American Samizdat

Friday, October 31, 2003. *
The remote-controlled D-9 bulldozer and a remote-control version of the Humvee, equipped with machine guns, were developed by the Israeli army and the Technion Institute of Technology. Both machines are U.S.-made, with Israeli modifications. They are expected to go into service in the next few weeks.



The gray, heavily armored machines, which stand as tall as a small house, already have turned hundreds of buildings into dusty rubble heaps and ancient olive groves into wastelands with their powerful shovel blades. Israeli commentator Nahum Barnea has called them "the terrifying beast of this war."

Ramadan Nawaf, 52, watched his house and groves of olives and oranges flattened by a D-9 four months ago, during a large-scale army raid of the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. "It was moving like a monster," said Nawaf. "It was very big and destroyed everything in front of it."
posted by New World at 7:06 PM
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The operation began before dawn with hundreds of U.S. troops and Iraqi police. They erected a fence of barbed wire, stretched over wooden poles, and laid spirals of razor wire around the village, a cluster of mud-and-brick homes set in orchards of pears and pomegranates about six miles south of Tikrit.

Checkpoints were set up at all roads leading into the village of about 3,500 residents, many of them Saddam's clansmen and distant relatives.

Also Friday, U.S. troops outside Baghdad battled Iraqi rioters when a dispute over a marketplace exploded into anti-American fury. Leaflets and rumored warnings called for a "day of resistance" Saturday at the start of a three-day general strike to protest U.S. occupation. Two Iraqis were killed, and 17 others and two U.S. soldiers were reported wounded at the marketplace clashes outside Baghdad.
posted by A.Q. at 6:41 PM
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Many people are unaware that the country of Israel supported US state terrorism during the tenure of Ronald Reagan just as Mr Bush supports the state terrorism of Israel now. Years go by and the players stay the same...
Is it anti-Semitic to point out Israel's state terrorism? Is it anti-Christian to point out the state terrorism of the US?
A video interview of Ms.Hanan Ashrawi who won the Sidney Peace Prize.

Dean and Clark: Peace Candidates?
posted by m at 1:31 PM
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Thursday, October 30, 2003. *
posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:37 PM
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posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:12 PM
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For years we have worked to end environmental destruction and human rights abuses in Brazil's Amazon rainforest. Destruction of these habitats threatens clean air and water, animal and plant species, and the people and cultures who depend on forests for their way of life. Large criminal enterprises, using bribery, extortion, slavery and murder, continue to ravage the Amazon and export their contraband.

Last year, two Greenpeace activists climbed aboard a ship carrying Amazon mahogany wood. They held a banner that said "President Bush: Stop Illegal Logging."

Instead of halting the shipment, the government is prosecuting Greenpeace in federal court in Miami. It has charged Greenpeace under an obscure 19th-century law never intended for this purpose. A trial is now set for December. [more]

With our tax dollars, Ashcroft fights his own fundamentalist wars on Tommy Chong, people who fight hard for clean air and water, and bare-breasted statues. Fundamentalist religion = the true enemy of the people.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:57 PM
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Democracy Now has an incredible piece posted concerning the truth about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. It features audio excerpts from the film "The Loss of Liberty" by Tito Howard.
A year old comment by attack survivor James Ennes.
A photographic account of the attack.
Extensive Realaudio clips of USS Liberty survivors in their own voices.
A comprehensive USS Liberty attack resource,. http://www.ussliberty.org//liberty.htm
Historian John Borne weighs in: The Attack of the USS Liberty.
posted by m at 11:29 AM
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The chief of the Israeli military harshly criticized his government's tough policy toward Palestinians, warning it could lead to desperation and a humanitarian crisis, Israeli media reported Wednesday.

The unusual public rift between the army chief and the defense minister reflects the frustration on both sides over the inability to bring three years of bloody conflict with the Palestinians to an end.
posted by Hanan Cohen at 3:46 AM
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Wednesday, October 29, 2003. *
posted by New World at 5:32 PM
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posted by New World at 5:30 PM
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A must-read post summarizing and linking to major news stories on who supplied bogus WMD 'intelligence' and why.
posted by A.Q. at 9:29 AM
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Tuesday, October 28, 2003. *
I’ve said all along that the recent strategies of the RIAA indicate there is a bigger ajenda at play than meets the eye. Is Australia the testing ground for the next level in the U.S? Is this just the tip of the iceberg? I don’t mean to sound conspiritorial… maybe I’m just being silly… hello? Is this mic on?

“Electronic Frontiers Australia today condemned the heavy-handed legal action instituted by several major music labels against the operator of an Australian website and his Internet Service Provider.

The website, www.mp3s4free.net [1], was alleged to contain MP3 audio files which infringe upon the copyrights of the record labels, but is in fact a collection of links to other websites on the Internet, and other MP3 files distributed by permission of the Copyright holders.

On Friday 17 October, lawyers acting for the music labels raided the house of Stephen Cooper, the operator of the website, and the offices of Mr Cooper's Internet Service Provider, who hosted the site. Anton Piller orders (similar to search warrants) authorising the raids permitted agents for the music labels to seize information including copies of the site itself, and logs of Internet users accessing the site.

"Now that their raids have failed to find any evidence that the website was directly distributing infringing MP3 files, the music industry has fallen back on allegations that merely linking to files on other websites, is in and of itself illegal. These claims are not supported by the Copyright Act, or by Australian case law. Using an Anton Piller order based on dubious evidence to launch an almost entirely speculative case in an untested area of law is typical of the heavy-handed bullying tactics employed by the music industry in similar cases overseas. The music labels have intentionally targeted a small Internet publisher and ISP who may not have the legal budget to mount an effective defence against these allegations."
"This case has major implications for freedom of speech on the Internet. Holding Internet publishers and hosting companies legally liable for the content of other sites that they link to threatens to chill the speech of all Internet users. This case should be of major concern to all Australian Internet users." “

full story>>
posted by Quantum at 1:58 PM
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Hilarious... yet disturbing. The archetypal representation of the new face of the RIAA comes to life...

Since appointing CEO Mitch Bainwol, a GOP lobbyist and former Chief Of Staff to U.S. senate majority leader Bill Frist on September 1, wonderers are wondering why the RIAA would chose a politician to run the show at this time. Couldn't be anything to do with their latest strategy of “RIAA agents” raiding independent record stores, who are already hanging on by their fingernails due to major labels raising wholesale prices on smaller orders. Huh? No questions asked and very little media coverage on this… where have we seen this before?

And their strategies this summer of hacking anti-RIAA sites, chopping up anti-RIAA statements to make them look pro-RIAA, all in the name of "artist's rights" have sent a message to industry insiders - you're either with us or against us. Funny thing is, they never went after bootleggers with so much vigor…

Me thinks the old guard is scrambling. Major labels (who formed and control the RIAA) have known about the internet since the early 90’s and chosen to ignore it. They are now playing catch up and trying to fit old analogue ideas into a new digital matrix. Rather than consult with a younger generation who understands the market in order to respond to changing climates, they bully individuals, which is made possible as a result of government contacts.

Bands like Phish, Aimee Mann and others have shown that they can make more money and have more control over their careers without a major label because of new cost-effective technologies as well as the internet. Labels have taken note. Major label artist contracts are draconian and everyone knows it – but hey, don’t look at that elephant in the corner. Look at grandma downloading The Last Waltz because she can’t figure out the complexities of official download sites – she’s the evil one! Geez!!


posted by Quantum at 11:09 AM
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The Israeli military has ordered thousands of Palestinians living near the steel and concrete "security fence" through the West Bank to obtain special permits to live in their own homes. Palestinian officials said the order breached a pledge by Israel to the UN security council a fortnight ago that the barrier would not change the legal status of those who live near it, and was another step towards the annexation of tens of thousands of hectares of Palestinian land.

The order said that only Israelis and Jews could enter the designated areas without a pass.

Michael Tarazi, a legal adviser to the Palestinian leadership, said: "It is just the latest step in Zionism's long-standing strategy of taking Palestinian land while ridding that land of the Palestinian population."
posted by A.Q. at 9:37 AM
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Sometimes when talking to people who are still under the effects of what passes for news reporting in America today, I find myself in a debate about whether or not we are now a fascist nation. I believe that we are, but shattering the comforting zombie-state the TV induces can be rough sometimes. I've found that this article provides good talking points to use in these discussions. I thought that everyone here might like it as well.
posted by JohnFen at 4:09 AM
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Monday, October 27, 2003. *
As noted on Left I on the News last Friday, there have now been more than 400 (on Friday it was exactly 400) "coalition" deaths in Iraq since the start of the invasion. Although hundreds of media stories referenced the milestone of "100 American deaths by hostile fire since George Bush declared major combat operations over on May 1" that was passed a week before, as far as I can tell, not a single news source took note of the passing of the 400 milestone.

From Left I on the News

posted by Left I on the News at 5:26 PM
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The Free Republic, before Saturday's demonstration:
"To counter the anti-war demonstrations, the Washington chapter of Free Republic, an independent grass-roots conservative group, planned a rally Saturday at the Capitol, where organizers expect about 1,000 people."
And the result, from the Washington Post:
"At a park a block west of the White House, about 50 people voiced support for the administration at a Free Republic rally."
From Left I on the News
posted by Left I on the News at 5:24 PM
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Q: How big is Islamic finance on a global scale?

A: Nobody has a good sense of the size of the Islamic financial market. We're in desperate need of accurate information. Idle information from conferences is all we have now. Finding data from some financial institutions is difficult. Dallah AlBaraka, which was one of two very early entrants in Islamic banking in the late 1970s and is headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, claims total assets are $230 billion and that it's growing at 15% per annum.

Q: What's the potential for growth, and what would drive this growth?

A: The assumption is that this can easily go to $1 trillion. [The reasoning] is that after September 11, with the petrodollars invested in the West and the crackdown on various charities, there has been a flight of those funds away from New York and London into the Islamic world. And if there is an Islamic money market, that's where those funds went. [To be the center of Islamic finance] is the prize for which Bahrain and Malaysia are contending.
posted by New World at 1:18 PM
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A former Navy attorney who helped lead the military investigation of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American servicemen says former President Lyndon Johnson and his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, ordered that the inquiry conclude the incident was an accident.

Boston was senior legal counsel to the Navy's original 1967 review of the attack. He said in the sworn statement that he stayed silent for years because he's a military man, and "when orders come ... I follow them."

He said he felt compelled to "share the truth" following the publication of a recent book, "The Liberty Incident," which concluded the attack was unintentional.
posted by A.Q. at 10:32 AM
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I just heard George the Lessor on the radio: "We will find these people." Yea, George, like you found Osama, Saddam, and the leaker (Rove) in your own administration, right? You know, I can imagine an all new charm people can recite when they want to disappear: "And may George Bush find me."

Hey everybody! Would you like to disappear and have nobody ever find you?! Then just repeat these words: "And may George Bush find me." And poof! You're gone! Just like magic! Try it now!

posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:01 AM
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They did it in 2000 and 2002, and if we don't stop them, they will also use the Diebold machines to steal the election in 2004.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:55 AM
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I view the continuing growth of corporate power and its despotic control of governments throughout the world, including our own, as a socio-economic disease.  While Mussolini and others named it "Fascism," I call it "Corporism" because that name better reveals its underlying institutional structure.  I would define Corporism as the domination of government and society by the emergence and power of the giant publicly-traded multinational corporations and financial institutions, organized in totalitarian hierarchies, which singly and in combinations buy or destroy their competitors, corrupt the politics of nations, and seize, hoard, and wield for themselves most of the wealth of the human race.

We must recognize that we do have this cancerous disease, what it is doing to us and the world we live in, how it came about historically, and how and why it continues to be generated and sustained now in our society.
posted by JohnFen at 2:32 AM
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Sunday, October 26, 2003. *
Is this supporting our troops?
posted by m at 5:39 PM
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Nazi influence on America's history. We didn't learn of this in school.
posted by m at 3:36 PM
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People are people. Transcending War.
posted by m at 11:22 AM
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posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:41 AM
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Unless you're in the military... At least it is not from DU.
The U.S. Military's War on the Earth.
Learn more about DU...
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bush-you sat out your generations immoral war, never learning as our troops ever have, just what war is.
posted by m at 2:43 AM
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I was shocked when Mr Gore lost the Florida election all those nights ago that chilly February. Greg Palast can tell you about how some of it happened. Blackbox voting can tell you more. Stop by Scoop to get insight.
Democracy?
The people know. The people think. The people decide.

Are we too comfortable, too domesticated to think, to act, to breathe life into our democracy?
posted by m at 12:00 AM
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Saturday, October 25, 2003. *
posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:43 PM
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While Mr. Kean said he was barred by an agreement with the White House from describing the Oval Office documents at issue in any detail — he said the White House was "quite nervous" about any public hint at their contents — other commission officials said they included the detailed daily intelligence reports that were provided to Mr. Bush in the weeks leading up to Sept. 11. The reports are known within the White House as the Presidential Daily Briefing.
posted by A.Q. at 9:22 PM
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Rush Limbaugh, Conservative hypocrite, should not be able to utter Jerry's name, much less get out of Jail time...
How about innocent Tommy Chong?
posted by m at 8:09 PM
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Outsourcing armaments parts to China.
At least some things make sense: "Administration Faces Supoenas From 9/11 Panel"
posted by m at 4:00 PM
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Take that, you nattering nabobs of negativity and effete intellectual snobs!
posted by madamjujujive at 9:42 AM
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I'm getting tired of people claiming they're carrying the banner of my religious tradition when they're doing everything possible to undercut it. And that's what's happening in this country right now. The policies of this country are disadvantaging poor people every day of our lives and every single thing that passes the Congress these days is disadvantaging poor people more..

Discussion on this article at metafilter.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:52 AM
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Friday, October 24, 2003. *
A binational state in the Middle East would require a brave and relentlessly engaged American leadership. The security of Jews and Arabs alike would need to be guaranteed by international force-though a legitimately constituted binational state would find it much easier policing militants of all kinds inside its borders than when they are free to infiltrate them from outside and can appeal to an angry, excluded constituency on both sides of the border. A binational state in the Middle East would require the emergence, among Jews and Arabs alike, of a new political class. The very idea is an unpromising mix of realism and utopia, hardly an auspicious place to begin. But the alternatives are far, far worse.

Related: The One-State Solution.
posted by New World at 2:49 PM
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Intriguing.
What does astrologer Eileen Nauman see about George Bush that "We the People" don't? According to her his Astrological indicators say his downfall will be long before the 2004 election; it will be on October 25th and maybe violent in nature. Yes, tomorrow.
You remember that Mr Bush was "elected" under the 00 curse; any President taking office in a 00 year has been assassinated, except Reagan, who did have an attempt on his life.
In the least she predicts that something HUGE may be revealed.
Please give the link a read, I cannot do it justice.
Are you ready for a severe condition (red) terror alert? Some folks call it martial law...
posted by m at 1:21 PM
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It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long hard slog.
--Donald Rumsfeld, leaked internal memo of October 16th

A long hard slog for the enlisted folks don't you mean, Mr Rumsfeld?
WTF are we doing occupying Iraq anyway?
He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq...
-- Colin Powell, Febuary 24 2001

To see more of the damning transcript (and watch the video) stop by The Memory Hole .
This is Important
The Memory Hole also links to a "Pentagon war story credibility briefing" by analyst Sam Gardiner that suggests the White House and Pentagon made up or distorted over 50 war stories, showing this attack to be an amazingly well thought out psy-op designed to buffalo the citizens of the US and UK. Please read this detailed multi-part .pdf file and circulate it to everyone you know. It is a very clear and undeniable step by step account and analysis of the machinations that misled the American people. It has been brought to light by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.
posted by m at 12:01 AM
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Thursday, October 23, 2003. *
Reilly sent a letter to Washington asking the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to consider impeaching President Bush.

Four days later, a sophisticated burglar pried moulding off a window at Emily's Good Things to Eat bakery, evaded a motion detector and stole an old computer hard drive and the hard-drive backup.

Then, on Sept. 17, Emily's Good Things To Eat bakery was visited by an agent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who introduced himself, showed his identification, and looked around. He asked if they used artificial coloring (heavens no!) or if they transported anything across the state lines (they've been known to mail cookie-grams).
posted by New World at 5:18 PM
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A former Navy attorney who helped lead the military investigation of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American servicemen says former President Lyndon Johnson and his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, ordered that the inquiry conclude the incident was an accident.

In a signed affidavit released at a Capitol Hill news conference, retired Capt. Ward Boston said Johnson and McNamara told those heading the Navy's inquiry to "conclude that the attack was a case of 'mistaken identity' despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary."

UPDATE: You can now watch a documentary about the USS Liberty, Dead in the Water Part I, online.
posted by New World at 5:17 PM
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Take Back Your Time Day is tomorrow October 24th. If time is money why are working folks paid so little? Are we working to live or living to work?
What sort of society do we live in when the employment and wage structures that cause us to subvert our lives to mere working existence have been dictated by the corporate interests that have bought and melded with every level of our government?
Edited for clarity
posted by m at 10:43 AM
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Wednesday, October 22, 2003. *
I'd like to offer you some tools to help you in your analysis of our present political predicament.
The thought of Erich Fromm offers insights into the authoritarian headset of folks like John Ashcroft and the GOP fundamentalists that wish to turn our society into a Republican/Corporate penal plantation, a sort of "bootcamp without walls". The sexual repression the Republican Right advocates serves it as a tool of political and social control. Neuropsychologist James W. Prescott illustrates this in his article "Body Pleasure and the Origin of Violence". Those of you familiar with Wilhelm Reich's work "The Mass Psychology of Fascism" are familiar with the connection between sexual repression and authoritarianism- both Fromm and Prescott bear his observations out. Mr Bush's impoverishment of our nation can now be seen to have a larger, longer lasting effect on what the future may hold for our children. Effects that play into the hands of the Republican Right.
John Taylor Gatto illustrates the corporate/authoritarian origins of schooling.
Corporatism, sexual repression, ignorance, poverty and violence- a few symptoms of "Conservative" governance.
Does the perspective offered by all these links fit your vision of what America should/will be?
Can we allow the GOP to create an environment ever more fertile for producing right wing neo-Fascists?
posted by m at 5:25 PM
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Since the end of the Vietnam War, presidents have worried that their military actions would lose support once the public glimpsed the remains of U.S. soldiers arriving at air bases in flag-draped caskets.

To this problem, the Bush administration has found a simple solution: It has ended the public dissemination of such images by banning news coverage and photography of dead soldiers' homecomings on all military bases.

In March, on the eve of the Iraq war, a directive arrived from the Pentagon at U.S. military bases. "There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein [Germany] airbase or Dover [Del.] base, to include interim stops," the Defense Department said, referring to the major ports for the returning remains.

A Pentagon spokeswoman said the military-wide policy actually dates from about November 2000 -- the last days of the Clinton administration -- but it apparently went unheeded and unenforced, as images of caskets returning from the Afghanistan war appeared on television broadcasts and in newspapers until early this year. Though Dover Air Force Base, which has the military's largest mortuary, has had restrictions for 12 years, others "may not have been familiar with the policy," the spokeswoman said. This year, "we've really tried to enforce it." [more]
posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:14 AM
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In an interview with AM, one of Israel's most decorated fighter pilots has condemned air strikes which hit innocent civilians as "immoral" and "unlawful".

Reserve Brigadier-General Yiftah Spector is the most senior of 27 Israeli airmen to sign a petition in which they say they no longer want to "obey illegal and immoral orders" or to take part in raids against populated civilians centers.

Our Middle East Correspondent, Mark Willacy, reports from Jerusalem.

(baby crying)

MARK WILLACY: A casualty of Israel's first missile strike, this two-year old Palestinian girl was hit in the head by shrapnel.

Also wounded in the F-16 attack were three other children and a 70-year old woman. [more]
posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:56 AM
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Monday, October 20, 2003. *
How conflicts between the Bush Administration and the intelligence community marred the reporting on Iraq’s weapons. By Seymour Hersh.
posted by New World at 8:44 PM
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Bandits have reportedly killed 100 people, displaced a further 15,000 and burned down 15 villages in west Sudan in a suspected conflict over environmental resources. Khalid Ballal, a member of the consultative council of the ruling National Congress Party, said on Monday the armed gang had robbed the villagers in the western Darfur region before setting their homes ablaze, the privately-owned Alwan reported.

"The locality of Jalingi was subjected to an attack by unknown persons on Thursday and Friday," the newspaper quoted Ballal as saying, referring to a predominantly African tribal area near the border with Chad. Rivalry between Arab cattle herders and African farming communities in Darfur is common and fuelled by competition over dwindling water resources and pastures caused by desertification.
posted by A.Q. at 3:41 PM
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Israeli warplanes and helicopters pounded Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday, killing 11 people, including eight in a refugee camp where a car was bombed. One missile exploded on a street crowded with schoolchildren, wounding four of them.
posted by A.Q. at 3:03 PM
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Sunday, October 19, 2003. *
WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 Several senior criminal prosecutors at the Justice Department and top F.B.I. officials have privately criticized Attorney General John Ashcroft for failing to recuse himself or appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the leak of a C.I.A. operative's identity.

The criticism reflects the first sign of dissension in the department and the F.B.I. as the inquiry nears a critical phase. The attorney general must decide whether to convene a grand jury, which could compel White House officials to testify.

The criminal justice officials, who spoke on the condition that they not be identified, represent a cross section of experienced criminal prosecutors and include political supporters of Mr. Ashcroft at the department's headquarters here and at United States attorneys' offices around the country.
posted by thistle at 8:42 PM
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IT'S NOT AS THOUGH Osama bin Laden gave a Jihad Award to Ariel Sharon, or Donald Rumsfeld gave his Good Pal Award to Condoleezza Rice. It's not even as though Dick Cheney gave his Favorite Foreigners Citation to the French.

But the news from College Station, Texas, this week -- that the First Father, former President George H.W. Bush, has given his own most treasured award to Senator Edward Kennedy -- is nearly as astonishing.

When it was announced (with amazingly little fanfare) that the pugnaciously anti-Iraq war Democrat Kennedy had been awarded the 2003 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service, so many jaws dropped all over Washington that usually voluble politicians were only heard swallowing their real thoughts.

Since the current President Bush veered away from the real war against terrorism in Afghanistan and went a'venturing in Iraq, much to his father's dismay, just about everybody close to Washington politics has known of the policy schism between father and son.
posted by thistle at 8:12 PM
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Saturday, October 18, 2003. *
"All text is verbatim from senior Bush Administration officials and advisers. In places, tenses have been changed for clarity."


posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:30 PM
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Thursday, October 16, 2003. *
On returning from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, a group of Senate Republicans said yesterday that the Bush administration deserves a lot more credit for successful reconstruction efforts in those war-torn nations.

Meanwhile, several Senate Democrats complained that they were denied access to a plane for a inspection tour of their own. [more]
posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:04 PM
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The federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks announced on Wednesday that it had issued its first subpoena, to the Federal Aviation Administration, after discovering that the agency had withheld a variety of tapes and documents that were "highly material to our inquiry."

The bipartisan commission also warned that it was considering subpoenas for material from other executive branch agencies and that the resulting delays could force it to extend its investigation beyond May, when it is supposed to complete its work.

The possibility of an extension is worrying to the Bush administration, since it could mean the public release of a potentially embarrassing report in the heat of next year's presidential campaign.
posted by A.Q. at 4:57 PM
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Another of the men named by the FBI as a hijacker in the suicide attacks on Washington and New York has turned up alive and well.

The identities of four of the 19 suspects accused of having carried out the attacks are now in doubt. [more]
posted by Dr. Menlo at 12:07 PM
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When Sally Baron's family wrote her obituary, they described a northern Wisconsin woman who raised six children and took care of her husband after he was crushed in a mining accident.

She had moved to Stoughton seven years ago to be closer to her children and was 71 when she died Monday after struggling to recuperate from heart surgery. Her family had come to the question of what might be a fitting tribute to her.

"My uncle asked if there was a cause," her youngest son, Pete Baron, said.

Almost in unison, what her children decided to include in the obituary was this: "Memorials in her honor can be made to any organization working for the removal of President Bush."

We're working on it, Sally. We're working on it.
posted by backspace at 1:08 AM
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Suicide
USA Today reports that 11 US soldiers and 3 Marines have killed themselves in the past seven months in Iraq. The Navy also is investigating one possible suicide. And about a dozen other Army deaths are under investigation and could include suicides.

This is higher than the "usual" rate army suicides, around 13 per 100,000 soldiers.

Most of the suicides have occurred since May 1, when major combat operations were declared over.

The army has already sent 478 soldiers home from Iraq for mental-health reasons.

The Guardian reported in April that, according to the Department of Defense, there have been 107 suicides among veterans of the first Gulf war -- almost five times higher than the official number of deaths in combat.
posted by backspace at 1:01 AM
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Wednesday, October 15, 2003. *
eye on amsam
Big thanks to new Samizdat harbingers: Bruce Wilson of this great page on global warming and Metafilter where he is known as “Troutfishing”, Jeremy Wells of Betacorpo.net, Madeleine Kane of MadKane.com, Weird Pixie of Ollapodrida, Bruce of The River, Benedict Spinoza of Benedict@Large and HyperSpaceGirl!

Thank you all!

In addition to thanking all of the new harbingers by name I would also like to start thanking all of the new blogs which permalink American Samizdat (who I also add to our Friends list on the lower right hand side): TomNadeau.com, Que Bola, I.D. FLUX, Left I on the News, information virus, weblog without a name, likesunday, irritant, Betacorpo.net, We Don't Agree, But, DiVERSiONZ, Free-Market.Net, The Left End of the Dial and MadKane.com!

Thank you all!

And in addition to announcing both new Samizdat harbingers and Samizdat permalinkers on the Samizdat, I also plan to duplicate that announcement on Sensual Liberation Army and Dr. Menlo Blogs from Space!

(Next: I need to update the sidebar and the blogrolling list, which will soon also go onto Peep Show Stories--sorry for the delay. Also, if I inadvertently left anyone out of the list of people who permalinks the Samizdat, please drop me a line and let me know--drmenlo (at) well.com . . . and, of course, also please let me know if you know of anyone interested in being a harbinger for the Samizdat . . . )

Thank you to all of the harbingers for your continuing excellent work!
posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:21 PM
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Barney Frank is without any question one of the most liberal members of Congress. He voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq, for example. But given that the invasion did take place, here's what he has to say now about the request for $87 billion more for war: "The president is justifiably seeking funds to replace the weapons and ammunition consumed in the war in Iraq."

What does Frank think these replacement weapons and ammunition are going to be used for? Surely he knows that the answer is for future invasions of Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and more, or at the very least for threatening invasions of those countries in order to force them to bend to the will of the world's superpower. Is this the kind of foreign policy that Frank wants to become an "enabler" for? Apparently so. Because if Frank votes today for buying more cruise missiles to replace the ones used to create "shock and awe" in Baghdad, surely he knows that tomorrow they'll be aimed at Damascus, Tehran, and Pyongyang.

From Left I on the News

posted by Left I on the News at 3:49 PM
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Recently on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart's guest Joe Scarborough was pushing the latest "the media doesn't report the 'good news' from Iraq" line. His big example - the latest Gallup poll of a thousand Iraqis (actually just Baghdad residents) claiming that 65% are happy the Americans are there. Well, that is good news. That only leaves 35% who are ready to shoot American soldiers if they get the chance!

The real story from Iraq is how the media does its best to lessen the impact of the bad news. Injuries in Iraq? Rarely, if ever, reported in any detail, or with any followup (see item just below). But even deaths are minimized. Yesterday three American soldiers died in Iraq in one day. In the San Jose Mercury News, though, the front page headline on the "Iraq story" reads "U.S. presses U.N. for help." Continued on page 11, there's a new headline, that still doesn't get it right - "2 U.S. soldiers die in attacks against U.S." Only be reading the entire article, and making it to paragraph 11, does the reader learn that actually a third soldier died as well, after stepping on a land mine. Evidently that falls in the same category as traffic accident or heart attack; it doesn't "count" as an "attack against the U.S." Why, I don't know. Was this land mine left there years before in some previous war? Or was it placed there the night before by Iraqi guerrillas who knew American soldiers would be coming that way? I wouldn't know (although the latter seems a lot more likely), but it seems that, for the American military and its scribe, the U.S. press, unless we know with absolute certainty that this was a deliberate attack, then we should assume it wasn't. Just an accident, folks, nothing to see here. Move right along. And in the meantime, the casual reader of the Mercury News thinks that only two American soldiers died yesterday, not three, and that things are going 50% better than they really are. The article also notes only two injured American troops, although other media reported eight injuries, just from the three incidents which also involved deaths. As has been noted before, injuries which occur in the absence of deaths are almost always completely unreported.

Do you think that if a policeman in your town were injured in an ambush, and lost a leg, that the story would go unreported? Do you think that if it happened every single day, that you would say "things were going well" in your town?

From Left I on the News

posted by Left I on the News at 3:47 PM
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The person responsible for analyzing the Iraqi weapons threat for Colin Powell says the Secretary of State misinformed Americans during his speech at the U.N. last winter.

Greg Thielmann tells Correspondent Scott Pelley that at the time of Powell’s speech, Iraq didn’t pose an imminent threat to anyone – not even its own neighbors. “…I think my conclusion [about Powell’s speech] now is that it’s probably one of the low points in his long distinguished service to the nation,” says Thielmann. Pelley’s report will be broadcast on 60 Minutes II, Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
posted by A.Q. at 10:03 AM
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The title quote is from Ann Coulter and was disgorged while she was being interviewed by Bill O'Reilly, who softballs the interview in a way that would put Terry Gross to shame. One could read the interview and say he's criticizing Coulter for being too over-the-top, but you'll notice he never contradicts any of her essential points.

The best pitchfork I've seen taken to her distended tome Treason can be found here, in an article by Michael Abernathy for PopMatters. Abernathy calmly dissects some of the more egregious lies and hypocritical utterances that waft from that book.

On the topic of confused pundits, be sure to listen to Le Show this week, especially Rush to Recovery.
posted by thistle at 6:08 AM
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Tuesday, October 14, 2003. *
The International Committee of the Red Cross said the Israeli military's actions have left more than 1,200 people homeless, many of whom fled with only the clothing they wore. On Tuesday, more people abandoned houses they feared would collapse because of cracks developing in their walls and foundations.

"We awoke to the sound of bulldozers in front of our house," said Jihad Moghir, 30, who was sleeping Tuesday under a green plastic sheet pitched over wreckage that was once his home. "The kids were terrified. We escaped through a window. What the Israeli forces did here was inhuman."

International human rights and aid organizations condemned Israel for the operation. "The repeated practice by the Israeli army of deliberate and wanton destruction of homes and civilian property . . . constitutes a war crime," Amnesty International said in a statement Tuesday.
posted by A.Q. at 8:58 PM
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"For Pete's sake, why should Israel care about America's problems?"
This next piece is from an Israeli blog, written by a journalist named Rechavia Berman. Berman talks about many of the same issues discussed in these pages, and being a native New Yorker, specializes in matters American. In his latest installment, after discussing the latest depressing news from Mesopotamia (the fake letters, the palm trees, the fiasco in waiting with the Turkish troops), he puts matters in perspective for his audience:

"But Rechavia, for Pete's sake, why should we care about America's problems?" I hear that from time to time, so I guess an explanation is due. Besides the whole strategic vacuum on our eastern front, that will ensue following the eventual American departure, there is a very simple reason for us Israelis to be worried about the American failure in Iraq.

When the war just began, the rationale, excuse and causus belli was that Saddam is dangerous, because he has WMD. After this was found to be false, the tune was changed and now the war was justified because Saddam was a terrible dictator who committed terrible crimes against his people. After this excuse stops convincing anyone, say after the US army gets dragged unwittingly into some massacre of ciivlians, or after it becomes totally clear that the administration doesn't give a good goddamn about democracy in Iraq - how long do you think it will take before the president or someone close to him, in an attempt to buy the Jewish vote, claims (falsely of course) that "We had to invade Iraq in order to defend Israel"? I give it nine months. And if you don't think that's bad for Jews everywhere, take a moment and think again.
posted by Hanan Cohen at 2:52 PM
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ADVENTURES IN IMAGERY
Stunningly funny Batman/Plamegate cartoon by Tom Tomorrow. And a no prize for anyone who catches the Doc Menlo swipe against Instapundit's confusion about this complicated issue...



posted by Philip Shropshire at 7:16 AM
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Ever since Tate Engstrand linked to the below article detailing the bulldozing of date palm groves by U.S. forces, I have been checking Fanboy Kilander's Hitchens shrine to see if the boozy old lout revisited his April 4 piece, "WE MUST SHUN WEAPONS THAT WILL SHAME US" in response. I guess those pressing engagements at the Wednesday Morning Club have thusfar prevented him from getting around to it.

From that piece:
When the dust eventually settles and the yells of the jihad demagogues die down a bit, it will be important to state with confidence that nothing was done which could shame the average volunteer soldier, even in the face of disgusting provocation. This will define a new sort of warfare, at once remorseless but discriminating, so it will be worth every effort to make and to enforce the crucial distinction.
As any of the poor volunteer soldiers fighting Hitchens' Glorious War can tell you, the dust is far from settled. As the article linked to by Engstrand shows, savagery of the exercise in collective punishment caused one American soldier broke down and cried during the operation. He has our sympathy. Hitchens meanwhile has nothing but our complete revulsion.
posted by Grady at 7:03 AM
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Monday, October 13, 2003. *
Dubya, today:

Dubya, November 2002:

Dubya's "favorite philosopher," circa 30:

For other photo-op funniness, recall the display at Mt. Rushmore.
posted by Bill at 3:27 PM
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The actor-turned-politician made little mention of his plan to reduce state regulation of energy markets during the recall race, devoting his time instead to bashing Gov. Gray Davis for saddling the state with expensive long-term contracts for power.

Schwarzenegger's energy strategy is being driven by some of the same members of former Gov. Pete Wilson's team who led the push for energy deregulation in the mid-1990s. The governor-elect, for example, picked for his transition team Jessie Knight, a former Wilson appointee to the Public Utilities Commission and a leading proponent of deregulation.

Consumer groups already are warning that the proposals made by Schwarzenegger during the campaign would expose electricity users to greater fluctuations in prices while limiting state oversight of power trading -- a combination that could allow the type of market manipulation that plagued California during the state's energy crisis in 2000-01.
posted by New World at 1:59 PM
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US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.

...

"They made a sort of joke against us by playing jazz music while they were cutting down the trees," said one man. Ambushes of US troops have taken place around Dhuluaya. But Sheikh Hussein Ali Saleh al-Jabouri, a member of a delegation that went to the nearby US base to ask for compensation for the loss of the fruit trees, said American officers described what had happened as "a punishment of local people because 'you know who is in the resistance and do not tell us'." What the Israelis had done by way of collective punishment of Palestinians was now happening in Iraq, Sheikh Hussein added.

...

The children of one woman who owned some fruit trees lay down in front of a bulldozer but were dragged away, according to eyewitnesses who did not want to give their names. They said that one American soldier broke down and cried during the operation. When a reporter from the newspaper Iraq Today attempted to take a photograph of the bulldozers at work a soldier grabbed his camera and tried to smash it. The same paper quotes Lt Col Springman, a US commander in the region, as saying: "We asked the farmers several times to stop the attacks, or to tell us who was responsible, but the farmers didn't tell us."

...

Asked how much his lost orchard was worth, Nusayef Jassim said in a distraught voice: "It is as if someone cut off my hands and you asked me how much my hands were worth."


Hearts and minds. Hearts and minds. Hearts and minds.

So now we have ordinary Iraqis comparing their situation to that of the Palestinians. Way to humiliate people and destroy their livelihoods, US Army. Maybe we could, I don't know, torch a few villages next. Or bulldoze a few homes.

More at Baghdad Burning

via Steve Gilliard
posted by thistle at 8:18 AM
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Alarmed by the number of suicides among soldiers in Iraq, the Army has asked a team of doctors to determine whether the stress of combat and long deployments is contributing to the deaths.

"The number of suicides has caused the Army to be concerned," said Lt. Col. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, a psychiatrist at the Army's Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. Ritchie is helping to investigate the suicides in Iraq. "Is there something different going on in Iraq that we really need to pay attention to?"

In the past seven months, at least 11 soldiers and three Marines have committed suicide in Iraq, military officials say. That is an annual rate of 17 per 100,000. The Navy also is investigating one possible suicide. And about a dozen other Army deaths are under investigation and could include suicides. [more]

posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:09 AM
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Saturday, October 11, 2003. *
In a shocking announcement, Rush Limbaugh admitted that he is addicted to government issue pills that cause him to be an arrogant, racist, truth-distorting, lying, hate-spewing shill for the state. He then checked himself into a rehab center to be de-programmed. Thousands of his loyal sheep bahhhhed, crushed their beer cans over their heads, cursed the wretched liberal media, cited a vast left-wing conspiracy, rubbed their Ann Coulter posters and turned over to the Fox Network for validation of their moral superiority.

President Bush praised Mr. Limbaugh for avoiding the military and leading the propaganda machine. ‘You know we live in a great country. A very forgiving country. A country that loves to see ignorant, arrogant, talentless, overrated, scrupleless, silver-spooned white men succeed. Look at me and my buddies! Anybody can succeed. Anybody can become president or CEO or mouth of the airwaves! It’s the greatest country in the world. We love you, Rush!’

Sean Hannity said: ‘Rush is an honorable man. It takes a lot of guts to admit you’ve made a mistake. You know we’re only human. We’re not gods.’

Bill O’Reilly replied: ‘Speak for yourself, Sean. I most certainly am. We don’t need no stupid pills to know the absolute truth. I’ve known the absolute truth since I was 7 years old. Just give me a Bible, a flag, a shotgun and an illegal maid…ummm…scratch that last remark.’

Neal Boortz bent over and replied: ‘Whatever Sean said. He has a bigger market.’

After several obscure references to ancient Roman masturbation techniques, Dennis Miller said: ‘I’ve tried those non-government issued drugs. All they did was make me wanna get laid and speak longingly of world peace. Kid’s stuff! Especially compared to this stuff Rush is taking. Man, now that’s good shit. Give me a good power trip any day!’

The recently jailed Tommy Chong replied: ‘Fuck. Looks like I’ve been taking the wrong shit.’






posted by rays at 4:52 PM
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The Bush administration is proposing far-reaching changes to conservation policies that would allow hunters, circuses and the pet industry to kill, capture and import animals on the brink of extinction in other countries.

Giving Americans access to endangered animals, officials said, would feed the gigantic U.S. demand for live animals, skins, parts and trophies, and generate profits that would allow poor nations to pay for conservation of the remaining animals and their habitat. [more]
posted by Dr. Menlo at 12:23 PM
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Now that the U.S. government's chief weapons inspector in Iraq has, in effect, confirmed an obvious truth -- that President George W. Bush and his closest advisers promoted a non-existent nuclear and chemical weapons threat from Iraq to justify a war -- an obvious question presents itself: Why aren't Americans talking seriously about impeachment?

After all, Mr. Bush now stands plausibly accused of the lofty crime of subverting the Constitution of the United States -- that is, lying to Congress about an imminent danger to the American people in order to collect enough votes to authorize his corporate/imperial project in Iraq. Yet, outside of a few brave remarks from Senator Robert Graham, and the considered opinion of Watergate stool pigeon John W. Dean, almost nobody dares speak the "I" word...[more]
posted by Bill at 8:35 AM
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Letters from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country as U.S. public opinion on the mission sours.

And all the letters are the same.

A Gannett News Service search found identical letters from different soldiers with the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, also known as "The Rock," in 11 newspapers, including Snohomish, Wash.

...The five-paragraph letter talks about the soldiers' efforts to re-establish police and fire departments, and build water and sewer plants in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, where the unit is based.

"The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored, and we are a large part of why that has happened," the letter reads.

It describes people waving at passing troops and children running up to shake their hands and say thank you.

It's not clear who wrote the letter or organized sending it to soldiers' hometown papers.
More on the story over at Counterspin Central. You can get a glimpse of a few of the letters by Googling up the phrase "I have been serving in Iraq for over five months now."
posted by Bill at 8:30 AM
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Friday, October 10, 2003. *
My writings here on the past may seem as though I'm anti-Israel (at least that's what some Israelis who have written to me tell me), but in reality, I actually hold Israel in high esteem as a state. It's just that I expect more from them than I do from their neighbors because they have an educated populace and live in a liberal democracy.

The book confirms that Israel's basic level of decency as a nation far exceeds that of its enemies, a fact that escapes partisans against Israel. The Israeli government and individual citizens of Israel have committed barbaric and cruel acts, but they treat their enemies (and friends) with far more respect than do their Arab neighbors. Based on my reading of the book, Israel's greatest sin at the time was a desire for territorial expansion. The great sin of the Arabs was being driven by a perverse hatred of Jews and Israel.
posted by Hanan Cohen at 12:24 AM
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Thursday, October 09, 2003. *
A sort of mini-index of war profiteers. Again, for an online magazine Salon leaves something to be desired in the "creating resources that actually utilize the web" department, but the information is good.

The also discuss New Bridge Strategies, a company whose founding was met with some fanfare recently:

Late in September, the Washington newspaper The Hill reported that some of the president's closest political allies had created a new firm, New Bridge Strategies, whose main goal is to help corporations "evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the U.S.-led war in Iraq." The company, which is headed by Joe Allbaugh, Bush's chief of staff in Texas and his campaign manager in 2000, was not exactly hard to find -- it has a Web site that boasts of its intimate ties to government officials: "New Bridge Strategies principals have years of public policy experience," the site says. The company's directors "have held positions in the Reagan Administration and both Bush Administrations and are particularly well suited to working with international agencies in the executive branch, Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the American rebuilding apparatus and establishing early links to Congress." Other New Bridge partners include Ed Rogers, vice chairman of the lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers, and a close political aide to George H.W. Bush; and Lanny Griffith, also at Barbour Griffith, who served in several positions in Bush senior's White House, including as Southern political director in the 1988 campaign.

I find the honesty with which these guys are exploiting bloodshed and bandying about their crony connections to be refreshing, though it is does elicit the rather rare urge to see Dwight Eisenhower come back to life and kick some Miltary Insustrial Complex ass.
posted by Patton at 11:44 AM
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As the White House launches its latest PR blitz to convince Americans that all is going well in Iraq -- no matter what the media say -- along comes "Frontline" to spoil things. PBS's eminent investigative series kicks off its new season tonight with a devastating documentary on how the Bush administration sold the war and got rid of Saddam Hussein (well, almost) but seems to have overlooked the need for a plan after declaring victory.

"Truth, War and Consequences" (check local listings) paints administration officials as dissemblers as well as arrogant conquerors who paid no heed to warnings about the collapse of security after the Iraq war. Whatever your politics and opinions about the war, this documentary is must viewing for those who seek to understand why the early scenes of liberation have given way to nearly daily reports of attacks against occupying troops.

The 90-minute program, reported by Martin Smith, essentially concludes this was a war in search of a reason. The terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, delivered one. In Smith's telling, a secretive unit in the Pentagon slanted the intelligence on Hussein's alleged weapons of destruction, relying on less-than-objective reports from Ahmed Chalabi's exile group, the Iraqi National Congress, which has been agitating to overthrow Hussein's government for more than a decade.
posted by Bill at 4:10 AM
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Wednesday, October 08, 2003. *
A billion here, a billion there. Pretty soon it starts to add up to some real money. $87 billion is an impossibly high number for anyone to visualize. Let's have a look....
posted by madamjujujive at 5:11 PM
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What is History?
"Columbus Day" is coming up. Ol' Christopher did a lot more in 1492 than "sail the oceans blue". Read an account by noted historian Howard Zinn of Columbus. A story not often told of slaves gold and genocide.
Who " decides just "what is" history?
posted by m at 12:18 PM
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A babysitter for the family of Marvin Bush was found dead Monday night outside the family's Fairfax County home, and police said that she had been crushed when her car rolled into her, pinning her between the vehicle and an outbuilding on the property.

[ . . . ]

The vehicle had been in gear, police said, and appeared to have rolled in her direction when Champagne was in front of it. [more]


Christine?
posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:14 AM
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George W. Bush's grandfather helped finance the Nazi Party. Karl Rove's grandfather allegedly helped run the Nazi Party, and helped build the Birkenau Death Camp. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Austrian father volunteered for the infamous Nazi SA and became a ranking officer.

Together, they have destabilized California and are on the brink of bringing it a new Reich. With the Schwarzenegger candidacy they have laid siege to America's largest state, lining it up for the 2004 election. [more]


via NWD
posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:57 AM
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posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:53 AM
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Tuesday, October 07, 2003. *


Large sections of Baghdad were in turmoil. There was an explosion inside the Foreign Ministry compound about a half mile from the confrontation outside the U.S.-led occupation headquarters. Across the city, U.S. solders were met with a demonstration by Shiite Muslims after closing a mosque and allegedly arresting the imam. Late in the afternoon, U.S. troops fired concussion grenades and shots in the air to disperse the crowd, which grew by the hour.

By nightfall, an estimated 200 American troops backed by helicopters and at least six M1A2 tanks had sealed off the area, and more Americans and Iraqi protesters converged on the scene. As the midnight curfew approached, however, the standoff eased, with the Americans pulling back most of their forces. Shortly afterward, the protesters began leaving the area, too.

L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator for Iraq (news - web sites), said the trouble in the capital did not reflect a turn for the worse.

"The situation is certainly not getting worse, that is nonsense"

posted by A.Q. at 8:15 PM
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Dana Millbank's piece from today's Post has me wondering exactly where one draws the line between two events being analogous or being part of pattern:

Let's review: Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak gets a leak of classified information from foreign-policy hardliners. The column he writes causes a huge embarrassment for the Republican White House and moderates throughout the administration. Capitol Hill erupts with protests about the leak.

Sound familiar? Actually, this occurred in December 1975. Novak, with his late partner Rowland Evans, got the classified leak -- that President Gerald R. Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger were ready to make concessions to the Soviet Union to save the SALT II treaty. Donald H. Rumsfeld, then, as now, the secretary of defense, intervened to block Kissinger.

The main leak suspect: Richard Perle, then an influential aide to Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson (D-Wash.) and now a member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board and a confidant of neoconservatives in the Bush administration. The account was described in a 1977 article in The Washington Post, noting Perle's "special access" to Evans and Novak.


Millbank does go on to note that there is nothing to suggest that Perle is connected to the current leak fiasco, but we can be sure that a couple of his homeboys are.
posted by Patton at 12:18 PM
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Read some excerpts from John Wilson's 2001 book.
posted by Bill at 9:08 AM
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Monday, October 06, 2003. *
Sunday, October 05, 2003. *
Asked by reporters if he still believes weapons of mass destruction will be found, Donald Rumsfeld said: "It's not clear that it [the pre-war "intelligence"] was off by a little bit, or a mile, at this stage. If it is off by a lot, that will be unfortunate and then we'll know that."

Yeah, it will be real "unfortunate" for the tens of thousands of Iraqis who lost their lives, along with hundreds of U.S. and British soldiers, not to mention the thousands of soldiers and Iraqis who have lost eyes, legs, or arms. It's "unfortunate" if I'm trying to get a letter in the mail and I miss the postman. When tens of thousands of people are killed or maimed, it's a tragedy of major proportions. And that tragedy will be further compounded if, as is likely, Rumsfeld and his ilk get off scot-free from a tragedy which was entirely of their making.

And by the way, does anyone believe it is remotely possible that the pre-war claims were just off by "a little bit"? How would that be possible, exactly?

Left I on the News

posted by Left I on the News at 8:59 PM
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Bush says he needs $600 million to continue the search for "WMD." There are no WMD in Iraq (and haven't been for years), and even if some minute traces are found, Bush himself has already admitted that (can't find the exact quote) the U.S. is no longer threatened (as if we ever were) by these WMD since Saddam Hussein is no longer in power in Iraq. And, even if there were "active WMD programs" in Iraq on the day before the invasion, those programs no longer threaten the U.S. for the same reason. So what is the purpose of continuing the search? The real reason, of course, is to postpone the full admission of the truth until after the next election. But since Bush can't admit that, the only other reason must be to provide post-facto "vindication" (at least in Bush's eyes) of Bush's decision to invade. But that's strictly a political question, not a question of national security. The only reason to provide such a "vindication" is to ensure Bush's reelection. Therefore, the conclusion is obvious - the money for continuing the search for WMD in Iraq should come from George Bush's re-election campaign funds, and not from the American taxpayers.

From Left I on the News


posted by Left I on the News at 8:56 PM
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Roses are red
Violets are blue
Oh my, lump in the bed
How I've missed you.
Roses are redder
Bluer am I
Seeing you kissed by that charming French guy.
The dogs and the cat, they missed you too
Barney's still mad you dropped him, he ate your shoe
The distance, my dear, has been such a barrier
Next time you want an adventure, just land on a carrier.
posted by New World at 8:31 PM
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Titties And Asses
A candidate named Arnold said please
I've gropped some it's true I'm a tease
Herr Hitler I admire
It's he lights my fire
Not the titties and asses I squeeze
posted by Norm at 8:26 PM
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"At least 19 people were killed and 45 wounded when a woman suicide bomber blew herself up in a restaurant in the northern city of Haifa at around 2:15 P.M. on Saturday. Among the dozens of injured people who are still in hospital, five are reported to be in serious condition."

Haifa is a city where Jews and Arabs live peacefully with each other. The Maxim restaurant is co-owned by a Jew and and Arab. Among the murdered, one can clearly identify names of non-Jews. Matanes Karachbi, one of the murdered, was the scurity guard of the restaurant. A whole family, Zer-Aviv, was wiped out in a single moment. Here are the names of those who were murdered when enjoing themselves over lunch in a sunny Sutarday.

Irena Sofrin, Kiryat Bialik
Nir Regev, 25, Netanya
Bruria Zer-Aviv, 49, Kibbutz Yagur
Bezalel Zer-Aviv, 30, , Kibbutz Yagur
Keren, Zer-Aviv 29, Kibbutz Yagur
Liran Zer-Aviv, 4, Kibbutz Yagur
Noya Zer-Aviv, 14 months, Kibbutz Yagur
Mark Biano, 30, Hafia
Naomi Biano; 30, Haifa
Osama Najar, 28, Haifa
Matanes Karachbi, Haifa
Sherbel Matar, 23, Fassouta
Hana Francis, 39, Fassouta
Ze’ev Almog, 71, Haifa
Ruth Almog, 70, Haifa
Moshe Almog, 43, Haifa
Tomer Almog, 9, Haifa
Asaf Staier, 11, Haifa
Zvi Bahat, Haifa

Let the web remember them and let them all rest in Peace.
posted by Hanan Cohen at 4:04 AM
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Saturday, October 04, 2003. *
And if you don't believe in global warming you might as well black out your teeth now and lay out your first downpayment on the entire Jeff Foxworthy encyclopedia set. (Cliff Notes not included.)
posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:41 PM
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Even though "economy" and "ecology" come from the same Greek root - "oikos," or "house" - reconciling the marketplace and nature has never been easy.

One measures things in dollars and cents. The other sees the world more intangibly, sometimes ineffably.

For this reason, it's always been an uphill fight for environmentalists arguing to protect the landscape, save an obscure species from extinction, or clean up the air and water. Opponents are quick to rebut with bottom-line statistics about jobs lost and productivity harmed.

It came as a surprise, therefore, when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently declared that environmental regulations are good for the economy. [more]


How did this one manage to get past the ruthlessly anti-clean air and water White House censors? Oh yea, they musta had other things on their mind. You see? When the evil henchmen currently running this country don't stop it, the US government can actually do something good for the people. The US government is full of a lot of great and talented and truly compassionate people, folks. I know, I used to work there myself. My father dedicated his whole life to it, as did his wife; my mother spent some time there, as did her third husband, her mother and father, too (after he came back from WWII--had been in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed). So in this case, the OMB in announcing that a clean environment was better for the economy seemed to get it right. We should applaud them for it.

Unless, of course, it isn't what it seems.

Anyway, this is a fascinating topic for me--the merging of a fervently pro-environmental stance with a pro-robust economy is a real intellectual growth area coming up: calling healthy minds . . .
posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:08 PM
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One of dozens of similar incidents has led to an indictment of an Israeli army officer who ordered tanks to fire large-calibre ammunitions at unarmed Palestinian civilians, resulting in the deaths of 4 people, three of them children. Five were wounded seriously, including three children and a local doctor.

While such incidents are common, it is rare for charges to be brought, and rarer still for a conviction. Thanks to the hard work of Israeli human rights group Btselem, the case will go forward. Media coverage of the case in Israel has been minimal, but is growing. In related news, Israeli police have arrested two Israeli human-rights workers in the West Bank town of Abu Dis.
posted by A.Q. at 5:44 AM
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Norman Finkelstein's criticisms of Alan Dershowitz's new book, The Case For Israel, are mentioned here and here on this blog.

The controversy has since popped up in the Harvard Crimson, the Boston Globe, The Nation, and the Jewish weekly Forward. Finkelstein is tracking the media reports as they appear on his website.
posted by Bill at 2:14 AM
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Friday, October 03, 2003. *
Secrecy
A couple of sources that document the reign of secrecy exercised by the present administration. For instance, do you remember the Cheney Energy Task Force? Cheney fought the records of this groups meetings being released. Does the title “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts" ring a bell? They also showdetailed maps of Iraq's gas and oil infrastructure, energy related projects and the like. These now released papers are from March 2001. Yes, pre-9/11.
posted by m at 7:30 PM
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posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:44 AM
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Thursday, October 02, 2003. *
Had Enough?

I just saw this cover tonite and it made me laugh--brilliant.

You know, I have no doubt that all the Anti-Bushies will coalesce behind the most winnable (not perfect, not a savior, just most winnable) Democratic candidate next year and kick Bush's ass. No doubt, that is, so long as there is a free and fair election.

And then this new coalition which worked together to beat Bush will make damn sure that no new group of crazy-ass, religious-fundamentalist power-hungry whack-jobs will ever try to take over the world again.

Well, they can try.

Regime Change 2004: Saving the World Starts Here

(yo, DNC, here's an ad idea: show Bush saying "We have to find the leakers" footage, then goto black screen and white letters and voiceover saying: "Remind you of anyone?" then goto footage of OJ: "I'm going to find the killer!" then say, "In fact, Bush had two months to find the leaker--instead, he did nothing." etc.)

posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:00 PM
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Rush, it seems you are retaining your ignorant attitude. So be it, privilege breeds arrogance. Your pilodnil cyst was a ticket out of 'Nam, who is going to get your ass out of this one? Your rich white promoters I suppose.
So walk your talk. About the tolerant cellie, unless he is a Deaf punk the odds don't look good for ya.
White males: 649 per 100,000
Hispanic males: 1,740 per 100,000
Black males: 4,810 per 100,000

The Lord works in mysterious ways...

My apologies for sounding like Rush or Coulter or thier ilk above.
Venting, I grabbed at the very fundamentalist BS I abhore to make a point. My bad.
Will Rush go to jail for his drug habit? Probably not though his own ranting says he should take full responsibility for his choices. A regular person would have to bear the full weight of "justice". George Bush can go AWOL and become (unelected) President. How many pardoned felons have you met in your daily life. How many earn tax payer dollars in the White House? You see my point.
Law is different for the majority of us, the "little people" without cash, connections, influence. Without a protective power structure.
"We the People"...
edited for content and clarity
posted by m at 3:50 PM
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Funny how life works out, hey?
Hey, he is an lying, obnoxious, loudmouthed idiot who poisons the minds of listeners with a cocktail of ignorant homophobia and misogyny and just plain hate but I still wouldn't wish his, if this story is true, obvious opiate addiction on him. At least not in our punitive Puritan-esque society. Rush, let this episode in your life trigger an epiphany, go on over to PrisonSucks.com , read about the crime control industry in America and spread what you learn. You have the ear of millions, Rush, turn them on to the fact we need a common sense drug policy too. After years of being a BS shill for the powers that be this can be your saving grace. Speaking of grace- here's to praying you get a tolerant cellie...
posted by m at 4:10 AM
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Wednesday, October 01, 2003. *
Froggy in the Middle
The Valerie Plame affair is a test of the left hypothesis that Karl Rove is the administration's center of gravity. From a political perspective, if Rove truly is Bush's brain, and he truly is responsible for the leaks from the White House, then Bush's culpability in the scandal is irrelevant. Take Rove out of the picture, and Bush--much of the administration, in fact--simply will not perform politically like they have for the last 35 months. Take Rove out of the picture, and Bush will find 2004 much more difficult.

Open Source Politics has a good round-up of the day's events.
posted by thistle at 11:49 PM
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Stop over to Orcinus. His "Bush, the Nazis and America":
Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 as well as "Rush, Newspeak and Fascism: An Exegesis" are really important, as is his latest piece, "The Conserva-Traitors' Hall of Shame"(scroll down," Onward Christian Soldiers" is an amazing piece as well) Remember that maxim "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned repeat it."? There is a historical context for what is occuring in present day America.
posted by m at 11:44 AM
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Bush is a Liar. We all can see it daily. Wear a tinfoil ribbon if you'd like to say it loud and proud... or sport a tinfoil beanie. Truth is in fashion this season...
posted by m at 9:21 AM
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Creating more "facts on the ground" with the separation barrier
Human Rights Watch and the United Nations have both come out with strongly worded statements challenging the separation barrier being built by Israel in and along the West Bank.

HRW charges that "the barrier's path and operating arrangements violate the freedom of movement of Palestinians, endangering their access to food, water, education, and medical services. With every mile the barrier cuts into the West Bank, towns, villages, and residents become separated from their lands, crops, services, water, and jobs."

The criticism from the UN comes in the form of a scathing report by John Dugard, the UN's Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.

"Like the settlements it seeks to protect," the report argues, "the Wall is manifestly intended to create facts on the ground. It may lack an act of annexation, as occurred in the case of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. But its effect is the same: annexation. Annexation of this kind goes by another name in international law - conquest."
posted by Bill at 3:22 AM
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