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  1. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Paul, I am still chuckling; great job.

    Okay, I am back;fighting the jet-lag. Tons of mails, e-mails and voicemails have to wait a day or two.
    Enjoy the long weekend.

  2. Hi Sibel,

    I've begun going back to dig through some the older stuf on your blog and came across the 'TGIF Lite' post from May(?)to which I added several movie suggestions…


    PS ~ I keep meaning to ask… what sort of PHD program are you considering in New Zealand?

  3. Oh, anyone who hasn't seen "State of Play" with Russel Crowe, et al., iut's worth a look.

    It's a not so loose take on Balckwater and the privatization of Homeland Security.

    It is so over. They have almost everything they want and now they, the corp's, own national domestic security.

    What is wrong with this picture??????????

  4. Sibel Edmonds says:

    bh: Hi. Here I thought everyone had already forgotten about me and the site!!

    I;m a big movie buff so I['ll be checking it first thing in the morning. Thanks.

    PhD: Hint- State of Civil Libertiesin US per our topics. E-mail me: sibel@justacitizen.com and I'll give you more.

    Speaking of BlackWater: did you know our CIA Walter Pincus man's son is representing BW?! Oooooh, the big daddy covers the case for WP, while the hot shot attorney son tries to bailout the @#$%# (I am trying not to cuss!).

  5. Kingfisher says:

    I enjoyed State of Play. I think it was based on a BBC series of the same title. Another recent film about Washington made by the BBC that I really enjoyed was In the Loop, seriously funny stuff.

    Blackwater has become an obsession for progressives and activists. It is easy to see why it ruffles their feathers, is so offensive to their values, and is a target of their wrath. However the fact is this: Blackwater is small potatoes.

    Scahill’s book, which I have a negative opinion of, is a best seller and he is fawned over; but Bartett and Steele’s damning expose on SAIC in the March 2007 issue of Vanity Fair received little attention by comparison.

    Blackwater has received over $1bil in gov’t contracts spread over many years; SAIC makes like $8bil a year in profit servicing government contracts, I wouldn’t be surprised if in aggregate BW is still in the red. BW is drop in the bucket compared to the real players in the defense contracting game, yet it is the company célèbre for activists to yell about.

    For all the mud that I’ve seen flung at BW, which often they deserve, I have seen little thrown in the direction of the people who hire BW. Specifically, the State Department who they do most of their work for, in addition to media and NGO’s; they are the ones that request such heavy handed security. It is this unreasonable requirement of such a security vacuum that enables such negative behavior by BW.

  6. Sibel Edmonds says:

    King Fisher: Excellent points.

  7. "Speaking of BlackWater: did you know our CIA Walter Pincus man's son is representing BW?! Oooooh, the big daddy covers the case for WP, while the hot shot attorney son tries to bailout the @#$%# (I am trying not to cuss!).


    Shhh… not in front of the children!

    Honestly, while I think I have a fairly clear view of the big picture, I am not up to speed on the details, who's who or who's doing what… that's why I'm glad you are.

    Yeah, I'm a big movie buff, too. 🙂


  8. @ Kingfisher:

    Thanks for pointing out the Vanity Fair article. I have now read it.

    There is an interesting coincidence here. The article is a frightening portrait of SAIC, which is Science Applications International Corporation. The villainous company in Robert Baer's novel, Blow the House Down, is called Applied Science Research.

    Of course, the similarity in company names could be pure coincidence. But as Baer's narrator says in Blow the House Down: in the intelligence community there are no coincidences, nothing happens by chance.

    And the Vanity Fair article does say, "… 9/11 was a personal tragedy for thousands of families and a national tragedy for all of America, but it was very, very good for SAIC."

    "Tom Joad"

  9. @Tom,

    Interesting isn't it? As I have said before, Bob Baer is a must interview for Boiling Frogs. Blow the House Down is an average to above average novel and is very confusing to the lay reader; there has to be a reason why Baer put certain things into it.


  10. I finally got around to picking up a copy of "Blow The House Down" audio book from my local library week before last. EXCELLENT!

    Although presented in the form of a "novel", Bob makes it clear in his interview with New Yorker writer Seymour M. Hersh at the end of the book that this is the only way he can write this 'story'… with the names slightly changed to protect the guilty. And flatly states, "What I really want to do is bring out emotionally that we haven't answered these questions, and until we start telling the truth to each other and to ourselves we're not going to figure out what happened on 9/11 or prevent the next tragedy."

    I will again echo Kingfisher's request for an interview with Bob Baer, if you can get him.



  11. Quickly comparing the Vanity Fair article with Baer's novel, there are several "coincidences" beyond what has already been mentioned. The most solid parallels are:

    SAIC has its headquarters in La Jolla, San Diego, California. ASR also seems to be based in San Diego (Chapter 21);

    Amazingly, both the Vanity Fair article and the novel describe the philosophy of the people they are examining with the precise phrase, "Eat what you kill" (Chapter 9);

    There's a lot more, but I don't want to beat a dead horse (or a boiled frog).

    "Tom Joad"

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