Friday, July 13, 2007

Of staged attacks and noble lies

This might be an appropriate post for Friday the 13th. Hot Air is highlighting Ron Paul's appearance on the Alex Jones radio show where he essentially agreed with Cindy Sheehan's contention the next terra attack in the US will be staged by the neocons. So deep is the BDS they probably wouldn't believe in Bush's demise if Air Force One was shot down on live TV.

But I must cut Ron Paul some slack. First, not all his ideas are off the wall. He believes strongly in US sovereignty, which is good. Secondly, he might not actually be aware of how loony Alex Jones really is. But the slack-cutting ends there.

Paul is more concerned we may use any variety of casus belli reasons Iran has given us to take out Tehran's nukes and save the Iraq mission before the Democrats can manage to pull out the rug, an act which be believes would destabilize the world economy by devaluing the dollar and skyrocketing the oil prices due to a closure of the Straits of Hormuz.

Oddly, he seems to think his alternative of an ignominious retreat into an isolationist cocoon would be A-OK and have absolutely no effect on world markets whatsoever. Apparently he also seems to ignore the handy side effects of leaving, like an energized international jihad, vast new training grounds for both Hizballah and AQ terrorists (all fueled with Iraq's oil money) and a greatly threatened Israel. It's a show-stopper for me.

None of that means the government doesn't keep secrets--they clearly do. What our modern truth patriots don't understand is that it's not just Republican governments--ALL governments do it. If you want to have some fun engage a garden variety 9/11 truther in a discussion about TWA 800, the Oklahoma City bombing or the 1993 World Trade Center attack. Most will quickly change the subject because they know it's a dead end as far as implicating Bush/neocons. Ask them why there wasn't a 9/11-like commission to investigate Oklahoma City, for example.

They might want to bring up the long forgotten anthrax letter attacks, admittedly one of the weirder crimes of the last fifty years. Does anyone else find it strange that George Tenet spent 500 pages discussing his tenure at CIA but didn't once mention the letters? Sure, he deals with international issues not domestic but for awhile there were strong indications the powder came from a foreign source, even AQ. He could have discussed that aspect but not mentioning anything made it look all the more suspicious.

Not surprisingly Alex Jones and his crack truth squad have their own blame-America-first theories about the letters, mostly in the same neighborhood as the 9/11 tales. Recently a poster at Daily Kos highlighted one of them:
This is superweapons-grade anthrax that even the United States government, in its openly proclaimed programs, had never developed before. So it was obvious to me that this was from a U.S. government lab. There is nowhere else you could have gotten that."
It's notable that the New York Times, priding itself as the leader of national intelligence leaks, passed on the story. Perhaps even they were spooked by the story's origination on a less than mainstream web site or maybe it the Alex Jones thing again. Or maybe they know well that Mr. Boyle is a known leftist who opposed the first Gulf War and had issues with the "good war" in Afghanistan. Or maybe such disturbing stories just don't sell many newspapers.

Whatever the case the Kos Kid passed along his smoking gun explanation by suggesting the attacks specifically targeted Senators Leahy and Daschle in an effort to get them to come in line on passing the Patriot Act, calling the two Senators "leading opponents" of the bill. Yep, Leahy was the same guy Cheney once told to "F-off".

Circumstantially weak. The Senate anthrax letters were mailed shortly after the following news blurb was released on October 4th, which left no indication Leahy and Daschle were about to scuttle the bill. Besides, dig deep into the conspiracy and you'll find they make a big deal out of the fact Cheney carried around a bio-protection suit all the time after the attacks. Was he afraid he was going to attack himself by mistake, or was he actually brewing it up in the backseat of the VP limo? Another inconsistency--why would we use anthrax with a clear US fingerprint, not say Iraqi or Iranian fingerprints?

Not to say the case hasn't been a strange journey. First they said the powder was so finely-milled it could have only been made by a few countries in well-funded bio-labs. Ironically it was Bob Woodward who helped shoot down that story only a few days later. Then the FBI implicated Steven Hatfill as a person of interest, basically ruining his career. A few years later they admitted they couldn't reverse engineer the powder. Only recently they've said it was something any microbiologist could have whipped up leaving the impression it could be done with a home chemistry set.

In a previous post the name Dr. Anthony Fauci was mentioned with a promise of more in a later post. Well, this is the later post. Dr. Fauci was one of many dignitaries in attendance at the prestigious Aspen Ideas Festival held recently. So what, you say? Turns out he was also one of the folks who wrote Judge Reggie Walton a letter in support of leniency for Scooter Libby at sentencing. Dr. Fauci detailed his work with Libby after the letter attacks as Scooter was working on ways to combat bio-terror threats. While that may place him squarely inside the Alex Jones conspiracy matrix it might actually endear him to the rest of the country. It doesn't debunk this theory, though.

All this boils down to the value of secrecy. Just because we're kept from the whole truth doesn't mean the government is necessarily up to no good. Thomas Jefferson kept his Louisiana Purchase deal secret from Congress and several presidents shielded the public from a host of skirmishes that transpired with the Soviet Union during the cold war. Everyone recalls Jack Nicholson's immortal words about 'the truth' and in that vein it's possible some of the controversial mitigation efforts undertaken by Bush after 9/11 were in response to the second attack just as much as the first. Woodward once quoted Bush as saying he couldn't be "brutally honest" about such matters. Scooter probably knows, which is probably the reason he won't be going to jail. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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