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:: 9.23.2006 ::  

Spy agencies say Iraq war worsens terrorism threat

A stark assessment of terrorism trends by U.S. intelligence agencies has found that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Read the summary of the NYTimes article on RawStory.

Thanks to Kevin for this one.

:: Deb 5:02 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Ayn Rand's wet dream: Iraq, post-"Freedom"

The Iraqi Year Zeroists made natural allies for the White House neoconservatives: Chalabi's seething hatred of the Baathist state fit nicely with the neocons' hatred of the state in general, and the two agendas effortlessly merged. Together, they came to imagine the invasion of Iraq as a kind of Rapture: where the rest of the world saw death, they saw birth—a country redeemed through violence, cleansed by fire. Iraq wasn't being destroyed by cruise missiles, cluster bombs, chaos, and looting; it was being born again. April 9, 2003, the day Baghdad fell, was Day One of Year Zero.
Read the rest in Harper's.

Thanks to Jon for the link. An oldie but goodie.

:: Deb 4:49 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 9.21.2006 ::  

Bill O'Reilly lies outright to Barbara Walters

Amazing. I guess after getting away with lying all the time on his show, he saw no problem with lying on someone else's.

c/o Bob Hawwis on Tom Tomowwo's blog.

:: Deb 1:44 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

"Life Targeting" Liberals

Yesterday, I came across this title: Conned: How Millions Went to Prison, Lost the Vote, and Helped Send George W. Bush to The White House
Between half and three-quarters of a million Floridians are voteless because of past felony convictions. Had 1 percent of these individuals voted in 2000, splitting sixty-forty for Gore, the Democrats would have won the White House.

...and this story:
Police in the United States made a record number of arrests in 2005 according to the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report. The 786,545 people arrested for marijuana violations made up 42.6 percent of all drug arrests, and more arrests the total number for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, and rape, robbery and assault.

...and then this book review in the Chronicle:
Republicans knew a good thing when they saw it, too. Smart business and church leaders were way ahead of them thanks to surveys such as the one in this book -- distributed en masse via new and improving technologies -- otherwise known as "Life Targeting." These business and church leaders knew it was a waste of time to preach to the sufficiently converted or the nonconvertible. What worked was tailoring messages to the people who were already on their side but just didn't know it yet. And these leaders were figuring out how.

Hence, Republicans developed their own Life Targeting strategies, which produced such detailed pictures of their subjects' habits that the Rove team was able to "predict with 80 to 90 percent certainty whether a person would vote Republican."

...and thought: Hmm. What if Karl Rove decided that a good way to help Bush win would be to take the vote away from as many liberals as possible, and that one way to do that is to incarcerate people who smoke pot?

Not that liberals are the only people who smoke pot, but it seems within the realm of possibility that while "Life Targeting" voters, he discovered that liberals are more likely to smoke pot than conservatives.

Or maybe I'm just being paranoid.

:: Deb 12:15 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 9.16.2006 ::  

Halliburton the Horrible

Heading to Baghdad airport, a fuel convoy turned into an inferno, and resulted in the largest single loss of American civilians in the Iraq war. Seven died and 26 were injured.
"I can only say that the escorts for my convoy expended 2,000 rounds of ammunition in a five mile period," the leader says, adding that he informed Halliburton KBR of the attack on his convoy.

And yet, KBR security coordinator Steve Pulley testified that none of his superiors put a stop to the fuel convoy.

"KBR security did their job that day, KBR security did their job that week, and KBR security was overruled," Pulley says.
"The executive responsible ... was under pressure" ... and "having that convoy proceed in the face of danger was one way to show improved performance," the letter says.

KBR denies the charges and says, like the Army, it should be immune from lawsuits. Yet, in a letter sent to Stannard just prior to the lawsuit, the company offers to help him receive the Army Defense of Freedom medal, but only if Stannard will agree to "release" KBR "from any and all claims." In essence, this means giving up any right to sue.

Emphasis added.
Full story here. Found on Fark.

:: Deb 4:13 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

"Evolution of Dance" rocks

I know it's been on YouTube for a while, but if you've already seen it, it's worth checking out again. If not, go see it now. Judson Laipply is one white man who CAN dance.

:: Deb 12:35 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Washington Post does it again, on Iran

A good catch by Jonathan Schwarz:
September 14, 2006
Leonard Downie Proudly Unveils Pitch-Perfect Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling Impression

Here's a story from page A17 of the Washington Post today, September 14, 2006:
Paper on Nuclear Aims Called Dishonest

U.N. inspectors investigating Iran's nuclear program angrily complained to the Bush administration and to a Republican congressman yesterday about a recent House committee report on Iran's capabilities, calling parts of the document "outrageous and dishonest" and offering evidence to refute its central claims...

"This is like prewar Iraq all over again," said David Albright, a former nuclear inspector...

Here's a story from page A18 of the Washington Post exactly four years ago this week, on September 19, 2002:
Experts Question if Tubes Were Meant for Weapons Program

A key piece of evidence in the Bush administration's case against Iraq is being challenged in a report by independent experts who question whether thousands of high-strength aluminum tubes recently sought by Iraq were intended for a secret nuclear weapons program...

Here's the Washington Post's Iraq mea culpa from August 11, 2004:
Prewar Articles Questioning Threat Often Didn't Make Front Page

..."The paper was not front-paging stuff," said Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks. "Administration assertions were on the front page. Things that challenged the administration were on A18 on Sunday or A24 on Monday"...

In retrospect, said Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., "we were so focused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we were not giving the same play to people who said it wouldn't be a good idea to go to war and were questioning the administration's rationale. Not enough of those stories were put on the front page. That was a mistake on my part."

Here's the famous Dudley Moore-Peter Cook sketch "The Frog and Peach":
INTERVIEWER: Do you feel you've learnt by your mistakes here?

SIR ARTHUR STREEB-GREEBLING: I think I have, yes, and I think I can probably repeat them almost perfectly.

Edited for clarity.

:: Deb 11:01 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 9.14.2006 ::  

Looking for cheaper gas?

Try this nifty tool on AAA's website.

:: Deb 5:27 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

A letter from Gen. Colin Powell to Sen. John McCain

An excerpt:
The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. To redefine Common Article 3 [of the Geneva Convention] would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk.
An excellent point, Gen. Powell.

Read this now.

Thanks to Kevin for the link.

His letter seems to have had quite an effect in the Senate - check it out.

:: Deb 3:46 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Judiciary Committe approves Surveillance Act

Specter, who called NSA's warrantless surveillance a "festering sore on our body politic," champions his bill, since it allows, but does nor require, the administration to submit the whole surveillance program to review by a secretive court. Specter says President Bush promised to submit the NSA program to the court, if the bill passes.
What what WHAT?! More in Wired.

:: Deb 3:34 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

RIP Ann Richards

"Poor George, he can't help it ... He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
She was referring to George, Sr., but the jibe rings just as true for W. More here.

:: Deb 2:01 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

From the Department of Redundancy Department

Great headline:

Ford to offer sweeping redundancy offer

Who gets paid to write this stuff?


:: Deb 1:45 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Olbermann's "Special Comment" on Bush and 9/11

"How dare you, Mr President...how dare you, or those around you, ever, spin 9/11."

- Keith Olbermann speaks truth to power on the fifth anniversary.

Well, I've never watched Olbermann's thing live, but maybe I should start....

:: Deb 1:20 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 9.09.2006 ::  

Speak out against ABC's "The Path to 9/11"

From PFAW:
“The Path to 9/11” – ABC’s factually challenged miniseries written by Rush Limbaugh’s friend Cyrus Nowrasteh – is catching a lot of well-deserved heat across the nation. The miniseries, which ABC erroneously claims is based on the 9/11 Commission Report, would give millions of Americans the impression that legal protections for civil liberties and liberal politicians were responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That message isn’t just wrong, it’s the linchpin of Karl Rove’s strategy for winning the mid-term election.

ABC has already decided to make tiny edits under pressure, but that’s not enough. We urge you to call ABC parent company Walt Disney President and CEO Robert Iger, using our automated tool, and voice your opinion.
Here's what I said:
Airing "The Path to 9/11" would dishonor the memories of the men and women who died that day, five years ago. It includes misrepresentations of key events leading up to the attacks, and does not address the Bush administration's lack of action on critical information received by them before the attacks occurred. Former Sen. Slade Gorton [R-WA], a 9-11 Commission member, specifically addressed and debunked the theory that Gorelick's memo prevented intelligence-sharing between the CIA and the FBI in an August 18, 2005, letter to the editor in The Washington Times. You can read it yourself at http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20050817-101757-6420r.htm

I recently saw "Mr Smith Goes to Washington" for the umpteenth time. While sappy, the basic principles of the movie still ring true today. You have a responsibility, as a member of the press, to faithfully represent the facts to the American public. Or are you part of the "Taylor machine"?
Please call ABC's Robert Iger right now!

:: Deb 10:14 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 9.06.2006 ::  

Freedom in wartime

"No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
-- James Madison, April 20, 1795

:: Deb 3:38 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

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