Saturday, September 02, 2006

Death Squads Behind Spike in Iraq Killings

When did the death squads start?

Was it while Negroponte was in Iraq?

I seem to remember that he knows quite a bit about death squads, especially when it comes to looking the other way

ABC News: Death Squads Behind Spike in Iraq Killings:

Sept. 1, 2006 - Sectarian violence in Iraq has become the 'core conflict' in Iraq and has created a security situation American military commanders believe is more complex than any they have faced at any time since the U.S. invasion in 2003, a sober Pentagon report released today says.

Death squads, both Shiite and Sunni, 'locked in mutually reinforcing cycles of sectarian strife,' have been the cause of most of the rise in violence, according to the the most recent of the congressionally mandated reports that are released every three months and provide the Pentagon's assessment of the ongoing situation in Iraq.

'It's a pretty sober report this time, the last quarter has been rough,' Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman said.
He noted that the spikes in violence and its sectarian focus are 'particularly acute and disturbing.'

FBI Role in Terror Probe Questioned

Yes, and as more information emerges out of London, we might find that all the terrorists were part of the same cell, along with the guy who planned to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blow torch.

FBI Role in Terror Probe Questioned:

But court records released since then suggest that what Gonzales described as a 'deadly plot' was virtually the pipe dream of a few men with almost no ability to pull it off on their own. The suspects have raised questions in court about the FBI informants' role in keeping the plan alive.

The plot featured self-proclaimed militant religious leaders who referred to themselves as kings, talked of establishing their own nation inside the United States, called their headquarters an embassy and discussed plans to train their recruits to use bows and arrows. One of their quixotic notions was to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower.

Poll: Signs of Doubt Cloud War on Terror

There should be doubts. Major doubts!

Where is bin Laden?

Where is that madman al Zawahiri?

Where is the anthrax missive mailer?

Who is running our ports?

Why aren't "nukular" plants more secure and chemical plants?

Why is DHS a freakin' pork factory?

Why are gas prices higher than ever and where are the alternatives.

If we are so upset about the possibilty of a bioweapons attack, why isn't everyone insured?

Oh, and what the hell are we doing in Iraq, except making everything worse, to the tune of billions?

Poll: Signs of Doubt Cloud War on Terror:

WASHINGTON -- Doubts about the war on terrorism are growing. Most people worry that the cost in blood and money may be too high, and they don't think al-Qaida kingpin Osama bin Laden will ever be caught, an AP-Ipsos poll found.

Five years after the attacks of Sept. 11, fully one-third of Americans think the terrorists may be winning, the poll suggests. Worries fed by the war in Iraq have spilled over into the broader campaign against terrorists who directly target the U.S.

Bomb hits oil pipeline south of Baghdad - Yahoo! News

There goes Cheney's oil!

Bomb hits oil pipeline south of Baghdad - Yahoo! News:

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - A bomb targeting an oil pipeline south of Baghdad exploded Friday, sparking a fire and cutting supply to a major electricity station, but causing no casualties, police said.

The bombed pipeline was on the outskirts of Musayyib, about 40 miles south of Baghdad, police Col. Salah Salman Mudir said.

The pipeline feeds Musayyib's electricity station, which provides power to the cities of Karbala, Najaf, Hillah and Diwaniyah, he said.

The damage will lead to longer power cuts in the cities, said Ahmed Hassan, the chief engineer of the Babil province electricity department. He said the power supply would now be cut for six-hour stretches and be turned on for two hours, rather than the previous four hours off and two hours on.
'If this pipeline is not fixed within three days, the hours of power cuts will be increased,' he added.

Iraqis have faced severe fuel shortages since Saddam Hussein's 2003 ouster in a U.S.-led invasion, and insurgents have frequently targeted pipelines and oil refineries.

AWOL soldier surrenders 19 months later

We should be keeping up with this young man.

AP Wire 08/31/2006 AWOL soldier surrenders 19 months later:

KILLEEN, Texas - A year and a half after going AWOL before his second deployment to Iraq, a soldier surrendered at Fort Hood on Thursday with a dozen war protesters by his side.

Army Spc. Mark Wilkerson said he was tired of running and sought help from Cindy Sheehan's protest camp in nearby Crawford, which helps educate soldiers about their rights as war resisters.

'I just could not in good conscience go back to a war I felt was wrong,' Wilkerson, 22, of Colorado Springs, Colo., said at Sheehan's camp before the 40-mile trip to the post near Killeen where he had been stationed.

After the group arrived, Wilkerson spoke briefly with two military officials near the visitors' center, talked to the news media, hugged his supporters who wiped away tears, then walked toward the post.

Wilkerson will not be confined to a cell or other facility when he returns to his unit, said Maj. Joe Edstrom of the post's public affairs office. He said he did not know if Wilkerson will be restricted to the post or what punishment he faces, but said his company commander will decide.

'He's back in the United States Army as a soldier again,' Edstrom said.

Wilkerson, who said he never left the country but won't reveal where he was, heard about Sheehan's efforts to help war resisters after he already decided to surrender. He is the first absent-without-leave soldier to come forward as part of her group.

'It's amazingly scary to do what he's doing,' said Sheehan, who did not travel to Killeen on Thursday. 'He has all of our support, but when he gets to Fort Hood, he's going to be by himself.'

Ohio GOPer cannot defend Bush; Rumsfeld should go


He should go.

He should to prison, right along with Bush and Cheney

The Columbus Dispatch - Local/State:

Like many Republicans seeking re-election this year, U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi is distancing himself from President Bush.
Tiberi, of Genoa Township, said yesterday that he does not support Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and thinks new leadership is needed at the Pentagon. He also fired some shots at Bush.

'I can't defend how the president laid out the need for (going to war in Iraq). I don't support Rumsfeld,' Tiberi said.

The comments from the three-term congressman came during a meeting before the Dispatch editorial board with challenger Bob Shamansky, whose spokesman revealed that the Bexley Democrat has committed more than $1 million of his own money to the race.

Wrecking Patrick Fitzgerald?

Is Fitz about to drop a legal bomb on the W.H.?

Dare we hope?

NO QUARTER: Wrecking Patrick Fitzgerald?:

Looks like Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney charged with investigating the leak of that identified Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA officer, has hit a real nerve and is on the verge of dropping a new legal bomb on the Bush Administration. How else to explain the sudden surge of criticism directed against Mr. Fitzgerald? A story in today's New York Times by David Johnston is the latest salvo in what looks like a coordinated assault on the steely-eyed prosecutor. Plameologist EmptyWheel has a terrific post at The Next Hurrah dissecting Johnston's shoddy attempt at journalism. His piece, at best, is speculative analysis. Unfortunately, it is uninformed analysis.

Now, I'm up front about my bias in this case. Valerie Wilson is an old friend and colleague who was an excellent case officer until Robert Novak, citing Bush Administration sources, flagged her as a CIA employee. Until that day in July 2003, her husband and her friends (who were witting of her true employment status) protected her cover. She was in the process of shifting from 'non-official cover' status to 'official cover'. Both types of cover are protected under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

Iran offers to back Lebanon cease-fire

Watch the White House ignore this....

Iran offers to back Lebanon cease-fire - Yahoo! News:

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran offered to help support the cease-fire in Lebanon in talks Saturday with U.N Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and insisted that diplomacy is the only way to resolve Tehran's nuclear dispute with the West.

The talks came two days after Iran defied a U.N. deadline to halt uranium enrichment, opening the door to consideration of sanctions to reinforce Western demands that the Islamic republic rein in its nuclear program and allay suspicions it is working on atomic weapons.

Before the Security Council discusses the issue, the European Union is taking another stab at diplomacy this week, and Annan said before arriving that he hoped sanctions could be avoided so as to keep from adding to tensions in 'a region already subjected to a great stress.'

The tone from Annan's first meetings in Tehran was positive. Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, described his talks with the U.N. chief as 'constructive' and said 'both sides agreed that problems should be solved through negotiations.'

The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens


The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens (Paperback):

In The Impeachment of George W. Bush, Holtzman and her coauthor, acclaimed journalist Cynthia L. Cooper, have written a clear, lucid and damning legal brief that reveals that the 43rd President of the United States of America has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

This book focuses on four articles of impeachment: The Offense of Wiretapping Surveillance in Defiance of the Law; the Offence of Lying and Inducing America to Support a War; The Offense of Reckless Indifference to the Lives and Welfare of American Troops; The Offense of Torture in Violation of U.S. Laws and Treaties. It also provides an invaluable guide to how citizens can get involved in campaigning for impeachment, as well as an important historical analysis of impeachments past. The publication of this book is a summons to action in this process.'

GOP Advantage On Security Evaporating | TPMCafe

The GOP has done nothing in the way of HMS.

They have done everything they can to stir up more danger in the world.

Where is bin Laden, al Zawahiri and the athrax missive sender.

GOP Advantage On Security Evaporating TPMCafe:

In the 2002 midterm congressional campaigns, after Sept. 11 and before the Iraq invasion, Mr. Bush used Senate Democrats' opposition to legislation creating the Homeland Security Department to question his foes' credentials on national security...Republicans defied the traditional pattern of midterm losses for the president's party, restoring their Senate majority to an enlarged 55-45 margin.

This year looks to be different. Recent polls and maneuverings in close congressional contests suggest some reasons the security issue may not help Republicans as much this year.

Most simply put, time has worn the public's patience on Iraq -- and with it the Republicans' edge on security issues. With Democrats noting that the war soon will exceed the length of U.S. involvement in World War II, and with Iraq on the verge of sectarian civil war, the unpopularity of the war has become the year's central issue. Not since March 2004 has a Journal/NBC poll shown that a majority believed the Iraq invasion was worth the cost and casualties. Now polls consistently show a majority thinking the war was a mistake. Majorities favor troop reductions, though not immediate withdrawal. Two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Mr. Bush's handling of foreign policy, and of Iraq specifically...

Rocky Anderson kicks Bush in the teeth

Where has this man been all our lives?

Salt Lake Tribune - Transcript of Mayor Rocky Anderson's speech:

A patriot is a person who loves his or her country.
Who among you loves your country so much that you have come here today to raise your voice out of deep concern for our nation - and for our world?

And who among you loves your country so much that you insist that our nation's leaders tell us the truth?

Let's hear it: 'Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!'

Let no one deny we are patriots. We love our country, we hold dear the values upon which our nation was founded, and we are distressed at what our President, his administration, and our Congress are doing to, and in the name of, our great nation.

Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.

Blatantly Boasting War Profiteers

These jackasses should be tried right along with the war criminals in the White House, when the time comes.

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Blatantly Boasting War Profiteers:

Like Sen. George 'macaca' Allen in a crowd of white Virginia Republicans and Rep. Katherine 'God chooses our rulers' Harris with a reporter for a Baptist newspaper, defense executives tend to let their hair down in conversations with investment analysts.

In their glossy annual reports, military contractors are typically modest about how much loot they've gotten from a bloody and increasingly unpopular 'War on Terror.' But read the transcript of virtually any Q&A session with Wall Street and the truth comes out. While millions are suffering from the human and economic costs of the Iraq war, the violence has been very good for the bottom lines of military contractors and their top executives.

The Clash of Civilizations Doesn't Exist... Yet


AlterNet: War on Iraq: The Clash of Civilizations Doesn't Exist... Yet:

The neocons who are pushing a Clash of Civilizations are mirror-images of the terrorists that inspire their hyperbolic fear -- they are just as irrational and just as great a threat to our security.

Rumsfeld reaches out to Democrats

Eff you, Rummy.

You have insulted us for the last damn time with impunity.

Just keep up your demented ranting and see what happens, you stupid old fool.

Rumsfeld reaches out to Democrats - Yahoo! News:

Senate Democrats were expected to meet Wednesday to discuss several issues, including whether they will try to force a vote of no confidence on Rumsfeld. Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., has vowed to push legislation next week calling for Rumsfeld to resign.

'Nothing can change the fact that Secretary Rumsfeld insulted the patriotism of the American people, and he needs to be held accountable for it,' Boxer said Friday.

Bin Laden in cold-case files

He is probably making a new video for Karl Rove.

The midterm elections aren't looking so good for the GOP.

New York Daily News - Breaking News:

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN BORDER (AP) -- The al-Qaida terror camps are gone from Afghanistan, but the enigma of Osama bin Laden still hangs over these lawless borderlands where tens of thousands of U.S. and Pakistani troops have spent nearly five years searching for him.

Villagers say the CIA missed by only a few miles when it targeted bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, with a missile strike in January. Then in May, U.S. Special Forces arrested one of al-Zawahri's closest aides, suggesting the trail has not gone entirely cold.

As for bin Laden himself? He may be nearby. Yet hopes of cornering the Saudi-born al-Qaida leader seem distant as ever. The last time authorities said they were close to getting him was in 2004, and in hindsight those statements seem more hope than fact.

There Is Silence in the Streets; Where Have All the Protesters Gone? - New York Times

There have been protests; millions have protested.

Protests are no longer covered in this country.

There Is Silence in the Streets; Where Have All the Protesters Gone? - New York Times:

It was almost painful the other night to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sing about a war whose purpose Americans never really understood, started by a president who didn't tell the truth and then waged the war ineptly. And that was before they sang about Iraq.

The audience rose for Neil Young's blast at George Bush, 'Let's Impeach the President,' and sang the words displayed on a huge TV screen, even the 20-something in front of us who had been text-messaging throughout the concert. That same screen also displayed thumbnail photos of slain soldiers while a counter ran up the most recent toll. It takes longer than you might think to count to 2,600.

It was a surprisingly political moment for a rock concert in 2006. But when those four men sang their protest songs four decades ago, their lyrics echoed and personified a powerful political movement sweeping America. Now they are entertainment, something to leave behind in the concert hall.

Bush warns Iran anew on nuclear program - Yahoo! News

There he goes again. "Grave threat."

Bull shit.

There is a grave threat alright. That grave threat is to this god-awful administration and it comes from us; Americans who see the truth and do not plan to rest until that truth is used to hold these incompetent riminals accountable.

Bush warns Iran anew on nuclear program - Yahoo! News:

"SALT LAKE CITY - President Bush said Thursday that Iran has responded with defiance and delay to demands to stop enriching uranium and said 'there must be consequences' for Tehran.

Bush put the nuclear standoff with Iran in a larger context, saying the violence in Lebanon this summer makes Tehran's designs on the world stage clear. He blamed Iran for supporting the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, for helping to destabilize Iraq by sponsoring insurgents and supplying components for improvised explosive devices, and for denying basic human rights to millions of its own people.

'The world now faces a grave threat from the radical regime in Iran,' the president said. 'We know the depth of suffering that Iran's sponsorship of terrorists has brought. And we can imagine how much worse it would be if Iran were allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.'

Bush delivered his starkest threat yet to Tehran in a speech to thousands of veterans at the American Legion convention.

'There must be consequences for Iran's defiance,' he said, 'and we must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapons.'

Rove's Word Is No Longer G.O.P. Gospel

They probably never liked having to be at events with Bush's fat-frog Rasputin. anyway.

I couldn't stand being in the same room with that kind of evil all evening.

Rove�s Word Is No Longer G.O.P. Gospel - New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 - Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser, is struggling to steer the Republican Party to victory this fall at a time when he appears to have the least political authority since he came to Washington, party officials said.

Mr. Rove remains a dominant adviser to President Bush, administration officials say. But outside the White House, as President Bush's popularity has waned, and as questions have arisen among Republicans about the White House's political acumen, the party's candidates are going their own way in this difficult election season far more than they have in any other campaign Mr. Rove has overseen.

Some are disregarding Mr. Rove's advice, despite his reputation as the nation's premier strategist. They are criticizing Mr. Bush or his policies. They are avoiding public events with the president and Mr. Rove.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Republican Advantage on Issue Of National Security Erodes

It's about damn time!

Say NO, to the protection racket and yes, to finding and prosecuting international criminals. - Republican Advantage on Issue Of National Security Erodes:

In both national elections since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Bush and congressional Republicans successfully played the national-security card to win big victories against the odds. Now, with their party's control of Congress at stake, Republicans are betting on the issue again. But it may not be the trump card it used to be.

The public's patience has frayed as the Iraq war grows bloodier in its fourth year, eroding confidence in Mr. Bush's stewardship of national security. Mismanagement of the response to Hurricane Katrina contributed. Democrats, having ceded the security issue to Republicans in the past, now are on the offensive. They're attacking the administration's competence at home and abroad and fielding candidates with military experience.

The Big Picture: Moving the Goalposts: Fugly NFP

Behold! A very bad moon is a rising.

The Big Picture: Moving the Goalposts: Fugly NFP:

The Human capacity for self-delusion never ceases to amaze. If you ever hear me spouting the same sort of $%#* I heard on CNBC at 8:31am, grab me by the lapels, throw a glass of water in my face, slap me HARD across the face, and yell 'WAKE UP MAN, YOU'RE DELIRIOUS!'

How this month's NFP was labelled 'perfect' is simply beyond my ken. The only rational explanations I can think of are an unwitting influx of Psylociben or perhaps blunt head trauma. Steve Liesman was the notable exception, as he came away rather unimpressed with the data.

Let me say the nicest things I can say about NFP first: it was consistent with consensus expectations of Wall Street economists. The prior two months were revised higher, and the the unemployment rate fell slightly. Business and professional services companies' payrolls rose 26,000. Commercial construction added 17,000 (4,000 from residential!), making up for some of the losses in Home Sector (including residential building, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, contractors, etc.).

Rumsfeld's Enemy: It's Us - Early Warning

Arkin should be given a medal for this blog.

In all of the outrage displayed in the blogosphere, both pro and con the apeasement loonacy, we may have all missed Rummy's real message.

The perceived enemy of the Bush administration is anyone who disagrees with the failed Bush policy in the middle east. Rummy is from a generation in which the words he uttered were fighting words. They still are. He knew exactly what he was saying and the effect he wanted it to have.

But are we missing the real message?

I can assure you that the wingnutters are not.

Rumsfeld's Enemy: It's Us - Early Warning:

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld delivered a fire-and-brimstone speech at the American Legion's annual convention yesterday -- after acknowledging young soldiers serving in Iraq and giving the boy scouts a shout-out, the secretary wove an elaborate picture of an enemy made up of terrorists, morally misguided Westerners, disagreeable military strategists, and a cynical news media.

Rumsfeld stated there could be no appeasing the enemy and any 'any moral or intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere.'

The 'who' Rumsfeld is talking about is himself.

Rumsfeld is the 'who' that is right, and everyone who disagrees is not only wrong, but a danger to freedom.
Within minutes of the conclusion of Rumsfeld's speech yesterday, I received an e-mail from Thayer C. Scott, the secretary's speechwriter, serving up talking points.

The Defense Department then took the unusual step, usually reserved for its broadsides against Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker, of issuing a statement saying that the Associated Press coverage of Rumsfeld's Salt Lake City remarks mischaracterized them.

In Latest Push, Bush Cites Risk in Quitting Iraq - New York Times

We are again staring at the twin pillars of the gates of hell: fear and deceit.

If the American people fall for this again, those are exactly the gates we will walk through.

In Latest Push, Bush Cites Risk in Quitting Iraq - New York Times:

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 31 - President Bush said Thursday that withdrawing now from Iraq would leave Americans at risk of terrorist attacks 'in the streets of our own cities,' and he cast the struggle against Islamic extremists as the costly but necessary successor to the battles of the last century against Nazism and Communism.

Loose talk / The Bush rhetoric on Iraq is sounding desperate

We could not agree more.

This is irresponsible, crazy talk.

It had better stop. Now.

Editorial: Loose talk / The Bush rhetoric on Iraq is sounding desperate:

What would be most useful for America at this point is that its 2006 electoral campaign be waged on the basis of truths -- about its economic situation, of primary importance, as well as the current position of the United States in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. Feeding lies into the system -- with claims that advocacy of withdrawal is disloyalty, 'Islamic fascism' is the problem or the situation in the Middle East is like that in 1930s Europe -- is stupid and counterproductive to useful debate among competing candidates. It needs to stop now before it goes any further.

Arguments for war with Iran are surreal

No Shit!

It's like a horrible flashback, with Nazism thrown in for color.

The Bushites seem desperate in the extreme.

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall August 30, 2006 10:01 AM

Mexico Leftist to Create Parallel Gov't

Well, here's a thought!

Mexico Leftist to Create Parallel Gov't:

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, convinced he won't be awarded the presidency, has vowed to create a parallel leftist government and is urging Mexicans not to recognize the apparent victory of the ruling party's Felipe Calderon.
While his party lacks the seats in Congress to block legislation, Lopez Obrador can mobilize millions to pressure his conservative rival to adopt the left's agenda, or to clamp down and risk a backlash.

Both scenarios are possibilities as the former Mexico City mayor lays out plans to create his own government to rule from the streets, with the support of thousands who are already occupying protest camps throughout downtown Mexico City.

Some predict his parallel initiative, which Lopez Obrador's supporters call the 'legitimate government' , could turn those protest camps into the core of a violent revolt, especially if the government tries to shut it down.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Put on the Hip-boots. Here it comes!

Three speeches full of fear, dread, terror and outright threats by the emperor.

I can only hope that that is as far as the Bushites will go. Hope they understand that another terrorist attack will be attributed to them by over half of America

Bush links Iraq success to U.S. safety - Yahoo! News:

"NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Linking success in Iraq with the future safety of America, President Bush said Wednesday that withdrawing U.S. troops too quickly would lead to a terrorist state more dangerous than Afghanistan in the grip of the repressive Taliban regime.

Bush, who is beginning a series of speeches on Thursday to counter opposition to the war, spoke at a political fundraiser, which raised more than $1.5 million for the Tennessee GOP and Bob Corker, who faces a tough Senate race against Democratic nominee Harold Ford Jr.

If the United States leaves Iraq prematurely, Bush said, it would embolden an enemy that wants to harm Americans and shred U.S. credibility internationally.

'If we leave Iraq before the job is done, it will create a terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East, a terrorist state much more dangerous than Afghanistan was before we removed the Taliban, a terrorist state with the capacity to fund its activities because of the oil reserves of Iraq,' Bush said.

Embattled Santorum blasts Bush over visa for Ex-Iranian President

Santorum has more in common with the Iranian Mullahs than he does with liberal democracy.

The Raw Story Embattled Santorum blasts Bush over visa for Ex-Iranian President:

Embattled conservative Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) blasted the Bush Administration today for allowing a former Iranian president to visit the United States, RAW STORY has learned.

'I am outraged,' Santorum said of the administration's approval of Mohammad Khatami's request for visa. 'Mohammed Khatami is one of the chief propagandists of the Islamic Fascist regime... I believe that granting a visa to Khatami so that he can travel around the United States and mislead the American people is a mistake.'

Senate moves to give Bush more power to wiretap

Arlen Specter is a jackass, surrounded by bigger jackasses.

The Raw Story Senate moves to give Bush more power to wiretap:

A bill that expands President Bush's ability to wiretap American phones and conduct other forms of domestic surveillance will likely appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Thursday, RAW STORY has learned.
The bill, which was written by judiciary chairman Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), and which has been widely and publicly excoriated by Democratic members of the committee, contains provisions, such as the institution of program-wide warrants, and warrants that do not expire for a year, that would weaken the strict limits that currently govern the FISA courts.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was written nearly 20 years ago and offers guidelines about the legal use of wiretaps on phones inside the United States. It includes provisions for the use of courts to issue warrants if the government's case against a suspect meets legal scrutiny.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Why does the GOP hate the Military?

Brain Damaged Soldiers? Who Cares?

the stinging nettle: insights you can't ignore#115686433258101141:

... not the government, that's for sure.

More than any other war in American history, the war in Iraq is sending home young men and women who suffer from closed-head trauma. IEDs, mines, urban combat, traffic accidents: all these things can lead to head trauma, and are, in increasing numbers. As a result, an entire generation of soldiers is returning home suffering from the sometime's baffling effects of head injuries.

And your government is slashing the funding for their treatment.

Sayeth the Republican Party to America's wounded vets: 'Thanks for your service. Screw you.'

Behind the facade, a city left to rot

Until everyone forgets and the cameras move on; then, will the wealthy developers move in and create one more hideous all-American city of ugly concrete, glass and steel.

As we said a year ago, New Orleans is gone forever; our good times in that wonderful city are now just a memory, never to be re-created.

Guardian Unlimited Special reports Behind the facade, a city left to rot:

The late-night bars and jazz clubs are open in the French Quarter, as are the cafes in the elegant Garden District. One year after the worst natural disaster in US history, New Orleans is gamely giving the impression that the good times are rolling again.

But a couple of miles to the north or east, the Cajun bravura falls away like a cheap carnival mask, the streets fall quiet and the Crescent City becomes a dead zone.

These People Are Working for Us?




These People Are Working for Us? - Los Angeles Times:

IN A LITTLE MORE than 60 days, voters will choose the men and women who will represent them in Congress. There are two questions every voter should ask of each candidate.

First, if elected, do you promise to fulfill your constitutional responsibilities as a member of a separate, independent and equal branch of government?

Begat, Bothered, Bewildered

Administration FUBAR

Rozius: Maureen Dowd: Begat, Bothered, Bewildered:

Doing his stations of the Katrina cross, President Bush went for breakfast with Mayor Ray Nagin at Betsy's Pancake House.

As Mr. Bush tried to squeeze past some tightly placed tables, a waitress, Joyce Labruzzo, teased him, saying, 'Mr. President, are you going to turn your back on me?'

'No ma'am,' he replied, with a laugh and a pause for effect. 'Not again.'

It was a rare unguarded moment, showing that his towering Katrina failure is lodged somewhere in the front of his cerebral cortex, in a trip of staged, studiously happy settings, steering away from the wreckage of buildings and people so searing for anyone who loved the saucy and sauce-laden New Orleans of old.

W.'s anniversary contrition for the cameras was a more elaborate version of his famous Air Force One flyover a year ago, when he had to be shown a DVD of angry news coverage of apartheid suffering here before he belatedly and grudgingly broke off his five-week Crawford vacation.

Bush's Gruesome Nightmare in Iraq; even hospital patients aren't safe

Back to the GOP false choice:

Invasion and this godawful mess or Saddam in power.

If I were in Iraq, I think I might have preferred to wait for Saddam to die.

WP: Militias target Iraqi hospitals - Highlights -

BAGHDAD - In a city with few real refuges from sectarian violence -- not government offices, not military bases, not even mosques -- one place always emerged as a safe haven: hospitals.

So Mounthir Abbas Saud, whose right arm and jaw were ripped off when a car bomb exploded six months ago, must have thought the worst was over when he arrived at Ibn al-Nafis Hospital, a major medical center here.

Instead, it had just begun. A few days into his recovery at the facility, armed Shiite Muslim militiamen dragged the 43-year-old Sunni mason down the hallway floor, snapping intravenous needles and a breathing tube out of his body, and later riddled his body with bullets, family members said.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Richard Armitage's Role in Plame Case - Newsweek National News -

How did Cheney find out about Plame?

Richard Armitage�s Role in Plame Case - Newsweek National News -

Sept. 4, 2006 issue - In the early morning of Oct. 1, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell received an urgent phone call from his No. 2 at the State Department. Richard Armitage was clearly agitated. As recounted in a new book, 'Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War,' Armitage had been at home reading the newspaper and had come across a column by journalist Robert Novak. Months earlier, Novak had caused a huge stir when he revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq-war critic Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer. Ever since, Washington had been trying to find out who leaked the information to Novak. The columnist himself had kept quiet. But now, in a second column, Novak provided a tantalizing clue: his primary source, he wrote, was a 'senior administration official' who was 'not a partisan gunslinger.' Armitage was shaken. After reading the column, he knew immediately who the leaker was. On the phone with Powell that morning, Armitage was 'in deep distress,' says a source directly familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified because of legal sensitivities. 'I'm sure he's talking about me.'

Chevron gets kicked out of Chad

Non-payment of taxes, apparently.

The Oil companies over here just are not used to paying taxes. They don't believe in it and the little emperor won't make them.

"N'DJAMENA, Chad (AP) -- The president suspended the oil minister and two other Cabinet members who negotiated deals with two foreign oil firms that he ordered out of the central African country over a tax dispute, officials said Sunday.

President Idriss Deby suspended the three ministers on Saturday after ordering the two foreign firms - Chevron Corp. and Petronas - out of Chad for failing to pay taxes, government officials said on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Deby has accused the companies of failing to pay $450 million in taxes and said the two firms - which are part of an oil production consortium led by Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil - should immediately begin making plans to leave.
It was unclear how Chad might carry out the expulsion order, which Deby announced in a message broadcast on state-run radio Saturday. Chevron and Petronas have a skeleton staff of only three in the African country.

Iran's N-plans rely on reactor U.S. gave shah | �

Surprise, surprise...Live by the sword... blah, blah, blah.

Iran's N-plans rely on reactor U.S. gave shah �:

In the heart of Tehran stands one of Iran's most important nuclear facilities, a dome-shaped building where scientists have conducted secret experiments that could help the country build atomic bombs. It was provided to the Iranians by the United States.

The Tehran Research Reactor represents a little-known aspect of the international uproar over the country's alleged weapons program. Not only did the U.S. provide the reactor in the 1960s as part of a Cold War strategy, America also supplied the weapons-grade uranium needed to power the facility; fuel that remains in Iran and could be used to help make nuclear arms.

Katherine Harris: Congress to legislate "sin"

Or .....Cruella is batshit crazy, and it will be good for us all when she loses this senate race and none of us ever have to hear from her again.

Crooks and Liars � Katherine Harris: �a failure to elect Christians to political office will allow lawmaking bodies to �legislate sin.�:

Rep. Katherine Harris said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a 'nation of secular laws' and that a failure to elect Christians to political office will allow lawmaking bodies to 'legislate sin.' The remarks, published in the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, unleashed a torrent of criticism from political and religious officials.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said she was 'disgusted' by the comments 'and deeply disappointed in Rep. Harris personally.' Harris, Wasserman Schultz said, 'clearly shows that she does not deserve to be a Representative.'

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New GOP scare tactics!

This time it's Frank and Conyers, not Osama and Saddam.

Issues Await if Democrats Retake House - New York Times:

"WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 - As the start of the fall campaign looms and House Democrats remain within realistic reach of reclaiming the majority, party leaders are beginning to explore the delicate question of what happens if they win.