Saturday, November 12, 2005

Bush Lies to Veterans and America Part II

Mark Kleiman provides his take on Bush shameless pack of Veterans Day lies. A day that should have been about truth, honor, and sacrifice that the right-wing turned into a shrill recycled insult to the USA and those that have fought to keep us free.
The question of whether the Administration misrepresented the intelligence presented to it (as opposed to the question whether the intelligence itself was flawed) was not addressed in the Senate Intelligence Committee report. That report reflected only Phase I of what was supposed to be a two-phase operation, with the question of Administration misrepresentation of intelligence deferred to Phase II. It was the Republicans' attempt to indefinitely postpone Phase II that led to Harry Reid's demand for a closed session two weeks ago. Presumably that stalling reflects the GOP's judgment that the results of such an inquiry would be devastating.

So how is it, exactly, that the moral onus for the decision of those Senators and Representatives to believe what the President and his appointees told them rests on those who were deceived rather than those doing the deceiving?

Its all taking the shape of a very twisted pretzel. Bush says he didn't manipulate intelligence, but says we were right to spend our soldiers lives in Iraq based on what he knew, from an ABC interview
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yeah. Look, what, what we based our evidence on was a very sound national intelligence estimate.

DIANE SAWYER: (Off Camera) Nothing should have been more precise?

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I, I made my decision based upon enough intelligence to tell me that this country was threatened with Saddam Hussein in power.

If the intelligence was "sound", why the blame shifting? Why doesn't Bush and Company produce what must be voluminous
notes taken by the likes of Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Doug Fieth, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld about the intelligence they used. How was the assessment made, the conclusion reached that " this country was threatened with Saddam Hussein in power"? How is it that for 12 years the USA flew mission afetr mission over Iraq, including Operation Dessert Fox without Saddam downing a single USA plane.
The "No-Fly Zone War"- pitted the air and naval forces of the United States and the United Kingdom (also referred to as "Great Britain"), against the air defenses of Iraq. This conflict proved to be largely ignored by the media and the public in both the U.S. and in the U.K., though it impacted the military and the citizens of Iraq on an almost weekly basis, especially since the intense "Desert Fox" bombing campaign of 1998. The roots of this conflict are quite simple to trace: the inconclusive and vague cease-fire agreement ending the Gulf War of 1990-1991. This agreement called on the Iraqi government to allow United Nations weapons inspectors to search for prohibited weapons in Iraq, and, perhaps more importantly, allowed the Coalition Allies (originally the U.S., the U.K. and France), to enforce what came to be called "No-Fly Zones" over northern and southern Iraq. The original intent of these zones was to protect the rebellious Iraqi minorities (Kurds and Shiite Muslims) in northern and southern Iraq, respectively. The Coalition was permitted to fly warplanes over these zones to prevent Saddam Hussein's government from using military aircraft to attack these minorities. As time progressed though, the No-Fly Zones became a means for the Allies to force Iraq to comply with UN and Coalition demands, often related to the status of the weapons inspectors.

Lastly, we know that the Bush administration manipulated intelligence at the Energy Department:

$20,000 bonus to official who agreed on nuke claim

WASHINGTON – A former Energy Department intelligence chief who agreed with the White House claim that Iraq had reconstituted its defunct nuclear-arms program was awarded a total of $20,500 in bonuses during the build-up to the war, WorldNetDaily has learned.

Thomas Ryder, as acting director of Energy's intelligence office, overruled senior intelligence officers on his staff in voting for the position at a National Foreign Intelligence Board meeting at CIA headquarters last September.

His officers argued at a pre-briefing at Energy headquarters that there was no hard evidence to support the alarming Iraq nuclear charge, and asked to join State Department's dissenting opinion, Energy officials say.

Ryder ordered them to "shut up and sit down," according to sources familiar with the meeting.

Bush lies to Vets on Veterans Day

Why did George W. Bush choose to use veterans and Veterans Day to retell the lies that are getting Americans and Iraqis killed? What brand on right-wing insanity are we dealing with? Was there some kind of secret meeting of right-wingers where it was decided that it doesn't matter if Bush and Company abused the powers of the presidency to send people to die and kill. After the Gulf of Tonkin and Cambodia and Iran-Contra it was agreed that it wasn't legal, moral, or even productive for presidents to carry on wars where the facts and the full consent of the people were ignored. Isn't that the way totalitarian governments do business, the powers that be know better then the people.
Think Progress has a run down of Bush's renewed false claims.

lets not forget the Downing St memos
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

and we had some indications that BushCo was determined to put boots on the ground in Iraq, damn the facts from Karen Kwiatkowski:
Kwiatkowski, 43, a now-retired Air Force officer who served in the Pentagon's Near East and South Asia (NESA) unit in the year before the invasion of Iraq, observed how the Pentagon's Iraq war-planning unit manufactured scare stories about Iraq's weapons and ties to terrorists. "It wasn't intelligence -- it was propaganda," she says.

The Office of Special Plans no longer exists, which makes for a kind of spy thriller aspect to all this. This the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld Intel bakery, where they cooked the books on Iraq, making a menace seem like an immient threat.
In an interview with the Scottish Sunday Herald, former CIA officer Larry Johnson said the OSP was "dangerous for US national security and a threat to world peace. [The OSP] lied and manipulated intelligence to further its agenda of removing Saddam. It's a group of ideologues with pre-determined notions of truth and reality. They take bits of intelligence to support their agenda and ignore anything contrary. They should be eliminated."

BushCo spit in the eye of every American that has ever worn a uniform to defend the principles of "indivisible,with liberty and justice for all." Without the truth about Iraq its impossible to have the liberty or justice that so many veterans have fight for. For Bush and company, the pack of lying scroundels, veterans and Veterans Day was their last refuge. Shame on them and their water carriers.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Good Day for a New Vet Blog

One Veteran's Voice and don't forget Jo, he's been fighting the good fight for a few years now, Democratic Veteran

Happy Veterans Day

Resource Guide: Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Fox and Neil Cavuto bare false witness

Is is a little strange that a cable network would broadcast the incredible assertion that ( and I paraphrase ), environmentalists are to blame for high fuel prices, because they have fought the construction of new oil refineries. Neil and his sheep herd may not want to read these memos. Their friends in the oil business caught in their own words.
Internal Mobil Memo Showing Effort to Reduce Refining Capacity -pdf file

Internal Chevron Memo Showing Effort to Reduce Refining Capacity -pdf file

Internal Chevron Memo Showing Effort to Reduce Refining Capacity -pdf file

Shell Documents Show Need For National Moratorium On Refinery Closures

the following is part of a letter that The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights wrote to then candidates G.W. Bush and John Kerry.
--in recent days, both of you have weighed in on the high price of gasoline in the United States. Unfortunately, the debate has not yet turned to the main cause of the recent gasoline price spikes. That has little to do with OPEC but is a result of the deliberate restriction of supply by the highly consolidated domestic refining industry

snip
--The new evidence obtained by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) shows Shell has deceived the public with these statements and that it intends to demolish the refinery to keep gasoline off the market, and the price of gasoline high, rather than sell the refinery. Your united call to keep this refinery and others open can stop such anti-competitive behavior.

There's a little parrot over at Fox named Jim that answers every economic question with the same answer, let the market decide!
The market is clearly not deciding, oil companies are deciding by deep artficial manipulation of the market, and with the help of fake news mongers like Fox and Cavuto they're depriving the average taxpayer of an honest debate of the issues involved in having a sound enegy policy, enabling oil company disinformation, and helping to give consumers the shaft.

Lots more to read here: American oil companies have been making world record profits off the recent jumps at the gas pump, while blaming environmentalists and OPEC for the price run-ups. FTCR has worked to set the record straight and limit the oil industry's profiteering.
When Fox and the right-wing press parades their propaganda as facts, its not just a matter of differing opinions. Its about giving the average american all the facts they can so we all can make better decisions about our country. We all have to ask, why doesn't Fox want us to be informed. Why is Fox's editorial and idelogical objective the weakening of america.

What's the deal with white phosphorous

Melting the Skin Off of Children
"WP [i.e., white phosphorus rounds] proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out." -- Field Artillery Magazine,

A commenter over at pandagon says its not a chemical weapon or WMD.

Arms control status
Use of white phosphorus is not specifically banned by any treaty, however the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (Protocol III) prohibits the use of incendiary weapons against civilian populations or by air attack against military forces that are located within concentrations of civilians. [2] The United States is among the nations that are parties to the convention but have not signed protocol III.

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Protocol III
Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons.
Geneva, 10 October 1980

Article 2
Protection of civilians and civilian objects
1. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.
2.It is prohibited in all circumstances to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by air-delivered incendiary weapons.
3. It is further prohibited to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by means of incendiary weapons other than air-delivered incendiary weapons, except when such military objective is clearly separated from the concentration of civilians and all feasible precautions are taken with a view to limiting the incendiary effects to the military objective and to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.
4. It is prohibited to make forests or other kinds of plant cover the object of attack by incendiary weapons except when such natural elements are used to cover, conceal or camouflage combatants or other military objectives, or are themselves military objectives.

Contrary to what the straw-man arguments offered by the commenter at pandagon or the wierd rant at the wing-nut balloon something or other; many on the left are concerned that even though the troops/commanders involved had the best intentions in using WP in such way that was considerate of civilians it is deeply unfortunate that there may well have been what is quaintly called collateral damage. Perhaps this is ultimately what is got the righties so ralled up, the reminder that not only did Hier Bush lie about almost all things Iraq related, but never made the moral case for making our troops ( the troops that the wing-nuts say they care so much about ) easy targets. They're ralled up because no matter how well trained or well intentioned our troops are ( and I see them being mostly men and women of the highest honor making tremendous sacrifices ) the horrors of combat are certain once the battle begins. According to Wikipedia, it has reported that some american troops have died in friendly fire incidents related to the use of white phosphorous. In the end will we just add WP to the balance sheet of all those things related to what was lost or gained in the neocon quest to be the Kassites of the 21st century. One thing is certain, rushing into Iraq with Rummy's mini-army has not made the world safer from another 9-11.

update: I wanted to make a couple things clear. One that those involved in the use of WP are not automatically guilty of any wrong doing, much less war crimes. If an investigation is warranted, then lets have one and assume innocent until proven guilty. As repugnant as the notion may be to some people, the use of WP against enemy targets, with the exceptions listed above is legal and fairly common military practice; the British used incendiaries against Iraqis in 1924. Other nations also use WP or something similar. War is hell as they say. Its my understanding that the citizens of Fallujah were urged to evacuate before that offensive began and most of them did leave. The major point here is that whatever precautions were taken, it is a tragedy that people especially children should die in such an horrific way.
Finally, its a false choice and a craven rationale that would justify these tragic incidents by saying that Saddam did worse. If our basket of choices becomes narrowed down to evil versus lesser evil then we're all fighting in the gutter. A certain historian (VDH?) who need not be named has this social-darwinistic world view, that maybe some lesser evil has been done, but look at the relative good that followed. He misses the point. We, the people of this mud ball spinning around the sun need to break the cycle of tyranny and war, of theocracy and authoritarianism. Moderation is a hard narrow road, but its the only choice for social justice and lasting peace.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Your chance to play armchair commander-in-chief

Kris Alexander at Intel-Dump provides 4 major categories covering the current view of Iraq, our Middle-east pot of glue or giant cluster-f*ck. I call it a cluster-f*ck, becuase we're screwed any which way you turn. The tropps shoudn't be there, but they are. They have a right to defend themslves and a duty to carry out their assigned missions. Between the Iraqi insurgents, the various bad characters that have come across the leaky borders because Rummy the insane assclown didn't go in with enough troops, and the general Iraqi population...more innocent people will die. It not a question of winning or losing at this point, its about bringing about some kind of stability and minimizing lost of life.
Kris is lumping people into these categories.
1. Everything is fine. We’re winning. Stay the course. Call it the Kevin Bacon in “Animal House” theory. “ALL IS WELL”
2. Pull out now. We’ve lost and Iraq is not worth on more life. The Howard Dean approach.
3. Set a timetable and date for withdrawal. Call it Nixon 2.0…or not. Perhaps that’s the wrong historical analogy?
4. We need a drastic change in strategy. The “Brownie you’re doing a great job” approach.

155 comments the last I checked, some of them very good.
Tom Daschle has a new site up called New Leadership for America. he proposes:
...bringing home the first 80,000 troops beginning this January and no later than the end of 2006. The plan redeploys 20,000 American troops to Afghanistan to help finish our job there, including the capture of Osama bin Laden. Finally, the plan calls for the last 70,000 American troops to come home by the end of 2007.

You can sign Tom's petition here, Sign Tom's Petition to Bring Our Troops Home!

Hell hath no fury like a Mississippi bitch scorned

Bill Frist of Tennessee and puppet sock J. Dennis Hastert want to know who leaked the information about the CIA running secret prisons. Not an investigation into the fact that secret prisons are being run, just that someone told, and "could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences". Well, it looks like the only one that could have leaked that information would have been one of the Republicans that attended a secret meeting about those prisons according to the tall bitch from Mississippi, Trent 'passed over for Senate Majority leader' Lott.
Just guessing, but I think the meeting went something like this: " first you lie about the prisons"., no we claim they everyone in the world knew Valerie Plame was the blonde 007 and then call the National Review and Faux News"...."no. no..we already did that", "who's going to do the leak about torturing women and children in Iraq ", " you are so stupid, we've done the torture thing. deny deny deny." "OK so I'll do the leak, you site threat to national secuirty, then I say you leaked it, then I claim the Muslims are taking over France and will be at our shores soon waving mushroom clouds.", " has anybody got an aspirin?"
This is what Lott actually said,
Then, Lott added -- quote -- "We can't keep our mouths shut. We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us" -- Lott saying that believes, as this investigation moves forward, it will wind up being an ethics investigation of a Republican senator or maybe a Republican staffer as well.

To be a modern Republican, you have to have a perfect score on the "Three Stooges" test.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Fox Politburo's hatred for American Values

Neil "nice guy" Cavuto runs this segment headline, "Why the fuss about torturing people who want us dead?"
Mark Kleiman explains in part "the fuss".
We know that torture greatly damages the victim in one way and the perpetrator in another. We know that torture degrades the institutions that engage in it by making it harder to find decent people to run them. We know that torture is almost impossible to manage or control through democratic and lawful processes. We know that torture arouses hatred of the entity responsible for it. These are all utterly certain consequences of torture that weigh very heavily in the balance -- along with the very likely consequences of torture, such as extracting false information -- against its possible benefits.

Right-wing hacks Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes explain how betraying CIA agents by Whitehouse officials is no big deal.
Sorry Fred. Bill, and the water carriers who will gladly spread this manure, it is a big deal.

Must-Read Update! Plame Leak Exposed Brewster Jennings Asset on Oil, WMD
Not often talked about is how the traitor Robert Novak also exposed Plame's CIA Front Operation that she helped run: Brewster-Jennings & Associates (this phony company has nothing to do with the real Brewster Jennings, a founder of Mobil Oil). OVer decades, the CIA had built up the fake firm and through it insinuated agents to keep an eye on not only WMD, but also ARAMCO, Saudi Arabia and their oil production and politics. Hundreds of agents have worked for Brewster Jennings and Associates. Traitor Novak emperiled all of their lives and the lives of their informants.

In between 2 hour martini lunches Kristol and Barnes do their best to weaken America and Fox sends them a nice fat check for their efforts.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Michael Ledeen - fascist, serial liar, and Bush supporter

I'm not accusing ol Mike of being a fascist Republican, he has said so in his own words. Details here, The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Mikey is more modest about his being crazy as a wombat with rabies. In his current rabid rantings he despartely tries to deflect blame for the Bushies yellow cake boondoggle on the French. Bush is simply a victim of a superior french con game.
Think like a counterintelligence analyst for once. It's an old-fashioned sting operation. You're Jacques Chirac, okay? You want to embarrass the Americans and protect your buddy Saddam Hussein, right? The Americans are running around trying to find evidence of a covert Iraqi nuclear program. So, first you feed them some crappy information along those lines, hoping that they'll buy it, and then you arrange through Rocco in Italy to have these documents surface.

I'm not sure if this is what happens when you drink too much of the Kool-Aid or you don't take your meds. What's even more pathetic is all the Bush apologists who put party before country, will eat this up like a dog does a bowl of gravy. Matthew Yglesias has a few comments of his own.

The CIA doesn't like torture, why do Cheney and Bush?

The Bushiveks keep saying they are not using torture, yet Dick Cheney keeps running around trying to preserve the right to torture. This must be some kind of secret Bushibeks language that only elite insiders understand. 90 out of 100 senators on both sides of the aisle support the McCain bill, why does the senate get it and the kool-kids don't?

Man on Fire--Not!
I think Dick Cheney has been watching too many Hollywood flicks that glorify torture. He needs, instead, to get on the ground and talk to the folks he is ostensibly trying to empower to torture. Unlike Dick I have spoken with three CIA operations officers in the last three months--all who have worked on terrorism at the highest levels--and not one endorses torture or believes it will help us. In fact, they believe it will hurt us on many levels.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Another Reason to Love Jennifer Aniston

The state of the world.
How about that indictment?! And why did it take so long to respond to the crisis in New Orleans? Everything is imploding. It all seems to lead back to our dear president.

Does Alito Hate Older Americans ?

Is it hate when a judge doesn't care about the rights of older americans? Its the new hate. The hate of neglect. Alito and the neoconservative movement have learned from the past that blatant displays of hatred like burning crosses doesn't go over well with moderate americans. Why go to all that trouble when they can use the powerful arm of the judicial system
to rule in favor of the "powers that be" against the common man who's power and rights can be effectly be chiseled away by extreme idealogues hiding behing black robes.

Undermine Age Discrimination Guarantees
In a 1997 decision, Judge Alito denied a former corporate employee the right to present to a jury his claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), despite the employee’s direct supporting evidence in the form of a “smoking gun” statement by the company president who fired him: “[I]f you are getting too old for the job, maybe you should hire one or two young bankers.” Evidentiary barriers this high could render the ADEA a near-dead letter in practice. A dissenting colleague wrote that Judge Alito’s approach misread precedent and preempted the jury’s fact-finding role.

Note the hypocrisy here, federal judges are assured lifetime employment and a taxpayer provided pension.