Saturday, August 27, 2005
Sat Aug 27th, 2005 at 18:14:48 PDT
(From the diaries -- Plutonium Page. Title edited to change "Adm." to "Administration." The Bush administration's lack of respect for natural resources knows no bounds.)
According to the LA Times, Paul Hoffman -- deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks -- is looking to rewrite the mission of the national parks. J.T. Reynolds, superintendent of Death Valley National Park said, "They are changing the whole nature of who we are and what we have been. I hope the public understands that this is a threat to their heritage. It threatens the past, the present and the future. It's painful to see this."
Hoffman wants to upgrade grazing and mining to "park purposes," allow cellphone towers and low-flying airplanes within national parks, and allow snowmobiles on all paved roads in every park. In addition, he wants to take away the park managers' abilities to use laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act to protect the parks from development. Finally, he wants to deemphasize dark skies and quiet even though they are conditions needed by wildlife.
Hoffman came to the Park Service after serving as director of the Chamber of Commerce in Cody, Wyo. Before that he had served as Wyoming state director for then-U.S. Rep. Dick Cheney from 1985 to 1989.
By the way, this is the same guy who overruled the park superintendent at the Grand Canyon National Park and made the staff leave up religious plaques on display at the South Rim and also made them sell a book that said creationism created the canyon.
In reaction, a group of 400 retired Park Service employees scheduled a news conference to announce a campaign to block the changes from taking effect. Also, the seven regional directors who saw Hoffman's recommendations sent a "searing memo" to Park Service Director Fran Mainella "criticizing the revisions."
I guess it was only a matter of time before the Bush Administration tried to weaken the mission of the parks. I'm sure Cheney and crew see them as just another collection of lands that are waiting to be exploited by industry.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Republican Propaganda Machine Heats Up. This time they needed a PR firm to organize a "grassroots" campaign. I wish I was kidding.
Move America Forward. A grassroots non-profit is organizing a Pro-War Support the Troops Caravan to protest Cindy Sheehan’s 1st Amendment Right to Protest the President. Sounds stupid? It sure is. But then we shouldn’t be surprised given who is behind this “grassroots” movement. They are calling it the “You don’t speak for me, Cindy” Caravan. I really wish I was making this up. I wonder how much this PR firm is being paid to organize a Non-Profit group. Somebody outta revoke their 501(c).
"When the MAF website first went up this take a look at who is was registered to:
The .com address was first registered using this information:
Russo Marsh & Rogers
770 L Street, #950
Sacramento, CA 95814
That's right, this genuine act of patriotism is brought to you by the Republican public relations firm Russo Marsh and Rogers. The Move America Forward organization isn't just based in the Bay Area, it's based in the same offices as the Russo PR firm. Same receptionist answers calls for both organizations. Website was registered to the firm until they figured out that it wouldn't look good if people knew that a PR firm was behind this `patriotic grassroots activist group.'"
MAF's inner circle is remarkable for its extensive conservative connections. Former California state representative, GOP consultant and self-described "taxpayer hero" Howard Kaloogian, who serves as MAF's chair was a key recall proponent. He also had headed the Defend Reagan Committee, which mounted a successful campaign in late 2003 to pressure CBS to cancel what they called its "hatchet job" biopic, "The Reagans." MAF chief strategist Sal Russo, founder of Russo Marsh & Rogers, was also chief political advisor for the Defend Reagan Committee. Douglas Lorenz, a Russo Marsh & Rogers staff person and the national chair of the libertarian-leaning Republican Liberty Caucus, was the Defend Reagan Committee's grassroots coordinator and a recall campaign advisor. Lorenz registered MAF's Web site - which looks strikingly similar to the Committee's Web site, DefendReagan.org, also registered under his name. MAF's phone number was previously the number of the Recall Gray Davis Committee, Kaloogian for U.S. Senate and the Defend Reagan Committee. MAF shares office space with Russo Marsh & Rogers and, according to multiple accounts, the receptionist who answers calls to MAF also answers Russo Marsh & Rogers' phones.
Conservative talk show host Melanie Morgan and National Tax Limitation Committee founder and president Lew Uhler are MAF's vice chairs. Former California Assembly Republican staffer Siobhan Guiney is the group's executive director. Guiney's biography credits her for fighting "for the people against liberal corruption." MAF boosters among conservative media personalities include Hugh Hewitt, a nationally syndicated talk radio host and a weekly columnist for The Daily Standard, columnist and FOX News contributor Michelle Malkin, and Rush Limbaugh.
So remember kiddies, if you're going to be joining this "grassroots" campaign funded by those in power in Washington and organized by a California PR firm, you really are an idiot. Just go ahead and tatoo it to your forehead.
Rummy Knew all about Abu Ghraib; Watch the Attack Dogs go for Karpinski now.
Abu Ghraib General Lambastes Bush Administration
By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t | Report
Wednesday 24 August 2005
I had been hesitant to speak out before because this Administration is so vindictive. But now I will ... Anybody who confronts this Administration or Rumsfeld or the Pentagon with a true assessment, they find themselves either out of a job, out of their positions, fired, relieved or chastised. Their career comes to an end.
-- Janis Karpinski, interview with Marjorie Cohn, August 3, 2005
Army Reserve Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was in charge of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq when the now famous torture photographs were taken in fall of 2003. She was reprimanded and demoted to Colonel for her failure to properly supervise the prison guards. Karpinski is the highest ranking officer to be sanctioned for the mistreatment of prisoners. On August 3, 2005, I interviewed Janis Karpinski. In the most comprehensive public statement she has made to date, Karpinski deconstructs the entire United States military operation in Iraq with some astonishing revelations.
When Karpinski got to Abu Ghraib, "there was a completely different story than what we were being told in the United States. It was out of control. There weren't enough soldiers. Nobody had the right equipment. They were driving around in unarmored vehicles, some of them without doors ... So, knowing that they were ill-equipped and ill-prepared, they pushed them out anyway, because those two three-stars wanted their fifteen minutes of fame, I suppose."
Karpinski said that General Shinseki briefed Rumsfeld that "he can't win this war, if they insist on invading Iraq, he can't win this war with less than 300,000 soldiers." Rumsfeld reportedly ordered Shinseki to go back and find a way to do this with 125,000 to 130,000, but Shinseki came back and said they couldn't do the job with that number. "What did Rumsfeld do?" Karpinski asked rhetorically. "If you can't agree with me, I'm going to find somebody who can. He made Shinseki a lame duck, for all practical purposes, and brought in Schoomaker. And Schoomaker got it. He said, 'Oh yes sir, we can do this with 125,000.'"
Karpinski says she did not know about the torture occurring in Cellblocks 1-A and 1-B at Abu Ghraib because it took place at night. She didn't live at Abu Ghraib, and nobody was permitted to travel at night due to the dangerous road conditions. The first she heard about the torture was on January 12, 2004. She was never allowed to speak to the people who had worked on the night shift. She "was told by Colonel Warren, the JAG officer for General Sanchez, that they weren't assigned to me, that they were not under my control, and I really had no right to see them."
When Karpinski inquired, "What's this about photographs?" the sergeant replied, "Ma'am, we've heard something about photographs, but I have no idea. Nobody has any details, and Ma'am, if anybody knows, nobody is talking." When Karpinski asked to see the log books, the sergeant told her that the Criminal Investigation Division had taken everything except for something on a pole outside the little office they were using.
"It was a memorandum signed by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, authorizing a short list, maybe 6 or 8 techniques: use of dogs; stress positions; loud music; deprivation of food; keeping the lights on, those kinds of things," Karpinski said. "And then a handwritten message over to the side that appeared to be the same handwriting as the signature, and that signature was Secretary Rumsfeld's. And it said, 'Make sure this happens' with two exclamation points. And that was the only thing they had. Everything else had been confiscated."
Karpinski tried to get information, but "nobody knew anything, nobody - at least, that's what they were claiming. The Company Commander, Captain Reese, was tearful in my office and repeatedly told me he knew nothing about it, knew nothing about it," Karpinski said. But in a later plea bargain he entered into after the Taguba Report came out, "Captain Reese said that not only did he know about it, but he was told not to report it to his chain of command, and he was told that by Colonel Pappas. And he claimed that he saw General Sanchez out there on several occasions witnessing the torture of some of the security detainees."
The first time Karpinski got any clarification about the photographs was January 23, 2004. The criminal investigator, Colonel Marcelo, came into Karpinski's office and showed her the pictures. "When I saw the pictures I was floored," Karpinski said. "Really, the world was spinning out of control when I saw those pictures, because it was so far beyond and outside of what I imagined. I thought that maybe some soldiers had taken some pictures of prisoners behind barbed wire or in their cell or something like that. I couldn't imagine anything like what I saw in those photographs."
Marcelo told her, "Ma'am, I'm supposed to tell you after you see the photographs that General Sanchez wants to see you in his office." So Karpinski went over to see Sanchez. She said that "before I even saw the photographs, I was preparing words to say in a press conference - to be up front, to be honest about this, that an investigation is ongoing and there are some allegations of detainee abuse."
But Sanchez told Karpinski, "'No, absolutely not. You are not to discuss this with anyone.' And I should have known then," she said, "and I know that Sanchez was hopeful for a four-star promotion even then, in January of 2004. And I thought it had probably most to do with the election coming up in November 2004, and that this could really move the Administration out of the White House if it was exploited. So naively, I just thought, you know, they're going to let this investigation go and they're going to handle it the way it should be handled."
Karpinski said, however, "The truth has been uncovered, but it's been suffocated and it has not been released with the results of the investigation." She added, "McClellan and Rumsfeld can get up on their high horse and say that there've been no fewer than 15 investigations that were conducted. But every one of those investigations is under the control of the Secretary of Defense. And every one of those investigations is run and led by a person who can lose their job under Rumsfeld's fist."
"We're never going to know the truth until they do an independent commission or look into this independently," Karpinski maintains. "This is about instructions delivered with full authority and knowledge of the Secretary of Defense and probably Cheney. I don't know if the President was involved or not. I don't care. All I know is, those instructions were communicated from the Secretary of Defense's office, from the Pentagon, through Cambone, through Miller, to Abu Ghraib."
Karpinski describes what happened when General Geoffrey Miller arrived at Abu Ghraib: "The most pronounced difference was when Miller came to visit. He came right after Rumsfeld's visit ... And he said that he was going to use a template from Guantánamo Bay to 'Gitm-oize' the operations out at Abu Ghraib."
"These torture techniques were being implemented and used down at Guantánamo Bay and, of course, now we have lots of statements that say they were used in Afghanistan as well," Karpinski said. Although Miller has sworn he was just an "advisor," Miller told Karpinski he wanted Abu Ghraib. Karpinski replied, "Abu Ghraib is not mine to give to you. It belongs to Ambassador Bremer. It is going to be turned over to the Iraqis." Miller replied, "No it is not. I want that facility and Rick Sanchez said I can have any facility I want." Karpinski said, "Miller obviously had the full authority of somebody, you know, likely Cambone or Rumsfeld in Washington, DC."
Miller's representative, General Fast, turned the prison over to the Military Intelligence brigade for complete command and control, Karpinski said. "There was no coordination with me or Colonel Pappas. There was no discussion about chain of command."
Abu Ghraib housed primarily Iraqi criminals. Although many of the "security detainees" were kept at Abu Ghraib, most of the interrogations took place at a higher-value detention facility in Baghdad, according to Karpinski.
The Army discriminates against the reservists in general, and female officers in particular, Karpinski said. "It's really a good old boys' network," she said. "Come hell or high water, they're going to maintain the status quo." While she was made the scapegoat for the torture at Abu Ghraib, Karpinski said, no one above her in the chain of command has been reprimanded.
Karpinski reveals that there was "no sustainment plan" because "there were a lot of contractors - US contractors exclusively - who realized they could make a lot of money in Iraq." At the Coalition Provisional Authority, Karpinski "saw corruption like I've never seen before - millions of dollars just being pocketed by contractors. Everything was on a cash basis at that time," she said. "You take a request down - literally, you take a request to the Finance Office. If the Pay Officer recognized your face and you were asking for $450,000 to pay a contractor for work, they would pay you in cash: $450,000. Out of control."
Speaking about the war, Karpinski said, "Iraq was a huge country, and when you have people largely saying now, 'He may have been a dictator, but we were better under Saddam,' this Administration needs to take notice. And at some point you have to say, 'Stop the train, because it's completely derailed. How do we fix it?' But in an effort to do that, you have to admit that you made a few mistakes, and this Administration is not willing to admit any mistakes whatsoever."
Janis Karpinski is no longer in the military. She is writing a book that will be published by Miramax in November. In April, she received a form letter from the Chief of the Army Reserves, "warning me - warning me - about speaking about Abu Ghraib, and that everything was still under investigation." She then got "a letter saying that he understands that I'm writing a book and I should submit the transcript for review."
"And my lawyer responded simply by telling him that I was a private citizen and I don't fall under the same requirements, which he had to acknowledge, because that's true. I'm not ignorant, and I'm not going to reveal any classified information in anything I write," Karpinski said, "but I don't need to, because the truth is the truth, and it doesn't have to be classified. It is definitely staggering, but the truth is the truth."
Republicans Are Right! There is a High Price for Freedom!
CEO: Worker Pay Ratio Shoots Up to 431 : 1
Biggest Defense Contractors
Raise CEOs’ Pay 200% Since 9/11
2004 was a banner year for CEOs and a dismal year for workers, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy, Executive Excess 2005: Defense Contractors Get More Bucks for the Bang.
The ratio of average CEO pay (now $11.8 million) to worker pay (now $27,460) spiked up from 301-to-1 in 2003 to 431-to-1 in 2004.
If the minimum wage had risen as fast as CEO pay since 1990, the lowest paid workers in the US would be earning $23.03 an hour today, not $5.15 an hour.
The report found that CEOs are individually profiting from the Iraq War, with huge average raises at the biggest defense contractors.
At the 34 publicly traded US corporations among the 2004 top 100 defense contractors with 10% or more of their revenues from defense contracts – companies such as United Technologies, Textron, and General Dynamics – average CEO pay increased 200% from 2001 to 2004, versus 7% for all CEOs.
For example, David H. Brooks, CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB Industries, earned $70 million in 2004, 3,349% more than his 2001 compensation of $525,000. Brooks also sold company stock worth about $186 million last year, spooking investors who drove DHB’s share price from more than $22 to as low as $6.50. In May 2005, the US Marines recalled more than 5,000 DHB armored vests after questions were raised about their effectiveness. By that time, Brooks had pocketed over $250 million in war windfalls.
Since September 11, the ratio between median pay for defense CEOs and pay for military generals has nearly doubled to 23-to-1, up from 12-to-1 just three years earlier. The pay ratio between defense CEOs and army privates soared to 160-to-1, up from just 89-to-1 in 2001.
The report reviewed trends in CEO pay and gave CEO Hall of Shame awards to executives who have exemplified five types of excessive pay:
* Pension underfunders: The CEOs of those firms with the most underfunded pensions, on average, received 72% more than the average large company CEO.
Inducted into the CEO Hall of Shame in this category is Exxon Mobil’s Lee Raymond.
* Tax dodgers: 46 large companies paid no federal income tax in 2003, despite collectively earning $30 billion in profits. Some of the savings wound up in the pockets of their CEOs, who made $12.6 million in average pay in 2004.
Inducted into the CEO Hall of Shame in this category is Pfizer’s Hank McKinnell.
* Book cookers: In the last ten years, CEOs of firms with shady accounting appeared 18 times on the top ten lists of highest paid executives. This includes leaders whose companies were either later found to have committed fraud or were forced to make material restatements of earnings to correct previous overstatements of profits.
Inducted into the CEO Hall of Shame in this category is Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski, the highest paid book cooker – more than a half billion dollars.
* Stock tankers: If you had invested in the stock of the company led by the year’s single highest paid CEO each year since 1990, you actually would have lost money. You would have done nearly six times better by investing in the S&P 500 index. A $10,000 investment in such a Greedy CEO portfolio in 1991 would have decreased in value to $8,079 by the end of 2004, while a similar investment in the S&P 500 would have increased to $48,350.
Inducted into the CEO Hall of Shame in this category is Computer Associates’ Charles Wang.
* Gross pay: Over the last 15 years, the cumulative pay of the ten highest paid CEOs in each year together totals more than $11.7 billion.
Inducted into the CEO Hall of Shame in this category is Citigroup’s Sandy Weill, whose $1.1 billion in cumulative pay since 1990 topped all others.
Authored by Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, Scott Klinger, and Liz Stanton, Executive Excess 2005 is the twelfth annual CEO pay study by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and United for a Fair Economy (UFE). The IPS is an independent center for progressive research and education in Washington, DC. UFE is a national organization based in Boston that spotlights growing economic inequality.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Sounds like a terrorist threat to me.
The American Legion members who decided to adopt this new fascist policy ought to be arrested right now under the Patriot Act and sent to Gitmo, along with Pat Robertson, where they can all enjoy two kinds of fruit and the very form of un-Democratic system of totalitarian government they're all now embracing.
So is there a Republican left in our country who doesn't embrace fascism? I mean, what are we fighting for anyway? The right to turn this country into a state where none of the very freedoms the American Legion vets supposedly fought for are any longer respected?
The American Legion ought to be ashamed of itself for embracing the language and policies of the very dictators so much American blood has been spilt trying to fight over the years. And the White House ought to be ashamed of itself for embracing un-American thugs who are no better at their core than the enemy we face abroad.
I'll put my patriotism up against some American Legion Stalinist any day.
"The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," Thomas Cadmus, national commander, told delegates at the group's national convention in Honolulu.Mr. Cadmus' email address: email@example.com
The delegates voted to use whatever means necessary to "ensure the united backing of the American people to support our troops and the global war on terrorism."
From the comments section:
And to appreciate the unwavering consistency exhibited by the American Legion on matters of this nature, check out the postion they adopted on Yugoslavia in 1999. Available at Billmon: http://billmon.org/
Dear Mr. President:
The American Legion, a wartime veterans organization of nearly three-million members, urges the immediate withdrawal of American troops participating in "Operation Allied Force.''
The National Executive Committee of The American Legion, meeting in Indianapolis today, adopted Resolution 44, titled "The American Legion's Statement on Yugoslavia.'' This resolution was debated and adopted unanimously.
Mr. President, the United States Armed Forces should never be committed to wartime operations unless the following conditions are fulfilled:
- That there be a clear statement by the President of why it is in our vital national interests to be engaged in hostilities;
- Guidelines be established for the mission, including a clear exit strategy;
- That there be support of the mission by the U.S. Congress and the American people; and
- That it be made clear that U.S. Forces will be commanded only by U.S. officers whom we acknowledge are superior military leaders.
It is the opinion of The American Legion, which I am sure is shared by the majority of Americans, that three of the above listed conditions have not been met in the current joint operation with NATO ("Operation Allied Force'').
In no case should America commit its Armed Forces in the absence of clearly defined objectives agreed upon by the U.S. Congress in accordance with Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution of the United States.
Harold L. "Butch'' Miller,
Letter to President Clinton
May 5, 1999
Pat Robertson bears false witness.
The Reverend Pat Robertson, decided that he needed to lie his way out of his calls to kill the President of Venezuela. The Reverend is following the Right Wing Handbook of blaming the messenger and claiming his words were "taken out of context."
"I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should 'take him out.' And 'take him out' can be a number of things, including kidnapping; there are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP [Associated Press], but that happens all the time," Robertson said on "The 700 Club" program.
Just a refresher for those who missed what the "good" Reverend really said:
"If he (President Chavez) thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it," said Robertson on Monday's program. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war."
Hard to see how this is "taken out of context." Pat, not only are you a disgusting human being who cloaks himself in religion and then calls for the death of unbelievers a la the Taliban, you are a fucking liar.
After this was posted: "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement," Rev. Pat Robertson said in a written statement. So Pat, first you say it, then you say you didn't say it, then you apologize for saying it. So I guess I was right about you, you are a fucking liar. But I give you props for admitting you are a liar, too bad your buddies in the White House, on Limbaugh, and Faux News don't have your balls.
Just a Reminder: FearMongers - Why would you trust them now?
Bush Administration Officials’ Lies about Iraq’s Supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction in Their Own WordsSimply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction
- Dick Cheney, speech to VFW National Convention, Aug. 26, 2002Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
- George W. Bush, speech to UN General Assembly, Sept. 12, 2002No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
- Donald Rumsfeld, testimony to Congress, Sept. 19, 2002The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq.
- George W. Bush, Nov. 23, 2002If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, press briefing, Dec. 2, 2002We know for a fact that there are weapons there.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, press briefing, Jan. 9, 2003What we know from UN inspectors over the course of the last decade is that Saddam Hussein possesses thousands of chemical warheads, that he possesses hundreds of liters of very dangerous toxins that can kill millions of people.
- White House spokesman Dan Bartlett, CNN interview, Jan. 26, 2003Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard, and VX nerve agent…. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
- George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2003We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.
- Colin Powell, remarks to UN Security Council, Feb. 5, 2003We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons - the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.
- George W. Bush, radio address, Feb. 8, 2003If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since [UN Resolution] 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us.
- Colin Powell, interview with Radio France International, Feb. 28, 2003So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad?….I think our judgment has to be clearly not.
- Colin Powell, remarks to UN Security Council, March 7, 2003Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
- George W. Bush, address to the U.S., March 17, 2003The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.
- George W. Bush, address to U.S., March 19, 2003Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly…..All this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleisher, press briefing, March 21, 2003There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And….as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.
- Gen. Tommy Franks, press conference, March 22, 2003I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.
- Defense Policy Board member Kenneth Adelman, The Washington Post, March 23, 2003One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.
- Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clark, press briefing, March 22, 2003We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat.
- Donald Rumsfeld, ABC interview, March 30, 2003Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find - and there will be plenty.
- Robert Kagan, The Washington Post, April 9, 2003But make no mistake - as I said earlier - we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, press briefing, April 10, 2003We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.
- George W. Bush, NBC interview, April 24, 2003There are people who in large measure have information that we need….so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.
- Donald Rumsfeld, press briefing, April 25, 2003We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.
- George W. Bush, remarks to reporters, May 3, 2003I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now.
- Colin Powell, remarks to reporters, May 4, 2003I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein – because he had a weapons program.
- George W. Bush, remarks to reporters, May 6, 2003We said what we said because we meant it…..We continue to have confidence that WMD will be found.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, press briefing, May 7, 2003Before the war, there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.
- Gen. Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, interview with reporters, May 21, 2003Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.
- Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, NBC Today Show interview, May 26, 2003Do I think we're going to find something? Yeah, I kind of do, because I think there's a lot of information out there.
- Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, Defense Intelligence Agency, press conference, May 30, 2003You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons....They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two [the labs were later judged to not contain any such weapons, that they most likely were used for weather balloons]. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on, But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them.
- George W. Bush, remarks to reporters, May 31, 2003
The backpedaling begins:We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.
- Donald Rumsfeld, Fox News interview, May 4, 2003U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.
- Condoleeza Rice, Reuters interview, May 12, 2003I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago - I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago - whether they were destroyed right before the war [or] whether they're still hidden.
- Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne, press briefing, May 13, 2003I don't believe anyone that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq had nuclear weapons.
[SEE NEXT QUOTE]
- Donald Rumsfeld, Senate appropriations subcommittee on defense hearing, May 14, 2003We believe [Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.
- Dick Cheney, NBC's Meet the Press, March 16, 2003They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.
- Donald Rumsfeld, remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations, May 27, 2003It was a surprise to me then - it remains a surprise to me now - that we have not uncovered weapons, as you say, in some of the forward dispersal sites. Believe me, it's not for lack of trying. We've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there.
- Lt. Gen. James Conway, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, press interview, May 30, 2003I think some in the media have chosen to use the word 'imminent.’ Those were not words we used. We used 'grave and gathering' threat.
[SEE NEXT QUOTE]
- White House spokesman Scott McClellan, press briefing, Jan. 31, 2004This is about an imminent threat.
- White House spokesman Scott McClellan, press briefing, Feb. 10, 2003After being asked whether Hussein was an “imminent” threat: Well, of course he is
- White House spokesman Dan Bartlett, CNN interview, Jan. 26, 2003After being asked whether the U.S. went to war because officials said Hussein’s alleged weapons were a direct, imminent threat to the U.S.: Absolutely.
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, press briefing, May 7, 2003
And finally, some truth:We urge you to... enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power.
- Letter to President Clinton, signed by Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and others, Jan. 26, 1998, http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htmThe U.S. should assert its military dominance over the world to shape “the international security order in line with American principles and interests,” push for “regime change” in Iraq and China, among other countries, and “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars….While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”
- “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century,” The Project for the New American Century [members include Cheney and Rumsfeld], Sept. 2000Judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at the same time. Not only UBL [Osama bin Laden]….Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.
- Donald Rumsfeld notes, Philadelphia Daily News, Sept. 11, 2001For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, [as justification for invading Iraq] because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.
- Paul Wolfowitz, Vanity Fair interview, May 28, 2003From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go. Going after Saddam was topic "A" ten days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.
- former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, CBS’ 60 Minutes, Jan. 11, 2004I don't think they [WMD] existed. What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last  Gulf War, and I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the '90s.
- David Kay, former chief weapons inspector of the UN Special Commission on Iraq, Reuters, Jan. 24, 2004Intelligence “analysts never said there was an imminent threat" from Iraq before the war.
- CIA Director George Tenet, speech, Feb. 5, 2004
NOTE: Republicans impeached Clinton over a lie involving a private extramarital affair that he told in public, in which no one died. The Bush administration’s lies about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction have contributed to the deaths of more than 1800 U.S. soldiers and thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians.
American Troops are Dying for Political Slogans: Sounds more like Communist Russia than America, but it's True.
Troops' Gravestones Have Pentagon Slogans
Unlike earlier wars, nearly all Arlington National Cemetery gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts.
Families of fallen soldiers and Marines are being told they have the option to have the government-furnished headstones engraved with "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom" at no extra charge, whether they are buried in Arlington or elsewhere. A mock-up shown to many families includes the operation names. (Remember, they are given the option of A. "Operation Enduring Freedom," or B. "Operation Iraqi Freedom." Strangely this is presented by the media and the government as "family choice" when in fact many families may choose C. "Iraq" or D. "Nothing.")
The vast majority of military gravestones from other eras are inscribed with just the basic, required information: name, rank, military branch, date of death and, if applicable, the war and foreign country in which the person served.
Families are supposed to have final approval over what goes on the tombstones. That hasn't always happened.
Nadia and Robert McCaffrey, whose son Patrick was killed in Iraq in June 2004, said "Operation Iraqi Freedom" ended up on his government-supplied headstone in Oceanside, Calif., without family approval.
"I was a little taken aback," Robert McCaffrey said, describing his reaction when he first saw the operation name on Patrick's tombstone. "They certainly didn't ask my wife; they didn't ask me." He said Patrick's widow told him she had not been asked either."In one way, I feel it's taking advantage to a small degree," McCaffrey said. "Patrick did not want to be there, that is a definite fact."
The owner of the company that has been making gravestones for Arlington and other national cemeteries for nearly two decades is uncomfortable, too.
"It just seems a little brazen that that's put on stones," said Jeff Martell, owner of Granite Industries of Vermont. "It seems like it might be connected to politics." (Understatement of the year.)
The Department of Veterans Affairs says it isn't. "The headstone is not a PR purpose. It is to let the country know and the people that visit the cemetery know who served this country and made the country free for us," VA official Steve Muro said. (I'd love to ask old Stevo how Vietnam Veterans "made the country free for us?" What a pathetic hack. The headstone is not a PR purpose, even though we admit the names of the Operations are chosen for their PR appeal, and Steve Muro's pathetic answer to the question is a PR answer. Does he really think Americans are that stupid?)
Since 1997, the government has been paying for virtually everything inscribed on the gravestones. Before that, families had to pay the gravestone makers separately for any inscription beyond the basics.
It wasn't until the invasion of Iraq in March 2003
that the department instructed national cemetery directors and funeral homes across the country to advise families of fallen soldiers and Marines that they could have operation names like "Enduring Freedom" or "Iraqi Freedom" included on the headstones. (Why they didn't choose the real name
iberation: We'll never know.
)VA officials say neither the Pentagon nor White House exerted any pressure to get families to include the operation names. (So if VA officials say it, you know it must be true, kinda like how Scott McClellan said Karl Rove had "NOTHING" to do with the leak of Valerie Plame's name, or how Bush and Co. told us Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, Or how Bush and Co. told us that Iraq was responsible for 9/11. This stinkbomb has Karl Rove's fingerprints all over it.)
VA officials say families always had the option of including information like battle or operation names, but didn't always know it.
"It's just the right thing to do and it always has been, but it hasn't always been followed," said Dave Schettler, director of the VA's memorial programs service. (Here we go again, VA official Dave Schettler saying adding in PR developed slogans to gravestones is the "Right Thing to Do." He and Steve Muro must have gotten Rove's talking points on this one.)
VA officials say they don't know how many families of the more than 2,000 soldiers and Marines who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan have opted to include the operation names. (Another nice piece of deceptive advertising. We don't know how many? Are you fucking kidding me? You give people choice A. or choice B. and you don't know how many chose A or B? I can answer this question and I don't even work for the VA. Of the soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, since 2003, I'll bet 99% have the PR slogan on their gravestone.)
At Arlington, the nation's most prestigious national cemetery, all but a few of the 193 gravestones of Iraq and Afghanistan dead carry the operation names. War casualties are also buried in many of the 121 other national cemeteries and numerous state and private graveyards.
The interment service supervisor at Arlington, Vicki Tanner, said cemetery representatives show families a mock-up of the headstone with "Operation Iraqi Freedom" or "Operation Enduring Freedom" already included, and ask their approval. (Once again, notice the slight of hand, which choice do you want, A or B.)
Former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam and headed the Veterans Administration under President Carter, called the practice "a little bit of glorified advertising."
"I think it's a little bit of gilding the lily," Cleland said, while insisting that he's not criticizing families who want that information included.
"Most of the headstones out there at Arlington and around the nation just say World War II or Korea or Vietnam, one simple statement," he said. "It's not, shall we say, a designated theme or a designated operation by somebody in the Pentagon. It is what it is. And I think there's power in simplicity."The Pentagon in the late 1980s began selecting operation names with themes that would help generate public support for conflicts.
Gregory C. Sieminski, an Army officer writing in a 1995 Army War College publication, said the Pentagon decision to call the 1989 invasion of Panama "Operation Just Cause" initiated a trend of naming operations "with an eye toward shaping domestic and international perceptions about the activities they describe."
Mainline veterans groups are taking the change in stride. American Legion spokesman Donald Mooney, (Invoking the always successful stick your fingers in your ears and go La La La La La, method of listening)
said the organization hasn't heard any complaints from its members.
"I'm concerned that we do what the families want," said Bob Wallace, executive director of Veterans of Foreign Wars. "I don't think there's any critical motivation behind this." (Amazingly ignoring people like the McCaffrey Family. And ignoring the Family's Choice is A. or B.)
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Tue Aug 23rd, 2005 at 02:52:34 PM EDT
Bush's job approval ratings now officially suck
. As of August 22nd, 36% of the American public approves of the atrocious job Bush is doing leading this country. Fifty-eight percent rightly believe Bush is a loser. When it comes to the piss-poor economy, only one in three Americans are blinded by the right-wing media wurlitzer, while fully 62% correctly think Bush is a damn fool.
When it comes to independents, 72% think Bush is part chimpanzee, while only 18% can see nothing wrong with sending us to war based on a campaign of disinformation (collectively known as a 'pack of lies'), with no support (sorry Poland), no plan, and no exit strategy.
Even the dumbest and immoral of the dumbest and immoral (the GOP) have begun the first steps in the twelve-step kicking kool-aid program. For the first time in Bush's residency the Goopers are only 77% behind looting, thuggery, and torture.
I can't wait until it comes time for the Goopers to 'make amends'.
Bill Moyer, 73, wears a "Bullshit Protector" flap over his ear while President George W. Bush addresses the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Only One Thing Left to Conclude: The Media Want the War
By David Sirota
Back in May when ABC News openly justified the media's refusal to cover the Iraq War, I thought it couldn't get worse. Then, a few months later, I saw that it could, as the Washington Post began trying to intimidate Democratic politicians and prevent them from standing up to voice opposition to the war. I figured that was rock bottom, but in recent days, we've seen that yes, the braindead insulated elitists in the Beltway media have found an even lower road to take than even this.
In the last 48 hours, we've seen the "objective" mainstream media now openly attacking people who oppose the Iraq War. Mind you, these aren't the editorialists or the opinion pundits, these are the people who are supposed to be telling the objective truth - and instead they are literally attacking war critics.
Take MSNBC's Nora O'Donnell. In an interview with former FBI agent Coleen Rowley (now a candidate for Congress), O'Donnell claimed that Rowley "had decided to align [herself] with anti-war extremists" because Rowley visited Cindy Sheehan's supporters in Crawford. Or, take the Washington Post's Mike Allen. He said those who oppose the war are "PETA, hippies, Naderites" - again, a blatant effort to paint those who oppose the war as fringe, even though polls show a majority of Americans oppose the war.
These nauseating examples need to be put into a context. They follow the media's open pushing of the Iraq War before the invasion and refusal to question what they knew were pre-war lies. They also come as polls show Americans oppose the war, want an exit strategy, and believe the entire mess is endangering U.S. national security. And they come even as Iraq War veterans themselves say they understand that criticism of the war is not criticism of U.S. troops.
All of that should lead any honest person to conclude one thing: other than a few truth-telling reporters, the Beltway media - spurred on by the elitist, bipartisan foreign policy establishment that doesn't want to admit it was wrong - actually wants the war to continue, no matter how many American casualties mount, no matter what the ramifications for U.S. national security, no matter what the consequencs for our country over the long-term.
Think about it: The reporters who cover politics are comfortably insulated from the war - the violence and death of American soldiers to them is an interesting talking point on the Washington cocktail party circuit, nothing more. And besides, they cynically look at it all as a spectacle that makes for good TV - rather than a national security crisis, and a human disaster.
I'm not sure what's next from the media - although we've already gotten a taste. Some local television stations are actually refusing to air anti-war groups' ads, moving this media problem from one of gross dishonesty, into one of actually gagging people and infringing upon the First Amendment. Will it ever end? Stay tuned, I guess.
UTAH RAVERS TREATED LIKE TERRORISTS!
Sun Aug 21st, 2005 at 22:30:30 PDT
UTAH RAVERS TREATED LIKE TERRORISTS! EVOL INTENT'S ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT!
Originally Posted by knick evl ntnt
Last night, I was booked to play an event about an hour outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The hype behind this show was huge, they presold 700 tickets and they expected up to 3,000 people total. The promoters did an amazing job with the show.. they even made slipmats with the flyers on them to promote in local shops.
So, we got to the show around 11:15 or so and it was really cool. It was all outdoors, in a valley surrounded by huge mountains. They had an amazing light show flashing on to a mountain behind the site, the sound was booming, the crowd was about 1500 people thick and everything just seemed too good to be true really. Well...
At about 11:30 or so, I was standing behind the stage talking with someone when I noticed a helicopter pulling over one of the mountain tops. I jokingly said "Oh look, here comes big brother" to the person I was with. I wasn't far off.
The helicopter dipped lower and lower and started shining its lights on the crowd. I was kind of in awe and just sat and watched this thing circle us for a minute. As I looked back towards the crowd I saw a guy dressed in camoflauge walking by, toting an assault rifle. At this point, everyone was fully aware of what was going on . A few "troops" rushed the stage and cut the sound off and started yelling that everyone "get the fuck out of here or go to jail". This is where it got really sticky.
No one resisted. That's for sure. They had police dogs raiding the crowd of people and I saw a dog signal out a guy who obviously had some drugs on him. The soldiers attacked the guy (4 of them on 1), and kicked him a few times in the ribs and had their knees in his back and sides. As they were cuffing him, there was about 1000 kids trying to leave in the backdrop, peacefully. Next thing I know, A can of fucking TEAR GAS is launched into the crowd. People are running and screaming at this point. Girls are crying, guys are cussing... bad scene.
Now, this is all I saw with my own eyes, but I heard plenty of other accounts of the night. Now this isnt gossip I heard from some candy raver, these are instances cited straight out of the promoters mouth..
- One of the promoters friends (a very small female) was attacked by one of the police dogs. As she struggled to get away from it, the police tackled her. 3 grown men proceeded to KICK HER IN THE STOMACH.
- The police confiscated 3 video tapes in total. People were trying to document what was happening out there. The police saw one guy filming and ran after him, tackled him and his camera fell, and luckily.. his friend grabbed it and ran and got away. priceless footage. That's not all though. Out of 1,500 people, there's sure to be more footage.
- The police were rounding up the staff of the party and the main promoter went up to them with the permit for the show and said "here, I have the permit." The police then said, "no you don't" and ripped the permit out of his hand. Then, they put an assault rifle to his forehead and said "get the fuck out of here right now."
Now.. let's get the facts straight here.
This event was 100% legal. They had every permit the city told them they needed. They had a 2 MILLION DOLLAR insurance policy for the event. They had liscenced security guards at the gates confiscating any alcohol or drugs found upon entry (yes, they searched every car on the way in). Oh, I suppose I should mention that they arrested all the security guards for possession.
Oh another interesting fact.. the police did not have a warrant. The owner of the land already has a lawsuit against the city for something similar. A few months ago, she rented her land for a party and the police raided that as well. And catch this, the police forced her to LEAVE HER OWN PERSONAL PROPERTY. That's right. They didnt arrest her, but made her leave her own property!!!
Don't get it twisted, this is all going down in probably THE most conservative state in the USA. And this is scary.. a gross violation of our civil liberties. The police wanted this party shut down, so they made it happen. Even though everything about this event was legal. The promoters spent over $ 20,000 on this show and did everything they had to to make it legit, only to have it taken away from them by a group of radical neo-con's with an agenda.
This was one of the scariest things I have ever witnessed in person. I can't even begin to describe how surreal it was. Helicopters, assault rifles, tear gas, camoflauge-wearing soldiers.... why? Was that really necessary?
This needs to be big news across the USofA. At least in our music scene (edm as a whole)... this could happen to any of us at any time. When we're losing the right to gather peacefully, we're also letting the police set a standard of what we can get away with. And I think that's BULLSHIT!
The system fucked up last night... They broke up a party that was 100% legal and they physically hurt a lot of people there at the same time. The promoters already have 6 lawsuits ready to file with their lawyers and the ACLU is already involved.
I'm sure some pictures (and hopefully some video) will surface soon. I'll make sure to post them up here on 404, so you can see the Police State of America at work.
p.s. - there are more stories of police brutality that i'll post up later. gotta hit the airport soon. can't wait to get the fuck out of this shit hole state.
SHERIFF'S STATEMENT: http://www.utahcountyonline.org/News/DeptNewsDetails.asp?ID=17759&WN_System=SHERIFF
editors note: Watch the video...you'll believe you're in Afghanistan...
Government by Dirty Tricks
by Patricia Goldsmith
August 22, 2005
George W. Bush is the kind of guy you remember if you happen to cross his path -- at least his economics professor at Harvard Business School thinks so. Bush, you will recall, was at Harvard immediately after he left the Alabama National Guard -- if he was ever there to begin with. He openly boasted to Tsurumi about using pull to get into a champagne unit, and Tsurumi was shocked. Most people wouldn’t do that, especially back then.
Tsurumi has an even lower opinion of George Bush than Bush’s commander in the Texas Air National Guard, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, did:He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. . . .
Students who challenged and embarrassed Bush in class would then become the subject of a whispering campaign by him, Tsurumi said. “In class, he couldn’t challenge them. But after class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him. He would complain that someone was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So that’s how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk, that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful guy.
This past week when George W. Bush stood on the lawn of his ranch in Crawford, he declared that he supported Cindy Sheehan’s constitutional right to her strong opinion against the war in Iraq. This is America, he said. And the minute he was on the record as backing her First Amendment rights, the attack dogs went off the leash.
That’s the kind of government we have now. It’s run by people who have the mentality of 13-year-olds who repeat everything you say. Everything is carried out in the spirit of a very nasty practical joke whose very stupidity is a tremendous insult. Unfortunately, these puerile tactics do accomplish their purpose: they make us disengage.
This technique, refined, rehearsed, backed by bottomless resources, has had just that effect on the portion of the American public that might actually resist the fascist takeover we are witnessing. Many people who are on our side still cannot get past a certain level of spin without disengaging. Our retreat is a victory for Karl Rove, every single time; he just keeps racking them up.
It is this spotless record of retribution, in large part, that keeps the press in line.
And are they ever in line. Richard Cohen, a columnist with the Washington Post feels that Karl Rove’s outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame “is not a major story. It’s a crappy little crime and it may not be a crime at all.”
Jim VandeHei, a staff writer at the Post, is perhaps even more aggressively pro-administration. When asked in an online chat why reporters even bother to question Scott McClellan, given the hit to his reputation after the dramatic revelation that Karl Rove had indeed leaked Valerie Plame’s name. Said VandeHei, “Scott has a lot of credibility with reporters. He is seen as someone who might not tell you a lot, but is not going to tell you a lie.”
Could it be that VandeHei and others in the corporate media identify with McClellan’s lack of credibility?
The Post was, of course, aggressively pro-war before we went into Iraq, but they are not alone in conferring legitimacy and respect on this rogue government. The mainstream media in general rigidly enforce respect for an administration whose anti-democratic actions are beyond the pale. For example, Michael Goodwin, a columnist and former editorial page editor of the New York Daily News, a journalist who has won a Pulitzer, worked at the New York Times, and taught at Columbia University School of Journalism, has actually recently criticized the White House press corps for being too rough on Scott McClellan.The intense grilling that White House reporters inflicted on presidential spokesman Scott McClellan Monday over whether political guru Karl Rove leaked the name of a CIA operative was no ordinary give-and-take. It was a hostile hectoring that revealed much of the mainstream press for what it has become: the opposition party. . . .That the mainstream media are basically liberals with press passes has been documented by virtually every study that measures reporters’ political identification and issue positions. But bias has now stepped over into blatant opposition, a stance the media will regret. Instead of providing unvarnished facts obtained by aggressive but fair reporting, the media will be reduced to providing comfort food to ideological comrades.
It’s hard to see what ideology has to do with a story about a White House -- a Republican White House! -- that leaks information endangering our national security for political purposes during what they like to call wartime. Without offering a single specific example of an out of bounds question, a distinguished senior journalist is reminding journalists -- in particular the young reporters who are being socialized into journalistic ethics and standards -- of professional ground rules with respect to the corporate Bush administration. Dan Rather is another sort of reminder.
Rather came back into the news when Rush Limbaugh said in his broadcast of August 15:I mean Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There’s nothing about it that’s real, including the mainstream media’s glomming onto it. It’s not real. It’s nothing more than an attempt. It’s the latest effort made by the coordinated left.
Huh? What do forged documents have to do with Cindy Sheehan? And how many of you have Bill Burkett’s name at your fingertips? Apparently Rush Limbaugh’s listeners do. Burkett is the former National Guardsman and outspoken critic of Junior Bush who slipped CBS the “forged” documents concerning Bush’s extremely cavalier National Guard service. The fact that Limbaugh assumes his listeners know who Burkett is demonstrates just how crucially important Rather’s disgrace was for the right.
Bill Burkett is also the guy who was telling the world that if anyone else had done what Bush did back then, failing to take an annual physical, leaving with permission, unilaterally terminating active duty, they would’ve been shipped straight to the front lines in Vietnam. The charge of forgery disgraced Burkett and shut him up just as much as it did Rather, and discredited his other, more essential claim: that Bush is a liar and a coward. It allowed just the kind of nick-of-time change of subject that Karl Rove is famous for, while fortuitously reinforcing their bogus grievances against the liberal media and their reputation for swift, deep retribution. James Moore, co-author of Bush’s Brain:Frankly, from now on, I think in any political campaign for some time to come, when documents surface, people are immediately going to say, “Oh, it’s not one of those National Guard things, is it?” Because Bill Burkett has been discredited and his story has now been discredited. If this were a political tactic or strategy employed by Rove or by Republican operatives, it’s worked quite well.. . . people have often said of me, and any number of other people who watched Karl Rove for years, that we give him credit for more than he deserves; but I, like any other political reporter who’s been around for twenty or thirty years, knows talent when they see it. I have watched Rove closely for over twenty years, almost twenty-five years. And he’s the best there is. He’s the best there ever has been at political skullduggery . . .
I mean, just imagine if, at this moment, the President were being called something worse than chickenhawk by all those liberals in the fourth estate. Gold Star mom down there at the gate. Other moms coming. Wouldn’t want to be called a deserter.
Almost no media attention has been given to the fact that the mea-culpa commission appointed by Viacom to look into the authenticity of the disputed documents, headed by Bush family friend and former attorney general Dick Thornburgh, could not determine that they were forgeries.
Some in the media are disparaging Cindy Sheehan’s breakthrough into national consciousness as the liberal counterpart of the Terri Schiavo media circus, but the true comparison is with Valeria Plame. Both Sheehan and Plame are proving hard to spin, because they are private citizens who have been wronged but are nevertheless being subjected to the same merciless, lying smear campaigns we accept as normal when used against other politicians.
If the outing of Plame for political purposes was, as Cohen said, just a crappy little crime -- if it was a crime -- then what would you call the outing of the ONLY al Qaeda double agent we have ever had? Although it received almost no press, last year shortly after the Democratic National Convention, the Bushitters leaked the name of Naeem Noor Kahn -- on background, Condi explained; is she really that dumb?—because Bush needed to show some results on terror in order to contain Kerry’s bounce.
At the time his cover was blown, Noor Khan had been turned and was working with the Pakistani intelligence service and the CIA. He had contacts in al Qaeda cells in London. Had Noor Khan stayed in place we would have had a fighting chance to prevent the London bombings. The sheer indifference of the act, the throwing away of such a literally priceless asset, is breathtaking. Predictably, there has been almost no media coverage of this outing -- either at the time in 2004, or now, when it is again relevant because of the recent bombings in London.
Given this administration’s proven vindictiveness toward anyone who challenges its rigid agenda, it may be that we’re lucky that Cindy Sheehan has been called away. This is an opportunity for others to step into her spotlight and demand that we be seen as a movement -- quick before the media shuts the lights off.
This IS a movement.
Patricia Goldsmith is a member of Long Island Media Watch, a grassroots free media and democracy watchdog group. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tue Aug 23rd, 2005 at 05:57:24 PDT
[Several requests for a single place with links to the string quartet files: here it is.]
Sunday on Truthout I wrote about how there is a dollar glut And the American consumer is the one footing the bill. It's entirely reasonable, after all, the reason people want dollars is because American consumers buy things with dollars, and produce a revenue stream. That revenue stream has been packaged as stocks and other instruments and sold. We've been selling our children to buy oil, because they are the source of the future value that is being sold.
I got a wave of questions, the most common one can be summarized as "what can I do?" That's the beauty of it, there really isn't very much you can do. You can't take advantage of this, because you are being taken advantage of. The turkey gets invited for dinner.
If you are wealthy what you are doing is "seeking Yuan exposure". People have heard a lot about China, and have been told their jobs are going to China. This isn't the case. Your jobs are being shovelled into tax cuts. The work you were doing is going to China, but your job is a different matter.
Look at it this way, when you were first working, you had a entry level position. You basically saved time for someone more experienced, or did things that required no more than knowing which end of a broom to use. Even if you were a lawyer, you were still a janitor. When you were promoted, you stopped doing many of the simplest tasks, and did others. Some other entry level employee took over the small tasks. Did he or she "get your job?" No, you were happy to let them do the dull work, as you got to do more, and get paid more. You still had your job even if you were doing different work.
Now let's change this, imagine you are doing work for a company, have a job, and then one day they cut your hours down to the minimum, hoping you will leave, and bring on someone else at the bottom of the pay scale to do the same work. There's a case of someone having your job. Did the entry level person "take your job"? Should you blame them? No, you know who to blame, the boss is the one who took your job.
What this means is don't follow the work, which changes, but follow the money.
The way new jobs get created is through government demand. The Republicans run around saying that "government can't create wealthy". It's true, wealth is dead currency, and government's like their currency alive and kicking. And I have news for you, the odds against a poor person becoming wealthy are 50 times as big as the child of a rich person becoming wealthy. Yes, a few people do make it to the top - but the numbers are no larger now than they were in 1950 or 1970. In short, the Republicans haven't made it easier for ordinary people to get rich.
What do you call a company that takes in unskilled labor, and spits them out as fast as possible. This is the Wal*model of employment: do everything cheap, have a few positions that require skill, and drive everyone else hard. Even if it means breaking the law, because, hey, they don't have other employment choices.
This is the model that the south has run on for generations - no jobs, no choices, no labor problems! But it was Wal*Mart that could ship it all over the country. They broke a few laws doing so, discriminated against women, and looked for the unprosperous margins that needed the work. And then soaked up the remainders of downtowns and local merchants.
The key to their success, other than paying below minumum wage with below minimum wage standards and getting sweet heart land deals - was China. You see, if Wal*Mart could make something in China at 30% less, it could undercut everyone else by 10% - still enough to be a "deal" for the consumer looking for the rock bottom price - and then use that money to shave other prices on national brands to the bone. Every cheap iron you buy discounts 25 bottles of vitamins by 4 cents. They built a supply chain management system that shaved another precent or so off of costs. Between 1992 and 1999 almost half of the retail trade productivity increase in the US was Wal*Mart.
All of this did nothing for communities, because the drop in prices was exactly balanced by the drop in real estate values downtown and wages. It redistributed income a bit, but it reduced the total basic industry of the area, since the profit from the store went out of the local area. Everyone was more equal, and poorer. Think of Wal*Mart as bolshevism, only privatized.
No where did the profit go? Well, it went into make the Walton family very, very, very, very rich. It made a few other people merely very, very rich.
So your job is going into the Walton family's bank account. And until they decide they want something other than parking dollars, it isn't coming back out again. I know that James Fallows is writing on this same correlation - that bigger deficits have a correlation to work moving to China and not coming back.
So what do the Walton's want. Well first off to stay rich of course. Second they want a mean, nastier America filled with mean, nastier people - because if everyone is fighting among themselves, they won't look upwards. They want cheap oil, because if people start thinking about whether they want to drive to Wal*Mart, then Wal*Mart loses business. It also increases shipping costs, and they don't like that either. If you know the inside story of the Walton family - fighting over the money, bulldozing small companies into the ground - you'll realize that what they want is Wal*merica.
Now I'm going to say something that isn't going to sit well with a whole bunch of people who think of themselves as self-made, rugged individualists. Your job is created by the government. It is government demand that drives people to do things that aren't profitable right this very minute, and which banks on the idea of being able to recapture the profit from it with taxes. That's the advantage that Uncle Sam has - he can afford to be generous, he can afford to wait, and he can afford to let everything come out in the wash.
By having an obsession with low taxes and a poor government, you've taken away your own advantages. You are like a kid stealing dollars out of your mom's wallet to buy candy bars, only to find out that she couldn't sock away enough money to buy you the bicycle that you wanted. Only in this case, what we are talking about is your job.
You may really like getting money from the DoD rather than some other government agency, it may make you feel like a kick ass kinda guy, but I have news for you - defense is pure cost. It is, as Adam Smith pointed out "non-productive". While other things that you have been taught to call pork might seem like "wastes" of time - studying agriculture, surveying land, measuring population movements, advising small businesses - they all, in the end produce real economic growth. The whole "big military small government" mantra of Reagan was completely cock eyed - we need to have as small a military that will do the job, and have as much of an economy as possible. Musclebound America is losing the competition with China, because every dollar that goes to defense is two dollars not going to competition.
The life in Wal*merica - where you don't have a job unless Betonville says so, is a lot worse than the old liberal state where these issues were thrashed out in Washington DC. You see, you have a constitutional right to send an SOB to Congress, who will claw for money to go back to your state and your district. You don't have a constitutional right to a seat on the Wal*Mart board of directors.
So, you want your job back? It isn't in China. If America were to pass laws against jobs moving to China, then some company from some other country would make the same thing in China, and sell it to the US. In order to "stop jobs moving to China", you'd either have to build a wall around China - which is what stalinism did - or you would have to build a wall around the US.
Problem with that is, how would the energy - the oil - get in? The US isn't self-sufficient, and even it it were we'd have to go through alot more trouble to make here what others can make there.
So this is why I said at the top that the beauty of the whole dollar glut is that individual Americans can't really take advantage of it. Because before individual Americans realized that while 90% of ordinary Americans might be worse off, if they pushed and scraped hard, they might be in the 10% who were better off. And over and over again Americans voted for this, thinking that they would "win". Americans have been voting for a meaner America for 25 years, and they stand on the other side of that very unhappy. They live primarily the way they did 25 years ago, except more of them can visit aunt Edna by flying Southwest, Wal*Mart with wings, and they can see the sweat on the linebacker in HDTV.
Because there isn't an easy way for ordinary Americans to play this economic change, it is going to be one of a series of changes that will alter the political landscape. In 1984, it was the last election that wasn't "regional" - America made choices that were the same all over the country. Since then every eleciton has been increasingly regionalized, as people in various regions votes what was best for their region, regardless of the consequences. That was true of both parties, but the leaderhip of the Republican Party were much better at making sure their interests were served, rather than served up.
Now however, the change in world economy alters everything for everyone. China isn't just competing with manufacturing a few categories of goods. They can compete with making almost everything, including agricultural goods. That means that every American everywhere has a reason to vote not to live in Wal*merica.
Michelle Malkin: Uncle Tom's Internment
Hey kids! It turns out Michelle once believed that internment of Japanese American's during WWII was wrong. In 2000 she wrote a column in which she stated "There is NO DENYING that what happened to Japanese-American internees was abhorrent and wrong." Then in 2004 she wrote a book called "In defense of Internment" where she denied that what happened to Japanese-American internees was abhorrent and wrong. Hmmmm I smell a flip flopper. Just imagine if Cindy Sheehan or John Kerry had done such an abrupt about face.
Or maybe she just realized she could make money off of stupid people and wrote a book because she knows for a fact that racism sells. For specific examples see, The Bell Curve, Rush Limbaugh, George W. Bush, Pat Robertson. Or maybe she is just so unprincipled that she realized to get notoriety she would have to sell out her heritage and kow-tow to White Male Supremacy in order to stand out from Liberal Asian Americans. Maybe she's laughing all the way to the bank. I really have no idea how she sleeps at night.
Dear Tucker Carlson: Fuck You.... Hugs & Kisses - The Punisher
Did you know that Tucker Carlson is a big fan of state-sponsored terrorism? Why yes he is! Greenpeace had to make a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission last week after Tucker gave props to the French agents who blew up the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in 1985.
On his show "The Situation," Bowtie Boy told his audience that he was "objectively pro-France. You know, France blew up the Rainbow Warrior, that Greenpeace ship in Auckland Harbor in the '80s. ... It won me over." Shortly afterwards he added that the destruction of the ship - which resulted in the death of a Greenpeace photographer - was "a bold and good thing to do."
However, since this happened on "The Situation" the question most worth asking is probably, "If Tucker Carlson endorses terrorism on a show that nobody watches, did it really happen?"
Editor's Note: From Democratic Underground's Top Ten Conservative Idiots
Keith Olbermann tears Flush Turdball a new one.
Limbaugh runs away from Limbaugh (Keith Olbermann)
NEW YORK - There is nothing wrong with an unpopular opinion.
Nor is there anything wrong with a subversive one, nor a crazy one. This country was founded on opinions that were deemed by the powers-that-were to be unpopular, subversive, and crazy. Dissent - even when that dissent strays from logic or humanity - is our life’s blood. But if you have one of those opinions, and you express it in public, honesty and self-respect require you to own up to it.
Unless you’re Rush Limbaugh.
On his daily radio soap opera, on August 15, Limbaugh said “Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents, there's nothing about it that's real…” The complete transcript of the 860 words that surround those quotes can be found at the bottom of this entry.
Yet, apparently there was something so unpopular, so subversive, and so crazy about those remarks that he has found it necessary to deny he said them - even when there are recordings and transcripts of them - and to brand those who’ve claimed he said them as crackpots and distorters. More over, that amazing temple to himself, his website, has been scrubbed clean of all evidence of these particular remarks, and to ‘prove’ his claim that he never made the remarks in question on August 15, he has misdirected visitors to that site to transcripts and recordings of remarks he made on August 12.
Limbaugh is terrified. And he has reason to be.
Understand this about Limbaugh. He doesn’t believe half the junk he spouts. I’ve met him, and had pleasant enough conversations with him, twice - at the 1980 World Series when he was still a mid-level baseball flunky with a funny name, and once in the mid ‘90s at ESPN when he was just beginning his campaign to get a toehold there. He is a quiet, almost colorless man who, if he could be guaranteed similar success in sportscasting, would sell out the sheep who follow his every word - and would do it before close of business today.
But with that ESPN bid having gone up in flames just under two years ago, and sports forever closed off to him, he’s gotten into what the novelist Robert Graves called a “Golden Predicament” - overwhelming success in a field he really had no intention of pursuing - and he has to keep churning this stuff out every day. And when you’re just free associating to kill time and keep the ditto-heads happy, you sometimes drive right off the end of the pier.
Like on August 15th.
Since we declared Limbaugh “The Worst Person In The World” two nights later for the remarks about Sheehan, he has had the transcript of his pier-drive expunged (even though he initially thought so much of it, that it was posted as a “featured quote” for paying subscribers to his website). Simultaneously, the hapless Brent Bozell, who runs that scam called The Media Research Center, declared that I was guilty of “distortion” in quoting the Sheehan remarks.
Well, as you’ll see below, the only distortion here, is that which lingers in Limbaugh’s ears. His remarks about Sheehan were so embraced by at least one of his fans that they were preserved on another website, and we can present them in full here. You will notice that nothing has been taken out of context, nothing in the minutes before nor the minutes afterwards mitigates against the utter callousness and infamy of his comments about Sheehan.
A reminder that that’s Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Mother, who when I asked her bluntly if President Bush wasn’t serving her purposes more by not seeing her, was honest enough to answer “yes” without hesitation. And it’s Rush Limbaugh, who so believes in his case against her that he’s too afraid to admit he said this (and who, by the way, has since said of her that, "I'm weary of even having to express sympathy... we all lose things” - as if her son had been a misplaced, er, prescription).
The long preface concluded, here is what Rush Limbaugh said, crazily weaving in and out of the topic of Cindy Sheehan, in his broadcast of August 15. He even wanders back into football, and the very topic that proved his end at ESPN, Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles (honestly, if he ever wanted to be analyzed, he would be such a juicy case that psychiatrists would bid for Limbaugh’s rights). So, as you get deeper into the thicket, you can find the relevant portions about Sheehan, I’ve italicized them. Limbaugh had wandered into this via the news of the withdrawal of the anti-John Roberts advertisement from NARAL:
Editor's Note: If you really want to waste your time reading Turdball's Crap, the entire rant is posted on Kieth Olbermann's blog, bloggerman. We here at the Obfuscation Report almost puked reading Turdballs moronic ramblings, so we decided not to desecrate our beloved blog with his shitballs.... But Keith Olbermann Rocks!
Republican "christian" Crusader: Pat Robertson calls for Assassination of Venezuelan President.
Further proof that the Religious Nuts have really gone off the deep end. While the Republican Party continues to feed and encourage the American Taliban, it grows stronger and bolder every day.
Apparently Pat Robertson has decided that God's Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" doesn't apply to him or the U.S. Government if that person disagrees with your politics. I suppose we shouldn't be so surprised because Robertson has been getting more and more incendiary with each passing year.
My point is that this man isn't a Christian. He's a false prophet and a deciever. Why do Republicans who claim to be Christian, continue to financially support a so-called Christian who calls for political assassinations?
Pat Robertson now believes he is God, Pat Robertson now decides who lives or dies, who is moral and who is corrupt, who is just and who perpetrates injustice. And all this time I thought that Judgment was left to God. I guess when you believe you are HIM, like Pat, you can make those decisions without God.
Bush: US must finish job in Iraq to honor the fallen By Caren Bohan
SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - President George W. Bush speaking amid protests and growing public unease over Iraq, said on Monday America owed it to the more than 1,800 U.S. soldiers killed there to complete the mission, which he linked with the campaign against terrorism.
He also voiced confidence in Iraqi efforts to draft a new constitution, saying it would be a landmark event for the country and the region. He was speaking shortly before news emerged that Iraq's parliament had received a draft of the constitution but no vote was expected for a few days.
In a speech to a convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Bush again linked the Iraq war with efforts to protect the United States from another September 11-style attack -- a link critics say is an attempt to shift the justification for war.
"Iraq is a central front in the war on terror," Bush said. "It is a vital part of our mission."
Bush has spent August at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, and the standing ovations he received from the veterans group contrasted with anti-war protests outside the ranch begun by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq.
Sheehan, who met with Bush in 2004, has demanded a second meeting so that she can question him about his reasons for going to war in Iraq and urge a pullout of U.S. troops. The White House has refused.
Sheehan's protest has become a magnet for anti-war feeling that is reflected in opinion polls showing a majority of Americans worried about the way the war is going, and that has gained some traction among mainstream politicians.
Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican and a veteran of the Vietnam War, on Sunday likened the Iraq war to Vietnam, while Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin called for a December 2006 deadline to withdraw from Iraq.
GRIEF OF FAMILIES
In his speech, Bush, who rarely gives specific numbers for the death toll, said a total of 1,864 U.S. soldiers had been killed in Iraq and 223 in Afghanistan and acknowledged the grief faced by their families.
But he added, "We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for. We'll honor their sacrifice by staying on the offensive against the terrorists and building strong allies in Afghanistan and Iraq that will help us win and fight ... the war on terror."
Monday's appearance in Salt Lake City was Bush's first public appearance in nine days. He has left his Texas ranch for a three-day western swing which will include a speech on the U.S.-declared war against terrorism in Idaho on Wednesday.
In anticipation of his Salt Lake City speech, smaller groups of protesters than those near the ranch had congregated near the veterans' event. Among them was Celeste Zappala, 58, the mother of a National Guardsman killed in Iraq in 2004 while assisting with the hunt for weapons of mass destruction.
"We all know that noble cause for war that Bush talks about has changed several times," said Zappala, who is part of Sheehan's group, Gold Star Families for Peace.
Salt Lake City's Democratic Mayor Rocky Anderson had also called for protests but was booed when he addressed the veterans convention, which was generally supportive of Bush.
Vietnam veteran Gary Knudson, 64, of South Dakota, said he disagreed with the boos but took issue with Sheehan's stance of saying she supports the troops but is against the war.
"You can't have it both ways," he said. "I think she's misguided."
Bush went to war in Iraq in 2003 warning of a threat from stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. None were found.
Critics accuse Bush of shifting his argument for war when he invokes the issue of terrorism to argue for staying the course in Iraq. They point out that a commission investigating the hijacked plane attacks of September 11, 2001, found no operational ties between those attacks and deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's government.
The White House says the presence in Iraq of al Qaeda-linked insurgents shows the link with terrorism, although the U.S. administration concedes many of those militants have come into Iraq from other countries since the U.S. invasion.
Monday, August 22, 2005
This Just In: Service in the U.S. Military is better training for killing than Grand Theft Auto! Be sure to sign up you kids!
In Las Vegas, Nevada, Matthew Sepi, recently home from a tour of duty in Iraq, shot and killed a woman in Las Vegas.
In Lawrence, Massachusetts, Daniel Cotnoir, former “Marine of the Year,”and recently home from Iraq decided to shoot a shotgun into a crowd. Just before 3 a.m. on August 13, Cotnoir pointed a 12-gauge shotgun out his second-floor window and fired a single shot into a crowd of noisy revelers leaving a nightclub and a nearby restaurant.
Eric Rudolph, another former member of the U.S. Military. Last month, Rudolph was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in connection with the January 1998 bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, of the New Woman All Women clinic, which performs abortions. The blast killed off-duty police officer Robert Sanderson and maimed a nurse, Emily Lyons. Rudolph also set off a bomb in a crowded downtown park during a late-night concert during the 1996 Olympics. Rudolph has also admitted bombing Northside Family Planning Services, a clinic in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs in January 1997; and, a month later, a gay nightclub, the Otherside Lounge, in Atlanta. Eleven people were wounded in those attacks.
Timothy McVeigh, who admitted setting the bomb that killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City federal building is also a former member of the U.S. Military. He attended the local public high school and after graduating joined the U.S. Army. McVeigh was a decorated veteran of the United States Army, having served in the Gulf War, where he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal.
Terry Nichols, Timothy McVeigh’s accomplice is another former member of the U.S. military.
John Allen Muhammad, the D.C. sniper, is a U.S. Army veteran of the Gulf War. In the Army, Muhammad was trained as a mechanic, truck driver and specialist metalworker. He qualified as an expert with the M-16, the Army's standard infantry rifle. This rating is the Army's highest of three levels of marksmanship for a typical soldier. To receive an expert badge for the M-16, Muhammad would have had to hit 36 out of 40 targets, ranging from 50 to 300 meters during his yearly qualification on the M-16. The Bushmaster, allegedly used to commit the shootings, is a civilian version of the M-16. John Allen Muhammed then used his military training to kill -10 and wound three — all were hit by a single .223-caliber shot.
Makes you really glad that George W. Bush cut funding for Veterans mental health care right?