Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review
w/ Brad & Desi
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...|
Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review
Yes, she was covert until being outed by the White House.
Yes, she was monitoring nuclear weapons and other WMD going into and coming out of Iraq and Iran, as RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna correctly and originally and exclusively reported in February of 2006.
Yes, her outing led to a still-classified CIA damage assessment and "serious" consequences" to other members of her CIA intelligence network.
No, despite Bush's promise, no one has ever been held accountable for leaking her identity in the first such outing of a covert CIA operative by agents of the U.S. Government itself.
No, Bush "is not a man of his word," as Valerie Plame Wilson told 60 Minutes tonight in her first broadcast network interview. Here's the video in two parts...
Some of what Plame is still not allowed to say, including details about "being taken hostage and subjected to torture for two days," is covered by her former CIA colleague, Larry Johnson, right here...
And in another posting today, Johnson gives us some details from Plame's new book, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House, in which it's disclosed that "In 2004 the FBI received intelligence that Al Qaeda hit teams were en route to the United States to kill Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Valerie Plame."
So what did the White House do about it? Johnson tells us...
Valerie contacted the office of Security at CIA and requested assistance. They told her too fucking bad and to go pound sand. They did not use those exact words, but they told her she was on her own.
Well now we're really confused. Over the last three days we've heard McCain and Rush and O'Reilly all reprimand us for not paying attention to how well the "new" strategy is working in Iraq and how things are finally beginning to get straightened out over there.
Yet 12 former U.S. Army captains who served in Iraq between '03 and '06, all indicate otherwise on today's usually-rightwing WaPo editorial page.
Criticizing "the surge" as not working, their comments begin: "Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles."
...And concluding thusly:
America, it has been five years. It's time to make a choice.
Once again, we must ask: Why do the troops hate the troops? And when will the troops on the ground start listening to the troops on the ground?
While folks may have heard about the New York Times report last week concerning the secret DoJ memos created to give legal cover to the Administration to continue their policies of torturing prisoners of war, we suspect that most have not read the full, detailed 5-page investigative report.
But it's an important one, and it details the lengths to which the Bush team went to keep their pro-torture policies in place, even in the face of a DoJ rebellion, Congressional legislation, and even Supreme Court decisions. It was alarming to learn --- though we should hardly be alarmed at such things by now --- that when Bush signed the Detainee Treatment Act in December 2005, meant to ban the "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of prisoners in American custody anywhere in the world, he already knew, even if Congress didn't, that his Dept. of Justice had previously created secret legal documents declaring their ongoing torturous interrogation techniques as not "cruel, inhuman or degrading."
In other words, he knew he'd be able to continue with torture as usual, since new AG Alberto Gonzales oversaw the crushing of an internal DoJ rebellion finding the practices to be both illegal and in violation of the Geneva Convention.
Also alarming (but also, shouldn't be by now), is the lackluster way in which Congress has reacted to this stunning news which --- like so many other things --- might have led to immediate Impeachment talk for almost any other administration.
For those with short-attention spans, however (like the aforementioned Congress members!), the NYTimes story included an excellent sidebar graphic summarizing the timeline and main beats in the "Interrogation Wars" from DoJ to the White House to Congress to the Supreme Court.
Since the graphic is too wide to easily run on most blogs, we've recreated the short, easy to read timeline in text format below. We'd strongly suggest, if nothing else, you familiarize yourself with it so you understand, in simple terms, the con game that has been played out here by this Administration.
As a bonus, below that, is a video from last Thursday Daily Show with John Stewart in which he interviews Jack Goldsmith, once the head of the DoJ's Office of Legal Counsel, and the man who fought back, along with Dep. AG James Comey, against the policies. Though successful in their efforts, for a time, and to an extent, both men were eventually pushed out of the DoJ, as Gonzales was dispatched to quell the rebellion as AG.
One very short and very amusing anecdote, if we may, before both of those, buried on page 5 of the Times report....
Guest Blogged by BRAD BLOG's D.C. Correspondent, Margie Burns
It was a big day on Thursday in the national capital, with several flaming surges hitting the news at once – the Washington Post hooking up with the MSM campaign to put “Hillary” over the top before the magic deadline of October 15 (more on that later, elsewhere); Rep. Henry Waxman and the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee holding a powerful hearing on Iraqi corruption; the blocking of Hans von Spakovsky's nomination to the FEC; and discussion of a proposed federal shield law for journalists (full text of bill here), which was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today to the full Senate.
While I was able to sit in for hearings on two of the items above, space and time regrettably being constraints, I'll cover only the proposed shield law for the moment. Right up top, I have to say that I have qualms about it. A real leak, by a whistleblower exposing a crime or some danger to the public, is one thing. But protecting journalists from exposing a politically motivated ‘source’ trying to plant misinformation is another. This bill, as it was debated in committee and written about in papers yesterday, might equally protect both, if it protects either...
Let's play Republican-like politics.
Turns out, some 50 (mostly Republican) members of the Senate are in favor of attacking "the honor, integrity, and patriotism" of those who have served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces.
We knew that already, and not only from the Republican filibuster of a bill that would have given members of the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq as much time off as they were forced into serving in the field.
But a less-discussed vote in the Senate last week underscored just how much Republicans despise honorably serving members of our military, and how impotent Democrats seem to be at exploiting that fact...
Good lord. Looks like the "Straight Talk Express" has driven straight over the cliff. But nobody has managed to tell McCain yet. Not even McCain. And to think I might have once considered voting for this guy...
(On an unrelated note: Working on a number of things today, so posting has been light. Reading with interest, however, the outpouring of reaction and comments from BRAD BLOG readers to the Tasering Incident. Let's call those comments "recommend reading" for the moment, as most are quite thought provoking. I may have more of my own thoughts on it all later...)
During last Wednesday's televised address from the Oval Office, George W. Bush said, "We thank the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq."
As it turns out, you'll be stunned to learn that his number was a lie. But it wouldn't be the first time the Administration has lied about who is, and isn't, a part of the so-called "Multinational Coalition" in Iraq, as The BRAD BLOG reported exclusively as far back as October of 2004, prior to the Presidential Election.
Concerning Bush's "36 nations" mentioned last week, Spencer Ackerman reports, in an exclusive over at TPM, that the number is fudged at best, and just another unsupportable, outright lie by the administration at worst. The White House's fuzzy math used to comprise the "36 nations" with "troops on the ground in Iraq" apparently includes several nations which "aren't in Iraq in any capacity anymore," according to Ackerman.
The number also includes Canada's one soldier who had been serving at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), who has since been withdrawn; New Zealand's single troop (yes, like Canada, just one!) commitment to UNAMI; Tonga's now-withdrawn force; a single press aide from Iceland; and an unknown number from Hungary which may, or may not, have anybody still in Iraq at all as part of a tiny NATO contingent.
statement lie on national television last week, however, simply continues the pattern set years ago, prior to the 2004 Presidential Election, by Dick Cheney, as The BRAD BLOG exposed in a series of reports back then in what would become our first breakthrough story to be picked up by both national and international media alike...
If you've been living in a cave (or happen to be one of America's humorless Republicanists) the above video is a parody of this one.
As a side note, to those dead-ender Republicanists embarrassingly willing to display their desperation --- not to mention contempt for the first amendment --- with your fits of phony outrage over "General Betray Us," we'll join with Dick Cheney on this one by telling you to "go fuck yourselves."
Beyond that, we'll not be drawn into your quagmire of transparent attempts to hijack the real news, but will chose instead to move on to issues that actually matter. But nice try, losers!
George W. Bush did not --- I repeat, did not --- melt into a puddle of tears tonight on live television during his address on Iraq. It was stunning. I say it was a home run!
(NOTE: My pre-speech expectations may or may not have been lower than some of yours.)
Written "at the tail end of a 15-month deployment" in Iraq, seven U.S. service members filed a devastating opinion piece in the New York Times last August 19th, headlined "The War as We Saw It."
Their insightful, nuanced, and intelligent piece countered the simplistic "We're makin' progress!" message of the Administration, the Republicans, their Media Talking Heads, and General Petraeus. It began this way...
The troops on the ground concluded that "Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise," adding, "we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence."
Yance T. Gray and Omar Mora of the 82nd Airborne Division, two of the service members who wrote the op/ed "at the tail end" of their 15-month deployment, were killed outside of Baghdad on Monday.
They are now, indeed, "heading back home."
Another of the seven, "Staff Sergeant Jeremy Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head while the article was being written. He was expected to survive after being flown to a military hospital in the United States."
Guest Blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review
During the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today:
PETRAEUS: Sir, I believe that this is indeed the best course of action to achieve our objections in Iraq.
WARNER: Does that make America safer?
PETRAEUS: Sir, I don't know actually. I have not sat down and sorted out in my own mind. What I have focused on and been riveted on is how to accomplish the mission of the Multinational Force in Iraq.
If the head of our military in Iraq doesn't know if the war there is making us safer, who does?
Guest Blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review
After months of hype, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testified before the House Armed Services Committee yesterday about the status of George W. Bush's war in Iraq. Although neither of Bush's men uttered the exact phrase, the essence of their testimony could be summed up in three little words: "Stay the course."
Republicans --- especially the half-dozen or so GOP senators facing election in unsafe seats next year --- will take comfort in Petreaus's promise to recommend ending the surge by next summer. But even if Petreaus recommends reducing deployments to pre-surge levels, and if Bush agrees to it, the only surprise will be that the surge strategy itself was not a false cover for a permanent troop build-up. (And that remains to be seen.)
The stark reality is that Bush's current Iraq policy draws heavily from the playbook of his predecessor from Texas, Lyndon Johnson. The Vietnam War decimated LBJ's presidency, forcing him to leave office with no resolution in sight. Just as LBJ left the mess he created for Nixon and Ford to clean up, now Bush intends to leave his war in Iraq to his successor. As Ken Pollack at Brookings put it: "Bush has found his exit strategy."
Nothing matters --- not the safety of the troops, the lives and well-being of Iraqis, the viability of the U.S. military, or, certainly, the anti-Iraq war sentiments of a majority of Americans --- none of it matters in the face of Bush's urgent desire to rewrite his epitaph so that it won't say the war he started based on deception, divisiveness, and rank ineptitude was lost on his watch.
This strategy is as flawed as it is cynical. Look again at Johnson. Handing Vietnam to Nixon did nothing to improve his legacy. What saved Johnson's reputation was the fact he signed the Civil Rights Act, plus his stoic leadership in the wake of the Kennedy assassination.
Bush has no accomplishments --- nothing --- to weigh against this disastrous war. And the fact that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of U.S. troops and innocent Iraqis will die for the impossible goal of salvaging his place in history just compounds his disgrace.
UPDATE FROM BRAD: The good Pokey Anderson sends us this toon, which meshes neatly with Jon's commentary above...
Plus...Liberal, terrorist-loving, America-hating, cut-and-run, surrenderer George Will says "the surge has failed"...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Women serving in the military today are unlikely to share General Petraeus' rosy outlook given during his "Surge" testimony before Congress today. Because, as NOW on PBS reported last Friday, government compiled statistics show that nearly 1 in 4 active duty women in the military are victims of sexual assault. By contrast, during the much shorter first Gulf War, "about 15% of the women were raped."
The problem is compounded because many female soldiers fear the consequences of reporting such incidents. Also, little appears to happen when assaults are reported. According to the broadcast, there were 1,400 investigations of sexual assault last year which have resulted in only 72 court-martials.
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