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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Not going to rely on agency pissants

WMD, Abu Ghraib, soldiers complaining about equipment: Think Donald Rumsfeld's glory days are over? Not even close, says Seymour Hersh, whose politics are lousy but whose sources are terrific. He reports in the latest New Yorker that Bush plans to let the Defense Secretary rock harder than ever in his second term. Look for Rummy to:

- Stay in Iraq, long term
- See the war on terror transferred fully under the Pentagon's control
- Expand the war on terror
- Conduct covert anti-terror commando strikes on as many as 10 nations in South Asia and the MidEast

With the Pentagon running covert ops with a direct Executive Order from the White House (already done) Rummy is free to work "off the books," as Hersh puts it, meaning unrestricted from the sort of legal red tape that the CIA must go through, including reporting to the House and Senate.

Who's first? How 'bout Iran, which Hersh suggests that American "black recon" forces may have already infiltrated. Anonymous sources (so take 'em with a grain of salt) say the Pentagon is already drawing up plans for a full scale attack. As one former intelligence official relates:

“Everyone is saying, ‘You can’t be serious about targeting Iran. Look at Iraq.' But they say, ‘We’ve got some lessons learned—not militarily, but how we did it politically. We’re not going to rely on agency pissants.’ No loose ends, and that’s why the C.I.A. is out of there.”

UPDATE: As Kate MacMillan, who is way more on top of these things than I am, kindly notes in the comment section, the Pentagon has denied the Hersh story in a delightfully sarcastic press release. You be the judge.

Posted by Kevin Libin on January 20, 2005 | Permalink


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Eh... Kevin... I think you missed the smackdown. It's not often a Pentagon release resembles a fisking, but this one does.

"By his own admission, Mr. Hersh evidently is working on an "alternative history" novel.  He is well along in that work, given the high quality of "alternative present" that he has developed in several recent articles."

Posted by: Kate | 2005-01-20 11:31:01 AM

I'll update it in the post, though I did mention the grain of salt thing. Then again, I'm also sure to take my Pentagon press releases lightly seasoned as well.

Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2005-01-20 11:44:20 AM

This is off topic, but has Robert McClelland ever kissed a human girl?

Posted by: Damian P. | 2005-01-20 12:26:35 PM

Robert -

Who doesn't get funding this great dominion of ours ... I knew a quasi fascist Toronto "sculpture" who amongst other dubious projects cast giant penises and buttocks in bronze which he later took to exhibiting in his back yard in place of gnombs - AND HE GOT FUNDING!

Stop being such a whingy old commie! Try and get your own pound of flesh out of uncle Paulie - tell him you're a transvestite Hungarian stripper with a unique boob trick.

Posted by: Aidan | 2005-01-20 12:51:07 PM


This discussion of government funding of the Western Standard was held a few months ago under a thread about the government funded Rabble.ca:

"In response to Meaghan's question, the Western Standard does not receive any government funding directly. The only subsidy we get is through the subsidized magazine postage rates, which are automatic and mandatory for all magazines sent via bulk mail in Canada."

Here's the link:

Posted by: TimR | 2005-01-20 12:57:52 PM

Hey Robert, you know, I have a suspicion that the cbc gets government funding...

Posted by: ld | 2005-01-20 1:24:22 PM

Love the blog, it's my home page. Saw the comments. Happy to report that the Western Standard has neither asked for nor received government funding.

For more of our views on government support for/intereference in the magazine business, I refer you to my testimony in November before a Senate committee considering the subject. http://www.parl.gc.ca/38/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/Com-e/tran-e/02cv-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=19

Posted by: Ezra Levant | 2005-01-20 2:08:28 PM

Very nice post.

Posted by: No Fax Payday Loans | 2005-01-21 10:32:37 AM

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