Friday, November 20, 2009

Intelligentsia Against Intelligence/CIA 'Ran Secret Prison for al-Qaeda' in Lithuanian Riding School

Intelligentsia Against Intelligence

Posted on Nov 20, 2009

By David Sirota

In the parlance of our times, the term idiocracy means a nation run by idiots—and the term idiot is defined by the dictionary as “an utterly foolish or senseless person” who exhibits “a mental age of less than three years old.”

There are obvious reasons to believe America is becoming an idiocracy—a series of horrendous government and business decisions strongly suggests that we’ve seen the ascension of utterly foolish, senseless people, many with the mental age of infants (yes, W., I’m looking at you). And if there remained any flicker of hope that we aren’t turning into a full-on slobbering idiocracy, that hope was snuffed out last week by two of the Washington intelligentsia’s most respected voices.

First came a now-famous column about Afghanistan by The Washington Post’s David Broder. The “dean” of the press corps attacked President Barack Obama not for choosing any particular policy, but for simply taking time to meticulously consider his options in the Central Asian quagmire. “The urgent necessity,” Broder asserted, “is to make a decision—whether or not it is right.”

This was followed by Jackson Diehl, the Post’s foreign policy “expert.” He wrote that the White House’s assiduous Afghanistan deliberations are not a sign of reassuring prudence after the bring-it-on Bush years, but instead a “compelling cause for unease about this president.” Diehl’s rationale for such an incendiary statement? He alleged (without proof, of course) that “there is unanimity in the Pentagon and considerable agreement in Congress and among the NATO allies” that a military escalation has to happen—and therefore Obama “knows [the pro-escalation] course he must take” but “can’t bring himself to embrace it.”

Let’s set aside the nauseating spectacle of two well-heeled journalists, comfortably protected far away from the front lines, demanding a president immediately send thousands of soldiers to their potential deaths without regard for blood-and-guts consequences. Let’s just, if we can, put that grotesque immorality in a corner and pretend it’s not important—and let’s go to the deeper, even more disturbing message.

As leading opinion makers, Broder and Diehl are paid to carefully ponder issues and then offer their considered thoughts. That’s not part of what they’re supposed to do—it’s what they are singularly employed to do. It’s how they earn their living and credibility—indeed, it’s their entire raison d’etre. And yet, these leading lights of the intelligentsia are overtly preaching anti-intelligence, insisting the president must avoid taking time to think through his actions.

This isn’t interpretation—it’s what these Beltway sages are literally saying. Broder is explicitly demanding Obama make a knee-jerk decision—any decision—even if it has catastrophic consequences. Likewise, Diehl is calling for Obama to immediately risk thousands of American lives simply because that’s what Diehl believes the Establishment wants.

Let’s be clear—these are just two of many similar examples. Today, screeds calling for leaders to prioritize lightning-fast decisions over measured deliberations are increasingly commonplace in the Washington intelligentsia, even after an Iraq debacle brought on by the same ideological know-nothingism.

The trend is deeply disturbing. It’s one thing for talk-show-host wannabe Sarah Palin or carnival-barking provocateur Glenn Beck to glamorize willful ignorance—that’s been the narcissistic act of celebrity court jesters since the dawn of history. But it’s an entirely different thing when hostility to intelligence and to the basic process of thinking itself emanates from the very professional thinkers who lead the nation’s intelligentsia.

When that happens—when the supposed guardians of political cognition and empiricism begin publicly flaying leaders for taking time to fully evaluate potential decisions—it’s a sign our country is becoming the ignorance-deifying idiocracy we should all fear.

David Sirota is the author of the best-selling books “Hostile Takeover” and “The Uprising.” He hosts the morning show on AM 760 in Colorado and blogs at E-mail him at

© 2009

USMC / Sgt. Mark Fayloga

Members of a rifle detail perform a 21-gun salute during a memorial service.

Published on Friday, November 20, 2009 by The Telegraph/UK

CIA 'Ran Secret Prison for al-Qaeda' in Lithuanian Riding School

A former horse riding school in the tiny Baltic state of Lithuania was used as a secret CIA prison to hold and interrogate top al-Qaeda terrorists, it has been claimed.

by Andrew Osborn in Moscow

The allegations have sparked a parliamentary inquiry after President Dalia Grybauskaite said she harboured "indirect suspicions" that such a facility existed.

[ A photo taken on November 19, 2009 shows a training center of the Lithuanian State Security Department, the country's domestic intelligence agency, in Antavilis near Vilnius  (Photo: AFP/GETTY)  ]A photo taken on November 19, 2009 shows a training center of the Lithuanian State Security Department, the country's domestic intelligence agency, in Antavilis near Vilnius (Photo: AFP/GETTY)

According to unnamed former intelligence operatives quoted by ABC News, the CIA built the secret jail in 2004 and used it for more than a year, flying in at least eight suspected al-Qaeda terrorists from Afghanistan.

The prison was reportedly built from scratch on the territory of a former horse riding school about 15 miles from Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, and included an underground annex. Pictures of the building said to be the former CIA jail show a bland-looking two-storey house surrounded by a fence and CCTV cameras. Locals say the building, which is now used as a training facility by Lithuania's state security service, originally had no windows.

Politicians in office at the time have denied all knowledge of such a prison and say there is no evidence to prove it existed. But President Grybauskaite has insisted that the claims be properly investigated.

"If this is true, Lithuania has to clean up, accept responsibility, apologise, and promise that it will never happen again," she said.

The scandal has affected the former Soviet republic's relations with Washington. Lithuania has said it will not accept a single former prisoner from the Guantanamo Bay prison until the matter is clarified. Former US government officials have suggested Lithuania was eager to please the Bush administration at the time in order to thank it for securing Lithuania membership of Nato in 2002.

The allegations make Lithuania the third European country after Poland and Romania to be accused of hosting secret CIA "black sites".

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2009



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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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