The situation was new, unheard of, incredible; they could not understand it, they did not know how to take hold of it, it approximately paralyzed speech

Unless one has taken the pledge of fildelity and loyality to the Cult of Bush its difficult to deny that other then irresponsible tax cuts that favored the wealthiest Americans that its been one colossal failure after another, both in terms of policy and in terms of competence. How’s Bush doing on national security, the last I heard D was not a passing grade. Even the former members of the 9-11 Commission – issued a “report card” that included 5 F’s, 12 D’s and two “incompletes” in categories including airline passenger screening and improving first responders’ communication system.. Bush doesn’t score much higher on other aspects of presidential leadership, failing in fiscal management. The response to Katrina or the follow-up. Medicare has become a program more responsive to corporate interests then those of the elderly. While many of us had problems with the specifics of how Bush went into Afghanistan, the initial results included the toppling of the Taliban and putting Al Queda on the run, yet with victory within reach, including the killing or capture of Osama Bin Laden, Bush minimized what had been a prority and shifted resources to Iraq. Even those that supported full scale military intervention in Iraq know that Saddam could have been put on the back burner while we finished the job in Afghanistan. Whatever danger Iraq posed, the simple fact is we controlled the airspace over Iraq for ten years without a single fatality. While the events in Iran can be spun as unintended consequences, they can also be seen as a consequence of blind hubris on the part of the administration. Iran had a growing moderate faction which was defeated in their elections because Iranian extremists did exactly what Bush did at home, used fear as an electorial hammer. Bush actually did the Iranian extremists work for them in the election by discouraging moderates from voting. While Bush has squandered American tax dollars on Iranian election manipulation, 50 million Americans are trying to survive without health insurance. And no,emergency room visits are not an alternative. We have some environmental problems, so who else does Bush turn to but a novelist who’s rabid pronostications on global warming won a Journalism Award from the Association of Petroleum Geologists. Where is Bush’s health care policy, where is his environmental policy, where is his energy policy, where is the fiscal responsibility?

Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald are trying to get the netroots organized and taking action on the NSA scandal.

Anyway, the upshot — several GOP are in critical positions with regard to these investigations, and they are also extremely susceptible to pressure in their own back yards right now. Since GOP Senators tend to be from small or even single-market states it is much easier to target them through, say, LTEs and local radio talk shows than it would be with someone from a state with a much larger population. What we’d like to do is organize people from these states who know the media outlets in their areas the best (as well as local blogs, as both Kos and Atrios noted this morning) and work with them to put pressure on these people over specific issues since blogs like FDL, Crooks & Liars, Glenn Greenwald and others can drive traffic and make these efforts more impactful.

update: Dubai company set to run U.S. ports has ties to administration

The Dubai firm that won Bush administration backing to run six U.S. ports has at least two ties to the White House.

One is Treasury Secretary John Snow, whose department heads the federal panel that signed off on the $6.8 billion sale of an English company to government-owned Dubai Ports World – giving it control of Manhattan’s cruise ship terminal and Newark’s container port.

Snow was chairman of the CSX rail firm that sold its own international port operations to DP World for $1.15 billion in 2004, the year after Snow left for President Bush’s cabinet.

The other connection is David Sanborn, who runs DP World’s European and Latin American operations and who was tapped by Bush last month to head the U.S. Maritime Administration.

The ties raised more concerns about the decision to give port control to a company owned by a nation linked to the Sept. 11 hijackers.

“The more you look at this deal, the more the deal is called into question,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who said the deal was rubber-stamped in advance – even before DP World formally agreed to buy London’s P&O port company.

Just some rudimentary thoughts on these documents that are reportedly from the Iraq Survey Group and are supposed to show an on going collaboration bewteen Saddam and al-Qaeda. The blogger says these papers, ” pass the smell test and are probably genuine, show the link between Saddam and al Qaeda.” First there is at this point no verification from the CIA or the DoD that they are genuine, that would be the only “smell test” to have any validity. If genuine, who translated them. He has a direct link up to what I guess is the English translation of one of those docments, but no original and no date on the translation.

The first reason is that I saw thousands of these documents while with ISG, and these look right.

But more than that, I saw the original of one of these documents at the Combined Media Processing Center in Qatar. I can therefore validate one document as having been captured in Iraq – which increases the likelihood that they are all real.

The third reason is that I witnessed an investigation into who released these documents conducted at the CPMC by ISG. If these document were not authentic, why would an investigation have been conducted into who released them?

Can you imagine being in a court of law, presenting docments to the judge and vouching for their authenticity by saying, ” these look right”.
This one document that looks right, but lacks any independent expertise as to its authenity or translation, makes all the other documents, “all real”?
” If these document were not authentic, why would an investigation have been conducted into who released them?” Investigations into document authenticity by definition starts with doubt and the substance of any conclusions are based on facts as they’re verified. If an investigation was not conducted they could still be authetic, but not verified as such. That an investigation was conducted is not proof of authetication, the results of the the investigation by certified experts is what would make them authentic or not. Then there is the art and science of translation. Is there a consensus among translators as to the substance of what was said and when.
There there is the assertion that the documents link Egyptian Islamic extremists to al-Qaeda. That fact has already been well established, Egypt has been a major recruiting ground for Islamic extremists for decades and are amazingly the second largest recipient of American foreign aid. The documents that the blogger refers to are stored at a site called CNSNews and were posted on 11 October 2004. The conservative blogger states,

Now look at document 28.

This document is a continuation of document 27 and in general talks about overturning the Egyptian government and “providing technical support” presumably to the EIJ in efforts against the Egyptian government and American non-military interests.

This is purportedly the English translation of document 27,

1. The intelligence is studying certain plan, because; harming US forces or getting them outside Arabian lands as a goal, would not give effective results.
2. I see that the main object is Egypt because I believe that;
A- Hekmatyar would not act against Saudi Arabia even if he claimed that he got normal relationships with Saudi Arabia; due to the fact that he and his group got old relationships with Saudi Arabia, he should keep such relationships.
B- Besides; aiming at US existence in gulf countries would cost a lot& would not give substantial results, based on those facts I see that efforts should be concentrated on Egypt, not targeting US military themselves, but Americans as general, and targeting US agents inside the regime.

then purportedly the English translation of document 28,

3. Disturbing the Egyptian regime and its confederacy with USA should be the target that should give fast results.
4. No objections in giving them technical skills.

and this is what is referenced as document 1, English translation, at CNSN,

Top secret, personal& urgent
R.epu6tic of Iraq ‘The bureau of presidency ‘The secretaiy
Issue # 425/ K
Date: Jan.l8th.1993 Rajab 25th 1413 Hijri
Esquire Comrade Au Al-Reeh Al-Sheikhl a member of
The Arabian Bureau-Ba’ath party leadership.
Subject: instruction
In a continuity with our former book#7184/K on Dec.2Oth.1992,its
decided that the party should move to hunt the Americans who are on
Arabian land, especially in Somalia, by using Arabian elements, or
Asian (Muslims) or friends.
Take the necessary steps
Stay well for struggle
Signature of the president’s secretary
Jan.18t1.1993
Copy to:
The General Director of the intelligence system!
The same purpose mentioned above that concerned your duties
(Not clear writing) The two gentlemen; the deputy and … M4 to study the ways

to executive the instructions
Inform me in person ASAP
Another (different) not clear signature Jan. 18th

This what understand that the document sited says, keeping in mind that this document have not been authenticated as to origin or translation. A memo by a member of Saddam’s staff to encourage others ( Arabians or Asian Muslims) to help remove, i.e. kill Americans on Arab land especially in Somalia. No news here, there have been radical America hating Muslims in the middle-east for years. Documents 27 and 28 both emphasize Egypt as targets and again targeting Americans within Egypt. There isn’t any debate that Egyptian Islamic Jihad and some of the 9-11 hijackers were linked. If links between certain Muslim states and the hijackers is the rationale for attacking those states, the links bewteen Egypt and Egyptian Islamic Jihad are certainly more distinct then those between Iraq and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Global Security on EIJ:

Activities

Specializes in armed attacks against high-level Egyptian Government personnel, including cabinet ministers, and car-bombings against official US and Egyptian facilities. The original Jihad was responsible for the assassination in 1981 of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Claimed responsibility for the attempted assassinations of Interior Minister Hassan al-Alfi in August 1993 and Prime Minister Atef Sedky in November 1993. Has not conducted an attack inside Egypt since 1993 and has never targeted foreign tourists there. Responsible for Egyptian Embassy bombing in Islamabad in 1995; in 1998 attack against US Embassy in Albania was thwarted.

Strength

Unknown, but probably has several hundred hardcore members.

Location/Area of Operation

Operates in the Cairo area, but most of its network is outside Egypt, including Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom, and its activities have been centered outside Egypt for several years.

External Aid

Unknown. The Egyptian Government claims that Iran supports the Jihad. Its merger with al-Qaida also boosts Bin Ladin’s support for the group. Also may obtain some funding through various Islamic nongovernmental organizations, cover businesses, and criminal acts.

Note the absence of Iraq. I’ve looked the three documents over several times and see no mention of, “A month later an official from EIJ was meeting with Saddam in Baghdad.” The documents real, fake or otherwise, do not show proof of such a meeting ( he may have been referring to other documentation, but I didn’t see it). It has been established Saddam had various connections or meetings with some nefarious elements in the middle-east, of that there is little doubt. The documents referred to by this conservative blogger don’t show anything new evidence and show no on going collaborative relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and are far from showing any Iraq duplicity in the 9-11 attacks. It seems to this observer, The American Thinker has committed two fallicies, having deduced too specific a conclusion from more general information and basing that deduction on dubious sources. The general argument that has plaqued more reasonable thinkers over the last five years is the lengths that some have gone to to connect Iraq, under an admittedly evil former ally of the Reagan administration, to 9-11 and terrorism rather then simpler questions of where most terrorists come from and where they are. It seems that there are those that prefer complex conpiracy theories over simple facts. Terrorists do live in nation-states, but with the exception of Iran, no government of those nation-states sponsors Islamic terrorism. Despite whatever problem that Saddam posed and unintended consequence or not Iraq is well on its way to being a theocracy with close ties to Iran. Here’s the thing about these rumours concerning Iraq and its al-Queda and WMD, if any hard evidence emerges the mojor networks and cable news will be all over it. The Whitehouse will make sure that there’s plenty of evidence available for the MSM to pour over; W’s rating have settled in at 38 to 40 percent approval. Its hard to believe they wouldn’t use any evidence at their disposal to rescue their reputations and by association the struggling right-wing movement.

Was Iraq sneaky ? Sure they were, but inspectors from UNSCOM and AT-IAEA knew that.

Just a moment to thank some folks that mentioned me on their blogs, King of Zembla, Progressive Prof, and grannyinsanity from the beautiful state of Montana.

Twice, at intervals, Aunt Hester said, in frozen amazement:

“You told a lie?”

Twice, at intervals, Aunt Hannah followed with the muttered and amazed ejaculation:

“You confess it–you actually confess it–you told a lie!”

It was all they could say. The situation was new, unheard of, incredible; they could not understand it, they did not know how to take hold of it, it approximately paralyzed speech.

At length it was decided that the erring child must be taken to her mother, who was ill, and who ought to know what had happened. Helen begged, besought, implored that she might be spared this further disgrace, and that her mother might be spared the grief and pain of it; but this could not be: duty required this sacrifice, duty takes precedence of all things, nothing can absolve one from a duty, with a duty no compromise is possible.

Helen still begged, and said the sin was her own, her mother had had no hand in it–why must she be made to suffer for it?

But the aunts were obdurate in their righteousness, and said the law that visited the sins of the parent upon the child was by all right and reason reversible; and therefore it was but just that the innocent mother of a sinning child should suffer her rightful share of the grief and pain and shame which were the allotted wages of the sin.

from Was it Heaven? Or Hell? by Mark Twain