After the Fraud: December 2004
December 8, 2004
The Privatization Fraud -- Paul Krugman: " Privatizing Social Security - replacing the current system, in whole or in part, with personal investment accounts - won't do anything to strengthen the system's finances. If anything, it will make things worse. Nonetheless, the politics of privatization depend crucially on convincing the public that the system is in imminent danger of collapse, that we must destroy Social Security in order to save it." Representative Conyers is holding hearings on voter fraud. Truthout
December 10, 2004
Unfathomable Arrogance -- It will be hubris that brings them down in the end. Rumsfeld, grinning insanely like a cackling witch, told soldiers about to die for their country's incompetence that "you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up,” in response to questions about why soldiers are sent into combat without essential equipment. Rumsfeld's unbelievable lack of concern for the welfare of the people who serve his lunatic agenda is a crime against humanity. Sign On San Diego The United States of Jesus -- The Bush administration is pushing to eliminate the separation of church and state by advocating that the Supreme Court rule that court houses can display the Ten Commandments. Bloomberg Bushco Extortion -- Halliburton has now bilked American taxpayers for over $10 billion to "rebuild" Iraq, the country the Bush administration is destroying. Truthout
December 12, 2004Leadership in times of crisis means not being afraid to do what most people believe is right, but are afraid of being the first to do. Most will stand back and wait for someone else to speak the truth, to take action. The will is gathering to oppose the wrongheaded and corrupt leadership of the Bush administration. Men who have never fought in war themselves, but are aggressive about sending other people into war without proper preparation or equipment.
Deserters or Men of Principle? The Pentagon says more than 5,500 servicemen have deserted since the war started in Iraq. "What do these men, who have violated orders and oaths, have to say for themselves? They told Correspondent Scott Pelley that conscience, not cowardice, made them American deserters." The CBS reporter asks, "Wouldn't the right and honorable thing for deserters to do be to go back to the United States, and turn themselves in to the Army?" The answer: "Why would that be honorable? [We signed a contract] to defend the Constitution of the United States, not take part in offensive, pre-emptive wars. I don't think you should be punished for doing the right thing. What benefit is there to being a martyr? I don’t see any." Good article. See CBS News The United States of Nazism Moves to Ban Books -- "In an apparent reversal of decades of U.S. practice, recent federal Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations bar American companies from publishing works by dissident writers in countries under sanction unless they first obtain U.S. government approval." FreeNewMexican.com Strange Numbers in Florida -- "This analysis shows that Democrats did better in counties where they lost registration than in counties where they gained registration. I have to wonder why Democratic vote counts would consistently run contrary to changes in registration." Robert Millman Please Don't Tell Me -- Mark Crispin Miller on the strange blindspot of the New York Times regarding the voter irregularities. Buzzflash
December 13, 2004
"Kerry Lawyer Seeks Ohio Ballot Inspection," writes the Associated Press. "Democrat John Kerry is asking county elections officials to allow his witnesses to inspect the 92,000 ballots cast in Ohio in which no vote for president was recorded, a Kerry lawyer said Sunday night. The request is one of 11 the Kerry campaign made in a letter sent over the weekend to Ohio's 88 county boards of election, which will begin recounting presidential ballots this week. 'We're trying to increase the transparency of the election process,' said Donald McTigue, the lawyer handling the recount for the Kerry campaign. But he added that several requests such as using independent experts to check election equipment, 'are trying to push the edge of envelope.'" Investigative Journalist Found Dead -- Gary Webb, the investigative journalist who wrote the book Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head. It was ruled an apparent suicide. Mercury News And the War Rages On -- Death and destruction continue at full blast in Bush's war of choice as US war planes pound Fallujah, and seven Amreican marines are killed in western Iraq bringing the US death toll to nearly 1300. Associated Press, Truthout Hillbilly Armor -- "This is the ugly reality that National Guard Spc. Thomas Wilson was apparently trying to convey to Donald Rumsfeld in Kuwait last week. There is no front line in Iraq. Or, to be more precise, the front line is wherever the insurgents decide it is. And very often they decide it should be trucks and unarmored Humvees at the back of supply lines—what used to be known, in other wars, as the rear area. Because the insurgents present a 360-degree threat, the most vulnerable units are often the ones the Army pays the least attention to: poorly equipped National Guardsmen or reservists in supply and transport companies. During a Q&A while the Defense secretary was stopping off in Kuwait, Wilson asked Rumsfeld: 'Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?"'" Newsweek Obstruction of Voting Investigation -- US Representative John Conyers put out a press release saying, "Yesterday, it came to the attention of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff that efforts to audit poll records in Greene County, Ohio are being obstructed by County Election officials and/or Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. According to Joan Quinn and Eve Robertson, two election observers researching voting records, Greene County officials initially gave Quinn and Robertson access to poll records, and then abruptly withdrew such access. Greene County Director of Elections Carole Garman claimed that she had withdrawn access to the voting records at the direction of Secretary Blackwell. Regardless of who ordered the denial of this access, such an action appears to violate Ohio law." According to Conyers: "The Recount effort is simply a search for the truth of what happened during the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio. We have now repeatedly seen election officials obstruct and stonewall this search for the truth. I am beginning to wonder what it is they are trying to hide." Democratic Underground More Disillusionment, Desertion -- "It is a burgeoning problem for Rumsfeld and the Bush administration because more and more soldiers in Iraq are questioning the rationale for their mission, the way in which they have been equipped and how long they've been deployed," reports the Toronto Star. "Erik Leaver, of the liberal Institute for Policy Studies, said this week's confrontation in Kuwait show many soldiers believe Washington is not being straight with them. 'This is not a well-articulated mission,' Leaver said. 'More and more we are hearing from military families that their sons or daughters are coming home on leave and saying, "Mom, I don't know what I'm doing over there." The soldiers on the front lines there understand U.S. policy is not working.' Leaver said the shortage of armoured vehicles, coming on the heels of last year's controversy over a lack of body armour, is particularly distressing because this a war of choice for the Bush administration, which determined its timing and still did not prepare properly." Anti-Darwin Darwinists -- The Guardian reports that the "anti-Darwinians" -- those who oppose the teaching of the theory of evolution because it contradicts, in their opinion, the Biblical story of The Creation. According to the article, "The religious right, emboldened by its spreading influence in the Republican party and an explosive growth in the number of evangelical Christians, has launched a major push to get an alternative to evolution - which they believe denies the biblical version of God's creation of the world - into the classroom. At least 40 US states have faced legal challenges in recent months." As George Soros pointed out in his book The Bubble of American Supremacy, it is curious that the ruling party that so vehemently opposes the teaching of Darwin's theories in school, practices a crude form of social Darwinism. It is this odd perversion of Christianity, turning it into a dogma justifying viciousness.Control Room, the documentary film about the Arab satellite news network, is now trickling down to the budget shelves in the video stores. It's an excellent view of the American action in Iraq from outside the US corporate media mainstream. Really worth seeing. Documentary film on DVD is becoming the news channel that provides one of the only alternatives to the voice of the corporate war machine. Watch the Americans complaining because Al Jazeera shows footage of the casualties, as if showing them is a shocking thing to do, but the actual killing is somehow less offensive.
December 15, 2004
Stolen Election 2004 -- See Stolen Election 2004 -- Action Alerts, See blog.democrats.com (Tuesday) and Wednesday update for more updates and links. Petition on Voting -- A petition to urge Sen. Barbara Boxer to contest election. Per the Electoral Count Act of 1887, one senator and one house representative are required to contest an election prior to inauguration. Important: Contestthevote.org Buyer Beware -- opensecrets.org says that an e-mail circulating called "Shopping Your Politics" contains false numbers. Transcript of Clint Curtis testimony -- before the Congressional Committee looking into voting problems in Ohio. Curtis: "She said, you don't understand, we need to hide the fraud in the source. In the source code." Congressman Nadler: "Hide the fraud, not reveal the fraud?" Curtis: Not reveal the fraud because they needed to control the vote in South Florida, is what she said." Transcript: Daily Kos. For the video clip, click Comcast.net. BreakForNews.com -- A great site for news the Times doesn't see as fit to print. Like election fraud east of Ukraine. Legal Action on Voting Irregularities. Cliff Arnebeck's motion for a temporary restraining order: , and joeorgren.com/MossvBush2
December 16, 2004
Vote Fraud Case Builds -- Buzzflash on Conyers asking for investigation. Rudy's halo tarnished -- Newsday Rumsfeld May Soon Regret Arrogance to Troops -- Yahoo Rummy's Fig Leaf Falling -- Seattle PI Air America Earns Its Wings -- Rocky Mountain News Finally Waking? Democrats to conduct investigatory hearings on Bush Administration. Hoffmania Resistance in the Military Mounts -- "U.S. Army war resister Jeremy Hinzman made his case Monday for Canada to give him refugee status. Hinzman fled to Canada in January after his application for Conscientious Objector status was rejected by the military. He is believed to be the first U.S. soldier to file for refugee status in Canada for refusing to fight in Iraq." Democracy Now
My letter to the New York Times:
I cancelled my subscription to the Times today. When the operator asked why, I didn't say, but the fact is, I've grown weary of the Times' inability to focus on the most crucial issues of the day. It appears to be reluctant to look at the really bad news, as if not looking at it will make it go away.
Long after the U.S. was irreversibly enmired in a hopeless occupation of Iraq, the Times issued an apology for its failure to examine critically the press releases coming out of the White House, many of which were lies that could have been uncovered by a vigilant press. Now there are multiple incidents of vote fraud, flagrant acts to thwart the right to vote and thereby to tear down the very basis of our democracy. And the Times sleeps. The Times seems reluctant to even recognize these incidents, as if saying, "I don't want to hear it." It's as if the Times wants to stick to conventionality and pretend the world has not changed drastically in the last four years. That's okay for an average citizen -- it is an overwhelmingly grim reality -- but not for The Paper of Record. You have a responsibility, and you are failing dismally.
My papers were sitting unopened because we were having to look elsewhere to find reporting on the most pressing issues of the times. If the Times ever wakes up and starts offering vibrant reporting on what is happening at this perilous juncture of history, I'll probably renew my subscription.
December 18, 2004
It Took Three Days for Him to Die -- A conscientious objector who served in Iraq from April 2003 to 2004 in Nasiriyah and Abu Ghraib has come forward about abuse and murder of prisoners by US military. Aidan Delgado: "There was a prisoner demonstration that had become out of control. They were throwing tent stakes and pieces of stone and debris. And they had struck one of the soldiers with a rock. He wasn't seriously injured, but he was annoyed. And so in response, they had asked for the permission to use lethal force. It was still unclear afterwards, in the military's very cursory investigation, whether they actually got the order to use lethal force-- it was obscure. So, they opened fire with a heavy machine gun and they killed five prisoners-- several of whom took several days to die. This is something that I learned about from the horse's mouth when they came back and told me, 'Oh, here is a photo of the guys we killed. I killed three, I killed two. My guy took three days to die, I shot him in the groin with a machine gun.'" No Values -- The media chorus that proclaimed the "election" result was because of a sudden obsession with "values" -- i.e. fear of gay marriage and abortion rights -- was a load of crap. It looked bogus at the time and now a Gallup poll gives that impression teeth. According to Editor & Publisher, "Asked what they consider 'the most important problem facing this country today' the issue of values was tied for fourth place with unemployment/jobs, with only one in ten of the Gallup sample choosing it. Far ahead, with 23%, was the war in Iraq, followed by terrorism and the economy in general, both at 12%, only then followed by unemployment and values." Calls for Rumsfeld's resignation -- Fortwayne.com This Broken Nation now faces a "deluge of tens of thousands of soldiers returning from Iraq with serious mental health problems brought on by the stress and carnage of war, veterans' advocates and military doctors say." So says the New York Times. "An Army study shows that about one in six soldiers in Iraq report symptoms of major depression, serious anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, a proportion that some experts believe could eventually climb to one in three, the rate ultimately found in Vietnam veterans. Because about one million American troops have served so far in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Pentagon figures, some experts predict that the number eventually requiring mental health treatment could exceed 100,000." The long-term consequences of short-term arrogance and war waged for building political power. The numbers of hungry and homeless are increasing -- New York Times Democracy Hangs By a Thread -- freepress.org
December 22, 2004
The Torture President -- Of course George W. Bush didn't personally approve torture, notwithstanding FBI memos that indicate that he did, that the evil deeds were inspired from the very top level of government, the grown up version of the little boy who tortured frogs. It's just a coincidence that all these radical changes to America happened under George W. Bush, the enraged preppy who got his hands on the controls and is now taking out his rage on the whole world. Bush press secretary McClellan tiptoed close to the fire when he went on record saying, "People need to be held accountable and brought to justice if they're involved in wrongdoing... Preventive measures and corrective measures must be put in place to prevent it from happening again." So if it turns out to be provable that Bush did approve the war crimes so rampant during his administration, presumably McClellan would support holding his boss fully accountable. But of course Bush wasn't involved. McClellan said there was "no executive order relating to interrogation techniques. When it comes to military detainees and interrogation methods, those are determinations made by the US Department of Defense". The Department of Defense, just some institution, some inhuman thing. But who is in charge of the Department of Defense? Who is Commander in Chief? According to The Australian, "The American Civil Liberties Union released copies of a two-page FBI email dated May 22 that refers repeatedly to an executive order signed by Mr Bush which, according to the ACLU statement, "states the President directly authorised interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and sensory deprivation through the use of hoods". But McClellan says there was no such order. And McClellan is an honorable man. So are they all. Read more about ""strangulation, beatings, and placement of lit cigarettes into the detainees' ear openings" and worse at The Australian. Look on Google News under "US" and see "Aljazeera.comMemos show FBI agents complained about abuses at Guantánamo Bay". Then click on "all 477 related" and see a big list of links -- from all over the world! Curiously missing from the list are US news media. How odd! Why wouldn't they report such a story? It seems to have more to do with the US than anywhere else. Wouldn't it concern Americans if their president ordered primitive and savage torture to be carried out on prisoners, many of whom committed no worse crime than being Arabic on an oil-rich land that the US oil industry covets? I guess the media fear the report might disrupt the holiday shopping mood. For a fearless view of the story, see London Times, BBC or The Guardian. For more on George W.'s boyhood frog-torturing activities, see New York Times.