From the "Whoda Thunk It?" File...Courtesy of Reuters:
If only anybody would have thought of that before we went into Iraq! D'oh!
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From the "Whoda Thunk It?" File...Courtesy of Reuters:
If only anybody would have thought of that before we went into Iraq! D'oh!
From the LA Times:
Here's just a few (but not all) of the descriptions in the full article about the deaths being investigated. Not just at Abu Ghraib, and not just in Iraq:
On June 13, Dilar Dababa died of a severe head injury in Iraq.
One Nov. 4, Manadel Jamadi died of blunt-force injuries complicated by "compromised respiration" at Abu Ghraib. The suspected homicide occurred while he was with Navy SEALs and other special operations troops.
On Jan. 9, Abdul Jaleel died of blunt-force injuries and asphyxiation at a prison in Al Asad, Iraq. His case is one of the suspected incidents of homicide still under investigation. Jaleel was found gagged and shackled to a cell door with his hands over his head.
On April 28, Ali Gumaa Fahin died of complications due to multiple gunshot wounds in Baghdad.
On May 12, Maj. Gen. Abid Mowhosh, former commander of Iraq's air defenses, died of asphyxiation due to smothering and chest compression in Qaim, Iraq.
Three detainees were killed in Afghanistan, according to their death certificates.
Most recently, on Nov. 6, Abdul Wahid died of multiple blunt-force injuries complicated by what examiners suspect was a condition in which toxins are released to the body, sometimes due to a crushing injury or an electrical shock at a detention center in Helmand province.
In the third, an Iraqi drowned after he allegedly was forced to jump off a bridge by U.S. troops, officials said, confirming media reports about the fatality for the first time.
None of that, of course, includes the 11,000 Iraqi Civilians and 5600 Iraqi Military that we were apparently justified in killing.
Meanwhile, on the radio, Sean Hannity continues to remind us (as I write) that none of the prisoners who died during detention had their head or hands cut off. So what's all the fuss about?!
Forget my previous allusions to Jimmy Carter. It looks more like Bush is getting into LBJ's "If nominated, I will not run, if elected, I will not serve" territory at this point.
Yes, six months is still a long way away --- especially as news cycles fly these days (remember, it was just six months ago Bush's popularlity briefly soared at the capture of Saddam back in December, '03) --- but with numbers like these (41% job approval, 34% Iraq approval, 37% foreign policy, 36% economy, 30% "right track") and a myriad of pundits, politicians and partisans (on both sides) now comparing the Bush Presidency to Nixon, Carter, Bush 41 or Johnson, it may now be a good idea for Bush, as Carl Berstein suggests, to take one for the team:
Today, the issue may not be high crimes and misdemeanors, but rather Bush's failure, or inability, to lead competently and honestly.
"You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror," Bush told Rumsfeld in a Wizard-of-Oz moment May 10, as Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and senior generals looked on. "You are a strong secretary of Defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude." The scene recalled another Oz moment: Nixon praising his enablers, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, as "two of the finest public servants I've ever known."
It was Barry Goldwater, the revered conservative, who convinced Nixon that he must resign or face certain conviction by the Senate and perhaps jail. Goldwater delivered his message in person, at the White House, accompanied by Republican congressional leaders.
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee likewise put principle above party to cast votes for articles of impeachment. On the eve of his mission, Goldwater told his wife that it might cost him his Senate seat on Election Day. Instead, the courage of Republicans willing to dissociate their party from Nixon helped Ronald Reagan win the presidency six years later, unencumbered by Watergate.
Another precedent is apt: In 1968, a few Democratic senators J. William Fulbright, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern and Robert F. Kennedy challenged their party's torpor and insisted that President Lyndon Johnson be held accountable for his disastrous and disingenuous conduct of the Vietnam War, adding weight to public pressure, which, eventually, forced Johnson not to seek re-election.
Much to think about for the Right.
While Bush's numbers continue to sink, Kerry's are still soft-ish. True, the country hasn't yet seen Kerry's stuff, and seems to mostly be basing their opinions of him on the Bush-Cheney / Republican Echo Chamber spin job being rather effectively and expensively played out now. But negative advertising and propoganda can only go so far. It can keep Kerry numbers down if it continues to work, but at this rate, even Kerry's low numbers beat Bush's. Add to that "undecideds" generally fall to the challenger as well.
Presumably Bush feels the country is better off with Republicans in charge than with Democrats. So if it begins to look like Dubya on the ticket might mean the loss of the Whitehouse, the Senate, and --- at this rate --- possibly even the House (though he can thank Tom DeLay's re-districting chicanery for almost assuring the House stays Republican) will Dubya really prove to care enough about his country to step aside in favor of someone who might be able to close the deal against a so far soft-ish Democratic Challenger and keep the "power" for the Republicans?
We know he loves his country, right? Does he love it more than he loves his own power?
To pick up Bernstein's Oz theme, I'll add this..."People sure do come and go quickly around here...I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore..."
Guilliani/McCain ticket anyone? Stay tuned.
No...this story isn't from The Onion! And I checked the calendar, it's not April 1.
This is actually the lead story from the front page of WorldNetDaily! The far right "news" site that, I guess, expects us to take their views seriously. Or expects their regular readers to do so. Or expects "Christians" to do so. Or something...
By Joe Kovacs
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
Calling the approval of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts "the straw that broke the camel's back," a group of Christian activists is in the beginning stages of an effort to have one state secede from the United States to become its own sovereign nation.
"Our Christian republic has declined into a pagan democracy," says Cory Burnell, president of ChristianExodus.org, a non-profit corporation based in Tyler, Texas. "There are some issues people just can't take anymore, and [same-sex marriage] might finally wake up the complacent Christians."
Burnell is leading the charge for a peaceful secession of one state from the union, and after originally considering Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina due to their relatively small populations, coastal access, and the Christian nature of the electorate, Burnell says South Carolina has been selected as the target location.
What a surprise this group would come out of Texas?! And Texans had such an unblemished reputation up till now!
There's more to the story than what I quoted...Go read it. It's short, and doesn't have too many big words.
Last Thursday THE BRAD BLOG came within a hair of 1,000 UNIQUE Visitors on that one day alone! Not bad for our short, yet storied, history.
UPDATE: And, oh, I forgot... and on that same Thursday a visit with comment, albeit to hawk one of his books --- which looks good by the way --- from one of the journalists that I had quoted from that day. The honor was mine.
Thanks to all the BRAD BLOG readers (who either like it or hate it) for your growing support!
You know things are turning ugly for Republicans when they drop their usually unshakable lock-step support and start turning on each other --- and in the middle of an Election Year none the less! That seems to be happening with ever increasing momentum in Conservative/Republican circles now as Bush's re-elect support plummets to near Jimmy Carter-like numbers.
Last week I blogged about the ultra-con New Republic turning hard against Bush in "With Friends Like These...Who needs Democrats?" Two days later more evidence emerged as stalwart Conservatives George Will and then Richard Rahn in The Washington Times were also turning against Bush as blogged in "The Bottom Continues to Drop".
Now the dominos are tumbling as the outlook from Iraq to the Re-Elect effort is looking bleeker and bleeker.
Today, Conservative Prince of Darkness, Bob Novak reports on the "nearly one out of five Republicans [who] cannot flatly say they support Bush, [which] could spell defeat in a closely contested election.":
What most bothers Devine and other conservatives is steady growth of government under this Republican president....he feels betrayed that Bush has outstripped his liberal predecessors in domestic spending.
But it's not just the commentators and would-be Bush "supporters" now turning on him. Republican Legislators are also getting into the act.
House Republicans are turning on Senate Republicans as seen in this dust-up between House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senator John McCain reported today by AP:
"Throughout our history, wartime has been a time of sacrifice. ... What have we sacrificed?" McCain said. "As mind-boggling as expanding Medicare has been, nothing tops my confusion for cutting taxes during wartime. I don't remember ever in the history of warfare when we cut taxes."
Asked Wednesday about McCain's remarks, Hastert, who was rejected for military service because of a bad shoulder...said "If you want to see sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda (two Washington area military hospitals). There's the sacrifice in this country."...
McCain stood fast in his reply to Hastert.
"The speaker is correct in that nothing we are called upon to do comes close to matching the heroism of our troops," he said. "All we're called upon to do is not spend our nation into bankruptcy while our soldiers risk their lives. I fondly remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility."
For his part, Bush himself is turning inward to find someone else to blame for the mess he's in. As reported by AFP, he may be finally realizing how they've been played from Day One by Ahmad Chalabi (the one man they hung their WMD case against Saddam, who assured our gullible Commander-in-Chief that we'd be greeted as liberators with candy and flowers and who they expected would be the next Iraqi President).
Two days ago, they finally wised-up and cut off Chalabi's $340,000 monthly stipend, and last night, apparently, they even invaded his house in an overnight raid in Baghdad:
The former Pentagon favourite also called on US President George W. Bush to hand over sovereignty to the Iraqi people without delay.
"My message to the CPA is let my people go, let my people be free. We are grateful to President Bush for liberating Iraq but it is time for the Iraqi people to run their affairs," he told a press conference.
Intra-Partisan wrangling is not all that uncommon when a President is in full command of his power. During Clinton it was the Liberals versus the Moderates in the Democratic Party for example. But this is an Election Year, when Republicans traditionally close ranks behind their man. They seem now to be doing the very opposite, begging the question; Does George W. Bush have any real friends left?
The mounting evidence would indicate otherwise, as his "friends" are looking more and more every day like rats from a sinking ship of state.
Remember when Dubya promised a $20 Billion aid package to NYC after 9/11? Well, it never got there.
Neither did the promised $90 Million to NYC Firefighters to monitor the long-term health impact of breathing all that shit for months while they cleaned up for us. Dubya was just kiddin', I guess.
The smoke and mirror deceptions from the man hoping he can fool you into believing he's "tough on terror" so that you'll re-up him for four more years continues.
Yesterday NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg testified for 15 minutes to the 9/11 Commission. AP reports...
"This is pork-barrel politics at its worst," the mayor said. "It also, unfortunately, has the effect of aiding and abetting those who hate us and plot against us."
1010 Wins went into a bit more detail...
He told the panel that while New York received $5.47 per capita in Homeland Security grants allocated by Congress in fiscal year 2004, Nebraska got $14.33 per capita and American Samoa $101.43.
After the mayor had departed, commissioner John Lehman, former Navy secretary under President Reagan, called the funding "a terrible misallocation," and added, "it has been a complete turnover almost of this essential national defense funding to pork barrel."
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge agreed.
I guess Bush musta voted for the NYC Homeland Security spending before he voted against it?
While the supposed "Liberal Media" continues to carry the water for the Bush Campaign's "Kerry is a Flip-Flopper" scam, occasionally, if you look really closely, you'll find a reporter, like Jack Newfeld in The Nation who offers the real story. But you gotta look damn hard to find it.
From Harper's Index...
Number of the five tax-cut questions asked the president on Meet the Press last winter that concerned the cuts' inequity : 0
Average amount a Bush Cabinet member will save this year due to cuts in capital-gains and dividend taxes : $42,000
Median U.S. household income in 2002 : $42,409
Associated Press Television News obtained videotape showing a truck containing bodies of those allegedly killed.
About a dozen bodies, one without a head, could be clearly seen. but it appeared that bodies were piled on top of each other and a clear count was not possible. [emphasis added for Sean Hannity]
And they thought Gay Weddings were bad for the institution of marriage? The story concludes...
Turns out that the U.S. Army Brigadier General overseeing all U.S. Army operations in Iraq and Afghanistan tells us that the U.S. Army's Inspector General who is investigating U.S. Army abuse of prisoners at U.S. Army prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan says that there is no wide-spread pattern of abuse by the U.S. Army!
I'm glad that's all cleared up! Looks like the charges of a cover-up by the U.S. Army and a Pentagon Report on the deaths of prisoners in custody at four different U.S. Army prisons in Iraq and charges of U.S. Army abuse of journalists at a different prison in Iraq and U.S. Army abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan are wholly unfounded. For a while I was worried!
When I set out to look into what was going on at the "Andy Kaufman - Dead or Alive?" 20th Anniversary event after midnight last Sunday, little did I know I'd be sucked into it's vortex. I'd wished I'd brought a camera or a tape-recorder, but hadn't. Fortunately, I found this picture of me behind "Tony Clifton" over on Wally Wingert's website. He's the guy who setup the Andy Kaufman memorabilia in Andy's old apartment which was opened for viewing in "Act 4" of this bizarre and wonderful "event" around 2am or so that night / Monday morning.
Full details on my experience and how I ended up at this "event" here. Pointers to all the BRAD BLOG "Andy Kaufman Dead or Alive?" investigative articles here. Original photo on the web from which the above is taken here (for all those Photoshop cynics!)
UPDATE (4/25/04): The photo above (sans the red circle) is now also on the Official Tony Clifton website in the "Sightings" section. And hence, Brad ignominiously ends up, if only in the most insignificant way possible, as part of the annals of Andy Kaufman / Tony Clifton historical folklore. Sigh.
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