Dollar devaluation cause of oil spike
Doha: A detailed review of oil prices, which have a direct bearing on inflation worldwide, reveals that this is the only time in history when oil prices have risen steeply without any major political event or upheaval taking place.
Gazprom, GDF to swap pipeline gas for LNG
Russia's OAO Gazprom and France's Gaz de France have signed a deal under which Gazprom will deliver pipeline gas to GDF in exchange for a shipment of LNG, which Gazprom will sell in the US.
RasGas II LNG Train 4 starts operation
Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co. Ltd. II (RasGas II) reported the start-up of its 4.7 million tonne/year Train 4 LNG facilities at Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar.
Syntroleum to test GTL process with coal
Syntroleum Corp., Tulsa, plans to test its propriety Fischer-Tropsch catalyst with coal-derived synthesis gas at a coal gasification plant.
Indonesia might intervene in Cepu Block talks
The Indonesian government said it will intervene in talks between ExxonMobil Oil Indonesia Inc. and Indonesian state-run oil and gas firm PT Pertamina if the two sides reach no agreement.
Warm weather pushes energy prices lower
NEW YORK - Energy prices drifted lower Tuesday as warm weather persisted throughout the Northeast amid expectations that U.S. oil reserves are sufficient for increased demand this winter.
U zapletu radnje pojavljuje se novi-stari lik, Bob Woodward (vidi Watergate).
Hoce li to 'pomoci' trenutno jedinom optuzenom i hoce li jos neko za njim...to be continued...
Woodward Could Be a Boon to Libby
By Carol D. Leonnig and Jim VandeHei; Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, November 17, 2005; A15
The revelation that The Washington Post's Bob Woodward may have been the first reporter to learn about CIA operative Valerie Plame could provide a boost to the only person indicted in the leak case: I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
Legal experts said Woodward provided two pieces of new information that cast at least a shadow of doubt on the public case against Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, who has been indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.
Woodward testified Monday that contrary to Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's public statements, a senior government official -- not Libby -- was the first Bush administration official to tell a reporter about Plame and her role at the CIA. Woodward also said that Libby never mentioned Plame in conversations they had on June 23 and June 27, 2003, about the Iraq war, a time when the indictment alleges Libby was eagerly passing information about Plame to reporters and colleagues.
While neither statement appears to factually change Fitzgerald's contention that Libby lied and impeded the leak investigation, the Libby legal team plans to use Woodward's testimony to try to show that Libby was not obsessed with unmasking Plame and to raise questions about the prosecutor's full understanding of events. Until now, few outside of Libby's legal team have challenged the facts and chronology of Fitzgerald's case.
"I think it's a considerable boost to the defendant's case," said John Moustakas, a former federal prosecutor who has no role in the case. "It casts doubt about whether Fitzgerald knew everything as he charged someone with very serious offenses." Other legal experts agreed.
Moustakas said Woodward also has considerable credibility because he has been granted "unprecedented access" to the inner workings of the Bush White House. "When Woodward says this information was disclosed to me in a nonchalant and casual way -- not as if it was classified -- it helps corroborate Libby's account about himself and about the administration," Moustakas said.
According to the statement Woodward released Tuesday, he did not appear to provide any testimony that goes specifically to the question of whether Libby is guilty of two counts of perjury, two counts of providing false statements and one count of obstructing justice. The indictment outlines what many legal experts describe as a very strong case against Libby, because it shows the former Cheney aide learned about Plame from at least four government sources, including the vice president -- and not a reporter, as he testified before the grand jury.
Randall D. Eliason, former head of the public corruption unit for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District,said he doubts the Woodward account would have much effect on Libby's case, and dismissed such theories as "defense spin."
"Libby was not charged with being the first to talk to a reporter, and that is not part of the indictment," he said. "Whether or not some other officials were talking to Woodward doesn't really tell us anything about the central issue in Libby's case: What was his state of mind and intent when he was talking to the FBI and testifying in the grand jury?" Eliason added: "What this does sest, though, is that the investigation is still very active. Hard to see how that is good news for [White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl] Rove or for anyone else in the prosecutor's cross hairs."
Since December 2003, Fitzgerald has been probing whether senior Bush administration officials illegally leaked classified information -- Plame's identity as a CIA operative -- to reporters to discredit allegations made by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. Plame's name was revealed in a July 14, 2003, column by Robert D. Novak, eight days after Wilson publicly accused the administration of twisting intelligence to justify the Iraq war. Rove is still under investigation. Libby's lawyers have asked whether Fitzgerald will correct his statement that Libby was the first administration official to leak information about Plame to a reporter. Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined to comment. But a source close to the probe said there is no reason for the prosecutor to correct the record, because he specifically said at his news conference Oct. 28 that Libby was the "first official known" at that time to have provided such information to a reporter.
Still, the Libby legal team seized on Woodward's testimony, calling it a "bombshell" with the potential to upend Fitzgerald's case. After spending yesterday at the courthouse reviewing documents for the case, Libby emerged with one of this lawyers, Theodore V. Wells Jr., by his side. Wells said Libby is "very grateful to Bob Woodward for coming forward and telling the truth."
A few hours earlier Wells issued a markedly more pointed statement, saying, "Woodward's disclosures are a bombshell to Mr. Fitzgerald's case" that show at least one accusation to be "totally inaccurate." The Libby legal team plans to call a number of journalists to testify in part to show Libby was not determined to blow Plame's cover.
In an interview, Woodward said his testimony was not designed to help or hurt Libby. "My reporting and writing is as neutral as it can be," he said. "Fitzgerald asked me questions . . . I answered them."
Rove's defense team also believes he could benefit tangentially from the Woodward disclosure because it shows other officials were discussing Plame in casual ways and that others have foggy recollections of the period as well, according to a Republican close to Rove. "It definitely raises the plausibility of Karl Rove's simple and honest lapses of memory, because it shows that there were other people discussing the matter in what Mr. Woodward described as very offhanded, casual way," a source close to Rove said. "Let's face it, we don't all remember every conversation we have about significant issues, much less those about those that are less significant."
Rove is under scrutiny for not initially disclosing his conversation about Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper. Rove's defense is he simply forgot the conversation took place. Sources close to Rove said they expect a decision on whether he will be charged soon.
Dok se u Washinghtonu odvija tihi rat oko pitanja tko je razgovarao s WMD (Woman of Mass Destruction) Judith Miller, kad i u kojem restoranu, glavno pitanje tj. 'Who really framed Joseph Wilson?' bi lako moglo ostati neodgovoreno iako je selfexplanatory.
Hoce li Fitzgerald ici do kraja ili ce se zaustaviti tamo gdje mu bude najoportunije postoje razlicita misljenja, od apsolutne podrske (vjerovatno od onih koji su jedva docekali da se netko usudio nesto pokrenuti) preko onih koji postavljaju pitanje dvostrukih standarda do naravno GWB kojem je receno da napada sve koji uopce pomisljaju pomisliti da je 'nesto trulo u drzavi americkoj'.
Mozda bi misljenje iz prve ruke moglo biti najblize istini pa evo sto kaze US Ambassador Joseph Wilson u interviewu...
No, da se mi vratimo na Dr. Evila i curenje informacija:
Cheney Leaks Again by Gordon Prather
Last week, Dana Priest revealed in the Washington Post that "the CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al-Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe. The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA's unconventional war on terrorism. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA's covert actions."
Priest cited "current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents" as her sources.
The CIA-as it is required by law to do–has notified the Justice Department that classified information about CIA "sources and methods of operation" has been disclosed, setting the stage for a possible criminal inquiry similar to the one launched following the "outing" of Valerie Plame. As of now, it appears that Valerie Plame Wilson was revealed to be a covert CIA operative because Scooter Libby passed on that highly-classified "source and intelligence methods" information to several associates and media sycophants who had "no need to know." Libby is apparently on record as saying he got the highly-classified information from Vice President Cheney, who had apparently asked for – and gotten – it from CIA Director "Slam-Dunk" Tenet, himself.
Before proceeding further, you need to know more about three categories of classified information:
1) Restricted Data
2) Defense Information
3) Sensitive Compartmented Information.
Restricted Data is defined by the Atomic Energy Act and is information related to nuclear weapons programs.
Restricted Data is, therefore, classified according to content.
Defense Information, on the other hand, is classified on the basis of the possible consequences to National Security that would or could result if that information was disclosed to unauthorized persons. Since the consequences of its disclosure can change over time, what is classified now, may not be at a later time. All classified information must be clearly marked as such, at the top and bottom of every page. Persons cleared for access to Defense Information are usually said to have a Secret or a Top Secret Clearance – usually issued by the Defense Department – and there are probably hundreds of thousands of such persons at the present time, in government service and in the private sector.
Then there is Sensitive Compartmented Information, frequently related to Special Access Programs. The consequences of SCI/SAP being disclosed to unauthorized persons are deemed to be so severe that there are no blanket SCI/SAP clearances issued. Each SCI/SAP is assigned a CodeWord, and only the minimum number of carefully chosen individuals – frequently no more than a dozen, hardly ever as many as a hundred – are ever read-in to that "Codeword" SCI/SAP. In order to gain access to anyclassified information, you’ve got to have a "need to know."
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush apparently decided that most Congresspersons no longer had a need to know the course of – and important developments in – our "critical" military, intelligence and law enforcement operations. So he issued an order to the Director of Central Intelligence, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and other cabinet members to restrict their divulgence of certain "critical" classified information to just eight members of Congress; The Speaker and Minority Leader of the House, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
So now you can better appreciate the Los Angeles Times report that former Senate Majority Leader, Trent Lott, said those highly-secret CIA prison facilities were "discussed" at a Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill – one day before the Priest column appeared – perhaps in the course of Cheney lobbying Senate Republicans to remove the McCain amandment– prohibiting the CIA use of torture – from pending legislation.
Lott said: "Information that was said in there, given out in there, did get into the newspaper. I don't know where else it came from…
Senate Majority Leader Frist and House Speaker Hastert have called on the Senate and House intelligence committees to convene a "a joint investigation" into who leaked the information.
Maybe Bush isn't authorized to stifle Cheney?
Dick Cheney’s Song of America
By David Armstrong, Harper's Magazine
Few writers are more ambitious than the writers of government policy papers, and few policy papers are more ambitious than Dick Cheney’s masterwork. It has taken several forms over the last decade and is in fact the product of several ghostwriters (notably Paul Wolfowitz and Colin Powell), but Cheney has been consistent in his dedication to the ideas in the documents that bear his name, and he has maintained a close association with the ideologues behind them. Let us, therefore, call Cheney the author, and this series of documents the Plan. The Plan was published in unclassified form most recently under the title of Defense Strategy for the 1990s as Cheney ended his term as secretary of defense under the elder George Bush in early 1993, but it is, like “Leaves of Grass,” a perpetually evolving work. It was the controversial Defense Planning Guidance draft of 1992 – from which Cheney, unconvincingly, tried to distance himself – and it was the somewhat less aggressive revised draft of that same year. This June it was a presidential lecture in the form of a commencement address at West Point, and in July it was leaked to the press as yet another Defense Planning Guidance (this time under the pen name of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld). It will take its ultimate form, though, as America’s new national security strategy – and Cheney et al. will experience what few writers have even dared dream: their words will become our reality.
The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming military superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful. The Plan is disturbing in many ways, and ultimately unworkable. Yet it is being sold now as an answer to the “new realities” of the post-September 11 world, even as it was sold previously as the answer to the new realities of the post-Cold War world. For Cheney, the Plan has always been the right answer, no matter how different the questions.
Before the Plan was about domination it was about money. It took shape in late 1989, when the Soviet threat was clearly on the decline, and, with it, public support for a large military establishment. Cheney seemed unable to come to terms with either new reality. He remained deeply suspicious of the Soviets and strongly resisted all efforts to reduce military spending. Democrats in Congress jeered his lack of strategic vision, and a few within the Bush Administration were whispering that Cheney had become an irrelevant factor in structuring a response to the revolutionary changes taking place in the world. More adaptable was the up-and-coming General Colin Powell, the newly appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
As Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser, Powell had seen the changes taking place in the Soviet Union firsthand and was convinced that the ongoing transformation was irreversible.
Like Cheney, he wanted to avoid military cuts, but he knew they were inevitable. The best he could do was minimize them, and the best way to do that would be to offer a new security structure that would preserve American military capabilities despite reduced resources. Powell and his staff believed that a weakened Soviet Union would result in shifting alliances and regional conflict. The United States was the only nation capable of managing the forces at play in the world; it would have to remain the preeminent military power in order to ensure the peace and shape the emerging order in accordance with American interests. U.S. military strategy, therefore, would have to shift from global containment to managing less-well-defined regional strles and unforeseen contingencies. To do this, the United States would have to project a military “forward presence” around the world; there would be fewer troops but in more places. This plan still would not be cheap, but through careful restructuring and superior technology, the job could be done with 25 percent fewer troops. Powell insisted that maintaining superpower status must be the first priority of the U.S. military. “We have to put a shingle outside our door saying, ‘Superpower Lives Here,’ no matter what the Soviets do,” he said at the time. He also insisted that the troop levels be proposed were the bare minimum necessary to do so. This concept would come to be known as the “Base Force.”
Powell’s work on the subject proved timely. The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, and five days later Powell had his new strategy ready to present to Cheney. Even as decades of repression were ending in Eastern Europe, however, Cheney still could not abide even the force and budget reductions Powell proposed. Yet he knew that cuts were unavoidable. Having no alternative of his own to offer, therefore, he reluctantly encouraged Powell to present his ideas to the president. Powell did so the next day; Bush made no promises but encouraged him to keep at it. Less encouraging was the reaction of Paul Wolfowitz, the undersecretary of defense for policy. A lifelong proponent of the unilateralist, maximum-force approach, he shared Cheney’s skepticism about the Eastern Bloc and so put his own staff to work on a competing plan that would somehow accommodate the possibility of Soviet backsliding.
As Powell and Wolfowitz worked out their strategies, Congress was losing patience. New calls went up for large cuts in defense spending in light of the new global environment. The harshest critique of Pentagon planning came from a usually dependable ally of the military establishment, Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn, chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee. Nunn told fellow senators in March 1990 that there was a “threat blank” in the administration’s proposed $295 billion defense budget and that the Pentagon’s “basic assessment of the overall threat to our national security” was “rooted in the past.” The world had changed and yet the “development of a new military strategy that responds to the changes in the threat has not yet occurred.” Without that response, no dollars would be forthcoming.
Nunn’s message was clear. Powell and Wolfowitz began filling in the blanks.
Powell started promoting a Zen-like new rationale for his Base Force approach. With the Soviets rapidly becoming irrelevant, Powell argued, the United States could no longer assess its military needs on the basis of known threats. Instead, the Pentagon should focus on maintaining the ability to address a wide variety of new and unknown challenges.
This shift from a “threat based” assessment of military requirements to a “capability based” assessment would become a key theme of the Plan.
The United States would move from countering Soviet attempts at dominance to ensuring its own dominance.
Again, this project would not be cheap.
Powell’s argument, circular though it may have been, proved sufficient to hold off Congress. Winning support among his own colleagues, however, proved more difficult.
Cheney remained deeply skeptical about the Soviets, and Wolfowitz was only slowly coming around.
To account for future uncertainties, Wolfowitz recommended drawing down U.S. forces to roughly the levels proposed by Powell, but doing so at a much slower pace; seven years as opposed to the four Powell sested. He also built in a “crisis response/reconstitution” clause that would allow for reversing the process if events in the Soviet Union, or elsewhere, turned ugly.
With these now elements in place, Cheney saw something that might work. By combining Powell’s concepts with those of Wolfowitz, he could counter congressional criticism that his proposed defense budget was out of line with the new strategic reality, while leaving the door open for future force increases. In late June, Wolfowitz, Powell, and Cheney presented their plan to the president, and within as few weeks Bush was unveiling the new strategy. Bush laid out the rationale for the Plan in a speech in Aspen, Colorado, on August 2, 1990. He explained that since the danger of global war had substantially receded, the principal threats to American security would emerge in unexpected quarters. To counter those threats, he said, the United States would increasingly base the size and structure of its forces on the need to respond to “regional contingencies” and maintain a peacetime military presence overseas. Meeting that need would require maintaining the capability to quickly deliver American forces to any “corner of the globe,” and that would mean retaining many major weapons systems then under attack in Congress as overly costly and unnecessary, including the “Star Wars” missile-defense program. Despite those massive outlays, Bush insisted that the proposed restructuring would allow the United States to draw down its active forces by 25 percent in the years ahead, the same figure Powell had projected ten months earlier. The Plan’s debut was well timed. By a remarkable coincidence, Bush revealed it the very day Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait.
The Gulf War temporarily reduced the pressure to cut military spending. It also diverted attention from some of the Plan’s less appealing aspects. In addition, it inspired what would become one of the Plan’s key features: the use of “overwhelming force” to quickly defeat enemies, a concept since dubbed the Powell Doctrine. Once the Iraqi threat was “contained,” Wolfowitz returned to his obsession with the Soviets, planning various scenarios involved possible Soviet intervention in regional conflicts. The failure of the hard-liner coup against Gorbachev in August 1991, however, made it apparent that such planning might be unnecessary. Then, in late December, just as the Pentagon was preparing to put the Plan in place, the Soviet Union collapsed. With the Soviet Union gone, the United States had a choice. It could capitalize on the euphoria of the moment by nurturing cooperative relations and developing multilateral structures to help guide the global realignment then taking place; or it could consolidate its power and pursue a strategy of unilateralism and global dominance. It chose the latter course.
In early 1992, as Powell and Cheney campaigned to win congressional support for their augmented Base Force plan, a new logic entered into their appeals. The United States, Powell told members of the House Armed Services Committee, required “sufficient power” to “deter any challenger from ever dreaming of challenging us on the world stage.” To emphasize the point, he cast the United States in the role of street thug. “I want to be the bully on the block,” he said, implanting in the mind of potential opponents that “there is no future in trying to challenge the armed forces of the United States.” As Powell and Cheney were making this new argument in their congressional rounds, Wolfowitz was busy expanding the concept and working to have it incorporated into U.S. policy. During the early months of 1992, Wolfowitz supervised the preparation of an internal Pentagon policy statement used to guide military officials in the preparation of their forces, budgets, and strategies. The classified document, known as the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG), depicted a world dominated by the United States, which would maintain its superpower status through a combination of positive guidance and overwhelming military might. the image was one of a heavily armed City on a Hill. The DPG stated that the “first objective” of U.S. defense strategy was “to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival.” Achieving this objective required that the United States “prevent any hostile power from dominating a region” of strategic significance. America’s new mission would be to convince allies and enemies alike “that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.” Another new theme was the use of preemptive military force. The options, the DPG noted, ranged from taking preemptive military action to head off a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack to “punishing” or “threatening punishment of” aggressors “through a variety of means,” including strikes against weapons-manufacturing facilities. The DPG also envisioned maintaining a substantial U.S. nuclear arsenal while discouraging the development of nuclear programs in other countries. It depicted a “U.S.-led system of collective security” that implicitly precluded the need for rearmament of any king by countries such as Germany and Japan. And it called for the “early introduction” of a global missile-defense system that would presumably render all missile-launched weapons, including those of the United States, obsolete. (The United States would, of course, remain the world’s dominant military power on the strength of its other weapons systems.)
The story, in short, was dominance by way of unilateral action and military superiority. While coalitions – such as the one formed during the Gulf War – held “considerable promise for promoting collective action,” the draft DPG stated, the United States should expect future alliances to be “ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished.” It was essential to create “the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S.” and essential that America position itself “to act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated” or in crisis situation requiring immediate action. “While the U.S. cannot become the world’s policeman,” the document said, “we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends.” Among the interests the draft indicated the United States would defend in this manner were “access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, [and] threats to U.S. citizens from terrorism.”
The DPG was leaked to the New York Times in March 1992. Critics on both the left and the right attacked it immediately. Then-presidential candidate Pat Buchanan portrayed candidate a “blank check” to America’s allies by sesting the United States would “go to war to defend their interests.” Bill Clinton’s deputy campaign manager, George Stephanopoulos, characterized it as an attempt by Pentagon officials to “find an excuse for big defense budgets instead of downsizing.” Delaware Senator Joseph Biden criticized the Plan’s vision of a “Pax Americana, a global security system where threats to stability are suppressed or destroyed by U.S. military power.” Even those who found the document’s stated goals commendable feared that its chauvinistic tone could alienate many allies. Cheney responded by attempting to distance himself from the Plan. The Pentagon’s spokesman dismissed the leaked document as a “low-level draft” and claimed that Cheney had not seen it. Yet a fifteen-page section opened by proclaiming that it constituted “definitive guidance from the Secretary of Defense.”
Powell took a more forthright approach to dealing with the flap: he publicly embraced the DPG’s core concept. In a TV interview, he said he believed it was “just fine” that the United States reign as the world’s dominant military power. “I don’t think we should apologize for that,” he said. Despite bad reviews in the foreign press, Powell insisted that America’s European allies were “not afraid” of U.S. military might because it was “power that could be trusted” and “will not be misused.” Mindful that the draft DPG’s overt expression of U.S. dominance might not fly, Powell in the same interview also trotted out a new rationale for the original Base Force plan. He argued that in a post-Soviet world, filled with new dangers, the United States needed the ability to fight on more than one front at a time. “One of the most destabilizing things we could do,” he said, “is to cut our forces so much that if we’re tied up in one area of the world ..... and we are not seen to have the ability to influence another area of the world, we might invite just the sort of crisis we’re trying to deter.” This two-war strategy provided a possible answer to Nunn’s “threat blank.” One unknown enemy wasn’t enough to justify lavish defense budgets, but two unknown enemies might do the trick. Within a few weeks the Pentagon had come up with a more comprehensive response to the DPG furor. A revised version was leaked to the press that was significantly less strident in tone, though only slightly less strident in fact. While calling for the United States to prevent “any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests,” the new draft stressed that America would act in concert with its allies – when possible. It also sested the United Nations might take an expanded role in future political, economic, and security matters, a concept conspicuously absent from the original draft.
The controversy died down, and, with a presidential campaign under way, the Pentagon did nothing to stir it up again. Following Bush’s defeat, however, the Plan reemerged. In January 1993, in his very last days in office. Cheney released a final version. The newly titled Defense Strategy for the 1990s retained the soft touch of the revised draft DPG as well as its darker themes. The goal remained to preclude “[B]hostile competitors from challenging our critical interests” and preventing the rise of a new super-power. Although it expressed a “preference” for collective responses in meeting such challenges, it made clear that the United States would play the lead role in any alliance. Moreover, it noted that collective action would “not always be timely.” Therefore, the United States needed to retain the ability to “act independently, if necessary.” To do so would require that the United States maintain its massive military superiority. Others were not encouraged to follow suit. It was kinder, gentler dominance, but it was dominance all the same. And it was this thesis that Cheney and company nailed to the door on their way out.[/B]
The new administration tacitly rejected the heavy-handed, unilateral approach to U.S. primacy favored by Powell, Cheney, and Wolfowitz. Taking office in the relative calm of the early post – Cold War era, Clinton sought to maximize America’s existing position of strength and promote its interests through economic diplomacy, multilateral institutions (dominated by the United States), greater international free trade, and the development of allied coalitions, including American-led collective military action. American policy, in short, shifted from global dominance to globalism. Clinton also failed to prosecute military campaigns with sufficient vigor to satisfy the defense strategists of the previous administration. Wolfowitz found Clinton’s Iraq policy especially infuriating. During the Gulf War, Wolfowitz harshly criticized the decision – endorsed by Powell and Cheney – to end the war once the U.N. mandate of driving Saddam’s forces from Kuwait had been fulfilled, leaving the Iraqi dictator in office. He called on the Clinton Administration to finish the job by arming Iraqi opposition forces and sending U.S. ground troops to defense a base of operation for them in the southern region of the country. In a 1996 editorial, Wolfowitz raised the prospect of launching a preemptive attack against Iraq. “Should we sit idly by,” he wrote, “with our passive containment policy and our inept cover operations, and wait until a tyrant possessing large quantities of weapons of mass destruction and sophisticated delivery systems strikes out at us?” Wolfowitz sested it was “necessary” to “go beyond the containment strategy.”
Wolfowitz’s objections to Clinton’s military tactics were not limited to Iraq. Wolfowitz had endorsed President Bush’s decision in late 1992 to intervene in Somalia on a limited humanitarian basis. Clinton later expanded the mission into a broader peacekeeping effort, a move that ended in disaster. With perfect twenty-twenty hindsight, Wolfowitz decried Clinton’s decision to send U.S. troops into combat “where there is no significant U.S. national interest.” He took a similar stance on Clinton’s ill-fated democracy-building effort in Haiti, chastising the president for engaging “American military prestige” on an issue” of the little or no importance” to U.S. interests. Bosnia presented a more complicated mix of posturing and ideologics. While running for president, Clinton had scolded the Bush Administration for failing to take action to stem the flow of blood in the Balkans. Once in office, however, and chastened by their early misadventures in Somalia and Haiti, Clinton and his advisers strled to articulate a coherent Bosnia policy. Wolfowitz complained in 1994 of the administration’s failure to “develop an effective course of action.' He personally advocated arming the Bosnian Muslims in their fight against the Serbs. Powell, on the other hand, publicly cautioned against intervention. In 1995 a U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign, combined with a Croat-Muslim ground offensive, forced the Serbs into negotiations, leading to the Dayton Peace Accords. In 1999, as Clinton rounded up support for joint U.S.-NATO action in Kosovo, Wolfowitz hectored the president for failing to act quickly enough.
After eight years of what Cheney et al. regarded as wrong-headed military adventures and pinprick retaliatory strikes, the Clinton Administration – mercifully, in their view – came to an end. With the ascension of George W. Bush to the presidency, the authors of the Plan returned to government, ready to pick up where they had left off.
Cheney of course, became vice president, Powell became secretary of state, and Wolfowitz moved into the number two slot at the Pentagon, as Donald Rumsfeld’s deputy.
Other contributors also returned: Two prominent members of the Wolfowitz team that crafted the original DPG took up posts on Cheney’s staff. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who served as Wolfowitz’s deputy during Bush I, became the vice president’s chief of staff and national security adviser. And Eric Edelman, an assistant deputy undersecretary of defense in the first Bush Administration, became a top foreign policy adviser to Cheney.
Cheney and company had not changed their minds during the Clinton interlude about the correct course for U.S. policy, but they did not initially appear bent on resurrecting the Plan. Rather than present a unified vision of foreign policy to the world, in the early going the administration focused on promoting a series of seemingly unrelated initiatives. Notable among these were missile defense and space-based weaponry, long-standing conservative causes. In addition, a distinct tone of unilateralism emerged as the new administration announced its intent to abandon the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia in order to pursue missile defense; its opposition to U.S. ratification of an international nuclear-test-ban pact; and its refusal to become a party to an International Criminal Court. It also raised the prospect of ending the self-imposed U.S. moratorium on nuclear testing initiated by the President’s father during the 1992 presidential campaign. Moreover, the administration adopted a much tougher diplomatic posture, as evidenced, most notably, by a distinct hardening of relations with both China and North Korea. While none of this was inconsistent with the concept of U.S. dominance, these early actions did not, at the time, seem to add up to a coherent strategy.
It was only after September 11 that the Plan emerged in full. Read more...
Kao sto vidimo - za sve je kriv Mikhail Gorbatchow! Ostalo je samo oportunizam Dr. Evil-a!
Nastavljamo u revijalnom tonu...
Karl Rove is so effective at manipulating public perception, so radically unprincipled and so abysmally cynical, that it's difficult to believe he isn't controlling whatever the headlines say is happening to him. Maybe the 21st Century Watergate is just Karl's latest grand operetta, designed to distract us all from the savageries "our troops" are committing in the Persian Gulf as you read this. In that case, some legal technicality is even now being incubated inside Mr. Fitzgerald's briefcase, ready to hatch at the right moment and send us all back to business as usual.Read even more: GwB's Scooter Ride
Or maybe this Watergate, like the last one, is a creature of the CIA. All those years ago, Dick Helms may well have instructed one of Nixon's burglars (namely, CIA employee Bernard Barker) to sabotage his own burglary by leaving behind the strip of tape on the door-lock. That way, when the burglars were caught, all their orders would point backward to Nixon except that one, which pointed not to Helms but to sheer incompetence. Goodbye, Nixon. If this were being repeated, the Agency will have somehow contrived to trap Rove and his bosses into outing Valerie Plame, while using the Downing Street leaks as a lever to force the White House into jeopardy.
This time, however, the CIA is not being run by someone like Dick Helms, a veteran werewolf whom President Nixon inherited. It is run by Porter Goss, whom Bush (i.e., Cheney) appointed as part of a long war against the agency. That conflict pits the CIA against a solid alliance comprising the White House, the Pentagon, and the titans of the oil industry. Though the Agency's bark remains as horrifying as Cerberus' howling from the porches of the Inferno, it may have few teeth left for either attack or defense.
Mike Ruppert surmised as much, eight months ago in 'GlobalCorp':
"Look, the agency does many things in many roles from raw intelligence gathering, to economic warfare, to satellite recon, to paramilitary operations requiring cover and deniability, to drug smling. But since its inception it was always focused in large part on medium and long-term intelligence gathering and covert operations through the costly, patient, expensive means of placing NOCs (non-official covers) or assets in missions where it might take five, ten or fifteen years to bear fruit. These programs were always centered on "what if" contingencies which inherently implied that multiple outcomes were possible; that there were alternative futures to be influenced and shaped.
"Battlefield intelligence is a different critter. It presupposes that there is nothing more important than the battle that has been joined at this moment. If the battle is not won, there are no future choices. Hence nothing matters other than the war that is being fought today. No Yaltas or Potsdams; no future deep cover moles will be needed.
"Every country in the world is betting everything it has on this one hand knowing that after 2007 or 2008 the game ends. The map of the future after that is unknowable and, to large extent, irrelevant. That's why Rumsfeld has won the battle to control American intelligence operations and why the new National Intelligence Director John Negroponte is getting the job."
Either the White House is controlling this Rovegate scandal (in which case it is a grand diversion that will come to nothing), or the CIA is controlling it (in which case it may sink the administration and perhaps the Republican congressional majority, anointing Hillary Clinton), or nobody is controlling it - in which case this is part of the institutional flake-down of what used to be the government.
Either way, we all get front-row seats. Pass the popcorn (and don't mention Peak Oil). Read More
Samo za odlikase: Deconstructing Cheney
Kao sto rece covjek: "Dodaj kokice!" I pivu...