BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Thursday, August 4

You might remember this headline from the other day.

"More Troops Developing Latent Mental Disorders"

And this fact:
WASHINGTON - THIRTY PERCENT of U.S. troops returning from the Iraq war have developed stress-related mental health problems three to four months after coming home, the Army’s surgeon general said Thursday.
Which brings us to today's news:

"Two Iraq Veterans Commit Suicide Near Fort Hood"

We've got to keep tying the news together.
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Two young Fort Hood soldiers who served in the Iraq war have killed themselves in separate incidents in Killeen since the weekend, post officials said Wednesday.

Sgt. Robert Decouteaux, 24, of Rosedale, N.Y., died Saturday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had been airlifted from his home to a Temple hospital for emergency surgery, but he died while doctors tried to save his life.

And on Monday morning, Spc. Robert Hunt, 22, of Houston, was found dead in his apartment by Killeen police, who were alerted after members of his unit tried to contact him when he failed to report to work.

Carol Smith, a Killeen police spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Hunt's cause of death was listed as asphyxiation.
Decouteaux, a soldier for five years, was an M-1 tank mechanic assigned to the 4th Infantry Division.

Fort Hood spokesman Dan Hassett said Decouteaux served in Iraq from April 2003 to March 2004, and that he was scheduled to redeploy when the division returns to the war zone beginning this fall.

Hunt, a radio operator-maintainer, joined the Army as a teenager in 2001 and had been assigned to Fort Hood since August 2003. He deployed to Iraq for a year-long tour in March 2004 as part of the 1st Cavalry Division.
No snarky comment.

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Ray McGovern has a great new piece at TomPaine.com.

"Preempting Cheney"

It's basically a plea to the more level-headed members of the intelligence community to start leaking real info re: the IRANIAN nuclear program - so they can stop Little Dick Cheney & The Neo-Cons from starting another war.
Whatever plans Dick Cheney and his neo-conservatives may have had to conjure up a nuclear threat from Iran as "justification" for military action have been sharply undercut by some timely leaks to the Washington Post. In a redux of President George W. Bush's spin on the "grave and growing" danger from Iraq, Cheney protégé and newly appointed U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is on record warning that Iranian "deception" must not be allowed to continue much longer: "It will be too late. Iran will have nuclear weapons."

Not for ten more years, report sources close to the U.S. intelligence community in yesterday's lead story in the Post . Several government officials with access to the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iran have told journalist Dafna Linzer of its main judgments. By doing so, Linzer's sources seem determined not to sit idly by as our country is misled once again into a war favored only by "neo-conservatives" in Washington and their counterparts in the far-right Likud government in Israel who share a vision of remaking the map of the Middle East.

Linzer has shown commendable tenacity on Iran and the nuclear issue—tenacity highly unusual by today's lax media standards. According to Linzer's sources, the National Intelligence Estimate states that, while there are credible signs that the Iranian military is doing some clandestine work, there is no information to connect that work directly to a nuclear weapons program. Moreover, U.N. inspectors have found no convincing proof that Iran is conducting a nuclear weapons program or that it has a nuclear warhead design.

The NIE concludes that Iran will not be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon until "early to mid-next decade," with general consensus among intelligence analysts that 2015 would actually be the earliest.

"Devotees of Preemption"

The exposure of these intelligence judgments is extremely well timed. It comes amid rumors that Vice President Cheney's office has ordered up contingency plans for a large-scale air assault on Iran using not only conventional weapons but also tactical nuclear weapons to take out hardened underground nuclear facilities. The action would be framed as a response to a terrorist act—whether sponsored by Iran or not—on the United States. According to former CIA operative Philip Giraldi, senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are appalled that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked attack but, sadly, no one wants to jeopardize a career by posing objections.

Indeed, Cheney is once again leading the public charge, just as he did in 2002 in the lead up to invading Iraq.

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You readers out there in the intelligence and policy communities may wish to take those who told Linzer about the NIE as your model. Between multiple sources in London and in Washington finally willing to see it as their patriotic duty to speak out to prevent war, we have a new, very hopeful, truth-driven process going less than a year after the Truth Telling Coalition gave it fresh impetus. This disclosure will make it more difficult for the Bush administration and/or Israel to launch war on Iran. Timing makes all the difference.
Good luck!

More later...

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