Friday, August 04, 2006

How's Dick and Dubya's Driving? Call 1-202-456-1111

Dearest Readers, How are you bearing the heat in your corner of the world? DC is a smoggy hot spot. One would think the neorepublicans would begin to think there might be something to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth". They tell themselves "it's just a movie."

About the Military Families Speak Out exhibit outside the Senate buildings...let's put it this way-they are definitely feeling the heat up on the hill.

Those crazy kids, they don't yet understand we are just getting started...MFSO members will begin protests personally delivering soldier obituaries to members of the House and Senate-at home or at the office. A protest will then commence, lasting about one hour. Every day we feel it, they will feel it too. Military families get no holiday from this war-neither should the representatives who keep going along with the lie.

And now Hillary has asked for the feeble-minded Rummy's resignation...Shocking, no?

Only that she didn't ask for it years ago. Shame on Hillary.

Today military families went in to talk to her and tell her how this war has made their family lives hell. Prissy hopes she gets the message loud and clear! Just don't get any ideas that Hillary would or should be some kind of heroine for this-it should have never began. But Prissy will give credit where credit is due, Hillary has PrissyBalls...

Notice the Generals are breaking rank with Rummy-they rarely looked at him during the update.

Hot Links

TruthDig Rumsfeld Whopper: I Was Never Overly Optimistic About Iraq

Testifying before Congress today, Donald Rumsfeld said he has "“never painted a rosy picture" about Iraq, and that "you would have a dickens of a time trying to find instances where I have been overly optimistic."

That'’s just nonsense. How about this quote from a speech Rumsfeld delivered at Johns Hopkins on Dec. 5, in which he slammed the U.S. press for being overly negative in its Iraq reporting.

[U.S. reporters] can compare Iraq as it is today to what it was three years ago: a brutal dictatorship, where the secret police would murder or mutilate a family member, sometimes in front of their children, and where hundreds of thousands of Iraqis disappeared into mass graves. From that perspective, "Iraq today is on a vastly different and a greatly improved path."”

A vastly different path? The Baghdad morgue received 1,595 bodies last month. Last month! And that's up 16% over May.

Vanity Fair 9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes Must read article

How did the U.S. Air Force respond on 9/11? Could it have shot down United 93, as conspiracy theorists claim? Obtaining 30 hours of never-before-released tapes from the control room of NORAD's Northeast headquarters, the author reconstructs the chaotic military history of that day; and the Pentagon's apparent attempt to cover it up. exclusive: Hear excerpts from the September 11 NORAD tapes. Click PLAY after each transcript to listen.

Wired NSA Suit Temporarily Halted

Judge Vaughn Walker, who allowed the suit to go forward despite the government's claim that the lawsuit would endanger national security, called a temporary halt to the proceedings.

AT&T, which had until Thursday to answer the allegations in the EFF's original complaint, told the judge it could not do so without revealing state secrets -- so the company wants not to have to answer until an appeals court hears the government's appeal (and possibly its own as well).

Walker granted the stay (.pdf), at least until the planned August 8 hearing, when the government and AT&T can argue to have the whole casestayedwhileboth attempt to get the Ninth Circuit to hear their appeal of Walker's decision not to toss the case.

Forbes Mideast War Rages With No End in Sight

Hopes for a cease-fire dimmed despite a plea from Pope Benedict XVI for a quick solution. U.N. diplomats debated a draft resolution that would lay down the conditions for an international force to go in; they claimed they were making progress but acknowledged no immediate deal was in sight.

The prospect of a longer war has raised tensions across the Mideast, where anti-Israeli and anti-American hostility is now sharp. Arab leaders have warned repeatedly in recent days that the fighting has hampered, or killed outright, any hope for a long-term Israeli peace deal.

But Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said his country would stop its offensive only after a robust international peacekeeping force is in place in southern Lebanon - something likely to take weeks at minimum. He predicted the fighting would create "new momentum" for Israel's plan to separate from the Palestinians by pulling out of the West Bank.

Thanks for nothing, Israel. The last thing the United States needs is more war...

NY Daily News W court pick called a foe of civil rights My, my-it's W now

The killer rating was given after confidential interviews with 26 judges and 43 other lawyers and people who have known Wallace since childhood. The grim assessment was in testimony the bar association prepared for a postponed Senate hearing, officials said.

"The law will not get in his way," said a judge quoted in the report by lawyer Kim Askew.

The American Bar Association is often accused of liberal bias, but no other appeals court nominee in either Bush administration has drawn the unanimous bad rating.

Wallace has "an instinctive contempt for the socially weak" and would be "hostile" to minority rights, critics said.

ABC Army Guard Units Said Not Combat Ready

More than two-thirds of the Army National Guard's 34 brigades are not combat ready, mostly because of equipment shortages that will cost up to $21 billion to correct, the top National Guard general said Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum spoke to a group defense reporters after Army officials, analysts and members of Congress disclosed that two-thirds of the active Army's brigades are not ready for war.

The budget won't allow the military to complete the personnel training and equipment repairs and replacement that must be done when units return home after deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan, they say.

"I am further behind or in an even more dire situation than the active Army, but we both have the same symptoms, I just have a higher fever," Blum said.

Hey Dubya, let Prissy translate that for you...The Guard has dug in it's heels and you won't be sending them anywhere, anytime soon. They are unable to complete any mission at this time-got that?

Thank you Lt. General Blum, for speaking the truth to a president that puts his fingers in his ears when someone gives him a dose of reality.

Patriot Daily News Bush Seeks Retroactive Immunity From US War Crimes Prosecution

Now that the Bush team faces possible prosecution for war crimes under US law, the team is quietly changing the law to provide a "legal escape hatch." The recent US Supreme Court decision in Hamdan removed a potential defense from war crimes prosecution that the Bush team had been relying upon. So now the Decider is quietly changing this US law to exempt himself and other officials from criminal prosecutions that may not occur until the next administration. One thing for sure -- Bush is not much of a planner for wars, natural disasters, and terror attacks -- but he sure does plan years in advance to save his own hide.

WaPo "I came over here because I wanted to kill people."

"I shot a guy who wouldn't stop when we were out at a traffic checkpoint and it was like nothing," he went on. "Over here, killing people is like squashing an ant. I mean, you kill somebody and it's like 'All right, let's go get some pizza.' "

At the time, the soldier's matter-of-fact manner struck me chiefly as a rare example of honesty. I was on a nine-month assignment as an embedded reporter in Iraq, spending much of my time with grunts like him -- mostly young (and immature) small-town kids who sign up for a job as killers, lured by some gut-level desire for excitement and adventure. This was not the first group I had run into that was full of young men who shared a dark sense of humor and were clearly desensitized to death. I thought this soldier was just one of the exceptions who wasn't afraid to say what he really thought, a frank and reflective kid, a sort of Holden Caulfield in a war zone.

But the private was Steven D. Green.

Good Lord, just when you thought they couldn't get any more unAmerican! GOP SENATORS SUPPORT IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICIAL SECRETĂ‚’S ACT Bill Eliminates GovernmentĂ‚’s Burden to Prove Damage in Prosecuting Whistleblowers

Alexandria, VA---Senators Rick Santorum, R-PA, and Conrad Burns, R-MT, support implementation of Official Secret's Act, S.3774, introduced yesterday by Senator Christopher Bond, R-MO, to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. Bond's bill seeks to enable the Executive Branch in prosecuting individuals engaged in disclosure of government secrets. According to the release issued by Senator Bond'’s office, the legislation seeks to unify current law and ease the government's burden in prosecuting and punishing leakers by eliminating the need to prove that damage to the national security has or will result from a disclosure. According to the new release by Secrecy News reports, the new Bond bill is identical to the controversial anti-leak legislation sponsored by Senator Richard Shelby in the FY 2001 Intelligence Authorization Act that was vetoed by President Clinton in November 2000. The bill was called the '“Official Secrets Act,'” after the U.K.'’s repressive criminal secrecy statutes.

CNN Dobbs: Five-weeks off for 'do-nothing Congress'

NEW YORK (CNN) -- This Republican-led, do-nothing Congress is on its way home for a five-week vacation. I'm sure while there, they'll be glad to explain to their constituents why they need so much rest in a year in which they will work fewer than 80 days.

Lou may be a republican, but he isn't an insane one.


On July 27, 2006 the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) called for all parties to respect international humanitarian law in the current Middle East conflict and urged President Bush to halt the supply of weapons to Israel in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). In a letter to President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, CCR noted that defense articles provided to Israel are not being used for internal security or self defense purposes, as required by the AECA, and demanded that the President comply with his legal obligation to immediately cease all sales and deliveries of weapons to Israel. (The entire letter is below.)

To join CCR in calling for an investigation into the supply of weapons to Israel in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA)click here.

CCR also released the following statement regarding the conflict and international law violations:

In its 40 year history CCR has been a leading advocate of international law, including humanitarian law, or the "laws of war". The bedrock principle of humanitarian law is the obligation to distinguish between civilian and military objectives in the conduct of armed conflict. That principle is being shamelessly violated by all parties to the current conflict, including Israel, Hezbollah, and other groups. However, any objective assessment of the facts on the ground must lead to the conclusion that Israel's conduct cannot be equated in any way with that of its enemies but is vastly superior in its catastrophic consequences.

Salon The neocons' next war By secretly providing NSA intelligence to Israel and undermining the hapless Condi Rice, hardliners in the Bush administration are trying to widen the Middle East conflict to Iran and Syria, not stop it.

The National Security Agency is providing signal intelligence to Israel to monitor whether Syria and Iran are supplying new armaments to Hezbollah as it fires hundreds of missiles into northern Israel, according to a national security official with direct knowledge of the operation. President Bush has approved the secret program. (Intelligence, including that gathered by the NSA, has been provided to Israel in the past for various purposes.) Inside the administration, neoconservatives on Vice President Dick Cheney's national security staff and Elliott Abrams, the neoconservative senior director for the Near East on the National Security Council, are prime movers behind sharing NSA intelligence with Israel, and they have discussed Syrian and Iranian supply activities as a potential pretext for Israeli bombing of both countries, the source privy to conversations about the program says. The neoconservatives are described as enthusiastic about the possibility of using NSA intelligence as a lever to widen the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Israel and Hamas into a four-front war.

Prissy wants to know how many other high level government officials with security clearance also have dual citizenships to Israel or other countries. This should be a no-no, especially in light of the neocon cabal, which continues to sell out the interests of the United States goverment.

YNet News US: Possible ceasefire agreement by Friday

WASHINGTON - The US hopes to mediate a ceasefire in Lebanon very soon and French and US ambassadors to the UN met Thursday night in an effort to advance the issue. A diplomatic source in Washington said that the real forces operating in the field now are political forces.

US Secretary of State, Condaleezza Rice stated in an interview with Larry King on CNN that "a ceasefire is unavoidable." However, in contrast to a state department spokesperson who said that a ceasefire agreement might be achieved as early as Friday, Rice was warier in her phrasing, talking about a ceasefire within a number of days.

Rice emphasized that "We're close," but added that 'things must be done in a way that creates a sustainable ceasefire.' Rice's interview with Larry King took place after a broadcast of Nasrallah's speech to Arab news agencies. Rice's response to Nasrallah's threats was that, if Hizbullah fires on Tel Aviv, "the situation will get worse before it gets better."

Rice wants a cease fire only after Israel has killed hundreds and damaged the homes and infrastructure of innocent civilians.

Malaysia Sun Hezbollah not to blame for war, reports show

This however, according to Haaretz newspaper, occurred six kilometres inside Lebanese territory.

The Hezbollah attack was staged to capture soldiers to use for a prisoner-exchange with Israel, a strategy adopted by both sides in the past. According to Human Rights Watch, targeting and capture of enemy soldiers is allowed under international humanitarian law.

Immediately on securing the capture of the soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, Hezbollah announced it wanted a prisoner exchange.

In the three weeks since that day, news reports, based on statements from various government officials from Israel and the United States, infer Hezbollah began attacking northern Israel with rockets, and it were those attacks that prompted the much repeated mantra by not only Israel, and the U.S., but leaders from a number of other countries, and the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, that Israel has a right to defend itself.

WaPo. More employment news under Dubya's economic boon AOL Plans to Cut 5,000 Jobs, Some in Virginia

In a meeting yesterday morning at the company's Dulles headquarters, chief executive Jonathan Miller told employees that 5,000 of the company's 19,000 worldwide positions would be eliminated. An executive with the firm said several hundred of the 4,700 jobs in Northern Virginia would be affected, and that some employees had already been granted paid leave to look for new employment. Several employees said the news was expected, and people who worked for certain divisions knew for weeks that they were likely to lose their jobs.

Mad Cow Morning News Relative of Tunnel Bomb' Ringleader in Sarasota Had 9.11 Foreknowledge

Revelations in the case of the Lebanese man accused of being the ringleader of a plot to bomb the PATH Tunnels in New York City to deluge lower Manhattan and Wall Street in a torrent of water have begun to shed light on other terrorism investigations in the U.S., perhaps even on the very nature of the terrorist threat.

As many as a dozen relatives of Assem Hammoud have already been accused or convicted in the U.S. of terrorist-related crime, The MadCowMorningNews has learned, members of what has been called the Hezbollah-Hammoud Syndicate in Detroit. Their number includes a self-admitted member of Hezbollah in Sarasota questioned by law enforcement authorities in late September of 2001 about his suspected foreknowledge of the 9.11 attack.

UK Telegraph Blair 'must go and go now' as pressure mounts

Tony Blair has become increasingly isolated as his handling of conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon has been called into question.

Sir Rodric Braithwaite, a former ambassador to Moscow and ex--chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, called for Mr Blair to resign immediately.

Elsewhere Britain's outgoing ambassador in Baghdad warned that Iraq was descending into civil war and the grandmother of a soldier killed in southern Afghanistan challenged Mr Blair to send his own sons into the war zone.

Writing in the Financial Times, Sir Rodric described the Prime Minister as "frayed and waxy zombie straight from Madame Tussaud's" programmed by the CIA to "spout the language of the White House in an artificial English accent".

And we all know Dubya wanted Tony here so he could explain to Americans why they should buy what he and Tony are selling. Dubya thinks Tony's British accent sounds "smart, more belivable." Oh like it will to rub off on him... "Yo Blair?" Prissy cringed when she saw him eating with his mouth open on international news. Prissy blames his parents.

Counterpunch Psychologists, Guantanamo and Torture

One particularly disturbing area where psychologists were attempting to demonstrate their value was in the development of sophisticated techniques of interrogation that could obtain information from unwilling captives through the application of behavior modification techniques based on psychological science. Historian Alfred W. McCoy has shed light in this area in his recent book A Question of Torture and in numerous articles and interviews. He documents the decades-long CIA effort to utilized psychological expertise to develop forms of torture that could break down the personality of detainees, rendering them, it was hoped, incapable of withholding desired information. Many of these technique were utilized during the Vietnam conflict and in the various brutal U.S.-supported counterinsurgency campaigns in Latin American in the 1970s and 1980s.

Such applications of psychological knowledge posed thorny issues for organized psychology, always on the lookout for new ways of demonstrating psychology's value to the powerful. While their morally objectionable quality made direct endorsement impossible, to straightforwardly condemn these applications would run the risk of alienating precisely those decision-makers who might be impressed with the potential contributions of psychology as a science and as a profession. Thus, silence about such abuses of psychology is what one would expect from the American Psychological Association, the country's largest representative of organized psychology and silence is what was observed.

Mortgage Applications Down 29%

The Mortgage Bankers Association today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 28. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was at 527.6. This is the lowest that the index has been since May 2002. On an unadjusted basis, the Index was down 29.0 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.

Rocky Mountain News Scripps poll: One-third see U.S. hand in 9/11

Thirty-six percent of respondents overall said it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them "because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East."

"One out of three sounds high, but that may very well be right," said Lee Hamilton, former vice chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also called the 9/11 Commission.) His congressionally appointed investigation concluded that federal officials bungled their attempts to prevent, but did not participate in, the attacks by al-Qaida five years ago.

The poll also found that 16 percent of Americans speculate that secretly planted explosives, not airliners, were the reason the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed.

Quotes of the Day

Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke.--- Lynda Barry

America's one of the finest countries anyone ever stole.--Bobcat Goldthwaite

There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure.--Dwight D. Eisenhower,US general & Republican politician (1890 - 1969)

Our American values are not luxuries but necessities, not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself. Our common vision of a free and just society is our greatest source of cohesion at home and strength abroad, greater than the bounty of our material blessings.--Jimmy Carter

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.--Milton Friedman (1912 - )