America’s Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between the United States and Its Enemies by George Friedman ©2004

Host: Rich

Date: March 1, 2007

Judges Score: Enlightening

Food & Drink: Wings, veggies, beer

7 Responses to “#06 – America’s Secret War”


  1. 1 bobbyjones May 15, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    I watched Why We Fight last night – great flick and adjunct to this discussion. The best quote was “We elected a government contractor as vice president” says Charles Lewis of the Center for Public Integrity.

    Other recommended films: Fahrenheit 9/11 and V for Vendetta.

  2. 2 Dave K. May 15, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    I saw a preview for this before Who Killed The Electric Car (see comment under The End of Oil) and it looks great! It’ll be my next documentary… Also, saw a preview for ‘Sketches of Frank Gehry’, Sydney Pollack’s doc on/with the architect… I’ll be adding that one to my queue as well!

  3. 3 Matt H. May 21, 2007 at 9:48 am

    I watched the George Tenet interview from the Daily Show on Tivo the other night… Stewart is a well read guy but I don’t think he has read this book. He still asks the question of “Why did we go into Iraq?”… but Friedman has one of the most palatable answers I’ve heard to date… that we bullied on the little kid on the block to 1) force the Saudi’s to take a hard line on those supporting Al Qaeda and 2) to park 300,000 troops within minutes of Iran and get them to stop the inflow of Al Qaeda from their Afgan border. The neo-con hawks from the administration believed this was the path for stability in the region. Of course the administration would never admit to this in public discourse but it explains why they don’t care about having to lie about WMDs and the supposed Iraq / Al Qaeda relationship. I hope the press will start drawing some questions from this theory.

  4. 4 Matt H. May 29, 2007 at 8:22 am

    I had watched the documentary “Iraq For Sale” the other night… very informative. How many billions are we spending with these very large contractors? CACI, Halliburton, Titan, L3, DynCorp, and Blackwater? Capitalism in war does not create a healthy incentive structure… contaminated water that our troops are using to shower with, $99 to wash a duffle of laundry, sending unprotected convoys into dangerous areas without firepower to meet deadlines, using private interrogators to question prisoners in Abu Ghraib. This movie gives so many examples of bad behavior… I wonder how many have never been reported? My only criticism is that it tries a little to hard to pull at those heart-strings… otherwise well worth the 75 minutes of my time.

  5. 5 Matt H. July 5, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Ok… so Netflix gave another recommendation that I could not pass up Uncovered: The War On Iraq that further increases my contempt for this administration. Robert Greenwald goes to great length in searching out “experts” from the CIA, defense, and from the beltway to contradict the testimony of the administration in their relentless pursuit of a war in Iraq. Less than 90 minutes long… well worth the time. The video also includes testimony from Joe Wilson… a great follow-up to our “commander-in-chief’s” pardon earlier this week of the “honorable” Scooter Libby. Let me know what you think.

  6. 6 Bill B. December 22, 2008 at 9:16 am

    The article below from the 12/22/08 Washington Post made me think we actually do have an immensely dangerous and unapologetic egomaniac in the west wing right now and thought others might also want to hear it straight from the horse’s ass, I mean mouth…

    Cheney, Biden Spar In TV Appearances
    Discord Centers on Scope of Executive Power

    By Dan Eggen
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, December 22, 2008; Page A02

    Vice President Cheney and his successor, Joseph R. Biden Jr., exchanged insults yesterday in a pair of unusually critical television interviews, laying bare apparent animosity between the two as Cheney prepares to hand over power next month.

    Cheney, offering no regrets or apologies for his aggressive role in guiding national security policies over the past eight years, openly mocked Biden for citing the wrong part of the Constitution during a campaign debate and for pledging to pursue a less expansive agenda than Cheney has.

    “If he wants to diminish the office of the vice president, that’s obviously his call,” Cheney said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” He added: “President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice president and, apparently, from the way they’re talking about it, he does not expect him to have as consequential a role as I have had during my time.”

    Biden said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that Cheney was “dead wrong” in his views about unfettered presidential powers during wartime and that the approach “has been not healthy for our foreign policy, not healthy for our national security, and it has not been consistent with our Constitution.” He said he intended to “restore the balance” in power between the presidency and the vice presidency.

    The sparring revealed lingering tensions between Cheney and Biden, who said during the election campaign that Cheney was probably the “most dangerous” vice president in U.S. history. The sharp rhetoric was particularly striking given the warm public relations between President-elect Barack Obama and President Bush, who has praised Obama’s well-run campaign and has repeatedly said he wishes him well.
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    With less than a month left in office, Cheney was blunt and unapologetic about his central role in some of the most controversial issues of the past eight years, including the invasion of Iraq, warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens and harsh interrogation tactics. Cheney acknowledged that he had disagreed with Bush’s decision to remove embattled Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in late 2006, saying that “the president doesn’t always take my advice.”

    “I was a Rumsfeld man,” Cheney said. “I’d helped recruit him, and I thought he did a good job for us.”

    Cheney even owned up to an incident in 2004 in which he directed an obscenity at Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) during a heated exchange on the Senate floor. “I thought he merited it at the time,” Cheney said yesterday.

    The interview was the second in less than a week for the normally reclusive vice president, and it comes as part of a broad effort by Bush and his aides to focus attention on what they consider to be their administration’s major accomplishments.

    In an interview with ABC News last week, Cheney suggested that the administration would have gone to war with Iraq even without erroneous intelligence showing that Saddam Hussein had developed weapons of mass destruction. Cheney also said in that interview that he approved of the administration’s use of coercive interrogation tactics, including a type of simulated drowning known as waterboarding.

    Elisa Massimino, executive director of Human Rights First, said in a statement yesterday that Cheney “persists in defending these disgraceful policies of abuse which have been rejected by senior retired military leaders and experienced interrogators as ineffective and counterproductive.” Obama has criticized the Bush administration for condoning torture and has pledged to end interrogation practices barred under international law.

    But Cheney expressed few regrets in yesterday’s interview and said he was untroubled by opinion polls showing that he and Bush are among the most unpopular White House occupants in modern times. “Eventually you wear out your welcome in this business, but I’m very comfortable with where we are and what we’ve achieved substantively,” he said.

    In discussing his views of broad executive power, Cheney noted that the president is accompanied at all times by a military aide carrying a “football” that contains launch codes for nuclear weapons.

    “He could launch the kind of devastating attack the world has never seen,” Cheney said. “He doesn’t have to check with anybody. He doesn’t have to call the Congress; he doesn’t have to check with the courts. He has that authority because of the nature of the world we live in. It’s unfortunate, but I think we’re perfectly appropriate to take the steps we have.”

    Echoing remarks by Bush in recent weeks, Cheney said the lack of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, “is a remarkable achievement.” He also said the U.S. Supreme Court made a “bad decision” in 2006 when it struck down the administration’s military commissions.

    Cheney conceded he is disappointed that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden remains at large. “Capturing Osama bin Laden is something we clearly would love to do,” he said. “There are 30 days left.”

    In his ABC interview, which was taped ahead of broadcast yesterday, Biden said Cheney was “mistaken” in his view of “a unitary executive, meaning that, in time of war, essentially all power goes to the executive.” Biden said the view served “at a minimum to weaken our standing in the world and weaken our security. I stand by that judgment.”


  1. 1 On Deterrence « Broken Spines Trackback on November 26, 2007 at 5:37 pm

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