Rupture feared; Workers contaminated; New evacs 'recommended'... PLUS: German study uses French data to corroborate findings from Austrian, U.S. scientists, suggesting Fukushima disaster should be reclassified as 'level 7' accident, on par with Chernobyl...
Not sure how we missed this. Okay, yes we are. Things have been a bit crazy lately.
Anyway...a former member of the Bush Administration (yes, the Bush Administration) is now voicing doubt about what brought down the Twin Towers and Building No. 7.
We haven't dealt much here with this particular matter, as we haven't had much to add to the various emerging skeptical voices out it. We'll keep our thoughts to ourselves for the moment, but the opinions of someone from within the Bush team speaking out about the matter seems notable enough to mention it here.
A former Bush team member during his first administration is now voicing serious doubts about the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9-11. Former chief economist for the Department of Labor during President George W. Bush's first term Morgan Reynolds comments that the official story about the collapse of the WTC is "bogus" and that it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7. Reynolds, who also served as director of the Criminal Justice Center at the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas and is now professor emeritus at Texas A&M University said, "If demolition destroyed three steel skyscrapers at the World Trade Center on 9/11, then the case for an 'inside job' and a government attack on America would be compelling." Reynolds commented from his Texas A&M office, "It is hard to exaggerate the importance of a scientific debate over the cause of the collapse of the twin towers and building 7. If the official wisdom on the collapses is wrong, as I believe it is, then policy based on such erroneous engineering analysis is not likely to be correct either. The government's collapse theory is highly vulnerable on its own terms. Only professional demolition appears to account for the full range of facts associated with the collapse of the three buildings."
A more detailed article on Reynolds comments, and a nice summary of the alleged flaws in the official report are available in this Arctic Beacon article from over the weekend.
As mentioned, we don't have much of an opinion on this matter at this time, other than to note that once credibility is lost (see the Downing Street Minutes) it's difficult to get it back.
"the enclosed, by the way, is what happens when you take down my signs and replace them with a lame "Support our troops" sign done w/ paper and printer..."
He went on to add...
"never fuck with the freewayblogger..."
Freeway (or Mr. Blogger, if you're nasty) was our guest in the final hour of last weekend's BRAD SHOW. If you missed the interview, it was a hoot! Go to the BRAD SHOW Archives and scroll on down to HOUR 4 of the 6/11/05 show to give it a listen!
Penn & Teller give some airtime to the Bullshit that is the Patriot Act, including some telling thoughts from ex-Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), once an advocate, now a strong detractor. At least someone's paying attention while Sensenbrenner and the GOP Gone Wild are attempting to bury their dangerous abuses of power.
Large video, about 17 minutes, and probably not safe for work! Unless you work at the Homeland Security Department or any other Government office. In which case, safe or not, those folks need to see and hear what they have wrought.
Updating our coverage of last Friday's shameful performance by the U.S. House Judiciary Chairman, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), when he cut witness testimony short in the additional day of hearings on the Patriot Act as requested, under House Rule 11, by the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is introducing a resolution to rebuke the Chariman for his outrageous behavior.
Included in Nadler's resolution, is condemnation of Sensenbrenner's gaveling of the hearings to an early close without hearing unanimous consent, debate or even a second; his refusal to allow witnesses to respond to questions; cutting questioning by minority Congressmen short; unprecedented convening of the hearings when Congress was not in session and other actions less-than-honorable for a United States Congressman.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has introduced a privileged resolution in the House which seeks to rebuke House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) for abusing his power at a Patriot Act hearing last week, RAW STORY has learned.
The resolution declares Sensenbrenner "willfully trampled the right of the minority to hold an additional day of hearings," and "willfully and intentionally violated the Rules of the House by abusing and exceeding his powers as chairman."
It moves to have the House condemn the Wisconsin's [sic] actions and enjoins the chairman to schedule an additional day of hearings on the Patriot Act.
Sensenbrenner's performance was covered in detail by BRAD BLOG last Friday as it unfolded, with exclusive commentary from Democratic staffers who witnessed it.
In other news of Republican Majorities Gone Wild, a new policy of denying hearing rooms to Democrats has been instituted by the Judiciary Committee Majority.
According to today's The Hill, "majority staff recently announced a new policy to deny any request from a committee Democrat for the use of a committee hearing room."
That new edict, instituted in time to attempt to shut down the minority's planned Thursday hearing on the Downing Street Minutes/Memo has forced the Democrats to scramble to find a location for the event.
The Hill also confirms the text of the email we reported last Friday from Sensenbrenner's deputy chief of staff, Sean McClaughlin, to a minority staffer while viewing Ranking Minority Member, Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) "Media Bias" forum held several weeks ago.
“I'm sitting here watching your ‘forum' on C-SPAN,” McLaughlin wrote. “Just to let you know, it was your last. Don't bother asking [for a room] again.”
The BRAD BLOG has learned that the Dems will hold the hearings, despite the attempt by the majority to shut them down, at the DNC offices on 1:00 p.m. in the Wasserman Room at 430 S Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C.
The hearings were announced after Conyers received more than 500,000 citizen signatures on a letter signed by at least 94 U.S. House of Representative members. Additionally, The BRAD BLOG has learned that still more House members are said to be signing on to that letter this week.
Later on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. ET in Lafayette Square Park, in front of the White House, a large rally has been called by supporters of Conyers who plans to deliver hist letter to George W. Bush, asking him to respond to the questions raised by the original Downing Street Minutes document.
The facts of the Downing Street Minutes are clearly gaining traction and apparently have the hard-right apologists up against the ropes in seeking an exit strategy from their current pickle.
Today they trotted out Bobby Eberle of GOPUSA --- the phony "news" organization, that hired "Jeff Gannon", the phony "journalist" with the phony name --- in a failed attempt to throw cold water on the exploding Downing Street Minutes issues.
As with the debacle that was Election 2004, featuring hundreds (if not thousands) of "irregularities" that occurred in order to ensure a Bush win last November, the Neo-Cons have dusted off the old "Conspiracy Theory" defense again, this time in lieu of being able to slither out of the apparent "High Crimes" demonstrated by the DSM and the myriad of corroborating evidence that has appeared since the initial minutes were leaked (by a Rupert Murdoch paper, no less!)
Having (so far) gotten away with their Election 2004 chicanery with liberal uses of the "Conspiracy Theory" buzzphrase, the assumption is likely to be "Well, it worked so well to deflect from our gaming of the election, let's use it again to smokescreen our lying the country into war!"
Nonetheless, the transparency of the tactic to attempt to belittle those who would like an explanation and/or investigation to examine the behavior of the Bush Administration as described in the DSM --- the facts and intelligence having been "fixed" around the pre-determined policy of toppling Saddam through military means --- clearly signals that the Right is quickly becoming desperate as they find themselves bereft of a way out of this mess. As of now anyway.
And all of that even while their only other current defense ("But we went to the U.N. afterwards, so that must prove...something!") seems to be falling flat on its face.
If you missed last night's BRAD SHOW, well, what were you thinking?!
Frankly, I could have turned around and done four mour hours with each of our amazing guests last night! If you didn't catch it, or any portion of the show, I'd strongly recommend that you tune into the BRAD SHOW ARCHIVES and listen to 'em all if you find the time! We do believe it was some top-notch radio with some extraordinary guests and a few newsworthy items amongst the interviews!
A couple of quick post-show thoughts, stuff that didn't get on air, and a few other reminders of note...
The following very important message is for YOU, and it's from our friend Steve...
All right Bradbloggers, you asked for it (I think), so here it is: THE FIRST ANNUAL BRAD BLOG BLOGATHON & FUNDRAISER! This will be an event entirely conceived, planned and produced by at least “6 or 7” of us Bradbloggers. We're sending the ubiquitous Mr. Friedman on vacation during the event to keep him out of our hair.
WHY: To hear from and interact with some of the important people in the Progressive movement AND to raise as much hard cash as humanly possible for the dedicated and deserving proprietor of this blogsite (while embarrassing him just a little in the process)!
WHEN: Friday, July 8th through Monday, July 11th, as follows:
Friday, 7/8/05, starting at 3pm PDT (6pm EDT) with featured activities lasting until 9pm PDT (12midnight EDT);
Saturday, 7/9/05, with featured activities lasting from 8am PDT to 4pm PDT (11am EDT to 7pm EDT) (plan is to interrupt activities for The Brad Show);
Sunday, 7/10/05, with featured activities lasting from 8am PDT to 8pmPDT (11am EDT to 11pm EDT);
Monday, 7/11/05, with featured activities starting at 8am PDT (11am EDT) and Blogathon ending at 6pmPDT (9pm EDT).
Attention Parents of the Men and Women of America's Armed Forces!
You have nothing to worry about! Should your sons and daughters be captured and held captive by enemies forces, the example that has been set for their treatment by our government will serve as a model for the humane treatment they can expect to receive!
As Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) repeated over and over again on today's Fox "News" Sunday, the "honey-glazed chicken" they may receive on Sundays (UPDATE: David Edwards caught that too, here's video, RealPlayer or Windows) will more than make up for the rest of the humane treatment we have shown prisoners that America holds captive in Gitmo and elsewhere around the world. All of which is condoned by the U.S. Military, and, specifically, by Sec. of Defense, Donald Rumseld.
We are certain that this excerpt from this week's TIME magazine, as reported by RAW STORY will put you at ease...
Today's front-page report covers new revelations from a briefing paper prepared for Tony Blair eight months before the War on Iraq, and states the Bush Administration were not preparing for what would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occuption of Iraq...
[T]he memo "Iraq: Conditions for Military Action" notes that U.S. "military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace," but adds that "little thought" has been given to, among other things, "the aftermath and how to shape it."
Saying that "we need to be sure that the outcome of the military action would match our objective," the memo's authors point out, "A post-war occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise." The authors add, "As already made clear, the U.S. military plans are virtually silent on this point. Washington could look to us to share a disproportionate share of the burden."
For our money, the delinquency of the Bush Administration in preparing for a Post-War Iraq, which has already cost the lives and limbs of thousands of U.S. Troops, is perhaps more reprehensible even than the revelations from the original "Downing Street Minutes" that the Administration would be "fixing" the intelligence around the policy of toppling Saddam through military means and lying both Congress and the American People about it.
And these jerks have the gall to speak to us about "supporting the troops"?!
The hell with impeachment, these folks deserve jail time for the death and destruction they have so carelessly and callously wrought!
All of that, in addition to more breaking news out from today's Sunday Times of London (as mentioned as it broke on last night's BRAD SHOW via RAW RADIO!) revealing that the Blair Administration knew that the war would be illegal, but that they had committed to going into it with the Bushies months before acknowledging it publicly. They endeavored to find a way to make the action "legal" in those pre-war months when it was assessed by the Brits as being an illegal incursion.
John Conyers' Hearings on all of the above, with members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, will occur this Thursday at 2pm ET. Please contact C-SPAN and ask them to carry the hearings live. For that matter, so should CNN, MSNBC, FNC as well as all three of the broadcast networks at this point!
As originally reported here yesterday, Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee invoked a rarely used rule to extend Committee hearings on the renewal of the Patriot Act.
Apparently, they inappropriately called witnesses to testify today from whom the Republicans did not wish to hear. And thus, in what can only be seen as an unprecedented tyrannical abuse of Majority power in the U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), suddenly and without warning, gavelled the hearings to a close! Unilaterally, without debate, and in the middle of ongoing testimony!
The extraordinary video clip of Sensenbrenner's appalling display, was captured by C-SPAN. Take a look at the meltdown...
GOP House Judiciary Chair Uses Pinochet Tactics to Abruptly and Unilaterally Shut Down Hearing Into Abuses of the (Un)Patriot Act, Because He Was Afraid the Truth Would Come Out. America: "IT" is Happening Here. Democracy is Being Dismantled by GOP Thugs.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
June 10, 2005
BuzzFlash News Analysis
This morning, House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI) unilaterally and arbitrarily shut down committee hearings on the reauthorization of the Patriot Act without comment or issuing a statement. Sensenbrenner gaveled the committee hearings in the middle of witnesses testifying about human and civil rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay, racial profiling of individuals of Middle Eastern descent, prolonged detentions of Americans after September 11th and other abuses.
The suppression of free speech and testimony in the congressional committee in charge of protecting our civil liberties shows the Republican's power grab has no limits and no decency. The irony was not lost on anyone.
UPDATE: We must go on the air on Tony Trupiano's show in a just a few minutes, so this must be quick for now. (Link to that interview, with a lot more information on my conversation with a Democratic staffer who was in the room, is now below.)
To clarify some confusion on this matter, what had been referred to as "Democratic Hearings" today in some places, actually were not Democratic-only hearings (unlike the hearings that took place in January on Ohio Election Irregularities, and the recent Media Bias forum held by Conyers and other Dems).
Today's hearings were called under the archane provision of House Rule 11, which, we are told, allows the Minority to call for an additional day of hearings and to choose their own witnesses if they are unsatisfied with the hearings as held by the Majority.
The U.S. House Judiciary Democrats have been unable to do that previously on issues like Election 2004 and Media Bias because the Majority hadn't called a hearing at all on those matters, and thus, they were forced to call their own hearings.
We are told by a Democratic Staffer who The BRAD BLOG has just spoken to, and who was present at today's debacle, that the Majority has been quite disturbed by those previous hearings for some time, and, in fact, during the airing of Conyers' Media Bias forum (it ran as taped on C-SPAN at 8:30pm ET a few Saturdays ago), an email was sent to a Judiciary Committee staffer which said, in effect, "I'm watching your forum right now, hope you enjoyed it, it will be your last."
We'll have more detail after we're off the air, but the staffer just explained to us that the Minority was displeased with the witnesses called previously in the Commission hearings on renewal of the Patriot Act, and attempted to work with the Majority to call additional witnesses.
According to the staffer, they were told, "'You're gonna get your hearing, but it's gonna be 8:30am on Friday morning'...Never in the history of the Judiciary Committee have we been able to find a time when a hearing has been scheduled like that. The Congress was not in session today. We've never been able to find an instance when a hearing was called when Congress wasn't in session."
"The irony, when we're debating the Patriot Act," we were told, "of cutting off the debate and acting so anti-democratic when that's going on, is unbelievable!
"In the committee with sole jurisdiction over civil rights and civil liberties, for the chairman to say, I don't want to hear about guys who are getting their testicles shocked, it's breathtaking arrogance, it's testimony to abuse of power and how this place is now run. They've become everything they said they deplored when they took over the house in 1994."
Conversations with the House Democratic leadership on currently ongoing. The BRAD BLOG has learned that they are "very very concerned" about this matter, and that "the issue will be elevated."
"Ms. Pelosi is very concerned about this," said the staffer.