concerning human rights abuses in Uzbekistan (They like to boil
dissidents alive there). AmericaBlog
has picture of Rumsfeld
being all chummy with the Uzbek dictator.
first document contains the text of several telegrams that Craig Murray
sent back to London from 2002 to 2004, warning that the information
being passed on by the Uzbek security services was torture-tainted, and
challenging MI6 claims that the information was nonetheless "useful".
second document is the text of a legal opinion from the Foreign
Office's Michael Wood, arguing that the use by intelligence services of
information extracted through torture does not constitute a violation
of the UN Convention Against Torture.
, let's beat up on Venezuela!
takes a disturbing look at right-wing
Professor Juan Cole
myths about Iraq
. Well worth reading, especially
1 - the idea that tbe guerrilla war is being waged "in only four
4 - Iraqis are grateful for the US presence.
Also, MediaMatters examines the top 12 myths
. Especially noteworthy are points
5 - the idea
that only Democrats are troubled by it and
6 - the debate is between preserving civil liberties versus
What are the
An anonymous Senate
has placed a hold on the Intelligence
Authorization bill because two amendments calling for increased
oversight of Bush Administration policies were added to the budget
authorization. The amendments called for oversight of the "black
prison" issues and for more detailed information on the array of
intelligence which was available to the Adminsitration prior to the
start of the Iraq War.
Looks like the
projected invasion of Syria
will have to either be delayed or
re-thought entirely. China & India have jointly
a 37% stake in Syrian oil fields.
much for the latest
"purple finger moment". Riots
in Iraq over last week's election.
Oh, and Tom
(Former Democratic Minority Leader) says he did NOT
authorize the NSA spying.
examines the NSA spying case via Jose Padilla's case. He
faux-conservatives who (in my words) "sing the
Dear Leader Bush and whack away at liberal traitors but who have no
core beliefs of their own."
on the NSA
domestic spying issue. Seriously
from an Air Force General.
brings up a very good point. DailyKos
whacks a Republican talking point.
looks at conservative disillusionment over Iraq
victory for science
over Intelligent Design a.k.a. Creatinism
a.k.a. Biblical literalism
Iraq Project is over
. The project to turn a Middle
Eastern country into a corporate-friendly, pro-western colony
failed. The pro-western puppet Iyad Allawi ran for Prime
and got a pathetically miserable 14% of the vote. The people
want US troops to leave got a solid majority. Digby
points out that Americanns are becoming exhausted with all the "purple
has admitted that Bush had no legal reason to
American citizens en
via the NSA. DailyKos
looks at previous wiretapping cases and shows that the likely targets
are more likely to be vegans, Quakers, environmentalists and peaceniks
than anyone who's a danger to Americans.
the President's latest speech
. What exactly does
mean and who gets to define the term?
try, unsuccessfully, to explain that the President's
action in the NSA spying case are legal.
assesses the latest Iraqi election and "Forgive those of us
underwhelmed by such rosy predictions." but the US appears to have
brought to power a fundamentalist
Islamic party with strong ties to Iran
Jane of firedoglake
has some good links up on the NSA-Bush has been spying on Americans for
the past several years-unnamed Congressional leaders knew but kept it
all under wraps-The NY Times knew before the 2004 Presidential
Election, but didn't say anything beforehand scandal/possible
(We hope, we hope, we hope!!!). Digby
has a great post up on the theories behind all of
Rep Miller makes the argument that Attorney
General Gonzales should recuse himself
from the case.
But hey, we
are all so humorless anyway, right? And
have to admit, this
had me grinning from ear to ear.
on the crediblity of elections held while
of good news about the Bush Administration doing
right for a change.
Now it appears that the NSA was
. And apparently, Bush
has now decided
he can comment on some
ongoing investigations, but not others.
Hell freezes over,
"It is true that much of the
intelligence turned out to be wrong. As president I am responsible for
the decision to go into Iraq,"
reprints hilarious commentary on the right wing's newest boogeyman, the
"War on Christmas".
of Bush's speech
and we reproduce some of Monique's photos
copy of the Bush
speech (Long - 26 kilobyes). Same-o, same-o.
basic ordinary stuff with a few minor new twists.
refers to US Constitution
"goddamned piece of
Earlier, he wanted
Congressional leaders to arrange renewal of the Patriot Act in toto.
When challenged, he
“I don’t give a goddamn,
President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”" When an
aide suggested that the Constitution was inconsistent with some
provisions of the Patriot Act "Stop throwing the Constitution in my
face,"” Bush screamed back. "“It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”"
UPDATE: The above was placed into the comments
field of a
blog, the LeftCoaster
went back, got the whole story and posted it. The comments
followed agreed that the story sounds highly credible, but that CHB may
not be all that trustworthy a source.
of status of the "Coalition of the Willing" (Hint: they don't seem to
be very willing lately.)
post on recent statements by Rice & Bolton.
apperance on Dec
12th, The Shalom Center
LUNCH COSTS $10,000 TO THE ULTRA-RICH WHO COME TO NOSH &
(And let's not forget -- to wangle -- new unbid contracts
& more subsidies.)
EXPENSIVE? NOT AT ALL! BUSH TAX CUTS FOR THE SUPER-RICH PAY IT
BACK ONCE A MONTH. CHEAP AT THE PRICE!
the Bush Budget cuts food stamps for the malnourished. How else can we
motivate the lazy bums to work hard enough and get rich enough to
afford lunch with the Commander-in-Chief?)
the site is a NY Times article that briefly appeared
aroud noontime and that disappeared from view shortly
Reading it, it's very easy to imagine Karl Rove getting on the phone to
top Times' editors and screaming that they had better remove it or
their dog will be poisoned, their wife's workplace will be robbed,
their trash colector will "accidently" dump loads of trash into their
swimming pools. etc., etc.
UPDATE: The story has been restored
to the Times site. A correction has been added to
concerning a misstatement by the German chancellor. So much
THAT conspiracy theory.
reveals that the Iraq War wll cost another $100
World War I cost nearly $205 billion (In constat 2005 dollars), the
Korean War cost about $361 billion, the current projected cost of the Iraq War is about
Vietnam, which lasted
cost over $531 billion.
Also, LeftCoaster compares Pearl Harbor with the Iraq War.
Israelis to Bush administration 'transformation of the Middle
East' wingnuts: Please chill!
Just out from JTA
Israel told the United
fears the outcome of
regime change in Syria.
At a strategic-dialogue meeting this week among senior
Israel laid out for the United States three scenarios if Bashar Assad
is toppled: chaos, an Islamist regime or another strongman from Assad’s
minority Alawite sect. Israel fears all those options, saying Assad
provides a measure of stability.
U.S. officials told their Israeli counterparts that toppling
could be “transformative” and dismissed concerns about an Islamist
regime taking his place. Israel and the United States favor pressure on
Syria to force it to stop hosting Palestinian terrorist groups and
supporting Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist organization.
I guess since we've never overthrown a secular Arab strongman
to have the whole thing blow up in our face, it's just hard to know
whether the Israelis' concerns might be well grounded.
reprinted with commentary in DailyKos
reveals that German sources have confirmed the illegal interrogation of
al Qaeda suspects. Also, the CIA has confessed to about three
dozen "erroneous renditions".
Members of PRAWN have
that, due to the business ties between members of the
Administration and Iranian government figures, Iran
. Still, based on a "What would I do if I
analysis, the news that Iran
is obtaining Russian anti-aircraft missles
raises some very uncomfortable
about what would happen if US air superiority in the
were to be seriously
The highly respected commentator Juan
Reaction to Bush's
from Left Blogistan (or the Left Blogosphere) is "Ho-hum
so new about it?
are we gonna get a real
refused without comment by Supreme
Edmonds was the whistle-blower who discovered that the US did indeed
have advance warning about 9-11. The case against her being
to reveal anything represents a significan expansion of the
"state secrets" law.
Now the US appears to be losing
superority to India and Russia! Long piece (22 kilobytes)
examining recent war game competitions. Also, a look at
Bush Administration rushes
the exit doors
of Iraq as campagin ploy.
as true-believer Republican denounces Senators who
to require regular reports on Iraq War progress. As Jon
of the Daily Show
"Bush wasn't already
Sidney Blumenthal peeks
to see what the blogger Billmon has long called
Padilla!! Whether he's ultimately found
of anything is beside the point, the point is that his
should never have been outside the justice system He should
had a trial and he should have had access to counsel.
Oh, and Bush's suggestion that al-Jazeera be bombed was not
Iraqis request timetable for troop withdrawal from US.
examines the Rumsfeld vs Murtha debate. Not
side. Interestingly, the article
set against Krauthammer's
article on evolution in today's Inquirer has exactly the same
weakness. Both Rummy and the anti-evolutionist dodge the
question that their opponents pose. The anti-evolutionist
around the falsification question and Rummy hems and haws about the
question of whether an American pullout would help or hurt the cause of
true Iraqi independence. Clever evasiveness will only take a
debater so far.
Today is the 60th
of the beginning of the International Military
(IMT) trials at Nürnberg, Germany. Check out the Nürnberg
come to Iraq?
...it probably just dawned
architects of the Salvadoran Option that while they thought
they were riding with the bad
boys, the bad boys were out riding with the Iranian secret police, who
don't need any Spanish lessons on how to run a dirty war.
writes up good summary of Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and his speech
challenging Bush Administration's and pro-war Democrat's view on Iraq
on White Phosphourus
Also, what exactly have detentions in Iraq accomplsihed? Not
In what should have
entirely predictable ocurrence, Tom DeLay and others decided
years back that they wanted Republicans to not only dominate
government, but the K Street lobbyists as well. Well, that
project has worked a little too
are now complaining
that Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi
ignoring them! Let's hear it: Awwwww!
is about the oldest legal bulwark against tyranny (Could properly be
termed the "Grandfather of all Constitutional Rights")
Senator McCain voted to
the Graham amendment, even though it
would strip the authority of the only institution outside the executive
branch itself to which prisoners could appeal--the Supreme Court.
Without Court oversight, the very officials who have been implicated in
prisoner abuse will remain judge, jury, and jailer -- and will be in a
position to permit torture with impunity. Those who support both the
McCain amendment and the Graham amendment are caught in a
contradiction, essentially saying that the government can outlaw
torture and allow it too.
usually takes hilarious looks at right-wing
This post, it takes a serious look at the recent WaPo article
challenging Bush's claims and the Bush Administration response to the
looks at the new web-venture Pajamas Media (Bloggers often wake up, do
a blog post, shower, dress and eat, in that order) and finds it an
utterly unimpressive outfit. Their organization is notable
because Judith Miller of the NY Times spoke at their opening
meeting. BTW, they fired 230 of their 300 employees and their
office in New York City is a mail-drop with a single employee.
that Joseph Wilson revealed his wife's (Valerie Plame)
status before Robert Novak outed her. All four are highly
questionable. Lengthy report - 20 kilobytes.
examines Bush's latest pro-war speech. Note to Hillary
Clinton: Bush is conflating
anti-war critics and
Democrats, meaning your attempts to be a pro-war Democrat are probably
doomed to irrelevance.
looks at WaPo's examination of the same lies.
that he would recuse himself in all
involving his sister's company. Three times a case involving
company came before him and three times he failed to recuse
Oh, and bad news for paranoids, tin-foil hats do not
!! Democrats sweep Election 2005!
So much news today, here's
contributes a long (22 kilobytes) piece on the upcoming Avian Flu
Colin Powell’s former chief of staff Lawrence
Yeah, the Iraq War
has always been about oil
does documenatry about war crimes in Fallujah, detailing
of forbidden weapons.
camps in Eastern Europe and Vice-President Cheney's lobbying for a
torture exemption make Bush's claims of US moral superiority to Hugo
Current criticism on
Alito is not just that he's a radical right-winger, but that he's unfaithful
to the law
Along with the NY
on pre-war intel, here's
some background on the Paris riots and it appears the whole torture
was pivotal to the whole "Iraq is a deadly threat"
Five years after
the country that honesty and integrity would return to the White House,
told his staff to attend ethics training next week
The WaPo has a new section where they link to all the blogs commenting
on an individual story. For this story, the blogs (quite
properly) regard the Bush Administration's PR damage control effort as
a complete joke. And no, the article says nothing about
camps in Eastern Europe. "Ethics" includes only problems which are of
domestic political concern.
On NPR yesterday,
former chief of staff to the secretary of state
said that he had uncovered a "visible audit trail" tracing the practice
of prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers directly
Here's the audio
of Wilkerson's interview with Steve
Fun fact: Cheney's
is down to 19%!
45% of the public
considered the Clinton scandal of Whitewater to be "of little or no
consider the "Plamegate" CIA leak to be "of
just two points shy of Watergate!
leaves the conservative camp and joins the
Minority Leader Harry Reid
changes the subject!
Leader Bill Frist reduced to helpless frustration. Senate
committed to investigate how Bush Administration dealt with bogus WMD
intel. Shot fired across bow of Republicans who wanted to use
Bush goes with far
wing in choice of Supreme Court nominee. Alito
overturn the Family and Medical Leave Act; Alito has ruled in favor of
race-based and disability discrimination; he would overturn Roe v.
Wade; and for the topper, he ruled that there was nothing wrong with
the strip-searching of a ten year-old girl who wasn’t the subject of a
by lack of planning. A well-planned
reconstruction would not have defeated the insurgency (For instance,
the idea of bringing democracy to Iraq ignored the impact of upsetting
the power balance between the Sunnis and the Shiites. As the Shiites
were in a subordinate position, true democracy would have put them in
control, meaning the Sunnis would have fought US troops in any event.)
But neither is there any question that an incompetent reconstruction
hastened the development of the insurgency and left supporters of the
American occupation without any compelling reason to say why the US
"wore the white hat".
Cheney's Chief of Staff is so far
one busted in Plamegate. If the opera is over when "the fat lady sings"
(A reference to the Ring
set of operas) she hasn't even come up to the stage
of upcoming charges from Special Counsel Patrick
Fitzpatrick in Plamegate/Treasongate case. Also, LeftCoaster
background stories on where the Niger Uranium tale first came from (The
forged documents were the only
Looks like Judith
will no longer be working for the NY Times. Oh, and
editorial board comes out against
tells of being with Ahmed Chalabi in early 2002,
received a call from Judith Miller. She was complaining about
being scooped on a WMD story:
Mr. Chalabi, after hanging
made some comment to the effect that the
defector was probably tired of waiting to have the story be cleared by
Times editors. Ms. Miller was annoyed at being scooped, which is the
instinct of a real reporter.
Okay, but let's remember: NONE
of the WMD
stories Judith told turned
out to be TRUE
appears to be deliberately
trying to start up a war with Syria
a letter explaining how Syria is being "set up to fail".
in Plamegate and it seems Libby "forgot" to
Fitzgerald of the Veeps involvement.
The 15 October vote
off mostly peacefully,
prompting euphoric statements from Washington. The US Secretary of
State, Condoleezza Rice, quickly announced that the constitution had
probably been approved.
seems Ms Rice was speaking way too soon
, provoking anger
Iraqi and Western officials working in the country.
Another BBC article suggested on Sunday that about 5% of the votes had
of Iraqis believe attacks on U.S. and British troops
justified, according to a secret poll said to have been commissioned by
British defense leaders and cited by The Sunday Telegraph.
Eighty-two percent of those polled said they were "strongly opposed" to
the presence of the troops.
takes a long (24 kilobytes) hard look at NY Times reporter Judith
Miller's alleged "security clearance" and how that might have shaped
her reporting. Judy's editor Bill
Keller admits that the Times did not "debrief" Miller
and regrets not doing so.
hate" Ann Coulter? Nah, but it amuses us to
snarky about her.
reviews all of the legal trouble the Bush Administration is
reprints some right-wing whining and delivers the smackdown.
cakewalk in Iran is an article that charges that Iran is next
the hit list and that the US has gotten the necessary resolutions
passed in the UN to begin the march t the next war.
examines website alleged to show gruesome pictures submitted by
American soldiers in Iraq. Unfortunately, AmericaBlog
that the site is real and shows recent photos (The blog shows
censored, sanitized versions, but includes links to the real
Juan Cole of the University of Michigan has long been a
anti-war folks for his realistic, clear-eyed views and intimately
detailed knowledge of the Middle East..
reluctantly supported the US military presence in Iraq feeling that,
all things considered, it was doing more good than harm. He
now taken a look at the latest prisoner abuses by the 82nd Airborne and
the attack on Tal Afar and the evaporatioon of political successes
elswhere and concludes that the US would best serve itself and Iraq by
unconditionally and right away.
examines Administration's pathertic fund-raising effort and it
apparently takes an average of a quarter
million bullets to kill one insurgent.
Post gives enthusiastic review of march. Also,
update links on Hurrican
Blog suggests that as Iraq is schedled to have a vote on
constitution Oct 15th in any event, why not add a question as to
whether they'd like US troops to remain? Let's have some real democracy here!
in Iraq! British (Thought their sector was the quiet area) attack
police station with tanks and free up to 150 other prisoners while
freeing two British people who were in Iraqi (!)
Also, CNN's Jack Cafferty slams
the Bush Administration on their proposed investigation of Katrina. 81% want an independent
only 18% want Congress to investigate.
Cindy Sheehan rally!
on how the
Iraq War is going with special attention paid to "Iraqification".
has to wonder whether FEMA is displaying
incompetence or something worse. Among many other
is noted that FEMA is counting on "call centers" to coordinate relief
while Louisiana has
households without phone service. The number
the President is (unsurprisingly) constantly busy as out of 40 promised
call centers, only eight are operational.
University about "Katrina: The Politics of Incompetence and
Administration makes presentation
on Iran's "nuclear weapons" to UN, presentation goes over like lead
balloon. Washington Post shows skepticsm. War with
on agenda for
2nd Bush term
US Senators today KILLED
legislation establishing an independent, bipartisan commission to
investigate what went so horribly wrong with Hurricane Katrina.
want an independent bipartisan commission, like the one that
investigated the 9/11 attacks, to investigate what went wrong. In fact,
according to the same poll, Americans of all stripes, Republicans and
Democrats, are united behind their support for such a commission (64%
of all Republicans and 83% of all Democrats want a commission) even
though they were aware that the Republicans in Congress are doing their
own biased and partisan investigation.
“Governor Blanco’s August 27, 2005 request for an emergency
declaration also included her determination...that ‘the incident
magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the
local governments and that supplementary Federal
to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to
lessen or avert the
threat of disaster.” [emphasis added]
the levees of
New Orleans broke, Bush admits
"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all
levels of government," Bush said at joint White House news conference
with the president of Iraq. "To the extent the federal
didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said.
provides useful corrective to any impulse to
Governor of Louisiana & Mayor of New Orleans while being very
cleaar that the Federal Govt (Bush) was ultimately responsible.
identifies far too many
instances of FEMA rejecting
assistance to New Orleans. Conspiracy theories seem all too
gives us still more reason for suspicion. Smirling
features story on Bush's isolated management style.
More good news: FEMA
Director Michael Brown
as head of FEMA, but
route is open to getting a competent person in there.
Guard stretched thin,
says the head of the National Guard
Bureau. A few cracks in the facade?
produces a timelie of the hurricane (Comments "Between Monday and
Sunday" are very
and raise serious questions). A
trio of students
reveal what it was like inside New Orleans
the hurrican and before federal help arrived and good
news we hope
, the Democrats have promised to be tough on
nomination to the Supreme Court (Hey, I take my good news where I can
now in full "slime
Senator Mary Landrieu
stops being the sweet and nice doormat
starts aggressively defending her home state. You can thank her here
"...expressions of sympathy were mixed with a worldwide sense of amazement
at the failure of American authorities to
with the crisis."
In an explicit clash
between Republican ideology and humanitarian needs, Grover Norquist is
very upset that Congress is considering delaying the "Paris
Hilton Tax Cut"
, the rest of the world, meanwhile, has explicity
itself on the record
as favoring the opposite
of Katrina crisis
now dated from Sunday,
as that's when official letter from
Louisiana Governor to the President requesting a declaration
a major disaster was made. It was
that point that
Katrina was a “Category
V Hurricane.” President did not begin work on it until Wednesday,
FEMA Head blames
"...to help those who are stranded, who chose
evacuate, who chose
not to leave the city..." (emphasis added) There are, of course,
several hundred thousand people who could
leave the city due to the lack of
were no trains or buses available
to evacuate anyone.
Plus - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice goes
Director of FEMA places
of knowledge about New Orleans disaster
as early as
Monday morning, which means the President
why response was two
are blaming the
slow response. Also, up to 20
in Gulf of Mexico are now missing, making
on top of everything else. Billmon takes a long and
at the crisis and provides a list of groups to make