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The Fascists Have Won
(Elaine Cassel, December 26, 2004)
John Ashcroft looks like a choirboy compared to Alberto Gonzales. Ashcroft is an idiotic fool; Gonzales a crafty, evil man in the tradition of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. . . . His position about presidential power is that is has no limits, I repeat none. He insists that King George answers to no one—and I mean no one. . . . Emperor Bush this week re-nominated for the federal bench most of the vile, racist, hateful, judges that the Senate refused to vote on last year. With bigoted Brownback and Coburn now named to the judiciary committee, and a chastised Specter duty-bound to do the Emperor’s bidding on the committee, the federal bench will be packed for the next fifty years or more with the likes of judges we have never seen before—and I mean never. For each of the nominees has a record a mile long that should chill your heart this Christmas-tide. . . . The Washington Post, my hometown newspaper, has become such an administration propaganda machine that I can no longer bear to read it, except as parody. . . . Baseball in Washington and stupid stories about frustrated Christmas shoppers who can’t find some mindless game for their spoiled children fill the front page. Like the Pentagon that can’t afford to show the coffins of dead soldiers, the Post hides the bad news behind pages of Christmas ads extolling the virtue of diamonds and gold (for wealthy Republicans) as “holiday” gifts and designer gowns for the upcoming inaugural balls. . . . As if to magnify the ridiculous depths of their own spin, yesterday’s Post “B” section had a picture of a Marine, clearly with NO LEGS, sitting in a chair at Walter Reed Army Hospital in D.C. The caption referred to the Marine not as having LOST HIS LEGS, but as having suffered “injuries” to his legs. That about did it for me. Even the stupidest of Post readers could not help but see that he had NO LEGS. . . . We are no longer looking forward to a fascist regime, we are in it. I predict there will be political prisoners before the year is out. The government may go bankrupt, which is what Bush seems to have planned. The head of the EPA, who called for more arsenic in our water and mercury in our air, is going to be the head of our health care! The man who believes in no law is going to be Attorney General. Don’t try to make sense of appointments or the news. The only sense is that it is nonsense and that the motives of the regime are too complicated for us to figure out. Consider that you are reading about a third world country, for that is what we have become. . . . And the American people have spoken--they want this fool in power. So frankly, I have stopped caring about most of my fellow citizens--except the children and the incarcerated. If Americans have no health care, no jobs, well, so be it. They gave it up for their King. Like the French revolution in reverse, idiotic Americans said, "Here, take our children to war and kill them, blow off their limbs. Take my job and send it to China. Take my health care and we will rely on your healing power to make us well. Let the pharmaceutical industry run the FDA. Let that smirk-face Michael Powell be the guardian of media morals. Take away our rights to sue corrupt corporations and negligent doctors and do not allow us to hold anyone accountable for all the harm you, your administration, and the big guns that elected you, are doing to our air, our water, and our bodies. Continue to leave all children behind with your stupid No Child Left Behind Law, and pollute our air with the authority Congress gave you under the CLEAR Act. . . . "And, while you’re at it, take our social security and give it to Wall Street. Make the head of the EPA, the agency that wants more arsenic in our water and greater mercury in our air, in charge of the country’s health. Make the man who believes in no law except what serves him and his leader the Attorney General. . . . "Appoint the worst National Security Advisor in history as head of the State Department, an agency for which she has openly expressed disdain. Reappoint the leader of this debacle of a war for another term. Support him in his disdain for the troops. Appoint ideological judges to carry out your mandate. We are with you Mr. President for you, alone, know best. After all, you are the voice of God on earth. Forget Jesus! You, George Bush, are the 21st century Messiah." . . . Finally, to people who have written me asking why don’t I write about this and that, I say, why don’t you? To those who have sent email asking if I read about Ahmed Abu Ali, I say, yes, and I wrote about him 18 months ago, where were you? To people who express fear about Gonzalez, I ask why they did not read his memos first published 10 month ago. To people alarmed about the specter of a totalitarian regime, I say, where have you been for four years, while I, and others like me have been screaming and sounding bells of alarm? . . . So, dear readers, this weekend instead of writing all the articles that need to be written, I am baking gingerbread men with my grandson, filling the sound system in my home with Bach, Handel, and Mozart, and trying to make space for a little peace--though not joy--in my troubled heart.
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posted by Lorenzo 1:23 PM
The U.S. is a stingy nation
(Editorial, The New York Times, December 30, 2004)
President Bush finally roused himself yesterday from his vacation in Crawford, Tex., to telephone his sympathy to the leaders of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, and to speak publicly about the devastation of Sunday's tsunamis in Asia. He also hurried to put as much distance as possible between himself and America's initial measly aid offer of $15 million, and he took issue with an earlier statement by the United Nations' emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, who had called the overall aid efforts by rich Western nations "stingy." "The person who made that statement was very misguided and ill informed," the president said. . . . We beg to differ. Mr. Egeland was right on target. We hope Secretary of State Colin Powell was privately embarrassed when, two days into a catastrophic disaster that hit 12 of the world's poorer countries and will cost billions of dollars to meliorate, he held a press conference to say that America, the world's richest nation, would contribute $15 million. That's less than half of what Republicans plan to spend on the Bush inaugural festivities. . . . The American aid figure for the current disaster is now $35 million, and we applaud Mr. Bush's turnaround. But $35 million remains a miserly drop in the bucket, and is in keeping with the pitiful amount of the United States budget that we allocate for nonmilitary foreign aid. According to a poll, most Americans believe the United States spends 24 percent of its budget on aid to poor countries; it actually spends well under a quarter of 1 percent. . . . Bush administration officials help create that perception gap. Fuming at the charge of stinginess, Mr. Powell pointed to disaster relief and said the United States "has given more aid in the last four years than any other nation or combination of nations in the world." [COMMENT by Lorenzo: But like he always does in the service of his rich masters, Powell continued to perpetuate the Big Lie by only telling a small kernel of the truth.] But for development aid, America gave $16.2 billion in 2003; the European Union gave $37.1 billion. In 2002, those numbers were $13.2 billion for America, and $29.9 billion for Europe. . . . Making things worse, we often pledge more money than we actually deliver. Victims of the earthquake in Bam, Iran, a year ago are still living in tents because aid, including ours, has not materialized in the amounts pledged. And back in 2002, Mr. Bush announced his Millennium Challenge account to give African countries development assistance of up to $5 billion a year, but the account has yet to disperse a single dollar. . . . Mr. Bush said yesterday that the $35 million we've now pledged "is only the beginning" of the United States' recovery effort. Let's hope that is true, and that this time, our actions will match our promises.
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posted by Lorenzo 11:20 AM
Bush Joins Hitler, Stalin, and Khomeini as "Person of the Year"
(WhyWeHateBush.com, December 19, 2004)
George Bush has been named "Person of the Year" by Time magazine, joining such historical similarities as Ayatollah Khomeini (1979), Adolf Hitler (1938) and Joseph Stalin (1939). . . . Time's managing editor Jim Kelly said the president was chosen this year for "sharpening the debate until the choices bled, for reframing reality to match his design," and for "gambling his fortunes - and ours." . . . We couldn't have said it better. . . . As far as bleeding choices, 1,304 Americans have been killed as a result of his war in Iraq ; while 9,844 have been wounded (5,229 so seriously they have been sent home with missing body parts). More than 100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children have died. No one is keeping track of how many of them are maimed for life. . . . Reframing reality to match his design: in other words, forcing his worldview on the rest of us. In the next four years, we can expect much more of his reframing of reality. Adolf Hitler did the same thing after he was named person of the year. . . . The third reason, gambling his fortunes, and ours, speaks for itself. Compulsive gamblers who wager their families' possessions for imaginary gain need therapy. Heads of state who do the same with entire countries should be impeached. He is gambling the fortune of this country on the advice of a few entrenched corporate interests who care very little about anything other than milking our economy for as much as possible before it all collapses.
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posted by Lorenzo 6:25 PM
How the Supreme Court Stole The Election
(BuzzFlash, December 15, 2004)
In case you missed it, an exhaustive 23,422-word Vanity Fair article, published just prior to the election (October), spilled the beans that at least four of the five Supreme Court justices who stole the election from Al Gore did it with willing forethought. . . . In short, the story, the first one to reveal the inside machinations of the infamous decision of 2000, confirmed that this wasn't a judicial decision that decided the election 4 years ago; it was a premeditated theft of democracy from the American voters. . . . The partisan choice of five justices -- led by the judicial right-wing molotov-cocktail throwing Nino Scalia -- outweighed the selection of the American people. . . . Why is this important now? Because it confirms that the Bush Cartel will do and did everything to win -- and it doesn't take a leap of imagination or common sense to speculate that with four years in office, they were able to heist the election this time without a nod and a wink to Nino and his right wing ship of judicially radical pirates. . . . What we forget in our focus on Ohio is that the Republicans, through dirty tricks, voter suppression and intimidation, faulty felons' lists, and the deep-sixing of tens of thousands of Kerry votes -- among other anti-democracy tactics -- probably had the election heisted before the polls even opened. They privatized the counting of votes of Americans and turned it over to companies deeply ensconced in the Republican camp and Republican politics, with checkered histories and Republican ownership. They intentionally mis-registered college students, threw away the registration forms of perhaps tens of thousands of Democrats, and lost more than 55,000 absentee ballots in Jewish/Democratic leaning Broward County, FL, alone. And this list is just for starters. . . . < b> The Bush rogue regime was born a bastard child by a fixed Supreme Court vote and now controls the process by which any investigation of voting irregularities would be pursued. . . . Now out in the working world, the two clerks, along with most of their colleagues who worked for the four liberal justices and the occasional conservative justice, remain angered, haunted, shaken, and disillusioned by what they saw. They'd learned in their elite law schools that the law was just and that judges resolved legal disputes by nonpartisan analysis of neutral principles. But Bush v. Gore, as seen from the inside, convinced them they'd been sold a bill of goods. . . . Gore had been narrowing Bush's lead, and his campaign expected that by Monday he would pull ahead. But Scalia was convinced that all the manual recounts were illegitimate. He told his colleagues such recounts would cast "a needless and unjustified cloud" over Bush's legitimacy. It was essential, he said, to shut down the process immediately. The clerks were amazed at how baldly Scalia was pushing what they considered his own partisan agenda. . . . In the meantime, the conservative justices began sending around memos to their colleagues, each of them offering a different rationale for ruling in Bush's favor; to the liberal clerks, it was apparent that the conservatives had already decided the case and were merely auditioning arguments. So eager was the majority to stop the recount, one clerk recalls, that Stevens had to plead for more time to complete his dissent. . . . The brother of a Ginsburg clerk, who covered legal affairs for The Wall Street Journal, had learned that the paper would soon report how, at a party on Election Night, O'Connor was overheard expressing her dismay over Gore's apparent victory. Once that information became public, the liberal clerks felt, O'Connor would have to step aside. When, on the night before the Court convened, she sent out a sealed memo to each of her colleagues, those clerks hoped this had actually come to pass. In fact, she was merely stating that she, too, felt the Florida Supreme Court had improperly usurped the state legislature's power. . . . The day before Thanksgiving, the Bush campaign turned to the United States Supreme Court. Claiming that the situation in Florida had degenerated into a "circus," it asked the high court to stop everything, and cited two highly technical federal issues for it to consider. The first, based on an obscure law from 1887, prohibited states from changing the rules after the date of that election. The second, a jurisdictional issue, was that by stepping into the case the Florida Supreme Court had usurped the Florida legislature's exclusive powers to set the procedures for selecting electors, as provided for by Article II of the United States Constitution. . . . Despite their loyalty to their justices-a striking, filial-like phenomenon among most clerks-several concede that the dissenters in Bush v. Gore were simply outmaneuvered. Never did the four of them have the votes to prevail. But first by endorsing a decision suggesting that the Florida Supreme Court had overstepped its bounds, then by appearing to buttress the majority's equal-protection claims, the dissenters had aided and abetted the enemy. "They gave just enough cover to the five justices and their defenders in the press and academia so that it was impossible to rile up the American people about these five conservative ideologues stealing the election," one clerk complains. . . . So here was a damning indictment that revealed, from inside participants, that a right wing judicial coup had stolen a Presidential election -- and that Nino Scalia had played the role of a ward hack who would stop at nothing to install his candidate, whatever the will of the voters. . . . How did the mainstream press respond? With virtually deafening silence and some ridicule. . . . What does all this mean? . . . That most Americans, except for people like our beloved BuzzFlash readers, "got over" the theft of the 2000 election and the felony committed against democracy, only to give the criminals four years to create the ability to systemically define and steal the election. There was no one way that the Bush Barbary Pirates took the Presidency this November. It was through a multi-pronged strategy, of which the snagging of Ken Blackwell as Ohio Katherine's Harris was a key element, but hardly the only dirty trick. We don't know who Blackwell's Mac Stipanovich was, but we do know that this heist of the American election was four years in the making. . . . A bastard presidency couldn't win a free and transparent election. It systemically stole this one through fear, character assassination, and a wide range of dirty tricks before and at the polls, including the likely manipulation of electronic voting machines in key states. . . . The truth is that the valiant band of Democratic Congressional Representatives led by Congressman Conyers -- as well as the Green and Libertarian Parties -- are carrying on the Spirit of '76 in pursuing the voting irregularities in Ohio. . . . But the theft of the 2004 election goes much deeper than Ohio, although it was the linchpin electoral state. It was widespread, systemic, and coordinated -- throughout the nation. . . . But with a one-party government, who will investigate the perpetrators of the crime against democracy redux, when it is the perpetrators who hijacked our system of government and who control the committees and departments that could investigate, well, themselves? . . . The news in America is now on six hour cycles. Each day, we forget the morning's news by the afternoon. . . . It is no wonder that so many have forgotten that four years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States put the nails in the coffin of democracy. It occurred in the darkness of a winter Washington night on Tuesday, December 12th, with an unprecedented 10 PM decision release that elected George W. Bush president by a vote of 5-4.
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posted by Lorenzo 12:41 PM
CIA Officer Alleges Retaliation in WMD Fraud
(Dana Priest, Washington Post, December 9, 2004)
A senior CIA operative who handled sensitive informants in Iraq asserts that CIA managers asked him to falsify his reporting on weapons of mass destruction and retaliated against him after he refused. . . . The operative, who remains under cover, asserts in a lawsuit made public yesterday that a co-worker warned him in 2001 "that CIA management planned to 'get him' for his role in reporting intelligence contrary to official CIA dogma." . . . Those investigations, the lawsuit asserts, were "initiated for the sole purpose of discrediting him and retaliating against him for questioning the integrity of the WMD reporting . . . and for refusing to falsify his intelligence reporting to support the politically mandated conclusion" of matters that are redacted in the lawsuit. . . . The lawsuit marks the first public instance in which a CIA employee has charged directly that agency officials pressured him to produce intelligence to support the administration's prewar position that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were a grave and gathering threat, and to suppress information that ran counter to that view. . . . "Their official dogma was contradicted by his reporting and they did not want to hear it," said Roy Krieger, the officer's attorney. . . . Critics of the Iraq war have asserted the administration pressured analysts and operators to produce information that bolstered the administration's case for invading Iraq. . . . No biological or chemical weapons have been found in Iraq. A subsequent CIA-led investigation found that Iraq was nowhere near producing a nuclear weapon, as the administration had asserted. . . . The unnamed operative is a 23-year officer of Middle Eastern descent who spent much of his career on secret and covert operations to collect intelligence on and interdict weapons of mass destruction, the lawsuit says. . . . In 2002, the lawsuit says, the CIA officer "attempted to report routine intelligence" from a human asset "but was thwarted by CIA superiors." It goes on to say that he was subsequently approached by a senior desk officer "who insisted that Plaintiff falsify his reporting," and that when he refused, the "management" of the CIA's Counterproliferation Division ordered that he "remove himself from any further 'handling' " of the unnamed asset, who is referred elsewhere in the document as "a highly respected human asset."
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posted by Lorenzo 1:23 PM
Having the gall to speak one's mind
( Harry Browne, LewRockwell.Com, 12/07/04)
"I have no reason to believe that the President is smarter, more patriotic, more concerned for the safety of Americans, or more far-sighted than anyone else. I know only four things about him: (1) he knows how to win an election, (2) he is making government bigger and bigger, despite his campaign promises, (3) internationally, he has taken America down a road that leads to disaster, despite his campaign promises of 2000, and (4) he smirks a lot. And don't tell me that everything changed on 9/11. America's foreign policy had provoked terrorist attacks before. 9/11 changed nothing."
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 6:21 PM