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Vigilance

"I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world, not only for its strength, but for its civilization as well. And I look forward to a world which will be safe not only for democracy and diversity but also for personal distinction.
I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty."- JFK 10/26/63 Amherst College


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Baltimore Chronicle
Empire Burlesque
Huffington Post
Wayne Madsen Report
AntiWar
Juan Cole
Truth Out
Cursor
Raw Story
Talking Points Memo
Chris Floyd
Counterspin
Frognosis

More links

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Bush boogies - Hard Work!
Favorite clip: Bush's Hard Work


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Anousha Ansari
Anousha Ansari, an Iranian born American high-tech entrepreneur and the first female space tourist takes off on Sept 18 from the Baikanour Cosomdrome. She will conduct experiments on board the space station for The European Space Agency. (ref)

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Randi Rhodes
The Randi Rhodes Show

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Bush Groping Merkel
Bush Groping Merkel
Inappropriate Behavior
Strangely frisky Bush gropes Germany's Merkel. click image for video

Bush- mouth full, mike open
Mouth full, mike open:
"See, the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit..."
Click for video

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Bush and Hayden
NSA Monitoring:
Every Call You Make
Every Mail You Send

USA Today reveals the spy agency has been collecting information on every phone call made in this country... "high likelihood" that this information is being passed on to the FBI and CIA. (email too) AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth have been turning over detailed call histories of all their customers since Sept. 11, 2001, to help the NSA compile "the largest database ever assembled in the world."
And you too can be part of it! Just pick up your phone now, and call... well, anyone!
(USAT article)

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lawrence_wilkerson
Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell from 2002 to 2005:
"As Alexis de Tocqueville once said: "America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." In January 2001, with the inauguration of George W. Bush as president, America set on a path to cease being good; America became a revolutionary nation, a radical republic. If our country continues on this path, it will cease to be great - as happened to all great powers before it, without exception." (story)


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That Giant Sucking Sound
Official: "US needs a net inflow of $3 billion per day to keep the economy afloat..."
(story, NYT)

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Congressman Murtha Rep. Murtha: "Let me tell you, the only people who want us in Iraq is Iran and al-Qaeda.." (story)

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McCain Hugs the Chief
McCain gets religion
John McCain now hopes to pick up the Bush vote in 08.

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"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." -Edward R. Murrow
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"The erosion of freedom rarely comes as an all-out frontal assault, rather, it is a gradual, noxious creeping cloaked in secrecy and glossed over by reassurances of greater security." -Robert Byrd, dean of the Senate.

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"Holding hands is the warmest expression of affection between men, It's a sign of solidarity and kinship." - Samir Khalaf, professor of sociology, American University of Beirut. (... story)

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Cheney, Rumsfeld Should Resign
Los Angeles Times Calls for Cheney Resignation
(LAT Ed)

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PDF Downloads
now moved here

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"Hostile Takeover tells you more about our corporations and politicians than our corporations and politicians think you really ought to know."
-Chicago Sun-Times

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Pat Robertson on Aliens
"The devil can disguise himself in many forms...if there is life on other planets it is demonic. There is no question that there are demons in outer space."
-Pat Robertson

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"A tormenting thought: as of a certain point, history was no longer real. Without noticing it, all mankind suddenly left reality..." -Elias Canetti

Bush storm
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices." Voltaire

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"The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes that the world [is] about to end and that its ending [will] be glorious, purely on the basis of religious dogma, should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency." -Sam Harris, "Letter to a Christian Nation"

Kingdom Coming:
The Rise of Christian Nationalism

Read the review at Salon: "Across the United States, religious activists are organizing to establish an American theocracy. A frightening look inside the growing right-wing movement"... by Michelle Goldberg (article at Salon)

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Pat Tillman

Update March 3: The Pentagon has ordered an investigation into whether Corporal Tillman's death was homicide... (story)
See our earlier piece on the suspicious circumstances of Tillman's death here

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Bush  on SOTU

Bush on the state of the union speech- a must see (quicktime download) .

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"American journalism is in need of a spine transplant" Dan Rather
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evil and stupid
Hey! It's Hard Work!! Well, maybe we can just Imagine... Walk on the Wild Side! (mp3s)

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Richard Nixon, referring to the report by the Warren Commission: "it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated".[sic] (...ref)

Oh, and Oswald was CIA
(view document)

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Sheen on 911
Charlie Sheen on CNN:
"911 was an Inside Job"
And 82% agree! (ref)

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atta and jarrah

New videos show 9/11 hijackers at BinLaden's camp in 2000. Here pictured: Atta (r.) and Jarrah (l.)

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  09.20.06
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Editor: S. Miller
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Dvmx

2007 January 15

War Dance in the White House

Desperate Measures for a Failed Occupation
As we predicted in these pages 4 years ago, Iraq has become a horrific quagmire, and it appears impossible to decide whether it is worse to stay or worse to leave.... A disaster predictable and predicted... if only they had listened.
On the horns of this dilemma, Bush-Cheney have opted to escalate the "war", a reckless gambler's move, which, given the minimal confidence he enjoys among the public, the congress, the military, and our allies around the world, seems almost pathological.
Secure Baghdad by kicking in MORE doors in house to house searches? More heavily armed and jumpy non-Arabic-speaking soldiers at random checkpoints throughout the city? And when we find Shia and Sunni shooting at each other, do we take sides, or do we shoot at them all, or do we walk away? Are we really going to confront the Mahdi Army, as hinted? Or will the Shia militias drop back, allowing the Shia government to work with us in persecuting the Sunni? That would draw the Saudis in. What a mess!
There's more: Bush's plan calls for using Kurdish troops in Baghdad to suppress the Sunni - Shia violence. That's right, come on you Kurds, get off the sidelines and join the fray! Now, behind the Kurds are the Turks, eyeing nervously the potential for the emergence of an independent Kurdistan. When Rice recently warned the Turks to stay out, PM Erdogan practically laughed in her face; "We have a 350 km border with Iraq. We have historic relations ... the United States is 10,000 km away from Iraq, and yet is it not intervening in Iraq's internal affairs?"
But most dangerously, this surge plan may be a smokescreen to give cover to a policy of escalation against Iran, laying the groundwork for dual ends, to blame the Iraqi fiasco on Iranian meddling, and to reach a level of provocation where hostilities can be initiated on a broad scale against Iran without first going to the Congress or the UN. Note that a second aircraft carrier group has been sent to the region, and the new Centcom commander is an admiral. Iranian 'diplomats' have been seized in Erbil (Kurdistan) and Baghdad. Last week an American nuclear attack submarine surfaced under a Japanese oil tanker just off the Iranian coast.
For those of us outside the Bush Bubble, this course of action seems sheer lunacy. Is he just bereft of good judgement, or is he mad, sociopathic? Is he drinking again? Is it the Armageddon thing? His circle of abuse is set to widen once more; when are we going to put a stop to it? There was a moment during the Watergate scandal when doubts arose over Nixon's mental state; from that point on the impeachment momentum accelerated. We may be seeing such a point in the near future. This is not lost on Congress. With the new Democratic majority, and many Republicans awaking to the danger, watching Congressional Hearings on C-Span these days is pretty intense.

A note regarding impeachment. The airwaves are full of people saying if we impeached Bush, we'd only get Cheney, or liberal talk hosts cackling over Nancy Pelosi becoming president if we got Cheney out too. Actually, the Ford presidency shows how it works: No-one wanted Nixon's Veep, the ridiculous Spiro Agnew, to become president, so corruption charges were brought against him and he resigned. Then, in accordance with section 2 of the 25th amendment, the President nominated a new Vice-President, to be confirmed by Congress. That was Ford.
The worst reason for not impeaching Bush and Cheney is that their clock will almost have run out anyway. Impeachment is the way- the only way- we can officially and for the record state that specific crimes were committed and that they constitute unacceptable behavior for our leaders, and that we condemn and renounce them forever. And we must do that.

more on the Iranian dimension: The Washington Note
And the Baghdad situation: Juan Cole
And this excellent piece: The Iraq Insurgency- anatomy of a tribal rebellion

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Saddam Hung at Dawn

Saddam Executed
Saddam Hussein has been hung for the crime of killing 148 men 24 years ago*. The rush to execute the only man who held Iraq together in modern times for a crime which pales in comparison to the toll of our invasion of that country seems unseemly, dishonorable. And given the impenetrable turmoil and violence we have unleashed there, executing Saddam at this point may be also be yet another big mistake. UPDATE: As it turned out, Saddam was hung by a jeering clutch of hooded Shiite militiamen, who chanted Moktadr! Moktadr! as Saddam tried to pray. To rub salt in the Sunni wound, the execution was held on the Sunni first day of the holiday Id; the Shiia celebrate beginning Sunday. Here is the infamous cell-phone video of the botched execution.
(*Note that Saddam was not yet tried for his two greatest crimes, the Kurdish massacres of the early eighties, and the Shiite massacres of 1991. In the first case, the US supplied the chemicals and turned a blind eye. In the second, Bush Sr, having called on the Shiias to rise up following the Gulf War, allowed Saddam to keep his attack helicopters and turned a blind eye as he used them to massacre the Shiia. US complicity in these crimes was probably also the reason he could not be delivered to an international war crimes court, like the Hague. Instead he was tried and executed for killing the 148 Dawa Shiia of Dujail, following an assassination attempt, a crime the US clearly had nothing to do with.)
See Juan Cole's article on the execution at Salon
Chris Floyd is doing a great job covering the execution and it's context at Empire Burlesque
UPDATE: Saddam's co-conspirators in the Dujail trial, Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, were hanged Jan 15; this time no cell phones got in... and a good thing since Barzan's head was pulled clean off by the noose. At least that's the official story. I don't know if that's really possible or not, but it sounds to me like the militiamen were in charge of this execution too, and with no cell-phones bearing witness, they cut off Barzan's head in true terror style, with a big knife.

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Want US Citizenship? The Fast Track is Iraq Boston Globe reports on Dec 26: "The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks - including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and put more immigrants on a faster track to U.S. citizenship if they volunteer - according to Pentagon officials." This is a really bad idea- preferential citizenship for foreigners willing to fight and kill in an illegal and senseless war for a couple years before coming to America... just great.

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Phillip Martin"I say 'No More!'"
Philip Martin has been a Marine for 2 years, and has spent 7 months in the al-Anbar province of Iraq. He went on more than 180 combat patrols in and outside of the city of Fallujah, where he was hit with 2 IEDs, and was involved in a number of firefights. He wrote this letter while stationed in Twentynine Palms, CA, and is due to return to Iraq for a second deployment in April 2007. He is 21-years-old.

"I'm sick and tired of this patriotic, nationalistic and fascist crap. I stood through a memorial service today for a young Marine that was killed in Iraq back in April. During this memorial a number of people spoke about the guy and about his sacrifice for the country. How do you justify 'sacrificing' your life for a war which is not only illegal, but is being prosecuted to the extent where the only thing keeping us there is one man's power, and his ego. A recent Marine Corps intelligence report that was leaked said that the war in the al-Anbar province is unwinnable. It said that there was nothing we could do to win the hearts and minds, or the military operations in that area. So I wonder, why are we still there? Democracy is not forced upon people at gunpoint. It's the result of forward thinking individuals who take the initiative and risks to give their fellow countrymen a better way of life.

"When I joined I took an oath. In that oath I swore to protect the Constitution of the United States. I didn't swear to build democracies in countries on the other side of the world under the guise of "national security." I didn't join the military to be part of an Orwellian ("1984") war machine that is in an obligatory war against whoever the state deems the enemy to be so that the populace can be controlled and riled up in a pro-nationalistic frenzy to support any new and oppressive law that will be the key to destroying the enemy. Example given - the Patriot Act. So aptly named, and totally against all that the constitution stands for. President Bush used the reactionary nature of our society to bring our country together and to infuse into the national psyche a need to give up their little-used rights in the hope to make our nation a little safer. The same scare tactics he used to win elections. He drones on and on about how America and the world would be a less safe place if we weren't killing Iraqis, and that we'd have to fight the terrorists at home if we weren't abroad. In our modern day emotive society this strategy (or strategery?) works, or had worked, up until last month's elections.

"My point in this; to show that America was never nationalistic. If anything they were Statalistic (giving their allegiance to the state of their residence). This is shown in the fact that the founders created states with fully capable and independent governments and not provinces that were just a division of the federal government. These men believed that America was a place where imperialistic values would be non-existent. Where the people trying to make their lives better by working hard, thinking, inventing and using the free market would tie up so much of normal life that imperialistic colonization and the fighting of wars thousands of miles away for interests that are not our own would be avoided. They believed this expansion of power could be left to the European nations, the England, France and Spain of their time. However this recent, and current influx of nationalistic feeling has created an environment where giving up your rights, going to a foreign country to fight a people who did not ask for us to be there, nor did their leader do anything to warrant us being there, and dying would be considered honorable and heroic. I don't believe it anymore. I don't believe it's right for any American to go along with it anymore. Yes I know that we in the military are bound by the UCMJ and somehow don't fall under the Constitution (the very thing we're suppose to be defending) but sooner or later there is a decision that every American soldier, marine, airmen and seamen makes to allow themselves to be sent to a war that is against every fiber this country was founded on. I know that when April rolls around I will be thinking long and hard on that decision. Even though we in the military are just doing as we're told we still have the moral and ethical obligation to choose to do as we're told, or to say, "No, that isn't right." I believe that if more troopers like me and the professional military, the officers and commanders, start standing up and saying that they won't let themselves or their troops go to this illegal war people will start standing up and realizing what the heck is going on over there.

"The sad fact of the matter is that we are not fighting terrorists in Iraq. We are fighting the Iraqi people who feel like a conquered and occupied people. Personally I have a hard time believing that if I was an Iraqi that I wouldn't be doing everything in my power to kill and maim as many Americans as possible. I know that the vast majority of Americans would not be happy with the Canadian government, or any other foreign government, liberating us from the clutches of George W. Bush, even though a large number of us would like that, and forcing us to accept their system of government. Would not millions of Americans rise up and fight back? Would you not rise up to protect and defend your house and your neighborhood if someone invaded your country? But we send thousands of troops to a foreign country to do just that. How is it moral to fight a people who are just trying to defend their homes and families? I think next time I go to Iraq perhaps I should wear a bright red coat and carry a Brown Bess instead of my digitalized utilities and M16.

"Notice I never once used the word homeland in any of this. I have a secondary point I want to bring up now. Never once was the term homeland ever used to describe the country of America until Mr. Bush began the department of homeland security after the 9/11 attacks. Taking a 20th century history class will teach us that the most notable countries in the last century that referred to their country in this way were Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Hitler used the term fatherland to drum up support, nationalistic support, for his growing war machine. He used the nationalism he created in the minds of the Germans to justify the sacrifice of their livelihood to build the war machine to get back their power from the oppressive restrictions the English and French had put on them at Versailles. This is the same feeling that has been virulently infecting the American psyche in the last hundred years. This is the same feeling that consoles a mother after her son is killed in an attempt to prosecute an aggressor's war 10,000 miles away. It's also known as Patriotism these days, but I say, "No more." No more nationalistic inanity, no more passing it off as patriotism. Patriotism is learning, and educating oneself to understand what their country really stands for.

"I heard a lot during the memorial service about how the dead Marine did so much good for others and how his helping others was like a little microcosm of America helping because we have the power to do so. Well if we have the power to help people why aren't we helping in Darfur where hundreds of thousands of people have died in the last 10 years. Saddam was convicted and sentenced to death for killing 143 Shiites who conspired to assassinate him. (I know all you "patriotic" Americans would be calling for the heads of anyone who conspired to assassinate supreme leader Bush). And yet we spend upwards of 1 trillion dollars and nearing 3,000 lives to help these Iraqis when they don't even want us there. Not to mention we don't have the legal justification to be there. I guess we should wait around for the omnipotent W Bush to decide who we should use our superpowerdom to help next. It's about time to throw him and the rest of the fascists out. Moreover it's about time to start educating Americans about their past and history, and letting them know that imperialistic leaders are not what the founders of this great country wanted."
Phillip Martin
December 8, 2006

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Haditha Taxi Occupants Killed

War Crimes: Haditha
Several marines now face charges of "unpremeditated murder" in the Haditha Massacre, described in detail in "Rules of Engagement", Vanity Fair, November 2006. Some excerpts:
"... The Marines were angry and tense. They sighted their rifles at the walls and rooftops, thinking every variation of fuck and waiting for the incoming rounds. Instead, a white Opel sedan came driving up the street. It was an unmarked taxi carrying five young men, four of them college students bound for school in Baghdad, the fifth their driver.
"The problem is what happened next, after a quick search revealed that the car contained no weapons or explosives, or any other evidence that linked the men to the insurgency. The Iraqis perhaps should have been held for a while or, better yet, allowed to take their car and leave. Instead, all five of them were shot dead by the Marines... ...It started without warning and finished too fast to stop... One soldier said he saw a head come apart and a face split in two.
"...They got to the house, kicked through the door, and in the entranceway came upon the owner, a middle-aged man, whom one of them shot at close range, probably with a three-round burst to the chest. The Marine's M16 would barely have kicked in his hands. Beyond the sound of the shots, he might have heard the double pops of the rounds entering and exiting the man, the heavier snap of bullets against bone, perhaps the metallic clatter of spent cartridges hitting the ground. The Iraqi was not thrown by the rounds as people are thrown in the movies. If no bones were broken, he may not have felt much pain, except for some stinging where his skin was torn. Unless he was struck in the heart, he did not die immediately, but soon succumbed to massive hemorrhaging. Chances are his blood first splattered against the wall, then flowed into a dark-scarlet puddle beneath him until his heart stopped pumping.
Haditha Massacre"The power was out in the house, and the light inside was dim, all the more so for the Marines, who were piling in from the sunshine of the street. Inside a hostile house, survival requires fast reactions. The Marines fired on a figure down the hall, who turned out too late to be an old woman. There could have been a message there, but guerrilla wars are tricky, and the Marines were not about to slow down. She screamed when she was hit, apparently in the back, and then she died. The Marines were shouting excitedly to one another. They worked down the hallway until, busting open a door, they came upon a room full of people. Later some of the squad said they had heard AK-47s being racked, though whatever they heard turned out not to be that. The room was dim, and the people were glimpsed rather than clearly seen. The Marines rolled in a grenade, hugged the hallway for the blast, and then charged into the dust and smoke to mop up with their rifles as they had been trained to do. This is my weapon, this is my gun. It was the Hell House fight all over again, though, as it happened, without the opposition. Nine people had sheltered in that room, three generations of the same family, from an ancient man paralyzed by a stroke to an infant girl just three months old. When the grenade exploded, it blew some of them apart, wounded others with penetrating shrapnel, and littered the room with evil-smelling body parts. In the urgency of the moment the old man forgot that he was paralyzed and tried to stand up. He took rounds to the chest, vomited blood as he fell, and then lay on the floor twitching as he died. In that room four residents survived. A young woman left her husband behind, grabbed the infant girl, and managed to run away; a 10-year-old girl and her younger brother lay wounded beside their dead mother and remained conscious enough to be terrified.
"The Marines went on to the neighboring house, still seeking insurgents, as they believed. What happened there was a repeat of what had just happened next door, only this time the Americans knocked before they shot the man at the gate, and a grenade tossed into an empty bathroom ignited a washing machine, and a grenade tossed into the room where the family was sheltering failed to go off, and perhaps only one American came in and sprayed the room with automatic fire. This time there was just a single survivor, a girl of about 13, who later was able to provide some details of her family's death. There was a lot of smoke, but: Daddy was shot through the heart. He was 43. Mommy was shot in the head and chest. She was 41. Aunt Huda was shot in the chest. She was 27. Haditha victimsMy sister Nour was shot in the right side of her head. She was 15. My sister Saba was shot through the ear. She was 11. My brother Muhammad was shot in the hand and I don't know where else. He was 10. My sister Zainab was shot in the hand and the head. She was five. My sister Aysha was shot in the leg and I don't know where else. She was three. The brains of at least one of the little girls were shoved through fractures in her skull by the impact of a bullet. This is a standard effect of high-velocity rounds fired into the closed cavity of a head. Later that day, when a replacement Marine came in to carry out the bodies, the girl's brains would fall onto his boot.
"Wuterich's men pursued the search to the north side of Route Chestnut, where they put the women and children under guard and killed four men of another family. There on the north side they found the only AK-47 that was discovered that day- apparently a household defensive weapon, of the type that is legal and common in Iraq. No one has claimed that the rifle had been fired..."
-William Langewiesche, "Rules of Engagement", Vanity Fair, November 2006.


"Victor O'Reilly told me, 'It is my belief that the insurgency was substantially created by the tactics used by the occupying force, who were initially the saviors, in their search for Saddam. Ambitious generals, who should have known better, created a very aggressive do-what-is-necessary culture. Frustrated troops, with no familiarity with the language or culture, naturally make mistakes. And in a tribal society if you shoot one person it spreads right through the system.'"
-James Fallows, "Why Iraq Has No Army", Atlantic Monthly

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bush sr. sobbing
Endgame for Bush
After the election, the crisis intervention finally comes... The toll so far: Rumsfeld, Cambone, Zelikow, and Bolton out. Cheney weakened. Frist and Santorum at end-of-career. Abramov singing to the feds. Dems to take over Congressional oversight committees, with subpoena powers. The Bush-père and Baker 'Iraq Study Group' muscles in to try to salvage Iraq, and US foreign policy in general, which is in a greater mess than at any time in living memory, and quite possibly, historical memory. Bush-fils makes noises of resistance and determination. Bush-pere breaks down during speech: "The true measure of a man is how you handle [sob] victory [sob] and defeat." (view video at Crooks and Liars)   The Iraq Study Group report: (pdf 160 pps) - (executive summary)

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But Iraq may already have spun out of US control, as a horrific civil war of reciprocal massacres widens the gulf daily between the Sunni and the Shia, Iraq Militiasmassacres often carried out by uniformed elements of the Iraqi government with loyalties to one side or the other. Since Bush won't call this a civil war, commanders still speak of US troops battling "insurgents", but in fact that means battling first one side and then the other; this high-level resistance to truth on the ground has managed to make our troops everyone's enemy and, simultaneously, irrelevant to the outcome of the 'war'.
There was a moment this week when it looked like the policy was going to tilt to the Shia, following the failed outreach to the Sunnis, but then a quick reaction from America's Gulf allies, all Sunnis, and the lid was on that idea. For example, Saudi Arabia suggested they would not permit a wholesale massacre of Sunnis by the Shia of Iraq.

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Keep up on Iraq with Dahr Jamail and Riverbend

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Our previous pieces re Iraq Occupation are still pertinent:
January 2005: Iraq: The Election and Beyond / January 2005: Iran / April 2004: Iraq- A Bad Idea Gets Worse / March 2004: Truth or Consequences / June 2003: Quicksand / May 2003: Bait Taken / April 2003: Hot Potato

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FISA warrants are easy to get. Even after the fact. Refusal rate around .02 of 1 percent. So why bother bypassing them and getting every one upset?
1. To assert president's authority to do whatever he wants to do (in order to protect us of course).
2. So as not to leave records of who was being wiretapped. This is the big one. Because they were wiretapping people for other reasons. Like Nixon, to see who didn't like them, or who disagreed on policies; and journalists, to find out who their sources were and 'plug the leaks'- silence the whistleblowers. And officials everywhere, making sure everyone towed the line; anyone in fact, to get some dirt on people - always useful when it comes to 'arm-twisting' ... you get the picture. You don't ask for a warrant because you don't want a record of who your targets were.

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click for clip (excerpt Eminem's Mosh Continues)
Osama Bin Forgotten

Osama Bin Forgotten?
Recently we learned that the CIA's Bin Laden unit was disbanded; also that Bin Laden is not wanted by the FBI for 9/11 (see wanted poster). And that Pakistan has signaled that Bin Laden and his coterie can remain unmolested in Waziristan so long as they remain "men of peace", and do not engage in terrorism. Pakistan also released thousands of Taliban as part of the deal. Someone, presumably AlQueda, released a kind of commemorative videotape on Sept 11 showing Bin Laden and the Martyrs preparing for the attacks; on the same day a Bush anniversary photo-op and speech from Ground Zero... and the ABC 4-hour commercial-free, right-winger scripted (and funded?) fakumentary, "Path to 9/11" blaming it all on the Clinton administration ( ! ). Cheney always says the enemy is media-sophisticated; funny - they seem to be working it together...

"The goal has never been to get bin Laden"- General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, 6 April 2002.
"I don't know where he is. I - I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him." - George W Bush, 13 March 2002

"There is a kind of an urban myth here in Washington about how this administration hasn't stayed focused on Osama bin Laden. Forget it." -George Bush 9/06

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Attitude
Maybe it's a symptom of the age of information overload; most people these days apparently don't care to be burdened with endless facts and the weighing of contradictory claims... the short cut is attitude. So instead of learning about something and forming a judgement, they consider other peoples' attitudes and choose the one they identify with. Right-wing punditry is all about attitude. So is FOX News. So is Bushian foreign policy. So is the Republican national election narrative. (The Democrats simply don't have an attitude of any kind.) Try a Google search for 'Bush + "my attitude"'.

By this point we find ourselves so steeped in delusional attitude - 'we are the greatest country on earth, you're a traitor if you don't agree, and anyone who obstructs us is bad', that even opposition party leaders believe they stray from this puerile mantra at their own peril. And Americans have fallen for it in vast numbers it seems; maybe its the media, the constant drumbeat of fear and silliness; maybe it's the collapsed education system that's spawned such gullibility. Thus a great country withdraws into a bubble of delusion; it is pathetic to see the nation that midwifed the United Nations, launched the Peace Corps, and put men on the moon, so shamed by it's political leadership as to have become a pariah in the community of nations, a feared and tiresome bully, not a respected leader. I've posted a sampling of the national discussions I think we should be having (Notes Toward an American Renaissance); but I'm pretty sanguine on whether we as a nation, at the rate we're going, will ever get around to such advanced considerations. (Ed.)

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Keith OlbermannAmerica may have found it's new Edward R. Murrow, and his name is Keith Olbermann, the only MSM journalist with the courage to aggressively denounce the behavior of this government, which he does relentlessly from his perch at MSNBC's Countdown. Watch video clips of his best recent statements: 'Bush Owes Us an Apology', 'This Hole in the Ground', 'Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?', 'There Is Fascism, Indeed', 'Terror and Politics in America'.

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Bush asks for Guidance

Stage Three: Iran?

The Bush administration is gearing up for stage 3 of the Oil War... regime change in the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the world's second largest oil and gas reserves, gateway to the the central asian oilfields as well as neighbor to Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Kazakstan, Russia, and strategically controlling the entire Persian Gulf. Invasion? Impossible (for most people) to imagine- Iran is too big, too well armed, nothing like the dilapidated Iraq the US military swept through 3 years ago. But massive aerial bombardment... ah there's our strength! It is reported widely that US forces are already operating inside Iran, gathering target information and finding tactical allies among ethnic minorities. And though most republicans and some democrats are parroting the old line "the military option is only a last resort if diplomacy fails", we've heard that one before, at a time when the Bush regime had already decided to attack Iraq; and besides, we know well what "diplomacy" means to this government: 'Do as we say or we'll bomb you.' And we wonder if they may be just disconnected enough from reality to think they could do this to positive result, and gain support to boot for the upcoming fall elections. (Lord Rumsfeld says it's all "henny penny"; and whatever that means, he said the same thing during the disastrous post-invasion breakdown of order in Iraq. "Stuff happens!")

One can only wish our policy leaders were chess players. Even a mediocre chess player can track three moves out- if you break off talks with North Korea but don't attack because they have the bomb, you attack Iraq which doesn't yet have the bomb, you ally with Pakistan and reward India both of which got the bomb and violated the NPT, you know you're going to have to deal with Iran. We should have made nice with Tehran already four years ago when Bolton stiffed North Korea, long before Ahmadinejad was elected, back when there still was a pro-western democracy movement in that country. Instead Bush included Iran in the "axis of evil". Dumb move. (this excerpted from previous issue)

Here is Ahmadinajad's May '06 letter to Bush and here is his November '06 letter to the American people.

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scholars for 9/11 truth Scholars for 9/11 Truth
January 27 2006 press release: "An influential group of prominent experts and scholars have joined together alleging that senior government officials have covered up crucial facts about what really happened on 9/11... These experts contend that books and articles by members and associates have established that the World Trade Center was almost certainly brought down by controlled demolitions and that the available relevant evidence casts grave doubt on the official story about the attack on the Pentagon. They believe that the government not only permitted 9/11 to occur but may even have orchestrated these events to facilitate its political agenda."
"Founders include Robert M. Bowman, Former Director of the U.S. "Star Wars" Space Defense Program in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and a former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with 101 combat missions; Morgan Reynolds, former Chief Economist for the Department of Labor for President George W. Bush, and former Director of the Criminal Justice Center at the National Center for Policy Analysis; and Andreas von Buelow, former assistant German defense minister, and director of the German Secret Service."
Website, Scholars for 9/11 Truth

Update: Scholars for 911 Truth Member Michael Zebuhr killed
"Police said two men in their 20's approached the group, stole Zebuhr's mother's purse and as they left, fired two shots into Zebuhr's forehead for no apparent reason" (story) (latest)

Loose Change
New 9/11 documentary by Dylan Avery. Free viewing online, DVD available.

Here's the Decider-in Chief responding [sic] to 911 doubts: Bush-911.mov

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Over-Loaded Update:
Paul Krugman: "Between 1972 and 2001 the wage and salary income of Americans at the 90th percentile of the income distribution rose only 34 percent, or about 1 percent per year. So being in the top 10 percent of the income distribution, like being a college graduate, wasn't a ticket to big income gains. But income at the 99th percentile rose 87 percent; income at the 99.9th percentile rose 181 percent; and income at the 99.99th percentile rose 497 percent. No, that's not a misprint..." (PK NYT)

"From 1950 to 1970, for every additional dollar earned by the bottom 90 percent, those in the top 0.01 percent earned an additional $162, according to the Times analysis. From 1990 to 2002, for every extra dollar earned by those in the bottom 90 percent, each taxpayer at the top brought in an extra $18,000."
(Richest Are Leaving Even the Rich Far Behind-NYTimes)

The number of billionaires around the world rose by 102 to a record 793 over the last year, and their combined wealth grew 18% to $2.6 trillion, according to Forbes magazine's 2006 rankings of the world's richest people.


Protestoress
click to enlarge
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Notes toward an
American Renaissance

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Zozobra link
Watch "Zozobra" at YouTube

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"Common Article III says that there will be no outrages upon human dignity. It's very vague. "What does that mean, 'outrages upon human dignity'?" -George Bush

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Blood Money
Greenwald film: Iraq For Sale
"Thats what you do in a democracy, you investigate and you find out where there's corruption, you find out where there's profiteering, and you make sure there's hell to pay!" (Greenwald on Olbermann)


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Elif Shafak
Elif Shafak, University of Arizona assistant professor and one of Turkey's leading authors has been acquitted of insulting Turkishness in her book "The Bastard of Istanbul".

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Valerie Plame
Valerie and Joe Wilson are Sueing Bush and Cheney. click here for the video / click here for my favorite Valerie P picture

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a damned piece of paper
"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."
"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said, "There's a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."
"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

-Reported by Doug Thompson re an 11/05 meeting with congressional leaders on the Patriot Act.

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Rumsfeld Must Go
"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is not competent to lead America's armed forces... he has shown himself incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically and is far more than anyone else responsible for what has happened to America's mission in Iraq... Rumsfeld has put the Pentagon at the mercy of his ego... Rumsfeld must step down." -Major General Paul Eaton (ret.). Eaton was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004.
(statement NYT, IHT)
(about Gen. Eaton)

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Spader denounces Bush Administration
TV Characters Rise Up
James Spader, on the "Boston Legal" TV show: "Torture, warrantless search and seizure, illegal wiretappings, prison without a fair trial- or any trial, war on false pretenses... we as a citizenry are apparently not offended..."
A great speech!
download quicktime
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NEWS SOURCE LINKS
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"There is only one reason that I am in the Oval Office and not in a bar. I found faith. I found God." George W. Bush (...story)

Commander of America
"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation." George W. Bush, quoted in "Bush at War"

war monkey
"I'm a war president." Bush. Meet the Press 2/13/04


"Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president." Bush, campaign speech July 2004

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Bush before Jesus
"When I am talking about war I am really talking about peace" -G.W. Bush (Link)

Joker!
Mr. Bush in New Orleans
"You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." Bush at a Washington dinner, March 2001

Bush of the  cross
"See, in my line of work, you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."
Bush in Greece May 2005 (ref)

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Cinquo de Mayo
Bush: "It's hard work!"
Watch clip

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Malignant Genius Cheney
"Am I a malignant genius in the background whom nobody sees come out of his cave? That's a good way to work, in fact."-Dick Cheney to USA Today, 2004

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Bush flips the bird
Bush flips the bird, Washington, 8/05
It's not the first time the POTUS is on tape giving the old "one-finger victory salute"


Bush gives the one-finger salute
Download the video

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"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." - NeoCon Michael Ledeen
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Saint Condi
Saint Condi of Stanford
Still hopes she can
talk her way out of it

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Valerie and Joe Wilson
The buzz: Valerie Plame was outed by Cheney to destroy the CIA's anti proliferation network in Iraq and Iran so that no-one could credibly dispute claims Cheney wished to make in preparation for the attacks.

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girls hung over
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Oval Office Dreaming
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JFK doodle A doodle by JFK from
Presidential Doodles


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Lee Raymond, CEO
Fat Cats
Iraq: Qui Bono? Exxon CEO Lee Raymond, on retiring in December, got a retirement package estimated at $398 million in total. Raymond has been compensated more than $686 million from 1993 to 2005; that's $144,573 per day. Exxon had record-breaking annual profits last year of $36 billion. 1st quarter 2006 profits were up 7% to a further record of $8.4 billion. (Counterpunch- Ralph Nader)

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DeepToy.com

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DVMX.com
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