Senator Reid questioned about war budget, support

As Senator Harry Reid (D - NV) left the set of ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Sam Husseini asked him about withdrawing troops from Iraq and whether supporting the war budget wasn’t also support for the Bush Administration’s prosecution of the war.

[originally published on Washington Stakeout on Dec. 17, 2006; posted on posthaven Nov. 13, 2015]

Pressing Colin Powell about his Security Council speech, Hussein Kamel


Sam Husseini: Do you know that Hussein Kamel said that there were no WMDs? Did you know that?

Colin Powell: What’s that?

SH: You cited Hussein Kamel in your UN testimony. Did you know that he said that there were no WMDs, did you know that at the time?

CP: I only knew what the intelligence community told me.

SH: But did you know that fact?

CP: Of course not!

SH: You didn’t know that he said that, even though it was reported?

CP: I -

SH: You didn’t know -

CP: I’ve answered your question.

SH: You didn’t know that he said there were no WMDs.

In his famous February 4, 2003 speech to the United Nations Security Council, General Colin Powell said:

… It took years for Iraq to finally admit that it had produced four tons of the deadly nerve agent, VX. A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes. Four tons.

The admission only came out after inspectors collected documentation as a result of the defection of Hussein Kamal, Saddam Hussein’s late son-in-law. …

Sam Husseini tried to follow-up some initial questions (see video below) with Powell today, as he left his Face The Nationappearance in Washington, D.C. Husseini pointed out that the man Powell cited in his speech, Hussein Kamel, also had said that there were no more weapons of mass destruction.

This story was first broken, according to FAIR, by Newsweek, in late February of 2003 (dated for early March) — before the open launch of the Iraq war and after Powell’s speech.

When Husseini pressed to see of Powell was aware of this evidence, he adamantly asserted “Of course not!”

In pressing again for a direct confirmation that he was not aware of evidence contradicting public assertions about alleged-Iraqi WMD, Powell’s only response was “I’ve answered your question.”

[originally published on Washington Stakeout on Dec. 17, 2006; posted on posthaven Nov. 13, 2015]

Rep.-Elect Sestak: Iraq war funding, redeployment; Sen. Levin on air power

Representative-Elect Joe Sestak (D - PA) answered questions from Sam Husseini regarding the Iraq Study Group’s recommendation to privatize the Iraqi oil industry and whether or not Congress’ funding of the Iraq war was also support for Bush’s administration of the war. Husseini also asked Sestak about his support for a plan that would include increased use of U.S. air power in Iraq and his position on some the Bush administration’s other policies with respect to Israel and Palestine.

Sestak admitted “our way” of doing things may not be best of the Iraqis and lent ostensible support to the principle of self-determination, that Iraqis best decide what works for them.

The new Representative refused to support war budget cuts to force a withdrawal, rather he endorsed moving some components of war funding into the normal budget process, as opposed to these hypothetical programs being a part of emergency supplemental funding.

Sestak was also asked for the form of redeployment he supported which highlights increased use of air power. Sestak claimed “we do air power very well without doing a lot of casualties.”

Sestak was also asked about the U.S. role in the Israel-Palestine situation.

Levin on Air Power

Last week Senator Levin was asked about his position on scenarios for redeploying troops in Iraq that included increased air power.

[originally published on Washington Stakeout on Dec. 17, 2006; posted on posthaven Nov. 13, 2015]

Senator Lott on President Carter’s Palestine book


Sam Husseini: Senator Lott, how do you react to President Carter’s recent statements that Israel is imposing an apartheid system on the Palestinians, and there’s been a defacto silence, a complicity, by both parties in the Congress. How do you react to that statement?

Senator Trent Lott: I really have been concerned by a lot of what former President Carter had to say, and I don’t think a lot of it has been helpful in any way. The situation with Israel and how they deal with the Palestinian issue and others is very very serious, very critical, and I think while we should try to be helpful, we should also be very careful in what we propose and what we say.

Husseini: Senator, have you been to the West Bank, have you been to any Palestinian towns?

 Yeah, uh, I have not recently, but I have been there in the past, yes.

Husseini: In Israeli settlements, or on the other side of the line?

Lott: On the Israeli side of the line.

Husseini: So you haven’t been to the Palestinian towns and villages.

Lott: No, no I have not been to the Palestinian side of the equation. Look, it is not a perfect situation, I don’t deny that

Husseini: Doesn’t that prove Carter’s point?

Lott: Now part of what you do in finding a solution is not start, you know, using names and casting dispersions on either side. You try to find how you solve the problem. You try to move to a positive solution without trying to characterize or condemn one side or the other. Look, there’s no perfection in how that part of the world and the Middle East is being done. But we need to try to find a way to come to some solutions and I think good men and women of good will are going to have to do that.

Husseini: But how can you do that if you only go to one side of the line? You said you’ve only been to one side

Lott: Look, I haven’t condemned the other side

Husseini: No, no, but you haven’t been there, you don’t see their point of view. How do you know it’s not apartheid if you haven’t been on their side of the fence?

Lott: I’ve never been to North Korea either, do I have an opinion on that situation, yeah. I haven’t been to Iran

Husseini: So it might be apartheid for all you know.

Lott: I would not describe it that way.

[originally published on Washington Stakeout on Dec. 10, 2006; posted on posthaven Nov. 11, 2015]

Privatizing Iraqi oil? Iraq Study Group Co-Chair Lee Hamilton questioned


Sam Husseini: Mr. Hamilton, can you clarify one of your recommendations, number 63, which called on the US to “assist the Iraqi leaders to reorganize the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise and to encourage investment in Iraq’s oil sector by the international community and by international energy companies. Are you calling for some sort of privitization?

Lee Hamilton: Oil of course is the critical asset in Iraq. It furnishes a very large percentage of the GDP of Iraq. It furnishes a huge percentage of the total revenues of the government. We recommend many things with regard to the oil industry. I think there are as many recommendations on oil as any other feature of it, and you have to look at them as a package. Okay, thank you.

[originally published on Washington Stakeout on Dec. 10, 2006; posted on posthaven Nov. 11, 2015]

Song Sellout: Free, Love

More memories gone to hell: As I watch Pulp Fiction and Butch wakes from a nightmare -- as he should from his memories of killing a man the night before -- a commercial for Chase credit cards groves to "I'm Free" by the Stones and one for Macy's bops to the Beatles' "[With Love] From Me To You."

A notable piece on song sellouts is "Riders on the Storm" by John Densmore. I could hardly believe it when Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" was commercialized by Mercedes-Benz several years ago. Even as a child I was worried that "Who Will Buy" from Oliver would end up being commercialized, especially by some pharmaceutical -- perhaps the one that makes propranolol.

But maybe it's all for the best. If you don't want songs that are meaningful to you to be commercialized, write your own.

[originally published at on Nov. 26, 2006]

New Meaning to "United States of Amnesia"

"60 Minutes" aired a segment tonight about propranolol, a drug that some claim can erode memories of traumatic events. At the end of the segment Leslie Stahl noted that the military will be funding further research. The great thing about something like this is that even if it doesn't work, the "promise" of it working helps facilitate All the War Crimes, None of the Guilt.

[originally published at on Nov. 26, 2006]

The Week in Review Pseudo-Haikus on Kerry, Borat -- and Haikus

He says he calls him dumb

but claims he tricked him to war
If so, who's dumb?

Bush repents?
some finally ask as stunt
No, Kerry for wrong reason

We can pretend
we have global dialogue
More like global blackface

But it's funny
says my friend
Maybe that's the problem with us

Haiku says much with little
There are few real thoughts
and too many words

Really it's more than
just seventeen syllables
I will try to learn

[originally published at on Nov. 4, 2006]