* Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran *


Richard Moore

Original source URLs:
[links & photos in original]

Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran


Posted on Feb 27, 2007

Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski (ret.), a veteran of the Pentagon with firsthand 
experience of the administration¹s cherry-picking of intelligence, reveals why 
Bush thinks he can win a war with Iran, why few politicians are serious about 
withdrawal and why ³when they call Iraq a success, they mean it.²

Download MP3 audio file
(running time: 32:41 / 29.9 MB)


JAMES HARRIS: This is Truthdig. James Harris sitting down with Josh Scheer, and 
on the phone we have a special guest. She is a retired Air Force Lieutenant 
Colonel, formerly working for the Pentagon, The National Security Agency. 
Needless to say, she knows a lot about intel and a lot about what took place and
what went on before we went into Iraq and what went on with that intel. Many 
questions have been asked in recent weeks, obviously in recent years about what 
we knew, what was fabricated, what was made up. On the phone we have somebody 
who has been vociferous in her effort to out the wrongdoings of people like 
Douglas Feith and people like Donald Rumsfeld. So, Karen Kwiatkowski, welcome to

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Thanks for having me.

JAMES HARRIS: It¹s our pleasure. I want to start, not talking about Douglas 
Feith, but I want to get your opinion about Iraq. We know that British troops 
and Tony Blair have decided that they¹re out. We¹ve seen the commitment of other
nations drop by 17 countries and our biggest partner, England, is now out. Why 
do you think they¹re out and Bush is still in?  Well we know why Bush is still 
in. Why now?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: It is towards the end of Tony Blair¹s long, long term of duty
there as the Prime Minister. And the other thing is, the British very much 
oppose, in spite of the fact that there are some Rupert Murdoch newspapers in 
Great Britain, some conservative papers, pseudo conservative I should say, not 
truly conservative. Truly conservatives, true conservatives have opposed this 
adventure from the beginning. But in spite of the small, loud pro-war faction in
London, most people in Britain recognize this for what it is. They have some 
experience in this kind of thing with, both in Middle East, particularly in Iraq
years ago when they left in dishonor. Another time when they tried to occupy 
Baghdad, years and years ago, and also their experience with terrorism and 
movements of independents or what have you with Ireland, much more recent memory
for many of the people in Great Britain. I don¹t think Britain¹s economy can 
afford it. Certainly they see the writing on the all, why get, why not get out 
now while George Bush is still there than be stuck with, stuck holding the bag 
when a Democratic president takes over and pulls the troops out abruptly in 
2008, 2009. So I think there¹s many reasons why they¹re doing it. Some people 
say it is, it is because of Tony Blair¹s concern over his legacy. If he doesn¹t 
bring the troops home, his legacy will be that he left Britain in a quagmire. 
They are in a quagmire now and maybe he doesn¹t want to leave office with that 
being on his record, a lot of reasons. Mainly it¹s the right thing to do, the 
people of Britain want those troops home. And I guess their government is 
listening. Unlike ours.

JAMES HARRIS:  The highly speculative people have said they¹re out because we¹re
going into Iran. You might¹ve read the newsŠ

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI:  Well yeah, I don¹tŠ I had not seen that connection made, but
I certainly am alarmed at the daily signs that indeed this country is getting 
ready to instigate an attack on Iran. All the signs are there, the suggestions 
that Iranian bombs are killing American soldiers, that¹s not true, but it¹s 
certainly been made in, I think every American newspaper, the suggestion that 
Iran is somehow killing Americans. The suggestion that Iran has nuclear weapons,
is imminently close to nuclear weapons. That is not true but that¹s been, those 
claims are made, even by this Administration. The idea that we have two carrier 
battle groups currently in the region and in fact I just saw today, Admiral 
Walsh, one of the big guys in the Navy said that we¹re very concerned about what
Iran is doing even more so than Al Qaeda.  So there, all the signs are there 
that we are being, we¹re going to wake up one morning soon, very soon, and we 
will be at war with Iran. We will have bombed them in some sort of shock and awe
campaign destroying many lives and setting back US relations even further than 
we¹ve already done it with Iraq.

JOSH SCHEER: I want to continue on Iran. You spent obviously many years in the 
military and you talk in those kind of terms that many people maybe not know 
about. Can we not just politically, and not just in the region, but can we 
support another war in another country? Right now we¹re in Afghanistan, we¹re in
Iraq. Can we feasibly actually go into Iran, or is this going to be a shock and 
awe campaign?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: You know, I think the, one of the big reasons that Bush and 
Cheney think they can do Iran is that they believe, well, they¹re hearing from 
the Air Force and the Navy, two of the three main branches of our military, the 
two that have been left out of the glory of Iraq, you see. And those guys want a
piece of the action, and so they¹re advertising to the Administration and 
publicly, I mean you can read it for yourself, the Air Force and the Navy have 
targets they believe they can overwhelmingly hit their targets, deep 
penetration, possibly nuclear weapons, I mean, nothing is off the table as Dick 
Cheney says ³nothing is off the table.² And the delivery of these weapons, 
whether they¹re conventional or nuclear will be naval and Air Force. They¹ll be 
Navy from the sea and Air Force form long range bombers and some of the bases 
that we have around theŠ so I don¹t think, certainly, I don¹t know, I¹m not in 
the Army, wasn¹t in the Army, I was in the Air Force, I don¹t think the Army 
could support any type of invasion of Iran and they wouldn¹t¹ want to. I¹m sure 
that they¹ve, they¹ve had enough with Iraq and our reserves are in terrible 
condition. We¹ve got huge problems in the Army and in the Reserve system. So I 
don¹t think there¹s any intention to go into Iran, but simply to destroy it and 
to create havoc and disruption and humanitarian crisis and topple perhaps the 
government of Ahmadinejad. We want to topple that government. Yeah, we¹ll do it 
with bombs from a distance. I don¹t know if you call that shock and awe, we¹ve 
been advertising it for a long, long time. It will not be a surprise to the 
Iranians if we do it.

JAMES HARRIS:  That was your former boss, the shock and awe campaign. I¹m still 
shocked and I¹m awed.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: [laughs] He shocked and awed all of us.

JAMES HARRIS: As a means of understanding the level of deceit that you claim 
took place and I agree took place before the war. Because it, the things that 
are going on in and around Iran sound a lot like the things that went on in 


JAMES HARRIS: And I always note Scott Ritter, because I spoke to him, and I 
couldn¹t believe that we didn¹t take the advice of people like him that were 
saying that there¹s nothing there, there¹s nothing. Can you describe for us a 
typical day, if we went in around March, we¹re approaching that anniversary, we 
went in around March of Œ03.  What was it like in The Pentagon?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Well, I worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and 
up until mid February I was in Near East South Asia, which is the office that 
owns the Office of Special Plans, they were our sister office. And so Iraq is 
one of the areas. And there¹s a great degree of excitement, there¹s a, we didn¹t
know when we would invade Iraq, and many people thought it would be in February,
late February, early March and it actually was like I think march 23 is when we 
actually conducted that attack on Baghdad and that kind of thing. Most people in
the Pentagon, there¹s 23,000 people work in the Pentagon. Most of those people 
were as in the dark as any of the Americans. They believed what they read in the
papers, and what they read in the papers, particularly The New York Times and 
The Washington Post had been, for the most part, planted by The Administration. 
We know this now, the whole Congress knows this now, they¹ve had a number of 
hearings publicly faltered, I think even the DODIG [Department of Defense 
Inspector General] just recently faltered, Doug Feith and his whole organization
for planting and providing misleading stories, many of which were later leaked 
on purpose to the press. A friendly press, of course, Judith Miller was not 
hostile to the intentions of this administration. They wanted to go into Iraq, 
and they intended to go into Iraq. We did go into Iraq, and all that was really 
needed was to bring onboard the American people, and to bring onboard the 
Congress. But not necessarily to declare war. Congress has never been asked to 
declare war on Iraq. And they won¹t be asked to declare war on Iran even though 
we will conduct that war. These guys had an agenda. In fact, one of the things 
that I did learn as a result of having my eyes opened in that final tour in the 
Pentagon is that neo-conservatives, their foreign policy is very activist, you 
could say that¹s a nice way to say it, very activist, it¹s very oriented towards
the Untied States as a benevolent dictator, a benevolent guiding hand for the 
world, particularly the Middle East. And it¹s very much a pro-Israel policy, and
it¹s a policy that says, we should be able to do whatever we want to do, if we 
see it in our interest. Now, Americans don¹t see any value, most Americans, 75 
percent of Americans want the troops home now. They don¹t see any value to 
having our troops in Iraq. They didn¹t see any value in that in 2002. But, they 
had a story sold to them, which was of course that Saddam Hussein somehow was 
involved with 9/11, had WMDs, and was a serious threat, an imminent threat, a 
grave threat to the United States.

JAMES HARRIS: For those people that think somehow that government officials, 
even though you work for the government, were complicit in this effort to move 
into Iraq. I want you to be clear, as a worker there, you were doing what you 
thought was right at the time. Is that a safe thing to say?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: We were doing, I¹ll tell ya, there¹s two parts of how the 
story is sold, how the propaganda was put forth on the American people, and how 
it¹s been put forth on them today in terms of Iran. You have political 
appointees in every government agency, and they switch out every time you get a 
new president, and that¹s totally normal. Usually those, the numbers increase 
after every president, they always get a few more. So Bush was no different. He 
brought in a number of political appointees: Doug Feith, certainly Rumsfeld and 
Wolfowitz. But also a number of political appointees at what you would call a 
lower level, like my level - Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel level. And they¹re 
not military officers, they¹re civilians. And they¹re brought in, and this is 
where the propaganda was kind of put together, this is where the so-called 
alternative intelligence assessments were put together by the civilian 
appointees of the Bush Administration. Most of which, in fact, probably all of 
the Pentagon shared a neo-conservative world vision, which has a particular role
for us, and that included the topping of Saddam Hussein, and it includes the 
toppling of the leadership in Tehran. These guys are the ones doing it, they¹re 
doing it. They¹re putting all the propaganda, they¹re spreading stories, 
planting stuff in the media. They¹re doing that to people in The Pentagon, the 
Civil Service core in The Pentagon, which is about half of them, and the other 
half which are uniformed military officers serving anywhere from three to four, 
five years, sometimes tours in The Pentagon. We¹re looking at regular intel, 
we¹re looking at the stuff the CIA and the DIA, Defense Intelligence Agency 
produces. And that stuff never said, that stuff never said Saddam Hussein had 
WMDs, had a delivery system, was a threat to the United States. It never said 
that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11 or that Saddam Hussein worked 
with Al Qaeda. That intelligence never said that.

JAMES HARRIS: Did they tell you to shut up?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Absolutely!  [Laughs] That¹s a funny thing, and of course, 
here¹s how it worked. Once the Office of Special Plans was set up formally, now 
they were informally set up prior to the fall of 2002, but formally they became 
an office with office space and that whole bit. And the first act to follow that
setup of the Office of Special Plans, we had a staff meeting, and our boss, Bill
Ludy, who was the boss of Special Plans technically, not in reality but on 
paper. And he announced to us that from now on, action officers, staff officers 
such as myself and all my peers, at least in that office, and I presume this 
went all the way through the rest of policy, but we were told that when we 
needed to fill in data, putting it in papers that we would send up, doing our 
job, as we did our daily job, we were no longer to look at CIA and DIA 
intelligence, we were simply to call the Office of Special Plans and they would 
send down to us talking points, which we would incorporate verbatim no 
deletions, no additions, no modifications into every paper that we did. And of 
course, that was very unusual and all the action officers are looking at each 
other like, well that¹s interesting. We¹re not to look at the intelligence any 
more, we¹re simply to go to this group of political appointees and they will 
provide to us word for word what we should say about Iraq, about WMD and about 
terrorism. And this is exactly what our orders were. And there were people 
[Laughs] a couple of people, and I have to say, I was not one of these people 
who said, ³you know, I¹m not gonna do that, I¹m not gonna do that because 
there¹s something I don¹t like about it, it¹s incorrect in some way.² And they 
experimented with sending up papers that did not follow those instructions, and 
those papers were 100 percent of the time returned back for correction. So we 
weren¹t allowed to put out anything except what Office of Special Plans was 
producing for us. And that was only partially based on intelligence, and 
partially based on a political agenda. So this is how they did it. And I¹ll tell
you what, civil servants and military people, we follow orders, okay. And we buy
into it. And we don¹t suspect that our leaders are nefarious, we don¹t suspect 
that. They, they quite frankly have to go a long way to prove to us that they 
are nefarious.  That¹s how it worked, and I imagine it¹s working much the same 
way there in terms of Iran.

JOSH SCHEER: Obviously you¹ve been in the military for quite a while. Has this 
every happened to your knowledge in any other [administration¹s] Pentagon, where
political appointees have the power to just control theŠ

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Sure, well sure, Vietnam is filled with examples. And Daniel 
Ellsberg¹s information and his Pentagon paper that he released factual 
information that contradicted what political appointees at the top of the 
Pentagon were saying to Congress and saying to the American people. Yeah, this 
is typical of how it works. Now, having said that, most people who serve and 
wear the uniform or give a career of service to the military, whether civilian, 
civil service or military, we don¹t think that our bosses will do that. We don¹t
think that our military will do that. But in fact history is full of examples of
bald-faced lies being told to sell particular agendas. Often times those agendas
include war making, certainly in Vietnam they did, under LBJ and a few other 
presidents. Look at the thing that Reagan did. I mean, I actually don¹t dislike 
Reagan, he deployed very few troops overseas, but when he went in to that little
island down thereŠ what is the name of that island that he invaded, Grenada. 
[Laughs] Remember that?  Remember the Invasion of Grenada.

JOSH SCHEER: All eight hours?
JAMES HARRIS: It was a short one.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: I mean, God, shortly thereafter, come to find out, well 
actually, some of the stuff they said about the threat and the Cubans and all 
that wasn¹t really true. So politicians and their politically appointed military
leaders will lie, historically do lie when it has to do with making war, 
particularly making a war that they want. And what has happened in the Bush 
Administration is the war that they want was Iraq. And the war that they want is
Iran, and the war that they want is Syria, okay?  That¹s the war they want. They
don¹t want Vietnam. I don¹t know why, they don¹t want Vietnam, they want these 
places, this is what the neo-conservatives are particularly interested in. So we
have war. And they make up stories and we¹re seeing the exact same thing in 
terms of Iran, which is quite alarming because it seems as if we can¹t stop 
this, we can¹t prevent this.

JOSH SCHEER: You were talking about these political appointees and pushing us 
into war. Why haven¹t people like Paul Wolfowitz, I mean these guys seem to 
feather their own nests.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: [Laughs] That¹s an understatement.

JOSH SCHEER: They lead us into war, Mark Zell, Doug Feith¹s partner was in bed 
with Chalabi.  It falls apart and then it seems that these guys disappear into 
the woodwork.  What happens?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Well, a big part of what happens is these guys have top 
cover, the names of the top cover are Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. These guys
like what Wolfowitz has done. And here¹s the other thing.  While we as American 
citizens do not like being lied to, particularly being lied to into a stupid 
quagmire that makes no sense. We don¹t¹ like being lied to. Congress doesn¹t 
like being lied to. However, many in Congress, and certainly in this 
administration agree, and this is Democrats and Republicans, like the idea that 
we have gone into Iraq, we have built four mega bases, they are complete. Most 
of the money we gave to Halliburton was for construction and completion of these
bases. We have probably, of the 150,000, 160,000 troops we have in Iraq probably
110,000 of those folks are associated with one of those four mega bases. Safely 
ensconced behind acres and acres of concrete. To operate there indefinitely, no 
matter what happens in Baghdad, no matter who takes over, no matter if the 
country splits into three pieces or it stays one. No matter what happens, we 
have those mega bases, and there¹s many in Congress and certainly in this 
administration, Republican and Democrat alike that really like that. Part of the
reason I think that we went into Iraq was to reestablish a stronger foothold 
than we had in Saudi Arabia, but also a more economical, a more flexible, in 
terms of who we want to hit. If you want to hit Syria, can you do it from Iraq? 
Of course you can. And now you can do it from bases that will support any type 
of airplane you want, any number of troops in barracks. I mean we can do things 
from Iraq. And this is what they wanted. So, yeah, we don¹t like being lied to. 
But quite frankly, many people in the Congress, and certainly this 
administration, when they call Iraq a success, they mean it, and this is why.

We¹re in Iraq to stay. And can we strike Iran from Iraq?  Well, I don¹t know if 
we¹ll do that next week, but we can.

JAMES HARRIS: We¹re there to stay in the sense that even, let¹s say somebody 
takes office in Œo8, do you think that we¹re gonna be occupying those bases 

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Absolutely!  And we don¹t even have status of forces 
agreements with any legitimate government in Iraq to support those bases. They 
are illegal bases, okay. But yes, they¹re gonna stay, absolutely, they¹re gonna 
stay. And I¹ll tell you, there are guys that have been with this administration 
for awhile, people, in fact one of the guys was an Air Force General that was 
involved with the Kurds ten years ago, he¹s retired now, but he was actually the
guy, his name escapes me for the moment, but he [Jay Garner] was [Paul] Bremer¹s
predecessor for a short period of time. And he was fired, and Bremer came in and
took over in Baghdad as part of the reconstruction phase. This is in the Spring 
of 2003.  And this guy gave an interview in Government Exec Magazine, February 
2004, he said ³we will be in Iraq, and the American people need to get with this
program, we will be in Iraq like we were in the Philippines for anywhere from 20
to 30 more years. That¹s the time frame that we¹re looking at. And that is the 
life span of the bases that we¹ve constructed there.  Yeah, we are not leaving 
these bases, and a Democratic president, I don¹t care who they are, will keep 
those bases there. They will justify them and they will use them and we love 
that. We love it. So it¹s not about what the American people think is right or 
wrong, it¹s not about if we got lied to, what matters is, they did what they 
wanted to do, and as Bush says, and as Cheney says, ³it¹s quite the success.² 
And this is very frightening. Because none of this has ever been admitted to the
American people, it¹s only been hinted at by people that know. And of course the
facts speak for themselves. The facts are, we are in Iraq, we have the finest 
military installations in the world, the newest military installations in the 
world, and we¹re not leaving them. We¹re not turning them over to a Shiite 
government, we¹re not turning them over to a Sunni government, we¹re not turning
them over to a Kurdish government. We¹re not doing that. They are American 
bases. We¹ve got our flag there. And this is kind of the way they used to do 
things, I guess back in the Middle Ages. Maybe the Dark Ages. A king decided he 
wanted to go do something, he went and did it. And this is George Bush. We call 
him an elected president. I mean, he¹s operating much as kings have operated in 
the past.

JAMES HARRIS: You called him ³the war pimp² in your essay.  ³He¹s behaving,² as 
you put it, ³a lot like a pimp would treat a prostitute, Œyou do like I tell you
to do.¹²

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: That¹s right, and over the money. ³Get back to work.² We¹re 
using these, we use these bases, we use these people, the country, it matters 
not one whit to us.

JOSH SCHEER: With all we see in the news on a daily basis, is there any reason 
to hope?  Every day I lose more and more sleep, about soldiers who are dying. 
You¹re talking about being there another 30 years. How many more soldiers are 
going to be injured and killed?  How much more money is this war going to cost?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Well the money, yeah, sure, the money¹s a problem. The number
of soldiers being killed will probably actually reduce in many ways because we 
will withdraw to our bases and we will not interface with Iraqis who hate us. 
This idea of what they¹re doing right now, this so called three-block program, 
let¹s meet more Iraqis so they¹ll like us, that¹s totally for show. The more 
Iraqis meet us, the more they hate us. So I actually do think though, over time,
fewer Americans will die, and look how easily, look how easily this country has 
accepted the loss of those 3,200 soldiers that have died. I think something like
90 women, maybe more have died, mothers of children. They¹ve died, and America 
has eaten it up, we have not complained one bit. They¹re spread out over 50 
states, hey, it¹s no big deal. So I think we can certainly, as a country, 
accommodate future deaths and I think the death rate will drop. The problem is, 
it¹s immoral, it¹s illegal, it engenders hatred for Americans, contempt for 
Americans. It makes every American in the world a target for terrorism. It¹s 
just plain wrong, it¹s unconstitutional. I mean, there¹s a lot of problems with 
it. Dead Americans, unfortunately doesn¹t seem to be the problem for most of us,
which is a shame.  We don¹t like looking at ugly people, I will say that. And 
we¹re seeing a lot of folks come back pretty deformed, mentally and even more 
obviously physically, deformed from their experiences in Iraq. And I think that 
could, that might give, I hate to say give hope, but realize the real moral 
price that we¹re paying for this, that that can help. But quite frankly, I have 
no hope of us leaving Iraq. I think the intention was for us to put bases there,
to stay there, operate militarily from there. And I think that¹s what we¹re 
going to do, Democrat, Republican, Independent, I can¹t imagine anybody but Ron 
Paul, if you elect Ron Paul as president, those bases will be closed down. 

JOSH SCHEER: Or Dennis Kucinich.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Or Kucinich, there you go, Kucinich would do it too. So these
are the guys we are able to elect, but chances are, I hate to say, the machine 
is not behind these men. So yeah, we got a problem. Now is there anything 
optimistic?  Yeah.  I¹m a God fearing Christian. God has the power. How He might
express that, I don¹t know. But yeah, can the average American do anything about
it?  I¹m just not, I¹m pretty not very, I¹m not optimistic, I¹m pessimistic that
any single American can do much to prevent what seems to be going to happen 
here, attacking Iran and also this terrible thing we¹ve done to Iraq which I 
think will continue to go on for many years. It will fester, fester for many 

JAMES HARRIS: I¹m one that believes the price of terrorism, I¹m interested to 
get your perspective on this as one who watched us engage on this terrorist 
enemy, an enemy like we¹d never seen before, at least from a military 
standpoint.  I look at terrorism, and I see it tearing us apart. And in a lot of
ways I look at it and say, we¹ve already lost this war because we now have a 
president who¹s bending the Constitution. We¹re looking over our shoulders. We 
question our whereabouts. This whole thing that went on in Boston with the 
advertisement, ³is it a bomb?² There¹s always that question. Perhaps the goal of
Osama, perhaps the goal of these people was to make us afraid, and they¹ve 
succeeded at that. My question to you is, in your mind, what is the true price 
of terrorism been for you?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: The military has been broken in most respects into the extent
that it worked, it worked because it¹s a mercenary force. We were so contracted 
out, we hired people that are beyond the law, that are not accountable to rules 
of war. And that¹s how we function. So the whole military system, the idea of a 
defensive force, forget it, that¹s done with. Constitution has been hurt by many
presidents, but this president has done huge damage to understanding of the 
Constitution, its idea that it should restrain presidential power, that we 
should be conservative, small ³c² conservative when we go out and engage in 
these adventures, the Congress has the right to declare war, we¹ve ignored that 
for many decades. Just continued down that path. Te idea that the Bill of Rights
is an option, the Bill of Rights is a set of suggestions has become almost 
mainstream belief. And this is terrible, this is a terrible thing. But I don¹t 
think Osama Bin Laden did that. Terrorism is, obviously it has a political 
intent, but terrorism almost always, in fact I think in every case, when the 
political solutions are offered, when the politics change, when the people 
themselves change, terrorism stops. Terrorism to the extent that it is a crime, 
should¹ve been treated like a crime, but instead we made it a war. Well there is
no war with terror, terrorism is a tactic, you don¹t make war against a tactic. 
So yeah, a lot of things have happened, I don¹t think Osama had much to do with 
it, quite frankly, I think this administration, many of the people in Washington
are quite comfortable with reduced freedoms for America and this is a good way 
to get those reduced freedoms, to basically break down and deconstruct the Bill 
of Rights and say, ³well we didn¹t mean that, we didn¹t mean this.² It¹s a 
problem. Our country has changed, and I think what people have to do now is kind
of stand up and separate themselves from a government to the extent that they 
don¹t agree with it and prepare themselves for real battle. Because we are gonna
need to stand up very, I can use the word ³vociferously,² I think that¹s what we
have to do, cause our own country is at risk, but not from terror, not from 
buildings being knocked down, that¹s not what our country is at risk from, it¹s 
at risk from our politics, from our abandonment of the Constitution, our 
devaluing of the Bill of Rights. We¹ve lost our freedom. Osama probably couldn¹t
have dreamed that George Bush would help him out so much. I don¹t think even 
that was his intention, I don¹t think Osama could care less about our freedom, 
Osama¹s issues have to do with Islam and the Holy land, Saudi Arabia, his issues
are much more narrow than anything that he¹s so called achieved. And I think 
George Bush has achieved this in a very weak and LAUGHS debased Congress has 
achieved this for this country. And so, it¹s a big problem. I¹m quite depressed 
about it. I don¹t really have a solution or a remedy. I think we just need to 
wake up and see what¹s being done, and then we need to decide if we want to be a
part of it. It¹s like that old thing, I¹m not a child of the 60s, but you¹re 
either working to fix the problem or you are the problem.

JOSH SCHEER: Now, Karen, I heard you make a reference to [terrorism as a tactic]
...Chuck Hagel made reference to terrorism as a tactic in a speech, and [how] 
it¹s not a country, and you talk about Ron Paul. Why have the neo-cons been 
allowed [to do this] , they¹re not, to me, they don¹t seem like the Republicans 
that I grew up with.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: No, no, they¹re not.  And if you look at the history of 
neo-conservatism, it really traces its roots, well back to Trotsky, but if you 
go more recent, back to who was the guy, Senator from Boeing (Henry Jackson) 
they used to call himŠ big Democratic, 30 year Senator out of Washington State. 
And Richard Perle was on his staff, Wolfowitz I think was inspired by him. And 
he was a Democrat during the Cold War. And he was a pro, or I should say 
strongly anti-Communist democrat, kind of a strong defense democrat. And these 
guys migrated, particularly after Jimmy Carter, because Jimmy Carter, remember, 
what was he doing, he was trying to make peace. Remember that, somebody got a 
Peace Prize out of it, I don¹t know what it was, some kind of approach between 
Arabs and Israelis, and Carter was part of that. And that alienated a great many
of these folks who now we know as neo-conservatives because they have two things
that they care about, one is strong defense, for whatever reason they like that,
an activist foreign policy, and pro-Israel, no questions asked policy. So many 
of these conservative, pro-defense democrats, anti-Communist democrats abandoned
the democratic party at the time of Jimmy Carter, particularly after the time of
Jimmy Carter and his summit working on Middle East peace. And they came over to 
eth Republican party, and of course they came over with a great deal of money 
and a great deal of political influence and a great deal of voters. So now 
they¹re in the Republican party, and absolutely, this happened, late 1970s.  so 
it is not, these are not the Republicans that we grew up thinking about, but 
they are in the Republican party now. Of course the Republican party now isn¹t 
anything like what I thought it was, it¹s certainly no Goldwater party, it¹s a 
party of big spending, it¹s a party of corruption. What do you want me to say?  
They love big government, they haven¹t seen a big government plan they didn¹t 

JAMES HARRIS: Henry ³Scoop² Jackson was the guy you were looking for.  As we 
continue to search for the truth, and that¹s pretty much the motto of Truthdig, 
we don¹t believe we have the answer, but we believe that we should at least be 
looking for the answers. So as we approach that truth around the issues that 
take place in Iraq and perhaps Iran, we think you might be a good friend to have
close to the Truthdig family so we¹d like to check in from time to time.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Sure, I¹d be delighted, it¹s great fun talking. And hopefully
maybe in a couple of months some of these negative things I think are going to 
happen, maybe they won¹t happen.

JAMES HARRIS: Maybe we¹ll all be proven wrongŠ whatever the caseŠ
JOSH SCHEER: I¹m praying for it.

JAMES HARRIS: We¹re both praying, even though Josh is not a religious man.

JOSH SCHEER: Oh, excuse me, I am a religious man.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI:  Maybe we¹re in a foxhole together. You know what they say, 
there are no atheists in a foxhole, and I think in political sense, many true 
conservatives and classical liberals, people that love freedom, unlike George 
Bush, people that really love freedom, we are in a foxhole. We are threatened. 
And so we gotta call on every little bit of help we can possibly get.

JOSH SCHEER: I believe in God, I don¹t believe in big religion, just like I 
don¹t believe in big government.

JAMES HARRIS:  There you go, we¹re in a foxhole, so we¹re on the same team.


A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion. Editor, Robert Scheer. Publisher, 
Zuade Kaufman.

Copyright © 2007 Truthdig, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Escaping the Matrix website        http://escapingthematrix.org/
cyberjournal website               http://cyberjournal.org
Community Democracy Framework: http://cyberjournal.org/DemocracyFramework.html
subscribe cyberjournal list        mailto:•••@••.•••
Posting archives                   http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/