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(...making it's way around the blogosphere)
By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2004 2:55pm PT  

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...about Iraq, Abu-Ghraib, and going to war without the necessary support from the 'Commander-in-Chief'
By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2004 2:47pm PT  

And now a word from someone who made it out of 15 months in Iraq alive. Someone who signed up for the Army Reserve after September 11th. Someone who wasn't a chickenhawk. Someone who ended up stationed in Abu Ghraib. Someone, unlike the Bush Supporters (as witnessed even here in BRAD BLOG comments) who doesn't find it necessary to avoid telling the truth about what's going on there, and how things went so terribly wrong via the incompetence and lack of support for our troops by this failed "Commander-in-Chief".

Here's the full article, please read it! It's short and to the point. Here's just one, of many quotable excerpts:

When my company landed in theatre in May, I was one of the few soldiers equipped with body armor effective at stopping powerful AK-47 ammunition. My mother, an elementary school art teacher, shipped the bullet-proof ceramic plates to me from the States. Other soldiers weren't so lucky, having to raid buildings and patrol dangerous streets while wearing inferior Vietnam-era flak jackets. Later I learned that 40,000 troops had been sent into Iraq without effective body armor. We rode in ‘soft shell' Humvees, equipped with flimsy fiber-glass doors. A Volvo has more protection. I saw the blood of American soldiers spilled because of the lack of ‘up-armored' Humvees.

After training 2,000 police, and bringing law and order to the city of Al Hilla, my unit was tasked to run Abu Ghraib prison, a mission for which we had no prior training. We were combat support military police, ideal for conducting convoy security, not administering prisoner-of-war camps. My unit was desperately under-manned, so I was assigned to run an entire tier at the ‘hard site'. Even as a junior-enlisted soldier, I was personally responsible for 320 prisoners and a staff of four or five ill-disciplined Iraqi police...

Educate yourself. Read the whole thing.

Support the Troops! Vote Bush out of office!

(Thanks to Alexi for the link!)

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And the Death of Human Rights.
By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2004 2:36pm PT  

I came across this post last night (or it was sent it from a reader), but now I can't remember where, or who sent it! So apologies for the lack of credit. None the less, good commentary and good link. And as usual, under-reported by the "Liberal" Media:

Ghost detainees: Finally, the Army admitted today that they didn't hide just a few Iraqi prisoners from the Red Cross, they hid "dozens, to perhaps up to 100."

And why did they hide these prisoners? Because the CIA asked them to. And what did the CIA do with them? We don't know? And were the prisoners ever returned to normal military custody? We don't know that either. Lovely.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2004 1:02pm PT  

From Electoral-Vote.com:

The state of California has decided to sue Diebold, the nation's largest manufacturer of electronic (touch screen) voting machines because the company lied about the machines' security. The machines have a special feature that creates fake vote totals when a secret 2-digit code is typed in. The LA Times article about the lawsuit does not specify whether there are separate codes to fake a Bush victory and fake a Kerry victory or whether one candidate's victory has been programmed in advance or whether election officials can enter any result they want. However, Diebold's CEO, Walden O'Dell, has said he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes for the president." The suit comes 6 months after the machines failed in the March primary. The machines are used in 19 California counties and many states nationwide.
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By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2004 12:41pm PT  

I guess I'll have to do a retrospective soon of all the great American Bush Supporters! The kickers, the punchers, and all those other "Freedom and Jesus Loving" thugs beating up on others in support of George W. Bush. Like Hero like Worshipper, I guess.

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Is Dick Cheney genetically unable to tell the truth?
About anything?
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2004 9:23pm PT  

From Reuters:

At a town-hall style forum in the swing state of Ohio, Cheney described Saddam as a "man who provided safe harbor and sanctuary to terrorists for years" and a man who "provided safe harbor and sanctuary as well for al Qaeda."

The commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks has said it had not discovered any evidence of a "collaborative" relationship" between the fallen Iraqi government and al Qaeda.

Didn't these guys run on restoring "honesty and integrity" to the White House after years of claiming that Bill Clinton was liar because he didn't admit that he cheated on his wife and got a blow-job?

Speaking of blow-jobs, here's another piece of encouraging news that Tricky Dick dropped today. Turns out those 1.8 million jobs lost under Bush may not be so bad after all! Why? eBay, my friend!

Cheney also defended the administration's handling of the economy, saying that some U.S. statistics such as the closely watched monthly payroll report may not be capturing the job growth that is taking place.

He argued that the economy was changing and that the way statistics were collected needed to reflect that. For example, he said, "400,000 people make some money trading on E-bay."

Don't throw out those old baseball cards, sports fans! You may need to pay for your open heart surgery this year!

What a load.

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Not from the evidence so far.
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2004 7:16pm PT  

Don't know if you're following the hooha about the Memo's released yesterday that show Lt. George W. Bush defied direct orders to report for physicals, and other such alleged disobeyed orders from the man who would become "Commander-in-Chief", but the best the pro-Bush folks seem to be able to come up with is that the documents are fake.

The basis for this argument seems to be on the fact that a superscript "th" is used, and they charge that typewriters of the day didn't have such an ability. Thus, the documents are fakes created on a Word Processor today, instead of a typewriter back in 1973.

I don't know. But I do know that Josh Marshall discovered a superscript "th" in documents from the Guard that the Bush team themselves released some time ago! So clearly there was a superscript "th" in use by the Guard back in 1968.

If the memo's are fake, it wouldn't seem to be because of a superscript "th" (or a proportional font, which is also a theory that Atrios then quickly debunked here)

Josh points to these .PDF files online as released by the Bushies. The document in question is the first vertical one in the bunch. I've taken a detail of the page in question, and it's superscript "th", and made it a bit easier to find:

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By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2004 6:43pm PT  

Two short videos recently brought to my attention...

A very funny one sent in by my sister (original source unknown, requires Windows Media Player). Have a good laugh. I think we all need one.

The other video, apparently homespun by Dan Welch, is not as funny, but it's true and interesting. Hint: it involves a lot of flip-flopping! So no doubt, you Bush supporters will be very entertained! (An IMac movie, so QuickTime needed, I think. Thanks to BushOut.tv for pointing it out!)

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Genocide in Sudan!
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2004 4:47pm PT  

It's official! The Bush Administration told Congress today (in the person of Colin Powell) that there is "genocide" on-going in Sudan!

Great news for all of you folks who feel we needed to remove Saddam not because of his WMD's, or his lack of connection to 9/11, but because he killed so many of "his own people".

Here's your chance to prove you're not hypocrites! Let the world know that it's time to send in US Troops to topple and occupy Sudan! The genocide is going on now (not 20 years ago as it was with Saddam when Reagan was President), so you can actually do something to stop the slaughter that you were so concerned about in Iraq (albeit a few decades too late).

It's your chance to save the world from an oppressive government that would see it's own people slaughtered! So, let's hear from ya, Righties! Ready to go in? (Note to Bush Supporters: Sudan would be in Africa - that's the large continent South of Europe).

By the way, we're running kind of short on troops for all of this world policing and nation building, so please let me know here in comments which of you is interested in signing up for the Armed Forces to help topple the Sudanese Government! I'll be happy to point you in the right direction where you can sign-up! Any takers out there amongst you Bush Supporters?

(Psst...There's oil in Sudan! So this should be an easy one for you guys!)

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By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2004 4:31pm PT  

A new poll of 35 different countries around the world finds that 30 of them "clearly" support Kerry over Bush. Only three countries "clearly" support Bush (The Philippines, Poland and Nigeria). See the rest of the numbers at left.

But credit where credit's due! After we found virtually the entire world to be on our side after 9/11, it wasn't easy for Bush to turn things around as quickly as he did in just three short years! Well done, Mr. "President"!

I'm reminded of one of his quotes from the 2000 election debates: "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us."

Gotta hand it to him! He was right on the money!

(Thanks to BRAD BLOG commentor Vance for reminding to post something on this!)

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You call that 'Fair' OR 'Balanced'?
Yes, apparently they do.
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2004 4:06pm PT  

Brit Hume's Special Report panel on Fox just spent the last five minutes discussing what the supposed "Liberal" on the panel (Jeff Birnbaum, in this case) described as "Democrats really grasping at straws".

The discussion was about Cheney's announcement that America would be attacked again "in a devastating way" if they voted John Kerry into office. (What Cheney said here, BRAD BLOG's video reponse to it here).

So my question is, with a panel that consists today of the far Right Mort Kondracke, Fred Barnes and the middle-of-the-road, Right-leaning Birnbaum, all lead by staunch Conservative Brit Hume, where on God's Green Earth is the view from the Left about anything on that show?

Yes, I know that's not a new thought. But Jesus...how do they continue to get away with not only calling themselves "Fair and Balanced", but who are these frickin' Americans that actually believe that nonsense? Wouldn't it at least be honest for them to say what they are, a Republican News Organization?

Anyone who would be purposefully blind enough believe their spin would, I guess, also think George W. Bush is either "conservative" or "effective" as a "President". So there ya go.

By the way, Media Matters for America has been doing a great job of calling out Fox (along with CNN and MSNBC) their a) laziness b) deceitfulness and c) continuous Right Wing slant on just about everything they "report".

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Another Bush Administration fuck-up...
and assault on 'liberty and justice for all'.
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2004 2:35pm PT  

The Pentagon announced yesterday that they have "incorrectly detained" a man for two and a half years at Gitmo, without access to an attorney or anyone else, and they will now be freeing him and sending him back to his home country. It turns out he is not an "enemy combatant". Sorry about that! No hard feelings?

That's two and half years in prison without charges, a hearing, or access to an attorney. Presumably we only now know about this because the Supreme Court has finally ordered the Bush Administration to provide some kind of hearings for the people locked away in the black hole of Guantanimo Bay.

Out of 600 held there, they have now held hearings for just 28 of them. So far, at least one of those 28 has been proven to be innocent. I wonder if there are any more wrongly held amongst the other 572 "enemy combatants" that have been charged with nothing, and have had access to neither trial nor attorney all of this time.

As one human rights worker described it: "This is just further evidence of the serious errors that occur when you ignore basic human rights and standards of international humanitarian law."

Bush/Cheney '04: Spreading "Liberty" Across the Globe! One detainee at a time!

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By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2004 1:46pm PT  

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...And his smears against Kerry in the bargain!
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2004 1:41pm PT  

To the point. See American Prospects detailed rebuttal to Cheney's bluster about Kerry's record on Defense cuts. Including contemperaneous quotes from then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney bragging about all the cuts he'd made or supported on all of the very weapons systems he's now hypocritically sliming Kerry for "voting against".

In March of this year, Cheney attacked Kerry for having “repeatedly voted against weapons systems for the military,” hammering the senator for voting “against the Apache helicopter, against the Tomahawk cruise missile, against even the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.” He said this record has “given us ample doubts about [Kerry's] judgment and the attitude he brings to bear on vital issues of national security.”

What Cheney leaves out of his stump speeches is the ironic fact that almost all of the cuts Kerry voted for were endorsed or originally proposed by Cheney himself. At issue is not the cuts themselves, but the hypocrisy of Cheney attacking an opponent who merely followed his lead.

Cheney accuses Kerry of calling for “major reductions or outright cancellations of many of our most important weapons systems”; Bush ads attack the senator for voting “against 13 weapons systems for our troops” over 20 years. But it was Defense Secretary Cheney who gloated that he had “put an end to more than 100 systems” in less than three years. In December 1991, he bragged to the Washington Post that he was setting “an all-time record as Defense Secretary for canceling or stopping production” of weapons and equipment.

See the entire piece for all of the indisputable, point-by-point details of Cheney attempting to shut down the very systems that he's now cynically charging Kerry with not supporting.

Facts can be very troubling. No wonder the Bushies don't bother much with them.

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Today's Victim: Ben Barnes.
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2004 10:53am PT  

Predictably, the GOP has begun it's latest smear campaign on anyone who dares question to the perfection of King Bush.

Today's victim, Ben Barnes, who has come forward to acknowledge that he pulled strings to help get young Dubya into the Air National Guard, and thus, out of the draft for active duty in Vietnam.

Barnes, a Kerry supporter, has admitted being ashamed of having done so, but felt that the story should be told since Bush is now running as a "War President" (Bush's words), sending thousands of servicemen to their deaths, and sliming John Kerry for his war service wherein he actually went to war instead of avoiding it through Guard service (and then, as it turns out, pulling more strings to get out of that same Guard!)

In classic fashion, the GOP website has released a slime bulletin on Ben Barnes. Dick Clarke-ing him, if you will, as they've done to so many before. The screaming headline on their page reads "WHO IS BEN BARNES? A Deep-Pocketed Kerry Partisan Who Can't Keep His Stories Straight" --- after which they fail to show how Barnes has ever changed his story one bit. Instead, they suggest that Barnes claimed he was never asked "by the Bush family" to help George. And even though he's not making such a claim now (Barnes says he was contacted by a Houston Businessman and friend of the Bush's to help get George out of the draft), they're assuming most of their Attack Monkeys won't much bother with the details.

The Talking Points for these guys is all that matters. Read the link above, and watch for all the repetition of same from the Talking Heads today. Truth be damned. Anything to win.

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