Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday Sailboat Ship Blogging

posted by The Sailor @ 8:24 PM Permalink

The Sun's Over the Yardarm Edition;-)


Independence Day and What I Have to Say

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:26 PM Permalink

UPDATE: When I wrote this yesterday I wrote it in a contiguous block of 36 lines, which, upon reflection after receiving some much appreciated advice from my good friend, Sailor, I have broken the poem up into 9 verses of four lines each to improve readability. No content has been changed and I thank Sailor for his kind advice.

Let’s all count our “blessings” on this coming Independence Day
And contemplate that which prevents American’s from having a say.
Freedom of speech may still be allowed, provided you remain
In a “free speech” zone surrounded by guards and fences of chain.

The right to petition government for redress is still there
Tho’ we have a president who demonstrably does not care.
There’s still a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
If you turn a blind eye to what the rest of the world sees as a mess.

For now your life can be taken simply by order of the president
As extra-judicial killings will always go a long way to prevent
A suspect person trying to challenge their illegal detention,
And it’s still cheaper to kill than to spend money for his rendition.

And though much has been said about the evil wrought by this plan,
The kidnappings and killings will continue as long bush is “the man.”
The right to liberty, which formerly played an important roll in life,
Is becoming a hindrance to an administration wracked with strife.

Thus came the USA Patriot and the Military Commissions Act
That changes the tenor of life in America, and that is a fact.
The pursuit of happiness becomes more difficult as a result,
As all our rights fall prey slowly to what amounts to a cult,

Of a rogue president so out of touch with most people’s reality
That they no longer lend anything he says any credibility.
And as long as the detention center and prison at Gitmo is open,
America the bully detains suspects without trial, just the sweep of a pen.

Though the president claims that America does not torture suspects,
The rest of the world sees thru the lies he tells and rejects
American claims to be that “Shining beacon of hope and democracy,”
While the Middle East heads towards conflagration and says he’s crazy

To believe that democracy can ever succeed when installed by a gun,
To the neocons and sycophants destroying America it’s just all good fun.
And for years passed and years to come Americans will be in Iraq,
Safeguarding oil profits for corporations that can never pay us back

For the horrific death toll of both Iraqis and our American forces
And a president who will never, ever admit error and change courses.
So let us all pray that in the year of our Lord known as 2008
We can rid ourselves of these evil, ill-spirited Republican reprobates.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Oh, Lie a Little Lie to Me

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:29 AM Permalink

Oh, my goodness. I just flipped on C-Span 2 and every lying, mealy-mouth, Republican that can fight his or her way to the mike are bragging that they have killed the current senate bill on immigration. All the usual snivelers and whiners are there, Sessions, Vitter, DeMint, Hutcheson, etc., and today's monster lie is that they killed the bill so that Americans can be sure that Republicans will protect their freedoms.

They claim 80% of Americans did not want this bill to pass, an especially stupid lie for all anyone need do is take a look at polls like this from
CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. June 22-24, 2007. N=1,029 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "As you may know, the U.S. Senate has been considering a bill to change the way the government handles the issue of illegal immigration. Based on what you have read or heard about all the proposals in the Senate immigration bill, do you favor or oppose that bill?" If oppose: "Do you oppose the Senate immigration bill MOSTLY because you think it goes too far toward helping illegal immigrants, or MOSTLY because it does not go far enough toward helping illegal immigrants?"

Favor : 30%
OPPOSE: Goes Too Far 28%
OPPOSE: Doesn't Go Far Enough 15%
OPPOSE: Other Reason/Unsure Why 4%
Unsure: 22%

Please go look at the poll to see for yourself what lies the Rethugs are spreading, but for my purposes here, this single question gives the lie to every word uttered this morning by Republicans.

Even adding the "Oppose: Goes too far" figure of 28% to the "Oppose: Doesn't go far enough" figure of 15%, that would tend, no, does mean that support for the Republication position is only 43%.

(In fact, if you read the poll, the only area where a super-majority of citizens agree with ANY Republicans is whether or not all immigrants should learn to speak English.)

But wait! There's more!

Then consider the real truth of the matter, not the Republican sycophants propagandizing for the GOP, as shown by these three other poll questions:
"Regardless of how you feel about it personally, do you think that deporting all illegal immigrants who are currently in the United States back to their native countries is a realistic and achievable goal, or not?" [Is: 13%; Is not: 85%; Unsure: 2%]

"Regardless of how you feel about it personally, do you think that having illegal immigrants who are currently in the United States voluntarily return to their native countries before applying to become legal citizens is a realistic and achievable goal, or not?" [Is: 20%; Is not: 76%; Unsure: 4%]

"One proposal would allow undocumented immigrants who have been living and working in the United States for a number of years, and who do not have a criminal record, to start on a path to citizenship by registering that they are in the country, paying a fine, getting fingerprinted, and learning English, among other requirements. Do you support or oppose this, or haven't you heard enough about it to say?" [Answered: 6/7-10/07 Support: 63% Oppose: 23% Haven't heard: 12 % Don't know: 2%]
So there it is. Lie after lie by the Republicans, who are apparently also either too stupid to know that people can, and will, check up on their lies and see that the truth comes out, or they have such disdain and indifference toward their constituency that they believe they can get away with outrageous lies with impunity

This is precisely why I do not hesitate to label these people as liars, as the truth is always a defense to any actions for slander or libel. And also because in good conscience I feel compelled to identify the liars and their lies.

So c'mon, Sessions, Vitter, Hutcheson, and Demint, put up the bogus info you cited this morning and prove 80% of America agrees with you, and not the Democrats. You can't, you know such claims are specious lies

So to paraphrase the great Mama Cass, may she rest in peace, "Oh, lie a little lie to me."

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

You know my name and the number you know you know my name

posted by The Sailor @ 7:53 PM Permalink

And the loser number is ... 28301-016!

(Cross posted at SteveAudio)


Liar time after time, Liar you're lying to me

posted by The Sailor @ 6:45 PM Permalink

A White House lawyer turned U.S. judge was asked on Tuesday to explain apparent discrepancies between reports he played a role in talks about setting rules for the treatment of enemy combatants and his congressional testimony he was not involved.
"By testifying under oath that you were not involved in this issue, it appears that you misled me, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the nation," Durbin wrote Kavanaugh, who was confirmed by the Senate last year on a vote of 57-36 for a seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Kavanaugh was nominated to the court by President George W. Bush after serving as a White House lawyer.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that Kavanaugh was involved in a heated 2002 White House meeting about whether U.S. citizens declared enemy combatants should be given access to lawyers. Durbin said National Public Radio confirmed the information on Tuesday.
"I asked: 'What did you know about Mr. Haynes's role in crafting the administration's detention and interrogation policies?"' Durbin wrote.

"You testified: 'Senator, I did not - I was not involved and am not involved in the questions about the rules governing detention of combatants - and so I do not have the involvement with that,"' Durbin quoted him as testifying.

Durbin said in his letter to Kavanaugh that in light of the media reports, "your sworn testimony appears inaccurate and misleading."
Translation: You're a f**king liar!

And the standard Bushco response? Yep, you guessed it:
A court spokesman for Kavanaugh said in a statement, "Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation testimony was accurate
Translation: I'm a f**king liar.

(Cross posted at SteveAudio)

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Careful What You Ask for GOP 'Cause You May Get It and Prove You're Worthless

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:09 AM Permalink

Bob Geiger has up an excellent post this morning at the Huffington Post on a subject near and dear to my heart, entitled "The GOP: Grand Obstruction Party," which reinforces very well the posts I have made regarding the worthless, corrupt, obstructionists that now form the GOP, the Republicans, the Compassionate Conservatives, Reaganites, Bushites, or whatever they want to call themselves today.

In the article Mr. Geiger does an excellent job of demonstrating that Republicans will never place the interests of the country over their personal aggrandizement and devotion to a party with the most pernicious agenda of any minority ever in congressional history.

Republicans have been making noise for a couple of weeks about how little the U.S. Senate is allegedly getting done now that Democrats have a scant majority and it's past time to set the record straight. Given their role in intentionally obstructing almost every issue that's come before the 110th Congress, the Senate's GOP leadership criticizing the Upper House's 2007 progress is a bit like Ann Coulter blaming the media for the impression that she's a bile-spewing gargoyle.
"Once known as the Grand Ole Party, today the Republican Party can more aptly be described that the 'Grand Obstructionist Party,'" said Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Wednesday. "Perhaps they see progress in a new Congress as defeat for them rather than a win for the American people. Whatever the reason, they need to know that by their obstructionism, they're not hurting Democrats, they're slighting the American people."

And the GOP blockades have not gone up over routine procedures or measures of no consequence, having slowed critical legislation such as the following:

Fulfilling the 9/11 Commission Recommendations (Eventually passed 97-0, Roll Call Vote #53)
Improving security at our courts (Eventually passed 93-3, Roll Call Vote #133)
Water Resources Development Act (Eventually passed 89-7, Roll Call Vote #162)
A joint resolution to revise U.S. policy in Iraq (Eventually passed 89-9, Roll Call Vote, #74)
Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Eventually passed 69-23, Roll Call Vote #173)
Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Eventually passed 64-35, Roll Call Vote #228)
CLEAN Energy Act ( Passed 91-0, Roll Call Vote #208)
Funding for the Intelligence Community (Eventually passed 94-3, Roll Call Vote #129)
"Senate Republicans yesterday blocked a bill that would permit the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries," read an article in the April 19, 2007 Boston Globe.…
"Senate Republicans rejected an effort by Democrats to pass minimum-wage legislation without breaks for small businesses on Wednesday, setting the stage for a potential impasse with the House, where lawmakers are demanding a 'clean' bill," reported a January New York Times piece.…
In this case, Congressional Republicans couldn't bear to see the working poor get their first pay hike in ten years unless Democrats agreed to yet more tax breaks for business.

And, of course, Senate Republicans have done everything in their power to protect Bush's boy, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who, after all, is only guilty of turning a Justice Department meant to do the peoples' legal business into a political machine for the White House.

And so it has gone for the first 25 percent of the 110th Congress. And, sick as it sounds, you can bet that when the 2008 election season hits and Republicans are looking at even more losses in Congress and, we hope, the White House, they'll trot out their sorry ethics and work habits as an indictment of how little work Democrats have done.

I suppose life is so much easier when you have no shame.

It's wonderful to see that people are recognizing that the rethuglicans are still following Grover Norquist's order that, "Nothing good comes out of this congress. Nothing.…It doesn't do us any good to say no, no, yes, It's got to be no, no, no. Nothing good comes out of this congress."

I feel such revolting disgust every time one of these obstructionist jacka$$ Republican senators get to the podium and spend their whole time knocking Democrats, complaining about scheduling, complaining they can't file 200 amendments to every bill to guarantee it collapses under it's own weight, or whining about everything in general.

And then hypocritically telling talk show hosts friendly to the GOP that the Democratic Senate can't get anything done.

Watch them in action (or inaction due to the Republicans) yourself on C-Span 2. Also, go to the link to Mr. Geiger's post and watch the video of Republicans lodging objection after objection and preventing the Senate from doing its job.

The Republican Senators talk arrogantly, offending the intelligence of the viewer, and their floor speeches are always full of lies that have been exposed as lies long ago; they simply aren't creative enough to keep making up new, or believable, lies.

So watch them. Just don't eat immediately before doing so if you have a weak stomach.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

If It Requires Billions of Dollars and Making Gov't Bigger, It's the Republican Way

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:12 PM Permalink

Something the GOP, the party of "fiscal responsibility" and "smaller, less intrusive government" shows again in the current immigration bill debate is that they want to exponentially expand government and waste billions or more dollars on a futile attempt to arrest, prosecute, and deport every illegal immigrant.

It is absurd. I am no economist, but I think certain things are obvious on their face. So, if you're inclined to do so, please consider this.

Problem: 12,000,000 or more illegal immigrants
Republican solution: Arrest and deport them all.

Drawbacks: If the government could arrest, prosecute, and deport 1,000 people a day, that's 365,000 people a year.
If these actions cost a minimum of $1,000 per person (although commonsense dictates that the cost per person would be much greater than $1,000 and growing higher year after year) that's $365,000 a year.
At that pace it would take 30.1 years to accomplish the task unless government grows exponentially larger to handle the load, adding hugh increases to the cost-per-person for deportation.
Total cost, here ridiculously understated: $10,986,500,000.
Total costs of social disruption from such a policy: You're guess is as good as mine, but it would savage families, breaking them apart, and I think the cost is too dear by far, although such calculations are ignored by the "compassionate conservatives."

Are they serious? The true costs of doing this would add tremendously to the national debt, already increased by the reckless spending of the Republican controlled 109th Congress, which took more days off and passed the fewest number of bills in history, but still managed to spend more money than any other administration and congress in history.

In fact the bush maladministration has spent more than all previous administrations combined.

If the Republicans ever regain the majority of both legislative bodies and a Republican president, an endeavor such as this, doing incalculable damage by the breaking up of families where the child, born in America, is by birthright a citizen, would again show the world that America is no longer a beacon of hope.

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Chutzpah, Defined.

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:36 AM Permalink

I've been listening to C-Span 2 this morning and you have never heard real sniveling from anyone until you listen to a Republican senator.

It is well known that when dems were the minority in the Senate they were shut off, blocked out, and unable to engage in their full duties with the Republican leadership blocking amendments, "filling the tree" so no matters with which dems were concerned could get filed or heard and other tricks and schemes to diminish Democrats.

This morning Senator Jim Vitter (Whiner-Louisiana), Senator Judd Gregg (Poser-New Hampshire), and Senator Jeff Sessions (Phony-Alabama) are squealing like stuck pigs now that they cannot get their way and file endless amendments for no other purpose than to obfuscate, delay, or kill legislation. This despite the fact that Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) has been more accommodating and even-handedly fair than the old Republican "leadership" ever was when they were in control.

I'm serious when I say that every American should watch the Senate in action. Watch Democratic Senators presenting good commonsense bills and lucid arguments, and then watch the parade of Republicans coming to the podium to snivel, b*tch, and moan that somehow they are not being treated fairly and watch them play obstructionists and fear/war mongers. I have never seen or heard such a pack of political cowards in my life.

Democrats appear to be actively fighting for Americans while the Republicans follow the orders of Grover Norquist that, "Nothing good comes out of this congress for the next two years. Nothing.…It doesn't do any good to say no, no, yes, it's always got to be no, no, no. Nothing good comes out of this congress."

The Republicans have their marching orders: stop the congress from passing legislation good for the country, ignore your oath of office and help the president break the law and his oath, ignore what's good for the country, stall, filibuster, do anything to make Democrats look ineffective putting the country before party.

Republicans are only loyal to bush and his party and do not care how much damage they are doing to America. How else to explain monetary losses of over a trillion dollars a year ever since bush became president? (I am, of course, speaking of the current crop of Republican "leadership" in congress and I do not mean to slur ordinary citizens that happen to be Republican.)

At any rate this is truly an excellent definition for chutzpah: Treat dems like crap for years, be the worst "do-nothing" congress in American history for the last two years, fight Democrats tooth and nail over every little detail, and then cry like a baby now that the dems won't just give you your way.

Sniveling. Cowards. What chutzpah.

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The Lying Liars Can't Keep Their Lies Straight

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:54 AM Permalink

Just this past Saturday I wrote a post here, titled "Huh? Aren't the Lies Just Becoming Idiotic Now?" where I cited two different government positions totally opposing one another regarding the arming of insurgeants.

One article says we do, the next just 11 days later vehemently denies giving insurgents weapons. The chief quotes of the two articles was these:

First, from Raw Story:
With the four-month-old increase in American troops showing only modest success in curbing insurgent attacks, American commanders are turning to another strategy that they acknowledge is fraught with risk: arming Sunni Arab groups that have promised to fight militants linked with Al Qaeda who have been their allies in the past.

American commanders say they have successfully tested the strategy in Anbar Province west of Baghdad and have held talks with Sunni groups in at least four areas of central and north-central Iraq where the insurgency has been strong.
The statement that, "American commanders say they have successfully tested the strategy in Anbar Province," sounds pretty dispositive on the matter of arming insurgents: We did and have been doing it since before the reports of it showed up in the press around June 11, 2007.

Now, also from Raw Story/AFP just 11 days later:
The number two US military commander in Iraq on Friday denied that US forces were arming insurgents willing to fight forces of the Al-Qaeda network, but said the military was "reaching out."

"I want to make one thing very clear: we are not arming these groups," Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno told reporters via teleconference from Baghdad.

However, Odierno did admit providing 10 assault rifles to a security detail for one mayor he said was being "threatened."

"The best I can tell, we armed 10 security detachment personnel for a mayor in one town because he was being threatened. And so we did give him 10 AK-47s."
"Beyond that, we have not given weapons to any insurgent groups. They have plenty of weapons," Odierno said. "I want those weapons to be used against Al-Qaeda and not against coalition forces or Iraqi security forces."

Now we have yet again another report that conflicts with Odierno's assessment and seemingly proves we ARE arming insurgents after all.

See this from Americablog citing Rob Farley's really good piece on this:
…The US is currently enrolling in Iraqi police and military units tribesmen who were, ten months ago, part of the insurgency. The loyalty of such individuals can hardly be taken for granted; the tribal elite may decide, six months from now, that they are no longer pleased with the US and shift against us.

Even if the tribal elites remain loyal, the alliance poses a larger problem for basic US war aims. The alliance with these tribes serves, necessarily, to strengthen them as political units . . . invariably weaken[ing] the central government. As the tribes are also among the least progressive and least interested in democracy of any Iraqi political constituencies, strengthening them also helps undercut efforts towards democratization.
We are, we aren't, we are again. the only truth that can be discerned from all these conflicting reports is that General Odierno, without doubt, is lying, either upon orders or on his own initiative, doesn't know what is going on (which is even worse), or both.

Damn fools couldn't make up their minds if they had one.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Stars in my Eyes

posted by The Sailor @ 9:59 PM Permalink

Sorry about the lack of posts recently, I was out of town on a work related trip to Charm City. Baltimore lived up to it's appellation, and the Inner Harbor district has something for everyone. For me, it had the U.S.S. Constellation.

p.s. Cookie Jill, eat your heart out;-)


bush "Shoot-up and Go A-w-w-w" Plan for Afghanistan a Success

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:58 AM Permalink

I spend a lot of time knocking the worst president ever in American history, george w. bush, but there comes a time when you just have to give credit where credit is due.

When America attacked Afghanistan to kill or capture Osama bin Laden and wipe out the Taleban, Executive Order No. 420, was signed by bush to start what bush calls "Operation Shoot-up and Go A-w-w-w." This plan still remains so secret that my source for this article requested and was granted anonymity as she is a secretary in Tony Snow's office and not allowed to address the press.

The thrust of the plan was this: Get rid of the Taleban, which killed opium poppy growers and users, or did until America attacked, greatly increase the growing areas for the opium poppy farmers, provide them protection while the crop grows, turn a blind eye while opium production goes wild, and then buy the opium, convert it to heroin, and sell or even give away the heroin throughout the Middle East.

Make it the purest and most powerful heroin in man's history (the CIA and DoJ were heavily involved in this) so people get hooked with a single sniff or shot of this product. At last there is a Plan for Success in the Middle East.

And it's working like a charm. See this report on the record poppy crops from the the Huffington Post, based upon U.N. reports on the matter:
Afghanistan produced dramatically more opium in 2006, increasing its yield by nearly 50 percent from a year earlier and pushing global opium production to a new record high, a U.N. report said Tuesday.

The annual report also found that the estimated level of global drug use has remained more or less unchanged for the third year, although cannabis use continues to decline in North America.

Afghanistan's opium production increased from about 4,500 tons in 2005 to 6,700 tons in 2006, according to the 2007 World Drug Report released by the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. Opium is the main ingredient for heroin.

In 2006, Afghanistan accounted for 92 percent of global illicit opium production, up from 70 percent in 2000 and 52 percent a decade earlier. The higher yields in Afghanistan brought global opium production to a record high of nearly 7,300 tons last year, a 43 percent increase over 2005.

The area under opium poppy cultivation in the country has also expanded, from nearly 257,000 acres in 2005 to more than 407,000 acres in 2006 _ an increase of about 59 percent.

"This is the largest area under opium poppy cultivation ever recorded in Afghanistan," the report said, noting that two-thirds of cultivation was concentrated in the country's south.
Clearly this plan has gone exceedingly well. It is, in fact, the only plan bush ever made or was involved in planning that is a roaring success by any measure.

Cornering the market in opium/heroin was no mean feat and required not only the invasion of Afghanistan, but also assistance from NATO (Northern Alliance Trafficking Opium).

The sheer brilliance of this program has been noted by commanders in the field who report finding entire units of insurgents passing around the pipes and needles, so stoned all they could otherwise do was "Shoot-up and Go A-w-w-w."

An unexpected benefit of the program aids in the torturing of captives by denying them the heroin we got them hooked on, making an interrogator's job much easier. Junkies will tell you anything for a dime bag, making them a valuable source of dubious intelligence for bush/cheney to manipulate, cherry-pick, exaggerate, and stoke more fear in the American people.

This idea has now been "imported" into the United States to use for political purposes as well.

Why do you think they drop all those balloons at political conventions? Because you have to take care of your base.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

The Sudenese Genocide at Darfur Pales in Comparison to Genocides by America.

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:03 PM Permalink

I got to wondering, why do they call Darfur a genocide while America kills many more people, seemingly without consequence.

As to Darfur's real death toll, see this article from the WaPo:
THE BUSH administration's challenge on Darfur is to persuade the world to wake up to the severity of the crisis. On his recent visit to Sudan, Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick took a step in the opposite direction. He said that the State Department's estimate of deaths in Darfur was 60,000 to 160,000, a range that dramatically understates the true scale of the killing.…
Other authorities suggest that mortality is likely to be closer to 400,000 -- more than twice Mr. Zoellick's high number.…
The British medical journal, The Lancet, estimated Iraqi losses to be between 350,00 to 1,000,000 Iraqi dead based upon the most comprehensive study ever conducted in a war zone.

Of course, bush doesn't want you to believe those numbers as they would show him for the monster and war criminal he is, but his denial is itself refuted by common sense: Iraqis are dying on average at the rate of 100 per day (as a direct result of the war), which would indicate 365,000 deaths a year excluding those reported killed by American forces directly.

Do the math: 365,000 dead per year for 4 years equals 1.46 million people dead. Add that to the numbers reported killed by the military and the figure would rise dramatically.

The forces decimating Darfur are rank amateurs at genocide compared to America as lead by bush. So why all the condemnations and criticism for not stopping a genocide when genocide is what America, under bush's government, does best?

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bush/cheney's Denial They are the Executive Branch Makes Speaker Pelosi President

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:21 PM Permalink

First Dick Cheney denied he was a part of the Executive Branch of government. bush has now said that he, too, is not a part of the Executive Branch insofar as exempting himself from an order issued to the "Executive Branch", meaning that there is no one in charge of the government through the Executive Branch and that the next person in the line of succession, according to the Constitution, is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, now President Nancy Pelosi.

Someone needs to notify the former president and ex-vice president to start vacating their offices so President Pelosi can begin the process of taking over the government.

This poses quite a conundrum for me, as an unrestrained Nancy Pelosi is liable to fall prey to spontaneous outbreaks of kindness, decency, and intelligence, and I am deathly afraid that, as a grandmother of six, she might actually change America to the point of non-recognition: Stopping wars, feeding and housing the poor, insuring health care for everyone, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and actually doing something to really honor our troops other than using them as a propaganda front to hide her true intent. And, oh my god, she might demand "pay/go" rules in the Congress so they once again have to show where from the money will come to finance a bill. And jesus, she might demand a true balanced budget, not the phony bush kind that hides losses of over a trillion dollars per annum.

Oh, lordy, she would bring back true diplomacy and talk to our enemies, and she might achieve cooperation that would cause the cessation of eternal war. Hell, she might even say the "war on terror" is over and all disputes will be resolved through negotiations that would bring peace and prosperity to the world and reestablish America's place in the world as "that shining beacon of democracy on the Hill."

Oh, the horror. The horror.

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Any doubts

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:19 AM Permalink

Anyone might have with just who the MSM actually serves need only look at the recent "hit" piece done on Rupert Murdoch.
Excerpt: The New York Times plans "a look at how Rupert Murdoch has used his media empire to advance his personal and political agendas" in Monday's editions, a source familiar with the paper's planning tells RAW STORY.
The only reason the NY Times is covering this guy now is because he's threatening their empire, big time. If the NY Times' REAL agenda was to serve the public, than Murdoch's shady dealings would've been reported on long ago.

Still think we have an independent media?

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Question for Creationists - Can Anybody Really be so Stupid?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:05 PM Permalink

Just a couple of quick thoughts asking if Creationists are really so stupid that they believe man and dinosaur lived simultaneously, and that Man won out over the dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs ruled the earth for 125 million years for a reason: they adapted, evolved, were smarter than we originally thought, may have been warm-blooded, some mother dinosaurs cared for their young, and many species hunted in packs.

So here are some questions you might like to ask your local Creationist:

How many men throwing stones, using stone axes, or throwing spears does it take to bring down a T. Rex? A Velociraptor? A brontosaurus?

Man, being a hunter/gatherer, has from the beginning of time kept souvenirs of the prey he has killed. How many T. Rex heads have you seen mounted on a wall? How many triceratops rugs with "special massaging bumps" have you ever seen? Where are the gigantic carpets, or for that matter tents, made from the hide of a diplodocus? Where are the necklaces made from the teeth and claws of a velociraptor? Where are the boats made with the spine and ribs of a dinosaur providing the basic framework and support?

Why were dinosaurs never discussed by Plato? Socrates? Homer? Bueller? Bueller? Anybody? Why are no dinosaurs depicted in the early artwork of man? Why no pictographs, artist renderings, or hieroglyphics representing the dinosaurs? Not even in the Great Pyramids or the ancient caves of our ancestors? Why aren't dinosaurs mentioned in any way or even described in the written chronologies of man?

Why is there NO MENTION AT ALL of dinosaurs in the Bible, which Creationists claim is the very word of God? Where are the epic stories of a small number of men who, through the Grace of God, fought fearlessly for days and days to defeat an allosaurus? Why no stories of great feasts upon dinosaurs that took days to kill to supply the meat? Where are the ancient recipes for roasted dinosaur? Where have all the furnishings, the furniture, made from dinosaurs gone? What happened to all the neat tools that ancient man would gladly have used dinosaur bones to construct? Where are the weapons they surely would have formed from the bones? Why are there no examples of "etched" or scrimshawed decorative bones?

They seemingly do not exist, and I would aver that the lack of physical evidence totally eliminates ANY credibility of ANY person who does not believe in evolution, who insists that the earth is only six thousand years old, and that man and dinosaur coexisted.

Until creationists, any creationist, can answer all the above questions, I will continue to tell the world that Creationists are full of sh*t. Which means that the three GOP candidates for president that refuse to believe the concept of evolution and instead place their bets with the Creationists are quite obviously dumb a$$e$. And I don't know about you, but anyone who believes the Bible is the literal and true word of God, and that maintains man and dinosaur coexisted, is almost too stupid to breathe oxygen, much less hold any position of power and responsibility.

I could always be wrong, but I cannot, and will not, ever believe that Creationism is anything more than crassly appealing to the least intelligent among us, you know, the Republican "base".

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posted by The Vidiot @ 11:22 AM Permalink

I patiently flipped through the Sunday shows and hoped that I'd find SOMEONE talking about Dick Cheney's recent statement that he wasn't part of the Executive branch.

NOT ONE SHOW mentioned.


Unless I missed it, which is possible, once again, MSM was blathering about the stupid horse race and Bloomberg and immigration, all non issues, rather than discuss the ribald behavior of Dick Cheney.

Years from now, the descendants of the masters of our present-day public discourse will hide their heads in shame and will never dare mention that their genetic make-up stems from the architects of these dark and dismal times.

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Does Absence Really Make the Heart Grow Fonder? Or Does Absence Mean Genocide?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:36 AM Permalink

Something caught my attention when I read this article from the LA Times, the subject of which was the unending deaths Americans are suffering for Iraqi Oil. What do I say that? Because no matter the subject being addressed about Iraq it seems that the oil Production [or profit] Sharing Agreements are always mentioned as the prime criteria for Iraq to meet by fair means or foul, but this time something is so conspicuous by its absence that it makes my head spin.:
"The [Shiite] United Iraqi Alliance together with the Kurds have agreed to this law," said Wail Abdul Lateef, a Cabinet member who is with a secular coalition. "This law is very important for Iraq, which is living under enormous poverty even though its citizens are living over a gold lake."

Kurdish and Shiite blocs control about 80% of parliament seats. Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker, said several issues related to revenue sharing were being debated, including how much power a state-run oil company would have. But he has said that the government of the semiautonomous region of Kurdistan had agreed to take 17% of the oil wealth.

"They agreed upon this very important item about how they divide the revenues, and they agreed they will discuss the other points," Othman said.
So the Shite and Kurdish blocs have agreed on how to share the oil wealth. That's very nice, [Did you know that the original definition of the word "nice" was "idiot"? Bill] but I distinctly remember that there are THREE parties from whom agreement on any oil agreement is required: the Shia, the Kurds, AND the Sunnis, and it would appear that the two larger blocs, the Shia and the Kurds, are ready to run roughshod right over the Sunnis and make the oil deal amongst themselves and totally excluding the Sunnis.

Oh yeah, that's sure to bring about peace, prosperity, sunshine and blue skies to Iraq all right - just kill off all the Sunnis, for that is the only way to be able to split the oil money without protest and an even greater insurgency (what precious little profits there will be - American Big Oil will be taking 85%-87% of all oil profit for the next thirty years under the PSA). I doubt that the Sunnis weren't omitted in the article by accident, being the former party in charge under Saddam, and I don't buy any competent journalist forgetting to include all three blocs. (How hard is it to remember three parties?)

Is this the Neocon's Final Solution? A genocide of the Sunnis so they can finally get control of Iraq's oil? Will there be other genocides prosecuted by the United States of America, a metaphysical mugging of and then the killing of innocents of yet other countries unable to withstand an attack from America? Just because they have oil?

American values are defined by America's actions and the entire world now knows on which side of this issue America stands.

(BTW, the terrible loss of another thirty troops in just a few days is abominable and criminal. God bless all our soldiers, protect them from harm, pray that each of our dead has gone to a better place, and that those living be returned to their families unharmed.)

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Huh? Aren't the Lies Just Becoming Idiotic Now?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:59 PM Permalink

From the "W-h-h-a-a-a-t?" File, two conflicting reports, only eleven days apart:

First, from Raw Story:
With the four-month-old increase in American troops showing only modest success in curbing insurgent attacks, American commanders are turning to another strategy that they acknowledge is fraught with risk: arming Sunni Arab groups that have promised to fight militants linked with Al Qaeda who have been their allies in the past.

American commanders say they have successfully tested the strategy in Anbar Province west of Baghdad and have held talks with Sunni groups in at least four areas of central and north-central Iraq where the insurgency has been strong.
The statement that, "American commanders say they have successfully tested the strategy in Anbar Province," sounds pretty dispositive on the matter of arming insurgents: We did and have been doing it since before the reports of it showed up in the press around June 11, 2007.

Now, also from Raw Story/AFP just 11 days later:
The number two US military commander in Iraq on Friday denied that US forces were arming insurgents willing to fight forces of the Al-Qaeda network, but said the military was "reaching out."

"I want to make one thing very clear: we are not arming these groups," Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno told reporters via teleconference from Baghdad.

However, Odierno did admit providing 10 assault rifles to a security detail for one mayor he said was being "threatened."

"The best I can tell, we armed 10 security detachment personnel for a mayor in one town because he was being threatened. And so we did give him 10 AK-47s."
"Beyond that, we have not given weapons to any insurgent groups. They have plenty of weapons," Odierno said. "I want those weapons to be used against Al-Qaeda and not against coalition forces or Iraqi security forces."
I guess the arming of insurgents didn't fare well with focus groups the GOP consults as if they were true oracles.

It's obvious that both of these articles cannot be correct: we either are or are not arming insurgents.

If I were to speculate (and I will!), I would say there has already been severe blow-back from arming insurgents and that the Army must have captured or killed possible insurgents bearing American weaponry recently issued to insurgent groups that were supposed to aid us, and that those arms have been used against American forces.

But then again, all these generals will follow orders to lie to Americans and conceal what would be yet another debacle happening on the watch of gw bush/cheney/condi/feith/addington, the Neocons, the GOP, the Conservatives and all the other sycophantic followers of bush.

But aren't the lies becoming so transparent now that it has reached the stage of idiocy?

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bush Will be Long Gone Before U.S. Figures Out Just How Much Damage He Has Done

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:59 AM Permalink

I have maintained for years now that America and Americans won't realize just how much damage bush and cronies have done to the country until bush is out of office and playing pinochle, drinking shots, and reminiscing about "the good ol' days" with his contingent of 103 Secret Service agents assigned to protect him.

I am not an economist, but a blind fool can see that spending exponentially more dollars than are coming into the Treasury is the path to fiscal insanity from the alleged "party of fiscal responsibility."

I may have been wrong, not because bush hasn't done everything in his power to spend every dollar he can beg, borrow, or steal, but because people are beginning to realize that GOP "fuzzy math" is destroying any financial security they may have expected in the future from Medicare and Social Security.

See this article in Raw Story from USA Today:
The federal government recorded a $1.3 trillion loss last year -- far more than the official $248 billion deficit -- when corporate-style accounting standards are used, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

The loss reflects a continued deterioration in the finances of Social Security and government retirement programs for civil servants and military personnel. The loss -- equal to $11,434 per household -- is more than Americans paid in income taxes in 2006.

"We're on an unsustainable path and doing a great disservice to future generations," says Chris Chocola, a former Republican member of Congress from Indiana and corporate chief executive who is pushing for more accurate federal accounting.

Bottom line: Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined.
An unreported loss of $1.3 trillion last year alone. $516,348 for every U.S. household, five times more than all other debt held by Americans combined.

And logically, when the budget figures change from billions in surpluses in 2000 to almost $9 trillion in debt by 2007, it's a sure thing that the bush maladministration has been suffering losses such as this during every year of his tenure in the White House.

This represents a "strong economy" according to bush/cheney, as if losing over a trillion dollars a year is something of which to be proud, and something Americans should and must endure so the "Forever War" or the "Long War" or the "GWOT" can be conducted while hiding from the country the true cost of those efforts.

And one last thing: I'm sick of hearing that bush/cheney and their Republican sycophants "spend money like a drunken sailor." I have had the privilege of getting drunk with many sailors and they never spent money like a congressman or president.

I maintain the better expression would be that, "Congress, the Republicans, and the president spend money like a crack wh0re on vacation in Columbia."

On second thought, that would unnecessarily impugn the reputation of crack wh0res.

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A thought on Cheney

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:35 AM Permalink

He seems to be going through a lot of trouble to keep stuff hidden. Josh Marshall writes that the White House spokesperson even tried to imply that the VPs exemption was part of the Executive Order itself. Under closer scrutiny, however, it was found to contain no such exemption. Big surprise.

So, either he's hiding something big, or he's hiding stuff as a matter of principle.

Personally, I think he's hiding stuff as a matter of principle. Think about it. The guy has been exposed on so many things. From the energy papers to his profits at Halliburton, to the Valerie Plame thing. I mean, the guy is an outright criminal and he's been found with his hand in the cookie jar repeatedly. And there have been absolutely no repercussions for him. None whatsoever. There can't be anything in anything he's trying to hide that isn't any worse than what we already know about him... short of him personally trying to assassinate a head of state or something.

So, I think, it's all about the ego and what he thinks he's entitled to have and to do. That's it. Nothing more nefarious than we already know he's capable of. Which, though, is pretty damn nefarious.

Just a thought.


Friday, June 22, 2007

He di'int.

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:28 PM Permalink

He did. (Via dKos.)
Excerpt: THE PRESIDENT: Kermit Ruffins and the Barbeque Swingers, right out of New Orleans, Louisiana. (Applause.)

MR. RUFFINS: Thank you. Thanks for having us. We're glad to be here.

THE PRESIDENT: Proud you're here. Thanks for coming. You all enjoy yourself. Make sure you pick up all the trash after it's over. (Laughter.)


You Can Get Protection from Men, But You Must Wait to See if God agrees with You.

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:21 AM Permalink

Dovetailing nicely with my post, I'll take "Politicians Who Can Never Again Leave America" for $200, Alex" is this article from Raw Story regarding how the worst president ever will be more expensive than any other president to protect:
CNN reported Thursday that the Secret Service expects President Bush to be "a high value terrorist target after he leaves office." They then showed the Secret Service practicing to deal with everything from James Bond-style stealth weapons to roadside IED's in order to meet that challenge.

Retired agent Terry Samway told CNN, "We have the mandate to make sure that whatever they did during their presidency, they are still safe from any of those lingering issues after their presidency."

Even before 9/11, the cost of protection for former presidents was estimated as $24 million a year, and Bush will be guarded by an unprecedented 103 full-time agents starting in January 2009.…
I don't know about you, but I personally think bush deserves nothing more than what every former president has by way of security when he leaves office. In fact, I would give him no SS protection at all, as he brought every bit of the anger, hatred, and distrust upon himself with his law-breaking ways..

This idiot bush has bankrupted the country, both financially and morally, engaged in war crimes and crimes against humanity, and is now and has been actively pursuing the genocide of the Iraqi people to get control of their oil fields.

He should not only NOT receive government protection at all, but the next president elected in '08 should immediately order bush/cheney arrested and transported to the Hague for prosecution for their crimes.

"The Rule of Law" demands it and it may be the only way for America to recover even part of its international reputation as a force of good instead of evil. There is a very special place in hell for these people and they are too stupid to see it coming.

But 103 agents to protect the worst president in American history is a waste of taxpayer dollars, so prosecution at the Hague would be more fiscally responsible than protecting a lawbreaker. Ask any Republican.

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My light blogging of late

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:10 AM Permalink

I've not been posting much. I know. (But you can't be missing me all that much. Bill and The Sailor are great blog-partners.)

One of the myriad reasons for my light blogging is the fact that I just can't seem to focus my anger on anything. It's ALL bad. Every little thing sets me off. From Cheney's assertion that he's not part of the Executive, to the rumors of the war plans against Iran being set, to congress' caterwauling that they're actually doing what the people elected them to do, to the bazillion or so presidential candidates who spout pablum one minute and take money from evildoers the next, to the MSM's ribald manipulations and machinations, to the corptocracy the destroys lives and the planet, to the system the created this mess to begin with -- capitalism, to the time wasted by so many trying to fix and/or maintain a system that is, for all intents and purposes, FUBAR. All of it. It's all too much.

What I end up doing is spending a ridiculous amount of time reading about Aliens and UFOs to distract me from all of this nonsense.

Lately, I find myself, walking through my very trendy Brooklyn nabe (now called BoCoCa by the real estate people to boost prices - Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens) and looking at all the 20-somethings, bouncing around with their cups of Starbucks and their iPods, wallets open and breathing through their mouths. I see the 30-something hipsters, wearing horn rims and skippy vans, trying to tenaciously cling to their 20s. I see the 40-something moms pushing their "caddy carriages," permissively parenting their overly entitled offspring.

"Wake up sheeple! What the hell is wrong with you?!"

They think they're liberal. But they're not. Force them to deal with someone from the working class and they're totally out of sorts. They say they want "rights for all" but if a black person moved into the brownstone next to them, they'd not be happy. Can you imagine? These morons spend $1.3 million on a brownstone, and the brownstone next door goes Section 8 -- meaning it basically becomes a halfway house -- and all those platitudes about civil rights and everybody is equal goes right out the window. You'd see the NIMBY movement from hell. (It's easy to be "liberal" when you're in your little white enclave. On top of that, what's considered "liberal" these days is really quite conservative.) Meanwhile, they shop till they drop, endlessly babble about Paris Hilton and Brangolina, and are completely unaware of the fact that the US is crumbling, not just politically, but socially.

Why am I whining? I don't know.

What I do know is that it's time for some sort of revolution. Some sort of upheaval. This system cannot go on as it is now. Maybe this thing in New Hampshire with the tax protestors will be the start of something. I dunno.

I just know we can't continue on the path we're on now. It's too destructive.

The ignorance is deafening.

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Just a quick comment

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:17 AM Permalink

Before my coffee kicks in but... WOW
Excerpt: Vice President Dick Cheney has asserted his office is not a part of the executive branch of the U.S. government, and therefore not bound by a presidential order governing the protection of classified information by government agencies, according to a new letter from Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to Cheney.
I think we should bypass impeachment altogether and head had straight for the tar and feathers.

Update: From this dKos diary, the best graphic ever:

Update 2: Ok. I've had some coffee. Here's a looksie at the constitution.
Article 2, section 1:
The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:
Now, while not saying outright that the VP is part of the executive, it does seem to infer that the the executive power is vested in the President along with the VP.

And from the website:
The power of the executive branch is vested in the President, who also serves as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The President appoints the Cabinet and oversees the various agencies and departments of the federal government.
In order for a person to become President, he or she must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years of age, and have resided in the United States for at least 14 years. Once elected, the President serves a term of four years and may be re-elected only once.

To learn more about the Executive Branch please visit the President's Cabinet page on the White House web site.
And then, if you go to the cabinet page and scroll down, you find this.
Cabinet Rank Members
The Vice President
Richard B. Cheney
Well, looks to me like he's a part of the Cabinet, which is part of the Executive.

I know this is like superficial and a bit stupid, but I'd sure like to know what the hell he's basing his statement on.

And of course, The Sailor makes some excellent points below.

Honestly, Cheney is a menace.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Baby Sent Me A Letter

posted by The Sailor @ 6:54 PM Permalink

Vice President Exempts His Office from the Requirements for Protecting Classified Information

June 21, 2007

The Vice President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. Vice President:

The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, you exempted the Office of the Vice President from the presidential executive order that establishes a uniform, government-wide system for safeguarding classified national security information.
Executive Order 12958, which President Bush has amended and endorsed, directs the National Archives to oversee a uniform system for protecting classified information. A key component of the executive order directs the Information Security Oversight Office within the National Archives to inspect federal agencies and White House offices to ensure compliance with the security procedures required by the President.
According to a letter that the National Archives sent to your staff in June 2006, you asserted that the Office of the Vice President is not an "entity within the executive branch" and hence is not subject to presidential executive orders.
Umm, if the VP isn't an "entity within the executive branch" doesn't that mean he can't claim executive privilege!?

Like he did here, here, here and here?

(Cross posted at SteveAudio)

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I'll take "Politicians Who Can Never Again Leave America" for $200, Alex"

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:12 AM Permalink

I have been so vehemently opposed to bush, the Neocons, Republicans, the GOP, Reaganites, Bushites, Conservatives, or whatever else they want to call themselves today that, like most people, I think, besides tearing my hair out and and being filled with disgust, despair, and derision for the bush maladministration, there is a silver lining to the cloud of disgrace bush has brought upon us.

Whenever it gets too bad, I close my eyes, sit back, relax, and remember this:
gw bush, cheney, feith, rice, and many more sycophantic cronies may never again be able to travel outside America and set foot on the soil of any country that arrests and prosecutes war criminals for fear of being arrested and tried.
Oh, there will always be countries to which they may travel, even if they have to bring half of Blackwater Security to protect them from the consequent rioting, burning of effigies, and real attempts by truly honest people to get close enough to possibly arrest any one of these people.

But it's a very short list of countries which will allow bush and cronies into their country without fears of an arrest: England, France, Albania, Japan, Germany, maybe Russia, and the Philippines, possibly. There are no doubt a few others would allow a visit, but I would wager that the countries who hate us and would like to see bush/cheney prosecuted for war crimes far outnumber the few remaining allies we have for now.

So take heart that these people will suffer a virtual exile here in America and never again be able to travel overseas without having to constantly watch their backs and having to live in the very fear they tried to impose on Americans.

After all, they could find themselves being "extraordinarily rendered" to a regime that will send these Neocons away for a very long time.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Read it and weep

posted by The Sailor @ 6:29 PM Permalink

This incredible article appeared last Sunday and dropped off the news pages so fast I thought I should highlight a few passages. The complete article is very thorough and very disturbing. Due to the length of the article I will attempt to condense and rearrange small parts of it into a timeline better suited for this forum. You might think the Abu Ghraib scandal is old news, but it's an ongoing syndrome:
The General's Report
How Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties. - by Seymour M. Hersch

- January 13, 2004 a military policeman named Joseph Darby gave the Army's Criminal Investigation Division (C.I.D.) a CD full of images of abuse. Two days later, General Craddock and Vice-Admiral Timothy Keating, the director of the Joint Staff of the J.C.S., were e-mailed a summary of the abuses depicted on the CD.
* Having male detainees pose nude while female guards pointed at their genitals;
* having female detainees exposing themselves to the guards;
* having detainees perform indecent acts with each other;
* guards physically assaulting detainees by beating and dragging them with choker chains.
* sexual humiliation of a father with his son, who were both detainees.
* a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee.

- January 20th 2004 the chief of staff at Central Command sent another e-mail to Admiral Keating, copied to General Craddock and Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the Army commander in Iraq. The chief of staff wrote, "Sir: update on alleged detainee abuse per our discussion. DID IT REALLY HAPPEN? Yes, currently have 4 confessions implicating perhaps 10 soldiers. DO PHOTOS EXIST? Yes. A CD with approx 100 photos and a video-CID has these in their possession."

- Late January 2004 Taguba was given the job of investigating Abu Ghraib because of circumstance: the senior officer of the 800th Military Police Brigade, to which the soldiers in the photographs belonged, was a one-star general; Army regulations required that the head of the inquiry be senior to the commander of the unit being investigated, and Taguba, a two-star general, was available.

[Taguba's] orders were clear, however: he was to investigate only the military police at Abu Ghraib, and not those above them in the chain of command. "These M.P. troops were not that creative," he said. "Somebody was giving them guidance, but I was legally prevented from further investigation into higher authority. I was limited to a box."
senior officials in Rumsfeld's office and elsewhere in the Pentagon had been given a graphic account of the pictures from Abu Ghraib, and told of their potential strategic significance, within days of the first complaint.

- March 2004 Taguba filed his report in March. In it he found:
Numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees . . . systemic and illegal abuse.

- Late April 2004 revelations about Abu Ghraib, including photographs showing prisoners stripped, abused, and sexually humiliated, had appeared on CBS and in The New Yorker. In response, Administration officials had insisted that only a few low-ranking soldiers were involved and that America did not torture prisoners.

- May 6, 2004 Army Major General Antonio M. Taguba was summoned to meet, for the first time, with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in his Pentagon conference room. Rumsfeld and his senior staff were to testify the next day, in televised hearings before the Senate and the House Armed Services Committees, about abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, in Iraq.

"Here . . . comes . . . that famous General Taguba-of the Taguba report!" Rumsfeld declared, in a mocking voice. The meeting was attended by Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld's deputy; Stephen Cambone, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (J.C.S.); and General Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, along with Craddock and other officials.
In the meeting, the officials professed ignorance about Abu Ghraib. "Could you tell us what happened?" Wolfowitz asked. Someone else asked, "Is it abuse or torture?" At that point, Taguba recalled, "I described a naked detainee lying on the wet floor, handcuffed, with an interrogator shoving things up his rectum, and said, 'That's not abuse. That's torture.' There was quiet."

- May 7th 2004 [Rumsfeld] claimed to have had no idea of the extensive abuse. "It breaks our hearts that in fact someone didn't say, 'Wait, look, this is terrible. We need to do something,' " Rumsfeld told the congressmen. "I wish we had known more, sooner, and been able to tell you more sooner, but we didn't."

Rumsfeld told the legislators that, when stories about the Taguba report appeared, "it was not yet in the Pentagon, to my knowledge." As for the photographs, Rumsfeld told the senators, "I say no one in the Pentagon had seen them"; at the House hearing, he said, "I didn't see them until last night at 7:30."[...] What wasn't proceeding along fine is the fact that the President didn't know, and you didn't know, and I didn't know.
Taguba, watching the hearings, was appalled. He believed that Rumsfeld's testimony was simply not true. "The photographs were available to him-if he wanted to see them," Taguba said. Rumsfeld's lack of knowledge was hard to credit. Taguba later wondered if perhaps Cambone had the photographs and kept them from Rumsfeld because he was reluctant to give his notoriously difficult boss bad news. But Taguba also recalled thinking, "Rumsfeld is very perceptive and has a mind like a steel trap. There's no way he's suffering from C.R.S.-Can't Remember Shit. He's trying to acquit himself, and a lot of people are lying to protect themselves."
In subsequent testimony, General Myers, the J.C.S. chairman, acknowledged, without mentioning the e-mails, that in January information about the photographs had been given "to me and the Secretary up through the chain of command. . . . And the general nature of the photos, about nudity, some mock sexual acts and other abuse, was described."

- November, 2004 an Army investigation, by Brigadier General Richard Formica, into the treatment of detainees at Camp Nama, a Special Forces detention center at Baghdad International Airport, concluded that detainees who reported being sodomized or beaten were seeking sympathy and better treatment, and thus were not credible. For example, Army doctors had initially noted that a complaining detainee's wounds were "consistent with the history [of abuse] he provided. . . . The doctor did find scars on his wrists and noted what he believed to be an anal fissure." Formica had the detainee reëxamined two days later, by another doctor, who found "no fissure, and no scarring. . . . As a result, I did not find medical evidence of the sodomy." In the case of a detainee who died in custody, Formica noted that there had been bruising to the "shoulders, chest, hip, and knees" but added, "It is not unusual for detainees to have minor bruising, cuts and scrapes."

- Today "From the moment a soldier enlists, we inculcate loyalty, duty, honor, integrity, and selfless service," Taguba said. "And yet when we get to the senior-officer level we forget those values. I know that my peers in the Army will be mad at me for speaking out, but the fact is that we violated the laws of land warfare in Abu Ghraib. We violated the tenets of the Geneva Convention. We violated our own principles and we violated the core of our military values. The stress of combat is not an excuse, and I believe, even today, that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable."
There is so, so much more in the article. Like I said at the top, I rearranged a few parts of it to present a coherent timeline. And if you think what I did was just cherrypicking bits to support some political point, I urge you to read the whole thing.

I urge you to read the whole thing anyway. Read it and weep.

(Cross posted at SteveAudio)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Terrorists Not Waiting for Us to Leave Before Sending Suicide Bomber Teams

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:22 AM Permalink

Is there anyone left in the world that doesn't remember being told endlessly by our president, Fearful Leader, and every cowardly, sycophantic Republican in congress that "We're fightin' 'em over there so we won't have to fight 'em over here." It was a statement so obviously designed to provoke fear in the public it provoked instead disbelief and anger over this obvious lie and proved bush thinks we Americans are so stupid we would actually believe it. Or him.

Every thinking person realizes that terrorists strike where they want without regard to the opinions and statements of ranting fools like bush and cronies. Nothing America has done, particularly under the "leadership" of bush/cheney, has operated to make America safer nor provided any greater protection to the public or the country. [with the singular possible exception being airplane security.) Nothing can prevent more terrorists attacks on American soil as long as our government spends billions fighting unnecessary wars, remains bogged down in Iraq, and ignores warnings from terrorist groups that have proven that they lie less often than our president.

See this report from stating the latest "graduating class" at the Pakistani International School for Terrorist Training has already announced their intention to start sending suicide bomber teams to the U.S., Great Britain, Canada, and Germany:
A videotape supposedly showing a suicide bomber "graduation ceremony" at an al Qaeda-Taliban training camp is part of a propaganda campaign from the terrorist network and the former rulers of Afghanistan, a U.S. counterterrorism official said Monday.

The video was said to have been shot June 9 by a Pakistani journalist who was invited to take pictures as the suicide bombers were supposedly sent off on their missions in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Germany.

The U.S. counterterrorism official who spoke with CNN said the tape is "consistent with the more sophisticated propaganda" that these groups have been using, but said it is a "bit of a stretch" to conclude from the tape that people have been sent to carry out attacks.

There is "genuine concern," the official said, whenever threats are made against the West from that part of the world, however, and the training camps present a "real potential source of operatives."

The official said that there have been more such tapes recently, including tapes using multiple languages. The official said the use of multiple languages in the tapes suggests that they are for propaganda purposes.
Here it is plain that, rather than admit bush/cheney have increased the danger to America exponentially, an unidentified U.S. counterterrorism "official" (whose name is conspicuous by it's absence and the article devoid of any reason why he spoke anonymously), claims that this is simply sophisticated propaganda because the tape comes in several languages (everyone knows ALL terrorists speak the same language, even though many are from different countries, right?).

And any so-called counterterrorist agent who claims, "…it is a 'bit of a stretch' to conclude from the tape that people have been sent to carry out attacks," is either delusional, incredibly stupid, or has such a poor memory as to have forgotten the "people who were sent to carry out attacks" on September 11, 2001, and the fact they succeeded because the bush/cheney maladministration ignored warnings such as this to the detriment and horror of the nation.

There is not a doubt in my ex-military mind that terrorist groups not only will send suicide bombers here, but that they are very likely to already have in place sleeper teams just waiting for the most auspicious opportunity possible to carry out attacks.

I also know that with thousands of miles of open borders and hundreds of thousands of shipping containers entering the U.S. daily (and less than 5% of them even examined by law enforcement) that there is no way we can prevent suicide bombers from entering the country or stop them from carrying out their assignments.

The bush/cheney cabal is apparently going to discount warnings of coming attacks yet again, while the head of the Republican Party in Arkansas openly wishes for future attacks on American soil on the scale of 9-11 or greater just to solidify bush's standing as a great war-time president and leader. R-i-i-i-g-g-h-h-t.

The GOP wants more Americans killed here on our soil to make political gains. This is their vision for America, an eternal "war on terra", and an iron-clad guarantee of thousands of more dead Americans as the logical consequence of such an eternal war.

What will they say if they get their wishes and ANOTHER devastating attack HAPPENS ON THEIR WATCH AGAIN? They will stand by bush, claim that dems are weak on fighting terrorism, all the while ignoring the inescapable fact that 9-11 happened because bush/cheney/rice refused to take the memo "Bin Laden determined to attack within the U.S." seriously enough to take the preventative actions that may have stopped that attack and spared the country the angst and heartbreak of thousands of dead Americans and two wars that are being lost simultaneously.

This terrorist threat is real, will come to pass, and will be enabled by the most incompetent, corrupt, and dishonest presidential administration to ever exist and the proven propensity of that administration to ignore the obvious and/or refusal to take or follow advice from anyone.

Suicide Bombers: Coming soon to a mall/theater/ball game and/or other targets near you.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

We Can Be Heroes

posted by The Sailor @ 6:25 PM Permalink

Candid storm chief gets a lashing

The new director of the National Hurricane Center, an outspoken critic of his superiors since he took over in January, charged Friday night that they are trying to muzzle him and could be setting him up for termination.

Bill Proenza said the acting director of the National Weather Service, Mary Glackin, visited his office in West Miami-Dade Friday and handed him a three-page letter of reprimand.

''I don't think they can pull the rug out from under me right now,'' Proenza said, "but there is no question they are trying to muzzle me.''

In recent interviews with The Miami Herald and other media, Proenza has strongly criticized leaders of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for spending millions of dollars on a public-relations campaign while hurricane forecasters deal with budget shortfalls.

One of his main concerns has been the imminent demise of a key weather satellite called QuikScat, launched in 1999 and long past its designed lifetime.

No replacement currently is in development and the loss of QuikScat could diminish the accuracy of some hurricane forecasts by up to 16 percent, Proenza and other experts have said.

Glackin's letter, obtained by The Miami Herald, charges that Proenza made statements that "may have caused some unnecessary confusion about NOAA's ability to accurately predict tropical storms.''

In the letter, Glackin also told Proenza that his actions had been "requiring me to spend a disproportionate amount of time to correct any confusion; causing undue concern and misunderstanding among your staff; and taking valuable time away from your public role . . .''[ED: That's bovine excrement, if you lose the one aging satellite that can help predict ever increasing hurricanes, that causes confusion.]

Several forecasters and other staffers at the hurricane center have told The Miami Herald that they fully support Proenza, and his comments have earned compliments from many emergency managers and others.
It was not the first time he has been disciplined since taking over the center.

Proenza said that on April 13, he was told by Louis Uccellini, a high-ranking weather service official: "You better stop these QuikScat [and other] complaints. I'm warning you. You have NOAA, DOC [the U.S. Department of Commerce] and the White House pissed off.''

Asked about his next move, Proenza said Friday night: "I'm not going to be silenced. I know my responsibilities and I know what I have to do.''
This is pure Bushco at it's heart. If you tell the truth, you get punished. If you lie for them you get promoted. (e.g. General Pace v. General Petraeus.)

Here's a sample of how much the QuikScat satellite has meant to Earth's inhabitants.

(h/t to MC for sending the link.)

(Cross posted at SteveAudio)

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The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth Now Asked of US Attorneys

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:02 PM Permalink

My father used to tell me to always tell the truth because honesty was always best and so that you never had to wonder what lie you may have told to whom, so you could never be tripped up and proven a liar. I confess that time has proven him correct.

My wife and I, from day one, pledged 100% honesty between us regardless of the consequences or that the other's feelings might be hurt. We will soon celebrate our 34th anniversary and I strongly suspect, no, definitely state that we have lived and loved so long together because of our pledge of honesty to one another.

My father has again been proven correct, and as I keep watching the US Attorney firing scandal I see the natural process of people catching somebody/s lie, then growing ever more willing to disbelieve them or their associates in the future, questioning their motivations based upon things about which they lied, and that the unintended consequences can be disastrous.

See this LA Times article where it is reported that challenges for the basis of prosecution and questioning the personal integrity of US Attorneys are becoming ever more common:
For months, the Justice Department and Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales have taken political heat for the purge of eight U.S. attorneys last year.

Now the fallout is starting to hit the department in federal courtrooms around the country.

Defense lawyers in a growing number of cases are raising questions about the motives of government lawyers who have brought charges against their clients. In court papers, they are citing the furor over the U.S. attorney dismissals as evidence that their cases may have been infected by politics.

Justice officials say those concerns are unfounded and constitute desperate measures by desperate defendants. But the affair has given defendants and their lawyers some new energy, which is complicating life for the prosecutors.


The controversy has drained morale from U.S. attorney offices around the country. And now, legal experts and former Justice Department officials say, it is casting a shadow over the integrity of the department and its corps of career prosecutors in court.

There has long been a presumption that, because they represented the Justice Department, prosecutors had no political agenda and their word could be trusted. But some legal experts say the controversy threatens to undermine their credibility.

"It provides defendants an opportunity to make an argument that would not have been made two years ago," said Daniel J. French, a former U.S. attorney in Albany, N.Y. "It has a tremendously corrosive effect."


B. Todd Jones, a former U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, said such arguments are now "given credence in the public eye because they are seeing that maybe there were political decisions made. Any defense lawyer worth their salt is going to say this is a political prosecution that shouldn't have been brought."
The Republican party, through its agents, has wrought horrible damage to the integrity of all US Attorneys, an act which alone begs the resignation of Attorney General Gonzales.

If Gonzales were in the military he could easily be charged with the offense of "conduct bringing disrepute upon the military" and "conduct unbecoming of an officer."

It's a shame that there are no comparable civilian charges that could be brought to force Gonzalez' resignation from the now tainted Department of Justice. His actions have literally resulted in the questioning of the personal integrity of US attorneys prosecuting political or political-in-nature cases, but now a doubt as to the government's integrity and motives will, and already has, been implanted into the minds of prospective jurors, who now realize that some cases have been brought for purely political reasons and not truly because a law was broken.

There is now a distinct possibility that genuinely guilty criminals may walk free because of all of this. Many fine attorneys will now have to defend their honor when it would never before been an issue.

And the man responsible has, "…the full confidence of the president."

And we wonder why the world questions the integrity and motives of America and Americans.

[R.I.P. Pops. Billy Arnett, 1932 - 1972.)

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?

posted by The Sailor @ 9:24 PM Permalink

When I was 5 my Dad put me on his shoulders to wade thru snow drifts to reach our home.

When I was 10 he taught me to shoot a rifle and a shotgun. And to never assume any gun was unloaded. And to never, ever, ever point a gun at anything you don't intend to kill.

When I was 11 he took me to DisneyLand and the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl to see our hometown team lose.

When I was 12 he taught me to shoot pool. Neither one of us had the desire to shoot anything else at that point.

When I was 17 he gave me money for rent after I'd dropped out of High School against his fervent wishes.

When I was 21 he gave me money for my last year of college and I graduated summa cum laude.

When I was 27 he co-signed a loan for my audio company to expand.

When I was 30 he sent me rent money to keep my head above (white) water.

When I was 35 I was able to fete him in L.A. at the venue I was working at.

When I was 40 I got to spend some of his last, best days with him.

Happy Father's Day Dad. I wish you were here.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Public Service Announcement

posted by The Sailor @ 7:35 PM Permalink

To render* a public service to our reading public I offer the Joe Lieberman translator.
(*'Render' in this case is used as "extract the impurities from fat, blubber, etc., by melting.")
What I Saw in Iraq
Friday, June 15, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

I recently returned from Iraq and four other countries in the Middle East, my first trip to the region since December. In the intervening five months, almost everything about the American war effort in Baghdad has changed, with a new coalition military commander, Gen. David Petraeus; a new U.S. ambassador, Ryan Crocker; the introduction, at last, of new troops; and most important of all, a bold, new counterinsurgency strategy.
We've put a completely different shade of lipstick on this pig.
The question of course is--is it working? Here in Washington, advocates of retreat insist with absolute certainty that it is not, seizing upon every suicide bombing and American casualty as proof positive that the U.S. has failed in Iraq, and that it is time to get out.
Ignore those mortars impacting the green zone and the record number of American deaths since the surge escalation began.
The officials I met in Baghdad said that 90% of suicide bombings in Iraq today are the work of non-Iraqi, al Qaeda terrorists. In fact, al Qaeda's leaders have repeatedly said that Iraq is the central front of their global war against us. That is why it is nonsensical for anyone to claim that the war in Iraq can be separated from the war against al Qaeda--and why a U.S. pullout, under fire, would represent an epic victory for al Qaeda, as significant as their attacks on 9/11.
I'm so ignorant that even after my BFF Bush said there was no connection between 9/11 and Iraq, and the fact that AQ never existed in Iraq until the invasion, I can't help regurgitating the old Republican memes.
Some of my colleagues in Washington claim we can fight al Qaeda in Iraq while disengaging from the sectarian violence there. Not so, say our commanders in Baghdad, who point out that the crux of al Qaeda's strategy is to spark Iraqi civil war.
Actually I don't have any colleagues, and if I did they didn't say anything like that, but I wouldn't be a loyal bushie if I said that America started and is fueling the civil war.
Facts on the ground also compel us to recognize that Iran is doing everything in its power to drive us out of Iraq, including providing substantive support, training and sophisticated explosive devices to insurgents who are murdering American soldiers. Iran has initiated a deadly military confrontation with us, from bases in Iran, which we ignore at our peril, and at the peril of our allies throughout the Middle East.
Geez, I carry their water, I clean their toilets, I suck their d**ks ... why won't they let me in to the neoclown clubhouse?
One Arab leader told me during my trip that he is extremely concerned about Tehran's nuclear ambitions, but that he doubted America's staying power in the region and our political will to protect his country from Iranian retaliation over the long term. Abandoning Iraq now would substantiate precisely these gathering fears across the Middle East that the U.S. is becoming an unreliable ally.
I met a guy who I couldn't understand so obviously when my translator said 'gathering fears', 'retaliation', 'I'm scared' I assumed he meant Iran.
A few months earlier, the Marine Corps chief of intelligence in Iraq had written off the entire province as "lost," while the Iraq Study Group described the situation there as "deteriorating."
Just like Bush I refuse to listen to anyone who doesn't tell me what I want to hear. But unlike Bush, I can't fire them.
One of Ramadi's leading sheikhs told me: "A rifle pointed at an American soldier is a rifle pointed at an Iraqi."
And I would give you his name but then he and his family would be killed.
In Baghdad, U.S. forces have cut in half the number of Iraqi deaths from sectarian violence since the surge began in February.
La, la, la, I can't hear you. And I don't care that American deaths have gone up while the Iraqi government has refused to report on civilian deaths during that period.
On Haifa Street, for instance, where there was bloody fighting not so long ago, the 2nd "Black Jack" Brigade of our First Cavalry Division, under the command of a typically impressive American colonel, Bryan Roberts, has not only retaken the neighborhood from insurgents, but is working with the local population to revamp the electrical grid and sewer system, renovate schools and clinics, and create an "economic safe zone" where businesses can reopen.
Woo, hoo! Americans captured a single street in Baghdad ... and while they don't actually have any electricity there they have a $hitload of sewage! Where do you think I get this crap!?
Our troops have succeeded in improving security conditions in precisely those parts of Iraq where the "surge" has focused.
Even I have to put surge in quotes, and this is an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
While benchmarks are critically important, American soldiers are not fighting in Iraq today only so that Iraqis can pass a law to share oil revenues. They are fighting [...] to achieve the national reconciliation that will enable them to pass the oil law
It really is all about their oil.
The question now is, will we politicians in Washington rise to match their leadership, sacrifices and understanding of what is on the line for us in Iraq--or will we betray them, and along with them, America's future security?
I will continue to betray my country. I will continue to betray my voters. I will continue to betray my party. And as my BFF GW sez "wtf are you going to do about it?"

(Cross posted at SteveAudio)

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posted by The Sailor @ 2:43 PM Permalink

Chris in Paris at AMERICAblog reports that the FDA just isn't Petsmart. [Addendum from The Sailor:
The FDA found no trace of the medication in five samples of one type of cat and two dog foods it tested in the past week, said spokesman Mike Herndon.

"At this point, FDA sees no compelling need to analyze any more samples for acetaminophen," he said.
This isn't even bad science, it's no science! One cat food and two dog food samples among hundreds of brands does not a scientific sample make. Jeebus, they didn't even test enough to feed WTF??'s menagerie for a day!]

And speaking of WTF??, they catch Afghanistan awarding the US State Department another degree in BS.

Talkleft celebrates their 5th blogiversary! (y, wkjmctp!*) Jeralyn will always have a soft spot in our hearts for her support during The Vidiot's Case of the Skull and Sawbones.

(* Yes, we know Jeralyn Merrit coined that phrase!)

Cookie Jill at skippy's most excellent thought and music emporium finds that republicans in california have to import their hatchet men from outside the US. And here I thought that after Gitmo and Abu Ghraib there weren't any jobs Americans wouldn't stoop to.

TBogg has a Clarenceification of cruel & unusual punishment.

(Cross posted at SteveAudio)


Nose of Joint Chief of Staff out of Joint

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:58 PM Permalink

It's being reported in several papers that General Peter Pace was "forced out" of his position and refused to voluntarily retire while the Iraq War continues (I suppose at about age 90 he will retire without regard to the troops still bogged down in Iraq - it is a fifty year endeavor now, remember?).

In the military this is a demotion and essentially a career-ender, even though Pace may hang around awhile.

I have not one iota of respect, sympathy, or empathy for Pace, any of the other sycophantic military leaders remaining, and/or any member of the bush/cheney maladministration or neocons.

They're all, including Pace, IMHO, just too self-absorbed, corrupt, incompetent, and deserving of being scorned, shunned, and reviled, or ridiculed for being guilty of gross incompetence as the architects of the greatest blunder in foreign affairs and policy in American history to deserve any pity or respect whatever.

Poor wittle General Pace, booted by the very people for whom he destroyed his own reputation and integrity. I guess he'll just have to find a different way to continue serving with a maladministration committing and promoting the genocide of those with whom we refuse to deal diplomatically. (Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis tell the tale - and reveals the truth. bush will kill everyone in the Middle East to control all the oil if he thinks it necessary, supported by the sycophantic flag officers that remain.)

Not a person to be feted, admired, or held forth as an example of a "good leader" to all the little chirrin', IMHO, and again, in my opinion, a disgrace to his uniform and a man who brings disrepute to our military.

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Adding Heartbreak and Insult to Injury for Our Troops

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:51 AM Permalink

There is a story being reported today (a slow news day, hmmm, wonder it that had anything to do with it?) that in addition to our troops being sent off to be killed to gain control of Iraqi oil, causing thousands of unnecessary deaths, the wounding of tens of thousands more, then giving troops care in a facility that is insufficient for their needs, substandard in almost every way, now the government has really added to the individual heartbreak of troops and their families by adding insult to injury and failing miserably at the centuries old task of delivering the mail.

That's right, the mail wasn't, in thousands of cases, being delivered to the patients at what used to be the premiere medical facility for wounded soldiers. See this from the Huffington Post:
Turns out the trouble at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the focus of a firestorm of criticism over poor treatment of wounded war veterans, reached into the mailroom.

The Army said Friday that it has opened an investigation into the recent discovery of 4,500 letters and parcels _ some dating to May 2006 _ at Walter Reed that were never delivered to soldiers.

And it fired the contract employee who ran the mailroom.

In an indication of the Army's sensitivity to problems at Walter Reed, whose reputation as the crown jewel in the Army medical system was tarnished by the disclosures of poor treatment of soldiers earlier this year, officials put out a written statement late Friday afternoon detailing the problem with the mail.

Maj. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, commander of Walter Reed, said he ordered a team of 20 to 40 soldiers and civilians to launch an around-the-clock operation to screen, survey and forward all the letters and parcels. Items addressed to soldiers still at Walter Reed were being hand-delivered Friday night, he said.

"This delay is completely and absolutely unsatisfactory," Schoomaker said.
This isn't just unsatisfactory, it's a moral destroyer, and more than one head should roll, although I suppose it's a minor miracle that anyone got fired given bush's demonstrated predilection for crony appointments, tolerance of corruption and incompetence, and the GOP's usual nonsense of privatizing everything, even within the military. (I know the Postal Service delivers the mail, but once on site the local people take over for individual delivery to the addressees.)

This is truly more than just shameful. When I enlisted back in the early Seventies, one of the highlights of the day was mail call, with everyone anxious and excited at the prospect of hearing from home, family, friends, and/or anyone really, just to get the outside news and keep up with everyone. To not have your name called and receive mail was a always a bit of a let down. Hell, even the receipt of junk mail was better than nothing.

I have seen troops who, for whatever reason, didn't ever get any mail. Many were so depressed, angry, or frustrated from not hearing from home that they would act out inappropriately, getting into trouble sometimes leading to punishment, discharge, or in very rare cases attempted suicide.

And that's with a "healthy" soldier at boot camp.

I cannot imagine being tragically and seriously wounded, perhaps missing limbs, burned, struck blind, permanently disfigured, perhaps facing months of reconstructive surgery or the fitting of a prosthetic device, training in its use, and a very long hospital stay. And on top of all that, the one thing that is almost certain to bring some small measure of happiness, a brief respite from the pain and depression, and a valuable source of inner strength, the mail, through incredible incompetence, was not being delivered to those who would benefit the most from receiving it.

Only in the bush/cheney maladministration could such incompetency go on for so long, unnoticed, and only the bush/cheney maladministration would fire the lowest guy they could find on the totem pole and not the superiors who should have made sure everyone was sufficiently trained and were actually doing the job they trained for, so the blame rightfully goes up the chain of command to the top.

At the top? Our Fearful leader, commander-in-chief and bottom line the man with the responsibility to make sure the military runs smoothly. The Decider. What a guy. What a way to support the troops, eh?

Any rethuglican in congress claiming to support the troops, but who stands by silently after revelation after revelation of abuse, misuse, mistreatment of our troops through extended and repeated assignments in Iraq, failure to have a plan for success in Iraq, failure to provide adequate medical care, or who filibusters every attempt to change course in this Iraq debacle is a bald-faced LIAR, doesn't really care about the troops, and does not deserve to hold public office after having mislead and lied this country into a war of aggression that has made America much less safe, just to get control of all that Iraq oil.

How does it feel to have denied the troops the basic amenity extended to every America, the delivery of the mail? How could they screw up something so easy to do?

Heckuva job, bushy.

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