Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Are You Ready to Pay $10 a Gallon for Gas?

AP: Iran Sanctions Could Drive Oil Past $100
A surge in oil prices last week to almost $70 a barrel on concerns about the restart of Iran's nuclear program only hints at what may lie ahead. Prices could soar past $100 a barrel, experts say, if the U.N. Security Council authorizes trade sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation, which the West accuses of trying to make nuclear bombs, and Iran curbs oil exports in retaliation. A sharp global economic slowdown could follow

Ready for $262/barrel oil?
Two of the world's most successful investors say oil will be in short supply in the coming months.


CNN Money/Fortune magazine goes through 6 different hypotheticals with the 2 of the world's most succesful investors.
I'm not ready to pay half that much, but I am ready for the rioting that will ensue if it does happen. Bring your own guillotine.

Politics TV

Streaming online. It's the new and improved format of the old Dems TV.
Please do check it out.


I give it 2 thumbs up. Great job guys/gals!

About Tonight's Dem Response to the SOTU

Tonight, much to my great disappointment, the Democratic party has chosen my Governor, Tim Kaine, to deliver their response to the State of the Union.

First off, I voted for Kaine, and I'm glad he won. So then, why my disappointment?

Because Tim Kaine is a bigot plain and simple, and he supports taking this country backwards. He is absolutely the wrong chioce to be the voice of the Democratic party on such a momentous occasion.

I have to agree totally with John at Americablog on this one, and while I have always admired her before, I don't give a rat's ass what Katrina Vanden Heuvel has to say about it. She's just wrong on this one.

Tim Kaine is a full fledged American Taliban in sheep's clothing.

Why the vitriol? Tim Kaine supports a state constitutional amendment that would prohibit gay marriage.


Daily Press: A constitutional ban on gay marriage or anything like it will go to voters in a November statewide referendum, sparking a potentially emotional fight for the hearts and minds of Virginians. (...)

Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, believes marriage is between a man and a woman, but he is concerned that the proposed amendment might go too far....
Tim supports the bill, he just doesn't like the language in the bill that might weaken it.

It's a damn shame this is going to referrendum, as this state will definitely pass it, and if it's appealed to the scotus, the Roberts led court will certainly uphold it.

FYI I'm not gay, nor do I even have any gay friends as far as I know, with the exception of several fellow bloggers whom I know and admire, if only through the internet. That needn't have been said as it shouldn't make any difference. This is a very slippery slope and a huge step backwards for our state, and for our country.

Just like nearly every other policy that has been pursued by chimpyco since they stole the Whitehouse, I'm pissed off and embarrassed by it. All of us should be.

This is a clear tyranny of the majority. Fuck the intent of the bill of rights. Fags are today's niggers when it comes to pandering to voters. That's what Tim Kaine supports.

Even Coretta Scott King linked the pursuit of civil rights for gays to African-American civil rights. To move forward with laws that reduce a segment of our society to second class citizens not worthy of the same rights as others, for no other reason than pure bigotry, is worse than pissing on her freshly dug grave. There is simply no justification for it.

VA is for lovers. Not!

How exactly would a gay couple being allowed to marry harm anything or anyone in any way whatsoever? Certainly making it illegal will be harmful to them in many many ways. Wouldn't it just be better for everyone if we promoted love and monogomy regardless of a person's sexual preference instead of intolerance and bigotry?

Why can't the high and mighty Religious Right understand, and play fair? No one wants to deprive anyone of their right to believe and practice their religion in this country. Why does the Religious Right want to deprive others of their right to believe and act how they choose?

What is the battle for? I don't have any problem at all with public displays of a religious nature as long as they aren't paid for with taxpayer money or put into schools or govt buildings, unless those displays are multidenominational, open to all faiths equally, and then they're probably ok. I even think teaching religion in public school is a good idea, as long as the course embraces all faiths and does not preface any one over another, and as long as it is taught as religious studies and not as a science. Then I don't have a problem with that at all. Science is based on that which is observable and repeatable. Religion is based on what cannot be seen, but can be believed anyway. I think most persons of all religions are genuinely good people, and I admire a lot of the really good things that religious organizations do. So there, I've offered an olive branch here. Why can't we all just get along?

[Update] I sent (oh yes I did) Tim Kaine an email containing nearly all of the above, dicey language and all. This is the automated response I got,...
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. When your
email requires in-depth analysis, please allow up to ten business days for
a response. If you need to correspond further with me, please return to
our e-mail form:
http://www.governor.virginia.gov/abouttheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm

Sincerely,
Tim Kaine
Governor of Virginia
I can't wait until someone actually reads it, assuming anybody will. I'll surely post any further response I may recieve, but certainly I won't hold my breath.



Monday, January 30, 2006

DCCC Takes Bush To Task Over SOTU Lies

Every year in his State of the Union Bush pitches his great accomplishments, but what they really are is doublespeak for great big giveaways of our money to special interests. This pathetic excuse for a man is incapable of being upfront and honest about anything. The only time he tells the truth is when it's a frickin accidental slip of the tongue. How anyone cannot see that he is so completely full of shit 24/7 is beyond me.
Hey Chimpy! It's not what you say, it's what you do that counts.

[Note] Windows popup blocker wouldn't let me watch the clip from their site
so I'm posting the direct links for you here: Windows Media or QuickTime

If you can, please help the DCCC get this thing on the air,

and when you're ready to really do something about special interests corrupting our govt,...


Public Campaign: Clean Money, Clean Elections

A new kind of politics is taking root in America called Clean Money, Clean Elections (CMCE) campaign finance reform. CMCE reduces the influence of special interest money and provides a level playing field by offering qualified candidates a limited and equal amount of public funds. It's a bold, new experiment in campaign finance reform, seeking to restore democracy and the principle of one person, one vote....

The success of Clean Money/Clean Elections in Maine, Vermont, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and North Carolina has given greater energy and focus to campaign finance reform efforts in many states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Wisconsin....(find out more)

6 of 8 Most Recent Polls Show Bush's Approval Still in Decline

Can someone please tell the media?


click on pic to enjoy Bush's freefall

As Kos points out...

Boy, that press sure wants to talk about Bush "inching" up in popularity. They can't bring themselves to talk about Bush being "unpopular", as it would violate their very carefully constructed media narrative for the guy.

So we get stories about Bush's rebound, and Chris Matthews waxing poetic about how illegal NSA wiretaps are paying off politically for Bush, etc.

But what's the reality? Here are the most recent polls with their respective trend lines:

[UPDATE] C&L has video

Chris Matthews seems to think that the public is firmly behind Bush over the NSA eavesdropping scandal.

MATTHEWS: Elisabeth, a couple weeks ago the Democrats thought they had the president's number on this NSA spying thing and then Karl Rove came out a week ago and said: "no," this is a big winner. How is the president turning the NSA surveillance question into a winner politically?

ELISABETH BUMILLER, NYT: It took them a while. It took them about a month to get their act together on this

Liberal frickin media my ass!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Revolt From Within The Chimperor's Palace

Newsweek has put together a long hard look at how the Whitehouse silences its critics from within its own administration. Muzzled and shoved out the door for only attempting to point out the obvious.


hat tip to information clearinghouse for the roflmao pic

Palace Revolt
They were loyal conservatives, and Bush appointees. They fought a quiet battle to rein in the president's power in the war on terror. And they paid a price for it.

...The rebels were not whistle-blowers in the traditional sense. They did not want—indeed avoided—publicity. (Goldsmith confirmed public facts about himself but otherwise declined to comment. Comey also declined to comment.) They were not downtrodden career civil servants. Rather, they were conservative political appointees who had been friends and close colleagues of some of the true believers they were fighting against. They did not see the struggle in terms of black and white but in shades of gray—as painfully close calls with unavoidable pitfalls. They worried deeply about whether their principles might put Americans at home and abroad at risk. Their story has been obscured behind legalisms and the veil of secrecy over the White House. But it is a quietly dramatic profile in courage. (...)

The chief opponent of the rebels, though by no means the only one, was an equally obscure, but immensely powerful, lawyer-bureaucrat. Intense, workaholic (even by insane White House standards), David Addington, formerly counsel, now chief of staff to the vice president, is a righteous, ascetic public servant. According to those who know him, he does not care about fame, riches or the trappings of power. He takes the Metro to work, rather than use his White House parking pass, and refuses to even have his picture taken by the press. His habitual lunch is a bowl of gazpacho, eaten in the White House Mess. He is hardly anonymous inside the government, however. Presidential appointees quail before his volcanic temper, backed by assiduous preparation and acid sarcasm. (...)

Addington and a small band of like-minded lawyers set about providing that cover—a legal argument that the power of the president in time of war was virtually untrammeled. One of Addington's first jobs had been to draft a presidential order establishing military commissions to try unlawful combatants—terrorists caught on the global battlefield. The normal "interagency process"—getting agreement from lawyers at Defense, State, the intelligence agencies and so forth—proved glacial, as usual. So Addington, working with fellow conservative Deputy White House Counsel Timothy Flanigan, came up with a solution: cut virtually everyone else out. Addington is a purist, not a cynic; he does not believe he is in any way ignoring or twisting the law. It is also important to note that Addington was not sailing off on some personal crusade; he had the full backing of the president and vice president, who shared his views. But, steeped in bureaucratic experience and clear in his purpose, Addington was a ferocious infighter for his cause. (...)

Inexperienced in national-security law, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales was steered by more-expert lawyers like Addington and Flanigan. Others, like John Bellinger, the National Security Council's top lawyer, were simply not told what was going on. Addington and the hard-liners had particular disregard for Bellinger, who was considered a softie—mocked by Addington because he had lunch once a month or so with a pillar of the liberal-leaning legal establishment, the late Lloyd Cutler. When Addington and Flanigan produced a document—signed by Bush—that gave the president near-total authority over the prosecution of suspected terrorists, Bellinger burst into Gonzales's office, clearly upset, according to a source familiar with the episode. But it was too late.

Addington was just getting started. Minimizing dissent by going behind the backs of bureaucratic rivals was how he played the game....
(much much more)

Santorum Asks Us To Not Put On a Uniform

Believe it or not, Rick wants us to put on a bumper sticker instead.
Watch the video and see for yourself.

If you do wish to follow Santorum's advice, BIO has a great suggestion for you.

Stop Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania anti-Republican Bumper Sticker from the Liberal Store.


While I'm at it. BIO is full of great suggestions for your bumper & t-shirts too.

Chaos Erupts At Saddam's Trial

I'm pretty sure all hell broke loose after Saddam's council introduced this video as part of Saddam's defense...


Ok, maybe it wasn't the video. lol

Saddam Hussein Removed From Court Room

AP: Saddam Hussein's trial quickly collapsed into chaos after resuming Sunday with one defendant dragged out of court and the defense team walking out in protest. The former Iraqi leader was then ejected after shouting "down with traitors" and "down with America."

The new chief judge in the trial, Raouf Abdel-Rahman, sought to show tough control over the court. He was brought in a shake-up sparked when his predecessor resigned this month after complaints that he was not doing enough to rein in Saddam's frequent courtroom outbursts.

But the stormy session Sunday — the first in a month — will likely increase doubts over the trial's fairness, already raised by the shake-up that brought in Abdel-Rahman.

After a defense lawyer was removed, the entire defense team left in protest as the judge shouted after them, "Any lawyer who walks out will not be allowed back into this courtroom."...
(more)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

US Army Going After Suspected Insurgent's Wives

US military caught using disgusting tactic used by Saddam, and then lying about it.
AP: The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.

In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him "to come get his wife."

The issue of female detentions in Iraq has taken on a higher profile since kidnappers seized American journalist Jill Carroll on Jan. 7 and threatened to kill her unless all Iraqi women detainees are freed.

The U.S. military on Thursday freed five of what it said were 11 women among the 14,000 detainees currently held in the 2 1/2-year-old insurgency. All were accused of "aiding terrorists or planting explosives," but an Iraqi government commission found that evidence was lacking.

Iraqi human rights activist Hind al-Salehi contends that U.S. anti-insurgent units, coming up empty-handed in raids on suspects' houses, have at times detained wives to pressure men into turning themselves in.

Iraq's deputy justice minister, Busho Ibrahim Ali, dismissed such claims, saying hostage-holding was a tactic used under the ousted Saddam Hussein dictatorship, and "we are not Saddam." A U.S. command spokesman in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, said only Iraqis who pose an "imperative threat" are held in long-term U.S.-run detention facilities.

But documents describing two 2004 episodes tell a different story...
(more)
Jill Carroll's family should be outraged. I sure as hell am.

Arizona Republican Rep. David Burnell Kicked Out Of Office


What a novel idea! A Republican actually made to follow the rules. Who knew?
AP: An Arizona legislator has been removed from office for overspending during his 2004 primary race, making him the first lawmaker in the country to be ousted for violating a state's public campaign financing system.

After a five-month court battle, the Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday ordered first-term Republican Rep. David Burnell Smith to leave office at midnight.

"I will no longer exercise any duties as a representative," the 64-year-old lawyer said Friday.

Under Arizona's 1998 Clean Elections Law, candidates who voluntarily participate must collect a set number of $5 contributions from voters to qualify for public funding. In return, they must adhere to certain spending limits
....(more)
Hell yeah, now we're getting somewhere. Does your state have clean elections laws?
Head on over to publiccampaign.org to find out more. :^)

Independent Study: Abramoff Scandal = Republican Scandal

Click on the pic for pdf of Economist article:
"Republican Nightmare: It's Corruption, Stupid!:
The story behind Jack Abramoff and the Beltway Bandits"
html of article here

A new analysis of Abramoff tribal money by a nonpartisan firm shows it’s a Republican scandal

American Prospect: ...[T]he Morris and Associates analysis, which was done exclusively for The Prospect, clearly shows that it’s highly misleading to suggest that the tribes's giving to Dems was in any way comparable to their giving to the GOP. The analysis shows that when Abramoff took on his tribal clients, the majority of them dramatically ratcheted up donations to Republicans. Meanwhile, donations to Democrats from the same clients either dropped, remained largely static or, in two cases, rose by a far smaller percentage than the ones to Republicans did. This pattern suggests that whatever money went to Democrats, rather than having been steered by Abramoff, may have largely been money the tribes would have given anyway.

The analysis shows:

in total, the donations of Abramoff’s tribal clients to Democrats dropped by nine percent after they hired him, while their donations to Republicans more than doubled, increasing by 135 percent after they signed him up;

five out of seven of Abramoff’s tribal clients vastly favored Republican candidates over Democratic ones;

four of the seven began giving substantially more to Republicans than Democrats after he took them on;

Abramoff’s clients gave well over twice as much to Republicans than Democrats, while tribes not affiliated with Abramoff gave well over twice as much to Democrats than the GOP -- exactly the reverse pattern.

“It’s very hard to see the donations of Abramoff’s clients as a bipartisan greasing of the wheels,”...(more)

(related posts)
It's a Republican Scandal. Period.
Delay's House Of Scandal Collapsing
More on Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff
GOPotemkin Reform
GOP Hopes Ney Removal Will Aid Reform
Great New Delay Ad Public Service Announcement!
Republican: (adj) dishonest, criminal, corrupt, fraudulent ...
The Dominoes Begin Falling
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu. Adieu, adieu, to yieu
Abramoff Makes Plea Deal, Will Cooperate

Ann Coulter 'Jokes' (?) That Justice Stevens Should Be Poisoned

Editor and Publisher: Universal Press Syndicate columnist Ann Coulter "joked" during a Thursday speech that liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned. "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark....(more)
I try hard not to hate anyone. But I really hate this *&^%! Every time she opens her mouth, she says the most outrageous crap....

Friday, January 27, 2006

Halliburton's $1.1 Billion Profit in 2005 Its Best Ever

Cha-Ching!
Pic from BuzzFlash

AP: Oilfield services conglomerate Halliburton Co. swung to a profit in its fourth quarter on robust sales and increased rig activity, and called last year the best in its 86-year history. ...(more)

This message has been brought to you by Bush Cheney
bought by you for

Operation Moving Target

From the good folks at afterdowningstreet.org



Starting Tuesday, a huge truck displaying these billboards will begin driving around the U.S. Capitol.

Velvet Revolution owns the truck, so there's no expense there, but signs cost a heck of a lot to produce. VR is looking for ideas for more signs and for the money to pay for them. If you can help in any way, please do.

(related posts)
Bush "Violated the National Security Act"
About Those 16 Words
Bush is a Walking Catastrophe
The Trouble with Lying is,...
The Great Franklin-Bush Debate
Why CEOs Should Never Wage War
BUSH STEP DOWN

It's a Republican Scandal. Period.

Allright I've been lax in my posting. Let me do a little catch up.

lmao pic from one good move

Katie Couric repeated the latest mehlwoman talkingpoint, the LIE that Dems took Abramoff $ too, and Howard Dean tried to steer her right. C&L has the video of the exchange.
I'm getting so sick of this shit. Katie, after having first said "Hey, wait a second. Democrats took-Democrats took money from Abramoff too", she tried to weasel her way out of that erroneous claim by saying "Abramoff and his associates" gave Dems money too.

First off, the first statement she made is totally false. Her second is half true. Yes, Abramoff's client tribes did give some of their money to Democrats, but Abramoff did not give a dime to anyone except for Republicans. Nor is there any evidence that I've yet seen that even hints that Abramoff directed any of his client tribes to send any money the dems way. Please do correct me if I'm mistaken, but after reading many many articles on the Abramoff scandal since day 1, I've not seen any evidence of that at all.

Big hat tip to FDL for both the comic and the ogm pic above

Perhaps Deborah Howell, the Washington Post's ombudsman (a misnomer) is privy to such info and she is just keeping it a secret. That might explain her attempt to correct this claim in her January 15 column titled interestingly enough, Getting the Story on Jack Abramoff...

Abramoff was getting 10 to 20 times as much from Indian tribes as they had paid other lobbyists. And he had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties.
Perhaps she meant 'Getting the story Wrong, on Jack Abramoff'. This set off a firestorm in the blogosphere. So many and so angry were the complaints that she cut herself off from responding to them. What she wrote was totally untrue, and coming from an ombudsman, the person responsible for investigating and resolving complaints and getting the facts straight, this is completely unbelievable. This was her attempt to correct herself in her January 22 column, The Firestorm Over My Column

Nothing in my 50-year career prepared me for the thousands of flaming
e-mails I got last week over my last column, e-mails so abusive and many so
obscene that part of The Post's Web site was shut down.
(...)
I wrote that he gave campaign money to both parties and their members of Congress. He didn't. I should have said he directed his client Indian tribes to make campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties.
OK now this is getting rediculous. The Washington Post needs to share this info that Abramoff directed the client tribes to donate to the Dems if it is true, and if they can't prove so, they need to fire Mrs Howell.

Just because the tribes, tribes who were ripped off by Abramoff donated to dems, doesn't mean that Abramoff directed them to do so. in fact, while I've been unable to find anything even remotely suggesting he did, I have seen plenty of indication that he did not.

like this email from Abramoff to Ralph Reed in the, oh my, Wapo...

Insiders Worked Both Sides of Gaming Issue
E-mails Suggest Men Tried to Exploit Closure of Casino for Huge Fees From Tribe


Washington Post: ...In an e-mail to Reed on Feb. 11, 2002, Abramoff did not mention he had been in contact with the Tiguas. He wrote: "I wish those moronic Tiguas were smarter in their political contributions. I'd love us to get our mitts on that moolah!! Oh well, stupid folks get wiped out."...

There also is no mention I can find of any tit-for-tat golf trips, no free meals in Jack's restaurant, no skybox seats, no interfering and covering up of investigations, no giving cushy jobs to wives, or any of that kind of nonsense between Abramoff and any Dems. Again, please do point out where I may be wrong.

Unless someone knows something I don't, the msm need to get a grip and quit repeating the GOP Bullshit. This is a Republican scandal, and it's only a Republican scandal, Period. There was no dirty money or improper quid pro quos between any dems and Abramoff.

(related posts)
Delay's House Of Scandal Collapsing
More on Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff
GOPotemkin Reform
GOP Hopes Ney Removal Will Aid Reform
Great New Delay Ad Public Service Announcement!
Republican: (adj) dishonest, criminal, corrupt, fraudulent ...
The Dominoes Begin FallingSo long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu. Adieu, adieu, to yieu
Abramoff Makes Plea Deal, Will Cooperate
Corruption likes Company: Delay and Duke
Tom Delay Is A Big Fat Lying Hypocrite

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

War on Journalists Revisited

Here we go again. There's still no word on kidnapped reporter Jill Carroll, however there are reports that arrests have been made. "Carroll is the 31st foreign journalist to be kidnapped in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003." I have much hope that she is well and that this development may help lead to her being freed.

In other related news, there are now reports of yet another journalist killed in Iraq. :^(

Reuters: An Iraqi television cameraman was killed in clashes between Sunni rebels and U.S. forces in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi on Tuesday, witnesses said on Wednesday. More than 70 foreign and Iraqi journalists have been reported killed since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

The real number is believed to be higher and the list does not include the many translators, drivers and other assistants said by media watchdogs to have died since the conflict began....(more)

[Update] More info from Wapo

Marines Said to Mistakenly Kill Iraqi Journalist in Ramadi

Washington Post: ...During the fighting in Ramadi, Zaal Shehan Mahmoud, 30, a cameraman for the Baghdad TV network, was killed by more than 20 bullets to the head, abdomen and legs, according to Mohammed Dulaimi, a doctor at the Ramadi hospital....(more)

To say Iraq is a place hazardous to a journalist's health is an understatement to say the least. Just to see the list of those killed in the last year is disturbing enough, but as I've written about before, the total number killed has already already exceeded the number killed in all of the 22 years of the war in Vietnam.

Whatever is really going on in Iraq, we may never know. It's impossible to get a clear picture of it from our msm. As Robert Fisk writes, ""Hotel journalism" is the only way to describe it. More and more, Western reporters in Baghdad are reporting from their hotels rather than the streets of Iraq's towns and cities." (...) Rarely, if ever, has a war been covered by reporters in so distant and restricted a way. Several Western journalists simply do not leave their rooms while on station in Baghdad...." And CBS News now reports that "more American reporters are leaving Iraq than arriving. In large part, for the U.S. press, "The party's pretty much over."

In my earlier post, I speculated that journalists in Iraq are most likely being monitored by our military, and no sooner did I write that post did this story break that confirms that suspicion beyond any reasonable doubt.

US troops seize award-winning Iraqi journalist

Jan 9, Guardian: American troops in Baghdad yesterday blasted their way into the home of an Iraqi journalist working for the Guardian and Channel 4, firing bullets into the bedroom where he was sleeping with his wife and children.

Ali Fadhil, who two months ago won the Foreign Press Association young journalist of the year award, was hooded and taken for questioning. He was released hours later.

Dr Fadhil is working with Guardian Films on an investigation for Channel 4's Dispatches programme into claims that tens of millions of dollars worth of Iraqi funds held by the Americans and British have been misused or misappropriated.

The troops told Dr Fadhil that they were looking for an Iraqi insurgent and seized video tapes he had shot for the programme. These have not yet been returned
...(more)

You can hear his very disturbing 1st-hand account of that raid on his home at Democracy Now: Iraqi Journalist Ali Fadhil Describes Arrest by U.S. Forces: “They Used Explosives and Shot Inside My Home”

Something I didn't note in my earlier post was Dr Fadhil's previous reporting had included award winning accounts of the battle in Fallujah. This is something I wish I would have dug deeper into at the time, because I did go into several of the many accounts that it was Guiliana Sgrena's reporting on Fallujah that was the reason Bush reportedly wanted to bomb al Jazeera.

Sgrena, you may recall, was the Italian journalist that was taken hostage shortly after the battle for Fallujah began, and was shot by US troops on her release. It was in Fallujah where we later learned our military used white phosphorus as a weapon that killed hundreds of insurgents and innocents alike indiscriminately. There is little doubt that these horrific images [GRAPHIC] of men women and children, many killed while asleep in their beds, are exactly what Bush didn't ever want anyone to ever see.

I further speculated that many of the journo's deaths that came at the hands of our military may have been intentional, and I'm not the only one who shares this concern. Lila Rajiva makes a similar assertion in "How America Kills Iraqi Journalists for Their Own Good". 13 journalists thus far have been confirmed killed by our military, and many more may have been. Rajiva makes the case that "around 29 journalists -- almost ten a year" may have been killed by our troops. From what little we do know, several of these deaths appear to have not been an accident.

Add to all of this the case made by the group The Committee to Protect Journalists, in their letter to Don Rumsfeld late last year;

"Iraqi journalists routinely jailed by U.S. forces"

In 2005 alone, CPJ has documented seven cases in which reporters, photographers, and cameramen were detained for prolonged periods without charge or the disclosure of any supporting evidence. These detentions have involved journalists working for CBS News, Reuters, The Associated Press, and Agence France-Presse, among others. At least three documented detentions have exceeded 100 days; the others have involved detentions of many weeks. In at least five cases documented by CPJ, the detainees were photojournalists who initially drew the military's attention because of what they had filmed or photographed.

In several cases, U.S. military officials have voiced suspicions that some Iraqi journalists collaborated with Iraqi insurgents and had advance knowledge of attacks on coalition forces. But the military has never provided evidence to substantiate any claims, despite repeated inquiries over many months, and nearly all of the journalists detained on such suspicions have been released without charge.
...(more)
With commanders admitting that the military is stretched to their breaking point already, and an increasing absense of journalists to report to us what is going on, I truly fear what choices this administration will make in the days, weeks, months to come. Over and over this administration just keeps creating terrorists faster than they can kill them. Unfettered by the media, it can only get worse. Who's to say that Bush/Rumsfeld won't order Fallujah-like assaults, or worse, all across the country?

Please don't get me wrong. I have nothing but the greatest respect for our brave men and women in uniform. We're not talking about a few isolated incidents here. It's just not believable that 3 journalists killed by US troops in 2 different buildings on opposite sides of the Tigris river was an accident or soldiers working on their own accord. Even we at home know the Palestine Hotel and al Jazeera's Baghdad facility are filled with the press. That attack combined with chimpy's threat to bomb al Jazeera and most of all Dr Fadhil's account above and it's all too obvious that this statement... ""We don't target journalists deliberately -- not now, not ever," said Central Command spokesman Brig. Gen. Vince Brooks." is complete bullshit on the face of it.

If Dr Fadhil would have been killed in the raid on his home would that have just been an accident too? Not unlike the neverending reports of torture, when taken as a whole the pattern suggests these are not isolated incidents, and all of the "accidental deaths" of journalists deserve to be questioned. Most of all, we must begin to ask. Does this administration consider a journalist, especially a foreign journalist, with an unfavorable story to be a legitimate military target? Is that in any way acceptable?

We deserve to know the truth about what is going on in our name, with our tax dollars, in Iraq. Our troops deserve to have eyes and ears that can report back to us what they cannot.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Message From Ben Franklin To Alberto Gonzales

Protesters hold up a sign while Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales speaks at Georgetown University.


CNN: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had trouble tapping into a group of hooded protesters at Georgetown Law School in Washington on Tuesday.... (more)
Poll: 51% Think Bush Spying Was Wrong 58% Want Special Prosecutor
A new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll shows public sentiment is against the program. Fifty-one percent of Americans said the administration was wrong to intercept conversations involving a party inside the USA without a warrant. In response to another question, 58% of Americans said they support the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the program....(more)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Report Exposes Gross Incompetence in Rebuilding Iraq

Going from bad to worse, and it just doesn't get much worse than this. As Wonkette pointed out back in Nov, Bush has been working backwards without a plan for Iraq all along. He went from "Mission Accomplished" in May '03 to a "Strategy for Victory" in Oct '05, and then rolled out his "Plan For Victory" just this past November 30.


Then surprise, we find out only a few days later that was complete bullshit as the govt began offering over a BILLION dollar contract to anyone in the private sector who could come up with a frickin plan for them. The USAid contract went out Dec 1, one day after chimpy's "Plan For Victory" speech, to "qualified sources to design and implement a social and economic stabilization program impacting ten Strategic Cities, identified by the United States Government as critical to the defeat of the Insurgency in Iraq."

Now we get a glimpse just how screwed up things really are.

Iraq Rebuilding Badly Hobbled, U.S. Report Finds

NYT: The first official history of the $25 billion American reconstruction effort in Iraq depicts a program hobbled from the outset by gross understaffing, a lack of technical expertise, bureaucratic infighting, secrecy and constantly increasing security costs, according to a preliminary draft copy of the document dated December 2005. (...)

In the document, the paralyzing effect of staffing shortfalls and contracting battles between the State Department and the Pentagon, creating delays of months at a stretch, are described for the first time from inside the program.

The document also recounts concerns about writing contracts for an entity with the "ambiguous legal status" of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the question of whether it was an American entity or a multinational one like NATO. (...)

The draft report is emerging as the rebuilding comes under fresh criticism in the United States and Iraq. Partly because of sabotage to oil and gas pipelines and electrical transmission lines, Iraq's oil exports have plummeted over the last several months, and its national electrical output has again dipped below prewar levels.

After years of shifting authority, agencies that have come into and out of existence and that experienced constant staff turnover, the rebuilding went through another permutation last month with almost no public notice. The Corps of Engineers has been given command of the severely criticized office set up by President Bush to oversee some $13 billion of the reconstruction funds. (...)

The draft report by the inspector general says the rebuilding program began with a task that is tiny in retrospect but cast a long shadow.

The Army appropriated $1.9 million in November 2002 to create a "contingency plan" for what to do if Iraqi forces damaged or destroyed the nation's oil complexes and pipelines. That "task order," under a running contract, went to Kellogg, Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary. The Army later used that task order as a justification for awarding the company a new $1.4 billion noncompetitive contract to restore oil equipment, a program that became one of the most criticized moves of the conflict partly because Vice President Dick Cheney was once the top executive at Halliburton.

Until January 2003, reconstruction planning was conducted in secrecy "to avoid the impression that the U.S. government had already decided on intervention," the draft history says. Possibly as a result, the American administrative authority arrived with no written plans or strategies for purchasing and contracting and no personnel with expertise in the area. (....)

Among the first challenges the program faced were the impossibly great needs of crumbling public works. Mr. Nash is cited in the document as saying that officials realized early on that Iraq would need $70 billion to $100 billion over several years. They were forced cut the list of projects down again and again.

"No matter how we pared the list, we needed $20 billion more than we had available or Iraqi reconstruction and transition would stall," Mr. Nash is quoted as saying....
(more)

Make no mistake, this is exactly why the insurgency in Iraq is spiraling out of control. Chimpyco never had a working plan to rebuild and stabalize Iraq to win the hearts and minds, and judging from this report they couldn't implement one even if they did. Gross Frickin incompetence abounds in this administration, from Rumsfeld's troop levels, to Cheney's "Last throes" and everything in between. To make matters worse, Bush just keeps rewarding these idiots it seems directly for their incompetence. Tenet got a Medal of Freedom for his "slam dunk" justification for the war, and remember this idiot...
Paul Wolfowitz: "We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."
Chimpy then took this asswipe with such a head for numbers and made him the head of the World Bank.
Bush is a complete embarrassment as a human being, much less the leader of our country. I'll never understand how so many people failed to see him for what he really is before now.

Delay's House Of Scandal Collapsing

Click on the pic to check out "Tom Delay's House Of Scandal" from the DCCC

Washington Post: A former campaign manager of Rep. Tom DeLay who also ran an organization linked to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was subpoenaed by a Texas prosecutor Monday.

Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle filed documents in Austin seeking records from Robert G. Mills in connection with a probe of DeLay, who is awaiting trial in Texas on money laundering charges.

Earle wants information about a $500,000 political contribution made in 1999 by the National Republican Congressional Committee to the U.S. Family Network, a now-disbanded nonprofit advocacy group for conservative ideas. Mills, DeLay's 1996 campaign manager, was president of the U.S. Family Network.

The Washington Post reported that donations to U.S. Family Network came from clients of Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to federal charges in a congressional corruption investigation.
...(more)

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The Dominoes Begin Falling
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu. Adieu, adieu, to yieu
Abramoff Makes Plea Deal, Will Cooperate
Corruption likes Company: Delay and Duke
Tom Delay Is A Big Fat Lying Hypocrite

Do Bush and Osama Share the Same Speechwriter?

pic from poison popcorn
Sure sounds like it.
Digby nailed it back in 03:

Bush: "We do not claim to know all the ways of Providence yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history. May he guide us now."

Osama: In the end, I advise myself and you to fear God covertly and openly and to be patient in the jihad. Victory will be achieved with patience.

I also advise myself and you to say more prayers.


Bush: "Our prayer tonight is that God will see us through and keep us worthy," "Hope still lights our way, and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it."

Osama: God Almighty says: "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil."

Bush: "There is power -- wonder-working power -- in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people."

Osama: Verily, Allah guideth not a people unjust.

Bush: "The American people have deep and diverse religious beliefs, truly one of the great strengths of our country. And the faith of our citizens is seeing us through some demanding times. We're being challenged. We're meeting those challenges because of our faith."

Osama: God Almighty says: "Oh ye who believe! If ye will help the cause of Allah, He will help you and plant your feet firmly."

Bush: "After we were attacked on September the 11th, we carried our grief to the Lord Almighty in prayer."

Osama: Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always, and die not except in a state of Islam with complete submission to Allah.

Bush: "The role of government is limited, because government cannot put hope in people's hearts, or a sense of purpose in people's lives. That happens when someone puts an arm around a neighbor and says, God loves you, I love you, and you can count on us both."

Osama: The jurisdiction of the socialists and those rulers has fallen a long time ago. Socialists are infidels wherever they are, whether they are in Baghdad or Aden

Bush: "I ask you to challenge your listeners to encourage your congregations to work together for the good of this nation, to work hard to break down the barriers that have divided the children of God for too long. There is no question that we can rid this nation of hopelessness and despair, because the greatest of America is the character of the American people."

Osama: Before concluding, we reiterate the importance of high morale and caution against false rumors, defeatism, uncertainty, and discouragement.

Bush: "What I'm saying is, the days of discriminating against religious groups just because they're religious are coming to an end. I have issued an executive order banning discrimination against faith-based charities and social service grants by federal agencies."

Osama: Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of affairs.
There's a lot more..

Chimpyco tools like Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, and Tucker Carlson ought to get their facts straight before they go trying to say those opposed to chimpy sound like Osama bin Forgotten.

Dems Shift Toward a Possible Filibuster

Durbin to vote against Alito, says filibuster possible

'I just can't rule it out'
Chicago Sun Times: ... As the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, it's Durbin's job to count votes for and against Alito. He said he won't know until Tuesday if there are enough strong opponents to filibuster Alito's nomination.

"A week ago, I would have told you it's not likely to happen," Durbin said. "As of [Wednesday], I just can't rule it out. I was surprised by the intensity of feeling of some of my colleagues. It's a matter of counting. We have 45 Democrats, counting [Vermont independent] Jim Jeffords, on our side. We could sustain a filibuster if 41 senators ... are willing to stand and fight.
...(more
NYT: Judge Alito's Radical Views

....There is every reason to believe, based on his long paper trail and the evasive answers he gave at his hearings, that Judge Alito would quickly vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. So it is hard to see how Senators Lincoln Chaffee, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, all Republicans, could square support for Judge Alito with their commitment to abortion rights.

Judge Alito has consistently shown a bias in favor of those in power over those who need the law to protect them. Women, racial minorities, the elderly and workers who come to court seeking justice should expect little sympathy. In the same flat bureaucratic tones he used at the hearings, he is likely to insist that the law can do nothing for them.

The White House has tried to create an air of inevitability around this nomination. But there is no reason to believe that Judge Alito is any more popular than the president who nominated him. Outside a small but vocal group of hard-core conservatives, America has greeted the nomination with a shrug - and counted on its senators to make the right decision.

The real risk for senators lies not in opposing Judge Alito, but in voting for him. If the far right takes over the Supreme Court, American law and life could change dramatically. If that happens, many senators who voted for Judge Alito will no doubt come to regret that they did not insist that Justice O'Connor's seat be filled with someone who shared her cautious, centrist approach to the law.
Come on Dems, don't let us down.

If they have any hope of mounting a successful campaign for a majority in at least one House of Congress in 06, they have got to show some unity as an opposition party to the status quo and show some spine. If they let Scalito slide without so much as a fight, they will have completely let down their most passionate constituents. Even if they wind up with what looks to be a vote or 2 short of a filibuster, they should go for it anyway. Let the traitors to our most basic core values as a party show themselves by supporting Alito. We'll mount a campaign to ostracise them from our ranks, just like we're already going to do to Lieberman.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Bush Again Helps To Create More Terrorists

Thanks again for nothing chimpy. Whose fucking side is our dumbass President on anyway? Could he possibly aid and abett our enemies anymore than he has thus far?

Our own CIA tells us he's turned Iraq into the greatest recruiting tool and training ground for al Qaeda that bin Forgotten could have ever hoped for.

And chimpy has been credited for helping make sure Ahmadinejad got elected as Iran's President last year. So much so that Iran's spy chief had this to say about it.

"I say to Bush: 'Thank you,' " quipped Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi. "He motivated people to vote in retaliation."
Now this.

Sympathy for al-Qaida Surges in Pakistan

AP: DAMADOLA, Pakistan - Sympathy for al-Qaida has surged after a U.S. airstrike devastated this remote mountain hamlet in a region sometimes as hostile toward the Pakistani government as it is to the United States.

A week after the attack, villagers insist no members of the terror network were anywhere near the border village when it was hit. But thousands of protesters flooded a nearby town chanting, "Long live Osama bin Laden!" (....)

"This attack has increased our hatred for Americans because they are killing innocent women and children," said Zakir Ullah, one of 5,000 demonstrators in Inayat Qala, a market town about three miles from Damadola.

"We support jihad (holy war). Jihad is the duty of every Muslim," he said.
And get this, the attack that was meant for Ayman al-Zawahiri but missed, we've since been told that several other al Qaeda were killed in the attack, including Abu Khabab -- an al Qaeda operative who was named Midhat Mursi and also known as "the bombmaker".

Well surprise, surprise (not), that is starting to look like a bunch of bullshit too.
(continuing from the AP article) A relative of Faqir Mohammed, a pro-Taliban cleric who intelligence officials believe hid the bodies of the four suspected al-Qaida militants killed in the attack to prevent their identification, was arrested Sunday in Damadola, a security official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Pakistani authorities say they are looking for fighters who might have survived the attack, but they have not visibly stepped up maneuvers in the area.

While the military has about 70,000 soldiers along the border with Afghanistan, an Associated Press reporter who has visited Damadola three times since the attack has not seen a single uniformed soldier there.
So the identification of those killed is based not on any physical evidence but rather on nothing but an unsubstantiated rumor that our msm parroted for bushco to help get the heat off of them for recklessly ordering the attack that killed innocent children and spurred riots.

It's not just me who wants to scream Bullshit over this one.

Even Pakistan's own Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz says he's seen no evidence that indicates al Qaeda leaders were killed in the CIA airstrike.

(CNN) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Sunday ridiculed as "bizarre" a U.S. report that senior al Qaeda leaders were killed in a CIA attack on a home along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border....(more)
No matter what security measures we make, no matter how much money we spend, it's all pissing in the wind as long as chimpy keeps adding to the reasons why there is a jihad declared against the US in the first place.

At this point, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if bin Laden has really been staying in the Lincoln bedroom ever since Congressman Dana Rohrabacher snuck out there to secretly meet with the Taliban shortly before 9-11.

Time and time again, Republicans continue to make us less and less safe.
(related posts)

More on Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff

Abramoff and Scanlon manipulated the Christian Right to bilk Indian tribes. How their scam worked was revealed in a series of emails between Scanlon and Abramoff.

Salon: "The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them."

Ch11 News Atlanta: Reed Foes Seek Link to Abramoff


The Texas Observer has a lot more on Ralph Reed's role in helping their scam work. What a really long but so worth it hard look at Ralph Reed's dirty hands. This is truly an excellent work of investigative journalism. Major high fives to Andrew Wheat, who lays it all out for us, but doesn't get carried away jumping to any conclusions. Although I'm going to post a really long post just to get the gist of it here, I really do recommend reading it all if you can find the time.

The Texas Observer: Evidence is mounting that former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed Jr., along with a former leader of the Texas Christian Coalition, may have illegally lobbied Texas state officials on behalf of crooked federal lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his clients. (....)

During Jack Abramoff’s reign as chair of the College Republican National Committee in the early 1980s, Ralph Reed and GOP operative Grover Norquist each did stints as that committee’s executive director. Abramoff, an Orthodox Jew, later helped Reed organize the remnants of evangelist Pat Robertson’s failed 1988 presidential bid into the politically potent Christian Coalition in 1989. Reed and Norquist resurfaced a decade later to help Abramoff extract tens of millions of dollars from Indian gambling interests and other clients. Now Abramoff has promised to walk federal prosecutors through his vast web of political corruption, thereby endangering the careers and reputations of members of Congress, other lobbyists and Ralph Reed—just as the preternaturally young-looking evangelist makes his first bid for public office. These prosecutors have subpoenaed records from Reed but have not identified him as a target of their investigation.

An Observer investigation reveals that Reed may not have been the only Christian Coalition leader working secretly for Abramoff’s gambling clients. Reed-Abramoff correspondence indicates that Chuck Anderson, then-head of the Texas Christian Coalition, also helped lobby Texas officials on behalf of Abramoff’s Indian gaming clients. Anderson, who now works for Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, also appears to have worked on Texas gambling issues without registering.

Additionally, the Observer has found evidence that Ralph Reed clandestinely lobbied Texas school officials on behalf of the in-school television network Channel One in 2002—when Channel One’s parent company was paying Abramoff a $320,000 annual retainer. Texas law generally requires people to register as lobbyists if they receive more than $500 a quarter to directly communicate with a state official on public policy. Ralph Reed never registered as a Texas lobbyist despite evidence that he called at least one member of the State Board of Education in 2002 to influence a board resolution. (....)

Just as he enlisted Abramoff to get the Christian Coalition off the ground, Reed turned to his friend to help him start a lobby shop after he left the Coalition in 1997. “I need to start humping in corporate accounts,” Reed wrote Abramoff in 1998. “I’m counting on you to help me with some contacts.”

Reed had left the Christian Coalition under fire. At that time the IRS and the Federal Election Commission were investigating the Coalition, even as the Coalition’s chief financial officer accused Reed of awarding inflated contracts to a crony. When the IRS revoked the Coalition’s tax-exempt status in 1999—owing to overtly political activities—the national group transferred its remaining assets to the Texas Christian Coalition. This Texas chapter was headed by then-Executive Director Chuck Anderson, who appears to have helped Abramoff, Norquist, and Reed implement their Texas gambling agenda in 2001. Like Reed, Anderson did not register as a Texas lobbyist. (....)

Texas requires political operatives to register as lobbyists if they: Spend more than $500 a quarter directly communicating with a state official to influence state policies; or Receive more than $1,000 a quarter for such communications (unless less than 5 percent of a person’s total compensated time is spent on such lobbying). Violating this law is a misdemeanor subject to up to a year in jail and a civil fine of up to three times an individual’s lobby compensation.

In Reed’s case, such a fine could be huge. He reportedly received as much as $4 million just to help the Louisiana Coushatta shut down the Tigua casino in El Paso.


Ralph Reed has declined to discuss his work on Texas gambling issues with the media personally. One week after the lobby complaint was filed he told a Christian youth group that he had been aware that Greenberg Traurig’s tribal clients “had their own reasons for opposing new casinos.” Reed added in his defense that, “I was assured by the law firm… that the funds contributed to our efforts would not derive from gambling activity.”

In this case, either Ralph Reed lied about his knowledge of who was paying his bills, Abramoff’s lobby firm lied, or they both prevaricated. As prosecutors continue to investigate the roles that DeLay, Ney, Reed, and other politicians played in the mushrooming Abramoff scandal, voters—and perhaps even jurors—will get a formal chance to decide whom they believe.

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Election Hackers ♥ Diebold

Click on pic Fla Ch.2 News Video: Voting Machines Hacked?

Washington Post: As the Leon County supervisor of elections, Ion Sancho's job is to make sure voting is free of fraud. But the most brazen effort lately to manipulate election results in this Florida locality was carried out by Sancho himself.

Four times over the past year Sancho told computer specialists to break in to his voting system. And on all four occasions they did, changing results with what the specialists described as relatively unsophisticated hacking techniques. To Sancho, the results showed the vulnerability of voting equipment manufactured by Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems, which is used by Leon County and many other jurisdictions around the country.

Sancho's most recent demonstration was last month. Harri Hursti, a computer security expert from Finland, manipulated the "memory card" that records the votes of ballots run through an optical scanning machine.

Then, in a warehouse a few blocks from his office in downtown Tallahassee, Sancho and seven other people held a referendum. The question on the ballot:

"Can the votes of this Diebold system be hacked using the memory card?"

Two people marked yes on their ballots, and six no. The optical scan machine read the ballots, and the data were transmitted to a final tabulator. The result? Seven yes, one no.

"Was it possible for a disgruntled employee to do this and not have the elections administrator find out?" Sancho asked. "The answer was yes." (....)

"You have to admit these systems are vulnerable and act accordingly," Hursti said.

Diebold took a dim view of the experiments. On June 8, a senior company lawyer faxed Sancho: "You have willfully and intentionally allowed the manipulation of memory cards related to your elections. . . . We believe this to have been a very foolish and irresponsible act."

The response frustrated Sancho. "More troubling than the test itself was the manner in which Diebold simply failed to respond to my concerns or the concerns of citizens who believe in American elections," he said. "I really think they're not engaged in this discussion of how to make elections safer."....
(more)

It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes.

(related posts)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

See What Santorum's Got Cooking

Check out the new ad public service announcement from the DCCC:


The Fox is Guarding the Henhouse
The now infamous “K Street Project” is the Republican scheme to completely take over Washington by forcing lobbyists to hire Republican friends and cronies in return for special access to lawmakers. The Project is led by Sen. Rick Santorum, one of the DSCC’s leading Republican targets in the 2006 elections.

Incredibly, Republicans in Washington have now put Santorum – the man who helped to create the scandals – in charge of ethics “reform.” It’s like letting the fox guard the henhouse.
...(more)

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Bin Laden Tape Likely “Faked”

Hat tip to anonymous for posting about this in the comments,
and thanks to Gia Sighs for prodding me to clarify, edit, and add to this post.

Ok, it's time to put the hat on. Everybody ready now? Let's go.

First there was this,
The Fake bin Laden Video Tape

A videotape purportedly showing Osama bin Laden confessing to the 9/11 attacks was made public on December 13, 2001... (more)

Second, there's this suspician about another 2002 recording by OBL,

Swiss researchers say they are 95 per cent certain that a recent audio tape attributed to the Saudi dissident, Osama bin Laden, is not genuine.

The Lausanne-based Dalle Molle Institute for Perceptual Artificial Intelligence (IDIAP) claims it was recorded by an impostor....(more)
And now we've got this report re; the current recording, Duke Professor Skeptical of bin Laden Tape
ABC News Durham: Duke University Bin Laden expert Bruce Lawrence, who is the head of Duke's religious department, also thinks the tape was faked.

ABC Eyewitness News in Raleigh Durham, NC reports:

"A Duke professor says he is doubtful about Thursday's audiotape from Osama bin Laden.Bruce Lawrence has just published "Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden," a book translating bin Laden's writing. He is skeptical of Thursday's message.

"It was like a voice from the grave," Lawrence said.

"He thinks bin Laden is dead and has doubts about the tape. Lawrence recently analyzed more than 20 complete speeches and interviews of the al Qaida leader for his book. He says the new message is missing several key elements....
(more)

And there's this take also, What's not right about the Osama Bin Laden audio tape.

What does any/all of this mean?

I'll say this much. I never did buy the 2001 tape where the fat-faced Osama 'E' laughingly claimed that only the pilots knew 9-11 was a martyrdom mission. Obviously I'm no voice/ facial recognition expert, but it just doesn't look like him.



The message was all too convenient for chimpyco, and I totally agree with this part of the WTR report,

On December 27, 2001, a second video containing the pale skinned and very real Osama 'C' was broadcast on al Jazeera. The tape was reportedly made on November 19, 2001 - that's ten days after the "lucky find" tape was reportedly made. Are we supposed to believe that Osama's skin, hair and beard changed color in ten days?

Now we're faced with an audio tape that is also very self-serving for chimpyco. No mentions of the Koran and his plugging Bill Blum's book Rogue State gave the bootlicking media ammunition to smear anyone who disagrees with chimpy as if that makes them an OBL sympathizer. I would really like to know where are independent voice identification experts to verify it really is OBL? Pardon me for not believing the authenticity of anything based solely on the CIA saying so.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Karl Rove: Make Security the Issue in 06

OK, I'm game. Let's do it.
CNN: Embattled White House adviser Karl Rove vowed Friday to make the war on terrorism a central campaign issue in November and said Democratic senators looked "mean-spirited and small-minded" in questioning Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

With Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri, Mullah Omar, and the Anthrax mailer all still free to attack us again. With the unjust war in Iraq, US torture practices, and the reckless killing of innocent people fueling even more hatred for the US around the world. How is it that Bush has made us any safer?

Al Zawahiri Releases Audiotape; U.S. Media Mum
by georgia10 @ dailykos

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday, the media couldn't wait to break out their flashy "breaking news" graphics to cover bin Laden's audiotape, but a new audiotape by Al Qaeda's #2, Al Zawahiri, has gone relatively unnoticed. ...

In an update on the Pakistan strike, Zawahiri's brother-in-law and a "bomb maker" for Al Qaeda were purportedly among the four terrorists killed in the strike. But confusion still surrounds the issue, as that claim is not based on any physical identification of the bodies. The corposes of the 4 terrorists could not be found at the scene. Today, some 8,000 took to the streets in Pakistan in protest of the strike. Protestors chanted "Death to America" and "Jihad is our way."

Bush has declared he "wasn't concerned" about the man about murdered thousands on Sept. 11th. And now, faced with the embarrassment of not catching bin Laden or Zawahiri for five years now, the government spin has been minimizing their importance (from a 4/2005 article):

U.S. officials told NBC News on Tuesday that they do not disagree with Musharraf's assessment that bin Laden's trail has gone cold over the past several months.

However, the officials also said that bin Laden no longer has day-to-day operational control over al-Qaida.
Bin Laden acts more like a non-executive chairman of the board rather than the chief executive officer. Similarly, his No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, also appears to be operating less like a chief operating officer, the officials said.

Bin Laden's trail went cold 10 months ago and he's on tape making fresh threats against us. Zawahiri wasn't killed in the airstrike, and now he's also on tape taunting us. Karl Rove said today Republicans plan to make security the issue in 2006.

Guess what? So do we. (Emphasis mine)

OpEdNews: We are now almost four and a half years post 9/11, and once again, Usama bin Laden is grabbing the headlines with the release of his latest threatening audiotape.

It is utterly horrifying that bin Laden still, after all this time, has the ability to strike terror in our hearts with his threat to strike our nation's heartland.

Additionally, we are incredibly disturbed to learn that even with the use of his illegal domestic NSA spying program, President Bush first learned of the bin Laden audiotape, along with American citizens, as it was being aired on national television.

We have over the course of the last three years continuously, respectfully and stridently disagreed with President Bush's sentiment on the importance of capturing Usama bin Laden. The President's unsettling statement regarding Bin Laden on March 13, 2002, "I don't know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him ... I truly am not that concerned about him." seems to illustrate that this Administration did not understand our enemy nor the threat that they posed.
...(more)