Saturday, April 28, 2007

Another Bushite Caught in Sex Scandal

Just add another one to the list of unsavory characters Bush broght wo Washington to bring back honor to the W.H.!

I may have to barf.

Bush official resigns over escort links

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer
Sat Apr 28, 8:10 AM ET

Randall Tobias, head of the Bush administration's foreign aid programs, abruptly resigned Friday after his name surfaced in an investigation into a high-priced call-girl ring, said two people in a position to know the circumstances of his departure.

It was Tobias' own decision to resign, according to one of the people, who said the issue came up only in the past day or so. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still under way.

Tobias submitted his resignation a day after he was interviewed by ABC News for an upcoming program about an alleged prostitution service run by the so-called D.C. Madam.

ABC reported on its Web site late Friday that Tobias confirmed that he had called the Pamela Martin and Associates escort service to have women come to his condo and give him massages.

More recently, Tobias told the network, he has been using a service with Central American women.

Tobias, 65, who is married, told ABC News there had been "no sex" during the women's visits to his condo. His name was on a list of clients given to ABC by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who owns the escort service and has been charged with running a prostitution ring in the nation's capital.

U.S. officials would not confirm the information. A message left on Tobias' voice mail seeking comment was not returned.

Friday evening, the State Department put out a statement announcing Tobias' resignation, saying he "informed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today that he must step down as Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator effective immediately."

"He is returning to private life for personal reasons," the statement said.

Tobias held two titles: director of U.S. foreign assistance and administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development. His rank was equivalent to deputy secretary of state.

Rice named Tobias to head the two programs in January 2006, and on Wednesday was at the White House, where President Bush praised his efforts coordinating global AIDS relief. Tobias had been the White House's coordinator for global AIDS relief before taking the USAID post.

On Wednesday, Tobias attended a luncheon at the State Department with Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes and actress Angelina Jolie, who was in Washington pushing for more U.S. education aid for developing countries.

Before joining the administration, Tobias was a director and chairman of Eli Lilly and Co., the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company.

"The lives saved and made better around the globe by Randy's work at the State Department constitute a rich legacy on which he can look back with justifiable pride," department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday.

Tobias was the second public figure identified as a customer of Palfrey's service. Palfrey recently made good on her threat to identify high-profile clients, listing in court documents a military strategist known for his "shock and awe" combat theories.

Palfrey, 50, was indicted in March by a federal grand jury on charges of running the alleged call-girl ring from her home in Vallejo, Calif. She has denied the escort service engaged in prostitution.

Palfrey claimed she has 46 pounds of phone records involving clients. Efforts to reach her late Friday were unsuccessful. Montgomery Blair Sibley, an attorney who represents Palfrey in non-criminal cases, declined to comment.

In court records, prosecutors estimate that her business, Pamela Martin and Associates, generated more than $2 million in revenue over 13 years, with more than 130 women employed
at various times to serve thousands of clients at $200 to $300 a session.

Palfrey had threatened to sell phone records that would identify 10,000 clients to pay for her criminal defense, but a federal judge ordered her not to release them. Palfrey, however, gave them to ABC News before the order took effect.

Prosecutors have accused Palfrey of trying to intimidate potential witnesses by exposing them publicly.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Firday's E-mail Dump Yields A Little More Info.

Fired U.S. prosecutor warned of 'stink'
By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer
Fri Apr 27, 7:52 PM ET

The U.S. attorney in Arkansas warned the Justice Department five months before he and seven federal prosecutors were fired that "there may be some stink about this down the road" — in part because of White House involvement.

"The White House recently called our sole Republican congressman (Boozman) and pretty much told him what they are doing with this appointment and how they are going about it," then-Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins wrote in a July 6, 2006, e-mail to Mike Battle, then-head of the Justice Department office that oversees federal prosecutors. Cummins' reference was to Rep. John Boozman (news, bio, voting record), R-Ark.

Cummins knew by then that he was going to be dismissed and replaced by a White House appointee who turned out to be Tim Griffin, a protege of Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser. His e-mail was in previously unreleased documents sent Friday by the Justice Department to the House and Senate Judiciary committees.

Cummins' prediction turned out to be correct. His firing and that of seven other U.S. attorneys over the winter created an uproar and accusations that the White House was meddling in federal law enforcement. It also has produced widespread calls for replacing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Boozman confirmed that the White House notified him last year in a voice mail of a plan to replace Cummins.

"They said, 'We're going to replace Bud Cummins with Tim Griffin. Do you see any problem with that?'" Boozman recalled in a telephone interview late Friday.

"My reply was that that would cause problems because Bud was very well respected and has served the president well," the congressman said. He said the White House did not call back.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

Supported by President Bush, Gonzales has vowed to keep serving as long as he can be effective. But after his Senate testimony last week in which he claimed a faulty memory dozens of times, Democrats and Republicans have publicly called for him to step down.

Particularly riled over the Cummins ouster was Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (news, bio, voting record), a Democrat, who made his pique clear during a meeting with Gonzales this week that the attorney general intended to be conciliatory. Pryor's chilly response to Gonzales' gesture: Resign.

Congressional investigations into the firings continued Friday. Even as Justice released the new documents containing Cummins' July 6 e-mail, House and Senate Judiciary committee aides interviewed Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, one of the few senior Justice officials who has kept his job since the clamor over the firings erupted in February.

Cummins wasn't alone in predicting the furor. Months ahead of time, Gonzales' former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, drafted a detailed plan for the firings, the last of five steps titled, "Prepare to Withstand Political Upheaval."

In his e-mail to Battle titled, "FYI," Cummins wrote that he had received a call from an unidentified aide to a Democratic member of Congress about his resignation, saying members of the Arkansas delegation "may be chapped about how it was handled."

"I was contacted for confirmation that I was being ousted to make room for another appointee," Cummins wrote.

"I politely refused to get into it with them ... but strongly urged them to not raise hell about anything on my account," Cummins wrote.

He was upfront in stating his motivation: protection for himself, in writing.

"I just wanted to let you know that a) there may be some stink about this down the road; and b) I absolutely did not instigate or provoke it," Cummins added. "Whatever else happens is entirely their doing."

He closed by enlisting Battle, who later carried out the firings.
"You are now my witness."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Media Matters Should Sue Until Hell won't Have It.

I honestly don't know why I keep postng this crap, except for the reason that I believe that people like O'Liely need to be brought down, by their own mouths. (That usually isn't all that difficult, given their hateful natures.)

Why doesn't Media Matters sue?

Bring 'em down!

O'Reilly falsely accused Media Matters of lying about Soros funding

On the April 26 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly attacked Media Matters for America, saying that "the vile Media Matters outfit is denying receiving funding from any of [progressive financier] George Soros' outfits," and claiming, "Well, that is a total lie." As evidence, O'Reilly noted that the Tides Foundation donated over $1 million to Media Matters in 2005, "[a]nd just by coincidence Soros' Open Society Institute [OSI] donated more than a million dollars to Tides in 2005." He added: "Figure it out." But O'Reilly's conclusion that Soros donated $1 million to Media Matters through the Tides Foundation is false. OSI's donations to
Tides were earmarked for several specific programs, and Media Matters was not included on this list.

As Media Matters documented, on April 24, O'Reilly unveiled a chart that purported to expose a "complicated political operation" in which "Soros and a few other wealthy radicals who help him are funneling money into the political process" by funding Media Matters, which "feeds its propaganda to some mainstream media people." As previously indicated, Soros has never given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization.

According to the Tides website, the "Tides Foundation has had 30 years of visionary philanthropy for progressive social change. Since 2000, it has granted more than $400 million to progressive nonprofit organizations. Our growth is a testament to the joint commitment among our partners and staff to supporting positive social change domestically and globally." According to the foundation's IRS Form 990, Tides received $81,044,306 in public contributions, gifts, and grants in 2005. Media Matters for America was awarded $1,074,454, and the Media Matters Action Network was awarded $5,000 from Tides in 2005. Tides awarded a total of $85,941,477 to several hundred organizations. According to OSI's Form 990, the organization awarded a total of $550,000 to Tides in 2005 and instructed that this sum be directed to two specific programs or entities: Tides' Death Penalty Mobilization Fund, which was awarded $150,000, and the Right to Vote Campaign, which received $400,000. A total of $988,655 from OSI was actually paid through Tides in 2005 to three programs or entities -- the Death Penalty Mobilization Fund, the Right to Vote Campaign, and Connect US Fund and Network.

From the April 26 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: The techniques [PBS journalist Bill] Moyers uses are standard-issue secular-progressive far left. And when they're exposed, as Moyers has been, they launch personal attacks. We expect them.

After our report on Monday, the vile Media Matters outfit is denying receiving funding from any of George Soros' outfits. Well, that is a total lie. As we laid out for you, the smear website received more than a million dollars from the Tides Foundation alone in 2005, and just by coincidence, Soros' Open Society Institute donated more than a million dollars to Tides in 2005. Figure it out.

Now, I could sit here for the entire hour and detail the corruption in the far-left media. It was no accident that elements at NBC News rose quickly to defend Media Matters. NBC News uses their propaganda as fact almost daily. Disgraceful. And that's the "Memo."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

If This Is What Impeachment Is Going To Be, Forget It

I do not want any deals, no pardons, no funny business.

If Bush and Cheney are impeached, Pelosi will and should serve out the remaining term, with a Veep of her choice.

No more Bushies or Clintons.

It would be better to leave them in office than it would be to pardon them.

Pardons and getting off on stupid technicalities are what have led us to this sorry state of affairs.

No, not this time. Not with the most criminal regime we have ever had!

They must not be pardoned.

Original Content at

April 27, 2007
Progress Towards Impeachment is Going Well
By Rob Kall

Impeachment will happen step by step.

The things that have to happen have been falling into place as they should

As I've envisioned and predicted here, here and here,

1- congressionial investigations would turn up more and more corruption in the Bush Administration.

2- witnesses at lower levels of power, below the whitehouse, will start providing evidence of more and more corruption, making it clearer and clearer that the Whitehouse has been criminal and incompetent (Bush's Monica- No Blowjob-- Just Screwing)

3-Republicans will begin waking up to the realization that if they continue to allow the investigations without doing something, the Republican party will virtually die, becoming a weak minority party, for years to come.

4- There will be no impeachment. A group of republicans-- enough when added to the democrats to pass impeachment-- will take "THE WALK" to the whitehouse to inform Bush and Cheney that they have to go to salvage the future of the Republican party and to save the senators' own necks. I don't think I've said this before, but I'm going to guess;

5. These republicans will negotiate with the dems to appoint a president and vice president who will definitely NOT run for president-- maybe George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton.

6-Unfortunately, Bush and Cheney will probably come out of this with pardons.

The current battle over Iraq funding will be a good predictor of how congress will handle impeachment. If the Dems cave on holding to requiring a deadline, then I'd reduce my hopes for eventually removing Cheney and Bush from office.Last night, when asked who would support Kucinich's legislation to impeach cheney, none of the others raised their hands. Dennis explained why he was doing it, pulling out a small pocket size edition of the constitution. Kucinich replied that he was protecting the constitution and following the law.

The others, at least the ones in congress need to be told that this is what you want. I'll be out getting petitions signed tomorrow-- petitions to impeach Bush and Cheney-- petitions to get my congressman to protect and obey the constitution. I want him to know that there are a lot of people who voted for him, who contributed money to him and canvassed and phone banked for him who want him to impeach the criminals in the whitehouse. It won't be the last time I go out.

This is an off year, politically. Bush and Cheney will not last out their terms, but we have work to do to help their departure.

Meanwhile, the hearings will continue. Most of the hearings are about new issues, that have developed since the November elections. We're waiting for some good stuff coming up-- Condi-- whether she obeys the subpoena or not, Gonzales' answers to the questions he couldn't remember-- he's been told to get the answers--, and of course, Monica Goodling, with immunity. Then there's that Karl Rove email investigation by the office of the special counsel.

There's lots of ammo coming, and each Bush appointee who screws up or gets caught does more to embarass the Republican party.

The Iraq budget, WITH timetable, was passed by 51 senators, even though Joe Lieberman opposed it and another dem senator was still recovering from his stroke.

The Republicans will, ultimately, finish the criminals off, doing THE WALK. The longer they wait, the more power the Dems will have to decide who replaces Cheney and Bush. The longer they wait, the worse the Republican party will last. I wonder who will be among the last remaining Republican senators to remain loyal to whitehouse criminals who have so horrribly assaulted our nation, our freedom, our democracy and our constitution. Hatch? Brownback? McCain? Imhofe, Stevens, Kyl, McConnell.

The longer they wait the worse they will look to their constituents.

Authors Bio: Rob Kall is executive editor and publisher of, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and organizer of several conferences, including StoryCon, the Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story and The Winter Brain Meeting on neurofeedback, biofeedback, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology. He is a frequent Speaker on Politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey, Positive Psychology, Stress, Biofeedback and a wide range of subjects. See more of his articles here and, older ones, here.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Bush In The Bunker; Something Has Gotta Give

Maybe so.

We have thought this very same thing so many times about so many insane Bush actions.

We will believe it when we see it.

April 25, 2007 Bush Bunker-Hunkering Submitted by Russ Wellen

"Something's got to give," writes David Ignatius in The Washington Post. "That's the sense around Washington this week as the news from Baghdad worsens and the president defiantly continues an Iraq policy that many military leaders question. Bush is hunkered down with his troop surge strategy, and the military is expected to pay the price."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

The Impeachment of Richard B. Cheney

Original Content at

There's HUNGER For Impeachment. Will We Feed It?
By the pen

Participate in the National Poll on impeaching vice president Cheney.VOTING ACTION PAGE:

With his usual visionary courage, in introducing H.Res. 333 Dennis Kucinich is saying what we all know, but which most of the rest of our behind the curve politicians are still too afraid to say. The Bush administration, and Richard B. Cheney in particular, has committed high crimes against the people and interests of the United States of unprecedented magnitude. We have created a VOTING action page on this issue which already has over 15,000 submissions just since yesterday.

At the same time you are casting your vote on the action link above, you are ALSO sending a real time message to all your members of Congress expressing your position, together with any personal comments you wish to add, and you can send a letter to the editor of your nearest daily local newspaper, all with one click. We're not afraid of democracy. You can vote yes. You can vote no. We say bring it on.

But let ALL those who care about what's happened in this country speak out so that we reflect the true voice of the people on this historic issue.


With a million submissions (15,000 already sent) we can force the hand of Congress to take a stand, to do their Constitutional duty, and to demand accountability from an administration that has brought nothing but death, destruction and financial ruin to our country. It's not as if those voices are not out there, to speak against a president of vice with a 9% approval rating. But it's up to us to reach out to and mobilize the remaining 91% who are not hiding from the truth, and let them know there is a way to effectively make their voices heard.

Who are we going to listen to? Will we listen to the snarky columnist for the Washington Post, who thought she was being just so clever ridiculing those of us who are outraged at the inaction of our Congress to constrain the endless power grabs by the White House. Or will we listen to our hearts telling us that we were deliberately lied into a disastrous, unnecessary, counterproductive and immoral war, the first article of impeachment proposed by Mr. Kucinich?

Will we cower under our beds fearful that only arrogant dictatorship can protect us from some unknown threat of the future? Or will we throw off the intimidation of those who have manipulated the insecurity that they themselves created, when they fabricated operational ties between Iraq and the lone wolf terrorists of 9/11, the second article of impeachment proposed by Mr. Kucinich.

And will we now blunder into an even greater catastrophe by launching another preemptive attack on a country that we could live with in peace with if justice and diplomacy were to prevail. Or will we immediately remove from power the primary architect of both past and future debacles, whose very threats accelerate the drive towards the unthinkable, the third article of impeachment proposed by Mr. Kucinich.

The country is hungry for leadership, for honesty, and for resolution. But most of all the country is hungry for accountability. Elections DO have consequences. Because now at least there are enough votes in Congress to call for that accountability, if only we will speak out in sufficient numbers to demand it. Constitutional crimes MUST have consequences. That is what the Constitution demands if we will honor it. Will we listen to those who have tried to take ultimate accountability off the table, or will THEY listen to us?


One wag observed recently that if Dick Cheney were impeached, that would make George Bush president. Who was it who abused his mandate to vet Bush's vice presidential candidates in 2000 to appoint himself? Who was it whose office personally orchestrated the lies passed off to us as intelligence on Iraq? Who was it who masterminded the outing of one of our best assets in preventing the proliferation of the REAL weapons of mass destruction, and all to keep the high crimes they had already committed from being exposed? Who has been the real acting president of the United States all these years?

Yes, let George Bush just TRY to be president without Cheney constantly propping him up with grim warnings about what would happen without him. He won't last long either, and then we the people will finally be free of their incompetent tyranny.

Authors Website:

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

If You're Looking For The Truth, Look Overseas

U.S. media have lost the will to dig deep
A changed news culture has let several important investigative stories slip through the cracks.

By Greg Palast, GREG PALAST is the author of "Armed Madhouse: From New Orleans to Baghdad -- Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild."April 27, 2007

IN AN E-MAIL uncovered and released by the House Judiciary Committee last month, Tim Griffin, once Karl Rove's right-hand man, gloated that "no [U.S.] national press picked up" a BBC Television story reporting that the Rove team had developed an elaborate scheme to challenge the votes of thousands of African Americans in the 2004 election.

Griffin wasn't exactly right. The Los Angeles Times did run a follow-up article a few days later in which it reported the findings. But he was essentially right. Most of the major U.S. newspapers and the vast majority of television news programs ignored the story even though it came at a critical moment just weeks before the election.

According to Griffin (who has since been dispatched to Arkansas to replace one of the U.S. attorneys fired by the Justice Department), the mainstream media rejected the story because it was wrong. "That guy is a British reporter who accepted some false allegations and made a story up," he said.

Let's get one fact straight, Mr. Griffin. "That guy" is not a British reporter. I am an American living abroad, putting investigative reports on the air from London for the British Broadcasting Corp.

I'm not going to argue with Rove's minions about the validity of our reporting, which led the news in Britain. But I can tell you this: To the extent that it was ignored in the United States, it wasn't because the report was false. It was because it was complicated and murky and because it required a lot of time and reporting to get to the bottom of it. In fact, not one U.S. newsperson even bothered to ask me or the BBC for the data and research we had painstakingly done in our effort to demonstrate the existence of the scheme.

The truth is, I knew that a story like this one would never be reported in my own country.

Because investigative reporting — the kind Jack Anderson used to do regularly and which was carried in hundreds of papers across the country, the kind of muckraking, data-intensive work that takes time and money and ruffles feathers — is dying.

I've been through this before, too many times. Take this investigative report, also buried in the U.S.: Back in December 2000, I received two computer disks from the office of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Analysis of the data, plus documents that fell my way, indicated that Harris' office had purged thousands of African Americans from Florida's voter rolls as "felons."

Florida now admits that many of these voters were not in fact felons. Nevertheless, the blacklisting helped cost Al Gore the White House. I reported on the phony felon purge in Britain's Guardian and Observer and on the BBC while Gore was still in the race, while the count was still on. Yet the story of the Florida purge never appeared in the U.S. daily papers or on television. Until months later, that is, after the Supreme Court had decided the election, when it was picked up by the Washington Post and others.

U.S. papers delayed the story until the U.S. Civil Rights Commission issued a report saying our Guardian/BBC story was correct: Innocents lost their vote. At that point, protected by the official imprimatur, American editors felt it safe enough to venture out with the story. But by then, George W. Bush could read it from his chair in the Oval Office.

Again and again, I see this pattern repeated. Until there is some official investigation or allegation made by a politician, there is no story. Or sometimes the media like to cover the controversy, not the substance, preferring an ambiguous and unsatisfying "he said, she said" report. Safe reporting, but not investigative.

I know some of the reasons why investigative reporting is on the decline. To begin with, investigations take time and money. A producer from "60 Minutes," watching my team's work on another voter purge list, said: "My God! You'd have to make hundreds of calls to make this case." In America's cash-short, instant-deadline world, there's not much room for that.

Are there still aggressive, talented investigative reporters in the U.S.? There are hundreds. I'll mention two: Seymour Hersh, formerly of the New York Times, and Robert Parry, formerly of the Associated Press, who uncovered the Iran-Contra scandal. The operative word here is "formerly."

Parry tells me that he can no longer do this kind of investigative work within the confines of a U.S. daily newsroom. One of the biggest disincentives to doing investigative journalism is that it jeopardizes future access to politicians and corporate elite.

During the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby trial, the testimony of Judith Miller and other U.S. journalists about the confidences they were willing to keep in order to maintain access seemed to me sadly illuminating.

Expose the critters and the door is slammed.

That's not a price many American journalists are willing to pay.

It's different in Britain. After the 2000 election, when Harris' lawyer refused to respond to our evidence, my BBC producer made sure I chased him down the hall waving the damning documents. That's one sure way to end "access."Reporters in Britain must adhere to extraordinarily strict standards of accuracy because there is no Bill of Rights, no "freedom of the press" to provide cover against lawsuits. Further, the British government fines reporters who make false accusations and jails others who reveal "official secrets."I've long argued that Britain needs a 1st Amendment right to press freedom. It could, of course, borrow ours. We don't use it.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Justice Department Official Resigns Over Abramoff Investigation

Justice Dept official resigns over investigation connected with Abramoff
by Marisa Taylor and David Whitney
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - A senior Justice Department official has resigned after coming under scrutiny in the Department’s expanding investigation of convicted super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to a Justice Department official with knowledge of the case.
Making the situation more awkward for the embattled Department, the official, Robert E. Coughlin II, was deputy chief of staff for the criminal division, which is overseeing the Department’s probe of Abramoff.

He stepped down effective April 6 as investigators in Coughlin’s own division ratcheted up their investigation of lobbyist Kevin Ring, Coughlin’s long-time friend and a key associate of Abramoff.

When contacted at his home in Washington, Coughlin said he resigned voluntarily because he was relocating to Texas. “I was not asked to resign,” he said in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers. “It’s important to me that it's made clear that I left voluntarily.”

He said he couldn’t comment on the Abramoff investigation, nor on whether he has a job lined up in Texas. He referred all other questions to friend Michael Horowitz.

Horowitz, a criminal defense attorney and former Justice Department official and public corruption prosecutor, did not respond to questions, including about whether he is representing Coughlin. Coughlin also would not say whether he had hired a lawyer.

McClatchy’s source at the Justice Department asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the case.

Coughlin appears to be the first Justice Department official to come under scrutiny in the wide-ranging probe that has implicated a veteran congressman, a deputy Cabinet secretary, a White House aide and eight others. Abramoff has pleaded guilty to three counts in the corruption probe and could face up to 11 years in prison.

It was unclear whether Coughlin is a target in the investigation, which would mean he is under intense scrutiny, or whether he is a subject in the investigation, which would mean investigators have not yet determined whether he committed any wrongdoing.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to respond to any questions about the Abramoff investigation because it is still ongoing. Spokesman Bryan Sierra, however, confirmed Coughlin had resigned. He also said Coughlin had recused himself from the Abramoff investigation.

The disclosure, nevertheless, was another blow to a Justice Department already struggling to recover from the controversy over the firing of 8 U.S. Attorneys. Democrats and a number of Republicans have criticized Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for his handling of the ousters, which critics charge were politically motivated.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hey, Rudy: How are Those Psych Tests Coming?

Message to Rudy Giuliani: Are you certifiably insane?
By Mary MacElveen
April 26, 2007

I could not believe the lunacy coming from Rudy Giuliani’s when he said, "But the question is how long will it take and how many casualties will we have. If we are on defense, we will have more losses and it will go on longer." He said that to place fear in all of us if a Democrat is elected president in 2008. Hey, Mr. Giuliani, I for one am tired of the fear-mongering. Like most Americans and the polls show it, we want to live free, breathe free and have hope restored to all of us. We are tired of the bondage of fear, Mr. Giuliani.

If one looks back President Bush’s speech on the U.S.S. Lincoln in which the sign “Mission Accomplished” hung in the back ground, his only accomplished mission was to place fear in the citizenry. He has turned America into a country that no longer represents the model long ago promised all of us by our founding fathers.

Thanks to his Patriot Acts and Military Commissions Act, he stripped our sacred document known as the United States Constitution. With his signing into law both Patriot Acts and the latter Military Commissions Act, he turned a free country into a state that models one being led by a dictator. After all, we know he often refers to himself as “the decider” In essence what he showed in signing those acts into law, is that Osama bin Laden and the terrorists that attacked us indeed won.

Speaking of bin Laden, Keith Olbermann compared that statement made by Giuliani to any number of fearful messages coming from bin Laden. I do not want a president that resembles a terrorist.

Speaking of casualties being felt by our men and women in the armed services in which nine died this past weekend due to a suicide car-bomb, I for one am tired of America’s blood and treasure being sacrificed for this present Republican administration. In my last piece in which I spoke of their deaths, I cited how President Bush attended the Virginia Tech convocation, but never attended one single military funeral.

In my email box this morning a striking email was sent to me by a soldier that has served in Iraq in which he said to me, “The war has been going on for so long that it is no longer fore front news, it's horrible to think that people would get sick of see what our boys are doing, but they do.” He also said that he would not want the president or the media to show up at his funeral because it is a time to mourn those lost by family and friends and without the interruption of his presence at it. I can respect that.

In promulgating this war and with the help of the media in past years and even in the present they do not deserve to attend any funeral of a soldier whose life has been cut short.

I think that America is thirsting for a new leadership to stave off these casualties, but not do so in a defensive way as Giuliani alluded to. It is through the act of diplomacy. Diplomacy has not been present within this Republican administration, only the use of force. I have often said any dummy can drop a bomb. Senator John F. Kerry stated in speech when he said he would not be running in 2008, we have to get back to the “heavy diplomatic lifting” as he targeted the Bush administration concerning Iran.

I think in order to stave off further loss of life our soldiers, we need an administration that says to its diplomats, you will not come home until we have brokered a deal for a long and lasting peace.

We cannot remain addicted to war-mongering if we are to survive as a human race and we must end this addiction to it. Those that do support it are in need of some serious rehab.

Should we stay the course through another Republican administration in which anyone of these Republican candidates will continue this war in Iraq; the casualty rate will continue to rise as each day passes. I say that of the Republican candidates because I do not hear any message coming from them that they will take this country in a new direction and divorce themselves from Bush’s brand of fear and war-mongering.

It has been reported by The Lancet that over 600,000 innocent Iraqis have died who did nothing to us to deserve this and we have displaced millions of Iraqis. Guess where the new wave of those that may wish to do us harm will come from? I have often spoken of the blow-back effect and should we keep on this present course, I believe a ticking time-bomb has been set and just awaits the American people.

Keith Olbermann in his on-air commentary said, “Which party has been in office as more Americans were killed in the pointless fields of Iraq, than were killed in the consuming nightmare of 9/11, Mr. Giuliani?” add to that the number of Iraqis killed as mentioned above. I have often said that the Iraqi people have suffered a 9/11 event from the inception of this illegal war on a daily basis for over four years now. It is time for new leadership in Washington D.C. to stop this slaughter of these innocent people.

Giuliani has stated that by electing a Democrat, it will take us back to a pre-9/11 way of thinking. If anything, I want to go back to a pre-December 12th, 2000 way of thinking. That is the day that the Supreme Court handed down the Bush V. Gore decision that handed this presidency over to Bush. I want the right to have every vote counted. Our democracy and the furtherance of it demand it. Our soldiers protect that freedom and for anyone to usurp the will of the people diminishes our soldiers in the eyes of the American people.

On September 11th, 2001, this is what America’s mayor Giuliani had to say "I turned to Bernie, and I said, Thank God George Bush is our President” Note to Giuliani, God had nothing to do with him being our president, five of the nine black-robed injustices did.

I would give anything to go back in time in which the Supreme Court stayed out of this case in which one of the terms used in handing down that decision was the “irreparable harm to George W. Bush” When I heard that phrase and knowing what has transpired since, I have often asked; well what about the rest of us?

Perhaps with a President Gore in power he could have implemented many of the findings in the commission he chaired on Aviation Safety and Security. In that commission report, please take note of this passage, “Although the threat of terrorism is increasing, the danger of an individual becoming a victim of a terrorist attack -- let alone an aircraft bombing -- will doubtless remain very small. But terrorism isn't merely a matter of statistics. We fear a plane crash far more than we fear something like a car accident. One might survive a car accident, but there's no chance in a plane at 30,000 feet. This fear is one of the reasons that terrorists see airplanes as attractive targets. And, they know that airlines are often seen as national symbols.” While addressing this fear and easing the minds of the American people, he did foresee within this one report that planes would be seen as attractive targets.

You will be amazed as you read this Hardball transcript where it states, “Condoleezza Rice today said that she’d never been briefed on planes being used as missiles. She reiterated that today, even though we know that Richard Clarke – and this has been uncontested – had prepared as far back as 1996 for planes being used as missiles at the Atlanta Olympics.” There is that familiar name, meaning, Richard Clarke who tried to warn President Bush of impending threats coming from al Qaeda. Maybe if Rice had read the complete commission report chaired by Al Gore, she would have been brought up to speed.

Much was lost to all Americans when within that commission report chaired by former Vice President Gore, when it stated, “When terrorists attack an American airliner, they are attacking the United States. They have so little respect for our values -- so little regard for human life or the principles of justice that are the foundation of American society -- that they would destroy innocent children and devoted mothers and fathers completely at random. This cannot be tolerated, or allowed to intimidate free societies. There must be a concerted national will to fight terrorism. There must be a willingness to apply sustained economic, political and commercial pressure on countries sponsoring terrorists. There must be an unwavering commitment to pursuing terrorists and bringing them to justice. There must be the resolve to punish those who would violate sanctions imposed against terrorist states.”

I have heard from people throughout these past six going on seven years that Al Gore if he were allowed to go on and become our president would have been soft on terrorism. Oh please look again at what he said in this commission report. He had the forethought and knowledge that this could be done by terrorists. By the way, this report came out on February 12th, 1997. This report could have been used to help stop the attacks we all felt on September 11th, 2001. This report could have been used to save both American and Iraqi lives. It could have been used to save the lives of our soldiers which now total over 3,300 who have lost their lives in Iraq.
When Gore mentioned, “There must be an unwavering commitment to pursuing terrorists and bringing them to justice” through those commission findings, in juxtaposition we have this statement coming from President Bush when he shouted out through that bullhorn at Ground Zero, "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." One must ask; well have they heard us? No, because this president targeted the wrong people. He has failed at capturing Osama bin Laden. To show the stupidity of this present Republican administration, Bush promised to capture Osama bin Laden “dead or alive” which turned into, “I do not know where he is, he is not important and is not our priority” Yet, Giuliani wants this brand of leadership to continue? What are you certifiably insane, Rudy?

I do believe if Al Gore went onto become our president, he would have paid attention to the Hart/Rudman report on terrorism. He would have paid attention to a counter-terrorism expert in Richard Clarke who warned President Bush of the impending threat of al Qaeda. You would not have seen a President Gore fix the intelligence to meet any plans on attacking Iraq. You would not have seen a CIA agent in Valerie Plame being outed in a Gore administration.

While I have not stated which candidate I would back for the 2008 Democratic nomination, if Al Gore were to say at some point, “I am willing to fight for you; are you with me?” as he stated at the 2000 Democratic National Convention that would seal the deal for me. I once said of Al Gore, “I thirst to drink from the cup of intelligence” that is because we have seen anything but during this present Republican administration.

Author's note: To contact me, my address is,

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Bush Is An Idiot, Chapter, 99, Vol 3

Put Bush's 'puppy dog' terror theory to sleep
Wednesday, April 25th 2007, 4:00 AM

Does the President think terrorists are puppy dogs? He keeps saying that terrorists will "follow us home" like lost dogs. This will only happen, however, he says, if we "lose" in Iraq.

The puppy dog theory is the corollary to earlier sloganeering that proved the President had never studied logic: "We are fighting terrorists in Iraq so that we will not have to face them and fight them in the streets of our own cities."

Remarkably, in his attempt to embrace the failed Iraqi adventure even more than the President, Sen. John McCain is now parroting the line. "We lose this war and come home, they'll follow us home," he says.

How is this odd terrorist puppy dog behavior supposed to work? The President must believe that terrorists are playing by some odd rules of chivalry. Would this be the "only one slaughter ground at a time" rule of terrorism?

Of course, nothing about our being "over there" in any way prevents terrorists from coming here. Quite the opposite, the evidence is overwhelming that our presence provides motivation for people throughout the Arab world to become anti-American terrorists.

Some 100,000 Iraqis, probably more, have been killed since our invasion. They have parents, children, cousins and fellow tribal clan members who have pledged revenge no matter how long it takes. For many, that revenge is focused on America.

At the same time, investing time, energy and resources in Iraq takes our eye off two far more urgent tasks at hand: one, guarding the homeland against terrorism much better than the pork-dispensing Department of Homeland Security currently does the job; and two, systematically dismantling Al Qaeda all over the world, from Canada to Asia to Africa. On both these fronts, the Bush administration's focus is sorely lacking.

Yet in the fantasyland of illogic in which the President dwells, shaped by slogans devised by spin doctors, America can "win" in Iraq. Then, we are to believe, the terrorists will be so demoralized that they will recant their beliefs and cease their terrorist ways.

In the real world, by choosing unnecessarily to go into Iraq, Bush not only diverted efforts from delivering a death blow to Al Qaeda, he gave that movement both a second chance and the best recruiting tool possible.

U.S. military raids in Iraq have uncovered evidence that Iraqis are planning attacks in America, perhaps to be carried out by terrorists with European Union passports that require no U.S. visas. But such attacks here over the next several years are likely now no matter what happens next in Iraq - and that is because of what Bush has already done, not because of any future course we choose in Iraq.

But we can be sure that when the next attacks come in the U.S., if Bush is down on the ranch cutting trees, he and whatever few followers he retains by then will blame his successor. You can almost hear them now: If only hissuccessor had left enough U.S. troops in the Iraqi shooting gallery to satisfy the blood lust of the enemy, as Bush did, then they wouldn't have come here.

The truth: If not for this administration's reckless steps to push America into war - and strategic blunder after strategic blunder that has satisfied the blood lust of the enemy - fewer evildoers would follow us home like the dogs that they are.

Clarke served as chief counterterrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He is now chairman of Good Harbor Consulting.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Tenet Lambastes Cheney in New Book

April 27, 2007
Ex-C.I.A. Chief, in Book, Assails Cheney on Iraq

WASHINGTON, April 26 — George J. Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, has lashed out against Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials in a new book, saying they pushed the country to war in Iraq without ever conducting a “serious debate” about whether Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the United States.

The 549-page book, “At the Center of the Storm,” is to be published by HarperCollins on Monday. By turns accusatory, defensive, and modestly self-critical, it is the first detailed account by a member of the president’s inner circle of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the decision to invade Iraq and the failure to find the unconventional weapons that were a major justification for the war.

“There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat,” Mr. Tenet writes in a devastating judgment that is likely to be debated for many years. Nor, he adds, “was there ever a significant discussion” about the possibility of containing Iraq without an invasion.

(Well, of course there weren't any discussions about containment or anything else other than invasion and occupation. They had been planning this for years.)

Mr. Tenet admits that he made his famous “slam dunk” remark about the evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But he argues that the quote was taken out of context and that it had little impact on President Bush’s decision to go to war. He also makes clear his bitter view that the administration made him a scapegoat for the Iraq war.

A copy of the book was purchased at retail price in advance of publication by a reporter for The New York Times. Mr. Tenet described with sarcasm watching an episode of “Meet the Press” last September in which Mr. Cheney twice referred to Mr. Tenet’s “slam dunk” remark as the basis for the decision to go to war.

“I remember watching and thinking, ‘As if you needed me to say ‘slam dunk’ to convince you to go to war with Iraq,’ ” Mr. Tenet writes.

As violence in Iraq spiraled beginning in late 2003, Mr. Tenet writes, “rather than acknowledge responsibility, the administration’s message was: Don’t blame us. George Tenet and the C.I.A. got us into this mess.”

(Mr. Tenet, has it ever occured to you that the Clinton hating Bush White House, kept two people from the Clinton White House on: you and Norman Minetta? Why would they do that?

Who got most of the blame for 9/11? The CIA and the FAA, one department run by you, the other, under Minetta.

It stands to reason that you would be scapegoated for Iraq as well, that is one of the reasons you were kept on after 9/11. You were going to serve as a scape goat, one way or the other.

Mr. Tenet takes blame for the flawed 2002 National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq’s weapons programs, calling the episode “one of the lowest moments of my seven-year tenure.” He expresses regret that the document was not more nuanced, but says there was no doubt in his mind at the time that Saddam Hussein possessed unconventional weapons. “In retrospect, we got it wrong partly because the truth was so implausible,” he writes.

(Nobody wanted to hear the truth, it didn't fit their plans!)

Despite such sweeping indictments, Mr. Bush, who in 2004 awarded Mr. Tenet a Presidential Medal of Freedom, is portrayed personally in a largely positive light, with particular praise for the his leadership after the 2001 attacks. “He was absolutely in charge, determined, and directed,” Mr. Tenet writes of the president, whom he describes as a blunt-spoken kindred spirit.

(Hey George, have you never thought it odd that George W. Bush, who fought all the way to the Supreme Court to get into the White House, acted like he had no idea what to do once he got there. He seemed rather lazy, as I recall; fairly bored and unfocused.

He wanted tax breaks.

He got them. Given that there was a surplus, not many peoplle were going to throw a fit about that.

He launched "No Child Left Behind," with the help of Ted Kennedy, then did little to fund the program.

He was headed for one term.

Until 9/11.

After that, it was as if he had been launched, like a unguided missle.

The attack by Al Qaeda on Manhattan, if that was indeed what happened, could not have come as a surprise to Bush, Cheney, Rice or you. Isn't that right? But you got the blame, nevertheless. Still George W Bush defended you and kept you on, as CIA Director. That really indebted you to him, right?

Think, George!

But Mr. Tenet largely endorses the view of administration critics that Mr. Cheney and a handful of Pentagon officials, including Paul D. Wolfowitz and Douglas J. Feith, were focused on Iraq as a threat in late 2001 and 2002 even as Mr. Tenet and the C.I.A. concentrated mostly on Al Qaeda.

Oh ferchrissake, they were focused on Iraq before the Supremes put them in office!

Mr. Tenet describes helping to kill a planned speech by Mr. Cheney on the eve of the invasion because its claims of links between Al Qaeda and Iraq went “way beyond what the intelligence shows.”

“Mr. President, we cannot support the speech and it should not be given,” Mr. Tenet wrote that he told Mr. Bush. Mr. Cheney never delivered the remarks.

(The hell he hasn't said this. He still says it!)

Mr. Tenet hints at some score-settling in the book. He describes in particular the extraordinary tension between him and Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, in internal debate over how the president came to say erroneously in his 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa.

He describes an episode in 2003, shortly after he issued a statement taking partial responsibility for that error. He said he was invited over for a Sunday afternoon, back-patio lemonade by Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state. Mr. Powell described what Mr. Tenet called “a lively debate” on Air Force One a few days before about whether the White House should continue to support Mr. Tenet as C.I.A. director.

“In the end, the president said yes, and said so publicly,” Mr. Tenet wrote. “But Colin let me know that other officials, particularly the vice president, had quite another view.”

Surely, you have heard of good cop/bad cop?

He writes that the controversy over who was to blame for the State of the Union error was the beginning of the end of his tenure. After the finger-pointing between the White House and the C.I.A., he wrote, “My relationship with the administration was forever changed.”

No it wasn't. It just became obvious that you were going to be the fall guy, and this had been planned all along.

Mr. Tenet also says in the book that he had been “not at all sure I wanted to accept” the Medal of Freedom. He agreed after he saw that the citation “was all about the C.I.A.’s work against terrorism, not Iraq.”

He also expresses skepticism about whether the increase in troops in Iraq will prove successful. “It may have worked more than three years ago,” he wrote. “My fear is that sectarian violence in Iraq has taken on a life of its own and that U.S. forces are becoming more and more irrelevant to the management of that violence.”

Mr. Tenet says he decided to write the memoir in part because the infamous “slam dunk” episode had come to define his tenure at C.I.A.

He gives a detailed account of the episode, which occurred during an Oval Office meeting in December 2002 when the administration was preparing to make public its case for war against Iraq.

During the meeting, the deputy C.I.A. director, John McLaughlin, unveiled a draft of a proposed public presentation that left the group unimpressed. Mr. Tenet recalls that Mr. Bush suggested that they could “add punch” by bringing in lawyers trained to argue cases before a jury.
“I told the president that strengthening the public presentation was a ‘slam dunk,’ a phrase that was later taken completely out of context,” Mr. Tenet writes. “If I had simply said, ‘I’m sure we can do better,’ I wouldn’t be writing this chapter — or maybe even this book.”

Mr. Tenet has spoken rarely in public, and never so caustically, since stepping down in July 2004.

Asked about Mr. Tenet’s assertions, a White House spokesman, Gordon D. Johndroe, defended the prewar deliberations on Thursday. “The president made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein for a number of reasons, mainly the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s own actions, and only after a thorough and lengthy assessment of all available information as well as Congressional authorization,” the spokesman said.


The book recounts C.I.A. efforts to fight Al Qaeda in the years before the Sept. 11 attacks, and Mr. Tenet’s early warnings about Osama bin Laden. He contends that the urgent appeals of the C.I.A. on terrorism received a lukewarm reception at the Bush White House through most of 2001.

(Well, of course they did. No Bushite had any interest in stopping the event they had long hoped for; a newPearl Harbor. As a matter of fact, they probably encouraged it.

“The bureaucracy moved slowly,” and only after the Sept. 11 attacks was the C.I.A. given the counterterrorism powers it had requested earlier in the year.

Mr. Tenet confesses to “a black, black time” two months after the 2001 attacks when, sitting in front of his house in his favorite Adirondack chair, he “just lost it.”

“I thought about all the people who had died and what we had been through in the months since,” he writes. “What am I doing here? Why me?” Mr. Tenet gives a vigorous defense of the C.I.A.’s program to hold captured Qaeda members in secret overseas jails and to question them with harsh techniques, which he does not explicitly describe.

Mr. Tenet expresses puzzlement that, since 2001, Al Qaeda has not sent “suicide bombers to cause chaos in a half-dozen American shopping malls on any given day.”

(Yeah, I have to admit, that has puzzled me too. A few well placed bombs in several Walmarts could have broken the economy fast. But no such attacks ever came. I wonder why?)

“I do know one thing in my gut,” he writes. “Al Qaeda is here and waiting.”

(Waiting for what, exactly? Instructions? From Whom?)

David E. Sanger contributed reporting from Washington, and Julie Bosman from New York.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Is The Current GOP Just Another Cult?

Original Content at

April 26, 2007

Bush is on a Mission from God
By Len Hart

Typically, Bush encourages the belief that he alone speaks with God. Meanwhile, there is evidence that like all cults, the GOP, communicates to its base in code words designed to assuage the base and dupe the rest of us.

The attack on Social Security was of this form. So, too, the war of aggression in Iraq.

There is only one reason a political party would want to communicate with its membership using "code words": it wants to hide its real agenda. It wants to keep non-members in the dark. That the GOP has eschewed good English for propaganda and "code words" is a dead give away: the GOP is not a political party. It's a kooky cult.A very recent use of "code words" to communicate covertly with a cultist base, was found in a statement by Condi Rice:

"What we're seeing here ... are the birth pangs of a new Middle East and whatever we do, we have to be certain that we are pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old one.""Birth pangs" is found prominently in scripture:

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs."
(Matthew 24:3-8 RSV)

It is fair to ask if Condi Rice, a "self-professed evangelical" is, in fact, communicating a message to Bush's whacked-out, Republican base, many of whom have tried to justify the US war against Iraq with scripture and vague, weird references to rapture.

Was Condo re-assuring the dogs of war who still support Bush?

It would be alarming to know just how many of these folk truly believe that Bush is on a "Mission from God" to bring about Armageddon and, hence, the rapture.

The GOP has been taken over by hard core extremists and religious ideologues.

I became aware of this in the early eighties. A state rep race used the term dynamic conservative to describe its candidate. I was curious -never having associated the word "dynamic" with conservatives. In this case, the code word dynamic conservative had been the product of a Chicago based political consulting firm that had been associated, at some point, with Congressman Phil Crane who had been, until his defeat in the elections of 2004, the longest-serving Republican member of the US House of Representatives.

Interestingly, Crane went to Congress in 1969, succeeding Donald Rumsfeld who had been appointed to a position in the Nixon administration.

I had thought the phrase -dynamic conservative -an oxymoron. Was the candidate dynamic? Or was he conservative? Contradictory? Well, focus groups don't have a problem with that. And neither, apparently, do cults.

There is a difference between mere jargon and code words, used by the GOP to both reveal and conceal. A code word is a signal to initiates, but a mask to everyone else.

Code words are designed to keep the public in the dark while GOP cultists communicate in code with one another. When Bush tried to destroy Social Security, he wished to reassure his radical base of robber barons and fanatics while concealing that fact from normal, hard working folk who depend upon Social Security.

How to do it?

Bush uses code words, understood by the base for what they are, but taken at face value by the rest of us. In this case, Bush's solution was the code word: privatization!

Admittedly, more odious and overt bigots have gone underground. And that is Bush's problem: how to communicate with them without giving the game away, without revealing to the world what he really is.

Both dynamic conservatism and compassionate conservatism deserve special mention. Neither label, of itself, is a sure indicator of cultism. Both, however, serve a single purpose. They are the face the candidate shows his base; they are the glitzy store front he shows the world.

It is significant that both labels came into being at about the same time -a post Watergate world when the GOP began to realize that if they simply told the truth, they would lose.

Lying, therefore, became GOP strategy.

It must be kept in mind that the GOP had been under siege during Nixon's Watergate scandal and again when Ford pardoned Nixon. The bunker mentality born of those times is most certainly a defining characteristic of cults.

There are others.

A cult is unquestioning in its commitment to a leader just as the GOP rank and file were unquestioning in their support of George W. Bush. Indeed, there were numerous billboards, presumably paid for by local GOP groups, which proclaimed Bush "Our Leader" or "The Leader". In another language that is "Der Führer".

As with any cult, the GOP leadership dictates how members think, act or speak. Until Iraq fell utterly apart, it was verboten to question, doubt, or disagree with "Der Führer". This was a time of "freedom fries", the Dixie Chicks boycott, and the orchestrated demonization of Michael Moore.

At this time many fundamentalists considered Bush to be "the Messiah" who had come again on a special mission from God to save humanity, or perhaps, to start Armegeddon. Even if that were true, I prefer the Blues Brothers. Like many another cult, the GOP is elitist -but to point this out is called culture war, a code word understood by the GOP's elitist base.

There are two senses in which the term culture war or cultural war is used. It was Pat Buchanan who first used the term cultural war to assure the religiously inclined that the opposition -liberals and Democrats -are evil:

There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself. And in that struggle for the soul of America, Clinton & Clinton are on the other side, and George Bush is on our side.-Pat Buchanan, 1992 Republican Convention

Hitler used the same, simple-minded tactic.

Aryan good; Jew bad!

There is yet another sense in which the GOP uses the term culture war to assure the affluent base that "greed is good". In this sense of the term, culture war immunizes Gordon Gekko wannabes from evil liberals, indeed, anyone possessing a concscience.

It is a warning to those who might be inclined to blow the whistle on GOP economic policy. To criticize improvident tax cuts as benefiting only the super-wealthy, for example, is labeled culture war. Merely labeling is enough to make weak-kneed Democrats fear and tremble.

In the GOP, as in any cult, "der Führer" is thought to be above the law.

Nixon said "...if the President does it, it is not illegal".

Bush has claimed similar "executive privileges" that are equally cultist in tone and effect, equally absurd. Because Bush is thought to be above the law, exempt from the restrictions of the US Constitution, the GOP has internalized an "us-versus-them" mentality. In smaller cults, this often leads to conflicts with society as a whole. The situation is complicated, however, when the cult leader, der Führer, occupies the Oval Office.

A cult will teach or imply that its ends justify any means. Means, for Bush and the GOP that enables and assists him, means trashing treaties, breaking international law, committing war crimes, perpetrating torture, waging wars of naked aggression. Like other cult leaders, Bush has often claimed that his "higher mission" justifies the various tortures and atrocities that have their origins inside the Bush bunker...uh..White House.

For example, Bush could only have been referring to tortures and/or summary executions in his 2003 State of the Union address:

All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way -- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies. (Applause.)-George W. Bush, State of the Union, 2003

As far as anyone knows, none of those referred to by Bush received a trial. If so, it was a secret trial and therefore, a violation of international law and treaty. Or, Bush was simply lying through his teeth as he most certainly lied in his first debate with John Kerry. It was at the end of one of John Kerry's stronger moments when he explained that George W. Bush would prefer the people believe that it was Saddam Hussein who attacked the US. Bush snapped petulently: "Of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us. I know that." Then he stumbled:
"Of course we're after Saddam Hussein -- I mean bin Laden. He's isolated. Seventy-five percent of his people have been brought to justice."

Oh really?

The fact is there is no credible data on al Qaeda at all. Then or now. The CIA had estimated at the time that al Qaeda consisted of about two dozen operatives. 75 percent of two-dozen doesn't sound very impressive. But it does raise new questions about the US capture, detention and torture of the 3,000 detainees referred to by Bush in his address.

We have only Bush's word that any were connected in any way with al Qaeda.

Since Bush made his remarks, the tortures of Abu Ghraib have come to light. It is fair to ask if Bush had merely communicated to his understanding base, his cult of torture and atrocity. In any case, true to the cultist nature of this illegitimate regime, Bush would justify both lie and atrocity on these grounds: he was on a mission from God. Again, I prefer the Blues Brothers.

They didn't murder or torture anyone.

If Bush is on a mission from God so, too, the GOP which makes it all possible with its money and support. Those cult members in danger of getting caught are often thought to be justified in lying in order to protect "der Führer". This occurred during the Watergate scandal to protect Richard Nixon and it has happened during Bush's illegitimate occupation of the Oval Office.

There are many other characteristics of cults. I am confident that all apply to the GOP, a society apart where members are encouraged to obey "der Führer" without question even as his policies have proven disastrous for the people of America, indeed, the world. -

The Existentialist Cowboy

Authors Website:

Authors Bio: Len Hart is a Houston based film/video producer specializing in shorts and full-length documentaries. He is a former major market and network correspondent; credits include CBS, ABC-TV and UPI. He maintains the progressive blog: The Existentialist Cowboy

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Oh, Puleeze!

Taliban: Bin Laden planned Cheney attack

By ANNA JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
Wed Apr 25, 7:12 PM ET

A top Taliban commander said al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was behind the February attack outside a U.S. military base in Afghanistan during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, according to an interview shown Wednesday by Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

Bin Laden planned and supervised the attack that killed 23 people outside the Bagram base while Cheney was there, said Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban's main military commander in southern Afghanistan who has had close associations with al-Qaida.

"You may remember the martyr operation inside the Bagram base, which targeted a senior U.S. official. ... That operation was the result of his wise planning. He (bin Laden) planned that operation and guided us through it. The operation was a success," Dadullah told Al-Jazeera.
He did not say how he knew bin Laden planned the attack, and it was not clear when the interview took place.

Deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino said it was "an interesting claim but ... I haven't seen any intelligence that would support that."

A U.S. counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the information's sensitivity, said al-Qaida would likely have used more than a single explosion outside the base's main gate if it were targeting Cheney.

n addition, the official said, it takes bin Laden significant time to communicate from where he is hiding. That wouldn't offer him the flexibility to order an attack on Cheney, whose stop at Bagram was kept secret in advance of his arrival, the official said.

The U.S. military had said previously it was unclear whether the Taliban knew about Cheney's visit or whether the timing of the attack was a coincidence.

The Feb. 27 bombing killed 20 Afghan civilians, a U.S. soldier, a U.S. contract worker and a South Korean soldier outside Bagram while Cheney was meeting with officials inside the base.

The Taliban claimed the attack was aimed at Cheney, but officials said it posed no real threat to him.

The attacker did not try to penetrate even the first of several U.S.-manned security checkpoints at Bagram, instead detonating himself among a group of Afghan workers outside the base.

Dadullah insisted bin Laden was alive and well. "Thank God he is alive. We get updated information about him. Thank God he planned operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan," he told Al-Jazeera in excerpts that were translated into Arabic.

Parts of the interview were broadcast on Al-Jazeera's English and Arabic satellite TV channels and were posted on the stations' Web sites. Al-Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, said it planned to show the entire interview later Wednesday, but the interview had still not aired by midnight.
The interview was not the first time in recent months that Dadullah has said bin Laden is alive.

On March 1, London television Channel 4 aired an interview in which he said the al-Qaida leader was in contact with Taliban officers. The station did not say when the tape was made.

U.S. officials have said they assume bin Laden is alive but do not have proof one way or the other. He is assumed to be in a rugged area of Pakistan, where remnants of the Taliban are living while mounting attacks inside neighboring Afghanistan.

U.S.-led forces drove the head of the terror network from his Afghanistan haven in late 2001 by overthrowing the hard-line Taliban government after al-Qaida was blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks.
Associated Press writers Katherine Shrader in Washington and Omar Sinan in Cairo, Egypt, contributed to this report.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Al Gore Is The Man To Beat

Giuliani leads in key 2008 states, Gore shows strong:

poll Published: Thursday April 26, 2007

Republican Rudolph Giuliani is favored over Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for the US presidency in three key electoral states, while ex-vice president Al Gore might be the Democrats strongest choice for 2008, a new poll showed Thursday.

The Quinnipiac University poll showed that former New York mayor Giuliani, who is leading the race for the Republican presidential nomination, would beat Democrat Senator Clinton solidly in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The three populous states are seen as crucial swing states in any election, with their voters never clearly in the Republican or Democrat camp.

In Florida, Giuliani topped Clinton -- the wife of former president Bill Clinton -- 49-41 percent; in Ohio 46-41 percent, and in Pennsylvania 47-43 percent.

The poll showed that Ohio had switched sides for Giuliani from an earlier March survey, but that she held the same against the Republican in Pennsylvania and gained ground in Florida.

However, the Quinnipiac numbers showed that non-candidate Gore, who lost the 2000 presidential race to George W. Bush in a controversial Florida showdown, could do better than Clinton against Giuliani in those states. Giuliani led the now-global warming activist 47-43 percent in Florida and the two were tied at 44 percent each in Pennsylvania.

But Gore trailed Giuliani in Ohio much more, with the poll 47-39 percent for the Republican.
Gore, vice president in the 1990s under Bill Clinton, has steadfastly maintained he has no intention of running for the White House again. Instead, he is riding his fame as the creator of the Oscar-winning global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

"Mayor Rudoph Giuliani remains the front-runner, but he and the entire Democratic field should wonder if Al Gore will become an inconvenient truth in the 2008 presidential race and go for the biggest Oscar of them all," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

...And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Democratic Debates: MSNBC Tonight's Politics Blog

About This Blog Meet Chris Cillizza

Setting the Stage: The First Democratic Presidential Debate

Later today in Orangeburg, S.C., eight Democratic presidential hopefuls will gather for their first debate of the 2008 primary campaign. The Fix will be there -- live-blogging the key exchanges, best one-liners and outstanding performances.

While we're still months before any actual voting, tonight's debate is a first major test for each of these candidates. Never before in this campaign have all eight shared a stage and had the opportunity to engage one another on the issues of the day. Momentum can be built or stunted depending on a candidate's performance tonight.

But before we get to the actual event, we need to set some parameters about what to expect out of each of the candidates. Who comes into the debate with the most to prove? Who has the most to lose? Who's the best raw debater in the bunch? Who has to be aggressive tonight?
Below you'll find The Fix's best guesses at what each candidate will say and do during the debate as well as whether they come in with high or low expectations.

Let's Set the Stage...

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Any time the Democratic candidates gather, the senator from New York will be the focal point. Clinton enters tonight's debate with high expectations -- she has cast herself on the campaign trail as the candidate most ready to lead the country; tonight she needs to show why. Clinton also comes into the debate with two major factors in her favor -- experience and gender. Clinton is perhaps the most scrutinized politician in recent memory and is used to performing publicly under the klieg lights. She is also the only woman in the field, a fact that allows her to stand out from the seven men on the stage and also complicates any attempt to attack her? Remember when Rep. Rick Lazio (R) decided to confront Clinton during a debate in 2000 to force her to sign a pledge to bypass accepting soft money donations? Viewers saw Lazio as threatening and unsenatorial. He never recovered.

Barack Obama: Of the Democratic field, Obama is the most gifted orator. But can he succeed in the rough and tumble and back and forth of a presidential debate? Obama faces an interesting challenge tonight: He has pledged to run a new and different campaign that rises above partisan bickering, yet he must find a way to effectively counter any attacks by his rivals on his record. Can he find a way to do that without sullying his pristine reputation as an "unpolitician"? During his 2004 Senate race, Obama showed his aptitude as a debater and his willingness to throw a rhetorical elbow or two as he faced down Alan Keyes (R); Obama's task was made easier in that race, however, as polls showed him with an impregnable lead over Keyes before, during and after the debates.

John Edwards: For the past week or so, rival campaigns have made sure to remind reporters that Edwards was not only one of the most successful trial lawyers of his generation but is widely regarded as one of the premier debaters in the party. Ah, expectations setting. There's certainly a grain of truth in all of that spin -- Edwards proved his debate skills during the 2004 Democratic primaries and then in a high-profile showdown with Vice President Dick Cheney. Prior to the announcement of Elizabeth Edwards's cancer recurrence, Edwards had been the most willing among the top-tier candidates to draw direct contrasts with his rivals. Will he do the same tonight?

Bill Richardson: As anyone who has spent any time with Richardson knows, the New Mexico governor is immensely personable and charming. And as anyone who has spent any time with Richardson also knows, he tends to go off message rather regularly -- much to the chagrin of his campaign advisers. All of those traits are likely to be on display tonight. Richardson needs to use this debate (and the myriad others scheduled in the coming months) to show viewers that he belongs in the first tier with Edwards, Obama and Clinton. How can he do that? By highlighting his experience as a chief executive (the only one left in the field) and contrasting what the three senators have said versus what he has done.

Joe Biden: Biden is among the most well-spoken members of the Senate, he must find a way to translate Senate-speak into sound bites for the debate tonight. Biden is likely to question the frontrunners on their plans for a way forward in Iraq. He has repeatedly stated that he alone in the field has offered a viable plan for the future of the country. Biden must stay focused tonight. At times, his mind seems to wander while his mouth continues to move -- never a good trait in a politician.

Chris Dodd: The Connecticut senator is our dark horse in tonight's debate. He's a fiery speaker who knows that he's got to peel off supporters from Clinton, Obama and Edwards in order to move his numbers. That's a combustible combination that could make Dodd the story of the night. Dodd's strongest weapon? His status as the only Democratic presidential candidate to cosponsor legislation offered by Sens. Russ Feingold (Wisc.) and Harry Reid (Nev.) that would remove funding for the war in Iraq next March. Dodd is also likely to push the frontrunners on specifics as he has touted himself as the candidate of ideas -- most notably on energy policy.

Dennis Kucinich: Kucinich has absolutely nothing to lose in the debate tonight. He is clearly the most liberal candidate in the field (as evidenced by his effort this week to launch impeachment proceedings against VP Cheney), and he is likely to try and bait people like Obama and Clinton into discussions of his policy proposals. They won't bite.

Mike Gravel: The best news for Gravel is that he will be one of the eight people behind a podium tonight -- ensuring that far more people know who he is after the debate than before it.

Make sure to check The Fix early and often during tonight's debate, which starts at 7 p.m. ET and is being carried live on MSNBC. We'll bring you the best moments and instant analysis of the event. And then tomorrow we'll be back with a rundown of debate winners and losers.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free