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"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


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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Write Your Own Caption

Last Throes of the Week...

The BBC reports:

About 20 insurgents attacked the police officers as they patrolled a main road on the outskirts of the city, said a local police chief.

[and]

On Friday, a suicide bomber attacked a US military convoy near Falluja, killing up to six military personnel and wounding 13. Two marines were confirmed dead. Three more marines and a sailor were listed as missing, the US military said. One of the confirmed dead and 11 of the wounded were female marines, the military said.

...and more, via Bangladesh's The New Nation:

Bomb attacks in northern Iraq killed at least 30 people and wounded 88, as the autonomous Kurdish region installed Massoud Barzani as its first president.

[and]

"Ten people were killed in all and seven wounded," an Iraqi army officer said, adding four deaths among his own soldiers to an earlier report of six dead and four wounded.

Chickenhawk Youth



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."

Define Success...

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.

"We will succeed in Iraq, just like we did in Afghanistan. We will stand up a new government under an Iraqi-drafted constitution. We will defeat that insurgency, and, in fact, it will be an enormous success story."
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
SH-211
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.

Sincerely,
John Kerry

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?

The Thimerosal issue can embarrass Bush. He has backed off a written campaign promise to support removal of thimerosal from vaccines. Bush's family has close personal and financial ties to Thimerosal patent originator Eli Lilly & Co. A number of people with strong pharmaceutical industry connections hold key Bush Administration positions.

More information on the cover-up and the relationship between Autism and Thimerosal can be found here, here, here, and here.

Desperate Times...

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.

...

Under the new system, additional data will be collected from commercial data brokers, state drivers' license records and other sources, including information already held by the military.
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.

Gen. John Abizaid, who heads U.S. Central Command, agreed with his superiors that the operation in Iraq will succeed, but he distanced himself from Vice President Dick Cheney's statement last month that the insurgency was "in its last throes."
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...).

My son and daughter both emailed me last night wanting to know just who in the hell the Rove guy is. They both want to plaster his face everywhere around the bases they are stationed. It seems that Rove didn't know that a good percentage of enlisted folk were Democrats. They like to say around the bases that republicans don't volunteer.

Dissent 2.0

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."

I think what Karl Rove said is accurate and reflects a big difference between the two parties," added Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman.
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."

Dean accused Rove of trying to divide the country with "cynical political attacks," while Kerry said Bush should fire Rove if he believes his own calls for national unity.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) called Rove's remarks "appalling" and "saddening," while Sen. Jon S. Corzine (D-N.J.) said that, after the Sept. 11 attacks, "we weren't divided. There were no liberals, progressives . . . saying that we did not have a need to respond."

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...

Q Last night Karl Rove, in a speech, accused the Democrats of trying to send the terrorists into therapy and not responding appropriately to 9/11, whereas the Republicans, he felt, responded appropriately. He's been called on to make an apology. Will Karl Rove will apologize, and is this elevating the discourse, the way you said the President will do?

MR. McCLELLAN: Talking about different philosophies and different approaches? That's what Karl Rove was talking about. He was talking about the different philosophies and our different approaches when it comes to winning the war on terrorism. And I don't know who is even making such a suggestion.

Q Harry Reid.

Q Nancy Pelosi.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I would think that they would want to be able to defend their philosophy and their approach. I mean, I know that the Democratic leadership at this point is offering no ideas and no vision for the American people, but Karl was simply pointing out the different philosophies and different approaches when it comes to winning the war on terrorism.

Q He said the Democrats wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. That's not injecting politics into the tragedy of September 11th?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it's talking about the different philosophies for winning the war on terrorism. The President recognizes that the way to win the war on terrorism is to take the fight to the enemy, to stay on the offensive, and to work to spread freedom and democracy to defend the ideology of hatred that they espouse, and the ideology of tyranny and oppression.

Q So will the President ask Karl Rove to apologize?

MR. McCLELLAN: Of course not, Jessica. This is simply talking about different philosophies and different approaches. And I think you have to look at it in that context. If people want to try to engage in personal attacks instead of defending their philosophy, that's their business. But it's important to point out the different approaches when it comes to winning the war on terrorism. And that's all he was doing.

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."

Republican Dissent

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.

But it seems that the administration in Washington will brook no criticism of its policies. So it has sent out its dutiful attack dogs to shoot the messenger. What have we heard? That Walter Jones is a member of the lunatic fringe. That Walter Jones should resign. Its the same stuff that COPAM pulled on me, only this time its orchestrated by those in Washington instead of those in Raleigh."

What I find disturbing is that we are criticized for nothing more than the exercise of our Constitutional rights. Those who disagree with any aspect of the administration are branded as traitors and must be silenced. I thought the previous administration was bad because of the amorality. This is far worse."

There is a famous poem about the Nazis of Germany - first they came for one group, then another, but the writer did not speak up. And then they came for the writer and there was no one left to speak up. The administration is acting like the Nazis. I will not be quiet. I agree with Congressman Jones that we should ask the administration the tough questions and that we should begin to withdraw."

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."

"Karl Rove should immediately and fully apologize for his remarks or he should resign," Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement. "I hope the president will join me in repudiating these remarks."

"I would hope that you and other members of the administration would immediately repudiate such an insulting comment from a high-ranking official in the president's inner circle," [Hillary] Clinton said.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said New York has had unity since Sept. 11. "To inject politics into this and to defame a large number of people" is outrageous, he said. "It's not what New York and America is all about."

Sen. Frank Lautenberg D-N.J., said nearly 3,000 Americans died on Sept. 11 and "we should not dishonor their memory by using that tragic day for political trash talk."

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."

...

Mr. Rove also said American armed forces overseas were in more jeopardy as a result of remarks last week by Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who compared American mistreatment of detainees to the acts of "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others."

"Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year?" Mr. Rove asked. "Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."
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.

The U.S. military also says Saudi Arabia and Syria are the leading sources of insurgents. An Army official provided a list of the top 10 countries to NBC News but would not release the numbers of foreign fighters from each. The top 10, alphabetically, are: Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.
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."

Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father’s shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. "Suddenly, he’s at 91 percent in the polls, and he’d barely crawled out of the bunker."

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).

Here is the American cynic's view: It is almost too late to care about the lies. It is almost pointless to scream and rant and point fingers of blame. We all know who is to blame, and it ain't Saddam, and it ain't Osama, and it ain't "terror," and it ain't our "freedoms." Bush has driven us so deep into the Iraq hellhole it serves almost no purpose to whine about the obvious deceptions and blatant whorelike pre-9/11 machinations that got us here.

We are now, instead, focused on endurance. On gritting teeth and getting through and getting the hell out of this new Vietnam Bush has imbecilically driven us into, all while surviving 3.5 more years of one of the most abusive, secretive cadres of warmongering leadership in American history.

Oh, and rest assured, Iraq is indeed a new Vietnam. The parallels are undeniable and mounting - all the elements are in place: staggering civilian death tolls, inmate abuse and torture, international embarrassment, economic pillaging, executive impudence, a vicious drive toward empire and power, a false sense of "victory" and the overpowering sense we are so deeply entrenched in this violent, chaotic quagmire, it will take many more years and many thousands of more U.S. dead and countless more billions before we are anywhere near stabilization.
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.

But your current editorial position wouldn't hold up against a highschool debater. Quit embarrassing yourself and insulting your reader's intelligence.

By your own logic, the Post’s next editorial on the administration’s Iraq policy should be calling for impeachment proceedings to begin.

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.

...

In a matter of a few days, more than a half million Americans signed petitions backing Conyers in urging the president to explain the memos. So far, Bush has dismissed it all as "falsehoods" and refused to comment further.But the people want answers. Even those who don't hate Bush don't like being lied to. Lying presidents need to be impeached. That's what the Republicans in Congress told us only a few years ago.

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.

Broken Promises

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.

Write Your Own Caption

Click on the image for inspiration.

Get those creative juices flowing... write your own caption in the comments!

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."

"Too often we've been told, and the American people have been told, that we're at a turning point, whether it be the capture of [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein or [his sons] Uday and Qusay or the elections," said McCain.

"What the American people should have been told and should be told ... [is] it's long; it's hard; it's tough. It's very tough."
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.

Until tonight, however, no one questioned the authenticity of the documents provided by the Times of London. That has now changed, as Times reporter Michael Smith admitted that the memos he used are not originals, but retyped copies

While their claims are groundless, we still need a to thwart their attacks.

One Can Only Hope...

with the Downing Street Minutes seeing the light of day, this will be the Time cover next year?



As far as George being person of the year in 2004, I wouldn't put much stock in it. Consider some of Time's other choices... here, here, and here.







Take what you want, leave what you don't.

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