Bush's March to Destruction

March 2, 2007

Talking Past Each Other -- Thursday night Harold Pinter was on the The Charlie Rose Show It was quite intriguing. Pinter is riveting, as one would expect from his work. He talked about his Nobel Prize, his personal relationship with Samuel Beckett, many things. And he got around to discussing Iraq. He spoke in very clear factual terms about how the military industrial complex "that Eisenhower warned about" has America on a "permanent military footing." As a state animated to such a degree by military production, it requires military action, and it gets it. Every president exerts that military power. It's what America is about.

Clinton? Of course. He had his Kosovo. Not as much, Rose said, implicitly not as much as Bush. One almost forgets. But indeed, Clinton had his exercises of military power. It is almost obligatory for an American president. It keeps the economy going. The war production is distributed among the states so that no legislator can safely vote against military expenditures without costing constituents jobs.

Rose was jovial, friendly, not caustic and hostile like Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity. He obviously likes and respects Pinter and his work. But he kept crossing swords with Pinter as Pinter explained his objections to American foreign policy.

As Pinter was in the middle of setting up a point, Rose would interrupt and argue with something Pinter had said. But his arguments were not really directed at what Pinter said. They were more like general defenses of a certain belief about what America is. It's as if Pinter's statement of certain very grim facts about what America's government is really doing inspired Rose to defend the very heart of America. As if Pinter were attacking America's fundamental goodness, and Rose felt he had to dash forth to defend her honor.

It was very blurred and confused exactly what Rose was defending. Pinter had said that Bush, Blair and others should be tried in the international tribunal in the Hague. Rose asked, "For what?" For mass murder was the reply.

Rose, in his good-natured, but somewhat slow-witted way was aghast, jaw dropping, and it seemed a natural, sincere reaction, not a conscious effort to smear someone, as in a Fox news broadcast. "So you equate Bush and Blair with ... I won't say Hitler, that's too easy ... as Stalin?, the Khmer Rouge?"

Pinter said, "They haven't killed as many people as Stalin, or of Mao either. But how many people do you have to kill to be called a mass murderer?"

Pinter rattled off some of the horrifying statistics of Iraq, not just the big 3,000 number of American deaths, but the countless thousands of of young Americans mutilated, 100,000 Iraqis who died during the invasion and early occupation, and now untold numbers more that are not from American guns or bombs, but for which the occupiers are responsible. Pinter is making his arguments, Rose is defending America in terms of his basic faith in the idea of America, the mythology of America.

Rose is an interesting example. He seems to be a relatively well-meaning, and a bright guy, but perhaps a little too comfortable for too long. He's not been challenged to look beyond the information that has been placed before him. He's an example of an American that is very well indoctrinated. That whole layer that stands between an indoctrinated person and the world was very visible in this cross-cultural encounter.

Of course Pinter is no ordinary conversationalist. He is a mind of rare brilliance, and his expertise is language, human dynamics and interaction. He is a very clear thinker and sophisticated about politics. And he is not caught up in the American propaganda system.

And Pinter, unlike most Americans, knows what it's like to be on the other end of the bombs. He lived in England during the Nazi bombing raids. When you walk out in the morning and see a whole block that was there the night before just not there, Pinter said, and when you realize that today's weapons are so much more destructive, then you can't be so casual about the bombings the American and British governments are engaging in.

When you see a conversation such as that between Pinter and Rose you see a very lucid, subtle mind dealing with a person who is effectively brainwashed and neutralized as a political force. Rose is effectively won over by the mythology that is used to sustain the military industrial complex.

I found it puzzling at times, what Rose was doing with his leaps to the defense of America. It seemed so out of place with what was otherwise a very good piece on Pinter. Then when it was over, a logo flashed on the screen to see the sponsor of the show. JPMorganChase. The strange conversation I had just heard made more sense when I realized who was paying the bill.

And in closing: In his Nobel acceptance speech, Pinter said, "I believe that despite the enormous odds that exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination as citizens to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory."

Incidentally --

According to the Guardian, Pinter's plays are "everywhere" now, as if the world is catching up with him. The Guardian says, "The current rash of revivals also testifies to a big shift in our attitude to Pinter's view of world politics. For a long time he was derided for what those on the right saw as his paranoid obsession with American foreign policy and its contempt for international law. Pinter was forever mocked as the Angry Old Man and instructed to pipe down and get back to writing plays."

March 3, 2007

How They Talk to Each Other -- Ann Coulter, apparently thinking she was very clever, told a bunch of her colleagues at the 34th annual Conservative Political Action Conference where she was a featured speaker, that she couldn't talk about John Edwards because "It turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot',so I'm kind of at an impasse -- I can't really talk about Edwards." (Washington Times see it here) What subtle, layered humor! Here she's not only alleging that Edwards is homosexual, she is simultaneously implying that if it were true it would be some kind of terrible thing, and at the same time critiizing all the "liberals" she hates so virulently for making it hard to castigate people publicly for being "faggots." She also feels very clever for being able to call someone a faggot in spite of the liberal squeamishness about such behavior by pretending not to really do it, but to only say that she can't do it. This is one of Coulter's favorite smears. She's already claimed that Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore are homosexual. (gaysocialites.com) Why does the Conservative Politial Action Conference hire such a creature as a featured speaker? In attendance were former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and former California congressman Duncan Hunter. Cheney addressed the conference the day before. (Editor & Publisher) Why is he silent on the issue? When anyone refers to his daughter's homosexuality, Cheney gets very angry. Why does he tolerate such behavior from Coulter? Editor & Publisher said that the New York Times and the Washington Post reporting on the occasion did not mention it. Later when it became a headline in the LA Times, the New York Times referred to it in a follow up on reaction to the incident.
  • End Electronic Vote Magic -- Missouri activists launched a 2008 ballot initiative to return their state elections to paper ballots.Scoop
  • Angel of Mercy Not -- Bush, the bringer of comfort to all, went to the American Southeast where at least 29 tornadoes swept through and killed at least 20 people. Bush urged that Americans give donations to the Red Cross and other charitable organizations. The U.S. Treasury, the wealth of America is already committed elsewhere. Bloomberg
  • Accountability -- The city of New Orleans notified the Army Corps of Engineers that it may sue for $77 billion over the breach in the levees. The negligence, it would seem, was higher in the hierarchy of power. But this could start the ball rolling. The Times Picayune

    And Elsewhere in the Web Universe --

  • Defiance of Physics -- A structural engineer discusses the problems with the theory of the "progressive pancake collapse" of the World Trade Center in the Vermont Guardian by strutural engineer William Rice. "The 10,000 gallons of jet fuel (half capacity) in each jetliner did cause horrendous fires over several floors, but it would not cause the steel members to melt or even lose sufficient strength to cause a collapse. This is because the short-duration jet fuel fires and office combustible fires cannot create (or transmit to the steel) temperatures hot enough. If a structural steel building could collapse because of fire, it would do so slowly as the various steel members gradually relinquished their structural strength. However, in the 100-year history of structural-steel framed buildings, there is no evidence of any structural steel framed building having collapsed because of fire."
  • Why WTC7 Collapsed -- Jesse Richard, editor of tvnewslies.org, asks some questions about WTC7, the inexplicable collapse of the building that was never hit by a plane, and proposes some theories. Was Flight 93, the flight brought down in Pennsylvania, originally headed for WTC7?
  • Living History -- An interesting gathering of information about Prescott Bush, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, George H. W. Bush and JFK at jfkmurdersolved.com. More on Bush and Dallas 1963. democraticunderground.com, and more at totse.com and Tom Flocco on the death of JFK Jr.

    March 4, 2007

  • Chilling Tale -- General Wesley Clark told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now that a general at the Pentagon had told him of a memo from Donald Rumsfeld taking out a very ambitious agenda. According to Clark, the general said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”
  • The Way It Is -- Walter Cronkite, now 90 years old, said of the war in Iraq, "This is a mistake, this entire war there. It's a disaster. The earlier we get out, the better." CBS

    March 6, 2007

    Round One -- Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee sent out the first round of subpoenas of what is expected to be many. "They will likely explore corruption and mismanagement allegations on everything from pre-war Iraq intelligence to the mishandling of the response to Hurricane Katrina. The first round of subpoenas concern the recent controversial firings by the Bush administration of seven US attorneys, some of whom were pursuing public corruption cases against Republican members of Congress." Let the music play on. Truthout
  • The Heat is On -- An injunction barring the BBC from airing their story about the bribery scanadal nearing the prime minister's office has been lifted.

    March 7, 2007

    Libby Found Guilty, but -- The jury found Libby guilty, and the prosecutor said the investigation is now inactive. "I do not expect to file any additional charges," he said, according to Reuters. "We're all going back to our day jobs." Why is it over? Why isn't he charging someone with the leak itself?
  • White House Complicity -- According to SFGate, "The month-long trial established beyond a reasonable doubt that White House officials at the highest level conducted a campaign to discredit those who questioned their declarations about Iraq's weapon capabilities -- declarations that turned out to be wrong."
  • Dick Disappointed -- Cheney is "disappointed" in the Libby verdict. He said, "Scooter served our nation tirelessly and with great distinction through many years of public service." (Washington Post) Therefore he should be able to get away with lying to a federal grand jury and the FBI -- is that Dick's logic here? Like the rest of the administration, he should be able to say whatever he wants without consequence, is that it? With so many years in government he should have known better, he should have been that much smarter and had that much higher standards of conduct. He'll get off in the end anyway.
  • A View from Abroad -- Australia's Herald Sun, reported that "Australian Rod Barton, a former weapons inspector who quit the Iraq Survey Group in disgust over political interference in intelligence reporting, today said the Libby episode was far from over. 'It's a very curious case, this one, and I think we haven't heard the end of it,' he told ABC radio. Mr Barton said it had been a strange action to reveal Ms Plame's identity, as it served no purpose other than to punish her husband for speaking out about bogus intelligence. 'Certainly at that time ... the middle of 2003, only a few months after the war had started, the US administration was not accepting any criticism at all of its reasons for going to war,' he said. 'Even now of course they're unhappy (about criticism). But then you were punished.'"
  • Meanwhile Back at the Funny Farm -- ABC is quoting Bush claiming "fresh progress" in Iraq as a result of his "surge". Progress in what? Meanwhile neither ABC nor Bush make any effort to make clear what they are talking about, what progress means, what victory is, what the objectives or the mission is.


    March 7, 2007

    Libby Found Guilty, but -- The jury found Libby guilty, and the prosecutor said the investigation is now inactive. "I do not expect to file any additional charges," he said, according to Reuters. "We're all going back to our day jobs." Why is it over? Why isn't he charging someone with the leak itself?
  • White House Complicity -- According to SFGate, "The month-long trial established beyond a reasonable doubt that White House officials at the highest level conducted a campaign to discredit those who questioned their declarations about Iraq's weapon capabilities -- declarations that turned out to be wrong."
  • Dick Disappointed -- Cheney is "disappointed" in the Libby verdict. He said, "Scooter served our nation tirelessly and with great distinction through many years of public service." (Washington Post) Therefore he should be able to get away with lying to a federal grand jury and the FBI -- is that Dick's logic here? Like the rest of the administration, he should be able to say whatever he wants without consequence, is that it? With so many years in government he should have known better, he should have been that much smarter and had that much higher standards of conduct. He'll get off in the end anyway.
  • A View from Abroad -- Australia's Herald Sun, reported that "Australian Rod Barton, a former weapons inspector who quit the Iraq Survey Group in disgust over political interference in intelligence reporting, today said the Libby episode was far from over. 'It's a very curious case, this one, and I think we haven't heard the end of it,' he told ABC radio. Mr Barton said it had been a strange action to reveal Ms Plame's identity, as it served no purpose other than to punish her husband for speaking out about bogus intelligence. 'Certainly at that time ... the middle of 2003, only a few months after the war had started, the US administration was not accepting any criticism at all of its reasons for going to war,' he said. 'Even now of course they're unhappy (about criticism). But then you were punished.'"
  • Meanwhile Back at the Funny Farm -- ABC is quoting Bush claiming "fresh progress" in Iraq as a result of his "surge". Progress in what? Meanwhile neither ABC nor Bush make any effort to make clear what they are talking about, what progress means, what victory is, what the objectives or the mission is.

    March 7, 2007

    Typical Despicable Dick -- This bit about being "disappointed" in the Libby verdict is so typical Cheney and provides a fascinating glimpse into the character of the man as it atrophies and petrifies for history. (see Washington Post) The old dog continues to do the same old tricks that he learned at the knee of Richard Nixon. (And Nixon was a protege of Prescott Bush and that mob.)

    When Cheney says he's "disappointed" there is a tone of reprimand, of moral outrage over someone who is being unjustly persecuted. And there is the cold steel intimidation that always goes with anything Cheney says. We're going to have to do something about this judiciary ... he's thinking. And they are doing it, have been doing it. Cheney's threats are not empty. That's not a criticism you can make of the man.

    Cheney, like his mentor Nixon, can always find a way to blame other people for anything. So when Cheney shot his hunting buddy in the face and heart, he acknowledged his responsibility in a way that seemed to come close to saying maybe it was really the old man's fault for getting in the way really, but Cheney would be far too noble to ever bring it up.

    At the time he told some friendly, bushy tailed Fox reporter, "I am the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend." If you look at the CNN article about the Fox interview (with a link to the full transcript), all of Cheney's statements on the shooting incident are focused on himself, his own feelings, how it affected him. I don't see the word "sorry", "apologize" or really see any indication of remorse, or feeling for the suffering of the man he shot, who apologized to Cheney by the way.

    The CNN article quotes Cheney as saying "I fired, and there's Harry falling. And it was, I'd have to say, one of the worst days of my life, at that moment." His recounting of the incident is absurd and gruesome. "I said, 'Harry, I had no idea you were there,'" Cheney recounted. "He didn't respond."

    Now Scooter Libby has earned a guilty verdict, and we have a court documented timeline that shows in detail how Cheney orchestrated the felonious outing of a CIA officer just as retaliation for someone drawing attention to the administrations lies and manipulation of intelligence in order to fool and frighten Americans into war against Iraq.

    There is a court transcript of carefully assembled testimony from a number of people whose statements confirm one another and show that Cheney is very likely guilty of the crime, but at the very least is guilty of an outrageous abuse of the powers of his office and should have to pay some penalty. But for now, as Mark Silva in the chicagotribune.com points out, he escapes any accountability at all. He gets to go on making decisions in defiance of Congress, the courts, the public. Will all these people and institutions allow him to get away with it? Why? Why is he entitled to break laws that apply to other people?

    While the Libby jury was deliberating, Cheney was doing a big world tour, trying to divert attention from his crimes by acting like an important world statesman, drawing virulent protests everywhere he went. After 65 hours plane travel during the trip, he developed thrombosis, a blood clot in his leg, just like Nixon did during the period when he was under so much pressure in what Woodward and Bernstein called The Final Days.

    See also

  • 'Verdict Puts Focus on Cheney' in the Guardian

    March 8, 2007

    No Time for Libby -- Buzzflash runs down a little history and speculates on the possible overturning of the Libby conviction, or if not that, the nearly inevitable pardon.
  • Guilty verdict rocks White House -- The Age
  • Cheney Ex-Aide Libby's Conviction Deepens Bush's Woes -- Bloomberg
  • Senior Bush's Iran Contra Pardons -- History repeats. Federation of American Scientists
  • Vermont, Bastion of Democracy -- Vermont towns debate impeaching the bums.
  • Hagel on Impeachment -- "Before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment," said Hagel. "I don't know. It depends how this goes."
  • -- Fitzgerald said, "I do not expect to file any further charges, the investigation was inactive prior to the trial. We're all going back to our day jobs." But -- he also said, "If new information comes to light, of course we'll do that." Raw Story

    March 9, 2007

    Libby: The Real Issues -- William Rivers Pitt (at Truthout.org) does an excellent job of putting the Libby verdict in perspective, which means a very different view than the prevailing framing of the story in the corporate media. In his piece "Lucky Libby" he writes, "The acts he was convicted of - perjury, false statements and obstruction - were crimes in themselves, to be sure, but were crimes committed to cover up, obscure and bury the truly serious crimes that got this ball rolling in the first place. In short, he was convicted for the cover-up of the actual crimes." In other words, this is not closure. This is opener. The real crime was creating a fraud by which to fool the American people into this war in Iraq that is now like an infection that is making its way to the heart of the republic. Pitt writes: "Mr. Libby - along with Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Stephen Hadley, Condi Rice and a slew of others - was an instrumental member of the cadre that sold the American people an outrageous raft of lies regarding the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
  • Waxman Wants Fitzgerald -- According to truthout.org, "Congressman Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Thursday he wants Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to testify before his committee about his investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson's identity. Plame-Wilson, Waxman's office said, has agreed to testify before Congress on March 16."


    Weekend of March 10, 2007

    The Mad Bull -- Ray McGovern on why Cheney went crazy when Wilson went public with what he knew about the administration twisting the intelligence to create a pretext for war.
  • FBI Abuses Anger Senators -- It's so great to see an empowered Congress finally standing up to the Bush administration's ongoing abuses of power. Abuses of the Patriot Act by the FBI, using it to gather information on thousands of people improperly have led to calls to amend the lousy, unconstitutional, misnamed Patriot Act. One of the senators complaining is Arlen Specter, however, and his threats to uphold the constitution in the face of the White House onslaught have not turned out to be much. LA Times
  • Double Standard -- Newt Gingrich admitted he had an affair while he was impeaching Clinton. (Raw Story) P.M. Carpenter writes that calling Gingrich a hypocrite is an insult to hypocrisy. Let's just call him what he is: "a squalid, unrepentant little man of utmost detestability."
  • South America Protests Bush -- Demonstrations and clashes with police marked the Bush visit to Brazil. According to a Reuters report, "More than 6,000 anti-Bush protesters of all ages marched down Sao Paulo's famed Avenida Paulista, the business heart of South America, police said. To the beat of Afro-Brazilian drums, they demanded an end to the Iraq war and what they called state-sponsored torture, U.S. imperialism and growing economic inequality. 'No. 1 Enemy of Humanity' and 'Get out Bush!' read signs carried by workers, students, peasants and other activists."
  • Anti Bush Carnival -- The view of Bush's South American escapade from the U.K.'s Guardian: "Some arrived clutching banners telling 'Mr Butcher' to go home. Others brought effigies of 'The Warlord' dangling miserably from a hangman's noose. A handful dressed up as the grim reaper, while some women paraded through the streets with stickers of George Bush and Adolf Hitler placed tastefully over their nipples ... If President Bush needed a reminder of his growing unpopularity in Latin America, it was here in Sao Paulo in the shape of a 10,000-strong human wave marching noisily through the financial district. There was none of the famed Brazilian hospitality. Even before Mr Bush arrived in Brazil on Thursday to begin a six-day tour of Latin America the protesters were out en masse. 'Persona non grata' read one placard. 'Get out you Nazi' said another. In case the message still hadn't hit home, there was one other taunt - this time in English: 'Bush, kill yourself.'" My fondness for Brazil continues to grow. You need to read the whole article to fully appreciate how vitriolic the response was. Of course Bush snuggled up with a bunch of energy chieftains in Sao Paolo, ignoring that vast majority of the population as he does at home.
  • Live and in Color -- Catch a BBC news report on the Brazil reaction to Bush at Randi Rhodes Fans MySpace. This clip has the piece at the end that shows Bush back in 2000 saying, "If this was a dictatorship it'd be a heck of a lot easier (heh heh heh) just so long as I'm the dictator. (yuk yuk yuk)" Way too long already, thanks.
  • Fib King -- The Houston Chronicle reports that Bush said in Uruguay, "We care about the human condition." The simple declarative sentence, an absurdly obvious and unnecessary declaration for most people, becomes utterly unbelievable when said by Bush. And here's a real whopper: "I would call our diplomacy quiet and effective diplomacy — diplomacy all aimed at helping people, aimed at elevating the human condition, aimed at expressing the great compassion of the American people," Bush said.
  • Desperate and Lethal -- Noam Chomsky in The Guardian says, "A predator becomes even more dangerous, and less predictable, when wounded." Ask the Ones Who Know -- Giuliani enjoyed a huge benefit in exposure and popularity during the events of 9/11. But those closer to the action have a more realistic view of the man. The New Yorkers who are most relevant in terms of Giuliani's legendary performance on that day are the firefighters themselves, the real heroes, not the media-created superstars like Giuliani. The firefighters union has come forward with a statement about Giuliani that gives the word "incendiary" a new order of meaning. See firefightingnews.com, and watch your fingers!

    March 12, 2007

    I'm Melting! No matter how strenuously ignorance is enforced from the top levels, sooner or later out in the real world common sense will reassert itself.

    So the Bush administration can forbid the government's scientists to mention the possibly imminent extinction of polar bears, and pretend that scientific controversy about the exact nature of global warming prevents us from taking any action.

    But Sunday's New York Times had an article about steps that are being proposed to deal with the high probability of much more severe storms affecting New York in coming years. Property values are being affected. Insurance companies are dropping policies on houses in certain coastal regions. Businesses are taking measure of global warming. The reality is sinking in.

    The Bush administration pushed progress back several years, giving oil giants their most profitable years in history. But they can't hold back action on carbon emissions forever.

    Who knows how many extinctions will occur? Who knows where this is all going, whether the human race will survive its own toxicity for another century? These events, these environmental changes, seem to have an accelerating effect. Things are happening faster than scientists had predicted. While oil industry reptiles are holding back progress toward solving the problem in order to reap a few more extremely profitable quarters before they give any room for action.

    These madmen try to arrest all mental and cultural progress in order to hold onto a financially advantageous position for a particular faction. Efforts by religious zealots to force science classes to espouse medieval religious dogma instead of science are in character with the mentality of the ruling conservative junta.

    They try to dictate the very principles of science. And if they are different from what scientists have determined over the last few centuries, well we'll just have to forget all that. This is the new regime of reality.

    In this reality global warming is just a bunch of doom and gloom talk by those horrible liberals who just want to destroy America. It's not really happening, just forget it. It's conspiracy theory. Communism.

    The idea that species have evolved is such a heresy in that world that you can't even introduce the idea in school without taking time out for a word from our sponsor -- God -- and giving equal time to the theory that the world was created by God in six days.

    In this world Bill Clinton's lying under oath about getting a little on the side was an impeachable offense. But Scooter Libby's lying to a Grand Jury to hide a White House effort to feloniously uncover an undercover CIA agent in order to smear a political opponent wasn't even a real crime and shouldn't have even gone to trial.

    In the Bush-Cheney world you can say anything you want to start a war, even if it's all lies. And then when you get there you can use the fact that you are already there as an excuse to stay there and keep the murder and mayhem going indefinitely.

    They say the Geneva Conventions are now "quaint" and they won't be following them anymore. They are trying to enforce a new world order in which they control everything, and if the facts don't conform with what they say, then damn the facts.

    On the day of 9/11 of the laws of science were suspended in a thousand ways at once. Sciences like physics and probability just went out the window, so brilliant were these 12 Saudis with their boxcutters.

    We are told that on that day, and no other in history, steel framed buildings were felled by fire that had burned only an hour or so. Never happened before, never happened since. Three in one day, one place, all buildings owned by the same man, all felled allegedly by flames that burned so hot they made the steel buckle and turned the whole building to dust in 10 seconds. The anomalies of physics and military protocol and you-name-it were extraordinary and numerous on that day.

    But just like the Supreme Court's beautifully illogical Bush v Gore decision, this law of science can never be applied again. When developers and builders make tough decisions about their buildings, they will eventually go back to real, empirical scientific fact.

    Eventually it will have to be admitted on many layers that the official theory of what happened that day, the theory produced by the hand-picked Bush commission, does not accommodate a great many facts of real life.

    Steel skyscrapers will continue to be built, and they will be built according to the best data their engineers can come up with. The supposed fact that three steel skyscrapers fell to dust from fire that day, will not affect the way buildings are built in the real world, where decisions are made by hard-nosed economic considerations, not ideology or official scenarios.

    Real people are already making decisions about global warming. And now finally Bush has deigned to use the words "global climate change" in a State of the Union address. It doesn't indicate any action forthcoming, but it indicates a softening of resistance to admit the existence of the threat.

    And most of the rest of the world, outside of the U.S. where people aren't quite as constantly terrified, the facts that were ignored by the commission's report are not going to be forever ignored. The world is not going to restrict itself to the reality imposed by the Bush-Cheney machine.

    I know many Americans who are still uncomfortable questioning the official story at all. The pronouncing of the subject as tabu by the corporate media who steward the national dialogue has been extremely effective. There is so much fear still surrounding the whole subject people are afraid to think, to consider some of the more horrifying possibilities. The shock and awe method of the Bush administration was more for Americans than anyone else.

    I have little temptation to believe the official pronouncements of such presidential commissions. The official story to me has no particular authority just because it's official. I have no rational, historical reason to believe the most powerful people in Washington tell the truth.

    The official story is full of red flags to me, the first being that it is "the official report." It falls apart quickly upon a well-guided examination. But for those who are absolutely unwilling to look over the brink into the implications of many of the strange events of 9/11, it's not even necessary to go there.

    For those rational souls who shun the idea of going near such a so-called conspiracy theory -- which means an explanation of events that disagrees with the official explanation -- it is possible at this point to avoid the whole subject and still end up in practically the same place.

    Dismissing entirely how the atrocities of 9/11 were orchestrated, managed, financed, etc. and by whom, we still do know from the neocons' own public documents that they had created plans for a re-posturing of U.S. foreign policy that would cost so much that they lamented it would be hard to get the public behind the funding and the agenda without "a new Pearl Harbor" to rally public opinion.

    They wanted a new Pearl Harbor and when they got it -- however they got it -- they were completely ready to roll forward with plans they had already prepared to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. They had also already prepared the voluminous USA Patriot Act, which gives the government police state powers. And they lied and created a pretext to invade Iraq that turned out to be a pile of fabrications.

    Now every day their actions take us further down a road toward catastrophe. Terrorism has increased massively since Bush instituted the "War on Terror", which was also pre-packaged before 9/11 took place. Their failure to recognize and take action on global warming could result in more deaths worldwide than even their wars.

    Anyway, the sham is over. Everyone knows these guys are frauds, crooks, criminals, murderers. It's time to get them out.


    Go! Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the punk who wrote a legal justification for torture for Bush, and who said the Geneva Conventions were quaint and no longer applicable, got in some hot water over the Justice Department's abuse of newly legalized snooping authority. Now New York Senator Chuck Schumer is saying Gonzales should resign. See The Guardian

  • Fresh Doubts -- A February 9 article in the Daily Mail talks of "An explosion of disbelief - fresh doubts over 9/11" A few hours ago the story was up, it's now been pulled. There's a note about it here: GlobalResearch Something that crept through before it was called back.
  • Holes in the Plane Stories -- by Morgan Reynolds Ph D., Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Labor under George W. Bush 2001 - 2002. "It is not my burden to prove what really happened. That burden lies entirely with apologists for the official plane story like Hoffman. Mr. Hoffman, not the skeptics, must prove that four Boeing airliners crashed as government and corporate media say they did. Proof must be verifiable, corroborated, physical facts and not contradictory reports from witnesses, including those bought off or pressured into a predetermined result by media coverage that morning." See also his 2005 article "Why Did the Trade Center Skyscrapers Collapse?"
  • Leading Conservatives -- on the 9/11 Cover-Up
  • Patriots Question 9/11 --

    March 13, 2007

    Die Infidel! Cardinal Rattner/Pope Benedict, the Hitler Youth who grew up to be Pope, issued a little threat to Catholic politicians who dare to support gay marriage, abortion rights or euthanasia. Some bishops have refused to give Holy Communion to politicians who have dared express views that differ from the church.
  • Rove In It -- The White House admitted Rove passed on complaints about prosecutors who were later fired for not prosecuting Democrats fast enough.
  • Peace and Impeachment -- March on the Pentagon, March 17.
  • Support Our Troops... and drive them insane. "A new study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that mental health disorders or psychosocial ills have hit a third of the US soldiers that have returned from Afghanistan or Iraq." Playfuls.com
  • Ain't Goin' Nowhere -- Cheney resigning? Are you kidding? NY Daily News

    March 14, 2007

    What's He On? Former President Bush is always providing such colorful news stories. When he's not sobbing at the podium or vomiting in a foreign dignitary's lap, then it's something even more heartwarming, such as passing out while golfing, then making gay jokes about his male companion giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. (See China Daily) Oh those wild Bush boys!
  • Be Gone! Tell Gonzales to resign. Sign here.

    March 17, 2007

    Unbelievable things are happening! What a time we are living in! Events have taken on a momentum. The ruthless, overwhelming power of the Bush administration is shattering, coming apart all over.

    For years they trampled every law, constitutional principle or custom of civilization that got in their way with a sense of entitlement and defiance that bordered on gaiety. Nothing could stop them. No one had the power, never mind the courage.

    For years they piled outrage upon outrage. They lied transparently and everyone knew they were lying, but they taunted the world with their reckless use of power.

    They consistently played with absolute ruthlessness in every theater of activity, and destroyed many people along the way. They piled their abuses of power one on the other until they finally reached overload. Now they have come to a time when everything is crumbling. They are weakened, and many of those they have wronged are taking the opportunity to come out against them.

    It looks like the right wing criminals that have held power in the U.S. for the whole of the 21st century so far aren't doing so well right now.

    How great to have a congress that is not totally subservient to George W. Bush, a branch of government that is once again asserting some of its function as an equal body of government to the executive branch. They are exercising their prerogative to hold hearings, to investigate possible abuses. With the walls crumbling and people looking to separate themselves from the collapsing administration, they are answering questions under oath and White House crimes and lies are surfacing on practically a daily basis.

    A bombshell Friday: though Bush announced he would have an internal probe of what happened when CIA agent Valerie Plame's cover was revealed, according to Editor & Publisher, "Dr. James Knodell, director of the Office of Security at the White House, told a congressional committee today that he was aware of no internal investigation or report into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame."

    CNN is reporting that "Loyalty to Bush may not be enough to save Gonzales". Bush's little worm, who accommodated Bush and Cheney's wishes to devise a legal justification for torture, who scornfully called the Geneva Conventions "quaint", has now gone too far, and been exposed, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving slug.

    In the news:

  • The ultimate trickle down theory: According to "Police in Germany are hunting pranksters who have been sticking miniature flag portraits of George W. Bush into piscienceblogs.comles of dog poo in public parks."
  • Impeachment May Be the Only Way to prevent war with Iran, says Congressman Dennis Kucinich. (see afterdowningstreet.org)

    March 18, 2007

  • What Hath God Wrought? The Washington Post reports that 100 Christians demonstrating against the war by praying at the White House were arrested. Look out, Bush. Onward Christian soldiers. Not a good sign for the Godmocking Christian right.
  • American Hero -- Brent Budowsky , one of the authors of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, writes that "It should now be clear even to the most rabid partisan apologist for Bush administration wrongdoing that Valerie Plame was a covert operative, that her identity and status were classified, and that she had performed abroad within the last five years... I know and admire Valerie Plame and consider her an American hero, an American patriot, and an invaluable national resource in defeating global terrorism who has been compromised by shameless and despicable acts, by partisans and ideologues." While we have Fox news clones and right wing columnists like Robert Novak asserting that there was "no underlying crime" in the Libby case, that Valerie Plame was not a covert operative and it doesn't matter that Cheney exposed her as an act of political revenge, her testimony before Congress shows clearly they are just fabricating whatever they think gets their boys off. Budowsky: "I ask the congressman, the president, the vice president and the apologists for this travesty: How would you feel if someone stood at the back of a United States Marine at the center of Baghdad, and pointed to him for an enemy sniper to kill? ... make no mistake, these disclosures were the sickening and disgusting result of partisan players who risked the lives of heroes, from their safe perches of official power."
  • Why No Investigation? Congressman Henry Waxman, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote a letter to White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten to explain why the White House failed to conduct any investigation following the disclosure of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert CIA employment, as came out in Friday's Congressional hearings. Why did Bush say he would investigate it and then do nothing of the kind? Of course there was no congressional oversight at the time, Congress was controlled by Republican operatives who just enabled and rubber stamped every presidential action, becoming in effect an extension of the executive branch. See Buzzflash
  • How Does It Feel? Greg Mitchell in Editor & Publisher reports on the Plame testimony and on how she felt about about Rove telling Chris Matthews that she was "fair game."
  • Senator Patrick Leahy, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said he will call Rove to testify about the Plame leak. “Frankly, I don’t care whether [White House Counsel Fred Fielding] says he’s going to allow people or not. We’ll subpoena the people we want,” Leahy said. “If they want to defy the subpoena, then you get into a stonewall situation I suspect they don’t want to have.” Asked whether he’ll subpoena Rove, Leahy answered, “Yes. He can appear voluntarily if he wants. If he doesn’t, I will subpoena him.” ThinkProgress

    March 21, 2007

    Spring Has Sprung!

    What is this? ABC, the World According to Disney, says that the White House "offers" to "make available" Karl Rove and Harriet Myers for "interviews" but not under oath. Not under oath. In case they need to lie. What utter insanity! What unfathomable arrogance. The Bushies are so used to lying, to saying whatever pops into their head, regardless of whether it has any relationship to reality, they view it as an entitlement. Moi? Swear to tell the truth, oh heavens no!

    March 23, 2007

    Plus ca Change -- It's looking more like Watergate every day. Back then it was the 18-minute gap in Nixon's tapes, a gap attributed to a technical error by his secretary Rosemary Woods. Now congressional investigators have found a telltale gap in the e-mails that have been turned over to Congress by the White House. (see CNN) I guess you can't expect them to freely give up the evidence that will destroy their case and bring them down.

    Meanwhile, it appears that some of the manipulation of U.S. attorneys had to do with the phone-jamming election fraud case in New Hampshire where a White House insider, James Tobin, formerly the New England Regional Political Director for the Republican National Committee, was convicted of illegally jamming the Democratic party phone banks to destroy their get-out-the-vote effort on election day. According to Democrats, one of the biggest impediments to the case was that the attorney general himself had to sign off on every move -- first Ashcroft, then Gonzales (see tpmmuckraker.co). Looks like Ashcroft got out just in time.

    March 24, 2007

    Thanks but No Thanks -- Senator Charles Schumer of New York said the Bush offer of letting Rove and Miers be interviewed behind closed doors is not good enough. "It's sort of giving us the opportunity to talk to them, but not giving us the opportunity to get to the bottom of what really happened here. With no transcript, with no oath, with private conversations that can be contradicted, recollections can fail, you're not going to get very far." Vermont Senator Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, "They came up and said, 'This is our offer. Take it or leave it. Accept these papers where we've erased 100 pages or more so you don't even know what's on there. Do a closed door hearing where the public has no idea what is said and they're not under oath, and if you don't like that, take it or leave it.' Well nobody's going to take that." Truthout

    March 30, 2007

    Proof Gonzales Lied -- He said he didn't know about it. Documents released Friday night show he did. AP
  • A Time for Anger ... Action -- Bill Moyers: "We do not have much time. Our political system is melting down, right here where you live."
  • Creeping Accountability -- Bush's former Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles pleaded guilty Friday to obstruction of justice in a Senate committee's investigation, the highest-ranking Bush administration official yet convicted in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal. CNN
  • Winds of Change -- The University of Florida Alumni Association's board of directors voted 38-28 against giving Jeb Bush an honorary degree. AP
  • Webb for America -- A real leader emerges. American Prospect

    March 31, 2007

    Land of the Free

    Editor's note: To those loyal friends who frequent this site, my apologies for my recent absence. I am exploring South Africa and not always able to connect to upload new posts. But ah, what a trip it is! There is much I would wish to share.

    CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- I'm here to attend the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and to explore this great and glorious country, still in the fresh raptures of a social and political revolution that is one of the bright spots in this grim age.

    (A very abbreviated summary of some of the highlights of this trip is posted at TravelWeekly.com.)

    There is so much to tell. South Africa is one of the most amazing places in the world today, in my humble opinion, and its most extraordinary qualities are things that could do Americans much good. At a time when it is blossoming in a new renaissance after the incredible overthrow of apartheid in the early '90s, the U.S. has been moving in the opposite direction. And it's very encouraging to see that good things are still possible in this world. The Bush-Cheney New World Order does not have the power and reach to make every place as dark and creepy as it has made the U.S. in recent years. Americans can take a measure of inspiration from South Africa at this time when any sign of hope for humanity is sorely needed.

    In fact there is a great deal of hope in the U.S. as the lords of torture, falsely declared war and corruption writhe in agony and their regime totters. Bush has now hovered at 30% approval ratings for a year and a half, reportedly the longest any president has achieved such an abysmal rating for so long.

    They are finally getting theirs. They have shown they can steal elections, drive the nation to war on false pretenses, give lucrative no-bid contracts to their friends, thumb their noses at everyone and everything, but they cannot get away with everything they want forever. At some point, after screwing practically everyone they come in contact with for years, it's all starting to catch up with them. What a pleasure to see it!

    Meanwhile across the sea at the southern tip of Africa, a new republic has been born out of the ashes of an oppressive regime, and of course it's far from perfect. But what excitement to see a country that has thrown over one of the most brutal systems of oppression known, and has done it without striking back in kind and perpetuating the cycle of violence and hatred.

    When you are here you feel all of that. You feel the tremendous electricity of democracy unleashed, of human potential set free. It is stunning. It recalls De Tocqueville's description of the stark difference that could be perceived when passing from the free states to the slave states in early America. Immediately when entering the slave states, that sense of oppression set in and the vibrance of the democratic society of the north was squelched.

    Now, in a bitter irony for Americans, the contrast between the U.S. as it moves rapidly toward a more oppressive government and South Africa as it bursts forth from the starting gate toward greater freedom, is striking.

    These are not isolated theaters of activity. The people on the rise in the U.S. in the post-2000 period are essentially the same as those vanquished in South Africa. Dick Cheney was one of the few U.S. congressmen who voted against a resolution in 1986 to call for the freeing of Nelson Mandela, the symbol and leader of the anti-apartheid movement. (See Commondreams) The resolution passed, but Reagan vetoed it. Cheney considered Mandela a terrorist and never backed away from his position, though he said something during the 2000 election season that Mandela had moderated, which was absurd.

    At Nelson Mandela's home in Soweto (now a museum), there is a proclamation from the state government of Michigan apologizing for the fact that the CIA was involved in capturing Mandela for the apartheid regime. (See "U.S. Aid to Africa: It Takes a Child to Raze a Village") When South Africans asked President George Bush to issue some sort of apology for the incident, he would not do it, but Michigan did, and the proclamation stands in Mandela's home.

    I visited Robben Island, the prison where Mandela was kept in a tiny cell, sleeping on a mat on the floor, condemned to the hard labor of breaking rocks into gravel with a hammer. One of the former political prisoners of the prison, Eugene Mokgoasi, guided us through the prison. For being involved in the struggle against apartheid, in an incident of civil disobedience, he said, he was called a terrorist under anti-terrorism laws, which meant that he could be detained without trial and put away indefinitely. Sound familiar? If this is too subtle, this is exactly what Bush and Cheney have given themselves power to do under new U.S. anti-terrorist laws named the USA Patriot Act, a name that shows contempt for logic itself, not only patriotism.

    The similarities go further, and should make any decent American hang his head in shame. At the prison, Mokgoasi encountered a Pakistani man, he told us, who had suffered the same fate as he, being picked up in Afghanistan, taken to Guantanamo and tortured. It was exactly what Mokgoasi had experienced.

    "Because of the terrorism act, I was given detention without trial and tortured," he said. "You don't know when it is going to end, so you sign a confession. You realize that your life is in the hands of your torturers, so you will tell them whatever they want to hear. So I said I was a terrorist."

    All of these things are closely connected, not isolated incidents by the farthest stretch of the imagination. Ghandi's first exercise of nonviolent resistance was when he was a lawyer and activist in South Africa. Martin Luther King learned from Ghandi and applied his philosophy and methods to the American Civil Rights movement. South Africans saw Martin Luther King and were inspired to a belief that they too could overthrow their own system of institutionalized racism and segregation. Now it is time for Americans again to learn from South Africa.

    Mokgoasi said he never believed the apartheid regime would be overthrown in his lifetime. He of course never dreamed of the world he now lives in, the job he now has guiding people through the "hell hole" where he was once held captive. A man whose bitterness cannot be ignored, he still had the capacity of a small child to acknowledge that the overthrow of apartheid was "a miracle".

    "Fortunately things have changed for the better," he said. "The one thing we held onto was our dignity as human beings. We refused to let it go. And there is something new about this country. We are slowly regaining our dignity, both black and white."

    There is hope. Every day in Washington there are signs that the brutal, contemptuous government of Bush and Cheney is collapsing. Let's not let it go half way. Let us see justice restored. Let us not allow this path toward tyranny go any farther down. Let's not let the U.S., which was once a beacon of hope for democracy and human freedom, become known as the symbol of shock and awe a.k.a. state terrorism and repression.

    Let us see to it that these criminals face justice for their crimes.

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