Olbermann’s Rebuttal to Rumsfeld’s Idiocy

August 31, 2006 at 9:32 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seriously, how blind are conservatives these days? Why do they let charlatans like Rumsfeld say what he says? The following is Kieth Olbermann’s rebuttal to Rumsfeld’s idiotic speech the previous day in which he called opposers of the war in Iraq appeasers of terrorists.

That about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused… is simply this:

This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely. And as such,

all voices count — not just his. Had he or his President perhaps

proven any of their prior claims of omniscience – about Osama Bin

Laden’s plans five years ago – about Saddam Hussein’s weapons four years ago

– about Hurricane Katrina’s impact one* year ago – we all might be able to

swallow hard, and accept their omniscience as a bearable, even useful

recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own

arrogance, and its own hubris.

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or

intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to

Katrina, to the entire “Fog of Fear” which continues to enveloppe this

nation – he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies, have – inadvertently

or intentionally – profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and

the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the

Emporer’s New Clothes.

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised?

As a child, of whose heroism did he read?

On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day

to fight?

With what country has he confused… the United States of



The confusion we — as its citizens – must now address, is

stark and forbidding. But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when

men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and

obscured our flag. Note – with hope in your heart – that those earlier

Americans always found their way to the light… and we can, too.

The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and

this Administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the

terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for

which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City,

so valiantly fought.


And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country

faces a “new type of fascism.”

As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew

everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he

said that — though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.

This country faces a new type of fascism – indeed.


Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble

tribute… I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist

Edward R. Murrow.

But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I

come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of

us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew

everything, and branded those who disagreed, “confused” or “immoral.”

Thus forgive me for reading Murrow in full:

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty,” he said, in 1954.

“We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction

depends upon evidence and due process of law.

“We will not walk in fear – one, of another. We will not be

driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history

and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men;

“Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to

defend causes that were – for the moment – unpopular.”

Democrats ARE Strong on Terror

August 30, 2006 at 2:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Well said Mr. Frank, well said! He lays it out in an op-ed in the Boston Globe, how the real war against terror is taking place in Afghanistan. How many Democrats voted for the war in Afghanistan? All but one! So there goes the argument that Democrats are soft on terror. The real battle against terror is in Afghanistan. Don’t let the wiley charlatan Republican leaders fool you. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Even Bush admitted this just recently. So…..what are we doing in Iraq?

Cut Through the Hysteria and See the Man Behind the Wizard

August 30, 2006 at 11:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Over on Talking Points Memo, Matthew Yglesias cuts through the bullcrap that keeps spewing out of right wingers’s mouths. It’s funny when you actually look at all the facts just how hyperparanoid conservatives are. They really believe this crap. They really are blinded and foolish. Moreover, I think they are attempting to divert attention from the debacle in Iraq, the horrendous non-actions with Katrina, and so on. Take a look at Santorum here in Pennsylvania talking up Iran as the “enemy of our generation!”

Let’s crunch the numbers shall we. Yglesias links to several citations about military budgets in the Middle East. Let’s take a look, shall we.

Iran’s 2005 military budget at $6.2 billion

Iran’s defense budget remains a fraction of the expenditure of its Arab neighbors in the Persian Gulf in per capita terms, according to the latest edition of Military Balance.

The spending by Iran is also the least as a percentage of the country’s gross national product (GNP) in the region with the exception of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Military Balance, published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, puts Iran’s defense budget for 2005 at $6.2 billion.

Saudi Arabia spends $25.2 billion – Israel spends $9.6 billion on military budget

And according to that source, the United States spent $478 billion in 2005 on defense. If you think about it, proportionally speaking, we’re not getting the bang for our buck……

Meanwhile, Pakistan increases military budget by 15%

Pakistan recently unveiled a 1.09 trillion rupee (USD $18.16 billion) national budget for 2005-2006. The budget increased defense expenditures from 194 billion rupees in 2004-2005 to 223 billion rupees, a rise of more than 15%. Spending on development will also rise, and the overall increase in expenditures is 21%.

The largest single item is for the country’s debt payments, which amount to more than 300 billion rupees. The government also vowed June 6 to undertake a wide network of roads, dams and other infrastructural work under the 272-billion-rupee Public Sector Development Program.

Pakistan also is a dictatorship, sits on nuclear weapons, and is where Bin Laden is purpotedly hiding….Does it strike anyone that this is odd?

Currently the entire world is spending nearly One Trillion Dollars!!!! on arms sales and military expenditures, with the United States taking about 45% of the total. Spencer W. Kimball was right.

We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel — ships, planes, missiles, fortifications — and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching.

Calls for Peace fall on deaf ears in the last days

Bush Hosts Kazakh Dictator at White House

August 29, 2006 at 8:06 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Showing that they really do not stand for democracy in any and all places around the world, Bush and Cheney are hosting Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Oh by the way, Kazakh sits on a bunch of oil……just FYI

Cheney shows just how duplicitious he really is:

In addition to Nazarbayev’s upcoming visit, Vice President Cheney went to the former Soviet republic in May to praise him as a friend, a trip that drew criticism because it came the day after Cheney criticized Russia for retreating from democracy. The latest invitation has sparked outrage among Kazakh opposition.

so…….as long as they are our dictators, they are okay?

Irony: Religious Zealots Want War

August 28, 2006 at 10:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I made the following comment on Belgravia Dispatch:

Isn’t it interesting that on both sides the only parties that really want to fight each other are the religious zealots, both in Christian and Muslim world…..more secular people want to live in peace.

It’s a shame really, what better way to further undermine the good names of Christ and Mohammed than this? That religious fanatics on both sides of the isle advocate war and murder…..

Can we trust the Lord to protect us from our enemies? Or do we look to the “priests of Baal” for our protection?

Missile Defense Shield Shenanigans

August 28, 2006 at 6:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rumsfeld is up in Alaska visiting the MDS main hub and saying foolish things about North Korea, how NK is not a threat to South Korea, (even though NK could probably wipe out Seoul in half an hour with all its forces just 30 miles from Seoul!). But we’ve never known Rumsfeld to be a bright guy. In any case, look at the following report and see how the generals are “lowering their expectations,” “moving the goalposts” so that the main objective of their missile defense shield test is NOT to destroy the target, but merely SPOT the target!

“We are not going to try to hit the target,” said Scott Fancher, head of Boeing Co.’s ground-based missile defense program. “It is not a primary or secondary test objective to hit the target.”

After a tour of the missile interceptor silos here Sunday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said that although he wanted to see a “full end-to-end test,” he was patient. He rejected suggestions that the system should try to hit the target this time.

“Why not proceed in an orderly way with the kind of the test expert people [want to do]?” Rumsfeld told reporters. “They do not have to do it to demonstrate to you.”

Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry “Trey” Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said it was “possible” the kill vehicle would take out the missile even though that was not a goal. But the military, he said, is focused on making sure a redesigned kill vehicle is able to spot the target missile, distinguish between its booster stage and warhead, and communicate with the control centers on the ground.

“This is about as good as it gets in terms of a system test,” Obering said.

The general has said several times that he believes the missile defense system can shoot down a long-range North Korean missile aimed at the United States.

What?!?!?!? What the!?!?! After billions of dollars spent, the best they can come up with is a system where they are so afraid to test an actual HIT that they only want their target to be spotted?

I smell a political ploy here. Lower the expectation to just “spotting the target,” so that when the missile actually destroys the target they can crow and gloat and bow and worship at their god of steel and iron actually doing its job of protecting them. I wonder though what will happen when America’s “priests of Baal fail to call down fire”. Will Americans realize the folly of trusting the arms of flesh for their protection?

Krauthammer Is Just Itchin’ For a Fight With Iran….

August 24, 2006 at 11:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

you can read it in his op-ed in the Washington Post.

Realistically speaking, the point of this multilateral exercise cannot be to stop Iran’s nuclear program by diplomacy. That has always been a fantasy. It will take military means. There would be terrible consequences from an attack. These must be weighed against the terrible consequences of allowing an openly apocalyptic Iranian leadership to acquire weapons of genocide.

The point of the current elaborate exercise in multilateral diplomacy is to slightly alter that future calculation. By demonstrating extraordinary forbearance and accommodation, perhaps we will have purchased the acquiescence of our closest allies — Britain, Germany and, yes, France — to a military strike on that fateful day when diplomacy has run its course.

Yeah, you go get them! Can you sense the fate of inevitability? All the “multilateral diplomacy” is just a show, just a ruse, in his eyes. It’s only meant to delay the inevitable. War with Iran. What a sad little man is Mr. Krauthammer. Why are people listening to him?

On Iran…..

August 24, 2006 at 8:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Royal Institue of International Affairs at Chatham House in England has released a report in which they assert that Iran is now the key power in the Middle East and Iraq. It reports:

“There is little doubt that Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the War on Terror in the Middle East,” says the report from Chatham House’s Middle East Programme.

“The United States, with coalition support, has eliminated two of Iran’s regional rival governments – the Taleban in Afghanistan in November 2001 and Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq in April 2003 – but has failed to replace either with coherent and stable political structures.”

I bring this up on the heels of Republican representative Hoekstra’s report criticizing America’s lack of clear intelligence on Iran, or more cynically said, American intelligence not fitting Mr. Hoekstra’s ideology. Mr. Hoekstra is in line with those who would like to pop the head off the snake in Iran, irregardless of what the facts on the ground are. Similarly to the situation in Iraq, even though Powell said in February 2001 that the sanctions worked and Saddam hadn’t reconstituted his weapons programs, and that no WMDs were found in Iraq, these fearmongers and warmongers don’t particularly care. Ah, the inconvenience of not having the facts fit the ideology…..

The problem, as is evidenced today in the Middle East, is that our own strategy, Bush’s Doctrine, Cheney’s One Percent Doctrine, gave the Middle East to Iran on a silver platter.

Saddam is a Sunni, and Sunnis are a minority in Iraq, at about 30% or so. The large majority in Iraq are Shi’ites, at about 60% or so. The remainder are Kurds and other smaller groups. Iran is 90% Shi’ite. The Shi’ites in Iraq have been looking towards help from Iran for decades against Saddam. Saddam was what kept the Iranians in check from dominating Iraq. Now Saddam is gone and through democratic processes, the Shi’ites with strong ties to Iran now control Iraq—or at least the Shi’ite portion. The Sunnis knew what would happen the moment Saddam was taken out: Iran would take revenge on them for their aggresive war against Iran. That’s why they revolted against the US occupation and have been fighting so hard against the Shi’ites.

The stupidity of Bush’s Doctrine is that it did not destroy terrorism, nor terrorists. As I’ve quoted numerous times, Porter Goss, head of CIA testified in front of the Senate that Islamic jihadists were using the War in Iraq as a recruiting tool for more recruits. The stupidity of Bush’s Doctrine is that it exacerbated terrorism so now we are far less safer than ever before. The stupidity of Bush’s Doctrine is that so much of our effort has been expended in Iraq at such a high cost that can we even afford or have the tools and recruits needed for a real fight against a real enemy anytime soon? The stupidity of Bush’s Doctrine is that he has not asked Americans to sacrifice to pay for this war, and now we will be in red financially as far as the eye can see. Tell me what business can run on red indefinitely? How can a country run on red indefinitely? At some point, it will do us irreprable harm. When will that moment be? I doubt it will be in Bush’s lifetime. I doubt he will be around to pay this debt. He’ll leave it on future generations. The stupidity of Bush’s Doctrine is that our children and our children’s children will come to hate our selfish and selfserving generation. This will be considered the worst time in American history!

I am curious if conservatives can actually name one “success” in Bush’s Doctrine so far. Yes, you’ve removed Saddam, but now Iran runs Iraq. Is that really a “success?” Yes, Lebanon broke the bands of Syrian bonds, but you sacrificed the Cedar Revolution on the altar of Israeli defense. Is that a success? The Taliban still kill Americans and foreigners and those who work for foreigners in Afghanistan. Is this a success? 3400 Iraqi civilians were killed in July of violent deaths. Is this a success? Is that what you view as a successful strategy? Three times British Muslims have attempted to murder their own or Americans, twice succeeding. Is this success? Take a look at the State Department’s Travel Warnings pages and see what they say. For example, this is what they say about Iraq: The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq, which remains very dangerous. Is this success? Some might say, “we haven’t had enough time yet.” But, it took Roosevelt three and a half years to thoroughly defeat his enemies and fundamentally alter the entire world. We’ve now been in Iraq for three and a half years. Why is it still so dangerous to go into just one country? Is this success?

On Iran though, it seems that Republicans don’t want peace. CATO’s Justin Logan has the following to say about the neo-conservative strategy:

Neoconservative grumbling about diplomacy is nothing new, but this tone has become increasingly common. Regarding Syria, Iran, anywhere, if diplomacy can’t provide a slam-dunk, total, and complete resolution of all the issues, then it’s held out as a worthless exercise in jaw-jawing.

To some extent the point is well-taken: Diplomacy can be difficult, and can fail, and it always produces temporary, imperfect solutions. But that’s the point: all foreign policies produce temporary, imperfect solutions. Crusading in search of silver bullets puts us in predicaments like those of Iraq.

In the course of pooh-poohing talks with the Syrians, for example, we’re regaled with tales of how past dialogues have failed to wean them away from their client Hezbollah, and how the Assad regime is still, well, nasty. Since Iran hasn’t agreed to capitulate before even coming to the negotiating table, the supposed uselessness of diplomacy is demonstrated.

But the point isn’t to hold diplomacy out as the way to magically eliminate foreign policy problems. There is no way to eliminate problems in foreign affairs entirely. But diplomacy is a tool for managing crises, and for finding limited areas to cooperate or compromise.

By setting the standard for diplomacy so high as to demand a nice, neat, tied-up-with-a-ribbon solution in order to prove success, neoconservatives are framing the debate such that diplomacy is always a sure-fire “failure.” That’s harmful, because it misconstrues the choices and unnecessarily limits our options.

It makes it hard to see neo-conservatives interested in desiring anything but war. This is clearly the case when you read Max Boot articles and op-eds. They really think violence will solve their problems. The important question is, why are people listening to them?

Iran and Intelligence; Iraq and 9/11; Bush and America’s Psyche

August 24, 2006 at 2:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Three things. All related. All showing the bamboozlement continues.


A Republican prepared report criticizes the intelligence community for not keeping up with Republican ideology on Iran. That’s basically the gist of it.

A key House committee issued a stinging critique of U.S. intelligence on Iran yesterday, charging that the CIA and other agencies lack “the ability to acquire essential information necessary to make judgments” on Tehran’s nuclear program, its intentions or even its ties to terrorism.

The 29-page report, principally written by a Republican staff member on the House intelligence committee who holds a hard-line view on Iran, fully backs the White House position that the Islamic republic is moving forward with a nuclear weapons program and that it poses a significant danger to the United States. But it chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support that assertion.

“American intelligence agencies do not know nearly enough about Iran’s nuclear weapons program” to help policymakers at a critical time, the report’s authors say. Information “regarding potential Iranian chemical weapons and biological weapons programs is neither voluminous nor conclusive,” and little evidence has been gathered to tie Iran to al-Qaeda and to the recent fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, they say.

The report relies exclusively on publicly available documents. Its authors did not interview intelligence officials. Still, it warns the intelligence community to avoid the mistakes made regarding weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war, noting that Iran could easily be engaged in “a denial and deception campaign to exaggerate progress on its nuclear program as Saddam Hussein apparently did concerning his WMD programs.”

Darn, Mr. Hoekstra, sucks when the facts don’t fit your preconceived ideology, don’t it? Mayhap you should follow the facts, not fears.


Bush is now going negative on the war in Iraq. He now says that this war strains the nation’s psyche, and that not following his plan could be worse. Really? Worse than a destabilized Iraq? Worse than an Iraq with strong Iranian influence now? Worse than 3400 civilians dying per month from violent deaths? Worse than our credibility being shot in the Middle East? Worse than having tens of thousands of Iraqis chanting “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!”

So what is worse Mr. President?

Oh, and when will a member of the “press” corps actually do their job and “press” him to elaborate?


Did Iraq have anything to do with 9/11? Not according to Bush, but we know who really runs this kingship, don’t we…..

Israeli Military Leader Admits Mistakes

August 24, 2006 at 7:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Israel’s top military leader admits mistakes in handling the war on Hezbollah. Ah, if only America’s top military leader (Mr. Rumsfeld) would be this honest…..

Ah Those Sweet Sounds…..

August 23, 2006 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What are they? A Conservative saying Bill Clinton was right. It is a beautiful sound. Much rejoicing abounds. 🙂

A Look at Bush’s Talking Points

August 23, 2006 at 1:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Over on the Huffington Post, Bob Harris shows Bush’s notes in his press conference on Monday. As Mr. Harris says towards the end, “Pretty damn depressing.”

Fearmongers and The Domino Effect

August 23, 2006 at 10:57 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Once again, yet another fearmonger writes how terrible it would be for the United States to leave Iraq to its own troubles. This particular fearmonger says that what will happen will be that Iran will then take over Iraq, because, after all, 60% of Iraqis are Shi’ites, like most Iranians.

Didn’t we hear this argument before? The Domino Effect. Why go into Vietnam? To stop the Soviets from converting one nation into communism that would then lead to others, and others until the US is left alone, (so powerfully effected in the movie Red Dawn). But is that what happened in Vietnam? Did Vietnam’s neighbors and other countries around the world turn to communism in the dreaded Domino Effect?

What fearmongers like Mr. Rassam fail to mention is that we CHOSE to enter Iraq and create the destabilized situation that now exists there. Iran could not create a strong influence in Iraq if it were not for our ineptitude! In other words, WE GAVE IRAN IRAQ ON A SILVER PLATTER! and now these fearmongers complain about Iranian influence in Iraq. What foolishness! Mr. Rassam, what do you think kept Iranian influence at bay in Iraq? Mr. Rassam, why do you think Ronald Reagan and Donald Rumsfeld were doing in the 1980s supporting Saddam’s aggressive and illegal war on Iran? Why do you think they supported this monster then? Now you created a vaccum into which strong Iranian influence fills the void. It is people like YOU, Mr. Rassam, that GAVE the Iranians Iraq. When will people like you be held accountable?

Bush’s Horrible Press Conference

August 23, 2006 at 10:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fred Kaplan on Slate has a great breakdown of Bush’s terrible press conference. Oh where are the journalists who ask tough questions? Why do they let him off the hook so easily!

How Easily Some Americans Advocate War…..

August 23, 2006 at 9:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Take a look at this from Mario Loyola, obviously not one of the sharpest saws in the toolbox. He recommends the following action on Iran, after Iran barred UN nuclear inspectors to view one location:

If this story is true, we should bomb the facilities right now. Article 51 of the U.N. Charter preserves the right of self-defense in cases of armed aggression. For Iran to hide a batch of LEU is not only a violation of the nonproliferation treaty, but also, strategically speaking, an act of armed aggression, because it is the last moment at which the scope of Iran’s enrichment activities can be known with any certainty. Assuming the story is true, if we don’t attack now, the optimal window for self-defense will close and any future military operation may have to be much more expansive in scope and would have a greatly diminished probability of success. At least now we know where this batch of LEU is. Within days the batch could be at another — totally clandestine — facility. And we will then find ourselves in a brave new world.

Woah, talk about the politics of fear! Not only is this full of fearmongering, but Mr. Loyola doesn’t seem to know what an “act of armed aggression” is, or what Article 51 of the UN Charter is about. Matt Yglesias responds well on Talking Points Memo to this falsity:

Since in times of peace conservatives usually make no bones about the fact that they don’t care about international law it’s hard for me to understand why they go in for such tortured legal rationalizations about starting them. Article 51 preserves the “inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.” It’s right there in the text — armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations. Violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty is not an armed attack against the United States or any other country. This is pretty clear-cut. If anyone would have an Article 51 case in the event of the Loyola Plan being implemented it would obviously be Iran, the country subjected to an armed attack (veto power comes in handy here).

How does someone as foolish and ignorant like Mr. Loyola get not only a pulpit from which to spew out his vitriol, but even have a readership? What does this say about his readers?

The Bambozzlement Is Complete

August 22, 2006 at 10:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Yes, Republicans really believe Democrats are soft on terror. They really bought into Rove’s lie. Jonathan Chait has a great analysis of Republicans, normal lay members, as well as knowledgable pundits and bloggers (like Andrew Sullivan), truly believing in their hearts that only Republicans are strong on terror.

Oh when will they wake up?

Good Devotional on Wars and the Gospel

August 21, 2006 at 3:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

R. Kirk Belnap gave a great devotional at BYU entitled “Wars, Rumors of Wars, and Wise and Faithful Servants.” It is nice to see church leaders emphasizing the importance of showing love and charity to our friends, neighbors and enemies around the world. Would that all Mormons learn this and stop advocating wars…….

The Difference Between America and Britain

August 21, 2006 at 11:19 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here is why we cannot follow Britain’s example in profiling Middle Easterners. Take a look at this article which shows how Pakistanis in America fit in with Americans, compared to Pakistanis in Britain.

Yet one major difference between the United States and Britain, some say, is the United States’ historical ideal of being a melting-pot meritocracy.

“You can keep the flavor of your ethnicity, but you are expected to become an American,” said Omer Mozaffar, 34, a Pakistani-American raised here who is working toward a doctorate in Islamic studies at the University of Chicago.

Britain remains far more rigid. In the United States, for example, Pakistani physicians are more likely to lead departments at hospitals or universities than they are in Britain, said Dr. Tariq H. Butt, a 52-year-old family physician who arrived in the United States 25 years ago for his residency.

The Evil Pedophiles

August 21, 2006 at 11:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New York Times has a great article on the dangers of pedophiles and their increasing sophisitcation. Forget terrorists, these are the worst of the worst kinds of people out there! Put them in jail for the rest of their lives. Keep them away from the children!

Keep These In Mind

August 21, 2006 at 10:50 am | Posted in War on Terror | 3 Comments

In debating the situation in Iraq, two particular incidents must be kept in mind of deliberate lies to keep the discussion within a certain Republican script. One is Colin Powell speaking in Egypt in February 2001 about the sanctions in Iraq. He says:

We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions — the fact that the sanctions exist — not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein’s ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq…

That link to the Memory Hole also quotes Powell in a Senate Subcommittee, as well as Condolezza Rice who also thought Iraq was weak.

The second is probably more pernicious. Who out there thinks that Saddam kicked the inspectors out in 1998? Go ahead, raise your hands. Take your hands off the keyboard for a second and raise them if you think so. Now take a look at this.

Since January 1999, the Washington Post has spun a tall tale about the 1998collapse of U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq and the U.S.-British airstrikesthat followed. Not only has the Post rewritten Iraqi history, but thepaper’s new version of events contradicts its own coverage from the time ofthe airstrikes. Despite running several letters to the editor pointing outthe mistake, the paper has repeated the error again and again. How manytimes can one newspaper get the same fact wrong?

The story centers on the Iraq crisis that broke out on December 16, 1998.Richard Butler, head of the United Nations weapons inspection team in Iraq,had just released a report accusing the Iraqi regime of obstructing U.N.weapons checks. On the basis of that report, President Clinton announced hewould launch airstrikes against Iraqi targets. Out of concern for theirsafety, Butler withdrew his inspectors from Iraq, and the U.S.-Britishbombing proceeded.

The Washington Post reported all these facts correctly at the time: ADecember 18 article by national security correspondent Barton Gellmanreported that “Butler ordered his inspectors to evacuate Baghdad, inanticipation of a military attack, on Tuesday night.”

But in the 14 months since then, the Washington Post has again and againtried to rewrite history–claiming that Saddam Hussein expelled the U.N.inspectors from Iraq. Despite repeated attempts by its readers to set therecord straight in letters to the editor, the Post has persisted inreporting this fiction.

Not only did Saddam Hussein not order the inspectors’ retreat, but Butler’sdecision to withdraw them was–to say the least–highly controversial. TheWashington Post (12/17/98) reported that as Butler was drafting his reporton Iraqi cooperation, U.S. officials were secretly consulting with him abouthow to frame his conclusions.

As the website says, the Washington Post was not the only one to say this. This is President Bush in the 2002 State of the Union address:

This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens; leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections; then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

FAIR also shows a comparison in news media sources, comparing what they said in 1998 with what they said in 2002 to show how the lie was produced. Take a look.

“Butler abruptly pulled all of his inspectors out of Iraq shortly after handing Annan a report yesterday afternoon on Baghdad’s continued failure to cooperate with UNSCOM, the agency that searches for Iraq’s prohibited weapons of mass destruction.”

— Newsday, 12/17/98

“The reason Hussein gave was that the U.N. inspectors’ work was completed years ago, before he kicked them out in 1998, and they dismantled whatever weapons they found. That’s disingenuous.”

–Newsday editorial, 8/14/02

Here is the Neo-cons website, Project for the New American Century, that also shows this lie:

“But just five days later, Kofi Annan struck yet another “deal” with the Iraqi dictator–which once more gave U.N. inspectors permission to inspect–and Saddam won again.

Of course, much has changed since President Clinton gave that speech. The situation has gotten worse. Ten months after Saddam accepted Annan’s offer, he kicked U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq for good.”

This website offers even more proof of what officials from Clinton to Butler actually said in 1998, and it wasn’t that Saddam kicked out the inspectors.

This article catalogs Bush’s way of lying, setting up the straw men and changing the words to fit a careful script. Evil. That’s what these men are.

I wanted to get this post to keep a reminder of these events that otherwise might get lost to history, because the lies keep being spoken so loudly that they might just soon be held as the truth. And that would be a travesty.

Bush says nobody in his administration tried to link Saddam to 9/11. Ha! More Orwellian nonsense. Thankfully the good people at Talking Points Memo have several links and here that prove otherwise. Here is Cheney saying it is irresponsible to not see the connection between Al-Qaida and Iraq. Here is Cheney further discrediting himself as an honest man. There’s plenty more out there.

8/29/06 Update:

Bush says that Iraq pullout will be decided by future presidents,

President Bush suggested yesterday that US troops might stay in Iraq beyond his presidency, which ends in 2009, saying at a press conference that the issue of removing troops from the country ”will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq.”

but meanwhile, he said this earlier:

I believe it is the job of a President to confront problems, not pass them on to future Presidents and future generations. (Applause.) And in the last four years, we have faced some problems. We faced a recession, corporate scandal. We passed tough laws now to make it abundantly clear, we will not tolerate dishonesty in the boardrooms of America. (Applause.)

We faced a terrorist attack and war. Because we confronted these challenges with focus and resolve, our nation is on the path to a better future. If America shows weakness or uncertainty in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This is not going to happen on my watch. (Applause.)

ABCNews details the CIA alternative set of procedures” that Bush wants to codify as United States policy.

The CIA sources described a list of six “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.

6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda’s toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.

“The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law,” said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch.

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