Subject to Change, version 2.0
I'm a goddamed liberal. Deal with it.

Subscribe to "Subject to Change, version 2.0" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

War News for Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bring 'em on: Thirty-eight Iraqis killed by seven car bombs in Baghdad.

Bring 'em on: Three US soldiers killed in fighting near Ramadi.

Bring 'em on: Seven insurgents killed in Baghdad street fighting.

Bring 'em on: Turkmen politician escapes assassination attempt in Kirkuk.

Bring 'em on: One Iraqi policeman killed, seven civilians wounded by car bomb near Tuz Khormato.

Bring 'em on: Two insurgents killed in premature detonation of tractor bomb near Tikrit.

Bring 'em on: US checkpoint near Ramadi attacked.

Bring 'em on: One Iraqi child killed, two wounded by roadside bomb near Baquba.

Early deployment. "Major units within the 1st Armored Division could be headed to Iraq earlier than expected. In January, soldiers received an official e-mail from 1st AD headquarters telling them to expect to deploy between Nov. 1, 2005 and January 2006. But 1st AD spokesman Maj. Michael Indovina said Tuesday that the 2nd Brigade Combat Team from Baumholder, Germany, now expects to deploy 'in the fall,' which he described as anytime between September and November. That could be up to two months earlier than previously reported… A Pentagon release in February listed Europe-based units that would deploy to Iraq, Afghanistan or Africa between April and January 2006. However, no 1st AD units were on that list. Another unit not on the list, the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion from Wiesbaden, left for Iraq last week. The unit left 'early,' Patton said, because they had been home for 10 months, not the full year most units get after a deployment."

At the moment in Baghdad, the power is off for four hours, then on for only two. Even those lucky enough to own generators struggle to find the power to run vital air conditioning units.

In the southern city of Basra there were protests about the situation this week.
The temperature there can rise to 50C with 98% humidity. It can be almost unbearable.

The Iraq budget for US-Aid alone, since the downfall of Saddam Hussein, has been more than $5bn. But most Iraqis simply have not seen a difference.
On one job creation project, there is a budget of $88m. It has paid for a series of training centres, like one I visited in the impoverished Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad.

I found trainers teaching Iraqis computer skills. In another room, two classes of women were learning to use Chinese-made sewing machines.
They are popular classes. But the day I visited, nothing was moving. The power was down once again.

Corruption Provisional Authority. "The inspector general monitoring reconstruction in Iraq told Congress yesterday that he has presented evidence of three potential fraud cases to federal prosecutors in Alexandria. The cases stem from an audit released last month that found that nearly $100 million intended for reconstruction projects in south-central Iraq could not be properly accounted for. The audit reported that criminal investigators were looking into the matter. Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, said publicly for the first time yesterday that his office gave the information to the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Bowen would not provide details of the cases, which have the potential to set precedents in the largely untested legal realm of crimes committed by U.S. civilians in Iraq."

Wanker of the Day. "It's unfortunate that we have lost 2.1 soldiers per day. It's also a terrible truth that more people are killed each day in America by automobiles. It might be better to keep a running account of the number of people killed in auto accidents over a period of two years than to keep a tally on soldiers killed. This is what we pay soldiers for--to protect American citizens and our freedom."

Walter L. Brown

Recruit pool. "Army recruiting quotas are not being met. Now, in this time of need, the nation's focus should rightfully focus on the clerics of the religious right: Dobson, Robertson, Falwell, Parsley, etc. Can they focus? Can they refocus? Can they get the job done? Perhaps many of these clerics are hesitant to focus on military recruiting because they are former unfocused draft-dodgers. They need to get past their unfocused youthful follies. They need to refocus their focus on military recruiting. According to religious-right reports (not propaganda), at least two to three million potential recruits have attended taxpayer-funded meetings, where they have 'signed' one of the most important of all pledges: No sex before marriage. These are ideal military recruits. Certainly, the clerics can make changes where the lady pledges can focus on appropriate gender-specific tasks under the focus of their natural masters. This clerical focus should focus exclusively on the Army and Marine Corps, where all the killing is focused. Let those other people (you know who I mean) populate the Navy and the Air Force." Link via Big Brass Blog.


It is nice that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his team feel as if they have achieved closure on their prisoner abuse issues and are ready to move on. The problem is, they are still in deep denial. The Bush administration has not only refused to face the problem squarely, but it is also enabling a pervasive lack of accountability.

The most recent evidence of this sad state of affairs came this week in an article in The New York Times by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, who reported that the Pentagon believes the Abu Ghraib scandal has receded enough in the public's mind that Rumsfeld is considering a promotion for Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, who was commander of American forces in Iraq at the time of the disaster.

We can see why Sanchez would expect a promotion; Bush has rewarded the people who drafted the policies that led to the illegal detention, abuse, humiliation and, ultimately, torture and even killing of prisoners at the hands of American military forces. A couple were nominated to the federal appeals court. One became attorney general. Rumsfeld still has his job.

And we feel Sanchez's pain. As the army's own investigation showed, he lacked the experience to command the forces in Iraq. Once given that job, he labored under Rumsfeld's obsession for waging war with too few troops inadequately equipped. For months, Bush and Rumsfeld were pretending the war was over, while Sanchez faced a mushrooming insurgency. He ordered his soldiers to start getting tough with prisoners to get intelligence.

Between the moment in late 2003 when I wrote "The Time of Withdrawal" and today, Iraq has, in fact, crept ever closer to some kind of civil war - it may already have begun; western Iraq has been transformed into a "haven" for terrorists and jihadis; American "credibility" has collapsed not just in the Middle East but globally; the Bush push for "democracy" does look embattled; and oil prices, which in 2003 were surely hovering around $30 a barrel, are now up at close to double that price, while Iraq is almost incapable of exporting significant amounts of oil and "instability" in the Gulf has risen significantly.

A similar situation played itself out in Vietnam back when nightmarish visions of what might happen if we withdrew ("the bloodbath") became so much a part of public debate that the bloodbath actually taking place in Vietnam was sometimes overshadowed by it. Prediction is a risky business. Terrible things might indeed happen if we withdrew totally from Iraq, or they might not; or they might - but not turn out to be the ones we've been dreaming about; or perhaps if we committed to departure in a serious way, the situation would actually ease. We don't know. That's the nature of the future. All we know at the moment, based on the past two years, is what is likely to happen if we stay - which is more and worse of the very nightmares we fear if we leave.

The most essential problem in such thinking is the belief that, if we just hang in there long enough, the US will be capable of solving the Iraqi crisis. That is inconceivable, since the US presence is now planted firmly at the heart of the crisis to be solved.

One guarantee: the Bush administration won't hesitate to deploy such fantasies of future disaster to paralyze present thinking and planning. Expect it. And it will be all too easy to take our eyes off this disastrous moment and enter their world of grim future dreams. After all, they already live in a kind of ruling fantasy world. They step to the podium regularly, their hands dipped in blood, call it wine or nectar, and insist that the rest of the world drink. They will be eager to trade in their best future nightmares so that the present nightmare can continue. (They argue, by the way, for the use of torture, under whatever name, in quite a similar fashion, proposing future nightmares - let's say we held a terrorist who had knowledge of an impending nuclear explosion in a major American city and you only had two hours to get that information from him, what would you do? - in order to justify the ongoing horrors at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram Air Base and other places.)

Downing Street Memos

Although Blair and Bush still insist the decision to go to the U.N. was about averting war, one memo states that it was, in fact, about "wrong-footing" Hussein into giving them a legal justification for war.

British officials hoped the ultimatum could be framed in words that would be so unacceptable to Hussein that he would reject it outright. But they were far from certain this would work, so there was also a Plan B.

American media coverage of the Downing Street memo has largely focused on the assertion by Sir Richard Dearlove, head of British foreign intelligence, that war was seen as inevitable in Washington, where "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

But another part of the memo is arguably more important. It quotes British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon as saying that "the U.S. had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime." This we now realize was Plan B.

Put simply, U.S. aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone were dropping a lot more bombs in the hope of provoking a reaction that would give the allies an excuse to carry out a full-scale bombing campaign, an air war, the first stage of the conflict.

British government figures for the number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq in 2002 show that although virtually none were used in March and April, an average of 10 tons a month were dropped between May and August.

But these initial "spikes of activity" didn't have the desired effect. The Iraqis didn't retaliate. They didn't provide the excuse Bush and Blair needed. So at the end of August, the allies dramatically intensified the bombing into what was effectively the initial air war.

The number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq by allied aircraft shot up to 54.6 tons in September alone, with the increased rates continuing into 2003.

In other words, Bush and Blair began their war not in March 2003, as everyone believed, but at the end of August 2002, six weeks before Congress approved military action against Iraq.

Like many of you, during the entire lead-up to the war with Iraq, I thought the whole thing was a set-up. I raise this point not to prove how smart we are but to emphasize that I followed the debate closely and probably unconsciously searched for evidence that reinforced what I already thought. Most people do that.

I read some of the European press and most of the liberal publications in this country. I read the Times, the Post, The Wall Street Journal and several Texas papers every day. It's my job.

But when I read the first Downing Street memo, my eyes bugged out and my jaw fell open. It was news to me, and as I have tried to indicate, I'm no slouch at keeping up. Yes, it has long seemed to me that the administration had been planning the war for months before it began its public relations campaign to scare a skeptical public.

That was no easy task. Public opinion was still evenly divided at the time we invaded. The administration actually said it could invade another country without even consulting Congress or the United Nations. Pretty much everything that followed was a charade.

Consequences: "A young boy, his left leg missing from below the knee, sat on the sidewalk near a mangled bicycle, screaming as a man tried to comfort him. The force of the blasts blew off store shutters, and the surrounding sidewalks were covered with debris, including shattered glass, concrete slabs and charred vegetables and fruit."

Casualty Reports

Local story: Indiana soldier killed in Iraq.

Local story: Tennessee soldier killed in Iraq.

Local story: Connecticut soldier killed in Iraq. By (yankeedoodle).

[Today in Iraq]
9:02:21 PM    

What Durbin should've said.

Trib columnist Eric Zorn, one of the best in the biz:
Not that I'm applying for the job or anything, but here is what Durbin should have said Tuesday:

"It's come to my attention that the mayor of the largest city in my home state raged at a news conference earlier today that I said our soldiers `in Guantanamo Bay are Nazis.'

"I'm surprised. Though Mayor Daley can't even pronounce Guantanamo--he says it `Gwa-ta-mahn-o.' And even though he blithely presided over the Cook County state's attorney's office during the biggest police-torture scandal in Chicago's history. And even though he mistily invoked `what America's all about' at the news conference in which he announced a `presumed guilty' program of posting photos on the Internet of people arrested but not yet convicted in prostitution stings.

"Still, I thought he'd be able to see through the false logic and deceptive paraphrases offered by my critics and focus his concern where it belongs: On what FBI reports say is being done to prisoners at Gwan-tahn-a-mo in the name of the United States of America:

"These reports describe detainees `chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. ... shaking with cold. ... [or] made unbearably hot.'

"As I said last week, quoting Colin Powell: The use of such bestial interrogation techniques will `reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice ... undermine the protections of the law of war for our own troops ... [and] undermine public support among critical allies, making military cooperation more difficult to sustain.'

"It is immoral, ineffective and un-American for us to torture prisoners. The America I believe in has long been the world's beacon for human rights and dignity; for fairness and due process of law. T

"The America I believe in is better than the America on display in our overseas prisons. The America I believe in inspires rather than disgusts the international community.

"If anything I said caused you to believe that I was equating American soldiers with Nazis or equating American leaders with Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot, then you are an idiot.

"I said nothing of the kind.

"I said that our mistreatment of wartime prisoners is of the sort you'd expect to see in a brutal, totalitarian dictatorship, not in a nation that has long congratulated itself on its exceptionally high standards of liberty and law.

"It's a troubling similarity. It's a warning that we're slipping.

"But it's not--duh!--even close to an across-the-board assertion of equivalence.

"Hey, I'm sorry I played 'the Hitler card.' It always inflames, distracts and confuses, and it never convinces. In this case, it let opportunists ignore my main point and gasbag instead about my unnecessarily overwrought metaphor and the many, obvious ways in which America is not Nazi Germany.

"But if you expect me to come before you and bite my quivering lips as I apologize to those who were spun into a dudgeon by the contemptible effort to draw attention from these infamous allegations, you'll be disappointed.

"I will not babble out a mewling defense of my patriotism to those with the vile audacity to have questioned it.

There's more.

 [Daily Kos]
8:56:20 PM    

It's Time To Stand.

I am not one of the people who feels Karl Rove is a political genius. I think he’s a talented political operative with a good dose of luck on his side. That said, does anyone believe the flag amendment and his attack on the Democrats just happened out of coincidence? Rove’s legacy will be tied [...]

[Oliver Willis]
8:54:58 PM    

Karl Rove: Decoy for Downing Street.

I'm tired, heartsick, and cranky so I'm going to be very blunt and more than a little profane. The news for the next few days will all be about what Karl Rove meant in his recent speech. Did he really mean that all liberals are traitors? Is it really a philosophical difference about how to pursue terrorists? Does it compare with what Dick Durbin said? I'd bet that the Republicans timed this massive "liberals are traitors" blitzkrieg as soon as Durbin spoke that unpleasant truth on the Senate floor. They believed it gave them a license to tell pretty much...

[Paperwight's Fair Shot]
8:53:38 PM    

Okay, it's a little off color but what the hell?

Here's your smile for today, just in case you haven't found one yet.

 Three women, one German, one Japanese and a Hillbilly, were sitting naked in a sauna. Suddenly there was a beeping sound. The German pressed her forearm and the beep stopped. The others looked at her questioningly. "That was my pager", she said. "I have a microchip under the skin of my arm.". A few minutes later, a phone rang...

By (Pissed_Off_Patricia).

8:42:06 PM    

DSM Updates.

While the right continues to pretend that the Downing Street Memo means nothing, it seems to be getting an awful lot of attention... even negative attention is attention... Watergate started as a trickle.

- Scott Ritter suggests that the war in Iran has already started, much like the war in Iraq started before it was declared. Interesting read.

 - Robert Steinbeck of the Miami Herald suggests...

By (BlondeSense Liz).

8:39:36 PM    

Folks, it doesn't get any better than this.

'An honest conversation' by Steve Gilliard .

 It's honest and it's real.

Warning, you may cry.
By (Pissed_Off_Patricia).

8:38:27 PM    

Local Governments May Seize Homes and Businesses.

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses - even against their will - for private economic development. It was a decision fraught with huge implications for a country with many areas, particularly the rapidly growing urban and suburban areas, facing countervailing pressures of development and property ownership rights. The 5-4 ruling...

By (Pissed_Off_Patricia).

8:36:19 PM    

Suicide in Iowa follows combat death in Iraq

How many more serve, how many more wounded how many

more dead?

Soldier shaken by death of brother ends own life



June 23, 2005

Distraught over his older brother's death in Iraq and his own deployment this fall to the war zone, Justin "Paul" Byers purposely stepped in front of a pickup truck Monday night, ending his own life, officials said.

About an hour before Sgt. Casey Byers' funeral began Wednesday morning, Crawford County's medical examiner said he had ruled Justin Byers' death a suicide.
Casey Byers, 22, who died June 11, will become the first Iowan killed in Iraq to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C.

During Wednesday's funeral for Casey Byers in Denison, an Iowa Army National Guard official read a statement 19-year-old Justin had written about his brother.

"I will not lie to you - I was always fighting with my brother and we never got along. My mom said we fought so much because we were very much alike," wrote Justin, who could have avoided going into combat because of his brother's death.

Justin, whose family lives in Schleswig, wrote that he would not cry for Casey because he knew his older brother was proud of what he died for. But Justin Byers, who was the family's spokesman following his brother's death, expressed regret that he never got to say goodbye to Casey or apologize for all the fighting.

"Yes, Casey, I'm exactly like you," Justin wrote.

This family lost two sons in about 10 days.

Both should have had their lives ahead of them.

Now they are only memories.

So, does anyone want to explain how this family can make this sacrifice, while they, who support the war in Washington, do not. How this is resereved for the unlucky, ambitious and poor? And don't think a draft would make any difference, it wouildn't. The rich and powerful have usually shirked service. If we cannot win this war, why are we still fighting it? How many more men and women will die for this horrible mistake, their patriotism and service misused by lazy, indifferent, cowardly men.
[The News Blog]
8:32:44 PM    

Wanted: A Democrat with Cojones.

“Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year?” Mr. Rove asked. “Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater...

8:30:24 PM    

Dear Democrats,.

So Dick Durbin apologized for his remarks on Gitmo. Isn't that just soooooo nice? You spineless wimps. You absolutely worthless pieces of crap. Durbin spoke truth. And nobody — not a single prominent Democrat — stepped up to the plate...

8:29:27 PM    

Holy Moley, Batman!.

 Rescued from Page 10 of today’s New York Times: A new classified assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency says Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda’s early...

8:28:43 PM    

Rumsfeld vs. Rumsfeld (I Can't Stand It! Department).

I'll stop calling the Bush administration Orwellian when they stop using 1984 as an operations manual:

ThinkProgress: RUMSFELD: "We know for a fact, I know for a fact that no one in the Administration lied about weapons of mass destruction." -- Fox News Radio,

6/21/05 VERSUS RUMSFELD: We know where they [Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction] are. The're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat. -- ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos,


 [Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal]
8:01:38 PM    

Karl Rove's slander — The Complete Transcript.

Reasonable people throughout the political world are outraged at Karl Rove's outrageous remarks last night, which politicized 9/11 and slandered half the country. The calls for Rove to either apologize or resign his position at the White House are clearly justified.

But what, exactly, did he say, and what was the full context? It seems the [...]

[The Carpetbagger Report]
7:59:06 PM    

Hey, you guys fighting in the 42nd ID, honorary Republicans

Wow, let's spit on the dead some more.

Pataki calls Sen. Clinton 'hypocritical', rejects demand he repudiate Rove remarks

In response, Pataki said Clinton hadn't voiced similar outrage over recent controversial comments from Democrats, including national chairman Howard Dean's disparaging remarks about Republicans and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin's invocation of Nazis and Soviet gulags in a speech about the U.S. military installation at Guantanamo Bay.

"I think it's a little hypocritical of Senator Clinton to call on me to repudiate a political figure's comments when she never asked Senator Durbin to repudiate his comments," Pataki said.

"Senator Clinton might think about her propensity to allow outrageous statements from the other side that are far beyond political dialogue -- insulting every Republican, comparing our soldiers to Nazis or Soviet gulag guards -- and never protesting when she serves with them," Pataki said.

Michael Long, chairman of the state Conservative Party, called Rove's speech "excellent" and said the Democrats' criticism only proved Rove correct.


Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged both sides to cool their rhetoric, saying, "We owe it to those we lost to keep partisan politics out of the discussion and keep alive the united spirit that came out of 9/11." New York state Democratic chairman Herman Farrell said the Republican mayor's "utter failure to repudiate Karl Rove's ugly and divisive comments demonstrates yet again that he is willing to put his loyalty to the White House ahead of his commitment to New York.

I hope 9/11 families and the survivors remember this, as well as those with family members serving in combat.

Remember how that turd Pataki sat there and laughed while Karl Rove stood there and insulted New York. Notice how Mike Bloomberg won't say dick either. While your sons are fighting and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq, that little bastard impuned their patriotism and service to their country. Immigrants, first responders, men who walked away from careers, without consideration of politics, but were among the few who answer the call of their country. Karl Rove just slandered them as Mike Long and George Pataki laughed.

Rove who has never served anyone but his wallet, thinks its funny to mock American fighting men. We need to remind Mr. Rove and his bosses that an entire division of New Yorkers, democrats and republicans, independents and right to life, are serving in Iraq. I don't think the 9 men who died within a week in the 69th Regiment were thinking about politics. They were New York Guardsmen and they were serving their country.

Ask Pataki when his kids are planning to join the Guard in Iraq, he thinks it's so funny, or is avoiding service in time of war a family tradition.

Because Rove's comments are not about mere offense. He has insulted those who died on 9/11, those who worked at Ground Zero and those serving in combat And we need to ask him and those who refuse to repudiate what he said, why they think the couirage and bravery of New Yorkers is defined by party enrollment.

I think Mr. Rove will find the reaction to his comments to be far harsher than he expects.

[The News Blog]
7:56:56 PM    

Shakespeare's Sister Roars!

Go read it!

Sir, you have orchestrated one of the great disappointments of my lifetime. No one has done more to divide this country and turn people with different ideas against each other than you, and not only have you made being the ugly American fashionable, but you have turned being the ugly American into a political movement to be used against other Americans.

But I've got news for you, buster. I'm an American, try as you might to marginalize, demonize, or silence me. Short of throwing me out on my ass, there's nothing you can do to make that untrue, as much as you'd like it not to be. I'm a progressive, I'm a voter, and I'm an American. And all your vitriolic rhetoric from here to eternity won't change that. So I win.


By (Shakespeare's Sister).

[Shakespeare's Sister]
7:46:02 PM    

Raw: Congressman's $2.5 million mansion bought after deal with defense contractor.

[The Raw Story | A rational voice - Alternative news]
7:34:19 PM    

GOP candidate calls Bush Admin. 'Nazis'.

[The Raw Story | A rational voice - Alternative news]
7:33:29 PM    

Karl Rove, Traitor.
Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. [...]

Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.

-- Karl Rove

"I just got off the phone with Karl Rove, who said your wife was fair game."

-- MSNBC host Chris Matthews, in a phone call to Ambassador Joseph Wilson after the exposure of Wilson's wife as an undercover CIA operative.

If there is one person in America that should shy away from making declarations about the motives of liberals, it is Karl Rove. We still do not know who, in the Plame case, committed the initial crime of "outing" the identity of a CIA agent working undercover on weapons of mass destruction. But we do know who took point on gaining maximum exposure of that information, by "shopping" it to a wide selection of perceived-friendly conservative news figures in an attempt to make the results as widespread and damaging as possible.

That person was Karl Rove, and the goal was to use the criminal exposure of an American agent as Republican political capital for the White House. The exposure was from that point on coordinated as a means of punishment against a political opponent -- and as a very public warning against any other American officials or intelligence agents that might come forward with opinions that conflicted with the Bush Administration statements in the runup to the Iraq War.

The complicity of media figures such as Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, and the execrable Robert Novak (who has shared a long and storied history benefitting from Rove-provided leaks) was reason enough for most media outlets to treat the story delicately, though it did get play (even, hilariously, from some of the media figures that refused to acknowledge their own roles while gamely interviewing others about the leaks.) But there's nothing delicate about the story.

After the catastrophic destruction of 9/11 in New York City and Washington, during a time of war, during ongoing operations in Afghanistan, during fevered investigations into the possibility of al-Qaeda or other terrorist cells gaining access to weapons of mass destruction, members of the Bush Administration chose to "out" a deep-cover agent working against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in retailation for a perceived political slight by her husband. In the process of the outing, the Administration destroyed the cover of the energy company she ostensibly worked for, ended her covert career, and endangered every foreign source and contact that she and her fellow agents had been involved with.

It was, unambiguously, an act of treason in a time of war. And one that Bush Administration officials intentionally inflicted upon her, and upon the country. And one that Karl Rove, White House political director, played a key and unapologetic role in. Whether or not Rove was the original source of the leak to Novak himself, it is astonishing that we live in a political climate where politically piggybacking off such a crime is not considered a fireable offense. Such is the nature of the Bush White House.

We do not know who the original leaker was, in the Plame case, for one simple reason: the White House has chosen to block investigation of the matter. Phone records from the offices in question are easily obtainable; the numbers of individuals with access to the information number perhaps in the half-dozen range; the President himself could, in the interest of national security, demand of his staff that they expose the leaker. Instead, the President has "lawyered up", and presented the country with hollow-eyed, slackjawed silence in the whole affair. With each passing revelation, it becomes more clear that there were a host of senior administration officials tasked with retribution against intelligence analysts and agencies who dared go against the Bush Administration "preferred" analyses of Iraq.

In one of the many ironies of the Plame case, Plame herself was transferred back to Washington D.C. in 1997, where she met Wilson, for fears her cover had been blown by double agent Aldrich Ames. As it turned out, Ames didn't out her.

But members of the Bush Administration, seeking payback against her "Democrat" husband, did.

Karl Rove knows all about putting American troops, and American citizens, in danger. And for that, he deserves a contempt beyond that which it is possible for mere words to describe.

...according to the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, leaking the name of an undercover agent is also a federal crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, under certain circumstances. When tv commentator Chris Matthews asked Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie if he thought such a leak made by government officials was "worse than Watergate," Gillespie replied, "Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real-world implications of it."

-- Vanity Fair, January 2004

[Daily Kos]
7:31:21 PM    

Killing soldiers. Sometimes, pithy is best.

For the record, my motives aren't to get more troops killed. If those were my motives I'd ship them off to a war on false pretenses without sufficient equipment to keep them safe.

Liberals aren't killing our troops. I'll give that credit to the war cheerleaders who couldn't give two shits about the lack of armor for our forces in Iraq, or about the lies that put them there for no discernable reason. The same people who couldn't care whether this administration has a victory strategy, or whether we have the manpower to fight the war effectively.

American politics has reached a new low these past two three days. And given the desperation of the war cheerleaders, it's only going to get worse. It's the only way they can cover their spectacular failures.

The best way to tell the anti-war folks to fuck off would be to succeed. Pacify Afghanistan. Defeat the insurgency in Iraq. Destroy Al Qaida.

But that would require a level of competence utterly and completely absent in this administration.

(John Cole is on a tear today, including this gem calling bullshit on Rove.)

[Daily Kos]

7:30:23 PM    

From the Rude Pundit's kind and giving lips to your ears.

Word: Tell you what: when someone makes it illegal for so-called patriots to keep flying their ripped up, fucked up, bug-corpse encrusted, car-adorning flags that they discovered they loved on about September 12, 2001, then we'll fuckin' talk. (Confidential to...

7:27:59 PM    

Hot Karl.
Crooks and Liars has the video of Rove's bloviating here. Keep a barfbag handy.

By (Shakespeare's Sister).

[Shakespeare's Sister]
7:26:58 PM    

Nellie B: A Painful Omission

Granted, covering annual meetings of big organizations is a big, boring job, and pretty much everything that happens is already in the presskit, just awaiting a few more quotes and a quick rewrite. But, by golly, there was some actual news percolating at the American Medical Association's annual meeting in Chicago, and practically everybody missed it. (Thanks to The News Blog.)

While the AP headlined "AMA to Seek Limits on Tanning, Video Games," The Chicago Tribune did a little better by telling its readers: "The American Medical Association voted Monday to put its weight behind legislative initiatives around the United States that would require pharmacies to fill legally valid prescriptions in the wake of recently publicized refusals by pharmacists opposed to dispensing the morning-after contraceptive."

But the problem actually goes well beyond that, reports MedPage Today in its story "AMA: Physicians Charge Pharmacists With Interference in Medical Care":

"It's not just contraceptives," said Mary Frank, M.D., a family physician from Mill Valley, Calif., during a discussion of the issue. "It's pain medications and psychotropics. And not only are the patients not getting prescriptions filled, but pharmacists are refusing to return the prescriptions and they are lecturing the patients about the drugs."

Excuse me? Pharmacists are denying patients needed pain relief and mental-health medication prescribed by their doctors? And nobody is covering this? Well, NPR did have a brief item, but I've been unable to find any followup coverage on either the veracity or the depth of the problem. Sure, chronic pain is significantly less sexy than contraception -- or tanning beds and video games, for that matter -- but it might actually be a little bit newsworthy. Ya think?

- Nellie B

 [The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
3:44:09 PM    

David Sirota: Fighting Corporate Welfare: Where Left & Right Agree

Check out this fascinating post over at Facing South - a conservative legal group is suing the state of North Carolina over the awarding of a massive taxpayer giveaway to Corporate America. Fighting these kinds of handouts to already-wealthy corporations is a place where progressives and conservatives can join forces against the bought-off "centrists" who dominate the political Establishment.

Make no mistake about it - this is not some small problem. Federal and state governments literally give away billions of dollars every year to huge corporations - even as those same governments plead poverty in funding critical health care and education programs. The same politicians who attack welfare, pass policies opening up the floodgate to corporate welfare. And that has to stop.

- David Sirota [The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
3:34:08 PM    

Hillary Corners Rummy Over Rove
Senator Hillary Clinton put Rumsfeld in a corner today during the Senate Armed Services hearing over Karl Rove's comments saying Democrats didn't understand the 9/11 attacks.Senator Clinton: .... I hope Mr. Secretary you would agree that Democrats and Republicans, people of every political belief and none at all, united after the 9/11 attacks on our nation and that has been especially evident here...

- canuk

3:31:16 PM    

Marine blames 50-cent beer for Japan rape.

Marine gets 15 years for rape in Okinawa, Japan; Blames cheap beer.

[The Raw Story | A rational voice - Alternative news]
11:34:55 AM    

General: Iraq rebels not in 'last throes'.

 Top U.S. general in Persian Gulf disputes Cheney's assertion insurgency dying.

[The Raw Story | A rational voice - Alternative news]
11:34:07 AM    

Rove: Liberals 'didn't get' 9/11.

Dems demand apology; Rove on Downing Street: Brits were wrong.

[The Raw Story | A rational voice - Alternative news]
11:33:21 AM    

I misunderestimated him.

Just when you think Karl Rove can't morph into an even larger asshole, he goes and opens his yapper.

NEW YORK - Speaking in a ballroom just a few miles north of ground zero, Karl Rove said the Democratic party did not understand the consequences of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Rove said Wednesday night. "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

Karl, you ignorant slut.

In case you forgot, even though you were standing in the frigging city just a few miles away from the site of the tragedy, 9/11 occured in one of the most liberal cities and states in America, if not *the* most liberal. New York City is Democrat. Always has been; always will be.

You were NOT there on 9/11. I was. I was standing in the street watching when the towers went down. I inhaled those buildings and those dead people for weeks afterwards.

I have never, ever felt the strength of the American people like I did that day, and the weeks following. We pulled together as a community. We fought back in the best way we could: By offering support and compassion to our fellow New Yorkers. I was goddamned proud to be an American.

And what did you do? I'm not exactly sure, you didn't show your weasely face anywhere that day, but I'm willing to bet you hid under the frigging bed and wet your fatass dockers.

We were not Democrat, Republican, Liberal or Conservative that day. We were New Yorkers, and we were Americans. We were united.

I know that idea is completely fucking foriegn to you.

YOU saw 9/11 as an opportunity to sleaze every unctious, despicable plan you and your cronies had on the back burner into American life. YOU saw 9/11 as a way to play on America's fears to attack the wrong country. YOU saw 9/11 as a way to keep Americans afraid, obedient, and ready to look the other way while you destroyed everything that America stands for.

You see 9/11 as an opportunity to divide Americans. You took the horrible event that could have finally united us as a country, and made it your own personal wrecking ball.

And as for the "consequences of 9/11?"

"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

The wrong war. A war built on lies and deciet. A war against a country that never attacked us, while you let the attackers escape. Attackers that you have never pursued, never made a true attempt to locate, and in the words of your own boss, "Don't think that much about."

I see the consequences of 9/11 every day when I watch the death count in Iraq click closer to 2000 American soldiers, and 30,000 civilian deaths.

I see the consequences of 9/11 when I see how your actions have destroyed every bit of goodwill and American support that we gained on that day.

All you saw on 9/11 was death.

And the deaths you saw were not the people that died in the twin towers, nor the Pentagon. Any sympathy you offer to the victims and their families is a hollow lie.

All you saw on that day were the deaths of the people you could now slaughter in the future.

"No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals," Rove said.

No more needs to be said about the motives of conservatives.

Death and Greed.

Racism and Fear.

And more goddamned Lies.

Update: We're not taking this shit lying down.

More Update: Go read Erratum's post for more.

Even More Update: LabKat says it short 'n sweet.

(No cross-post gag. I'm just too disgusted, angry and sad about this.) By (Paul the Spud).

[Shakespeare's Sister]
11:29:57 AM    

I coulda DIED!

A suggestion: don't read this story while trying to eat raisin bran. I like to choked.

- PZ Myers (

9:13:31 AM    

Better to Light a Novelty Candle Than to Curse the Coulter

Ann is still going on about how the detainees at Gitmo were served lemon chicken. Won't somebody please feed the woman so she can stop obsessing about this?

And here's her latest contribution to the raising the level of discourse: more torture humor!

In the interests of helping my country, I have devised a compact set of torture guidelines for Guantanamo.

It's not torture if:

  • The same acts performed on a live stage have been favorably reviewed by Frank Rich of the New York Times;
  • Andrew Sullivan has ever solicited it from total strangers on the Internet;
  • You can pay someone in New York to do it to you;
  • Karen Finley ever got a federal grant to do it;
  • It's comparable to the treatment U.S. troops received in basic training;
  • It's no worse than the way airlines treat little girls in pigtails flying to see Grandma.

We could point out some examples of documented prisoner abuse, and ask which airlines have done that kind of stuff to pigtailed girls, but we don't think that it would be good for our blood pressure (and it sure won't cause Ann to see the error of her ways, and admit that she's a vile, loathsome, despicable twit). So, instead we'll merely point out how amazing we find it that Ann and her ilk keep missing the fundamental difference between consensual and nonconsensual acts -- and yet, how irate they get when somebody tosses a bakery item at them. Therefore, in the interests of helping Ann, we have devised a compact set of guidelines.

It's not assault if:

There are fetish sites dedicated to it on the internet.

You can't threaten to have your bodyguard shoot somebody for doing it if:

If it happened to Mabel Normand, and she didn't get to kill anybody.

You haven't been "physically attacked" if:

Most people consider such acts funny. (And you weren't even hit.)

You can't claim that liberals tried to "sucker punch" you if:

It's comparable to what happened to Laurel and Hardy and the Three Stooges hundreds of times.

You can't whine about how the D.A. dropped the case against your assailants if:

A. You didn't show up to be a complaining witness at the trial; and

B. Nobody arrested Mary Ann and Ginger for doing something similar on "The Real Gilligan's Island."

I hope Ann finds this helpful.

[World O'Crap]
9:06:44 AM    

The sanctity of marriage.

 Michael Schiavo angered his late wife's family Monday by not notifying them about the burial beforehand and by inscribing on her bronze grave marker the words "I kept my promise." Schiavo, who said he promised his wife he would...

8:23:42 AM    

Coming soon to a school near you The intelligent design of whales:

- PZ Myers ( [Pharyngula]
8:22:50 AM    

US 'stalling UN Guantanamo visit'.

 UN investigators accuse the US of foot dragging over human rights checks at Guantanamo Bay.

[BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]
8:21:42 AM    

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2005 Michael Mussington.
Last update: 7/1/2005; 6:37:37 AM.
June 2005
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    
May   Jul