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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Rupert Murdoch's Victims

By Richard Neville
In the editorial pages of Murdoch's antipodean flagship, TheAustralian, the bombing of Beirut is presented as "Israel doingLebanon a favour" and restive Arabs are described as "Nazis". Noneofthis should be surprising, as Murdoch revealed to the HollywoodReporter that his media ventures are "not as important to me asspreading my personal political beliefs"

For Whom the Heart Bleeds Not

Paul Craig Roberts

Can we take seriously the Democrats' concern with Alaskan wolves when Democrats voted overwhelmingly to support Israel's massacre ofLebanese women and children and the Bush regimes' massacre of tensofthousands of Afghan and Iraqi civilians?

How Obtuse Is the U.S. Press?

In the movie “Shawshank Redemption,” the wrongly convicted Andy Dufrense (Tim Robbins) gets frustrated when the corrupt prison warden blocks Dufrense’s chance to prove his innocence. “How can you be so obtuse?” Dufrense asks.

The Washington press corps is swinging into full backlash mode, whipping anyone who challenged how the White House handled the smearing of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and the outing of his CIA wife. Seizing on a new disclosure putting blame on a senior State Department official, the Washington Post and the New York Times have rallied to George W. Bush's defense -- despite reams of evidence that Bush and his aides were behind the anti-Wilson operation. Which raises the old "Shawshank Redemption" question: "How can you be so obtuse?" September 3, 2006

The Washington Post's editorial page is at it again, smearing someone who dared expose the Bush administration's Iraq War deceptions. The whipping boy this time is former Ambassador Joseph Wilson who had the audacity to challenge George W. Bush's false claims about Iraq trying to buy uranium from Africa. In an upside-down editorial, the Post is now blaming Wilson for the administration's exposure of his CIA wife's identity. September 1, 2006

Pentagon Releases Grim Report on Iraq

Iraqi casualties soared by more than 50 percent during the roughly three-month period ending in early August, the product of spiraling sectarian clashes and a Sunni-based insurgency that remains "potent and viable," the Pentagon noted today in an comprehensive assessment of security in Iraq. In a grim 63-page report, the Pentagon chronicled bad news on a variety of fronts. One telling indicator was the number of weekly attacks, which reached an all-time high in July. The American-led coalition suffered the brunt of the attacks, but an increasing number are being directed against civilians. In Baghdad, for example, civilian targets accounted for 22 percent of all the attacks, up from 15 percent in April...

GI Special 4I1: The Surrender Of Abu Naji - September 1, 2006

GI Special:
“The Surrender And Sack Of Abu Naji Is A Preview Of What’s To Come”
“The Bloodsoaked Folly Of Bush And Blair’s War Howls Toward Its Miserable End”
Don Rumsfeld is fond of historical analogies when pontificating about Iraq; he particularly favors comparisons to the Nazi era and the Allied occupation of Germany after World War II.Unfortunately, any historian will tell you that Rummy's parallels are invariably false, even ludicrous. So we thought we'd give the beleaguered Pentagon warlord a more accurate and telling analogy to chew on.

Porn for Troops From Massacre to Lap-Dance

Pierre Tristam/Candide’s Notebooks

The headline is just above the fold of the Sunday Times: "Dancers Have Landed in Iraq. Marines Offer No Resistance." From the look and sound of the headline, it’s a feature. It reads as such. It shouldn’t be. What’s not said in the story is what speaks loudest of the Times’ occasional blindness for the forest fire as it covers a few burning trees (or loins in this case), but also of the American military’s corruption, its obliviousness to why it’s despised in Iraq, and the American public’s obliviousness to why its military is becoming a mercenary force increasingly difficult to defend, or to differentiate from the misguided policies putting it in harm’s way. Of all that in a moment.First, the story. It’s about somewhat risqué dancers, women all of them, traveling to Iraq to give troops a show (...) What can’t be overlooked, what the Times and the military are not overlooking so much as leaving unsaid, is the city where this little featurish lap-dance is taking place. Haditha is the location of the revenge-massacre by the Marines last year of 24 Iraqi civilians. What that has to do with a bunch of dancers giving Marines a hard-on is this: From a journalistic perspective, the least the Times could have done is find a different town from which to dateline its bit of Sunday voyeurism...

continua / continued

The personal moral culpability of the Israeli people


Amira Hass writes about the see-no-evil attitude of the average Israeli. It is difficult to avoid the comparison with the German people during the Nazi period (I’m still not using the H-word except to refer to what is going on today), but the comparison is obscene. Germans lived during a period of almost total press censorship, and in a violent police state where even asking questions might result in death. It is fair to say that many if not most Germans really were unaware of the details of what was going on, although it is more difficult to excuse them for being unaware that something evil was happening. On the other hand, Israelis are completely aware of every detail of what the state of Israel is doing in their name, and their complete silence is proof of complicity. The usual suspects will immediately jump in to claim that Israel can’t be compared to Nazi Germany. Really?...

continua / continued

It’s the American Way or the Highway: Your Extinction Will Quell Your Moral and Intellectual Confusion

Persistently ticking off the precious seconds in humanity’s "Countdown to Extinction", the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin for Atomic Scientists has advanced to seven minutes of midnight. Yet despite nuclear terror unleashed on Japan, an arms race of monumental proportions, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and widespread nuclear proliferation, somehow humanity has managed avoid nuclear apocalypse for 60 years. Perhaps the virtual certainty of "mutually assured destruction" will freeze the hands of the Doomsday Clock and continue humankind’s stay of execution. As if the possibility of nuclear devastation was not enough of a concern, Donald Rumsfeld recently informed us that those who oppose the Iraqi Occupation and the abrogation of Constitutional law lack courage and are confused morally and intellectually...

continua / continued

10 years to clear the 100,000 cluster bombs in Lebanon

Ya Libnan

Clearing unexploded cluster bombs used by Israel in Lebanon during the month-long war, many of them U.S.-manufactured, could take 10 years, a British-based de-mining group said on Friday. "We will be clearing unexploded cluster munitions from the rubble of the villages of southern Lebanon for another decade," said Simon Conway, director of Land mine Action. "That is the grim reality," he told reporters in Geneva. Before the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in the south, de-mining teams were still clearing unexploded cluster munitions from Israel's 1978 and 1982 incursions into Lebanon, according to the advocacy group which is campaigning for an international ban on their use. Such weapons continue to kill and maim civilians, especially children, for years after a conflict, it said...

continua / continued


Malcom Lagauche

Soon, we will be seeing and reading about the fifth anniversary of 9-11 in the U.S. The event’s five-year mark will regenerate the vile passions in the U.S. public to avenge the downing of the World Trade Center buildings. Islamamaphobia will become more rampant (...) Since August 2, 1990, the U.S. has killed almost three million Iraqis. The first Gulf War, the encompassing embargo and the current fiasco combine for between 2.5 million and three million deaths. In other words, Iraq has suffered ONE THOUSAND nine-elevens. That’s right, one thousand. If Ms. King had watched the news over this time, she would have seen incinerated babies dragged from bomb shelters. She would have seen Iraqi cities imbedded in filth because the U.S. would not allow the Iraqis to import chlorine to purify the water system. And, the U.S. bragged about this when Schwarzkopf took to the microphone shortly after the Gulf War hostilities began and stated, "We’ve knocked out their drinking water. Soon, they will begin to acquire diarrhea and malnutrition." All the time, he was smiling when he forecast the dismal future for Iraq...

New Orleans; Lessons From Hezbollah

Felicity Arbuthnot

There was a tragic irony to America's National Day of Remembrance a year on from hurricane Katrina. George and Laura Bush in St Louis Cathedral, a minute's silence, names of thirty two of the dead read out (out of a thousand, how were they chosen, what did the relatives of the omitted nine hundred and sixty eight feel?) vigils, prayers and the President promising that a year from now the city would rise in a 'golden age of entrepreneurialism.' The people of New Orleans (half now scattered across America) would be forgiven for wondering when the words and prayers would be replaced by deeds. The most powerful country in the world, it seems, is very good at destruction but even in its own back yard, less than useless at reconstruction. With much of New Orleans looking more like parts of Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine, compare Bush's prayers to his cited 'terrorist', Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah's actions...

The Bees in the Lion's Carcass

Uri Avnery

EHUD OLMERT has found a convincing proof of his great victory over Hassan Nasrallah: "I am touring the country freely while Nasrallah is hiding in his bunker!" It is said that "the style is the man," and by these words Olmert shows his quality (or lack thereof). At the moment, dozens of Israeli airplanes and helicopter gunships are standing by, ready to kill Nasrallah if he as much as shows himself. Nasrallah does not have a single airplane or helicopter to kill Olmert. The vast material superiority of the Israeli army over a guerilla organization is no achievement of Olmert - but Hizbullah's ability to survive the massive onslaught of our army is certainly the achievement of Nasrallah...

continua / continued

The final destruction of Babylon

Of the serial rationales that George W. Bush pushed for his invasion of Iraq, regime change -- "taking out" Saddam and his Baathist government -- was the least pseudo of them all, and probably the one on which he was most intent. He probably never considered, though, that the blowback from violent regime-change would include the end of Babylon. No, I don't mean the looting of the Iraq Museum, which the invading U.S. forces seem to have made virtually no effort to prevent in 2003. Nor do I mean the devastation of the ancient site of the city itself, where "coalition" forces established a base and tore up ancient remains with their Humvees and Bradleys. What I refer to is the just-reported decision by Dr. Donny George, the Director of the Baghdad Museum and a much respected authority on the archaeology and ancient history of Iraq, to leave the country, basically in fear of his life now that conservative Shiites linked to the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have been given control of the museum and the Iraqi antiquities department. The news of Dr. George's departure is in and of itself terribly disheartening, for he is highly respected and admired in the archaeological community. His departure portends even greater catastrophe, however, not only for the museum itself but for the future of Iraq's most ancient past...

The Emperor Has Been Exposed, But Not to All, and Not Enough

Gary Leupp, www.dissidentvoice.org

...Plainly many people who understand that Bush is a fool, and that they were lied to about Iraq, are unable yet to see that all these regime-changing projects in the Middle East are part of a broad plan to refashion the region in the interests of U.S. imperialism -- as interpreted by the Cheney-Rumsfeld neocon cabal -- by the end of Bush’s second term. Those who see it should argue it, relentlessly, even as we watch with horror that which we fear unfold...

continua / continued

Smearing the Wilsons and Sliming America

Larry C. Johnson

Regardless of Armitage's role, we are still left with the fact that Cheney, Rove, and Libby abused their power and were actively engaged in a coordinated effort to discredit Joe Wilson.

The Greatest Speech of The Decade

Hell yeah one for the Good Guys at last. About time don't you think
Watch it.

History was made on Wednesday on MSNBC.

The host of a national television program gave a speech. A real speech. In fact, a great speech. In my opinion, probably the greatest speech, thus far, of this decade.

That a deep, thoughtful speech could wend it's way through the halls of the corporate media and box out, for a few glorious moments, the breaking news coverage of John Mark Karr's airplane landing on a runway in Colorado or Brittney Spears or Jessica Simpson or Paris Hilton or Tom Cruise or polygamists and the rest of the NewsPorn that passes as news while the country endures - and does not seem to care about - non-stop death in Iraq, a looming attack on yet another sovereign nation, a complete mess in the Middle East, upcoming elections to be conducted on electronic voting machines that are completely hackable, illegal wiretapping, a culture of fear and an apparent Houdini terrorist leader who has outwitted the entire American military for 5 years . . . is pretty close to a miracle.

Keith Olberman is that miracle.

Forget the rare courage to speak one's mind, unfiltered, unedited, un-focus grouped.

Olberman has pretty much always had that.

Forget the fact that very few political leaders, for the past 6 years, have had the courage to challenge an administration that so regularly and richly deserves it or to use or infer words like "quack" or "fascist" to describe our elected leaders. This raw candor is one of the things that put great leaders like Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill so prominently in our history books but is a rarity today now that people like Paul Wellstone are no longer around to share their special brand of conscience.

In the NewsPorn world we live in it is the foul mouthed Ann Coulter, a bastardized and pathological variation thereof, that counts as courage today. Ms. Coulter, despite her attempts at beauty and insight, does not possess the dignity or true courage to even reside in the same country that produced a Teddy Roosevelt or a Paul Wellstone.

And we are not the same country.

And it was Edward R. Murrow, and today, Keith Olberman, who brilliantly and soulfully call us to our deepest origins and act, not just speak, the liberty that is our very foundation.

So, beyond the courage and the candor that Keith Olberman has always possessed, the 6 minute speech to America Wednesday night was, perhaps, the finest example seen in this decade of a man who could blend history, an understanding of current events, insight and passion. Usually one of those passes for acceptable television today.

Olberman's speech, as a speech, was extraordinary.

Listen to the subtlety. Without calling names he blasted Donald Rumsfeld and everyone else in the Bush Administration more powerfully than if he had filled his entire 6 minutes with 4 letter expletives.

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack. Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Listen to the delivery. In the most important 6 minutes of his career, Keith Olberman is flawless in his delivery. Calm and passionate, centered with great nuance in his face and in his voice - nuance that filled in the spaces, beautifully, where heavy handed words would have been used by a less masterful speaker.

Listen to the intellect. If Keith wrote this himself, and it looks and feels as if he did (something that few modern speakers - Martin Luther King and Mario Cuomo are great exceptions - have with any regularity) this is an even more intelligent man than I had ever thought. It is not easy to write a great, or even a good speech.

Listen to the courage.

From Iraq to Katrina, to flu vaccine shortages, to the entire "Fog of Fear" which continues to envelope this nation - he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies, have - inadvertently or intentionally - profited and benefited, both personally, and politically. And yet he can stand up in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emperor's New Clothes.

Listen and watch the history. Only by the deep understanding of history was Olberman able to do what needed to be done - to turn the "Appeasement of the Fascists" argument around on Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Rove and the Bush Administration. He uses the much maligned Neville Chamberlain against those who use him so often. A brilliant turn.

In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld's speechwriter was adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis. For, in their time, there was another government faced with trueperil - with a growing evil - powerful and remorseless. That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld's, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the secret information. It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. Rumsfeld's - questioning their intellect and their morality.

That government was England's, in the 1930's.

It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone to England. It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all treaties and accords. It knew that the hard evidence it had received, which contradicted it's own policies, it's own conclusions - it's own omniscience - needed to be dismissed.

The English government of Neville Chamberlain already knew the truth.

Most relevant of all - it "knew" that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile - at best morally or intellectually confused.

That critic's name... was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

And, listen as he weaves in the examples of Nixon, McCarthy and Curtis LeMay.

Listen to the passion.

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused... the United States of America?
And, listen to the humility . . . always a sign of great speakers who understand, at least on some level, that they are mere channels for that which flows through them . . .

Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble tribute... I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist Edward R. Murrow. But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed, "confused" or "immoral.

With this I must disagree, Mr. Olberman. Perhaps because the void has been so deep and for so long you, Keith, may be unaware that you have stepped, firmly, into it. Your words, not in a thousand years, but in 6 minutes, stirred the soul of a nation thirsty for the courage and brilliance of Mr. Murrow and were hardly distinguishable from his. You have earned the right to quote the great Edward R. Murrow on television. And you have earned the respect of those who have longed for a real journalist . . . and a real speechwriter and speech giver to step up for America and against those who might have forgotten what we are, indeed, fighting for.

May your courage be rewarded by ratings that rival those of John Mark Karr's.

FBI Terror Probe Tactics Raise Questions Of Entrapment....

Washington Post Walter Pincus September 2, 2006 at 11:19 AM

Standing in an empty Miami warehouse on May 24 with a man he believed had ties to Osama bin Laden, a dejected Narseal Batiste talked of the setbacks to their terrorist plot and then uttered the words that helped put him in a federal prison cell.
"I want to fight some jihad," he allegedly said. "That's all I live for."

The New Republic Suspends Blogger After Comment Tampering...

The New Republic September 2, 2006 at 11:19 AM
READ MORE: Investigations

An Apology to Our Readers

After an investigation, The New Republic has determined that the comments in our Talkback section defending Lee Siegel's articles and blog under the username "sprezzatura" were produced with Siegel's participation. We deeply regret misleading our readers. Lee Siegel's blog will no longer be published by TNR, and he has been suspended from writing for the magazine.

Franklin FoerEditor, The New Republic

CIA Al-Qaeda Expert: “Bit Of Whistling Past The Graveyard When We Say The Organization Is Broken”...

Associated Press Paul Garwood and Matthew Pennington September 2, 2006 at 11:42 AM
READ MORE: Afghanistan, CIA

The al-Qaida terror camps are gone from Afghanistan, but the enigma of Osama bin Laden still hangs over these lawless borderlands where tens of thousands of U.S. and Pakistani troops have spent nearly five years searching for him.

Villagers say the CIA missed by only a few miles when it targeted bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, with a missile strike in January. Then in May, U.S. Special Forces arrested one of al-Zawahri's closest aides, suggesting the trail has not gone entirely cold.

Army Investigator Recommends Death Penalty For Soldiers In Iraq Raid...

Associated Press Alicia A. Caldwell September 2, 2006 at 03:12 PM

An Army investigator has recommended that four soldiers accused of murder in a raid inIraq should face the death penalty, according to a report obtained Saturday by The Associated Press.
Lt. Col. James P. Daniel Jr. concluded that the slayings were premeditated and warranted the death sentence based on evidence he heard at an August hearing. The case will now be forwarded to Army officials, who will decide whether Daniel's recommendation should be followed.

Bush's New Outlook Echoes LBJ's “Domino Theory” In Vietnam...

The New York Times David E. Sanger September 2, 2006 at 12:05 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Iraq

President Bush's newest effort to rebuild eroding support for the war in Iraq features a distinct shift in approach: Rather than stressing the benefits of eventual victory, he and his top aides are beginning to lay out the grim consequences of failure.

It is a striking change of tone for a president who prides himself on optimism and has usually maintained that demeanor, at least in public, while his aides cast critics as defeatists.

GOP Officials:

The New York Times Adam Nagourney and Jim Rutenberg September 2, 2006 at 02:06 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Karl Rove

Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser, is struggling to steer the Republican Party to victory this fall at a time when he appears to have the least political authority since he came to Washington, party officials said.

Mr. Rove remains a dominant adviser to President Bush, administration officials say. But outside the White House, as President Bush's popularity has waned, and as questions have arisen among Republicans about the White House's political acumen, the party's candidates are going their own way in this difficult election season far more than they have in any other campaign Mr. Rove has overseen.

A British RAF Nimrod has crashed in Afghanistan, killing 14 military personnel.

A British plane has crashed in Afghanistan, killing 14 military personnel in Britain's worst single loss in the country.
British and NATO officials say the Royal Air Force (RAF) Nimrod MR2 aircraft was supporting the NATO mission in the country when it went down, apparently due to a technical problem, in the southern province of Kandahar.
"The Ministry of Defence is extremely sorry to have to confirm that the aircraft lost in Afghanistan earlier today ... was British, and that the crash led to 14 fatalities," a ministry spokesman said in London.
He said the dead included 12 Royal Air Force personnel, a Royal Marine and an army soldier.
The RAF's Nimrod planes carry sophisticated reconnaissance and communications equipment enabling them to relay messages from troops on the ground.
British Defence Secretary Des Browne called the accident "dreadful and shocking".
While it was not the time to speculate about the cause of the crash, all indications were that it was "a terrible accident and not the result of hostile action," he said.
The crash was Britain's worst single loss in Afghanistan and caps a month in which British forces in the country have suffered severe casualties.
Military analysts said the crash would revive the political debate in Britain about the country's role in Afghanistan and whether its forces are over-stretched given they are also working flat out in Iraq.
The last significant British military crash was in January 2005 when a C130 Hercules transport plane was brought down by hostile fire in Iraq, killing nine Britons and one Australian.
NATO said in a statement the British plane crashed after declaring a technical problem. "Enemy action has been discounted at this stage," it said.
The crash came at a time when the Taliban and other insurgent and criminal groups have stepped up attacks on Afghan and foreign forces, plunging the country into its bloodiest period since the Taliban were toppled in late 2001.
- Reuters

NYT: Did special counsel Fitzgerald properly exercise his 'prosecutorial discretion' in CIA leak investigation?

RAW STORYPublished: Friday September 1, 2006

An article on the front page of Saturday's edition of The New York Times examines if special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald properly exercised his 'prosecutorial discretion' in his CIA leak investigation.

"An enduring mystery of the C.I.A. leak case has been solved in recent days, but with a new twist: Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, knew the identity of the leaker from his very first day in the special counsel’s chair, but kept the inquiry open for nearly two more years before indicting I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, on obstruction charges," writes David Johnston for the Times.

"Now, the question of whether Mr. Fitzgerald properly exercised his prosecutorial discretion in continuing to pursue possible wrongdoing in the case has become the subject of rich debate on editorial pages and in legal and political circles," the article continues.
Excerpts from the Times article:
Mr. Fitzgerald’s decision to prolong the inquiry once he took over as special prosecutor in December 2003 had significant political and legal consequences. The inquiry seriously embarrassed and distracted the Bush White House for nearly two years and resulted in five felony charges against Mr. Libby, even as Mr. Fitzgerald decided not to charge Mr. Armitage or anyone else with crimes related to the leak itself.

Moreover, Mr. Fitzgerald’s effort to find out who besides Mr. Armitage had spoken to reporters provoked a fierce battle over whether reporters could withhold the identities of their sources from prosecutors and resulted in one reporter, Judith Miller, then of The New York Times, spending 85 days in jail before agreeing to testify to a grand jury.

Since the disclosures about Mr. Armitage’s role, Bush administration officials have argued that because the original leak came from a State Department official, it was clear there had been no concerted White House effort to disclose Ms. Wilson’s identity.

But Mr. Fitzgerald’s defenders point out that the revelation about Mr. Armitage’s role did not rule out a White House effort because other officials like Mr. Libby and Karl Rove, the senior white House adviser, had spoken about Ms. Wilson with other journalists.

Sanctions: Another Step in the Shock and Awe of Iran

John Bolton, the "interim," that is to say installed, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has announced there is no doubt Iran plans to build nuclear bombs. Although there is no evidence of this, it of course makes perfect sense for Iran to hanker after nukes, as nations with nukes, or believed to have nukes, such as North Korea, are not invaded by the United States. Iran fully understands what the U.S. under the rule of the perfidious neocons plans to do—all they need do is look west toward Iraq. It should be obvious what the neocons have in mind for Iran—and all Muslim nations in the Middle East—complete social and cultural destruction, a process well underway in the hell hole of Iraq, at one time a first world country with a modern health care and educational system, now a smoldering wreck on par with ruined states in Africa...

Rumsfeld Does Damage Control To Prevent No Confidence Vote…

Associated Press Anne Plummer Flaherty September 1, 2006 at 08:21 PM
READ MORE: Indictments

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld reached out to Democrats late Friday, opening up the door for them to retract their stinging indictment of him as Pentagon chief.

In a letter to Congress's top Democrats, Rumsfeld said recent remarks he made during a speech in Salt Lake City were misrepresented by the media, including by the Associated Press.

Rumsfeld said he was "concerned" by the reaction of Democrats, many of whom called for his resignation and said he was treading on dangerous territory.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Kofi Annan visit provokes angry protests in Beirut

...During a visit to Beirut’s devastated southern suburbs in the Haret Hreik area with Siniora, Annan was booed by a crowd chanting pro-Hezbollah slogans "Death to Israel" and "Long live Syria." A group of women denounced the UN for its collusion with Israel. One laid a portrait of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah down on the windscreen of one of the moving vehicles. One resident told the press, "To hell with the United Nations and Annan. Let him look at what the UN and the United States have done and at all this destruction. This is their work."Annan was forced to leave after only 10 minutes...


Bush's Slaughtergate ReachesOver 2,500 U.S. Deaths in IraqIf you don't think Bush lied about it all, check out this video; if you still don't think Bush deliberately lied, apply for your SS uniform at the appropriate location
American GI toll in Iraq: at least 2628 as of August 28(This figure has to be seen as the minimum U.S. Iraq casualties it never includes those who die from wounds later. The total casualty count of dead and wounded is more like 50,000 according to USA Today.) Pentagon Covering Up Tens of Thousands of U.S. Casualties In Official ReportsOfficial Pentagon toll for wounded on the above day is 17,269.All for Bush's lieU.S. battle deaths in Afghanistan 321 as of August 3
On reading the names of the dead


Bush New

The First Bush Disaster
Don't let the Bush Crime Family spin this tragedy to their advantage.Bush is responsible for 9/11
[click on paper to left for more]
As BushCo tries to spin its totally incompetent response to Katrina as a success, let's remember what really happened!"You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie."
[click on the headline above for stories]

Who are the fascists this time around?

Thousand Year WarThe voice is that of Mike Malloy

who lists the 14 Points of Fascism

Here's the article the points were taken from.

How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power

Link here

Violence and resentment of US military push tens of thousands of Arab families toward secure provinces of Iraqi Kurdistan

RAW STORYPublished: Friday September 1, 2006

Violence and resentment of the US military have pushed tens of thousands of Arab families to migrate towards the more secure provinces of Iraqi Kurdistan, according to an article slated for the front page of Saturday's New York Times.

"Along with a Ferris wheel and ice cream stands, the park at the heart of this Kurdish city has a monument listing the names of dozens of Kurds killed in a torture compound here by Saddam Hussein's intelligence officers," Edward Wong writes for the Times.

" Yet, there was Sabah Abdul Rahman, a former intelligence officer, strolling just yards from the monument with his family on a recent evening," the article continues. " Driven from Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, by violence and their resentment of the U.S. military, the family had arrived here that very day and found a $30-a-night apartment."

"This is the only safe place in all of Iraq," Abdul Rahman tells the Times. "There's terrorism elsewhere and the presence of the Americans."
Excerpts from the article:
With sectarian violence boiling over in much of Iraq, tens of thousands of Arab families are on the move, searching for a safe place to live. Surprisingly, given the decades of brutal Sunni Arab rule over the Kurdish minority and continuing ethnic tensions, many like Abdul Rahman are settling in the secure provinces of Iraqi Kurdistan, run virtually as a separate country by the regional government.

The influx of Arabs has made many Kurds nervous, and regional leaders are debating whether to corral the Arabs into separate housing estates or camps.

"For the Kurdish people, it's a sensitive issue," said Asos Hardi, the editor of Awene, a newspaper that has run editorials in favor of segregating the Arab migrants. "Of course, everybody supports those people who have left their lands and their homes because of violence, but we don't want it at the expense of giving up our land or changing the demographics of our land."

Federal agency releases 'rebuttal' to 9/11 theories on the destruction of WTC towers

Ron BrynaertPublished: Friday September 1, 2006

In the face of polls which suggest that many Americans are skeptical about the government's official version of what happened on September 11, 2001, a federal agency has released a "rebuttal" to some prevalent "conspiracy theories" about the destruction of the World Trade Center towers.

A few days ago, as the five-year anniversary of the attacks approaches, the National Institute of Standards and Technology posted a FAQ sheet on it's website entitled "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions", based upon its three-year building and fire safety investigation.

"We get a lot of calls from people who have heard these theories," NIST spokesman Michael Newman told Newsday. "But we conducted what was probably the most complex investigation of a building collapse in history."

"We based our conclusion on the talents of the world's best engineers and scientists, state of the art computer models and 236 pieces of steel recovered from the site," said Newman.

Earlier today, NIST sent out a press release about their FAQ sheet.

"When the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released the final report in October 2005 from its technical investigation of the fires and collapses of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers on Sept. 11, 2001, many in the building design, construction, fire, rescue, safety and legislative communities praised the three-year effort as the authoritative accounting of the events that took place and began working with NIST to use the report's 30 recommendations to improve building codes, standards and practices," said the press release.

"However, there have been claims from 'alternative theory' groups that factors other than those described in the NIST report brought the towers down," the release said.

'Controlled demolition' theory >>>cont

Link Here

Editorial: Loose talk / The Bush rhetoric on Iraq is sounding desperate

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette September 1, 2006 at 12:22 PM
READ MORE: 2006, Rick Santorum, Halliburton

There are at least three pieces of falsely based rhetoric that are beginning to emerge in the fall political campaign that need to be put into context now, early in the game.

All three are being put forward by senior U.S. government officials or Republican candidates, notably Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Pennsylvania's own nonresident peddler of nontruths, Sen. Rick Santorum.

Pentagon: Iraq Violence Spreading...

Associated Press ROBERT BURNS September 1, 2006 at 01:11 PM

Sectarian violence is spreading in Iraq and the security problems have become more complex than at any time since the U.S. invasion in 2003, the Pentagon said Friday.

In a notably gloomy report to Congress, the Pentagon said illegal militias have become more entrenched, especially in Baghdad neighborhoods where they are seen as providers of security as well as basic social services.

Angela Merkel Beats Condi For Top Spot On Forbes Most Powerful Women List...

Ahhhhhh to bad Condi

BBC News September 1, 2006 at 02:04 PM

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has overtaken US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the world's most powerful woman, says Forbes magazine.

Power changed hands after a two-year reign by Ms Rice, who came second in this year's top 100 list.

Education Dept. Gave FBI Student Data...

The New York Times Jonathan D. Glater September 1, 2006 at 05:10 PM
READ MORE: Investigations

The Federal Education Department shared personal information on hundreds of student loan applicants with the Federal Bureau of Investigation across a five-year period that began after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the agencies said yesterday.

Under the program, called Project Strikeback, the Education Department received names from the F.B.I. and checked them against its student aid database, forwarding information. Each year, the Education Department collects information from 14 million applications for federal student aid.

"Concerned" Rumsfeld Tries To Dig Himself Out Of Speech Controversy

Associated Press Anne Plummer Flaherty September 1, 2006 at 08:21 PM
READ MORE: Indictments

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld reached out to Democrats late Friday, opening up the door for them to retract their stinging indictment of him as Pentagon chief.

In a letter to Congress's top Democrats, Rumsfeld said recent remarks he made during a speech in Salt Lake City were misrepresented by the media, including by the Associated Press.
Rumsfeld said he was "concerned" by the reaction of Democrats, many of whom called for his resignation and said he was treading on dangerous territory.

Mexican Lawmakers Stop President Fox's Speech To Congress...

Associated Press Julie Watson September 1, 2006 at 08:51 PM

President Vicente Fox refused to deliver his state-of-the nation report to Congress Friday, after leftist lawmakers seized control of the stage. It was the first time a Mexican leader hasn't given the annual address.

Fox's office said he would give a televised speech to the nation later Friday, exactly three months before he steps down. The written copy of his address called on Mexico to mend deep divisions that he said threatened the country's newfound democracy.

VIDEO: John Dean On Rumsfeld: “This Is Textbook Authoritarianism”...

Freeway Blogger Launches National Campaign...

Nationwide Action: Sept. 1st - 3rd

In conjunction with ImpeachPAC and After Downing Street, freewaybloggers across the country will be celebrating their rights to free speech by putting up signs calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush. In order to participate all you need is cardboard, paint and something to say. Send pictures of your work to

The right to post political opinion on public property is one of the most protected rights we have in American Democracy, and it's high time we started using it. Speaking out against a policy, president, or administration you feel is harming our nation is not only your right as an American citizen, it's your duty. And it's a hell of a lot of fun too.

Ohio Republican Rep: “I Can't Defend How The President Laid Out The Need For” Iraq War...“I Don't Support Rumseld”...

Columbus Dispatch Catherine Candisky and Jonathan Riskind September 1, 2006 at 03:40 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Iraq

Like many Republicans seeking re-election this year, U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi is distancing himself from President Bush.

Tiberi, of Genoa Township, said yesterday that he does not support Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and thinks new leadership is needed at the Pentagon. He also fired some shots at Bush.

Number of Republicans declines to 32-month low

Rasmussen Reports September 1, 2006 at 02:03 PM

The number of Americans calling themselves Republican has fallen to its lowest level in more than two-and-a-half years. Just 31.9% of American adults now say they're affiliated with the GOP. That's down from 37.2% in October 2004 and 34.5% at the beginning of 2006. These results come from Rasmussen Reports tracking surveys of 15,000 voters per month and have a margin of sampling error smaller than a percentage point.

The number of Democrats has grown slightly, from 36.1% at the beginning of the year to 37.3% now.

Rep. Murtha: Bush And Rumsfeld Are The Ones Ignoring History...

READ MORE: Iraq, George W. Bush

I find it hypocritical and ironic that Secretary Rumsfeld and President Bush, in their latest speeches to spin the war in Iraq, both commented that "many still have not learned history lessons," as they drew inflammatory parallels between Nazism and today's war in Iraq designed only to provoke unreasonable fear in the hearts of Americans.
Clearly it was the ignoring of history that got President Bush and his ideological policymakers into the quagmire that now exists in Iraq. As history dictated, it was absolutely foolish to believe that by occupying Iraq, the United States would transform the country into a beacon of American style democratic ideals. The British failed in its occupation attempts during the early 1900s. You only have to press rewind to hear the now haunting yet familiar words of a British Commander in Baghdad in 1917 say, "Our armies do not come in to your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators." After a decade of fighting with the population they had forcibly "liberated," the British were finally expelled from what is today Iraq by a population who resented foreign occupation and control.

President George Herbert Walker Bush was obviously more astute than his son when it came to the learning of History lessons. During the first Gulf War he rejected the urging of many to march into Baghdad, fully understanding the complexities and pitfalls of such an act. President GW Bush should

Investigator recommends court martial on all charges


Printable Representations:
Deaths, Wounded source: antiwar.com

source: iraqbodycount.net

(Ft. Lewis, WA)

– In a report released by the military on Aug. 22, Investigating Officer Lieutenant Colonel Mark Keith found that the army has reasonable grounds to pursue its case against Lt. Ehren Watada on all pending charges of missing movement, contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. Complete Article 32 report with hearing transcript (PDF) released Aug. 22. Also, the Aug. 28 rebuttal to the Article 32 report (PDF) by Lt. Watada's legal defense team.

August 28, 2006 - The future of Lt. Watada’s court-martial is now in Fort Lewis General’s hands. Your phone calls and letters today could make a difference. Forward this urgent action alert to friends.
On August 17, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada succeeded in placing the war on trial during an Article 32 pre-trial hearing in a military courtroom at Fort Lewis, Washington. The investigating officer recommended that Lt. Watada be referred to a general court martial on all charges – including five charges for political speech.
VIDEO Lt. Ehren Watada's Speech: "Soldiers Can Choose to Stop ...
Lt. Ehren Watada's public speech... Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 2006-08-17 05:40. Wow, what a true American. I too served in the military (many years ...


A salvo of rockets killed at least 46 people and wounded 112 in east Baghdad on Thursday, Interior Ministry sources said. The rockets slammed into homes as families gathered in the evening. Sources said the death toll could rise as bodies were being pulled from rubble. A Soldier from the 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division was killed by an improvised explosive device while conducting a route security mission at approximately 12:05 p.m., August 30. (CENTCOM) A U.S. soldier was killed in action on Wednesday by a roadside bomb explosion in Anbar Province, west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement...

Can You Really Not See?

By Amira Hass

Let us leave aside those Israelis whose ideology supports the dispossession of the Palestinian people because "God chose us." Leaveaside the judges who whitewash every military policy of killing anddestruction. Leave aside the military commanders who knowingly jailan entire nation in pens surrounded by walls, fortified observationtowers, machine guns, barbed wire and blinding projectors. Leave asi

The Worst Kind of Terror

Murder on Rucarb Street
By Eliza Ernshire

Palestine has been so reduced and so humiliated that it is now acountry where the Occupying force can walk into a main city onnightfall, can walk down the main street of that city and kill a manand then walk away again as if that is a damn right of theirs and noone is going to blink an eye at it.

Baluchistan and the Coming Iran War

By Luciana Bohne

08/31/06 "The Digest" -- -- Akhbar Khan, a nationalist/independence leader in Baluchistan has been killed by the Pakistani military, in a massive operation that is seriously destabilizing military dictator Pervez Musharraf’s regime.

This is natural gas country. This is where China is helping to build a pipeline, which Bush opposes. This is from where commandos are penetrating Iran (according to Hersh). This is where the “west” has been stoking up separatist fires, probably to get Musharraf’s army to intervene. Need boots on the ground to encircle Iran. Quetta is capital and in ‘Taleban’ control. Nevertheless, the killing of Akhbar Khan is really upsetting the country–the whole of Pakistan. Meanwhile, Waziristan is off limits to Paki army, though the locals keep being aerially bombed–mostly by US.

Why should the news from Baluchistan interest us? I’ll let you connect the dots by presenting a bit of context and concluding with an article from the Carnegie Endowement, which, I think, will underline the significance of the event for the prospected US attack on Iran.

Pakistani military dictator’s regime is very unpopular in Pakistan.
Musharraf, as Bush’s ally on the “war on terror,” has had to do unpopular things, like deploying 70,000 troops to the North-West autonomous tribal regions (among them Waziristan) to hunt down “terrorists” and such.

He hasn’t been successful, but American aerial attacks from nearby Afghanistan have killed alleged “leaders” and sundry civilians, causing a flood of refuges and displacements. Serious Pakistani military casualties have not increased his popularity and neither has the charge that he’s allowing American forces to violate Pakistani sovereignty. Musharraf’s campaign in Waziristan has failed so thoroughly that the region is now virtually off limits to governmental forces.

Baluchistan is continuous with the Waziristan region. Baluchistan is a western province of Pakistan, constituting about 40% of Pakistan’s national surface. Its capital is Quetta, accused byAfghanistan’s Karzai (which really means Washington) of being a Taliban stronghold supplying and fueling the Taliban armed resurgence in southern Afghanistan. Musharraf’s regime denies it. Nevertheless, Musharraf has re-opened hostility in Baluchistan against the decades-long independists forces, which he’s accused of provoking into taking up arms again. Musharraf, throughout the spring of 2006, has come under intense criticism by British, American, and Afghan officials for not doing enough for the “war on terror.” The trouble is that if he complies with his allies in the “war on terror,” he comes under attack from domestic critics, of which he has legions, including the majority of the people.

The latest developments in the murder of the Baluch leader, Bugti, is a case in point: Pakistan is in an uproar and calling for his resignation.

Why would the axis-of-evil crusaders want to destabilize a crucial ally? They don’t “want” to, but they have bigger plans.

The US has three military bases in Baluchistan. They say they are fighting Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the region. Perhaps. But, Baluchistan borders with Iran to the west. Baluchistan, too, is rich in natural gas and minerals. China is helping the Pakistani government to build a natural gas pipeline from Baluchistan’s port of Gwadar to China, a project the Bush administration opposes. The port of Gwadar just happens to be geographically located to overlook the Straits of Hormuz, which the Iranians intend to block if they are attacked. Hormuz is the crucial sea route for international oil distribution.

Coincidence that the US should be interested in “terrorism”in Baluchistan and urging Musharraf to be more zealous at the same time that it is planning an attack on Iran?

An article by the Carnegie Endowment entertains the same thought, albeit to deny it: “The Baluch and the Pakistani think that Washington would like to use Baluchistan as a rear-guard base for an attack on Iran, and Iran is suspected of supporting Baluch [independence] activists in order to counter such a Pakistani-US plot. . . . Some Pakistanis perceive the US using its Greater Middle East initiative to dismantle the major Muslim states and redefine the borders of the region. Some Baluch nationalists charge the US with conspiring with the Pakistani government to put an end to Baluch claims. So far nobody has been able to prove any of these accusations.”

No? No matter, the Iranians have been mining their side of the Baluch borders, just in case, and Bugti, Baluch independence leader, has been killed by the diplomatically besieged Musharraf, catapulting the country into a political crisis.

Coincidence? Or are plans for an Iranian attack well on the way?

I remind you that Seymour Hersh, in The New Yorker, has confirmed that US commandos have launched penetration initiatives across Pakistani Baluchistan into Iran.
More links to story below

BBC: Surprise 'won't derail CIA suit' (Plame/Wilson)

Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 21:25 GMT 22:25
By Richard Allen GreeneBBC News,
WashingtonOuted CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband, Bush critic Joseph Wilson,plan to go ahead with a lawsuit against close associates of President GeorgeW Bush despite a startling new revelation about the source of the leakthat blew Ms Plame's cover, one of her lawyers has said.The new information "has no impact on the case. This case is about top-levelWhite House officials who conspired against Valerie Wilson," Melanie Sloan,one of the Wilsons' lawyers, told the BBC, referring to Ms Plame by hermarried name.The Wilsons filed suit in July against Vice-President Dick Cheney; his formerchief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby; and Karl Rove, George W Bush's toppolitical adviser, accusing them of intentionally revealing Ms Plame'sidentity to discredit Mr Wilson.But a new book due out next week claims that the original source of the leakwas Colin Powell's former deputy, Richard Armitage.

Judge: No gag order in Iraq slaying case

Judge: No gag order in Iraq slaying case By BRETT BARROUQUERE, Associated Press Writer 21 minutes agoLOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal judge rejected a gag order that could have kept lawyers and even President Bush from publicly discussing the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the slaying of her relatives. U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell said there is "no reason to believe" that a former soldier's right to a fair trial would be jeopardy.In a ruling Thursday, Russell also ordered former Pvt. Steven D. Green, 21, to be arraigned Nov. 8 in federal court in Louisville.Investigators say Green and four other soldiers from the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne Division plotted to rape the girl in the village of Mahmoudiya. Green is accused of being the triggerman in the shooting of three family members in a room of the girl's house before she was raped and killed.Defense lawyers had asked the judge to silence a variety of people, from the attorneys in the case to Bush.(snip/...)

Supporting our troops with a knife in the back

Hand-in-hand with the Republican Party's post-September 11 fear campaign has been its goal of tying "supporting the troops" with "supporting the administration". Meaning, if you - you terrorist-loving, Hitler appeasing, hybrid-driving, latte-drinking fringe leftist - disagree with anything Dear Leader does (waging a costly, unjust war, for instance), not only do you suffer from intellectual and/or moral confusion, but you also don't support the troops. So our brave young men and women, sadly, find themselves playing the pawns for this White House, both at home and abroad. Dying to prove a point there. Serving to prop up a failing administration here.
But a funny thing happened on the way to Mission Accomplished. The Republicans, as it turns out, support the troops about as much as they've supported, let's say, the city of New Orleans. Hint: Not at all. So, despite the constant stream of phony patriotism standing in for practical policy, once you strip away the spin, the actual, on-the-ground reality tells a far, far, far different tale. A tale that indeed paints a picture of Republicans supporting our troops.
Supporting them with a knife in the back.
Listing every example of Republicans screwing the troops would fill a weighty volume, the type of volume the president would laughingly claim to have read this summer, just after those "three Shakespeares". Think about it. You've got an administration that sent the troops to Iraq based on a pack of lies, only to deny them the proper equipment, serving them spoiled food and contaminated water once they were there. You've got a president who has set the all-time record for a vacationing Commander-in-Chief, yet who still hasn't attended his first military funeral. You've got the Secretary of Defense who jokes about not providing our men and women with the proper equipment, yet can't be bothered to personally sign the condolence letters resulting directly from his and his administration's misguided foreign policy. For the ones lucky enough to return home alive, you've got Republican leadership that cuts their benefits while seeking to redefine what actually constitutes a "veteran" in order to further cut costs. To be more concise, however, I'll condense the administration's terrible record with a few memorable examples. Continued...

ABC Docudrama On 9/11 Attacks Blames Clinton...

Here we are into the 6th year of the Bush failed presidency, He has bankrupted America, was at the helm on Sept 9/11, Katrina and Iraqi war and occupation, supported Israel in their war with Lebanon . and six years later, they the neocons and the republicans are still blaming Bill Clinton. Just remember Georgie you where offered Osama and you declined the offer.

Think Progress September 1, 2006 at 12:23 PM

On September 10 and 11, ABC will air a “docudrama” called “The Path to 9/11.” It was written by Cyrus Nowrasteh, who describes himself as “more of a libertarian than a strict conservative,” and is giving interviews to hard-right sites like FrontPageMag to promote the film.
What will it say about President Clinton? Here’s Rush Limbaugh with a preview:

A friend of mine [Cyrus Nowrasteh] out in California has produced and filmed — I think it’s a two-part mini-series on 9/11 that ABC is going to run in prime-time over two nights, close to or on 9/11. It’s sort of surprising that ABC’s picked it up, to me. I’ve had a lot of people tell me about it, my friends told me about it…And from what I have been told, the film really zeros in on the shortcomings of the Clinton administration in doing anything about militant Islamofascism or terrorism during its administration. It cites failures of Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright and Sandy Burglar.

How does it deal with President Bush? Salon has a review:
Condoleezza Rice gets that fated memo about planes flying into buildings, and makes it very clear to anyone who’ll listen just how concerned President Bush is about these terrorist threats — despite the fact that we’re given little concrete evidence of the president’s concern or interest in taking action. Maybe my memory fails me, but the only person I remember talking about Osama bin Laden back in 1998 was President Clinton, while the current anti-terrorist stalwarts worked the country into a frenzy over what? Blow jobs. In the end, “The Path to 9/11″ feels like an excruciatingly long, winding and deceptive path, indeed.
The director of the film, David Cunningham, is already backtracking about its accuracy, saying “this is not a documentary.” OK, fair enough. But the movie is being billed as “based on The 9/11 Commission Report.”
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Nine US Soldiers Dead in Two Days

At least 100 people were killed across Iraq yesterday in a day of intense gun battles and suicide bombings, contradicting US military claims that the security situation in the war-torn nation was improving. US forces have lost nine soldiers since Saturday, the military said in press releases, making it a lethal weekend for them as well. Eight of the soldiers were killed by roadside bomb attacks and one by gunfire, according to the brief military statements.
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