Monthly Archives: April 2007

Former Intelligence Agents Weigh In On George Tenet’s Book

Michael F. Scheuer, the founding head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, is the author of ‘Imperial Hubris’ and ‘Through Our Enemies’ Eyes'” and Ray McGovern, a twenty service year CIA analyst, weigh in on George Tenet’s recently released book.

Neither is the least bit impressed, to say the least. Tenet’s book (which I have not read nor intend to read, as I refuse to buy books from crooks), according to McGovern and Scheuer is more about Tenet attempting to rehabilitate his reputation than of his prominent role in pimping the Iraq adventure. Their analyses, I think, are worth a read.

And there’s this “Open Letter to George Tenet” written “by a group of former CIA intelligence officers” which is also worth a read.


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Filed under George Tenet Book, Michael Scheuer, Ray McGovern

Straussian Psychopaths

Raw Story reports that same group of hubris-ridden Straussian “intellectuals” which launched their ideologically driven Iraqi adventure, and funded al Queda and other Jihadists groups fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, during the Reagan and Bush I administrations also facilitated the Pakistani development of nuclear weapons.

These folks are anxious to go to war with Iran over it purported nuclear aspirations but say nothing of Pakistan, Israel, or India, none of which are signatories to the Non-proliferation Treaty.

Despite their consistent failures, these psychopaths, who inexplicably are roundly considered to be smart people, have spent more than 25 years persisting in their neo-Wilsonian adventures; and have succeeded only in creating a much more dangerous world.

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Filed under Iconoflatulence, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan, Straussian Psychopaths

Habeas Schmabeas

Laura Rozen, at her informative blog War and Piece, has linked to Habeas Schmabeas” produced by the great NPR program “This American Life”, which is unavailable to me here in Xalapa.

Habeas Schmabeas provides a glimpse into what Incurious King George and his courtier are doing in your name to “enemy combatants” in Guantanamo, which is entirely appalling. As it turns out most of the “detainees” were sold to the USA government by folks anxious for the bounty and have never been remotely associated with terrorist acts. They ae continued to be detained to spare the USA government embarrassment. Out of the hundreds of Guantanamo “detainees” only a dozen or two have any actual links to terrorist organizations or acts.

The piece contains a segment describing how Lord Clarendon, the British King’s aide in the 1600s, came up with the idea of interning undesirables on an off-shore island during the British civil war, during which the Christian Fundamentalist Puritans fought the royalty in an effort to institute a religious state (now it is the Muslim Taliban interned, then it was the Christian equivalent of the Taliban). The King’s implementation of Lord Clarendon’s idea resulted in the habeas corpus act adoption by the British parliment.

It is interesting, indeed, that Bush, acting on the advice of Alberto Gonzales who in turn acted upon the advice of the decidedly brown shirtted John Yoo, has instituted an off-shore gulag system essentially the same as that which precipitated the Habeas Corpus Act in Great Britain four hundred years ago. George Bush bridge to the 17th century.

As an aside, the musical interlude half way through the This American Life piece, which is about a half hour long, features a segment of the Buena Vista Social Club album.

I suggest that you take the time to listen to the piece. It is very well done.


Filed under Guantanamo, habeas corpus, Habeas Schmabeas

Meet Suzy

Here is Suzy leaning on the railing of the terrace of her home in Playa Baracoa, Cuba. The terrace abuts an estuary where a river enters the Straights of Florida.

I will be staying in Suzy’s house for the entire month of July.


Filed under Cuba, Playa Baracoa, Travel

The First of the D.C. Madam’s Customers to Fall From Power

Talking Points Memo reports on an ABC report of the first of the “DC Madam’s” customers to be outed. “Randall Tobias, until about four o’clock this afternoon the head of the US Agency for International Development and Director of US Foreign Assistance at the State Department.”

Read Tobias’ quotes and you will probably be left with the impression that the guy is not at all bright. It is appalling, but not at all surprising, that such a slimy moron has been leading the USA government agency charged with looting the economies and interfering in the internal affairs of under developed nations.

As reported on the ABC “The Blotter” blog:

“‘I’m sure as heck not going to be going to federal prison for one day, let alone, four to eight years, because I’m shy about bringing in the deputy secretary of whatever,’ Palfrey [“Jeane Palfrey, the woman dubbed the ‘D.C. Madam,'”] told ABC News.

“Palfrey maintains she ran a sexual fantasy business that was legal and that if any of the women who were working for her had sex, they did so in violation of her rules and without her knowledge. She says there are a number of other prominent Washington, D.C. men who will be on her witness list. ‘I’ll bring every last one of them in if necessary,’ Palfrey said.”

Of all of the innumerable scandals unfolding in Wash. D. C. this one promises to be the most fun.

UPDATE:  Hypocrisy, it seems, is one thing that tends to get the attention of the largely disinterested USA electorate.

Tobias, who was patronizing prostitutes,  apparently “oversaw a controversial policy advocated by the religious right that required any US-based group receiving anti-AIDS funds to take an anti-prostitution ‘loyalty oath’”.

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Filed under DC Madam, Randall Tobies, USAID

Cuban Elementary Schools Outperform Those of Other Latin American Nations

Here’s an interesting article addressing Cuban elementary school education and Cuban children outperforming low income students from other Latin American nations.

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Filed under Cuba, Elementary Education, Latin America

A Propitious Occurrence

I have commented here more than once how very fortunate I think I have been in my life. I have generally taken a go with the flow approach to life, going with my instincts as it were. When I have decided upon a particular matter, buying property for instance, I have taken the approach that “all things come to those who wait” and eventually a propitious opportunity has presented itself.

I was fortunate enough to have bought a piece of property in my early twenties, the sale of which thirty years later enabled me to give up on the work-a-day world in my mid-fifties. Additionally I pretty much fell into a career that during the last ten years or so of which paid me lucratively.

To get to the point. A few days ago I reported on my trip to look at the Ranchito Coyolopan, not too far outside of Teocelo. I reported that I was taken to view the ranchito by a Coatepec architect and his real estate broker partner, that the ranchito is an entirely enchanting property, and that the day was completely pleasant. I also reported that, as I was informed by the architect, the place could be had for about $50,000. USA dollars, actually $555,000. Mexican pesos.

I had pretty much given up on the idea of purchasing the property, given the combination of the price, the fact it is accessed a few kilometers up a very rough road, and there is no internet service. And so I informed the architect.

This evening, however, I received a call from a woman who speaks English very well and who identified herself as Lorena. She explained she was friends with Luis and Betty, the owners of the ranchito with whom I had left my phone number, and that they had asked her to call me. Lorena explained that Luis and Betty were concerned that perhaps the architect had given me incorrect information about the ownership of the property and the asking price. As it turns out, their concern was well founded as they are asking only $450,000. pesos and would likely accept $400,000.

She also explained that Luis and Betty had taken a liking to me and felt that I would be a good owner of the property into which they have obviously put so many years of their love and hard work. Lorena also indicated that, if I was interested, I could deal directly with Luis and Betty.

I had a very pleasant conversation with Lorena and told her that I would call her after considering the matter. I also asked if she thought that Luis and Betty might be interested in continuing to live on the property if I were to buy it, as I think it would be good to have someone there when leave on a trip. She said she would ask them.

So, at this point I have taken Lorena’s call as one of those signs I have heeded throughout my life, in this case that I should probably buy the ranchito. Doing so would mean moving to a beautiful little pueblo, immersion into a more indigenous culture than exists here in Xalapa, and life on an completely enchanting three hectare property at the base of Cofe de Perote with lots of water, wonderfully fertile earth, and a lifetime supply of firewood.

I will, of course, report on my ultimate decision.


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