Terror alert for three cites retracted
Lets just give the benefit of the doubt here...lets say this whole alert wasn't politically motivated. if we have a "HIGH ALERT" and then have it drop away a few hours later, that doesn't inspire trust in the system we have in place or a will to take it seriously.
It is a holiday weekend. even if it wasn't proven AS credible, i think it may have actually been better to leave the high alert status since more americans are mobilized this weekend and perhaps open for attack. being EXTRA prepared would have done us no harm.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Terror alert for three cites retracted
Friday, May 28, 2004
Is Bush Hoping Another Terrorist Attack Will Help his Numbers?
Ashcroft recently announced an increased threat over this summer. this was followed hot on the heels of some Kelly Arena rumor-mongering on CNN:
ARENA: Neither John Kerry nor the president has said troops pulled out of Iraq any time soon. But there is some speculation that al Qaeda believes it has a better chance of winning in Iraq if John Kerry is in the White House.
BEN VENZKE, INTELCENTER: Al Qaeda feels that Bush is, even despite casualties, right or wrong for staying there is going to stay much longer than possibly what they might hope a Democratic administration would.
so we have her promoting an unsubstantiated myth that Kerry is the terrorist's favorite.
well that Ascroft announcement came as a suprise to many as it is only supposed to come from the Dept. of Homeland Security, and Ashcroft doesn't change our risk, color codes. well, it seems the ashcroft warning of a summer attack was from "a stream of intelligence that indicated that al-Qaeda is emboldened by its successful attacks in Madrid. The content of the threat information behind Wednesday's warning has not changed substantially since the railway bombings in Spain in March, and it has not yielded any plots against the USA, the officials said."
So if there's been no new info coming in to have us uptight about a new summer threat, then why such a strong warning from Ashcroft?
What's that? OH!...I bet you there's an election coming up and the incumbent only gets his numbers up if people are scared of an attack. i see. that never would have occured to me.
Thanks, Mr. Mooch.
The Bouge Chitto River
Take a look! this is where we're going TUBE-ing tomorrow! i'm pretty excited to be cruising down the BO-ga Chitta River (as we say it here), as they are gonna drop us off and we cruise down at a lazy pace in inner tubes, sipping our favorite drinks and what not.
Wish you were with us!
He's got a Trap like a Steel Mind
Struggling to hold together his base and rise again from the basement level ratings, Bush puts together this little idea:
CUT SCHOOL FUNDING!
CUT AID TO VETERANS!
CUT HOMELAND SECURITY!
CUT ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION!
CUT HEALTH SERVICES!
I'm going to assume that this is being done to impress the conservatives long upset over bush spending. well, i for one am glad that bush is going right for the very things that can create a theme for this campaign. If his tax cuts were the revenue generator he claimed, we wouldn't be in this spot.
The fact that he is pushing to send soldiers to fight in HIS war, then have them return to a slate of BENEFITS that have been CUT should provide no shortage of outrage for the common citizen. I'm glad this was announced early. He even made and effort to have the administation pitch this as "what you'll get if you re-elect the president".
you don't get stuff like this very often...i think there may even be a bow on it!
Unleash Hell On Al
It makes me sick to think about what the press did for bush in 2000. somehow, this CANNOT happen again.
This referring to a documentary's film of how bush opposition research worked with/on ABC news:
In the film we see RNC glee as the Associated Press accepts their oppo research on a Gore misstatement during the first presidential debate. During their months of filming BBC producers also observed producers for NBC's Tim Russert, among others, calling to enquire if the team had any new material. This was apparently normal practice.
"It's an amazing thing," says RNC researcher Griffin in the film, "when you have top-line producers and reporters calling you and saying 'We trust you.... We need your stuff.'"
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Investigation: Abuse of Captives More Widespread, Says Army Survey
Thanks for making our soldiers look bad and our nation's job that much harder. OH! don't forget MORE DANGEROUS.
from the article:
"An Army summary of deaths and mistreatment involving prisoners in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan shows a widespread pattern of abuse involving more military units than previously known,"
"The cases from Iraq date back to April 15, 2003, a few days after Saddam Hussein's statue was toppled in a Baghdad square, and they extend up to last month, when a prisoner detained by Navy commandos died in a suspected case of homicide blamed on 'blunt force trauma to the torso and positional asphyxia.' Among previously unknown incidents are the abuse of detainees by Army interrogators from a National Guard unit attached to the Third Infantry Division, who are described in a document obtained by The New York Times as having 'forced into asphyxiation numerous detainees in an attempt to obtain information' during a 10-week period last spring."
" ... The details paint a broad picture of misconduct, and show that in many cases among the 37 prisoners who have died in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army did not conduct autopsies and says it cannot determine the causes of the deaths. In his speech on Monday night, President Bush portrayed the abuse of prisoners by American soldiers in narrow terms. He described incidents at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, which were the first and most serious to come to light, as involving actions 'by a few American troops who disregarded our country and disregarded our values.'"
My Terrorism Fear
i'm somewhat worried about a terror attack during the political conventions coming up. I have NO IDEA what would happen if there was a Bombing in Boston at the Dem Convention...let alone if Kerry got killed there!
anybody heard any dirt on possible VPs? do you just have a guess?
"Chatter" from Al Qaeda about a Summer Threat
Bush's numbers are in the toilet (can we go below 40%? Mr. Mooch says 38% is the basement for his numbers, but we'll never get there. let's see if he's right).
What do you do? CHANGE THE SUBJECT!! (and fast!)
Bush's sole lead on Kerry (issue-wise) was fighting terrorism...so what do we get NEW ALERTS about terrorism this summer!
See if we GET ATTACKED, we can't let bush lose because we'd give the terrorists just what they wanted! if we DON'T get attacked but we get plenty of warnings...well...he's PROTECTING US! yay!
um...hey...wait a minute! that makes no sense!
to add to the confusion and uncertainty, the concerns were downplayed by the end of the day. (evidently confusion inspires people to vote republican? heh)
From the Editors: The Times and Iraq
the NY Times just apologized for going too far in buying into the purpose for the Iraqi war...particularly with regard to iraqi exiles that were giving false information.
HEY PRESIDENT BUSH...COME HERE!!
Take a look at this. Now i know your parents never really showed you this, but your pals Polly and Mr. Mooch will. See, this is called "taking responsibility" for something you did wrong. See. Now YOU try it. go ahead. I'm here if you need me. I'll help.
Before he delivered it, i said it was gonna flop. i said the reason was that it was built up too much. they said this is where bush was gonna "explain his plan". well, building up a mystery with THAT as you result just isn't a good idea for anybody, least of all someone with Bush's track record for explaining details of complex policy.
Well, it looks like someone at Bushco was reading "Polly and the Mooch" because the speech got a small audience, being aired only on cable, and has already drifted from the headlines. some reported this as showing just how weak he/it was since none of the networks carried it. it was only aired on some cable news channels.
As i Understand it, the president asks for the airtime and (always?) gets it. you wanna be on the big 3, you ask and they give. they didn't this time...and bush didn't ASK to be on prime time, network television. his last fully televised press conference got him 41 million viewers. this speech got him 6 million.
why wouldn't you want 35 million more people to hear your message in a campaign year?
1. It's too close to "taking responsibility for something" to make him comfortable (sarcastic)
2. Bush wouldn't get as much of a bump from it as expected when it was planned, and after this last week, he might take a hit (cynical)
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
CBS News | Our Darkest Days Are Here |
Andy Rooney has some great commentary on one of the dirtier pages in our history. from the article:
The guards who tortured prisoners are faced with a year in prison. Well, great. A year for destroying our reputation as decent people.
I don't want them in prison, anyway. We shouldn't have to feed them. Take away their right to call themselves American - that's what I'd do. You aren't one of us. Get out. We don't want you. Find yourself another country or a desert island somewhere. If the order came from someone higher up, take him with you.
Report says Wal-Mart received $1B in government subsidies.
Why are we giving handouts to one of the most profitable companies in the world? are they helpless without our tax dollars?
One Last Thought on Iraq
The President and his administration have constantly referred to the domino theory of Iraq, in that such freedom would inspire democracy among the other middle eastern nations. Now how is that supposed to work? are the kingdoms we support like Jordan or Saudi Arabia supposed to be overthrown? or should we expect the royals to just give up their positions? seriously. that's the only 2 ways it can occur, let you have some Britain-like hybrid. do you think we are actively pursuing democracy in Saudi Arabia?
seriously. do you think we are inspiring it or even lobbying for it right now?
On a Lighter Note...
This weekend I plan to Float Down the Bogue Chitto (Bow-Ga Chit-ah) river in an innertube while drinking drinks i like and randomly stopping at sand bars to swim and bask in the sun. Welcome to one of many Summer delights in Mississippi.
Marching off the cliff
Part 2 on the Bush Speech:
This article has several takes from noteworthy individuals inside and outside of the Military.
*Bush AGAIN tries to link Iraq with al-Qaida. Michael Lind, senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
*Bush sounds almost Soviet-esque with his talk of bringing Sovereignty and Freedom, while continuing a military occupation to make sure the Freedom goes in the correct, west-friendly direction. Karen Kwiatkowski, lieutenant colonel, U.S. Air Force (ret.)
*"My central concern is he has not yet recognized the mistakes he's made and therefore does not have a basis on which to improve the situation." Lawrence Korb, former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration
*Bush's plan consists of repeating the same platitudes about freedom and terror, trying to pass it off as a foreign policy. Turning Bush's numbers around will seriously take more than this. It appears he's in denial. Ruy Teixeira, senior fellow, the Century Foundation
I think that the reality of a Iraq and 9/11 connection is never going to be an issue for the president. I believe he is content to accept the lie and he will never back away from it. if he repeats it enough, it can be true. he just KNOWS it...facts be damned. and another thing. People in the press, please quit calling it a "cynical ploy." it is not a cynical ploy. it's a LIE. one word, one syllable. L-I-E. Lie.
oh, and another thing. you know this whole Abu Ghraib thing has been in the news for a bit. it's kind of a big deal. Mr. President...for me...could you PLEASE learn how to SAY THE WORDS? they're kinda relevant to our world right now.
I AM STILL LOOKING FOR ANY LIVING MILITARY LEADER THAT AGREES WITH BUSH, YET IS NOT CURRENTLY UNDER HIS COMMAND. ANYBODY GOT ONE YET?
I'll leave you with a paragraph from Gen. Anthony Zinni's new book:
"In the lead-up to the Iraq war and its later conduct, I saw, at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence, and irresponsibility; at worst, lying, incompetence and corruption. False rationales as a justification; a flawed strategy; lack of planning; the unnecessary alienation of our allies; the underestimation of the task; the unnecessary distraction from real threats; and the unbearable strain dumped on our overstretched military, all of these caused me to speak out. I did it before the war as a caution, and as an attempt to voice concern over situations I knew would be dangers, where the outcomes would likely mean real harm to our nation's interests. I was called a traitor and turncoat by Pentagon officials. The personal attacks are painful … but the photos of the casualties I see every day in the papers and on TV convince me not to shrink from the obligation to speak the truth."
Monday, May 24, 2004
Bush outlines Iraq transition
Ok, i'm not gonna be to hard on the guy, considering the fact that i think he had an impossible job, but let's look at the outline of goals for Iraq from tonite's speech:
1. Handing over authority to a sovereign Iraqi government.
--Thanks for the newsflash. we knew this a long time ago. if you ever get around to WHO will get this, what level of control they will have, and what the structure of the government will look like, we'd appreciate it. this reads like someone saying they want to hand over an orphan to 'parents'. um...can we get a little more specific on the qualifications here? please? thanks.
2. Establishing security.
--Um, i think that should have been Job One about 11 months ago. its nice to see you on board with the rest of the planet now, Mr. President.
3. Continuing to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure.
--Was there any doubt? Maybe some more no-bid contracts? can we just go ahead and match up donors with projects ourselves or are you going to let that be a suprise?
4. Encouraging more international support.
--So does 'old europe' matter now? i'm glad to see this component. too bad its about a year and 2 months too late.
5. Moving toward a national election in Iraq that "will bring forward new leaders empowered by the Iraqi people."
Oh really? nice. hope they elect someone that we LIKE. again, obviously not a bad idea, but its something we already know.
if this is what the president calls 'filling us in' on his plan, he's an idiot. i'm sorry. i know i take some pot-shots around here, but COME ON. there should be a better outline than broad, generally assumed 'points' here. that is what makes the public comfortable. the idea that you have a plan beyond what any person walking upright would assume as a basic goal w/o hearing the president speak.
Look at these points. was ANYONE, ANYWHERE ever assuming we'd do the opposite of this? Is he 'clearing this up' for us?
he could easily do better...well, he's not.
fine with me.
ALSO OF NOTE:
"Our commanders had estimated that a troop level below 115,000 would be sufficient at this point in the conflict," Bush said. "Given the recent increase in violence, we will maintain our troop level at the current 138,000 as long as necessary."
If commanders need more troops, Bush said, "I will send them."
It is my understanding that the Generals prosecuting this war have battled Rumsfeld over the number of troops needed, with Rummy sending fewer than needed (note we are occupying an entire nation and we have at LEAST 100,000 fewer troops there now than in Desert Storm.) While we may not have needed as many troops as before to WIN this war, it shows the severe lack of planning that THAT was as deep as Rummy thought this out. As if the battle to overthrow Saddam was the only job the troops would face.
this is incompetence.
White House Asks Media to 'Show Respect' to Bush Twins
I first saw a good commentary for this on |span| and i'm really just cribbing here, but...
This is pretty bogus. Should the President's family be left out of the political fray?
sure. of course. Chelsea Clinton was left alone for the most part (Rush, of course, couldn't resist attacking a child).
so what's the difference? the Bush girls are SEEKING publicity with a vouge spread and jobs within the campaign for the president. If they want to be free of the limelight's glare...and that's justifiable...well GET OUT OF IT! don't do things that cause you to get press coverage. if you DO want to do those things...well...quit complaining.
CBS Poll: Bush Ratings Continue Slide
By the Numbers:
Overall job approval: 41% (52% disapprove)
Handling of Iraq: 34% (61% disapprove)
are we "on track": 30% (65% say no)
Foreign Policy: 37% (56% disapprove)
The Economy: 36% (57% disapprove)
Handling of Terrorism: 51% (42% disapprove)*
Is the Economy better? 23% say getting better. 32% say getting worse. 43% say its the same.
*This is the one 'highlight' for the president.
Bush Backdrop Turns Sour
Oh, this is RICH! an example of the Bush Plan in action:
The President came to the Timken Corporation in Canton, Ohio and stood in front of big banner which read "Jobs and Growth."
"the greatest strength of the American economy is found right here, right in this room, found in the pride and skill of the American work force."
"Last week, Timken announced that the folks right there in that room are getting fired." (The Post)
Bush needed some factory worker clout to show his plans were steaming ahead, and he picked a plat that was being closed down (along with 2 others) to outsource 1300 jobs.
you know what? i think Bush's plans DO work to create jobs...just not anywhere around here.
Big Speech Tonite on Iraq
'I think you'll hear tonight what President Bush has been saying all along -- we have a very specific plan.'
WH comm. dir. Dan Bartlett, 'Today,' NBC, 5/24
There will be a major speech tonite outlining the President's plan in Iraq. there has been a lot of build up to this, much by the Administration, and i think this is foolish. There have been longstanding questions as to just WHAT the president's specific plan was on the June 30th deadline. the answer has been an ongoing 'you'll see' reply. this builds up to tonite, where the President couldn't possibly give a satisfactory answer.
I don't mean this in the sense that i could never be happy with the answer, i mean that he's got an expectation now that will be nearly impossible to meet given the current situation. I find it politically amateur-ish, but you know....who cares! couldn't happen to a better guy!
Yahoo! News - US to turn gays away from sperm banks
So is this saying that Homosexuality is an inborn trait and not a learned behavior?
Quick Notes on Old News
You may have THOUGHT Bush was incompetent when he knowingly used bogus information from Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress (INC-exile group) in his build up to war (and most notably in his infamous State of the Union address).
It seems we've now entered into a new era of incompetence when that same man, trusted in providing the 'evidence' of WMD's and pushing for invasion, turns out to be....
AN IRANIAN SPY!!
now there is no way for me to know if this guy and his co-horts are spies, but i'm not the one saying it. Bush is. This speaks VOLUMES if our war effort and post-war planning was being whispered into the VP's ear by an operative from Iran! heck, he was the GUEST OF HONOR at the 2004 State of the Union address.
Chalabi has been accused of passing on Classified information to the Iranians (or at least trying to). now the question is, 'who in the administration gave it to HIM and the INC?' and 'what's gonna happen to them?'
Ah, i love the simple pleasures...
a summer breeze.
a nice glass of lemonade.
a president that doesn't rely on Iranian spies for his foreign policy decisions.
More Documents Blocked
Bush is continuing to block the release of 1000s of documents (from the Clinton years) to the 9/11 Commission. Now if they were good for the Pres. and would put Clinton in a bad light, you bet they'd be out by now...but they haven't..WHAT COULD THIS MEAN??
Oh, and while we're at it. The Pentagon, secretly omitted 2000 pages of the Abu Ghraib Report! oops! i'm sure they just left them on the coffee table on the way out the door.
And while we're on the subject, it seems that the people that came from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to "fix" the Abu Ghraib prison had a few prisoners mysteriously die in their care at the base in Cuba.
With all the other evidence stacking up, if you believe these abuses were the work of a few 'misguided' souls, you're trying to comfort yourself...and that's ok. we often tell small children, unable to face adult realities, a little story to make everything all better.
Can i get you a little night light? its got charlie brown on it!
Q&A | Gen. Anthony Zinni
is there a living US general anywhere that supports the bush war effort? seriously. can you name ANYONE that isn't directly serving the Pres. that agrees w/ our war planning or our direction? i cannot. Tonite on 60 Minutes Gen. Zinni (former commander-in-chief of US Central Command--CENTCOM)has some strong words:
"The course is headed over Niagara Falls. I think it's time to change course a little bit or at least hold somebody responsible for putting you on this course," ... "There has been poor strategic thinking in this...poor operational planning and execution on the ground,"
Of the Presidents' Pentagon staff: "dereliction of duty"
"They promoted it and pushed [the war]...even to the point of creating their own intelligence to match their needs. Then they should bear the responsibility."
"In the lead-up to the Iraq war and its later conduct, I saw, at minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility; at worse, lying, incompetence and corruption," ... "I think there was dereliction in insufficient forces being put on the ground and [in not] fully understanding the military dimensions of the plan."
"But regardless of whose responsibility...it should be evident to everybody that they've screwed up, and whose heads are rolling on this?"
Bushco will have a hard time smearing this general.
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Quotes from The Wild Bunch(1969)
gclark and i were talking about oaths and their meanings and what it meant to break them. this talk always puts me back to a quote from one of my favorite movies and makes the point about just what giving your word means. no clear answers:
Pike Bishop: He gave his word.
Dutch Engstrom: He gave his word to a railroad.
Pike Bishop: It's his word.
Dutch Engstrom: That ain't what counts. It's who you give it to.
John McCain (Republican) quote
"'All we are called upon to do is not spend our nation into bankruptcy while our soldiers risk their lives. I fondly remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility. Apparently those days are long gone for some in our party.'"
This came after a little spat between McCain and the GOP speaker of the House. McCain rightly complained that we are at war yet are not being asked by our leaders to make the least bit of a sacrifice. Think about what our Families gave up in WW2. Bush called on us to accept his tax cut.
What a way to call on american's to do their part. i'm tired of hearing him say 'we have to stay the course' when it's never about what we citizens have to do. it really means, "don't back out on me". America is fully ready to finish what we've started. right or wrong...but you know...that's not what the president is asking. he doesn't want us to abandon HIM. and that's not about america. that is about his own selfish political needs.
We need statesmen. I cannot help but think this would have been a better country and a kinder set of politics if McCain was elected over bush. Bush's success has been built on a viciously divided nation.
Thanks a lot Mr. President. we got what you asked for.
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Friday, May 21, 2004
Pelosi questions Bush's Competence
Finally, SOMEONE says it in the press! heh. seriously, I cannot name one area where we are better off now than in any of the 8 years of the last administration. In talking to some of my GOP friends, a question about how bush is making things better in america quickly trails off to "i guess you liked Clinton better?". At least with Clinton i could point to some successes in our nation.
from the article:
"The emperor has no clothes. When are people going to face the reality? Pull this curtain back. The situation in Iraq and the reckless economic policies in the United States speak to one issue for me, and that is the competence of our leader. These policies are not working. But speaking specifically to Iraq, we have a situation where -- without adequate evidence -- we put our young people in harm's way. Instead of Iraq being a country that would readily pay for its own reconstruction, we're up to over $200 billion in cost to the American people."
So Where's Kerry?
I've heard many a Democrat wondering 'where's Kerry?' As Bush sees one PR disaster after another. It has long been my belief that you should steer clear of your opponent if he's destroying himself. don't give him a target to direct attention away from his own troubles.
I've said its EARLY and i don't want Kerry to peak too early. he needs to be raising money. luckily he has:
Kerry's fundraising haul of $30 million in April -- compared with the Bush campaign's $15.6 million -- marked the second consecutive month in which the Massachusetts senator's receipts have exceeded the president's, according to the two campaigns.
White House's Week From Hell--Salon.com
Here's the news. I'm done. i like the point below that Bush probably wishes for the good ole days when he was trying to explain how he skipped out on military service while we were at war.
A few more rocky news weeks like this and president Bush will be pining for the good old days of say, February when his most pressing political concern was trying to explain why he skipped a year's worth of National Guard duty during the Vietnam War. Before we get to Friday's must-reads, a quick look back at the White House's week from hell.
First and foremost was the continued meltdown in Iraq, which included the assassination of Ezzedine Salim, head of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, warnings from U.S. generals that Iraq might actually turn more deadly following the June 30th transfer of power, and news that the popularity of Iraqi outlawed cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has surged. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz finally admitted, sort of, that the Pentagon's neocons were clueless about war planning, while the Baghdad office of their former INC point man, Ahmad Chalabi, was trashed during a Thursday morning raid, lead by Iraqi police and U.S. forces. And this Marine, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey, just back from Iraq recounted how soldiers routinely 'lit up' unarmed Iraqi civilians. That, while the administration's unique policy of complete disengagement from the Middle East peace process lead to especially gruesome results.
On the Abu Ghraib prison abuse front, the scandal this week broke more ways than a Tim Wakefield knuckleball. Rather than fix the problem early on, the Army tried to curb the Red Cross' access to prison, the first of many court martial proceedings began, Reuters and NBC journalists claimed they were abused by GI's in mind-numbing ways, while Private Lynndie England recounted how prisoners were made to crawl through broken glass and wear Maxi Pads. And oh yeah, Sgt. Samuel Provance, who did intel work at Abu Ghraib, told AB
New Details of Prison Abuse Emerge
Read the link above. everyone should. I'm so bothered by the actions of these people, as well as the ongoing fight for "tort reform" here locally, that i'm on the verge of just being depressed over human nature. i'm not up to writing or reading any of the stuff that is out there right now. i don't know if i can take it.
These people were tortured by their 'liberators'. further it was reported that 70-90% of the people detained here in these instances were wrongly detained and the released. regardless of anyone's guilt for any offenses...it is not our business to torture.
furthermore, i'm tired of conservatives that simultaneously argue that this was the work of a few bad eggs (this is proving untrue) AND that this sort of humiliation is worth it for the lives that are protected.
Well which is it? you can't have both of those at the same time.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
ABC Reports that there may be a Major cover-up coming to light. An Intel staffer at Abu Ghraib may be blowing the whistle on the situation. It seems that the interrogators he worked with talked freely about their actions. Some choice quotes:
"There's definitely a cover-up," the witness, Sgt. Samuel Provance, said. "People are either telling themselves or being told to be quiet."
"Anything [the MPs] were to do legally or otherwise, they were to take those commands from the interrogators,"
"One interrogator told me about how commonly the detainees were stripped naked, and in some occasions, wearing women's underwear," Provance said. "If it's your job to strip people naked, yell at them, scream at them, humiliate them, it's not going to be too hard to move from that to another level."
According to Provance, some of the physical abuse that took place at Abu Ghraib included U.S. soldiers "striking [prisoners] on the neck area somewhere and the person being knocked out. Then [the soldier] would go to the next detainee, who would be very fearful and voicing their fear, and the MP would calm him down and say, 'We're not going to do that. It's OK. Everything's fine,' and then do the exact same thing to him."
He also describes 2 drunken soldiers being caught stripping an Iraqi woman before they were subdued by other soldiers who became aware of what was going on. It seems that Major General. George Fay was assigned to investigate the role of Military Intelligence in this who matter. However, when Provance was questioned, the General tried to focus on the MP's and steer clear of talk about the interrogators.
Fay started his probe on April 23, but Provance said when Fay interviewed him, the general seemed interested only in the military police, not the interrogators, and seemed to discourage him from testifying. Provance said Fay threatened to take action against him for failing to report what he saw sooner, and the sergeant fears he will be ostracized for speaking out.
"I feel like I'm being punished for being honest," Provance told ABCNEWS. "You know, it was almost as if I actually felt if all my statements were shredded and I said, like most everybody else, 'I didn't hear anything, I didn't see anything. I don't know what you're talking about,' then my life would be just fine right now."
This sort of thing takes a remarkable backbone in the political storm that this has created in the military. I don't want any of this to be true, but more than that, i don't want it to be hidden if it is. there is no honor in hiding.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Greenpeace on Trial for "Sailor Mongering"
MIAMI (Reuters) - Greenpeace, charged with the obscure crime of "sailor mongering" that was last prosecuted 114 years ago, goes on trial on Monday in the first U.S. criminal prosecution of an advocacy group for civil disobedience.
The environmental group is accused of sailor mongering because it boarded a freighter in April 2002 that was carrying illegally felled Amazon mahogany to Miami. It says the prosecution is revenge for its criticism of the environmental policies of President Bush, whom it calls the "Toxic Texan."
Sailor mongering was rife in the 19th century when brothels sent prostitutes laden with booze onto ships as they made their way to harbor. The idea was to get the sailors so drunk they could be whisked to shore and held in bondage, and a law was passed against it in 1872. It has only been used in a court of law twice, the last time in 1890.
Not once since the Boston Tea Party have U.S. authorities criminally prosecuted a group for political expression.
*AHEM*...Does anyone think this is politically motivated?
You know, i'd forgotten about the timing here. The Abu Ghraib story appeared just hours after the Bush Administration Department of Justice appeared before the US Supreme Court. There, they claimed that the US does not torture prisoners. This not only casts into view the full ramifications of their drunken tear through constitutional rights, but it also brings up another zinger (scandal?).
If this was going on (particularly in Gitmo, as is being reported), did the Bush Administration lie to the supreme court? this is pretty serious stuff.
From the Article:
a Justice Department attorney representing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appeared before the Supreme Court to argue that the Bush administration is free to imprison a U.S. citizen for as long as it likes -- without a lawyer, without a hearing, without any contact with the outside world -- based solely on the president's determination that the citizen is an "enemy combatant" in the war on terror.
When skeptical justices asked about the risk that a detainee might be abused while in custody, Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement told them they must "trust the executive to make the kind of quintessential military judgments that are involved in things like that." The government's interrogators understand that information obtained through coercion may be unreliable, Clement said, and they know that "the last thing you want to do is torture somebody or try to do something along those lines."
When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that some governments engage in "mild torture" to obtain information, Clement shot back: "Well, our executive doesn't."
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Marshall
This was taken in its entirety from the great "Talking Points" website. it is one of the updates given by a fellow in Iraq, who is a retired military intelligence officer. He now works as a private security contractor in Iraq. his reports are always facinating. marshall sent him some questions, which the fellow answers:
Sorry about the delay but I have been out on the streets more than usual these days despite the micro-Intifada in the South.
Let me answer your questions:
Q1. From on the ground, how would you rate the effects of Abu Ghraib on the population at large and on the morale of Iraqis who are at the moment working with us?
A1: Abu Ghuraib just confirmed what we have been hearing here for a long time. I am amazed that the ICRC didn't push this forcefully. It is very easy to find people who have been in the prison and could make statements to that effect. What I am sure amazed the ICRC was the callousness of the Bush administration blowing off eye-witness testimony of ICRC delegates in the prison. It had to be done with pictures and I applaud and honor the men who blew the whistle ... If I was the NCOIC of that place I would have been filing courts martial papers just to make sure it was indestructibly document that things were going on ... Someone obviously did something official for General Taguba to be sent there.
The Iraqi people, even my 150 staff think the Americans are essentially not welcome anymore. They fear for their security but would rather go through a cataclysm with a new Iraqi police and army as their security force, rather than be occupied by the Americans. Then they could work through the system and know that their security was in their hands ... Trust me I am training 40 Iraqi bodyguards and the demand is getting serious. Listen Josh, EVERYONE outside of the Green Zone, Iraqis Westerners and Americans alike refer to the CPA and the US Army as "The AMERICANS" as if they were a third-party nation.
No one sees them as part of the solution anymore but as a foreign entity that does as it likes and pisses everybody off in the process. The thinking in the usually suspicious Iraqi mind is that this is still being staged to seize control of their oil... Well that's been done but now they think the domestic troubles like the bad electricity (3 hours on, three hours off) the major Dysentery outbreak in the tap water this week (all of us have been ill due to our cooks washing with tap water) and the inability to drive down the street without having a Hummvee point rifles at you (or worse yet explode next to you) is punishment or, more accurately, incompetence.
Abu Ghuraib was always part of their belief that the Bush Administration would "do anything" to defeat the Baathists. One guy said "you hired the Baathist Intelligence back and now you are doing as they are doing." Well that's not exactly true. We're more open about it. But as long as we are seen as occupiers we will never earn the trust of the Iraqi people. Turning over in a month to a new set of lackeys (here they call them Lougies ... Iraqi Arabic for "fawning Brown-noser") and asking them to invite us to stay and continue our ways is absolutely laughed at.
Q2. I’ve heard rumors that the DOD had instructed Halliburton or other contractors to cut off internet access to troops, at least for all but non-essential stuff. Heard anything about that?
A2: No, Internet seems to be humming along ... Now, at some of the more remote field camps they may have them off but not at the CPA. That place would shut down without Internet because they NEVER leave the Green Zone.
Q3. Was any of the AbuG stuff known on the street, as it were? Was this stuff an open secret, even if people hadn't seen the pics?
A3: As I said above, it was an open secret because guys were being released and complaining ... The ICRC was inspecting the place and dropping hints. Al Jazeera had done pieces on torture there and had interviewed people. Here in Iraq it was an anecdotal-evidence-supported ASSUMPTION. Until confirmed by photos we didn't know the depth of it. Remember, they chose a really high ranking General (Taguba) to documented this, which means it burned hot in the craw at Central Command when they found out it was true. Taguba showing up meant that they probably intended to court martial or dismiss the General in charge. Also it is no secret that ON THE STREET the US Army was and remains openly kicking Iraqi asses whenever and wherever they want to.
About the Army - Man, it hurts my heart to write this about an institution I dearly love but this army is completely dysfunctional, angry and is near losing its honor. We are back to the Army of 1968. I knew we were finished when I had a soldier point his Squad Automatic Weapons at me and my bodyguard detail for driving down the street when he decided he would cross the street in the middle of rush hour traffic (which was moving at about 70 MPH) ... He made it clear to any and all that he was preparing to shoot drivers who did not stop for his jaunt because speeding cars are "threats."
I also once had a soldier from a squad of Florida National Guard reservists raise weapons and kick the door panel of a clearly marked CPA security vehicle (big American flag in the windshield of a $150,000 armored Land Cruiser) because they wanted us to back away from them so they could change a tire ... as far as they were concerned WE (non-soldiers) were equally the enemy as any Iraqi.
Unlike the wars of the past 20 years where the Army encouraged (needed) soldiers, NGOs, allies and civil organizations to work together to resolve matters and return to normal society, the US Forces only trust themselves here and that means they set their own limits and tolerances. Abu Ghuraib are good examples of that limit. I told a Journalist the other day that these kids here are being told that they are chasing Al Qaeda in the War on Terrorism so they think everyone at Abu Ghuraib had something to do with 9/11. So they were encouraged to make them pay. These kids thought they were going to be honored for hunting terrorists.
Best, [Name Suppressed]
Monday, May 17, 2004
i was re-reading the pentagon denial posted a few links below. it concerns the new yorker piece that uncovered rumsfeld's greenlight to the interrogation methods which ended up being used and documented in iraq.
The official condemnation statement (As of now) reads:
"Assertions apparently being made in the latest New Yorker article on Abu Ghraib and the abuse of Iraqi detainees are outlandish, conspiratorial, and filled with error and anonymous conjecture."
notice there wasn't an actual denial in there? they said the report had errors in it and attacked the nature of the report but did not deny the root accusaions.
Mr. Mooch says he's keeping his eyes open for you on this one dear readers.
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Word on the Street...
I understand that Bush has now spent $90 Million in campaign funds so far and he's doing none too well as a result. Meanwhile, Kerry is still raising much needd money. Despite spending nearly half of it, Bush has raised $200 Million thus far. if you care about the direction of our country go donate to the Kerry Campaign now. you can toss as little as five bucks if you like. every bit helps.
We Saw Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Last Night
La Federala and I went to see a GREAT Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Concert last night. every song was GREAT and all of their hits sounded remarkably crisp when performed live. I couldn't have had a better show. afterwards, La Federala and i put down the top on the Demobile and enjoyed the starry night on the drive home.
*This was La Federala's first visit to the Reservation Casino.
*She doesn't like the constant ding-ing of the slots (but that's ok, i like craps!)
*The drummer had this odd clear, plexi-glass screen between him and the audience. sound control? i dunno.
*I was asked no less than 5 times if i was in the band. 2 times i was asked if i was the new Trumpet player.
(I'm not, still an attorney and a political consultant, heh)
US guards 'filmed beatings' at terror camp
And the Hits just keep on coming:
"Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp, an investigation by The Observer has revealed."
Isn't this the place where Bush wants to keep US citizens w/o accusing them of a crime or granting them the right to an attorney? right. The supreme court better be watching this as they are deciding these cases. I would certainly condone arresting criminals, but our constitution doesn't allow you to hold someone without due process. Is there greater betrayal of our American values than here, in the disregarding of our basic legal principles? Our moral leadership in the world is continually dismantled by this accidental, part-time president.
The New Yorker
and here it is... Rumsfeld signed off on interrogation methods that are forbidden by the Geneva Convention. keep in mind this is just about the time bush administration backed us out of international treaties concerning war crimes and the courts to try war criminals.
BUT..Pentagon Denies Report's Rumsfeld Claims
NEW YORK - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the expansion of a secret program that encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners to obtain intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq, The New Yorker reported Saturday. The Defense Department strongly denied the claims made in the report.
Read both articles (they're short) and make up your mind. To me it looks like they are circling the wagons for Rumsfeld as this is could be the very orders that tie this issue to the administration and for which our soldiers may be jailed for 'doing what they were told'. at this point in the election year, the bush administration will likely try to avoid being the ones that signed off on this, regardless of the reality. That's our Buck-stops-anywhere-but-here president.
With all this in mind...
Recently i asked a Bush fan what, if anything is better today under bush. he immediately went into a rant about how Clinton wasn't so great. it's not good when his die hard supporters can't give a reason for supporting the man. I believe he's losing a lot of support out there, and the polls agree.
Bush Falls Again!
Well it looks like he's down to 42% now from more than one source.
The consistent point is that the public is losing faith with his ability to deal with our problems, including the war which he initiated. This President has been utterly unwilling to take responsiblity for any of the things that have gone wrong during his presidency. while i will grant that the president is not responsible for all our woes, he cannot preside over this many things that have gone wrong and claim none of it is his fault. This has created a real problem with Republicans that fancy themselves as the type that 'take responsibility' rather than pass on the blame. The sheer volume of what has gone wrong:
*tanding in the international community
*inability to broker international agreements with virutally any potent hot spot in the world
*Record spending (as a percentage or by the dollar).
*A war that clearly lacked planning.
*Soldiers dying more during the peace, now that "the fighting is over"
*We have a firm June 30th handover in Iraq but not the slightest idea to whom we're handing things off.
*The worst employment numbers since the great depression.
the list goes on and on, and for some reason...none of it is his fault. i'm not saying he should apologize for all the flaws of the world but for him to not acknowledge the fact that SOMEthings have gone wrong, or at least not as planned...
i don't know why i'm even talking here. the man has never had to take responsibility for any of the messes he's made in his adult, professional life (and there's been plenty)...why should it be different now?
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Does anyone know what Nick Berg was doing in Iraq? seems awfully suspicious that i've not heard yet. anyone know?
Recently Bono of U2, Howard Stern, and (of course) Janet Jackson have gotten the FCC in a tizzy over the violation of their (hard to pin down) standards. Stern has been fined and has had difficulty staying on the air.
Enter Sean Hannity.
on his radio show, Sean Hannity played the graphic audio of the be-heading of Nick Berg. you think the FCC will go after GOP lock-stepper on this one? likely not. i find it amazing that Bono can use the F-word and Stern can use potty humor and those somehow eclipse the actual sound of a murder taking place. maybe if stern fawned over Bush he'd be in better shape.
Shootout at Troy
I was furious to find that the ONE film i wanted to see at the theatre this year (Kill Bill, Vol. 2) just went off at our local theaters today. as a consolation, i went to see Troy.
Homer's The Iliad is one of my favorite works, so i was a bit excited about this movie. It looked good and was pretty exciting. some of the scenes were down right remarkable and I enjoy Brad Pitt's acting, so i give it a B+/A-. go see it before you see Van Helsing (for god's sake).
Upon leaving the theatre in a local suburb (Tinsletown) we had a turn for the worse. some pedestrians were holding me up on my way through the parking lot. then some cars stopped so that the drivers could chit chat. at this point i got a little annoyed. as i finally get to move, i hear 2 distinct POPS and people are running. They were gunshots. right there in the parking lot of a city where the residents LOVE to talk about how bad Jackson is and how great the suburbs are.
well, if i hadn't had those hold-ups in traffic, i would have been right where the shooters were. luckily i was about 50 yards away.
The shots were somewhat unimpressive in their volume, which i found completely curious. perhaps stupidly, they inspired no need to dash for cover, but i did want to move my car to the other side of the parking lot and call the cops (which i did).
Recently, some kids shot a gun in a mall in the 'bad side of town' and there was a storm of bad press. TONS of comments from people i know about how bad that part of town is.
I'm not trying to say the city has no crime worries, but i've been talking to some people in the print news media lately about crime. In jackson we have an incredible arrest rate for crimes committed, but you never hear that in the press. in the suburbs you rarely hear about crime at all. Someone recently pointed out what's really going on.
IF crime happens in the city, we hear all about it occurring, but never about the subsequent arrests, etc. leaving one to think Jackson is a war zone.
now, if a crime occurs in the suburbs, good luck hearing about it. the press doesn't really put much coverage on crimes committed, but instead they cover any Busts or arrests made by local law enforcement. This means you only hear about crimes SOLVED rather than crimes COMMITTED.
you'd think that the city only has unsolved crimes, and the suburbs' only have criminals which have all been caught! some people have a vested interest in this perception. tonight i lived the reality. so how do i feel? unsafe? nah. people have guns EVERYWHERE. that won't make me feel unsafe. i'm going back for a matinee tomorrow.
Friday, May 14, 2004
Morning After Pill (update)
As i understand it, the FDA's expert panel which reviewed this drug voted 23-4 to allow its sale over the counter. The FDA then ruled against it, denying access to the drug. In the race between politics and science...it's easy to pick a winner!
Cocktail: Gin Gimlet
"We sat in a corner of the bar at Victor's and drank gimlets. "They don't know how to make them here,' he said. 'What they call a gimlet is just some lime or lemon juice and gin with a dash of sugar and bitters. A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow.'"
-- From The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (1953)
This is how Gorj. likes his. I go Gin 2 to 1 against the Roses Lime Juice...that's if i'm making one for you. in mine you'll find slightly less Roses.
Powell says Bush was 'informed' of Red Cross concerns
As written before, the main question is 'What did rummy know and when did he know it?' second is 'when did you tell the president?'
As you may recall, the International Red Cross made warnings about these crimes going on all through the fall of last year. As a general rule, most countries will let the Int'l Red Cross in because they do well respected reports and keep them private so the country can deal with the problems w/o the PR battles on top of it. they usually only go public with abuses when it seems the offending government is refusing to do anything about the situation.
As you may know, the abuses were first brought to light by the International Red Cross because of our in-action.
It's been made to look as if the President was just coming to know about these abuses...but not so fast!
Seems Colin Powell spills the beans:
"we kept the president informed of the concerns that were raised by the ICRC and other international organizations as part of my regular briefings of the president, and advised him that we had to follow these issues, and when we got notes sent to us or reports sent to us ... we had to respond to them, and the president certainly made it clear that that’s what he expected us to do."
If that's so, why do we deal with it NOW after it hits the press?
Bush Ratings Fall Amid Iraq Woes
Bush is at 44%.
can we see the 30's?
33% were satisfied when asked about our nation's direction
61% were dissatisfied. (Pew Poll, see the Times Link below)
something bad would have to happen again. Zogby pollsters have stated that no president has won re-election being under 50% at this point in an election year. to that, i say that this president is like no other and we can toss those numbers. he has done an extra-ordinary job of dividing our nation and galvanizing those on his side...beyond all reason and expectation.
someone else may have a better memory than me, but i can't recall the president having a good news week since the beginning of the year.
the Times reports:
Mr. Bush's job-approval numbers have sunk to all-time lows, with a majority of Americans now saying, for the first time, that the invasion of Iraq was not worth the mounting cost. For the first time since the war began, a majority of respondents in the Gallup poll, 54 percent, said it was not worth going to war in Iraq; 44 percent said it was worth it.
well...you know what they say about wars...don't get one without a reason (made-up, after the fact reasons don't count).
He goes on to say:
"We're being tested,People are testing our mettle. And I will not yield to the whims of the few."
You can see he doesn't like getting off script. this prisoner deal just messed up his planned speech and we're reduced to nonsensical bush-speak. just who is he talking about? our soldiers? the prisoners? were they testing our ability to pull off war crimes? does this man even listen to his own words as they come out of his mouth?
he followed with:
"I won't yield because I believe so strongly in what we're doing, and I have faith in the power of freedom to spread its wings in parts of the world that desperately need freedom."
OK, again...we won't yeild what? Iraq? who brought that up? you know, even with context its rather meaningless.
SO WHERE'S KERRY?
in the polly rules of politics, you DO NOT pitch in when an opponent is slugging himself in the face. you don't wanna be NEAR by so that he can figure out he can punch you instead. let him drown himself! I'm glad Kerry is standing back. he should be using this time to raise money. THAT is what the front loaded primary was about.
Kerry Using Iraq for Politics?
Now, let me get this straight. Bush/Cheney Campaign Chair Marc Racicot is telling reports that Kerry is using Iraq for his own political gain?
Our whole war was based as much about changing the subject from the horrible economy as it was about terrorism. its about changing the subject for politics.
General Questions US Leadership
i'm piggy-backing some news i've seen elsewhere for my own site since i've been playing catch-up after being out for a while. Thanks |span|.
something isn't going right, if you were wondering...
A senior general at the Pentagon tells the Washington Post he believes the United States is on the path to defeat – and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his advisers are to blame.
“The current OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] refused to listen or adhere to military advice,” the general said on the condition his name not be used, in part out of fear of punishment. “It is doubtful we can go on much longer like this,” he added. “The American people may not stand for it - and they should not.”
War tab swamps Bush's estimate--Spending projection: $150 billion by 2005
Here's how it works:
*Bush asks for $$ for Iraq (when by all accounts, he knows is too little. remember he asked for $87 Billion and THEN was secretly transfering funds from Afganistan to Iraq). This makes it easier (?) to swallow.
*WHOOPS! we DO need more money! how about that?
*Ask for MORE money and don't tell what its for, and demand no accountability.
*If anyone questions you, accuse them of being against our troops.
its just that easy!
from the top article:
As a measure of the Bush administration’s priorities in the war on terrorism, it has spent about $3 in Iraq for every $1 committed to homeland security, experts say.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
COMMENTS PART 2
I'm sorry my comments section has a log-in. i'm working to fix that, but to avoid it, you can call yourself anonymous and just sign off in the body of the post. again. sorry for the trouble.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Presidential push fails to quell GOP fear of Patriot Act
According to the Hill, the President's attempts to seize the natural liberties of American citizenship have hit some snags:
"A group of libertarian-minded Republicans in Congress is blocking President Bush's effort to strengthen domestic counterterrorism laws and reauthorize the USA Patriot Act, which the president has made one of his top domestic priorities this year. "
The South Shall Matter Again?
As reported by The Hotline:
In certain moments of candor, and later regret, we've heard Dem candidates and strategists proclaim that their party doesn't need to win in the South in order to win the WH. While mathematically true, it's never a good idea to take an entire region off the table. And John Kerry's recent travel schedule (KY, FL, AR) and ad buys (in LA) suggest his campaign certainly hasn't.
Smokin': The strategy may be more than the feint some GOPers see it as. In KY yesterday, Kerry made it a point to talk about his support for a federal buyout of tobacco quotas. (#7) It's something that's popular with tobacco-state framers and politicians alike and an issue where Pres. Bush recently ran afoul of them by voicing his opposition.
Trade Ins: In the Carolinas, Bush faces continued problems on trade even within his own party, as pointed out again in the Wall Street Journal. (#3) With FL in the mix, the Kerry campaign has one solid battleground in the South, with sudden openings elsewhere in the region.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
My comments section will be back up asap.
La Federala and I had a nice night with fish and a Movie. we saw Van Helsing which was exceedingly average. a solid C. maybe a good summer matinee. the 2 lead actors were good, but the rest of the cast was borderline corny in some parts and just lame in others.
it was interesting to see all the different 'horror' characters in one movie but the homages were at times decent. in the opening Frankenstien scene, they follow the sequence shot for shot. and there is a nice, small book reference i won't list here.
Supposedly this film was orininally planned years earlier as a sequal to the Bram Stoker- Dracula movie with Anthony Hopkins reprising his role.
2 QUICK BITES:
*The New York Times reported that CACI International, the employer of one of the accused torturers in Iraq, also sells ethics training tapes to the Bush Administration.
*Dick Cheney was quoted as saying: "Don Rumsfeld is the best secretary of defense the United States has ever had...People ought to let him do his job." [New York Times] Well i partially agree. he SHOULD get to doing his job!
Bush Views More Photos
WASHINGTON — President Bush, making an unusual visit to the Pentagon on Monday, viewed still-secret photographs of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners and said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was doing "a superb job" for which the nation owes him "a debt of gratitude."
*Because of him our troop strength is below what is needed according to virtually every expert (in the field or not).
*Our Death toll is greater after we 'won' than before.
*Our troops were found to be committing War Crimes including: Rape, Child Molestation, Physical Torture, and Mental Torture.
*When asked when he knew and when he told the president, he responded that he had no idea (see the Senate hearings last week).
*The bulk of these prisoners were people caught with dragnet sweeps and over 2/3 have been charged with no crime.
*The International Red Cross reported these findings privately to the leadership last year and nothing was done.
*He (with the President) has been incapable of sustaining any substantive international support.
*He handed the Fallujah situation off to one of Saddam's Republican Guard generals.
Just why do we owe him this gratitude? He has been wrong on virtually every tactical aspect of Iraq aside fromt he 2 weeks it took to take the nation. we will be in Iraq for years. we need someone that's right for more than 2 weeks. SORRY RUMMY...you don't get my gratitude.
In the context of these events, our nation looks even worse in the eyes of the world because of what we did before going to war. the same US leaders that are responsible for our nation also spent the last few years making very specific decisions opt out of the various international conventions, organizations, and rules regarding the treatment of prisoners which were designed to keep such things from happening. even the agreements we helped to design (the geneva convention) has been disregarded.
Monday, May 10, 2004
Wanna know why Rumsfeld is taking so much heat right now?
Outside of the fact that he is part of the leadership, as secretary of defense, Rumsfeld would not answer some of the most simple questions regarding the Abuse of Prisoners. want some examples? how about some easy ones...
* Who was in charge of the Abu Ghraib interrogations? This was asked by GOP Senator John McCain. Rumsfeld wouldn't give an answer saying that there was an investigation underway. here's the exchange:
"No, Secretary Rumsfeld, in all due respect, you've got to answer this question, and it could be satisfied with a phone call," McCain said. "This is a pretty simple, straightforward question. Who was in charge of the interrogations?"
One has to wonder just what Rumsfeld thought he'd be DOING there in the hearing if he did not have such basic, knowable information as this.
* When did you learn about the Prisoner abuse,and when did he tell the President?
Mr. Mooch and I will be remodelling soon. stay tuned for a better looking site (less like M*A*S*H on the internet) and maybe even pictures.
The Worst is Yet to Come...and What it Means
MSNBC Reports that there are worse images to come out of the US prisons in Iraq. Beyond beatings and torture there seems to have been a variety of rapes, heterosexual and homosexual (sometimes involving children)--have all been documented by their perpetrators. For the most part, there have been two justifications for these crimes (and make no mistake, these are war crimes according to our own rules).
*They (U.S. Soldiers) weren't properly trained in how to deal with such prisoners.
*They (all together now...) "were only following orders".
The first reason is not worth a wasted breath. no one needs training to know there is something wrong with humiliation, torture, and rape. The second reason seems much more plausible.
It is known and accepted that prisoners with intelligence will often be tortured until they reveal that intelligence. It is something that most every country has done and will continue to do. i am not so naive as to believe there is no need for this sort of thing, but this does not make it any more pleasant or any more legal. We have agreed with all other nations to abide by certain rules of conduct and it seems that some were asked to break these rules.
I have grave reservations about the private companies that have been hired to work with the CIA and Military Intelligence to interrogate prisoners. Just WHO are these people? what sort of company is in the business of doing THIS? i am deeply concerned about the accountability of such people, and it seems these reservations are not unfounded.
Honor for Dr. King Splits Florida City, and Faces Reversal
This always amazes me. you can tell how much Martain Luther King is still hated when there is this kind of uproar over naming a street after him.
you know, at the end of my street there's one called "Greymont" and i think that is totally bogus. It's clearly "Linden Place". I think i'm going to Protest the City Council until this outrage is corrected!!
Who's with me!?!
The New York Times > National > Honor for Dr. King Splits Florida City, and Faces Reversal
This always amazes me. you can tell how much Martain Luther King is still hated when there is this kind of uproar over naming a street after him.
you know, at the end of my street there's one called "Greymont" and i think that is totally bogus. It's clearly "Linden Place". I think i'm going to Protest the City Council until this outrage is corrected!!
Who's with me!?!
Friday, May 07, 2004
Why we’re in Iraq
By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS (Senator, SC)
Guest columnist (republished here)
With 760 dead in Iraq and more than 3,000 maimed for life, folks continue to argue over why we are in Iraq — and how to get out.
Now everyone knows what was not the cause of this war. Even President Bush acknowledges that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Listing the 45 countries where al Qaeda was operating on Sept. 11 (70 cells in the United States), the State Department did not list Iraq.
Richard Clarke, in Against All Enemies, tells how the United States had not received any threat of terrorism for 10 years from Saddam at the time of our invasion. On page 231, John McLaughlin of the CIA verifies this to Paul Wolfowitz. In 1993 President Clinton responded to Saddam’s attempt on the life of President George Herbert Walker Bush by putting a missile down Saddam’s intelligence headquarters in Baghdad. Not a big kill, but Saddam got the message: Monkey around with the United States and a missile lands on his head.
Of course there were no weapons of mass destruction. Israel’s intelligence, Mossad, knows what’s going on in Iraq. It is the best. It has to know; Israel’s survival depends on knowing. Israel long since would have taken us to the weapons of mass destruction if there were any, or if they had been removed. With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush’s policy to secure Israel.
Led by Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Charles Krauthammer, for years there has been a domino school of thought that the way to guarantee Israel’s security is to spread democracy in the area. Wolfowitz wrote: “The United States may not be able to lead countries through the door of democracy, but where that door is locked shut by a totalitarian deadbolt, American power may be the only way to open it up.” And on another occasion: Iraq as “the first Arab democracy... would cast a very large shadow, starting with Syria and Iran but across the whole Arab world.”
Three weeks before invasion President Bush stated: “A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example for freedom for other nations in the region.”
Every president since 1947 has made a futile attempt to help Israel negotiate peace. But no leadership has surfaced among the Palestinians that can make a binding agreement. President Bush realized his chances at negotiation were no better. He came to office imbued with one thought — re-election. Bush felt tax cuts would hold his crowd together and spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats.
You don’t come to town and announce your Israel policy is to invade Iraq. But George W. Bush, as stated by former Secretary Paul O’Neill and others, started laying the groundwork to invade Iraq days after inauguration. And, without any Iraq connection to 9/11, within weeks he had the Pentagon outlining a plan to invade Iraq. He was determined.
President Bush thought taking Iraq would be easy. Wolfowitz said it would take only seven days. Cheney believed we would be greeted as liberators. But Cheney’s man, Ahmed Chalabi, made a mess of the de-Baathification of Iraq by dismissing Republican Guard leadership and Sunni leaders, who soon joined with the insurgents.
Worst of all, we tried to secure Iraq with too few troops. In 1966 in South Vietnam with a population of 16.5 million, Gen. William C. Westmoreland with 535,000 U.S. troops was still asking for more. In Iraq with a population of 24.6 million, Gen. John Abizaid with only 135,000 troops can barely secure the troops, much less the country. If the troops are there to fight, they are too few. If there to die, they are too many.
To secure Iraq we need more troops — at least 100,000 more. The only way to get the United Nations back in Iraq is to make the country secure. Once back, the French, Germans and others will join with the United Nations to take over.
With President Bush’s domino policy in the Mideast gone awry, he keeps shouting “War on Terror.” Terrorism is a method, not a war. We don’t call the Crimean War, with the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Cavalry War. Or World War II the Blitzkrieg War. There is terrorism in Ireland against the Brits. There is terrorism in India and in Pakistan. In the Mideast, terrorism is a separate problem to be defeated by diplomacy and negotiation, not militarily. Here, might does not make right — right makes might. Acting militarily, we have created more terrorism than we have eliminated.
Mr. Hollings is the senior senator from South Carolina.
U.S. Rules Morning-After Pill Can't Be Sold Over the Counter
Despite a multi year history of safety around the globe,
Drug regulators were concerned about whether young girls would be able to use a morning-after pill over the counter safely.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Of Human Disgust...
This is the sort of thing they put into a movie to establish how awful the villan is. Its the kinda thing they put in movies so that when the bad guy gets killed, you feel ok with it...pleased even.
The problem is, the people doing this are our soldiers, and the ones that will likely die will not be these terrible people. they will be the soldier that happens to be caught by an angry Iraqi. our good soldiers will be the ones recieving the wrath that results from this sort of behaviour.
it makes me sad that people would even do such a thing.
it makes me worried about the others that may pay this with their lives.
it makes me angry that our president refuses to issue an apology to these people.
this sort of thing should hang around the neck of these soldiers for the rest of their lives.
from the AP:
U.S. soldiers who detained an elderly Iraqi woman last year placed a harness on her, made her crawl on all fours and rode her like a donkey, Prime Minister Tony Blair's personal human rights envoy to Iraq said Wednesday. The envoy, legislator Ann Clwyd, said she had investigated the claims of the woman in her 70s and believed they were true."
"She was held for about six weeks without charge," the envoy told Wednesday's Evening Standard newspaper. "During that time she was insulted and told she was a donkey. A harness was put on her, and an American rode on her back."
Clwyd said the woman has recovered physically but remains traumatized.
"I am satisfied the case has now been resolved satisfactorily," the envoy told British Broadcasting Corp. radio Wednesday. "She got a visit last week from the authorities, and she is about to have her papers and jewelry returned to her."
That's not a resolution. that's letting her live like a normal human being. As you read about all these things that have been happening remember that this is May and ALL of these incidents were happening in 2003. these aren't recent. its just getting to the point where someone in charge is finally taking notice.
Just take a moment and think about how you would feel if this were being done to our soldiers...or worse. These criminals may have just opened that door.