Geopolitics jumble: Hey, Russia's dissolving, Rove's spiraling, settlers march, the New SS and Paparazzi Intelligence

Ouch. When the Associated Press goes this way, you've lost that bit of spin you really need:

Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide was among the sources for a Time magazine reporter's story about the identity of a CIA officer, the reporter said Sunday.

Until last week, the White House had insisted for nearly two years that vice presidential chief of staff Lewis Libby and presidential adviser Karl Rove were not involved in the leaks of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity.

I found this really weird and interesting: "Vladislav Surkov's Secret Speech: How Russia Should Fight International Conspiracies," complete with allegations of CIA meddling in the recent Ukraine elections, etc. There's even a jab at James Woolsey for interfering. The site also carries a story about possible Soviet WMDs hidden in the US. The government of tiny, horribly poor Russian republic of Dagestan, adjacent to Chechnya, is on the verge of collapsing, and Islamic militants are causing persistent problems.


On July 8, Moskovsky komsomolets published a report leaked from the office of Dmitry Kozak, Russian President Vladimir Putin's Special Envoy to the Southern Federal District. The report, from Kozak to Putin, described Dagestan as rife with interethnic, religious, and social conflicts and on the brink of collapse. Specifically, "One should recognize that, taken together, the unsolved social, economic, and political problems are now reaching a critical level. Further ignoring the problems and attempts to drive them deep down by force could lead to an uncontrolled chain of events whose logical result will be open social, interethnic, and religious conflicts in Dagestan" (Moskovsky komsomolets, July 8). The authors of the report also warned that the rising influence of religious communities, especially at the local-government level, could result in the emergence of "Sharia enclaves" in the mountain districts of the republic. The report warned that an Islamic state could potentially materialize in the Dagestan mountains.

Iraq: Billmon curses the Flypaper theory of anti-terrorism how Bush's advisor, Townsend, still seems stuck on it. Krugman on the depressing White House detachment from reality. Sunni-Shiite violence and tensions intensify. "Insurgents active again on the streets of Falluja". Tales of an Iraq veteran. Another leaked British document indicates that the Iraq war is seen to radicalize British Muslims. "Shiites bring rigid piety to Iraq's south."

A strange story about ongoing conflict between privatized military firms/forces and the US military in Iraq. There are conflicting stories about whether the US wants to build permanent bases in Iraq -- either in the desert or urban enclaves -- as Stratfor reported last year, VS. recent reports that the British want to get the hell out.

Iraqi blogger Raed "in the Middle" Jarrar's brother has been arrested by the new Iraqi security forces or new Mukhabarat / Mokhabarat. "Fortunately, it's a nice governmental gang!"

If your child or sibling vanishes for two days then calls from the secret service jail in any other place on earth, that would be considered a disaster and a violation of human rights… In Iraq, however, it’s Happy News.

Because the other options include: To be tortured, executed, and thrown in garbage by SCIRI and their Badr brigades. To be held by the Iraqi police and left to choke to death in one of their cars. To be held by the US troops then disappear and be mistreated for months in one of their many prisons. To be kidnapped by one of the countless criminal gangs and cost your family some tens of millions of Iraqi Dinars and/or your life.

So now you can see why being held at the mukhabarat jail is such happy news!

Rovification: (defined as a vortex of scandal from which not even spin can escape)

See the Video: Cooper confirms Rove told him! Ouch! Cooper's tell all TIME story (excerpts). Howard Fineman with a surprising amount of candor in Newsweek. Via, sweet site. Alex Cockburn bitterly compares coverage of the Rove story with the Franklin/AIPAC scandal, and a lot of nasty things to say about the CIA. Scooter Libby may have released Miller from confidentiality agreement?

Wilson pounces, calls for Rove resignation. Krugman points out that Rove was the guy who changed our political environment post-9/11, making it clear that "we're living in a country where there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth." In other words, we're in Team B country now.

it seems plenty clear that rightwing hawks band together to provide more threatening propaganda about enemies of the United States, in order to undermine other people in Washington's professional intelligence community. This has happened quite a few times, and the general moniker of "Team B" style thinking -- named after a 1976 group that produced dramatically inflated disinformation about the Soviet Union from the CIA's data -- has become associated with manipulating intelligence, to create public impressions the hawks need to support their policies. Wolfowitz was on Team B back in the 1970s, which is where he first started mucking about with the exciting political potential of WMD threat construction. (Andy Tweeten and Adam Zelmer introduced me to this interesting idea about how security discourse is manipulated. Threat construction arguments in debate are very helpful.)

As Rovegate goes down, Team B-style tricks seem to be popping up all over. The Yellowcake uranium forgeries may yet get tied to the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, which worked quite a bit like Team B to subvert America's intelligence agencies. Scooter Libby was the OSP's liason to the CIA, which means he might be involved with the whole thing, as Wilson has alleged more than once. I earlier linked to this interview with a former top CIA officer, Vincent Cannistaro, who quite directly talks about Ledeen, the Iraqi National Congress fabricating WMD intel, the whole bit.

Keep an eye on TPM, it's damn good.

Juan Cole is yet again saying he thinks that Michael Ledeen was involved with fabricating the Niger-Yellowcake documents. Daniel Schorr on NPR talking about how the real issue is how America was misled into the war, featuring Wilson. Raimondo maps it onto the conflict between neo-cons and the CIA, before the war started:

Seen against the backdrop of the fierce intra-bureaucratic war that broke out in the administration in the run-up to the Iraq war – with the CIA and the mainline intelligence and diplomatic communities pitted against civilian neoconservatives in the upper echelons of the Pentagon and the Office of the Vice President – the outing of Plame and her colleagues amounts to an act of espionage committed out of a desire to exact revenge. The leakers meant to retaliate not just against Joe Wilson, through his wife, but against the "old guard" that was resisting the campaign to lie us into war. When the CIA wouldn't go along with the neocon program and "spice up" their analyses with Ahmed Chalabi's tall tales and the outright forgery of the Niger uranium documents, the War Party struck back at them with the sort of viciousness for which the neocons are rightly renowned.

And it goes on further into the links between Scooter Libby, John Hannah, John Bolton, AIPAC, Chalabi, the Yellowcake forgeries, etc. etc. etc. Raimondo's earlier piece about the unmitigated calls for post-London fascism from former Mossad director Ephraim Halevi is also quite interesting, as I noted earlier.

Older stories: "A Flood in Baath Country" about depressing conditions in Syria has been widely acclaimed in Lebanon. The filibuster deal has apparently harmed the Senate Republicans, causing fundraising setbacks--they are way behind the Democrats! It would seem the hard-right base is furious that Senators cut a deal, and ties have loosened between the leadership and the base. All the more pressure on Bush to appease them with some dingbat on the Supreme Court

Iran: Kissinger says don't discount military action if talks fail. (via CFR... bum bum bummm...)

Whatever: Guardian: Reporters find cocaine in EU parliament. World of Paparazzi: Photo Wars. They've got the best intel of all, it seems:

He opens a drawer, pulls out a few stacks of paper. Here, he says, are this week's scheduled movements of every famous passenger of a major limousine company in Los Angeles. He has an employee of the limo company on retainer, with bonuses "if there's results."

Here, too, are what Mr. Griffin describes as the passenger manifests of every coast-to-coast flight on American Airlines, the biggest carrier at Los Angeles International Airport. "I get the full printout," he says. "If they fly any coastal flight, I know. I can also find anybody in the world within 24 hours, I guarantee it. If they don't mask the tail number on a private plane, I'll find it." He says he has law-enforcement officers on his payroll, too, and can have a license plate checked in an hour on weekdays, 20 minutes on weekends.

I thought this set of photographs from the point of view of snipers was creepy but sort of cool.

It's going down in Israel: Fighting both Palestinian militants and hardcore Jewish protesters, the protest actions are starting up pretty much right now. It's coming: "Settlers to march on Gaza despite police ban". Keep tabs with right-wing sites Arutz Sheva (offering opinion from settlers), GAMLA, a for more on settler actions. Of course there is also the weird and disinformation-laden DEBKAfile.

Disturbing new law enforcement stuff: "Genesis of an American Gestapo," a somewhat ranting bit about the spooky new National Security Service, or as this writer dubbed it, the New SS. I don't feel like looking for new horrible news about the FBI-law enforcement shakeup, but it's damn interesting, and real important. The next COINTELPRO or whatever could spring out of this kind of stuff...

Tech: Wouldn't this keyboard be amazing? Programming on offshore boats = sweatshops at sea?

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