Friday, October 20, 2006

JFK Speech on Secret Societies and Freedom of the Press

JFK Speech on Secret Societies and Freedom of the Press

As fresh today, as when JFK made this speech! No wonder Bush 41 was always jealous of him...

Hot Links

WaPo, slow on the draw as usual... Major Change Expected In Strategy for Iraq War

The growing doubts among GOP lawmakers about the administration's Iraq strategy, coupled with the prospect of Democratic wins in next month's midterm elections, will soon force the Bush administration to abandon its open-ended commitment to the war, according to lawmakers in both parties, foreign policy experts and others involved in policymaking.

Senior figures in both parties are coming to the conclusion that the Bush administration will be unable to achieve its goal of a stable, democratic Iraq within a politically feasible time frame. Agitation is growing in Congress for alternatives to the administration's strategy of keeping Iraq in one piece and getting its security forces up and running while 140,000 U.S. troops try to keep a lid on rapidly spreading sectarian violence.

Wa Po GOP Aims to Scare Up Big Voter Turnout With House Losses Likely, Tactics Focus on Warnings About Democrats

Won't work and Prissy will tell them why. Half the republicans will cross over to the dems. About 30% will stay home and pout, refusing to vote at all. The 20% left will not carry them to another neorepublican victory.

Should they attempt to steal another election, it won't be pretty. The cops, also middle class, also hurt by Dubya's policies will choose to uphold the law and not the illegal smothering of dissent.

Most police in the last twenty years have been taught community policing, aka public service. Most of them don't consider dissenters (now the majority) to be trouble. We all want our country back.

Zaman Turkey Kurdish Side Claims to Fight against PKK

Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hosyar Zebari has announced that an official from the Kurdish Local Administration is participating in the joint Turkey-USA-Iraq bid to curb Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorism.

In a statement in the Kurdish Nwe newspaper, Zebari said: “Of course the representative of the Kurdish administration is also attending the meetings. And that is Interior Minister Kerim Senkali.”

While the Turkish foreign ministry has denied such claims, the Iraqi embassy in Ankara said it had assigned Senkali and Shirvan al-Vaili as Iraqi delegates to fight terrorism.

BBC One-third support 'some torture'

Although 59% were opposed to torture, 29% thought it acceptable to use some degree of torture to combat terrorism.

While most polled in the US are against torture, opposition there is less robust than in Europe and elsewhere.

Reuters UK Britain and Germany warn Putin on energy access

LAHTI, Finland (Reuters) - Britain and Germany warned President Vladimir Putin before talks on Friday he must give European firms a fair chance to exploit Russia's huge energy resources or risk seeing foreign investors take flight.

Putin is the guest at a European Union dinner where the bloc's 25 leaders will push him for better energy ties but also raise the killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and the Kremlin's heavy-handed treatment of former Soviet Georgia.

The Europeans are dismayed by Kremlin moves questioning contracts signed in the 1990s by firms including Royal Dutch Shell and Total, and by a decision to shut foreign capital out of development of the Shtokman gas field.

Mr. Putin, considered nearly a progressive, considering his former KGB background, seems to be withdrawing a bit with "problems at home." Let's hope he reconsiders, as next thing you know Dick Cheney will be whipping up anti-Russian sentiment. Prissy thinks already got plenty of hatred going around, like an infectious virus...

More on Team Fitz' big Chicago case. Chicago Tribune Rezko pleads not guilty

Federal prosecutors charge that Rezko leveraged his influence with state leaders to extort illegal payments and a campaign contribution from investment firms seeking to do business with Illinois. He is separately accused of setting up a phony transaction involving the sale of his pizza restaurants.

Despite the official escort--agents met Rezko's plane as it landed Thursday at O'Hare International Airport--Rezko walked into court seemingly unconcerned, waving to family members and shaking his lawyer's hand.

His attorney, Joseph J. Duffy, said Rezko's travel back to Chicago had begun in his native Syria after he concluded a business trip to the Middle East.

Funny political ad. Prissy has done some press stuff for Bob. Doesn't he look dapper? Set to the rousing Anvil Chorus, Pat Tiberi (Tee-bear-ee) shows his loyalty to G.W. Bush in Bob Shamansky's latest T.V.

Stepping on the flag again

Seattle PI Families angry after bones found at WTC

Five years after 2,749 people died in the World Trade Center attack, families of about 1,150 victims still have not received word that their loved ones' remains were found amid the rubble.

The remains of Charles Wolf's wife, Katherine, 40, were never recovered. He said his wife, an employee of insurer Marsh & McLennan, was on the 97th floor of the north tower when the building collapsed.

"I am totally shocked that this was found in the pit," said Wolf, 52, who was notified of the discovery by television stations.

"The fact that they were found in ground zero says there was some major, major shortfall in the recovery effort," Wolf said. "Where else are we going to find them next?"

Harpers The Next War By Daniel Ellsberg

Years later, though, the thought hit me: What if I had told Congress and the public, later in the fall of 1964, the whole truth about what was coming, with all the documents I had acquired in my job by September, October, or November? Not just, as Morse had suggested, the contents of a few files on the events surrounding the Tonkin Gulf incident—all that I had in early August—but the drawerfuls of critical working papers, memos, estimates, and detailed escalation options revealing the evolving plans of the Johnson Administration for a wider war, expected to commence soon after the election. In short, what if I had put out before the end of the year, whether before or after the November election, all of the classified papers from that period that I did eventually disclose in 1971?

Had I done so, the public and Congress would have learned that Johnson’s campaign theme, “we seek no wider war,” was a hoax. They would have learned, in fact, that the Johnson Administration had been heading in secret toward essentially the same policy of expanded war that his presidential rival, Senator Barry Goldwater, openly advocated—a policy that the voters overwhelmingly repudiated at the polls.

I would have been indicted then, as I was seven years later, and probably imprisoned. But America would have been at peace during those years. It was only with that reflection, perhaps a decade after the carnage finally ended, that I recognized Morse had been right about my personal share of responsibility for the whole war.

Not just mine alone. Any one of a hundred officials—some of whom foresaw the whole catastrophe—could have told the hidden truth to Congress, with documents. Instead, our silence made us all accomplices in the ensuing slaughter.

We need more patriots! Know something? Contact below: National Security Whistleblowers Coalition NSWBC,P.O. Box 20210, Alexandria, VA 22320

Media Matters The Rules of the Game (center of page)

For his part, Boehner hosted weekly meetings with top Washington business lobbyists and conservatives for a few years right after the GOP won control of Congress in 1994. Boehner, who like DeLay boasted very strong ties to the tobacco lobby in Washington, once earned notoriety by handing out checks from the industry on the House floor.

Ultimately, in the struggle to succeed DeLay in early 2006, Boehner won out largely because the ties between Blunt's world and DeLay's seemed more obvious. But Boehner, who briefly talked tough about lobbying reforms in early 2006, soon backed away from almost all stringent measures to reform the pay-to-play system, as did many of his colleagues in the House. One perk that Boehner was particularly concerned to preserve was the ability of members to take privately funded junkets, not unlike the kind that Abramoff was so good at organizing. According to an independent survey done by the Campaign for a Cleaner Congress, Boehner had taken 180 trips since 1999 outside his district -- including quite a few to such golfing destinations as St. Andrews in Scotland and Pebble Beach in California -- ranking him among the ten most prolific travelers in the House.

Boehner's views about the importance of preserving private travel ultimately prevailed. At the start of 2006, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert publicly proclaimed that he favored putting "an end" to private travel because of abuses. But the very weak lobbying reform bill that passed the House -- but never was enacted -- included a much-watered-down provision that only suspended such trips and only until June 15, 2006, a token gesture at best.

Ironically, just as they were caving on the idea of banning private travel, studies showed such trips proliferating. PoliticalMoneyLine in early 2005 revealed that some 600 members of Congress since the year 2000 have gone on 5,410 trips that were privately funded at a cost of $16 million.

Boehner is in a lot of trouble...

Reuters Pentagon to resume forced anthrax vaccine program

But William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said the Pentagon has no plans to vaccinate troops serving elsewhere, including those in the United States -- site of the only major anthrax attack against Americans, which killed five people in 2001.

"There are terrorists operating in and around Iraq and in that part of the world," Winkenwerder said. "That's a higher threat area."

And..."The forthcoming mandatory program is just as senseless as before and the FDA's new determination remains legally and scientifically flawed," said Mark Zaid, one of the attorneys.

Winkenwerder, who has not taken the anthrax vaccine, said the FDA's final order settles legal questions and the Pentagon is prepared for a court challenge.

Winkenwerder, you go first. Then we'll let the kids get theirs. Unless, of course, it makes you sick or kills you. But you have lived a full life, unlike the young ones he wishes to experiment upon.

The Day, CT. Is the Pope listening? Group Calling For Pardons For State's Accused Witches

Not many know of Connecticut's witch trials because they were eclipsed, both at the time and today, by Salem's sensational trials in 1692, said Walter Woodward, Connecticut's official state historian.

The Massachusetts Colony hanged 19 accused witches before the hysteria was spent, though five others accused of witchcraft died as well, either during interrogations or in prison.

Many of the accused witches here and in Massachusetts were women, in part because they dealt in the healing arts or as midwives.

Avery's ancestor was Mary Sanford, a 39-year-old mother of five who was accused of witchcraft by neighbors because she drank sherry at night in the woods behind her home. She was tried in Hartford, found guilty and hanged.

DW World, Germany N. Korea plans no further tests: Yonhap

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports North Korean leader Kim Jong Il told a visiting Chinese envoy that Pyongyang plans to conduct no further nuclear tests. Kim made the statement in Pyongyang on Thursday during talks with Chinese State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan, the agency quoted an unidentified 'informed diplomatic source' as saying in Beijing. Japan's Foreign Ministry said it could not confirm or deny the report, which came as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Beijing to rally support for UN sanctions against North Korea in response to its nuclear test on October 9.

Wonkette, hat tip to Fitz Rape, Murder, It's Just a Shot Away

A couple of mysterious 911 calls to Las Vegas police — all apparently made from the bathroom of a Starbucks on Paradise Road by a terrified drunk gal — have suddenly derailed Congressman Jim Gibbons and his campaign to be Nevada’s next governor.

The story is changing so quick we can’t even get a timeline in order, so let’s just randomly toss together some of the filthier details, after the jump. * Casino waitress (or interior designer?) invited to join drinking party with Gibbons and some other gals at McCormick & Schmick’s, one of those upscale-chain seafood & steak joints at Paradise and Flamingo. * Something happens, she makes three 911 calls over 45 minutes, claiming assault and the threat of rape. Also, she’s drunk.

Are all republicans weird about sex? At least Bill Clinton didn't beat up the women he chased, no indeed, he was willing to love them all...

The Australian News Baghdad operation backfires on US

The operation "has not met our overall expectations of sustaining a reduction in the levels of violence", Major General Caldwell said.

"We are working very closely with the Government of Iraq to determine how best to refocus our efforts."

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mark Ballesteros called Major General Caldwell's assessment "accurate and candid".

His comments are a rare public admission that an American strategy in Iraq hasn't worked, and it came as Republicans and Democrats in Washington press the Bush administration to devise a new approach.

General, how many times must we tell you that the United States cannot and will not "win" an unjust, illegal, immoral war? Pack them up and get outta there! Prissy wonders if he paid any attention in Officer Candidate School or did these generals sleep through it, like their commander in chief?

Esnipes Scooter's in big trouble

The latest court documents from the Scooter Libby case. Thanks, Fitz. Prissy and her Dearest Readers appreciate the time you take to keep us informed.

Dearest Readers, Prissy will post excerpts from them later this evening. She is sure they'll be very interesting...

USAToday Maltese diocese to investigate case of priest who said he was naked with Foley

On Wednesday, he told the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune by telephone that he massaged the boy in the nude and was naked in the same room on overnight trips with him. On Thursday, he told The Associated Press that he was naked in a sauna with Foley and had gone skinny-dipping with him.

Also Thursday, he told WPTV of West Palm Beach, Fla., that he touched Foley "once, maybe."

In all of the interviews, he denied having sexual intercourse with Foley.

"It's not something you call, I mean, rape or penetration or anything like that, you know," he told the TV station in a telephone interview. "It was just fondling."

Only? People need to know most pedophiles are not aggressive about it, they don't have to be to coerce children. Back in the days of old, the adult- congressman or priest- would have been given credible standing over a youth.

Isn't that right, Mr. Foley? Why, he had counted on it for years...

Quotes of the Day

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." --John Quincy Adams

"So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy." --Roger Baldwin

"...Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." --Abraham Lincoln

"It is honourable to be accused by those who deserve to be accused." --Latin Proverb