Monday, November 28, 2005

Left-wing blogs being monitored by Military Intelligence

Jesus' General and Uncommon Thought have both been visited by CIFA.

I wonder what you have to say to warrant that kind of attention? Would calling for Ann Coulter to be drawn and quartered do it? Just wondering...

Truth Wrap-up

Frank Rich provides a nice summary of our "Truth" series
The more the president and vice president tell us that their mistakes were merely innocent byproducts of the same bad intelligence seen by everyone else in the world, the more we learn that this was not so. The web of half-truths and falsehoods used to sell the war did not happen by accident; it was woven by design and then foisted on the public by a P.R. operation built expressly for that purpose in the White House. [...]

A nearly 7,000-word investigation in last Sunday's Los Angeles Times found that Mr. Bush and his aides had "issued increasingly dire warnings" about Iraq's mobile biological weapons labs long after U.S. intelligence authorities were told by Germany's Federal Intelligence Service that the principal source for these warnings, an Iraqi defector in German custody code-named Curveball, "never claimed to produce germ weapons and never saw anyone else do so." [...]

Murray Waas filled in another piece of the prewar propaganda puzzle. He reported in the nonpartisan National Journal that 10 days after 9/11, "President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda." [...]

Mr. Bush was wrong when he said in his Veterans Day speech that more than 100 Congressional Democrats who voted for the Iraqi war resolution "had access to the same intelligence" he did. They didn't have access to the President's Daily Brief that Mr. Waas uncovered. They didn't have access to the information that German intelligence officials spoke about to The Los Angeles Times. Nor did they have access to material from a Defense Intelligence Agency report, released by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan this month, which as early as February 2002 demolished the reliability of another major source that the administration had persistently used for its false claims about Iraqi-Al Qaeda collaboration. [...]

If Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney believe they were truthful in the run-up to the war, it's easy for them to make their case. Instead of falsely claiming that they've been exonerated by two commissions that looked into prewar intelligence - neither of which addressed possible White House misuse and mischaracterization of that intelligence - they should just release the rest of the President's Daily Briefs and other prewar documents that are now trickling out. Instead, incriminatingly enough, they are fighting the release of any such information, including unclassified documents found in post-invasion Iraq requested from the Pentagon by the pro-war, neocon Weekly Standard. As Scott Shane reported in The New York Times last month, Vietnam documents are now off limits, too: the National Security Agency won't make public a 2001 historical report on how American officials distorted intelligence in 1964 about the Gulf of Tonkin incident for fear it might "prompt uncomfortable comparisons" between the games White Houses played then and now to gin up wars. [...]

"We're not going to sit by and let them rewrite history," the vice president said of his critics. "We're going to continue throwing their own words back at them." But according to a Harris poll released by The Wall Street Journal last Wednesday, 64 percent of Americans now believe that the Bush administration "generally misleads the American public on current issues to achieve its own ends." That's why it's Mr. Cheney's and the president's own words that are being thrown back now - not to rewrite history but to reveal it for the first time to an angry country that has learned the hard way that it can no longer afford to be without the truth.

Friday, November 25, 2005

You Have Got to be Kidding Me

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown, heavily criticized for his agency's slow response to Hurricane Katrina, is starting a disaster preparedness consulting firm to help clients avoid the sort of errors that cost him his job.

I'm sure the offers will be 'flooding' in. Get it, flooding? !!!

I really think he ought to go back to show horses...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Did Bush really want to bomb Al Jazeera?

The Daily Mirror claims to have seen a memo between Bush and Blair dealing with this issue. And the British and American governments have been protesting loudly, which only further fans the flames of speculation. If there was nothing so horrible in the memo, why not release and be done with it? THe damage is much worse this way, and leaves many to assume that Bush's attitude was indeed something like this. Control Room, the excellent documentary about Al JAzeera's coverage of the initial invasion of Iraq, shows the apparently intentional targeting of one of their reporters in Baghdad.

And we know what the attitude of these people toward controlling information and their version of the 'truth' is.

What do you think?


As is well known, President Bush's approval ratings have been in the 30s for a long time now. But what is even more important is that people don't trust the man and his whole operation anymore.

Check out these numbers from a recent Harris Poll:

'Do you think the Bush administration generally provides accurate information regarding current issues or do you think they generally mislead the public to achieve their own end?'

Accurate Misleading
All 32% 64%
Rep. 68% 28%
Dem. 7% 91%
Ind. 25% 73%

This is amazing - this question is essentially asking whether the Bush administration manipulates data irresponsibly - a very serious and troubling issue. That almost 3/4s of independents now see Bush in this light shows how centrists don't believe them anymore. What is even more significant is that over one quarter of Republicans have jumped ship on Bush. The curtain has been pulled back. The emperor has no clothes.

The same poll shows that 63% of people want American troops back from Iraq in the next year. The neocon theory that war could be waged cheaply with small armies has been resoundly proven to be bunk. Furthermore, 56% think that Scooter Libby is guilty. THis includes 35% of Republicans, which is fascinating, because it means that even they aren't buying the Rovian talking points anymore (e.g., that it's not a 'real crime', etc.).

People are sick of this b.s. They want somebody with some dignity, somebody who can lead. Now only if the Democrats could come up with somebody like that, instead of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Oh well.

Happy Thanksgiving - The George Orwell novel that we have all lived in for the last four years is coming to a close.

Residents of NY and MASS this year are thankful for ...

Hugo Chavez!

The juxtaposition was never so striking - how is it that the socialist populist leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, can do more for Americans than its own government. Our elected leaders are so cowed by the petroleum industry that it wouldn't even swear the heads of the big oil companies in, at their recent hearing on Capitol Hill. They had a chance to explain to the American people why, in a year of oil shartages and natural disasters, they posted record-breaking profits. As prices topped three dollars a gallon and average working Joes began to feel the pinch, these guys were laughing all the way to the bank. This is the same public-spirited attitude behind the California energy fiasco of 2001. It's a good thing they weren't sworn in, because they all lied about being on Dick Cheney's infamous Energy Task Force.

So it couldn't have come at a more opportune time that South America's self-declared reincarnation of Simon Bolivar should step into the breach, providing low-cost fuel for the poor residents of Massachussetts and New York.

It's a just a shame that our own country is so completely compromised. This government sees the poor as an aberration. These are the people too lazy or stupid to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. No Christian charity here, just disdain and worse. Wal-mart fodder. One step away from Soylent Green.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Truth No. 3

Report: 9/11-Iraq link refuted days after attack - U.S. Security - "Ten days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Bush was advised that U.S. intelligence found no credible connection linking the attacks to the regime of Saddam Hussein, or evidence suggesting linkage between Saddam and the al-Qaida terrorist network, according to a published report.
In one of the Journal report's more compelling disclosures, Saddam is said to have viewed al-Qaida as a threat, rather than a potential ally.
After Sept. 11, the administration insisted that a connection existed between Iraq and al-Qaida. President Bush, in an October 2002 speech in Cincinnati, said the United States had “learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaida members in bomb-making and poisons and gas.”

And Vice President Cheney, in a September 2003 appearance on NBC's “Meet the Press,” alleged there was “a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida that stretched back through most of the decade of the ’90s.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Truth No. 2

Decoding Mr. Bush's Denials - New York Times
"Mr. Bush says everyone had the same intelligence he had - Mr. Clinton and his advisers, foreign governments, and members of Congress - and that all of them reached the same conclusions. The only part that is true is that Mr. Bush was working off the same intelligence Mr. Clinton had. But that is scary, not reassuring. The reports about Saddam Hussein's weapons were old, some more than 10 years old. Nothing was fresher than about five years, except reports that later proved to be fanciful.

Foreign intelligence services did not have full access to American intelligence. But some had dissenting opinions that were ignored or not shown to top American officials. Congress had nothing close to the president's access to intelligence. The National Intelligence Estimate presented to Congress a few days before the vote on war was sanitized to remove dissent and make conjecture seem like fact.

It's hard to imagine what Mr. Bush means when he says everyone reached the same conclusion. There was indeed a widespread belief that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons. But Mr. Clinton looked at the data and concluded that inspections and pressure were working - a view we now know was accurate. France, Russia and Germany said war was not justified. Even Britain admitted later that there had been no new evidence about Iraq, just new politics."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Truth No. 1

Asterisks Dot White House's Iraq Argument: "Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than did lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material. And the commissions cited by officials, though concluding that the administration did not pressure intelligence analysts to change their conclusions, were not authorized to determine whether the administration exaggerated or distorted those conclusions."

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bush: Critics try to rewrite Iraq war history

"President Bush, in the most forceful defense yet of his Iraq war policy, accused critics Friday of trying to rewrite history..."

It occurs to me that this is an incredibly useful strategy. Just not for Bush. The media have been reluctant for the past 2-plus years to really pursue investigating the evidence for invading Iraq. Only lately, in the past few weeks, have stories started to emerge about the pervasive doubts that existed in the intelligence agencies that were ignored and overridden by the administration's rush to war. Therefore, the more the Bush administration puts this story in the headlines, the more the media will (one hopes) feel justified in aggressively pursuing it. Will we finally see the truth come out?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Republicans have lost the center (continuing on a theme...)

IN today's episode, we see that Republicans still are avoiding the facts about the lead-up to the war, with 69% saying that the government were misinformed about WMD's. This compares to 39% for independents and 20% for Democrats. In contrast, 47% of independents now say that the government lied to the American people.

Pennsylvania voters turn on hard-right agenda

(CBS/AP) Voters came down hard Tuesday on Dover, Pa., school board members who ordered a statement on intelligent design read in biology class, ousting eight Republicans and replacing them with Democrats who want the concept stripped from the science curriculum.

The election unfolded amid a landmark federal trial involving the Dover public schools and the question of whether intelligent design promotes the Bible's view of creation. Eight Dover families sued, saying it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

Republicans singing the blues

Democrats have won both (extremely close and extremely nasty) gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia. This is bound to be interpreted as a harbinger of electoral defeats for the ruling party in next year's midterms.

In Virginia, Dem. Kaine won with 52 percent conpared to Kilgore's 46%, despite (or because of?) a last-minute appearance with President W.

In New Jersey, where the race had been potrayed as neck-and-neck, Democrat Corzine pulled off a 10-point lead over Rep. Forrester.

IN a further blow for the ruling party, all four of Schwarzenegger's reform initiatives in California were defeated.