September 15, 2004

Home Stretch

  • Now More Than Ever -- Some of Nader's top endorsers in 2000 have signed a statement urging people in swing states to support Kerry-Edwards because ousting George W. Bush is the most urgent emergency. The luminous list includes Noam Chomsky, Ben Cohen, Phil Donahue, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jim Hightower, Bonnie Raitt, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Cornel West and Howard Zinn. Read about it at Truthout. Check out the statement and a current list of signers at: vote2stopbush.com.
  • The Real Bin Laden -- William Rivers Pitt: "When the Rabbits Get a Gun": " Osama bin Laden, after being educated at Oxford University, learned how to kill effectively while working as an agent of American Cold War policy in Afghanistan. He was a helpful American ally throughout the 1980s as a ruthless and wealthy warrior against the Soviet Union. It was the desire of the American government to deliver to the Soviets their own Vietnam, to arrange a hopeless military situation which would demoralize the Soviet military and bleed that nation dry. Osama bin Laden played the part of the Viet Cong, and he was good at it. With the help of the American government, he was able to create an army of true believers in Afghanistan. Our government believed that if one bin Laden was good, a hundred would be better, and a thousand better again, in the fight against the Soviets. So strong was this group America helped to create that it became known as 'The Base.' Translated into the local dialect, 'The Base' is known as al Qaeda." Truthout
  • Taking on the Myth -- Krugman: "On Sunday, a celebrating crowd gathered around a burning U.S. armored vehicle. Then a helicopter opened fire; a child and a journalist for an Arabic TV news channel were among those killed. Later, the channel repeatedly showed the journalist doubling over and screaming, 'I'm dying; I'm dying.' Such scenes, which enlarge the ranks of our enemies by making America look both weak and brutal, are inevitable in the guerrilla war President Bush got us into. Osama bin Laden must be smiling. U.S. news organizations are under constant pressure to report good news from Iraq. In fact, as a Newsweek headline puts it, "It's worse than you think." Attacks on coalition forces are intensifying and getting more effective; no-go zones, which the military prefers to call "insurgent enclaves," are spreading - even in Baghdad. We're losing ground. And the losses aren't only in Iraq. Al Qaeda has regrouped. The invasion of Iraq, intended to demonstrate American power, has done just the opposite: nasty regimes around the world feel empowered now that our forces are bogged down. When a Times reporter asked Mr. Bush about North Korea's ongoing nuclear program, 'he opened his palms and shrugged.' Yet many voters still believe that Mr. Bush is doing a good job protecting America."
  • CBS stands firm on its story about Bush's National Guard shenanigans -- KUTV
  • CBS offers new experts to back up story -- New York Times
  • Why Bush Fled Texas -- "A months-long investigation, which includes examination of hundreds of government-released documents, interviews with former Guard members and officials, military experts and Bush associates, points toward the conclusion that Bush's personal behavior was causing alarm among his superior officers and would ultimately lead to his fleeing the state to avoid a physical exam he might have had difficulty passing. His failure to complete a physical exam became the official reason for his subsequent suspension from flying status." The Nation
  • Bush the Girlie Man -- Gadflyer

    September 17, 2004

  • Bush's War is Already Lost -- Sidney Blumenthall: According to the US military's leading strategists and prominent retired generals, Bush's war is already lost. Ret. gen. Wm Odom, former head of the Nat'l Security Agency, told me 'Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends.' Ret. gen. Joseph Hoare, the former marine commandant and head of US Centcom: 'The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground." The Guardian
  • It's Beyond Pitiful -- Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) said the pace of reconstruction has been "beyond pitiful. It's embarrassing. It is now in the zone of dangerous.'" Boston Globe
  • Casualty Undercount -- Bush is killing our youth. "According to a UPI report: 'The military has evacuated 16,765 individual service members from Iraq and Afghanistan for injuries and ailments not directly related to combat, according to the U.S. Transportation Command, which is responsible for the medical evacuations.' Editor & Publisher
  • Bush War Illegal: UN secretary general Kofi Annan. The Independent
  • Polls are B.S. -- Jimmy Breslin.
  • But anyway, Kerry leads in latest Harris Poll -- Yahoo
  • "In her interview with Rather yesterday, [Marian Carr] Knox repeated her contention that the documents used by '60 Minutes' were bogus. Knox, 86, worked for Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian while he supervised Bush's unit in the early 1970s. 'I know that I didn't type them,' Knox said of the Killian memos. 'However, the information in there is correct,' she said, adding that Killian and the other officers would 'snicker about what [Bush] was getting away with.' Dan Rather said he was 'relieved and pleased' by Knox's comments that the disputed memos reflected Killian's view of the favorable treatment that Bush received in the military unit. ... he also delivered a message to 'our journalistic competitors,' including The Washington Post and rival networks: 'Instead of asking President Bush and his staff questions about what is true and not true about the president's military service, they ask me questions: 'How do you know this and that about the documents?'" Washington Post
  • Order from the Court -- "A federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to find and make public by next week any unreleased files about President Bush's Vietnam-era Air National Guard service to resolve a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by The Associated Press." AP
  • 9/11 Widow Jersey Girls for Kerry -- "President Bush thwarted our attempts at every turn" Salon

    September 20, 2004

  • Hatfield revisited -- When J.H. Hatfield said he had corroboration that Bush had been busted for cocaine in 1972 and done community service in exchange for having it expunged from his record, the media only paid attention to the credibility of Hatfield. Contrast to their treatment of the Swift Boat Slimers. mediamatters.or
  • Intriguing Speculation About 9/11 -- letsroll911
  • After November 2: The Iron Fist -- According to AOL news, Republicans are starting to "carp" on Iraq, including McCain, who said, "We made serious mistakes." But the Republicans are talking only about increasing force to take over parts of Iraq that are now out of U.S. control. If the Repugnicans retain executive power, look for a bloody crackdown in Iraq. It won't work, but it's the only thing that kind of mind understands as a solution to the problem. More on this from The New York Times.
  • Kerry's one advantage: He's not Bush -- St. Petersburg Times
  • A Less Kind and Gentle Kerry -- (Hurray) SF Gate

    LINKS

    September 22, 2004

  • Rather a Diversion -- The whole bit about Dan Rather and the forged memos, yeah he screwed up, sure, sure, sure, sure, sure. And it's more than his credibility he screwed up. He gave Rove and the media he orchestrates the McGuffin it needs to distract attention from the real issues here. The memos may be forged, and that is not yet known, but the story is true. Even Killian's secretary, who said she didn't type them and thought they were forged, said that the information in them was nonetheless correct. Okay, Dan Rather was a bad boy. Dan, you go sit in the corner. Now, let's get back to business here. Bush has not denied the story. No one in the elite press corps that hopes to ever get near enough Bush to ask him a question again has asked him whether the story is true. The story is true. Why doesn't someone ask Bush and get to the bottom of all this stuff about typefaces and Bill Burkett. The point is, Bush did not fulfill his obligation to defend his country. He took a million dollar flight training course and then disobeyed a standing order to take a physical and was grounded. But his superior officers refrained from dishing out the punishment that was in the regulations because of who Bush was. This is the story of his life. He has never succeeded at anything. His few dabbles in business went broke. He got in trouble for insider trading, but the SEC backed off because of his powerful father. He got the taxpayers to pay for his football team's stadium and used legislative power to have someone's land condemned so he could get it cheap. He never really did anything besides be George W. Bush, which got him out of having to do anything, or obey any laws. Being governor of Texas was nothing. It's a salutary position in Texas. The lieutenant governor has all the power.

    Bush has never fulfilled obligations, and just as he failed to fulfill his obligation when he crapped out on the Guard, he's now failing to protect his country as "president".

    Who knows how those memos found their way to Dan Rather, but the ensuing feeding frenzy that focuses the attention on the messenger and diverts attention from the criminal behavior of Bush is typical of Carl Rove.

    James Moore, co-author of Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush President, was interviewed on Democracynow and he said it was Karl Rove's style to divert attention by discrediting the source. It was the same thing that happened to J.H. Hatfield When Hatfield, an ex-con, said he had corroboration that Bush had been busted for cocaine in 1972 and done community service in exchange for having it expunged from his record, the media only paid attention to the credibility of Hatfield. It effectively blew Bush's drug offenses out of the public dialogue forever.

    Hatfield said one of his sources was Karl Rove. Sander Hicks, who published Fortunate Son after St. Martin "turn[ed] it to furnace fodder", theorized that Rove intentionally leaked the information to a source he knew he could discredit. Hatfield played right into his hand.

    They play extremely dirty and they -- the playground bully -- have all the corporate lockstep media supporting them, trumpeting their ideology day and night. It's a battle for the soul of this country. For the neocons, it's a battle to rule the world. For American middle class working people, it's about not falling into the third world that is brushed under the rug in any Bush administration.

    Hatfield said he met Rove midway between Texas and Arkansas and went out on a boat with him on a lake. There Rove admitted that Bush had been busted for coke and done community service in exchange for getting the conviction expunged from his record. Hatfield thought he got the world's greatest scoop, and it looked like he had when the book went to the upper levels of the New York Times Bestsellers List. But he was a lamb being led to slaughter by Rove. A day or two after the book came out, a reporter from the Dallas Morning News received information on Hatfield's criminal past and that became the story. Hatfield was crushed by Rove. The incident destroyed him and eventually killed him.

    [See more on Hatfield at mediamatters.or]

    September 23

  • Take Your 'Miscalculation' and Shove It ... "In what must be the least interesting interview ever done in the New York Times, Bush admits he made a 'miscalculation of what the conditions would be' in Iraq. Now, see, usually a 'miscalculation' is something like this: 'Dear, you forgot to carry the one when you were balancing the checkbook. Looks like we'll have to tighten our belts this month,'" says The Rude Pundit. Bush's miscalculations "end up in hundreds of Americans being blown up and shot."
  • The Impact of Film -- Just a day or two after I read the article in The Nation by the CIA agent ridiculing the author of The New Pearl Harbor for considering the obviously ludicrous, laughable, pathetic idea that it was not a Boeing 757 that hit the Pentagon, I see an online film that makes me suspect that maybe the most laughable idea is the official story. Just take a look at this thing and then decide if it's laughable. It shows quite a few pictures of the Pentagon, including a picture of a very round hole through steel-reinforced concrete, and it sure don't look like no Boeing 757. According to the unavoidable evidence of the hole itself, the plane or missile that made the hole would have have had to have been two feet from the ground, according to the official story. A 757 flying 500 miles an hour two feet off the ground, allegedly piloted by a Saudi Arabian who attended a flight school, but "couldn't fly" according to the people there. Like with the Zapruder film and films of Oswald saying, "I didn't kill anyone sir, I'm just a patsy," creat impact. Then you have to do the reading to find out the background. Okay. Check it out. Get a look for free at Freedom Underground.
  • Perfect for Bush -- James C. Moore, Co-Author of Bush's Brain on the CBS memos: "This has all worked very well for the Bush campaign. Reporters worried about the veracity of the Killian memos have not yet asked the president if he failed to obey a direct order to take his physical. And thatís a fair question, regardless of who wrote the Killian documents." Buzzflash
  • Bosom Buddies: Bush and bin Laden -- According to Reuters, "Britain's ambassador to Italy has called Bush 'the best recruiting sergeant' for al Qaeda, Italian media reported Monday.
  • Stop Sniveling! Michael Moore has been very wrong about these things before, but his optimism is infectious. "They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.....Traveling around the country, as I've been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just a sugar-coated lie)."
  • Mein Bush -- Robert Parry at Consortium News writes, "After Election 2000, Bush joked that 'If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier -- so long as I'm the dictator.' While the United States is not headed toward a traditional dictatorship nor even a tightly controlled 'democracy' on the model of Vladimir Putin's Russia, Republicans do envision the nation undergoing a transformation into a new political model that would ensure their party's control of all levers of American power for a generation or more."

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