Saturday, September 09, 2006

Will George W. bush Answer for his Crimes?

Impeachment should not be used simply because you disagree with a person's policies. If you disagree with someone's policy, you vote them out. But President Bush has committed crimes, and that's what impeachment is for ~ Rep. David Zuckerman.

Bush Crimes Commission Releases Final Verdict 9/13/2006

From the Bush Crimes Commission website: The Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration will release its final verdict on Wednesday, September 13, 2006.

The final verdict will address the five indictments dealing with the Bush administration's wars of aggression, illegal detention and torture, destruction of the global environment through global warming, imposition of abstinence-only on AIDS prevention programs in the Third World, and the abandonment of New Orleans before, during and after Hurricane Katrina.

On September 13, the verdict will be formally served on the White House and the Department of Justice, read over the radio across the country, and released in printed form for national distribution.

Following the release of the verdict, the Commission is calling a national "Bush Crimes Day" on Tuesday, September 19. Inspired by the verdict of the Bush Crimes Commission, campuses and communities across the country will organize public events - demonstrations, student walk-outs, teach-ins, street-theatre, art exhibits - that draw attention to acts of the Bush administration that, by their scope and nature, shock the conscience of humankind - and bring to the fore our moral and political responsibility to bring these horrific crimes to a halt!

The release of the verdict fulfils a primary responsibility of this tribunal to deliver findings of fact and a verdict on the central question before the commission: "whether George W. Bush and his administration have committed crimes against humanity". The final verdict and the national Bush Crimes Day continue the Commission's mission "to frame and fuel a discussion that is urgently needed in the United States: Is the administration of George W. Bush guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity?" (Continue Reading)

About the Commission: The International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration of the United States documents the evidence on wars of aggression, detention and torture, destruction of the global environment, sabotage of global health programs, and the abandonment of New Orleans.

President Nancy Pelosi?

This is the moment to say that there are things in life worth fighting and dying for, and one of them is making sure Nancy Pelosi doesn't become the speaker! ~ Sean Hannity, the August 29 edition of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show.

Following is Air America Radio host Thom Hartman's reaction to the preceeding Sean Hannity insane diatribe... (Transcript of the August 31th broadcast of the Randi Rhodes Show, Thom Hartmann, guest host)

Thom Hartmann: Sean Hannity is so terrified that he's nearly wetting his pants - this guy's going to be so frightened that he won't be able to leave the studio and get on his private jet. It's come to that. He is willing to die, he says - or maybe he wants somebody else's son or daughter to be willing to die - to stop Nancy Pelosi from becoming speaker of the house. I kid you not. These guys are running scarred!

(Plays audio clip of above Sean Hannity Quote)

Yes!! It's worth dying for, to make sure Nancy Pelosi doesn't become speaker of the house! You get this? Now, the reason why - pretty straightforward - the Speaker of the House, were by some coincidence the president and the vice president to be convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors or treason and thus impeached by the House and convicted in the Senate - the Speaker of the House becomes president of the United States. And if Nancy Pelosi, God bless her, were President of the United States... the phobias that would begin developing among these right-wingers.

So is it conceivable? Is it even remotely conceivable, that George Bush might go to prison, and thus be unavailable as President? Or that he might simply be impeached in the House - that's indicted in the House and convicted in the Senate - and removed from office? If the Democrats take control of the House and the Senate - those are the stakes.

(skip ahead aproximately 20 minutes. In the next segment Thom starts off by discussing how the bush administration releases bad news on a Friday evening - a pratice know as the "Friday Night Massacre" - so that by Monday it is old news and is burried by the press...)

...That same morning, just hours after the JonBenét Ramsey information hit the press, and just after I got off the air, it was revealed that US district court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor had ruled that George W. Bush and now CIA director Michael Hayden - remember him, the guy that was head of the NSA? - had committed multiple high crimes and misdemeanors and felonies, both criminal and Constitutional. If her ruling stands bush and Hayden could go to prison.

I mean, this is the story... you talk about the story of the century! Bill Clinton lost his law license - and he got impeached in the Senate - but I'm talking about in terms of legal consequences - lost his law license - over lying to a grand jury. And you know, the Republicans, they thought they had him - he could have gone to jail for that. They sure wanted to make it happen. Well this, I would say, is a little more serious than lying about having a little too much fun in the Oval Office.

Nancy Pelosi on Impeachment

According to Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats won't be seeking impeachment. This might surprise you, but I agree with her. The Democrats should not be saying - now - that if we retake the house and/or the Senate, that we will seek to impeach. Let me be clear: I believe bush deserves to be impeached. I think he is a lying amoral criminal that belongs behind bars. However, declaring an intention to immediately impeach if we are able to retake either house would be counterproductive. First of all, the Republicans would claim that there was no basis for impeachment, and that the only reason Democrats want to impeach bush is because they want "revenge" for Clinton, or because of "sour grapes" over the "defeat" of Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. Secondly, the Republicans would use these claims to mobilize their voters and discredit Democrats.

So impeachment should be "off the table" for now. If the Democrats retake the House and/or Senate - and regain subpoena power - then they could begin to investigate this administration's crimes...

From the Washington Post: Seeking to choke off a Republican rallying cry, the House's top Democrat has told colleagues that the party will not seek to impeach President Bush even if it gains control of the House in November's elections, her office said last night. [However] In an interview with The Washington Post last week, Pelosi said a Democratic-controlled House would launch investigations of the administration on energy policy and other matters. She said impeachment would not be a goal of the investigations, but she added: "You never know where it leads to". (5/12/2006. Democrats Won't Try To Impeach President. By Charles Babington, Washington Post Staff Writer).

The article concludes with a statement from Brendan Daly, Nancy Pelosi's spokesman...

"Pelosi never considered impeachment a priority. Republicans are in such desperate shape", he said, "we don't want to give them anything to grab on to".

There is, however, an argument AGAINST impeachment - and I believe it is a valid argument which has to be considered seriously before proceeding. If any president ever deserved to be impeached, it's this scumbag - but there is a very real chance that impeaching George bush could hurt the Democratic Party.

From the online only version of The New Yorker: (New Yorker writers Jeffrey Goldberg and Amy Davidson discuss the Democrat's prospects) Jeffrey Goldberg: The problem - and this is what a lot of Democrats say who are cautioning against this - is that by the time the Democrats take over the House, if they do, it'll be 2007, and the Bush Administration will be on its last legs. The argument is that, if the House goes Democratic, the leadership should spend more time convincing the American people that this is the party you want in the White House in 2008.

Imagine if the Democrats in the House voted to raise the minimum wage, or for college-tuition tax credits. That sort of legislation would be broadly attractive to millions of voters, and either the Republican Senate or President Bush would be put in a position of stopping it. Or let's say that the Democrats take over the House and vote to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. That would probably be pretty popular. So they could work to make the country safer and to help the poor - or they could spend their time investigating the run-up to the Iraq war. (5/22/2006)


Whatever happens I sincerely hope that these people are not allowed to get away scot free. bush, Cheney and Rummy all belong behind bars. How likely is it that this will happen? Probably not very. At the very least a Democratic House or Senate should take steps to ensure that the upcoming presidential election won't be stolen - again. If they can't prevent that from happening then all is lost - and I'm talking about the survival of our nation, not the Democratic Party.

Further Reading
[1] Bush Crimes Commission FAQ.
[2] Bush Fears War Crimes Prosecution, Impeachment. by Marjorie Cohn, Znet. 9/7/2006.
[3] NSA Eavesdropping Program Ruled Unconstitutional. by Bill Mears and Andrea Koppel, CNN News. 8/17/2006.
[4] Did Bush commit war crimes? by Rosa Brooks, The Los Angeles Times. 6/30/2006.
[5] Talk host: Death penalty for Bush. Says president, Rumsfeld guilty of war crimes. World Net Daily. 5/27/2004.

7/30/2014 Update: To answer the question posed in the title of this commentary... NO. We know now that GWb will NOT answer for his crimes. All the bush criminals got off scot free. This I knew would be the likely outcome when I originally wrote this post almost 8 years ago. Looking back, I SHOULD have know it with absolute certainty. Did I think GWb might actually face justice? I don't recall exactly what I was thinking.

However, I must have had SOME hope that the next president would hold him accountable. But, given that Reagan and the elder Bush were both let off the hook by the Clinton administration, I really should have know that there was NO WAY GWb was going to be held accountable in any way what-so-ever.

History has shown us that US presidents can get away with anything. Nixon was the ONLY POTUS to ever get in any kind of trouble, and he got off with a slap on the wrist... and was pardoned by Ford. This, in my opinion, was a mistake, as it set the precedent that Presidents never face consequences for their actions, no matter what they do.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Are Liberal Blogs More Popular Than Conservative Blogs?

Attending that Convention and talking with those people and many others convinced me that I should become a blogger in my efforts to reform the government and uphold the integrity of the Constitution and the laws made in furtherance thereof - John Jay Hooker, Democratic nominee for the Governor of Tennessee in 1970 and 1998.

Ranking Political Blogs

Prompted by a comment from a Conservative blogger, I recently asked myself the following question: Of all the political blogs out there, which are more popular, Liberal or Conservative Blogs? Of course everyone who is into blogging has heard of the Daily Kos - and knows it is one of the biggest Liberal blogs in existence. But is there any Conservative blogs that even come close? How many of the most popular blogs are Liberal and how many are Conservative?

According the 2/20/2006 issue of New York Magazine, of the 50 most linked to blogs, 12 deal with American politics. 8 of those 12 are Liberal, Democratic and Anti-War, whereas only 3 are Conservative, Republican, and Pro-War (and only 2 of those 3 are pro-bush). There is also one Libertarian/conservative Pro-War blog - so I'll bump the Conservative/Pro-war tally up by one - for a total of 8 Liberal/Progressive and 4 Conservative/Libertarian. (2/20/2006. Linkology, By Stuart Luman.)

A further Break-down reveals the following...

Liberal, Democratic, Anti-war (total: 8 Blogs)

Daily Kos #4, The Huffington Post #5, Crooks and Liars #9, Think Progress #20, Wonkette #29, Talking Points Memo #32, Eschaton #39, AMERICAblog #43.

Conservative, Republican, Pro-war (total: 4 Blogs)

InstaPundit #7 (The Libertarian Blog), Michelle Malkin #11, Power Line #37, Andrew Sullivan #50 (The Blog which isn't pro-bush).


Liberal blogs win hands down. According to The Truth Laid Bear, The Daily Kos reigns supreme with an average daily total of 499,153 hits/day, while Michelle Malkin comes in a distant second with 135,721 hits/day. (Instapundit comes in at third place, with a per day total of 112,617). Even Malkin herself, in a post dated 3/1/2005, concedes that the top spot undeniably goes to Daily Kos, which, according to her estimates, is visited by 29,460 US adults per day (hits per day includes multiple visits by the same individual) - compared to the runner-up Instapundit, with an estimated total of 25,020 visits by US adults per day. (Malkin estimates her blog receives 10,200 visitors per day.)

Washington Monthly: The [Daily Kos], which has existed for only around three and a half years, now has 3.7 million readers each week. That's more than the top 10 opinion magazines - of both left and right - combined, more readers than any political publication has had, ever, in the history of the world. (Kos Call by Benjamin Wallace-Wells, January/February 2006).


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Justice for the Kurds in bush's Kangaroo Court?

This is not about Saddam Hussein, and this is not even about regime change in Iraq or ...missiles or chemical weapons. It's about whether the United States is allowed to run world affairs ~ Pierre Lellouche, French Politician.

The Anfal campaign, which began in 1986 and lasted until 1989, is said to have cost the lives of 182,000 civilians, according to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The campaign was headed by Ali Hasan al-Majid, a cousin of the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The campaign included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing, systematic destruction of settlements, mass deportation, concentration camps, firing squads, and chemical warfare, which earned al-Majid the nickname of "Chemical Ali". (Source: Wikipedia).

In a second trial which began on Monday, August 21, Saddam Hussein and six co-defendants (all former members of Hussein's government) will face Iraq's High Tribunal. The charge is genocide of the Kurdish people.

I think it can be said with a certain amount of certainty that Saddam will eventually face the death penalty for his crimes. However, discussing Saddam's guilt is not the reason I chose to post on this topic. Assume, for the purposes of this discussion, that Saddam is guilty of ordering the use of chemical weapons against the Kurds. My concerns, are as follows: Who supplied Iraq with these chemical weapons, should they be held accountable - and to what extent?

Before I get to those questions, however, there are a few other points I'd like to raise. First of all, should we even care if Saddam gets a fair trial? Secondly, should we care if that trial is perceived as being fair by the Muslim community?

Frontline (India's National Magazine): The appearance of Saddam Hussein in a United States-appointed and supervised court in Baghdad has once again highlighted the double standards adopted by the occupation forces in Iraq. As commentators have observed, the trial in Baghdad was very different from the historic Nuremberg trials of German leaders. Many in the Arab world viewed the entire drama as yet another illustration of "victor's justice" being meted out. (A Farcical Trial by John Cherian, 11/18/2005).

According to a 2004 article published by The Guardian, "the only way to guarantee an appearance of impartiality, and lend the proceedings a greater air of authority, would be for the trial to be handled by an independent, internationally staffed war crimes tribunal set up in accordance with international law".

Global Policy Forum: Human Rights groups and legal experts agree that the Iraqi people must have the right to try their own persecutors, but question the competence and impartiality of Iraq's judicial system. The Regime Crimes Liaison Office (RCLO), run by the US Department of Justice, is actively involved in the court's investigations, the translation of materials and the training of Iraqi lawyers and judges.

Critics believe that by backing a trial in Iraq, Washington hopes that its past support for Saddam Hussein will not be revealed. Opponents of the court had hoped for an internationally organized tribunal with significant domestic participation, similar to the special court for Sierra Leone, to avoid the tribunal degenerating into "political show trial". An international tribunal would also have allowed Kuwait and Iran to take part in the trial (as they have requested) for crimes committed against these two countries. (Trying Saddam Hussein and Other Top Baath Leaders, The Global Policy Forum).

This mention of "past support" brings me back to my original question. Is it possible that the United States provided the chemical weapons used to murder the Kurds? As it turns out, the answer is YES. Not only did Washington provide chemical weapons to Iraq, but the "past support" referred to in the article above also included the approval of millions of dollars in loans and the shipment of US weaponry and technology to Iraq (in violation of the Arms Export Control Act) (Arming Iraq: A Chronology of U.S. Involvement.)

In particular, note the following sequence of events...

May 1985: The US Department of Commerce licenses 70 biological exports to Iraq between May of 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of anthrax.

March 1988: Saddam Hussein launches a poison gas attack on the city of Halabja in which four to five thousand Kurdish people were killed, most of them women and children. In total, the Iraq regime will go on to use chemical weapons to kill over 100,000 Kurdish civilians and destroy over 1,200 Kurdish villages (Wikipedia: Al-Anfal Campaign).

April 1988: US Department of Commerce approves shipment of chemicals used in manufacture of mustard gas. (Arming Iraq: A Chronology of U.S. Involvement).

Notice that Washington approval for the sale of chemical weapons to Iraq continued AFTER the Anfal campaign for which Saddam is currently being tried. (If you want to know why Ronald Reagan decided to sell Saddam chemical weapons in the first place, see the article "Who Was Behind the Prolongment of the Iran-Iraq War?" listed below under "further reading").

I find it more than unlikely that US involvement (or more precisely, the Reagan and Bush Sr. Administration's involvement) will be mentioned during this trial. The Wikipedia entry I quoted above lays the blame for Iraq's acquisition of chemical on a multitude of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China. It also states that "By far, the largest suppliers of precursors for chemical weapons production were in Singapore, the Netherlands, Egypt, India, and Federal Republic of Germany". This, however, does not negate the United State's involvement.

Support for Saddam Hussein's regime began under the Reagan Administration, and continued under the administration of George HW Bush...

The Washington Post: [Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez D-TX, alleges] Senior Bush administration officials went to great lengths to continue supporting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his unreliable regime long after it was prudent to do so. U.S. officials insisted in 1989, for instance, on playing down the importance of a scandal involving an Atlanta-based bank and more than $5 billion in unauthorized loans to Iraq, including $900 million guaranteed by the U.S. government. They even intervened in the case to prevent indictment of the Central Bank of Iraq while the Persian Gulf War was raging. Senior policymakers pressed for continued Export-Import Bank financing despite congressional sanctions - and kept sharing intelligence information with Baghdad until a few weeks before Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. (Excerpt from a 3/22/1992 Washington Post article, as quoted on the Global Policy forum).

In the wake of the gulf war when Congress began demanding more information about the prewar conduct of U.S. policy toward Iraq, administration officials tried to hide their embarrassment under a cloak of national security and created what Gonzalez has called a "cover-up mechanism" to keep investigators at bay.

According to interviews with knowledgeable officials, records made public by Gonzalez and documents obtained from other sources, it was soon apparent that Iraq was involved in a massive fraud to pump billions of dollars in illegal loans and credits out of BNL-Atlanta, far above the amounts reported to the Federal Reserve. Investigators said [more than half of this money] had helped fuel Iraq's military buildup.

U.S. Customs Service reports dated Sept. 21, 1989, and Oct. 20, 1989, pointed out that BNL was suspected of financing shipments of industrial machinery, military-type technology and various controlled chemicals to Iraq and providing loans "to various U.S. firms for the illegal export to Iraq of missile-related technology". (Excerpt from Gonzalez's Iraq Expose: Hill Chairman Details U.S. Prewar Courtship, by George Lardner Jr. Reprinted on the web by Global

Prison Planet: What if Saddam Hussein were to have a genuinely fair trial? That is the central question of a hard-hitting documentary to be aired on French television Tuesday. Michel Despratx of France's Canal Plus television teamed with independent Canadian filmmaker Barry Lando to produce "The Trial of Saddam Hussein, the Trial You'll Never See".

The 43-minute film begins with frank and graphic highlights of Saddam's brutal reign. But it soon delves into a history of collusion going back to the cataclysmic Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, when Washington, fully aware that Saddam was using mustard and nerve gas against Iranian civilians, calculated that it was better to keep backing him as the lesser of two evils.

One of the most notorious episodes of Saddam's rule was the gassing of 5,000 Kurds in northern Halabja, an atrocity which drew little international condemnation. "The West closed its eyes a little bit... Iraq was a strategic country for the balance of the region", adds Peter Galbraith, top adviser to the Senate foreign relations committee at the time. "Nobody wanted to upset Saddam Hussein, and if Kurds getting gassed was something that would cause troubles, neither the Reagan nor the Bush administration wanted to hear a word about it". (New documentary indicts US as co-defendant with Saddam. Article from Prison Planet, 10/25/2004).

Taking into consideration the enormous support given to Iraq by both the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations, my conclusion is that the trial of Saddam Hussein under US auspices is, in large part, a farce. The primary purpose of these trials will be to (1) Justify the junior bush's illegal invasion, and (2) keep quiet the United State's involvement in Saddam's crimes. As Haroon Siddiqui of the Toronto Star described it, "This is an American show trial, through and through".

The Toronto Star: The problem with all this is not that Saddam may not get a fair trial, as the bleeding hearts fear. Or that the nincompoops running it will let him steal the show from the prosecutors. The real danger is that the propagandist phoniness seeping out of this exercise will undermine its validity. As a human rights activist told The Star's Middle East correspondent Mitch Potter, "the majority of Arabs will see this as nothing but a charade". (Saddam Trial Won't Hide Bush's Historic Mistakes by Haroon Siddiqui, The Toronto Star 10/23/2005. Reprinted on the web by Common Dreams).

My conclusion? How can we prevent this from happening again if the United State's role in selling Saddam chemical weapons is simply swept under the rug? Obviously those who supplied Saddam with weapons and technology knew he would use them to murder Iranians (even though the use of chemical weapons in war is prohibited by the Geneva protocol of 1925). And, as I already pointed out, the Reagan Administration continued to approve the sale of chemical weapons to Iraq even after he used them against the Kurds. How can we call this trial justice for the Kurds when our own government is actively attempting to cover-up its involvement in these crimes?

Further Reading
[1] Iraq: Flaws in the first trial before the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal should not be repeated. Amnesty International Public Statement. 8/18/2006.
[2] Who Was Behind the Prolongment of the Iran-Iraq War? Whose Justice Does Saddam's Trial Serve? By Behrooz Ghamari, Counter Punch. 10/23/2005.
[3] Downing Street: The Monster Saddam. The Heretik (blog). 6/22/2005.
[4] The Ties That Blind: How Reagan Armed Saddam with Chemical Weapons. By Norm Dixon, Counter Punch. 6/17/2004.
[5] Liberal Oasis Interviews Greg Palast. 3/1/2003.

Image: New Film Reveals the Shocking Depth of Collusion between Saddam and US Republicans: Copies of the "The Trial of Saddam Hussein, the Trial You'll Never See", a documentary by French filmaker Michel Despratx and Canadian filmmaker Barry Lando reveals the "history of US collusion [with Saddam] going back to the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, when Washington, fully aware Saddam was using mustard and nerve gas against Iranian civilians, calculated it was better to keep backing him against Tehran. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is shown shaking hands and joking with Saddam in 1983.

7/30/2014 Update: I changed the link above to the 11/18/2005 article "A Farcical Trial" by John Cherian. The reason is because "The article you are looking for is no longer available in this website". The new link connects to (the exact same article).


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

e-mail Newsletters

The following two articles (which I am posting excerpts from below) were delivered to my inbox this week courtesy of "Bush Headline News" and author/journalist Greg Palast, respectively.

Politics of Deceit: Dictator Bush's Scare Tactics Not Working By Paul Krugman

Just two days after 9/11, I learned from Congressional staffers that Republicans on Capitol Hill were already exploiting the atrocity, trying to use it to push through tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. I wrote about the subject the next day, warning that "politicians who wrap themselves in the flag while relentlessly pursuing their usual partisan agenda are not true patriots". The response from readers was furious - fury not at the politicians but at me, for suggesting that such an outrage was even possible.

"How can I say that to my young son?" demanded one angry correspondent. I wonder what he says to his son these days. We now know that from the very beginning, the Bush administration and its allies in Congress saw the terrorist threat not as a problem to be solved, but as a political opportunity to be exploited. The story of the latest terror plot makes the administration's fecklessness and cynicism on terrorism clearer than ever. (End excerpt).

The Fear Factory By Greg Palast

I'm going to tell you something which is straight-up heresy: America is not under attack by terrorists. There is no WAR on terror because, except for one day five years ago, al Qaeda has pretty much left us alone.

That's because Osama got what he wanted. There's no mystery about what Al Qaeda was after. Like everyone from the Girl Scouts to Bono, Osama put his wish on his web site. He had a single demand: "Crusaders out of the land of the two Holy Places". To translate: get US troops out of Saudi Arabia.

And George Bush gave it to him. On April 29, 2003, two days before landing on the aircraft carrier Lincoln, our self-described "War President" quietly put out a notice that he was withdrawing our troops from Saudi soil. In other words, our cowering cowboy gave in whimpering to Osama's demand.

The press took no note. They were all wiggie over Bush's waddling around the carrier deck in a disco-aged jump suit announcing, "Mission Accomplished". But it wasn't America's mission that was accomplished, it was Osama's. (End excerpt).


Paul Krugman (b. 2/28/1953) is an economist at Princeton University who has written several books and since 2000 has written a twice-weekly op-ed column for The New York Times. He is currently a professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University. (Source: Wikipedia.

Greg Palast is a New York Times-bestselling author and a journalist for the British Broadcasting Corporation as well as the British newspaper The Observer. His work frequently focuses on corporate malfeasance but has also been known to work with labor unions and consumer advocacy groups.

Notably, he has accused Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and Florida Elections Unit Chief Clay Roberts, along with the ChoicePoint corporation, of election fraud during the US Presidential Election of 2000 and again in 2004 when, he argued, the problems and machinations from 2000 continued and that challenger John Kerry actually would have won if not for disproportional "spoilage" of Democratic votes. (Source: Wikipedia).

Additional Options
->Continue reading "Politics of Deceipt" by Paul Krugman.
->Subscribe to Bush Headline News.
->Continue reading "Fear Factory" by Greg Palast.
->Visit Greg Palast's Website.

Recommended Reading
[1] Jim Crow Revived in Cyberspace by Greg Palast & Martin Luther King III (2000 election theft).
[2] How They Stole Ohio by Greg Palast (2004 election theft).
[3] We Don't Need no Stinkin' Recount by Greg Palast (2006 Mexican election theft).


Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy Mission Accomplished Day

Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed ~ George W. Bush, 5/1/2003

Why are our soldiers still dying in Iraq 3 years AFTER the mission was accomplished? What happened to that banner? Is it packed away for the NEXT time we need it? After the mission is accomplished in Iran, perhaps?



Saturday, February 18, 2006

America's Presidential Crisis

Americans cherish the greatness of our homeland, but many do not realize how extensive and profound are the transformations that are now taking place in our nation's basic moral values, public discourse, and political philosophy ~ Jimmy Carter, Our Endangered Values (Introduction).

I regularly visit conservative blogs just to see how messed up the other side's way of thinking is. It was shortly after the president's State of the Union Address and I was reading some wing-nut comments concerning how great it was... One of the posts included a link to C-Span where you can find all of the State of the Union transcripts going back to Harry Truman's 1945 speech. Having recently finished listening to the audio book version of Jimmy Carter's "Our Endangerd Values: America's Moral Crisis", I decided to take a look at the transcript from Mr. Carter's last SOTU address in 1980.

I was a little surprised by what I found. Near the beginning there is what may as well be a direct reference to the bush Administration's illegal preventative war in Iraq. I've excerpted a few key passages and added some comments:

Comparing Jimmy Carter's 1980 and George W. Bush's 2006 SOTU addresses

Jimmy Carter: I'm determined that the United States will remain the strongest of all nations, but our power will never be used to initiate a threat to the security of any nation or to the rights of any human being.

George W. Bush: Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal - we seek the end of tyranny in our world. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future security of America depends on it. On September the 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country. Dictatorships shelter terrorists, and feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction.

SWTD Commentary: The United States, under President George W. Bush, launched it's illegal preventive war against Iraq on March 20th 2003, breaking President Carter's pledge to never use our power to threaten the security of another nation. Mr. Carter also promised to protect human rights - another pledge that our current president has broken. Whether it be torture of terrorist suspects, or spying on American Citizens, human rights obviously mean very little to Mr. bush. (The length of bush's speech is 0:51:04. September 11th reference made at 0:03:31.)


Jimmy Carter: Three basic developments have helped to shape our challenges: the steady growth and increased projection of Soviet military power beyond its own borders; the overwhelming dependence of the Western democracies on oil supplies from the Middle East; and the press of social and religious and economic and political change in the many nations of the developing world, exemplified by the revolution in Iran.

George W. Bush: Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.

SWTD Commentary: Lip service from a former Texas Oilman. Vice President Richard B. Cheney is a former Wyoming Oilman for whom the first order of business as Vice President was HUGE giveaways to the energy industry (oil companies in particular). Only 9 days after assuming office, Cheney, as chairman of the newly created National Energy Policy Development Group, invited energy company executives to help him develop National Energy policy. The result? Billions of taxpayer dollars given away in the form "subsidies" for the oil industry.


Jimmy Carter: Our excessive dependence on foreign oil is a clear and present danger to our Nation's security. The need has never been more urgent. At long last, we must have a clear, comprehensive energy policy for the United States.

George W. Bush: Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.

Article Excerpt: One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally. What the president meant, they said in a conference call with reporters, was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East in 2025. (Knight Ridder Newspapers: Administration backs off Bush's vow to reduce Mideast oil imports, 2/2/2006).

SWTD Commentary: I guess that line was total BS. It was added because it sounded good. If it was really true I'd say GREAT. But I honestly don't believe it given the fact that bush and the Republican congress are obviously in the pocket of Big Oil. In a time of RECORD PROFITS for oil companies, bushco is still ripping off taxpayers though subsidies, royalty relief, and other tax breaks - at the same time the Republican congress is slashing things like home heating assistance for the poor from the budget!

How about ending corporate welfare? How about a windfall profits tax? How can you believe anything bush says given the constant lying? Does anyone else find this man's hypocrisy astounding?


Jimmy Carter: The American people are making progress in energy conservation. Last year we reduced overall petroleum consumption by 8 percent and gasoline consumption by 5 percent below what it was the year before. Now we must do more. After consultation with the Governors, we will set gasoline conservation goals for each of the 50 States, and I will make them mandatory if these goals are not met.

George W. Bush: (Doesn't mention conservation).

Article Excerpt: Our fuel economy standards in 2005 are 21 miles a gallon for all cars and SUVs. In 1987, they were 22.1 miles a gallon. We've been going in reverse. And when the energy bill was up last year, Republicans in Congress not only voted down Democratic amendments to increase fuel-efficiency standards, they actually made it more difficult to raise those standards in the future. (The Progressive: "More Dishonesty from Bush in State of Union", 2/1/2006).

Article Excerpt: ...this president has never been interested in changing consumer behavior. On the contrary, when asked at a 2001 news conference whether Americans needed to do anything about their high energy consumption, his then-spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said, "The president believes that it's an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policymakers to protect the American way of life". (The Washington Post: Feeding the Oil Addiction, 2/3/2006).

SWTD Commentary: Does anyone else find this type of thinking as WRONG as I do? Just say no to conservation? Ironic, considering the dictionary definition of conservative says, "Tending to conserve; preservative: the conservative use of natural resources".


Jimmy Carter: The decade ahead will be a time of rapid change, as nations everywhere seek to deal with new problems and age-old tensions.

SWTD Commentary: Age old tensions which bush has only made worse...

For months after the terrible terrorist attack in 2001, the American people were inundated almost daily with claims from top government officials that we faced a devastating threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, or from large and well organized cadres of terrorists hiding in our country. But as was emphasized vigorously by foreign allies and key members of our own intelligence services, there was never any existing danger to the United States from Baghdad. It was obvious that, with the United Nations sanctions, intense weapons inspections, and overwhelming American military superiority, any belligerent move by Saddam Hussein against a neighbor, an overt display of a weapon of mass destruction, or sharing of such technology with terrorist organizations would have been suicidal for Iraq. Iraq's weapons programs had already been reduced to impotence before the war was launched to eliminate them.

If Saddam Hussein had actually possessed a large nuclear, biological, or chemical arsenal, then the American invasion would have resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties. Many of them US troops. There is no evidence that British or American leaders really expected or prepared for this eventuality.

We cannot ignore the development of such weapons in any potential enemy nation or organization. But unilateral military action based on erroneous or deliberately distorted intelligence is not the answer ~ Jimmy Carter, Our Endangered Values (Chapter 14: Worshiping the Prince of Peace or Preemptive War).

Further Reading
[1] U.S. Has Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies. The Washington Post, 2/14/2006.
[2] Feeding the Oil Addiction. The Washington Post, 2/3/2006.
[3] Addicted to Lies. Is Bush the Antichrist (blog), 2/1/2006.
[4] More Dishonesty from Bush in State of Union. The Progressive, 2/1/2006.



Sunday, February 12, 2006

Iraqi General's Book Recycles Old Lies

People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it ~ Joseph Goebbels

How many people out there are as sick of wing-nut lies as I am? Just when you think EVERYONE has moved on, including our liar-in-chief, a new book resurrecting the bush administration's pre-invasion falsehoods is published. I'm talking about "Saddam's Secrets" by Georges Sada, a former Iraqi general.

Iraq had weapons of mass destruction - they were just moved to Syria! Iraq was involved in the planning and execution of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. And... Iraq trained al-Qaeda terrorists. All three of these initially dubious claims have since been proven to be definitively false. The question then is - who is this Iraqi General, and why has he released this book now? It's been over 5 years since Iraq was "liberated", and even the president said recently "It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong".

This obvious work of fiction was recently brought to my attention by a Right-winger who calls his blog "The Better Wing". According to his post (titled "It's Truth Time"), he seems to think that the information contained in this novel completely exonerates the bush administration - because every one of the claims made above are 100 percent accurate! Of course he completely ignores all the evidence that has come out since the search for Iraq's WMDs was called off early in 2005. Evidence that makes it clear most of the Administration's claims were "wishful thinking" at best. At worst they allowed themselves to be deceived, lied to the US senate, and lied to the American people.

Liars and Fabricators

We now know that Dick Cheney pressured CIA Analysts into delivering some "creative" reports - stressing weak intelligence that made their case and dismissing information that ran counter to what the bush administration wanted to hear. Much of bushco's most damning "evidence" came from "questionable" sources...

The intelligence concerning Iraq's biological weapons program and the mobile biological weapons labs Colin Powell discussed in depth during his UN presentation (2/6/2003) came from a dubious source codenamed Curveball. Curveball, an Iraqi defector and supposed "Iraqi chemical engineer" who was never directly interviewed by US intelligence - was categorized as a liar and a fabricator by the German federal intelligence service (they forwarded the Curveball intelligence to the US Defense Intelligence Agency).

And yet the preznit, in his 2002 State of the Union Address, stated "we must prevent the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States and the world" - a direct reference to the Curveball intelligence. Ultimately, Curveball's claims that Iraq was creating biological agents in mobile weapons laboratories to elude inspectors appeared in more than 100 United States government reports between January 2000 and September 2001.


Ahmed Chalabi, the informant who will be among those judged most responsible for the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq, also provided information which was later proved to be false. Mr. Chalabi, who led a group of Iraqi exiles known as the Iraqi National Congress (INC), hoped to be installed as Iraq's president after Washington achieved it's goal of toppling Saddam. The INC, funded by, and considered a creation of the CIA, reported to the Office of Special Plans (OSP) - a Pentagon unit created by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Mr. Chalabi informed the OSP that "Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists" and that "Saddam's regime has weapons of mass destruction". (Vanity Fair, 5/04, pp 232). During a Defense Policy Board meeting in Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon conference room on September 19 and 20 Mr. Chalabi also claimed "there'd be no resistance, no guerrilla warfare from the Baathists, and [it would be] a quick matter of establishing a government".

The following two quotes make it clear that both the INC and OSP were only concerned with furthering their respected agendas, the truth be damned...

From the Sunday Herald: Former CIA officer Larry Johnson told the Sunday Herald the OSP was "dangerous for US national security and a threat to world peace", adding that it "lied and manipulated intelligence to further its agenda of removing Saddam". He added: "It's a group of ideologues with pre-determined notions of truth and reality. They take bits of intelligence to support their agenda and ignore anything contrary".

Johnson said that to describe Saddam as an "imminent threat" to the West was "laughable and idiotic". He said many CIA officers were in great distress over the way intelligence had been treated. "We've entered the world of George Orwell", Johnson added. "I'm disgusted. The truth has to be told. We can't allow our leaders to use bogus information to justify war". (June 8, 2003).

From The Center for Media and Democracy, Publishers of "PR Watch": "According to multiple sources, Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress sent a steady stream of misleading and often faked intelligence reports into U.S. intelligence channels", Mother Jones investigators wrote. Former senior CIA official and counterterrorism expert Vincent Cannistraro called INC intelligence "propaganda. Much of it is telling the Defense Department what they want to hear, using alleged informants and defectors who say what Chalabi wants them to say, [creating] cooked information that goes right into presidential and vice presidential speeches". (April 2004).

What are Ahmed Chalabi's motivations for lying? You would think that the obvious answer is greed, considering that the current Bush Administration paid Chalabi's group at least thirty-nine million dollars for their "services". Or was Chalabi simply an Iraqi expatriate determined to see Saddam removed from power? Perhaps the lying and fabricating he did to achieve that goal can be excused, since he did it for the good of the Iraqi people. Or was it?

In May of 2005 Mr. Chalabi's villa was raided by Iraqi police. Several INC members were named in an arrest warrant for possible fraud charges. Other misdeeds the INC is suspected of include embezzlement, theft, and kidnapping. According to rumors circulating in Washington, Mr. Chalabi himself is suspected of passing classified US intelligence to the Iranian government. According to a CBS news story Chalabi is alleged to have met in Baghdad with a top Iranian agent and disclosed to him that the U.S. had cracked Iran's secret codes and was eavesdropping on all Iranian intelligence messages. According to The Washington Monthly, "Chalabi personally handed the information to the Iranians, the information could get Americans killed, and the evidence against Chalabi is rock solid".

(Also according to The Washington Monthly, "Curveball is actually the brother of one of Ahmed Chalabi's top aides and had probably been coached to provide false information").


Claims that Iraq was training al-Qaeda terrorists originated with Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi - an al-Qaeda official in American custody. An intelligence report from February 2002 said it was probable that Mr. Libi "was intentionally misleading the debriefers". So why did bush and other administration officials continue to cite Mr. Libi's information as "credible" evidence that Iraq was training al-Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons for months after the report? (The New York Times, 10/6/2005).

The Sept. 11 commission found there was no "collaborative relationship" between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Furthermore, the report of the commission's staff, based on its access to all relevant classified information, said that there had been contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda but no cooperation.

I don't know if Georges Sada's book also claims that Iraq had ties to al-Qaeda, or if the only lie he's selling is that Saddam moved his WMDs to Syria. However, "The Better Wing" nut I mentioned above does - which is why I'm including the debunk of that lie in this article.

Connecting the Dots

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 quite possibly could have been prevented if not for the bush Administration's inability to "connect the dots". The bush Administration was briefed by the outgoing Clinton Administration concerning the growing terrorism threat. The recently completed $10 Million Hart-Rudman Report, commissioned by outgoing President Bill Clinton's Secretary of defense, William Cohen (a Republican), was delivered just after Bush and Cheney's inauguration.

Alarming Excerpts from the Hart-Rudman Report: "It is unlikely that we will continue to be the blessed country we've been all these years", Rudman said, referring to the possibility of an attack by a foreign power. "The threat is asymmetric and we're not prepared for it".

"A direct attack against American citizens on American soil is likely over the next quarter century". ("Overhaul of National Security Apparatus Urged. Commission Cites U.S. Vulnerability" by Steven Mufson, The Washington Post, 2/1/2001).

Unfortunately, Cheney closed down the Rudman-Hart commission and shelved the report. Instead, Cheney decided he would develop his own plan for dealing with terrorism. It wasn't until after September 11th that the report and its recommendations were reexamined. (See the article Commission warned Bush, and "Worse than Watergate" by John W. Dean, Hardcover edition p.108-109).

From the 9-11 Commission, Staff Statement Number 8, "National Policy Coordination", pp 9-10: (National Security Advisor) Richard Clarke asked on several occasions for early Principals Committee meetings on these issues (outlined in his January 25, 2001 memo) and was frustrated that no early meeting was scheduled. He wanted principals to accept that al-Qaeda was a "first order threat" and not a routine problem being exaggerated by "chicken little" alarmists.

No Principals Committee meetings on al-Qaeda were held until September 4, 2001. Rice and Hadley said this was because the Deputies Committee needed to work through the many issues related to new policy on al-Qaeda. The Principals Committee did meet frequently before 9/11 on other subjects, Rice told us, including Russia, the Persian Gulf, and the Middle East peace process". (The Wrong Priorities: Before 9/11, Bush Administration was Focused on the Wrong Threats to America).


Even though, given the evidence, it is obvious that the bush Administration should be held accountable, Republicans still have the audacity to blame former President Clinton for what happened on 9/11?! Even worse, the bush Administration didn't view their inability to stop the attacks on 9/11 as a colossal failure on their part, but saw it as a unique opportunity to rewite the end of the first Gulf war...

From "The Lie Factory", a Mother Jones News Special Report: In the very first meeting of the Bush national-security team, one day after preznit bush took the oath of office in January 2001, the issue of invading Iraq was raised, according to one of the participants in the meeting - and officials all the way down the line started to get the message, long before 9/11. (January/February 2004 Issue).

After 9/11 bush was more determined than ever that we should wage war with Iraq...

From "Woodward Shares War Secrets", a CBS News/60 Minutes Report: Bob Woodward reports that just five days after Sept. 11, preznit bush indicated to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that while he had to do Afghanistan first, he was also determined to do something about Saddam Hussein.

There's some pressure to go after Saddam Hussein. Don Rumsfeld has said, "This is an opportunity to take out Saddam Hussein, perhaps. We should consider it". And the preznit says to Condi Rice meeting head to head, "We won't do Iraq now". But it is a question we're gonna have to return to, says Woodward.

And there's this low boil on Iraq until the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, 2001. This is 72 days after 9/11. This is part of this secret history. President bush, after a National Security Council meeting, takes Don Rumsfeld aside, collars him physically, and takes him into a little cubbyhole room and closes the door and says, "What have you got in terms of plans for Iraq? What is the status of the war plan? I want you to get on it. I want you to keep it secret". Woodward says immediately after that, Rumsfeld told Gen. Tommy Franks to develop a war plan to invade Iraq and remove Saddam - and that Rumsfeld gave Franks a blank check. ("Woodward Shares War Secrets" by Rebecca Leung, 60 Minutes, 4/18/2004).


bushco was unable to "connect the dots" and prevent 9/11. Then they used 9/11 as a pretext to start a illegal preventive war with Iraq by relying on "evidence" from known liars and fabricators! We're supposed to believe that after 9/11 the bush Administration WAS able to connect the dots, but the dots they connected coincidentally led them to their predetermined conclusion that regime change was necessary in Iraq?! I find that highly unlikely, to put it mildly.

Why were Ahmed Chalabi (possibly working for the Iranian government), and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al-Qaeda official, feeding false information to the US? Is it possible that the war with Iraq was orchestrated by our enemies?

From The Guardian: Some intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the hawks in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighbour, and pave the way for a Shia-ruled Iraq. According to a US intelligence official, the CIA has hard evidence that Mr. Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr. Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions.

"It's pretty clear that Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner", said an intelligence source in Washington yesterday. "Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi".

Larry Johnson, a former senior counter terrorist official at the state department, said: "When the story ultimately comes out we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy". ("US Intelligence Fears Iran Duped Hawks Into Iraq War" by Julian Borger, The Guardian, 5/25/2004).

As for the motivation of al-Qaeda in feeding false information to the United States with the goal of encouraging the bush Administration to carry though with their "Regime Change" plans - consider the following:

From The New Yorker: The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, a group claiming affiliation with al-Qaeda, also claimed responsibility for the Madrid train bombings. The group sent a bombastic message to the London newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, avowing responsibility for the train bombings. "Whose turn will it be next?" the authors taunt. "Is it Japan, America, Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia, or Australia?"

The message also addressed the speculation that the terrorists would try to replicate their political success in Spain by disrupting the November U.S. elections. "We are very keen that Bush does not lose the upcoming elections", the authors write. Bush's "idiocy and religious fanaticism" are useful, the authors contend, for they stir the Islamic world to action". (8/2/2004, p. 40. Article not available online - excerpt courtesy of "News Hounds").

Peter Bergen, author of the book "The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al-Qaeda's Leader" was interviewed by Jon Stewart on the January 11th 2006 episode of "The Daily Show". When Mr. Stewart asked him, "Has Iraq hurt/helped al-Qaeda in your opinion", Mr. Bergen responded, "Oh, it's helped them immensely... If Osama believed in Christmas, which obviously he doesn't, Iraq would be his Christmas gift".

The New York Times: As bad as the situation inside Iraq may be, the effect that the war has had on terrorist recruitment around the globe may be even more worrisome. Even before the coalition troops invaded, a senior United States counterterrorism official told reporters that "an American invasion of Iraq is already being used as a recruitment tool by al-Qaeda and other groups". Intelligence officials in the United States, Europe and Africa say that the recruits they are seeing now are younger than in the past. Television images of American soldiers and tanks in Baghdad are deeply humiliating to Muslims, even those who didn't like Saddam Hussein, explained Saad al-Faqih, head of Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, a Saudi dissident group in London. He told me that some 3,000 young Saudis have entered Iraq in recent months, and called the war "a gift to Osama bin Laden". ("How America Created a Terrorist Haven" by Jessica Stern, The New York Times, 8/20/2003).

Zero Evidence

My reason for discussing, at length, the lies and fabrications of the bush Administration's primary informants is because their claims regarding Saddam's WMD program and ties to al-Qaeda are the EXACT SAME claims that former Iraqi General Georges Sada is currently making in his recently published book. These claims were false before (which my exhaustive research above proves), so it boggles my mind how anyone can claim they are true now. According to the Daily Kos, "None of the claims made by Mr. Sada survives close scrutiny. He provides no physical evidence, names no eyewitnesses, has little first-hand knowledge, and bases a lot of his claims on "anonymous sources".

When I pointed out that Mr. Sada's claims are completed unsubstantiated, the wing-nut asked "Why would Georges Sada lie? He has no reason to". How should I know? There is precious little information regarding Mr. Sada to be found on the Internet. Maybe he saw an opportunity to make some money telling gullible Republicans what they wanted to hear. Perhaps there was some sort of quid pro quo arrangement which earned Mr. Sada his position in the new Iraqi government. He was Air Vice Marshal in Saddam Hussein's military, and now he's Iraq's National Security Advisor. How did he convince the Coalition Provisional Authority he was trustworthy?

Eight Insiders Who Speak the Truth (Individuals & Entities)

To counter Mr. Sada's claims - which, as I just pointed out, are virtually IDENTICAL to those made by Ahmed Chalabi, Curveball and al-Qaeda Operative Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi - I present you with the following people (or groups) whose stories contrast sharply with what Mr. Sada is saying. All these people are in a position to know what they are talking about.

1. Iraqi weapons Scientists: According to James Risen, the New York Times Reporter who broke the story about the Government's use of illegal wiretapping and author of the new book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, The CIA was almost positive that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction before the war. Mr. Risen's book makes note of a CIA operation in which relatives of Iraqi weapons scientists (Iraqi expatriates living in the United States), were sent back to Iraq to ask their relatives if Iraq had an active WMD program. This program yielded ZERO evidence of an active WMD program. Also, when debriefed after bush declared "Mission Accomplished", Iraq's scientists still insisted that all work on WMDs had halted over 10 years prior. (1/9/2006).

Regarding the Debriefings: The Iraq survey Group (see below) reported that the Iraqi scientists had been "cooperative", and that they "had no more information to share".

2. Former Director General of the IAEA, Hans Blix: According to the book "Disarming Iraq" by Hans Blix, "Containment had worked"... and "It has also become clear that national intelligence organizations and government hawks, but not the inspectors, had been wrong in their assessments". In his book Blix blames "monumental" intelligence failures on the part of the U.S. and Great Britain for most of these errors.

The Council on Foreign Relations Website, Foreign Affairs: The greatest success of the UN disarmament mission was in the nuclear realm. IAEA inspectors found an alarmingly extensive nuclear weapons program when they entered Iraq in 1991, and they set out to destroy all known facilities related to the nuclear program and to account for Iraq's entire inventory of nuclear fuel.

In 1997, the IAEA and UNSCOM concluded that there were no "indications that any weapon-useable nuclear material remain[ed] in Iraq" or "evidence in Iraq of prohibited materials, equipment or activities". After four months of resumed inspections in 2002-3, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed that, according to all evidence, Iraq had no nuclear weapons and no program to redevelop them. He reported to the UN Security Council in March 2003 that inspectors had found "no indication of resumed nuclear activities... nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected sites".

3. United States diplomat and ambassador, Joseph C. Wilson: Mr. Wilson was sent to Niger in February of 2002 (on behalf of the CIA), to investigate the authenticity of documents which appeared to verify an attempt by Saddam Hussein regime to purchase yellowcake uranium, in defiance of United Nations sanctions. Previous to Mr. Wilson's trip the CIA had strong suspicions that the documents were fraudulent.

Mr. Wilson observes, "given the structure of the consortiums that operated the mines, it would be exceedingly difficult for Niger to transfer uranium to Iraq. Niger's uranium business consists of two mines, Somair and Cominak, which are run by French, Spanish, Japanese, German and Nigerian interests. If the government wanted to remove uranium from a mine, it would have to notify the consortium, which in turn is strictly monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Moreover, because the two mines are closely regulated, quasi-governmental entities, selling uranium would require the approval of the minister of mines, the prime minister and probably the president. In short, there's simply too much oversight over too small an industry for a sale to have transpired".

"As for the actual memorandum, I never saw it. But news accounts have pointed out that the documents had glaring errors - they were signed, for example, by officials who were no longer in government - and were probably forged. And then there's the fact that Niger formally denied the charges".

After the bush administration continued to cite the documents as evidence that Iraq was attempting to reconstitute their WMD program Mr. Wilson wrote an article for the New York Times, titled "What I Didn't Find in Africa", in which he asked the question, "Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq?". His conclusion was, "that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat".

(Read the Wikipedia entry: Yellowcake forgery, "Origin" section, for some interesting theories regarding who authored the forged documents).

4. Former aide to Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson: In reference to his role in helping Colin Powell prepare for his February 2003 presentation at the UN Security Council, Wilkerson says, "I participated in a hoax".

The Raw Story: In an interview that aired on PBS on Friday, Feb. 3, Colin Powell's former chief of staff claimed that the speech Powell made before the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, laying out a case for war with Iraq, included falsehoods of which Powell had never been made aware. He said, "My participation in that presentation at the UN constitutes the lowest point in my professional life. I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council".

Wilkerson also agreed with the interviewer that Vice President Cheney's frequent trips to the CIA would inevitably have brought "undue influence" on the agency. When asked if Cheney was "the kind of guy who could lean on somebody" he responded, "Absolutely. And be just as quiet and taciturn about it as - he - as he leaned on 'em. As he leaned on the Congress recently - in the - torture issue". (February 5, 2006. PBS Interview transcript).

5. Ex CIA Official, Paul R. Pillar: Prior to his leaving he agency in 2005, 28-year CIA veteran, Paul Pillar was considered to be agency's lead analyst in counter terrorism.

The Washington Post: "Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war", Pillar wrote in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Instead, he asserted, the administration "went to war without requesting - and evidently without being influenced by - any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq". "The intelligence community never offered any analysis that supported the notion of an alliance between Saddam and Al-Qaeda". This is the first time that such a senior intelligence officer has so directly and publicly condemned the administration's handling of intelligence. (2/10/2006).

6. Former Bush Administration counterterrorism adviser Richard A. Clarke: Mr. Clarke provided national security advice to four U.S. presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, consulting on issues of intelligence and terrorism, from 1973 to 2003. Clarke's specialties are computer security, counter terrorism and homeland security. He was the counterterrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council when the September 11 attacks occurred.

The Editorial Review of Against All Enemies: During the week of the initial publication of Against All Enemies, Clarke was featured on 60 Minutes, testified before the 9/11 commission, and touched off a raging controversy over how the presidential administration handled the threat of terrorism and the post-9/11 geopolitical landscape.

Clarke, a veteran Washington insider who had advised presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush, dissects each man's approach to terrorism but levels the harshest criticism at the latter Bush and his advisors who, Clarke asserts, failed to take terrorism and Al-Qaeda seriously.

Clarke details how, in light of mounting intelligence of the danger Al-Qaeda presented, his urgent requests to move terrorism up the list of priorities in the early days of the administration were met with apathy and procrastination and how, after the attacks took place, Bush and key figures such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Dick Cheney turned their attention almost immediately to Iraq, a nation not involved in the attacks.

7. The Iraq Survey Group: a 1,400-member international team headed by David Kay (and later by Charles Duelfer). ISG, which was organized by The Pentagon and the CIA to search for any evidence of an Iraqi weapons program, concluded that it is unlikely Iraq shipped banned weapons material into Syria before the 2003 U.S. invasion. "ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place", the report said. The report said that 12 years of international sanctions against Baghdad after the Gulf War had left Iraq's scientific community decimated and these experts' skills in a state of "natural decay".

The group added it was unlikely that scientists were capable of re-creating the destroyed weapons programs, meaning Iraq would have possessed little, if anything, to transfer.

From the Wikipedia entry on David Kay: ISG research determined that the Iraqi unconventional weapons programs had mostly been held in check, with only small amounts of banned material uncovered (this included a number of vials containing biological agents stored in the home refrigerators of Iraqi scientists, for example). However, none of these substances had been "weaponized" - no such agents were found in missiles or artillery, and none could be easily installed.

From David Kay told the House and Senate intelligence committees, "We have not yet found stocks of weapons... We have not yet been able to corroborate the existence of a mobile BW (biological weapons) production effort... Multiple sources (say) that Iraq did not have a large, ongoing, centrally controlled CW (chemical warfare) program after 1991.... [and] to date we have not uncovered evidence that Iraq undertook significant post-1998 steps to actually build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material.... [and] no detainee has admitted any actual knowledge of plans for unconventional warheads for any current or planned ballistic missile".

...detainees interviewed by the group "uniformly denied any knowledge of residual WMD that could have been secreted to Syria". Charles Duelfer recommended that many of the detained scientists could be released because they had been cooperative, were no longer a security risk and had no more information to share. (1/21/2004. What Bush Left Unsaid in State of the Union Address).

8. The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: On July 7, 2004 this committee published their findings in the report titled "Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq".

Please note the following relevant findings...

The major key judgments in the NIE, particularly that Iraq "is reconstituting its nuclear program", "has chemical and biological weapons", was developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "probably intended to deliver biological warfare agents", and that "all key aspects - research & development (R&D), production, and weaponization - of Iraq's offensive biological weapons (BW) program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War", either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting provided to the Committee.

The assessment that Iraq "is reconstituting its nuclear program" was not supported by the intelligence provided to the Committee. The intelligence reporting did show that Iraq was procuring dual-use equipment that had potential nuclear applications, but all of the equipment had conventional military or industrial applications. In addition, none of the intelligence reporting indicated that the equipment was being procured for suspect nuclear facilities. (Excerpted from MSNBC).


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me - Benjamin Franklin

Prior to the invasion I was convinced by what Colin Powell said (Was Mr. Powell USED, or did he know his UN speech contained lies?). I believed that they would find SOMETHING after Saddam was overthrown and the US military had free run of the country with the ability to look EVERYWHERE. As you well know NOTHING was found. Nobody has come forward with any verifiable evidence.

Colin Powell had this to say regarding the transfer of Iraqi WMDs to Syria: That is always a possibility, but I have seen no hard evidence to suggest that is the case, that suddenly there were no weapons found in Iraq because they were all in Syria. I don't know why the Syrians would do that, frankly; why it would be in their interest. They didn't have that kind of relationship with Iraq, but it is an open question, but I've seen no hard evidence to suggest that's what happened. (January 21, 2004. From an interview of Colin Powell conducted by Michael Smerconish of WPHT Radio, Philadelphia. Transcript available on the US Department of State Website).

As our troops advanced toward Baghdad there were fears of a chemical attack which never came. The reason Iraq didn't attack US troops with it's WMDs is because it had no WMDs! Why would they move them? Wouldn't they have USED them?


There you have it - MORE than enough evidence to cast serious doubt on Mr. Sada's claims that Saddam moved Iraq's WMDs to Syria. More than enough evidence to prove virtually all the bush Administration's prewar claims were bogus. Democrats and Liberals demand verifiable evidence before proclaiming something to be truthful. However, given the constant drumbeat of lies coming from the Right-Wing Propaganda Machine, I am the least bit surprised that deluded Right-wingers like "The Better Wing-nut" would label anyone who challenges our liar-in-chief's fables "liemongers".

I believe that it is true that Saddam was a brutal dictator, and that the Iraqi people are much better off without him. I believe that it was Saddam's intention to restart his WMD program if ever given the chance. However, I believe Hans Blix when he said that containment had worked. Launching an illegal preventive war was not the answer and is not worth the cost. What this war will ultimately cost is still unknown, but, so far, over 2000 US soldiers have been killed, and thousands more maimed or disabled. Our government isn't even keeping track of Iraqi deaths, so that shows you how much an Iraqi's life means to bush (nothing).

The bush Administration's warmongering and fiscal irresponsibility could very well be the death knell for our great nation.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mission Statement & Blog Commenting Guidelines

This post was last revised on 8/18/2016.

My mission statement was originally written when my blog was new and George W. bush was preznit, so my "mission" at the time was not the same as it is today. Simply discussing politics is the mission today; as opposed to slamming the ex-preznit. Don't get me wrong, I still have, and plan on, posting commentaries in which I bash bush, but they will be infrequent seeing as he is no longer in office. Be aware that I am a Progressive Democrat. All political posts on this blog will be written from that POV.

Comment moderation is now permanently enabled. For the first 7 years of this blog I never used moderation but, due to issues with blog trolls (TOM, Steve and Luke), I have reluctantly adopted a moderation policy.

Current Blog Commenting Guidelines

[1] I reserve the right to publish or not publish any comment. This includes publishing comments from people who are banned. If I ban you, then publish one of your comments later, this does not mean you aren't banned! Banned individuals will remain banned (which means most of your comments will likely NOT be published) until/unless I lift the ban. Comments being published (if the banned individual decides to keep submitting comments) do NOT mean the ban has been lifted. It ONLY means I've decided to let that particular comment through.

In regards to me publishing or not publishing at my discretion, all other rules are subordinate to this rule. This is the only actual "rule". The rest are only guidelines. Meaning, if I say a comment will not be published (in any subsequent guideline) I may publish it. That doesn't mean that the guideline should be ignored. Or, that I'll always publish and disregard the guideline. It ONLY means that I reserve the right to publish or not publish any comment.

[2] Comments from people with Blogger accounts that are set to not display their profiles will be deleted or not published. If I look at your profile and see a page that says "Profile not available" your comment will not be published. It appears as though certain individuals have been playing games and changing their profiles to impersonate others.

[3] In regards to the impersonation of others, or ID Spoofing... any comment that has (in my estimation) been submitted by a spoofer will be removed. Any complaint from the actual account holder (as best I can determine) is grounds for the removal of a comment and the banning of the person making the comment.

[4] Personal attacks are discouraged. I'll allow some pushing of the envelope so long as nobody goes to far. Excessive vulgarities and insults based on things the commenter would have no way of knowing about the person they are insulting are strongly discouraged, including racial epithets. Some leeway will be given but if you go to far your comment might not be published or it may be removed. I think that where the line is can be determined by rational thinking people.

[5] I would PREFER that anyone commenting to my post indicate that they have actually read it. This is the entire point, after all. I write, you read and share your opinion. Going off topic is OK if AT LEAST your first comment addresses the content of my post. One sentence, then you can respond to things others have written or go off topic. But please be aware that if you comment and make it clear that you didn't even read the title of my post... it is possible I could delete what you wrote. Agree or disagree, either is acceptable. BTW, if you say something like "this post sucks", I have no idea if you read what I wrote. You can say the post sucks, but you should say WHY you think so. This is, however, only a request and will probably be ignored by some.

[6] No publishing of the same diatribe to multiple posts, even if the topic is the same/similar. Multiples will be deleted (I'll leave the one left in response to the the newest post). Also, Comments should be original, or at least modified to mention my post (indicate that you read it). Comments (or entire posts) found elsewhere on the internet (cut & past jobs) will be deleted. I might miss that what you published has been duplicated elsewhere, however. I'm not going to be checking every comment published.

[7] No deleting of comments! If you hit the publish button be aware that your comment was sent to me via email. If you want to revise a comment once it has been published to fix spelling errors, or even if you've decided "I shouldn't have said that"... then fine; delete your comment. But it MUST be replaced with another. If you do not replace it I will repost the comment I received via email. I'll allow a reasonable amount of time for revisions.

[8] Any Spam that makes it past Blogger's filter will be deleted by me. I monitor comments, so really, why waste your time? We all know what Spam looks like, so no need to try and be clever with a generic comment and a link to your webpage. I suspect that much (if not all) this Spam is automated however, so this rule is likely useless. Bots don't follow rules.

[9] Anonymous commenting is no longer allowed thanks to the antics of the blog attacking shithead Steve.

[10] "Dead horse" topics may come up from time to time that I might decide to end discussion on. If, in my estimation, the dead horse has been beaten long enough I may decide to cut off discussion. So far this has happened exactly once and I do not see it happening again. The one dead horse topic I am banning discussion on is any discussion regarding the blogger known as Rational Nation (RN) and certain objectionable comments he made, with the sole exception of comments concerning RN that are submitted in response to the post I authored on the incident that triggered the controversy surrounding RN (see here if you want to know what I'm talking about.

[11] I reserve the right to rewrite or revise these rules at any time.

Old Mission Statement & Blog Commenting Rules

The purpose of this blog is to discuss Politics, The current state of the world, and, in particular the evil and corrupt Administration of George W. bush. George W. bush is by far the worst president our nation has ever seen, and, it is my belief that he may very well bring about the destruction of our great nation, the world's first constitutional and democratic federal republic. Since Mr. Bush assumed office in 2001 he has pursued a reckless course of illegal preventive war. Instead of protecting us, the Bush Administration's policies have increased worldwide animosity for the United States, which has increased terrorism.

As you may have guessed, I am a liberal Democrat. Like-minded individuals are welcome to join in the discussion. Republicans are also welcome, but should be prepared to be ridiculed and insulted. I want to be up front about the fact that I don't like Republicans in general - although I reserve my full animosity for the fools who call themselves Republicans but voted for and support our current leader. How can real conservatives support the fiscal irresponsibility of the Liar and Thief George W. Bush?

I encourage any wing-nuts who might be reading this to take it as a challenge - post here if you dare. There are few rules for posting here. First of all, excessive profanity won't be tolerated. I may delete a post is if it is by someone whose SOLE purpose is to be annoying and disrupt discussion. Other posts which I may delete include any which are COMPLETELY off topic or make no sense. Also, please don't post if your ONLY purpose is to promote another blog or sell something.

Finally, I ask anyone reading this to please post! My goal here isn't only to get people to read my rantings - I look forwarded to some spirited discussions. I'll give it some time, but if nobody joins in the discussion this blog probably won't last long. Also, please check out the links in the sidebar. I believe these Liberal blogs are well written and highly informative. If you agree with my assessment of the Bush Administration, I think you will find these blogs very interesting.