Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Say It Loud Enough For The World To Hear: "Bush Lied"

"I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them." Adlai Stevenson, during his 1952 presidential campaign.
For a while it seemed as if the Democrats had taken Adlai's facetious proposition seriously. They couched their criticisms of the Deserter's Iraq War malfeasance in terms of faulty policy, poor intelligence, failure to adequately plan for the post-war period, insufficient troop strength, etc. They timidly insinuated that the Deserter had "hyped" the Iraq threat and "exaggerated" the connection to Al Qaeda. They appeared willing, much to the Deserter's delight, to ignore the question of whether the Iraq War had been justified, restricting themselves to cavils regarding the administration of the Iraq occupation.  Even as millions in this country could barely contain their outrage at having been deceived into war, it seemed as if no Democrat of national stature dared utter the terrible truth. Sure, Kennedy and Kucinich were speaking the truth, but it was too easy for the war criminals and their big media megaphones to dismiss them as paleoliberal pacifists.

And then came Howard Dean.

I was going down for the third time when I first heard Howard, utterly astonished that this nation could so rapidly descend into a Kafkaesque nightmare in which truth was banished and speakers of the truth hysterically condemned as heretics. I cannot fully convey the sense of relief I felt when Howard Dean forthrightly proclaimed that we had been deceived into war by the President, a deception so antithetical to democracy and monstrous in its implications for the future of this society that the silence of our leaders in the face of this lie was frightening and eerie, a deception so horrible that, like the macabre secret in a Sam Shepard play, it seemed to exert a truth warp that transmogrified every rhetorical attempt to navigate around it.

And then suddenly there was Howard Dean, the wonderful, pugnacious bantam from the Green Mountain State, his jaw clenched and looking vaguely pissed-off, speaking the truth and daring any rightwing brownshirt to question his patriotism. The other candidates recoiled at Howard's temerity, certain that speaking the truth would mean political doom. But then Dr. Dean began rising in the polls, drawing raucous crowds, appearing on the cover of Newsweek, raising millions of campaign dollars from people who were just plain grateful that someone was saying it aloud: Bush lied. Al Gore stepped forward: Bush betrayed us. And soon even Kerry and Edwards were saying it: we were deceived.

We must defeat the Deserter. He could ejaculate on a thousand underaged virgins in the oval office and not do the damage that he has done to the nation and our democracy with his criminal war. I understand why John Kerry must tack to the middle and flank the Deserter on the issue of strength against terrorism. But it was very disconcerting to hear, as we did in the days leading up to the Democratic convention, that the Democratic party would avoid the subject of Iraq, that "Bush bashing" would be off-limits even though he deceived us into war. How depressing. It was as if the truth, although no longer banished, was deemed too shrill, too "hot" for the cool medium that will carry the convention to millions, too politically inconvenient.

I am proud to say, as a Democrat and as an American, that the truth is being spoken at the 2004 Democratic convention. It is not yet clear that the candidate will speak the precious words, and perhaps even likely that he won't, but Democrats are LOUD and PROUD and they are unafraid to say what must be said if our democracy is to be fully preserved and principles of our republic vindicated: Bush lied, he sought to mislead and confuse, he assiduously employed deception to gull a peace-loving people into an unjust war.
Wouldn't we be safer with a President who didn't insist on confusing al Qaeda with Iraq? Al Gore

We also were sure that [Presidents Truman and Eisenhower] would not mislead us when it came to issues involving our nation’s security.   President Carter

And finally, in the world at large we cannot lead if our leaders mislead. President Carter

We’re not going to be afraid to stand up for what we believe. We’re not going to let those who disagree with us shout us down under a banner of false patriotism. Gov. Dean

I’m proud of John Kerry’s leadership, and I intend to stand shoulder to shoulder with him as we fight for the things Harry Truman promised in 1948: health insurance for every American, a real jobs plan to create jobs instead of destroy them. Standing up for middle class and working Americans who got a tax increase, not a tax cut. And a foreign policy that relies on telling the truth to the American people before we send our brave American soldiers to fight in foreign lands. Gov. Dean

How could any President have possibly squandered the enormous goodwill that flowed to America from across the world after September 11th? Senator Kennedy

In the White House, inscribed on a plaque above the fireplace in the State Dining Room, is a prayer – a simple but powerful prayer of John Adams, the first president to live in that great house. It reads: "I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but [the] honest and wise ever rule under this roof." In November, we will make those words ring true again. Senator Kennedy

Instead, he and his congressional allies made a very different choice: to use the moment of unity to push America too far to the right and to walk away from our allies, not only in attacking Iraq before the weapons inspectors finished their jobs, but in withdrawing American support for the Climate Change Treaty, the International Court for war criminals, the ABM treaty, and even the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. President Clinton

When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they’re going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world. Barack Obama

Friday, July 16, 2004

Meet The New Boss...

...same as the old boss.
The Australian newspaper The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald are reporting that two sources have confirmed witnessing Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi summarily execute with a pistol six or seven suspected insurgents at a Baghdad prison.  They claim the executions were witnessed by as many as thirty people, including five or six plain-clothed American security personnel.
One of the witnesses claimed that before killing the prisoners - and they name three of the people alleged to have been executed - Dr Allawi had told them he wanted to send a clear message to the police on how to deal with insurgents. "The prisoners were against the wall and we were standing in the courtyard when the Interior Minister said that he would like to kill them all on the spot. Allawi said that they deserved worse than death - but then he pulled the pistol from his belt and started shooting them," one of the witnesses said.

Mischievous disinformation propogated by anti-U.S. and anti-Allawi factions?  Not likely.  The Age claims that the two sources were contacted independently by The Age and that neither presented himself to The Age or were presented to The Age.  They were interviewed separately by The Age, and neither was informed that the other had been contacted.  Both purported to be supportive of Allawi's action, believing that harsh measures are necessary to quell the insurgency.
According to both Australian newspapers U.S. officials in Baghdad have declined to issue outright denials of the reports.
If these reports are true, the administration must get out in front on this or risk the last nail in the coffin of U.S. credibility in the world community.  We were on notice from various Iraqi sources that Allawi was a thug, from his days as a Baathist ally of Saddam through his days as an anti-Saddam CIA stooge.  I am under no illusions that the Deserter or his neocon war criminals give a damn about Iraqi freedom or democracy.  I fully understand that they desire nothing more than their own Saddam-lite puppet.  But the potential consequences of a failed cover-up of this scandal are too great.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

High Noonan

Peggy Noonan is at it again in the Wall Street Journal's propaganda page. From today's column: "Certainly lately, since the transfer of sovereignty, things seem to be looking up, but that may well prove temporary." Twenty four dead Coalition troops in one week in July in the immediate aftermath of the so-called "transfer of sovereignty" and Peggy finds things "looking up." Two massive car-bombings in the last two days kill 22 and seriously wound dozens, and ol' Peggy finds improvement. There is simply no other way to say this: Peggy Noonan is an idiot. Check that. Peggy Noonan is a bloodthirsty, warmongering idiot. If you don't believe me, check out her "Message to Fallujah" column of April 1, 2004.

Peggy's message to Fallujah was as follows:
We know what the men and boys who did the atrocity of Fallujah look like; they posed for the cameras. We know exactly what they did--again, the cameras. We know they massed on a bridge and raised their guns triumphantly. It's all there on film. It would be good not only for elemental justice but for Iraq and its future if a large force of coalition troops led by U.S. Marines would go into Fallujah, find the young men, arrest them or kill them, and, to make sure the point isn't lost on them, blow up the bridge.
The atrocity she is referring to is not the murder of the American "contractors", but the dismemberment and desecration of the corpses. The attackers had long since fled, according to all reports, leaving a crowd of what has been referred to in press accounts as "townspeople" or "residents" who proceeded to dismember and set fire to the corpses.

There are two things that are striking about Noonan's "Message to Fallujah." First, she refers to the townspeople as being armed - she claims to have seen it on film. However, none of the photographs I've viewed includes a single armed Iraqi among the crowd. The WSJ's own news coverage of the event indicates that these were unarmed civilians:
"Residents in Fallujah said insurgents attacked the contractors with small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. After the attack, a jubilant crowd of civilians, none of whom appeared to be armed, gathered to celebrate, dragging the bodies through the street and hanging two of them from the bridge. Many of those in the crowd were excited young boys who shouted slogans in front of television cameras."
Presumably, Noonan feels it necessary to put guns in the hands of these people so that she can advocate killing them. Does this shock the conscience of anyone else? Even if Noonan can find a gun somewhere in the films or photos of this event, the vast, vast majority of these people are unquestionably unarmed civilians. Yet Noonan believes we should "arrest them or kill them" for desecrating four American corpses.

Peggy Noonan is a disgrace.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Everything Changed On March 7, 2003

Thank you, Kevin Drum. Thank you for citing the single most devastating indictment of the Deserter's rush to war. Thank you for reminding everyone that the "intelligence failure" rationalization is a scam, a diversion, an irrelevancy. Goldstein has been waiting for this for some time.

Kevin reminds us that it didn't matter what the intelligence said prior to March 7, 2003. It didn't matter what we thought we knew about Iraqi WMD, because on March 7, 2003 we learned that all of our intelligence regarding Iraqi WMD was dubious at best, fraudulent at worst. Goldstein has been harping on this for months.

On March 7, 2003 Hans Blix, the head U.N. weapons inspector, reported to the United Nations that that UNSCOM inspectors, provided with full and unimpeded access to all suspected Iraqi WMD sites, conducting unannounced inspections and armed with intelligence from the CIA indicating where these alleged arms could be found, reported that no WMDs had been found - none at all. CIA director George Tenet testified to Congress before the war that the CIA had provided the best U.S. intelligence to UNSCOM on over 100 sites where U.S. intelligence indicated WMDs may be found, including approximately 20 different sites the CIA referred to as "high probability" sites. UNSCOM searched these sites for WMDs, and as of March 7, 2003 UNSCOM had determined that not one of these sites contained WMDS or any evidence of WMDs.

[A]s of March 7, 2003 any prior assessment of the likely existence of Iraqi WMD caches or the reliability of U.S. intelligence regarding WMDs had to be radically revised. It was incumbent upon anyone who previously had been certain that Iraq had WMDs to honestly revisit that assessment, and desist from starting a war until that assessment had accounted for the vast gulf between the UNSCOM findings and U.S. intelligence. But the President didn't do this...He accelerated our rush to war and invaded Iraq just 12 days later, even though he knew that he didn't know what he thought he'd known.
One has to wonder why the Dems aren't screaming this at the top of their lungs everyday. It simply didn't matter what the CIA had told the Deserter. It didn't matter what the rest of the world's intelligence agencies thought. On March 7, 2003 we were informed by Hans Blix that our best intelligence on Iraqi WMD was way off target.

Twelve days later we started bombing Baghdad.

Will someone please explain to me why the Deserter and his neocon-men should not be prosecuted for war crimes?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The Time Machine

Time for another edition of The Time Machine!

The date was July 17, 2003. The polls indicated that Iraq was a political winner for the Deserter. The republicans arrogantly believed they could parlay their warmongering into success in the 2004 presidential election. The democrats were lost, timidly avoiding the subject of Iraq and trying to ignore Howard Dean's courageous assault on our nation's War of Shame.

Goldstein was under seige from his wingnut friends, who were still basking in the glow of the Deserter's "Mission Accomplished" party in the Pacific. One of Goldstein's wingnuttiest friends ventured that "Iraq (and security) is a losing issue for the demos."

Goldstein, yet again prescient, responded thusly:

Let's all remember this one. I am offering even money right now that the Deserter's fly-boy grandstanding on the aircraft carrier will appear in at least one commercial for a democratic candidate for president. By the time 2004 rolls around the Deserter will wish he was Michael Dukakis in a tank and an oversized helmet.

Just think about it. Gen. Abizaid confirmed today that we are fighting a "guerilla war" in Iraq, more than two months after the Deserter declared victory and took a fighter jet taxi out to a big circle jerk in the pacific. Abizaid's statement is the first official confirmation that resistance is not episodic, but organized. There is increasing reason to believe that the resistance is being conducted on behalf of Saddam and the Baath party. We don't know where Saddam is, or where is alleged WMDs are. We did not destroy the Republican Guard. We did not disarm them. Just think how silly the exulting over the "fall of Bahgdad" looks now. Just as we were declaring victory, Saddam was initiating the real war, the guerilla war for which they are suited and we are not, for which they have the patience and we do not. As I've said before, the "fall of Baghdad" was nothing more than a deft strategic shift for Saddam, from a war of confrontation he could not win to a war of attrition we will not win.

As the U.S. casualties mount, and eventually exceed the casualties incurred prior to the Deserter's Top Gun stunt (and it is a certainty that they will), Iraq will hang around the Deserter's neck like a rotting corpse.

My wingnut friends are still waiting for their belly laugh at the expense of those who doubted Saddam's WMD capability. I'd be having my laugh today, at the expense of those who were crowing about the "fall of Baghdad" last May, claiming the Iraqi people welcomed our liberation of their country, predicting democracy for Iraq, wet dreaming of Syria and Iran falling at our feet, and predicting the unearthing of vast caches of WMDs - except for the fact that the consequence of the Deserter's Folly is the daily extinction of another young, American life.

Iraq is the democrats' issue - lock, stock and barrel.

Criminal Or Stupid, Take Your Pick

So far the Deserter and his neocon henchman appear to be getting away with the absurd contention that they are mere victims of the CIA's faulty intelligence reports and therefore bear no responsibility for the criminal invasion of Iraq. Setting aside for a moment the mountain of evidence indicating that the neocons were the champions of Ahmed Chalabi's disinformation campaign and consistently attacked CIA analyses of Iraq's WMD capabilities that were distinctly equivocal, why shouldn't the Deserter and the neocons be held accountable for their failure to correctly interpret CIA analyses and adequately police the intelligence agencies? Why shouldn't the Deserter be held accountable for fully understanding that the CIA's case for Iraqi WMDs was weak (Deserter to Tenet in December 2002: "Is that all you've got?) but then going to war on the basis of Tenet's feckless "slam dunk" assurance?

Paul Craig Roberts is a conservative columnist at As best I can tell, there is little in the political sphere other than opposition to the Deserter's folly that Roberts and I agree on. But Roberts hits the nail on the head in his evaluation of whitewash report produced by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The only open question is whether President Bush was an active participant in the disinformation or was deceived like the American public. If he knowingly participated in the deception, he must be impeached. If he was deceived by his own appointees, why hasn't he fired them? Bush's reelection would signify that the American people lack the competence or character for self-rule.

The report from the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence proves once again that government lacks the moral integrity to conduct an investigation. The senators did not bring responsibility to any individuals for a gratuitous invasion that has generated hatred of, and insecurity for, Americans for decades to come. Instead, the senators' report held accountable that which cannot be held accountable: "the process."

November will tell us whether there is any moral integrity left in the electorate or whether nothing remains but partisan politics – my party right or wrong.
Roberts is absolutely correct: either the Deserter and the neocon criminals participated in the fraud or they were credulous and incompetent victims of it. Either way, the SSCI intelligence report damns the administration, and the Deserter's murderous gang must go.

Monday, July 12, 2004

"We're Not At The Forefront Of A Jihadist War Here"

American military officials have told the Associated Press that the insurgency in Iraq is backed primarily by Sunni revanchists, not foreign jihadists.

The Bush administration has long argued that the insurgency is primarily jihadist in nature, and that the jihadists have joined cause with a relatively small cadre of former Baathists. It has been known for some time that the Deserter and his flying monkeys were lying about the influence of the foreign jihadists and that the insurgency was primarily nationalist in nature. What was less clear was whether the nationlist insurgency was popular and broad based, or populated largely with Baathist recidivists. The Bush administration predictably argued that the indigenous insurgents were comprised of a fairly small number of Baathists. However, the military officials who spoke to the Associated Press had a quite different view, a view shared by many of the most informed observers of the Iraq situation.

Civilian analysts generally agreed, saying U.S. and Iraqi officials have long overemphasized the roles of foreign fighters and Muslim extremists.

Such positions support the Bush administration's view that the insurgency is linked to the war on terror. A closer examination paints most insurgents as secular Iraqis angry at the presence of U.S. and other foreign troops.

"Too much U.S. analysis is fixated on terms like 'jihadist,' just as it almost mindlessly tries to tie everything to (Osama) bin Laden," Cordesman said. "Every public opinion poll in Iraq ... supports the nationalist character of what is happening."
The Associated Press report cites estimates of the size of the insurgent forces of 20,000 or more, and notes that administration estimates of 5,000 insurgents are extremely questionable in light of claims by the U.S. military that 4,000 insurgents were killed in April alone.

This is the worst possible scenario for our nation and for our troops. A popular insurgency cannot be defeated without resorting to extreme brutality, an option that should be rejected by the American people on the grounds of both morality and the extremely high toll in U.S. casualties that such a policy would exact. The tragedy is that the insurgency will continue as long as we remain in Iraq, and the Deserter and his neocon coconspirators will cite the insurgency to justify an indefinite occupation of Iraq. Thus do we sink into the insanity of tautological war in which the product of the war, the insurgency, becomes the premise for continuing the war.

It is now plain that the sole remaining justification for our continued presence in Iraq - the war against radical Islam - is a fraud, just as the WMD justification was a fraud, and just as the Saddam/Al Qaeda link was a fraud. Our troops in Iraq are fighting Sunni nationalists, not radical Islam, and they will likely continue to die in large numbers until we leave.

The media no longer seem interested in casualty counts, as evidenced by the fact that levels of U.S. casualties are again threatening to return to the levels seen in April and yet the U.S. media that rightly publicized the April carnage now barely mentions the daily death toll. Check out Juan Cole's Informed Comment if you want to know the price our troops are paying every day for the criminality of the Deserter and his fellow war criminals. In the last week we've lost 24 coalition troops, as compared to 50 coalition troops in the entire month of June.

The Deserter would love for us to become innured to the death, and numb to the daily casualty reports. For the sake of our own souls we cannot permit this to happen. These deaths are as senseless as drive-by shootings in our inner cities. They serve no purpose but to feed the bloodlust of the warmongers. We are not safer as a result. We are not freeing Iraqis. We must leave Iraq now.

Don't Let The Terrorists Win

Has anyone noticed that the same people who feared that the terrorists would win if we didn't [fill in the blank] are the very same people who are proposing to cancel or delay U.S. elections in response to a terror strike?

The Deserter and his supporters have in the past informed us that if we varied our routines in any way, then we've permitted the terrorists to win. Cancel holiday travel plans? The terrorists have won. Change our spending habits in response to the terror threat? The terrorists have won. Take any action that would be perfectly rational if the administration's hyped terror alerts could be taken seriously? The terrorists have won.

The Deserter and his supporters even went to so far as to insist that Spain handed the terrorists a victory when they elected a new government following the March 11, 2004 terror attack in Madrid. And yet now the administration is preparing plans to cancel or postpone elections if a terror strike occurs proximate to the November elections. Can anyone explain to me why the terrorists don't achieve the ultimate victory if we permit them to disrupt our democratic process?

It is very disturbing that so many people are taking the administration's proposals seriously. There simply are no circumstances that would justify canceling or postponing the elections. The correct response to any terror attack, no matter how large or how widespread, is to extend the polling period and keep the election going.

Even more disturbing, however, is that the administration would invite a terror attack by suggesting in any way to the terrorists our intention to capitulate by canceling or postponing the elections.

Why do the Deserter and his flying monkeys want the terrorists to win?

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Move Over, Wall Street Journal

Mr. Bush, Vice President Cheney and other senior officials sometimes exaggerated the flawed intelligence they were given, even if they were correct in identifying Iraq as a threat. The Washington Post, July 11, 2004
The Washington Post is disintegrating right before our very eyes. Apparently unable to accept that they were duped, unable to admit that their decision to support the Deserter's folly was a tragic error, they obdurately continue to insist that Iraq was a threat to the United States. Even though there were no WMD. Even though there was no cooperation with Al Qaeda.

The Washington Post is perilously close to joining the Wall Street Journal's editorial page as a miasma of unrepentant warmongering. This is very sad news. The Washington Post used to mean something. Now it's just a toadying rag.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Refuting the Stupid Arguments of Your Wingnut Friends, Part VI

The primary justification for the Iraq war offered by the Deserter was the claim that Saddam was stockpiling WMD and concealing them from U.N. weapons inspectors. The failure to find any such stockpiles has not deterred the wingnuts, though. Post-war statements from U.S. and British weapons inspectors to the effect that such stockpiles likely do not exist also have not deterred our intrepid wingnut friends. One of my favorite wingnuts, Mike from Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, writes: "To date there have been at least 12 warheads found mixed in with the regular ammo dumps that have contained Sarin. The fall is going to be hard when that limb gets sawed off beneath you."

I would generally relish the opportunity to refute the astonishingly stupid wingnut argument that the Deserter's claims of Iraqi caches of concealed WMD are somehow vindicated by the existence of aged sarin shells left over from the Iran-Iraq war, shells invariably found laying about in Iraq in distinctly unstockpiled fashion. However, the definitive refutation of this argument has already been done by Newzmaniac at

Thanks, Newzmaniac. I found the following paragraph from Newzmaniac's trenchant analysis particularly piquant:
Apparently lost to the Bush fans is the fact that Iraq and Iran were at war for most of the 1980's, raining down chemical weapons on each other. Considering the proficiency of both armies, it's fairly safe to say that many of these shells didn't hit their intended targets and instead landed somewhere out there among the camels and the shepherds. If we put 150,000 U.S. troops all over Iran, as we've done in Iraq, these "deadly chemical shells" would be turning up in equally frequent incidents there, too. Two neighboring countries who spend nearly a decade lobbing these things at each other usually do leave quite a pile of relics in their wake.
I would greatly appreciate hearing from readers of EOTP who have encountered particularly stupid or amusing wingnut arguments. Just leave a comment by clicking on the hyperlink at the end of this message and together we will bring the light of reason to our wingnut friends.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Keepin' Tabs

Recent developments with respect to various items and issues previously addressed at Enemy Of The People:

At Counterpunch, Robert Fisk reports that U.S. military officers are attempting to manipulate and censor coverage of the Hussein trial. Given the potential for embarrassment of various Bush administration officials, as described here at EOTP on July 1st in "Man, This Could Get Ugly", this kind of nonsense was inevitable, although the thuggish and amateurish methods are a surprise.

The October surprise has been a recurring theme here at EOTP, most recently on June 22nd in "Latest Washington Post Poll: Bush A Failure In Fighting Terror." Washington Times and UPI editor Arnaud de Borchgrave reports in the Washington Times that Israel, with the ever present tacit consent of its favorite Oval Office lapdog, is making preliminary plans to strike at Iran's nuclear installations. As implied in his column, an Israeli strike could provide the Deserter with the ideal October surprise - a ratcheting-up of tensions in the middle east designed to produce the "rally 'round the Prez" effect, with built-in deniability on the part of the Bush administration of any involvement in this transparent "wag the dog" scenario. Also in the category of October Surprises is a potential July surprise detailed in The New Republic by John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman & Massoud Ansari.

On June 24th in "Leap Of Feith" I noted with some disapproval the exceedingly credulous nature of 9/11 Commission member John Lehman. Lehman is now rumored to be the Bush administration's pick to succeed John Tenet as Director of the CIA. Gee, a dupe and moron as CIA Director. How convenient for the Bush administration, and how catastrophic for the nation.

On June 3rd in "Tenet Tea Leaves" I commented on the wild spin attempt by Bush administration neocons to lay blame for the alleged Iraqi WMD "intelligence failures" at the feet of the hapless CIA, thereby absolving the true neocon culprits at the Pentagon's Office of Special Prevarications. The New York Times reports today that republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee are playing along and are prepared to issue a report that focuses on alleged CIA failures while ignoring the Bush administration's widely-reported tendency to swoon at any piece of bullshit intelligence served up by Chalabi stooges and stovepiped into Cheney's office courtesy of Feith's flunkies at OSP.

Finally, I mentioned the death of a 42 year old Abu Ghraib detainnee in"Death At Abu Ghraib." I had no reason to believe that the circumstances of his death were at all untoward, but expressed disappointment that handling of the matter by the Bush administration and the U.S. military seemed designed to maximize suspicion and mistrust of the U.S. A June 20th CentCom press release indicated that the prisoner died "of what appears to be natural causes" on Monday, June 14th, and stated an autopsy would be conducted by the U.S. before the body was turned over to the International Committee of the Red Cross. It has now been more than three weeks since the detainnee died and still no sign of an autopsy report from CentCom. The autopsy report with respect to the recent death by heart attack of a 52 year-old detainnee was available in less than two weeks. I still have no reason to believe that the death was not natural, and it truly would be extraordinary if an Abu Ghraib detainnee were permitted to be murdered weeks after disclosure of the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal. But where is that autopsy report?

Hussein, Cheney And Rumsfeld On Trial

Robert Scheer notes (as I noted last week) that a "fair trial" of Saddam Hussein carries with it some risk for current Bush administration officials.

A show trial under Allawi would be designed to get Hussein out of the way as quickly and quietly as possible, which might save the U.S. some embarrassment. After all, in an open, unbiased trial the old dictator, if he still has his wits about him, could talk about his cooperation with the Reagan and Bush administrations during the 1980s, when he committed many of the alleged crimes - including the use of poison gas - for which he will be brought to trial. He might even discuss his two visits back then with Donald H. Rumsfeld. But even though a fair public trial might prove uncomfortable for our government, Hussein is a prisoner of war captured by the United States, and Washington is responsible for his treatment under international standards. We have no right to turn him over to the tender mercies of a former CIA-financed archrival. That is simply an abdication of responsibility that violates international law.

There is no good argument for not trying Hussein under international law, as has been done with former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. A fair public trial would reveal the crimes of Hussein as well as the machinations of those U.S. officials and agencies that aided him.
I find it difficult to believe that this aspect of the upcoming Hussein trial is not getting more attention in the U.S. media. The potential for embarrassment of Bush the First, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others is great, and is itself good reason to be skeptical of U.S. claims that Saddam will receive a fair trial.

"Librul Trahl Lo-yer"

I caught a part of an interview yesterday morning with Mitt Romney, republican governor of Massachusetts, regarding John Kerry's selection of John Edwards as running-mate. It went something like this:

Interviewer: "What is your reaction to John Edwards' selection as Kerry's running mate?"

Romney: "Trial lawyer, liberal. Liberal, trial lawyer. Liberal trial lawyer. Trial liberal lawyer. Lawyer trial liberal..."

Interviewer: "Will republicans seek to make experience an issue?"

Romney: "Trial lawyer. Liberal. I am concerned that neither John Kerry nor John Edwards has any government experience at the state or local level. Trial lawyer. Liberal."

Interviewer: "Actually, Sen. Kerry was lieutenant governor of your state, Massachusetts."

Romney: "Oh. Trial lawyer. Liberal. Liberal trial lawyer. Trial liberal lawyer. Liberal trial..."

This is going to be one long, tedious siege. I would suggest that democrats counter the republican fondness for mindless buzz-phrases with the following:

"Bush and Cheney? War criminals. Liars. Lying war criminals. War criminal liars. Criminal war liars. War liars..."

Friday, July 02, 2004

Have A Happy July Fourth!

This is an especially important July fourth. It is the last July fourth that we'll celebrate under the black cloud of the Bush Gang. Next July fourth our nation will once again walk in the brilliant sunlight of truth and honor.

God bless America.

God damn the Deserter and his flying monkeys for having dishonored America.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Man, This Could Get Ugly

Saddam's in the dock. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. He deserves Saddam justice, but we're promising real justice - a fair hearing, evidentiary rules and a chance to defend himself.

Man, this could get ugly. What if Saddam and his lawyers insist on detailing the complicity of Reagan and Rumsfeld in Iraq's procurement of chemical and biological weapons in the '80's? What if Saddam insists on going into gruesome detail on the decision by Daddy Bush and Dick Cheney to facilitate Saddam's brutal suppression of the Shiite uprising in southern Iraq in the aftermath of Gulf War I by permitting Saddam to violate for more than a year cease-fire terms that prohibited military use of Iraqi helicopters in southern Iraq?

Man, this could get real ugly.

What if Saddam insists on testifying to the whole sordid series of events that took place after the U.S. chased him out of Kuwait?

What if he testifies that Bush 41 knew that he, Saddam, was using choppers to massacre shiites, and cites as evidence the fact that Bush 41 specifically denounced the use of the choppers against the Shiites as a violation of the cease-fire terms at a news conference in Ottawa, Canada on March 13, 1991?

What if Saddam cites accounts by Brent Scowcroft and Bush 41 confirming that use of the attack helicopters to slaughter Shiites was discussed at the highest levels of the White House and that the Bush 41 administration feared that the Shiite uprising could lead to a partitioning of Iraq and therefore a stronger Iran, an outcome inimical to U.S. interests in their opinion, and cites Brent Scowcroft's account of this given to Lowell Bergman:

LOWELL BERGMAN: Wasn't there an uprising in the north? Wasn't there an uprising in the south?


LOWELL BERGMAN: Didn't we see their military killing people?


LOWELL BERGMAN: And we didn't intervene.

BRENT SCOWCROFT: Of course not.

LOWELL BERGMAN: Not from the air.

BRENT SCOWCROFT: Of course not.

LOWELL BERGMAN: We didn't cut off their gasoline supplies.

BRENT SCOWCROFT: Because- OK, because- first of all, one of our objectives was not to have Iraq split up into constituent parts. It's our- it's- it's a fundamental interest of the United States to keep a balance in that area, in Iraq and- in Iraq.
What if he insists on testifying that Bush 41 knew the massacre was taking place, knew the choppers were being used in the massacres, knew that chopper flights violated the case-fire terms, and that Bush 41 could have stopped the flights by enforcing the cease-fire terms?

What if Saddam insists on testifying that Bush 41 authorized the White House to issue a statement on March 26, 1991 declaring that the U.S. would not enforce the cease-fire terms, thereby greenlighting Saddam's massacre of the Shiites?

What if Saddam presents as evidence the statements of Bush 41 and Brent Scowcroft admitting that the U.S. permitted Saddam's use of the chopper flights to brutally suppress the Shhiite uprising because Bush, Cheney, Scowcroft et al feared a possible partition of Iraq, and further feared that the Shiite uprising would divert the Iraqi military from a hoped-for coup against Saddam?

What if Saddam can establish based upon the foregoing that the U.S.'s decision to permit Saddam to brazenly violate the cease-fire terms for more than a year renders the U.S. complicit in Saddam's massacres of tens of thousands of Shiites in southern Iraq?

Man, this could get real, real ugly.

Kristof Is Just A Dupe, But Richard Cohen...

Richard Cohen goes Nick Kristof one better today in the Washington Post.
The case against Bush need not and should not rest on guilt by association or half-baked conspiracy theories, which collapse at the first double take but reinforce the fervor of those already convinced. The success of Moore's movie, though, suggests this is happening -- a dialogue in which anti-Bush forces talk to themselves and do so in a way that puts off others. I found that happening to me in the run-up to the war, when I spent more time and energy arguing with those who said the war was about oil (no!) or Israel (no!) or something just as silly than I did questioning the stated reasons for invading Iraq -- weapons of mass destruction and Hussein's links to Osama bin Laden. This was stupid of me, but human nature nonetheless.

Some of that old feeling returned while watching Moore's assault on the documentary form. It is so juvenile in its approach, so awful in its journalism, such an inside joke for people who already hate Bush, that I found myself feeling a bit sorry for a president who is depicted mostly as a befuddled dope. I fear how it will play to the undecided.
Poor Richard, so afflicted with morality and evenhandedness, always willing to give equal weight to both sides of the argument even when one side is manifestly bullshit. I'll bet he even agonized over whether he should sexually harass that girl at the New York bureau of the Washington Post, before ultimately deciding that the pro-sexual harassment side of the argument had merit, too.

Where was Richard Cohen's aversion to guilt by association when he supported the rape of Iraq? He condemned the administration for its flimsy "guilt by association" insinuations of a link between Saddam and Osama, but supported the war anyway.

Where was Cohen's skepticism about half-baked theories when he noted the inability of the U.N. weapons inspectors to find WMD in Iraq, but justified the rape of Iraq anyway on the basis that Saddam threatened us all, and concluded that under the circumstances peace was no better than war?

Richard's self-absolution, his onanistic praise of himself for "questioning the stated reasons for invading Iraq -- weapons of mass destruction and Hussein's links to Osama bin Laden," is emetic in the extreme. Richard Cohen joined the execrable Richard Perle in trashing Dennis Kucinich when Dennis had the temerity to question the Deserter's avowed reasons for war, insisting that anyone who believed oil played a part in our lust for war was a "liar."

It is little wonder the Deserter is able to maintain his Shame and Dishonor offensive against America, what with self-proclaimed left-leaning columnists like Kristof and Cohen defending his lies as mere "hype" and "exaggeration" while helping Perle slander as liars people like Kucinich who courageously stated their opinion - their opinion - that the Deserter's motives for war were less than wholesome.

Kristof is a dupe, a weak-minded, credulous dupe who shamelessly finds mendacity in Michael Moore's defense of the republic and veracity in the Deserter's brazen lies. But Richard Cohen - Richard Cohen is a disgrace, a genuine war-whore who repeatedly professed skepticism over the lies that propelled us into war against Iraq and then shrugged his shoulders and said "fuck it - bombs away!"