Saturday, May 14, 2005

Airspace scares become the norm

I was a little surprised at the media circus that resulted in the plane that flew into restricted airspace in the capitol earlier this week. There wasn't nearly as much attention when the same thing was supposed to have happened last week. I tried to find out what exactly happened last time...but don't go to Scott McClellan for answers:

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure. And I think the Secret Service has talked about it, as well. There was a report, or an indication, that an aircraft had entered restricted airspace around the White House, and so there were some precautionary measures that were taken. It was quickly learned that it was a false alarm and that all was clear in a very short amount of time. And everything is fine.
Q Was there, indeed, no plane? Or had the plane been cleared?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think the Secret Service is still looking into that, so you might want to talk to them about that matter.
Q They give a one-sentence thing and say they can't comment beyond that.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sure if they have additional information, they will be glad to provide it. But the last I knew was that they were looking into it to determine exactly what it was.

From press briefing on 4/27/05

Katrina vanden Heuvel responds to Coulter

I guess she didn't like being awarded "Lifetime Achievement Award for Most Wrong Predictions" by "Ms. Right."

The GOP's Attack On Voting Rights

by Rep. John Conyers Jr.

Meddle faster, Bush, before the rest of the world catches you

Here's an interesting article from the Village Voice

Speaking of democracy...

...here's an update on Haiti

Rice vs. Populism

The woman who was advisor to a President who lost the popular vote explains why populism is anti-democratic.

Order to Shoot

Remember all that talk about Bush giving the "order to shoot" down planes on 9/11? It was never clear if he really did despite Cheney's side of the story. (more here) I find it interesting that the topic wasn't even approached in regard to last week's "scare." TV reported that the plane certainly would have been shot down if it had continued towards the Whitehouse, but meanwhile, Bush was obliviously riding his bicylce. There has been discussion about why Bush wasn't notified until after it was over...but what about the rules of engagement? Right after 9/11, the MSM went on and on about how only the President could make that call. Has anything changed? I am having troulbe finding out what the law is...and what has changed (if anything). stay tuned...

Military, law enforcement caught in FBI drug sting

FBI agents posing as cocaine traffickers in Arizona caught 16 current and former US soldiers and law enforcement personnel who took about $220,000 in bribes to help move the drugs through checkpoints, Justice Department officials said yesterday.

Rebuffing Bush, 132 Mayors Embrace Kyoto Rules

132 mayors have joined a bipartisan coalition to fight global warming on the local level, in an implicit rejection of the administration's policy.

More Karpinski

“I can tell you with certainty that the MPs (military police) certainly did not design those techniques, they certainly did not come to Abu Ghraib or to Iraq with dog collars and dog leashes.”

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Here's a rundown of the important Iraq stories the MSM likes to pretend aren't out there.

Koran on the crapper

I don't even want to call it an allegation. It's an alleged allegation," said Lawrence DiRita, the Pentagon spokesman. "We've not seen any specific allegation. We've seen an article in a news magazine that says this may have happened."

Well, that and several independent "alleged allegations" going back a year...

Bush's Business teacher calls him a Robber Baron

Yoshi Tsurumi is a professor of international business at Baruch College. He earned his Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard in 1968, and he taught at Harvard Business School from 1972 to 1976.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

A recruitment center is shot at. In Baghdad? Faluja? No, it was in Colorado and it’s just the latest in a string of troubles for Military recruiters.

For some reason, people just aren’t signing up like the military would like. For the Army, this was the third straight month it missed recruiting targets. Figures for May are projected to fall short again. The Army is 15 percent behind its goals for the fiscal year, now over halfway through. For the Marines, April was the fourth straight month of missed targets. Both the Army Reserves and the Army National Guard have consistently fallen short of goals for several months. "The problem is that no one wants to join," a recruiter said. "We have to play fast and loose with the rules just to get by."

“Fast and loose” means telling possible recruits how to cheat on drug tests and where to get a fake High School diploma. That’s what was secretly recorded by a high school student doing some investigative reporting. The Army itself reports a sharp increase in substantiated cases of recruitment improprieties over the past several years—from 199 in 1999 to 320 in 2004. The number of recruiters investigated rose to 1,118—nearly 20 percent of all Army recruiters. In addition to cheating on tests and hiding records, offenses included incidents in which recruiters threatened enlistees or falsely promised them that they would not be sent to Iraq if they entered the Army. The Army currently is investigating 480 allegations of improper conduct by Army recruiters this fiscal year. The military is going to take a day of from recruiting for "values training."

Recruitment is now so difficult, the US Army has widened a scheme to offer would-be soldiers the option to sign up for just 15 months. But at the same time, The Pentagon has enacting "stop loss" policies that prevent some soldiers from leaving the military. They have tapped the Individual Ready Reserve, soldiers who thought they had severed ties with the military years ago. Critics have said these policies are part of a "back door draft."

Is anybody surprised that recruitment is down, when 1616 soldiers have died in Iraq so far? And remember the body armor that Rumsfeld promised the troops? Some soldiers only have the armor thanks to family and friends. And the Marine Corps just recalled 5,277 body-armor vests. In all, the Marines bought about 19,000 Interceptor outer tactical vests from Point Blank Body Armor that failed government tests due to "multiple complete penetrations" of 9 mm pistol rounds and other ballistic or quality-assurance tests. After being questioned about the safety flaws for this story, the Marines ordered the recall of 5,277 Interceptor vests on Wednesday. The Corps has not said what it intends to do with more than 4,000 vests still in use.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Karpinski speaks out

It was only a matter of time. She's been vocal since the scandal began, and when they demoted her earlier this month, I knew we'd hear from her again.

Notice that the
ABC News article calls her "Head of Abu Ghraib Prison" in the headline. She was the commander of three large US- and British-led prisons in Iraq in 2003, eight battalions, and 3400 Army reservists. When the story broke she said that the particular wing of the prison where the abuses took place was under control of military intelligence "twenty-four hours a day." She also claimed that Intelligence officials always had control of that wing and then official control of the prison was given to intelligence officials.

And of course, all of a sudden, the shop-lifting charge is mentioned. Here's Karpinski's explanation.

Counter-Coulter Time

Ann really outdid herself this time. Her new collumn "EVER HAVE ONE OF THOSE MILLENNIA?" is about those wacky Liberal's crazy predictions about Iraq.

Is she serious? (I have decided not). I'm sure "Liberals" have made incorrect predictions about Iraq...but we have a multitude of great predictions gone wrong from "Conservatives" including GEORGE BUSH, DONALD RUMSFELD, CONDI RICE, etc. But Ann goes after Joe Conason, Katrina vanden Heuvel, and Trudy Rubin. Who are these people? I'm a "Liberal" and I've never heard of them. And I don't think their predictions bend and create U.S. policy.

Here's irony. Ann cites a poll by the International Republican Institute to prove a point one minute. The next minute she's deriding Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin for predicting that if elections were held, the new Iraqi government "will likely be dominated by religious parties."

He wasn't the only person who thought that at the time. A poll by the International Republican Institute found that Iraqi's thought the same thing!

I wanted to find some of Ann's own predictions about Iraq but her collumns from that time period have been scrubbed from her website. Plus, predicting requires a form of analysis that I think is way beyond Ann's abilities. But here is an old Ann quote about Iraq:

"The Times also assured its readers that there is "no reliable evidence" that Saddam is connected to the Sept. 11 attack or to al-Qaida. What liberals mean by "no evidence" is always that there is lots of evidence, but arguably not enough to convince an O.J. jury."

No Ann, I think we meant "NO EVIDENCE."

Who owns who?

Remember Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's recent visit to Crawford? We saw pictures of them holding hands on TV and the talking heads explained that Bush was going to talk Abdullah into selling more oil so that the prices go down. After the meeting Bush said that there was nothing he could do about oil prices. But while Bush didn't get what he "wanted," Abdullah did.

"After Sept. 11, Bush reluctantly allowed the State Department to impose some tightened restrictions on Saudi visitors attempting to enter the United States. Up until then, all a Saudi citizen had to do was fill out a form at a travel agent's office and they were here in a jiffy. That's just what the 15 Saudi hijackers did.
But the tighter restrictions required security reviews and sometimes long waits. Saudi businessmen whined about the inconvenience, and after a few of them were denied visas, they went to the prince. He carried their complaints to the president, who listened.
In a remarkably under-reported story, the Arab News carried an announcement from James C. Oberwetter, the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, declaring that visa restrictions for Saudi visitors would be eased."


Custer Battles fraud charges

Hundreds of pages of documents provided to The Washington Post by the whistle-blowers' lawyers provide a fuller picture of the allegations at the heart of the lawsuit, which is the first involving allegations of fraud by contractors in Iraq to become public.

War, documents, and Bush's desk

The recently discovered documents that prove that Bush planned to oust Saddam a year before the attack reminds me of when reporters were asking Bush if he was going to attack Iraq and he kept talking about his desk.

5/23/02 "I told the Chancellor that I have no war plans on my desk, which is the truth."

5/26/02 "And as I told President Chirac, I have no war plans on my desk."

6/13/02 "I told the Prime Minister there are no war plans on my desk."

Now remember, everybody knew Bush would attack Iraq. The controversy was over where the plans were. You see, war plans are classified and people were worried that, with all the visitors Bush gets, a war plan on his desk could compromise national security. Thankfully, Bush assured us that the plans were safe, and not just sitting on his desk.

The 1st mention of Luis Posada Carriles I've seen in the MSM

ABC News has the story

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Luis Posada Carriles - the terrorist Bush doesn't want you to know about

News articles from GoogleNews

My favorite quote about Gannon from the Vanity Fair piece

There is much "misinformation" about him in circulation, but he won't say what it is. His "team of lawyers," whom he won't identify, is weighing possible libel, slander, and defamation-of-character charges against unspecified parties for offenses he will not disclose.

Wow! That sure clears things up. Nobody will continue to circulate misinformation now!

It's good to have friends in high places for Halliburton

Despite ongoing investigations of fruad, and DOD Audits that find that Halliburton has overcharged U.S. taxpayers $212 Million, the Army just awarded Cheney's company a $79 million bonus for "very good" or "excellent" work.

Word from Mullah Omar

Abdul Latif Hakimi says Omar says no to amnesty.

$45 case of soda tastes better than if it was $7

No one can argue that Halliburton didn't overcharge America for food. But Fox news argues that it is GOOD food.

The Attack against Social Security

I am convinced that Bush's true goal is to bankrupt and destroy our social security. Here is some very recent analysis to back up my claim:

Under a fair comparison, middle-class families would face larger cuts under the president's plan than if nothing was done to address the Social Security shortfall. See this article for figures and charts.

Nobel winners and top academics fumble the sorts of decisions Bush's Social Security overhaul plan would ask average Americans to make.

Bush logic: Social Security is running out of money, so we should divert some of the money that is going into it for something else.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bush says Roosevelt betrayed Eastern Europe

"Bush was simply engaging in cheap historical revisionism. His glib comments belong to the Ann Coulter school of history."
from the article Once Again, the Big Yalta Lie

A quote that could apply to the Filibuster war

"I don't believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest. Surely we Republicans aren't that desperate for victory. While it might be a fleeting victory for the Republican Party, it would be a more lasting defeat for the American people. Surely it would ultimately be suicide for the Republican Party and the two-party system that has protected our American liberties from the dictatorship of a one-party system." -Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine 1950
Quote found in the article The Not-So-Secret History of Filibusters

Letter To Bush By 88 Congressmen Asking For Explanation Of British Memo

May 5, 2005
The Honorable George W. BushPresident of the United States of AmericaThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write because of troubling revelations in the Sunday London Times apparently confirming that the United States and Great Britain had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action. While various individuals have asserted this to be the case before, including Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Richard Clarke, a former National Security Council official, they have been previously dismissed by your Administration. However, when this story was divulged last weekend, Prime Minister Blair's representative claimed the document contained "nothing new." If the disclosure is accurate, it raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own Administration.
The Sunday Times obtained a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British Government. Among other things, the document revealed:
Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a July 2002 meeting, at which he discussed military options, having already committed himself to supporting President Bush's plans for invading Iraq.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged that the case for war was "thin" as "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran."
A separate secret briefing for the meeting said that Britain and America had to "create" conditions to justify a war.
A British official "reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
As a result of this recent disclosure, we would like to know the following:
Do you or anyone in your Administration dispute the accuracy of the leaked document?
Were arrangements being made, including the recruitment of allies, before you sought Congressional authorization go to war? Did you or anyone in your Administration obtain Britain's commitment to invade prior to this time?
Was there an effort to create an ultimatum about weapons inspectors in order to help with the justification for the war as the minutes indicate?
At what point in time did you and Prime Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade Iraq?
Was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy as the leaked document states?
We have of course known for some time that subsequent to the invasion there have been a variety of varying reasons proffered to justify the invasion, particularly since the time it became evident that weapons of mass destruction would not be found. This leaked document - essentially acknowledged by the Blair government - is the first confirmation that the rationales were shifting well before the invasion as well.
Given the importance of this matter, we would ask that you respond to this inquiry as promptly as possible. Thank you.
Link to copy of letter

Son of Star Wars (the dumb missle)

I love this opening line:
"The United States' anti-missile defence program has to be the most idiotic military decision since the Trojans allowed the Greeks to wheel a large wooden horse through the gates of Troy. The Trojans, after all, didn't know what was inside the horse — and getting it cost them no money."
from U.S. inventing threats to justify nuclear build-up in the Toronto Star

Casey, October Suprise, and a Bohemian Grove photo

A photo without Casey as evidence he wasn't at Bohemian Grove that weekend.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Gannon is divorced from reality

On his blog, he writes:
May 7, 2005"How are you going to work with these people?"My question of January 26 to President Bush becomes more and more relevant with every passing week. At least Tom Daschle's rhetoric was more elegant than that of Harry "soup lines" Reid. The Democratic leader's latest crass outburst emphasizes the desperation of the radicalized Senate minority.

He calls Senator Reid "Harry 'soup lines' Reid." It was Rush Limbaugh who mentioned Reid and "soup lines" in the same sentance. And it was Gannon's false attribution of the "soup lines" line to Reid that (in part) began Gannon's demise. He just still don't get!

Vanity Fair article on Gannon

here it is...

Conspiracy Planet takes on Gannon

This is an interesting read

Baptist Pastor evicts those who don't support Bush

Boston Globe

LA Times



Bush won't be arrested by the Dutch

A Dutch judge has ruled that US President George W. Bush can visit the Netherlands as planned this weekend and should not be arrested.

Whatever happened to Mullah Omar?

When the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, Mullah Omar was the top Taliban guy and one of the "most wanted." It's been years since I heard his name mentioned and was wondering what became of the Hunt for Omar.

The Rewards for Justice website still lists the reward for his capture at $10 million.

He is not one of the FBI's "most" wanted.

The Afghanisitan government has offered him amnesty (though the US will still apprehend those given amnesty by the Aftghan government).

An interesting side note: Abu Farraj al-Libbi was not on any of the lists and the US government had not offered a reward for his capture, but now that he's been apprehended by Pakastan, Bush said his capture was a "critical victory." "His arrest removes a dangerous enemy who was a direct threat to America and for those who love freedom," Bush said. The MSM says he was Al Queda's No.3 guy. Why weren't we looking for him?

No-fly list "terror suspect" invited to Whitehouse dinner

They hassle him when he flies. They raid his home. Now Bush wants to have dinner with him...it's a fundraiser.

Frist Building protest

Princeton students protest the Senate's attack on the filibuster at the Frist building.