Paul R. Pillar, who worked 28 years for the CIA, says former President George W. Bush invaded Iraq not because of those never-found weapons of mass destruction, but to reshape the economics and politics of the Middle East. Addressing a National Center for Policy Analysis luncheon at the Belo Mansion, Pillar said that there was no “policy process” or discussion leading up to W’s decision and that, in fact, the intelligence report on WMD (proven later to be flawed) hadn’t even been requested when the decision was made.
Given all that, NCPA president John Goodman asked, why did Bush do it? To implement the “neoconservative’s long-held dream” that regime change in Iraq would lead to regime change elsewhere in the “backward” region, which after all had spawned Sept. 11, Pillar replied. He also pointed to the newly militant attitude in the U.S. post-9/11, and to the “assertive” nationalism of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. (Random question Pillar wasn’t asked: If W acted to foment Mideast regime change, does that mean he gets credit for the Arab Spring?)
Over the years, I’ve become comfortable with Tim’s level of whiteness. I know I have to help him with certain Twitter abbreviations (“smh”/”smdh” = “shaking my (damn) head”) and introducing him to various other bits of slang, most of which is usually pretty old, but it’s okay — always fun to hear him start using “scrilla” in sentences. All that said, I usually am not surprised when he is confused by something along those lines. Today, though, I was. When he posted the below Play-N-Skillz video, he first asked if “Dallas freaks” was a thing that people knew about. Like, some sort of new craze sweeping the hip-hop/rap world. I said it had more to do with the fact that Play-N-Skillz and Dorrough both hail from Dallas. No big deal. He mostly listens to NPR-approved artists and he’s in his 40s, so I wouldn’t expect him to know that. He doesn’t sit around bobbing his head to Wiz Khalifa, and that’s fine. It’s probably better that way. But then he asked me who the second artist was. I asked him if he meant Dorrough. He did not. He was referring to “Ft.” (as in “featuring Dorrough, etc.”) — which he pronounced “Foot.”
So that’s a new one.
I’ve wondered in this space whether the Zetas would get Barrett Brown before the feds did. Well, the former unofficial not-spokesman for Anonymous was raided yesterday by the feds, who are stepping up their efforts to deprive the group of lulz. Yesterday a hacker going by the handle Sabu was arrested — and it turned out he’d been cooperating with the government for some time. From Barrett’s statement on the raid (the language of which required me to dash out a few letters):
On the morning of the 6th, three FBI agents came to my mom’s door and asked if I was there. She woke me up and I went down to talk to them. They told me that they’d executed a search warrant at my apartment and that the door had been broken in the process, and then asked me if I had any laptops with me here at my mom’s place that I wanted to give them. I responded in the negative, and they left. At that point I began taking calls and e-mails from the press regarding Sabu, whom I learned was in fact a degenerate p—y traitor who couldn’t face two f—ing years in prison, making him the biggest p—y in the history of mankind. There were several people who came to this conclusion early on; I was not wise enough to be one of them. As to the various stunts he pulled in the months since his arrest – including but not limited to the unnecessary release of credit card information for Stratfor customers – we may never know to what extent such things were encouraged by his “Justice Department” handlers in an effort to discredit this movement. But I digress, lol. At any rate, the Feds came back a couple of hours later with a search warrant for my mom’s place – they fully intended to take a certain laptop, and did.
WARNING: This video is NOT safe for work.
Now this is how you make Dallas world class. Forget the Arts District and the Large Marge. They won’t do it like this. The musical artists Play-N-Skillz, Dorrough, Too Short, and Bay Bay have collaborated on a song called “Dallas Freaks,” the gist of which is that, in their opinion, Dallas has the best freaks (“freaks” being a term for women that are, let’s say, sexually active). If these gentlemen can get their message out, that will move the needle. If the brass at Boeing had seen this video, no way would they have decided to move to Chicago.
Did I mention that the video is NSFW?
An alert FrontBurnervian points us to this TMZ report about Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking getting sued by Wells Fargo. Seems Brooking borrowed nearly $2 million from the bank and hasn’t been making his regularly scheduled payments. The bank claims Brooking has transferred a bunch of property to friends and relatives in an effort to prevent the bank from going after the properties to satisfy the debt. Maybe Brooking and Dez Bryant should stay home and do Sandwich Night together a little more often. You know, cut back on the spending a little.
I will always remember my first French teacher, Mr. Trauth. He was Quebecois, small, portly, and definitely a little strange. He hated “bubble tests” and deliberately mispronounced the names of popular American musical acts, like “Brit-tany Queers” and “the Badstreet Boys” just to enrage his more obtuse pupils. I actually liked him a lot.
Anyway, Mr. Trauth really loved Cirque du Soleil, and he’d play us videos on Friday afternoons even though the acrobats obviously don’t do much talking. Every time I see them, I think about Mr. Trauth threatening to live in a tree outside a student’s house until this student started doing his homework. Tonight, Cirque du Soleil opens Quidam in Frisco, which perhaps resembles a traditional big top show more than the rest of their oeuvre (bug love and the Beatles, anyone?). A young girl named ZoÃ© escapes her dreary life by inventing a magical, clown-infested land where she meets various characters who encourage her to express her true self.
The opening reception for Russell Young’s retrospective at the Goss-Michael Foundation, who got his start in celebrity photography by lensing George Michael’s Faith album cover, is also happening this evening. Young paints, too, and the exhibit will showcase his “Helter Skelter” series and his portrait of Marilyn Monroe. The exhibit will run through the end of the month, but this is a good opportunity to check it out at your leisure after work. UPDATE 5:24 p.m.: Just received late word that the opening has been pushed to the weekend. Sorry, all.
For more to do this evening, go here.
You perhaps are by now aware of the mixup involving Fort Worth police and Ben Roethlisberger. The cops said Big Ben’s foundation promised to buy them a police dog but then didn’t follow through. Then — wait a second — the cops backed off a bit on that assertion. The foundation said it had never made such a promise. Anyway, water under the bridge. What I’d like to draw your attention to is the first comment to this Deadspin story.
Super Fast Car Chase Ends on Bridge Over Lake Ray Hubbard. Actually, it wasn’t fast. There’s video showing a handful of cops slowly trailing the Ford Mustang driven by Timothy Barber as he led cops in a two-county chase. It was such a tame chase, in fact, that at some points, Barber actually used his blinkers. Cops finally used a PIT maneuver to get him to stop. Barber had no priors, but cops found marijuana in his car.
CPS Worker Arrested for Child Sex Assault. If this case is proven true, this is very disturbing. Nicholas Santos was arrested Tuesday for alleged child sexual assault. He’s been working with Child Protection Services since 2006.
Little Elm School Teaches Special Needs Kids Restaurant Skills. Special needs students at Little Elm High School run a cafeteria every Tuesday. During these Tuesday sessions, the kids learn how to cook, clean, and serve. The hope is these skills are then translated to successful jobs after high school.