Silence is Consent

If you don't speak up you accept what is happening. This site was born out of the mainstream media's inability to cover the news. I am just an American cititzen trying to spread the word in the era of FCC consolidation, post 9/11 Patriot Act hysteria, hackable voting machines and war without end. I rant and post news items I perceive to be relevant to our current situation.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
- Thomas Jefferson

Social Security is not broken and therefore does not need to be fixed

So Called Social Security Crisis (SCSSC)

Comments, questions, corrections, rebuttals are always welcome.

Friday, February 27, 2004
It's not much but here's one:

I love this guys articles
Uncle Sugar
In revolutionary Russia, the Bush-Walkers did business with Reds and Whites; then they helped arm the Nazis and the Allies. His descendants arm China and threaten it -- as always, making money both ways. The nature of the customer doesn't matter -- king, communist, nazi, sheikh, warlord, poobah -- it all comes down to this: Are they open for business?

Thursday, February 26, 2004
I'm having a long week. Very short of time. I will try and be more consistent next week. For a good wrapup of the day's issues check out the The Progress Report. Also the links on the side too, especially Buzzflash and Commondreams. See ya.

The Morning News:

Rumsfeld advisor who vocally endorsed Saddam's ouster resigns
Richard Perle, one of the most outspoken advocates for invading Iraq, has quietly resigned from the Defense Policy Board, an influential bipartisan Pentagon advisory group.

Hastert Tells W.House He Won't Extend 9/11 Panel
In a blow to the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has told the White House and fellow Republicans that he will not bring up legislation to extend its May 27 deadline, officials said on Wednesday.

President Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card, personally had appealed to Speaker Dennis Hastert to reconsider, and the Illinois Republican met on Wednesday with Bush at the White House.

This is a serious load of crap. Does anyone honestly believe if the President wanted this to happen it would. The straight talker is hiding behind the Speaker.

House panel sidetracks resolution calling for spy probe
Under a thick partisan overcast, the House International Relations Committee on Wednesday sidetracked a resolution calling for a congressional probe of the circumstances surrounding the public outing of a CIA agent whose husband had debunked a Bush administration claim that Iraq obtained uranium from Africa.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Walter Cronkite
The most Christian of virtues
The forthcoming presidential election will be decided on several issues of profound importance to the nation's future. It is unfortunate that the debates about them will be confounded by a religious issue that does not belong on the political agenda. The issue is same-sex marriage.

More on Unka Dick
Cheney's unprecedented power
DICK CHENEY is the most powerful vice president in US history. Indeed, there is a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that Cheney, not Bush, is the real power at the White House and Bush the figurehead.

Surprise, surprise
Bush 'wanted war in 2002'
George Bush set the US on the path to war in Iraq with a formal order signed in February 2002, more than a year before the invasion, according to a book published yesterday.

Improve the CIA? Better to abolish it
Adm. Stansfield Turner, former director of central intelligence from 1977 to 1981, recommended in a New York Times op-ed earlier this month that U. S. intelligence operations could be improved by adding another layer of bureaucracy to what he admits is a flawed system of overlapping spy agencies, interagency rivalries and vested interests.

I have a better idea: Why don't we abolish the CIA and make public, as the Constitution requires, the billions spent by the intelligence agencies under the control of the Department of Defense so that Congress might have a fighting chance in doing oversight?

The 9/11 Truth Movement: Widows Lead Growing Effort To Expose What The Government Knew
"This may be uncharted waters, but I was thrown in a pool on Sept. 11, 2001, and had to learn to swim," says 9/11 widow Monica Gabrielle, of West Haven, Conn. "No one has been fired. No one has been demoted. The same people who are guarding us today on an elevated security alert are the same people who were working that day." She describes her late husband, Richard Gabrielle, an insurance broker who lay trapped underneath rubble as the South Tower collapsed: "He was a gentle man, and he was alive, trying to get out of that building that day. The dead. The dying. The smoke. The terror. No one should have suffered like that. I want accountability. I need answers."

Biggest Refunds from Recent Tax Cuts to Go to Small Number of Taxpayers
Herbert Miles heard the buzz surrounding last spring's tax cuts -- that they would result in hundreds of dollars in savings for ordinary taxpayers. But Miles, a retired truck driver who lives in Garner, was not smiling last week as he reviewed his completed 1040 tax form. His refund had fallen 20 percent from $1,400 a year ago to $1,100.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Insane item of the week
In the New Economics: Fast-Food Factories?
Is cooking a hamburger patty and inserting the meat, lettuce and ketchup inside a bun a manufacturing job, like assembling automobiles?

Thank God the adults are back in charge
Bush Official Sorry for Calling Union 'Terrorist'
Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers' union a "terrorist organization" during a meeting on Monday with U.S. governors, but the White House said he later apologized.

A great update on the pre-war intelligence, if that's what you want to call it
The Business Of Intelligence
Ahmad Chalabi, the former exile leader of the Iraqi National Congress, is still on the Pentagon’s payroll, according to Knight-Ridder. Chalabi’s so-called intelligence service, the "Intelligence Collection Program," is getting $3-4 million a year from the Pentagon. (Knight-Ridder gently points out: “It. . . suggests some in the administration are intent on securing a key role for Chalabi in Iraq’s political future.”)

C.I.A. Was Given Data on Hijacker Long Before 9/11
American investigators were given the first name and telephone number of one of the Sept. 11 hijackers two and a half years before the attacks on New York and Washington, but the United States appears to have failed to pursue the lead aggressively, American and German officials say.

TIA is alive and well
US still funding powerful data mining tools
The Associated Press reports that the US government is still financing research to create powerful software tools that could mine millions of public and private records for information about terrorists, despite last year's controversy over how easily and how often the software might implicate people who have nothing to do with terrorism.

Although Congress eliminated funding for the original project, known as the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program and run by Iran-Contragate figure retired Adm. John Poindexter, AP reports, lawmakers left undisturbed a separate but similar $64 million research program run by a little-known US government office called Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA) that has used some of the same researchers as Mr. Poindexter's program. ARDA, is so secretive it's not listed in the 684-page official compilation of federal departments, agencies and offices, reports Tech Central. ARDA researches and develops computer software and equipment to "intercept and analyze foreign intelligence that is transmitted electronically ? and to protect the US methods used to obtain and communicate it."

Monday, February 23, 2004
Well after watching Ralph Nader on Meet the Press yesterday I think it is time to start talking politics. Here is the transcript (Scroll a little more than half-way down for Naders part). It is good just to hear some of the words used in his remarks. Duopoly, impeachment, he also does a great job of laying out how both parties are owned by the corporations. Now I voted for Nader in 2000. As I said before my Presidential vote in Texas didn't mean much in 2000. I wanted the Greens to get 5% so they could participate in the debates in 2004. I believe that our country would benefit by having more candidates involved in the Presidential debates. I know there are many people that think Nader should just stay out, for whatever reason. But let me dispel one of the biggest reasons Democrats don't want him running. RALPH NADER DID NOT COST AL GORE THE PRESIDENCY IN 2000. Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris are the ones who scrubbed 173,000 names from Florida's voter rolls (see Florida's flawed "voter-cleansing" program, from Friday). That is how the 2000 election was stolen. Another thing is people actually believe that this man will get favorable coverage by the media. He will but only in relation to how he is hurting the Democratic candidate. The competition will only make the Democrat stronger if he is worth anything to begin with. So I say run Ralph but I don't' think you will get near the support you got in 2000. Even though you weren't the reason Gore lost in 2000 many still blame you. Another reason is Bush has screwed this country up so bad most people would vote for the devil before George Bush just to make sure he is not reelected. To those who think Bush is dead already just remember a few things: Osama will be caught before the election, They have $200 million+ to spend, the voting machines are highly suspect and this administration will is dirty and will not go down without a major fight. So run Ralph but my vote is going to the Democrat this time.

Two people tell the truth
Bush Lies Uncovered
For those still puzzling over the why the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq, two key players offered important, but curiously unnoticed, clues this week by two central players.

Daniel Ellsberg asks a question
Where are Iraq's Pentagon papers?
AS MORE and more of our young men and women come home from Iraq crippled or in body bags this election season, Americans ask, with increasing urgency, "Why did we send our children to die in Iraq? Was this war necessary?" Indeed, Tim Russert asked the president precisely that on "Meet the Press" a few weeks ago: "In light of not finding the weapons of mass destruction, do you believe the war in Iraq is a war of choice or a war of necessity?"

How many times has Tenent tried to fall on his sword?
C.I.A. Admits It Didn't Give Weapon Data to the U.N.
The Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged that it did not provide the United Nations with information about 21 of the 105 sites in Iraq singled out by American intelligence before the war as the most highly suspected of housing illicit weapons.

Some stories just make you laugh
U.S. paying group that gave false leads
The Department of Defense is continuing to pay millions of dollars for information from the former Iraqi opposition group that produced some of the exaggerated and fabricated intelligence President Bush used to argue his case for war.

Friday, February 20, 2004
Here we go again...
How America Doesn't Vote
One outcome of this year's presidential election is already certain: people will show up to vote and find they have been wrongly taken off the rolls. The lists of eligible voters kept by localities around the country are the gateway to democracy, and they are also a national scandal. In 2000, the American public saw, in Katherine Harris's massive purge of eligible voters in Florida, how easy it is for registered voters to lose their rights by bureaucratic fiat. Missouri's voting-list problems received far less attention, but may have disenfranchised more eligible voters.
More on this here
Florida's flawed "voter-cleansing" program
If Vice President Al Gore is wondering where his Florida votes went, rather than sift through a pile of chad, he might want to look at a "scrub list" of 173,000 names targeted to be knocked off the Florida voter registry by a division of the office of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. A close examination suggests thousands of voters may have lost their right to vote based on a flaw-ridden list that included purported "felons" provided by a private firm with tight Republican ties.

Lee Atwater lives
Jim Boyd: For 'gutter politics,' look to the Bush camp
Readers can decide for themselves whether the Democrats are engaging in "gutter politics" by pushing hard on President Bush's Vietnam-era service, or lack thereof, in the National Guard. The story about Bush peeves me a little; I enlisted in the Army and did my time in Vietnam, not carrying an M-16 but not safely in Saigon either. Almost four years of my life were devoted to service, and Bush apparently couldn't be bothered to show up for some of the weekends he promised to serve.

This is good stuff
Notable, Quotable Presidents
America's greatest presidents were keenly aware of the fragility of liberty and freedom of expression, and worked steadfastly toward their protection.

Consider how the following sentiments would be interpreted by today's media pundits, were each of these men currently campaigning for the office of the presidency. Which candidate would be endlessly derided as the "peacenik," the "America hater," the "anarchist," or the "lunatic fringe" candidate? Which candidates would be placed on terrorist watch lists?

A critique of the New York Times' critique of the Intelligence failure
'NY Times' Fails to Acknowledge Its Role in WMD Hype
The New York Times offered a sharp editorial Tuesday critiquing the indisputable role of the White House in distorting the intelligence on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, and in stampeding Congressional and public opinion by spinning worst-case scenarios -- "inflating them drastically" -- to justify an immediate invasion last March to repel an alleged imminent threat to the United States. Indeed, the logical implication of the editorial might well have been to charge senior officials -- in particular the vice president -- with an impeachable offense.

However, strangely missing from the paper of record was any indictment of the national press, starting with the Times, for its obvious role in gravely misleading the institutions of government and the public when hyping the WMD threat.

Good war update post from kos
U.S. Still Winging it in Iraq
The United Nations agrees with the United States that it isn’t possible to arrange quick direct elections for a transfer of power from U.S. occupation forces to Iraqis. Nonetheless, the U.S. handover of power is still on schedule for June 30-July 1, according to Viceroy L. Paul Bremer. However, since only the U.S. and some of its darlings on the temporary Governing Council preferred indirect caucus-style voting, that process has been tossed. Now the question is what power transfer mechanism will be employed?

Economics is not my specialty. But over the last few days the White House Press Corps has been grilling poor Scottie McClellan about an overly optimistic jobs forecast. At the heart of the problem is the reports estimate that 2.6 million jobs will be created in 2004. This article does a good job of laying it out the problem, Oh, did we say 2.6 million?
Last week, President Bush sent a report to Congress promising 2.6 million jobs by the end of the year. Private economists expressed near-universal skepticism about this rosy forecast, saying nothing in current economic trends suggested it was likely or even possible.

The White House backpedaled this week. During questioning in the Oval Office on Wednesday, President Bush declined to endorse the jobs forecast he had just signed and sent. Treasury Secretary John Snow and Commerce Secretary Don Evans also distanced themselves from the forecast while they toured Oregon and Washington with two other officials to sell Bush's job retraining program.
An in depth look into this can bee seen here, Missing the moving target, released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The report and subsequent follow up states that to create 2.6 million jobs this year 450,000 jobs per month have to be created. Here is what Scott McClellan said yesterday at the press briefing:
There are some 366,000 new jobs that were created in the last five months. Unemployment is declining. GDP is strong. We're seeing sustained economic growth.
Now I'm no math major but by my math that's about 376,800 jobs a month short. So I think it is obvious why the administration is distancing itself from this report.

Bush economic team under fire over jobs
President touts his economic stewardship as a top re-election asset, yet offhand remarks and mixed signals by leading members of his economic team are proving politically embarrassing and handing fresh ammunition to Democrats.

White House Struggles to Halt Flap Over Jobs Report
The White House on Thursday struggled anew to contain the fallout over an overly optimistic forecast that 2.6 million jobs will be created this year and some Republicans expressed concern about the damage being done to President Bush.

One more economic issue. Now the administration is trying to change the date of when the recession started. In other words they are trying to blame it on Clinton. Here is another segment from yesterdays press briefing on this issue. As I read this I just marveled at the mendacity:
Q Just one point on a related question, if I could. You talked this morning at your gaggle about when the recession started. You know, the Council of Economic Advisors now takes it to the fourth quarter of 2000. The National Bureau of Economic Research says it's seen no compelling reason to move the date from March, 2001, where it is now, and even your own Bureau of Economic Analysis in this chart shows that there was actually growth in the fourth quarter of 2000. So how do you peg the start of the recession to that fourth quarter?

MR. McCLELLAN: John, I think any way you look at it, the economy was declining and weakening well before the President took office, and that that decline led us into a recession. That balloon was deflating well before this President took office. The facts are pretty clear.

Q But you have said that you inherited a recession. What it would appear is that you inherited slower growth, but not a recession.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, as I said, that any way you want to look at it, the economy was weakening, the economy was declining well before the President took office, and that is the reason we were headed into a recession. This President acted to get us out of a recession. But the facts are pretty clear. There is no question that the economy was weakening well before the President took office. GDP peaked in the fourth quarter of 2000; the stock market declined sharply, starting in September 2000; business investment started declining in the fourth quarter of 2000; initial jobless claims started increasing the week of April 15, 2000.

The fact that the recession ended just two months after the attacks of September 11th demonstrates the resilience of the U.S. economy and the effects of the tax cuts that we worked to pass in 2001. And so thanks to the President's actions and policies, it was one of the shallowest recessions in history.
As you notice he never answers the first question. But says the economy was weakening. A weakening economy is not one in recession. So the reporter asks a follow up. Not a recession, slow growth, right. And Scottie says, "no" but then says "yes" with his answer of headed into a recession. Man he makes my head hurt.

For more on this story
Recession's Timing Becomes An Issue
Just as questions appeared to be dying down about his service in the National Guard, President Bush faced a third controversy yesterday over claims in an annual economic report that usually receives little attention.

More about Chalabi
Start-up Company With Connections
Washington - U.S. authorities in Iraq have awarded more than $400 million in contracts to a start-up company that has extensive family and, according to court documents, business ties to Ahmed Chalabi, the Pentagon favorite on the Iraqi Governing Council.

Great article with tons of good links
Chutzpah! Richard Perle's got plenty of it
"Utter nerve" – that's how the dictionary defines chutzpah, and that just about sums up, in a single, wonderfully descriptive Yiddish word, Richard Perle's recent suggestion that "heads should roll" in the U.S. intelligence community. We didn't find the "weapons of mass destruction" Perle and his neocon buddies insisted were there in the run-up to the Iraq war, and whose fault is that? CIA Director George Tenet's, says the neoconservative guru and former chairman of the Defense Policy Board.

LA Weekly interview with Karen Kwiatkowski
Soldier for the Truth
After two decades in the U.S. Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, now 43, knew her career as a regional analyst was coming to an end when — in the months leading up to the war in Iraq — she felt she was being “propagandized” by her own bosses.

Ray McGovern, a 27-year career analyst with the CIA, is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and co-director of the Servant Leadership School, an outreach ministry in the inner city of Washington, DC.
Case Closed
The answer is embarrassingly simple. Don’t you remember? It was to be a cakewalk. The vice president and others assured us that U.S. troops would be welcomed as liberators. They would be met with cut flowers, not roadside bombs. The "evil dictator" would be gone. And then who would care if it were eventually discovered that the case for war was manufactured out of whole cloth?

I wrote last Thursday about the possible demise of Dick Cheeny. This week there have been many articles about the chance of Cheney not being on the ticket because of his mouth and Halliburton. Here are a couple:

Halliburton's Rising Cost for Bush
The ever-growing list of charges swirling around Cheney's former company could repel key swing voters in a tight election
In a normal political season, President George W. Bush could tough out the string of embarrassing charges of war profiteering and bribes emanating from Halliburton (HAL ), where Vice-President Dick Cheney used to hang his hat. But as Democrats more or less unite behind Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), they're getting the better of Bush on issues ranging from missing Iraqi weapons to missing American jobs. With the 2004 election looking to be as tight as 2000's cliffhanger, the drip-drip-drip of Halliburton charges threatens to erode one of the President's greatest strengths: Character and credibility.

Has Bush's running mate gone lame?
Halliburton and health troubles leave Cheney vulnerable as election approaches

Thursday, February 19, 2004
The fight over the PDB's
Extraordinary Measures
A recalcitrant Bush administration forces the 9/11 Commission to poke into Bob Woodward's notebook

Howard Zinn with another story on the cost of war
The Ultimate Betrayal
The quick Thanksgiving visit of Bush to Iraq, much ballyhooed in the press, was seen differently by an army nurse in Landstuhl, Germany, where casualties from the war are treated. She sent out an e-mail: "My 'Bush Thanksgiving' was a little different. I spent it at the hospital taking care of a young West Point lieutenant wounded in Iraq. . . . When he pressed his fists into his eyes and rocked his head back and forth he looked like a little boy. They all do, all nineteen on the ward that day, some missing limbs, eyes, or worse. . . . It's too bad Bush didn't add us to his holiday agenda. The men said the same, but you'll never read that in the paper."

We hold these truths to be self-evident
The One You’ve Been Waiting For
The one you’ve been waiting for has always been here. The one you’ve been waiting for pressured these candidates to fight the onslaught of the Bush administration. The one you’ve been waiting for took to the streets before the Iraq invasion, worked for the campaign which most inspired, agitated against the PATRIOT Act, spoke to friend and neighbor and family about what has gone wrong.

This final truth is self-evident. You are the one you’ve been waiting for. You drive the agenda. You make or break this political season. You are the hero. You’ve been here the whole time.

If it works don't fix it. The Republicans have been using this since Ike.
The Dummy Defense
Like Reagan, Bush is not particularly conversant with the details of policy. But unlike Reagan, Bush gives the impression that he just doesn't give a damn. Call it decisive leadership or know-nothingism, Bush seems to believe that a complex understanding of the options before him – like worrying about the reaction of other nations or contemplating the potential for unintended consequences – is for wimps. And he's not just unconcerned that liberals might have disdain for the limits of his intellectual curiosity. He counts on it.

Howard Dean. I remember when I first heard of him. It was back a few years ago when I still subscribed to The New Republic. The story profiled a fiscally conservative doctor, former Governor of Vermont that was responsible for bringing healthcare to all the people of his state. That didn't sound too bad to me. Then he became the, most popular, anti-war candidate. Then he was the frontrunner. Then he went after the media on "Hardball". After that hell was unleashed on him. Especially after Iowa when the media jumped on board. He was effectively taken out, labeled as angry, for showing emotion. So now back to our two DLC favorites for the Democratic nomination. So much for the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Thanks Howard, we hardly knew ya.

Howard Dean is out
Transcript of Governor Dean's Remarks Today
I am no longer actively pursuing the presidency. We will, however, continue to build a new organization, using our enormous grassroots network, to continue the effort to transform the Democratic Party and to change our country.

Killed by his own
The Assassination of Howard Dean
In the end, Dean threatened a troika of powerful institutions. He was a threat to the political parties (because he attacked Democrats' centrist drift), to media (because he criticized their cowardly reporting) and to big business (because he would roll back chummy tax-benefits for corporations). All three institutions responded with venom and destroyed Dean's candidacy. In 1968, a sniper's bullet ended Robert Kennedy's anti-establishment candidacy. In 2004, the methods used were more subtle, but just as effective.

For the second time in the last couple of weeks I am linking an article from Pat Buchanan, No End to War. This one is a review of the new book by Richard Perle and David Frum An End to Evil. It is written by a conservative and is an indictment of the neoconservatives.

The Price of Occupation
Iraq roadside bomb kills three
Two US soldiers and an Iraqi have been killed by a roadside bomb near the city of Khalidiya, US officials say.

Do you know what blowback is? Here's how it is defined by Chalmers Johnson in his book Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire:
The term "blowback," which officials of the Central Intelligence Agency first invented for their own internal use, is starting to circulate among students of international relations. It refers to the unintended consequences of policies that were kept secret from the American people. What the daily press reports as the malign acts of "terrorists" or "drug lords" or "rogue states" or "illegal arms merchants" often turn out to be blowback from earlier American operations.
Here is how it is being manifested today
Report says military distorts war deaths
The report says the US military has wrongly given the impression that its high-tech form of warfare is extremely low risk, creating unrealistic expectations that war produces very low casualties.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Is the Tide Turning?
You know something is up when even Bill O'Reilly, the Fox network's champion bloviator, is admitting that he was wrong about the "weapons of mass destruction" he and the rest of the War Party insisted were in Iraq. Of course, it was still a good idea to go to war, in his view, because Saddam was a Bad Guy, and, well, you know the drill. But what is amazing, at least to me, is that he not only admitted his utter and complete wrongness on the air, but he also apologized to his audience.

Drama King of Freedom
That George W. Bush enjoys his executive role is clear. All smirking aside, young George told Tim Russert he intends to remain in power for years. And Bush really wants us to see it the way he does.

"Well, I don't plan on losing. I’ve got a vision for what I want to do for the country. See, I know exactly where I want to lead. I want to lead us – I want to lead this world toward more peace and freedom. I want to lead this great country to work with others to change the world in positive ways, particularly as we fight the war on terror, and we got changing times here in America, too."

Actually, I don’t "see." How nice for him to want to "lead this world," and change it "in positive ways." Could he be a bit more specific? Closer to home, maybe? I’d also like to know more about what the dry drunk in the White House means when he says, "We got changing times here in America, too."

More from the 9/11 families
The Family Steering Committee Statement and Questions Regarding the 9/11 Commission Interview with President Bush
The Family Steering Committee believes that President Bush should provide sworn public testimony to the full ten-member panel of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States . Collectively, the Commissioners are responsible for fulfilling the Congressional mandate. Therefore, each Commissioner must have full access to the testimony of all individuals and the critical information that will enable informed decisions and recommendations.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004
If you don't see the dead soldiers then they're not really dying, right?
Few Americans see caskets come home
As the war in Iraq nears the 12-month mark, Dover Air Force Base is again fulfilling one of its most solemn duties: accepting the flag-draped remains of U.S. soldiers killed overseas and, after post-mortem examinations, releasing them to families for burial. So far, the base mortuary has handled the remains of about 550 soldiers, civilians and contractors who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

None of this happens in public view. A Defense Department edict issued in 1991 during the Persian Gulf war keeps reporters and television cameras away from the somber ceremony known as "dignified transfer" that unfolds as the remains are taken off the planes.

Empire. When I think of that word Holy Roman and British are the two that come to mind for me. How about you? It's not a word that most Americans ever thought of our country as or wanted associated with our country. The reason I say this is because our forefathers won their freedom from an empire. I think therefore the last thing they would have wanted is the country they created to become an empire. They knew what empire meant. The responsibility and the attention that an empire demands. It drains your domestic economy in favor of the military. Sound familiar?

Most Americans probably don't think of their country as an empire. Sure we have military installations all over the world but that is because we are just trying to keep all of these other countries safe from their/our enemies. I love the idea of my country that was sold to me as a child. Obviously I no longer buy it. Over the last few years I have been going through my mind and trying to figure out exactly when I figured out I wanted a refund. I believe everyone in America figures this out at some point in their life. The thing is we all deal with this in different ways. Some say, "My country, right or wrong" and other people say, "I think we can do better". Other's still just deny it and stick their head in the sand and turn on the mainstream media and wait to be told what they should think.

What do I say. Well I say if we are truly for democracy around the world the way to get there is not to oppress people around the world and force them into democracy. That just does not work. Empire is a different way to look at America, so open your eyes.

The Costs of Empire
Part 1: Starting with a solid base

Part 2: Counting the dollars and cents

More on empire to come.

Monday, February 16, 2004
Some articles I found late tonight:

Read it and weep. Literally.
9/11 Families Valentines Letter to President Bush
Two years ago today, family members of 9/11 victims lost at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on Flight 93 launched a group called September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. We chose Valentine¹s Day as a symbolic reminder that the American ideals of peace, justice and reconciliation remain vibrant, and did not die with our loved ones.

This is by Larry David. He helped create and write Seinfeld. Funny stuff
My War
I couldn't be happier that President Bush has stood up for having served in the National Guard, because I can finally put an end to all those who questioned my motives for enlisting in the Army Reserve at the height of the Vietnam War. I can't tell you how many people thought I had signed up just to avoid going to Vietnam. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, I was itching to go over there. I was just out of college and, let's face it, you can't buy that kind of adventure. More important, I wanted to do my part in saving that tiny country from the scourge of Communism. We had to draw the line somewhere, and if not me, then who?

Bush -- Is the Tide Turning?
For at least six months, I have been resisting early pronouncements of Bush's political death. Most of them seemed to be composed of wishful thinking, extrapolating from simple facts -- the disaster of the Iraq occupation, the mostly jobless recovery, the lies about weapons of mass destruction -- to that phenomenally elusive quantity that is public opinion.

Bush's Nuclear Hypocrisy
President Bush's call for changes in international rules on the sale of nuclear equipment would effectively revoke the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty's provision allowing countries to pursue atomic energy if they pledge not to build nuclear weapons.

The bloody price of occupation
The whole world knows that Bush and Blair lied to justify the war, but do they know the price being paid on the ground in Iraq? First, the blood price - paid by civilians and others this week as every week. More than 50 people died on Tuesday when a car bomb ripped through Iraqis queuing to join the police force. The US military blamed al-Qaida loyalists and foreign militants for this and other suicide bombings. But occupations are usually ugly. How then can resistance be pretty?

Friday, February 13, 2004
The reality of Iraq:

We were lied into war
Iraq arms hunt in doubt in '02
A classified U.S. intelligence study done three months before the war in Iraq predicted a problem now confronting the Bush administration: the possibility that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction might never be found.

The occupation is not going well
Secret report warns of Iraq 'Balkanisation'
A confidential report prepared by the US-led administration in Iraq says that the attacks by insurgents in the country have escalated sharply, prompting fears of what it terms Iraq's "Balkanisation". The findings emerged after a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the top US general in Iraq, John Abizaid, on Thursday.

And the consequences of both
The unseen cost of the war in Iraq
The true extent of US casualties in Iraq are still unknown. This has fuelled suspicion that the administration may be hiding the true human cost of the war and its aftermath. Channel Four News has been allowed a rare opportunity to meet some of America's wounded soldiers.

If it's Friday it's time for the one-two punch:

Paul Krugman
The Real Man
To understand why questions about George Bush's time in the National Guard are legitimate, all you have to do is look at the federal budget published last week. No, not the lies, damned lies and statistics — the pictures.

Chris Floyd
End Game
Well, that's it then. The show is over. The scales have fallen. The monstrous gears of the dark satanic mills that spewed their poison fog across the land have ground to a halt at last.

Thursday, February 12, 2004
I love trying to guess what is going to happen next. I've been thinking for a while that Cheney will not be on the ticket for 2004. It is unlikely though for the Bushies to outright can someone who was such an integral player. I happened to mention to my wife that I think he no longer be alive come election day. Now I'm not going to speculate as to what the autopsy report would show the cause of death to be but it sure would be convenient for the administration. Today I see this. Scroll down to Doozie slips through Net. Now I'm no conspiracy theorist but...

And now another installment of Shallow Throat
Shallow Throat to Dems: "One Chance, Don't Blow It"
The high-ranking GOP mole -- formerly inside the White House and now in another government agency -- had talked with me numerous times over the past year and a half. To be sure, there was apprehension expressed on those occasions, about the possibility of Bush operatives seeing us in conversation, but nothing like this fright.

"So why are you taking chances now by meeting me?" I asked.

"Because the seeds of self-destruction finally are sprouting in the Bush Administration," ST said, "and I don't want you and your liberal friends to blow it and give these guys the opportunity to hang on to power.

"If that happens, we're all in deep, deep trouble -- continued imperialism abroad, more militarist police-state actions at home, further shredding of the Constitution, larger federal deficits and their debilitating effects on the economy, millions out of work despairing of finding decent jobs, fatal weakening of Medicare and Social Security, the whole ball of wax.

I don't know what to say after reading this
Stewardess ID'd Hijackers Early, Transcripts Show
But answers? Not many. The most shocking evidence remains hidden in plain sight.

My Briefing with Ray McGovern
When I ask Ray McGovern if the findings of President Bush’s commission on intelligence failures in Iraq will be insightful, he has a one word answer: “No.”

The Boston Globe, they wrote the initial expose on this in 2000, has all the news on the Bush National Guard story
Complete Coverage

He's at it again
An Open Letter from Michael Moore to George "I'm a War President!" Bush
Dear Mr. Bush,

Thank you for providing the illegible Xeroxed partial payroll sheets (or whatever they were) yesterday covering a few of your days in the National Guard. Now we know that, not only didn't you complete your tour of duty, you were actually paid for work you never did. Did you cash those checks? Wouldn't that be, um, illegal?

Have you been keeping up with the debate about Bush's military record? Why this came up again is interesting. I am not one to believe that this just all of the sudden came up because of Michael Moore and Wesley Clark (ARTICLE, VIDEO). One of my favorite all time quotes if from FDR: In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way. So I am wondering what is happening that we are not noticing. Or is this a nice diversion from the whole WMD, ahem, problem. Get the press all up in arms and then slowly trickle out documentation that he did serve. I think what the White House is trying to prove is that he fulfilled his commitment and hope that is the end of it. When this storm blows over most of the American sheeple will have forgotten about the WMD issue.

In my opinion the Vietnam war, for those of draft age in the '60's, was a Catch 22 type argument. The catch goes something like this: This catch keeps you in the war because a concern for your own life proves that you are not really crazy, and to get out of combat you have to be crazy. I will add that if you are crazy you don't have concern for you life as a result you don't want to get out of Combat. Anyone in their right mind would not want to go to the Vietnam War if given the choice. For that I do not blame Bush. But I think the bigger issue here is why he missed time during his National Guard service. I believe George W Bush liked to "party" when he was young. He was the son of privilege and knew it. He did drugs and drank like no tomorrow. This I do not fault him for either. Now being called on it he and his administration have repeatedly covered up the facts of his youth. That is what I fault him for and that is what I believe is really what the White House is worried about. It will eventually proven that he was not AWOL or a deserter only time will tell if the rest of it will stay hidden.

For all your needs on this subject this is a good place to start, Calpundit. Look through about the last week of posts and you will caught up on this subject.

The New York Times thinks this is news
Data From Iraqi Exiles Under Scrutiny
In the years before the war in Iraq, an exile group set up a team of analysts in Washington, underwritten by United States government funds, to distribute a steady stream of reports on Saddam Hussein to the government and the news media, according to government officials and a document the group submitted to Congress.

Touchy, touchy
Powell Scolds Hill Staffer At Hearing
The general chewed out the buck private yesterday.

Bush's loss of flying status should have spurred probe
President Bush's August 1972 suspension from flight status in the Texas Air National Guard -- triggered by his failure to take a required annual flight physical -- should have prompted an investigation by his commander, a written acknowledgement by Bush, and perhaps a written report to senior Air Force officials, according to Air Force regulations in effect at the time

This would be funny if it wasn't so tragic!
Pentagon eager to wash hands of Iraq mess it created
What a difference a year can make. If you don't believe it, ask Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

A year ago, testifying before Congress, Wolfowitz predicted that securing postwar Iraq would be an easier job than the United States and its allies faced in Bosnia or Afghanistan. After all, the deputy secretary said, there's no ethnic tension in Iraq.

Kay had better stay off small aircraft
Study of Rhetoric On Iraq Is Urged
David Kay, the former chief U.S. arms inspector in Iraq, said yesterday that President Bush's new commission on intelligence should study how the president and his senior policymakers used the information they received from intelligence agencies.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Help these poeple out, contact your elected representatves, I did.
Cyber-Campaign Demands Congress Censure Bush
Grassroots cyber-movement, which claims more than two million U.S. members, has launched a major campaign demanding Congress formally censure President George W. Bush for lying to it about the threat posed by ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

U.S. officials drop activist subpoenas
Federal authorities retreated Tuesday in their investigation of an Iowa anti-war demonstration, withdrawing grand jury subpoenas delivered last week to four peace activists and Drake University.

The shift came as the investigation drew nationwide condemnation from civil liberties advocates, politicians and peace activists.

From Guardsman . . .
It hardly matters what Bush did or did not do back in 1972. He is not the man now he was then -- that by his own admission. In the same way, it did not matter that Clinton ducked the draft, because, really, just about everyone I knew at the time was doing something similar. All that really matters is how one accounts for what one did. Do you tell the truth (which Clinton did not)? Or do you do what I think Bush has been doing, which is making his National Guard service into something it was not? In his case, it was a rich kid's way around the draft.

Black is white and white is black. I never thought Pat Buchanan would write something that I would agree with, A Matter of Trust. But it goes back to the article I linked yesterday, Where Have All the Conservatives Gone? I think the "true" conservatives are getting pissed off that their ideology has been stolen by freaks like Perle, Wolfowitz and Cheney. Then I see this, Pundit O'Reilly Now Skeptical About Bush. Better late than never.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Welcome to George Bush's America
An Antiwar Forum in Iowa Brings Federal Subpoenas
DES MOINES, Feb. 9 — To hear the antiwar protesters describe it, their forum at a local university last fall was like so many others they had held over the years. They talked about the nonviolent philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., they said, and how best to convey their feelings about Iraq into acts of civil disobedience.

Doubts, Dissent Stripped from Public Version of Iraq Assessment
WASHINGTON - The public version of the U.S. intelligence community's key prewar assessment of Iraq's illicit arms programs was stripped of dissenting opinions, warnings of insufficient information and doubts about deposed dictator Saddam Hussein's intentions, a review of the document and its once-classified version shows.

War as an Excuse for Everything
The enemies of the republic are everywhere, he says over and over, and only he stands between them and our utter ruin. Sunday on "Meet the Press," he could say nothing without also referring to military battles he is apparently fit to fight ? presumably based on his stealthy stint in the National Guard.

This may be worse than appointing Kissinger to the 9/11 Commission!
Ex-judge on Iraq inquiry 'involved in cover-up'
Laurence Silberman, a retired judge nominated by the Bush administration as the co-chairman of the commission investigating pre-war intelligence on Iraq, was involved in a major cover-up during the Reagan era, his critics alleged yesterday.

Hack on Ritter
Calling Maj. Ritter
Like it or not, Maj. Scott Ritter had it right all along.

Most of the rest of us, from the president to his key advisers, such as Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Wolfowitz and Tenet, to the majority of Congress and to most of the talking heads – including the pre-Iraq War NBC analyst David Kay, who reported WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) behind every Iraqi sand dune – blew it big-time when it came down to the awesome arsenal that Saddam had supposedly squirreled away.

Trust fades as war cry rings too hollow
President Bush's appearance on "Meet the Press" on Sunday was the last straw. For months, I've been hoping that the cache of weapons would actually turn up. For months, I've suffered cruel jokes about me trusting a Bush. And for months, I've watched the rationale for the war on Iraq shift from one that I could digest to one that makes me want to throw up.

9/11 Panel Threatens to Issue Subpoena for Bush's Briefings
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 ? Members of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks warned the White House on Monday that it could face a politically damaging subpoena this week if it refused to turn over information from the highly classified Oval Office intelligence reports given to President Bush before 9/11.

Where Have All the Conservatives Gone?
"If the president goes to the American people and wraps himself in the American flag and lets Congress wrap itself in the white flag of surrender, the president will win.... The American people had never heard of Grenada. There was no reason why they should have. The reason we gave for the intervention--the risk to American medical students there--was phony but the reaction of the American people was absolutely and overwhelmingly favorable. They had no idea what was going on, but they backed the president. They always will." -- Irving Kristol, The Fettered Presidency,1989

"Of course the people don't want war...that is understood. But voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger." -- Hitler's designated successor, Hermann Goering

"We are rapidly becoming prototypes of a people that totalitarian monsters could only drool about in their dreams." -- Steve Tesich, "The Wimping of America"

Monday, February 09, 2004
Scott Ritter on Iraq in 2000
The Case for Iraq's Qualitative Disarmament
Efforts to resume weapons inspections in Iraq have long been at an impasse.It has been 18 months since inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) were withdrawn from Iraq and six months since the Security Council created a successor organization to assume UNSCOM's mantle. Resolution 1284 established the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) in December 1999 and tasked it with verifying Iraq's elimination of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers.

Team Spirit
The confession by the Bush Administration's chief arms investigator that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction before the war has sent a thunderbolt of puzzlement through the pundits and politicians of the Anglo-American elite. "How could the intelligence reports have been so wrong?" they cry, wringing their hands in consternation. "Independent" commissions filled with Establishment worthies are now in the offing, as the architects of the war -- and their media sycophants -- pledge to resolve this disturbing mystery.

Mr. Bush's Version
When Americans choose a president, their most profound consideration is whether a candidate can make the wisest possible decisions when it comes to war. In the case of George W. Bush, they will not only judge whether the invasion of Iraq was the right decision, but what our president has brought away from that experience. If there were misjudgments about the nature of Iraq's weapons programs or in the ways the administration presented that intelligence to the public, we need to know whether he recognizes them and has learned from them. Yesterday, in an interview with NBC's Tim Russert, after a week in which it became obvious to most Americans that the justifications for the war were based on flawed intelligence, Mr. Bush offered his reflections, and they were far from reassuring. The only clarity in the president's vision appears to be his own perfect sense of self-justification.

The WMD Inspector No One Heeded
St. Matthew wrote: "A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country."

Rodney Dangerfield would have put it differently. He might have said, "They love me over there, but here at home I get no respect."

Scott Ritter is a prophet of sorts, and if we had listened to him and respected his intellect, knowledge and honesty, we could have avoided the war in Iraq and its cost in lives and dollars.

Now They Tell Us
In recent months, US news organizations have rushed to expose the Bush administration's pre-war failings on Iraq. "Iraq's Arsenal Was Only on Paper," declared a recent headline in The Washington Post. "Pressure Rises for Probe of Prewar-Intelligence," said The Wall Street Journal. "So, What Went Wrong?" asked Time. In The New Yorker, Seymour Hersh described how the Pentagon set up its own intelligence unit, the Office of Special Plans, to sift for data to support the administration's claims about Iraq. And on "Truth, War and Consequences," a Frontline documentary that aired last October, a procession of intelligence analysts testified to the administration's use of what one of them called "faith-based intelligence."

10 Questions Russert Didn't Ask, The missed opportunities for follow-ups.
Partisans may debate whether Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning was too tough or too easy on President George W. Bush in his questioning. Certainly, Russert challenged Bush sharply on several occasions, but he also missed opportunities to raise at least 10 highly relevant questions

Get Your Bush Docs Here!
The various revelations in Ron Suskind's book The Price of Loyalty are based largely on a trove of 19,000 documents that former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill gave him. Some have criticized Suskind for striking a Faustian bargain in which he accepted at face value O'Neill's often comically outsized self-regard in exchange for the information O'Neill was in a position to provide about the inner workings of the Bush White House (which might be summed up by the formula, "Crude Political Calculation + Discipline = Success"). But whatever his personal failings and shortcomings as Treasury secretary (some of them previously documented in Chatterbox's "O'Neill Death Watch"), O'Neill is a smart and principled man whose blunt storytelling, supplemented by Suskind's independent reporting, provides what is by far the most vivid and valuable accounting of this administration. And unlike the typical White House memoirist, O'Neill made sure the public would have the documents to back up his description of what he saw.

I got to watch most of Meet The Press last night on the second CNBC replay at Midnight. I know I've said before that I do not think our current President is stupid but just lazy and disinterested. He sure wasn't helping me prove my case with that interview. Here is the annotated transcript from the Center for American Progress (CAP), they are doing great work by the way. He was a complete boob in that interview yesterday. I want to start with this exchange, he seems to contradict himself:
Russert: On Iraq, the vice president said, "we would be greeted as liberators."

President Bush: Yeah.

Russert: It's now nearly a year, and we are in a very difficult situation. Did we miscalculate how we would be treated and received in Iraq?

President Bush: Well, I think we are welcomed in Iraq. I'm not exactly sure, given the tone of your questions, we're not. We are welcomed in Iraq.

Russert: Are you surprised by the level and intensity of resistance?

President Bush: No, I'm not. And the reason I'm not surprised is because there are people in that part of the world who recognize what a free Iraq will mean in the war on terror. In other words, there are people who desperately want to stop the advance of freedom and democracy because freedom and democracy will be a powerful long term deterrent to terrorist activities.

See, free societies are societies that don't develop weapons of mass terror and don't blackmail the world.

If I could share some stories with you about some of the people I have seen from Iraq, the leaders from Iraq, there is no question in my mind that people that I have seen at least are thrilled with the activities we've taken. There is a nervousness about their future, however.
We were welcomed, but he's not surprised by the resistance? Roadside bombs, RPG, suicide bombers that's quite a welcome. I think we are beginning to see with this Bush the same problem that the previous Bush had. It's a reality problem. He perceives everything to be going along fine, just like Daddy did in '92 and that's what kept him from being reelected. When people in this country are hurting and the President says stuff like this it also shows that he is reality deficient:
Russert: But when you proposed your first tax cut in 2001, you said this was going to generate 800,000 new jobs. Your tax cut of 2003, create a million new jobs. That has not happened.

President Bush: Well, it's happening. It's happening. And there is good momentum when it comes to the creation of new jobs.

Again, we have been through a lot. This economy has been through a lot, which is why I'm so optimistic about the future because I know what we have been through.

And I look forward to debate on the economy because I think one of those things that's very important is that the entrepreneurial spirit of this country be strong and the small business sector be strong. And the policies I have laid out enhance entrepreneurship, they encourage small business creation, and I think this economy is coming around just right, frankly.
It's makes him look like he is detached from reality, like his Daddy. The CAP has the full rundown of the CLAIM vs. FACT: The President on Meet the Press.

Saturday, February 07, 2004
I've been slowly watching the WMD story this week and the one person that keeps coming back into my mind is Scott Ritter. He was the only one that consistently said Iraq had no WMD, Help us to stop the war. This is what he got for telling his side of the story, The Ritter Smear. Here are his recent comments, Not Everyone Got It Wrong on Iraqi WMDs.

The President gives the American people the finger
The Intelligence Commission
This group lacks the stature and name recognition that would give its findings commanding credibility. Worse yet, it looks as if Mr. Bush, who chose not to allow a truly independent panel, will limit its mandate to a review of intelligence gathering and analysis. He has given the panel the authority to examine why the prewar estimates of Iraq's weapons stockpiles differ from what has been found and to evaluate intelligence on weapons programs in other countries. Mr. Bush did not ask the panel for an unfettered look at how his administration had presented the intelligence in making the case for war. By dodging that, the president leaves voters to find their own answers.

The Mother Jones article on the Office of Special Plans is now available online
A MUST READ The Lie Factory
Only weeks after 9/11, the Bush administration set up a secret Pentagon unit to create the case for invading Iraq. Here is the inside story of how they pushed disinformation and bogus intelligence and led the nation to war.

Monday, February 02, 2004
I am going to Houston for the rest of the week. I will probably not post here until next Monday, (2/9/04). I say probably but you never know. I will be taking my laptop with me and if I have some free time and/or something big happens I will try and jump on and put in a few cents worth. On Friday I saw where Bush said about the whole Iraq/WMD/Intelligence thing that he wants "all the facts". I thought I had heard that before so today I did a Google search on Bush, i want all the facts. It seems he has said this before about 9/11 and the Plame Affair at the least and we still don't know the facts about either one of those. I seriously doubt that a Presidential Commission with all its members being appointed by this President will find anything worth knowing.

One More on the Office of Special Plans
Calling Dubya to Book on Neocon Lies
Like the main character in Christopher Nolan's noir film Memento, members of the House and Senate intelligence committees seem to have lost their short-term memory.
They can't remember who exactly peddled Bush's lies about Saddam's illusory weapons of mass destruction.

Here is Kurt Nimmo's blog.

The administration knew in May but Scott Ritter knew well before that.
Is Iraq a True Threat to the US?
RECENT PRESS reports indicate that planning for war against Iraq has advanced significantly. When combined with revelations about the granting of presidential authority to the CIA for covert operations aimed at eliminating Saddam Hussein, it appears that the United States is firmly committed to a path that will lead toward war with Iraq.

Bush Earned Our Hate
I would like to say a kind word about George W. Bush: He's usually not as dumb as he pretends to be.

The Awesome Destructive Power of the Corporate Power Media (CPM)
Howard Dean has joined the list of victims of U.S. corporate media consolidation. Dean shares this distinction with Dennis Kucinich and the people of the formerly sovereign state of Iraq, among many others. Dean was stripped of half his popular support in the space of two weeks in January while John Kerry – tied in the polls with Carol Moseley-Braun at seven percent just two months earlier – rose like a genie from a bottle to become the overnight presidential frontrunner. Both candidates were shocked and disoriented by the dizzying turns of fortune, and for good reason. Neither Dean nor Kerry had done anything on their own that could have so dramatically altered the race. Corporate America decided that Dean must be savaged, and its media sector made it happen.

The President is appointing a panel to find out what went wrong with the pre-war intelligence, if you want to call it that. Well it looks like the CIA, who is being blamed now, knew what happened last July. One more question. David Kay was sent to Iraq to look for WMD, how is he all of the sudden the expert on who is to blame for this fiasco? He is showing his ignorance, in my eyes, by not even acknowledging the existence of the Office of Special Plans. Well once again if you only pay attention to the mainstream media you probably don't even know about it.

CIA probe finds secret Pentagon group manipulated intelligence on Iraqi threat
July 25, 2003—A half-dozen former CIA agents investigating prewar intelligence have found that a secret Pentagon committee, set up by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in October 2001, manipulated reams of intelligence information prepared by the spy agency on the so-called Iraqi threat and then delivered it to top White House officials who used it to win support for a war in Iraq.

Report: Halliburton's Iraq food tab
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Halliburton may have overcharged more than $16 million for meals at a U.S. military base in Kuwait last year, according to a published report.

I guess I've always believed that if the United States lived as our rhetoric says this would be a great country. In particular rhetoric like this:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
-from The Declaration of Independence

...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
-Abraham Lincoln, from The Gettysburg Address
The reason I point these two out is because I believe this is what most people in this world want. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think so. I also believe that before arriving here, at least, anyone who immigrates to the United States believes this. I also think that most of the people of the world believed this after World War II. Eastern Europe during the Cold War must have because this is what they aspired to. Unfortunately this is not reality. The first statement about equality, I don't think so. More money, more equality and vice versa. All that stuff about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of, HA HA HA, man I almost made it through without laughing. Just picture John Ashcroft and think of the patriot Act, enough said. A government of, by and for the people? Only if you consider Halliburton, Bechtel, AMD, Monsanto, GE, Eli Lily and their brethren "the people". So to take another line from the Declaration of Independence:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of The People to alter or to abolish it , and to institute new Government, laying it's foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect Safety and Happiness.
If we can't impeach at least we can elect someone else who will help us form a more perfect union.

A scandal greater than Watergate
Either President George Bush, and secretaries Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld, lied about the global threat they claimed Iraq posed, and deceived Congress and the American people. Or, they were grossly misinformed by their intelligence experts and must be judged fools of the first order.

I think it is only fitting to start with this today:

US officials knew in May Iraq possessed no WMD


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