This isn’t surprising at all:
Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war.
In an interview, Mr. Carle said his supervisor at the National Intelligence Council told him in 2005 that White House officials wanted “to get” Professor Cole, and made clear that he wanted Mr. Carle to collect information about him, an effort Mr. Carle rebuffed. Months later, Mr. Carle said, he confronted a C.I.A. official after learning of another attempt to collect information about Professor Cole. Mr. Carle said he contended at the time that such actions would have been unlawful.
It is not clear whether the White House received any damaging material about Professor Cole or whether the C.I.A. or other intelligence agencies ever provided any information or spied on him. Mr. Carle said that a memorandum written by his supervisor included derogatory details about Professor Cole, but that it may have been deleted before reaching the White House. Mr. Carle also said he did not know the origins of that information or who at the White House had requested it.
I think what people would be surprised to learn is not that this sort of thing is happening, but how frequently it happens. I’m willing to bet it is more than just isolated incidents.
i bet it happens at all levels of government, all the time, for all kinds of reasons.
not sure how much of it is going on in this administration, after all MSM still exists and they’re still pimping the R narrative at least 85% of the time. Hell, Faux news is still in existence. If Obama was half the dictator that they purport him to be, their headquarters would be an open crater left in place to keep the others in line. Then again, I wish our Prez had a few more inclinations to kick ass, but he’s a pragmatic dude who knows that he has to work with these knuckledraggers despite their childish behavior.
Or, as John Cole would say: “Hoocoodanode!”
Shocking, shocking, I tell you – that we even know this much.
And buried deep beneath the lede, ten thousand words into the article, is the revelation:
Juan Cole = John Cole!
And after having embarrassed themselves by presenting to the President the baffling results that mostly consisted of something about an overweight cat, puzzled investigators only then realized that they had transposed the two letters.
[REDACTED] lives alone with two dogs and a [REDACTED] cat. Hates USA. Twin brother of Israel-hating anti-semite Juan Cole. Influential blogger. Recommend disposition of [REDACTED]’s case to Gamma Squad for [REDACTED].
Surprised? I gave up on that in 2003.
Appalled? Yes, but that’s a muscle that’s been worked to exhaustion.
Disgusted? Never get tired of that one!
@Daddy-O: Truth me known if they wanted info on John, all they’d have to do is read his blog. Naked mopping
I was disappointed. The idea that the Bush administration could just ruin lives without consequences, still upset me.
of course obama sent a crazy nun after michele bachmann, so both sides do it.
Maybe Juan took pictures of her vagina and Tweeted them to his “boyfriend,” Saddam Hussein.
Funny to think that at the time this was going on you were still a staunch supporter of GWB. I don’t have to work very hard to imagine how you would have dismissed this had it come out then.
Stop hating us for our freedom!
We must look forward and not dwell on the past…
“First they came for the bloggers, but that was in past…”
Our security apparatus infiltrates and spies on a lot of left-leaning groups and individuals in this country. They are the enemy of the MIC.
Sing it, Iggy
THAT kind of thinking is soooo 1990s.
@JPL: Please see “missing WMD” and “Operation Iraqi Freedom” for more and earlier ruined lives, to the tune of some half a million, likewise with no apparent consequences…
If you guys haven’t seen this yet…you need to.
Probably the most racially incendiary and misogynistic campaign ad ever produced (aimed at Democratic candidate Janice Hahn).
African American men posing as gangsters and thugs? Check
Bling and assault rifles? Check
Singing and dancing “musical negros” right out of a Jesse Helms senate speech? Check
Portrayal of a democratic female candidate as a pole dancing whore? Check
African American men shown sexually degrading a white women? Check
Scene at the end showing forcible rape of pole dancing whore with the barrel of an assault rife? Check
This one is utterly unspeakable. The only things missing are a mammy with a headscarf and a pickaninny with a watermelon.
The ghost of J. Edgar Hoover’s furiously pounding down the sides of his coffin and screaming to be put back in charge of things. HE would’ve known what to do with that insolent egghead!
Who among us thought the Plame affair was an isolated incident?
This just in: nasty little troll is little and nasty.
Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory
Well, fuck, his name is Juan, right? One of them damn Messicans stirring up trouble among the brown folk and hippies.
EDIT: the real conservatard laps my satire. Congrats.
I am surprised that the Bush Administration didn’t use the FBI or did they?
This is ancient history. Tell me about someone’s pecker!
Show me some footage of a geriatric in a triangular hat and pantaloons holding pictures of the holocaust because Obama’s just like Hitler!
We are a nation of morons.
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
@celticdragonchick: Yeah, I watched it this morning; and I found it incredibly infuriating.
As in “bust some caps in some teabagger’s ass” furious.
For some reason, I can’t find the “reply” buttons to click on. WTF?
Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised. Agencies involved in national security often have to operate in secrecy. For the politicians who run the system, the temptation to misuse them (can’t get caught! It’s all secret!) must be enormous.
Yeah, a Democratic administration would NEVER do anything like this….
It has become a source of annoyance to those of us who are actual re-enactors.
Polyester Patriots. meh.
Honestly, who could possibly be surprised by this? From that pig Cheney on down, the Bush White House was infested with people who saw absolutely nothing wrong with the crimes of the Nixon Administration.
Feel free to use the “link” button, troll.
I always wondered if there was something fishy—like WH pressure—that turned around Yale’s thinking when he was being considered for a professorship there.
I was banned from the film makers site for some of my critical comments.
Not trolling, I just think it’s naive to believe that only one side is willing to play hardball like this.
I hate being too late to make John Cole confusion joke. But did you notice any strange clicks on your phone line and svelte dark vehicles with dark suited men around your house?
For some reason I cannot reply….
Frank Shannon wrote:
You don’t have to imagine.
Sorry, but I saw enough egregious crap from the 8 years of Bush to last a lifetime… So forgive me for asking for “evidence” when the “both sides” card is drawn. That’s horse shit: the Republicans are far, far worse, and the inability to confront that fact (even if that means just making stuff up without any sort of evidence) is destroying this country.
One side believes that the acquisition of power is an end unto itself, and that critics are not only evil but possibly treasonous. One side believes power should be used to help others, and that critics are wrong on policy detail and possibly crazy.
That is why you see GOP misuses of intelligence gathering agencies, since power is its’ own reward and those who stand in the way must be treated as enemies of the state.
This has been SOP since the 30s at least. And not just the feds, but state agencies and probably your employers as well. It’s a very old and widespread problem.
If libertarians weren’t such morons overall, they might actually get some broad support for fighting for an issue like this, but no, acting like McMegan always seems to take priority.
Look, I voted for Obama. But I’m not naive. Do you honestly believe that the same people that mercislessly hunted down and killed Bin Laden, that are currently engaged in directing semi-covert wars in Yemen and Pakistan, that continue to operate secret prisons, that have have ordered the killing of American citizens abroad, that have continued and in some cases expanded the Bush doctrine vis a vis eavesdropping on a broad scale…are going to feel squeamish about using intelligence agencies to apply pressure to their political opponents? Once you have rained death from the sky, i would imagine that directing the CIA/NSA/FBI whomever to do a little diggint would feel tame in comparison. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying it exonerates Republicans. All I’m saying is don’t fool yourself. Obama and the Deomcrats are certainly better than the GOP but they are not saints.
@35 – I didn’t realize John Cole was a right winger only so recently. I’m having a sad.
Slim consolation to Professor Cole, I’m sure, but it is at least an admission by the loyal Bushies of his correctness of his work. After all, you don’t bother ratfucking the guys who get it wrong.
@ celticdragonchick: ABL posted on that ad yesterday. A number of commenters told her that she was overreacting, and that it was no big deal. Wouldn’t it be nice if I were joking?
@ Jack Bauer: Don’t be sad, be happy that he saw the error of his ways. If more right wingers were like him — willing to see facts and be honest about them — this world would be a far better place.
Maybe we should just preface every email/letter and every conversation with,”If you are reading or listening to this then Go Fuck Yourself!” We could put signs on the roofs of our houses saying that and for good measure keep a little spot shaved on top of our heads and have it tattooed there, too.
FWIW, in 2002-03 I had a small anti-war/peace war rally going in SoCal. One of my protesters did not want her name on my email list as her husband worked for a defense contractor and she was afraid it might jeopardize his security clearance and therefore his job. At a Unitarian Church I occasionally attended, a defense engineer who also attended that church would not join because he worried how it would look on his security clearance. As we all know, Unitarians are a hot bed of subversives—mostly a bunch of old gray heads. This is not unthinkable,as I think the FBI did infiltrate a Unitarian group somewhere up in central CA.
During that period, my sister, who is a little more paranoid than I, often thought she was hearing clicks and things during our phone conversations. It was entirely possible as my name had appeared in a couple of local newspaper stories. I would so love to go back to that street corner for a few days with a sign that said “How’s the war been working out for you, fuckers?”.
In some ways, I think we as a society ask for this because we demand perfect safety against terrorist attacks. It ain’t gonna happen. 100% is impossible to achieve. Somewhere, somehow, it’ll happen again and the people that would be held to account for it happening on their watch are absolutely terrified of that. Personally, I am willing to live with a little more risk and a little less of this BS. There is a certain amount of risk in just getting out of bed in the AM’s as John Cole will testify. When did we become such a nation of bedwetters?
hmmm… the old BJ archives are on-line now?
this could be fun.
Cole, man. Think of the narrow escape you’ve had. I mean, you and Juan Cole’s names get mixed up often. Can you imagine if W. had gotten the name wrong? Shiver.
@nancydarling at #44, once W. implemented the wire-tapping program, I took to saying, “Bush is a fucking idiot!” “Bush is a criminal and a jackass!” whenever I spoke on the phone if I heard a click. I was talking to someone in Canada a few nights ago, and I heard a click. So I said, “Bush is STILL a fucking idiot.” I explained to him what I was doing and he added, “Stephen Harper is a jackass, too!” or some such thing.
It’s a badge of honor for Juan Cole.
He made Bush nervous.
How do you define “it”? I’m sure opposition research/leaking unflattering stuff to the press/etc. happens at all levels of government, all the time, and is done by both parties. But using the CIA or FBI? Not so much.
Heh, Bender is such a devoted conservative traditionalist.
Government of the non-existent-WMD, by the non-existent-WMD, for the non-existent-WMD.
(Seriously, you won’t even argue that there’s no possible way the Dubya administration could have broken the law like this, that this story must be an ev0l librul lie? You really do want the CIA to be your party’s KGB, eh, ‘patriot’?)
I do wonder why they targeted Juan Cole in particular. I did appreciate his blog back then, because he was a scholar who actually knew something about the part of the world he was writing about. But there were plenty of people blogging against the war back then; was he especially influential? Or maybe because he was a scholar rather than a DFH, they thought they could do some real damage to him?
@40, who says, “I didn’t realize John Cole was a right winger only so recently. I’m having a sad.”
Well, as I said at the time:
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Yep. I was an asshole. I eventually wrote an apology to Juan Cole.
Thank you! I’ve often thought of that verse in this context, but I could only remember the last line.
Villago Delenda Est
That was the reason.
The deserting coward didn’t know the fucking difference between Sunni and Shi’ite. Or shit and shinola, for that matter.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
Fortunately, President Obama would never get caught doing this kind of thing, because getting caught is very unprofessional and just so not Chicago School cool when Leo Strauss is in the house.
But remember, balloonbaggers, IOKIYBO, also too, so “what, you worry”?
Juan Cole has been quoted/interviewed/published fairly often in the non-online media since before the Iraq war, as a Middle East expert providing facts not in accordance with Bush admin dogma. I’d imagine that’s what got him on their radar, rather than his blogging.