Poll Numbers on Impeachment

7 07 2007

From Politicalwire.com:

July 06, 2007

Public Split on Impeachment

From a new American Research Group poll:
45% of Americans favor the House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President Bush, while 46% are opposed.

54% of Americans favor the House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney, while 40% are opposed.





Hamas Murders Children’s Television Character

30 06 2007

In a horrifying end to a bizarre children’s television show produced by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, the “Martyr Mouse” was beaten to death!

Yet another example of how religion can abused by fanatics!

Hamas TV kills off Mickey Mouse double

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Mickey Mouse lookalike who preached Islamic domination on a Hamas-affiliated children’s television program was beaten to death in the show’s final episode Friday.
In the final skit, “Farfour” was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour’s land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a “terrorist.”

“Farfour was martyred while defending his land,” said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed “by the killers of children,” she added.
The weekly show, featuring a giant black-and-white rodent with a high-pitched voice, had attracted worldwide attention because the character urged Palestinian children to fight Israel. It was broadcast on Hamas-affiliated Al Aqsa TV.

Station officials said Friday that Farfour was taken off the air to make room for new programs. Station manager Mohammed Bilal said he did not know what would be shown instead.

Israeli officials have denounced the program, “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” as incendiary and outrageous. The program was also opposed by the state-run Palestinian Broadcasting Corp., which is controlled by Fatah, Hamas’ rival.

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.





Chaplains Try To Convert Vet

14 06 2007

It should be clear to everyone by now that the Evangelical, radical right-wing has seized control of much of the military. There have been horror stories for years about how non-Christians have been abused at the service academies. The NavyTimes recently ran an article about a Navy veteran and Orthodox Jew who sought treatment at his local VA hospital, and was repeated proselytized by the chaplains in an effort to convert him. This is absolutely outrageous behavior, and completely unacceptable in a branch of the federal government.

Navy vet: Chaplains tried converting me

By William Petroski – The Des Moines Register
Posted : Monday May 14, 2007 12:35:14 EDT

Navy veteran David Miller said that when he checked into the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City, he didn’t realize he would get a hard sell for Christian fundamentalism along with treatment for his kidney stones.

Miller, 46, an Orthodox Jew, said he was repeatedly proselytized by hospital chaplains and staff in attempts to convert him to Christianity during three hospitalizations over the past two years.

He said he went hungry each time because the hospital wouldn’t serve him kosher food, and the staff refused to contact his rabbi, who could have brought him something to eat.

Miller, an Iowa City resident and former petty officer third class who spent four years in the Navy, outlined his complaints at a news conference in Des Moines on Thursday. The event was sponsored by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an activist group based in Albuquerque, N.M.

He described the Iowa City facility as an institution permeated by government sponsorship of fundamentalist Christianity and unconstitutional discrimination against Jews.

Miller has been classified as 100 percent disabled because of chronic painful problems with kidney stones, and he has repeatedly visited the center as a patient and outpatient.

The hospital’s chaplains and staff, Miller said, have the attitude that you either accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior and you are saved, or you are damned.

He said he has tried to resolve the problems with the hospital’s administration without success.

“I am not trying to get rid of the chaplain corps,” Miller said. “When I was in the Navy, I was a religious program specialist. I worked with Christian chaplains, and I believe in the value of the chaplain corps, but not using it to bludgeon people, for heaven’s sake.”

Kirt Sickels, a spokesman for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City, said the facility’s administrators take Miller’s allegations seriously.

“We will look into these concerns that Mr. Miller is talking about. The Iowa City VA respects the rights to religious beliefs for every patient. If they have a request for any kind of religious needs, we try to accommodate whatever those needs or beliefs might be.”

Kosher meals are available to Jewish VA patients in Iowa City, Sickels said.

Michael Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and an attorney who worked in the White House under President Reagan, said Thursday that he is preparing to sue the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in federal court over Miller’s treatment. He said he suspects other veterans have been treated similarly and that Miller’s case could become a class-action lawsuit.

“He has been in the situation where clearly his faith — which happens to be the Jewish faith — is the wrong faith for the Veterans Administration,” said Weinstein, an Air Force Academy graduate.

Miller, a divorced father with four sons, said his first two visits by chaplains involved attempts to convert him to Christianity. These visits occurred while he was suffering acute chest pains and was wired to a heart monitor, he said.

When he complained, he said a hospital official told him he simply needed to object more strenuously to terminate such proselytizing. Miller said he considered such a request to be ridiculous, considering his medical problems.

Over the past two years, Miller said, he has been asked over and over by the Iowa City VA medical center’s staff within its offices, clinics and wards, “You mean you don’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah?” and “Is it just Orthodox Jews who deny Jesus?” He said one staffer told him, “I don’t understand; how can you not believe in Jesus; he’s the Messiah of the Jews, too, you know.”

Sickels said it is standard practice within hospitals nationwide to conduct a spiritual assessment of each patient upon admission. Ministry and pastoral counseling are available, but “it is always the patient’s right to decline any of these services.”

David Brown, an Assemblies of God minister who is a chaplain at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center, declined to comment when reached by a reporter Thursday afternoon.

Miller said the Christian influence at the Iowa City medical facility is so pervasive that he couldn’t even escape it in a patient waiting room. He described how an elderly couple played a keyboard and sang hymns, such as “The Old Rugged Cross,” much to the delight of Christian veterans waiting for doctor’s appointments.

“It was driving me nuts, and they were enjoying it. I was not going to go in front of all of these people and say, ‘Hey, will you stop?’ and then have all the other veterans turn on me. They were setting me up to be further ostracized. It was just ridiculous.”





Operation Northwoods (1962) Documents

3 06 2007

These are some of the documents from “Operation Northwoods,” a proposal by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff to provoke war with Cuba by waging a terror campaign against Americans in the early 1960s.

Northwoods 1
NW2
NW8





US Military Planned to Kill Americans to Provoke War With Cuba

28 05 2007

Astonishing. In 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff planned “Operation Northwoods” which would have killed American military personnel and civilians to provoke a war with Cuba, with the intent of overthrowing Castro, according to a new book. That would be, of course, treason.

You can find the full article •at ABCNews.com•.

An excerpt:

U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba
Book: U.S. Military Drafted Plans to Terrorize U.S. Cities to Provoke War With Cuba

By David Ruppe
N E W  Y O R K, May 1, 2001

In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.

America’s top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: “We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba,” and, “casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.”

Details of the plans are described in Body of Secrets (Doubleday), a new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history of America’s largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However, the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.

The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy’s defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years.

“These were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents. The reason these were held secret for so long is the Joint Chiefs never wanted to give these up because they were so embarrassing,” Bamford told ABCNEWS.com.

“The whole point of a democracy is to have leaders responding to the public will, and here this is the complete reverse, the military trying to trick the American people into a war that they want but that nobody else wants.”

Gunning for War
The documents show “the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government,” writes Bamford.

I wonder if Karl Rove or Dick Cheney knew anything about this? Say around September 12th, 2001?





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)