Saturday, September 30, 2006

Their Moral Compass

Congressional leadership “knew for months about e-mail traffic between Representative Mark Foley and a former teenage page, but kept the matter secret and allowed Mr. Foley to remain head of a Congressional caucus on children’s issues.”

Here's more typical repuke hypocrisy from the party of deviant pedophiles.

Also found on the web:
“It’s vile,” said Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach. “It’s more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction.” — Talking about Bill Clinton — 1998
Think Progress offers an excellent rebuttal to the repukes' comparison of this to Clinton:
"President Clinton had a consensual relationship with an adult. The fact that it was an extramarital affair was virtually unanimously condemned by members of both parties."
One more thing: Right-wingers always insist that Clinton's impeachment had nothing to do with the Lewinski affair. Now, Fox news, the mouthpiece of the republican party and the right wing ministry of propaganda, finally admits that it did.

Friday, September 29, 2006

In Case I Disappear

In Case I Disappear,
by William Rivers Pitt

I have been told a thousand times at least, in the years I have spent reporting on the astonishing and repugnant abuses, lies and failures of the Bush administration, to watch my back. "Be careful," people always tell me. "These people are capable of anything. Stay off small planes, make sure you aren't being followed." A running joke between my mother and me is that she has a "safe room" set up for me in her cabin in the woods, in the event I have to flee because of something I wrote or said.

I always laughed and shook my head whenever I heard this stuff. Extreme paranoia wrapped in the tinfoil of conspiracy, I thought. This is still America, and these Bush fools will soon pass into history, I thought. I am a citizen, and the First Amendment hasn't yet been red-lined, I thought.

Matters are different now.

It seems, perhaps, that the people who warned me were not so paranoid. It seems, perhaps, that I was not paranoid enough. Legislation passed by the Republican House and Senate, legislation now marching up to the Republican White House for signature, has shattered a number of bedrock legal protections for suspects, prisoners, and pretty much anyone else George W. Bush deems to be an enemy.

So much of this legislation is wretched on the surface. Habeas corpus has been suspended for detainees suspected of terrorism or of aiding terrorism, so the Magna Carta-era rule that a person can face his accusers is now gone. Once a suspect has been thrown into prison, he does not have the right to a trial by his peers. Suspects cannot even stand in representation of themselves, another ancient protection, but must accept a military lawyer as their defender.

Illegally-obtained evidence can be used against suspects, whether that illegal evidence was gathered abroad or right here at home. To my way of thinking, this pretty much eradicates our security in persons, houses, papers, and effects, as stated in the Fourth Amendment, against illegal searches and seizures.

Speaking of collecting evidence, the torture of suspects and detainees has been broadly protected by this new legislation. While it tries to delineate what is and is not acceptable treatment of detainees, in the end, it gives George W. Bush the final word on what constitutes torture. US officials who use cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment to extract information from detainees are now shielded from prosecution.

It was two Supreme Court decisions, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, that compelled the creation of this legislation. The Hamdi decision held that a prisoner has the right of habeas corpus, and can challenge his detention before an impartial judge. The Hamdan decision held that the military commissions set up to try detainees violated both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions.

In short, the Supreme Court wiped out virtually every legal argument the Bush administration put forth to defend its extraordinary and dangerous behavior. The passage of this legislation came after a scramble by Republicans to paper over the torture and murder of a number of detainees. As columnist Molly Ivins wrote on Wednesday, "Of the over 700 prisoners sent to Gitmo, only 10 have ever been formally charged with anything. Among other things, this bill is a CYA for torture of the innocent that has already taken place."

It seems almost certain that, at some point, the Supreme Court will hear a case to challenge the legality of this legislation, but even this is questionable. If a detainee is not allowed access to a fair trial or to the evidence against him, how can he bring a legal challenge to a court? The legislation, in anticipation of court challenges like Hamdi and Hamdan, even includes severe restrictions on judicial review over the legislation itself.

The Republicans in Congress have managed, at the behest of Mr. Bush, to draft a bill that all but erases the judicial branch of the government. Time will tell whether this aspect, along with all the others, will withstand legal challenges. If such a challenge comes, it will take time, and meanwhile there is this bill. All of the above is deplorable on its face, indefensible in a nation that prides itself on Constitutional rights, protections and the rule of law.

Underneath all this, however, is where the paranoia sets in.

Underneath all this is the definition of "enemy combatant" that has been established by this legislation. An "enemy combatant" is now no longer just someone captured "during an armed conflict" against our forces. Thanks to this legislation, George W. Bush is now able to designate as an "enemy combatant" anyone who has "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States."

Consider that language a moment. "Purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States" is in the eye of the beholder, and this administration has proven itself to be astonishingly impatient with criticism of any kind. The broad powers given to Bush by this legislation allow him to capture, indefinitely detain, and refuse a hearing to any American citizen who speaks out against Iraq or any other part of the so-called "War on Terror."

If you write a letter to the editor attacking Bush, you could be deemed as purposefully and materially supporting hostilities against the United States. If you organize or join a public demonstration against Iraq, or against the administration, the same designation could befall you. One dark-comedy aspect of the legislation is that senators or House members who publicly disagree with Bush, criticize him, or organize investigations into his dealings could be placed under the same designation. In effect, Congress just gave Bush the power to lock them up.

By writing this essay, I could be deemed an "enemy combatant." It's that simple, and very soon, it will be the law. I always laughed when people told me to be careful. I'm not laughing anymore.

In case I disappear, remember this. America is an idea, a dream, and that is all. We have borders and armies and citizens and commerce and industry, but all this merely makes us like every other nation on this Earth. What separates us is the idea, the simple idea, that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our organizing principles. We can think as we please, speak as we please, write as we please, worship as we please, go where we please. We are protected from the kinds of tyranny that inspired our creation as a nation in the first place.

That was the idea. That was the dream. It may all be over now, but once upon a time, it existed. No good idea ever truly dies. The dream was here, and so was I, and so were you.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Remember Bush Gave the Taliban $43 million

With all the hubub recently about which president did a better job of trying to kill Osma Bin Laden, it is rather important to remember that, several months prior to “9/11”, Bush gave the Taliban $43 million dollars. I had a longer, more eloquent post to acompany this, but in light of current events, I'll just stop here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Watch your backs, my friends...

...because the days of free-speech blogging may have finally have come to a close. We all knew it was coming, but it is still sad to see it happen. The US Government, and the Republican party in particular, has decided to authorize tyrannical power for itself. It will now have the power to imprison anyone it wants to, for whatever reason it dreams up, for as long as it wants to, without ever having to charge them with a crime, without the right to a trial, and they can be taken anywhere and tortured to death without anyone answering to anyone for anything. That is the America that "conservatives" want. A tyrannical, Soviet-style dictatorship where all dissent is crushed and the omnipotent state rules with an iron fist. They want to keep us in line with fear and ignorance. Mostly fear.
Vice President Dick Cheney and his willing lawmakers rewrote the rest of the measure so that it would give Mr. Bush the power to jail pretty much anyone he wants for as long as he wants without charging them, to unilaterally reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, to authorize what normal people consider torture, and to deny justice to hundreds of men captured in error.

These are some of the bill’s biggest flaws:

Enemy Combatants: A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted.

The Geneva Conventions: The bill would repudiate a half-century of international precedent by allowing Mr. Bush to decide on his own what abusive interrogation methods he considered permissible. And his decision could stay secret — there’s no requirement that this list be published.

Habeas Corpus: Detainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment. These cases do not clog the courts, nor coddle terrorists. They simply give wrongly imprisoned people a chance to prove their innocence.

Judicial Review: The courts would have no power to review any aspect of this new system, except verdicts by military tribunals. The bill would limit appeals and bar legal actions based on the Geneva Conventions, directly or indirectly. All Mr. Bush would have to do to lock anyone up forever is to declare him an illegal combatant and not have a trial.

Coerced Evidence: Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable — already a contradiction in terms — and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses.

Secret Evidence: American standards of justice prohibit evidence and testimony that is kept secret from the defendant, whether the accused is a corporate executive or a mass murderer. But the bill as redrafted by Mr. Cheney seems to weaken protections against such evidence.

Offenses: The definition of torture is unacceptably narrow, a virtual reprise of the deeply cynical memos the administration produced after 9/11. Rape and sexual assault are defined in a retrograde way that covers only forced or coerced activity, and not other forms of nonconsensual sex. The bill would effectively eliminate the idea of rape as torture.
This is not to be taken lightly. No, you should be furious. This gang of criminal thugs who posture and pose as they spew poisonous lies about democracy and freedom, while doing their utmost to rip those things away from us like jackals tearing the viscera from a fallen buffalo. They want to turn this country into a grim dungeon of fascism, drenched in a rhetorical cloak of fundmentalist dogma to stoke their machinery of fear and hatred. The Bush administration, led by the giggling murder monkey and the snarling hunchback who controls him, and their boot-licking lackeys in congress, have taken a giant step towards turning this country into the same thing they supposedly went to war against. All that talk about Saddam Hussein's "torture chambers," and "rape rooms"... it turns out the Bush administration wasn't condemning those things. They were envying them.

Read the piece my friend Mike of the North blogged about:
"...right-wing Republicans don't believe in democracy and never have. They have always admired military dictatorships and seem to be working hard to set up the equivalent here in the United States. Their goal is to create an authoritarian government, with control of the media and the judiciary; to weaken all restraints on executive power and eliminate democratic freedoms; to undermine the public education system through fiscal starvation and rote learning, so that the poor will learn only enough to follow orders; and to create the kind of economic inequality so many Third World countries enjoy--by filling the pockets of a tiny group of extremely rich individuals and impoverishing the rest, thereby providing a mass of cheap labor. This policy began under Ronald Reagan and has made huge leaps under the Bush regime. We don't have too much further to go to achieve this right-wing 'ideal'."
Whoever still supports the Bush administration and their litany of diabolical treachery should be made to suffer the same justice that the Bush regime would inflict upon its enemies.

Just Google "torture bill." And, remember the words of Martin Niemöller, because he is surely the author of the progressive bloggers' mission statement:
“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Double Standards..?

Okay, so the IRS is going after a church becaused the pastor (or whatever) made anti-war statement, and under the Bush regime, clergy speaking out against war is a violation of the separation of church and state. Fair enough. But why is it still okay for Fallwell and Robertson and all those other diabolical characters who make political statements advocating death and destruction on a grand scale? And furthermore, are they going to go after George Bush's Church, too, after it has made anti-war statements? Answer: No, because whatever snarling, bloody-fanged, soul-devouring deity is worshipped by Bush, Cheney, etc., has elevated them above such things. They're the "rules are for other people" party. No wonder they're so popular.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hard News

MSNBC reports: "Man with 10-year erection awarded $400,000". Now, that's what I call a stiff sentence. The jury must have been nuts. Somebody really got shafted. But, when so many of us feel impotent in the face of overwhelming odds, sometimes the little guy can rise to the occasion and penetrate the wall of injustice. Why, any Tom, Dick, or Harry can walk into a courtroom and stand firm on principle. Whether they use a hired hand or a pubic defender, in the end, the long and short of it is, justice is blind.

Coup-Coup, Coup-Coup...

Throughout my life, the same recurring news item has popped so often it has become a stereotype: in some third-world country, a government is overthrown in a military coup. A high-ranking military leader annouces they have taken control of the nation of Whatsitstan. It's hardly noticed when it happens. It's practically expected. Still, it is usually confined to small countries that are more or less bit-players on the world stage. Not always, but ususally.

So, how do you think it makes me feel when a bunch of military leaders get together and smack the Bush regime in the kneecaps over their asinine warmongering? I'll tell you - you could knock me over with a feather... and they could knock the country over with a military coup, if they felt like it.

Hey, these guys aren't the whole team, you know... they're just a few of the current- and former- military who hold a dim view of the neocons' global bloodlust. Not everyone's soul is for sale, even those whose desire to defend their country was perverted into being stormtroopers and cannon fodder for the Halliban.

The "Liberal Media" Strikes Again



Only good news for us, by golly!

Close But No Cigar

Apparently, the California Governor* vetoes measure for universal health care. Too bad, for I am a proponent of universal health care. Most people either love the idea or hate it; few seem to be indifferent about it. But when I lived in a major city in the southwest, I knew a young couple who had lived in England and Canada, and they said socialized medicine was great - they said that at least they knew they could get help if they needed it. Better to wait in line and get healthcare than have no line at all between you and your grave.

*Yeah, the same Governor that smokes Cuban cigars, which are illegal in this country. Just sayin'.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Kickin' Fox Ass! Updated Numerous Times

Think Progress reports how Clinton Takes On Fox News and kicks their ass. Right on!
There's more...
...and more...
...and more..!
...and an updated clip that shows Clinton kicking Fox's ass again. Thank god there are democrats with the stones to stand up against neocon propaganda bullshit merchants like Fox. If the republicans had not prevented Clinton from going after Bin Laden in the first place like he wanted to, there would not have been a "9/11". That's right, I said it -- the republican party caused 9/11 by preventing the capture of Osama Bin Laden!

Clinton ran a more effective war on terror than the neocon bush administration (who are actually complicit terrorists themselves, in my opinion). All the bushies can do at this point is lie about it to the gullible masses!

Another update: Think Progress » Chris Wallace Ignores 20,000 Emails Demanding He Ask Rice About The U.S.S. Cole

Random Thoughts and Two-Minute Takes

  • I’m predicting gasoline prices will go down to $1.95 per gallon before the election, as republicans utilize their tried-and-true campaign strategy of bread and circuses.

  • Will electronic voting machines be used to steal the election(s) again? I'm hoping not, but expecting they will. Helped along, of course, by the fact that we progressives have no political party to oppose the repukes except for the democrats, the Ed Macmahon of political parties.

  • Why doesn't Angeledes run ads detailing Schartzenegger's corruption? There's certainly no shortage of sources (like here and here). Instead, he runs the same, lame ad about Schwarzenegger supporting George Bush in 2004. Like that is a @#$%^ revelation. Way to win over those swing voters, Phil. Why does the only viable opposition party in the nation seem to want to lose elections?
  • Okay, so sue me...

    ...but I like boxing. I mean, there are only two sports I've enjoyed watching in my life, boxing and gran prix. Anyway, I thought this tidbit was interesting:
    "Also significant and unprecedented is that Maskaev's victory meant all four major heavyweight title belts now are held by fighters born in the former Soviet Union: Maskaev (WBC), Wladimir Klitschko (International Boxing Federation), Nikolay Valuev (World Boxing Association) and Sergei Liakhovich (World Boxing Organization)."
    It's like the bizarro-world version of Rocky IV or something. I think it's interesting. Hmm.

    Just Sayin'...

    ...good one 8^)

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    The Timeless Tradition of Vile, Loathsome, Contemptible Pigs Who Own The World

    Dick Cheney (R-LyingSackofShit), doing what he does best: Lying his ass off in order to rape whole nations, kill and maim countless innocent people (including children), and secure vast profits in blood money for himself and his war profiteer fascist cronies. This snarling, hunchbacked, hypocritical liar is beneath contempt, and those who support him and his government, after all they have done, are no better.

    This is the republican party. These are the lying criminals who promised to "restore honor and dignity" to the White House. Now republican bloggers are whining and wailing because they can't face themselves or what they have done to the world. Well, live with it, repukes: Thanks to you, this is the face of conservatism.

    (Here's another recent article about this depraved monster.)

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Random Headlines About My Recurring Nightmare

    The myth of fair elections.
    "The debacle surrounding the Republican victory in 2000 demonstrated to the world that America's electoral process is wide open to abuse. But as Paul Harris discovers, the system has actually worsened since then."

    More problems on the horizon.
    Quick Summary: Tons of trouble.

    Center for Information Technology Policy » Voting Videos
    Quick Summary: Even more tons of trouble.

    Is voting dead in America? My wife and I will vote absentee, until they figure out how to take that away from us, too.

    As Caesar said, "Ten Commandments My Ass"

    I've blogged about this before, but it is always worth repeating: If The Ten Commandments Really Were the Foundation of US Laws. I like this guy's review of the implications.

    For another excellent article about the same subject, check out Dissecting the Ten Commandments.

    Saturday, September 16, 2006

    Keepin' Out the Riff Raff

    So congress wants to put that fence up along the US/Mexico border. Okay, now let’s see:

    1. How (and how often) the fence is breached; and by whom (I mean, when it happens, follow the money and it might just lead to the employers, you know?).
    2. How this action effects the businesses that are dependent on labor of undocumented workers.
    3. How quickly the business community, and consumers who absorb the cost increases caused by a labor shortage, demand an arrangement of some sort to allow undocumented foreign workers to enter & work in the US.
    4. And finally, how many young republicans rally to fill the vacant positions left by the undocumented workers who are no longer able to enter the country.

    This Post Will Probably Offend Everyone. Even My Friends.

    We all have things in life that we hate. One of the things that I hate is people who do not pay attention while driving (go ahead, those who don't already know, and ask me why), and one of the things I particulary hate is people who "drive" while talking on a cell phone that they are clutching against their head. Did I say I hate it? Sorry, that was an understatement.

    At long last, in California at least, a law has finally been passed making it illegal to drive while holding and speaking on a cell phone.
    "Under the law, motorists will be required to use a headset, speaker phone, ear bud or other device that frees up both hands when they talk. Motorists who need to make emergency calls are exempted. Violators will be fined $20 for the first infraction and $50 for subsequent violations."
    The law won't take effect until 2008, which is too damn late in my opinion, and I realize that it won't be enforced unless a cop is in a bad mood. But it's a start. The biggest problem with the law as it stands now is that the penalties are pitifully weak. $20? $50? That's ridiculous. Try starting with $1000 and going up from there.

    Here's what I consider to be an adequate penalty for people who hold a cell phone to their ear and jabber away while attempting to drive: They will be sentenced to park in front of my residence, with their cell phone, where they will sit in the driver's seat and wait for me. I will then approach their vehicle, smash the window, rip them out of the vehicle, and proceed to beat the living hell out of them. I will make every effort to ensure that they are left broken and bleeding, permanently disabled, and in agonizing pain for the rest of their lives. That's better than they deserve.

    And that's how I feel about people driving while talking on cell phones.

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    Welcome to the 12th Century

    Welcome to the twelfth century: Iraq to Dig Trenches Around Baghdad
    Iraqi security forces will dig trenches around Baghdad and set up checkpoints along all roads leading into the city to reduce some of the violence plaguing the capital, the Interior Ministry said Friday.
    A castle moat. Now that's conservative.

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    From Usenet:

    "I would much rather be called a Commie Liberal than a Fascist Nazi."

    Me, too.

    Apparently No Need for SSA to Cry SOS

    I recently read that the Bush government has borrowed $177 billion from Social Security. Now, if Social Security is as broke as they said it was, how can they borrow $177 billion from it? Is this more proof that republicans are just incredible at math? They weren't lying to us, were they? I mean, they said it, and they have God on their side and everything. They spent a ton of money sending Bush on a road tour to convince us all that Social Security was going broke. And now they borrow $177 billion from it? I guess I'm just no good at math.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Republicans Have Nothing Left But Dirty Tricks

    GOP plans to get personal
    Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.

    The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads
    Remember, this is the party that claims to have the market cornered on ethical behavior. Well, Americans claim to hate dirty politics, so we'll see how successful these tactics prove. I imagine the repukes with do quite well with their hate-mongering. People love to hate.

    Cheney Desperate to Kill Something... Anything...

    Okay, so Cheney says that he would have invaded Iraq anyway, even without the pretense of "WMD". No surprise there, as the PNAC neocons stated their desire to overthrow Iraq back in the nineties. The pitiful thing is that he would repeat the same horrible mistakes, with no regard for the carnage he has caused. No concience. No morality. Only his unwavering desire to be one of those who controls the resources of the middle east.

    Wednesday, September 6, 2006

    Here We Go Again (Warning: LONG post)

    The Bush administration's cowardly, childish blame-shifting about their many failures requires constant diligence to counter their lies with the truth. A recent article called GOP Congress blocked Clinton push for anti-terror legislation is a good example. Here is another one I was led to by Granny where President [Clinton] wants Senate to hurry with new anti-terrorism laws. However, it reminds me of two of my previous posts which I will reproduce in their entirety, because they are as relevent now as ever. The first one is called Clinton Ran a More Effective War on Terror, and the second one is called More on the Repukes' Failure to Protect America.

    Clinton Ran a More Effective War on Terror

    Recently, I listened to one of those people who claim that Clinton did nothing to combat terrorism, while claiming, amazingly, that the Bush-Cheney neocon fiasco is actually a way of keeping us safe from terror. Sadly, this myth will probably persevere, because people are more inclined to remember Clinton's sex scandal than the fact that the Clinton-Gore administration ran a more effective war on terror than the Bush regime. I know all about the bad things that Clinton did. But like him or not, he was not only a far better president than Bush, he did a better job against terrorism, and not only that, but the republicans actively opposed the war on terror, especially when it stood between them and their god, the almighty dollar. Supporters of the neocon republicans should always be reminded that the republican party values the acquisition of wealth and power for a small power elite over the lives and welfare of the citizens of the United States.

    Here are a couple of articles that I enjoyed on the subject. I pasted 'em whole because there's too much good content to pick out bits here and there. Enjoy.

    Clinton vs. Terror, Republicans vs. Clinton

    President Clinton led the fight against terrorism over strong opposition from Republicans in Congress and the pro-Republican Media. Here's a partial - yet incredibly long - list of accomplishments against terrorism for which the Clinton Administration gets almost no credit or even recognition. President Clinton:

    -- sent legislation to Congress to TIGHTEN AIRPORT SECURITY. (Remember, this is before 911) The legislation was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the airlines.

    -- sent legislation to Congress to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF TERRORIST FUNDING. It was defeated by Republicans in the Senate because of opposition from banking interests.

    -- sent legislation to Congress to add tagents to explosives, to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF EXPLOSIVES USED BY TERRORISTS. It was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the NRA.

    When Republicans couldn't prevent executive action, President Clinton:

    -- Developed the nation's first anti-terrorism policy, and appointed first national coordinator.

    -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up 12 U.S. jetliners simultaneously.

    -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up UN Headquarters.

    -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up FBI Headquarters.

    -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

    --Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Boston airport.

    -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in NY.

    -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the George Washington Bridge.

    -- Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the US Embassy in Albania.

    -- Tried to kill Osama bin Laden and disrupt Al Qaeda through preemptive strikes (efforts denounced by the G.O.P.).

    -- Brought perpetrators of first World Trade Center bombing and CIA killings to justice.

    -- Did not blame Bush I administration for first World Trade Center bombing even though it occurred 38 days after they had left office. Instead, worked hard, even obsessively -- and successfully -- to stop future terrorist attacks.

    -- Named the Hart-Rudman commission to report on nature of terrorist threats and major steps to be taken to combat terrorism.

    -- Tripled the budget of the FBI for counterterrorism and doubled overall funding for counterterrorism.

    -- Detected and destroyed cells of Al Qaeda in over 20 countries

    -- Created a national stockpile of drugs and vaccines including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine.

    -- Robert Oakley, Reagan Counterterrorism Czar says of Clinton's efforts "Overall, I give them very high marks" and "The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama"

    -- Paul Bremer, Bush's Administrator of Iraq disagrees slightly with Robert Oakley saying he believed the Clinton Administration had "correctly focused on bin Laden. "

    -- Barton Gellman of the Washington Post put it best, "By any measure available, Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him" and was the "first administration to undertake a systematic anti-terrorist effort."

    Here, in stark contrast, is part of the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism record before September 11, 2001:

    -- Backed off Clinton administration's anti-terrorism efforts.

    -- Shelved the Hart-Rudman report.

    -- Appointed new anti-terrorism task force under Dick Cheney. Group did not even meet before 9/11.

    -- Called for cuts in anti-terrorism efforts by the Department of Defense.

    -- Gave no priority to anti-terrorism efforts by Justice Department.

    -- Ignored warnings from Sandy Berger, Louis Freeh, George Tennant, Paul Bremer, and Richard Clarke about the urgency of terrorist threats.

    -- Halted Predator drone tracking of Osama bin Laden.

    -- Did nothing in wake of August 6 C.I.A. report to president saying Al Qaeda attack by hijack of an airliner almost certain.

    -- Bush - knowing about the terrorists' plans to attack in America, warned that terrorists were in flight schools in the US - took a four week vacation.

    -- By failing to order any coordination of intelligence data, missed opportunity to stop the 9/11 plot as Clinton-Gore had stopped the millennium plots.

    -- Blamed President Clinton for 9/11.

    Republicans Sabotaged Clinton's Anti-Terror Efforts

    President Clinton took the oath of office January 20, 1993. February, 26 - barely a month later - terrorists detonated more than 1,000 pounds of explosives under the World Trade Center, killing six and injuring about a thousand people. Bill Clinton and the Democrats never dreamed of trying to blame the outgoing George Herbert Walker Bush Administration. They just began working to keep us safe from terrorism.

    As reported by the "debunking" website, snopes2.com: Within a year, law enforcement officials hunted down four of the "blind cleric" Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman's disciples, then prosecuted and convicted them for the bombing and sentenced them to 240 years in prison in March 1994. Officials captured the prime suspect Ramzi Ahmed Yousef in 1995. A court convicted him in November 1997 and sentenced him to 240 years in prison as well. An additional suspect fled.

    "In August 1998, President Clinton ordered missile strikes against targets in Afghanistan in an effort to hit Osama bin Laden, who had been linked to the embassy bombings in Africa (and was later connected to the attack on the USS Cole). The missiles reportedly missed bin Laden by a few hours, and Clinton was widely criticized by many who claimed he had ordered the strikes primarily to draw attention away from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. As John F. Harris wrote in The Washington Post:

    In August 1998, when [Clinton] ordered missile strikes in an effort to kill Osama bin Laden, there was widespread speculation - from such people as Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) - that he was acting precipitously to draw attention away from the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal, then at full boil. Some said he was mistaken for personalizing the terrorism struggle so much around bin Laden. And when he ordered the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House after domestic terrorism in Oklahoma City, some Republicans accused him of hysteria.

    See: "Claim: The Clinton administration failed to track down the perpetrators of several terrorist attacks against Americans. Status: False." http://www.snopes2.com/rumors/clinton.htm. See also: Bill Press, "Don't blame it on Bill Clinton," CNN.com, October 18, 2001: http://www.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/10/18/column.billpress

    Also see: Lauria, Joe. "U.S. Embassy Bombers Get Life Sentences." The Ottawa Citizen. 19 October 2001 (p. A5). As well as Randolph, Eleanor. "4 Guilty in Bombing of World Trade Center," The Washington Post: 5 March 1994 (p. A1) and "Trade Center Bombers Given 240 Years Each," The Washington Post: 25 May 1994 (p. A1).

    Republicans typically couldn't decide whether President Clinton was too blasé or too "hysterical." In reality, his response was appropriately focused on bin Laden and al Qaeda according to top anti-terror officials of the Reagan and Bush I administrations. What did Bill Clinton do?

    Issued January 23, 1995 his Executive Order 12947 "Prohibiting Transactions With Terrorists Who Threaten To Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process," provided for prevention and punishment of efforts to fund terrorism and authorized the FBI and Treasury Department to investigate and prevent financial support of terrorism. It read in part:

    "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America ... I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, find that grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat."

    This executive order provided for prohibition and punishment of transactions to support terrorism including transfer of "property and interests in property of ... the persons [found] to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of disrupting the Middle East peace process, or ... to assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or services in support of, such acts of violence...."

    This order held that "any transaction or dealing by United States persons or within the United States in property or interests in property of the persons designated in or pursuant to this order is prohibited, including the making or receiving of any contribution of funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of such persons [and] any transaction by any United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, or has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate, any of the prohibitions set forth in this order, is prohibited."

    Clinton ordered the prohibition of donations "by United States persons to persons [which] would seriously impair [his] ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, [and determined that any] investigation emanating from a possible violation of this order ... shall first be coordinated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and any matter involving evidence of a criminal violation shall be referred to the FBI for further investigation...."

    See: Executive Order 12947 of January 23, 1995, Federal Register, Vol. 60, No. 16, http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=1995_register&docid=fr25ja95-126.pdf

    Later, President Clinton expanded that Order, explaining to the Speaker of the House: "On January 23, 1995, in light of the threat posed by grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process, using my authority under, inter alia, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ... I declared a national emergency and issued Executive Order 12947. Because such terrorist activities continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, I have renewed the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12947 annually, most recently on January 21, 1998."

    He added, "I hereby report to the Congress that I have exercised my statutory authority to issue an Executive Order that amends Executive Order 12947 in order more effectively to respond to the worldwide threat posed by foreign terrorists [to add] Usama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Ladin (a.k.a. Usama bin Ladin), Islamic Army, Abu Hafs al-Masri, and Rifa'i Ahmad Taha Musa to the list of terrorists that are subject to the prohibitions contained in the Executive Order." See: "Clinton's Letter to Congress on Freezing of bin Ladin Assets," August 22, 1998 http://www.ict.org.il/documents/documentdet.cfm?docid=22

    President Clinton also ordered a "terrorism threat assessment of every federal facility in the country," which had "already begun" when, in February 1995, the Clinton Administration introduced a counter-terrorism bill in the Senate (S. 390) and the House of Representatives (H.R. 896). Note: this was before the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Oklahoma City bombing on April 19 that year.

    President Clinton's proposals would have expanded pre-trial detention and allowed more federal wiretaps of terrorism suspects, eased deportation of foreigners convicted of crimes, allowed the detention of aliens convicted or suspected of crimes, let the President criminalize fund-raising for terrorism, and revived visa denial provisions to keep dangerous people out of the US.

    Turn Up The Heat - Fahrenheit 911Unfortunately, Republicans sabotaged Clinton's efforts to keep us safe. If in force before April 19, 1995 federal officials might have detected and prevented the Murrah Building plot. 9/11/01. If the Republicans had passed Clinton's proposals before September 11, 2001 we might have blocked the al Qaeda terrorist plot that killed 3000 Americans. We all know what happened eight months into the illegitimate Bush/Cheney reign of error.

    Republican Congressional leaders shot down Clinton's proposals, tried to impeach him on trumped up grounds, and dragged their feet when it came to national security. They did this even after the Murrah Building bombing. Clinton's "Omnibus Counter Terrorism Act of 1995" would have:

    "[P]rovided clear Federal criminal jurisdiction for any international terrorist attack that might occur in the United States [including] Federal criminal jurisdiction over terrorists who use the United States as the place from which to plan terrorist attacks overseas." Allowed deportation of "alien terrorists without risking the disclosure of national security information or techniques."

    It would have "prevent[ed] fundraising in the United States that supports international terrorist activities overseas," implemented "an international treaty requiring the insertion of a chemical agent into plastic explosives when manufactured to make them detectable," and granted "more tools to federal law enforcement agencies fighting terrorism."

    These proposed "tools" would have included: Providing for "disclosures by consumer reporting agencies to the FBI for counterintelligence and counterterrorism purposes." Also "relaxed standard[s] for obtaining 'pen registers' and 'trap and trace' device orders which already exists in routine criminal cases, to national security cases."

    Note: a "'pen register' is a device which records the number dialed on a telephone" and a "'trap and trace' device is similar to 'Caller ID,' providing law enforcement with the telephone number from which a call originates. [This] would not permit law enforcement to monitor actual conversations being conducted."

    Clinton's proposals "would require hotel/motel and common carriers such as airlines and bus companies to provide records to the FBI pursuant to authorized national security requests just as they must do now for virtually all state and local law enforcement. [This because] FBI has found that, while some of these entities voluntarily provide such information, an increasing number refuse, absent a court order, a subpoena, or other legal protection.

    Clinton also sought to "fund costs associated cases which arise in connection with terrorism crises, including logistics and other support" and he wanted to "Create an interagency Domestic Counterterrorism Center headed by the FBI" to "establish a partnership effort between the Justice Department, including the FBI, and other federal and state law enforcement authorities to coordinate [ant-terror] efforts within the United States."

    President Clinton "directed the Attorney General to conduct this assessment and report her recommendations in 60 days. The assessment has already begun" and directed "the FBI Director, the Attorney General, and the National Security Adviser to prepare a presidential decision directive authorizing any and all further steps necessary to combat foreign and domestic terrorism.

    The Clinton Administration also submitted "New Legislative Proposals" which called for investigations and hiring "approximately 1000 new agents, prosecutors, and other federal law enforcement and support personnel to investigate, deter, and prosecute terrorist activity," and would have made it more difficult for terrorists to commit - and easier for law enforcement officers to detect, prevent and investigate - terrorist acts.

    It would have required "the inclusion of microscopic particles in certain raw materials, thereby permitting law enforcement to trace the source of the explosive even after a device has been detonated" and "permitted military participation in crime-fighting involving weapons of mass destruction ... to permit military participation in criminal cases involving chemical, biological, and other weapons of mass destruction; areas in which the military has specialized expertise."

    Today, some Republicans claim President Clinton "did nothing" to combat terrorism. Back then - when they might have prevented the 9/11 attacks - Republicans blocked or stalled all of the anti-terrorism proposals above. First, they stone-walled for months despite Clinton Administration warnings. Then, the GOP watered-down key provisions.

    Finally the Republican Congress passed S.735 "A bill to prevent and punish acts of terrorism, and for other purposes." It became Public Law No: 104-132 when President Clinton signed it, despite his and others' concerns that the Republicans watered down the bill too much.

    As CNN reported: "Congress on Thursday passed a compromise bill ... a watered-down version of the White House's proposal. The Clinton administration has been critical of the bill, calling it too weak. The original House bill, passed last month, had deleted many of the Senate's anti-terrorism provisions...." See: "Congress passes anti-terrorism bill," CNN April 18, 1996: http://www.cnn.com/US/9604/18/anti.terror.bill/index.html

    Republicans weakened and blocked anti-terror legislation several times, sabotaging Clinton Administration efforts to keep us safe. President Clinton and his administration never stopped working to combat terrorism and kept pushing the Republicans for adequate anti-terror laws.

    Other Clinton Administration anti-terrorism legislative proposals include: The Comprehensive Antiterrorism Act of 1995, The Counter Terrorism Technology Research Act of 1995, The Antiterrorism Amendments Act of 1995, The Effective Death Penalty and Antiterrorism Act of 1995, and the Senate and House versions of The Omnibus Counter Terrorism Act of 1995.

    According to CNN, Republicans refused to cooperate with President Clinton's efforts to protect us from terrorist attacks: "July 30, 1996 President Clinton urged Congress Tuesday to act swiftly in developing anti-terrorism legislation before its August recess. But while the president pushed for quick legislation, Republican lawmakers hardened their stance against some of the proposed anti-terrorism measures.

    "Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, doubted that the Senate would rush to action before they recess this weekend. The Senate needs to study all the options, he said, and trying to get it done in the next three days would be tough. One key GOP senator was more critical, calling a proposed study of chemical markers in explosives 'a phony issue.'" See: "President wants Senate to hurry with new anti-terrorism laws," CNN July 30, 1996: http://www.cnn.com/US/9607/30/clinton.terrorism/

    Despite President Clinton's extensive efforts to combat terrorism - and their own refusal to help, even eagerness to hinder those efforts - Republicans shamelessly blame Bill Clinton. The Washington Post reported: "The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had been over for a few hours when Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) announced his conclusion about the root of the problem. 'We had Bill Clinton backing off, letting the Taliban go, over and over again,' the conservative from Orange County declared at a news conference."

    "On the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal [October 5, 2001] Rush Limbaugh penned a column on how 'Mr. Clinton can be held culpable for not doing enough when he was commander in chief to combat the terrorists who wound up attacking the World Trade Center and Pentagon.'" See: Harris, John F. "Conservatives Sound Refrain: It's Clinton's Fault." The Washington Post: 7 October 2001 (p. A15). http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A17702-2001Oct6¬Found=true

    What does all this prove? That besides lacking any sense of honor, honesty or decency, top Republicans don't know the first thing about national security. They didn't care enough about the Atlanta Olympics bombing, the first WTC bombing, or even the Murrah Building bombing to do anything to prevent the next terrorist attack. Republicans remained soft on terror when they might have made it harder for terrorists to kill Americans. Again, we all know what happened eight months into the illegitimate Bush/Cheney reign of error.

    Even though President Clinton knew about the al Qaeda threat and took action to kill bin Laden, and to punish and thwart terrorists and their plots. The Clinton Administration warned the Republicans about terrorism more than six and a half years before 9/11/01 and then again as the illegitimate Bush Occupation stole into office. Still, the GOP did nothing or actually blocked most efforts to keep us alive!

    Here's more from President Clinton's Letter to Congress on Freezing of bin Ladin Assets, "Usama bin Ladin and his organizations and associates have repeatedly called upon their supporters to perform acts of violence. Bin Ladin has declared that killing Americans and their allies 'is an individual duty for every Muslim ... in order to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Holy Mosque.' These threats are clearly intended to violently disrupt the Middle East peace process."

    He stressed, "I have authorized these actions in view of the danger posed to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States by the activities of Usama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Ladin (a.k.a. Usama bin Ladin), Islamic Army, Abu Hafs al-Masri, and Rifa'i Ahmad Taha Musa that disrupt the Middle East peace process. I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order that I have issued exercising my emergency authorities."

    The Republicans ignored these warnings "from President Clinton to the leaders of Congress explaining why he ordered the freezing of all assets controlled by or affiliated with terrorist chieftain Usama bin Ladin." See: Clinton's Letter to Congress on Freezing of bin Ladin Assets, August 22, 1998: http://www.ict.org.il/documents/documentdet.cfm?docid=22

    Love America Defeat BushUnder Bush and Cheney, the anti-terror task force never met until it was too late. Their top defense officials, Rumsfeld and Rice, tried to slash anti-terror funding and claimed terrorism wasn't their responsibility respectively. It took the horrible attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon before the Republicans woke up and recognized the serious terrorist threat.

    The next time a Republican tries to blame President Clinton for their refusal to cooperate with his efforts to keep us safe, don't get angry. When Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice or any right winger claims only Republicans can protect us from terrorism - despite their failure to do anything in response to the specific warnings about the looming al Qaeda threat - don't just decry their hypocrisy and lies... vote against any and every Republican running for any office. Your life and your family's lives depend on it. Never forget, Republicans are soft on terror and soft in reason. All they can do is blame others for their mistakes. They can't keep us safe.

    Follow up post: More on the Repukes' Failure to Protect America

    Remember my post about how Clinton ran a more effective war on terror? Well, here is another that describes wonderfully how security could not be in worse hands under the Bush crime family.
    According to polls, the public perceives Republicans as stronger on national security than Democrats. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past century, Democratic presidents have been the dominant force in protecting our country.
    The fact that so many Americans perceive Repukes to be the best choice for national defense is evidence that they are pushovers for packaged PR poopoo, and easily seduced by diabolical political image-crafting. Reality certainly has no place in the Bush supporters' world.
    Historically, Democratic presidents have been much stronger than Republican ones in protecting the United States against real threats. They include WW I (Wilson), WW II (Roosevelt), the (Truman) Doctrine to contain the Soviet Union, and Kennedy’s nuclear confrontation with the same country during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In each case, there was a strong adversary where the outcome was truly uncertain. In the showdown with the Soviet Union, the world as we now know it could have been destroyed. In more recent times, Clinton led a successful NATO effort to stop the genocide in Kosovo -- without loss of American life.

    Over the past century, Republican presidents have managed but one war successfully -- the first Gulf War. In that war, the Republican President led a massive coalition against a small country with little air or sea power and where the outcome was certain. The outcome of the current war in Iraq was thought to be certain, too. However, it has been the worst justified and most poorly managed war in history, even topping our fiasco in Viet-nam.
    And yet, they're perceived as the experts, just because they talk tough. There mouths have gotten us into the mess we're in today.
    Clinton on Terrorism
    In 1998, Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States and bombed two U.S. embassies. In response, Clinton increased anti-terrorism budgets, launched cruise missiles at al-Qaeda training camps and tried to capture or kill bin Laden and his lieutenants. Clinton also authorized the CIA to assassinate bin Laden. In addition, Clinton arranged to receive a pipeline of daily reports on al-Qaeda activities. His staff considered him obsessive on the subject.

    In 1999, Clinton exercised widespread precautions to prevent terrorist attacks of any kind at the crucial turn of the century. These precautions and public awareness helped to prevent further attacks, including one at the Los Angeles airport.

    During presidential transition, he personally warned Bush that al-Qaeda would be his “gravest and greatest” threat and passed to the new administration his plan of attack in special briefings to Vice President Cheney and National Security Advisor Rice. According to a senior Bush official, the Clinton plan contained all the steps that were eventually taken after 9/11.

    Bush on Terrorism
    At the outset and again during the spring and summer of 2001, the Bush White House repeatedly received expert advice on the gravity of the threat as well as many warnings from around the world of an impending attack. These warnings, described as the most urgent in decades, specified the use of hijacked aircraft as weapons. For example:

    In March, Italy warned us of a very, very secret al-Qaeda plan.

    In April (and again in July), Afghanistan warned us of a huge attack on America and aircraft suicide missions.

    In June, Germany warned us of plans to use commercial aircraft as weapons.

    In July, Egypt warned us that 20 al-Qaeda members had slipped into the U.S.; 4 of them had received flight training.

    In July and August, England warned us of multiple airplane hijackings and that al-Qaeda was in the final stages of preparing a terrorist attack.

    In August, Russia (Putin) warned that suicide pilots were training for attacks on U.S. targets.

    In late summer, Jordan warned us that aircraft would be used in a major attack inside the U.S.

    During this period, President Bush received 40 separate CIA briefings on the al-Qaeda threat. One of the last ones said al-Qaeda was “determined to attack the United States.” The CIA Director personally told the White House to expect a significant attack in the near future that “will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties … attack preparations have been made, will occur with little or no warning … this is going to be a big one.” At no time did the President take control, call agency heads together, go into crisis mode, or warn the public.

    Like the President, none of the national security officials reporting directly to him showed serious concern. For example, on the day of 9/11, the Secretary of Defense still had not appointed a counterterrorism executive and his Department had no mission to counter al-Qaeda. And, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had not been asked to furnish military options. National Security Advisor Condi Rice was supposed to give a speech, the same day of the attack, on the threats of tomorrow. This speech omitted any reference to the imminent al-Qaeda threat or to Osama bin Laden.

    Following the attack, the President evaded all responsibility and, for a year, attempted to block formation of a congressionally-created investigative commission. When that didn’t work, he stonewalled the commission for more than another year -- creating much delay and limiting access to witnesses and sensitive records. The White House obstructionist tactics finally forced the Commission to threaten use of subpoenas.

    The end result was a two-year obstruction of the 9/11 investigation, even though it could only strengthen our national security. What was our Commander-in-Chief thinking about? There is just one explanation – fear that his month-long August vacation in Texas had left the nation unprepared and vulnerable to one of the greatest threats of our time, and, further, that public knowledge of this would endanger his reelection.
    Sickening, isn't it? To know that this is reality, not just some weird movie?
    A major distraction from the war on terror has been Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Diverting our military power from a high-level threat to a nonexistent one will come back to haunt us some day. Bush could have easily avoided this war by simply allowing international experts on the ground in Iraq to finish their search for illegal weapons. Instead, he overstated inherently uncertain intelligence, forced the inspectors to leave Iraq, and invaded.

    We’ve heard hundreds of times from the Administration that everyone else believed as they did that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Actually, there were dissenting views from within our own intelligence community, from other countries (Germany, for example), and from international inspectors on the ground in Iraq... Bush told the nation he would invade only as a last resort but did not do so. There is no greater abuse of office by a president than misleading our nation into war.

    Republicans cannot afford to lose Congress in the upcoming fall elections. If they do, the Democratic Congress will hold hearings on the legality and constitutionality of various Bush Administration actions, including how we went to war in Iraq. To avoid losing Congress, the Administration will continue to use the fear generated by 9/11 and promote a new and credible national security threat. They believe this will play to their advantage in the elections. In truth, our national security could not be in worse hands.

    We are less safe than ever.
    My guess is that their evil will continue. I hope I am wrong.

    I Love a Good Timeline!

    Lie by Lie: Chronicle of a War Foretold: August 1990 to March 2003

    From Mother Jones: "The first drafts of history are fragmentary. Important revelations arrive late, and out of order. In this timeline, we’ve assembled the history of the Iraq War to create a resource we hope will help resolve open questions of the Bush era. What did our leaders know and when did they know it? And, perhaps just as important, what red flags did we miss, and how could we have missed them? This is the first installment in our Iraq War timeline project."

    Tuesday, September 5, 2006

    Bush Fulfills Campaign Promise:

    He really is a "uniter, not a divider"
    "A majority of Americans surveyed -- and a higher percentage than recorded during the same time last year -- said things in the United States are going 'badly.' Among this year's respondents, 29 percent said 'pretty badly' and 25 percent -- up from 15 percent a month ago -- answered 'very badly.' By comparison, 37 percent described the way things are going as 'fairly well,' and 9 percent answered 'very well.'

    Of these people, 76 percent said there was 'something' to be angry about in the country today. By comparison, 59 percent felt that way when polled in February. (Watch Bill Schneider's take on angry voters -- 1:40)

    Only 21 percent said they were 'generally content' in the latest poll."
    Just about every election in my lifetime has been almost 50/50. Thanks for bringing us together, Mr. President. Thanks to you, America is almost 100%... against you.

    More from the Parallel Universe(s)

    So Rumsfeld wishes to compare us (who stand in opposition to the neocon bloodbath) to Nazis. Rumsfeld, a Nazi who works for Nazis! I know the web is awash with great responses. I thought I might add a few bits from an article called How Hitler Became a Dictator by Jacob G. Hornberger.

    Compare this to the 9/11 incident:
    The Reichstag fire

    On February 27, Hitler was enjoying supper at the Goebbels home when the telephone rang with an emergency message: “The Reichstag is on fire!” Hitler and Goebbels rushed to the fire, where they encountered Hermann Goering, who would later become Hitler’s air minister. Goering was shouting at the top of his lungs, "This is the beginning of the Communist revolution! We must not wait a minute. We will show no mercy. Every Communist official must be shot, where he is found. Every Communist deputy must this very day be strung up."

    The day after the fire, the Prussian government announced that it had found communist publications stating Government buildings, museums, mansions and essential plants were to be burned down... Why would Hitler and his associates turn a blind eye to an impending terrorist attack on their national congressional building or actually assist with such a horrific deed? Because they knew what government officials have known throughout history — that during extreme national emergencies, people are most scared and thus much more willing to surrender their liberties in return for “security.” And that’s exactly what happened during the Reichstag terrorist crisis.
    And, compare this to the Patriot Act:
    The day after the fire, Hitler persuaded President Hindenburg to issue a decree entitled, “For the Protection of the People and the State.” Justified as a “defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state,” the decree suspended the constitutional guarantees pertaining to civil liberties:

    Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications; and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed. Two weeks after the Reichstag fire, Hitler requested the Reichstag to temporarily delegate its powers to him so that he could adequately deal with the crisis. Denouncing opponents to his request, Hitler shouted, “Germany will be free, but not through you!” When the vote was taken, the result was 441 for and 84 against, giving Hitler the two-thirds majority he needed to suspend the German constitution. On March 23, 1933, what has gone down in German history as the “Enabling Act” made Hitler dictator of Germany, freed of all legislative and constitutional constraints.
    Or this, the Nazi model for the Neocons' system of capturing their enemies:
    The Nazis also implemented a legal concept called Schutzhaft or “protective custody” which enabled them to arrest and incarcerate people without charging them with a crime.
    And finally,
    Oddly enough, even though his dictatorship very quickly became complete, Hitler returned to the Reichstag every four years to renew the “temporary” delegation of emergency powers that it had given him to deal with the Reichstag-arson crisis. Needless to say, the Reichstag rubber-stamped each of his requests.

    For their part, the German people quickly accepted the new order of things... The overwhelming majority of Germans did not seem to mind that their personal freedom had been taken away, that so much of culture had been destroyed and replaced with a mindless barbarism, or that their life and work had become regimented to a degree never before experienced even by a people accustomed for generations to a great deal of regimentation... The Nazi terror in the early years affected the lives of relatively few Germans and a newly arrived observer was somewhat surprised to see that the people of this country did not seem to feel that they were being cowed... On the contrary, they supported it with genuine enthusiasm. Somehow it imbued them with a new hope and a new confidence and an astonishing faith in the future of their country.
    The only thing worse than Nazis, is Nazis who have learned from their history how to succeed.

    Monday, September 4, 2006

    I'll Bet You Saw This Coming, Didn't You?

    Halliburton Sold Iranian Oil Company Key Nuclear Reactor Components, Sources Say
    "Scandal-plagued Halliburton -- the oil services company once headed by Vice President Cheney -- sold an Iranian oil development company key components for a nuclear reactor... Halliburton was secretly working at the time with one of Iran’s top nuclear program officials... a National Security Council report said Iran was a decade away from acquiring a nuclear bomb. That time frame could arguably have been significantly longer if Halliburton... was not actively providing the Iranian government with the means to build a nuclear weapon."
    Is it possible that this stuff we know as reality is, in fact, some weird practical joke? Because I swear to every howling bat-winged pike-wielding God in the furthest bowels of Hades that if we spend much more time in this warped purgatory of swirling neocon madness, we are going to awaken in the morning and look out the window to a world that looks like a scene from a Bosch paiting.

    I dunno. I'm just sayin'. Y'know?

    Sunday, September 3, 2006

    "Islamofascism"

    The "right" has been knocking the term "(islamo)fascism" around a lot lately. I suspect they decided to co-opt it as their own, since so many of us have been describing the Bush administration as fascist for the last few years. But, the righties know that they need to twist the definition to suit their agenda. So, they apply it to the muslim religion, knowing that most people who hear the term "islamofascism" won't bother to figure out what the hell they're trying to say, but are already scared of Islam, and pretty much know that fascism is something really, really bad, or at least it sounds awfully bad.

    Well, try as they might, they can't escape the fact that fascism is an expression of rightwing extremism, and, of course, we all know who the rightwing extremists are, don't we?

    Nonetheless, we have fascism nicely defined in the 14 Points of Fascism (which is also portrayed with cinematic brilliance here).

    There is also a wonderful all-in-one page of definitions and explanations of fascism at Answers.com.

    My final thought on the right's use of their term "islamofascism" is this: I understand that definitions of such concepts grow and develop as years pass. But if they can apply the concept of fascism to a religion, then they better be prepared to answer for their own Christofascism.