Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

American Legion has a problem: They haven't met bloggers

American legion has announced that they will use any and all means to go against protestors. Is the American Legion serious about interfering with commerce, free speech, and freedom to speak out?

Update: [29 Aug 05] FBI puts group under surveillance for using any means necessary to peacefully achieve their goals. Will they apply the same standards to Bush supporters?

We'll see how quickly we can exhaust the American Legions war chest with Anti-Slapp lawsuits, with special emphasis on the the Legion legal counsel.

Bring it on!

American Legion threats

As you may have already heard, the Legion has stated they will use all means to clamp down on protestors.

There are other organizations of Veterans who disagree with the Legion and invite you to join their cause and activities.

The source of our freedom to speak out is the Bill of Rights as discussed in Federalist 84. This freedom applies to all speech, and is not limited to government actions.

Some organizations like to stifle your speech and participation in public issues. They file what is called a SLAPP, which stands for "Strategic Lawsuit Against public Participation".

There are Anti-Slapp statutes prohibiting individuals, organizations, and other entities from prohibiting you from speaking out about matters of public interstate.

In other words, don't fall for the trap of thinking, "The American Legion can clamp down on you because the Legion isn't part of the government." On the contrary, you have the right to speak and also bring suit if someone attempts to intimidate you to be quiet about something you want to talk about.

I wanted to give you some links and a heads up about the American legion. My post has too many links: More than 10, so I'm unable to post the entire list of links and comments here.

I've outlined what they're saying, their media strategy, some of their vulnerabilities, suggestions on how to get other views known, and who might be interested, both stateside and overseas. [More . . .]

American Legion is indirectly related to DoD and DoJ/JTTF in that former military personnel tend to cross flow back and forth. They've also been spotted in Nebraska intimidating ACLU officers when showing films related to the Patriot Act.

Good luck!

Detailed links and comments

Some are asserting that the "protections for free speech only apply to the Government, not private organizations." In that spirit, and given the momentum from Hawaii, I forecast the American Legion may threaten legal action to silence people.

There's some consolation: The courts have ruled in re Slapp.

Let the world know: If the American Legion wants to shut down free speech using lawsuits, their legal costs could go up.

To learn more about the media strategy the American Legion uses, you can read more at their site or this information about how they are organized.

If you would like to encourage your neighbors to contact the Legion to voice your concerns with their apparent inflammatory remarks, feel free to contact you local Legion. Here is a sample list of Michigan Legion POCs; a state based index.

The VA already has a problem with funding. If the Legion wants to press for a clampdown on free speech, then the VA funding which the American Legion needs and is pushing for can be put on the chopping block. The veterans can thank the Legion for the funding cuts.

American Legion also has a relationship with Sprint: Perhaps everyone could encourage Sprint to reconsider their relationship with the American Legion in light of the announcement.

AmLegion also has overseas posts in foreign countries like Ireland. Perhaps those in foreign countries via the American Citizens Abroad who value American liberation might make a personal visit to various AmLegion posts to voice their dissent.

Here is the Am Legion HQ Phone number if you want to have your friends in CA call them.

As you can see there are many e-mails, addresses available for people to exercise their web-writing skills. Perhaps there could be an automated-form-like system [similar to the letter to the editor for Cindy] that Congressman Conyers set up; and these could be individually tailored for local editors: To express concern about the apparently inflammatory actions.

Also, keep in mind the American Legion boasts membership in the DoJ, DoD, and Law enforcement like JTTF and CIFA: These are the former military personnel who turned interrogator at the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo interrogations, and have gone after dissenters speaking out about the Patriot Act or Watching Michael Moore's 9-11 Film, Fahrenheit 9-11.

If you want to read more about the American Legion like intimidation activities involving ACLU officers, I did some research into a case in Nebraska, and all the points of contact in JTTF intelligence operations are outlined. [More . . .]

These guys are nasty and plan to use the full force of JTTF to intimidate people, but Cindy has already shown that JTTF is irrelevant, and nothing can stop the protestors from speaking out. The American Legion's announcement is a sign of White House desperation.

Remember, the Legion is not technically savvy; they rely on e-mail, and are not all that familiar with RSS. Use that to your advantage and move faster than they can.

Hoc voluerunt!

Read more . . .

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Impeachment: How the White House is dissuading a needed inquiry into 9-11, DSM

Able Danger is getting spun to shift responsibility from Bush to "someone else." However, the arguments used to avoid White House accountability are flawed.

Some suggest Able Danger shows Gorelick's "wall" was the reason for 9-11, thereby putting the responsibility on Clinton, not Bush.

Small problem: "The wall"-argument is a red herring. NSC has the means through the DSP to bring all the CIA-FBI information [that they can't talk to eachother about], into a single picture.

Further, putting Able Danger aside, we still have the issue of the 52 FAA warnings: It doesn't matter what Able Danger did or didn't say -- 52 FAA warnings apparently weren't enough!?!? Fifty-two known alerts through the FAA, is now being overshadowed by a single Able Danger program?!? Curious how 52 is offset by 1. That's absurd.

Although I find it interesting about "who said what" in re Able Danger, I conclude:

A. Able Danger confirms that there were other methods to arrive at the information about what was going on;

B. Bush was in charge on 9-11; and

C. Bush made a decision, despite the 52 FAA warnings and the Aug 2001 PDB, to do nothing, but go on vacation in August 2001.

Last time I checked, Bush, not Gorelick or Clinton, was reading "My Pet Goat" on 9-11. Although Able Danger may have been a DoD effort, I see nothing before me to suggest that something:

  • [a] got in the way of the NSC combining this information; or

  • [b] interfered with the President acting on the other inputs he got, or should have gotten, from the FAA.


    Although Able Danger was a real program, RNC is spinning it "their way."

    But this is a distraction. Regardless Able Danger, Bush had plenty of chances to look into the issues, implement some sort of plan, and take some action. Recall, there were transition meetings in November 2000, just after the election:

    - Where was CIA; and

    - How were the impeachment-distraction-from-Monica-missile attacks on Sudan/Afghanistan discussed in light of what was of concern in re Taliban?

    Bush failed. The evidence before us suggests the Downing Street Memo and "fixing of facts" is also going on with 9-11.

    We need an inquiry; whether that inquiry does or does not lead to an impeachment is irrelevant. The important goal is to find facts, then move forward. Right now, we have too many unknowns. That is no basis to credibly argue over alternatives. Alternatives to what? Nobody knows.

    Let's hope Cindy's protest links in the public's mind "the importance of looking at the information in light of the Downing Street Memo, not the PNAC-RNC spin on Able Danger.

    Read more . . .

  • Impeachment: State Department memo shows Iraq war crimes actively planned

    We have more evidence that the real reason for the war was a "regime" change, something that is contrary to international law.

    The state department memo also shows a number of other clear indicators that the 2002 planning assumptions were not realistic.

    Evidence war crimes were planned in November 2002

    It's against the laws of war to enter combat to change leadership. The goal has to be related to military necessity, some sort of imminent attack. It is also a violation of international law to explicitly plan to change leadership in the absence of any military threat.

    Need for urgent environmental assessments in hours after regime change in Bastra and Baghdad 12/31

    Treaty compliance standards on Iraq, not the US

    24/31 is most absurd given the contrast between the standard to be imposed on Iraq -vs- the US practice of ignoring treaties: Geneva Convention, UN Charter, Protocols against torture.

    "Organize plans for a change in Iraqi foreign policy toward full compliance with its treaty commitments, including the UN charter"

    This one is even more laughable in light of the GITMO torture photos that are about to be released:
    "Develop plans to institutionalize compliance with international human rights norms.

  • Why was the State Department talking about goals which the US had no plan to follow at Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib?

    Let's hope the Democrats take these "lessons learned bout flawed RNC-PNAC planning disasters in Iraq, and come up with some credible plans for the US:

  • How to ensure the US is in "full compliance with treaty commitments";

  • How to make sure that the standards were use to impose on others as civil society objectives are something the US can point to as an example it practices at home.

    Actual practices at odds with stated objectives

    The plan talked about the importance of training journalists. 21/31 Post-invasion results show that this training was contrary to US policy of shutting down the media. This isn't evidence of any "training" but a "gun-to-the head ultimatum" approach.

    What's more absurd is that these journalist standards are completely opposite the notion of what the NYT was doing in re Judith Miller: Blindly taking whatever information the US pumped out about Iraq; and failing to credibly challenge absurd statements about WMD that defined reason, logic, and facts.

    If only these principles on page 21 were applied to the US in re the journalist standards in questioning US government information. Indeed, if these standards and goals laid out for Iraq were actually applied to the US, wouldn't that be lovely.

    More of this absurdity occurs on 33/31, when the plan talks about teaching "tolerance." Huh? The US idea of "tolerance" is to jail people who dare speak out about an unlawful war; monitor their domestic communications with NSA in violation of the law; and then send in the FBI-JTTF to annoy those who dare use their brains and question what is an unlawful war.

    And the notion that "tolerance for diversity" is going to credibly be "taught by the US" is laughable:

  • How many "tolerant" states passed anti-same-spouse marriage;

  • what type of border controls are in place to stop migration;

  • how is racial profiling used to target those who had nothing to do with 9-11; and

  • how does the government shift attention from their own malfeasance during 9-11 and point fingers at those who dare speak out like Sibel Edmonds?

    Planning for economic output does not create an economy

    One must do more than simply create a plan to talk about economic supply. Need something that translates a vision into reality. 25/31 shows how the petroleum production goals were just pie in the sky. Here we are in 2005, still with high oil prices, inadequate oil output from Iraq.

    What's also needed are viable programs in place to ensure that the products of that economy are sold using money, not simply given away.
    Agricultural reforms could quickly increase productivity at low cost . . . Replanting date palms in the south . . . will have important psychologial value . . . 13/31
    The problem is that despite economic output, people are giving goods away: Food is given out, not necessarily sold. This means there are economic disincentives from producing food, contrary to the invasion plan objectives.

    Evidence US standards not effectively applied to the US

    The issue are:

  • How were the standards applied:

  • Were they enforced in Iraq;

  • Were they enforced in the bilateral agreements/cooperation between Iraq-US; and

  • How were the standards which were imposed on Iraq satisfied by the US?

    10/31 shows the following objective:
    Develop plans for transparency and accountability in public expenditures and to restore confidence in domestic finance

    The post-invasion audits have been interesting. We have reports of $9B gone missing.

    Given the US failed to meet this objective, it is clear that the standards which were imposed on the Iraqis were not effectively implemented in either the Iraqi-controlled efforts; or in the US-managed programs.

    In other words they had plans, but there was no mechanism to

  • A. Ensure that the plans were implemented; or

  • B. There was oversight or a mechanism to monitor the ongoing efforts, or

  • C. Adjust.

    Note the key theme: "Failure to adjust to new information." This is how the President is interacting with Cindy Sheehan: "once the decision was made to invade, we have no more meetings; now that we know more about the basis for war from the Downing Street Memo, we will not revisit the decisions."

    Small problem: When you have a war crimes trial, you always go back in history to compare what was done -vs.- the laws of war. The President is living in denial -- he hopes to ignore the disconnect between [a] what the laws of war are; and [b] what he actually did by simply refusing to face Cindy Sheehan.

    Bush's decision to "not meet with Sheehan" has more to do with his denial about "how much was fabricated" and the real possibility he could be held accountable for war crimes.

    Comparisons between Iraq, and Germany/Japan

    11/31 discusses the transition participant's desire that US "make a commitment" to Iraq just as it did to Germany and Japan.

    This is a key point. If we contrast how the US "won in Iraq" to how it "won in Germany and Japan" we'll find a core problem behind the assumptions.

    First, to "be committed" to a favorable outcome in Iraq is far different than actually achieving that result.

    Second, the US defeated Germany and Japan after a long war. Iraq, on the other hand, was not defeated in the same way: The US simply walked in, fought a few ground skirmishes/battles, and then it was over in a matter of weeks.

    Small problem. Unlike Germany and Japan where the opposing armies were decisively defeated, the Iraqi army disappeared and transformed itself into an insurgency.

    Because the war really didn't end, but turned into an insurgency [unlike Germany and Japan], the basis for the US approach and cooperating with the Iraq pre-invasion planners was flawed.

    The Iraqi participants essentially assumed that once the US captured Baghdad, then things would go well. They didn't count on the US walking into a trap.

    Importance of an objective is not the same as implementing a plan to achieve that objective

    It's all well and good to talk about "important things," but to develop a credible plan to achieve that result is a far different thing.
    "Fundamental importance of clean water supplies for Iraqis immediately after transition. Key to coalition/community relations. . . . . Many Iraq engineers willing to offer expertise to US Army, DART, or new Iraqi government."

    Issues are:

  • Despite this known requirement, how were the DoD plans made subsequent to this "known desire to work with the US Army" updated, refined, or incorporated into other efforts to ensure this objective was met?

  • Once the assigned the "objective" of ensuring there were clean water supplies, how effective were the pre-invasion plans to identify resources, personnel, the necessary logistical support, and other resources needed to meet this objective?

    It is clear, given the abysmal results by 2005, that something broke down between the pre-invasion meetings among the Iraqis and the pre-invasion planning in DoD.

  • Who was assigned liaison between State and DoD?

  • How involved was DoD in these pre-invasion planning meetings in State?

  • To what extent did the State Department and DoD get together before the President to ensure that [a] the goals outlined by state were [b] met with appropriate and realistic resource allocations in DoD?

    Evidence initial plans had no mid term milestones to adjust

    When a government develops a plan [whether it be the occupying/invading nation, or the local officials working in concert with that invading army], there needs to be some intermediate milestones.

    The plan shows evidence of being success oriented, without any mid-term mitigation efforts to either adjust, change course, or assess the progress.
    Develop training program for local government official to educate them on rule of law, anti-corruption and democratization initiatives.18/31

    Rather, the plan was implemented on the assumption that the war would be over. We now know that the "training program on the rule of law" could not be credibly be expected to be either implemented or succeed with the insurgency still waging.

    Moreover, the self-evident corruption not only shows the training program failed, but had no credibility given the US involvement in the corruption in re contract awards.

    This plan merely outlined a skeleton of a checklist, without any credible consideration for the details of how they would accomplish the objectives. It appears those involved in the meeting were enthusiastic about the vision, but short on understanding the details required to achieve the objectives.

    This is just a dream list: Nothing about "how". They appear to have looked at the US culture and said, "We want that too." It took 200 years in the US; and Iraqis wanted this to happen in 30 days. Get real

  • 30 Day timelines had no basis of estimate 14/31

  • $6.2B figure for electricity grid is a clear indication of the time required to implement the plan 16/31. However, despite discussing a large dollar figure, there was no credible follow-up to translate "how the extended timeline to expend those funds in a realistic program" would act at cross purposes with [a] the objectives of having a fast implementation; or [b] the known downside that slow access to water/electricity would be adversely received

  • Iraqi defense establishment disconnected from reality 17/31: Discussing plans, without a credible follow-up mechanism to ensure the plans were either workable, or likely to succeed.

  • Vague plans for civil society were not credibly developed with realistic planning assumptions, nor were there follow-on efforts to implement options to achieve the desired objectives 19/31 It's unclear how these vague plans were approved; or what lessons learned we could apply to the US society in terms of, "If this plan got approved, despite the flaws, in Iraq, what kind of other plans could we expect to see for the US that are equally pie in the sky?" Answer: Social security.

  • Very vague notions of "transparency" without a credible demonstration by the occupying army that these principles were important 20/31

    Flawed assumptions

    One example of an absurd planning assumption, in light of the above problems, is the disconnect between what was planned, and what would be reasonable to expect.

    Take the discussion on 23/31 in re "issues of returning refugees". Given the above planning problems [already known to be inherent into he process in 2002; and the known $6.2 budget requirement/plan that was at odds with the 30-day target figure], we already would have known that there would be a problem with execution.

    Thus, at this juncture to talk about "returning refugees" is absurd: The very plan that was inherently flawed and did little to suggest there was a stable environment, would inherently have no need to talk about "returning refugees", but the opposite: What to do when the expertise needed to implement this flawed plan failed to show up.

    In other words, what the plan failed to do was have an integration team which scrubbed the planning assumptions across each of the functional areas. If x-assumption failed, there was no follow-on effort to ensure that the subsequent planning efforts were logically linked with what was actually going on.

    It makes no sense to have as the "big goal of the day" an effort to spend money, time, resources, or energy on "integration efforts for refugees" when the momentum of the effort was in the opposite direction: Personnel flight, destabilized situation, and known factors in 2002 that would drive people away from Iraq.

    Flawed assessment of Model in Summary

    27-29 asserted the planning model was working. Self-evidently, the model, in light of what we have in 2005, failed.

    What's needed is a full discussion on:

  • What was actually planned

  • who was involved

  • What kind of training did they get/their education

  • The assumptions of the model

  • Who oversaw the planning outputs

  • What efforts, if any, there were to ensure DoD was involve din this efforts

  • How the CIA assessments, if any, were dovetailed with these plans

  • To what extent OSP overshadowed the CIA and focused on the PNAC-success oriented planning assumptions

  • Where else this model has been used

  • The status of any post-action review plans to review what failed in this model; what needs to be addressed;

  • how the DoD/State IG were involved in these planning and review efforts;

  • to what extent this model had been previously discussed by the various auditors or other consultants who, at conferences, were discussing the "benefits" of this approach;

  • an exploration of the planning assumptions and other literature and working papers extolling the virtues of these planning approaches.

    Clearly something major broke:

  • Communication from CIA failed to act as a credibly check on planning assumptions

  • The 30-day window was at odds with the $6.2B dollar figure that had to be expended to achieve the objective. This shows evidence that the plan was simply a checklist of nice things to have, without a credible discussion on how one could realistically expect to achieve results in terms of getting $6.2B on contract, and achieve the results in 30 days. This is impossible.


    It was known in November 2002 that the US was planning to commit war crimes: Unlawfully stating that the clear objective of the invasion was to change the regime.

    The approach shows evidence the planning was not based on hard evidence or workable assumptions, but merely objectives, devoid of reality.

    The plan was internally inconsistent. The US planning groups show clear evidence that the known data and budget figures could not expended in the time required to achieve the objectives.

    The plan outlined a number of principles which the US cannot credibly demonstrate it implements at home. Other nations, in light of this State Department memo, would have a reasonable basis to question the veracity and credibility of democracy, US planning models, capitalism, and the ability of US military forces to act as a force of positive change.

    In short, this report is but another signal to the international community that the idea of democracy and capitalism, although "better" than competing models, fails to deliver. The US helped fuel excessively high expectations; those expectations, when unmet, gives further support to those who are fighting the US.

    The American corporate-"democratic" model is asserted to be "the shining example," but those in the third world who see the results in Iraq are justifiably perplexed by the American arrogance. Locals in places like India will be emboldened to assert themselves against American corporations and planning models.

    Other links

    State Department says it warned President of problems with plans.

    Read more . . .

  • Wednesday, August 17, 2005

    Latham and Watkins allegedly linked to missing Roberts documents

    Washington Post has stated that one of the attorneys who was reviewing the now missing Judge Roberts documents at the Reagan library, works for Harriett Miers.

    One attorney matching this description is publicly available on the White House website. The following name comes up: Dabney Langho Friedrich, a former employee of Latham and Watkins.

    Friedrich, if not directly involved, would know which White House personnel and documents are of interest.

    Latham & Watkins provided campaign funding and has many of its former attorneys in key DHS, EPA, SEC, and other White House positions; and has also been linked to the Harvard Westlake lawsuit through campaign funding and recommendations.

    Other names that have surfaced and alleged to be linked with, or may know more about the missing documents are allegedly Maureen Mahoney and Thomas Patten, both former L & W employees and part of the Bush Administration Justice transition team.

    Other names: Associate Counsel to the President

    More senior attorneys

    Brown, Reginald
    Duggan, Charles S
    Everson, Nanette R
    Fahrenkopf, Leslie A
    Powell, Benjamin A
    Yanes, Raul F

    More junior attorneys

    Brosnahan, Jennifer R
    Dixton, Grant M
    Rounds, III Emory A [Deputy councel]
    Stiles, Ryan P

    Call them and ask, "Where are the missing documents, bonehead?"

    Other stories about the missing files; and another list of possible "people in the know".

    [ Stephen Crowley/The New York Times ] From left, Judge Roberts; his wife, Jane; Mike O'Neill, the Judiciary Committee counsel; Rachel Brand, assistant attorney general; Ed Gillespie, a White House adviser; Dabney Friedrich, associate White House counsel; and William Kelley, deputy White House counsel.

    Read more . . .

    American Inspector General process is broken

    The problem we have with the issues of war crimes, the Geneva Conventions, and the Downing Street memo is that the very investigators we "rely on" to gather facts, are also linked with those who have engaged in the misconduct.

    IG offices have been under surveillance because, among many things, their document destruction; and with tampering with evidence in advance of "no notice" visits by HQ.

    In theory, the IG does have independent oversight. In practice, the IG system has been compromised. DoD/DoJ criminal investigators assigned to the DoD IG have friends who were the ones who are involved: War crimes, torture, GITMO, and Abu Ghraib.

    Right now the DoD/DoJ IGs both have a credibility problem: They knew about this in 2002, but DoD is acting as if this is news in 2005. [More on the NAVY IG link to DOJ ]

    The crossflow of personnel is through JTTF, CIFA, and the Ft. Huachuca interrogator school. They fall under OSD. That's why its important to find out what DoD had "removed from the FOIA request" -- so we can connect the dots. [More on what to look for.]

  • Larissa's article on the Senate Intelligence cover-up/stonewalling is a nice perspective on what's going on.

  • Then, from stage left, we have the Sibel Edmonds insight into the stonewalling by DoJ. More . . . ]

    In other words, alot of people, even in the IG offices and Congress, have really screwed up. Because "something broke in the IG-Congressional oversight" system that contributed to the WMD-torture-war crimes problem. It relates to checks and balances, and what's not working with it. [More . . . ]

    Unanswered questions in 2005 are signs of a major problem

    It's important to remind the RNC that the reason there are "new questions," is because of the Downing Street Memo. Once we have the facts, then we can put together a plan of "what to do." [More . . . ]

    If the oversight system by Congress and the IG was functionable, we would have a responsive government and straight answers flowing into the debates prior to the war. Right now, we still have more questions three years after the Downing Street Memo was written.

    This is not a credible system of Checks and balances. The big story about Cindy Sheehan is that she's saying publicly what the government has known internally for years, and what has prompted whistleblowers to go public. The only option the government has is to spin up the smear machine; and there are plenty of lapdogs willing to oblige.

    Also, government information has been classified, not for national security reasons, but to suppress the information which the Congress and the public need to make some informed decisions.

    There may be some delays from DoJ IG because of conflicts within DoJ CIFA/JTTF and the investigators going easy on their counterparts in DoD. These are war crimes, and DoD/DoJ IGs have both failed to timely investigate and get this resolved. They have a problem, and they now know that we know.

    CIA IG, NSA IG, DoD IG, and DoJ IG are all in this boat together: And the Downing Street Memo shows that they've all either been sitting on their rear end doing nothing; or they knew, but failed to act as they are statutorily required.

    In turn, once the photos from GITMO get released, the public is going to have a new round of excuses, diversions from the IGs to explain away, "Where were you" and "what happened." JCS documents show the IGs were well aware, have not resigned, and Congress has not been kept up to date as required by the statute.

    This is Nuremburg-type stuff and the IGs are part of the problem, not the solution. The next round of questions, which the IGs can't answer is, "Why didn't you [the IG] tell us [Congress] about this when you first knew about; or did you fail to timely report something for a reason that is related to malfeasance [failure to do something that should have been done: Timely report allegations of war crimes, torture, rendition]?"

    No matter how you look at it, what we have [by way of current events, status, and the way the country is working] is at odds with [a] how the Constitutional system of checks and balances and [b] the "lessons learned" from the Magna Carta should leave us. There's a big gap between what "should be happening" and what is going on.

    The simple answer: Simply look at the statutes; what is written is getting ignored. And the IG system is so corrupt, that they don't know how far off the mark they are, nor how involved their own investigators are in the corruption.

    Keep the big picture in mind: The Constitution still exists as a viable document; there are just a lot of scrawny rats trying to get their piece of the rice bowl. Many of them will compromise their integrity in order to get their share.

    They made a poor choice.

    It may seem like a big job, but things are starting to get better airing, thanks to Congressman Conyers. A full inquiry into the matters would help chart a way forward: How do we strengthen the constitution; and ensure leadership makes decisions/issues information to Congress based on facts--the idea/objective behind free flow of information, open debate, and democracy--something we're "supposedly fighting for in Iraq."

    Self-evidently, in light of the Downing Street Memo and lack of information from the White House and IG's, what we say we're fighting for and what is actually going on are two completely different things. Not to worry, not everyone has lost their mind.

    If you're trying to figure out what to do, read this list: We need to find out what DoD is hiding.

    Note to Larissa, RawStory:

    The comment link at the bottom of this page is no longer going to the Haloscan feed/link here.

    Links of interest

    What promoted this comment

    Read more . . .

  • DoD narrows Conyers FOIA request in re Downing Street Memo

    Wondering what DoD is trying to hide? It's not all that hard to figure out.

    There are plenty of records. And DoD doesn't want Congress to look at some things. Why?

    This note explains how the "stuff DoD doesn't want included in the FOIA" can be put together to find out what Congress really wants to know: Who was involved, who is the White House linked, and who has obstructed lawful inquires.


    Cindy Sheehan got the Downing Street Memo and is pretty upset. The cousin of the Texas shooter, a veteran, offered Cindy his land to protest.

    In the meantime, we hear that DoD has agreed to a narrow the FOIA request.

    Conyers writes, "the Pentagon did contact my office and suggested modifications to narrow the request (which we did), " Ref

    The question that comes to mind: How does the final version of the FOIA request compare with the original?

    It would be useful to compare the [a] original request; with [b] the agreed to terms; [c] the final changes; and [d] the FOIA response from DoD to Congressman Conyers.

    Here's the unanswered question: How did the "narrowing" of the FOIA request exclude certain documents?


  • Dr Alan dicsusses the gaps: See Comment #9: Dr Alan H Levinson said on 8/16/05 @ 2:38pm ET...

  • Original FOIA letter

  • ConyersBlog entry 30 Jun 2005: The original request

  • ConyersBlog update on the DoD gaps in the responses.

  • Subsequent Conyers letter here

  • DoD Payroll information from GAO

  • Discussion

    DoD likes to narrow down "the problem" into something that is "appropriate" so that "other things" are excluded. They tend to encourage people to "cooperate with a reasonable request" so that "their request can be more appropriately responded to."

    In practice, what DoD likes to do is narrow down the list of "appropriate requests" to something that takes the important things off the table. In other words, there could be issues, terms, and important information in the FOIA that have not been publicly discussed, but should be known.

    At this point I have no clear statement on "what DoD has or has not agreed to" in the subsequent agreement.

    Here's what I would like to see

    A final breakdown from DoD showing which types of documents would not have been provided had the original FOIA request-terms been unchanged;

    A study or analysis done on the change between [a] the original request; and [b] the final request, with some discussion on the likely types of issues, terms, and questions that would not have been covered.

    What can be done is a reverse-engineering on the discovery-type-terms. In other words, if you take the terminology that was removed from the original request and assume this "leads to some valid information," you can then speculate on the range of issues, management actions, and types of reports/documents/internal audits/briefings DoD did or didn't provide.

    In other words, by narrowing the FOIA request, DoD does two things:

  • It takes issues off the table

  • Issues that should have originally been covered [that could have been ignored, not complied with, or management failed to correct despite the known problems] get taken out of the spot light.

    Think of this as when law enforcement gets reasonable suspicion that there's something going on. They don't have a warrant, but they believe that there's an imminent crime. Under the law, they can enter a building.

    Lo and behold! If they "stumble" across something "totally unrelated" to their original suspicions, that evidence is still admissible.

    What DoD is trying to do is prevent the Congressional Committees from looking at something that is not directly related to a very narrow request in the hopes of putting the blinders on.

    Let's be clear what the Downing Street Memo is: It is evidence that, contrary to the White House assertions, the facts were fixed to justify a war, and many knew the intelligence was made up.

    We also know that Rove is in trouble. This means the White House staff knows something.

    Yes, there's alot of stuff DoD doesn't want the Congress to know about. Let's speculate what this type of information could be:

  • DoD/NSA briefings, appointments with White House

    One of the fictions flying around is that CIA-FBI had a wall. That's non-sense. The NSC has something called the DSP which collates all the information from CIA and FBI.

    What will be important to review is how the final DoD request excludes information that would show how DHS, CIA, CIFA, JTTF and/or FBI intelligence information was rolled into DoD briefings.

    We know through the 9-11 Commission that NAVY IG interviewed Spike Bowman.

  • Intelligence analysis

    The analysis will have to compare what factors, targets, information would be excluded from the final list.

    This information could relate to the message traffic, witness interview, and post-defection interrogations lists.

  • Photographic evidence

    NSA sends over various satellites and airborne vehicles. At the same time ground units form the Army and Marine intelligence units have various Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

    Units from the Marine Corps Pacific Fleet were dispatched in theater. It would be appropriate to find out which personnel would be taken off the final list of FOIA submittals.

    In tern, the final DoD list could be so narrowed to hide ongoing efforts related to doing the same thing in Iran: Essentially making up more information [as was shown in the Downing Street Memo] but this time creating the "ruse for war" in Iran.

    Also, satellite imagery of various Naval carrier groups, vessels, and other "commercial vessels" [CIA cover ships] in the Indian Ocean cold be the very information needed to pinpoint which ships were or are continuing to house prisoners in the "floating GITMOs." These are floating torture vessels which the US has argued "are not subject to the Geneva conventions" because they are located in international waters.

    The problem with this "logic," is that the laws of war apply to personnel, regardless where they are located.

  • Audits

    Every time there is a problem, commanders have to decide whether to look into the matter; ignore the problem; or call in outsiders.

    Regardless what they do, there's always an initial notification. This can be done through message traffic, phone calls, or meetings.

    Regardless how they are notified, someone initially finds something. The important thing to do is to gather the anecdotal evidence from the Whistleblowers and find if there is a common pattern of

  • A. Ignoring reports of problems;

  • B. Failing to correct the problems;

  • C. Making misstatements on whether they know about the problem;

  • D. Making misstatements on whether the problem was resolved.

  • Briefings

    All units have regulations, orders, and procedures. It will be important to look at which procedures were getting reviewed during the briefings.

    What will be important to look for are the audit reports showing which functional areas are getting reviewed; what the findings are; and how the final audit reports compare with their baseline procedures.

    What will be important to look for are holes:

  • A. Differences between what the 100% task coverage calls for -vs- what they actually looked at -vs- what they said in their reports;

  • B. Differences between what the audit reports are saying -vs- what the units are actually doing -vs- what the whistleblowers are saying is going on.

  • Status reports

    Units provide status on mission accomplishment, personnel training, and combat readiness.

    These are reports that are scheduled, recurring, and go out on an ongoing basis.

    What will be important to look for is the incoming traffic from the various reporting units that are outside the request. This will establish a baseline.

    Thus, by "taking items of the list," DoD is preventing the Congressional Committee from understanding this baseline activity.

    Once Congress looks at the baseline, then compares it with the various spikes in and out of the then-future combat theater [looking forward from 2002], we can get an idea of what are spikes.

    At this point, we have nothing to compare "the spikes" with: How do "the spikes" compare with other "ongoing monitoring activities" in other activities?

    This will be important to look at:

  • How the reporting levels changed with various Congressional visits;

  • How the message traffic spiked, and ebbed with various impending inspections, audit reports, and media.

    Again, the point is that we may not know exactly what is or isn't going on; but we can compare "area A that has nothing to do with the area of primary interest" and then compare how the actual reporting [from DoD's perspective] to see if there are inconsistencies in the reporting.

    In general, with any activity, there is a reasonable level of reporting or planning. If we find that X-event in the future was to occur, but the reported DoD response is much less than the baseline-comparison, we know we're not getting something.

    At this point, DoD has taken this "comparison" off the table by narrowing the request.

  • Message traffic

    Message traffic is something that is interesting to look at. It takes time to physically compose/transfer a boilerplate and then output a message for signature.

    There is a discrete amount of time between the time that the message is requested; then when it is finished; and when it is finally signed/approved, then sent out via the lines.

    It doesn't matter what the times are. But what we can figure out by looking at the baseline times, and comparing them with the surges, is some queuing data.

    This is a way of assessing "what else was going on" and "what other priorities were there." Suppose we have a "high" priority event, and it takes 20-units of time to process that message.

    Suppose we have another "high priority event," but it takes 20+5-units of time. We have to ask:

  • Is the deviation important

  • What else was going on

  • Is there a discussion going on

  • Can we show on a timeline what else was occurring?

    The important thing to remember is that we're looking at orders of magnitude of minutes and hours; but, if there's a hole in the timeline, and we get a consistent number of indicators from different personnel "gaps", we know that there's something going on.

    These gaps can for the basis for additional inquiry. IN short, it means there's planning, delays, a decision, or some sort of problem that they're wrestling with.

    Specifically, if they've got an internal battle over the Geneva Conventions, and we find various spikes above baseline, but then there's a hole . . . we know to look there.

    Surprise! Guess who has the holes? The Judge Advocates [JAG] .We also know by looking at the various IG templates out of the NAVY that FBI and DOJ are involved.

    Guess who DoJ uses for their VIP support? That's right: DoD Gulfstreams. Which means there is a fuel request, there's an upload time, and there's a fuel truck that has to get dispatched at a discrete time.

    Yes, it takes a long time to put all these little pieces together. But that's the point: You want to get as much as you can, and then rebuild the entire timeline.

    Then, the next step is to go in with specific Certified Fraud Examiner target lists to go after specific computers. This can be done by comparing the satellite intercepts, and the ground-message traffic; and then comparing it with the actual IT-usage times; and then comparing this with the original responses.

    There will be gaps. Why? Because DoD personnel do not realize that NSA collects the information and this is contained in GCHQ, outside their control.

    What we need is some detailed samples of "how many gaps there are" so that the public will realize that DoD has been talking out of both sides of their mouth.

    On one hand they've been publicly pretending to be stupid; at the same time, their own public information confirms that there were DoJ and NAVY cross talks and message traffic in 2002. Yet, by 2005, JCS says they had no clue.


  • TDY travel

    TDY is temporary duty. When a unit is engaged in a classified program, they have to still travel. The problem is, sometimes the personnel do not see how their "little piece" fits in with the big picture.

    In other words, a TDY-travel-voucher is issued, they have to have orders; and they have to have fund cites. These are special codes that track how the funding routes through Columbus Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and then back to the paying station.

    What happens in the money comes out of one account, and pays the Scheduled Airline Traffic Office for the Airline Tickets, rental cars, or other things.

    There are also funds that typically come out of a service member’s private personal account; Someone going on a trip to Diego Garcia could use their personal credit cards, or make cash withdrawals from their private account. Then these travel expenses are reimbursed.

    Getting back to the Downing Street Memo FOIA request: By narrowing the "list of appropriate targets," what DoD is doing is taking all the travel-related information [that could be used as a cost-baseline] and saying, "This doesn't apply."

    That's non-sense. The way anyone in DoD does any planning or estimating is to look at analogies.

    So where to go? There's a place called the Cost Analysis Improvement Group [CAIG] which gathers all this baseline data. If DoD has shut out the FOIA response from this group, then you know they're trying to stifle Congress from doing some cost estimates and baseline analysis.

    Also, there are various travel requests that are done under cover. They are charged against one account, but they're actually supporting another event. This is what a black program is. The money is spent, but it is taken out of one program, and applied to something else.

    How to find this? Well, there's something called the Defense Acquisition Executive Summary [DAES] which shows the major programs. Small problem from some of the services.

    Guess who took over the DAES recently? That's right: DoD took over the subordinate commander responsibilities for monitoring the Air Force acquisition programs. What does this mean? It means that the DoD Office of Secretary of Defense for Acquisition has consolidated the "oversight" of this function.

    IN other to provide status reporting on these DAES, normally what happens in the units report their status. Small problem. Those black programs that they raid have many signals of problems:

  • Their expenses are not meeting targets

  • They have money sitting there

  • Their obligation and expenditure rates are below OSD goals

  • Their program gets raided to pay something called "taxes" -- which is a polite way of saying, "The OSD goes into a relatively large ACAT1 program for a large weapon system like a carrier group upgrade with NAVSEA" and raids money to pay bills for "off budget" programs related to various "unexpected requirements."

    Guess what? The money was there. Then it disappears. Where does it really go? If the program is fat enough, the money gets taken out, pays some classified program, and then all of a sudden: The program has to restructure.

    SO, getting back to the DAES . . .all you have to do is look at the various DAES reporting units that have had major restructures. And then trace the money that was on the original contract estimates by the CAIG, and compare: Why did we have a slip in the program?

    Usually, the money is taken out after a number of meetings. So what you're looking for:

  • Did DoD hide the data related to TDY costs

  • Which programs did the money supposedly come from

  • Can we trace how the money flowed from the original program, through DFAS, to the final paying station in the TDY

  • or is there a chunk of money that went missing that should be there given the TDY and message traffic?

    I suspect DoD is attempting to narrow down the response so that Congress is unable to do any of this analysis. It's not that hard. It takes a long time, and that is why DoD is stonewalling. They believe that they can refocus Congress’s attention/ and then when the questions come "about the real story," DoD will point back to the agreement and say, "Hay, we agreed not to . . . "

    This is exactly what the Senate did when it got the "list of OK-issues to review" in the Intelligence review with both Bush in 9-11 and the WMD issues. It was done during the Clinton impeachment as well: Alot of staffers in the Senate Judiciary Committee can tell you how this give and take was done on which issues to take off the table, which funds were promised in exchange for keeping various issues quiet.

  • Classified findings

    There's a little magic that goes on. If you're in a real combat unit you have something called an operational readiness inspection. This is a recurring requirement to show that units are combat ready, or what problems they have.

    We know from Iraq that "highly rated units" are reporting problems with equipment.

    The issue becomes: How were the original ORI readiness inspections passed?

    The answer is people rated equipment as "combat ready" because they met, on paper, various requirements. Small problem: They know the equipment was worthless, and the checklists were bad.

    So, the big ruse: If we can find a classified briefing we'll know the truth. That's a mirage. DoD, just because it classifies something, isn't saying that the information is correct or true. DoD will fabricate weapons performance data all the time. They'll make up bogus information.

    So don't get into the trap of thinking, "because I have a classified briefing" that it's the truth. On the contrary, you may be going down the wrong path.

    What to do? Remember, the goal here is to find out who in the White House knew the Downing Street Memo information was "what was real," all the while you have a huge charade going on.

    The trick will be to find out:

  • Who was planning for the 2001-on ward invasion;

  • What were personnel in HQ told about the equipment status;

  • What was the actual equipment status;

  • How was DSP at NSC coordinating the "planning inputs" from the Joint Staff, while at the same time juggling the problems with intelligence.

    The problem the White House has is, despite the pre-2002 decision to go to war [per the Downing street Memo], is that the classified reports show equipment status that is odds with their actual combat readiness and capabilities in Iraq.

    Clearly, things don't add up: And this was known prior to 9-11. Anyone who had their head remotely connected to their brain stem knew this.

    So, the next question: How did DoD through the President’s Budget incorrectly report combat unit readiness, requirements, and programs?

    The answer is: This it the President's Budget. Let me say that again: Every year, the President submits something called the PB, or President's Budget to Congress in the first days/weeks of February.

    Going backward in time, there are the DAES mark-up meetings that flow into this. Guess what happens in November-January? The staffers are talking back and forth about their changes.

    If you go inside the Pentagon, you'll be able to see which access vaults were in use. They have various combinations on them. They're about eye-level and they're black.

    Guess who keeps records of who has access to the vaults; and also keeps records of the phone calls in and out of the Pentagon related to these DAES markups?

    That's right: GCHQ. So the key will be to compare what GCHQ is communicating, and then go back to see what was in the classified briefings.

    You'll see that what they were talking about, doesn't match what they were telling Congress or the public.

    In which areas? Look at 5100.77 in re war crimes. If you fly down to Guantanamo and go through the various TDY-visitor logs though DFAS, you'll find out which personnel actually went into GITMO, the communications, and the subsequent conversations they had.

    One of the Senate Staffers from New Hampshire in November 2002 had a pre-trip package put together. This was coordinated with DoJ, DoD, and the Senate Committee. At the same, time you can go through the Senate Staffer private accounts, find out how much money they were reimbursed for travel, and then trace this dollar amount through DFAS on those funding orders.

    As you wind your way through those codes, the issue isn't the dollar amount, but all the personnel codes; the office codes; and program codes related to that single visit.

    This is how you'll be able to find out "what the real story" is of what was going on with GITMO:

  • Which program did DoD take the money out of;

  • Who coordinated on that funding allocation;

  • How that program performed verses the OSD expenditure goals;

  • Were there any restructures.

    The point is this: You have a single visit in November 2002 by a Rhode Island Senator Staffer. On its own, DoD may say, "You don't need that." But unless you get "the rest of the stuff," and "know how to swipe off the codes and info" you're never going to be able to put the whole story together:

  • Who was managing this program

  • How was the White House communicating with the Joint Staff on this program;

  • Which message traffic from the White House to the various Joint Staff officers was going on;

  • Or what the real rules of engagement were.

    So, to make a long story short: What DoD has done is take out the various information that Congress needs to do what DoD doesn't want: To bump up against the real stuff that would explain:

  • Who knew about the President’s orders on torture

  • What were the instructions

  • What did the law say

  • What was actually done.

    Who cares? Well, if you go back and look at the GITMO photos that are about to be released, you'll have a better idea of what was going on in JTTF, CIFA, and the various briefings the IG-interrogators were getting along the Atlantic Seaboard.

    Remember, these guys living in Virgina, North Carolina, Rhode Island who are part of the NAVY were cycled through GITMO as a "great opportunity" to practice their skills.

    In order to have these training and after action reports, someone had to sit down and go over this. That's where the Senior Executive Service comes in. They had meetings, voice communications on DSN [Defense Switch Network] and they also used STURON [Classified keying system to scramble voice].

    The key will be to find out who had access to these STURONs; and then find out whether the investigators [who were doing the "audits"] were actually the ones trying to hide what was "really going on" in GITMO.

    In other words, the very criminal investigators charged with "gathering facts" for Congress could very well be the same interrogators from the NAVY assigned to and cycled through GITMO.

  • Updates on regulations

    Let's keep in mind what we're talking about here: War crimes. How does a Regulation update relate to this?

    Pretty simple. Anytime a regulation is updated, there is a staff summary sheet [SSS] that gets applied to that update. Someone prints out the final regulation; or it gets zipped around on an adobe file for a markup.

    They key is each step along this update creates in the computer system a discrete file. Even if you "erase" the record, the actual update is stuck in the computer.

    Either the computer gets sold, or its still in use. You can go back and find the "old deleted records" by burrowing deep in these computers.

    For a cross check, if there are land lines and electrical outlines and there are problems with their OPSEC [Operational Security] then it means that someone has set up an open-access computer for classified plans, but done so in an area where someone can still monitor the communications.

    Normally, the NSA guys will catch this and say, "Change it." Small problem. If they've spent 3020 money, and had a rapid expansion, then you know that they've created some classified areas, and this requires NSA coordination.

    The regulation updates will show you which units were involved, meetings that they had to update the regulation, and who was involved.

    If DoD is "taking issues of the table," but this is related to a regulation that mandates a reporting requirement, but that reporting requirement wasn't fulfilled, then Congress has something else to look at.

  • War crimes compliance

    5100.77 is the OSD regulation that says exactly how unit commanders are supposed to comply.

    If DOD has "taken items off the list" that relate to plans, message traffic, and other things with 5100.77, then you have to ask yourself, "Which meetings, papers, and other documents that support these tangential programs" were actually used as cover for the original plans related to war crimes.

    In other words, you can't legally engage in war crimes. But if you can bury the "funding allocation" to support that war crime in a black program, most people think you can't find it.

    Well, going back to your program restructure, TDY funding, and final DFAS listing though STURON discussions, you can still trace it.

    Yes, the very people charged with "ensuring criminal investigations are done" are the same people who engaged in the torture.

    Let me say that another way: Those people which like to say, "We are in the inspector general's office and work for Congress" are conflicted: Those people who are your criminal investigators for NCIS and JTTF [both OSD, DOJ] are the ones who are trying to cover this up: Their buddies are the ones who engaged in the war crimes.

  • Friendly information

    The various "criminal investigators" in the units have a list of "stuff we don't talk about". Small problem. People make mistakes.

    Despite all the briefings, people are still stupid. They go out to the mall, and let something slip.

    IN the "real world," they like to say that this is "to protect the nation from spies." Well, the real-real story: There are people in the media who have this information "that they're not supposed to have", but they've kept quiet about it.

    In other words, for the media to maintain access with "those who leak," the various "background information" they get to "help explain the story," is something that they don't talk about.

    But, what you want to do is look at the DoD "list of things that we don't talk about" and look it over for things that "the Media should know about if they have access to anyone with a functioning brain stem."

    The media has a problem. One of their own is already in jail. And GCHQ already knows about the communications between DoD and the media.

    What the media likes to do is play stupid about who they talk to, what they know. IN practice, if there's a personnel evaluation going on, and the internal auditors are finding things, the media will get a courtesy copy.

    But if there's a problem, people will play stupid. "Oh, we didn't hear about that." In practice, what the DoD personnel are doing is hoping to back-channel smear other people who naively come forward.

    In other words, the "higher ups," who are in charge of these war crimes, will already have ongoing relationships with the media through the DOD public affairs. But a new person will show up, not know about these relationships, and go to the media. Guess who the media calls to discuss this? The higher ups.

    It's a way of enforcing discipline while appearing to be "concerned."

    The issue Congress want to look into is that small gem of an item at Starbucks. Remember that meeting the OSD staffer had, and they left their notes in Starbucks? They were meeting at a location approximately 6 miles from their homes; about the same distance from Rumsfeld's house.

    You want to start looking for the "various types of off-site meeting places" that they're going to. You've got people who know who DoD staffers are. You want to get some meeting minutes of something that documents where they had their going away parties, or some sort of flyer with a retirement announcement on it. If DoD on the A-ring has a problem remembering, ask them to turn over all their recycled paper boxes. We can back-channel through that.

    The next step is to do a 100% survey of all people who attended these meetings, and then have a 100% survey of all civilians who may have taken photographs of the building. That would get some very nice license plates.

    Then you just starting throwing up pictures, photos of people, and meeting locations and ask anyone who remembers anything about these events to share whatever they have. Remember, the smallest piece of non-sense information could be vital.

    So, get you flicker photos, and start taking pictures of everything. Who know, maybe we'll even find some of the pre-9-11 meetings to explain why their non-sense stories don't make sense: Just like the London Bombing stories don't make sense.

  • Inspector general or investigation reports

    The one thing to remember about DoD IG personnel is that they are first, and foremost, a member of DoD. They get cycled through. They may not be experts.

    Remember, the "criminal investigators" that work in the NCIS, CID, and OSI are actually the ones who cross flowed through GITMO with JTTF and CIFA.

    Your IGs are a good source of "big picture" things; but as far as the nuts and bolts: Your investigators are the ones to talk to.

    Remember, they "classify" things; and those files are kept in vaults in DC for 25 years. This means if you ask for specific follow-up investigations but they say, "We can’t find it," you know they're lying. It's there. 25 years!

    Also, each unit has a focal point for GAO, IG, and Congressional inquiries. These are staffed through DoJ and DOD legislative liaison. Guess who works there? That's right, the same attorneys who whittled down the FOIA request.

    DoD has special offices in each of the commands in the Pentagon. These personnel are typically mid to senior career in the O-4 [Major, Navy LtCommander] to O-5 [LtCol, Navy Commander] level. Sometimes you'll find an O-3 [Captain; Navy Lt] there.

    The point being: They're very familiar with the unit level reporting; they know their weapon systems; and their loyalty is first to their own career and Congress is last on the list.

    The Legislative Liaisons people have two primary sources of information. One is the "official paperwork" route [which is the FOIA]; and the second way is how things are actually done [without a trace].

    The "without a trace" route can be put together. First, take a look at their TDY travels, look at the meeting minutes and attendance rosters for those various programs they go to; and find out their access times to the STURONS. What you're trying to do is find out the "other half" of the missing puzzle:

  • Who are they talking to;

  • Which programs are they monitoring;

  • How is the money flowing through funding-office to pay for their trips, meetings, and other activities.

    You're going to want to look for the NCIS travel in and out of GITMO [duh]; but there's a twist. They charge the funding to NAVSEA programs. DoJ does the same thing. You're going to want to find the fuel accounts for their VIP transports which DoD has; and then go after by-name the exact funding and message traffic supporting these visits.

    Remember, your criminal investigators in CID, OSI, and NCIS are not reliable. They're trying to make this go away. Your job is to find the holes.

    I recommend sending word to the GCHQ people that we need specific names, travel times, and funding cite codes. What we're looking for is a matrix pattern to show the spikes; and what we're tying to do is show what should be expected by way of normal communications, message traffic, funds expenditures.

    When that drops off relative to the baseline [which DoD says doesn't apply and won't give Congress], you know you’re on the right track.

  • Trade studies

    A trade study is a "trade off" or "analysis" study. When someone is planning to do something, they have to look at the costs, options, and find out how much things, costs and how much time it will take.

    DOD in the DAES will list all the SETA [System Engineering And Technical Analysis] contractors that provide funding inputs.

    Around the Pentagon there are many buildings with people who do the real work of the Pentagon: Analysis, data collection, meetings, and putting together the plans.

    These people essentially take in raw information [whatever you want, they can get it, or make it up] and then convert it into something that the DoD commanders, OSD staff, or the White House needs.

    When these contractors do these studies, they're not doing anything magic. All they do is take raw date, apply statistics or some sort of algorithm [a relationship between variables] and then spitting out some sort of guess.

    The firms that form this backbone have public reporting requirements:

  • IRS

  • Campaign contributions

  • DAES contractor listing on program manger lists

  • Securities and Exchange Commission Filings

  • Better Business bureau, FTC complaints, and DoD IG reviews

    What Congress want to look at in reviewing the DoD "list of things we don't want to talk about or respond to," is the range of data that a contractor who works on these trade studies would not have to submit.

    In other words, when a contractor does a trade-study, they have to gather information. The assumptions that went into the trade-studies for your GITMO and rendition programs are all there: Gulfstream fuel times; fuel point staging points; learning curves; personnel training times; costs to acquire assets; building materials; and training expenditures.

    In the end, after alot of monkeying around with the data, they come up with some sort of report, plan, or outline. This stuff gets faxed sometimes by Classified STURON into OSD. That's where GCHQ comes in: We need the copies of these classified trade studies done on the GITMO, rendition, Able Danger, Scorpion, and other programs that are related to the unlawful activities.

    This information will form a baseline: What were the planning milestones; what was the lead-time for this planning; who was involved; who attended the meetings; and what types of inputs did we have from the Senior Executive Service.

  • Program management plans

    This is the black program stuff. They've taken money out of a formal program in the DAES, the money has gone through DFAS, and it shows up to reimburse the people engaged in war crimes.

    Program managers have briefings that they give. If they're in real trouble, they've had some personal visits with OSD. Guess where these records are maintained?

    There are many places:

  • Travel times on SATO

  • Gas and fuel reimbursements

  • Trip reports

  • TDY vouchers

  • Funds reimbursements back to the private accounts

    Each of the program managers who have had their funds raided have a general idea of where the funding was located originally; what it went to; and when it happened. They have various line item budget documents which you can trace form the DAES back to the original contractor and trade studies done; and then weave your way back and forth between the contractor estimates, the funds expenditures, and then to the final data reported in the DAES and Presidents' Budget.

    What Congress needs to look at:

  • Which programs that could have been raided, have been taken off the list;

  • What data [related to understanding who was involved in these meetings] has been taken off the table; and

  • What is DoD trying to hide..

    At this point, we can only guess: We have no idea what DoD and Conyers have agreed.

    There are two options: Either DoD can provide the changes; Conyers can provide the changes; or we can get the revisions through GCHQ.

    Either way, the award is going to go to the people who make a timely response.

  • Construction funding

    3020 funding is one of those things they like to say, "We have to go to Congress" on this. Don't confuse this with 3040 or 3400.

    When they're building a building in Oman or GITMO, this is 3020. But when they're doing it for an unlawful purpose, your guess is as good as mine.

    What Congress wants to look for:

  • Which facilities do we know exist, but have not been reported on the 3020 list;

  • Which contractors were assigned to build the facilities;

  • Who on the contractor lists have a clearance;

  • What types of terms and conditions are their classified briefings and access to classified information contingent upon?

    This is where we get back to the Rove-Plame stuff. Remember Rove's security clearance? He has the real risk of losing that clearance because of the terms of his clearance.

    Now, here's the magic: What Congress wants to do, not the investigators, is ask the contractors who have these clearances whether they really like getting a paycheck. If they lose their clearance, they lose their paycheck.

    Here's what the contractors don't know: How much information does GCHQ have that will show they are lying to Congress?

    The contractors have people who are fairly knowledgeable about DoD; but they’re not all that adept on the statutes. This is another way of saying that you need to develop some additional sources [namely GCHQ] who can provide you information on the contractor names, travel times, construction background, job skills, and then get with you planners to develop pa range of possible scenarios:

  • Who was involved

  • Who went on these construction trips

  • What types of material did they use

  • How was the material routed from either CONUS or a local source, through the supply channel, and then arrive where it is needed.

    Congress needs to create a general map of the world. And look at the big picture: What is DoD trying to prevent us from understanding; or what little nuggets is DOD trying to prevent us from understanding.

    Again, not knowing the difference between what the original and final requests to DoD are, we have little to know about what DoD may be hiding.

    They key: Is to be able to notice what DoD has taken off the table, and then work backwards 'from what is known" and put a picture together:

  • Who was involved

  • What contractors were involved

  • How much funding did they get paid to support the unlawful war

  • What types of security clearances can be revoked for their failure to cooperate

    The key is to know the answers before you talk to the Contractors. Remember, we're talking about war crimes here. They will lie. Law enforcement, DOJ, JTTF, and the DoD criminal investigators are all in this together.

  • Plan updates, reviews, and revisions

    There's also something else to consider when we look at the DoD list of "things we don't want to talk about."

    When someone like OSP [Office of Special Plans] puts together a program [regardless whether it is made up or not], they have to go through several stages.

    First, someone comes up with an idea. Second, they flesh it out. Third, someone gets tasked to put the plan together.

    Fourth, this person then runs around [or one of their deputies], and coordinates all the details. This involves phone calls [traceable, paid for], travel [paid for through DFAS], and a meeting. At least once.

    They have three options on plans:

    A. Modify something that already exists [this is in the file, and available on the computer, see Certified Fraud Examiner]

    B. Create something from scratch

    C. Delegate. [don't ask how, just get the plan]

    What happens next is a bunch of people figure out:

  • A. How do we do this

  • B. Where do we get funding

  • C. What are we going to call this to hide it

  • D. How do we sell this [the story: It can be made up and unrelated to reality]

    The key is to look for the classified reports from OSD to the White House. These are generally delivered. Based on the unreliable Secret Service, we do know that sometimes people enter the White House, but there are no records.

    So, here's where Congress needs to go back to their allies in the media:

  • Who in the media knows of people who are working or have some connection with OSD/DOD and they were given clearance to sit in on a meeting, but then suddenly there was a change: Dis-invited, meeting location changes, etc.

    They key here: You want to look at the baseline meetings [which DoD doesn't want you to now about], and then look at what had to happen:

  • Conferences

  • Side meetings

  • Trip reports

  • Inputs, who was called on budget inputs

    To find this: You're going to want to find the budget people who did the CAIGs, and also find your people who had inputs to he budgets, and then the people who did the funding-coordination with the contractors, DFAS, and OSD.

    The point here: When they go through their plans, there's this final document. It has to get shipped: FexEx records!

    That's what DoD doesn't want you to look at: Your baseline in-out delivery times on your submittals.

    There are in each contract a list of submittals that the contractors have, and also a regular review time: This tracks back to another deliverable called a schedule.

    The point: You're looking for holes. You want to find when the delivery times for the FEd-Ex drop off, but the funding is still flowing.

    What DoD is going to do is say, "That's not relevant." Sure it is! We have paid alot of money, they squandered it on war crimes, and now we're trying to find out what happened.

    Is DoD going to cooperate? Well, DoD doesn't realize it: But they're already stuck in the middle. GCHQ has enough to tie them up.

    At this point, the real goal is to get DoD to commit to something, and then compare:

  • A. the "what we know is true" [from GCHQ] with

  • B. the detailed analysis we can do on our own; and with

  • C. the information that DoD provides directly.

    To make a long story short: Even if you believe "what DoD has or hasn't agreed to" is correct, it's important that we get the final list.

    That way we can do some analysis on "what they're trying to hide" and come up with some reasonable estimate of what needs to get looked at, or some other analysis that could be done to find out

  • 1. Where to look;

  • 2. What is most reasonable;

  • 3. What is most likely.

    This isn't a big mystery. Crimes have been committed. The job we have it to put the pieces together.

    Here’s a hint. There's more on the way. If you want to join the "right side" now is the time to get busy.

    If you want to play stupid, or pretend "you don't know" you're making a bad choice. Time to decide: Do you want a constitution, or do you want tyranny?

    Either way, we're going to find out. We can't promise anything. But we can promise if you're hiding, we'll find you.

  • Awards and decorations

    Did you know that they don't just give out medals? Someone has to write up an award package. That means the information gets loaded up to a computer.

    Guess what? On those awards are small little codes. They don't seem important.

    But the nice thing about those award orders is that there are special codes related to Units, locations, funding, and identifying information.

    Most people don't know how to read them. But if you get the right person, they can convert a 4-character code into a unit; find the person's unit; and tell you exactly where they are deployed, how long they were assigned; and which combat intelligence unit and weapons system they are assigned to.

    Who cares? Well, if you've got POTUS [President of the United States] saying X, Y, Z . . . but we've got personnel award records related to activities that "never could have happened, but for the requirement to feed non-sense [lies] to Congress after coming out of certain forward units in Azerbaijan after spending about $10,000 on travel costs, you can trace which commercial contractor and lobbyist most likely supported that effort.

    In other words, at the very time that we were all told, "Hay, we in DoD had no clue," DoD has to explain why the State Department was getting certain message traffic from Sibel Edmonds stating there was a problem in Azerbaijan.

    Obviously, someone was sent in there under diplomatic cover. That means funding came out of somewhere, was issued against either a Gulfstream for a quick trip out of Dulles into Baku, Azerbaijan; or the money came out of a commercial lobbyist firm and someone from the US came back.

    Well, after all this magic, someone in OSD gets a medal. There are records.

    You can trace the 4-digit code through DFAS, and work backwards and forwards to find the country; and then cross-reference those events with the message traffic coming in and out of NSA.

    Again, the point is that Congress needs to have a full discussion of what was on the original OSD-DOD list; a clear understanding of what got taken off; and then we can do some independent analysis.

    Can't be done? On the contrary, this is the type of analysis that's done every day in the same agencies which support the Senate and House intelligence committees. Except this time, instead of going after a foreign target like a Russian sub, we're tracking war criminals inside the United States.

    Here's a hint: GCHQ has all the data. We already know the answers.

    At this point, the goal is to simply remind Congress that people on the outside who are "too stupid" and "make stupid blogs" know alot more than you could imagine.

    If the funding traces back to both CID, NCIS, and OSI . . . .you can bet you bottom dollar that means Congress knows.

    This is not a political issue or something for the voters to decide.

    These are matters of criminal law.

    Here's a hint Congress: if you've agreed to something to be 'taken off the DoD list" and you don't have a good explanation or an answer: You've made a poor choice.

    Time to fess up: What was on the original list, what was changed, and what's the "new list of things that DoD will accept."

    Once we know that tiny answer, we can tell you which personnel within the SES and Congress knew about this, are involved, and have supported war crimes.

    That's really what the Downing Street Memo FOIA request is all about.

    Choose: Do you want a Constitution or do you want a tyrant?

    Look to Texas. Cindy Sheehan and the swarming Downing Street Memo protestors will figure this out. Either with your help or without you.

    You're going to lose.

    Read more . . .

  • Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    Fatal London bombing shooting shows why Iraqi insurgency continues to gain strength

    Original Blog

    London fatal shooting: Unreliable witness statements dissuaded needed law enforcement oversight.

    It's always interesting to compare the subsequent investigation reports to the initial news.

    Everyone applauded thinking, "Hooray, they caught someone who was being stupid," and "Oh, there's every reason for extreme force; it's completely understandable what the police did."

    Small problem. Everything we were led to believe was wrong.

    He has a name: Jean Charles de Menezes and he apparently had no idea he was being chased.

    Big picture issues

  • Who were these people providing details that supported the initial police version?

  • How can we apply these lessons to the 9-11 "eyewitness accounts" corroborating the government version of what happened?


    When we first heard about the Stockwell Tube shooting, we were told that the suspect was acting suspicious, jumped over a real, and was wearing a heavy coat.

    The Londoner they shot eight times in the head at Stockwell Tube station according to ITV

    A. Was not wearing a heavy coat, as first reported;

    B. Did not jump over the turn stiles, as first reported; and

    C. Was not acting in a suspicious manner.

    Here's a nice run down of the contrasts


  • Witness assert that police did not identify themselves, contrary to what the police stated

  • Coat was appropriate for the weather

  • CCTV images show him using a travel card, not leaping over the turnstailes, contradicting eyewitness accounts/statements on conduct

    Let's use a logic tree

    If the ITV report is true,

    A. Then this police document is allegedly false official statement, as police failed to identify themselves:

    "Almost simultaneously armed officers were provided with positive identification."

    A member of the surveillance team is quoted in the report. He said: "I heard shouting which included the word `police' and turned to face the male in the denim jacket.

    "He immediately stood up and advanced towards me and the CO19 officers. I grabbed the male in the denim jacket by wrapping both my arms around his torso, pinning his arms to his side.Ref

    B. Then this is allegedly false and misleading:
    At Stockwell Station, armed officers opened fire on the suspect after he hurdled a ticket barrier and raced along a platform.Ref
    C. Then this witness allegedly made a false and misleading statement:
    Witness Mark Whitby was on the train as he saw a big man wearing a large coat and "looking absolutely petrified" lurch through the doors.
    "They pushed him onto the floor and unloaded five shots into him - he's dead," one witness, Mark Whitby, told the BBC.

    He said the man, who wore a baseball cap and a thick, padded coat, did not look like he was carrying anything. "He looked left and right, he looked like a cornered rabbit, a cornered fox, he looked absolutely petrified."
    D. This witness may have made a misleading statement:
    Chris Wells, 28, said: "There were at least 20 of them [officers] and they were carrying big black guns ... The next thing I saw was this guy jump over the barriers and the police officers were chasing after him and everyone was just shouting 'get out, get out!"' Ref

    E. Then, Mark Whitby, apparently made an inappropriate conclusion, which was inappropriately incorporated as a fact:

    Mr Whitby, who was about five metres away, said the man tripped to the ground then police held him and shot him in the head. He said the dead man's coat "looked out of place in the hot humid weather".Ref

    F. Then, Rob Mill's assessment about someone being "paranoid" appears to be unreasonable and was inappropriately cited/incorporated as fact:
    A witness to the police shooting, Rob Mills, said the man got on the train and sat next to him. "He seemed very uncomfortable and a little bit paranoid. It made me feel uncomfortable. I considered moving but I thought, 'don't be stupid'."Ref
    This looks as though someone is projecting their own insecurities onto another's actions.

    G. Then, again, Mark Whitby's assessment about being "petrified" is apparently not supportable or justified:
    "They pushed him onto the floor and unloaded five shots into him - he's dead," one witness, Mark Whitby, told the BBC.

    He said the man, who wore a baseball cap and a thick, padded coat, did not look like he was carrying anything. "He looked left and right, he looked like a cornered rabbit, a cornered fox, he looked absolutely petrified."Ref

    H. Then, Anthony Larkin has allegedly imagined something that didn't exist:

    Another passenger on the train, Anthony Larkin, told BBC News the man appeared to be wearing a "bomb belt with wires coming out". Ref

    I. Then, Sir Ian Blair's official public statement is allegedly unsupportable, premature, and not supported by the facts:

    Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, said he understood "the man was challenged and refused to obey police instructions".Ref

    How could the post-incident public debate be so wrong?>

    It remains to be understood how many "shoot the head" orders; or NYC surveillance/intrusion efforts were based on bogus assessments.

    Remember, the NYC leaked the information on the bombs. IT's curious to find out how much law enforcement used the incorrect version of the story to justify:

    1. Getting more blank checks for random searches, that would otherwise be opposed;

    2. More liberal oversight of what should be greater scrutiny;

    3. Silencing those who speak out against the extreme measures the public is required to assent to on the New York and DC subways.


    We are reminded how unreliable some witnesses can be. There is a danger to blindly granting law enforcement more power when all the facts are not known.

    There may have been some policies and procedures implemented that are not supportable by what actually happened at Stockwell.

    It would be prudent to explore "how the original version of the story" was inappropriately embraced as "justification" for increasing intrusions into citizens exercising their rights.


    The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, who is in London, has suggested he will follow their lead. "We intend to look very carefully at what the British do," he told BBC Radio 4.Ref

    Unreasonable basis for grave, imminent threat assessment


    Lesson for 9-11 researchers

    Witness will see/not see things that are illusory/obvious. The post-incident events can make people assign causation, motive, intent to benign behavior.


    Do we have "fellow citizens" informing the police of what is "appropriate and inappropriate" behavior and dress? Curious, as I'm not clear that Whitby is necessarily trained in "appropriate dress," and the actual facts suggest that the jacket actually worn was reasonable attaire.

    Let's hope various fashion magazines do not hire fashion commentators who:

  • make unsupportable statements on what is appropriate or inappropriate attaire; or

  • use those conclusions as the basis for justifying deadly force for being improperly dressed; or

  • grant to law enforcement greater powers than is reasonable or justified.

    Other accounts

    Observer: Death in Stockwell: the unanswered questions Tony Thompson and Tom Phillips in Brazil Sunday August 14, 2005 The Observer

    He wasn't wearing a heavy jacket. He used his card to get into the station. He didn't vault the barrier. And now police say there are no CCTV pictures to reveal the truth. So why did plainclothes officers shoot young Jean Charles de Menezes seven times in the head, thinking he posed a terror threat?

    Witness reliability vs CCTV

    Now that you've read the above, do you believe witnesses, government solutions, and media accounts of what happened?

    To completely floor you with absurdity, consider contrary media claims that there were no CCTV tapes, and that the witnesses would have to be relied upon. Ref.

    Who was actually wearing the heavy jacket, and jumping over turn stiles?

    Let's presume the witnesses actually did see "someone wearing a heavy jacket" and "jumping over turnstailes". Who could these people be?

    Some have speculated that they were actually in law enforcement.

    OK. So let's ask the question:

    A. Why was someone in law enforcement "wearing plain clothes" [hoping to avoid getting attention], but apparently wearing a "heavy coat" [and calling attention to him/herself]?

    B. Why are law enforcement violating the laws [not paying to enter], then engaging in criminal conduct [shooting an innocent person], but then not returning to ensure the media/public have the correct information?

    C. Are we to presume that anyone in law enforcement who "fails to blend in" or "fails to correct the record" is not a model citizen worthy of accolades?

    D. Given the law enforcement were apparently engaging in the "wearing large coats" and "jumping over turn stiles," will there be ground rules to say, "It's OK if the public does/doesn't get alarmed by this behavior, even though there is no way of knowing who these people are?"

    E. Are we going to monitor these individuals [who may turn out to be police] who are acting in a suspicious way: Wearing heavy coats, jumping over turnstailes, apparently not fully and timely cooperating with the independent police oversight and civilian commissions?

    I'm all for combating crime. Even when the "indicators of suspicious behavior" are within the ranks of law enforcement.

    Lessons of Ireland and Israel

    One of the arguments law enforcement uses to "justify" the measures is that the "lessons learned" from Israel and Ireland teach law enforcement how to approach the issues.

    Let's consider to what extent:

  • Local populations reasonably resist abuse and unlawful conduct;

  • "apparently factless-law enforcement actions" were used in Northern Ireland and Israel which reasonably would prompt reasonable local nationals in both Northern Ireland and the occupied territories to use violence in response?

  • American and UK troops are using the same "approaches" in Iraq.

    We should have no reason to be surprised why the Iraqi insurgency is gaining strength.

  • Read more . . .