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"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Newt Gingrich: "Scale back to small force in Iraq"
Former Rebublican House Speaker says:
U.S. made "enormous mistake" in occupation

Stumbled across this from this past week and thought it worthy for sharing. April 11, 2006 Newt Gingrich, the former Republican Speaker of the House, said this past Monday that the United States should pull out of Iraq and leave a small force there.
"It was an enormous mistake for us to try to occupy that country after June of 2003," Gingrich said during a question-and-answer session. "We have to pull back, and we have to recognize it."
"We are at one of those great intersections in history when we as a people are going to have to have a great conversation with each other," Gingrich said. Once Americans have that talk, he added, they will ensure a safe, free and prosperous country. Gingrich spoke about the traits of great leaders such as George Washington, who listened to people to determine what course to take, whether in battle or in legislation."In the American model, power comes from God to you. We then loan it to the government," he said. "The key to a leader is you listen first."
[That might be the most insightful vision Newt's had, though he was reiterating George Washington's idea, since Newt's Contract with America . Whatever the case, I can't help but ask myself ...geez, why do I find it so interesting to watch conservatives (including a wave of retired military generals) jumping from the sinking S.S. Bushie? Could it be that as it steamed off over the horizon into it's military odyssey, some 2,000 (plus) dead americans & hundreds of billions of tax dollars ago, those aboard the S.S. Bushie so arrogantly flipped all of the rest of us the bird? And for good measure so condescendingly mooned anyone that questioned the strategy of their "non-plan" or their intelligence sources - as a liar, unpatriotic and terrorist sympathizer? Or, maybe it is in Bush's "stay the course" attitude: "You're doing a heck of a job, Rummy"... as Bush drives our sinking ship down into the waves? I can't decide which of it all might be more amazing. Before W. Bush I could have never imagined such wholesale contempt for this country's values, institutions, resources and public - from any President during the course of my lifetime.]


Bush Sept 2004: "Taliban no longer is in existence."
Since Sept 2004: American soldiers dead
in Afganistan's Operation Enduring Freedom = 141
(by - Scott with credits to georgia10)

September 27, 2004: Bush: "In a different kind of war, we had to recognize that we're not facing a nation; we're facing a group of people who have adopted an ideology of hatred and love to find places where they can hide. They're like parasites. They kind of leech on to a host and hope the host weakens over time so they can eventually become the host. That's why I said to the Taliban in Afghanistan: Get rid of al Qaeda; see, you're harboring al Qaeda. Remember this is a place where they trained -- al Qaeda trained thousands of people in Afghanistan. And the Taliban, I guess, just didn't believe me. And as a result of the United States military, Taliban no longer is in existence."

4/15/06: (ABC) Afghan District Governor killed in ambush: Taliban insurgents gunned down an Afghan district governor in troubled southern Afghanistan in an ambush in insurgency-hit Helmand province, police said. Abdul Majeed, the governor for the province's Baghran district, was killed in his car, district police chief Bahaudin Khan said. "Our district governor was martyred today," he said. A Taliban spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi, said by telephone the movement was responsible for the attack. He claimed seven police were also killed but this was rejected by Khan. Helmand is one of Afghanistan's most violent provinces and suffers regular attacks by Taliban militants said to be linked to the drugs trade. It is expecting a force of about 3,500 British soldiers to be in place by mid-June, with about 1,000 already in the country. They will take part in counterinsurgency and counternarcotics operations. Several of the province's officials have been assassinated in the past weeks. -AFP

04/15/06 (CNN): 47 killed in attack on Taliban: In some of the fiercest fighting in months, Afghan forces backed by U.S.-led coalition troops killed 41 Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, the governor of Kandahar province has said. At least six Afghan policemen also died in the attacks, which targeted suspected Taliban hideouts in the area where Taliban leader Mullah Omar was born and raised -- about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Kandahar. Coalition helicopters were used in the operation. He remains at large....

[- Scottnote: I for one can thank god that W. is in charge. I cannot imagine the dilema of this country if someone else had been in charge... someone less competent who, for example, might have evaporate hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in military misadventures and afterward be unable to similarly assert "the Taliban no longer exist". Going back still further - only Bush could assure us 4 years ago that Osama bin Laden would be captured. Gads, imagine the worst case pickle we'd be in if somebody else had simultaneously failed us fighting the terrorist fight in Iraq! Here's to good fortune in having had Bush's paternal hand resolving these political contests he was forced to engage our military in. And looking forward, you'll notice the terrorist government in Iran quickly changed its tune due to both Bush's compelling diplomacy and obvious able military leadership; Iran certainly appears concerned and headed in the right direction anyway.]


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"Leak" ©
a resource watering hole article from Bcgntn
at last... the awaited obligatory post - appreciatively reposted here by -Scott

By February 11, 2004, the President was adamant. He said, "I want to know the truth. "If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is."

Our nation's leader assured us, he too wanted to know who released the name of Central Intelligence agent Valerie Plame to reporters. He would take care of him, her, or them. While speaking on the subject, Mr. Bush continued boldly with blood in his eyes, "If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of."

Our fair President stated, "I welcome the investigation. I am absolutely confident the Justice Department will do a good job. I want to know the truth." Supposedly unyielding as this Bush Boy is known to be, GW reiterated, "Leaks of classified information are bad things," adding that he did not know of "anybody in my administration who leaked classified information." Our President was now hungry for justice. This and truth are the American way.

Bush the senior knew the importance of Central Intelligence confidences. After all, he had been the CIA Director years ago. While President, George Herbert Walker Bush was among those that strongly supported the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, his son, the Boy Blunder, chose to violate it, stealthily. Up until now, Baby Bush did as neophytes do; he diverted the blame.

However, under sworn testimony, the facts were exposed. Mr. Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby Jr. bore witness. The actual leak was not within the administration; it was the administration. The information was released by our Commander-and-Chief.

Today, this man-boy stood before the public and acted as though all was well, even legal. Mr. Bush stated there was no leak, or were his words, `it depends how you define "leak.' He merely made official and confidential material not be so. As he said this morning, "I wanted people to see what some of those statements were based on. I wanted people to see the truth. I thought it made sense for people to see the truth. That's why I declassified the document.''

If this is so, why did this miracle man not share what was years ago, when it first arose, and more importantly, how does one man get away with violating the law so frequently? Why is Bush never prosecuted, put on trial, impeached, or even censured. We had a TeflonTM President, a man that many labeled, "Slick Willy." Why is Bush, the Boy-Beyond-the-Law?

You might enjoy these resources . . .* A White House Smear, By David Corn. The Nation. July 16, 2003* Filegate: Case closed. BBC* Investigation? No, Bush should pick up the phone, By Josh Marshall,The Hill July 30, 2003* Bush welcomes probe of CIA leak, CNN News. Wednesday, February 11, 2004* Many major media outlets continue to ignore story of missing White House emails. Tuesday, February 7, 2006* Washington Post downplayed possible illegality of Plame outing by ignoring Plame outing. October 19, 2005* CIA 'outing' might fall short of crime, By Mark Memmott, USA TODAY* In Court Filings, Cheney Aide Says Bush Approved Leak, By David Johnston and David E. Sanger, New York Times. April 6, 2006 * White House: Bush did not flip-flop on leaks. CNN News. Monday, April 10, 2006* Bush Says He Declassified Pre-War Intel, By Deb Riechmann. The Guardian. Tuesday April 11, 2006 * Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. The Freedom of Information Center. * Title 50 > Chapter 15 > Subchapter IV > § 421, U.S. Code collection. Cornell Law School * House Provides More Cover For CIA Crimes, By Sam Smith, The Progressive Review. 5/17/99* Remarks on Signing the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. The Freedom of Information Center. June 23, 1982* Will the CIA Protect the White House? By David Corn. The Nation. August 16, 2003* It doesn't look good for Karl Rove, By John Dean. CNN.com, Friday, July 15, 2005* Bush Says He Declassified Intelligence, By Reuters. April 10, 2006
Betsy L. Angert Be-Think
Tags: Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, Bush Says He Declassified Intelligence, Baby Bush Boy Blunder, Current Affairs, Ethics, I. Lewis Libby Jr., Politics, Propaganda and Politics, Teflon™ Presidents, Valerie Plame, Joesph Wilson, CIA (all tags)


Monday, April 10, 2006

Weekend Away: (Clearing out Gitmo)
by - Scott

I can’t afford the extravagant getaways like Wanda gets... but I got away for a couple half-days and an overnighter this past weekend to a small beachfront cabin hideaway in a tiny place called Seabeck, WA. There's a general store with a cafe, espresso and pizza stands, a marina, and a conference center. It's speck on the Hood Canal with in-your-face scenery of the Olympic Mountains as a backdrop. It was not so much to "escape" life as it was to "defrag” life. Work's been a string of relentless challenges lately.

It drizzled the whole while. Puffy white low clouds moved in and out between mountain ravines. Fishing boats and herons were the fastest moving things around. I got Belgian fries and slopped down tall stout Belgian beer which was all good after hiking moss-muffled oldgrowth forest with "Bob" my lucky orange dog.

But it was still a political weekend - even without an internet. I brought with me some of last week's unread newspapers. And in a hamlet town along the route, I accidentally stumbled across a Libertarian Party meeting of some sort, where I swear I saw in the hallway either our State's former democratic party Governor or it was his twin brother. On arrival at my cabin I discovered in a bookcase a couple of dust-covered hardbacks by Rush Limbaugh - all reaffirming that politics and evil are in fact - everywhere.

So I took away from the weekend McCain is bowing far to the right. William F. Buckley (long-time conservative writer and leader), believes Bush's presidency will be judged entirely upon the Iraq war which is now a failure. Buckley thinks the most important next step is to acknowledge that failure and look for opportunities to cope with it.

I was also reminded that enshrined in the First Amendment are the basics of democracy: freedom of worship, speech, press, assembly, and the right to petition government. None of these exist in a Theocracy where elections are largely charade events offering at best choices between non-democratic alternatives. Obviously BushCo understood “democracy at gunpoint” too tenuous a notion. It’s never been done in an Islamic nation – and where it happens it’s been indigenous leadership. In the example of Turkey, government and religion are highly separated. If there is not civil war and there is “democracy” in Iraq – clearly that it will look more like Iran than Turkey - but certainly nothing like the US of A.

Instead, Bush used his authority to position a invasion dishonestly: latest info reveals that the Pentagon asked for an authoritative judgment from the National Intelligence Council, the senior coordinating body for 15 intelligence agencies, which responded in a memo unequivocally: The Niger story was baseless and should be laid to rest. Bush then advanced exactly to the contrary with it as his centerpiece in, for example, his State of the Union Address of January 2003. After that, in concerted actions through BushCo officials, he’d also leak snippets of disproved intelligence evidence to discredit, punish, and seek revenge upon a critic. I say Bush will be lucky if Buckley is right.

But the most enlightening aspect of the weekend was a short interview I read with controversial former Catholic nun Karen Armstrong author of a 1993 best-seller, "A History of God," wherein the religious historian examined the evolution of the idea of God in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In her 2000 book, "The Battle for God," she wrote about religious fundamentalism:

“…Q: Given that these traditions all emphasize compassion, what accounts for religion being involved in some of history's most violent conflicts?
A: Mostly the conflicts arise out of political ambition, political conflicts. And religion gets sucked into it. If a society is violent, people make their religion violent…”

It’s was perspective that crawled down below the dirt to the roots of Christian fundamentalism - as much as it does to the roots of Islamic fundamentalism. It’s a quick read: if you got minute check it out. [interview]


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"There is something wrong when religious faiths can be shaken to the core by natural disasters but seem able to reconcile themselves with events such as the war on Iraq which are the result of human folly." ( Muriel Gray )

I display this ribbon because I feel as if I have entered a period of mourning. Mourning for my loss of trust, and faith. In our election process, and our government. Mourning for the freedoms we have already lost and those I fear we will loose in the near future. More about Black

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