and the shoes keep dropping

The new LA Weekly has an interesting interview with retired U.S. Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, a former analyst for the Defense Department with over 20 years of experience who has decided to come out publicly and talk about what she saw happening in the Pentagon during the run-up to the war in Iraq. Much like the recent insider account of fellow conservative, former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul ONeil, her statements are particularly stinging because of her credibility on the right. This is a woman who voted Republican and wanted to support the President, only to become disillusioned after witnessing the hijacking of the Pentagon by the neoconservative staff of the newly formed Office of Special Plans, the group created for the purpose of building a case for war against Iraq. Here are a few quotes from Cloonel Kwiathowski:

Like most people, Ive always thought there should be honesty in government. Working 20 years in the military, Im sure I saw some things that were less than honest or accountable. But nothing to the degree that I saw when I joined (the) Near East South Asia (department).

This was creatively produced propaganda spread not only through the Pentagon, but across a network of policymakers the State Department, with John Bolton; the Vice Presidents Office, the very close relationship the OSP had with that office. That is not normal, that is a bypassing of normal processes. Then there was the National Security Council, with certain people who had neoconservative views; Scooter Libby, the vice presidents chief of staff; a network of think tanks who advocated neoconservative views the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Security Policy with Frank Gaffney, the columnist Charles Krauthammer was very reliable. So there was just not a process inside the Pentagon that should have developed good honest policy, but it was instead pushing a particular agenda; this group worked in a coordinated manner, across media and parts of the government, with their neoconservative compadres.

The discussions were ones of this sort of inevitability. The concerns were only that some policymakers still had to get onboard with this agenda. Not that this agenda was right or wrong but that we needed to convince the remaining holdovers. Colin Powell, for example. There was a lot of frustration with Powell; they said a lot of bad things about him in the office. They got very angry with him when he convinced Bush to go back to the U.N. and forced a four-month delay in their invasion plans.

General Tony Zinni is another one. Zinni, the combatant commander of Central Command, Tommy Franks predecessor a very well-qualified guy who knows the Middle East inside out, knows the military inside out, a Marine, a great guy. He spoke out publicly as President Bushs Middle East envoy about some of the things he saw. Before he was removed by Bush, I heard Zinni called a traitor in a staff meeting. They were very anti-anybody who might provide information that affected their paradigm. They were the spin enforcers.

Dont worry though its not all bad news today. Ive just received word from my sources in England that the US military has begun building a Second Earth, a beautiful Eden where we can start all over without weapons of mass destruction and war!

OK, I just did a little poking around and apparently this Second Earth project isnt exactly what I had imagined. More than being a utopia for mankind, its kind of global video game that will allow our military commanders to better track the American troops that are spreading over the globe. Its being built by a video game company and, my guess is, it will allow us to blow things up by pushing buttons in some underground facility. Not exactly utopia, but still pretty fucking cool, right?

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