Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hey Fitz, Now is it Okay to Open Our Eyes ?

Is it over yet? Did they get the bad guys? What's taking them sooo long?

New phase? How about we go with what we've got. Trust Prissy on this one-we have plenty-ongoing can keep going.

After all, trials can last a long, long time. Just a guess, but this one probably won't...

Hot Links

Not all Canadian media is going with the blackout of returning fallen soldiers Families gather to welcome fallen soldiers home from Afghanistan Pictures on the site.

The bodies of four Canadian soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan are back in this country, their families and dignitaries on hand to greet them.

The families lined up on the tarmac of CFB Trenton in eastern Ontario Tuesday evening to welcome home the bodies of Bombardier Myles Mansell, Lieut. William Turner, Cpl. Matt Dinning and Cpl. Randy Payne.

The incident that took their lives was the single worst day for Canadian military combat casualties since the Korean War more than 50 years ago.

One by one, an honour guard removed the flag-wrapped coffins from the military aircraft and carried them to waiting hearses. The first stop will be Toronto, where autopsies will be performed.

Sen. Roberts seeks delay of Intel probe

A report on these three areas would be made separately from the most controversial aspects of the inquiry. Left unfinished would be a report on whether public statements and testimony about Iraq by senior U.S. government officials were substantiated by available intelligence information. Roberts also would leave unfinished another report on what Democrats have called possibly illegal activity in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, formerly headed by Douglas Feith, who is believed to have played an important role in persuading the president to invade Iraq.

The committee may review statements by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Democrats charged that the committee did almost nothing to evaluate the statements of public officials before November, when Democrats forced the Senate into closed session.

GOP spokespeople for Roberts and the committee did not return calls for comment.

In light that, read this...

PREWAR INTELLIGENCE:Is There A Double Standard On Leak Probes?

Whether or not Roberts' comments were inadvertent, former intelligence officials said, they almost certainly tipped off the Iraqi dictator that there were spies close to him. "He [Roberts] had given up that we had a penetration of [Saddam's] inner circle," says a former senior intelligence official. "It was the worst thing you could ever do."

What repercussions, if any, occurred in Baghdad as a result of Roberts' comments could not be determined, according to sources. After the missile and bombing attack on his bunker, it is possible that Hussein suspected that he had a spy or spies within his entourage, intelligence officials said. One former official said that the Iraqi dictator "very well may have thought he had been located because of electronic monitoring." Two former intelligence officials said the disclosure by Roberts may have made it more difficult to launch a second missile or bombing attack against Saddam Hussein in the early days of the war.

A spokesperson for Roberts did not respond to numerous phone messages seeking comment for this story, and did not respond to an e-mail inquiry.

A Republican congressional aide who was familiar with the March 20, 2003 speech and who spoke to Roberts about it around the time it occurred, said that Roberts' comments were a "mistake" and a "dumb act," and "not done with bad intent." The aide suggested that Roberts might have been carried away by the moment, or acted out of "self-aggrandizement."

See the video. Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi's Speech to Dubya

A Quote from the speech: "The middle class squeeze is on, competition in our country is affected by the price of energy and of oil and all of a sudden you take a trip outside of Washington, see the fact that the public is outraged about this, come home and make a speech, let's see that matched in your budget, let's see that matched in your policy, let's see that matched in and you're separating yourselves yourself from your patron, big oil, cut yourself off from that anvil holding your party down and this country down, instead of coming to Washington and throwing your Republican colleagues under the wheels of the train, which they mightily deserve for being a rubber stamp for your obscene, corrupt policy of ripping off the American people."

Don't stop there, Nancy! We've got your back.

Mercury News Steps by Bush likely to have little impact, experts say

In such a turbulent and far-reaching global market, the marginal amount of additional oil available from Bush's move will do little to lower the price at the pump, said Philip Verleger Jr., a Colorado energy consultant. "It's like treating cancer with aspirin," Verleger said.

The world will keep dissing us on trade and the dollar value, thanks to Dubya...if only he would have bought the oil instead of the war.

My Way News FBI Agent Slams Bosses at Moussaoui Trial

Under questioning from MacMahon, Samit acknowledged that he had told the Justice Department inspector general that "obstructionism, criminal negligence and careerism" on the part of FBI headquarters officials had prevented him from getting a warrant that would have revealed more about Moussaoui's associates. He said that opposition blocked "a serious opportunity to stop the 9/11 attacks."

The FBI's actions between Moussaoui's arrest, in Minnesota on immigration violations on Aug. 16, 2001, and Sept. 11, 2001, are crucial to his trial because prosecutors allege that Moussaoui's lies prevented the FBI from discovering the identities of 9/11 hijackers and the Federal Aviation Administration from taking airport security steps.

But MacMahon made clear the Moussaoui's lies never fooled Samit. The agent sent a memo to FBI headquarters on Aug. 18 accusing Moussaoui of plotting international terrorism and air piracy over the United States, two of the six crimes he pleaded guilty to in 2005.

So you want to join the Sons of the American Revolution, Prissy tells you how. Open to daughters too... If you feel that you are patriotic, strive for historic preservation and educational accuracy and appreciate fellowship, and are descended from at least one man or woman who served during the American Revolution

Salon Running scared in Ohio

GOP Sen. Mike DeWine is worried enough about Bush's low approval ratings that he blasted Rumsfeld in an interview. Will the Democrats be able to take control of the state that swung the presidency last time?

"Rumsfeld has made some very serious mistakes," DeWine declared, repeating his verdict for emphasis. "Very serious mistakes. I think history will judge him very harshly." Just to make sure that I was really hearing one of the harshest attacks yet on Rumsfeld by a Republican senator, I asked, "Which mistakes?" DeWine, who has never repented his 2002 vote for the Iraq war, gave me a what-planet-are-you-on look before responding, "Clearly not enough troops going in [to Iraq]. That was the biggest mistake. And a lot of mistakes would be covered under that."

DeWine boasts an independent streak: He endorsed John McCain for president in 2000; he joined with a bipartisan group of Senate centrists to work out a 2005 compromise on judicial filibusters; and, according to the National Journal's 2005 vote rankings, he is the ninth most moderate GOP senator. But the vehemence of DeWine's judgment-of-history indictment of Rumsfeld represents something new -- less a change of outlook than a sense of freedom in expressing it. What his comments symbolize are the lengths to which jittery GOP incumbents will go to distance themselves from George W. Bush.

Ohio Republicans are dealing with two fearsome four-letter words, Bush and (Bob) Taft. The scandal-scarred outgoing governor, Taft bequeaths his party a job-approval rating so low that pollsters may need to resort to negative numbers. During our conversation, DeWine referred to the difficult "climate" so often that I wondered if an iceberg was headed toward central Ohio.

Independent streak from Bush? Is that why he tried to legalize the spying that broke the F.I.S.A. laws? (It was laughed out of the Senate-as unConstitutional)All the red flags go up with DeWines rational... Is he implying more troops is still the solution? I don't know where he does his polling, but he is done around here-the center of the state.

Voters in the street refer to him "that Senator with the glasses" -yes, that is the one they don't like.

Note to DeWiners: Really need to get that name out there more-make sure voters know about associations with Bush, Taft and Blackwell. Sharrod Brown will grudgingly win this one-many Ohio republicans will "just say no" to voting...

The Dems will take the state-All providing the voting machine problems are fixed or unfixed, as the case may be. Prissy sees Gov and DNC Chair Howard Dean is working on that. Democrats and independents cannot win if the machines are fixed again.

Reuters Saudi boycotts tribunal, calls US God's enemy

"I don't want an attorney. I don't want a court," said Qahtani, a father of two in his late 20s, with bushy dark hair and a shaggy beard.

"A nation that is an enemy of God is not a leader and cannot be a leader," added the detainee, who spoke through a court translator. "You judge me and you sentence me the way you want, if this is God's will."

Qahtani, who at times fidgeted uncomfortably in his seat next to the defense lawyer, Army Lt. Col. Bryan Broyles, said he would prefer to be killed than cooperate. He warned the court that perhaps "God would provide me with rescue and then you will regret everything."

After a recess, Qahtani did not reappear in court. His lawyer said Qahtani decided to boycott the proceedings because he denied the legitimacy of the tribunals and would not return unless physically forced to attend.

Moscow Times Wednesday, April 26, 2006Averting a War of Necessity

To some, this may not be all bad. War with Iran, after all, is an option. Any government involved in this issue is ill-advised if it believes this option is not on the table. Along these lines, it is worth discussing this option not only in terms of military tactics but in terms of strategic consequences. Below is a list of reasons why war with Iran is particularly unwise.

First, Iran may forge a peace accord with al-Qaida. They are enemies now. But Iran enjoyed lots of common ground with radical Islamism from the 1950s to the 1970s and in the early 1980s. After the 1979 revolution, Tehran memorialized one of Sunni Islam's key radical philosophers, Qutb. Then, in the 1980s, the two parted ways. But there is nothing, particularly now, preventing them from reconciling. Such a reconciliation would be a disaster for the war on terror.

Second, Iranians are young; the average age is 24. Young Iranians are particularly hostile to the West and are generally supportive of the new president's populism. But they are also progressive; they want development and a new future for their country. They lack access to many external information sources, and this ignorance of other perspectives shapes their views. But they are open to new ideas, new opinions.

This new generation offers hope that a better Iran may emerge over the next two decades, as these people reach their 40s and assume the leadership of their country. But it is critical to bear in mind that these young people are also patriotic. They would be unlikely to forgive the West for a war with their fathers, especially if they lose. And they would probably lose. The West would likely win a war against Iran, but this would be a Pyrrhic victory.

China View Iran to stop acting transparently over nuclear program if attacked

"In case of sanctions, Iran will suspend its relations with the agency," Larijani said. "If Iran is attacked militarily, we cannot be expected to act transparently (concerning the nuclear program)," he added.

"Those Western countries (on the IAEA board) have to understand that the (nuclear) issue cannot be resolved by force," Larijani stressed.

Larijani also said there was no reason to halt Iran's nuclear program. "Iran only has 164 centrifuges now, can these make an atomic bomb? We don't understand why we should suspend. Suspend what?" he complained.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani speaks during the International Conference on Iran's Nuclear Policies and Prospects in Tehran.

Notice corporate owned media is failing to state, word for word what Iran top nuclear negotiator is saying. Maybe we should get a top negotiator.

Those were the days...

Oil and Gas Journal Bush orders agencies to investigate US gasoline prices

Bush also asked major oil companies to reinvest profits in refining capacity, new technologies, and alternative energy sources. He said Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales and the FTC are contacting attorneys-general in all 50 states offering technical assistance as they investigate gasoline price-fixing allegations.

"Record oil prices and large cash flows also mean that Congress has got to understand that these energy companies don't need unnecessary tax breaks like the write-offs of certain geological and geophysical expenditures or the use of taxpayers' monies to subsidize energy companies' research into deepwater drilling," Bush continued.

He said he would ask Congress to remove about $2 billion of such incentives from the federal budget over 10 years. "Cash flows are up. Taxpayers don't need to be paying for certain of these expenses on behalf of the energy companies," Bush declared.

Prissy might faint if she witnessed Dubya do one thing that actually benefited middle class taxpayers.

Scientific Integrity in PolicymakingThis report calls on the president, Congress, scientists, and the public to take immediate steps to restore the integrity of science in the federal policymaking process.

The president should immediately request his science advisor to prepare a set of recommendations for executive orders and other actions to prohibit further censorship and distortion of scientific information from federal agencies, and put an end to practices that undermine the integrity of scientific advisory panels.

Congress should ensure that this administration and future administrations reverse this dangerous trend. To this end, Congress should: hold oversight hearings to investigate and assess the allegations raised in this report; ensure that the laws and rules that govern scientific advisory appointments require that all appointees meet high professional standards, and protect against the domination of such panels by individuals tied to entities that have a vested interest at stake; guarantee public access to government scientific studies and the findings of scientific advisory panels; and re-establish an organization able to independently assess and provide guidance to Congress on technical questions that have a bearing on public policy, similar to the former Office of Technology Assessment.

Scientists must encourage their professional societies and colleagues to become engaged in this issue, discuss their concerns directly with elected representatives, and communicate the importance of this issue to the public, both directly and through the media.

And the public must also voice its concern about this issue to its elected representatives, letting them know that censorship and distortion of scientific knowledge is unacceptable in the federal government and must be halted.

Quotes of the Day

By Thomas Jefferson. While his personal life was perhaps imperfect, his ideals of government and public service were not.

Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.--Thomas Jefferson

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.--Thomas Jefferson

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.--Thomas Jefferson

An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.--Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Melish, January 13, 1813

I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Count Diodati, 1807

Rex, Thanks for your nice comments. They email to me, but won't post. Please email Prissy the link you referred to when you get a chance.