LINKS -- JULY 18-27

Pat Robertson, Bite the Big One

And other vital links July 17-27, 2003

9/11 Pentagon Attack: 100 Questions for the Commander in Chief
By Jim Hogue

July 20, 2003

  • Hey Pat Robertson, bite the big one! Pat Robertson, Christian Right Nazi, is now asking his mindless constituents to pray for three of the "justices" to retire so the court can become more right wing to carry out the so-called Christian Right agenda, (which is in fact neither Christian nor right, but very fascist and very wrong). Robertson is extremely upset that the court strayed from its right wing course for a moment in declaring anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional. So he wants his flock to pray for some of the supremes to retire. I'm surprised he doesn't just come out and tell them to pray for the judges do die in car accidents, or be tortured on the rack. Ugh! Excuse me while I wretch. Christian Right followers, wake up! Loosen your chains! (See CNN.)
  • Bob Graham said Bush's lies are impeachable, but then backed off and said he was not calling for Bush's impeachment, that it was just an academic question. Yahoo
  • John Dean calls for a special prosecutor into Bush's Iraq war lies. "The African uranium matter is merely indicative of larger problems, and troubling questions of potential and widespread criminality when taking the nation to war. It appears that not only the Niger uranium hoax, but most everything else that Bush said about Saddam Hussein's weapons was false, fabricated, exaggerated, or phony..." Dummies
  • The BBC has issued a statement confirming that the scientist who died of an apparent suicide was the BBC's main source for a story that recently inflamed the controversy. (See The Austin American Statesman. For background on the story, see the Associated Press report that, "A body found in central England was tentatively identified by police as a missing Ministry of Defense adviser who was named as the possible source for a disputed news report that claimed the government doctored intelligence on Iraqi weapons to strengthen the case for war." A later report in theSun Times says the deceased slashed his wrist.
  • Retaliation from the White House against GIs who dared speak of their unhappiness in Iraq was swift and brutal. "'It was the end of the world,' said one officer Thursday. 'It went all the way up to Bush and back down again on top of us. At least six of us here will lose our careers.'" See SFGate and New York Daily News.
  • Howard Zinn says Humpty Dumpty will fall. "The 'victory' over an already devastated and disarmed Iraq led Bush, Rumsfeld, and their teammates into a locker-room frenzy of exultation and self-congratulation," says Zinn. "I half expected to see Bush joyfully pouring beer on Rumsfeld's head and Ashcroft snapping a towel at Ari Fleischer's derrière..." However -- he continues later -- "A bit of historical perspective reminds us that governments that seem to be in total control--of guns, of money, of the minds of the population--find that all their power is futile against the power of an aroused citizenry. The leaders awake one morning to see a million angry people in the streets of the capital city, and they begin packing their bags and calling for a helicopter. This is not a fantasy but history. It's the history of the Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, of East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Rumania, and other places where change looked hopeless and then it happened. Throughout history, imperial powers, gloating over victories, become overextended and overconfident, as their citizens begin to get uneasy because their day-to-day fundamental needs are being sacrificed for military glory while their young are sent to die in wars. The uneasiness grows and grows, and the citizenry gather in resistance in larger and larger numbers, and one day the top-heavy empire falls over."

    July 21, 2003

  • For a real news broadcast, log onto Democracy Now, where you can hear or see Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales report on what is going on from a point of view that is not the usual corporate point of view.
  • In response to questions about his holding British prisoners in Guantanamo without any due process, Bush said, "The only thing I know for certain is that these are bad people..." (See Yahoo.)
  • According to Financial Times, the U.S. has given in on its attempt to try two British nationals as "enemy combatants" (without rights) in military tribunals. This could be a problem for the Bush administration because if the Brits are granted the right of habeus corpus, which they will be in Britain, the charges will probably end up being dropped because of lack of evidence. Poor George. He's being thwarted so much lately. This wasn't supposed to happen to the dictator of the New World Order. Hot damn!


    July 22, 2003

  • Paul Thompson's "The Failure to Defend the Skies on 9/11" is a lucid, well reasoned discussion, that of course would be dismissed as "conspiracy theory" by people who believe the real world is like "Leave it to Beaver." Here's a sample: "Careful examination of the published record clearly shows these claims there were no warnings are simply not true. Historically there have been many attacks using planes as weapons, an obvious example being the kamikaze strikes by Japanese pilots on Allied ships in World War II. More recently, in 1994, there were three separate attempts to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings. A disgruntled Federal Express worker tried to crash a DC-10 into a company building in Memphis but was overpowered by the crew. A lone pilot crashed a small plane onto the White House grounds, just missing the president's bedroom. An Air France flight was hijacked by a terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda, with the aim of flying it into the Eiffel Tower; however, French Special Forces stormed the plane while it was refueling. [New York Times, 10/3/01]"
  • Comic Relief. Animation master Mark Fiore's "Looting" is brilliant and wise. Laughter is your best revenge!
  • Cynthia L. Webb in the Washington Post says people who are guilty of sharing a song without permission, may have to do jail time. This terminology is frightening. How far can it go? Yes, it's aimed at the Internet, but the language makes it sound like I could get thrown in jail for whistling "Penny Lane" as I walk down the street. This is a mad, frenzied attempt by the recording cartel to fend off an advance of society that is an inevitable consequence of technological evolution. People recorded songs on cassette before, guys, and the world didn't fall apart. Get hold of yourselves! You can't stop the world from doing some music copying. You just have to produce a great product. You have to maintain the jump on things. The CD is a publishing product now, it's much more than just the sound.
  • Don Williams is brilliant in "Just who is responsible for what the president said before Iraq war?". Check it out: "Turns out it was CIA Director George J. Tenet who forced those words from Bush's throat. He admitted as much a week ago following an urgent phone call from Condoleezza Rice, who was traveling with Bush in Africa. Tenet said it was his mistake that Bush said what he said. Tenet doesn't know why he didn't read through the speech for Bush, but of one thing he's certain - it was his fault."
  • Is the Wall Street Journal getting its knickers in a knot over Howard Dean? Could be. A piece about Dean by WSJ executive editor Al Hunt (who looks in the picture like a circling hyena about to bite your head off) the impression the corporate right is sharpening its knives to cut Dean to shreds. It starts with a selection from history. He says, "In the summer of 1971, insurgent Democratic hopeful George McGovern ran a distant sixth in Democratic presidential preference polls; four years later, Jimmy Carter was doing even worse, tied with such luminaries as Milton Shapp among the also-rans; in 1983, Gary Hart trailed not only the front-runners but even Alan Cranston, and four summers ago, John McCain lagged behind not just George W. Bush but Elizabeth Dole, Dan Quayle and Steve Forbes." I guess everybody was low in the polls at some point. What if Dean was FDR to Bush's Hoover?
  • Time magazine's "The War Comes Home" says, "What worries Republicans in the short run is how the criticism has thrown the White House off its game." If people get too involved in how the "game" is played instead of what the game is about, it could be easy to shift attention from the war crimes and lies to how well the Bush team plays. Read with caution, but there is quite a lot of good material in this article.

    July 23, 2003

    America the Barbarous

    Today the headlines blasted in celebratory tones about how Saddam Hussein's sons were killed. Are we supposed to dance in the streets because a couple of the thug's sons were killed? Are we supposed to be proud to be Americans. Is this what America is reduced to, a mob rooting on the sidelines of gang warfare?

    Even the ever-so-genteel New York Times reports all this childishness as if it were perfectly sensible. Two others besides the sons of Saddam were killed, one a teenage son of someone the Bushites deem to be "evil".

    In another article in the Times, Bush is quoted as saying the deaths of the sons should "reassure" Iraqis. That's a nice word. What kind of reassurance are we delivering there? Reassurance "that the former regime is gone and will not be coming back." The real message is, it's hopeless to resist the American regime.

    Bush is foolish enough to think that a show of force is the answer to everything. If he thinks the deaths of these four men is going to pacify Iraq, or to turn Iraqis into willing servants, I'm afraid he's terribly misled. This will only rouse them to further rage. Bush is turning these sons of a thug into martyrs, a rallying point for Iraqi national identity.

    The Times lamely recites the administration line: "But the president acknowledged continuing problems with armed holdouts — 'the enemies of Iraq's people.'"

    That's a good one. It's the Iraqis who are rising up against the occupation who are the "enemies of Iraq's people." That's a very slick semantic trick. Actually it's not particularly slick. And it's obviously crap. Of course killing Saddam's sons is not going to stop the "holdouts". But Bush's political fortunes depend on him maintaining this ludicrous fiction about what is going on there. Just keep the Americans in the dark and everything will be fine. The United States under the Bush regime invaded Iraq and is now trying to occupy it and take its oil. Pretty simple picture really. And of course there is trouble because people don't like to be invaded and plundered. Why should they?

    But America the Barbarous doesn't have to make any sense. We have the power, the military power, to enforce our will. "Who cares what you think?"

    Then back in New York City, the City Council is erupting into shootouts. MSNBC. Did some poor naive soul once call this country civilized?

    Check out Eric Alterman's Lyndon B. Bush. "Why did we invade Iraq again? Was it because they were "reconstituting" nuclear weapons? Nope, they made that one up. Was it because they were in possession of weapons of mass destruction? Apparently not. Was it because they were in league with the Al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11? Sorry, ix-nay on the evidence-nay. Did we do it to further the cause of democracy and human rights? Stop, you're hurting my tummy."


    July 25, 2003

    The Fraud Is Coming Unraveled

  • The Dissipation of Bush Big Lie.: Bernard Weiner's "Shallow Throat Explains How Bush Can Be Beaten". Check it out: "What's happened is that the patina of invincibility has suddenly disappeared from Rove and his minions. Everyone in the White House realizes they've bungled this one badly, and they're struggling for how to play it to lessen the political fallout. And so we all get to watch the laughable farce as a new line is trotted out each day, to see what will work best. So far, nothing has worked at all -- Bush is psychologically incapable of accepting responsibility, for anything, so now the Dems are sharpening their knives."
  • Is the voting machine fraud unraveling? Maybe. It doesn't take a fringe radical to oppose voting machines that cheat. The awareness of the problem is spreading. The techies and the academics are near the front of this advance. The story is seeping into more mainstream media. See CNET, saying, "University researchers delivered a serious blow to the current crop of electronic voting systems in an analysis of one such system's source code in which they concluded that a voter could cast unlimited ballots without detection."
  • Also see: The Age, "The three researchers - Tadayoshi Kohno, Adam Stubblefield and Aviel D. Rubin - said in a report titled Analysis of an Electronic Voting System that they had analysed the source code for a voting system from a major manufacturer after the code showed up on the internet. The code was an earlier version of that used in voting machines by the manufacturer Diebold Election Systems. The researchers pointed out that Diebold systems had been used in Georgia's state-wide elections in 2002. The company recently announced that it had secured an order from the state of Maryland for touch screen voting systems valued at up to US$55.6 million. 'Our analysis shows that this voting system is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts. We highlight several issues including unauthorised privilege escalation, incorrect use of cryptography, vulnerabilities to network threats, and poor software development processes,'" the researchers noted.
  • The New York Times reports that "Computer Voting Is Open to Easy Fraud, Experts Say ... The software that runs many high-tech voting machines contains serious flaws that would allow voters to cast extra votes and permit poll workers to alter ballots without being detected, computer security researchers said yesterday. 'We found some stunning, stunning flaws,' said Aviel D. Rubin, technical director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University, who led a team that examined the software from Diebold Election Systems, which has about 33,000 voting machines operating in the United States."
  • To sign a petition demanding voting machine accountability, click Verified Voting.
  • In the Reuters story, Avi Rubin, technical director of the Information Security Institute, the nuts-and-bolts expert on the subject, sums in up succinctly: "I am against electronic voting because I think voting is too important and computers are too difficult to secure."
  • Now the universe has really changed when ESPN -- the sports channel, right?! -- gives us the great Hunter S. Thompson, saying, "The American nation is in the worst condition I can remember in my lifetime, and our prospects for the immediate future are even worse. I am surprised and embarrassed to be a part of the first American generation to leave the country in far worse shape than it was when we first came into it. Our highway system is crumbling, our police are dishonest, our children are poor, our vaunted Social Security, once the envy of the world, has been looted and neglected and destroyed by the same gang of ignorant greed-crazed bastards who brought us Vietnam, Afghanistan, the disastrous Gaza Strip and ignominious defeat all over the world."

    July 26, 2003

    The Wild Dogs of the White House

    A Nation of Necrophiliacs

    Watching the calamities closing in on the Bush administration is of course gratifying, but the descent is far from over. Seeing American media sink into a national examination of corpses of the sons of Bush's great rival is sickening. How low can we go? God save this poor, sick country. It's a good time to look the other way. But be careful not to stop paying attention.

    ABC showed a picture of Iraqis "celebrating" with thumbs up and V signs (no doubt a candid shot taken through some ordinary Iraqis window catching behavior typical of the entire country). The report acknowledged that the US had "touched up and shaved to make them more closely resemble the brothers in life." What a fun job that must have been! I'm sure the Iraqis are pleased as we are here in America. Ugh!

  • One way to fight back is to keep your sense of humor. It has come to the attention of this very serious publication that British intelligence (possibly James Bond himself) has reported that has been awarded the prestigious undercover award "Best Site Ever." Check it out for some tee-shirts that will cover your chest (if applied properly) and also turn you into a billboard for great (and funny) causes.
  • The great Harvey Wasserman on asks the question: "Have we turned the corner?" . Rapier reporting and commentary. Wasserman: "...cracks are showing in a totalitarian assault that needs total victory. The regime has grossly overreached its minority non-mandate. Its procession of Big Lies, such as Saddam's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, are generating just the kind of blowback that can shatter a tyranny, even one in control of the mass media."
  • Back on the gloomy side of reality, three more American soldiers were killed in Bush's most recent war. This site is the top link to the story on Google News, but when you click on it, dear Fox news surprises you with a garish examination of the corpses of Iraq's unroyal family. Thanks Ruppert Murdoch, you feral creature. For a more reliable report without the corpses, try The Guardian.
  • All this death and destruction doesn't bother Wall Street, however. The old adage that war is good for the economy has some marginal validity. It's not good for "the economy" if you include jobs and general economic welfare, but it can be a great shot of speed in the arm of Wall Street corporations. See the report in The Age.
  • Santa Cruz, the first of many city councils to formally oppose the Iraq war may become the first to formally sign on to a movement to impeach Bush and the clan. For the report, go to England and The Guardian.
  • Bush in trouble in the polls. Republicans worried. See New York Times Typically the Republicans find someone to blame. What's the problem? Could it have anything to do with massive job loss, the continually mounting death toll of Americans in Iraq, increasing hatred of America around the world, a depressing sense of calamity throughout the culture under Bush? Nope. According to Joyce Terhes of the Republican National Committee, "We've got nine Democrats out there beating up on him. That's the problem." The Times says, "Republicans said there will be trouble for Bush if postwar Iraq continues to claim the lives of American troops." How can it not? The more the Bush administration tries to stomp out resistance using its one strategy for everything -- brute force -- the more hatred of Americans will seep into all layers of Iraqi society. The American soldiers, who may well have thought they were liberators, are now finding out that they were working for Halliburton et. al. And no matter how many Iraqis they kill, they will continue to be picked off. The best thing for everyone concerned would be to get the hell out of Iraq. But Bush will not do that.
  • In extremely encouraging news, the House voted by a huge margin to roll back the secret search provisions of the Patriot Act. Yes! See Reuters.
  • Fallout from the Congressional report on 911. According to the Washington Post there is proof that Bush was informed on August 6, 2001, that Al Qaeda operatives were planning attacks in the United States using explosives. Twenty-eight pages of the congressional report were blocked out dealing with Saudi Arabia, according to Newsday. The White House is holding on to a defensive posture based on ignorance, in effect, Bush has no culpability because he didn't know anything. None of the reports reached him, they say (This is supposed to be a defense!), "including a July 2001 report that said bin Laden was looking to pull off a 'spectacular' attack against the US or US interests designed to inflict 'mass casualties.' It added, 'Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning. They are waiting us out, looking for a vulnerability.'" See Alternet.
  • Don't say nothin' bad about Bush's legs! says Borders Books. A singer songwriter has been banned from that bastion of freedom of expression for saying in her performance that Bush has "chicken legs" and "needs to pump some iron."

    July 27, 2003

    Restoring the Rule of Law

  • In Impeaching Bush, Francis A. Boyle, Professor of Law, University of Illinois School of Law, says "Article VI of the U.S. Constitution provides that Treaties 'shall be the supreme Law of the Land.' This so-called Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution also applies to International Executive Agreements concluded under the auspices of the U.S. President such as the 1945 Nuremberg Charter."

    He goes on to warn that "The Athenians lost their Democracy. The Romans lost their Republic. And if we Americans did not act now we could lose our Republic! The United States of America is not immune to the laws of history!"

    Bush Sr. wrote in his diary of fears of impeachment if the war in Iraq in 1991 dragged on, Boyle says, and that may have caused him to cut the war short. The public threat of impeachment voiced by former U.S. Secretary of State (under President Bush Sr.) Lawrence Engleburger had a noticeable effect in cooling down the war cries of the Bush cabal against Syria and Iran after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

    Boyle concludes: "We need one Member of Congress with the courage, integrity, and principles of the late and great Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez of Texas. Otherwise, the alternative will be an American Empire abroad, a U.S. Police State at home, and continuing wars of aggression to sustain them--along the lines of George Orwell's classic novel 1984 (1949). Despite all of the serious flaws of the United States government that this author has amply documented elsewhere during the past quarter century as a Professor of Law, the truth of the matter is that America is still the oldest Republic in the world today.[vi] We, the People of the United States, must fight to keep it that way![vii] And for the good of all humanity, we must terminate America's Imperial Presidency and subject it to the Rule of Law."

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