Bob's Links and Rants
Saturday, October 04, 2003
Another day, another lie
Wolfowitz and Cheney claimed that Iraq's oil could pay for Iraq's rebuilding, and soon. But the Pentagon knew better.
The New York Times is a WMD
Today's editorial starts off just as it should, pointing out that David Kay's report on Iraq's supposed weapons found nothing worthy of losing a minute's sleep over, much less starting a war over:

The most striking findings in David Kay's interim report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq are his revelations about the backward state of Iraq's chemical and nuclear programs. Based on the evidence gathered so far in three months of searching, it seems clear that these programs barely existed and posed no immediate threat to the global community. To the contrary, it looks as if international inspectors succeeded in reducing or eliminating Iraq's arsenals and dedicated production capacity.

It goes on in much the same vein, pointing out details from the findings that refute W's pre-war claims. So does the Times conclude by calling for a full investigation leading to impeachment and turning the whole criminal Bush gang over to the International Criminal Court? Of course not. They suggest going back and looking again, but getting the UN to do it, and pay for it. Why? To preserve Bush's popularity and to keep open the option for the next pre-emptive war:

Before approving that substantial sum, Congress may want to consider bringing back the U.N. inspectors, whose costs would be paid by the international community. The inspectors clearly did an effective job and have an immense store of data and experience. Their findings would look more credible in the eyes of the world. Still, the important thing is to finish this search, no matter who does it. There is always a chance that there really are some unconventional weapons tucked away somewhere. President Bush's job approval ratings, now plummeting in the polls, may depend in part on whether any weapons are ultimately found. More important, the nation needs to know whether its intelligence was way off the mark, making any further attempts at pre-emptive war problematic.

So to the Times, when the president has been shown to be a liar, and that he lied in order to break international law in order to get thousands of people killed, the most important thing to do is to try to cover for him so that he can break the law again.

All together now:


Of course, the Times may just be covering for their own. Judith Miller channelled for Ahmed Chalabi for months, repeating lie after unconfirmed lie about supposed stashes of WMD's all over Iraq. And William Safire insisted on repeating the story about hijacker Mohammed Atta meeting with an Iraqi agent in Prague long after the FBI and the Czechs had said that it probably never happened.

No, the course of action now is not still more inspections in order to save Bush's reputation and make another war possible. Here's the course of action that should be followed:
  1. Full withdrawal of all "coalition" forces from Iraq, beginning immediately and finishing by Christmas.
  2. Immediate investigation of the Bush administration leading to impeachment and criminal charges.
  3. Cancellation of all contracts with Halliburton, Bechtel and other war profiteers.
  4. Any further policing or assistance to Iraq to be handled strictly through the UN, with the US providing monetary assistance only.

If the cops raid your house based on false evidence, you would expect them to leave immediately as soon as the evidence was shown to be false. They have no right to stick around to see if maybe you'll beat your wife (or if she'll beat you), or if your daughter is downloading copyrighted music. They lied to get in--they should get out now. Even more so if they were private cops who had no jurisdiction over your house or neighborhood to begin with.

Iraq will still have problems, but with the U.S. gone they'll have one less. The same can be said for the U.S.

Friday, October 03, 2003
Why do blue-collar white men support Bush so strongly?
Arlie Hochschild has an interesting and quite convincing argument. Excerpt:

For anyone who stakes his pride on earning an honest day's pay, this economic fall is, unsurprisingly enough, hard to bear. How, then, do these blue-collar men feel about it? Ed Landry said he felt "numb." Others are anxious, humiliated and, as who wouldn't be, fearful. But in cultural terms, Nascar Dad isn't supposed to feel afraid. What he can feel though is angry. As Susan Faludi has described so well in her book Stiffed, that is what many such men feel. As a friend who works in a Maine lumber mill among blue-collar Republicans explained about his co-workers, "They felt that everyone else -- women, kids, minorities -- were all moving up, and they felt like they were moving down. Even the spotted owl seemed like it was on its way up, while he and his job, were on the way down. And he's angry."

But is that anger directed downward -- at "welfare cheats," women, gays, blacks, and immigrants -- or is it aimed up at job exporters and rich tax dodgers? Or out at alien enemies? The answer is likely to depend on the political turn of the screw. The Republicans are clearly doing all they can to aim that anger down or out, but in any case away from the rich beneficiaries of Bush's tax cut. Unhinging the personal from the political, playing on identity politics, Republican strategists have offered the blue-collar voter a Faustian bargain: We'll lift your self-respect by putting down women, minorities, immigrants, even those spotted owls. We'll honor the manly fortitude you've shown in taking bad news. But (and this is implicit) don't ask us to do anything to change that bad news. Instead of Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake," we have -- and this is Bush's twist on the old Nixonian strategy -- "let them eat war."

Happy Birthday, Jimmy Carter!
I'm watching the Braves-Cubs game on ESPN, and the announcer wishes JC a belated happy birthday (it was Wednesday). The announcer mentioned the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

I guess ESPN is trying to make up for having Rush Limbaugh on their payroll for four weeks.
Ira Chemus wonders why some things become scandals, and others don't. He points out that the Wilson-Plame affair is overshadowing the much more important debate over spending $87 billion so that Americans and Iraqis can continue to die. Even in that now-obscured debate, the argument over the $20 billion to rebuild Iraq is getting more attention than the $67 billion to keep the stupid war going. And meanwhile, the military is planning to put nukes in space, and there's no apparent scandal at all.
Sweet Home Alabama
As a former resident of Montgomery, I like to check up on what's happening in the "Heart of Dixie" from time to time. Well, things ain't good, y'all, and they're fixin' to get worse. Atrios directed me to War Liberal's Alabama page, which is busy reporting all of the cuts being made since voters turned down Republican Gov. Bob Riley's tax increase on September 9. Not to worry, there's still money for everything except schools, prisons, police, fire fighters, and everything else.

Meanwhile, the Army is burning chemical weapons in Anniston and is planning to check the effect on air quality in a couple of months. And the University of Alabama-Birmingham is busy developing biological weapons (okay, the cover story is that they're studying how to defend against bioweapons). Anyhow, you can read it and weep at War Liberal's Alabama page.
Some good local news
Bicycling options in my area have improved in recent months. The busy street that I take to go downtown, Pontiac Trail, has had bike lanes added. A new paved bike path has been constructed in Bandemer Park just across the river, and will be extended down to the Argo Dam. The top of the dam itself is being modified so it can be used (legally) as a pedestrian and bike bridge across the river. And paved shoulders have been added to Whitmore Lake Road, a pleasant country road heading north out of Ann Arbor. In addition, the city and neighboring townships have proposed a greenbelt initiative which will involve PDR's--the purchase of development rights. By buying the right to develop their land as subdivisions or shopping centers or whatever from farmers, PDR's guarantee that the land will remain undeveloped. The amount of development in Washtenaw County in the past several years has been frightening, and the traffic on formerly country roads has increased dramatically. Hopefully this will stem the tide. If you're in Ann Arbor, be sure to vote for the greenbelt in November!

We return you now to your regularly scheduled programming.
Just say something ridiculous, and the Times will change the headline
That's the lesson Bush has learned. David Kay's report pretty much cut the last remaining flamingo leg on W's lame excuses for his war of choice. But aWol goes out and lies louder, claiming the report actually vindicates him, and the NY Times gives it the headline: Bush Cites Parts of Arms Report to Justify U.S. Action in Iraq.

There goes my membership in the Bob's club...
My friend Jerri just sent me this e-mail:

Bob .... We need to get Bob Novak fired. Did you just hear him on CNN (Inside Politics) continuing to slander (right word?) Wilson and his wife with aspersions of dishonesty and extreme partisanship. We need a huge writing/calling campaign to CNN: Novak has contradicted himself re how he was given the info on Plame and he has gone on a mission to discredit Wilson and his wife. He should be permitted on CNN as a rightwing pundit only, certainly not a 'journalist' and a credible commentator.

Bob .... you know lots of people and do such a good job of getting me and others motivated. You can do it!!!! I'll help ... let's get him fired, or at least do our best.

I get almost all of my news from the Internet and only watch TV news once a month or so, and then only to see how they're covering a story, not to learn about the story. So I can't comment much on Bob Novak--but Jerri can! Here's a copy of the e-mail she sent to CNN:

Bob Novak does not belong on a credible news station. He has become an arm of the cover-up for and by this administration. His comments on tonight's "Inside Edition" were way beyond what might pass for credible commentary. He is on a mission to discredit Joe Wilson and his wife; if you must continue to use him, he should only be used as a rightwing pundit and not a 'journalist' or objective commentator.

In addition, his story has changed re how he learned about Wilson's wife's employment. Initially he spoke/wrote about being cold-called but recently he has changed his story and tried to suggest that he got the info in response to a question of his.

This will all come out eventually and Novak and CNN will not be the better for having hidden the truth.

Why not join Jerri in trying to get Novak fired? Tell 'em you want Rove, and Rummy and Rice and Dummy fired too!

What sort of question is that?
CNN has an online poll asking this question: "Do the allegations that surfaced this week about Arnold Schwarzenegger change your opinion of him?"

Not really. I thought he was a big sexist dummy all along.
Hitting Rush while he's down
In a compassionate society, people respect one another and they take responsibility for the decisions they make. The culture of America is changing from one that has said, if it feels good, just go ahead and do it, and if you've got a problem, blame somebody else, to a new culture, in which each of us understands that we are responsible for the decisions we make in life. -- aWol in his ridiculous fundraising speech in Wisconsin today.

Here's some more quotes which demonstrate that Bush's advisors never tell him...the REST of the story:

Fifty-million people, fifty-million people in those two countries once lived under tyranny, and, today, they live in freedom.

No, dimwit. Occupied nations are never free, even if the occupiers are doing a good job.

Two-and-a-half years ago, we inherited an economy in recession. And then we had the attacks on our country, coupled with the march to war, and corporate scandals. All of those events affected the confidence of the American people. But we acted. We passed tough laws to hold corporate criminals to account. And to get the economy going, I have twice led the United States Congress to pass historic tax relief for the American people. We believe and know that when people have more money in their pocket, more money to spend, to save, or invest, the whole economy grows, and someone is more likely to find a job.

Notice the slight-of-hand: he mentions tax cuts, and then suggests that when people have more money in their pocket the economy grows. Just like Iraq and al Qaeda, suggesting a connection where none exists. Most people have less money in their pocket than they did two-and-a-half years ago, and it's harder to find a job.

We passed, with the Congress, much needed spending discipline. We passed budget agreements to help hold the line on spending.

Does he believe any of this crap? He wants $87 billion to "rebuild" Iraq after spending $75 billion to destroy it, using no-bid cost-plus contracts given to major Republican donors. This is discipline?

We need to focus on results, not politics. And those are the kind of people I've surrounded myself with in Washington. I've put together a fantastic administration for the American people.

So where are they?


From Doonesbury.
Stupid is as stupid watches


Bob's Links and Rants readers didn't make the chart, since they all know both statements are false.
So what's that briefcase all about, aWol?
"Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction." -- aWol this morning, according to Atrios.

So let's see: A recent report from David Kay indicates that Iraq had no WMD's. This finding is supported by four months of UN inspections. Meanwhile, the US possesses thousands of nuclear warheads and the missiles to deliver them, as well as tons of chemical weapons, and most likely plenty of biological weapons. Not only that, the Bush administration has openly pushed for developing new nuclear weapons.

Only possible conclusion based on W's statement: While Iraq under Saddam might possibly have been a free nation, the US definitely is not.

Failure on all fronts
I'm still irked anytime I read anybody giving Bush credit for ANYTHING, even if they're being generally critical. As far as I'm concerned, he deserves blame, and lots of it, for 9/11 and how he responded to it. He basically reacted to the killing of thousands of innocent people by killing thousands of innocent people, and spreading fear around the globe. He is a complete and total failure. Fortunately, this is gradually becoming a fairly common opinion. Two columnists at the NY Times have been excellent in making the case, and they do so again today:

Iraq is proving to be a bonanza for the Bush administration's corporate cronies even as it is threatening to become a sinkhole for the aspirations of ordinary Americans.

The vicious release to news organizations of the identity of an undercover C.I.A. officer could serve as a case study of the character of this administration. The Bush II crowd is arrogant, venal, mean-spirited and contemptuous of law and custom.
Americans are increasingly asking what went wrong. How could so much have gone sour in such a short period of time? Was it incompetence? Bad faith? Loud warnings were ignored for the longest time. Now, finally, the truth is becoming more and more difficult to avoid.
-- Bob Herbert.

But the true test of patriotism isn't whether you are willing to wave the flag, or agree with whatever the president says. It's whether you are willing to take risks and make sacrifices, including political sacrifices, for the sake of your country. This episode is a test for Mr. Bush and his inner circle: a true patriot wouldn't hesitate about doing the right thing in the Plame affair, whatever the political costs.

Mr. Bush is failing that test.
-- Paul Krugman.

I'm hoping the reaction against the venality and stupidity of the Bushies will extend to the corporate-run system that made them possible. Hopefully the public will start to see that the corporate policies of Clinton helped to make Bush II possible, and that we need to go past Clinton-like candidates whose main claim to rationality is having sort-of opposed an extremely stupid and illegal war (I speak of Dean and Clark). Getting rid of Bush will be a great thing, but fixing the system that made Bush possible is critical if we're to have any real hope for the future besides Jeb 2008. Dean and Clark want to work with (for) the corporations; Kucinich wants to reign them in and get them out of places they don't belong, like health care and Iraq. He supports instant-runoff voting, which will mean we could vote for our favorite candidate without worrying about helping our least favorite.
Don't confuse me with the facts...
Bush continues to defend his Iraq war.
Christmas for Liberals!
As Billmon says. Wilsongate is taking off. Rush Limbaugh resigned from ESPN's football show and is now in trouble for alleged drug use. Arnold is apologizing for being a sexist pig, without mentioning that he's also a Nazi sympathizer. And nobody seems to trust Bush anymore!

I love the smell of impeachment in the morning.
Surprise! No WMD's!
David Kay finally gave a report to Congress on his search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He found NO WEAPONS (hint to David--check the US armories for cluster bombs, depleted uranium, napalm, etc.). This was the lead story for a while last night on the CNN web site, but now it's just a minor headline, having been overshadowed by the Gropinator. CNN seems to be attempting to go along with Kay in downplaying what should be the main point here, which is that THERE WERE NO WEAPONS and Bush and his minions were lying up a storm.

The New York Times gives a more appropriate spin:

The preliminary report delivered on Thursday by the chief arms inspector in Iraq forces the Bush administration to come face to face with this reality: that Saddam Hussein's armory appears to have been stuffed with precursors, potential weapons and bluffs, but that nothing found so far backs up administration claims that Mr. Hussein posed an imminent threat to the world.

In public, President Bush says that is not the issue. What should make a difference to Americans, and to the world, he says, is that Mr. Hussein is gone and Iraq is free. "One thing is for certain," Mr. Bush argued last month at a fund-raiser, using a line he repeats often these days. "Terrorist groups will not ever be able to get weapons of mass destruction in Iraq because Saddam Hussein is no more."

But in private, Mr. Bush's political aides concede that it does matter, and it may matter more as the politics of running for president collide with the realities of containing the chaos in occupied Iraq.

Of course, the Times persists in hypocrisy:

In retrospect, warning signs were evident well before the war began.

The Times knew this, but they continued to publish the lies of reporter Judith Miller which helped convince the public that Iraq did possess weapons.

The Washington Post similarly spins the story as bad news for Bush, including these quotes from Senators:

"I'm not pleased by what I heard today," said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who has been supportive of the administration and the CIA. Roberts said he believes some of the raw intelligence did not support the administration's prewar statements about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and called some of the claims "sloppy."

"There's enough . . . to make me believe our intelligence was badly flawed," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said as she exited the three-hour meeting.

(BTW, that "D" after Feinstein's name is clearly a mistake. She voted for the Iraq war, and expressed no doubt in her reasoning: "I could not escape the fact that Hussein possesses and manufactures biological and chemical weapons, has used those chemical weapons, and, unless stopped, will most certainly use them again." And Hillary Clinton was just as bad: "The only way to change this is for Saddam Hussein to disarm, and I don't think he will. We are in a very difficult position right now. I'd love to agree with you, but I can't.")

In any case, a very interesting development. While I'm sure most people reading this have believed for quite a while that there were no significant WMD's in Iraq, Kay's report now seems to give the go ahead for congress and the press to say so.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

From Kevin Siers.
Can you think of a better way to spend $87 billion?
U.S. troops are suffering an average of three to six deaths and 40 wounded every week, the commander of American forces in Iraq said Thursday. -- Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of American forces in Iraq.

Don't worry, troops, Congress is about to okay the funding to keep you there even longer, so you can stop wondering when you'll ever come home. You won't.

Ashcroft favors a special prosecutor...
or at least he did back in 1997. Of course back then he supported protecting civil liberties, too.
Fear, Debt and War...
is a positive issue agenda? Republicans are frigging insane:

In a memorandum distributed Wednesday to Republicans on Capitol Hill, the Republican National Committee suggested that the party strike back at Democrats. "Lacking a positive issue agenda to offer the American people, the Democratic Party now returns to what they have long seen as their best opportunity to defeat President Bush and Republicans scandalmongering," the memo said. House Republicans distributed white paper bags with the label "Leak hyperventilation bag," saying they might come in handy for Democrats who were having trouble catching their breath over the subject. -- NY Times

To steal a line from Tom Tomorrow: I think that Republicans are now objectively pro-treason.

Bush wants to spend another $600 million...
looking for phantoms of lost weaponry.
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
This is what editorials are supposed to look like:

The Justice Department has responded affirmatively to Tenet's request for an investigation. But get this: When Justice informed the White House of the investigation Monday evening, it said it would be all right if the staff was notified Tuesday morning to safeguard all material that related to the case. The staff had all night to get rid of anything incriminating.

That incredible tidbit supports calls by Democrats and a slew of others for Attorney General John Ashcroft to appoint a special counsel to investigate this case. They're right: Ashcroft has no credibility in this, and neither does the White House, given its habitual effort to spin information, mislead the American people and smear anyone who disagrees with it. This developing scandal ultimately goes to the even more serious question of administration manipulation of intelligence on Iraq, where American soldiers continue to die almost every day in a campaign that looks increasingly like a bad mistake.
-- conclusion of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's editorial today.

Another soldier killed...
And the NY Times continues to low-ball the death count:
The death of the woman, whose name was withheld, brought to 88 the number of American soldiers killed by hostile fire since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations May 1.

The actual death toll among US soldiers is now well over 300, but the Times just reports those killed by hostile fire since May 1. Many have been killed in accidents which are attributable to driving too fast in order to avoid hostile fire. All 300 plus, along with the 1500 or so wounded, were relatively young, healthy people when they left on this criminal mission. Their deaths and wounds, ALL OF THEM, are on George Bush's already bloody hands.

Israel to expand wall
The wall will move well into the West Bank to include the Israeli settlement of Ariel. Stealing more land is NOT the answer to security for Israel.
A reminder
The supposed existence of weapons of mass destruction was the MAIN reason given in the Congressional resolution on use of force in October 2002. Here's one paragraph from that resolution:

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.

Pretty much everything in this paragraph is now known to have been false at the time it was written. Furthermore, there were people in the administration who knew that it was false (Colin Powell, for example). Most of the other paragraphs in the resolution cite WMD's as well. These weren't mistakes or oversights; these were lies told intentionally to take us to war, and they have led to thousands (probably tens of thousands) of deaths. It looks like it's going to bankrupt this country for decades, and offers only the remotest possibility of ever improving things in Iraq.

The outrageous request for $87 billion ADDITIONAL funding for this ongoing crime included $100 million for "five hundred experts, at $200,000 each, to investigate crimes against humanity."

Send them to the White House, to the Pentagon, and to Congress. That's where the crimes against humanity were committed.
Quote du jour
As you may have heard, the U.S. is putting together a constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? Think about it -- it was written by very smart people, it's served us well for over two hundred years, and
besides, we're not using it anymore.
-- Jay Leno
Another law they've broken
The military was supposed to do pre-deployment medical screenings of all troops sent to the Gulf. For the most part, they didn't.

This is very important to the troops. If they had had the pre-deployment screenings and then come back, like a couple of hundred thousand did from Gulf War I, with mysterious illnesses, they could have used the screenings to prove that the illnesses were likely a result of the deployment, thereby qualifying them for compensation from the government for medical expenses and the like.

I swear, no one supports the troops LESS than do the Bushies.
Maybe Bush should be glad this scandal came up...
Since FOUR US soldiers died yesterday--one in Afghanistan and three in Iraq. The one in Afghanistan is the only one I saw headlines for on the major news web sites (NY Times, Washington Post and CNN are the ones I look at regularly).

Four dead in Bushistan: How many more?

Doonesbury finally gets off his Dean kick, and picks up with Clark. C'mon, Gary--you know Kucinich is the best!

Still, I like this one!
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Republican National Committee Chairman Says Wilsongate Might Be Worse Than Watergate

From Media Whores Online:
Hardball (MSNBC - 9/30/03):

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Don't you think it's more serious than Watergate, when you think about it?

RNC CHAIRMAN ED GILLESPIE: I think if the allegation is true, to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: It'd be worse than Watergate, wouldn't it?

GILLESPIE: It's -- Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it. It's not just politics.

This just in...
Atrios is quoting a Guardian reporter who is saying Washington journalists are identifying Karl Rove as the leaker in Wilsongate. I gotta run, so check out Atrios and keep up to date!

I'll add one brief thought--I hope they throw Karl into Guantanamo, and that Ashcroft will seek the maximum penalty possible for any guards who try to sneak messages from Karl out to his Republican crime syndicate (they stole the 2000 election, you know).
Sign of the Apocalypse?
Both the Red Sox and the Cubs are in the playoffs. Should both somehow reach the World Series, it would seem inevitable that one of them would have to win. Anyone who knows anything about baseball knows this can't happen. Remember the California earthquake in 1989 which delayed the World Series between the A's and Giants for a couple of weeks? Or the strike which cancelled the World Series in 1994? Kid stuff compared to what a Cubs-Red Sox Series would cause.

Personally, I'll be even more afraid if the Detroit Lions ever get to the Super Bowl. They won their last championship three months before I was born. I'll be writing my will if they ever get that far again. Fortunately, I don't think I have much to worry about.
What should have been news, but wasn't
The top 25 censored stories of 2002-03.
I knew she looked familiar!

For you younguns out there, the reference is to Sergeant Schultz, the stupid German guard at the POW camp which held "Hogan's Heroes." Col. Hogan and the other allied POW's plotted all sorts of sabotages and escapes from inside the camp. Everytime Schultz would see a trap door or tunnel, or maybe an extra person who wasn't supposed to be there, he'd just pretend not to notice and say "I see nothink, nothink!" The very model for "know nothing" Condi.

Oh yeah, TV sucked back then, too. I think Hogan's Heroes was voted one of the worst TV programs of all time.
Jacques and Laura, standing in Paris (pahree)

Sorry, couldn't resist. You want freedom fries with that?
One US soldier dead, two wounded in Afghanistan
Bush's first occupation continues to be an ongoing disaster.

U.S. troops clashed with suspected Taliban near a remote outpost in fighting that killed one American and wounded two others, the military said Tuesday, the latest violence in Afghanistan's increasingly virulent insurgency.
The death brings to 36 the number of U.S. troops killed in action in Afghanistan, in addition to at least 164 that have been wounded.

A very tough call, but I think I hate Powell the most.
Read this crap:

Powell spoke at length about Iraq during his speech and during an earlier interview with the Free Press. He said he believes a weapons of mass destruction program will be found in Iraq.

"There is no doubt in my mind" the United States will find evidence of Saddam Hussein's weapons program, Powell said. "It wasn't a figment of anyone's imagination."

Powell criticized those who questioned whether Hussein had deadly weapons before the war.

Some people thought that "sweet Saddam Hussein, who was willing to gas 5,000 people on a spring day in 1988, was suddenly a different Saddam Hussein," Powell said during the Free Press interview.

"Other nations might have been willing to make that judgment, but not President Bush. He wasn't going to walk away from the challenge."
(Powell was speaking at the U.S. - Arab Economic Forum in Detroit yesterday.)

No weapons, Colin. No threat. No challenge. Sweet or sour, Saddam had no power. Not to harm us. You said so yourself. And since you were national security advisor to Reagan when the U.S. was supporting Saddam, knowing full well that he was using chemical weapons, you are fully complicit in Halabja.

Bush is an amoral idiot. He doesn't know any better. Powell is a whore. By choice.
Congress: $87 BILLION not enough
Incredible. In Congress, instead of refusing Bush's extortion and demanding that the troops come home, they're just adding pork to the already pork-filled request to fund a brutal and pointless occupation. A lot of it is band-aids to make it possible to continue doing the incredibly stupid longer: Better armor for Hummers, radio-jamming devices to thwart remote-control bombs, repair for worn-out equipment, etc.

Just bring them home, you sleazy Congressional pork peddlers! You don't fix a mistake by continuing to make it.

And readers, please keep calling Congress (800-839-5276), and writing letters to the editor, and showing up for protests. Make it clear that you don't want another dime spent on occupying Iraq, and that you want the troops home.
Monday, September 29, 2003
I'll take door number two
"The debate comes down to one question," said Stuart Roy, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. "Are we a nation at war with terror or are we longing for a return to the weak and indecisive foreign policy of the past?" -- NY Times

Roy was responding to further criticism of Bush by Ted Kennedy. I'm wondering if Republicans are thrilled with Roy referring to Reagan's policies as "weak and indecisive."

But the question certainly reveals the Orwellian depths that Republitrons have reached. They seem to prefer massively stupid, illegal and bloody invasions of sovereign countries to weak and indecisive. Of course, informed, intelligent and compassionate responses seem like a reasonable third alternative to me.
Good thing Ari's gone
He would probably make this Wilson-Plame thing go away for the White House. McLellan isn't up to it. The press kept hammering at him to answer the questions, and from what I can read between the lines, he was setting off human lie detectors all over the room.

Hopefully this gets the opening ten minutes on the network news shows tonight.
Kucinich speaks at the "end the occupation" rally in LA

From Polizeros.
A scandal's finally a-brewing!
The "Justice" Department has said that it will begin investigating whether top White House officials revealed the name of a CIA agent to the press. There are all sorts of angles to this story: Atrios and Josh Marshall are on top of most of them.

In case you think that outing a CIA agent maybe isn't as big a crime as, say, starting a war based on lies, I'd have to agree with you. But there's at least one person out there who thinks it's the worst form of treason:

We need more human intelligence. That means we need more protection for the methods we use to gather intelligence and more protection for our sources, particularly our human sources, people that are risking their lives for their country. Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors. -- George H. W. Bush, April 16, 1999.

Well, it appears that at least one top official in the White House did exactly that. I think you'd better have a talk with your son, George.
Sunday, September 28, 2003
Colin Powell, serial liar
Even with that gap in coverage, Powell said to assume that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction "defies the logic of the situation over the years and what we know about this regime." -- ABC's This Week.

Earth to Colin: There are no weapons there. Iraq said there weren't. The UN looked. The Army looked. David Kay and the CIA looked. NO WEAPONS! You yourself said two and a half years ago that Iraq had no significant WMD capability.

Talk about defying the logic of the situation. What motivates these people? Is getting filthier richer that important? Keeping the fawning adoration of the ignorant millions? Surely they can't still believe that this bloody, muddled end justified the criminal means, or that eventually a neocon "democracy" will somehow emerge in Iraq and make everyone happy. I can barely understand where Bush is coming from--he was raised to be mean and snooty, not to mention that it might be hereditary. But did West Point train Powell to do or say whatever his superior officers said, no matter how illegal or insane? If so, we'd better inspect General Clark very carefully.

There goes Clark's airtime on Clear Channel
He says the American people are "really embarrassed" by Bush. Pretty good line, although I think we should just be mad and determined to rid ourselves of the Texas cowpie. Embarrassment would imply that we actually elected aWol.

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