Saturday, July 30, 2005

Enemy Combative Treatment

Whether the bush boys call it "the War on Terror" or the "struggle against violent extremism", the open ended fight against "evil doers" has people worried. Red Senators, like former POW john mccain, are beginning to enter the fray concerning the treatment of prisoners, excuse me "unlawful enemy combatants". Even U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour sounded off on secret military tribunals and the right to counsel while sentencing the "millennium bomber" to 22 years for plotting to bomb Los Angeles airport on millennium eve. The Washington Post recently reported that some of the now infamous interrogation tactics used in abu ghraib began at guantanamo bay. No wonder the president is blocking the release of more images from the American controlled prison in Iraq. New reports of abuses continue to come in, from electrocution and extortion to beatings with sledgehammer handles.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that "these people behead their enemies". They certainly do not abide by the Geneva Conventions. But we should hold ourselves to a higher standard, and I believe, in part, that we do. But "in part" is not good enough. Aren't We there to fight oppression and torture chambers (not to compare Our torture with that of saddam's).

I am one of the 51% of Americans who believe We were mislead into this war. And life in Baghdad doesn't seem to have improved since We invaded. My problem is not with , it's with the chicken hawks in charge of them. This war is about greed, oil, Halliburton and a new guantanamo bay facility in the middle of the middle east. And with the "exit strategy" changing depending on who you talk to, the outcome of the struggle/war does not look good.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hey "Free" Press! Pull This!

Gary Trudeau has angered the "liberal" media again, causing certain papers to pull his comic strip "Doonesbury". At issue is the use of the president's nick name for karl rove. That nick name... "Turd Blossom". What would Uncle Duke do?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

It's Away!

Space shuttle Discovery launched successfully at 10:39 AM, July 26, 2005. Marking the first shuttle launch since February 1, 2003. Congratulations NASA! Well done!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Stay on Target...Stay on Target

The president has once again taken a matter, vital to our National interests, and used it as a poltical tool. In this instance, what the president needed was a change in spotlight. On July 19, 2005 (a week ahead of schedule) bush nominated a "blank slate", "conservative leaning" (at the very least), advisor during the 2000 Florida recount to the Supreme Court of these United States. That being said, I am going to try to refrain from commenting/attacking this two year judge until his hearings, which will most likely occur during our "war time" president's MONTH LONG VACATION, also known as August. The amazing thing is.... the spotlight hasn't changed.

The nasty little mess rover and cheney's chief of staff, scooter, got themselves into, while they were coming up with, then CIA director george tenet's statement on the uranium that saddam Wasn't getting out of Niger, seems to have stuck in the craw of the newly found press. Maybe these bush administration officials didn't get the June 10 State Department memo classifying Valerie Plame's identity as TS. No, not that TS, the one that means "Top Secret". Apparantly former bush mouth piece, ari fleischer, was seen holding it. Although that's, reportedly, that's not what he said to the Grand Jury. A Grand Jury indeed. So grand that john bolton may have even talked to them. I wonder if he'll be recess appointed as the United States Ambassador to the UN, while Judith Miller is in jail refusing to say he was her source. Wouldn't that be something? I wonder if the discrepancies in the testimony of rove, scooter, and Matt Cooper amount to obstruction of justice or perjury. You remember Matt, he spoke with the treasonous duo after the State Department memo was issued. And condi thinks Sudan has a "credibility problem".

And while the "media" has not been distracted (a miracle) from the scandal even with the Supreme Court nomination, other stories have been servicing. Like the current Iraqi Prime Minister laying a wreath on the grave of ayatollah khomeini, praising him while trying to better his friendship with his neighbor, Iran. That doesn't sound too good. How about the fact that the NY Times reported that "half of the police units and two-thirds of the new army battalions are only 'partially capable' of carrying out counterinsurgency missions, and only with American help" in Iraq. That seems a much less rosy picture than the 160,000 Iraqi troops the administration continues to tout as ready. No wonder rummy and the boys are trying to up the recruitment age to 42. It's a good thing that karen hughes has finally had enough of her family and is coming back to work public diplomacy for junior. He can use all the help he can get. Hopefully, it still won't be enough.

"I don't know Joe Wilson. I've never met Joe Wilson. I don't know who sent Joe Wilson. He never submitted a report that I ever saw when he came back."
-dick cheney
Mr. vice president, that is getting harder and harder to believe.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Gas prices got you down?

Looking for someone to blame? OPEC? The Saudis?

Well, you don't hear oil companies complaining. "By just about any measure, the past three years have produced one of the biggest cash gushers in the oil industry’s history." They must have friends as high up as their social conscience (if they have one) is low. Praise be to capitalism.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Move over rover....

(image stolen from Americablog)

It's hard to surf the "internets" lately without running into benedict rove. I've had probably a dozen petitions emailed to me in the past two days calling for rover's resignation and/or expulsion from Our White House. With hesitant glee I sign them all and wholeheartedly agree. The president should suspend/revoke karl's security clearance privileges and then send him back to Texas. He can hang out with karen hughes and our other favorite red criminal tom delay.

The question is how long can the little prince and his flunky keep their fingers in their already cracking dyke of credibility that is currently holding back a river of rove detractors, without retracting any of the "ridiculous" statements they made during the beginning of the federal grand jury investigation? We will have to see. The "I never said her name" defense should go about as far as "it depends on what the definition of is is" did, especially since he is quoted in a Matt Cooper email referring to Valerie Plame as "wilson's wife". Legal hairsplitting didn't work for President Clinton, but the "impeachment by any means necessary" attitude of reds at that time is very different from the until recently timid Democratic Party of today.

Legality aside, what rove has done is certainly unethical and is at odds with National Security policy. He, at the very least, took part in the outing of a CIA agent for purely political purposes. It is appalling that the reds see this as fine.

Discussing classified information, especially the identity of a CIA agent, with a person who has zero security clearance, whether the party already knows the information or not, warrants a suspension of security clearance privileges. It is yet another black mark on the weak and weakening credibility of this administration, in particular, how they dealt with those critical of their march to war in Iraq. I can still see the WMD flag twirlers now.

"Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation ..."
"it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip."
- Matt Cooper's email

Whoever, as a result of having authorized access to classified information, learns the identity of a covert agent and intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
- 50 USC 421(b)

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Judith Miller, a journalist for the NY Times, has been jailed. Not because she faked credentials to get into the White House press room and ask the president and his flunky questions! Not because she was paid by the administration to praise their policies while still under the guise of neutrality! No, Judith Miller is "being held in civil contempt of court", because she refuses to divulge her source on the Valerie Plame scandal. A scandal that she has not written about.

Senior administration officials made public (first through robert novak) the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame in an attempt to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Ambassador Wilson was trying to tell the world that there was no credible evidence that Iraq was seeking significant quantities of uranium from Niger. The president of the United States referenced this claim in his State of the Union Address in 2003 to further scare Us into his War in Iraq. The "documents" supporting the Iraq-Niger uranium connection were forged, and "obvious" fakes at that. The claim remains unfounded.

So there Judith sits. Novak has testified. Time magazine has given the courts the notes of the other journalist involved, Matthew Cooper. Mr. Cooper is now going to testify, and I would assume give up his sources to avoid jail-time.

The ability to conceal your source isn't for the journalist's protection. It is for the source's. Sometimes a source needs to feel free of retribution to be comfortable enough to speak out. In this case, however, the source was not acting as a whistle blower. They instead were acting to distract the public and smear a man for political gain and further their march to their War in Iraq.

I respect Judith Miller for going to jail to keep her source confidential and to adhere to a trust in journalism that should not be breached.

"If journalists cannot be trusted to guarantee confidentiality, then journalists cannot function and there cannot be a free press," "The right of civil disobedience is based on personal conscience, it is fundamental to our system and it is honored throughout our history,"
-Judith Miller from a statement made today after Judge Hogan's ruling

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

United States Constitution
Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

"abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"

Maybe we should look up freedom in the dictionary. What do you think King Richard?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

No news is good news, I guess......

Sorry for the extra long gap between posts. I just couldn't think of anything to write about. Sure the latest public relations stunt by the administration, hesitantly covered by the networks, did nothing for Americans' image of our campaigner-in-chief. Zogby's "response to the speech" poll had the little prince's approval rating actually going down since being in front of his non-applauding Fort Bragg military audience. Maybe they had gotten wind of statements made by the Mayor of Baghdad on the lack of water, electricity, and sanitation in that nation's capital after two years of the US led occupation. Or maybe they were just disappointed that he didn't wear his Airborne costume. Junior wasn't the only one with Iraq troubles. "Last throes" dick found himself disagreeing not only with ol' rummy on the Iraq situation, but also the Commander of U.S. Central Command and top American commander for the Middle East, General Abizaid. King Richard doesn't seem to understand that "last" is the word he should be looking up on CNN, not "throes" (as Doonesbury so eloquently points out).

Nothing really to report from the land of the euro (1 EUR = 1.19 US$) either. Italy is seeking to arrest 13 "purported" CIA operatives for kidnapping. Maybe they should give the president's personal assistant a call for more information on their identities. It turns out rover may have had a hand in the Plame outing, after all. It's a shame "rather-gate" won't be investigated. I would have loved to find the assistant's fingerprints all over that forged document. Oh and there was Spain joining Canada in approving same-sex marriages. Geez, didn't these guys learn from US-England relations that we don't do favors for our strongest allies, even with Earth in the Balance. Imagine how we'll treat nations at odds with the intolerant, anything but compassionate, "christian" reds that run our show. Speaking of red, China now seems to think holding Our IOU's, and supplying Our leading department stores is no longer enough. They're starting to buy "US" businesses, starting with oil giant unocal.

So aside from the downing street memos getting a front page spot on the Washington Post, what really was there to report from the past week and a half? A "moderate" reagan appointed supreme court judge who held the "swing vote" on a few KEY issues retired? Let's wait for the Rehnquist shoe to drop before we get into this political bloodbath. Right now the reds can't agree on the legitimacy or role of the Supreme Court, let alone a list of possible nominees.

Actually there was something that happened over this Fourth of July weekend that I found ground breakingly news worthy. NASA, who recently had their funding cut, hit a moving comet with an 820-pound probe at a speed of 23,000 miles per hour, some 83 million miles from Earth. Did you hear that? That's the sound of the entire "star wars" missile defense team's jaws dropping.

"The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard."
Gaylord Nelson, former governor of Wisconsin, founder of Earth Day (1916-2005)

I was never 'the new Teddy Pendergrass,' 'the new Sam Cooke,' 'the new Otis Redding,' 'the new Marvin Gaye.' I was Luther from day one, from the day I began, and I think that's a very important thing. And I think that's what sustained my career for so long is that when I start, you know it's me.
Luther Vandross (1951-2005)