I've concluded that Gary Ruppert must be a parody troll. No actual right-winger could really be this stupid:
Link here and here.
I've concluded that Gary Ruppert must be a parody troll. No actual right-winger could really be this stupid:
...I can't help think that the story was a bit of a hatchet job, since those of us on the oxygen-breathing side of the internet understand that WaPo is now, ideologically, an wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.
Rage happens. We are creatures of emotion. The trappings of civilization fall from us easily and we become the wild beasts we once were, millions of years ago. I see that as a deplorable thing, but I've felt the red heat of rage myself, and understand how little civilized we really are. I think Mary Scott O'Connor's writings stem from a deep well of disgust, anguish and anger at what has been done to destroy our nation, our society. Those who despise America the institution are in charge right now, and work every day to separate us into small, easily manipulated groups and factions.
The natural temptation is to assume that Bush isn't serious. After all, no rational person would be serious about what Bush's minions are hinting at. And yet, as Hersh knows only too well, Bush has gone ahead and done things no reasonable person would do.
Here's what's wrong with the American press: It's Friday and Joe Klein still has a job. Klein has pathetically attempted to defend himself in HuffPo from the wave of outrage over his recent remark about progressive Democrats - that is, that there is a "hate America tendency of the [Democratic Party's] left wing." Somehow Klein thinks it's less offensive that he said "left wing" instead of "liberal wing" (I guess because his job title at TIME is still "liberal columnist.")
It's a vile and baseless comment. As one who might be considered a member of that "left" wing, I'm deeply offended. Anyone who wants to stand in front of this country-music-playing American and challenge his love for the United States is going to get his ass kicked - Klein included.
(And, Dear Joe: Why is it that Michael Moore's distress over US foreign policy is proof that he 'hates America' - but Grover Norquist's desire to drown its government in a bathtub isn't?) [my em]
WASHINGTON, April 14 - President Bush strongly defended Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld today, despite calls from retired generals that he step down, and said Mr. Rumsfeld's leadership is vital for the United States.
"Earlier today I spoke with Don Rumsfeld about ongoing military operations in the global war on terror," the president said. "I reiterated my strong support for his leadership during this historic and challenging time for our nation."
Now that I've been out of my blogging gig for a while, my anger wheel has been jolted far to the left and when I reread that extraordinarily perceptive passage by Taibbi, I actually felt kind of sorry for the subjects. They're scared is all. They're scared of a lot of things because they need to be scared of a lot of things. They lack purpose without things relentlessly scaring the shit out of them. And in order to distract the media from the fact that they're more juiced up on fear than love for their country, they constantly try to frame liberals - who in their minds still wear patchouli, listen to Jefferson Airplane and love the fuck out of Jane Fonda - of being the cowards because, um, we're "anti-war" (what fucked up times we live in where being "anti-war" is a "bad thing") and we aren't 100% freaked out that gay people, Mexicans, Arabs and the Dixie Chicks are roaming free in our streets.
You see, in reality, us "cowardly" liberals aren't afraid of much of anything. Disgusted, sure. We're plenty disgusted with a lot of things going on in America and the world today, and rightfully so, but our repulsion isn't fueled by fear. It's fueled by hope for better days in America, a concept so antithetical to the rightists' junked-out need for a constant influx of "bogeymen" (they've been trained well), that they aren't able to process the notion that we don't hate our country, we just take great, full-throated exception to how it's being run by them. Or, more to the point, run into the ground by them. [my em]
Things you have to believe to be a Republican today.....
Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary.
Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.
Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
The United States should get out of the United Nations, and yet our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.
If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.
A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism.
HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.
Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but intelligent design should be taught in schools.
A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is a solid defense policy.
Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.
Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.
Friends don't let friends vote Republican.
"What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world. ~ Robert E. Lee - Class of 1829
"I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell." ~ William T. Sherman - Class of 1840
"Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them, must share the guilt for the dead." ~ Omar N. Bradley - Class of 1915
These Generals -- to whom Hanson refers contemptuously as "Pensioned Army and Marine generals" (those freeloading socialists) -- aren't speaking out because they love their country, are concerned for its well-being under this administration or because they believe anything they are saying. Nope - they're just trying to hawk books and make money, and are acting unethically while they do it. These Generals who are criticizing the administration are just dishonest hacks who ought to be ignored and shunned. As always, Hanson plays around with military glory from the past and wonders why nobody except him and a few others are as noble or brave as those men were:
Criticisms of the Administration come "right around publication date." That's because nobody really finds genuine fault with the Administration. They're just all trying to sell books. Anyone who criticizes the Administration has bad motives, places their own interest over their country, and is undermining our war effort for selfish reasons. Including these "Generals." The great war hero Hanson sees right through them.
These Generals need to just shut up because people like them are the reason that we are losing:
Attacking the motives -- not the arguments or judgments, but the motives -- of a bunch of retired Generals, all because they expressed criticism of the administration's war efforts, gives you a pretty good idea of how these Bush supporters are feeling. Desperate and scared. That must be the feeling inside the White House, too -- everyone is abandoning them, criticizing them, blaming them. They look and feel weak, impotent, and small. And they definitely are going to do something about that.
The weaker and more stigmatized Bush becomes, the greater could be the likelihood of some spiteful, bitter, strength-seeking military offensive. Few things seem more unstable and dangerous than an isolated, unpopular, bitter, failed, frustrated President, sitting in the White House recalling the glory days when war and military might caused him to feel so good and strong.
How bad is it for Bush now? Kerry would beat him by ten points if the election were re-run, according to a new poll. After you factor in the likely voter advantage that the GOP usually gets, it would result in Kerry winning by about 3-4 points, which given the closeness of several states in 2004, and what we now know about Ohio means that Kerry would take the Electoral College as well. Note that among registered voters, Democrats have a 14-point advantage in the 2006 generic ballot. It all comes down to turnout folks.
The only thing new here is the news that George W. Bush probably knew a couple of days before he talked about them in public that the Defense Intelligence Agency had found they were not mobile weapons labs.
OK, given everything we already know about the lies before the war, this is not particularly startling - although I do think it's long past time we stopped referring to the campaign of disinformation and false information that we were fed as anything but lies. No, the startling and funny part of the "mobile weapons lab" lie is the administration's defense of it, which is so batty it's an instant classic.
According to White House spokesman Scott McClellan, the DIA report debunking the "weapons labs" is "a complex intelligence white paper and it's ... one derived from highly classified information (and) takes a substantial amount of time to coordinate and to run through a declassification process."
If I understand what McClellan is saying, Bush leaked bad information from a classified intelligence report because there wasn't enough time for the contradictory DIA report to go through a declassification process. All of which would make more sense if we hadn't just gone through this Valerie Plame episode, in which the White House says if the president leaked it, then it's legal to leak it. No problem, the president can declassify at will, they said. I don't know about you, but none of it is becoming clearer for me. Does anyone understand yet why we had to bomb Iran?
The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat vessel carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators.
However, let it be noted that according to her log, "On July 27, 1798, the USS Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."
Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping." Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.
Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.
On 18 November, she set sail for England. In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchantmen, salvaging only the rum aboard each.
By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn.
Then she headed home.
The USS Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February, 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky and 38,600 gallons of stagnant water.
...But I am intrinsically, tempermentally and constitutionally opposed to allowing Newt Gingrich and other architects of war to evade responsibility for their actions and give themselves political cover by handing them a "free pass" for their zealous efforts to land us in the middle of this quagmire.
Newt Gingrich does not equal Hillary Clinton. He does not equal John Kerry and he sure as hell doesn't equal Jack Murtha. Glenn Greenwald has an excellent piece up at Alternet today about Newt's history in branding anyone who opposed the Bush Administration and/or the war as traitors giving aid and comfort to the enemy:
Idiots, of course, don't need a reason to be idiots. But to the extent there is a rational excuse for treating a nuclear strike on Iran as the journalistic equivalent of a seasonal story about people washing their cars, it must be the cynical conviction that the Cheneyites aren't serious - they're just doing their little Gen. Jack Ripper impression to let the Iranians know they really mean business.
This may seem plausible - that is, if you were in a catatonic stupor throughout 2002 and the early months of 2003 (which is just another way of saying: if you were a member in good standing of the corporate media elite.) But the rest of us have learned that when Dick Cheney starts muttering about precious bodily fluids, you'd better pay attention. He really does mean business, and when Dick Cheney means business, bombs are likely to start falling sooner rather than later.
I've been trying to picture what the world might look like the day after a U.S. nuclear strike on Iran, but I'm essentially drawing a blank. There simply isn't a precedent for the world's dominant superpower turning into a rogue state - much less a rogue state willing to wage nuclear war against potential, even hypothetical, security threats. At that point, we'd truly be through the looking glass.
For most Americans, then, the initial impact of war with Iran could play out in the same theatre of the absurd as the first Gulf War and the opening phases of the Iraq invasion - that is to say, on their living room TVs. And if there's one place where a nuclear first strike could be made to appear almost normal, or even a good thing, it's on the boob tube.
After all, the corporate media complex has already shown a remarkable willingness to ignore or rationalize conduct that once would have been considered grossly illegal, if not outright war crimes. And the right-wing propaganda machine is happy to paint any atrocity as another glorious success in the battle for democracy (that is, when it's not trying to deny it ever happened.) Why should we expect something as transitory as a nuclear strike to change the pattern?
Prince Harry graduates from Sandhurst this morning as a commissioned officer in the Army.
The 21-year-old third in line to the throne will be watched by his grandparents the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, his father the Prince of Wales, stepmother the Duchess of Cornwall and brother Prince William as he marches in the military college's Sovereign's Parade.
He has chosen to train in the Blues and Royals' armoured reconnaissance unit, meaning he could see action in war zones.
The Blues and Royals have been deployed in almost every major Army operation of the past two decades, including the Falklands, both Gulf wars, Bosnia and Kosovo. [my em]
BASRA, 11 April (IRIN) - As a result of water-borne diseases and a lack of medical supplies, infants born in the southern city of Basra are subject to abnormally high mortality rates, say officials of an international NGO devoted to child health issues.
"For weeks, there were no I.V. fluids available in the hospitals of Basra," said Marie Fernandez, spokeswoman for European aid agency Saving Children from War. "As a consequence, many children, mainly under five-years old, died after suffering from extreme cases of diarrhoea."
Many doctors in the area say that the local health situation has deteriorated markedly since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003. "The mortality of children in Basra has increased by nearly 30 percent compared to the Saddam Hussein era," Dr Haydar Salah, a paediatrician at the Basra Children's Hospital, pointed out. "Children are dying daily, and no one is doing anything to help them." [my em]
Pfizer is worried. Not enough men think they have a problem in bed, so Pfizer plans on launching a second campaign to make them understand that they just don't have what it takes.
The problem for Pfizer is Viagra's sagging sales; the problem for men, according to Pfizer, is impotence. But many men just don't seem to get it. So now they'll be educated about this serious condition--again.
As reported in the Mohave Daily News, Talk host Brian James of KFYI Phoenix suggested recently on the air that a solution to the immigration problem in Arizona would be to kill illegal immigrants as they cross the border. Two local officials feel those remarks may have intensified racial tensions in the state and they expressed that concern in a letter sent Friday to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.
Brian James, who's a fill-in talk show host with KFYI, said, "What we'll do is randomly pick one night every week where we will kill whoever crosses the border. Step over there and you die. You get to decide whether it's your lucky night or not. I think that would be more fun."
He said he would be "happy to sit there with my high-powered rifle and my night scope" and kill people as the cross the border. He also suggested that the National Guard shoot illegal immigrants and receive "$100 a head."
What if the South had won the Civil War? Kevin Wilmott's sly mockumentary imagines an America that is very different from today's -- or is it?
Those are the questions addressed by "CSA: The Confederate States of America," currently showing in theaters around the country. The film presents an alternative history in which the nation that emerges from the Civil War becomes, by the 21st century, an exclusively Christian imperialist power, run by and for prosperous white men and regarded by most of the world as a bizarre aberration. In other words, "CSA" is a work of fiction that's uncomfortably real.
Broadcast on a present-day "Confederate Television Channel 6," the program is accompanied by racist commercials that you just might see if you lived in a full-blown consumer society in which, as one politician puts it, "a new generation of young Americans is excited about owning Negroes."
Of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, "CSA's" true-grey Confederate historian (played by Rupert Pate) says, "By the grace of God, we obtained a weapon that put the entire foreign world of coloreds in their place." Nor was much fictionalizing needed in describing the war on native Americans and their culture; events are depicted almost exactly as they occurred.
In the CSA of the 1980s, a national Family Values Initiative recommends that owners read to their servants the notorious New Testament directive, "Slaves, obey your masters with fear and trembling," a passage that is still cited with approval in some religious circles in the real USA.
A group of ultra-orthodox hackers, shocked by the obscenity of some porn sites, has launched an internet campaign in a bid to cause such sites to crash. The hackers, already named at some internet forums the "ultra-orthodox sex commando," or the "ultra-orthodox electronic underground," focus their efforts at this point on Hebrew sites.
Those who tried logging in to the site found instead a photo of the Lubavitch Rabbi with the text: "We, the religious-net group, hacked into this site and erased all obscenities. The other sites we plan on bringing down are listed below."
Camp Taqaddum, Iraq - Under direction of Marine Corps commanders in Iraq, wearing synthetic athletic clothing containing polyester and nylon has been prohibited while conducting operations off of forward operating bases and camps.
The ban on popular clothing from companies like Under Armour, CoolMax and Nike comes in the wake of concerns that a substantial burn risk is associated with wearing clothing made with these synthetic materials.
When exposed to extreme heat and flames, clothing containing some synthetic materials like polyester will melt and can fuse to the skin. This essentially creates a second skin and can lead to horrific, disfiguring burns, said Navy Capt. Lynn E. Welling, the 1st Marine Logistics Group head surgeon.
US sabre-rattling at Iran has less to do with global security and everything to do with keeping the US dollar the medium of exchange in oil markets
By now we've grown accustomed to hearing about the confluence of clandestine motives for America's invasion and occupation of Iraq. Even many of the administration's staunchest supporters openly acknowledge that Saddam was a dog without teeth and that this ongoing war has a lot more to do with controlling the flow of oil and capital in the Middle East (not to mention buffering Israel against Iran) than preventing a nuclear attack on America. There are many indications, however, that Hussein did indeed pose a very grave threat to the US - it just wasn't a military one.
Fast-forward to the present. Now Iran is opening an oil bourse (a fancy word for "commodities exchange") in which oil will be sold in euros rather than dollars. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has also committed to the petroeuro. Both of these countries have recently cemented tight relationships with China, the world's number two oil importer. Of course, these gestures alone wouldn't likely bring Uncle Sam to his knees. But they're more than just a slap to the face and may be the beginning of a slippery slope that threatens to end the dollar's hegemony over world trade.
If America attacks Iran, it will be, among other reasons, to preempt the emergence of a multipolar, more democratic, world economy.
DURHAM, N.C. - DNA testing failed to connect any members of the Duke University lacrosse team to the alleged rape of a stripper, attorneys for the athletes said Monday.
Citing DNA test results delivered by the state crime lab to police and prosecutors a few hours earlier, the attorneys said the test results prove their clients did not sexually assault and beat a stripper hired to perform at a March 13 team party.
No charges have been filed in the case.
The allegations have led to the resignation of coach Mike Pressler, the cancellation of the lacrosse season and the suspension of one player from school. [my em]
"You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger.' By 1968 you can't say 'nigger' — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
"And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me - because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than 'Nigger, nigger."'
Ever wonder what a country where abortion was completely outlawed would look like? Well, wonder no more: Jack Hitt profiles El Salvador in Sunday's New York Times Magazine. It's a pretty fucking scary picture:
There is no such thing as a "surgical" airstrike. The only way that they could "surgically" strike against Iran is to commit genocide on a scale never before concieved, because any strike like this would foment a scenario far worse than any Soviets-rolling-into-France scenario ever envisioned by planners during the Cold War.
An additional impetus for putting off the resignation until now was suggested by John Feehery, a former aide to DeLay and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). "He needed to raise money for the defense fund. That was the bottom line," Feehery said. "He wanted to make sure he could take care of himself in the court of law."
In other words, DeLay was raising money from
suckerssupporters under false pretenses. He asked contributors for financial support, telling them that he needed the money to help with his campaign, when in reality, DeLay knew he'd have to resign and he wanted the donations for his legal defense. DeLay's con is legal, but obviously dishonest.
Another lobbyist who gives to Members on both sides of the aisle said, "It's nauseating to think about" his campaign contribution going to fund DeLay's legal team. "I'm realistic about it. He wouldn't resign for no reason," this lobbyist said, noting that the timing of DeLay's departure came awfully close to the announcement of a plea agreement by his former aide Tony Rudy. "That all this money will go to the legal defense fund, it sickens me," he added. "I have to pay for that?"
Apparently so. As K Street lobbyists should realize by now, sometimes, when you lay with dogs, you get fleas.
So opposed was he that he resigned his position as director of operations for the Join Chiefs four months before the war ... and then kept his mouth shut until now.
It's a valiant sentiment to support the men and women fighting the war, and his critiques of Condi's statement and Rumsfeld's micromanaging is dead on. But we've heard all this before. Anyone following the war can see it's being run poorly from the big office at the Pentagon and that the civilian leadership has done everything to push blame elsewhere. Again, why now? Why didn't you say something earlier, Lt. Gen. Newbold, once you were retired and could without fear of retaliation? You blame others for timidity or thick-headedness. "A few of the most senior officers actually supported the logic for war. Others were simply intimidated, while still others must have believed that the principle of obedience does not allow for respectful dissent."
Don't lecture us about heroism and constructive roles to play, Lt. Gen. Newbold (Ret.) You could have done something then, and you didn't. You could have been a powerful symbol, even if you would have taken a lot of flak from your old bosses. You say officers swore an oath to the Constitution, not the men appointed above them, yet you betrayed it with your three-year silence. It's been said that for evil to triumph, all it takes is for good men to do nothing. Well, you did nothing. You don't get to be considered good now.
"But he wouldn't do that." That sentiment is what made it possible for President Bush to stampede America into the Iraq war and to fend off hard questions about the reasons for that war until after the 2004 election. Many people just didn't want to believe that an American president would deliberately mislead the nation on matters of war and peace.
"But he wouldn't do that," say people who think they're being sensible. Given what we now know about the origins of the Iraq war, however, discounting the possibility that Mr. Bush will start another ill-conceived and unnecessary war isn't sensible. It's wishful thinking.
Why might Mr. Bush want another war? For one thing, Mr. Bush, whose presidency is increasingly defined by the quagmire in Iraq, may believe that he can redeem himself with a new Mission Accomplished moment.
And it's not just Mr. Bush's legacy that's at risk. Current polls suggest that the Democrats could take one or both houses of Congress this November, acquiring the ability to launch investigations backed by subpoena power. This could blow the lid off multiple Bush administration scandals. Political analysts openly suggest that an attack on Iran offers Mr. Bush a way to head off this danger, that an appropriately timed military strike could change the domestic political dynamics.
Does this sound far-fetched? It shouldn't. Given the combination of recklessness and dishonesty Mr. Bush displayed in launching the Iraq war, why should we assume that he wouldn't do it again?
Bush declares himself above the law -- has the first American dictatorship already arrived?
What. A. Freaking. Hypocrite.
And, as we've come to expect, a liar. Stop the presses. We're so accustomed to the lies of George Bush being uncovered after the fact, we don't even notice any longer.
And they thought Clinton's behavior brought disgrace to the Oval Office.
Bush and the people around him appear to have genuinely believed, for at least the four and a half years since 9-11, that the President by definition is incapable of breaking the law. On his sole authority laws can be ignored, overridden, or changed. Even implicitly. Even retroactively, as when some unappetizing piece of this puzzle inadvertently comes to the public's attention.
Combine this with an administration more intent on secrecy and lack of transparency than any other in U.S. history, and you have a recipe for, well, a dictatorship. Which is exactly what it appears Bush and company believe they are operating in. Oh, of course, in normal times America is a democracy, but these aren't normal times, are they? Why? Because we're at war. Why are we at war? Because the President said so. How long will the war last? Several generations. After that, presumably, the Constitution will be in force again, and Congress and the courts can re-convene if they like.
It is more evident than ever that this President and Vice President need to be impeached. Not because it is or isn't politically expedient; not even because their successors might be any better, or because it will be an advantage for one or another party in 2008. But because this sort of behavior in the most powerful job in the world must be punished, in the clearest possible manner. Justice demands it. Setting an example, to try to prevent similar abuses by future leaders from any party, demands it.
Maryscott O'Connor: I would expect both parties to impeach George W. Bush, because it's a question of honor and principle.
...After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq - an unnecessary war. Inside the military family, I made no secret of my view that the zealots' rationale for war made no sense. And I think I was outspoken enough to make those senior to me uncomfortable. But I now regret that I did not more openly challenge those who were determined to invade a country whose actions were peripheral to the real threat - al-Qaeda. I retired from the military four months before the invasion, in part because of my opposition to those who had used 9/11's tragedy to hijack our security policy. Until now, I have resisted speaking out in public. I've been silent long enough.
This morning on CNN, New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh addressed the uproar at the highest levels of the U.S. military over plans to launch a massive strike against Iran that would include nuclear weapons:
HERSH: I'm saying if this isn't walked back and if the President isn't told that you cannot do it - and once the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, some senior members of the military say to the President, let's get the nuclear option off the table, it will be taken off. He will not defy the military in a formal report. Unless something specific is told to the White House that you've got to drop the dream of a nuclear option, and that's exactly the issue I'm talking about, people have said to me they would resign.
BLITZER: Do you want to name names?
HERSH: Are you kidding?
BLITZER: I'm giving you the opportunity.
HERSH: No. You know why? Because this is a punitive government right now. This is a government that pretty much has its back against the wall, as you've been saying all morning in iraq, and in the military - one thing about our military, they're very loyal to the president, but they're getting to the edge. They're getting to the edge with not only Rumsfeld, but with Cheney and the President.
I was going to say that the UCC sounds incensed by politically conservative, religious-right-style Christians, but I think a better word is "impatient." The UCC has seen their faith misused for partisan and ideological ends; the church's leaders saw a subtle effort to change this dynamic; but discovered things weren't improving quickly enough. Now, they're making an assertive effort to take on their rivals and help make a change.
In addition to the examples mentioned above, the UCC is also pushing back against the IRS for what church officials see as a slanted law-enforcement effort in which liberal churches are threatened for alleged political intervention, while conservative churches are not. Good for the UCC.