SADDAM CAUGHT..... WAR OVER..... LET'S GO HOME!
Note: Comments (sigh) working again...
Saturday, May 31, 2003
Now it comes out that we faked the data about WMDs in the runup to the war in Iraq. Of course, all informed people knew it was unlikely to be true from the beginning. Scott Ritter, former arms inspector and whistleblower, wrote a book about it in the fall. I've cited it here. He's been on TV. Other people have too. The CIA testified about it. Then they were forced to change their opinion. All this happened in the public domain.
Two groups are at fault: The Bush administration for lying to the public and ordering cooked data, and the media for not reporting what many of them knew - that the data was false.
Meanwhile, Rumsfeld who earlier in the week, denied that anyone in the administration had claimed we'd find WMDs, now claims we will still find them. Question: does he think we are stupid? Short answer: Yes.
Bush himself now claims that the trailers, the so-called "mobile labs" are proof of WMD's. Maybe in Bushworld they are...
Friday, May 30, 2003
Riot Chases Troops Out of Iraqi Town
* 'They were terrifying the women and children,' one protester says after U.S. soldiers search homes for weapons.
By Tyler Marshall, Times Staff Writer, LA TIMES
HIT, Iraq — In the third straight day of Iraqi violence against the U.S. military occupation of the country, residents enraged over house-to-house searches in this western town ransacked the police station, stoned U.S. armored military vehicles and set police cars on fire Wednesday.
With a large, uncontrolled mob still roaming the streets as dusk fell, it was impossible to determine exactly what triggered the riot, but in a series of chaotic interviews laced with anti-American rage and threats of vengeance, residents said the problems began when police assisted the U.S. troops in searching local homes for weapons.
As night fell, there was no sign of either the police or U.S. forces in the town, and plumes of pitch-black smoke billowed into the air as the remains of two police cars burned along a main street. LINK
No WMDs. Iraqis rioting in the streets,chasing out US soldiers. In the real world, this would be the beginning of end of the Bush "Foreign Policy." But not in the alternate reality WE live in.
The Iran Debate: Pentagon Eyes Massive Covert Attack on Iran
May 29 -- The Pentagon is advocating a massive covert action program to overthrow Iran's ruling ayatollahs as the only way to stop the country's nuclear weapons ambitions, senior State Department and Pentagon officials told ABCNEWS.
The proposal, which would include covert sponsorship of a group currently deemed terrorist by the U.S. government, is not new, and has not won favor with enough top officials to be acted upon.
But sources say it is a viable option that is getting a new look as the administration ramps up its rhetoric against Iran, and it is likely to be one of the top items on the agenda as high-level U.S. policymakers meet today to discuss how to deal with the Islamic republic.
What's going on here? Well, it's certainly not covert anymore. Not anymore than the US Contra support in the 1980s was covert. Ignoring the obvious, which is that it was leaked by one side to torpedo the other, it illustrates the cold-war mentality that permeates the current administration.
They (many of them) truly believed the "Gathering Storm" scenario about Iraq, despite all evidence that Iraq was incredibly weak and no threat to anyone. They also believe it about Iran, which is a little more plausible. They see the twilight struggle against communism replaced by a new twilight struggle against Islam. Since Iran is really too big and powerful to actually conquer, this seems like a legitimate tactic to them. The fact that it is supporting terrorism (remember freedom fighter= terrorist), is not a factor. That even rumors (let alone reality) of this kind of tactic exist undermines the credibility of the reformers in Iran and weakens the chance of democracy there. Probable result: Self-fulfilling prophecy - new cold war with Iran. So who leaked? I'm guessing not the obvious - the calm heads at State, but the opposite - those who'd benefit from a new Nicaragua in Iran.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Tax Law Omits Child Credit in Low-Income Brackets
By DAVID FIRESTONE, NY TIMES
WASHINGTON, May 28 — A last-minute revision by House and Senate leaders in the tax bill that President Bush signed today will prevent millions of minimum-wage families from receiving the increased child credit that is in the measure, say Congressional officials and outside groups...
...after studying the bill approved on Friday, liberal and child advocacy groups discovered that a different group of families would also not benefit from the $400 increase — families who make just above the minimum wage.
Because of the formula for calculating the credit, most families with incomes from $10,500 to $26,625 will not benefit. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal group, says those families include 11.9 million children, or one of every six children under 17.
"I don't know why they would cut that out of the bill," said Senator Blanche Lincoln... LINK
Actually I know why, Blanche. Because they needed the spare change that would've costed, to dress up the hundreds of billions they were giving to the rich. When will you learn that you cannot compromise with these vicious and arrogant fools that are destroying the country in order to line their own pockets? Just asking...
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY GREAT BIG TAX CUT!
CNN explains our latest tax cut here.
I am going to get a great big $211! Whoopee, now I can put a down payment on my dream home. That'll jumpstart our economy for sure. Or maybe I can buy a remote -controlled drone, just like Saddam was threatening the US with.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
BOILING FOR COLUMBINE?
UK Independant via Buzzflash.com
...Independent human rights groups estimate that there are more than 600 politically motivated arrests a year in Uzbekistan, and 6,500 political prisoners, some tortured to death. According to a forensic report commissioned by the British embassy, in August two prisoners were even boiled to death.
The US condemned this repression for many years. But since September 11 rewrote America's strategic interests in central Asia, the government of President Islam Karimov has become Washington's new best friend in the region.
The US is funding those it once condemned. Last year Washington gave Uzbekistan $500m (£300m) in aid. The police and intelligence services - which the state department's website says use "torture as a routine investigation technique" received $79m of this sum.
Boiling goes a long way to winning hearts and minds, don't it?
A former Iraqi insider says Bush and Co. were lying about Saddam's nukes
YellowTimes via americanpolitics.com
By Imad Khadduri, Former Iraqi nuclear scientist
YellowTimes.org Guest Columnist (Canada)
(YellowTimes.org) -- There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This apparently became the case a few months after the end of the 1991 war when Hussain Kamel, the man in charge of the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs, ordered the destruction of the chemical and biological materials and their warheads. The nuclear weapons program had already come to a halt on the first night of bombing in January 1991. The weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after inspections had finished. Hussain Kamel even disclosed the location of the hidden documents relating to the remnants of the chemical and biological programs during his futile escape to Jordan in 1995.
Yet Bush, Blair and their senior cohorts kept brandishing their "intelligence sources" in order to whip up a fervor over the danger of Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction up until the last day before the invasion of Iraq. Once they were in Iraq, with their hundreds of "specialists," they promised to uncover the hidden weapons of mass destruction.
One such idiotic attempt was the intrusion of American soldiers in the often-bombed Nuclear Research Center. The soldiers broke the protective seals originally placed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and opened Tuwaitha's radioactive burial mound; instead, they could have easily contacted the IAEA for an inventory of the tons of natural "yellow cake" and radioactive liquid and solid waste found. MORE
“Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death”
Broadcast for the First Time Ever in the US: Eyewitnesses Testify that US Troops Were Complicit in the Massacre of up to 3,000 Taliban Prisoners During the Afghan War
Friday, May 23rd, 2003
The film provides eyewitness testimony that U.S. troops were complicit in the massacre of thousands of Taliban prisoners during the Afghan War.
It tells the story of thousands of prisoners who surrendered to the US military’s Afghan allies after the siege of Kunduz. According to eyewitnesses, some three thousand of the prisoners were forced into sealed containers and loaded onto trucks for transport to Sheberghan prison. Eyewitnesses say when the prisoners began shouting for air, U.S.-allied Afghan soldiers fired directly into the truck, killing many of them. The rest suffered through an appalling road trip lasting up to four days, so thirsty they clawed at the skin of their fellow prisoners as they licked perspiration and even drank blood from open wounds.
Witnesses say that when the trucks arrived and soldiers opened the containers, most of the people inside were dead. They also say US Special Forces re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried. Now, up to three thousand bodies lie buried in a mass grave... MORE
Hmm, well I guess our war crimes are OK, but Saddam's prove he was an evil tyrant.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Faking Pvt. Lynch
OPINION: Charleston, WV Gazette
Was Pfc. Lynch used?
SEVERAL voices around the world say the Pentagon falsified reports about West Virginia's hero, Pfc. Jessica Lynch, to boost patriotic support for President Bush's war on Iraq.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer said it's a shame that Lynch, a teen-age soldier injured in an ambush, was used as "a propaganda pawn" by the administration.
"Sadly, almost nothing fed to reporters about either Lynch's original capture by Iraqi forces or her 'rescue' by U.S. forces turns out to be true," he wrote.
"Consider the April 3 Washington Post story on her capture headlined 'She Was Fighting to the Death,' which reported, based on unnamed military sources, that Lynch 'continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds,' adding that she also was stabbed when Iraqi forces closed in.
"It has since emerged that Lynch was neither shot nor stabbed, but rather suffered accident injuries when her vehicle overturned." MORE
As you know I've been reporting on this story since early April. One thing you should remember is when the story appeared, which was right in the middle of some of the worst fighting. Pvt Lynch's rescue blunted some of the worst criticism of the war.
This is the Bush Modus Operandi: Remember the dirty bomber, Jose Padilla? His arrest was announced the week the 9-11 coverup story broke in May 2002. Remember Iraqi WMD's? "Evidence" of them surfaced the week FBI whistleblower Colleen Rawley was to testify to Congress about 9-11 in September 2002. The purpose? To drown out the truth. Neither Iraqi WMD's or Jose Padilla have been seen since, and neither will Jessica Lynch, who conveniently is alleged to be suffering from amnesia.
So is the American Public. Induced amnesia.
Why is the Bush administration blocking the release of an 800-page congressional report about 9-11? MSNBC/NEWSWEEK June 2
...AMONG THE PORTIONS of the report the administration refuses to declassify, sources say, are chapters dealing with two politically and diplomatically sensitive issues: the details of daily intelligence briefings given to Bush in the summer of 2001 and evidence pointing to Saudi government ties to Al Qaeda. Bush officials have taken such a hard line, sources say, that they’re refusing to permit the release of matters already in the public domain—including the existence of intelligence documents referred to on the CIA Web site.
One document is called the PDB, the President’s Daily Brief. The congressional report contains details of PDBs provided to Bush (and top national- security aides) prior to 9-11. The PDBs included warnings about possible attacks by Al Qaeda. (One PDB was given at the presidential ranch in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 6, and dealt with the possibility that Al Qaeda might hijack airplanes.) But an administration review committee overseen by CIA Director George Tenet has refused to declassify anything that even refers to the existence of PDBs—though they are described on the CIA’s own Web site (www.CIA.gov). LINK
Of course, the real reason is even worse. As Greg Palast discovered right after 9-11, the Bush Administration discouraged investigation into Bin Laden himself -because of Bush family ties, or worse yet had detailed advanced knowledge of the event or even planned it (for the ultimate conspiracy theory go to: http://www.serendipity.li/wtc.html).
All I can say for sure, is there is something mighty fishy about 9-11 and this is barely the tip of the iceberg.
Monday, May 26, 2003
FUNNY, IN A SICK WAY:
Al Qaeda Pyramid Selling Scheme
from World War Bush.com
Got a cause? Having no luck drawing global attention? Well, here's the solution.
Just two years ago we were in the same position as you. We'd tried all the usual methods to promote our cause. We knew we had a good product - Islamic Fundamentalism - but no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn't get the publicity....
...Here's a testimonial from one satisfied customer :-
"We recently caused the deaths of many Americans in a Saudi Arabia terrorist attack. It cost nothing to join the Al Qaeda network, we got the chance to strike the heart of the infidels, and Al Qaeda were credited with the attack. We were happy, Al Qaeda were happy, and President Bush was happy (he likes to blame everything on Al Qaeda now Saddam is gone). We'd recommend the scheme to anyone!" LINK
Report: Iraqi let Baghdad fall for payoff
By Elizabeth Bryant, United Press International, International Desk, Published 5/25/2003 8:40 AM
PARIS, May 25 (UPI) -- A senior member of Saddam Hussein's government handed Baghdad over to U.S. troops in exchange for a pay-off and a safe exit from Iraq, Le Journal du Dimanche claimed Sunday.
Citing a senior Iraqi source, the French newspaper reported that Soufiane al Tikriti, head of the Special Republican Guard in Baghdad, ordered his troops not to defend the capital against attack by U.S. and British forces, and particularly to hold fire against coalition helicopters circling over the city.
In exchange, Le Journal claimed, Tikriti was paid several hundred thousand dollars and, along with 20 family members, was ferried in a U.S. aircraft out of the country on April 8. MORE
This confirms what was reported here and elsewhere on April 25th. The question is who else got airlifted out? Saddam, maybe? After all, it appears we may have let Osama bin Laden escape too.
And remember both Saddam and Osama are acknowledged former CIA assets.
US plans death camp
THE US has floated plans to turn Guantanamo Bay into a death camp, with its own death row and execution chamber.
Prisoners would be tried, convicted and executed without leaving its boundaries, without a jury and without right of appeal, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported yesterday.
The plans were revealed by Major-General Geoffrey Miller, who is in charge of 680 suspects from 43 countries, including two Australians. LINK
Daily Kos, who spotted the article, warns that executing Al Qaeda members will cause retaliations for any executions. I would add, even if that never happens, for us to be considering such a literally un-American idea, as executions without juries and appeals, is absolutely appalling.
THE FICTIONAL WAR ON TERRORISM
How Bush's Smoke and Mirrors Endanger America
Fri May 23, 4:01 PM ET, By Ted Rall
NEW YORK--We've killed thousands of Muslims and taken over two of their countries. We're spending billions of dollars to make it easier for our government to spy on us. But we haven't caught Osama, Al Qaeda is doing better than ever and airport security is still a sick joke. So when are Americans going to demand a real war on terrorism?
Recent suicide bombings in Riyadh and Casablanca proved with bloody eloquence that Al Qaeda and similar extremist groups are anything but "on the run," as George W. Bush puts it. Bush's tactics are a 100 percent failure, yet his band of clueless Christian soldiers continues to go after mosquitoes with shotguns. "So far," Bush furiously spun after the latest round of attacks, "nearly one-half of Al Qaeda's senior operatives have been captured or killed," promising to "remain on the hunt until they are all brought to justice."
Can Bush really be this stupid? All underground organizations, including Al Qaeda, employ a loose hierarchical structure. No individual member is indispensable, so the capture of even a high-ranking official cannot compromise the group. Each lost member is instantly replaced by the next man down in his cell. It doesn't matter whether we catch half, three-quarters or all of Al Qaeda's leadership--hunting down individual terrorists is an expensive and pointless game of whack-a-mole. Only Allah knows how many eager recruits have sprung up, hydra-like, to fill Khalid Sheikh Mohammad's flip-flops.
Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bob Graham caught heat for calling the war on Iraq "a distraction" from the war on terrorism, but he was far too kind. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have replaced a real war on terrorism, and they've vastly increased the likelihood of future September 11's. Bombing Afghanistan scattered bin Laden, his lieutenants and their foot soldiers everywhere from Chechnya to Sudan to China's Xinjiang province; fleeing Talibs spread new anti-American seed cells while the Taliban and other radical groups retain their pre-9/11 Pakistani headquarters. With radical Shiite clerics like the Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim poised to fill the post-Saddam power vacuum, Iraq could become a Shia version of Taliban-era Afghanistan: an anarchic collection of fiefdoms run by extremist warlords happy to host training camps for terrorist organizations.
"We're much safer," Tom Ridge claims. If this is safety, give me danger. MORE
Sunday, May 25, 2003
MARK SHIELDS PUTS IT IN PERSPECTIVE
MARK SHIELDS (on PBS): Jim, just one devastating figure that I came across this week and that is the first 200 years of the United States history we fought nine wars, went through four depressions, we ran up a total indebtedness of $1 trillion. In the 25 months of the Bush administration, the debt run up by this government [which]had to be increased today by a trillion dollars in the Senate of the United States is $1.5 trillion, so in 25 months, more than two centuries [was surpassed]. link
SHIELDS (on CNN): Let me just make one point. The estimated cost of the combined tax cuts of George W. Bush is more than three times what it would take to make Social Security solvent for the next 75 years. LINK
Slate's whopper of the week:
Whopper of the Week: Donald Rumsfeld
Don Rumsfeld, meet Dick Cheney.
By Timothy Noah, Posted Friday, May 23, 2003, at 12:51 PM PT
"I don't believe anyone that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq had nuclear weapons."
—Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at a hearing of the Senate's appropriations subcommittee on defense, May 14
"We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
—Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC's Meet the Press, March 16 LINK Thanks to Buzzflash for this and preceding.
COVERUPS, WE GOT COVERUPS
Nasa deal closes the door on Columbia inquiry
JACQUI GODDARD IN MIAMI
CIVILIAN members of the expert group investigating the Columbia space shuttle disaster have been put on the Nasa payroll to ensure much of the inquiry will be carried out in secret.
The highly controversial move - which has prompted angry accusations that the inquiry can no longer be considered impartial - will see the five civilian representatives on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) each receive executive-level salaries of up to $134,000 (£82,000) a year.
If the civilians - who were supposedly recruited to ensure the investigation was independent from Nasa - had not been hired by the agency, the board would have had to meet publicly, justify any closed-door sessions and keep transcripts and minutes that would ultimately become public records. LINK
9/11 panel told of cover-ups before attacks
Witnesses: U.S. suppressed warnings
By Bryan A. Keogh, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Washington Bureau, May 24, 2003
WASHINGTON -- The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were made possible by gaping holes in airline security, government cover-ups that prevented problems from being fixed and a failure to respond to a growing threat that terrorists might use airliners as weapons, witnesses told an independent commission this week.
"The notion that these hijackings and terrorism were an unforeseen and unforeseeable risk is an airline and FAA public-relations management myth," said Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general at the Department of Transportation, in testimony Friday.
But Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta told the 10-member panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks that the federal government was caught unawares and had not anticipated such an attack.
"I don't think we ever thought of an aircraft being used as a missile," he said, acknowledging that the United States was unprepared.
During two days of hearings, some commission members argued there were plenty of indications that terrorists were planning a major attack against this country in the months before Sept. 11. These members said they were stunned by Mineta's comments and by how they conflicted with other testimony.
A security inspector with the Transportation Security Administration told the commission Thursday that undercover tests he had conducted revealed persistent, egregious weaknesses in airport security systems.
"Although we breached security with ridiculous ease up to 90 percent of the time, the FAA suppressed these warnings," said Bogdan Dzakovic, who became a Federal Aviation Administration whistleblower one month after Sept. 11.... link