Monday, August 29, 2005

Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White House Aides

While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares disagree with him.

“I’m not meeting again with that goddamned bitch,” Bush screamed at aides who suggested he meet again with Cindy Sheehan, the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. “She can go to hell as far as I’m concerned!”

Bush, administration aides confide, frequently explodes into tirades over those who protest the war, calling them “motherfucking traitors.” He reportedly was so upset over Veterans of Foreign Wars members who wore “bullshit protectors” over their ears during his speech to their annual convention that he told aides to “tell those VFW assholes that I’ll never speak to them again is they can’t keep their members under control.”

White House insiders say Bush is growing increasingly bitter over mounting opposition to his war in Iraq. Polls show a vast majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and most doubt the President’s honesty.

“Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say,” he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. “I’m the President and I’ll do whatever I goddamned please. They don’t know shit.”

Bush, whiles setting up for a photo op for signing the recent CAFTA bill, flipped an extended middle finger to reporters. Aides say the President often “flips the bird” to show his displeasure and tells aides who disagree with him to “go to hell” or to “go fuck yourself.” His habit of giving people the finger goes back to his days as Texas governor, aides admit, and videos of him doing so before press conferences were widely circulated among TV stations during those days. A recent video showing him shooting the finger to reporters while walking also recently surfaced.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Torture Orders Came From The Top

I had been hesitant to speak out before because this Administration is so vindictive. But now I will ... Anybody who confronts this Administration or Rumsfeld or the Pentagon with a true assessment, they find themselves either out of a job, out of their positions, fired, relieved or chastised. Their career comes to an end.

-- Janis Karpinski, interview with Marjorie Cohn, August 3, 2005

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Someone Tell the President the War Is Over

LIKE the Japanese soldier marooned on an island for years after V-J Day, President Bush may be the last person in the country to learn that for Americans, if not Iraqis, the war in Iraq is over. "We will stay the course," he insistently tells us from his Texas ranch. What do you mean we, white man?

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Thus the president's claim on Thursday that "no decision has been made yet" about withdrawing troops from Iraq can be taken exactly as seriously as the vice president's preceding fantasy that the insurgency is in its "last throes." The country has already made the decision for Mr. Bush. We're outta there. Now comes the hard task of identifying the leaders who can pick up the pieces of the fiasco that has made us more vulnerable, not less, to the terrorists who struck us four years ago next month.

U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Responds To Right Wing Smear

“I didn’t know Casey knew Michelle Malkin…I’m Casey’s mother and I knew him better than anybody else in the world…I can’t bring Casey back, but I wonder how often Michelle Malkin sobbed on his grave. Did she go to his funeral? Did she sit up with him when he was sick when he was a baby?”

GOP Paying Legal Bills of Bush Official

Despite a zero-tolerance policy on tampering with voters, the Republican Party has quietly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide private defense lawyers for a former Bush campaign official charged with conspiring to keep Democrats from voting in New Hampshire.

James Tobin, the president's 2004 campaign chairman for New England, is charged in New Hampshire federal court with four felonies accusing him of conspiring with a state GOP official and a GOP consultant in Virginia to jam Democratic and labor union get-out-the-vote phone banks in November 2002.

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"It originally appeared to us that there were just certain rogue elements of the Republican Party who were willing to do anything to win control of the U.S. Senate, including depriving Americans of their ability to vote," Twomey said.

"But now that the RNC actually is bankrolling Mr. Tobin's defense, coupled with the fact that it has refused some discovery in the civil case, really raises the questions of who are they protecting, how high does this go and who was in on this," Twomey said.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Paul Hackett shames Rush Limbaugh

That's typical for that fatass drug addict to come up with something like that. There's a guy ... I didn't hear this, but actually when I was on drill this weekend, I've got to tell you, he lost a lot of Republican supporters with his comments. Because they were coming up to me, telling me, "I can't believe he said that! Besides that, he called you a soldier. He doesn't know the difference between a soldier and a marine!"

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Scooter Libby and Judy Miller met on July 8, 2003

I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, has told federal investigators that he met with New York Times reporter Judith Miller on July 8, 2003, and discussed CIA operative Valerie Plame, according to legal sources familiar with Libby's account.

The meeting between Libby and Miller has been a central focus of the investigation by special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald as to whether any Bush administration official broke the law by unmasking Plame's identity or relied on classified information to discredit former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, according to sources close to the case as well as documents filed in federal court by Fitzgerald.

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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Novak on the Plame leak: a pattern of contradictions

In the two years since CNN contributor and syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak exposed former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative, he has made several contradictory statements with respect to crucial issues in the case. In two instances, Novak's account of events appeared to change in fall 2003 after the Justice Department launched a formal investigation into the leak case. Novak's most recent contradiction, on the other hand, appeared in his August 1 column. In the piece, he broke his longstanding silence on the issue to respond to allegations by ex-CIA spokesman Bill Harlow in a recent Washington Post article and to defend his "integrity as a journalist."

Thursday, August 04, 2005

"War on Terror," Rest In Peace

The “War on Terror” is no more. It has been replaced by the “global struggle against violent extremism.”

The phrase “War on Terror” was chosen with care. “War” is a crucial term. It evokes a war frame, and with it, the idea that the nation is under military attack – an attack that can only be defended militarily, by use of armies, planes, bombs, and so on. The war frame includes special war powers for the president, who becomes commander in chief. It evokes unquestioned patriotism, and the idea that of lack of support for the war effort is treasonous. It forces Congress to give unlimited powers to the President, lest detractors be called unpatriotic. And the war frame includes an end to the war – winning the war, mission accomplished!

The war frame is all-consuming. It takes away focus from other problems, from everyday troubles, from jobs, education, health care, a failing economy. It justifies the spending of huge sums, and sending raw recruits into battle with inadequate equipment. It justifies the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians. It justifies torture, military tribunals, and no due process. It justifies scaring people, with yellow, orange, and red alerts. But, while it was politically useful, the war frame never fit the reality of terrorism. It was successful at consolidating power, but counterproductive in dealing with the real threat.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Victory In Defeat

For those of us who were hoping for an upset in the Ohio-2 election yesterday, take heart. Paul Hackett's race put conventional wisdom on its head. He lost by a mere 3,500 votes, or 4 points. Remember that Ohio-2 is the most crimson district in the state. It went two thirds for Bush. In 2004, the Republican won the congressional seat by 44 points.

Several lessons learned from Hackett's run:

1) You can call Bush a "son of a bitch", call Cheney a "chickenhwak" in a Red district and gain votes, including thousands of Republicans. Americans like plain speakers, who are'nt afraid to tell it like they see it. In fact, I'll speculate that a majority prefer this type of candidate over the "offend no one" type.

2) Howard Dean is right. In spite of the guffaws from the inside of the beltway consultant class, Democrats need to have a 50 state strategy, and run competitive candidates in every district.

3) Grassroots power trumps party power. Paul Hackett raised almost a half million dollars from $5-$25 donations coming through bloggers' sites. The blogs, not the national media, nor the DNC fought with Paul for this race. In a district the national party wrote off as unwinable received no DNC support until the final weekend of the campaign.

4) Ohioans are fed up with the culture of corruption. Taft now sports the lowest approval rating, 17%, of any of the other 49 governors. From the coingate scandal to election fraud. Even DeWine's senate seat, once considered safe, is in play.

5) Even a prochoice, antiwar candidate can win in conservative districts. They just have to know how to frame their views in ways that resemble conventional wisdom. Hackett on gay marriage, "who cares!" Hackett on abortion, "make/keep it legal, safe, and rare."

Kudos to:
Swing State Project
My DD
Daily Kos
and the hundreds of other blogs that demonstrated we can make a difference.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Gitmo Trials Rigged?

As the Pentagon was making its final preparations to begin war crimes trials against four detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, two senior prosecutors complained in confidential messages last year that the trial system had been secretly arranged to improve the chance of conviction and to deprive defendants of material that could prove their innocence.

The electronic messages, obtained by The New York Times, reveal a bitter dispute within the military legal community over the fairness of the system at a time when the Bush administration and the Pentagon were eager to have the military commissions, the first for the United States since the aftermath of World War II, be seen as just at home and abroad.


UPDATE:

ABC news has more details on this story.

From one of the prosecutor's emails:

Capt Carr says the commissions appear to be rigged.

"When I volunteered to assist with this process and was assigned to this office, I expected there would at least be a minimal effort to establish a fair process and diligently prepare cases against significant accused," he wrote.

"Instead, I find a half-hearted and disorganised effort by a skeleton group of relatively inexperienced attorneys to prosecute fairly low-level accused in a process that appears to be rigged."

Capt Carr says that the prosecutors have been told by the chief prosecutor that the panel sitting in judgment on the cases would be handpicked to ensure convictions.

"You have repeatedly said to the office that the military panel will be handpicked and will not acquit these detainees and that we only needed to worry about building a record for the review panel," he said.