Friday, July 09, 2004
They are NOT going to be able to hold back the tidal wave until after the election.
I'm still a believer in the Plame Affair. When the dam breaks it is going to be a catastrophe for the Bushists. Big time. And it is going to happen soon, you just have to believe.
A Senate committee just issued a report blaming the CIA for just about the entire Iraq WMD debacle, but is silent about the Administration's own involvement in distorting or misusing intelligence to make a case for war. The Dems on the committee are going to issue an interim minority report on that. That report is going to connect a lot of dots for a lot of people. Remember the aluminum tubes, the Winnebagos of Mass Destruction, the gas centrifuge in the rose garden, Bush's failure to secure suspected WMD sites, oh, and uh the Plame Affair?
We still have not heard the worst from the Abu Ghraib atrocity. A German newspaper is reporting some horrific instances of child torture. It is only a matter of time before another round of pictures comes out, and these will be the worst yet.
And it's pretty certain that the US will soon have its 1000th combat death. I think that will draw a lot of attention to the issue of the human cost of the War of George's Mistake.
And ALL of that shit could go down between now and November 2. Bush/Cheney is already losing the head-to-head against Kerry/Edwards. And that's before the shit well and truely hits the fan for the Bushists.
Enjoy your summer!
I'm not sure why, but I too have a feeling the Plame affair is going to hit big, fairly soon.
He couldn't say where.
He couldn't say when.
He couldn't say who.
He couldn't say how.
So why did Tom Ridge even bother coming out before the microphones and cameras yesterday, stirring up public anxiety about a pre-election terror attack?
It wasn't as if the Bush administration's homeland security secretary had any useful information to share. All he had was another eerie-sounding warning and the same ol' advice we've been getting since the morning of Sept. 12, 2001.
Al-Qaida wants to "influence the American election," we are told. The terrorists hope to "pull another Spain," where the ruling party was voted out after the Madrid subway was bombed.
The implication isn't accidental, and it gets real ugly real fast: A vote for John Kerry, we are supposed to conclude, is a vote for Osama bin Laden.
That Osama-Edwards ticket is a real winner.
New testimony from former Halliburton workers and congressional auditors released in Washington, D.C., this week has revealed millions of dollars worth of wasteful practices, major over billing and virtually no oversight of the company's work to support the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003.
Under an agreement for logistical support for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), a Halliburton subsidiary, has received $4.5 billion for activities in Iraq and Kuwait since the invasion, including more than $3 billion to import fuel and repair oil fields. The full contract may eventually be worth as much as $18 billion.
In testimony submitted to members of Congress, one truck driver explained in detail how taxpayers were billed for empty trucks driven up and down Iraq and how $85,000 vehicles were abandoned for lack of spare tires. A labor foreman said dozens of workers were told to "look busy" while doing virtually no work for salaries of $80,000 a year. An auditor related how the company was spending an average of $100 for every single bag of laundry and $10,000 a month for company employees to stay in five-star hotels.
"While the Bush administration failed to adequately plan for the safety of our troops - as proven by its failure to provide sufficient body armor - it made certain that Halliburton would make a killing long before the war began," said Jim Donahue, coordinator for Halliburton Watch, a nonprofit organization based in Washington.
There are many grounds for criticizing things that were done or left undone during Tenet's seven-year tenure at the CIA. But a voluminous public record of the back and forth between Tenet and the Bush administration's policy makers indicates that CIA analysts were often skeptical of assumptions about Saddam's WMDs that Bush, Cheney, and other consumers of intelligence wanted to propound as the primary justification for the war that removed Saddam from power. Tenet persuaded Bush to delete from a speech he gave in Cincinnati a false claim about an Iraqi purchase of uranium yellowcake from the African nation of Niger.
If the Senate Select Committee chaired by Kansas Republican Pat Roberts makes it appear that Tenet's CIA misled Bush and Cheney by withholding uncorroborated statements that analysts had reason to be dubious about, the committee will be turning on its head the relationship between the White House and the CIA. Intelligence professionals justifiably resent the constant pressure put on CIA analysts, especially from Cheney and top civilians in the Defense Department, to come up with the intelligence product those policy makers desired.
Tenet's major mistake was to trade pliancy for access to Bush and budget largesse. But it was Bush, Cheney, and the Defense Department civilians who politicized intelligence analysis to suit their policy needs. It would only compound that original error if the Roberts committee politicized its analysis of what went wrong.
From my experience these days, an individual blindly backing the current president, George W. Bush, bases their arguments for support of this man on heavy rhetoric yet little fact. Many choose to attack Bush's detractors rather then defend the merits of Bush's actions. For the most part, they are either intellectually dishonest or so horribly misinformed that they cannot see error in their thoughts.
As November nears, Bush-bots have dropped all logical defense of their president. Any negative comments are now only quipped by wishful rhetoric: "Bush protects us from terrorism," "George W. Bush has done more to secure the safety of this country than anyone," "He's a good Christian man," "History will show that Bush is own of our greatest leaders." Convincing, huh?
Instead of engaging in factual debate regarding the Bush administration, Bushies have taken the field to attack John Kerry and his new running mate John Edwards. Most of their arguments are solid yet they only take this position in order to avoid a debate regarding their fearless leader.
Throughout my statements above, you may have noticed that I did not refer to Bush supporters as conservatives, or even of being truly on what we consider as the political right. Those poor, misled individuals who choose to stand unquestioningly by Bush are not conservatives. They are men and women who are loyal to one mere politician instead of their country. Although the Bush flock quickly rebukes dissenters as un-American, unpatriotic or traitors, they should take the time out to analyze their own loyalties.
A view from the right.
Is George Bush trying to be ironic when he criticizes John Edwards' lack of experience? After all, Bush himself was arguably less experienced than Edwards at this stage of the game four years ago.
And just look where we are today: neck-deep in a quagmire of our own making, despised around the world, an armed forces stretched to the breaking point, and a budget deficit that is eroding our critical infrastructure as we speak.
If anyone's experience should be an issue in this campaign, it's the experience of the American people, who have endured not only the nightmare of September 11 but its deadly Orwellian aftermath. It's that experience which points directly to Kerry/Edwards in November.
More than 4,000 scientists, including 48 Nobel Prize winners and 127 members of the National Academy of Sciences, accused the Bush administration Thursday of distorting and suppressing science to suit its political goals.
"Across a broad range of policy areas, the administration has undermined the quality and independence of the scientific advisory system and the morale of the government's outstanding scientific personnel," the scientists said in a letter.
The administration has frequently been accused of misusing and ignoring science to further its policy aims. The list of signatures collected by the Union of Concerned Scientists suggests that the issue has become worrisome throughout the scientific community.
Administration officials rejected the criticism Thursday, as they did when the same letter was released in February bearing the names of 62 prominent scientists.
Remember, the president doesn't listen to "focus groups".
Thursday, July 08, 2004
US President George W. Bush walks away from a briefing with the media, refusing to answer questions after he was asked about Enron and the reported indictment of former CEO Kenneth Lay, who was a close adviser and fund-raiser for Bush and his father, earning him the presidential nickname of 'Kenny Boy.'
[Yahoo News, 7/8/04]
You might as well just keep walking, George.
Re: This election is serious; "Fahrenheit 9/11" is not, July 4.
Philip Gailey may not want to see Michael Moore's film and that is certainly his choice. I would suggest, however, that it shows a fair bit of arrogance for the "editor of editorials" of the Times to criticize a movie he hasn't seen.
Gailey, as a journalist, may want to see the movie for what it says about the mainstream media and how they bought the lies and distortions of the Bush administration and cheered us on to a pre-emptive war with Iraq. They did so without actually seeing proof that Iraq was a real threat or that weapons of mass destruction even existed. Sort of like reviewing a movie you haven't seen.
The link for this item leads to a whole page of letters complaining about the striking arrogance of this "journalist". Well worth reading.
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
The Sept. 11 commission yesterday stood by its finding that Al Qaeda had only limited contact with Iraq before the terrorist attacks, a determination disputed by Vice President Dick Cheney.
The bipartisan panel issued a one-sentence statement saying it had access to the same information as Cheney, who suggested strong ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
Those ties were a central justification the Bush administration gave for going to war with Iraq and were called into question after the commission released a preliminary report last month. The report cited contacts between Hussein's regime and Osama bin Laden but said there was no "collaborative relationship."
Cheney criticized the finding in a CNBC interview and said there "probably" was data about Iraq's links to terrorists that the commission members did not learn during their investigation. The commission disputed that.
He really holds on, doesn't he?
A senior Defense Department official conducted unauthorized investigations of Iraq reconstruction efforts and used their results to push for lucrative contracts for friends and their business clients, according to current and former Pentagon officials and documents.
John A. "Jack" Shaw, deputy undersecretary for international technology security, represented himself as an agent of the Pentagon's inspector general in conducting the investigations, sources said.
In one case, Shaw disguised himself as an employee of Halliburton Co. and gained access to a port in southern Iraq after he was denied entry by the U.S. military, the sources said.
In that investigation, Shaw found problems with operations at the port of Umm al Qasr, Pentagon sources said. In another, he criticized a competition sponsored by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority to award cellphone licenses in Iraq.
In both cases, Shaw urged government officials to fix the alleged problems by directing multimillion-dollar contracts to companies linked to his friends, without competitive bidding, according to the Pentagon sources and documents. In the case of the port, the clients of a lobbyist friend won a no-bid contract for dredging.
Shaw's actions are the latest to raise concerns that senior Republican officials working in Washington and Iraq have used the rebuilding effort in Iraq to reward associates and political allies. One of Shaw's close friends, the former top U.S. transportation official in Iraq, is under investigation for his role in promoting an Iraqi national airline with a company linked to the Saddam Hussein regime.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
The U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) told agency scientists that they can no longer participate in World Health Organization (WHO) meetings unless they receive prior approval from a senior political appointee, the Los Angeles Times reported June 26.
WHO has always invited researchers directly to its meetings. But a top HHS official requested that WHO now send invitations to the department's secretary for review. So far, WHO officials have refused to adhere to the request.
Denis Aitken, WHO assistant director-general, said the request would compromise the independence of international scientific deliberations.
Earlier this year, 60 scientists criticized the Bush administration for "misrepresenting and suppressing scientific knowledge for political purposes." The president's science advisor, Dr. John Marburger, called the allegations "wrong and misleading, inaccurate."
And false too, I suppose.
In hideous glimpses of US soldiers (and mercenaries) exulting over abused Iraqi prisoners in Abu Gharib prison, ordinary Yanks got a shocking reminder that their mighty nation does not boast a very appetising human rights record abroad or, increasingly, at home. Why a nation founded on genocide, torn by a 19th century civil war over slavery and so tediously celebrative of its imperial adventures (“From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli,” as the US Marine Corps hymn begins) should be startled at recent misdeeds is a tribute to the educational system, which, like any other educational system, prefers flattering nationalistic tales to the truth.
Still, many Americans, including a good few conservatives, are deeply worried that they cannot recognise their own country any more. That, paradoxically, is a good sign. Powerful authorities, especially in democracies, always do their dirtiest work in secret; and what they do there tells you who they really are and what they really want. So it is growing very difficult even for the most naive middle class Americans to avoid the frightful conclusion that the vile techniques that Bush and his minions encouraged in Abu Gharib are exactly what they will inflict on any American citizen they please, if they can get away with it.
The utterly illegal advice delivered by passionately partisan attorneys within Bush’s administration shows that they will try by any twisted logic to transform the notoriously thin-skinned and unelected President into an omnipotent ruler. “There’s just no middle ground with these guys,” legendary journalist Seymour Hersh stated in a speaking engagement in Chicago last week. “If you agree with them you’re a genius. If you disagree, you’re a traitor.”
An interesting view from abroad.
When does optimism — the Bush campaign's favorite word these days — become an inability to face facts? On Friday, President Bush insisted that a seriously disappointing jobs report, which fell far short of the pre-announcement hype, was good news: "We're witnessing steady growth, steady growth. And that's important. We don't need boom-or-bust-type growth."
But Mr. Bush has already presided over a bust. For the first time since 1932, employment is lower in the summer of a presidential election year than it was on the previous Inauguration Day. Americans badly need a boom to make up the lost ground. And we're not getting it.
When March's numbers came in much better than expected, I cautioned readers not to make too much of one good month. Similarly, we shouldn't make too much of June's disappointment. The question is whether, taking a longer perspective, the economy is performing well. And the answer is no
How long will it be before people react?
George Bush lied to us and is continuing to lie about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and about Saddam Hussein's involvement with the Sept. 11 attacks. His purpose was to get us into a war that he and his cohorts seemed to desperately want.
He refused to testify under oath before the Sept. 11 Commission.
He refused to testify under oath before the grand jury investigating the illegally leaked identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame.
Refusing to swear that your words are the truth serves only one obvious purpose.
Two days after Sept. 11, while most of the nation's air traffic still grounded, he secretly arranged to fly a group of Saudi "friends" out of the country. He refuses to comment about this action. Meanwhile, a majority of the Sept. 11 attackers were Saudis.
People have and continue to die and be maimed because of his lies and the secret maneuverings of his regime.
When are we going to demand accountability from them?