The War That Opposes Al Jazeera More Than Osama Bin Laden

I don’t know whether you caught it here or elsewhere last week, but we’ve lowered the jackpot someone gets who snitches and leads to the death (wanna bet?) or capture (right, uh huh) of Osama bin Laden. But here in so called “liberal loony” Vermont, we’re fighting a single opposing voice: whether to permit the broadcast of al Jazeera on a cable network here (and al Jazeera does NOT always take the side of Islam, if you have any regular reading experience there) like it’s more heinous than September 11th and what we did to Iraq rolled together.

Now, the Burlington area is considered to be the most liberal part of the state; it’s got a tiny Seattle kind of feel to it, and that it’s a multiple college town doesn’t necessarily make it more conservative.

Really? We can’t listen to the other side occasionally? Sometimes, only by looking at both sides of the supposed truth can you discern the spin, the message, the actual agendae at work.

Just 3 Trillion Little Lies Later: Iraq

Not just three trillion dollars spent – in fact, I suspect the figure is more than four times that – but three trillion lies!

Today, as we mark that dark mid-March day in 2003 when President Bush, complete with a raised fist pumping air like he was about to go into the final playoffs to give “’em one more for the Gipper…” gesture and dispatched the first soldiers off to war, the cold, harsh light of day makes it a heluva lot easier to see all the lies.

After all, it was not just one single lie that Bush used to get us into Iraq but a multitude of them, including:

  • weapons of mass destruction everywhere>
  • doctored intelligence reports that led to the outing of CIA covert operative, Valerie Plame Wilson, because Bushies did not like that Wilson’s husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, would not pretend Niger “yellow cake” uranium story was true
  • Saddam was about to launch a campaign to make kittens and puppies in perfect little American suburbia all sick
  • the war would take a few days to a few weeks, completely pay for itself, and there is “absolutely no way” to lose it
  • the entire world sees the war as right which is why we had to pay them and bully them into joining the “coalition of the willing”
  • actions in Iraq certainly won’t distract us from catching Osama bin Laden, regroup al Qaeda, or exhaust our resources for the global war on terror

Need I list more?

Bush Talks, GOP Walks

Today, King George, in all his nervy, twitchy splendor, delivered a speech about the Protect Mah Buds America Act. And who wouldn’t want to Protect America? Well, terr’r’sts, of course.

The Senate bill will provide fair and just liability protection for companies that assisted in the efforts to protect America after the attacks of September the 11th. Without this protection, without this liability shield, we may not be able to secure the private sector’s cooperation with our intelligence efforts. And that, of course, would put the American people at risk.

Oh, Georgie, I so hoped you would make it through the whole event without referencing the one thing that is really hanging up the House. That would’ve been clutch.

Namely: a whiles back the Bush Administration went to AT&T and other telecommunications companies, sidled up to ’em, and in quiet, spastic whispers spat out “Heh heh, hey. Hows about you give us all your phone records. Wha? Of course it’s legal. I’m Big G – that’s what they call me, heh heh – and I don’t do nothin’ illegal, so if I’m doin’ it, it’s not illegal. We’re savin’ ‘Merica from terr’r’sts. Caprice?”

So the telecoms handed over their records, the media found out and Holy Crap! – about five thousand people really gave a shit for about fifteen minutes, then it dropped to a few dozen lefty blogs.

…ya know ya want it… Continue reading

Speaking Of Torture, We Can “Do” It, But We Cannot Watch a Film Depicting It

As a sad and sick followup to my previous post re: torture, the Discovery Channel, which previously purchased the rights to broadcast an independent documentary – “Taxi to the Dark Side” that details the torture and death by American troops of an innocent young Muslim cabdriver, has dropped the broadcast, claiming the subject is too controversial.

Now, if you know anything about TV and ratings, controversy is a good thing. So one must wonder WHY they did it, and hope to hell SOME network can obtain the rights from Discovery and its corporate whores to show this film.

If is not just our “right” but our OBLIGATION to understand what is being done, like torture, in our names, by our government, funded by our tax dollars. We may hate to hell what we see and it may make us sick, but we HAVE to know.

Crazy Conservatism Commits Suicide

Several recent events show that the conservative movement in America is intent upon killing itself, and does not show any signs of stopping the process in the near future.

The apparent nomination of John McCain is the most obvious manifestation of the death of the right that you and I have grown to loathe. The right lost all hope of stopping the McCain nomination when Mitt Romney stepped aside, looking to take up the conservative cause in 2012. McCain winning the nomination means the wingnuts have lost any vestige of power they once wielded in their own party, but Romneys emergence as the leader of the conservative movement going forward signals that they are determined to keep sucking the noxious fumes through the hose they’ve strung from their own toxic exhausts into their sealed off little bubbles. Continue reading

New Bushie Plan: Let The FBI ID You Wherever You Go

And this is supposed to protect us? Biometrics? The same thing already “helping” us detect women’s breast sizes at airport security?

No. It sounds like a much better plan for watching Americans just going about their usual business, and in a way we’ll regret mightily.

IF these organizations cannot protect us – and again and again, and even owing and acknowledging that many brave men and women have TRIED – than WHY should we let them watch US rather than the so-called “evil doers”?

Giuliani Scaring Us for Real

This is the new Florida commercial:

“When the world wavered, and history hesitated, he never did.”

Are you serious? Someone should explain to their campaign that alliteration for the sake of alliteration is never, ever acceptable. “History hesitated?” What the hell does that even mean?

And I don’t know if Mr. Giuliani was in New York on September 11th, but I watched hours and hours and hours of coverage and I didn’t see one bit of wavering or hesitation; on the contrary, I saw a city and a country united, a world brought together (for the most part) in solidarity for the tragedy that was that day.

To hear the Giuliani campaign spout it, you’d think the whole world went to fecal-flavored jello, but Rudy – alone – stood strong, like bull, like rock, and he picked us all up and we leaned on him, and we wept, and he had an unlimited supply of tissues (and Popsicles) and saved his own tears for later, when his insurmountable strength finally gave, but only for a second; there was still work to do.

And that, friends, is a damned lie.

The Former Republican Congressman Turned Terrorist: Why We Should Wait To Pass Judgment

OK, it’s very tempting: a Midwest man (Mark Deli Siljander of Michigan) who formerly served in Congress (as a Republican) and as a delegate to the United Nations has been charged with 42 – count ’em – charges of funding and promoting terrorism. The righteous Republican tag makes me want to exploit this story for all it’s worth.

But here’s why I won’t.

First, there’s that strange notion of “innocent until proven guilty” that was hard hit even BEFORE the Bushies rode into office on a surplus of rigged electronic voting and almost completely eliminated now. But even that is not the only reason here I won’t take the bait.

Siljander has been charged for his efforts with the Islamic American Relief Agency which the feds claim funnels money to groups that have actually threated America and its war of empire in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. However, we’ve seen a BUNCH of such charges that, even when the feds DO manage to win in court, seem to be built on unsubstantiated so-called evidence. Outside the U.S., many courts throughout the very civilized world have, often using info “developed” by the Bushies, have failed to render guilty verdicts because of the speciousness of the charges and the evidence the cases are built upon.

As the Christian Science Monitor so WISELY opined soon after September 11th, 2001 when they decided to stop using the term “terrorist” to identify everyone the Bushies do not like, “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.” This government is waging war on money going to every Muslim cause that isn’t directed at keeping the Bushies and American corporations in charge of the oil in Iraq and the huge oil pipeline planned to cross Afghanistan OR to promote the war Bush WANTS to have in Iran.

At the exact same time, this government turns a blind eye to fund raising for others who also might be construed as religious fascists; for example, it’s fine if you donate huge sums of money to some of the seriously rightwing “let’s get rid of these Muslims and anyone else of not-our-kind-of-Semite” groups in Israel. (Palestinians and others are also Semites, btw, which makes any criticism of the most rightwing of the Israeli government’s actions as “anti-Semitic” just because some of us want a fairness way beyond odd.) And Israel is just one example of the terrorists our government IS willing to support while condemning a select group of others.

Knowing how many charges have been brought by the highly politicized judicial system under Bush for reasons that have nothing to do with actual justice, I’m sorry but I don’t think anything they do stands up to the smell test.

IF Siljander’s group and Siljander himself actually are terrorists, then I have no problem with them being charged and prosecuted. But persecution just for being Muslim – to this Christian, me – just stinks. STOP ALL TERRORIST FUNDING and then apply the rules, or stop bringing charges only against CERTAIN parties. We still support, for example, many programs that help keep any Saudi but the Saud royal family in extreme poverty in ways most of the rest of the world sees as terrorism against the Saudi people but God forbid an Islamic charity does anything to feed and educate those poor.

A Great Example OF Why Feds Can’t Investigate Themselves: The 9/11 Commission Search For Truth “Obstructed”

Soon after I posted my piece about the rather ridiculous situation where the Justice Department will investigate its own CIA in the destruction of two videotapes depicting the feds’ torture techniques used on anyone they feel like hurting in the so-called “War on Terror”, Glenn Greenwald ably proved by point with this post on his Salon blog about how the 9-11 Commission’s investigation was blocked by the feds (with Bush and Cheney at the top of the mammoth dung pile).

Out Of The Mouth of Boobs… er… Bush

With so much bad news – from the economy to the declaration that we’re having our deadliest years E-V-E-R in both Iraq and Afghanistan to a host of other awfuls, the Bushies have made a few really TELLING declarations in the past week that are worthy of note.

First, there was Bush’s insistence that anything Pakistan leader Pervez Musharraf wanted to do to for his country was A-OK with Bush. But that’s not quite the NEWS. Bush, when asked if it was appropriate for Musharraf to claim the presidency when he came to power through a military coupe with Musharraf heading the military at the time, Bush comes out with:

Can a leader run both the military AND be president of his country at the same time? Of course not!

Uh…. Houston to the president: YOU ostensibly run the military as commander in cheat.. uh chief WHILE you are also supposedly president.

Then there’s White House spokesvermin Dana Perino, Tony Snow(job)’s even sorrier replacement who, when asked if it was appropriate for any country’s leadership to choose arbitrarily to end his/her nation’s democracy and civil liberties in the name of protecting its citizens from terrorism, said NO!

But all the Bushies have done, since even before Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, is spy upon us as its citizens without ANY proof any of us is jeopardizing national security, to wiretap and remove constitutionally protected liberties, all in the name of “homeland security.” In fact, in the same week Perino uttered this startling declaration (and removing our liberties have NOT made us any safer, I must add), the Bushies had several new initiatives underway to snoop upon us without due cause.

Stop the insanity, people!

Let Me Spell It Out Joe…

Joe Lieberman gave a speech yesterday. Typically I try to ignore Lieberman for fear of keeling over dead from an aneurysm as my blood pressure skyrockets.  But the title of the N.Y. Times article sucked me in, and sure enough Lieberman’s blather served to increase my blood pressure significantly 

Lieberman is just mystified at how it can be that anyone would conclude that the Kyle/Lieberman amendment would ever be read in such a way as to lead to the use of military force against Iran.

Lieberman: several left-wing blogs seized upon the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, offering wild conspiracy theories about how it could be used to authorize the use of military force against Iran.
These were absurd arguments. The text of our amendment contained nothing€”nothing€”that could be construed as a green light for an attack on Iran. To claim that it did was an act of delusion or deception.

So let me spell out the precise way that the Kyle Lieberman amendment could lead to hostilities with Iran. Continue reading

Rudy’s Secret Stash: Just Who ARE His Clients?

From CREW:

Rudy Giuliani is one of the few candidates ever to pursue the White House while maintaining a high-ranking role in a private-sector firm.

But since he became a candidate for president, the Republican front-runner has rebuffed all calls to disclose details about the clients and dealings of Giuliani Partners, the consulting firm he founded in 2002.

Some of those clients have controversial records. Among those he hasn’t disclosed is the government of Qatar, a Persian Gulf state to whom the firm provided security advice, according to the former U.S. ambassador there. Qatar is a strategic U.S. military ally and energy supplier, yet also a country that has been criticized for its conduct toward al Qaeda — a potential political pitfall for a candidate pitching himself as an uncompromising foe of Islamic terrorism.

Other potentially controversial dealings have been disclosed by the firm or by clients over the years. They include Purdue Pharma, a drug company that hired the firm in 2002 to help with a federal investigation into overdose deaths attributed to the pharmaceutical firm’s powerful OxyContin painkiller, and New York nuclear-power-plant operator Entergy Nuclear Northeast.

But more recent Giuliani clients aren’t known. Because the firm is closely held, Mr. Giuliani isn’t required to disclose much about his income and wealth, other than his holdings in the firm itself, where he remains chairman and chief executive and receives income in the form of guaranteed payments and partnership distributions.

Speaking of Giuliani’s Strange Partners

Is it true? Is the man Rudy Giuliani tried to foist off on us as Department of Homeland Security chief, a man with a most checkered past and much of it tied right to Rude Rudy, former NYPD chief Bernie Kerik, about to be indicted?

Maybe Pat Robertson can pray for him. God knows, I pray for Pat (to be delivered to hades where he belongs where he will fight the devil for dominance).

Osama Bin Forgotten

Bush declared of Osama just days after the attacks on the U.S. on September 11th, 2001: “He can run, but he can’t hide.”

Well, I count six years PLUS our infamous bogeyman has been hiding and, whenever the president doesn’t trot him out to scare the masses for his own political gain, Bush and Cheney declare him “irrelevant”. Hmm.

What makes the situation in Pakistan right now – and the Bushies reaction to discuss stopping their funds to our “partner in terror fighting” (who conveniently declares martial law when he might get unseated and then fires or arrests anyone he opposes), is that Osama – to the best of what the Bushies have told us (never very true) – is hiding in the remote passes between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

If he’s not minimalized (as the Bushies keep telling us he is except when it’s convenient for them to say he’s still very dangerous), then wouldn’t an Osama and company BENEFIT from the chaos in Pakistan? Who will watch him if everyone’s worried about their own asses there? And why should Pakistan help us, really, when in the same period they “help” us, we gave their sworn enemies, the Indian government, THE BOMB and the resources to build it?

I advise you not only to pay attention to the mess in Pakistan, because it reeks of Bush corruption as much as here, but also because the Bushies have a strong impetus to scare the bejesus out of the American public with less than a year to go to the 2008 presidential campaign. They won’t want to hand all this newly created “executive” power no American president has ever been allowed to declare go to anyone else. There are some who feel that we’ll see “martial law” or some semblance enacted here before or immediately after a Democratic sweep in November 2008.

911 Truth Movement: “The Ballad of Ladder 5”

I know many – and it’s not just Dems – remain with serious questions about the events of September 11th. While I’m not trying to stir up a brew here on a Sunday, I did want to point to a bit of political poetry offered up by a Vermont local actor/activist Jim Hogue about 9-11 you can find here.

A Message to the Congress of the United States

By way of explaining the following post, today I was bopping about the intertubes searching for something to write about. Frankly I was drawing a blank, until I stumbled over the White House site and saw several messages to Congress from the President. Anyone as much into politics as I am knows that the most famous messages to Congress are given to a joint session by the President… so I was inspired to post my imaginative take on what a typical Presidential message to Congress would look like, if it were given in the most famous circumstances. So the following post is an admittedly weak attempt at creative writing using my perceptions of modern day politics to describe a truly mundane message to Congress by President Bush. Here is a link to the official message upon which the following bit of fancy is based on.  (I honestly feel like I’m mailing this in anyway, but we’ll see if it flies!) Continue reading

Terror Chief Retires Citing *ahem* “Medical Reasons” *ahem*

The Head of the National Counterterrorism Center, Admiral Scott Redd, has announced his retirement, effective November 10.  Redd sent around an email explaining that he had to have surgery which he had been putting off.

Redd evidently needs to have surgery on both knees, and the recuperation is expected to take an extended period of time.  Let us give credit where it is due:  at least that is a more creative excuse than the typical “spend more time with the family” hokum we are normally plied with.

You may detect a slight bit of scepticism from yours truly when it comes to this, which perception would be correct.  Why would I be so cynical as to not believe that Redd has legitmate medical concerns leading to his retirement?  Because just the day before yesterday Redd committed truth by telling NBC News that the U.S. was probably not safer from terrorism today than before the invasion of Iraq.

Telling the truth is just not acceptable behavior if you are a big shot terrorist fighting Bushie. Continue reading

Frontline: Dick Cheney’s War on America

I strongly (as in STRONGLY) encourage you to find your local listing for this week’s PBS Frontline for a startling, scary profile of Vice DickPresident Dick Cheney’s 30+ year war to take away civil liberties at the same astonishing pace as he wants to turn the American presidency and any notion of democracy into a game only Cheney and his pals can play.

I was riveted and sickened all at once; those who maintain BIG questions about the Bush Administration’s possible complicity in September 11th will find new fodder with the revelations from Cheney’s own hench cretins that as buildings still burned that day, The Dick was calling in his people to stage a coup against American democracy and the U.S. Constitution while giving the president more powers than our founding fathers EVER wanted to allow.

This material, fully documented, FAR EXCEEDS the imagination of George Orwell’s 1984 and the machinations of Machiavelli. And yet, with all of that, what REALLY amazed me was that the dimbulb former Attorney General (although a dimbulb HAS to burn brighter than also former AG Alberto Gonzales) John Ashcroft ACTUALLY stood up for us when Cheney demanded the feds launch the most massive domestic spying and data mining operation against the American people in U.S. history.