"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt
The Future of Freedom Foundation has compiled a timeline that traces Saddam's weapon systems back to the Reagan administration. The exhaustive report includes most of the key players of our current administration, most notably Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz. Coincidence? Here's a sample...
[The] Iraqi bioweapons program that President Bush wants to eradicate got its start with help from Uncle Sam two decades ago, according to government records that are getting new scrutiny in light of the discussion of war against Iraq.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent samples directly to several Iraqi sites that U.N. weapons inspectors determined were part of Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program, CDC and congressional records from the early 1990s show. Iraq had ordered the samples, saying it needed them for legitimate medical research.
The CDC and a biological-sample company, the American Type Culture Collection, sent strains of all the germs Iraq used to make weapons, including anthrax, the bacteria that make botulinum toxin, and the germs that cause gas gangrene, the records show. Iraq also got samples of other deadly pathogens, including West Nile virus.
The transfers came in the 1980s, when the United States backed Iraq in its war against Iran.
Looks like Abu Gharib will be welcoming more guest for the summer, via Ireland Online...
Iraqi and US officials say a high profile counter-insurgency offensive in Baghdad, dubbed Operation Lightning, may have impacted on the number of attacks in the capital, where multiple suicide car bombings and drive-by shootings have become a sinister part of daily life.
The operation, which began May 22, is the biggest Iraqi-led offensive since Saddam's ousting two years ago. Before it began, authorities controlled only eight of Baghdad's 23 entrances. Now all are under government control.
At least 887 arrests have been made during the operation, according to government figures, and 608 mobile and 194 permanent checkpoints have been established around Baghdad. Also, 38 weapon stores were raided.
With our stellar intelligence these days you really have to wonder how these people were marked as a threat; seems the definition is all encompassing these days. Can you imagine the outrage Americans would feel about an occupying nation rounding up and detaining 900 of their fellow country men for what was perceived as a threat by its occupiers?
The Downing Street Minutes finally received some air time on Meet the Press yesterday. Note the dialogue of Republican Party Chairman - Ken Mehlman as he desperately attempts to discredit the documents:
Tim, that report has been discredited by everyone else who's looked at it since then. Whether it's the 911 Commission, whether it's the Senate, whoever's looked at this has said there was no effort to change the intelligence at all. The fact is that the intelligence of this country, the intelligence of Britain, the intelligence of the United Nations, the intelligence all over the world said that there were weapons of mass destruction present in Iraq. We knew that Saddam Hussein had used weapons of mass destruction before. We still know that there was a weapons of mass destruction program. He was evading the sanctions, and he had plans to reconstitute the program. We also knew that Saddam Hussein had uniquely invaded his neighbors, had uniquely supported terrorists and we all know today that we are safer because he's been removed from power.
Will Russert call him out on his blatant lies and half truths? No, not this time, just the usual diplomatic response:
I don't believe that the authenticity of this report has been discredited. Let me go back to another sentence from that report. "There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action." Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, now head of the World Bank, said the other day, "The war never ended," and the concern many Americans have, Mr. Mehlman, is that we now have 1,669 Americans who've died bravely in Iraq, 1,532 of those after the president said major combat operations were over. We have 12,762 Americans wounded or injured, 12,000 of those after the president said major combat was over. This memo seems to suggest that the head of British Intelligence told Prime Minister Blair that there was little discussion in Washington to plan for the aftermath of military action.
This verbal ping-ponging of facts is simply not enough to drive the message home to the masses that are asleep at the wheel. In my mind thieves and liars are just that and we need to start calling them out on it, bluntly... on national air time.
Tim, lets just call a fucking spade a spade; Mehlman is a fucking liar. People are dying and nations are crumbling. Enough with the semantics and euphemisms, brute verbal force is necessary to cure our ailing world of the deception that plagues the global stage. Think back Mr. Russert, isn't that why you became a journalist in the first place; some noble intent to expose the lies and corruption, in the hope of doing your part to make the world a better place? Or, instead, did you aspire to be a mouth piece for an administration that knowingly sends our young off to death for corporate profits, for your own slice of the pie? If it is not the latter, be brave, be strong, you can do it; pull your mouth away from the teat of the fascist thugs and be a man. We could use your help.
While Bush and Vice President Cheney offer optimistic assessments of the situation, a fresh wave of car bombings and other attacks killed 80 U.S. soldiers and more than 700 Iraqis last month alone and prompted Iraqi leaders to appeal to the administration for greater help. Privately, some administration officials have concluded the violence will not subside through this year.
The disconnect between Rose Garden optimism and Baghdad pessimism, according to government officials and independent analysts, stems not only from Bush's focus on tentative signs of long-term progress but also from the shrinking range of policy options available to him if he is wrong. Having set out on a course of trying to stand up a new constitutional, elected government with the security firepower to defend itself, Bush finds himself locked into a strategy that, even if it proves successful, foreshadows many more deadly months to come first, analysts said.
After two years of binge drinking on power, greed, and drums of Iraqi oil, costing thousands of lives, is Washington awakening from its drunken stupor?
With Fox News viewership down 58% since last November, are they contemplating a shift closer to the center? Keep an open mind and check out this screenshot from the video section under politics on their home page:
I am aware as any of Fox News' infotainment brand of conservatism; their ability of "catapulting the propaganda" to spin the lies and talking points of the Bush administration is disturbing. While all this is obvious to any discerning viewer, they are after all a business and their numbers are down. Are they recognizing a shift in the attitude of the American people?
Author and Peak Oil advocate James Howard Kunstler discusses what is left of our economy. With just a little bit of salient analysis the driving force of our current economy is revealed to be nothing more than suburban sprawl...
"The dirty little secret of the American economy is the continual project of suburban sprawl and the furnishing of it with extra lanes of highway, big-box stores and ever more accessories for daily living," he said.
"It became our economy," he said, "after manufacturing dried up. If you subtract sprawl-bkuilding and associated activities like real estate, mortgage lending, home building, there’s not much left."
The Beaver County Times puts Tom DeLay's jet-set adventures and unscrupulous accounting practices in perspective...
If you think the game of gotcha going on in the nation's Capitol is about the travels and travails of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and other members of the House of Representatives, you're missing the point. It's not about questionable travel arrangements and whether they violated the House's generous and forgiving rules. Instead, it's about the massive amount of influence special interests have over Congress and how it is corrupting what little is left of our democratic process.
Newsweek speculates how Watergate would be handled in today's media paradigm...
President Nixon left office in 2005 having proved me and the other "nattering nabobs of negativism" wrong. We thought that his administration was sleazy but we were never able to nail him. Those of us who hoped it would end differently knew we were in trouble when former Nixon media adviser Roger Ailes banned the word "Watergate" from Fox News's coverage and went with the logo "Assault on the Presidency" instead. By that time, the American people figured both sides were just spinning, and a tie always goes to the incumbent.
The big reason Nixon didn't have to resign: the rise of Conservative Media, which features Fox, talk radio and a bunch of noisy partisans on the Internet and best-sellers list who almost never admit their side does anything wrong. (Liberals, by contrast, are always eating their own.) This solidarity came in handy when Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post began snooping around after the break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Once they scored a few scoops with the help of anonymous sources, Sean Hannity et al. went on a rampage. When the young reporters printed an article about grand jury testimony that turned out to be wrong, Drudge and the bloggers had a field day, even though none of them had lifted a finger to try to advance the story. After that, the Silent Majority wouldn't shut up.
Would it not have been apropos to compare and contrast t0 the Downing Street Minutes?
How soon we forget about the devastating Chernobyl disaster and the long term effects of radioactive material being released. Are we really this desperate for a natural gas supply?
DENVER - A company says it plans to drill for natural gas near the site of an underground nuclear blast nearly four decades ago, despite opposition from local residents and the concerns of Energy Department officials. Presco Inc., based in the Houston area, had received permission from county commissioners to drill one well inside a state-imposed buffer zone around Project Rulison in western Colorado.
Denver's popularity waned as he turned his focus more toward humanitarian work, focusing primarily on ecological concerns and space exploration; he also toured Communist-led Russia and China, and in 1987 performed in Chernobyl in the wake of that city's nuclear disaster.
The irony is staggering, poor John must be rolling in his grave right now.
This doesn't quite compare to the masses that took to the streets in the Vietnam era but its a start.
TAMPA - Just a stone's throw away from a life-size gorilla dressed in military fatigues was another oddity along Kennedy Boulevard Thursday - people protesting about a memo. "Did you get the memo?" read the fliers."Air the truth!" said a poster held by retired Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph F. Bohren, outside the WTVT-Ch. 13 studios with about 10 others.
We cannot forget "the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Thank you for your patriotism Joe Bohren; you're a real hero.
Congressional District 22, with Clear Lake, Pearland, League City, Sugar Land, parts of Galveston County and many other communities, is Tom Delay's GROUND ZERO. In a democracy, the people, not corrupt businesses and money-hungry politicians, will make or break office holders. Tom Delay knows now that the voters in this area, citizens that Delay has ignored for years, will make this his GROUND ZERO in 2006. Then, Tom Delay will meet his makers, the angry voters of Congressional District 22! Perhaps now, thanks to the public's growing knowledge of Delay's many ethical, no doubt illegal, actions, his party will make him step down!
An Austrian artist has staged an anti-war protest by parking three cars with controversial slogans in Vienna. Poeter Siegl parked a red Ford Mustang for George W Bush, a white Rolls Royce for Tony Blair and a hearse for Saddam Hussein. - The cars are offered as "head money" for anyone who "brings the balls" of the politicians to Vienna.
LONDON, June 3 (IranMania) - Iran hit out at US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Friday for comments on its participation in an Iraq reconstruction conference and "interference" in elections, the student news agency ISNA reported."Ms Rice is infuriated by our foreign minister's successful trip to Iraq and feels belittled when comparing that to her own trip," said foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi, referring to a landmark visit last month by Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi to Iraq.
Asked if Iran would be invited to the conference to be held in Brussels on June 22, Rice had launched into a litany of criticism of Iran."We have our differences with Iran. We believe very strongly that Iran is a state that is out of step with what is going on in the region," the chief US diplomat said.
Now that John Conyers and the blogger community has built up some momentum concerning the Downing Street Minutes, Kerry decides to step up to the plate. Sorry Mr. Kerry but, I believe you had your chance to be the hero for rescuing Democracy from the fascist grip about 7 months ago in Ohio. How soon you forget the broken promises. Do you remember something about "every last vote"; what happened? Step aside Big John, I believe we have our hero - his name is John Conyers.
"When I go back (to Washington) on Monday, I am going to raise the issue," he said of the memo, which has not been disputed by either the British or American governments. "I think it's a stunning, unbelievably simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly important document that raises stunning issues here at home. And it's amazing to me the way it escaped major media discussion. It's not being missed on the Internet, I can tell you that."
If you have not stumbled upon his column yet, you are in for a tasty treat; here's a sample...
Know what great leaders, great nations, do at times of war and fracture and massive bludgeoning debt? All of the above, all the time, with great intelligence and humility and grace and awareness and shared humanity. Or they die.
But not BushCo. This is the hilarious thing. This is the appalling thing, still. How can this man remain so blindly, staggeringly resolute? How can he be so appallingly ignorant of fact, of truth, of evidence, of deep thought? In short, what the hell is wrong with George W. Bush?
Here it is, another bumbling, barely articulate press conference by Dubya, one of the few he ever gives because he clearly hates the things and is deeply troubled by them, hates reporters who ask complicated questions and hates people who dare doubt his simple mind-set, his effectiveness, his policies, his lopsided myopic one-way black/white good/evil worldview.
I was listening to Nancy Skinner on the way to work today. A caller called in talking about how the Bush administration went to war in Iraq for oil and profit, how we should follow the money to find the truth, she spoke of Halliburton and their war profiteering, and mentioned how the Bush administration more than likely were in on 9-11 to some degree or at the very least aware and let it happen. So Nancy responds to the caller by saying something to the effect of how the Bush administration didn't go to war for profit, but they thought it was necessary for national security, and not to fall in the trap of crazy conspiracies theories. WTF - this is progressive talk radio? The attitude of some of our "progressive" radio host really concerns me. Are they just a distraction to keep us on the "right" liberal message?
Thirty years later the media's spin on the Watergate informant Mark Felt, is to demonize him for exposing lies and corruption in the then current administration. Could this be a warning to those exposing the lies and corruption of the Bush administration? Is the martyrdom that is being placed on Nixon an attempt to soften the possible impeachment of the current resident of the White House?
WASHINGTON Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, a onetime speechwriter for President Nixon, provided the expected thunder on the right Wednesday, characterizing W. Mark Felt as "dishonorable" for leaking information about Watergate to the Washington Post.
Saying "Deep Throat" is "not a hero he's a snake," Buchanan compared Felt to Linda Tripp, who helped precipitate President Clinton's impeachment by leaking tapes of her conversations with Monica S. Lewinsky. Buchanan criticized the media for not making Tripp a heroine as well.
"The only reason Mark Felt is a hero now [is because he helped] destroy Richard Milhous Nixon," Buchanan told WABC Radio.
Others from the Watergate era weighed in with similar criticisms. G. Gordon Liddy, the Nixon operative who led the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters that began the scandal, said Felt was obliged as a law enforcement officer to turn over evidence of wrongdoing to authorities, not to the media.
WASHINGTON: US defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has warned Iraq's neighbours that any country that takes in Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will be viewed by the US as associating with al-Qai'da.
Zarqawi, the most wanted man in Iraq, is believed to have been wounded while fighting near the Syrian border.
"The current assumption is that he's in Iraq," Mr Rumsfeld said. "Were a neighbouring country to take him in and provide medical assistance or haven for him, they obviously would be associating themselves with a major linkage in the al-Qa'ida network, and a person who has a great deal of blood on his hands."
At the press conference earlier this week George stated that he was working towards a diplomatic solution to resolve the tension between the U.S. and North Korea. Based on this exchange of words I'm guessing it's not time to invite Kim Jong over to the Crawford ranch for a tour of the gardens just yet...
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea called Vice President Dick Cheney a "bloodthirsty beast" on Thursday, in response to Cheney saying the North's leader Kim Jong-il was irresponsible and ran a police state.
"Cheney is hated as the most cruel monster and bloodthirsty beast, as he has drenched various parts of the world in blood," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency.
Washington and North Korea have been in the midst of a war of words in recent weeks, with President Bush calling the North's Kim a tyrant. Pyongyang has shot back calling Bush a half-baked man and a Philistine.
Meanwhile back in Crawford...
George: Laura he called me a Philistine. What does that mean?
Laura: George just remember, sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you.
Is this what we have come to; our world leaders are resorting to school yard tactics of eight year old boys? Expect shoving matches to follow. Can we just expel them both and get on with preparing for the coming energy crisis?
Even hardline conservatives are questioning the empirical ambitions of the Bush administration...
Over the last two years, I have found increasing numbers of conservatives deeply concerned by U.S. military intervention in Iraq. They voted for and admire President Bush, but were profoundly disturbed by his second inaugural address pledging to spread democracy worldwide. Now, there is an important new book that eloquently puts in perspective their alarms about America's course in the post-Cold War world.
Sands of Empire by Robert W. Merry, a respected Washington journalist, warns of the United States as the ''Crusader State'' transporting American exceptionalism around the world. The book, to be published this month, contends this crusade threatens ''the American Republic, the greatest civic achievement in the history of mankind.''
Students at Aptos High School are making their voices heard about their displeasure with the war in Iraq.
The school’s Peace Club is joining with other peace and justice groups in Santa Cruz to present "Rock for Peace," a student-produced benefit concert at the Vets Hall in Santa Cruz to make young people aware of how they can get involved in social issues.
Teens are concerned about military recruitment on campus and the possibility of a military draft, Bare said.
The event will be great for making connections with others who have similar viewpoints on peace, war and the community in general, Van Stolk said.
The tide certainly seems to be turning, make note of the event's sponsors:
Harbor High, Soquel High, St. Francis High, Santa Cruz High and Renaissance High schools are helping produce the event, sponsored by the Bill Motto Post 5888 VFW.
Check out John Conyers' report: What Went Wrong in Ohio. One of the few members of Congress who was brave enough to expose the Bush administration's 2004 win for exactly what it was; a major fraud on our country and people, and a warning of just how fragile our democracy is.
In 2001, in the opening months of his ex-presidency, Bill Clinton confided to an aide that he had decided on his dream job for the next chapter of his life: secretary general of the United Nations. The goal may not be realistic, he acknowledged, but he then went on to analyze all the factors in minute detail, as though he were preparing for a political campaign: whether a U.S. president would ever see fit to back him, for one, and what it would take to persuade other nations to bend the long-standing tradition that the top job does not go to someone from a country with permanent status on the U.N. Security Council.
His ambition, as the aide described it, was both breathtaking and entirely logical for a natural-born politician who had reached the top of the American political ladder: "president of the world."
Four years later, say several associates who have spoken with him in recent months, Clinton regards his dream of leading the United Nations as something more than a flight of fancy and something less than a serious prospect. Already, however, he has succeeded to a surprising degree in fashioning his ex-presidency to make himself a dominant player on the world stage.
What is the high pitched whining sound I hear? Oh, that must be the collective conscious of the wingnut hive getting ready to explode.
The irony of Fox New's coverage of the Downing Street Minutes is staggering. They ignore the story for two weeks then when they finally cover it, they report the lack of coverage.
WASHINGTON - A British government memo that critics say proves the Bush administration manipulated evidence about weapons of mass destruction in order to carry out a plan to overthrow Saddam Hussein has received little attention in the mainstream media, frustrating opponents of the Iraq war.
The "Downing Street Memo" first published by The Sunday Times of London on May 1 summarizes a high-level meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior national security team on July 23, 2002, months before the March 2003 coalition invasion of Iraq.
While pondering the charade of the media's monopoly on the perception of reality, and its subsequent coverage of such reality, I am reminded of the famous M.C. Escher print.