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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, September 23, 2006

When you focus on the U.S. media, some things pass you by

a streetside billboard on avenida cabildo, barrio nunez, buenos aires...

"The World Wants to Listen to Something Else"
September 21, International Day of Peace

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France, Britain, and Germany may talk to Iran sans U.S.

good... maybe having the u.s. sit out would mean some progress would actually be possible...
France, Britain and Germany would be willing to begin talks with Iran even if it has not suspended its nuclear enrichment programme first, but Washington would not take part, a German magazine reported on Saturday.


The United States would not join in any talks with Iran until a full enrichment suspension was in place, the paper said.


The new plan was discussed at a meeting of senior officials of the six countries and the EU in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, Der Spiegel said.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice voiced no direct approval to this strategy but signalled she could tolerate it, the magazine reported.

just make sure not to let bolton know where the meeting is taking place...

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The terrorist threat has increased, thanks to Iraq, and that's just the way Bushco wants it

(from the nyt via raw story...)

i know it's politically correct to accuse the bush administration of incompetence in waging the iraq war and, as a consequence, of aggravating the terrorist threat worldwide, but i don't buy it... bush and the rest of the cabal are accomplishing EXACTLY what they set out to do - creating an endless war that will provide an excuse for the endless exercise of unlimited presidential power, keeping us on the fast lane to a totalitarian state...
The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by U.S. intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and it represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States," it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.

An opening section of the report, "Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement," cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology. The report "says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse," said one U.S. intelligence official.

nice work, guys... it's working out just like you planned...

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Spit-shining Cheney's dementia

sign on hand dryer: "push this button for a few comments from vice president cheney..."

you can comfortably rely on cheney to say the same predictable nonsense, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and...

At a Republican fundraiser held in Rochester, New York on Friday afternoon, Vice President Dick Cheney said that his "old friend," Democratic Congressman Jack Murtha was "wrong" on Iraq, and that following his advice to withdraw our troops would "simply validate the al Qaeda strategy and invite more terrorist attacks in the future."

The vice president also condemned the "Dean Democrats" who "have purged Joe Lieberman from the ranks of the Democratic Party in Connecticut," in favor of primary winner Ned Lamont, "a candidate whose explicit goal is to give up the fight against the terrorists in Iraq."


The Vice President maintained that "[i]f we follow Congressman Murtha's advice and we withdraw from Iraq the same way we withdrew from Beirut and from Somalia, we will simply validate the al Qaeda strategy and invite more terrorist attacks in the future."

Cheney then praised Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, and slammed the Democratic party for "turning its back" on him.

"Senator Lieberman was my opponent in 2000 -- Al Gore's running mate, a longtime senator, and one of the most loyal and distinguished Democrats of the generation," said Cheney. "Joe is also an unapologetic supporter of the global war on terror."

"He voted to support military action in Iraq when most other senators in both parties did the same -- and he's had the courage to stick by that vote even when the going gets tough," Cheney added. "And now, for that reason alone, because he supported the President in the global war on terror, the Dean Democrats have purged Joe Lieberman from the ranks of the Democratic Party in Connecticut."

you can also comfortably rely on the fact that uncle dick's speeches, if not word-for-word, are heavily edited by the pen of karl rove... uncle dick's been living in his severely dissociative state for a long time, so he knows his own mind, but karl's gift is putting a real shine on dementia...

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Shocking, yes, but I have no doubt the Bush administration would do it

if an attack on iran is indeed in the offing, bushco needs a tried and true ideological zealot at the u.n., and will do anything it takes to keep bolton there...
So far, there has been no sign that the Bush administration's considerable efforts to get Ambassador John Bolton confirmed are yielding any success in changing the environment currently blocking him.

But the White House has considered a shocking plan to keep the Ambassador in his position at the UN that may not involve a second recess appointment to his current position -- which would mean that he could not be compensated, may not be eligible for travel funds, may not be able to actually use government facilities for his work, and would possibly be time limited to a certain number of days that he could remain in this position, even if largely stripped of all taxpayer support.

The White House is studying appointing Bolton as one of the deputies at the United Nations, specifically the "political deputy." This position also carries the title of Ambassador, as do four other slots at the US Mission to the UN. Bolton would take a pay cut, and would then be made "Acting Ambassador" and chief of mission.

Those I have bounced this news off in the diplomatic community are stunned by even the conceptualization of this strategy and have a hard time believing that the administration would allow itself to appear in such a desperate position to retain Bolton.

I have no indication that this course is "likely." I only know that it is on the roster of options being considered about Bolton.

i'm often amused by steve clemons' dogged insistence on exhorting the bush administration to think and act through what most of us would consider a rational template... power, money, control, and global hegemony are the only prisms through which bushco can be viewed... once you've got that firmly implanted in your consciousness, it all makes perfect sense...

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Satan calls Mehlman anal-retentive

(from editor and publisher via morse at media needle...)

a quote for the ages...
Nagourney relates: “His White House colleagues and friends poke fun at his obsession with order and measurement, at his daily spreadsheet of to-do lists.” He quotes Karl Rove on Mehlman: “He’s anal-retentive, man!”

of course, nary a mention of the rumors that constantly swirl around ken's sexual orientation, nor, would i imagine, having not yet read the article, any discussion of his personal life - relationship-wise, that is...

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Hmmm... Yet ANOTHER suspicious "unconfirmed" death

The French defense ministry on Saturday called for an internal investigation of the leak of an intelligence document that raises the possibility that Osama bin Laden may have died of typhoid in Pakistan a month ago but said the report of the death remained unverified.

“The information defused this morning by the l’Est Republicain newspaper concerning the possible death of Osama bin Laden cannot be confirmed,” a Defense Ministry statement said.

i believe everything, i believe nothing...


it didn't take long for the debunking...
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has a water-borne illness, a Saudi intelligence source told CNN on Saturday, knocking down a report in a French newspaper that the man who has been hunted by the United States for the past five years is dead.

The Saudi intelligence source told CNN's Nic Robertson that there have been credible reports for the past several weeks that bin Laden is ill, but there has been no word of his death.

how interesting we can get news updates on his health but nobody seems to be able to lay their hands on him or lead him to justice... or is that the "october surprise...?"

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Bush's get-out-of-jail-free card

in our debate over the other provisions of the torture legislation, let's be sure not to overlook one of the more ugly aspects of the bill...
The United States is following the lead of “dirty war” nations, such as Argentina and Chile, in enacting what amounts to an amnesty law protecting U.S. government operatives, apparently up to and including President George W. Bush, who have committed or are responsible for human rights crimes.

While the focus of the current congressional debate has been on Bush’s demands to redefine torture and to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, the compromise legislation also would block prosecutions for violations already committed during the five-year-old “war on terror.”

The compromise legislation bars criminal or civil legal action over past violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, according to press reports. Common Article 3 outlaws “violence to life and person,” such as death and mutilation as well as cruel treatment and “outrages upon personal dignity.”

The legislation now before Congress also would prohibit detainees from citing the Geneva Conventions as a legal basis for challenging their imprisonment or for seeking civil damages for their mistreatment. [Washington Post, Sept. 22, 2006]

Since U.S. courts generally limit plaintiff status to people who have suffered definable harm, these provisions amount to a broad amnesty law for Bush and other administration officials who have engaged in human rights violations since the 9/11 attacks.

robert parry goes on to make an irrefutable point...
The emerging U.S. amnesty law would be unusual in that it wouldn’t explicitly acknowledge that offenses had been committed, nor is the word “amnesty” used. Nor have there been public hearings in Congress to determine what the Bush administration might have done that requires amnesty.

a pre-emptive pardon...

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Tikritis want Saddam back

thanks to juan cole for pointing me to this juicy little tidbit buried in the LAST of 26 paragraphs in the age, an australian newspaper...
Meanwhile in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, about 3,000 people demonstrated outside a downtown mosque then marched through the streets to demand the return of the former dictator to power.

my guess is that there's probably nothing whatsoever on this in u.s. media, and, if there is, it's at least as well-hidden...

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A little confirmation on bombing PK back to the stone age

juan cole reaches into the archives and pulls out one of his old emails...
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 07:19:48 -0400 (EDT)
To: gulf2000 list

Pakistan About-Face

From: Juan Cole

The United States demanded last week that Pakistan close the borders with Pakistan, cut off fuel to the Taliban, open its air space to the US for an attack on Afghanistan, and indicate a willingness to have US and allied troops stationed on its soil.


Dawn [a Karachi daily English-language newspaper, 9-17-01] quotes Pakistani officials as saying, that "Pakistan has the option to live in the 21st century or the Stone Age' is roughly how US officials are putting their case."

meanwhile, george, who never seems to know anything about anything, claims he never heard of any such thing, and the first he'd heard of the musharraf "60 minutes" claim was reading the newspaper... and armitage, of course, immediately issued a denial...
Bush said he was "taken aback by the harshness of the words" attributed to Armitage but had no knowledge of such a threat. He said the first he heard of it was in the newspaper Friday.

Armitage categorically denied it. "I've never made a threat in my life that I couldn't back up," he told CNN, "and since I wasn't authorized to say such a thing and hence couldn't back up that threat, I never said it."

seems to me that saying pakistan can choose between the stone age and the 21st century could easily be interpreted as a bomb threat, wouldn't you agree...?

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Today, a headline to gag a maggot

yesterday, it was a quote to gag a maggot...
GOP Upbeat on Terror-Trial Bill
House Leaders Satisfied With Bush-Senate Compromise

By Charles Babington and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, September 23, 2006; Page A06

House GOP leaders signaled yesterday that they are satisfied with the main elements of a bill on military trials negotiated Thursday by dissident Republican senators and White House officials, and they predicted that Congress will pass the measure before adjourning next week.

"upbeat" on torture... how sweet... i'm SOOOO glad they're satisfied and happy... traitors... all of 'em...

now, let's see what's behind door #3...

On Rough Treatment, a Rough Accord

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 23, 2006; Page A06

Draft legislation to create a new system of military courts for terrorism suspects would allow prosecutors to introduce at future trials confessions that were obtained through "cruel, unusual, or inhumane" interrogations by the CIA or the military before 2005, but not afterward.

The legislation would also allow defense attorneys to challenge the use of hearsay information obtained through coercive interrogations in distant countries only if they can prove it is unreliable, a daunting task if the information consists of written statements from people the lawyers have no right to confront in court.

SOOOOO much to be satisfied about... boot the bastards out, white house, congress, all of 'em...

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Morally bankrupt thugs

jamison foser...

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Hate speech in the House of Representatives

george w. bush has implicitly condoned hate speech and, by god, there's no end of individuals willing to follow his lead, including a congressman of the united states...
[I]t evens the odds against these scumbags for the first time in decades.

- U.S. Representative Charlie Norwood, Ninth District, Georgia, on the House immigration reform bill, HR 6089

a fine man, an outstanding individual, and a real credit to the georgians who elected him as their representative...

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this is do or die time... believe it...

they'll even help you out...

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The first full day of spring in Buenos Aires

and the davis cup semi-final has been halted by rain...
David Nalbandian swept past Mark Philippoussis 6-4 6-3 6-3 to give Argentina a 1-0 lead over Australia in their Davis Cup semi-final.

Out my front window, 5:30 p.m., Friday

yesterday was the first day of spring in the southern hemisphere and i learned something new about life here in buenos aires... as i headed to the train yesterday morning, i was aware of dozens and dozens of young people headed there with me, a few carrying musical instruments and others carrying full backpacks, but they weren't headed to school... i found out later that the tradition on the first day of spring is for kids, parents, teens, everyone, in fact, to head to the parks for picnics, and then to buy bouquets of flowers on the way home... cool, huh...? it was a gorgeous day, but, today, the clouds rolled in and, right now, we are having the first rain of spring, and the first we've seen for a number of weeks... a nice change...

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I'm far from the only one calling for action

brent budowsky in the huffpo...
The stakes are high.

The danger is real.

The case is compelling.

The cause is just.

The time is now.

The choice is yours.

This age of The American Crisis must end.

The renewal of The American Spirit must begin again.

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An official announcement

i have officially, unequivocally HAD IT...! from this moment on, every breath i take is going to be devoted to removing the scourge of the criminal cabal that is destroying my country... i don't know precisely what form or shape that commitment will take, how or if it will change the way i live my daily life, or if it will affect what i publish in this weblog... all i know is THEY HAVE TO GO...! waiting until 20 january 2009 is not acceptable... we have to pull together and do whatever it is we have to do to stop them... it's just a goddam shame we've let it go on this long...

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Here's a quote to gag a maggot

dan bartlett on the "torture agreement..."
"We proposed a more direct approach to bringing clarification," Dan Bartlett said. "This one is more of the scenic route, but it gets us there."

how DARE you use some cutesy little phrase when you're talking about how your boss is destroying the fabric of the united states...

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I'm with Bob Johnson

Walk out of the Capitol

by Bob Johnson
Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 11:16:57 PM PDT

It's time to shut down the government.


The gutting of habeus corpus.

And now this.

An attack on Iran.

These people are lunatics. Insane, fascist, psychotic, psychopathic, sociopathic lunatics.

Our Democratic leaders must throw political calculation ito the wind. The future of our Republic is at stake. We must shut down the government.

Hillary Clinton, this is for you. Barack Obama, this is for you. Joe Lieberman. go fuck yourself. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, time to stand up and say, "Enough is enough." Rahm Emanuel, I know you're a political prodigy, but we cannot afford to calculate any longer.

Throw down the gauntlet to these thugs and let Amrica decide: Do we want to live in fear and destroy the essence of what made us a great nation, or do we want to become all the things we've long despised?

Bill Clinton, are you ready to step up? I know Jimmy Carter is.

Colin Powell, will you be counted among those who stand against this lunacy? Or will you, once again, put your own future ahead of the future of our nation and our children?

This madness must be stopped.

And to my fellow community members: Will you stand up and be counted? Can we protest in massive numbers? Can we shut down the Capitol and our major metros? Can we say to these lunatics, "Enough is enough?"

It's time. Shut it all down and make them do what they must do if they want to proceed: Overturn democracy.

At least we'll know where we stand.

we're past idle talk... WAY past it... personally, i've had it...

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9/11: Press for Truth

i finally found a free site and mustered the patience for both downloading and watching the hour and a half video...

was it worth it...? oh, yeah... by all means, watch it yourselves...

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More on the torture "deal" - sand in the vaseline

reading about the machinations behind the torture bill "deal," i can't even find it in my heart to be outraged... all i want to do is sit down and cry...
Legislators of conscience should filibuster the Torture Bill, but there's just about zero chance of that happening -- there will be enough Dems who need to be "tough on" … whatever they're supposed to be tough on this week to get cloture just a month before a big election. The Nelsons will bite, as will Lieberman, and probably Martinez in that tough race in Jersey, maybe Cantwell -- just to name a few obvious ones. But even if they could muster the votes (and the cojon), the Repubs would be all over the airwaves whining about how they're coddling terrorists and hate babies and puppies.

This measure was right out of Rove's playbook for holding onto the House and Senate, and it was executed perfectly. Meanwhile, the Dems didn't even get in the game, apparently believing -- for reasons that are truly unfathomable -- that McCain and the other "mavericks" would, just this once, stick to their guns and do what's right.

Last week, the AP quoted Harry Reid (D-NE) saying the Dems were sitting on the sidelines "watching the catfights" among Republicans and quipping that the GOP was debating border security "because they have nothing else to do." Well, Harry, they found something to do. And you're the sucker this time.

As Chris Bowers pointed out last week, if the Dems don't turn out their base in big numbers this November, all the happy prognostications of a big win are going to dissipate like a puff of smoke in the wind. The fact that millions of progressives have to sit by and watch this debacle unfold with nary a peep from those supposedly on their side isn't going to help

Digby notes that as well, before summing the whole thing up quite neatly, if depressingly:
Here's how the optics look to me:

McCain, the Republican rebel maverick, showed that Republicans are moral and look out for their troops.

Bush, the Republican statesman and leader, showed that he is committed to protecting Americans but that he is willing to listen and compromise when people of good faith express reservations about tactics.

The Democrats showed they are ciphers who don't have the stones to even say a word when the most important moral issue confronting the government is being debated.

That about covers it. I need a drink.

i've lost my country...

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lederman: U.S. to be First Nation to Authorize Violations of Geneva

and here ya have it... short version... we've been had... again...
Senators Snatch Defeat From Jaws of Victory: U.S. to be First Nation to Authorize Violations of Geneva

Marty Lederman

I hope that that headline is a gross exaggeration, but based on a few quick seconds purusing the "compromise," I'm afraid it's not. [The Administration appears to agree. Stephen Hadley was crowing to reporters within minutes that the bill would authorize the CIA "program" to "go forward."]

Here's the language. It's not subtle at all, and it only takes 30 seconds or so to see that the Senators have capitualted entirely, that the U.S. will hereafter violate the Geneva Conventions by engaging in Cold Cell, Long Time Standing, etc., and that there will be very little pretense about it. In addition to the elimination of habeas rights in section 6, the bill would delegate to the President the authority to interpret "the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions" "for the United States," except that the bill itself would define certain "grave breaches" of Common Article 3 to be war crimes. [UPDATE: I hear word that Senator McCain thinks the definition of "grave breaches" covers the "alternative" CIA techniques. I hope he can make that interpretation stick somehow, but on quickly reading the language, it still seems to me as if it's carefully crafted to exclude the CIA techniques. Also, some Senators apparently are taking comfort in the fact that the Administration's interpretation would have to be made, and defended, publicly. That's a small consolation, I suppose; but I'm confident the creative folks in my former shop at OLC -- you know, those who concluded that waterboarding is not torture -- will come up with something. After all, the Administration is already on record as saying that the CIA "program" can continue under this bill, so the die apparently is cast. And the courts would be precluded from reviewing it.]

And then, for good measure -- and this is perhaps the worst part of the bill, for purposes going far beyond the questions of torture and interrogation -- section 7 would preclude courts altogether from ever interpreting the Geneva Conventions -- any part of them -- by providing that "no person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto in any habeas or civil action or proceeding to which the United States, or a current or former officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States, is a party as a source of rights, in any court of the United States or its States or territories." [UPDATE: I've heard some people argue that this language would retain the power of courts to construe Geneva in a criminal proceeding. That remains to be seen (the language is not clear). But even if that's so, it's not at all obvious how or why the question of the meaning and application of Common Article 3 would ever be one that a court would have occasion to resolve in a criminal proceeding.]

i'm sick...

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Sergeant Major Myers is pissed

and rightfully so...
Today in Washington DC we have an administration that has lost touch with America. It has lost touch with America and all that this great nation has stood for for more than two centuries. The conduct of the war in Iraq has been and continues to be an embarrassment to this nation and has undermined our moral standing in the world to the point of making us virtually irrelevant. From the falsehoods that took us to the preemptive war in Iraq, to the atrocities of Abu Ghraib, to the shame that is Guantánamo Bay, and on to the injustices put upon innocent victims of rendition such as the Canadian Citizen, Maher Arar, and many others currently incarcerated in Guantánamo Bay, this administration has ceded the moral high ground. Indeed the chaos that is Iraq today serves only to shine a bright light on what I believe is this administrations ineptitude and moral depravity.

The debate that is occurring in Washington DC is one that should never occur and is a simple continuation of a policy that is lost. It is indeed a needless exercise that can only result in the further deterioration of what is left of our standing in the international community and jeopardize the well being of every American Soldier for generations to come. Torture simply does not work. This has been proven time and time again and I can personally witness to that fact and I believe that Senator John McCain can certainly attest to that fact even more strongly than I. Torture is not and instrument for extracting truth but is more accurately an instrument of revenge and an extractor of fiction.

Have we become a nation of cowards who seek revenge at any and all costs? Have we become a nation that is so depraved that we would resort to physical and psychological torture to extract information from another human being? These are the acts not of a just and honorable people but of cowards and people without moral stature. If the answer to these questions is yes then the constitution and nation that I and millions of other Americans dedicated their lives to, died for, and shed our blood for no longer exist.

i have been honored to know and work with several sergeants major in my life in addition to having one as a father-in-law... i can tell you that no one rises to the height of the enlisted ranks without displaying solid character, often character of a higher degree than those who rise to the top of the officer ranks... i have only shared a post of sgm myers once before, but, when he speaks, we all need to listen...

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I badly want David Sirota to be right

sirota ticks off an extensive laundry list of the self-absorbed, what's-in-it-for-me, i've-got-mine-and-you-can-go-fuck-yourself types that hold the rest of us in thrall, and concludes with this thought...
When I get up everyday at 5:30am to start working, it is still dark out. I read through the clips and digest the daily dose of ever-more raw hatred coming from our nation's capital and directed at the majority of Americans. Then I try to have some breakfast without feeling totally demoralized. But as I look out on the darkness outside, I always remind myself of the famous parable: "It is always darkest before the dawn." Win or lose, November 7th isn't going to change everything. But win or lose, it's clear that things are already changing. The rising anger coming from the halls of power are a reflection of the establishment's deep understanding that change is coming. The screams from the angry pundits and the desperate politicians and the paying-to-play lobbyists are like the early warning sirens at a beach. And just over the horizon, they see that tidal wave coming.

it can't come fast enough to suit me...

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Just say no to illegal interrogations and torture

particularly if you think your ass is going to end up in a sling...
The Bush administration had to empty its secret prisons and transfer terror suspects to the military-run detention centre at Guantánamo this month in part because CIA interrogators had refused to carry out further interrogations and run the secret facilities, according to former CIA officials and people close to the programme.

The former officials said the CIA interrogators’ refusal was a factor in forcing the Bush administration to act earlier than it might have wished.

ah, the story BEHIND the story... how very fucking interesting that bush rove attempted to spin it to make it look like a smart move...

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"Branches and sequels" contingency planning underway for Iran

we need to take these guys OUT, and i'm NOT talking about iran...
The Pentagon's top brass has moved into second-stage contingency planning for a potential military strike on Iran, one senior intelligence official familiar with the plans tells RAW STORY.

The official, who is close to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking officials of each branch of the US military, says the Chiefs have started what is called "branches and sequels" contingency planning.

"The JCS has accepted the inevitable," the intelligence official said, "and is engaged in serious contingency planning to deal with the worst case scenarios that the intelligence community has been painting."

A second military official, although unfamiliar with these latest scenarios, said there is a difference between contingency planning -- which he described as "what if, then what" planning -- and "branches and sequels," which takes place after an initial plan has been decided upon.

Adding to the concern of both military and intelligence officials alike is the nuclear option, the possibility of pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons targeting alleged WMD facilities in Iran.

in the post before the previous one, i noted that rove, satan's doppelgänger, was hinting at an "october surprise..." this had better not be it...

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Aren't we glad Saddam was deposed...?

we should be so glad that things are better now...
Torture may be worse now in Iraq than under former leader Saddam Hussein, the UN's chief anti-torture expert says.

Manfred Nowak said the situation in Iraq was "out of control", with abuses being committed by security forces, militia groups and anti-US insurgents.

Bodies found in the Baghdad morgue "often bear signs of severe torture", said the human rights office of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq in a report.

so, we've traded the "butcher of baghdad" for "out-of-control" chaos and violence... cool...

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Rove: Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.

calling karl rove a "political strategist" is like calling satan an "unsavory character..." rove is evil... there's simply no other word to describe him...
According to two conservative websites, White House political strategist Karl Rove has been promising GOP insiders that there will be an "October surprise" before the midterm elections.


"President Bush's political strategist is also saying that the final two weeks before the elections will see a blitz of advertising, and the Republican National Committee is deploying an army of volunteers to key locations to help the grass-roots effort and monitor the election," the article continues. "The RNC is offering to fly in volunteers and cover their expenses."

you're damn right there'll be an "october surprise..." the devil's surrogate isn't about to let an opportunity to screw the good citizens of the united states pass him by...

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Perhaps the most chillingly accurate post I have ever read

(thanks to maccabee on daily kos...)

a week from this coming sunday afternoon, i will be landing in sofia, bulgaria, right next door to romania, and i will be thinking of this post... a lot...
"I think the same thing will happen as in Romania when I grew up there. It starts with fixed elections. First the 2000 election was fixed and then the 2004 election was fixed. It happened in Communist elections just like it happened here. The people who count the votes are all in the government that's in power. And even when it seems like people have had enough, the tyrant will always somehow come out winning just enough to make your conspiracy theories seem ridiculous. Just like in Romania and Bulgaria of the sixties and seventies, the press may even report problems with elections, but Bush knows that Americans are lazy. I am sorry my friend. Maybe not you. But Americans are lazy and they will not seek their freedoms. Because it is always frightening to fight the government. But you are mistaken if you think you will avoid trouble by going along with the government. One day you will write a letter to the editor and sign your name, and then the next time you are at a train station, they will tell you `you cannot ride'. Or at the airport they will say you cannot get on a plane. Or they will stop you are the border, and just like Romania and the other Communist countries, America will become your prison. When the 2000 elections happened, my 89 year grandmother-in-law asked if we could go back to Bucharest. You see, this smells just like the communists in Europe to her. Corrupt. Incompetent. Totally controlling the media, the elections. Once they have that, and a lazy press, that's it. I mean that's it. They will continue to install an overbearing government where idiots who wear white gloves and badges, low-level-small-paycheck bureaucrats get to stop you at airports and demand to know where you are from and where you are going and what your business is. They will ask if you support the Party, or "who did you vote for?' It will come down to the day when you will see the police jump on someone for no reason and you will turn your heads and act like you have seen nothing. Your neighbor's wife will knock on your door desperately at 3 in the morning and tell you her husband was arrested out of his sleep last night. And she will cry and ask where he is. And you will make her coffee and call the local police and they local gendarme or sheriff or whatever will come by and pat her on the shoulder and will say he was taken by the Feds and they have no idea where he is going."

"You will notice more and more changes. The leash will get shorter, little at a time. And so slowly even you will not protest because you will hardly notice. You will lose your freedoms little at a time. One day you will speak out against the president in hushed tones even at a party. Then you will drive home from the party and steam at yourself for being so much like a little pussy cat. Then you will wonder who heard you."

so, in romania, are things any better...?
"In Romania we can burn flags, threaten to kill the president. The government is not allowed to give shared fund- or taxes of any kind to churches. In Romania, if the government took someone with out charges, they would be freed within a day or two. Not in this country. In Romania you are not raped in jail cells. In America you are not only raped in jail, they use the fear of rape and beatings to control you. In Romania, no one tells you you can't have an abortion. In many areas it is illegal. In others it is fine. All over the country you can get an abortion if you need one."

and what does he see down the road...?
"It may take about ten years. But it will be very much like the old Soviet Union. Incompetent government. Walls will appear around you. On the borders. Your internet sites will be scrubbed or monitored or may suddenly disappear. A government will control everything from one branch, businesses too will be in bed with the government. One day you will see your boss have the power to go through your bags. One day your corporation will have more rights than you have. Just like in Romania, we had conspiracy theories. One nuttier than the next. It turned out to be mostly true these things. This thing that has happened to America was planned for a long time. And like Romania, people will forget and lose all the principles that your country was founded on. We had a Constitution in Romania. Under the communists?....just words."

he closed with this...
"Do you have kids?" he asked me.

"No, I don't"

"Are you married?"


"Leave. That's my advice to you. Leave and don't look back."

i've said many times that i have a keen ability to discern patterns, taking myriad small pieces and putting them together to make a bigger picture... what this romanian immigrant to the u.s. describes is precisely what i have been feeling in my bones for years now... this, my friends, is precisely where the united states is headed unless something or someone somehow brings it to a halt...

p.s. fyi, i'm writing this from argentina... while far from being a utopia, i feel a noticeable absence of the poisonous atmosphere that i never seem to be able to shake when i'm in the u.s...

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Bush, at the U.N., welcomes Mahmoud Abbas to D.C.

everybody makes these kinds of mistakes, particularly those who travel a great deal... what sets george bush apart in the brain-cell deprivation department is that MOST people catch themselves and self-correct...
PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. President, thank you for coming. Yesterday, in my speech to the United Nations, I said that you're a man of peace who believes in a two-state solution. And after our conversation today, once again you confirmed that.


So welcome to Washington, D.C. I think this is our fifth visit. Every time, I've left our visits inspired by your vision.

without catching himself and without self-correction, we are left to wonder about the inner state of the man and whether or not he is grounded in either time or place, or, as many have speculated, in what the rest of us would call reality...

i have another question... why is it "ok," for bush to talk to abbas, the leader of the palestinian government run by the so-called "terrorist" group, hamas, and not to ahmedinejad...?

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Norquist, Reed, Rove, and Bush - the best of buds

in the on-going story about how grover will eventually be shrunk down to the size that we can drown him in the bathtub...
White House officials said Norquist, who runs the nonprofit Americans for Tax Reform, was cleared for 97 visits to the White House complex between 2001 and 2006, including a half-dozen with the president.

Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition and an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia earlier this year, got 18 meetings, including two events with Bush.

Officials said they believe all meetings with Bush involved larger group settings, such as Christmas parties or policy briefings for GOP supporters.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, however, it was possible some of Norquist's meetings might have been directly with Karl Rove, the president's longtime confidant and political strategist.

why didn't rove just arrange to meet grover on the street like he did abramoff...?

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The Bush Family continues to withhold key historical facts about U.S.-Iranian relations

why can't we have the whole story of EVERYTHING that has taken place, the full story, the complete context, BEFORE more people die...?
Having gone through the diplomatic motions with Iran, George W. Bush is shifting toward a military option that carries severe risks for American soldiers in Iraq as well as for long-term U.S. interests around the world. Yet, despite this looming crisis, the Bush Family continues to withhold key historical facts about U.S.-Iranian relations.

Those historical facts – relating to Republican contacts with Iran’s Islamic regime more than a quarter century ago – are relevant today because an underlying theme in Bush’s rationale for war is that direct negotiations with Iran are pointless. But Bush’s own father may know otherwise.

The evidence is now persuasive that George H.W. Bush participated in negotiations with Iran’s radical regime in 1980, behind President Jimmy Carter’s back, with the goal of arranging for 52 American hostages to be released after Bush and Ronald Reagan were sworn in as Vice President and President, respectively.

In exchange, the Republicans agreed to let Iran obtain U.S.-manufactured military supplies through Israel. The Iranians kept their word, releasing the hostages immediately upon Reagan’s swearing-in on Jan. 20, 1981.

Over the next few years, the Republican-Israel-Iran weapons pipeline operated mostly in secret, only exploding into public view with the Iran-Contra scandal in late 1986. Even then, the Reagan-Bush team was able to limit congressional and other investigations, keeping the full history – and the 1980 chapter – hidden from the American people.

Upon taking office on Jan. 20, 2001, George W. Bush walled up the history even more by issuing an executive order blocking the scheduled declassification of records from the Reagan-Bush years. After 9/11, the younger George Bush added more bricks to the wall by giving Presidents, Vice Presidents and their heirs power over releasing documents.

robert parry and consortium news is an important asset to journalism in the united states...

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Two pieces of unrelated good news

it's so nice to occasionally see some positive stuff... lord knows, we need it...

1) five former joint chiefs of staff of the united states military have stepped forward to oppose bush's plan to redefine common article 3 of the geneva conventions...

  • former Secretary of State and Gen. Colin Powell
  • Gen. John Vessey
  • Gen. John Shalikashvili
  • Admiral William Crowe
  • Gen. Hugh Shelton
2) maybe we can keep our national forests from being overrun...
A federal judge has restored the “Roadless Rule,” a ban on road construction in nearly one-third of national forests (58.5 million acres in 38 states and Puerto Rico). President Bush overturned the rule, established by President Clinton, in favor of much looser policy of requiring state governors to petition for federal forest protection.

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Seeking to muzzle those who tell the truth

why, of course...
The Bush Administration is seeking to undermine legislation that, if passed, would protect journalists and anonymous whistleblowers, RAW STORY has learned.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will listen to testimony today regarding a reporter shield law called the Free Flow of Information Act.

"I think they want no law at all," said one senior staffer familiar with the proceedings. "They're sending [Deputy Attorney General Paul] McNulty up to hammer it."

The bill, cosponsored by a bipartisan coalition of nine moderate senators, is a successor to a similar piece of legislation that appeared before the same committee last year.

Last year's bill never made it past committee hearings, despite having a greater number of cosponsors--including Senators Feingold (D-WI), Kerry (D-MA), and Obama (D-IL)--who have not supported the current version.

Both bills would make it more difficult for prosecutors to force reporters to name sources or to yield information that would result in their sources being identified.

it's patently obvious that the bush administration cannot abide transparency and thus aims to throttle any and all who feel an obligation to expose the darkest recesses of its actions...

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What to blog?

nothing is catching my eye today... do you suppose i'm od'd on outrage...?

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14 detainees' first contact with the outside world in nearly 5 years

can you imagine...? your first contact with the outside world in nearly 5 years...? well, i can't...
Representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross are scheduled to begin meetings Monday with the 14 terrorism suspects who were held for years in secret CIA custody, the detainees' first contact with the outside world since they were captured after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.


It is possible that, in such discussions, the Red Cross will become the first organization outside of the Bush administration to learn about the practices in the CIA-run facilities, including the interrogation techniques used. But the international agency's guidelines require the information to be completely confidential, meaning that the representatives will be able to directly raise their concerns only with U.S. authorities.

i'm quite frankly surprised that they're letting the icrc talk to them... i take it as a sign of the intense pressure the administration is under over this...

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bush "believes he can say anything he wants, no matter how false or deceptive"

i can't believe the level of arrogance and denial exhibited by this man who has the nerve to call himself a leader...
Bush framed his Sept. 19 speech in the context of the U.N.’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “The words of the Universal Declaration are as true today as they were when they were written,” Bush declared.

But it’s hard to believe that Bush had the faintest idea what principles he was embracing – or perhaps he has grown so self-confident in never being challenged on his hypocrisies that he believes he can say anything he wants, no matter how false or deceptive.


Though Bush is arguably in violation of many if not all the ... human rights tenets, he unblushingly cites the Universal Declaration as the foundation for his international policies, from the invasion of Iraq to his handling of the “war on terror.”

Even as Bush criticizes the U.S. Supreme Court for stopping his planned kangaroo courts for terror suspects and as he battles members of Congress over his desire for harsh interrogation of detainees, he invokes principles that bar exactly what he seeks to do.

what can you conclude about someone like bush...? is he constitutionally incapable of experiencing congitive dissonance...? does he not grasp that most of the rest of the world simply shakes their heads at how this bizarre man can occupy the highest office of the world's sole superpower...?

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During the Nixon years, they called it rendering a term "inoperative"

whaddaya know...
Roll Call executive editor and Fox News host Mort Kondrake included this tidbit in his most recent syndicated column:
In a controversial move within the administration, [Undersecretary of State Karen] Hughes and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seem to have persuaded Bush — temporarily, at least — to drop the label “Islamic fascism” from his speeches; diplomats say that Muslims hear it as an attack on their religion, thereby validating the extremists’ false charge that the United States is at war with Islam.

The move is a blow to conservatives, who celebrated last month when President Bush used the term several times in his speeches on terrorism. The phrase is a favorite of right-wing commentators like Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity; the AP called it “the new buzzword” for conservatives “in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq.”

the fact that such a move could be considered a "blow to conservatives" speaks volumes about the fact that political discourse in this country has landed squarely in the sewer...

(thanks to think progress...)

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So much corruption, so little time

this would be really hilarious if it wasn't so sad...
There is so much political corruption on Capitol Hill that the FBI has had to triple the number of squads investigating lobbyists, lawmakers and influence peddlers, the Daily News has learned.

For decades, only one squad in Washington handled corruption cases because the crimes were seen as local offenses handled by FBI field offices in lawmakers' home districts.

But in recent years, the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and other abuses of power and privilege have prompted the FBI to assign 37 agents full-time to three new squads in an office near Capitol Hill.

FBI Assistant Director Chip Burrus told The News yesterday that he wants to detail even more agents to the Washington field office for a fourth corruption squad because so much wrongdoing is being uncovered.

the taxpayers get screwed up front in the corruption and then screwed on the back end paying for the investigations and presecutions...

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Facing off "at a distance...?" Why won't Bush TALK to him...?

President Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will face off at a distance over Middle East democracy and nuclear weapons when both address the United Nations on Tuesday.

Bush faces growing international skepticism over his policies for Iran and Iraq, with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warning that Iraq was in grave danger of descending into civil war and French President Jacques Chirac arguing against a rush to impose sanctions on Iran.

U.S. officials said that, undeterred by setbacks in Iraq war and the Palestinian territories, Bush would stress his so-called "Freedom Agenda" of aggressively promoting democracy, calling the Middle East "the central battlefield."

he's attending the same meeting with someone who's asked repeatedly to talk, bush flips him off, and then goes on to peddle the same tired, old "freedom agenda" hogwash... how sad that this is the man we call our president...

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The big dog speaks

i am NOT a fan of bill clinton... i happen to subscribe to the old canard, "he's the best republican president we've ever had..." however, he's light years better than the abomination that took his place and, regardless of my reservations, i believe his heart is in the right place, as opposed to the bush criminal posse who, in a miracle of modern medical science, do not have hearts...
  • Clinton on Rove: "I am sick of Karl Rove's bullshit."
  • Clinton on the Kerry campaign: "Like a deer caught in the headlights."
  • Clinton on the vote to go into Iraq: "I'm sick and tired of being told that if you voted for authorization you voted for the war. It was a mistake, and I would have made it, too....The administration did not shoot straight on the nuclear issue or on Saddam's supposed ties to Al Qaeda prior to 9/11."
not to quibble, but karl rove does not spew bullshit, he spews pure, unadulterated evil... bullshit is one thing, evil is wholly another...

(this from a new yorker interview with the big dog, via the huffpo...)

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"A party change procedure...?"

and, i would surmise, it's not covered by medical insurance...
[N]otice that [Lieberman's] campaign is now referring to him as a Trans-partisan, which might be interpreted as someone undergoing a party change procedure.

(thanks to morse at media needle...)

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Torture = loyal Republicanism and reliable conservatism

is torture what the "base" wants...? or are they simply outraged over someone who won't offer deaf, dumb, and blind support to bush 110% of the time...?
In a reprise of criticism showered on McCain during his 2000 campaign, some prominent conservatives are branding him a disloyal Republican and an unreliable conservative because of his assertiveness on the detainee issue.

equating torture with "reliable" conservatism and "loyal" republicanism may be one of the most appalling juxtapositions i have ever run across... don't you suppose there are REAL conservatives out there (as opposed to the stepford wives variety) that do NOT place their entire faith and conscience in an all-powerful, criminal president who thinks torture should be a part of u.s. policy...? you don't have to be democratic, progressive, or liberal to oppose torture, merely a reasonable, decent human being... if john mccain is reconsidering his alliance with the devil, more power to him...

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Amnesty Int'l usually petitions against OTHER repressive regimes

but, now, they're campaigning to stop torture in the world's leading superpower, the united states of america... how pathetic is that...?

(Click on ad to send an email to your representative)

Amnesty International ad,
New York Times, September 18

The America We Believe in Would
Preserve Fair Trials and Humane Treatment

Recently the Supreme Court struck down the President’s Military Commissions and restored minimum Geneva Conventions protections to people in US custody, but now the President has asked Congress to authorize military commissions proceedings similar to those that were struck down. In addition, the President has asked Congress to codify the indefinite detention regime and to provide immunity for the CIA, civilian contractors, and Administration officials who may have violated the War Crimes Act. Act urgently to tell Congress to uphold fair trials and ensure those involved in human rights abuses are held accountable.

how far the mighty have fallen...

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Soros: 1) GOP extremists still dumping moderates, and 2) subpoena Bush

a subpoena would be a nice start, but the prime objective should be to get him out of office as soon as possible...
Should Democrats retake the House in November, George Soros says they should have one priority: Subpoena President George W. Bush.


“Clearly,” he said, “using the subpoena power to bring to light the misdeeds by the administration would have to be, I think, a top priority.”

Asked whether he’s given thought to supporting moderate Republicans, he said he believed the party couldn’t be “recaptured from extremists” without the right wing of the caucus suffering defeats.

“I don't think it can be done without a defeat that will lead the Republicans to regroup, when the extremists are distracted,” he said. “Right now the extremists are still ridding themselves of the moderates in the Republican Party.”

“But I don't yet see moderates knocking out Republicans,” he added. “There are many radical or extremist challengers to moderates within the Republican Party, and very few -- if any -- to the extremists from moderates.”

there is way too much time left for george to continue to seriously screw things up, and, whether or not the dems re-take the house or even, god willing, the senate, with george and his criminal posse still at the helm, we will remain in very deep doo-doo...

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The British liquid explosive terror plot just more fiction?

and precisely what about that revelation would we find surprising...?

Terror plot scenario "untenable"

"The idea that these people could sit in the plane toilet and simply mix together these normal household fluids to create a high explosive capable of blowing up the entire aircraft is untenable," said Lt. Col. Wylde, who was trained as an ammunition technical officer responsible for terrorist bomb disposal at the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in Sandhurst.

After working as a bomb defuser in Northern Ireland, Lt. Col. Wylde became a senior officer in British Army Intelligence in 1977. During the Cold War, he collected intelligence as part of an undercover East German "liaison unit," then went on to work in the Ministry of Defense to review its communications systems.

"So who came up with the idea that a bomb could be made on board? Not Al Qaeda for sure. It would not work. Bin Laden is interested in success not deterrence by failure," Wylde stated.

stay tuned... as we get ever closer to the november elections, the likelihood that we're going to see some new "horror" foisted on us will grow exponentially...

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To be an effective envoy, first be a decent human being

from the la times...
Give Bolton the Boot
The U.S. shouldn't have an ineffective bully as its U.N. envoy.
By Stephen Schlesinger

...among the most ineffective envoys the United States has ever sent to the U.N.

my thought is, before you can be an effective ANYTHING, you first have to be a decent human being, a test i suspect john bolton has neither studied for nor could ever pass...

(thanks to steve clemons at the washington note...)

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The entire U.S. Senate should be deluging the media with statements like this

if this guy (or mccain, or warner, or powell, or any of the dems) backs down under white house assault, he will have done nothing less than sell out his country to a megalomaniacal cabal...
"We can have a good country without Lindsey Graham being in the Senate. We cannot have a great nation when we start redefining who we are under the guise of redefining our law.

"My biggest fear is that as we try to solve these complicated legal procedures and problems that we're seen as taking shortcuts and we don't redefine the law, we redefine America in a way so we can't win this war. That's what Colin Powell is saying. That's what General Vessey's saying. It's not about my political career. America can do well without me, but we cannot do well if we're seen to abandon our principles and the rule of law."

- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

he's absolutely right, and you can only imagine that the pressure he's under is enormous...

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Our challenge isn't about trying to elect the "right" people

sidney blumenthal hits the nail on the head...
Bush’s torture policy is a centerpiece of his effort to concentrate unfettered power in the executive, an overarching change justified by an executive order declaring that in his role as commander-in-chief in wartime he can make and enforce laws at will.


The debate over Bush’s insistence on the use of torture is not a weird aberration, but central to his entire radical project to transform the American constitutional system, create an unaccountable executive, and operate outside the rule of law if he so decides.

robert parry strikes a similar chord...
[Bush is] an autocratic leader who is both “inner-directed” and possesses a messianic view of the world. “Inner-directed” could be defined as impervious to outside criticism, advice or even reality. Many of the history’s most dangerous dictators also were “inner-directed.”


[H]e and his neoconservative advisers have operated in an ideological reality of their own making, that they have too little respect for the opinions of others, that they are hubristic and anti-democratic.

our challenge isn't about making better policy... our challenge isn't about stopping torture... our challenge isn't what to do about iraq... our challenge isn't about restoring a shredded social contract or a u.s. constitution shot full of holes... our challenge isn't about trying to elect the "right" people...

we need to be very honest here... our challenge is much broader and much more serious than even those very important things... we must face the fact that a great deal of our national government has been taken over by a dangerous band of criminals and, unless and until they are driven out, nothing else can be done... my fear is that, as i posted last night about the likelihood of election fraud this fall and continuing on into future elections, our vaunted democratic election process isn't going to be able to do the job...

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Since when is torture an "abstruse legal issue...?"

hadley is a weenie, and a not very nice one either... the mere fact that this discussion is even happening is simply another black mark on the already blackest of presidential administrations...

Senator Lindsey Graham, left, with
Stephen J. Hadley, the president’s
national security adviser

The adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, is negotiating with Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and other Senate leaders over the administration’s proposal, which would give the C.I.A. permission to use “alternative” techniques when interrogating terrorism suspects.


Asked if he believed compromise was possible, Mr. Hadley said, “I do.” He said it was essential that “we continue to have this terribly important program for protecting the country, as the president requires, that gives the men and women who carry out this program clear guidance and clear Congressional support, and also achieves Senator McCain’s requirement that we don’t amend or change Common Article 3,” referring to the Geneva Conventions.

but here's the snip that i find most astounding...
“I don’t think anyone anticipated the avalanche of opinion that would be assembled on the other side of what seemed like a pretty abstruse legal issue,” one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to discuss the issue with a reporter.


Main Entry: ab·struse
Pronunciation: &b-'strüs, ab-
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin abstrusus, from past participle of abstrudere to conceal, from abs-, ab- + trudere to push -- more at THREAT
: difficult to comprehend : RECONDITE < the abstruse calculations of mathematicians >

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If you're gonna pick on Boehner, you better pick on all the rest of 'em too...

so, the wapo is getting tired of the republican fall campaign talking point, "dems are treasonous wussies," eh...?
Playing Politics With Terror
Is John Boehner more interested in keeping the House than protecting Americans? We're just wondering.

Monday, September 18, 2006; Page A16

"I LISTEN TO MY Democrat friends, and I wonder if they are more interested in protecting the terrorists than protecting the American people."

That was House Majority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio talking to reporters last week. He should apologize.


But whether one disagrees with Democrats on any particular issue, it is offensive to try to paint opponents, as Mr. Boehner did, as uninterested in "protecting the American people" -- and to dodge the implications of that statement by claiming, as Mr. Boehner did, that he was simply wondering. As the election season heats up, this is a line of argument that Republicans would do well to drop.

hey, wapo... if you guys would like to REALLY be effective in your all-too-often feeble journalistic efforts, you would do well to do a word-for-word compare and contrast on every individual who has made a similar utterance in the last year... we all know it's far from just boehner shooting off his mouth... we all know these talking points are carefully scripted... we all know where they come from, and we all know there are serious penalties for deviation from the script... how about it...?

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Yet ANOTHER means to pump money to the crony-ridden defense industry

no, no, don't buy THEIR stuff, buy OUR stuff...
If Northrop Grumman Corp. gets the multibillion-dollar contract to secure America's borders, the sky above the Rio Grande would be thick with drones.

Cellphone maker Ericsson Inc. thinks drones are largely a waste and would focus instead on giving Border Patrol agents wireless devices capable of receiving live video.

Boeing Co. would build high-tech towers, lining the borders with 1,800 of them.

For Lockheed Martin Corp., blimps are a big part of the solution. And for Raytheon Co., the key is letting agents watch incidents unfold on Google Earth.

politics, power, and money... i thought it used to be love that made the world go 'round...

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Time cover story: What war with Iran would look like

the traditional media are joining the chorus... this can't be good...

What War With Iran Would Look Like

A conflict is no longer quite so unthinkable. Here's how the U.S. would fight such a war - and the huge price it would have to pay to win it.

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Why the R's are not going to lose (much) in November

besides, the r's are expert at making triumph and failure interchangeable...
The third all-important reason the Republicans will shake off modest losses this midterm election, and then beat the Democrats to death with their own severed legs, is ELECTION FRAUD.

don't bother with the first two reasons... they're relatively insignificant compared to #3...
The evil electronic voting machines have been installed far and wide, although it has now been revealed that a mongoloid penguin could break into these devices, reverse any election result it wished, and be gone inside of four minutes, leaving nothing behind but a stolen election and the faint aroma of herring. Let us remember the apocryphal quote attributed to Joe 'Laughing Boy' Stalin: "It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people that count the votes". There are other problems, too. Gerrymandering has proceeded apace, sealing off entire slabs of the landscape from Democrats. Black people will find the nearest polling station is five hours from where they live (or used to live before the hurricane). And the whole anti-immigrant maneuver wasn't just a Republican faux pas-- it had a severe dampening effect on the desire to vote of persons of the recent immigrant persuasion, just as the anti-gay legislative efforts have a dampening effect on the desire to vote of homosexual queers. People don't vote for revenge. They avoid voting for revenge. That's why the elections are being decided by a tiny percentage of eligible voters.

So there is my reasoning for why the Republicans will enjoy a surprise resurgence at the polls this November. If one wanted to add a few categories, there's the perennial favorite God, who will command millions of witless Americans to vote for Republicans. There's hate, which will drive many Americans to vote against fags and macacas and towelheads, regardless of other factors. There's misinformation, as what we consider to be 'data' is actually 'balderdash' (see The Path To 9/11I, et al). In the end, however, it will be an overarching failure of will on the part of the American people that accounts for the astonishing, last-minute surge the Republicans enjoy at the polls, leading them to what the utterly guileless news media will narrate as a 'near-disaster-but-actually- almost-a-second-chance-referendum-to-continue-to-lead', or 'benefit of the doubt' (it's coming, and it will be mind-blowing).

Even a modest failure will be regarded as a mighty triumph for the Republicans this November. And if there's one thing the Bush administration excels at, it's making triumph and failure interchangeable.

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If the neocon bastards get their way, we'll be bombing Iran soon

my suggestion...? send bill kristol and fred fleitz into iran undercover and let them see what they can find out first-hand...
Several former U.S. defense officials who maintain close ties to the Pentagon say they've been told that plans for airstrikes [on Iran] - if Bush deems them necessary - are being updated.

The leader of a Persian Gulf country who visited Washington recently came away without receiving assurances he sought that the military option was off the table, said a person with direct knowledge of the meetings.

"It seems like Iran is becoming the new Iraq," said one U.S. counterterrorism official.

stop me if you've heard any of this before...
Some officials at the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department said they're concerned that the offices of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney may be receiving a stream of questionable information that originates with Iranian exiles, including a discredited arms dealer, Manucher Ghorbanifar, who played a role in the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal.

Officials at all three agencies said they suspect that the dubious information may include claims that Iran directed Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, to kidnap two Israeli soldiers in July; that Iran's nuclear program is moving faster than generally believed; and that the Iranian people are eager to join foreign efforts to overthrow their theocratic rulers.

The officials said there is no reliable intelligence to support any of those assertions and some that contradicts all three.

i have zero doubt that, whatever kind of intelligence you're looking for, someone will be glad to come forward with it - for the right price...

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14,000 detainees in limbo - this is what Bush is fighting for

as the wapo took pains to explain in today's edition, this is "exactly what Mr. Bush means by 'the program'..."
The U.S. military in Iraq has imprisoned an Associated Press photographer for five months, accusing him of being a security threat but never filing charges or permitting a public hearing.

Military officials said Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi citizen, was being held for "imperative reasons of security" under United Nations resolutions. AP executives said the news cooperative's review of Hussein's work did not find anything to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents, and any evidence against him should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system.

Hussein, 35, is a native of Fallujah who began work for the AP in September 2004. He photographed events in Fallujah and Ramadi until he was detained on April 12 of this year.

"We want the rule of law to prevail. He either needs to be charged or released. Indefinite detention is not acceptable," said Tom Curley, AP's president and chief executive officer. "We've come to the conclusion that this is unacceptable under Iraqi law, or Geneva Conventions, or any military procedure."

Hussein is one of an estimated 14,000 people detained by the U.S. military worldwide - 13,000 of them in Iraq. They are held in limbo where few are ever charged with a specific crime or given a chance before any court or tribunal to argue for their freedom.

for "imperative reasons" of trying to remain a free and democratic republic, we must never for one single moment forget what it is that bush means by "the program..."

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Is the Bush family consigliere going to fix the Iraq mess?

just like he fixed the florida election mess...?
The former secretary of state, James A. Baker III, a confidant of President George H.W. Bush, visited Baghdad two weeks ago to take a look at the vexing political and military situation. He was there as co-chairman of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, put together by top think tanks at the behest of Congress to come up with ideas about the way forward in Iraq.

james baker is in the same category of mob family attorneys as eddie o'hare, al capone's attorney... the difference is that, compared to baker, eddie was strictly small-time...

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How DARE you, Professor Yoo? Crawl back under your rock

they're fighting amongst themselves... this is good... very good...
Congressional Republicans had carefully orchestrated the finale of the legislative year to be a showdown with Democrats over which party is best equipped to keep the country safe, a handpicked fight on traditional Republican turf.

But the high-stakes standoff between President Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) over military tribunals could ruin that legislative strategy, political analysts and strategists say. Instead of fighting Democrats, Republicans find themselves in the middle of an intraparty struggle between an embattled president and two of the most respected figures in their party, McCain and his ally on the issue, former secretary of state Colin L. Powell.

it's a bizarre kind of comfort that what they're fighting amongst themselves ABOUT is nothing more or less than the most fundamental principles that divide so-called civilized people from barbarians...
[A]llow us to elaborate, again, exactly what Mr. Bush means by "the program." He's talking about the practice of sequestering terrorist suspects indefinitely and without charge in secret foreign locations and holding them incommunicado even from the International Red Cross. Until recently, such "disappearances" were the signature of Third World dictatorships. U.S. adoption of them has roiled relations with our closest European allies and impeded collaboration with foreign police and intelligence services.

Mr. Bush also wants the CIA to be able to treat its detainees to such practices as "cold cell," or induced hypothermia, in which detainees are held naked in near-freezing temperatures and repeatedly doused with water; "long standing," in which prisoners are handcuffed in an uncomfortable standing position and forced to remain there for up to 40 hours; and prolonged sleep deprivation.

what might/could/should happen in an ardently prayed-for scenario...?
[I]f the Republicans stand firm, and Democrats insist on the needed changes, they might just require Mr. Bush to recognize that he is subject to the same restraints that applied to every other president of this nation of laws.

but, then we have john yoo, an enabler extraordinaire, crawling out from under his uc-berkeley rock, to deliver an impassioned defense of perpetual war and a totalitarian state...
[T]he president has broader goals than even fighting terrorism — he has long intended to make reinvigorating the presidency a priority. Vice President Dick Cheney has rightly deplored the “erosion of the powers and the ability of the president of the United States to do his job” and noted that “we are weaker today as an institution because of the unwise compromises that have been made over the last 30 to 35 years.”


Congress now must act to guide our counterterror policy, but it should not try to micromanage the executive branch, particularly in war, where flexibility of action is paramount.

professor yoo... if this was any other presidential administration we were talking about with any other cadre of people at the top, you might at least have grounds for a hearing... but, in the context (a word your friend, dick cheney, is so fond of) of the moment, given the massive number of lies we've been told, the incredible abuses of power and money we've seen unfold, the tragic squandering of lives and resources, the staggering arrogance, the obtuseness, the unwillingness to engage in any kind of dialogue, the demonizing of critics, how can you in any conscience DARE to continue to defend these out-of-control criminals...? how DARE you lecture the american public via a national newspaper on how the country should be run...? how DARE you, professor yoo...?

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