High-larious. From last Saturday's SNL. Courtesy of Crooks & Liars...
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
During a Wednesday press confernce, Representative Jack Murtha (D-PA), a former marine, revealed that an ongoing military investigation will show that Marines killed innocent women and children "in cold blood". The incident happened in Haditha, Iraq on November 19, 2005.
While the Pentagon's investigation has not been completed, Murtha reported:
At the time of the incident, a Marine spokesman said that 15 innocent civilians had been killed in a roadside bomb explosion and 8 insurgents were killed by U.S. Marines in a related gun battle.
Outraged locals reported a very different version of events. The Marines forcefully entered a home and murdered 15 unarmed civialians. There had been no explosion from a roadside bomb. There were no insurgents in the area. The Pentagon flatly denied the Iraqi's version of events.
We first reported on this incident on March 22, 2006 with video evidence (see our flash video or wmv video) that the Pentagon's version of events were largely a fabrication. The Haditha video evidence, shot by an Iraqi film student, showed the aftermath of the murders in Haditha. Unarmed bodies of women children were seen slain in praying positions. The walls were covered with blood and bullet holes.
A 9 year old girl survived the Haditha massacre and was able to provide an eyewitness account of the crimes. In the video at the beginning of this article (pictured at left), the 9 year old girl describes what she witnessed, "The American's came into my room where my father was praying. They went to my grandmother and killed her too. I heard an explosion. They threw a grenade under my grandfather's bed."
The Haditha video evidence was eventually obtained by Time Magazine and broadcast on Arab television. The Pentagon gave way to public pressure and opened an investigation into the killings at Haditha. We can't help but wonder how many other atrocities have been ignored or covered-up due to a lack of public evidence and public pressure?
This video contains yesterday's report from the UK's Channel 4 News. Then, in an interview on MSNBC, Rep. Jack Murtha can barely contain his frustration with Bush Administration's Iraq "policy" which he blames for creating overwhelming stress on American soldiers. The playing time is about 8 minutes.
The number of Iraqis forced from their homes due to organized campaigns of ethnic cleansing has increased from 30,000 to 100,000 in the month of April.
Only a month ago, we posted a video from ABC News which reported that 30,000 Iraqi had been forced from their homes due to sectarian threats. Some have described the situation that has created thousands of Iraq refugees as an organized effort of ethnic cleansing.
Just 20 days after our initial report, the Iraqi Red Crescent estimates that over 100,000 Iraqis have become refugees in their own country. Some suggest that the number of displaced people might be much higher but the current security situation in Iraq prevents even a cursory audit of more than 1000 refugee camps.
This video combines a report from BBC with an Arab news report from Baghdad. The BBC's James Reynolds reports from one of the 'tent cities'. Reynolds is told by the Iraqi Red Crescent that "somebody is behind this war. It is highly organized."...
Ex-CIA Analyst Ray McGovern smackdowned of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld during an event in Atlanta yesterday. During a Q&A period, McGovern demanded answers for a few of Rumsfeld's more specious claims.
Almost certainly, you have already seen or heard highlights of this clip. This version from MSNBC's Countdown contains the full 4 minute exchange between Rumsfeld and McGovern as well various other protesters being roughly handled and removed from the venue. Richard Wolffe of Newsweek provides analysis of the political fallout for Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration.
UPDATE: Text transcript here...
FURTHER UPDATE: Brad conducted an hourlong interview McGovern on The BRAD SHOW in June of 2005 just prior to his congressional testimony on the Downing Street Memos. It was a fascinating interview, if we may say so ourselves. Audio archive [MP3] or text transcript of the interview.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright appeared on CNN's American Morning to announce her new book, "The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs." The new book critiques U.S. foreign policy and imperialist notions of manifest destiny. She is particularly critical of the way that George W. Bush has invoked God in the name of advancing narrow political and foreign policy goals.
In her new book, Madam Secretary Albright writes that the invasion of Iraq may be "the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history." CNN's Miles O'Brien asked Albright to explain her statement (transcript)...
ALBRIGHT: I am very troubled by it, because there are so many immediate consequences and then the unintended consequences. First of all, I never believed that there was a connection between Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. But clearly now Iraq has become a major recruiting ground for everybody who hates us. Then there is the real question about what this has done to America's authority --- our moral authority as a result of what happened in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and it has damaged us in terms of what we can do in other parts of the world.
Then I think the biggest unintended consequence is that all of a sudden, Iran is the one that has gained incredible influence in the region. And finally, it has put real question about American power. How do we use it? What are the messages that we're sending with it? So I think Iraq is a mess. That's a diplomatic term of art. And I am very worried about the intended and unintended consequences.
Madeleine Albright explains the damage caused by aligning the "Global War on Terror" or any policy with the idea that God is on America's "side". If you oppose Bush, the War in Iraq, or the way that American power is being used then you are "picking a fight with God.", Albright says. The unbridled use of religion in foreign policy narrows our supporters throughout the world and leads to continued conflict.
Here are two recent news broadcasts from the Middle East. The first is from the city of Al-Basra in Southern Iraq and the other from Israel. Both clips are evidence that the threat of war with Iran has already become a reality for those who are living on its' battlefield.
VIDEO - Iraqi Officials Pledge Suicide Bombers to Stop Attack on Iran
Al-Basra City is located in the southern part of Iraq. The city has a seaport that is crucial for the export of Iraq's oil. Basra's location on Iran's southern border makes the city valuable strategically for the launch of a ground attack against Iran (map).
The City Council of Al-Basra has vowed that it will "do everything in their power" to prevent U.S. forces from launching an attack on Iran from Southern Iraq. The Council said that it wanted to maintain a good relationship with neighboring countries. The Council believes that Iran has a right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
The head of Basra's City Council stressed their resolve to stop any attack by saying, "I assure you when we talked about martyring that it wasn't a slip of the tongue. Iraqis are known for their willingness to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of their principals."
Iran claims that coalition forces are already conducting operations along the southern Iraq/Iran border.
VIDEO - Israeli Propaganda TV: Iranian Threat Worse Than Nazi Germany
The Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) recently aired this segment of a new film, "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West."
The film compares the threat of Radical Islam to the threat of Nazism. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler.
Background music builds tension and suspense. Pictures of radical Islamists overlay film of soldiers marching in Nazi Germany. Hitler's followers cheer as he promises death to all Jews. Thousands of Iranians chant "Death to America". Writers and Historians speak with authoritative voices of dire warnings and predictions that this terrible history is repeating itself.
The film evokes feelings of helplessness along with the psychological terror of an impending nuclear Holocaust. It's emotional manipulation worthy of the most vile Bush/Cheney campaign advertisement.
Earlier this week, a European Parliament committee released a report saying that the CIA had illegally detained people and used secret 'rendition' flights to transport them to other countries or secret CIA prisons where they were expected to be tortured.
Several members of European Parliament met in Macedonia today to investigate the story of Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen, who was abducted by the CIA. After being kidnapped, he was then 'rendered' to a U.S. prison in Afghanistan and held for 5 months.
Today the U.S. government released its 2005 report on worldwide terrorism. It reveals that, compared to the 2004 figures, the number of terrorist attacks more than tripled and the number of people killed in those attacks more than doubled. The hard data: last year saw 14,602 killed in 11,111 attacks.
Those are startling increases. Earlier this year, I reported on a different data set, compiled by the RAND Corporation, which showed much lower, but still substantial, increases of 36% in the number of deaths and 51% in the number of attacks.
Why the big differences? Essentially, what the Bush administration has been doing, ever since terrorism numbers started to shoot up after the invasion of Iraq, is try to obfuscate and spin the numbers in order to disguise the increases.
Ex-CIA Analyst, Ray McGovern, is part of the group "Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity" which has been critical of the Bush Administration for the political use of National Security intelligence. McGovern also happens to be a friend of Mary McCarthy. McCarthy was recently fired by the CIA for allegedly leaking classified information to reporters.
The opinion of the intelligence community is unanimous. In general, leaking of classified information is a firing offense, possible criminal and can pose a danger to America's national interests. Ray McGovern agrees that leaks are dangerous and should not be condoned but he says that actions by the Bush Administration have created an "exceptional situation" where leaking may be the only choice for exposing illegal activities.
Ray McGovern says that the "war of aggression" on Iraq, the secret "black" prisons, torture, rendition and other activities are "war crimes". The American people deserve to know when crimes are being committed by their government. McGovern says:
But my point is: This is not American. This is not the country that we serve. And when we see this happening, somebody has to speak out.
This video contains about 10 minutes of clips from the interview with Ray McGovern. See PBS Newshour for an entire transcript.
Better late than never, CBS News' 60 Minutes details how the Bush inner-circle misused dubious intelligence to convince the American people to back a preemptive war on Iraq.
Ed Bradley interviews Tyler Drumheller, a retired CIA official who saw first-hand evidence of how the Bush team used selective (and discredited) intelligence to support war plans which had already been set.
This 13 minute video is the complete broadcast from Sunday night's edition of 60 minutes.
UPDATE FROM BRAD: First, thanks David for getting this up, since I only caught the last part of the report when it aired last night. Secondly, please see Josh Marshall's comments on this story, as he posted additional information last night to advance the story. His report includes new details from Drumheller last night that he'd been interviewed by the two Senate committees supposedly investigating the Bush Administration's pre-war use of intel (the Silberman-Robb committee and the Pat Roberts Senate Intel committee), but in both cases the folks working on the reports seem to have completely ignored Drumheller's testimony. Josh's reporting would seem to suggest that both reports should now be viewed as extremely suspect at best, a completely unreliable white wash at worst.
MORE... TPMMuckraker has more, this time showing how the White House's own WMD report conflicts with the information from 60 Minutes and Drumheller. And how the White House report seems to have twisted the facts to place blame on the Intelligence Communities for their own policy "failures" in selling the horseshit about Uraniam, Iraq and Niger to the American public in the mislead up to war.
Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) is continuing his negotation, on behalf of more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, for the release of documents related to the Bush Administration's plans for War in Iraq long prior to the beginning of hostilities, according to new letters written by the ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and obtained exclusively by The BRAD BLOG.
After the revelations in Spring of 2005 from the so-called Downing Street Memo and other related documents --- a series of secret memos created by British officials documenting Bush Administration efforts to "fix" the "intelligence and facts...around the policy" of going to war with Iraq no matter what --- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were filed by 52 House Members [PDF], including Conyers, for the release of documentation of Administration Iraq policies going as far back as the day after the 2000 Election.
The original FOIA requests were filed [PDF] with both the Departments of Defense and State, in June of 2005 after the disclosure in May, by Sunday Times of London, of the initial memo. Both federal agencies have largely stonewalled in response to the request. Correspondence from the agencies have claimed that the House Members must first agree to pay large fees for the requested material on the grounds that they do not meet FOIA standards which allow such fees to be waved.
The Dept. of Defense has estimated [PDF] the fees chargeable for answering the FOIA request would be approximately $110,000. The State Department has not yet given a similar estimate, but has also informed the members that they would have to agree in advance to such payment.
FOIA, however, allows such processing and copy fees to be waived in cases where the information provided will be widely circulated to the public and will "contribute significantly to the public understanding of activities or operations of the government."
Several communications from both DoD and State have suggested that since the requests for information did not come formally from a U.S. House Committee, the members' request does not meet the standard required for waiving fees or expediting the release of the information.
I'm having a hard time understanding the logic of the Bush Administration on the appropriateness of retired military leaders speaking out about civilian leadership. On the one hand, they are saying that it is inappropriate for retired (and especially serving) military officers to criticize Rumsfeld. On the other hand, military officers who are retired or currently serving are encouraged to speak out in Rumsfeld's defense.
I just don't understand a policy that only allows the expression pro-Administration propaganda but deems all criticism - even by retired generals who are now private citizens - "inappropriate". On last night's edition of MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann posed this question to Howard Fine:
FINEMAN: Yeah. There's a hole large enough to drive an army through and that's what we've done.
If anyone is interested, I'll be glad to post the clip from Countdown.
Anyway, Jon Stewart did a humorously "fair and balanced" report on the General's criticism of Rumsfeld. "It's not really very fair to attack Secretary Rumsfeld without giving the Secretary an opportunity to respond to thes charges that are being leveled", says Stewart. "So, here are some [video clips] of the general's criticisms of Rumsfeld and his replies which in no way have been manipulated to make Rumsfeld look foolish or out of touch."
UPDATE: Countdown Asks If Generals Can Only Express Approval of Rumsfeld
Here's the video clip where Keith Olbermann asks Howard Fine, "Is this the response from the White House really that retired military personnel cannot comment on civilian leadership if they disagree with it but they are entitled to comment on leadership if they agree with it? I'm just thinking... Is there a hole in that logic somewhere?"
Colbert King, Deputy Editor of the Washington Post, appeared on this Sunday's edition of Inside Washington, a political show that's broadcast in the D.C. area. Mr. King was asked to defend an editorial recently published in the Washington Post which was titled "A Good Leak." The editorial supported President Bush's position that he participated in partial leaks of the National Intelligence Estimate for the good of the public.
From Mr. King's response it was clear that he had differences but attempted a defense of editorials flawed arguments:
MR. KING: Well, I'm deputy editor of the editorial page, so let me first take a sip of my Kool-Aid ? (laugher) ? and step up and take one for the team. What we were trying to say is that the president had every right to declassify the information and present to the public the information from the National Intelligence Estimate that supported that particular argument about the attempts on the part of the ? of Saddam Hussein to acquire ?
MS. TOTENBERG: You can spit it out.
MR. KING: ? enriched ?
MR. PETERSON: Uranium.
An editorial with a different opinion of President Bush's leak called "A Bad Leak" appeared in Sunday's The New York Times.
David Swanson updates the sitch in Crawford, TX this morning where, as we reported yesterday, 14 anti-war protestors who are part of Cindy Sheehan's "Camp Casey" Easter protest were arrested last night...
Eight of the 14, including Daniel Ellsberg, had been arrested last Thanksgiving and charged with obstructing a highway and with felonious trespassing. They staged a demonstration at the court house the day before yesterday demanding that those charges be brought to a trial or dropped. This time, the 14 were charged only with obstructing a highway.
They were forced to strip naked, communally, women in one room, men in another, and made to shower and scrub for lice. Then they were dressed in reusable jail underwear and striped jail suits. I guess we should be glad that Rumsfeld wasn't there with any kinky fetishes or dogs.
Lonestar Iconoclast has more coverage and a bunch of fresh photos from yesterday.
Still more details, video of the arrests, and our LIVE audio interview last night with Cindy Sheehan after the arrests are all here...
As David Swanson at AfterDowningStreet.org reported minutes ago, there have been 14 arrests in Crawford, TX where Cindy Sheehan and supporters are again camping out in the original location where they took up camp last Summer.
Though Cindy's sister and Daniel Ellsberg were amongst those arrested, Cindy and ersatz Camp Casey organizer U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright have chosen to not be amonst those arrested this time around so they can continue to run the camp.
I've just spoken with Wright, and have arranged for Cindy to appear with us in person on The Peter B. Collins show on KRXA 540am, in Monterey, CA and elswhere, during my normal weekly Friday guest appearance on his show.
I'll be on tonight beginning at 5pm PT (7pm Crawford time, 8pm ET) and Cindy should be joining us at the bottom of the hour for a live update with the latest.
UPDATE: Just completed the live interview with Cindy, straight from Crawford, TX... Here are the MP3's in your choice of length...
FURTHER UPDATE: "Crawford is now our home too," says Ann Wright after the arrest, along with a promise to dog Bush wherever he goes. As Cindy pointed out in the interview above, and the Lone-Star Iconoclast ably reports, the folk arrested in Crawford on Thanksgiving last year still have not been formally charged. It seems the folks of McLellan County, TX would rather not have their new, unconstitutional ordinance disallowing protestors from camping on the side of the road, get tested in court.
See Scott Galindez' video coverage of the arrest at TruthOut.
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