Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Georgia Is Perfect

There is no unemployment, no problem with pollution, everyone who lives in the state has healthcare, prescription drugs are affordable for all who need them, not one person is homeless or goes to bed hungry, the roads and bridges are in great shape, there is 100% literacy, schoolteachers are well paid ...

Yes, the fine state of Georgia must be Paradise on Earth, because otherwise, why would the state's representatives waste their valuable time on this stupid shit?
The Georgia House injected itself into the so-called "War on Christmas" today, passing a bill that prevents state and local governments from banning their employees and students from "verbal expressions" celebrating any public or legal holiday.

"Simply put, in the state of Georgia, it's going to be OK to say Merry Christmas in the public workplace and in our schools," said Rep. Clay Cox (R-Lilburn), the bill's sponsor.

The bill passed the House 136 to 25 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Coulter Suggests Murdering Supreme Court Justice

In order to get more conservatives on the Supreme Court, neo-con circus freak Ann Coulter says "we need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice [John Paul] Stevens' creme brule".

According to 18 U.S.C. Section 115, Coulter is guilty of a felony for "threaten[ing] to assault, kidnap, or murder ... a United States judge ... with intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with" that judge's duties.

I look forward to her arrest. ... You know, rule of law and all that.

London Police "Faked Evidence" On Shot Brazilian

Undercover London police officers faked vital evidence to cover up their fatal role in the shooting of innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, mistaken for a suicide bomber ...

Special Branch officers from London's Metropolitan Police tried to change a surveillance log detailing the electrician's movements to hide the fact that they had wrongly identified him, the News of the World weekly claimed. ...

The alleged cover-up meant the blame for the tragedy would have been pinned on senior Met Police commanders or the armed police who fired the bullets -- leaving them open to murder charges ...
I wrote about de Menezes previously here and here.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Who Won, I Said, The Election?

PRWeb:
The National Election Data Archive (NEDA) is the first mathematical team to release a valid scientific analysis of the precinct-level 2004 Ohio presidential exit poll data "The Gun is Smoking: 2004 Ohio Precinct-level Exit Poll Data Show Virtually Irrefutable Evidence of Vote Miscount" available [here]. NEDA's analysis provides significant evidence of an outcome-altering vote miscount.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Al Qaeda Job Applications

Further to my post about the treasure trove of AQ job applications found by the US military, some bloggers with better connections that I have posted the actual documents here and here.

Theft

Los Angeles Times, January 15, 2006:
After more than 2½ years of sputtering reconstruction work, the United States' "Marshall Plan" to rebuild [Iraq] is drawing to a close this year with much of its promise unmet and no plans to extend its funding.

The $18.6 billion approved by Congress in 2003 will be spent by the end of this year, officials here say. ... With the country still a shambles, U.S. officials are promoting a tough-love vision of reconstruction that puts the burden on the Iraqi people. ...

"If they say they have spent money, where is it?" asked Salah Qaragholi, 30, a barber in the poor neighborhood called Zafraniya. "Where are the projects? The electricity is only four hours a day."

Baghdad's roads are an obstacle course of barriers, potholes and debris. Many government and office buildings are either still gutted or strung with webs of electrical wire connecting to generators that run 12 hours on good days. A brown haze fouls the air and pools of sewage overflow dot the streets.
Certain people got pretty fucking rich with that $18,600,000,000.

More Cheney Nonsense Masked As Coherent Speech

Josh Marshall quotes Dick Cheney catapulting the propaganda on January 11:
And the Iraqis -- the fact is we know that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were heavily involved with terror. ... [A] lot of those documents that were captured over there that have not yet been evaluated offer additional evidence that, in fact, there was a relationship that stretched over many years between Saddam Hussein and the al Qaeda organization.
The obvious follow-up question: How can Cheney know that a document which has not been evaluated offers additional evidence of anything? It hasn't been evaluated yet, you tool.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Bush Authorized Domestic Spying Shortly After Taking Office, Not In Wake Of 9/11

According to Jason Leopold:
The National Security Agency advised President Bush in early 2001 that it had been eavesdropping on Americans during the course of its work monitoring suspected terrorists and foreigners believed to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a declassified document.

The NSA's vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups. ...

On orders from Defense Department officials and President Bush, the agency kept a running list of the names of Americans in its system and made it readily available to a number of senior officials in the Bush administration, these sources said, which in essence meant the NSA was conducting a covert domestic surveillance operation in violation of the law. ...

Eavesdropping on Americans required intelligence officials to obtain a surveillance warrant from a special court and show probable cause that the person they wanted to monitor was communicating with suspected terrorists overseas. But Bush said that the process for obtaining such warrants under the 1978 Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act was, at times, "cumbersome."
Obeying the law is hard work! Or maybe it's "a bit of a distraction", as Dick Cheney recently called the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

The declassified 42-page NSA report can be found here.

Friday, January 13, 2006

US: We Found Padilla's Al-Qaeda Application (!)

Miami Herald, January 13, 2006:
After the U.S. military invaded Afghanistan to oust its Taliban rulers, authorities found a locker full of applications to join al Qaeda's holy war overseas. ...

"It was recovered by U.S. personnel in late 2001 after the United States began bombing Afghanistan," Justice Department lawyer Stephanie Pell said, referring to Padilla's alleged al Qaeda application.

She added it was found among 80 to 100 other mujahadeen (holy warrior) applications found in the country ...
His application? This is hilarious!

Some comments from various DU posters:
Was there a resume attached?

Can you imagine what Al-Qaeda's human resources dept. is like?!?!

What's the new employee orientation like, for instance? Are they cube rats? Are they required to sit through productivity meetings?

Al Qaeda! "Ask Us About Our Comprehensive Benefits Package!"

How long before they are 100% vested in their employer match virgins? Do they have to belong for five years before they attain the full 72?

Their reference checks must be a hoot. "Yes, I am calling about Mr. Padilla's experience as a terrorist. He claims he worked for you in 2001 as supervisor of terrorists. Could you please verify that statement?"

Where would one even GET an application? Seriously, online? Mail-in? This is BEYOND stupid.

Oh My God how much more of this shit will Americans take -- "a locker full of applications to join al Qaeda's holy war"

They must think we are all completely retarded.
And:
Prosecutors failed to produce al-Qaeda rejection letter

Dear Mr./Ms. PADILLA:

As you may know, we receive a large number of applicantions for the position of TERROR CELL MEMBER from qualified applicants all around the world. While we are currently pursuing other applicants for the position, we were impressed by your qualifications and drive. We will hold your application for six months, and contact you should a new position open up.

Thank you for your interest in al-Qaeda,

Atta-ur Rehman
Coordinator, Human Resources
This is as silly as the news reports every three weeks or so stating the US has killed "Al-Qaeda's #3 man". ... Oooh, they switched it to #2 this time.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Meet Finis Shelnutt

The world is more bizarre than you thought.

Way more.

"The US Does Not Torture"

The Observer, January 8, 2006:
New details have emerged of how the growing number of prisoners on hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay are being tied down and force-fed through tubes pushed down their nasal passages into their stomachs to keep them alive.

They routinely experience bleeding and nausea, according to a sworn statement by the camp's chief doctor, seen by The Observer.

... that the number of hunger strikers has almost doubled since Christmas, to 81 of the 550 detainees. Many have been held since the camp opened four years ago this month, although they not been charged with any crime, nor been allowed to see any evidence justifying their detention.

This and other Guantánamo lawsuits now face extinction. Last week, President Bush signed into law a measure removing detainees' right to file habeas corpus petitions in the US federal courts. On Friday, the administration asked the Supreme Court to make this retroactive, so nullifying about 220 cases in which prisoners have contested the basis of their detention and the legality of pending trials by military commission.
Why don't these prisoners love the chicken l'orange they are so lucky to be served every day? Ungrateful is what they are.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

We Are Still Waiting

Colin Powell interview with ABC News, September 23, 2001:
Powell: [W]e will put before the world, the American people, a persuasive case that there will be no doubt when that case is presented that it is al-Qaida led by Usama bin Laden who has been responsible for this terrible, tragic incident.

Q: So you are talking about something beyond simple assertions by US leaders? You are talking about assertions backed up by the evidence?

Powell: Yes.
1,568 days later ... still nothing.

What Will It Take?

How can anyone defend this regime?
January 6, 2006
Extra Armor Could Have Saved Many Lives, Study Shows
Michael Moss, New York Times,

A secret Pentagon study has found that at least 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor. That armor has been available since 2003 but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials. ...

For the first time, the study by the military's medical examiner shows the cost in lost lives from inadequate armor, even as the Pentagon continues to publicly defend its protection of the troops. ...

The Army, which has the largest force in Iraq, is still deciding what to purchase, according to Army procurement officials. ...
Take your time. There's no hurry, no hurry at all.

To top it off, Paul Bremer, who led the US civilian occupation authority in Iraq after the invasion, pretty much admitted to being one of the stupidest motherfuckers on the planet, when he told NBC "we really didn't see the insurgency coming".

US Deaths: 2,193 and counting ...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Disinformation

In late December, The Daily Howler gave us a lesson in disinformation:
Where does disinformation come from? Consider Bart Gellman's short report atop page 12 in [December 22's Washington] Post. Here's the headline, which helps to spread the latest RNC phony info:

WASHINGTON POST HEADLINE (12/22/05): Carter, Clinton Authorized Spying, RNC Says

You're right. Technically, that headline doesn't actually claim that Carter and Clinton "authorized spying." It only states that the RNC says so. Of course, Gellman knew how bogus that claim really is. But you had to read all the way to his final paragraph to ferret out that information:
GELLMAN (12/22/05): The RNC's quotation of Clinton's order left out the stated requirement, in the same sentence, that a warrantless search not involve "the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person." Carter's order, also in the same sentence quoted, said warrantless eavesdropping could not include "any communication to which a United States person is a party."
In other words, Carter and Clinton didn't "authorize spying" on U.S. citizens, as the RNC has been claiming. This matter has been discussed in detail at various outlets. For example, see this report from ThinkProgress.

Where does disinformation come from? If you're a reader of the Post, you get the impression, from scanning today's headlines, that Carter and Clinton "authorized spying." You had to read the full report, rather carefully, to find out that this claim is bogus. Even then, Gellman never explicitly raises the question of the RNC's dissembling. You have to piece the basic idea together: The RNC is at it again.

Why did Gellman write this report as he did? Why did the Post put this headline atop it? We don't know, but we do know this: Cheers rang out at the RNC when they saw their bunk at the top of page 12, with readers required to read very carefully to discern that the claim is pure hokum.

Sam Alito

In the case of Kenneth Pirolli v. World Flavors, Inc., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission intervened on behalf of Pirolli, a retarded man who complained of his workplace and presented evidence that "a co-worker attempted to insert a broomstick up his anus while another co-worker watched."

What was the reaction of Sam Alito, Bush's Supreme Court nominee?
Pirolli's brief never asserts that his work environment was one that a reasonable, non-retarded person would find hostile or abusive.
Just another kind-hearted friend of W. doin' the work of Jesus.

More information on Alito.