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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Where Was the Air Force? The Real Question on 9-11
George W. Bush, writes former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke, "failed to act prior to September 11 on the threat from Al Qaeda despite repeated warnings and then harvested a political windfall for taking obvious yet insufficient steps after the attacks." That incendiary charge, coupled with his apologetic testimony before the commission investigating the attacks, has reignited a long-simmering debate: What did Bush know when and how quickly should he have done something about it?

Daniel Ellsberg Sees a New Trend -- Telling All While the Issue is Hot
When famous whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg boarded a plane to Cincinnati earlier this week, he took along a little light reading: a stack of articles about former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, who has stirred controversy with allegations in his book and testimony before a special panel that the Bush White House was somewhat indifferent to al Qaeda before Sept. 11 and obsessed with Iraq afterward.

Clarke, Watergate Echoes Prompt Rare Bush Reversal
Tuesday's White House decision to permit National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify publicly under oath before the so-called 9/11 Commission marks an unusual reversal by an administration that has fiercely resisted taking any moves that suggests it is capable of making mistakes.

Bremer: Iraq will suffer police shortage for at least a year
MUNTHERIA, Iraq - In an uncommonly downbeat assessment of Iraq's security challenges, U.S. Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer told local officials Monday that it will take at least a year for the country to hire, equip and train enough police and border guards to meet its needs.

"There is no way to speed it up; it simply can't be done," he said. "And it's going to take another year. We just have to be honest about that."

Bremer's comments, just three months before the American-led coalition is scheduled to return power to an Iraqi government, made it clear that U.S. troops will continue to play the key role in maintaining security in Iraq even after the hand-over of power, scheduled for July 1.

At least 100,000 American troops will remain in the country after Iraqis take over.

Why is he saying this now? Another year my ass! They just want to make sure that everyone understands that we are giving Iraq back its sovereignty but our military isn't leaving. Get it?

More on Islam "The Boiler" Karamov
Getting Ugly in Uzbekistan, The dictator Karimov creates a new generation of terrorists
Suicide bombers, pitched battles, and a massive police mobilization over the past three days have thrust the Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan into the headlines ? and demonstrated why our endless "war on terrorism" is doomed to not only fail, but to create the sort of "blowback" that is a windfall for America's enemies.

Air America Radio is on the air. If their link doesn't work try here,

This is what war looks like
Graphic Photos
Oh my god
Graphic photos from Fallujah, Iraq. 8 Foreign Nationals including US civilians killed, burned, mutilated and body parts hung from electrical wires and bridges.

Possibly mercenaries/pentagon contractors.

If there truly was a SCLM every newspaper and news website should lead with this headline: Bush Flip Flops on 9/11 Commission. For a week Condi would not testify for the noble cause of protecting the Constitution. So why did the Executive branch decide to subvert the Constitution? Well the President that doesn't govern by polls or by what other people say figured he needed to get this off the front pages and news broadcasts and whatever else ASAP. See when you're a war President and the "war" isn't going very well you can't have the sheeple getting wind of that. So I guarantee you will not see Condi for a few days now. Mission Accomplished! Before I finished this rant I found this, Bush flip flops hits the mainstream, maybe there's hope yet.

The answer to this question in yes
Is Fix in at 9/11 Commission?
In finally accepting the 9/11 Commission's request for public testimony under oath from National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, the White House was not the one that flinched. It was the 9/11

I think it is only natural for a parent to want to help their child when they're in trouble. But this is just hilarious. From Talking Points Memo:
Reading the lede of this piece from Reuters, I had to wonder whether I might actually be reading a spoof from The Onion ...

An emotional former President George H.W. Bush on Tuesday defended his son's Iraq war and lashed out at White House critics.

It is "deeply offensive and contemptible" to hear "elites and intellectuals on the campaign trail" dismiss progress in Iraq since last year's overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the elder Bush said in a speech to the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association annual convention.

Defies parody ...
He might has well have been addressing OPEC.

It's been a violent day in Iraq as we approach 600
5 US Soldiers Killed in Roadside Blast West of Baghdad
The U.S. military in Iraq says five American soldiers were killed Wednesday in a roadside bomb blast west of Baghdad.
Iraqis Drag Bodies Through Streets After Attack
A crowd of cheering Iraqis dragged charred and mutilated bodies through the streets of the town of Falluja Wednesday after an ambush on two vehicles that witnesses said killed at least three foreigners.
10 injured in Baghdad bomb blast
Four policemen and six civilians were injured Wednesday when a car bomb exploded in this restive town north of Baghdad, a police officer and one of the injured said.
Three British soldiers wounded in Iraq blast
Three British soldiers have been injured in an explosion in southern Iraq, Britain's Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Clarke's Public Service
My experience confirms what Clarke relates in his book. The Bush administration did ignore the threat of terrorism. It was focused on tax cuts, building a ballistic missile system, withdrawing from the ABM Treaty and rejecting the Kyoto Protocol.

Paul Krugman
This Isn't America
Last week an opinion piece in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz about the killing of Sheik Ahmed Yassin said, "This isn't America; the government did not invent intelligence material nor exaggerate the description of the threat to justify their attack."

Maybe they will have democracy in Iraq after all. Just not the kind we want
Shiites Organize to Block U.S. Plan
"This is freedom of expression," Awadi said, thumbing yellow worry beads. "This is freedom of opinion."

The clergy's campaign is steeped in the religious symbolism that binds much of the country's Shiite majority, whose political ascendancy is a defining feature of postwar Iraq. It turns on a term -- legitimacy -- that is far easier to deny than to bestow. The campaign signals a willingness to confront U.S. authorities at a moment when time is short, as the American administration prepares to formally end the occupation on June 30 and turn over authority to an interim Iraqi government.

Is Musharraf on borrowed time?
Pakistan: The Battle That Wasn't
About two weeks ago, the world's attention suddenly turned to a dramatic battle in Pakistan. The Pakistani Army, we were told, had trapped a large force of al Qaeda, including a "high-value target," possibly Ayman Zawahiri. The Pakistanis brought in artillery and air power. The fate of the al Qaeda fighters was sealed.

One comes clean
Reporter Apologizes for Iraq Coverage
"Sorry we let unsubstantiated claims drive our coverage. Sorry we were dismissive of experts who disputed White House charges against Iraq. Sorry we let a band of self-serving Iraqi defectors make fools of us. Sorry we fell for Colin Powell's performance at the United Nations. Sorry we couldn't bring ourselves to hold the administration's feet to the fire before the war, when it really mattered.

America's Independent Congressman lays it out
The Fo(x)g of War
One of the leading media corporations that advocated for a U.S. invasion of Iraq was News Corp and its subsidiary Fox Television. Rupert Murdoch's Fox News acted as a megaphone for the Bush Administration's march to war. Over and over Fox News' hosts and contributors made misleading comments - many of which have been proven to be 100% false. The question now is whether or not Fox hosts and contributors will admit they were wrong and apologize to their viewers for giving them unfair and unbalanced information.

This will play good in the Muslim world
Iraq War Launched to Protect Israel - Bush Adviser
IPS uncovered the remarks by Philip Zelikow, who is now the executive director of the body set up to investigate the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001 -- the 9/11 commission -- in which he suggests a prime motive for the invasion just over one year ago was to eliminate a threat to Israel, a staunch U.S. ally in the Middle East.

Condi is gonna testify. Big deal. Oh yeah, there's a catch:
In a letter to the commission, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales said the commission must agree in writing that Rice's appearance would not set a precedent for testimony by White House staff -- and that the commission "will not request additional public testimony from any White House official, including Dr. Rice."
So Ashcroft does not have to testify about why he stopped flying in July. The war President doesn't have to testify as to why he just sat there after learning the second tower was hit.
And in this morning's Wall Street Journal, Scot J. Paltrow writes about how the commission is trying to fill the gaps and inconsistencies in the government account about what actually happened on Sept. 11.

"Among other things, the commission is examining such questions as how long Mr. Bush remained in a Florida classroom just after the World Trade Center strikes, whether there really was a threat to Air Force One that day, how effectively American fighter jets reacted to the attacks, and who activated the national-emergency-response plan."

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, who famously whispered in the president's ear, "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack," has previously said that Bush left the Florida classroom he was sitting in within seconds.

"But uncut videotape of the classroom visit obtained from the local cable-TV station director who shot it, and interviews with the teacher and principal, show that Mr. Bush remained in the classroom not for mere seconds, but for at least seven additional minutes. He followed along for five minutes as children read aloud a story about a pet goat. Then he stayed for at least another two minutes, asking the children questions and explaining to Ms. Rigell that he would have to leave more quickly than planned."

Paltrow writes: "Both Republican and Democratic commissioners have said they are focusing closely on what happened next -- and whether mere minutes could have affected the outcome on Sept. 11. The panel's investigators are looking at questions such as the timeliness of presidential orders about intercepting the jet that at 9:37 a.m. plowed into the Pentagon."

Paltrow also writes that Bush could not have been telling the truth when he told a town-hall meeting in December, 2001: "I was sitting outside the classroom, waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on. And I used to fly myself, and I said, 'Well, there's one terrible pilot.' "

There was no such video until late that night, and the TV wasn't even plugged in, Paltrow writes.
I am starting to see more and more where the whole Clarke thing is just a smokescreen to hide what really matters. If there is one thing this commission will not find it is the truth!

Elephants in the Barracks The Complete Failure of the 9-11 Commission
Rumsfeld stated in his opening remarks to the government appointed 9-11 Commission on March 23, 2004 that he, ?Had no idea hijacked airliners would be used as weapons". His final statement on the topic while under oath was, "I plead ignorance".

The next boogie man.
Many of you may have woken up with news of an explosion or bombing in Uzbekistan. That's not exactly what happened. Let's review.

Monday, March 29, 2004
Bringing democracy to Iraq
G.I.'s Padlock Baghdad Paper Accused of Lies
American soldiers shut down a popular Baghdad newspaper on Sunday and tightened chains across the doors after the occupation authorities accused it of printing lies that incited violence

More on poor Colin
Powell Has No Answer
Video from yesterday's Face the Nation appearance.

Have we learned anything form the war in Iraq?
One man's analysis
As the war in Iraq enters its second year, Americans find themselves trapped in an epistemological black hole: the war’s end recedes into an indefinite future while its beginning grows daily more contentious and obscure. Before the war, the sight of United Nations arms inspectors emerging empty-handed from Iraqi arms depots suspected of harboring large stocks of biological and chemical weapons brought a typically oracular pronouncement from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “Absence of evidence,” he said, “is not evidence of absence.” The inspectors’ inability to turn up weapons of mass destruction cast doubt not on their existence but on the proposition that inspections—or anything short of an invasion and occupation of Iraq—could ever find them. War was imperative.

Now that several ex-administration officials have told us now that Iraq was the main war/foreign policy concern of this administration that fact should no longer be quibbled over. Now I think to a certain extent last week most of the big problems were not even spoken about as far as the 9/11 commission is concerned. Ever heard the Latin term Cui Bono? When I see things like this it makes me think about American History class. Of, by, and for the people. Really. This is so heinous that your corporate media will not touch it. So in some respects last week may have been contrived. Put Clarke on let him spout. We defend ourselves against the fact that maybe we didn't do enough to protect the country from terrorism. But who could have known this was coming? Now we are ready. The timing of this is strange. I also believe that when these big bruhahas arise that it is being done to keep our eyes off of the real problem/crime/cover-up.

There is still time to save you country
It's Midnight in America
We have moved from Reagan's "Morning in America" to Bush's "Midnight in America" in less than 20 years.

This is the darkest hour for our nation, when lies, deception and political vengeance -- at the expense of our national security -- are the primary skill set of the executive branch and its subsidiaries: a Republican controlled Congress and an increasingly Republican controlled judiciary, with five Supreme Court votes lined up to side with the GOP on important partisan issues, like the theft of a presidency.

I think the only person in this administration I may feel a slight bit bad for is Colin Powell. Colin Powell had the respect of the American people before he joined this administration. He may have even been able to run for President. Although, I don't think he could have done it as a Republican. Before the war he was thought of as the Dove. He was the one that supposedly made Bush go to the UN before invading Iraq, little good it did. Of course after the 2003 SOTU address, with the famous 16 words in it, where he was promised $15 billion for AIDS in Africa he then joined the hawks. Now he is just a shill for the "wingnuts" who used his pull to get his son a job to steal the airwaves from the American people and give them to the corporations. If that's not the American dream I don't know what is. I'm sure he will write a good book about it when he's done.

More on Colin from The American Prospect
In July 2003, President George W. Bush made a five-nation tour of Africa. The purpose of the visit was to cast American foreign policy in a gentler light after the diplomatic donnybrook over Iraq -- by, among other things, showcasing the Bush administration's seriousness about combating Africa's AIDS pandemic.

CONdoleezza no longer cares what she says anymore
Interesting comment from Condi
A highlight form her 60 Minutes interview yesterday.
One more thing on this. Last week when Clarke was on the administration had someone on to rebut what he said. Why was there not anyone on this week in Clarke's defense? Just asking.

Curveball, indeed
Iraqi defector behind America's WMD claims exposed as 'out-and-out fabricator'
The case for war against Iraq was dealt another embarrassing blow yesterday due to claims by an American newspaper that the first-hand intelligence source on Saddam Hussein's alleged mobile bioweapons labs was a politically motivated Iraqi defector now dismissed as an "out-and-out fabricator".

Have you heard about Bush's WMD joke yet?
Presidential Humor in Bad Taste
Bush showed pictures of himself looking around the Oval Office, remarking, "those weapons of mass distruction gotta be around here somewhere." The Washington DC audience ate it up as the CSPAN cameras rolled. He worked the room well, but this isn't a laughing matter for those of us who have friends and loved ones risking their lives in Iraq right now; to say nothing of those who've suffered the ultimate loss.

Good stuff
Rockefeller sounds off on Iraq
"If I had known then what I know now, I would have voted against it,? Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said Friday. ?I have admitted that my vote was wrong.?

Declassify it all
Clarke challenges Rice to reveal secret emails
Richard Clarke, the former terrorism adviser whose revelations threaten to torpedo George Bush's re-election strategy, launched a counterattack yesterday at a White House that he said was determined to destroy him.

Saturday, March 27, 2004
I got half-way thorugh this and then looked at the date, June 3, 2002. I thought I was reading a current article.
Heads-Up To Ashcroft Proves Threat Was Known Before 9/11
Don't let them fool you, folks: They knew.

They might have been surprised by the ferocity of the attacks, but the highest-ranking members of the George W. Bush administration knew before Sept. 11 that something terrible was going to happen soon.

Bush knew something was going to happen involving airplanes. He just didn't know what or exactly when. His attorney general, John Ashcroft, knew. His national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, knew. They all knew.

And, in spite of its apparent ineptness, the FBI knew, too.

Not only did they all know, but they told us. Obliquely. And we didn't pay attention. Why would we? Then, as now, terrorist threats were a dime a dozen.

No matter what they say or what you believe Iraq already has a new leader
Sistani May Issue Edict Against Iraq Power Transfer
Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric may issue a religious edict declaring the June U.S. transfer of power to Iraqis illegal if an interim constitution article is not amended, a close aide said in remarks published on Saturday.

Friday, March 26, 2004
Remember, they hate us because we are free
The forgotten victims of the war in Iraq
Last week at the White House, President Bush marked the first anniversary of the Iraq invasion by saying: "The murders in Madrid are a reminder that the civilized world is at war. And in this new kind of war, civilians find themselves suddenly on the front lines."

Wrap-up of Clarke week
Trust Clarke: He's right about Bush
This, by any measure, was Richard Clarke's week. The former counterterrorism czar roiled Washington and the nation with his accusation that U.S. President George W. Bush had failed to understand the threat al-Qaeda posed to the United States before Sept. 11, and bungled the U.S. response afterward. It was a stinging indictment of the Bush presidency, delivered with stiletto precision. And the impassioned response from White House showed that it hurt.

Paul Krugman on debunks Socialsecurityandmedicare (It's one word)
The Medicare Muddle
In advance of Tuesday's reports by the Social Security and Medicare trustees, some credulous journalists wrote stories based on tips from advocates of Social Security privatization, who claimed that the report would offer a radically downgraded vision of the system's future. False alarm: projections for Social Security are about the same as last year. Projections for Medicare, however, have worsened: last year the trustees predicted that the hospital insurance trust fund would last until 2026, and now they've moved it back to 2019.

How this administration is losing the hearts and minds of Americans
The 9/11 Bog
Toward the end of the recent two days of hearings of the independent 9/11 commission, Kristen Breitweiser and Lorie Van Auken, who each lost a husband in the horrific attacks, were near tears. Not of grief, but of rage. They had much to be angry about, as they and other 9/11 family members walked out of the hearings in protest. They were mad that national security adviser Condoleezza Rice had refused to testify publicly. The White House had claimed that it would set a bad precedent and discourage future presidential aides from freely dispensing advice to the commander-in-chief. But in recent years other presidential advisers, including Tom Ridge, have testified before Congress. And Rice had no problem appearing on several television shows right before the hearings to talk about the Bush Administration's deliberations in order to slam Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism chief in the Clinton and early Bush administrations, who had released a book accusing Bush of neglecting Al Qaeda before 9/11 and undermining the fight against Osama bin Laden with the war in Iraq.
MIA WMDs--For Bush, It's a Joke
Only in Washington.

Last night I was at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner. It's a formal-and-fun affair where thousands of media folks assemble at the Hilton for a fancy dinner and fab pre- and post-parties. I'm not going to denigrate such soirees. I enjoy them. While bookers and producers jiggled and jostled on the dance floor and media and political celebs dissected the news du jour (this time it was Richard Clarke's dramatic appearance before the 9/11 commission), I was able to chat with former weapons hunter David Kay and learn about some troubling developments in the intelligence community (more on that down the road). And there was free sushi.

Thursday, March 25, 2004
Random, not deep, thoughts

I remember in the mid-eighties going to see an Eddie Murphy stand up. He was talking about some men's ability to explain away affairs. He talked about one guy where his girlfriend had actually caught him with the other woman and he explained it away saying, "That's just you and your lyin' eyes". And she accepted that. If you still believe anything this administration says you are that guys girlfriend.

Reagan and the first Bush lower taxes, deficit goes through the roof. Clinton raised taxes, deficit goes away. Second Bush lowers taxes, deficit goes back through the roof. Do you see a pattern here?

Condoleezza Rice now wants another private meeting with the 9/11 Commission after Clarke has blown her out of the water. She still does not want to testify or talk to them under oath. If Clarke is such a liar why can't she go to the commission, get sworn in and say everything she is saying on every TV station in America, UNDER OATH? Just wondering.

I turned to C-SPAN last night and the Democratic National Committee unity dinner was on and who do I see giving a speech but Bill Clinton. How I would love to see him and the current President on stage in a debate. He would lay waste to junior.

Empire update
It's Lonely (and Potentially Dangerous) at the Top
All is not well in the empire. From last week?’s eruption of violence in the Balkans to hot spots in Afghanistan, Haiti, and Iraq, the Bush administration is rushing to stamp out smoldering conflicts that threaten to ignite into full-scale civil wars. Even with its massive $400+ billion budget for ?“national defense?” (roughly equivalent to the combined defense expenditures of the next 13 highest spending nations), the United States has many more overseas commitments than security dollars to fulfill them and many more conflicts to keep a lid on than forces to do it.

And to keep it up...
The Coming Draft
In 1973, forced conscription ended in favor of an all-volunteer military. As the gap between the capacity of America's armed forces and the demands of current deployment widens, the likelihood of a reinstated draft grows.

Richard Clarke KOs the Bushies
Richard Clarke made his much-anticipated appearance before the 9/11 commission this afternoon and, right out of the box, delivered a stunning blow to the Bush administration—the political equivalent of a first-round knockout.

How many indeed
How Many More Have to Come Forward?
Many high ranking officials have come out and said that the Bush Administration has lied and exaggerrated selective intelligence to garner support for an Iraqi invasion. Many of whom are conservatives. How many people have to come forward before true hearings are started? How many have to come forward before it will be believed?

Uh oh!
Widow of Soldier in Jessica Lynch Unit Blasts Bush
"The evidence that's starting to come out now feels like he (Bush) was misleading us," Kiehl said, holding the couple's 10-month-old son Nathaniel, born seven weeks after his father died.

"It's almost as though he had things fixed so it would look like he needed to go to war," she said.

Remember These?
- I'm a uniter not a divider.
- "restore honour and dignity" to the White House.
- Where’s the Lockbox?
- "I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building. . . .
- If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us.
- And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy.
The Election 2000 Bush Doctrine
MODERATOR: New question. How would you go about as president deciding when it was in the national interest to use U.S. force, generally?

BUSH: Well, if it's in our vital national interest, and that means whether our territory is threatened or people could be harmed, whether or not the alliances are -- our defense alliances are threatened, whether or not our friends in the Middle East are threatened. That would be a time to seriously consider the use of force. Secondly, whether or not the mission was clear. Whether or not it was a clear understanding as to what the mission would be. Thirdly, whether or not we were prepared and trained to win. Whether or not our forces were of high morale and high standing and well-equipped. And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy. I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and therefore prevent war from happening in the first place. So I would take my responsibility seriously. And it starts with making sure we rebuild our military power. Morale in today's military is too low. We're having trouble meeting recruiting goals. We met the goals this year, but in the previous years we have not met recruiting goals. Some of our troops are not well-equipped. I believe we're overextended in too many places. And therefore I want to rebuild the military power. It starts with a billion dollar pay raise for the men and women who wear the uniform. A billion dollars more than the president recently signed into law. It's to make sure our troops are well-housed and well-equipped. Bonus plans to keep some of our high-skilled folks in the services and a commander in chief that sets the mission to fight and win war and prevent war from happening in the first place,

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Couldn't have said it better myself
9/11: Blood On Bush's Hands?
We hear so much about foreign dictators. We know leaders cause problems to keep themselves employed. Why is it some questions about 9/11 are out-of-bounds? Americans ought to be asking all questions, even the seemingly silly ones. Assessing our own errors won't bring back the victims, but it won't trash their memory, either. Mistakes were made. We know this. But was it incompetence or corruption? Dean's comments were criticized, but his logic was spot-on: The fact is we don't know what happened. If the White House is on the up-and-up here -- if their want for regime change was as well-intentioned as it now seems ill-advised -- they should open up and show us, for their sake and ours.

More on Clarke
Dick Clarke Is Telling the Truth
I have no doubt that Richard Clarke, the former National Security Council official who has launched a broadside against President Bush's counterterrorism policies, is telling the truth about every single charge. There are three reasons for this confidence.

A media critique
Richard Clarke and Teflon George
Clarke just follows in a long line of insurgents who have broken ranks with the administration, and made their case against the President. That list now includes General Zinni, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter, Intelligence Analyst Greg Theilman and Ex-Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O'Neill.

Mistake? Someone made a mistake?
A testimony to failure Sept. 11 panel hears how U.S. ran out of time to get bin Laden TRUTH, NOT SPIN: Families and friends of victims waiting for answers -- and accountability
Carole O'Hare, like others who lost family and friends Sept. 11, is watching the televised hearings about the terrorist attacks intently. And like some of those who have spent the past 2 1/2 years searching and begging and praying for answers, O'Hare said she noticed a disturbing trend in Tuesday's opening testimony:

"Not one person has come out and admitted there was a mistake made," said O'Hare, a Danville resident whose mother, Hilda Marcin, was on San Francisco- bound United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed into the countryside in Shanksville, Pa.

What the (expletive deleted) is it going to take for the people of this country to understand that as FDR said:
In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way-Franklin Delano Roosevelt
And in this case I am talking about 9/11. As this hearing goes on it will become more and more obvious. Your government had prior knowledge this was going to happen. It did nothing to stop it. Why? Because nothing happenss by accident. Now you can call me a conspiracy theorist, that's fine, but call me that after you look at the facts. Why were those hijacked planes not interceptedd? Why did Bush continue to sit in that classroom after he learned of the attacks? Why did Rumsfeld stay in his office until the Pentagon was hit? Just to get you started. If you would like a whole list of questions go here, Unanswered Questions. It's hitting the fan and it's been a long time coming. One disgusting thing you can see from yesterday's hearing is the fact that everyone questioning and being questioned are either current of former government officials. How can that possibly be an independent commissionn? They all invest in the same mutual funds. They all are probably now on the same board of directors. How in the world do you expect these people to delve into issues that could hurt them and their friends and the structure they have created?

Justin Raimondo
9/11 Revisionism It's the only way we'll get at the truth
"They will never give the full story"--that's what former Senator Max Cleland, who resigned from the 9/11 Commission in protest over White House stonewalling, said to Amy Goodman on the "Democracy Now" radio program. But of course not. The Bushies would just as soon commit collective suicide. Just as we had to find out on our own the truth about the Iraq war--that there were no WMD, no links to Al Qaeda, no unmanned drones ready to strike American cities with God-knows-what: it was all a lie--so a similar revisionism is necessary when it comes to examining what happened on 9/11, and why.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Marie Cocco
Bush's 9/11 myths endanger U.S.
This is the week the myths may disintegrate.

There are two great myths about 9/11, spun in a seamless web that took form even as the flames shot from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and tiny Shanksville wept.

Poor George. Everybody hates him.
Analysis: Iraq Charges Against Bush Begin to Mounts
Criticism of President Bush's motives and decision-making in attacking Iraq last year may be acquiring critical mass with voters following criticism by former top counterterrorism official Richard Clarke.

Remember, as we go through this, they could have appointed a commission soon after 9/11 and it would have finished already
Government Accounts of 9/11 Reveal Gaps, Inconsistencies
Shortly after a passenger jet crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers raced back to the military headquarters from a meeting on Capitol Hill. The four-star general, acting head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that day, went directly to the Pentagon's command center. With smoke spreading into the cavernous room, he ordered the officer in charge, Maj. Gen. W. Montague Winfield, to raise the military's alert status to Defcon III, the highest state of readiness since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

Still think you live in a free country?
The Clear Channel Controversy, One Year On (Why Howard Stern’s Woes Are Your Woes, Too)
While March 19th marked the year anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, it also marked another anniversary – the day the mainstream press addressed the blurring boundaries between Clear Channel Communications and the Bush administration. "Media giant's rally sponsorship raises questions," the Chicago Tribune declared on March 19, 2003, before delving into some rather unsettling implications of the cozy relationship between America’s largest radio conglomerate and President Bush.

Juan Cole's analysis of the assassination yesterday
Sharon's Murder of Yassin Endangers Americans in Iraq and Elsewhere
The most dangerous regime to United States interests in the Middle East is that of Ariel Sharon, not because he fights terrorists, but because he is stealing the land of another people and is brutalizing them in the process--and those are people with whom the rest of the Middle East and the Muslim world sympathizes. A US counter-insurgency fight against Muslim radical extremists requires winning hearts and minds, which is impossible as long as Sharon behaves the way he did Monday, since everyone in the region knows that the US coddles the Israeli Right. Israel once had a proper prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, who knew how to make peace and how to be a good partner for America. Sharon is not good enough to shine his shoes.

This needs to kept in mind when thinking about Bush, the "truth" and a his agenda run counter to each other. The Bush administration needs war, needs a deficit, needs a higher unemployment rate, needs you to be afraid. Although he would never admit it. The war is needed to keep defense spending high. The deficit is needed to cut social programs. High unemployment is needed so these "cheap labor conservatives" labor stays cheap. And of course your fear is needed so you will not question what your leader is doing to the homeland. All of these help his agenda to make sure he and his buddies--corporations, and in particular the military industrial complex--steal the treasury. If you ask Bush though he is not for any of these things even though his actions contradict him. So from now on we should no longer listen to what he says we should look at what he does. Oh yeah, and what allowed all of this to take place? Well it starts with a 9 and ends with an 11. It always goes back to that!

Paul Krugman
Lifting the Shroud
From the day it took office, U.S. News & World Report wrote a few months ago, the Bush administration "dropped a shroud of secrecy" over the federal government. After 9/11, the administration's secretiveness knew no limits — Americans, Ari Fleischer ominously warned, "need to watch what they say, watch what they do." Patriotic citizens were supposed to accept the administration's version of events, not ask awkward questions.

Monday, March 22, 2004
I post these timelines in the wake of Richard Clarke's appearance on 60 Minutes last night. Also a warning to anyone that reads them: Beware, once you start you can't stop. I got curious in the spring of 2002 and since then I as each day goes by the more I learn the less I know. It is a whole new world when you realize what your government has been doing.

When they say complete, they mean it
The Complete 9/11 Timeline
This webpage is meant to be a comprehensive resource for anyone attempting to understand 9/11, the anthrax attacks, and the "war on terrorism." Once you start reading, I think it will become clear that there is much more going on than the "official story" claims. The mainstream media is the one that's failed to "connect the dots". There are an amazing amount of intriguing news stories that have squeaked into the media but not reached a wide audience, and/or have not been properly followed up or placed into context.

Good primer
9/11: Internal Government Documents Show How the Bush Administration Reduced Counterterrorism
Since September 11, President Bush and his supporters have repeatedly intimated that many of the President's political opponents are soft on terrorism. In his State of the Union address, the President declared: "We can go forward with confidence and resolve, or we can turn back to the dangerous illusion that terrorists are not plotting and outlaw regimes are no threat to us." In comments aimed at those who seek changes in the Patriot Act, Attorney General John Ashcroft said: "Your tactics only aid terrorists." One recent ad asserts, "Some call for us to retreat, putting our national security in the hands of others."

Remember the Osama's #2? False alarm. What Medicare lie?
Truce in Pakistan's Al-Qaeda offensive after heavy overnight fighting
President Pervez Musharraf said it appeared a "high value target" was being protected, and the level of resistance led some officials to believe it could be Al-Qaeda number two Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

But regional experts believe the "high value target" is more likely to be a Chechen or Uzbek militant leader, because of the large number of Central Asians arrested and intercepted radio conversations in Chechen and USPS language.

It's time for the president to play the 'name names' game
So, for the chief executive who suddenly wants names named, who suddenly flirts with some understanding of the merits of full disclosure and transparency after more than three years of running the most secretive government in American history, a few similar questions.

So where are we. Over the weekend we had a multi-administration terrorism expert tell us that the current administration ignored the threat from Al Qaeda. That the previous administration warned the current one that Al Qaeda would be the number one threat to America in the future. He also tells us that after 9/11 Rumsfeld wanted to go after Iraq and not Afghanistan because there were no good targets in Afghanistan. So now we know that the Project for the New American Century and their direction is now the direction of America's foreign policy. Here is their Statement of Principles and their manifesto, "Rebuilding America's Defenses", is linked under must reads (below, right). It's a plan for American empire. It's a plan with results we see manifested in the increased hate for America around the world. Not only in Arab, Middle East and Muslim countries but from countries that used to be our allies as well--France, Spain, Germany, just to name a few. So what does all this mean. Well in my opinion it reinforces what we already knew. This administration wanted to invade Iraq from day one and they needed a reason. As stated in the above referenced manifesto they needed a "Pearl Harbor" type incident to shock the American sheeple into accepting this drive for American empire. Their friends are all in the Oil business and the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) which is reaping most of the financial gain from war without end. It's the Big Lie again. If it worked once it will work again. So that is where we are.

Man I'm freakin' out! Pat Buchanan is making alot of sense!
The Consequences of Bush's War
Finally, why do scores of millions of Arab and Islamic peoples hate us and wish to see us humiliated in Iraq? At one time, we were the most admired nation on earth. Is any of this our fault, unpatriotic as that question may seem?

Here is the latest on the Medicare Bill corruption
Bush's Medicare dream turning into a nightmare
Enactment of a sweeping Medicare overhaul law last year was supposed to be the crowning achievement of President George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" as he readied himself for re-election.

An ex-President speaks
Carter Savages Blair and Bush: 'Their War was Based on Lies'
Jimmy Carter, the former US president, has strongly criticized George Bush and Tony Blair for waging an unnecessary war to oust Saddam Hussein based on "lies or misinterpretations". The 2002 Nobel peace prize winner said Mr Blair had allowed his better judgment to be swayed by Mr Bush's desire to finish a war that his father had started.
note: I did a search on Jimmy Carter, Bush, Blair. None of the major media in the country is reporting on this. Think about that.

Friday, March 19, 2004
Don't forget
Lucky to be alive, but living in pain
Staff Sgt. John Quincy Adams limped across the floor to a chair in his living room, tried to steady a cellular phone in his left hand and struggled with every word he spoke to his war buddy on the other end.

How does it hold up a year later
Off the Mark on Cost of War, Reception by Iraqis
A year ago tonight, President Bush took the nation to war in Iraq with a grand vision for change in the Middle East and beyond.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq, his administration predicted, would come at little financial cost and would materially improve the lives of Iraqis. Americans would be greeted as liberators, Bush officials predicted, and the toppling of Saddam Hussein would spread peace and democracy throughout the Middle East.

It's Friday. It's Chris Floyd
Night Sweats
This is the story of three innocent men, held in brutal captivity for more than two years; three innocent men, stripped, blinded, beaten, tortured, caged and silenced, all in the name of freedom and civilization; three innocent men, ground into the dust by an implacable power that defends its "enduring moral values" with the boot in the groin, the gun to the head -- and the abetting of atrocity and murder.

Great article about C-SPAN's 25th anniversary
The Wallflower Knows
Candidate Kerry was on C-SPAN a few days ago, flanked by firefighters, delivering a stump speech so masterful, I finally understood what happened in all those primary states and why the White House is so worried.

Political suicide?
Allies Axed
Does being closely associated with the Bush administration mean you can lose an election?

This is the third election of a major ally in which the party running against George Bush won. Look at Germany in '02, South Korea in '03, and now Spain. The message is: If you want to get re-elected, don't go to Crawford. Bush is a political liability -- in Europe, in particular. His foreign policy has trampled on the European views and it's now resulting in the election of governments that do not support his approach.

Paul Krugman
Taken for a Ride
Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." So George Bush declared on Sept. 20, 2001. But what was he saying? Surely he didn't mean that everyone was obliged to support all of his policies, that if you opposed him on anything you were aiding terrorists.

Now we know that he meant just that.

This guy is definately with the terrorists
Foster: White House Had Role In Withholding Medicare Data
Richard S. Foster, the government's chief analyst of Medicare costs who was threatened with firing last year if he disclosed too much information to Congress, said last night that he believes the White House participated in the decision to withhold analyses that Medicare legislation President Bush sought would be far more expensive than lawmakers knew.

Thursday, March 18, 2004
As far as I'm concerned if you want to know what is happening in Iraq Juan Cole is the authority. He has three posts on his sight today and they are all must reads. This one is the best:

Zawahiri Cornered?

I know that the mass media is concentrating on the firefight in Waziristan, where the Pakistani army has pinned down some 400 fighters, who are putting up fierce resistance. Although they are said to be al-Qaeda, I doubt it is known for sure who exactly they are. There is speculation that Ayman al-Zawahiri is among them. He is Bin Laden's second in command and the leader of the radical al-Jihad al-Islami organization of Egypt.

It is suspicious to me that earlier this week the Bush administration recognized Pakistan as a "non-NATO ally" (it joins Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Bahrain in that category). Such allies have access to high-tech US weaponry. (The relationship does not, despite the word "ally," involve any mutual defense pact, so apparently the arms deal is the most important aspect of it). Then as soon as the Pakistani army got what it has long wanted from the US, erasing the humiliation of never having received the F-16s it had earlier bought because of sanctions imposed by Congress over its nuclear weapons program--all of a sudden it has 200 fighters surrounded. One wonders if someone in the Pakistani military didn't at least suspect they were there, but dragged his feet until a better deal was offered . . .

By the way, dear friends who have to speak on television about all this: It is al za-WA-hir-I .

More on the Medicare problem. No wonder we're supposedly finding OBL's #2 today
Prescription For A Mess
In order to pass what they said was their most politically important domestic initiative, the White House appears to have done the following: they low-balled the cost by 30%; they lied to Congressional Republicans to get their votes; if lying didn't work, they offered Republican Congressman bribes; and they used bogus taxpayer-funded commercials to sell the new policy. Despite all that, their biggest institutional ally deems the entire effort "a mess," voters not only don't credit Bush with lessening the problem, they blame him for making the problem worse, and the means the White House used to obtain passage of, and build public support for the Medicare bill have spawned investigations into three separate areas, each of which could eventually point back to malfeasance by the White House. No wonder the Bush campaign wants to keep talking about the "War on Terror"; they've got nothing else to talk about.

This is not rocket science. Every time the shit starts hitting the fan they break out a terrorist. In the last few days the violence in Iraq has been picking up. Our first man in Iraq says he was fired because, "My preference was to put the Iraqis in charge as soon as we can, and do it with some form of elections ... I just thought it was necessary to rapidly get the Iraqis in charge of their destiny." Also Rep. Waxman has catalogued the lies. David Corn introduces it, The Worst of Bush's Iraq Whoppers. So remember when all hell is breaking loose it's time to pull a terrorist out of a spider hole. Because if the mainstream media isn't talking about it, it isn't actually happening.

Link Between Taxation, Unemployment Is Absent
When President Bill Clinton raised taxes in 1993, the unemployment rate dropped, from 6.9 to 6.1 percent, and kept falling each of the next seven years. When President Bush cut taxes in 2001, the unemployment rate rose, from 4.7 to 5.8 percent, then drifted to 6 percent last year when taxes were cut again.

Have you been keeping up with the, ahem, problems with the Medicare bill?
Mysterious Fax Adds to Intrigue Over the Medicare Bill's Cost
Late one Friday afternoon in January, after the House of Representatives had adjourned for the week, Cybele Bjorklund, a House Democratic health policy aide, heard the buzz of the fax machine at her desk. Coming over the transom, with no hint of the sender, was a document she had been seeking for months: an estimate by Medicare's chief actuary showing the cost of prescription drug benefits for the elderly.
I love it. The President lies to his own party and look how they respond.
Hastert hits back on Medicare vote and ethics
The Bush administration has not made Hastert's job any easier, he said. "Yeah, [the higher cost estimate] was a surprise to us, and [I was] surprised it happened," Hastert said. "When the administration comes out and says this is going to be more expensive?[it] makes it tougher on us, kind of sticks it to us."

finishes with this...

Another Republican lawmaker, speaking on condition of anonymity, said conservatives in the GOP caucus have not been organized enough to propose an alternative to reduce the program's cost. But he worried that if more reforms were not introduced, the entire Medicare program could be jeopardized or lawmakers would be forced to raise taxes to cover cost increases.

Well isn't that interesting. A employee is forced to withhold cost estimates from Congress. If the estimates were know before the vote their is no way the bill passes. Bush needs this for the campaign. Still without this knowledge Congress is not guaranteed to pass the bill. The Republican leadership is forced to bribe those in it's own party to get the bill passed. The bill passes and a little later we find out about the true cost of the pharmaceutical Companies/HMO/Insurance Company Medicare Reform Bill is 33% higher than the bill was when it passed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

"That they deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride,"

-Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski

I've been posting quite a bit from Juan Cole. It's becuase he is writing some good stuff. More on the OSP.
US Intelligence Follies: Why Haven't Cheney, Feith and Chalabi been Impeached?
While everyone is beating up on John Kerry for letting it slip he thinks the Bushies are crooked, we might ponder the sort of thing that might have led him to this impression.
This is from last week.

How the world sees us
A Year After Iraq War, Mistrust of America in Europe Ever Higher, Muslim Anger Persists
A year after the war in Iraq, discontent with America and its policies has intensified rather than diminished. Opinion of the United States in France and Germany is at least as negative now as at the war?s conclusion, and British views are decidedly more critical. Perceptions of American unilateralism remain widespread in European and Muslim nations, and the war in Iraq has undermined America?s credibility abroad. Doubts about the motives behind the U.S.-led war on terrorism abound, and a growing percentage of Europeans want foreign policy and security arrangements independent from the United States. Across Europe, there is considerable support for the European Union to become as powerful as the United States.

Why is this? Well I will give you one hint. It was a year ago today that the worlds sheriff gave Saddam 48 hours to get out of town. Here is an excerpt:
It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. It is not too late for the Iraqi military to act with honor and protect your country by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attacked and destroyed. I urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services, if war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life.

And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning. In any conflict, your fate will depend on your action. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders."
Notice that he mentions the oil first and the WMD second. Interesting.

Has anyone noticed since the bombings and the election results in Spain that there is an attempt to pin the election results on the fact that the bombings themselves and therefore the Spanish people's fear of the terrorists changed the election? Which candidacy for POTUS would this benefit? Now I'm not saying that our government did this. I'm just asking you to look at how the current administration is spinning this. They're not mentioning the fact that the coalition of the willing is falling apart. They just want to make sure to scare you into voting for them. In other words who would tell the American people, "Don't let the terrorists influence your election by voting out our current administration."? Just something to think about.

As the Juan Cole article that I posted yesterday theorizes the election results occurred in Spain because the people of Spain perceived that their government took them into a war that was not related to the war on terror. And that there involvement in that war was the catalyst for the attacks. But what is emerging now that is even more interesting is the fact that the current government was voted out because it initially lied to the Spanish people about who was responsible for the attacks. Imagine that. Think about these two things. Your government tries to coverup the truth about a terrorist attack on your soil and is caught in that lie. Your government also lies to you about the reasons for going to war-- it in essence causes more suffering and dying for the people of your country, not less as you were told--and then at election time they are voted out for those lies. Sounds logical to me.

Two from William Rivers Pitt:

There is hope for democracy in this world!
Three Days in Spain
Two days. That was all it took for the people of Spain to become impatient, to pressure their government for the truth. When they did not get it, they threw that government out on it's ear. For America, a nation approaching the 1,000th day in which their government has not provided the truth of September 11th, this is a lesson to be taken deeply to heart.
Mass death. Must be the liberals fault!
9/11 Nonsense
The attacks of September 11 have become, morosely, a political football. The Bush for President campaign is running commercials that display burning towers and the faces of brave firefighters, said firefighters being played by actors. Despite outraged howls from real firefighters, who were joined in rage by family members of 9/11 victims, the commercials continue to run. Bush believes his leadership in the aftermath of the attacks should be a campaign issue, and so there it is.

The man who started it all, Joe Wilson
The Pinocchio presidency
President George W. Bush, in a recent "Meet the Press" interview, acknowledged to interviewer Tim Russert that the upcoming presidential campaign would be a time for the American people to assess whether he had used "good judgment" in his key decisions on foreign policy, and that he welcomed that debate.

What's happening to the coalitition of the "willing"?
Bush Urges Resolve on Iraq
As the White House downplayed suggestions that its coalition was beginning to fray, Bush lobbied the Dutch prime minister on the issue but won no commitment that 1,300 troops from the Netherlands would remain in Iraq beyond June. At the same time, Honduran officials said Tuesday that they would pull their 370 troops out of Iraq during the summer, and diplomats speculated that El Salvador and Guatemala might follow suit.

This is a great article on pre-war intelligence
Intelligence failure, misinterpretation or deceit?
Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, which served as the prime rationale advanced by President Bush for the war that began a year ago this week, have vanished like a desert mirage, and the issue has become potentially troubling for a president seeking re-election.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Juan Cole on what the election results in Spain mean
Did al-Qaeda Win the Spanish Elections?
This silly question is being asked by billionnaire Rupert Murdoch's and Conrad Black's media outlets all over the world in blazing headlines. For some strange reason, the billionnaires aren't happy that the Socialist Workers' Party won the elections in Spain, and are trying to portray the outcome as cowardice on the part of the Spanish public.

Iraqi Exile Group Fed False Information to News Media
The former Iraqi exile group that gave the Bush administration exaggerated and fabricated intelligence on Iraq also fed much of the same information to leading newspapers, news agencies and magazines in the United States, Britain and Australia.

Paul Krugman says President Bush is...
Weak on Terror
"My most immediate priority," Spain's new leader, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, declared yesterday, "will be to fight terrorism." But he and the voters who gave his party a stunning upset victory last Sunday don't believe the war in Iraq is part of that fight. And the Spanish public was also outraged by what it perceived as the Aznar government's attempt to spin last week's terrorist attack for political purposes.

Do you remember this?
Q Mr. President, Dr. Rice and Secretary Rumsfeld both said yesterday that they have seen no evidence that Iraq had anything to do with September 11th. Yet, on Meet the Press, Sunday, the Vice President said Iraq was a geographic base for the terrorists and he also said, I don't know, or we don't know, when asked if there was any involvement. Your critics say that this is some effort -- deliberate effort to blur the line and confuse people. How would you answer that?

THE PRESIDENT: We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th. What the Vice President said was, is that he has been involved with al Qaeda. And al Zarqawi, al Qaeda operative, was in Baghdad. He's the guy that ordered the killing of a U.S. diplomat. He's a man who is still running loose, involved with the poisons network, involved with Ansar al-Islam. There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties.
Remarks by the President After Meeting with Members of the Congressional Conference Committee on Energy Legislation, September 17, 2003. The basic point to all of this being that everyone around the world realizes that Iraq has/had absolutely nothing to do with the "war on terror" created by 9/11.

A truely, unfoxnewslike, "fair and balanced" article on the coming Air America Radio
O'Reilly, O'Franken, oh no!
But we're seeing something different today. Traditional old-line outlets are being abandoned, according to a new study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. (I work for the Project and participated in researching and writing the report.) In the past 10 years, the number of people tuning in to network evening newscasts has fallen from more than 40 million to less than 30 million. Between 1990 and 2002, daily newspaper circulation declined at a rate of 1 percent a year. And remember, both those drops happened as the national population grew - meaning that the declines are actually much steeper than they appear.
Here is the lineup for the new Air America Radio
Our Programs

A media critique from the Gadflyer
Getting Tough with the Press
Let's start with some easy stuff. Just because reporters write the first draft of history doesn't mean they are historians. That means, for one thing, they should report on the election happening right now, not one that took place 30 years ago.

Is he really off heroin? I usually don't even like to acknowledge that this man exists. But this is just too heinous!Rush Limbaugh Attacks Widows and Children
"Most of us here in the media are what I consider infotainers.... Rush Limbaugh is what I call a disinfotainer. He entertains by spreading disinformation." --Al Franken at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, April 23, 1994

Here's one for you
U.S. Unloading WMD in Iraq
Over the past few days, in the wake of the bombings in Karbala and the ideological disputes that delayed the signing of Iraq?s interim constitution, there have been reports that U.S. forces have unloaded a large cargo of parts for constructing long-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the southern ports of Iraq.

Monday, March 15, 2004
Let's not forget
G.I. Toll Rises in Iraq With New Bomb Tactics
Insurgent bombmakers, whose roadside explosives claimed the lives of six more American soldiers this weekend, have adopted new and grimly devious tactics, military officers said Sunday.

Let's not forget
G.I. Toll Rises in Iraq With New Bomb Tactics
Insurgent bombmakers, whose roadside explosives claimed the lives of six more American soldiers this weekend, have adopted new and grimly devious tactics, military officers said Sunday.

Thom Hartmann
Democracy - Not "The Free Market" - Will Save America's Middle Class
Here are a couple of headlines for those who haven't had the time to study both economics and history:

1. There is no such thing as a "free market."

2. The "middle class" is the creation of government intervention in the marketplace, and won't exist without it (as millions of Americans and Europeans are discovering).

The conservative belief in "free markets" is a bit like the Catholic Church's insistence that the Earth was at the center of the Solar System in the Twelfth Century. It's widely believed by those in power, those who challenge it are branded heretics and ridiculed, and it is wrong.

Once again how did that go? Crooked.....liars, yeah liars, that was it.
Rumsfeld Caught Lying, Yet Again, On "Face the Nation." But This Time, a Journalist Actually Threw It In His Face.
Sec. RUMSFELD: Mm-hmm. It--my view of--of the situation was that he--he had--we--we believe, the best intelligence that we had and other countries had and that--that we believed and we still do not know--we will know.

Did you see Doonesbury yesteday?
Here it is.
Blank canvas indeed.

New Progressive internet magazine launches, the Gadflyer
Getting Tough With the Right
All across America, progressives are riled up. They saw George W. Bush lose the 2000 election yet manage, through the intercession of a friendly Supreme Court, to take control of the executive branch. They watched as he rolled over seemingly impotent Democrats again and again. Their patriotism was questioned when they raised objections to a war of dubious justification. On nearly every national issue, from abortion to economic policy to health care to environmental protection, their agenda enjoys majority support among the public, yet all three branches of government, not to mention a majority of governorships and state legislatures, are controlled by conservatives.

I watched Condi last night on Meet the Press. I hate it when I start yelling at someone on the TV but she deserved it! Howard Dean came on after her and basically said that everything she just said was B.S. So I felt better after that.

After almost four atrocious years of the Bush administration I have a little perspective on the situation. In January of 2001 a President took office that is, how shall I put this, a blank canvas. Not to worry though the people--(Letter to President Clinton on Iraq, scroll to bottom to see signers)--that started painting on that canvas had a plan. It was not one of compassionate conservatism though. There main focus was the fact that we are running out of oil on this planet. It's a concept known as Peak Oil and is based on this theory The Hubbert Peak for World Oil. It is well known by people that work in the oil business or "bidness" as they say in Texas. Do you know anyone in the current administration that worked in the oil "bidness" before taking office?

So what we have is a bunch of oil crazy business men who are well aware of the fact that it is running out and need an excuse to go get it. Then came 9/11. Whooo Hooo! Now we can take out anyone we want and the American sheeple will let us. Remember we are in a war. Do you know who declares war under our Constitution? It's Congress. Has Congress declared war on anyone? So remember we are not at war with anyone. If this is such and important "war" why hasn't the President asked Congress to make if official? Now I know what you're thinking. I'm a conspiracy theorist. I think not. Read the above letter. Go to this website The Project for the New American Century and poke around. Notice that plenty of the signers of documents here now work in this adminstration. Read this Rebuilding America's Defenses(.pdf), especially on page 63 where you find this nugget:
Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event; like a new Pearl Harbor.

As we go after Middle East countries one by one. As we attempt to overthrow governments around the world--Venezuela, Haiti, Equatorial Guinea. As the draft comes back, if Bush is reelected. As more and more of our treasury goes to defense instead of to those who need it the most. As gas prices go through the roof. Remember it was all there to see before it happened. This didn't just happen becausee of 9/11. 9/11 was just a piece of the puzzle.

Sunday, March 14, 2004
These people sure are unpatriotic
Relatives of US soldiers killed in Iraq protest outside US base
Hundreds of protesters, many of them relatives of US soldiers killed in Iraq (news - web sites) or currently on duty in the region, marched outside the Dover Air Force Base in the northeastern state of Delaware to protest the US war in Iraq.

Remember the domionists?
Pin Heads
One of the sticking points in crafting the just-signed "interim constitution" of the Pentagon cash cow formerly known as Iraq was the question of acknowledging Islam as the fundamental source of law. After much wrangling, a fudge was worked out that cites the Koran as a fundamental source of legal authority, with the proviso that no law can be passed that conflicts with Islam.

Hereeeee's the draft
'Special skills draft' on drawing board Computer experts, foreign language specialists lead list of military's needs
The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages.
I'm glad I took French in high school.

Spanish government admits defeat. Huge slap in the face to Bush. Tony Blair, Take Note What Happens to People Who Support Bush's Failed War on Terrorism.This headline is from Buzzflash. They are the best.
Spanish government admits defeat
Spain's ruling Popular Party has suffered an unexpected defeat in the country's general election with almost all the votes counted.

Friday, March 12, 2004
Let me did that go? Crooked liars?
Pentagon asks Justice Department to join Halliburton probe: report
The Pentagon has asked the Justice Department to join in an investigation of alleged overcharging by US energy and services group Halliburton, The Wall Street Journal said Thursday.

The move, which one justice department official deemed "significant," could lead to criminal fraud charges and penalties agianst the Texas-based company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Paul Krugman
No More Excuses on Jobs
As job growth continues to elude the U.S. economy, we're hearing two main excuses from the Bush administration and its supporters: that the real situation is much better than you're hearing, and that to the extent employment is lagging, it's the result of factors outside the administration's control. But after three years of extravagant promises and dismal results, the time for excuses has passed.

This one is good
Ghost of America's Past
two excerpts from this one
When will all Americans -- Republicans, Democrats, Greens, independents and "swing voters" -- connect the dots on the Bush Regime? What has happened that people can not see the large blood-red handwriting on the wall? Has Osama and his box-cutter gang really done such profound damage to our nation's heart and soul? Are we such simpletons that, if Bush "magically" produces Osama's head on a platter before November, we will "reward" him with another four years?
As a friend put it, "I keep thinking ... why is beating Bush made to seem like a long shot? He got the presidency by lying, talking from the center while acting from the far right. Now a full term has passed and the country's in an economic and foreign policy shambles ... little is going right and he's been revealed to be an incompetent, disingenuous nincompoop who acts only in the interest of the moneyed elite and the Christian coalition. His true colors have been revealed and his record is checkered, which you'd think would be enough to have him losing in a landslide."

More fuel
It's The Economic Team, Stupid
Twelve years ago, the blackboard in Bill Clinton's campaign headquarters had the famous slogan: "It's the economy, stupid." For the past few weeks, John Kerry's campaign headquarters and the Democratic National Committee's office should have had signs saying, "It's Bush's stupid economic team."

This is shocking
Consumer Sentiment Slips Unexpectedly
U.S. consumer sentiment dipped unexpectedly in early March as Americans, worried about a lack of new jobs, grew more cautious about the prospects for the economy, according to a survey released on Friday.

Didn't somebody call these people "crooked liars" recently?
Bush administration ordered Medicare plan cost estimates withheld
The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan.

Anyone still naive enough to believe Bush actually gave them a tax cut? If so check this out.
The Bush Tax
Rather than take responsibility for our common future, Bush has shifted costs to states and communities, who then pass them on to you. Across the country, people are seeing their property taxes skyrocket. State college tuition at 4-year schools has increased this year by an average of $579 nationwide. Half a million children have been deprived of health coverage. States and local government have cut vital services, and we’re all having to pay more for less. That’s the Bush Tax.

This goes to the point I have mentioned here before. I was taught growing up that there is no such thing as a tax cut, there are only tax shifts. One way or another the government will get its money. Bush and the Republican Congress have passed a series of tax shifts. The tax burden was shifted from the haves (Bush and his friends in the top 1%) to the havenots (you & me). Once again I welcome you to George Bush's America!

Unless you were in a box yesterday I'm sure you saw heard about John Kerry's remarks, Kerry Stands By Republicans Are 'Crooked Liars' Claim. I guess one of the main problems I have with this is that it is being portrayed like it is part of his stump speech. These were off-hand comments to a supporter. It went something like this:
"Keep smiling," one man said to him.

Kerry responded, "Oh yeah, don't worry, man. We're going to keep pounding, let me tell you—we're just beginning to fight here. These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I've ever seen."

"It's scary," replied another worker.

And what do the Republicans have to say about it you ask?
But the chairman of the Bush re-election campaign, former Montana Gov. Mark Racicot, said Kerry should apologize.

"Senator Kerry's statement ... was unbecoming of a candidate for the presidency of the United States," Racicot said.

Wow, he almost sounds serious! Iwonder if this rings a bell for him?

Remember during the 2000 elections when, thinking himself off-mike, Bush and Cheney had this exchange?

Bush "There's Adam Clymer -- major league asshole -- from the New York Times," Bush said.

Cheney, "Yeah, big time," returned Cheney.

Well that sure wasn't very becoming of a candidate for the presidency of the United States or the vice presidency either. Check this one out.

Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said the comment gave the public "a little glimpse of the real John Kerry."

Touchy, touchy. If DeLay is making a bad comment about you you must be doing something right. It appears Mr. Kerry has touched a nerve. The truth hurts. Some of us feel vindicated, we've been calling them crooked liars for quite some time now.

Is there an election this year?
Bush Exaggerates Kerry's Position on Intelligence Budget
President Bush, in his first major assault on Sen. John F. Kerry's legislative record, said this week that his Democratic opponent proposed a $1.5 billion cut in the intelligence budget, a proposal that would "gut the intelligence services," and one that had no co-sponsors because it was "deeply irresponsible."

One more time
Bush Continues to Mislead About 9/11
As President Bush visits a memorial for victims of the 9/11 attacks today, he continues to refuse to clarify dishonest comments he and his national security adviser made denying they had any warning that a terrorist attack was imminent before 9/11

Thursday, March 11, 2004
Have you heard about this yet?
Zimbabwe nabs `mercenaries'
Zimbabwe is holding a U.S.-registered cargo plane that the government says was carrying suspected mercenaries and a cargo of military gear.
Two updates:
Where was flight N4610 heading?
Zimbabwe: 'Mercenaries' Could Be Executed

It's only $340 million
Discredited Iraqi exiles still land US spy funds
Washington is paying the Iraqi National Congress exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi about $340,000 (?190,000) a month for intelligence about insurgents and other matters, US officials said yesterday.

I've got two for this one:
You won't find articles like this in the American press
War without end Amen
On the road to Damascus with the neo-cons
Getting out of the political quicksand of Iraq, or at least burying the bloody occupation as an embarrassing daily news item, is mission number one for the re-election campaign of US President George W Bush.

CIA Chief Clueless on Neocon Intelligence Channel
Was Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director George Tenet really the last person in Washington to find out that both the president and vice president were being fed phony or "sexed up" intelligence about prewar Iraq by a Pentagon office staffed by ideologically driven neoconservatives?

Uh oh!
Bush Choice for Manufacturing Post in Question
Six months after promising to create an office to help the nation's struggling manufacturers, President Bush settled on someone to head it, but the nomination was being reconsidered last night after Democrats revealed that his candidate had opened a factory in China.

Sidney Blumenthal
Squandering the trauma of September 11
Having failed to create consensus, Bush is left with a negative campaign

First, dkos started it
Bush's flip flops
Bush is against campaign finance reform; then he's for it.

Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it.

Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it.

Bush is against an Iraq WMD investigation; then he's for it.

...(click on article for full list).

...and it kept going
Bush Flip Flop Watch
Slate has an article by Michael Grunwald which it attempts to document some of John Kerry’s alleged flip flops. As Josh Marshall demonstrates, Grunwald’s argument is sloppy and tendentious.

Did I say that?
Fish. Barrel. Boom.
"I'm a firm believer in feeding people their own words back to them, when it's appropriate."
– Trent Lott

As we hurtle headlong into the silly season, a high colonic for the mind is in order. There is going to be a lot of back-and-forth between the candidates regarding who said what and when. Feast, in that context, upon this small collection:

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."

- George W. Bush, discussing Kosovo, Houston Chronicle, 04-09-99
...(this article is full of them).

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
If you believe you still live in a Democracy and would like to keep it that way then you need to make sure you understand what is going on with voting machines in this country. For a good overview go to Some good overview materials that can get you up to speed.

I may be overreacting on this but once you understand what has been happening and what is possible to happen with the new machines the potential for vote rigging is enormous. For anyone that wants the long version the resource so far on this issuer is Black Box Voting. She has a book that you can download one chapter at a time. I've read most of it and it will scare you into action!

A profile of Bev Harris, the woman behind Black Box Voting
Black Box Backlash
Bev Harris of Renton created a firestorm with her national Internet campaign against electronic voting. Now she's trying to persuade people in the real world that their democracy is on the line.

Some polling data, take it for what it's worth
GOP learns Bush, gasp, is the problem
Like antsy dogs before an earthquake, some Republicans sensed trouble. They were barking about the deficit, chasing their tails over the immigration proposal. A number had even begun baying about Vice President Dick Cheney. But when the tremor struck Monday (on the evening news) and the strong aftershocks continued Tuesday (in the morning newspapers), the party seemed astonished at the real cause of their prescient unease: President Bush.

This article offers some good news but it's very early. The one thing I always keep in the back of my mind is that if things get bad enough another terrorist attack will happen. Osama may not be enough to save him.

Next up is this story
Spy Unit Skirted CIA on Iraq
A special intelligence unit at the Pentagon privately briefed senior officials at the White House on alleged ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda without the knowledge of CIA Director George J. Tenet, according to new information presented at a Senate hearing Tuesday.

The disclosure suggests that the controversial Pentagon office played a greater role than previously understood in shaping the administration's views on Iraq's alleged ties to the terrorist network behind the Sept. 11 attacks, and bypassed usual channels to make a case that conflicted with the conclusions of CIA analysts.

This shows the failure of the SCLM. This is the Office of Special Plans (OSP) and what Karen Kwiatkowski has been saying for months. Don't know who she is then click here. To say the highlighted part with a straight face just goes to show how little coverage this story has gotten. This is a fundamental, maybe the fundamental, issue to understand about how we all allowed our government to go to war on a series of lies.
Karen Kwiatkowski's latest
The New Pentagon Papers
A High-Ranking Military Officer Reveals how Defense Department Extremists Suppressed Information and Twisted the Truth to Drive the Country to War
As you read this think of the soldier in the Greg Palast article I linked on Monday. You know the one, the one that lost both his arms and his eye sight in Iraq. The one that will never be able to see or wrap his arms around and hug his child because of this war. Then ask yourself If we can impeach a President for getting some in the Oval Office then why not for this?

Remember Clinton and the Lincoln bedroom?
Bush Fund-Raisers Among Overnight Guests
That scandal and Bush's criticism of it is one of the reasons the White House identifies guests. In a debate with Vice President Al Gore in October 2000, Bush said: "I believe they've moved that sign, `The buck stops here,' from the Oval Office desk to `The buck stops here' on the Lincoln Bedroom. And that's not good for the country."

What did Karl know and when did he know it?
Plugging Leaks
President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told the FBI in an interview last October that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists, according to a government official and an attorney familiar with the ongoing special counsel's investigation of the matter.

What's going on in Iraq you ask?
"Unknown Soldier" Speaks Out To Bring Troops Home.
Profoundly patriotic and committed to protecting his country, he is deeply concerned that the U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, which has resulted in the deaths of over 500 American soldiers and uncounted thousands of Iraqis, may now be edging toward disaster. He believes that the troops have done their job and should be brought home.


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