Year of the Dog

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"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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Cheney, Rumsfeld Should Resign
Bulletin 3/19: Rep. Murtha Calls for Rumsfeld, Cheney Resignations
(transcript, Meet the Press)
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On PBS (Feb. 3), Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, said that the Iraq speech his boss was forced to give to the UN was "a hoax on the American people, the international community, and the United Nations Security Council." (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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Katherine Harris implicated

Katherine Harris, who was rewarded for her instrumental role in the Florida debacle of 2000 with a Republican seat in Congress, and who now runs for the Senate, is implicated in the bribery scandals of Republican Rep. Duke Cunningham. A team player in all things apparently.
Latest: she's cancelled all appearances... (story)

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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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Dennis Kucinich: "Katrina, 911, is there a pattern here?"
(download video clip)

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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.
10 Senators voted against the PATRIOT Act
Jim Jeffords, Independent of Vermont, and 9 Democrats: Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Carl Levin of Michigan, Patty Murray of Washington and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

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"Obesity is the terror within" "Unless we do something about it, the magnitude of the dilemma will dwarf 9-11 or any other terrorist attempt." -US Surgeon General (story)

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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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Bad Jack Abramoff
More Bad Jack and Mr. Bush:
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad confirms that Jack Abramoff was paid $1.2 million to set up his meeting with President Bush. (story)

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Hamas wins

Palestine Elects Hamas
In the latest of a series of Middle Eastern elections to be won by Islamists, The Palestinians have given a landslide victory to Hamas ("Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah", or the "Islamic Resistance Movement"). (story, NYT).
Latest, 3/06: Fatah Walks Out of Hamas Parliament

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General Boykin

"Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this." -Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin
President Bush apparently found this remark sufficient evidence of the man's superior intellect to name him Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. (story)

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Politics + Society
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Huffington Post
Truth Out
Rigorous Intuition
Talking Points Memo
More links

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Iraq War Cost
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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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PDF Downloads
now moved here

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"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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"American journalism is in need of a spine transplant," Dan Rather (story)
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shark as weapon
US Military funds work to implant electrodes in sharks brains and control them as "stealth spies"... (article, New Scientist)
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Sheen on 911
Charlie Sheen on CNN:
"911 was an Inside Job"
And 82% agree! (ref)

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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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Lara Logan
CBS named South-African born Lara Logan to be the network's Chief Foreign Correspondent. The incandescent Ms. Logan took a break from dangerous missions abroad to join Bill Schieffer at the anchor desk Friday night... Schieffer said: "She's the complete package. She's a terrific writer. She's absolutely fearless... and she talks well on the air without a script."
Here's a clip of Ms. Logan angrily responding to accusations from the Beltway that correspondents in Iraq are only covering the bad news
CBS Profile

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Wafah Dufour
Wafah Dufour, Osama bin Laden's niece, has signed up for a reality television show about her life and her as yet unfulfilled 'quest for stardom'. (story)

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Previous issues:

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Editor: S. Miller


March 2006 update 7

Abdul Rahman Released:
Afghan Christian Convert Facing Execution

3/28: Abdul Rahman has been released and is now in Italy; clerics outraged...(story)
Abdul Rahman is a father of two who converted to Christianity 16 years ago while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group in Afghanistan; he later lived in Germany for 9 years. In 2002, following the 'defeat' of the Taliban, he returned to Afghanistan. In the course of a recent family dispute he was denounced as a Christian; a Bible was found in a search of his home, and charges of apostasy were brought in a special court under Shariah law, carrying the death penalty.
Consternation, outrage in the west... particularly among those nations of NATO whose troops- mostly Christian- fought for and now protect 'free' Afghanistan.
Some players are floating a face-saving end-game: declare Mr. Rahman insane, and therefore not executable... However, the trial judge, Ansarullah Mawlavi Zada, has rejected any outside "interference".
Thought Afghanistan had been 'liberated'? Read this descriptive from GOPUSA's Michelle Malkin: "Prosecutor Abdul Wasi: "[Mr. Rahman] is known as a microbe in society, and he should be cut off and removed from the rest of Muslim society and should be killed." The Afghan Attorney General says Rahman should be hung. The judge handling the case threatens: "If he doesn't regret his conversion, the punishment will be enforced on him. And the punishment is death."
And the general population too, seem to be demanding his head; even threatening to overthrow the Karzai regime if Rahman escapes punishment due to "interference" from the West.
Islam Online covers the story, citing the opinion of Muslim scholars that the punishment for apostasy is a discretionary one, and that "If the apostate does not harm the Muslim society, there may be no need for killing him." (article)

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Askariya Mosque bombed

3 Years On, Iraq on the Brink of Civil War
Two days before the disastrous bombing in Samarra, US Ambassador Khalilzad communicated the new US line to the Shiia and the Sunni of the Iraqi government; they had to purge the police and army of sectarian militias, and demobilize these militias, or America would cut off it's financial support for the Iraqi police and military. (ref) Such short-sighted petulance is very much in the style of DoD's Lord Rumsfeld, from whom one suspects the policy directive came. Now, one can imagine that America cutting off support for the training of Iraqi army and police might suit the purposes of various players in Iraq, including Zarqawi's Al Qaeda. And two days later, the great Shiia shrine Al Askiryah, with it's golden dome, was demolished by bombers, dressed in police uniforms, with the predictable effect of a spasm of anti-Sunni rage; and in turn, predictably, an anti-Shiia counter-spasm. The sectarian militias, which were quickly out in the street protecting mosques and communities which demonstrably neither the Americans nor the government could protect, became more important than ever. Abdul Aziz Al Hakim of the United Iraqi Alliance, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the former commander of its militia, excoriated Khalilzad after the bombing, saying he "gave the green light to the terrorist groups and therefore we blame him for part of what happened." Any possibility of militias disbanding is gone for the foreseeable future; so, Messrs. Khalilzad and Rumsfeld, what now?
-Here's an AlJazeera guide to Iraqi blogs

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

"One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed."
- William F. Buckley (Article)
Iraq Latest: Democracy Now interviews John Pace, outgoing UN Human Rights chief for Iraq.

Meanwhile, Bush has lost the troops
The latest Zogby poll has 72% of US troops in Iraq wanting a 2006 exit. (story)
Bush's poll ratings at home have fallen below 35%. Cheney's are at 18%.
(Latest Polls pdf)

The Case for Impeachment - Lewis Lapham, Harper's 2/27

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World Council of Churches
US Conference of the World Council of Churches condemns Bush administration policies in letter to WCC 9th Assembly
"Following the terrorist attacks [of 9/11] you sent "living letters" inviting us into a deeper solidarity with those who suffer daily from violence around the world. But our country responded by seeking to reclaim a privileged and secure place in the world, raining down terror on the truly vulnerable among our global neighbors. Our leaders turned a deaf ear to the voices of church leaders throughout our nation and the world, entering into imperial projects that seek to dominate and control for the sake of our own national interests. Nations have been demonized and God has been enlisted in national agendas that are nothing short of idolatrous. We lament with special anguish the war in Iraq, launched in deception and violating global norms of justice and human rights. We mourn all who have died or been injured in this war; we acknowledge with shame abuses carried out in our name; we confess that we have failed to raise a prophetic voice loud enough and persistent enough to deter our leaders from this path of preemptive war. Lord, have mercy. The rivers, oceans, lakes, rainforests, and wetlands that sustain us, even the air we breathe continue to be violated, and global warming goes unchecked while we allow God's creation to veer toward destruction. Yet our own country refuses to acknowledge its complicity and rejects multilateral agreements aimed at reversing disastrous trends. We consume without replenishing; we grasp finite resources as if they are private possessions; our uncontrolled appetites devour more and more of the earth s gifts. We confess that we have failed to raise a prophetic voice loud enough and persistent enough to call our nation to global responsibility for the creation, that we ourselves are complicit in a culture of consumption that diminishes the earth. Christ, have mercy." ... read the full letter

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Twilight of the NeoCons?
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Francis Fukuyama Francis Fukuyama, considered an intellectual leader among neo-conservatives, has written a major critique of Bush administration policies, "After NeoConservatism".
"The so-called Bush Doctrine that set the framework for the administration's first term is now in shambles."
"As we approach the third anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war, it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly. By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy: Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as a magnet, a training ground and an operational base for jihadist terrorists, with plenty of American targets to shoot at. The United States still has a chance of creating a Shiite-dominated democratic Iraq, but the new government will be very weak for years to come; the resulting power vacuum will invite outside influence from all of Iraq's neighbors, including Iran."
"We need in the first instance to understand that promoting democracy and modernization in the Middle East is not a solution to the problem of jihadist terrorism; in all likelihood it will make the short-term problem worse, as we have seen in the case of the Palestinian election bringing Hamas to power. Radical Islamism is a byproduct of modernization itself, arising from the loss of identity that accompanies the transition to a modern, pluralist society. It is no accident that so many recent terrorists, from Sept. 11's Mohamed Atta to the murderer of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh to the London subway bombers, were radicalized in democratic Europe and intimately familiar with all of democracy's blessings. More democracy will mean more alienation, radicalization and - yes, unfortunately - terrorism.."
"Neoconservatism, whatever its complex roots, has become indelibly associated with concepts like coercive regime change, unilateralism and American hegemony. What is needed now are new ideas, neither neoconservative nor realist, for how America is to relate to the rest of the world - ideas that retain the neoconservative belief in the universality of human rights, but without its illusions about the efficacy of American power and hegemony to bring these ends about." (article, NYT) / (download pdf version)

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"American Theocracy" -Kevin Phillips:
"Conservative true believers will scoff: the United States is sue generis, they say, a unique and chosen nation. What did or did not happen to Rome, imperial Spain, the Dutch Republic, and Britain, is irrelevant. The catch here, alas, is that these nations also thought they were unique and that God was on their side. The revelation that He was apparently not added a further debilitating note to the later stages of each national decline."

Salon's review: 'Decline and Fall'
NYTimes Books review:"Clear and Present Dangers"
Democracy Now interview, 3/21
Phillips was author of the prescient "The Emerging Republican Majority" in 1969.

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ray Mcgovern Retired CIA Agent Returns an Award in Protest

Thursday 02 March 2006
Hon. Pete Hoekstra, Chair
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Washington, DC

Dear Congressman Hoekstra:
  As a matter of conscience, I am returning the Intelligence Commendation Award medallion given me for "especially commendable service" during my 27-year career in CIA. The issue is torture, which inhabits the same category as rape and slavery - intrinsically evil. I do not wish to be associated, however remotely, with an agency engaged in torture...
"...If German officials who were ordered to do such things in the 1930's had spoken out early and loudly enough, the German people might have been alerted to the atrocities being perpetrated in their name and tried harder to stop them. When my grandchildren ask, "What did you do, Grandpa, to stop the torture," I want to be able to tell them that I tried to honor my oath, taken both as an Army officer and an intelligence officer, to defend the Constitution of the United States - and that I not only spoke out strongly against the torture, but also sought a symbolic way to dissociate myself from it.
We Americans have become accustomed to letting our institutions do our sinning for us. I abhor the corruption of the CIA in the past several years, believe it to be beyond repair, and do not want my name on any medallion associated with it. Please destroy this one.
Yours truly,
Ray McGovern

(read full letter)

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Katrina: Bush Knew Katrina: Bush Knew
New "confidential" videos released by AP show Mr. Bush being briefed before Katrina hit by Michael Brown and other officials in the most urgent tones, one voicing "grave concerns" about the levees breaching. Bush declared four days after the storm, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees".
"My gut tells me ... this is a bad one and a big one," Brown told the final government-wide briefing the day before Katrina struck on Aug. 29. Today, Brown told a CBS Washington, D.C. affiliate in an interview: "I'm glad it's coming out because, despite the media reports and the general public perception that I was a dummy, that I didn't know what I was doing, I knew exactly what I was doing."
(story) (download quicktime video)
So we have this pattern over and over again with Mr. Bush. A disaster happens, and surveying the mess, Mr. Bush opines that no-one could have predicted it. And then it turns out that some did predict it, and they informed Mr. Bush in advance of their fears, who apparently either did nothing or paid no attention. Same story for the WMD in Iraq, the strength of the insurgency there, and yes, the 9/11 attacks. What's up with that?

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Latest on Dubai Ports Deal:
Dubai Ports World will turn over operations of US ports to a "US entity"; defusing the confrontation between the White House and the Republican-led congress. Nature of "the US entity" unclear. Suggestion already heard it could be the Carlyle Group or Halliburton!
In retrospect, what strikes me about this episode, is how INCENSED Mr. Bush was that anyone- Congress, the public- should think they had any say in the matter.

Mr. Bush now claims he didn't know about the deal until it came out in the press..
And here's the latest crazy spin: Mr. Bush's veto threat is due to foreign policy concerns- to let the Arab world know that the US is not anti-Arab. Wow... let's run that by again... having assaulted and occupied the Arab nation of Iraq under false pretenses, and killed some 100,000 Arabs there, Mr. Bush wants to assure the Arab world that the US is not anti-Arab by selling our ports management to the UAE? Who's driving this bus??

Ex-Republican majority leader, Republican presidential candidate, and Erectile Dysfunction Posterboy Bob Dole is hired to lobby Congress for the Dubai Deal. (his wife Elizabeth is currently a senator.) (ref)

angry Lou Dobbs DPW and the Bush administration offer a 45-day review period; but Mr. Bush says he won't change his mind in any case.

CNN's Lou Dobbs is fighting mad...
(video clip 1: Bush's challenge)
(Video clip 2: Dubai to CNN: Shut Dobbs Up)

"How a Deal Became a Big Liability for G.O.P."
"Even the Bush supporters went nuts." (NYT Story)
(Note that, as reported by the New York Daily News, Mr. Bush's Treasury Secretary John Snow, who signed off on the deal, was chairman of the CSX rail firm that sold its own international port operations to DP World for $1.15 billion in 2004, the year after Snow left for President Bush's cabinet. There's more: David Sanborn, whom Mr. Bush appointed last month to head the US Maritime Administration, also ran DP World's European and Latin American operations. Globalized cronyism is real, and trumps the illusory 'homeland security' propaganda...)
Latest on the revolt in Congress, and the veto threat from Arianna Huffington
Joshua Marshall has the latest details on the "secret agreement" behind the deal at

A 2002 Letter from al Qaeda to the United Arab Emirates government:
"You are well aware that we have infiltrated your security, censorship, and monetary agencies along with other agencies that should not be mentioned."
(story, Scripps-Howard) re: doc#AFGP-2002-603856

Mr. Bush at a cabinet meeting 2/22: "And so people don't need to worry about security. This deal wouldn't go forward if we were concerned about the security for the United States of America." Yeah.

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More globalization, Texas-style... Space Adventures, which had just partnered with Texas venture capitalists Prodea to finance Russian-built suborbital tourism vehicles, announced it would further partner with the government of the United Arab Emirates to build a $265 million spaceport in Ras Al-Khaimah on the Persian Gulf. (story)

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Halliburton/KBR gets $385 Million Gulag Amerika Contract
"detention support the rapid development of new programs"
In January the Army Corps of Engineers awarded Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root a $385 million contract to construct detention centers somewhere in the United States, to deal with "an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs," KBR said. (Market Watch, Jan. 26, 2006) Later, the New York Times reported that "KBR would build the centers for the Homeland Security Department for an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space." (NYT story)
Nat Perry of
Consortium News further reports "there also was another little-noticed item posted at the U.S. Army Web site, about the Pentagon's Civilian Inmate Labor Program. This program "provides Army policy and guidance for establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations." The Army document, first drafted in 1997, underwent a "rapid action revision" on Jan. 14, 2005. The revision provides a "template for developing agreements" between the Army and corrections facilities for the use of civilian inmate labor on Army installations. (US Army ref)

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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. (website)

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Arab News, Saudi Arabia: "Though the disastrous consequences of America's inept intervention in Iraq hog the headlines, problems stemming from Washington's similar lack of understanding and inadequate planning are now building rapidly in Afghanistan. ... Washington needs to ask itself a simple question: If the Afghan and Iraqi interventions were not power plays but really were undertaken in the name of freedom, democracy and justice, then why cannot the Americans honor those values themselves? International terror is all about barbarity and injustice and oppression. Using those same methods against it cannot defeat it. If the United States wants the world to believe that for all its errors, it has the best of intentions, then it must be seen to be behaving honorably. Currently it is not." (story)

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Short takes:
Three years into the Iraq Adventure, with hundreds of billions spent, and a hundred thousand dead, the US Military still has to pay Iraqi journalists and newspapers to publish articles "favorable to the United States". (story)

Meanwhile BBC reports "Rumsfeld calls for US-controlled worldwide propaganda networks" in order "to win the minds of Muslims in the war on terror" (story)

Human rights abuses in Iraq are as bad now as they were under Saddam Hussein, as lawlessness and sectarian violence sweep the country, the former U.N. human rights chief in Iraq John Pace said. "It extends over a much wider section of the population than it did under Saddam." (story)

Investigations reveal massive war profiteering
in Iraq, fraud in Katrina response... 25,000 mobile homes bought by Homeland Security for $850 million, parked unused on a military base, sinking in the mud.
( story- Katrina fraud) / ( story- Iraq war profiteering)

President Bush entertained Michael Crichton at the White House recently. Sci-fi writer Crichton's recent book "State of Fear", a favorite of Mr. Bush, is based on the interesting thesis that global climate change is a hoax, perpetrated by venal eco-terror-weenies. In "Rebel in Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush" Fred Barnes writes that the president "avidly read" the novel and met the author after Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, arranged it. He says Mr. Bush and his guest "talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement." Is it necessary to point out that Mr. Bush prefers fictions which support his intellectually lazy mindset over the facts? (story)
Update: Crichton Receives American Association of Petroleum Geologists Award for... Journalism! (story)

Iraq Widows Visas Blocked
Two Iraqi women, Anwar Kadhim Jawad and Vivian Salim Mati, invited by the US peace group CODEPINK to Washington DC to participate in activities related to International Women's Day on March 8, were denied their visas by the US Embassy in Amman, Jordan. Apparently they were a security risk: their husbands and children were killed by US soldiers in Iraq. (story)

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Bush Photo Op 32 Jobs Reinstated in Time for Bush Photo-op Tour of Renewable Energy Lab
Bush makes his alternative energy pitch in his SOTU, and heads off to tour the National Renewable Energy Lab. Only problem is the Bush admin had just cut the budget there, and fired 32 researchers 2 weeks before! So, over the weekend before his visit, $5 million was quickly transferred to the lab's contractor, and the researchers were put back on the job, just in time to greet Our Leader! (story)

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Walter Cronkite V. Drug War Walter Cronkite v. Drug War
"It surely hasn't made our streets safer. Instead, we have locked up literally millions of people...disproportionately people of color...who have caused little or no harm to others - wasting resources that could be used for counter-terrorism, reducing violent crime, or catching white-collar criminals. With police wielding unprecedented powers to invade privacy, tap phones and conduct searches seemingly at random, our civil liberties are in a very precarious condition.
Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on this effort - with no one held accountable for its failure.
Amid the clichés of the drug war, our country has lost sight of the scientific facts. Amid the frantic rhetoric of our leaders, we've become blind to reality: The war on drugs, as it is currently fought, is too expensive, and too inhumane.
But nothing will change until someone has the courage to stand up and say what so many politicians privately know: The war on drugs has failed."
(Cronkite: "Telling the Truth About the War on Drugs")

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Church use of Ayahuasca OK'd by Supreme Court
In an opinion written by recently confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supremes sided 8-0 with the American branch of a Brazilian quasi-christian church called "O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal", and against the government, which wanted to criminalize the church's ceremonial use of ayahuasca (aka hoasca), a psychedelic brew of native Amazonian plants. The case was based on the confiscation of a quantity of the "tea" from Jeffrey Bronfman, Seagram whiskey heir, upon his return to New Mexico from Brazil some time ago. (story) / Uniao de Vegetal / more on ayahuasca

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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.
"This is an impressive crowd of the haves and have mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base."
George Bush, 10/19/00

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January-February 2006

Rocky Days Ahead Constitutional Crisis...
It's now out in the open that our president, George W Bush, who once only wanted to be baseball commissioner, now claims the authority to wiretap and eavesdrop on any and all Americans without warrant, to burglarize our homes in secret, to ban whomever he chooses from commercial flights, to imprison American citizens indefinitely without trial or legal recourse and representation at his discretion; to kidnap anyone anywhere in the world and disappear them in secret classified torture prisons hidden around the planet; to wage war on any nation he 'decides' is 'a threat' with no further advice or consent from congress, to abrogate any and all treaties solemnly entered upon by this nation, and to ignore laws of the congress as well as findings of the courts if he so desires, upon his sole authority as 'commander in chief'.
(continued- previous issue)

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Notes toward an
American Renaissance

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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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Senator Feingold introduces censure motion against Mr. Bush. (statement)

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Publ. date: April 9
"...there exists crucial and little-publicized evidence that lets us understand the secretive, even deceptive, way that the the US launched a war of choice in the Middle East in March 2003." - from the preface by Frank Rich.
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Leavitt and Chertoff
HHS Sec. Leavitt's Avian Flu Preparedness Tour
Leavitt, standing in front of a world map emblazoned with "Pandemic Planning. Get Informed. Get Prepared." told the audience, "When you go to the store and buy three cans of tuna fish, buy a fourth and put it under the bed. When you go to the store to buy some milk, pick up a box of powdered milk, put it under the bed." (story) (more on Avian Flu in Life on Earth)

.   .   .    Claude Allen and Bush

Claude Allen, whom Mr. Bush unsuccessfully nominated to the Federal Appeals Court in 2003, and who was made the President's top domestic policy advisor at the start of his second term was arrested last week, charged with refund frauds at Target and Hecht's stores. The WaPo wrote: "Allen shaped administration policy on such issues as health care, space exploration, housing and education." In between running some 25 scams over the last 6 months... This "deeply religious" fellow is said to earn 160,000 a year! So why's he stealing from Target? (story)

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Mary Carey and Bush
There she was again, porn-star Mary Carey, a guest of the National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser bash for the second year in a row. "I've gotten hit on by lots of drunk Republicans." (story) Jessica Simpson declined the invitation.

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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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Saddam in court
Saddam takes full responsibility for the Dujail executions, calls on court to drop charges against his subordinates who were only 'following my orders'. "I am Saddam Hussein. I was in charge. It's not my habit to put the blame on others..."
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Condi v. Iran
Condi: Myopia Eternus
"We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran" (report)

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Rachel Corrie
Rachel Corrie's mails home

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Sandra Day O'Connor
[Pointing to] "the experience of developing countries and former communist countries where interference with an independent judiciary has allowed dictatorship to flourish... We must be ever-vigilant against those who would strongarm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a long of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.." -Sandra Day O'Connor (story)

Meanwhile, Justice Ginsburg told a South African audience that both she and Sandra Day O'Connor had received death threats a year ago. (story)

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

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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Bush: "It's hard work!"
stream - dsl/cable
Download to disk (4.3mb)
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Evil 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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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 a 11/05 meeting with congressional leaders on the Patriot Act.

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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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