The new face of neo-conism in America

Look carefully.  This is the man who wants to lead America into another war, based on his lies that he has peddled to the press about Iran. He has managed to put himself in a position of influence who when things go haywire WILL NOT be held accountable by we the People or by the government.  He is David Albright, one who has started a group with a really impressive sounding name, intent on fleecing the government out of as money as he can convince them to give him and fight a war only he thinks is worth fighting. Check out his latest piece of work

The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published by a Washington think tank Tuesday repeated the sensational claim previously reported by news media all over the world that a former Soviet nuclear weapons scientist had helped Iran construct a detonation system that could be used for a nuclear weapon.

But it turns out that the foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report [.pdf] but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in the production of nanodiamonds by explosives.

In fact, Danilenko, a Ukrainian, has worked solely on nanodiamonds from the beginning of his research career and is considered one of the pioneers in the development of nanodiamond technology, as published scientific papers confirm.

It now appears that the IAEA and David Albright, the director of the International Institute for Science and Security in Washington, who was the source of the news reports about Danilenko, never bothered to check the accuracy of the original claim by an unnamed “Member State” on which the IAEA based its assertion about his nuclear weapons background.

This was a characteristically sloppy piece of lying as far as neo-cons are concerned, but it was good enough a decade ago to get people to invade another perceived enemy for reasons that turned out to be a lie.  If you check out the page for Albright’s group, Institute for Science and International Security, you’ll even see they have their own Ahmed Chalabi like enabler, Mahdi Obeidi to add legitimacy to an otherwise faulty premise that Iran has switched their nuclear program into a nuclear weapons program.  This meme however has been repeated since the 90s, with each tale telling of the end of the world after Iran obtains nuclear weapons in the next several weeks or months.  Twenty years on, the status quo still prevails,but that doesn’t stop warmongers like Albright from peddling their stories of an imminent end of western civilization when Iran’s nuclear program produces its first atomic weapon.

For now, and hopefully because of how sloppy he was, Albright’s tale hasn’t passed the smell test.  Americans and Israelis seem to want to choose restraint and diplomacy over beating the war drums, perhaps as a way of saying they’re not inclined to believe the neo-con line just now.  Albright should no longer have an ear anywhere in the halls of government.  He’s an embarrassment; and to paraphrase Col. Lawrence Wilkerson’s characterization of Douglas Feith another neo-con, ‘seldom have I seen…………..a dumber man.’

The death of two great sports heroes

Smoking Joe Frazier died on November 7, 2011 of cancer.  He was professional boxing’s model of a fighter in the ring and out, a no frills kind of competitor known especially for his confrontations with Muhammad Ali.  He was also a gentleman, as far as boxers go, who upon retirement lived his life away from the public eye in a rather unspectacular, yet civil manner that a lot of people haven’t been able to do.  The greatest tragedy is that Frazier died at 67, a relatively young age of cancer, that scourge of a disease that we have yet to find a cure.  I don’t know if it’s because of ineptitude, indifference, a sense of being overwhelmed by other more pressing medical issues that prevents us from finding a cure, but it’s high time, in the second decade of the 21st century that we find a cure.

Years ago, then president John Kennedy issued a challenge to America and its government that we land on the moon, saying no single project will be more impressive to mankind.  I wish Barack Obama would make a similar challenge to today’s America to find a cure for cancers backing that challenge up, as Kennedy did, with the full force and weight of the American treasury.  I know that Obama doesn’t have the same compliant members of Congress that Kennedy had when he made his speech on May 25, 1961 and that’s another tragedy that marks Frazier’s death.  Too many Americans, humans of all walks of life, have died from a disease that should be, could be curable were we to put our collective hearts, minds and resources into finding that cure.  Why we don’t is the biggest tragedy of all.

The second death to occur in sports was that of innocence after the shocking news that a former Penn State football coach had been indicted on 4o counts of alleged sexual abuse of young boys, men, in his care as founder of The Second Mile charity.  The allegations are sordid, and Jerry Sandusky is presumed innocent, but the death of trust by a society so sports drenched to depend on athletic authorities to make the right decisions for athletes has been cemented with this latest news about Sandusky and by extension the Penn State football program.  His indictment has taken down the athletic director, the head football coach, the longest serving coach in division A athletics and Penn State’s president. It’s also an awful indictment of how careless, cavalier and indifferent  people in positions of authority in athletics towards those who they were responsible for.  No parent, nor any athlete should ever look at a coach or sports administrator in the same way after this news; perhaps Charles Barkley was right when he eschewed the notion that he or any other athlete is a role model.  Sandusky has proven they can be just as vile as any other citizen.  Now might be the time for people to be responsible for themselves and their loved ones and not delegate that responsibility to athletic heroes.