The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Want a Free Autographed SHADOW VALLEY?

Obama's facebook page. Who said it's hard to make fun of the Prez? The problem is that a LOT of the early humor had specifically to do with race, as if people were trying to get as close to "the line" as possible without stepping over it. It felt crypto-racist, with people saying "what? Watermelons have a racial connotation? Horrors!" and so forth. That's just people's tribalism poking out from under a polite facade. We'll get past it.


Cheney 2009: "There was never any evidence...Iraq was involved in 9/11"

Cheney 2004: ""There clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming."



Here's a story I should write. I say women have total control over their bodies ( least as much control as men have over theirs.) But I grasp that an individual man has an interest in what happens to his sperm. How about the development of an artificial womb? A man who establishes parentage over a fetus can sue a woman to prevent her from aborting--but his only option is a simple procedure to remove the fetus from the woman and implant it in the man.

Question: if the removal procedure was less risky than an abortion (!) would this be objectionable?


I just got my author's copies of SHADOW VALLEY, my newest novel. Jeeze, it's pretty! Still don't have any reviews up on Amazon, so anyone who's read it should sashay over there and tell people what you thought.

And if you don't have a's a deal for people who have thought about buying the LIFEWRITING YEAR LONG course. You'll notice I don't talk about it much here, because I want this space for more personal reflection, rather than commercial interests. That said, for the next week, I'll give a free, autographed hardcover of SHADOW VALLEY to anyone who invests in the Year-Long. I really am proud of the program: Six CDs, a 250-page workbook, a "Year of Movies" addendum, and a free evaluation of your work. What a deal! If writing is your thing, I promise the Year Long will absolutely floor you.


Shady_Grady said...

I do not think that the people who view abortion rights as fundamental issues of privacy and body autonomy would be moved by improvements or new developments in technology.

Frank said...

You do realize you got that wrong about Cheney, right? Sorry, of course you didn't or you wouldn't have written it.

In 2004, Cheney made the connection between Iraq and al Qaida, not 9/11.

And all he had to show for evidence was quote the 9/11 commission report which also made such a connection.

Neither Cheney nor the Bush Administration ever made a connection between Iran and 9/11.

Steven Barnes said...

Frank, I think that's a bit disingenuous. The entire country had heard that Al Qaida was responsible for 9/11, and was hungry for blood. To make a connection between Iraq and Al Qaida without SPECIFICALLY clarifying that there was no connection with 9/11 is ignoring the way human consciousness, let alone syllogistic logic, works. What he was able to do was openly imply it, while simultaneously saying "Who? Me?" It's a nasty, obvious game, and
I don't buy it for a fraction of a second.

Frank said...

Steve, it only appears disingenuous to you because you are biased against the action to begin with.

From the Administrations point of view, at the time, they knew that Saddam was a threat to his neighbors and the US. Their information was that Iraq was actively pursuing WMDs and everything the did vis a vis the inspection regime did not disabuse them of that notion. Add to that the fact that al Qaida and Iraq had affiliations the extent of which were undetermined, and they whole thing looked like a big threat.

The Administration pointed out on a number of occasion at the time that they did not suspect that Iraq had been involved with 9/11, but they were making the point that al Qaida and Iraq had ties.

So I think you're reading of the events is just plain wrong.

Forrest Hunter Wood said...

Frank: Where I worked, as late as 2006, many of my coworkers still thought (and argued with me) that the hijackers were Iraqi's. And those same people bragged about voting for Bush two times.

For her part, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insisted a month ago that "No one was arguing that Saddam Hussein somehow had something to do with 9/11." Of course, Rice wasn't the only one in the Bush White House contending "there were ties going on between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime," as she insisted as late as September 2006. Echoing President Bush's farewell address in January, former press secretary Ari Fleischer made the Saddam - September 11 connection just the previous week.

Fleischer used a March appearance with Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball to display his gift for fiction regarding the Iraq war and 9/11:

"After September 11th having been hit once how could we take a chance that Saddam might strike again? And that's the threat that has been removed and I think we are all safer with that threat removed."

Forrest Hunter Wood said...

Frank: Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday the evidence is "overwhelming" that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and he said media reports suggesting that the 9/11 commission has reached a contradictory conclusion were "irresponsible."

"There clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming," Cheney said in an interview with CNBC's "Capitol Report."

"It goes back to the early '90s. It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts with Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials."

"The press, with all due respect, (is) often times lazy, often times simply reports what somebody else in the press said without doing their homework."

But now, astonishingly, he says simultanously that "I do not believe and have never seen any evidence to confirm that [Hussein] was involved in 9/11", yet that Bush administration intelligence was never faulty. Cheney has essentially admitted that he lied, for several years, in every forum possible, when he claimed the evidence was "overwhelming".

Forrest Hunter Wood said...


May 17, 2000 - Bush said he was going to "take out" Saddam Hussein in Iraq.(.)

January 2, 2001 - Niger embassy in Rome burglarized. Letterhead of Niger government stolen.(.)

January 30, 2001 - First Bush national security meeting, he asked about invading Iraq.

April 2001 - Czech sources say that Mohammed Atta went to Prague and met with Iraqi official on this date, it was later discovered to be untrue, though Cheney used it as evidence for years.

June or July 2001 - A team of CIA agents, including Valerie Plame Wilson, and Jordanian secret police intercept a shipment of aluminum tubes in Jordan destined for Iraq. (WaPo; Isikoff & Corn, Hubris) WaPo; Isikoff & Corn, Hubris

August 6, 2001: Bush receives PDB titled "Bin Laden Determined to strike US."

September 11, 2001 - Al Qaeda attacks US.

Sept. 12, 2001 - Bush asked Richard Clarke to link Saddam to 9/11, Clarke protested, Bush got mad.

September 12 - Bush was talking about "getting Iraq."

Sometime after 9/11 -

"...when Tenet insisted in his personal meetings with the president that there was no connection between al Qaeda and Iraq, Cheney and Rumsfeld initiated a secret program to re-examine the evidence and marginalize the agency and Tenet."

{MY NOTE: Sounds like the torture program to me.}

Forrest Hunter Wood said...

Frank: On Wednesday, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson dropped a bombshell (h/t Heather):

what I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 -- well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion -- its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa'ida.

So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney's office that their detainee "was compliant" (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP's office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa'ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, "revealed" such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.

There in fact were no such contacts. (Incidentally, al-Libi just "committed suicide" in Libya. Interestingly, several U.S. lawyers working with tortured detainees were attempting to get the Libyan government to allow them to interview al-Libi....)

On April 21, McClatchy's Jonathan Landay first suggested the Bush Administration used torture to intentionally extract false confessions linking Al Qaeda (and 9/11) to Iraq, to give Bush a false "casus belli" to invade Iraq.

Frank said...

Yikes, are you done yet?

It's simple, really making a connection between Iraq and 9/11 is different from making a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

The former has little evidence to support it and I reiterate that neither Bush nor Cheney ever claimed a connection. The 9/11 Commission report looked into the report that Atta had met with Iraqi agents and while they could not rule it out 100%, I agree with their assessment (as well as the FBI’s and CIA’s) that it most likely did not occur.

The latter however is quite debatable. In fact Stephen Hayes makes a good case in The Connection.

I don’t know whether or not this is ignorable information within your world view or not but it is information. Information that was also contained in the 9/11 commission report, BTW. Page 66 for one example

In March 1998, after Bin Ladin’s public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence. In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin. Sources reported that one, or perhaps both, of these meetings was apparently arranged through Bin Ladin’s Egyptian deputy, Zawahiri, who had ties of his own to the Iraqis. In 1998, Iraq was under intensifying U.S. pressure, which culminated in a series of large air attacks in December.

I will not present the rest, but if you would like you could also finish reading that page and the move on to page 128 which talks about the content of the indictment against bin Laden and the “understanding” OBL had with Iraq. And within the 9/11 commission report Mr Clarke had a somewhat different take on things than he had in his book. On page 134 he was worried that if we “spooked” bin Laden out of Afghanistan, one of the places he might go would be Iraq where he would be more difficult to get, in Clarke’s estimation.

I would also point out that pages 335-336 of the report shows Bush’s reluctance to make war on Iraq in the days after 9/11 though others in his Administration were arguing for it (most prominently Wolfowitz). He told Tony Blair on Sept 20 that Afghanistan was the focus, not Iraq.

This changed later, clearly, but it can not be denied that the confluence of information with Saddam, WMDs and connections to al Qaida would worry anyone whose responsibility it was to protect the United States.

Doesn't mean he had to go to war, but it also doesn't mean that there is some hokus pokus going on with regards to postions then and positions now; they are congruent.

Forrest Hunter Wood said...

Frank: Your initial argument was/is this:

You do realize you got that wrong about Cheney, right?

I have shown, through proof, that Steven Barnes is, in fact, correct and that it is you, Frank, who are wrong. Now you bring everyone into the argument to red-herring your original stance. Very Hannity of you.

In fact, I believe Cheney is using the networks to speak to Any of America's enemies (North Korea springs to mind) and letting them know/believe that America is weak under Obama and to go ahead and attack; Later, he could face the camera and say, with his side-jawed ease, "I tried to warn you, America. Should've listened to me."

As far as the 911 commission report goes, the commision was as "thorough" as the Warren Commission, who dreamed up that children's fable about a magic bullet that dared defy the basic laws of physics. The 911 Commission report/book is as trivial as an Ann Coulter (s)crapbook. If your whole argument is linked to that book, then you have diminished any argument you may think you have.

Some more:
With five mentions of September 11 in his 30-minute address, Mr Bush attempted to weld the Iraq insurgency to the battle with al-Qaida in the public's mind, where the two have been drifting apart.

Mr Cheney said in late 2001 it had been "pretty well confirmed" that the lead September 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta had met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in April 2000.

Mr Bush said in October 2002: "We've learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaida members in bomb-making and poisons and gases."

Mr Cheney, in particular, has refused to retract his war claims and has continued to hint at hidden connections between Saddam and Bin Laden.

Robin Hayes, a Republican congressman from North Carolina, appeared on television yesterday claiming to have seen secret evidence of Iraqi involvement in the September 11 attacks which he could not share.

{You can now argue that a couple of these quotes from a Fort Bragg address given by Bush were later found to be false, but at the time, in the heat of the networks and punditry and anyone speaking out about the war verbally assaulted as being unAmerican, unpatriotic, a terrorist, hater of the constitution, etc, at the time this is what many Americans knew and believed.}