Thursday, June 30, 2005


George W. Bush, Remarks to Reporters, April 4, 2002:
No nation can negotiate with terrorists. For there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death.
The Sunday Times of London, US 'in talks with Iraq rebels', June 26, 2005:
After weeks of delicate negotiation ... a small group of insurgent commanders apparently came face to face with four American officials seeking to establish a dialogue with the men they regard as their enemies. The talks on June 3 were followed by a second encounter 10 days later ... further talks are planned in the hope of negotiating an eventual breakthrough that might reduce the violence in Iraq
George Orwell, 1984:
There was, of course, no admission that any change had taken place. Merely it became known, with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, that Eastasia and not Eurasia was the enemy.
Thanks to Billmon.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Down In The Dumps

Man Pulled From Women's Outhouse Tank
Teenager Reports Seeing Man's Face In Toilet
A man is facing charges after police said they pulled him from a tank under a women's toilet that was filled with human waste.

Police said that Gary Moody, 45, was under a log cabin outhouse off the Kancamagas Highway in Albany [New Hampshire]. ...

Police said that they got a call from the parents of a teenage girl who said that when she went to use the facilities, she saw Moody's face staring back at her from the hole. ...

Police said they don't know how long Moody was in the tank, but they said the door to it was locked, which means he must have gone in through the toilet. They said they don't know why he was there. ...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Liberal Media, Once Again

Number of news segments that mentioned these stories over seven weeks (May 1, 2005 to June 20, 2005):
                    ABC  CBS  NBC  CNN  FOX  MSNBC

Downing Street Memo 0 0 6 30 10 10
Natalee Holloway 42 70 62 294 148 30
Michael Jackson 121 235 109 633 286 106

"Last Throes" = Another 12 Years

Donald Rumsfeld, June 26, 2005:
We're not going to win against the insurgency. The Iraqi people are going to win against the insurgency. That insurgency could go on for any number of years. Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years.
Donald Rumsfeld, February 7, 2003:
It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.
And one more, for laughs:

Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003:
[M]y belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. ... I think it will go relatively quickly ... weeks rather than months.
Dead Americans: 1739.

How To Behave While Invading A Foreign Country And Torturing And Killing A Shitload Of Innocent Civilians

American troops in Iraq are getting a new list of dos and don'ts on how to behave in the war zone from their top ground commander.

At a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, the officer, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., briefly referred to the 11 rules he had issued on wallet-size laminated cards ...

General Casey's command has ordered 170,000 of the cards and 1,000 2-feet-by-3-feet posters emblazoned with the rules, which advise the 139,000 troops in Iraq on topics including learning Iraqi customs and searching for creative solutions to knotty problems. ...
One of the rules is "Be patient. Don't rush to failure." Oh, the irony.

But what I want to know is: How thick are these cards? Perhaps the troops can scotch tape them to the sides of their vehicles for additional protection against bombs.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

"Maybe I'll Enlist If There's Another 9/11"

Some quotes from young Republicans, asked in August 2004: "Would you be willing to put on the uniform and go to fight in Iraq?"

Vivian Lee, 17, Los Angeles, CA:
Frankly, I want to be a politician. I'd like to survive to see that. ... As long as there's a steady stream of volunteers, I don't see why I necessarily should volunteer.
Chris Cusmano, 21, Rocky Point, NY:
If there was a need presented, I would go.
Tiffanee Hokel, 18, Webster City, IO:
I think I could do more here. We don't have to be there physically to fight it.
Matthew Vail, 25, Huntsville, AL:
I'm in college right now, but who knows? The bug may get me after college.
This was almost one year ago. ... I wonder how many of these young people enlisted. Someone should do a follow-up.

Meanwhile, today's New York Times reports that Bush has asked the major networks to broadcast a speech he will give on Tuesday at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC. According to the Times, "the speech is timed to mark the first anniversary of the end of the American occupation and the transfer of power to the Iraqis."

End of the occupation? ... Transfer of power?

Did I miss something?

Do You Feel A Draft?

Pentagon Building Teen Database For Military Recruiting:
The Defense Department began working Wednesday with a private marketing firm to create a database of all U.S. college students and high school students between 16 and 18 years old, to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches. ...

The new database will include an array of personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying. ...

"The purpose of the system ... is to provide a single central facility within the Department of Defense to compile, process and distribute files of individuals who meet age and minimum school requirements for military service," according to the official notice of the program.
But, hey, don't worry.
The Pentagon's statements added that anyone can "opt out" of the system by providing detailed personal information that will be kept in a separate "suppression file."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Drunk Steals Plane, Flies Around NYC Area Unnoticed For 5 Hours

From today's New York Post:
In a jaw-dropping breach of post-9/11 aviation security, a drunken student pilot stole a single-engine Cessna 172 from the airport in Danbury, Conn., and flew around the metropolitan area with two pals unnoticed for five hours early yesterday, authorities said.

When the plane, short of fuel, landed safely at 4:10 a.m. on a taxiway at the Westchester County Airport, "a significant number of beer cans" clattered to the ground, said County Executive Andrew Spano. ... Patricio's blood-alcohol level was allegedly 0.15 percent. ...

Patricio wanted to fly to New Haven, but got lost, said authorities. The Federal Aviation Administration has no record of where Patricio flew, an agency spokesman said.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Reason #38,926,738,821 Why The Democrats Are Spineless, Cowardly Losers

Under fire from Republicans and some fellow Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Nazis and other historically infamous figures. "Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," the Illinois Democrat said. "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies."

His voice quaking and tears welling in his eyes, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate also apologized to any soldiers who felt insulted by his remarks. ... "I made reference to Nazis, to Soviets, and other repressive regimes. Mr. President, I've come to understand that's a very poor choice of words."
And so here we have Reason #38,926,738,821 of why the Democrats are spineless, cowardly losers.

Durbin reads these horror stories from Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan and somehow corrals enough guts to speak the truth, to say flatly and without qualification that the US's whole-hearted embrace of torture, rape and murder is no different from any other despotic regime, and when a few assholes get annoyed that the truth is being spoken, rather than standing up for his comments, and trotting out more pictures and more horror stories, Durbin suddenly acts like a cowed puppy, head down, tail between his legs, submitting to the dominance of the alpha male.

And all this unfolds as more photos and videos of US-sanctioned and US-approved torture are about to be released.

Mark Morford's latest column is depressing, yes, but also cathartic:
Why are major American media not swarming all over the Downing Street Memos thing? Why is the entire nation not just appalled and disgusted and aghast at finding seemingly irrefutable proofs about what we all already knew, which is that BushCo planned to invade Iraq long before 9/11 and needed to find a way to justify it?

And, we now know, he was even willing to go so far as to rig the intelligence and "fix the facts" and screw the U.S. economy and screw any sort of exit strategy and screw the potential for lost lives and let's just blindly stomp on in there and bomb the living crap outta Saddam despite the undeniable pre-Iraq evidence that Saddam had zero WMDs and that his nuclear program was "effectively frozen," and despite how BushCo and the CIA and FBI and DOD and the Clinton administration and your grandma all knew it? ...

Answer: Because it's not really news. Not anymore. ...

Here is the American cynic's view: It is almost too late to care about the lies. It is almost pointless to scream and rant and point fingers of blame. We all know who is to blame, and it ain't Saddam, and it ain't Osama, and it ain't "terror," and it ain't our "freedoms." Bush has driven us so deep into the Iraq hellhole it serves almost no purpose to whine about the obvious deceptions and blatant whorelike pre-9/11 machinations that got us here. ...

[But] shouldn't Bush be held accountable? Shouldn't he be made to answer for these lies, these obvious abuses of power?

Answer: You're goddamn right he should. He should also be strapped to an incredibly uncomfortable chair and made to look at the smoking bones of ten thousand dead Iraqi children. But that's just me. ...

BushCo survived the illegal sanctioning of inhumane torture. They survived a gay male prostitute acting as a journalist. They survived Enron and Diebold and the rigging of the first election and they will survive Downing Street simply because all the people who should be on the attack about these atrocities all work for the guys who committed them.

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Reagan-Loving, Cheeto-Munching Clean Freak

Meet Saddam Hussein.

He also had some advice for the single GIs:
You gotta find a good woman. Not too smart, not too dumb. Not too old, not too young. One that can cook and clean.
And he hates Froot Loops. Hates.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Marines Still Forced To Buy Own Equipment

Arizona Republic:
John Tod of Mesa had been prepared to face Father's Day worrying about his son's pending date with the war in Iraq.

Then Uncle Sam stepped in with more disappointing developments.

Marine Pfc. Jeremy Tod called home with news that his superiors were urging him and fellow Marines to buy special military equipment, including flak jackets with armor plating, to enhance the prospects of their survival.

The message was that such purchases were to be made by Marines with their own money.

"He said they strongly suggested he get this equipment because when they get to Iraq they will wish they had," Tod said.

Total estimated cost: $600. ...

Besides the essential flak jacket with steel "trauma" plates, the shopping list for the young Marine included a Camelbak (water pouch) special ballistic goggles, knee and elbow pads, a "drop pouch" to hold ammunition magazines and a load-bearing vest.
It's becoming an old refrain:

December 17, 2003 - US soldiers lack best protective gear

March 16, 2004 - Army Learns Lessons On Equipping Troops

March 26, 2004 - Soldiers in Iraq still buying their own body armor

October 31, 2004 - GIs Lack Armor, Radios, Bullets

Nearly $300 billion has been earmarked for the Junta's wars and the troops still have to pony up the cash for their own protection.

Back To Lie #1 (Iraq & 9/11)

In his weekly radio address yesterday, George W. Bush claimed that the US is at war in Iraq because of the September 11, 2001 attacks:
We went to war because we were attacked, and we are at war today because there are still people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens.
Too damn stupid to keep his lines (and lies) straight, Bush has reverted back to Lie #1. ... Let's review the facts (as expertly compiled and posted by LynnTheDem at Democratic Underground):

Sky News (London): "One question for you both [Blair and Bush]. Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?" ... Bush: "I can't make that claim."

Bush: No Evidence Saddam Hussein Involved in Nine-Eleven Attacks

Rice: US Never Said Saddam Was Behind 9/11

Rumsfeld Sees No Link Between Saddam Hussein, 9/11

Wolfowitz: Iraq Was Not Involved In 9-11 Terrorist Attacks, No Ties To Al-Qaeda

No Proof Links Iraq, al-Qaida, Powell Says

No evidence of Iraq-Al Qaeda ties: 9/11 commission

CIA Review Finds No Evidence Saddam Had Ties to Islamic Terrorists

Brent Scowcroft, Republican foreign policy advisor: "Don't Attack Saddam. It would undermine our antiterror efforts. There is scant evidence to tie Saddam to terrorist organizations, and even less to the Sept. 11 attacks."

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw: "What I'm asked is if I've seen any evidence of that. [Iraq links to al Qaeda] And the answer is: I haven't.”

A dossier prepared by the British Intelligence agencies MI6 and MI5 "showed no discernible links between Iraq and al-Qaida."

Richard Kerr, a former deputy CIA director who lead an internal review of the CIA's prewar intelligence: "The CIA has not found any proof of operational ties between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime."

Richard Clarke, former terrorism chief under Bush: "There's absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever."

Bush's first hand-picked weapons hunter, Dr. David Kay: "[W]e simply did not find any evidence of extensive links with Al Qaeda, or for that matter any real links at all." Kay called a speech where Cheney made the claim there was a link, as being "evidence free."

Bush's second hand-picked weapons hunter, Dr. Charles Dueffler reported no WMD stockpiles in Iraq, no capability since 1991, no evidence of ties to al Qaeda, no serious threat

The White House’s own publication on Iraq, A Decade of Defiance and Deception, makes no mention of Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda.

The 2002 congressional joint intelligence committee’s report on the 9/11 attacks reported that the Bush administration had no evidence to support its claim that Iraq was supporting al-Qaeda.

According to a top secret document leaked by British intelligence officials, "there is nothing but enmity between Iraq and Al Qaeda."

Three former Bush administration officials who worked on intelligence and national security issues have stated that the prewar evidence tying al Qaeda to Iraq was tenuous, exaggerated, and often at odds with the conclusions of key intelligence agencies.

"[A]nalysts at the Central Intelligence Agency have complained that senior administration officials have exaggerated the significance of some intelligence reports about Iraq, particularly about its possible links to terrorism, in order to strengthen their political argument for war, government officials said. ... [FBI] investigators said they were baffled by the Bush administration's insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden|s network. "We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there," a government official said."

The Bush administration’s claim that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaeda — one of the administration’s central arguments for a pre-emptive war — appears to have been based on even less solid intelligence than the administration’s claims that Iraq had hidden stocks of chemical and biological weapons. Nearly a year after U.S. and British troops invaded Iraq, no evidence has turned up to verify allegations of Saddam’s links with al Qaeda, and several key parts of the administration’s case have either proved false or seem increasingly doubtful.

Official Verdict: White House Misled World Over Saddam-Al Qaeda Ties


FBI Managers Admit They Didn't Seek Out Terrorism Expertise After Sept. 11
In sworn testimony that contrasts with their promises to the public, the FBI managers who crafted the post-Sept. 11 fight against terrorism say expertise about the Mideast or terrorism was not important in choosing the agents they promoted to top jobs. And they still do not believe such experience is necessary today even as terrorist acts occur across the globe. ...

Asked about his grasp of Middle Eastern culture and history, [the FBI's current terror-fighting chief, Executive Assistant Director Gary] Bald responded: "I wish that I had it. It would be nice."
Simply amazing.

60 Years Later, Reporter's Censored Stories About WWII A-Bomb Radiation Discovered

The censored stories written by an American journalist [George Weller] who sneaked into a southern Japanese city soon after it was leveled by a U.S. atomic bomb have surfaced six decades later.

They offer an unflinching account about the "wasteland of war" and its radiation-sickened inhabitants. ... By hiring a Japanese rowboat, catching trains and later posing as a U.S. Army colonel, Weller, an award-winning reporter for the now-defunct Chicago Daily News, slipped into Nagasaki in early September 1945 ...

It was about a month after the two A-bomb strikes -- the first in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, the second in Nagasaki on Aug. 9 -- that had led to Tokyo's Aug. 15, 1945, surrender ending the war. ...

Carbon copies of his stories, running to about 25,000 words on 75 typed pages, along with more than two dozen photos, were discovered by his son, Anthony, last summer at Weller's apartment in Rome, Italy ...
Weller's reports can be found on the website of the Mainichi Daily News.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

An Imminent Threat Based Upon No Evidence

Back on May 1, I linked to a story about two 16-year-old girls from New York City who were arrested and imprisoned for seven weeks by Homeland Security in a maximum-security juvenile detention center in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Yesterday, the Times had a long front-page story about one of the girls, Tashnuba Hayder.

This is an amazing paragraph:
According to a government document provided to The Times by a federal official, the F.B.I. asserted that the girls presented "an imminent threat to the security of the United States based upon evidence that they plan to be suicide bombers." The document cited no evidence. And in background interviews, federal officials were quick to play down the case as soon as reporters called ...
Arrested as an imminent threat to the security of the United States and jailed for seven weeks based upon no evidence.

Hayder discusses her ordeal at length, saying that
the government treated her like a criminal simply for exercising the freedoms of speech and religion that America had taught her.

As she tells it, F.B.I. agents tried to twist mundane details of her life to fit the profile of a terrorist recruit, and when they could not make a case, covered their tracks by getting her out of the country.
As for the other side of the story, well, who the hell knows:
Federal officials will not discuss the matter. ... It is not known what prompted the authorities to investigate Tashnuba ... a court has sealed the case record at the F.B.I.'s request and barred participants from disclosing government information. The government has declined repeated requests to present its side.
Hayder was released in May on the condition that she leave the US immediately. She is now in Bangladesh and says the experience has taught her a valuable lesson about the United States.

"I see now you have no privacy, no liberty."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Freedom Is Heavy

US F-16 fighter planes dropped a series of 500 lb (220 kg) bombs on insurgent targets in western Iraq overnight as the US military launched a heavy offensive against rebels near the Syrian border.

Nine of the powerful bombs were dropped, the US military said, two of them targeting suspected rebel safe houses near the town of Qaim, an insurgent stronghold on the Euphrates river about 20 km (12 miles) east of Iraq's border with Syria.
Suspected? Based on what evidence? ... What size bomb do you drop on people when you are "kinda, sorta sure" they are evildoers? Only 250 lbs.?

Was it only 25 months ago that Bush declared victory?

1,655 Americans have died since "Mission Accomplished."

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Which Flight 77 Hijacker is "Mosear Caned"?

On September 14, 2001, at about 10:11 am according to this CNN transcript, the official list of the 9/11 hijackers was first announced to the world.
Leon Harris, CNN anchor: Folks, we are going to break into this press conference by the mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, because we have some breaking news. Leon Harris here at the CNN Center in Atlanta, but we're going now to Washington D.C., where our Kelli Arena is standing by. She has got some breaking news on the identities of those 18 hijackers. Kelli, take it away.

Kelli Arena, CNN correspondent: Well, Leon, we did manage -- CNN managed to grab a list of the names of the 18 suspected hijackers that is supposed to be officially released by justice sometime later today. I will do my best to read, to read the names, some are a bit unfamiliar. On American flight 11, the first name Walid Al Shehhi (ph), the second, Wellal Sheyi (ph), also known as Wahidal Sheyi. ... third name, Mohammed Atta (ph). ... Abdul Ala Mari (ph) and Setam Segani (ph), Marwanal Shehhi on the list as well. They are looking an awful lot alike here, Leon.

Marwan Al Shehhi, a UAE passport. Fayez Ahmed, Mahad Al Shari (ph), Hanza Al-Gari (ph), Amdad Al Dandi (ph). Let me stop here for a moment. We have a few more names to read. The way this is working out, there were five hijackers on two planes, four hijackers on two others. We are told by law enforcement sources that most of these names in some way connect in some way to indirectly or directly to Osama bin Laden.

Continuing on, united Airlines flight number 93, Almad Alhanawi (ph), Almed Alnami (ph), Ziad Girad (ph) and Sayd Algamdi (ph). American Airlines flight number 77. Cammid Al-Madar, and Mosear Caned (ph), Majar Mokhed (ph), Nawar Al Hazni (ph) and Salem Al Hazni (ph). ... Again, this list not officially released yet by the Justice Department. We obtained this list of name through sources -- Leon.
First of all, Arena's list has 19 names, not 18. And within about four hours, the FBI did release its official list of 19 hijackers. The phoentic spellings in the CNN transcript are a bit rough -- but they do match what the FBI released
Flight 11
Walid Al Shehhi Waleed M. Alshehri
Wellal Sheyi Wail Alshehri
Mohammed Atta Mohamed Atta
Abdul Ala Mari Abdulaziz Alomari
Setam Segani Satam Al Suqami

Flight 175
Marwan Al Shehhi Marwan Al-Shehhi
Fayez Ahmed Fayez Ahmed
Mahad Al Shari Mohald Alshehri
Hanza Al-Gari Hamza Alghamdi
Amdad Al Dandi Ahmed Alghamdi

Flight 93
Almad Alhanawi Ahmed Alhaznawi
Almed Alnami Ahmed Alnami
Ziad Girad Ziad Jarrahi
Sayd Algamdi Saeed Alghamdi

Flight 77
Cammid Al-Madar Khalid Al-Midhar
Majar Mokhed Majed Moqed
Nawar Al Hazni Nawaq Alhamzi
Salem Al Hazni Salem Alhamzi
Mosear Caned Hani Hanjour
-- with one glaring exception. "Mosear Caned" does not sound anything like "Hani Hanjour." ... So who was "Mosear Caned" and why was he dropped from the first list and replaced by Hanjour?

Part of the Hanjour problem is that almost every single report describes him as about as bad a pilot as you could possibly imagine, and considering the way Flight 77 hit the Pentagon (twisting through a rapid descent and leveling out about 20 feet off the ground), it's impossible that a pilot of Hanjour's limited skills could have done it.

More manifest questions: Initial FBI reports state that the names of two Florida men -- Adnan Bukhari and Ameer Bukhari -- were on the manifests of either Flight 11 and/or 175. When it raided some Florida homes on September 12, the FBI learned that one of the Bukhari brothers was alive (he was held, questioned and released) and the other one had died exactly one year earlier.

However, those two names do not appear on any version of the released manifests. So if the Bukharis were on the actual manifests (perhaps being used by two hijackers as aliases), then how did the FBI know who was using the fake names? And how did they get their names and pictures to release on 9/14?

Also, in the days following the attacks, before the official lists were released, John Ashcroft stated there were somewhere between 12 and 24 hijackers. What names on the announced manifests had been thought of as possible terrorists? And why were they ruled out as terrorists?

Further, it's possible that as many as 10 of the 19 hijackers are still alive. Many came forward in the weeks after the attacks after seeing their pictures splashed across TV screens and newspapers around the world.

In the face of this evidence, however, the FBI never changed its initial list -- indeed, it maintains that the list is still 100% correct -- and the 9/11 Commission continued this fiction by never mentioning the fact of the "still-alive" hijackers.

We have absolutely no idea who was on any of those four planes. We cannot trust what the Bush administration has told us. Neither airline has ever released a complete list of passengers -- and if such a list was produced now, it would be extremely suspect.

Undeniable Iraq Lies

Michael Smith, in Britain's Sunday Times:
Ministers were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.

The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.

The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of BlairÂ’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was "necessary to create the conditions" which would make it legal.

This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action.
The text of the briefing paper is here.

Eric Margolis lays it out as plain as day, in today's Toronto Sun:
In July 2002, the head of MI-6, Britain's secret intelligence service, briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair and his cabinet on U.S. plans to attack Iraq.

Sir Richard Dearlove ("M" to James Bond fans) reported that U.S. President George Bush had decided to invade oil-rich Iraq in March 2003, in a war "to be justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy."

Translation: The U.S. and British governments would concoct charges against Iraq to justify war.

After Britain's attorney general warned that unprovoked invasion of Iraq would violate international law, Dearlove opined with oily cynicism, "If the political context were right, people would support regime change." Translation: Use propaganda and scare tactics to whip up war fever.

British and U.S. intelligence agencies were ordered to produce "evidence" to justify a war. In the U.S., faked "evidence" and grotesque lies were fed to the frightened public by pro-war neo-conservatives and frenzied national media. The U.S. Congress clapped for war like trained seals.

In October 2002, Bush actually claimed in a national speech that Iraqi "drone" aircraft were poised to shower germs and poison gas on America. Vice-President Dick Cheney insisted this absurd allegation was the "smoking gun" that justified invading Iraq. Blair ordered his cabinet to support the invasion. ...

And so it went. Lie after lie. Scare upon scare. Fakery after fakery, trumpeted by the tame media that came to resemble the lickspittle press of the old Soviet Union. Ironically, in the end, horrid Saddam Hussein turned out to be telling the truth all along, while Bush and Blair were not.
Here's an excellent recap of events. ... NBC News reports there are seven such memos. While Bush and Blair have both huffed and puffed about what these minutes say, neither of them have questioned their authenticity.

It would be nice if the American media remembered that in 2002, the Bush administration moved $700,000,000 from the war in Afghanistan to preparation for an Iraq invasion.

But seriously, what else is needed -- what more could possible be necessary -- to put the entire Bush and Blair administrations in shackles and try them for war crimes?

I'd also like to see every elected official in Washington -- Democrat and Republican -- who supported this treasonous gang of murderers forced to resign. Every single member of the mainstream media who continues to ignore these truths and offer lame excuses (or thinks we should obsess on Michael Jackson or another white runaway bride) should know that they have the blood of tens thousands and thousands of men, women and children -- including more than 1,700 dead Americans -- on their hands.

Hard Work

Cindy Sheehan is furious at George W. Bush for saying it's "hard work" comforting those who have had family members killed in Iraq.
Hard work is seeing your son's murder on CNN one Sunday evening while you're enjoying the last supper you'll ever truly enjoy again.

Hard work is having three military officers come to your house a few hours later to confirm the aforementioned murder of your son, your first-born, your kind and gentle sweet baby.

Hard work is burying your child 46 days before his 25th birthday.

Hard work is holding your other three children as they lower the body of their big [brother] into the ground.

Hard work is not jumping in the grave with him and having the earth cover you both. ...

We're watching you very carefully and we're going to do everything in our power to have you impeached for misleading the American people.

Beating a political stake in your black heart will be the fulfillment of my life ...

Monday, June 13, 2005

Yet They Get Upset When We Call Them Nazis

Christian Coalition: Gays Should Wear Warning Labels

The leader of a conservative Christian lobby group suggests that gays should be required to wear warning labels.

"We put warning labels on cigarette packs because we know that smoking takes one to two years off the average life span, yet we 'celebrate' a lifestyle that we know spreads every kind of sexually transmitted disease and takes at least 20 years off the average life span according to the 2005 issue of the revered scientific journal Psychological Reports," said Rev. Bill Banuchi, executive director of the New York Christian Coalition.
Maybe something like this:

Spot the Liar

May 30, 2005
"I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
Dick Cheney, CNN
Last week
"I think the more accurate way to approach this right now is to concede that ... this insurgency is not going to be settled, the terrorists and the terrorism in Iraq is not going to be settled, through military options or military operations."
Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq

Sunday, June 12, 2005

CIA Allowed Two 9/11 Hijackers To Enter US

Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2005:
A chilling new detail of U.S. intelligence failures emerged Thursday, when the Justice Department disclosed that about 20 months before the Sept. 11 attacks, a CIA official had blocked a memo intended to alert the FBI that two known Al Qaeda operatives [9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar] had entered the country. ...

If the FBI had received the official communique from the CIA's special Osama bin Laden unit when it was ready for transmittal in January 2000, its agents likely could have tracked down the men, according to U.S. intelligence officials familiar with a newly declassified report of the Justice Department's inspector general. ...

One of the well-known missed opportunities was the fact that Almihdhar and Alhazmi had rented a room in the Lemon Grove home of a well-established local FBI informant [Abdussattar Shaikh]. ...
Yup, two of the future terrorists had an FBI informant as a landlord!

Saturday, June 11, 2005


Of course, you had to read a non-US newspaper to get this story ('cuz our media's so gosh-durn liberal and all):
George Bush's decision not to sign the United States up to the Kyoto global warming treaty was partly a result of pressure from ExxonMobil, the world's most powerful oil company, and other industries, according to US State Department papers seen by the Guardian.

The documents, which emerged as Tony Blair visited the White House for discussions on climate change before next month's G8 meeting, reinforce widely-held suspicions of how close the company is to the administration and its role in helping to formulate US policy.

In briefing papers given before meetings to the US under-secretary of state, Paula Dobriansky, between 2001 and 2004, the administration is found thanking Exxon executives for the company's "active involvement" in helping to determine climate change policy, and also seeking its advice on what climate change policies the company might find acceptable. ...

Until now Exxon has publicly maintained that it had no involvement in the US government's rejection of Kyoto. But the documents, obtained by Greenpeace under US freedom of information legislation, suggest this is not the case.

Not Necessarily The News

Richmond Times-Dispatch:
The U.S. Special Operations Command has hired three firms to produce newspaper stories, television broadcasts and Web sites to spread American propaganda overseas.

The Tampa-based military headquarters, which oversees commandos and psychological warfare, may spend up to $100 million for the media campaign in the next five years. ...

The contract calls for the firms to produce print articles, video and audio broadcasts, Internet sites and novelty items, like T-shirts and bumper stickers, for foreign audiences. Video products will include newscasts, hour-long TV shows and commercials.
As George Bush said recently: "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."
Federal law prohibits sending propaganda to Americans ...
Well, alright then.

Another Nail In The Coffin

The Republican chairman walked off with the gavel, leaving Democrats shouting into turned-off microphones at a raucous hearing Friday on the Patriot Act.

The House Judiciary Committee hearing, with the two sides accusing each other of being irresponsible and undemocratic, came as President Bush was urging Congress to renew those sections of the post-Sept. 11 counterterrorism law set to expire in September.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the panel, abruptly gaveled the meeting to an end and walked out, followed by other Republicans. ...
As Americablog puts it:
The House Republicans just shut down the Patriot Act hearings while the Democrats were still talking. It was absolutely amazing. Then they shut the mics off on the Dems. Even more amazing is that the House Republicans have the nerve to do this during a hearing on, what?, the Patriot Act! A hearing about our concerns about shutting down free speech and civil rights and the Constitution. So what do they do, they simply shut down open debate in the US Congress. Horrifying.
Video links. Amazing stuff, as Sensenbrenner, clearly unhappy with the entire premise of democracy and honest debate, simply grabs his marbles and runs off, like a petulant 6-year-old.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Another Army Kidnapping

I posted about the Army apparently kidnapping Ever Jandres, a 24-year-old learning-disabled epileptic, here. Here's another case, from today's Seattle Post-Intelligener:
Marine recruiters began a relentless barrage of calls to Axel [cobb] as soon as the mellow, compliant Sedro-Woolley High School grad had cut his 17th birthday cake. And soon it was nearly impossible to get the seekers of a few good men off the line. ...

[When Alex's mother] went to Seattle for the Folklife Festival and Axel was home alone, two recruiters showed up at the door. ... The sergeant was friendly but, at the same time, aggressively insistent. This time, when Axel said, "Not interested," the sarge turned surly, snapping, "You're making a big [bleeping] mistake!"

Next thing Axel knew, the same sergeant and another recruiter showed up at the LaConner Brewing Co., the restaurant where Axel works. And before Axel, an older cousin and other co-workers knew or understood what was happening, Axel was whisked away in a car.
Even after reducing its recruiting goals for May, the Army came up about 25% short, the fourth consecutive monthly shortfall in the number of new recruits. .. Is this how they are making up some of that shortfall?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Military Injustice

The story of Lt. Jullian Goodrum, a 35-year-old Army reservist and Iraq vet, is, as The Light of Reason puts it
an enormously depressing but instructive tale—about how ill-equipped our military is despite the billions of dollars it has at its disposal, about how military structure and organization is geared to demand obedience above all, about how the military will, when challenged, circle the wagons and protect superior officers while letting low-level "grunts" take all responsibility and all blame, and about what happens to a man with 16 years of "spotless service" when he dares to question authority.
After he returned from Iraq, Goodrum complained to his superior officers that his unit had been sent to war with an appalling lack of equipment, including broken, unarmored vehicles. When his complaints were ignored, he went to his Congress member and to the press. He also complained about the poor medical care he received when he came back. Now, he is convinced the charge of being absent without leave for getting medical care from a civilian doctor is retribution from the Army, which he claims closed ranks and blackballed him. ...

[A] review of hundreds of pages of documents and hours of tapes from Goodrum's disciplinary proceedings show his superior officers cooperating in what looks like a concerted effort to put him behind bars. ... Officers seem to have pressured some witnesses and coached others, possibly instructing them to lie.

The documents and tapes also show Army officers trying to dig up dirt on Goodrum. Using information from a background check on a different man, the officers suggested -- incorrectly -- to military prosecutors that Goodrum might be a convicted drug dealer. A document alleging he had had an affair with a female subordinate before going to Iraq mysteriously appeared in Goodrum's record. ...

Trying to prove that you're being railroaded by officers trying to cover up for their own poor leadership, or to punish you for speaking out, is particularly difficult because superior officers have so much power. They control your salary, food and clothing, movement and freedom ... Superior officers also get to choose your punishment. ... They also appoint the investigators who will look into your case.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Army Kidnapping To Meet Recruitment Goals?

I'm very late in noticing this extremely fucked up story:
Neighbors of Ever Jandres of Encino, Calif., recently wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Howard Berman charging recruitment malfeasance and asking him to look into the 24-year-old learning-disabled epileptic's mysterious disappearance, Mark Crispin Miller reported online at News from Underground. A spokesman for Berman confirmed that the congressman is "very concerned" about the matter.

Jandres, who is Salvadoran and has a borderline low IQ, was apparently "befriended" by a local Army recruiter, who invited him to come with him to Arizona for three days to observe basic training. Five days later, his distraught mother (who speaks no English) got a phone call from her son, who told her, hysterically, that he was on a military base in South Carolina. He was now in the Army, he said, and wasn't allowed to stay on the phone longer than a minute. Family members' and friends' attempts to get any information from the Army have been fruitless.
Veterans for Common has a little more.

In related news, the Pentagon has postponed the release of military recruiting figures for May. The Army has "missed its recruiting goals for three straight months entering May, falling short by a whopping 42 percent in April."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Pissing Into The Wind

Can you believe this CNN headline?
Detainees, not soldiers, flushed Quran

A U.S. military investigation into the mishandling of the Muslim holy book at the Guantanamo Bay prison for suspected terrorists has determined that detainees -- not U.S. soldiers -- attempted to flush the Quran down the toilet there. ...

In one incident, on February 23, 2004, the report said a guard saw a "detainee place two Qurans in his toilet and state he no longer cared about the Quran or his religion.
It's clear (and has been for a long time) that they don't give a damn how nutzo their lies sound -- it's all a game.

But wait -- here's something quite different courtesy of the Friday Afternoon News Dump:
Military Details Koran Incidents at Base in Cuba

A military inquiry has found that guards or interrogators at the Guantánamo Bay detention center in Cuba kicked, stepped on and splashed urine on the Koran, in some cases intentionally but in others by accident, the Pentagon said on Friday.

The splashing of urine was among the cases described as inadvertent. It was said to have occurred when a guard urinated near an air vent and the wind blew his urine through the vent into a detainee's cell. The detainee was given a fresh uniform and a new Koran, and the guard was reprimanded and assigned to guard duty that kept him from contact with detainees for the remainder of his time at Guantánamo, according to the military inquiry.

The investigation into allegations that the Koran had been mishandled also found that in one instance detainees' Korans were wet because guards on the night shift had thrown water balloons on the cellblock.
Oh, that crazy Cuban wind, blowing piss all over the place. ... Be smart; wear your galoshes.

Clearly, using the Koran for a toilet is okay, putting it in a toilet is a goddamn lie and harms the cause of freedom and never happened anyway, so stop saying that.

And water balloons? Simply more evidence that all that torture talk was really fratboy pranks on the nightshift, just like Rush said.

Interesting Crossfire Exchange

From May 31:
Joe Watkins, Co-Host: OK. Secretary Eagleburger, this is the million dollar question. I mean, folks have been waiting for three decades to know who Deep Throat was or is. Is Mark Felt, in your opinion, Deep Throat?

Lawrence Eagleburger, former Secretary of State: Probably.

Watkins: Do you think he's Deep Throat?

Eagleburger: Probably. You know, President Nixon once suspected him. I'm surprised he didn't end up dead somewhere because of that. ...
From Atrios.

Oddly, this exchange didn't get much attention.

Friday, June 03, 2005