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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Reporter REMOVED For Asking Rummy a Question

"Mr. Secretary, Military Families Think You're Lying to Them. Why Won't You Meet with Them?"

Tonia Young
Link Here

Gold Star mom Nadia McCaffrey wound up her Southern California visit yesterday by attending Donald Rumsfeld's speech at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Secretary of Defense spoke before a capacity audience at a luncheon presented by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

Rumsfeld continued to dismiss reports that prisoner abuse by American military personnel is widespread. He praised his subordinates for "conducting investigations," and claimed the torture problem has been solved. Rumsfeld insisted recent news coverage of prior incidents only makes it seem "like it's new allegations."

Nadia, whose son Patrick was killed in Iraq in June of 2004, attempted to approach Rumsfeld to ask him about what she believes are his various inconsistent statements, but was blocked by security. In an interview after the event, she told me the military leadership has failed to protect troops with adequate equipment that is readily available. "We have thousands of M113 armored vehicles sitting in storage," Nadia complained. "Why has Rumsfeld decided only recently to ship them to Iraq?" (Although Stars and Stripes reported on January 4 that M113 personnel carriers would finally be transported to Iraq, it has not been confirmed that the vehicles have actually arrived and are in use.)

Dana and Frances from CODEPINK interrupted Rumsfeld's speech and tried to unfurl a banner while telling the Secretary that he had "lied" to the American people. They were immediately dragged out of the ballroom.

As Rumsfeld was leaving the event after his speech, I took a few steps out of the media area where I had been sitting, and said to him, "Mr. Secretary, military families think you're lying to them. Why won't you meet with them?" The Secretary ignored me as two men who appeared to be Secret Service agents aggressively removed me from the premises. I know of no other instance in which government agents have been used to physically assault a reporter for mildly questioning a public servant. None of my media brethren have so far come to my defense, despite the possibility they could be similarly bullied merely for doing their jobs.

The strategy of intimidating journalists is futile, because even hawks now recognize Rumsfeld lacks credibility. On his Fox News TV show Wednesday night, Bill O'Reilly revealed, "I don't have any confidence in Donald Rumsfeld at this point...I don't think he's leveling with the American people."

The effort to hold the Bush administration accountable continues tomorrow in Crawford, Texas at the vacation home of President Bush. Members of Gold Star Families for Peace plan to confront the President about why U.S. forces are still occupying Iraq, and ask him to explain exactly why he believes the mission is a "noble cause." According to Gold Star founder Cindy Sheehan, the families will stay "until we are arrested or satisfied with the answers."

Iraq war's painful paradox

Article Launched: 08/06/2005 01:56:12 AM

Mike Coffman, Colorado's state treasurer who's taking leave to serve as a U.S. Marine officer in Iraq, made a pertinent observation this week. There is no purely military solution to the problems in Iraq, he told The Associated Press. What Iraq needs is a political solution.
Coffman left unsaid how difficult it will be to find political solutions until the insurgency is curbed.

His views were reinforced by other comments from the American army officer who served as the first U.S. administrator in Iraq following the 2003 war. Speaking in Steamboat Springs Thursday, retired Gen. Jay Garner said the insurgeancy could be defused if more Iraqis had jobs and if Islamic clerics took a strong stand against the violence.

Last week was particularly bad. On Wednesday, 14 Marines were killed in the worst roadside bombing since the war began in 2003. The deaths struck hardest in the state that handed President Bush his re-election: Nine of the Marines were from the same Ohio reserve unit. The U.S. death toll in Iraq now stands at more than 1,820.

Iraqis have suffered worse. On Sunday, a suicide bomber killed 25 people, including several Iraqi Army volunteers. On Thursday, five Iraqi police officers died. Since the April 28 formation of the new Iraqi government, some 793 Iraqi security forces and at least 1,361 Iraqi civilians have been killed in 477 attacks, the AP estimates.

The real numbers may be higher as many killings go unreported, the story said. The insurgents may not be winning over the Iraqi public by killing civilians, but they are making it tough for the civilian government to function.

Grimly, top Iraqi leaders postponed from Friday to Sunday a meeting on drafting a new national constitution. It's crucial that they hold that meeting, as the constitution and new elections are the real keys to Iraq's future.

Yet the painful paradox remains that while a political solution is the real answer to the violence in Iraq, only the U.S. military seems able to respond to the insurgency for now.

Link Here

True. Not True. Who the hell can say anymore?

U.S. Probe Rejects

Iraqis' Shooting


Saturday August 6, 2005 8:01 PM

Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - An internal U.S. military investigation has rejected claims by Iraqis that U.S. troops opened fire on civilians after a suicide bombing attack on Iraqi army recruits in a northern town, a U.S. Army spokesman said.

Iraqi police said 52 people were killed and 93 wounded on July 29 in Rabiah, 230 miles north of Baghdad. Most were killed by a suicide bomber wearing a belt of explosives who blew himself up among Iraqi army volunteers.

The U.S. military put the casualty toll at 10 dead and 21 injured.

Iraqi police, doctors and residents said some survivors of the suicide bombing were shot after the attack when U.S. and Iraqi soldiers opened fire at the scene.

Lt. Col. A.L. Hance Sr., a spokesman for Task Force Freedom in Mosul, Iraq, said the Tiger Squadron commander ``has conducted an internal investigation and finds no facts to support this claim.''

He suggested witnesses may have assumed holes in the walls were from bullets but he said they ``could be caused by ball bearings that are commonly used in suicide type devices.'' He added that ``this conduct was not in character with how we train our soldiers and would be highly unusual behavior.''

Task Force Freedom is the headquarters for all U.S. military forces in northern Iraq, including the units in Rabiah.

Col. Yahya al-Shammari, the Rabiah police chief, said U.S. and Iraqi soldiers opened fire after the bomb went off believing that they were under attack and that some people who survived the blast were killed in the gunfire.

He did not say specifically that U.S. soldiers killed or wounded any of the victims but told The Associated Press that ``Iraq and U.S. troops opened fire'' after the blast.

One doctor, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said he removed bullets fired by a weapon carried by Iraqi but not American soldiers from some of the wounded.

Al-Shammari, who blamed the Iraqi army for failing to provide adequate security, said families of four of the dead initially had planned to ask the Iraqi army for compensation but the matter was resolved ``according to tribal laws.'' He did not elaborate.


Where Are the War Heroes?


Published: August 7, 2005

ONE soldier fought off scores of elite Iraqi troops in a fierce defense of his outnumbered Army unit, saving dozens of American lives before he himself was killed. Another soldier helped lead a team that killed 27 insurgents who had ambushed her convoy. And then there was the marine who, after being shot, managed to tuck an enemy grenade under his stomach to save the men in his unit, dying in the process.

Their names are Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith, Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester and Sgt. Rafael Peralta. If you have never heard of them, even in a week when more than 20 marines were killed in Iraq by insurgents, that might be because the military, the White House and the culture at large have not publicized their actions with the zeal that was lavished on the heroes of World War I and World War II.

Many in the military are disheartened by the absence of an instantly recognizable war hero today, a deficiency with a complex cause: public opinion on the Iraq war is split, and drawing attention to it risks fueling opposition; the military is more reluctant than it was in the last century to promote the individual over the group; and the war itself is different, with fewer big battles and more and messier engagements involving smaller units of Americans. Then, too, there is a celebrity culture that seems skewed more to the victim than to the hero.

Collectively, say military historians, war correspondents and retired senior officers, the country seems to have concluded that war heroes pack a political punch that requires caution. They have become not just symbols of bravery but also reminders of the war's thorniest questions. "No one wants to call the attention of the public to bloodletting and heroism and the horrifying character of combat," said Richard Kohn, a military historian at the University of North Carolina. "What situation can be imagined that would promote the war and not remind people of its ambivalence?"

Heroism in the past was easier to highlight. In World War I, men like Sgt. Alvin York, a sharpshooter from Tennessee who captured 132 German soldiers with only a few rifles and a handful of men, were lauded by the military and devoured by the public. A ticker-tape parade in Manhattan greeted the sergeant's return.

During World War II, the military became even more sophisticated. Responding to the propaganda campaigns of Mussolini and Hitler, every branch of the military created a public relations office, said Paul Kennedy, a military historian at Yale. Heroes were even brought home specifically to rally support for the war.

Richard I. Bong, for example, an Army Air Corps pilot who came to be known as the Ace of Aces, was sent home in December 1944 after shooting down his 40th Japanese plane. He was dispatched immediately on a nationwide tour to help sell war bonds.

Audie Murphy, perhaps the best-known World War II hero, took part in similar tours. He went on to act in 44 Hollywood films, including his own autobiography, "To Hell and Back." Dozens of other combat heroes played roles in the war's promotion.

"Everyone was involved," said Walter Russell Mead, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "The deliberate mobilization of the home front was considered a major priority by government in a way that it's just not now."

The change began, historians said, with the murky stalemate of the Korean War, which did not require as much mobilization or support as previous wars. Vietnam cemented the shift. While the swashbuckling Green Berets were lionized in the war's early years, by 1968 the public became skeptical of military planners who perpetually predicted a victory that never came.

"What happened very quickly was a move away from the bravery of the kids fighting," David Halberstam, the author and former war correspondent, said in an interview. The question that ran through everyone's mind was, Can this war be won?

"We had absolute military superiority but they had absolute political supremacy," Mr. Halberstam said. "That led to a stalemate - and that became the governing issue."

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Where were the protsestors

Mom of Slain Soldier Stages Bush Protest

I am fixing this post need text so here it is... WHERE are these protest pics from and

why aren't we seeing them?

Answer: Because there is no frikin media to tell the stories, they dont exist anymore,

Welcome to the world of Bush and his administration

Art For Boys


The Scene in Crawford...

"In the name of 1,828 soldiers that should be alive, I'm going to go see the President. He killed my son."


Link Here
Photos of the activities to be uploaded shortly.


12:40 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6

When Cindy Sheehan got off her bus in Crawford around 11:40 a.m. coming from the Veterans for Peace convention in Irving (near Dallas), she was greeted with applause and swarmed by reporters. Some of the meda covering the event, along with The Iconoclast, were ABC, CNN, CBS, NBC and AFP (Agency France Press).

A veteran of World War II carrying a sign, Archie Goodwin from South Florida, commented that he is for peace, "but Bush isn't." His sign reads "Somebody lied."

Currently, a bus provided by Veterans for Peace is taking about a dozen members, including Cindy Sheehan, to the checkpoint in front of President Bush's ranch. Sheriff's Department Captain Kenneth Vanek said prior to departing to lead the caravan, "As long as y'all work with us, we'll work with y'all."

Following the bus is a train of automobiles, numbering about over 15.

Sheehan said she is prepared to go to jail if necesssary, but is expecting a peaceful confrontation.

The McLennan County Sheriff's Department is acting as the escort to the checkpoint.

With the arrival of Sheehan's bus, there were at least 50 people present, from Code Pink Austin, Veterans for Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Iraqi Veterans Against the War, and Gold Star Families for Peace, which is Sheehan's group.

Among those present, rumors of pro-war, anti-protest protestors perhaps arriving later were voiced.

In all, about a dozen law enforcement officers were on the scene near the Peace House. No Secret Service personnel had been identified. More later.

1:10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6

Diebenow reporting:

We've got about 50-something people walking on the side of the road, in a ditch, all the way up the mile to the Bush ranch. At the first checkpoint, the police ordered them to not walk on the roadway, but in the medium-tall grass along the right side of the road where it is about 10 ft. wide in places, three feet deep in some places. They are kind of straddling the roadway.

There appears to be another checkpoint up ahead, with another car in the middle of the road.

Now two big white dogs are coming out to greet them along the fence. I don't know what kind of dogs they are, but they seem to be friendly. Some ranchers' probably.

It's really hot, humid, with people sweating.

Wait. Call you back in a minute.

1:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6

Diebenow reporting:

We are at the second checkpoint and the sheriff's department has told the protestors to get off the road. They've been walking on the road, breaking their part of the bargain, the police say.

Some of Cindy's group are now sitting, waiting for Bush to come out. Now more are sitting down.

One Veterans for Peace protestor asked police officers for water because it's a hundred degrees.

Now the protestors are reciting The Lord's Prayer in unison.

(moments later)

Now Cindy Sheehan is shouting that Bush's mother ought to be ashamed of him. She's proud of her child who died in Iraq.

I now see Secret Service out here.

Protestors are saying that one of their rationales for not getting off the road was that the media was on the road. A police officer said that the media was just following them, but the media is still on the road, with cameras, booms, microphones.

Some protestors are still sitting, but more are now standing.

They are now chanting "No Justice, No Peace." "George Bush is a war criminal." "Downing Street memos prove it." "Billion dollars a week for war."

Chanting again, people on left saying "Had enough," people on right saying "Stop the war," going back and forth.

Police now telling media to get on the other side of the road and to not disrupt traffic.

Chanting still going on (time 1:20).

More coming.

2:10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6

At the first checkpoint, Sheehan told the Officer Vanek: "We don't have the quarrel with you. The quarrel we have is with the President."

At the second checkpoint, she said, "I didn't come all the way from California to stand here in a ditch."

An officer offered to send Bush a letter or a statement from Cindy Sheehan, but she said she didn't want to do that.

Her reply was that they were making the mother of a veteran of the Iraq war walk in a ditch.

Protestors are carrying signs that read "No more blood for oil," "Support our troops, bring them home now," and "Frodo failed. Bush has the ring."

It is extremely hot. People are starting to get dehydrated.

Sheehan is moving toward the ranch at the second checkpoint and says, "In the name of 1,828 soldiers that should be alive, I'm going to go see the President. He killed my son."

An officer got in her face, stopping her.

The crowd starts chanting, "W. killed her son. W. killed her son."

Bush has not come out, none of those anti-protest protesters either.

Hadi Jawad, a board member of the Crawford Peace House, shouts to the media: "Do your job. Ask about the Downing Street Memo."

After sitting in the heat waiting to interview Cindy, most members of the press start to leave. Now protestors start to leave. One says, "I guess we ought to go." It appears that the initial protest is over.

Sheehan says she is going to stay at the checkpoint. Others are bringing water to her. The idea seems to be that she intends to camp out here, but I am unsure at this point whether the authorities will allow it. The others are going back to the Peace House to regroup.

Cindy Sheehan said after the media had left, "This is the beginning of the end of the occupation of Iraq." A wild round of applause followed.

Currently, the Secret Service and the police are just hanging around. The area is beginning to look deserted except for Cindy and her small group.

3:10 p.m.

The police are giving Cindy a hard time because they won't let her set up a tent by the side of the road.

This will probably be the last dispatch for awhile.

UK's former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook dies

UK's former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook dies

LONDON, England (AP) -- Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who quit Prime Minister Tony Blair's Cabinet in 2003 to protest the Iraq war, died Saturday after collapsing on a Scottish mountain while walking with his wife. He was 59.
Scotland's Northern Constabulary said Cook collapsed on Ben Stack mountain in the Scottish Highlands. He was taken by coast guard helicopter to a hospital in Inverness, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, filling in for a vacationing Blair, said Cook was "the greatest parliamentarian of his generation."

"He also made an enormous contribution to British politics in opposition and in government," Prescott said.

Michael Howard, leader of the main opposition Conservative Party, said Cook's political contribution had been "immense."
"He was a politician of principle who fought hard for the things he believed in," Howard said.
Jack Straw, Cook's successor as foreign secretary, said he was "devastated."

"Robin and I had been good friends for nearly 30 years and that friendship survived our policy disagreements over Iraq," Straw said. "He was the greatest parliamentarian of his generation and a very fine foreign secretary. I deeply mourn his loss."

Cook served as foreign minister in 1997-2001 before being demoted to leader of the House of Commons. His resignation speech, days before the Iraq war began in March 2003, received a rare standing ovation from lawmakers.

"Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create?" he said.

'I am not good-looking enough'

Renowned as an intelligent lawmaker and skilled debater, Cook remained a high-profile figure despite his withdrawal from government, and he became an increasingly vocal opponent of Blair's policies.

Some supporters believed Cook should have been leader of the Labour Party. But opponents saw him as arrogant and distant.

A lawmaker since 1974, Cook -- a short, bearded redhead -- declined to oppose Blair when he was elected Labour leader in 1994, declaring: "I am not good-looking enough."

Instead, Cook accepted the post of foreign secretary following the landslide election victory that made Blair prime minister in 1997.

But his promise of an "ethical dimension" to British foreign policy often came back to haunt him, particularly after he sanctioned the sale of 16 Hawk jet fighters to Indonesia in 1999, despite the country's widely criticized human rights record in East Timor.

Another diplomatic miscalculation came during a trip to India and Pakistan, when he suggested that Britain could mediate any negotiations over the disputed territory of Kashmir. The remark irritated both countries.

Cook was praised by many for his tough-minded handling of the 1999 Kosovo crisis, but that and other successes were partly overshadowed by the scandal of ending his 28-year marriage to his wife, Margaret, at an airport as they were about to leave on vacation.

Warned by Downing Street that a tabloid newspaper was about to disclose his long-standing affair with his secretary Gaynor Regan, Cook immediately told Margaret he was leaving her. Margaret Cook wrote a book accusing her former husband of being a drunk and a depressive.

She said his intelligence and ability were unmatched, but he had "absolutely no natural courtesy or sympathy."

Cook, who later married Regan, shifted to the right of the party under Blair's leadership but gravitated back to the left following his demotion, earning a reputation as a leading Cabinet "dove" opposed to invading Iraq without a U.N. mandate.

An ally of Treasury chief Gordon Brown, Cook had been tipped to return to Cabinet should Brown succeed Blair as Labour leader, as many predict.

On Saturday, Brown praised Cook's "incisive mind, forensic skills and formidable and wide-ranging debating prowess."

"A strong European, a committed internationalist, and a distinguished foreign secretary with friends in every country, he will be mourned greatly not only by his family, friends, colleagues and constituents, but in every continent of the world," Brown said.

Cook is survived by his wife and two sons from his first marriage.

Link Here

Dick For Bad Girls



How IS bushs' vacation going...?

Mom of Slain Soldier

Stages Bush Protest

Associated Press Writer

The angry mother of a fallen U.S. soldier staged a protest near President Bush's ranch on Saturday, demanding an accounting from the president of how he has conducted the war in Iraq.

Supported by more than 50 shouting demonstrators, Cindy Sheehan, 48, told reporters, "I want to ask George Bush: Why did my son die?"

Sheehan arrived in Crawford aboard a bus painted red, white and blue and emblazoned with the words, "Impeachment Tour."

Her son, Casey, 24, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004. He was an Army specialist, a Humvee mechanic.

Sheehan, from Vacaville, Calif., had been attending a Veterans for Peace Convention in Dallas. She vowed she would camp out as close as she could get to the president's ranch until Bush comes out and talks to her.

Local law enforcement officials were keeping Sheehan four to five miles away from the ranch's entrance.

"If they won't cooperate, we won't," Capt. Kenneth Vanek of the McLennan County Sheriff's Department, said of the marchers.

He said the group was stopped because some marchers ignored instructions to walk in the ditch beside the road, not on the road.

Sheehan said she decided to come to Crawford a few days ago after Bush said that fallen U.S. troops had died for a noble cause and that the mission must be completed.

"I don't want him to use my son's name or my family name to justify any more killing," she said.

Sheehan said Bush administration officials "don't have a mission and they don't even ever plan on completing it." She said she fears that the United States plans to keep a U.S. military presence in Iraq indefinitely.

Sheehan's bus pulled up at a house run by peace activists a few hundred feet from the town's only stoplight. There, she met up with other demonstrators and then led a caravan of about 20 vehicles down a winding road toward Bush's ranch.

The group stopped along the way and sheriff's deputies advised them that if they wanted to go farther toward the ranch, they would have to walk in a ditch along the road.

The marchers walked about half a mile until the deputies stopped them, saying that they had violated their instructions by walking on the road itself instead of staying in the adjacent ditch.

Sheehan protested, saying she had not walked on the road. The deputies refused to let her go farther.

The protesters then began chanting, "W killed her son."

--Sounds like a party!!!.--

May God Himself, Watch Over This Artist.

-- I Love you man, that's great.

Art prankster sprays Israeli wall

Secretive "guerrilla" artist Banksy has decorated Israel's controversial West Bank barrier with satirical images of life on the other side.

The nine paintings were created on the Palestinian side of the barrier.

One depicts a hole in the wall with an idyllic beach, while another shows a mountain landscape on the other side.

Banksy's spokeswoman Jo Brooks said: "The Israeli security forces did shoot in the air threateningly and there were quite a few guns pointed at him."

Another picture shows the head of a white horse appearing to poke through, while he has also painted a ladder going over the wall.

The 425-mile (680-kilometre) long barrier, made of concrete walls and razor-wire fences, is still being erected by Israeli authorities.

Israel says the structure is necessary to protect the country from suicide bombers, but the International Court of Justice has said it breaches international law.

Banksy, who hails from the UK city of Bristol, never allows himself to be photographed and created the images last week.

He condemned the wall but described it as "the ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti writers".

His previous creations, which critics condemn as stunts, have included a bronze spoof of the statue of Justice from the Old Bailey, London, wearing thigh-high boots and a suspender belt.

He also embarrassed the British Museum by planting a hoax cave painting of a man pushing a supermarket trolley, which he said went unnoticed for three days.

He has also smuggled and hung works in galleries including the Tate Britain in London and the Metropolitan and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Story from BBC

Published: 2005/08/05 10:19:17 GMT

--I LOVE this guy, he's my hero!!! That's hillarious!!!--

Art For Girls


Wha...Wha...Wha. WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!!!

Military Says Troops

Demanded 'Rent'

From Iraqi Vendors

By Scott Gold, Times Staff Writer
L.A. Times

California Army National Guard troops charged unauthorized, off-the-books "rent" to Iraqi-owned businesses inside Baghdad's Green Zone in Iraq to raise money for a "soldier's fund," military officials and sources within the troops' battalion said Friday.

The disclosure is the latest to emerge from a wide-ranging investigation into the conduct of the 1st Battalion of the 184th Infantry Regiment of the Guard, which is headquartered in Modesto, Calif.

Military officials had confirmed previously that the battalion's commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Frey, had been suspended and that one of the battalion's companies, based in Fullerton, Calif., had been removed from patrol duties and restricted to an Army base south of Baghdad, the capital.

According to military officials and members of the battalion, soldiers from the battalion's Bravo Company, which is based in Dublin, an East Bay suburb of San Francisco, approached several businesses earlier this year that were owned and operated by Iraqi nationals.

The businesses -- a dry cleaner, a convenience store and the like -- catered to U.S. soldiers and were located on the fringe of the U.S. military's operating base inside the Green Zone, the fortified hub of the Iraqi government, U.S. occupation officials, embassies and contractor headquarters. The businesses were asked to pay the soldiers "rent."

Lt. Col. Cliff Kent, spokesman for the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq, confirmed Friday that two vendors agreed to pay.

The money was used to create a "soldier's fund," said one member of the battalion, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Such funds are used by troops for a wide variety of purposes, such as small loans to repay bills back home or buying commemorative so-called "challenge coins" -- often specially minted to foster morale inside a unit. Kent said the fund created from the rent money also was used to buy T-shirts, patches and a safe.

Kent declined to discuss the incident further, stating in an e-mail from Iraq: "Specific details are part of the informal investigation which is administrative in nature and protected by privacy rules."

There is considerable dispute about the financial arrangement -- how much money was raised, how many soldiers were involved and how important the allegations are.

Army officials say the total amount was $4,000, but troops in the battalion have said the scheme raised more than $30,000. The investigation resulted in disciplinary action against one officer from the battalion's Bravo Company. Army officials declined to disclose the officer's name, and his identity could not be confirmed independently.

Army officials say they have no evidence that anyone else was involved beyond the disciplined officer. But members of the battalion, including one who has been briefed directly on the investigation, said that at least six soldiers played some role in the arrangement.

One member of the battalion said the consensus in the ranks was that, "This is not the kind of thing that you do alone." Battalion members who discussed the matter did so on condition that their names not be used because they have been told by superiors not to talk about the subject with reporters.

Several soldiers have called the rental arrangement "extortion," but Army officials insist that the word is not an accurate description of the relationship between the soldiers and the vendors.

Military investigators initially received reports that the scheme had been carried out on at least two other U.S. bases in Iraq, but officials said Friday that they have concluded that the arrangement on the Green Zone operating base was an isolated case.

At least three companies in the battalion, composed of about 680 soldiers, have been affected by the investigation into its conduct in Iraq.

The battalion's Alpha Company, a 130-soldier unit based in Fullerton, has been the subject of the most serious portion of the investigation: that soldiers allegedly mistreated or abused Iraqi detainees in March.

Military sources have said that at least some of the mistreatment involved a Taser stun gun and was captured on videotape. Eleven soldiers have been charged in connection with the alleged abuse; the Army's Criminal Investigation Division will determine whether the soldiers will face courts-martial.

Military officials also have confirmed that a leader of the battalion's Delta Company, 1st Sgt. Robert Jones, was relieved of duty recently after being accused of threatening an Iraqi detainee by, among other things, shooting at a water heater during an interrogation. Delta Company is based in Oakdale, east of Modesto.

--Un. Freaking. Believable.--

Plane down off Sicily: 11 dead

Saturday, August 6, 2005 Posted: 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)

ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Eleven people are dead and eight have been rescued after an TunisAir flight with at least 35 people on board went down off the coast of Sicily in Italy, according to aviation officials.

CNN's Rome Bureau Chief Alessio Vinci said that reports indicated the plane was afloat and that a rescue attempt was under way.

The ATR 42 aircraft was headed from Bari in southeastern Italy to the Tunisian island of Djerba when it radioed saying it had an engine problem just after 3.20 p.m. local time (1320 GMT).
The plane requested permission to land in Palermo but failed to reach the airport, crash-landing in the sea 13 miles to the north.

Two passengers had been seen on the wings of the plane after it had landed on the water, the emergency services told Reuters.

CNN Rome bureau chief Alessio Vinci contributed to this report

Link Here

In '92, Rove leaked to Novak, was FIRED by Bush Sr.

August 6, 2005
C.I.A. Leak Case

Recalls Texas

Incident in '92 Race

Link Here

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 - These hot months here will be remembered as the summer of the leak, a time when the political class obsessed on a central question: did Karl Rove, President Bush's powerful adviser, commit a crime when he spoke about a C.I.A. officer with the columnist Robert D. Novak?

Whatever a federal grand jury investigating the case decides, a small political subgroup is experiencing the odd sensation that this leak has sprung before. In 1992 in an incident well known in Texas, Mr. Rove was fired from the state campaign to re-elect the first President Bush on suspicions that Mr. Rove had leaked damaging information to Mr. Novak about Robert Mosbacher Jr., the campaign manager and the son of a former commerce secretary.

Since then, Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove was the source, even as Mr. Mosbacher, who no longer talks on the record about the incident, has never changed his original assertion that Mr. Rove was the culprit.

"It's history," Mr. Mosbacher said last week in a brief telephone interview. "I commented on it at the time, and I have nothing to add."

But the episode, part of the bad-boy lore of Mr. Rove, is a telling chapter in the 20-year friendship between the presidential adviser and the columnist. The story of that relationship, a bond of mutual self-interest of a kind that is long familiar in Washington, does not answer the question of who might have leaked the identity of the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, to reporters, potentially a crime.

But it does give a clue to Mr. Rove's frequent and complimentary mentions over the years in Mr. Novak's column, and to the importance of Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak to each other's ambitions.

"They've known each for a long time, but they are not close friends," said a person who knows both men and who asked not to be named because of the investigation into a conversation by Mr. Novak and Mr. Rove in July 2003 about Ms. Wilson, part of a case that has put a reporter for The New York Times, Judith Miller, in jail for refusing to testify to the grand jury.

The two men share a love of history and policy, as well as reputations as aggressive partisans and hotheads.

People who have been officially briefed on the case have said Mr. Rove was the second of two senior administration officials cited by Mr. Novak in his column of July 14, 2003, that identified Ms. Wilson by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and said she was a C.I.A. operative.

The larger question has been whether Mr. Rove might have been using the columnist to confirm Ms. Plame's identity to punish or undermine her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who had accused the Bush administration of leading the nation to war with Iraq on false pretenses.

Mr. Novak, who stalked out of a live program on CNN on Thursday after uttering a profanity on the air, declined to be interviewed for this article.

The anchor of the program, "Inside Politics," Ed Henry, has said he was preparing later in the broadcast to ask Mr. Novak about his role in the leak case.

Mr. Rove also declined to be interviewed.

But Mr. Novak, through his office manager, Kathleen Connolly, provided the information about his first encounter with Mr. Rove. Mr. Novak, by his recollection, met Mr. Rove in Texas in the mid-80's, when Mr. Novak turned up to write columns about the state's shifting out of Democrats' hands into those of Republicans.

In those years, Mr. Rove regularly had dinner with Mr. Novak when the columnist went to Austin. Mr. Rove, in his mid-30's, was a rising political operator who in 1981 founded his direct-mail consulting firm, Karl Rove & Company. Gov. William P. Clements, a Republican, was one of his first clients.

Mr. Novak, in his mid-50's, was big political game for Mr. Rove. He was the other half, with Rowland Evans Jr., of a much read and increasingly conservative column that was syndicated by The Chicago Sun-Times and published weekly in The Washington Post. Evans and Novak, as it was called - Mr. Evans retired in 1993 -closely chronicled the Reagan era, and it would have been a sign of Mr. Rove's arrival on the national scene for Mr. Novak to mention him in print.

Still, a computer search of Mr. Novak's columns shows that Mr. Rove's name did not appear under his byline until 1992, when Mr. Novak wrote the words that got Mr. Rove into such trouble.

"A secret meeting of worried Republican power brokers in Dallas last Sunday reflected the reality that George Bush is in serious trouble in trying to carry his adopted state," the column began.

The column said that the campaign run by Mr. Mosbacher was a "bust" and that he had been stripped of his authority at the "secret meeting" by Senator Phil Gramm, the top Republican in the state.

Also at the meeting, Mr. Novak reported, was "political consultant Karl Rove, who had been shoved aside by Mosbacher."

Specifically, Mr. Mosbacher told The Houston Chronicle in 2003 that he had given a competitor of Mr. Rove the bulk of a $1 million contract for direct mail work in the campaign.

"I thought another firm was better," Mr. Mosbacher told The Chronicle. "I had $1 million for direct mail. I gave Rove a contract for $250,000 and $750,000 to the other firm."

The other firm belonged to Mr. Rove's chief competitor, John Weaver, and Mr. Rove was so angry, Texas Republicans say, that he retaliated by leaking the information about Mr. Mosbacher to Mr. Novak.

Mr. Mosbacher fired Mr. Rove. As a result, Mr. Weaver, who later faced off against Mr. Rove as the political director of Senator John McCain's presidential campaign in 2000, walked away with Mr. Rove's $250,000, too.

"That's about the only time that a Novak column benefited me," Mr. Weaver said this week in a telephone interview.

Mr. Rove again turned up in Mr. Novak's columns in 1999, when Gov. George W. Bush was running for president. Mr. Rove, Mr. Bush's national campaign strategist, was quoted briefly on the record in at least three columns, even though Mr. Novak has said on CNN, "I can't tell you anything I ever talked to Karl Rove about, because I don't think I ever talked to him about any subject, even the time of day, on the record."

Whether Mr. Novak forgot about the 1999 mentions is unclear. What is clear is that Mr. Rove has made frequent appearances in Mr. Novak's column in a positive light, often in paragraphs that imparted information about the inner workings of Mr. Bush's operation, feeding perceptions here that Mr. Rove is one of the columnist's most important anonymous sources.

In April 2000, under the headline "Bush Thriving Without Insiders," Mr. Novak wrote of the fears of the Republican old guard about the triumvirate of "rookies" in Austin - led by Mr. Rove - who were running Mr. Bush's "supposedly fading" presidential campaign.

"Actually," Mr. Novak wrote, "the Austin triumvirate has managed the most effective Republican campaign since Dwight D. Eisenhower's in 1952."

Last December, Mr. Novak wrote that the "retention of John Snow as secretary of the treasury was viewed in the capital's inner circles as a defeat for presidential adviser Karl Rove, who wanted a high-profile manager of President Bush's second-term economic program."

Although Mr. Novak did not directly debunk that view, he did suggest a different turn of events when he wrote that two Wall Street executives had said no to the position and that it was "decided at the White House to relieve Snow from his uncertainty and keep him in office."

These days, friends of the two men say they have not seen Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak at dinner together and note that there is little the two would have to celebrate. But in June 2003, The Chicago Sun-Times gave a party for Mr. Novak at the Army and Navy Club here to salute 40 years of his columns.

The biggest political celebrity guest, to no one's surprise, was Mr. Rove.

Sub: U.S., UK rescue teams arrive

The United States, Britain and Japan scrambled Saturday to rescue seven Russian sailors trapped in a mini-submarine about 200 meters ( 625 feet) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Link Here

BREAKING NEWS::Passenger jet has gone down in the water off the coast of Sicily, Italian news reports say.

Over 50 LA Soldiers Prosecuted in Iraq

Aug 6, 2005, 02:39 AM

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - At least 55 soldiers serving in Iraq with the Louisiana National Guard's 256th Brigade have been tried and convicted of criminal charges, many of them drug-related.
The brigade's commanding officer, John Basilica, delivered the news to reporters via teleconference from Baghdad Thursday at the brigade's Lafayette headquarters. Basilica says he doesn't consider the number especially high, because it's a small percentage of the 4,000 soldiers with the brigade.

He says the convictions came in a period beginning in May 2004, when the brigade was called up and sent to Fort Hood, Texas, for training. He says the criminal behavior has had no effect on readiness, but added that drug and alcohol use was especially disturbing because it could impair a soldier's behavior and endanger others.

An Army spokesman in Iraq didn't immediately have figures available from other National Guard brigades, making it unclear how the 256th's convictions compare to other brigades.
Soldiers are barred from possession of alcohol or any illegal drug in Iraq. But Basilica says some soldiers probably buy the contraband from civilian contractors, who aren't subject to the same oversight as soldiers. Others received drugs in the mail from the United States.

Link Here

Salt Lake veteran roiled by Army's interrogations

Forgotten lessons: He supports a bill requiring the military to return to the techniques he taught for years

The retired brigadier general was crushed, last year, when he learned his nation's flag had flown over prisons where U.S. troops abused suspected enemy fighters

Link Here

Back From Iraq, Colorado Soldier Kills Himself, Wife:




Shootings Under Investigation
POSTED: 3:58 pm MDT August 4, 2005
UPDATED: 4:44 pm MDT August 4, 2005

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A Colorado soldier who just returned from duty in Iraq fatally shot his wife and then himself, according to a Fort Carson spokesman.

Pfc. Stephen S. Sherwood, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, was with his wife at their home near Fort Collins when the shooting occurred Wednesday afternoon.

The Larimer County SWAT unit was called to the home at 335 Bradley Drive around 3:45 p.m. after a report of shots being fired.

The couple's 8-month-old child was in the care of a neighbor, who reported hearing the gunshots, said Eloise Campanella, a spokeswoman for the Larimer County sheriff.

Officers entered the home shortly before 9 p.m. and found the bodies of Stephen Sherwood, 36, and his wife, Sara, 30. Investigators do not have a motive for the shootings.

Sherwood was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery based out of Fort Carson, but had a home near Fort Collins.

Sherwood had returned from Iraq on July 25 after spending nearly a year there and was on leave at the time of the shootings, said Dee McNutt, an Army spokeswoman.

Sherwood enlisted in the Army in January 2004, according to McNutt.

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which had previously been based in South Korea, lost 68 soldiers during its tour in Iraq.

He was at least the second Fort Carson-based soldier to commit suicide shortly after serving in Iraq.

Chief Warrant Officer William Howell, a Green Beret, shot himself to death in March 2004 in a confrontatioin with police outside his home in Monument, just north of Colorado Springs. He had returned from Iraq three weeks earlier.

Link Here

Marine Injured In Iraq Dies After Feeding Tube Removed:




Staff Sgt. Chad Jerome Simon, 32, died Thursday afternoon. He suffered a brain injury when he was injured by a roadside bomb in Fallujah last November

Link Here

The Hiroshima Cover-Up

Some 150,00 residents of Hiroshima, and 70,000of Nagasaki died in the initial flashes. by Aug 2004 an additonal 87000 in Hiroshima and 64000 had died of radioactive after affects

Does it remind you of the Falluja Cover up no real reporters allowed into Falluja after the Napalm did it work.

By Amy Goodman and David Goodman
08/05/05 "Baltimore Sun"

-- --- A STORY THAT the U.S. government hoped would never see the light of day finally has been published, 60 years after it was spiked by military censors. The discovery of reporter George Weller's firsthand account of conditions in post-nuclear Nagasaki sheds light on one of the great journalistic betrayals of the last century: the cover-up of the effects of the atomic bombing on Japan.

On Aug. 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima; three days later, Nagasaki was hit. Gen. Douglas MacArthur promptly declared southern Japan off-limits, barring the news media. More than 200,000 people died in the atomic bombings of the cities, but no Western journalist witnessed the aftermath and told the story. Instead, the world's media obediently crowded onto the battleship USS Missouri off the coast of Japan to cover the Japanese surrender.

A month after the bombings, two reporters defied General MacArthur and struck out on their own. Mr. Weller, of the Chicago Daily News, took row boats and trains to reach devastated Nagasaki. Independent journalist Wilfred Burchett rode a train for 30 hours and walked into the charred remains of Hiroshima.

Both men encountered nightmare worlds. Mr. Burchett sat down on a chunk of rubble with his Baby Hermes typewriter. His dispatch began: "In Hiroshima, 30 days after the first atomic bomb destroyed the city and shook the world, people are still dying, mysteriously and horribly - people who were uninjured in the cataclysm from an unknown something which I can only describe as the atomic plague."

He continued, tapping out the words that still haunt to this day: "Hiroshima does not look like a bombed city. It looks as if a monster steamroller has passed over it and squashed it out of existence. I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world."

Mr. Burchett's article, headlined "The Atomic Plague," was published Sept. 5, 1945, in the London Daily Express. The story caused a worldwide sensation and was a public relations fiasco for the U.S. military. The official U.S. narrative of the atomic bombings downplayed civilian casualties and categorically dismissed as "Japanese propaganda" reports of the deadly lingering effects of radiation.

So when Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter George Weller's 25,000-word story on the horror that he encountered in Nagasaki was submitted to military censors, General MacArthur ordered the story killed, and the manuscript was never returned. As Mr. Weller later summarized his experience with General MacArthur's censors, "They won."

Recently, Mr. Weller's son, Anthony, discovered a carbon copy of the suppressed dispatches among his father's papers (George Weller died in 2002). Unable to find an interested American publisher, Anthony Weller sold the account to Mainichi Shimbun, a big Japanese newspaper. Now, on the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings, Mr. Weller's account can finally be read. "

In swaybacked or flattened skeletons of the Mitsubishi arms plants is revealed what the atomic bomb can do to steel and stone, but what the riven atom can do against human flesh and bone lies hidden in two hospitals of downtown Nagasaki," wrote Mr. Weller. A month after the bombs fell, he observed, "The atomic bomb's peculiar 'disease,' uncured because it is untreated and untreated because it is not diagnosed, is still snatching away lives here."

After killing Mr. Weller's reports, U.S. authorities tried to counter Mr. Burchett's articles by attacking the messenger. General MacArthur ordered Mr. Burchett expelled from Japan (the order was later rescinded), his camera mysteriously vanished while he was in a Tokyo hospital and U.S. officials accused him of being influenced by Japanese propaganda.

Then the U.S. military unleashed a secret propaganda weapon: It deployed its own Times man. It turns out that William L. Laurence, the science reporter for The New York Times, was also on the payroll of the War Department.

For four months, while still reporting for the Times, Mr. Laurence had been writing press releases for the military explaining the atomic weapons program; he also wrote statements for President Harry Truman and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. He was rewarded by being given a seat on the plane that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki, an experience that he described in the Times with religious awe.

Three days after publication of Mr. Burchett's shocking dispatch, Mr. Laurence had a front-page story in the Times disputing the notion that radiation sickness was killing people. His news story included this remarkable commentary: "The Japanese are still continuing their propaganda aimed at creating the impression that we won the war unfairly, and thus attempting to create sympathy for themselves and milder terms. ... Thus, at the beginning, the Japanese described 'symptoms' that did not ring true."

Mr. Laurence won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the atomic bomb, and his faithful parroting of the government line was crucial in launching a half-century of silence about the deadly lingering effects of the bomb. It is time for the Pulitzer board to strip Hiroshima's apologist and his newspaper of this undeserved prize.

Sixty years late, Mr. Weller's censored account stands as a searing indictment not only of the inhumanity of the atomic bomb but also of the danger of journalists embedding with the government to deceive the world.

Link Here

Blood and Gravy: Dick Cheney at the Jackal's Feast

It's easy to forget sometimes – amidst all the lofty talk of geopolitics, of apocalyptic clashes between good and evil, of terror, liberty, security and God – that the war on Iraq is "largely a matter of loot," as Kasper Gutman so aptly described the Crusades in that seminal treatise on human nature, The Maltese Falcon. And nowhere is this more evident than in the festering, oozing imposthume of corruption centered around the Gutman-like figure of Dick Cheney.

Yes, it's once more into the breach with Halliburton, the gargantuan government contractor that still pays Cheney, its former CEO, enormous annual sums in "deferred compensation" and stock options – even while, as "the most powerful vice president in American history," he presides over a White House war council that has steered more than $10 billion in no-bid Iraqi war contracts back to his corporate paymaster. This is rainmaking of monsoon proportions. Indeed, the company's military servicing wing announced a second-quarter profit spike of 284 percent last week – a feast of blood and gravy that will send Cheney's stock options soaring into the stratosphere.

But although Halliburton has already entered the American lexicon as a by-word for rampant cronyism – the butt of a thousand late-night TV jokes and water-cooler witticisms – the true extent of its dense and deadly web of graft is only now emerging, most recently in a remarkable public hearing that revealed some of the corporation's standard business practices in Iraq: fraud, extortion, brutality, pilferage, theft – even serving rotten food to American soldiers in the battle zone.

By piecing together bits from the fiercely-suppressed and censored reports of a few honest Pentagon auditors and investigators, a joint House-Senate minority committee (the Bushist majority refused to take part) has unearthed at least $1.4 billion in fraudulent overcharges and unsourced billing by Cheney's company in Iraq. Testimony from Pentagon whistleblowers, former Halliburton officials and fellow contractors revealed the grim picture of a rogue operation, power-drunk and arrogant, beyond the reach of law, secure in the protection of its White House sugar daddy.

One tale is particularly instructive: Halliburton's strenuous efforts to prevent a company hired by the Iraqis, Lloyd-Owen International, from delivering gasoline into the conquered land from Kuwait for 18 cents a gallon. Why? Because LOI's cost-efficient operation undercuts Halliburton's highway-robbery price of $1.30 a gallon for the exact same service.

But how is Halliburton able to interfere with the sacred process of free enterprise? Well, it seems that Cheney's firm, a private company, has control over the U.S. military checkpoint on the volatile Iraq-Kuwait border, and also has the authority to grant – or withhold – the Pentagon ID cards that are indispensable for contractors operating in Iraq. (Even contractors who, like LOI, are working for the supposedly sovereign Iraqi government.) Halliburton used these powers to block LOI's access to the military crossing – which provides quick, safe delivery of the fuel – for months. Then the game got rougher.

In June, Cheney's boys blackmailed LOI into delivering some construction materials to a Halliburton project in the friendly confines of Fallujah: no delivery, no "golden ticket" Pentagon card, said Halliburton. They neglected to tell LOI that convoys on the route had been repeatedly hit by insurgents in recent days. And sure enough, LOI's delivery trucks were ripped to shreds just outside a Halliburton-operated military base: three men were killed and seven wounded. But that's not all. An email obtained by investigators revealed that Halliburton brass expressly prohibited company employees from offering any assistance to the shattered convoy.

Halliburton extended this milk of human kindness to its food services as well. The firm had to bring in Turkish and Filipino guest workers to feed American soldiers, because the happily liberated Iraqis couldn't be trusted not to blow up their benefactors. The Cheneymen treated these coolies as befitted their lowly station: they packed them into tents with sand floors and no beds, and literally fed them scraps from the garbage. When the peons complained, Halliburton sacked the subcontractor, who had been buying bargain produce and meat from the locals, and hired an American crony to ship in food all the way from Philadelphia.

U.S. soldiers weren't treated much better. Employees testified that Halliburton brass ordered them to serve spoiled and rotten food to soldiers – day in and day out. Meanwhile, Halliburton brass were reserving choice cuts for the big beer-soaked barbecues they threw for themselves two or three times a week. They also billed the taxpayer for 10,000 "ghost meals" a day at a single base: the food was phantom, but the rake-off was real. Meanwhile, any employee who made noises about exposing the fraud to auditors was threatened with transfer to a red-hot fire zone, like Fallujah or Saddam's hometown, Tikrit.

All of this criminal katzenjammer – and much, much more – was authorized at the highest levels, as top procurement brass and Pentagon officials confirmed. Cheney's office kept tabs on Halliburton's bids while Pentagon warlord Don Rumsfeld "violated federal law," the committee noted, by directly intervening in the procurement process to eliminate all possible rivals and make sure Cheney's employer got the guaranteed-profit gig. Rumsfeld's office also removed oversight procedures for the dirty deals, and has ignored repeated warnings from Pentagon auditors about Halliburton's blatant, persistent, pervasive fraud. Instead, the money keeps rolling in: just last month, Don and Dick ladled another $1.75 billion dollop of pork gravy into Halliburton's bowl.

For this they have made a holocaust in the desert sands, sacrificing tens of thousands of innocent lives: for cheap, greasy graft, for grubby pilfering, for the personal profit of Richard B. Cheney and the whole pack of Bushist jackals gorging themselves on blood money.

Link Here

Bush's dirty war

Whatever the president wants to call the fight against terrorism, his tactics, in marked contrast to Britain's, are severely hampering the global effort.

By Sidney BlumenthalAug. 5, 2005 "Salon.com" -- -- Almost every significant aspect of the investigation to bring the London terrorists to justice is the opposite of Bush's "war on terrorism."
From the leading role of Scotland Yard to its close cooperation with police, the British effort is at odds with the U.S. operation directed by the Pentagon.

Just months before the London bombings, British counterterrorism officials were startled upon visiting the Guantánamo prison that they did not meet with legal authorities but only with military personnel; they were also disturbed to learn that the information they had gathered from the CIA was unknown to the FBI counterterrorism team and that the British were the only channel between the two U.S. agencies. The British discovered that the New York City Police Department's counterterrorism unit is more synchronized with their methods and aims than is the U.S. government.

The Italian counterterrorism operation that was essential in the capture of one of the alleged terrorists fleeing from London is itself in open conflict with President Bush's "war." Last month, an Italian prosecutor filed indictments against 13 CIA operatives who allegedly betrayed their Italian intelligence colleagues in surveillance of an Egyptian Muslim cleric, by using their information but not telling them about the "rendering" (that is, kidnapping) of the suspect to Egypt rather than permit his arrest in Italy. Now the CIA agents are fugitives from Italian justice.

International counterterrorism is running afoul of Bush's imperatives for what has become a "dirty war." Although Bush's "war on terrorism" is a phrase his administration last month declared was obsolete (only to have Bush reimpose the slogan Wednesday), the dirty war remains very much in place.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, Bush has proposed a sharp dichotomy between "war" and "law enforcement." In his 2004 State of the Union address, he ridiculed those who view counterterrorism as other than his conception of war: "I know that some people question if America is really in a war at all. They view terrorism more as a crime, a problem to be solved mainly with law enforcement and indictments ... The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they got. " During the 2004 presidential campaign, Vice President Dick Cheney contemptuously criticized the application of law enforcement as effeminate "sensitivity." In June of this year, Bush's deputy chief of staff, Karl Rove, attacked the very idea of "indictments" as a symptom of liberal weakness.

Against the strongest possible internal opposition from senior U.S. military officials, the military's corps of lawyers, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the FBI, Bush disdained the Geneva Conventions and avoided legalities, especially trials, to pursue a policy of torture.
He created a far-flung system of prisons run by an unaccountable military chain of command apart from traditional counterintelligence. It has been operated clandestinely, removed from the oversight of Congress. And Bush has fought in the courts against the intrusions of due process to retain supreme presidential prerogative.

Yet Bush is increasingly embattled in defense of his dirty war. The Pentagon has appealed a federal judge's ruling to make public 87 photographs and four videos from Abu Ghraib depicting "rape and murder," according to a senator who has seen them. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has quashed the recommendation of military investigators looking into FBI reports of torture at Guantánamo that its former commander, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, be reprimanded for dereliction of duty.

Last month, three top military attorneys from the Judge Advocate General Corps for the Army, Air Force and Marines testified before the Senate that they had objected from the start to the new abusive techniques of interrogation of prisoners.

One memo revealed by Maj. Gen. Jack Rives, deputy judge advocate general of the Air Force, said, "Several of the more extreme interrogation techniques, on their face, amount to violations of domestic criminal law."

In response, three Republican senators -- Lindsey Graham, John McCain and John Warner -- have proposed legislation that would in effect abolish Bush's dirty war. Their bill would prohibit "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees, hiding prisoners from the Red Cross and using methods not authorized by the Army field manual. One of these senators, McCain, himself a prisoner of war in Vietnam, released a letter signed by more than a dozen retired senior military generals and admirals as well as prisoners of war: "The abuse of prisoners hurts America's cause in the war on terror, endangers U.S. service members who might be captured by the enemy, and is anathema to the values Americans have held dear for generations.

"Cheney interceded to attempt to force the senators to withdraw their bill, claiming they are hurting the "war on terrorism," but they have refused. McCain declared that the debate is not about the terrorists: "It's not about who they are. It's about who we are.

"But the dirty war that damages the difficult work of counterterrorism continues unabated.
It goes on for reasons beyond domestic political consumption. At its heart lies the drive for concentrated executive power above the rule of law.

Predictably, Bush's dirty war is having a counterproductive effect, just as dirty wars did in Vietnam, Algeria and Argentina. For every militant abused or killed, a community of like-minded militants is inspired. Hatred, resentment and vengeance are the natural outcomes. There has never been a victory through a dirty war over these forces. To the extent Britain responds with the assertion of the rule of law, it serves as a notable counterexample to Bush's dirty war.

Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior advisor to President Clinton

Link Here


Does John Howards family have personal oil investments...?

Anyone know?

Cause, see, that would explain a lot.


What Worked Then Still Works Now

Hell yeah. We are awake. Might as well go SOMEWHERE.
Then comes the criminal investigation.

Because this fight was NEVER finished....


Ohio is rigged and EVERY outcome is now CERTAIN. He that counts the votes has made us SLAVES, again.

This is what it looked like for Americans to demand their rights. How important is it to you to NOT be a slave? What is FREEDOM?

If they are stealing our votes at will then NOT ONE of us is FREE.


What are you gonna do about it America?

"We are willing to be beaten for democracy!"-- SCLC Rev. C.T. Vivian to Selma Sheriff Jim Clark, Bloody Sunday, Selma Alabama.

On the road to Creepy Town

Bush spectacle at

Scout jamboree had

little to do with reality
August 5, 2005 12:00 am
The Free Lance-Star

Editor's note: The following column is an Opinion column published in the Editorial pages of The Free Lance-Star.

SOMEBODY PLEASE tell me I’m not the only one who saw the coverage of the Boy Scout Jamboree arena show Sunday night and thought: Yikes, that’s a bit too much like some of the scary weirdness that torments me in my sleep.

I mean, isn’t there something nightmarish about our misleader swooping down on a steaming pit of sweat and testosterone and whipping a throng of brown-shirted youths into a nationalistic frenzy?

And what’s not surreal about the author of an unnecessary, costly, and wholly counterproductive war claiming that his policies are “laying the foundations of peace for decades to come”?

But President Bush’s appearance at the jamboree was more than just a bad dream. It was one of those grandiose expressions of state power that, at least briefly, transforms a bumbling and dishonest politician into protector of all that is good and true in the fatherland.

Despite the patriotic fervor, there’s actually little about these kinds of events that marks them as distinctly American. Swap out the little American flags for little Cuban flags, and Bush’s visit with the Scouts would have seemed a lot like one of those government-orchestrated rallies in Havana over which Fidel Castro presides (although if el jefe had been speaking Sunday, he’d have gone on for hours and hours, precipitating another rash of heat-related illnesses at the jamboree).

The extravaganza featuring our commander in chief felt especially creepy coming on the heels of a weeklong effort by the military to turn the jamboree into one big recruitment fair.

But I guess it’s fitting that this president would be flown in to wrap up the recruiting blitz. It’s thanks to him that the military is in such desperate need of warm bodies.

And there’s always more democracy-spreading to be done. It’s no secret that some of the ideologues who whisper in the president’s ear subscribe to the notion that “everyone wants to go to Baghdad—real men want to go to Tehran.”

Not that any of these chickenhawks would be leading the charge into Persia. That task would be left to some hapless schmucks—including those who once upon a time attended a Boy Scout jamboree and decided then and there (after getting the hard sell) that they would serve their country by signing up for the Army.

But these hard facts of life were to be ignored Sunday night. Like all good spectacles glorifying state power, Bush’s performance worked only insofar as reality could be suppressed.

So when the president boasted of “laying the foundations of peace,” no one was supposed to contemplate the horrors of Iraq—a real-life nightmare for sure.

No one was supposed to be aware of new Saudi and Israeli research concluding that the overwhelming majority of foreign fighters in Iraq weren’t terrorists before the war but became radicalized by the war itself.

And no one was supposed to hear the voice of terrorism experts like Peter Bergen telling them: “To say we must fight them in Baghdad so we don’t have to fight them in Boston implies there is a finite number of people, and if you pen them up in Iraq you can kill them all. The truth is we increased the pool by what we did in Iraq.”

Nor would it have been at all patriotic to recall the CIA’s conclusion that Iraq “could provide recruitment, training grounds, technical skills, and language proficiency for a new class of terrorists who are ‘professionalized’ and for whom political violence becomes an end in itself.”

Likewise, when Bush said Americans could count on the Eagle Scout who runs the Pentagon to “be prepared,” everyone was obliged to overlook the fact that U.S. forces were anything but prepared as they headed into combat in Iraq. Thanks to the Eagle Scout, there weren’t enough troops, or enough armored vehicles, or enough dependable flak jackets. Thousands of dead and maimed Americans are the result of his preparations.

These truths were too much for some Scouts to suppress. Amid the flag-waving and the “USA! USA!” chants Sunday evening was one young Scout leader who disagreed with Bush’s Iraq policies and had taken off his uniform shirt to protest the president’s appearance.

“I don’t want to show respect by wearing the Scout uniform,” the 19-year-old from Jupiter, Fla., explained to a Free Lance–Star reporter.

But the teen did show respect for the values espoused by the president.

Bush told the Scouts he hoped they’d “always strive to be men of conviction and character.” The kid from Jupiter appears to take such rhetoric seriously, and the thought that there could be others like him might just help me sleep a little better.

RICK MERCIER is a writer and news editor for The Free Lance–Star.

--Great, now I will have nightmares about little maniacle boy scouts running around spouting repellican talking points. Oh Crap, that is just CREEPY.--

Art For Girls


Well... YEAH..

Did the GOP steal

another Ohio


by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
August 5, 2005
Link Here

The Republican Party has -- barely -- snatched another election in Ohio. And once again there are telltale symptoms of the kind of vote theft that put George W. Bush in the White House in 2000 and then kept him there in 2004.

This time an outspoken Iraqi War vet named Paul Hackett led the charge for a Cincinnati-area Congressional seat, earning 48% of the vote. The spot was open because Bush appointed his pal Rep. Rob Portman to be a trade representative.

Hackett is a rarity among today's Democrats---a blunt, hard-driving truth talker who blasted Bush's attack on Iraq. Hackett labeled W. "a chicken hawk." He's the first Iraqi war vet to run for Congress. He made no bones about the incompetence and cynicism that define the GOP strategy there. In particular Hackett attacked Bush's attacks on veterans benefits while claiming patriotic support of the war.

In return, GOP candidate Jean Schmidt lied about Hackett's war record. Unlike John Kerry, Hackett fought back immediately.

The Ohio GOP is now being thoroughly roasted by a Coingate scandal in which Republican high roller Tom Noe seems to have walked off with at least $4 million in state funds, and possibly $16.5 million in theft and unauthorized administrative charges from a $50 million rare coin investment fund. Noe is a Bush Pioneer/Ranger level donor, and a supporter of Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the point man in Bush's theft of Ohio's 20 electoral votes and thus the presidency last November.

As his friends and supporters flee him, Noe's role as long-time chair of the Lucas County (Toledo) Board of Elections has come under intense scrutiny. Noe turned the seat over to his wife, Bernadette, in time for a 2004 election rife with disenfranchisement and fraud. Long lines, computer breakdowns, intimidation, harassment and hacked vote counts were the defining characteristics of the election the Noe's administered in the Toledo area last November.

In one instance, an entire precinct was shut down because the voting machines were locked in the office of a school principal, who called in sick. Someone also placed the wrong type of ballot scan markers in heavily Democratic Toledo precincts, causing a high rate of uncounted, machine-rejected votes without the voters knowing it.

Overall, experts estimate more than 7,000 votes were stolen outright from John Kerry under the Noe's supervision in Lucas County 2004.

Whether similar theft defeated Paul Hackett remains to be seen. Hackett ran extremely well in a district thoroughly gerrymandered as a permanent Republican safe seat. Democrats are now crowing about how well Hackett did in "serving notice" that the GOP may be in trouble. But the bottom line is that the Republicans still won the election.

As of 1 am this past Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Hackett was within 3600 votes---about four percent---of Schmidt.

But election officials announced a mysterious "computer glitch" that delayed reports from Clermont County, which accounted for roughly a quarter of all the ballots cast in the district.

When things finally settled out, Clermont gave Schmidt 58%, and a 5,000 vote margin there. And thus the election.

Earlier in the evening---around 9pm---Hackett and Schmidt had been in a virtual dead heat, according to sources in the Cincinnati area (see among them http://billmon.org/archives/002073.html ).

A full 88% of the district's precincts had then reported, including more than half those in Clermont. As in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, it looked like a cliffhanger. Schmidt's lead was less than 900 votes.

Clermont's "technical malfunction" with optical scan readers was blamed on the humidity. Election officials said the southern Ohio summer had soaked into the ballots, making it hard to pass them through opti-scan machines.

Once the problem was "solved," Schmidt picked up more than enough votes to guarantee victory. The percentages by which she won in the post-glitch vote count were far higher than those by which she had been winning prior to the glitch. Vote counts were also higher than expected in the strongest Schmidt precincts.

Clermont and neighboring Butler and Warren Counties gave George W. Bush a margin in 2004 that exceeded his entire statewide margin over John Kerry. Warren County became infamous on election night, when its supervisors suddenly declared a "Homeland Emergency" and dismissed all media and Democrats from the vote count. Bush then emerged with a huge, unexpected and unmonitored majority.

Clermont, Butler and Warren Counties' totals were also suspect because a Democratic candidate for Ohio Supreme Court implausibly out-polled John Kerry. As would be expected, Bush vastly out ran the Republican candidate for Supreme Court Chief Justice in those three counties. But Democrat C. Ellen Connelly, a pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage African-American from Cleveland somehow got a higher vote count than Kerry in these conservative, predominantly white southern Ohio counties. Richard Hayes Philips and other experts who have assessed that vote say it is beyond implausible, indicating a high likelihood of fraud.

But along with Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, Paul Hackett has become another Democratic candidate whose campaign went suddenly and mysteriously down to defeat late in the evening of a close election. Amidst the obligatory computer glitches, the GOP candidate was declared the winner before the vote count could be investigated.

Did Clermont County do for Schmidt in 2005 what it did for Bush in 2004? Did that "glitch" in the evening vote count give GOP dirty tricksters time to once again hack the machines they needed to win?

Who in the Bush/Rove Justice Department or major media will even ask the question?

-- As I have said before many times...

They now have the ability to rig elections AT WILL...

It is NOT a power they just WILL NOT use!!!....--

Friday, August 05, 2005

Oh My God It IS True!!!!

Scientists have

linked shoe size

to ..you know.

Link Here

NOW we’re not pulling your leg lads — but girls CAN tell the size of your willy just by looking at your feet.

In a giant step for manhood, sorry mankind, scientists confirm the old wives’ theory that a bloke’s foot size is directly related to that of his todger.

And the Moscow University team has even come up with a formula to help ladies size up a potential partner at a glance: willy size = foot length in centimetres + 5, divided by 2.

So a British size six, which is 24.8cms, means the fella’s old fella measures 14.9cms, or a shade under six inches.

And a lad who stomps around in size 12s will have a healthy 16.8cms or 6.72inches — surely enough to satisfy the most demanding old boot.

The theory is based on research on thousands of men. But don’t panic boys, if your willy lacks welly.

You could always pop out and buy a pair of of winklepickers.

SUN Sex Writer Kate Taylor says the boffins have hit the toe-nail on the head.
But she says: “I now fear for the prospects of tiny-tootsied men. There’s only one answer — join a circus. Because if there’s one group of men laughing today, it’s clowns.”

-- Ummmm... in American sizes Tech Guy wears a size 12 1/2 .. Huge feet. I even have to ask Wal Mart to order a larger size .

Ummm, Tech Guy, I love your big, big...feet.

Now...Can you please pick your big ass shoes up off of my floor ?

I trip on those damn boats every time. Gonna kill somebody like that.--

Rumsfeld, Bolton Warn Iran, Syria

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday criticized Syria's leaders for "not behaving in a wise manner" by aiding Iraqi insurgents and warned that such conduct could come back to haunt them

I say, come back to haunt who wankers

Link Here

Chevron Paid Agents Who Destroyed Villages

The bodies of the dead Nigerian villagers had not yet grown cold when the Nigerian navy captain presented Chevron with a bill: 15,000 naira, or $165 for responding to "attacks from Opia village against security agents."

Link Here

Galloway Says Blair and Bush 'Have Blood on Their Hands'

Tony Blair and George Bush have "far more blood on their hands" than the terrorists who carried out the London tube bombings, George Galloway said today.

Link Here

PM strengthens terror lawsJOHN Howard has warned that Australians will have to accept curbs on civil liberties as he announced an overhaul of counter-


Bushes little lap dog. Are you grovelling low enough yet. nahhhh you can grovel still lower yet I am sure.

Link Here

How Vulnerable Is Bush On Iraq War?


Posted on Friday, August 05 @ 13:40:07

Intellpuke: "Journalist, columnist, blogger Dan Froomkin has written a blog on the effects of the Iraq war on the American people - how it has affected them and especially how it has affected their attitudes on President Bush's handling of the war.

It is a lengthy but very interesting and informative blog and read a portion of below. At the end of the segment you find here, you will find a link to Froomkin's full blog at the Washington Post.

Here's how it begins...

When a nation is attacked, its people tend to rally around their leader. President Bush's job approval ratings, for instance, shot up more than 30 percent in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

But the seemingly incessant litany of deadly attacks on American troops in Iraq appears to be increasingly turning the public against the president and the war he launched.

The signs of such a turnaround remain faint in the mainstream media coverage of public discourse about Iraq. Something -- maybe the administration's insistence that questioning its policies undermines American troops -- has somehow cowed many of the predictable voices of dissent into silence.

But go to Brook Park, Ohio, home base for the 14 Marine reservists who were killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq Wednesday, and you hear some expressions of anger at the president.

And ask the American people in general what they think of how Bush is running the war -- and whether they trust him anymore -- and the verdict is becoming clearer and clearer.

Will Lester writes for the Associated Press: "Americans' approval of President Bush's handling of Iraq is at its lowest level yet, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that also found fewer than half now think he's honest. ... "Approval of Bush's handling of Iraq, which had been hovering in the low- to mid-40s most of the year, dipped to 38 percent. ...

"A solid majority still see Bush as a strong and likable leader, though the president's confidence is seen as arrogance by a growing number. ...

"Bush's overall job approval was at 42 percent, with 55 percent disapproving. That's about where Bush's approval has been all summer but slightly lower than at the beginning of the year."

Tom Raum of the Associated Press looks at the headlines, looks at the poll results, and concludes: "The deadly recent attacks on American troops in Iraq are increasing the pressure on President Bush to develop an exit strategy. The U.S. death toll from the war is now over 1,800, and a new AP-Ipsos poll shows the lowest approval yet for Bush's handling of Iraq, just 38 percent.

"The president's fellow Republicans are growing nervous as they head into an election year."

Brian Albrecht writes in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "Wednesday, those Ohio families hit hardest by the recent deaths suddenly found themselves tiptoeing through an emotional minefield of memories, moods and a wide spectrum of views on the war.

Daniel and Edie Deyarmin, of Tallmadge, said their son, Daniel Nathan Jr., believed in the mission that took his life Monday, and they will continue to believe in it, too.

"We've got to stay free," his father said. "Nathan didn't die in vain. He knew he was getting some of the bad guys."

But not long after Marines broke the grim news to Paul Schroeder and Rosemary Palmer -- parents of Edward August Schroeder II, one of the 14 Marines killed Wednesday -- the couple unleashed misgivings they had had ever since their son joined the Marines.

"I didn't want him to be there," said Palmer, who sobbed when she heard of his enlistment. "I didn't want him to be any part of it."

Their son, always the team player, once told them, "There is no time for individualism or dissent in the desert."

But Paul Schroeder -- who blamed the death of his son on President Bush -- believed it was precisely the time for dissent on the homefront.

"We are not taking anything away from the troops on the field, but at some point we have to say enough is enough," he said. "Otherwise, my son will become just a memory."

Intellpuke: "There is much, much more to Mr. Froomkin's column and you can read it in its entirety at the Washington Post's website, here. You will find links in the column to each of Froomkin's sources, as well as links to the full information on the poll mentioned above. Enjoy.

Link Here
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