Clinton Adviser Berger Cleared of Document Theft

This is such a WEIRD story... I'm libbie, pro- Kerry and even I smell something fishy here. Methinks either Berger is a Bush mole (not likely) or he removed something really BIG

1) Berger is not stupid - An NSA doesn't know how to handle classified stuff ?

2) Republicans are not stupid - In this divided political battlefield, Berger had any expectation of NOT being caught ? And of NOT having the episode reflect badly on him & Kerry ?

KYW NewsRadio 1060 - News

President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger -- who'd been accused of stealing classified material from the National Archives -- has been cleared of all wrongdoing.

The National Archives and the Justice Department have concluded nothing is missing and nothing in the Clinton administration's record was withheld from the 9-11 Commission.

The Wall Street Journal reports archives staff have accounted for all classified documents Berger looked at.

Late last year they asked investigators to see if the former national security adviser removed materials during his visits.

Berger's lawyers said his client had inadvertently removed several photocopies of reports, but later returned them.

Ron Reagan & The Case Against George W. Bush

Drudge is right, Ron rips Bush to shreds in this Esquire article.

Something made the Reagan family really mad. Could it be the attempts to compare GW and Reagan as being equal ?

BTW, like his daddy, Ron writes very well. The first paragraphs are riveting....

Esquire:Feature Story:The Case Against George W. Bush

The son of the fortieth president of the United States takes a hard look at the son of the forty-first and does not like what he sees

By Ron Reagan
Esquire September 2004, Volume 142, Issue 3

It may have been the guy in the hood teetering on the stool, electrodes clamped to his genitals. Or smirking Lynndie England and her leash. Maybe it was the smarmy memos tapped out by soft-fingered lawyers itching to justify such barbarism. The grudging, lunatic retreat of the neocons from their long-standing assertion that Saddam was in cahoots with Osama didn't hurt. Even the Enron audiotapes and their celebration of craven sociopathy likely played a part. As a result of all these displays and countless smaller ones, you could feel, a couple of months back, as summer spread across the country, the ground shifting beneath your feet. ...something was in the air, and people were inhaling deeply. I began to get calls from friends whose parents had always voted Republican, "but not this time."

There was the staid Zbigniew Brzezinski on the staid NewsHour with Jim Lehrer sneering at the "Orwellian language" flowing out of the Pentagon. Word spread through the usual channels that old hands from the days of Bush the Elder were quietly (but not too quietly) appalled by his son's misadventure in Iraq. Suddenly, everywhere you went, a surprising number of folks seemed to have had just about enough of what the Bush administration was dishing out. A fresh age appeared on the horizon, accompanied by the sound of scales falling from people's eyes. It felt something like a demonstration of that highest of American prerogatives and the most deeply cherished American freedom: dissent.

Oddly, even my father's funeral contributed. Throughout that long, stately, overtelevised week in early June, items would appear in the newspaper discussing the Republicans' eagerness to capitalize (subtly, tastefully) on the outpouring of affection for my father and turn it to Bush's advantage for the fall election. The familiar "Heir to Reagan" puffballs were reinflated and loosed over the proceedings like (subtle, tasteful) Mylar balloons. Predictably, this backfired. People were treated to a side-by-side comparison—Ronald W. Reagan versus George W. Bush—and it's no surprise who suffered for it. Misty-eyed with nostalgia, people set aside old political gripes for a few days and remembered what friend and foe always conceded to Ronald Reagan: He was damned impressive in the role of leader of the free world. A sign in the crowd, spotted during the slow roll to the Capitol rotunda, seemed to sum up the mood—a portrait of my father and the words NOW THERE WAS A PRESIDENT.

The comparison underscored something important. And the guy on the stool, Lynndie, and her grinning cohorts, they brought the word: The Bush administration can't be trusted. The parade of Bush officials before various commissions and committees—Paul Wolfowitz, who couldn't quite remember how many young Americans had been sacrificed on the altar of his ideology; John Ashcroft, lip quivering as, for a delicious, fleeting moment, it looked as if Senator Joe Biden might just come over the table at him—these were a continuing reminder. The Enron creeps, too—a reminder of how certain environments and particular habits of mind can erode common decency. People noticed. A tipping point had been reached. The issue of credibility was back on the table. The L-word was in circulation. Not the tired old bromide liberal. That's so 1988. No, this time something much more potent: liar.

Politicians will stretch the truth. They'll exaggerate their accomplishments, paper over their gaffes. Spin has long been the lingua franca of the political realm. But George W. Bush and his administration have taken "normal" mendacity to a startling new level far beyond lies of convenience. On top of the usual massaging of public perception, they traffic in big lies, indulge in any number of symptomatic small lies, and, ultimately, have come to embody dishonesty itself. They are a lie. And people, finally, have started catching on.

None of this, needless to say, guarantees Bush a one-term presidency. The far-right wing of the country—nearly one third of us by some estimates—continues to regard all who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid (liberals, rationalists, Europeans, et cetera) as agents of Satan. Bush could show up on video canoodling with Paris Hilton and still bank their vote. Right-wing talking heads continue painting anyone who fails to genuflect deeply enough as a "hater," and therefore a nut job, probably a crypto-Islamist car bomber. But these protestations have taken on a hysterical, almost comically desperate tone. It's one thing to get trashed by Michael Moore. But when Nobel laureates, a vast majority of the scientific community, and a host of current and former diplomats, intelligence operatives, and military officials line up against you, it becomes increasingly difficult to characterize the opposition as fringe wackos.

Does anyone really favor an administration that so shamelessly lies? One that so tenaciously clings to secrecy, not to protect the American people, but to protect itself? That so willfully misrepresents its true aims and so knowingly misleads the people from whom it derives its power? I simply cannot think so. And to come to the same conclusion does not make you guilty of swallowing some liberal critique of the Bush presidency, because that's not what this is. This is the critique of a person who thinks that lying at the top levels of his government is abhorrent. Call it the honest guy's critique of George W. Bush. [4 more pages of dissing Bush... Ouch!]

Hey, WHO WOULD like to have his father reputation hitched to Bush's maladies if they could avoid it ?

Nancy Reagan to Bush: 'We Don't Support Your Re-Election'

Nancy Reagan to Bush: 'We Don't Support Your Re-Election

The widow of former President, and Republican icon, Ronald Reagan has told the GOP she wants nothing to do with their upcoming national convention or the re-election campaign of President George W. Bush.

Nancy Reagan turned down numerous invitations to appear at the Republican National Convention and has warned the Bush campaign she will not tolerate any use of her or her late husbands words or images in the President"

Mrs. Reagan does not support President Bush’s re-election and neither to most members of the President’s family,” says a spokesman for the former First Lady.

Nancy Reagan
Reagan’s son, Ron, spoke at the just-concluded Democratic National Convention and writes in next month’s Esquire magazine that “George W. Bush and his administration have taken normal mendacity to a startling new level far beyond lies of convenience. They traffic in big lies.”

Ron Reagan is joined by his sister Patty in opposing Bush’s re-election effort. Only brother Michael Reagan, a conservative talk show host, supports the President and claims Ron is manipulating his mother.

Unlike the other Reagan children, Michael is not Reagan’s biological child. He was adopted by Reagan during the actor’s first marriage to actress Jane Wyman and often complains that his stepmother, Nancy, likes Ron best.

“He is her favorite,” Michael Reagan told Fox News. “Ron can do no wrong. I mean, basically that's it, Ron can do no wrong.”

Ron, however, claims George W. Bush has destroyed the Republican Party his father helped build.

“My father, acting roles excepted, never pretended to be anyone but himself,” Reagan writes in Esquire. “His Republican Party, furthermore, seems a far cry from the current model, with its cringing obeisance to the religious right.”

The Reagans’ split with Bush and the party centers around stem cell research which many believe can help find a cure for Alzheimer’s, the disease that crippled President Reagan in his final years. Bush and the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party oppose use of new stem cells. The Reagans, with the exception of Michael, support such use.

There’s more to the feud than that, however. Nancy Reagan has told close followers she believes Bush and the current Republican leadership have divided America with their extreme views. She has told Republican leaders she wants nothing to do with the party or Bush.

During the week of Reagan’s funeral, the former First Lady “went ballistic” when she learned the Bush campaign was test marketing new ads that used Reagan’s photos and speeches in an effort to show he supported Bush and his re-election. She personally called Republican Party Chief Ed Gillespie to demand the ads be destroyed.

Republican strategists admit the ads were produced but never ran. They were pulled after scoring poorly with focus groups where viewers found them in “poor taste.”

Deja Vu all over again

The answer for my "Guess the author" quiz:

A 1920 newspaper letter by T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) denounces brutal conduct by British colonial forces in Iraq during the revolt of 1920. (Sunday Times)

Sounds eerily familiar....


Kerry the "Not him" man

Funny and accurate to a certain degree. A lot of voters are going
Kerry because he is not Bush, not Dean, not Sharpton, not Clinton...
without knowing much about the man.

Buh-Bye Bush

From the Yahoo Soars board

Kerry soars in polls gets 64% of 250K
by: like2shortaol 07/31/04 02:44 pm
Msg: 676775 of 676777
1 recommendation


It appears that Bush has lost all credibility, no one believes a word that comes out of his mouth anymore. pResident Bush had four YEARS to MAKE better times, and things are WORSE now than before he siezed control. In fact, he has the WORST Job creation record since Herbert Hoover! At least Kerry will adopt Clintons Fiscally Responsible Policies.

Bush Jobs Record Still Worst Since President Hoover

Latest Poll Indicates 2000-Election Supporters Abandoning Bush at Rapid Rate - 07-29-2004
Seattle, WA (PRWEB) July 29, 2004 -- George W. Bush will need to mount a valiant effort by November if he expects to recapture many formerly loyal supporters who currently favor Democratic candidate John F. Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, according to a poll released today by an independent, global market-research company.

With over 250,000 people polled, MSNBC found that a majority are voting for Kerry. Buh-Bye Bush!

If the presidential election were held this week, who would you vote for?
* 251562 responses
George W. Bush 34%
John Kerry 64%
Ralph Nader 2%

Click the link, cast your opinion NOW!

Then remember to go to the voting booths on November 2nd, 2004 and tell George W. Bush what you think of his 'promises'.

Historians and History will not be kind to you George.

Historians vs. George W. Bush 5-17-04
By Robert S. McElvaine

History lesson: GOP must stop Bush - 05-24-2004

Come January 2005, it's Buh-Bye Bush!"

Poll: 2000-Election Supporters Abandoning Bush at Rapid Rate

Yahoo!!! Go Kerry!

Yahoo! News - Latest Poll Indicates 2000-Election Supporters Abandoning Bush at Rapid Rate

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) July 29, 2004 -- George W. Bush will need to mount a valiant effort by November if he expects to recapture many formerly loyal supporters who currently favor Democratic candidate John F. Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, according to a poll released today by an independent, global market-research company.

The World Poll� survey, completed last week by Seattle-based GMI Inc., surveyed 1,000 media-informed individuals via the Internet in each of the world's leading G8 economic nations*. Questions were designed to solicit opinions on numerous topical issues and critical global events. GMI World Poll surveys use fully profiled double opt-in panels from more than 500 global sources to help achieve 97-percent accuracy in their statistical results.

GMI's most recent World Poll indicates that only about 75 percent of Bush voters from the 2000 election still support the president. It shows that Kerry, conversely, has the support of more than 85 percent of those who favored former Vice President Al Gore (news - web sites) four years ago. And, perhaps as significant, about 14 percent of 2000 Bush voters remain undecided about this year's election while 10 percent of previous Gore voters have not yet made up their minds."


Amen Ron...


Ron Reagan has written a scathing, sweeping, 4,100 word critique of President Bush (not on stem cell) that will be appearing in next month's ESQUIRE magazine. Reagan doesn't hold back in this candid piece where he shares his real feelings towards our 43rd President.

'The Bush Administration cannot be trusted.'

'George W. Bush and his administration have taken normal mendacity to a startling new level far beyond lies of convenience.'

'They traffic in big lies, indulge in any number of symptomatic small lies, and ultimately, have come to embody dishonesty itself. They are a lie. And people, finally, have started catching on.'

'When Nobel laureates, a vast majority of the scientific community, and a host of current and former diplomats, intelligence operatives, and military officials line up against you, it becomes increasingly difficult to characterize the opposition as fringe wackos.'

'Given candidate Bush's remarks, it was hard to imagine him, as president, flipping a stiff middle finger at the world and charging off adventuring in the Middle East.'

'Even as of this writing, Dick Cheney clings to his mad assertion that Saddam was somehow at the nexus of a worldwide terror network.'

'What followed was the usual administration strategy of stonewalling, obstruction and obfuscation.'

'But image is everything in this White House, and that image of George Bush as a noble and infallible warrior in the service of his nation must be fanatically maintained, because behind the image lies*nothing?'

'He is ineloquent not because he cannot speak but because he doesn't bother to think.'

'His Republican party, furthermore, seems a far cry from the current model, with its cringing obeisance to the religious Right and its kill-anything-that-moves attack instincts.'

How I Supported the Right War Waged in the Wrong Way for the Wrong Reasons

A clear thinking, witty neocon is a rare find. This neocon blogger (INCITE) elaborates his case for a thinking man's support of the Bush junta in a reasonable way. In the spirit of "know thy enemy" and hopes of common ground let's see what he has to say.

Dr. Wolfowitz, or How I Supported the Right War Waged in the Wrong Way for the Wrong Reasons

The Iraq War was a necessary war waged to protect vital national security interests of the United States. But the manner in which it was explained to the American public and to the world was atrocious. And it was waged in the wrong way.

Can't argue with your criticism of the "explaining" and the "waging" of the war. But "necessary war" ?

A Yahooligan posted this some time ago: The Iraq war is like elective surgery: Is it a good idea ? Yes, Can it wait ? Yes, Is it necessary ? No Should it be done now ? No
Let me begin by saying I will make no attempt to question any of the various operational and tactical decisions made by the military in prosecuting this war. I have no knowledge to bring to the table in those debates, so I will leave them for others. I will say that I am strongly of the lay opinion that we have always needed and still need more troops in Iraq. Of course, if you consider that (1) we have lots of troops busy herding goats somewhere in the mountains of Bosnia and Kosovo for reasons staggeringly unapparent to me, and (2) Don Rumsfeld still hasn't quite lost his raging hard-on for proving he can invade far-away lands with about 13 soldiers and a real powerful computer, you'll understand some of the factors that have prevented us from committing the necessary resources.

(1) Mandatory cheap shot at Clinton. No card carrying neocon can live without performing it five times a day... (2) Agreed. Funny line on Rummie

That aside, I'd like to focus on Iraq's place in our larger post-9/11 grand strategy, such as it is.

When we were attacked on 9/11, we realized we needed a new grand strategy based on the newly-recognized (though certainly not new) and powerful threat posed by Radical Islam. Conceptually, we faced three aspects of the broader threat -- (1) the direct threat posed not just by Al Qaeda, but also by other Muslim terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah; (2) the more subtle but still fairly direct threat posed by Middle Eastern state sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran and Pakistan (and, importantly to a lesser extent, Iraq); and (3) the indirect threats posed by states whose governments permitted anti-American groups to operate within their borders as an outlet for impermissible domestic dissent, such as Saudi Arabia."

Those evil Muslin Middle Easterns.... Mix & mash to create a huge threat. Fruit salad anyone ?

(1) Let's fight all terror groups at once (except MEK) typical neocon empire mentality: Let's pick a fight with all the meanies. Hezbollah has NEVER attacked Americans since Reagan did a "Madrid cut & run" in Lebanon in the 80's. Even before, they only attacked US forces when those were fighting on the side of Israel.

(2) More hunkering for a good fight: Iran, Pakistan and later Iraq ? At least he admits Iraq was not top of the list

(3) Add Saudi Arabia and 99% of the ME countries (having terrorists in their territory is like having sand, they all have it)to the "evil fighting to do" laundry list

Ever heard of biting more than you can chew ? As any general or parent will tell you, you must pick your battles, instead of fighting everything at once...
Who's at fault? Why, Paul Wolfowitz and the neocons, of course! They wanted to attack Iraq because (1) they like the idea of jaunting about the world experimenting with civics lessons, and (2) they thought it would help out the Israelis. So they used 9/11 as an excuse.

Huh ? A neocon admits this or is he being ironic? Even I don't think the answer is that simple...
While I agree with several Republican commentators that the war was a just and necessary one, we had the wrong reasons for starting the right war.

No kidding! And what about timing ? The economy in 2002 was just coming out of the shock of 9/11, Enron and the dot.com bust, it could not afford another scare for investors. And the job in Afghanistan wasn't finished!!! Don't neocons study strategy ? For more than 2,000 years generals have known that waging war in to many fronts is asking for failure!
And as a result, our broader strategy for fighting Radical Islam has been harmed in terms of domestic support (which is suffering because of the Bush administration's bad sale of the war)

Being lied to has that effect on people.
and international purpose (even if we succeed in Iraq, this fiasco has taken so much out of us that we will be unable to respond to multiple other challenges in terms of the broader war in an effective way; we will be "spent" as a society). This is a shame, and Bush deserves a lot of blame for it.

YES!!! This is my main beef with this war too. Finally a neocon sees it. A perfect example of pyrrhic victory

Too bad the only credible alternative to Bush is someone I wouldn't trust to run a grass-cutting business, much less my country.

Posted by: Answerman

Now the "Kerry is scary" motto. Sigh... And this guy looked like someone with a brain. Too bad he can't take his conclusions all the way and cut through Karl Rove's BS.

How Bush wrote Kerry's acceptance speech

Nice Slate piece describing the "Anybody But Bush" mood in a Rove bashing format..

Rove's Blunder - How Bush wrote Kerry's acceptance speech. By William Saletan

I don't know how much of John Kerry's acceptance speech the candidate penned himself. I don't know who suggested which lines, how many drafts there were, or who edited them. But I can tell you who wrote the speech: George W. Bush.

The power of the speech, reflected in a deafening series of ovations that consumed the FleetCenter tonight, came not from Kerry's biography or the themes he brought to the campaign two years ago. It came from his expression of widespread, pent-up outrage at the offenses of the Bush administration.

By William Saletan
Posted Thursday, July 29, 2004, at 11:18 PM PT

600,000 condoms per day ?

No, not Clinton...

"The Indian city of Varanasi is getting through around 600,000 condoms
a day to oil it's silk garment manufacturing machines."


Electric cars that pay for themselves

Cool! Handy with Peak Oil coming true

Electric cars that pay | csmonitor.com

"There's enough wind power in three Plains states to provide power to the entire country - but there's no way today to store that power,' Dr. Ross says. 'If you have V2G auto storage, you can tap into renewables.'

Wide use of V2G electric-drive vehicles could generate enough power to cut the requirement for central generating station capacity by as much as 20 percent by the year 2050, says the Electric Power Research Institute, a utility industry research center in Palo Alto, Calif.

Neither big auto-makers nor utility companies have yet seized on the idea, known as "vehicle-to-grid," or V2G. Still, V2G is an idea waiting to happen - and the push toward hybrids today is making it ever more likely, say scientists, entrepreneurs, and economists.

"As electric-drive hybrids begin to penetrate the auto market, you now have distributed power generation on wheels,"... "You also have an asset that's sitting idle most of the time - just waiting to be connected."

Regular hybrids..lack the extra internal circuitry and external plug necessary to give electricity back.

... 1 million next-generation V2G vehicles by 2020... could generate up to 10,000 megawatts of electricity - about the capacity of 20 average-size power


Amen to that!

GIVE IT BACK, GEORGE: by Greg Palast


When the feds swoop down and cuff racketeers, they also load the vans with all the perp's ill-gotten gains: stacks of cash, BMWs, whatever. Their associates have to cough up the goodies too: lady friends must give up their diamond rocks.

Under the racketeering law, RICO, even before a verdict, anything bought with the proceeds of the crime goes into the public treasury.

But there seems to be special treatment afforded those who loaded up on the 'bennies' of Ken Lay's crimes. If the G-men don't know where the tainted loot is cached, try this address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Ask for George or Dick.

Ken Lay and his Enron team are the Number One political career donors to George W. Bush. Mr. Lay and his Mrs., with no money to pay back bilked creditors, still managed to personally put up $100,000 for George's inaugural Ball plus $793,110 for personal donations to Republicans. Lay's Enron team dropped $4.2 million into the party that let Enron party.

OK now, Mr. President, give it back - the millions stuffed in the pockets of the Republican campaign kitty stolen from his Enron retirees.

And what else did Ken Lay buy with the money stolen from California electricity customers? Answer: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Just before George Bush moved to Washington, Kenny-Boy handed his hand-picked president-to-be the name of the man Ken wanted as Chairman of the commission charged with investigating Enron's thievery. In a heartbeat, George Bush appointed Ken's boy, Pat Wood.

Think about that: the criminal gets to pick the police chief. Well, George, give it back. Dump Wood and end the 'de-criminalization' of electricity price-gouging that you and Cheney and Wood laughably call 'de-regulation.' Give us back the government Lay bought with crime cash.

And while we're gathering up the ill-gotten loot, let's stop by Brother Jeb's. The Governor of Florida picked up a cool $2 million from a Houston fundraiser at the home of Enron's former president long AFTER the company went bankrupt. Enron, not incidentally, obtained half a billion of Florida state pension money -- which has now disappeared down the Enron rat-hole.

"And Mr. Vice-President, don't you also have something to give back? In secret meetings with Dick Cheney in the Veep's bunker prior to the inauguration and after, you let Ken and his cohorts secretly draft the nation's energy plan - taking a short break to eye oil field maps of Iraq. Let us remember that the President's sticky-fingered brothers Neil and Marvin were on Enron's payroll, hired to sell pipelines to the Saudis. The Saudis didn't bite, but maybe a captive Iraq would be more pliant.

So, Mr. Law and Order President, please follow the law and give up the Energy Plan that Mr. Lay bought with other people's money.

When I worked as a racketeering investigator for government, nothing was spared, including houses bought with purloined loot. Let there be no exception here. It's time to tape up the White House gate and hang the sign: "Crime Scene: Property to be Confiscated. Vacate Premises Immediately.

Guess the author

Yahoo! News Message Boards Politics News:

Guess the author
by: law_n_order_here (100/F/Jurassic) 12/27/03 03:22 pm
Msg: 439837 of 676379
1 recommendation

The people of [our country] have been led in Iraq into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. It is a disgrace to our imperial record, and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure. We are today not far from a disaster.

The sins of commission are those of [our country's] civil authorities .. who were given a free hand by [our government]. The [Congress] cannot disclaim all responsibility. They receive little more news than the public: they should have insisted on more, and better.

They have sent draft after draft of reinforcements, without enquiry... We said we went to Iraq to defeat [a dictatorship]. We said we stayed to deliver the Arabs from the oppression of [their] Government, and to make available for the world its resources of corn and oil. We spent nearly a million men and nearly a thousand million of money to these ends. This year we are spending ninety-two thousand men and fifty millions of money on the same objects.

Our government is worse than the old [tyrant]. We keep ninety thousand men, with aeroplanes, armoured cars, gunboats, and armoured trains. We have killed about ten thousand Arabs in this rising this summer. On Friday the Government announced the death of some local levies defending their British officers... There are seven thousand of them.. Properly officered and distributed, they would relieve half our army there.

We have not reached the limit of our military commitments. Four weeks ago the staff in Iraq drew up a memorandum asking for four more divisions. If [our other deployments] cannot be further denuded, where is the balance to come from?

Meanwhile, our unfortunate troops ... under hard conditions of climate and supply, are policing an immense area, paying dearly every day in lives for the wilfully wrong policy of the civil administration in Baghdad. ... the responsibility in this case is not on the Army, which has acted only at the request of the civil authorities. [..]

The Government in Baghdad have been [killing] Arabs in that town for political offences, which they call rebellion. The Arabs are not at war with us. Are these illegal executions to provoke the Arabs to reprisals on [our country's troops?] And, if so, is it that their punishment may be more severe, or is it to persuade our other troops to fight to the last?

We say we are in Iraq to develop it for the benefit of the world. All experts say that the labour supply is the ruling factor in its development. How far will the killing of ten thousand villagers and townspeople this summer hinder the production of wheat, cotton, and oil?

How long will we permit millions of [dollars], thousands of troops, and tens of thousands of Arabs to be sacrificed on behalf of colonial administration which can benefit nobody but its administrators?"

Give up ?

China will limit U.S. power

Yahoo! News Message Boards Politics News

Bush and American Power
by: law_n_order_here (100/F/Jurassic) 12/27/03 09:46 pm
Msg: 439924 of 676381
1 recommendation

Most Neocons love him because he exercises it, rubs it on Europe's nose...

But the reality is that Bush and his gang made so many mistakes that American Power is starting to diminish...

China will limit U.S. power

at IHT - Dec 26

But behind these events lie the precursor signals of the looming crisis of American power.Difficulties in Iraq are only the most obvious manifestation of the challenge to America. ... forces cannot exercise battle-space dominance a few hundred yards beyond L. Paul Bremmer 3rd's bunker in central Baghdad.

This lesson on the limits of power pales in comparison, however, to the impending tectonic shifts between China and the United States.

why Bush deemed it necessary to make his point on Taiwan in the presence of China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao, during his visit to America. The scene encapsulated America's extraordinary shift over three years from strategic competition with China to complicity, if not compliance.

There is a stark reality behind that shift, in the form of America's dependence on China in the monetary arena. If China were to cease to accumulate dollars, the result would be an uncontrolled free-fall of the U.S. currency, inducing a systemic shock for the global economy. In other words, China holds the fate of America's economic recovery in its hands.

China would no doubt be hurt as much as, if not more than, the United States if it were to turn its back on the dollar. China's trade surplus with the United States of more than $100 billion is the engine of its economic growth and breaking the dollar would destroy that surplus, with dire social consequences in China. Indeed, as a matter of policy, breaking the dollar would be the functional equivalent of using a nuclear weapon, something neither rational nor likely.

Much as with nuclear weapons, however, the possession of such a capability cannot be ignored by the weaker party. The United States can hardly continue to assume that China is going to continue to accumulate depreciating dollars, while not getting commensurate satisfaction on issues deemed to be of vital interest by Beijing, such as the reintegration of Taiwan into the Middle Empire.

Skeptics may argue that the United States was similarly dependent on Japan in the late 1980's. American fears of Japanese domination at the time turned out to be greatly exaggerated, as the Japanese bubble burst a few years later. But China is not Japan. There is no assurance that China's economy is on the verge of imploding (not that such an event would do the U.S. economy any good).

Most important, Japan was, and remains, strategically linked to the United States: There was little risk that Tokyo was going to transform its economic muscle into strategic power directed against the United States, which ensures Japan's security in a dangerous and unstable East Asia. China, on the other hand, has its own strategic agenda to press - and Taiwan figures most prominently on it.

The United States will thus have to chart an increasingly difficult course between the risks of appeasement and the dangers of confrontation, knowing that China's strong economic hand largely makes up for its lack of global military reach.


Michael Moore Takes Boston By Storm

Uninvited Guest: Michael Moore Takes Boston By Storm (needs real audio)

On the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, just before Bill and Hillary Clinton took the stage, a massive crowd of cameras and papparazzi burst into the FleetCenter. In the middle of the crowd was filmmaker Michael Moore. He was not an official guest of the Democrats--in fact he was directly not invited to the convention. Some observers say that's because his blunt and spontaneous style would be too risky for a convention that is more scripted than most Shakespeare plays. Furthermore, Moore has said in recent days that he has not endorsed John Kerry, but rather the movement to remove George Bush from power. Moore made it into a skybox at the FleetCenter after an invitation from the family of former president Jimmy Carter. During Carter's convention speech, Michael sat two seats down from Rosalyn Carter inside the skybox.

Everywhere Moore has gone in Boston, massive crowds have followed him. In fact the Kerry campaign is probably quite happy that the filmmaker is leaving town today. Moore is actually heading into George W. Bush's backyard in Crawford Texas, where he will introduce a showing of his film Fahrenheit 9/11 at a football stadium. Moore says he has invited the film's star, President Bush, to attend the show. While Fahrenheit 9/11 has now topped the $100 million mark, no theater in Crawford or the surrounding towns would show the movie, until last week when it was picked up by a theater in Waco. That's why Moore decided to do his own screening near Bush's Crawford ranch.

What, no Prozac for Iraquis ?

On Yahoo! News, Colin Powell promisses US will help Iraquis get jobs. This just a day after a Bush campaigner says Unhappy Workers Should Take Prozac. Talk about bad timing!

Powell: U.S. Will Help Iraq Create Jobs

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) promised Iraqi leaders Friday that the United States will speed up spending to rebuild the country's infrastructure and create jobs, and said doing so will help make Iraq (news - web sites) safer."

DUH! What took you so long to see it, neocon?

And what about doing the same in the country that pays your salary ?!?!?

Bush Campaigner: Let them Eat Prozac

Yahoo! News - Unhappy Workers Should Take Prozac --Bush Campaigner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A campaign worker for President Bush (news - web sites) said on Thursday American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs should find new ones -- or pop a Prozac to make themselves feel better.

'Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?' said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.

The comment was apparently directed to a colleague who was transferring a phone call from a reporter asking about job quality, and who overheard the remark.

When told the Prozac comment had been overheard, Sheybani said: 'Oh, I was just kidding.

Reminds me of beheaded French Queen Marie Antoinette
famous words: "Let them eat cake"
"Frivolous and extravagant, Marie Antoinette, queen of France and wife of Louis XVI, became the symbol of the people's hatred for the old regime during the French Revolution. According to legend, when informed that the poor people had no bread to eat, she responded, "Let them eat cake.” Her extravagance contributed only slightly to France's staggering debt, but her callous comment infuriated the french peoplewho made her a symbol of what was wrong with the Monarchy


Sadly No Goats

Sadly No brings us this hilarious story about Amazon and Bush:

My Pet Goat Reviews on Amazon

I just couldn't put it down! Certainly much more interesting than Richard Clarke's memo of August 6, 2001 entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States".

A riveting story that keeps you glued to the page until the stunning climax. Even a notification from your staff that the nation you lead is under attack can't keep you from reading the gut-wrenching final words.

Read the whole thing -- and be sure to tell Amazon whether those reviews were helpful to you.

(Update: Following Amazon's deletion of the reviews, we are happy to offer a copy here.)


88 of 92 people found the following review helpful:

This book taught me a lot!, July 14, 2004
Reviewer: A reader (Crawford, TX)
There were five words in it I didn't know before I began. The story about the pet goat was the best. There some parts I didn't understand and had to think about very hard until my head hurt. You won't believe this, but when the book gets to the part when the goat becomes a hero, someone said something in my ear about World Trade and I didn't get it. I was wondering how a goat gets to be a hero and a flying hero like me gets grounded for no reason like,nothing you know and thinking about those guys flying planes in New York for us. And a goat gets to be a hero? But anyhow it made me think, the first time in my life anything did that for me; it's what a book should do, so I give it five stars and wish I could give it six.

Was this review helpful to you?

139 of 140 people found the following review helpful:

Steady Readership In Times Of Change, July 8, 2004
Reviewer: A reader (Sarasota, Florida)
A riveting story that keeps you glued to the page until the stunning climax. Even a notification from your staff that the nation you lead is under attack can't keep you from reading the gut-wrenching final words.


Yahoo! News - Photo of Kerry Suits the Tabloids

Reich wing tabloids all giddy with Kerry's "bunny suit" picture...

Gotta hand it to them, though... It IS a funny picture...

Reminds me of Woody Allen's "zoid" complaining to another zoid: You stepped on my tail"...

Republican-led Congress has left for a six-week vacation

The Cincinnati Post

An ill-deserved vacation

The Republican-led Congress has knocked off for a six-week vacation. You can't say the lawmakers earned it.

The budget, which was supposed to have been enacted last spring, has still not passed and at this late stage likely won't be. By now, the lawmakers should be well along in passing the 13 spending bills that fund government operations starting Oct. 1. They've passed one -- defense -- and that was on Thursday. (That bill does contain a provision that means a lot to Greater Cincinnati, and to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan: a whopping $587 million authorization for the O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt plant in Fairfield to ramp up production of armored Humvees.)

The late summer/political convention recess means that Congress will probably be funding most of the government through a series of temporary spending bills and that, with no end in sight, it will wrap up all its unfinished business into a fiscal and legislative monstrosity called an omnibus spending reconciliation bill. They did last year.

Between the time the lawmakers come back after Labor Day and the time they knock off to campaign for re-election, tentatively Oct. 1, they simply don't have time to finish all their work. September is likely to be marked by more infighting. But added to the usual partisan stuff will be fights between Republicans in Congress and the White House.

Because of President Bush's objections, Congress still hasn't passed the highway bill, now more than a year overdue. The House and Senate versions are both over $280 billion; Bush has threatened to veto anything over $256 billion because that's all the existing federal fuels tax will sustain. We could live with a modest tax hike if it ensures adequate funding for the Brent Spence Bridge replacement and other high-priority projects, along with ample funding for transit and bike trail initiatives. But the White House, worried about vulnerability to criticism over burgeoning federal deficits, is trying to use the highway bill as a way of portraying President Bush as a deficit hawk.

Campaign strategy also accounts for why the White House torpedoed congressional Republicans' compromise on the tax cuts -- a two-year extension of the child-care credit, a break for married couples and the expanded 10 percent bracket and a freeze of the alternative minimum tax. Many Democrats would have supported that and could have claimed some credit, although of the me-too variety. But the White House demanded a five-year extension -- opposed by many Democrats because of the huge cost down the road."

Aid Group Leaving Afghanistan

Those Doctors Without Borders have been on the worst hellholes of the last 30 years: Somalia, Kosovo, Chernobil, Gaza, Rwanda, Ebola outbreaks, etc.. If THEY are leaving things must be really bad!

Yahoo! News - Afghan Bomb Kills Two; Aid Group Leaving

KABUL, Afghanistan - The relief agency Medecins Sans Frontieres said Wednesday it was pulling out of Afghanistan (news - web sites), discouraged by a fruitless investigation into the slayings of five of its workers and fearful of new attacks as a bombing targeting election workers left at least two dead.

The Nobel prize-winning group's decision to withdraw was the most dramatic example yet of how deteriorating security has crippled the delivery of badly needed aid and reconstruction in Afghanistan since the Taliban regime was ousted more than two years ago. MSF had already suspended most of its work after the June killings and recalled all foreign staff to Kabul, the capital.

'Today's context is rendering independent humanitarian aid for the Afghan people all but impossible,' the international group said in a statement.

In the latest violence, a bomb exploded Wednesday in the town of Andar, 90 miles southwest of the capital, as Afghans lined up at a mosque to register for ID cards for voting in Oct. 9 presidential elections.

U.N. and Afghan officials said at least two people were killed, including an Afghan member of the electoral board, and several others were injured.

Three rockets fired into Kabul overnight set off a secondary explosion at an Afghan military arms dump and blew a hole in the road in front of the Chinese Embassy, but injured no one.

Prosecutors in Iraq Drowning gave immunity to commanding officers

Yahoo! News - Prosecutors Criticized in Iraq Drowning

FORT CARSON, Colo. - Lawyers for three soldiers charged with pushing two Iraqis into a river, where one of them drowned, said Wednesday that prosecutors had hampered the defense by failing to grant immunity to three potential witnesses.

As a hearing got under way to determine if the soldiers are court-martialed, defense attorneys said the soldiers' commanders, including a lieutenant colonel, are demanding immunity from prosecution before they testify. The Article 32 hearing is similar to a civilian grand jury hearing.

The commanders were all given nonjudicial punishments, meaning they did not face criminal charges or jail time, for allegedly conspiring to impede the investigation into the drowning.

The officer presiding over Wednesday's hearing, Capt. Robert Ayers, ordered prosecutors to submit an explanation about whether they offered immunity to the defense witnesses and why. Prosecutors did not immediately respond."

Yahoo! News - Iraq Suicide Car Bombing Kills 68 People

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide car bomb exploded outside a police recruiting center in central Baqouba on Wednesday, killing 68 Iraqis and turning the busy city streets into a bloody tangle of twisted metal and dead bodies.

The street was filled with charred vehicles, pieces of glass, twisted metal and abandoned shoes, all covered in blood and human remains. Dead bodies lay scattered about — in the middle of the road, under cars, up against nearby buildings. A white metal security gate outside a shop was stained red with blood.

"It's all civilian casualties at this stage," U.S. Army Capt. Marshall Jackson said.

Witnesses said the bomb targeted men waiting outside the al-Najda police station trying to sign up for the force.

"These were all innocent Iraqis, there were no Americans" said a mourning Iraqui


Girlie Men like Bush ?

Watch it Arnold ! You may be smearing your President...

As a New York Times 2000 article shows, Bush wasn't above posing for cameras in drag, wig and fake boobs

ANDOVER, Mass. -- Perhaps there have been other presidential candidates who have dressed in drag, flaunting their legs from beneath a (fairly short) white skirt. But George W. Bush is probably the only one who has done it in front of a camera.

A photograph showing George and friends wearing wigs and employing falsies to fill out their sweaters appears in a yellowed copy of the school newspaper of Phillips Academy here in Andover, near Boston. It was 1963, and George, then a high school senior and head cheerleader"

Bush Invited to 'Fahrenheit' Screening

He, he, he... Moore is a genius!

Yahoo! News - Bush Invited to 'Fahrenheit' Screening

CRAWFORD, Texas - Filmmaker Michael Moore is bringing his blockbuster documentary 'Fahrenheit 9/11' to President Bush (news - web sites)'s adopted hometown — and has invited the film's star to attend."

Moore, on his Web site, invited Bush to attend, saying he wanted a chance to thank him personally for starring in the film. "And let's face it, you've got some of the funniest lines in the film!" he wrote.

A White House representative did not return a call early Tuesday.

Moore's condemnation of Bush's actions regarding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks recently became the first documentary to top the $100 million mark domestically.

100 million in what, 8 weeks ? Not bad!

Pyrrhic victory

"pyrrhic \PIR-ik\ (adjective) - Used in the phrase 'Pyrrhic victory,' meaning a victory with losses or costs so great, it's no victory at all.

Pyrrhus (318-272 BC) was a Greek king who fought the Roman Empire. Twice, he defeated the Romans but suffered such loses that he is quoted after the second battle in Plutarch's 'Lives' as saying, 'One more victory like this will be the end of me.' Legend has it that Pyrrhus also invented the pyrrhic dance, hence its name.

One more "Mission Accomplished" like the one Bush announced in May 2003 will be the end of US...

100 days until election... National Guard and Reserve get their health claims reimbursed

It's about time!! With NG and Reserve staying for more than 12 months in Bush's war of choice, there was no sensible reason to exclude them.

But the timing is kind of funny, isn't it?

In typical military jargon this small blurb of news came out, promissing reimbursment for medical expenses of the National Guard and Reserve personnel and their dependants.

Claims Processing Begins For Reserve Component Issued Delayed-Effective-Date Active Duty Orders

Starting today, members of the National Guard and Reserve, ... may submit claims for medical and dental care to TRICARE.

Under the Department of Defense 2004 Temporary Reserve Health Benefit Program (Section 703 of the National Defense Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2004), they will be reimbursed for TRICARE-covered medical and dental expenses incurred during the member's period of TRICARE eligibility.

Family members also are eligible for reimbursement for medical expenses for TRICARE-covered services incurred during this "early eligibility" period. Family members also may choose to enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP).

TRICARE eligibility for RC members and their family members begins the later date of either: (a) the date their delayed-effective-date active-duty orders were issued or (b) 60 days before the member reported to active duty. In order to qualify for reimbursement, medical and/or dental services must be for a covered TRICARE benefit; received during this early eligibility period; and received between Nov. 6, 2003, through Dec. 31, 2004, the specified timeframe for this temporary program, unless further extended by law.

Bush's team has also recently promissed to reimburse the flights home of wounded soldiers, who had to pay their flight home from their own pocket for the entire year of 2003 (!!!)

Neocon pipe dreams: Iraq & Terrorism

Laurie Mylroie, a favorite Neocon pundit does it again: Tries to blame Saddam and Clinton's men for all that's wrong in the world... In her piece "Iraq's Complicity in Terrorism she writes about Richard Clarke's "failures"

He, he, he... First let me rant a bit:
Are you kidding me? Mylroie ?!?!? The wingnut that said "Al Qaeda is a front for Iraqi intelligence", that Saddam was behind WTC 1 & 2, Oklahoma city, flight 800, Anthrax and the Washington sniper ? Clinton let her go after 1993 because she was completely nuts, and now she wants revenge...

Neocons should HIDE HER as soon as possible. Not only she is a
nutcase, she also published a book last year "Bush versus the Beltway"
where she gloats on how Bush was "never fooled" by a skeptic CIA
community over the Iraq WMD and Saddam's ties to terrorism. She gloats
about it, being a long time neocon supporter... Since "Saddam is Dr.
Evil" has been her pet theory since 1992, she was over herself with
joy when her friends and fellow believers Richard Perle, Feith and
Wolfowitz got into power.

According to Laurie's book, the CIA vehemently denied Iraq had WMD and had major terror ties, but Bush and his team overrode the CIA bureaucrats and made their case for war regardless. And this is a pro-Bush's book !!!!

Not a popular theory after the Senate Intelligence report just pushed all the blame on the CIA and says Bush & his team exerted "no pressure" on analysts to get sexier WMD intel...

I wish the Senators in the committee had read her book. She explains
in detail how the CIA never believed in large WMD caches in Iraq and
in Saddam as a terror mastermind. And how Bush & co forced the issue
down their throats... And she was writing PRAISING Bush for it!

Mylroie is a nutcase that suffers from the bad habit of needing ONE
PERSON to blame for all that's wrong in the world. She blamed Saddam,
he was arrested and the world dined turn into paradise. Now she
blames Clarke and when that doesn't work also she will blame someone
else, ad infinitum.

Lets see the article she wrote:

Iraq's Complicity in Terrorism

"In 1992, when Richard Clarke assumed the counterterrorism portfolio in the White House, terrorism was not a serious problem. Libya's downing of Pan Am flight 103 four years before had been the last major attack on a U.S. target. Yet when Clarke left his post in October 2001, terrorism had become the single greatest threat to America. Clarke would have us believe that this happened because of events beyond anyone's ability to control and, moreover, that the Bush administration has adopted a fatally wrong approach to the war on terror by targeting Iraq in its response to the September 11 attacks.

Clarke's tenure as America's top counterterrorism official is essentially contemporaneous with the Clinton administration. Before Bill Clinton took office, it was assumed that major terrorist attacks against the United States were state sponsored. Clinton turned a national security issue, focused on punishing terrorist states, into a law enforcement issue, focused on arresting and convicting individual perpetrators. That produced a certain gratification.

More terrorists were convicted in U.S. courts in the Clinton years than during any other administration. ...Clarke, essentially, seeks to blame the Bush administration for September 11, while exonerating Clinton (and therefore Clarke).

"The reality is quite the reverse" Mylroie writes.
However, this approach was completely ineffectual and had, in fact, created a very serious vulnerability long before September 11, 2001....

The February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center--one month into Clinton's first term in office--marked the start of what would become an audacious series of assaults, culminating in the September 11 attacks. This terrorism was said to be new because it was carried out by 'loose networks' not supported by any state, or so it was claimed. This was the official line of Clinton's Justice Department, although the first person to articulate it publicly was a man of the political Right, journalist Steven Emerson, in an April 7, 1993, New York Times article, a few weeks after the Trade Center bombing.

Yet senior figures at the New York branch of the FBI, the lead investigative agency, including its director, Jim Fox, believed that Baghdad was responsible for the attack. As Fox wrote, 'Although we are unable to say with certainty the Iraqis were behind the bombing, that is certainly the theory accepted by most of the veteran investigators'

Here Laurie disingenuously neglects to mention she has been one of the most fervent proponents of this Iraq terror mastermind theory, and goes on to attribute her pet theories to the FBI. She specifically obsesses about Yasin, who she thinks, against all evidence, is an Iraq agent

Several Iraqis hovered around the fringe of the plot. One, Abdul Rahman Yasin, is the sole remaining indicted fugitive. Born in the United States while his father was a graduate student here, Yasin was able to obtain a U.S. passport in June 1992. Yasin arrived in New York from Baghdad in September 1992. He returned there shortly after the Trade Center bombing, transiting through Jordan, where he stopped at the Iraqi embassy and quickly (within 24 hours) received a visa for his U.S. passport. Much later, U.S. authorities found documents in Iraq that showed Yasin was rewarded with a house and monthly stipend. "

Here's an article about the CIA I want to read

On the Yahoo! News piece titled Mission Impossible the author mentions a US News article that I want to get my hands on:

"But money and power alone don't explain the failure to improve America's intelligence capabilities. A six-month examination by U.S. News --based on extensive interviews with senior intelligence officials and a review of thousands of pages of internal government memorandums, reports, and other documents--shows why the nation's hydra-headed intelligence network has been so stubbornly, and successfully, resistant to change. The magazine's inquiry identified many of the same prob-lems found by the 9/11 commission and the Senate intelligence panel: chronic shortages of qualified spies, experienced analysts, and fluent linguists, and a system hobbled by overclassification, conflicting security rules, and myopic management.

The magazine's review, however, documented not just technical problems but cultural, structural, and even psychological impediments to change. They are illuminated by a story, never previously told, of the last major effort to reform the nation's intelligence services--and why that effort failed. Technically, the story begins just three years before the 9/11 attacks, but those involved say it really dates back to the early 1990s. At the time, the fall of the Berlin Wall was still fresh in the public mind, but for many intelligence hands the celebration of the victory over communism was short-lived. In search of a peace dividend, Congress slashed the intelligence budget by nearly 20 percent. Some lawmakers, angry at the CIA's exaggeration of Soviet economic strength, even sought to abolish the agency.

By the mid-1990s, cutbacks and controversies like the Aldrich Ames espionage scandal had taken their toll. Plummeting morale and a booming tech market prompted a brain drain of some of the community's best minds. At the same time, cellphones, 24-hour cable-news networks, and the Internet were revolutionizing communications. In the cloistered cubicles of the intelligence agencies, managers were finding their deadlines shorter and their staffs smaller. The threats also seemed to have multiplied, from Serbian ethnic cleansing to North Korea (news - web sites)'s secret nuclear program.

Two-part job. By 1996, calls for reform were echoing across the Potomac. To better marshal the intelligence community's resources, some in Congress demanded what studies and commissions have repeatedly called for: increasing the power of the DCI, the director of central intelligence. The DCI has always worn two hats: first as CIA chief and second as coordinator, at least on paper, of the entire intelligence community. The problem is that the DCI controls only about 10 percent of the intelligence budget; nearly all the rest is run by the Pentagon, with its military intelligence programs and control of satellites and electronic listening posts.

Unsurprisingly, Pentagon brass argued that a true DCI would shortchange military priorities. Others warned that an intelligence czar, not unlike that proposed last week by the 9/11 panel, would add unneeded bureaucracy or create an unaccountable superspy agency. Confronted by the Pentagon and its powerful allies on Capitol Hill, the reformers backed down. The compromise: Congress created four new positions under the DCI, charged specifically with managing the intelligence community. The new plan gave the four a clear mandate, fancy new titles--and virtually no real authority.

The quartet who took the reigns of the ODCI--the Office of the DCI--are virtually unknown outside Washington's national security circles. But to many inside they are heroes, operatives who were given a true mission impossible--reforming the intelligence community before 9/11.

There was Joan Dempsey, an Arkansas native who had worked in U.S. intelligence since she was an 18-year-old Navy tech listening in on Soviet bomber and submarine traffic. Known as a tough, shrewd professional, Dempsey had risen to be the Pentagon's senior civilian career intelligence officer before joining the CIA as George Tenet's chief of staff. She was, says one colleague, the best 'closer' he'd ever seen--someone who knew how to cut deals and get the job done. Dempsey was given the top spot, as deputy director of central intelligence for community management."

Definitely worth a read...

Yahoo! News - Mission Impossible (the fake war claims)

On the Yahho pieca about intel there's an interesting quote by Senator Jay Rockefeller

"In short,' laments Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the intelligence panel's ranking Democrat, 'we went to war in Iraq based on false claims"

We all knew, but it's nice to hear a Senator say it...

Dead CIA ally Massood has now a brother who is a VP ?

On this Yahoo News piece about Afghanistan's slighted warlord U.S. Issues Veiled Warning to Warlords the AP piece tells us of this surprising turn of events: Massood's brother has been chosen for Afghan VP, over a warlord who had bullied his way into the ticket.

"Massood, currently ambassador to Russia, is a brother of Ahmad Shah Massood, who led the resistance to the Taliban regime until he was killed by al-Qaida terrorists on Sept. 9, 2001. Karzai named Hazara leader Karim Khalili his choice for second vice president.

This is good news, since the deceased Ahmad Shah Massood had been taken for a ride by Washington several times in his and CIA's quest to get Osama Bin Laden (I gotta dig out the links to the story). Every time his group got close he got stiffed by a WH wary of meddling too much in the Afghanistan politics. The last time he got stiffed turned out deadly for him and for 3,000 americans...

Nevertheless, this surprise change is bound to increase temperature in an already tricky situation, since the previous VP candidate is warlord with large - and armed to the teeeth - following among Afghans..
NATO (news - web sites) troops have mounted extra patrols because of the rising political temperature, but both they and a U.S. military spokesman said there were no signs of unusual military activity."

Let's hope this "warning" keeps Khalili calm.

Iran: US war on terror is "void" after decision to protect Mujahedeen

Iran does have a point. By protecting the terrorist organization MEK the US is risking it's credibility, particularly on it's commitment to the "war on terror" (or as Bush says it "war on terr-rah")

Yahoo! News - US war on terror is "void" after decision to protect Mujahedeen: Iran

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran hit out at the US decision to grant protected status to the Iraq (news - web sites)-based People's Mujahedeen, the main Iranian armed opposition group, saying it proved Washington's war on terrorism was a sham."

"The United States is using its fight against terrorism as a tool, and we knew from the beginning that this fight is void and they are not serious," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Tuesday, quoted by the official news agency IRNA.

"Using the Geneva Convention to protect this terrorist group is naive and unacceptable," he added.

The United States confirmed Monday it had granted protected status to nearly 4,000 members of the People's Mujahedeen, now confined to a military-run camp in western Iraq.

This contrasts with the US designation of al-Qaeda detainees.

The US State Department stressed, however, that the move had no effect on the US "foreign terrorist organisation" designation for the group, also known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) or National Council of Resistance of Iran.

"The 3,800 members of the MEK that are in (Camp) Ashraf have been granted protected persons status," deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said.

He explained that the move gave the militants rights under the Geneva Conventions but would not shield them from eventual prosecution on possible terrorism charges.

"This does not relate to their membership in a terrorist organisation," Ereli told reporters.

Iran has been pushing for the forced handover of the Mujahedeen fighters, and last December Iraq's coalition-installed interim leadership voted unanimously to expel them.

The People's Mujahedeen set up base in neighbouring Iraq in 1986 and carried out regular cross-border raids into Iran, with which Baghdad fought a 1980-1988 war that cost an estimated one million lives.

The group also reportedly participated in president Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s crackdown on uprisings by Iraq's Shiites and Kurds in 1991 after the Gulf War (news - web sites) over Kuwait.

The fate of the group's members has been a prickly question for Washington as it prosecutes its worldwide war on terror.

Some US officials have been espousing their possible use against Iran -- lumped into an "axis of evil" by US President George W. Bush (news - web sites) -- should "regime change" in the Islamic republic become formal US policy.

Clinton on Bush's "safety" versus ports & airports screening

Dang, how I miss an articulate President!

Yahoo! News - Text of Former President Clinton's Speech

"On homeland security, Democrats tried to double the number of containers at ports and airports checked for weapons of mass destruction. It cost $1 billion. It would have been paid for under our bill by asking the 200,000 millionaires in America to cut their tax cut by $5,000. Almost all 200,000 of us would like to have done that, to spend $5,000 to make all 300 million Americans safer.

The measure failed. Why? Because the White House and the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives opposed it. They thought our $5,000 was more important than doubling the container checks at our ports and airports.

If you agree with that, by all means, re-elect them. If not, John Kerry and John Edwards are your team for the future.

These policies have turned a projected $5.8 trillion surplus that we left, enough to pay for the baby boomer retirement, into a projected debt of almost $5 trillion, with over $400 billion in deficit this year and for years to come.

Now, how do they pay for that deficit? First, by taking the Social Security (news - web sites) surplus that comes in every month and endorsing the checks of working people over to me to pay for the tax cuts. But it's not enough.

So then they have to go borrow money. Most of it they borrow from the Chinese and the Japanese government.

Sure, these countries are competing with us for good jobs, but how can we enforce our trade laws against our bankers? I mean, come on.

Clinton on tax cuts

Yahoo! News - Text of Former President Clinton's Speech

"they chose to protect my tax cut at all costs while withholding promised funding to the Leave No Child Behind Act, leaving 2.1 million children behind.

They chose to protect my tax cut, while cutting 140,000 unemployed workers out of their job training programs, 100,000 working families out of their child care assistance, and worst of all, while cutting 300,000 poor children out of their after-school programs when we know it keeps them off the streets, out of trouble, in school, learning, going to college and having a good life"

Clinton on support for Bush after 9/11

Yahoo! News - Text of Former President Clinton's Speech

"After 9/11, we all just wanted to be one nation. Not a single American on September the 12th, 2001, cared who won the next presidential election"

Former President Clinton's Speech in Boston

Yahoo! News - Text of Former President Clinton's Speech

The man can deliver & write a speech. Isn't that refreshing after 4 years of nu-cu-lar ?

Yahoo! News - Army abuse report seeks to skirt blame, evade spotlight

The title of the newspiece says it all.

What is the best way to bury a scandal? Bring out the bad news when attention is focused elsewhere."

The Army, abetted by the Senate Armed Services Committee (news - web sites), executed the tactic with military precision late last week, trotting out a hard-to-swallow, 300-page account of the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal under cover of the 9/11 Commission's sweeping report on terrorism.

It was a striking juxtaposition: one report exhaustive and direct, the other simply an attempt at damage control. One charging that the negative image the U.S. has projected in the Muslim world has undermined the war on terrorism, the other reinforcing that negative image by failing to deal responsibly with an issue that has justifiably enraged Muslims and cast U.S. ideals as hypocrisy.

The Army's report was presented at a committee meeting that Chairman John Warner, R-Va., hastily called, ostensibly because Congress was going into recess. The report concluded that a small number of bad apples in the military were responsible for 94 incidents of prisoner abuse - including 20 deaths - in Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites).

Those abuses were "unauthorized actions taken by a few individuals," concluded the report from Lt. Gen. Paul Mikolashek, the Army's inspector general. It described beatings and sexual humiliation of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq as "aberrations."

The finding is contradicted by the international Red Cross, which warned U.S. authorities of systemic prisoner abuses in May 2003, a year before the scandal first broke in public view with the release of photos of prisoners who were beaten, on leashes and in humiliating sexual positions.

And the Army's attempt to pin the blame for prisoner mistreatment on officers no higher than mid-level in rank ignores the role military and civilian superiors played in encouraging such behavior.

In fact, the roots of the problem date back to 2001 and 2002, when White House and Justice Department (news - web sites) officials wrote rules for waging war in Afghanistan. Their stance, embraced by civilian overseers at the Pentagon (news - web sites), was to sidestep the Geneva Conventions, the international agreements that lay down tight rules for treating captured enemy soldiers humanely.

The special Afghan prisoner policy that treated al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters as "unlawful combatants" unprotected by the conventions carried over to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where hundreds of prisoners were flown for questioning. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said these "terrorists" were entitled to humane treatment - as defined by their U.S. jailers.


Another one of those Bush bites the dust...

The man has the balance of of a turtle lying on it's back. Sheesh!

President Goes Biking, Takes A Spill

An Associated Press was riding along with the President Monday when Mr. bush took a fall off his mountain bike and ended up flat on his back. The President, who suffered a small cut on his knee, dusted himself off and resumed the ride.

Mr. Bush had been riding a mountain bike since February, after knee problems forced him to give up his ritual daily jog.

My right knee has finally had it,' Mr. Bush said. 'Running is really a painful experience for me now.'

'I was looking for a different way to get outside and get exercise,' he said. 'Swimming is outside exercise, but you don't get the feeling of the wind rushing past you, nor can you swim your favorite piece of property.'"

Why not horseback riding ? Is it true Bush is afraid of horses ?
(that would be a very funny fear for the first Cowboy President...)

Nevermind, if he can fall from a bike, a horse is definitely out of his league...

Anyway, it's the second time in less than 3 months.
Mr. Bush suffered minor abrasions, scratches on his chin, upper lip, nose, right hand and knees when he fell on the 16th mile of a 17-mile ride with secret service agents on the ranch in May.

Was it the Killer Pretzel again ?

The neocons comments on Kerry/Edwards at RenewAmerica Forum

Renew America (by bringing it back to the glorious days of the 18th century ?!?!?) is a neocon web site covering the DNC Boston convention. They have an open forum with questions about the Kerry/ Edwards ticket that is truly revealing...

99% of the posts go in the lines of "Traitor, sinner,Commie sympathizer Kerry"... and are pretty much predicting the 4 horseman of the apocalypse if Kerry gets elected. No surprises there.

Which is truly sad. It is almost criminal how the neocon pundits and radio personalities are whipping their supporters into a pseudo-religious frenzy over something that should make all Americans proud: A Presidential election.

Sadder still, is the fact that some of those posters seem to have a modicum of culture and common sense, yet get entangled in the Rush / Hannity / Coulter hate mongering...

A sample of the RenewAmerica Forum comments

RenewAmerica Forum,
'What is your reaction to this most liberal of all Democratic presidential tickets?'
I am frightened for our republic and our free market society. I fear the demise of our medical system and the further denigration and degradation of our culture. I fear we are tracking toward freedom FROM religion vice freedom OF religion.

How formidable do you consider the ticket with John Edwards on board?
There are plenty of useful idiots and anti-Christians in this country who will believe their politics of destruction of the opponent and vote democratic.

How formidable is John Kerry?
Very formidable with the likes of George Sorros hijacking the press and the election. They also have Hollywood releasing an attack on Bush every week ....


Britain, United States and Israel share Torture tips

How lovely!

Nothing like the free exchange of ideas between business partners...

the News Insider : Letters from the Empire

Britain, United States and Israel share Torture tips

A little publicized piece by Ali Abunimah in Lebanon's Daily Star headlined Israeli link possible in US torture techniques: In exchange for interrogation training, did Washington award security contracts? should be getting a lot more attention. While it is doubtful that the Pentagon and its defense contractors would need to barter with Israel to get their interrogation techniques (they've had them for decades), the Abunimah article provides a gold-mine of resources establishing, yet again, the inseparable and often damaging linkage between US and Israeli interests in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Five Techniques

For over 30 years Israel and the US have used time-tested torture practices devised by the British. The British Army pioneered these methods way back in 1971, using them against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Irish people. According to one of the world's most respected, and underrated, human rights groups, B'Tselem, in 1971 British security forces in Northern Ireland used coercive interrogation methods against fourteen IRA suspects. These methods were known as the five techniques and surfaced in a legal proceeding known as Ireland versus the United Kingdom. The five pillars of torture include the following:

: Forcing the detainees to remain for periods of some hours in a 'stress position,' described by those who underwent it as being "spread-eagled against the wall, with their fingers put high above the head against the wall, the legs spread apart and the feet back", causing them to stand on their toes with the weight of the body mainly on the fingers.

: Putting a black or navy colored bag over the detainees' heads and, at least initially, keeping it there all the time except during interrogation.

Subjection to noise: Pending their interrogations, holding the detainees in a room where there was a continuous loud and hissing noise.

Deprivation of sleep: Pending their interrogations, depriving the detainees of sleep.

Deprivation of food and drink: Subjecting the detainees to a reduced diet during their stay at the center and pending interrogation.

The United States and Israel have brutally refined British practices adding cultural torture. For prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Israel's many detention centers housing Palestinian captives, that means assaulting the integrity of one's culture and religion while physically pushing the prisoners to the brink of death.

Modifications made by Israel and clearly adopted by the US for the Arab captives include constant references to hetero-on-hetero sex, forcing nude inmates to role-play as dogs and simulate hetero-on-hetero sex, and the common practice of photographing the prisoner in humiliating circumstances so that in each interrogation session the broken prisoner, or his comrades and family, can see how far he or she has been removed from humanity.

John Ross: Bush May Lose, But His War Will Go On

A depressing thought... True enough too.

John Ross: Bush May Lose, But His War Will Go On

"Bush's body posture betrays him. As he steps away from the podium after scrimmaging with reporters at a late June White House press conference, his shoulders slump precariously as if he were carrying a great burden and doesn't know where to park it. The correspondents' questions had been timid darts but the President is thin-skinned these days and they stung and turned off his brain so that he had appeared inarticulate yet again. How had this happened to him, the commander in chief of the worldwide crusade against terror?

Bush can't help but feel a bit like Joe Btfsplk, 'the world's worst jinx' - remember the little guy who was always shadowed by a black cloud in Al Capp's ornery strip 'Little Abner'? His main man Kenny Boy Lay, the moneybags of his 2000 campaign, has just been handed an 11 count criminal indictment that could salt him away for the next 145 years. The news from Iraq is bleak (see 'Burying Iraq, Burying Bush I') and the June dip in job creation guarantees that Bush will be the first president since Herbert Hoover to preside over a net job loss."

Red Cross: Iraq lacks drinking water, doesn't lack violence

On their latest report ICRC tells us:

Iraq: ICRC continues to provide assistance to victims of violence

* Between January and May 2004, the ICRC carried out 17 visits to six detention places under the control of the United States and United Kingdom. These places of detention held a total of more than 12,150 detainees over the reporting period. To determine their situation, ICRC delegates conducted nearly 1,300 private meetings with persons deprived of their liberty. In parallel, ICRC delegates carried out 41 visits to some 780 detainees held by Kurdish authorities in 21 detention centres in northern Iraq. Between January and May, the ICRC, working with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, facilitated the exchange of nearly 12,600 Red Cross Messages between persons deprived of their liberty and their families.

Response to emergencies: Over recent months, the ICRC has repeatedly acted to help victims of the armed violence in Iraq. It has provided assistance to hospitals and vulnerable population groups in a number of cities. To enhance its capacity to respond to emergencies, the ICRC has since January shipped dozens of tonnes of surgical and medical goods as well as other relief items from Jordan to Iraq. As far as possible, the ICRC distributes these goods in cooperation with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS).

Some examples:

* Erbil (northern Iraq): Surgical and medical materials were provided to two hospitals treating hundreds of people following several bomb attacks on 1 February.
* Basra (southern Iraq): 1.5 tonnes of medical and surgical supplies were distributed to four hospitals on 21 April following three car bomb explosions in the city. Two hospitals were also equipped with water storage tanks ('bladders') each holding 15,000 litres.
* Falluja (central Iraq): The ICRC was among the first international humanitarian organisations to bring aid to the city during the violence in April, delivering 1.5 tonnes of surgical equipment and medical supplies to clinics. The ICRC also accompanied a relief convoy organised by the IRCS. The ICRC and IRCS furthermore helped to establish a makeshift camp in Baghdad for people who fled Falluja. The two organisations distributed blankets, food, hygiene kits and cooking stoves to nearly 2,000 displaced persons.
* Najaf (central Iraq): The ICRC distributed 1.5 tonnes of medical and surgical supplies to the Najaf health directorate in April.
* Response to drinking water shortages: The availability of drinking water in many parts of Iraq continues to be severely hampered by shortages of the electricity, manpower and management needed to run water facilities. In response to the shortcomings of the central water distribution system, the ICRC has been regularly delivering drinking water by tanker trucks to hospitals in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul and to communities in these cities with limited or no supply of safe water. In several neighbourhoods of Baghdad, for example, the ICRC has been delivering nearly 500,000 litres of water daily to local distribution outlets used by the population.

Iraq's Wild West

We tried to warn Bushies about guerrila and urban combat... They just wouldn't listen.

Yahoo! News - No Shortage of Fighters in Iraq's Wild West

RAMADI, Iraq - Hunkered down in the turquoise-domed Islamic Law Center, a dozen Marines wait for the enemy to make its inevitable move. Insurgents equipped with Soviet-made sniper rifles keep the building in their cross hairs. Assailants with AK-47s and grenade launchers regularly peer from nearby alleys and roofs. Attacks can come from any direction.

The wait is unnerving, but it's better than being in the streets of this turbulent western city. A Marine convoy was attacked here Wednesday with a roadside bomb and as many as 100 insurgents unleashed a barrage of small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades in rolling firefights that lasted for much of the day. Thirteen Marines and one soldier were injured, and the U.S. military reported killing 25 fighters.

"When you walk on the streets, they can hide in every nook and cranny and you can never find them until they start shooting," said Marine Cpl. Glenn Hamby, 26, who heads Squad 3 of Golf Company. "Here, they have to come right to us."

This is what the war has come down to in Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland, where providing tenuous security harks back to America's 19th century Indian Wars — a time when the cavalry set up outposts and forts in decidedly hostile territory. Ramadi is Indian Country — "the wild, wild West," as the region is called.

Half a dozen or so Marine observation posts dot Ramadi's main drag, linking heavily fortified bases and helping to keep the inhospitable city from turning into a Fallouja-like sanctuary for insurgents.

U.S. troops have walked away from Fallouja, 30 miles to the east. But here in the capital of strategic Al Anbar province, the fight goes on day after day.

The aggressive patrols that marked the Marines' arrival this spring were met with frenzied and bloody insurgent attacks, leading to some of the heaviest U.S. losses of the Iraq conflict. Since the patrols gave way to the more modulated "outposting" strategy, however, American deaths have declined dramatically.

Sharon and IDF will ignite WW3 still...

On Yahoo
Yahoo! News - Israeli Missile Strike on Gaza Adds to Tension

OK, so it's both the Palestin terrorists and Israel's fault things are hot. But Israel is supposed to be the good guy!

DNC Convention Protesters Upset With "Freedom Zone" Site

Yahoo! News - Convention Protesters Upset With Site
What a bunch of cry babies!

Yahoo gloomy about Iraq

This BEFORE the bombing that left 70 dead...

Yahoo! News - Heavy Clashes in Iraq; Hostage Crisis Spirals

Fishy News - A Secret Deportation Of Terror Suspects

Hmmmm... Sweedish extradite suspect to US bypassing the regular protocol (and human rights concerns)

Yahoo! News - A Secret Deportation Of Terror Suspects

Trusting the Bush team with this after all the WMD lies?!?!? Old Europe not so enlightened after all, heh ?

Ship-Sinking Monster Waves Are Widespread

Cool story on Yahoo.

No, it has nothing to do with politics.... Except it does talk about France :)

Yahoo! News - Ship-Sinking Monster Waves Are Widespread -- ESA

PARIS (Reuters) - Rogue waves that rise as high as 10-story buildings and can sink large ships are far more common than previously thought, imagery from European Space Agency (ESA) satellites has shown.

As part of a scientific project initiated by the European Union (news - web sites) in December 2000, two ESA satellites monitored the world's oceans to test the frequency of monster waves that were once dismissed as a nautical myth.

Three weeks of data from the early months of 2001 showed more than ten individual giant waves around the globe of over 80 feet in height.

Previously, ESA said, scientists believed that such large waves occurred only once every 10,000 years.

"Having proved they existed in higher numbers than anyone expected, the next step is to analyze if they can be forecasted," said Wolfgang Rosenthal, a scientist at the GKSS research center in Geesthacht, Germany.

Locking the ideology barn door too late

NOW neocons notice there's no territory to wage the war on terror on ?!??!? A bit late, 910 bodies and $200 billion late if you ask me...

On a new New York Times Op-Ed, Brooks writes/ whines about The War of Ideology

the 9/11 commission has come closer than anybody else. After spending 360 pages describing a widespread intelligence failure, the commissioners step back in their report and redefine the nature of our predicament.

We're not in the middle of a war on terror, they note. We're not facing an axis of evil. Instead, we are in the midst of an ideological conflict.

We are facing, the report notes, a loose confederation of people who believe in a perverted stream of Islam that stretches from Ibn Taimaya to Sayyid Qutb. Terrorism is just the means they use to win converts to their cause. It seems like a small distinction - emphasizing ideology instead of terror - but it makes all the difference, because if you don't define your problem correctly, you can't contemplate a strategy for victory.

When you see that our enemies are primarily an intellectual movement, not a terrorist army, you see why they are in no hurry. With their extensive indoctrination infrastructure of madrassas and mosques, they're still building strength, laying the groundwork for decades of struggle. Their time horizon can be totally different from our own.

As an ideological movement rather than a national or military one, they can play by different rules. There is no territory they must protect. They never have to win a battle but can instead profit in the realm of public opinion from the glorious martyrdom entailed in their defeats. We think the struggle is fought on the ground, but they know the struggle is really fought on satellite TV, and they are far more sophisticated than we are in using it

Marc Brands Liberty -- Analysis -- Hey, GOP Becomes Party of Big Spenders

Another conservative principle dropped for Bush...

Hey, GOP Becomes Party of Big Spenders

After four years of the Bush administration, it's fair to ask: What happened to the Republican Party? Is its famous fiscal conservatism destined for the dustbin of history?

Most everyone in America now knows that under President George W. Bush the federal budget has gone from huge surpluses to huge deficits. But what most people don't know is that this has been fueled by a Republican spending spree that makes recent Democratic presidents look like penny pinchers.

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington that is never in anyone's wildest imagination associated with liberals, has published a paper by Veronique de Rugy. This paper, with charts and graphs based on federal budget documents, makes stunning conclusions.

With the exception of President Lyndon Johnson, the Bush administration has been responsible for the largest annual increases in discretionary spending in the last 40 years. Bush has earned himself a place in history up there with the last of the New Deal Democrats."

How did this happen? Republicans would like you to believe that it is all a function of increased security needs following 9/11. But de Rugy divides spending into defense and nondefense spending and finds that "nondefense spending has risen almost as rapidly as defense spending in recent years."

Of course, the biggest part of federal spending comes from "entitlements," payments such as Social Security and Medicare that most Americans receive just from getting old. But the Republicans have shown no more attention to fiscal discipline on the entitlement side. They tried to silence the actuary whose estimates on the costs of a new Medicare prescription drug program surpassed what the administration wanted them to be. They still cling, rhetorically, at least, to a Social Security privatization plan that is so expensive it would throw the federal budget into a tailspin.

This utter disregard for fiscal probity is taking place in Congress as well. As de Rugy proves, each year the Bush administration has proposed large spending increases and the Republican Congress has ended up increasing those increases.


More tales of the Pet Goat most infamous reader...

Bush & Cheney invented hiding on a spiderhole...

From Omaha.com some new info emerges on why the US public had to wait 4+ hours to hear from it's President on 9/11

The president was visiting Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., when he learned of the attacks. Air Force One took off from Florida, originally headed to Washington.

"The Secret Service, the President's advisers, and Vice President Cheney were strongly advising against" returning to Washington. Instead, the presidential plane headed to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana to refuel while officials considered options.

Adding to the confusion was "a reported threat against Air Force One itself, a threat eventually run down to a misunderstood communication in the hectic White House Situation Room that morning."

After taping a message to broadcast to the nation, Bush and his traveling party returned to Air Force One.

"The next destination was discussed: Once again the Secret Service recommended against returning to Washington, and the Vice President agreed."

Air Force One arrived at Offutt at 1:50 p.m. CDT. About 25 minutes later, Bush met with principal advisers through a video teleconference.

The report said Bush "overruled his aides' reluctance to have him return to Washington, ordering Air Force One back to Andrews Air Force Base."

A helicopter flew the president to the White House, and he addressed the nation on live television at 8:30 p.m