micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links

Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.

Please send him email at micahth@chartermi.net.

Holmquist's full archives are listed here.

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Sites Holmquist trys, and often fails, to go no more than a couple of days without visiting (some of which Holmquist regularly swipes links from without attribution)

Aljazeera.Net English
AlterNet (War on Iraq)
Alternative Press Review
Always Low Prices -- Always
Another Irani online
antiwar.com (blog)
Asia Times Online
Axis of Logic
Baghdad Burning (riverbend)
BBC News
blogdex.net ("track this weblog")
The Christian Science Monitor (Daily Update)
Common Dreams
Daily Rotten
Democracy Now
The Drudge Report
Eat the Press (Harry Shearer, The Huffington Post)
Empire Notes (Rahul Mahajan)
frontpagemag.com (HorowitzWatch)
Guardian Unlimited
The Independent
Information Clearing House
Informed Comment (Juan Cole)
Iranians for Peace

Iraq Dispatches (Dahr Jamail)
Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation
Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report (Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice)
Mr. Show and Other Comedy
The Narco News Bulletin (blog)
The New York Times
Occupation Watch
Political Theory Daily Review
Press Action
Project Syndicate
Raed in the Middle (Raed Jarrar)
The Simpsons Archive
Simpsons Collector Sector
Technorati ("search for mth.blogspot.com")
United States Central Command
U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
War Report (Project on Defense Alternatives)
The Washington Post
Wildfire (Jo Wilding)
wood s lot
www.mnftiu.cc (David Rees)

Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)

Thivai Abhor
As'ad AbuKhalil
Ken Adrian
Christopher Allbritton
Douglas Anders
Mark W. Anderson
Aziz Ansari
Atomic Archive
James Benjamin
Elton Beard
Charlie Bertsch
alister black
Blame India Watch
Blog Left: Critical Interventions Warblog / war blog
Igor Boog
Martin Butler
Chris Campbell
James M. Capozzola
Avedon Carol
Elaine Cassel
cats blog
Jeff Chang
Margaret Cho
Citizens Of Upright Moral Character
Louis CK
Les Dabney
Natalie Davis
Scoobie Davis
The Day Job
Jodi Dean
Dominic Duval
Steve Earle
Daniel Ellsberg
Tom Engelhardt
Lisa English
Barbara Flaska
Brian Flemming
Joe Foster
Yoshie Furuhashi
Al Giordano
Rob Goodspeed
Grand Puba
Guardian Unlimited Weblog
Pete Guither
The Hairy Eyeball
Ray Hanania
Mark Hand
Hector Rottweiller Jr's Web Log Jim Henley Arvin Hill Hit & Run (Reason) Hugo Clark Humphrey Indri The Iraqi Agora Dru Oja Jay Jeff Lynne d Johnson Dallas Jones Julia Kane Blues Benjamin Kepple Ken Layne Phil Leggiere Brian Linse Adam Magazine Majority Report Radio Marc Maron Josh Marshall Jeralyn Merritt J.R. Mooneyham Michael Scott Moore Bob Morris Bob Mould Mr. Show and Tell Muslims For Nader/Camejo David Neiwert NewPages Weblog Aimee Nezhukumatathil Sean O'Brien Patton Oswalt The Panda's Thumb Randy Paul Rodger A. Payne Ian Penman politx Neal Pollack Greg Proops Pro-War.com Pure Polemics Seyed Razavi Rayne Simon Reynolds richardpryor.com Clay Richards Mike Rogers Yuval Rubinstein
Steven Rubio
Saragon Noah Shachtman Court Schuett The Simpsons Archive Amardeep Singh Sam Smith Soundbitten Jack Sparks Ian Spiers Morgan Spurlock Stand Down: The Left-Right Blog Opposing an Invasion of Iraq Aaron Stark Morgaine Swann Tapped (The American Prospect) tex Matthew Tobey Annie Tomlin Tom Tomorrow The University Without Condition Jesse Walker Warblogger Watch Diane Warth The Watchful Babbler The Weblog we have brains Matt Welch
Alex Whalen
Jon Wiener
Lizz Winstead
James Wolcott
Wooster Collective
Mickey Z

Friday, July 11, 2003
"I don't believe anything the government tells me. Nothing... Zero!"

                                                               -George Carlin, Jammin' in New York (1991)

The Iraq/Niger/Uranium scandal has lead to Central Intelligence Agency Director George J. Tenet issuing a mea culpa this evening and taking the blame:

Portions of the State of the Union speech draft came to the CIA for comment shortly before the speech was given. Various parts were shared with cognizant elements of the Agency for review. Although the documents related to the alleged Niger-Iraqi uranium deal had not yet been determined to be forgeries, officials who were reviewing the draft remarks on uranium raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the intelligence with National Security Council colleagues. Some of the language was changed. From what we know now, Agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct - i.e. that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa. This should not have been the test for clearing a Presidential address. This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for Presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed.
It is worth noting that nothing in this report is inconsistent with the CBS News report that the Bush Administration justified including the now famous words in the State of the Union speech on the basis that it was true that British intelligence said Iraq had tried to get uranium from Niger. And Tenet certainly doesn't look honorable in this statement. A decent civil servant would have tried to get the Bush Administration to correct this aspect of the speech, publicly if necessary. The same goes for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who says he didn't think much of the charge but apparently was willing to let it pass until it became an issue, and everyone else in both the White House and what I have termed the national attack other countries apparatus who heard what Bush said, knew the problem with the statement and let it pass.

My unsubstantiated suspicion is that Tenet is just a patsy here and that the Bush Administration forced him to take the fall.

Of course Tenet's statement could be an accurate reflection of reality. If that is the case, the Bush Administration has serious problems of a different kind. Maybe this point is lost in a world where just about nobody sees anything odd, let alone dangerous, about the United States frequently and loudly threatening to attack a country that is said to be a threat for over a year, but how close Iraq was to developing nuclear weapons was not matter of just politics if Saddam Hussein's regime was actually a threat to the U.S. (If Team Bush didn't actually believe that Iraq was a threat, then they were highly dishonest with not only the people of the U.S. but the entire world.) "[W]e don't know how close he is to a nuclear weapon right now," Bush said of Saddam's nuclear capabilities on November 7. If that was true, it seem like the a competent Commander in Chief, and those around such a Commander in Chief, who believed that Iraq was a threat that needed to be dealt with would have wanted to know every scrap of information about Iraq's military, including how close they were to developing nuclear weapons and what efforts they were making to develop them if only to try to halt the development. But if Bush and those around him were unaware of the CIA's assessment of some reports, as Tenet suggests was the case, the question becomes, what lead to this? Were they not being made aware of intelligence reports or was the Bush Administration not bothering to familiarize themselves with the reports? Either option makes Team Bush look incompetent. The former is a communication problem that should have been obvious and quickly fixed if it in fact did exist. The former suggests laziness that hard to fathom.

It is impossible to determine any answers at this point in time from my vantage point. Hopefully, however, time will tell if, on this issue, the Bush Administration was a bunch of liars or simply auditioning to play the Nazis on a new version of Hogan's Heroes.

UPDATE: My final formulation here is weak as it is possible that the Bush Administration is both dishonest and incompetent on this matter. My point is that if one is to deny that they are dishonest, incompetency is the only explanation, and vice-versa. 5:53 p.m. 07/13/03