Powell: Close Guantanamo!

10 06 2007

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke out about closing Guantanamo Bay prison on “Meet the Press” today. Good for him, but I wish he would speak out more often about his feelings about this administration. After the ways in which they used and abused him during his tenure, one would think that he would have lots to say. The best way for the former secretary to rehabilitate his reputation in the nation, and distance himself from the crimes of this bumbling administration, is to speak out more often.

You can find the video •at Thinkprogress.org•.

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Cindy Sheehan Steps Down

29 05 2007

Cidy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq, has written a letter announcing her intention to step away from the anti-war movement after enduring years of horrid accusations, smears, and blatant character assassination.

She made some mistakes during her time in the spotlight — like avoiding meeting with Cuban dissidents on her trip to that island — but all she wanted was for President Bush to explain why her young son had to die. Bush — the heartless warmonger — never granted her request. After playing a victim to the right wing, the left wing started in on her when she began to criticize the Democrats for failing to take advantage of their mandate.

What a tragedy. All brought on by a vile President and a corrupt and fascist administration that has done more damage to our nation than any other presidential administration in the history of the United States.





Enemy of the People

25 05 2007

My recent hatemail got me to thinking about the need to write a broader explanation for the underlying reasons why I both despise and fear President Bush and his administration so much, so here goes.

I never gave the future much thought, either my own or the world’s, until the birth of my nephew in 2002. Since that time, I have focused on little else. As a historian, I see much about America today which frightens me. Let me begin by saying that I believe very strongly that there is no power on Earth great enough to destroy a free people — except those people themselves. By giving into the fear-mongering of this administration and of the Republican Party (now nothing more than a mouth-piece for the bizarre alliance between corporate and evangelical fascists), by accepting their blatantly false accusations and connections, and by coming to believe that dissent always equals disloyalty, many Americans have allowed this administration to undermine our democracy. In this way, George W. Bush has done more damage to the American republic than Al Qaeda, the Communists, the fascists, the Nazis, the German imperialists, the Spanish, the French, or the British ever could or did. He is, in fact, the worst president in United States history.

The Americans that revolted against the oppression of Great Britain feared the growth of executive power the most, and so both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of 1787 sought to limit executive authority to avoid tyranny. President Bush has effected the greatest executive power grab in the history of the United States, and exceeded those limits thanks to a frightened electorate and a Congress controlled by his own party which abrogated every responsibility for oversight of such a reckless administration.

The attacks of September 11th, 2001, were quite simply an atrocity. President Bush’s decision to invade Afghanistan to hunt down Al Qaeda and overthrow the Taliban remains the single good policy of his entire six years in office. Both the attacks and the initial outcomes of this invasion earned the United States enormous good will, and put Al Qaeda on the run. Then, in pursuit of the policies of his neo-conservative advisors, Bush lurched off-course and sent the United States into the disastrous invasion of Iraq. All the while, he has ignored U.S. law and expanded the powers of the presidency like no other chief executive: his signing statements which indicated he would refuse to enforce sections of laws he disagreed with; warrant-less wire-tapping; the use of off-shore detention camps; taking over control of the National Guard through the John Warner Defense Act of 2006; the creation of NorthCom; the use of military tribunals; the secret contract given to Haliburton subsidiary KBR to build a string of detention camps across the country … the list is seemingly endless. Congress did nothing, and Americans caved in to the blatant fear-mongering of Vice President Cheney and others.

The policies of this administration have made the United States less safe, and the American people less free. By tying us down in Iraq, and his stubborn refusal to admit defeat, he has allowed the rise of Iran and utterly failed to protect the borders and the ports. He has stretched our resources so thin we find ourselves unable to deal with national crises like Hurricane Katrina and the recent tornadoes in the midwest. Many of our traditional allies have deserted us, and he has lost he chance to improve relations with the Russian Federation.

In 2006, historian Sean Wilentz wrote “The Worst President in History?” for Rolling Stone. An excerpt:

By contrast, the Bush administration — in seeking to restore what Cheney, a Nixon administration veteran, has called “the legitimate authority of the presidency” — threatens to overturn the Framers’ healthy tension in favor of presidential absolutism. Armed with legal findings by his attorney general (and personal lawyer) Alberto Gonzales, the Bush White House has declared that the president’s powers as commander in chief in wartime are limitless. No previous wartime president has come close to making so grandiose a claim. More specifically, this administration has asserted that the president is perfectly free to violate federal laws on such matters as domestic surveillance and the torture of detainees. When Congress has passed legislation to limit those assertions, Bush has resorted to issuing constitutionally dubious “signing statements,” which declare, by fiat, how he will interpret and execute the law in question, even when that interpretation flagrantly violates the will of Congress. Earlier presidents, including Jackson, raised hackles by offering their own view of the Constitution in order to justify vetoing congressional acts. Bush doesn’t bother with that: He signs the legislation (eliminating any risk that Congress will overturn a veto), and then governs how he pleases — using the signing statements as if they were line-item vetoes. In those instances when Bush’s violations of federal law have come to light, as over domestic surveillance, the White House has devised a novel solution: Stonewall any investigation into the violations and bid a compliant Congress simply to rewrite the laws.

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of world history will recognize the term “enemy of the people.” It was the main charge used by Josef Stalin against his perceived enemies during his long, brutal and destructive reign (and earned him his place in history as the world’s second greatest mass murderer, right behind Mao Zedong and ahead of Adolf Hitler). Most of the accused were completely innocent; some, perhaps, were not enemies of the people, but enemies of Stalin.

By undermining American democracy in so many ways, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their supporters are enemies of the American people. They have started this nation down the path to dictatorship.

But why, one might ask?

Simple: an empire cannot be governed by democracy.

Empires need stability, efficiency, and centralized power. Democracy is too inefficient, unwieldy, and decentralized to govern a world-wide empire.

We had a great nation once. While Americans slept, the corporate and evangelical fascists allied with President Bush and Vice President Cheney have begun to unravel it.

For further information, please see:
Kevin Phillips, “American Theocracy.”

Frank Rich, “The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina.”

Thomas Ricks, “Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq.”





Project for a New American Century

24 05 2007

The Project for a New American Century emerged after the First Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. You can read more about this group from •their website• and at the •Wikipedia Entry•.

In short, this group believed that, in the absence of the Soviet Union (which collapsed in 1991), the United States should use its position and unchallenged military might to project American power in various regions of the world, including the Middle East. This group developed its policies over the course of the 1990s.

From the group’s Statement of Principles:

“As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world’s most preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievement of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests? “[What we require is] a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities. “Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership of the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of the past century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.”

In September 2000, the group released their report, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (this link will take you to a PDF of the actual report.) On page 51 of this report, the authors suggested that:

“Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”

This is not to suggest that the members of PNAC orchestrated the September 11th attacks (as some conspiracy nuts argue). However, in the wake of 9/11, the PNAC members within the Bush Administration (listed below) used the fears that arose from that catastrophic and horrific event to push their Middle East policy. Cheney and others began to link Al Queda to Saddam Hussein and Iraq — an outright distortion of the facts.

Having made this link between Iraq and Al Queda, these administration officials (including, of course, President Bush himself) insisted that Saddam Hussein possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, and these weapons could potentially end up in the hands of Al Queda, which could use them to attack the United States.

In other words, the men and women who supported the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as a part of a larger project to project American military might into the world used the events of 9/11 to take the first step on this path.

No reputable source today believes that (a) Al Queda had a pre-existing relationship with Iraq (that is, prior to the U.S. invasion in 2003) or (b) Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that could have been used by Al Queda to attack the United States.

The only person who maintains this view today is Vice President Cheney. Indeed, many of the architects of this policy have now turned their backs on President Bush, blaming not the policy, but Bush’s supposed incompetence.

You can view a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) documentary, “The Lies That Led to War” by clicking •HERE•.

MEMBERS OF PNAC WHO JOINED THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION:

Richard Cheney — Vice President

Elliott Abrams — National Security Council, Representative for Middle Eastern Affairs.

Richard Armitage — Deputy Secretary of State (2001-2005) [Disclosed Valerie Plame’s identity (Plamegate scandal)]

John R. Bolton — Department of State; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations [Previously served as Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs in the first administration of GWB.]

Seth Cropsey — Voice of America, Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau

Paula Dobriansky — Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs

Francis Fukuyama — Member, President’s Council on Bioethics [Professor of International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University, author of “The End of History”]

Bruce Jackson — President, U.S. Committee on NATO [Former Lockheed Martin VP for Strategy & Planning]

Zalmay Khalilzad — U.S. Ambassador to Iraq [Previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from November 2003 to June 2005]

I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby — Chief of Staff for the Vice President (2001-2005) [Resigned October 28, 2005. On March 6, 2007, Libby was found guilty on two counts of perjury, one of obstruction of justice, and one of making false statements to the FBI.]

Peter W. Rodman — Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security

Donald Rumsfeld — Secretary of Defense (2001-2006)

Randy Scheunemann — U.S. Committee on NATO, Project on Transitional Democracies, International Republican Institute, Founded the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.

Paul Wolfowitz — Deputy Secretary of Defense (2001-2005) [Became President of the World Bank in 2005. Now embroiled in a scandal over inappropriately securing better pay and a promotion for his girlfriend, also a World Bank employee.]

Dov S. Zakheim — Comptroller, Department of Defense [Former V.P. of System Planning Corporation]

Robert B. Zoellick — Deputy Secretary of State, Office of the United States Trade Representative (2001-2005)





Iraqi Parliament Wants A Vacation

10 05 2007

From the AP:

Cheney Presses Iraqi Leaders on Security

Dick

Vice Moron-in-Chief Dick Cheney, in Baghdad

May 9, 9:43 PM (ET)

By TOM RAUM

BAGHDAD (AP) – Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday that “we’ve got a long way to go” in reducing violence in Iraq in a trip punctuated by an explosion that shook windows at the U.S. Embassy, where Cheney was visiting.

The vice president urged that Iraq’s parliament abandon plans for a two-month summer vacation while U.S. forces are fighting. With important issues pending, including how to share Iraq’s oil wealth, “any undue delay would be difficult to explain,” Cheney said.

As Democrats clamor for an end to the four-year-old war and President Bush sags in the polls, the White House is under intense political pressure to show that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government is making progress. Cheney urged Iraq’s leaders to do more to reduce violence and promote political reconciliation.

White House counselor Dan Bartlett said in Washington that Cheney’s trip “gives an opportunity at a very high level for this message to be delivered.”

==

Okay, so, American troops are fighting and DYING EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR ON BEHALF OF THESE PARLIAMENTARIANS, AND THEY WANT A TWO MONTH VACATION!?!

Come on, everyone, it’s time to leave Iraq. Will someone please tell the *&#(%*( president and vice-president?!





Support Impeachment!

4 05 2007

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has posted her office telephone number, and has asked that the American people call in and register their support for the impeachment of President Bush and of Vice President Cheney.

The number is: 1-202-225-0100

You simply need to say, “I would like to register my support for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.”

It’s that simple.





The Bush of the Past

1 05 2007

From Politicalwire.com:

Historical Quotes of the Day

“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”

— George W. Bush, 4/9/99, criticizing President Clinton for not setting a timetable for exiting Kosovo.

“I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.”

— George W. Bush, 6/5/99