has several great stories this morning. OK, not great in the sense of good, but rather in the sense that they are very much worth reading.
From the NYTimes
, a CIA officer has come forward with info that the Bush admin overlooked his reports that Iraq had stopped working on it's nuclear progrom years before 2001, and some of the enrichment equipment was available for sale...
The Central Intelligence Agency was told by an informant in the spring of 2001 that Iraq had abandoned a major element of its nuclear weapons program, but the agency did not share the information with other agencies or with senior policy makers, a former C.I.A. officer has charged.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court here in December, the former C.I.A. officer, whose name remains secret, said that the informant told him that Iraq's uranium enrichment program had ended years earlier and that centrifuge components from the scuttled program were available for examination and even purchase.
The officer, an employee at the agency for more than 20 years, including several years in a clandestine unit assigned to gather intelligence related to illicit weapons, was fired in 2004.
In his lawsuit, he says his dismissal was punishment for his reports questioning the agency's assumptions on a series of weapons-related matters. Among other things, he charged that he had been the target of retaliation for his refusal to go along with the agency's intelligence conclusions.
Michelle Neff, a C.I.A. spokeswoman, said the agency would not comment on the lawsuit.
There is more, so check out the rest of the article. I'd just like to point out that this backs up the idea that the administration had decided what intel was correct and what wasn't, based on preconcieved notions.
One of the memes that has been circulating since OBL escaped at Tora Bora is that he isn't leading al Qaeda anymore. The concept that Qaeda may no longer be a centralized organization (if it's minor ops ever were) has been an excuse for not focusing on Afghanastan (or other suggested OBL locations). An article from a Switzerland news group
suggests that OBL is still steering Qaeda,
Osama bin Laden is still giving direct orders for al Qaeda attacks, Saudi Arabia's next ambassador to the United States said on Sunday.
Outgoing Saudi ambassador to Britain Prince Turki al-Faisal said some of the most recent attacks attributed to al Qaeda in the oil-rich kingdom had been directly ordered by the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
"Some of the events (attacks) that occurred in the kingdom over the past 2-1/2 years were under the immediate directions of the leadership of al Qaeda, particularly bin Laden," Turki said in comments broadcast by Reuters Television on Sunday.
Considering how easily the Taliban had a recording of their sowning of a helicopter out and to the press, I would be inclined to believe this.
A disturbing article
on the military tribunals at Gitmo.
Leaked emails from two former prosecutors claim the military commissions set up to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay are rigged, fraudulent, and thin on evidence against the accused.
Two emails, which have been obtained by the ABC, were sent to supervisors in the Office of Military Commissions in March of last year - three months before Australian detainee David Hicks was charged and five months before his trial began.
The first email is from prosecutor Major Robert Preston to his supervisor.
Maj Preston writes that the process is perpetrating a fraud on the American people, and that the cases being pursued are marginal.
"I consider the insistence on pressing ahead with cases that would be marginal even if properly prepared to be a severe threat to the reputation of the military justice system and even a fraud on the American people," Maj Preston wrote.
"Surely they don't expect that this fairly half-arsed effort is all that we have been able to put together after all this time."
I hope that this isn't true. Regardless, it is a good reason for civilian oversight (not Gonzalez's pro torture types) of the trials to ensure that they are fair. Our reputation relies on this.
And on a happy note, the Guardian
reports that it is likely that the Murdoch empire will break up after his death. Now, before you jump to conclusions, I'm not wishing anything on him, just pointing out that the dissolution of a massive and corrosively hypocritical media conglomerate will be a good thing. I don't expect Fox News to become a legitimate news source, or to become fair or balanced (they make their money by being anything but). But maybe...