Wednesday, October 29, 2003
::: Good For Goosey Blair -- Good For Bushie Bear :::
It is finally happening ... well, almost.
Blair has been called on the carpet for pre Iraq misrepresentation
(plus possible implications in a WMD scientist's suicide) of WMD
intelligence. Blair emerges unscathed!
Then ... Australia's PM John Howard found himself in the fry pan.
Perhaps ... Bushie Bear will begin to feel the heat as well ... you think?
“We talked about this repeatedly because chairman Roberts has refused to let this investigation to get even close to the White House and administration,” said Durbin.
“Historically this has never happened, to my knowledge. This has always been a very bipartisan committee and I think Sen. Rockefeller has bent over backwards to try to avoid this kind of partisan[ship.]”
“If that’s true and we can’t get cooperation to look at that then, yes, I strongly feel we should exercise rule six and seven,” she said. She was referring to provisions of the committee’s authorizing resolution.
Rule Six authorizes Roberts or Rockefeller to launch an investigation if five other members of the committee concur. In addition to Rockefeller, there are seven Democrats on the committee — making it nearly certain that Rockefeller would have the necessary support to move forward should he chose to do so.
Rule Seven allows either the chairman or the vice chairman to issue subpoenas “for the attendance of witnesses or the production of memoranda, documents, records or any other material.”
Intelligence committee Democrats note that their panel is the only one in Congress that gives the minority the power to conduct an investigation and issue subpoenas.
On Friday, Levin asked several former CIA officers who testified before the Democratic Policy Committee for names of people in the intelligence community who could possibly testify about political pressure applied from the top of the administration to reach conclusions about the presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq.
We can always hope ...
::: BushSpeak on 9-11 :::
Bush Speaking Like Himself
Kinda interesting little ditty ... cartoon-type thingie. I am thinking
someone should follow Paul Krugman's suggestion that Bush
would be well represented by a Road Runner characterization!
??? Two Moments of Sincerity, Two Instants of Lucidity ???
Terror In Baghdad and 43 dead in Iraq - most of them Iraqis.
Meanwhile ...... (and not back at the Crawford Ranch)
Tuesday 28 October 2003
"We’re in an insurrectionary situation with people who strike and run. We didn’t think that it would be so intense and so long. We’re still at war.” This is about Iraq. The man who describes it this way is no savage opponent of the Bush administration. It’s Colin Powell, the U.S. Secretary of State. And he was speaking before the five suicide attacks perpetrated Monday October 27 right in the heart of the Iraqi capital!
Do we succeed in capturing, killing, and dissuading more terrorists every day than the Madrassahs and religious radicals recruit, train, and send against us?Must we establish a large and concerted plan to stop the next generation of terrorists?” In sum and in substance: aren’t we busy magisterially deluding ourselves? That question is posed by one of the pillars of the Bush administration, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
But ... never fear, Captain America assured us just this morning ... the
increased terrorist attacks signals their desperation at our success.
Watch out Dubya, your cape is on fire!
::: $$$ And It Is Going To Cost U.S. Taxpayers Millions $$$
Dr. Stephen M. Levin knew as early as December, 2001
Medical Aftershocks. (Link includes one of the best pictures I have seen from 9-11)
Susan Q. Stranahan reported:
Almost immediately after the Sept. 11 attack, Levin began seeing patients with respiratory problems. For some, the symptoms subsided quickly; for others, the damage may be permanent. Far more difficult to quantify, according to Levin and others, will be the long-term health problems attributable to the inhalation of multiple hazardous substances, including several known or suspected cancer-causing agents such as benzene, PCBs, dioxin and chromium, emitted from the rubble.
There is a growing recognition among toxicologists that these chemical compounds are created by combustion and in certain work environments can be extremely hazardous. Some firefighters who have responded to hazardous waste fires, for example, have developed related health problems a decade or more after the exposure. Workers in industries where multiple chemicals are used, such as in fabrication of computer chips, also have recorded higher-than-expected incidents of health problems.
$$$ Money Makes the World Go Around $$$
So ... now it begins to trickle out ... almost two years after 9-11 ... A while
back I posted a piece entitled Bush To New Yorkers: Drop Dead, a revealing look at
Bush's interest in the health and welfare of New Yorkers after September 11.
Harvey Wasserman wrote:
The White House directly interfered with planned Environmental Protection Agency warnings about the toxic fallout from the World Trade Center explosions. It had "competing considerations" that came before protecting the health of the people of New York. Among them were re-opening the stock exchange as quickly as possible, and limiting clean-up costs and liability claims.
Because of Bush's lies, thousands of Americans will suffer cancers, emphysema, heart attack, stroke, birth defects, stillbirths, sterility, eye/ear/nose/throat disease and much more.
There have been few toxic events to match the explosions that pulverized the two World Trade Center towers. The short-term deaths of three thousand people will be dwarfed over the long term by the lethal fallout.
These were two of the last big buildings constructed with asbestos, whose health effects are infamous. Once ingested, the fibers can and do make cells cancerous. Thousands of miners and others exposed to asbestos have filed lawsuits against Johns-Manville and others.
The EPA knew that spewing all that asbestos into New York's air was a horrific event, and that lives could be saved by taking certain public precautions. Bush stopped that from happening.
And the reports of denial, secrecy and an outright misleading of New Yorkers
keep coming to light. Ah ... the sunshine is beginning to break through the
clouds of dirty air. It seems a fellow named Bob Martin, former independent
ombudsman at EPA, expressing surprise it took so long for the explosive
accusations to be made.
Justin Scheck reports on Whitman's toxic power play in Mother Jones.
Martin says he was drafting a report in early 2002 that would have presented very similar conclusions. That report died when Martin's office was shut down in April of 2002, eliminated in a controversial reorganization plan initiated by former EPA boss Christine Todd Whitman.
"My findings would have come out substantially earlier, and yes, they were buried," Martin says.
Whitman's decision to eliminate Martin's office was hardly a surprise. Martin had a history of clashing with EPA brass, and that tendency only grew with Whitman's arrival, reaching its height when the ombudsman accused the EPA chief of a conflict of interest in relation to the agency's actions at a Denver Superfund project.
Danielle Brian, director of the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, suggests that the high-profile nature of the investigation wasn't the only reason the EPA balked.
"The reason EPA was so freaked by the ombudsman's investigation is that so many people stood to lose a lot of money" as a result of the cleanups, she says. And, while acknowledging that Martin probably would have been jettisoned had he never started the investigation, Brian claims that the Manhattan hearings "heightened the sense of urgency for EPA" and hastened Whitman's decision to eliminate the office.
Despite the official obstructionism, Martin collected nearly 500 pages of testimony, and began drafting a report which he says would have been critical of the agency and would have called for extensive indoor testing and expanded cleanups throughout the New York area.
At the time, Martin already knew that Whitman hoped to close his office. Two months before Martin held the New York hearings, Whitman had announced a tightly-targeted agency reorganization: Martin's office would be transferred from the Office of Solid Waste to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). What Whitman didn't publicize at the time was that the ombudsman's staff and budget would be eliminated, and that Martin would be required to clear any statements to Congress or the press with supervisors. After a brief legal battle, Martin resigned in protest, and his files were handed over to Inspector General Nikki Tinsley.
"The inspector general never investigated Whitman's statements to Congress or the public, and they never interviewed Whitman," he says.
Of 16 formal proposals made in the report, the agency immediately consented to adopt 12. The number may seem promising, but all of the accepted recommendations relate to how the agency should handle similar situations in the future. The four proposals the EPA has rejected would force the agency to fix the mistakes it made in Manhattan.
Everyone who is surprised by the actions of either the White House or the EPA
wins a free lunch in lower Manhattan!
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
::: Rape of the Environment :::
"Dirty Secrets" - A Bush Report Card
This article by Osha Gray Davidson of Mother Jones is so jam-packed with horrifying policies
put forth by the Bush administration, it is difficult to decide what to include. A few points:
** has crippled the Superfund ... which is used to clean up toxic wastes
** has gutted key sections of Clean Water and Clean Air Acts ... has cut
the enforcement division by one-fifth, cut fines by two-thirds, cut prosecution of the
worst offenders by one-third.
** has opened some of the nations most pristine, environmentally sensitive
lands to logging, mining, and oil and gas drilling.
Note from article:
The administration has abdicated the decades-old federal responsibility to protect native animals and plants from extinction, becoming the first not to voluntarily add a single species to the endangered species list. It has opened millions of acres of wilderness-including some of the nation's most environmentally sensitive public lands-to logging, mining, and oil and gas drilling. Under one plan, loggers could take 10 percent of the trees in California's Giant Sequoia National Monument; many of the Monument's old-growth sequoias, 200 years old and more, could be felled to make roof shingles. Other national treasures that have been opened for development include the million-acre Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona, the 2,000-foot red-rock spires at Fisher Towers, Utah, and dozens of others.
** has refused to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants
** has helped mining companies continue the process of "mountaintop-removal coal mining"
and made it easier for the mining companies to obtain permits.
Note from article:
So how did a process mandated by a federal judge "to minimize, to the maximum extent practicable, the adverse environmental effects" from mountaintop removal become a vehicle for industry? Two words: Steven Griles. Never heard of him? You're not supposed to. Steven Griles is one of industry's moles within the Bush administration. Before coming to work as deputy secretary of the Interior, Griles was one of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington, with a long list of energy-industry clients, including the National Mining Association and several of the country's largest coal companies. On August 1, 2001, Griles signed a "statement of disqualification," promising to stay clear of issues involving his former clients. Despite that promise, according to his own appointment calendar (obtained by environmental groups through the Freedom of Information Act), Griles met repeatedly with coal companies while the administration worked on the mountaintop-removal issue. Griles has denied discussing the "fill rule" in any of those meetings. But on August 4, 2001- three days after signing his recusal letter- he gave a speech before the West Virginia Coal Association, reassuring members that "we will fix the federal rules very soon on water and spoil placement." Two months later, Griles sent a letter to the EPA and other agencies drafting the EIS, complaining that they were not doing enough to safeguard the future of mountaintop removal and instructing them to "focus on centralizing and streamlining coal mine permitting." Griles is now the subject of an Interior Department investigation for possible ethics violations.
** energy industry donated $2.8 million to Bush 2000 campaign - then came
Cheney's secretive energy task force -
Note from article:
But there was little public debate over a plan to drill 66,000 coalbed methane gas wells in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana-a massive project that will result in 26,000 miles of new roads, 48,000 miles of new pipelines, and discharges of 2 trillion gallons of contaminated water, disfiguring for years the rolling hills of that landscape. That plan was hatched behind closed doors, by the secretive energy task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney.
The Cheney task force is behind another of the administration's pet projects- protecting utilities from having to comply with a law enacted 26 years ago. Some 30,000 Americans die each year because the federal government is unwilling to take meaningful steps to enforce the Clean Air Act's standards for coal-fired power plants. Nearly 6,000 of those deaths are attributable to plants owned by a mere eight companies, according to a study by ABT Associates, which frequently conducts assessments for the EPA. (The companies are American Electric Power, Cinergy, Duke, Dynegy, FirstEnergy, SIGECO, Southern Company, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.)
** Bush's Clear Skies gives power plants 15 more years of polluting
** Bush wants to increase Nuclear Power Plants by 50%
Note from article:
Industry officials insist that with today's improved technology such a calamity is unthinkable [Three Mile Island]. But that hasn't stopped the administration from endorsing a $9 billion cap on industry liability, just in case the unthinkable should occur. Other gifts to nuclear-plant operators include more than $1 billion in new subsidies and tax breaks, support for relicensing dangerously outdated reactors, and at least $18 billion in taxpayer money for construction of a high-level nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
** has removed 20% of marshes, ponds, swamps and wetlands from protection
by changing the definition of "waters of the United States."
More hideous actions:
The White House has also been darkly brilliant at using the courts to do its dirty work-through methods such as "sweetheart suits," the practice of encouraging states and private groups to file lawsuits against the federal government, and then agreeing to negotiated settlements that bypass environmental laws without any interference from Congress or the public. In perhaps the most egregious such case, in April the state of Utah and the Interior Department announced that they had reached a settlement involving 10 million acres of federal lands set aside in the 1990s for possible wilderness designation. The deal will allow Utah to sell oil and gas rights on what had largely been pristine areas, including the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with its multihued cliffs and Cedar Mesa, a fragile desert area near Monument Valley that holds world-renowned archaeological sites-and that is now slated to host a jeep safari.
Two days after the first settlement with Utah-in another closed-door deal-Interior Secretary Gale Norton signed a second, more sweeping compact promising that the federal government would never again so much as study lands for wilderness designation. And not just in Utah: The decision, which effectively freezes a wilderness-protection program that goes back nearly 40 years, applies to more than 200 million acres of Western lands, an area twice as large as California.
Granny is thinking Bush is the most aggressive Environmental Rapist to date!
Other sources sure to make you sizzle:
Developers are taking advantage of a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that removes 'isolated' waterways from any federal protection.
The Bush administration has repeatedly mischaracterized scientific facts to bolster its political agenda in areas ranging from abstinence education and condom use to missile defense, according to a detailed report released yesterday by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.).
This is the Detailed Report mentioned above and is well worth the read ... it is most astonishing and very scary ... pdf format.
Granny Out .......
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
::: Prince of Darkness Hires God's PR Man :::
A self described "Warrior of God," Army Lt. General William G "Jerry" Boykin
has just been enlisted by Rumsfelf in the Pentagon's New Military for a newly
created position -- Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
He has praised the leadership of President Bush, whom he extolled as "a man who prays in the Oval Office." "George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States," Boykin told an Oregon congregation. "He was appointed by God."
Boykin, wearing the uniform of the U. S. Army, steps to the pulpit of
churchs all over America and preaches thusly:
June of 2002, Jerry Boykin stepped to the pulpit at the First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow, Okla., and described a set of photographs he had taken of Mogadishu, Somalia, from an Army helicopter in 1993.
The photographs were taken shortly after the disastrous "Blackhawk Down" mission had resulted in the death of 18 Americans. When Boykin came home and had them developed, he said, he noticed a strange dark mark over the city. He had an imagery interpreter trained by the military look at the mark. "This is not a blemish on your photograph," the interpreter told him, "This is real."
"Ladies and gentleman, this is your enemy," Boykin said to the congregation as he flashed his pictures on a screen. "It is the principalities of darkness It is a demonic presence in that city that God revealed to me as the enemy."
Our "spiritual enemy," Boykin continued, "will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus."
Boykin is not just another Pentagon apparatchik or bureaucratic warrior. He has been charged with reinvigorating Rumsfeld's "High Value Target Plan" to track down Bin Laden, Hussein, Mullah Omar and other leaders in the terrorism world.
But Gen. Boykin's appointment to a high position in the administration is a frightening blunder at a time when there is widespread acknowledgment that the position of the United States in the Islamic world has never been worse.
But that's only part of the problem. Boykin is also in a senior Pentagon policymaking position, and it's a serious mistake to allow a man who believes in a Christian "jihad" to hold such a job.
For one thing, Boykin has made it clear that he takes his orders not from his Army superiors but from God — which is a worrisome line of command. For another, it is both imprudent and dangerous to have a senior officer guiding the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan who believes that Islam is an idolatrous, sacrilegious religion against which we are waging a holy war.
In describing the war against terrorism, President Bush frequently says it "is not a war against Islam.
... but Boykin, reflecting on a top llieutenant of Mohammed Farah Aidid
escaping capture in Mogadishu said the following ...
When Boykin's Delta Force commandos went after Atto, they missed him by seconds, he said. "He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, 'They'll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.'
"Well, you know what?" Boykin continued. "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol." Atto later was captured.
Oh boy, just what we need ... a Christian extremist in a Defense position!
Found additional info on the Zealot -- and Pentagon Plans a Probe
Thursday, October 16, 2003
::: More For The Record on Iraq :::
JMO from Granny:
We cannot leave Iraq! I cannot believe we are considering such a thing.
Are we? Is it more than rightous anger at being lied to?
I did not want us to go there, did not like being lied to , hated Saddam and
am glad he is gone or not in charge, am not happy about the $Billions being
spent .... BUT
We are there, he is out of power and surely we can find a way to provide
enough security until Iraqis can get on their feet. Whether anyone else
comes in to help or not.
On the $87 Billion. I do not think anyone begrudges the troops their part, and
if Bush & Company had not looted America, the other $20 Billion probably
would not nag at American so fiercely.
Now that we have done this thing, even if under false pretenses and lies,
I believe we do have an opportunity to help build a country that could
change the flavor of the area. I just hope the Iraqis know the difference
between the Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Condi, etc bunch and the real Americans.
We do have something pretty special to offer in Iraq or anywhere else ...
the illusive idea that is America. And it is pretty special.
I think it would go a very long way to making Americans feel more pleased
(boy, that might be a stretch) at being there and spending the money if
we insisted on knowing where every cent is spent.
Americans will be much more confident if we are sure the Bushies are not
ripping off the contracts and Bremer is not living high on the billions.
Ok, so it is simplistic. So shoot me.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
::: Maybe Clinton Wasn't Sooooo Bad :::
After reading William Rivers Pitt's article on TruthOut entitled The Sins of September 11,, I felt at least partially vindicated about my views of Clinton. Since Clinton's presidency was prior to that fateful day, and I was admittedly not paying attention to world events, I was afraid I "liked" Bill Clinton without really knowing the whole story.
Actually, that is completely true. I did not know squat about Clinton or any of the other politicians in Washington. I knew I enjoyed hearing him speak sometimes ... when I was not very busy doing what all Americans are doing every day. I won't say I listened with rapt attention, but he was vastly more bearable to hear than listening to Bush drone out the same tripe while chewing the inside of his cheek.
But somehow, he made me feel comfortable and I never felt afraid to live my life, never felt afraid to speak my mind, never felt afraid to write down feelings (as in this type blog or letter or email or diary or whatever), never felt afraid to fly, never felt afraid to travel to large population areas, never felt afraid because I was awakened in the night by the sound of a plane overhead.
I know now that confidence was naive to some degree, but I do resent the use of fear as a weapon to corral Americans into following (as sheep) the highly questionable plans put forth by the current administration, plans that have led us to preemptively attack another country, to pass laws that restrict and destroy the principles this country was found upon.
As to Bill Clinton, and the new interest and awareness of current events I am enjoying ... yes, Clinton did things I do not agree with such as NAFTA, but I sure did like his economy. When he spoke, he had a vision I do not hear from the other side.
There for a while after 9-11, I really questioned whether Clinton had been lax on terrorism. (Republicans had made such fun of him shooting cruise missiles at camels in the desert) Just for the record, I did not give a rats butt about Monica, although I did care about the spectacle made out of it by Republicans, the Ken Starr $$$ Train of Waste, etc. Also, I did not think he should have lied to Americans (who truly hate being lied to, more than most any other offense) about having sex with Monica, but I chalked that up to idiot politicians ... they always go into denial mode and make things ten times worse.
And ... since I am being lazy, and since I trust Pitt's research as impecable, here are some revelations I had either already discovered or had heard about, but that Pitt has handily put together for us from various sources, Blumenthal's book for one, or at least it "sparked" Pitt's explosive talent, and made him feel obligated to enlighten us:
The astounding level of blunt ignorance within the American populace about the events surrounding the attacks of September 11 cannot be easily quantified. In a nation with thousands of newspapers, thousands of radio stations, and a ceaseless data stream from CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS and PBS, some 70% of the population believed as late as a month ago that Saddam Hussein was centrally involved in and personally responsible for the attacks which destroyed the Towers and struck the Pentagon. Beyond that, what most people know about the single most important event in American history does not go much beyond "evildoers" who "hate our freedom."
That is, simply, incredible. It is also not an accident. This ignorance has a great deal to do with the stunning mediocrity of the television news media, that empty well where most Americans go to become informed. This ignorance also, and far more importantly, has a great deal to do with the Clinton-era actions of a large number of conservatives, many of whom are in positions of power today, many of whom are now making careers out of September 11.
The two great myths that have settled across the nation, beyond the Hussein-9/11 connection, are that Clinton did not do enough during his tenure to stop the spread of radical terrorist organizations like al Qaeda, and that the attacks themselves could not have been anticipated or stopped. Blumenthal's insider perspective on these matters bursts the myths entirely, and reveals a level of complicity regarding the attacks within the journalistic realm and the conservative political ranks that is infuriating and disturbing.
Starting in 1995, Clinton took actions against terrorism that were unprecedented in American history. He poured billions and billions of dollars into counterterrorism activities across the entire spectrum of the intelligence community. He poured billions more into the protection of critical infrastructure. He ordered massive federal stockpiling of antidotes and vaccines to prepare for a possible bioterror attack. He order a reorganization of the intelligence community itself, ramming through reforms and new procedures to address the demonstrable threat. Within the National Security Council, "threat meetings" were held three times a week to assess looming conspiracies. His National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, prepared a voluminous dossier on al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, actively tracking them across the planet. Clinton raised the issue of terrorism in virtually every important speech he gave in the last three years of his tenure. In 1996, Clinton delivered a major address to the United Nations on the matter of international terrorism, calling it "The enemy of our generation."
Behind the scenes, he leaned vigorously on the leaders of nations within the terrorist sphere. In particular, he pushed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to assist him in dealing with the threat from neighboring Afghanistan and its favorite guest, Osama bin Laden. Before Sharif could be compelled to act, he was thrown out of office by his own army. His replacement, Pervez Musharraf, pointedly refused to do anything to assist Clinton in dealing with these threats. Despite these and other diplomatic setbacks, terrorist cell after terrorist cell were destroyed across the world, and bomb plots against American embassies were thwarted. Because of security concerns, these victories were never revealed to the American people until very recently.
In America, few people heard anything about this. Clinton's dire public warnings about the threat posed by terrorism, and the massive non-secret actions taken to thwart it, went completely unreported by the media, which was far more concerned with stained dresses and baseless Drudge Report rumors. When the administration did act militarily against bin Laden and his terrorist network, the actions were dismissed by partisans within the media and Congress as scandalous "wag the dog" tactics. The TV networks actually broadcast clips of the movie "Wag The Dog" to accentuate the idea that everything the administration was doing was contrived fakery.
In Congress, Clinton was thwarted by the reactionary conservative majority in virtually every attempt he made to pass legislation that would attack al Qaeda and terrorism. His 1996 omnibus terror bill, which included many of the anti-terror measures we now take for granted after September 11, was withered almost to the point of uselessness by attacks from the right; Jesse Helms and Trent Lott were openly dismissive of the threats Clinton spoke of.
Clinton wanted to attack the financial underpinnings of the al-Qaeda network by banning American companies and individuals from dealing with foreign banks and financial institutions that al Qaeda was using for its money-laundering operations. Texas Senator Phil Gramm, chairman of the Banking Committee, killed Clinton's bill on this matter and called it "totalitarian." In fact, he was compelled to kill the bill because his most devoted patrons, the Enron Corporation and its criminal executives in Houston, were using those same terrorist financial networks to launder their own dirty money and rip off the Enron stockholders.
Just before departing office, Clinton managed to make a deal with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to have some twenty nations close tax havens used by al Qaeda. His term ended before the deal was sealed, and the incoming Bush administration acted immediately to destroy the agreement. According to Time magazine, in an article entitled "Banking on Secrecy" published in October of 2001, Bush economic advisors Larry Lindsey and R. Glenn Hubbard were urged by think tanks like the Center for Freedom and Prosperity to opt out of the coalition Clinton had formed. The conservative Heritage Foundation lobbied Bush's Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, to do the same. In the end, the lobbyists got what they wanted, and the Bush administration pulled America out of the plan. The Time article stated, "Without the world's financial superpower, the biggest effort in years to rid the world's financial system of dirty money was short-circuited."
Much of his work was foiled by right-wing Congressional conservatives who, simply, refused to accept the fact that he was President. These men, paid to work for the public trust, spent eight years working diligently to paralyze any and all Clinton policies, including anti-terror initiatives that, if enacted, would have gone a long way towards thwarting the September 11 attacks. Beyond them lay the worthless television media, which ignored and spun the terrorist issue as it pursued salacious leaks from Ken Starr's office, leaving the American people drowning in a swamp of ignorance on a matter of deadly global importance.
The terrorist network planned to simultaneously attack the national airports in Washington DC and Los Angeles, the Amman Raddison Hotel in Jordan, a constellation of holy sites in Israel, and the USS The Sullivans at dock in Yemen. Each and every single one of these plots, which ranged from one side of the planet to the other, was foiled by the efforts of the Clinton administration. Speaking for the first time about these millennium plots, in a speech delivered to the Coast Guard Academy on May 17, 2000, Clinton said, "I want to tell you a story that, unfortunately, will not be the last example you will have to face."
Clinton proved that Osama bin Laden and his terror network can be foiled, can be thwarted, can be stopped. The multifaceted and complex nature of the international millennium plots rivals the plans laid before September 11, and involved counter-terrorism actions within several countries and across the entire American intelligence and military community. All resources were brought to bear, and the terrorists went down to defeat. The proof is in the pudding here. September 11, like the millennium plots, could have been avoided.
Couple this with other facts about the Bush administration we now have in hand. The administration was warned about a massive terror plot in the months before September by the security services of several countries, including Israel, Egypt, Germany and Russia. CIA Director George Tenet delivered a specific briefing on the matter to the administration on August 8, 2001. The massive compendium of data on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda compiled by Sandy Berger, and delivered to Condoleezza Rice upon his departure, went completely and admittedly unread until the attacks took place. The attacks themselves managed, for over an hour, to pierce the most formidable air defense system in the history of the Earth without a single fighter aircraft taking wing until the catastrophe was concluded.
It is not fashionable these days to pine for the return of William Jefferson Clinton. Given the facts above, and the realities we face about the administration of George W. Bush, and the realities we endure regarding the aftermath of September 11, the United States of America would be, and was, well served by its previous leader. That we do not know this, that September 11 happened at all, that it was such a wretched shock to the American people, that we were so woefully unprepared, can be laid at the feet of a failed news media establishment, and at the feet of a pack of power-mad conservative extremists who now have a great deal to atone for.
Hmmmm .... as usual Pitt says it all.
Sunday, October 12, 2003
::: How Many Feel About Rush :::
Just thought I would provide a link to one of my favorite bloggers and his take
on the Fall of Rush Limbaugh. Go Barry!
WOW ... since I NEVER listen to Rush myself ... I had no idea.
Stolen from the Dittohead are these:
LIMBAUGH'S DRUG QUOTES:
"We're going to let you destroy your life. We're going to make it easy and then all of us who accept the responsibilities of life and don't destroy our lives on drugs, we'll pay for whatever messes you get into." Rush Limbaugh show, Dec. 9, 1993
" .... if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up. "What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use....The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too."-- Rush Limbaugh show, Oct. 5, 1995
::: Ok ... Granny Wants To Know :::
I was wondering (these are all over the place) ......
* Why Bush would just "take a staffers word for it" that they did not out Plame?
* Why is the American "free-press" coward media still refusing to ask the tough
questions until after the blogosphere has chewed over politically explosive stories for
months and researched them as much as possible for non-professionals (most of us work
other jobs full time and have much less access and a fraction of the resources)?
* What happened (and when) to divide America into vitriolic halves?
* Why is the mainstream press not all over the Diebold Black Box
* Over last weekend (Sunday night, I think) Why did CNBC hype the Iraq
contract scandal for the entire hour, then spend less than a minute on reporting it?
* Why is Bush treating our troops like trash?
* Why are the parents of our soldiers having to go out and hunt down the
equipment our military is failing to provide for the troops?
* Why are the troops being given Vietnam-era flak jackets when the military
knows the are inadequate for the ammunition being fired today?
* Why has the press not mentioned the $500 Million being spent of two
HUGE listening ears installations being built in Iraq?
* Why are Americans not demanding an accounting of what has been spent
* Why are first responders in the U.S. not being funded and suffering lay offs?
* Does this mean there is no longer any danger here in the U.S.?
* TSA is also laying off ... so terrorists are not coming here any longer?
* Why is the Pentagon selling bio-weapons equipment on the internet?
* If what I heard recently is true ... that many of the suits are defective ...
how can they be sold?
* Where is the Pentagon's missing $Trillion?
* Why are Americans accepting obvious war profiteering by its
* How much of taxpayers money has been given to Tom Ridge's DHS and
what was it spent on? Do you have your Duck Taped and do you feel safe?
* Where is a copy of the CPA's Plan for Iraq spending for rebuilding?
* Where is MY tax refund?
* Why are we allowing Ashcroft to continue with the destruction of the
Constitution and our freedoms?
* Why does Bush only step up to the plate and do a "quick fix" when he is
called on the many instances of underfunding and no funding, or cuts to vets pay and benefits?
* Does Bush believe it is OK to reveal identities of agents?
* How many more countries do we plan to attack?
* Why do both Medicare proposals contain provisions to prevent
the government from negotiating on drug costs?
* How much money is currently being paid to Republicans by the
hugely profitable drug companies?
* Why don't Americans seem to notice or care about America?
* Why are we allowing Bush to back up on EPA rules and
why let him get away with granting oil, gas and electric companies passes?
* Why are lie detector tests not being administrated at the
* So ... are we completely stupid? We are supposed to be oking the
President's request for around $50 Million for which corporation to
take care of our troops at nearly $4 Billion per month ... Was that KBR?
Was that the Logcap Contract? Are they doing a good job? Do the Troops
have what they need ... plenty of water, food, safe equipment, vehicles in
* Why are we allowing jobs to go overseas while millions of Americans
are without work?
* Why are we allowing people to continue to stream into this country
and take jobs?
***** Ok ... stop the questions for a Granny Holding Forth Statement *****
Just to be clear .... Granny is not a Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Libertarian,
conservative , neo-conservative or surviving under any particular label. I am
just another citizen with opinions (big grin) ... in search of a place to
discuss, speak out, vent and sometimes Rant.
People always say we need the illegal aliens to do the work we Americans are not
willing to do.
I am not for the government providing programs for large blocks of the
population to sit on their hinnys collecting checks and being supported while
many others work to pay for their support.
I do believe in programs for the elderly (they have worked all their lives and
paid into these programs), disabled (they are physically unable to work or cannot work
enough hours to provide for themselves, retired persons social security (here again
these folks have worked and paid for the support)
I do believe we are capable of structuring affordable health insurance programs for
all of our citizens that include prescription benefits. The two current plans being studied fall
woefully short and that is in large part due to such an incredible NOD to the Drug
Companies by politicians from both sides of the isle. It is an outrage that Canada and most
other countries around the world are buying pharmaceuticals at half or below half of what
American wholesalers are paying. Why? The huge Pharmaceutical Lobby, of course.
Since Republicans (I guess my views do fall away from them most of the time) are so intent
on reducing the size of government, why not just be happy with the courts, a few guys to
write out the new rules and a few more to answer the phone at the White House Museum,
telling foreigners ... "not interested."
*** Break *** Gotta change the clothes in the laundry **** back soon
OK Back ... more questions:
* On 9-11, was Bush more interested in restarting Wall Street than protecting N.Y?
* Why are foreign journalist more interested than ours in getting out the truth?
* Why did we spend taxpayers money buying guns for Iraqi police when we
captured acres of them?
* Why, after awarding $Millions in Logcap contracts to KBR, were our troops
subjected to 120 degree heat and only given 2 liters of water daily?
* Why do we not have Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Powell and
others heads arrayed on pikes in front of the White House?
* Why did Bush try to cut hazard pay for vets?
* Why is Bush unwilling to accept an Energy Bill that addresses at least part
of our needs instead of holding out for all the items that will enrich himself and buddies?
* Where is all the $money we found post war? If spent, on exactly what?
* Where is all the $money from seized Iraqi assets? If spent, on what?
* Why are Americans allowing the administration to use 9-11 as a scare tactic
to pass and promote every crazy scheme under the sun?
* How many 2 X 4s does it take to get Americans to wake up?
* Why do we not balk at lying on CSpan hearings claiming Iraqis are either
not prepared to bid for contracts, or their bids are not lower?
* Does Cheney, Lay or Bush really think Americans will forget about ENRON?
* Why are we allowing propaganda on re-importation of Rx Drugs to keep ours high?
* Why are the Pharmaceutical Companies against a Medicare Drug Plan?
* Why has Rep Janklow not resigned? Wasn't he convicted of manslaughter?
* How can Redervists be expected to serve one year without losing everything?
* Why do Americans not realized the War On Terror is an enrichment scheme?
* Did Karl Rove tell MSNBCs Chris Matthews that Wilson's wife was fair game?
Whew .... more later
::: Where Has Granny Been? :::
Just real quick.... other than having the Flu Shot Flu I have been:
Attending Taylor Zoo Amimals
Enjoying visits by my Mom and trying to explain to her what
all that printed paper is doing on my coffee table. Then trying
to explain what a Blog is and how it works.
Watching my husband insulate, panel and stain parts
of our enclosed back deck ... in a really sweet attempt to
make a safe place for our 14 yr old, blind RedCat to reside
this winter. At present, he refuses to do more inside than
visit a bit and eat a lot. He is big, furry and the greatest.
Oh yeah ... and working. How could I forget that?
Just read this after posting ... needs clarity. RedCat is the
big, furry and blind one. Hubby is the hard worker. Granny
is the Lazy Momma to the livestock. (4 cats, one lazy dog)
Oh, and by the way RedCat said to tell you: Cats Rule!
::: About Rush :::
Got an email from Manish at DamnForeigner to notify of an address change
on the Blog. Click right over and update your records.
Fell into comments about Rush Limbaugh and posted the following rant:
I have very mixed feelings on this. After I saw a rebroadcast of his announcement
re his addiction, I was very moved.
I too, disagree with most of what Rush has to say, but I did admire his admission
and his courage to tackle the demon. A bit later that evening I saw more newscasters
reporting on the announcement and they pointed out how many times Rush had railed
against druggies, made fun of them, called them the scum of the earth, etc. Now I am
not sure what to think, but I do realize Rush had no choice but to respond the way he
did ... what else could he do but resign his radio show? He realizes ... what a feather in
his cap it would be if he manages to beat the addiction. Perhaps he has assured his
bosses he can do so and they think this would be a big positive for his image.
As a pharmacy technician, I see this addiction on a daily basis and also the money
making aspects of the habit. We have watched customers come into the store, buy
their Rx for Oxycontin, and drive a couple of parking lots over to sell it out the window
of their car. And believe me, it is a money maker.
Now, another disturbing aspect of the Oxy addiction is how expensive the drug is
both to the pharmacy and to customers ... if they are actually paying for it. But the
truth is most of them get the Oxy on Tenncare which would be a maximum of $5.00
copay (if any). This means Tennessee taxpayers are footing the bill for Oxycontin
addiction. The Oxycontin 80mg Tabs are outrageously expensive and I have
seen customers shell out well over $1,500 for an Rx. On private insurance where
copays range from a percentage to near full price ... most run $5.00 to $50.00.
Oxycontin is a time-released drug and if used properly is a true miracle drug for
patients dealing with several different types of pain. One of our customers (a
woman appx 50 yrs old) told me before the doctor prescribed Oxycontin, she
could not get out of bed due to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. She now has her
life back ... all due to the proper use of this drug. The manufacturers of Oxycontin
are aware of the problem and are working on a change in the drug delivery
system so that extra potency cannot be gained by crushing and shooting or by
simply chewing up the tabs (which produces an immediate release of the drugs
The manufacturers said this would take about 3 years to accomplish ... so time
is getting close for their change to be implemented.
In any event, and back to Rush Limbaugh ... I do hope Rush is successful at
beating his addiction. I always wish people well as a general rule because
I think it is right and would hope others would wish me well if I had a problem.
Sunday, October 05, 2003
::: Sometimes We Should See The Other Side :::
A Message From Gaza
This is a heart wrenching piece on Palestineian life. And I am sure I
could find many heart wrenching stories from the Israeli side. But
isn't that the side Americans always get to see?
Many Israelis are beginning to become weary of the Merry-Go-Round
violence and long for peace. Some claim they are losing Zion.
I sincerely hope both sides will realize there is no point in the
continuation of this murderous cycle ... no clear direction, no
hope for the future ... only two peoples devoid of feeling,
desensitized and filled with hate.
::: And Still More On Arnold Who Is Beginning To Scare Me :::
I just stopped over for a visit with The Talking Dog, and he has
posted some comments made in public by Arnold that will chill you
to the bone.
Check it out!!! Arnold is beginning to show his heritage.
::: More Revelations About Arnold :::
Just thought I would pass along a piece I read in U. S. News and World Report.
In the Sept. 15, 2003 issue on page 8 -- Washington Whispers -- "Flashback City"
In a profile of Arnold Schwarzenegger that appeared in U. S. News and World Report,
in November, 1990, the Terminator elaborated on his nascent political views: "My
relationship to power and authority is that I'm all for it. People need somebody to
watch over them," he explained. "Ninety-five percent of the people in the world
need to be told what to do and how to do it."
Now ... to my mind, if you combine the above statement along with the statement
about Hitler and Arnold's admiration for him (and I do understand many people
feel that way if only in the sense that a man who began as a nobody somehow
rose to be a very powerful and became a threat to the world), plus the various
claims made by women ... I am thinking it would give me pause.
On the accounts of groping women
I do not know how men feel, but as a woman reading the report on TruithOut
about what Arnold is alleged to have said and done ... that type of man ...
thinking himself playful or not ... makes my skin crawl. Those accounts alone
speak to his desire for power. He is the type of man who used his celebrity to
take advantage of women, make them feel powerless and to arrogantly flaunt
whatever license his fame granted.
I will allow, however, at this particular point in time, we have no way of knowing
how much truth there is to these claims and the many more that have surfaced
in the past few days. That means we should reserve judgment ... but if we
do reserve judgment, Arnold will more than likely be Governor of California.
Yep, it is a sticky wicket.
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
::: It Is Because They Attack Us At Every Turn :::
That is the reason Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Myers, Abizaid, Bremer and many of the other guys
called to testify before Congress re the monster $87 Billion Bush is seeking, gave for the
impossibility of using Iraq's oil production to pay for the reconstruction of Iraq.
There are tales of bombed pipelines, electric towers, water facilities and on and on they
whine ... we need the $$$.
So if that is the case, can you explain how America can get this construction (at two
different sites in Iraq simultaneously) so far along without it being destroyed?
America's New Snoopy Ears.
From the picture shown at the link, this is HUGE. And just to recap from my
post on September 25th, they are spending $500 Million to build them. Not for nothing,
but it seems like there would be RPGs whizzing through there daily.
Just wondering .....
::: Mother's of American GIs Still Mailing Packages :::
::: But The Contents Differ Wildly From Previous Conflicts :::
Damn them! The list grows daily ... the list of abuses heaped on the troops we sent
to Iraq to defend this country, liberate that country, get rid of Saddam, grab the oil,
or whatever today's reasoning is. I say again ... Damn them!
The packages arriving in Iraq nowadays contain not cookies or cake, but a variety of
gear that should have been provided by our military. Oh, just minor items, I've heard,
like individual body armor to replace the Vietnam-era flak jackets issued to many of
[...] In speeches, President Bush has attributed the record federal budget deficit, in part, to his insistence that U.S. soldiers have the resources they need: "My attitude is, any time we put one of our soldiers in harm's way, we're going to spend whatever is necessary to make sure they have the best training, the best support and the best possible equipment." When Bush later taunted gunmen in Iraq to "bring it on," many GIs must have nervously tugged at their obsolete flak jackets. [...]
The betrayal of this administration just turns my stomach inside out as I am sure it does the
parents of sons and daughters serving in Iraq. As reported by Jonathan Turley, L.A. Times:
[...] Like many other U.S. service members in Iraq, her [Suzanne Werfelman] son was given a Vietnam-era flak jacket that cannot stop the type of weapons used today. It appears that parents across the country are now purchasers of body armor because of the failure of the military to supply soldiers with modern vests.
Werfelman's son, Army Spc. Richard Murphy, is a military policeman in Iraq. He was also one of my law students last year before being sent off for a 20-month stint. Upon their arrival, members of Murphy's unit were shocked to learn that they would be given the old Vietnam-era vests rather than the modern Interceptor vest. (They were also given unarmored Humvees, which are vulnerable to even small-arms fire.) Military officials admit that the standard flak jacket could not reliably stop a bullet, including AK-47 ammunition, used in Iraq and the most common ammunition in the world.
Developed in the late 1990s, the Interceptor vest is made of layered sheets of Kevlar with pockets in front and back for ceramic plates to protect vital organs. These vests - one-third lighter than the old ones - have stopped machine-gun bullets, shrapnel and other ordnance.
They can mean the difference between living and dying, [...]
Even when the troops were provided with the Interceptor vests, they were missing the
essential ceramic plates. As a result, Werfelman bought plates for her son for $650 so
he would have basic protection. The workers at one armor company told her they had
been deluged with requests from parents trying to buy vests and plates for their sons
and daughters overseas. Some desperate soldiers, who had received plates from home,
but had not been issued the vests, resorted to using duct tape to attach them to
the backs of their Vietnam-era flak jackets.
Unfortunately this is the mere tip of the iceberg on the blatant abuse of our troops. It is
no wonder the L.A. Times reporter, who sounds as angry as I am, suggested the following:
[...] One approach might guarantee results. Any member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who does not secure such vests for his service should be required to sit at an outdoor cafe in Tikrit and drink a cup of tea while wearing an old flak jacket. That might focus the general staff on the problem more concretely.
Once the government makes sure all our soldiers receive vests, only one thing would remain: Someone should send Suzanne Werfelman $650 and an apology.
And there is this from William R. Pitt on Rush Limbaugh's comments re dead soldiers:
We forget, of course, that death is a growth stock for George W. Bush. Death gives him political cover to ramrod through his extremist policies. Death makes Americans fear to question him. Death makes for good television. In Iraq, death fills the coffers of corporations like Vice President Cheney's Halliburton.
One would think that the death of American soldiers in Iraq would bode ill for Bush and his administration. Not so, counters apologist Rush Limbaugh:
"Folks, we're getting a daily death update out of Iraq, and we're hearing slogans like, ÂOne a day, and ÂOur troops are being slaughtered, from the Democrats, as their willing accomplices in the press try to concoct this notion that the casualty rate over there is outrageous and intolerable. The following statistics come from the Centers for Disease Control website: On a daily basis, on average, 10 Americans die by drowning, and nine Americans die by fire in their homes. 14 Americans die by pedestrian accidents. 27 Americans die in falls. On average, 50 Americans a day are murdered. 118 die in auto accidents, and 25 people die from A.I.D.S. every day, on average. Yesterday, two Americans died in battle in Iraq."
In short, Rush would have us believe these dead American boys are no big deal. [...]
To be fair Congress is trying to address some of the wrongs heaped upon our
current soldiers and our veterans. Since Americans have been flooding their
offices with calls and emails, they have been kind enought to tack onto the
shockingly awsome $87 Billion appropriations request provisions to cease
the practice of charging our soldiers wounded in action for the food they consume
at the rate of $8.10 per day at Walter Reed ... the bill being presented upon their
release from the hospital.
Plus ... another bonus ... they are rethinking the great idea of cutting the pay
(hazard or combat or extra dangerous?) and the supplements to thefamilies of
soldiers called to service. Isn't that sweet? ... I think so, since I have read and
seen reports of military families on food stamps, and the reservist being fired
from their jobs back home.
And further on the subject of caring parents ... there are the comments by
Barbara Bush reported by Helen Thomas from an interview with Diane
Sawyer on ABC.
On March 18, two days before the U.S. invasion, Barbara Bush had an interview with ABC-TV's Diane Sawyer.
''Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna happen?'' Mrs. Bush declared. ''It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?'' Maybe she is right, but I don't think so.
Hmmmm ..... This woman is our President's MOM ... and our President's DAD ... he
is the one who refers to us as OFUs or Ordinary Fodder Units ... just thought I would
Ok, so I feel better now that I have ranted to all you fine folks. It is just a shame the
fellows mentioned below don't have you guys to pound on when they are feeling a
bit shafted by Rummy's new, forward leaning military. This is a report from
U. S. Troops On The Ground in Iraq
"These guys shot at some of our guys, so we lit 'em up. Put two .50-cal rounds in their vehicle. One went through this dude's hip and into the other guy's head," explains Brunelle. The third man in the car lived. "His buddy was crying like a baby. Just sitting there bawling with his friend's brains and skull fragments all over his face. One of our guys came up to him and is like: 'Hey! No crying in baseball!'"
"I know that probably sounds sick," says Sellers, "but humor is the only way you can deal with this shit."
And just below the humor is volcanic rage. These guys are proud to be soldiers and don't want to come across as whiners, but they are furious about what they've been through. They hate having their lives disrupted and put at risk. They hate the military for its stupidity, its feckless lieutenants and blowhard brass living comfortably in Saddam's palaces. They hate Iraqis--or, as they say, "hajis"--for trying to kill them. They hate the country for its dust, heat and sewage-clogged streets. They hate having killed people. Some even hate the politics of the war. And because most of them are, ultimately, just regular well-intentioned guys, one senses the distinct fear that someday a few may hate themselves for what they have been forced to do here.
Added to such injury is insult: The military treats these soldiers like unwanted stepchildren. This unit's rifles are retooled hand-me-downs from Vietnam. They have inadequate radio gear, so they buy their own unencrypted Motorola walkie-talkies. The same goes for flashlights, knives and some components for night-vision sights. The low-performance Iraqi air-conditioners and fans, as well as the one satellite phone and payment cards shared by the whole company for calling home, were also purchased out of pocket from civilian suppliers.
Bottled water rations are kept to two liters a day. After that the guys drink from "water buffaloes"--big, hot chlorination tanks that turn the amoeba-infested dreck from the local taps into something like swimming-pool water. Mix this with powdered Gatorade and you can wash down a famously bad MRE (Meal Ready to Eat).
Gee ... it is time ... Granny, ruled by her stomach (no M.R.E. for me) ... supper is ready!