Sunday, February 11, 2007

To Forgive a Republican

Dearest Readers, there is a lot to be said about forgiveness. Being a Sunday here in the Bible belt what a great time to discuss it.

In Prissy's book, forgiving and forgetting are separate matters. Seriousness of the offense will always determine if both are granted-or only forgiveness.

In reference to the Bush administration, forgiveness will only begin after their trials are over.

Speaking of trials, have you seen the new Velvet Revolution ad? Here's the picture:

Here's to hopes that future historians will never gloss over the mess neocons have made of what was once a country held up as the hope for humanity and beacon of civility. Remember the famous "liberty and justice for all?"

Prissy and Betty have finally made the plans for our first show, thank you to the new Columbus media through the! We will of course make fun of all your favorite politicians and entertain you with their absurdities.

If any Dearest Reader has a original song they think would be a good theme for the show, please email Prissy!

Prissy will post the pod cast here at the end of the week. It took us a year to get it together-but as you know, Prissy has been busy fighting the warmongers ;-)

Hot Links

And away he goes...with the Brits assisting in the propaganda spin Pentagon blames Iran for 170 US deaths

Senior defence officials in Baghdad said that Iranian-supplied "explosively formed projectiles" were frequently being used against coalition forces.

They said the "highest levels" of Iran’s regime were responsible for giving them to Shia militias in Iraq.

These bombs are specially designed to penetrate heavily armoured military vehicles and are capable of crippling the US army’s main battle tank, the Abrams M1.

They have killed 170 US troops since June 2004, according to the American officials. They added that some weapons have been captured and they bore the hallmarks of having been manufactured in Iran.

It is difficult to know what to believe, as Prissy is no munitions expert. But some others claim the highly damaging IED's have the hallmarks of being manufactored in Israel.

IraqSlogger Blackwater Contractor Kills Vice President's Guard

There have been rumors buzzing around the contractor community about murder. It started when a Blackwater employee drunk and fresh from a Christmas party in the Green Zone got into an argument with an Iraqi security contractor. The Iraqi worked for the Vice President as a security guard. It is not cleared what transpired but the Blackwater employee emptied the entire magazine of his pistol into the Iraqi.

Under normal circumstances the contractor would have been arrested (the Green Zone is in effect a U.S. base) under the Patriot Act, MEJA, the military code or Iraqi law but he wasn't.

He was dealt with just like any other contractor who commits a crime in Iraq. He was bundled into an aircraft, returned to the US and dropped from the payroll. According to Blackwater's lawyer, he was "off duty" returned to the US and is being "investigated" by the FBI.

The yet to be identified contractor is a perfect example of how and why contractors are accountable to no one.

The recent jailbreak of the former Electricity Minister by DynCorp contractors is yet another example (this was the second time Ayman Alshammarae was sprung from jail) and the most egregious example. The recent Triple Canopy lawsuit brought by two former employers (one I met during a training program detailed in my book). The two Triple Canopy employees filed a lawsuit because they say they were fired for reporting that another employee wanted to "kill an Iraqi" on the way to the airport. The Triple Canopy employee tried twice to kill Iraqi civilians with his M4 and then his pistol.

CNN Iran negotiator: Nuclear program 'no threat to Israel'

• Iran's nuclear program no threat to Israel, says country's top negotiator • Ali Larijani says Tehran has no aggressive intentions toward any nation. • Iran prepared to settle outstanding issues with IAEA, he says

Donkeyod Why Dick Cheney Cracked Up Op-Ed Columnist By FRANK RICH -the full version

The answer can be found in the timing of the CNN interview, which was conducted the day after the start of the perjury trial of Mr. Cheney’s former top aide, Scooter Libby. The vice president’s on-camera crackup reflected his understandable fear that a White House cover-up was crumbling. He knew that sworn testimony in a Washington courtroom would reveal still more sordid details about how the administration lied to take the country into war in Iraq. He knew that those revelations could cripple the White House’s current campaign to escalate that war and foment apocalyptic scenarios about Iran. Scariest of all, he knew that he might yet have to testify under oath himself.

Mr. Cheney, in other words, understands the danger this trial poses to the White House even as some of Washington remains oblivious. From the start, the capital has belittled the Joseph and Valerie Wilson affair as “a tempest in a teapot,” as David Broder of The Washington Post reiterated just five months ago. When “all of the facts come out in this case, it’s going to be laughable because the consequences are not that great,” Bob Woodward said in 2005. Or, as Robert Novak suggested in 2003 before he revealed Ms. Wilson’s identity as a C.I.A. officer in his column, “weapons of mass destruction or uranium from Niger” are “little elitist issues that don’t bother most of the people.” Those issues may not trouble Mr. Novak, but they do loom large to other people, especially those who sent their kids off to war over nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and nonexistent uranium.

TPM Cafe Dick Cheney Was Briefed by CIA on Niger

As the Senate Intelligence Committee reported in 2004, Dick Cheney asked his briefer to find out what the CIA knew about this. When a Vice President or President asks a question or makes a substantive comment in response to the briefing material, the Briefer always goes back to CIA Headquarters and sits in on a morning meeting of Senior CIA officials. When the CIA briefer got back to Headquarters, he briefed the Director of Operations (or his Deputy) and the the Director of Intelligence (or his Deputy).

This led to two courses of action. First, the Director of Intelligence sent the rock rolling down the hill until it hit an analyst in WINPAC--the analytical shop in CIA tasked with monitoring Iraq's WMD program. According to the CIA memo released in the Libby trial, we now know that In response to this tasking the analyst produced a Senior Power Executive Intelligence Brief on 14 February 2002 that concluded:

information on the alleged uranium contract between Iraq and Niger comes exclusively from a foreign government service report that lacks crucial details, and we are working to clarify the information and to determine whether it can be corroborated.

Now here is the bullshit. The Republican led Senate Select Intelligence Committee claimed in July 2004 that:

The CIA sent a separate version of the assessment to the Vice President which differed only in that it named the foreign government service.

Atlantic Free Press Catapulting the Propaganda at the New York Times

For who are the "Shiite militias"? They are the armed wings of the political factions that now run the Bush-backed Iraqi government, elected in an electoral process designed by the Bush Administration that guaranteed the rise of these extremist sectarian armed cliques to power. The Shiite militias ARE the Iraqi government — or at least, they are part of that government's many contentious factions. If they have power, if they operate with impunity — with or without weapons supplied by the long-time allies in Iran, with which most of the Iraqi Shiite factions have a relationship going back decades — then it is because these factions have been and are now being empowered, armed, funded, trained and supported by the Bush Administration.

This is what the Bushists are tacitly admitting when they claim that the Shiite militias are fragging their ostensible American allies with Iranian weapons. They are saying that even the factions "liberated" and empowered by the American invasion are now attacking and killing U.S. soldiers, with even more virulence than the Sunni insurgents. They are saying that Bush is now "surging" more soldiers into a situation where every single armed faction in the Iraqi conflict is targeting and killing Americans, including those factions armed and funded by the Americans themselves.

This is a remarkable confession. And it represents yet another of the many overwhelming reasons to bring Bush's bloody Babylonian escapade to a halt without further delay. The most compelling reason, of course, is the fact that the invasion was a war crime from the word go and every second that it continues is a furtherance and compounding of that original sin. But even by the viscera-smeared lights of the war's own proponents, to have reached the place where the very people you have empowered are killing your troops is surely the end of the road.

Der spiegel "We Probably Gave Powell the Wrong Speech" SPIEGEL INTERVIEW WITH CIA'S FORMER EUROPE DIRECTOR

The former chief of the CIA's Europe division, Tyler Drumheller, discusses the United States foreign intelligence service's cooperation with Germany, the covert kidnapping of suspected terrorists and a Bush adminstration that ignored CIA advice and used whatever information it could find to justify an invasion of Iraq.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Drumheller, do you still dare to travel to Europe? Drumheller: Yes, absolutely. I was a great friend of the Europeans. I grew up in Wiesbaden. I love Germany very much.

SPIEGEL: Arrest warrants have been issued in Europe for a number of your former colleagues. They are suspected of involvement in the illegal kidnappings of suspected terrorists as part of the so-called "renditions" program. Doesn't this worry you? Drumheller: No. I'm not worried, but I am not allowed to discuss the issue.

SPIEGEL: One of the cases is the now famous kidnapping of Khalid el-Masri, a German-Lebanese who was taken into custody at the end of 2003 in Macedonia and later flown to Afghanistan. How could the CIA allow an innocent person to be arrested? Drumheller: I'm not allowed by the agency to comment on any of those cases or the so-called "secret prisons." I would love to, but I can't. We have a life-long secrecy agreement and they are very, very strict about what you can say.

Forbes Libby Case Gives White House Revelations

Trial testimony so far - including eight hours of Libby's own audio-recordedd testimony to a grand jury in 2004 - suggest that a White House known as disciplined was anything but that.

What has emerged, instead, is: _a vice president fixated on finding ways to debunk a former diplomat's claims that Bush misled the U.S. people in going to war and his suggestion Cheney might have played a role in suppressing contrary intelligence. _a presidential press secretary kept in the dark on Iraq policy. _top White House officials meeting daily to discuss the diplomat, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, and sometimes even his CIA-officer wife Valerie Plame.

Libby is accused of lying to the FBI and the grand jury about his talks with reporters concerning Plame. Libby got the White House press secretary to deny he was the source of the leak. He says he thought he first heard about Plame's CIA job from NBC's Tim Russert.

But after checking his own notes, he told the FBI and the grand jury Cheney himself told him Plame worked at CIA a month before the talk with Russert, but Libby says he forgot that in the crush of business.

Patrick Fitzgerald rested the prosecution case Wednesday. Team Libby defense will spend the rest of the time attempting to defend his undefendable actions. Prissy predicts the jury will not be fooled.

It is now expected Cheney will not testify. No kidding? With Libby's jail time now a looming reality, he continues looking out for his own neck. If Dick does end up on the stand as International Herald Tribune is reporting, he will seal his own fate as well...

When will Fitzgerald open "Sealed v. Sealed" ?

Prissy is thinking it will happen shortly after Libby's certain conviction. Go team Fitz!

Dallas News 2nd reporter IDs Libby in CIA leak

Mr. Cooper, Time magazine's White House reporter at the time, became the second reporter to testify at the CIA leak trial that Mr. Libby was a source for their learning that Valerie Plame, wife of ex-ambassador Joseph Wilson, was a CIA operative.

Mr. Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is charged with lying to the FBI and a grand jury about his conversations with reporters about Ms. Plame and obstructing the investigation into how her identity leaked to the public in 2003. He is not charged with the actual leak.

Defense attorney William Jeffress asked Mr. Cooper about President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, whom Mr. Cooper identified as the first official to tell him about Ms. Plame's CIA job.

In his opening statement, defense attorney Theodore Wells claimed the White House was trying in 2003 to blame Mr. Libby for the leak to protect Mr. Rove, although Mr. Wells did not explain how that related to the perjury charges against Mr. Libby.

Hindu Times Mr. Blair's endless troubles

There was a rare moment in the House of Commons when Tony Blair, seldom at a loss for words, found himself nearly speechless. It happened when the Scottish Nationalist Party leader Alex Salmond, not known for mincing words, sought to draw a parallel between the cash-for-peerages row and the Watergate scandal.

Putting the boot in as hard as he could, he asked Mr. Blair: "The Prime Minister is known for his close association with President George W. Bush [and] given all that has befallen all of the Prime Minister's men and women in recent days, is not now the more relevant association with President Richard Milhous Nixon? Is there a cover-up in Downing Street?" As a hush fell, an ashen-faced Mr. Blair slowly rose to his feet, mumbled something to the effect that he could not possibly comment on an ongoing investigation, and sat down with the air of a beaten man.

Minutes earlier, Tory leader David Cameron had taunted him: "Can't you see that it is time for you to go?" And all this even before it emerged that Mr. Blair had been questioned a second time by police over allegations that he nominated four businessmen for peerages in return for `secret' loans to the Labour Party's 2005 election fund.

Downing Street was dragged deeper into the scandal after Ruth Turner, one of Mr. Blair's most trusted aides, was arrested on "suspicion of perverting the course of justice"; and Lord Levy, his personal friend and party's chief fund-raiser, was detained a second time. In plain words, police suspect a cover-up at the heart of Downing Street.

by political artist Stephen Pitt

WTKR Astronaut Faces Very Serious Charges

Nowak faces charges including attempted kidnapping, attempted vehicle burglary with battery, destruction of evidence and battery.

Police said she drove 900 miles, donned a disguise and was armed with a BB gun and pepper spray when she confronted a woman she believed was a competitor for the affections of Navy Cmdr. William Oefelein.

This shows there is not a limit to strange things people can do, regardless of their accomplishments in life when it comes to their version of love (obsession in this case)

Proof people do need courses on what is a healthy relationship. Just like math and science, it must be learned.

New Org Bring Their Buddies Home

It’s time to do something that communicates on a deeper emotional level than demonstrations or protests. America’s brave sons and daughters gave their lives because they were told they were defending us. They were lied to and the continuation of this war and additional deaths will not justify their sacrifice. On President’s Day, Monday, February 19th, 2007, in hundreds of cities across the country, thousands of people will stand up to honor our fallen troops by showing that it’s time to Bring Their Buddies Home. Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the nation will stand in silence, shoulder to shoulder, at the same time, dressed in black, each wearing the name of one of the fallen troops.

Time and a still defiant congress Rep. Hoyer: Iraq Vote Will Be Limited

— A House vote on Iraq this week will be limited to the question of supporting President Bush's troop escalation, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Sunday.

Hoyer's comment drew a vehement objection from House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who said House Democrats had promised to allow a vote this week on a Republican alternative opposing a cutoff of money for the war.

Hoyer, D-Md., said such a vote would occur later.

"Live up to your word," Boehner told Hoyer. Democrats, Boehner said, "won't even let us have a substitute. ... Give us a vote this week."

Live up to your word Mr. Boehner, and support our troops, value their lives!

Newsday -a shrink analyses Dubya Bush is dreaming and won't wake up

Dissociation is a more complicated defense mechanism than denial. It doesn't just pretend that reality isn't there. It replaces reality with a fantasy world. We dissociate when we daydream. But when we repeatedly live in our own world, we do so at our peril. A gambling addict buried in debt is sure that next time he is going to win, but he almost never does. Despite his wife's expressions of unhappiness, a husband believes he is in a good marriage, and is shocked when she announces she wants a divorce. A patient avoiding childhood memories of sexual abuse tells her therapist she had a happy childhood when it couldn't possibly have been.

We see evidence of the president's dissociation in his assessments of Iraq. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, he still maintains that Iraq is not in a civil war, but "in a difficult struggle against the insurgents." Long after his generals concluded that we are not succeeding there, he repeatedly declared "we are winning."

Last week, some Iraqi officials blamed the new U.S. strategy in Baghdad for the worst single suicide bombing in the war, at a Shia market in Baghdad. The Mahdi Army, the Shia militia, which had been deterring sectarian reprisals, was scattering before new U.S. troops arrived. Bush's response: "It's a good sign that there's a sense of concern and anxiety" about Baghdad security.

Such statements are not just political spin. Political spin is crafted to frame specific situations. Dissociation reveals itself in a persistent pattern of behavior. Present-day Iraq is hardly the only situation in which the president has dissociated. Lacking evidence of any link between Iraq and al-Qaida, the president insisted for years that the two were intimately connected.

Cleveland Elections chief in Ohio's largest county resigns (with more sure to follow-pp)

The embattled elections chief in the state's most populous county resigned Tuesday, ending a tense term that thrust Cuyahoga County into the national spotlight as it weathered a rough transition from punch-card to electronic voting.

The elections board announced the decision by executive director Michael Vu after a nearly two-hour closed-door meeting. Under Vu, the county had a botched primary election and saw the convictions of two workers who mishandled the 2004 presidential recount.

Random Quotes of the Day

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. --Will Rogers

Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.--Kurt Vonnegut

I'd rather be dead than singing "Satisfaction" when I'm forty-five. --Mick Jagger

Throughout the history of mankind there have been murderers and tyrants; and while it may seem momentarily that they have the upper hand, they have always fallen. Always.--Mahatma Ghandi