Friday, August 12, 2005
At Rummy's Bizarro Pentagon, Torture is Rewarded While Sex is a Firing Offense
Here’s all the proof you need that the lunatics have taken over the Pentagon and DoD asylums (that is, if the lunacy of their Iraq policies hadn’t already convinced you):
Four-star General Kevin Byrnes, the third most senior of the Army’s 11 four-star generals, was sacked over allegations that he had an extramarital affair. Meanwhile, Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq during the Abu Ghraib torture and abuse scandal, is being considered for promotion to, yep, four-star general.
Talk about your utterly perverted priorities.
Now, it long ago became clear that the Bushies inhabit a bizarro, topsy-turvy universe -- a place where being utterly wrong about slam-dunk WMD earns you a Medal of Freedom, dismissing a “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S.” memo earns you a promotion to Secretary of State, signing off on torture makes you AG material, another 123 American soldiers being blown up is the mark of an enemy in its “last throes”, and outing an undercover CIA agent (and then lying about it) merits a vote of confidence instead of a pink slip.
Nevertheless, the Byrnes firing is still stunning. Consider: in modern times, no four-star general has ever been relieved of duty for disciplinary reasons; prior to this incident Byrne had a spotless military record; he has been separated from his wife since May 2004; the allegations do not involve anyone under his command or connected to the DoD; and he was already set to retire in November.
Something doesn’t add up. Would the Army really can a four-star General with 36 years of service, three months shy of his retirement, because he screwed someone other than his wife... in the middle of a war? We are at war, right? No wonder speculation is mounting that there has to be more -- much more -- to this story than is being told.
Was the affair with a man? Was the man underage? Did he not only ask, but also tell? Was, say, one of the Bush twins involved? Did the illicit liaison entail incredibly kinky behavior... something involving a dog leash, women’s panties, fake blood, a Koran, and a Lynddie England mask?
Or was Gen. Byrnes busted for engaging in straight, vanilla, missionary, once-a-week-with-the-lights-off boffing with the slightly overweight neighbor lady down the street?
Is this what it takes for Rummy and company to continue seeing themselves as paragons of virtue who will do whatever is necessary to hold people accountable for their private conduct...while turning a blind eye to the wanton assault on decency and morality that has marked our handling of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and Bagram?
In other words, it’s the s-e-x, stupid! The GOP base will eat it up. A little unnerved that Roberts gave a freebie to the gays? Don’t sweat it. The Bush administration demonstrates it will not stand for a leader who breaks his vows (other than vows to fire anyone involved in the Plame leak, that is).
My only question is: was Rummy given photos of Gen. Byrnes en flagrante delicto? Must have been. If you’ll recall, Rumsfeld told Congress that it took him months to look into the reports of abuse at Abu Ghraib because, even though he’d been alerted that U.S. soldiers were humiliating and torturing naked Iraqi prisoners, “It is the photographs that give one the vivid realization of what actually took place. Words don’t do it.”
Of course, once Rummy and the White House did see the photos from Abu Ghraib, they didn’t leap into action, they leapt into damage control -- treating the worst American military scandal since My Lai not as an international land mine that could flatten our country’s moral high ground but as a PR problem that could be spun, manipulated, stonewalled and, ultimately, swept under the rug.
And they were right. At least as far as the American electorate was concerned. The feelings of the Arab world are a whole other matter.
Here is the vile and pathetic scorecard from the Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo outrages: Only one high ranking officer involved has been demoted (Gen. Janis Karpinski, the former head officer at the prison). One! Indeed, many of the others involved have been promoted, including two senior officers who oversaw or advised on detention and interrogations operations in Iraq -- former deputy commander Maj. Gen. Walter Wodjakowski and Col. Marc Warren, formerly the U.S.’s top military lawyer in Baghdad. And the former top intelligence officer in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, was also given a promotion. Meanwhile Maj. General Geoffrey Miller, who had a hand in both Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, and who new evidence strongly suggests instigated some of the worst interrogation tactics, has yet to be held accountable... The same, of course, goes for Rumsfeld.
The message is clear: overseeing a system that led to prisoners being buggered with chemical lights and having electrodes attached to their genitals will get you a leg up in Bush’s military; giving the high, hard one to someone other than your wife will get you booted out the door.
Gee, it looks like David Brooks is right -- we really have become a more virtuous country.
Editor's Note: Arianna Huffington Rocks. Check her out at: www.huffingtonpost.com
Thursday, August 11, 2005
This week in Propaganda: Republicans dial 911 (again)
9/11 march, show
BY MICHAEL McAULIFF
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an unusual announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing yesterday.
"This year the Department of Defense will initiate an America Supports You Freedom Walk," Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of "the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation."
The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on 9/11, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black.
Word of the event startled some observers. "I've never heard of such a thing," said John Pike, who has been a defense analyst in Washington for 25 years and runs GlobalSecurity.org.
The news also reignited debate and anger over linking Sept. 11 with the war in Iraq.
"That piece of it is disturbing since we all know now there was no connection," said Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq veteran who heads Operation Truth, an anti-administration military booster.
Rieckhoff suggested the event was an ill-conceived publicity stunt. "I think it's clear that their public opinion polls are in the toilet," he said.
Rumsfeld's walk had some relatives of 9/11 victims fuming.
"How about telling Mr. Rumsfeld to leave the memories of Sept. 11 victims to the families?" said Monica Gabrielle, who lost her husband in the attacks.
Administration supporters insisted Rumsfeld was right to link Iraq and 9/11, and hold the rally.
"We are at war," said Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.). "It's essential that we support our troops."
He also said attacking Iraq was necessary after 9/11. "You do not defeat Al Qaeda until you stabilize the Middle East, and that's not possible as long as Saddam Hussein is in power."
Editors Note: The Punisher Reminds Rep. Pete King that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Al Qaeda opposed Saddam Hussein. Will someone please educate these jackasses? Why are they allowed to continue to lie, and nobody calls them on it?
WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush unveiled an aggressive initiative Monday that would make the U.S. free of petroleum dependence by the year 4920, less than three millennia from now.
"Our mission is clear," Bush said in a speech delivered at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. "We must free ourselves from dependence on fossil fuels within 85 generations. A cleaner, safer America is my vision. And it is our great, great—great-times-80 grandchildren who will realize that vision."
Bush promised a legislative package that would mandate severe cuts in oil-production subsidies and provide new funding for alternative-energy research and development. According to the timetable he presented, these bills could be introduced as early as 3219, and U.S. energy consumers could start to see radical changes by the early 42nd century.
"If we don't end our dependence on oil by 4920, when will we end it? 5580? By then, it may be too late," Bush said.
Bush called on both Democrats and Republicans living 1,200 years from now to work together to pass the program.
"It would be a shame if, by the 33rd century, these bills were still tied up in committee. I urge the 712th Congress to pass this legislation with minimal partisan gridlock," Bush said.
The president's science advisor, John Marburger, provided more details of the energy plan in a press release issued late Monday.
"It is the president's hope that hydrogen fuel cells, nanotechnology, or the recycling of human beings into fuel will hold the key," Marburger wrote. "Whatever the people of the 50th century feel is appropriate."
In a detailed policy statement, Bush elaborated on the plan, expressing the hope that a third party, perhaps one comprising robots or super-intelligent, genetically engineered man-beasts, will help reduce America's dependence on fossil fuels.
"I am calling on the popularly elected cyborgs of tomorrow to support this sensible measure to ensure the security of the nation," Bush said.
Some industrialists, particularly major auto manufacturers, expressed reservation over Bush's initiative.
"As admirable as Mr. Bush's visionary pronouncement is, I worry that the timetable he proposes is far too ambitious," General Motors CEO Richard Wagoner Jr. said. "It is simply not realistic. The automotive industry would require an additional three or four thousand years to develop engines that can run effectively on renewable or cleaner-burning fuels."
Exxon Mobil CEO Lee Raymond said the petroleum-producing company shares Bush's hopes for a cleaner environment "well before the sun turns into a red giant and dies."
"Mobil Oil has already made great strides in protecting the precious air and water within the television-commercial environment. And we plan to golf closely with the U.S. Department of Energy and oil-industry lobbyists to ensure that President Bush's initiative comes to pass in the unimaginably distant future."
Responding to reporters' questions, Bush admitted that our progeny could face challenges in pursuit of the goal, such as the earth's degrading orbit and eventual destruction of the moon by tidal force, or the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
"Our distant relations will have some hard work to do," Bush said. "But hard work is what built this nation, and I have every faith that they will succeed."
The proclamation comes on the heels of Bush's plans to pay off the national debt by the early 6300s, and win the war on terror by 7450.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Wed Aug 10th, 2005 at 17:55:08 PDT
(From the diaries -- Plutonium Page. In case people have forgotten how good the economy was when Clinton was president, please check out this post. Edited to add a table below the fold.)
somadude notes: Just a few math exercises!
Clinton created about 2.6 million jobs per year more than Bush
Bush created about 2.6 million jobs per year less than Clinton
Clinton created about 7 1/2 times more jobs than Bush per year
Bush created about 7 1/2 times fewer jobs than Clinton per year
Over a four year Presidency, Clinton created about 10.4 million more jobs than Bush
Over a four year Presidency, Bush created about 10.4 million fewer jobs than Clinton
Observing the equations noted above, a rational human being would logically conclude that President Clinton created "a fuckload" more jobs than President Bush.
~Somadude - "The genius of Rick Nielson....the charisma of Robin Zander"
NCAA bans use of Native American nicknames in Postseason Play: Let the Howling by the Right Wingers Begin.
The NCAA has recently announced a ban on schools use of Native American nicknames for some schools in postseason play. This will affect a number of schools but the three most focused on are the Florida State Seminoles, Utah Utes, and Illinois Fighting Illini.
The howling by Sportswriters, Republicans, and the generally uniformed has begun.
Here comes the criticism. What about the Fighting Irish? Isn’t that offensive to Irish people? The answer is no. The term Fighting Irish likely began as an abusive expression tauntingly directed toward the athletes from the small, private, Catholic institution, Notre Dame. Ironically, the term began as racist and religious discrimination directed towards Irish and Catholics. The term Fighting Irish developed as the school and its students began to overcome these racist and religious discriminatory obstacles and they chose it themselves in 1927 as a source of pride. This is far different than a group of white men choosing a Native American mascot and claiming they are honoring them by mocking their customs and institutions. This is also why the NCAA chose to allow North Carolina Pembroke to keep its Native American name because it is a school with a large Native American student body. (I disagree with this decision for the reasons that follow.)
Next claim: The Seminoles say it is not offensive to them, so why can’t Florida State use them as its mascot? The Florida Seminole Tribe works with FSU and endorses the use of the Seminole as a mascot. This does not include all Native Americans who identify themselves as members of the Seminole Tribe. This is only the Florida Tribe, not all Seminoles. Anyone who argues this point is actually engaged in racism. They believe that if one small group agrees with you, then all of that group must agree with you. Most of the Seminole Tribe is opposed to the use by FSU of the Seminoles as a team nickname. This is like arguing that if Clarence Thomas agrees with you, all blacks must agree with you.
The other claim you will hear often is the most racist. This one will involve the slippery-slope argument. It goes like this, if we ban Native American mascots and nicknames, then animal activists like PETA will insist that we ban animal names next. What they are trying to do is argue that if anyone is offended by something, it must be banned. This is a racist fallacy. They are equating Native Americans (i.e. human beings) with animals. The racists will also do this with other groups trying to prove the same (stupid) point. They will point to Pirates, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and say they should be banned because someone may be offended, i.e. my parents were killed by a tornado, hurricane or pirate therefore it must be banned. This reasoning also negates the ethnicity and the humanity of Native Americans, and it is racist.
Don’t believe the hype. The people who are fighting this decision by the NCAA are not fighting to keep a team nickname.
They are fighting to keep Americans from recognizing racism.
This week in celebrity gossip
A source told the Daily Mirror: "Keira's gutted. She really thought what she and Jamie had was love but it just wasn't meant to be."
The Punisher says.... Call me.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Tue Aug 9th, 2005 at 02:22:14 PDT
This was inspired by the now infamous "Skippy's List". However, that list was Army-centered, and is a few years out of date, since it refers to a deployment in Kosovo (or Bosnia, somewhere around there). So I've got a list for me, in the USAF, deployed to Iraq. Enjoy!
I'll probably add more eventually, as I think of them
- jabbausaf's diary :: ::
135 things Jabba is no longer allowed to do in the Air Force
Acronyms and military terms used:
COMM: short for the Communications squadron, the guys who handle phones and computers and such
UXO: Unexploded Ordnance, like dud bombs and the like
MRE: Meal Ready to Eat. The chemical heaters are in plastic bags. If you put the chemical heaters into a bottle, like one of the many water bottles, and, well, add water, and screw the cap on tight, the bottle will explode from the built-up steam. That's an MRE bomb
EOD: Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Crazy mofos.
RAF: Royal Air Force, the UK air force
PVC: dunno what it stands for, but it's a kind of pipe that looks a lot like a rocket body if you're doing a UXO sweep in the dark, trust me
AA: Anti-Aircraft gun
VIP: Very Important Person
SecDef: The Secretary of Defense
BX: The Base Exchange, the only store on base, the only place to go to buy stuff outside of the souvenir shops
DCU: Desert Cammies
MEP: Mission Essential Power
CE: Civil Engineering; handles power, water, A/C, roads, and so forth. Everything infrastructure
RPG: Rocket Propelled Grenade
HazMat: Hazardous Materials
PT: Physical Training
- Scorpions are not mascots
- Scorpions are also not housepets
- Wild dogs are not "man's best friend"
- It's not an acceptable form of entertainment to shut off power to the camp and see how long it takes someone to call in
- Cutting COMM's power is not justifiable retaliation for a website being blocked
- ...Even if it was a really funny website
- Not longer allowed to protest next to the runway when the SecDef comes
- ...Even if the signs are really funny
- No longer allowed to ask Army personnel very confusing questions
- An M-16 is not an action movie prop
- The power plant's fuel bladder is not a "giant waterbed"
- When asked about the location of any personnel or equipment, the proper answer is never "Dantooine... they're on Dantooine"
- No longer allowed to offroad in any areas that have not been cleared of UXOs
- No longer allowed to offroad at all
- Leaving "MRE water heater bombs" outside EOD's building at 0200 when they're all sleeping is not allowed
- The control room in the power plant is not "Just like Engineering"
- No longer allowed to impersonate Scotty
- Especially when an officer calls to request mobile generator support
- Switching the "circuit open" and "circuit closed" lights on the control panel to make new plant operators think that a generator is disconnected, causing them to accidentally kill power when they try to close the breaker to "reconnect" power, is no longer allowed
- Not allowed to ask the Brits or the Aussies "So when are you guys leaving?"
- Not allowed to impersonate an Irish accent, or Lucky the Leprechaun, around Irish members of the RAF
- Not allowed to run past the RAF tents with chow-hall bowls of Lucky Charms, yelling "They're after me lucky charms!"
- Just because HQ is located in a building called "the glass house", not allowed to inform the base commander or any of his subordinates that they are not allowed to throw stones
- Not allowed to heckle "Tops in Blue", even if they really do suck
- Not allowed to tell gate guards "You don't need to see my identification"
- Not allowed to pick up scrap metal in the junkyard and show my supervisor, saying "look sir, droids!"
- Not allowed to ask supervisor if I can borrow the tug and "drive in Toschi Station to pick up some power converters"
- ...Even if I really am going to pick up power converters, the Services tent is not Toschi Station
- No longer allowed to give Star Wars names to locations on base
- ...Or Star Trek names
- ...Or Dune name
- ...Or names from any science fiction or fantasy work
- Not allowed to put fins on PVC pipe and stick it into the ground next to HQ and call it in as a UXO
- Not allowed to point old Iraqi AA guns at arriving aircraft
- ...even if they are already on the ground
- ...especially if it's a VIP aircraft
- ...doubly especially if it's the SecDef stopping by again
- Not allowed to tell visiting media that if they really want to see how things are over here, they're welcome to go outside the wire
- No taunting the Iraqi guards at the airport
- No mooning the control tower either
- No longer allowed to stop by the CIA compound and ask what they're up to
- ...or ask them where bin Laden really is
- No longer allowed to tell new arrivals that I saw Saddam Hussein in prison orange eating in the chow hall, because I didn't
- Not allowed to picket the chow hall
- ...or the BX
- It's usually in bad taste to tell BX employees that you could get something much cheaper on the internet, or to remark loudly that Amazon has a much better selection, even if it's true
- No longer allowed to befriend wild animals
- ...yes, even the kittens
- No longer allowed to feed the rat that lives under the power plant
- If I couldn't catch the gecko the first time, I'm not going to catch it the next fifty times I try
- If I do catch the gecko, not allowed to keep it as a pet
- Not allowed to heckle VIPs at their speeches
- ...including the SecDef
- ...and the chaplain
- Not allowed to hold Pagan Rites on base without first obtaining permission and filling out the requisite forms
- Not allowed to call burn barrel fires a Pagan rite
- Not allowed to sacrifice anything to the sun god
- Sandstorms are not caused by angry djinn
- My tent is not the Love Shack
- The female tents are also not Love Shacks
- The Laundry tent is not the Love Shack, despite appearances to the contrary
- Not allowed to go into the base library and take all the Bibles and put them in the science fiction section
- Not allowed to put books by Ron L Hubbard in the religious section
- Not allowed to surround the power plant with a minefield for security purposes
- Not allowed to call the Supply Tent "Costco" or "Wal-Mart"
- Not allowed to lock the bathrooms
- Not allowed to use camel spiders to scare people
- Not allowed to call a camel spider "My magical talking companion"
- Not allowed to get a Kiss Army patch on my DCUs
- Not allowed to instruct the barbers to give me a Mohawk
- Not allowed to try to wear my boonie cap backwards
- Not allowed to try to trade my M-16 to Global Security contractors for an AK-47 and a case of beer
- Not allowed to try to ferment grapes from the chow hall to make moonshine or hooch
- Not allowed to use MEP-12 prime power plant generators as a still
- Not allowed to shoot the radio and yell to my supervisor that "we're gonna have company" when somebody calls asking why the power is out
- ...even if it was a boring conversation anyway
- ...especially if it's the commander
- Not allowed to make special requests at the chow hall
- ...like for filet mignon
- ...or "anything not fried"
- ...or "something that doesn't suck"
- Not allowed to demand a refund for chow hall food
- Not allowed to sing showtunes over the CE radio net
- Not allowed to sing anything over any net
- Not allowed to sing in public at all
- ...or in private
- Not allowed to play the cat game (from Super Troopers) with anyone who needs a generator
- ...even if "Meow long will you need this generator for?" is funny
- Not allowed to operate a pirate radio station from "deep inside a secret bunker"
- Not allowed to scare new arrivals with stories of a network of secret insurgent tunnels running under the base
- Not allowed to practice law without credentials
- Not allowed to dance with the broom while doing shop clean-up
- Not allowed to pressure wash the inside of the boss's office
- ...even if it is dirty in there
- Not allowed to drive in and out of Security Forces checkpoints repeatedly just because the gate guard on duty is hot
- Not allowed to drag race anywhere on base
- ...especially "highway 1"
- Not allowed to play "chicken" with armored vehicles
- Not allowed to use the loudspeakers to play protest songs
- May no longer insist on carrying a stuffed animal everywhere and asking it before I do anything
- Not allowed to name wild animals
- ...or to force others to use those names
- Not allowed to drop something heavy on the roof of the control room and tell the people inside that a mortar just bounced off
- It's not my job to point out holes in base security
- ...even if they are pretty big
- Not allowed to yell "Bring it on" at the civilian side of the airport
- Not allowed to "punk" anyone
- ...especially officers
- Not allowed to ask civilian contractors how much more they're getting paid
- The commander's office is not a HazMat storage area for waste oil
- ...with or without the barrels
- Not allowed to go to the supply tent for the sole purpose of flirting with the clerks
- Not allowed to requisition "Maxim" or "Stuff" for "research purposes"
- Not allowed to customize my M-16
- ...that includes engraving my name on it or stealing scopes and laser sights from the cops
- Pellet guns are not authorized on military installations for my own safety and I will remember that
- Not allowed to sell bootleg movies from my tent
- Not allowed to administer "A good death" to an ailing generator, with an RPG-7
- Not allowed to yell "game over man, game over!" during outages
- Not allowed to shut off fuel and see how long it takes the generators to shut down
- ...especially if I'm taking bets
- Not allowed to take bets on anything
- Not allowed to speak in tongues
- I am not a faith healer
- A speedo and a wifebeater is not "Conservative PT gear"
Update [2005-8-9 9:34:29 by jabbausaf]:
126. Sock puppets are not in my chain of command.
127. Magic 8 Ball is not in my chain of command.
128. I do not "got the touch" or "the power"
129. ...even if I do light the darkest hours.
130. May not use interpretive dance to criticize command decisions.
131. The making of near-beer bongs is strongly discouraged.
132. I am not "Lord of the Sand Flies".
133. No longer allowed to burn superior officers in effigy
134. Med clinic personnel will no longer be referred to as "Dr Feelgood"
135. The Med clinic will no longer be referred to as "The Happy-pill Emporium"
John Roberts: Compassionate Conservative
Judge Roberts rejected the mother's plea for sanity: Arresting a 12-year-old like a suspect on Cops for eating on the subway, Roberts wrote, advanced "the legitimate goal of promoting parental awareness and involvement with children who commit delinquent acts." One has to wonder how many parents would be happy with a Judge like John Roberts who allows police to lock up their 12-year-old for public consumption of freedom fries. And this guy has now been nominated for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
Good choice Dumbya, good choice.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Republicans Ineligible for U.S. Citizenship
Form N-400 Application for Naturalization, question 10.