Saturday, 11 December 2010


Ken Berwitz

For years and years I have argued that, even if our military did not find major caches of WMD's in Iraq, saddam husssein may have had them.  I have argued that,while President Bush was going through channels at the UN (what a wasted excersize that was) saddam had a half year to hide, export or destroy any WMD's he might have had.

The people who share this view have become more and more isolated over time - in no small part because, for almost a decade, our wonderful "neutral" media have told us there were no WMD's in Iraq in so definitive a way that if we disagree it makes us seem like ignorant, loopy clowns.

But then there was WikiLeaks.  And suddenly we are being vindicated.

Larry Elders explains this beautifully in his latest column.  Here are the key excerpts (which, in reality, encompass almost the entire column):

The WikiLeaks de facto declassification of privileged material makes it case closed: Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and intended to restart his program once the heat was off.

President George W. Bush, in the 2003 State of the Union address, uttered the infamous "16 words": "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Former Ambassador Joe Wilson sprang into action and, in an op-ed piece, in effect wrote, "No, the Cheney administration sent me to investigate the allegation and I found it without merit."

Bush claimed that Iraq sought uranium, specifically "yellowcake." What is yellowcake, and why would its presence or attempted acquisition corroborate the nearly unanimous assumption that Saddam possessed WMD?

The Associated Press called yellowcake "the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment" and said that it "also can be enriched for use in reactors and, at higher levels, nuclear weapons using sophisticated equipment."

"Bush and Iraq: Follow the Yellow Cake Road" headlined a euphoric Time magazine July 2003 piece written when the Bush administration began backtracking from the Iraq-sought-uranium-from-Africa claim. Time said no yellowcake equals no WMD equals bogus basis for war.

The article led with this ripper: "Is a fib really a fib if the teller is unaware that he is uttering an untruth? That question appears to be the basis of the White House defense, having now admitted a falsehood in President Bush's claim, in his State of the Union address, that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Africa."

Time hoisted (the now discredited) Joe Wilson on its shoulders as The Man Who Told the Truth to Power: "Just last weekend, the man sent by the CIA to check out the Niger story broke cover and revealed that he had thoroughly debunked the allegation many months before President Bush repeated it." Never mind that the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Wilson's report "lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal" sought by Iraq in Niger.

Let's recap.

Bush, in building the case for war against Iraq, lied to the nation. He falsely claimed that Iraq was attempting to purchase yellowcake from Africa. Time magazine specifically referred to the yellowcake "lie" in accusing Bush of fabricating the case for war. Therefore, were Iraq to have had yellowcake an assertion called a "lie" it would have confirmed the presence of WMD, giving credence to Bush's declaration of Iraq as a "grave and gathering threat."

But ... there ... was ... yellowcake. This brings us back to WikiLeaks.

Wired magazine's contributing editor Noah Shachtman a nonresident fellow at the liberal Brookings Institution researched the 400,000 WikiLeaked documents released in October. Here's what he found: "By late 2003, even the Bush White House's staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But WikiLeaks' newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction (emphasis added). ... Chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam's toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict and may have brewed up their own deadly agents."

In 2008, our military shipped out of Iraq on 37 flights in 3,500 barrels what even The Associated Press called "the last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program": 550 metric tons of the supposedly nonexistent yellowcake. The New York Sun editorialized: "The uranium issue is not a trivial one, because Iraq, sitting on vast oil reserves, has no peaceful need for nuclear power. ... To leave this nuclear material sitting around the Middle East in the hands of Saddam ... would have been too big a risk."

Now the mainscream media no longer deem yellowcake the WMD Bush supposedly lied about a WMD. It was, well, old. It was degraded. It was not what we think of when we think of WMD. Really? Square that with what former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean said in April 2004: "There were no weapons of mass destruction." MSNBC's Rachel Maddow goes even further, insisting, against the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that "Saddam Hussein was not pursuing weapons of mass destruction"!

Bush, hammered by the insidious "Bush Lied, People Died" mantra, endured one of the most vicious smears against any president in history. He is owed an apology.

When Hollywood makes "The Vindication of George W. Bush," maybe Sean Penn can play the lead.

So, yes, I feel vindicated.  As should everyone who did not buy into the "there weren't WMD's, Bush lied" mantra. 


But, though every one of the news venues that so viciously attacked President Bush as a liar has spent the last week publishing information derived from the WikiLeaks document dump, have they published anything about these revelations?  Have they noted that classified documents show Bush may have been right and they may have been wrong about WMD's?


Put another way, have you seen any of those news venues display basic journalistic integrity?


Neither have I.


But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.

free` I would like to mention that WMD was not the only reason given for invading Iraq. I know most people think it was only WMD, but congress voted on more than a dozen reasons for the war. Why the media only reported about WMD is beyond me. If you would like to read the reasons voted on by congress for the Iraq war you can read them all here-- H. J. Res 114: Armed Forces Against Iraq Authorizing use of military force in dealing with Iraq. -- (12/11/10)


Ken Berwitz

From my blog of June 28, 2009 - please pay particular attention to the paragraph I've put in bold print:

The liar, swindler and general all-around scumbag bernard madoff was sentenced to 150 years in jail today.  If that stands, it is surely a life sentence for him.


My reaction:  Is that all?


What about his wife, ruth?  True, she is being divested of her gazillion dollar penthouse and something like 170 million dollars in ill-gotten assets.  But that leaves her with millions (and whatever additional millions she has successfully hidden).

ruth madoff worked with her husband in that office and was his partner in every sense of the word.  Why does she walk away with those millions?  Why isn't she on trial too?  Why isn't she going to jail?


And what about his brother and his sons, all of whom worked in the business.  Can anyone seriously believe everything they did was legitimate, even as bernard madoff spent decades perpetrating his multi-billion dollar scam?  Why aren't they on trial?  Why aren't they going to jail?


And that's before we get to madoff's cohorts, like ezra merkin, stanley chais and jeffry picower.  Why aren't they on trial?  Why aren't they going to jail?

From the Associated Press, this morning:

NEW YORK  A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that a son of Bernard Madoff has been found dead in New York City of an apparent suicide.


The official says Mark Madoff was found hanged in his Manhattan apartment.


A family member notified police around 7:30 a.m. Saturday.


The official spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't allowed to speak publicly about the case.


Mark Madoff and his brother, Andrew, were under investigation but hadn't faced any criminal charges in the massive Ponzi scheme that led to their father's jailing.

Do you have any doubt that Mark Madoff's suicide is related to law enforcement closing in on him? 

I suggest they watch his brother and mother closely.  Who is to say they're not next?


Ken Berwitz

Earlier this week Chris Matthews - a lifelong Democrat who worked for, among others, jimmy carter and Tip O'Neill - characterized Hardball, the show he hosts on MSNBC as being "absolutely nonpartisan"

While being interviewed Thursday night, Matthews gave us a taste of what "absolutely nonpartisan" means.  According to an article by Nikki Schwab in the Washington Examiner, he said, among other things....

Chris Christie is moon over New Jersey, he should not wear white shirts, I tell you that, Matthews said. I saw him the other day and I was amazed by it, he must be 300 plus, and thats something hes just gotta deal with because youre not going to say, Im going to cut the budget, well, how about starting with supper?

Matthews also said Republicans might look at a dark horse candidate like Jeb Bush, because Haley Barbour weighs too much. And that Mitt Romney or Mitch Daniels would be a better bet than Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee.
Theres not going to be a great Republican candidate in 2012, he said.

While Matthews, being interviewed by Carol Joynt, wasnt sheepish about talking about political figures, when it came to television journalists, he tried not to get trapped.

I think an infant could tell where youre headed, he told Joynt when she urged him to discuss others in the media including his colleagues at MSNBC.

I am not a media critic, Matthews said. Though he did blab a bit.

Nobody can talk that much and not be telling the truth, he said about Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough. Howard Fineman is my go-to guy, he is my Spock, Matthews said of the MSNBC contributor.

Matthews said he doesnt turn on the TV in the morning but reads newspapers instead. He first reads yours truly, The Washington Examiner, and then Politico.

And I take a look at the Post, which is not what it used to be, in fact each year its less of what it was the year before. ... I will be a media critic about that, he said. Its gotten so neocon I can hardly read it. He also reads the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Does that look like the commentary of a nonpartisan?  Or does it look like the ravings of a 100% partisan, genuinely nasty, personally insulting snob who thinks he's better than the people he talks about?

I used to respect Chris Matthews as a very smart man with a great talent for turning a phrase.  Now?  He is an anal cavity on legs, whose talent is used to fart out the kind ot material shown above.

What an ugly comedown.


Ken Berwitz

One of my earliest remembrances of television is a show, which started on radio, called "Queen for a Day". 

The TV version (maybe the radio version too) was hosted by Jack Bailey, who started each show bye exuberantly raising his voice and asking the audience "How would YOU like to be...QUEEN FOR A DAY!!!~???"

The show itself was appalling.  It consisted of several women telling the world what miserable lives they had - hubby out of work, children need medical attention, house being foreclosed by the bank, etc.  Then the audience would vote on whose lot in life was the most miserable of all, and she would be the winner.  They would give her a crown, a royal robe, and shower her with gifts.

I would not have thought it possible that such a maudlin spectacle could come back to life.  But it did two days ago.\

From Molly Stark Dean's article at

Bill Clinton Takes Over Briefing Room. Pres. Obama: Im going to take offYoure in good hands

By Molly Stark Dean on December 10, 2010 5:17 PM

Pres. Barack Obama met at the White House today with former President Bill Clinton the first time since the midterm elections on how to respond to the big Democratic losses and Obamas deal with the GOP to extend the Bush era tax cuts.

The White House press corps was summoned at a moments notice to the briefing room for the news conference. And not long after the two presidents appeared together at 4:23pmET, it became AAB all about Bill (or Bubba, take your pick).

All the cable news and business channels carried some, or all, of the news conference. About 10 minutes in, with Pres. Clinton in command at the podium, Pres. Obama excused himself. Obama: Ive been keeping the first lady waiting for about half an hour, Im going to take off. I dont want to make her mad. Youre in good hands and [Press Secy. Robert] Gibbs will call last question.

And that didnt come for another 20 minutes. MSNBC and CNN were still carrying the Q&A between the Press Corps and the former president, who officially left the White House 10 years ago next month. Fox News Neil Cavuto, who happened to be broadcasting from Washington, DC today, did not stay with the Clinton newser, but rather did his own Q&A with Clintons former chief of staff Mack McLarty.

Did that really happen?  Did the current President of the United States abdicate his office to the previous President?  Did he really give the podium over to Bill Clinton and bug out?

I am trying to come up with a way that President Obama could look weaker, more ineffectual and less in control.  I can't come up with one.

Barack Obama literally made Bill Clinton PRESIDENT FOR A DAY!!!, because Clinton was so much better at selling Mr. Obama's own tax compromise than he was.

Wow.  No wonder so many of his supporters are burying their heads in their hands.

What next?  Will he trot out jimmy carter to sell his foreign policy?

All that's missing is the replacement of Press Secretary Bob Gibbs with the ghost of Jack Bailey.

Zeke .... .... The ORIGINAL host of Queen for a Day was -- King Henry VIII. ..... ...... ..... Regarding Obama: .... .... The dude also used the "Screw this Presidential Crap .... I'm gonna hang with Michelle" line with Netanyahu, several months ago. .... ..... ..... just walked out of negotiations with the Prime Minister of Israel. .... .... The same PM that was told by Hillary Rodham: "Yes, we promise to give you $3 billion in advanced military aircraft, if you freeze settlement construction for another 3 months. .... .... No, we will not confirm this promise in writing. ..... .... Just Trust Us. " .... .... .... This all does wonders for the administration's credibility with foreign nations. (12/11/10)

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