Saturday, June 25, 2005
Last Throes of the Week...
The BBC reports:
...and more, via Bangladesh's The New Nation:
Young war mongers show their support...
Young Republicans gathered here for their party's national convention are united in applauding the war in Iraq, supporting the U.S. troops there and calling the U.S. mission a noble cause. But there's no such unanimity when they're asked a more personal question: Would you be willing to put on the uniform and go to fight in Iraq?The photograph above is not really from Young Republican Convention, but is it really that much of a stretch? Compare and contrast... the similarities are frightening.
Why Does IBM Hate America?
More displaced jobs due to outsourcing at IBM:
The US-based IBM, the world's largest IT company, plans to increase its payroll in India this year by more than 14,000 workers....and Pfizer as well:
Pfizer Inc. will give two companies in India some of the information technology work for its research and development teams as part of its $4 billion cost-savings plan, according to a company memo circulated this week. The memo, titled "Evaluating Options: Moving IT Services to Low Cost Locations," says the outsourcing would be done at a "carefully planned pace."
Cheney attempts to defend his claims of the Iraqi insurgency being in its "last throes"...
"If you look at what the dictionary says about throes, it can still be a violent period, the throes of a revolution," he said. "The point would be that the conflict will be intense, but it's intense because the terrorists understand that if we're successful at accomplishing our objective - standing up a democracy in Iraq - that that's a huge defeat for them.Meanwhile over in Afghanistan...
Afghan forces backed by US troops are in the third day of a massive battle with rebels in Southern Afghanistan. The Afghan defense ministry says more than a hundred rebel insurgents have been killed in the fighting, in one of the deadliest battles since the fall of the Taliban more than three years ago. At least 12 Afghan soldiers have also been killed in the gunfight, and five US soldiers reportedly have been wounded.Success in Afghanistan... what does the dictionary say about success Dick?
Friday, June 24, 2005
Kerry Steps Up on Downing Street
The following is a leaked letter to the Senate Committee on Intelligence, signed by Senators: Kerry, Johnson, Corzine, Reed, Lautenberg, Boxer, Kennedy, Harkin, Bingaman, and Durbin; via Raw Story:
June 22, 2005
The Honorable Pat Roberts, Chairman
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller, IV, Vice Chairman United States Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Roberts and Senator Rockefeller:
We write concerning your committee's vital examination of pre-war Iraq intelligence failures. In particular, we urge you to accelerate to completion the work of the so-called "Phase II" effort to assess how policy makers used the intelligence they received.
Last year your committee completed the first phase of a two-phased effort to review the pre-war intelligence on Iraq. Phase I-begun in the summer of 2003 and completed in the summer of 2004-examined the performance of the American intelligence community in the collection and analysis of intelligence prior to the war, including an examination of the quantity and quality of U.S. intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the intelligence on ties between Saddam Hussein's regime and terrorist groups. At the conclusion of Phase I, your committee issued an unclassified report that made an important contribution to the American public's understanding of the issues involved.
In February 2004-well over a year ago-the committee agreed to expand the scope of inquiry to include a second phase which would examine the use of intelligence by policy makers, the comparison of pre-war assessments and post-war findings, the activities of the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG) and the Office of Special Plans in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and the use of information provided by the Iraqi National Congress.
The committee's efforts have taken on renewed urgency given recent revelations in the United Kingdom regarding the apparent minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior national security advisors. These minutes-known as the "Downing Street Memo"-raise troubling questions about the use of intelligence by American policy makers-questions that your committee is uniquely situated to address.
The memo indicates that in the summer of 2002, at a time the White House was promising Congress and the American people that war would be their last resort, that they believed military action against Iraq was "inevitable."
The minutes reveal that President "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
The American people took the warnings that the administration sounded seriously-warnings that were echoed at the United Nations and here in Congress as we voted to give the president the authority to go to war. For the sake of our democracy and our future national security, the public must know whether such warnings were driven by facts and responsible intelligence, or by political calculation.
These issues need to be addressed with urgency. This remains a dangerous world, with American forces engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other challenges looming in Iran and North Korea. In this environment, the American public should have the highest confidence that policy makers are using intelligence objectively-never manipulating it to justify war, but always to protect the United States. The contents of the Downing Street Memo undermine this faith and only rigorous Congressional oversight can determine the truth.
We urge the committee to complete the second phase of its investigation with the maximum speed and transparency possible, producing, as it did at the end of Phase I, a comprehensive, unclassified report from which the American people can benefit directly.
Co-signers: Sens. Tim Johnson, Jon Corzine, Jack Reed, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Boxer, Edward Kennedy, Thomas Harkin, Jeff Bingaman, Richard Durbin
Bush Hearts Autism
There may be a massive cover-up by the CDC and the FDA that has lead to the growth of Autism due to the use of Thimerosal in vaccines ; via Salon News...
So far, though, only two scientists have managed to gain access. Dr. Mark Geier, president of the Genetics Center of America, and his son, David, spent a year battling to obtain the medical records from the CDC. Since August 2002, when members of Congress pressured the agency to turn over the data, the Geiers have completed six studies that demonstrate a powerful correlation between thimerosal and neurological damage in children. One study, which compares the cumulative dose of mercury received by children born between 1981 and 1985 with those born between 1990 and 1996, found a 'very significant relationship' between autism and vaccines. Another study of educational performance found that kids who received higher doses of thimerosal in vaccines were nearly three times as likely to be diagnosed with autism and more than three times as likely to suffer from speech disorders and mental retardation. Another soon-to-be-published study shows that autism rates are in decline following the recent elimination of Thimerosal from most vaccines.What has the Bush Administration done to confront this epidemic?
More information on the cover-up and the relationship between Autism and Thimerosal can be found here, here, here, and here.
call for desperate measures. The Washington Post reports that the Pentagon has developed a student database for recruiting purposes...
The Defense Department began working yesterday with a private marketing firm to create a database of high school students ages 16 to 18 and all college students to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches.Welcome to the Fascist States of America people.
Hell No, We Won't Go!
Here it comes, they're testing the waters... a new Gallup Poll reveals that the vast majority of Americans are opposed to a Military Draft:
With military recruitment shortfalls reaching a near-crisis, a new Gallup poll suggests further troubles, as far fewer American adults express support for their children enlisting. Gallup also has found that Americans opposed the return of the military draft by overwhelming numbers, with 85% against it, the highest level ever.When the draft arrives, how long do you think, before the otherwise apathetic masses take to the streets in protest?
Top Brass Dissents
Looks like the pitcher of Kool-Aid may be getting low at the Pentagon...
The top U.S. commander in the Persian Gulf told Congress on Thursday that the Iraqi insurgency is undiminished and that foreign fighters continue to swell its ranks, an assessment that seemed to be at odds with more optimistic claims from the Bush administration.On a related note, check out this post from Daily Kos.
Listen, I'm pissed as hell at Rove. I am a Democrat and have been forever. (I'm 54) ... my two kids who just happen to be in the U.S. Army serving are also Democrats. My son and daughter both joined as soon as they possibly could after 9/11. So far they are both safe from harm (no thanks to Rove...).
As you may have noticed, I have been toying with different layouts and color schemes lately... I believe this one is going to stick for a while. Any feedback would be much appreciated:
1. Is the red too much on the eyes?
2. Is the text easy to read?
3. Is the navigation intuitive: recent post, permalinks, home page, etc?
4. Does the page load at a good rate?
If you can spare the change... please leave your two cents.
Veterans for Impeachment
Looks like the Veterans have had enough of George; via The Capital Times of Madison...
The Madison chapter of Veterans for Peace is planning a series of town hall meetings to discuss the impeachment of President Bush. Retired UW Professor Bob Kimbrough hopes the meetings will spark a serious discussion on impeachment. "It's pretty much in the air now, thank goodness," he said.
Rove is Right...
The White House and the RNC Chair both support Rove's comments...
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said there was no reason for Rove to apologize because he was "simply pointing out the different philosophies when it comes to winning the war on terrorism."Well, I have to agree with them; there are differences...
Karl Rove: Resign
Democratic leardership calls for Karl Rove's resignation...
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) said, "Karl Rove should immediately and fully apologize for his remarks, or he should resign." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said Rove "has decided to move to center stage in the theater of the absurd. He knows full well, as do all Americans, that our country came together after 9/11."
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Write Your Own Caption
It's been an intense day of mud-slinging in Washington... open a cold one, take a load off, put your feet up, and write your own caption in the comments!
Does the Media Smell Blood?
Have you noticed how the press has become more confrontational with the Bush Administration lately? Yes, they have a long way to go, before they will be the watch dog they once were, but at least they are actually asking follow up questions, repeatedly, demanding answers to the diverted inquiries. Maybe they have finally realized the growing dissent across the nation in blue, as well as the red states? Check out this heated exchange, at today's White House Press Conference, concerning Karl Roves recent attacks on the Democrats...
Read the whole transcript at Editor & Publisher.
Speaking of 9-11...
where the hell is Osama Bin Laden? I recall the President making this statement five days after the attacks:
"The American people should know that my administration is determined to find, to get them running and to hunt them down, those who did this to America."
A Chief Justice candidate in North Carolina calls the Bush administration "Nazis" and leaves the Republican party; via Raw Story...
A candidate for North Carolina Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court has announced on her campaign's blog that she is leaving the Republican Party and denounced the Bush administration's policy on troop withdrawal from Iraq. Rachel Lea Hunter, a Republican and a candidate for Chief Justice, likens Bush's administration to the "Nazis" and says that all who disagree with the administration are being branded as "traitors".Check out these damning statements she posted on her blog:
"Republican dirty tricks are not confined to just me any more. I also saw that Congressman Jones made the news by calling for a withdrawal of our troops. Whatever one may think about the war, one should ask when the mission will be over and when the troops can come home. Are we going to stay indefinitely? While it is nice that we are building Iraq, what about America? And what about the cost? Why do the Americans have to foot the bill when we can ill afford it? These are all legitimate questions to ask. Congressman Jones did nothing more than make a proposal to start pulling out.
Democrats Respond to Roves's Slander
Via Yahoo News:
"The president wanted to go to Iraq in the worst possible way and he did," [Nancy] Pelosi said. "The president is on the ropes."
Rove Hearts Slandering
I'm guessing this is going to be the Republican theme of the 2006 elections...
"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Rove said. "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."These slanderous statements made by Karl Rove are calculated and disingenuous; politics at its ugliest and most deceitful... in other words business as usual for the Bush-Rove dynamic duo.
Fixing the Meaning of Fixed
Neoconservative James Woolsey attempts to pervert the meaning of "fixing" the "intelligence and facts... around the policy" on MSNBC's Hardball...
"I think that's not what fixing means in these circumstances. I think people are not listening to British usage. I don't think they're talking about cooking the books."Michael Smith, the London Sunday Times reporter who revealed the Downing Street Memos chimes in on the meaning of fixed. Via the Asia Times...
"There are a number of people asking about 'fixed' and its meaning. This is a real joke. I do not know anyone in the UK who took it to mean anything other than fixed, as in fixed a race, fixed an election, fixed the intelligence. If you fix something, you make it the way you want it. The intelligence was fixed...the head of MI-6 has just been to Washington. He has just talked with George Tenet. He said the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That translates in clearer terms as the intelligence was being cooked to match what the administration wanted it to say to justify invading Iraq."
The Iran War: Has it already begun?
Scott Ritter, a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, believes it has...
"Most Americans, together with the mainstream American media, are blind to the tell-tale signs of war, waiting, instead, for some formal declaration of hostility, a made-for-TV moment such as was witnessed on 19 March 2003. We now know that the war had started much earlier. Likewise, history will show that the US-led war with Iran will not have begun once a similar formal statement is offered by the Bush administration, but, rather, had already been under way since June 2005, when the CIA began its programme of MEK-executed terror bombings in Iran."Read the rest over at Scoop.
Thank You Cindy Sheehan
The transcript of Cindy Sheehan's (a mother whose son was killed in Iraq) heartfelt speech that was delivered at the Downing Street Hearings is available over at Scoop.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Bush Hearts Saudi Arabia
President Bush stated the following October 7, 2002:
"Some have argued that confronting the threat from Iraq could detract from the war against terror. To the contrary; confronting the threat posed by Iraq is crucial to winning the war on terror. When I spoke to Congress more than a year ago, I said that those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves. Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists and the instruments of terror, the instruments of mass death and destruction. And he cannot be trusted. The risk is simply too great that he will use them, or provide them to a terror network."Well Mr. President, why haven't we dealt with Saudi Arabia? The military reports they are harboring terrorist...
"By far the nationality that comes up over and over again is Saudi Arabia," says Evan Kohlmann, an NBC News terrorism expert. The NBC News analysis of Web site postings found that 55 percent of foreign insurgents came from Saudi Arabia, 13 percent from Syria, 9 percent from North Africa and 3 percent from Europe.I'm guessing this is the reason...
Both then-president Bush and the current president have had personal and deep financial ties with the Saudi royal family. Author and journalist Craig Unger documents $1.4 billion that has "made its way" from the Saudi royal family to "entities tied" to the Bush family, according to Unger’s controversial book "House of Bush, House of Saud."
Downing Street: The DVD
Take Back the Media has put together a DVD set with all of the footage from the June 16, 2005, hearing on the Downing Street Minutes held in the U.S. Capitol hosted by Congressman John Conyers, the delivery of Conyers' letter and 560,000 signatures to the White House, the rally in Lafayette Square Park, and interviews of those involved. Here is a clip from their site.
The Gun Show
Check out this flash animation produced by Democracy for America. In just over a minute, you can show your neighbors, family, co-workers, and others why President Bush owes our troops - and every American - an explanation. Watch the video, and then send it to as many people as you can.
Another Smoking Gun?
The co-author of George Bush's autobiography, Mickey Herskowitz, recalls candid conversations, regarding the future political aspirations of the then Texas governor; via the Guerilla News Network...
He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999, said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. It was on his mind. He said to me: "One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief." And he said, "My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it." He said, "If I have a chance to invade... if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency."
Manic Musings on the Masses
As usual, Mark Morford nails it, in his weekly rant...
Look at it this way: The majority of the nation knows Bush lied like a dog to drive us into an unwinnable (but, for his cronies, incredibly profitable) war. The rest either refuse to believe it, or they claim, with equal parts ignorance and blind jingoism, that the ends (ousting a pip-squeak dictator who was no real threat to anyone and who had been successfully contained for 20 years) justify the means ($200 billion, 1,700 dead Americans, over 10,000 wounded and disabled U.S. soldiers, countless tens of thousands of dead innocent Iraqis, staggering economic debt, the open disrespect - if not outright contempt - of the entire international community).Read the rest over at the SF Gate.
War Justification Redux
With the plummeting approval ratings, particularly low on the handling of Iraq and the "war on terror", the Bush Administration resorts to "catapulting the propaganda" again, regarding Iraq and the 9-11 attacks; viaYahoo News....
President George W. Bush defended the war in Iraq, telling Americans the United States was forced into war because of the September 11 terror strikes. "We went to war because we were attacked, and we are at war today because there are still people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens," Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Drug Induced Delusions...
by Rush Limbaugh:
"I purposely haven't talked about this Downing Street Memo much because, frankly, it didn't interest me. And, you know, if it doesn't interest me I'm not going to talk about it. And the reason it didn't interest me is because it was just another one of these ginned up things by the libs, and it looks like it's got some similarities to Bill Burkett and the forged documents of CBS and Rathergate. It seems to me this name Michael Smith, seems to me that there was a guy by the same name who worked with Mary Mapes at CBS during this whole Rathergate."Note to Rush: You might want to remove the Google search link, the words "Downing Street" and "Impeachment" are quite popular these days.
Why Does the Washington Post Hate America?
John Atcheson from Common Dreams News Center, writes editor Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post; here's a snippet....
It’s time, Washington Post. We all make mistakes. And it’s very hard to admit them. Particularly when papers in the Knight-Ridder chain and the Guardian got it right all along, while you and your editorial page clung to increasingly transparent lies.
The Brass Speaks Out
An interesting analysis on the Downing Street Memos and the state of the union by Karen Kwiatkowski, a former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who worked under Donald Rumsfeld in the Pentagon in 2002 and 2003; via the Guerrilla News Network...
Yet, as Robert Shetterly and others have pointed out, accountability for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest of the war gamers is not likely. At this time, impeachment for Bush and Cheney is politically impossible. A successful impeachment, or any accountability for the executive branch requires a certain balance of political power. Optimistically envisioned by the Founders, this balance was tenuous even in the early years of the Republic. George W. Bush said it best after the 2004 elections with "[my] accountability moment has passed."While I do not agree with Kwiatkowski's view regarding the impossibility of impeachment, I do find it encouraging how harshly this former high ranking military officer, who worked directly under the Secretary of Defense, is speaking of the Bush Administration.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Softballs on Downing Street
Downing Street went primetime today on MSNBC's Hardball; here's the scoop:
David Gregory filled in for Chris Mathews, because of "breaking news" on the further delay of Bolton's nomination. So what does that have to do with Gregory filling in? That's what I thought, but that was their reasoning, so no Matthews.
The coverage begins with a montage of clips from the British press; to be fair it wasn't half bad. Then Gregory has his first guest on, the London Times reporter who broke the story: Michael Smith. Gregory brings up the major points of contention with the Downing Street Memo:
1. The White House aggressively planned for the war months before going to the U.N.
2. The case of fixing the intelligence around the policy.
3. The mention of the case for war being thin.
4. The lack of post war planning on the part of the White House.
Smith backs up the claim of the Downing Street Minutes as a smoking gun for an illegitimate war. He also mentions the six Briefing Documents that further solidify this claim. Smith than goes on to explain the authenticity of the documents and gives an explanation for no longer having the originals to protect the source, as well as keeping their copy per the recommendation of their lawyers.
Then all goes to hell...
James Woolsey, a former CIA director, and David Kay, the head weapons inspector in Iraq, come on as guests. Woolsey insist the British usage of fixing the intelligence, literally means to fix, as in, correct the intelligence. Kay babbles on as to how we should focus on the problem at hand with Iraq; he dismisses the Downing Street Memos as irrelevant, in the context of being in a war. Kay comes just short of stating, we shouldn't change Presidents in the time of war.
You have to wonder how much these two just made for twenty minutes work; they're obviously on the Bush payroll. Fine performance guys... how do you sleep at night?
Gregory showed some promise in the beginning, with a couple of decent follow ups with Woosley and Gray, but in the end he cowers, and backs off from the tag team's defense of the Bush administration.
Not much of a surprise by any means... but what a disappointment.
Straight Talk from the Heartland
Dave Zweifel from the Capital Times of Madison, calls for the impeachment of George Bush and company...
As I said in this space two weeks ago, if Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about having sex with an intern, then George Bush needs to be impeached for the deliberate lies he and his cabal told to start a war that has now taken the lives of more than 1,700 young American men and women and countless Iraqi citizens, plus threatens to bankrupt the country.
Downing Street: Just the Facts
Its no surprise that the wingers are attempting to cook up another RatherGate. Here are some recent media excerpts that backup the validity of the Downing Street Memos...
Tony Blair: In a Sunday morning television interview, Mr. Blair did not deny that the meeting took place in July 2002, but he recalled that "subsequent to that meeting, we went the United Nations route," seeking a resolution in November 2002, calling on the Iraqi government to disarm.
MSNBC: War critics have come up with seven more memos, verified by NBC News.
Editor & Publisher: That memo and other internal British government documents were originally obtained by Michael Smith, who writes for the London Sunday Times, Pincus notes. Excerpts were made available to The Washington Post, and the material was confirmed as authentic by British sources.
Washington Post: Excerpts were made available to The Washington Post, and the material was confirmed as authentic by British sources who sought anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the matter.
CNN: British officials did not dispute the document's authenticity...
NY Times: Officials at the British Foreign Office in London, while insisting on anonymity, said in response to queries from The New York Times that they would not dispute the authenticity of the document.
Times: The Times notes that when directly asked about it at their joint press conference, neither Bush nor Blair disputed the original leaked memo's authenticity, and additionally points out the USA Today, who hadn't previously covered the memo because they couldn't obtain independent verification, reported on it once Bush and Blair were given the opportunity to repudiate it and did not.
Last week, we had acknowledged John Kerry's lack of follow through on his promises, and now the Boston Herald has taken note as well...
Walking a tightrope on a politically charged issue, Sen. John F. Kerry vowed weeks ago to raise the controversial "Downing Street Memo'' as an issue in Washington, but has since publicly held his tongue on the matter. Instead, Kerry has been enlisting other senators to sign onto a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee seeking answers about the memo, aides said.Translation: John Kerry is too chickenshit, to step out on a limb for the American people, all by himself.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Downing Street Goes Prime Time
I just saw a promo for Hardball on MSNBC, apparently they are covering the Downing Street Minutes as a Special Report tomorrow, June 20 at 7:00 pm Eastern. I am very skeptical to say the least, but depending on how hard Chris Matthew's balls are, this could be the beginning or the end of Downing Street in the minds of the masses.
I urge all of you to email the show, in hopes of encouraging some journalistic integrity.
Bleeding Heart Republicans
Add John McCain to the list of Republicans who are stepping out of the fold on the perception of our progress on the war with Iraq...
"The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline," Cheney said. "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." Asked Sunday whether he agreed with the comment, McCain replied, "No, but I do believe that there are some signs which can be viewed as hopeful."As well as Chuck Hagel...
Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is angry. He's upset about the more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers killed and nearly 13,000 wounded in Iraq. He's also aggravated by the continued string of sunny assessments from the Bush administration, such as Vice President Dick Cheney's recent remark that the insurgency is in its "last throes." "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality," Hagel tells U.S. News. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."
The Damning of Downing...
is beginning on the right side of the blogosphere. Check out the desperate attempts to reclaim former glory of Rathergate over at Captain's Quarters...
The media and the Leftists have had a field day with the Downing Street memos that they claim imply that the Bush administration lied about the intelligence on WMD in order to justify the attack on Iraq. Despite the fact that none of the memos actually say that, none of them quote any officials or any documents, and that the text of the memos show that the British government worried about the deployment of WMD by Saddam against Coalition troops, Kuwait and/or Israel, the meme continues to survive.
While their claims are groundless, we still need a to thwart their attacks.
© 2005 Daily Dissent