Friday, October 06, 2006


When it comes to SOME terrorists, Team Bush wants to have it both ways:

The Cubana Airlines plane plummeted into the Caribbean Sea just before noon on Oct. 6, 1976. All 73 people on board died, including teenage members of Cuba's national fencing team who were returning to Havana after winning gold and silver medals at a tournament in Venezuela.

The attack marked a new era of fear. It was the first act of midair airline terrorism in the Western Hemisphere.

The 30th anniversary of the bombing is [today], and it coincides with a critical juncture in the case of Luis Posada Carriles, a main suspect in the bombing who has been held on immigration charges in the United States for the past 16 months.

Posada Carriles's legal odyssey has turned into a diplomatic quandary for the Bush administration and a test of the president's post-Sept. 11 credo that nations that harbor terrorists are guilty of terrorism. While the United States does not want to free a terrorism suspect, it is also reluctant to send him to Cuba or Venezuela, countries that not only remain hostile to the Bush administration but that, according to court testimony of a Posada Carriles ally, also might torture him.

Attorneys for the Justice Department must respond by Thursday to a Texas magistrate's recommendation that Posada Carriles be freed by a federal judge because he has not been officially designated a terrorist in the United States and cannot be held indefinitely on immigration charges.

"This is the moment of truth for the Bush administration," said Peter Kornbluh, a senior Cuba analyst with the National Security Archive, a nonprofit research library at George Washington University.

The prospect of freeing Posada Carriles, who is also a suspect in a series of 1997 hotel bombings in Havana that left one Italian tourist dead, has outraged Cuban leaders. Havana is papered with Cuban government posters and billboards invoking President Bush's position on harboring terrorists.

"It's as if you were to say to the American people that country X has found Osama bin Laden, who arrived without a passport or a visa, and that he is being held as an illegal immigrant but will not be sent back to the U.S.," Ricardo Alarcón, president of Cuba's general assembly, said in an interview.

Posada Carriles, 78, sneaked into the United States in March 2005. He did little to hide his presence in Miami's exile community and joked about being recognized at doctors' appointments. He wasn't arrested until he gave a newspaper interview and appeared at a news conference in May 2005, moves that seemed to taunt law enforcement officials.

At the time of his arrest, Posada Carriles, who was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, had spent more than four decades engaged in fruitless schemes to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro and topple his government. The immigration judge who oversaw Posada Carriles's case said his history "reads like one of Robert Ludlum's espionage thrillers, with all the plot twists and turns Ludlum is famous for."

Posada Carriles was trained by the CIA, along with other Cuban exiles, for the botched Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. He eventually made his way to Venezuela, where he became head of the secret police surveillance division.

Venezuelan officials later accused him of masterminding the Cubana bombing, which claimed the lives of 57 Cubans, as well as passengers from Guyana and North Korea. But he escaped from a Venezuelan prison in 1985 while prosecutors were appealing his acquittal in a military trial.

Since then, he has survived a 1990 assassination attempt, which scarred half his face, and has managed to wriggle out of legal trouble while on the run in Central America. He was arrested in 2000 in Panama for allegedly plotting to set off 30 pounds of explosives during a speech by Castro at the University of Panama, but the charges were dropped.

Posada Carriles's attorney has said that his client, who has a heart condition, no longer plans violence against the Castro government.

"The Cuban government is in a very deteriorated condition, inexorably reaching its end, and I sincerely believe that nothing would help to go back to the past with sabotage campaigns," Posada Carriles said in a statement released by his attorney.

U.S. officials see the aging Castro opponent as a more sinister figure. A field officer at the Department of Homeland Security who follows Posada Carriles's case described him as a "present danger to the community" whose "propensity to engage in terrorist activities poses a national security risk to the United States."

All of which makes the actions of the U.S. government in the case puzzling to critics, who say Posada Carriles should be prosecuted or at least confined to prison. Even some Cuba hard-liners in the United States confide privately that the case has turned into an embarrassment for the United States.

"They're just dancing around," Wayne Smith, a former head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana and vocal critic of the Bush administration's Cuba policies, said of prosecutors. "They have all kinds of evidence against him."

It's clear that the U.S. government would prefer to make Posada Carriles someone else's problem. According to court documents, the Department of Homeland Security failed to persuade seven countries to take him -- Canada, Mexico, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica. The magistrate in Posada Carriles's case said that the Justice Department could have legally held him for a longer period if it had officially certified him as a terrorist, but that prosecutors did not do so.

"The problem is that the American government created him, it taught him, and now it's hard for the government to punish him," Camilo Rojo Alvarez, son of a crew member who died in the 1976 attack, said in an interview.

Much of the evidence against Posada Carriles has been drawn from the U.S. government's own files, including declassified FBI and CIA documents. One declassified CIA intelligence report, citing information from informants, said Posada Carriles attended a $1,000-a-person fundraising and planning dinner for anti-Castro activities in September 1976 along with Orlando Bosch, another prime suspect in the Cubana bombing.

Not long afterward, the report stated, Posada Carriles said, "We are going to hit a Cuban airplane. Orlando has the details."

Bosch was once in a position similar to that of Posada Carriles, and the outcome of his case unnerves Cubans now focused on Posada Carriles. In 1990, the administration of George H.W. Bush released Bosch from prison after he, like Posada Carriles, was caught entering the country illegally. Cuba had been the only country willing to take him, and the U.S. refused to send him to the island.

Bosch, an 80-year-old retired physician who now lives in a Miami suburb, has stopped just short of claiming that his and Posada Carriles's group was responsible for the Cubana bombing.

Earlier this year, he told the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia that the Cubana flight was a "legitimate target." And in an Atlantic Monthly interview with "Cuba Confidential" author Ann Louise Bardach that is to be published this week, Bosch said: "We were at war with Castro, and in war, everything is valid."

Declassified documents state that the two men who placed the bomb on the Cubana flight worked for Posada Carriles. After getting off the plane in Barbados, one of the men called his girlfriend, who was also a Posada Carriles employee, and delivered a coded message to report the attack was successful. The message: "The bus was fully loaded with dogs."

Sounds to me like the "dogs" are Posada, Bosch...and Team Bush.
Hard Work

Letting off steam at Guantanamo:

Guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and described it as common practice, a Marine sergeant said in a sworn statement obtained by The Associated Press...

Hell, maybe they'll blame it on the food. Or maybe they'll repeat the line about Guantanamo housing the "worst of the worst." (watch out--he could be dangerous with his walker)...
Friday Multimedia

Courtesy of Maps of War, which has other interesting material on their web site. I encourage you to visit.

h/t Lawyers, Guns and Money.
Suffer the Little Children...

AmericaBlog rightly turns the tables and asks why conservative, so-called "Christians" have a predilection for pederasty:

It's no secret that all five of the House Republican members of Congress accused of covering up the Mark Foley congressional page child predator scandal are Christians. And most of them, not surprisingly, are conservatives.

In these dire times for America's youth one must ask: Are conservative Christians genetically pre-disposed towards coddling pedophiles?

It may sound like bigotry, but facts are facts. These conservative Christian men all knew a long time ago about Foley's "overly friendly" attempts to befriend young children. They all had a chance to stop Foley before he sinned again, and they didn't. They're all Republicans. And they're all Christians.

I suspect a bit of sarcasm (just a bit?), particularly given the article that inspired the post. However, between that, Billmon's reflections on the Lavender Bund...and the ever-insane rantings of Pat Buchanan (last night I was listening to the Joe Scarborough show while cooking dinner--couldn't get to the remote after watching Countdown--and old Pitchfork Pat couldn't resist. The day previous, he was rehashing the social-deviant line, substituting sexual preference for race; yesterday, he was accusing someone in the Democratic party, I forget who, of "having marched in a parade with members of NAMBLA," and, in case we didn't get the smear, he proceeded to instruct as to what the acronym stood for)...well, sorry to tangent, but anyway...when you've got the wingnuts charging forward like so many bugs to a windshield, I think it might well be appropriate to ask--LOUDLY--why pederasty/pedophilia seem to have an unusually strong association with religion as expressed in the United States.

And yes, I realize that the argument itself is, well, statistical nonsense. But so is the equally nonsensical position that gays/lesbians are prone to the same behavior. Fight fire with fire, I say. Or, we can cut through the bullshit...although that still leaves the wingnuts in the lurch, so to speak: it's the GOP that enabled Foley's behavior. No amount of spinning will alter that.
Growth Industry

Yer GOP, when not busy in the House Cloak Room, has enabled Al Qaeda beyond their wildest dreams:

In appearances across the US, President Bush has been campaigning against withdrawing troops from Iraq, arguing that to leave now would hand a historic victory to Al Qaeda and inspire new generations of jihadists to attack the US.

But a letter that has been translated and released by the US military indicates that Al Qaeda itself sees the continued American presence in Iraq as a boon for the terror network, which has recently shown signs of expanding into the Palestinian territories and North Africa.

Gee, you think? The whole sorry scenario of Operation Enduring Clusterfuck has been a never ending series of backward steps, punctuated (to "borrow" Shrub's multiple "commma" references) by bloody tragedy and epic squandering of resources.

The flip side, of course, is Shrub's decision to publicly shred the US Constitution while simultaneously proffering some epic lies of his own. Funny how HIS over-the-top rhetoric mirrors that of Al Qaeda: it's like they're locked into a mutual death spiral...

Except it's all of us who end up suffering.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Don't Bogart That Joint...

...unless it's for a medical condition:

Smoking pot may stave off Alzheimer's disease.

New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that marijuana's active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.

THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer's patients, the researchers reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Now, what was it they used to say about pot? Something re: "short term memory?" Hmm...I don't remember, no pun intended.

But chalk up prohibition of MJ--and, for that matter, the drug war--as just another example of the nonsense emanating from Washington. I guess it just adds to the irony that the re-demonization of pot occurred during the Reagan era.
Planet Condi

I see Crooks and Liars posted a video and transcript of Michael Ware discussing the latest "surprise trip" (as if there's any other kind) to Iraq by Secretary of State Rice: could just imagine the umbrella of security that encases someone like the security of state. But i mean going to from the airport which is its own self-contained little bubble. To the green zone which is the ultimate bubble here in Iraq, i mean, U.S. Officials and contractors and all manner of people will come into six to 12 months in Iraq. But never leave the green zone. They don't know even what it's like to walk an Iraqi street. Certainly not without the shroud of heavily-armed American soldiers about them. They don't know what it's like to go to someone's home and sit and talk with them. To shop in the markets. To have blackouts. To not have water. To have the cure for benzene. Secretary rice is so far from that reality that she couldn't possibly hope to understand it. Certainly not from fleeting visits to an artificial bubble like the green zone, Wolf?

Sounds like we're winning, no?

The Times notes additional "victory" fireworks:

Ms. Rice’s visit is her first in about six months and at times reflected reminders of the tense security situation in the country.

The landing of her C-17 airplane was delayed for more than half an hour because mortars went off in the vicinity of the airport. Later, she flew into the city from the airport by helicopter, wearing a helmet and flak vest.

I wonder if there's a place for her to go shoe shopping in the Green Zone...


Oh, and mostly unrelated, but another link from WIIIAI to the latest Get Your War On...definitely check it out, but here's a sample:

Too bad the writ of habeas corpus wasn't written in 1990! Because then it would be sixteen years old, and people would be scandalized when politicians started fucking with it.
Yea, Verily

From WIIIAI, a link to The Republican Senators' Psalm (this includes Joe Lieberman):

George Bush is my decider, I shall not think.
He maketh others' children to lie down in arid deserts;
He ignoreth those in peril from the raising waters;
He destroyeth my soul;
He leadeth me in the paths of unrighteousness for his own sake.

Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadows of morality & honesty,
I will acknowledge no truths: For thou art the decider.
Thy Cheney & thy Rove, they giveth me talking points;
Thou preparest a water board before me to torture thine enemies;
Thou fillest my head with fables, yet my oil stock dividends overfloweth;

Surely irrational exuberance & corruption shall be mine all the days of my life
And I shall live in fantasy land until I am defeated by a democrat.

Ed Hamlin
Danbury CT
October 1, 2006
Rest in Peace

I forget how young I was when I first remember seeing the unforgettable image of Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising gloved wasn't when it happened in was probably shortly thereafter, and most definitely made an impression on an impressionable kid.

Smith and Carlos are both fine, but the third person in the picture--Australian sprinter Peter Norman--died two days ago. I had no idea he was also a participant in the action:

Norman ran the race of his life to claim the silver medal in the 200 metres at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in 20.06 seconds, a time that still stands as the Australian record.

But it was his support of the black power protest by US runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the medal dais that cemented his place in sporting history.

Smith and Carlos, barefooted and each wearing a single black glove, bowed their heads in silent protest at racial discrimination in the United States while the Star Spangled Banner was being played.

Norman, who was a Salvation Army Officer, was one of the few people who knew in advance what Smith and Carlos planned to do.

In support of their protest he wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge.

It was also Norman's suggestion that Smith and Carlos wear one glove apiece after Carlos forgot to bring his gloves to the podium.

The two Americans were sent home in disgrace the following day by the US Olympic Committee under pressure from the International Olympic Committee.

Many Americans were harshly critical of the protest, misinterpreting it as being supportive of the Black Panthers.

Norman was cautioned by Australian team chef de mission Judy Patching, but was allowed to remain with the team in Mexico City.

"I believe in civil rights, every man is born equal and should be treated that way," he said.
Enablers of a (Rotund) Feather...

From Bob Harris--that's Cardinal Bernard Law on the left.
The Old Statue of Liberty: Soooo Pre-9/11
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I'm sure this is just a "regrettable but necessary measure" in light of the "terrorist" (sic)...besides, isn't the new statue much more doubleplusgood?

Mr. Howards, 54, said at a news conference here that he was taking his 8-year-old son to a piano lesson on June 16 at the Beaver Creek Resort about two hours west of Denver when he saw Mr. Cheney at an outdoor mall. Mr. Howards said he approached within two feet of Mr. Cheney and said in a calm voice, “I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible,” or as the lawsuit itself describes the encounter, “words to that effect.”

Mr. Howards said he then went on his way. About 10 minutes later, he said, he was walking back through the area when Agent Reichle handcuffed him and said he would be charged with assaulting the vice president. Local police officers, acting on information from the Secret Service, according to the suit, ultimately filed misdemeanor harassment charges that could have resulted in up to a year in jail.

Oh, and don't worry: the new statue won't be going on any quail hunting trips.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Administration of Fools
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Dan Froomkin on the daddy administration the war preznut the anti-terror admin...--ah, the hell with it: the clown show, and the ever more ridiculous shrillness of the Shrub:

President Bush is careening around the country, feverishly campaigning for Republican congressional candidates and unleashing highly provocative accusations against his Democratic critics.

But nobody really cares...

On top of that, the public doesn't trust him. A fresh round of polls shows that most Americans think Bush has been intentionally misleading about the progress in Iraq, they oppose his war there, and they don't think it's making them safer. His approval rating is back down to a dismal 39 percent.

And establishment Washington has finally and conclusively written him off as being in a state of denial.

Read the whole thing: the lies and bullshit emanating from the cabal could double the size of the Fresh Kills landfill--and, as Froomkin notes at the end of his op-ed, MoDo detects the rotting stench of the undead Dick--Nixon, that is--wafting forth, making for a particularly noxious/toxic ambience...worse than Red Stick after the DEQ closes for the day:

"It's been clear for years that Dick Cheney and Rummy have been using the Bush presidency like an elaborate vanity production to replay Watergate and Vietnam, and to try to reverse things that bothered them during prior stints in the Nixon and Ford administrations. . . .

"The vice president has been diabolically successful in exploiting 9/11 to restore the Imperial Presidency to where it was before Congress and the public became such Nosy Parkers after Watergate. Mr. Cheney and Rummy have been less successful in their attempt to exorcise the post-Vietnam American skittishness about using force; their abysmal misadventure in Iraq has only reinforced it."

And here's Shrub himself, channeling Tricky Dick's zombie corpse:

Said Bush: "We just have a fundamental difference, and it's a key difference for all Americans to look at and listen to. During the debate on the Senate floor, one senior Democrat, their ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, compared the brave Americans who question the terrorists to the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. I believe this exposes a dangerous mind-set on the part of Democrats in the United States Congress. You can't defend America if you can't tell the difference between brave CIA officers who protect their fellow citizens and brutal dictators who kill their citizens. (Applause.)

"I'm not making any of this up. (Laughter.)"

Ah, but of course, Bush was making it up. Here is what Senator Patrick Leahy actually said on September 28, and it's not really that funny.

"Imagine you are a law-abiding, lawful, permanent resident, and in your spare time you do charitable fundraising for international relief agencies to lend a helping hand in disasters. You send money abroad to those in need. You are selective in the charities you support, but you do not discriminate on the grounds of religion. Then one day there is a knock on your door. The Government thinks that the Muslim charity you sent money to may be funneling money to terrorists and thinks you may be involved. And perhaps an overzealous neighbor who saw a group of Muslims come to your House has reported 'suspicious behavior.' You are brought in for questioning.

"Initially, you are not very worried. After all, this is America. You are innocent, and you have faith in American justice. You know your rights, and you say: I would like to talk to a lawyer. But no lawyer comes. Once again, since you know your rights, you refuse to answer any further questions. Then the interrogators get angry. Then comes solitary confinement, then fierce dogs, then freezing cold that induces hypothermia, then waterboarding, then threats of being sent to a country where you know you will be tortured, then Guantanamo. And then nothing, for years, for decades, for the rest of your life.

"That may sound like an experience from some oppressive and authoritarian regime, something that may have happened under the Taliban, something that Saddam Hussein might have ordered or something out of Kafka. There is a reason why that does not and cannot happen in America. It is because we have a protection called habeas corpus, or if you do not like the Latin phrase by which it has been known throughout our history, call it access to the independent Federal courts to review the authority and the legality by which the Government has taken and is holding someone in custody. It is a fundamental protection. It is woven into the fabric of our Nation."

But not any more, of course.

Well, again I hope--for the sake of the country--that the public realizes that the stench is getting so bad that a Katrina Fridge smells like roses in comparison. It's obvious they've long since lost any sense of shame or decency.
Team Bush's Yugo of a Foreign Policy

I remember reading at the Car Talk website some comments about the Yugo, which managed to "win" the "Worst Car of the Millenium" award. Here's one:

" had heated rear windows--so your hands would stay warm while you pushed."

And that's pretty much where we are vis-a-vis Operation Enduring Clusterfuck: the administration keeps insisting that hey, we've got a nicely heated rear window, while the rest of us in the reality based world can't help but notice that the damn thing no longer runs, and requires ever more pushing (in the form of wasted lives/wasted tax dollars) up an ever steeper incline.

Oh--and the "heated" rear window isn't...not since the engine died.

Ok, maybe it's not a perfect analogy, but after reading these editorials from Yahoo News/USA Today--one based in reality, the other (by Stephen J. Hadley) firmly in the head in sand/up backside mode...and a news story about the latest element of tragic absurdity--yet another report about how our erstwhile Iraqi "allies" are actually insurgents taking advantage of our ignorance to obtain free training AND operating intel, I can't help but think that, if foreign policy was an internal combustion vehicle (work with me here), then Team Bush foreign policy could ONLY be the "worst car of the millenium." And the vote isn't all that close.

Now, to use a term I don't really like, but one that's part of the lexicon, let's "fisk" Hadley's pathetic little op-ed:

After our nation was attacked on 9/11, President Bush made clear that America had a choice — to root out the terrorists, or wait to be attacked again. He decided that to protect the American people, our nation must go on the offense and destroy the terror networks.

Actually, the evidence is beginning to show pretty clearly that one, the administration was pretty much in head up backside mode until 9/11, the Rice dismissal of Richard Clarke, Cofer Black, and George Tenet just one more of THAT particular series of dots to connect (the other series of dots being the ever mounting evidence that the administration ignored what amounted to everything short of a time and date for Al Qaeda's, yes, unbelievably vicious and ugly attack. But, just as you don't reward a night watchman for falling asleep on the job, neither should you proffer a blank check to an administration that took eight months...and one disastrous finally understand what they'd been told by the outgoing Clinton administration officials).

The president has chosen a difficult path, and he has been honest with the American people about the challenges. He has said the enemy we face is determined and ruthless. He has been blunt about intelligence failures and stains on our national honor such as the Abu Ghraib facility in Iraq. He has highlighted the courage of our men and women in uniform who have served — and sacrificed — for freedom. He has called this war a long struggle, and a generational conflict.

Huh? Honest? No, Mr. Hadley, that's the one thing the administration HASN'T been--and that's rather easy to demonstrate, using their own words (e.g., look for press releases/announcements from 2002 and 2003. Rummy's on the record commenting on the relative ease in conquering Iraq (well, sure--for HIM--it's not like he's gonna get shot at). Big Time lied about Iraq's nuclear program, lied or was horribly ignorant in understanding the opinions of Iraqis vis-a-vis our soldiers (see the same link--"liberators"), and was the same re: "last throes."

Wolfowitz lowballed the cost of invasion by an enormous factor (as did other administration officials), and Dick Perle--in a profoundly stupid moment even by his standards--suggested that by 2004 "some grand square in Baghdad" would be named after George W. Bush.

As for Abu Ghraib and our "national honor," hmmm...we've just had a long debate, spurred by this administration--that culminated in the sanctioning of TORTURE, Mr. Hadley. National honor? More like National Shame.

Our strategy is far from "stay the course." The president continually challenges all of us to learn from experience, adapt to change and improve our performance. In Iraq, we have modified our approach to training the Iraqi army so Iraqi soldiers can be more effective in defeating terrorists and insurgents. We have redoubled our efforts to train Iraqi police so that they can earn the confidence of all the Iraqi people. We have sought new approaches to reconstruction and economic development.

A quick search for "stay the course" re: Iraq by the Bush administration returns over 12 million hits. Enough said. As for "training police," Mr. Hadley, see the story above--here's the lede:

Iraqi authorities have taken a brigade of up to 700 policemen out of service and put members under investigation for "possible complicity" with death squads following a mass kidnapping earlier this week, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

You know, it'd be, to cite Joe Pesci's character in Goodfellas, "funny like...a clown," if it wasn't so tragically deadly on a day to day basis, and such an unmitigated disaster for the country on both a tactical and strategic level: a disaster that creeps like Hadley haven't so much as apologized for, much less tried to correct. No, they're too busy obfuscating or lining their damn pockets with the filthy lucre of war profiteering to so much as care about their nation. Nice work, shitheads.

Yet our objective has not changed. We will fight alongside the Iraqi people to win this war. We will refuse to surrender to the terrorists who view Iraq as the central front in their war against their fellow Muslims and the entire free world. We are determined to deny them a platform from which to launch attacks on America and our allies.

Which Iraqi people? The ones who, ahem, are a little busy because they're FIGHTING US? Or their base of support, which turns out to be a majority of Iraqis?

Talk about denying reality: the truth is that right now the United States has virtually zero bargaining power in Mesopotamia, and all warring factions know that. Our rather precarious position doesn't allow for the support of one faction or another, the fact that we're ultimetly outsiders in a highly insular region further limits our options, and there's ample, on-the-ground PROOF that we're unable to maintain a modest degree of order, much less protect any "ally." That's neither a winning strategery, nor an enticement to the Iraqis for anything beyond, well, insurgents taking advantage of free training and operating intelligence...the flip side of this is the ever increasing reliance of the US military on gang members and skinheads to fill out the ranks--they're taking advantage of the training, too. That's not a war on terror--that's a clusterfuck.

The president has said this war will not be dictated by domestic politics. A drawdown of our troops in Iraq right before U.S. elections in November would be the politically expedient thing to do. But our military commanders believe it would be the wrong thing to do. Based on their advice, we have actually increased our troops in Iraq.

The president will continue to speak directly and candidly to the American people — about this war, about the enemy we face, and about why we can and must see this war through to victory.

The war, Mr. Hadley, has sadly been dictacted--no pun intended--from the get-go by domestic political considerations, from the timing of the war resolution--right before the 2002 elections--to the timing of the invasion--in time to film cod-pieced "Mission Accomplished" moments for a martial-themed 2004 campaign...which turned instead to Plan B--play seesaw with the terror code--when "Mission Accomplished" didn't turn out according to plan--to the current considerations, stalling, playing for time, and otherwise holding off on admitting the scale of the disaster until AFTER the elections (and maybe even longer still, provided they can keep the sheep-like media from bleating too loudly).

No, Mr. Hadley, this whole sorry operation has been dictated (actually, a good choice of word) by politics. If Mr. Bush or his administration truly had the "interests of the American people" at heart, they would NOT have invaded Iraq, and indeed, would've seen the necessity of not invading. Like it or not, Saddam, thug that he was/is, was NOT a terrorist, and he had no love for Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda was a threat to his regime. And the Bush administration knew this. As awful as Saddam was/is, the administration could have and should have used his enmity towards Islamic fundamentalism to isolate the latter even further, while keeping the former as boxed in as he was prior to 2003 (recall that the Kurdish region was de facto independent, there were "no fly" zones in both the south and north, that US planes routinely launched airstrikes--which perhaps could have been curtailed as a sop to Hussein for cooperation--and that Iraq had crumbled apart from the inside-out, thanks to extremely harsh sanctions, again, a bargaining chip we had that could well have ensured cooperation from the regime as we fought the REAL enemy.

And, finally recall that Iraq was ready to offer some serious, wholesale concessions prior to the beginning of the war in 2003. Concessions that the Bush administration haughtily dismissed in favor of "Shock and Awe."

Well, Shock and Awe certainly did nothing of the sort--and Rummy's idiot plan ensured a more than ample supply of weapons will be available to the insurgency--for years, if not decades, to come.

So, Mr. Hadley, maybe you enjoy the administration Kool-Aid to the extent that you've got an equal supply stashed in your office. And maybe it doesn't much bother you when yet another American (originally from Baton Rouge) is killed while you look at "the big picture" (translation: how much longer can you keep it swept under the rug?)'s pretty obvious that you don't really much care for the Iraqi casualties--hell, you probably don't even lose any sleep.

But don't think you can fool everyone with your pathetic little op-ed. As it turns out, you couldn't even fool the people who published it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Compost Heap

The GOP version of recycling has quite the stench, but no net benefit. You've got the tired lies harkening back to the days of Bill Clinton, courtesy of Sean Hannity, who didn't do his research--or just plain lied--when he insisted that Monica Lewinsky was a teenager when she and BC had their fling (she was 22). You've got the "but what about Gerry Studds" chorus...perhaps further proof that the wingnuts really DO have problems handling the passage of time...then you've got Pat Buchanan rehashing the same "but they're social deviants" theme used to stigmatize and ostracize African-Americans in a different era--thus exposing Buchanan's inner racist AND homophobe.

Tony Perkins opts for the "social deviance" argument, too.

Well, I suppose there might be some truth to Barnum's Law, but I still--maybe like a smaller version of Dr. Rieux--continue to hope (maybe against all hope) that the public will awaken...hey, wait a minute--the public IS awake, as polls demonstrate an understanding that the war in Iraq is absurd...maybe the public will also understand that likening pederasty to consensual sex between adults--straight or gay/lesbian--is as ridiculous as arguing that race is a determinant of "social deviancy."

The ones who MAKE that argument are sick--very sick.

(note: the link to Countdown and Hardball are from watching the end of the latter, and all of the former--the transcript is obviously not out yet, and might not include the Hannity remarks--they may allude to a "video montage" or something like that. The Buchanan remarks, though, should be in the transcript itself).
Like a Cheap Suit...

...coming apart at the seams.

Bob Woodward notes that Iraq is becoming like "Mad Max,", well, except for the fact that the movie wasn't as violent...and the violence itself was, of course, merely special effects...

And, to cite another movie, insurgents in Iraq

...had injected themselves with lidocaine, Novocain or adrenaline, allowing them to fight even after receiving mortal wounds, a spectacle the Marines called the "Night of the Living Dead."

And I guess everyone's heard that Rummy actually managed to, pun intended, accomplish something: he evidently had the words 'Mission Accomplished' scrubbed from Shrub's little post-flight speech delivered from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. I guess hubris has SOME limits.

It'll be interesting to see just how far these assclowns fall before we hear the gigantic "thud."

Add gay bashing to lying, pederasty, stupidity, foolishness...and the usual sins when describing your modern GOP:

Ben Stein, American Spectator:

On the one hand, we have a poor misguided Republican man who had a romantic thing for young boys. He sent them suggestive e-mail. I agree, that’s not great. … I hope it won’t come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys. [Link]

Linda Harvey, WorldNetDaily:

Open or suspected homosexuals should never be elected. The problem with homosexuals is that they frequently don’t have common sense and don’t acknowledge appropriate boundaries. Weird sex, public displays of “affection” and nudity, and sex with youth are built into the “gay” sub-culture.

Jonah Goldberg, National Review:

The funny thing is that you would think the left — particularly the gay left — would be a bit more interested in not having 16 and 17 year old teenagers classified as young children for legal/sexual/political purposes. If that were the case, then a whole lot of dirty old men would need to be prosecuted for felonies when they pick up street hustlers. [Link]

Wall Street Journal, editorial:

But in today’s politically correct culture, it’s easy to understand how senior Republicans might well have decided they had no grounds to doubt Mr. Foley merely because he was gay and a little too friendly in emails. Some of those liberals now shouting the loudest for Mr. Hastert’s head are the same voices who tell us that the larger society must be tolerant of private lifestyle choices, and certainly must never leap to conclusions about gay men and young boys. [Link]

Tammy Bruce, political analyst:

All I want, frankly, is a gay person in office who is not a sexual compulsive. I mean, is that too much to ask for? [Fox News]

Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy In Meda:

In fact, the entire scandal might have been avoided if Foley’s homosexuality had been exposed and confronted, rather than protected, over the last several years. [Link]

The link to Oyster has the reaction of Gret Stet midget Tony Perkins:

"[House Leaders were] fearful of being seen as 'gay-bashing'..."

Looks like they managed to overcome their "fear" in a hurry, and commence an all-out assault of ugly, savage insults directed towards the gay and lesbian community.

But that's not all too surprising: the only tool (no pun intended) in the Groping Old Pervert party is, well, fear. And the leadership, including Ken Mehlman, assumes it works like a heat seeking missile (again, no pun intended) when directed towards the base (pun intended this time). So, why not give it a shot, especially when the media will suck it up, hook, line, sinker, rod and reel?

And there's always Plan B--it's an election year "conspiracy"--to sell to the mouth breathers.
The Bubble Brigade
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Another day, an another example--make that exampleS--of the wafer-thin veneer of Bushworld in full crumble mode:

There's BubbleCondi and her faulty memory.

Bubble Denny, aka Bishop Perv Enabler, is suffering from the same affliction.

Bubble Bill Frist was for the Taliban before he was against them...or maybe he was against them before he was for them...I dunno--maybe the Taliban like killing kittens, too.

Bubble Big Time's off campaigning--as is BubbleShrub, the boy-idiot in chief.

BubbleRummy is likely cheating at squash while ignoring the damning evidence compiled by Booby.

And--while they're all off in their little bubble worlds, the mess they've made continues to get worse:

At least 33 people died in violence around Iraq, including a suicide attack on a fish market in Baghdad that killed three people and wounded 19. A bomber detonated a belt rigged with explosives in the outdoor market in the primarily Sunni area of Sadiyah in southwestern Baghdad, police Lt. Maitham Abdul Razzaq said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. command announced the deaths of nine soldiers and two Marines in recent days.

Four of the soldiers were killed in Baghdad on Monday in separate small-arms fire attacks, the military said. Another four were killed the same day in a roadside bomb attack on their patrol northwest of Baghdad.

The ninth died Sunday when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb west of the capital.

Reality--not a bubble.

Monday, October 02, 2006

But It Said "All You Can Eat..."

Busy day here--apologies. Then again, there's not much else I can add to the clown show...except perhaps a picture of Fat Denny personally exceeding the load capacity for what I'm sure is his favorite SUV.

And if you think that's a load, just wait till they start rummaging through the GOP (stands for "Groping Old Perverts") closets...
Full Speed Ahead!

Whatever your metaphor of choice: driving off a cliff, train wreck, badly listing to port or starboard, etc., it's both surreal and instructive to watch the latest measures of undiluted reality slam full force into Bushworld. Mark Foley's evidently been doing his best impersonation of a Catholic priest, Denny Hastert and John Boehner have opted for the roles of monseignor and bishop (minus the shuffling of Foley from parish to parish and quiet monetary settlements)...Shrub seems more and more delusional, evidently justifying support from the White House pooch (and the First Lady) as the only necessary conditions for maintaining the failed war in Iraq (hmmm...I recall another individual relying on a canine once upon a time). Big Time's ON THE RECORD saying that he takes advice from Herr Kissinger, who managed to fuck up in Southeast Asia, Angola, AND Chile, most notably.

And this is just from the past weekend.

More amazing still is how the national press is so blasè about it all. Yep, Iraq is FUBAR'ed, Foley's a perv, Henry "I-must-watch-where-I-travel-lest-I-find-myself-detained/indicted-for-war-crimes" Kissinger has the ear of an administration that's ever more in denial about Iraq...and speaking of denial, Secretary Rice has a case of both that and the "I-have-no-specific-recollection" when it comes to a meeting...that tried to shake her and the administration up about a possible Al Qaeda attack three months prior Al Qaeda attack.

Yeah, this administration sure did "change the tone" in Washington. But in doing so, they ended up with a remarkably familiar tune--one instantly recognizable from Watergate and/or Iraq-Contra: no "specific recollections," "failed memory/recall," if the Democrats manage to take control of Congress, perhaps a headlong dash to the 5th Amendment (provided it hasn't been gutted).

But, then again, what did anyone expect from an administration headed (at least nominally) by a businessman only notable for his family connections...and his failures?