Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for November 4th, 2012

This Is A Test

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 4, 2012

Testing my posting capabilities on a fancy device.

So far, so good.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on This Is A Test

Benghazi “consulate” was a CIA station

Posted by Charles II on November 4, 2012

Melvin Goodman, former CIA analyst, at Consortium:

It’s now apparent that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was no ordinary consulate; in fact, it probably was no consulate at all. The consulate’s primary mission was to provide an intelligence platform that would allow the CIA to maintain an operational and analytical role in eastern Libya.

… Both the State Department and the CIA share responsibility for seriously underestimating the security threat in Libya, particularly in Benghazi.

Any CIA component in the Middle East or North Africa is a likely target of the wrath of militant and terrorist organizations because of the Agency’s key role in the global war on terror waged by the Bush administration and the increasingly widespread covert campaign of drone aircraft of the Obama administration.

U.S. programs that included the use of secret prisons, extraordinary renditions, and torture and abuse involved CIA collaboration with despotic Arab regimes, including Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. The U.S. campaign to overthrow Gaddafi didn’t clean the slate of these abuses; it merely opened up the opportunity for militants and Islamists to avenge U.S. actions over the past ten years.

The CIA failure to provide adequate security for its personnel stems from degradation in the operational tradecraft capabilities of the CIA since the so-called intelligence reforms that followed the 9/11 attacks.

There were other complications as well. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was an extremely successful and popular ambassador in Libya, but he had become too relaxed about security in a country that had become a war zone.

The success of the Bush and Obama administrations in compromising the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General has ensured that the Agency’s flaws have gone uncorrected. The politicization of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003 was the worst intelligence scandal in the CIA’s history, but there were no penalties for those who shared CIA Director George Tenet’s willingness to make phony intelligence a “slam dunk.”

This is a balanced analysis that shows that the causes of the attack and the response, both on-the-ground and at senior levels, are distributed around the entire system, from Susan Rice to Ambassador Stevens himself. Barack Obama does need to take responsibility for having failed to end politicization of the Agency and for having failed to end US involvement in torture, not to mention for permitting Rice to speak before the facts were known. I feel fairly certain in saying that a Romney presidency would have done worse. But I want to see a second Obama presidency that does much, much better.

Posted in Barack Obama, terrorism | 2 Comments »

Occupy Wall Street Crew May Be Outdoing Red Cross In Helping New Yorkers And Jerseyites Hit By Sandy

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 4, 2012

That’s not me saying that, that’s Jessica Lustig of New York magazine saying that:

As the lights come back on in lower Manhattan, the power imbalance in parts of the city worst hit by Sandy is more literal than ever. Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods like Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens were able to celebrate Halloween as usual, but just blocks away, many residents of the Red Hook Houses, the city’s second-largest housing project, are without electricity, heat, or running water, and growing increasingly desperate. Red Hook, like other areas with overheard power lines, could wait another ten days or longer for juice, according to Con Edison. So far, Red Hook has received little help from the city or FEMA, and a team of Occupy protestors have been heading relief efforts.


In an outcropping of 30 buildings, some of them high-rises of 14 stories, the Red Hook Houses hold some 6,000 tenants, and about half the buildings remain without power. Red Hook Initiative, which usually offers services like tutoring and college counseling, has been joined by about 15 people from the Occupy movement who have set up infrastructure and logistics for running hot-meal operations serving 500 to 1,000 people every day, bringing in medics, gathering information about people who are elderly or disabled and can’t leave their apartments or get down stairs, and broadcasting calls for volunteers and supplies from flashlights to ice for storing insulin.

The editors of NY Natives also have praise for Occupy, which put together their famous pedal-powered electricity generators and are using them to power water pumps to drain flooded basements and to provide power for cellphones and other devices:

In a press release as of November 1, MoRUS shared “The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) is using one of its exhibits to provide the community with free cell phone charging. Working with environmental group Times Up, MoRUS has set up Occupy Wall Street bike generators on Avenue C between 9th and 10th Street. For the past two days, volunteer riders have been pedaling as crowds of people gather to charge up their cell phones. For many people, this has been the first time they’ve been able to contact loved ones after Hurricane Sandy hit earlier this week. Meanwhile, C-Squat, the squat which houses MoRUS, has set up a street-side barbecue. They have been accepting donations and providing the community with free food.”

The residents of C-Squat have set up 2 grills, are receiving food donations and are essentially feeding the neighborhood. After pumping out there own basement and rescuing the Occupy Wall Street bikes, the residents pumped out the water from the bar next door and the deli on the corner. As one C-Squat resident exclaimed: “”It’s like a block party!”

And from the New Yorker, we hear this:

At the St. Francis de Sales church on B-129th Street, the church hall has been taken over by Occupy Sandy—an offshoot of the still-active networks of Occupy Wall Street. Supplies have been driven here from all over Brooklyn: back there are piles of blankets; on the tables here are diapers, baby food, and cleaning supplies; over there, clothes (grownup, child, baby); more than a hundred pairs of shoes lined up neatly on the bleachers. Residents of the neighborhood wander around the hall, filling bags. In the front entranceway Occupy volunteers are unloading cases of bottled water from a truck, handing the heavy cases one to the next, a bucket brigade to the back of the church. The volunteers move fast but the job lasts more than half an hour—it’s a big truck. In front of the church, long tables have been set up on the sidewalk, where volunteers are serving hot food and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

Donate to the Occupy Sandy efforts here:

Keep up with the Occupy Sandy activities and needs (both volunteer and supply) here:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

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