Monday, August 31, 2009

Blood For Oil in the UK?

As reported by the London Telegraph, here is yet another reason why David Cameron, the British Conservative Party (a/k/a Tory) leader is a considered a lock to defeat hapless Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the Labor Party in the spring election:
Jack Straw has admitted that the Government caved in to Libyan demands to include the Lockerbie bomber in a prisoner transfer deal.
The Justice Secretary said that he originally wanted Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi omitted from the agreement, but then relented, deciding the bomber should be eligible.
He said that the Libyans deserved “something” in return for giving up their nuclear weapons programme, but vehemently denied striking a “backdoor deal” over Megrahi.
Shortly after the reversal of Britain’s stance, a multi-billion pound oil exploration agreement between Libya and BP was rubber-stamped.
Mr Straw insisted that the disclosures were a “red herring” as Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister, made the final decision on Megrahi’s release.
Opposition parties are calling the release of the Lckerbie bomber a "terrorist for trade" deal.

Ridge Reconsiders Allegation In Memoir

As we suggested in a previous posting, former Department of Homeland Security boss Tom Ridge is backpedaling on his marketing-driven claim that politics entered into the pre-election national terror-threat level. From USA Today:
Former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge, speaking for the first time about accusations made in his new book, says he did not mean to suggest that other top Bush administration officials were playing politics with the nation's security before the 2004 presidential election.
"I'm not second-guessing my colleagues," Ridge said in an interview about The Test of Our Times, which comes out Tuesday and recounts his experiences as head of the nation's homeland security efforts in the first several years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks...
His most explosive accusation: that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft pressed him to raise the national threat level after Osama bin Laden released a videotape criticizing President Bush shortly before Election Day 2004. Ridge writes he rejected raising the level because bin Laden had released nearly 20 such tapes since 9/11 and the latest contained nothing suggesting an imminent threat...
Now, Ridge says he did not mean to suggest he was pressured to raise the threat level, and he is not accusing anyone of trying to boost Bush in the polls. "I was never pressured," Ridge said.
And this from ABC:
On Good Morning America today, Ridge said that "a lot of people are hyperventilating about that passage," but he suggested that "this was one of several times that the process worked" since ultimately the threat level was not elevated. He said he never questioned "any of my colleagues' motives or rationales."
Ridge also agrees with former Vice President Cheney that going after CIA officers is a mistake:
"I think [Cheney is] right, pure and simple," Ridge said on 'Good Morning America' Monday. Ridge said of Holder's decision, "it's wrong, it’s chilling, and it’s inappropriate."

Cheney on National Security

Agree or disagree, the former VP provides a compelling interview on FNC about national security. On the impending investigation of CIA interrogators, Cheney said: "I just think it's an outrageous precedent to set, to have this kind of, I think, intensely partisan, politicized look-back at the prior administration."