Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Personal Intelligence Agency Alert

The link to the explanation of the PIA alert is here. This one gives me no pleasure, as Andrew Sullivan has long been one of my daily reads. But intellectual honesty compels us to be consistent. Andrew triggered the PIA alert today with this post that ended with a reference to Iran:
Dabbling in Holocaust denial by a current government should be treated as a form of insanity or fascism, rather than as some kind of thing to be "understood". Those who are addicted to the narcotic of religious fanaticism do not need enabling or excuses. They need an intervention. Especially when they are on the verge of wielding nuclear weapons.
We know the U.S. intelligence community's current estimate is that Iran is about a decade away from the ability to produce a nuclear weapon; read about that here. Thus, unless Andrew's definition of "on the verge" is a decade, he appears to have his own Personal Intelligence Agency, the information from which has caused him to reach a radically different conclusion than the vast and well-funded U.S. intelligence community that includes the CIA, DIA and NSA.

If we're to say we learned anything from the WMD debacle in Iraq, it's imperative that we avoid reaching the "truth" through repetition of unfounded and lazy speculation this time around.


Blogger 277fia said...

The Iranian president is not that far off - we would have saved everyone in the world a lot of trouble if we had just given Arizona to the Jews after WWII.

Remember how the London Bridge was dismantled and shipped to, I think, Phoenix? We could have done the same for sacred Jewish and Christian sites in Jerusalem.

The other night on PBS, I watch a Newt Gingrich interview. He was livid about a 9-minute Iranian cartoon that he claimed was used to recruit child terorrists.

A couple of months ago, I wrote about that cartoon here. (The cartoon is available on the MEMRI website.) I watched it and I didn't think the cartoon was promoting terrorism. I complained about a cartoon being used to justify a war.

So what's with cartoons these days? Everyone is riled up over them.

I don't know whose payroll those Muslim clerics are on but if they are the least bit sincere, they ought to think about why anyone would want to stir up bad feelings in the West towards Muslims.

For example, Bukkehave, a Danish firm that provides transportation in dangerous parts of the world. has a presence in Washington DC. I'm sure it's business has increased dramatically since 9/11.

What most people would not know is that Bukkehave employed, for a very short period of time, one Robert Warren Medoff. While an employee of Bukkehave, Medoff testified to the Senate in 1996 about Harold Ickes supposedly trying to arrange an illegal campaign contribution.

What hardly anyone knows is that Robert Warren Medoff was an inside seller of Urecoats stock. Charlie Gargano was a director of Urecoats when Medoff testified. In fact, Urecoats took Medoff to court in November 2000 during an election to get a court order to silence Medoff (see Broward public records).

LOL - remember Hillary's wild claim about a far right wing conspiracy?

2/07/2006 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post TCR, especially considering that Andrew Sullivan made the same mistake about WMD's before the invasion of Iraq. A lot of people did, obviously, but the onus is on them to be more vigilant this time around.

2/07/2006 4:39 PM  
Anonymous gotgat54 said...

Sullivan too frequently buys into distortions of truth which support some position he is fervent about. I remember how, on Bill Maher, he denounced Noam Chomsky as a Soviet apologist. Anyone who's read NC knows he puts together damning indictments and detailed information with a fine even-handedness. All nations and ideologies are fair game for him. I suspect Sullivan had not bothered to read NC for himself, and just bought wholesale the 'argumentum ad left-wing nutjob'.

2/07/2006 5:41 PM  
Blogger wendyo said...

Not to change the subject, but Sullivan looks like Thomas Paine in comparison to Cheney defending the wiretapping on the Newshour (PBS) this evening. I was screaming "LIAR" at the television. I called up a friend and he told me he was hoarse from yelling during Cheney's interview. Leher tried to nail him on the "insurgency is in its last throes" remark of 6 months ago, but evil Cheney just shifted his eyes and said history would prove him correct. He also helf forth on Iran (theme of point = fear).

Ugh, Awful.

Did anyone else see this? The lamest apologist ever! He must think Americans are dimwitted, memory-impaired dolts (which unfortunately, may not be too far out as witnessed by the results of their past propaganda campaigns).

The daily assault of this administration's MO is really freaking me out.

2/07/2006 9:06 PM  
Anonymous DED said...

The Washington Post article is 6 months old so does that mean it's down to 9.5 years? ;) Sorry.

So if Iran proceeds with uranium enrichment, like they're threatening to do, will it really take 10 years to get there? That figure seems high to me. It didn't take the Manhattan Project that long to come up with fissionable material, granted they only had enough for 2 bombs. Are there any nuclear engineers out there to give us a reliable figure?

As for a "delivery vehicle", Iran should be able to buy one from China or North Korea, or ex-Soviets looking for some cash, with little difficulty.

While A.S. "on the verge" seems untrue, so does 10 years. Maybe I can find a link somewhere.

2/07/2006 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're all missing the logic of the situation.

For Iraq, we got almost all the intelligence wrong. The CIA was incompetent. There hasn't been enough time to address it and it's a matter of National Security.

Now comes Iran. The CIA says 'a decade away'. Those incompetents MUST be wrong, says the administration. We have to act now or mushroom clouds for everyone.

Funny how you can use your past blunders to justify your future plans.

2/08/2006 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Sully but I think on some issues he defers to much to the conventional wisdom as well as what he perceives as the "good intentions" of Bush (while acknowledging the incompetence). That old adage about the road to hell is definitely applicable.

2/08/2006 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Manhattan Project :
It took massive resources from the US economey to produce 2 bombs in about 5 years. The economy of IRAN is a lot smaller then the US economy was even then. It is not possible for them to put the kind of effort the US did in the Manhattan project. Thus it will take them longer to do. One must also remember that the assesets avaliable to them in terms of trained workers also less then what the US applied to the problem.


2/08/2006 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Faux News this morning, "More and more Americans" view Iran as a threat.

2/08/2006 10:43 AM  
Anonymous grass root said...

All the more reason to take back the Senate and start impeachment proceedings. We can't just consign our country to two years and 10 months of coporate rape and fundamentalist zealotry while we throw our hands into the air. Sometimes I think that a mushroom cloud is part of the plan.

2/08/2006 11:20 AM  
Blogger Roy said...

Funny that article you linked to did not name one source and it said that previous estimates were five years away. This article was nothing definite, remember before the Iraq War many newspapers including the NYT said Saddam had weapons. Perhaps you should give yourself a PIA alert since you seem to know exaclty which unnamed sources are correct and which arent.

2/08/2006 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Roy. Why don't you go out and track down the sources?

2/08/2006 12:22 PM  
Blogger David Studhalter said...

Point taken, and just this kind of snowballing repetition of unsupported statements of officials is what leads to fiascos like Iraq. But, leaving out the last, unsupported sentence of Sullivan's statement, and he makes important and valid points that should perhaps be given a bit more focus: the rhetoric coming out of Teheran in the last few days has indeed been truly alarming.

I fear that we have a situation where the world community and Iran are both painting themselves into a corner, when there really should be both time and opportunity to figure out how to solve these problems peacefully.

2/08/2006 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but have you scanned all the rhetoric coming out of IRAN? Do you speak Arabic or are you relying on the translation of someone else. Would you condone the invasion of the US for the stupid things Pat Robertson says? George Bush? Dick Cheney?

The reason IRAN talks a big game about nucleur weapons is that they are trying to avoid the US attacking them and trying to rally the rest of the muslims to attack the US if they do invade/bomb them.

It's really all they have left knowing how the Americans handled the Iraq thing. They see the writing on the wall.

2/08/2006 1:57 PM  
Blogger wendyo said...


Chalabi + Judy Miller = pre-war NYT claim of WMD

2/08/2006 2:09 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

Do you ever think about how much you don't know about 9/11 and the Iraq war? For example, everyone remembers Iraqi Information Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, "Baghdad Bob". How many people know that his son is a doctor in Ireland?

My guess is that Mr. and Mrs. Sahaf lit out for Dublin ten minutes after US troops checked into the Al-Rashid Hotel. Which means that Mr. Sahaf was working for the US while he was dazzling worldwide audiences with his enthusiasm and zeal for his work.

So if the minister of information was on the US payroll, who else was? Baghdad was a revolving door in the preceding years before the war. Ever count how many senators and representatives were actually visiting Baghdad while pumping for war?

Even Fox News covered Saddam's big birthday bash in April 2002. I watched some of it on Iraqi internet tv myself.

LOL- I was tickled at the idea of Bush the First's image on the floor of the entrance to the Al-Rashid. Saddam has a real in-your-face sense of humor! When Fox made note of it in 2002, I didn't realize until weeks later that Fox was stirring up anti-Iraq sentiment.

BTW, remember Drudge's news that the Saddam's guards were having conversations about love and marriage with him? Did the guards speak Iraqish or whatever language they speak in Iraq? Saddam does not speak English as far as I know, a handicap that hampered his career,imo.

2/08/2006 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'If we're to say we learned anything from the WMD debacle in Iraq, it's imperative that we avoid reaching the "truth" through repetition of unfounded and lazy speculation this time around.'

When the strange and unbelievable become true.
Certainly the last 6 years, but even the last 14 years have been escalating a strangeness in our country. How many of these are true now:

Top 10 'Conspiracy Theories' about George W. Bush:

Part 1

Part 2

Regarding the cartoon, 60 Minutes did a story last year on the Danish filmaker that was killed for doing a movie on Islam and women. He had worked with a Danish woman politician I believe, who was Islamic. He pleaded with his killer, saying can't we talk about this, but was brutally murdered, in daylight, on the streets.

Here's a link

I was wondering if the trial of the Islamic man was coming up, and there is probably a lot of tension between all sides because of the brutal murder.

Try an organization like NTI to get the facts on Iran. I'm going to be a strict realist. I don't trust this administration or anyone that uses their talking points. The trend is there: too many lies, too much secrecy, too much propaganda and manipulation, and not enough transparency. If you are trying so hard to hide something, then there must be something there that you know is wrong.

2/08/2006 3:26 PM  
Anonymous DED said...

The Manhattan Project cost $20 billion (in 2004 dollars).

Since it's been reported that Iran already has several nuclear facilities located throughout the country, they've already begun. I don't know how far along they are, but it's not as if they're reinventing the wheel so to speak. They don't need to spend the R&D dollars, the US already did that decades ago. What they had to come up with was the start up capital (which they get from selling oil) for construction and get nuclear engineers to come in and show them how it's done (which they reportedly got from Russia).

While I haven't been able to find a time table for enrichment, the centrifuge method (which Iran allegedly has) requires anywhere from 10 to 20 stages and the energy requirements are reasonable.

Still, we don't know how they came up with the 10 year figure. Enrichment, in and of itself, does not take that long. Construction can.

These were helpful: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Project


2/08/2006 3:30 PM  
Anonymous DED said...

Oh, and please don't confuse what I'm writing with supporting W at all. I don't. I'm just trying to figure out how these estimates of Iran's nuclear weapon capability came about.

2/08/2006 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...


The murdered filmmaker -- Theo van Gogh -- was Dutch, not Danish.

Shot down in the streets of Amsterdam.

2/08/2006 4:47 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

anonymous 3:26 pm, Thanks for the Buzzflash links. I don't get to the site as much as I used to.

I brought up the idea of the Iraqi minister of information working for the US because the Iranian president's conduct is just so over the top. He is so deliberately provocative that I question whether he is putting on an act.

Holocaust denial is guaranteed to draw the ire of every western government so why take it on now? Every day, the guy does or says something to tick the US off. It's as if he has "Invade Me" tattooed on his forehead.

Hugo Chavez has been doing business with the Iranians and even Hugo knows that Holocaust denial is way out of line. What does he have to say about the Iranian president?

What do I know? I'm beginning to suspect that the corrupt Chinese military is conspiring with our corrupt military with regard to their respective defense budgets. Awhile ago, I mentioned a major US defense company possibly selling to China.

Here's a 9/11 trivia question - Where did Mohammed Atta learn to speak english? The 9/11 report told us he attended Cairo U. and spoke fluent German but never mentioned english.

If you watched the 60 Minutes interview with Jonelle Bryant, you will remember that she supposedly had a lengthy conversation with Atta. Apparently, his accent was not a problem for her.

As an aside, I read that Bryant worked for the USDA in south Florida, possibly Homestead, but that she had transferred from Washington DC only three months before her meeting with Atta.

I also read that after the 60 Minutes show, she was wisked away to parts unknown by the US government. Why, I don't know. I checked property and phone records in south florida but I couldn't find any trace of her.

Some questions. How did CBS know she wasn't a run-of-the mill 9/11 crackpot? Who were her co-workers and what is their opinion of Bryant's claims? Is she married? What was Bryant's level of authority? Why did the 9/11 Commission omit any reference to Bryant in its report?

How well Atta did read and write english? I imagine you have to be able to read flight manuals to become a pilot. Calling Rudy Dekkers.

Sigh. I'd really like to tell Makita how to market its 4 1/2" angle grinder to women with a tip to Martha and Home Depot but I'm stuck in second gear on Jack Ruby and Mohammed Atta.

2/08/2006 5:16 PM  
Anonymous lilybart said...

so funny, PIA

in this age of no-facts-just-beliefs, it seems we all get to have our own PIA.

I love this blog.

2/08/2006 7:02 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

Does Iran have planes with long range to deliver bombs to Israel? Despite Dick Cheney's comments to Imus on Inauguration Day, I've read that the Israelis don't have long range planes to bomb Iran.

BTW, 60 Minutes does do propaganda stunts. There was an segment a couple of months ago about the different views of the US military and the Iraqis about security on the roads. An Army officer and the reporter supposedly walked up to a bomb in the street with the cameraman up close. Yeah, right.

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Anonymous Hypnotize said...

A typical dictionary definition of hypnosis states that it is: a state that resembles sleep but that is induced by suggestion. However, anyone who has tried hypnosis (and any self respecting hypnotist) will tell you that this is a very simplistic view of the subject!
A much better description comes from the Free Online Dictionary which states that hypnosis is: an artificially induced state of consciousness, characterised by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction. So what does this mean and how can it be used to your advantage?

Well, the subject of hypnosis has been discussed and pondered since the late 1700s. Many explanations and theories have come and gone though science, however, has yet to supply a valid and well-established definition of how it actually happens. It's fairly unlikely that the scientific community will arrive at a definitive explanation for hypnosis in the near future either, as the untapped resources of our 'mostly' uncharted mind still remain something of a mystery.
However, the general characteristics of hypnosis are well documented. It is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, deep relaxation and heightened imaginative functioning. It's not really like sleep at all, because the subject is alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling you get when you watch a movie or read a captivating book. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the outside world. Your focus is concentrated intensely on the mental processes you are experiencing - if movies didn't provide such disassociation with everyday life and put a person in a very receptive state then they would not be as popular (nor would TV advertising be as effective!). Have you ever stated that a film wasn't great because you just couldn't 'get into it'???
This works very simply; while daydream or watching a movie, an imaginary world becomes almost real to you because it fully engages your emotional responses. Such mental pursuits will on most occasions cause real emotional responses such as fear, sadness or happiness (have you ever cried at a sad movie, felt excited by a future event not yet taken place or shivered at the thought of your worst fear?).
It is widely accepted that these states are all forms of self-hypnosis. If you take this view you can easily see that you go into and out of mild hypnotic states on a daily basis - when driving home from work, washing the dishes, or even listening to a boring conversation. Although these situations produce a mental state that is very receptive to suggestion the most powerful time for self-change occurs in the trance state brought on by intentional relaxation and focusing exercises. This deep hypnosis is often compared to the relaxed mental state between wakefulness and sleep.
In this mental state, people feel uninhibited and relaxed and they release all worries and doubts that normally occupy their mind. A similar experience occurs while you are daydreaming or watching the TV. You become so involved in the onscreen antics

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Step 2. Goals
If success is to come your must realise what is expected to materialize. This statement may seem obvious at first but if careful thought is given its meaning takes on deeper significance.
Many people fail to gain satisfactory results from their endeavours because they did not know what they wanted to accomplish in the first place. Your objective must not be hazy or incomplete. Before you reach your goal you must be able to identify how your life will be different when you achieve it. You must know exactly what it is that you want to achieve. How will your life be better/different? How will you feel? What way will you look? What situations will you find yourself in? Will other people in your life be effected and if so how will they react? You need a clear definite picture in your mind of what the attainment of your goal will mean to you.

Step 3. Belief
Belief is the back-up system of desire. It keep the fires of enthusiasm burning and makes us continually strive to get nearer the goal attainment. Faith can truly move mountains; the mountains of fear, inferiority, worry and low self esteem - 'the success killers'!
Once a goal is firmly fixed in mind and our desire-force is hurtling us toward seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the firm belief that we can gain a favourable outcome can spur us on to victory. When the mind has been manipulated to reflect this state, wonderful physical results can ensue, producing symptoms of success in our lives in every area imaginable.
Although many can attest to the power of belief and to the wondrous accomplishments that were achieved through nothing else except faith, it still remains that many individuals find it hard to believe that a positive outcome will be forthcoming when they are faced with momentous opposition. Whether the opposition is mental or physical the fact that nothing seems to be going right and everything seems to be wrong is enough for even the strongest of us to 'throw in the towel'. But it is in these very situations that faith can conquer all. Faith in yourself, what you are doing and belief that that your objective will be reached.
There are some who bemoan "easier said than done". This is exactly the kind of mental attitude that sustains the problems that they are trying to eradicate. If your belief power is not apparent, take hope for it can be acquired.
Each morning and night recite your intentions from a written list of your goals. Voice your belief in your own abilities. Tell yourself that in due course you will be successful. As you go about your daily affairs reflect as often as possible on your goals and affirm that they are yours now. Fool your mind into believing it and you will see your world reflect it!

Step 4. Plan
Having decided upon your goal and being determined to build your faith you need to give your desire-force a 'vehicle' through which it may materialize. This 'vehicle' will take the form of a definite plan of action.
Do you need to acquire certain skills? Do you need to know certain people or be in certain places to help you achieve your goal? Make a plan that will help you get closer to your end objective. Research your desires and get clear on what you need to do. Then do it!
Ensure that your plan is workable and realistic for you. Although your plan should remain flexible so that changes can be made when appropriate only make changes after careful consideration. Trial and error will eventually show the way to a good plan although you should be open to intuition also.
However, I should point out that, it is very likely your goal will materialize in a most unexpected way. The fact that you have set a plan for its accomplishment tends to set things in motion and like a chain reaction (or the butterfly effect) subtle changes made by you may cause dramatic changes elsewhere and your goal may come before your plan is completed.

Step 5. Visualization
Visualization is the art of creating mental movies of your completed goal. This has many beneficial effects upon your consciousness. Without going into the deeper esoteric benefits of using this art let me just say that you are truly designing your life when you use it. It has one other major benefit - it strengthens your desire and persistence because you momentarily experience the thrill of having achieved your goal!
Just form a mental picture of having achieved your goal. See what you will see. Feel how wonderful it will be. See how it effects everyone around you. Hear people congratulate you. When this state is experienced nothing will stop you in your quest for your objective and thus your belief-power will also be reinforced.

Step 6. The Subconscious Mind
It is within the subconscious part of your mind that you hold all th positive and negative beliefs about yourself - your self-image. These beliefs are reflected back to you in the form of attitudes. Therefore it is from the subconscious mind that the thought of failure or success comes.

Attitudes are just mental programs and so is your self-image. They can easily be changed (yes I said 'easily'). Any attitude or belief can be changed by using the formula outlined in this article - by combining affirmations with visualization. Henry Ford used it, as did Ralph Waldo Emerson and even Arnold Swatzeneger. It is reported in some circles that a similar technique was employed by Bill Gates to build his global empire. Andrew Carnegie used it exactly as described to attain and give away multi-millions even though he was an unschooled manual worker when he started it. Carnegie's legacy can still be seen today when you freely borrow a book from any Carnegie library of which there are thousands.
If you use these six steps there is nothing you cannot achieve. Luckily we have the advantage of living in the Twentieth Century with all its new technology and innovations such as hypnosis and subliminal programming. Use these steps in conjunction with your favourite personal development system and you are assured success. hypnosis

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