Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Spying, Marjorie Cohn

"On the Dangers of an Unchecked Bully Boy" is where you need to start. C.I. wrote that back in February of 2006. I'd also recommend you read C.I.'s "NYT: In a Dispute, Army Cancels Rebuilding Contract in Iraq (Glanz and Rhode)" from May of 2006 because toll slips are addressed. Sunny greeted me between morning sessions with, "I think you just got homework." She was referring to a comment in C.I.'s "NYT sells the war again and plays damage control for the 'family jewels" this morning that noted:

*I'm guessing Elaine will write something about this topic tonight so check out Like Maria Said Paz later today.

I was actually considering writing something (and had mentioned that to C.I. last weekend) but was hesitating to avoid butting in. Friday Kat's "Ford and CIA discuss Jane Fonda, Kissinger tries to cover his own War Criminal ass" covered this. Then, yesterday, Rebecca's "gonzales & other scandals" covered it. They're both fine with it (as was C.I. when I brought it up last weekend).

If you're late, we're talking about governmental spying. Those who lived through the Vietnam period should expect a file was kept on them by some governmental agency if they ever marched, spoke, signed a petition, wrote a letter to the editor or did anything to attempt and end that illegal war. There were spies all around.

When C.I. took the GRE -- and got those high scores, but amazing on analytical -- we were all shocked by what happened next. This story is shared with C.I.'s permission, by the way. A professor of the 'left,' one that was admired on campus by students, wanted C.I. to meet someone only C.I. wasn't in class. Neither was I. We were making signs if I remember right and had skipped class. Rebecca was in class and she took the message. It was for lunch the next day. Rebecca being Rebecca, had several dates that day and forgot all about the message until the next day. When C.I. got it, it was too late to cancel and C.I. was honestly confused why a professor wanted to set up a meeting. Was this some sort of fix up? That was Rebecca's guess. C.I. doubted that (and noted it would be over real quick if it was) but did do the lunch meeting. At the meeting, C.I. learned the man was with the CIA.

I was not present so I cannot speak to the volume deployed when that came out. I do know that C.I. was furious and very loud after (and I can guess C.I. was loud and vocal at the lunch). We were all shocked. Here was this professor that students thought was so cool and so liberal and he was recruiting for the CIA? We were all outraged because the CIA's reputation was well known (and would only become better known -- which may be what finally killed the TV show Mission Impossible which was never as 'wonderful' as some thought if you paid attention to reality or, for that matter, the television program). By the way, it was the incredible analytical scores on the GRE that interested the CIA.

That evening, the professor had received word from his friend (or employer?) of how it went and rushes over to our apartment (he'd never been there before) and was rushing to apologize and begging C.I. not to say a word. This was an admired academic (he still is) and he was a recruiter for the CIA. In classes and conversation, he would speak about the importance of self-determination for various regions. In reality, he was in bed with the agency subverting democracy around the world. Everyone thought he was "hip" -- to use the vernacular of the time -- and the only professor who "got us." The reality is he was probably "getting us" for something other than educating us.

Now we weren't naive. We knew then that, for instance, diplomats and journalists were often also CIA. We weren't surprised by the notion of a traitor in the midst, by that point the peace movement was very aware that there were many traitors in the midst and that, along with spies, there were also those advocating actions that would subvert or disgrace the movement.
But it was a shock that the professor everyone thought of as so left, so against the illegal war, so pro-democracy, was nothing but a CIA asset.

C.I. told us to do what we wanted "but I'm withdrawing from the class tomorrow." Rebecca pointed out that it might be too late and C.I. replied something about going to dean and explaining that this wasn't why the university was being paid tuition. (C.I. did do that. We were all dropped from the class with no other questions or issues raised.)

But that was the first real sign of how deep the spying could go. Growing up, C.I. and I both knew of certain people who were said to be with "The Agency." But they were, again, diplomats and journalists, for the most part. To find someone in our own midst, someone that, prior to that lunch, we would have all vouched for, with that connection was a real testament to the agency's reach and an eye opener.

During the Church Committee, I believe, Ms. magazine published an article about the vast efforts to spy on the women's movement. The women's movement was actually an obsession with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI was the agency there. I remember reading that article and not being at all surprised and that was partly because so much had come out to confirm most people's suspicions and partly because after the incident with the professor, I don't think I was shockable again on the topic of spying.

Spying's going on now, of course. One of the funniest things, sidebar story, was during Watergate, C.I. developed this coded way of our talking -- Rebecca, C.I. and myself -- in case we ever needed it. We now generally speak that way on the phone now (and lots of luck to anyone who listens in and tries to figure out when it pops in and what we're discussing). Rebecca and I would tease C.I. back then and laugh about how there was no need for it. All the exposures, all the revelations, these bad days were gone. The American people had seen what had gone down (some of what had gone down) and we would never again tolerate it. In fact, we argued, if it started to creep in, people would be so outraged that it would lead to a huge uprising.

Well, Rebecca and I were wrong on that. C.I. was right.

In terms of the revelations [PDF format warning] you can click here. There's an attitude regarding the released papers (CIA papers) that "It's nothing new." Well, most of us are well aware of a lot more than what's in the papers (reading over them, I felt we came close to a confession of the sort of spying done on Jean Seberg) and we were aware of that during the days of the Church Committee (Frank Church's Congressional committee).

The Defense Department spied, the FBI spied, the CIA spied, I'm sure the NSA spied and who knows what other organizations. We're back in a period, we've allowed it to happen, where spying goes on again. There is little outrage over it. People behaved like scared rabbits, for the most part, for the last few years and that allowed the spying (already existing -- it predates the Bully Boy's occupation of the White House) to become more widespread.

The power the limited release has in terms of today is what I'm concerned with and, like Rebecca and C.I., I see a lot of management of the release in the domestic press. I see a lot of efforts to steer the public towards minor trivia. I agree that journalists are being presented as brave when the reality is that spying on journalists wasn't common place. It didn't have to be. As Carl Bernstein demonstrated in Rolling Stone back in the seventies, many journalists were on the payroll and, of course, others were just 'helpful' and 'patriotic.'

Along with US big media's attempt to bury the Castro revelations (plots by the CIA to kill a leader of another country), what I think is being missed by the coverage, but will come through if you review even a small part of the PDF format release, is how wasteful it was.

National security gets tossed around a great deal as the great cover all for information to be kept from the public. Well, read the report and ask yourself why, for instance, the CIA needed to spy on Stokely Carmichael and notice how there was nothing of use from that. But a lot of people would like to pretend that these were missions undertaken with the best of the intentions. That's a lie. These were missions undertaken by a government that feared, basically, every citizen and thought they had the right to spy. This was KGB territory and that may not mean much these days, but for people of a certain age, it does. We remember all the lies about the Soviet Union, we remember all the lies about how the US didn't spy on its citizens and Americans had freedom while Russians were constantly followed by the KGB.

The reality is both governments mistrusted their citizens, both governments spied on them and both governments broke the law. C.I. and I have a mutual friend who was very close to the folk singer Phil Ochs. He firmly believes that when Ochs was out of this country and attacked, that was done by the US government. Reading about the following of Carmichael and other details made me wonder how correct he might be? (I've never said, "You don't know what you're talking about!" I've never said, "You're paranoid." I've listened when it came up and allowed that it could be possible. I'd argue what's been released makes it even more possible.)

If you don't get that the government abused the citizens, read the section about drug testing. Drugs that weren't fit for use as prescriptions were tested on Americans without their knowledge by the CIA in, I believe the wording was, the best interest of the country because if someone ever used it on the American people, the CIA would be prepared. In "With Release of “Family Jewels,” CIA Acknowledges Years of Assassination Plots, Coerced Drug Tests and Domestic Spying" (Democracy Now!) today, Amy Goodman touches on this aspect. During that interview, Amy Goodman makes a statement that I think deserves clarification.

She notes how many people may not be aware of this period. She stopped too soon. She failed to note that alone among Big independent media, she and Juan Gonzalez have addressed that. We've noted this before, and I think C.I. was the first to point it out at Third Estate Sunday Review, but she and Gonzales really do stand alone on this. The Nation? It's been AWOL on this. When the current stories began breaking, they might do a nod to history, a shout out, but they refused to explore it. Not only that, they made a huge effort to celebrate Mark Felt as a hero when, reality check, he was a disgusting pervert (stealing Jennifer Dohrn's panties) who authorized illegal activities on American citizens.

Another person telling the truth about those days is worth excerpting and this focuses on FBI spying.

"Targeting Dissen: FBI Spying on the National Lawyers Guild" (Marjorie Cohn, CounterPunch):
In 1937, the American Bar Association refused to allow people of color to join its ranks. With the blessing of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the National Lawyers Guild was founded as a multi-racial alternative to the ABA. The Guild's founding members included the attorney general, several judges, some congressmen, and the head of the National Labor Relations Board.
Three years after the creation of the National Lawyers Guild, the FBI began to conduct secret surveillance of the Guild. From 1940 to 1975, the FBI wiretapped Guild phones, burglarized Guild offices, and sent informers into Guild meetings. The June 25, 2007 New York Times report on the FBI's program of spying on the Guild omits FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's primary rationale for undertaking this surveillance: "to blunt the Guild's criticism of the FBI and, if possible, to destroy the organization," in the words of Michael Krinsky, one of the lawyers who filed the 1977 lawsuit against the FBI.
The Guild, which provided legal support for the people, was a thorn in Hoover's side. In 1950, the Guild was about to release a big exposé on the FBI, prepared by Yale law professor and ex-Guild president Thomas Emerson. No other organization was undertaking such a comprehensive criticism of the FBI. Through illegal wiretaps and informants the FBI learned of the Guild's impending report. In advance of the report's release, the FBI launched a pre-emptive strike at the Guild by causing people in the press and the Senate to denounce the report. "So the story became the Lawyers Guild, not the FBI," Krinsky said.
The FBI asked Richard M. Nixon, a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), to call for an investigation of the Guild, on the eve of the release of the Guild report. The investigation led to the 1950
HUAC report titled, "National Lawyers Guild: Legal Bulwark of the Communist Party." It concluded with a call to the attorney general to designate the National Lawyers Guild a "subversive organization." The AG complied in 1953, but when no evidence to support the designation was forthcoming, he dropped it in 1958.
From the 1950s through the early 1970s, the FBI continued to focus on the National Lawyers Guild. The FBI had a list called The Security Index, which identified people, including Guild leaders, to be rounded up in the event of a national emergency.
Hoover's COINTELPRO (Counter-Intelligence Program) engaged in illegal surveillance of other organizations and individuals as well as the Guild. For example, in a program called Racial Matters, the FBI wiretapped Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s hotel rooms and tried to drive him to divorce and suicide. Dr. King's voter registration campaign and especially his vocal opposition to the Vietnam War incurred the wrath of J. Edgar Hoover, who went after Dr. King with a vengeance. Groups such as the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) were also on Hoover's surveillance list.

Marjorie Cohn is the president of the National Lawyers Guild. I hope I wrote enough tonight. If you're pissed off or scared, I did. If you're not, either nothing's going to reach you or I failed. I really hate blogging and am so bad at it that I've also forgotten, the past two days, to note three things. Betty's "What a drag, he is getting old" is the latest chapter and Betinna, tracking down her husband Thomas Friedman, decides to don drag. Trina's "Mandarin Oranges & Wild Rice in the Kitchen" is both powerful for what it says as well as what it doesn't. "Ruth's Report" once again demonstrates there's no one like our Ruth -- a true asset to the community.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills) :
Wednesday, June 27, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, Turkey makes noises about an armed mission into northern Iraq, the US military announces another death, Falluja remains under siege, a paper editorializes in favor of Adam Kokesh, Gordon Brown is a 'new man' acting just like the last one, and more.

Starting with war resistance,
Ehren Watada has provided a spark fueling actions in Washington. Watada is the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq (June 2006) and the first to be court-martialed for it (a kangaroo hearing that ended in a mistrial back in February). Linda Averill (ZNet) observes that Watada's "defiance, amplified by an effective defense effort, inspired many anti-war activists, including Gibbs" referring to Molly Gibbs who attempted to get Congressional attention for Watada but only "got the runaround" from Senator Patty Murray and decided, "I'm done dealing with my congressional representatives. It is in our hands. We have to do something." Which for Gibbs including counter-recruitment at high schools and joining with others in SDS, Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace and United for Peace of Pierce County in actions like shutting down ports which, Averill observes, take those participating "from demonstrators and lobbyists into direct actors against the war masters, blocking streets and facing arrest as needed." And, in Hawaii, Watada is hailed as a hero at a "War and Peace Art Exhibit." Gary T. Kubota (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports the Maui event brought over "100 artists and writers" to 1134 Makawao Ave (exhibit closes Saturday -- may move to "galleries in California, Oregon and Arizona") and included a piece by Tom Seweel involved the "scanned . . . faces of more than 3,00 American soldiers who have died in Iraq into the stars and stripes of the U.S. flag." Along with adult artists, the exhibit in Maui (closes Saturday, repeating) also included artwork done by children. Watada inspires as do others standing up.

The movement of resistance within the US military grows and includes Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Iraq Veterans Against the War have been targeted by the US military brass in an attempt to force them to stop speaking out. The three targeted are Liam Madden, Cloy Richards and Adam Kokesh. Bob Audette (Brattleboro Reformer) speaks with Madden who explains he will not enter agree to any deals to end the matter -- deals offered by the military brass -- until the note in writing "that my statements are neither disloyal nor inaccurate." Madden also discussed the strong reception to Iraq Veterans Against the War's summer base tour which goes to Camp Lejune in Jacksonville, NC tonight at 7:00 pm and follows with: Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina on June 18th 7:00 pm; the US Social Forum in Atlanta, GA on June 30th at 7:00 pm; Fort Benning in Columbus, GA on July 1st at 7:00 pm; a fundraiser in Philadelphia on June 3rd at 6:00 pm; a fundraiser in NYC on July 5th at 7:00 pm; the Naval Sub Marine Base in Groton, CT on July 6th at 7:00 pm; and concluding at Fort Drum in NY on July 8th at 4:00 pm. And Kokesh is the subject of an editorial from the Charleston Gazette which basically states that the brass needs to back off and cites
VFW head Gary Kupius' statements echoing that ("These Marines went to war, did their duty, and were honorably discharged from the active roles. I may disagree with their message, but I will always defend their right to say it.") before concluding: "Kokesh and Kurpius both merit praise for defending free speech as guaranteed in America's Bill of Rights."

In Iraq,
Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, "Governmental and political parties' sources in Khalis disputed a U.S. military statement that was issued a few days ago; the statement said that a U.S. helicopter killed 17 terrorists but these sources say these men were protecting their own town from terrorist attacks. They said that Abbas Muthafar Hashim, Shakir Adnan, Ali Jawad, Jassim Jaleel, Abbas Jaleel, Kamal Hadi, Jamal Hassan and Mohammed Abdul Kareem were killed and 8 others were injured. They noted that the killed were members of what is called the popular committees that protect the area from the terrorists attacks, as they said." The US military press release on that incident was issued Friday, June 22nd and noted that those killed were "17 al-Qaeda gunmen" and that they US forces "observed more than 15 armed men attempting to circumvent the IPs and infiltrate the village. The attack helicopters, armed with missiles, engaged and killed 17 al-Qaeda gunmen and destroyed the vehicle they were using." Obviously the people of town differ with the US military on the dead and, since they knew the dead and didn't just observe them from the air, one would assume a follow up by the military is in order. Those very likely wrongful deaths make the news as Molly Hennesy-Fiske (Los Angeles Times) reports this from today, "Witnesses said U.S. troops opened fire on civilians in the sprawling Sadr City neighborhood of the capital after a passerby fired a revolver into the air to settle a family dispute. The ensuing gunfire left two men dead and three injured, witnesses said. A spokesman for the U.S. said he had not received reports of soldiers firing at civilians."

Meanwhile the tensions between Turkey and northern Iraq continue.
Al Jazeera reports that Turkish General Yasar Buyukanit declared today, "I have said [in April] that we need a cross-border operation and that this would bring benefits. I repeat this view now." "BBC correspondents say attacks in Turkey by rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have increased recently, sometimes carried out by rebels based across the border in northern Iraq," notes the BBC as well as the fact that Buyukanit's statements may also have Parliamentary intent (attempting to prove the controlling party -- AK party -- is "weak on terrorism") right before the elections scheduled for the fourth week next month. Damien McElroy (Telegraph of London) reports that Turkey is shelling villages in Iraq currently as "part of an effort by Turkey to create a de facto 10-mile buffer zone inside Iraq and stop terrorists of the Kurdish independence movement, PKK, infiltrating its borders from their mountain training camps. Turkey has mobilised more than 20,000 of its soldiers in an operation to stop the PKK using Iraq as a staging post for a new campaign of violence. Yesterday Turkish newspapers sounded an alarm over the terrorist group after it staged an Iraqi-style suicide truck bomb attack on Turkish troops for the first time." Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which generally announces every visit in Iraq or abroad with a dignitary, carries no annoucement of this meeting. The alleged statements come at a time when the US is not seen positively around the world. Alan Fram (AP) reports that an international poll ("46 nations plus the Palestinian territories") found that "wide-ranging majorities think the U.S. does not consider their intersts when formulating policy; worry that U.S. customs are hurting their countries; and think the U.S. contributes to the gap between rich and poor nations", that even the 'coalition' partner England has gone from "75 percent favorable" opinion "in 2002 to 51 percent now".

In news of other neighboring countries,
Al Jazeera reports that during a visit to Iran by Jalal Talabani, Iraq's president, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared, "The main elements of insecurity in Iraq which are behind the current atrocities are the US and the Zionist regime intelligence services and some accompanying nations."

Meanwhile in the US,
Bill Schneider (CNN) reports on CNN's latest polling which has found
54% "of Americans do not believe U.S. action is morally justified," support for the illegal war has now fallen to an "all-time low of 30 percent," 69% "of Americans believe the war is going badly" and that Republicans are among those (obviously, when approximately 70% of Americans are against the illegal war) and 42% of them "support some form of troop withdrawal."
CBS, MTV News and the New York Times did a joint poll of young adults (17 y.o. to 29 y.o.) on their attitudes today. In the Times write up, Adam Nagourney was doing his usual spin but the real news (unreported by the Times) was that 58% of young people say that the US should have "stayed out" of Iraq and 72% say that the illegal war is going badly (34% "somewhat badly" plus 38% "very badly").

In Iraq, Asad al-Hashimi remains 'at large.' al-Hashimi is Iraq's Culture Minister.
Richard A. Oppel Jr. (New York Times) notes the arrest warrant issued yesterday for al-Hashimi resulted in a raid on the minister's home and that some Sunnis are seeing the efforts against al-Hashimi as "a trumped-up attempt to discredit a Sunni leader." John Ward Anderson (Washington Post) reports, "A statement by Hashimi's party, the Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni bloc in parliament, said two gunment involved in the attack had been tortured into falsely implicating Hashimi. The minister, in a telephone interview with the al-Jazeera satellite television network, said the case was 'fabricated' to damage his party and 'to run us out of the country'." AP notes the incident in question took place Feburary 8, 2005 and was an "ambush against then-parliamentary candidate Mithal al-Alusi, according to governmental spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh. Al-Alusi escaped unharmed but two of his sons were killed." Al Jazeera quotes Mithal Allusi stating, "He is on the run now and hiding in one of the houses of an Iraqi official in the Green Zone." Ned Parker and Saif Hameed (Los Angeles Times) observe that Mithal al-Alusi is yet another exile who came back to Iraq after the US invaded -- could we poll on how many holding powerful positions in the puppet government actually never went into exile -- and "Returning to Baghdad from exile in Germany he headed a committee that purged thousands of Iraqis from government jobs because of their membership in Iraq's ousted ruling party. He allied himself with Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority, the kingmakers in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq".


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing that claimed the lives of 3 people and left ten more wounded, a Baghdad car bombing "targeting an Iraqi police checkpoint on the western side of Al Jadiriyah Bridge" which left 1 police officer dead and 3 more wounded as well as 3 civilians wounded, a Diyala attack using gunfire and a mortars with the mortar attack resulting in 5 deaths and fifteen being wounded. Molly Hennessy-Fiske (Los Angeles Times) reports a Samarra roadside bombing that killed "four Iraqi police commandos" and wounded three more. Reuters reports a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 7 lives.


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that the combined mortar and gunfire attack in the Diyala province resulted in 14 Iraqis being shot dead (thirteen more wounded), an attack on a Kirkuk police station that left 4 police officers dead, an Iraqi soldier was shot dead in the Salaheddin province, two men were shot dead in Basra, a police officer was shot dead in Al Zubair and "Men in Iraq Ministry of Interior commandos uniforms executed a 60 year-old-man in front of his grocery shop in Mariam makret in central Samara this afternoon." Reuters notes that "two members of the Assyrian's Beth-Nahrain Association Union" were shot dead in Mosul.


Mohammed al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 21corpses discovered in the capital today, while in Tikrit the detached head of someone "wearing an Iraqi military hat" was discovered in a bus station, and 1 corpse was discovered in Kirkuk.

Today, the
US military announced: "One Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West was killed June 26 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province." The announcement brings the total number of US service members killed in the illegal war to 3568 since the start of the illegal war (ICCC). The monthly total thus far is 91 which puts June (so far) behind May (126) and April (104) but ahead of March, February and Januray. The total thus far also makes June 2006 the most deadly June for US service members since the war began. In June of 2003, 30 US service members were announced dead, in June of 2004 42 were announced, in June of 2005 78 were announced dead, and in June of 2006 61 were announced dead (ICCC).

Yesterday, Ellen Massey (IPS) article on Iraqi women was noted but the link was included.
Click here to read Massey's article. Today Ali al-Fadhily (IPS) reports on the two month seige of Falluja (attacked in April of 2004 and destroyed in November of 2004) noting that "Cars have not been permitted to move on the streets of Fallujah for nearly a month now. A ban was also enforced on bicycles, but residents were later granted permission to use them" which prompts a school teacher named Ala to say (this is sarcasm for any who miss it), "Thank God and President Bush for this great favour. We are the only city in the liberated world with the blessing now of having bicycles moving freely in the streets." al-Fadhily notes that aid is being prevented (by the US military) from reaching the city and that "[m]edical services are inaccessible".

Finally, the poodle is no longer prime minister.
In England, Gordon Brown has succeeded Tony Blair as prime minister. As Chris Bambery (Socialist Worker) observes, don't throw the confetti just yet: "Yet in accepting the leadership, Brown made clear his devotion to Blair's policies -- in particular to the 'strong relationship' with the US, and to Britain continuing to play a central role in the global 'war on terror'. The closest he came to acknowledging the failure of the war was when he said that Iraq had 'been a divisive issue for our party and our country' and that his government would 'learn lessons that needed to be learned'. But he then concluded that the war had been 'necessary'." For corporate economic enrichment?