November 1, 2006Strike Back -- Hats off to John Kerry for fighting back! For once someone is saying what needs to be said to these bullies. What took them so long? They've been standing aside while these neocons have practically destroyed the republic. As they see the Bush Cheney squad organizing their forces for martial law, even those aristocratic dudes like Kerry must be feeling a little uncomfortable. Who wants to see the U.S. turned into Chile 1973?
So John Kerry, fellow Skull and Bonesman with Bush, who somehow felt restrained before about going after these slimers, as if he didn't want to wrestle with pigs, finally sees that sometimes you have to get your hands dirty. Now that he's lost the big prize, didn't rise to the occasion when he had the chance,and is getting the vibe that the public may not be up for another round of dignified posturing in the face of barbaric insults, maybe he is realizing there's not much left to play it safe for.
He was so damn close to being president, he could taste it! He could have had it if he'd really gone for it. But he was so damn careful! It was nauseating. Month after month it seemed like he was asleep. But no one ever was prepared for the lowlife attacks of Rove and the Bush machine. And I know some will resent the comparison, but it's similar to the way the Hitler blitzkrieg caught the whole world off guard. No one could believe anyone would stoop so low. That's the same advantage Rove brings to the table. Forget that genius thing. He's just a lowlife, and so low no one can ever believe it. He outdoes himself every time. And there are always people dumb enough to believe his crap, or people too scared out of their wits by the whole psychological assault of the neocons to lift a little finger.
But Kerry got off his duff finally and let a little fire rip! How can he not be pissed!? How can any sane American not be pissed? He's in a position to say something and have it be noticed. I hope he liked the attention he got for it, and I hope it spurs him and others to be a little braver in the future.
Sure the joke left an opening. It was possible to interpret it as a slur on the intelligence of the military men and women. But we all know what he means. Those people in Iraq -- God bless 'em -- didn't have the chance to arm themselves against the Bush onslaught. When they signed up -- in most cases before Bush head raised his evil head -- it was reasonable to assume that you would only be called upon to protect your country, which they were willing to do, no doubt, in return for the benefits they were promised. The screw job was that Bush lied and told the American people some would have to die to protect the security of the country by attacking Saddam Hussein because he had weapons of mass destruction etc... all that crap. We all know every excuse one after the other fell apart, except oil and geopolitical power maneuvers that would benefit a few, and personal feuds with former business associates and allies.
Yeah, the people in the military are "plenty smart", Bush, as you say. They were just hoodwinked. And many of them were desperate because their opportunities for betterment have been stripped away by the likes of you. I notice the ones who have seen Bush's game are not so eager to sign up. The trust has been betrayed. Some day all this stuff will catch up to these creeps. Some day they will stop getting away with murder.
So now Kerry, like Gore, has little to lose. He can continue being careful and polite and drift quietly into obscurity. Or he can stand up like any other citizen and speak his mind and hope to make a difference. Hats off to him for choosing the latter.
November 2, 2006Oppression Blues -- If I had confidence in the voting system, I'd be feeling pretty good now. I think the American people, enough of them, are hip to the fact that having Bush/Cheney control every branch of government is not working. I think a solid majority of them are ready to vote these guys out. But the chances that their votes will be fairly counted are miniscule. So then you have to hope that the landslide will be so overwhelming that it will more than make up for all the voting machine manipulation, the fraud and dirty tricks of the right wing. But that has to be a really huge majority to counter the enormous power the Republicans exercise over the voting system. If the voting system had a reasonable margin of accuracy the Republican control of Congress would be over. Under the circumstances, it's a toss up. Given the amount of control the right wing has exercised over anything that really mattered over the last seven years, it's worse than a toss up. Even though a huge majority oppose Bush, the right wing will probably maintain its iron grip. Not through legal and democratic processes, but through crime and corruption.
Now it will be up to the American people to decide how much of this monkey business it's going to put up with. When someone is obviously lying, obviously stealing, killing and laughing in your face as they rob you with some clever line, at some point it has to be stopped. The American people have that power. Even if the voting machines are rigged, which they are, but if they are rigged enough to swing it again there are means. Freedom-loving people won their freedom from kings and emperors and dictators and aristocrats many times before. Tyrants fall.
So although a solid majority are done with these guys, a smaller number realize really how bad they are, and how far they will go to hold onto power. They are not going to leave just because they are voted out. They didn't let a lost election stop them from taking power in the first place, they are surely not going to give up power now just because of a lost election. They can change the numbers and all the corporate media will trumpet it loudly so that anyone who complains will be isolated, as though one crazy person in a crowd. Get over it! That's the past. Let's move forward!
Anyone who is surprised when these guys cast aside the legal obligations of losing the coming election with a laugh has not been paying attention, or is certifiably insane. Why should we expect anything different from them than what they have consistently done before.
That still doesn't mean all is lost. Let's not get our hopes up about this election. Let's not set ourselves up for a fall. The Republicans run the show. They are masters of fraud, corruption and power playing. They will probably maintain power extra-legally like they have in the past, unfortunately like most governments at most times and places. But they can be defeated.
In the movie Amandla about the South African liberation from Apartheid Miriam Makeba says that she thought in the early '60s that they were going to overthrow the oppressive regime soon. If she had known then that it was going to be another 20 years, what would she have thought? This struggle is not going to be over next Tuesday. It may not be any better than it is now. It may be even worse. Rove's "private polls" may be based on a greater power than even last time to control vote machine tallies. It may take more than just voting to win this democracy back. But there are ways. Activism has a history, just as oppression does. The oppressors have learned much better from their history than have the oppressed at this present time and place. But they are not invincible. They are mortal. And they do not have the strength of the just. They will fall.
And in other news --
The Sad, Sordid Story Comes Out -- One of the first women to die in Iraq shot and killed herself after objecting to harsh "interrogation techniques." Greg Mitchell at editorandpublisher.com Al Qaeda needs a Republican Victory -- "George W. BushÕs blunt assertion that a Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 elections means 'the terrorists win and America loses' misses the point that Osama bin Laden stands to advance his strategic goals much faster with a Republican victory. Indeed, as U.S. intelligence analysts have come to understand, there is a symbiotic relationship between BushÕs blunderbuss Ņwar on terrorÓ and bin LadenÕs ruthless strategy of terrorist violence Š one helping the other." ConsortiumNews.com Bush's Big 29% -- According to a CBS/NY Times poll, 29% approve of Bush's handling of the Iraq war. Kerry's Words -- Read the words themselves at JohnKerry.com Conservative Backlash -- Conservative writer Andrew Sullivan, who was a supporter of the Iraq war, now says Bush's statements that Rumsfeld is doing a great job are like his similar statements about Mr. FEMA Michael Brwon. "It's unhinged. It suggests this man has lost his mind. No one objectively could look at the way this war has been conducted, whether you were for it, as I was, or against it, and say that it has been done well. It's a disaster. For him to say it's a fantastic job suggests the president has lost it, I'm sorry, there's no other way to say it.....These people must be held accountable." Meanwhile Rep. John Boehner, the second-ranking Republican in the House, is broadcasting the Republicans' latest message: blame the generals. "LetÕs not blame whatÕs happening in Iraq on Rumsfeld," he says, "But the fact is, the generals on the ground are in charge, and he works closely with them and the president." editorandpublisher.com
November 3, 2006The Shredder -- So Kerry apologized, that's okay. Nothing wrong with being conciliatory. There's always room for an apology. You can say sorry without even admitting error. You can apologize if someone's feelings were hurt, without admitting that you said something that was wrong, just that it hurt someone's feelings. And that's the only thing legitimate in the whole thing -- that there are people whose feelings were hurt by Kerry's clumsy attempt to tell a joke attacking Bush. Kerry could say, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, I never meant to say anything to denigrate you. I hold you in the highest esteem. It is for you I am fighting for, in part, for your chance to come home. Of course you are serving honorably. How were you to know these callous bastards were going to send you off to peril for such corrupt reasons?
But even though there is nothing demeaning about making an apology, especially if it is deserved -- by the people who were used as a football in this yet again. But the way the corporate war machine media spins it, it's a great shame to have had to admit you erred. It's this crazy right wing war hysteria mentality. So I made a mistake -- I'm sorry. Now let's talk about the real issues, why those people are over there, unjustly, being used as tools of a lying, thieving, murderous crime syndicate.
It's all spun in Bushthink. We don't apologize. We don't negotiate. We are too tough, too uncompromising, too intimidating. We are the authors of Shock and Awe. No one messes with us. So Kerry's apology was spun into a great shame. A shame? What kind of shame is it to lie a country into war and then joke about it? "Oh these weapons of mass destruction must be somewhere, maybe under the bed..." George Bush like a certified idiot play-acted that callous, childish joke at a dinner, making it clear that he is a brainless puppet, willing to do anything for his masters. And not only did George Bush not apologize for his mistake and try to rectify it. He just put down his head and said we're going to stay the course until we get the job done? What job? He never once defined the job as anything he could stick with. Who should apologize? Who should high-tail it back to Texas?
Yeah, Kerry's not the sharpest knife in the toolbox. But the fact that he had to make a big apology and withdraw, essentially, from politics because of an innocuous flub shows how impossible for anyone with the slightest opposition to the war machine has a chance to make it through the corporate media without getting torn to shreds. They should rename the corporate media system The Shredder.
Then the great Hillary Clinton, the ordained leader of the Democratic party, really took the cake by making a big public pronouncement that Kerry's comments were inappropriate. She revealed her character by piling on to a cheap political manipulation. It's not that I have any wish for Kerry to be a presidential candidate or any of that. But a little fairness would be reassuring. Hillary Clinton, the ever cold and cagey, calculating political strategist, used it to take a shot at Kerry, to place herself fully in the center of that same corporate war machine media system insaneland. If she were 2% honest, she could just say, what's the big deal? Let's talk about something meaningful. But that's the whole point with her. She would never make a move that was just right because she felt it and knew it so she went with it, though it carried the risk that Ruppert Murdoch and the boys may not approve.
Now Hillary Clinton's candidacy for Senate has been endorsed by the New York Post! The slime paper of all slime papers, the rag where Ruppert Murdoch perfected his trash journalism, a right wing blood rag. If Murdoch is endorsing her over a Republican, you can easily see how dangerous she is to the right wing, and how entirely useless she will be to mainstream working people.
So that's where we stand. That's what is being served to us by the masters of the Democratic Party and their masters in the corporatocracy. Looks pretty grim. But we the people can be that other think coming to the self-appointed masters of America. We can show them we do not have to accept their pre-packaged Hillary Clinton as the representative of the opposition party not, as the only alternative to John McCain for president. McCain, who morphed from the charming host of the "straight talking express" to the ass kissing sycophant. What they have in common is that they have both proved they are compromised and will do anything to be granted a position of power by the masters. They would never threaten the vested interests, the masters of the status quo. That's why they've been anointed.
Tuesday is coming. America rise!
November 4, 2006I did not have sex with that man! This pathetic Ted Haggard. You can see him on video denying he ever knew the male prostitute. You can watch him lie and see how easily he pulls it off. Then the next day he had to revise his statement to accommodate the proof that he did indeed call asking for methamphetamine. Then he changed his story to admit the bare minimum he had to in light of the evidence. So then it became, yeah, I did buy some drugs from him, but I threw them away. I've never done the drug and never did them with him. And I never had sex with him. I was tempted, but then I threw the drugs away because it was wrong. I called him for a massage. He was recommended by the hotel I was staying in. But the prostitute said he advertised as a male escort, only in gay publications, and no hotel concierge would be recommending him. All very sad, because once again, it's not that it's wrong to be gay, and taking methamphetamine is illegal and extremely risky, but that's your business. But this guy is a virulently anti-gay religious fanatic whose work influences many people to support a war criminal president to prosecute his illegal wars. So the hypocrisy does matter.
And in other news --
The real economic news -- Corporate America is reaping a bonanza at the expense of middle America. Don Monkerud Retirement Security -- When your name is Bush it's not enough to be fabulously wealthy and powerful. When you've committed many crimes, you may need refuge from the law. The Cuban news service reports that George W. Bush has purchased 98,840 acres in Paraguay, near the Bolivian/Brazilian border where the government has offered immunity to war criminals. See Wonkette.com Behind the Screen --Read the top 25 underreported stories of 2006 at TheReader.com
November 5, 2006
Advantage Democrats -- Momentum is back with the Democrats, "despite round-the-clock coverage of John Kerry's Iraq gaffe," according to a Newsweek poll. Minority Believers -- According to a New York Times/CBS News only 16 per cent of respondents say the government headed by U.S. president George W. Bush is telling the truth on what it knew prior to the terrorist attacks, down five points since May 2002.: Question: "Do you think members of the Bush Administration are telling the truth, are mostly telling the truth but hiding something, or are they mostly lying?" Telling the truth 16%; Hiding something 53%; Mostly lying 28%; Not sure 3%; see Angus Reid Polls and Research Video the Vote -- "Ian Inaba is staging a revolution, and he damn sure wants it televised. His idea is to have videographers monitor voter polling sites during the upcoming mid-term elections and in greater numbers during the 2008 presidential election. Their purpose: bypass the mainstream media and provide real-time, online media coverage of any problems that arise at voting sites." Alternet A Chickenhawk Squawks -- Richard Perle, one of the neocon prime movers in the Bush doctrine and the invasion of Iraq, is now saying if he'd seen where the war in Iraq was going to go, he probably wouldn't have advised to launch it. Yahoo So Long Sucka! Gas prices will probably bounce back up after the election. Raw Story Stymied? Though the Bush administration would like to stage another terror incident, Gore Vidal says, the fact that they have alienated the entire military may make it impossible now. Infowars Disney Wars -- Ninety major corporations demanded that their ads be pulled from radio stations that run Air America programming. Huffington Post Dwindling -- Only 22% of Australians think it was worth going to war in Iraq. Angus Reid
November 6, 2006
The View from Iraq of the Saddam Verdict -- riverbendblog.blogspot.com Two Guys & Bush visit Tom Kean Headquarters -- Pretty Boy Tom Kean Jr., son of former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, doesn't know much but thinks he can skate into the Senate because he's got a pretty face, a familiar name and runs ads showing himself as a wonderful family man. Then he runs sleazy ads accusing his opponent Senator Robert Menendez of all sorts of sleazy crimes. Kean is like another George W. Bush, the son of a well-known Republican politician who wants to create a family political dynasty. Kean supports Bush pretty much down the line, but when these two guys went to Tom Kean headquarters with a cardboard cutout of Bush that would make it seem possible to photograph Kean with what would look in a photo to be Bush himself, the Kean people called the cops. See the video at YouTube. It's pretty funny. Deja Vu in Nicaragua -- The Bush administration continues to lose Latin America as Daniel Ortega appears to be about to be elected to the presidency of Nicaragua again. news.com.au, The Guardian It's the Oil -- Now that all the various justifications the Bushies made for the invasion of Iraq have fallen flat and the military effort has failed, Bush says the U.S. can't pull out because of the oil. Washington Post Why Kerry Caved So Quickly in 2004 -- Now there is more evidence to support a theory that was circulating on the Internet not long after the 2004 election. In a discussion of the HBO documentary "Stealing Democracy", Lucinda Marshall writes, "Perhaps the most jaw-dropping piece of information in this documentary is that John Kerry not only knew that the voting machines could be hacked and votes manipulated before he conceded the election, he knew that in fact it had happened. Yes, that is right, Kerry knew there was evience that the election could have been rigged and he still threw in the towel. I have always wondered how Kerry suddenly catapulted to the lead spot in that election. It had to have been more than Howard DeanÕs scream. Could it have been a very orchestrated effort to make sure that if something went wrong and the Republicans werenÕt able to control and win the election as planned that someone who supported the agenda behind the war on terrorism would still be at the helm?" wimnonline.org Shades of Nixon -- A Nixon biographer notes similarities between Tricky Dick and Jivin' Joe Lieberman. Connecticut Democrats, don't be fooled. In These Times Saddam Verdict Timing No Accident -- OpEd News Outa Season -- Unlike the majority of Washington politicians, Al Gore still values the Constitution. The Guardian Textbook Homophobia -- Ted Haggard, who made it a cause to fight against gay marriage and was a major political force as a participant in weekly conference calls with Bush, has now been forced to admit the truth: "The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life," Forbes
November 7, 2006
Election Night 2006Live Reporting Election Night Not up-to-the-minute news you didn't hear it first here.
It's early. So far it looks like a pretty good night for Democrats, but remember that since the 2000 nonelection, the pattern is that all the trends, all the exit polls, all the indicators say the Democrats are winning, and then some time after you go to bed there's a sudden, improbable surge for the Republicans. This is what happened in 2000 and in 2004. When I went to bed in 2000, Gore had been declared the winner in Florida and therefore the winner of the presidency. It was a clean sweep of the major states and it was over early in the evening. Then mysteriously in the middle of the night everything changed. Exit poll numbers were even changed to better fit with the official results. Most people just overlooked it, already hypnotized into the inevitability of Bush taking power.
The same thing happened in 2004. Early in the day sources inside CNN and CBS were saying Kerry was winning by a healthy margin. Everyone was really happy on the antifascist side. Then in the middle of the evening as I described to someone the experience I had had on election night 2000, I got a really bad feeling that it could happen again, and it did. So hang on to your hat, it's still early....
The powerful can always fix a close election, an old Hudson County man once told me, but they can't fix a sweep. We can't rely on the legitimacy of the count. We can't rely on the system to work. But the system provides a legal foundation and mechanism for activism.
11 p.m. On Charlie Rose, a panel. David Brooks of the New York Times, talking like a rabid conservative. There was a principle that more than half the people believed in in 2003, and it was true then and is true now. Even if you get out of Iraq, you'll still have that, the problem of Islamic extremism, and if you don't fight it there you'll have to fight it somewhere else. Disorder he said in a recent column, is endemic to Iraq. But then, whatever you may say about it before the U.S. invasion, it wasn't disorderly. 12:15 a.m. Looks like that sleazebag Corker is going to beat Harold Ford. He could run an unbelievably lowlife attack ad on TV, then back off and claim no responsibility for it, and people could still buy it and vote for him. I guess Tennessee just isn't quite ready for a man with a touch of Black.
November 7, 2006
Ortega Wins Nicaraguan Presidency -- While the Bushies tie America's hands in Iraq and world revulsion toward the U.S. continues to mount, Latin America continues to fall out of the U.S. sphere of influence. Will Cheney, Negroponte and Baby Bush decide to nuke Nicaragua? Euronews.net Nobody Home -- When Bush flew to Pensacola, Florida, to help Charlie Crist in his campaign to be the next Florida governor, Crist didn't show up to the event. WLUC Don't Do It -- The French and Italian governments are urging the Iraqi "government" not to execute Saddam. Reuters
November 8, 2006The President, he got his war
Folks don't know just what the hell it's for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
If you have one doubt, they call it treason
We're chickenfeathers, all without one gut (Goddamn it!)
Tryin' to make it real, compared to what?
-- By Eugene McDaniels
The Morning After -- The Democrats took the House by a decisive margin and still have a chance for taking the Senate, which is in itself amazing, just the chance. And with Republicans running away from Bush like they sat on a hot toilet, his power is greatly diminished. The difference between his previous virtually absolute power over all branches of government and the current situation is vast. Now he has no more rubber stamp. Now the House can exercise some oversight. The Democrats can't launch an agenda, but they can put some brakes on Bush and the neocons. It's morning in America.
Speaking of which, Reagan is rolling in his grave because Daniel Ortega is the democratically elected president of Nicaragua now, again. Those voters have spoken too, as they have all over Latin America, against Bush, Cheney, Bush, Reagan, Nixon, Kissinger. They say no to the whole motley crew. Enough.
The whole world is rising up against the corporate agenda. ""
The Republican dirty tricksters and slimers were able to succeed yet again with using lies and slander and push poll telephone harassment, voter intimidation and fraud, to some advantage. But with attention increasing on the voting issues, they were not as free to exercise vote manipulation as in the last three elections. There is more vigilance now, so they have to exercise some caution and discretion. And since the control of the House could not be centralized and swung over with targeted attacks in a few states as a presidential election, they couldn't entirely suppress this movement. Now we get up in the morning, assess the progress, and get back to work.
The king is dead. Long live the king.
"'Remember that song, "I feel the earth move under my feet?" ' says Bernadette Budde of BIPAC, a business-oriented political action committee. She likens the midterm elections not to a tidal wave, with floodwaters that recede, but to an earthquake that permanently alters the political landscape." USA Today
November 8, 2006Rumsfeld resigns!! [soundtrack: "Roll Out the Barrel"]
Aftershocks -- As of noon the day after the election, we are hearing reports that the Democrats "appear likely to take back the Senate." Zounds! Seattle Times
So Bush got his war, now it's come back to take him down. He and Cheney and the rest of the neocon ratpack were willing to do anything, including tell the most bald-faced lies to launch their war. And once they got it going and started building their bases, as per the neocon agenda to remake the middle east (not part of the public sales pitch), they could say, "Well that's the past. Let's not quibble over that now, we're there now. So the important thing is what to do next." And for Bush that meant nothing, more of the same, stay the course, get the job done. But he'd never made clear what the course or the job was.
Iraq was everything for Bush. Everything. He had no domestic agenda, except tax cuts for the richest 1%. It was tax cuts and Iraq from the very beginning. And now Iraq is a total, unqualified failure and everyone knows it except the idiot savant himself.
The same thing happened to his dad. They knew the American people have little tolerance for war, so they always try to make them fast, and therefore brutal and murderous as possible. But Daddy Bush had the caution to get out of Iraq and not get enmired in it. Even so, it caught up with him as the bad smell of the fraud wafted out into the public and the initial shock from the phony PR campaign they used to launch the war wore off. People realized that he too had no domestic agenda, not even really the slightest idea of the welfare of the people, and he was out.
Baby Bush had no such caution. It was all about Iraq from the moment he forced his way extra-electorally into office. Now he gets what's coming to him, or at least a tiny taste of it. If there is real justice in the world he'll face trial for war crimes, if he hasn't fled to Paraguay first.
November 9, 2006
America TipsWe observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom.
John F. Kennedy
January 20, 1960
Oh Joy -- Let's just savor it, for a moment. The world is a much better place today. Oh, there is much work to do, but things are much better. America raised its head, showed its humanity, its sanity in at long last rising up against illegitimate power. Let's see where it goes next. Be ready for anything. No time to gloat. Take nothing for granted. Remain alert. But enjoy this. Recognize this. Democracy reasserted itself, at long last, in America. Joy joy joy.
The Fall of Don Rumsfeld -- Oh Donny we hardly knew ye, and yet it was much more than enough. We won't have Don Rumsfeld to kick around anymore. Who would have thought we would have had him after the Ford administration? Perhaps it's really over now for Don. We can only hope. These deeply diseased old Nixon-Reagan-Bushites have a way of never going away. How did we end up with Negroponte back on the front page of U.S. News, a man of great promise, almost as if he were a respectable human being?
But speaking of that, how does the corporate news decide who its authorities are. Do you have to be an out-and-out criminal? They keep trotting out Gordon Liddy! He's one of the Watergate burglars! Why is he considered "an expert" or an "analyst" or whatever they call him. Bill Bennett, they've been flashing him lately too. Another one of these massively hypocritical, hypermoralistic creeps who does in extreme degrees all the things he wants to burn others for. Of course Rush the obese, toxic liar, drug criminal is still considered a great authority on the morality that is supposed to be applied to others. What about Oliver North? Haven't seen him for a while. But then, Bush is a war criminal, that trumps these other offenses.
We'll see where it goes next. Don't put anything past these guys. They will stop at little to hold power. If they are beaten, you can be assured that there was no illegal act that could have saved them, or they would have committed it. They could still let an attack come and use it to declare martial law. But at this point, they have used every card already. They have thoroughly abused and alienated so many people, including the military, that it's going to be hard for them to pull any of their regular tricks. But don't be surprised. Anything can happen.
Our long, dark national nightmare is ... Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. But for now, for just this one moment, let's savor it.
November 10, 2006
Some Splaining to Do -- Robert Gates, Bush's replacement for Rumsfeld, has some dirty laundry, in connection with the Iran Contra scandal, the original October Surprise, and the Vietnam War. Truthdig. According to Robert Parry, one of the reporters who broke the Iran Contra scandal interviewed on Democracynow.org, When we were doing the Iran-Contra investigations, one of the mysteries was when it really started, and we were able to trace it back initially to 1984, when there were these contacts between some Iranians and some Israelis and some former CIA people, which sort of led to the scandal that we knew at the time. But as we went back, we learned that there the shipments of weapons did not begin in 1985, as we had first thought, but really back in 1981. So we had to look at some of these issues of these allegations that were sort of longstanding from some people who had sort of been in the intelligence world that there had been earlier contacts, that during the 1980 campaign, when 52 Americans were being held hostage in Iran and Jimmy Carter was trying desperately to get them out, that the Republicans went behind his back, first to get information, but also then to make contacts with the Iranians directly. And the evidence on this has built up over time. We now have a lot of documents. We have some records from that period. We have statements from former Iranian officials, including the former Iranian president, Banisadr, the former defense minister, the former foreign minister, all of whom saying that they had these dealings with the Republicans behind the scenes. So, as we went back through that, the evidence built up that there had been these earlier contacts and that Bob Gates was one of the people involved in them. Gates, at the time, had been assigned to the National Security Council for Jimmy Carter and then had become the executive director -- executive assistant to Stansfield Turner, the CIA director. So he was in a key spot. And he was also, though, developing these close ties to some of the Republicans who were about to come into power... And one of the interesting things, which probably should be looked at now, is that after -- because the Gates hearings were in 1991. He denied pretty much everything, but thereÕs evidence thatÕs come out since then that heÕs never really been confronted with, including a remarkable report that the Russian government prepared at Hamilton's request in January of 1993, in which the Russian government went back through their KGB files on what they knew about these contacts with Iran, and they reported to Lee Hamilton on January 11, 1993, that in fact these contacts with the Republicans had occurred, the Soviets at that point had intelligence on it, and that Bob Gates was one of the people involved in it. That report was never released by Hamilton. It was put in the unpublished files of this investigation, and I discovered it a couple years later. So you have that kind of evidence that's important.
November 11, 2006What a Feeling!
Now let's talk Gates -- More on the crimes in Robert Gates sleazy past by Iran Contra uncoverer Robert Parry. And there's plenty more where that came from. Wrong Guy -- See Melvin Goodman in the Baltimore Sun Gates and Cheney -- Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern on Gates, Cheney and the same old rat pack. Gates: Crook and Stooge -- "Meet Robert M. Gates, Iran-Contra Crook and Bush 41 CIA Chief" Wonkette.com And don't forget the interview with Robert Parry on Democracynow.org
November 12, 2006Sunday Morning Gospel Hour -- Oh Happy Day! Still reveling in the joy of a resurgence of democracy in the U.S. Not taking anything for granted, but still giving full acknowledgement to the miracle. Whew! This is a rare moment of humility in politicians. They won't let it last long unless forced to. Let's see where this goes from here.
Democrats: Don't Lay Back -- Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern wrote an open letter to Senator Carl Levin, who will be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the coming hearings on Robert Gates. McGovern warns against giving Gates a pass without exercising any vigilance, and specifically refers to "Gates's role in the original 'October Surprise' - the unconscionable but successful Republican effort to prevent the release of the 52 American hostages imprisoned for 14 months in the US embassy in Tehran until Ronald Reagan had won the election in 1980", which has to be one of the most sordid crimes ever committed and gotten away with by people holding high office in the U.S. government. Now is time to make some noise and not allow wimpy senators and congresspeople to abdicate once again on their duty to sniff out high crimes and corruption. The sweep of the Democrats was not a mandate for more of the same. But the October Surprise is not all, not by a long shot. There is much more that requires less effort to discover. McGovern tells Levin, "As you suspected when you voted against his nomination in 1991, Gates knew about many of Oliver North's illegal activities but, under oath, he just couldn't remember." Truthout Nuremburg Trials in Reverse -- If American officeholders don't want to seek truth and justice from the powerful and corrupt cabal that has ruled with an iron hand in this century, there are others who will. According to Time, "New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." The case has teeth, says Adam Zagorin in Time. "Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq. Karpinski — who the lawyers say will be in Germany next week to publicly address her accusations in the case — has issued a written statement to accompany the legal filing, which says, in part: "'It was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld .'" Go Waxman -- 16-term Congressman Henry Waxman will take the chairman's seat in the Government Reform Committee and he says he hardly knows where to begin in digging into government wrongdoing during the period of the rubber stamp Republican-controlled congress that never investigated anything. According to the Associated Press, "There's the response to Hurricane Katrina, government contracting in Iraq and on homeland security, political interference in regulatory decisions by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, and allegations of war profiteering, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., told the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce." Bye Bye Madman Bolton -- If Bush could, he would try again to ram through a Senate approval of the intransigent John Bolton as ambassador to the U.N. That one was too much even for a Republican ready to roll over for Bush for almost anything. But not Bolton. He was to rabid even for the Republicans, so Bush just slipped him in on a recess appointment, thumbing his nose at even his Republican colleagues. According to the Washington Post, "The White House had hoped Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R.I.), a moderate Republican who earlier raised questions about Bolton and the administration's policies in the Middle East, would support Bolton after the election. But Chafee lost his seat Tuesday. 'On Tuesday, the American people sent a clear message of dissatisfaction with the foreign policy approach of the Bush administration,' Chafee said in a statement. 'To confirm Mr. Bolton to the position of U.N. ambassador would fly in the face of the clear consensus of the country that a new direction is called for.' Chafee said Bolton lacks the 'collaborative approach' needed to make the United States 'the strongest country in a peaceful world.'" Getting Away with Crimes for a Generation -- Mild-mannered midwestern country boy Garrison Keillor looks positively radical in the skewed media environment that has enveloped the United States. In the Chicago Tribune Keillor writes, "So now we have thrown some rascals out and left some rascals in power and sent some new folks to Washington to learn the art of rascality, and what in the end, after all the hoopla, will really change? Or will the town drunk continue to run the municipal liquor store? Perhaps there will be some rational debate on the war. The voters have said they don't want the 30 Years War that Vice President Dick Cheney envisions, so it's time for him and his friend to start making other arrangements. This happens all the time in the real world. If you can't accomplish the mission, then you accept it and find a graceful way out." In moderate tones Keillor goes on to lay down this bombshell: "People still care deeply about our government, despite every invitation to disillusionment. This is the astonishment. For my generation, the first big blow was the failure of Washington to get to the truth about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and then its inability to change a disastrous course in Vietnam. You stand at the majestic polished wall with the 57,000 names on it, and you look across the river to Arlington, and here, within one mile, are two enormous aching sorrows, and a mile behind you is the U.S. Supreme Court, which threw the election of 2000. Some people killed our president and got away with it; men were shipped off to die in a lousy war promulgated by Democrats afraid to be called weak on communism; and an election was stolen, no protest. And yet we still stroll down to the church and cast our ballots. We live on hope." And if you want to make the connections between the Bush family and the greatest unsolved crime of the last century, you can. For some Sunday (through Saturday) reading, check out:
The Master Crime Network -- Webster Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin's George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography Chapter 8b "The Bay of Pigs and the Kennedy Assassination". While you're at it, read While You're At It -- Chapter 17 Iran-Contra And For a Real Freak Show -- Try Chapter 7 Skull and Bones: Racist Nightmare at Yale And the Deepest Darkest History -- Alex Jones on the Bush Link to Kennedy Assassination. Is America ready to throw off these tyrants and face its own history?
Weekend, November 11-12, 2006Now though the bloom is not yet off the rose of last week's glorious victory -- in which Herr Rove's dirty tricks and vote fraud were overcome by a tidal wave so furious that it negated all the shenanigans by sheer numbers -- we settle back into what will be the new status quo. Oh the world is inherently different now, no doubt about it. There has been a fundamental change wrought by the awesome display of the will of the people asserting itself against the powerful establishment forces and prevailing. But those forces quickly regroup and the inertia sets in very quickly. In the first dramatic act of the new era -- Bush's giving up of his pledge to keep Rumsfeld until all but his dog were screaming to dispense with him -- we see the system quickly moving to heal the rift and settle back into its monolithic control.
It begins with Robert Gates and the saddening tendency of the prevailing media to approach the subject with a deferential born-yesterday demeanor. This ahistorical journalism to which we have become accustomed serves no one but the criminals who hold power and prefer we know as little about them as possible. It's remarkable how even the most respectable organs of journalism seem to know nothing about Gates but what the White House press release tells them. They keep things very superficial, keep the discussions in the realm of the trivial. "He worked for 41, now he's working for 43 but he's really 41's man," said one of the media heavies on the Charlie Rose show the other night [paraphrasing]. He adopts Barbara Bush's own nicknames for her husband and son -- what more deferential gesture could he construe? This is the tone of the established media. Good servants. The G-rated version. We'll avoid reporting the crimes that are unsuited for human consumption -- how messy!
This phony aristocratic delicacy is not impressive, it's depressing. But let it remind us that the Big Media Dog is not about to learn new tricks. Its job is to quickly mend the breach and return to status quo as soon as possible. No rocking the boat here. Every new face they present is always an old face in new makeup, as is Gates. He's a fresh face, slipping into Rumsfeld's old clothes. Don't ask too many questions. Keep it light. Just accept what we tell you. Things will be better now. Don't think too much. Go back to what you were doing. Trust us.
Democracy has reared its head and is now to be put back to sleep as soon as possible. Don't let them get away with it.
November 13, 2006Monday One of the Post-Neocon Era -- Bush Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, speaking for a slightly humbled White House on ABC TV Sunday morning said the U.S. would "consider" speaking to Iran. BBC
Rush Gone Wild -- My God! Watching this video of post election Rush Limbaugh it's hard to avoid the conclusion that he's lost his mind. What drug is Rush on now? In this piece you actually see Rush Limbaugh saying he is "liberated" by the election results because now he "won't have to carry the water for people I don't think deserve to have their water carried." Rush actually anticipates my question and says, "Now you might say, 'Why did you do it then?' Well, the stakes were high." Next question: What were the stakes? It's one thing to "carry water" for people who "don't deserve" it, nothing to be proud of. But to trumpet the fact to the world? That's not really sane behavior. That's against one's own interest. There could have surely been better ways to try to reposition yourself with your audience, sane ways. Ford Sets New Milestone -- Gerald Ford is not only the only U.S. president that no one even pretended was elected, he now has set a new precedent in being the oldest ex-president in history. He was also one of the empty smiles on the Warren Commission, and the CIA's man in the House.
McCain Does the Mull Thing -- Now Reuters tells us it's Big John's moment to "mull" his chances for running for president. My vote is: Forget it. John, you sold your soul. You didn't even keep a sock, you threw the whole thing in the garbage pit at the foot of the Bush machine. I gotta say I was impressed by McCain back in 2000. His "straight talking express" was endearing. He was charming, affable. He stated some challenging positions, while maintaining he was a "Reagan Conservative." He seemed to have some sort of Barry Goldwater charm, integrity. Then when Rove reamed him in South Carolina, with the filthiest slime job ever perpetrated on a presidential candidate, he was ruined. His prospects for the presidency, which had been great after he trounced Baby Bush in New Hampshire, were steamrolled by the Bush Corporate Blitzkrieg Machine. But instead of standing up against the man who slandered his whole family, lied mercilessly to the American public and gangstered his way into power, he signs on to give his total support to Bush's destruction of America fiscally, morally, constitutionally. After putting on a big show about being anti-torture, he pretended to have accomplished something and just let Bush have his torture anyway without protest. So I say, McCain, Go Home! Do some penance in the Senate. Try to do something of some value to anything but your own lousy political career. You sold all you had for a chance to grab onto the coattails of the slimy Bush regime. Now why don't you ride them on down to the sewer where they are headed? Janus Leiberman -- Gloatin' Joe Leiberman was pontificating on Meet the Press Sunday morning, eyelids pompously at half-mast, the corners of his mouth twitching as he suppressed a smirk, basking in his success, reiterating the same war doubletalk he talked before Ned Lamont knocked him on his ass in the Democratic primary. The Connecticut Republicans sent Joe Leiberman to Washington. It was not the Democrats, that's laboratory tested. So to whom is his allegiance? To whom was it ever? The Israel lobby? The oil industry? The neocons? Now he holds a hinge point in the balance of power in the Senate. Without him, the Democrats do not have a majority. A mercurial, mercenary creature, and a canny politician, he could bust open the whole thing at a whim, by shifting over to the Republican side. Without them, after all, he would not be in the Senate. He has not altered his positions any more than any Republican in the aftermath of the anti-Bush tsunami. "The voters said they weren't happy with the way things are in Iraq, that doesn't mean they are ready to give up the Iraq mission." Mission? What is the mission? Would someone please tell us? Leiberman is now a wild card in a very close Senate. He carries some power as a result. But he must play it carefully, and hold that power in reserve, because it's not at all sure he can maintain his voter base on the Democratic side. Without it, he would be defeated by a Lamont-style real Democrat. But now Joe has six years before he has to worry about that again, so he's sitting pretty. Don't expect anything that's more than self-serving and militaristic from Joe -- the "free man". Rigged Majority Falls Apart -- Now that the anti-Bush majority got so huge even the GOP perfect system of vote rigging couldn't fix the elections, the fakery of the phony image becomes transparent. A Newsweek poll shows Bush's approval rating at 31%, while huge majorities favor many key policies he has thwarted. According to Reuters, 92% of the respondents were "for lowering drug prices for retirees on Medicare by allowing the government to negotiate directly with drug companies. Some three-quarters of respondents said it should be a top priority, according to Newsweek. Americans also supported raising the federal minimum wage (89 percent), investigating government contracts in Iraq (89 percent) and cutting the interest rate of federal student loans (88 percent). Bush's 31-percent job approval rating, down from 35 percent a week earlier, was a new low in Newsweek's polling. Some 63 percent disapproved of the Republican president's job performance..." It looks as though the huge anti-Bush majorities have been hidden by the corporate media, and it can no longer keep it entirely hidden.
November 15, 2006
Blair Agonistes -- Chris Floyd on "Sympathetic Labour Pains: Tony Blair's Post-Election Panic Attack" at Truthout. Poor golden boy Tony hitched his wagon to the death star. The New Not-American Century -- The neocons shot their wad. The naive, ideologically hypnotized neocons failed to grasp the subtle balance potential and kinetic energy, the strength of holding power in reserve. They thought they could shock and awe the world into submission. They failed to appreciate the power of maintaining a moral high ground. It was all raw power, and they exercised it ruthlessly. And it failed. The New American Century burned out in six years. The Guardian