Friday, December 29, 2006

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George W. Bush Is Going To Bomb Iran
by boloboffin

George W. Bush is going to bomb Iran. This is the purpose of the "surge". No amount of troops is going to fix Iraq; they couldn't if they tried. If Bush wanted to fix Iraq, he'd give them jobs. People who are employed in decent jobs can figure out how to live with their neighbors. More American troops in the Persian Gulf are not going to quell violence in Iraq any more than the ones already there are.

George W. Bush is going to bomb Iran. And there may be almost nothing we can do to stop it.

Iran has a single trump card - their nuclear program. I share the doubts that Bush can destroy the whole thing. There will be no repeat of Israel's surgical removal of the nuclear ambitions of Saddam Hussein. But Bush can take out enough of Iran's nuclear facilities to knock them back a few more years in the development of a feasible weapon. That is all he needs to bomb - that is, until Iran makes its move.

And that's what the surge is for. Ostensibly, it's about Iraq. Nobody thinks that Iraq needs more American soldiers. And it doesn't today. But Bush is sending them anyway, because he knows what he's about to do, and Iraq is going to need more soldiers when the Shiite forces sympathetic to Iran erupt in violence.

The first attack in this final war against Iran has already occured. You read about it, I'm sure. The White House excised a number of passages from an op-ed in the New York Times that talked about the history of this administration's secret negotiations with Iran. Any mention of Iran's critical help in forming the Afghan government now in place? Gone. Any word of Bush's constant double-dealing with the Iranians over people you may not have heard of, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Mujaheddin-e Khalq? Blacked out. And any mention of Iran's 2003 offer to put everything on the table, including recognition of Israel? The Times and the two authors of the piece, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann, were threatened with criminal prosecution if they were to put words like that into print.

I know about all of this "secret" material, because none of it was secret. Leverett and Mann published their sources, all mainstream media with the exception of a report or two from Leverett's think tank, the Century Foundation. All of the things marked out of this op-ed by the White House are in the public domain. And yet the Bush Administration felt so threatened by this op-ed that they pulled out their little black markers and crossed out any hint of a peace-seeking Iran being played by a cynical America for all it could get.

Why? Because Bush is about to bomb Iran. Any talk of how Iran was making some genuine offers for peace (back before they were spinning any centrifuges) and how Iran was working with the United States to bring stability to the region, all of that is counterproductive. The Bush Administration isn't a slave to reality - it makes reality.

A reality to be ignored: Before 9/11, Iran had built up a large number of contacts among the various Afghan warlords. After 9/11, the Iranians worked those connections above and beyond in cooperation with the United States to stabilize Afghanistan under the interim government. James Dobbins, a participant in that accomplishment, explains:

Two weeks after the fall of Kabul, all the major elements of the Afghan opposition came together at a U.N.-sponsored conference in Bonn. The objective was to create a broadly based successor government to the Taliban. As the U.S. representative at that gathering, I worked both with the Afghan delegations and with the other national representatives who had the greatest influence among them, which is to say the Iranian, Russian and Indian envoys. All these delegations proved helpful. None was more so than the Iranians. On two occasions Iranian representatives made particularly memorable contributions. The original version of the Bonn agreement, drafted by the United Nations and amended by the Afghans who were present, neglected to mention either democracy or the war on terrorism. It was the Iranian representative who spotted these omissions and successfully urged that the newly emerging Afghan government be required to commit to both.

The second was even more decisive. The conference was in its final hours. The German chancellor was due to arrive momentarily for the closing ceremony. Yet we still lacked agreement on the central issue: composition of an interim Afghan government. The Northern Alliance was insisting on 18 of 25 ministerial portfolios, which would have marginalized other opposition groups. From 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. the four key envoys -- those from Washington, Tehran, Moscow and New Delhi -- worked along with the U.N. representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, and our German host to persuade the recalcitrant Northern Alliance delegate to make the necessary compromises.

Two weeks later President Hamid Karzai and his new cabinet were inaugurated in Kabul. The most senior foreign delegation was headed by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, who had stopped in Herat on his way in to pick up the one warlord, Ismail Khan, whose attendance and support for the new government was most in doubt. At the Tokyo donors' conference the following month, Iran pledged $500 million in aid to Afghan reconstruction, by far the largest sum from any neighboring state or developing nation.

(That's from Dobbin's May 2004 op-ed in the Washington Post, by the way. I had to buy a monthly pass to get it, but it's all open source, it's public domain. No classified information was released in the publishing of that article.)

Later on, Iran was asked by Karzai and Washington to keep a particularly nasty anti-American cleric Gulbiddin Hekmatyar in their country. Washington wanted Iran to keep him close, keep him safe. Tehran agreed, but they asked that Washington not accuse them of harboring terrorists. That would be a pretty nasty trick, don't you think? Ask a country to keep a terrorist under the equivalent of house arrest, and then accuse them openly of supporting terrorists?

Bush did so. Not six weeks after the Bonn negotiations, not a month after the Hekmatyar request, Bush declared Iran a member in good standing of the "axis of evil".

Hekmatyar left Iran soon after. As the redacted op-ed says, "the Islamic Republic could not be seen to be harboring terrorists." A year later, Bush got to designate him a terrorist. He's still in Afghanistan, and while he thinks the recent defeat of Republicans is proof that America will be pushed out of Afghanistan like the Soviets, he's endorsing George W. Bush for a third term. Bush is our Brezhnev, he says. He's great for business.

After all, look how Bush handled the Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK). MEK is "an Iranian opposition group based in Iraq... that is on a U.S. State Department list of terrorist groups." Saddam used these guys to pull off attacks in Iran. The United States had been meeting regularly with Iran after 9/11, working out day-to-day matters in the region. The Washington Post reports:

At one of the meetings, in early January, the United States signaled that it would target the Iraq-based camps of the Mujaheddin- e Khalq ...After the camps were bombed, the U.S. military arranged a cease-fire with the group, infuriating the Iranians. Some Pentagon officials, impressed by the military discipline and equipment of the thousands of MEK troops, began to envision them as a potential military force for use against Tehran, much like the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

We told Tehran we would target a terrorist organization, and then we decided that the terrorists might be able to help us take out Tehran. Let that sink in a minute.

[Richard] Armitage said it was a mistake for the U.S. military to have arranged a cease-fire agreement with the MEK during the war, a decision that alarmed Iran. "We shouldn't have been signing a cease-fire with a foreign terrorist organization," he said.

Wow, Richard. You think?

The United States then told Iran on May 3 that they were going to disarm MEK. We also discussed exchanging prisoners, al-Qaeda members in custody in Iran for MEK prisoners in Iraq. But Armitage "ruled out such a deal":

..."because we can't be sure of the way they'd be treated," referring to the MEK members. He said officials were questioning MEK members to determine who had terrorist connections. "In my understanding, a certain number of those do," he said, adding that they will face charges.

Hold that thought. Hold the thought that Iran had been given our word that we would target the MEK. Hold onto the thought that we'd instead started touting them as a force to help topple Iran. Hold onto the thought that we'd then given our word about disarming these terrorists, although we wouldn't do any prisoner exchanges, not even for al-Qaeda prisoners.

You still don't have the full context, yet:

Just after the lightning takeover of Baghdad by U.S. forces..., an unusual two-page document spewed out of a fax machine at the Near East bureau of the State Department. It was a proposal from Iran for a broad dialogue with the United States, and the fax suggested everything was on the table -- including full cooperation on nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian militant groups.

Everything was on the table. Everything. Peace in the Middle East. George W. Bush had it in his hand.

What did we do? We scolded the Swiss diplomats who had passed it on to us, and then we started making nice with terrorists who hated Iran.

Nine days after the May 3rd meeting in which we promised to disarm MEK, terrorist bombings erupted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The US blamed Iran, and cut off talks. Some other countries tried to get the United States and Iran back to the table but failed.

Did you go to the link? Because today, it's clear who did those attacks: al-Qaeda. Hekmatyar's compatriots. Osama's army. The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.

Not Iran.

Bush has never wanted peace with Iran. There will be no win-win situation with this president and Iran, because Bush is playing to win on his terms alone, the way that he was able to play Libya's recent capitulation to the West.

But Iran's not doing the Gaddafi shuffle. It's always had more support in the region than Gaddafi ever did. Iran's been a fly in the American ointment since 1979. And now, after being rebuffed repeated in a quest for peace, Iran is back on the nuclear path.

So people, get ready. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can talk all day long about the first hundred hours. We can start considering our options for the 2008 presidential primary. Hey, what are your plans for the New Year?

George W. Bush is going to bomb Iran.

Any references not linked in this piece are to Washington Post articles available only for a price on the web. They are from Leverett and Mann's citations, and are:

“Iran’s Leader Condemns Saudi Attacks,” The Washington Post, May 15, 2003

“Time to Deal With Iran,” The Washington Post, May 6, 2004

“In 2003, U.S. Spurned Iran’s Offer of Dialogue: Some Officials Lament Lost Opportunity,” The Washington Post, June 18, 2006

“U.S. Ready to Resume Talks With Iran, Armitage Says,” The Washington Post, Oct. 29, 2003

“U.S. Eyes Pressing Uprising in Iran: Officials Cite Al Qaeda’s Link, Nuclear Program,” The Washington Post, May 25, 2003

Thursday, December 28, 2006

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Bush Could Usher in a Very Dangerous New Year
By Robert Parry, Consortium News
Posted on December 26, 2006, Printed on December 28, 2006
The first two or three months of 2007 represent a dangerous opening for an escalation of war in the Middle East, as George W. Bush will be tempted to "double-down" his gamble in Iraq by joining with Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair to strike at Syria and Iran, intelligence sources say.

President Bush's goal would be to transcend the bloody quagmire bogging down U.S. forces in Iraq by achieving "regime change" in Syria and by destroying nuclear facilities in Iran, two blows intended to weaken Islamic militants in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

The Israeli army and air force would carry the brunt of any new fighting albeit with the support of beefed-up U.S. ground and naval forces in the Middle East, the sources said. Bush is now considering a "surge" in U.S. troop levels in Iraq from about 140,000 to as many as 170,000. He also has dispatched a second aircraft carrier group to the coast of Iran.

So far, however, Bush has confronted stiff opposition from the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff to the plan for raising troop levels in Iraq, partly because the generals don't think it makes sense to commit more troops without a specific military mission.

But it's unclear how much the generals know about the expanded-war option which has been discussed sometimes in one-on-one meetings among the principals -- Bush, Olmert and Blair -- according to intelligence sources.

Since the Nov. 7 congressional elections, the three leaders have conducted a round-robin of meetings that on the surface seem to have little purpose. Olmert met privately with Bush on Nov. 13; Blair visited the White House on Dec. 7; and Blair conferred with Olmert in Israel on Dec. 18.

All three leaders could salvage their reputations if a wider war broke out in the Middle East and then broke in their favor.

Bush and Blair spearheaded the March 2003 invasion of Iraq that has since turned into a disastrous occupation. In summer 2006, Olmert launched offensives against Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, drawing international condemnation for the deaths of hundreds of civilians and domestic criticism for his poorly designed war plans.

The three leaders also find themselves cornered by political opponents. Bush's Republican Party lost control of both the House and Senate on Nov. 7; Blair succumbed to pressure from his own Labour Party and agreed to step down in spring 2007; and Olmert is suffering from widespread public disgust over the failed Lebanese war.

Yet, despite these reversals, the three leaders have rebuffed advice from more moderate advisers that they adopt less confrontational strategies and consider unconditional negotiations with their Muslim adversaries.

Most dramatically, Bush spurned a bipartisan Iraq Study Group plan that was co-authored by the Bush Family's long-time counselor, former Secretary of State James Baker.

Instead of heeding Baker's advice to begin a drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq and start talks with Iran and Syria, Bush rejected the notion of a "graceful exit" and then set unacceptable preconditions for talks with Iran and Syria.

In other words, Baker tossed a life preserver to Bush who threw it back.

Victory agenda

Bush has continued to insist on "victory" in Iraq and has again ratcheted up his rhetoric. He now talks about waging a long war against Islamic "radicals and extremists," not just the original goal of defeating "terrorists with global reach."

At his news conference on Dec. 20, Bush cast this wider struggle against Islamists as a test of American manhood and perseverance by demonstrating to the enemy that "they can't run us out of the Middle East, that they can't intimidate America."

Bush suggested, too, that painful decisions lay ahead in the New Year.

"I'm not going to make predictions about what 2007 will look like in Iraq, except that it's going to require difficult choices and additional sacrifices, because the enemy is merciless and violent," Bush said.

Rather than scale back his neoconservative dream of transforming the Middle East, Bush argued for an expanded U.S. military to wage this long war.

"We must make sure that our military has the capability to stay in the fight for a long period of time," Bush said. "I'm not predicting any particular theater, but I am predicting that it's going to take a while for the ideology of liberty to finally triumph over the ideology of hate. ...

"We're in the beginning of a conflict between competing ideologies -- a conflict that will determine whether or not your children can live in a peace. A failure in the Middle East, for example, or failure in Iraq, or isolationism, will condemn a generation of young Americans to permanent threat from overseas."

So, rather than looking for a way out of the Iraq quagmire, Bush -- now waist deep in the muck -- is determined to press on.

Bush's dilemma, however, is that time is working against him. Not only are the American people increasingly angry about U.S. troops caught in the middle of a sectarian civil war in Iraq, but Bush's domestic and international political bases continue to erode.

Blair, who is widely derided in the United Kingdom as "Bush's poodle," is nearing the end of his tenure, and Bush's Republican Party is worried about Election 2008 if American soldiers are still dying in Iraq in two years.

Plus, few military analysts believe a temporary troop "surge" alone will stop the steady deterioration in Iraq. Bush acknowledged as much at his news conference.

"In order to do so ['the surge'], there must be a specific mission that can be accomplished with more troops," Bush said. "That's precisely what our commanders have said, as well as people who know a lot about military operations. And I agree with them that there's got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops before I agree on that strategy."

Though not making much sense as a way to quell the civil strife in Iraq, a U.S. military buildup could help protect American interests in Iraq if Israeli attacks on Syria and Iran touch off retaliation against U.S. and British targets.

Wider war

For Bush, this idea of expanding the war outside Iraq also is not new. Since spring 2006, Bush reportedly has been weighing military options for bombing Iran's nuclear facilities, but he has encountered resistance from senior U.S. military officers.

As investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in The New Yorker, a number of senior U.S. officers were troubled by administration war planners who believed "bunker-busting" tactical nuclear weapons, known as B61-11s, were the only way to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities buried deep underground.

A former senior intelligence official told Hersh that the White House refused to remove the nuclear option from the plans despite objections from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Whenever anybody tries to get it out, they're shouted down," the ex-official said.

By late April 2006, however, the Joint Chiefs finally got the White House to agree that using nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz, less than 200 miles south of Tehran, was politically unacceptable, Hersh reported.

"Bush and [Vice President Dick] Cheney were dead serious about the nuclear planning," one former senior intelligence official said.

But -- even with the nuclear option off the table -- senior U.S. military officials worried about the political and economic fallout from a massive bombing campaign against Iran. Hersh wrote:

"Inside the Pentagon, senior commanders have increasingly challenged the President's plans, according to active-duty and retired officers and officials. The generals and admirals have told the Administration that the bombing campaign will probably not succeed in destroying Iran's nuclear program. They have also warned that an attack could lead to serious economic, political, and military consequences for the United States."

Hersh quoted a retired four-star general as saying, "The system is starting to sense the end of the road, and they don't want to be condemned by history. They want to be able to say, 'We stood up.' "

Beyond the dangers from Iran's nuclear program, the Bush administration views the growing Shiite crescent across the Middle East as a threat to U.S. influence.

Washington Post foreign policy analyst Robin Wright wrote that U.S. officials told her that "for the United States, the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran, which the Bush administration believes is pooling resources to change the strategic playing field in the Middle East."

By summer 2006, Israeli sources were describing Bush's interest in finding a pretext to hit back at Syria and Iran. That opening came when border tensions with Hamas in Gaza and with Hezbollah in Lebanon led to the capture of three Israeli soldiers and a rapid Israeli escalation of the conflict into an air-and-ground campaign against Lebanon.

Bush and his neoconservative advisers saw the Israeli-Lebanese conflict as an opportunity to expand the fighting into Syria and achieve the long-sought "regime change" in Damascus, Israeli sources said.

One Israeli source told me that Bush's interest in spreading the war to Syria was considered "nuts" by some senior Israeli officials, although Prime Minister Olmert generally shared Bush's hard-line strategy against Islamic militants.

In an article on July 30, 2006. the Jerusalem Post also hinted at the Israeli rejection of Bush's suggestion of a wider war into Syria. "Defense officials told the Post ... that they were receiving indications from the US that America would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria," the newspaper reported.

In August 2006, the Inter-Press Service provided additional details, reporting that the message was passed to Israel by Bush's deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams, who had been a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s.

"In a meeting with a very senior Israeli official, Abrams indicated that Washington would have no objection if Israel chose to extend the war beyond to its other northern neighbor, leaving the interlocutor in no doubt that the intended target was Syria," a source told the Inter-Press Service.

In December 2006, Meyray Wurmser, a leading U.S. neoconservative whose spouse is a Middle East adviser to Vice President Cheney, confirmed that neocons in and outside the Bush administration had hoped Israel would attack Syria as a means of undermining the insurgents in Iraq.

"If Syria had been defeated, the rebellion in Iraq would have ended," Wurmser said in an interview with Yitzhak Benhorin of the Ynet Web site. "A great part of it was the thought that Israel should fight against the real enemy, the one backing Hezbollah. ... If Israel had hit Syria, it would have been such a harsh blow for Iran that it would have weakened it and (changed) the strategic map in the Middle East."

In early 2007, the revival of this neoconservative strategy of using the Israeli military to oust the Syrian government and to inflict damage on Iran's nuclear program may represent a last-ditch -- and high-risk -- gamble by Bush and the neocons to salvage their historic legacy.

If that is the case, then Bush will approve "the surge" in U.S. forces into Iraq, which likely will be followed by some provocation that can be blamed on Syria or Iran, thus justifying the expanded war.

Betting the lives of American soldiers and countless civilians across the Middle East, Bush will follow the age-old adage of gambling addicts: in for a dime, in for a dollar.

Robert Parry's new book is Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq."

© 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
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TBR News December 27, 2006

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., December 26, 2006: “When George Tenet, the DCI, “retired,” he ordered that certain very important CIA files be destroyed completely, both by shredding and burning. After doing his President’s bidding, George got the Medal of Freedom and a Pass-Free card. However, unfortunately for this happy scenario, some files were not destroyed. One of these, now making the rounds inside the Beltway, is a real shocker. I will capsulate it for you. Also, Brian Harring has taken excerpts from this and acquired far more information and his detailed study follows this.

It has long been known in intelligence and higher-level political (Republican) circles in Washington, that Israel was fully responsible for training the operators and supplying inside information to the Arabs who blew up the WTC, the Pentagon, and intended to blow up the White House.The leadership believed, correctly as it turned out, that such a violent terrorist outrage would so energize the American public that they would rush to support George Bush’s plan for a permanent U.S. military base in the Middle East, destroy Israel’s most dangerous enemy, Saddam Hussein, and gain for both nations, free and unfettered access to the huge Iraqi oil reserves.

The Israeli excuse when their participation in this was uncovered? Why, they fully informed American intelligence of what was happening at every step! This is an example where the excuse was worse than the crime, for if Mossad and the Israeli Embassy had, indeed, kept the American leadership courant with the plot, why didn’t American authorities interdict and stop it? They knew where and when the aircraft were to be hijacked yet did absolutely nothing and no protective steps were even instituted and no heightened alerts were ever issued.

Having said that as background, let us consider the deadly Bali bombing on October 12, 2002. The blast was centered in a nightclub area known to be heavily frequented by Australians. The damage was tremendous with at least 400 being killed.

This was stated in the media, from official announcements, to be a terrorist attack by an Indonesian group with links to Al Queada but this, according to the file, is not correct, although a number of locals were promptly arrested, tried and convicted for this. (Convictions were eventually overturned by the Indonesian high court)

In fact, this atrocity has strong parallels with the 9/11 attacks according to the contents of the CIA files. It seems that President Bush requested the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, to “volunteer” Australian troops for his forthcoming attack on Iraq, five months in the future. Howard responded that while he was willing, support for the U.S. attack was badly lacking among the Australians and he anticipated problems with his government in such a project.

Bush does not like to be crossed and when the Prime Minister said that public support of the U.S. position was weak, he said that …”maybe your people should realize that terrorism knows no borders and I would hope that these crazies don’t attack you.” Howard replied, according to the transcripts of the conversation, that in the case of a perceived Muslim attack on Australians, he would certainly have the full support of his Australians. What happened next is thoroughly documented. Bush spoke with Tenet who was fully aware of the background of the 9/11 attacks. The CIA and the Mossad have very good and very close relations and the CIA was fully aware of the penetration of the Atta group in Hollywood, Florida and the preparations for the attacks. A discussion was held in Langley between Tenet and a top Mossad official (name withheld at this time) and assurances were given that “something certainly can be done to help out here.”

The resulting attack was the second one planned. The first consisted of placing a special explosive device (see the Harring account) in an Australian public building. Fortunately for the population of Sydney, it failed to go off and is still in place. Perhaps Sydney opera lovers should make sure their insurance policies are up to date.

The second one went off in October in an area where many Australians were known to visit and the results are well known.

Australia did, indeed, join the Coalition, but now the pupulation strongly regretting it and suspicious of foul play are beginning to surface. The Romans had a saying, “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.”

To quote from an official memo, George W. Bush referred to the reluctant Aussies as “a bunch of ex-con kangaroo humpers.”

Having read over a draft, Mr. Harring’s article, complete with pictures, documents and plans, is well worth the read. And be sure to remember the Ambassador’s tapes! Where are they now that we need them?”

Death in Bali

by Brian Harring

I am going to introduce this incredible story by publishing an on-the-spot accounting by Robert Finnegan, an editor of the Jakarta Post. Finnegan, and a team of investigators went to Bali just after the blast and he covered it in depth, took many photographs and samples and conducted a number of interviews with locals and enforcement agents. The results of his efforts is that he was summoned to the American Embassy in Jakarta and personally interviewed by Ambassador Ralph Boyce.

Finnegan was read the riot act by the Ambassador and told that he was “rocking the boat” and ordered to cease and desist his investigative activities at once. When Finnegan refused, the outraged Ambassador told him he would have him ejected from Indonesia within 24 hours. He was ordered to surrender his notes to Embassy personnel, films were confiscated as was a sampling of earth taken from the blast site (Finnegan had two such samples and only one was found)

American authorities also subsequently believed that “an unidentified individual” was believed to be in possession of a tape recording of certain statements made by the Ambassador that might be considered by many to fully support the thrust of Finnegan’s investigations.

Here is Finnegan’s original article:

Bali bombing: An investigator's analysis

January 3, 2003
by Robert S. Finnegan,
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

Investigators and forensics experts from both national and international teams that had quickly been assembled flocked to the crime scene, ostensibly to begin what should have been a long, drawn out exercise in forensics and investigative sleuthing to identify and capture the foot soldiers, coordinators and masterminds behind the attack that has left over 190 known dead, scores missing without a trace and hundreds more wounded.

It has turned out to be anything but that.

The Indonesian government immediately vowed to unite in the hunt for the bombers.

The U.S. government along with the international community seized the opportunity to point the finger at the shadowy al-Qaeda group along with Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir as the culprits.

In hindsight, it would appear that perhaps these individuals, given their apparent intimate knowledge of the perpetrators immediately following the bombing should have been included on the investigating team. Perhaps if they had we would know more than we do today, which is very little despite the volume of information (or disinformation) being vomited out by the spokesmen for the investigative teams on a daily basis.

A creeping sense of foreboding began soon after the forensics people and other investigators (inclusive of Insp. Gen. I Made Pastika and his army of hundreds of supposedly top-notch investigators with virtually unlimited resources at their disposal) announced after only a week and a half that they were wrapping up their on-site work and retreating to the labs to analyze their findings. Astounding work, as it must have set a world record for crime scene forensic analysis.

Given the scope of the bombing and the sheer size of the primary and secondary blast areas - where trace from a plethora of different explosive compounds were swabbed from - this was a feat that escaped even the vaunted investigators working the World Trade Center crime scene in New York, who spent nearly a year literally sifting by hand for evidence at the site. It would appear that the teams on Bali possessed far superior skills and techniques ... or was there something else responsible for their haste in wrapping up so quickly and then sending the rest of the evidence as quickly as possible to the bottom of the ocean off Bali?

At this point in their investigation National Police Chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar states for the record that "traces of a chemical powder used in the bomb" were found in the van allegedly used to transport the large device. What powder? Even a cursory examination of the crater and primary site immediately following the bombings would make this statement laughable were it not for the circumstances.

If indeed the Mitsubishi L300 van was used in the large blast, the five-foot deep by twenty-foot wide crater indicates that it would have been completely vaporized, including the engine block which they apparently found intact - along with the victims who instantly vanished. Indeed, this begs the question: Where did the investigators obtain this evidence in relation to the crater?

Is it possible that if the van survived the large blast it was because it was parked at the edge of the primary blast zone, packed with small amounts of all the explosives - whose traces were found at the sites - in order to throw off independent investigators?

In addition, there is the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), allegedly signed jointly by the National Police and the international investigation team, specifically restricting the scope of the "investigation links" and prohibiting international inquiries. Could this at least partially explain why Pastika has continually stonewalled, intimidated and generally obstructed independent investigators during the course of their work?

During the first weeks of the investigation, notables such as State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Chief Hendropriyono, Susilo Yudhoyono, Assembly Speaker Amien Rais and Pastika focused or pretended to focus on foreigners - without specifying "which" foreigners - who they said were behind the attack. Somehow this twisting, turning trail dried up and disappeared into thin air without explanation, along with the former retired Air Force Officer who allegedly confessed to police his involvement in the bombing and was then released. To this day his whereabouts remain unknown and police investigators either cannot or will not release any information on this man, an officer who was allegedly trained in America in explosives and is an incredible lead that should have been followed-up on aggressively and thoroughly. Why was it not?

Are these the statements and actions of professional investigators - or the actions of individuals engaged in a cover-up?

Let's look at the myriad of explosive traces found at the site and subsequently cited individually off and on by investigators and police as "the explosive" used in the bombings.

First it was C-4, then RDX. These two are actually the same, the difference being nine percent mallable plastic used in C-4. So, which is more powerful? RDX - nine percent more powerful than C-4.

Day after day, investigators trotted out a different explosive and combinations of explosives purportedly responsible for the blasts. In addition to C-4 and RDX there was now TNT, Ammonium Nitrate, HMX, Semtex, PETN, Chlorate and napalm. Everything but the kitchen sink. Was this gross ineptitude? Or another ploy to throw independent investigators off the trail?

For example, had the originators of the napalm theory studied up on the material before opening their mouths they would have known that napalm leaves a sticky, smelly residue on everything, including victims. This was not in evidence at the blast site or at the Sanglah burn ward and morgue, where the burn victims were taken. Therefore, in the absence of any physical evidence, napalm must be excluded and the originators of this farce be awarded a grade of "F" in "explosives analysis." In other words, if you are going to lie, be professional about it at least know what you are lying about and have the mental capacity to remember what you said when you said it. This single evidentiary template could easily be applied and extended to the entire "official investigation" of the Bali bombings where deceit, obstruction and obfuscation are and have been the name of the game.

To put this in perspective, let us look at three of the explosives claimed by official investigators to have been used in the bombings, starting with the compound that has the lowest velocity of detonation in feet per second (FPS) which is Potassium Chlorate at 3,500 FPS; compared to 12,000 FPS for Ammonium Nitrate and diesel and finally 27,800 FPS for RDX. In simple terms, at any given distance from ground zero these different explosive compounds will exert pressure in pounds per square inch. Damage to people and structures are a result of this pressure in varying degrees depending on the velocity of detonation. Even if RDX were used, the amount needed to cause the level of destruction in evidence at the crime scene should have been in excess of anything available through even the military, who denied possession of the explosive. There is also the delivery of the device to be taken into account.

Each of the explosives cited by investigators (with the exception of napalm) have unique and individual characteristics that vary for usage, stability and explosive yeild. They require specific detonators for each in order to obtain maximum effect.

Also now at the bottom of the ocean off Bali is the reinforcing bar (rebar) located more than fifty feet from ground zero that had been completely stripped of concrete as a result of the blast. Documented military estimates of the force required to accomplish this is roughly 1 million to 1.5 million pounds per square inch.

What kind of weapon or device could accomplish this? And for that matter leave a crater of that size? Why was it filled in? This arguably could have been one of the most important pieces of evidence available to investigators not only for the trace explosive in evidence, but from which also could have been determined (roughly) the size and composition of the device.

With the police claiming (off and on) that Amrozi, Mukhlas and Samudra (who allegedly at one point denied involvement in the Bali bombings) were the perpetrators of the blasts, then why do the official investigators not know EXACTLY the type of device used in the main bombing and its precise composition? To put it quite simply, how can we have a bomber or bombers in the absence of a bomb?

Why were Amrozi and Samudra so quick to confess and finger their "accomplices"? Were these the actions of dedicated, radical, Islamic fundamentalists? "Professionals"? Did they expect to further their cause by eviscerating their own organization? Does it make sense that they were willing to kill and maim hundreds of innocents - including many fellow Indonesians - and yet implicate their comrades to save their own skins?

Given this dismal investigative performance, exactly what role did the international investigating team play in this debacle?

If indeed there is one thing that has been glaringly apparent throughout this investigation, it is that perhaps nothing close to the truth has been told as of today. It is also apparent that something is very, very wrong not only with the procedural aspects of this case, but also with the suppression and outright destruction of evidence. The international investigators bear a heavy responsibility for this, and should be held accountable.

Jakarta Post Editor Robert S. Finnegan is an internationally published investigative reporter with over two decades investigative experience. He currently holds an Alaska (U.S.) Private Investigator license.

Terrible Destruction in Bali Blast

by Richard Galpin
BBC correspondent in Kuta, Bali
Sunday, 13 October, 2002

“….. As we drove along the small street leading to the Sari nightclub, more and more of the shops had lost their windows, blown out by the force of the blast. Shattered glass was strewn across the road. Finally a road block, and angry men telling us we couldn't take the car any further. We had no choice now but to start walking

A large crowd of Balinese people were pressed up against a police cordon. We were let through and expected immediately to be at the location of the explosion.

But it was still a good half kilometre away. This had clearly been a massive bomb. Through another police cordon and a crowd of onlookers including a group of tourists and we were finally there. The scale of the destruction was hard to take in. ……”

Whenever a great tragedy occurs, a crop of rumors always sprouts in the fertile ground of incomplete knowledge and public concern. So it was with the Bali bombing.

The truth finally did begin to emerge but in bits and pieces. Finally a trove of papers from the CIA that were slated for destruction, fully supported the expelled and outraged American journalist and in recent interviews, Finnegan disgorged a flood of photographs, documents and investigative material which fully supported the secret papers.

It appears at this point that the origins of the Bali bombings appear to be centered around conversations held between Australian Prime Minister John Howard and American President Bush concerning the Prime Minister’s views that the bulk of the Australian population would not favor participation by members of their armed forces in an American punitive military action in the Middle East.

According to American documents, this matter was referred to the DCI and from there, to the Israeli Mossad whose role in support of the 9/11 aerial attacks was well-known in official Washington circles.

There have been growing rumors that a “ex-Soviet 152mm atomic artillery shell” was the Israeli weapon of choice but this not only is in error but deliberate disinformation designed to deflect attention to the actual manufacturer of the weapon and also to attempt to make the current Russian government a scapegoat by reference and innuendo.

It is true that the Soviets had shells for their 152mm artillery that had tactical atomic warheads. There were not many of these and they were under strict control at all times. This does not mean that such potential terrorist weapons could not be obtained from crooked Russians. They could, and were, obtained by a top CIA official, James Critchfield, and sold to radical Muslims but with the full knowledge that such weapons were totally ineffective.

These miniature atomic weapons had to be carefully maintained on a six month basis and fifteen years after their manufacture, would be utterly useless as a weapon, having lost their ability to produce any kind of an atomic reaction.

From Finnegan’s extensive and very professional investigations, there is no reasonable doubt that the immense destruction, cratering of the ground and terrible burns on survivors, that far more than commercial explosives contained in a small backpack or a vehicle were responsible for the deaths and damages.

The epicenter of the blasts were in a densely packed area and a very low yield atomic weapon would have been the obvious weapon of choice to inflict maximum personnel damage.

The weapon that produced the terrible carnage was not an ex-Soviet artillery shell but a modern weapon constructed in Israel as part of their defense/offensive arsenal. Many Israeli scientists, working in the atomic program, were trained in Soviet Russia before immigrating to Israel and the present Russian intelligence services have a number of agents planted in Israel. That country has produced atomic mines, intended to destroy port facilities, naval bases, vital canals like the Suez and Panama Canals and the vital Straits of Malacca. A small weapon that could wreak so much havoc would not prove difficult to construct or use. A converted artillery shell needed activating devices attached to it but a weapon ,specially built, that could fit into a backpack or the trunk of any commercial vwehicle, contained its own activating system.

Another coup for Finnegan was the discovery that a private aircraft, later discovered to have belonged to an Israeli registered company, took off, without clearance, from the local airport, bound for Singapore. Witnesses said that “at least six men” got onto the plane with a good deal of luggage and boxes.” Finnegan’s team of investigators managed to obtain two flight logs which are reproduced here along with a report by one of his staff.

Finnegan also photographed a number of known CIA agents in civilian clothes, as well as a man that was later identified as the Mossad team leader. His real name is not known but while in Jakarta, he used the name ‘Henri Salado.” Here is Mr. Finnegan’s clandestine picture of him. It was taken through a chain link fence in the vicinity of the blast area and when the subject saw he was being photographed, he became “extremely upset” and attempted to get at the photographer. He was unsuccessful.

Top Mossad operative

Timeline: The Bali bombing, a comprehensive overview

National News - January 03, 2003

The following timeline is excerpted from reports published in The Jakarta Post unless otherwise attributed.

Tuesday Oct. 15:

Police say C-4 was explosive material used to make bomb.

U.S. says al-Qaeda and Abu Bakar Ba'asyir responsible for bombing.

Hamzah Haz says Muslims not responsible and bombing was "engineered".

Wednesday Oct. 16

Hendropriyono says both technology and skills of bombers indicate they are from abroad and must have carried out surveillance before the attack.

Bali Police Chief Brig. Gen. Budi Setyawan said there is no indication of al-Qaeda involvement so far.

The Washington Post reports Indonesian police arrest former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who allegedly confessed to building bomb that killed over 180 people and expressed regret for huge loss of life.

Air First Marshall says suspect released and this proves no Air Force Involvement.

Thursday Oct. 17

Susilo Yudhoyono admits possible involvement of foreigners in bombing.

Authorities focusing on seven "foreigners" suspected to have masterminded and carried out the bombings, a terrorist cell said to have been led by a Yemeni national, his Malaysian deputy and a European with links to Philippine bombings.

Police Chief Brig. Gen. Budi confirms bomb made of RDX.

Indonesian Army Brig. Gen. Ratyono denies Army supplied C-4 to terrorists. Denies Army possesses C-4 "bombs".

Friday Oct. 18

Hendropriono says technology and skills employed by attackers indicate they are from abroad.

Sunday Oct. 20

Pastika says investigation team focusing on four persons, including a security guard and a retired Air Force officer.

Monday Oct. 21

Police receive order to release former Air Force Officer Dedi Masrukhin although suspicions of his link to Bali blasts remain strong.

Forensics experts admit some victims could have been completely consumed by blast.

Tuesday Oct. 22

Omar al-Faraq allegedly tells CIA bin Laden transferred US $133,440 to JI for purchase of three tons of explosives from Indonesian military sources.

AFP agent Brett Swan says because of scale of explosion "highly organized perpetrators" carried it out.

U.S. declares "technology transfer review" between U.S. and RI as high-tech U.S. items may be found at bomb site.

Wednesday Oct. 23

Aritonang says investigators have determined specifications of bombs but not how they were deployed, large bomb made of RDX with a "derivative" of Ammonium Nitrate.

Friday Oct. 25

Aritonang says bomb was RDX and Ammonium Nitrate.

Saturday Oct. 26

Maj. Gen. Muhdi Purwopranjono (Kopassus) claims to have identified bombers.

Joint investigating team says it's still in dark.

Aritonang says bombings were carefully and professionally planned and executed.

Sunday Oct. 27

Pastika says bombs made by Indonesians who "could not have done it without help from foreign bomb experts. We believe that the explosives were brought in from outside Bali" and "The technology using mobile phones as a remote control is new for Indonesia and something that requires guidance from foreign experts."

Monday Oct. 28

Two Generals, one police, one army named as possible suspects in bombing and subsequently file suit against Washington Post for libel.

Tuesday Oct. 29

Susilo Yudhoyono denies Army, Police Generals involved in bombing.

Wednesday Oct. 30

Pastika says "main player" identified who is also bomb maker.

Thursday Oct. 31

Police release three sketches of bomb suspects. Muchyar Yara says that the three were part of a list of 10 names submitted to police.

Friday Nov. 1

Da'I Bachtiar says they have identified East Javanese man but have not found him yet, along with driver of the van. Bachtiar says they used TNT, RDX, HDX and Ammonium Nitrate.

U.S. ambassador Ralph Boyce says media accusations of U.S. involvement in bombing "inaccurate and unhelpful."

Defense Minister Matori Djalil links bombing to JI and al-Qaeda.

ASIO director Dennis Richardson does the same.

Saturday Nov. 2

International investigation team finishes forensics after less than three weeks on site, concluding that bomb was TNT, RDX and other "materials" including chloride. AFP forensic team member says "we have all we need to nail these bad guys down,"

BIN says bombings involved "skilled foreign experts".

Muchyar Yara says "We are sure that foreign experts along with Indonesian experts or perpetrators were involved."

National Police said bombs were constructed of TNT, RDX and HMX.

AFP officer Graham Ashton say that the degree of coordination and vehicle placement reflected a high degree of planning and expertise.

BIN issues a report saying bombs were made of Semtex.

Sunday Nov. 3

Police release on Nov. 2 man arrested in Ngada regency. Brig.Gen Aritonang says it's the wrong guy.

Police raid house on Java and find photo matching suspect in composite sketch release earlier in week.

120 Australian police and intelligence officers working in Bali in addition to international investigators.

Minister of Defense Matori Jalil accuses al-Qaeda of bombings.

Australia accuses JI of bombing.

Monday Nov. 4

International team says bombers are professionals.

Intelligence sources say foreign perpetrators would hide for 6 months before trying to get out of the country.

Thursday Nov. 07

Mitsubishi van owner arrested in East Java on Nov. 5.

Gen. Heru Susanto identifies owner of van as Amz, 30, arrested in Paciran village in Lamongan. Amz says he bought van from man identified as Her from Tuban.

Joint inquiry team issues statement that a white Mitsubishi L300 van loaded with explosives stopped minutes before the blast in front of Sari club in drop off area not normally used for parking.

Aritonang says police have not named any suspects in relation to the bombing. Are focusing investigation on ten persons.

Friday Nov. 8

Da'I Bachtiar says Amrozi admitted using van for bombing and renting motorcycles and other car for bombing. Admits Amrozi does not match sketches.

Panorama in Italy reports Italian national bar owner "Sartoni" in Bali arrested in connection with bombing.

Asian Wall Street journal reports Hambali as planning bombing during meetings in south Thailand.

Saturday Nov. 9

Pastika says Amrozi admits to helping build main bomb, admits to being field coordinator for bombing.

Sunday Nov. 10

Police claim Amrozi bought sulfur, ammonium, fluorine and chlorate from Tidar Kimina chemical store in Surabaya.

Monday Nov. 11

Police claim to have produced an initial reconstruction of planning and execution of bombing, also that Amrozi purchased over one ton of chemicals to produce bombs from Silvester Tendean.

Former Bakin official AC Manullang expresses doubts about Amrozi's part in pro team responsible for bombing.

Aritonang says Amrozi prime suspect in bombing.

Tuesday Nov. 12

Pastika says 10 Indonesians suspected of bombing.

Amrozi states he wanted to kill Americans in bombing. Bachtiar says Amrozi held four meetings in Surakarta to plan bombings.

Anti-terrorism officer and chemical expert express doubt over police claims they have identified bombers.

Kopassus NCO says bombing would take a year of practice to execute. Chemical expert rules out conventional explosives, say they are incapable of causing level of destruction at Kuta.

Wednesday Nov. 13

Amrozi says he did not assemble bomb. Pastika says bomb consisted of 100 kilos TNT, PETN detonator and RDX "booster".

Thursday Nov. 14

Amrozi fingers Samudra as one of the masterminds of the bombing, says he drove van to Bali but denies assembling bomb.

Saturday Nov. 16

JL named as prime suspect in blast.

Monday Nov. 18

Joint investigation team identifies 6 more suspects: Patek, Samdura, Imron, Wayan, Dulmatin, Idris with Samdura, Dulmatin and Idris as bomb assemblers. Samdura leader of group, Idris second in command,

Dulmatin as detonator with his cell phone, electronics expert.

Amrozi refuses to identify driver of van.

Tuesday Nov. 19

Pastika says investigators have not yet focused on source of explosives, too early to move on that and only arrest of perpetrators would lead them to device.

Police say they found RDX and TNT trace at blast site. TNI denies ever storing RDX or C-4. PT Dahana confirms importing RDX for limited parties and military.

Wednesday Nov. 20

Da'I Bachtiar says there are other "materials" Amrozi did not procure in Surabaya and "has no capacity to make bombs".

AFP says they have not found RDX residue at site, only Chlorate and TNT.

Pastika will not confirm or deny foreign involvement.

Thursday Nov. 21

Hermawan Sulistyo says amount of explosives required do not match van story.

Police confirm chemicals purchased by Amrozi were not main bomb materials.

Pastika says main bomb materials TNT and RDX.

Friday Nov. 22

Three "mystery" men appear in Amrozi interrogation transcript, Amrozi appears to be in dark about Sari and Paddy club bombings until he sees it on TV.

Pastika claims he has not read interrogation report, now claims that only seven suspects have been identified.

Saturday Nov. 23

Bachtiar says that Amrozi himself provided the vehicle and materials for the bombs.

Sunday Nov. 24

Bachtiar says bombings carried out by three groups under leadership of Hambali.

Monday Nov. 25

Police claim that the device used at Paddy's was detonated 118 centimeters above the ground.

Time Magazine claims Yemeni terrorist mastermind of Bali Bombing.

Tuesday Nov. 26

Police detain "accomplices" in bombing.

Police reveal Samudra was in process of getting fake passport to travel to Malaysia.

Wednesday Nov. 27

Legal experts say Amrozi and Samudra confessions inadmissible under KUHP.

Thursday Nov. 28

Bali bombing victims call for death of perpetrators.

Friday Nov. 29

Aritonang says Samudra interrogation transcripts on Bali bombing not included in his case file because a lawyer did not accompany suspect.

Saturday Nov. 30

Police now say JI "operating in Indonesia".

Samudra claims he masterminded Batam bombings.

Sunday Dec. 1

Lawyers for Samudra say he is not linked to Ba'asyir or Mukhlas.

Monday Dec. 2

Political analyst Hermawan Sulistyo hints that media reports, including those from Time, which relied on "intelligence sources", may be false.

Tuesday Dec. 3

Police release names of 163 Bali bombing victims.

Wednesday Dec. 4

Bali investigating team "not sure" when investigation into the approximately 200 missing in the bombings will begin.

Thursday Dec. 5

Police say they have captured alleged JI operations chief Mukhlas.

Bomb blasts rock McDonald's and car dealership in Sulawesi, killing three.

Monday Dec. 9

Pastika says at least "90 percent" of the Bali bombing plot had been uncovered.

Tuesday Dec. 10

Pastika says dossiers on Bali bombing suspects had to be "perfect", but has yet to assign responsibility for the three blasts to suspects or determine explosives used.

Sulawesi Police Chief Gen. Firman Gani says they have linked Sulawesi bombers with Bali bombings.

Wednesday Dec. 11

Samudra lawyer expresses doubt on client's ability to assemble explosives, alleges that Samudra and other suspects had been manipulated by a "third party" to discredit Islam in Indonesia, suggests two devices were used in bombings: one conventional and one "high tech device of great power". Lawyer also says eyewitness saw something fall from sky before explosion.

Thursday Dec. 12

Joint investigative team says Makassar, Bali bombings closely linked.

Friday Dec. 13

Aritonang says he has strong case in Bali bombings. Says he does not have specialized knowledge to discuss explosives used in detail.

Saturday Dec. 14

Samudra denies knowing Mukhlas, Gufron, denies receiving funds from them. Wanted to kill Israeli spies, Americans. Says he did not assemble bombs or know where they were assembled.

Bachtiar questions whether Amrozi and Samudra acted alone in all bombings

The Australian Card

While Australian Prime Minister Howard should certainly have been aware that the bombings in Bali had some connections with his putative American allies, to date no proof has emerged directly connecting the increasingly unpopular PM with the outrage. His part was not unlike Henry II’s comments to his knights, with reference to the Archbishop of Canterbury, ‘Will no one rid me of this cursed priest?”

The Finnegan investigations led to personal threats against his person, his being fired and his subsequent ejection from Indonesia. His reports reflect the immediate discoveries he made but the subsequently uncovered official U.S. documentation clearly shows the origins of this tragedy as well as the obvious dementia of George W. Bush and the part played by PM Howard.

Editor’s note: Mr. Harring has a great deal of reference material on this shocking subject and is planning on publishing all of it in a subsequent book.

War Critics See New Resistance by Bush

December 26, 2006
by Jim Rutenberg
New York Times

WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 — Immediately after the beating his party took in November, President Bush indicated that he had received the message that voters wanted change, and that he would serve some up fast. He ousted his defense secretary, announced a full-scale review of his war plan and contritely agreed with critics that progress in Iraq was not happening “well enough, fast enough.”

But in the last two weeks, the critics and even some allies say, they have seen a reversal. Mr. Bush has shrugged off suggestions by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that he enlist the help of Iran and Syria in the effort to stabilize Iraq. Countering suggestions that he begin thinking of bringing troops home, he has engaged in deliberations over whether to send more. And he has adjusted the voters’ message away from Iraq, saying on Wednesday, “I thought the election said they want to see more bipartisan cooperation.”

In a way, this is the president being the president he always has been –while he still can.

With Congress out of session, Mr. Bush has sought to reassert his relevance and show yet again that he can chart his own course against all prevailing winds, whether they be unfavorable election returns, a record-low standing in the polls or the public prescriptions of Washington wise men.

He has at least for now put the Iraq war debate on terms with which he is said to be more comfortable, if only because they are not the terms imposed on him by Democrats and the study group.

That stance could be short-lived.

Democrats warn-, and some Republicans privately they fear—that Mr. Bush is in for a

dousing of cold water when he returns from his ranch in Crawford, Tex., in the new year to face a new, Democratic-controlled Congress ready to try out its muscle. His recent moves have already caused a fair degree of crankiness among his newly empowered governing partners.

“I’ve seen very few tea leaves in the mix that would give you any sense of hope or confidence that he is getting it so far,” sand Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who supports the study group’s advice that the administration seek help from Iran and Syria in Iraq. “The bottom line is this president can’t afford not to change course. The time is up.”

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a former Army ranger who is a member of the Armed Services Committee, said, “I don’t think he’s given up the sort of sloganizing and the simplistic view of what’s happening there.”

“I think the American people’s message was deep concern about Iraq, deep skepticism about his policies, and what they want is a resolution of Iraq,” Mr. Reed, who supports a steady withdrawal that is fundamentally at odds with any idea of an increase in troops there.

If the president does call for such an increase, he will have a potentially powerful Republican ally in Senator John McCain of Arizona, a leading contender for the 2008 presidential nomination. But other Republicans have warned that they cannot support that step now that several military commanders have expressed reservations about placing more American troops between warring factions in Baghdad. That Mr. Bush would even consider a military plan at variance with the wishes of some of his commanders has added to an increasing sense of his isolation from his own party.

“I’m growing more disturbed every night by how isolated George W. Bush has become,” the former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough said on his MSNBC program last week. “Shouldn’t more Americans be disturbed at this unprecedented example of a White House that’s in – and you can only call it this—a bunker mentality?” The screen below him read, “Bush Determined or Delusional?”

White House officials, who note that Mr. Scarborough has been finding fault with the president for months, say critics are getting ahead of themselves, given that Mr. Bush has not yet said what his next move in Iraq will be.

“This is all background noise for the American people right now,” as senior administration official said. “Most people are going to wait and see exactly what the president’s going to say.”

This official, who insisted on anonymity as a condition of discussing internal White House thinking, said the administration calculated some of that “background noise” into the mix when it decided to postpone any announcement on Iraq until the new year.

“We know we’re just in this period of pugatory where there are things surfacing and being debated,” he said.

One member of the study group, Leon E. Panetta, who was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton when the Republicans took control of Congress in the 1994 elections, said the White House seemed to be in a period of postelection mourning in which it had not yet fully comprehended a new reality.

“What always happens with an election in which you lose badly or your party loses badly is that you spend a little time in shock,” Mr. Panetta said. “And then you reach out with the words of cooperation, and then you go into a period when you start to basically spin things in a way that says, ‘Whatever happened is not really our fault.’ And you use that to rationalize that what you’re doing is right.”

But, he said, “at some point you move into a different phras: the harsh realities come home.”

One Republican close to the White House said that moment was fast approaching.

“Jan. 4 is a new day,” this Republican said of the official shift of power in Congress, “and they still think they can control the calendar and the timing. But that is no longer at their discretion.”

In an interview last week, Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who will become chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he was planning three hearings on Iraq in January. Speaking of the president, Mr. Levin said, “He’s got to now come to Congress with a policy he’s got to adopt, and it’s controlled by people who are pressing for a change in Iraq.”

Probes of Bush Policies in Works: Mass. lawmakers to launch hearings

December 23, 2006
by Rick Klein
The Boston Globe

WASHINGTON -- Massachusetts lawmakers are set to launch a blizzard of investigations in the new Congress, probing issues such as wartime contracting, post-Katrina housing assistance, and the Bush administration's relationship with Cuba and other countries in Latin America.

In what could be closely watched proceedings, two members of the Massachusetts delegation -- representatives William D. Delahunt of Quincy and Martin T. Meehan of Lowell -- are planning joint committee hearings to examine the administration's Iraq war policies, particularly the reasons for the military's lagging efforts to train Iraqi troops. Delahunt is in line to become chairman of the House International Relations Committee's subcommittee on oversight and investigations, and Meehan will take over the same subcommittee on the House Armed Services Committee.

Armed with the power to force sworn testimony for the first time after 12 years in the minority in Congress, members of the state's all-Democratic congressional delegation are positioned to play major roles in investigating policies and actions that cut across the federal government and the business community.

"We could be the Bush administration's worst nightmare come to pass, in terms of the questions we'll be able to ask from positions of power," said Representative Edward J. Markey of Malden, the dean of the Massachusetts delegation. "There are a lot of secrets that have been hidden from the American people in terms of the way business has been done for the past six years."

Democrats in general say that when they become the majority party in Congress, they intend to shine a spotlight on administration policies and management, where the Republican power structure has done little to check the authority of the president. With the GOP powerless to stop them, Democrats say, they hope their oversight will protect taxpayer dollars and shape the political agenda going into the 2008 presidential election.

The hearings and investigations planned by Massachusetts' members of Congress will complement and, in some cases, compete with a dizzying array of other investigations Democrats are expected to launch early next year, and Senate committees are expected to be just as active as those in the House.

In addition to Delahunt and Meehan, Massachusetts will have House members in high-ranking posts on several major investigatory committees.

Representative Barney Frank of Newton will become chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which has sweeping authority over the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commissions, and the nation's housing policies. Frank has outlined an agenda that includes a year long examination on the issue of wage inequality in the United States.

He is also planning hearings in late January or early February on consumer protections in federal banking laws, as well as the federal government's efforts to rebuild housing destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast.

"A lot of low-income housing was destroyed, and they've done virtually nothing to replace it," Frank said. "The federal government's role in this has been a disaster."

Representative Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston serves on the Government Reform Committee, which will look at the role that industry groups played in shaping the closed-door energy task force convened by Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001. Representative Richard E. Neal of Springfield, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, wants hearings on the impact of President Bush's tax cuts on the federal budget deficit, given the administration's promise that the tax cuts wouldn't throw the budget out of balance.

The cumulative effect of the ramped-up congressional scrutiny will probably lead Republicans to accuse Democrats of political payback after six years of one-party rule in Washington, said Jeffrey Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University. But after years in which the Bush administration has faced virtually no scrutiny from a Republican-controlled Congress, troves of embarrassing revelations about Republicans during their six years in power seem destined to pour from a Democratic House and Senate, he said.

"The Republicans will claim that the Democrats are obsessed with publicity-oriented witch hunts, but the Republicans are more vulnerable than the Democrats," Berry said. "A lot of these hearings are going to be compelling, and are going to produce storylines that readers and viewers are going to be very interested in."

The Iraq war is likely to be a particularly popular subject of inquiry, with a range of committees set to examine pre war intelligence, troop readiness, and the administration's plans moving forward. Democratic House members say they expect House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi's office to help streamline the various investigations and set a manageable timeline for higher-profile inquiries when the next legislative session begins next month.

In the meantime, Meehan has outlined a full agenda for his Armed Services subcommittee on oversight, which Republicans disbanded in 1995 but which Democrats will reconstitute next year. He is hiring five investigators -- including specialists in weapons systems and Pentagon budgeting -- and promises to look into equipment shortages among soldiers in Iraq, military recruiting and retention, and corruption allegations involving Defense contractors operating in Iraq.

"For the past six years, Congress has rolled over and played dead while the president has done anything he wanted to, particularly in the war in Iraq," Meehan said.

After Republicans made it primarily a mechanism to criticize the United Nations, Delahunt said, he plans to broaden his International Relations subcommittee on oversight. He wants to examine government-funded broadcasts that reach Cuba; the international component of the president's grant programs for faith-based health organizations; and the impact in Latin America of the administration's push to sign "bilateral immunity agreements" to shield US citizens from being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.

"Does this work to our benefit? We're losing influence in Latin America," Delahunt said.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Warren Commission/911 Commission....No Difference

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Gerald Ford and The JFK Assasination Cover-Up

Another Repuke bites the dust,I am SOOOO sick of these people!!!!!

by Don Fulsom

At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 1963, in Dallas's downtown Dealey Plaza, a large and friendly crowd lined the street, cheering and waving excitedly at the approaching presidential motorcade. Riding in the third car – an oversized Lincoln with its Plexiglas "bubble" top removed – were President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, and Texas Gov. John Connally and his wife, Nellie. As the limousine carrying the Connallys and the Kennedys wound its way through the hospitable crowds, Nellie Connally turned to President Kennedy, who was seated behind her, and said, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you." Then the shots rang out.

Today, more than four decades later, the details on specifically how and by whom President Kennedy was assassinated are still open to question.

According to the report of the Warren Commission, released in September 1964 after a full year investigation, one single shooter – Lee Harvey Oswald – killed Kennedy and wounded Gov. Connally by firing three bullets from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.

The most significant documentary record of President Kennedy's assassination, however, is the famous 8mm home movie taken that day by Dallas dress manufacturer Abraham Zapruder. It seems to show Kennedy reeling from shots fired from more than one location. The film's apparent crossfire causes one to conclude that there were several gunmen – and a conspiracy. The number of shots reportedly heard by witnesses ranges from two to more than eight.

The most important eyewitness to the assassination was Gov. Connally. Questioned by Warren Commission counsel and now-U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, Connally's testimony to the Warren Commission solidly supports the Zapruder film:

Mr. Specter: In your view, which bullet caused the injury to your chest, Governor Connally?

Gov. Connally: The second one.

Mr. Specter: And what is your reason for that conclusion, sir?

Gov. Connally: Well, in my judgment, it just couldn't conceivably have been the first one because I heard the sound of the shot … and after I heard that shot, I had the time to turn to my right, and start to turn to my left before I felt anything. It is not conceivable to me that I could have been hit by the first bullet.

Gov. Connally's vivid memories of those horrific moments never changed. And they fit a more-than-three-bullet scenario. Connally firmly believed different bullets struck him and President Kennedy. In a later interview for a TV program, Connally recalled hearing a rifle shot over his right shoulder "because that's where the sound came from." He said he saw "nothing out of the ordinary," and was in the process of turning to look over his left shoulder "when I felt a blow in the middle of my back as if someone had hit me with a double-fist … it bent me over and I immediately saw I was covered with blood and I knew I'd been hit, and I said, ‘Oh my God, they're going to kill us all.'" Connally then heard another shot and said, "I knew that the President had been fatally hit, because I heard Mrs. Kennedy then, I heard her say, ‘My God, I've got his brains in my hands.'"

In a separate comment, Connally said, "There were either two or three people involved, or more, in this – or someone was shooting with an automatic rifle."

Gov. Connally's insistence that he was struck by a separate bullet than the one that killed President Kennedy clearly contradicts the Warren Commission's lone-killer conclusion that a single bullet – fired by an old Italian-made mail-order rifle – hit both men.

The 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano rifle was found on the sixth floor of the Depository and was originally identified as a 7.65 mm German Mauser. The Italian weapon, then nearly 20 years old, had a terrible reputation. The October 1964 issue of Mechanix Illustrated described the rifle as "crudely made, poorly designed, dangerous and inaccurate."

The commission said the first shot struck the President in the base of his neck and exited from his throat. This very same bullet then proceeded to hit Connally in the back, shattering his fifth rib. The bullet then emerged from the governor's chest, passed through his right wrist – breaking several bones – and finally came to rest in the his left thigh. This is known as the single or "magic" bullet— magic because it inflicted so many wounds, broke so many bones, yet still wound up – in nearly perfect condition – on a stretcher at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

The Warren Commission uncovered "no credible evidence that any shots were fired from the Triple Underpass (near the grassy knoll), ahead of the motorcade, or from any other location."

This determination was intended to support the scenario that Oswald could have fired the purported number of shots within an allotted timeframe – and that one of the bullets fired that fateful day hit both the president and the governor.

Despite this public assertion, JFK assassination expert Anthony Summers emphasizes most of the commission's seven members had private doubts about the theory: "John McCloy had difficulty accepting it. Congressman Hale Boggs had ‘strong doubts.' Senator John Sherman Cooper was, he told me (Summers) in 1978, ‘unconvinced.' . . . On a recently released tape, held at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, (Sen. Richard) Russell is heard telling President Johnson, ‘I don't believe it.' And Johnson responds, ‘I don't either.'"

In fact, many of the Warren Commission's conclusions do not agree with the evidence it collected. As Facts on File points out: "Of the 266 known witnesses to the assassination, the commission questioned 126. Of these, 51 thought the shots came from the direction of the grassy knoll, 32 said that they came from the Texas School Book Depository. Thirty-eight did not offer an opinion, but most of these witnesses were not asked. The remaining five thought the shots came from more than one location."

Those who thought shots came from the grassy knoll seem to be supported by NBC cameraman Dave Weigman's herky-jerky 16mm film of the assassination scene. With his camera rolling, Weigman jumped out of the seventh car in the JFK motorcade and ran up to the knoll. Experts who made a frame-by-frame examination of Weigman's film say it clearly shows puffs of smoke coming from bushes at the top of the knoll.

Dallas County deputy constable Seymour Weitzman also ran toward the top of the grassy knoll – where he found a man carrying Secret Service identification. Weitzman later identified this man as Bernard Barker, a CIA asset and the future Watergate burglar who would lead the four-man contingent of Cuban–born Watergate burglars from the Miami area. Barker was an expert at surreptitious entries, planting bugs and photographing documents. He was a close associate of Florida Mafia godfather Santos Trafficante, and of Mob-connected Key Biscayne banker Bebe Rebozo – Richard Nixon's bosom buddy.

Barker was a veteran CIA asset. Along with JFK assassination suspects Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis and David Ferrie, he had helped plan the unsuccessful 1961 CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba, a mission fathered by Vice President Richard Nixon. The actual invasion was finally carried out at the Bay of Pigs under President Kennedy. The CIA recruited the Mafia to kill Cuban President Fidel Castro at about the same time the exile invaders waded ashore.

Barker's day job was a real estate agent on Key Biscayne. And he was a close friend and neighbor of fellow CIA asset Eugenio Martinez – the Watergate lock-picker. Martinez's real estate firm had extensive dealings with Bebe Rebozo, and had brokered Nixon's purchase of a house on Biscayne Bay.

In the immediate aftermath of the Watergate arrests, President Nixon was anxious about his pal Rebozo's vulnerabilities. On White House tapes released many years later, after hearing that Howard Hunt's name turned up in two of the burglars' address books, Nixon had a question for his chief of staff, Bob Haldeman: "Is Rebozo's name in anyone's address book?" Haldeman answers, "No … he (Rebozo) told me he doesn't know any of these guys." Sounding rather dumbfounded, the president responds: "He doesn't know them?"

If Weitzman was correct in fingering Barker, the CIA man would have had no trouble obtaining Secret Service credentials. CIA operatives have a way of coming up with badges and other items to suit their various goals (As a Nixon White House spy, Howard Hunt once wore a speech alteration device and a red wig to a secret encounter.)

Barker wasn't the only future Watergate conspirator to reportedly show up in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Under oath, CIA operative Morita Lorenz placed CIA agents Hunt and Frank Sturgis at the assassination scene.

This claim was bolstered by two other local law enforcement officers who reported encountering men on the grassy knoll who identified themselves as Secret Service agents – yet the Secret Service maintained that none of its agents were in Dealey Plaza right after the shooting.

For the record:

Deputy Constable Weitzman told the Warren Commission he encountered "other officers, Secret Service as well" on the grassy knoll. In 1975, he told reporter Michael Canfield the man he saw produced credentials and told him everything was under control. He said the man had dark hair, was of medium height, and was wearing a light windbreaker. When shown photos of Frank Sturgis and Bernard Barker, Weitzman immediately pointed at Barker, saying, "Yes that's him." Just to make sure, Canfield asked, "Was this the man who produced the Secret Service credentials?" Weitzman responded, "Yes, that's the same man."

Dallas patrolman J. M. Smith also ran up the grassy knoll. At the top, he smelled gunpowder. Encountering a man, he pulled his pistol from his holster. "Just as I did, he showed me he was a Secret Service agent … he saw me coming with my pistol and right away he showed me who he was."

In the mid-70s, Dallas police sergeant David Harkness told a House committee, "There were some Secret Service agents there – on the grassy knoll – but I did not get them identified. They told me they were Secret Service."

According to a Secret Service report in the National Archives, "All the Secret Service agents assigned to the motorcade stayed with the motorcade all the way to the hospital, none remained at the scene of the shooting."
In the years following the Warren Commission Report, its findings have been repeatedly questioned. In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations suggested that at least two gunmen were involved, and that the probable assassination conspirators were Mafia-connected.

Later, two top committee staffers, G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings, concluded that the assassination was planned and implemented by Mob bosses; that there were two shooters; and that Lee Harvey Oswald was silenced – on Mafia orders – by mobbed-up Dallas striptease club owner Jack Ruby.

In 1998, a review board appointed by President Bill Clinton found nothing in secret JFK assassination records to bolster the single-bullet theory. In fact, as the Assassination Records Review Board went out of business, it complained that records of the post-mortem examination of President Kennedy's body were incomplete. Such records could have cleared up mysteries about Kennedy's head wound, or wounds, and helped determine whether he was shot from the front.

In its final report, the review board said: "There have been shortcomings that have led many to question not only the completeness of the autopsy records of President Kennedy, but the lack of a prompt and complete analysis of the records by the Warren Commission."

While it collected and released thousands of previously secret government documents, the board also expressed worry that "critical records may have been withheld" from its scrutiny. It stressed that it was not able to secure "all that was out there."

In 2005, appearing at a scholarly symposium, assassination expert Dr. Jack Gordon went over doctors' statements from the hospital in Dallas where Kennedy was taken after the shooting. Gordon produced quotes from nine doctors who gave the same description of a huge softball size hole in occipital-parietal region of Kennedy's skull, and one nurse who said, "in layman's terms, 'One large hole, back of his head.'" This contradicts the official story that the back of the head was completely intact.

With all of these contradictions emerging – both during the Warren Commission hearings and in the aftermath of its final report – one has to wonder how the Warren Commission managed to arrive at the conclusions it did.

A key edit in the Warren Report may have helped. The report's first draft said: "A bullet had entered his [President Kennedy's] back at a point slightly below the shoulder to the right of the spine." Had that stood, the trajectory would have made it impossible for the bullet that struck Kennedy to come out his neck, and then somehow critically wound Connally.

Newly released documents show, however, that Warren Commission member Congressman Gerald Ford pressed the panel to change its description of the wound and place it higher in Kennedy's body. Ford wanted the wording changed to: "A bullet had entered the back of his neck slightly to the right of the spine." The panel's final version was: "A bullet had entered the base of the back of his neck slightly to the right of the spine."

This crucial change only came to light in 1997, when the Assassination Record Review Board released handwritten notes made by Ford that had been kept by J. Lee Rankin, the Warren Commission's chief counsel. Ford's change is even at odds with his own declaration in the Oct. 2, 1964 issue of Life: "I personally believe that one of these three shots missed entirely – but which of the three may never be known. I believe that another bullet struck the president in the back and emerged from his throat (and went on to strike Connally.)"

When the alteration was brought to Ford's attention in 1997, he said it "had nothing to do with (thwarting) a conspiracy theory" and was made "only in an attempt to be more precise." Assassination researcher Robert Morningstar, however, called the change "the most significant lie in the whole Warren Commission report." He pointed out that if the bullet had hit Kennedy in the back, it could not have gone on to strike Connally the way the commission said it did. Morningstar contended that the effect of Ford's editing suggested that a bullet hit the president in the neck – "raising the wound two or three inches. Without that alteration, they could never have hoodwinked the public as to the true number of assassins."

Ford's alteration supports the single-bullet theory by making a specific point that the bullet entered Kennedy's body ''at the back of his neck'' rather than in his uppermost back, as the commission staff originally wrote.

Harold Weisberg, a longtime critic of the Warren Commission's work, said: "What Ford is doing is trying to make the single bullet theory more tenable."

Cyril Wecht, president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, is among many pathology experts who find this theory unacceptable: "The angles at which these two men [Kennedy and Connally] were hit do not permit a straight-line trajectory (or near straight line trajectory) of commission exhibit 339 (the so-called magic bullet) to be established. Indeed, quite the opposite is true. In order to accept the single-bullet theory, it is necessary to have the bullet move at different vertical and horizontal angles, a path of flight that has never been experienced or suggested for any bullet known to mankind."

A member of the House investigating committee's forensic pathology panel, Wecht remains a passionate opponent of the Ford theory. He has also been a consultant on a number of other high-profile cases, including the deaths of Elvis Presley, JonBenet Ramsey, Laci Peterson and – most recently – the 20-year-old son of model Anna Nicole Smith.

Former Texas First Lady Nellie Connally – who died in 2006 at the age of 87 – rediscovered her assassination diary in 1993. When Newsweek published it in 1998, the magazine said the diary "reaffirms the Connallys' verdict that the Warren Commission was wrong in concluding that a single bullet passed through JFK's neck and Connally's chest." Noting the commission's finding that one bullet missed the car, the magazine added: "Some conspiracy theorists argue that if three (Author's note: the commission said only two bullets hit the two men) bullets hit their targets, and an additional bullet missed, then there must have been a second gunman: nobody could have fired so many rounds so quickly."

After a two year probe costing taxpayers $5.5 million, House investigators concluded in 1978 that President Kennedy's murder was "probably . . . the result of a conspiracy," and that there was a strong possibility of a shot from the grassy knoll, meaning that two gunmen must have fired at the president within split seconds of each other. In 2001, a peer-reviewed article in Science and Justice determined there was a 96.3 percent chance a shot was fired from the grassy knoll to the right of the president's limousine.

The author of the new analysis, JFK assassination researcher D. B. Thomas, believes this was the shot that killed the president.

G. Robert Blakey, former chief counsel of the House investigation, called the new study "an honest, careful scientific examination of everything we did, with all the appropriate statistical checks." And he said it "increased the degree of confidence that the shot from the grassy knoll was real, not static (contained on a police dicta-belt of the sounds in Dealey Plaza that day.)"

In the 1990s, the Assassination Records Review Board released a strong clue that more than three shots were fired at President Kennedy.

The cover of an empty FBI evidence envelope – dated Dec. 2nd 1963 – noted that it had once held a 7.65 mm rifle shell that was found in Dealey Plaza after the shooting. The discovery of a fourth bullet shell, therefore, supports the acoustical evidence cited by the House committee, as well as all of the eyewitness reports of a shot from the grassy knoll.

What motivation did Congressman Gerald Ford have for misrepresenting the placement of the President's back wound? For one thing, he had strong personal ties to the staunchest official advocate of the lone-assassin theory, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Hoover had proclaimed Oswald was the lone killer long before the Warren Commission had even been appointed. On the very afternoon of the assassination, the FBI chief issued an internal memo stating that Dallas police "very probably" had Kennedy's killer in custody. In the memo, Hoover described Oswald as being "in the category of a nut and the extremist pro-Castro crowd . . . an extreme radical of the left."

Hoover may have wanted Oswald identified as the sole killer to protect himself. Some JFK assassination experts are convinced Hoover knew about the plot to murder the president in advance and helped cover it up. In his 1992 book Act Of Treason, researcher Mark North contends that – as the result of covert FBI surveillance programs against the Mafia – Hoover learned of the plot in September 1962.

North said Hoover found out that the family of New Orleans godfather Carlos Marcello "had, in order to prevent its own destruction (through prosecutorial pressure resulting from the [Kennedy] administration's war on organized crime), put out a contract on the life of John F. Kennedy … Hoover did not inform his superiors within the Justice Department, or warn the Secret Service . . . (Hoover) did this because JFK had made it known that he intended . . . to retire the director . . ."

Former CIA operative Robert Morrow agreed that Hoover had learned in advance of both the contract on JFK and the ensuing plot to assassinate him. In a 1992 book, Morrow said the contract "called for the assassination of the president prior to November 4, 1964 (Author's note: the date of the next presidential election), and was clearly the directive of New Orleans crime boss Carlos Marcello."

Gerald Ford was so close to Hoover that he served as the FBI director's informant while he was on the Warren Commission. This is confirmed by an internal FBI memo of Dec. 12, 1963. Written to Hoover by his deputy Cartha DeLoach, it says: "Ford indicated he would keep me thoroughly advised as to the activities of the commission. He stated that would have to be done on a confidential basis; however, he thought it had to be done." The Washington Post disclosed the memo in 1991. Newsweek had earlier described Ford as "the CIA's best friend in Congress."

Hoover biographer Curt Gentry concurs that Ford was Hoover's informant on the commission. In fact, in his 1991 book J. Edgar Hoover, Gentry notes that the Hoover-Ford connection went back a number of years. Discussing the FBI's "favored politicians," the author said such people "were warned who their opponents would be, what background they had, and what skeletons might be hidden in their closets. In some cases, they were even elected with the FBI's help. Impressed with a young congressional hopeful in Michigan, the bureau in 1946 arranged support for Gerald Ford, who then expressed his thanks in his maiden speech in the House by asking for a pay raise for J. Edgar Hoover."

Not only was Ford leaking the commission's deliberations to Hoover, but on the eve of the publication of the Warren Report, he rushed to publicly endorse its coming finding that Oswald was solely to blame for Kennedy's murder. In the Oct. 2, 1964 issue of Life, he stressed that the "sorely disturbed" Oswald's "faith in Communism and the writings of Karl Marx" made him "look to Cuba as the as the place where … his shadowy philosophical theories might possibly come to fruit."

Hoover's man on the commission added, "there is not a scintilla of credible evidence" to suggest a conspiracy to kill JFK, adding, "The evidence is clear and overwhelming: Lee Harvey Oswald did it. There is no evidence of a second man, of other shots, of other guns. There is no evidence to suggest that Oswald went to work at the Depository for the long-range purpose of killing the President, that Jack Ruby knew Oswald before he killed him, or that either of them knew Officer Tippit (the Dallas policeman who was killed the afternoon of the assassination).

Why did this future president think if was necessary to declare his belief in Oswald's guilt just before publication of the commission's report? Was he acting in league with his friends at the CIA and the FBI to give advance support to what he knew would be the report's lone-killer conclusion? Almost certainly, the answer is "yes." Especially when you consider the fact that the man most responsible for placing Ford on the commission – President Richard Nixon – later described the "Oswald did it by himself scenario" as "the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated." Nixon's assertion – contained in a tape of an Oval Office conversation with aide Bob Haldeman – was not made public until 2002.

Hoover himself helped promote the commission's finding two days before the Warren Commission was even formed. He personally ordered a leak to United Press International that resulted in a worldwide wire story that began: "WASHINGTON – An exhaustive FBI report now nearly ready for the White House will indicate that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone and unaided assassin of President Kennedy, government sources said today."