Saturday, September 30, 2006
The radical right is trying to establish a theocracy in the United States, in blatant violation of the First Amendment. The objectives are terrifyingly simple: first, make it impossible for anyone to legally challenge them. Second, declare fundamentalist Protestant Christianity as America's "founding religion". Third, make non-Christians second class citizens. And ultimately, strip citizenship from any American who refuses to pledge allegiance to the official faith--the goal of so-called Christian Reconstructionism.
Friday, September 29, 2006
5,106 people in July and August, according to a recently released United Nations report. The previous, still staggering but significantly lower figure of 3,391 offered for those months relied on body counts only from the city morgue. The UN report also includes deaths at the city's overtaxed hospitals. With the Bush administration bringing thousands of extra U.S. and Iraqi soldiers into the capital in August, death tolls went down somewhat for a few weeks, but began rising again towards month's end. August figures on civilian wounded -- 4,309 -- rose 14% over July's figures and, by late September, suicide bombings were at their highest level since the invasion.
How many Iraqis are being tortured in Baghdad at present?
Precise numbers are obviously in short supply on this one, but large numbers of bodies are found in and around the capital every single day, a result of the roiling civil war already underway there. These bodies, as Oppel of the Times describes them, commonly display a variety of signs of torture including: "gouged-out eyeballs… wounds… in the head and genitals, broken bones of legs and hands, electric and cigarette burns… acid-induced injuries and burns caused by chemical substances, missing skin… missing teeth and wounds caused by power drills or nails." The UN's chief anti-torture expert, Manfred Nowak, believes that torture in Iraq is now not only "totally out of hand," but "worse" than under Saddam Hussein.
How many Iraqi civilians are being killed countrywide?
The UN Report offers figures on this: 1,493 dead, over and above the dead of Baghdad. However, these figures are surely undercounts. Oppel points out, for instance, that officials in al-Anbar Province, the heartland of the Sunni insurgency "and one of the deadliest regions in Iraq, reported no deaths in July." Meanwhile, in Diyala Province, northeast of Baghdad, deaths not only seem to be on the rise, but higher than previously estimated. The intrepid British journalist Patrick Cockburn recently visited the province. It's not a place, he comments parenthetically, "to make a mistake in map reading." (Enter the wrong area or neighborhood and you're dead.) Diyala, he reports, is now largely under the control of Sunni insurgents who are "close to establishing a ‘Taliban republic' in the region." On casualties, he writes: "Going by the accounts of police and government officials in the province, the death toll outside Baghdad may be far higher than previously reported." The head of Diyala's Provincial Council (who has so far escaped two assassination attempts) told Cockburn that he believed "on average, 100 people are being killed in Diyala every week." ("Many of those who die disappear forever, thrown into the Diyala River or buried in date palm groves and fruit orchards.") Even at the death counts in the UN report, we're talking about close to 40,000 Iraqi deaths a year. We have no way of knowing how much higher the real figure is.
The cesspool of corruption that is the modern Republican Party is truly something to behold, as is the relentless lying of the Bush White House, which acknowledged only two contacts with Abramoff. It's all part of the whole criminal organization that the far right of the Republican Party has morphed into.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Meanwhile, the Republicans lined up their candidate. The chosen candidate is Illinois State Senator Peter Roskam (R). Roskam, a native of Elmhurst represents Illinois 48th Senate District. Roskam has served as an aide to Tom Delay and has raised over a million dollars through fundraising events sponsored by Dennis Hastert, Tom Delay, Karl Rove, and Vice President Dick Cheney. Roskam has supported such far-right proposals as the destruction of public education in favor of private schools. It would be hard to cast a more representative poster-boy for the K Street, Abramoff, money driven, ideological purist of the far right than Peter Roskam. Roskam sits on both the State Senate's Insurance Committee and Environment & Energy Committee. Both committees are prime targets of anti-consumer special interests.
Not only a right wing nutcase, but a corrupt right wing nutcase, dirty all the way down to his toenails. His opponent? Democratic war hero Tammy Duckworth, who lost both of her legs serving her country in Iraq. Here's what Roskam had to say to her tonight:
Casey had a 14-point lead in the Quinnipiac University Poll, with 54 percent of likely voters saying they planned to vote for him compared to 40 percent for Santorum. One percent said they wouldn't vote and 6 percent said they didn't know. Casey had a seven point lead among likely voters in a match up between the two in the same poll on Aug. 15.
On Monday, a state judge said Green Party candidate Carl Romanelli would be removed from the ballot because the party did not have enough valid signatures in its nominating petitions — a move pundits said would help Casey.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Thank you, Mr. Olbermann.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Were these more normal times, this would be a stunning possibility, quickly dismissed by thoughtful people as dangerous, unprovoked, and out of keeping with our national character. But we do not live in normal times.
And we do not have a government much concerned with our national character. If anything, our current Administration is out to remake our national character into something it has never been.
These include: violent reaction throughout the Islamic world; a dramatic increase in jihadist attacks in European capitals and the U.S.; radicalization of Islamic youth behind a new generation of jihadist leaders; consolidation of support for Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and a rapidly spreading malignant network; escalating expansion of anti-American sentiment throughout the world, including the democratic world; and the formation of WWIII battle lines between the U.S. and the Arab and Islamic worlds.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
CLINTON: OK, let’s talk about it. I will answer all of those things on the merits but I want to talk about the context of which this arises. I’m being asked this on the FOX network…ABC just had a right wing conservative on the Path to 9/11 falsely claim that it was based on the 9/11 Commission report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report. I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didn’t have a single meeting about Bin Laden for the nine months after I left office. All the right wingers who now say that I didn’t do enough said that I did too much. Same people.
WALLACE: Do you think you did enough sir?
CLINTON: No, because I didn’t get him.
CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try and they didn’t…I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke… So you did FOX’s bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me. But what I want to know..
WALLACE: Now wait a minute sir…
WALLACE: I asked a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate question?
CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of. I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked: Why didn’t you do anything about the Cole? I want to know how many you asked: Why did you fire Dick Clarke? I want to know…
WALLACE: We asked…
WALLACE: Do you ever watch Fox News Sunday sir?
CLINTON: I don’t believe you ask them that.
WALLACE: We ask plenty of questions of…
CLINTON: You didn’t ask that did you? Tell the truth.
WALLACE: About the USS Cole?
CLINTON: Tell the truth.
WALLACE: I…with Iraq and Afghanistan there’s plenty of stuff to ask.
CLINTON: Did you ever ask that? You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch is going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers for supporting my work on climate change. And you came here under false pretenses and said that you’d spend half the time talking about…
CLINTON: You said you’d spend half the time talking about what we did out there to raise $7 billion dollars plus over three days from 215 different commitments. And you don’t care.
CLINTON: What did I do? I worked hard to try and kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president we’d have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him. Now I never criticized President Bush and I don’t think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that thinks Afghanistan is 1/7 as important as Iraq. And you ask me about terror and Al Qaeda with that sort of dismissive theme when all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s book to look at what we did in a comprehensive systematic way to try to protect the country against terror. And you’ve got that little smirk on your face. It looks like you’re so clever.
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
It is not possible for our elected representatives to hold any sort of honorable "debate" over torture. Bush says he is waging a "struggle for civilization," but civilized nations do not debate slavery or genocide, and they don't debate torture, either. This spectacle insults and dishonors every American.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
- Dubya's "bounce" is over; TPM has the story here.
- Halliburton's disgusting war profiteering is discussed here.
- Webb kicks George Felix Allen's ass in debate here.
- Bush making threats if Congress doesn't allow him to torture other human beings here.
- Ominous rumors of war with Iran here.
Good night and Good luck.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Hey, maybe I can do it too!
Fox News--Is it nothing more than total and absolute right wing bullshit?
Is Karl Rove a severely repressed homosexual?
Is George W. Bush a drugged, alcoholic sociopath?
Does Dick Cheney suck the blood out of babies before setting out on a night of serial necrophilia?
Is Ann Coulter an anorexic, cocaine snorting slut who's banged everything in Lower Manhattan, regardless of gender or species?
Wow, this is fun!
"Some people have asked me whether America is a Christian country. The answer must be no, for to call this a Christian country is to say that non-Christians are of some lesser order, not full fledged citizens of one nation." Danforth is himself an ordained Episcopal minister.
Danforth calls the Terri Schiavo case -- where Congress intervened to attempt to keep a severely brain-damaged woman from being taken off life support -- "Big Brotherism."
"That the federal government could intervene in the Schiavo case was a threat to all the families that had seen their loved ones suffer through terminal illness," he writes.
"It was a threat to people who were terrified that their own lives might someday be artificially extended in nightmarish circumstances. It was a threat to some of our most heartfelt values. It was Big Brotherism in the extreme, an exercise of the raw and awesome power of the federal government."
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Anyone who thinks we've got the Republicans beaten is a fool, and I don't give a shit what polls you're reading and how many Americans think this country is off on the wrong track. The Republicans have one enormous advantage over us that we just can't seem to overcome:
THEY GET OFF THEIR FUCKING ASSES AND VOTE ON ELECTION DAY, AND TOO G-D DAMN MANY DEMOCRATS DON'T.
A harsh judgment? Sure, but look at the record. The Republicans always rally their troops, especially in the last 72 hours, where they simply embarrass us by their effectiveness. You say, "J. Miller, you're full of it, the polls say Democrats have more enthusiasm this year." Don't kid yourself. The right wingers HATE us and they would rather cut off their own left arms with pocket knives than miss a chance to vote against us. And what have we done to counter this?
--We've had two years to build up our microtargeting operations and we're still not ready to compete with the Republicans in this crucial area. They are far superior in identifying voters. Why?
--Howard Dean has, to his immense credit, started the 50 state strategy. But will it help us in 2006? It should have been started twenty freaking years ago. We're always behind the damned curve. Why?
--Republican fatcats have, as usual, poured huge amounts of money into GOP coffers. Why, after all this time in existence, is the Democratic Party always bringing up the fucking rear in fund raising (with some notable exceptions)? Why haven't we broadened our contributor base more? Why are we relying on party activists, rich liberals, and unions to do all the heavy lifting? We should have 20-30 MILLION ordinary people in this country giving us $1, $5, or $10 a month. Why don't we? The Republican base is accessed by immense mailing lists. Why are they so much ahead, G-d damn it??
--The Republicans still outgun us on message framing and the terrible simplicity of their themes. Why do we continue to get beat? Why?
The results will, I fear, be predictable. In Pennsylvania, our Senate candidate is being outspent by 2-1 by a right wing fanatic so terrifyingly authoritarian in nature that he shouldn't hold any public office. And yet our candidate is being pounded daily, and the Religious Right will be at the polls en masse in November to save "their" Ricky.
We have a MAGNIFICENT Senate candidate in Virginia who is opposed by a disgusting racist asshole so cretinous and vicious that I can't believe anyone listens to him. Yet the asshole has five to ten times the money our man has.
In California, a movie star Republican governor who should be dumped on his ass is burying us under deceitful propaganda, paid for by millions in corporate money.
In my own district, IL-11, the Republican congressman is a Bush-DeLay robot who votes with the GOP leadership 92% of the time. He's married to a woman who's part of a crime family/collection of mass murderers in Guatemala. He sucks up to the oil and gas industries and he's accepted tainted DeLay money. He's also going to raise TWO MILLION FUCKING DOLLARS and can therefore outspend the dynamic young Democrat, John Pavich, by about 4-1.
Over and over again, I see Republican money, Republican lies, and Republican GOTV operations killing us. And what have we REALLY accomplished to stop--
--Republican VOTE SUPPRESSION? I'll bet African-American precincts in Ohio and Missouri will STILL have lousy, broken down voting machines. I'll bet Republican pollwatchers/Klansmen will STILL be challenging and intimidating our voters with impunity. What the G-d damned hell are we doing to stop it??
--Republican VOTE STEALING? Have we really made much progress in stopping paperless voting? Have we really done the spadework necessary to stop crooks like Blackwell from simply throwing out Democratic ballots? Have we really acted to stop Republican campaign workers from stealing ballot boxes or electronically manipulating voting machines? What have we really accomplished?
Look, I know many in the media are our enemies. I know the GOP will always have money. But the people are on our side. Earlier this year an ABC poll showed the Democrats leading on every single issue. But will Democrats get out to vote? Not as much as Republicans will, and I'll bet my life on that. Too many of us just simply can't be bothered. Our lack of preparedness is tragic. Our country is dying here, folks. We know that. But too many others out there don't. And the Democratic political leadership is STILL GETTING BEATEN in the political nuts and bolts areas it takes to win.
So I expect nothing on 7 November. I know when the chips are down the right wingers will vote, and most of our voters won't. I fully expect, therefore, the death spiral of the United States to continue. I'm being too negative? Too bad. I'm being bad for morale? Screw that. I'm trying to protect myself from the terrible depression I suffered after 2 November 2004, when we let the Republicans beat us/cheat us/steal from us AGAIN.
So after the election, I fully expect Bush to again push for privatizing Social Security. I fully expect oil prices to rise. I fully expect the war drums against Iran to get louder. I fully expect that Bush will continue to aggrandize his own already monstrous executive power. And I have no faith any more that we'll be in a position to stop it. Not because of my (genuinely) beloved fellow Democrats who care. But because of the millions of lazy, unmotivated, indifferent Democrats who are WAITING for victory instead of WORKING for it.
In discussing the collapse of the Weimar Republic, William Shirer observed that the enemies of the republic won because they cared more than their opponents. The Republicans win because they care more than we do.
They do more leg work than we do.
They raise more money.
They network and microtarget better than we do.
They want to win more than we do.
So no, I don't expect a damned thing. My hope is waning and my bitterness is growing.
Flame me, ignore me, say I'm bringing everybody down. I don't care. Until my party shows me otherwise, I'll expect to be in exactly the same position I've been in before.
At the short end of the stick
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
· Bill Clinton sent legislation to Congress to add tagents to explosives, to allow for better tracking of explosives used by terrorists. It was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the NRA.
· Bill Clinton increased the military budget by an average of 14 per cent, reversing the trend under Bush I.
· Bill Clinton tripled the budget of the FBI for counterterrorism and doubled overall funding for counterterrorism.
· Bill Clinton detected and destroyed cells of Al Qaeda in over 20 countries.
· Bill Clinton created national stockpile of drugs and vaccines including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine.
· Of Clinton's efforts says Robert Oakley, Reagan Ambassador for Counterterrorism: "Overall, I give them very high marks" and "The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama".
· Paul Bremer, current Civilian Administrator of Iraq disagrees slightly with Robert Oakley as he believed the Bill Clinton Administration had "correctly focused on bin Laden.
· Barton Gellman in the Washington Post put it best, "By any measure available, Bill Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him" and was the "first administration to undertake a systematic anti-terrorist effort".
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Fiscal Management: America is broke. No wait, we're worse than broke. In less than five years these borrow and spend-thrifts have nearly doubled our national debt, to a stunning $8.2 trillion. [Emphasis added.] These are not your father's Republicans who treated public dollars as though they were an endangered species. These Republicans waste money in ways and in quantities that make those old tax and spend liberals of yore look like tight-fisted Scots.
Medicare Drug Program: This $50 billion white elephant debuted by trampling many of those it was supposed to save. The mess forced states to step in and try to save its own citizens from being killed by the administration's poorly planned and executed attempt to privatize huge hunks of the federal health safety net.
Iraq: This ill-begotten war was supposed to only cost us $65 billion. It has now cost us over $300 billion and continues to suck $6 billion a month out of our children's futures. Meanwhile the three warring tribes Bush "liberated" are using our money and soldiers' lives to partition the country. The Shiites and Kurds are carving out the prime cuts while treating the once-dominant Sunnis the same way the Israelis treat the Palestinians, forcing them onto Iraq's version of Death Valley. Meanwhile Iran is increasingly calling the shots in the Shiite region as mullahs loyal to Iran take charge. (More)
Iran: The administration not only jinxed its Afghanistan operations by attacking Iraq, but also provided Iran both the rationale for and time to move toward nuclear weapons. The Bush administration's neocons' threats to attack Syria next only provided more support for religious conservatives within Iran who argued U.S. intentions in the Middle East were clear, and that only the deterrent that comes with nuclear weapons could protect them.
The Military: Overused and over-deployed.
Former Defense Secretary William Perry and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warned in a 15-page report that the Army and Marine Corps cannot sustain the current operational tempo without "doing real damage to their forces." ... Speaking at a news conference to release the study, Albright said she is "very troubled" the military will not be able to meet demands abroad. Perry warned that the strain, "if not relieved, can have highly corrosive and long-term effects on the military. (More)
With military budgets gutted by the spiraling costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the administration has requested funding for fewer National Guard troops in fiscal 2007 -- 17,000 fewer. Which boggles the sane mind since, if it weren't for reserve/National Guard, the administration would not have had enough troops to rotate forces in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 40 percent of the troops sent to those two countries were from the reserve and National Guard.
The Environment: Here's a little pop quiz: What happens if all the coral in the world's oceans dies? Answer: Coral is the first rung on the food-chain ladder; so when it goes, everything else in the ocean dies. And if the oceans die, we die.
The coral in the world's oceans are dying (called "bleaching") at an alarming and accelerating rate. Global warming is the culprit. Nevertheless, this administration continues as the world's leading global warming denier. Why? Because they seem to feel it's more cost effective to be dead than to force reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. How stupid is that? And time is running out.
Consumers: Americans finally did it last year -- they achieved a negative savings rate. (Folks in China save 10 percent, for contrast.) If the government can spend more than it makes and just say "charge it" when it runs out, so can we. The average American now owes $9,000 to credit card companies. Imagine that.
Ah, we could go on and on. The 50,000,000+ without medical insurance. The highest medical costs in the world. Millions more in poverty since 2001. The use of torture against our enemies, in contravention of all our country's traditions. Halliburton feeding vampire-like on the U.S. budget and U.S. service personnel. The decline in median incomes. The general hatred of Bush (and by extension America) in much of the world. Vote suppression and vote stealing. Corruption that would embarrass a professional grifter. And lie after lie after lie after lie about all of it from the most dishonest, most criminal administration in American history.
Read it all. And then make sure ALL of your Democratic friends are registered to vote and fired up for 7 November.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Consortium's discussion of World War III here.
DKos's exposure of the grotesque right wing frauds behind ABC's grotesque right wing fraud "The Path to 9/11" here.
Washington Monthly's exposure of Rumsfeld's shocking incompetence on Iraq here.
Via Raw Story, the DNC's new ad about Bush's election year hypocrisy vis a vis Bin Laden here.
Oh, and check out the charming way the Republicans refer to Hillary Clinton when they're talking to each other here.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
So the CIA, the Northern Alliance, surrounding a house where bin Laden is in Afghanistan, they’re on the verge of capturing, but they need final approval from the Clinton administration in order to proceed.
So they phoned Washington. They phoned the White House. Clinton and his senior staff refused to give authorization for the capture of bin Laden because they’re afraid of political fallout if the mission should go wrong, and if civilians were harmed…Now, the CIA agent in this is portrayed as being astonished. “Are you kidding?” He asked Berger over and over, “Is this really what you guys want?”
Berger then doesn’t answer after giving his first admonition, “You guys go in on your own. If you go in we’re not sanctioning this, we’re not approving this,” and Berger just hangs up on the agent after not answering any of his questions.
ThinkProgress has obtained a response to this scene from Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar for Bush I, Clinton and Bush II, and now counterterrorism adviser to ABC:
1. Contrary to the movie, no US military or CIA personnel were on the ground in Afghanistan and saw bin Laden.
2. Contrary to the movie, the head of the Northern Alliance, Masood, was no where near the alleged bin Laden camp and did not see UBL.
3. Contrary to the movie, the CIA Director actually said that he could not recommend a strike on the camp because the information was single sourced and we would have no way to know if bin Laden was in the target area by the time a cruise missile hit it.
--The ABC network
--The show's sponsors (key!)
--The network's local affiliates.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Right-wing economics strikes again!
U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige labeled one "a terrorist organization." Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, called them "a clear and present danger to the security of the United States." And U.S. Rep. Charles Norwood, R-Ga., claimed they employ "tyranny that Americans are fighting and dying to defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan" and are thus "enemies of freedom and democracy," who show "why we still need the Second Amendment" to defend ourselves with firearms.
Who are these supposed threats to America? No, not Osama bin Laden followers, but labor unions made up of millions of workers -- janitors, teachers, firefighters, police officers, you name it.
The hostility, while disgusting, is unsurprising. Unions wield power for workers, meaning they present an obstacle to Republican corporate donors, who want to put profit-making over other societal priorities.
The flip side is obvious: The more corporations and politicians crush unions, the more all workers suffer. It is no coincidence that as union membership and power has declined under withering anti-union attacks, workers have seen their wages stagnate, pensions slashed, and share of national income hit a 60-year low. As Council on Foreign Relations scholars put it, the decline in unions "is correlated with the early and sharp widening of the U.S. wage gap."
Sunday, September 03, 2006
A Weller spokesman acknowledged the donation, but downplayed its significance.
With just more than two months until the Nov. 7 general election, the 11th Congressional District race is heating up between six-term incumbent Weller, a Morris Republican, and former CIA intelligence officer John Pavich, a Beecher Democrat.
Pavich's office issued a press release stating Weller accepted contributions from Jeffrey Prosser, a "phone sex operator" in April 2005. The statement alleges Prosser paid Weller because Weller went to Belize and attempted to reverse the seizure of a Belizean telephone company Prosser owned. Weller's office says the trip was related to his work and was not personal.
"It now appears that Mr. Weller will accept cash from anyone and will pay it back tenfold," said Pavich's campaign manager, Matt Pavich. "I guess that if the voters of the 11th (District) want representation from this congressman, they better pay up first."
Prosser declared bankruptcy this month, Matt Pavich said.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Rep. Dick Armey, GOP Majority Leader"The suspicion some people have about the president's motives in this attack [on Iraq] is itself a powerful argument for impeachment," Armey said in a statement. "After months of lies, the president has given millions of people around the world reason to doubt that he has sent Americans into battle for the right reasons."
Rep. Gerald Solomon (R - NY)"It is obvious that they're (the Clinton White House) doing everything they can to postpone the vote on this impeachment in order to try to get whatever kind of leverage they can, and the American people ought to be as outraged as I am about it," Solomon said in an interview with CNN. Asked if he was accusing Clinton of playing with American lives for political expediency, Solomon said, "Whether he knows it or not, that's exactly what he's doing."
Sen. Dan CoatsCoats, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement, "While there is clearly much more we need to learn about this attack [on Osama bin Laden] and why it was ordered today, given the president's personal difficulties this week, it is legitimate to question the timing of this action."
Sen. Larry Craig, U.S. Senate Republican Policy CommitteeThe foregoing review of the Clinton Administration's prevarications on Kosovo would not be complete without a brief look at one other possible factor in the deepening morass. Consider the following fictional situation: A president embroiled in a sex scandal that threatens to bring down his administration. He sees the only way out in distracting the nation and the world with a foreign military adventure. So, he orders his spin-doctors and media wizards to get to work. They survey the options, push a few buttons, and decide upon a suitable locale: Albania. The foregoing, the premise of the recent film Wag the Dog, might once have seemed farfetched. Yet it can hardly escape comment that on the very day, August 17, that President Bill Clinton is scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury to explain his possibly criminal behavior, Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton has ordered U.S. Marines and air crews to commence several days of ground and air exercises in, yes, Albania as a warning of possible NATO intervention in next-door Kosovo. . . .Not too many years ago, it would not have entered the mind of even the worst of cynics to speculate whether any American president, whatever his political difficulties, would even consider sending U.S. military personnel into harm's way to serve his own, personal needs. But in an era when pundits openly weigh the question of whether President Clinton will (or should) tell the truth under oath not because he has a simple obligation to do so but because of the possible impact on his political "viability" -- is it self-evident that military decisions are not affected by similar considerations? Under the circumstances, it is fair to ask to what extent the Clinton Administration has forfeited the benefit of the doubt as to the motives behind its actions.
GOP Activist Paul WeyrichPaul Weyrich, a leading conservative activist, said Clinton's decision to bomb on the eve of the impeachment vote "is more of an impeachable offense than anything he is being charged with in Congress."
Wall St. Journal Editorial Board"It is dangerous for an American president to launch a military strike, however justified, at a time when many will conclude he acted only out of narrow self-interest to forestall or postpone his own impeachment"
Sen. Trent Lott, GOP Majority Leader"I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time," Lott said in a statement. "Both the timing and the policy are subject to question."
Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-NY)"Never underestimate a desperate president," said a furious House Rules Committee Chairman Gerald B.H. Solomon (R-N.Y.). "What option is left for getting impeachment off the front page and maybe even postponed? And how else to explain the sudden appearance of a backbone that has been invisible up to now?"
Rep. Tillie Folwer (R-Fla)"It [the bombing of Iraq] is certainly rather suspicious timing," said Rep. Tillie Fowler (R-Florida). "I think the president is shameless in what he would do to stay in office."
Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle ForumFirst, it [intervention in Kosovo] is a "wag the dog" public relations ploy to involve us in a war in order to divert attention from his personal scandals (only a few of which were addressed in the Senate trial). He is again following the scenario of the "life is truer than fiction" movie Wag the Dog. The very day after his acquittal, Clinton moved quickly to "move on" from the subject of impeachment by announcing threats to bomb and to send U.S. ground troops into the civil war in Kosovo between Serbian authorities and ethnic Albanians fighting for independence. He scheduled Americans to be part of a NATO force under non-American command.
Jim Hoagland, Washington Post"President Clinton has indelibly associated a justified military response ... with his own wrongdoing. ... Clinton has now injected the impeachment process against him into foreign policy, and vice versa"
Byron York, National ReviewInstead of striking a strong blow against terrorism, the action [launching cruise missles at bin Laden] set off a howling debate about Clinton's motives. The president ordered the action three days after appearing before the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Clinton's critics accused him of using military action to change the subject from the sex-and-perjury scandal — the so-called "wag the dog" strategy.
Wall St. Journal editorial"Perceptions that the American president is less interested in the global consequences than in taking any action that will enable him to hold onto power [are] a further demonstration that he has dangerously compromised himself in conducting the nation's affairs, and should be impeached"
Yes, this is how Republicans "supported the president" when they were out of power. Makes me laugh when they criticize us for not supporting the Chimp in Chief.
It blames Bill Clinton for everything related to the attack and ignores all of Clinton's anti-terrorist efforts.
It presents Condi Rice and George ("All right, you've covered your ass.") Bush as effective, heroic leaders. It utterly ignores Bush's screw ups in the nine months he was in office prior to 9/11.
It is being praised by Rush Limbaugh and the right wing fanatics at Front Page.
Its director is a right winger.
This is pro-Republican, pro-Bush bullshit and it's being broadcast less than two months before the vitally important midterm elections. ABC needs to be hit where it counts--in the pocketbook. Let them know you intend to boycott their advertisers.
You can contact ABC here.
Let them hear you. Loud and clear.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt, who fell for virtually every Iraq War deception that the Bush administration could dream up, is back assaulting former Ambassador Wilson, again, in a Sept. 1 editorial, falsely accusing Wilson of lying and concluding that “it’s unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.”
For instance, in 2005, when secret documents were disclosed in Great Britain describing Bush’s efforts in 2002 to “fix” the Iraq WMD intelligence to justify the war, the Post first ignored the so-called “Downing Street Memo” and then disparaged those who considered this powerful evidence of Bush’s deceptions important.
On June 15, 2005, the Post’s lead editorial asserted that “the memos add not a single fact to what was previously known about the administration’s prewar deliberations. Not only that: They add nothing to what was publicly known in July 2002.”
But Hiatt’s assessment simply wasn’t correct. Looking back to 2002 and early 2003, it would be hard to find any “reputable” commentary in the mainstream U.S. press calling Bush’s actions fraudulent, which is what the “Downing Street Memo” and other British evidence have since revealed them to be.
The British documents prove that much of the pre-war debate inside the U.S. and British governments was how best to manipulate public opinion by playing games with the intelligence. If that reality “was publicly known” before the war, why hadn’t the Post reported it and why did its editorials continue to parrot the administration’s lies and distortions?
Yet despite this disturbing record of the Post’s credulity (if not outright dishonesty), Hiatt has published yet another editorial concentrating his ugliest attacks not against the administration for misleading the nation to war or against the failure of officials (like Powell) to express their misgivings in a timely fashion, but against Joe Wilson.