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A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.
Friday, September 29, 2006
"What we did in the eight months [between Bush's inauguration and 9/11] was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice told the New York Post in comments published Tuesday.
Now, I have a pretty good memory when it comes to the right-wing attacks on Clinton from the time of his becoming the democratic candidate in 1992 till today. He was endlessly derided. Accused of murdering Vince Foster. Basically, the GOP was saying his policies were failures and the draft-dodging commander-in-chief deserved no respect from the American people. They even went so far as to set a 'perjury trap' as a pretext for an impeachment. When he went after Al Queda, it was "wag the dog." When Iraq was bombed, they accused him of bombing an "aspirin factory" not a legitimate target. To the GOP and their media chorus, Clinton could do nothing right.
So, here's the question, "If Clinton did such a poor job on fighting terrorism, why didn't the incoming Bush adminstration take it upon themselves to have a better, more aggressive effort, as their priority, than that of their predecessor?"
It hardly makes sense to say we did as much as they did when you've been denigrating them for over a decade.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
At the same time, there is legislation at the federal level which permits the use of interrogation techniques that some equate with torture. So, a person who is tried and convicted of a captial crime, who is facing the ultimate penalty enforced by the state, may be having his/her rights violated by the infliction of pain associated with the execution. Yet, a person who has had no trial, no conviction and no chance to defend against the charges, but is suspected of having some knowledge, may be subject to 'compassionate coercion' which may be physically or mentally painful.
The fact that these two issues are being debated at the same time seems a bit odd to me.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Close ties to the Saudis
Statements about Iraq pre-war
Failure to kill OBL
Monday, September 25, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
Below is part of the transcript from FTN with Hadley followed by the information from Wikipedia. As you can see, Hadley using the Act as an example seems a little far fetched. It should be noted that Mr. Schieffer did not call him on this.
[SCHIEFFER: So you're going to publish what that means" Is that what you want to do?
MR. HADLEY: You're simply going to – we want to do what the Congress did in December of last yea and say that mean the McCain Amendment, the Detainee Treatment Act, which precluded (sic) cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and defined what those terms meant by reference to U.S. law.
MR. HADLY: This is about – it's very simple, Bob – a clear standard recognized under U.S. law that the Congress of the United States adopted in December to great applause, sponsored by Senator McCain, adopting that as our standard so that the men and women in the Central Intelligence Agency can run a program, which is probably the most important tool we have in the war on terror. That's what this is about.]
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCain_Detainee_Amendment
The McCain Detainee Amendment is an amendment to the United States Senate Department of Defense Authorization bill, commonly referred to as the Amendment on (1) the Army Field Manual and (2) Cruel, Inhumane, Degrading Treatment, amendment #1977 and also known as the McCain Amendment 1977. The amendment prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, by confining interrogations to the techniques in FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation.
1 Legislative history of the amendment
2 Signing statement by President Bush
4 See also
Legislative history of the amendment
Amendment 1977 amended the defense appropriations bill for 2005 passed by the United States House of Representatives. The amendment was introduced to the Senate by Senator John McCain (R Arizona) on October 3, 2005 as S.AMDT.1977.
The amendment was co-sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham, Chuck Hagel, Gordon H. Smith, Susan M. Collins Lamar Alexander, Richard Durbin, Carl Levin, John Warner, Lincoln Chafee, John E. Sununu, and Ken Salazar.
On October 5, 2005, the United States Senate voted 90-9 to support the amendment.  The Senators who voted against the amendment were Wayne Allard (R-CO), Christopher Bond (R-MO), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), James Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Ted Stevens (R-AK).
Signing statement by President Bush
After approving the bill President Bush issued a signing statement: an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law. In it Bush said:
"The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks."
The Boston Globe quoted an anonymous senior administration official saying, "Of course the president has the obligation to follow this law, (but) he also has the obligation to defend and protect the country as the commander in chief, and he will have to square those two responsibilities in each case. We are not expecting that those two responsibilities will come into conflict, but it's possible that they will." 
The McCain Amendment cited the U.S. Army's Field Manual on interrogation as the authoritative guide to interrogation techniques. On December 14, the New York times reported that the Army Field Manual had been rewritten by the Pentagon. Previously, the manual's interrogation techniques section could be read freely on the Internet. But the new edition's includes 10 classified pages in the interrogation technique section. 
Also, the McCain Amendment's anti-torture provisions were modified by the Graham-Levin Amendment, which was also attached to the $453-billion 2006 Defense Budget Bill. The Graham-Levin Amendment permits the Department of Defense to consider evidence obtained through torture of Guantanamo Bay detainees, and expands the prohibition of habeas corpus for redetainees, which subsequently leaves detainees no legal recourse if they're tortured. 
Critics say these two actions deflate the McCain Amendment from having any real power in stopping torture by the United States Government, and these were the true reasons why President Bush "conceded" to McCain's demands. Yet, this was largely ignored by the mainstream media, who instead credited Bush's concession to "overwhelming Congressional support" for the measure.  
Amnesty International claims that the amendment's loopholes actually signal that torture is now official US policy. 
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
In their typical overreaction, the media is going on and on and on about e-coli in spinach. See, it's been a while since we've had a food contamination scare. Remember Mad Cow? Apparently, there must always be something to keep us scared. Shit, now I've got killer leafy produce in my refrigerator. Then they get some "expert" to say "if in doubt, throw it out." Why not just cook it?
Thursday, September 14, 2006
So the governor's private conversations should remain private while our conversations should be eavesdropped upon without a warrant because we should not be upset if we have nothing to hide.
Who knew 'privacy rights' were so selective?
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Osama has been saved for that 'rainy day' when he's most needed. It's a political calculation that it will instill more fear in the populace than it will contempt for the administration that's failed to bring him to justice for 9/11 and the USS Cole. Apologies to Gordon Lightfoot since he probably didn't conceive of OBL being one of Bush's 'rainy day people."
Rainy day people always seem to know when it's time to call
The last thing in the world this administration wants is a House of Congress that isn't a rubber stamp and which has subpoena power.
Karr, who recently gained notoriety such that it became news what he had for dinner, refused to comment on his political affiliations but conceded he'd like to have beer with the Decider and not one of those fake beers, either.
After further inquiry by the otherwise docile press corp, Karr also admitted he had OBL in his gunsights when trekking in Afghanistan but he couldn't get the go ahead from Captain Kirk.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
As usual, when the GOP makes some absurd charge, it's wise to examine a few basic facts that they never, ever mention.
For example, the USS Cole was bombed on October 12, 2000 killing 17 sailors. While it was not immediately known who was responsible, the intelligence community had a damn good notion that it was Al Queda. Plans were drawn up to give Al Queda and the Taliban a taste of American justice. These plans were not implemented by the Clinton administration as they felt the action should be taken by the incoming administration. Unlike Somalia where Bush the Smarter left troops in danger which led to Black Hawk Down, Clinton believed the new administration should decide how America should respond. As we know, the Bush administraion did not puruse retaliation. Instead, they gave money to the Taliban to persuade them to consent to a trans-Afghanistan OIL pipeline. Naturally, the GOP liars will not mention these facts.
On October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was bombed.
Clinton determined the responsible parties and planned a attack on Afghanistan.
The Bush Administration was given the operational plans and did not pursue them to protect pipeline negotiaions.
Only a little over 3 months had elapsed since the bombing and George Walker Bush being inaugurated as president. The bombing of the Cole apparently didn't rise to the level of action by the Bush Administration. The GOP, however, will continue to deny the fact that
BUSH DID NOTHING AFTER COMING INTO OFFICE ABOUT THE BOMBING OF THE USS COLE TO THE TALIBAN, TO AL QUEDA, OR TO AFGHANISTAN FOR THEIR PART IN THE ATTACK ON ONE OF OUR SHIPS WHICH HAD OCCURRED LESS THAN 4 MONTHS EARLIER!!!!
One has to ask oneself, if Clinton left things in such a disastrous state, what did the Bush administration do to correct the situation. As we know, they planned the invasion of Iraq in between trips to Crawford and Kennebunkport. They have a lot to answer for if the compliant media gets off their dead asses and starts asking the questions.
Like, what about that pipeline?
Monday, September 04, 2006
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Cabbage Patch) said today that if we lose in Iraq, they will follow us here. Could their scare tactics be any less transparent? First of all, most the violence in Iraq is not being carried out by Al Queda and it's unlikely that once we leave, these "insurgents" will stop attacking each other of decide to attack the United States. Secondly, how are they going to get here? Isn't that an admission that the administration has failed to correct the problem with our porous borders? Finally, if they come here, we will fight them because we're Americans not a bunch of pansies like McConnell.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Analogy # 1
On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. The Polish army was defeated within weeks of the invasion.
German forces attack Poland across all frontiers and its planes bomb Polish cities, including the capital, Warsaw
September 1: Germany invades Poland. After creating a series of provocations, Germany attacked Poland on September 1.
Analogy # 2
When he (Hitler) started his political career, he certainly did not want people to know that he was lazy and a poor achiever at school. He fell out with one of his earliest supporters - Eduard Humer - in 1923 over the fact that Humer told people what Hitler had been like at school.
Hitler was certainly gifted in some subjects, but he lacked self-control. He was argumentative and bad-tempered, and unable to submit to school discipline....moreover, he was lazy. He reacted with hostility to advice or criticism. (Humer)
Analogy # 3
Propaganda within Nazi Germany was taken to a new and frequently perverse level. Hitler was very aware of the value of good propaganda and he appointed Joseph Goebbels as head of propaganda.
Analogy # 4
Lien Riefenstahl was a film maker who turned her skills to the promotion of Hitler. Although this author is unaware of the same elaborate staging that takes place whenever George W. Bush appears before the cameras, here is a small glimpse at her devotion to the man.
Now Hitler sought to portray himself as statesman and invent a historical continuity for his party based on a completely distorted portrayal of German history. For her part, Riefenstahl was prepared to assist. No doubt, there was an element of personal infatuation on her part with the figure of Hitler, but such infatuation was bound up with definite political conceptions. In one newspaper interview she declared: “To me Hitler is the greatest man who ever lived. He is really faultless, so simple yet so filled with manly power... He is really beautiful, he is wise. Radiance streams from him. All the great men of Germany—Friedrich, Nietzsche, Bismarck—have all had faults. Hitler’s followers are not spotless. Only he is pure.”
Analogy # 5
Goebbels and his skill at masterminding propaganda is best remembered for his night time displays at Nuremberg.
Analogy # 6
To ensure that everybody thought in the correct manner, Goebbels set up the Reich Chamber of Commerce in 1933.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
BUSH USES 50 FIREFIGHTERS AS PROPS IN DISASTER AREA PHOTO-OP:
A group of 1,000 firefighters convened in Atlanta to volunteer with the Katrina relief efforts. Of those, “a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew’s first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.” [Salt Lake Tribune; Reuters]
Second in A Series That Ended With The Last Entry of "Where Are They Now"
One can only hope that these 50 trained professionals did not suffer any lasting side-effects from this particular assignment. Where are they now? Likely, back doing what there training was designed for, not as propaganda backdrops.
BUSH-NAZI LINK CONFIRMED
Documents in National Archives Prove George W. Bush's Grandfather Traded with Nazis - Even After Pearl Harbor
by John Buchanan (Exclusive to the New Hampshire Gazette)
WASHINGTON - After 60 years of inattention and even denial by the U.S. media, newly-uncovered government documents inThe National Archives and Library of Congress reveal that Prescott Bush, the grandfather of President George W. Bush, served as a business partner of and U.S. banking operative for the financial architect of the Nazi war machine from 1926 until 1942, when Congress took aggressive action against Bush and his "enemy national" partners.
The documents also show that Bush and his colleagues, according to reports from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, tried to conceal their financial alliance with German industrialist Fritz Thyssen, a steel and coal baron who, beginning in the mid-1920s, personally funded Adolf Hitler's rise to power by the subversion of democratic principle and German law.
So, as long as we're going to dredge up false comparisons from 6 decades past, let's be thorough. Rumsfeld chides those who would always "blame America first." He, however, would have us believe that we are blameless. This may make us feel good about ourselves, but it's not how rational people resolve issues. If you never ask yourself, "Is there something I could be doing differently," you likely have limited success in solving problems. Sure, it sounds macho and manly to never compromise, never accept defeat, never change course, to make decisions based on your infallible gut instincts, but this isn't NeverLearned Ranch.
Friday, September 01, 2006
This little excursion down memory lane should be required reading for anyone who still doesn't have utter contempt for Rumsfeld and Cheney.