Saturday, July 30, 2005

Putting Things Right

Bombs exploding all over Iraq, close to 1,800 American troops dead and thousands more maimed for life, and at least $200 billion of our tax money down the shitter.

So what is George W. Bush's latest bold plan of action (besides taking his usual August vacation -- his 50th trip to Crawford in five years)?

Renaming his War on Terror™!

That's right, it will now be known as "a global struggle against violent extremism".

Please make a note of it.


It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can't get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.
Click at your own risk.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Execution Of Jean Charles de Menezes

Xymphora has five great posts on the public execution of Jean Charles de Menezes by the British police and the ever-changing "facts" of the story.

Yesterday, in a New York Times Op-Ed, Haim Watzman defended the shooting, saying Mr. Menezes raised suspicions by "wearing a long coat out of place on a hot summer day jumping over a turnstile and running for a crowded subway train."

However, according to the Guardian (in a story published on the same day), the Metropolitan police have admitted that Mr. Menezes "was not wearing a heavy jacket that might have concealed a bomb, and did not jump the ticket barrier when challenged by armed plainclothes police."

Thursday, July 28, 2005

War Based On Lies and Unwinnable, But Not A Mistake

According to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll.

For the first time, a majority of Americans (51%) say the Bush administration lied about whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

A majority (58%-37%) say the United States won't be able to establish a stable, democratic government in Iraq.

About one-third (32%) say the United States can't win the war in Iraq. Another 21% say the US could win the war, but they don't think it will.

Yet, a majority (53%-46%) also believe the war was not a mistake.

Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center: "People are giving bleak assessments on the one hand, and on the other hand [they're] saying maybe it was still the right thing to do."

Of course, most supporters of the war aren't doing anything for the effort -- slapping a removable magnetic ribbon on your bumper doesn't count as a sacrifice -- so as long as the war doesn't actually hit home for them, why the hell not keep at it?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Rape, Necrophilia, Sodomy ...

Wanna know why the Bush administration is defying a court order to release additional pictures and videos shot at Abu Ghraib? The May 8, 2004 Boston Herald gives us a clue:
Signaling the worst revelations are yet to come, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the additional photos show "acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman." [...]

The unreleased images show American soldiers beating one prisoner almost to death, apparently raping a female prisoner, acting inappropriately with a dead body, and taping Iraqi guards raping young boys, according to NBC News.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the scandal is "going to get worse" and warned that the most "disturbing" revelations haven't yet been made public.

"The American public needs to understand, we're talking about rape and murder here," he said. "We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience; we're talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges."
Seymour Hersh added:
The women were passing messages saying "Please come and kill me, because of what's happened". ... The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking.
More at Kos.

I thought the Bush Regime is proud of how its spreading democracy. The non-US world has known about these pictures and videos for more than a year. Shouldn't we see what our tax dollars are paying for?

Torture R Us

Washington Post:
The Bush administration in recent days has been lobbying to block legislation supported by Republican senators that would bar the U.S. military from engaging in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual.
New York Times:
Lawyers for the Defense Department are refusing to cooperate with a federal judge's order to release secret photographs and videotapes related to the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. ...

The photographs were some of thousands turned over by Specialist Joseph M. Darby, the whistle-blower who exposed the abuse at Abu Ghraib by giving investigators computer disks containing photographs and videos of prisoners being abused, sexually humiliated and threatened with growling dogs. ...

In early June, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of Federal District Court in Manhattan ordered the release of the additional photographs, part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union to determine the extent of abuse at American military prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan and at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba ...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bush On The Defensive, Media Still Clueless

John King, CNN, July 20, 2005:
Well, White House officials say it's ridiculous to think the president would rush a decision to do that, because however the Karl Rove case turns out, whether it damages the president long term or not, this is something that will be very influential in this president's short-term political standing over the next few months, and then his political legacy over the next quarter century or more . . . the idea that they said, 'Oh my God, we're in trouble because of Karl Rover; we need to rush this' -- I think that's a bit of a stretch.
"Supreme Court Pick Shifts Attention From Rove, Agent Disclosure," Bloomberg News, July 20, 2005:
Bush accelerated his search for a Supreme Court nominee in part because of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name, according to Republicans familiar with administration strategy.

Bush originally had planned to announce a replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on July 26 or 27, just before his planned July 28 departure for a month-long vacation at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, said two administration officials, who spoke on the condition they not be named.

The officials said those plans changed because Rove has become a focus of Fitzgerald's interest and of news accounts about the matter.
Thanks to Billmon.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

That's When I Reached For My Tinfoil

London Underground bombing 'exercises' took place at same time as real attack
A consultancy agency with government and police connections was running an exercise for an unnamed company that revolved around the London Underground being bombed at the exact same times and locations as happened in real life on the morning of July 7.

On a BBC Radio 5 interview that aired on the evening of the 7th, the host interviewed Peter Power, Managing Director of Visor Consultants, which bills itself as a 'crisis management' advice company ... Power was a former Scotland Yard official, working at one time with the Anti-Terrorist Branch.

Power told the host that at the exact same time that the London bombings were taking place, his company was running a 1,000 person strong exercise which drilled the London Underground being bombed at the exact same locations, at the exact same times, as happened in real life.
Well, this is certainly something that should be investigated.

I must note that there are factual errors in that story. The US military and NORAD were running up to half a dozen different mock hijacking drills on 9/11 at the same time the actual hijackings were taking place -- that is established fact (and one reason why the military fighter jet response was slow and/or non-existent) -- but flying planes into the WTC and Pentagon were not part of the drills.

Quite a few bloggers have been investigating Power and these claims, which I have to get caught up on.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Turd Blossom

Joseph Cannon writes:
It's impossible to follow -- or even to summarize -- all of the theories and informed speculations regarding Karl Rove, Plame-gate, and the apparent get-out-of-jail-free card handed to Bob Novak. Those following the controversy should take a look at [this].
And this and this and this. Go have fun.

Here's a scary quote from Judith Miller:
I won't testify. The risks are too great. The government is too powerful.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Fair And Balanced

Some people actually still believe that Fox is a news channel.

The Guardian:
Rupert Murdoch's Fox News channel was under fire yesterday for comments by some of its leading journalists in response to the London bombs.

Speaking about the reaction of the financial markets, Brit Hume, the channel's Washington managing editor, said: "Just on a personal basis ... I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought 'hmm, time to buy'."

The host of a Fox News programme, Brian Kilmeade, said the attacks had the effect of putting terrorism back on the top of the G8's agenda, in place of global warming and African aid. "I think that works to our advantage, in the western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened."

Another Fox News host, John Gibson, said before the blasts that the International Olympic Committee "missed a golden opportunity" by not awarding the 2012 games to France. "If they had picked France instead of London to hold the Olympics, it would have been the one time we could look forward to where we didn't worry about terrorism. They'd blow up Paris, and who cares?" ...
This likely won't get much traction in the US, because the media here is too liberal.

Bonus Idiot: Rush Limbaugh, July 7:
It's like I said -- 40 people dead, 150 seriously wounded, 1,000 wounded, out of over 1 million people in that transit tube. It's not a successful terrorist attack, folks. They didn't succeed in doing anything ...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Judith Miller, Treasonous Scum

Re New York Times reporter Judith Miller being jailed for refusing to divulge her source to a grand jury investigating the Bush administration's leak of an undercover CIA operative's name:

To lump Miller with journalists who have been sent to prison while hellbent on exposing corruption is a gross perversion. Miller has been aiding and abetting war criminals for years.

Miller is the worst of the worst -- way worse than the suckups at Fox -- because her lies appeared at the top of the front page of the New York Times -- and were used by the Cheney administration as evidence to hoodwink the public into supporting their illegal invasion of Iraq. She has the blood of thousands of dead Americans and Iraqis on her hands and she belongs on trial at the Hague with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Myers, etc.

How did Miller and the Junta work together? Boiled way down, it went like this:

1. A Cheney flak (often Ahmad Chalabi) tells Miller the Lies O' The Day.

2. Miller writes up the lies and the Times publishes them above the fold.

3. Cheney goes on TV and says "Fact X" is true and points to the Times as evidence for that truth.

It worked the other way, too. Less than two weeks after Cheney delivered the first speech in which he fingered Iraq as Washington's next target, Miller wrote a front page story for the Times -- "Threats and Responses: The Iraqis; U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts" -- mentioning the infamous "aluminum tubes."

The fact that the Times hasn't fired her for her obvious lies (the lies of Jayson Blair are about .00001% as severe) speaks volumes about how much political cover the "Paper of Record" is willing to provide for the Cheney administration.

This is a excellent source of information on Miller, with dozens of links to news coverage (pro and con) of her activities. Here are two good ones:
Slate, July 2003, "The Times Scoops That Melted: Cataloging The Wretched Reporting Of Judith Miller"

See The Forest, "Everything You Need To Know About Judith Miller, Including Nasty Gossip"
Also: In June 2003, the Washington Post reported that
Miller played a highly unusual role in an Army unit assigned to search for dangerous Iraqi weapons, according to U.S. military officials, prompting criticism that the unit was turned into what one official called a 'rogue operation.'

More than a half-dozen military officers said that Miller acted as a middleman between the Army unit with which she was embedded and Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi, on one occasion accompanying Army officers to Chalabi's headquarters, where they took custody of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law. She also sat in on the initial debriefing of the son-in-law, these sources say.

Since interrogating Iraqis was not the mission of the unit, these officials said, it became a 'Judith Miller team,' in the words of one officer close to the situation.
And when the woman referred to by many lefty bloggers as The Queen Of Iraq was asked about her erroneous WMD reports, she said:
You know what. I was proved fucking right. That's what happened. People who disagreed with me were saying, 'There she goes again.' But I was proved fucking right.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Frankly, America, I Don't Give A Damn!


I'm An Angry, Semi-Employed, Catfood-Eating Crackpot Loser ...

... too untalented or too lazy to get a real job in journalism.

Or so Garry Trudeau seems to think.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Catapulting The Propagandists

A contingent of conservatives talk radio hosts is headed to Iraq this month on a mission to report "the truth" about the war: American troops are winning, despite headlines to the contrary.

The "Truth Tour" has been pulled together by the conservative Web cast radio group and Move America Forward, a non-profit conservative group backed by a Republican-linked public relations firm in California.

"The reason why we are doing it is we are sick and tired of seeing and hearing headlines by the mainstream media about our defeat in Iraq," Melanie Morgan, a talk radio host (search) for KSFO Radio in San Francisco and co-chair of Move America Forward, said.
If these talk show hosts haven't actually been to Iraq, how do they know the news being reported from Iraq is wrong? I mean, Fearless Leader says the US is winning -- isn't that truth enough for them?

Retired Col. Buzz Patterson, host of "The Buzz Cut" on Rightalk: "The war is being won, if not already won, I think. [Iraq] is stabilized and we want the soldiers themselves to tell the story." ... Maybe these non-mainstream media types can ride around admiring the Iraq countryside in an unarmored, convertible Hummer. Since the war has already been won, they should enjoy the scenery. And maybe a picnic of delicious turkee.

One quoted critic of the trip is Peter Beinart, who is identified as the "editor of left-leaning The New Republic magazine." ... Uh-huh.

I'll bet these people don't actually touch any piece of earth within 1,000 miles of Iraq.