Monday, November 12, 2007

FANTASY LAND: US Media Nov. 14

WASHINGTON - A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear programme, and thus make the document more supportive of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s militarily aggressive policy toward Iran, according to accounts of the process provided by participants to two former Central Intelligence Agency officers.

But this pressure on intelligence analysts, obviously instigated by Cheney himself, has not produced a draft estimate without those dissenting views, these sources say. The White House has now apparently decided to release the unsatisfactory draft NIE, but without making its key findings public.

Cooking the intelligence again for a new war? Same as last time? Not that readers of the NY Times would worry about this, since the nation's newspaper of record did not print the story.


Last week, the UN First Committee passed, by an overwhelming majority, a resolution highlighting concerns over the military use of uranium.

The resolution entitled 'Effects of the use of armaments and ammunitions containing depleted uranium' was passed by 122 votes to six at the UN First Committee in New York; with 35 abstentions. The resolution urges UN member states to re-examine the health hazards posed by the use of uranium weapons.

In March this year, Belgium became the first country in the world to introduce a domestic ban on the use of uranium in all conventional weapon systems. The decision by Brussels to take this step sent a clear message to all NATO members and users of uranium weapons that the continued use of chemically toxic and radioactive weapon systems is incompatible with international humanitarian legal standards.

But to the NY Times, such stories are just off the radar. Depleted Uranium? The newspaper of record just doesn't want you to know about it, since if is being used by the ton in Iraq.


Claims are going the rounds that sectarian violence in Iraq has fallen, and that the U.S. military "surge" has succeeded in reducing attacks against civilians. Baghdad residents speak of the other side of the coin - that they live now in a largely divided city that has brought this uneasy calm.

"Baghdad has been torn into two cities and many towns and neighborhoods," said Ahmad Ali, chief engineer from one of Baghdad’s municipalities. "There is now the Shia Baghdad and the Sunni Baghdad to start with. Each is divided into little town-like pieces of the hundreds of thousands who had to leave their homes."

"If the situation is good, why are five million Iraqis living in exile," says 55- year-old Abu Mohammad who was evicted from Shula in West Baghdad to become a refugee in Amiriya, a few miles from his lost home.

And who did the ethnic cleansing? The militias trained and paid for by the US. Retired Col. James Steele served as advisor to Iraqi security forces under former U.S. ambassador John Negroponte, who supervised the training of these forces. Both men were involved in the death squads in Central America during the 1980's.

Such reporting, however does not make it into the mainstream media, including the NY Times.

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