Monday Thread

My time is limited today, but these deserve a wider airing:

* The Army only recorded the serial numbers of just over 12,000 out of 500,000 weapons delivered to the Iraqi departments of Interior and Defense. No paper trail, nada. That means that any Iraqi who turns around and sells US heavy weapons to his friends in al Qaeda has a greater than 97% chance that nobody can ever trace it back to him. The excuse?

There are standard regulations for registering military weaponry in that way, governed by the Department of Defense small-arms serialization program. The inspector general’s report said that when asked why so many weapons went to Iraq with no record of serial numbers, American military officials in Baghdad replied that they did not believe the regulations applied to them.

Yet another datum showing that America’s war management was not only incompetent in an ordinary sense but positively hideous from top to bottom. You could look practically anywhere, from the Judith Miller-powered deceit during the runup to Rusfeld’s obstinate refusal to plan for postwar operations (neocons told him that Chalabi would take over) to the ideologically blinkered idiots who prevented CPA from doing a single useful thing to the backroom no-bid contracting that ensured that our money would disappear into unaccountable black holes. Everything about this war was done not just wrong but so wrong that you have to wonder whether they wanted to fail. Ugh. Steve Benen has more.

* Glenn Greenwald has a must-read post describing exactly how America managed to sink its international ratings for press freedom from top of the world in ’02 to worse than many third-world countries today. Excerpting doesn’t do it justice.

* Will al Qaeda move to aid the Republicans or won’t they? Among jihadis the idea that scaring the US through tapes or direct action helps Bush is pretty much a no-brainer – the GOP needs Americans scared so that they don’t ask too many questions about torturing detainees and suspending habeas corpus; terrorists scare Americans. Supply and demand. The only question appears to be whether al Qaeda needs the Republicans anymore, or Iraq has bled us so badly that it doesn’t matter who’s in charge.






26 replies
  1. 1

    Osama bin Laden must be concerned. If Republicans lose Congress, his dreams and aspirations will be in dire trouble.

    I suspect he’ll get a bin Laden special video out next sunday to try to help out Bush.

  2. 2
    neil says:

    Osama bin Laden must be concerned. If Republicans lose Congress, his dreams and aspirations will be in dire trouble.

    That’s most assuredly not the analysis at the link Tim provides. The piece that’s translated/interpreted there argues that if Republicans lost Congress it’s because Osama is done with them.

  3. 3
    Tulkinghorn says:

    Al Qaeda clearly wants the Republicans in power, as al Qaeda needs stupid shit like pointless invasion to further their strategies to take over the Middle East . The insurgents in Iraq (who do not significantly overlap with Al Qaeda) want the Republicans out of power so that the US will leave.

    Since the Iraqis are better able that al Qaeda to kill Americans, they are likely to prevail on this one. Maybe al Qaeda can come up with a big play in the closing days to pull this one off for the Republicans.

  4. 4
    Pb says:

    Lynne Cheney’s accusation to an absurdly surprised Wolf Blitzer that CNN wants the terrorists to win because they broadcast video footage of insurgents shooting at American troops

    Therefore, Lynne Cheney wants the lesbians to win — not that I’m complaining, mind you…

  5. 5
    ThymeZone says:

    Well, then Bush and Osama are in exactly the same position:

    Each must be worried today about his legacy.

    And as we know, the legacies of assholes is what the rest of us are here for … to support them, pay for their exploits, die for them. Whatever it takes.

    Fuck, I even saw an article yesterday or this morning about “Rove’s legacy.”

    Rove’s legacy! Get it, everybody? We’re all just players now in the epic poem that will tell of Rove’s Fucking Legacy!

  6. 6
    Pb says:

    Woo. More slime coming out of the TN Sen race–listen to that push poll, it’s completely shameless–it’s like a two minute robo campaign attack ad!

  7. 7
    RSA says:

    Oh, my God. This part jumped out at me, too:

    Mr. Bowen found that the American military was not able to say how many Iraqi logistics personnel it had trained — in this case because, the military told the inspector general, a computer network crash erased records. Those problems have occurred even though the United States has spent $133 million on the weapons program and $666 million on Iraqi logistics capabilities.

    I imagine that improving “Iraqi logistics capabilities”, in this context, rests largely on training personnel. And there’s no way for them to figure out what’s been done? A computer network crash erases the results of a $666 million project? This is criminal incompetence—I guess we’ll have to wait until someone receives a Presidential medal before we can tell who’s to blame.

  8. 8
    Sojourner says:

    Rove should be concerned about his legacy. He’s the asshole that got the worst POTUS in history in office.

    Good job, butthead. We Americans are so very grateful.

  9. 9
    wilfred says:

    Karl´s Song (fragment)

    In forlorn days he ached and strove
    a monument to make that time wouldst blush
    to hop the wingéd treasure trove
    his master´s voice whose grapes they crush
    in nappy springtime’s blighted grove
    where walked the mighty blunted Bush
    his side attached with precious Rove –
    hark the battled wounded cry for Rush
    as Karl the sturgeon-linéd glove
    did use to wipe the dunderheaded tush…

  10. 10
    srv says:

    Rove should be concerned about his legacy. He’s the asshole that got the worst POTUS in history in office.

    And when visiting Austin, don’t forget to stop by and piss on Bob Bullocks grave also.

  11. 11
    chopper says:

    i thought the insurgents wanted the dems to win in november.

    how batty are thee, fox news? let me count the ways.

  12. 12
    Punchy says:

    So…it all traces back to the DoD. But Rumsfeld keeps his gig. How quaint.

  13. 13
    cd6 says:

    Of course Al Queda wants the Dems to win.

    The Republicans have captured nearly 60% of the “Number 2 men in Al Queda”

    How many number two have the homobortion-loving obstructionist Defeatocrats captured? I rest my case.

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    i thought the insurgents wanted the dems to win in november.

    Shorter Gibson: “Last week I made a completely unfounded accusation that terrorists will be throwing their full support behind the Democrats in the ’06 election. I backed this claim up with some truly tortured logic and absolutely no factual data. Now I’m getting calls from everyone in America because they all listen to my show. This week I’m going to say something equally ficticious and insulting because I need another rating boost. Please please please pay attention to me.”

    It’s like they gave Darrell his own TV show. Christ help us.

  15. 15
    Tsulagi says:

    Of course we’re not going to record serial #s to identify weapons we’ve supplied. Geez, that could lead to some future unhappy news. Our weapons used by Iraqi Army/militia members in the eminent domain process of whacking those living in the wrong places? That could be misinterpreted. Hell, what if some of those weapons were in Hezbollah’s hands months from now in another dustup with Israel? You always have to be vigilant against unhappy news. Stay the course.

    Well, at least IAs are getting some weapons now. They didn’t get a whole lot from a small arms contract first awarded toward that goal. But I’m sure Chalabi’s friends who got the contract have an idea what happened to the $300+ million. Maybe stopping by their corporate headquarters, a post office box, could clear that up.

    After that one, there was another $1.3 billion spent toward the goal. But the Allawi provisional government we installed somehow didn’t quite fully trust Chalabi. Besides he was busy in the Ministry of Oil overseeing oil production ordered unmetered by Bremer. I’m sure Chalabi exemplified famed Republican accountability in that capacity.

    Still, Allawi’s government really liked Republican democracy in the form of no-bid contracts for their military reconstruction. That, coupled with CPA picking a used car/flower salesman with no knowledge of weaponry to lead the effort, you just know we got real value for that money spent.

    Here’s a little bit of where the money went to. I liked the Polish APCs ordered with Mazda Miata sized engines.

    You could go on, but what’s the point. This admin takes FUBAR and retard to a whole new realm.

  16. 16
    Andrew says:

    It’s like they gave Darrell his own TV showDepartment of Defense. Christ help us.

  17. 17
    Pb says:

    “Before, I sold water, flowers, shoes, cars — but not weapons,” said Cattan, who signed most of the 89 military contracts worth nearly $1.3 billion to equip Iraqi security forces, according to the documents. “We didn’t know anything about weapons.”
    […]
    Cattan was elected to one of the local advisory councils the U.S. set up after the initial combat phase of the war. He soon became close with the U.S. troops that occupied his neighborhood, filled with military officers who served under President Saddam Hussein, who had just been toppled.

    *This* must have been the guy who greeted us as liberators. A former flower salesman who became close with the local US troops? No wonder they recruited and promoted him! And really, what do you expect when you put a former used car salesman in charge of weapons procurement? It gives a whole new meaning to fatwa Friday

  18. 18
    sglover says:

    Greenwald had another good bit about how apparatchik Aunt Peg Noonan has suddenly “discovered” that G.W. Bush may not, in fact, be God’s Own Emissary. In fact, according to the Pegster, real conservatives have known for years that the Idiot Prince wasn’t up to the job, because, well, um, oh yeah, because real conservatives are competent by definition. Or something.

    I guess old Peg had better hope that Magic Dolphins are as helpful to rats leaping from a sinking ship as they were to little Elian.

  19. 19
    Paul L. says:

    The Politics of Abortion and the 2006 Midterm Elections
    via AJStrata

    I do not remember hearing about rejection/Differentiation problems with Embryonic Stem Cells.

  20. 20
    skip says:

    Al Qaeda has one ironic thing in common with Israel in Iraq. Both desperately wanted the US in the war, but neither ever wanted us to win. A unified, democratic Iraq would be a friend to neither.

  21. 21
    jcricket says:

    I do not remember hearing about rejection/Differentiation problems with Embryonic Stem Cells.

    That’s because that issue is partially solveable with current anti-rejection medication, or more likely completely solved with nuclear transplantation, which, of course, is another area of research/science opponents of stem cell research must misrepresent to public support for their position.

    I also don’t remember hearing about things like a potential cancer cure when you referenced the zero cures or zero usefulness of ESCR.

    I also don’t remember hearing about the lies about the success of adult stem cell research from you recently (or ever).

  22. 22
    Paul L. says:

    The lies about the success of adult stem cell research?

    Record the listing of 69 different human illnesses being treated by adult and cord blood stem cells”.

    In fact, adult stem cell treatments fully tested in all required phases of clinical trials and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are available to treat only nine of the conditions on the Prentice list

    Wow, talk about moving the goalposts. So no treatments being tested or under review by the FDA or in clinical trials counts?
    Do you know how long it takes, how much money must be spent and how much BS must be completed to get FDA approval.
    Of course 9 ASC treatments still is more than 0 ESC treatments.

    And look another ASC advancement.
    Umbical Cord Stem Cells Grow Micro Liver.

  23. 23
    Newport 9 says:

    American military officials in Baghdad replied that they did not believe the regulations applied to them.

    I believe this is now the official mantra of the Bush administration.

  24. 24
    jcricket says:

    It’s not moving the goalposts. You tout the 65 or 69 or 72 treatments as if the diseases are cured by those treatments, or they’re not just in the experimental stage. If you get to claim those, then we get to claim all the ESC therapies that are barely outside of the lab.

    Of course 9 ASC treatments still is more than 0 ESC treatments.

    And 30 years of unfettered research is certainly greater than 2 (ESC were isolated in 1998 and their research effectively curtailed in 2000 when Bush was elected).

    And so what if science can find therapies in all kinds of stem cells – adult, cord blood, and embryonic. Good. Let’s let them do all that research. It’s not a either or situation Paul.

    I can’t wait until people like you are kept out of the scientific decision making process and out of the way of our researchers.

  25. 25
    jcricket says:

    And by the way Paul, the answer to this question:

    Do you know how long it takes, how much money must be spent and how much BS must be completed to get FDA approval.

    Is yes. I work in a grant-funded research institution. Some of the research we do includes stem cells (both adult and embryonic), among many other things. I’m quite aware of the state of the research on those and other issues, how research is funded (or being de-funded) and what’s involved in trials.

    You, on the hand, are clearly not. Your same argument (how much BS) applies to why there aren’t FDA-approved ESC therapies right now. But apparently that’s too much logical consistency for you.

  26. 26

    “That means that any Iraqi who turns around and sells US heavy weapons to his friends in al Qaeda has a greater than 97% chance that nobody can ever trace it back to him.”

    Tim, “heavy weapons” means artillery and tanks; it’s the opposite of “small arms,” which is what you actually mean to refer to.

    We haven’t given the Iraqis heavy weapons, so they certainly won’t be selling any to al Qaeda. Small arms: rifles, machine guns, grenades, pistols, etc., yes. Heavy weapons: no.

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