Ford is dead. Saddam is dead.
I'll have more about Ford in a while - working on post about that now. Re Saddam - I am not sad he's out of power, permanently. But I am sad that our world is so barbaric as to mistake revenge for justice. I don't believe in putting anyone - not even a dictator - to death. I believe strongly in lifelong imprisonment for those who cannot function responsibly in normal society.
What angers me about the killing of Saddam was that it was a crime against history. Killing him stops all the trials, all the investigations, all the means of uncovering how things came to be. In other words, all his co-conspirators, which, in my understanding, includes plenty of American officials and operatives, all now get off scott free.
Is that justice?
I don't think so.
[UPDATE: Don't miss Steven D's excellent post on the repercusssions of the assassinations of the sixties at Booman Tribune
Peace on Earth
As my holiday gift to you, I want to share with you President John F. Kennedy's landmark address, made at American University in the last year of his life. He speaks of the importance of peace, and the only reasonable, practical way to achieve it. Food for thought, and hope for the future.
I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived. And that is the most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children -- not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.
I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age where great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age where a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.
Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need them is essential to the keeping of peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles -- which can only destroy and never create -- is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace. I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary, rational end of rational men. I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.
Some say that it is useless to speak of peace or world law or world disarmament, and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitudes, as individuals and as a Nation, for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward, by examining his own attitude towards the possibilities of peace, towards the Soviet Union, towards the course of the cold war and towards freedom and peace here at home.
First examine our attitude towards peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade; therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable, and we believe they can do it again. I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of universal peace and good will of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and immediate goal.
Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions -- on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single, simple key to this peace; no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process -- a way of solving problems.
With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor, it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors. So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly towards it.
And second, let us reexamine our attitude towards the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write. It is discouraging to read a recent, authoritative Soviet text on military strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims, such as the allegation that American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of war, that there is a very real threat of a preventive war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union, and that the political aims -- and I quote -- "of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries and to achieve world domination by means of aggressive war."
Truly, as it was written long ago: "The wicked flee when no man pursueth."
Yet it is sad to read these Soviet statements, to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning, a warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.
No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. As Americans, we find communism profoundly repugnant as a negation of personal freedom and dignity. But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture, in acts of courage.
Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other. And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and families were burned or sacked. A third of the nation's territory, including two thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland -- a loss equivalent to the destruction of this country east of Chicago.
Today, should total war ever break out again -- no matter how -- our two countries will be the primary target. It is an ironic but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the cold war, which brings burdens and dangers to so many countries, including this Nation's closest allies, our two countries bear the heaviest burdens. For we are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons that could be better devoted to combat ignorance, poverty, and disease. We are both caught up in a vicious and dangerous cycle, with suspicion on one side breeding suspicion on the other, and new weapons begetting counter-weapons. In short, both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race. Agreements to this end are in the interests of the Soviet Union as well as ours. And even the most hostile nations can be relied upon to accept and keep those treaty obligations, and only those treaty obligations, which are in their own interest.
So let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal.
Third, let us reexamine our attitude towards the cold war, remembering we're not engaged in a debate, seeking to pile up debating points. We are not here distributing blame or pointing the finger of judgment. We must deal with the world as it is, and not as it might have been had the history of the last 18 years been different. We must, therefore, persevere in the search for peace in the hope that constructive changes within the Communist bloc might bring within reach solutions which now seem beyond us. We must conduct our affairs in such a way that it becomes in the Communists' interest to agree on a genuine peace. And above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy -- or of a collective death-wish for the world.
To secure these ends, America's weapons are nonprovocative, carefully controlled, designed to deter, and capable of selective use. Our military forces are committed to peace and disciplined in self-restraint. Our diplomats are instructed to avoid unnecessary irritants and purely rhetorical hostility. For we can seek a relaxation of tensions without relaxing our guard. And, for our part, we do not need to use threats to prove we are resolute. We do not need to jam foreign broadcasts out of fear our faith will be eroded. We are unwilling to impose our system on any unwilling people, but we are willing and able to engage in peaceful competition with any people on earth.
Meanwhile, we seek to strengthen the United Nations, to help solve its financial problems, to make it a more effective instrument for peace, to develop it into a genuine world security system -- a system capable of resolving disputes on the basis of law, of insuring the security of the large and the small, and of creating conditions under which arms can finally be abolished. At the same time we seek to keep peace inside the non-Communist world, where many nations, all of them our friends, are divided over issues which weaken Western unity, which invite Communist intervention, or which threaten to erupt into war. Our efforts in West New Guinea, in the Congo, in the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent, have been persistent and patient despite criticism from both sides. We have also tried to set an example for others, by seeking to adjust small but significant differences with our own closest neighbors in Mexico and Canada.
Speaking of other nations, I wish to make one point clear. We are bound to many nations by alliances. Those alliances exist because our concern and theirs substantially overlap. Our commitment to defend Western Europe and West Berlin, for example, stands undiminished because of the identity of our vital interests. The United States will make no deal with the Soviet Union at the expense of other nations and other peoples, not merely because they are our partners, but also because their interests and ours converge. Our interests converge, however, not only in defending the frontiers of freedom, but in pursuing the paths of peace. It is our hope, and the purpose of allied policy, to convince the Soviet Union that she, too, should let each nation choose its own future, so long as that choice does not interfere with the choices of others. The Communist drive to impose their political and economic system on others is the primary cause of world tension today. For there can be no doubt that if all nations could refrain from interfering in the self-determination of others, the peace would be much more assured.
This will require a new effort to achieve world law, a new context for world discussions. It will require increased understanding between the Soviets and ourselves. And increased understanding will require increased contact and communication. One step in this direction is the proposed arrangement for a direct line between Moscow and Washington, to avoid on each side the dangerous delays, misunderstandings, and misreadings of others' actions which might occur at a time of crisis.
We have also been talking in Geneva about our first-step measures of arm[s] controls designed to limit the intensity of the arms race and reduce the risk of accidental war. Our primary long range interest in Geneva, however, is general and complete disarmament, designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms. The pursuit of disarmament has been an effort of this Government since the 1920's. It has been urgently sought by the past three administrations. And however dim the prospects are today, we intend to continue this effort -- to continue it in order that all countries, including our own, can better grasp what the problems and possibilities of disarmament are.
The only major area of these negotiations where the end is in sight, yet where a fresh start is badly needed, is in a treaty to outlaw nuclear tests. The conclusion of such a treaty, so near and yet so far, would check the spiraling arms race in one of its most dangerous areas. It would place the nuclear powers in a position to deal more effectively with one of the greatest hazards which man faces in 1963, the further spread of nuclear arms. It would increase our security; it would decrease the prospects of war. Surely this goal is sufficiently important to require our steady pursuit, yielding neither to the temptation to give up the whole effort nor the temptation to give up our insistence on vital and responsible safeguards.
I'm taking this opportunity, therefore, to announce two important decisions in this regard. First, Chairman Khrushchev, Prime Minister Macmillan, and I have agreed that high-level discussions will shortly begin in Moscow looking towards early agreement on a comprehensive test ban treaty. Our hope must be tempered -- Our hopes must be tempered with the caution of history; but with our hopes go the hopes of all mankind. Second, to make clear our good faith and solemn convictions on this matter, I now declare that the United States does not propose to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so. We will not -- We will not be the first to resume. Such a declaration is no substitute for a formal binding treaty, but I hope it will help us achieve one. Nor would such a treaty be a substitute for disarmament, but I hope it will help us achieve it.
Finally, my fellow Americans, let us examine our attitude towards peace and freedom here at home. The quality and spirit of our own society must justify and support our efforts abroad. We must show it in the dedication of our own lives -- as many of you who are graduating today will have an opportunity to do, by serving without pay in the Peace Corps abroad or in the proposed National Service Corps here at home. But wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives, live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together. In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete. It is the responsibility of the executive branch at all levels of government -- local, State, and National -- to provide and protect that freedom for all of our citizens by all means within our authority. It is the responsibility of the legislative branch at all levels, wherever the authority is not now adequate, to make it adequate. And it is the responsibility of all citizens in all sections of this country to respect the rights of others and respect the law of the land.
All this -- All this is not unrelated to world peace. "When a man's way[s] please the Lord," the Scriptures tell us, "he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights: the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation; the right to breathe air as nature provided it; the right of future generations to a healthy existence?
While we proceed to safeguard our national interests, let us also safeguard human interests. And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both. No treaty, however much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion. But it can, if it is sufficiently effective in its enforcement, and it is sufficiently in the interests of its signers, offer far more security and far fewer risks than an unabated, uncontrolled, unpredictable arms race.
The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough -- more than enough -- of war and hate and oppression.
We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we must labor on--not towards a strategy of annihilation but towards a strategy of peace.
Quote of the day
So Diana's death was an accident. What other conclusion did you expect after the Kelly whitewash and even the Warren Commission's findings on the Kennedy assassination? The ramifications of any other verdict would be far too much for the powers that be to handle.Source
I'm working on a post about Angleton and the history I'm sure the film loosely based on his life, "The Good Shepherd," will not touch. It's the holidays. Blogging is not at the top of my list. Thanks for being patient! I have something special planned for here that I hope to finish and post before the end of the year....
Summing up the Bush years to date
Re overblown Avian Flu hype and Tamiflu issues
Earlier this year, the media and some bloggers (primarily on Daily Kos) were quite shrill in warning us of the dangers of Avian Flu. Were they right? Was there so much to fear?
According to a CBS News report yesterday titled "Bird Flu Alarm Bottoms Out
It's that time of year again — avian flu panic season. As the weather turns colder in the Northern Hemisphere and the flu starts making its annual rounds, the media and their anointed health experts are chirping and squawking once again about how we could be blindsided by a pandemic that some have estimated could kill a billion persons worldwide. ...
Not coincidentally, an avian flu bureaucracy has become entrenched. Like all bureaucracies, it will fight to survive and thrive, egging on governments to provide ever more money. The alarmingly titled 2006 Guide to Surviving Bird Flu is published by no less than the Department of Health and Human Services. Never mind that no one in this country has yet even contracted bird flu. Congress last year allocated $3.8 billion to prevent the ballyhooed catastrophe (Bush requested almost twice that amount). The latest "scary news," promulgated in the November 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine by über-alarmist Robert Webster of St. Jude Memorial Children's Hospital, is that human cases of H5N1 contracted from birds are continuing to increase. Indeed, confirmed cases for 2006 are running ahead of those for last year. But the difference is slight; 97 worldwide for all of last year versus 111 through the end of November 2006. This difference could be entirely explained by better surveillance. Moreover, the real concern is not sporadic bird-to-human transmission, but human-to-human transmission. Far more people die of tuberculosis in an hour than all those known to have died from H5N1.
So it's time to revisit the allegations and show that, as small as the risk was a year ago, it's nevertheless dropped considerably since. ...
Hysteria over an avian flu pandemic has been very good for the Chicken Little media, authors, ambitious health officials, drug companies, and even Bush bashers. (An alarmist fantasy published by Nature magazine in May 2005 concluded by predicting a pandemic outbreak in December of last year, laying the blame entirely at the president's feet.) But even as many of the panic-mongers have begun to lie low, the vestiges of hysteria remain — as do the misallocations of billions of dollars from more serious health problems. Too bad no one ever holds the doomsayers accountable for the damage they've done.
(I omitted the scientific data but encourage all to read the full CBS article - it's chock full of data to support the article author's opinions on this point.)
When the scare first really started appearing all over the blogosphere, I noted that, coincidentally or not, Donald Rumsfeld held a substantial investment in the company that owned Tamiflu, the only curative drug (as opposed to symptom masking drugs) manufactured and available on a fairly wide scale. Wouldn't you love to be a shareholder of the firm that was getting millions of orders not only in America, but internationally, due to all the hype and hysteria?
Well, now we see that, along with billions of dollars wasted on stockpiles of a medicine we will not likely need to use in large quantities, the medicine itself may be more dangerous than had been thought.
Some recent morning, in my waking fog, I heard on NPR a story about the dangers of Tamiflu. I tried to find a US newspaper story on this, but the best I can find is one from Ireland, from the Irish Medical News
Ireland’s main defence against a flu pandemic, Tamiflu, has been linked to 25 deaths worldwide and several hundred cases of serious neuropsychiatric events in young people, including delirium, hallucinations, convulsions and suicidal behaviour.
The adverse effects have prompted international warnings from several North American and Asian health agencies. However, no such warnings have been issued in Ireland or Europe, and the HSE has admitted it knows nothing about any problems with Tamiflu, despite the grave reactions linked to the drug.
Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada have asked that Tamiflu manufacturer Roche include new warnings on the label of its anti-viral drug which will state reports of neuropsychiatric events such as self-injury and delirium in patients with influenza. While Roche has issued the new warning labels, it cannot confirm any direct link.
In a letter to US doctors, released in mid-November, Roche says that “the relative contribution of the drug” to these cases “is not known”, but it advises doctors and parents to “closely monitor patients for signs of unusual behaviour throughout their course of treatment.”
In the US, we spent, according to the CBS report cited above, $3.8 billion to fight the strain H5N1. The good news is that $1 billion of that is going into research to find faster ways to develop vaccines (the current chicken egg incubation method takes 9 months; mammalian cell incubation can be done in 90 days, per the CBS piece). So the bad news is, where did those other billions go? To a drug that has enough potential harmful side effects to warrant warnings by the US government?
I'm glad to see someone in the mainstream media acknowledging, appropriately, that the hype was overblown. For now, the danger appears anything but imminent. But I'll leave you with this weird tidbit from a USA Today article from August 1, 2006:
Using a new method to test potential pandemic flu strains, scientists have created a virus that contains genes from human and bird flus and found it lacks what it takes to cause a pandemic.
The researchers combined genes from a human flu strain, H3N2, and the H5N1 bird flu strain that emerged in Hong Kong in 1997, which is an earlier version of the deadly strain that is circulating in parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. They found that in animal experiments, the mixed virus lacks "the key property that predicts pandemic spread."
But experts say other gene combinations or mutations could turn H5N1 into a pandemic strain.
...The experiments were risky in that "the possibility was there" that a highly transmissible pandemic strain might have been created in the lab, said researcher Jacqueline Katz, "but the study was conducted using the most stringent safety precautions" in a biosafety level 3 lab.
The question that haunts me is this: If government scientists did
succeed in creating a pandemic strain, would we be told? I wonder.
How secrets can be kept forever
I'm so tired of hearing the ridiculous excuse used in so many conspiracy cases - "Someone would have made a million bucks off that information." "The CIA always leaks." "No secret can be kept forever."
Well, here's proof positive
that secrets can and are being kept. Check out the story of "Wendy Lee," a pseudonym for a person is listed legally
as a "former affiliate" of the Central Intelligence Agency. "She" (I'll say she, but for all we know it's a he) sued the CIA for the right to publish material based on her personal experiences with the agency. A court order dismissing her motion does not even reveal her name, another secret we'll probably never know.
What's her beef? Lee claims that the CIA "unlawfully imposed a prior restraint upon her speech by improperly declaring large portions of her memoir to be 'classified' and unpublishable." Of course, Lee begs to differ, and believes there is nothing in her memoir that is not already in the public domain. The kicker? Her lawyer can't even see the book because the CIA says it's all classified, so no third party can even review the contents to test her claims against the CIA. The CIA has unilateral authority to keep information from being published.That's one way to keep secrets. Prevent them being published.
I have no idea what Wendy wanted to divulge or why the CIA felt the need to keep it secret. But in another case, it's quite obvious what the plaintiff wished to divulge, and why the CIA wouldn't allow it. And it's clear that the mainstream media either is a) completely controlled by the CIA, which is why you haven't heard this story; b) completely lazy, which is why you haven't heard this story; or c) all of the above.
The person in this next suit was given a generic pseudonym that had to be classified as "[Redacted] Doe(P)" with a footnote explaining the "(P)" means this is an "official litigation pseudonym assigned by the Central Intelligence Agency to a covert employee." In other words, someone at the agency was paid to come up with "Doe" as an official litigation pseudonym (among their other equally vital tasks, no doubt. Your tax dollars at work. Or was that your drug money?) "Doe" sued Porter Goss and the CIA alleging he [you'll see it was a "he" in second, making the first name redaction doubly ridiculous] was being retaliated against for refusing to falsify intelligence related to WMD in [redacted].
Gee, let me guess: could that be a four letter word starting with "I" and ending in "q"? Want another clue? The problem started in 2001.
Here's an excerpt from the complaint
11. Plaintiff is being subjected to retaliation by Defendants for his refusal to falsify intelligence collected by him [redacted].
12. Plaintiff is a male of Near Eastern ancestry who joined the CIA as a contract covert Operations Officer in 1982. During the ensuing twenty-two year period Plaintiff has conducted numerous successful covert operations against a variety of intelligence targets while serving in the CIA Directorate of Operations ("CIA/DO"). This service and his significant contributions resulted in his eventual approval for promotion to the rank of GS-15 and for receipt of the CIA Special Intelligence Medal in recognition of his [redacted] recruitment of an [redacted] penetrating a target country's WMD program [redacted].
14. In 1995 Plaintiff was assigned to the CIA/DO Counter Proliferation Division ("CIA/DO/CPD") where his mission was to collect intelligence on and interdict the proliferation of WMD, [redacted.]
17. Plaintiff was first subjected to a demand that he alter his intelligence reporting in 2000, [redacted] Plaintiff reported this information via formal CIA cable channels. Plaintiff was subsequently advised by CIA management that his report did not support the earlier assessment [redacted] and instructed that if he did not alter his report to support this assessment it would not be received well by the intelligence community. Plaintiff was aware that earlier reporting underlying the assessment was less-than-genuine and refused to alter his report. As a result, CIA/DO/CPD refused to disseminate his report to the intelligence community despite Plaintiff's efforts.
18. In 2001, Plaintiff met with a highly respected human asset [redacted] Plaintiff immediately reported this information to his supervisor who in-turn met with CIA/DO/CPD management. Plaint was later instructed that he should prepare no written report of the matter and that the Deputy Director of Operations ("DDO") together with the Chief of CIA/DO/CPD would personally brief the President. Upon information and belief, Plaintiff avers that no such briefing ever occurred and therefore the President was misled by the withholding of vital intelligence. Subsequently, in 2002, the Chief of CIA/DO/CPD advised Plaintiff that his promotion to GS-15 and receipt of the Special Intelligence Medal had been approved by the DDO but were being withheld until Plaintiff removed himself from further handling of this asset.
19. In 2001, Plaintiff, attempted to report "actionable intelligence [large paragraph redacted] Plaintiff reported this information to CIA/DO/CPD via formal cable channels. However, the CIA never disseminated this information in the intelligence community despite Plaintiff's pleas to do so, effectively sequestering intelligence [another long redaction.] Later, a co-worker of Plaintiff warned him that CIA management planned to "get him" for his role in reporting intelligence contrary to official CIA dogma [redacted.]
20. In 2002, Plaintiff attempted to report routine intelligence [redacted] but was thwarted by CIA superiors... Plaintiff reported this information to CIA/DO/CPD via formal cable channels. Plaintiff was subsequently approached by a senior [redacted] desk officer who insisted that Plaintiff falsify his reporting of this matter [redacted.] Plaintiff refused. Subsequently, CIA/DO/CPD management determined that Plaintiff should remove himself from any further "handling" of this asset.
Can you guess what happened next? The employee was accused of having sex with a female asset. Plaintiff says that wasn't true. Plaintiff was then accused of using agency funds for personal use. Plaintiff denied that too. Guess who his accusers were? This isn't rocket science. His accusers were "the same CIA/DO/CPD managers who managed the operations and reporting"-- i.e., the same people dissatisfied by his attachment to the truth. He was fired before the completion of two investigations - one conducted by Counterintelligence (CI) and another by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). According to Doe:
28. ... both the CI and OIG investigations of him were a sham, initiated for the sole purpose of discrediting him and retaliating against him for questioning the integrity of the WMD reporting [redacted] and for refusing to falsify his intelligence reporting to support the politically mandated conclusion [redacted.]
29. On information and belief, Plaintiff avers that the termination of his employment at CIA was in further retaliation for, and to contrive a pretext to discredit, his refusal to falsify his intelligence reporting to support the politically mandated conclusion [redacted].
Of course, it could also be the reviews would have cleared him, so they hurried up and fired him before he could receive that judgment.
Doe sued Goss and the Agency in the United States District Court for DC because he had "available to him no internal administrative remedy at CIA to address the complained of acts and omissions." He complained that his internal employment records had been altered. CIA, of course, says his claims are unjustified, that Plaintiff wasn't able to specify exactly what information in his records had been changed. Could that be because Plaintiff never got to see those records, but could tell by what was being said to and about him that it couldn't accurately reflect his record?The courts rarely rule against the CIA.
That's why the control of judicial appointments is so important in political circles. What if you got a judge who forced the CIA's hand and made them turn over records? That couldn't be allowed. So the CIA supports politicians who will appoint judges who will in turn side with them in such matters.And that's how secrets can be kept forever.
So can we cut the crap? If the CIA killed either or both of the Kennedy brothers, that's a secret we can approach through documentation and those who have risked the agency's wrath, but the CIA will never, ever, admit to it, or seek to punish any of its own for it. That's the way the story should
end. But that's not how the story will
end, and anyone who thinks otherwise lives in the United States of Disneyland.
Want to turn that around?
Take money out of politics. Support public campaign financing. That way it’s still one person, one vote – not one dollar, one vote. Find a way to provide security-cleared lawyers who are nonetheless willing to stand up to the CIA if they are lying. Find a way to guarantee their safety from CIA retaliation (i.e., sudden heart attacks.) It's not going to be easy.
Notice I didn't suggest disband the CIA. We'll always need intelligence. But we desperately
need better oversight and punishment for officials who would prod an employee to change intelligence to suit a political agenda. We need to be able to hear whistleblowers in some forum that would protect truly vital secrets while not allowing abuses to be hidden under the overprotective veil of "national security."