A House panel reveals a letter telling the firm not to disclose information about its Iraq operations without the administration's OK.
WASHINGTON -- The State Department has interceded in a congressional investigation of Blackwater USA, the private security firm accused of killing Iraqi civilians last week, ordering the company not to disclose information about its Iraq operations without approval from the Bush administration, according to documents revealed Tuesday. [...] A preliminary Iraqi investigation said the shootings occurred without provocation; Blackwater and the State Department said the convoy was ambushed and the guards opened fire after being attacked. [...] In his letter to Rice, Waxman also objected to a move by the department to bar its officials from speaking with committee investigators about corruption inside the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.
An e-mail received by the committee Monday night indicated that the State Department was treating information about corruption as classified, suggesting it might undermine bilateral relations. [...] Waxman said that previous official reports of corruption within Iraqi ministries were treated as "sensitive but unclassified." The State Department retroactively classified the reports after his committee requested them, Waxman said.
So without an investigation the State Department is already backing the mercenaries.
But wait, I thought there was supposed to be an investigation? Oh, right:
Two senior staffers for State Department Inspector General Howard J. Krongard have told employees they could be fired if they cooperate in a congressional probe of Krongard and his office, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) charged today. [...] Waxman said that two officials in Krongard's office had agreed to go on the record about the alleged threats. The two officials, Special Agent Ron Militana and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brian Rubendall, work as career investigators for Krongard.
According to Waxman's letter, Militana said he kept contemporaneous notes of the conversations with Heide and an office attorney. Waxman cited them in his letter. [...] "The meeting happened," Heide said in response to Waxman's charges. "The conversation was not as reported. . . . I categorically deny that I was telling them they would be retaliated against. Nothing could be further from the truth." [...] According to Waxman, when Special Agent Militana questioned her statement, Heide told him: "You have no protection against reprisal. You have no whistleblower protections. Howard could retaliate and you would have no recourse." [...] Waxman said the committee "will not tolerate any intimidation of potential witnesses," noting that "Congress has passed civil and criminal prohibitions against threatening and tampering with witnesses, retaliating against whistleblowers, and providing false information to Congress."
President Bush implored the United Nations on Tuesday to recommit itself to restoring human decency by liberating oppressed people and ending famine and disease. [...] Bush didn't mention the U.S. prisons in Afghanistan or at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. practice of holding detainees for years without legal charges or access to lawyers, or the CIA's "rendition" kidnappings of suspects abroad, all issues of concern to human rights activists around the world.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 4:47 PM Permalink The bush administration has announced the killing of the 5,280th al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, signifying that America has reached a new "milestone" in Iraq, literally.
"Ya kill 5,280 terrorists and you've broken all the old records, and, if you take all the remains left after being bombed with 1,000 lbs of high explosives, and store the remains in a one-foot tall container, America has killed one-mile worth of terrorists in Iraq," said an official that paid a hugh bribe to keep his name out of this article. And, best of all, that's somewhere around $1,000,000,000.00 a terrorist, a bargain compared to the trillion dollars and more it will cost to secure the oil fields of Iraq.
Ah, government at its best, slaughtering millions on the cheap. What a deal!
posted by The Vidiot @ 10:48 AM Permalink
There's been a lot written about it. Recently, Wayne Madsen published an article with the following conclusion:
Excerpt: WMR has learned from U.S. and foreign intelligence sources that the B-52 transporting six stealth AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles, each armed with a W-80-1 nuclear warhead, on August 30, were destined for the Middle East via Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
Also, there's been the mysterious and recent deaths of at least 2 (and maybe as many as 6) Minot Air Force personnel.
Who knows what's really going on. Was it a controlled leak of information to scare Iran? Was it rogue elements within our government for a staged terror attack of some sort here or abroad? Or was it just a stupid mistake as the Washington Post maintains (and frankly, this is the least believable explanation of them all.)?
However, if you have any interest in the story, you should read Chuck Simpson over at his blogspot. The guy seems to have invested a lot of his time into researching the issue and he came to this conclusion:
Excerpt: I have concluded a nuclear warhead was stolen while the B-52 was parked, either at Barksdale or at Minot.
I have also concluded this could only have occurred under the authority of someone with much authority.
I have suggested the use might be to stage a terrorist attack against Americans.
I again point to what I believe is at least a one-percent chance I am correct. The magnitude of the resulting harm would be horrific. Which calls Richard Cheney's doctrine into play.
I urge every concerned person to stop being distracted by collateral assurances that all is well, that Americans were safe at all times and that this flight was the result of a simple mistake.
Instead, I urge focusing on the paramount paradox of my conclusions that:
Six nuclear warheads were shipped from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Five nuclear warheads were recovered at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
And my resulting questions:
Who authorized and ordered this shipment of nuclear warheads?
Who currently has control of this missing nuclear warhead?
Why? What is the purpose and intended use of this warhead?
Is a treasonous cabal plotting the use of a nuclear weapon on American soil against American citizens, disguised as a terrorist attack?
I read through most of his posts, if he's insane, he's the most logical insane person I ever read. Conspiracy theory or not, he's right about one thing: if just 1% of what he said is true, we're in a whole heap o' trouble. Even if you believe it was just a messy mistake, the fact that a messy mistake can happen with nukes should be enough to keep you up at night. (But really, with this crew, a mistake? I doubt it.)
posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:16 PM Permalink It appears that the back-channel communications between the bush maladministration and Democratic presidential hopefuls has succeeded. The frontrunners for the democratic nomination are now taking the position that we may not be able to withdraw our troops from Iraq until at least 2013.
Disgusting. Hillary was out there saying she would withdraw the troops starting immediately if she was elected. This flip-flop to "no ability to get out of Iraq before 2013" indicates to me that bush is quietly convincing senators and congresspersons that America must have control of the oil in Iraq, that it is a national security imperative, and that he has no doubt reduced it to language mandating only one possible outcome: a plan which will ensure that all that oil will belong to us.
"If y'all don't continue with my plans, you'll lose control of all the oil which could easily provide a sufficient quantity of oil for another 40-50 years. And if ya do that we neocons will be happy to tell voters that democrats sabotaged a plan which would have satisfied American oil needs for decades." I can hear the pitch. I believe our democratic candidates have been convinced that this is true. I also think it is complete BS, and I'm am somewhat embarrassed that our nominee candidates fall so easily to rethug propaganda. The rethugs will hammer an issue to death, while dems buckle and turn into pools of primordial slime, unable to define issues, get solutions passed, forget that any one senator can stop an unjust piece of legislation, and don't recognize what losers they appear to be, despite the fact that 70% or more of the people are counting on democrats to restore America's greatness.
Also, this change of position was brought about rather quickly and all at once as far as the potential nominees are concerned. Why else the turnabout? Why complete flip-flops? Aren't all these frontrunners supposed to be willing to execute the will of American voters, rather than destroying our constitutional guarantees and the further debasement of basic human rights?
bush "set-up" interviews coming to a halt? Why does NPR hate America? (snark)
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:34 AM Permalink Glory hallelujah, it appears that the bush/cheney propaganda machine has finally hit a news outfit that just won't keep the ball in bush's court and kowtow to his demands for a particular reporter known to be friendly to bush.
See this from the WaPo, titled NPR Rebuffs White House on Bush Talk:
The White House reached out to National Public Radio over the weekend, offering analyst Juan Williams a presidential interview to mark yesterday's 50th anniversary of school desegregation in Little Rock.
But NPR turned down the interview, and Williams's talk with Bush wound up in a very different media venue: Fox News.
Williams said yesterday he was "stunned" by NPR's decision. "It makes no sense to me. President Bush has never given an interview in which he focused on race. . . . I was stunned by the decision to turn their backs on him and to turn their backs on me."
Ellen Weiss, NPR's vice president for news, said she "felt strongly" that "the White House shouldn't be selecting the person." She said NPR told Bush's press secretary, Dana Perino, that "we're grateful for the opportunity to talk to the president but we wanted to determine who did the interview." When the White House said the offer could not be transferred to one of NPR's program hosts, Weiss took a pass.
Congratulations to NPR for not falling for a bush propaganda technique, and, well, derisive laughter for Fox being so desperate they will make any concessions necessary to help spread the bush propaganda.
This might be a signal that some MSM organizations are finally going to quit the "Just say Yes" to anything bush wants. How refreshing.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:07 PM Permalink With great disgust I just watched the Senate pass a "non-binding" resolution calling for the partitioning of Iraq into three separate secular regions.
Isn't Iraq a sovereign country? A RESOUNDING NO would appear to be the correct answer. How 'bout if the Iraqi parliament voted to divide the United States into three regions, wouldn't the world laugh at them for being so silly? I know we Americans would.
Democratic Senator Joe Biden, introduced this non-binding resolution to the Senate which passed it 75-23. Is he just ignorant or does he realize that he has suggested a course of action that would by necessity require our troops to be bogged down in Iraq for the next thirty years? Not to mention having to destroy their sovereignty and government and replace it with one (or three) more compliant governments that will sign the PSAs, without which, bush will never withdraw from Iraq,
This indicates to me that even some democrats knew that this war has always been about OIL, not saving Iraqis from a brutal regime that, in retrospect, pales in comparison to bush and America's cruel ability to kill millions and drive millions more from their ancestral homes so that we can control the OIL. A genocide being executed by Americans.
The Lieberman-Kyl non-binding amendment also passed, urging "that we combat the influence of Iranians that are interfering in Iraq."
They just handed the keys to the kingdom to bush. By using the words "combat" Iranian influence it gives bush the perfect opportunity to declare the best way to "combat" their influence is to attack the country of Iran. They gave bush all he needs to declare war on Iran, the Republicans know it, the Democrats know it, a blind fool could see that this is an unofficial authorization for war.
When, oh when, if ever, can we reclaim our government from these idiots?
I miss the America in which I grew up. I have no idea how our Republic can survive with its current government.
Excerpt: How come the government numbers of 3,777 as of 9/7/7 are so low? The answer is simple, the government does not want the 73,000 dead to be compared to the 55,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Vietnam Iraq = Vietnam. What the government is doing is only counting the soldiers that die in action before they can get them into a helicopter or ambulance. Any soldier who is shot but they get into a helicopter before he dies is not counted.
I was like ohmygawd that's awful. How can they keep this quiet. 73,000! But, my brain took over and I thought, where the hell are they getting their information? So, I dug up the actual report and read it. Yeah, it does say over 73,000 dead, but that's ALL Gulf War Vets (from 1990 to present) and as near as I can tell, it doesn't matter how they died. They could've died in a car wreck years after coming home or from Gulf War Syndrome or whatever. The footnote at the bottom of the page even said to not take this number at face value.
I didn't have time to wade through the jargon, but suffice it to say that, as far as the Dept. Vet's affairs goes, as of May 2007, 4,330 vets have died in the "Theater" which are all the first Gulf war deployments (post-1991). There are a bunch of other numbers in there, but they don't really break them all out into pre- and post-1991 numbers so there's really no way to see from this report, how many have died this time around.
Of course, we KNOW they're lying to us. We KNOW there are more dead than just 4,400. Like the blogger said, they don't count the ones that died on the way to the hospital or in the hospital. But saying 73,000 dead is misleading. This is not the report to be wagging your finger at.
At least, that's the best I could do on a the A-train, coming home after a long day, sitting next to a rather large and smelly fella who insisted on knocking me with his elbow every time he turned a page in his book. Maybe Bill, who understands the jargon better than I can make a more definitive comment.
posted by The Sailor @ 7:06 PM Permalink Not a day goes by that Rudy, Rudy, Rudy doesn't attempt to exhume the remains of the departed souls of 9/11 for his political ambitions.
Sure, Bush et al continually use the tragedy for their excuse to attack a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, no WMDs, and no ability to attack the US, but Rudy thinks he can use it to become the next Fearful Leader:
posted by The Vidiot @ 1:48 PM Permalink
I'm hoping to have a post up soon, written by a cousin who spent time there. (I hope he can write it. I know he's a very busy bee.) He gave me a few interesting links to start with.
The imagery is astounding: The phalanx of robed monks is awe-inspiring. Also, here's a good article to get you started on at least the history over there and why it's the monks who have taken to the streets.
Excerpt: When the Burmese took to the streets on Aug. 8, 1988, many believed that soldiers wouldn't fire on them if they carried portraits of Aung San. They were wrong. More were killed in that year's massacres than in Tiananmen Square, yet this event is all but forgotten in the West. Today's monks know they must take the gamble that ordinary people can't.
No culture, No Manners, No Wonder the Rest of the World Considers us to be Barbarians and Ill-mannered Louts
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:33 AM Permalink I saw a few clips of Ahmadinejad's appearance by invitation at Columbia last evening and it struck me that, as an invited guest, the school's president was extremely rude and abusive to his guest. As a Southern-born American I was always taught to be polite to a guest, even if you didn't like them or even if they were not invited and just dropped by, so I think the school's president turned in an absolutely abysmal performance.
Is it any wonder that most of the world thinks we are uncultured, have no manners or sense of decency, and that Americans are a bunch of loud-mouthed, ill-mannered, uneducated louts?
By contrast, Ahmadinejad, responded politely to every question, was well-spoken, obviously well-educated, and showed he can and would, if given the opportunity, talk circles around the ill-mannered lout that currently resides in the White House. No wonder bush won't talk to him, he's not smart enough to understand the man!
Not a proud day for America. And it pains me to have to say that.
posted by Global Patriot Worker @ 9:17 AM Permalink
I found myself pondering the past few years of my rejuvenated political life. If there is one thing I can thank our dear unelected President for it has renewed my fighting spirit and deep appreciation for true American principle.
There is simply so much to fight for and so little we can count on as unassailable. Blame the mass media and their obsession for window dressing over substance or the lack of intellectual curiosity on behalf of average Americans it still washes out the same. We have become a nation divided between the "must knows" and the "I don't want to knows." The former I count as gritty Americans who seem to possess a reawakened appreciation for the bedrock virtues of the founders. The latter group tend to be Americans in convenience only, blithely applying those magnetic flags to their vehicles and equating slogans with patriotism. Both love their country yet actions do in fact speak louder than words.
To challenge mainstream propaganda is an action. To attend a rally is an action. To question your government is not only an action it is a sacred one that goes to the core of our democratic way of life. To write letters to the editor and Congress, to speak loudly at candidate listening sessions, to fervently discuss topics with friends and relatives are all actions. I have been doing an awful lot of this stuff. This has become what many of us are now about. All thanks to a letter....."W."
Then there are those other Americans. To hammer down your opponent with rhetoric is not really patriotic. To read one page of the biggest newspaper in your area is not being informed. To 'shop' is not the only thing we are capable of as a people. To work and pay taxes is not enough. This is not honoring the contract laid before us two hundred some years ago....you know the one that includes an informed citizenry!
So we "must knows" spend much of our downtime and/or family time doing some form of action. We are not of any one particular political bent we simply want the truth and reasonable consensus to emanate from that. It is a sort of quiet sacrifice and largely invisible to newspapers, pundits and even politicians. And to those that sacrifice in this effort you have my respect.
In the end though there is something that I find to be the truth. Many of us have benefited well from life in this country. I drive by wonderful private homesteads ranging from modest to magnificent, all personal and special. I fear that we have lost the desire to "upset the applecart" for fear of what we think we have to protect. We are afraid to stand out in our communities as being anything less than conformists. We may know what needs to be said and done but are reticent to make it public. I submit that that is un-American. Principles are principles and things are just that...things. I would personally rather live in restored chicken coop with one toilet and a used couch knowing that my country will advocate strongly for my right to liberty and self determination and protection from the powerful. I would have no use for a home ,however grand, that sits on a foundation of an expendable Bill of Rights, non-existent legal representation, omnipotent chief executives and withering privacy. I will have none of that. You are all welcome in my chicken coop......what a party we can have!
So I once again will thank the almighty "W" for my renewed engagement in the American experiment and I cannot wait for his day of reckoning that will surely come. Toil on quietly and invisibly great Americans.
A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.
Gee, it's not like an innocent child or adult would ever ... While I'm sure the Army stayed up late thinking this war crimemost excellent idea up, they should have stayed up late watching infomercials instead. Why just last night I saw where they could order the Deluxe Terrerist Magnet Kit from Acme™!
It comes complete with some big red X's, fake tunnel paint, a bag o' Acme™ terrerist food pellets, some rocket powered roller skates, a couple of Iraqi civilian cars (complete with pregnant mothers and children), and a get out of jail free card.
But wait! There's more! Call right now and we'll include the Acme™ anvil with the patented Acme™ anvil launcher!
This offer not good in the United States, accountability not included.
posted by The Vidiot @ 1:23 PM PermalinkThe anti-Ahmadinejad vitriol in the MSM is absolutely ridiculous. The more they vilify him, the more power they hand to him. Just ignore him if you want him marginalized. Jeesh.
"Hate-spewing Iran prez." Oh, for heaven's sake.
*An homage to Jessica Rabbit
Update:Juan Cole thinks the media circus is pretty ridiculous too.
Excerpt: The real reason his visit is controversial is that the American right has decided the United States needs to go to war against Iran. Ahmadinejad is therefore being configured as an enemy head of state.
Read the whole thing. If anyone 'gets' the Middle East, it's Juan Cole.
Finally, but slowly, the media is figuring out bush took us to war for oil
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:00 AM Permalink I have been posting on this subject for a l-o-o-n-g time. It was obvious to me we were there for the oil the very instant our forces announced they could not find the mythical WMDs of Saddam.
Alan Greenspan should know. It was oil all along. The former head of the Federal Reserve writes in his memoir, "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World," "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil." Greenspan even advised Bush that "taking Saddam Hussein out was essential" to protect oil supplies.
Yes, we suspected it. In a deep sense, many of us knew it, just as those in Washington did. But now it's in our face. Greenspan put the mother of all facts in front of our noses. And we can no longer be in denial. The US invaded Iraq for the oil.
Think about what it means for our troops and for the people of Iraq. Our troops were told, and believed because they trusted their president, they were in Iraq to protect America, to protect their families, their homes, their friends and neighbors, our democracy. But they were betrayed. Those troops fought and died and were maimed and had their marriages break up for oil company profits. An utter betrayal of our men and women in uniform and their families, a betrayal of their sacrifices, day after day, month after month, year after year - and for some, forever! Children growing up fatherless or motherless. Men and women without legs or arms or faces - for oil company profits.
Yes, America, wake up and realize the perfidy of evil men using the pretext of a phony construct called "the war on terror" to use and abuse our military and citizens, pillage our treasury and the country of Iraq, and commit genocide against the Iraqi people strictly for oil.
NOTE: When I said that I knew we were there for the oil when we couldn't find the WMDs, that was about the third day we were in control after the invasion because you must remember they told us they knew where the weapons were. Bill
Planning for war with China? Now we know for sure Cheney's insane.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:12 AM Permalink There have been many articles and blog postings about Cheney itching to go to war with Iran, but for proof of neocon insanity, take a gander at this article from Raw Story that details further war plans being made:
Bush faces strong opposition to military action among his own staff, Baxter says. Clemons has said that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and Defense Secretary Robert Gates all oppose a strike. [against Iran. Bill]
"None of them think it is a good idea, but they will do it if they are told to," a 'senior defense source' told the Times.
According to Baxter [a London Sunday Times reporter. Bill], Checkmate's mission isn't limited to Iran, but rather "to provide planning inputs to warfighters that are strategically, operationally and tactically sound, logistically supportable and politically feasible." Targets might also include China or North Korea.
bush/cheney and their cohorts in crime have already so diminished our military forces that we have not one single combat-ready brigade left anywhere except in Iraq and South Korea. There is no way we could engage China in a ground war and have any hope whatever of winning. That means we would have to use nuclear weapons to have any chance against China's quite formidable military.
Does any rational person believe Russia would just sit and watch our missiles leaving their silos and not retaliate by launching a few hundred nukes at America?
bush often claims that Iraq is an "existential threat." I say bush/cheney themselves are the greatest existential threat to the country I love.
Exerpt: "I think the administration, the president and the vice president particularly, are trying to hype the atmosphere, and that is reminiscent of what preceded the war in Iraq," Brzezinski told CNN's "Late Edition" on Sunday.
It’s scary. They are clearly insane since going to war with Iran is NOT the same as Iraq. For one thing, Iran has friends. Very powerful friends like China and Russia. I mean, that’s how WWI got started. Somebody attacked somebody who had friends and those friends felt obligated to get into the fight. If the US goes to war with Iran, the US will also then be at war with Russia and China. Russia has the nukes and China has the army. It could get very ugly VERY fast.
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:24 PM Permalink
Just watched the Ahmadinejad interview. I don't even want to know the name of the "journalist" who interviewed him, but WHAT A POMPOUS ASS HE WAS. The "journalist" I mean. Ahmadinejad, under the circumstances, did great. All of the questions were misleading and propagandistic. The quote from president Bush sounded more like the United States than Iran.
Stuff like this makes me embarrassed to say I'm an American.
I've got to get back to the kitchen. Hopefully tonight's season premier of The Family Guy will alleviate my angst.
Update: Alright. It DID make me feel a little bit better and now I want a light saber cheese cutter.
Update 2: I'm not the only one who thought the interview was over the top. It is now clear that MSM is no longer anything but the information disseminators for the occupying force we call the US Government. (Link to interview and transcript here.)
More Stupid Senatorial Tricks or Why I Finally Concede the Democratic Party Will Never Beat the Republicans
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:58 AM Permalink Yesterday I woke to watch a Democratically-controlled Senate pass an amendment offered by Barbara Boxer to essentially censure a private citizen's group for the language they used in an ad in the exercise of their right to free speech; the MoveOn.Org ad and organization, of course.
By the time I could call her California office (1-415-403-0100) to promise her that I would never again vote for any politician, especially a DEMOCRATIC politician, that would seek to censure private language used freely by private persons or entities as is their right, it was fait accompli and the bill had passed by a bare 1 point margin.
Then John Cornhole [I know it's not his name, but, damn, that's the way I think of this jerk off. Bill] from Texas posed another amendment on the same subject and it passed by overwhelming majorities, as it was much more vicious in tone to meet Republican-base expectations.
I imagine Our Founding Father's, already dizzy and ill beyond belief from spinning in their graves these last seven years, finally ceased spinning, gave up, and acknowledged that the Great American Experiment, the world's finest democracy, has died, shriveled-up, dehydrated to dust, and been blown away by the ill-wind and bad will of of over 70 senators who voted for the measure against everything America used to hold dear.
It's really over. Our democracy cannot survive legislative bodies that can and will substitute their obviously flawed vision of what free speech is and whom may exercise it for the one everyone in my generation grew up understanding.
Free speech zones, tasering students and others to keep them from speaking, only allowing pre-secreened audiences in to see our presidents and politicians, and wasting taxpayer time and money passing toothless, but nonetheless significant, resolutions to condemn a group of millions of Americans for language that was neither slanderous nor libelous nor even untrue being used in their behalf to alert the world to what many of us already know.
It's over, it's over, it's over. Perceptions are important, and yesterday the free world learned that America is no longer the home of the brave and the land of the free. We're a pack of cowards too afraid to stand up to a Republican party that has utterly corrupted our government, that is seeking to conquer the world with military might, and that will commit genocide against every last Iraqi, if necessary, to steal and control the oil fields of the Middle East.
And we're so scared spitless of our own shadows that we must now silence and condemn free speech when the precious legislative time could have been spent doing, oh, I don't know, maybe something that would help the elderly, the infirm, the seniors and others slipping into poverty, and the millions of our citizens who so desperately need our government to help them, but will never see that help come while every dollar that comes into America, by loans from other countries, is sucked into the black hole of Iraq.
Deficits so big we can no longer afford democracy or the ancillary rights that formerly accompanied it.
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:52 AM Permalink
As most of you know, Ahmadinejad wanted to lay a wreath at Ground Zero while he was here in New York but the powers that be said, "No. That's OUR propaganda tool, not yours." (In so many words.) Now, I usually like Josh Marshall's musing over at talkingpointsmemo.com, but every now and then, he gets one wrong, in my book anyway. In his reader responses, many thought Ahmadinejad shouldn't be allowed to visit Ground Zero because we shouldn't "allow him such a huge propaganda victory?" JM's response?
Excerpt: But when did we become such moral weaklings? And how brittle do we think our national reputation is that it's going to be damaged by Ahmadinejad going down to Ground Zero and at worst spouting off about whatever he wants to spout off about.
He seems like he's shocked that anyone felt we were too weak to withstand such a thing.
I don't know why he's so shocked. The US image IS treading on thin ice internationally. We have NO moral ground remaining. So, of course, a visit to Ground Zero by Ahmadinejad would be a bad thing in the eyes of many.
I couldn't give a damn myself, but those who care about how the US is perceived know full well that Ahmadinejad even approaching the high ground would be a bad thing.
But that's all moot anyway. The real reason is that powers that be didn't want him to lay wreath at Ground Zero because at some point, they know that they'll be connecting Iran with 9/11 to justify bombing Iran to smithereens.
The goons are from a Halliburton + Blackwell group called
Trustwell, Inc. from DMZ Volume 3: Public Works, written by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. The image says it all, no?
I can't remember if I've mentioned this series before but the illustration above is from a graphic novel series called DMZ and it's by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. IT'S AWESOME. Really. I've never been all that nuts about comic books, per se. But this stuff is incredible. From the book description on Amazon:
Excerpt: A near-future America is torn by war between the Free Armies, who control New Jersey and the inland, and the United States, ensconced in New York City's boroughs. In the war-torn DMZ of Manhattan, Matty Roth, hired as a phototech intern to a famous battlefield journalist, is stranded when the rest of his crew is killed. Overcoming initial panic, he decides to remain as the sole embedded journalist in the devastated, largely depopulated city. It's a career-making assignment--if it doesn't get him killed. Befriended by former med student Zee, who runs a clinic, Matty discovers a society struggling to survive amid skirmishes and snipers (appropriate soundtrack music: Talking Heads' "Life during Wartime"). Of the DMZ issues collected here, the first three establish its premise. In the succeeding two, Matty discovers the "Ghosts of Central Park"--paramilitaries who defend the now-deforested preserve and its zoo animals--and chases a robber who steals his press badge. Wood's writing does justice to the intriguing concept, and Burchielli's jagged artwork effectively conveys the characters' desperation.
The drawings of Manhattan are perfect and the story is bit too probable. I ate the last installment up in less than hour. I couldn't put the damn thing down and if someone had tried to make me, they'd have had quite a fight on their hands.
Excerpt: Privacy advocates obtained database records showing that the government routinely records the race of people pulled aside for extra screening as they enter the country, along with cursory answers given to U.S. border inspectors about their purpose in traveling. In one case, the records note Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Gilmore's choice of reading material, and worry over the number of small flashlights he'd packed for the trip.
Pope refuses to be part of phony build-up of Condi's credentials
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:22 AM Permalink From Breitbart.com comes this tidbit showing that even the Vatican and the Pope are not going to be used by the bush maladministration for photo-ops staged to try and legitimize Condi Rice and bush's foreign policy:
Pope Benedict XVI refused to meet US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in August, saying he was on holiday, an Italian newspaper reported Wednesday. Rice "made it known to the Vatican that she absolutely had to meet the pope" to boost her diplomatic "credit" ahead of a trip to the Middle East, the Corriere della Sera daily reported without citing its sources.
She was hoping to meet the pontiff at his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo at the beginning of August, it said.
"'The pope is on holiday' was the official response," the paper said.[…]
US Ambassador to the Vatican Francis Rooney said relations between Washington and the Holy See were close.
"Since the beginning of formal diplomatic relations in 1984, the US and the Holy See have enjoyed a high level of cooperation on a wide array of issues," he said in a statement.
"Our relationship remains strong today. Our working relationship is dynamic and productive at all levels."
So, Condi, lacking any serious credentials or accomplishments of her own sufficient to independently impress world leaders, feels the urgent need to meet with Pope in order to try and gain some legitimacy and credibility.
Ambassador Rooney did his best to "smooth this over" with diplomatic language, but you will note from the article that no one from the Vatican even bothered to make any statement other than "he's on vacation", much less a statement of support for America or its misguided and criminal foreign policies.
My guess would be that by invading countries illegally, conducting a genocide killing over a million people just to steal the oil that could have been purchased, that, well, the Pope just isn't going to condone your actions or endow you with phony legitimacy by appearing with you in a photo-op that clearly was requested to legitimize an illegitimate policy and boost the credibility of a bringer of death and suffering to millions of people worldwide.
posted by The Vidiot @ 8:04 AM Permalink
And one of the hosts read some copy that said:
The Fed rate cut worked like a charm!
(You could literally hear the exclamation point.) I guess they're worried that a hangover might set in today so they must have felt the need to do a little cheer leading.
Listen, you can't keep a bubble from popping. You MIGHT be able to keep it from exploding, which is what the Fed cut may have done. But it's still going to pop. Real estate is still HIGHLY overvalued. The dollar tanked because of that cut and that leads to trouble in the bond market AND makes anyone who may want to buy our debt more than a little skittish. China, a country that holds TONS of our debt already, cannot be very happy.
Cheer lead all you want. Look at the up stroke on the market graph and think "whew" but that doesn't make it true. Our economy is in a shambles. It's not "strong", it's not just "weak in some spots", it's in dire straights. If you want a good idea of how bad off it is is, watch gold or oil. Watch the commodities that are traded on the world market. When priced against other currencies, it doesn't look good.
Sorry to be such a buzz kill. I would love to look at upturn in the market and feel relieved. But, I just know there are some real, systemic weaknesses behind the facade.
Excerpt:President Bush said Wednesday he wants Congress to expand and make permanent a law that temporarily gives the government more power to eavesdrop without warrants on suspected foreign terrorists.
Excerpt: Republicans and the Bush administration used a 'bogus' terror threat that raised specific fears of an attack on the Capitol to scare lawmakers into adopting a dramatic temporary expansion of the government's spy powers last month, a former top intelligence committee Democrat said Wednesday.
A top House Democrat began an inquiry on Tuesday into accusations that the State Department's inspector general repeatedly interfered with investigations into fraud and abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, including security defects at the new United States Embassy in Baghdad.
Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent the inspector general, Howard J. Krongard, a 14-page letter spelling out accusations made by several current and former employees of Mr. Krongard's office who documented their charges with e-mail messages.
Some of the accusers have sought whistle-blower status, which protects government employees from being punished for reporting possible malfeasance, Mr. Waxman said.
"One consistent element in these allegations is that you believe your foremost mission is to support the Bush administration, especially with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than act as an independent and objective check on waste, fraud and abuse on behalf of U.S. taxpayers," Mr. Waxman wrote. He invited Mr. Krongard to respond to the accusations at a committee hearing on Oct. 16. [...] Last year, when Republicans still controlled Congress, they tried to do away with the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which had uncovered numerous construction abuses and contract violations.
Here's a sample of bushspeak translated to piratespeak:
The pirate speaks,"T' threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from t' Iraqi regime's own actions -- its history o' aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal o' terror. T' Iraqi regime has violated all o' those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It be seekin' nuclear weapons."
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:47 AM Permalink
When they speak of "progress in Iraq", what exactly are they saying? How is progress measured? In deaths? In oil? In Iraqi submission? Progress for who? The Iraqis? Are less of them being killed? Are they killing each other and not the soldiers? Progress for the U.S.? Are fewer of our soldiers getting hurt? Does progress mean we're furthering democracy? Really? What is democracy exactly, to an Iraqi? And when they poll Americans asking "do you think we're making progress in Iraq?" and 60% of them say "yes", do they really know what they're talking about? Who are they asking? Why do they think those people know what progress is? I don't know what progress is, how do they? Because they watch the media? Does the media really know what progress is or are they just parroting what the Administration is saying?
The fly catcher is an electronic fly-swatting device based on the idea of the Venus fly trap. The Fly Catcher is not just a talking point, it actually catches flies.
Each unit comes with a packet of non-toxic bait (more can be purchased as required) which is hidden inside the mouth of the trap. The bait attracts the fly, which crosses two sensors as it walks down the surface of the jaws. These sensors activate the jaws which then snap shut, killing the fly humanely. Once swatted the mouth re-opens with a burp, indicating it is ready for the next fly.
Excerpt: This wasn't some poor guy who was brutalized for trying to ask some tough questions. He's just an obnoxious guy who had a fit when there wasn't time for his questions and refused to be calm even when he was given the chance to speak. He was looking for trouble, and everyone applauded when he was forced to leave.
Yes. We must all be orderly and follow all of the rules. Because that's what THEY do (THEY meaning the ones in charge, the powers that be, the police, the corporations, etc.). THEY always follow the rules... their rules, but rules nonetheless. Heaven forbid someone should show a little justifiable anger and frustration. Being out of order means you're nuts, you're a menace and should be controlled.
Final Update: The mission is complete. The "don't taze me bro'" kid is now the bad guy. Well done, MSM, well done.
posted by The Vidiot @ 8:06 AM Permalink
Went to Amish country for the long weekend. Couldn't really follow the news very well. Too busy stuffing my face at farm restaurants and Amish food buffets. But I guess, while we were gone, there were a few developments. I found this one the whatreallyhappened.com readers' letters page:
READER: Since the Minot story broke a week ago about the missing nukeclandestine operation from Minot, we have the following (for those who are paying attention):
1. All six people listed below are from Minot Airforce base 2. All were directly involved as loaders or as pilots 3. All are now dead 4. All within the last 7 days in 'accidents'
Silly me, seeing more than there is to this story. I guess this is just another coincidence.
But no doubt now that there will be more coincidences in the near future because as I have stated before, you need about fourteen signatures to get an armed nuke onto a B-52, and they may have told their wives and friends.
5-24: Air Force and Boeing give 80 million for upgrades on B52s / work done at Minot Air Force Base and Barksdale
6-5: Colonel Eldon Woodie / Commander at Minot Air Force Base and B52 bomber wing / retired and now runs ROTC at a HS in AL-says it's his way of giving back to the military / Colonel Bruce Emig from South Dakota took his place [link to www.kxmc.com]
7-3: Adam Barrs / airman from Minot Air Force Base / died in car crash / was responsible for troubleshooting communication and navigation mission systems on B-52s / his myspace page: [link to profile.myspace.com]
7-19: Weston Kissel / B52 bomber pilot at Minot Air Force Base; 23rd wing / died in motorcycle accident on leave in TN [link to www.kxmc.com]
7-31: Jeffrey Eberts / 23 yrs. old / died after being pushed off building / body found on 23rd in Minot
8-9: B52 simulation of a preemptive or planned attack / Minot Airforce Base [link to www.kxmc.com]
8-30: 1 billion dollars of puts placed on NYSE
8-30: B52 accidentally carries nukes.
9-8: Rep. E. Gillmor (R-Ohio) / Arlington, VA / died of blunt head and neck trauma [link to www.washingtonpost.com]
9-8-: Capt. John Frueh/ US Air Force Captain from FL/ in Oregon for wedding/ body found in Washington state / last heard from 8-30
9-10: Todd Blue / was assigned to the unit that provided security for the B52 that had the accidental nukes / Minot Air Force Base / died on leave in VA [link to www.kfyrtv.com]
9-13: Jennifer Dunn / R-WA/ died at her home in Alexandria, VA from pulmonary embolism. [link to seattlepi.nwsource.com]
9-15: starting August 15, 2001, Army limits public access to bases near Washington DC,
9-17 - 9-18: WASHINGTON, DC -- US military bases in the continental United States (CONUS) will go on special lockdown between September 17 and September 21 under the auspices of Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield '07
If Our Troops are the "Finest in the World", Why are They not Good Enough to Provide Security for American Generals, Diplomats, and Politicians?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:11 PM Permalink This is a question that has long bothered me. As a former military man I absolutely agree that before bush/cheney fractured it with extended and repeated tours of duty, lack of personnel and equipment, and engaging our troops in another country's civil war, America did indeed have the most formidable fighting force on earth. Thanks to bush and his reckless and feckless policies our military is a mere shadow of it's former entity, but the individual soldiers that serve are indeed still the best.
That being said, why is the protection of American general officers, diplomats, and politicians being handled by a private security concern, Blackwater Security, and one that lures away our very best special forces troops with exorbitant salaries at that?
Like, what? American troops are plenty good enough to be sent off to fight this foolish war for oil while being under all the conditions listed above, but not good enough to provide security for so-called VIPs? The American government is paying dearly for the privilege of mercenary protection for upper-level government officials, and that money is coming directly out of the pockets of us all: very scarce tax dollars that would be saved if the military protected their own generals, diplomats, and politicians.
This insult to our troops and further pillaging of our treasury really bothers me. If I were a general that could not count on his own troops to provide for his safety, I would view my career as a complete failure for having failed to ensure the proper training for such duties, and for not having real, demonstrated faith in our troops.
Someone needs to ask why the US Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines are not doing this job.
Finally the Rubber Hits the Road for Blackwater Security, But Will They Just Ride Away into the Sunset?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:30 AM Permalink Blackwater Security, a security company with what amounts to a mercenary army under contract to the U.S. government, has had their license to operate in Iraq revoked.
This has the potential of being the seminal act of the Iraqi government to stand up to the American government, forcing bush/cheney into some incredibly twisted political negotiations in order to keep Blackwater in country while pretending it is the decision of a sovereign Iraqi government. The Iraqi 's have already alerted the world that Blackwater's license has been revoked, and it may be well-nigh impossible to get Maliki's government to change their position given the latest polls taken that show 70% of Iraqi's want Americans to leave, while almost 60% of them think it's "ok" to kill Americans.
This showdown will be interesting. Blackwater provides security for many Americans and American assets in Iraq for truly exorbitant prices, paying salaries that dwarf the pay of soldiers doing comparable work. The company also frees up thousands of soldiers who would otherwise being doing the jobs Blackwater is doing, and bush/cheney will be loath to lose that many armed men that would have to be replaced somehow.
After all, bush/cheney have to keep control of the oil until the theft of it is completed by forcing an Iraqi government, any government, to sign Profit Sharing Agreements (PSAs) giving American Big Oil 85-87% of all oil profits in Iraq for the next thirty years.
And Blackwater runs their security as well, so Big Oil will also be loathe to losing their favorite security contractor.
So, does the world's biggest mercenary army, Blackwater Security, just walk away? Will the Iraqi government stick to it's ruling revoking Blackwater's license to operate? Can they? Or will bush/cheney pull the strings, get Blackwater's license restored, and prove that there is no sovereign government in Iraq? Or can/will the iraqi government simply levy a stiff penalty and allow them to stay?
Apparently they are counting on a lot of 'childern' being left behind since they don't mind you reading it but it's classified if you hear it.
Freedoms like the Dean of a California law school being fired a couple of days after he'd been hired. Rethuglican politicians and the California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George got him fired.
Making Chemerinsky the head of the law school "would be like appointing al-Qaida in charge of homeland security," Michael Antonovich, a longtime Republican member of the county Board of Supervisors, said in a voicemail left with The Associated Press.
WTF is wrong with rethuglicans!? [/rhetorical question] They screech about a MoveOn.org ad telling the truth about Petraeus' "cooking the books," but they see nothing wrong with comparing one of the most respected constitutional scholars in the country to al-Qaida.
Any deal would therefore require Chemerinsky to "successfully transition from being a very outspoken advocate on many causes to being a dean of the stature that we expect in a start-up law school," said Malcom, a prominent Orange County Republican who was going to be a member of Chemerinsky's advisory board.
Get that? He can get his job back as long as he gives up his freedom of speech. Sounds a bit much to expect from a lawyer, constitutional scholar and American citizen. Any American citizen.
Freedoms like the Reverend Lennox Yearwood being assaulted by Capitol police for the crime of, gasp!, trying to attend Petraeus' lying testifying before Congress.
Here's an interview about the incident with the good Reverend
posted by The Sailor @ 1:30 PM PermalinkUpdate: Some good news for justice and Mychal Bell
Louisiana's 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, acting on an emergency defense appeal, reversed the aggravated second-degree battery conviction of Mychal Bell, 17, ruling that the youth had been tried improperly as an adult in a case that has raised allegations of unequal justice in the small, mostly white town. [...] [Prosecutor] Walters later reduced the charges to aggravated second-degree battery, contending at Bell's trial -- the first case to go to court -- that the tennis shoes Bell was wearing constituted a dangerous weapon.
Walters said in a statement Friday that he intended to appeal the reversal of Bell's conviction to the Louisiana Supreme Court.
JENA, La. -- [...]One morning last September, students arrived at the local high school to find three hangman's nooses dangling from a tree in the courtyard.
The tree was on the side of the campus that, by long-standing tradition, had always been claimed by white students, who make up more than 80 percent of the 460 students. But a few of the school's 85 black students had decided to challenge the accepted state of things and asked school administrators if they, too, could sit beneath the tree's cooling shade.
"Sit wherever you want," school officials told them. The next day, the nooses were hanging from the branches. [...] Three white students were quickly identified as being responsible, and the high school principal recommended that they be expelled. [...] But Jena's white school superintendent, Roy Breithaupt, ruled that the nooses were just a youthful stunt and suspended the students for three days, angering blacks who felt harsher punishments were justified.
"Adolescents play pranks," said Breithaupt [...] But the LaSalle Parish district attorney, Reed Walters, opted to charge six black students with attempted second-degree murder and other offenses, for which they could face a maximum of 100 years in prison if convicted. All six were expelled from school. [...] Black teen convicted in beating of white student [...] Those charges could lead to a sentence of more than 20 years for Bell [...] The five-woman, one-man jury started deliberating around 11 a.m. Thursday and returned around 2 p.m.
Boy, we're gonna give you a fair trial ... and then we'll hang you.
Ehh, not so much. Read the fine print:"[Bush said] will make the cuts conditional on improvements in security." There are no improvements in security, there are no improvements in the Iraqi government, the only improvements are in Bush & Petraeus' ability to redefine what progress is.
In a new embarrassment for the Bush administration's top spymaster, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell is withdrawing an assertion he made to Congress this week that a recently passed electronic-surveillance law helped U.S. authorities foil a major terror plot in Germany.
The president lies, his entire staff lies, the head of virtually every department of government lies, and now we know for certain that Mitch McConnell will lie his ass off to congress quite willingly.
Of course, this time he was caught red-handed (or would the new expression be "caught purple-fingered"?) and has therefore recanted this lie, but doesn't it have to make you wonder how many thousands of lies have been told to us by our government that were not exposed as lies? And how much damage has been done to America by those lies?
And does anyone think or believe if the press had not exposed McConnell's lie that he would have ever recanted his testimony?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:59 AM Permalink From the Huffington Post comes this article regarding bush/cheney/patraeus's latest, newest best buddy Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, who met with bush back on September 3. At the time I was struck by a picture of a sweaty-faced, wild-eyed bush shaking hands with the Sheik as if he, bush, were a supplicant begging for a chance to have his picture taken with the Sheik, while the Sheik, obviously bored, looked as if he was barely tolerating an anxious schoolboy.
The most prominent figure in a U.S.-backed revolt of Sunni sheiks against al-Qaida in Iraq was killed Thursday by a bomb planted near his home in Anbar province, 10 days after he met with President Bush, police and tribal leaders said.
Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha was leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, also known as the Anbar Awakening _ an alliance of clans backing the Iraqi government and U.S. forces.
Officials said his assassination would be a huge setback for U.S. efforts in Iraq, because it sends a message to others who are cooperating with coalition forces or thinking about cooperating against al-Qaida.[…]
"It is confirmed that the sheik and two of his bodyguards were killed today near or outside his home," Col. Steven Boylan said in an e-mail from Washington, where Petraeus testified before Congress this week on recent successes in Anbar province.
No group claimed responsibility for the assassination but suspicion fell on al-Qaida in Iraq, which U.S. officials say has suffered devastating setbacks in Anbar thanks to Abu Risha and his fellow sheiks It's unclear how his death would affect U.S. efforts to organize Sunnis against the terrorist network.
Abu Risha was among a group of tribal leaders who met with Bush on Sept. 3 at al-Asad Air Base in Anbar province.
So, for the sake of a photo op, bush increased the danger to a purported ally exponentially by seeing that photos were taken and articles placed in newspapers bragging about the turnaround in Anbar province being lead by the Sheik.
Why didn't bush just paint a target on his chest and back? Could bush honestly be too stupid to realize that he clearly made the Sheik the biggest target of opportunity in all of Anbar? That the Sheik then had to be killed to provide "an example" of what happens to those collaborating with America?
Excerpt: The brain neurons of liberals and conservatives fire differently when confronted with tough choices, suggesting that some political divides may be hard-wired, according a study released Sunday.
That way, we can't be held responsible for acting like imbeciles.
Excerpt: House Democratic leaders have decided to postpone a vote on a criminal contempt resolution against White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers for several weeks, and possibly longer, according to top lawmakers and aides.
I've got words swirling around in my head right now that aren't fit for public consumption.
More Stupid Republican Congress Tricks or What to Do When You've Flogged Your Horse to Death
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:40 AM Permalink Ever since bush was appointed by the Supreme Court Republicans have been one-trick ponies that pick an issue, beat Democrats over the head with it, and continue 'til they have flogged it to death.
And, oh my, have the Republicans got their panties in a bunch about the MoveOn.Org full-page "General Petraeus/General Betray-us" ad. Every Republican I've seen so far is using this ad to try and beat up Democrats ala Sean Vannity and his, "Do you renounce those comments or do you support them?", although he never seems to ask Republicans to distance themselves from any of Mann Coulter's comments. Or his. Or Bill Orally.
I admire Rep. Ike Skelton's reminder to Duncan Hunter and others that it is not necessary to distance one's self from COMMENTS YOU NEVER MADE.
Now Senator Bit¢h McConnell (R-total A$$) and Senator Cornhole (R-Texas) are trying to attach an amendment to a transportation bill to condemn MoveOn.Org and thank goodness Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) informed them that no work would ever get done if amendments disputing every comment made by anyone against anyone else were filed, argued, and voted on. He also pointed out that not a single Republican came forth to protest the Swift boat Liars that impugned the character of a genuine war hero and presidential candidate Senator John Kerry.
The amendment was, of course, out of order and not voted upon.
Besides, Petraeus claimed that he had written the report himself, no one had assisted him or written any part of it for him, and that it was purely his original work being shared for the first time. That was his testimony.
So how the hell did everyone in the world know EVERYTHING he was going to say verbatim and how were they able to print all that info in the press before the hearing?
It's fun watching so many old, rich jerkoffs like Republican Senators bit¢h and whine like crack wh0res in need of a fix while feigning outrage.
Senator jack Reed (D-Rhode island) pointed out that the real abominations regarding our military are the thousands of homeless vets and those needing medical care.
Who cares if a general officer, or those who would purport to speak for him, can't handle an insult when the true insults are as stated by Senator Reed.
POSTSCRIPT: Why in the world would Senators seek to censure the free speech rights of any group of people? Aren't they there to safeguard those rights instead of condemning the exercise of them? Republicans, Guardians and Protectors of nothing but their own a$$e$.
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:39 AM Permalink
Today is 9/11, as if there is ANY way to NOT know that. The MSM gets so excited over the whole day, what with the memorials and the speeches and the actual day-of imagery they get to re-broadcast over and over and over again. Blah blah blah blah, blah, ... blah.
But did they ever ONCE get critical of the official story? No. If they had, we'd have the real culprits behind bars already. Or they'd at least be on the run. But noooooo, they're still running the country. (Guess which country to which I am referring. G'head.)
This is a day to mourn, sure. People died. But it's a day to get REALLY ticked off too. Get ticked off when you here the stupid statements like:
I could come up with a lot more, but I'm too annoyed. Now, I have to go to work in New York City. My office will dutifully hold a memorial service and have a moment of silence. My RSS feeds will be full of more news about the most recent faked "bin Laden" video and I'll have to ride the subway where I could be subjected to a fourth-amendment challenged law that allows two thugs dressed like cops to fondle whatever is in my bag -- and possibly me if they deem it necessary -- all in the name of "security." I'll call my mom to say "hey" and "they" could be listening. I'll also be photographed by a myriad of security cameras. Hell, this blog post may even be cataloged and saved for future reference (or prosecution).
This is not American.
I'm TIRED of what America has become.
Update: I have an idea for a 9/11 drinking game (as crass and tasteless as that is): Every time you hear any derivative of the word "somber," you have to do a shot of whiskey.
Excerpt: "In this day and age, the media does not give you a chance to rehabilitate yourself," replied Luntz. "Even if [Craig] fights this, the public will assume that he's doing it for his own purposes. ... It's tragic. ... There's not an opportunity for some rational, intellectual discussion."
He got the ball rolling on the whole "manipulate them with emotion" thing. What did he think the result would be? Erudite discourse?
Excerpt: 1. Nuclear tipped weapons loaded and transported skirting layers of fail-safe security measures and the chain of command.
2. Nuclear tipped weapons supposedly slated for decommission transported to a base that does not have the facilities necessary.
3. Very suspicious timing. This all happens at a time when there is much talk of the US preemptively Striking Iran and/or large scale terrorist attacks on US soil.
4. Langley Air Force Base will ground its jets for a week leaving vital airspace much less protected.
Also, there is a rumor that the plane left with 6 nukes and arrived with 5. Not only that, it took an hour longer to fly the distance. What did they do with that extra hour? Maybe the disappearance of Steve Fosset is somehow connected. Did you know they're using NORAD to look for him? The full might of the domestic military is looking for one guy.
Excerpt: There is NO way that this big of a TOP dog in the US military who is currently the guy in charge of protecting the airspace for the whole country including from SPACE, would be called in to locate a missing person.
Sorry, not buying it.
I may be wrong about my theory that THEY ARE ACTUALLY LOOKING FOR A MISSING NUKE.... but I can guarantee you that I am 100% right in saying that they are NOT looking for a missing person....
And if there is a missing nuke, what might it be used for. The guy over at rumormillnews has an idea:
Excerpt: I wrote about this "3rd FEMA prediction" at...
FEMA STUDY FROM 8/01 "PREDICTED" 911,NEW ORLEANS,AND... FarSight3 -- Wednesday, 14 September 2005, 12:40 p.m.
...and "coincidentally" it was published exactly on Sept.14.! See, what is planned for that date! ...
...U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones remembers attending an emergency training session in August 2001 with the FEMA that discussed the three most likely catastrophes to strike the United States.
First on the list was a terrorist attack in New York. Second was a super-strength hurricane hitting New Orleans. Third was a major earthquake on the San Andreas fault.
...A catastrophic temblor at the right spot along the San Andreas could significantly reduce energy and water supplies - at least temporarily, she and others said...
...Because the Los Angeles region is so much larger than the Louisiana city, it is difficult to conceive of a disaster - "sort of an A-bomb" - that would blanket the whole city, let alone the whole county, in ruin, said Lee Sapaden, a spokesman for Los Angeles County's Office of Emergency Management...
A New Weapon in Iraq That's Russian-Made, Time to Start Being Afraid - Again?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:56 PM Permalink I have written many times before that the new Chinese-Russian collaborations in war games boded ill for the security of Americans and the United States. Both countries, but especially the Russians, have vowed that they will not stand by while America fulfills its imperial designs to steal and control the oil in the Middle East.
Today, from Raw Story comes a manifestation of Russia's desire to cause grief for American troops in Iraq. It's short so I'll post the entire article:
Although improvised explosive devices have until now been responsible for the majority of US casualties in Iraq, a new, armor-piercing hand grenade may pose an even greater threat.
CBS News reports that the Russian-made device is light enough to be thrown by a single insurgent standing alongside a road and is equipped with a parachute so that it falls vertically on its target and can take out even armored vehicles.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been eager to take credit for the use of these grenades, but the US Army is now confirming losses to the weapons as well.
The following video is from CBS's Evening News, broadcast on September 5. [Unfortunately I lack the technical ability to transfer the video that goes with this report. I encourage you to go to the link above and watch it. Bill]
Russia is now supplying al-Qaeda in Iraq with sophisticated weapons designed to negate any inherent advantage our troops would gain from having MRAPs with a rounded bottom to prevent IEDs implanted alongside roadways from penetrating the vehicle to prevent injury to our troops.
These armor-peircing grenades will come down from above to attack much less thick armor plating and armored glass and to continue or increase the fatality rates from their attacks. It also demonstrates why we are losing this war to insurgents smart enough to defeat every defensive measure Americans make, and in this case, it certainly would appear that Russia has no qualms about aiding in the defeat of the U.S. in Iraq.
Makes you wonder what kinds and numbers of highly sophisticated weaponry Russia and China may have already supplied to Iran, a country where Russia and China have extensive business ties.
Could there be a "rope-a-dope" strategy being put in place in Iran that will have catastrophic consequences for America when, not if, we attack Iran? Are there knock-out punch weapons in place that could devastate a carrier group or cause a slaughter of our troops in Iraq?
Only time will tell, but it sure has to make a person wonder doesn't it?
posted by The Vidiot @ 11:05 AM Permalink
Watching him on Meet the Whore, he's so eff-ing disingenuous, giving his myriad reasons for not stopping the funding of the war. MY GAWD! How does he sleep at night?
No, I have no links or hard articles to accompany this post. It's just a rant.
Down, Down, Down the Numbers Go, Giving the Lie to the Republican's Claims of a Strong Economy
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:42 PM Permalink Back on July 27th I posted an article about how every time this maladministration releases ANY information regarding the strength of the economy the numbers are ALWAYS subsequently revised downward (to the true numbers).
"Well, Mommy, there they go again," as Ronnie Raygun would have said.
Payrolls shrank in August for the first time in four years, the Labor Department reported on Friday, prompting calls for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates before credit market turmoil drags the economy into recession.
The unexpectedly bleak report of 4,000 fewer non-farm jobs shocked financial markets that had anticipated continued job creation and drove down stock prices and the dollar's value.
"It's dreadful," said Michael Metz, chief investment strategist for Oppenheimer & Co. "It shows the so-called support for the economy from rising employment is rapidly eroding and to me it seems almost inevitable we are heading for recession."[…]
The chairman of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, said the soft jobs report was "a punch to the gut of our economy" that implied the subprime lending crisis threatens to engulf the broader economy.
Another lawmaker, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, made a blunt and unusual call for the Fed to rescue the economy quickly with lower interest rates.
"The notion that inflation risks outweigh the risks to output and employment growth is not supported by the evidence and a strong response is required -- specifically, a meaningful interest rate cut," the Massachusetts Democrat said.
In addition to the August job losses, the Labor Department revised down its estimates for hiring in June and July by a total of 81,000. It said 68,000 jobs were added in July rather than 92,000 and 69,000 in June instead of 126,000.
I rest my case. The bush/cheney maladministration and the toadies that work within it are genetically incapable of telling the truth about the economy, and I don't buy any argument that "well, hey, these are big numbers we're dealing with," because any advanced elementary school student with an abacus could do a better job of reporting accurate numbers.
So, the total job numbers for June/July never added up to the 218,000 jobs the bush government claimed and instead only 137,000 jobs were created, a difference of 81,000 jobs as noted above.
They also claim that America lost 4,000 jobs last month and created no new jobs at all. Now, in September, Countrywide, caught up in the subprime loan scandal, just announced the elimination of another 12,000 jobs.
And if 4,000 jobs were lost and there were no new jobs created to just keep pace with new entries into the jobs market, wouldn't that actually mean the loss or failure to create anywhere from 73,000 jobs (under bush) to 179,000 jobs (at the rate Bill Clinton added jobs while he was in office).
Clinton saw 22,000,000 jobs created, while the Republicans brag about creating a mediocre 7.3 million jobs over the last seven years.
Please, sir, may I have some more lies about how strong our economy is?
UPDATE: I made another math error in this post and changed the "mediocre 73,000 jobs" to the accurate "mediocre 7.3 million jobs" in the penultimate sentence of this post. I apologize for my error as I genuinely try to be as accurate as I can.
1.(sometimes capital letters 'V' and 'S' with no space) a style of writing or saying something using emotion and/or logic and snark, esp. in order to elucidate the obvious while pretending to be objective.
2. anything written by The Vidiot, The Sailor, Mr. Vidiot and anyone else they allow to post on the blog “vidiotspeak”
[Origin: loosely based on new + speak, coined by George Orwell in his novel, 1984 (1949)]
And for godsakes, stay away from FOX, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
It's ALL CRAP!!!
Watch the BBC news or ITN news instead.
"POSSE COMITATUS ACT" (18 USC 1385)
A Reconstruction Era criminal law proscribing use of Army (later, Air Force) to "execute the laws" except where expressly authorized by Constitution or Congress. Limit on use of military for civilian law enforcement also applies to Navy by regulation. Dec '81 additional laws were enacted (codified 10 USC 371-78) clarifying permissible military assistance to civilian law enforcement agencies--including the Coast Guard--especially in combating drug smuggling into the United States. Posse Comitatus clarifications emphasize supportive and technical assistance (e.g., use of facilities, vessels, aircraft, intelligence, tech aid, surveillance, etc.) while generally prohibiting direct participation of DoD personnel in law enforcement (e.g., search, seizure, and arrests). For example, Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETS) serve aboard Navy vessels and perform the actual boardings of interdicted suspect drug smuggling vessels and, if needed, arrest their crews). Positive results have been realized especially from Navy ship/aircraft involvement.