A Bush-watcher website identified as TBRNews.org is reporting under the byline of "domestic intelligence reporter" Brian Harring that the Department of Defense is using a cynical tactic to mislead the public regarding the true death toll for American military personnel in Iraq. Harring claims he has an internal pdf. file from the D.O.D. which establishes that nearly 9000 Americans have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom, but that the official number has been held to 1713 by designating as Iraq deaths only those who perish on Iraqi soil. The remainder, he says, are military personnel who have died en route to Germany or in German hospitals-- casualties of the war, but not listed in the official death toll.
If this is true it would explain the apparent statistical discrepancy between dead and wounded. A combat action which produces nearly eight times as many officially wounded-- 13000 plus-- as officially dead...well, it's not the norm. It goes without saying it would also further jolt a public majority already disturbed by the war's "progress" and eager to see the troops come home
[. . .]
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Update 9:07pm OWT:
The Festival is also being broadcast for the first time on XM Satellite Radio.
Tonight's acts are The Grascals, IIIrd Tyme Out, Country Current, which is the U.S.Navy bluegrass band, and the Del McCoury Band.
I can't remember the last time we listened to the radio all Saturday evening.
[. . .]
Latin America is a continent that is drifting left, out of U.S. control. Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's outspoken president, embodies this continental drift with his anti-imperialist rhetoric. It's a shift away from Pax Americana that is occurring both at the ballot box and in the streets, as elected leaders in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina defy Washington and attempt to chart independent political and economic paths.
[. . .]
Chimpy Inc. is neglecting their own backyard and it's gonna come around to bite us in the ass.
The story by political correspondent Dana Milbank drips with a sarcasm that would never be allowed for a report on, say, a conservative gathering or on a topic involving any part of the American political spectrum other than the Left.
Washington Post editors - having already dismissed the leaked British government documents about the Iraq War as boring, irrelevant news - are now turning to the tried-and-true tactic for silencing any remaining dissent, consigning those who won't go along to the political loony bin.
Those of us who have covered Washington for years have seen the pattern before. A group without sufficient inside-the-Beltway clout tries to draw attention to a scandal that the Post and other prestigious news arbiters have missed or gotten wrong. After ignoring the grievances for a while - and sensing that the complainers have no real muscle - the news arbiters start heaping on the abuse.
Indeed, Dana Milbank, as the Post's White House correspondent, has drawn conservative ire from time to time for not showing sufficient respect for George W. Bush. But if Milbank were tempted to write an over-the-top attack on Bush - like he did on Conyers and the Downing Street Memo hearing - he would pay a high price from retaliating conservatives who would accuse him of bias and flood his editors with complaints.
Though no one wants to say it, everyone in mainstream journalism knows intuitively that there is no real risk in ripping liberals. Most often, it's a win-win. Not only can you write almost whatever you want, but it buys the journalist a measure of protection from conservatives, who have a long record of costing reporters their jobs.
Certainly, any thoughts about impeaching Bush are little more than pipedreams given the reality of today's national media. In that sense, the Post's attacks on the Downing Street Memo hearing should serve as a splash of cold water in the face of the American Left.I think that us Pajamahadeen have to not get a big head over what has been accomplished, even though it has been significant and a good start. I am reminded of the parable about egotism involving a flea having sex with an elephant and asking, "Did it hurt?"
While Web sites and progressive talk radio have helped puncture the image of Bush's invulnerability, a much broader media infrastructure would be needed if issues, such as the Iraq deceptions, are to be forced consistently into the national debate.
I am also reminded of some words from a Frank Sinatra tune: "Oops, there goes a billion-kilowatt dam!", alluding to the power of persistence.
Keep pluggin' away, gang.
Speaking of blowing up K Street: Did you know the lobbying industry in Washington is bigger than the GNP of 57 nations?
[. . .]
Shut down the think tanks.I've seen some of the crap produced by those places,and not alot of thinking seems to be going on.Lots of white rich folks planning "our"future,icky.Enough of that already,these people couldn't plan their way out of a wet paper bag.
[. . .]
King of Zembla:
Today we see a similar sort of lexical rehabilitation at work in the increasingly frequent use by Republicans and their apologists of the word "treason." To understand "treason" in its modern sense, certain principles must be assumed:
The frenzy is reaching ugly proportions very rapidly. And don't think for a minute that they'll stop with Durbin.
We hurt them this week. We showed we will stand up (thank you again Rep. Conyers and the other Democrats who showed your support. Was anyone from the Senate present? Doubtful.) and engage those who would keep us silent. It will get worse, ladies and gents, and in the coming months we're gonna have to show some intestinal fortitude. They will try to marginalize us and we will have to scream louder.
From Theodore Roosevelt:
"Liar" is just as ugly a word as "thief," because it implies the presence of just as ugly a sin in one case as in the other. If a man lies under oath or procures the lie of another under oath, if he perjures himself or suborns perjury, he is guilty under the statute law.
Go read 'em all.
The Yorba Linda resident was baffled when her garage door - and that of a neighbor - would mysteriously open and close several times a day over the last few weeks.Now, I've heard that in some subdivisions of mass-built homes that when you operate your garage door clicker, every fifth door will open, but this is ridiculous. You'd think out multi-billion dollar rocket scientists could do better than that.
The repairman had a quick diagnosis: Military radio transmissions were playing havoc with her automatic garage door-opening system.
He may have been right. The U.S. military and the Federal Communications Commission both acknowledge that new military radios, part of an $800-million effort to upgrade communications at bases, have interfered with garage door openers across the country.
Both agencies have fielded numerous complaints from frustrated residents since last year, when the Department of Defense began installing radios that use the same frequency as the ubiquitous clickers.
Maybe it's just that they haven't figured out how to read our minds yet, so they'll settle for seeing what's in the garage.
The final step - we know you've been waiting for this, pally - is to take a mouthful of the beer. Slurp it and suck a little air through it to bring out the flavors - the caramel-like sweetness of the malt, the bitterness from the hops, the mouth-coating savoriness of the malt proteins. Savor the aromas of the hops and the roasted qualities of the malt a second time as the fumes rise from your mouth into your nose.
A delicately floral and herbaceous nose, redolent of hibiscus flowers and a fresh bouquet garni. A soft and velvety mouth-feel, gently tannic with a lingering spicy, tart finish. A newly released Santa Barbara Pinot Noir? No, I'm describing the Craftsman Triple White Sage, a Belgian-style golden ale brewed by a tiny artisanal brewery in Pasadena. That's right, a beer.Craftsman? You can get beer at Sears?
I pour a little of the beer, about 4 ounces or so, into a 24-ounce red burgundy glass. The oversized balloon shape of the glass allows for aeration just like it does for Pinot Noir. Then I swirl and agitate the beer, bringing the bubbles and aromatics to the surface. At this point, I put my nose into the glass, below the rim, and take a big whiff.Great. Now we've got beer snobs? Oh, a torn designer tee-shirt. Don't write me angry letters. I know there's a lot of good brewskis out there.
I don't drink any more, but my favorite beer was ABC: Anything But Coors.
Friday, June 17, 2005
First, read this piece of shit trying to pass as reporting.
Then, read Congressman Conyers' letter to the Washington Post in regard to that article.
Then, if you'd like to politely suggest that Mr. Milbank might want to try drafting a Washington Sketch which resembles reality instead of a gross caricature thereof, you can "Suggest a Sketch" by emailing here.
[. . .]
Here's the part where I sound like my dad: We have to have some goals as a coalition, from here on out. We need long-term and short-term goals.
The long-term goal seems deceptively easy, right? Impeachment. Duh.
[. . .]
A set of well thought out initiatives. Smart guy down there in Georgia.
Leave it to the Beltway herd, with their special brand of arrogance, to insist that the Downing Street memo wasn't news.
A classified document recording deliberations by the highest officials of our most important ally over the decision to wage war is always news. A document that shows those officials believed the justification for war was "thin" and that the intelligence was being "fixed" is always news. A document that indicates the president was misleading the world about his determination to wage war only as a last resort is always news.When you finish reading that, keep going and read David Paul Kuhn's related article on yesterday's basement meeting, "Just Hearsay, or the New Watergate Tapes?".
And when such a document is leaked, whatever editors, reporters and producers may think "everyone" already knows or believes about its contents emphatically does not affect whether that piece of paper is news. The journalists' job is to determine whether it is authentic and then to probe into its circumstances and meaning. There are many questions still to be answered about the Downing Street memo, but the nation's most prominent journalists still aren't asking them.
The Democratic representatives attending the forum said they believed if such information had gotten out prior to the war, neither the House nor the Senate would have supported the Oct. 11, 2002, congressional vote giving the president the power to order the invasion.
To the Democrats taking turns to speak at the forum on Thursday, the memo was tantamount to the first word of tapes in the Nixon White House during the Watergate scandal. Impeachment was on these representatives' minds as four longtime critics of the war in Iraq, including former Ambassador Joe Wilson, repeatedly urged Congress to hold an official inquiry into the validity and origins of the Downing Street memo.
"They tried to shut us out," Conyers said after the hearing. "They tried to cut us off. They put us in a tiny room. The significance shouldn't be lost on anybody."No, it shouldn't.
LARGO - Refusing to give up on the Terri Schiavo case, Gov. Jeb Bush has asked Pinellas prosecutors to sort out time discrepancies Michael Schiavo has provided regarding the hour he found his wife unconscious 15 years ago.
State Attorney Bernie McCabe has agreed to review the time elements in the case, his chief assistant, Bruce Bartlett, said Thursday.
[. . .]
Do you want another four years of another Bush in the White House in '08? Hat tip: Maru.
So, they're starting to frag their officers. Tell me again how Iraq isn't anything like Vietnam. If you think it's not, you are either delusional, ignorant of recent history (40 years ago), or a bloodyfool.
Tom Dispatch expands a little bit on it:
Welcome to Iraq...but call it Vietnam
If we haven't all gone down the rabbit hole in Baghdad and come out in the Saigon of another era, you can't prove it by recent news from catastrophic Iraq. Eerie doesn't do it justice.
Think "light at the end of the tunnel." Think the era of Lyndon Johnson. Think of that flood of positive numbers -- the "metrics" of victory -- that came pouring out of Vietnam and now, in the form of numbers of troops armed and trained for the new Iraqi Army, police, and security forces, is flooding out of Iraq. Top generals back in Washington all lend a helpful hand.
Compare that, for instance, to the following comment on the enemy: "The ability of the [insurgents] to rebuild their units and to make good their losses is one of the mysteries of this guerrilla war... Not only do [their] units have the recuperative powers of the phoenix, but they have an amazing ability to maintain morale." Oh sorry, that wasn't Iraq at all. That was actually Gen. Maxwell Taylor, American ambassador to South Vietnam, in November 1964.All that was just in the prologue to Jonathon Schell's article "The Exception Is the Rule". Go read.
Let's face it. This is deja vu all over again. In Vietnam, their Vietnamese regularly proved so much more admirable -- in the eyes of American military officers -- than ours. America's Vietnamese often seemed like the sorts of thugs white adventurers in Hollywood films had once defeated single-handedly. They were corrupt, cowardly, greedy, and rapacious in relation to their own people, and regularly amazingly unwilling to fight their own war.
Somewhere in Tennessee there are former patients of Bill Frist, who was a practicing physician before he entered the U.S. Senate.
If Frist issued them a clean bill of health, we implore them to get a second opinion. This is especially important if he examined them by watching them on TV.
Frist wasn't the only one misdiagnosing Schiavo. U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, an exterminator before going to Congress, said, "she talks and laughs, and she expresses happiness and discomfort. Terri Schiavo is not on life support."
They were wrong about Schiavo's condition. We hope the public remembers that during the next holier-than-thou charade.Public? Remember? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Frist lied about his
But it's easy to see why George W. Bush thinks he can continue dissembling about the Iraq War, since he's gotten away with it for three years, as the Post and other parts of the MSM have told the public, "move along, none of your business what happened here."
Just like a cop would tell you at the scene of a collision between a train and a school bus.
(New York -WABC, June 16, 2005) - Late Thursday afternoon the Defense Department announced murder charges against Staff Sargent Alberto Martinez.
Investigators say Martinez killed fellow soldiers - Captain Phillip Esposito, who's from Rockland County, and Lieutenant Louis Allen - from Orange County. Both men were in Tikrit, Iraq when they were killed.
[. . .]
So far, the U.S. military has released no information about the murders themselves, including a possible motive. All we know at this point is that 37-year-old Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez is being held at a military confinement facility in Kuwait. Along with the two victims, Martinez was assigned to the 42nd Infantry division with the New York Army National Guard.
[. . .]
So, they're starting to frag their officers. Tell me again how Iraq isn't anything like Vietnam. If you think it's not, you are either delusional, ignorant of recent history (40 years ago), or a bloody fool.
Billmon said it best over a year ago. 'Vietnam on crack'.
Q: Scott, is the insurgency in Iraq in its 'last throes'?
McC: Blah, blah, blah.
Q But the insurgency is in its last throes?
McC: Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Q But they're killing more Americans, they're killing more Iraqis. That's the last throes?
McC: Burp, fart, belch.
Q Right. What is the evidence that the insurgency is in its last throes?
McC: Hem, haw, dis'ass'emble.
Q What's the evidence on the ground that it's being extinguished?
McC: Bullshit, bullshit, horseshit.
Q Well, I'm just wondering what the metric is for measuring the defeat of the insurgency.
McC: Wah, wah, wah.
Q Yes. Is there any idea how long a 'last throe' lasts for?
McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Steve.... [my emphasis]
I could be forced to admit that only one of Little Snotty's quotes is genuine, but who believes what the little worm says anyway. When is someone in the WH Press Corps going to tell the American public that no truth, no real answers, will ever be forthcoming from 1600? They are all leeches and remoras, parasites who depend on the good graces of their hosts.
Release No. 070605
June 16, 2005
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. - The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, "Thunderbirds," have announced their new pilots for the 2006 demonstration season which includes the first female demonstration pilot in the 52-year history of the Thunderbirds.
[. . .]
Joining the Thunderbirds in the no. 3 right wing position will be Capt. Nicole Malachowski, currently assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. Captain Malachowski will turn a new page in history as the first female demonstration pilot on a U.S. military high performance jet team.
[. . .]
Good on her and good on the Air Force.
John Conyers delivering his petition to the White House. They wouldn't let him in. Think about this. They refused to allow a Member of Congress into the White House to deliver a letter. It's time to explain to Bush and his henchmen that he does not hold the deed to the White House. We do.
Pic via Kos
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Good on Maxine Waters too. And Bonifaz from Downingstreet.org is fantastic.
Hinchey of NY, "Congress has abrogated its responsibility to oversee the Executive."
Lofgren of CA, "The leadership of this Congress is perpetuating a coverup."
Cindy Sheehan is inspirational. "We should have the keys to the Pentagon for what we've [the families of the dead] given."
Kaptur of Ohio - the military's best friend.
The Sister played 'court stenographer' if you missed it.
More on Maxine's initiative from Atrios:
[. . .]
(Washington, D.C.) - Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has informed Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) that she and Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. John Conyers, and Rep. John Lewis are leading a newly formed Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus, with 41 members as of today.
Rep. Waters said: "The Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus is a newly formed effort whose sole purpose is to be the main agitators in the movement to bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Our efforts will include the coordination of activities and legislation designed to achieve our goal of returning our troops home. Through floor statements, press conferences, TV and radio appearances and other actions, we will provide leadership for the American Public who has been waiting too long for our collective voices against the war."
[. . .]
Current members of the caucus include:
Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Corrine Brown, Rep. Julia Carson, Rep. Donna Christensen, Rep. John Conyers, Rep. William Delahunt, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Chaka Fattah, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Rush Holt, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Shelia Jackson - Lee, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. James McGovern, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Jim Moran, Rep. Grace Napolitano, Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton, Rep. John Olver, Rep. Major Owens, Rep. Donald Payne, Rep. Nick Rahall, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Janice Schakowsky, Rep. Bobby Scott, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. John Tierney
[. . .]
C-SPAN sent this email to those inquiring about whether the network would re-air the congressional hearings on the Downing Street documents held by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI).
The network will rebroadcast the hearings carried live on C-SPAN 3 Thursday on TONIGHT on C-SPAN2 at 8 p.m. ET.
Via Big Brass Blog.
1. Number of books you own:
2. Last book bought:
John Adams for me.
Living History Hillary's book, for the Mrs.
3. Last book I read:
3a. Last book I read for the first time:
3b. Comfort reading:
Anything by Stuart Woods, especially the Stone Barrington series. Isaac Asimov's robot stories. Douglas Adams' Hitchiker series.
4. Five books that mean a lot to me:
Foundation for teaching me how to dream on a large scale.
Johnny Got His Gun for teaching me combat wasn't about glory.
The Art of War for making me a better warrior and a better man.
Marco Polo for giving me the urge to see the world.
Johnathan Livingston Seagull for showing me the power of hope and determination.
Honorable mention: Special Operations by yours truly. It was my first.
WASHINGTON, June 15 - A military defense lawyer told a Senate hearing on Wednesday that when military authorities first asked him to represent a detainee at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, he was instructed that he could negotiate only a guilty plea.
The lawyer, Lt. Cmdr. Charles D. Swift of the Navy, who represents a Yemeni, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, said that he regarded the effort, in December 2003, "as a clear attempt to coerce to Mr. Hamdan into pleading guilty."
[. . .]
Did we plan to give anybody at Gitmo a fair hearing?
It's bad enough that the Bush administration had so little international support for the Iraqi war that their "coalition of the willing" meant the U.S., Britain, and the equivalent of a child's imaginary friends. It's even worse that, as the Downing Street memo confirms, they had so little evidence of real threats that they knew from the start that they were going to have manufacture excuses to go to war. What's more damning still is that they effectively began this war even before the congressional vote.
I follow Iraq pretty closely, but was taken aback when Charlie Clements, now head of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, described driving in a Baghdad neighborhood six months before the war "and a building would just explode, hit by a missile from 30,000 feet -- 'What is that building?'" Clements would ask. "'Oh, that's a telephone exchange.'" Later, at a conference at Nevada's Nellis Air Force Base, Clements heard a U.S. General boast "that he began taking out assets that could help in resisting an invasion at least six months before war was declared." (my emphasis)
If coverage of the Downing Street memo continues to increase, I suspect the administration will try to dismiss it as mere diplomatic talk, just inside baseball. But they weren't just manipulating intelligence so they could attack no matter how Saddam Hussein responded. They weren't only bribing would-be allies into participation. They were fighting a war they'd planned long before. They just didn't bother to tell the American public.
Lyin' sacks o' shit, the lot of 'em.
A little-known fact about McQueen is that he represented the United States in the 1964 International Six Days Trial, one of the world's premier motorcycle events often referred to as the "Olympics of Motorcycling", in East Germany. He rode a works-prepared 650cc Triumph, not usually thought of these days as a nimble dirt bike. I guess they weren't back then either, as he crashed heavily twice. He got his bells rung both times, and the second crash bent the bike up too badly to continue. There's even a book about his participation. One thing I can say from experience is that those machines were fast and heavy, and throwing one away at speed meant you were going for a "walk on the wild side".
I met him a couple of times. I worked at Bud Ekins' Triumph in Sherman Oaks and McQueen and Bud were business partners. Bud Ekins was a champion desert racer and the stunt man who made that amazing (for the time) jump in The Great Escape. He also gave me my movie debut in The Thing With Two Heads, but that's another story. Anyway, McQueen came into the repair shop with Ali McGraw in tow and you could've heard a pin drop. Not because of him, either. He seemed like a pretty reg'lar guy.
One of these days, I'll have to tell you the story of how I once took care of Cher when she got way too hot.
Back to politics now.
[. . .]
What I want to know is: when did the party who beat the Nazis, and who served as the voice of America's moral conscience when it would be politically expedient to do otherwise, decide to be run over by a bunch of zealots and serial liars?
[. . .]
C-SPAN has committed to carrying the U.S. House Judiciary Democrats hearings tomorrow [today - F-man] on C-SPAN 3. They will be carried LIVE.
For those who don't receive C-SPAN 3 on their local cable system, the video and/or audio from the hearings should be carried via the Internets right here.
The hearings will also be carried live on Pacifica Radio and via Radio Left.
Yesterday, TrueMajority.org, another very large citizens activist organization, joined in sending Petitions to its members to collect signatures for John Conyers Letter to Bush, to be delivered bu Conyers himself after tomorrow's hearing. TrueMajority.org joins MoveOn.org who last week collected some 500,000 signatures in 48 hours or so.
As well, the hearings have now been rescheduled to 2:30pm, and have been moved from the DNC offices -- where they had previously been scheduled, when Republicans would not allow a hearing room for the Democrats -- back to a room in the Capitol Building.
Crooks and Liars: Rep. John Conyers gives an excellent interview om teh DSM. CNN provides some of it's more balanced reporting. See the video here.
Network and Cable Television
National Radio Programs
In addition to FAIR's wire list:
Gannet News Service
Chuck Raasch, Political Writer
P: (202) 906-8127
F: (202) 906-8200
1100 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20005
United Press International
Peter Roff, Sr. Political Analyst
P: (202) 898-8000
F: (202) 898-8048
1510 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Also, be sure to check out the list of alternative newsweeklies (where you may well find people more receptive to requests for coverage of the DSM hearings)
(Thanks to Catherine at PovertyBarn and Pat at Canadian Perspective for their input.)
[. . .]
To all the members of the Big Brass Alliance who have been sending in your posts for the blogswarm, keep it up!
If you haven't done so already, see the excellent post on the Condi-MSNBC interview over at The Heretik.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
. . . Unfortunately, this focus on Darfur only highlights the lack of attention being paid to other, arguably even more horrific, crises in Africa.
[. . .]
To me, the extent we've ignored Africa is a crime in itself. Eugene shows us a glimpse of what is happening throughout the continent.
[. . .]
This is not simply a question of giving or withholding the benefit of the doubt when it comes to complicated matters of foreign affairs and defense policies to a U.S. government charged with the security of both its own citizens and those of its allies in Europe, the Western Hemisphere, and the Pacific. Rather, the Bush Jr. administration's foreign policies represent a gross deviation from those basic rules of international deportment and civilized behavior that the United States government had traditionally played the pioneer role in promoting for the entire world community. Even more seriously, in many instances specific components of the Bush Jr. administration's foreign policies constitute ongoing criminal activity under well-recognized principles of both international law and U.S. domestic law, and in particular the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles.
Depending upon the substantive issues involved, those international crimes typically include but are not limited to the Nuremberg offenses of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and war crimes, as well as grave breaches of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the 1907 Hague Regulations on land warfare, torture, disappearances, and assassinations. [my emphases]
[. . .]
That's what I want from the DSM and all we've done to get it noticed. I want Articles of Impeachment put forth. I want criminal prosecutions of the players in this administration and then I want new campaign finance regulations, so candidates aren't beholden to special interest. I want safeguards to make sure criminals never again usurp the leadership of this great nation. I want us to respect the principles of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, not just for our fellow Americans, but for all the peoples of the world.
I'm sure you remember the story about the Bush Administration official who felt the need to "edit" scientific reports on the reality of global warming. Well, he resigned Friday, but don't worry, he's already found a new job:
Only in the Bizarro World we live in. Go see John.
[. . .]
For longer than the Confederacy lasted, and for more than a century after the American Civil War, the phony Confederate Flag has stood for the defiance of the South, for America's own, premodern apartheid. It has become, simply, The American Swastika.
[. . .]
I've never read anything that captures my feelings about this so perfectly.
The president of Gold Star Families for Peace, a mother who lost a son in Iraq, criticized the United States' "illegal and unjust war" yesterday during an interfaith rally in Lexington.
Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif., accused President Bush of lying to the nation about a war which has consumed tens of billions of dollars and claimed more than 1,700 American lives -- including the life of Army Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan.
Sheehan ridiculed Bush for saying that it's "hard work" comforting the widow of a soldier who's been killed in Iraq.
"Hard work is seeing your son's murder on CNN one Sunday evening while you're enjoying the last supper you'll ever truly enjoy again. Hard work is having three military officers come to your house a few hours later to confirm the aforementioned murder of your son, your first-born, your kind and gentle sweet baby. Hard work is burying your child 46 days before his 25th birthday. Hard work is holding your other three children as they lower the body of their big (brother) into the ground. Hard work is not jumping in the grave with him and having the earth cover you both," she said.
Since her son's death, Sheehan has made opposition to the Bush administration a full-time job.
"We're watching you very carefully and we're going to do everything in our power to have you impeached for misleading the American people," she said, quoting a letter she sent to the White House. "Beating a political stake in your black heart will be the fulfillment of my life ... ," (my emphasis) she said, as the audience of 200 people cheered.
Being an old gearhead, I would like to use a precisely machined steel stake, in chrome of course, but that's just a difference in style.
When the mothers of America take to the streets in this fashion, it's the beginning of the end for these bastards. It can come none too soon.
For many BuzzFlash readers, following the subtleties of the religious right fanatics is a challenge. But Lowe takes the reader on a journey through the strange permutations of Christian extremism and the danger it presents to America as a Constitutional democracy. Moreover, the Christian fanatics seek a World War III, because it will lead to the triumphant return of a resurrected Christ and a transformed Israel.
George E. Lowe: As I say on the cover of my book, it's that they've taken over the party of Lincoln. You could just look at the electoral map and you know that. It's the old Confederacy. And they've expanded it to the new booming Southwest. That and the Mountain West is their core base. There are people that essentially are the old David Duke crowd -- the Northern European, white, Protestant, small town, middle and lower-middle classes -- and their time has come. They're tired of all these foreigners that came in after '48 or after the Civil War, and all those two million Jews and all those Southern European Catholics -- those dusty people -- all those. They feel it's time to take back America. In essence, this is the revenge of the South for losing the Civil War.
George E. Lowe: I explain it in my book at length, but it's simply this. They're planning to, and they almost did except for the senate's recently reached judicial filibuster compromise -- they're going to create a nation where you can change the Constitution with simple majorities, where you can pass laws with simple majorities, where you can pack the courts and thereby create a Christian nation through a simple majority vote. And put no more lifetime judges -- five years at the most. The whole thing is one of the grand coup d'etats of all time. That's what we're seeing.
Recently we've seen that the Christian activists have taken over the Air Force Academy. I now refer to the "military-industrial-religious complex." That's what we're fighting.
BuzzFlash:The second group of people, it seems to me, is the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bolton-Condi Rice-Lewis Libby military-industrial base. It's this alliance between the fundamentalist right and the current incarnation of the military-industrial complex.
Rumsfeld had an idea called 10-30-30. Ten days to take down the rogue nations, thirty days to mop up, and then thirty days to plan for the next rogue nation. And Ferguson says it should be ten years, thirty years, and thirty years.
George E. Lowe: Right. And George W. Bush met these people when he was his father's liaison in the 1992 campaign. That's where he met them, and that's when he solidified his base. And that's when he went into this whole business of the Jesus is my favorite philosopher. The point is that Bush has been doing this for a long time. And Kevin Phillips writes about him in American Dynasty.It's kind of a wordy piece, but worth reading. There's a Hell of a lot more than what I quoted. Keep in mind Mr. Lowe is trying to sell books and is trying to scare you into buying one. It works. It will refocus you on who America's enemies are. And why we need to keep calling attention to them. We need to take them down as soon as possible.
BuzzFlash: Kevin Phillips says the best thing the Bush family does is steal elections, if I recall that book.
George E. Lowe: And destroy documents. And keep them from the public. Bush is the Manchurian Candidate. There's no question. He's been put in by the cabal.
. . . I answered, "The Republicans want to repeal the 22nd Amendment".
"What's the 22nd Amendment", was the response.
I answered by asking, "How would you like to have George Bush as president for the rest of your life"? . . .
Mark my words. If, by some strange occurrance of all the planets being aligned and Republican Jesus asserting his will, this comes to pass, I'm going underground and forming an insurgent army. Any volunteers?
Last Friday Republican House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner shut off the microphones of Democrats during a hearing for the Patriot Act. Sensenbrenner then picked up the gavel and stormed out of the room. This sudden move was directed in particular at Representative John Conyers who wanted to call the Chair of the Board of Amnesty International to testify.
Now today a report has surfaced that Sensenbrenner has denied Conyers space on the Hill in which to conduct the hearings for the Downing Street memo on Thursday - hearings that the After Downing Street Campaign has been waiting for with bated breath. Indeed, it seems that Conyers has been forced to move the hearings off site, to the DNC.
I suppose it should come as no surprise that Sensenbrenner would exercise his authority with such a vindictive and pugnacious spirit. After all, the Representative from Wisconsin has been at the forefront of efforts by Christian fundamentalists to lay siege on America's courts.
[. . .]
Did ya ever see someone getting chased on foot? As they run, they toss shit in the path behind them to slow down their pursuers. That's what the Repubs are doing. They're running, they're scared, and they're throwing crap in our way. We'll get by it and we'll win.
You know, something springs to mind. If we have any legal weenies among the readership, maybe you can answer me this. Do we have any legal recourse here? Can we file suit against the Repubs for something? Maybe like 'blocking the process', or 'willful subversion of the Constitution', or something like that? I don't know shit about this part of the law (not the Mrs' specialty), and you know me. I generally say, 'to Hell with lawyers, have some of the F-man's justice', but I'm looking at keeping the body count to a minimum. Let me know if I'm pissing in the wind here or am I on to something?
Ohio is such a fun place these days. I can't even begin to explain "Coingate," although, if you're curious, google that word and prepare for a quite bizarre and nasty political scandal. Cheating pensioners -- it's such a grand political tradition.
Ohio, it will be remembered, was the state that had those teeny election irregularities that all seemed to favor George Bush. Entirely coincidental, of course, although, looked at in a certain way, the phrase "coup d'etat" might spring to mind.
Anyway, Dr. Scott Frank, who is the head of the public health department at Case Western University, last week issued a report on the state of Ohio's "abstinence only" sex education classes. According to Frank, the classes routinely spread scientific misinformation, perpetuate gay stereotypes and are often not taught by public health professionals.
Prudery is nothing new. I grew up in a time of sexual repression, and I came out OK. There's something to be said for repression as an erotic stimulant, but that's a different column. (Actually, it's not a column at all, at least not one written by me. I'm foolhardy, but I'm not that foolhardy.) But this is not a matter of morals or customs anymore; this is not about spiritual options. Frank specializes in public health; sex education is now, sadly, about disease vectors.
Also, it's about unwanted babies, increased rates of abortion and increased incidence of childhood poverty. These are serious matters, and the idea that eye-rolling Bible-pounders are actively working against contraception just makes steam emerge from under my collar. If we are asking "What would Jesus do?," I'm pretty sure that Jesus would want all children in safe and caring homes, and all 20-year-olds free from serious chronic disease. That's not going to happen, but we could at least give a shout-out to JC and try to help out.
Also: It would be really useful if young people were taught to distinguish between science and faith. Science does not make faith impossible; it just presents evidence about the workings of the natural world, which you can choose to believe is evidence of how God laid it all down. Revel in the complexity of the Lord! Marvel that he gave protean adaptability to viruses, and marvel that he gave humans brains to understand that adaptability. There's this little war right now between humans and viruses, and you want to be on the human side. Am I right? Then buy a damn rubber, just in case. You know?I'm glad my teachers in Driver's Ed and Phys Ed weren't as dopey as these "abstinence only" teachers. I probably wouldn't know a damn thing about driving or playing sports. I'd probably have gotten hurt or dead by now.
Or get one for free. You can get free rubbers more easily than you can get free apples.
And, by the way, the Bible does not spend a lot of time worrying about teenage sex. Sacrificing oxen, now -- the Bible really cares about that. Don't be sacrificing an ox without consulting the recognized authority. But as to sex -- trust your local public health professional. Medicine is your friend, even if your insurance company isn't.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. and Iraqi officials are considering difficult-to-swallow ideas - including amnesties for their enemies - as they look for ways to end the country's rampant insurgency and isolate extremists wanting to start a civil war.
Negotiations have just begun between U.S. and Iraqi officials on drafting an amnesty policy, which would reach out to Iraqi militants fighting U.S. forces, say officials in both the Iraqi and American governments.
[. . .]
Am I the only one who sees the parallel between this and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? How long has that mess been going on? How long will we be in Iraq? Will Iraq become known as the 'American Occupied Territories'?
The income gap between the rich and the rest of the U.S. population has become so wide, and is growing so fast, that it might eventually threaten the stability of democratic capitalism itself.
Is that a liberal's talking point? Sure. But it's also a line from the recent public testimony of a champion of the free market: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
And then the conservatives chime in, with all predictability:
On the other hand, some conservatives label the whole inequality debate a myth. The media's recent focus on the subject stems from its liberal bias and clever press management by Democrats, they say.
Say what you like about Edwards, but he's right, there are two Americas. And the rethugs won't believe something's amiss until they're standing in a soup line.
Read the whole article.
[. . .]
Indeed, many have tried to hype up the part of the memo's that say the White House was inadequately prepared for the period following the invasion. But once again, such information does not show that Bush broke any laws and should bear little relevance to the Downing Street Campaign. What we want is for Congress to formally investigate the memos and any other information that suggests Bush and the administration committed an impeachable offense. [my emphasis]
[. . .]
Focus. We want the word 'impeachment' bandied around in the media relating to this. As you've seen, with a loud enough voice, we can do it.
TCF takes a look at impeachment and how it can work for us.
[. . .]
This is why it is essential that even if Rep. John Conyers' hearings do not have real teeth, that we gather and weigh the evidence and that we bear witness to the sin done in our name. To do otherwise is to betray that earlier generation and the ideals for which our country once stood.
* Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)
* Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
* Mel Martinez (R-Fl.)
* Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)
* Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
* Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
* Trent Lott (R-Miss.)
* Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.)
* James Inhofe (R-Ok.)
* Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
* John Cornyn (R-Tx.)
* Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tx.)
* John Warner (R-Va.)
These people should be held up as the bigots they are. How dare they refuse to acknowledge and apologize on behalf of this nation for some of the worst atricities ever committed in this land. This isn't just some symbolic bullshit. Over 200 hundred bills have been put forth regarding this issue since the Reconstruction and southern senators have voted them down each time. Notice they're all Repubs and notice where they're from. And who said Trent Lott isn't a racist anymore? Motherfuckers.
Leave me to be fair. 38 of 45 Dems signed. When I find the seven Dems who didn't and find out why, I'll lump 'em in with this group too.
Thanks to Granny we add:
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
To our list of bigots.
As he marched the nation to war, Bush presented himself as a Christian man of peace who saw war only as a last resort. But in a remarkable though little noted disclosure, Time magazine reported that in March 2002 - a full year before the invasion - Bush outlined his real thinking to three U.S. senators . . .
Go read The Heretik. We got him now.
. . . and the way you've had your tongue up Chimpy's ass over the last 5 years, after he shit all over you in 2000, any respect and credibilty you had with me is long gone.
My feelings about McCain a couple weeks ago. Jane blogs this today.
. . . McCain voted with his party more than Rick Santorum and 46 other Republicans in the last Congress. Only Jeff Sessions, Don Nickles, and Jon Kyl towed the party line more often. When it counts, John McCain is not a moderate but a conservative ideologue, which is certainly his prerogative. . .
Note to the wishy-washy: McCain is not our friend. He's a spineless weasel.
Monday, June 13, 2005
January 26, 1998
The Project for a New American Century urges President Clinton to oust Saddam Hussein. Among the eighteen signers are Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton. (New American Century)
[. . .]
September 11, 2001
In his address to the nation on the evening of Sept. 11, Bush decides to include a tough new passage about punishing those who harbor terrorists. He announces that the U.S. will "make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."
To many observers, the president's words set the tone and direction for the Bush administration's policy on Afghanistan and Iraq. (PBS)
[. . .]
September 16, 2001
According to a 60 Minutes piece, citing Bob Woodward: "just five days after Sept. 11, President Bush indicated to Condoleezza Rice that while he had to do Afghanistan first, he was also determined to do something about Saddam Hussein. "There's some pressure to go after Saddam Hussein. Don Rumsfeld has said, 'This is an opportunity to take out Saddam Hussein, perhaps. We should consider it.' And the president says to Condi Rice meeting head to head, 'We won't do Iraq now.' But it is a question we're gonna have to return to,'" says Woodward. (CBS News)
[. . .]
Lot's o' links and good shit. Amazing work.
Straight From the Downing Street Memo
There's just nothing quite like the smell of the smoking gun in the morning.
1. The memo has been verified as authentic
2. The memo is from months before the invasion
3. The "Military action, was seen as inevitable."
4. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action. justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being cooked around the policy.
5. It seems clear bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decide. But the case was weak.
6. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea and Iran.
*One of them sexy, smart wimmens.
Blogs and websites pulsated with the news: Kerry was going to call for the impeachment of President Bush! My inbox pulsated with the missives of angry conservatives ("you're covering up Kerry's traitorous comment") and angry liberals ("corporate lapdog! Why didn't you cover this? Do your job!").
The Senator's office told "Countdown" last night that he never said anything about impeachment and asked our reporter where he'd read that line. The answer was: the websites of NewsMax and Al-Jazeera.I wanted Kerry to finally do something worthwhile. Wish in one hand, shit in the other...
The story originated - on Al-Jazeera.
The New Bedford newspaper story, exactly 746 words long, literally does not include the words impeach, or impeachment.
If this detail is still relevant in these super-heated political times, the story is not true. But at places as disparate as Al-Jazeera and NewsMax, they wanted it to be.
I guess I wasn't the only one indulging in a little wishful thinking. I hope that helps clear it up.
Via AfterDowningStreet (not blockquoted due to length):
Later today RawStory.com will be posting an article that they have been researching for several days. Six new secret British documents have been leaked and made widely available on the internet, including via the links below. These were retyped from the originals to protect the source, but RawStory.com has verified the authenticity and will be reporting on that research, on the significance of the documents, and on the timeline of the events illuminated by this information, known to the British media but new on this side of the pond.
[. . .]
"Iraq Options Paper," UK Overseas and Defense Secretariat, March 8, 2002 [note the date - F-man]
[. . .]
"Iraq: Legal Background," UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, March 8, 2002 [date again- F-man]
[. . .]
Memo from David Manning (Foreign Policy Advisor to Blair) to Blair on Manning's Dinner with Condoleezza Rice, March 14, 2002
[. . .]
There's much more. The hits just keep on coming. How does it go, Mr. Instashithead? Heh . . . indeed, you motherfuckers. I told ya. They had this planned before 9/11. The attacks were a gift from Osama to Bush. Why do you think we let him go at Tora Bora?
[. . .]
Now, I personally don't have a problem with Ms [Porn star/CA Gubernatorial candidate Mary] Carey and her
pimpmanager attending republican events. Be they at the White House or at the Lincoln Center. What I do have a problem with is republicans claiming their the party of higher morals and values. Yet they want to be able to take any skank'sbody's money for their party too. Buck up boys and girls, you're either the party of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, or not. You can't have it both ways. [my emphasis]
[. . .]
"The chairman of the Republican Party as you know has made a big deal about attracting African-American voters," Dean said to conference attendees. "And this is a litmus test. If you aren't going to support the extension of the Voting Rights Act, I don't know what right you have to go to a black church and show your face."
Go see Kevin Hayden. He has more . . . much more. Dean is calling the Repubs out and they're worried.
COLORA - Marcia Thompson Eldreth sees in the United States a Christian nation, inspired by Scripture and dedicated to propositions conveyed in biblical prophesy. She asks: Why not a U.S. national Christian flag?
"Our nation was based on Judeo-Christian principles," Eldreth said. "Blessed is the country whose God is Lord."
She was sitting in her Cecil County kitchen here the other day, sharing the story of how she came to design and arrange for manufacturing and selling a national Christian flag that since last year has gained national attention on The 700 Club, a religious news magazine television show hosted by, among others, the Rev. Pat Robertson. The taped segment is scheduled to appear on the program for a second time Tuesday, Flag Day.
[. . .]
I'm sorry. I know these are my fellow Americans, no matter how misguided they are, but could SOMEBODY please throw the skimmer in the gene pool!
(New York City) The leader of a conservative Christian lobby group says that gays should be required to wear warning labels.
"We put warning labels on cigarette packs because we know that smoking takes one to two years off the average life span, yet we 'celebrate' a lifestyle that we know spreads every kind of sexually transmitted disease and takes at least 20 years off the average life span according to the 2005 issue of the revered scientific journal Psychological Reports," said Rev. Bill Banuchi, executive director of the New York Christian Coalition.
[. . .]
Rev. Banuchi should be sodomized with a telephone pole. I'm sure Jesus would agree.
Christine has her own warning labels we should attach to some people.
*A Gold Star.
"The U.S. Special Operations Command has hired three firms to produce newspaper stories, television broadcasts and Web sites to spread American propaganda overseas.
"The Tampa-based military headquarters, which oversees commandos and psychological warfare, may spend up to $100 million for the media campaign in the next five years."
Now, I was a Forward Air/Combat Controller. I look at PsyOps as a general waste of time. If you have an enemy, blow 'em all to Hell, that's what I say. Fuck the head games. There ain't no better psy op than shit blowing up all over your enemy's capitol city. Why do you think they call it 'war'?
Well today I read about just whom SOCOM* hired to help them 'win hearts and minds'. From Corrente:
The U.S.-led military force in Iraq has awarded a seven-figure PR contract to Washington, D.C.-based Iraqex, a year-old business clearinghouse company formed specifically to provide a swath of services in the war-torn country.
Iraqex was set up by Lincoln Alliance Corp., a D.C.-based business "intelligence" company that handles services from "political campaign intelligence" to commercial real estate in Iraq.
[. . .]
What gives Mr. Bailey the level of expertise needed to get these Bux to make the Iraqi people love us like the ungrateful bastards are supposed to? I mean, there were Other people Who Wanted In On This Gig, but they didn't get it. Mr. Christian did. Why?
--Has Experience.According to ODwyer, apparently a PR firm about PR firms.
[. . .]
Yup. The guy's got every qualification you could ask for to run a multi-million dollar psy-ops/PR/propaganda gig, or at least produce novelty items. Let a hundred flowers bloom, Chris. They need the petals for the parade.
Note to the powers that be: You already blew the opportunity to win hearts and minds. Two years into this and we'll be lucky to get out with them merely hating us. All you're doing is letting another incompetent asshole get rich off this illegal war.
*Special Operations Command
Saturday: 1 - 2 - 3
Sunday: 1 - 2
More links at Freiheit und Wissen and The Heretik.
And this today from the Sister:
[. . .]
[Rep. Maxine] Waters told the crowd that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean had received attention for criticizing the Republican Party in recent days, but that "he did not say enough."
"Bush is a liar," Waters said, according to an observer who phoned AfterDowningStreet.org. "He lied about weapons of mass destruction and he lied about the war."
Waters called Vice President Dick Cheney "a thief," and said that he was stealing for Halliburton.
And Waters said that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice will "go anywhere and say anything they tell her to say, and have the audacity to do it with a smile."
[. . .]
Good on Maxine. We have to keep this in the forefront, ladies and germs. Click on the 'Complaint Department' link to Congress and start bitching. The links above and the Big Brass Alliance site will give you enough fodder. Remember, Sen. Conyers is holding hearings on Thursday too. Well, what are you waiting for? Get on it.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Since we seem to have forgotten about Good Ol' Osama, killer of 3000 friends and neighbors of mine, I figure it's time to see what others have been doing to track him. I mean, it's not like (p)resident Dicknose gives a shit anymore. Osama gave him 9/11. Der Spiegel has done an investigative piece on the terrorist and his family:
The Bin Laden family disowned black sheep Osama in 1994. But have they really broken with the mega-terrorist? Recently revealed classified documents seem to suggest otherwise. Osama's violent career has been made possible in part by the generosity of his family - and by his contacts with the Saudi royals.
[. . .]
More below the fold . . .
JUDY WOODRUFF IS AN IDIOT.
GWEN IFILL IS AN IDIOT.
JOHN HARWOOD IS AN IDIOT.
Why does fat-boy have these people making up a panel? At least he quoted Hillary being tough.
"I know it's frustrating for many of you, it's frustrating for me. Why can't the Democrats do more to stop them?" "I can tell you this: It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing. It is very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government who don't care. It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth."
"We can't ever, ever give in to the Republican agenda," she said. "It isn't good for New York and it isn't good for America."
But he's an idiot too. And by the way, Rep. Harold Ford is a bleeding asshole:
U.S. Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee said on the Don Imus radio show that if Dean could not "temper his comments, it may get to the point where the party may need to look elsewhere for leadership, because he does not speak for me."
Digby says it coherently.
WASHINGTON - The feds are expected today to take back $169 million in misused and unspent 9/11 relief money meant for victims of the terror attack, congressional officials said.
New York lawmakers called an emergency meeting for this morning to try to devise a plan to keep the money flowing.
[. . .]
I can't even articulate how much this pisses me off. Thanks to Granny for the link.
MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.
The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.
The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair's inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was "necessary to create the conditions" which would make it legal. [my emphasis]
[. . .]
Lately, on a clear, quiet night, if you listen very closely, you can hear Republican sphincters tightening. Go see the Sister for more.