'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Saturday, January 01, 2005

American Leftist's Top 10 Unanswered Questions of 2004 

Well everybody likes year-end top ten lists so I figured I do one, which I guess I'll make a tradition. Here is my list of questions I'd like to know the answers to in order of most trivial / least likely to be interesting to most important / potientally inflammatory:

10.) Was Bush wired? If not, what was the bulge?

9.) Who was responsible for the CBS memo forgery? Is the popular account of intrepid internet vigilantes independently taking on CBS largely accurate? If not, who tipped off Buckhead et al. and provided them with a line of attack beforehand such that detailed posts steeped in the esoterica of the typography of the 1960's sprang up on rightwing blogs within a few hours of the "Sixty Minutes" broadcast?

8.) Is there more to the story of the bogus charges of espionage that were levied and then dropped on former Guantanamo Chaplain James Yee than what we have read about in the popular press? Was Yee perhaps caught attempting to conceal documents establishing the use of torture during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay?

7.) Why did Ashcroft sic the "State Secret Privilege" on Sibel Edmonds? Edmonds suggested to Amy Goodman that she was being silenced to protect "diplomatic relations" -- to which diplomatic relations was Sibel Edmonds referring and what exactly does she know or claim to know anyway?

6.) Who is behind the seemingly organized campaign to silence and intimidate Iraq's educated/intellectual class by periodically assassinating professors and academics? Are these assassinations related in any way to the organized campaign to destroy Iraq's cultural heritage and strip it of its cultural identity that Robert Fisk claimed to have witnessed amidst the post-invasion chaos in 2003? [This item is probably the most obscure one on the list. I am referring basically to allegations made by Robert Fisk that I have always found very mysterious and interesting ... See this old post of mine from last summer.]

5.) Which high-level administration official leaked to Bob Novak the fact that Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA? Who ordered the leak and/or knew about it before it occurred?

4.) Why did the U.S. government suddenly turn against Ahmed Chalabi last spring? Why did criminal allegations against Chalabi suddenly flower from nowhere and then quietly fade away? If he really was an Iranian spy then why wasn't he indicted? If he never passed classified information to Iran then who was behind the propaganda campaign that claimed that he had? If the fall of Chalabi was simply the result of the neoconservatives losing political power then why is it that it was the CIA director who resigned and the Secretary of State who was dropped, while the administration neoconservatives remain untouched?

3.) What was the real provenance of the forged documents that Italian journalist Elizabetta Burba obtained from Rocco Martino that purported that Iraq had attempted to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger? Who perpetrated the forgeries and for what reason? [This one actually is more from 2003 but it cast its shadow on 2004 in that key details like the name "Rocco Martino" came out this year.]

2.) Does the Executive Order in which Bush authorized the use of torture against detainees in Iraq alleged to exist by recent ACLU-obtained documents actually exist? Will it ever make its way to the press? Will alternative copies of the videotapes of rape at Abu Ghraib that Seymour Hersh alleges exist ever see the light of day? Did or does Seymour Hersh's "Operation Copper Green" actually exist? Is it still going on?

1.) What is the real story behind the FBI's probe of AIPAC and the allegations that Larry Franklin spied for Israel? What is the real motive of the investigation, what is actually being investigated, and why was the existence of this probe suddenly leaked to the press at the end of last summer?

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