October 19, 2004

More Lack of Accountability

Here is an article that was run in today's LA Times:

When will Republicans open their eyes to the shame of their candidate. Even if you don't feel that they couldn't have prevented 9-11, they should not be suppressing a Congressionally requested report. Period.


The 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket

The agency is withholding a damning report that points at senior officials.
Robert Scheer

October 19, 2004

It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.

"It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed," an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that "the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward."

When I asked about the report, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said she and committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) sent a letter 14 days ago asking for it to be delivered. "We believe that the CIA has been told not to distribute the report," she said. "We are very concerned."

According to the intelligence official, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity, release of the report, which represents an exhaustive 17-month investigation by an 11-member team within the agency, has been "stalled." First by acting CIA Director John McLaughlin and now by Porter J. Goss, the former Republican House member (and chairman of the Intelligence Committee) who recently was appointed CIA chief by President Bush.

The official stressed that the report was more blunt and more specific than the earlier bipartisan reports produced by the Bush-appointed Sept. 11 commission and Congress.

"What all the other reports on 9/11 did not do is point the finger at individuals, and give the how and what of their responsibility. This report does that," said the intelligence official. "The report found very senior-level officials responsible."

By law, the only legitimate reason the CIA director has for holding back such a report is national security. Yet neither Goss nor McLaughlin has invoked national security as an explanation for not delivering the report to Congress.

"It surely does not involve issues of national security," said the intelligence official.

"The agency directorate is basically sitting on the report until after the election," the official continued. "No previous director of CIA has ever tried to stop the inspector general from releasing a report to the Congress, in this case a report requested by Congress."

None of this should surprise us given the Bush administration's great determination since 9/11 to resist any serious investigation into how the security of this nation was so easily breached. In Bush's much ballyhooed war on terror, ignorance has been bliss.

The president fought against the creation of the Sept. 11 commission, for example, agreeing only after enormous political pressure was applied by a grass-roots movement led by the families of those slain.

And then Bush refused to testify to the commission under oath, or on the record. Instead he deigned only to chat with the commission members, with Vice President Dick Cheney present, in a White House meeting in which commission members were not allowed to take notes. All in all, strange behavior for a man who seeks reelection to the top office in the land based on his handling of the so-called war on terror.

In September, the New York Times reported that several family members met with Goss privately to demand the release of the CIA inspector general's report. "Three thousand people were killed on 9/11, and no one has been held accountable," 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser told the paper.

The failure to furnish the report to Congress, said Harman, "fuels the perception that no one is being held accountable. It is unacceptable that we don't have [the report]; it not only disrespects Congress but it disrespects the American people."

The stonewalling by the Bush administration and the failure of Congress to gain release of the report have, said the intelligence source, "led the management of the CIA to believe it can engage in a cover-up with impunity. Unless the public demands an accounting, the administration and CIA's leadership will have won and the nation will have lost."

Bush Administration - Planning Is Our Forte!

Yet another example, with real investigative journalism even, where the Bush Administration completely abrogated its reponsibilities to protect American lives; those of its soldiers.

Bush Hates Soldiers

The ill-gotten Presidency prefers to see Americans attacked and killed while terrorists are created in a chaotice Iraq. No really. In fact, they plan to get elected on it. I can not say anything more about these irresponsible, arrogant bastards.

October 18, 2004

How To Create Terrorists 101

If you haven't yet heard of Sy Hersh's latest book, "Chain Of Command" then please take the time to read this exerpt from the book.

Chain Of Command

While we soak in our media's serious lack of any substantive reporting, real journalists such as Seymour are attempting to inform the American public. I fear, however, that our love of unreality television and an attention span that could be described as Attention Deficit Disorder, will only serve to keep those responsible, aka THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, from bearing the consequences of their actions. I can't begin to explain how angry this makes me. Now, don't get me wrong. I believe that we should be taking extreme measures to ensure that we capture/kill the people responsible. But I also KNOW that torturing the innocent will surely create more enemies of our Liberty bound ideals.

For those of you reading, which I suspect are few, that are Republican in nature, then please don't disregard these statements as if they were unimportant. Simply ask yourself an honest question:

  1. Where does the buck stop when serious transgressions against the interests of our nation have occurred?

Despite the numerous mistakes made by the current administration, NOT ONE PERSON has been held accountable! How can this be!!?? If this were an Al Gore administration and the same transgressions had occurred, Republican's would be HOWLING!!

Fucking hypocrites. Worried about cum on a blue dress, but calm when lies and blatant disregard for long established treaties have and will continue to result in the death of innocent Americans.

October 15, 2004

Iraq In the Back

So here's the deal, my compatriots. I love my country dearly. I have served in my country's military, in part, because I do love my country. I support the troops incontrovertably. Being anti-Republican doesn't make me, or any other citizen a traitor.

Here is what traitors do:

Traitors send our troops to war WITHOUT the proper gear to begin with. Traitors send our troops to war WITHOUT the proper manning levels in order to guarantee a non-violent aftermath. Traitors IGNORE their military and bureacratic advisors because the reality doesn't play well. Traitors arrest our already stressed National Guard members for following regulations.

Click here to find out why troops are getting arrested in Iraq.

Not only do these soldier patriots have to deal with Iraqi's trying to kill them on an hourly basis, but suddenly they have to worry about whether their own vehicles will kill them? Come the fuck on! I've been in the military, and when a piece of equipment is deemed unsafe, that's because it IS unsafe. The military will push their soldiers and equipment to the breaking point before shit is considered unsafe. So why the fuck are these soldiers getting arrested!!!??? I know an order is an order, but no order is going to impede the ability to make common sense decisions. So suddenly, we're going to force our soldiers into becoming martyrs? For what purpose? Doesn't that sound oddly familiar; martyr? I guess the playing field gets leveled by the day.

I hate what George Bush is doing to this country and to our troops.

SINclair - Repug Bullshit

Sinclair's sin (by David Shuster)

Imagine if the CBS television network pre-empted "60 Minutes" this Sunday and broadcast Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." Many of you might be thrilled. But many of you would be disgusted and outraged, calling it a deliberate, misleading, and unfair ploy to impact the presidential election at the very end.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. isn't CBS. But Sinclair does own 62 television stations, including 35 affiliated with the major broadcast networks. (20 Fox stations, 8 ABC, 4 NBC, and 3 CBS.) And Sinclair is ordering all of its stations to pre-empt regular programming and run, as early as this weekend, a partisan documentary about John Kerry titled "Stolen Honor."

The film attacks Kerry for his anti-war activism after he returned home from Vietnam more than 35 years ago. Mark Hyman, a spokesman for Sinclair, says "the documentary is just part of a special news event that we're putting together." Actually, it's not a news event. The film was released, (and picked apart) at a press conference five weeks ago.

Some of my colleagues have made an issue out of Sinclair's partisan history. 97 percent of their political contributions have gone to Republicans, they sent a team to Iraq to find the "good news" the rest of the media wasn't reporting, and etc.

But my issue with Sinclair is in regards to this film... and Sinclair's intention to run the film "as is." Without a major overhaul, this film should be rejected... and it has to do with journalism's requirement that you "get the facts right."

"Stolen Honor" has several prominent factual errors: First, former America POWs are quoted on camera as saying "we stayed two more years because of the demonstrators like Fonda and Kerry... I figure they owe us two years." I have no doubt that some POW's feel that way. But the fact is, the war stopped in 1973 when the Nixon administration negotiated an end. History shows it was the lack of a settlement before then, not the protests, that kept the North Vietnamese fighting.

Secondly, part of John Kerry's testimony as depicted in the film starts in mid-sentence. "They cut off ears, limbs, heads..." This editing makes it seem that John Kerry was making the allegations, when the sentence actually begins with Kerry saying, "They said they..." The difference is crucial. In reality, as opposed to this film, John Kerry always attributed those dramatic allegations to the testimony of other US soldiers.

Thirdly, the film only features POWs who say John Kerry's name was invoked by north Vietnamese prison guards. But we've spoken to dozens of POWs who spent years in Vietnamese prison camps and say they never heard John Kerry's name mentioned once.

Balance requires these opposing voices be included in a "journalistic film." But, alas, this isn't journalism that Sinclair is practicing.

Some of you might be thinking, "Well, wait a second, Michael Moore splashed his anti-Bush film in movie theaters across the country." That's true. But there is a huge difference between forcing voters to buy a ticket to watch a partisan film... and showing something partisan over the free television airwaves. If Sinclair wants to sponsor "Stolen Honor" in movie theaters across the country, more power to them. But television stations are a different matter regardless of your political leanings. Because remember, if it is Sinclair and "Stolen Honor" this Sunday, would you be comfortable with CBS and "Fahrenheit 9/11" next Sunday?

I Love Daily Kos

The tremendously inciteful and intellectually stimulated people over at Daily Kos have really got something going on over there. Please, go check them out. If you're a Republican, don't bother; the facts may steam up your rose colored glasses. For you conservatives, however, take the time to open your mind to something other than the over-adulterated comedy that passes for news on Fox.

Here's the link:

Here's a small sample of the real world kids:

Rock the Vote versus the RNC
by kos
Thu Oct 14th, 2004 at 23:02:34 GMT

Ed Gillespie, of the RNC, is threatening Rock the Vote. The GOP is asking the Rock the Vote group to "cease and desist" its suggestion that the government may bring back a military draft.

"Your "Draft Your Friends" campaign is being conducted with malicious intent and reckless disregard for the truth," Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie told the nonpartisan group in a letter Wednesday.

Rock the Vote has linked draft concerns to its appeal to register young voters. The group has produced a public service announcement warning of the possibility of a draft, and its Web site tells visitors "You have been drafted" to report to a polling place.

Republicans contend the draft talk is a Democrat-inspired scare tactic to drum up votes against President Bush .

And Rock the Vote has fired back:

Dear Chairman Gillespie,
The letter I received from you yesterday was quite a surprise. It struck us as just the sort of "malicious political deception" that is likely to increase voter cynicism and decrease the youth vote. In fact, it is a textbook case of attempted censorship, very much in line with those that triggered our organization's founding some fifteen years ago.

I am stunned that you would say that the issue of the military draft is an "urban myth"that has been "thoroughly debunked by no less than the President of the United States."

I have some news for you. Just because President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary Rumsfeld, and for that matter Senator Kerry, say that there is not going to be a draft does not make it so. Just because Congress holds a transparently phony vote against the draft does not mean there isn't going to be one. Anyone who thinks that the youth of America are going to take a politician's word on this topic is living on another planet.

By your logic, there should be no debate about anything that you disagree with. There's a place for that kind of sentiment (and your threats), but its not here in our country.

There are questions that the politicians are running away from. How long can we keep 138,000 U.S. troops or more on the ground in Iraq? What if full-scale civil war erupts there, as the CIA has warned is a realistic possibility? Would the next President be faced with a choice of pulling out of Iraq rather than institute a draft? Would women be drafted? What exactly would the draft-age be?

According to the Pentagon's own internal assessment, there are "inadequate total numbers" of troops to meet U.S. security interests. The current issue of Time magazine reports that, "General John Keane, who retired last year as the Army's No. 2 officer, says the continued success of the all-volunteer military is not guaranteed" Keane has told Congress that adding more than 50,000 troops to the Army would require thinking about a return to the draft."

But you want young people to believe that the draft is just an "urban myth." I was expecting that you were going to present some facts to back up your assertion. But, instead, you have demanded that we stop talking about it.

Poor GOP, its voter supression and censhorship efforts are being exposed. What to do, what to do...

Doesn't that kick ass! Gotta love those Republican Libertay and Democracay seeking, lip-serving, choad puffers.

October 14, 2004

Woohooo...Fuck 'em If They Don't Like Our Liberal Spending

Yippeee! Woohooo! We've set another record!

Yep, boys and girls, we're getting fucked. Hard. Right now. Can you feel it?

Check it out!

The Congressional Budget Office just released the Treasury Departments fiscal responsibility numbers, and guess what!? Yep, you got it. Fucked again.

Who's fault is it? Well certainly not C-plus Augustus Bush, I mean, he doesn't make mistakes unless you count the people that he'd appointed who were just trying to help him out by feeding him a little reality. Nope. Not him. That would be one of those so-called "exaggerations". Smirk, smirk.

Surely, it can't be the Republican controlled House. I mean, they're conservatives right? They use to have this Contract With America thingy that they liked to harp about, swearing that they were beholden to balance the budget. Nah, not their fault. Besides, there's no blue dress - smoking gun here.

Maybe it's the Republican controlled Senate? Nah, couldn't be. Hell, they'd just as soon short change the country on education or first-responders before over-spending. Besides, they're too busy trying to amend the Constitution so that glorious document can finally embody some discrimination. And geez, too bad John Kerry's preventing them from doing their real job, like funding the budget for next year.

If it's not this Republican controlled government, then who is it? Yep, them fuckin' Liberal's. It's their fault! Rat bastards, stealing from babies again.

At last, someone to blame.

I Can Beat You with One Hand Tied Behind My Back! Or Was That Your Hand?

OK, due to some minor bitching from Jay, I now have to post something. Whatever.

Has everyone heard about the Republican's belief in spreading Libertay and Democracay? Check this shit out! Why pay lip service to Democracy when you can just go about stealing elections?

I worry about our country. It is split down the middle politically and culturally. Is this the start of a new revolution? Will we, once again, have to fight the demons of greed and lust for power for power's sake? I hope not. Until then, I'll keep buying guns. Woohoo! Guns! I love 'em!

Ok, so I'm lacking any sort of journalistic writer capability right now. But that's okay, cause I LOVE GUNS!

Just kidding, well not really, but whoever heard of a left-wing nutbag? Shit, I guess I'll have to become a Republican now.

October 06, 2004

Post VP Debate Fact Checks


Sen. John Edwards and Vice President Cheney clashed repeatedly in their debate last night, making impressive-sounding but misleading statements on issues including the war in Iraq, tax cuts and each other's records, often omitting key facts along the way.
advertisementEarly in the debate, Cheney snapped at Edwards, "The senator has got his facts wrong. I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11. In fact, monkeys will fly from my ass!" But in numerous interviews, Cheney has skated close to the line in ways that may have certainly left that impression on viewers, usually when he cited the possibility that Mohamed Atta, one of the hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001, met with an Iraqi official — even after that theory was largely discredited.

On Dec. 9, 2001, Cheney said on NBC's "Meet The Press" that "it's been pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack. It has also been pretty well confirmed that I'm a fan of nose shaving! Can't let that thing get too long!" On March 24, 2002, Cheney again told NBC, "We (Me & Donny "The Mad Bomber" Rumsfeld) discovered fabricated ... the allegation that one of the lead hijackers, Mohamed Atta, had, in fact, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague."

On Sept. 8, 2002, Cheney, again on "Meet the Press," said that Atta "did apparently travel to Prague. ... We have reporting that places him in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer a few months before the attacks on the World Trade Center. We also have credible, validated evidence that he was not even on the Continent at that time. But we felt that evidence of this type didn't warrant any consideration since it would prevent us from bombing women, children and puppies." And a year ago, also on "Meet the Press," Cheney described Iraq as part of "the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11."

In the debate, Cheney referred to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as having "an established relationship with al Qaeda" and said then-CIA Director George J. Tenet talked about "a 10-year relationship" in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. What Tenet cited were several "high-level contacts" over a 10-year period, but he also said the agency reported they never led to any cooperative activity.

Edwards, for his part, asserted that the war in Iraq has cost $200 billion "and counting," an assertion that Cheney called him on. Cheney said the government has "allocated" $120 billion. As of Sept. 30, the government has spent about $120 billion, and it has allocated — or plans to spend — $174 billion. The tab should run as high as $200 billion in the next year once other expected supplemental spending is added. Hmmm, it's all so big, does it really matter whether it's $120 billion or $200 billion? Either way we've been fucked!

Cheney suggested that an agreement had been reached on debt relief for Iraq, saying that "the allies have stepped forward and agreed to reduce and forgive Iraqi debt to the tune of nearly $80 billion, by one estimate (mine...hee hee, I just made that up.)" While there are reports of some sort of agreement, no plan has been made public. Cheney also said that allies had contributed $14 billion in "direct aid." Actually, $13 billion was pledged, but only $1 billion has arrived.

Cheney also said Iraqi security forces have "taken almost 50 percent of the casualties in operations in Iraq, which leaves the U.S. with 50 percent, not 90 percent." The United States does not keep track of Iraqi casualties, either civilian or in the security services. Recently, a senior U.S. official in Baghdad estimated that 750 Iraqi policemen have been killed but has no estimate of those wounded. The United States as of yesterday has had 1,061 deaths and 7,730 wounded. Wow, can you believe it! Iraqis have taken 50 percent of the casualties! Too bad 45% of those casualties were caused by our weapons!

Misleading statements over voting recordsCheney and Edwards tangled repeatedly over each other's voting records, or the record of presidential challenger John F. Kerry. But many of these votes took place long ago and appear to have little relevance to current issues. Edwards cited a long list of conservative votes by Cheney, made decades ago when he was a House member from Wyoming.

Cheney said Kerry once vowed to allow a veto by the United Nations over U.S. troops. This refers to a statement made nearly 35 years ago, when Kerry gave an interview to the Harvard Crimson, 10 months after he had returned from the Vietnam War angry and disillusioned by his experiences there. Doesn't anyone remember the Pentagon Papers? The fuckers knew we were sliding downhill in Vietnam and covered up the facts. I'd be disillusioned too!

Cheney said Kerry's tax-cut rollback would hit 900,000 small businesses. This is misleading. Under Cheney's definition, a small business is any taxpayer who includes some income from a small business investment, partnership, limited liability corporation or trust. By that definition, every partner at a huge accounting firm or at the largest law firm would represent small businesses. According to IRS data, a tiny fraction of small business "S-corporations" earn enough profits to be in the top two tax brackets. Most are in the bottom two brackets.
Edwards asserted that "millionaires sitting by their swimming pool ... pay a lower tax rate than the men and women who are receiving paychecks for serving" in Iraq. President Bush last year cut the tax rate on dividends to 15 percent, whereas most soldiers would be in a 15 percent tax bracket — and pay an effective rate much less after taking deductions for children and mortgages. Another rabbit down a hole here. It doesn't matter how low your taxes will go if the deficit is allowed to swallow our future!

Edwards also asserted that "the president is proposing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage that is completely unnecessary." But Bush simply endorsed such an amendment that had already been introduced on Capitol Hill.

Cheney continued to charge that Kerry voted 98 times to raise taxes. But FactCheck.org — a nonpartisan group Cheney cited actually it was FactCheck.com that Cheney cited, although I bet he wishes he'd said FactCheck.org! FactCheck.com is operated by Cheney's nemesis, George Soros! Now there's some irony! during the debate as a fair data checker — says nearly half were not for tax increases per se and many others were on procedural motions.
Both candidates promised to cut the deficit in half in four years. Yeah, good luck with that!Independent budget experts say neither the Republican nor the Democratic ticket can make good on that promise unless it scales back funding promises made during the campaign. The Kerry health care plan, for instance, could cost as much as $1 trillion, experts say, which would eat up most if not all of the revenue generated by raising taxes on those making more than $200,000 a year. Edwards said the Democratic ticket is willing to scale back programs to make the numbers work.
Bush is digging an even deeper hole because he likes to dig, experts say, because he has promised to partially privatize Social Security, which carries a transition cost likely to be much bigger than that of Kerry's health care plan.

Edwards asserted that "in the last four years, 1.6 million private-sector jobs have been lost." The actual number is close to 900,000 and will likely shrink further when Friday's jobs reports is released, though Bush is the first president in 72 years to preside over an overall job loss.
Edwards also misleadingly charged that the Bush administration is "for outsourcing of jobs." The Bush-Cheney ticket has not advocated sending jobs overseas, though administration officials have talked about how outsourcing can be good for the U.S. economy, a position many private economists echo. However, the RNC has outsourced their call center operations. It's good for the American economy to send money out of the country!

Cheney charged that Kerry and Edwards oppose the No Child Left Behind education law, which imposes new accountability standards on public schools. Both senators voted for the law and support some modifications and billions of dollars to fully fund the education program.
Edwards claimed that part of Halliburton Corp.'s money in Iraqi contracts should have been withheld because the company is under investigation. Some funds were withheld but then paid out after an Army audit studied the matter.

October 01, 2004

Rate the Debate - Kerry Outclasses Dubya

OK, so yesterday's post turned out to be a little less insightful than I'd have thought. It turns out that the questions and responses actually did help to enlighten the citizenry a bit on the positions of the two candidates. While it wasn't an actual debate per se, it did accomplish the goals of a debate.

It appears to me, and others according to the initial polls, that Kerry handily won the debate. He used his time wisely, didn't blow on endlessly and held himself in a Presidential manner. Only the most partisan of idealogues could state otherwise. President Bush, it appeared to me, had a very difficult time connecting the thoughts in his head to the tongue in his mouth. The side-shots of the President were devastating...he really must learn to control that smirk.

However, as to the substance and factually correct statements that were made, here are some observations:

  • Kerry stated that the President had cut the funding for the program that is responsible for gathering and securing nuclear material in the former Soviet Union / Russia. This is not factually correct. During the first year of President Bush's term in office, Donald Rumsfeld attempted to cut the funding for this program. However, he was met with such resistance from such a wide array of people that he was soundly defeated. Despite this correction of the facts regarding Senator Kerry's statement, his assertion that it will take 13 years to attain the goals of the program is correct.
  • President Bush's statement that Poland was involved in the 3 weeks of war in Iraq is factually incorrect. While Poland is a member of the "Coalition of the Willing", they did not take part in the assault that actually invaded Iraq. They do have troops on the ground now, albeit a very small number compared to the United States (2400 troops vs 125,000 troops).

There is one item where I felt Kerry made a terrible mistake and I'm not certain whether or not the media will pick up on it, but Kerry twice made statements to the affect that President Bush ordered troops to secure only the Oil Ministry Building rather than secure additional resources such as nuclear materials, etc. While some investigation does show that there were indeed some low level radioactive materials located about the country, these materials were not involved in a nuclear weapons program. Despite this fact, simply mentioning the word nuclear in this context implies that WMD's did exist in Iraq and therefore support the President's original assertion for going to war. The vast majority of citizens will not understand the subtle difference and the media will not be party to educating them should this story find legs.

All in all, I'm excited to see that Kerry didn't fall flat on his face. Despite the fact that I didn't support him in the Democratic primaries, I certainly feel that he would be a better President than George W. Bush.