Vermin - White House Style
Trotting out he troops when needed to save the Chimps' ass.
Screwing the troops in the ass when no one is looking.
Posted on The Human Stain
My fellow citizens, for the last six years, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union -- and it is strong.
Today we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
In November 2000, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars -- but for the past 140 years, they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941 and of one day in Sept. 2001. Americans have known the casualties of war and Americans have known surprise attacks -- but never before on millions of civilians. All of this has been brought upon us by a daily stream of trangressions – the nights now fall on a different America, an America where freedom itself is under attack.
Americans have many questions. Americans are asking: Who attacked our country? The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of affiliated organizations that walk amidst us. They hide in the daylight as Republicans, as corporations, as neo-cons, as religious fundamentalists, and as acolytes of a particularly immoral strain of “compassionate conservative”. It is only at night – or behind closed doors that their true colors are known.
These groups are to fascism what the mafia is to crime. But their goal is not only making money; their goal is remaking America -- imposing their radical beliefs on all of citizens of this great country and by extension the world.
These terrorists practice a form of authoritarianism that has been rejected by freedom lovers ever since this country was founded. They are extremist believers who would pervert the sacrifices of our founders. Their directives command them to strip liberty and freedom from every American and to extend their control into our private lives.
America's people have been brutalized -- many are going without adequate food or shelter, many are going without medical care, many have lost their livelihoods to unfair trade practices, many are spied upon by their own government, and some have had their liberties stripped from them without due process. Many media outlets are nothing more than spokesmen of the government and are directed to trumpet the latest talking points - which never have any relation to truth or facts. Women are not allowed to control their own bodies. You can be jailed for taking a picture. Religions are being controlled and manipulated to benefit their leaders.
Freedom lovers in America respect all Americans -- but we condemn these terrorist regimes. Not only do they repress their own people, they threaten people everywhere by sponsoring and encouraging and aiding other like minded groups worldwide. By these acts, they are murdering the hopes of liberty and freedom for all people.
And today, the lovers of freedom in the United States of America make the following demands on these destroyers of freedom: Deliver to true United States authorities all the leaders of your groups who would destroy this land. Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist detention camp in America, Cuba, and other lands, and hand over every detainee to their appropriate homeland authorities. Protect the weakest amongst us, the elderly, the sick, the frail, the homeless, the young.
These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. These groups must act, and act immediately. They will hand over the lawbreakers and terrorists, or they will share in their fate.
Americans of passion and concern for their fellow man are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see fading in America -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are the self-appointed, they are those who believe it is their “right” to rule, their right to treat young Americans as cannon fodder in grisly adventures of folly. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.
These terrorists want not merely to end liberty, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every law being ignored in a Presidential signing statement, with every atrocious chipping away the US Constitution, they hope that Americans will not notice the slow erosion that threatens the very existence of this great country. They hope that the continued promotion of fear from overseas will cause us to retreat from guarding our liberties and forsaking our founders. They stand against us, because we stand in their way.
We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety, their pretenses to “protect us”. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the authoritarian ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies.
Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war? We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of responsible politics, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of this insidious threat from within.
Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic trials, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve the terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to these groups.
Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, anyone that continues to harbor or support these groups will be regarded by the Americans as hostile to freedom.
Our nation has been put on notice: We are not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans. Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security. These efforts must be coordinated at the highest level. The only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it, and destroy it where it grows.
Many will be involved in this effort, from FBI agents to intelligence operatives to average citizens. A sea change was put into effect this past November – but it must not stop there. This country must be turned over to it's rightful citizenry in November 2008.
This is not, however, just America's fight. And what is at stake is not just America's freedom. This is the world's fight. This is civilization's fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.
The civilized world is mystified and frightened of America's current leaders. This can be changed and we can once again have countries rallying to America's side. They understand that if this inbred terror goes unpunished, their own cities, their own citizens may be next. Terror, unanswered, can not only bring down buildings, it can threaten the stability of legitimate governments. And you know what -- we're not going to allow it.
Americans are asking: What is expected of us? I ask you to uphold the values of America, and remember why so many have come here. We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith.
After all that has just passed -- all the lives taken, all the freedoms lost, and all the possibilities and hopes that died with them -- it is natural to wonder if America's future is one of fear. Some speak of an age of terror. I know there are struggles ahead, and dangers to face. But this country will define our times, not be defined by them. As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of darkness; this will be an age of liberty, here and across the world.
Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom -- the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time -- now depends on us. Our nation -- this generation -- will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally everyone to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.
It is my hope that in the months and years ahead, life will return to resemble the one our forefathers fought and died for. We'll go back to our lives and routines, and that is good. Even grief recedes with time and grace. But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened over the last six years, and to whom it happened. We'll remember the moment the news came -- where we were and what we were doing. Some will remember a feeling of great despair, or of anger at thievery. Some will carry memories liberties and past freedoms gone forever.
We must all say to ourselves: “I will not forget the wounds to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for all Americans – not just the connnected few”.
The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.
True lovers of freedom, we'll meet violence with patient justice -- assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of America.
Posted on The Human Stain
America has many people of conscience and morality that can strongly and clearly rebut the sickness that is endemic within the psyches of Coulter and all of her adoring cultists. As an example, Andrew Sullivan has a good post that responds to her vile cruelness:
Coulter's defense of the slur is that it was directed at an obviously straight man and so could not be a real slur. The premise of this argument is that the word faggot is only used to describe gay men and is only effective and derogatory when used against a gay man. But it isn't. In fact, in the schoolyard she cites, the primary targets of the f-word are straight boys or teens or men. The word "faggot" is used for two reasons: to identify and demonize a gay man; and to threaten a straight man with being reduced to the social pariah status of a gay man. Coulter chose the latter use of the slur, its most potent and common form. She knew why Edwards qualified. He's pretty, he has flowing locks, he's young-looking. He is exactly the kind of straight guy who is targeted as a "faggot" by his straight peers. This, Ms Coulter, is real social policing by speech. And that's what she was doing: trying to delegitimize and feminize a man by calling him a faggot. It happens every day. It's how insecure or bigoted straight men police their world to keep the homos out.........
The conflation of effeminacy with weakness, and of gayness with weakness, is what Coulter calculatedly asserted. This was not a joke. It was an attack......
In the last couple of weeks, we have seen a leading NBA player and a Marine come out to tell their stories. I'd like to hear Coulter tell Amaechi and Alva that they are sissies and wusses. A man in uniform who just lost a leg for his country is a sissy? The first American serviceman to be wounded in Iraq is a wuss? What Coulter did, in her callow, empty way, was to accuse John Edwards of not being a real man. To do so, she asserted that gay men are not real men either. The emasculation of men in minority groups is an ancient trope of the vilest bigotry. Why was it wrong, after all, for white men to call African-American men "boys"? Because it robbed them of the dignity of their masculinity. And that's what Coulter did last Friday to gays. She said - and conservatives applauded - that I and so many others are not men........
If Americans really want to restore civility and respect to public discourse, they need to rise up strongly, loudly, and forcefully against the despoilers and haters in our midst. That Coulter is one of them can readily be seen. It's good to see that people are starting to shut her off.
Posted on The Human Stain
Brooks actually had the audacity to spout nonsensical talking points about Lewis Libby's recent conviction on obstruction and perjury charges – that he didn't really 'commit a crime'. Add this to the sorry outpouring of sympathy being expressed by some members of the Libby jury that they felt Libby was the 'fall guy' and one would think that a grave miscarriage of justice had just befallen an innocent candy striper with a heart of gold. Libby is apparently an adult, he was Chief of Staff for arguably the most powerful person on the planet – Cheney (the real President), he is not stupid, not forgetful, not some poor sucker who was duped into undertaking the actions he did. He did it – knowingly.
Think about the charges he was found GUILTY of – obstruction and perjury. People on trial, people being deposed, people testifying, have a sworn obligation to answer truthfully, thereby enabling the American justice system to serve the public. Prosecutors take a very dim and harsh view of those that impede their efforts, for obstruction and lying weakens our judicial soul. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald could easily make the case against Libby, but he could not against those that Libby was lying to protect – Cheney, Bush, et-al. America would have been better served with Cheney in the docket, but that hope is not yet lost.
So the chorus of boo-hooing about Libby is just the latest example in a very long trail of phony claims from the Bushies and their acolytes. Lickers like Brooks and others like him that are sent out to muddy the waters do not deserve audiences – they deserve to be shut off.
Posted on The Human Stain
Austrian rifles sold to Iran are showing up in the hands of Iraqi snipers. Iran is notorious for its black market arms smuggling (in which Ronald Reagan and Ollie North once got involved). I guess now Bush will have no option but to go to war with Austria. I hate to tell Arnie, this, but Washington has been known to intern foreign nationals in California of countries against whom we are at war . . .
During today’s House debate on Iraq, virulently anti-Muslim Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) said supporting the anti-escalation resolution would “aid and assist the Islamic jihadists who want the crescent and star to wave over the Capitol of the United States and over the White House of this country.” Moreover, he said, “I fear that radical Muslims who want to control the Middle East and ultimately the world would love to see ‘In God We Trust’ stricken from our money and replaced with ‘In Muhammad We Trust.’”
Posted on The Human Stain
But Inhofe is not a politician who budges easily from his certainties. Like many Republicans in Washington, he appears to have judged that repetition of the same arguments – amplified loudly and frequently through friendly media outlets – can overcome contrary facts.
Inhofe’s stubbornness is tinged, too, by his reliance on fundamentalist Christianity to interpret political events, including the 9/11 terror attacks and Israel’s disputes with the Palestinians and other Arab neighbors.
“One of the reasons I believe the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America is that the policy of our Government has been to ask the Israelis, and demand it with pressure, not to retaliate in a significant way against the terrorist strikes that have been launched against them,” Inhofe said in a 2002 Senate speech.
“I believe very strongly that we ought to support Israel; that it has a right to the land. This is the most important reason: Because God said so,” Inhofe added, citing the Biblical passage in Genesis 13:14-17....................
More recently, rather than accept the widespread judgment of an unfolding disaster in Iraq, Inhofe has simply asserted the opposite. “What has happened in Iraq is nothing short of a miracle,” he told an audience in Tulsa.
Inhofe may be an extreme case of Republicans relying on their certitude to tough their way back to congressional majorities in 2008, but he is certainly not alone..............
That he represents the great state of Oklahoma and is expected to be re-elected in 2008 is sorrowful, but there is still time to find a capable Democrat from the thousands of good people in that state to challenge him. Inhofe's view of the world is extremely narrow and the other Rethuglicans like him are welcome to remain complacent in their little bubbles of denial. That's just more seats for the Democrats to win in the next election.
Posted on The Human Stain
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was asked about this today at the daily briefing, following the release of military documents from 2002 that revealed that the U.S. expected that by now a token American force of 5,000 would be able to keep things under control in Iraq -- and the occupation would require only a two or three month "stabilization" period.
"What went wrong?" the reporter reasonably asked.
Snow replied: "I'm not sure anything went wrong."
Now, to Chimpie, Snow must be a huge intellect. To the average American, he is an stultifying and humiliating embarrassment to our country.
Posted on The Human Stain
This latest chapter is a continuation of their well known lie- “We honor our troops.”
The Bush administration plans to cut funding for veterans' health care two years from now — even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system.
Bush is using the cuts, critics say, to help fulfill his pledge to balance the budget by 2012.
After an increase sought for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing rapidly — by more than 10 percent in many years — White House budget documents assume consecutive cutbacks in 2009 and 2010 and a freeze thereafter.
The proposed cuts are unrealistic in light of recent VA budget trends — its medical care budget has risen every year for two decades and 83 percent in the six years since Bush took office — sowing suspicion that the White House is simply making them up to make its long-term deficit figures look better.
Now for something that is truly side-splitting hilarious from the Chimp in Chief – Georgie Bush:
When the interviewer made a reference to "Goldwater Republicans," and "Rockefeller Republicans," he chuckled -- his word -- and stopped the questioner from finishing his thought.
"I'm just chuckling because I think 'Goldwater Republicans' and 'Rockefeller Republicans' are pretty far past," the president said. "That's rude of me to chuckle, but I would be cautious about stereotyping philosophies.".........................
Okay, his interviewer said mildly, but what he'd really wanted to know was how (George W.) Bush Republicans would be defined, and what images the phrase "Bush Republican" might summon for future generations.
And suddenly, it was 2000 again; Mr. Bush did not mention 9/11 or the global war on terror, Iraq or Afghanistan, Saddam or bin Laden: "Compassionate conservatism" was his legacy, he declared, and referred to the faith-based initiatives we haven't heard much about in subsequent years. "I made a name by being compassionate."
Say what? He made a name by being compassionate? Did he really say - by being compassionate?
Posted on The Human Stain
The 'outing' of Valerie Plame was done for purely partisan reasons, as payback by a group of petty, mendacious, and criminal, political scumbags who cared nothing for her life nor the lives of her contacts. Plame was working under cover, investigating Iran and it's capability with regards to weapons of mass destruction. To say that she was serving our country and working to enhance our safety, is an understatement. To say that her betrayers are the lowest form of amoral scoundrels does not describe their treachery in harsh enough terms.
The traitor roll call: Ari Fleischer, Richard Armitage, Lewis Libby, and Karl Rove.
So, we have Libby(Chief of Staff to VP Cheney), Fleischer (Chief White House spokesman), Rove (Chief White House political operative), and Armitage (Deputy Secretary of State) all involved with revealing a covert CIA agents' identity. What an amazing coincidence? Or was it a concerted campaign to discredit her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who was causing big problems by raising doubts about the Iraqi WMD claims being made by Bush and his thugs?
May they rot in jail.
Posted on The Human Stain
A paraplegic man wearing a soiled hospital gown and a broken colostomy bag was found crawling in a gutter in skid row in Los Angeles on Thursday after allegedly being dumped in the street by a Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center van, police said.
The incident, witnessed by more than two dozen people, was described by police as a particularly outrageous case of "homeless dumping" that has plagued the downtown area.
"I can't think of anything colder than that," said LAPD Det. Russ Long, who called the case the most egregious of its kind that he has seen in his career.
Makes you proud to be an American.
Posted on The Human Stain
The head of the Cartoon Network resigned Friday following a marketing stunt that caused a security scare in Boston.
The announcement about Jim Samples resigning was made in an internal memo sent to Cartoon Network staffers..............
Samples said he felt "compelled to step down, effective immediately, in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch."
My belief is that the “scare” in Boston was totally overblown, making the city authorities look like total weenies. It was downright embarrassing and painful to watch. Nevertheless, a huge disruption was caused that affected the lives of thousands.
By his example, Mr. Samples has shown that actions and the lack of oversight, have consequences. This is a lesson that needs learning – over and over again in Washington. The Rethuglicans in Congress got a taste of that last November, with more to come in 2008.
Think Georgie could learn this? Most likely, he is an avid Cartoon Network viewer and just may be positively influenced by this act.
Posted on The Human Stain
1) We must continue the war to prevent the terrible aftermath that will occur if our forces are withdrawn soon. Reflect on the double-think of this formulation. We are now fighting to prevent what our invasion made inevitable! Undoubtedly we will leave a mess -- the mess we created, which has become worse each year we have remained. Lawmakers gravely proclaim their opposition to the war, but in the next breath express fear that quitting it will leave a blood bath, a civil war, a terrorist haven, a "failed state," or some other horror. But this "aftermath" is already upon us; a prolonged U.S. occupation cannot prevent what already exists.
2) We must continue the war to prevent Iran's influence from growing in Iraq. This is another absurd notion. One of the president's initial war aims, the creation of a democracy in Iraq, ensured increased Iranian influence, both in Iraq and the region. Electoral democracy, predictably, would put Shiite groups in power -- groups supported by Iran since Saddam Hussein repressed them in 1991. Why are so many members of Congress swallowing the claim that prolonging the war is now supposed to prevent precisely what starting the war inexorably and predictably caused? Fear that Congress will confront this contradiction helps explain the administration and neocon drumbeat we now hear for expanding the war to Iran.
Here we see shades of the Nixon-Kissinger strategy in Vietnam: widen the war into Cambodia and Laos. Only this time, the adverse consequences would be far greater. Iran's ability to hurt U.S. forces in Iraq are not trivial. And the anti-American backlash in the region would be larger, and have more lasting consequences.
3) We must prevent the emergence of a new haven for al-Qaeda in Iraq. But it was the U.S. invasion that opened Iraq's doors to al-Qaeda. The longer U.S. forces have remained there, the stronger al-Qaeda has become. Yet its strength within the Kurdish and Shiite areas is trivial. After a U.S. withdrawal, it will probably play a continuing role in helping the Sunni groups against the Shiites and the Kurds. Whether such foreign elements could remain or thrive in Iraq after the resolution of civil war is open to question. Meanwhile, continuing the war will not push al-Qaeda outside Iraq. On the contrary, the American presence is the glue that holds al-Qaeda there now.
4) We must continue to fight in order to "support the troops." This argument effectively paralyzes almost all members of Congress. Lawmakers proclaim in grave tones a litany of problems in Iraq sufficient to justify a rapid pullout. Then they reject that logical conclusion, insisting we cannot do so because we must support the troops. Has anybody asked the troops?
So, to the amoral Rethuglican Senators and their Kool-Aid drinking swine supporter – Sen. Joe Lieberman, here is a question. As you all continue to support the needless death of brave Americans who are fighting in a war based on lies – how many of the Americans who have died since your successful avoidance of accountability will you honor by standing before their families to tell them that the death of their loved one was for a noble cause?
Not one I'll bet.
Posted on The Human Stain
One has to wonder about reporters. They constantly profess their dedication to keeping the public informed, claiming stridently of the “public's right to know” and then turn around to display contempt or disdain for the intellect and concern of that public. The best examples of this can be seen when viewing the Sunday morning talking heads – Meet The Press is a rich feeding ground.
Consider the discussion this morning, along with Tim Russert, the guests included Gwen Ifill, David Broder, Roger Simon, and Howard Kurtz. Russert asked Kurtz about the Lewis Libby trial:
MR. RUSSERT: ..............Howie Kurtz, I want to ask you about the Scooter Libby trial. William Powers in the National Journal has an interesting column where he thinks that the fact that journalists have to testify is good because it will open up in terms of the public being able to see how reporters cultivate relationships to get information. You have a different view of that?
MR. KURTZ: Yeah, I certainly don’t think it’s a good thing at all, and I think the reputation of journalists in this Libby trial have taken a hit...............The problem for us as a profession is this: When journalists get up there and testify, beside—leaving aside the First Amendment question—it looks to people like—out there like we have become too cozy with senior Bush administration officials, not so we can ferret out information about national security, not so we can find out about corruption, but, in this particular case, in some cases, acting as a conduit for White House effort to put out negative information about Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame’s husband, a big critic of the pre-war intelligence. And I think that the people out there who don’t follow this all that closely think that we have become part of the club, too much the insiders. And that is a problem for journalism.
So Kurtz thinks the “reputation” of journalists in the trial have taken a hit because it “looks like” they have become “too cozy”. He bemoans the fact that people might think reporters have become a “conduit” for the White House. Well golly gee – pot meet kettle, you're both black.
Has Kurtz never heard of Judy Miller, Jeff Gannon, or Michael Gordon? And has Kurtz forgetten about Cheney's main conduit – Tim Russert? That Kurtz can sit there and spout this inane drivel is beautifully symptomatic of the problem these so-called journalists have. They appear to be totally disconnected from reality, preferring to live in a little world centered around Washington, DC and totally failing to see the stains on their hands. Kurtz thinks that people who don’t follow the happenings in Washington closely think that journalists have become insiders. He needs to wake up as people who do follow Washington closely understand full well that reporters are compromised. The networks and newspapers are losing readership and influence - not because people don't care, but simply because the media cannot be relied upon to provide truth.
MR. RUSSERT: Gwen Ifill:
MS. IFILL: Well, you know, the journalists I talked to are having sort, sort of a collective nervous breakdown about this.........You’re right, it’s—Roger’s right, in some ways it’s kind of an inside story in that we’re all talking to each other and we’re very crazed about it. And I don’t know that Americans around the world are really worrying about that. But I do know that at some level it’s going to affect the way we do our jobs.............
Gwen, Americans are watching and worrying. There is a big world outside of Washington which you have apparently lost sight of. We're not stupid. Tragically, your profession is being exposed as one that dismisses it's Fourth Estate responsibility and contributes to the continued deterioration of American democracy.
For the last six years, we have seen the tragic results from this failure of journalistic responsibility - when will you learn?Posted on The Human Stain
If you're a journalist, and a very senior White House official calls you up on the phone, what do you do? Do you try to get the official to address issues of urgent concern so that you can then relate that information to the public?
Not if you're NBC Washington bureau chief Tim Russert.
When then-vice presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby called Russert on July 10, 2003, to complain that his name was being unfairly bandied about by MSNBC host Chris Matthews, Russert apparently asked him nothing.
And get this: According to Russert's testimony yesterday at Libby's trial, when any senior government official calls him, they are presumptively off the record.
That's not reporting, that's enabling.
That's how you treat your friends when you're having an innocent chat, not the people you're supposed to be holding accountable.........................
Russert is the new poster child (supplanting Bob Woodward) for showing how Washington reporters are do nothing journalists, seemingly more concerned with being part of the political in-crowd rather than fulfilling their role as watchdogs for the American public. To say that this is a huge dis-service to our nation is an understatement. One has to wonder how these media types can be so clueless regarding their abrogation of duty. Don't they care about America? Don't they care about their children?
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to answer the question about why Washington “journalists” are held in such low regard – just ask Russert.
Posted on The Human Stain
At long last, the fog of mystification generated by the Bush administration and the Washington media is lifting, so that everyone can see clearly why I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby is on trial and why his prosecution is important...........
The question that now hangs over the President and the Vice President is whether they lied to special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald—the same crime for which their fall guy Scooter now faces possible imprisonment and disgrace................
Doubts about the candor of Messrs. Bush and Cheney date all the way back to September 2003, before the appointment of the special counsel, when the President supposedly declared his sincere determination to “get to the bottom of this.”.............
“There’s been nothing—absolutely nothing—brought to our attention to suggest any White House involvement,” said Scott McClellan, then the Presidential press secretary, in attempting to cover Karl Rove and the rest of the White House staff with a blanket exoneration.
We have long since learned otherwise. We know, for instance, that Mr. Rove, Mr. Libby and former Presidential press secretary Ari Fleischer were all involved in leaking Ms. Wilson’s identity to the media. We also know that Mr. Libby, by his own testimony, learned about her C.I.A. identity from the Vice President. They had hoped to discredit Mr. Wilson by hinting at nepotism in his C.I.A.-sponsored trip to Niger to gather information about alleged uranium trading with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. (Actually, he undertook the difficult journey to that unprepossessing nation as a public service, without pay.) In short, we know that top officials in the Bush White House were behind the campaign to discredit the Wilsons.
Where does that leave the President and the Vice President? Over the past several days, the outlines of Mr. Cheney’s role in the nasty attack on the Wilsons and the subsequent cover-up have become increasingly plain. He not only oversaw the activities of his chief of staff, but went so far as to order Mr. McClellan to “clear” Mr. Libby in a press briefing................
Q Scott, has anyone --- has the President tried to find out who outed the CIA agent? And has he fired anyone in the White House yet?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Helen, that's assuming a lot of things. First of all, that is not the way this White House operates. The President expects everyone in his administration to adhere to the highest standards of conduct...............
Q Does he think it didn't come from here?
MR. McCLELLAN: But we've made it very clear that anyone --- anyone --- who has information relating to this should report that information to the Department of Justice.
Q Does he doubt it came from the White House?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there's been no information that has been brought to our attention, beyond what we've seen in the media reports, to suggest White House involvement.
Q Would you not want to know whether someone had leaked information of this kind?
MR. McCLELLAN: The President has been --- I spoke for him earlier today --- the President believes leaking classified information is a very serious matter.................
Posted on The Human Stain
In the Caspian Basin and beneath the deserts of Iraq, as many as 783 billion barrels of oil are waiting to be pumped. Anyone controlling that much oil stands a good chance of breaking OPEC's stranglehold overnight, and any nation seeking to dominate the world would have to go after it.
The long-held suspicions about George Bush's wars are well-placed. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were not prompted by the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. They were not waged to spread democracy in the Middle East or enhance security at home. They were conceived and planned in secret long before September 11, 2001 and they were undertaken to control petroleum resources.
During his second week in office, President Bush convened the first meeting of his National Security Council. It was a triumph for the PNAC. In just one hour-long meeting, the new Bush Administration turned upside down the long-standing focus of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Over Secretary of State Colin Powell's objections, the goal of reconciling the Israel-Palestine conflict was abandoned, and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was set as the new priority. Ron Suskind's book, The Price of Loyalty, describes the meeting in detail.
The Energy Task Force wasted no time, either. Within three weeks of its creation, the group was poring over maps of the Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, tanker terminals, and oil exploration blocks. It studied an inventory of "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts" -- dozens of oil companies from 30 different countries, in various stages of negotiations for exploring and developing Iraqi crude.
Not a single U.S. oil company was among the "suitors," and that was intolerable, given a foreign policy bent on global hegemony. The National Energy Policy document, released May 17, 2001 concluded this: "By any estimation, Middle East oil producers will remain central to world security. The Gulf will be a primary focus of U.S. international energy policy."
That rather innocuous statement can be clarified by a top-secret memo dated February 3, 2001 to the staff of the National Security Council. Cheney's group, the memo said, was "melding" two apparently unrelated areas of policy: "the review of operational policies toward rogue states," such as Iraq, and "actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields." The memo directed the National Security Council staff to cooperate fully with the Energy Task Force as the "melding" continued. National security policy and international energy policy would be developed as a coordinated whole. This would prove convenient on September 11, 2001, still seven months in the future...........
Posted on The Human Stain