Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Saturday, January 28, 2006

January 29, 2006
Spies, Lies and Wiretaps
A bit over a week ago, President Bush and his men promised to provide the legal, constitutional and moral justifications for the sort of warrantless spying on Americans that has been illegal for nearly 30 years. Instead, we got the familiar mix of political spin, clumsy historical misinformation, contemptuous dismissals of civil liberties concerns, cynical attempts to paint dissents as anti-American and pro-terrorist, and a couple of big, dangerous lies.
The first was that the domestic spying program is carefully aimed only at people who are actively working with Al Qaeda, when actually it has violated the rights of countless innocent Americans. And the second was that the Bush team could have prevented the 9/11 attacks if only they had thought of eavesdropping without a warrant.• ...http://tinyurl.com/88faz

Friday, January 27, 2006

“Why do we have to give up our weapons? If Israel comes back to occupy our land, will your country come to defend our people? Why do we have to put up our guns while every country everywhere has in addition to a political system a strong military system in order to protect their homeland, their interests and their people? "--Hamas Leader Mahmoud al-Zahar from (UK) Times Online...http://tinyurl.com/7fyaq
Why I Now Genuflect to Charles Krauthammer
Date 2006/1/27
by Jason Miller -- World News Trust

But when he awoke, he found that he could no longer be certain whether he was a man dreaming he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was a man....

An insightful reader recently informed me that "the world will always owe America a huge debt of gratitude for all the good things we have done.” As a vehement critic of many aspects of American society and politics in numerous essays on a variety of topics, I paused when I read that statement. And I contemplated. The longer I considered it, the more confused and ashamed I became. My mind was reeling. Within a period of a few short hours, my emotional condition had declined to a state of morose withdrawal and eventually deteriorated to a paralyzing anxiety with intermittent bursts of debilitating self-loathing. Words have not evolved that could accurately describe my pitiful condition.

Thank God there was a copy of the Kansas City Star near me as my crisis reached its zenith. Plumbing the depths of emotional agony, I sat facing the wall, rocking and banging my head against the textured stucco to punish myself for my acts of betrayal. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a fleeting glimpse of an all too familiar sight. Charles Krauthammer’s tiny black and white photo on the Op/Ed page was giving me his patented sneer, that malevolent half-smile which I had cursed so many times in the past. Yet today he appeared much less derisive. In fact, he had an avuncular appearance as he kindly beckoned me to imbibe the brilliance emanating from his recently penned piece, which was accompanied by his reassuring image on the slightly yellowed newsprint. Drawn in by Krauthammer’s irresistible Siren’s Call, I halted my self-flagellation and devoured his masterful drumbeat for war against Iran in which he proclaimed his unflinching support for the Bush Regime's War on Terror. In that moment, I came to a stunning realization. Charles Krauthammer is a prophet!...http://tinyurl.com/8pa6a

Veep Putting Distance Between Himself and Embattled President

Andy Borowitz -- Borowitz Report

Days after photos surfaced showing President George W. Bush together with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Vice President Dick Cheney attempted to put some distance between himself and the embattled president, telling reporters that he and Mr. Bush had never met.
“I do not know this person you call George W. Bush,” Mr. Cheney flatly stated at a press conference in Washington today.
Mr. Cheney explained that because he spent most of his time at his secure, undisclosed location, his path had simply never crossed with that of Mr. Bush.
The vice president’s claim that he did not know the president strained the credulity of the White House press corps, many of whom could recall seeing the two men together at one time or another... http://tinyurl.com/djldp

Poison Justice Stevens

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) -- Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, speaking at a traditionally black college, joked that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned.
Coulter had told the Philander Smith College audience Thursday that more conservative justices were needed on the Supreme Court to change the current law on abortion.
Stevens is one of the court's most liberal members.
"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said...http://tinyurl.com/crv5g
Documents Show Army Seized Wives As Tactic
The Associated Press
Friday, January 27, 2006

-- The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.
In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him "to come get his wife."
The issue of female detentions in Iraq has taken on a higher profile since kidnappers seized American journalist Jill Carroll on Jan. 7 and threatened to kill her unless all Iraqi women detainees are freed... http://tinyurl.com/bhdc6
Today in history. Who'd a thunk it? Who (or what) would have thought this country would be so f__ked up in 2006? What kind of poop eating crypto-nazi nerd would have looked ahead to a new millenium of such regress?
It's just sad.

1975 Senate investigation of FBI and CIA activities begins
A bipartisan Senate investigation of activities by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is launched by a special congressional committee headed by Senator Frank Church of Idaho. On November 20, the committee released its report, charging both U.S. government agencies with illegal activities. The committee reported that the FBI and the CIA had conducted illegal surveillance of several hundred thousand U.S. citizens. The CIA was also charged with illegally plotting to assassinate foreign leaders, such as Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of Chile. In 1973, Allende was killed in a coup that the CIA secretly helped organize. The Senate committee also reported that the CIA had maintained a secret stockpile of poisons despite a specific presidential order to destroy the substances.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Image: Rummy being shocked and awed by the power of the Clenis
From Think Progress: http://tinyurl.com/cmydb

Report Finds Future of Army In Danger; Rumsfeld Responds By Blaming Clinton
Yesterday, former Defense Secretary William Perry released a study that found that “the strain of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan is endangering the nation.” A copy of the report is available here. The Perry study came on the heels of an official Pentagon study that came to a similar conclusion. Even the top U.S. commander in Iraq recognizes the military is overstretched.
Everyone seems to acknowledge the problem except Donald Rumsfeld. The Secretary of Defense defiantly claimed: “The force is not broken. … I just can’t imagine someone looking at the United States armed forces today and suggesting that they’re close to breaking. That’s just not the case.”
Rumsfeld argues that the armed forces recruiting goals have been met for the past seven months. But that paints a very deceiving picture of what’s truly going on. Here’s a key statistic from the Perry report:
A year from now, the combination of fewer than needed recruits and fewer than needed reenlistments in the junior grades could result in a significant “hollowing” and imbalance in the Army, both active and reserve. Based on DoD’s monthly manpower report by grade, the Army already has a deficit of some 18,000 personnel in its junior enlisted grades (E1-E4). Even if it meets its recruiting and retention goals, the Army is projected to be short some 30,000 soldiers (not including stop loss) by the end of FY2006.
Junior enlisted officers, those who are taking on the brunt of the physical fighting, are not reenlisting at nearly the same rate as senior officers. This spells long-term trouble for the Army. What’s Rumsfeld’s response to this damaging information? Claim ignorance and blame Clinton. Rumsfeld, 1/25/06:
It’s interesting — I haven’t read the report. I’ll have to do that. Yeah, I mean, these are the people, basically — who did that report — who were here in the ’90s. And what we’re doing is trying to adjust what was left us to fit the 21st century.
Perhaps if Rumsfeld reads the report, he’ll realize the problem with reenlistment is a result of Iraq, not Clinton. Sadly for our troops, they continue to go to war with the Secretary of Defense they have, not the Secretary of Defense they wish to have.
Freedom=Looting in the new Bush constitution. Bring it on! I got some room over here for a few more bricks...

Audit Describes Misuse of Funds in Iraq Projects
by James Glantz

A new audit of American financial practices in Iraq has uncovered irregularities including millions of reconstruction dollars stuffed casually into footlockers and filing cabinets, an American soldier in the Philippines who gambled away cash belonging to Iraq, and three Iraqis who plunged to their deaths in a rebuilt hospital elevator that had been improperly certified as safe.
The audit, released yesterday by the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, expands on its previous findings of fraud, incompetence and confusion as the American occupation poured money into training and rebuilding programs in 2003 and 2004. The audit uncovers problems in an area that includes half the land mass in Iraq, with new findings in the southern and central provinces of Anbar, Karbala, Najaf, Wasit, Babil, and Qadisiya. The special inspector reports to the secretary of defense and the secretary of state.
Agents from the inspector general's office found that the living and working quarters of American occupation officials were awash in shrink-wrapped stacks of $100 bills, colloquially known as bricks.
One official kept $2 million in a bathroom safe, another more than half a million dollars in an unlocked footlocker. One contractor received more than $100,000 to completely refurbish an Olympic pool but only polished the pumps; even so, local American officials certified the work as completed. More than 2,000 contracts ranging in value from a few thousand dollars to more than half a million, some $88 million in all, were examined by agents from the inspector general's office. The report says that in some cases the agents found clear indications of potential fraud and that investigations into those cases are continuing... http://tinyurl.com/7mhyc

Are you like me? Does the phrase 'little Eichmanns' come to mind when you see pictures of Young Republicans like these two?

The one in the dark uniform is the guy offering a $100 bounty on tapes of lectures by 'left-leaning' professors at UCLA.

Hmm, let's see...why would people with the academic and intellectual acumen to be University professors be left-leaning? That's a tough one.


Joe Bageant tells us:

What the 'Left Behind' Series Really Means
A Whore That Sitteth on Many Waters

"Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching, but their wailing was soon quashed and all was silent when the earth closed itself again." -- From Glorious Appearing by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

"The best thing about the Left Behind books is the way the non-Christians get their guts pulled out by God."-- 15-year old fundamentalist fan of the Left Behind series

That is the sophisticated language and appeal of America’s all-time best selling adult novels celebrating the ethnic cleansing of non-Christians at the hands of Christ. If a Muslim were to write an Islamic version of the last book in the Left Behind series, Glorious Appearing, and publish it across the Middle East, Americans would go beserk. Yet tens of millions of Christians eagerly await and celebrate an End Time when everyone who disagrees with them will be murdered in ways that make Islamic beheading look like a bridal shower. Jesus -- who apparently has a much nastier streak than we have been led to believe -- merely speaks and "the bodies of the enemy are ripped wide open down the middle." In the book Christians have to drive carefully to avoid "hitting splayed and filleted corpses of men and women and horses" Even as the riders’ tongues are melting in their mouths and they are being wide open gutted by God’s own hand, the poor damned horses are getting the same treatment. Sort of a divinely inspired version of "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on."... http://tinyurl.com/7oxn5
'We Must All Be Prepared to Torture' Let's get to it!
by Fred Branfman
"We must all be prepared to torture."- Charles Krauthammer, "The Truth About Torture," The Weekly Standard, Dec. 5, 2005
Note: Quotes below are from Krauthammer's piece.

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced in a press conference Wednesday that, swayed by the powerful arguments of an article in The Weekly Standard, he is prepared to torture Vice President Cheney and presidential adviser Karl Rove for information that is "urgently needed" to save American lives.
"I have determined that American lives can be saved by ending the ongoing stonewalling by these two suspects, who have clearly orchestrated a campaign that endangers U.S. intelligence agents' lives," Fitzgerald said. "The Weekly Standard has opened my eyes to the fact that my being previously unprepared to torture is deeply immoral, given the American lives that I believe can be saved by the urgently needed information Cheney and Rove possess."
Fitzgerald stressed that he is not legally required to explain his decision.
"As an agent of the executive branch, I am no more legally required to provide my rationale for torturing these suspects than is President Bush. Following the ancient doctrine that 'might makes right,' Mr. Bush has taken it upon himself to torture anyone he wishes, without explanation, on the simple assertion that he believes it will save American lives. Mr. Bush has also made it clear that he intends to keep torturing if he wishes to, and does not feel bound by the agreement he reached with Sen. McCain banning the practice.
"Since executive power has been delegated to me to investigate the leak of a CIA agent's name, I have as much legal authority to torture in this case as does the president. I want to assure the public that, unlike the president, I will not torture the innocent. But I'm sure you can understand that I can say nothing else at this point, given the sensitive nature of the information involved."
Fitzgerald stressed that the vice president could surely have no moral objection to being tortured to save American lives.... http://tinyurl.com/88f5n

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Michael Ledeen; when I say 'double-agent' I mean guys like this. He and his ilk shouldn't be anywhere near the government of the USA. Reagan and then BushBush opened the door to these spiders...

American who advised Pentagon says he wrote for magazine that found forged Niger documents

A controversial neoconservative who occasionally consulted for the Bush Defense Department has confirmed that he was a contributor to the Italian magazine Panorama, whose reporter first came across forged documents which purported that Iraq was seeking to obtain uranium from Niger... http://tinyurl.com/byuxy
This is kinda funny. It's not as funny as Rick Santorum spontaneously bursting into flame and standers-by refusing to pee on him, but it's still kinda funny.

Santorum blows his stack at reporter in public today
by John in DC - 1/25/2006 06:56:00 PM

AMERICAblog's spies on the Hill tell us that at 4:34pm Eastern today (gotta love their precision) Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) "totally blew his top, totally lost control" while getting off the underground train that connects the US Capitol building and the Dirksen Senate Office Builing.It seems a reporter approached Santorum just as he got off the train and asked Santorum something to the effect of: "Can you tell me about the 'K Street Project."
"Santorum's response?
He started screaming, according to our source. "It's just a meeting!", Santorum reportedly yelled (again, in public, right near the Senate cafeteria where lots of folks are gathered). "What Harry Reid said Wednesday is a total lie!"
In fact, the K Street Project is an infamous little conspiracy that Tom Delay created back in the 1990s, and Santorum is the Senate's liaison to that little conspiracy. Thus the reason Ricky isn't too happy about being asked about it:
HOW THE K STREET PROJECT WORKED: In his dealings with K Street lobbyists, DeLay explicitly stated he would operate by “the old adage of punish your enemies and reward your friends.” (To gain influence over legislation, trade associations and corporate lobbyists were ordered to do three things: 1) refuse to hire Democrats, 2) hire only deserving Republicans as identified by the congressional leadership, and 3) contribute heavily to Republican coffers.) Despite being admonished by the House Ethics Committee numerous times for his conduct, DeLay’s pay-to-play machine continued to plow full-speed ahead. With federal benefits up for sale, corporations quickly identified the need to need to hire more lobbyists, giving rise to one of the greatest growth industries in America. Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, proudly proclaimed in 2002 that “will have 90-10 on K Street and 90-10 business giving.”... http://tinyurl.com/6r72z

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What a beautiful thought is this; the listing ship of state righting itself. An impeachment based on reality rather than BS. And what a line of succession to the presidency! Cheney, Hastert...Al Capone, Donald Duck, 50 Cent, the dumb guy behind the counter at NAPA Auto Parts, the next wino you see vomiting in a parking lot...the GOP has a deep bench of quality leadership.

Some activists, politicians speaking openly about impeachment
By Jim Puzzanghera
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - The word "impeachment" is popping up increasingly these days and not just off the lips of liberal activists spouting predictable bumper-sticker slogans.
After the unfounded claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and recent news of domestic spying without warrants, mainstream politicians and ordinary voters are talking openly about the possibility that President Bush could be impeached. So is at least one powerful Republican senator, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
So far, it's just talk. And with Republicans controlling Congress - and memories still fresh of the bitter fight and national distraction inflamed by former President Clinton's 1998 impeachment - even the launching of an official inquiry is a very long shot.
But a poll released last week by Zogby International showed 52 percent of American adults thought Congress should consider impeaching Bush if he wiretapped U.S. citizens without court approval, including 59 percent of independents and 23 percent of Republicans. (The survey had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.)
With numbers like that, impeachment could become an issue in this fall's congressional elections - and dramatically raise the stakes. If Democrats win control of the House of Representatives, a leading proponent of starting an official impeachment inquiry, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., would become chairman of the House committee that could pursue it.
Conyers introduced legislation last month to create a special panel to investigate the Bush administration's alleged manipulation of pre-Iraq war intelligence and "make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment." ...http://tinyurl.com/b3z6l
This is a fascinating story I think. There was no chance to hear it during '9/11 fever' when crazy gender malcontents like Anne Coulter were calling for the kid's summary execution ("to show liberals what they have to fear".) Those were dark days. Kind of like when, during WWI, people were kicking Dachshunds on the streets because they were 'German dogs'. There's a lot of historical parallels. Attacks on Jews in Nazi Germany, attacks on Palestinians by Israeli 'settlers' (this very minute no doubt), lynch photos with all those smiling faces.
When did jingoistic insanity come back into style? Reagan I'd say, like so much else that stinks about the current USA(USAUSAUSAUSA!)
Sieg f__kin' heil.

The Real Story of John Walker Lindh
By Frank Lindh,
Posted on January 24, 2006, Printed on January 24,

Editor's Note: The public has heard little about John Walker Lindh since the media frenzy over his capture in the winter of 2001. On January 19, John's father Frank Lindh delivered an address at The Commonwealth Club of California. Lindh explained that he and his family have avoided the press for nearly four years; he now wants the public to understand the truth about his son, who he says didn't stand a chance of getting a fair trial in the emotional days following 9/11. Immediately characterized as a "terrorist" by the press and politicians, Lindh faced a jury in Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Pentagon. The trial date scheduled by the judge was the anniversary of 9/11. Initially facing 11 criminal counts -- most relating to terrorism -- the only charge that John Lindh was found guilty of was violating economic sanctions by supporting the Taliban government, for which the 20-year-old was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The following is excerpted from Frank Lindh's speech.... http://tinyurl.com/almac
Don't ask me why this is appearing in a right wing rag ( Insight.) Maybe a Laura Bush crying session/photo op like Mrs. Alito's is scheduled for this week.

The Bush administration is bracing for impeachment hearings in Congress.

"A coalition in Congress is being formed to support impeachment," an administration source said.

Sources said a prelude to the impeachment process could begin with hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee in February. They said the hearings would focus on the secret electronic surveillance program and whether Mr. Bush violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act...http://tinyurl.com/acz5u
Weaving the "Why?" Strands: The Bushevik Puzzle
January 24, 2005 By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers

"The Bush Bunker crew wants the freedom desired by all authoritarian leaders: to act on their own, free of judicial or legislative restraints. Arrogant and insecure, they need to know what everyone is thinking and doing, as a means of enhancing and protecting their political power. If they accidentally wind up getting some actionable intelligence about foreign terrorists, all the better."...http://tinyurl.com/8kqd8

I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

PSALM 69('60) by Ernst Fuchs

Top Ten Mistakes of the Bush Administration in Reacting to Al-Qaeda
by Juan Cole

Usamah Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri murdered 3,000 Americans, and they both issued tapes in the past week, blustering and threatening us with more of the same. Most of us aren't wild about paying for the Bush administration with our taxes, but one thing we have a right to expect is that our government would protect us from mass murderers and would chase them down and arrest them. It has not done that. When asked why he hasn't caught Bin Laden, Bush replies, "Because he's hidin'." Is Bush laughing at us?...http://tinyurl.com/9dj4u

Monday, January 23, 2006

"...and then there were the strawberries"--Capt Queeg
(and the peanut butter.)

The Other Big Brother
The Pentagon has its own domestic spying program. Even its leaders say the outfit may have gone too far.
By Michael Isikoff
Jan. 30, 2006 issue -
The demonstration seemed harmless enough. Late on a June afternoon in 2004, a motley group of about 10 peace activists showed up outside the Houston headquarters of Halliburton, the giant military contractor once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. They were there to protest the corporation's supposed "war profiteering." The demonstrators wore papier-mache masks and handed out free peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches to Halliburton employees as they left work. The idea, according to organizer Scott Parkin, was to call attention to allegations that the company was overcharging on a food contract for troops in Iraq. "It was tongue-in-street political theater," Parkin says.

But that's not how the Pentagon saw it. To U.S. Army analysts at the top-secret Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), the peanut-butter protest was regarded as a potential threat to national security. Created three years ago by the Defense Department, CIFA's role is "force protection"—tracking threats and terrorist plots against military installations and personnel inside the United States. In May 2003, Paul Wolfowitz, then deputy Defense secretary, authorized a fact-gathering operation code-named TALON—short for Threat and Local Observation Notice—that would collect "raw information" about "suspicious incidents." The data would be fed to CIFA to help the Pentagon's "terrorism threat warning process," according to an internal Pentagon memo.

A Defense document shows that Army analysts wrote a report on the Halliburton protest and stored it in CIFA's database. It's not clear why the Pentagon considered the protest worthy of attention—although organizer Parkin had previously been arrested while demonstrating at ExxonMobil headquarters (the charges were dropped). But there are now questions about whether CIFA exceeded its authority and conducted unauthorized spying on innocent people and organizations. A Pentagon memo obtained by NEWSWEEK shows that the deputy Defense secretary now acknowledges that some TALON reports may have contained information on U.S. citizens and groups that never should have been retained. The number of reports with names of U.S. persons could be in the thousands, says a senior Pentagon official who asked not be named because of the sensitivity of the subject...http://tinyurl.com/7ls8b
As I indicated, clearly, the al Qaeda leaders and the terrorists are on the run. They're under a lot of pressure. We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business. The terrorists started this war, and the President made it clear that we will end it at a time and place of our choosing.--Scott McClelland
OK. Anytime now would be a good time I think.

Question: Why the f__k is an about-to-be-indicted low-life like Karl Rove making speechs about Republican strategy (divide people with simple-minded fear & smear) in this year's elections?
Oh yeah, nevermind...It's Republicans, I forgot for a second...

Fitzgerald Eyes Plame-Niger Conspiracy
Prosecutor Probing Niger Forgeries, Possible Conspiracy in CIA Leak
By Jason Leopold
Monday 23 January 2006

"There was a discussion about what to do about Mr. Wilson," the current State Department official said. "There was a decision to leak a story to the press - I think a few journalists - about the Wilson trip, that it was a non-issue because his wife set it up for him."
Over the past few months, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has been questioning witnesses in the CIA leak case about the origins of the disputed Niger documents referenced in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address, according to several current and former State Department officials who have testified in the case.
The State Department officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because some of the information they discussed is still classified, indicated that the White House had substantial motive for revealing undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to reporters.
They said the questions Fitzgerald asked them about the Niger documents suggested to them that the special prosecutor was putting together a timeline. They said they believe Fitzgerald wants to show the grand jury how some people in the Bush administration may have conspired to retaliate against former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, an outspoken critic of the administration's pre-war Iraq intelligence.
The officials said Fitzgerald's interest is not in the the war's validity. Instead, Fitzgerald is trying to find out if Wilson's public questions about the administration's intelligence and its use of the Niger documents led members of a little known committee called the White House Iraq Group to leak Plame's name and CIA status to reporters... http://tinyurl.com/9gn3o
Bush Job Approval Ratings
1/22/06 American Research group
HUH? Paragraph from AP story on Bush in Kansas:
"Bush received a hero's welcome, with long standing ovations and loud applause as he defended his most controversial positions. There was a noisy crowd of a couple hundred sign-waving anti-war protesters outside the arena where Bush appeared. "Wage war, not peace!" they chanted to a drumbeat."
Tre Arrow And ELF -- Radical Environmentalism On Death Row
Date 2006/1/23
By Joshua Frank
World News Trust
The government drops bombs on kids in the Middle East, while a hand full of activists torch some yuppie ski resort in Colorado: Bush gets reelected and the radical environmentalists are issued warrants.
Where the hell is the justice?...http://tinyurl.com/9chv6

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Evil. Stupid. A joke.
A multi-faceted man.
Former Abu Ghraib Guard Calls Top Brass Culpable for Abuse
Wife of Jailed Soldier Says Tactics Were in Place From Start
By Josh White
Washington Post Staff WriterMonday, January 23, 2006;

Stepping into the Abu Ghraib prison for the first time, Megan Ambuhl was stunned. There were naked men in dusty cells, male prisoners wearing women's underwear, others hooded and shackled in contorted positions to metal railings.
An enlisted officer giving her a tour of the U.S. facility in October 2003 pointed to a group of detainees chained to a cell. He said the bars had often "been decorated like a Christmas tree," with prisoners as ornaments."He explained it was a military intelligence tactic," Ambuhl said in a recent interview, speaking publicly for the first time since the Abu Ghraib prison abuse was disclosed nearly two years ago. "He said it was to break the detainees that were being interrogated. It was clear it was a military intelligence facility. As I saw it, I thought that if they were doing it, it must be all right for them to be doing it."
One of the original seven military police soldiers singled out by the Pentagon for their roles in abusive techniques, Ambuhl is speaking out because she believes the truth has been obscured by high-ranking officials intent on covering up a policy of abuse. Though her defense differs little from the arguments made previously by the defendants' attorneys, Ambuhl's first-person description of the macabre world of Abu Ghraib provides a vivid perspective on how things went out of control at the prison outside of Baghdad, a place where there were few rules and little guidance. Her account also shows that some of the abusive tactics were in place when the MPs arrived at the prison...http://tinyurl.com/848my

Halliburton cited in Iraq contamination
By Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writer January 22, 2006
WASHINGTON --Troops and civilians at a U.S. military base in Iraq were exposed to contaminated water last year and employees for the responsible contractor, Halliburton, couldn't get their company to inform camp residents, according to interviews and internal company documents.
Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, disputes the allegations about water problems at Camp Junction City, in Ramadi, even though they were made by its own employees and documented in company e-mails.
"We exposed a base camp population (military and civilian) to a water source that was not treated," said a July 15, 2005, memo written by William Granger, the official for Halliburton's KBR subsidiary who was in charge of water quality in Iraq and Kuwait.
"The level of contamination was roughly 2x the normal contamination of untreated water from the Euphrates River," Granger wrote in one of several documents. The Associated Press obtained the documents from Senate Democrats who are holding a public inquiry into the allegations Monday.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who will chair the session, held a number of similar inquiries last year on contracting abuses in Iraq. He said Democrats were acting on their own because they had not been able to persuade Republican committee chairmen to investigate... http://tinyurl.com/76t9o
Monologue from Good Will Hunting
written by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck

Will: Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll take a shot. Say I'm working at the N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people that I never met and that I never had no problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin', "Send in the marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number was called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. They're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin' play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive, so he's walking to the fuckin' job interviews, which sucks 'cause the schrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorroids. And meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure, fuck it, while I'm at it, why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.

Katherine Harris
How real is the Iran nuclear threat to the United States?

By Ed Haas

01/20/06 "ICH" -- -- If you get your news from the Big Five, the global media conglomeration of Time Warner, The Walt Disney Company, Bertelsmann AG, Viacom, and News Corporation, which when combined control approximately 90% of the world’s headlines, than there is little doubt that you have been adequately primed with stories regarding Iran’s nuclear power ambitions and the threat that such ambitions represent to the United States. Absent perspective though, these headlines amount to nothing more than fear-mongering hype intended to persuade Americans into supporting the Federal Reserve, U.S. Congress, and Bush Administration once again if they collectively decide that it’s necessary to launch yet another pre-emptive strike in the Middle East under flimsy, if not false pretenses....http://tinyurl.com/dg4ll
Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

"Fixed" Intelligence from Feith's "Gestapo Office," the CIA and the Bush Administration's Impeachable Lies about Iraq's Prewar Links to al Qaeda
By Walter C. Uhler
Except in the cynical, zealous or spiritually clouded minds of his right wing devotees, it's become a well-established (if under reported) fact that President George W. Bush is a serial liar, if not a congenital liar.1 For example, after The New York Times very belatedly leaked Mr. Bush's unconstitutional order permitting the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without obtaining the required court-approved warrants, Bush defended his directive as a "vital tool" in the war against terrorism.
But, as liars commonly do, Bush seems to have forgotten that in April 2004 he told an audience in Buffalo, New York: "When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so." He also told the audience that precisely because it was "the United States government talking about wiretap," Americans could rest assured that "constitutional guarantees are in place." 2
Obviously, that specific lie pales when compared with Bush's willful violation of the Bill of Rights, and thus his oath to defend the Constitution -- clearly an impeachable offense. But, even that impeachable offense pales when compared with the heinous crime of spewing lies to scare Americans into supporting war against an enfeebled Iraq. Yet, Americans have failed to impeach him for that crime, in part, because more lies are being told to cover it up.
In fact, Bush lied on December 14, 2005, when discussing what intelligence was available to Congress, when it voted to support his decision to invade Iraq. Bush lied when he asserted: "Some of the most irresponsible comments - about manipulated intelligence - have come from politicians who saw the same intelligence I saw and then voted to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein." 3 ... http://tinyurl.com/9xwt5

Friday, January 20, 2006

Israel and US Threats Against Iran
The Bush Administration and their Democratic allies believe that the war in Iraq and now Iran is in Israel's interest.
"If you're a supporter of Israel, I would strongly urge you to help other countries become democracies," President Bush was quoted as saying in the Forward on December 16, 2005. "Israel's long-term survival depends upon the spread of democracy in the Middle East."
Democracy by gunpoint that is. As the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction has waned, Bush and his warmongering allies have continued to declare the occupation of Iraq is now about democracy. It was on the backburner of justifications before the war, but now the neocon's false hopes are front and center. Of course, this so-called "democracy" has clear limitations. For starters, what the Bush administration and their Israeli allies have in mind for the Middle East has absolutely nothing do to with any sort of democratic principles...http://tinyurl.com/d5kcp
Some back page news of traitorous double-agents in the Bush Administration:(afterall there are dangerous eco-warriors to yammer about in the 'librul' media.)

Ex-Pentagon analyst jailed for sharing US secrets
Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:15 PM ET
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (Reuters) - A former Pentagon analyst was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison on Friday for passing U.S. defense information to two pro-Israel lobbyists and for sharing classified information with an Israeli diplomat.
Lawrence Franklin, who previously worked as an analyst in the office of the secretary of defense, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis. Franklin had pleaded guilty in October to sharing the information and also to illegally possessing classified documents.
Franklin had faced up to 25 years in prison. His sentence could be further reduced because of his cooperation with the government which is still prosecuting a case against the two remaining defendants in the case -- former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group.


Changes at the World Bank Under PAUL WOLFOWITZ:

Wolfowitz, architect of America's failing foray into Iraq as Rumsfeld's former Deputy at the Pentagon, now heads the World Bank and finally seems like his true self is coming out of the closet.
In recent months, picking up steam in recent weeks, there has been a massive exodus of top talent from the World Bank....

"Wolfowitz is not talking to his VPs. He is withdrawing -- and instead using Robin Cleveland and the likes of Kevin Kellems to do his bidding, and they are building massive ill will inside the Bank."
"He is appointing political hacks into positions that should be filled by highly qualified personnel through competitive and transparent processes."
"Cleveland and Wolfowitz talk about anti-corruption and good governance, but she herself was in the midst of the Boeing tanker scandal and he is appointing a hack at the director level, circumventing the VP, and making this same hack his Senior Adviser. Cleveland in particular rankles as she is the single most arrogant and abusive person at the senior level of the bank without anything to be arrogant about. She makes John Bolton look sheepish."
"Wolfowitz is Sovietizing the bank by placing his political watch dogs in key positions in the bank -- and is more interested in political symbolism than the substantive work and challenges of the Bank."... http://tinyurl.com/d6pn8

Thursday, January 19, 2006

From today's OBL tape:
"...And if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book "Rogue State," which states in its introduction: "If I were president, I would stop the attacks on the United States: First I would give an apology to all the widows and orphans and those who were tortured. Then I would announce that American interference in the nations of the world has ended once and for all." "
Links to(the most excellent) ROGUE STATE author William Blum:

The real President and some guy with a wasting skin disease.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Pants on fire? OK with me
By Garrison Keillor

It's good to know how to lie, and lie effectively, so you can go backstage after the high school production of "The Crucible" in which your friend's daughter mumbled her lines and stood like a fencepost, trying to look horrified and looking drugged instead, and now here she is, fluttery, ashen-faced, perspiring, and you say, "It was fascinating to watch. You were so in the moment, Lindsey. So believable. It really resonated with that audience, there was so much intensity." The truth is that she has no more talent than the average cocker spaniel - but so what? There's no need to face the truth all at once.

People ask you how you are, you say fine, even if you have a grinding headache. People congratulate you on having done a fine job raising your children, you say thank you, even though you know the truth.

On the other hand, one should not lie to oneself. If the book you've been working on for two years is a leaking boat that needs to be scuttled, this is not to be denied. You look in the mirror and it's clear: The zero-dessert policy must now go into effect. Your wife says your drinking is a problem. That means it's a problem.

On the third hand, self-deception is useful. Some things are better endured by ignoring them. Old age, for one. The whining sound under your seat on the 727 flying over Lake Michigan, for another. And when you're feeling overwhelmed by your obligations, it's better just to put on your blinders and haul the beer wagon forward.

But everyone needs a few friends with whom one can be honest. I quit smoking twenty-some years ago because my friend Butch Thompson and I promised each other that we'd try to quit, and that before smoking another cigarette, we would call up the other one and tell him. This worked like a charm. I dreaded having to make that call, so did he, and we each trusted the other to be honest. This is what friends are for. If you go and do a shameful thing, such as shoot your parents so you can inherit their estate, you should have at least one friend to whom you could confide the cheesy details. You'd say, "I couldn't believe that was me, aiming the pistol at the back of Mom's head as she stood at the Mixmaster. I am feeling, like, totally remorseful right now. And I'm wondering if, like, it might've been a sugar rush from, like, the Twinkies." And the friend would say, "Well, you were having some big mood swings. And the job market is tight, so naturally you were anxious about money. But those bright orange coveralls look rather striking on you. And this Plexiglas partition between us doesn't bother me as much as I had thought it would. And I don't think you would've been a good parent anyway, so it's lucky that you won't have to face that question."

I have not been that sort of close confidante to my friends, alas. They don't reveal the seamy underside of their lives to me, perhaps because I am a writer who might exploit their shameful story, or perhaps because they have no shameful secrets to share. Or because they believe you're supposed to say "Fine" when someone asks how you are.

But who tells the truth to the man who is driving straight into the setting sun and thinks he's heading due east? His wife murmurs that, uh, maybe we should look at a map, and he accuses her of being a defeatist who tries to tear him down any way she can in order to conceal her own lack of ideas. The man is heading the wrong way and speeding and the idiot light is flashing - low oil pressure - and the idiot is trying to be manly and authoritative but everyone can see he's faking it, hoping for God to rearrange the landscape for his convenience. Someone ought to speak up, and yet he is fascinating. As the administration is these days, so resonant and believable. The Arctic icecap melts and the Chinese finance our tax cuts and someday we will have spent six years and trillions of dollars to bring democracy to Iraq, whatever that may mean, and the SUV of state turns toward the setting sun, driven by cocker spaniels. And there is so much intensity there, and they are so much in the moment.

(Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" can be heard Saturday nights on public radio stations across the country.)
White House won't discuss meetings between officials, Abramoff
By William Douglas
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - For the second straight day, the White House refused Wednesday to say who among its staffers met with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff or whom the recently convicted felon was representing when he visited the executive mansion.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan, pressed to explain Abramoff's contacts with the Bush administration, said, "We're not going to engage in a fishing expedition" in the media.
"I know there's some that want to do that, but I don't see any reason to do so," McClellan said. "Well, I think that some people (are) insinuating things based on no evidence whatsoever."
Several government ethics groups found the White House stance perplexing, saying nothing prevents the administration from disclosing the identities of meeting participants.
"There's a feeding frenzy for transparency and disclosure on Capitol Hill, and that's not a good way to start," said Roberta Baskin, the executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog group. "You can't plead national security. The public has a right to know."
Abramoff was a high-flying Washington lobbyist and a huge contributor to Republican political campaigns until he pleaded guilty before a federal judge on Jan. 3 to one charge each of conspiracy to corrupt public officials, mail fraud and tax evasion. He gave only to fellow Republicans, but his clients contributed large donations to Republicans and Democrats.
He's now cooperating with prosecutors investigating corruption on Capitol Hill and in the Bush administration, and Republicans worry that public outrage over the spreading scandal could cost them control of Congress in November's elections...http://tinyurl.com/a9v3m
AP is reporting that Abramoff had 200 or so meetings with White House staff.
The 'restored integrity' just drips off the Bush administration.
A Challenge that Cannot be Ignored
Former vice president Al Gore gave what I believe to be the most important political speech in my lifetime, and the New York Times, "the newspaper of record," did not report it. Not even excerpts. For the New York Times, it was a nonevent that a former vice president and presidential candidate, denied the presidency by one vote of the Supreme Court, challenged the Bush administration for its illegalities, rending of the Constitution and disrespect for the separation of powers. So much for "the liberal press" that right-wingers rant about. If a "liberal press" exists, the New York Times is certainly no longer a member.
The Washington Post had a short report on Gore's address at Constitution Hall, but the newspaper, if that is what it is, managed to water down the seriousness and urgency of the message that Gore brought to the country with sneers.
Gore's address is the first sign of leadership from the Democratic party in six years. This alone makes it a major news event. But not even his own party took notice. According to reports, only one Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein (CA) was in the audience. One would have thought the entire Democratic congressional delegation would have turned out in support of Gore's challenge to Bush's extraordinary claims of power... http://tinyurl.com/7snpo
Scum:Mean and stupid go together. It's the secret of Republican success. The stupid perceive Bush & Co as 'just like them' because even stupid people can tell mean lies. Courage doesn't matter, intelligence doesn't matter, truth doesn't matter. Just keep repeating the lies.
I hope this epoch of inverted values is over soon.

Purple Heartbreakers
Arlington, Va.
IT should come as no surprise that an arch-conservative Web site is questioning whether Representative John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who has been critical of the war in Iraq, deserved the combat awards he received in Vietnam.
After all, in recent years extremist Republican operatives have inverted a longstanding principle: that our combat veterans be accorded a place of honor in political circles. This trend began with the ugly insinuations leveled at Senator John McCain during the 2000 Republican primaries and continued with the slurs against Senators Max Cleland and John Kerry, and now Mr. Murtha.
Military people past and present have good reason to wonder if the current administration truly values their service beyond its immediate effect on its battlefield of choice. The casting of suspicion and doubt about the actions of veterans who have run against President Bush or opposed his policies has been a constant theme of his career. This pattern of denigrating the service of those with whom they disagree risks cheapening the public's appreciation of what it means to serve, and in the long term may hurt the Republicans themselves.
Not unlike the Clinton "triangulation" strategy, the approach has been to attack an opponent's greatest perceived strength in order to diminish his overall credibility. To no one's surprise, surrogates carry out the attacks, leaving President Bush and other Republican leaders to benefit from the results while publicly distancing themselves from the actual remarks.
Hosenball: Whose Fault Is 'Curveball' Mess? German intelligence? The CIA? There’s plenty of blame to go around.
By Mark Hosenball
Updated: 1:04 p.m. ET Jan. 17, 2006
Jan. 16, 2006 - The Bush administration’s reliance on a secret source, code-named Curveball, to make its case that Iraq was harboring weapons of mass destruction is one of the great embarrassments of the run-up to the Iraq war. Curveball, the primary source for Secretary of State Colin Powell’s prewar assertion to the United Nations that Saddam Hussein was hiding mobile germ-warfare labs, was later discredited. By why was the United States fooled to begin with?...http://tinyurl.com/a938d

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Official US agency paints dire picture of 'out-of-control' Iraq
· Analysis issued by USAid in reconstruction effort · Account belies picture painted by White House
Julian Borger in Washington
An official assessment drawn up by the US foreign aid agency depicts the security situation in Iraq as dire, amounting to a "social breakdown" in which criminals have "almost free rein".
The "conflict assessment" is an attachment to an invitation to contractors to bid on a project rehabilitating Iraqi cities published earlier this month by the US Agency for International Development (USAid).
The picture it paints is not only darker than the optimistic accounts from the White House and the Pentagon, it also gives a more complex profile of the insurgency than the straightforward "rejectionists, Saddamists and terrorists" described by George Bush... http://tinyurl.com/7pnb9
Joshua Micah Marshall nails an interesting point Gore made in his speech yesterday:
"The point Gore makes in his speech that I think is most key is the connection between authoritarianism, official secrecy and incompetence.
The president's critics are always accusing him of law-breaking or unconstitutional acts and then also berating the incompetence of his governance. And it's often treated as, well ... he's power-hungry and incompetent to boot! Imagine that! The point though is that they are directly connected. Authoritarianism and secrecy breed incompetence; the two feed on each other. It's a vicious cycle. Governments with authoritarian tendencies point to what is in fact their own incompetence as the rationale for giving them yet more power. Katrina was a good example of this."... http://tinyurl.com/b7988
How the West and the West Bank Were Won
by Jason Miller -- World News Trust

As I write to you from the heart of the Midwest, the epicenter of one of history's most egregious and shameful genocides, I watch with horror and moral revulsion as the U.S. military industrial complex underwrites and supports a similar act of social extermination in the Middle East. CNN informed me yesterday that the mighty U.S. military had killed eighteen civilians in Pakistan due to "bad intelligence" in the ongoing "war on terror." As an ally in this "war on terror," Pakistani leaders were justifiably upset. Can you imagine the repercussions if Pakistan killed eighteen American civilians on U.S. soil in a "strike against terrorists" based on "bad intelligence?" There would certainly be hell to pay. Yet in this instance, the Pakistanis will be lucky to receive an apology.

It is NOT terrorism when we do it

While the propaganda, lies, and white-washed accounts in American history books have often portrayed the Native Americans as "savages" who deserved to be "conquered" (while glorifying "how the west was won"), mainstream media frequently informs us of "acts of terrorism" by militant Palestinian individuals and groups. Concurrently, the abhorrent acts of state terrorism committed by the US and Israeli governments are usually presented as "necessary" and "acceptable." The undeniable fact is that the United States is an imperial power that almost extinguished the Native American population and is working toward a similar result with the Palestinians through their proxy in Israel. Despite professing acceptance of diversity, racism, bigotry, and religious intolerance are deeply ingrained into the sociopolitical structure of the United States. Dehumanizing the human "obstacles" to accomplishing its imperialistic goals has enabled the United States to murder and abuse various groups throughout its history.

If they aren't human, it isn't murder

Viewing Vietnamese as "gooks," "dinks," or "termites" enabled the U.S. military to slaughter at least 2 million of them during the Vietnam invasion. Considering Iraqis as "ragheads" and "cockroaches" enabled the agents of the U.S. government to wipe out 55,000 of their children during the Gulf War and 30,000 to 100,000 Iraqi civilians (and counting) during the illegal occupation of Iraq....http://tinyurl.com/c8e72
Heard today:
"A camel is a horse designed by lobbyists working for the hump industry."

Tears of a Neocon
And Now the Good News, From Daniel Pipes

Want to hear some good news? Try neo-con Daniel Pipes. When he weeps, we cheer, so check out his piece "My Gloom: Back to September 10" (NY Sun, 12/20. later reprinted in the Jerusalem Post). Most Americans felt less secure after September 11, although this feeling ran wildly beyond the rational. Not Pipes. The founder of the notorious Campus Watch , felt differently. He reports that a rush of security engulfed him: "The attacks of September 11, 2001, made me feel more secure, unlike most Americans. Finally, the country is focused on issues that had long worried me. The newfound alarm is healthy, the sense of solidarity heartening, the resolve encouraging." But Pipes fretted that it would not last. "Are Americans truly ready to sacrifice liberties and lives to prosecute seriously the war against militant Islam? I worry about US constancy and purpose."
And now Pipes says the verdict is in. "And right I was to worry, as the alarm, solidarity, and resolve of late 2001 have plummeted lately, returning us to a roughly pre-September 11 mentality."At long last in 2001 Pipes had in hand the neocons' coveted "war against militant Islam," although how that phrase characterizes the secular, anti-Osama Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein remains a mystery. Ominously, Pipes asked after 9/11 whether Americans were willing to sacrifice "liberties" as well as "lives." And, alas for him, no sooner was his beloved war on Iraq up and running than the resolve of Americans began to wither in the face of the death toll in Iraq and the threats of a police state in the U.S. That is enough to ruin the day of any self respecting neocon. But there is more... http://tinyurl.com/eyp5u

Here's some background on Pipes. Pure nuts:http://tinyurl.com/a5m7v


Monday, January 16, 2006

January 17, 2006
Spy Agency Data After Sept. 11 Led F.B.I. to Dead Ends

This article is by Lowell Bergman, Eric Lichtblau, Scott Shane and Don Van Natta Jr.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 - In the anxious months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Security Agency began sending a steady stream of telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and names to the F.B.I. in search of terrorists. The stream soon became a flood, requiring hundreds of agents to check out thousands of tips a month.
But virtually all of them, current and former officials say, led to dead ends or innocent Americans.
F.B.I. officials repeatedly complained to the spy agency that the unfiltered information was swamping investigators. The spy agency was collecting much of the data by eavesdropping on some Americans' international communications and conducting computer searches of phone and Internet traffic. Some F.B.I. officials and prosecutors also thought the checks, which sometimes involved interviews by agents, were pointless intrusions on Americans' privacy...http://tinyurl.com/aldyu
January 17, 2006
Two Groups Planning to Sue Over Federal Eavesdropping
WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 - Two leading civil rights groups plan to file lawsuits Tuesday against the Bush administration over its domestic spying program to determine whether the operation was used to monitor 10 defense lawyers, journalists, scholars, political activists and other Americans with ties to the Middle East.
The two lawsuits, which are being filed separately by the American Civil Liberties Union in Federal District Court in Detroit and the Center for Constitutional Rights in Federal District Court in Manhattan, are the first major court challenges to the eavesdropping program...
... One of the A.C.L.U. plaintiffs, Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, said that a Stanford student studying in Egypt conducted research for him on political opposition groups, and that he worried that communications between them on sensitive political topics could be monitored. "How can we communicate effectively if you risk being intercepted by the National Security Agency?" Mr. Diamond said.
Also named as plaintiffs in the A.C.L.U. lawsuit are the journalist Christopher Hitchens, who has written in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; Barnett R. Rubin, a scholar at New York University who works in international relations; Tara McKelvey, a senior editor at The American Prospect; the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Greenpeace, the environmental advocacy group; and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the country's largest Islamic advocacy group...



Gore Is Sharply Critical of Bush Policy on Surveillance
Former Vice President Al Gore said today that recent revelations that the Bush administration monitored domestic telephone conversations without obtaining warrants "virtually compels the conclusion that the president of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently."

Presented without comment
Al Gore gave a great speech this morning & here's a link to the complete prepared remarks:http://tinyurl.com/7wam4
From an interview with Mark Crispin Miller:

Theocracy aside, that authoritarian posture - "I am the king, and therefore I'm the law" - comes naturally to Bush himself. He gave a startling demonstration of his kingly attitude at his press conference last month, when a reporter asked him an entirely reasonable question: "If the global war on terror is going to last for decades, as has been forecast, does that mean that we're going to see, therefore, a more or less permanent expansion of the unchecked power of the executive in American society?"

His Majesty was most annoyed: "First of all, I disagree with your assertion of unchecked power," he said, and then elaborated:

BUSH: Hold on for a second, please. There is the check of people being sworn to uphold the law, for starters. There is oversight. We're talking to Congress all the time. And on this program, to suggest there's unchecked power is not listening to what I'm telling you. I'm telling you, we have briefed the United States Congress on this program a dozen times.This is an awesome responsibility, to make decisions on behalf of the American people. And I understand that. And we'll continue to work with the Congress, as well as people within our own administration, to constantly monitor a program such as the one I described to you, to make sure that we're protecting the civil liberties of the United States. To say "unchecked power" basically is ascribing some kind of dictatorial position to the president, which I strongly reject. I just described limits on this particular program, and that's what's important for the American people to understand. I am doing what you expect me to do and, at the same time, safeguarding the civil liberties of the country.

Clearly, Bush doesn't know what "unchecked" means, not just because he's ignorant, but because he cannot comprehend the notion of some entity beyond himself, some entity outside "his" branch of government, exerting any influence at all upon his actions. As far as he's concerned, it's his job, and his alone, to "safeguard" our civil liberties, just as it's his job to wage war against the Evil Ones. He thinks that "oversight" means that His Majesty tells Congress what he wants to tell them, and does so when he feels like doing it. ...http://tinyurl.com/8cvcc

DU's Top Ten is always good:

1) Mrs. Scalito & Friends:
Conventional wisdom would have you believe that Republicans are real tough guys; great hulking giants of men who laugh in the face of danger and fart in the living room of Death as they boldly swing their nuts across the land. Conventional wisdom is, sadly, wrong. The truth is that if you show a Republican a picture of an Arab he'll cling to the pantlegs of Big Daddy Bush wailing, "Please! Tap my phone lines! Take away my rights! Rip up the Constitution! Anything to protect me from the infinitesimally small chance of being killed by that scary bearded man! Oh no, I think I did a dirty bomb in my pants." ... http://tinyurl.com/9vhb7

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The nuclear weapon 'problem' in the Middle East is NOT that Iran might get them, it's that Israel has them...(& where's that little Dougy Feith; has he moved there yet? Seems all the neo-cons that could have fled the administration. Just the old, decrepit and insane are left.)

West resigns itself to a nuclear Iran

WESTERN governments face defeat in their attempts to stop Iran from pursuing its drive to become a nuclear power.
Officials in London and Washington now privately admit that they must face the painful fact that there is nothing they can do, despite deep suspicions that Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons under cover of researching nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Yesterday a defiant Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country would not be deflected from its right to develop nuclear technology by referral to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.
"If they want to destroy the Iranian nation's rights by that course, they will not succeed," he said, adding that Tehran did not need nuclear weapons because they are only used by nations who "want to solve everything through the use of force". ...http://tinyurl.com/8t7of

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pat Buchanan making more sense than he should, but only because Boy King, President Cheney and his cabinet are INSANE!!!

America’s standing in the Arab world could hardly be worse. And the questions the survey raises are these: Do we care? And, if we do, do not the Arabs have a point? Has not U.S. behavior in the Middle East lent credence to the view that our principal interests are Israel and oil, and, under Bush II, that we launched an invasion to dominate the region?
After all, before liberating Kuwait, Secretary of State Baker said the coming war was about “o-i-l.” And while we sent half a million troops to rescue that nation of 1.5 million, we sent none to Rwanda, where perhaps that many people were massacred.
If Kuwait did not sit on an underground sea of oil, would we have gone in? Is our military presence in the Mideast unrelated to its control of two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves?If human rights is our goal, why have we not gone into Darfur, the real hellhole of human rights? If democracy is what we are fighting for, why did we not invade Cuba, a dictatorship, 90 miles away, far more hostile to America than Saddam’s Iraq, and where human rights have been abused for half a century? Saddam never hosted nuclear missiles targeted at U.S. cities. ...http://tinyurl.com/b5k78
Zogby Poll: Americans Support Impeaching Bush for Wiretapping
For Immediate Release: January 16, 2006
New Zogby Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Impeaching Bush for Wiretapping
By a margin of 52% to 43%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
The poll was conducted by Zogby International, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,216 U.S. adults from January 9-12.
The poll found that 52% agreed with the statement:"If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."43% disagreed, and 6% said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 2.9% margin of error."The American people are not buying Bush's outrageous claim that he has the power to wiretap American citizens without a warrant. Americans believe terrorism can be fought without turning our own government into Big Brother," said AfterDowningStreet.org co-founder Bob Fertik.
This from Murray Waas' excellent blog WHATEVER ALREADY!:

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Washington Post this morning gives major play this morning to an attack of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) on the website of the (until now) obscure Cybercast News Service. It accusesMurtha-- who had won eight military awards, including a Bronze star, and a Distinguished Service Medal of the United States Marine Corps, for his 37 years of military service-- of purportedly saying that he had not deserved to win two Purple Hearts also awarded him for his service during the Vietnam war...(read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/7ju4n)
The Imperial Presidency at Work
You would think that Senators Carl Levin and John McCain would have learned by now that you cannot deal in good faith with a White House that does not act in good faith. Yet both men struck bargains intended to restore the rule of law to American prison camps. And President Bush tossed them aside at the first opportunity...

...The administration's behavior shows how high and immediate the stakes are in the Alito nomination, and how urgent it is for Congress to curtail Mr. Bush's expansion of power. Nothing in the national consensus to combat terrorism after 9/11 envisioned the unilateral rewriting of more than 200 years of tradition and law by one president embarked on an ideological crusade...http://tinyurl.com/95t8w
From the why do 'they' hate us dept:(& why do they call it military intelligence anyway? Isn't that like 'jumbo shrimp'?)

The drone, the CIA and a botched attempt to kill bin Laden's deputy
In the hunt for al-Qaeda, a missile attack on a mountain village killed women and children. The attack was precise, the intelligence was flawed, and the strained relation between Pakistan and the US has been pushed to breaking point
Jason Burke and Imtiaz Gul in Islamabad
Sunday January 15, 2006
The Observer

The missiles were deadly accurate. In the pitch dark of a night in Pakistan's sparsely populated North West Frontier Province, they not only located the three targeted houses on the outskirts of the village of Damadola Burkanday but squarely struck their hujra, the large rooms traditionally used by Pashtun tribesmen to accommodate guests.

Yesterday some of the results of the strike were very clear: three ruined houses, mud-brick rubble scattered across the steeply terraced fields, the bodies of livestock lying where thrown by the airblast, a row of newly dug graves in the village cemetery and torn green and red embroidered blankets flapping in the chilly wind. Four children were among the 18 villagers who died in the brutally sudden attack on their homes.

Yet evidence emerging appeared to indicate that, though the technology that guided the missiles to their targets at 3am on Friday was faultless...
Chomsky: 'There Is No War On Terror'
By Geov Parrish, AlterNet
Posted on January 14, 2006, Printed on January 14, 2006

For over 40 years, MIT professor Noam Chomsky has been one of the world's leading intellectual critics of U.S. foreign policy. Today, with America's latest imperial adventure in trouble both politically and militarily, Chomsky -- who turned 77 last month -- vows not to slow down "as long as I'm ambulatory." I spoke with him by phone, on Dec. 9 and again on Dec. 20, from his office in Cambridge.

Geov Parrish: Is George Bush in political trouble? And if so, why?

Noam Chomsky: George Bush would be in severe political trouble if there were an opposition political party in the country. Just about every day, they're shooting themselves in the foot. The striking fact about contemporary American politics is that the Democrats are making almost no gain from this. The only gain that they're getting is that the Republicans are losing support. Now, again, an opposition party would be making hay, but the Democrats are so close in policy to the Republicans that they can't do anything about it. When they try to say something about Iraq, George Bush turns back to them, or Karl Rove turns back to them, and says, "How can you criticize it? You all voted for it." And, yeah, they're basically correct...

Q:In the War on Terror, however, how does one define victory against a tactic? You can't ever get there.

A:There are metrics. For example, you can measure the number of terrorist attacks. Well, that's gone up sharply under the Bush administration, very sharply after the Iraq war. As expected -- it was anticipated by intelligence agencies that the Iraq war would increase the likelihood of terror. And the post-invasion estimates by the CIA, National Intelligence Council, and other intelligence agencies are exactly that. Yes, it increased terror. In fact, it even created something which never existed -- new training ground for terrorists, much more sophisticated than Afghanistan, where they were training professional terrorists to go out to their own countries. So, yeah, that's a way to deal with the War on Terror, namely, increase terror. And the obvious metric, the number of terrorist attacks, yeah, they've succeeded in increasing terror.

The fact of the matter is that there is no War on Terror. It's a minor consideration. So invading Iraq and taking control of the world's energy resources was way more important than the threat of terror. And the same with other things. Take, say, nuclear terror. The American intelligence systems estimate that the likelihood of a "dirty bomb," a dirty nuclear bomb attack in the United States in the next ten years, is about 50 percent. Well, that's pretty high. Are they doing anything about it? Yeah. They're increasing the threat, by increasing nuclear proliferation, by compelling potential adversaries to take very dangerous measures to try to counter rising American threats.

This is even sometimes discussed. You can find it in the strategic analysis literature. Take, say, the invasion of Iraq again. We're told that they didn't find weapons of mass destruction. Well, that's not exactly correct. They did find weapons of mass destruction, namely, the ones that had been sent to Saddam by the United States, Britain, and others through the 1980s. A lot of them were still there. They were under control of U.N. inspectors and were being dismantled. But many were still there. When the U.S. invaded, the inspectors were kicked out, and Rumsfeld and Cheney didn't tell their troops to guard the sites. So the sites were left unguarded, and they were systematically looted. The U.N. inspectors did continue their work by satellite and they identified over 100 sites that were systematically looted, like, not somebody going in and stealing something, but carefully, systematically looted.
In President George W Bush's 2006 State of the Union address, how many times will the President say the word: Evil?
is one of the several bets you can make here:http://tinyurl.com/c4b8g

What I want to know is how many times he will say Saddam or Iraq right up close to 9/11 and how many people will let it effect their...er..ah...'thinking' on the subject of our invasion of Iraq?

Friday, January 13, 2006

If we can beat mob, we can fight DeLay-style politics
Experience in Las Vegas similar to D.C. corruption

In 1977, I was appointed chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission. It was a difficult time for the gaming industry and Las Vegas, which were being overrun by organized crime. To that point in my life, I had served in the Nevada Assembly and even as lieutenant governor, but nothing prepared me for my fight with the mob.... http://tinyurl.com/cydst
Gonzales to Testify on Domestic Spying
Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has agreed to testify at a Senate hearing on the Bush administration's domestic spying.
Bob Fitrakis: 'Did the NSA help Bush hack the vote?'

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Ney should be arrested for the rug.

That IS some Republi-hair. Maybe it causes corruption?

Do you think that sometimes back in the cloak room they trade them with one another?


Here comes some more of that restored dignity to the White House.
What a bunch of pansy-ass bums!

The Huffington Post has learned the Bush administration recently asked high ranking military leaders to denounce Congressman John Murtha. Congressman Murtha has called for the Bush Administration to withdraw US troops from Iraq.The Bush Administration first attacked Rep. Murtha for his Iraq views by associating him with the filmmaker Michael Moore and Representative Jean Schmidt likened him to a coward on the floor of the House of Representatives. When those tactics backfired, Dick Cheney called Murtha "A good man, a marine, a patriot and he's taking a clear stand in an entirely legitimate discussion."Though the White House has backed off publicly, administration officials have nevertheless recently made calls to military leaders to condemn the congressman. So far they have refused.Rep. Murtha spent 37 years in the Marine Corps earning a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and a Navy Distinguished Service Medal. His service has earned him the respect of the military, and made him a trusted adviser to both Republican and Democratic presidents and leaders of the armed forces.Unfolding...http://tinyurl.com/at6y5

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

January 11, 2006
Guest: Paul Glastris
POLITICAL TRIBALISM... If you've ever wondered what percentage of voters think for themselves when it comes to public policy matters, and what percentage just robotically follow whatever their party's leaders happen to say, then check out this little tidbit from the new Pew poll:

[I]n the wake of the news that President Bush has authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor Americans suspected of having terrorist ties the issue has become more divisive. Today, Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats (37% vs. 18%) to say they favor allowing the government to monitor their telephone and email communications. This marks a 15-point increase in support among Republicans, and a nine-point drop among Democrats since 2002....http://tinyurl.com/9sror
I saw something truly grotesque on the CBS Evening News today. It's name was Gloria Borger I'm pretty sure. And it was telling me that 'people say' the most important moment at today's Scalito session was the well-staged and rehearsed moment when his wife cried.
It was so FOX.
I tell you, if this is how people get their alleged news these days we are doomed.
I saw the PBS Newshour later and they did a much better job. NPR isn't worth a crap anymore, but the Newshour came through on this one.
Jack, Ralph & Grover: absolute 100% scum:

The Triumverate
by Ciretose
Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 08:05:01 AM PDT
I love Wikipedia.
If anyone claims that the Abramoff scandal is bi-partisan, and that Abramoff wasn't partisan...a few foot notes found on my favorite Web-site
Ciretose's diary :: ::
(From Wikipedia)
After a campaign managed by Grover Norquist and aided by Ralph E. Reed, Jr., Abramoff was elected chairman of the College Republican National Committee. "It is not our job to seek peaceful coexistence with the Left," Abramoff was quoted as saying in the group's 1983 annual report, "Our job is to remove them from power permanently". Abramoff "changed the direction of the committee and made it more activist and conservative than ever before," notes the CRNC.
There is a whole lot more worth checking out, but personally I just love exploring friends of Jack, like Ralph Reed
Ralph Reed, some quotes
"I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag."
"Hey, now that I'm done with the electoral politics, I need to start humping in corporate accounts! I'm counting on you to help me with some contacts." (email to Jack Abramoff, 1998)
(from Wikipedia) On April 14, 1983, Reed wrote a column for The Red and Black student newspaper attacking the late Mohandas K. Gandhi of India. Entitled "Gandhi: Ninny of the 20th Century," Reed denounced the 1983 motion picture Gandhi for its favorable treatment of the life of the pacifist leader of the Indian independence movement.
The worst part, worse than writing a paper calling Gandi the "Ninny of the 20th Century" was that Reed had plagiarized a commentary article by film reviewer Richard Grenier in writing the piece.
And while I'm at it, Grover Norquist, who said
"We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals -- and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship."
(on the Estate Tax) "The argument that some who played at the politics of hate and envy and class division will say, 'Yes, well, that's only 2 percent,' or as people get richer 5 percent in the near future of Americans likely to have to pay that tax. I mean, that's the morality of the Holocaust. 'Well, it's only a small percentage,' you know. 'I mean, it's not you, it's somebody else.'"
"My ideal citizen is the self-employed, homeschooling, IRA-owning guy with a concealed-carry permit. Because that person doesn't need the goddamn government for anything,"
"Cutting the government in half in one generation is both an ambitious and reasonable goal"
But don't take my word, conservative columnist Tucker Carlson once called him a "mean-spirited, humorless, dishonest little creep ... the leering, drunken uncle everyone else wishes would stay home."
But yeah, the Abramoff isn't a left or right issue...he isn't partisan at all...
The Impeachment of George W. Bush
[from the January 30, 2006 issue]
Finally, it has started. People have begun to speak of impeaching President George W. Bush--not in hushed whispers but openly, in newspapers, on the Internet, in ordinary conversations and even in Congress. As a former member of Congress who sat on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon, I believe they are right to do so...

... Like many others, I have been deeply troubled by Bush's breathtaking scorn for our international treaty obligations under the United Nations Charter and the Geneva Conventions. I have also been disturbed by the torture scandals and the violations of US criminal laws at the highest levels of our government they may entail, something I have written about in these pages [see Holtzman, "Torture and Accountability," July 18/25, 2005]. These concerns have been compounded by growing evidence that the President deliberately misled the country into the war in Iraq. But it wasn't until the most recent revelations that President Bush directed the wiretapping of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)--and argued that, as Commander in Chief, he had the right in the interests of national security to override our country's laws--that I felt the same sinking feeling in my stomach as I did during Watergate...http://tinyurl.com/83xv9