Friday, June 17, 2005fucking kidding me. Wait, nevermind. He is a Bush.
Hey, Schiavo conspiracy theorists! Shut the fuck up, you fruitcakes!
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) -- Gov. Jeb Bush asked a prosecutor Friday to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, calling into question how long it took her husband to call 911 after he found her.
In a letter faxed to Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Bush said Michael Schiavo testified in a 1992 medical malpractice trial that he found his wife collapsed at 5 a.m., and he said in a 2003 television interview that he found her about 4:30 a.m. He called 911 at 5:40 a.m.
"Between 40 and 70 minutes elapsed before the call was made, and I am aware of no explanation for the delay," Bush wrote. "In light of this new information, I urge you to take a fresh look at this case without any preconceptions as to the outcome."
Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Friday from The Associated Press. In comments in The Miami Herald, he said Terri Schiavo would not have survived if her husband had not immediately called 911.
"It's absolutely preposterous," Felos said. "If he had waited 70 minutes she would have been dead."
Terri Schiavo died March 31 from dehydration after her feeding tube was disconnected at her husband's request, despite unsuccessful efforts by her parents, Bush and others to keep her alive.
An autopsy released Wednesday concluded that she had been in a persistent vegetative state and revealed no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused before she collapsed.
It left unanswered the question of why Terri Schiavo's heart stopped, cutting oxygen off from her brain. The autopsy showed she suffered irreversible brain damage and her brain had shrunk to half the normal size for her age.
Dick Durbin Hates America. All right, let’s get this shit straight, dittoheads. I know it might be hard to follow along at home, but torturing people for sport is on the right side of the line for legitimate comparisons to barbarian regimes of the past. I can imagine how you need to lie to yourself to sleep at night, so these Nazi comparisons are probably keeping you up. But just keep telling yourself that they're terrorists, even though many of the people there have no connection to terrorism, including the chicken farmer turned in by his neighbors for the bounty because of a long-running fence dispute, Jose Padilla whisked off the streets of Chicago at random because the Justice Department hadn't made any headlines in a few weeks, and who knows how many more that we haven't found out about yet. Keep saying that it's just loud music and sleep deprivation even after all the documentation of electric shocks to the balls, dog attacks, and drowning. Keep repeating absolute, unqualified LIES from daily talking points. It makes you a good person. Sure, you’re probably now totally morally bankrupt and a fulltime apologist for evil, but at least y our side is winning, right? And what did Dick say?
“When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [at Guantanamo Bay]--I almost hesitate to put them in the [Congressional] Record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:
On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.
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. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”
OH GOD HE'S CALLING OUR BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN NAZIS
The U.S. Government is Most Likely Understating the Number of American Casualties. I was surprised (okay, not really) to learn that U.S. Military Personnel who died in German hospitals or en route to German hospitals have not previously been counted. They total about 6,210 as of 1 January, 2005. A review of many foreign news sites show that actual deaths are far higher than the newly reduced ones. Okay yes, I realize phrases like The Bush Butcher’s Bill don’t exactly endear themselves, but just humor me. This is important stuff, kids.
Flag Burning is in the News Again. SOOOOO the wonderful flag-burning Amendment is returning. The House is voting on it again next week, and will probably pass for the seventh time, knowing those idiots. Then, of course, it goes to the Senate, where it’s died time after time. Of course, things are very different now. There are many more idiots running the show in the Senate now. According to the article, “amendment supporters say last year's election expanding the Senate Republican majority to 55 has buoyed their hopes for passage. Five freshmen senators - Richard Burr of North Carolina, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, John Thune of South Dakota and David Vitter of Louisiana - voted for the amendment as House members and plan to do so again.”
I wonder if the sponsors would feel the same way about other forms of offensive protest--carrying big pictures of aborted fetuses for example? Hey, it's not technically speech! The beautiful thing about all this is that “The Citizens Flag Alliance, an advocacy group that supports a constitutional amendment, reports a decline in flag desecration incidents, with only one this year.” So, yeah, Congress is once again spending its time on useful, wonderful causes. Even funnier is that the proper way to retire an American flag is to burn it. According to the webpage of 44th Senate District Hugh T. Farley:
- show disrespect to the U.S. flag in any way
- allow the U.S. flag to touch anything beneath it, including the ground, floor, water, or merchandise
- display the U.S. with the union (blue field with stars) down except as a signal of dire distress or instances of extreme danger to life or property
- use the U.S. flag as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery, drawn back, or up in folds
- place anything on the U.S. flag
- display the U.S. flag from a float, car, or boat except from a staff, or otherwise suspended so that the folds fall free as though staffed.
So does this mean the amendment will require police to at least ticket everyone with a flag bumper sticker, window sticker, flag jacket, or flag-painted guitar (Toby Keith, motherbitches!). This is a stupid fucking amendment, and if it passes I hope one of the dumbass senators who voted for it gets the book thrown at him for displaying a flag incorrectly on his car. Who needs freedom, anyway?
Thursday, June 16, 2005
According to MSNBC , “The memos were first obtained by Michael Smith, a London-based reporter who previously wrote for The Daily Telegraph and now works for the Sunday Times of London. Smith told NEWSWEEK he obtained a first batch of six documents last summer when he still worked for the Telegraph from a source inside the British government who he could not otherwise identify. On the advice of the Telegraph’s lawyers, the paper had a secretary retype the documents verbatim on separate paper—then returned the originals to his source. Smith received another three documents when he went to work for the Sunday Times.”
I'm guessing this is coming from a reasonably high-up civil servant in the Foreign Office, namely, someone with access to Cabinet Office/JIC documents as well as letters from ambassadors and FO ministers. The FO is most likely body to be pissed off with the Iraq situation, from what I understand. I think that at a large chunk of upper-tier Brits are probably pissed that Bush went into Iraq without a significant coalition and with Saddam completely giving into inspections. It's not surprising at all that we're seeing such high-level leaks, especially after Bush had the gall to think he could get away with saying war was a last option. These all clearly spell out that war was the only option. They prove that, while Bush said war was our last option, the truth was there was no other possible alternative.
It seems clear that intelligence was poor in regards to what Saddam was doing and it appears that they knew his nuclear program wasn't going anywhere. At the very least, they knew Iran was a bigger threat and that they had to somehow convince the public otherwise. A lot of the convincing was done by playing on the fear that Saddam had an advanced nuclear program and that he was an imminent threat.
The 9/11 and terrorism connections were clearly the weakest part of the case and it was known that these links were weak. The memos claim that the US was "scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and AL Qaeda". Why were we scrambling? That can only mean we didn't have a case in March, 2002. One of the main links was already cast doubt on but on 12/9/01, Cheney said the Prague meeting was "pretty well confirmed". Yeah, right. The Meyer memo says: "There might be doubt about the alleged meeting in Prague". There are some serious inconsistencies if you look at what we were saying in public and what officials were saying to each other.
All I know is that it’s about damned time this tattered rug of lies came undone.
The memos can be seen at the sites below, and I’ve offered my own mini-capsule of the juiciest pieces. You can read up more, if you dare.
Paper 1: Iraq Options. This shows that they had weak intelligence that Saddam may have been continuing WMD development, but mostly that their goal was to reintegrate a “democratic” Iraq into the Middle East. The paper discusses the possible options, including continued containment and possible regime change. The most interesting line is that “A legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to Law Officers advice, none currently exists…we should therefore consider a staged approach, establishing international support, building up pressure on Saddam, and developing military plans.”
Paper 2: The Manning Memo This one is from David Manning to Tony Blair and covers a meal that Manning had with Condoleeza Rice and her NSC team regarding Iraq. It continued the theme of how to draw in international support for an unjustified invasion. Some choice quotes: “Condi's enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed. But there were some signs, since we last spoke, of greater awareness of the practical difficulties and political risks…Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions…Bush will want to pick your [i.e., Tony Blair's] brains…I think there is a real risk that the Administration underestimates the difficulties. They may agree that failure isn't an option, but this does not mean that they will avoid it.
Paper 3: The Ricketts Memo. This one is from Political Director PP Ricketts to Tony Blair. It basically says that Iraq has not stepped up nuclear, or other WMD production, but we have to convince people that the threat is more imminent than that of countries that have stepped up their nuclear programs. This contradicts Bush in a couple ways. Bush and conservatives have claimed the war was never sold as Iraq being a imminent threat. Choice quotes: "We can help Bush make good decisions by telling him things his own machine probably isn't"; "The [WMD] programmes are extremely worrying but have not, as far as we know, been stepped up"; "US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Qaida is so far frankly unconvincing. To get public and Parliamentary support for military operations, we have to be convincing that: the threat is so serious/imminent that it is worth sending our troops to die for; it is qualitatively different from the threat posed by other proliferators who are closer to achieving nuclear capability (including Iran)”; "For Iraq, 'regime change' does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam."
Paper 4: The Straw Memo. The Straw Memo is, presumably, from Jack Straw to Tony Blair, and covers the Prime Minister’s trip to Crawford. Choice quotes: "The rewards from your visit to Crawford will be few. The risks are high, both for you and for the Government"; "If 11 September had not happened, it is doubtful that the US would now be considering military action against Iraq"; Iran, Iraq and North Korea needed to be "delinked", in contrast to the Bush "axis of evil" speech, in order to justify invading Iraq only; "Iraq has had NO history of democracy so no-one has this habit or experience", and the US has not established how regime change is to happen so that the new regime is better than Saddam's.”
Paper 5: The Meyer Memo This one is from Ambassador Christopher Meyer to David Manning and covers a meeting with Paul Wolfowitz. It’s interesting to see that Wolfowitz wanted to push the human rights angle.
Paper 6: Background Paper. This final paper is the UK’s official Legal Background stance on the invasion of Iraq. Not too juicy, but interesting to see how things evolved from the discussions described in the other memos.
Read up on all of these, I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot more about them soon!
The only problem is, I don’t have much clever in me, so this is what I ended up with. Really, who can’t understand, though? Goddamn monkeys are running everything. I can’t move five feet in 30 minutes on I-66 thanks to the goddamn monkeys. I can’t turn on the TV without wanting to kill – goddamn monkeys. If you have something to say about it, talk to my secretary, I’m sure she’ll log your call or email. I’ll be sure to care.
I’m a Threat to Homeland Security: With such a sunny attitude, I can’t imagine why people wouldn’t love me. I guess it’s because I’m a terrorist, who probably hates freedom. That’s right, little old me. One of my coworkers is a hardline Republican (stop me if you’ve heard this one before), the kind of guy who says with a straight face that Jane Fonda is a Marxist, Hillary Clinton is the anti-Christ, and the Internet is the worst invention since the nuclear bomb. This guy provides me with hours of fun. Oh, I like him enough, he’s actually pretty personable and funny when he’s not dripping foam from the corners of his mouth, but when it comes to politics, well…he’s cocaine, I’m heroin, and the office body politic is John Belushi. For instance, just yesterday he was amused to note that I admire and like Howard Dean (we need some lefties who actually kick ass and don’t capitulate, capitulate, capitulate, but that’s another story for another time), who is on his shit list after his recent comments about Republicans. Yeah, I know, how dare he say that this white Christian male is a white Christian male? I was, like, so horrified! Anyway, the beauty of such a comment is that he forgets about things like Sensenbrenner rewriting Congressional minutes to indicate that Democrats support child molestation and, oh, all of Bill O’Reilly’s shows, and Fox News. Even if we weren’t talking fighting fire with fire, I can’t imagine why Howard would say he hates Republicans! Many hours of silence followed our conversation. I was pretty amused, though. This is, after all, the same guy who referred to me as a Urban IP Terrorist and threatened to report me to the NSA and DHS, so I take it with a grain of salt and a great dose of amusement. At least until I start blowing up collocations. Your web hosting is next! We have this winnuke, are you afraid?
Randall Terry is running for the Florida Senate: Jesus fucking Christ man! Only in Florida. If you’re not familiar with this particular fuckstick, he was the one leading the Schiavo charge on the ground. Now he wants to run things. He really wants you to believe he’s a nice guy, too. That whole Christian Fascist thing? All bad PR. He certainly didn’t say “I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good ... if a Christian voted for Clinton, he sinned against God. It's that simple. Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country..” It was the fucking media! Those crooks! They’re always fucking over the good man!
Media Coverage of the Downing Memos: Good to see the old journalistic bulwarks are in place, defending our Republic from the damage that would be done to it. Well, no, actually, not. Goddamn monkeys are too busy ass-creeping these days to be bothered with actual coverage. But fear not! We have tough men like Fred Kaplan, in the above-mentioned article, on the scene to tell you what’s important! You don’t need to worry your little head about whether Bush was hellbent on war or manipulated evidence to go. We already know that! And since we already know it, Bush gets a free pass! You know, the same way if someone commits a murder and we know they did it, we don’t need to prosecute them. Evidence of the murder? Who cares! Who already knew the guy did it. We don’t need to pursue it. The good news is, we’re not all sleeping on the fucking job. There are real people out there, like Media Matters, who understand what shit is what. Read that article. I beg you. Here’s their kicker: “The analogy to President Clinton bears repeating: By the Post's reasoning, if independent counsel Kenneth Starr had produced definitive evidence that President Bill Clinton had committed perjury, the Post wouldn't have reported it because many Americans already believed it to be true. Does anyone really believe the Post would have ignored such a story?” Please read that, Fred Kaplan, and get back to me on it. Oh, right, you won’t, because you’re too busy fucking Jeff Gannon or whatever other pretty boy they’re slipping it to in the White House these days.
Oil Discovered in Darfur: Bush says Sudan has been developing WMD for the past ten years. How long, how long must we wait in the wilderness while they build these weapons to threaten us? Don’t you know we have to protect freedom? Think of the children! On a serious note, look for Operation Black Thunder, coming this January, from the same folks who brought you such great hits as Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Infinite Justice, and Operation Iraqi Freedom!
Michael Jackson Takes a Shit: Attorneys report it smelled really bad, and that he must toughen up on his intake of fiber. Developing…
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Guantanamo inmates can be held 'in perpetuity'- US
1 hour, 38 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican senators called on Wednesday for the rights of foreign terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay prison to be legally defined even as the Bush administration said the inmates could be jailed there "in perpetuity."
The prison, currently holding roughly 520 inmates, opened on the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in January 2002 in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Many of the detainees have been held for more than three years, and only four have been charged.
At a U.S. Senate
Judiciary Committee hearing, Republican Chairman Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said Congress should help to define the legal rights of the inmates at the prison, which the panel's top Democrat called "an international embarrassment."
Delaware Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record) asked Deputy Associate Attorney General J. Michael Wiggins whether the
Justice Department had "defined when there is the end of conflict."
"No, sir," Wiggins responded.
"If there is no definition as to when the conflict ends, that means forever, forever, forever these folks get held at Guantanamo Bay," Biden said.
"It's our position that, legally, they can be held in perpetuity," Wiggins said.
Earlier, the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record) of Vermont, said the United States may face terrorism "as long as you and I live." He asked Brig. Gen. Thomas Hemingway, who oversees military trials of Guantanamo prisoners, if that means America can hold prisoners that long without charges.
"I think that we can hold them as long as the conflict endures," Hemingway responded.
"Guantanamo Bay is an international embarrassment to our nation, to our ideals, and it remains a festering threat to our security," Leahy said.
"Our great country, America, was once viewed as a leader in human rights and the rule of law, and justly so. Guantanamo has undermined our leadership, has damaged our credibility, has drained the world's goodwill for America at an alarming rate," Leahy added.
Critics have decried the indefinite detention of Guantanamo prisoners, whom the United States has denied rights accorded under the Geneva Conventions to prisoners of war. The prison, was called "the gulag of our times" in a recent Amnesty International report.
Hemingway said the military commissions created by the
Pentagon were the appropriate forum for trying Guantanamo prisoners. Human and legal rights groups have said the rules created by the administration are heavily biased toward the prosecution. The trials have been held up amid legal fights.
Navy Rear Adm. James McGarrah called "rigorous and fair" the Pentagon's annual review of the status of Guantanamo prisoners -- a process that can lead to their release. In those proceedings, detainees are prohibited from having lawyers and cannot see all the government's evidence relating to them.
Lawyers representing Guantanamo prisoners criticized their treatment and the government's system for trying them.
"The (reviews) are a sham," said Joseph Margulies, one of the lawyers. "They mock this nation's commitment to due process, and it is past time for this mockery to end."
Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (news, bio, voting record) of Alabama said: "This country is not systematically abusing prisoners. We have no policy to do so. And it's wrong to suggest that. And it puts our soldiers at risk who are in this battle because we sent them there."
Referring to detainees, Sessions added, "Some of them need to be executed."
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record) of South Carolina joined Specter and others who said Congress needed to get involved to better define the process at Guantanamo.
"I think it would be tremendously helpful if the Congress and the administration came together with some general statutory language to help define what's going on at Guantanamo Bay, to better define what an enemy combatant is, to make sure that due process is affordable," Graham said.
Specter noted that legislation he introduced in 2002 on legal rights of detainees had gone nowhere.
"It may be that it's too hot to handle for Congress, may be that it's too complex to handle for Congress, or it may be that Congress wants to sit back, as we customarily do, awaiting some action with the court no matter how long it takes," he said.
U.S. Supreme Court ruled a year ago that Guantanamo prisoners had the right to seek their release in federal court. But decisions in the lower court have been contradictory, creating what Specter called a "crazy quilt" of rulings.
Democrats Take Heart!!
Tue Jun 14th, 2005 at 18:00:13 EDT
I had an interesting visitor to my polling place today. I decided to work the polls to hand out homemade flyers about an upcoming election in November. (Local Dems are fighting to oust Bob Marshall in the VA 13th: http://www.bruce2005.org)
A nice looking man came up to me and introduced himself as a Democrat who was running for congress in 2006. He thanked me for volunteering and asked if I would hand out some flyers to Democratic voters for him. He then told me he would be running against Tom Davis! I said, "Woah, then you deserve a hug!" He returned the embrace with glee.
THEN, he gave me a ziplock bag with a variety of candy in it and a bottle of store-bought water with a little white lable saying, "It's your hard work here that makes our democracy thrive."
It also read, "Courtesy of the Hurst for Congress Cmte. http://www.Hurstforcongress.com"
WOW. Are you as impressed as I was? It kinda' blew me away.
His letter was impressive too (a one-pager that introduced himself with a colored photo within a long letter). The headline read: IT IS NOT TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT NEXT YEAR! His slogan is, "Hurst (Congress 2006) SOMETHING DIFFERENT"
Here is how he is thinking: "The Eleventh District cannot afford another two years of Davis. His votes contribute to the failed policies of the Bush administration. His silence emboldens a radical element in our national leadership bent on imposing their morals and values on the rest of America. His failure to act based on fear of political repercussion has left us a vacuum of leadership.
"We missed a historic chance to effectively challenge Davis in 2004. No. Virginia came out in record numbers to vote for Kerry-edwards. For the first time since Johnson, Fairfax County voted Democratic and elected our ticket by 8 percentage points. The Eleventh District went for Bush by only one percentage point... However our candidate lost to Davis by more than 20 percentage points. The dramatic drop-off of support between national and congressional tickets was a rarity nationwide.
"We can, and must, do better. Our candidate will not have the advantage of a presidential to mobilize Democrats... Our 2006 candidate will have to create their own movement, their own energy, their own passion. Business as usual will not work; we will need SOMETHING DIFFERENT."
And further, when I went to their web site, I found a very unusual credo for their campaign... and again, I was very impressed:
"We hope to change the face of Congressional politics in Northern Virginia, and eventually change the way Congress does business.
I hope you will join our effort. We have only three requirements:
You must be tolerant of the opinions of others - my campaign's Kitchen Committee is a diverse cross-section of the community we live in. We have a diverse set of beliefs, ideas and notions about how to improve the representation of our nation. We do not belittle or reject out of hand the beliefs and ideas of each other or others, including those of our opponents. No matter how little or how much you get involved in our effort, you must be respectful not only of the other people involved in the campaign, but of everyone in our community.
You must forget business as usual - this will not be the typical campaign. The ethics and principles that underpin our efforts, such as equality, fairness, dedication and hard work, are traditional and rooted in our community. However, the ways in which we communicate our ideas, as well as many of our proposals themselves, may be unlike those you have been accustomed to hearing from politicians. If you are hoping to repeat the same old slogans, use the same previously unsuccessful campaign techniques or re-hash the same tired ideas, we are probably not the team you want to join. However, if you are looking for somewhere for your creativity and passion to make a difference, you should get involved in this effort.
You must enjoy yourself - I sincerely believe that this campaign is the most important thing I have ever engaged in, and know everyone on this team believes that we can make a significant difference with our efforts. However, it is a labor of love. I am having the time of my life getting to know the people of our District and coming up with ways to make our Representative work for all of us, and I know the rest of the campaign feels likewise. If you join our team, we hope you will feel the same way -- and we will do our best to ensure that is the case.
If these requirements work for you, I hope you will join our effort. To get in touch with us, please call us at (703) 455-1014, or e-mail us at email@example.com. We want to hear from you!"
I never expected to be energized by a candidate for Congress when I left the house this morning at 6:20 AM.
Hooray for citizen politicians! (although he is an attorney) It may sound like I'm shilling for him, but I never heard of the guy until that moment. It was a good omen.
I agree, this gets me excited. I'm throwing my support behind him!