Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Bush Reverses Himself, Says War on Terror Can Be Won

Bush Reverses Himself, Says War on Terror Can Be Won: "NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - One day after saying the war on terror could not be won, President Bush sought on Tuesday to calm a political storm over his comments and said America would prevail. On the second day of the Republican convention, Bush found himself on the defensive as the campaign of his Democratic challenger, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, took aim at the president's comments to a television interviewer suggesting the war on terror was not winnable.

In the interview broadcast on NBC's 'Today' show on Monday, Bush was asked if the war on terrorism would ever be won.

'I don't think you can win it,' he replied. 'But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.'"


I guess it all depends on what your definition of "it" is.

McCain: President deserves our support, admiration - Aug 30, 2004

CNN.com - McCain: President deserves our support, admiration - Aug 30, 2004: "I knew my confidence was well placed when I watched him stand on the rubble of the World Trade Center with his arm around a hero of September 11 and in our moment of mourning and anger, strengthen our unity and our resolve by promising to right this terrible wrong, and to stand up and fight for the values we hold dear." -Senator John McCain, speaking before the Republican National Convention

How can that wrong be "made right"? The lives that were lost on September 11 cannot be restored. Does the taking of lives in Iraq somehow even the score in McCain's mind? In Americans' minds? If that's the level to which Bush has reduced the US, he is deserving of neither admiration nor support.

Giuliani: 'Thank God that George Bush is our president' - Aug 31, 2004

CNN.com - Giuliani: 'Thank God that George Bush is our president' - Aug 31, 2004: "When it catches hold, there is nothing more powerful than freedom. Give it some hope, and it will overwhelm dictators and even defeat terrorists. That is what we've done and must continue to do in Iraq. That's what the Republican Party, our party, does best, when we're at our best. We extend freedom, and it's our mission. It's the long-term answer to ending global terrorism." -Rudi Giuliani, speaking before the Republican National Convention

So why is his party taking away freedoms in the US in its effort to combat terrorism?

Monday, August 30, 2004

Screencaps From TV Coverage Of Bush Protest March

Protest_2004aug29

Saturday, August 28, 2004

FBI Probes Pentagon Spy Case

CBS News | FBI Probes Pentagon Spy Case | August 28, 2004�13:59:54: "CBS News has learned that the FBI has a full-fledged espionage investigation under way and is about to -- in FBI terminology -- 'roll up' someone agents believe has been spying not for an enemy, but for Israel from within the office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.

CBS sources say that last year the suspected spy, described as a trusted analyst at the Pentagon, turned over a presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran while it was, 'in the draft phase when U.S. policy-makers were still debating the policy.'

This put the Israelis, according to one source, 'inside the decision-making loop' so they could 'try to influence the outcome.'

The case raises another concern among investigators: Did Israel also use the analyst to try to influence U.S. policy on the war in Iraq?

With ties to top Pentagon officials Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the analyst was assigned to a unit within the Defense Department tasked with helping develop the Pentagon's Iraq policy."


This seems absurd -- does Israel need a spy in order to influence Wolfowitz or Feith on any kind of mideast policy?

Friday, August 27, 2004

Bush Admits Iraq 'Miscalculations' in Times Interview

Politics News Article | Reuters.com: "In an interview published on Friday in USA Today, Bush said that Americans will re-elect him to a second term even if they disagree with his decision to invade Iraq.

Bush said voters 'know who I am and I believe they're comfortable with the fact that they know I'm not going to shift principles or shift positions based upon polls and focus groups.'"


He's not?

"Time is running out on Saddam Hussein. He must disarm. I'm sick and tired of the games and deception. And that's my view of timetables." -George W. Bush, 2003-Jan-14, on the necessity of forcefully disarming Iraq

"I don't think you give timelines to dictators and tyrants. I think it's important for us to continue to lead coalitions that are firm and strong." -George W. Bush, 2004-Aug-26, on the necessity of forcefully disarming Iran and North Korea

Perhaps voters will take comfort from the knowledge that Bush is perfectly able to shift positions without any need to consult polls and focus groups.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Goss backed bill to slash intelligence

President Bush's nominee to be the director of central intelligence, Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), sponsored legislation that would have cut intelligence. Goss, who has been chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for the past eight years, was one of six original co-sponsors of legislation in 1995 that called for cuts of at least 4 percent per year between 1996 and 2000 in the total number of people employed throughout the intelligence community. The Bush reelection campaign has been blasting Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry as deeply irresponsible for proposing intelligence cuts at the same time. A Bush campaign ad released on Aug. 13 carried a headline: "John Kerry . . . proposed slashing Intelligence Budget 6 Billion Dollars." But the cuts Goss supported are larger than those proposed by Kerry and specifically targeted the "human intelligence" that has recently been found lacking. The recent report by the commission probing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks called for more spending on human intelligence.

I find this incredible. Why wasn't this story carried by the major news networks?
This is from a Washington Post article from Aug 24, 2004

Sunday, August 22, 2004

allnewschat

hi ho everybody! finally got here......very political!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Bush Concerned Prescription Drugs From Canada are Unsafe

U.S. Newswire : Bush Concerned Prescription Drugs From Canada are Unsafe : "Bush Says He's Concerned Prescription Drugs From Canada are Unsafe. 'What I don't want to do is be the president that says we'll allow for importation, and all of a sudden drugs that are manufactured somewhere else come in over the Internet and it begins to harm our citizens... I'm looking at this...There's a lot of pressure in Congress for importation.' (Associated Press, 8/19/04)"

"Dear Canadian pharmacy: please email me some Prozac as soon as possible"

Republican Congressman Says Iraq War Was Mistake

Republican Congressman Says Iraq War Was Mistake: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Breaking ranks with the White House and his Republican leaders in Congress, Rep. Doug Bereuter of Nebraska has said in a letter to constituents the U.S. military action in Iraq was a mistake.

The Iraq war was a 'costly mess' with no quick way out, wrote Bereuter, vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a senior member of the House International Relations Committee.

'I've reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action especially without a broad and engaged international coalition,' he said in the letter dated Aug. 6."


Note that Bereuter is leaving Congress and he's not running for any office, so (unlike Bush & Kerry, and most Congressional seat-holders) he doesn't need to defend a previous position in favor of military action or military authority; he's free to say "this was a mistake". Refreshing, no?

Also, one might think, as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, he ought to know if there is some terrible secret regarding the threat Iraq posed. Apparently, there is none.

Probe of General's Remarks on Terrorism and Religion Finds Violations of Pentagon Rules

Probe of General's Remarks on Terrorism and Religion Finds Violations of Pentagon Rules - from TBO.com: "WASHINGTON (AP) - A Pentagon investigation has concluded that a senior military intelligence officer violated regulations by failing to make clear he was not speaking in an official capacity when he made church speeches casting the war on terrorism in religious terms, a senior defense official said Thursday.

In most instances the officer, Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, was wearing his Army uniform.

The probe by the Defense Department's deputy inspector general also found that Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, violated Pentagon rules by failing to obtain advance clearance for his remarks, which gained wide publicity last fall.

In one appearance, Boykin told a religious group in Oregon that Islamic extremists hate the United States 'because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christians. ... And the enemy is a guy named Satan,' according to news reports last fall."


Can't he just say the devil made him do it?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Iraq Evicts Reporters From Najaf

Iraq Evicts Reporters From Najaf: "BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi police ordered all journalists to leave the holy city of Najaf on Sunday, just as a new U.S. offensive against militants hiding out in a revered shrine began.

  Four police cars surrounded a hotel in the city where journalists were staying and presented the order signed by Najaf's police chief, Brig. Ghalib al-Jazaari.

  It did not spell out a punishment for those who did not comply, but police who delivered the order said any reporters remaining would be arrested, according to journalists at the hotel. The police said any cameras and cellular phones they saw would be confiscated. In response to the threat, many journalists left the city."


Hmmm... "establish freedom of the press" must be a bit down from "remove Saddam from power" on the Iraq to-do list?

HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?

I have chosen this topic for my first post because I believe this very important issue has fallen "below the radar" and that must not be allowed to happen! I apologize, in advance, to those who may take offense to this post but I firmly believe those what are responsible for these crimes must be held to account!

Here are some links to what I, among others, believe show that serious international crimes were committed that are in contravention of the Geneva Conventions:

Conspiracy to Commit War Crimes

Nicholas F. Benton's White House Report
Culpability for Prison Abuse Goes Right to Oval Office
http://www.fcnp.com/410/whitehouse.htm ( Falls Church News-Press)

General Granted Latitude At Prison
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35612-2004Jun11.html

General Is Said To Have Urged Use of Dogs
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55703-2004May25.html


Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
Adopted on 12 August 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of
International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War, held in Geneva
from 21 April to 12 August, 1949
entry into force 21 October 1950
http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/92.htm

Guantanamo List Details Approved Interrogation Methods
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29742-2004Jun9.html

Letter sent to the United States Congress regarding recent human rights issues in Iraq
http://www.iraq-letter.com/
(Please read the signatories to the letter, the list is incredible!)


Details of Prison Abuse Emerge
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43783-2004May20.html

Knowledge of Abusive Tactics May Go Higher
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29988-2004May15.html

Memos Reveal War Crimes Warnings
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4999734/

PDF of Torture Memo
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5166951/site/newsweek

Powell's Memo in Response to the above Memo
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4999363/

The Abu Ghraib Scandal Cover-Up?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5092776/site/newsweek/

Abuse scandal ‘terrible’ for U.S., Powell concedes
Administration denies reports it promoted tough questioning of prisoners
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4855930

Alberto Gonzales Memo re Treatment of Prisoners
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4999148/

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Where Was Rumsfeld on Sept. 11?

Rumsfeld and Bush Failed Us on Sept. 11: "Rumsfeld and Bush Failed Us on Sept. 11" by Gail Sheehy
  Donald Rumsfeld, one of the chief opponents of investing real power over purse and personnel in a new national intelligence chief, told the 9/11 commission that an intelligence czar would do the nation 'a great disservice.' It is fair to ask what kind of service Rumsfeld provided on the day the nation was under catastrophic attack.
  'Two planes hitting the twin towers did not rise to the level of Rumsfeld's leaving his office and going to the War Room? How can that be?' asked Mindy Kleinberg, one of the widows known as the Jersey Girls, whose efforts helped create and guide the 9/11 commission. The fact that the final report failed to offer an explanation is one of the infuriating holes in an otherwise praiseworthy accounting."
  Rumsfeld's testimony before the commission last March was bizarre. Asked point-blank by Commissioner Jamie Gorelick what he had done to protect the nation — or even the Pentagon — during the "summer of threat" preceding the attacks, Rumsfeld replied simply that "it was a law enforcement issue." That obfuscation — was the FBI expected to be out on the Beltway with shoulder-launched missiles? — has been accepted at face value by the commission and media.
  Rumsfeld is in charge of NORAD, which has the specific mission of protecting the United States and Canada by responding to any form of air attack. The official chain of command in the event of a hijacking calls for the president to empower the secretary of Defense to send up a military escort and, if necessary, give shoot-down orders.


Yes, investigating and prosecuting those who are engaged in illegal activities are "law enforcement" issues.

Responding to air attacks and hijackings are not "law enforcement" issues. Activating NORAD is the Defense Secretary's responsibility, and his alone.

This is the administration claiming superior ability to "defend America"?

Friday, August 13, 2004

Will Ferrell video

The Will Ferrell video: http://whitehousewest.com/

Thursday, August 12, 2004

New York Lockdown

New York Lockdown: "While anti-Bush activists in New York are adopting new techniques to try and disrupt the Republican party convention later this month, the police have got some new strategies of their own

by Michelle Goldberg


If you're a delegate attending the Republican national convention at Madison Square Garden later this month, Jamie Moran knows where you're staying. He knows where you're eating and what Broadway musical you plan on seeing. For the past nine months, Moran has been living off savings earned as an office manager at a nonprofit and working full-time to disrupt the RNC."


I wonder how much of these protests will be covered in the "mainstream" media?

Yes, Complete the Mission -- But What Is It?

Bush Raps Kerry on Iraq Troop Reduction (washingtonpost.com): "ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - President Bush on Wednesday pushed back against John Kerry's criticism of his handling of Iraq, saying, 'I know what I'm doing when it comes to winning this war.' Bush used an re-election rally to sharply reject Kerry's proposal to begin to withdraw troops from Iraq within six months of taking office.

'We all want the mission to be completed as quickly as possible. But we want the mission completed,' the president said. 'The mission is not going to be completed as quickly as possible if the enemy thinks we will be removing a substantial number of troops in six months.'"


As of early August 2004, 87% of the Iraq war "coalition" are US troops; 88% of the Iraq war "coalition" deaths are US deaths. If United States' mission was to form a coalition representative of broad international support, the Bush administration's diplomatic strategy has sabotaged that mission at every juncture. Bush's insistence on going it alone has allowed him largely to set his own course with regard to Iraq, but at the cost of perceived legitimacy both in the eyes of the world and among his own citizenry.

If the mission was to promote democracy in the Middle East, does the United Sates think that the overthrow of the government of a sovereign nation by military means -- counter to the will of the relevant international authority, as expressed in a UN Security Council vote -- is the best way to demonstrate democracy in action?

If the mission is to integrate Iraq's factions and sects to form a stable, cohesive whole -- a nation at peace with itself, among its neighbors, and in the world -- is the US President well-advised to refer to those Iraqis whom Iraq's new government most desperately needs to bring within its fold as "the enemy"?

To the extent the elements of the Iraq resistance derive their impetus from a common resentment of US troop presence, perhaps the sooner the US troops are removed, the more quickly this mission, whatever it is, will be completed.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Coalition Of the More-Or-Less Willing?

CNN.com - Franks takes blame for 'mission accomplished' - Aug 9, 2004
  WASHINGTON (AP) -- Retired Gen. Tommy Franks tried to take the blame Monday for President Bush's much-criticized comments declaring an end to major combat in Iraq more than a year ago.
  "I wanted to get the phase of military operation over as quickly as I could, because a lot of countries on this planet had said as soon as that major stuff is over, we'll come in and help with all of the peacekeeping," Franks said.
  Franks noted that the Bush administration has had limited success persuading other nations to participate in Iraq. Of some 160,000 foreign forces there now, about 140,000 are American.


OK... 87% American, and I imagine, if nothing has drastically changed in the last few months, most of the other 13% are British. This is the "broad international support" that GWB claims for his pet project?

What shoe are you?

Bush Goes After Kerry on Iraq War Admission
  PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - President Bush charged Democrat John Kerry with shifting positions on the Iraq war on Tuesday as he opened a five-day campaign swing with a bus tour through Republican turf in Florida, the bitterly contested state from the 2000 election.
  The Bush campaign has been pressuring Kerry to say whether he would have still voted for the Iraq war given the fact that no weapons of mass destruction have been found. Kerry on Monday said he would have voted to give the president authorization to use force against Iraq "but I would have used that authority effectively."
  Bush and his aides delighted in the response and said it showed further evidence of Kerry flip-flopping from an anti-war stance he held during the Democratic primary last winter.


Had Bush actually read the legislation in question, he might understand that his failure to comply with its requirement that, before resorting to military action, the President exhaust all diplomatic resources at his disposal, and regularly report to Congress on the progress of that diplomatic effort, does not make John Kerry a "flip-flopper" -- it does, however, make George W Bush a "loafer".