11/29/2005

BBC -Cheney accused on prisoner abuse by Powell aidee

heney accused on prisoner abuse
A top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell has launched a stinging attack on US Vice-President Dick Cheney over abuse of prisoners by US troops.

Col Lawrence Wilkerson accused Mr Cheney of ignoring a decision by President Bush on the treatment of prisoners in the war on terror.

Asked by the BBC's Today if Mr Cheney could be accused of war crimes, he said: "It's an interesting question."

"Certainly it is a domestic crime to advocate terror," he added.

"And I would suspect, for whatever it's worth, it's an international crime as well."

I look at the relationship between Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld as being one that produced these two failures in particular, and I see that the president is not holding either of them accountable... so I have to lay some blame at his feet too
Col Wilkerson

This is an extraordinary attack by a man who until earlier in the year was Mr Cheney's colleague in the senior reaches of the Bush team, the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says.

Col Wilkerson has in the past accused the vice-president of responsibility for the conditions which led to the abuse of prisoners.

But this time he has gone much further, appearing to suggest Mr Cheney should face war crimes charges, our correspondent adds.

Intelligence questions

He said that there were two sides of the debate within the Bush administration over the treatment of prisoners.

Mr Powell and more dovish members had argued for sticking to the Geneva conventions, which prohibit the torture of detainees.

Meanwhile, the other side "essentially wanted to do away with all restrictions".

Mr Bush agreed a compromise, that "Geneva would in fact govern all but al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda look-alike detainees".

"What I'm saying is that, under the vice-president's protection, the secretary of defence [Donald Rumsfeld] moved out to do what they wanted in the first place, even though the president had made a decision that was clearly a compromise," Col Wilkerson said.

He said that he laid the blame on the issue of prisoner abuse and post-war planning for Iraq "pretty fairly and squarely" at Mr Cheney's feet.

"I look at the relationship between Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld as being one that produced these two failures in particular, and I see that the president is not holding either of them accountable... so I have to lay some blame at his feet too," he went on.

In the BBC interview, Col Wilkerson also developed his views on whether or not pre-war intelligence was deliberately misused by the White House.

He said that he had previously thought only honest mistakes were made.

But recent revelations about doubts in the intelligence community that appear to have been suppressed in the run-up to the war have made him question this view.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Cheney accused on prisoner abuse

Gifts Rep. Cunningham Admitted Receiving - Yahoo! News

Some of the payments accepted by Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham as detailed in his plea agreement:
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• $200,000 toward the purchase of his Arlington, Va., condominium.

• $140,000 to a third party for the "Duke-Stir" yacht, which was moved to his boat slip for his use.

• $16,867.13 to a marine services company for repairs to his own yacht, the "Kelly C."

• $12,000 paid to an antique store for three night stands, a leaded glass cabinet, a washstand, a buffet and four armoires.

• $6,632 paid to a furniture store for a leather sofa and a sleigh-style bed.

• $7,200 paid to an antique store for a circa 1850 Louis Phillipe period commode and a circa 1830 Restoration period commode.

• $13,500 toward the purchase of a Rolls-Royce.

• $17,889.96 for repairs to the Rolls-Royce.

• $11,393.56 paid to a moving company to ship his belongings from his Arlington condominium to his San Diego-area home.

• $2,081.30 paid to a Washington, D.C., hotel for his daughter's graduation party.

• $9,200 paid to a manufacturer for two Laser Shot shooting simulators.

• $10,000 paid to various hotels, resorts and restaurants for his meals and entertainment expenses.

• Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to him and a company he controlled.

• Source: Plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court.

Gifts Rep. Cunningham Admitted Receiving - Yahoo! News

11/28/2005

Survival International

Before the arrival of Europeans in 1500, Brazil was home to at least 1,000 tribes with a total estimated population of 5 - 13 million people.

Five hundred years of exposure to disease, violence and dispossession wiped out the vast majority of this indigenous population. Today, there are around 350,000 Indians in Brazil in over 200 tribes, who live scattered across the country. Between them they speak a huge number of languages; 110 of the tribal languages of Brazil have less than 400 speakers. Brazil's tribes range in size from the Guarani and Yanomami, who number tens of thousands, to tribes such as the Akuntsu and Kanoê, who number only a few dozen.

How do they live? Brazil's tribal peoples live in a wide range of environments - tropical forests, grassland, scrub forest and semi-desert - and have a wide range of ways of life. Their experience of contact with European invaders and their descendants also varies widely: some, such as the Guarani in the dry south, have been in contact with white people for 500 years; others encountered them far more recently; and some tribes are effectively uncontacted - the majority of the world's uncontacted tribes, probably more than 50, live in Brazil. Most tribes live by a mixture of hunting, gathering, and growing plants for food, medicine and to make everyday objects. Probably only the uncontacted Awá and Maku are completely nomadic, living entirely by hunting and gathering in the Amazon.

Survival International

THROWING OUT THE INDIANS

17 July 2003

Last Saturday (the 12th), the Federal Police removed about 700 Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe were removed from seven areas in the regions of Água Vermelha, Mundo Novo and Taquari in compliance with a repossession judicial decision. The farms that were reoccupied by this indigenous people in 2000 and 2001 are located inside the 54,100 hectares of the Caramuru Catarina - Paraguaçu indigenous land, located in the state of Bahia.

The action was carried out by a group of 100 heavily armed Federal Police officers divided in three teams and three army helicopters. The indigenous people who were removed from the farms were put in plastic tents by a road near the farms, where they were left without any assistance whatsoever. The number of children among them is high, among whom many have caught diseases by now. It is raining heavily in the region and it is cold, but the people remain strongly determined to continue to struggle to return to their lands.

Last Monday (the 14th), a delegation of the Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe met with the Attorney General in Ilhéus, state of Bahia. During the meeting, the indigenous leaders reported the situation their people have been facing since they were removed from their land and the bullying and threats they have been receiving from farmers and their bodyguards. According to the indigenous leaders, the farmers blocked two streets in Pau-Brazil on Sunday (the 15th) and threw a party to celebrate their “victory.”

THROWING OUT THE INDIANS

Texas oil drilling in uncontacted Indians' reserve

Deadly drilling in

uncontacted Indians' reserve

August 29, 2003

The indigenous peoples in Peru face a project that threatens their very existence with big ties to the White House.

Hunt Oil Company of Texas is the majority investor in the highly controversial Camisea Gas Project in the remote Peruvian Amazon, now drilling in a Reserve for uncontacted indigenous peoples. Uncontacted peoples have little immunity to outsider's diseases.

Within the Nahua-Kugapakori Reserve, an epidemic has recently affected the entire Nanti population. Hunt Oil knew the risks but carried on regardless. In the 1980's, 50 percent of the isolated Nahua people already died from introduced diseases after coming into contact with Shell Oil workers.

Camisea Project representatives have forcibly contacted isolated peoples, worsening the risk of disease and robbing them of the right to chose their own way of life. Indigenous organizations in Peru demand that the entire Project withdraw from the Reserve before tragedy strikes.

Inside the Reserve, an entire culture could be wiped out. Outside the Reserve, the Camisea Project is causing a major drop in the availability fish and game, the main source of food for nearly 7,000 indigenous people in the Lower Urubamba.

Deadly oil drilling in uncontacted Indians' reserve

Amazon news from korubo.com

More murders of Indians

October 8, 2003

A 10-year-old boy is the latest victim in wave of Indian murders.

Killing of South American Indians escalates.

South America celebrates Columbus Day on Sunday 12 October – only days after a ten-year-old Brazilian Indian became the latest victim in a spate of killings and persecution of South American Indians. Júnior Reis Loureiro was found dead on 22 September, with signs of strangulation on his body.

He is the latest of twenty-one Brazilian Indians murdered since Luiz Inácio 'Lula' da Silva took over the presidency in January 2003, most of them due to conflicts over land.

In Colombia, 118 Indians have been killed in the first half of 2003.

Amazon news from korubo.com

THE UNCONTACTED

From traces in the forest and witness accounts at least six groups of uncontacted Indians were until year 2000 known to live in the Javari area.

An aircraft donated in 1998 by the Spanish Development Cooperation to the ethno-environmental operation in Javari was finally operational in 2000, enabling the first systematic mapping of uncontacted Indian communities by air.

By June 2001, at least 19 such communities had beeen detected in the Javari Indfian lands.

THE UNCONTACTED

KORUBO.COM for the first people

The so-called "Korubo" Indians are one of close to sixty Indian groups who live completely isolated in the Amazon forest.

You are welcome to follow the emergency expedition to save them from extinction. Read about the present project to protect the Javari rainforest and its Indian population, follow the dramatic anti-drug operations in the rainforest or view images of the latest contact with the Tsohon-Djapa Indians.

KORUBO.COM for the first people

Tsohon-Djapa on Ajuricaba expedition

xpedition Ajuricaba year 2001 discovers traces of uncontacted Indian people by air and in the forest.

During the expedition which lasted almost two months Sydney Possuelos FUNAI team threw out illegal gold diggers, verified the presence of several uncontacted Indian communities who are endangered and need protection. We also visited the Tsohon-Djapa Indian tribe.

Tsohon-Djapa on Ajuricaba expedition

BBC News | AMERICAS | Brazilian lost tribe discovered

Monday, 9 April, 2001, 02:21 GMT 03:21 UK
Brazilian lost tribe discovered

The tribe were found deep within the Amazon rainforest
An expedition in a remote Amazonian region of Brazil has made contact with a tribe of indigenous Indians never before exposed to western society.

The 11-member team from the Brazilian Government's Federal Indian Bureau met about 30 members of the Tsohon-djapa tribe for about an hour over the weekend.

The tribe apparently already knew about the existence of white people. But the Indians live in the Javari region, an area home to several other tribes with little exposure to the developed world.

The first signs of their existence were uncovered last year when an aerial survey of the region revealed a previously undetected village made of 16 long houses.

The team of anthropologists and Indians embarked on their expedition to locate the tribe late last month.

They travelled by boat from Tabatinga, about 2,500 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro, before trekking through the forest by foot.

Exploitation

When the expedition set off, leader Sydney Possuelo said his aim was to get an idea of the area the Indians inhabit, and then leave them alone.

They apparently only made contact with the tribe to investigate rumours that they were being ruled and exploited by the neighbouring Canamaris tribe.

"They had already had contact with our world through traded objects, but continued to live completely isolated," said Mr Possuelo.

"We only made contact because the Indians were being exploited by the Canamaris and we are trying to see what we can do about it," he added.

Isolation

Amazon tribes live mainly from hunting and fishing. They also cut down and burn small areas of forest to grow crops.


Tribal cultures remain strong in parts of Brazil
Brazil is home to about 300,000 Indians.

The Vale do Javari was declared an Indian reservation in 1996.

The bureau estimates that there are about 1,000 indigenous people living there in 53 tribal cultures, in relative isolation from Western society.

Its brief is to protect Brazil's indigenous peoples from gold diggers, loggers and religious sects.




BBC News | AMERICAS | Brazilian lost tribe discovered

My Left Wing :: The utter futility of it all

The utter futility of it all
by: lawnorder
[edit diary]
November 28, 2005 at 09:49:55 America/Chicago
gets to all of us every once in a while.
It got to me

It doesn't change a thing!

Does that mean blogging / writing / fighting is useless ?

Yeah, pretty much, if you are doing it to "flip" others away from Bush. You will flip one or two - who were ready to flip by themselves anyay - but will fail to flip thousands of others. And you will get frustrated and cranky. And stop blogging "forever"
Like Billmon
Like Hunter
Like me
Like countless others who just couldn't take it anymore

But this blogging thing is addictive. Thinking, trying to figure out things, debating, comiserating with others, joking...

It is painful sometimes but it is worth it IMHO

Just like that GooGoo Dolls song Iris:

When everything seems like the movies
Yeah you bleed BLOG just to know your alive

My Left Wing :: The utter futility of it all

My Left Wing :: Monday Open Thread

"I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way.
I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house,
we had an enormous feast,
and then I killed them and took their land."

-- Jon Stewart

My Left Wing :: Monday Open Thread

Why Republicans Are Desperate to Bait the Antiwar Left

They need a way out... While keeping their "honor" and their base energized AKA while keeping their base fearing/ hating lib'rals more than they fear/ hate Bush's economy... A histerical and clueless anti war movement, like Jane Fonda's, easy to paint as "treacherous" is Karl Rove's wet dream -- law

Why Republicans Are Desperate to Bait the Antiwar Left
By Jim Sleeper

Mr. Sleeper, a former New York Daily News columnist and the author of Liberal Racism, is a lecturer in political science at Yale.


The uproar in the House of Representatives on the Friday before Thanksgiving over the Republicans’ phony proposal for “immediate withdrawal” of U.S. troops from Iraq revealed not just that their side of the aisle swarms with political reptiles and 40-year-old high-school debaters; that much isn’t news, even to independents like me. What it really showed is that Republicans now desperately need the anti-war movement their Democratic colleagues refused to give them in the vote on the resolution.

it was the warmakers and their cheerleaders’ whose breathtaking incompetence, hypocrisy, and corruption have put us all in a predicament with no easy solution. New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins, an incisive and trustworthy observer, wrote recently of Iraqi democrats who upon Saddam Hussein’s fall realized “that they had to seize the moment,… started newspapers, organized political parties,… called meetings to start a national conversation. Some of them, surveying the psychological ruins that Hussein and his torturers had left behind, formed institutes to teach their countrymen to think for themselves. And now, today, many of these Iraqis … have been shot, tortured, burned, disfigured, thrown into ditches, disappeared. Thousands of them: editors, lawyers, pamphleteers, men and women. In a remarkable campaign of civic destruction, the Baathists and Islamists who make up the insurgency located the intellectual heart of the nascent Iraqi democracy and, with gruesome precision, cut it out. As much as any single factor, the death of Iraq's political class explains the difficulties of the country's rebirth. The good guys are dead."

By voting against the resolution for immediate withdrawal, House Democrats discredited what may well be Republicans’ final effort to shift the blame...

Why Republicans Are Desperate to Bait the Antiwar Left

11/27/2005

Virgin Mary statue cries blood in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Nov. 26) - Carrying rosary beads and cameras, the faithful have been coming in a steady stream to a church on the outskirts of Sacramento for a glimpse of what some are calling a miracle: A statue of the Virgin Mary they say has begun crying a substance that looks like blood.



It was first noticed more than a week ago, when a priest at the Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church spotted a stain on the statue's face and wiped it away. Before Mass on Nov. 20, people again noticed a reddish substance near the eyes of the white concrete statue outside the small church, said Ky Truong, 56, a parishioner.

Since then, Truong said he has been at the church day and night, so emotional he can't even work. He believes the tears are a sign.

"There's a big event in the future - earthquake, flood, a disease," Truong said. "We're very sad."

A red trail could be seen from the side of the statue's left eye to about halfway down the robe of concrete.

"I think that it's incredible. It's a miracle. Why is she doing it? Is it something bothering her?" asked Maria Vasquez, 35, who drove with her parents and three children from Stockton, about 50 miles south of Sacramento.

Thousands of such incidents are reported around the world each year, though many turn out to be hoaxes or natural phenomena.

The Diocese of Sacramento has so far not commented on the statue, and the two priests affiliated with the church did not return a telephone message Saturday.

The Rev. James Murphy, deacon of the diocese's mother church, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, said church leaders are always skeptical at first.

"For people individually seeing things through the eyes of faith, something like this can be meaningful. As for whether it is supernatural or a miracle, normally these incidences are not. Miracles are possible, of course," Murphy said. "The bishop is just waiting and seeing what happens. They will be moving very slowly."

But seeing the statue in person left no doubt for Martin Operario, 60, who drove about 100 miles from Hayward. He took photos to show to family and friends.


AOL News - Believers Flock to 'Crying' Virgin Mary

Crooks and Liars - Video of Random Shootings in Iraq

Video of Random Shootings in Iraq

A "trophy" video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.

http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Aegis-PSD.wmv

Crooks and Liars

Telegraph | News | 'Trophy' video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers



'Trophy' video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 27/11/2005)

A "trophy" video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.

Lt Col Tim Spicer is investigating the incident

The video, which first appeared on a website that has been linked unofficially to Aegis Defence Services, contained four separate clips, in which security guards open fire with automatic rifles at civilian cars. All of the shooting incidents apparently took place on "route Irish", a road that links the airport to Baghdad.

The road has acquired the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous in the world because of the number of suicide attacks and ambushes carried out by insurgents against coalition troops. In one four-month period earlier this year it was the scene of 150 attacks.

In one of the videoed attacks, a Mercedes is fired on at a distance of several hundred yards before it crashes in to a civilian taxi. In the last clip, a white civilian car is raked with machine gun fire as it approaches an unidentified security company vehicle. Bullets can be seen hitting the vehicle before it comes to a slow stop.

There are no clues as to the shooter but either a Scottish or Irish accent can be heard in at least one of the clips above Elvis Presley's Mystery Train, the music which accompanies the video.

Telegraph | News | 'Trophy' video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers

How is honor possible in a war like the one in Iraq?

How is honor possible in a war like the one in Iraq?

Col. Westusig last words


A Journey That Ended in Anguish

Col. Ted Westhusing, a military ethicist who volunteered to go to Iraq, was upset by what he saw. His apparent suicide raises questions.

By T. Christian Miller, Times Staff Writer

"War is the hardest place to make moral judgments."
Col. Ted Westhusing, Journal of Military Ethics

Quote
'I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. Death before being dishonored any more.'
-- From a note found near Ted Westhusing’s body
'He could not shift his mind-set from the military notion of completing a mission irrespective of cost, nor could he change his belief that doing the right thing because it was the right thing to do should be the sole motivator for businesses.'
-- Lt. Col. Lisa Breitenbach, psychologist who reviewed Westhusing's e-mails and interviewed his colleagues

questions surrounding Westhusing's death continue.

Westhusing, 44, was no ordinary officer. He was one of the Army's leading scholars of military ethics, a full professor at West Point who volunteered to serve in Iraq to be able to better teach his students. He had a doctorate in philosophy; his dissertation was an extended meditation on the meaning of honor.

So it was only natural that Westhusing acted when he learned of possible corruption by U.S. contractors in Iraq. A few weeks before he died, Westhusing received an anonymous complaint that a private security company he oversaw had cheated the U.S. government and committed human rights violations. Westhusing confronted the contractor and reported the concerns to superiors, who launched an investigation.

In e-mails to his family, Westhusing seemed especially upset by one conclusion he had reached: that traditional military values such as duty, honor and country had been replaced by profit motives in Iraq, where the U.S. had come to rely heavily on contractors for jobs once done by the military.

His death stunned all who knew him. Colleagues and commanders wondered whether they had missed signs of depression. He had been losing weight and not sleeping well. But only a day before his death, Westhusing won praise from a senior officer for his progress in training Iraqi police.

His friends and family struggle with the idea that Westhusing could have killed himself. He was a loving father and husband and a devout Catholic. He was an extraordinary intellect and had mastered ancient Greek and Italian. He had less than a month before his return home. It seemed impossible that anything could crush the spirit of a man with such a powerful sense of right and wrong.

On the Internet and in conversations with one another, Westhusing's family and friends have questioned the military investigation.

A note found in his trailer seemed to offer clues. Written in what the Army determined was his handwriting, the colonel appeared to be struggling with a final question.

How is honor possible in a war like the one in Iraq?



A Journey That Ended in Anguish - Los Angeles Times

11/26/2005

Yushchenko demands truth on '30s famine - Yahoo! News

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko said on Saturday it was time to apportion blame for the man-made famine that killed millions of his compatriots under Soviet rule in the 1930s.
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Yushchenko was addressing a candlelight ceremony marking the 1932-33 famine induced by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's orders to requisition grain and break the spirit of Ukraine's "kurkuly" farmers who resisted his drive to collectivise agriculture.

The day had been chosen as the official commemoration day for the famine that was never recognised by the Soviet Union.

The president told 5,000 people in a Kiev square that up to 10 million died in the famine and pressed his case for the
United Nations to declare it a genocide. Historians' estimates put the figure at about 7.5 million.

"The famine was a crime against humanity which had perpetrators, but from the legal standpoint, no guilty parties have been found," Yushchenko said before kneeling by a monument to the victims erected in the 1990s.

"A murderer may be found responsible for killing one person, but for the destruction of millions, no one is held responsible. Perhaps this is why we in Ukraine have such difficulty today restoring the rule of law, good and social justice."

Yushchenko said the failure of the Communist system to repent for the famine "stood behind further misfortunes. Perhaps this is why we encounter such difficulty in changing our consciousness, haunted by fear and ideological slavery."

The pro-Western Yushchenko, brought to power on a wave of "Orange Revolution" rallies against election fraud, says freedom of speech is one of the chief gains of his first year in office.

He has pledged to improve the judicial system and develop post-Soviet civil society. Officials vow to pursue prominent criminal cases -- notably the murder of an investigative journalist in 2000 and the dioxin poisoning the president suffered during last year's election campaign.

Yushchenko demands truth on '30s famine - Yahoo! News

Boris Johnson MP: I'll go to jail to print the truth about Bush and al-Jazeera

It must be said that subsequent events have not made life easy for those of us who were so optimistic as to support the war in Iraq...

Some of us thought it was about ensuring that chemical weapons could never again be used on Iraqi soil. Then we heard about the white phosphorus deployed by the Pentagon. Some people believed that the American liberation would mean the end of torture in Iraqi jails. Then we had Abu Ghraib.

Some of us thought it was all about the dissemination of the institutions of a civil society - above all a free press, in which journalists could work without fear of being murdered. Then we heard about the Bush plan to blow up al-Jazeera.

Some of us feel that we have an abusive relationship with this war. Every time we get our hopes up, we get punched by some piece of bad news. We yearn to be told that we're wrong, that things are going to get better, that the glass is half full. That's why I would love to think that Dubya was just having one of his little frat-house wisecracks, when he talked of destroying the Qatar-based satellite TV station. Maybe he was only horsing around. Maybe it was a flippant one-liner, of the kind that he delivers before making one of his dramatic exits into the broom-closet. Perhaps it was a kind of Henry II moment: you know, who will rid me of this turbulent TV station? Maybe he had a burst of spacy Reagan-esque surrealism, like the time the old boy forgot that the mikes were switched on, and startled a press conference with the announcement that he was going to start bombing Russia in five minutes. Maybe Bush thought he was Kenny Everett. Perhaps he was playing Basil Brush. Boom boom.

Who knows? But if his remarks were just an innocent piece of cretinism, then why in the name of holy thunder has the British state decreed that anyone printing those remarks will be sent to prison?

We all hope and pray that the American President was engaging in nothing more than neo-con Tourette-style babble about blowing things up. We are quite prepared to believe that the Daily Mirror is wrong. We are ready to accept that the two British civil servants who have leaked the account are either malicious or mistaken. But if there is one thing that would seem to confirm the essential accuracy of the story, it is that the Attorney General has announced that he will prosecute anyone printing the exact facts.

What are we supposed to think? The meeting between Bush and Blair took place on April 16, 2004, at the height of the US assault on Fallujah, and there is circumstantial evidence for believing that Bush may indeed have said what he is alleged to have said.

We know that the administration was infuriated with the al-Jazeera coverage of the battle.. We are told by the New York Times that there were shouty-crackers arguments within the administration, with some officials yelling that the channel should be shut down, and others saying that it would be better to work with the journalists in the hope of producing better coverage.

We also recall that the Americans have form when it comes to the mass media outlets of regimes they dislike. They blew up the Kabul bureau of al-Jazeera in 2002, and they pulverised the Baghdad bureau in April 2003, killing one of the reporters. In 1999 they managed to blow up the Serb TV station, killing two make-up girls..

To be fair to the Americans, we must also accept that they had good grounds for resenting al-Jazeera...

And yet however wrong you may think al-Jazeera is in its slant and its views, you must accept that what it is providing is recognisably journalism. It is not always helpful to the American cause in Iraq, but then nor is the BBC; and would anybody in London or Washington suggest sending a Tomahawk into White City? Well, they might, but only as a joke. Exhausted Western leaders, living in the nightmare of a media-dominated democracy, are allowed to make jokes about blowing up journalists. I seem to remember that when I was sent to Belgrade to cover the Nato attacks, Tony Blair told the then proprietor of The Daily Telegraph that he would "tell Nato to step up the bombing!" Ho ho ho.

But if there is an ounce of truth in the notion that George Bush seriously proposed the destruction of al-Jazeera, and was only dissuaded by the Prime Minister, then we need to know, and we need to know urgently. We need to know what we have been fighting for, and there is only one way to find out.

The Attorney General's ban is ridiculous, untenable, and redolent of guilt. I do not like people to break the Official Secrets Act, and, as it happens, I would not object to the continued prosecution of those who are alleged to have broken it. But we now have allegations of such severity, against the US President and his motives, that we need to clear them up.

If someone passes me the document within the next few days I will be very happy to publish it in The Spectator, and risk a jail sentence. The public need to judge for themselves. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. If we suppress the truth, we forget what we are fighting for, and in an important respect we become as sick and as bad as our enemies.

Boris Johnson MP: Bush and Al-Jazeera

Is Bush lying about his lies?

Not only did the Bush administration deceive the American people about the reasons for invading Iraq, it is now deceiving them about the deceptions. In a burst of political tantrums, the president and the vice president have shouted that it was "irresponsible" to assert that there had been deception and it was unfair to the troops fighting in Iraq.

Is the administration lying about its lies? That many of the arguments in favor of the war were false is beyond question. Nor can there be any serious doubt that the new argument that it is irresponsible to question the old arguments is also false. But if a lie is a conscious effort to deceive, then the charge that the president and the men around him deliberately lied and are now lying again, then that issue must be left to heaven. It is enough to say they spread falsehoods three years because they had made up their minds that there had to be a war and are now spreading falsehoods about the original falsehoods. The president is not a man who likes to admit he was wrong. Therefore, one must cover up the mistakes.

Consider some of the evidence. Vice President Dick Cheney and the president both insisted that Iraq was trying to import "yellowcake" uranium for nuclear weapons. Then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and the vice president warned of "mushroom clouds."

Bush says that everyone agreed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He has said in the past that it was not his fault that all the intelligence agencies of the world believed that they did. Therefore, the intelligence agencies of the world were to blame for the mistake, he wasn't. Everyone in Washington, he argues, supported the war.

In truth, many Democratic senators did, not realizing how much the case in favor of the war had been cooked. In the national intelligence estimate issued just before the war, the internal dissent was excluded. The administration had created an atmosphere of fear and deception that indeed won support for the war...


Is Bush lying about his lies?

Daily Kos: I see a red stripe and I want it painted black (w/ poll)

I see a red STRIPE and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I see a line of cars and they're all painted black

With flowers and my love both never to come back

I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a new born baby it just happens ev'ry day
I look inside myself and see my heart is black
...

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the settin' sun
My love will laugh with me before the mornin' comes

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes
Hmm, hmm, hmm,...
I wanna see it painted, painted black
Black as night, black as coal
I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black
Rolling Stones - Live Licks (Sorry, no podcast on kos yet)


I tell you love is there yeah, it's just a kiss away
I tell you love sister yeah, it's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
Kiss away, kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
Kiss away, kiss away


Gimme shelter
Gimme shelter, yeah
Gimme shelter
Gimme shelter
Gimme shelter
...


For Cindy Sheehan

Daily Kos: I see a red stripe and I want it painted black (w/ poll)

11/24/2005

Daily Kos: I have the blood of oppressors in my veins

I have the blood of oppressors in my veins
by lawnorder
Thu Nov 24, 2005 at 01:37:04 PM CST

And I have the blood of the oppressed.

Native American
I have Native American blood. The keyword here is American. My great-gran-gran was an Indian in South America, also part of the continent, but not considered "America".

White ?
My great-gran-granpa was Spanish. White but not Anglo Saxon. So I am gently nudged by nurses and government bureaucrats to skip the "White" checkbox and stick to the "Latino" or "Hispanic" on any form I fill. My ivory snow skinned blonde daughter may eventually get the privilege of using the "white" checkbox. But since she is too young to do it herself, and usually I'm the one who is filling the forms she still gets "the look". And sometimes "the question"
- "Are you sure you checked the proper box ? Aren't you her mother ? (i.e. aren't you Hispanic ?)"

Opressor
But not all on my bloodline were victims. My Spanish ancestors exterminated a sizable portion of the South American natives to make way for the Spanish Empire. And one of the Spanish conquerors descendants married and had kids with a native. Hence me.

* lawnorder's diary :: ::
*

Oppressed
History is often ironic. My Spanish ancestors were oppressed once, before oppressing people in America. For more than 1,000 years they were ruled by Arab conquerors. Sure enough my sassy ancestors communed with the enemy and an Arab/ Spanish bloodline was born. Hence me.

Empire Builders
My Arab ancestors were not the only empire builders in my bloodline. My Italian ancestors also built a 1,000+ year Empire. The family history gets murky for that period but being my family from Venice, where Marco Polo left for the Orient, and being the sassy blood mixers they were, I have my suspicions. My son was born with a blue birthmark on his .. tushie.. that I'm told occurs on Asiatic babies. Definitely not from my husband's lily white WASP bloodline. So don't rule out yet another mix running through my veins.

Love conquers all
That is what the mixed blood in my veins means to me. That is what I teach my kids, when I tell them to be proud of their mixed heritage. We are living, breathing proof that opposite sides can get together. That despite of generations of "bad blood" between two cultures, it's descendants can get along well with each other. Love each other. Build a new culture together. That we don't have to be bound by the mistakes of our past.

And that someday it won't matter what color your skin is. There will be no checkboxes for it in the forms. Because on that day, if we as a species survive to see it - it will be known by all that WE ARE ALL RELATED

Mitakuye Oyasin!

Daily Kos: I have the blood of oppressors in my veins

11/23/2005

Long-Awaited Beer With Bush Really Awkward, Voter Reports | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Long-Awaited Beer With Bush Really Awkward, Voter Reports

November 16, 2005 | Issue 41•46

WARREN, PA—Although respondents to a Pew poll taken prior to the 2004 presidential election characterized Bush as "the candidate they'd most like to sit down and have a beer with," Chris Reinard lived the hypothetical scenario Sunday afternoon, and characterized it as "really uncomfortable and awkward."
Enlarge Image

Chris Reinard and President Bush try to think of something to talk about.

Reinard, a father of four who supported Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections, said sharing a beer with the president at the Switchyard Tap gave him "an uneasy feeling."

"I thought he'd be great," Reinard said. "But when I actually met him, I felt real put off."

The president arrived at the bar via motorcade close to 3 p.m. After a sweep by Secret Service agents, Reinard was asked, for security reasons, to move from his favorite stool. Shortly after he had reseated himself, Reinard said he "was pleased" to welcome the president to the Switchyard.

"Boy, it sure is a good day for a cool one," Bush reportedly told the assembled patrons, who were watching the Dolphins­Patriots game.

"When he first walked in, everything seemed fine," bartender Bob Kern said. "He told everyone 'Hi' like he was one of the regulars, then sat next to Chris."

Reinard ordered two Budweisers, but Bush interrupted him, saying he'd prefer an O'Doul's non-alcoholic beer.

"I completely forgot he stopped drinking," Reinard said.

Following the initial gaffe, Bush attempted to smooth things over, asking Reinard to call him "George." Reinard complied, but later said "it felt a little unnatural."

"I guess I was supposed to tell him to call me Chris," Reinard said. "I didn't like him calling me 'Mr. Reinard' the whole time, but I didn't know if it was okay to interrupt him to say 'Call me Chris.' And then also, it felt weird to just say it out of nowhere. Like, 'Call me Chris.'"

Bush asked Reinard if he had any hobbies, and Reinard told the president that he enjoys spending weekends with his children on local lakes in his small aluminum boat.

"Mr. Bush, I mean George, seemed to like that, and I felt that we finally made a connection," Reinard said. "But then he started telling me about this one time he was on a yacht with some Arab prince and they spent four hours landing a sailfish."

"It was a good story, but I just like catching a few bass with my kids is all," Reinard added. "I know he didn't mean to make me feel bad, but still."

Reinard told the president that he has lived most of his life in the Warren area, except for several years he spent in nearby Jamestown, where he attended community college for a year. Bush told Reinard he was born in New Haven, CT, and grew up in Texas before attending Yale University as an undergraduate and earning his MBA from Harvard, all while maintaining membership in many exclusive clubs.

"I asked George how much it costs to be in those social clubs, but he said he didn't remember," Reinard said. "I think he just didn't want to say the amount. He'd change the subject on me a lot, say he did a lot of partying back then, but that was all behind him now, since he found the Lord, or whatever."

Bush asked Reinard what he did for a living, and Reinard said he runs a small carpentry business.

"He asked me how it was going, what with the economy bouncing back. I said that if things didn't pick up soon, I was going to have to close up shop and work for my uncle in Youngstown," Reinard said. "George was quiet for a while after that. Then he told me about when his second oil company was going under. He suggested using my connections to get some outside investment capital."

Long-Awaited Beer With Bush Really Awkward, Voter Reports | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Daily Kos: I don't care if he is likable, I want my President to be competent and principled

I don't care if he is likable, I want my President to be competent and principled
by lawnorder
Wed Nov 23, 2005 at 06:35:33 PM CST

I'm writing this diary only partially in response to today's top diary BREAKING: Kerry regular, down to earth guy who raised one of my pet peeves:

The "regular guy" myth
I think that the GOP constructed the myth that politicians need to be "regular, down to earth guys" and we bought it hook, line and sinker. Presidents need to be prepared, competent, knowleadgeable, balanced... I couldn't care less if the guy is someone I'd invite for a barbecue. I have enough friends, thank you, I don't need one on the WH. What I need on the WH is a decently competent, principled President

The "regular" neurosurgeon



* Do you care if the specialist who is going to operate your child is liked by his neighbors ?
* Do you b*tch when your basketball team hires a troublemaker who plays like a pro ?
* Do you chose an investment banker by the way he amuses you at happy hour ?
* Do you decide on a contractor based on his ability to entertain Aunt Alda at a barbecue ?
* Have you boycotted all recent Tom Cruise movies just because he was mean to Brooke Shields ?

* lawnorder's diary :: ::
*

Competence not Charm
Never again I want to have a President:

* incapapble of reading all 90 pages of a report on the eve of going to war based on said report.
* incapable of controlling his and his staff public tantrums: Teachers are not terrorists, War on Terror is not a Crusade, Veterans aren't cowards, VP's do NOT advocate nuking of countries, Press Secretaries do NOT use government property (WH website) for slander
* Insults other coutries, our allies of 40-50 years, for political gain
* Who allows his aides to out agents, to commit perjury and to obstruct a federal investigation
* Lets his libido loose while there's a witchunt aimed a him

F*ck likable!!!! Give me honest, SANE and liberal!
I want a President that does not syphon money from war reconstruction projects, who keeps his word and fires dishonest aides, who doesn't propose bombing a TV Station on an allied country and who will NEVER condone torture, bigotry and democide

Daily Kos: I don't care if he is likable, I want my President to be competent and principled

Recommended diaries at 9 pm, Wednesday, Nov 23, 2005 :

Recommended diaries at 9 pm, Wednesday, Nov 23, 2005 :
BREAKING - Jeff returns home during 4th day
by Jeff Seemann For Congress

GOP Voter Suppression Challenges in King County - Day 3
by anonym

Paul Hackett called george a coward today
by knowthings

Republicans attack Sen. Kent Conrad's private religious faith
by Geekesque

I don't care if he is likable, I want my President to be competent and pricipled
by lawnorder

Your Education Ideas, Thank You
by Tom Vilsack

True Tyranny Defined: Bush Admin. v. Jose Padilla
by GlennGreenwald

BREAKING: Sun-Tzu writes letter to Bush!
by Aethern

Daily Kos: Open Thread

news - CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Interview on CNN with John King

QUESTION: The Iraqi factions, who don't always get along, have been meeting with the Arab League and others as they prepare for next month's elections. A statement they did agree on says that they recognize the legitimate right of Iraqi citizens to resist the occupation forces. How do you explain that to the parent or the spouse of an American serviceman or woman on the ground in Iraq, getting shot at every day, that the people they're fighting for, the people they're trying to protect to bring these elections and this democracy about, say that the people who are shooting at them have a legitimate right to do so?


SECRETARY RICE: Well, that's not how I read the statement, John. I do think there were many, many voices at this conference -- and by the way, the Iraqi Government was there, but so were many, many people who were not -- and the purpose is to try to give all Iraqis a sense of stake in their future. But the line about resistance was very quickly followed by, but of course we condemn terrorism and of course violence should not be sanctioned. I think what they were trying to do was to get a sense of political inclusion while recognizing that violence and terrorism should not be a part of resistance. After all, do Iraqis really want to -- any Iraqi, sitting around that table, want to suggest that killing an innocent Iraqi child standing at a bus stop is legitimate? Or that killing Iraqi soldiers who are lining up at recruitment centers is legitimate? Or even that multinational forces -- who by the way are there under a UN mandate -- are somehow legitimate targets?


I don't think that that was what was being communicated. But I would just remind people that this was a really broad range of voices, and the Iraqis who have governed themselves by violence and coercion are now trying to do it by compromise and politics.

news - CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Interview on CNN with John King

AMERICAblog: Condi: just ignore what Iraq's government said about killing our troops

Condi: just ignore what Iraq's government said about killing our troops
by Joe in DC - 11/23/2005 09:47:00 AM

Earlier this week, Iraqi leaders agreed on a statement that specifically stated that killing occupying forces was not terrorism. They basically said that it's justified to kill in the name of resistance which really means it's okay to kill US soldiers and marines?


I don't think that that was what was being communicated. But I would just remind people that this was a really broad range of voices, and the Iraqis who have governed themselves by violence and coercion are now trying to do it by compromise and politics.

This is outrageous. Yeah, they said they oppose terrorism, but US forces are viewed as occupiers, so that's legit. Rice and Bush are covering for a government that wants to kill our young men and women.

And, the GOP claims to support our troops. In reality, they are supporting a government that sanctions killing them.

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Bush claim revives al-Jazeera bombing fears

Bush claim revives al-Jazeera bombing fears

John Plunkett
Wednesday November 23, 2005

Claims that George Bush planned to bomb the Arabic TV news station al-Jazeera have fuelled concerns that an attack on the broadcaster's Baghdad offices during the war on Iraq was deliberate.

An international journalists group today demanded "complete disclosure" from the British and American governments over reports that the US considered attacking the al-Jazeera HQ in the Qatar capital, Doha.

The International Federation of Journalists claimed that 16 journalists and other media staff have died at the hands of US forces in Iraq, adding that the deaths had not been properly investigated.

Al-Jazeera cameraman Tarek Ayoub was killed when the station's Baghdad office was bombed during a US air raid on April 8 2003. On the same day a US tank shelled the Palestine hotel in the Iraqi capital, killing two other journalists.

"Reports that George Bush and Tony Blair discussed a plan to bomb al-Jazeera reinforce concerns that the US attack in Baghdad on April 8 [2003] was deliberate targeting of the media," said Aidan White, the general secretary of the IFJ.

"If that is the case then the US is guilty of a gross violation of international humanitarian law and on the face of it the murder of an innocent journalist.

"The evidence is stacking up to suggest that the US decided to take out al-Jazeera in Baghdad, as a warning not only to them but to other media about their coverage. If true, it is an absolute scandal that the US administration can regard the staff of al-Jazeera as a bunch of terrorists and a legitimate target."

Under the front page headline "Bush plots to bomb his ally", the Daily Mirror claimed yesterday a leaked memo revealed that the US president last year discussed plans to attack al-Jazeera's Qatar HQ with Mr Blair.

The Baghdad bombing of 2003 was the second attack by American forces on the offices of al-Jazeera. In 2001 the station's Kabul office was hit by two "smart" bombs in an attack that almost wrecked the nearby BBC bureau.

Al-Jazeera said it had given the location of its offices in both Kabul and Baghdad to the authorities in Washington, but it had still been attacked.

"We have been campaigning vigorously for an independent inquiry into what happened in Baghdad on April 8 [2003]. Now is the time for the US to take responsibility and tell the world what actually happened," said Mr White.

"The public has a right to know whether politicians would seriously consider killing journalists in order to stifle independent or critical voices. In this particular case the family, friends and colleagues of the victim also have a right to justice.

"Incidents in which journalists are killed by combatants in conflict zones have to be properly and independently investigated. Investigations that are carried out by the military do not consider the full extent of the evidence and in almost every single case lead to the exoneration of the military involved. At best there is a shrug of regret about the consequences."

Both the US and UK governments declined to comment on the Mirror's allegations.

"We are not going to dignify something so outlandish with a response," a White House official said.

A Downing Street spokesman added: "We have got nothing to say about this story. We don't comment on leaked documents."

The attorney general last night threatened newspapers with the Official Secrets Act if they revealed the contents of a document allegedly relating to a dispute between Mr Blair and Mr Bush over the conduct of military operations in Iraq.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Bush claim revives al-Jazeera bombing fears

Think Progress » A Strip Search of Novak’s Column Yields No Facts

A Strip Search of Novak’s Column Yields No Facts

In his column this morning, Novak took issue with the assertion that Alito voted to approve the strip search of a 10-year-old girl:

The ad claimed Alito, as a federal appellate judge, “even voted to approve the strip search of a 10-year-old girl.” This distorts a case where a suspected drug dealer’s daughter was searched, visibly not manually, by a female police officer in the presence of the child’s mother.

Here’s what actually happened, as described by the court:

Once inside, however, the officers found no visitors, but only John Doe’s wife, Jane, and their ten year old daughter, Mary…They were instructed to empty their pockets and lift their shirts. The female officer patted their pockets. She then told Jane and Mary Doe to drop their pants and turn around. No contraband was found.

That sounds like a strip search. And as the court makes clear, the 10-year-old girl was patted down, so Novak’s claim that the girl was only searched only “visibly not manually” isn’t true. Later in the decision, the court specifically points out that the girl was “touched by a female officer who was searching for contraband.”

Also, Novak fails to point out that the girl was not covered by the warrant obtained by the officers. That’s why the majority found “Searching Jane and Mary Doe for evidence beyond the scope of the warrant and without probable cause violated their clearly established Fourth Amendment rights.”


Think Progress » A Strip Search of Novak’s Column Yields No Facts

Mirror.co.uk - News - EXCLUSIVE: BUSH PLOT TO BOMB HIS ARAB ALLY

EXCLUSIVE: BUSH PLOT TO BOMB HIS ARAB ALLY
Madness of war memo
By Kevin Maguire And Andy Lines

PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.

But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.

A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency.

The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation.

A source said last night: "The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush.

Advertisement

"He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem.

"There's no doubt what Bush wanted to do - and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it."

A Government official suggested that the Bush threat had been "humorous, not serious".

But another source declared: "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair. That much is absolutely clear from the language used by both men."

Yesterday former Labour Defence Minister Peter Kilfoyle challenged Downing Street to publish the five-page transcript of the two leaders' conversation. He said: "It's frightening to think that such a powerful man as Bush can propose such cavalier actions.

"I hope the Prime Minister insists this memo be published. It gives an insight into the mindset of those who were the architects of war."

Bush disclosed his plan to target al-Jazeera, a civilian station with a huge Mid-East following, at a White House face-to-face with Mr Blair on April 16 last year.

At the time, the US was launching an all-out assault on insurgents in the Iraqi town of Fallujah.

Al-Jazeera infuriated Washington and London by reporting from behind rebel lines and broadcasting pictures of dead soldiers, private contractors and Iraqi victims.

The station, watched by millions, has also been used by bin Laden and al-Qaeda to broadcast atrocities and to threaten the West.

Al-Jazeera's HQ is in the business district of Qatar's capital, Doha.

Its single-storey buildings would have made an easy target for bombers. As it is sited away from residential areas, and more than 10 miles from the US's desert base in Qatar, there would have been no danger of "collateral damage".

Dozens of al-Jazeera staff at the HQ are not, as many believe, Islamic fanatics. Instead, most are respected and highly trained technicians and journalists.

To have wiped them out would have been equivalent to bombing the BBC in London and the most spectacular foreign policy disaster since the Iraq War itself.

The No 10 memo now raises fresh doubts over US claims that previous attacks against al-Jazeera staff were military errors.

In 2001 the station's Kabul office was knocked out by two "smart" bombs. In 2003, al-Jazeera reporter Tareq Ayyoub was killed in a US missile strike on the station's Baghdad centre.

The memo, which also included details of troop deployments, turned up in May last year at the Northampton constituency office of then Labour MP Tony Clarke.

Cabinet Office civil servant David Keogh, 49, is accused under the Official Secrets Act of passing it to Leo O'Connor, 42, who used to work for Mr Clarke. Both are bailed to appear at Bow Street court next week.

Mr Clarke, who lost at the election, returned the memo to No 10.

He said Mr O'Connor had behaved "perfectly correctly".

Neither Mr O'Connor or Mr Keogh were available. No 10 did not comment.

Mirror.co.uk - News - EXCLUSIVE: BUSH PLOT TO BOMB HIS ARAB ALLY

11/21/2005

RollingStone.com: The Man Who Sold the War : Politics

RollingStone.com: The Man Who Sold the War : Politics

Daily Kos :: Comments Rendom's rent-a-spy unaccountable to Congress and to US

unaccountable to Congress and to US (none / 0)

Are the neocons insane!?!?

What makes them think those rent-a-spy guys will stay loyal to US ? How can they ensure those contractors have good background checking for their personnel and good, sound security practices for our country's secrets ?

This is exactly how Pakistan got the bomb: Pakistan's father of the bomb worked as a private contractor in Dutch nuclear consulting company and simply STOLE the plans right under the Dutch, the German (plan authors) and the EU and US oversight.

God help us all!-- law


Daily Kos :: Comments What is Lawrence Wilkerson up to? [with Update]

11/20/2005

Informed Comment - On lost wars and ressurecting dead dogs

Also from Juan Cole's blog comments:

At 1:26 AM, InplainviewMonitor said...

Suppose there is a dead dog in the house. Then we can either pretend that it is still alive – or just bury it. As it is easy to see, burial will not make the dog any good. Quite on the contrary, it will rot. Nevertheless, the only alternative is to live with the dead dog inside – with all ugly consequences that follow. Since there is no way for the dead dog to leave, it will stay inside indefinitely, so the burial is the only exit strategy for this situation.
Further, the dead dog model for the Iraqi conflict is quite helpful to explain the nature of miscommunication between those who oppose and support this war. Those who are familiar with the basics of regional analysis, for example, from juancole.com, are not likely to trust a single word of war supporters. The reason for this is that they take pro-war argumentation as yet another case for canine resurrection. As for war supporters, they are completely determined to prove that either the dog is just sick and needs more treatment - or that its resurrection is quite possible in one way or another.


Informed Comment

Informed Comment - Statistical Analysis of Iraq's resistence movement

From the comments at Juan Cole's blog:

At 12:34 AM, CW said...

Juan Cole wrote: "Indeed, given the GIs being blown up on a daily basis, the Republican phony resolution was the equivalent of trying to do a stand-up comedy routine at the funeral of someone's beloved son who had died at age 20."

I am a very expert applied mathematician. I learned from veterans of WW II who pioneered the advances in the use of mathematical and statistical models in military activities and I have applied the methods and techniques in a variety of domains. These types of models are now some of the crown jewels of our modern military as they allow for precise planning and deployment.

When US military casualty losses hit 1,000, I began analyzing them. I had good technical results and recently added another 13 months of data to re-evaluate the model and I am close to completing that project. However, here is what seems certain. The rest is technical nuance.

1. The resistance began in earnest in March 2004. The chance of having a day with no fatalities was cut in half and has remained constant ever since that time.

2. There have been four two week periods and one three week period that can be described as a "lull." Best guess is that commanders in the field just kept the troops in the garrison--if you are not on the road, you can't hit a roadside bomb. I have not tried to look at press reports for explanations.

3. There have been about 20 extraordinary days that result from rare types of events like a helicopter crash or suicide bomber or from pitched battles.

4. The statistical evidence corresponds to reports that the roadside bomb technology gradually improves.

5. There is no evidence that the daily casualty rate has leveled off, let alone decreased. It just creeps up over time.

This means that despite the best efforts of US troops to protect themselves and their bases, that is all they can do, which is quite an accomplishment. The resistance is just as persistent and also improves their weapons and practices. A deadly balance is reached although it is reasonable to expect an increase in annual fatalities with each passing year.

Perhaps that will change. I do not know. What I do know is that there is no sign of improvement. The statistical significance of the results that support the above statements is such that the odds are less than 1 in a 1000 that they reflect a chance outcome.

Informed Comment

Daily Kos: Unsubstantiated Rumors of Zarqawi's Death

This may be what killed him

If he even exists, this could tie in to 'why now ?': He just lost support from Jordan."
Al-Zarqawi's Jordan Family Renounces Him - Yahoo! News

AMMAN, Jordan - Family members of Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi renounced the terrorist leader Sunday after his al-Qaida in
Iraq group claimed responsibility for the Nov. 9 suicide attacks on three Amman hotels that killed 59 people

The statement is a serious blow to al-Zarqawi, who no longer will enjoy the protection of his tribe and whose family members may seek to kill him.

"As we pledge to maintain homage to your throne and to our precious Jordan ... we denounce in the clearest terms all the terrorist actions claimed by the so-called Ahmed Fadheel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, who calls himself Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," the family members said.

"We announce, and all the people are our witnesses, that we -- the sons of the al-Khalayleh tribe -- are innocent of him and all that emanates from him, whether action, assertion or decision."

Daily Kos: Unsubstantiated Rumors of Zarqawi's Death: "

New Hampshire Is Named Most Miserly State - Yahoo! News

PORTLAND, Maine - New Englanders remain among the most tightfisted in the country when it comes to charitable giving while Bible Belt residents are among the most generous, according to an annual index.
ADVERTISEMENT

For the fourth year running, New Hampshire was the most miserly state, according to the Catalogue of Philanthropy's Generosity Index. Mississippi remained at the top for generosity.

The index, which takes into account both "having" and "giving," is based on average adjusted gross incomes and the value of itemized charitable donations reported to the
Internal Revenue Service on 2003 tax returns, the latest available.

However, its methodology has been criticized and has helped give rise to new studies of charitable giving.

"We believe that generosity is a function of how much one gives to the ability one has to give," said Martin Cohn, a spokesman for the Catalogue for Philanthropy, a Boston-based nonprofit that publishes a directory of nonprofit organizations.

Using that standard, the 10 most generous states were, in descending order, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Utah, South Carolina and West Virginia.

The 10 stingiest, starting from the bottom, were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii and Michigan.

New Hampshire Is Named Most Miserly State - Yahoo! News

Al-Zarqawi May Be Among Dead in Iraq Fight - Yahoo! News

9 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. forces sealed off a house in the northern city of Mosul where eight suspected al-Qaida members died in a gunfight — some by their own hand to avoid capture. A U.S. official said Sunday that efforts were under way to determine if terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was among the dead.

Al-Zarqawi May Be Among Dead in Iraq Fight - Yahoo! News

Al-Zarqawi's Jordan Family Renounces Him - Yahoo! News

AMMAN, Jordan - Family members of Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi renounced the terrorist leader Sunday after his al-Qaida in Iraq group claimed responsibility for the Nov. 9 suicide attacks on three Amman hotels that killed 59 people.

The family of al-Zarqawi, whose real name is Ahmed Fadheel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, reiterated their strong allegiance to Jordan's King Abdullah II in half-page advertisements in the kingdom's three main newspapers. Al-Zarqawi threatened to kill the king in an audiotape released Friday.

"A Jordanian doesn't stab himself with his own spear," said the statement by 57 members of the al-Khalayleh family, including al-Zarqawi's brother and cousin. "We sever links with him until doomsday."

The statement is a serious blow to al-Zarqawi, who no longer will enjoy the protection of his tribe and whose family members may seek to kill him.

"As we pledge to maintain homage to your throne and to our precious Jordan ... we denounce in the clearest terms all the terrorist actions claimed by the so-called Ahmed Fadheel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, who calls himself Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," the family members said.

"We announce, and all the people are our witnesses, that we — the sons of the al-Khalayleh tribe — are innocent of him and all that emanates from him, whether action, assertion or decision."

The statement said anyone who carried out such violence in the kingdom does not enjoy its protection.

Al-Zarqawi's Jordan Family Renounces Him - Yahoo! News

Daily Kos: D of State to Bush: Don't throw up in the Japanese PM

LEAKED: Presidential Briefing Memo for Asia/Pacific Trip
by LarryInNYC [Subscribe]
Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 08:40:26 PM CST

A contact embedded in the State Department has just leaked to me the contents of the President's briefing memo for his tour this week of Japan, South Korea, China, and Mongolia. I offer it exclusively here, on the Daily Kos:

Presidential Briefing Memo
Asia Pacific Tour 2005

The Department of State, working together with the White House Asia Policy Group have identified a number of key policy issues for you to focus on during your tour of Asian countries this week.

Chief among your foreign policy goals, Mr. President, is to not throw up on the Japanese Prime Minister. . .

And when we say "do not throw up on the Japanese Prime Minister" we do not mean to imply that it is OK to throw up on any other Prime Minister or any Japanese official of another rank, or anyone else you meet on the trip. Indeed, Mr. President, if we could sum up our goals for this trip in three words, they would be "don't throw up".

Please keep in mind that that the Asian diet varies widely from what you may be used to. Your Japanese hosts, for instance, may offer you raw fish or seaweed. Mr. President, if you do not feel you can keep it down do not try to eat it. Wait until no one is looking and slip it onto Laura's plate. Secretary Rice specifically asked us to remind you that expressions such as "In Texas, we wouldn't feed this slop to the hogs!" or "Seaweed? You must be shitting me, Tojo!" are unlikely to advance American interests in this strategically important area.

Your second stop will be Korea. Korea has a wide and varied cuisine and we suggest, sir, that you touch none of it. The consequences could have an adverse affect on our chief foreign policy goal for this trip. In particular, you may be offered local Seoul food delicacies in the capitol. This will not be collard greens, as you might expect.

The President of South Korea is named Roh Moo-hyun, but his name is pronounced "No". At your request, we have had this carefully vetted by the CIA and we can report that it is correct. The area experts we have consulted all agree that it would not be productive to try to correct his pronunciation. We also hope that the name can serve you as a handy memory helper in this way: "Should I throw up on this man? -- NO".

When in South Korea please remember that it is the policy of your administration to not refer North Korea as a state with weapons of mass destruction. This is because North Korea possesses weapons of mass destruction. Please refer to weapons of mass destruction only in countries without weapons of mass destruction. We suggest Singapore in this regard.

In China, you will meet the President Hu Jintao and the Prime Minister Wen Jibao. As we have explained to you, they will both be Chinese -- this is not unusual in China. It might be considered impolite to comment on it. In the Chinese system of government, Hu outranks Wen and it is important to keep them straight. We don't know who you will meet when, but when you meet Hu please don't call him Wen unless, when you meet Wen it is Hu who introduces you.

During your brief visit to Mongolia, please remember that the native people are Mongolians, and not Mongoloids. This is extremely important. You will only be in Mongolia for four hours. Please, sir, "Mongolian", OK?

At all times, there will be peanut butter sandwiches available on Air Force One. Please watch your diet. Have a safe trip, sir, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Daily Kos: LEAKED: Presidential Briefing Memo for Asia/Pacific Trip

Rice Says She Wasn't Woodward's Leak Source - New York Times

Some folks are born made to wave the flag,
ooh, they're red, white and blue.
And when the band plays "Hail To The Chief",
oh, they point the cannon at you, Lord,

It ain't me, it ain't me,
I ain't no senator's son,
It ain't me, it ain't me,
I ain't no fortunate one, no,


WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is not the source who told Bob Woodward of The Washington Post in June 2003 that the wife of the former diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV worked at the C.I.A., the State Department spokesman said on Saturday.

Ms. Rice, who was traveling in Asia with President Bush, said that she was not Mr. Woodward's source, the spokesman, Sean McCormack, said. Ms. Rice was responding to an article about the C.I.A. leak case in The New York Times on Saturday saying that she had been one of a handful of officials who had declined to comment on the case.

Earlier in the week, Mr. Woodward disclosed that a confidential source told him in June 2003 that Mr. Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency and that he had given sworn testimony on Monday to a grand jury investigating the leak. Afterward, more than a dozen top Bush administration officials directly or indirectly denied telling Mr. Woodward of Ms. Wilson's role.

Rice Says She Wasn't Woodward's Leak Source - New York Times

Iraqi President Asks Insurgents to Disarm - Yahoo! News

Yeah, right! This 2 weeks after another torture center for regime opposers has been found. Gawd, what an idiot! -- law

CAIRO, Egypt - Iraq's president said Sunday he was ready for talks with opposition figures and members of
Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party, and he called on the Sunni-led insurgency to lay down its arms and join the political process.

However, Jalal Talabani insisted at a reconciliation conference that the Shiite- and Kurdish-dominated government would not meet with Baath Party members or fighters of the Sunni-led insurgency attacking Iraqi and U.S.-led forces in the country.

"I am the president of Iraq and I am responsible for all Iraqis. If those who describe themselves as Iraqi resistance want to contact me, they are welcome," Talabani told reporters at the U.S.-backed and Arab League-sponsored conference. "I want to listen to all Iraqis. I am committed to listen to them, even those who are criminals and are on trial."

Talabani's remarks came amid reports he already met in Cairo with representatives of the former regime. Those reports appeared to catch some Shiite delegates by surprise.

Iraqi President Asks Insurgents to Disarm - Yahoo! News

No exit strategy



Daily Kos :: Comments Afternoon open thread, history edition

Locked doors thwart Bush's bid to duck question - Yahoo! News

BEIJING (Reuters) - Irked by a reporter who told him he seemed to be "off his game" at a Beijing public appearance,
President George W. Bush sought to make a hasty exit from a news conference but was thwarted by locked doors.
ADVERTISEMENT

At the end of a day of meetings with Chinese President
Hu Jintao and other Chinese officials, Bush held a session with a small group of U.S. reporters and spoke at length about issues like religious freedom,
Iraq and the Chinese currency.

The final reporter he called on critiqued Bush's performance earlier in the day when he stood next to Hu in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square to deliver a statement.

"Respectfully, sir -- you know we're always respectful -- in your statement this morning with President Hu, you seemed a little off your game, you seemed to hurry through your statement. There was a lack of enthusiasm. Was something bothering you?" he asked.

"Have you ever heard of jet lag?" Bush responded


Locked doors thwart Bush's bid to duck question - Yahoo! News

Bush tries to cool tempers over Iraq - Yahoo! News

BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S.
President George W. Bush on Sunday all but apologized to a hawkish Democrat who the White House had called a liberal like American moviemaker Michael Moore for demanding an immediate U.S. pullout from
Iraq.
ADVERTISEMENT

Bush, dogged by questions about Iraq during a week-long Asia tour, tried to cool partisan tempers in Washington that flared over the withdrawal demand by Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record). One Republican had called Murtha a coward.

"Congressman Murtha is a fine man, a good man who served our country with honor and distinction as a Marine in Vietnam and as a U.S. congressman," Bush said.

He did not repeat the White House accusation that Murtha was from the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party like Moore, the "Fahrenheit 9/11" filmmaker who is a liberal celebrity loathed by American conservatives.

"I know that the decision to call for an immediate withdrawal of our troops by congressman Murtha was done in a careful and thoughtful way. I disagree with his position," Bush said.

Many Democrats have called on Bush to present a plan to end the war and an estimate of when U.S. forces can start to be withdrawn based on conditions on the ground. Only a few have called for a set timetable for withdrawal.

Murtha has said Iraq cannot be won militarily and the United States must withdraw to send a signal to Iraqis that they are "free from the United States occupation."

Murtha's opposition broadened a partisan divide in Washington and prompted the Republican-led House of Representatives to engineer a vote on Friday on a resolution to pull U.S. troops immediately from Iraq.

It was defeated nearly unanimously in what Democrats called a political stunt.

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll this week said 63 percent of Americans oppose Bush's handling of the Iraq war, and 52 percent say troops should be pulled out now or within 12 months.

Bush tries to cool tempers over Iraq - Yahoo! News

CTV.ca | Bush presses China on expanding freedoms

U.S. President George Bush called on Beijing to expand religious, political and social freedoms on Sunday as Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged to shrink his country's trade surplus with the United States.

Bush's first public event during his two-day state visit to China was a worship service at one of five officially recognized Protestant churches in Beijing.

The White House said it was Bush's way of showing his support for expressions of faith in the communist nation.

Bush and Chinese president Hu Jintao met for talks at the Great Hall of the People on the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

"We've given China a list of dissidents that we believe are unfairly imprisoned," Bush told reporters, who were not permitted to ask questions during the joint appearance by the two leaders.

He also said he urged Chinese officials to invite Roman Catholic leaders and the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader from Tibet, to China to discuss religious freedom.

"President Hu is a thoughtful fellow and he listened to what I had to say," Bush said.

"It was very interesting in his comments that he talked about human rights. Those who watch China closely would say that maybe a decade ago a leader wouldn't have uttered those comments."

The talks came at a time of mounting American frustration over China's trade surplus, which is en route to hit $200 billion this year.

Hu said he and his American counterpart have agreed to co-operate to reduce their trade imbalance.

"The two sides also expressed their willingness to join hands together to gradually achieve a balance of trade between China and the United States," Hu said through a translator.


CTV.ca | Bush presses China on expanding freedoms

Wampum: Who is Colonel Danny Bubp?

Yesterday, as all the blogosphere, Left and Right, now knows, first-term Ohio Congresswoman Jean Schmidt offered these words as she stood in the well of the House:

Ms. Schmidt: Yesterday I stood at Arlington National Cemetery attending the funeral of a young marine in my district. He believed in what we were doing is the right thing and had the courage to lay his life on the line to do it. A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bop, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do. Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body - that we will see this through.

Of course, as we all know as well, Schmidt's personal attack on the Hon. Congressman (and two-time war veteran from Pennsylvania) sent the House floor into a well-deserved meltdown, with Democrats shutting down the body until Schmidt withdrew her words.

But an unanswered question remains, who is this Colonel Danny Bubp, and why does his opinion matter so much to Ms. Schmidt? One would assume that he would possess at least as much military experience as the man he essentially termed a coward, in lieu of the Congressman's call for the troops in Iraq to return home within six months.

Well, we do know that Colonel Bubp is an Ohio state representative, in fact, from a district contained within Ohio's 2nd Congressional district, which Ms. Schmidt won in a special election earlier this year. And how did he win that seat for the first time in 2004?

His own words from the local paper:

Danny Bubp, a West Union attorney facing retired educator Cy Richardson for the Ohio House of Representatives seat here, believes that's why he'll win.

Bubp, who grew up in Sardinia, calls the 88th district a "good Christian community" that's against abortion and same-sex marriage and protective of its right to bear arms.

"That's the kind of district I want to serve in," said Bubp, 50.

And his prior "political experience"?

Colonel Bubp, a 1984 graduate of the (4th tier) Ohio Northern College of Law, spent all but one of the past twenty years in private practice. The single foray into public service during that time was a year as a county judge.

But Col. Bubp didn't waste his legal education. His most recognized pro-bono work to fight the removal of Ten Commandment monuments from public grounds. Here he is, receiving the coveted "Ten Commandments Leadership Award" with none other than Congresswoman Schmidt herself.

Wampum: Who is Colonel Danny Bubp?

The infamous "Article 98" is radioactive

The US has thrown away 1000 lines of communication with foreign military sources and long standing alliances with more than 20 countries to put US servicemen above international law.

The amount of ill will among traditional US allies (nations, military organizations and individuals) that this has caused cannot be overestimated.


ICC country map

From Wikipedia on the ICC

"Article 98" agreements

The U.S. has attempted to pressure other states into signing bilateral agreements with it by holding it as a condition of receiving military and economic aid. In 2003 the U.S. stopped military aid for 35 countries (among them nine European countries). U.S. law requires the cessation of such aid payments if a state is unwilling to sign the bilateral agreement (there are exceptions for NATO-members and allies such as Israel, Egypt, Australia and South Korea).

Article 98 of the Rome Statute provides that a country need not hand over a foreign national to the Court if it is prohibited from doing so by an agreement with that national's country. The U.S. has used this measure in an attempt to exempt its nationals from the Court's jurisdiction, by negotiating agreements with State Parties making use of Article 98. As of may 2005, the US has negotiated 100 article 98 agreements.

Amnesty International and the European Commission Legal Service, along with several other groups supporting the ICC, have claimed that these agreements the U.S. is attempting to negotiate are not valid under Article 98. They argue that the language in Article 98 is normally used in international law to refer to Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA), mission agreements and extradition treaties; hence they claim that Article 98 can only be used for these purposes, and not to create a general exclusion of another states nationals from being handed over to the ICC.

Romania and Israel (even though the latter is not a party to the Statute) were the first to sign Article 98 agreements with the U.S. In response to Romania's action, the European Union requested that candidate countries not sign Article 98 agreements with the United States until the EU ministers had met to agree upon a common position. The U.S. State Department called this action inappropriate. ICC supporters countered that the United States was attempting to use issues of military aid and NATO membership to "bully" other countries into signing.

Finally, in October 2002, the Council of the European Union adopted a common position, permitting member states to enter into Article 98 agreements with the United States, but only concerning U.S. military personnel, U.S. diplomatic or consular officials, and persons extradited, sent to their territories by the United States with their permission; not the general protection of U.S. nationals that the U.S. sought; furthermore the common position provided that any person protected from ICC prosecution by such agreements would have to be prosecuted by the United States. This was in agreement with the original position of the EU, that Article 98 agreements were allowed to cover these restricted classes of persons but could not cover all the citizens of a state.

On December 26, 2002, India became the 15th country to sign a bilateral agreement with the U.S. under Article 98. The agreement aims to prevent the "extradition of nationals of either country to any international tribunal without the other country's express consent". By June 2005 around 100 states had signed a bilateral agreement with the U.S., including at least seven of them that signed the agreement secretly.

Critics of these US policies to contain the Court claim that the sole aim of the USA is to be above international law.

The United States has cut aid and development funding for many poor countries in retaliation for cooperating with the ICC. Countries who have lost aid include Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, South Africa, and several other Latin American and African countries.

Mexico too defies US on ICC

The damage is huge and lasting.

And Romania, having signed an Article 98, seems a good candidate for the secret CIA prisons.

Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

by Shockwave on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 03:02:46 PM CST

Daily Kos :: Comments Afternoon open thread, history edition

TPMCafe || Did Plame out WH plans for finding WMD in Iraq?

Did Plame out WH plans for finding WMD in Iraq?

By Hornet

From: Misc. Politics Table
Did the White House plan to 'find' WMD in Iraq until Brewster-Jennings intercepted their shipment? Was that why Plame was in their crosshairs long before Wilson's editorial?


Nov 19, 2005 -- 09:00:33 AM EST
Buried in a TPM Nov 18 blog about what the WH was really thinking when it invaded Iraq, Joshua Micah Marshall writes "This even leads to a sort of inverted conspiracy theorizing when people ask, 'If he knew there was no WMD, why didn't they at least try to plant some to avoid the catastrophic embarrassment which ensued after the war....The real answer, I think, is as banal as it is devastating: I don't think they ever gave it much thought -- not in the sense of trying to get to the heart of the matter."

This WH may be diabolical, but it's not stupid. Apparently, they gave it a lot of thought if the following is true. As Wayne Madsen reports (Nov 11):

"According to U.S. intelligence sources, the White House exposure of Valerie Plame and her Brewster Jennings & Associates was intended to retaliate against the CIA's work in limiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. WMR has reported in the past on this aspect of the scandal. In addition to identifying the involvement of individuals in the White House who were close to key players in nuclear proliferation, the CIA Counter-Proliferation Division prevented the shipment of binary VX nerve gas from Turkey into Iraq in November 2002. The Brewster Jennings network in Turkey was able to intercept this shipment which was intended to be hidden in Iraq and later used as evidence that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. U.S. intelligence sources revealed that this was a major reason the Bush White House targeted Plame and her network."

[I apologize that I didn't provide a link, but TMP Cafe seems to be Mac-unfriendly...the buttons dont work for me.]
Did Plame out WH plans for finding WMD in Iraq? | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
Re: Did Plame out WH plans for finding WMD in Iraq (3.00 / 0) (#1)
by destor23 on Nov 19, 2005 -- 08:32:55 AM EST
Tinfoil hat jokes aside, this is worth considering, I think. There was always at least some worry, dating back to the run-up to the invasion, that once Bush got himself some control on the ground in Iraq that he would work to make the facts fit his predictions.

thosethingswesay.blogspot.com

TPMCafe || Did Plame out WH plans for finding WMD in Iraq?

Welcome to Bush mass for shut ins

A classic series from the Yahoo Soars Board, "first church" has his sermon every Sunday, since 2003.

Welcome to Bush mass for shut ins
by: first_church_of_bush

LIVE FROM THE ST GEORGE THE BLESSED CATHERDRAL IN CRAWFORD TEXAS ITS BUSH MASS FOR SHUT INS!

Good morning Bush worshippers, those who are ill and those who it's just best not to mix with society. May Lord God Bush bless you all for coming. For it is he who brought us life and everything else. He is a thousand points of light! He makes the sun rise in the morning, puts the frost on our flakes and puts the fruit on the trees. All praise the glory of Lord God Bush. Today we celebrate Staying."

STAYING CELEBRATION
This week our holy oil crusaders were allowed by Lord God Bush to stay another year to kill and blow stuff up in the land of oil. We should all be grateful to Lord God Bush for this and thank him in our prayers today.

SING PRAISE TO LORD GOD BUSH
by: church_of_bush_choir

He's five foot-two, and he's six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He's all of thirty-one, and he's only seventeen,
Been a soldier for a thousand years.
He'a a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain, A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And he knows he shouldn't kill,
And he knows he always will,
Kill you for me my friend and me for you.
And he's fighting for Canada,
He's fighting for France,
He's fighting for the USA,
And he's fighting for the Russians,
And he's fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way.
And he's fighting for Democracy,
He's fighting for the Reds,
He says it's for the peace of all.
He's the one who must decide,
Who's to live and who's to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.
But without him, How would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He's the one who gives his body As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.
He's the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can't you see,
This is not the way we put the end to war.

A READING FROM THE BOOK OF RUMSFELD
Then Lord God Bush looked down upon the people and spoke. `I will allow my holy oil crusaders to stay for another year.` The crusaders then screamed with happiness and celebrated, a look of glee came over all the faces.

Re: A READING FROM THE BOOK OF RUMSFELD
What is it that the Profit Rumsfeld is trying to teach us? It is that it is good the crusaders are staying another year, if we disagree we obviously hate America. This is the word of George.

Re: A READING FROM THE BOOK OF RUMSFELD
Your attendance has been recorded and will be sent to the United States Department of Holiness. Go in arrogance, may the Lord God George W Bush be with you. And tis the season! We are please to welcome back the bushmas carolers to sing us a bushmas carol!

TIS THE SEASON
by: bushmas_carolers

I'll be home for Bushmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
and presents on the tree

Bushmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Bushmas
If only in my dreams

Bush mass is over
by: second_church_of_bush
Your attendance has been recorded and will be sent to the United States Department of Holiness. Go in arrogance, may the Lord God George W Bush be with you. And tis the season! We are please to welcome back the bushmas carolers to sing us a bushmas carol!

Yahoo! News Message Boards Politics News: "

how we learned to stop worrying about election and focus on the president’s new puppy

No vote left behind - By Bill Forman
Or, how we learned to stop worrying about election scandals and focus on the president’s new puppy

OK, show-of-hands time: How many Americans were shocked--yes shocked!--by last week’s revelation that the Bush administration secretly had paid a media commentator a quarter of a million dollars to hype its No Child Left Behind Act? What’s incredible about that is not the realization that a media pundit would willfully ignore facts in order to line up behind the administration’s fanciful take on reality--hell, that’s been going on since the 2000 election. No, what’s surprising is that someone actually had to be bribed to do so at a time when so many others in the media find it very much in their own interest to provide this service for no extra charge.

Witness the media whitewash of the 2004 election scandal. Determined to convince the American people that no vote was left behind, our journalistic community has shown an uncanny ability to stay on message. Maybe that’s why the president’s new puppy got infinitely more publicity than the report released last week by the House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff, called “Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.” This 102-page government report makes a convincing case not only for J. Kenneth Blackwell being the Katherine Harris of a new generation, but also for Ohio being an epicenter of national disgrace on a level not seen since its Kent State heyday.

The report cites “massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio” that “raise grave doubts” about whether Ohio electors were “chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards.” In many cases, it concludes, “these were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.”

Blackwell was the same guy who made pre-election news by deciding to reject all voter registrations that weren’t on 80-pound-weight paper. He also welcomed comparisons to one of Florida’s best-known Bush operatives: “The last time I checked, Katherine Harris wasn’t in a soup line,” Blackwell told Newsweek. “She’s in Congress.”

One of the most extraordinary charges in the Judiciary Committee report is that the voting-computer company Triad provided “cheat sheets” to Ohio’s recount election officials, telling them “how many votes they should find for each candidate and how many over and under votes they should calculate to match the machine count.” This, the report contends, enabled them to get away with just hand counting a 3-percent sample of the vote instead of the full countywide hand count that otherwise would be mandated by state law. (Ironically, the report says a number of counties that failed to pass the 3-percent test nevertheless managed to avoid doing a full recount.)

Want more? How about some 25 electronic voting machines in a single county miraculously transferring Kerry votes into the Bush column, uneven distribution of voting machines causing lines as long as 10 hours in predominantly Democratic and African-American areas, and Blackwell’s refusal of provisional ballots causing the “disenfranchisement of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of voters.”

The sad fact is that, in today’s 24-hour news cycle, yesterday’s “conspiracy theory” becomes tomorrow’s “old news.” So, who cares if an electronic voting machine really did manage to count 4,258 Bush votes in a precinct where only 638 people actually voted?

Well, Barbara Boxer, for one. The California senator’s unexpected decision to join Ohio Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones in a challenge to the state’s electoral vote last Thursday forced the House and Senate to retreat to separate chambers for a two-hour debate. Although speakers were limited to five minutes each, it was still an improvement over the previous Electoral College challenge, during which Congressional Black Caucus members repeatedly were gaveled to silence for asking a single senator to step forward and join the challenge.

Thursday’s Electoral College debate--the first of its type since 1877-- drove home one critical fact: The Help America Vote Act is a failure. Enacted in December of 2002, the patronizingly titled legislation was touted as a way to prevent another Florida election debacle. Instead, it sped up the use of electronic voting machines while failing to address critical elements of electoral reform. H.R. 2239 and S. 1980, bills that would have required voting machines to produce a paper record, were blocked last year by Republican leaders. We cannot afford to hold another presidential election without enacting such safeguards.

Likewise, state election officials need to be held accountable to the voters instead of to the candidates whose presidential campaigns they’re currently allowed to chair. Blackwell’s bragging about helping to “deliver” Ohio electoral votes to George W. Bush eerily echoed Diebold Chairman Walden O’Dell’s 2003 pledge to do the same. (For more evidence of the need for a paper trail and other electoral reforms, the “Preserving Democracy” report can be found in its entirety at www.house.gov/schakowsky/Conyers_final_status_ report.pdf.)

“Democracy is coming,” sang Leonard Cohen, “to the U.S.A.” What once seemed a bitterly ironic statement more than a decade ago now seems, somehow, to be bleakly hopeful. As does another Cohen line from the same prescient period: “There’s a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.”

Columns - January 13, 2005