Sunday, August 31, 2008
By Dick Cheney: Rule the world, kill all foreigners sitting on oil, mock the Constitution, lurk in secret undisclosed liar. (*lair... Freud would be proud.)
By Georgie: Spread freedoms, do hard work, help the preznit look like the Deciderer Commander Guy!
By McCain: Bomb Iran, start war with Russia, remember good old days. Bomb Vietnam while you're at it. Get off his lawn.
The details remains sketchy. But based on a press conference held moments ago by McCain campaign chairman Rick Davis, the Republicans are planning to cancel or radically scale back some or perhaps even all of this year's Republican convention. All that seems certain now is that the convention will be called to order tomorrow afternoon and stay in session for roughly two hours -- between 3 PM and 5 PM local time. They'll do some official business but eschew openly partisan activities.And I betcha he won't be caught eating cake, either.
From there forward it appears they'll wait to see just how protracted and bad the landfall in Louisiana is, and then go from there, deciding on a day by day basis how much of a convention to hold on that day.
Davis still left the question up in the air. But it appears that there is a good chance that McCain will give his acceptance speech not in person in Minnesota but rather by satellite link somewhere in the Gulf region.
(copied from my actual newspaper. The Los Angeles Times search engine sucks or they don't put letters up on the net until later.)
Bacevich is half-right. Barack Obama, if elected president, may very well disappoint me. John McCain will not.
Obama promises a better America, a better world. Considering the scope of the challenges that await him, he may very well fail - and disappoint me.
On the other hand, the goals of McCain are relatively easy: a continuation of the policies of the Bush years - endless war (bomb, bomb, bomb) and favoring the rich and powerful at the expense of the middle class (home, home, home). If McCain is elected, I am convinced that he will not disappoint his voters.
Personally, I'll risk disappointment.
Ronald Rubin, Topanga.
Washington, D.C. (AHN) - Neither President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney will attend the Republic National Convention opening night Monday because of Hurricane Gustav.Now if they can only find an excuse for why everybody else is not showing up:
The president and vice president will either stay in Washington or visit areas that might be affected by the storm, which is expected to make landfall somewhere on the U.S. Gulf coast around noon Monday.
DAYTON, OHIO -- As Sen. John McCain prepares to accept the Republican presidential nomination this week, his party's four-day convention will be notable in part for who isn't attending.We've seen what happens when Republicans are given free reign in the halls of power: mismanagement, cronyism, corruption, arrogance, warmongering, corporatism, imperialism, greed. So it's extremely difficult if not impossible to try and position themselves as the party of competence when we're looking at the people who are the cause of eight years of massive and intentional incompetence.
Compared with past GOP conventions, a surprising number of prominent lawmakers and candidates will stay away from the festivities Sept. 1 to 4 in St. Paul, Minn. -- chiefly citing tough reelection battles, previous commitments or other scheduling conflicts.
Bush and Cheney are toxic.
But, unfortunately for those who are running for office, they are the logical and ultimate result of the Republican agenda. The Republicans supported the Bush administration and steamrollered anyone who tried to speak against them.
Even if we never see the faces of George and Dick again, what they did, and what the Republicans allowed them to do will NEVER be erased from the Republican party.
The Republican party owns the last eight years.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Bryan of Why Now? warns us not to underestimate Governor Sarah Palin:
She isn’t the weak retiring creature that all of these “Democrats” seem to believe, and if they really annoy her, she knows how to “dress” her kills.Looks like Cheney could have some competition.
link from Mahakal of Cannablog.
crossposted at SteveAudio
TORONTO - Air Canada's regional carrier Jazz is removing life vests from all its planes to save weight and fuel.Ti .. um ...tan... As I remember, it sank.
Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stuart said Thursday that government regulations set by nautical miles of shore.allow airlines to use floatation devices instead of life vests provided the planes remain within 50
Safety cards in the seat pockets of Jazz aircraft now direct passengers to use the seat cushions as floatation devices.
"The nature of our operations doesn't require that we carry both," Stuart said.
Stuart said Jazz is a transcontinental carrier that doesn't fly over the ocean.
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration can prohibit meat packers from testing their animals for , a said Friday.Really? Google Mad Cow and Alzheimer's.
Larger meat packers opposed such testing. If began advertising that its cows have all been tested, other companies fear they too will have to conduct the expensive tests.
The Bush administration says the low level of testing reflects the rareness of the disease. Mad cow disease has been linked to more than 150 human deaths worldwide, mostly in Great Britain. Only three cases have been reported in the U.S., all involving cows, not humans.
Here's an interesting post:
There are also striking similarities between Alzheimer's, Creutzfeldt-Jacob-Disease (CJD), and mad cow disease. Mad cow has been linked to livestock feed and fertilizer.
So, what do radiation, livestock feed, fluoride, and fertilizer have in common which may have led to the emergence of the Alzheimer’s epidemic? The phosphate fertilizer industry.
"Fertilizer use was not a common practice in the United States until after 1870, when phosphate and lime were applied to crops like cotton and tobacco. By the end of World War II, an era of intensive agriculture began…," says Cargill Fertilizer. "Of the phosphate produced in Florida, about 95% is used in agriculture (90% goes into fertilizer and 5% into livestock feed supplements)." The remaining 5% is used in a variety of foods and beverages, plus personal care, consumer and industrial products.
George Glasser writes in the Earth Island Journal, "Radium wastes from filtration systems at phosphate fertilizer facilities are among the most radioactive types of naturally occurring radioactive material wastes...Uranium and all of its decay-rate products are found in phosphate rock, fluorosilicic acid (fluoride) and phosphate fertilizer."
The Florida Institute of Phosphate Research says, "Removal of uranium as a product is no longer profitable and all of the extraction facilities have been dismantled. The uranium that remains in the phosphoric acid and fertilizer products is at a low enough level that it is safe for use." That's not reassuring. Chronic exposure to low levels of contamination can be as dangerous, or more so, than chronic high levels of exposure or acute occurrences.
Of particular interest is calcium silicate, another byproduct of the phosphate fertilizer industry. One of its uses is as an anti-caking agent in iodized table salt. Is calcium silicate also radioactive? Would that have a significant impact on the thyroid? Given the relationship between Alzheimer's and thyroid disease, Alzheimer's may be destined to increase exponentially.
The phosphate fertilizer industry seems to be the common thread in Alzheimer's - and maybe also in thyroid and mad cow type diseases. Aluminum by itself may not cause Alzheimer's, but in combination with the radioactive products of the phosphate fertilizer industry, it could be wreaking havoc on our health.
Just making sure we still have them and are trying to save them.
In early June, Germany halted the sale of seven insecticides linked to the deaths of honeybees in 11,500 colonies. The main culprit was Bayer AG's corn seed treatment clothianidine (trade name Poncho), which the German crop research institute determined killed the bees. Bayer said improper seed handling caused particles containing the insecticide to blow away during the sowing of corn to nearby areas where it was ingested by the bees.Interesting to note that I just recently posted about Bayer with another pesticide.
Treating corn seeds with these chemicals is arguably safer than spraying the stuff. And apparently the insects they combat are serious corn pests. Still, when bees and other pollinators are in such dire straits as it is, use of these chemicals seems like a risky proposition, particularly with the increased acreage being devoted to corn for ethanol. I'm not an agronomist, but which is worse: reduced corn crops due to insect infestation, or failure of many crops due to a loss in their pollinators?
Michael Schacker’s “A Spring without Bees” speculates that pesticides are to blame for these bee losses.The frustration is evident in this beekeeper's post:
But most beekeepers and researchers say that pesticides may just be one of several causes, including multiple suspicious viruses, working together to form a lethal combination that kills off bees. Since there are so many variables at play — and some of those variables actually change based on certain conditions — the equation is complicated at best. Beekeepers say it’s not unsolvable, though –- that it requires attention from people with the resources and the power to find the answers. That attention, they say, is exactly what CCD is not getting.
CCD took a turn for the worse this year, killing off 1.1 million bee colonies across the country -– that’s 35 percent of the nation’s colonies, more than ever before. Some commercial beekeepers struggling to survive say the federal government has failed the beekeeping industry and endangered food crops. With the new farm bill about to survive a presidential veto, that could change. The bill includes a provision that would give about $75 million over five years to bee research. But it could be too late for many beekeepers who will be forced to shut down within five year’s time. And, some point out, the legislation promises billions in farm subsidy policies that could be harming the bees in the first place.
CCD puts about $15 billion of vegetable, fruit and nut crops in jeopardy. Apples, cucumbers, blueberries, strawberries, soybeans, almonds, avocados, melons and pumpkins are just a few of the crops that depend on honey bee pollination. Honey bees are also needed to pollinate seeds for a number of crops, including cabbage, broccoli and herbs.
While waiting for those initial scientific reports on Colony Collapse Disorder to get published so whatever information they contain can be officially released to the beekeepers who can use it (and those who actually provided the samples to produce the results), and for new research to get started (and those results to be released in the distant future), much peripheral knowledge has been collected that is beneficial for general colony management.So I take it we still haven't addressed the fact we are still losing bees that help put food on our tables and the Bush administration has yet to treat it as the crisis it is?
Advances in Varroa control, Nosema management and nutrition enhancement have been, and will continue to be made as a result of the CCD research going on. Moreover, an unprecedented amount of cooperation (and focused competition) has already resulted between government and university bee researchers, beekeepers and non-honey bee researchers, than has ever been accomplished. Add to this the phenomenal amount of exposure bees, beekeepers, beekeeping, pollination and honey production have received from the general and even not-so-general press to the non-beekeeping world. There’s no way we could have ever engineered that, or paid for it or made it happen. And if you don’t think it has been important, consider this – CCD has made prime time TV and the Primary Elections haven’t moved it off the top 10 topics in the news.
So whether you believe this is a real phenomena of not, believe in what it has done for the industry in terms of understanding and support. And then, find some way to help support the research studying and the beekeepers suffering from this mystery.
Some think, however, that this attention to a critical food production sector of agriculture is so long overdue that who ever is managing honey bee research has not been paying attention.
A friend, one who’s leading the pack at full speed on this feels the industry has been fundamentally short changed on what research has been carried out for the past 20 years. His argument isn’t so much pointing at what has been done, but what hasn’t been done. And, if funding hasn’t been available to do the multi-state, long term studies needed to solve problems - why the heck not?
The much ballyhooed Five Year Plan just released to improve the health of honey bees should have been in place 20 or more years ago so the industry wouldn’t have crashed in the first place, he says. What the heck were they doing while Rome burned and bees died is the question beekeepers, and my friends, keep asking.
Well, the answer may be closer than you want to think. Industry group legislative committees have spent thousands, probably many thousands of dollars visiting Washington to lobby for some kinds of favorable honey import legislation during that same 20 years. And still honey prices are in the crapper (See the Phipps article in this issue), because beekeeping is a global activity that no longer (and for a long time hasn’t) stops or starts at a border. The money was spent, it seems, on marginally useful goals when it could have funded long term, far reaching projects that looked down the road and saw....CCD? Pollination as the only business? Stress in a beehive? Foreign pests legally brought into the country? New pests? Missed pests? Technology that existed in other sciences that we could have been using? Better ways to use what we have? Other ways to use Byrd money? All of the above? But, alas, the money was spent on other things.
As a result there are still low honey prices, a single, solitary breeding program that works (that would be the Russians), a not very useful alternative to AFB control...and...and...a !!**NEW**!! Five Year Plan to help the health of honey bees. For 20 years bees have been dying and now there’s a NEW program?
Why am I not surprised?
Friday, August 29, 2008
McCain advisor Charlie Black on questions about Sarah Palin's foreign policy competence. "She's going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he'll be around at least that long."
I get bravado. But is that a reassuring way to put it?
Institute, WV (AHN) - An explosion at a West Virginia chemical plant Thursday night killed one worker while critically injuring another and produced a fireball seen 12 miles away in Charleston.
The explosion at the Bayer CropScience chemical plant in Institute happened at about 10:30 p.m.
A Bayer official told Kanawha County officials that the three chemicals involved in the explosion were dimethyl disulfide, methylisobutylketone and hexane.
Methomyl is is a highly toxic compound in EPA toxicity class I, classified as a restricted use pesticide by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because of its high acute toxicity to humans, according to a pesticide information profile on the Cornell University website.
Because Methomyl is poisonous to humans, affecting the nervous system through inhalation, as well as contact, when it is used on crops, farm workers are not allowed back into the field for one to seven days depending on the crop.
Methomyl is used on "vegetable, fruit and field crops, cotton, commercial ornamentals, and in and around poultry houses and dairies," and works by inhibiting the proper functioning of the nervous system of insects, according to information from Cornell University.
Officials say no toxic chemicals have been released outside the plant, according to local reports.
They didn't even have time to clean up her website? Just how mavericky was that?
Well... McCain did tell us he loved Abba...
Gotta a new campaign song for ya, John.
Update 9/1: An excellent explanation.
Senator Barack Obama: (my bold)
But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.Oh yes.
For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
So I'll help McCain in case he's forgotten: (my bold)
hon·orSo... is going back on your word honorable? Going to dirty politics when you said you wouldn't? Changing your mind on your core beliefs so often no one quite knows where you stand?
1. honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: a man of honor.
2. a source of credit or distinction: to be an honor to one's family.
3. high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank: to be held in honor.
4. such respect manifested: a memorial in honor of the dead.
5. high public esteem; fame; glory: He has earned his position of honor.
6. the privilege of being associated with or receiving a favor from a respected person, group, organization, etc.: to have the honor of serving on a prize jury; I have the honor of introducing this evening's speaker.
7. Usually, honors. evidence, as a special ceremony, decoration, scroll, or title, of high rank, dignity, or distinction: political honors; military honors.
Are you going to bring up your prisoner of war status repeatedly as a definition of your honor because it gives you cover for what you are now?
Is that an honorable thing to do, Senator McCain?
Update: I guess this is the answer:
But the numbers are misleading, said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank. Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)Hm. Mr. Goodman clearly hasn't been to any emergency room lately. People have literally died while waiting, sometimes up to 24 hours.
"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.
"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."
Mr. Goodman's analysis drew a sharp response from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based think tank focusing on poverty issues. "That is not the same thing as having health insurance," said Eva Deluna, a budget analyst for the center. People without insurance are less likely to seek care, and when they do, the cost to the health system is greater, she said.
Sounds like something George Bush would approve of...
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Clearly much of McCain's refusal to leave Iraq is based on the retreat and defeat in the Vietnam War.
Why did he rush down to Colombia to hang around while a years long hostage crisis was resolved... did he hope he'd be thought to have had something to do with it?
Shouldn't we be worried that he mixes up nations like Somalia and Sudan, that he hasn't updated Czechoslovakia, that he does not know Iran actually helped us fight al-Qaeda in Afghanistan? Why would this tendency for major gaffes be good?
What about when he rushed out to stand in front of the Stars and Stripes to say that we were all Georgians now when, as a senator, he could not speak for all Americans but only apparently for his Georgian lobbyist? Did he really think encouraging Georgia in starting a war with Russia would get him into the Oval Office? One that would be totally and completely impossible to win? Does he really miss the Cold War that much that he wants to reactivate it?
Couldn't that be translated as actually starting a war for political gain?
Thank you, Hillary, for giving the speech of your life.
If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.
If they're shouting after you, keep going.
Don't ever stop. Keep going.
If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.
Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going.
The pundits could not find anything negative to say.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
What was a top national security aide to Vice President Dick Cheney doing in Georgia shortly before Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's troops engaged in what became a disastrous fight with South Ossetian rebels -- and then Russian troops?Uh huh. Right. And we should believe you exactly why? After all this time where nothing out of the Vice President's office has been the truth?
And yes, Joseph R. Wood, Cheney's deputy assistant for national security affairs, was in Georgia shortly before the war began.
But, the vice president's office says, he was there as part of a team setting up the vice president's just-announced visit to Georgia. (It is common for the White House to send security, policy, communications and press aides to each site the president and vice president will visit ahead of the trip, to begin making arrangements and planning the agenda.)
The White House disclosed on Monday that Cheney would hurry over to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Italy next week, almost immediately after addressing the Republican National Convention on Labor Day.
And so it was that a team from the vice president's office, U.S. security officials and others were in Georgia several days before the war began.
It had nothing to do, the vice president's office said, with a military operation that some have said suggests a renewal of the Cold War.
I don't think so.
McCain traveled back to the private school's campus Tuesday, the second stop on a week-long biography tour intended to reintroduce the senator to the American public.Can you imagine what the media would be doing if this was Obama's history?
"I'm happy to be back at Episcopal, my alma mater, which I have many happy memories of, and a few that I'm sure former teachers, school administrators and I would rather forget," McCain, who in addition to "Punk" was known as "McNasty" during his high school years.
The 1954 class did not see fit to distinguish "McNasty" in any notable category -- Brightest, Lady-Killer, Chummiest, Polite, Funniest, Popular, Admired, Likely to Succeed, Bull Slinger, Intellectual, Ambitious, or even, and perhaps to the surprise of many journalists or his competitors, Publicity Hound.
Instead, he took only second place in the category of "Thinks He's Hardest," presumably a knock on his tough-guy character.
"As a young man," McCain admitted last Thursday, "I would respond aggressively and sometimes irresponsibly to anyone whom I perceived to have questioned my sense of honor and self-respect. Those responses often got me in a fair amount of trouble earlier in life."
The Arizona senator acknowledged that some habits die hard -- even if it's been 50 years.
"In all candor, as an adult I've been known to forget occasionally the discretion expected of a person of my years and station when I believe I've been accorded a lack of respect I did not deserve," McCain said.
"But I believe if my detractors had known me at Episcopal, they might marvel at the self-restraint and mellowness I developed as an adult. Or perhaps they wouldn't quite see it that way," he joked.
Bad student, troublemaker, punk.... They'd have a field day.
But apparently for McCain, it's more ... delicately worded.
Probably because he's a POW...
When Zell Miller appeared at the Republican convention, it was a key development. When Joe Lieberman, who isn't even a Democrat anymore, announced his own appearance at the GOP convention, this was a major story. Some former Democratic delegate in Wisconsin moved inexplicably from supporting Clinton to backing McCain, and her switch is treated as exceedingly important.
Leach, however, is getting the short shrift. He's a credible, serious guy, who was part of the House Republican caucus for decades, and this year, Leach concluded that Obama is the leader the nation needs.
- John McCain picks a running mate who is noted as a cool-headed clear thinker. Therefore McCain is compensating for his widespread and apparently well-deserved reputation for being hotheaded and irrational.
- John McCain chooses a running mate who is younger than he is (he could hardly do otherwise), obviously to compensate for his being older than dirt and treading on the edge of senility.
- John McCain, compensating once again, picks a veep candidate who actually earned his fortune the hard way, and stuck with his first wife, rather than ditching his ailing wife to marry one who is younger, more attractive, and... most of all... obscenely wealthy.
- John McCain selects a vice presidential candidate who has never crashed even one aircraft, let alone five.
- John McCain chooses a veep candidate who graduated first in his class at a military academy, rather than 5th from the bottom of the class.
Talking about nuclear weapons, watching them being used in movies, reading about them breaks the strong taboo of actually using them. The PNAC supports this view.
From Jorge Hirsch's article
Rumsfeld is gone and I've heard the drum beat to attack Iran fade from the news, but it doesn't mean the Bush/Cheney threat has gone.
The U.S. is closer than it has been since Nagasaki to using nuclear weapons again. This year, for the first time in its history, the American Physical Society, representing 40,000 members of the profession that created nuclear weapons, issued a statement of deep concern on this matter: "The American Physical Society is deeply concerned about the possible use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and for preemptive counter-proliferation purposes."
In the case of Iraq, our adversary was so weak that there was no way the use of nuclear weapons could have been justified in the eyes of the world. Iran is different: it possesses missiles that could strike U.S. forces in Iraq and the Persian Gulf, as well as Israeli cities. Iran also has a large conventional army. The 150,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq will be at great risk if there is a war with Iran, and Americans will support a nuclear strike on Iran once the administration creates a situation where it can argue that such action will save a large number of American lives.
"There have been many voices across the political spectrum calling for Rumsfeld's resignation for the botched Iraq war , , , , , , , yet he "retains the full confidence" of Bush. Why? Because Rumsfeld cannot be fired until he demolishes the "nuclear taboo," by detonating a small tactical nuclear weapon against an enemy. The U.S. military is reluctant to even consider the use of nuclear weapons against Iran, because it would provoke "an outcry over what would be the first use of a nuclear weapon in a conflict since Nagasaki." Only after a small tactical nuclear weapons strike against Natanz or another Iranian facility will this barrier fall, and Rumsfeld's transformation will be a fait accompli.
Why is "downsizing" the military so important to the PNAC crowd? Because the American public has no stomach for a draft nor large losses of American military personnel. If it becomes possible to wage war "on the cheap," without the loss of American life, and in the process we can lower the price of oil and spread "liberty" across the world, opposition will be muted. Public opinion on the Iraq war was not turned by the enormous number of Iraqi lives lost (of which there isn't even an effort to keep a count); it is only affected by the number of American lives lost.
May we survive these next five months without Bush and Cheney starting WWIII until the swearing in of President Obama.
Update 8/28: Lukery at Against All Enemies reports that Judith Miller is helping keep the war drums going by reporting only on the dangers of nukes in Iran, cherry-picking facts and ignoring every other country involved in trying to get a nuclear bomb.
SACRAMENTO -- Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain, is headed to the Republic of Georgia, where tensions between the government and Russia have sparked international concern and have become an issue on the presidential campaign trail.
McCain announced to a group of fundraisers in Sacramento that his wife was headed to the country, but the campaign did not provide any details about the trip.
McCain has been very aggressive in his condemnation of Russia's invasion of Georgia, and his campaign has been critical of Obama's more measured response when Russian tanks first pushed into the country.
McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker confirmed Cindy McCain is enroute to the nation and said she is visiting as part of the World Food Program. She said she will meet with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and visit with wounded Georgian soldiers.
Since the outbreak of violence, several people seen as emissaries from the two campaigns have visited. McCain sent Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.); Sen. Barack Obama signed off on a trip by his new vice presidential running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.)
Monday, August 25, 2008
So we can change the date anytime we choose. So we can stay there for 100 years. 10,000 years. Something to kinda sorta aspire to when we want to kinda thing. Because leaving is defeat! And staying forever is victory! Aspirational.
Who did they lock in a cupboard until he came up with that term, anyway?
Dick Cheney on the loose:
Why does the term "mutual interest" scare me?
Washington, D.C. (AHN) - U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney will be meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili next week, the White House said on Monday. The visit comes as the international community pressures Russia to honor a ceasefire agreement with Georgia, and after the Russian parliament issued a statement recognizing Georgia's breakaway regions as independent.
Cheney will be traveling to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Italy beginning Sept. 2 to hold talks with officials "on issues of mutual interest." He will be the most senior U.S. politician to visit Georgia since the conflict with Russia erupted on Aug. 8.
Tehran, Iran (AHN) - Iran's Defense Minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Majjar on Monday unveiled the production line of the Islamic state's all-domestically built, mid-sized submarine capable of firing missiles and torpedoes.
State television said the submarine, named "Ghaem," was the realization of the government's huge investments in the country's defense capabilities. Iran wants to achieve self-sufficiency in the defense area and equip its armed forces with modern weapons.
The report adds that the Iranian Navy earlier received two submarines named "Ghdair."
Sunday, August 24, 2008
McCain slipped a reference to his war captivity into an interview McCain did with CBS that's airing today. He appeared to be referring to Joe Biden's crack yesterday that McCain has trouble considering people's kitchen table issues because he has to decide which of his own seven kitchen tables to use...Senator McCain, we know you were a POW. We know you suffered. We honor and thank you for your service."I am grateful for the fact that I have a wonderful life," McCain said. "I spent some years without a kitchen table, without a chair, and I know what it's like to be blessed by the opportunities of this great nation...So the fact is that we have homes, and I'm grateful for it."
But that does not give you a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card for the rest of your life.
We know you had nothing at one time in prison and now you have an immense pile. You are extremely wealthy, beyond the comprehension of most Americans. You have so much you couldn't even answer exactly how many homes you have.
When you did not have a kitchen table nor a chair was thirty five years ago. It no longer is applicable to what you have done since then.
At JFK Airport, Denying Basic Rights Is Just Another Day at the Office By Emily FederUnder the Bush administration, this is what we have become. Realize that it is not just focused on 'suspicious brown Arab-looking' people, but anyone. The Bush administration is encouraging this kind of inhumane and arrogant indifference. Under which stone did these Homeland Security officials come from? Who ARE these thugs and bureaucratic incompetents?
I was recently stopped by Homeland Security as I was returning from a trip to Syria. What I saw in the hours that followed shocked and disturbed me
I arrived at JFK Airport two weeks ago after a short vacation to Syria and presented my American passport for re-entry to the United States. After 28 hours of traveling, I had settled into a hazy awareness that this was the last, most familiar leg of a long journey. I exchanged friendly words with the Homeland Security official who was recording my name in his computer. He scrolled through my passport, and when his thumb rested on my Syrian visa, he paused. Jerking toward the door of his glass-enclosed booth, he slid my passport into a dingy green plastic folder and walked down the hallway, motioning for me to follow with a flick of his wrist. Where was he taking me, I asked him. "You'll find out," he said.
No one who had been detained knew precisely why they were there. A few people were led into private rooms; others were questioned out in the open at desks a few feet from the crowd and then allowed to pass through customs. Some were sent to another section of the holding area with large computer screens and cameras, and then brought back. The uninformed consensus among the detainees was that some people would be fingerprinted, have their irises scanned and be sent back to the countries from which they had disembarked, regardless of citizenship status; others would be fingerprinted and allowed to stay; and the unlucky ones would be detained indefinitely and moved to a more permanent facility.
To be powerless and mocked at the same time makes one feel ashamed, which leads quickly to rage. Within a few hours of my arrival, I saw at least 10 people denied the right to use the bathroom or buy food and water. I watched my traveling companion duck under a barrier, run to the bathroom and slip back into the holding section -- which, of course, someone of another ethnicity in a state of panic would be very reluctant to do. The United States is good at naming enemies, but apparently we are even better at making them, especially of individuals. I don't know if it's worse for national security -- and more embarrassing for Americans -- that this is the first experience tourists have of our country, or that some U.S. citizens get treated this way upon entering their own country.
After four hours, I finally demanded to speak to the guards' supervisor, and he was called down. I asked if the detainees could file a formal complaint. He said there were complaint forms (which, in English and Spanish, direct one to the Department of Homeland Security's Web site, where one must enter extensive personal information in order to file a "Trip Summary") but initially refused to hand them out or to give me his telephone number. "The Department of Homeland Security is understaffed, underfunded, and I have men here who are doing 14-hour days." He tried to intimidate me when I wrote down his name -- "So, you're writing down our names. Well, we have more on you" -- and asked me questions about my address and my profession in front of the rest of the people detained. I pointed out a few of the families who had missed their flights and had been waiting seven hours. His voice barely controlled, his lip curled into a smirk, he explained slowly, condescendingly, that they need only go to the ticket counter at Jet Blue and reschedule so they could fly out in an hour. One mother responded with what he must have already known: Jet Blue goes to most destinations only once or twice a day and her whole family would have to sleep in the airport.
A large crowd began to gather. Everyone wanted to voice complaints. I explained to the supervisor that his guards had been making people afraid. He flipped through the green files, tossing the American passports to the front of the pile. "You should have gone first, before these people. American citizens first -- that's how it should be." In the face of dozens of requests and questions, he turned and left.
The guards processed me then, ignoring the order of arrivals, if there ever had been one. They refused to distribute more complaint forms or call the supervisor back down at the request of Arab families. One officer threatened, "I'm talking politely to you now. If you don't sit down, I won't be talking politely to you anymore." One announced that because "the American girl" had gotten angry, the families would have to wait a few more hours. "The supervisor is not coming back."
In the past five years I have worked for human rights and refugee advocacy organizations in Serbia, Russia and Croatia, including the International Rescue Committee and USAID. I have traveled to many different places, some supposedly repressive, and have never seen people treated with the kind of animosity that Homeland Security showed that night. In Syria, border control officers were stern but polite. At other borders there have been bureaucracies to contend with -- excruciating for both Americans and other foreign nationals. I've met Russian officials with dead, suspicious looks in their eyes and arms tired from stamping so many visas, but in America, the Homeland Security officials I encountered were very much alive -- like vultures waiting to eat.
We want their names.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
John McCain is not flipflopping. He's flipflopflipflopflipflopping. 74 times and counting.
FOURNIER IS AT IT AGAIN.... The latest piece from Ron Fournier, the AP's Washington bureau chief and the man responsible for directing the wire service's coverage of the presidential campaign, on Joe Biden joining the Democratic ticket, is drawing a fair amount of attention this morning. More importantly, McCain campaign staffers are pushing it fairly aggressively to other reporters, in large part because it mirrors the Republican line with minimal variation.Fascinating. Yet another reason to watch AP like a hawk.
And then, within hours of Obama announcing his running mate, there's Fournier again, writing up another piece -- whether it's a news article or an opinion piece is, again, unclear -- that the McCain campaign just loves.
Sandy Johnson, the former DC bureau chief of the AP, was asked about Fournier and the bureau when she was forced out as part of a staff shake-up. "I just hope he doesn't destroy it," she said.
The more I see the AP's coverage, the more I think about that quote.
Since 1991, Biden has also served as an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on constitutional law.And from Obama's Wikipedia site:
He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.I hope this means as president and vice president, they know what the Constitution stands for and will repair or undo what the Bush regime has done to our country, our citizens, and our Constitution during these last eight horrible years.
Friday, August 22, 2008
US-led coalition forces killed 76 Afghan civilians in western Afghanistan today, most of them children, the country's Interior Ministry said.
The coalition denied killing civilians. Civilian deaths in military operations have become an emotive issue among Afghans, many of whom feel international forces take too little care when launching air strikes, undermining support for their presence.
"Seventy-six civilians, most of them women and children, were martyred today in a coalition forces operation in Herat province," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Coalition forces bombarded the Azizabad area of Shindand district in Herat province this afternoon, the ministry said. Nineteen of the victims were women, seven of them men and the rest children under the age of 15, it said.
US-led coalition forces denied killing any civilians. They said 30 militants had been killed in an air strike in Shindand district in the early hours of this morning and no further air strikes had been launched in the area later in the day.
Really? Because Obama actually worked hard to become a senator? Because he didn't have a famous father and marry into mega-money? Because he knows how many houses he has?
Obama is the elitist... Ohhhhh, because he's educated and eats weird lettuce? And McCain almost failing out of the Annapolis Naval Academy proves he isn't?
Haven't we had enough of incompetent C students with whom we are supposed to want to have a beer? Aren't we talking about a leader who should be competent enough to RUN A COUNTRY? Don't we want someone who actually is an elite in the true sense of the word?:
the choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons.Kevin Hayden of American Street asks the best question ever about McCain:
Update: Globe and Mail:
Both the McCains and the Obamas are vastly richer than most voters. But whether or not the "houses" question has legs, it is likely to undercut Mr. McCain's efforts, which have been quite successful up till now, to portray Mr. Obama as elitist and out of touch.
After all, the Illinois senator may eat arugula and sip Black Forest Berry Honest Tea and read books by authors Mr. McCain has never heard of, but at least he knows where he lives.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The McCain campaign is road-testing a new argument in responding to Obama's criticism of his number-of-houses gaffe, an approach the McCain camp has never tried before: The houses gaffe doesn't matter because ... he was a POW!(via Keith Olbermann)
Update 8/22: Go read Libby of The Impolitic.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Can you imagine what would have happened in the media if Michelle had lied like Cindy lied?
The latest embellishments come from the McCain camp. Cindy McCain has repeatedly referred to herself as an “only child.” This week came news that she actually has two half sisters, although apparently she had very little contact with them.
The McCain campaign had also put out the story that Mother Teresa “convinced” Cindy to bring home two orphans from Bangladesh in 1991.
Mrs. McCain, it turns out, never met Mother Teresa on that trip. (Once contacted by the Monitor, the campaign revised the story on its website.)
Such exaggerations may simply be the product of a faulty memory or a desire to be “better” than one is in a political culture that requires larger-than-life idols. But with the advent of the fact-checking obsessed blogosphere – and a media racing to keep up – such self-aggrandizement doesn’t last as long as it once did.
“It’s all about myth-making,” says Darrell West, the director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “Politicians love to turn their stories into great epics, and sometimes they have to embellish to smooth out the story line.”
“But now there are too many professional and amateur fact-checkers,” he says. “And there are hundreds if not thousands of bloggers who have detailed knowledge on specialized information, so you really can’t get away with stretching the truth anymore.”
crossposted at American Street
Right. Everyone stands back while Cheney hires a TRUCK SHREDDING SERVICE to come to his office, has two man-sized safes to keep his paperwork in, silences everyone who's ever worked for, near, in the vicinity of him while he clearly took notes on how not to get caught from the Watergate scandal. There's even a question on exactly how many people staff his office. And Cheney has even cast doubt which branch of government the vice-president works for and answers to?
WASHINGTON -- The White House is missing as many as 225 days of e-mail dating back to 2003 and there is little if any likelihood a recovery effort will be completed by the time the Bush administration leaves office, according to an internal White House draft document obtained by The Associated Press.
The nine-page outline of the White House's e-mail problems invites companies to bid on a project to recover the missing electronic messages.
The work would be carried out through April 19, 2009, according to the Office of Administration request for contractors' proposals, which was dated June 20.
Last week, the White House declined to comment on the document.
"We will continue to work with members of Congress and the National Archives and will communicate the results of our accounting effort at an appropriate time," White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said.
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has said the White House's failure to properly archive e-mails violated the Presidential Records Act. The top lawyer for the National Archives has expressed disappointment the White House did not have a formal records management system in place.
On Wednesday, House Democratic Caucus chairman Rahm Emmanuel of Illinois criticized how the problem has been handled, saying, "The White House that wants to keep track of all your e-mail and phone records can't even keep track of their own."
It's called covering your tracks, wiping your fingerprints, giving yourself plausible deniability. And yet people cannot call the White House on this blatant of all lies?
AMY GOODMAN: Well, why don’t we start off by you just laying out your case and how you arrived at this, at this argument, decided to write this book?
VINCENT BUGLIOSI: Well, in my book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, I set forth an airtight legal case against George Bush that proves beyond all reasonable doubt that George Bush took this nation to war under false pretenses, on a lie, in Iraq, and therefore, under the law, he is guilty of murder for the deaths of over 4,000 young American soldiers in Iraq fighting his war, not your war or my war or America’s war, but his war.
Interestingly enough, there have been billions of very harsh critical words written and said about George Bush, none of which he could possibly care less about. So the words are absolutely meaningless. But up until now, other than words, no one has done anything at all to George Bush. No impeachment, no investigation of him.
But this book here, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, in it, I put together a case against George Bush that could result—it absolutely could result in his being prosecuted for first-degree murder in an American courtroom. I set forth the legal architecture against him, the overwhelming evidence of his guilt and the jurisdiction to prosecute him. And I say that if justice means anything at all in America, and if we’re not going to forget about these 4,000 young American soldiers who are in their cold graves right now as I am talking to you and who came back from George Bush’s war in a box or a jar of ashes, I say we have no choice but to bring murder charges against the son of privilege from Crawford, Texas.I may be sounding presumptuous to you right now, Amy and Juan, but I’m telling you this: I am going after George Bush. I may not succeed, but I’m not going to be satisfied until I see him in an American courtroom being prosecuted for first-degree murder.
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska—President Bush said Monday that U.S. troops going to Iraq soon will find a country dramatically different from the one that was "hopeless" before his troop buildup.Love the pic the Boston Globe posted for this article:
Beginning a weeklong Asian tour with a refueling stop in Alaska, the president offered thanks to units from this base near Fairbanks and nearby Fort Wainwright that have done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He also noted an Army Stryker brigade from Wainwright is about to deploy to Iraq, saying it will be "heading into a different situation."
"About a year ago people thought Iraq was lost and hopeless. People were saying let's get out of there, it doesn't matter to our national security. Iraq's changed -- a lot," Bush said. "The terrorists are on the run."
And he again asserted that fighting them was not a law enforcement problem. "If it's a law enforcement matter, that means you react after the crime. I think it's important ... to stop the crime from happening in the first place."
And about that statement about law enforcement.... the law enforcement idea works, you know. You don't have to bomb everything flat to 'win'.
If you have time, read the post. He offers a wealth of background and facts, and works through the tangle of connections and intrigue to present a very clear picture of the recent events.
And so, with an absolute minimum of democratic process, the United States of America committed its full prestige and power (if not, just yet, a legally binding guarantee) to the defense of the two former Soviet republics, even though the Russians have repeatedly stated that they regard NATO membership by either country as a direct threat to their own vital security interests. As others have already noted, this is as if China had unilaterally announced a military alliance with Mexico and Cuba. Actually it’s worse: Imagine the US reaction if China announced a military alliance with Mexico, after which the president of Mexico started dropping public hints about taking New Mexico back – by whatever means necessary. (And if that comparison seems unnecessarily paranoid, consider the history of Russia in the 20th century. Even paranoids have real enemies.)
A careful search of Nexus and Google reveals that the number of stories appearing in the pages of major US newspapers and magazines, or on the wires of major American news services, taking note of this fateful decision, equals exactly one: a brief item out of UPI’s Moscow bureau, warning of the Russian reaction. The Georgian and Ukranian press, on the other hand, gave the new law saturation coverage – encouraged by their respective governments, both of which issued official statements describing their future NATO admissions as, in effect, done deals.
crossposted at SteveAudio
There's more. (Odd thing, the letter cited at the top of the post did not show up until I highlighted it. Scroll down for the excellent points.)
- Avoid the usual mistakes. Remember, don’t just negate the other person’s claims; reframe. The facts unframed will not set you free. You cannot win just by stating the true facts and showing that they contradict your opponent’s claims. Frames trump facts. His frames will stay and the facts will bounce off. Always reframe.
- If you remember nothing else about framing, remember this: Once your frame is accepted into the discourse, everything you say is just common sense.* Why? Because that’s what common sense is: reasoning within a commonplace, accepted frame.
- Never answer a question framed from your opponent’s point of view. Always reframe the question to fit your values and your frames. This may make you uncomfortable, since normal discourse styles require you to directly answer questions posed. That is a trap. Practice changing frames.
- Be sincere. Use frames you really believe in, based on values you really hold.
- A useful thing to do is to use rhetorical questions: *Wouldn’t it be better if...? Such a question should be chosen to presuppose your frame. Example:* Wouldn’t it be better if we had a president who went to war with a plan to secure the peace?
- Stay away from set-ups. Fox News shows and other rabidly conservative shows try to put you in an impossible situation, where a conservative host sets the frame and insists on it, where you don’t control the floor, can’t present your case, and are not accorded enough respect to be taken seriously. If the game is fixed, don’t play.
- Tell a story. Find stories where your frame is built into the story. Build up a stock of effective stories.
- Always start with values, preferably values all Americans share like security, prosperity, opportunity, freedom, and so on. Pick the values most relevant to the frame you want to shift to. Try to win the argument at the values level. Pick a frame where your position exemplifies a value everyone holds — like fairness. Example: Suppose someone argues against a form of universal health care. If people don’t have health care, he argues, it’s their own fault. They’re not working hard enough or not managing their money properly. We shouldn’t have to pay for their lack of initiative or their financial mismanagement. Frame shift: Most of the forty million people who can’t afford health care work full-time at essential jobs that cannot pay enough to get them health care. Yet these working people support the lifestyles of the top three-quarters of our population. Some forty million people have to do those hard jobs — or you don’t have your lifestyle. America promises a decent standard of living in return for hard work. These workers have earned their health care by doing essential jobs to support the economy. There is money in the economy to pay them. Tax credits are the easiest mechanism. Their health care would be covered by having the top 2 percent pay the same taxes they used to pay. It’s only fair that the wealthy pay for their own lifestyles, and that people who provide those lifestyles get paid fairly for it.
And speaking of oldies but goodies, Rachel Maddow trying to get Democrats to stop falling into traps:
Things haven't changed much, have they?
Painter Bob Ross
Lol Bush from the Guardian:
The unraveling of the FBI's case against Bruce Ivins.
Coal emissions and profits are up.
Fill in the blank, you trollop! (More) (and even more with pictures)
McCain's mother sued his first wife.
DistributorCap NY has an excellent ongoing discussion about our broken Constitution.
Proof that eggplant kills.
Newt's bloated head needs a tire gauge.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sen. John McCain has seized on the Russian invasion of Georgia as a chance to demonstrate to the American people what kind of president he would be on foreign policy matters.
For better or worse, I think he’s succeeded. McCain has clearly been more confrontational and aggressive than the Bush White House, going so far as to announce that in the wake of the invasion, “We are all Georgians,” a statement that implies a degree of commitment that the United States is not in a position to honor.
Even more startling was McCain’s decision, as a mere candidate for president, to send personal envoys to confer with Georgia’s leadership. Such a step is the prerogative only of a president, and is an act of dangerous presumption at an extremely delicate time.
To some Americans, McCain’s rhetoric has nonetheless communicated an image of authority that they find reassuring in a president. It also confirms him as an instinctive type of leader, someone whose response to a crisis is driven more by his own character than by the specifics of a challenge.
Later in the article, Cafferty addresses his fears about McCain:
It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.
Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not?
Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day.
He was asked "if evil exists." His response was to repeat for the umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will pursue him to "the gates of hell." That was it.
He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the "Straight Talk Express" for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes. Unless he's reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley or diner -- short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very quickly.Exactly. Thank you, Mr. Cafferty for saying it out loud.
I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me. The world we live in is too complex to entrust it to someone else whose idea of intellectual curiosity and grasp of foreign policy issues is to tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin's eyes and see into his soul.
George Bush's record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself.
He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens' faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.
I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him.
Oregon Republican candidate Mike Erickson:
Congressional candidate Mike Erickson took a six-day visit to Cuba in 2004 that he called a "humanitarian trip" to aid disabled Cubans oppressed by Fidel Castro, but the trip was instead a vacation that included bars, Havana cigars and the Tropicana nightclub.Mary Matalin tries to step away from the shit splatter of Corsi's idiotic fictional book:
Erickson said he visited a medical center, met with doctors and attended a presentation on the plight of the disabled. But travel documents obtained by The Oregonian, others who accompanied Erickson and representatives of U.S. and Cuban charities tell a different story.
For example, the medical center Erickson said he visited does not exist.
Republican strategist Mary Matalin, head of Threshold Editions, which published Jerome Corsi's falsehood-laden book The Obama Nation, reportedly wrote in an email to Slate.com's Timothy Noah that her role at Threshold is "more akin to a consultant relative to the issue of potential interest among political readers." But according to her own website, Matalin "runs Threshold, a new conservative publishing imprint at Simon & Schuster".Yet then there are those who cannot help but search out and tell the truth.
Thank you, Helen Thomas.
I've been having more than a few Washington D.C. ips click on my post of Harper's magazine discussion with Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side. But what I think worries/ scares/ confuses/ angers/ concerns them about the post is when I wrote this:
We want names. We want the names of those in the legal [and medical] profession who assisted in this horror. We want to know who they are and why they thought this was a patriotic thing to do. Or worse yet, why this would be an intriguing thing to do.Interesting, don't you think? That they might just begin to realize that there is a demand for accountability from those who helped the Bush adminstration break the Constitution, destroy the law, bomb the high road, go for the throat, empty the treasury, gut the Geneva Conventions, lay low our nation's integrity and honor.
We won't let them sink quietly back into American society, becoming the lawyers who do our trusts or the doctors who prescribe pills to our children. They have participated in the torture of prisoners and it has brought shame to our nation and fury and revulsion to its citizens.
We want to know who they are.
If this is what is making loyal Bushies break out in a sweat, I'll say it again:
Monday, August 18, 2008
This is still about leaving Vietnam, isn't it?ORLANDO — John McCain told the nation's largest veterans group Monday that both he and Barack Obama want to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, but "the great difference is that I intend to win it first."
McCain assailed Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, for saying he still would have opposed the 2007 U.S. troop build-up in Iraq.
"Even in retrospect, he would choose the path of retreat and failure for America over the path of success and victory," McCain said.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, facing impeachment on charges drawn up by the governing coalition, has announced that he is resigning.
He went on national TV to say that while he was confident the charges would not stand, this was not the time for more confrontation.
He is accused of violation of the constitution and gross misconduct.
The key issue now is whether the ruling coalition, which had pushed for Mr Musharraf's exit since winning the February election, can stay united and deliver on its promises, he says.
It will have to agree on a new president, then persuade allies like the US and UK, and its neighbours like India and Afghanistan, that it will be committed to defeating militancy and terrorism, our correspondent adds.
International reaction to Mr Musharraf's resignation was mixed, with the US hailing him as strong ally against terrorism but Afghanistan welcoming his departure as a boost to democracy.
Those deaths-by-anthrax ceased to be part of the administration's developing Global War on Terror narrative, which was, of course, aimed at Islamist fanatics (and scads of countries that were said to provide them with "safe haven"), but certainly not military scientists here at home. No less quickly did those attacks drop from the front pages -- in fact, simply from the pages -- of the nation's newspapers and off TV screens.Tom then lists the questions and discusses them:
This essentially remained the state of the case until, as July ended, Ivins committed suicide. Then, what a field day! The details, the questions, the doubts, the disputed scientific evidence, the lists of kinds of drugs he was prescribed, the lurid quotes, the "rat's nest" of an anthrax-contaminated lab he worked in, the strange emails and letters! ("I wish I could control the thoughts in my mind… I get incredible paranoid, delusional thoughts at times, and there's nothing I can do until they go away, either by themselves or with drugs.") Case solved! Or not... The "mad scientist" from the Army's Fort Detrick bio-wars labs finally nabbed! Or not...
It was a dream of a story. And the mainstream media ran with it, knowledgeably, authoritatively, as if they had never let it go. Now, as the coverage fades and the story once again threatens to head for obscurity (despite doubts about Ivins's role in the attacks), I thought it might be worth mentioning a few questions that came to my mind as I read through recent coverage -- not on Ivins's guilt or innocence, but on matters that are so much a part of our American landscape that normally no one even thinks to ask about them.
1. Why wasn't the Bush administration's War on Terror modus operandi applied to the anthrax case?Go read if you want to realize:
2. Why wasn't the U.S. military sent in?
3. Once the anthrax threat was identified as coming from U.S. military labs, why did the administration, the FBI, and the media assume that only a single individual was responsible?
4. What of those military labs? Why does their history continue to play little or no part in the story of the anthrax attacks?
5. Were the anthrax attacks the less important ones of 2001?
6. Who is winning the Global War on Terror?
In fact, it's been clear enough for quite a while that the Bush administration's Global War on Terror has mainly succeeded in creating ever more terrorists in ever more places. And yet, arguably, the anthrax killer or killers have, to date, gained far more than al-Qaeda. Looked at a certain way, whatever the role of Bruce Ivins, the anthrax killings proved to be a full-scale triumph of terrorism.Exactly. A fearful population is a compliant one. And the war machine that was gearing up to attack Iraq needed to silence the dissenters quickly. How convenient the anthrax attacks were, and how quickly dropped when they no longer served the purpose.
So now it should be very obvious why we have never caught Osama.