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or, Mission Uncomplished
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 7:30pm PT  

For those of you paying attention, the U.S. was in Vietnam for more than five full years before we'd suffered our 1,000th casualty.

Meanwhile in Iraq, in just under a year and a half, we've already lost 1,009.

Also, for the record, from the start of the war ("Shock and Awe!") through Bush's announced "end of major hostilities" ("Mission Accomplished!") the U.S. had lost a total of 139 troops.

Since handing over fake "sovereignty" at the beginning of July through today, we have lost 155 troops.

How will it end? What's Bush's exit strategy? Is there one? Is there any way out? You tell me.

Source: Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

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And another BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Republican" Award is given!
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 5:23pm PT  

The conservative Seattle Times, who endorsed Bush in 2000, realize now how wrong they were and are instead endorsing Kerry this year!

Four years ago, this page endorsed George W. Bush for president. We cannot do so again because of an ill-conceived war and its aftermath, undisciplined spending, a shrinkage of constitutional rights and an intrusive social agenda.

The Bush presidency is not what we had in mind. Our endorsement of John Kerry is not without reservations, but he is head and shoulders above the incumbent.

Wow! I guess they really are conservatives! Unlike the bulk of the Fake Conservatives we see commenting so frequently here on the BRAD BLOG and elsewhere out there in the America Hatin' World of Rightwing Nutballs. There's hope for this country yet!

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 4:26pm PT  

From today's NY Times article on CIA Director appointee, Porter Goss:

"I think the president has done very well with insufficient intelligence,'' Mr. Goss said late last year in an interview.

He gives Bush too much credit.

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Soft on Terror, Sweet on the Keepers of the Kingdom...
Bush's disgraceful record speaks for itself, if enough folks bother to read it.
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 4:12pm PT  

Investigative journalist (yes, there are still a few) Greg Palast reports on the top-secret memo they received at the BBC from sources back in November 2001 about the "suspected terrorist organization" in the USA known as "the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). The organization supported various youth activities and was funded by the Saudi's and two members of the bin Laden family.

BBC obtained video from Florida of one of the WAMY activities other than Soccer and Softball which the group organized; "a speech exhorting kids on the heroism of suicide bombings and hostage takings."

The Palast report describes the directives recieved by the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI to "back off the Saudis" both when Bush took office, and over the years that followed 9/11:

Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, let me tell you that we found no evidence --- none, zero, no kidding --- that George Bush knew about Al Qaeda's plan to attack on September 11. Indeed, the grim joke at BBC is that anyone accusing George Bush of knowing anything at all must have solid evidence. This is not a story of what George Bush knew but rather of his very-unfunny ignorance. And it was not stupidity, but policy: no asking Saudis uncomfortable questions about their paying off roving packs of killers, especially when those Saudis are so generous to Bush family businesses.

Yes, Bill Clinton was also a bit too tender toward the oil men of Arabia. But this you should know: In his last year in office, Clinton sent two delegations to the Gulf to suggest that the Royal family crack down on "charitable donations" from their kingdom to the guys who blew up our embassies.

But when a failed Texas oil man took over the White House in January 2001, demands on the Saudis to cut off terror funding simply stopped.

In November 2001, as the dust still hung in the air in NYC, the BBC ran a report on WAMY and their connection to the Saudis and the bin Laden family. The Bush Administration refused comment for that report.

It wasn't until May of this year (2004!) that the FBI finally got around to raiding WAMY!

Then, in May this year, fifty FBI agents surrounded, invaded and sealed off WAMY's Virginia office. It was like a bad scene out of the 'Untouchables.' The raid took place three years after our report and long after the bin Ladens had waved bye-bye. It is not surprising that the feds seized mostly empty files and a lot of soccer balls.

Why now this belated move on the bin Laden's former operation? Why not right after the September 11 attack? This year's FBI raid occurred just days after an Islamist terror assault in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Apparently, messin' with the oil sheiks gets this Administration's attention. Falling towers in New York are only for Republican convention photo ops.

Ouch...Tough, but true to anyone who bothers to look past the veil of Bushist Propoganda to notice what these PR All-Stars really did (or in this case, didn't) when it comes to their failed "War on Terror".

Palast concludes:

The 199-I memo was passed to BBC television by the gumshoes at the National Security News Service in Washington. We authenticated it, added in our own sleuthing, then gave the FBI its say, expecting the usual, "It's baloney, a fake." But we didn't get the usual response. Rather, FBI headquarters said, "There are lots of things the intelligence community knows and other people ought not to know."

Ought not to know?

What else ought we not to know, Mr. President? And when are we supposed to forget it?

Thanks to Johnhp for the tip-off on this one! See the full story, and while you're there, be sure to take a look at the trailer for Palast's upcoming Documentary on the Bush Family, and the systematic purging of minority voters in Florida during the 2000 Elections!

Bush/Cheney: Anything to Win

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 2:53pm PT  

For those who can't read, or have trouble understanding our earlier post on this, please click the photo below for an audio recitation of the Many Flips and embarrassing Flops of George W. Bush.

(Thanks again to BRAD BLOG Soldier Against Hypocrisy, Alexi!)

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 2:16pm PT  

The case against Bush's failed execution of the War on Iraq is becoming clearer every day.

Best put this morning by Pro-Iraq Warrior, Andrew Sullivan, who said today:

"Mr president, you have the courage to launch vital wars; you just don't have the competence to win them. Get out of the way before we lose this battle - and make things even worse than before 9/11."

And in regards to the damning report today from the U.S. Marine Corps general in charge of western Iraq that Fallujah was completely bungled by the upper Civilian Command (after Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the boys have gone out of their way to suggest they wouldn't make the Vietnam mistake of getting in the way of Military Command on the ground), Sullivan --- a longtime BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Republican" Award winner --- was also on the money:

FALLUJAH FLIP-FLOP: How the White House bungled the Fallujah siege - against the advice of the military on the ground. Money quote from Lt. Gen. James T. Conway:

"When you order elements of a Marine division to attack a city, you really need to understand what the consequences of that are going to be and not perhaps vacillate in the middle of something like that. Once you commit, you got to stay committed."

Now just imagine if a president Gore had done such a thing. Do you think Republicans would have stayed mum?

Sullivan's last question there is a doozy. Just imagine if Al Gore had executed this "War on Terror" in exactly the same fashion and as disastrously. Imagine what the Republicans would be saying with 1000+ dead, no WMD's to be found, no exit strategy anywhere on the horizon, and if "insurgents" in Fallujah were now using the arms we gave them against us now as they are! Can you imagine?!

The blatant and outrageous hypocrisy at work amongst the apologists on the Right at this moment is surely at an all time high (or low). Just incredible.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 1:41pm PT  

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In case you haven't noticed.
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 1:30pm PT  

Along with a report that 110 had been killed in Iraq yesterday (WaPo puts the number as "at least 80 civilians killed") including a Palestinian Journalist killed by US Forces from an Apache helicopter as the camera was rolling (video here), and at least five major cities now completely controlled by "insurgents", things seem to be disintegrating there quickly.

Fortunately the Bush Corporation has an excellent PR department, so anything that gets through the PR filter to you and me between now and November 2nd can be assumed to be much worse than it's reported. But, for those of us trying to pay attention to the black hole where we're pumping so much blood and treasure, there are many hints lately of what's really going on there (never mind Afghanistan which is similarly falling apart...not that it was ever "together" before we pulled out and moved to Iraq).

Here's just a few of the items from yesterday in Iraq, courtesy of "Today in Iraq":

Bring em on: US troops in heavy fighting near Ramadi; ten Iraqis killed, 40 wounded.
Bring em on: Thirty-seven Iraqis killed in Baghdad fighting.
Bring em on: Three Polish soldiers killed, three wounded in ambush near Hilla.
Bring em on: US troops launch offensive near Tal Afar.
Bring em on: Four Iraqi policemen killed, three wounded in ambush near Mosul.
Bring em on: Two Iraqi security guards wounded in attack on oil facility near Kirkuk.
Bring em on: Five Iraqis killed by car bomb targeting US convoy near Samarra.
Bring em on: Fifteen Iraqis killed in heavy fighting with US troops near Fallujah.
Bring em on: Three Iraqi soldiers killed in roadside bomb ambush near Hilla.
Bring em on: US patrol attacked by roadside bomb near As-Sina.
Bring em on: Camp Zulu under mortar fire.
Bring em on: CJTF-7 reports US troops repelled coordinated attack on Abu Ghraib prison.

Pay attention. This is still a hot war with injuries, deaths and attacks on US troops as high now as they've ever>/i> been! Bush/Cheney would very much like Americans to look elsewhere between now and November. Don't be fooled...again.

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in-Chief!
By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 11:46pm PT  

From AP:

Most recently, Bush did an about-face on whether the proposed new director of national intelligence should have full budget-making powers as the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission recommended. Bush at first indicated no, then last week said yes.

...

_In 2000, Bush argued against new military entanglements and nation building. He's done both in Iraq.

_He opposed a Homeland Security Department, then embraced it.

_He opposed creation of an independent Sept. 11 commission, then supported it. He first refused to speak to its members, then agreed only if Vice President Dick Cheney came with him.

_Bush argued for free trade, then imposed three-year tariffs on steel imports in 2002, only to withdraw them after 21 months.

_Last month, he said he doubted the war on terror could be won, then reversed himself to say it could and would.

_A week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bush said he wanted Osama bin Laden "dead or alive." But he told reporters six months later, "I truly am not that concerned about him." He did not mention bin Laden in his hour-long convention acceptance speech.

"I'm a war president," Bush told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Feb. 8. But in a July 20 speech in Iowa, he said: "Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president."

Bush keeps revising his Iraq war rationale: The need to seize Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction until none were found; liberating the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator; fighting terrorists in Iraq not at home; spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. Now it's a safer America and a safer world.

"No matter how many times Senator Kerry flip-flops, we were right to make America safer by removing Saddam Hussein from power," he said last week in Missouri.

And no doubt the lemmings then started chanting, "Flip-flop, flip-flop..."

George W. Bush!
Keeping America Safe for Complete Blithering Idiots Who'll Repeat Anything They're Told

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 5:31pm PT  

Once again, The Onion --- like the The Daily Show, another fake news operation --- gets it more right than the "not-fake" news operations...

Bush Campaign More Thought Out Than Iraq War
WASHINGTON, DCMilitary and political strategists agreed Monday that President Bush's re-election campaign has been executed with greater precision than the war in Iraq. "Judging from the initial misrepresentation of intelligence data and the ongoing crisis in Najaf, I assumed the president didn't know his ass from his elbow," said Col. Dale Henderson, a military advisor during the Reagan Administration. "But on the campaign trail, he's proven himself a master of long-term planning and unflinching determination. How else can you explain his strength in the polls given this economy?" Henderson said he regrets having characterized Bush's handling of the war as "incompetent," now that he knows the president's mind was simply otherwise occupied.

If you stop by, be sure not to miss their other spot-on story of the week: "Hundreds Of Republicans Injured In Rush To Discredit Kerry"!

(via Andrew Sullvan)

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...and the Judiciary, and Doctors, and Scientists and Women?
By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 4:58pm PT  

A Federal Judge in Lincoln, Nebraska on Wednesday became the third such judge to rule that the GOP/George W. Bush Late-Term Abortion Ban is unconstitutional.

The new law, struck down yet again, is similar to one that was struck down four years ago. Like that one, this one also refused to take into account the health of the woman requiring the procedure. In other words, Big Government Republicans tried to ban Medical Doctors from performing procedures that may be medically necessary for a United States citizen.

Perhaps I should also ask why Republicans hate United States citizens so much!

The U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf -- a Ronald Reagan appointee! -- "ruled that Congress ignored the most experienced doctors in determining that the banned procedure would never be necessary --- a finding he found 'unreasonable.'", according to CNN.

"According to responsible medical opinion, there are times when the banned procedure is medically necessary to preserve the health of a woman and a respectful reading of the congressional record proves that point," Kopf wrote. "No reasonable and unbiased person could come to a different conclusion."

I don't care what Religious Fundamentalism you prescribe to, such bills forced into law via willfull avoidance of scientific fact, medical judgement, the health of the citizenry, and the will of the judiciary (including the Supreme Court of the United States who had previously knocked down the similar bill) by Activist and Extremist Legislators and Executives is anything but "conservative".

Apparently it'll require a loss this November (God willing) for the real conservatives in this country to have a chance at reclaiming their party from the TheoCons who've hijacked it and are trying to ram every single breach of the U.S. Constitution they can down our throats while they still are in power. Though one wonders if the Fake Conservatives that control the GOP have now gone so far off the deep end, that the once Grand Ole Party may never be able to reclaim itself from the charlatans that now own it.

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The Dick Cheney Fear & Smear Edition!
By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 2:12pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 12:55pm PT  

Yes, it's rare, but BRAD BLOG readers know that from time to time we find Republicans with some measure of intellectual honesty and recognize them for their courage in doing the right thing against all odds. Given all the other Republicans, with something less than either intellectualism or honesty that we highlight here regularly (and those who highlight themselves in our Comments sections with a similar lack of distinction), it seems only fair to point out when a Republican outs himself as having intellectual honesty even at the risk of incurring the wrath of the usually lockstepping GOP.

The latest winner of this coveted honor is Richie Robb, Republican from West Virginia who ran in the May Gubernatorial Primary there and who has been appointed by his party as an official Elector for George W. Bush. Only problem? According to Politics1.com, Robb has no intention, and neither is he legally bound, to actually cast his electoral vote in favor of Bush...


WILL THE ENTIRE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION COME DOWN TO THIS ONE GUY'S VOTE?
An act of party unity and magnanimity is coming back to haunt the West Virginia Republican Party. In the immediate aftermath of the crowded 10-person GOP primary for Governor back in May, the party selected the five top runner-ups from the gubernatorial contest to be the official slate of GOP Electors for the upcoming Presidential race. Those names were subsequently filed by the state's deadline and are now locked into place. That's where the problem begins. South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb (R) --- who placed fourth in the primary with 10% --- was thus awarded one of the coveted Presidential Elector slots. This week Robb told the AP that he does not think he will cast his electoral vote for President Bush. Under WV state law, apparently, there is nothing that forces him to do so. Robb said he will not cast his ballot for Kerry, but would most likely cast his electoral vote --- if Bush wins the state --- for "No Candidate."...Robb, a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism in combat, said he opposed the Iraq War and was also upset with the Swift Boat Vets ads that attacked Kerry's record in Vietnam. "When their candidate [Bush] dodged Vietnam, to me that type of conduct is going over the line," said Robb to the AP. "I think President Bush needs to get the message from people across this country, including Republicans, that his strategy in national security and his economic policies needs to be revisited ... I see an erosion of the middle class in this country and a disparity in income levels I think is unhealthy for this country and its future," he added....Robb notes that he was not present when they selected the electors and did not seek the honor. "My job is to exercise my best judgment. That's how I've always done it. That's how I intend to do it," countered Robb.

If the election is another close one, Robb's one electoral vote could make the difference this year! So congratulations Mr. Robb! You've earned the coveted and rare BRAD BLOG "Intellectual Honest Conservative" Award! I'm sure you'll not let us down this November!

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 12:24pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2004 11:55pm PT  

First Max Cleland, and now the Police. Does Bush talk to anyone that he doesn't agree with?

On Friday morning, the White House officially refused to meet with law enforcement leaders about saving the assault weapons ban. The International Association of Chiefs of Police had requested a meeting, offering to send police chiefs to meet with the President on any date that the White House chose. The White House response said the President would not meet with the police due to a "scheduling conflict." (Again, the IACP had not requested any specific date or time for the meeting.)

The boy in the bubble. Let's pop the bubble, shall we?

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