Khawarizmi, who invented algebra; Ibn Firnas, who developed the mechanics of flight before Leonardo DaVinci; and Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, who is the father of modern surgery.
Yeah, but what have they done for us lately?  And she appears to be offhandedly dissing Christianity, the mainstream religion in play during the advances of Western Civilization, which included landing on the Moon and Mars.  Obama didn't appoint the NASA Administrator to outreach to the Muslim world because they'd already been there.

We continue, getting into the meat of the title (Islamic feminism)..
But when I asked a Muslim woman "Why do you wear that?", her answer was obvious and appealing: "To please God. To be recognized as a woman who is to be respected and not harassed. So that I can protect myself from the male gaze."
Ah, the male gaze.  Conservative, like Quakers or Amish. No wait, they are not cool because they don't believe in science and learning, Insha-allah! Muslims use air conditioners and women drive cars after all. Well, some women drive cars, if allowed by their menfolk. Onward..
She listed right after right that women in Islam held nearly 1,250 years before women's lib was ever thought of in the West. Surprisingly, Islam turned out to be the religion that appealed to my feminist ideals.
Which is completely incoherent.

The essay continues..
It might shock you to know that I had an arranged marriage.
What says feminism more than an arranged marriage?
I have been spat on, had eggs thrown at me and been cursed at from passing cars. And I have felt terror when the mosque I attended in Savannah, Georgia, was first shot at, then burned down.
Curiously, it's hard to find even one mainstream media story--even from CNN--about a mosque being burned down in Savannah.  One would think that such an act of Islamophobia, especially with the likely culprits being redneck hillbilly gun-toting racists, during the reign of George W. Bushitler, would have been the top story for months on the cover of the NY Times had it happened. Yet the only story about it in the first 5 pages on Google is from an Islamic grievance website. Finally:
In my journey to Islam, I came to learn that Muslims come in all shapes, sizes, attitudes, ethnicities, cultures and nationalities. I came to know that Islam teaches disagreement and that shouldn't lead to disrespect, as most Muslims want peace.
Most of all, I have faith that my fellow Americans can rise above fear and hatred and come to learn the same.
It's comforting to know that MOST Muslims want peace.  It's just hard to figure out which ones when the terrorists tend to live underground in western societies for years before suddenly blowing up somewhere.

But as stated, not only is she a victim of the hateful American gaze she's now a victim of the potential backlash from the un-Islamic Islamic State terrorists because their interpretation of Islam (or shall we say "disagreement") is more in line with the 19 Muslims who attacked America on 9/11 causing her to convert.

It's almost as if CNN made up this entire story.   But they didn't.  And some people will take it seriously, using it to condemn western civilization as the evil Christian bullies again. 

At the same time, it's a toss up as to whether any American feminist organizations will even weigh in on the story.   That might force them to defend bashing the GOP as engaged in a war on women when true injustices remain rampant in many majority Muslim lands.  Calling for equal rights for all Islamic women might be dangerous, after all, and certainly not productive to the cause.  Look at what happened to Bill Maher when he urged liberal consistency on the issue.

No, if this lady wanted to really make her point she could have mentioned the brave Islamic ladies actually engaged in the fight against the "un-Islamist" ISIS....

Wonder what she thinks about these liberated Islamic women?  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

ISIS fighters in Mexico and Maloof

The WaPo's fact checker Glenn Kessler gives the recently hyped reports about ISIS-linked fighters being captured at the Mexican border, specifically claims by Arkansas congressman Tom Cotton, four Pinocchios:
As we’ve noted, just because something is on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s true. As a lawmaker, Cotton needs to be careful about making inflammatory statements based on such flimsy evidence. At the very least, he needs to expand on his sources of information. He earns Four Pinnochios for trying to turn idle speculation into hard facts.
In doing so Kessler mentions a World Net Daily article by Michael Maloof as contributing to the hysteria, reminding the readers that Maloof was a Neocon working for Doug Feith to find a link between AQ and Iraq immediately after 9/11.  He ended up getting his clearance pulled for associating with a Lebanese-American gun runner involved with arming former Liberian strongman president Charles Taylor:
The whole thing seems to have started with a highly speculative account on July 4 in WND, labeled an “exclusive” and titled: “New Border Risk: ISIS Ties to Mexican Drug Lords.” (ISIS and ISIL are other names for Islamic State.) The article quoted Michael Maloof, who it described as a former “top Defense Department analyst” and “expert on the Middle East...”Who is Michael Maloof? He gained notoriety in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq as one of the key people involved in a DOD intelligence effort to demonstrate that Saddam Hussein had ties to al-Qaeda and was likely to provide weapons of mass destruction to terror groups.
In other words, he's probably a boogeyman spreading more false info on Iraq.  What Kessler could not do is actually refute the ground reports evidently originating with actual Border Patrol agents (who have not been identified and likely will not be), but since US officials with security agencies say it ain't so, it ain't so.  As a result these congressmen will not likely be vindicated anytime soon.

Whether this is hype or truth is still not settled.  Secretary Johnson was not completely candid when first asked about the four 'terrorists' who were busted on 9/10 at the border--they have now been identified as PKK Kurds, with much emphasis on their stance against ISIS.  Kessler could have activated his James Comey spidey sense regards government truth and pointed to the obfuscation coming from some of these same type of officials after Border Agents told Breitbart that illegal aliens were being allowed to use "notice to appear" papers as valid ID to fly commercially (at taxpayer expense), a story later verified.

But while researching the evil Neocon Michael Maloof, a man who helped lead us down the primrose path to the dumb war, some interesting stories popped up.  Keep in mind Mr. Maloof was not front and center at the Office of Special Plans back in the day--that honor went to Douglas Feith, Stephen Cambone and Rummy.  Maloof and his partner in research (one has to be careful using the singular word partner anymore) David Wurmser worked under the radar for the most part.  In 2006 PBS Frontline interviewed Maloof, who said the intelligence had always pointed more to a nexus between AQ and other terror groups and certain Islamic states, including Iraq, than it did to Saddam having WMDs. Matter of fact, he called into question the 2002 NIE, which talked about the threat of Iraqi WMDs:
Tell me about the NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] in October of 2002. Was it flawed?

I thought it was flawed. It basically talked about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. I just didn't see it, and I wrote a memo up to my immediate boss saying this is not correct, but it was something that came out. Until August of 2002, we were talking about terror as the basis [on which] to deal with Iraq. Then this NIE comes out in October 2002, and then, by December, you have George Tenet, the former director of CIA, going in and personally briefing the president, saying that Iraq had all this WMD.
I'm told that even he questioned how solid the information was, and that's when Tenet gave the infamous statement that "It's a slam dunk; the evidence is a slam dunk." ... To this day I don't know what prompted their October 2002 report. It's something they did on their own. ... What changed between August and October of 2002? What happened? To this day I don't have it. I think it might have been their desire to try to take back the initiative. It's the only thing I can conclude. ...
Maloof also told Frontline that all their data was cross-checked with CIA for accuracy but the animosity was so strong they never got back much confirmation.  He thinks they were simply afraid to say they missed it (9/11) and didn't want somebody second-guessing.  Maloof claims his group was working to get policy makers useful info on a tight timeline--they all thought AQ or others would attack again very soon.  One could even wildly speculate that Maloof and his outfit might explain the entire Plame affair--an attempt by CIA to get back at Cheney and these guys.

Anyway, it's impossible for a yahoo blogger on the internets to independently vouch for his overall credibility but based on the interview he certainly doesn't sound like a crazy kook fantasist.  Fast forward to 2013; Maloof is interviewed by RT about the chemical weapons attack in Syria that prompted Obama to nearly go cowboy on Bashar Assad. His contention at the time was that the Sarin gas was being produced in..... Iraq:
RT: Can you tell us more about that classified document you’ve seen, which shows that the US knew that Al-Qaeda linked rebels in Syria had sarin gas?
MM: The document itself was published in August 2013 by the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC). It’s part of the intelligence community. The fact that some of it was actually captured in May along the border in Turkey and it was actually Al-Qaeda, and since it was disseminated my sources are telling me that production has probably increased significantly and sarin gas is being produced quite widely now. That it's actually ongoing and there's actually a Saudi financier whose name I’m trying to obtain right now.
There's that crazy Neocon, blaming WMDs on Iraq again!  But wait, this time his information was also mentioned by a former UN inspector, the head of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, and by none other than Pulitzer Prize winning liberal journalist Seymour Hersh, in a blockbuster expose completely ignored by US mainstream press outlets, which actually pissed off the socialists!

So OK, the stories about the ten ISIS fighters at the border or reports about ISIS working with Mexican drug lords may or may not be true.  There doesn't seem to be any hard evidence other than a few anonymous sources.  But certainly such a concept cannot be out of the realm of the possible, considering the ISIS-inspired terror attack that Canadian and American authorities claim they recently stopped in Canada.  Matter of fact, those concerned with Islamic terrorism should probably be more concerned on the northern border considering history.

But singling out a Neocon relic of the Bush years now working for World Nut Daily in an attempt to tamp down anti-Muslim hysteria (regardless of whether that person is credible or not), is something that usually works pretty well in today's vacuous media, unless or until disproved by actual events. And sometimes not even then.  So we will have to wait and see on this one.

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