Saturday, April 29, 2006

Hastert, Gas Hypocrite

The top picture is House Speaker Dennis Hastert riding in a hydogen fueled vehicle. The second photo is Hastert getting into his personal SUV after the first picture was taken. His ride in the first car was to promote alternative fueled vehicles this past week when some Republican Congress members had a press conference at a gas station in Washington, D.C. The ride in the SUV was a trip of a few blocks back to the Capital Building.

It makes one wonder a few things. Why didn't Hastert just have the hydrogen fueled vehicle continue on to the Capital Building to save a few more bucks? Why is Hastert's regular vehicle an SUV if he really cares so much about alternative fueled vehicles? Why does Hastert drive an SUV with so many better mileaged vehicles that are just gasoline powered and that are not SUVs if he cares about gas consumption?

I Can't help but label Hastert a hypocrite. This guy thinks all of us Americans should be saving fuel via the choice of vehicles we drive, but not him. Mr. SUV Congressman is the type of leader that should be fired. A great leader leads by example. A poor leader, tells how to do it, but doesn't do it themselves. The two pictures above show a poor leader, I wouldn't follow him even though I think alternative fueled vehicles are a good idea. Why? Because I can't trust a poor leader.

Hey, I've got a good idea. How about all politicians start leading by example? Maybe the Hastert's of Washington should be giving up their SUVs and driving gas conserving vehicles, you know, to lead by example.

Bush Press Conference

I watched the Bush press conference yesterday and can't help but wonder why I do. Probably because I can always find something to write about in the blog. Here are several excerpts that are good for a quick opinion.

"I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English," Bush said. "I'm not a supporter of boycotts," he replied to a question concerning the upcoming immigration protest.

First, English is not our national language, we don't have a national language. People will end up learning English because it's the dominant language, but there is no law or Constitutional requirement to be fluent in English. Second, it's no surprise Bush doesn't support boycotts, he doesn't have a progressive bone in his body. Yet, I bet he's boycotted things all his life. Simply choosing not to purchase a product based on how a person views the item or the company that makes it, is a boycott. I'm betting Bush has opted not to buy a product for some personal reason a few times in his life.

Bush said on the subject of oil prices and taxing oil companies, "Look, the temptation in Washington is to tax everything, and they spend the money. They being the people in Washington...." He went on to explain that one of the reasons that gas prices are so high is that there hasn't been any oil refineries built since the 1970's and that Congress needs to relax regulatory controls.

Here we go again with Bush acting like he's an outsider of Washington. He even defines those in Washington as "they" thereby not including himself. Bush spends money, he submits a budget on the spending priorites, he's a they.

Now the second part that bugs me is the spin he puts on oil refineries. The fact is that the oil companies have been CLOSING refineries. They haven't wanted to build any. In fact, that has been a stategic plan, to close refineries in order to cause periodic shortages which in turn cause retail prices to rise and the subsequent profits to increase. This was revealed by an insider memo from one of the oil companies. It has nothing to do with regulations. And Bush knows this, he's from the oil industry, Dick Cheney's from the oil industry.

I should stop watching George Bush talk, but I won't. For me it's sort of like watching a car wreck, it's horrible but you can't turn your head.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bush Still Has Gas

President Bush has made some proposals to attempt to alliviate gas pump prices. With pump prices over $3 per gallon in some parts of the country, Bush said on Tuesday he would boost gasoline supplies by letting regulators relax clean fuels rules temporarily if state governors ask. He said he would free up more crude oil by delaying deliveries into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Bush also called for the repeal of $2 billion in tax breaks for profit-heavy oil companies. He also urged lawmakers to expand tax breaks for the purchase of fuel-efficient hybrid automobiles.

These moves will do little if nothing to bring down the price of gasoline. I can't argue with repealing the tax breaks to the oil companies, why they gave them in the first place was completely asinine. But that won't lower gas prices, it will only minimally cut into their massive profits. Bush relaxing clean air regulations will do nothing except add to pollution. Expanding tax breaks for hybrids is fine with me, but that is a long term solution, not immediate.

If you read experts reactions to Bush's proposals, one thing comes across as uniformly agreed, that crude oil prices are to blame for high gasoline pump prices. No suprise there. Experts blame futures market that are taking into account hot spot supplies such as Iraq, Nigeria and Iran.

With the past weeks bluster about Iran the price of crude oil has risen. In effect the Bush Administrations war talk toward Iran has caused higher crude oil prices. Their threats have only made Iran richer, good move Bushies. It's also made most Americans poorer due to paying higher prices at the pump.

The Bush hardass, public diplomacy toward Iran is failing, costing us more money and enriching Iran. The Bush diplomacy as to Iran is all stick, no carrot. It's long been time the Bushies talk directly to the Iranians and do the tough work of actual negotiations. And that's the basic problem with the Bushies, they avoid the tough road. They just want to publicly bash Iran, playing to American voters rather than dealing directly with a regime they hate. Yet, they finally figured out that they had to deal with North Korea, the hardass tactics didn't work. Now you never hear about North Korea.

It's been no secret that crude oil prices are going to rise in the coming decade. If you've read anything about peak oil production, the reality is that supply is going to increasingly lag behind demand. But these quick jumps in prices are directly tied to Bush foreign policy in the Middle East. We could have crude oil prices rise over the next decade in a slower more uniform way, but not as long as Bush runs things.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bush Has Gas

President Bush mentioned gas prices the other day, but did nothing about them. This of course isn't very surprising considering his long term ties to the oil industry. Here are Bush's comments.
I know the folks here are suffering at the gas pump," the president said while promoting his competitiveness initiative at the Silicon Valley headquarters of Internet networking company Cisco Systems Inc. "Rising gasoline prices is like taking a — is like a tax, particularly on the working people and the small-business people."

But to address the immediate problem, Bush offered only a pledge that "if we find any price gouging it will be dealt with firmly."


I can offer the dumbass some instances of price gouging. Let's start with the retirement package given to Exxon/Mobile executive Lee Raymond of $400 million this past week. Meanwhile all the oil companies have been reporting record profits in consecutive quarters. This of course followed the oil industry subsidies in the billions handed out in the energy bill last year. Now I don't know Bush's definition of price gouging, but these examples are my definition.

Actually I might define this stuff as pure runaway greed, essentially stolen from the consumer. Basically those subsidies were nothing more than a handout to Raymond's retirement plan. Gee I hope Raymond thanks the American taxpayer for his largess, we're helping to pay for it.

If Bush had any balls, he would be yanking these oil executives into the Oval Office and laying down the law (the law of greed), and explaining to them that he could always put forth an idea to Congress that maybe such an important and vital industry to this country could just as well be nationalized. He should be essentially threatening them with taking away their money tree (rather, forest of trees) if they can't change their greedy ways.

Of course Bush would never do anything close to this, because these guys are buddies of his or his friends or buddies of Dick Cheney. At the minimum Bush could ask for those subsidies to be returned to the taxpayer since it's quite apparent they didn't need them. If they haven't used those huge profits for the things that those subsidies were to help, then they can't run a profitable business. But I'm dead wrong, they've figured out that they can have the subsidies and eat the profits too. The American people are stupid, so stupid, for not protesting in the streets about the oil companies.

Everytime you pump that $3.00 gasoline into your cars remember how the oil companies are swimming in cash. And don't forget that the Bush Republicans also handed them billions in free money, our taxes, so you are actually paying even more than the price at the pump. Be sure to send a postcard to the White House and thank the president for helping rip us off.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Scott McLellan Resigns

White House Press Secretary Scott McLellan has resigned today. I can't express my feelings more, he should have resigned back when he told his first lie. He did have a tough job I'll admit. Having to lie for his boss, President Bush, and having to cover-up for all the other liars as well, like Carl Rove.

On Scotty, Bush said today,
"I thought he handled his assignment with class, integrity," the president said. "It's going to be hard to replace Scott, but nevertheless he made the decision and I accepted it. One of these days, he and I are going to be rocking in chairs in Texas and talking about the good old days."

Yeah, reminiscing about all the bullcrap they slung at the American people. I can just imagine it. "Hey, Scottie, do you remember when I had you tell the press that we can't comment about on-going investigations?"

"Yup Dubya, that was a good one, and they bought it too! Can you give me a beer?"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Once a Liar, Always a Beguiler?

Now that it has been firmly established that President Bush and many in his administration are liars, how does one take any future statements from this gang?
At this point they have me perplexed. Should I believe anything they say? Should I assume some statements are truth? Do I pick and choose what is truth and what is falsehood?

For instance, now that all the talk is about a possible war with Iran, should I believe the Bush posse when they discuss the topic. Here are two statements about attacking Iran that makes me wonder what should I believe.

President Bush on reports about bombing Iran, "I read the articles in the newspapers this weekend, it was just wild speculation."

Donald Rumsfeld on the same subject,
"There is obviously concern about Iran. Iran is a country that supports terrorism. It is a country that has indicated" a desire to obtain nuclear technology. "But it is just simply not useful to get into fantasy land."

And then there's Late Night host David Letterman on Bush,
"President Bush is denying that he's planning an airstrike on Iran, so you know what that means: They're planning an airstrike on Iran."

Letterman's joke although funny, sends chills through many of us that also recognize what a liar we have as a president. I hear sound bites like "wild speculation" and "fantasy land," and begin thinking just the opposite, like a Letterman joke. To me when I hear "wild speculation," I think "good guess." When I hear "fantasy land," I wonder "future world?"

It could be Bush and Rumsfeld are trying out new names for the Iran attack, maybe Operation Wild Speculation or Operation Fantasy Land, that of course would be their inside jokes about the bombing plans. The Iran War name for the public would be more like Iranian Freedom or Operation Nuclear Free.

In a strange way, the Bushies have us beguiled. Now that they know that most Americans consider them liars, they can play with us. They can hint one direction and feign to the other way. They can say one thing and be truthful and we would be surprised but unsure if it's the truth. Once a liar, always a liar is an old saw, but it doesnt tell the whole story. Once one is a known liar, truth and fiction can be hard to figure out.

Most of us know liars and we generally just dismiss most of what they say, we are skeptical of everything the person says. But with Bush, he's a president and his words have big effects to all Americans. We can't just dismiss Bush when he says something, we have to try to figure out if it's the truth or a lie. And the Bushies know this paradox and thus can more than just lie to us, they can beguile us.

Friday, April 14, 2006

In Afghanistan, Military Secrets Are For Sale

Gee Wiz, what the hell? Read the following story about how military secrets are being sold in the bizaars in Bagram, Afghanistan, right outside our military base. Prove to me that our military isn't at least a bit incompetent. And by the way, they are. I should know, I served in the Army.

'L.A. Times' Afghan Horror Story Confirmed by NBC

By Editor&Publisher Staff

Published: April 13, 2006 11:15 PM ET
NEW YORK A story reported by the Los Angeles Times' Paul Watson on Monday was so mind-boggling it took a few days for other media outlets and Web sites to react. Just about the time that story started circulating widely, NBC News on Thursday night confirmed it, and took it a step beyond.

This is how the NBC investigative team reported it:

"Just outside the main gate of the huge U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan, shopkeepers at a bazaar peddle a range of goods, including computer drives with sensitive — even secret information — stolen from the base.

"This week, an NBC News producer, using a hidden camera, visited the bazaar and bought a half dozen of the memory drives the size of a thumb known as flash drives. On them, NBC News found highly sensitive military information, some which NBC will not reveal." Earlier, the Los Angeles Times had published what indeed appeared to be sensitive material.

“This isn't just a loss of sensitive information,” Lt. Col. Rick Francona (ret.), an NBC News military analyst, said. “This is putting U.S. troops at risk. This is a violation of operational security.”

Some of the data would be valuable to the enemy, NBC related, including names and personal information for dozens of interrogatorsm and interrogation methods; and
IDs and photos of U.S. troops. With information like this, “You could cripple our U.S. intelligence collection capability in Afghanistan,” said Francona.

NBC added: "Among the photos of Americans are pictures of individuals who appear to have been tortured and killed, most too graphic to show. NBC News does not know who caused their injuries. The Pentagon would not comment on the photos.

"The tiny computer memories are believed to have been smuggled off base by Afghan employees and sold to shopkeepers. Whoever buys one can simply plug it into another computer, and in a couple of minutes, see thousands of files.

"Other reporters have bought drives at the bazaar containing classified information, including names and photos of Afghans spying for the U.S. and maps revealing locations of radar used to foil mortar attacks....

"Thursday, the base commander said he's ordered an investigation into activities at the bazaar and into procedures supposed to keep sensitive secrets secure."

On Monday, the Times had revealed, among much else, "A reporter recently obtained several drives at the bazaar that contained documents marked 'Secret.' The contents included documents that were potentially embarrassing to Pakistan, a U.S. ally, presentations that named suspected militants targeted for 'kill or capture' and discussions of U.S. efforts to 'remove' or 'marginalize' Afghan government officials whom the military considered problem makers.'

"The drives also included deployment rosters and other documents that identified nearly 700 U.S. service members and their Social Security numbers, information that identity thieves could use to open credit card accounts in soldiers' names."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Cheney and Rice lie About Mobile Labs

Dick Cheney makes a few comments about the 'mobile weapon labs' after the Guardian revealed that they were for filling weather balloons. Again by June 8th, 2003 the British press, public and Tony Blair all knew the truth and the Bush Administration had to have been pretending ignorance of the scandal that the story was causing in Britain. Note that Cheney was still repeating the lie more than 7 months later.

We had intelligence reporting before the war that there were at least seven of these mobile labs that he had gone out and acquired. We’ve, since the war, found two of them. They’re in our possession today, mobile biological facilities that can be used to produce anthrax or smallpox or whatever else you wanted to use during the course of developing the capacity for an attack.
Source, Meet The Press, 9/14/03

". . .we know for example that prior to our going in that he had spent time and effort acquiring mobile biological weapons labs, and we're quite confident he did, in fact, have such a program. We've found a couple of semi trailers at this point which we believe were, in fact, part of that program. . .I would deem that conclusive evidence, if you will, that he did, in fact, have programs for weapons of mass destruction."
Source, National Public Radio, 1/22/04

And now we procede to Condolezza Rice (at the time National Security Advisor) and her claims post Gaurdian reporting.

"Already, we've discovered, uh, uh, trailers, uh, that look remarkably similar to what Colin Powell described in his February 5th speech, biological weapons production facilities."
This Week with George Stephanopolous, ABC (6/8/2003).

"QUESTION: You are confident you will find weapons of mass destruction. MS. RICE: We are confident that we -- I believe that we will find them. I think that we have already found important clues like the biological weapons laboratories that look surprisingly like what Colin Powell described in his speech."
Meet the Press, NBC (6/8/2003).

I find it interesting that on the same day that the Guardian story was published that Rice was doing the morning political shows, saying just the opposite. And from my previous post, Colin Powell appeared on CNN and Fox with the same propaganda on that same day. Just a wild guess, but I would have to wonder if they were "getting out in front" of the British story.

As far as the Washington Post story this week that outlines that the White House had evidence that those 'weapons labs' were in fact not weapons labs and that President Bush claimed with knowledge that they were, the Post quoted Bush on May 29th, two days after the White House knew. Anyway here are several quotes from Bush that were lies about the trailers for filling hydrogen weather balloons.

"We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."
Interview of the President by TVP, Poland, White House (5/29/2003).

"Here's what -- we've discovered a weapons system, biological labs, that Iraq denied she had, and labs that were prohibited under the U.N. resolutions."
President Bush, Russian President Putin Sign Treaty of Moscow, White House (6/1/2003).

"We recently found two mobile biological weapons facilities which were capable of producing biological agents."
President Talks to Troops in Qatar, White House (6/5/2003).

To sort of finalize. The Washington Post puts the date of knowledge of these units as not mobile weapons labs as May 27th, that Bush then ignored that information and publicly stated the opposite. I've also seen quotes by others in the Administration state the wrong information after May 27th, but prior to the Guardian reporting on June 8th. All the quotes for other Administration officials I've used in my various postings are either on the date of the Guardian story or after it.

I did this to make my point, that regardless of what the White House knew on May 27th, they must have certainly been aware of what was happening in Britain due to this story. That Tony Blair was being called a liar by the British press and that the Brits were reading about it.

Colin Powell's Lies About 'Mobile Labs'

The following quotes are all from former Secretary of State Colin Powell made after the British newspaper The Guardian filed their story (6/8/03) that those weapons labs were trailers for filling hydrogen weather balloons sold to Saddam by the British themselves back in 1987. Tony Blair knew the truth prior to the Guardian story. Note the first two sourced quotes were on the same day of the British reporting, which would have hit their newsstands many hours before Powell made his comments.

"I can assure you that if those biological vans were not biological vans when I said they were on the 5th of February, on the 6th of February Iraq would have hauled those vans out, put them in front of a press conference, gave them to the UNMOVIC inspectors to try to drive a stake in the heart of my presentation. They did not. The reason they did not is they knew what they were."

"One element that I presented at that time, these biological vans, all I could show was a cartoon drawing of these vans, and everybody said, "Are the vans really there?" And, voila, the vans showed up a few months later. We found them."
Source: Interview on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, CNN (6/8/2003).

"And I think the mobile labs are what I think is a good indication of the kind of thing they are doing."

"We have uncovered the mobile vans and we are continuing to search."
Source: Remarks at Stakeout Following Fox News Interview, Fox News (6/8/2003).

"The biological weapons labs that we believe strongly are biological weapons labs, we didn't find any biological weapons with those labs. But should that give us any comfort? Not at all. Those were labs that could produce biological weapons whenever Saddam Hussein might have wanted to have a biological weapons inventory."

"I think that we will be able to demonstrate convincingly through the mobile labs, through documentation, through interviews, through what we find, that we knew what we were speaking about."
Source: Interview by the Associated Press, State Dept (6/12/2003).

"The mobile biological laboratories that were found and presented to the world, I think, is a further evidence of this, and so, at the same time that we continue our efforts to uncover those weapons programs."
Source: Interview with Al Arabiyya Television, Al Arabiyya (6/23/2003).

"The imminent threat is that suddenly, this biological warfare lab, for example, could have been put to use."
Source: Interview on NPR's All Things Considered, NPR (6/27/2003).

"We have found the mobile biological weapons labs that I could only show cartoons of that day." Source: Interview on NBC's Today Show with Katie Couric, NBC (6/30/2003).

"Take the mobile vans that we've been talking about, the biological vans. I can assure you, Sean, that when I presented those vans to the world on the 5th of February and described them, all I could put up were pictures or cartoons that we made of them. And later, we actually found them and showed them to the world."
Interview on the Sean Hannity Show, ABC Radio Network (7/2/2003).

"One item I showed was cartoons of the mobile biological van. They were cartoons, artist's renderings, because we had never seen one of these things, but we had good sourcing on it, excellent sourcing on it. And we knew what it would look like when we found it, so we made those pictures. And I can assure you I didn't just throw those pictures up without having quite a bit of confidence in the information that I had been provided and that Director Tenet had been provided and was now supporting me in the presentation on, sitting right behind me. And we waited. And it took a couple of months, and it took until after the war, until we found a van and another van that pretty much matched what we said it would look like. And I think that's a pretty good indication that we were not cooking the books."
Press Briefing, State Dept (7/10/2003).

I thank Bush On Iraq for these quotes.

More on "Mobile Weapons Labs"

Apparently White House spokesman Scott McLellan went sort of ballistic on the media for reporting about the fact that Bush lied about those mobile weapons labs back in May of 2003. Scotty basically demanded an apology for reporting facts, I guess.

I blogged about the mobile weapons labs yesterday. Reword that, trailers for inflating hydrogen weather balloons. It should never be called mobile weapons labs again, they absolutely were not. I pointed out that the British Guardian newspaper had called out Tony Blair for the exact same thing, lieing about those trailers, in early June 2003.

I wonder if Scotty might blow a gasket if he were to be asked by our media about the Gaurdian reporting back in 2003. A good question might be, "Hey, Scotty, did the president know what Tony Blair knew?" Or maybe, "McLellan, should the Guardian apologize to you for their coverage way back in 2003?" Or, "Why didn't Colin Powell or Dick Cheney or other Administration officials know that Tony Blair got caught lieing about the trailers?" "Why did those people go on telling Americans a lie that the British public already knew was a lie?"

I'm sure Scotty would somehow play "Blame The Media," you know, that game the Bushies play when confronted with truth they can't deny. Yet, I would like to play "Blame the Media" as well. Where was our American media back in May/June 2003 on this trailer story? How come they didn't pick up on The Guardian story? Tony Blair was forced to squirm, why wasn't the Bush crowd put in the spotlight?

Easy answer to my questions of the media--because they weren't playing "Get Bush" back then. In fact they seemed to be covering for Bush at nearly every turn in those days. It is so obvious about how the media treats a president. If a president's poll numbers are good, good coverage. Poll numbers down? They put him down. Yet it is also the media that helps shape those poll numbers by the coverage. Sort of media catch-22.

But back to the "trailers for filling hydrogen weather balloons" (such a convoluted phrase). It seems incredulous to me that our bombing war allies in Iraq, our good friends across the Atlantic, and Tony Blair good buddy of Bush didn't get the Bush Gang's attention about this back in 2003. I find it to be beyond belief that the Bushies didn't know about Blair's trouble with the press in Britain. That the Bushites went right on lieing throughout the year about the trailers and that Blair didn't ring up the White House and wonder "How come your American press is silent about your lies?"

I've been visiting the blogs covering this story and I seem to be the only one that knows the British 2003 version of the story. We should be calling this "Weapons Lab Lie Redux: American Remake." I posted comments at several of the blogs including the Guardian web address that had the article. I'm hoping that I've gotten someones attention enough to blow the British aspect into the whole story. To me it only furthers the evidence that the Bushies knew they were lieing to the American public and knew they risked that the British information might be exposed in the American media, yet still propagated their lies.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Iran Nuke? Do I Care?

Every time I hear talk of Iran and a possible nuclear bomb I simply think, "so what." I've long decided that it just doesn't matter whether they get nukes or not.

What's the big deal anyway? Lots of countries have nukes now including regimes that aren't considered America's friend. Sure, it would be nice if the world was nuclear free, but that's just not a realist stance. The fact is that unless every country disarms their nuclear arsenal then we have to face the fact that the world has nukes.

As to Iran, the "media shock" due to Bush bluster, is that they are some sort of special case
. But as usual we seem to have the normal American ignorance of history, and recent history to boot. It wasn't just last year that all the bluster about a country going nuclear was about North Korea and how evil it would be. Now, we hear nothing about North Korea. It seems that life goes on and North Korea hasn't bombed anybody.

The same old, and I mean very old, reason for desire for nuclear capability is just plain MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction. Any country that feels threatened by any other countries wants to have nukes to insure the simple aspect that an attack is much less likely, even nonexistent because the threat of attack is retaliation via nukes.

What makes Iran special? Nothing really if you ask me. The Bushies will say that Iran is led by a madman, but so is North Korea. The Bushies will say that it is because Iran is in the Middle East, but so is Pakistan also owners of nukes. The Bushies will say that Iran is a threat to Israel, but so would Pakistan be an Israeli threat should Pervez Musharraf (a military dictator) lose power to an Islamic regime.

And finally the Bushies would claim that Iran would turn over nukes to terrorists, probably the idea that should most be considered. Yet, it seems that even the worst countries that have nukes today, aren't interested in handing a nuke to a non-nation. It isn't so easy to just hand a usuable nuke to a terrorist. Nukes are large (the suitcase nuke we used to hear about was a myth) and to be most effective need a delivery system, missiles.

I've heard the statement that democracies don't war directly against each other. The same could be said for nuke holding countries. In fact these days it seems that nuke powers do plenty of world trade between each other. It wasn't but a month ago that Bush visited India, a nuke power, and offered a trade deal involving nuclear energy technology in exchange for mangos essentially. And our trade with nuclear power China only grows ever larger by the day. Just today China signed a deal to buy 80 airline 737s from Boeing.

The current list of nuke powers consists of The United States, Britain, France, China, Russia, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea at the least, I may be missing one or two. Certainly other countries could easily have nukes if they so desired, Germany for instance. But these other countries won't want them as long as they aren't threatened by another nuclear power.

I'm not all that scared about Iran getting nukes. I'm not even convinced they are after nukes, but are more interested in nuclear power plants for energy. The current estimates by experts is that Iran is at best 5 years from getting one nuclear bomb if that is what they are planning. I think by then Iran may have a different political leadership. But experts also think it could be 10 years from now. Alot can change in 10 years.

Would I prefer a nuke free world? Of course. This is really what I would like to see, the promotion diplomatically of nuclear disarmament. Whatever happened to that? Even Reagan was for that. But I'm just not going to be alarmed and scared by the Bushies about Iran.

The Bush Mobile Weapons Lab Lie

Back in May of 2003 when the White House was all aflitter about those mobile weapons labs that were found in Iraq, Bush was quick to declare them evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Of course we all know by now that those mobile weapons labs were nothing but trailers to produce hydrogen for weather balloons.

The new revelation is that experts were sent to Iraq and dismissed the trailers as WMD related but their report apparently became "lost" after being sent back to the White House. Meanwhile Bush went on a propaganda roll about those "weapons labs." This new revelation is in the Washington Post today.

But I was a bit curious because I couldn't recall when I realized that those labs were for weather balloons. The idea changed somewhere along the way and the media reported the correction at some point. I did a search and found a report from The Guardian dated June 8th, 2003. The information from the Guardian is certainly what I recalled, but I don't believe the American media accepted the weather balloon idea until after the David Kay and the Iraq Survey Group report which had an interim report to Congress in October of 2003 and didn't confirm those labs as biological.

On May 29th, 2003 Bush proudly declared that "We have found the weapons of mass destruction," referring to those weather balloon trailers. This was two days after the field report about the trailers was sent back to Washington. Throughout the summer of 2003 the weapons lab idea kept being repeated by Bush Administration officials including Colin Powell, Dick Cheney and George Tenet.

They must have known of the British analysis from early June, Tony Blair knew and the British public knew from the Gaurdian's article. It seems the Bushies were playing "hear no evil, repeat what we want the public to think."

The big laugh to all of this? That the British themselves sold Saddam the trailers for hydrogen production for weather balloons back in 1987.

Actually two big laughs. If you remember Colin Powell's litany of false WMD evidence to the United Nations prior to the war, the mobile weapons labs were one of the key pieces of evidence. He didn't have pictures though, just cartoons drawn from descriptions by the ex-Saddamist nicknamed "Curveball." Of course Curveball was passing along all sorts of crap that didn't turn out to be true and wasn't verified by anyone else at the time.

But actually, none of it is a laugh because thousands of Americans and Iraqis have died due to this bullshitting of Americans.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How Many Lies Can Bush Tell?

On Monday, President Bush finally commented on the Libby leak case. Bush is the nearly perfect con man. He can spin, lie, talk out of the side of his mouth, parse, propagandize, disinform, you name it, he can do it. But in this era of blogs, a persons words can be analyized and fact checked better than the media does it. The media is so quick to air the news in a limited air time allowance, that they don't spend enough time getting into the deep details.

Bush said on Monday,
"I wanted people to see the truth. You're not supposed to talk about classified information and so I declassified the document. I thought it was important for people to get a better sense for why I was saying what I was saying in my speeches."

So here we go. First, Bush actually didn't want people to see the truth, he's a liar! If he really had wanted this truth crap, he would have declassified the entire National Intelligence Estimate that had deeply buried in it the small portion of questionable intelligence about this idea that Saddam tried to purchase uranium yellowcake from Niger. Prior to this Bush transfer of classified material to Lewis Libby through Dick Cheney, Colin Powell had already informed one newspaper that the yellowcake story was not sound. The intelligence report itself questioned the yellowcake validity. So Bush is now saying that he wanted people (that's us) to see the truth, but the only truth he wanted us to see at that time was information that was not truthful. Pure propaganda!

Bush now is claiming he declassified the National Intelligence Estimate simply by allowing Cheney using Libby to spread the yellowcake propaganda. From all the information I've seen, there is a procedure for declassifying a classified document, Bush followed no procedure. The NIE wasn't declassified until 10 days later. Prior to this, reporters were beginning to demand that the report be made available and Condelezza Rice refused.

So why would Bush now claim "
I thought it was important for people to get a better sense for why I was saying what I was saying in my speeches," if the yellowcake story was already proven false, claimed so by Colin Powell and CIA Director George Tenet prior to the leak? Because Bush was getting slammed by Joe Wilson about those 16 words in The State of the Union speech where Bush claimed Saddam was seeking the yellowcake, which was known by the Bush Administration as being at best dubious at the time of that speech. That "better sense" he wanted Americans to have is clear, to get Americans to believe information that by the time of the leak was discredited by many including Colin Powell. Bush wanted Americans to be propagandized with false information, that's the "better sense" he wanted Americans to have.

Those three sentences from Monday that Bush spoke in explaining the leak were just more lies and bullshit. Bush didn't want people to see the truth. Bush didn't declassify (declassified by his definition, not procedurely) anything but a line or two from a huge document. And Bush certainly didn't want people to have a better sense.
But here are some more lies from Monday's speech, this time about the Iran war plan.

Speaking about the report in The New Yorker written by Seymour Hersh that there is a war plan developing for Iran, Bush said this,
"I read the articles in the newspapers this weekend, it was just wild speculation."

This is such obvious bullcrap it almost isn't worth commenting on, but I will. It would be absolutely inconceivable to believe that there has never been a plan, that there currently is not a plan and that there are no future considerations to a war with Iran. There are war plans for virtually every country on the planet, they are called contingency plans. And to claim that such a contingency plan is "wild speculation" is blatently a lie. To insinuate that the Pentagon hasn't been looking at those contingency plans due to the White House bluster towards Iran in recent months whether the White House advised the Pentagon or not, is completely disingenous.

The fact is, our government led by Bush would have to be completely comatose to not have Iran war plans being developed and considered after the war threats made by Bush and others coming from the White House. We know from this administration that when they make threats they certainly might follow through (Iraq). Unless they are like some ineffectual teacher in elementary school repeatedly telling an unruly pupil that a time-out is going to happen and never actually instituting the penalty. The Bush Administration doesn't ever want to be an ineffectual teacher even it requires beatin the pupil into a pulp rather than consider using a time-out. The Bush diplomacy tenet in a nut shell, threaten to bomb and then bomb even if there is no valid justification.

As to a possible Iran War people should actually listen to President Bush when he once butchered a famous phrase,
"Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again." In other words, don't be fooled by Bush again. Of course I wasn't fooled the first time about Iraq, although I did wonder if he might back off before the shock and awe started.

Certainly the rhetoric against Iran has a certain pre-Iraq War common theme. Begin the bluster, threaten the country, float the idea to the public, inflate the threat, begin unknown to the public manuveurs against the country, etc., etc. I will believe intensely that a war with Iran is the plan. Better to assume the track record is repeatable than to be fooled later on.

Monday, April 10, 2006

March For Citizenship

Today more protest marches are scheduled in 90 US cities in opposition to Congress passing an immigration bill. These marches are following the mass demostrations and marches last week. But I'm a bit incorrect in my characterization of today's marches.

Congress is mired in conflict on which immigration bill should be put forth for vote and what the bills should contain. As of today, there is no immigration bill ready for the light of day. The protests have evolved into a human rights and citizenship cause.

You've got to hand it to the illegal aliens (what a lousy term, like they are gun runners from outer space) for having the pride and bravery to shout to our government. It's too bad we can't get this type of emotion and power into marches for impeachment.

I can't help but admire people who don't have any rights because they aren't citizens, demanding rights, such as citizenship. The fact is that overwhelmingly many illegal immigrants have been contributing to our society and after many years of this are right to expect something simple in return, citizenship. They don't have the right to vote, but they are certainly exercising what is a basic American human right, free speech.

I don't know about anyone else, but they've got my attention and I'm willing to listen. More power to them.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Iran War Plan

So here we go, deja vu all over again. The New Yorker has an article by Seymour Hersh that describes the war plan being developed by the Bush Administration for Iran.

Mr. Hersh is a fine reporter who has good connections in the military and he verifies with numerous sources. It was Hersh that broke the Abu Graib torture story and going back to Viet Nam, the My Lai case involving the massacre of civilians by American forces. When Hersh reports, I listen.

Some excerpts that intrigue me.

One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.” He added, “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’ ”

That's a good question! Those guys were probably the same ones who thought the Iraqis would great us with flowers and that the Iraq War would be easy. Second, Iran fought a long hard war with Iraq and never backed down. They had many of their major cities bombed during that war. And personally I'm wondering when the American people decide to rise up and overthrow our own government for taking us into endless wars.

A senior Pentagon adviser on the war on terror expressed a similar view. “This White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war,” he said. The danger, he said, was that “it also reinforces the belief inside Iran that the only way to defend the country is to have a nuclear capability.” A military conflict that destabilized the region could also increase the risk of terror: “Hezbollah comes into play,” the adviser said, referring to the terror group that is considered one of the world’s most successful, and which is now a Lebanese political party with strong ties to Iran. “And here comes Al Qaeda.”

The Bush doctrine of preemption applied to Iran, no doubt. But let me get this preemption thing straight. We preempted Saddam who had no WMDs and in the process losing over 2,300 and counting soldiers. Now, Bush is going to preempt Iran who most experts believe is at best 10 years from getting a nuclear weapon if that is what they are even trying to do.

If we were to bomb Shiite Iran, you can bet the Iraq War will be a huge civil war and thus we'd have to pull out. You can bet that Hezbollah will be aiming at us all over the world, no hotel, vacation spot, embassy, you name it that Americans go overseas will be safe. If we go to war with Iran, you might as well plan to stay in America to "feel" safe. I'm beginning to facetiously think that this is how Bush plans to ween us off Middle East oil, to make the whole Middle East dangerous for all Americans to visit including the oil dealers.

A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, said that no one in the meetings with select members of Congress “is really objecting” to the talk of war. “The people they’re briefing are the same ones who led the charge on Iraq. At most, questions are raised: How are you going to hit all the sites at once? How are you going to get deep enough?” (Iran is building facilities underground.) “There’s no pressure from Congress” not to take military action, the House member added. “The only political pressure is from the guys who want to do it.” Speaking of President Bush, the House member said, “The most worrisome thing is that this guy has a messianic vision.”

Where have I heard this before? The Bush Administration discusses pre-war ideas with only those who are true believers in Congress. They get their story straight before talking to the American people. This is the pre-war propaganda check and a round-up of support. It shouldn't be long before we hear about how Iran will have a nuke in about a year, whether true or not.

Some operations, apparently aimed in part at intimidating Iran, are already under way. American Naval tactical aircraft, operating from carriers in the Arabian Sea, have been flying simulated nuclear-weapons delivery missions—rapid ascending maneuvers known as “over the shoulder” bombing—since last summer, the former official said, within range of Iranian coastal radars.

This is right out of the Bush/Blair meeting and pre-Iraq War, try to get Iran to react militarily for a casus belli. This might be called pre-preemption. This is what bullies do, remember from elementary school? First the relentless teasing until the poor kid can't take it anymore and finally swings, then the bully has the casus belli and beats the kid into a pulp. In diplomacy, Bush has never grown up from his childhood.

One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites.

So history would sort of repeat itself. The United States has been the only country to use a nuclear weapon ever. And Bush wants to be the only president to authorize nukes in a world of numerous countries that have nukes. Unlike in WWII when America was the sole nuclear bomb holder, today the climate is different. I can't imagine much of the world wouldn't be outraged. Bush is ready to nuke to stop a supposed building of a nuke someday in the future? So, why didn't he nuke North Korea a few years ago?

The attention given to the nuclear option has created serious misgivings inside the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he added, and some officers have talked about resigning. Late this winter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought to remove the nuclear option from the evolving war plans for Iran—without success, the former intelligence official said. “The White House said, ‘Why are you challenging this? The option came from you.’ ”

The Pentagon adviser on the war on terror confirmed that some in the Administration were looking seriously at this option, which he linked to a resurgence of interest in tactical nuclear weapons among Pentagon civilians and in policy circles. He called it “a juggernaut that has to be stopped.”

He also confirmed that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the issue. “There are very strong sentiments within the military against brandishing nuclear weapons against other countries,” the adviser told me. “This goes to high levels.” The matter may soon reach a decisive point, he said, because the Joint Chiefs had agreed to give President Bush a formal recommendation stating that they are strongly opposed to considering the nuclear option for Iran.

“The internal debate on this has hardened in recent weeks,” the adviser said. “And, if senior Pentagon officers express their opposition to the use of offensive nuclear weapons, then it will never happen.”

I'm thinking that the Joint Chiefs of Staff are more stable thinking than Bush, that's for sure. Maybe resigning is not what they should do. Maybe a military coup wouldn't be such a bad thing these days. Storm the White House, remove Bush and Cheney, and then place a top military general in charge. I'm betting they'd announce they were geting out of Iraq within a year. I guess that's how bad I see Bush, I'd welcome a military coup although I'd much rather have an impeachment.

The New Yorker article is long and I recommend reading it.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bush, the Lieing Leaker

The big news about President Bush is stunning yet no surprise to me. President Bush authorized the leak of classified information. This is stunning because it's so hard to believe a president would do this. It's no surprise to me, Bush has not been honest most of his life. This news if true can only mean one thing, impeachment or resignation for President Bush.

The full story goes a bit like this. Bush told former assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney, Lewis "Scooter" Libby that it was fine to leak classified information (the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq) to a reporter. Dick Cheney told Libby to tell New York Times reporter Judith Miller the name of a CIA agent, Valerie Plame. Bush also told several White House aides to leak classified information (the estimate) to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.

The National Inelligence Estimate on Iraq was the case for weapons of mass destruction which was filled with misinformation. Much of the report was known by the Bush Administration as either being unlikely and false.

Judith Miller and Bob Woodward were given false information to disseminate to the public. Miller was writing pro-war news articles using the false information for the American public to read. Miller was providing the false argument that the Bush administration wanted Americans to hear, and of course this was at the same time the Bush pro-war spokespeople (Donald Rumsfeld, Condeleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, etc.) were publicly making the case for war.

Further, Judith Miller was a writer for the New York Times which has a reputation for having a "liberal" slant. This would give the Republican pro-war machine some credibility to others besides conservatives. Preaching to the choir on Fox News was certainly not going to be enough to sell the war.

Going back to the time when Valerie Plame's real name was printed in a column by Bob Novak and quickly added to in other writers columns, Bush when asked about the leak, commented that he wanted to find out who did the leaking. It oddly seems that Bush wanted an investigation to find out that it was Bush himself who authorized the leak.

So Bush was lieing to the American public by not revealing that he authorized the leaks at that time. He plain lied to us. He lied to us on other things as well back then of course (the recently revealed memo of Bush meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair), but this is even bigger. It should evolve into impeachment proceedings. The totality of the lies and leaks is certainly enough to force Bush to resign rather than be impeached.

I would think enough Republicans would now have to join the Democrats in speaking about impeachment. It won't be tomorrow or the next day. An investigation will have to be started, and efforts to delay it will certainly happen. We are soon going to see the words investigation, Bush, and impeachment in headlines. This must be the beginning of the end for Bush.

If the ball doesn't get rolling prior to the midterm elections, then Republicans are likely to lose power in Congress and then the Democrats can initiate an investigation and/or impeachment. But I'm guessing that enough Republicans seeing the polls drop even more for Bush will want to highly distance themselves from Bush before November's election day, so those Republicans will join Democrats on the idea of at least an investigation.

If nothing happens, then I will be simply stunned. If Americans can't protest for impeachment at this point without causing action to be taken by Congress, then we have no power. That would be embarrassing in comparison to the recent huge protests by American immigrants or the French workers. The people must get Congress' attention on this because Bush is a lieing leaker.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

What Immigration Problem?

I've been reluctant to weigh in on the immigration issue because of how complicated it is (and always has been) yet how simplistic the issue is presented by politicians and the media. But, reluctance be damned, here I go rambling as it may be.

Let's begin with the most talked about issue within the issue, border and border security. The wall. This has to be the stupidest idea, to attempt to construct an impenatrable barrier along the entire border with Mexico. There has actually been suggestions that illegal immigrants be hired to do the labor. Walls don't work. People can go under, over, around and above a wall. A wall is nothing but an empty symbol of protection, unless the other side of the wall actively participates in defense of the wall, the wall stands for nothing. Even East Germans managed to escape their barriers.

Immigration has always been tied to economy, from the earliest beginnings of the United States. Our country used the importation of slaves and indentured servants to do the hard labor. When that finally ended it was wave after wave of European immigrants to do the tough jobs. The West Coast used Chinese labor to build railroads and do mining. Now, it's Mexicans and Central Americans that are "needed."

The argument has always been that immigration was needed because Americans won't do certain jobs. The truth is that the capititalist leaders have always used a divide and conquer strategy for labor rather than to pay the wage that would attract nearly anyone to the jobs. Divide and conquer involved usually recruiting immigrants to compete with Americans for the jobs producing a spiraling down of wages and benefits. In the backdrop to that was the purposeful rhetoric of xenophobia (hatred of foreigners or strangers). The power of the few at the top to dominate the masses being used in economics backed by political power is the continuing history of the United States.

It has been true that countries of origin that the immigrants that have massed to America in the past and now were countries suffering economic depressions or unrest and the poor and repressed of those countries saw America as the place for prosperity. It is also true that those countries didn't place much emphasis in stopping that emigration, and more often than not promoted it.

So the social movements of people to the United States has been repeated throughout our history. Nearly 100% of non-native Americans of today are descended from one wave of immigration or another and even combinations of several of the waves. Black slavery is of course not a wave of willing peoples, forced as it was.

So how is todays immigration "problem" that is so dominant in political discussion any different than before? It's not, except for one factor, "post 9/11 America."

There has become a fear factor that has been developed since 9/11. This fear factor has been purposely pushed on us by the political powers, yet it was easy to do as 9/11 was a huge excuse to make us afraid. Homeland Security, terrorists, borders, Arabs, etc. are now thrown into the immigration issue to further complicate it.

The possiblity of more terrorism within the US borders makes building a wall a more attractive response and is put to Americans as a double positive as it will stop immigration as well. Funny how little the issue of drug trafficing is not mentioned as another good reason to have a Mexican wall, probably because we like drugs so much.

The truth is a wall won't do any good. Terrorists, immigrants and drugs will enter by sea, by air, via tunnels, by way of our long, long Northern border. Republicans with their supposed opposition to big government programs and who happen to be most interested in a wall (for security reasons) seem to be forgetting the cost of building a wall, and the subsequent increased security that will still be needed. Other Republicans are stuck in their support of corporate interests and are not so enamored with a wall and restrictions on immigration.

Another issue is that we do have laws about immigration that aren't being enforced. Corporations and businesses are not suppose to be hiring illegal immigrants, yet do so with impunity. If anti-illegal immigrationists were really interested in slowing the influx then they would raise the mechanisms to investigate and then penalize the business world for breaking the law. But they don't and probably won't.

I don't consider the immigration issue as anything but partisan politics in an election year (and these days elections years seem like every year). Nothing will really be done, because nothing can be done that is good in that type of atmosphere.

This morning I saw a review of the current most likely proposal. Basically a guest worker program for illegal immigrants who have been working in America for 5 years or more with the pushing of becoming citizens and get this, speaking English. Those here between 2 years and 5 years will be briefly forced to leave and re-enter as guest workers and those with less than 2 years, deported.

I have to laugh. First how are they really going to find and round up every immigrant? How are they going to determine how long they've been here, people with no immigration papers or documentation? Can you say massive profiling?

And forcing English as a language, America has never done this before, we've never had an official language. People learn English because that is what makes sense in this country, there has never been a need to force the language on people. American English is loaded with words of many nationalites, we adopt new words all the time and it makes our language all the better and interesting.

I may have missed some pieces to the immigration situation. I don't really see some type of black and white answers to the puzzle. I do think that enforcing the laws about hiring illegals would be a beginning step. Try that with some gusto and see where it leads and then decide further steps.

I also think a puzzle piece I haven't discussed needs to be addressed, and that is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mexico has and is been a different link in the trade deal. It's allowed corporations to export jobs to that country. It's allowed big changes in Mexico that drives Mexican poor to try to come to America by any means possible. NAFTA has not been free trade for Mexico or fair trade for America. So, I think a rethinking about NAFTA and a new way of negotiating trade pacts in general needs to be done.

Exportation of jobs is an irratant to many Americans. Just this morning in my Detroit newspaper on the front page was an article about GM exporting engineering jobs. Excuse me? These are jobs that college educated people desire and have been advised to persue through education. If America can't keep these type of jobs, those jobs desired by immigrants may be more important to Americans than we think.

Our middle class is being pulled apart at the seams and in the process putting more pressure on lower class jobs. There is this idea that legal immigration for high paying jobs is fine, but having legal immigration for the low paying jobs isn't so good. We are not xenophobic about a Pakistani doctor, but are for a Mexican fruit picker, something is weird about that picture.

Our education system from high school on can be a part of the problem as well. We've made it very difficult to afford college, particularily for the medical field. Graduates are entering the work life with big bills to pay back for many years and in many cases the occupations they were told would be good for them are turning out to be victims of job exportation, computer programming for instance.

It's time to stop rambling and finish up. The immigration issue will not be solved by some bill from Congress. It's far too deep to slap a few rules on to claim the issue is over.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

McCain Going Wacko?

Arizona Senator John McCain a presidential candidate in 2000 and assumed to be a presidential candidate once again in 2008 has been saying some odd things lately. This may be because he is trying to court the Republican base which of course is loaded with religious fundementalist fanatics.

On Sunday's Meet The Press host Tim Russert questioned McCain on Iran. McCain said that if sanctions fail then the United States must be prepared to go to war with Iran. Asked if he thought that the US might be entangled in two wars simultaneously, McCain responded, "I think we could have Armageddon."

Here we go again with the religious terminology. These statements aren't made by accident, they are directed to the religious fundementalists who want and believe in the end times type prophesies. These fundies believe the book series "Left Behind" is more than fiction, that it's a sort of blueprint for the future. The fundies want war in the Middle East to bring on the apocalypse.

Just to make sure, I checked my dictionary for the word Armageddon and here is the main definition.

Armageddon; Bible, The place where the last, decisive battle between the forces of good and evil is to be fought before Judgement Day. Rev. 16:16.

The fact that McCain used this word so specifically and bluntly shows he is more than likely speaking directly to the fundies in order to attract future voters for his 2008 presidential run. He is essentially selling out, as he hasn't been known to do this in the past. Consider that he could have used descriptions such as World War III, massive war, two-pronged war, expanded war on terror, or other ideas, but he chose Armageddon. That was no accident.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Bush Lied Us To War, Memo Reveals

My post from Sunday April 2nd, referred to the meeting between President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair where Bush before the war acknowledged that Saddam Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction. I feel it's neccessary to link the article from the NY Times about the memo that exposed the meeting discussions. You can read it here. You can read about it here. You can also read about it here.

I post these several links to hopefully make sure that the information is available in some way. As Media Matters points out, the memo has received little attention. This is curious to me as this is more of a "smoking gun" about Bush lieing to the public about the approaching war than even the Downing Street Memos.

Let's be clear about what Bush was saying to Tony Blair just a few days before Colin Powell went to the UN with the "evidence" of Saddam's WMDs, (this evidence of course was virtually completely false). Bush and Blair acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein.

So Bush was open and thinking about creating a casus belli in order to justify an invasion. This of course was the behind the scene manuevering by Bush. To the public it was all talk about WMDs that Saddam had. We were lied to and Bush was quite aware that he was lieing.

This memo came out last week in the New York Times and the rest of the media yawned. By this week, it's ignored news. This is similar but not the same reaction that the Downing Street Memo received. That memo was reported in Britain and it took nearly a month before a major media outlet (The Washington Post) to even report about it.

What bothers me to the extreme is that our nation is so poorly informed. Even today about a third of the nation believes Saddam Hussein perpetrated 9/11. As well about the same percent still believe that Saddam had WMDs despite the fact that repeated investigations and inspections after the war found nothing, and despite President Bush publicly saying after the war that there were no WMDs found. To clarify, the phrase "after the war" means at least a year after the initial invasion. I have not claimed that the Iraq War is over.

Our media that chases sensational stories about white women disappearances and celebrity murders, just doesn't seem to think that a president that outright lies to the public that he serves isn't much of a story.

The American people are the president's boss, not the other way around. He is suppose to answer to us, not lie to us. He is obligated to tell the truth to Americans, not avoid telling the truth. Bush is a criminal as far as I'm concerned, he should be impeached. But I've said this many times before.

Also of note is the website After Downing Street which examines all of the Bush lies about Iraq and is a coalition from Congress willing to impeach Bush.

More Condi Rice

It seems Condeleeza Rice had a tough time on her tour of Great Britain. At one stop she had protesters chanting "Hey, hey Condi hey, how many kids did you kill today?" At another stop she made the comment about "the thousands of tactical errors" that I posted yesterday.

The next day she rephrased that comment. Rice
asked to name some of the "thousands" of mistakes she had said the U.S. made in Iraq, Rice replied: "First of all, I meant it figuratively, not literally. Let me be very clear about that. I wasn't sitting around counting. The point I was making to the questioner ... is that, of course, if you've ever made decisions, you've undoubtedly made mistakes. "The important thing is to get the big strategic decisions right, and that I am confident that the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein and give the Iraqi people an opportunity for peace and for democracy is the right decision."

I wonder how that big strategic decision about peace and democracy is working out? In yesterdays post I was curious whether she would elaborate about what those thousands of mistakes might be, some details as it were. I speculated she wouldn't name them, that I wouldn't hold my breath. And of course I was correct, no details, just a verbal dance around the direct question.

Condi also had a big problem with a Beatles lyric. She's a professed Beatles fan and plays their music on the piano. A British reporter asked her about the line "4,000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire," here's the account, beyond that...

Her host British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw jumped in to explain that the line was from the classic 1967 Beatles song "A Day in the Life," on their album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." The Beatles were referring to a newspaper article about the Blackburn roads surveyor‘s count of 4,000 potholes in the area.

The reporter asked Rice to sing a few bars. She meant the part about the 4,000 holes. "But Rice, in over her head in Beatles trivia and looking sorry she had gotten into the whole thing," according to the Associated Press, woodenly sang the title "Sgt. Pepper‘s Lonely Heart‘s Club Band," then left with Straw.

The British press then started referring to Rice's "Magical Mystery Tour," the name of another famed Beatles album. The Times of London ran an editorial cartoon of Rice and Straw holding up a hole-ridden sign labeled "The Case for War."

You can see why government officials and politicians shouldn't pretend they are experts about things like the Beatles unless they truly are.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Condi Rice, Right and Wrong

The other day Condelezza Rice finally admitted the mistakes of Iraq.
Yes, I know we have made tactical errors, thousands of them," she said in answer to a question over whether lessons had been learned since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

"I believe strongly that it was the right strategic decision, that Saddam had been a threat to the international community long enough," she added.


But she hasn't admitted the biggest mistake of all, going to war with a country that never was a threat to us. I wonder what tactical errors she was referring to, what thousands they might be. It would be nice if she actually pointed out what errors were made.

I would say tactical error number one was in the propaganda selling of the war as disarming Saddam of non-existent WMDs. It was Condi herself who warned of an impending mushroom cloud from Saddam. But the thing about propaganda is that once the propagandized realize it's just propaganda then they are not willing to believe the next load of propaganda. Well, Americans have figured out the lies, the polls show that.

And with the recent revelations that President Bush was planning to attack Iraq without UN approval prior to going to the UN. In Bush's secret talks (recently revealed) with Great Britain Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush told Blair that he didn't believe that Saddam had WMDs, yet at the same time he was going to the American people and claiming just the opposite. He was allowing his henchmen, like VP Dick Cheney and of course Condi Rice to publicly repeat the WMD mantra while Bush didn't believe it. These people are now such obvious liars.

As for me, I never believed the propaganda in the first place, but it's nice to know that I was absolutely correct in my belief. There is a great word for how I feel, vindicated. I've felt vindicated for some time now, but the Bush/Blair meeting shows deeply the terrible character of Bush.

As to Condi and her thousands of mistakes, I wonder if she thinks her mushroom cloud remarks were one of those mistakes. And if Condi ever feels compelled to spell out more of those thousands of errors, I'll listen but I won't be waiting anxiously as I doubt she plans to elaborate on the thousands.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Iraq Quackery

Here is some proof of how the Bush warmongers have no idea what they are doing.

From US News and World Report
U.S. raid on Shiite shrine served as a warning
By Kevin Whitelaw

The U.S. military was trying to send a "little reality jab" to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr when American and Iraqi troops raided a Shiite community center and shrine over the weekend, says a top U.S. military official.

The joint assault killed at least 16 people, most of them believed to be tied to Sadr's militia, the Mahdi Army. U.S. officials insist the center was being used as a base for insurgent activities and was not a mosque. But many Iraqis say the complex did indeed include the Shiite equivalent of a mosque, and the raid has drawn harsh condemnation from Shiite politicians and prompted Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, to launch an investigation.

The mayor of Baghdad promptly cut off cooperation with the U.S. Embassy, and Shiite politicians suspended their negotiations to form a new government. The U.S. military has long contemplated taking tougher steps against Sadr and his troublesome militia but has held off in the past because it did not want to antagonize his many fervent supporters. This raid, officials say, was intended as a reminder to Sadr of the U.S. military's reach in Iraq.

U.S. officials had been quietly praising Sadr's group in recent weeks because of its calls for calm in the wake of the bombing of a Sunni mosque in Samarra that sparked a wave of sectarian violence.


First the military praises Sadr's group for their calm, then they attack them to send a message. What exactly is their message? That praise from the U.S. is fake? And the military doesn't think that this message they are sending with this attack that killed 16 people won't make Sadr's group at the least angry?

They praise them for calm after the mosque bombing. You have to wonder when the next major bombing comes whether calm will be even considered now. I'm beginning to believe that President Bush WANTS Iraq to be in a civil war. At this point what does Bush even care? He has publicly stated that the Iraq War will be passed on to the next president. These kind of mixed messages will certainly ensure that the next president will indeed have to deal with Iraq.