Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Associated Press continues to propagate lie

MSNBC.com post of AP story - The Associated Press continues to propagate a lie trumped by the White House repeatedly of the damage done by Newsweek. The lie, about halfway through the story, "Washington’s defense of its detention and interrogation practices comes after weeks of international criticism and violent protests by Muslims outraged at reports — which the Pentagon says are false — that an interrogator at Guantanamo had flushed pages of the Quran down a toilet." In fact, there is contradictory evidence of violent protests sparked by Newsweek's article, since retracted because its source could not confirm from which document the information came. The Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman and other top US Military Officials have said the violent protests were more attributed to Afghanistan's leaders and their reconcilliatory attempts. The Associated Press continues to promote the White House's blame on the press. What's more, the Pentagon has stated that the flushing of the Koran is false, only after Newsweek's story ran, and did not speak up when other news sources reported such a story in the past.

Deep Throat steps forward

Deep Throat has come forward. W. Mark Felt, now 91, has revealed to Vanity Fair that he was the source of much of Watergate's secretive facts to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. As a nation, we thank him for showing us that not everyone in a corrupt government is crooked, and that the truth will come out, regardless of the stranglehold of power the leader may have. Here's also to Deep Throat 2002, who will be the true source of facts behind President Bush's plan to invade Iraq regardless of intelligence or facts. You also have a nation behind you, whoever you will be.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Bad intel analysts promoted instead of fired

MSNBC.com Washington Post article - In another stunning display of arrogance and insanity, the Bush adminstration has promoted two analysts whose failures at identifying legitimacy in intelligence that led up to the Iraq War's reasoning were key points of problems the 9/11 Commission discovered. Normally, when you miss the mark as poorly as these two have and are scolded by so many outside the clique, it would be obvious that demotion would be the least your boss could do. Instead, Bush's administration gives more credence to the Downing Street Minutes, which so far the White House has only said it doesn't comment on leaked British documents. Where's the outrage, media?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Bush admits to propaganda in speech?

Whitehouse.gov coverage - A speech President George W. Bush gave Greece, New York, on May 24 had a couple lines which may reveal a bit more about his agenda than he wishes. The first, talking about how many times he has said the same talking points of retirees and Social Security checks, "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." The second, about those who do not agree with the President's ideals on Social Security reform, or as he puts it in contradiction to the truth, how people see there's a problem with Social Security, "And those who obstruct reform, no matter what party they're in, will pay a political price, in my judgment." Perhaps Karl Rove has been hammering these points too hard on the overworked and often traveled President?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Suicide hotline operational only 9 to 5

MSNBC.com article - Prince Edward Island in Canada, stating it's too expensive to run, will reduce its 24-hour suicide hotline to only eight hours per weekday, nothing on weekends. The cost to run the hotline a year? About $30,000CDN ($24,000 USD). Don't get distraught after work!

FBI Agent says US interrogators in Cuba had flushed a Koran

ACLU Documents from FOIA lawsuits - Declassified information that the ACLU received from Freedom of Information Act lawsuits uncovered an FBI agent's depiction of interrogators' abuse of detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This includes one where an interrogator flushed a Koran down the toilet in order to get a prisoner to talk. Also included is a document where Department of Defense interrogators had impersonated FBI Agents and use torture techniques against a detainee. The memo from the FBI states that no intelligence of threat neutralization nature, and that prosecuting the detainee may now be impossible. That won't matter if the Department of Defense can get its own tribunal and execution chamber built in Cuba, will it?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Senator Frist threatens nuclear option, MSNBC incorrectly credits term to "foes"

MSNBC.com article - Senator Bill Frist says he was not part of the compromise which brought Republicans and Democrats together to allow some of President Bush's judicial nominees to be brought to a vote on the Senate floor. Frist says that he will still use the "Constitutional option" to kill filibusters against the nominees should the Democrats attempt to stall any votes. However, MSNBC.com attributes the Republican term "nuclear option" to Frist's "foes", a term coined by Republican Trent Lott. Shoddy reporting on MSNBC.com's part, and to writer Tom Curry.

Bishop refuses to help mom in communion request

Asbury Park Press article - Bishop John M. Smith of the Diocese of Trenton has refused to ask the Pope for latitude in what constitutes a valid host in the Sacrament of Communion. Liz Pelly-Waldman wanted her daughter's First Holy Communion to count, but her child's celiac-sprue disease won't allow her to have anything made with gluten, part of the Catholic Church's requirement of communion wafers. Since her daughter's communion wafer contained no gluten, the Church has nullified the Communion. Isn't it the act more than the composition?

North Carolina church sign urges flushing of Koran

Booman Tribune article - A Baptist minister in Forest City, North Carolina, refuses to apologize for a sign out front of his church stating "The Koran Needs to be Flushed".

Isn't there something about tolerance and love thy neighbor in the Bible? I remembered that in Jesus's teachings, why can't these church leaders?

Monday, May 23, 2005

President Bush says high casualties of US Soldiers means we're winning

White House Transcript - From a meeting with President Karzai of Afghanistan, President Bush was asked the question and his response follows:

Q: And if I may ask you, Mr. President, as you know, the casualties of Iraq is again high today -- 50 more people dying. Do you think that insurgence is getting harder now to defeat militarily? Thank you.

PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I don't think so. I think they're being defeated. And that's why they continue to fight. The worst thing for them is to see democracy. The President can speak to that firsthand. The worst problem that an ideologue that uses terror to try to get their way is to see a free society emerge. And I'm confident we're making great progress in Iraq.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

US Congressmen may investigate Blair in Iraq War planning

Times Online article - Senior US Congressmen are considering sending a delegation to London to investigate the minutes of the Downing Street Memo, which gave evidence that the US Congress and the whole world were misled into the facts of pre-war Iraq and that Bush and Blair concocted the reason to go to war. The Congressmen, spearheaded by Representative John Conyers of Michigan, have asked the White House for confirmation of the memo, only to be rebuked by the Bush Administration. Contact your local Congressmen and make sure they know this is important, that we need to find the truth.

U.S. Soldier told detainee to dig his own grave

ACLU Article - Department of Defense documents reveal that rampant abuse still happens in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba. One act, in July 2003 at Rifles Base in Ramadi, an Army captain took an Iraqi welder into the desert, ordered him to dig his own grave, threatened to kill him and staged a shooting of the man. More reports of abuse include holding a pistol to a fireman's head who did not resist a soldier, a soldier at an internment facility in Iraq wrongfully displayed the Star of David, soldiers had a military dog pick up a detainee's Koran in its mouth, and, according to the ACLU, hundreds more. We should be handing out hidden cameras to Red Cross workers, as it seems the only time thorough investigations and discharges or jail time happen is when someone publishes pictures of abuse. It won't stop until someone high in the chain of command orders it to stop.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Frist admits to his own filibuster and it is not unConstitutional

Think Progress article - Senator Chuck Schumer, on the floor of the Senate today, asked a question to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist: "Isn't it correct on March 8, 2000, my colleague [Frist] voted to uphold the filibuster of Judge Richard Paez?" Frist responds: "The president, the um, in response, uh, the Paez nomination - we’ll come back and discuss this further. … Actually I’d like to, and it really brings to what I believe - a point - and it really brings to, oddly, a point, what is the issue. The issue is we have leadership-led partisan filibusters that have, um, obstructed, not one nominee, but two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, in a routine way." In other words, a senator who filibusters one nominee is not wrong, but a party who threatens to filibuster a handful is? If the filibuster is unConstitutional, should not Frist then be kicked out of the Senate for not upholding his oath when he was sworn in?

Military numbers in Iraq possibly misleading

TBRNews.org Article - According to this article, the numbers that the US Department of Defense is informing the public of deaths of US Military personnel in Iraq, over 1,700 now, does not account for those who are injured in Iraq and die en route to or at other locations. Over 6,200 have died going to or at German hospitals alone. This, plus 15,000 seriously wounded, and 5,500 personnel who have deserted, leaves us with fewer soldiers in the field. Of 158,000 US military shipped to Iraq, 26,000 aren't in the field due to desertion, injury or death. That's about one in six personnel. And the military isn't making their recruitment numbers. We're awaiting solutions from the government?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

School rules top student can't receive valedictorian

MSNBC.com Article - Another example of how zero-tolerance and strict adherence to school rules holds students in contempt, Kingwood High School in the Houston area has refused to award its top pupil, Karen Scherr, its valedictorian distinction. The reason is because at the beginning of her junior year, Karen was in Oklahoma being treated for anorexia nervosa. Kingwood rules state that a student must be enrolled in classes in the first twenty days of a school year to be considered a valedictorian. The student body, even the young man who will receive the award now, has asked the school to give Karen what she deserves, and the school has refused.

George Galloway blasts US Senate Subcommittee

MSNBC.com Article - Former British lawmaker George Galloway rejected claims by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that he profited from the Iraq oil-for-food program. He declared the Republican chairman of the committee, Senator Norm Coleman (MN), as part of the "neocon, pro-Israel, pro-war, Republican lynch mob." He also points out that the people who profited the greatest from the oil-for-food program outside Iraq were from the US, namely the Texas Bayoil Inc. company, who even exported over seven million barrels of oil out of Iraq before the 2003 US-led invasion, and imported over two hundred million barrels of oil since September 2000.

Pat Buchanan whines about other conservatives

Washington Times Interview - Pat Buchanan whines of how the conservative movement has passed into history because it is no longer unified under the same priorities or unified. He declares that "unnamed phonies" have infiltrated the movement. These phonies call themselves conservatives but are big-government people, he claims. He then points to how Hollywood has changed since the 50s, saying that its cultural influence will bring us to our own Cold War with the religious war going on in this country. He also wanted the Supreme Court to say that pornography is not protected by the First Amendment.

Was Newsweek Wrong? Seems unlikely

The Raw Story Article - The White House wants Newsweek to do more than simply retract their article. But was Newsweek wrong? According to The Raw Story, the tossing of a Koran into a pile and being stepped on prompted the March 2002 hunger strike of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with link to the New York Times article about the inquiry here. More confirmations at The Guardian and The Daily Guardian. The Washington Post in 2003 reported on the flushing of a Koran in this article. The Center for Constitution Rights has a deposition of a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner describing the horrible treatment of their faith here. The Raw Story's dedication to finding these and presenting them is great, and should be brought up with Scott McClellan about why Newsweek is wrong, yet none of these other publications and statements are?

Monday, May 16, 2005

White House: Do as we say, not as we do

MSNBC.com Newsweek article - Newsweek has apologized and backtracked on their article saying that officers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, desecrated the Quran. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has asked for a full retraction. "The report has had serious consequences. People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged. I just find it puzzling." And yet, the White House has refused to comment on the Downing Street Memo, as well has led us into a war based on lies, where over 1,600 soldiers and over 100,000 Iraqis have lost their lives, our credibility and community abroad has been damaged, and an article that had its source change his story is what he finds appalling? And the fact that still to this day there's no investigation into ethics violations of Tom Delay, or of the President leading us to an illegal war, or Senators inciting violence on the judiciary, and it's a problem with a magazine article that has damaged our credibility? Wake up, Scott.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Judge Strikes Down Nebraska Anti-Gay Amendment

MSNBC.com Article - U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon struck down a Nebraska Constitution provision which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman, because it is both too broad and too narrow in its scopes. It limits freedoms of some, and takes away rights from even heterosexual couples. Strangely, the article mentions that the discussion of another Constitutional Amendment in Congress should heat back up; I say, fix the deficit, fix the war's problems, and fix the corruption in Congress. Which priority do these people have?

Wal-Mart's Insufferable Ad in Protest

Arizona Daily Sun Article - Wal-Mart is fighting a proposition that restricts big-box retailers in Flagstaff, and does so by equating the proposition to Nazi book-burning displays. Someone with the marketing firm for Wal-Mart saw no problem in saying that freedom of the press and speech is the same or even nearly equivalent to the giant retailer's ability to operate a large retail shop in the city.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Senator Kennedy stands up to Republican zealousness

DailyKos Diary of Crystal Patterson - Ms. Patterson, a staffer in Senator Kennedy's office, posted this blog of the senator's floor speech and breaks it down for better understanding. Among them, the critical nature of the upcoming "nuclear option" the Republicans want to use to forcefeed the last of their judicial nominees down everyone's throats, and how Bush is only looking for a fight rather than seek the "advice and counsel" of the Senate, as per the Constitution. Well worth reading.

Washington Times misrepresents motive of Democrats

MediaMatters.org Piece - The Washington Times has an article that promotes Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscella Owen to near saint-hood. They also mention, "Democrats' primary line against Justice Owen has been several cases in which she argued that the teenagers involved were not mature enough to bypass a Texas law requiring them to notify a parent before having an abortion." Also, "Yet polls show overwhelming support for laws requiring minors to get permission from a parent before getting an abortion. That support is even higher for laws that only require notification." First, Bush has said that polls should not influence his decisions, so this is meaningless. Secondly, Owen's dissent on this case was criticized by then-colleague, now-Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales. Democrats' opposition to her is what the Republicans have been shouting we don't need on the bench: an activist judge legislating from the bench.

Wherefore were thou WSJ?

MediaMatters.org Piece - Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund and the WSJ website apparently disagree on whether Fund and other writers for the paper objected to the Republicans filibusters against over five dozen Bill Clinton nominees for the bench. Fund says they have, yet a search on WSJ's website turns up other information.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Iraqi Police vent anger at US Soldiers

ABC News Online story - From an Agence France-Presse story, Iraqi police officers shouted insults at US Soldiers after two suicide car bomb blasts in Baghdad, which killed seven people, including peace officers. "It's all because you are here," one shouted in Arabic. "Get out of our country and there will be no more explosions!" There have been about four hundred more Iraqi officers and soldiers killed than US soldiers killed in the current war.

Dems shut out of Bolton Information?

MSNBC.com story - Democrats requesting more information on John Bolton's fitness to be the UN Ambassador for the United States are being turned away. The State Department feels they've provided enough information for Bolton's background, but questions still loom over requests by Bolton of surveillance of leaders, usually critical of his actions. There will be another vote on Bolton this week, so stay tuned.

Democrats getting backbones

Salon.com War Room Article - While the Republicans have been touting their nuclear option to forcefeed judges that have already been rejected last session, Democrats are finally using Republicans' words against them. With cries of foul that only Democrats use filibusters to stop judges, Democrats are passing out voting records of Republican senators, including Bill Frist's refusing to vote for cloture to put one of Clinton's nominees to an up-and-down vote. It's about time that not only Democrats are fighting back against the lies and hypocricies of the extreme right, but that media are slowly starting to report on it.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Protective armor in Iraq being recalled

MSNBC story - The US Marine Corps. is recalling 5,277 Outer Tactical Vests because a Marine Corps. Times article mentions that many of the vests fall short in tests to protect against shrapnel and 9mm bullets, let alone high powered rifle shots. The vests cost $525, and over 181,000 Kevlar vests have been issued to Marines fighting overseas.

Where are the tribunals?

Salon.com War Room article - So why haven't we seen trials happen in the war on terror? It's because the US Government fears that their procedures and actions will also be put on trial, should we give a stage for the terrorists we hold. So instead of being a democracy where even enemies of the state are allowed justice, because torture and rendition would become the focus, we'll just hold them indefinitely and sink down to the level of the people we're fighting.

Bush is all everyone can talk about?

AP Story on Yahoo - Bush says people want to hear from the US President while he is in Latvia, and the press wants to ask him all the questions even though there are three other presidents in attendance.