Oh Happy Birthday, Mr. President. Guess the wife is really getting in the way these days, huh?
Perhaps Dubya thinks Condi "understands him"- unlike the wife. Prissy thinks the wife understands him only too well...
Condi will have to see if George can have "visits" when he goes to the big house-not to be confused with the White House.
Why Cindy is fasting... Statement by Cindy Sheehan WASHINGTON, DC, JULY 5, 2006
We were honored by being joined by legendary fasters Dick Gregory and Diane Wilson and historic whistle blower and patriotic giant: Daniel Ellsberg. Standing apart from our hundreds of supporters were about a dozen Freepers who were holding various signs (which is as much there right, as it is ours) with very "clever" messages on them. A few of the signs had the very pithy "Freedom Isn't Free." Well, I'm sorry, but the very definition of freedom is that it is free. Freedom is a birthright of every American and we have the Bill of Rights to prove it. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say anywhere that our young people have to fight insane wars for greedy swine to earn anyone any kind of freedoms. If freedom wasn't free it would be called "expensivedom."
I was particularly impressed by a very slick and professionally made sign that the Freepers had. It was a large pinkish sign with white letters that read: Cindy Sheehan is Starving for Attention." Yes, that is why I am embarking on this fast. It is not because our nation with the complacent, if not intellectual, approval of most of our citizens is waging a war crime of mammoth proportions in Iraq. It's not because our soldiers are committing atrocities on an innocent population who never asked for our lethal interference. I am not fasting because our soldiers should not be dying or killing for Exxon and Halliburton. I am not sitting here with mild hunger pangs because our leadership condones and orders others to commit cruelties on my fellow human beings in such brutal places as Guantanamo.
I am not fasting because the wrongfully, illegally, and immorally detained men in Guantanamo are going on their own hunger strikes and committing suicide to call attention to the fact that they are human beings who do not deserve to be tortured and tormented. I am not fasting so no other mother has to drop to her knees screaming in agony because her child is dead for nothing. On the contrary, I get plenty of attention and our troops are still in Iraq. I am doing it precisely for all of the reasons above. Maybe people have to ascribe nefarious motivations to our actions because they can't conceive of leaving their comfort zones for another member of humanity. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering so miserably. Our soldiers want to come home. Our country wants them to come home. The world wants them to come home. The people of Iraq want our soldiers to leave. Generals are recommending time tables.
We fasters figure that we can sacrifice something in solidarity with the suffering in the Middle East. What we are giving up is so insignificant compared to what our soldiers and the people they are oppressing are giving up. It's about time BushCo recognizes that staying a reckless and murderous course is inherently disordered and they should turn around and order our troops to come home.
TruthOut Transcripts Reveal Reporter's Central Role in Plame Outing By Jason Leopold
Cooper "talked to Karl Rove on July 11 ," Jeffress told Walton during the court hearing. "Karl Rove told him that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and may have sent Wilson on the [Niger] trip. There is an email by Mr. Cooper, again to his editor, on July 16 , four days after his conversation with Mr. Libby and five days after his conversation with Mr. Rove about the article they are planning to write in which they are going to mention the wife. And the email says - talks about him having an administration source for the information about Ms. Wilson."
Jeffress said that the defense has obtained emails and notes written by Cooper that the reporter sent to his editor following a conversation he had with Libby on July 16, 2003, that prove Libby never mentioned Plame-Wilson to Cooper. Rather, Jeffress said, Cooper mentioned Plame-Wilson's work at the CIA to Libby. These emails, Jeffress maintains, may help prove to a jury that Libby did not intentionally lie to the grand jury when he testified that he found out about Plame-Wilson's work with the CIA from reporters.
Moreover, Jeffress argued that Time should be required to turn over drafts of Cooper's first person account of his grand jury testimony published in Time July 25, 2005, so the defense can determine if it reads differently from the final version of the article that appeared in the magazine and could subsequently help prove Cooper is not a credible prosecution witness. Judge Walton agreed.
"Upon reviewing the documents presented to it, the Court discerns a slight alteration between the several drafts of the articles, which the defense could arguably use to impeach Cooper," Walton wrote in his May 26 ruling. "This slight alteration between the drafts will permit the defendant to impeach Cooper, regardless of the substance of his trial testimony, because his trial testimony cannot be consistent with both versions.
Remember what Prissy told you about a potential proffer. Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald has not indicted Rove-YET. Prissy thinks Fitz won't be able to hold it off much longer.
If our prosecutor did use a proffer, the ball is completely in his court. Rover is really at Fitzgerald's mercy.
If found guilty of all charges, Watada could face several years in confinement, dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of pay, according to the Army. The missing movement charge carries the heaviest punishment of confinement of up to two years.
Watada's lawyer said he expected the missing movement charge, but was somewhat surprised by the decision to charge the officer with contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer, because it raises free speech issues.
"What he said about the war and the way the war began and the misrepresentations by the Bush administration are all true. Not only does he have a right to make those statements, he has an obligation to make those statements," said Eric Seitz, Watada's Honolulu-based attorney.
From Prissy's Inbox:
The Army on Wednesday charged Lt. Ehren Watada with violating three articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. They are:
Article 87: Missing movement. “Any person subject to this chapter who through neglect or design misses the movement of a ship, aircraft, or unit with which he is required in the course of duty to move shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” (self explanatory)
Article 88: Contempt toward officials. “Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” ( 2 charges against Lt Watada in this category and the charge sheet identifies specific language Lt. Watada used in his press conference and interviews that Army considers contempt towards officials)
Article 133: Conduct unbecoming an officer. “Any commissioned officer, cadet, or midshipman who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” (3 charges in this category and the charge sheet again specifies what the Army considers Lt. Watada said that is conduct unbecoming an officer)
Thank you Lt. Watada, for taking an important stand. Short of tainted judges, there is no way this unlawful war can stand under the scrutiny of the courts.
Editor and Publisher 'Stars and Stripes' Lands Exclusive, and Revealing, Bush Interview
Another soldier asked if Army rotations in Iraq could be shortened from one year to six months. Bush: Not likely. A question about special benefits for troops who had served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan brought pretty much the same response, with Bush explaining that he had already boosted normal benefits.
The newspaper's reporter put forth his own query: Would the president accept a timetable for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in return for a cease-fire by insurgents?
Bush called the question hypothetical. Reminded by Schogol that the media had reported just such an offer from Sunni insurgents, Bush answered, “I’m not sure they have or haven’t. … I will tell you that whatever decisions I make will be made upon the recommendations of commanders and and with one thing in my mind: Can we win?”
Always throwing his own failed policy back into the laps of soldiers who already did their job...we know who the loser is.
Online Journal Busted for wearing a peace T-shirt; has this country gone completely insane? By Mike Ferner
Friday afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee while sitting in the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center on Chicago's south side, a Veterans Administration cop walked up to me and said, "Okay, you've had your 15 minutes, it's time to go."
"Huh?" I asked intelligently, not quite sure what he was talking about. "You can't be in here protesting," Officer Adkins said, pointing to my Veterans For Peace shirt. "Well, I'm not protesting, I'm having a cup of coffee," I returned, thinking that logic would convince Adkins to go back to his earlier duties of guarding against serious terrorists. Flipping his badge open, he said, "No, not with that shirt. You're protesting and you have to go." Beginning to get his drift, I said firmly, "Not before I finish my coffee." He insisted that I leave, but still not quite believing my ears, I tried one more approach to reason. "Hey, listen. I'm a veteran. This is a V.A. facility. I'm sitting here not talking to anybody, having a cup of coffee. I'm not protesting and you can't kick me out." "You'll either go or we'll arrest you," Adkins threatened. "Well, you'll just have to arrest me," I said, wondering what strange land I was now living in. You know the rest. Handcuffed, led away to the facility's security office, past people with surprised looks on their faces, read my rights, searched, and written up.
Prissy would like to add Mike Ferner is an educator, doing talks as part of Veterans for Peace. He's quite popular here in Ohio.
I was sure that our Justice Department would never extradite the members of this gang because the president and his team continuously assure the world that we never ever send suspects to countries where they'd be tortured. But I have kept wondering whether, in Italy, the case of the CIA criminals has been closed.
However, this month, at a conference in Florence convened by NYU law school's increasingly influential Center on Law and Security, Italy's renowned investigating judge, Armando Spataro, declared—as reported in the June 4 New York Times—that he has activated in Milan a "criminal case against 22 people allegedly linked to the Central Intelligence Agency charged with the abduction of [Hussan Nasr] . . . as part of a rendition operation."
The exposure of this CIA kidnapping ring is part of the growing revulsion throughout Europe and other parts of the world against such American gangsterism. As Judge Sparato said in Florence: "We know it's a great mistake to fight terrorism in this way."
For example, by its own involvement in torture, the CIA has given Al Qaeda and its offshoots an effective recruiting tool. And even among people across the globe who have supported American efforts to export democracy, these crimes make a mockery of the president's recurring assurances—most recently on June 14—that "we are a nation of laws and the rule of law. . . . This is a transparent society."
Financial Times...this guy is as delusional as our guy. N Korea declares missile test success
The North Korean spokesman responded by warning that Pyongyang would retaliate for any efforts to impose restrictions on its missile tests.
“If someone tries to pick a fight and apply pressure on us, we would have no choice but to take even stronger physical measures of other types,” he said. “Our military will continue to train with missile launches as part of its efforts to increase our self-defence capability at this time.” South Korea will suspend humanitarian aid to North Korea indefinitely although it will continue engaging the North through economic projects, the unification minister said on Thursday. Defence minister Yoon Kwang-ung said on Thursday analysis of equipment and personnel at a North Korean launch site suggested the possibility of additional launches, the Yonhap news agency reported.
The world’s big powers appeared divided over whether to respond to the tests with financial sanctions – with Russia and China resisting calls by the US and Japan.
“There is no information about the type of ballistic missiles launched by North Korea on July 4. If it goes about the intercontinental Taepodong-2 rocket, it is only a game, because they have not tested the prototype of this rocket – Taepodong-1,” a senior specialist of the Institute for World Economy and International Relations, Vladimir Dvorkin, told Interfax. “It was most likely another provocation that is meant to stir up negotiations on the nuclear program of North Korea , receive economic help and guarantees to preserve the current regime in this isolated region,” the scientist said.
“The missile bluff of North Korea bears a certain semblance to the anti-missile bluff of the USA when the country announced that its underdeveloped air defense system was operational, meaning that it was ready for possible use in the event of a threatening missile launch. This is a matter of double bluff as a result,” Dvorkin believes.
Wa Po Mexico Watches as Votes Are Tallied Minute by Minute, Election Rumors Fly
Calderón is ahead with 35.6 percent to Lopez Obrador's 35.59 percent. Calderón slipped ahead this morning at 4 a.m. in Mexico City, 5 a.m. eastern standard time, after 20 hours of trailing López Obrador.
Mexican television networks stayed on the air with news programming throughout the night, tracking the count in detail. Calderón on had lead by .64 percent after a preliminary count, which was followed by the ongoing official count. The remaining votes to be counted are mostly from National Action Party, or PAN, strongholds in northern Mexico and Calderón's supporters are gathering outside Calderón's headquarters in anticipation of his victory.
Their celebration could be short-lived. Mexico's electoral results must be certified by a special elections court, which has powers similar to those of the U.S. Supreme Court and has until Sept. 6 to decide the election.
This situation is so familiar-like the vote in the Ukraine, Italy, Germany and even here in the USA.
Did Dubya sell Fox left overs from Diebold?
Oh, Wally! When was the last time you were in Mexico?
From Wayne Madsen:July 4, 2006 --
Even Bush's crap is classified top secret. According to our Austrian sources, Austrian newspapers are currently abuzz with special security details of George W. Bush's recent trip to Vienna. Although the heavy-handed Gestapo-like security measures meted out to Viennese home owners, business proprietors, and pedestrians by US Secret Service agents and local police before and during Bush's visit received widespread Austrian media attention, it was White House "toilet security" ("TOILSEC"), which has Austrians talking the most. The White House flew in a special portable toilet to Vienna for Bush's personal use during his visit. The Bush White House is so concerned about Bush's security, the veil of secrecy extends over the president's bodily excretions. The special port-a-john captured Bush's feces and urine and flew the waste material back to the United States in the event some enterprising foreign intelligence agency conducted a sewage pipe operation designed to trap and examine Bush's waste material. One can only wonder why the White House is taking such extraordinary security measures for the presidential poop.
In the past, similar operations were conducted against foreign leaders to determine their medical condition. However, these intelligence operations were directed against dictators in countries where even the medical conditions of the top political leaders were considered "state secrets." The Israeli Mossad conducted one such operation against Syrian President Hafez Assad when he visited Amman, Jordan in Feb. 1999 for the funeral of King Hussein. The Mossad and its Jordanian counterpart installed a special toilet in Assad's hotel room that led not to a pipe but to a specimen canister. Assad suffered from diabetes and cancer and the operation was designed to discover the actual medical condition of the ailing leader. During Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to Washington in 1987, the CIA reportedly placed a special trap under a sewage tank to collect the Soviet leader's bodily waste for analysis. More recently, the CIA was reported to have collected waste samples from Ugandan President-dictator Yoweri Museveni's toilet when he visited Washington.
Even Bush's toilet paper was flown in from the U.S. Air Base at Ramstein, Germany. In addition, Bush's food was flown in from the United States and tested with special chemicals before he ate it. Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was shot by a firing squad in 1989, was the last major European leader to constantly use a food tester. The last frequent state visitor to Vienna, who always relied on a food tester, was Adolf Hitler.
Forbes Lay Cheats Justice
With his death from a massive heart attack today, Ken Lay cheated justice. And then some. Not only will the Enron founder not end his days in prison, but according to legal precedent, his entire case will be erased from the records.
That means that, in legal terms at least, Lay was never convicted, tried or even indicted for Enron misdeeds.
For Lay's estate, and his widow Linda, the positive implication of this grim day is that the government now has no means to collect on its forfeiture claim against Lay for $43.5 million.
It's hard to believe, but the case law on this point is crystal clear, says Peter Henning, professor at Wayne State University Law School. "The idea is that you can't punish a dead person. It's not fair," says Henning. "Lay didn't get a chance to go in front of a court of appeals, which he had an absolute legal right to do."
Perhaps Lay only cheated justice in this life. From what Prissy hears, Lay's next port-of-call lasts much longer than one lifetime...
RICHMOND, Va. - Neither President Bush nor the Republican-led Congress can extract the United States from a bloody quagmire of their own making in Iraq, said a former Republican who is seeking a Senate seat in Virginia.
Democrat Jim Webb, who was President Reagan's Navy secretary in 1987-88, said he knows from his own past as one of the Vietnam War's most decorated Marines how to "bring the Iraq War to an early and honorable end."
Webb bolted the GOP in 2003 over Bush's decision to invade Iraq and this year announced he would challenge Republican Sen. George Allen (news, bio, voting record), a conservative former governor who's exploring a 2008 White House bid. Opposition to the war is a cornerstone of Webb's campaign.
Good Lord people, it's not rocket science. Bring them home, NOW.
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition SUBPOENA TO RUMSFELD FROM HOUSE GOVT REFORM COMMITTEE
At a Committee hearing on Friday, Ranking House Government Reform Committee Minority Member Henry Waxman delivered a statement concerning the subpoena to Rumsfeld. Representative Waxman stated: “rather than investigate Sergeant Provance's claims, the military ignored him, told him he could be prosecuted for not coming forward sooner, and then demoted him and pulled his security clearance.”
Rep. Waxman also described the failure of the Pentagon to respond to the Committee’s request for documents: “To this day, and after more than three months, there has been no substantive response from the Department, and no documents have been provided. To their credit, the majority staff followed-up nearly a dozen times with telephone calls and e-mails, without success.”
Among the many incidents, Provance described in his testimony was his interview with General Fay in March 2004, and his resistance to listening to Provance’s allegations concerning military intelligence abuses. After telling General Fay about these abuses, Provance testified: “He then said he would recommend administrative action against me for not reporting what I knew sooner than the investigation. He said if I had reported what I knew sooner, I could have actually prevented the scandal.”
At the February 2006 hearing, Chairman Christopher Shays commended Spc. Provance: “I just want to say to you, Specialist Provance, it takes a tremendous amount of courage with your rank to tell a general what they may not want to hear and people like you will help move our country in the right direction and so this full committee thanks you for what you've done.”
But to insiders who know him, McCain has an irrational, explosive side that make many of them question whether he is fit to serve as president and be commander in chief.
Nowhere is that sentiment stronger than in the Senate, where McCain has few friends or supporters. In fact, when McCain ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2000, only four Republican senators endorsed him.
"I have witnessed incidents where he has used profanity at colleagues and exploded at colleagues," said former Senator Bob Smith, a New Hampshire Republican who served with McCain on the Senate Armed Services Committee and on Republican policy committees. "He would disagree about something and then explode. It was incidents of irrational behavior. We've all had incidents where we have gotten angry, but I've never seen anyone act like that."
How about no more insecure bullies for president? They don't work out too well.
Doctors fail to diagnose the flu in a vast majority of young children suffering from it, depriving them of medicines that could shorten their illness and keep them from spreading it to others, a study suggests.
The research, being published today in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that flu infections were missed in four of every five preschoolers treated for symptoms at a doctor's office or an emergency room and in about three-quarters of those who were hospitalized.
"Many of the children did not have a test performed, and few of the children were sent home with a specific diagnosis of influenza," said Dr. Katherine Anne Poehling, a pediatrician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who led the government-financed study.
If more doctors used a rapid flu test, more cases of the flu could be detected and steps taken to prevent its spread, the researchers suggested. About a third of the children, they said, would have been candidates for medicines like Tamiflu, which work better to ease symptoms when given early.
ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- The state Supreme Court reinstated Georgia's constitutional ban on gay marriage Thursday, just hours after New York's highest court upheld that state's gay-marriage ban.
Why is this an issue right now? Has anyone told these people our country is an occupying presence in a war of our own making? Silly Prissy, thinking we had priorities...
On Wednesday, two members of Italy's military intelligence service SISMI were arrested for allegedly helping the CIA kidnap terror suspect Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar .
Arrest warrants were also issued for four American nationals - three CIA officers including the CIA's former Rome station chief and a former commander at the US air base at Aviano in northern Italy. None of the Americans is still in Italy .
Last November, Milan prosecutors requested the extradition from the US of 22 CIA agents accused of kidnapping Nasr . The previous, Silvio Berlusconi-led government repeatedly denied authorising or having any role in the alleged CIA operation. It also denied any SISMI involvement .
The office of Premier Romano Prodi, who defeated Berlusconi in Italy's April general election, issued a statement on Wednesday saying it had "full trust" in SISMI .
Info Liberation via NYT Times columnist: 'We failed our country'
When I was covering the war in Iraq, we reporters would sometimes tune to Fox News and watch, mystified, as it purported to describe how Iraqis loved Americans. Such coverage (backed by delusional Journal editorials baffling to anyone who was actually in Iraq) misled conservatives about Iraq from the beginning. In retrospect, the real victims of Fox News weren't the liberals it attacked but the conservatives who believed it.
Historically, we in the press have done more damage to our nation by withholding secret information than by publishing it. One example was this newspaper's withholding details of the plans for the Bay of Pigs invasion. President Kennedy himself suggested that the U.S. would have been better served if The Times had published the full story and derailed the invasion.
Then there were the C.I.A. abuses that journalists kept mum about until they spilled over and prompted the Church Committee investigation in the 1970's. And there are secrets we should have found, but didn't: in the run-up to the Iraq war, the press — particularly this newspaper — was too credulous about claims that Iraq possessed large amounts of W.M.D.
In each of these cases, we were too compliant. We failed in our watchdog role, and we failed our country.
Dawn News Pakistan ‘Trail cold in Osama hunt’
Despite a $25 million bounty for his capture, and a history of ill health, Osama has successfully eluded efforts to find him. Mr Aziz said it was wrong to assume he was in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan, as is commonly stated.
Try buried in the desert...somewhere.
NORTH Korea was last night warned that the United Nations would act "swiftly and firmly" following the test-firing of at least seven missiles, including one capable of reaching India and the United States.
The 15-member UN Security Council went into emergency session following Tuesday's launches, which were undertaken in the face of warnings not to carry them out from the West, Russia and China.
Japan, the US and Britain hurriedly readied a UN Security Council resolution demanding that nations withhold all funds, goods and technology that could be used for North Korea's missile programme. But Russia and China opposed sanctions, preferring a strong council statement, which does not carry the weight of a resolution.
And...World leaders were united in their condemnation of the missile tests.
Take notes neorepublicans, the world calls these methods "diplomacy".
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the international community must resolve its problems with Iran and North Korea through negotiation.
In a BBC webcast, he said it would be a mistake to impose sanctions on Iran. He said he would prefer the Iran nuclear problem to be dealt with by the International Atomic Energy Agency rather than the UN Security Council.
He was answering some of the thousands of questions sent in by readers to the BBC and Russia's Yandex website.
SCOTUS Blog Hamdan Summary -- And HUGE News
Hat tip to Fitz and fellow justice bloggers. Sure to be a classic!
As I predicted below, the Court held that Congress had, by statute, required that the commissions comply with the laws of war -- and held further that these commissions do not (for various reasons). I have not yet read the complete opinions, but from what I've seen of not only the Stevens majority, but also the Kennedy and Breyer concurrences (see Orin Kerr with the relevant AMK and SGB excerpts here), it is hard to overstate the principal, powerfully stated themes emanating from the Court, which are (i) that the President's conduct is subject to the limitations of statute and treaty; and (ii) that Congress's enactments are best construed to require compliance with the international laws of armed conflict.
Even more importantly for present purposes, the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva applies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today's ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely," and that "[t]o this end," certain specified acts "are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever"—including "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment. See my further discussion here.
This almost certainly means that the CIA's interrogation regime is unlawful, and indeed, that many techniques the Administation has been using, such as waterboarding and hypothermia (and others) violate the War Crimes Act (because violations of Common Article 3 are deemed war crimes)
Quotes of the Day
The prisoners will not be harmed, until they are found guilty.--Q, Star Trek
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.--Mark Twain
Civil liberties are always safe as long as their exercise doesn't bother anyone. -New York Times editorial, January 3, 1941
But our culture is in truly bad shape if we have come to define respecting something as the failure to set it on fire. --Barbara Ehrenreich (regarding flag burning)
"What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?" "I'd cut down every law in England to do that." "Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you - where would you hide...the laws all being flat?" --Robert Bolt, "A Man for All Seasons"