liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Atlas shrugs

The funny thing is, there isn't nearly as much oil over there as everybody expected.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Fighting Terror With Terror

The elevation of the voting public to the role of sovereign in our democratic society is the greatest expression of upholding human rights we can attain.

Any deeds or actions purportedly made on behalf of the sovereign people of the United States must uphold that high standard of human value that underpins our freedom and elevation of human rights.

This is why, according to Nedra Pickler of the AP, Senator Durbin,

the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, made [a] comparison during a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday after reading an FBI agent's report describing detainees at the Naval base in Guantanamo Bay as being chained to the floor without food or water in extreme temperatures.

The "comparison" was a metaphor. It consisted of Durbin saying:

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings...

Scott McClellan couldn't see the connection. He didn't understand that inhumane treatment of other human beings is not a matter of degree but of principal. Humane treatment is the exception that the world -- behind our leadership -- has been striving to attain. But not according to McClellan. He sanctions torture, apparently.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said it is "beyond belief" that Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin would compare treatment of dangerous enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay to the death of millions of innocent people by oppressive regimes.

"Our men and women in uniform go out of their way to treat detainees humanely, and they go out of their way to uphold the values and the laws that we hold so dear in this country," McClellan said.

This is now the weekly soap opera of disease and denial on the Potomac. It is a cheap replacement for the real historical drama leading up to the rescue, by liberty under law, idealism and character, of the highest qualities in human nature -- such as reason, honesty and compassion -- from the lowest, such as fear and hatred.

Read your Bible, Mr. McClellan. Micah 6:8

8He has (A)told you, O man, what is good;
And (B)what does the LORD require of you
But to (C)do justice, to (D)love kindness,
And to walk (E)humbly with your God?

Or maybe you heard it this way: Mt 22:34-40:

34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

The Mother of All Issues

The worse things get for the US in Iraq, and elsewhere, the more scrutiny is going to revert to the catalyst of the Bush foreign policy initiatives: The War On Terror and the attacks on September 11, 2001.

The question that needs to be asked in the mainstream media isn't being raised there, and most Americans seem unwilling to entertain doubts about the veracity of the official story. But there are writers and publications asking:
The question must be posed: did one or more agencies or high-level officials provide protection for known Al Qaeda associates who ultimately participated in the hijack-bombings?

One of my recurring conclusions and provoked reflections on the information that has been disgorged by official investigations is summed up in this same WSW article.
There can hardly remain any serious doubt that a section of the American intelligence apparatus functioned as the guardian angels for at least some of the suicide hijackers. The question is: why?

Until there is an investigation of 9/11 by a genuinely independent body—one wholly free of the US military/intelligence apparatus—it is impossible to specify precisely the role of the government in these events.

Doubts About Cause of Twin Towers' Collapse

This UPI story has been the only mainstream coverage of this. Let's see how long the story stays posted on the internet.
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."

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Penn State

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are...a few...Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is neglible and they are stupid.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 8, 1954

Putting our Money Where Our Mouth Is

Help Give Bush the Recognition He Deserves

Why is fundraising such a staple of modern American politics? Why does Bush appear at these fundraisers? How is the GOP compiling its war chest for 2006? Look no further than here, a Washington Post article today by Mike Allen entitled, Hard Cash is Main Course for GOP Fundraiser.

The Obvious Question number 1 is: Who has this kind of money to give, and why would they give it? The answer is, "Rich people," and the reason they give is to buy policies that favor the rich.

The Second Question is: "How are the rich favored by this administration?"  The answer is, "Tax cuts, relaxation of environmental laws, and deregulation."  But those answers don't cut to the heart of the rotten core of greed and influence-peddling that is speeding this country to catastrophe.

No.  The Big Answer is, "Defense Spending."  So much of the budget of the War on Terror is contracted out to enrich private enterprises with taxpayers' money.  The billions spent on "Homeland Security" haven't made us any safer (we weren't unsafe to begin with, anyway.)  Look at the mess they've made of our $200 billion in Iraq.

Under this administration and this Congress, the Pentagon is the ultimate campaign slush fund.  Pentagon policy and funding have taken over trade, industry, security, transportation, politics, communications, media, and foreign relations.

The Washington Post published an article on Sunday by Renae Merle entitled, Pentagon Funds Diplomacy Effort, Contracts Aim to Improve Foreign Opinion of United States.  The director of the Joint Psychological Operations Support Element of the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Col. James A. Treadwell, wants to use "cutting-edge media" to reach foreign audiences.  Merle writes that the goal is to repair some of the US's post-Iraq image problems abroad.

The article also states,

In 2002, the Pentagon abandoned its Office of Stratetic Influence after reports surfaced, which the Pentagon denied, that it would disseminate inaccurate information to foreign media.

Colonel Treadwell wants the foreign perception of this effort to be different, and I guess that's why they've opted for "cutting-edge."  They're willing to pay more for a better, more creative product.  Still, Treadwell insists,
I have never approved a product that was a lie, [or] that was intended to decieve.

Apparently, in spite of global warming, the warfare the Pentagon is waging, in partnership with expensive private contractors, is getting colder and colder.

Scoop published a piece by Gar Smith yesterday, entitled, America's Minstry of Propaganda Exposed.  This piece refers to a summary report by  Col. Sam Gardiner USAF (Ret.), enumerating

50 stories about the Iraq war that were faked by government propaganda artists in a covert campaign to "market" the military invasion of Iraq.
 The news stories were run through Rumsfeld's Office of Strategic Influence, according to Gardiner.  This is the office that was shut down in 2003, because of intense criticism, after the US invasion of Iraq was a fait accomplit.  

Gar Smith, in his piece, goes back to the first Gulf War to describe Rendon Associates founder, John Rendon, who helped popularize the liberation of Kuwait for the American public.  No mention is made of the story of the disincubated infants, however.

In 2001 Karen Hughes was responsible for launching the White House Coalition Information Center and their campaign to popularize the liberation of Afghan Women.  Among CIC's other greatest hits, according to Smith, were the linkage between 9/11 and Saddam, and especially the al Qaeda/Iraqi anthrax suspicion.  

In both the US and the UK, "intelligence sources" provided a steady diet of unsourced allegations to the media to suggest that Iraq and Al Qaeda terroists were behind the deadly mailing of anthrax-laden letters.
 Of course, this should have splashed into the media along with a tsunami of coverage on the Downing Street Memo, but it didn't.

There was supposed to be a transcript of a radio interview by Col. Gardiner on KTRS in St. Louis, but it has been deleted.  He has also supposedly been a regular commentator on BBC radio, the News Hour with Jim Lehrer and NPR.

Money can't buy truth.  And if you go to the SRCC President's dinner for $5,000, you may not hear even one whispered syllable of the truth spoken about Iraq.  But that won't stop the rich and their Republican operatives from rolling out an ersatz story line, as big as the Twin Towers and as spell-binding as a blitz krieg.

Oh, and don't worry if you missed the headlines.  There'll be more. Soon.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Lying for Freedom

Help Give Bush the Recognition He Deserves

In terms of lies, you could take your pick today. One obvious choice would be the story, White House Defends Editing of Climate Reports. Also today from the AP, we have an article by Nedra Pickler entitled, Bush Says Patriot Act Makes America Safer.

According to Pickler,
The president credited the law with helping to bring federal charges against more than 400 suspects — more than half of whom have been convicted — and to break up terror cells in New York, Oregon, Virginia and Florida.

He spoke at the Ohio Patrol Training Academy to highlight the case of a Columbus man, Iyman Faris, who was accused of plotting attacks on a New York bridge and a Midwest shopping mall but was tracked down with the help of the Patriot Act.

Bush said Faris met Osama bin Laden in 2000 at an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan. Later, he received instructions from top terror leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge. Now, because of the Patriot Act, Bush said, Faris has provided information about al-Qaida and is serving a 20-year prison sentence.
In spite of Bush's claims, a DOJ press release dated October 28, 2003, entitled, Iyman Faris Sentenced For Providing Material Support to al Qaeda, contains no mention of the Patriot Act itself.

Also, Faris is said in the press release to have abandoned the idea for the al Qaeda attack because it was impracticable, not because he was interrupted or apprehended due to enhanced law enforcement:
Faris admitted to traveling to New York City in late 2002 to examine the bridge, and said he concluded that the plot to destroy the bridge by severing cables was unlikely to succeed because of the bridge’s security and structure. In early 2003, he sent a message that “the weather is too hot” - a coded message indicating that the bridge plot was unlikely to succeed.
The DOJ is claiming that American law enforcement did not prevent a terrorist attack in the Faris case.

The Federal Complaint against Faris was brought in the Alexandria Division of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The FBI is said to have led the prosecution in the case against Faris.

In another press release, a highly placed DOJ official emphasized the deterrent effect of the Faris conviction.
This case is a significant accomplishment in our mission to prevent another terrorist strike in the United States, said U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty of the Eastern District of Virginia. Severe punishment awaits those who assist terrorists.
When all is said and done, Bush has highlighted one case involving the Patriot Act in order to show the legislation's importance in fighting terrorism. Ironically, in that case, the Act did not prevent an attack. Furthermore, half of the cases filed under the Patriot Act have not led to convictions, accordintg to Pickler, which, as Bush should know, is not a mandate average.

The real problem here, as always with George W. Bush, is leadership. A leader needs to be the person who highlights, in word and deed, the highest values of our people. By emphasizing safety against terrorists Bush has completely failed to emphasize the important value of the US: civil liberties. When he uses the word "freedom," to talk about the US, he's referring to freedom from terrorism. But terrorism really isn't much, if any, of a threat here. It's greatest virtue is that politicians can invoke terror to instill a cooperative, compliant, submissive pattern in the electorate.

Americans are traditionally people who understand the importance of diversity of opinion, debate, listening to varying discourse in order to arrive at objective truth. That is not "freedom from terror." What is required for the open exchange of ideas is "freedom from fear" -- especially the fear of government spying and reprisals. Freedom from government repression means living without a government that monitors our every word and deed. Yes, it opens the risk that someone will take advantage of that and commit sabotage. But our highest value is something we are willing to accept risks in order to protect. We do not compromise our freedom for a false sense of "greater safety."

If Bush thinks safety is more important than civil liberties, he should go to an undisclosed location and stay there.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Pillory: Out of Order

A report issued yesterday by SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) surveyed global military spending. According to Peter Starck in a Reuters article today,
World military spending rose for a sixth year running in 2004, growing by 5 percent to $1.04 trillion on the back of "massive" U.S. budgetary allocations for its war on terror
. The most interesting fact, however, came unobtrusively, near the end of the article where, after describing all the increases in military spending as percentage of GDP, Starck pointed out that
Growth in China's military spending slowed to 7 percent -- to $35 billion -- from on average 11.5 percent per year in the past decade. Russia's 2004 national defense budget increased almost five percent to $19 billion, SIPRI said.
Well, Rumsfeld is probably saying, that's because China's GDP grew by 10 percent. Of course military spending as a percentage of GDP would fall, even though their actual spending has increased.

Fine, Don. But remember, you had to duck to avoid getting pies thown in your face when you went to the Shangri-La IISS conference last week because your remarks about US abuse of detainees were so offensive to the public. Your assertions about China threatening the balance of power in the East by increasing military spending when no enemy was apparent are setting you up for a lo mein baptism in Singapore, too.

In fact, yesterday, a China View article today says,
China on Tuesday refuted US defense secretary's remark on its increased military expenditure, saying the words are groundless.

"The remarks that China's military expenditure has grown to be the largest in Asia and the third largest of the world is rootless," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao at a regular press conference.
In whichever hemisphere he steps up to the microphone, Secretary Rumsfeld is undercutting US credibility and amity.

OK, so, even though he really deserves it, it's unlawful to throw pies in the face of the Secretary of Defense of the United States of America, especially during wartime, which we apparently are because they keep saying so: "The War on Terror," "The War for Democracy," "The War Against WMD," "The War on Peace," whatever it is supposed to be ... so we can't actually hit him in the face with a pie.

Therefore, the media are responsible for pilloring this guy and making a humiliated laughing stock out of his windbag bullshit. But they're not doing it. You know America is in a recession when the people stop complaining about their government. Things have really stopped working around here.

Monday, June 06, 2005

OAS initiative

There has yet to be a storm of the destructive quality of last year's devastating Florida tropical tempests. The election year brought Florida a series of pummelings.

The closest thing to a warning sign now is the faint but increasing rumble of distant thunder in the OAS meeting in Miami.

Storm Damage

The fallout from Bush's leadership continues to rain down on the USA. Yesterday, in an article entitled, Latin Nations Resist Plan for Monitor of Democracy, Joel Brinkley discussed the unwillingness of the 10 major Latin American foreign ministers to voice any support for the OAS initiative.

The US is promoting the establishment of a "Democracy Monitoring" mechanism in the OAS that will allow citizens of American states to bring breaches of liberty and violations of OAS requirements directly to the OAS. The OAS would then become, under the proposal, empowered to enforce sanctions or take other corrective action against the guilty country.

However, the Latin Americans don't want to go along.
One ambassador, who declined to be identified because he did not want to offend the United States, noted that the organization's charter emphasized "non-intervention, self-determination and respect for individual personalities" in member states.

Many OAS member diplomats and representatives have viewed the US's initiative as an attempt to organize opposition in the hemisphere against Hugo Chavez and his administration in Venezuela.

According to Arshad Mohamed in a Reuters article yesterday, U.S., Venezuela Clash as OAS Meeting Begins,
"Together we must insist that leaders who are elected democratically have a responsibility to govern democratically," Rice said at the gathering's opening session.

She did not directly mention Venezuela but Washington and other critics of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez say that although twice elected, the Venezuelan president is showing authoritarian tendencies in office.

For his part, Chavez got in his own remarks on a tv show prior to the conference. He continued to bait Washington with stinging criticism.
Speaking before the conference began, Chavez accused the United States of trying to impose a "global dictatorship" and said that it, not Venezuela, should face OAS scrutiny.

"So, they're going to try to monitor the Venezuelan government through the OAS, they must be joking!" Chavez said, speaking on his weekly "Hello President" TV and radio show.


"If there is any government that should be monitored by the OAS, then it should be the U.S. government, a government which backs terrorists, invades nations, tramples over its own people, seeks to install a global dictatorship," he said.

Actually, it seems like a lot of time and effort for Washington to invest in having Rice lay the diplomatic groundwork for isolating Chavez. Perhaps they are wary of meddling in another oil exporter's internal affairs -- even close to home -- while still up to our necks, and possibly sinking even deeper, in the Afghani and Iraqi conflicts.

Perhaps, on the other hand, the U.S. is buying time until those conflicts are more resolved and we can either pull out or fight them by proxy. Once Bolton is implanted in the UN, the US will be in a better position to consolidate its access to Latin American and third world natural resources with a carrot and stick.

It's Unfortunate

We have more capital than all of Latin America combined, and they have over 200 million people living below the poverty limit. Were our policies and initiatives truly aimed at strengthening the people's voices and improving their living standards, Latin diplomats would be falling over each other to line up beside us.

Alas, we are unmasked. Our democracy and human rights rhetoric is strictly for export, wrapping a rapacious collusion with global multinational corporations who seek to enrich their directors and stockholders at the expense of the populations of underdeveloped countries.

The other "population" being put at risk here is Posterity. The U.S. has abandoned the moral high ground. Gone are the unified efforts to raise all boats on the rising tide of freedom and prosperity. Now we have a "with us or with the terrorists" line in the diplomatic sand, only people aren't so sure anymore which side is the side of righteousness. As long as might makes right, we're still the good guys, but our dependence on foreign oil and our consumerist culture are sabotaging our own cause.

If the CAFTA is ultimately forced through by the capitalist interests, there may be no averting an ultimate lengthy and bloody showdown between the popular and the capitalist forces in the hemisphere. Where Bush has failed has been in paying lip service to democratic principles but over and over again denying them in practice. The U.S. holds up other countries to scrutiny over human rights violations, but calls any accusations against itself as, "absurd."

It is this willingness to be as self-indulgent, hypocrictical and corrupt as everyone else that will cost us our world leadership role, if it hasn't already done so -- even in the Americas. Unless we are also the best, being merely the strongest won't be enough to win friends. In fact, it may be enough to make us a lot of enemies, even here in the West.

Benderman desertion trial

Kevin Benderman

Defense Committee

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The truth about the UN

The Daily Kos has a diary today by none other than the incisive Susan Hu. She refers to an article by Dan Plesh posted on Open Democracy, describing how Roosevelt, Churchill and Eisenhower envisioned the UN as an authoritative, militarily endowed peacemaking entity.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Where are the media?

People convicted of notorious crimes such as attempted sodomy, seditious words, extortion, fraud, and perjury were punished publicly in the pillory as a way of destroying the reputation of the convict and signalling public distaste for the crime.
[T]he culprit (most were men) was placed on a platform with his arms and head placed through holes in the wooden structure. He was normally required to stay there one hour.

The pillory turned so that crowds on all sides could get a good view, and the crowd expressed their disapproval of the offence by pelting the offender with rotten eggs and vegetables, blood and guts from slaughterhouses, dead cats, mud and excrement, and even bricks and stones. Some died from the abuse, despite increasing efforts by constables to protect the convict, by forming a ring around the pillory.
In some cases of seditious words, however, the crowd applauded the convict, pelted him with flowers, and collected money to present to him after his release.

Below, Daniel Defoe is pilloried for dissent while a crowd of sympathizers
attempts to give him food and water

With the denials, exposees and facts issuing from sources -- mainly outside the mainstream media -- pertaining to our administration (see below, & c) Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, John Snow (he's had it coming since the bamboozlepalooza tour), Gale Norton, Bill Frist, Rick Santorum, and most of all: Tom DeLay, should be getting pilloried from New York to Los Angeles, Miami to Seattle in the mainstream media.

Let's face it, these people are rogues. Shame on the American people for giving them power, for allowing ourselves to be deceived and trusting these no-goodnicks, but Americans are naive.

The press and the broadcast media have a RESPONSIBILITY to inform the public about our leaders in our government. Otherwise, the media are of no value and will be replaced after being pilloried along with the megalomaniacs they're protecting from the American public's justifiable outrage.


After reading this post over at DCCC, I decided to see for myself. I knew I wasn't going to get the whole story from the Hill, anyway.

So I went over to the IRS website and the Search page, to the advanced search. I checked just "Businesses" and "Non-Profits" and entered the words, "Committee of Republicans for Environmental Action."

Needless to say, no 501(c)(4) application or status letter -- or anything like it -- appeared in the search results for any such organization.

It almost seems as if maybe -- no, it couldn't be! -- there isn't really any such organization as CREA after all!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Yep, he's taking off

As predicted, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is flying to Singapore today. He has left to attend an Asian Security Conference: the 2005 Shangri-La Dialogue, sponsored by IISS.

At the first plenary session on June 5, Rumsfeld will be addressing the conference with prepared remarks.

His speech, unlike his remarks on the detainess at Guantanamo before he left the country, is full of double-entendres.
Today, in this new era, our close cooperation with allies and friends in Asia is more essential than ever. The phenomenon of ideological extremism - of which terrorism is the weapon of choice - stands in the way of global political progress and economic prosperity, threatens the stability of the international order, and clouds the future of civil society.
The obvious implication of these remarks is self-incriminating! The "ideological extremism" is the neocon corporate-military doctrine of global domination that is undoing a century of global progress in human rights and international cooperation.
This is a picture of Odysseus and his men stabbing an olive tree spear into the sleeping Cyclops's eye.

Dandy Don is going to list these accomplishments of the 80-nation coalition to fight "terrorism" since September 11th:

  • Liberated 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan;

  • Captured or killed nearly two-thirds of known senior al-Qaeda operatives;

  • Arrested al-Qaeda's Southeast Asia chief who revealed crucial information about its operations in this region;

  • Detained or arrested at least 200 members of the Jemaah lslamiyah terror group;

  • Seized or frozen some $200 million in terrorist assets; and

  • Prompted Libya to voluntarily renounce terrorism and disclose and dismantle programs related to weapons of mass destruction.

With the possible exception of the last item on the list, these are ridiculous assertions. First of all, Afghanistan and Iraq are impoverished, war-devastated countries fraught with corruption and verging on civil war. In Afghanistan alone, according to a recent Amnesty International Report, abuses of civilians by armed groups, violence against women, an ineffective and corrupt justice system have been joined by abuses by US forces -- including torture and ill-treatment of detainess -- are systemic, as lawlessness and insecurity increase.

The same list of shortcomings to our "liberation" of 50 million people applies to Iraq. The daily reports of chaos, destruction, waste and slaughter there have renedered moot any comments I could make here about Rumsfeld's assertions. And he makes a lot of them. In his Shangri-La speech he goes on to talk about how the increased likelihood of danger to civilization is not from large conventional armies on the battlefied, but from small isolated terror cells that can strike anywhere at any time.

He sees no political element to the solution however, and enumerates only the same dry, one-eyed list of actions for addressing the threat:
  • First and foremost is strengthening our partnerships with existing allies and friends and working with newones;

  • Second is developing greater flexibility to deal with the unexpected;

  • Another is focusing on more rapidly deployable capabilities and power, rather than simply static presence and mass; and

  • Another is breaking down artificial barriers between regions in our planning, since today's dangers know no regional boundaries.

That terrorism is seen as "threatening the stability of the international order," is key to understanding Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration's myopic vision of how to confront it.

Terrorism has arisen out of "extreme ideologies" of groups that have been excluded from the progress and development of the "international order" for the last century, if not longer. The aim of terrorists is precisely to attack that order which has, and continues to mete out injustice to some and exclusive privilege to others.

But Cyclops wants to keep the powerful powerful and the weak weak, so preserving the "international order" against "terrorists" provides plenty of justification for neocon war-corporation profiteering and global domination. In the end, Rummy will travel on with this stump speech. It gives him a great excuse to get out of the crossfire from his bumbling misstatements about human rights and the American gulag. It's also the primary justification for our war policy, which, according to some analysts, is leading us further and further along the road to pre-emptive nuclear first strikes.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Press Conference Turns Ugly

Here is the picture you didn't see from the press conference in the Rose Garden yesterday.

This story had to be preempted, so they released the "deep throat" identity.

Booman Tribune writer par excellence, S. Wallace, has the story.

Needless to say, there's no mention of it on the White House page.

Rumsfeld ready for "take-off"

In an Associated Press story by somebody named, "Robert Burns, Military Writer," covering a Pentagon press conference by Donald Rumsfeld today, Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged some wrongdoing in the US's treatment of prisoners in secret detention centers.

However, he bruskly turned aside criticism by Amnesty International, decrying the group's attacks on US human rights violations of detainees.
Rumsfeld said the U.S. military has done more than any other force to liberate oppressed people and has gone to great lengths to ensure that detainees are free to practice their religion.

"Indeed, that's why the recent allegation that the U.S. military is running a gulag at Guantanamo Bay is so reprehensible," he said.
William F. Schultz, executive director of Amnesty International, wisely made a rapid response comment to Rumsfeld,
saying that Rumsfeld and other officials "continue to ignore the very real plight of men detained without charge or trial."
Next, Rumsfeld continued to insist that the ends justify the means by reminding everybody that anyone helping Abu Zarqawi would be held accountable ... implying that we were going to hear that someone [Iran] is helping him, so we have to retaliate [bomb]. Stay tuned.

At this point he trotted out General Myers who said we don't know anything about Zarqawi, but we think he has been wounded.

The need to remind everybody that we are fighting a so-called "War on Terror" may be the only thing keeping Zarqawi alive at this point, if there really is such a person anyway. If we can't keep the evidence of our victimhood in the public mind, then we are in stark culpable view as the violators of human rights, the Geneva conventions and the laws of the United States.

After that, Rumsfeld went on to underscore that we are good, even though we may do a few bad things. After all, Rumsfeld accused the news media of focusing too much on prisoner abuse allegations and too little on "U.S. policy guidance to treat detainees humanely."

The Bush administration seeks to cover up and excuse all their misdeeds behind broad generalizations of "freedom" and "humane policies."

Unless Rumsfeld gets on a plane and flies far away really fast, he'd better duck, because somebody's bound to throw a pie in his face!