Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Justice grinding slowly

Billmon discusses the latest in the Joseph Wilson/Valerie Plame case: Fitzgerald interrogates Tim Russert.

From all this, I think we can conclude the Republican campaign to mau mau Fitzgerald into dropping his investigation - in part by enlisting the GOP members of the Senate Intelligence Committee in yet another bid to slime Joe Wilson's reputation - has utterly failed. And from that, we can probably also infer that Fitzgerald and his men are reasonably certain a real crime has been committed. Federal prosecutors, even special ones, do not lightly go around subpoening media superstars. Someone - to use the old Southernism - appears to be in a whole heap of trouble. And the subpoenas themselves give us a pretty good idea who that somebody is.

Read the whole post.

Background and ongoing information about the case is on my web page here.

More on Porter Goss

Billmon has more information on Bush's choice for CIA director.

Now you might think all this would be enough to cause the Senate Democrats to raise a holy stink about Shrub's chutzpah in trying to push a partisan hack into the most sensitive intelligence position in the U.S. government, riding herd over an agency that has already been thoroughly trashed in pursuit of the greater good of keeping the Bush dynasty in power. But you would, of course, be wrong:

Read it and weep.

Leaky White House

Now that they've admitted to purposely revealing the name of the terrorist "mole", do you suppose the DoJ will prosecute somebody in the White House?

As if.

The New York Daily News reports, "British and Pakistani intelligence officials are furious" with the Bush administration "for unmasking their super spy - apparently to justify the orange alert - and for naming the other captured terrorist suspects."

...The Bush administration's deliberate disclosure of Khan's name directly violated the Justice Department's own stated position on such matters. In the Supreme Court case in which the department tried to keep detainee names secret, its top terrorism prosecutor filed an affidavit outlining the administration's opposition to such disclosure. In the affidavit, the administration said disclosing names of those "who may be revealed to have knowledge of or a connection to terrorism could lead to the public identification of individuals associated with them" and that "divulging the detainees' identities may deter them from cooperating with the Department of Justice." The affidavit also said such disclosures "could allow terrorist organizations and others to interfere with the pending proceedings by creating false or misleading evidence."
Source: Progress Report

I don't think it was exactly to justify the orange alert. Except as the orange alert was used for a campaign political ploy. I'd like to think it was only that. But that seems a little naive at this point.

Lies, lies, lies. All kinds of illegal activity. Even activity putting the nation's security at risk. And no one to stop them.

Their coup d'etat has been a grand success so far. Don't expect them to stop on their own.

Tim Ripley, security expert for Jane's Defense publications, said, "The whole thing smacks of either incompetence or worse. You have to ask: what are they doing compromising a deep mole within al Qaeda, when it's so difficult to get these guys in there in the first place? It goes against all the rules of counter-espionage [and] counter-terrorism." Rolf Tophoven, head of the Institute for Terrorism Research and Security Policy in Essen, Germany, commented that allowing Khan's name to become public was "very unclever" and said "it's another debacle."

I'm inclined to lean more in Mr. Ripley's direction. How many "stupid" acts can they pull before it starts to look like something less than ineptitude or campaign dirty tricks? They've got quite a list going.

"The whole thing smacks of either incompetence or worse," said Tim Ripley, a security expert who writes for Jane's Defence publications.

"You have to ask: what are they doing compromising a deep mole within al Qaeda, when it's so difficult to get these guys in there in the first place?

"It goes against all the rules of counter-espionage, counter-terror-ism, running agents and so forth. It's not exactly cloak and dagger undercover work if it's on the front pages every time there's a development, is it?"

A source such as Khan - co-operating with the authorities while staying in active contact with trusting al Qaeda agents - would be among the most prized assets imaginable, he said.

"Running agents within a terrorist organisation is the Holy Grail of intelligence agencies. And to have it blown is a major setback which negates months and years of work, which may be difficult to recover."
  New Zealand Herald article

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Progress in Iraq

Jesus' General massages Juan Cole's city by city list.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Bush nominee to CIA: Porter Goss

And remember this?

In fact, on the morning of September 11, Porter Goss was hosting a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill in honor of General Ahmad, the alleged "money-man" (to use the FBI expression) behind the 9/11 hijackers.

...It is worth mentioning that one of the recommendations of the Joint Senate House Report on the 9/11 attacks chaired by Goss and Graham, was a massive reorganization of the intelligence apparatus which would put the CIA in control of 70 percent of the agency's 40 billion budget (as opposed to 12% under the current arrangement).

In anticipation of his nomination to the helm of the agency, Porter Goss, has carefully set the stage. He has introduced a bill in the House which follows through on the Joint Senate House Report. The legislation if adopted would "significantly expand the CIA director's executive and management authority over the whole intelligence community".
  Global Research article

Presidential Auction 2004

Now we are arguing over whether the terrorists want Bush or Kerry to win the election. Can we get any more insane?

Probably I shouldn't ask that, should I?

Loony Tunes

Take this as you will, some say Capitol Hill Blue is not always a reliable source...but I've always said the man is medicated. If you've ever been on meds or known anyone who has, there are obvious signs. If you don't have any experience with it, you are apt not to recognize it.

President George W. Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia, Capitol Hill Blue has learned.

The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President’s mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” says one aide. “We can’t have him flying off the handle at the slightest provocation but we also need a President who is alert mentally.”

Angry Bush walked away from reporter's questions.
Tubb prescribed the anti-depressants after a clearly-upset Bush stormed off stage on July 8, refusing to answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay.

“Keep those motherfuckers away from me,” he screamed at an aide backstage. “If you can’t, I’ll find someone who can.”

...Although the exact drugs Bush takes to control his depression and behavior are not known, White House sources say they are “powerful medications” designed to bring his erratic actions under control. While Col. Tubb regularly releases a synopsis of the President’s annual physical, details of the President’s health and any drugs or treatment he may receive are not public record and are guarded zealously by the secretive cadre of aides that surround the President.

Veteran White House watchers say the ability to control information about Bush’s health, either physical or mental, is similar to Ronald Reagan’s second term when aides managed to conceal the President’s increasing memory lapses that signaled the onslaught of Alzheimer’s Disease.

It also brings back memories of Richard Nixon’s final days when the soon-to-resign President wandered the halls and talked to portraits of former Presidents. The stories didn’t emerge until after Nixon left office.

One long-time GOP political consultant who – for obvious reasons – asked not to be identified said he is advising his Republican Congressional candidates to keep their distance from Bush.

“We have to face the very real possibility that the President of the United States is loony tunes,” he says sadly. “That’s not good for my candidates, it’s not good for the party and it’s certainly not good for the country.”
  Capitol Hill Blue article

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.


I'm having more trouble than I expected with my lasik surgery - adjusting, and my eyes are extremely tender and sensitive; can't look at the computer much, so posting will be minimal until the ill effects are gone. I've no idea when that might be.

Meanwhile....the U.S. State Department has said it will provide unclassified portions of interrogations to German courts trying the only man ever tried in connection with the 9/11 attacks.

And Pakistan says it has captured 90% of the Islamic militants in the country in the past four weeks in a "crackdown". Uh-huh. You know all the questions, and the answers to that.

Check out the links in the sidebar to get your daily dose of blog news.

I'll be back.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Monday, August 09, 2004

MoveOn's new campaign ads

Who would have guessed? When we asked MoveOn members last month for their stories for a Real People ad campaign, we got hundreds of responses from members -- Republicans, Democrats and Independents -- who voted for George Bush in 2000, but will be voting for Kerry in 2004. These stories of disaffection are the most powerful statements we've found about the failed Bush presidency. We will highlight these personal stories in an ad campaign to be televised during the Republican convention -- and we want to know which ones move you the most.

In the last two weeks, Academy Award-winning documentary film director Errol Morris has been interviewing these former Bush voters on camera, and he's cut seventeen ads that tell their stories. We're running a contest to help us choose the ads that will best convince undecided and swing voters to vote for John Kerry. We'll run them during the Republican convention. Vote now at:


Please vote for your favorites, and then tell your friends about this contest. Votes will be taken until midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, August 11th, and then we'll put the people's choice winner into final production for airing.

CIA to help overthrow Chávez?

El Mundo de Madrid (Spain) is reporting that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is set to put a contingency plan in motion in the (likely) event that President Hugo Chavez Frias wins next weekend's Recall Referendum.

The Madrid newspaper says that the White House strategy is to avoid a regional expansion of the President Hugo Chavez Frias 'Bolivarian Revolution' which is seen by Washington D.C. as a direct step into the kind of socialism espoused by many European nations and envisaged in the United States if John Kerry wrests control of the White House from the Bush 2 administration this coming fall.
  VHeadline article

First of all, it's what the CIA does. So that part of the story is totally believable. But the idea that John Kerry as president would be a step toward socialism of any kind is a real scream. We already have all the socialism we're going to get. Maybe what they're envisioning is something short of fascism.

El Mundo says the CIA plan appears to concede a Chavez Frias victory next weekend "for good or bad" and that Langley spooks are already working on a strategy to "neutralize" Chavez Frias by fair means or foul.

CIA under secretary for southern hemispherical affairs, William Spencer, has been drafted to Santiago de Chile to analyze the "Venezuelan situation" with CIA country directors from Colombia, Ecuador, Brasil and Peru. Spencer is reportedly convinced that Chavez Frias intends (no matter how fanciful) to create two centers of "revolutionary focus" in South America in preparation to overthrow Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez and Bolivia's Head of State, Carlos Mesa.

Spencer espouses the theory that Chavez Frias will then forge onwards using a domino effect to include the overthrow of Peru's Alejandro Toledo, using multiple corruption scandals there as a pretext for invasion. Washington apparently sees Chavez Frias' progress as a "corrosive action" in a continuing Bolivarian Revolution which will expand easily into countries such as Ecuador where indigenous political are already reacting strongly to Washington's ideas of neo-liberalism.

And maybe if they're successful, authentic democracy will spread north to the United States one day.

I can hope, can't I?

Previous Venezuela posts
More on Venezuela

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Woo Boy

They just keep coming.

Iraq has issued an arrest warrant for Ahmad Chalabi, a former governing council member, on counterfeiting charges and another for Salem Chalabi, the head of Iraq's special tribunal, on murder charges, Iraq's chief investigating judge said today.
Houston Chronicle article

Salem is in charge of the Saddam trial. Or at least he was.

Ahmad better have some good secret info from those files we let him have if he hopes to remain free-roaming vermin.

Both men were reportedly out of the country today.

Something tells me they won't be coming back any time soon.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Shelby, Shelby, Shelby

What are we gonna do with you?

Digby has a long post on the incredible case of Richard Shelby (R-AL) who tried mightily during Clinton's administration to get a bill passed that would prosecute anyone who leaked classified information, no exceptions for intent. There'd be a few good Republicans in jail right now if there were such a law. And Mr. Shelby himself would be one of them.

The FBI investigated Shelby's alleged leak of classified documents from 9/11 (the intercepted messages from 9/10 that said "tomorrow is zero day", which were supposedly only read on 9/12) but turned the matter over to the Senate ethics committee.

Shelby defends himself by saying:
"My position on this issue is clear and well-known: At no time during my career as a United States Senator and, more particularly, at no time during my service as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have I ever knowingly compromised classified information.
If that's his reasoning, then he owes his current freedom to none other than the hated Bill Clinton. If the Shelby Amendment had been signed into law, it wouldn't matter if he "knowingly" leaked the information or not, he'd be looking at a possible three year stint in a federal prison. (And, if he were a Democrat, he'd already have been forced to resign.)

He is no longer on the Intelligence Committee (they are rotated after eight years) and now serves as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee where his commitment to principle and accountability are once again being tested as he finds himself implicated in the Tom Delay Westar Scandal.

Richard Shelby is neither ashamed or embarrassed by his blatant hypocrisy and lack of candor. Indeed, when the leak story broke, he got right back on his favorite hobby horse and began railing against unauthorized leaks as if this never happened.

Read Digby's post.

Anyway, the confirming stool pigeon at Fox is denying that he said anything.

The leaked information was from a meeting the day before 9-11, but The Washington Post reports the leak itself came during June 2002 interviews Shelby did.

The Post, citing anonymous sources, reports Shelby's role was confirmed to FBI agents by Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron, who denies it.

Who knows where all this will go? It's not as if the leaked information is problematic for national security (unless we are talking about the ability of government agencies to hide their ineptitude, but it is another example of blatant hypocrisy and lack of accountability on the part of our representatives, and how much back-and-forth party dirt to expect this campaign season. (A lot.) And we still have three months left.

What seems to be merely an aside in the story of leaks and laws, is the information:

In question are two messages intercepted by the National Security Agency one day before the Sept. 11 attacks. Those messages contained the words "the match begins tomorrow" and "tomorrow is zero day," but they were not translated from Arabic until Sept. 12.
Seattle Times article

More inteptitude, or something intentional? I think we need to hear Sibel Edmonds' testimony.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

More Iraqi freedom

Allawi shuts down Aljazeera news for a month.

As Allawi accused al-Jazeera of inciting hatred, a statement from the Ministry of the Interior said it had failed to show the "reality of Iraqi political life" and had "agreed to become the voice of terrorist groups".

Falah al-Naqib, the Interior Minister, who last week declared that al-Jazeera was "strengthening" kidnappers and hostage-takers by showing their videos, said the month in which its Baghdad office would be closed down would give it the chance "to readjust its policy agenda".
New Zealand Herald article

Maybe they could consult with Fox.

Hugo takes another swipe at Georgie

President Hugo Chavez Frias sent a message of brotherhood to the people of the United States, as well as the US government, “even though they don’t understand us very well…. We’re friends of those people, and since there are elections in November, if (George W.) Bush is re-elected, we hope that his advisers reflect, because we don’t understand why a country such as that, an associate and strategic ally, has been subject to pressure that isn’t convenient for us or them.”

...Chavez added that “if (John) Kerry wins, we expect a new stage of relations to begin between the two governments that will strengthen all of the positive aspects.”
VHeadline article

Either he knows something I don't know about John Kerry, whose stance on Venezuela is as outrageous as the current administration's stance, or he's just taking the opportunity to bash Bush, something he seems to take great pleasure in doing on a regular basis.

Easy target.

....and hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Liberated Iraqis

BAGHDAD - The national guardsman peering through the long-range scope of his rifle was startled by what he saw unfolding in the walled compound below.

From his post several stories above ground level, he watched as men in plainclothes beat blind folded and bound prisoners in the enclosed grounds of the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

He immediately radioed for help. Soon after, a team of Oregon Army National Guard soldiers swept into the yard and found dozens of Iraqi detainees who said they had been beaten, starved and deprived of water for three days.

In a nearby building, the soldiers counted dozens more prisoners and what appeared to be torture devices - metal rods, rubber hoses, electrical wires and bottles of chemicals. Many of the Iraqis, including one identified as a 14-year-old boy, had fresh welts and bruises across their back and legs.

The soldiers disarmed the Iraqi jailers, moved the prisoners into the shade, released their handcuffs and administered first aid. Lt. Col. Daniel Hendrickson of Albany, Ore., the highest ranking American at the scene, radioed for instructions.

But in a move that frustrated and infuriated the guardsmen, Hendrickson's superior officers told him to return the prisoners to their abusers and immediately withdraw. It was June 29 - Iraq's first official day as a sovereign country since the U.S. invasion.
Bellaciao article

They're so much better off now without Saddam.

"Iraqis want us to respect their sovereignty, but the problem is we will be blamed for leaving the fox in charge of the henhouse," said Michael Rubin, a former adviser to the interim Iraqi government who is now at the American Enterprise Institute. "We did not generally put good people in."

Dude, I don't think you're supposed to say that.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

9/11 Pentagon attack

Luckily, they had practiced for it.

Iraqis learn about civil rights

Iraqis visiting Memphis, Tennessee, on a civil rights tour had their own brush with history.

They were barred from city hall after the city council chairman said it was too dangerous to let them in.

The seven Iraqi civic and community leaders are in the midst of a three-week, State Department-sponsored American tour to learn more about the process of government.

The Iraqis were scheduled to meet with a city council member.

However that meeting was prevented from taking place due to objections from Chairman Joe Brown.

A host of the group alleges Brown even threatened to evacuate City Hall and bring in the bomb squads if the visitors entered.
News 14 article

Update: Stole this from Bob...

Presidential Auction 2004

In Springfield, MO...

The Secret Service told protesters where to gather; the location was excellent. Democracy was working: People were exercising their right to assemble while others exercised their right to protest.

But when police told protesters they had to move about 200 feet away, while the people supporting Bush remained in place, the atmosphere grew tense. When protesters complained to local police, they replied, "We're just following orders." Then the protesters called the media: It was time for citizens to know how democracy was working in Springfield, as protesters had been herded into a "free speech zone."

When gatekeepers announced final seating for those with tickets, protesters with tickets tried to get in, but their tickets were grabbed and torn up, and police threatened them with arrest if they argued back. One woman screamed, "You're tearing up my ticket," and hit back at the man when he started shoving her with his chest, trying to shut her up. The police arrested the woman. Two other people were "taken down": a young girl who could not back up fast enough because there were so many people behind her and a man who is charged with trespassing because he was standing on property his own tax dollars partially funded.

All this, while the Bush supporters passed by, granted access to the president of us all because they would shout his praises at the appropriate moments.
Springfield News-Leader article

Bushocracy replaces democracy. I can see why, can't you? I mean democracy actually sounds like it belongs to democrats. Republicans can't use that word without subconsciously at least alluding to their opponents. So why should they practice it, when it will just make people think of democrats?

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Is this guy considered a terrorist?

Update on that beheading I posted earlier this morning...

A video that appeared on a Web site used by Islamic militants purported to show the beheading of an American hostage on Saturday but the mother of the man shown in the video said it was a hoax.

"It's a hoax," Theresa Vanderford, mother of Ben Vanderford 22, said from her San Francisco area home. "He's very computer savvy and stuff."

...Vanderford earlier told the Associated Press he staged the beheading using fake blood and began distributing the videotape on the Internet months ago. "It was part of a stunt, but no one noticed up until now," he said.

Vanderford's Web site identifies him as a 22-year-old independent candidate for district supervisor in San Francisco. He is also a musician and video-game programer.
Reuters article

There you go, San Francisco. He and Arnold should get along fine.

Presidential Auction 2004

Competing for votes in corn-growing Iowa, John Kerry waved to crowds with one ear in each hand. Not to be outdone by his Democratic rival, President Bush ate one raw.

...After their simultaneous rallies in Davenport in eastern Iowa, Bush stopped at a farmer's market in nearby Bettendorf and bought some ears of sweet corn.

The president took a bite of one on the spot. "Oh yeah. You don't even have to cook it. It's really good," Bush declared.

Raw corn is typically fed to livestock...
Reuters article

Are you getting this down?

God, we are a bunch of idiots.

Honestly, we're all stupid. I personally doubt if any but the farmers growing corn were impressed by either of those two fools on account of their corny stunts. I mean, really. I can hear their campaign managers asking themselves what each state is known for - what's one recognizable icon from the state they're traveling in - and then how can they make asses of themselves with that particular icon in that particular state.

For campaigning in Missouri, I don't understand why they didn't ride in on mules.

And while they were campaigning in Davenport, three banks in town were robbed.

No, really, we are a bunch of idiots waiting for an advertiser to attract our attention with some visual bait.

Have no fear. The world is safe with us leading the way.

....do what you want....you will anyway.

Presidential Auction 2004

Now this is how it should happen...

Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards climbed aboard the back of a pickup truck for an impromptu rally Thursday after hundreds of supporters showed up in the parking lot of the motel where he stayed overnight.

Encouraged by the turnout, Edwards staffers passed out signs that read "America Can Do Better" and "Help is on the Way." They even bought two large boxes of doughnuts and passed them out among people at the Victorian Inn in this southeast Missouri town.

...The turnout was a bit of a surprise in heavily Republican Cape Girardeau, the hometown of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. Many in the crowd said they were simply ready for a change.

...The outstate vote, which played a large role in helping Bush four years ago, again could be a deciding factor in November. Democrats said rural and small-town voters may be leaning back their way because of Kerry and Edwards.

"They are not just out for the metropolitan areas. They have concerns for the rural areas as well," said Jiles Markham, 42, of Advance. "The level of leadership we've gotten from Washington has really hurt rural America."

ABC article

Presidential Auction 2004

YORK, Pa. - The city's Democratic mayor billed the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign $21,057 for police costs during President Bush's July 9 visit, but he didn't get a check in the mail.

Instead Mayor John Brenner got a letter saying that the Secret Service is in charge of protecting the president.

"Accordingly, all matters related to protecting the president, including coordination with state and local law enforcement, are within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service," wrote Sal Purpura, assistant campaign treasurer.

Also in the envelope was the invoice Brenner had sent. "In other words, don't bill us. Talk to them," Brenner said Thursday.

"I am not doing this for political purposes," Brenner said. He said he just didn't think his cash-strapped city should have to pay $21,057 for a presidential rally. "They have to understand there are financial issues that impact local governments," he said.

Brenner hadn't decided whether to try to bill the Secret Service, since it was "probably unlikely" they would pay either. "If it looks like I have a chance, I will do it."

Brenner's assessment was probably correct, Secret Service spokesman Charles Bopp said. Bopp said the Secret Service isn't funded to reimburse state and local police.
AP article

York isn't the only town with this complaint.

I have a suggestion: Quit providing additional security.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Missourians show 'em

It's the "Show Me" state. We do our best.

"Four more years," chanted dozens of backers of President Bush as the Democratic ticket emerged from their train late on Thursday [in Sedalia, MO] and waved to hundreds of supporters.

"Flush the Johns," one man shouted.

...Edwards maintained a smile but at one point asked: "I just want to say to those folks who don't want to hear from us: My children are on this train. Show them some good Missouri manners."
Yahoo article

Can't show you what we don't have.

As the train pulled away, Edwards gushed: "That was great. That was fun. When they were booing 'hope' and 'optimism,' I knew it was an interesting crowd."

Hey, we are the state that gave the world Rush Limbaugh and John Ashcroft. We are the state that elected a dead man to the Senate. We are the first state in the Union to constitutionally ban gay marriage. Interesting isn't the adjective I would use.

"The Johns" could always do what the Crapper does: ban protestors to a site out of sight and hearing range. (Or could they? Are "free speech zones" an executive privilege?)

....hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

And justice for all - Part III

"There will be investigations. People will be brought to justice," Bush said in a television interview that was aired in Cairo late Wednesday afternoon. -- May 5, 2004

A Schofield Barracks soldiers was sentenced today to three years in prison and given a dishonorable discharge for shooting to death an unarmed Iraqi cowherder who was handcuffed.

A panel of five officers and five enlisted soldiers in Tikrit, Iraq, found Pfc. Edward Richmond, 20, guilty of voluntary manslaughter for shooting Muhamad Husain Kadir in the back of his head on Feb. 28 near Taal Al Jai, the Army said in a statement.

...Kadir did nothing suspicious and showed no signs of having a weapon.

Waruch and Richmond were ordered via radio to detain all Iraqi males in the village.

Waruch said that when they tried pull Kadir’s hands behind his back he initially resisted.

After Waruch flex cuffed Kadir with a “zip tie” he led the cowherder away.

The Army statement said that Kadir stumbled after taking one or two steps and Richmond shot him in the back of the head when he was about 6 feet away.

...A third witness, also unnamed by the Army, testified that he had previously heard Richmond talking about wanting to shoot an Iraqi.

In his defense Richmond testified that he did not realize that the Iraqi he shot had his hands flex cuffed behind his back and that he feared the Iraqi would kill Waruch. [Ed: That is very difficult to tell from six feet behind a person.]

However, the Army statement said, Richmond admitted that he never saw the Iraqi with any weapon, Richmond also admitted that he had requested to shoot the cowherder less than an hour before the shooting.

...Richmond had been charged with unpremeditated murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life, but after 90 minutes of deliberation today the Army court martial panel reduced the verdict to voluntary manslaughter. Two hours later it returned a sentence of three years, dishonorable discharge, total forfeitures of all pay and allowances and reduction to the grade of private.
Information Clearinghouse article

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Presidential Auction 2004

How to avoid explaining Bubblehead's AWOL status: trash Kerry's actual service. The media are happy to oblige.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Another head rolls

Bush gets his wish in spades.

"I am from San Francisco, California," said the young man dressed in a plain beige T-shirt as he sat on a chair. "We need to leave this country right now. If we don't, everyone is gonna be killed in this way," he said.

The clearly distraught American gave his name and address before appealing to the United States to leave Iraq.

The name and address appeared to match a Benjamin Vanderford, who has a U.S. Web site. He is described on that site as a 22-year-old aspiring local politician and musician.

"I have been offered for exchange for prisoners here in Iraq," the terrified-looking American said in the video, rocking back and forth in his chair, his hands tied behind his back.

"We need to leave this country alone. We need to stop this occupation." The video then showed the beheading.

... U.S. marines battled Shi'ite militiamen in the holy city of Najaf for a third day on Saturday as the death toll mounted in the worst bout of fighting in Iraq in four months.
Wired News article

Update 11:00 am: It was faked. Jezus. When exactly was it, do you think, that we morphed into the Twilight Zone?

Friday, August 06, 2004

Meanwhile in Iraq

Fighting between cleric Muqtada al Sadr's militia and the U.S.-led military coalition continued to spread through southern and central Iraq Friday, leaving at least 350 dead and more than 160 injured in two days of battles that threatened the stability of an already fragile nation.
  Knight-Ridder article

Now that's rich - threatening the stability of the nation. What stability would that be?

At any rate, these are obviously very serious battles.

Adding to the high-stakes tension, the nation's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al Husseini al Sistani, was secretly taken out of Najaf and flown to London because of heart problems, according to his representatives. If al Sistani were to die, especially while out of the country, massive unrest could follow and al Sadr, whose father also was a grand ayatollah, might well try to fill the power vacuum. A spokesman in London wouldn't discuss the exact nature of al Sistani's heart problems, but said he'd have tests Monday.

Presidential Auction 2004

Is Colin Powell grooming himself to replace Oil Slick Dick?

Asked about his experience being on the losing end of important foreign policy debates, Powell said "there was no split" over the invasion of Iraq once the Bush administration concluded Hussein had violated the final demands from the U.N. Security Council.

"I can assure you that I have in no way been constrained, contained or kept on the outside of our discussions," Powell said.

... "We would have faced those weapons at another time, at another place," Powell said.

Before the invasion, Powell expressed doubts in administrative channels about the wisdom of the war and the president's understanding of its implications, but he said yesterday that he was "solidly behind what the president found he had to do last spring when he undertook Operation Iraqi Freedom."
  WaPo article

We used to hear how disgruntled Powell was over the Iraq fiasco - so disgruntled that he was planning on resigning.

I guess he's gruntled now.

Bush Crime Family & North Korea

An interesting twist in the North Korean nuclear threat, and the way that is being non-handled, comes from an article at FAIR, explaining that North Korea's nuclear program has been partially financed by George H.W. Bush's good friend and patron, Washington Times owner, the Reverand Moon.

Reptilian banquet: The Goons and Moons

Bob Goodsell has this quote from Bob Harris:

How Dr. Evil bought a U.S. president for... one million dollars, then armed our enemies while the White House looked the other way

...In short: convicted felon with a declared hatred of the United States buys widespread influence, then sells nuclear technology to another avowed enemy, endangering the United States, while the president acts like there's no problem.

In a sane world, the impending scandal would discredit the entire Bush crime family for good.

Of course this isn't a sane world, and so we're talking about the BFEE (Bush Family Evil Empire) connection to the Reverand Moon (who was recently coronated on Capitol Hill), and just kind of wondering why nobody seems to mind.

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon's business empire, which includes the conservative Washington Times, paid millions of dollars to North Korea's communist leaders in the early 1990s when the hard-line government needed foreign currency to finance its weapons programs, according to U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency documents.
Rev. Moon, North Korea & the Bushes

Ho-hum, I guess.

And welcome to the Twilight Zone.

And justice for all - Part II

President Bush has promised to prosecute those who leak sensitive classified information, saying, "We can't have leaks of classified information." Attorney General John Ashcroft said, "leaks of classified information do substantial damage to the security interests of the nation." Ashcroft promised swift prosecution of leaks, saying, "Until those who, without authority, reveal classified information are deterred by the real prospect of productive investigations and strict application of appropriate penalties, they will have no reason to stop their harmful actions." But according to a new report, the Bush administration is refusing to prosecute a top Republican who leaked classified information.

As the Washington Post reports, "Federal investigators concluded that Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) divulged classified intercepted messages to the media when he was on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence." The Post also reports, "Though the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office pursued the case, and a grand jury was empaneled … the Justice Department decided to forgo a criminal prosecution."

Also, AP reports Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) apparently divulged classified information about how many terrorist attacks have been thwarted, and about a terrorist threat on an Indiana community. Harris is the woman who as Florida Secretary of State helped deliver the election to President Bush. There is no word on whether the Bush Justice Department will investigate Harris.

Reference links at Daily Mislead.

And, of course, the big one....we're still waiting for somebody to be frog-marched in handcuffs on the Valerie Plame case.

A friend of mine from years ago used to say that what they mean when they say "justice" is "just us".

Bush campaign's Kerry attack: Pot calling the kettle black

This is a most interesting approach. The Repuglicans keep slamming the Dem candidate on charges of which the Repug's candidate is actually guilty. Going after Kerry's war record, and now going after his vote against a defense appropriations bill. Digby has the score.

Pakistan is said to be the actual center of terrorism

But we need Pakistan to hand over a high value target now and then as part of BushCo's campaign. So we can't very well sanction or attack that country, now can we?

Times of India article

And justice for all

Bobby Fischer can't come back to the U.S. - doesn't want to, of course - as he is a wanted man for violating U.S. sanctions against Yugoslavia by going there to play a game of chess in 1992.

Oil Slick Dick Cheney on the other hand gets to be the most powerful man in the country, even though the company he headed was violating U.S. sanctions doing business with Iran through an offshore company set up to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Go figger.

Still working on that Anthrax investigation

Dr. Ken Berry was arrested and released on bail. Two of his houses were searched. And God only knows what's up here, but it's wacky enough.

"From what I know, he's a fine, conscientious physician who always had the interest of his patients at heart," said Joseph Pelych, the lawyer who represented Berry in that case. "I find it hard to believe he would be involved in" anthrax.
ABC article

Mr. Berry must have had a different lawyer in 1997.

Berry pleaded guilty in 1999 to disorderly conduct to settle charges of forgery. State police said Berry's signature was on a fake will of the late Dr. Andrew Colletta, according to The Wellsville Daily Reporter. While initially charged with two counts of second-degree forgery, the plea to a lesser violation allowed him to keep his medical license.

A senior Justice Department official who declined to be identified downplayed the significance of the searches. The effort, the official said, was "more about trying to clear the guy than anything else."
Seattle Times article

Apparently Dr. Berry had founded a company to train people in counter-terrorism dealing with biological agents in 1997, citing "experts" who predicted an anthrax attack in the U.S.

There's some funny business in this whole case, and has been since the beginning. Another doctor, Steven Hatfill, who had worked at Ft. Detrick (the source of the anthrax) and was engaged in some implicating activities (and had written a strange coincidental (?) novel), and who may have been framed - or not - seems to have managed to deflect further investigation, and sued the FBI, Ashcroft, and the New York Times over the deal.

Don't expect any reliable answers in this investigation.

....or hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Katherine Harris, GOP whore

Now Senator Katherine Harris, who helped Jeb Bush steal the Florida vote in 2000, is either telling secrets or making up lies.

Officials in Indiana and Washington, D.C., said they are dumbfounded by a statement U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris made about a terrorist plot to blow up a power grid in Indiana.

In making the statement during a speech to 600 people Monday night in Venice, Harris either shared a closely held secret or passed along second-hand information as fact.

A staff member of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the nation's intelligence operations, said he had heard of no such plot.

And Indiana officials in the county where the power grid is located were at a loss to explain where the information originated.

"As the sheriff of this county, I would certainly be aware of such a threat," Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter said. "I have no information to corroborate any of that."

In an interview Tuesday, Harris would not reveal the name of the mayor who told her about the threat or provide further details.

She said in the speech that a man of Middle Eastern heritage had been arrested in the plot and that explosives were found in his home in Carmel, a suburb north of Indianapolis.

...Carmel Mayor James Brainard and a spokesman for Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan said they had no knowledge of such a plot. Brainard said he had never spoken to Harris.
Herald Tribune article

....but hey, Kate, do what you want....you will anyway.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

One last thing....

Bob sets me straight about Teresa Heinz Kerry (and I completely forgot about Ms. Jackie-O):

I'd say that the best protocol is to let the woman decide for herself what she wants to be called. Since she's called Teresa Heinz Kerry on the Kerry campaign web site (http://www.johnkerry.com/about/teresa_heinz_kerry/), I'm guessing that's how she likes it. Certainly Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (spelling?) set a prominent precedent. My guess is that Teresa, like Jackie, enjoyed her fame under her old name, as well as the added fame of her new name. But whatever, I'd say it's their call. If she wants to call herself Teresa Bush and claims she's the kid W thought he paid to have aborted, that's fine with me!

So, Teresa....do what you want....you will anyway.


Do you ever wonder why there are so many actual sex crimes (often sadistic and involving children) concerning Republicans and their donors? I do. (And in light of the many times I come across them, I am always amazed that people are still screaming about Bill and Monica. At least there were two consenting adults in that story.) Perhaps it's related to that authoritarian world view. Or maybe they're just sick. Or maybe both. Maybe the authoritarian world view is a sick one. I read about a study once that said the most heinous sociopathic criminals in prisons were also most likely to have been raised in a strict fundamentalist religion (definitely authoritarian).


DynCorp, the private corporation that now holds the contract to train Iraqi police, was sued successfully by its own employees for its involvement in a prostitution ring in Kosovo where it was hired to provide security services to the U.N. and American forces. The ring involved sex-slavery, pornography, and drugs and victimized Bosnian women who had previously been raped or imprisoned by Serb forces, including girls as young as 14. One DynCorp employee pled guilty to photographing himself raping a 14-year-old girl.

Do you suppose that DynCorp continues to hold and get more government contracts because of its contributions to Bush, or because of who is on the board of directors, or just what?

All right. I've floated out on a tangent. Enough. I'm going to shut down for the night.

....but hey, you do what you want....you will anyway.

Presidential Auction 2004

Under a Kerry government, the comforting illusion of a world united against imperial aggression will drop away, exposing the jockeying for power that is the true face of modern empire. We'll also have to let go of the archaic idea that toppling a single man, or a Romanesque "empire," will solve all, let alone any, of our problems. Yes, it will make for more complicated politics, but it has the added benefit of being true. With Bush out of the picture, we lose the galvanizing enemy, but we get to take on the actual policies that are transforming all of our countries.

The other day, I was ranting to a friend at The Nation about Kerry's vicious support for the apartheid wall in Israel, his gratuitous attacks on Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and his abysmal record on free trade. "Yeah," he agreed sadly. "But at least he believes in evolution."

So do I--the much-needed evolution of our progressive movements. And that won't happen until we put away the fridge magnets and Bush gags and get serious. And that will only happen once we get rid of the distraction in chief.

So Anybody But Bush. And then let's get back to work.
  Bellaciao article

Pretty much what Nancy said on our Venezuelan tour: "The first thing we do is we get John Kerry in the White House, and the next thing we do is we take to the streets."

Lynndie on trial

The reservists have been blaming military intelligence, and now military intelligence is blaming it on the reservists. Will they battle it out and keep the top commanders out of the fray? Stay tuned.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.


Tom Toles

Freudian slip?

The Asshat in Chief today, signing a defense appropriations bill:

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

If this isn't sad...

I don't know what is.

The president of the United States speaking to the citizens of the United States.

Source: Maru

This, on the other hand, is funny...

Petition to investigate

From ACT:

Just as we’re learning about possible ties between Iran and al-Qaida, we find out that Halliburton (under Cheney’s leadership) did over $80 million dollars of questionable business with the Iranian state-run oil company.

Did Halliburton breaking the law? What role did Dick Cheney play?

The media is not picking up on this story. It is the most serious charge yet against Halliburton and Cheney.

John Ashcroft and the Department of Justice:

No more quiet subpoenas!

No more protecting the Vice President!

We demand a full investigation of Halliburton and their ties to Iran.

You can sign the petition here.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.


Media Matters is a site that keeps you abreast of the ongoing media propaganda. The latest information concerns the slanting of the Dem convention coverage.

And check out Bob Dole's comment about Teresa Kerry. (Actually, I think Media Matters is falling into the subtle pit of propaganda as well by referring to her, as all media seem to, as Teresa Heinz Kerry. It's a reminder that she's an heir to a fortune. Protocol for women's names often includes using her maiden name before her married name, but I don't know of any protocol that calls for using a former married name. I could be wrong. I'm a little rusty on my Emily Post.)

If you're ever looking for articles on current American propaganda, I've got a page for that.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Just too depressing

I'll let Bob take over for a while...

No matter how sick and warped you may think this country is, just remember this: it's MUCH worse than that.

How so, Bob?

All lies, all the time

From the Daily Mislead:

The cover story for this month's In These Times analyzes declassified government documents and intelligence reports given to the White House before the war. These documents either warned the administration about its WMD and Iraq-al Qaeda claims, or totally debunked them. In some cases, intelligence experts explicitly warned top officials not to make the claims they were making, and yet they were ignored. The story wholly refutes assertions by the White House and Republicans that it was the intelligence community to blame. In fact, as the data shows, the White House deliberately ignored intelligence to mislead America.

Read the full article, with direct links to all source material, at In These Times.

Lynndie on trial

Bolinger said England was repeatedly disciplined for sneaking into the prison's fortified "hard site" to visit her boyfriend, Spc. Charles Graner Jr., who is also charged in the case and is the father of the child England is carrying.

"Her performance was not so good," Bolinger said. "She was sneaking out in the middle of the night, going to the hard site."

Bolinger said England also was disciplined after being caught in bed several times with Graner beginning in July 2003. He said authorities tried several different punishments to keep her away from Graner and his part of the prison, including restricting her to her quarters and requiring that she be escorted any time she left the unit's headquarters building.
USA Today article

Excuse me, but I thought this was the Army. And a combat zone. What's this with trying to discipline a soldier and not being able to? Escorted every time she left the building? Is this kindergarten or military service? I don't get it. No wonder things aren't going so well. A real crack military.

England's case is going to be that she only did what she was ordered to do. Somehow I don't think she's going to get very far with that.

Investigator Paul Arthur testified Monday that when he interviewed England about the photos three months before they became public, she told him they were taken while "they were joking around, having some fun, during the night shift."

Arthur said he believed the reservists were responding to the stress of being in a war zone, "kind of venting their frustration."

But when asked if that assessment applied to England, Arthur replied: "She never mentioned that she was frustrated. She said it was more for fun."

England's defense attorney says the government won't be able to lay the blame onto his client and "a few bad apples" because there was systematic abuse also at other detention centers. Well and true, but I don't know how that's going to save his client's sorry ass. It could be interesting though if the government tries to use the case to avoid a complete investigation into the tortures.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Schlesinger report due soon

From the Progress Report:

CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS SHOW RESPONSIBILITY GOES TO THE TOP: Classified documents detailing the abuses obtained by Rolling Stone Magazine make clear that responsibility for the abuses "extends to several high-ranking officers still serving in command positions." According to a secret report, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller – now in charge of all military prisons in Iraq – recommended that military police be "actively engaged in setting in conditions for successful exploitation of the internees." After his plan was adopted, "guards began depriving prisoners of sleep and food, subjecting them to painful 'stress positions' and terrorizing them with dogs." A former Army intelligence officer said the intent of Miller's order was clear: "It means treat the detainees like sh*t until they will sell their mother for a blanket, some food without bugs in it and some sleep." Miller told Col. Thomas Pappas that military dogs "were effective in setting the atmosphere for which, you know, you could get information." Read the full article for the all the gory details.

Yeah, as soon as the scandal broke mainstream news, Miller was transferred from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib to clean it up! The very guy who set the plans in the first place. The whole thing is rotten to the core.

SCHLESINGER REPORT MAY BLAME RUMSFELD: A commission headed by former Defense Secretary and CIA director James Schlesinger investigating the Abu Ghraib scandal is expected to issue its final report in mid-August. Newsweek reports, "the Schlesinger panel is leaning toward the view that failure of command and control at the Pentagon helped create the climate in which the abuses occurred." Among the Commission "there is strong sentiment to assign some responsibility up the line to senior civilian officials at the Pentagon, including Rumsfeld." Rumsfeld is expected to be criticized "for failing to provide adequate numbers of properly trained troops for detaining and interrogating captives...not setting clear interrogation rules and for neglecting to see that guidelines were followed." Prior to being tasked with detaining prisoners in Abu Ghraib, the 372nd Military Policy Company served as traffic cops.

If somebody doesn't get assigned responsibility and some consequences, I'm thinking there really isn't much reason to have hope for this country. Our soul has shriveled and turned black.

Marching steadily and rapidly backward. Especially here in Missouri. We be keepin' thisyere state PURE

Missouri voters have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. In so doing, Missouri becomes the first state in the nation to constitutionally ban gay marriage. Former State Representative Vicky Hartzler, who spearheaded the effort to amend the constitution, claims it was necessary to do so because laws, alone, are not sufficient to stand up to activist judges who make law from the bench. The effort follwed the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling which legalized same-sex marriage in that state.
Missouri Net article

We made AssKKKroft proud. It was a landslide. 70% of our moral voters think refusing rights to a certain sector of their countrymen is the right thing to do.

Laws are not enough. Activist judges make law from the bench. You go, Vicky.

Christ. (Please come and get your people.)

I think I need an attitude adjustment. Or at least a trip to the ocean.

Police State

This is one of those things that unnerves me about all of our new police forces and homeland security services and domestic intelligence agencies. More cops flexing their muscle and less safety overall. Police states aren't planned, they evolve. We are in the midst of one of those evolutions.

What Digby's talking about.

And yes, it disturbs me, too. Any two-bit passport checker, anybody with any job remotely tied to security, is able to exercise that old seductive devil, POWER. And given a chance, most people in that position seem not to have enough integrity to resist. Unfortunately, too many of them become borderline Sadists in the bargain. I'm thinking of the woman who was forced to drink her own breast milk at the airport. You are infinitely less likely to be a victim of a terrorist than you are of your fellow dull-witted, goose-stepping American with a taste for control.

Tom Toles

Iraqi freedom

Interestingly, the Iraqis have similar limited freedoms as we do here, they just don't pretend otherwise.

"In a difficult security situation, we need to fight the terrorists by all means, and one of the main means is the media. We need them all to co-operate, even the private sector. It's for national security," said Ibrahim Janabi, a former Iraqi intelligence officer who Prime Minister Iyad Allawi just appointed as the head of the new Higher Media Commission. The Commission, which will be housed in the old Information Ministry building, will "impose restrictions on print and broadcast media." Janabi said the restrictions would include "unwarranted criticism of the prime minister."
Financial Times article via PR Watch

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

That new intelligence czar?

I said it wouldn't work.

Somebody seems determined to make sure it doesn't.

Bush said the new director "will serve as the president's principal intelligence adviser and will oversee and coordinate the foreign and domestic activities" of the intelligence community. He said the counterintelligence center "will become our government's knowledge bank for information about known and suspected terrorists," coordinating counterterrorism plans across the government and preparing the daily terrorism threat report for the president and other senior officials.

...Rather than adopting the commission's idea of making the position part of the White House structure, Bush proposed making the director a free-standing office of Cabinet rank but not actually in the Cabinet.

... Bush and Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr., who later briefed reporters on the plan, made it clear that the director would not control the nation's $40 billion-a-year intelligence budgets. That power would remain with the individual Cabinet departments and agencies.

Bush said the director "ought to be able to coordinate budgets," and Card said that the director would have "significant input" and "tremendous clout" in developing the intelligence budget but that "it would have to be a developed budget consistent with other agencies."

...As for authority to hire or fire top personnel within the 15 agencies in the community...[t]he Bush proposal does not include giving the new intelligence chief power over personnel.

...Where the Sept. 11 commission would give its national counterterrorism center and other national intelligence centers the power to order clandestine operations and collections, Bush's proposal would apparently give its counterterrorism unit only the authority to gather intelligence from other agencies and prepare coordinated threat information.
  WaPo article

An executive summary writer.

Just out there, not actually in the Cabinet, not part of the White House, and with no authority. I think that takes care of everything.

"Now watch this drive."

Bush's proposals drew a generally favorable response on Capitol Hill.

But, of course! Was there ever any question?

Actually, the initials work pretty well: National Intelligence Director - NID.

It sounds like a NID, doesn't it? I'll just use the alternative spelling of czar and make him (or her) the National Intelligence Tsar.

Update 08/05:

Pat Oliphant

I needed a laugh

Josh Marshall, on the Illinois GOP trying to get Alan Keyes - from Maryland - to run against Barack Obama for an Illinois Senate seat:

It certainly doesn't seem like there's much time to make a drama out of the Illinois senate race. But comedy, it seems, is still a possibility.

...For more on Keyes, the self-proclaimed 'Quintessential American', see this page on his website.

Oooh, lordy. It just keeps getting more and more bizarre.

Good luck, Illinois.

Digby explains the dynamics

I think this is because the right is essentially authoritarian
and group derision is one of the most powerful weapons in the bully's arsenal. Frat boys, Heathers, street gangs, insider cliques of all kinds use it to terrorize the loners and coerce fealty from those who don't want to be a target. Indeed, forcing others to join in the cruelty is the actual point. I've loathed and resisted this dynamic my whole life. It may be the single most important reason I am a Democrat. I just can't stand those assholes.

But, it is a very powerful social force that asserts itself in various ways from childhood into old age. Right now, we seem to be in one of those periodic cultural eras in which these kinds of adolescent, anti-intellectual social types come to the fore. (There is no greater example than the president himself --- "Fuck Saddam, we're takin' 'im out.") It's hard to fight in this environment and while I am all for ridiculing them right back, I'm afraid that most liberals are never going to have quite the flair for it that they do. We have way more genuinely funny guys and gals deflating the hypocricies of our times, but the bullies have that nasty coercive streak that really gives this stuff its punch. "Laugh, you pussies, unless you want a piece of this."

Another look at it comes from an interview (forwarded through La Belle from Bill) with a fellow I referred to in an earlier post, George Lakoff:

[The conservatives] have a huge, very good operation, and they understand their own moral system. They understand what unites conservatives, and they understand how to talk about it, and they are constantly updating their research on how best to express their ideas.

Why haven't progressives done the same thing?

There's a systematic reason for that. You can see it in the way that conservative foundations and progressive foundations work. Conservative foundations give large block grants year after year to their think tanks. They say, 'Here's several million dollars, do what you need to do.' And basically, they build infrastructure, they build TV studios, hire intellectuals, set aside money to buy a lot of books to get them on the best-seller lists, hire research assistants for their intellectuals so they do well on TV, and hire agents to put them on TV. They do all of that. Why? Because the conservative moral system, which I analyzed in "Moral Politics," has as its highest value preserving and defending the "strict father" system itself. And that means building infrastructure. As businessmen, they know how to do this very well.

Meanwhile, liberals' conceptual system of the "nurturant parent" has as its highest value helping individuals who need help. The progressive foundations and donors give their money to a variety of grassroots organizations. They say, 'We're giving you $25,000, but don't waste a penny of it. Make sure it all goes to the cause, don't use it for administration, communication, infrastructure, or career development.' So there's actually a structural reason built into the worldviews that explains why conservatives have done better.

Back up for a second and explain what you mean by the strict father and nurturant parent frameworks.

Well, the progressive worldview is modeled on a nurturant parent family. Briefly, it assumes that the world is basically good and can be made better and that one must work toward that. Children are born good; parents can make them better. Nurturing involves empathy, and the responsibility to take care of oneself and others for whom we are responsible. On a larger scale, specific policies follow, such as governmental protection in form of a social safety net and government regulation, universal education (to ensure competence, fairness), civil liberties and equal treatment (fairness and freedom), accountability (derived from trust), public service (from responsibility), open government (from open communication), and the promotion of an economy that benefits all and functions to promote these values, which are traditional progressive values in American politics.

The conservative worldview, the strict father model, assumes that the world is dangerous and difficult and that children are born bad and must be made good. The strict father is the moral authority who supports and defends the family, tells his wife what to do, and teaches his kids right from wrong. The only way to do that is through painful discipline — physical punishment that by adulthood will become internal discipline. The good people are the disciplined people. Once grown, the self-reliant, disciplined children are on their own. Those children who remain dependent (who were spoiled, overly willful, or recalcitrant) should be forced to undergo further discipline or be cut free with no support to face the discipline of the outside world.

We're going to have to find the way to run a country split so decisively between world views if we hope to survive as a country.

Red alert on standby

The general who headed the U.S. military prison at Abu Ghraib said in an interview broadcast Tuesday that there had been a conspiracy to prevent her knowing about prisoner abuse at the jail.

...Karpinski told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that she had information suggesting officials took action to keep her in the dark about the mistreatment.

"I have been told there's a reliable witness who's made a statement ... indicating that not only was I not included in any of the meetings discussing interrogation operations, but specific measures were taken to ensure I would not have access to those facilities, that information or any of the details of interrogations at Abu Ghraib or anywhere else," Karpinski said.

..."Correct," Karpinski responded when asked if she thought there was a conspiracy at senior level to stop her knowing what was going on.

...Asked whether she thought the conspiracy reached up to the Pentagon or the White House, she said: "The indication is that it may have."
  Seattle Post-Intelligencer article

And Lynndie England's hearing to decide if she should be court martialed is being held at Fort Bragg this week. Her attorney says she's being scapegoated.

There goes your job, sucker

The number of job cuts planned by U.S. employers rose in July, while hiring announcements fell for the second straight month, an outplacement firm said Tuesday.
  CNN Money article

"Now watch this drive."

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Orange alert, dumbshitz

Further on that three-four-year-old information that led to the high alert to steal Dem convention attention:

That stunt. That shameless propaganda. Your trusted leaders have both your tits in a wringer and your balls (if you have any) in their self-serving greedy, grubby fists. Right where they want you.

Now vote Republican, unless you want them to squeeze.

"There is nothing right now that we're hearing that is new," said one senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the alert. "Why did we go to this level? . . . I still don't know that."

One piece of information on one building, which intelligence officials would not name, appears to have been updated in a computer file as late as January 2004, according to a senior intelligence official. But officials could not say yesterday whether that piece of data was the result of active surveillance by al Qaeda or came instead from information about the buildings that is publicly available.
  WaPo article

Many administration officials stressed yesterday that even three-year-old intelligence, when coupled with other information about al Qaeda's plans to attack the United States, justified the massive security response in the three cities....

Intelligence officials said that the remarkably detailed information about the surveillance -- which included logs of pedestrian traffic and notes on the types of explosives that might work best against each target -- was evaluated in light of general intelligence reports received this summer indicating that al Qaeda hopes to strike a U.S. target before the November presidential elections.

Yes, and it just so happened that the most appropriate time to release that information and twist your tit a little tighter was right before John Kerry was to give his big speech. Not earlier this summer right after those reports were received. Not nearer the November election date. But right when it could steal a little thunder from the Dems' convention. Isn't that amazing? What a coincidence.

Bush said the alert shows "there's an enemy which hates what we stand for."

You know what, asshat? I hate what you stand for, too. You stand for greed, and arrogance, and corruption, and public manipulation. Deceit and dishonor. Avoidance of responsibility. So don't include me when you say "we", you pathetic piece of offal.

"It's serious business," Bush said. "I mean, we wouldn't be, you know, contacting authorities at the local level unless something was real."

I wouldn't be, like saying, you know, I mean, you know, if I had something honest to say. Lying coward.

Employees at announced targets in New York and New Jersey arrived at work yesterday with a mix of defiance and jitters. Some said they wanted to send a message that terrorists could not deter them from living their lives as usual. Others were visibly shaken by the presence of heavily armed police officers and new barricades

Yeah, well, thank your lying asshat of a president and his repugnant dick of a VP and their toxic slimey political manager for that.

You are right. My tolerance meter has about topped out.

Other officials also stressed that, however long ago al Qaeda operatives compiled the surveillance details, the information was new to U.S. intelligence agencies and was almost unprecedented in the depth of its details. "All this stuff was fresh to us," one official said.

Big whoop! It's still old information! Give it to the fucking Worthless Commission.

At the CIA's daily 5 p.m. counterterrorism meeting Thursday, the first information about the detailed al Qaeda surveillance of the five financial buildings was discussed among senior CIA, FBI and military officials. They decided to launch a number of worldwide operations, including the deployment of increased law enforcement around the five buildings.

There's a saying for that kind of action. Something about a horse and a barn door.

Initially, top administration officials had decided to wait until yesterday to announce the alert, but more intelligence information was coming in -- both new translations of the documents, and analysis of other sources' statements -- that deepened their concern about the information, and persuaded them to move ahead swiftly. "There was a serious sense of urgency to get it out," the senior intelligence official said.

There's your new information. New translations and new analyses. I don't know. Are these people total incompetents are just plain assholes? This country is going to implode. That much is obvious.

Numerous officials said yesterday, however, that most of the information was compiled prior to the Sept. 11 attacks and that there are serious doubts about the age of other, undated files. One senior counterterrorism official said many of the documents include dates prior to Sept. 11, 2001, but there are no dates after that.

"Most of the information is very dated but you clearly have targets with enough specificity, and that pushed it over the edge," the counterterrorism official said. "You've got the Republican convention coming up, the Olympics, the elections. . . . I think there was a feeling that we should err on the side of caution even if it's not clear that anything is new."

I'll be waiting to see what that reference to January 2004 actually turns out to be.

Sickening. The timing of course was absolutely necessary, right? Why not err on the side of caution in a few weeks at the Republican convention? After all, the information predates the WTC attacks. The logical assumption would be that this was information used to decide which building(s) to attack on 9/11/01, and that those other buildings were passed over in favor of the WTC. At any rate, there was absolutely no reason to release this very old information or raise the alert at this particular time. No reason whatsoever. Except for the Bush/Pinochet campaign.

In New York yesterday, traffic backed up at tunnels and bridges into the city, Hercules and Atlas police teams toting rifles and machine guns checked vehicles, police helicopters crisscrossed the skies, and employees throughout the financial district stood in long security queues, showing their corporate identifications and bags to guards.

Around the NYSE in Lower Manhattan, rows of concrete and metal barricades were in place and side streets were blocked off.

In Newark, officials set up concrete barriers and police teams around the 24-story Prudential building, where about 1,000 employees work. "I'm a little nervous," analyst Tracy Swistak, 27, told the Associated Press. "But I'm confident Prudential's doing everything they can to ensure our safety."

On a virtual hoax! How much money did that cost? How many freaked out people? Oh well, there'll probably be some kickback for the drug companies there. A few more Valium prescriptions.

Mistakes can be made. This is not an error. This was intentional. Disgusting. Tom Ridge should be sacked. And all who are complicit should hang their heads in shame and feel lucky they still get to retain their citizenship. Americans! Preying on the fears of their fellow citizens.

If this is what "the enemy" hates, I may actually start to believe they hate us for who we are. We're predators. And we prey on our own.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Update 08/05:

Plamegate update: Why Powell was called to testify

Sources close to the case say prosecutors were interested in discussions Powell had while with President George W. Bush on a trip to Africa in July 2003, just before Plame's identity was leaked to columnist Robert Novak. A senior State Department official confirmed that, while on the trip, Powell had a department intelligence report on whether Iraq had sought uranium from Niger—a claim Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, discounted after a trip to Niger on behalf of the CIA...Though most lawyers thought the investigation was nearly complete, sources say Fitzgerald has recently recalled witnesses before the grand jury—apparently to ask about issues raised by a new Senate intelligence committee report that seemed to contradict some of Wilson's public statements about Plame's role in his trip to Niger.
  MSNBC article

al-Sadr update

U.S. forces have withdrawn from their position surrounding cleric al-Sadr's home. Source

Corporate blackmail

Because they can.

It was, as French trade unions have said in no uncertain terms, blackmail. In mid-July the 820 workers at the Robert Bosch plant voted to accept a new contract that increases their work week by one hour - with no increase in pay - cuts bonuses and freezes their salaries for three years. The company, Bosch France, a subsidiary of the German Bosch parent, had placed an ultimatum to the employees: accept the proposal or a slated new production line will be relocated in the Czech Republic. The move came quickly on the heels of a similarly coerced decision by 41,000 workers at a Chrysler-Daimler plant at Sindelfingen, Germany to give up $620 million in wages and unpaid hours or see 6,000 of their jobs moved to factories in Bremen, in northern Germany, where the hours worked per year is 72 hours longer than at Sindelfingen, or to South Africa.

The previous month in Germany, Siemens AG put a take- it-or-leave-it demand to phone factory workers: five more hours a week with no additional pay or the jobs go to Hungary. 'They chose to keep their jobs,' the Associated Press reported. Surprise.
  Bellaciao article

....hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

More on the Corporate nightmare that rules the world.

Oops, one little detail

That information that was handily provided just before Kerry's speech due to the capture of a "high value target" right on schedule, and which justified upping the color warning to orange, was three years old.

Much of the information obtained from al Qaeda that led the United States to raise terror alerts in Washington and New York was at least three years old but a top U.S. official said on Tuesday it remained relevant.

..."What we have learned about the 9/11 attacks, is that they do them (plan for attacks), years in advance and then update them before they launch the attacks," [White House homeland security adviser, Fran Townsend] told ABC's "Good Morning America" show, referring to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against America.
  Reuters article

We know this is their pattern, because how many 9/11 attacks have we had? Maybe we have some more information on previous attempts which were foiled because we had this knowledge of how they plan?

Townsend said the U.S. government got its latest intelligence of planning for more attacks as little as 72 hours ago from Pakistan.

"We thought we had to get it to the American people so that they could protect themselves," she said.

How? Should we not go to work? Should we seal our houses in plastic and duct tape? Should we pack iron? Or should we just pack up and move to another country? Why don't we just shoot ourselves and get it over with?

Federal authorities said they were unsure whether al Qaeda's surveillance continued, the newspapers reported.

The Post cited officials as saying that much of the information al Qaeda gathered on buildings in Washington, New York and Newark, New Jersey, was obtained through the Internet or other "open sources" available to the general public, including floor plans.

"What we've uncovered is a collection operation as opposed to the launching of an attack," a senior U.S. official told the Post.

Well, that's not exactly how it was put to us, was it? No, I think it was: get ready because al-Qaeda is planning imminent attacks and here are the specific buildings.

This is your government gone amuck, screwing you without pause.

Bogus. Bullshit.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

Intelligence Czar

Tom sends a link to an article about the lies told to us by NORAD and the FAA regarding 9/11.

During the hearing, [Sen. Mark Dayton, D-MN] told leaders of the Sept. 11 commission, that, based on the commission's report, a NORAD chronology made public a week after the attacks was grossly misleading.

The chronology said the FAA notified the military's emergency air command of three of the hijackings while those jetliners were still airborne. Dayton cited commission findings that the FAA failed to inform NORAD about three of the planes until after they had crashed.

And, he said, a squadron of NORAD fighter planes that was scrambled was sent east over the Atlantic Ocean and was 150 miles from Washington, D.C., when the third plane struck the Pentagon -- "farther than they were before they took off."

Dayton said NORAD officials "lied to the American people, they lied to Congress and they lied to your 9/11 commission to create a false impression of competence, communication and protection of the American people."

The Worthless Commission, whose chairmen are allegedly being considered to man the post of head of the new agency, recommended the creation of an overlord of intelligence.

"What we're trying to do is force the sharing of information and then make one person responsible," [Chairman] Kean said.

It won't work.

We are so dense. If something isn't working, we try more of it. It seems to be a common human brain malfunction. Your kid didn't stop sneaking out of the house when you grounded him for a week, so you ground him for a month. The dog peed on the rug after you rubbed his nose in it the first time, so this time you whack him with a rolled up magazine while you rub his nose in it. And eventually, you will find the amount of force that works. Or not. You may get stuck in Iraq where there seems to be no end to the number of martyrs available. Maybe you'll have to nuke the world to control it.

Anyway. It won't work. It won't fix anything. If the heads of six intelligence agencies can lie, be bought, or otherwise controlled, then so can seven. Christ on a bicycle people, it's not rocket science. If the heads of twelve intellgence agencies are concerned about covering their asses, even if it means they have to cover up some pertinent bit of information, then the head of the thirteenth agency can be concerned about his ass, too.

You want somebody to make responsible, then why not the POTUS? He's at the top of the heap. Responsibility doesn't seem to reach that far for some reason I am unable to grasp.

And if the Congress or the Worthless Commission wants to delegate responsibility, they should probably start with themselves. They voted to give the Idiot in Chief powers the Constitution didn't. They didn't do any homework when issues came their way; they just voted "aye". You see where I'm going here. If people are not willing to actually take responsibility themselves, why on earth do they think they can appoint someone else to take it?

And just what does that mean anyway? When was the last time anybody in office took responsibility for anything and it made one iota of difference in what is happening?

Another agency, another position, won't fix anything.

I am reminded again of Jerry Brown in the presidential primaries back in whatever year it was that Bill Clinton was elected the first time around. Speaking at a debate, he said of the other candidates: You all want to go to Washington and tweak things when what we need is a crowbar.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.