DoomwatchTM vs. Timesizing®
Collapse trends - Febuary-December, 2004
[Commentary] ©2004 Philip Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Sq PO, Cambridge MA 02238 USA 617-623-8080 - HOMEPAGE
7/05/2004 headlines from hell from Wall St. Journal (j), NY Times (t) or Boston Globe (g) - missing earlier and later dates are handled entirely on current homepage or archive pages -
2/12/2004 this is the 4th of today's headlines from hell from the Wall St. Journal (j) &/or NY Times (t) - the first 3 were handled entirely on our homepage now archived -
- [another huge clue to the downward spiral of America - engineered from within -]
Translator in eye of storm on retroactive classification, by Anne Kornblut [akornblut(at)globe.com], g.A1, A5.
[There's an obfuscatory headline for you! It should be "FBI Punishes Translator for Doing Her Job."]
WASHINGTON - Sifting through old classified materials in the days after the Sept.11, 2001, attacks, FBI translator Sibel Edmonds said, she made an alarming discovery: intercepts relevant to the terrorist plot, including references to skyscrapers, had been overlooked because they were badly translated into English.
Edmonds...who is fluent in Turkish and Farsi [but not Arabic], said she quickly reported the mistake [or subversion?] to an FBI superior. Five months later, after flagging what she said were several other security lapses in her division [of the FBI], she was fired....
Edmonds said she was repeatedly warned that she would be opening a "can of worms" if she kept filing security complaints,
[hey, what the heck is the job of the FBI and the CIA if not to find and open "cans of worms"?!!]
but she continued reporting lapses to ever-higher levels of [FBI] management until, in March 2002, she wrote a letter to FBI Dir. Robert Mueller III, she said.
She also contacted the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In response, the FBI confiscated her home computer, challenged her to take a polygraph test, which she said she passed, and terminated her contract....
Officials have said Edmonds was fired for 'disruptive behavior on the job.'
[Sounds like the whole damn FBI is compromised. And what does that say about the CIA, of which Bush Sr. was Director?]
..\..Now, after more than 2 years of investigations and congressional inquiries, Edmonds is at the center of an extraordinary storm over US classification rules that sheds new light on the secrecy 'imperative' supported by members of the Bush administration.
In a rare maneuver, Atty Gen. John Ashcroft has ordered that information about the Edmonds case be retroactively classified [our italics], even basic facts that have been posted on websites and discussed openly in meetings with members of Congress for 2 years.
[The Bush junta apparently now wants to control even our memory!]
The Dept. of 'Justice' [our quotes] also invoked the seldom-used "state secrets" privilege to silence Edmonds in court. She has been blocked from testifying in a lawsuit brought by [relatives of] victims of the Sept.11 attacks and was allowed to speak to the panel investigating the Sept.11 attacks only behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, the FBI has yet to release its internal investigation [if any] into her charges. And the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Bureau, has been stymied in its attempt to get to the bottom of her allegations. Now that the case has been retroactively classified, [cowards, oops] lawmakers are wary of discussing the details, for fear of overstepping 'legal' bounds.
[Except for one "Bush administration ally"?? -]
"I'm alarmed that the FBI is reaching back in time and classifying information it provided 2 years ago," Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa and a leading advocate for Edmonds, said last Friday.
[Well, if his loyalty really is to Bush, his "leading advocacy" should guarantee that we never get to the bottom of this.]
"Frankly, it looks like an attempt to impede legitimate oversight of a serious problem at the FBI."
[Or another piece of the careful neo-con plan to set up a "Pearl Harbor incident" to enable taking over a big central chunk of real estate in the Middle East oil fields.]
...In a development that legal analysts say is disturbing, a pattern of retroactive classifications has begun to emerge in recent years, all of them [supposedly] pertaining to - but not limited to - national security. For example, Rep. John Tierney (D-Ma.) is locked in an ongoing battle with the 'Defense' Dept. over testing requirements for a national missile 'defense' system ["Star Wars"] that were made pubic in 2000 but have since been declared classified.
Bush administration officials argue that the 3-year campaign against terrorism has required unprecedented levels of confidentiality, especially inside intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
[How convenient that would be for a junta.]
Critics do not dispute the need for heightened secrecy in the current environment. Edmonds is careful not to discuss standard classified information, such as methods the FBI used to obtain the material she translated.
But she and a growing number of her defenders - who include a government watchdog group [Project on Government Oversight], some Sept.11 families, and Grassley, a Bush administration ally [oh oh - he could be the neo-con's "hedge fund" on this] - maintain that the secrecy imposed on her case has jeopardized national security. One of Edmond's assertions to her superiors included suspicions of espionage within the FBI [or sabotage of intelligence by neo-con loyalists/agents], which she said the Bureau has not addressed..\..
[The more we find out about 9/11 and our "intelligence" services (recall that Bush Sr. had been head of the CIA for awhile) and the Bush family and the neo-con robopaths, the more the whole thing stinks, and the more America appears in danger - from within and from the top. The Bush regime is doing massive coverup, just like many a corrupt dictatorship - retroactive classification has same legal standing as the spectral 'evidence' at the Salem witch trials. It is entirely arbitary and can be used to gag or kill anybody. The United States of America currently appears to be in the biggest crisis in its history - betrayed from within and from the top. Considering the degree of penetration of the neo-con cabal and their ownership and positioning of the three main brands of voting machines, Congress and Kerry are insane to leave this to the Nov. election. They should proceed immediately with impeachment proceedings. Or, it may already be too late and we should move to Canada ASAP. "Cry, the beloved country!" Here's Sibel Edmonds' own take:]
Edmonds, a naturalized US citizen who grew up in Turkey and Iran, said in an interview last week that the ordeal has made her grow disillusioned with the "magical system of checks and balances and separation of powers" that had made her so drawn to the United States. "What I came to see is that it exists only in name," Edmonds said. "Where is the oversight? Who is there to stop him [Ashcroft]?"....
She had a job application at the FBI before Sept.11, and it was accelerated after the attacks so she could start work Sept.20. One of her main assignments, she said, was to expedite requested translations from field agents, including material that a field agent in Arizona submitted for retranslation on a suspicion that it had not been examined thoroughly before Sept.11.
"After I translated it verbatim, I went to my supervisor to say, 'I need to talk to this agent over a secure line because what we came across in this retranslating is gigantic, it has specific information about certain specific activity related to 9/11,' " Edmunds recalled. "The supervisor blocked this retranslation f rom being sent to the same agent. The reasoning this [supervisor] gave me was, 'How would you like it if another translator did this same thing to you?
[Edmonds, being on the level, would LIKE it because otherwise she couldn't improve in her work!]
The orginal translator is going to be help responsible.' "
[The original translator may have been scared and so screwed up the translation on purpose, to pass the hot potato to someone else with more courage and idealism.]
In the end, Edmonds said, the field agent who requested a reinterpretation of the intelligence material "knew there were things that were missing, and yet he was reassured by the Washington field office [ah, wouldn't that be the Washington headquarters office?] that the original translation was fine."
Edmonds said the intercept jumped out at her because it contained references to skyscrapers adn the US visa application process. Such references might have triggered suspicions at Immigration & Naturalization Services before Sept.11 if they had been correctly translated, she said, but they seemed unrelated before the attacks, in part because they were gathered during the course of a criminal investigation [huh?].
(A Phoenix FBI agent was the source of a memo before the attacks warning about Middle Easterners taking flying lessons. Edmonds does not know whether the same agent is related to her case.)
Edmonds said she made another troubling discovery. One of her colleagues admitted being a member of an organization with ties to the Middle East that was a target of an FBI investigation. The colleague, also a Turkish translator, invited Edmonds to join the group, assuring her that her FBI credentials would guarantee admission. Edmonds declined to name the organization, because she said it has been under surveillance.
[How smelly can this get?]
Two months later, Edmonds said, one of the agents she worked with found hundreds of pages of translation that her Turkish-speaking [suspect-organization-belonging] colleague had stamped "not pertinent" and had therefore gone untranslated.
[So this is one way the neo-cons ensured they'd get their "Pearl Harbor incident" to enable their takeover and looting of Iraq.]
The agent asked Edmonds to retranslate her colleague's work. "We came across 17 pieces of extremely specific and important information that was blocked, and at that point, this agent and I went to the FBI security department in the Washington field office, and found out my superior had not reported my original complaints," she said....
[At this point she starts reporting lapses to ever-higher levels of FBI management, as mentioned above - which eventually gets her fired for "disruptive behavior on the job."
Over the summer of 2002, the Senate Judiciary Committee requested and received unclassified briefings about her case by FBI officials, in which Senate aides said the FBI confirmed much of what Edmonds had alleged. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) [recently assaulted verbally by Dick Cheney on the Senate floor with a "F*ck you!"] and Grassley, the Republican, wrote letters to Ashcroft, Mueller, adn Glenn Fine, the inspector general at the Dept. of Justice, requesting immediate attention to Edmonds's case. They posted their letters on their websites, and Edmonds went public with her story, which was featured in a segment on "60 Minutes" in October 2002.
[But was apparently never picked up by the mainstream media because the first we heard of it was on progressive radio a few weeks ago.]
Edmonds also filed suit against the 'Justice' Dept. on First Amendment grounds. That prompted Ashcroft to invoke the rare "state secrets" privilege, arguing "the litigation creates substantial risks of disclosing classified and sensitive national security information [yeah sure, and giving the coup de grace to the slimeball Bush administration's re-election bid]," a Dept. of 'Justice' news release said.
Edmonds's lawysuits have since been stalled in court, but other Sept.11-related cases, involving the independent panel's investigation and civil lawsuits involging victims' relatives, have put her saga back in the spotlight. The Senate Judiciary Committee recently emailed staff members informing them the FBI now considers the information related to Edmonds classified and warning them not to disseminate it any more.
Grassley's and Leahy's offices have removed their letters to 'Justice' officials from their websites, though the letters are still available on the Internet.
[Phew, the Internet came along JIT = just in time, to possibly counter this unprecedented attempt to take over the world's largest cosmetic democracy and make it much much more cosmetic.]
- [Quick, call Jimmy Tingle - there's a goldmine of comedic material here -]
The Khan artist, op ed by Maureen Dowd, NYT, A33.
I think pResident Bush has cleared up everything now.
Mr. Bush likes to present the world in black and white, as good and evil, even as -
- The US invaded Iraq, which turned out not to have what our pals in Pakistan did have and were giving out willy-nilly to all the bad guys except Iraq, which wouldn't take it.
- Bush officials thought they knew what was going on inside our enemy's country: that Iraq had WMDs and might sell them on the black market. But they were wrong.
Bush officials thought they knew what was going on inside our pal's country: that Pakistanis were trying to sell WMDs on the black market. But they couldn't prove it - until about the time we were invading Iraq.
- The "grave and gathering threat" turned out to be not Saddam's mushroom cloud but the pResident's mushrooming deficits.
- The pResident is having just as hard a time finding his National Guard records as Iraqi WMDs - and those pay stubs look as murky as those satellite photos of trucks in Iraq.
- Mr. Bush said yesterday that smaller, developing countries must stop developing nuclear fuel, even as the US develops a whole new arsenal of smaller nuclear weapons to use against smaller, developing countries that might be [even just] thinking about developing nuclear fuel.
- After he weakened the UN for telling the truth about Iraq's nonexistent WNDs, Mr. Bush now calls on the UN to be strong in going after WMDs.
- Gen. Pervez Musharaff pardoned the Pakistani hero and nuclear huckster Abdul Qadeer Khan [any relation to Abdul Abulbul Ameer?] after an embarrassing debacle, praising the scientist's service to his country.
Mr. Bush pardoned George Tenet after an embarrassing debacle, praising the spook's service to his country. (So much for Mr. Bush's preachy odes to responsibility and accountability.)
- The pResident warned yesterday that "the greatest threat before humanity" is the possibility of a sudden WMD attack. Not wanting nuclear technology to go to North Korea, Iran or Libya, the White House demanded tighter controls on black-market sales of WMD, even while praising its good buddy Pakistan, whose scientists were running a black market like a Sam's Club for nukes, peddling to North Korea, Iran and Libya.
Yes, it all makes perfect sense, through the Bush looking glass.
- he's made a Faustian deal with Gen. Musharaff, perhaps hoping that one day - maybe even on a pre-election October day - the cagey general will decide to cough up Osama.
- The pResident is spending $1.5B to persuade more Americans to have happy married lives, but plans to keep gay Americans from having happy married lives.
- Mr. Bush said he wouldn't try to overturn abortion rights. But John Ashcroft is intimidating women who had certain abortions by subpoenaing records in six hospitals in New York, Philadelphia and elsewhere.
- The pResident set up the intelligence commission (with few intelligence experts) because, he said, the best intelligence is needed to win the war on terror. Yet he doesn't want us to get the panel's crucial report until after he's won the war on Kerry.
- Mr. Bush said he had balked at giving the 9/11 commission the records of his daily briefings from the CIA until faced with a subpoena threat because it might deter the CIA from giving the pResident "good, honest information." Wasn't it such "good, honest information" that caused him to miss 9/11 and mobilize the greatest war machine in history against Saddam's empty cupboard?
- Mr. Bush says he's working hard to create new jobs in America, while his top economist [Gregory Mankiw] says it's healthy for jobs to be shipped overseas.
- The pResident told Tim Russert that if you order a country to disarm and it doesn't and you don't act, you lose face. But how does a country that goes goes to war to disarm a country without arms get back its face?
- Mr. Bush said he was troubled that the Vietnam War was "a political war," because civilian politicians didn't let the generals decide how to fight it. But when Gen. Eric Shinseki presciently told Congress in February 2003 that postwar Iraq would need several hundred thousand US soldiers to keep it secure and supplied, he was swatted down by the Bush administration's civilian politicians.
[Boy, is this country in deep kimshee.]
For earlier collapse stories, click on the desired date -
July 1-15/2002 + Jun 30.
Dec/2001. Earlier 2001 months accessible via links at bottom of Dec/2001 page.
Earlier Y2000 months accessible via links at bottom of Dec.1-10/2000 page.
Earlier 1999 months accessible via links at bottom of Dec.1-15/99 page.
Earlier months accessible via links at bottom of Dec/98 page.
Check also doomtrackers *Roubini and *Dismal Scientist from The Economist (3/13/99 p.7), and how
the way we're using technology makes life harder instead of easier at *NetSlaves.
Questions? Comments? email firstname.lastname@example.org.