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America Under Attack
By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2004 12:13pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

In 1942 the U.S. Government forced some 150,000 Americans of Japanese descent, two-thirds of them actually born in America, to leave their communities, sell their houses (if they were able to in the two weeks time they were given) and relocate to one of 10 "relocation" or "internment" camps here in the United States of America.

A few days ago, while on the road, we had the occasion to stop by and spend a few hours at what is left of the Manzanar Relocation Camp between Lone Pine and (ironically, enough) Independence, California. The remains of the camp are found on a quiet dusty stretch of lonely Highway 395 as it runs along the Eastern Sierras near Mt Whitney (at 14,000+ feet it's the tallest peak in the contiguous 48).

On the desert floor at the foot of the mountain range, lies the remains of Manzanar, shamelessly razed after 1945 as if to wipe out all memory of it's existence.

Some 10,000 Japanese-Americans, citizens, business owners, doctors, professionals, Army veterans and their families and thousands of children, were relocated into makeshift barracks in blockhouse rows here during WWII after the attack at Pearl Harbor. None of the interned were ever officially accused or convicted of "sabotage" against the United States.

This was our second time at Manzanar following the guided auto-tour along the ruins, imagining the life there for those four years. It was again a moving and troubling experience. In 1997 the area was taken over and protected by the National Park Service and finally, in April of 2004 --- over half a century after the camp was finally shut down --- a terrifically designed and very educational Interpretive Center has been opened in what had been the High School auditorium building, the only building still standing on the 800 acre site. The Center is chock full of information and artifacts which bring the place back to life after it has so shamelessly been relegated to the dustbin of Americas Forgotten History.

If you find yourself near Manzanar, set aside a few hours to learn and/or remember one of the shameful chapters in our country when we last panicked in the face of fear and gave in to our worst instincts in the name of "self protection". Last time it was under a Democratic President, this time it's under a Republican "President". Apparently, we haven't learned all that much from the last time we were attacked by an enemy we didn't understand and found ourselves willing to sacrifice much of what this country stands for in the name of giving in to our most base and unfounded fears.

The US Constitution, like our Tax Laws and our Welfare System has many flaws and loopholes to be exploited by those who care to for political or personal gain. It's our job, as Americans, to see to it that the spirit of that Constitution is upheld, no matter who the charlatans are who may wish to use our fears against what that document stands for.

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By Johnhp on 8/5/2004 11:58am PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by Johnhp)

"I think the intelligent I get is darn good intelligence and the speeches
I have given are backed by good intelligence"

You can see the quote in this story from faux news.

Although the story has Bush saying intelligence the video makes it clear he said intelligent. i know that is a picky point but i think the press has been covering the man's idiocy too often. That, however, is a minor point. The larger point is that this is one occasion that Bush was being truthful; i.e., that he had good intelligence on WMD in Iraq. The evidence, however, points to the opposite conclusion than the one drawn by the Administration. This is especially interesting because of the neandercons recent defense of Bush by claiming that the UN thought the same thing.

Let's look at what was known:

Bush's 16 words, it is now claimed were justified by the Bulter report. What did the report actually say about the yellowcake claim and WMD claims?

"seriously flawed" "open to doubt" "unreliable or questionable"

"Language in the dossier may have left with readers the impression that there was fuller and firmer intelligence behind the judgments than was the case. Our view, having reviewed all of the material, is that the judgments in the dossier went to (although not beyond) the outer limits of the intelligence available.

"The prime minister's description, in his statement to the House of Commons on the day of publication of the dossier, of the picture painted by the intelligence services in the dossier as 'extensive, detailed and authoritative' may have reinforced this impression."

Each report, said Butler, mentioned these flaws but Blair and Bush failed to pass them on. This misled the actual state of intelligence allowing the public to assume it was more accurate than it was.

They also relied on UN evidence from 1998. Then chose to ignore evidence from UN folks on the ground in 2003 even though the UN inspectors visited every site supplied by American and british intelligence.

In fact, Bush was so much in denial about the UN that he actually denied that iraq had let UN inspectors return to Iraq:

"The larger point is did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in."

The source is this extremely right wing website. Now i think they can't be trusted to tell the truth but the Neandercons do.

In sum, they knew the intelligence was, to quote LBJ, "thin as piss on a rock" but never passed along that tidbit. Hell they even allowed the military to stumble upon and look through crates of uranium we actually knew about.

Investigators Tuesday discovered that Al-Tuwaitha hides another city. This underground nexus of labs, warehouses, and bomb-proof offices was hidden from the public and, perhaps, International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors who combed the site just two months ago, until the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Engineers discovered it three days ago.

Yes the right wing's right wing went absolutely nuts over this tidbit. It turned out, however, that the site was known to inspectors and the uranium was under UN seal. More importantly our government knew about it before the invasion.

"But an expert familiar with U.N. nuclear inspections told The Associated Press that it was implausible to believe that U.S. forces had uncovered anything new at the site. Instead, the official said, the Marines apparently broke U.N. seals designed to ensure the materials aren't diverted for weapons use --- or end up in the wrong hands."

"What happened apparently was that they broke IAEA seals, which is very unfortunate because those seals are integral to ensuring that nuclear material doesn't get diverted," the expert said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Again, faux news.

They KNEW the intel was partial. The fault is not with the intel; it is with the politicians who chose to ignore the partial nature of the claims and pass them on as if the were certain and, to quote one official, "exact." The fact is, as with the al Tuwaitha facility, they couldn't care less.

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By Johnhp on 8/5/2004 6:17am PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by Johnhp)

No right wingers are lined up with hammer and nails for the crucifixion of Richard Shelby (R-AL). What has he done? Leaked exceedingly sensitive intelligence to which he was privy thanks to his perch on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Berger has not been accused of divulging intel and the right is ready to string him up.

The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office pursued the case, and a grand jury was empaneled, but nobody has been charged with any crime. Last month it was revealed that the Justice Department had decided to forgo a criminal prosecution, at least for now, and turned the matter over to the Senate Ethics Committee.

Here's the link. Read for yourself.

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One from the Road...
By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2004 2:17am PT  

This one caught my eye, and while I've got some wireless net access from the road, I thought I'd drop it by...

Brought to my attention by AMERICAblog...

Here's the full story (courtesy of Knight-Ridder who, by the way, deserve some praise!) in case the story didn't make it at all onto Drudge or Fox.

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By Johnhp on 8/4/2004 3:56pm PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by johnhp)

In Iowa today, the former governor of Texas announced that "results matter" when contemplating for whom to vote. i would argue this is why so many people will vote against him. Hopefully it will take this time.

However, let's take him at his word and look at some of his "results" that matter.


1.8 Million Jobs Lost in the Private Sector.

Families spend, on average, 25% more on healthcare than before January of 2001.

Of course, there's the whole spate of issues about the war in Iraq:

The use of questionable intelligence as if it were as certain as sunrise.

A premeditated war.

The deaths of more than 900 American military.

The deaths of more than 10,000 Iraqi civilians with the use of weapons such as cluster bombs.

The Maiming of several thousand American military.

God only knows how many Iraqi civilians have been maimed.

The arrest of women and children in order to have their fathers turn themselves in.

Lying to the American public during his state of the union.

Resisting the formation of the 9-11 commission.

So here we have one point of agreement i have with Mr. Bush: results matter.

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Brian knows where he stands, and that’s some good freedom for the US of A.
By Bryan on 8/4/2004 1:24am PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by Bryan)


Those gun-toting fascist liberals were at it again, promoting free speech and not turning people away from their rallies due to race or political affiliation. A handful of Republicans have been spotted over the past few days at Kerry events, carrying signs that read 'Flush the Two Johns' and 'Waffles are for Breakfast, not for President'.

The Waffler, a credible source named Brian who allegedly attended a Milwaukee rally last evening and held the purposefully hunger-inducing Waffle sign, told Rush Limbaugh earlier today that they were not confrontational with anyone. ‘Again, we were not confrontational with anyone,' Brian recalled, ‘but we did have several of these compassionate liberals ask us if we wanted to have our legs broken.'

While all the conservatives were left physically unscathed, thank goodness, it is the notion of this quiet threat that troubled me most. I would have thought the conservatives, who are now used to hearing compassionless and inane questions at rallies, the kind that end in, ‘Which boat did you come over on?' and ‘Will you sign your name here, for privacy's sake?' would be ready for some back and forth, some good ol' trash swapping. Yet the idle threats seemed not to deter Brian, who remained aggressive in his freedom, and passive with his tongue.

From the Rush transcript:

RUSH: So they threatened you. Did they imply or state that you would be safer if you just leave?

CALLER/BRIAN: Absolutely, sir, to which I just stood my ground and remained silent.

RUSH: And are you walking today or are you in a wheelchair?

CALLER/BRIAN: I'm absolutely walking, and believe me, I'll walk down to plenty John Kerry rallies.

Other GOP members could not contain their freedom of restraint, and despite continued intimidation by the liberal extremists, began to chant ‘Four more years! Four more years!' Yet it was the Kerry camp that would ultimately have the last word, and the first overplayed sound byte. It was Mr. Kerry's wife, Mrs. Kerry, who turned the crowd against the protestors, crying, “They want four more years of hell! Three more months! Three more months!”

Later, to democratic cheers, John Kerry took his turn on the podium, and turned lemons into a lemon juicer. ‘These guys have to get megaphones and they want to drown out people in America. We don't want to be drowned out. We got our individual voices and we're going to speak for America. I want to thank George Bush for sending the goons here tonight to excite us to do a little more work.'

(The Kerry campaign could not be reached for comment, but Sean Astin's publicist confirmed that in fact Goons was in no way a pop-culture reference to Astin's 1985 hit, 'The Goonies'. When pressed, his publicist did concede that John Kerry bore a slight resemblance to heartthrob Josh Brolin, but declined to publicly endorse either candidate.)

Despite a ripper of an opening, the remainder of the evening was fairly uneventful. There was no mid-game breakout, no Republican vs. Democrat smackdown, and no one was served in the political dance-off, save the Constitution. It was all policy issues, state of the union chatter, plans for America's future, blah bidi blah blah. At the end of the long rally, all attendees must have felt something missing. If only both sides could have sat down that evening over a good plate of waffles and hashed it all out. I know they're only for breakfast, but...

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By Johnhp on 8/3/2004 3:43pm PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by Johnhp)

The Republican party of Illinois has just admitted they can't field a candidate from Illinois. They are on the verge of inviting Alan Keyes to lose in November against Barak Obama. Obama had a 20 point lead over Jack Ryan before the latter dropped out of the Illinois Senate race.

You may have heard the story. Mr. Ryan allegedly asked his wife to perform oral sex on him in front of people at a sex club. When she tearfully refused he reportedly told her that she was ruining his mood. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh compassionate conservatism.

At any rate the Republicans have yet to field a candidate. They tried to get Mike Ditka to run but he didn't. Today they interviewes a dozen or so people for the job. One of those, Alan Keyes of Maryland. i hope Keyes stays out. i couldn't care less that he is from maryland. Our constitution allows for him to become a resident of the state any time up to and including the day of the election.

i have my heart set on the choice of another candidate. Daniel R. Vovak. He is new to Illinois (only lived here for a week), but he has something none of the other candidates have. No, not a chance to win; NONE of them have that. Mr. Vovak wears a powdered wig and lives in his Mustang convertable (he calls it "Air Ford One"). i can see the debates now...

If you are all as interested as i am in seeing something like this, please send emails of support for Mr. Vovak to the Chair of the Illinois GOP. Her name is Judy Baar Topinka. chairman@ilgop.org

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By Johnhp on 8/3/2004 1:28pm PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by Johnhp)

Howard Dean was placed in the echo chamber by the right (yet again) this week. They are now claiming that he said the Tom "kiss your sweet ass goodbye" Ridge raised terror alerts on a purley political basis.

The folks over at SkewedRepublic have gotten their panties into a serious twist over this suggesting that Gov. Dean "says there is no terror alert that the Bush administration is just using a fear facter because the Bush campaign is in trouble and this is a last ditch effort to win votes!!!"

In fact, the one Skewed who pinted out that such a take was in error was ignored.

One other kook of note also makes the claim that "Screamin' Dean" was all over the news channels saying that the NYC terror alert was nothing more than a political ploy by the Bush administration to keep the voters afraid."

Those of us who saw the interview are completely shocked:

DEAN: The question is, do I believe this is being fabricated? No, of course I don't believe that. But I do think that there is politics in this, and the question is, how much is politics and how much is a real threat?
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By Johnhp on 8/3/2004 6:03am PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by Johnhp)

Yesterday, Mr. Bush made some remarks on terror. For the last few months he has been saying that his reckless Iraq policy has made Americans safer. yesterday he sang a different tune.

"Today, because America has acted and because America has led, the forces of terror and tyranny have suffered defeat after defeat, and America and the world are safer."

Apparently no one had explained to him that since the Iraq invasion, the ranks of al Qaeda have swelled, there have been increased terrorist acts including bombings in Africa, Eirope, the Middle East, and Asia. Maybe he should call that Powell guy and ask him about state department numbers on terrorism since the invasion. Facts are stubborn things. Apparently, ignorance is more stubborn.

At the same time Mr. Bush was making the statements about America being safer Tom Ridge was running around saying that al Qaeda had us in its sites.

"We lack precise knowledge about time, place and method of attack. But along with the CIA, FBI and other agencies, we are actively working to gain that knowledge."

This knowlege was about plans to carry out large-scale terrorist attacks in the United States in the near future. Apparently for Mr. Bush, large scale attacks in the near future are some reason to feel safe. nevertheless, Bush has recently been convinced to come over to the side of the rest of his cabinet:

"We are a nation in danger."

Wow. We are either safer but in danger or Bush has flip flopped.

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On the road again...
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2004 11:46am PT  

I'll be out battling the forces of evil on the road for the next week or two. I hope to check in here when and if possible, but in the meantime, please welcome first-time Guest Bloggers, Jaime, Johnhp and Bryan to the BRAD BLOG! See their items as they roll in below this one. I'll leave it to them if they wish to introduce themselves, or just pick up where I left off, saving the world, and causing mayhem however possible. Keep 'em honest. Thanks as always for your support, and keep spreading the good word (the "Email it to Someone!" link at the bottom of each item works great!)

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These White Men in Blue Suits will Protect You!
We are 'a safer nation in danger'!
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2004 11:33am PT  

See this previous item. Then read this:

"We are a nation in danger," Bush said as he announced his position during an appearance with top administration national security figures in the White House Rose Garden.
...
He said he had no plans to summon Congress back into a special session this summer. "They can think about them over August and come back and act on them in September," he said.

Just so you're not confused...remember, "America is safer now" and yet "We are a nation in danger". Threats are "imminent and real", but think about that during your August vacation. Also..."I am a war President" and "I am a peace President".

Got that? Confused? Good, that's just where we want you. Happy and not afraid and angry and terrified.

Now go out, enjoy the summer by vacationing with your families and shop, and buy duct tape and be aware of your surroundings at all times. The threat is real though the terror alert color will not be changed. Have a nice/horrible day.

(We're Bush-Cheney '04, and we approve of this mixed message.)

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By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 4:18pm PT  

The Democratic radio address Saturday was given by a Retired General and Bush 2000 supporter...

A former Air Force chief of staff and one-time "Veteran for Bush" said Saturday that America's foreign relations for the first three years of President Bush's term have been "a national disaster" but that the president's Democratic rival was "up to the task" of rebuilding.

When both the "Solid South" and the Military are falling away from a Republican "President", one needn't be Miss Cleo in order to connect the dots.

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A Dark Chapter in American History
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 4:08pm PT  

I had planned a review of the various failed strategies of the Bush-Cheney Campaign, and a look at what is left for them to try. I hope to do just that before leaving town shortly.

But by way of a preview, Atrios hit upon the lynchpin of a very dark and dangerous truth. There is only one way for Bush-Cheney right now to eke out a win (short of Kerry imploding of his own volition). In the attempt to do so, I'm sad to say, they'll be manipulating and preying upon the fears of the American people between now and November in every subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, way possible.

Here's a perfect example of their only "hope". And it's a dark, cynical, and dangerous one indeed...

Playing Politics With Terror Alerts

Ridge, today:

But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror, the reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan.

Today's "terror alert", coming as it did earlier enough to make it onto the Sunday News Programs after a universally lauded DNC Convention, along with the announced arrest in Pakistan last Thursday (on the morning of Kerry's big speech) of one of the African Embassy bombers who had been captured the previous Sunday (but the announcement waited as requested until "'twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July'--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston") shows that the Bush Leaguers are not ashamed in the least to play this card. Ridge's phrasing above demonstrates that clearly.

This is not the stuff of conspiracy theorists. This is the stuff of subtle, shrewd and cynical manipulation of the very real fears of the American people.

While such tactics should be out of bounds at all times --- and from both parties in this country --- Bush-Cheney has such a dreadful "record of achievement" to draw from, and their other hopes of dividing and conquering have amounted to little more than $100 million down the drain, this sort of insidiously subtle parasitism may well be the only prayer they have left. Clearly they are not above the moral dishonesty required to exploit such a cynical tactic for all they can.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 3:23pm PT  

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Soviet States of America?
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 12:35pm PT  

Updating a previous item on the Bush-Cheney campaign requiring a signed pledge of loyalty to George W. Bush before allowing voters to attend a Dick Cheney campaign event...

Drudge is finally running a piece on this now that it's being suggested that "some Democrats" were required to sign loyalty oaths.

Am I just a pinko, commie, terrorist Freedom Hater if I think that shouldn't really make any damn difference...here in America?! The story doesn't exactly inform us how campaign officials knew who were Democrats and who weren't, and even goes on to say that "Some Democrats who are Bush supporters were welcomed without signing anything."

The story also does not explain how the Bush campaign would know which Democrats were Bush supporters and which weren't.

But read on...

Vietnam veteran Michael Ortiz y Pino said he refused to sign the pledge and was refused tickets.

Ortiz y Pino said he was asked if he associated with veterans, pro-life, gun rights or teacher groups.

Neither man wanted to give driver's license numbers but did so.

"I said why do you need that?" Ortiz y Pino said.

A campaign worker, he said, replied: "Secret Service stuff."

PLEASE, is there any conservative out there who can explain to me how this is what you are looking for in a "conservative" nominee for President of the United States (of America!)??

Once again...here is what the "pledge" says. The one you must sign to see your Vice-President speak during a Presidential Campaign:

"I, (full name) ... do herby (sic) endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States." It later adds that, "In signing the above endorsement you are consenting to use and release of your name by Bush-Cheney as an endorser of President Bush."

Dan Foley, of the Bush Campaign, explains...

"The endorsement pledges, he said, were for screening purposes, not for any advertisement listing names of Democrats who support Bush.

Oh, well that's a relief!

Anyway, the story is now linked on Drudge, so it should be reported by the Mainstream Media shortly. As long as it hasn't been taken it down by Monday.

UPDATE: A follow-up piece from the Albuquerque Journal would seem to defy the "some Democrats" report which claimed that it was just people who called from "a line that self-identified as ACT, America Coming Together, an activist group that supports Kerry."

As well, it quotes a Republican National Committee spokesperson, Yier Shi, explaining the policy for restricting the event --- at a public school gymnasium! --- only to the loyal ones:

Democrats, independents and others were welcome to attend the speech, he said— as long as they like Bush and Cheney.
And people should understand that Cheney is visiting New Mexico in the role of a candidate for re-election, Shi said, explaining that Republicans are treating the trip as a political campaign visit and not as an official visit of the vice president.
"The argument that you're an American and you have a right to see the vice president— you can when he comes to New Mexico on an official visit," Shi said. "On this visit, he's Dick Cheney, a candidate for vice president and he happens to also be the vice president."

Got that distinction?

This is a campaign in big --- very big --- trouble.

ReddIt this story!



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