Olbermann: Shame on the Dems!

28 05 2007

Another excellent commentary by Keith Olbermann. He lambasts the Democrats for not heading the message of the 2006 election!

Advertisements




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.”





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?!





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





PNAC: Architects of Disaster

19 04 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)





Former Iraqi Minister Blasts US Occupation

9 04 2007

Former trade, defense and finance minister Ali Allawi blasted the Bush Administration for its savagely incompetant handling of the occupation in Iraq in a newly published book. Allawi served in several ministries under the occupation government, and blames the US for turning Iraqis against them.

you can find the full story •HERE•.

An excerpt:

First came the “monumental ignorance” of those in Washington pushing for war in 2002 without “the faintest idea” of Iraq’s realities. “More perceptive people knew instinctively that the invasion of Iraq would open up the great fissures in Iraqi society,” he writes.

What followed was the “rank amateurism and swaggering arrogance” of the occupation, under L. Paul Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which took big steps with little consultation with Iraqis, steps Allawi and many others see as blunders:

—The Americans disbanded Iraq’s army, which Allawi said could have helped quell a rising insurgency in 2003. Instead, hundreds of thousands of demobilized, angry men became a recruiting pool for the resistance.

—Purging tens of thousands of members of toppled President Saddam Hussein’s Baath party—from government, school faculties and elsewhere—left Iraq short on experienced hands at a crucial time.

—An order consolidating decentralized bank accounts at the Finance Ministry bogged down operations of Iraq’s many state-owned enterprises.

—The CPA’s focus on private enterprise allowed the “commercial gangs” of Saddam’s day to monopolize business.

—Its free-trade policy allowed looted Iraqi capital equipment to be spirited away across borders.

—The CPA perpetuated Saddam’s fuel subsidies, selling gasoline at giveaway prices and draining the budget.

In his 2006 memoir of the occupation, Bremer wrote that senior U.S. generals wanted to recall elements of the old Iraqi army in 2003, but were rebuffed by the Bush administration. Bremer complained generally that his authority was undermined by Washington’s “micromanagement.”

Although Allawi, a cousin of Ayad Allawi, Iraq’s prime minister in is a member of a secularist Shiite Muslim political grouping, his well-researched book betrays little partisanship.

On U.S. reconstruction failures—in electricity, health care and other areas documented by Washington’s own auditors—Allawi writes that the Americans’ “insipid retelling of `success’ stories” merely hid “the huge black hole that lay underneath.”

This is, of course, further evidence of the total incompetence of the Bush Administration, and further evidence that George W. Bush is the worst president in United States history. Never in my life did I imagine a worse president, or a more dangerous and incompetent administration (not an easy pairing to achieve.)