April 4, 2004

April Fools and Condi

So much is happening. What a wild time. We've had three black springs. Now it looks like we are going to have a real one. June is busting out all over.

The Bush-9/11 Commission clash is a fascinating one. The real clash is between the people and the government, but the commission acts as an intermediary, a buffer and a filter. It was created by Bush when he could no longer totally suppress public inquiry into the very strange circumstances surrounding the horrific catastrophe of 9/11.

Now in spite of years of repression of the facts of the case, the Bushies' information control is coming apart. Certain questions are demanding answers.

Air America is breathing a calm sanity back into the American cultural dialogue. The ranks are coming apart. People are stepping forward. Refusing to keep quiet. Reporters are speaking up. Political outrage is spilling into people's work. Restraints are loosening. The truth is breaking through. There is a gathering of energy, poising itself to strike at an opportunity presented by a legally mandated election.

The Bushes have refused to observe any political custom or legal convention that stands in the way of their drive to power, their little experiment in fascism. It will be interesting to see to what lengths they will go to retain power. The blatant distortion of law that accompanied their rise to power should give us some idea to what extent they will go to retain it.

At the same time, they have played all their trump cards, every day for years. What can they pull out now? What they need, and what they know they need, is another 9/11. Go ahead. Say it. It's the best thing that ever happened to them. Remember when Bush said he hit the Trifecta? It was heaven. It was the jackpot. And they played it to the moon. Halliburton made millions upon millions, so much they probably lost half of it. Old Dick Cheney with all his heart operations was trying to take it all with him. The whole Bush II administration appears like a final bold seizure of power by the old corporals of the nascent corporate state of Nixon. As brilliant as they were in seizing an almost autocratic control of the United States, they may have already played their whole hand.

We shall see.

  • Meanwhile, the news just keeps on coming. In Madrid there was a dramatic scene as officials closed in on three suspects of the Madrid bombings, and the suspects blew themselves up. The U.S. never had a similar moment of closure when the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks were finally confronted. Instead, it's never even been clear what happened that day, or who did it. The assumption is that it was "masterminded" by Osama bin Laden, but with him there are so many strangely personal ties with the Bush family, one often gets the feeling he is being spared. Or perhaps he is more valuable to Bush "on the run" than captured. (Boston Globe)
  • Dean says Clarke's testimony makes Bush's credibility the main issue of the campaign. Yahoo
  • Air America may be only the tip of an iceberg. Op Ed News
  • While Bush puppet Frist blusters about perjury because Clarke's testimony as a Bush employee being different than his recent testimony, Clarke's testimony has been largely corroborated by that of other witnesses. More recently Frist has backed off his accusations of perjury to just saying that "the tone" was "quite different from 2002." MSNBC

    April 6, 2004

    Heard some more of Air America, getting past the novelty, and realizing that there are many layers of things to talk about that could sustain this talk radio station indefinitely. It's called liberal radio; it's positioned to be liberal radio, but when I hear it it just sounds like sanity.

    On Air America Radio, you are listening to people who are just basic, rational, mainstream people, working people, people who share a lot of values and are pissed off about a lot of the same things. The difference that separates it from mainstream corporate media is that the people talking aren't stuck in the standard mad, hypnotic world clearly delineated by the Big Media with big "no trespassing signs" in the areas you are not supposed to look, that shared trance, the imaginary world that is maintained by constant bolstering. It's more like normal, intelligent people who are well-informed, not totally duped by the world of Fox News.

  • As death toll mounts, Americans change views on Bush, war. SanLuisObispo.com
  • The Bush Way: Never Having to Say Sorry. consortiumnews.com
  • Bill Moyers interviews John Dean about his book Worse the Watergate.
  • Former FBI agent Sibels Edmonds, "who was hired as a translator by the FBI nine days after the attacks, told the investigative panel she has seen and handled intelligence documents and cables that show Rice, the national security adviser, is wrong when she says there was no advance warning of air attacks on U.S. soil. She saw intelligence documents that pointed to the use of aircraft against skyscrapers in major U.S. cities. She saw intelligence documents that pointed to the use of aircraft against skyscrapers in major U.S. cities." The Toronto Star

    April 7, 2004

  • The situation in Iraq has gone from horrible to even worse. {see Truthout} Naomi Klein reported from Iraq to Democracy Now this morning that what is happening in Iraq not a "civil war" it is an "uprising". It is not Iraqis fighting each other. It's Iraqis rising up against the United States. Robert Fisk (see Truthout) said Iraq is on the brink of anarchy.
  • AOL News presents the perfect cross section of American life with its three alternating featured stories. Today it juxtaposes a picture of the utter misery of American troops in a rapidly degenerating situation in Iraq with a serene picture of a model-perfect man swinging his golf club. While unfortunate soldiers fight for their lives in a Bush-made hell, those at home who have been fortunate enough to invest in war production and its sister industries are riding a wave of prosperity and increasing affluence.
  • The words come back to me of a South African friend I spoke with a few weeks ago. "You can only push people down so far. Then they know they are going to die anyway, so they don't care. They are no longer afraid. You have no power over them. Such is the case in Iraq, which seems to have gone over a brink into a state of chaos raised by an order of magnitude. Someone said to me a day or two, "I can imagine it reaching the point like Saigon where the last man is running to get on a helicopter to get the hell out of there." It is an unspeakable disaster. The monumental folly of a few small-minded men with way too much power. Bush-Rumsfeld-Cheney et al believe superior force is the answer to all questions. Like Sharon, their strategy is to squash their enemies, to ever increase the force until they prevail. But it is impossible. It doesn't work in Palestine. It won't work in Iraq.
  • "Secrets and Lies Becoming Commonplace", says Walter Kronkite. St. Augustine Record
  • Bush approval rating down to 43%, according to a Pew poll. Bush's support is down to the people who love him more than their country, almost more than life itself.
  • Site of the day: fotolog.net
  • White House Vetting of 9/11 Commission report could delay its release till after the election, says Lycos
  • Complete 9/11 Timeline by Paul Thompson. The Day of 9/11

    April 8, 2004

  • Viewer's guide to the Condoleeza Rice testimony. Excellent summary of the points she has made, the contradictions, the record.
  • Why they are predicting a major terror attack by November.
  • Kerry hires major politech genius Zach Exley, of MoveOn.org, and GWBush.com. See an appearance of him in "Horns and Halos". CNN
  • Gary Hart: "I co-chaired a national security panel that warned the Bush administration the terrorists were coming. Why hasn't the 9/11 commission called any of us to testify?" Salon
  • Kerry leads Bush by six points in poll. WorldNetDaily
  • In April 2001, FBI Was Warned of Al Qaeda Suicide Mission Involving Planes, says former FBI translator Behrooz Sarshar. WorldNetDaily

    April 10, 2004

  • Bush's "August 2001 briefing on terrorism threats, described largely as a historical document, included information from three months earlier that al-Qaida was trying to send operatives into the United States for an explosives attack, according to several people who have seen the memo," according to AP. "The same month as that briefing of Bush, U.S. intelligence officials received two uncorroborated reports suggesting terrorists might use airplanes, including one that suggested al-Qaida operatives were considering flying a plane into a U.S. embassy, current and former government officials said."
  • "Dr. Rice's opening statement managed to blame security breakdowns on every president from Woodrow Wilson through Bill Clinton, the FBI, the CIA, Richard Clarke, and most other institutions of government for what is ultimately her responsibility and that of President Bush - protecting the nation. She offered no apologies. She made no concessions. And, unlike Richard Clarke, she accepted no responsibility for 9/11." American Progress
  • Democracy Now on Condi
  • Lies Under Oath Commondreams.org
  • Bush presidency may be a casualty of the war. LA Times
  • Too many Funeralsbaltimoresun.com
  • "Bush and Blair have lit a fire which could consume them" Guardian
  • Opening the Gates of Hell Counterpunch.org
  • According to the Drudge Report, "CNN has lost more than half its audience from a year ago, according to NIELSEN! In 24-Hour Time Period for the first quarter of 2004, FOX NEWS CHANNEL averaged 824,000 viewers, down 36% vs. a year ago, which saw heightened viewership due to the Iraqi War. CNN plummeted 52%, averaging 458,000 viewers, while MSNBC dropped 49% averaging 234,000 viewers. In PrimeTime, FOX NEWS decreased 36% from its 2003 viewership, averaging 1,394,000 people. CNN plunged 48% with 806,000 viewers and MSNBC fell 50% with 333,000 viewers." Are people getting hip to the bogusness of TV news?
  • Condi, the Artful Dodger, by Joe Conason. truthout

    April 11, 2004

  • FBI spokesman Ed Coggswell said he was trying to figure out how Condi came up with the number 70 when she said the FBI had "full-field investigations under way of cells" in the United States. Newsday
  • Bush clan reaping big bucks from Iraq war. The Populist
  • A worsening nightmare in Iraq. The Mirror

    April 12, 2004

    One More Saturday Night

    The Bush administration picked Saturday night, Easter Eve to declassify the August 6, 2001, memo that warned Bush that Osama bin Laden was planning a large, spectacular attack within the United States soon, was possibly planning to hijack planes and was looking at New York as a possible target. Saturday night is the favorite night of rogue president's to do their dirtiest deeds. Bush Senior pardoned his Iran Contra co-conspirators on Saturday night. Nixon fired the special prosecutor Archibald Cox in what was called the Saturday Night Massacre, so called because both Attorney General Elliott Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckleshaus resigned rather than carry out Nixon's order to fire Cox. That was how that Imperial President's powers began to unravel. Suddenly the supreme power was nullified when other people refused to honor the power because they thought Nixon had gone too far.

    Today the Bush administration appears to be unraveling in a similar fashion. But many would agree that the Bushies have gone far beyond Nixon. They make him seem like a choir boy. But they too have learned something from the lessons of Watergate and they are determined to hold on to power no matter what they have to do to achieve that. So almost anything could happen.

    The declassified memo is a bolt of lightning in the unfolding drama of the 9/11 commission, but whether the administration will be successful in sweeping it under the rug is an open question.

  • A new Newsweek poll gives Kerry a seven point lead over Bush, 50-47%. Only 36% say they are "satisfied with the way things are going in this country," 59% are unsatisfied. Only 41% approve of Bush's handling of the economy. Only 44% approve of his handling of Iraq. MSNBC
  • Kerry says false pride and ideological rigidity are perpetuating Iraq crisis. Boston Globe
  • According to MSNBC, "One such CIA briefing, in July 2001, was particularly chilling and prophetic. It predicted that Osama bin Laden was about to launch a terrorist strike 'in the coming weeks,' the congressional investigators found. The intelligence briefing went on to say: 'The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning.' The substance of that intelligence report was first disclosed at a public hearing last September by staff director Hill. But at the last minute, Hill was blocked from saying precisely who within the Bush White House got the briefing when CIA director Tenet classified the names of the recipients. (One source says the recipients of the briefing included Bush himself.) As a result, Hill was only able to say the briefing was given to 'senior government officials.'"
  • Buzzflash in May 2002 published a discussion of how during the G8 Conference in summer 2001, precautions were taking in Genoa to ensure that Osama bin Laden wouldn't attack Bush with hijaced aircraft.
  • "Bush, on a trip from his ranch here to nearby Fort Hood, said he is praying daily for fewer casualties in Iraq, where nearly 50 Americans have been killed in an uprising over the past week." Washington Post Asked whether the violence would ebb soon, the brilliant president replied: "It's hard to tell. I just know this: that we're plenty tough and we'll remain tough."
  • While 600 are dead in Fallujah, Bush is fishing. CBS
  • A poll by the American Research Group puts Kerry over Bush 50%-43%.
  • Democrats pulling ahead in Senate races. Boston Globe

    April 13, 2004

  • Bush logic: We would have moved mountains, but we but didn't alert the FAA MLive
  • "Bush concedes bad week, vows 'we'll remain tough'". The president remains the picture of toughness in his $3,000 suit enjoying the fruits of power while others fight his fraudulent war for him. The president, who proved his mettle in Texas and Alabama during the Vietnam War (which he supported from afar) remains tough. Salt Lake Tribune
  • The Boston Globe editorial staff wrote that the August 6 memo is "no smoking gun," it was just something and "partisan Democrats harped on". I'm curious what they mean by "smoking gun." Does that mean that it is not proof the administration committed a crime? Are we not justified in using a higher standard to evaluate the performance of our public servants? The idea of a smoking gun is irrelevant, trivial, when you have a smoking New York. The point about the memo is, Bush didn't even put the agencies or the nation on alert. He did nothing. So if there is no smoking gun, don't put him in jail, just get him out of the White House. We need someone who is paying attention.
  • Dark Suspicions about 9/11 by Justin Raimondo.

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