Thursday, March 31, 2005
"The harm done to American credibility by our all too public intelligence failures in Iraq will take years to undo."
This from a report released today by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction that was appointed by President Bush a year ago. The commission is led by Laurence H. Silberman, a retired federal judge, and Charles S. Robb, a former Democratic governor and senator from Virginia.
The report also concludes that while many other nations believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, "in the end, it was the United States that put its credibility on the line, making this one of the most public - and most damaging - intelligence failures in recent American history."
Who will accept responsibility for this? Where does the buck stop?
Maybe a better question is, when will one of these "commissions" include "policy" in their mandate?
This just in from the Wall Street journal Op/Ed page "In any event, whether under the influence of hope or fear, the buck stops not with the intelligence community but with the policy makers."
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
On March 30, 2005 Terri Schiavo died. May her final rest be more peaceful than her final days.
There's been rumors of war and wars that have been
The meaning of the life has been lost in the wind
And some people thinkin' that the end is close by
"Stead of learnin' to live they are learning to die.
Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Originally uploaded by the squid.
No, this isn't the latest prayer vigil "for" Terri Schiavo. It's not Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Lebanon, or Kuwait. It's right here in the US (New York to be exact), not that you would have known by the "liberal media" reaction. March 19, 2005 was the second anniversary of Our invasian of Iraq and people came out in numbers once again to say they do not approve of the war in Iraq, including military and military families of Fort Bragg. Thousands protested in cities throughout the Country. It's hard to find accurate numbers, because so few news agencies covered them. The crowds certainly seem larger than those I've seen coverage of lately in front of a hospice in Florida, and there are 150,000 American lives at stake it what they protest.
"While this Republican administration has spoken strongly about promoting democracy around the world, the House Republican leadership is working feverishly to undermine democracy here at home,"
I don't think he was talking about the silencing of the protests, but if the shoe fits.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
A nice way to get away.
On my first day back to work (3/22/05) most of my co-workers and I were placed on Unpaid "hiatus" until further notice. The city council minority had voted against an Emergency Appropriations resolution the night before that would have allowed the city funding for the salaries of all, including us "non-essential", city employees with additional funding for operating expenses. The resolution, at least the salary portion, has been passing monthly since September. These votes are necessary because an agreement can not be reached on the municipal budget. The mayor's plan is to fill the $7-$9 million budget deficit with the sale (and lease) of the municipal garage. Councilwomen Marsh and Castellano, and councilmen Russo and Soares say "No More One Shot" budget fixes. That is where the "debate" has stagnated since September. Neither side has budged. The mayor doesn't seem to want to change his policies or his decision to sell another piece of public land to fix a budget "gap" and the councilpeople have not offered a suggestion on how to do fix it, except for whispers of layoffs. Unless, of course, your Councilwoman Marsh's most disliked employee. I won't type his name here for fear of being sued. There is no real easy solution here. Something's gonna have to give. My guess is they'll sell the garage when the crisis Actually hits and the city is Actually running out of money, after the election. I don't much like being a pawn in some amateur game of risk. I don't think anyone thought the city would Actually Shut Down. Michael Russo was on the corner doing "Collateral Damage" control as we were being notified of our hiatus. Carol Marsh was seen a few hours later frantically cell phoning in the street with Michael Lenz. There is a real face to this. Real people who depend on their salaries caught in the middle of the political challenges of fixing a budget with a $7-9 million dollar deficit. It is kinda nice to be forced to play hookie, though, at least for now.
to the moon,
Among the cows.
- Jack Kerouac
On Thursday, March 24, 2005 the city council of Hoboken voted unanimously to put the City back to work and pay all employees for the time they missed.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
So the question is do the ends justify the means. It appears the boulder that this administration launched into the Persian Gulf has positive ripples forming from it, along with the negative. This is not to say that any one of these "movements" has a favorable view of the United States. It is most likely quite the opposite. We are having enough trouble keeping European allies let alone swaying "Arab" nations. After incidents like last week's killing of Italy's top intelligence officer in Iraq and BBC 4's new show, Guantanamo Guidebook, where willing participants are put through allowable "interrogation procedures" documentary style, we haven't been looking so hot. But can it be said that invading a nation to overthrow a leader whose methods we do not approve of, based on "intelligence" that others throughout the world may have agreed with, but certainly did not see as actionable, is the right course of action. Is the loss of life, culture, and economy there acceptable? Our current presence in Iraq, the largest US embassy in the world included (but not completed), has helped to bolster the strength of those that want their voices heard. They have found that their leaders are merely mortal. Our presence has also spread a fear of US Military invasion against any leader who is seen and/or portrayed as "against us". We have seen the power of the people rise (foreign more than domestic). What this new found power will bring to the table, aside from ahmed chalabi, has yet to be seen. Populations all over the world are against Us and Our current occupational forces in Iraq. Will we hear their call to leave? More Lebanese have now yelled for Syria to stay, should Our president continue with his ultimatum that Syria must leave. Will his ultimatum goad the Iranian-Syrian coalition into attacking our 150,000 troops sandwiched between them? Or does it simply mean... Syria, we don't care if you gave us saddam's brother in law and agreed to begin a pullout in Lebanon. You are next.
The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson