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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Any lingering doubts about Iraq's sovereignty have now been put to rest

iraq is, plainly and simply, merely a pawn of the united states government...
The security company Blackwater USA was approved Friday to resume escorting American officials in Baghdad, just days after the fatal shooting of 11 Iraqis galvanized the Iraqi government over the company's conduct and the immunity its employees enjoy from Iraqi law.

The decision by the U.S. Embassy came despite Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's insistence that the State Department sack the company and his government's demand that Blackwater and other such security firms be stripped of the immunity granted them in 2004 by L. Paul Bremer III, the administrator of the former U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority.

can you imagine something like this happening in the united states and having the government of another country announcing that they were going to go ahead and continue what they were doing on our soil despite our government's demands...? i didn't think so...

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$500,000 a MINUTE...!?!?!?

great jumping jehoshaphat...
The money spent on one day of the Iraq war could buy homes for almost 6,500 families or health care for 423,529 children, or could outfit 1.27 million homes with renewable electricity, according to the American Friends Service Committee, which displayed those statistics on large banners in cities nationwide Thursday and Friday.

The war is costing $720 million a day or $500,000 a minute, according to the group's analysis of the work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard public finance lecturer Linda J. Bilmes.

and we are allowing it to continue...

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What they know about you would fill a book

how pathetic is this...?
The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as long as 15 years, as part of the Department of Homeland Security's effort to assess the security threat posed by all travelers entering the country. Officials say the records, which are analyzed by the department's Automated Targeting System, help border officials distinguish potential terrorists from innocent people entering the country.

But new details about the information being retained suggest that the government is monitoring the personal habits of travelers more closely than it has previously acknowledged. The details were learned when a group of activists requested copies of official records on their own travel. Those records included a description of a book on marijuana that one of them carried and small flashlights bearing the symbol of a marijuana leaf.

The Automated Targeting System has been used to screen passengers since the mid-1990s, but the collection of data for it has been greatly expanded and automated since 2002, according to former DHS officials.

hey, it's not as it we couldn't have figured this out for ourselves... having just come through u.s. immigration yesterday upon returning to the country, i had the very strong feeling that the nice immigration and customs enforcement (ICE, a unit of DHS) gentleman examining my passport at the counter knew at least as much about me as i know about myself...

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Friday, September 21, 2007

My country: small-minded, mean-spirited thugs

as elmer fudd would say, "it's twue...!"
It’s said that over time Presidents – especially two-termers – imbue the nation with their personalities and priorities, for good or ill. If that’s true, it could help explain the small-minded mean-spiritedness that seems to be pervading the behavior of the United States these days, both at home and abroad.

On a global level, the world reads about trigger-happy Blackwater “security contractors” mowing down civilians in Baghdad, the U.S. military killing unarmed people under loose “rules of engagement” in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and the CIA “rendering” suspected Islamists to secret prisons or to third-country dungeons where torture is practiced.

Inside the United States, too, a police-state mentality is taking hold. After more than six years of having dissent against President George W. Bush equated with disloyalty, police from Capitol Hill to college campuses are treating vocal disagreement as grounds for violently “taking down” citizens, while bouncers at campaign rallies hustle away prospective hecklers and police preemptively detain protesters or stick them in faraway “free-speech zones.”


Americans who ask too many annoying questions or don’t demonstrate the right attitude toward government leaders can expect to encounter the hostility of an incipient police state, a thug nation that reflects the pugnacious arrogance and the contempt for dissent that is the stock and trade of the nation’s current two-term President.

there are so many wonderful people in this country - caring, compassionate, thoughtful, concerned - that it's a shame the perception of the u.s. is being framed by george w. bush...

p.s. there are wonderful people all over the world...

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Back in Amerika

and sitting in lax waiting for a connecting flight... all went smoothly from argentina to here via peru, so, other than the usual mental fog hanging around after an all-night flight, all is well... an la woman with a one-year old little boy sat next to me on her way back from visiting her parents in peru, and the kid was not a happy camper and fussed and cried off and on all night... but, ya know, both she and the kid were so sweet and pleasant (minus the crying), i just shrugged it off... besides, my industrial strength earplugs and eye mask take care of most of the outside world...

now, it's off to texas for a week in bubba-land...

i gather bush is still in office... < sigh >

chau for now...

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Democratic capitulation and getting rid of false hope

glenn greenwald...
The enactment in August by the Democratic Congress of new eavesdropping powers for the President was one of the worst, if not the single worst, acts of capitulation to the Bush White House. The only comparable disgrace was the Democrats' complete failure even to attempt a filibuster of the Military Commissions Act, largely due to their decision to allow John McCain, John Warner and Lindsey Graham to speak for them so that they did not have to participate in the debate. Once those three GOP Senators predictably blessed the MCA, Democrats had no strategy and thus actively enabled the abolition of habeas corpus along with the other abuses that Act legalized.

The FISA capitulation, though, was probably even worse. It occurred when they supposedly control the Congress. They enlarged the President's powers under the very law that he has been violating for years. They gave the Bush White House what it demanded even though the White House continues to provide them with no meaningful information about what was done during all those years when they eavesdropped on Americans in secret. And Democrats passed the law in a frenzy, under the crassest and most transparent exploitation of the Terrorist Threat ("a Terrorist attack is about to happen in DC and the blood will be on your hands unless you pass the bill we dictate").

Ever since that debacle, many Democrats have clung to the illusion that all of this will be fixed because the bill was passed with a six-month sunset provision and, some hope, the next time things will be different. But far, far more likely than the Democrats reversing what they have done when re-visiting FISA is the prospect that they will make it worse still, by giving the Bush administration even more of what it wants.

so, reading the reports on mcconnell's testimony on tuesday, it appears that the democrats are once again poised to continue selling our country down the river...
Mr. McConnell argued on Tuesday that the expanded surveillance powers granted under the temporary measure should be made permanent.

He also pushed for a provision that would grant legal immunity to the telecommunications companies that secretly cooperated with the N.S.A. on the warrantless program. Those companies, now facing lawsuits, have never been officially identified.

Democratic Congressional aides say they believe that a deal is likely to provide protection for the companies.

again, i can't believe the depths to which our country has sunk...

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The fundamentally dishonest right is now trying to censure MoveOn

robert parry chronicles the false outrage of conservatives...
One would think that from the cries of (feigned) indignation and calls for repentance arising from conservatives regarding's ad in the N.Y. Times that the liberal-leaning group had not simply questioned the insights and intentions of a public servant, promoting, in a public forum, the policy of an illegal and immoral occupation of a sovereign nation; rather, the folks of had committed blasphemy against the holy name of some revered saint -- General Mary Petraeus, Mother of God.

The false outrage of perpetually offended conservatives serves as cover for the true outrages of our era, including: truncated civil liberties, rising levels of social and economic inequality and injustice, and foreign wars of aggression waged by an insular and secretive executive branch and fought by a permanent underclass.

The outrages keep arriving, because the collective imagination of the citizen/consumers of the US, arbitrated by a careerist media elite, has been, for decades, in the thrall of false narratives that serve the interests of the elite of the corporate/militarist classes.

Concurrently, a sense of unease and despair, due to a sense of personal and collective powerlessness before exploitive power, has created the tone and tenor of the times, and begot the phenomenon of supine liberalism and Viagra conservatism. (In this way, liberals stand fecklessly by, as the public is, time and time again, screwed by the decrepit schemes of the right.)

In this way, liberal paternalism is insufferable; worse, it is dangerous.

This has been the right's craftiest accomplishment: inducing "reasonable" liberals and "sensible" centrists to enable their crimes, from stolen elections to their present preparation for a massive bombing campaign of Iran, by intimidating them with the fear that any protest on their part will cast them among the ranks of America-hating, lefty moonbats, who wish to see the terrorist win, dumpsters piled high with discarded fetuses and metro-sexuality made the official state religion.

all of which has led to this, a TRUE outrage...
Dear MoveOn member,

This morning the Senate is expected to vote on a resolution condemning Can you call [your] Senators ... and ask them to vote no?

This is the same Senate that has done nothing to change President Bush's policy on Iraq. Yesterday, they couldn't even pass a bill to give soldiers enough leave with their families before redeploying. But they have plenty of time to crack down on folks who criticize the war. It's ridiculous, it's un-American, and it's wrong.

Call [your Senators]: Tell them this is a right-wing intimidation campaign aimed at all of us who've spoken out on the war—and every honorable Senator should stand up against it.


Republicans have been on the attack since we ran an ad last week accusing General Petraeus of betraying the public trust by "cooking the books" and presenting politicized facts to Congress.

Why? They're flailing. Last week's Bush Administration PR blitz completely failed—the percentage of Americans favoring withdrawal from Iraq actually increased. Meanwhile, vulnerable Republicans are sinking lower and lower in the polls (or announcing their retirement). Bashing our ad is a way to distract the public—and intimidate war critics.

Sixteen brave Americans died in Iraq in the last week. The whole country is looking to Congress to stand up to Bush and get our troops out of Iraq—and instead, they're spending time on a newspaper ad!

Maybe you liked the ad. Maybe you thought we should have worded it differently.

But at its heart was a painful truth—President Bush is using General Petraeus to mislead the public about how things are going in Iraq, just like he used Colin Powell in 2003. And Republicans are trying to make sure we pay a heavy price for saying so. As strategist George Lakoff says:

MoveOn hit a nerve. In the face of truth, the right-wing has been forced to change the subject—away from the administration's betrayal of trust and the escalating tragedy of the occupation to of all things, an ad! To take the focus off maiming and death and the breaking of our military, they talk about etiquette. The truth has reduced them to whining: MoveOn was impolite. Rather than face the truth, they use character assassination against an organization whose three million members stand for the highest patriotic principles of this country, the first of which is a commitment to truth.

They're trying to use the full force of the U.S. Senate to shut us all up. To send a message that if you speak unpleasant truths about this war, you'll pay.This is what we expect from right-wing bullies like Fox, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity. But the Senate should know better.

Call [your Senators] today: Tell them that in a democracy, we revere the truth—before generals, before presidents.

unbelievable the depths to which my country has sunk...

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A sobering thought

for some reason, i tend to watch tv when i'm here in argentina... yeah, they're u.s. shows on cable and i confess to having gotten attached to a few, namely scrubs, house, heroes, and crossing jordan... most of them air some months following their initial showing in the u.s., but since i don't watch tv in the u.s., that really doesn't matter to me...

getting to the point, last night i was watching an episode of crossing jordan... one of the characters, bug, a doctor from india who had become a u.s. citizen, was abducted from a parking garage by homeland security and detained under suspicion of aiding and abetting al qaeda... the scenes of his interrogation were very faithful to what has appeared in numerous articles and reports about how detainees are treated - the total absence of due process; the threat of torture, extraordinary rendition, and secret detention; the refusal to respond to any outside inquiries; and the denial of fundamental constitutional rights... when, at the very end, the usual television plot device of deus ex machina saw him released (they detained the wrong man) and reunited with his friends and colleagues, i experienced a sharp rush of relief and realized just how much emotion watching the story play out had generated in me... then it hit me... as most of us have, i've watched tv shows and movies that reflect some of those same things, but none quite as accurately as this one did... but the most stunning (and completely obvious) thought was, OMG, THIS IS MY COUNTRY...

i return to the u.s. on friday...

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The next step in government surveillance: implanting mandatory microchips on Bessie and Fido

from jim hightower's hightower lowdown via alternet...
[T]he National Animal Identification System (NAIS) sets up a whole new surveillance program to defend you and yours from a rather odd national security threat: terrorist chickens. And terrorist cows, horses, pigs, sheep, llamas ... and so on. Advanced under the benign guise of protecting public health from outbreaks of animal-borne diseases, this program is intended to tag and track every farm animal in America from birth to death.

It is, to say the least, intrusive. NAIS would compel all owners of such animals to register their premises and personal information in a federal database, to buy microchip devices and attach them to every single one of their animals (each of which gets its very own 15-digit federal ID number), to log and report each and every "event" in the life of each animal, to pay fees for the privilege of having their location and animals registered, and to sit still for fines of up to $1,000 a day for any noncompliance.

but wait... it gets worse... much worse...
If you keep a pony for your kids or board a couple of riding horses, if you've got a few chickens in your backyard, if you've got a potbellied pig or a pet goose, if your youngsters are raising a half-dozen ducks as part of a 4-H club project, if you maintain a buffalo or a goat just for the fun of it -- indeed, if you have any farm animals, NAIS wants you in its computerized grasp.

Every farm, home, horse stable, or other domicile of these animals would have to have its address and precise GPS coordinates filed into the system's central computer, along with the name, phone number, and other personal data of the owner/ renter of the premises. Owners of the animals would have to tag every one of them (luckily, fish ponds are not included!) with an approved tracking mechanism -- most likely by implanting radio-frequency ID chips into them.


If an entity owns a vertically integrated, birth-to-death factory system with thousands of animals (as the Cargills and Tysons do), it does not have to tag and track each one but instead is given a single lot number to cover the whole flock or herd. Second, it's no accident that NAIS will be so burdensome and costly (fees, tags, computer equipment, time) to small farmers and ranchers. The giant operators are happy to see these pesky competitors saddled with another reason to go out of business, thus leaving even more of the market to the big guys.

typical invasive government nonsense and total overkill to boot... this will do nothing to control animal-borne diseases... a proposal was made several years ago to simply send a dna sample of every animal used in food production to a national registry... that way, should an infection or disease break out, the dna of the infected food could be immediately traced to its source and the entire chain of the production cycle would be totally visible... unfortunately, the giant packing houses solidly oppose traceability, so the proposal died...

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Whaddaya know, she's taking a break from shoe-shopping

remember her...?

(l) Condoleezza Rice (r) Ferragamo shoe

i'd almost forgotten we even HAD a secretary of state... i guess this is something to keep her busy between sales...
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday "critical issues" would be tackled at a U.S.-led peace conference that Palestinians hope will move them closer to statehood.

Speaking to reporters on her flight to Israel, she said she hoped her brief trip would build momentum ahead of the gathering and bridge differences on core matters -- borders, Jerusalem, refugees and security.

"Everyone expects it (the conference) to be serious and substantive and everybody expects it to address critical issues. We don't expect anything less," she said.

one important point STILL needed clarification...
"The idea that somehow the president of the United States would call an international meeting so that we could all have a photo-op is very far-fetched," said Rice, who will be in the Middle East for little more than 24 hours.

no-o-o-o-o-o-o-o... the president would NEVER call an international meeting solely for a photo-op... how positively RUDE to even suggest it...! for those who have any doubt, just look at how much time bush has devoted to getting information first-hand on the ground in iraq...
The president who avoided serving in Vietnam as a young man has made only three visits to Iraq since declaring that major combat operations were over more than four years ago. All three of the visits were unannounced and featured extensive security.

Bush's total time in country? Less than 15 hours.

see...? now knock it off with the insinuations...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Spying: "billions of transactions" DAILY!

whether he intends to or not, mcconnell has revealed more information about u.s. electronic surveillance and spying activities than we have had yet, minus the intelligent guesswork that we've all engaged in...
The United States' top spy said American intelligence agencies are intercepting "billions" of conversations and e-mails abroad, but he would not say how many Americans have been inadvertently snared in this international warrantless wiretapping dragnet.

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell would say only that the number of Americans overheard by National Intelligence Agency eavesdroppers was "small" in relation to the massive number of "transactions" intercepted from overseas targets.

"It's a very small number considering that there are billions of transactions every day," McConnell told the House Judiciary Committee Monday.

The US is spying on "thousands, potentially millions (of) potential targets of interest," McConnell said later in the hearing. Congress is beginning to consider another update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires intelligence agencies get a warrant before spying on Americans.

i don't have much of a head for numbers, but the "small number" in relation to the "billions of transactions" would be interesting, no...? for chuckles and grins, let's say it's 1%... so, what's 1% of a billion...? well, gol-e-e-e-eee, clem, looks like about ONLY TEN MILLION to me...! how about 1/10 of 1%...? damn...! that knocks it down to ONLY ONE MILLION... sh-e-e-e-e-e-it, jethro... nothin' to worry about THERE...!

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The case against another Clinton presidency

we need another clinton in the white house like we needed another bush...

chris hedges writes in truthdig via alternet about bill clinton's new book, Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World...

Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter, was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. He spent seven years in the Middle East and reported frequently from Iran. His latest book is American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.

We face the prospect of having two families govern the country for 16 years. The system is rigged. Our democracy is a consumer fraud. The government has given up any pretence of serving the interests of citizens. The corporations rule. And for all Clinton’s charm and talent for self-promotion, he is largely to blame.

Half a century ago, corporations paid 45 percent to 50 percent of the income tax. Today they pay 6 or 7 percent. This is why our infrastructure is crumbling, there is no universal health care, our public education is in crisis, regulatory agencies are impotent and our poor and working class are desperate.

It is no longer possible to argue between the lesser of two evils. The corporate state, which is carrying out a coup d’etat in slow motion and has already shredded most of our constitutional rights, is an unmitigated evil. We do not need charity. We need justice. And all of Bill Clinton’s heart-warming stories about giving are not going to save us from the corporations who sucked out his soul and seek to imprison the rest of us.

when our country is barely treading water, what we DON'T need is a concrete life preserver...

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The business of America is business - $1.6B in arms sales to Iraq (and $3.5B to Pakistan and $1B to Egypt and...)

it seems i post all too frequently on u.s. arms sales (here, here, here and here just since this past march)... with all the attention going to pakistan, egypt, saudi arabia and india, the 800-lb. gorillas of u.s. arms sales, i had completely neglected to consider the possibility that iraq was now an official member of that club... silly me... but OF COURSE they would be... we didn't invade just for their oil...

from salon...

The Pentagon confirmed that this fiscal year, the United States has finalized $1.6 billion in arms sales to Iraq, placing the country in an elite club of weapons buyers. For example, in recent one-year periods Saudi Arabia bought $800 million and Egypt bought $1 billion in arms from the U.S., while Pakistan spent $3.5 billion, including the purchase of jet fighters. "This would put [Iraq] right up there with the top handful of arms buyers," said William Hartung, a weapons proliferation expert at the New America Foundation.

In fact, the numbers Petraeus presented on Iraq were the tip of the iceberg. According to data obtained by Salon from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency at the Pentagon, which manages the arms sales, the military has alerted Congress to up to $4.3 billion in arms sales that have been under discussion since at least 2006 between the U.S. and Iraqi governments.

gotta keep that military-industrial complex cranking along at full capacity, dontcha know...

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If Pervez Musharraf had an ounce of integrity, he'd step down as military chief NOW

anybody who buys this line of crap probably also believes in the tooth fairy and what george bush has to say...
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf will give up his post of army chief if he is re-elected president and will be sworn in for a new term as a civilian, his lawyer told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The promise to stand down as army chief removes a major objection to Musharraf's proposed re-election by October 15, but legal challenges abound.

U.S. ally Musharraf retained his army post after he seized power in a 1999 coup despite opposition calls to quit.

"If elected for a second term as president, General Pervez Musharraf shall relinquish charge of office of chief of army staff soon after election and before taking oath of office," Musharraf's chief lawyer, Sharifuddin Pirzada, told the Supreme Court during a hearing into challenges against Musharraf's rule.

promises from habitual liars about what they will do in the future don't hold much water for me... pakistanis have been screaming for musharraf to give up his military role for eight years and he keeps putting them off... he knows that his tenuous grip on power is in no small part due to his control of the military, so it's no wonder he says he won't give up that control until AFTER he's re-elected... and, of course, once he's back in office, he can pull the same crap he's pulled all along, claiming that the security and stability of the country REQUIRE that he keep his army post... liars are liars are liars...

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Restoring habeas but still leaving the 6th Amendment in tatters

the 6th amendment...
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

none of the above applies in george bush's amerika...

robert parry...

[T]he U.S. Senate is expected to consider legislation scrapping one part of the 2006 law, its denial of habeas corpus – the ancient protection against arbitrary arrests – to foreigners whom Bush has designated “unlawful enemy combatants.”


[T]he Military Commissions Act creates a parallel legal system not limited to foreigners. The law could put “any person,” including those “in breach of an allegiance or duty to the United States” before a military tribunal if the person “knowingly and intentionally aids an enemy of the United States.”

Who has “an allegiance or duty to the United States” if not an American citizen? That provision would not presumably apply to Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda, nor would it apply generally to foreigners.

This section of the law appears to be singling out American citizens who are deemed (by the Bush administration) enemy fellow travelers. It seeks to put them inside Bush’s “star chamber” proceedings if they are alleged to aid and abet foreign enemies.

“Any person is punishable as a principal under this chapter who commits an offense punishable by this chapter, or aids, abets, counsels, commands, or procures its commission,” according to the law, passed by the Republican-controlled Congress in September 2006 and signed by Bush on Oct. 17, 2006.

[To see an excerpt from the “any person” section of the law, click here. To read the entire law, click here.]


[I]t appears the goal of these “any person” provisions is to allow for the detention of perceived “fifth columnists” or other domestic enemies of the state at a time of crisis, such as during some future terrorist incident.

Though it’s true the Military Commissions Act specifically strips non-U.S. citizens of habeas corpus, the law implicitly denies everyone who gets swept into Bush’s new legal system the opportunity to challenge their incarceration.

Once inside, the law prohibits detainees from appealing to the traditional U.S. courts until the tribunals have fully prosecuted and sentenced each defendant, a process that could last indefinitely since there are no timetables for the tribunal process to play out.

The law states that once a person is detained, “no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause of action whatsoever … relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission under this chapter, including challenges to the lawfulness of procedures of military commissions.”

and what might all this mean for you and me...?
In the event of another terrorist incident or a similar national crisis, there’s also little reason to think that Bush won’t interpret every legal ambiguity in the Military Commissions Act as granting him the broadest possible powers.

so very much to look forward to...

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Let's keep this war going, by all means, just like al-Qaeda is hoping for

robert parry provides us with yet another example of his outstanding investigative reporting skills...
One of President Bush's key arguments for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely is that al-Qaeda wants to "drive us out." But U.S. intelligence has intercepted an internal al-Qaeda communique that says almost the exact opposite.

The letter written by senior al-Qaeda operative Atiyah Abd al-Rahman states that "prolonging the war is in our interest." Yet, President Bush is rarely challenged when he asserts the opposite, and few members of Congress seem aware of the Atiyah letter, which was translated and analyzed by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.

here's the significant excerpt [PDF] from the letter...

here's a link to the full letter...

and here's a link to send the letter and a message to your congress members...

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Tom Tomorrow on our endless ability to be distracted

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Greenspan supported oil as the reason for invading Iraq

this comes across as a lot more honest than what has been bandied about in most of the rest of the media over the past few days...
Greenspan: Ouster Of Hussein Crucial For Oil Security

By Bob Woodward
Monday, September 17, 2007; Page A03

Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, said in an interview that the removal of Saddam Hussein had been "essential" to secure world oil supplies, a point he emphasized to the White House in private conversations before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

i'm not a big fan of bob woodward, but i am glad he decided to point out this key piece of context for greenspan's role in the whole goddam mess rather than what it's been made to sound like...
AMERICA’s elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.

In his long-awaited memoir, to be published tomorrow, Greenspan, a Republican whose 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve was widely admired, will also deliver a stinging critique of President George W Bush’s economic policies.

However, it is his view on the motive for the 2003 Iraq invasion that is likely to provoke the most controversy. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says.

and, let's not forget that tomorrow is the big night where greenspan gets interviewed by none other than HIS WIFE, andrea mitchell, an absurd piece of theater i posted about back at the end of july...
Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, who helped shape the nation’s economic and monetary policy for almost 19 years, talks about the people he met, the issues he faced and the crises he helped manage during five different administrations. Greenspan discusses the world we now live in, with a global capitalist economy that is more flexible, resilient, open, self-directing and fast-changing than ever. Greenspan is the author of a new book, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, to be published by The Penguin Press on September 17. He is interviewed in this rare public appearance by the person who knows him best, his wife, Andrea Mitchell, who covers politics and foreign policy for NBC News.

Date & Time: Tue, Sep 18, 2007, 8:00pm
Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
Venue: Kaufmann Concert Hall
Price: $50.00 Orchestra

and we certainly can't forget marcy - emptywheel - wheeler's trenchant observation...
You were one of the most powerful men in the fiscal world for almost half my lifetime. Yet you can't face live questions from someone who isn't your wife?

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Opus enjoys the air travel experience

ah, yes... just a gentle reminder of what i have to face this coming thursday and friday...

check out the whole thing in salon...

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BooMan: "Impeach or Armageddon"

booman has a fairly comprehensive run-down on the run-up to what increasingly looks like war on iran, unless, of course, we bestir ourselves to toss the bastards out...
Considering how far Iran is away from actually having a nuclear bomb and how close we are to having a new administration, we cannot allow this attack on Iran to go on in the next 16 months. We can't hope that Condi Rice will resign, or that her resignation will prevent an attack. We have to impeach, convict, and remove this administration. Don't say it can't be done. It has to be done. Or it's Armageddon.

booman also has what i believe to be a pretty accurate perspective on darth and his evil...
[T]he word has definitely gotten out that Dick Cheney is frothing at the mouth to make more evil. There's not a constant amount of evil in the world, you know. It's not a zero-sum game. Cheney makes evil where evil did not previously exist. And his brush-clearing sidekick is too eager to go along.

george, darth and the other evil minions simply have to go... it's incomprehensible to me that their occupation of the white house continues, nearly seven years after the illegal 12 december 2000 scotus decision...

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More triple-A, context-free journalism from the WaPo, this time on Colorado's western slope

Drilling at the edge of Grand Mesa on
Colorado's western slope

i grew up in colorado and, although i haven't lived there since 1977 (with the exception of 2002), i still carry the mental and emotional scars of the ceaseless environmental rape of my home state... too bad the washington post, with all its supposedly first class journalistic resources, has no access to history, recent or otherwise...
The Bush administration's aggressive drive to promote oil and gas drilling on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains has sparked growing anger here among traditional Republican constituents who say that the stepped-up push for energy development is sullying some of the country's most majestic landscape.

The emerging backlash from ranchers and sportsmen, which is occurring despite an economic boom driven by drilling, is threatening GOP primacy in at least one corner of what has been a solidly Republican West. Long the most reliably conservative expanse of a state that has gone red in six of the past seven presidential contests, Colorado's western third shows evidence of the "purpling" that has made Colorado look increasingly like a swing state.

the western slope and particularly grand mesa contains some of the most beautiful country anywhere, but leave it to the bush administration to not give a shit about anything so poofy as that... what's almost as bad is when a major newspaper ignores history and leads you to believe that what's happening is just another political power struggle... here's what i wrote to the wapo...
what incredibly irresponsible reporting...! i simply cannot believe you wrote this entire article without a single reference to the nearly century and a half of economic boom and bust and environmental rape colorado has suffered in the name of mineral and other resource "extraction," the most recent of which took place in the very same western slope area 30 years ago, leaving rifle, parachute and parts of grand junction and glenwood springs in economic ruin... yes, the oil shale industry that descended on that area in the 70's with all the attendant fanfare turned out precisely as predicted by then governor dick lamm, a huge source of jobs that created an equally huge demand for state and local resources (roads, schools and other infrastructure), which then took a nosedive, leaving behind virtual ghost towns and the voters holding the bag... had you deigned to include that part of the story, the ire of the republicans and the rest of the populace would be infinitely more understandable...


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