Reagan Death Week

June 4, 2004

  • Caught in the Web of Lies -- From Liz Rich:

    George W. Bush last February, on Meet The Press (emphasis added):

    Russert: If the Iraqis choose, however, an Islamic extremist regime, would you accept that, and would that be better for the United States than Saddam Hussein?

    Bush: They're not going to develop that. And the reason I can say that is because I'm very aware of this basic law they're writing. They're not going to develop that because right here in the Oval Office I sat down with Mr. Pachachi and Chalabi and al-Hakim, people from different parts of the country that have made the firm commitment, that they want a constitution eventually written that recognizes minority rights and freedom of religion.

    George W. Bush yesterday , Rose Garden press conference:

    Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Chalabi is an Iraqi leader that's fallen out of favor within your administration. I'm wondering if you feel that he provided any false information, or are you particularly --

    Bush: Chalabi?

    Q: Yes, with Chalabi.

    Bush: My meetings with him were very brief. I mean, I think I met with him at the State of the Union and just kind of working through the rope line, and he might have come with a group of leaders. But I haven't had any extensive conversations with him.


    Q: I guess I'm asking, do you feel like he misled your administration, in terms of what the expectations were going to be going into Iraq?

    Bush: I don't remember anybody walking into my office saying, Chalabi says this is the way it's going to be in Iraq.

  • Alleged Al Qaeda Killers Given Free Exit -- According to, the question of how the Al Qaeda terrorists who killed 10 hostages escaped while surrounded with police comes down to this: "U.S. Told Saudis to Let Al-Qaida [al-CIA-duh] Gunmen Escape Says Official --Saudi authorities gave safe passage to three al-CIA-duh gunmen after the they killed 10 of the hostages they were holding at a hotel in the oil hub of Khobar, a senior security official said. The Saudi official said upon hearing hostages had been killed, US officials advised the Saudis that letting the militants go would avert a bigger catastrophe."
  • NeoCon Collapse -- InterPress Service
  • Gloating Over Extortion -- Tapes from Enron's west coast trading desk exposed by CBS confirm the worst suspicions about Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling and Enron's knowing robbery of California, using crises like the major fires in the state, to screw the population and jack prices up to $250 a megawatt hour. From the tapes it's clear that the Enron bandits were so money mad they not only showed no remorse, they were nearly hysterical with joy as they raped the population of California. Knowing Ken Lay had given so hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bush, Enron employees speculated that Lay would be Bush's secretary of energy. In fact, some say Bush offered Lay the position, but Lay turned it down. But Enron employees on the tape are confident that Bush would never do anything to prevent them price gouging. And the record shows they were right. On May 29, 2001, Bush said, "We will not take any action that makes California's problems worse and that's why I oppose price caps."
  • With George Tenet's resignation, the opportunists can jump on the chance to blame him for everything. Chalabi was quick to blame Tenet for the charges against him. USA Today
  • Down Goes Tenet -- William Rivers Pitt: "Here is CIA Director Tenet arguing in October of 2002 against the use of the Niger evidence, stating bluntly that it was useless. He made this pitch directly to the White House. The administration later claimed they were never told the evidence was bad. Tenet responds by taking the blame for the whole thing." Truthout
  • Nauseating Economist editorial "Whatever mistakes of tactics or judgment America and Britain may have made, Mr Bush and Mr Blair saw the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein as an urgent and honourable cause. Rightly or wrongly, they believed the safety of the West itself was at stake. Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder did not agree. However, the French president and German chancellor did not merely withhold their support. They worked hard to obstruct what their allies were trying to do." What utter garbage.
  • Bush's risky trip. Reuters
  • Has Bush lost his mind completely? According to China View, "Bush said he doesn't consider all the Iraqis fighting the US occupation to be '"terrorists,' 'The suicide bombers are, but the other fighters aren't. They just don't want to be occupied. Not even me, nobody, would want to be. That's why we're giving them their sovereignty. We are guaranteeing them complete sovereignty from June 30,' he said." Stupid? Perhaps. But still a notably radical shift in stance for the tough guy dictator, who has prided himself on thumbing his nose in everyone's face and doing what ever he wants.
  • Chirac has banned protests in Paris when Bush is there. However, a protest is not necessarily something one asks permission for. Banning it may only aggravate the anger. It's quite a presumption for a leader of a democratic country to say he bans protest about something people feel so strongly about and for him to just expect to be able to turn off the people's anger like the flip of a switch. Let's see how the people of France react to his proclamation. Financial Times
  • Bush is trying to liken his "war on terr" with WWII. Only he's got things backwards. This time around the fascist tyrant has gotten loose in the US, not Germany and Italy. Says Bush: "Like the Second World War, our present conflict began with a ruthless surprise attack on the US. We will not forget that treachery and we will accept nothing less than victory over the enemy." Lie. The war against Iraq did not begin with an attack on the U.S. New Zealand Herald
  • Bush got a lawyer in the investigation about who exposed the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Now why would he do that? New York Times
  • Pope deeply troubled. New York Times
  • CNN sues over Florida voter rolls. Guardian
  • Dems see opportunity to win back house. Christian Science Monitor
  • 82% of Canadians polled agree with statement that Bush "is not necessarily a friend of Canada and doesn't really know anything when it comes to Canadian issues." Japan Today


    June 10, 2004

  • Humpty Dumpty's Last Days? If Michael Ruppert and Wayne Madsden are right, the resignations at the CIA are the beginning of a meltdown, a process that will bring down the Bush administration and the neocons.
  • Bush Antichrist? Wayne Madsden also reports on stories that the Pope fears Bush is the antichrist. Madsden: "George W. Bush's blood lust, his repeated commitment to Christian beliefs and his constant references to 'evil doers,' in the eyes of many devout Catholic leaders, bear all the hallmarks of the one warned about in the Book of Revelations--the anti-Christ." Wayne Madsden
  • Remembering the Dead: The Real Reagan -- Amy Goodman on Democracy Now remembers the Reagan legacy Fox won't be talking about. "As the tributes and memorials dominate the US media and Reagan is remembered as 'The Great Communicator' and the man who won the Cold War, for many in Central America, Ronald Reagan is being remembered very differently. Today on the program, we continue our week-long series "Remembering the Dead." We'll look at Reagan's legacy as seen from the target end. The 8 years Reagan was in office represented one of the most bloody eras in the history of the Western hemisphere, as Washington funneled money, weapons and other supplies to right wing death squads. And the death toll was staggering - more than 70,000 political killings in El Salvador, more than 100,000 in Guatemala, 30,000 killed in the contra war in Nicaragua. In Washington, the forces carrying out the violence were called 'freedom fighters.' This is how Ronald Reagan described the Contras in Nicaragua: 'They are our brothers, these freedom fighters and we owe them our help. They are the moral equal of our founding fathers.'"
  • Reagan's Dark Legacy of Death in Central America -- "An estimated 300,000 people died in Central America's civil wars, about half during Reagan's two terms in office. Many were civilians tortured and murdered by army troops or death squads linked to armed forces that received heavy U.S. support, human rights groups say." Reuters

    June 11, 2004

  • Torture Approved at Highest Levels -- "New evidence that the physical abuse of detainees in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay was authorised at the top of the Bush administration will emerge in Washington this week, adding further to pressure on the White House." Telegraph
  • "Nuremberg Revised" by William Rivers Pitt. Truthout
  • Supremely Political Court -- The "Supreme" Court that proved itself to be a political agency in its selection of George W. Bush as president though it blatantly defied legal logic, proves itself again to be a political, not a legal entity. In the case about whether "under God" should be in the pledge of allegiance or not, they refused to rule on the constitutional issue, preferring to dismiss the case on a technicality. The man who brought the suit did not have custody of his child, therefore did not have the authority to file suit in his behalf. As the Supreme legal authorities in the nation, these people's raison d'etre should be to make legal judgments. These are not just Yale law professors, they are the most revered court in the country, by definition. But it appears that they shied away from making a ruling that would upset a lot of the Christian right, even though it is legally the correct conclusion to draw from the principle of separation of church and state, regardless of how you personally feel about God. Washington Post
  • Government report on terrorism gains was faked. New York Times
  • "No one cooked the books," says Powell. Not this time. Just trust us. Amazing statement: "It's not a political judgment that said, `Let's see if we can cook the books.' We can't get away with that now. Nobody was out to cook the books. Errors crept in..." Can't get away with that NOW? Whew! That's pretty revealing. Can't get away with it anymore? CBS
  • The Failure of Reaganomics -- William Greider: "Both parties would spend the next twenty years cleaning up after the Gipper's big mistake. They collaborated in an ongoing politics of bait and switch--raising taxes massively on working people through the Social Security payroll tax while continuing to cut taxes for the more affluent and to whittle down government aid for anyone else. The Gipper had taught Washington an important new technique for governing--how to fog regressive tax cuts past the general public without arousing voter retribution (the media can be counted on to assist)." The Nation
  • Reagan and Bush I Appointees Say, "Bush Must Go." -- A group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, plans to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America's national security and should be defeated in November. LA Times
  • Prison Underground -- The United States government, in conjunction with key allies, is running an "invisible" network of prisons and detention centres into which thousands of suspects have disappeared without trace since the "war on terror" began. In the past three years, thousands of alleged militants have been transferred around the world by American, Arab and Far Eastern security services, often in secret operations that by-pass extradition laws. The astonishing traffic has seen many, including British citizens, sent from the West to countries where they can be tortured to extract information. Anything learnt is passed on to the US and, in some cases, reaches British intelligence. Observer
  • US general admits defeat in Fallujah -- New York Times
  • Pollution is shifting the rain pattern. You can see it tangibly. You don't have to rely on arcane studies from scientific institutions. SF Gate
  • A majority of American registered voters now say conditions in Iraq did not merit war, but most are reluctant to abandon efforts there, according to a new Los Angeles Times poll. Voters are increasingly concerned that Iraq is a quagmire America cannot escape, and they are doubtful that a democratic government will be established there, according to the poll published in Friday editions of the Times. New York Times
  • White House Lawyers Absurd. Harold Hongju Koh, dean of Yale University's law school and a former US assistant secretary of state, went to Geneva in 2000 to present the first US report on its compliance with the UN 1994 Convention against Torture. He says he told the global gathering the US was "unalterably committed to a world without torture." This week's revelations that Bush administration lawyers had sought to find legal justifications for torturing terrorist detainees have left him dumbfounded. "They are blatantly wrong," he says. "It's just erroneous legal analysis. The notion that the president has the constitutional power to permit torture is like saying he has the constitutional power to commit genocide." Financial Times (Truthout)
  • The Reagan Era, by Chomsky -- "Reagan's duty was to smile, to read from the teleprompter in a pleasant voice, tell a few jokes, and keep the audience properly bemused. His only qualification for the presidency was that he knew how to read the lines written for him by the rich folk, who pay well for the service. Reagan had been doing that for years. He seemed to perform to the satisfaction of the paymasters, and to enjoy the experience. By all accounts, he spent many pleasant days enjoying the pomp and trappings of power and should have a fine time in the retirement quarters that his grateful benefactors have prepared for him. It is not really his business if the bosses left mounds of mutilated corpses in death squad dumping grounds in El Salvador or hundreds of thousands of homeless in the streets. One does not blame an actor for the content of the words that come from his mouth." Z Mag
  • Nice guy, nasty policies -- The Nation
  • Reagan fawning by the "liberal" media. Salon
  • Remembering the Real Reagan -- Reagan moved decisively to "end the flagging New Deal era and [launch] the modern period of corporate rule... Reagan cuts in social spending exacerbated a policy of intentionally raising the unemployment rate. The result was a huge surge in poverty. With homelessness skyrocketing, Reagan defended his administration's record: 'One problem that we've had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice.'... The Reagan-directed wars in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua submerged Central America in a climate of terror and fear, took tens of thousands of lives, destroyed a democratic experiment in Nicaragua, and entrenched narrow elites who continue to repress the poor majorities in the region... The 1981 tax cut was one of the largest in U.S. history and heavily targeted toward the rich, with major declines in tax rates for upper-income groups. The tax break helped widen income and wealth inequality gaps. As David Stockman admitted, one of its other intended effects was to starve the government of funds, so as to justify cuts in government spending (for the poor -- the cash crunch didn't restrain government spending on corporate welfare)." See Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman


    June 11, 2004

  • Call CBS -- CBS will be making a decision whether to air its Sibel Edmonds interview this Sunday or the following Sunday. Because Sibel Edmonds has a press conference this coming Monday and a Friday meeting with congresspersons, it is vital that the CBS interview air this Sunday, thus giving time for Congress and other folks to respond to the story. Call Tanya Fimon at 212 975 6631 to ask her to please air the interview the interview this Sunday.
  • Attacks Across Iraq -- A signal that even if the whole UN Security Council agrees on Iraq's fate, the people of Iraq itself may not agree. New York Times
  • Reagan's Bloody Legacy -- Tom Paine
  • Is Bush the Biggest Liar Ever To Occupy the White House? Online Journal
  • The Explosion of the 9-11 Truth Movement -- U.S. Media's Dirty Little Secret. "Researchers, like Zwicker and others, quickly learned that in 2001 before the 9-11 attacks 62 aircraft had been intercepted by Air Force fighter interceptor jets, and usually within 10 to 15 minutes of going off course. [] Yet bizarrely, on 9-11 four commercial jets were hijacked off course for about one and a half hours before the last one crashed into the most highly protected building in the world (the Pentagon). . . yet no interceptor jet intercepted it in all that time." Newtopia

    June 14, 2004

  • Breslin's Take on Reagan -- Always dependable for some reality, Jimmy Breslin says Reagan should be on a three dollar bill. "You are supposed to honor and respect the dead. But you also must respect the truth, and live for the living - and this funeral has gone on for almost a week... They proclaimed it a deep religious ceremony. Which it is not. His whole weeklong funeral is cheap, utterly distasteful American publicity... The great American news industry, the Pekinese of the Press with so much room and time and nothing to say, compared Reagan to Lincoln and Hamilton, they really did. This is like claiming that the maintenance man wrote the Bill of Rights. And almost all the reporters agreed that Reagan was the man who brought down Russia in the Cold War. Just saying this is absolutely sinful. The Cold War was won by a long memo written by George Kennan, who worked in the State Department and sent the memo by telegram about the need for a "Policy of Containment" on Russia. Kennan said the contradictions in their system would ruin them. Keep them where they are and they will tear themselves apart. We followed Kennan's policy for over 40 years. The Soviets made it worse on themselves by building a wall in East Berlin. When they had to tear it down and give up their system, Kennan was in Princeton and he sat down to dinner." Newsday
  • Basic Logic -- would kill them. " ... Count the names. I get 86 names, including the crew. But the CNN page says 92 people were on board. None of the 86 names is an Arab name. This is very, very strange. First, how did the CNN list-compiler know that there were 92 people on board? Five of them are not listed. Second, how did anyone get on board who was not on the list of ticketed passengers?" See "The Perplexing Puzzle Of The Published Passenger Lists" at
  • Conservative? Columnist Charley Reese says, "Americans should realize that if they vote for President Bush's re-election, they are really voting for the architects of war — Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and the rest of that cabal of neoconservative ideologues and their corporate backers. I have sadly come to the conclusion that President Bush is merely a frontman, an empty suit, who is manipulated by the people in his administration. Bush has the most dangerously simplistic view of the world of any president in my memory."
  • Death Threats to Thwart Michael Moore Film -- "A web site has launched a campaign to deter theater owners from showing Michael Moore's film, 'Fahrenheit 9-11'. A list of theaters currently committed to showing the film is provided along with exhortations to call and demand that the film be dropped. Some theater owners are reporting receiving death threats."

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