Saturday, September 22, 2007

Anyone Who Ever Had A Heart: The Kennebunkport Warning Revisited

Anyone who ever had a heart
Wouldn't turn around and break it.

-- Lou Reed, "Sweet Jane"
[updated three times, way below]

I assume you've noticed the recent manure increases. How could you have failed to do so? The stuff's been flying thicker and faster lately, and it's been more vicious too. Navigating through it just keeps getting tougher, even though it's all so predictable: even as the wily terrorists of global reach come closer and closer to reaching their goal, the wily liars who support them are forced to work overtime to create all the manure they can. They need to keep spreading this manure in order to "justify" their crimes, crimes against us, crimes against our present and even more importantly crimes against our future, crimes against our children and their children, enormous crimes that they "justify" based on the flimsy, wholly unconstitutional, and clearly false pretext of protecting our "national security".

The manure is not a valid justification, of course; not by any stretch. And that's why they have to work so hard. But they don't need to create a valid justification, nor do they even try. They create a lullaby-du-jour, an opiate for the masses, a pleasant little reminder of all sorts of things that just ain't so, and the purpose of their creation is two-fold: to confuse those of us who prefer to think clearly, and to satiate those of us who prefer not to think at all. Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Echoes of the Kennebunkport Warning continue to reverberate. Some of the signatories (and/or the purported signatories) keep appearing on my radar again and again, and there's an awful lot of manure being flung about in connection with all of these people. Much of the manure being flung is unwarranted, in my opinion, and yet a great deal of warranted manure remains un-flung, so to speak.

But considering the amount of manure-based distortion going on, and seeing this along with, or indeed a part of, the current general and continuing manure increases, all this manure requires a serious effort to disentangle. And even though there are a thousand things I would prefer to write about, I keep finding myself drawn to this story. In other words, here we go again. And not only that but I've been sitting on my hands about it for a long time and as it turns out I have quite a bit to say.

The Kennebunkport Warning is a very short and somewhat ambitiously worded warning about an impending false-flag terror attack and/or other bogus "war-provocation", which would be instigated by Dick Cheney and/or individuals closely associated with him, and designed to implicate Iran and trigger a long hoped-for escalation of the war in the Middle East. Escalation and consolidation, of course: aside from its oil and its vaguely non-threatening nuclear implications, Iran just happens to lie between Iraq and Afghanistan. I wonder how many Americans know that much geography?

In any case, the substance of the warning is certainly legitimate, as we've been documenting here and as other concerned citizens have been documenting elsewhere, for years. At stake is not only the escalation and consolidation of the war in the Middle East, but further escalation and consolidation of military / police / private security control on the home-front, with the associated loss of civil liberties and so on -- as we've been seeing for the past several years.

As I understand its history, the Kennebunkport Warning was written by Webster Tarpley, who dictated it by phone to Bruce Marshall who was then in Vermont. Marshall apparently typed it and printed several copies, then drove to Maine to present the Warning to the anti-war and 9/11-truth types who had gathered at Laurie Dobson's place in Kennebunkport on the last weekend in August, hoping to solicit their support, and their signatures. But there was a problem with the signatures -- in fact there were several problems with the signatures, and none of these problems were handled well, in my opinion.

A great deal of the manure has been flung at Webster Tarpley, who wrote the Warning but who was not in Kennebunkport on the weekend in question. Most of this manure has been directed at comments he made after the controversy erupted.

The controversy, which has become a great source of distraction and division, occurred when four leaders of the antiwar movement who were reported to have signed the Kennebunkport Warning announced that they had in fact signed something else.

Webster Tarpley says his object was to unite the various anti-war and 9/11-truth leaders behind a common statement that would then carry the combined force of all of them, and which perhaps make a greater dent in the still-sleeping sections of America (and indeed the world). Such a statement, if properly crafted and agreeable to all parties, would indeed do a great service to the disunited dissidence in America and elsewhere, the continuation of which appears to embody our only long-term hope, if in fact we have any grounds for such a thing as long-term hope at all.

I suppose one could say I heartily agree with Tarpley about the urgency of our situation. It's actually been urgent for a long time now. I respect his goal here; he's been trying -- as I see it -- to bring the opposition to the Iraq war into a strategic alliance with those who oppose the GWOT in general, those who fear a coming large-scale war with Iran, those who still long for the full story of 9/11, indeed all those whose concerns are impacted by the rapid increase in war and militarization over the past six years or so.

I thought it was a brilliant idea, in theory. But in practice, it was never going to work. I've expounded on this theme a few times already, so I wasn't surprised when it didn't work, to tell you the truth. You just can't put the Paranoid Lunatics in with the Conspiracy Theorists and expect them to stay there. As a matter of half-joking convenience, I refer to the anti-Iraq-war people, the election-reform advocates, and every other single-issue or narrow-focus dissident group which doesn't want to talk about 9/11 as Lunatics because they think if they play their cards right they will be granted serious credibility by the mainstream media any day now. And I call them Paranoid because of their apparent belief that they will jeopardize such imminent credibility if they consort with Conspiracy Theorists, those disreputable types who don't believe the official government explanation of what happened on 9/11.

Some of these "Conspiracy Theorists" propose their own scenarios, by which they try to account for what appears to be irreconcilable evidence of many different types. Others prefer not to speculate, never mention conspiracy, theoretical or otherwise, just point out aspects of the official tale that defy belief and ask uncomfortable questions. All these people are lumped together under the umbrella called "Conspiracy Theorists". Some are and some ain't. But that don't make no difference to the manure machine. And more to the point, it doesn't make any difference to the Paranoid Lunatics.

Origins Of The Story That The Kennebunkport Warning Is A Hoax

Whether or not you agree with Tarpley's analysis of world affairs, it's impossible not to notice his flamboyant way with the language. His text on this occasion was clearly a bit too provocative for some of the people who were invited to sign it. Personally, I don't think I would have signed it, if I had thought clearly and calmly about it, even though I agree with virtually everything it says. I would have wanted to change a few things. Maybe I'm just a born editor.

But I also find it easy to understand that there were some who signed it without reading it, or who read it without thinking very carefully about it, some who read it quickly and signed it, during the warm fuzzy of the rally, but who were frightened to see their names attached to such cold hard text all over the net on the following Monday.

In my view they responded with an even worse mistake; rather than saying they had signed the document in error, and asking for their names to be removed (which would be virtually impossible anyway, considering how many websites had already published their names), four antiwar activists -- Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright, Jamilla El-Shafei and Dahlia Wasfi -- claimed the text they signed had been altered after they signed it.

And even though they did this in a very "polite" way, their denial of support contained a clear accusation of "fraud", which quickly transmuted into "hoax", and from that point on, the story was changed forever, from all possible angles.

In the wake of the claims of fraud and hoax, Bruce Marshall provided photographic evidence which appears to show the disputed signatures on the actual document, but the "hoax" label stuck, for the most part.

And the people who say they didn't sign it have been getting a lot of support from some quarters, and the people who have been accused of fraud have been catching a lot of flak from most quarters -- even though there's been no evidence presented ever to support the ex-signatories' version of events. And part of this imbalance has come about because a few people, such as Tarpley and Bruce Marshall and their friend Craig Hill, have lost their cool once or twice, while the people who now wish to distance themselves from the Warning have been very quiet about the whole thing.

Jamilla El-Shafei

To my knowledge, the first person to ask to have her name removed from the Warning was Jamilla El-Shafei. Later her name was attached to a statement released by Dahlia Wafsi, a statement also "signed" by Cindy Sheehan and Ann Wright, which claimed that the document they signed had been altered.

Her statement on this point has been challenged by Laurie Dobson, who started a blog in order to tell us what she knows about this story. Dobson has posted an email which she says she received from Jamilla El-Shafei, and in which Jamilla admits that she signed something without reading it (I've added space and boldface; the CAPS are in the original):
Hi Laurie,

This document was presented to me as it was a petition to IMPEACH CHENEY and because I was distracted and pulled in a hundred different directions I DID NOT READ IT.

I signed something but I did not read what I signed, which was stupid, I admit!!

I would like my name removed from this piece of work.
If she had said this publicly, the situation would have been very different than it is now. But this fact is almost never mentioned. And that's not what happened. Instead something quite different started happening.

Dahlia Wafsi wrote:
I didn't sign this.

I don't know about the validity of this "warning," but the people who put this list together were dishonest about signatories. They took our signatures for something else and put it on this. Very weird.
Cindy Sheehan posted
whoever had me sign something the other day in
kennebunkport misrepresented it to me and my assistant.

i would never have signed that "warning" the way it was written.

all i can say is that the entire thing is shady
Then a well-publicized "group" message appeared from Dahlia Wafsi, which amounted to a very illogical non-denial-denial, coupled with a soft accusation of fraud and best wishes for the future:
Each of us were approached during the rally at the Kennebunkport event on August 25, 2007, to sign a statement calling for the immediate impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Since then, the statement has been altered and posted on the internet, making it appear as if we have evidence that this administration will carry out a "false-flag terror operation."

None of us have such evidence, and therefore, none of us signed a statement stating that we do. We wish the authors of the document well in continuing much needed investigations of all aspects of 9/11.

Jamilla El-Shafei
Cindy Sheehan
Dahlia Wasfi
Ann Wright
For someone to admit she didn't sign it, and then to turn around and say the statement has been altered is ... how do you say? Impossible to support? Impossible to believe!

For someone to claim fraud, then wish the alleged perpetrators well, is bizarre even in itself. If accepted at face value, it raises serious questions about the leaders themselves, including: "If they can't stand up against alleged fraud, involving inappropriate use of their own names, then how can they hope to stand up against the warmongers they say they oppose?"

The alternative explanation, based on the email Laurie Dobson has published, would render this question moot, in favor of much more serious questions. So there are serious implications no matter what happens here.

The admission by Jamilla El-Shafei, that she signed a document without reading it, contradicts her subsequent claim that the document she signed was not the Kennebunkport Warning, it invalidates her accusation of fraud, it discredits her position and that of her friends, and explains why Webster Tarpley, Bruce Marshall and some of their friends lost their tempers. If the admission is genuine, it also calls into disrepute a considerable number of posts on other blogs and so on ... There's quite a bit at stake over such a small issue. So it makes sense to ask the obvious questions, and the next question seems to be:

Is the admission genuine?

Here's an important clue: Jamilla El-Shafei has never denied writing the email posted by Laurie Dobson, which I quoted above.

But let us move on, a bit at a time.

Cindy Sheehan

Quite recently another "ex-signatory", Cindy Sheehan, has been getting tons of the most fragrant manure thrown her way because of what some "major terrorists" have said about her. As if she could control what they say. As if 90 or 95 percent of the other people in the world don't feel exactly the same way as she does. Even though she appears to have landed on the wrong side of the Kennebunkport mystery, Cindy Sheehan still makes a lot of sense on some levels, and there seems to be no limit to the depths to which people will sink in order to attack her.

World Net Daily: 'Schmoozing with Terrorists' tops Amazon charts
"Schmoozing" quotes Mideast terror leaders expressing their gratitude for the efforts of activist and congressional candidate Cindy Sheehan. Sheehan's anti-Iraq war activities and her statements against President Bush "give us hope" the U.S. will change its Mideast policies, they say.
And Rightly So: Cindy Sheehan’s Terrorist Fan Club
Damn! Can we imagine how Casey would feel if he were alive and knew of this? Do we suppose Sheehan would care about this? Do we think she would be a little ashamed? I bet not; I bet she’d be proud of this association. And it wouldn’t surprise me to see her sign autographs and smoozle with these terrorists in person.
My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Cindy Sheehan is the Darling of the Jihadi Crowd!
The terrorists her son died fighting are thanking her for her service to their cause.
Michelle Malkin offers a few choice distortions in "Sally Field Doesn't Speak for Me"
This weekend, I met dozens of military mothers in Washington, D.C., who fervently oppose the Sally Field/Cindy Sheehan model of maternal submission and immediate surrender. They were among several thousand grass-roots activists who turned out for the "Gathering of Eagles" counter-demonstration on the National Mall.

Deborah Johns, mother of William, a Marine who has served three tours of duty in Iraq, condemned the Left's demonization of Gen. David Petraeus and urged Congress to oppose a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq. "Cindy Sheehan doesn't speak for me," Johns said. "She has never spoken for me. And she will never speak for me. . . . We are not going to let the domestic enemies at home defeat us like they did" during the Vietnam War.
It's hard not to feel a pathetic sort of contempt for all these poor fools (or paid shills, or some of each) who spout such lies about the Vietnam War. How can they hope to understand the present when they so badly misunderstand the past?

Sally Field

Malkin's rant here is not so much directed against Cindy Sheehan as against Sally Field, who was bleeped by FOX TV when she spoke against the war in her Emmy Award acceptance speech.

While the left blogosphere -- and even some liberal media -- have been critical of FOX for the deletion, Malkin leaves no doubt who was responsible for the mess, calling Field's speech an "incoherent diatribe", and saying
There are sheep moms. There are lion moms. We know which kind Sally Field is.
Malkin continues:
Motherhood and peace-making are not synonymous. Motherhood requires ferocity, the will and resolve to protect one's own children at all costs, and a life-long commitment to sacrifice for a family's betterment and survival. Conflict avoidance is incompatible with good mothering.

On the playground of life, Sally Field is the mom who looks the other way when the brat on the elementary school slide pushes your son to the ground or throws dirt in your daughter's face.

She's the mom who holds her tongue at the mall when thugs spew profanities and make crude gestures in front of her brood. She's the mom who tells her child never to point out when a teacher gets her facts wrong.

She's the mom who buys her teenager beer, condoms and a hotel room on prom night, because she'd rather give in than assert her parental authority and do battle.
Any readers suffering from acute irony deficiency may wish to note that Sally Field was doing everything which Michelle Malkin denies: it took courage to speak out the way she did, and she wasn't exactly avoiding confrontation.

In fact Sally Field's remarks were exactly what one would expect from a mother who dares to stand up and speak out when "the brat on the elementary school slide pushes your son to the ground or throws dirt in your daughter's face." In contrast to Michelle Malkin, Sally Field seems to understand that the United States, having invaded a foreign country which never attacked us, killing a million mostly innocent people, torturing tens of thousands of others and making refugees of millions more, is itself the playground bully.

To a clear eye, Sally Field appears to be the kind of mom who stands up for the kid who got pushed to the ground. And Michelle Malkin looks like the sort who stands behind the bully and says "So what's your problem? My kid's bigger than your kid. What of it?"

Far from being the kind of mother who forbids her child from pointing out mistakes made by the teacher, Sally Field is the kind who stands up and speaks out about mistakes made by the president -- mistakes for which a vast sea of blood has been spilled, and for which intolerable pain has been endured. The suffering's not over yet, not by any means, by the way.

And furthermore, Sally Field actually asserted her parental authority and did battle. She did everything that Michelle Malkin says she didn't. What a wonderful world of spin. Just lump her in with Cindy Sheehan, the darling of the jihadi set, and you can hate them both together.

Cindy Sheehan Revisited

Not everyone writing about Cindy Sheehan hates her, of course.

Here's the Gun Toting Liberal: Terrorists Smitten By Cindy Sheehan; Blast America’s Two Party System And Are Encouraged By Anti-War Independents
I never thought I’d agree with a “terr’ist”, but; it appears there just MIGHT be some common ground after all. And, before you just click out of this piece in disgust, allow me to admit I’m a bit “anti-war”, myself; PLUS; I’m more than a little bit “independent” (small “I” on purpose) when it comes to my politics. It appears some “terr’ists” believe this trend toward political independence in our country; i.e., challenges to “The Establishment”; is a positive thing for America, and if that’s truly the case; we actually agree. I’ve probably just violated the freaking Patriot Act with that one, but if so; so BE it…
And E.M. Kilpatrick makes a good point in a Letter to the Editor of the Vaccaville, CA, Reporter: Making history too interesting
We have the president telling the Australians we're "kicking ass" and Mitt Romney saying his five healthy sons are serving their country by helping him to get elected.

We have Karl Rove's great evangelicals preaching to us and doing the opposite; to name a few: Bob Allen, Tom Foley, Ted Haggard, David Vitter and Larry Craig caught in sex stings.

History will have some tales to tell about this bunch.

If I lost a son in this war, I would be worse than Cindy Sheehan. I had a husband in Vietnam, but repeating it now is the worst tragedy this country has ever known.
Here's what Cindy Sheehan has been saying: At What Price, Safety?
I am consistently amazed at things that right-wing nut jobs throw at me to justify their support of an unjustifiable war. Seriously, when you watch Generals, Ambassadors, Senators and Congress Reps and pundits who still cheerlead for a miserable, failed and murderous policy you can almost see the skepticism in their eyes, too. They know they are lying for their masters now, if they, like George and Dick didn’t always know they were lying.

However, a measly segment of our population are still so willingly ill-informed and ignorant of the facts are grasping for straws.

At the recent “Support for our Troops” rally that was held by the Republican backed and funded Move America Forward and Gathering of Eagles (who I like to call the “Smattering of Pigeons”) groups last Saturday where they had 1/100th of the numbers of the true “Support the Troops” (and the people of Iraq) rally and march that was sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition, we pro-peace people were even called “Communists” several times. I have asked people what they mean when they call me that so-last century epithet and they say: “Yeah, you hate America.” Well, for all of those who have eyes but refuse to see, and ears but refuse to hear, this is what Communist means:

Someone who supports communism which is a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

I don’t see how wanting peace and wanting our government to finally quit lying to us and stop killing people to further their hegemonic goals of bringing corporate America to every corner of the globe makes us Communists; maybe Humanists, patriots or great Americans, but Communists, no. Some people in America do belong to the Communist party, which is not against the law, and it is also not against the law to be a Muslim, yet.

Think about this: America killed over a million Iraqis between Gulf I and this current occupation, and that did not keep my family safe, or the families of the people killed in 9-11. How can one sleep at night thinking that her family is safe when so many people are devastated by the policies that she thinks is keeping her family safe? Never mind the National Intelligence Estimates that have rightly showed that our transgressions in Iraq and such inhumane prison camps as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib are increasing Islamic extremism.

What makes Mrs. Safety think that the Iraqi babies are less precious than her babies? Does the geographic accident of her baby’s births give them more right to be safe than the Iraqi babies? Maybe Mrs. Safety thinks that her babies deserve more protection because they are white and Christian? Or just maybe because they are hers?

Many Muslims and American soldiers have told me that I may have lost a son, but I have gained millions of sons and daughters in my work for global peace and understanding.

They are all our sons and daughters as Casey was your son.

We have to stop giving our leaders free-passes to kill our children, anywhere and everywhere.
What's to argue with here? The analysis may be a bit shallow, for some tastes. But Cindy Sheehan is not writing for the so-called "hard left"; meaning the people who have had a lot of the bigger picture for a long time now. She's writing for the confused middle, for people who still have to make up their minds. There's nothing wrong with what she's doing here, in my opinion. I know not all 9/11-truth types agree with me, but so be it. I'd also be happier if she and others would embrace 9/11-truth and talk about the GWOT rather than the war in Iraq, but then again for the audience Sheehan is trying to reach, the larger picture may be too much too soon. Just my opinion again. Onward. Bit by bit.

Cynthia McKinney

Meanwhile ... on another front, Cynthia McKinney has been a very quiet quasi-signatory to the Warning, and having removed herself from consideration for the 2008 Green Party presidential nomination, she now may be thinking about opposing Hank Johnson for the Congressional seat she once held. Can you believe it? It must be true, as you will see, that Liberalism is not a political philosophy but a disease, a mental disorder that needs to be eradicated as soon as possible.

Cynthia is for me the most mysterious of the maybe-signatories. Her name appeared at the tiop of the list of those who had signed the Warning, according to the press release posted on the net, but her signature didn't appear in any of the photos. Then it was reported that she had given her verbal support because she couldn't be there when the document was being signed.

Personally, my suspicions as to the legitimacy of the Kennebunkport Warning story were first raised when I saw Cynthia McKinney's name listed as a signer, because I had received a message from her mailing list just a few days earlier, and this messge contained her remarks as prepared for the occasion, which didn't venture anywhere near the Warning or any of its main points. This is hardly conclusive evidence of anything, and I could certainly accept the possibility that she had signed the Warning by proxy, so I wrote to her and asked her to confirm or deny certain aspects of the the story.

Not meaning to toot my own kazoo, but Cynthia McKinney is one of the few politicians I have ever supported in any way, and I have done so enthusiastically, for the most part. She has never failed to answer any of my email, and on more than one occasion she has taken the initiative and written to me, once to ask whether her staff had given me all the information I needed for an article I was working on. Not that this means much on its own, but as a point of contrast, this time when I asked her questions, I didn't get any answer at all. I sent several emails, and I even reduced my request to the simplest question I could think of -- whether she could confirm or deny that she hadn't actually been there when the Warning was signed. But I got no answer for that question either. In my opinion this was a mistake on McKinney's part. But then I have never said that anyone was perfect.

I can continue to support people who are not perfect, at least to a certain extent, as long as they don't start doing vicious and evil stuff. And perhaps reading Laurie Dobson has helped me to understand why the usually forthcoming former Congresswoman has been so reluctant to answer my questions. According to Dobson, there was no single time when the Warning was being signed;
People were signing in front of others at the table where it was put on Friday and then also at the rally site on Saturday before the march, and later back at my farm, they signed it on Sunday morning.
You can perhaps start to see why Cynthia McKinney might not want to confirm or deny that she was around when the Warning was being signed. Did she attend the rally, but leave before (or arrive after) the ceremonial signing? Was she aware that the document was available for signature at other times? It all gets complicated very fast.

If she gave her verbal support, did someone read it to her, or simply describe it to her, or did somebody send her the text by email, or in other words, just how did she determine whether or not it was a document that she wanted to sign? I still have no idea. I think these answers would be useful for a more comprehensive (and hopefully comprehensible) explanation of this confusing event.

Even though she's not commenting on the Kennebunkport Warning, Cynthia McKinney is in the news once again. At Georgia Politics Unfiltered, the prospect of McKinney once again running against Hank Johnson smacks of horror (emphasis in original): Anti-war groups may target Hank Johnson for defeat in next year's Democratic primary.
Congressional Quarterly is reporting that House Democrats are peeved [...] that anti-war groups may back primary challengers against Democrats who hesitate to directly challenge President Bush’s Iraq policy.

No primary challenges have yet been announced, but possible targets mentioned by anti-war organizers include five-termer Brian Baird of Washington, six-termer Ellen O. Tauscher of California, eight-termer Albert R. Wynn of Maryland and freshmen Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Hank Johnson of Georgia and Jerry McNerney of California.
[Source: 9/20/2007 CQPolitics article "Possible Primary Challenges Haunt Democrats Struggling With Iraq Policy"]

Can you believe this mess?

Anti-war Democrats want to start an intra-party fight in a presidential election year; a fight that has the potential to divide the party and waste precious resources that could be used instead towards winning the White House and increasing the Democratic majority in Congress.

I'm starting to agree with conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage. Maybe liberalism is a mental disorder.

Oh, and did I mention that Cynthia McKinney is thinking about running for something again? Well, she is. It's in today's AJC ("McKinney hints at running for office again").
Perhaps I'm just too thick to understand the point of view being expressed here, but it makes no sense to me for anti-war people of any party to support pro-war candidates, even if they're in the same party. But then apparently I have the same mental disorder as all the others; it goes along with not liking to see people killed for monetary or political gain, nor for privately formulated public policy reasons.

Ann Wright

Ann Wright, a former diplomat, was one of the four who say the Kennebunkport Warning was not the document they signed. But in the photograph of the page Ann Wright supposedly signed, her "signature" doesn't appear to be a signature at all. Does she always print her name in the style of an eight-year-old child? Does she always sign her name "Ann Wright Col US Army Reserve US diplomat who resigned"?

If Ann Wright had said "Heck no, I didn't sign it. That's not even my signature," I would have found her denial credible, or at least worthy of consideration. But for her to say, in effect, "Yes, I signed it, but this isn't what I signed," appears to me to have missed the credibility boat entirely. I was unable to reach Ann Wright for clarification. I requested her email address from Jamilla, but she didn't want to put me in touch with her friend. Frankly, I found this attitude quite annoying, and it raised some suspicions as well. At the time I had not made my mind up about anything, I was asking people to help me get to the truth and put it on the table as rapidly as possible, and I suppose it's fair to say the people who didn't help me at all in this regard did themselves no good, in my estimation.

Much of the criticism which has been directed at Webster Tarpley -- not just recently but for as long as I've been aware of him -- has been of the guilt-by-association variety, based on his having worked for Lyndon Larouche. I'm no fan of Larouche, and I know many people who think Larouche's political positions are despicable. But that's not the point here. I personally have worked for people whose political positions were far from admirable. But we all live and learn, and I don't support any of them in any way now, so I don't put a lot of stock in guilt-by-past-association. Nonetheless I have wondered about the Larouche connection and what Tarpley has to say about it, and I haven't seen anything from him on this, until now.

Chip Berlet

Webster Tarpley's most recent contribution to the continuing story was prompted by a piece from Chip Berlet, at Daily Kos:

Webster G. Tarpley’s Toxic Waste is Polluting the Antiwar Movement
There is no question that author Webster Griffin Tarpley has become a divisive and destructive force within the U.S. antiwar movement. The real question is why antiwar activists would pay him any attention in the first place.
If this is the "real question" then Chip Berlet must think said antiwar activists are totally uninterested in the truth about 9/11, the lies undergirding the GWOT, the strategic and tactical importance of false flag terror, and/or military history in general.

And it seems that Chip Berlet would be more comfortable if antiwar activists knew nothing about any of these things; it certainly seems like it to me. But he'd probably settle for having leaders of the antiwar movement (such as it is) who refrain from learning or teaching others anything about any of these important topics.
Activists are in an uproar over an incident at a peace encampment in Keenebunkport, Maine where Tarpley is implicated in a stunt where well-known peace activists such as Jamilla El-Shafei, Cindy Sheehan, Dahlia Wasfi, and Ann Wright were tricked into signing a document they thought was merely a call for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. The fine print in the document echoes Tarpley’s claim that Cheney is plotting a pre-election coup using a domestic terrorist attack as an excuse.
This is quite a statement. We've actually seen no credible evidence that anyone was tricked into signing anything, and as we can see from the photographs posted on the net, there was no "fine print". The entire short text of the Kennebunkport Warning was set in the same typeface, and the statement was quite clear.
Tarpley is a former acolyte of crackpot and convicted felon Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. You remember LaRouche. He is generally described as a perennial Presidential candidate who once said the Queen of England ran the global drug trade. Tarpley may have left the LaRouche group, but it has not left him. Tarpley acts as a sockpuppet for LaRouche, spreading delirious venom throughout the antiwar movement. The LaRouche group has a long history of conning people into signing statements based on misleading descriptions of the actual text. Déjà vu.
Guilt by association? Is Tarpley still a LaRouche supporter? What exactly does Chip Berlet mean by "acolyte"? Strange word, is it not?

But I digress. Onward.
With so much factual evidence of wrongdoing, incompetence, malfeasance, and just plain lying on the part of the Bush Administration, there is no reason to spread Tarpley’s gossip. The dramatic erosion of civil liberties in the United States is bad enough without embracing the delusional warnings by Tarpley that “neocons always prefer a coup d'etat to an election.”
How many regime changes do the neocons have to engineer before this delusional warning begins to be taken seriously? Even at that notorious liberal site, Daily Kos?? I shudder to think.
The current tempest traces back to July 4th, 2007 when Philadelphia peace activists held an Emergency Antiwar Convention. It was an attempt to merge the movement against the war in Iraq with the “9/11 Truth” movement. The event featured 9/11 conspiracy films, as well as presentations from Tarpley and another former LaRouchite activist, Lewis DuPont Smith.

According to Tarpley, antiwar activists needed to quickly confront “the Cheney doctrine, which calls for a new super 9/11 with weapons of mass destruction in the US, to be used as the pretext for a nuclear attack on Iran and for martial law at home.”
Although Berlet seems to sneer at this statement, there's nothing particularly striking or speculative about the claim. It's been more than two years since ex-CIA agent Phil Giraldi wrote of Cheney's plan to "retaliate" against Iran using nuclear weapons in the event of any terrorist attack, whether or not Iran was involved.
This is not the first time Tarpley has predicted an apocalyptic political event. In 2004, he posted a warning: "Bush Regime working out Procedures for postponing November Election." The election, needless to say, actually took place as scheduled, although there were legitimate complaints about vote suppression to benefit Republican candidates.
Oh yes, the election did take place as scheduled, but let us not forget that the Bush administration did float a few trial balloons, requesting legal advice on what conditions would be required for an election to be canceled.

In a case such as this, publicizing a threat may be the best way to defuse it; so it's entirely possible that the election took place in part because people including Webster Tarpley made noise when they found out what the administration was doing.

In other words, who can say the precautions would have been unnecessary, had they not been taken?
In 2005 Tarpley published a book that alleged the Bush Administration staged the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA.
And this claim is false, too. Tarpley does not claim that the Bush administration staged the attacks; and in some ways he paints Bush as a victim of the attacks -- a complicit victim, perhaps, but certainly not one of the driving forces behind them. Chip Berlet should actually read the book, before he tells his readers what it says. But only if he wants to be truthful; and there's not much evidence of that in the piece from which I've been quoting.

Berlet concludes his piece this way:
At some point leaders of the antiwar movement need to have a discussion about the larger issue of conspiracism. Right now, however, it is clear that some progressives have been snared by Tarpley’s mesmerizing presentations. This could undermine the credibility of the antiwar movement, alienate its existing base, and jeopardize its relationship with existing allies. This should be obvious no matter what your individual position is on the unanswered questions surrounding 9/11. The antiwar movement needs to welcome individuals from a broad range of political beliefs who share the goal of ending the war in Iraq. However this open door policy should not include allowing charlatans and hucksters to disrupt the movement. It is time to slam the door in the face of Webster G. Tarpley and his ilk.
Whoa? The larger issue of conspiracism? Why is it all of a sudden about conspiracism?

We have all this evidence on the table, of who Dick Cheney is, and what he wants, and how he acts, and how much power he has, and it's quite natural to want to impeach him, in my view. And it's also quite natural to try to "cut him off at the pass", so to speak; to publicize what we know, to connect the dots that mainstream journalists are failing to connect, and it doesn't take a conspiracist to be afraid of what Cheney might have up his sleeve, or to try to alert others to the danger of leaving him in the position he currently enjoys.

There's nothing wrong with any of that, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to unify the opposition, unless you don't happen to favor the opposition.

I've only chosen excerpts from Chip Berlet, but you can click and read it all; you'll notice that he mostly likes to attack Tarpley without ever really dealing with the substance -- let alone the truth or falsity -- of what Tarpley had written. And that's pretty standard, from a certain group of people, who are saying, essentially, "the issue is not Cheney or Iran or false flag terror or martial law; it's the shameful treatment our antiwar heros have suffered from the monstrous Larouche-connected Webster Tarpley.

Webster Tarpley

Tarpley's response is all very interesting but I especially want to draw attention to a particular passage from "The Ford Foundation Attacks The Kennebunkport Warning":
Berlet suggests that I am a sock-puppet for LaRouche. LaRouche drove me out of his organization in 1997, more than ten years ago. I have nothing in common with LaRouche, whose supporters have repeatedly slandered me, albeit in terms slightly different from those used by Berlet. LaRouche is a border guard for the sinister Hillary Clinton-Rahm Emanuel neocon warmonger machine in the Democratic Party. He is currently trying to combine that with the notion that Bush is a force for peace with Putin's Russia ­ a manifest absurdity, since Bush is promoting aggression against Russia in the form of a nuclear first-strike capability. Contrary to what Berlet writes, LaRouche has no commitment to 9/11 truth and has contributed nothing to the 9/11 truth movement. LaRouche has rather sponsored a personality cult complete with a youth movement which is a parody of Chairman Mao's Red Guards of the mid-1960s.
This is as clear a repudiation as you're likely to find, in my opinion. And as I've said all along, who cares who he used to work for? What matters is what he's saying now, and whether it makes sense. We don't have time to argue about who people used to work for. We have to consider what they're saying and doing right now.

And we don't have time to argue about conspiracism either. The paranoid lunatics who are afraid of calling a spade a spade have no business leading anything, in my view, and to me the only plausible explanation for their place at the front of the parade is that they are capable of rendering the antiwar movement (such as it is) completely ineffective.

To anyone who's been paying any sort of attention, it can't just be about the war in Iraq. We aren't going to make anything any better if we somehow shift the levers of power just a little bit and redeploy the troops to Afghanistan, or Saudi Arabia, or Somalia, or anywhere else at all. Not to mention Iran.

How can an anti-war movement be worth anything, if it's only anti- one war, and not anti- all of them? If we don't talk openly about the lies that have been told -- lies that have been bought and sold! -- to "justify" the wars -- all these wars! -- then what's the point?

The answer of course is that there is none, and there those who like it that way.

Chip Berlet appears to be one of these people; as his biography explains:
Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, has spent over twenty-five years studying prejudice, demonization, scapegoating, demagoguery, conspiracism, and authoritarianism. He has investigated far-right hate groups, reactionary backlash movements, theocratic fundamentalism, civil liberties violations, police misconduct, government and private surveillance abuse, and other anti-democratic phenomena. He is a lively speaker defending democracy and diversity.
Dare we delve into the realm of "conspiracism"?

I guess we have to. I couldn't find the word in the dictionary. Had to go to Wikipedia, which of course is an open source encyclopedia, edited by many with axes to grind. So I had a short course in "conspiracism" courtesy of Wikipedia, and I found it to be pseudo-scientific gobbledegook, the purpose of which seems to facilitating attacks on those who investigate conspiracies.

Webster Tarpley sees 9/11-truth as the issue that ties everything together, and I agree with him about that. I don't like the way he phrases it: he shoots himself in the foot sometimes just by turning an overly florid phrase.

He says 9/11 is "morally and intellectually superior" to all the other issues. I don't see it that way. I wouldn't want to claim moral or intellectual superiority for any single issue. Even if it's true -- if that's even possible -- it's still an impossible position to defend, and it's unnecessary to phrase it in those terms.

I think of 9/11 as the hinge on which the GWOT swings, and/or the glue that holds the Bush administration together. But whatever the wording, I think he's exactly right when he says everything else this administration has done has depended on the events of 9/11, which even if they didn't cause them, they certainly have lied about them for gross political advantage.

I'm right with Webster Tarpley when he says the GWOT is the "justification" for everything: whether your personal hot-button issue is education (we can't fund our schools properly because of the GWOT) or habeas corpus (people can be held forever without hearing or trial or appeal, because of the GWOT) or health care (the government can't help people pay for their health care, because of the GWOT) or torture (the president actually claims the right to define "torture" as he sees "fit", because of the GWOT) ... civil rights, religious freedom, illegal domestic surveillance, the militarization of the police, everything they're doing depends on the GWOT, and the GWOT depends on 9/11.

If it's all based on a lie, or more accurately a pack of lies, then the most logical way to stop it would be to expose the lie(s). So what could be tactically or strategically wrong with trying to unify the opposition? In fact, it seems the perfect strategy, and the only way to counteract the administration's divide-and-conquer approach. There's only one drawback, of course, and that's only a drawback from a particular point of view. A united opposition would be much more effective.

So it makes sense to take a closer look at some of the people who have been writing a lot about this issue and see whether they have been making sense.

What appears to be a sham investigation has been posted at truth action dot org, featuring the investigative work of bloggers using the names JoanJones, Arabesque, and Col. Jenny Sparks.

JoanJones remains much of a mystery to me, as does their cohort Cosmos, but I have taken a particular interest in the other two, and the following remarks point out just a fraction of what I have seen from them.


A fascinating case, this Arabesque. Here's the best vignette I can give you:

In a revealing sequence at, USAPatriot wrote:
Gut feeling / intuition may be a good place to start, but it gets trumped by common sense—and totally wiped out by hard evidence.

But at this point, I doubt any amount of evidence will change the minds of those who are deeply invested in the hoax theory. Joan Jones, Jenny Sparks, Arabesque et al. have put so much time and energy into persuading themselves that it was a hoax—based on “evidence” that is circumstantial at best, manufactured at worst, and inadmissible in any court trying this issue—that it may be impossible for them to let go of it.

Will you all be able to change your minds once the truth is proved scientifically? Or will Dahlia Wasfi and the others continue to deny that they signed the KW, despite verification by a handwriting and documents expert? And will you then accuse those of us who believe Laurie Dobson and Bruce Marshall and the scientific evidence of being conspiracy nuts?

Maybe there’s a lesson here… to help us understand how 9/11 truth is resisted by people who are deeply invested in the official story. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but I really think it's enlightening.

In any case, there’s no question that the whole thing was handled poorly on all sides, and it’ll take sincere apologies and forgiveness—on all sides—to get beyond it.

Can we all just admit our mistakes, forgive each other and heal before starting a weekend of commemorations for the sixth anniversary of 9/11?
Arabesque stated his case quite clearly in reply:
Thanks, but there is more to the story.

I emphasize:

This is not about signatures. This is not about a warning

This is about divisive attacks against non-9/11 activists.

Four of the promoters of this warning have ties to LaRouche (including the two people most responsible for it). Four of them have promoted DEW. The "eyewitness" you cited above and quoted in this blog above (another LaRouche associate) fails to account for a simple fact:

All of the signers have the EXACT same story about what the DID sign. If they were lying, it would mean that

1) They joined together to come up with the same story of what they did sign. That is a conspiracy theory my friends.
2) They would sign the document and then decide to come up with a story about why they didn't sign. Can you think of a motive why they would do this?

If these facts don't raise eyebrows, I don't know what will. I don't claim to have the full story. I am trying to get it.

This is about divisive accusations and attacks in an apparent attempt to split the 9/11 truth and anti-war movements.

It is important for THIS reason, and that is why I am trying to get to the truth of the matter. This article by Webster Tarpley is filled with divisive and inflammatory language.

Why? How does THIS help the 9/11 truth movement? How does THIS article by Webster Tarpley build bridges? Where are the apologies? Where is the unity?
Some twerp came along at that point and said:
I'm not sure how much good one can do by telling others what "the issue" is. Everybody sees things differently, everybody has their own opinions, and by now I think most of us know that in politics, whoever defines "the issue" is gonna win "the debate". So I don't see any lasting value in trying to specify what "the issue" is, since that's widely seen as a propaganda technique. I don't see any problem with a statement like "To me the most important aspect of the story is ... " but that's a lot different from "The issue is ... "

It seems to me that you don't really mean "All of the signers have the EXACT same story about what they DID sign."

After all, if that were true, there would be no controversy and we'd have moved on to something else.

More accurately, perhaps, all of the people who have retracted their signatures are telling the exact same story. And this is not difficult to account for at all, unless you can prove that they have been unable to contact one another.

People do indeed collaborate to come up with a story which they all then tell. In fact it is obvious that this is what has happened in this case. Correct me if I'm wrong but it does not appear that they each independently provided their own versions of events, which could be cross-checked for consistency. They just put out a single statement with all their names on it. Cindy Sheehan added a few words, in email, if I recall, but not many. As far as I know, Ann Wright has not made any public statement whatsoever; clearly she's content to speak through the others ... so in this sense they haven't even made an effort to hide the fact that they're collaborating. Under such conditions it would be extremely odd if they weren't telling the exact same story.

And if they are lying, then this is indeed a conspiracy theory. But so what? Is your statement "That is a conspiracy theory my friends" intended to shut down the discussion? That's what it usually means when we hear it elsewhere.

We know conspiracies happen. We know all sorts of racketeering investigations are going on all the time. So the "conspiracy theory" tag is really no objection. And even if they are telling the same story but not lying, in other words if they're telling the same story because that's what happened, then in that case we have a conspiracy theory too: i.e. the Larouche-connected faux-Greens (Marshall, Hill, Tarpley and Dobson) conspired to fraudulently obtain signatures for one document by circulating another. I'm pretty sure these are the only two possibilities. I don't think it's possible to imagine a scenario in which the current state of affairs could have been reached without a conspiracy of one kind or another. So calling one alternative or another "a conspiracy theory" is not very helpful.

And YES, I can think of a motive why people would choose to lie about something like this. I can think of several different motives.So that part was easy.

In my opinion the story coming from Sheehan, Wright et. al. is very weak in several different ways. I've been trying to contact them to ask for clarification, hoping they might strengthen their tale to the point where I could believe it, but they don't want to talk. That makes their story even fishier in my opinion.
Arabesque replied this way:
I don't have the time to make a lengthy reply except to say I think you make some good points here.

Those of us "conspiracy theorists" are used (or "ab-used") to the term, and I am fully aware that the opposite possibility is a conspiracy theory. I meant no bias in this characterization, and if it was interpreted this way it was not my intent.
But later on other sites, Arabesque continued to push the notion that Webster Tarpley must be lying, because all four women were telling exactly the same story. And this despite not his being able to deny -- much less refute -- the twerp's deconstruction of the supposedly conclusive evidence.

Jenny Sparks

It's an utter sham, exceeded in some fashion or another by the actions of the aforementioned Col. Jenny Sparks, whose posts at truth action dot org caught my eye early on. Col. Jenny Sparks sprang into action as soon as the charges of "hoax" appeared, digging up email addresses and asking some people some questions, and she posted their responses in a thread there. The Colonel seemed to me to have a strange way of evaluating the incoming material; for example she found a very short statement from Cindy Sheehan to be most telling, even though it contained no detail to speak of; but she dismissed as "wordy" a long and detailed description of the event which she received from Craig Hill.

It seemed to me that Craig Hill's account should have been taken seriously, especially in light of a comment posted at Daily Kos by Laurie Dobson (before she had her own blog). The stories told by Hill and Dobson were quite different, but they corroborated each other in a large number of ways. This seems to me to be more convincing evidence than a single statement with the names of four people at the bottom. Witnesses openly collaborating to corroborate one another just doesn't cut it for me, but perhaps that merely says something about my alleged critical thinking skills.

Jenny Sparks caught my attention and I registered at Truth Action dot org and struck up a short conversation with her via the site's internal PM system. I mentioned to Jenny that I was still looking for a credible explanation from Ann Wright, and I asked her how I might get in touch with Ann. I also asked if Ann Wright had ever responded to questions from Jenny, because there was no sign of any word from Ann Wright in Jenny Sparks' reporting. Jenny Sparks wrote back suggesting I should try to reach Ann Wright through Jamilla El-Shafei, and she also assured me that she had published everything she had received ... except for the bits that might hurt the investigation [and here she threw me a wink].

I have held my tongue on the matter, but you can be sure I was surprised when she left me this comment:
Some of you lot seem to be confused as to what the problem is. The Kennebunkport HOAX is a problem because it shows how vulnerable 9/11 Truth is to disruption--both of activism poisoning our relationships with allies.

It was a set up to drive a wedge between 9/11 Truth and anti-war activists. Only because some of us were on the case and WENT OUT OF OUR WAY to contact these alledged signees, did that wedge fail. Webster Tarpley himself sent this so called warning to reprehensor of 911Blogger on or about 6:00am EDT Monday, 27th of August. Webster Tarpley himself insulted not only Cindy Sheehan and Dahlia Walsi, but the 9/11 activists at, including Cosmos who lost an Uncle on 9/11.

Move on? Let this go? FUCK NO.

Might there be a false flag event? Maybe. Might "they" be planning one? Probably. Are they out to manufacture an excuse to invade Iran? Absolutely. But if you haven't had your head up your arse, you already knew all that. You didn't need the Kennebunkport Bollocks to tell you that.

This "Warning" has nothing to do with an imminent attack--it was a psyop from word go. Get yourself learned:
and then she posted some links to her and her friends' "expose" of the "psyop", followed by
The problem remains because a promminient 9/11 researcher--Tarpley--has lied about and insulted activists on both side without apology. This is what some call a PR nightmare--and we can all agree that 9/11 Truth doesn't need anymore of those. The ONLY way out for Tarpley is a public apology.
Jenny Sparks does make some sense to me. When she says "Some of you lot do seem quite confused about what the problem is," I can certainly agree with that. But in my view Jenny Sparks herself is one of the big reasons for this confusion.

I replied to her as follows:
Jenny Sparks:

You have a lot of nerve coming here and posting these lies on my blog, especially after the PM you sent me.

Do you want me to post that?

I would be very happy to do so.
And now I suppose it's just a convenient coincidence that I can no longer log on to truth action dot org. Their software tells me I can request a new password, but when I provide my user ID and my email address it says they don't match. How convenient is that? How coincidental?

Is Jenny Sparks actually concerned about finding out the truth? In her own words, "FUCK NO."

She's interested in smearing Webster Tarpley, who wasn't even in Kennebunkport that weekend.

This continuing-though-already-discredited campaign by Jenny Sparks and Arabesque and others, to dismiss Tarpley and others, based on their reactions to widely believed though totally unsubstantiated allegations of fraud, strikes me as a little more than disingenuous -- especially in light of Jenny Sparks' admission that she didn't publish all the answers she received in response to her questions.

I was astonished, to tell you the truth, not by the dishonesty but by the absolute lack of discretion in revealing such a thing to a total stranger. Foul-mouthed, yes, but certainly no genius, this Jenny Sparks. Some colonel!

[Click the chart for a bigger image and follow along with me here] (and please also read these articles by Charles Shaw: "Regulated Resistance: Is It Possible To Change The System When You Are The System?" and "Regulated Resistance: Pt. 2 - The Gatekeepers of the So-Called Left"

And we're back to Webster Tarpley again now, as he responds to the Chip Berlet piece.

[Did you notice Chip's name on that graphic I told you to click?]:
The [...] scurrilous attack constitutes a declaration of war by the Ford Foundation, the flagship foundation of the US ruling elite and the foundation most engaged in the suppression of domestic political opposition, against the Philadelphia Platform of July 4, 2007, and the Kennebunkport Warning, published on August 26, 2007. These documents can be viewed at The author of the [...] screed is the slimy character assassin Chip Berlet, the leading figure of Political Research Associates of Massachusetts, an entity which, according to published accounts, received some $325,000 in funding from the Ford Foundation between 2002 and 2006.

This article represents a strategic decision on the part of Berlet's Ford Foundation paymasters that the Philadelphia and Kennebunkport documents represent a threat to the political hegemony of the financier elite who are betting on synthetic terrorism, new false flag operations, and a nuclear attack on Iran to clear the way for totalitarian rule in the US. The Ford Foundation is now committing considerable resources, not just to maintain the US peace, impeachment, and anti-globalization movements in their current fragmented and ineffective form, but also specifically to sabotage the Philadelphia and Kennebunkport initiatives.

From now on, as a rule of thumb, it will be fair to say that those seeking to tear down the Philadelphia and Kennebunkport convergence clearly represent the running dogs of the Ford Foundation, operating as stooges, pawns, foot soldiers and water carriers for the infamous Berlet, and deserving to be exposed as such. Whether they are conscious, paid agents or merely dupes can be determined later on. We must also recall that, under Reagan's Executive Order 12333, the classic functions of the cold war CIA and FBI have been privatized into various fronts, and especially into foundations. These days, to be foundation funded often implies a close but surreptitious link to the intelligence community.

The Philadelphia Platform seeks to unite the antiwar, impeachment, anti-globalization, labor, civil rights, civil liberties, fair elections, and related movements into a single united front outside of the Republican and Democratic Parties. It calls for the immediate impeachment of Bush and Cheney, and end to all US aggression everywhere, the rollback of the police state, and rule by people, not bankers, with the entire effort energized by 9/11 truth. It urges people to engage in mass political education, to take back the airwaves, and to run for Congress. The Kennebunkport Warning calls for action to head off the present war emergency, marked by daily reports of the Cheney faction pressing for a nuclear attack on Iran, to be covered in turn by a new 9/11 and/or a new Gulf of Tonkin incident. This danger has been underlined by the recent Israeli bombing of Syria, and by the August 30 rogue nuclear-armed B-52 affair, with the mysterious deaths of personnel associated with that incident.

Activists of the 9/11 truth movement will recall Berlet as the gutter thug brought in by the foundation-backed Amy Goodman on her deeply compromised Democracy Now program to harass David Ray Griffin a couple of years ago. Berlet worked for the National Student Association, which was exposed as a CIA front. His true expertise is in narcotics, which he acquired during a stint as Washington DC bureau chief for High Times Magazine. More recently, Berlet appeared on the History Channel's 9/11 Conspiracies broadcast to slander of the entire 9/11 truth movement as mentally unbalanced individuals who have a pathological need to believe in conspiracies. Berlet has been slandering 9/11 truth activists for many years. After these interventions, Berlet's status as a raving enemy of 9/11 truth is beyond dispute. His credentials as a sincere antiwar activist are equally lacking. Notice below that Berlet, in all his inveighing against Kennebunkport, never mentions the main themes, which are a new false flag terror op coming out of Cheney's faction, a nuclear attack on Iran, and a new world war. These are issues Berlet does not want to publicize.
Scott Ritter has no trouble speaking of them, and he explains extremely clearly why Iran is not a nuclear weapons threat, how we can tell Iran is not a large-scale supporter of terrorism, how the administration defines its national security policy in public documents, and much else.

It's a good clip, nearly an hour long but definitely worth watching.

VIDEO: Scott Ritter: Crisis in US-Iranian Relations

And here's more from Webster Tarpley:
From the beginning, supporters of Kennebunkport have argued that the four signers who claimed they did not sign, and then deplorably covered their retreat with a barrage of wild charges of forgery, most probably did so because they feared that their foundation funding might be terminated. Now, with Berlet's broadside, the role of the Ford Foundation in the entire matter becomes evident. The Ford Foundation is the mother ship of a whole array of lesser foundations of both left and right political coloration who work to perpetuate the dominant power of the financier oligarchy. Thanks to Berlet, all foundation operatives in the domestic cointelpro apparatus now know who their immediate enemy is. Everyone who is foundation funded knows where their bread is buttered, and they are expected to earn their pay by reacting accordingly. Watch them as they come forward. Persons of good will can also use the Berlet slander as a reliable moral guide to what is actually going on here, and join the growing and distinguished list of supporters of the Kennebunkport warning at Act Independent dot org.

In short, those who slander and sabotage the Philadelphia-Kennebunkport convergence strategy are marching together with Chip Berlet under the banner of the Ford Foundation. Draw your own conclusions carefully. The great question of a new general war may depend on it.
Arabesque has replied and he's still pleading for an answer to his pressing question: Why won't Tarpley concede that the real issue is whatever Arabesque says it is?

Col. Jenny Sparks has posted a recap of how How we broke the Kennebunkport Hoax Story and it's a doozy. You can see how their suspicions were initially aroused when it turned out that Tarpley had included as evidence a story from FOX News that ran in 2005. This was evidence of what, exactly? Including a two-year old item in an intelligence report is grounds for discrediting it? Frankly, I've never heard of anything so childish. What's the story here, do we only pay attention to things that have been reported in the last six weeks? Why that should set their alarm bells ringing still puzzles me, unless ...

And here's another thing that puzzles me, unless... Neither Arabesque nor Jenny Sparks accept comments on their blogs. If I could, I would visit them and leave them polite comments asking why Tarpley should apologize? Why those who accused Tarpley and Marshall of fraud were never asked to provide evidence supporting their claims, which were lauded immediately as obviously true, even though there was no actual evidence supporting them, and even though they had obviously agreed to corroborate one another before issuing their supposedly definitive "group statement".

In the presence of much evidence challenging their story -- including an undisputed email from one of the four admitting she hadn't read the document whose text she later said had been changed -- and in the absence of any credible evidence supporting their story, one can't help but wonder why the "investigation" was so quick to reach such damning conclusions ... unless ...

Those who screamed "fraud" and those who called "hoax!" are the ones who should be apologizing, I would say. Tarpley should try to keep his temper in check; his command of the language is too powerful to allow his mouth to run ahead of his brain. Cynthia McKinney probably won't say "put my name on that" anytime soon. Ann Wright should learn how to hold a pen and try to keep her signature to a minimum. Cindy Sheehan as much as admitted she hadn't read the warning twice in cryptic messages that were consumed whole as if blessed from above. Why is her credibility not damaged by this event? Because it's under fire from another direction and that's her primary role here, unless I am much mistaken. She can't lose credibility by joining a few others in endorsing an obvious lie that's also an unwarranted smear! She still has to be the face of the antiwar movement!

Lou Reed had something to say about this, in a song I've sung many times. We played it in E, by the way, with a reggae lilt; it's been done a lot of ways by a lot of people, of course. But it all comes down to this:
Anyone who ever had a heart
Wouldn't turn around and break it
Anyone who ever played a part
Wouldn't turn around and hate it
Make sure you watch that video from Scott Ritter: Crisis in US-Iranian Relations. It's really good. And finally...

It's been a huge post and not much fun to write, but I thank you for reading it. And in return for your kindness I offer you the following musical dismount!

Lou Reed "Sings" Sweet Jane


Laurie Dobson posted in the comments a "letter of apology" to the former signatories from ... [you'll never guess who sent them an apology!] ... Jenny Sparks!!:
Subject: Our apologies from the 9/11 Truth Movement
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2007 17:02:23 -0400

Hello all!

On behalf of the 9/11 Truth Movement, allow me to apologize for the shabby public treatment you and your lot in the peace movement are receiving from the likes of Bruce Marshall and those who support his tactics.

As 9/11 activists one of our foremost goals is exposing the history of false-flag operations, like the Reichstag Fire and Operation Gladio, that are used by the rich and powerful to manipulate populations into accepting wars of profit.

As such, we value our alliances with the anti-war movement and it is inexcusable that, even if this has been an innocent gaff or misunderstanding, for anyone to label you as liars because you honestly recall something different.

I understand and respect that many of you do not agree that the attacks of 9/11 were a false flag event. It's not a pleasant prospect and being faced with the possibility that the situation is that intrinsically corrupt is overwhelming.

And nonetheless you have given us, in 9/11 Truth, kind words of support, whilst clarifying you did NOT sign this Kennebunkport Warning as it is written.

For that we are grateful and will continue to work to build alliances with and support the anti-war movement, disruption be damned. As has been said here:
Forgive me if I take the word of Cindy Sheehan over a bunch of space-beam LaRouchies who think Gandhi and MLK had low self-steem. Yes, it's theoretically possible that all five women are lying or backtracking or what have you -- and I will gladly reverse my suspicions if evidence arises proving as much -- but I somehow doubt that will happen. Even if it does, you might say that the damage has already been done.
Splendid wording here, don't you think? "Somehow I doubt that will happen."

Especially since it seems quite clear that Jenny Sparks already knew what had really happened.
The Bunkport crowd has behaved atrociously. Even now they refuse to withdraw their (poorly) worded warning. Instead they appear to be trying to aggravate the situation by labeling Cindy Sheehan a "wretched liar".

I'm sorry, but even if their contention of what occurred is entirely correct, their behavior in the aftermath of the scandal has been even worse than the original allegation.
Note well: Losing your temper after being falsely accused of fraud and going on to say some unkind things about well-respected people who happen to be telling a vicious lie about you is "even worse" than falsely accusing someone of fraud in the first place.
"Again, we are so sorry you have been dragged into, and subjected to, this rubbish. Be assured that 9/11Truth is full of progressive people who want to work for our common goals. And we will do everything in our power (such as it is) to get to the bottom of this business.
Apparently Jenny Sparks' power to get to the bottom of things is limited indeed.
Thanks again for your help in trying to sort this rubbish. Together we can stop wars -- FOREVER. And that's what scares those in high places -- that's why they want to drive a wedge between us. So let's not let that happen, eh?


Jenny "Col. Jenny Sparks" of 9/11 Blogger
I had seen this letter posted at truth action dot org and I was appalled at the number of posts there were congratulating her on her fine effort. I chose not to mention it in the original post because I thought Colonel Sparks was sufficiently discredited there already, and the post was certainly long enough. But I do want to mention that letter here, especially because of what happened when it reached Dahlia Wafsi.

Dahlia Wafsi forwarded it to Jamilla El-Shafei with the following text appended:
From: Dahlia Wasfi
To: Jamilla El-Shafei

Dear Jamilla

You are in the center of the storm...but hang tough....the truth has a way of coming to light....on Iraq, on 9/11, and on us.

You're not alone, and those who tried to discredit you are being exposed.

With love,

P.S. If you want to forward this, feel free.
Isn't that a remarkable sentiment?

Think about this for a minute: Clearly Dahlia knows that Jamilla is lying. She knows Jamilla signed it, just as Laurie Dobson knows, just as everybody who was at the rally have known all along, just as you and I know now too.

And the lie Jamilla is telling is not not just a simple self-exculpatory lie: Dahlia and Jamilla and their co-former-signatories have charged certain other people with deliberate fraud, and they're walking away from the scene of the crime without even being asked to prove their claim. This suits them so well that they are now pretending to each other that they are in the right!
"You're not alone, and those who tried to discredit you are being exposed."
Isn't that lovely?

And now, here's the kicker: How did Laurie Dobson get this letter?

Jamilla El-Shafei forwarded it to her. And Jamilla was saying:
Look at this, Laurie. We got an apology from Jenny Sparks and the people who tried to discredit us are being exposed!
How twisted does it get? The people who are telling the truth are being "exposed" by a handful of bloggers who are protecting a lie.

Explain to me how protecting a lie helps to unify the truth movement.

I'll leave the final words to Laurie Dobson (with my emphasis):
This email showed me that there was a complete lack of shame for originally spreading false charges against the defenders of the Warning. I hope people can begin to appreciate the outrage that this engendered.

I respected Cindy Sheehan and it was on her urging to be courageous that I signed the KW myself at the rally. To have her quickly shred its credibility by saying it was shady was a damning and destructive act. I know she's prone to impulsive action but leaders have to be accountable. She threw my actions and everyone else's who signed it into question. She shouldn't get off with a poor Cindy excuse. If she needs excuses, she is not fit for office.

If she can't cut it, herself, she especially shouldn't be calling people out to do risky things, like shutting down Washington and lie down in the streets. She could at least express regret for being so quick to accuse people of perpetrating falsehoods and for throwing the reputations of others down the drain so rapidly. No: she doesn't get a pass from me on this one. Let's have one standard for everybody. Let's be fair across the board.

Second Update

Jamilla El-Shafei gets the last word after all, or close to it, anyway.

Having lent her name and her support to a false allegation of fraud, and upon being pressed by friends to come forward with the truth of the matter, Jamilla El-Shafei wrote:
Dahlia, Ann Wright, Cindy Sheehan and I gave a statement. Since then, people would p[re]fer to keep this whole mess stirred up and I have to ask myself why.

Bruce [Marshall]'s methods of getting HIS warning out there was just not good process and his attacks since then are harmful. I cannot support him.

[...] you must have way to much time on your hands if you are dwelling [on] it in the gossipy realm of the blog[o]sphere. I refuse to do that, as I am too busy. Keeping this going is not helpful to the movement which is usually why these things get perpetrated, as it is a technique to divide not unite. It smells bad and I want NO PART OF IT.

... please take my name off your email lists as I do not want to hear from you regarding this matter again. If I do, your emails will just be deleted so please stop wasting everyone's time.
I can't say I disagree with Jamilla. If I had told a such a brazen lie and appeared to be getting away with it, I certainly wouldn't want to dwell on it in the gossipy realm of the blogosphere. In fact, I wouldn't want anybody dwelling on it anywhere, gossipy or not. I'd say it smelled bad, and I would want NO PART OF IT either.

This is a letter to a friend?
please take my name off your email lists as I do not want to hear from you regarding this matter again.
I might have chosen the wrong song. Here's a second musical dismount.
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to
So that when they turn their backs on you
You'll get the chance to put the knife in

Third Update

Jenny Sparks, whose credibility was challenged in this post, has chosen to respond, indirectly, with an outright lie! I know about this because she left a comment for me on another thread, linking to a post she wrote which supposedly ends the discussion, in her opinion.

The comment in itself reveals her utter contempt for journalistic standards or indeed any semblance of objectivity.

Is the Oregon Truth Alliance Grassroots or Astroturf?

Now run along and tell your mates Fetzer, Captain May, Ginny Ross and Haupt...

game, set and match--to us, luv.

Better luck next time...

Jenny Sparks | 09.23.07 - 11:36 pm | #
The link leads to a long post drawing connections among a dozen or so people, none of whom is me. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just collateral damage, apparently, in the game, set and match that Jenny Sparks is playing in her mind. She says as much with the comment
he's beside the point
In other words, I'm beside the point she's trying to make in the article about the tennis match that's going on in her mind. And that's ok with me.

But not this bit:
Mind, he confuses my PM exchanges with my post on his blog, but we can't expect people who are going to excuse the Kennebunkport rubbish to be tracking facts.
I don't think there's any confusion about PM exchanges and Jenny's post on my blog. They occurred in the order listed, as is quite clear from the following bit from the post:
Jenny Sparks caught my attention and I registered at Truth Action dot org and struck up a short conversation with her via the site's internal PM system. I mentioned to Jenny that I was still looking for a credible explanation from Ann Wright, and I asked her how I might get in touch with Ann. I also asked if Ann Wright had ever responded to questions from Jenny, because there was no sign of any word from Ann Wright in Jenny Sparks' reporting. Jenny Sparks wrote back suggesting I should try to reach Ann Wright through Jamilla El-Shafei, and she also assured me that she had published everything she had received ... except for the bits that might hurt the investigation [and here she threw me a wink].

I have held my tongue on the matter, but you can be sure I was surprised when she left me this comment:
The post goes on to quote the comment and my reply. In the reply, I mentioned the exchange of PMs for the first time. Why would Jenny Sparks choose to talk about this fabricated issue -- of all things? Oh, right: because she can't afford to tell the truth! And I'm beside the point because her mission after all is distraction by ad-hominem and guilt-by-association, and she probably can't find any evidence that I'm associated with any of these people, assuming that she looked for such evidence, which, let's be honest, it's hard to imagine Jenny Sparks looking for evidence. Her mind was made up a long time ago.

The problem for Jenny Sparks is that the truth -- the objective, verifiable, truth about the Kennebunkport Warning -- stands in the way of her story. And no matter how much research she does, if she does any, Jenny Sparks will only find me associated with objective, verifiable truth and the pursuit thereof. Nothing more, nothing less. I am not tied to any of the people she lists, in any way. In fact there are people on the list I have never heard of. And there are probably more people on the list who have never heard of me.

And that's the other reason why I'm dangerous to Jenny Sparks: because I'm not trying to grind anyone's axes here. I just want the truth of the matter to be public knowledge, and that hasn't been happening so I chose to write about it.

And the truth is that Jenny Sparks is lying about a number of things at the same time when she writes:
he confuses my PM exchanges with my post on his blog, but we can't expect people who are going to excuse the Kennebunkport rubbish to be tracking facts.
The sad fact -- sad for Jenny Sparks and the tennis game that is already over everywhere else but in her own mind -- I have only been tracking facts.

I've been watching what's been happening, and I've seen the facts of the case utterly disregarded by a handful of self-appointed "investigators", one of whom was so bold -- and so stupid -- as to admit -- unprovoked! to a total stranger! -- that she was deliberately concealing evidence.

The Evidence

On the one hand we have a handful of brief typed messages, one of which is supposedly conclusive because it is endorsed by four people who are all telling exactly the same story.

On other hand we have photographic evidence of a piece of paper with the specified text followed by the signatures of the people who now say they didn't sign it, and scores of eyewitnesses who saw those people sign that paper, and about three dozen other signatories, all of whom have put their names on the same document we've been discussing and who have never denied signing it, neer called it a hoax, and never said there was anything "shady" about it.

And there's also Laurie Dobson, who hosted about 75 campers for the weekend, many of whom signed the Kennebunkport Warning in her kitchen, and who has been blogging about what happened. Laurie has published an email from Jamilla El-Shafei, one of the four alleged non-signatories, in which Jamilla admits having signed the Kennebunkport Warning without reading it.

Jamilla's publicly stated position at the moment is that the document she signed was not the Kennebunkport Warning. She actually signed some other document, and the text was changed after she signed it.

And to questions such as "How do you know whether the text was changed if you didn't read it?", Jamilla's response is "don't send me any more email."

Meanwhile Jenny Sparks takes it upon herself to gathers up the "evidence"; then she decides which "evidence" counts and which doesn't count, and based on her chosen subset of the "evidence", she declares a "winner" in the tennis game that's going on in her mind.

And based on her slanted version of the case, and her lie about my allegedly confusing the PM exchange with the comment she left on my blog (which prompted me to mention that PM exchange), she declares that I'm not only beside the point but also that this is to be expected, because
we can't expect people who are going to excuse the Kennebunkport rubbish to be tracking facts.
For the record: any blogger, author, webmaster or soapbox poet may quote me and and/or provide links to my material; I have no control of who does so and who doesn't. It doesn't matter to me in the slightest whether the Oregon Truth Alliance is Grassroots or Astroturf and I don't care whether they're smoking basil or oregano either.

The Kennebunkport "rubbish" is being delivered by Jenny Sparks and "her lot" -- not by me.

I'm just tracking the facts -- the opposite of what Jenny Sparks says about me.

And I'm not the slightest bit confused between an exchange of PMs at truth action dot org and a comment Jenny Sparks left at my blog several days later.

How come everything Jenny Sparks says about me is exactly the opposite of the truth? That's so Rovian!

But she's not even smart enough to pretend to be impartial.
game, set and match--to us, luv.

Better luck next time...
Thanks, Jenny. I couldn't have said it better, myself.