Another day and more tragic irony of conservatism

The rabid Bush supporters at Powerline prove the sick twisted irony of the conservative mind, February 17, 2007
Congressman Johnson Pleads for the Troops, Posted by John at 07:44 PM

The last Republican to speak against the Democrats’ anti-surge, pro-defeat resolution yesterday was Sam Johnson of Texas. Johnson was a pilot who flew something like 90 combat missions in Korea and Vietnam. He was shot down over North Vietnam and spent seven years as a POW, most of that time in solitary confinement. He returned to the U.S. in 1973 and was elected to Congress in 1991.

Johnson’s plea to support the troops and fund the war effort was eloquent–too eloquent for most Democrats to want to hear it. He got a standing ovation from those in the House chamber, but note how few Democrats were willing to hear him speak. Note, too, that Johnson understands what the anti-surge resolution was really about: he denounces Jack Murtha’s “slow bleed” strategy, which is designed to starve Gen. Petraeus and his men of the support they need to succeed, and then seek political benefit from their failure. If you can watch this with dry eyes, you’re a tougher man than me: (emphasis mine, there was a video at the end of Powerline’s post)

After three years of failing to succeed in nation building after continuously lying to America and being assured by Cheney and Bush that they were succeeding and “staying the course” John and his new hero keep confusing support of the troops with supporting Bush’s failures. Bush’s failure as commander-in-chief, his failure as a leader, Bush’s failure as a descent citizen are the bright blinking neon warning  signs that say thinking caring Americas shouldn’t care about Bush’s new improved recipe. What is best for America and the troops is not supporting Bush’s policies. If the Right cared about the troops it wouldn’t have lied us into a war. I did watch the video and didn’t shed a tear because Johnson, like Powerline is tragically misguided. I did read this and get a little misty eyed, Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army’s Top Medical Facility

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The common perception of Walter Reed is of a surgical hospital that shines as the crown jewel of military medicine. But 5 1/2 years of sustained combat have transformed the venerable 113-acre institution into something else entirely — a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients. Almost 700 of them — the majority soldiers, with some Marines — have been released from hospital beds but still need treatment or are awaiting bureaucratic decisions before being discharged or returned to active duty.

They suffer from brain injuries, severed arms and legs, organ and back damage, and various degrees of post-traumatic stress. Their legions have grown so exponentially — they outnumber hospital patients at Walter Reed 17 to 1 — that they take up every available bed on post and spill into dozens of nearby hotels and apartments leased by the Army. The average stay is 10 months, but some have been stuck there for as long as two years.

Not all of the quarters are as bleak as Duncan’s, but the despair of Building 18 symbolizes a larger problem in Walter Reed’s treatment of the wounded, according to dozens of soldiers, family members, veterans aid groups, and current and former Walter Reed staff members interviewed by two Washington Post reporters, who spent more than four months visiting the outpatient world without the knowledge or permission of Walter Reed officials. Many agreed to be quoted by name; others said they feared Army retribution if they complained publicly.

John, Johnson and Bush don’t gave a damn about how their misguided wars fill up the grave yards and hospitals because they’re incapable of genuine concern for the troops and America. They can’t tell the difference between what is good for our national security and their childish paranoia. They can’t tell the difference between actually supporting the troops and using them as pawns to advance their political agenda. More at INTEL DUMP, Problems at Walter Reed

Powerline and Congreesman Johnson support the troops so much that they want to rush troops into battle without the proper equipment, Thousands of Army Humvees Lack Armor Upgrade

The additional protection is needed for thousands of U.S. reinforcement troops flowing into Baghdad, where these devastating weapons — used primarily by Shiite fighters — are particularly prevalent, the officials said.

U.S. Army units in Iraq and Afghanistan lack more than 4,000 of the latest Humvee armor kit, known as FRAG Kit 5, according to U.S. officials. The Army has ramped up production of the armor, giving priority to troops in Baghdad, but the upgrade is not scheduled to be completed until this summer, Army officials said. That is well into the timeline for major operations launched last week to quell violence by Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias, which the U.S. military now views as the top security threat in Iraq.

Hat-tip to Democratic Veteran for the link.

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act

Compare and contrast. We have the guy that lied about Joe Lieberman’s web site being under attack and writes  Liberal Bloggers Demonstrate Their Political Immaturity, Democrat Says,

This ugly morality tale – which mercifully concluded Tuesday with the second of the two offending online staffers resigning from the Edwards campaign – revealed the Kossacks in all their angry adolescent glory: impudent, impotent, unreflective and unaccountable.

He’s outraged at some liberal bloggers that each ran their own web sites and are not Kossacks ( get your facts straight Dan) and bemoans the sometimes hyperbolic blogisphere yet has nothing to say about neocon Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy and a former assistant secretary of defense who used this fabricated quote from President Lincoln to warn anyone that should dare disagree with the our current Liar-in-Chief, “Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.” Then The fabricated quote was repeated, not by a blogger, but by an actual elected official Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska). Gerstein who served as a communications director for Joementum also said this,

The Iraq war notwithstanding, which has temporarily tilted the political landscape in our favor, the long-term electoral math is stacked against us – surveys show conservatives currently outnumber liberals three-to-two. Thus, if we want to win the White House and become a majority party again, it’s not enough to excite our base. We must also expand it.

That is pretty pathetic for someone that is supposedly a major player in Democratic circles, GOP is losing ground in party-affiliation polling

But for 2006, Democrats pulled away, leading Republicans by 3.9 points, with 34.3 percent identifying themselves as Democrats, 30.4 percent as Republicans and 33.9 percent as independents.

This represents a swing of 5.8 points in just three years, from a GOP lead of 1.9 points to a deficit of 3.9 points.

That’s from Charlie Cook who is one of the most cautious political analysis out there. Dan also managed to dismiss the ever petulant demagoguery of Bill Donahue, Bill Donohue Defended Bush Catholic Outreach Staffer Who Was Outed As Sexual Predator. Tapped also notes that Dan among others keep speaking about “Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan as if they’re the same person?”

Dan also had nothing to say about – Georgia State House Rep. Ben Bridges (R), chairman of the retirement committee in the state house. 

“Indisputable evidence — long hidden but now available to everyone — demonstrates conclusively that so-called ‘secular evolution science’ is the Big-Bang 15-billion-year alternate ‘creation scenario’ of the Pharisee Religion,” reads the letter that went out under Bridges’ name. “This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic ‘holy book’ Kabbala dating back at least two millennia.”

Antisemetism is still rife in right-wing circles regardless of their disingenuous embrace of Israel. Here we go again equating a colorful rant against a religious orgainzation’s views on birth control with the rabid and non-stop hate politics of the Right. In Dan’s mind fish and whales are the same thing because they both swim in the sea.

Bomb explodes in southeastern Iran

A Sunni Muslim militant group called Jundallah, or God’s Brigade, which has been blamed for past attacks on Iranian troops, has claimed responsibility for the Wednesday bombing.

Iran has accused the United States of backing militants to destabilize the country. Tensions between Tehran and Washington are growing over allegations of Iranian involvement in attacks on U.S. troops in
Iraq, and over Iran’s nuclear activities.

Remember that Bush said,

Pressed about what the “head leaders” are doing, he went on:

Either they knew or didn’t know, and what matters is, is that they’re there. What’s worse, that the government knew or that the government didn’t know? … What’s worse, them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it happening?

The implication being that the Iranian government is to blame regardless, because they have absolute control of the population, obviously that is not the case. Jundallah would be sympathetic to Sunni insurgents in Iraq. In Iraq, anyone can make a bomb

PRESIDENT BUSH HAS now definitively stated that bombs known as explosively formed penetrators — EFPs, which have proved especially deadly for U.S. troops in Iraq — are made in Iran and exported to Iraq. But in November, U.S. troops raiding a Baghdad machine shop came across a pile of copper disks, 5 inches in diameter, stamped out as part of what was clearly an ongoing order. This ominous discovery, unreported until now, makes it clear that Iraqi insurgents have no need to rely on Iran as the source of EFPs.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” – George Orwell

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts

‘Wash Times’ Fails to Correct Fabricated Abraham Lincoln Quote — Now a Congressman is Using It

On Wednesday, E&P and some political blogs pointed out that conservative Frank Gaffney, Jr. opened his latest column on Tuesday morning with this: “Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.” — President Abraham Lincoln.

He continued: “It is, of course, unimaginable that the penalties proposed by one of our most admired presidents for the crime of dividing America in the face of the enemy would be contemplated — let alone applied — today. Still, as the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate engage in interminable debate about resolutions whose effects can only be to ‘damage morale and undermine the military’ while emboldening our enemies, it is time to reflect on what constitutes inappropriate behavior in time of war.”

Daffy Gaffney has embraced the very unamerican concept that dissent is not allowed in a democracy. Lincoln probably wouldn’t be thrilled that modern conservatives have abandoned all consideration of the republic and embraced a right-wing ideology that is cobbled together from bits of Stalin-ism and fascism.

US’s smoking gun on Iran misfires

The US briefers argued that EFPs are not being manufactured within Iraq. The New York Times quoted a “senior military official” as saying that they had “no evidence” that the machining of components for EFPs “has ever been done in Iraq”.

But Knights presents evidence in Jane’s Intelligence Review that the Iraqi Shi’ites have indeed manufactured both the components for EFPs and the complete EFPs. He observes that the kind of tools required to fabricate EFPs “can easily be found in Iraqi metalworking shops and garages”.

He also notes that some of the EFPs found in Iraq had substituted steel plates for the copper lining found in the externally made lids. Knights calculates that the entire production of EFPs exploded thus far could have been manufactured in one or at most two simple workshops with one or two specialists in each – one in the Baghdad area and one in southern Iraq (emphasis mine)

No One’s Drinking Bush’s Kool-Aid on Iran

What we do know is that the Quds force was instrumental in providing these deadly IEDs to networks inside of Iraq. We know that. And we also know that the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. That’s a known. What we don’t know is whether or not the head leaders of Iran ordered the Quds force to do what they did.

Pressed about what the “head leaders” are doing, he went on:

Either they knew or didn’t know, and what matters is, is that they’re there. What’s worse, that the government knew or that the government didn’t know? … What’s worse, them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it happening?

If that makes no sense to you, well, that’s because the whole thing makes no sense. It’s a farcical replay of Iraq 2002, when the White House demonized Saddam Hussein with fake intelligence,

I saw this and I’m sure that it all makes perfect sense to the echo inside Bush’s head. If the actual government in Iran had anything to do with smuggling explosive devices into Iraq, but for which Bush has presented exactly zero evidence Iran’s government is still guilty. If they didn’t know they’re still culpable. The usual circular intellectually lazy argument that American has come to expect from conservatives. Bush on Iran: Truth & Consequences

A warning about consequences from Steven D, “Russia Threatens to Withdraw from Nuclear Arms Treaty” because Bush plans to deploy missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic to protect our European allies in case of a U.S./Iran conflict

The Right is probably thrilled at the prospect of once again living under the shadow of a possible nuclear Armageddon. They seem to embrace the feeling of being under constant threat real or imagined like a teenager at a horror flick. Certainly the maturity level is about the same.

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” – Abraham Lincoln

“All honor to Jefferson – to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression.” by Abraham Lincoln, On Thomas Jefferson and the phrase “all men are created equal” – Letter to H.L. Pierce, April 6, 1859

“The Greatest Human Migration”

Yet these tremendous migrations pale in comparison to the volume of China’s 40-day travel period that began February 3 for the Spring Festival. As Shanghai Daily reports, Chunyun, as this Spring movement is called, is regarded as the “greatest human migration on the planet.” According to OhmyNews, China’s ministry of transportation estimates a gross passenger volume of over 2.17 billion. (That’s right, more than 2 billion — a widely cited figure that far surpasses the country total population.) Migrants from neighboring countries as well as those stretched across the globe are en route to their home provinces to join family members for the peak of the lunar New Years holiday, which falls on February 18 this year.

One of the trade offs of modern civilization is that modern man, for the most part doesn’t have seasonal migrations anymore. While the authors call this migration its really just a mass visit the family travel time. Still amazing so many people get up, pack and go all at once.

Like all good southerns I drink my fair share of iced tea. Tea used to be one of the great commodities in world trade, now its probably running shoes and electronics – The Life of a Tea Leaf

Originally called cha and tu in China, tea comes from the Camellia sinensis shrub, a perennial evergreen that grows mainly between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. (Infusions of roots, flowers, and herbs, such as chamomile and rooibos, are often called herbal teas but are more properly tisanes.) Though some 30 countries grow Camellia sinensis, most tea is produced in India, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Kenyan highlands.

Everything is complicated

Darn how did this happen another “family values” “patriot” indicted, Charges filed against former top CIA official, contractor

A federal grand jury returned 11 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering against Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, executive director of the CIA until he resigned in May, and contractor Brent Wilkes. The charges grew from the bribery scandal that landed former U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham(R) in prison.

Foggo is the highest-ranking CIA officer to be charged with crimes allegedly committed while working for the agency.

Foggo was probably on a mission from God to to what was right for the country regardless of the law. There is a pretty consistent pattern in Foggo’s and Cunningham’s behavior in regards to Republicans and values. Values become a club to try and beat Democrats over the head with, values in fact are to be only actually practiced by conservatives when it doesn’t interfere with money grubbing and influence pedaling.

A rather long look at the release of the newest National Intelligence Estimate, A sucker’s guide to unclassified reports and a few things that are not explicit as they should be,

Social stability

* that unemployment in Iraq continues to be obscenely high
* that many or most small businesses in Baghdad have been shuttered
* that formerly middle-class families have been impoverished
* that many families have split up or sent children abroad to avoid sectarian violence
* that electricity and essential services are in such short supply that much of daily life in Baghdad centers on meeting basic needs (even buying bread is now difficult)
* that schools and universities are closing down because of threats
* that Baghdad has been carved up into many small fiefdoms

Weapons making their way from Iran to Iraq isn’t really news. What is news is where they actually originate inside Iran ( as yet no one knows if they are being sent to Iraq with the explicit help of the Iranian government), but that some of those weapons are going to a group that Bush has supported isn’t playing at all in the mainstream media, Bush-Backed Shiite Group Receiving Weapons Shipments From Iran

However, in this particular case, what they are talking about is this confirmation, by the government of Iraq, of the supply of weapons not to Muqtada’s faction, but to, arguably, the most powerful political faction within this government. That is the SCIRI political party.

SCIRI = Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, President Bush Meets with His Eminence Abdul-Aziz Al-Hakim, Leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq

We talked about a lot of important issues. I appreciate so very much His Eminence’s commitment to a unity government. I assured him the United States supports his work and the work of the Prime Minister to unify the country. Part of unifying Iraq is for the elected leaders and society leaders to reject the extremists that are trying to stop the advance of this young democracy. I appreciated very much His Eminence’s strong position against the murder of innocent life.

Maybe Hakim is committed to being one of the more moderate factors in Iraq’s sectarian strife, but he is being a moderate with Iranian supplied weapons. Weapons that Bush and the usual cast of right-wing pundits are trying to use to justify a war against Iran through Iraq. The twists and turns to the Iran story would give most Americans pause to at  consider that as usual over the last forty years nothing that what conservatives say shouldn’t be questioned – they have special super human knowledge and they’re the deciders; that almost never are the facts and issues as black and white and as they paint them. Glenn Reynolds isn’t the least bit fazed by the fact that Iran is actually supporting one of the Bush teams guys in Iraq he wants the murdering to begin and begin today, (Updated) Assassination R U.S.?

Every administration, Democratic and Republican, have agreed that creating death squads and engaging in extra-judicial assassinations is so repugnant to our political values and so destructive to our moral credibility around the world that an absolute ban is necessary — including at the height of the Cold War… .
And what is most striking is that these anti-assassination prohibitions apply (a) to wartime and (b) even to foreign leaders of nations who are at war. But here, Reynolds is actually advocating that we murder scientists and religious figures who are “radical,” whatever that might happen to mean in the unchecked mind of George Bush.

If we are to be a country that now sends death squads into nations with whom we are not at war to slaughter civilians — scientists and religious figures — what don’t we do?

Yesterday, the popular Republican blog Red State advocated war with Iran and embraced having it spread throughout the Middle East.

In the middle-east we have a circle of bizarre hypocrisy, small lies, and political framing by Bush and the usual shrill hateful suspects like Reynolds and Red State. The Right continues its deep embrace of values by offering us two wonderful options: war or murder. This is a little odd in light of recent developments in North Korea. Bush Channels Bill The new North Korea deal is surprisingly Clintonian.

President George W. Bush finally got a nuclear deal with North Korea because he finally started negotiating like Bill Clinton.

A constant mantra for the past dozen years—chanted by Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney on several occasions—is that the Agreed Framework, which the Clinton administration signed with North Korea in 1994, was a naive and disastrous failure.

And yet the deal that Bush’s diplomats just negotiated is very similar to Clinton’s accord in substance—and nearly identical in its approach to arms control.

The Right will no doubt make some comical excuses as to why it was OK for Bush to work out this re-invented Clinton Framework after six years all the while letting North Korea develop and test a nuclear weapon. But it highlights another issue. That North Korea a certified member of the “axis of evil” has the world’s fourth largest army, a nuclear device and Bush did not invade them. While a day late and a dollar short he finally came to a negotiated settlement. The Right has one standard for a powerful North Korea and another standard for a non-nuclear Iran. Iran is willing to talk, Bush has accepted their help The redacted Iran op-ed revealed

But Tehran was profoundly disappointed with the United States response. After the 9/11 attacks, xxx xxx xx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xx set the stage for a November 2001 meeting between Secretary of State Colin Powell and the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s six neighbors and Russia. xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx xxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxxx xx xxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxx Iran went along, working with the United States to eliminate the Taliban and establish a post-Taliban political order in Afghanistan.

Things went a little sour after Bush included them in his infamous axis speech.

Right-Wing Attack Puts Bloggers’ Lives in Danger

The ramifications of Bill Donohue and the Catholic League’s reckless rhetoric has materialized in the form of death threats to bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. This is what happens when the ultra-right wing is given the megaphone of mainstream media. It is also a complete break down in the responsibility that the media has in vetting those who are given a platform to spread a message.

“Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.” – Wallace Stevens

He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight

Pace Demurs on Accusation of Iran: General Says He Knows Nothing Tying Leaders to Arms in Iraq

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday that he has no information indicating Iran’s government is directing the supply of lethal weapons to Shiite insurgent groups in Iraq.

“We know that the explosively formed projectiles are manufactured in Iran,” Pace told Voice of America during a visit to Australia. “What I would not say is that the Iranian government, per se, knows about this.”

More at Newshog, Gen. Pace Refuses To Back Claims On Iran

The US stance on the military capabilities of Iraqis today is the exact opposite of its position in four years ago. Then President Bush and Tony Blair claimed that Iraqis were technically advanced enough to produce long-range missiles and to be close to producing a nuclear device. Washington is now saying that Iraqis are too backward to produce an effective roadside bomb and must seek Iranian help.

I’m keeping an open mind, but considering the incredible number of lies about the build-up to Iraq where thousands HAVE died for no reason other then Bush and his supporter’s lies I’m waiting for the smoking gun with video. Condoleezza Rice’s Credibility Gap

* CLAIM: “The fact of the matter is [that] the administration focused on this before 9/11.” – National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04
* FACT: President Bush and Vice President Cheney’s counterterrorism task force, which was created in May, never convened one single meeting. The President himself admitted that “I didn’t feel the sense of urgency” about terrorism before 9/11. [Source: Washington Post, 1/20/02; Bob Woodward’s “Bush at War”]
* CLAIM: “Our [pre-9/11 NSPD] plan called for military options to attack al Qaeda and Taliban leadership, ground forces and other targets — taking the fight to the enemy where he lived.” – National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04
* FACT: 9/11 Commissioner Gorelick: “There is nothing in the NSPD that came out that we could find that had an invasion plan, a military plan.” Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage: “Right.” Gorelick: “Is it true, as Dr. Rice said, ‘Our plan called for military options to attack Al Qaida and Taliban leadership’?” Armitage: “No, I think that was amended after the horror of 9/11.” [Source: 9/11 Commission testimony, 3/24/04]

Condi Rice on Pre-9/11 Counterterrorism Funding

* CLAIM: “The president increased counterterrorism funding several-fold” before 9/11. – National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/24/04
* FACT: According to internal government documents, the first full Bush budget for FY2003 “did not endor F.B.I. requests for $58 million for 149 new secounterterrorism field agents, 200 intelligence analysts and 54 additional translators” and “proposed a $65 million cut for the program that gives state and local counterterrorism grants.” Newsweek noted the Administration “vetoed a request to divert $800 million from missile defense into counterterrorism.” [Source: New York Times, 2/28/04; Newsweek, 5/27/02]

Pandagon blogger Amanda Marcotte has resigned form the Edwards camp, her take on that situation here.  CultureKitchen makes the point that much of the debate is really about not letting uppity women speak their mind about religious issues especially when they spill over into politics. An astute observation that cannot be repeated enough. If the Right wants American politics to be theocratized then they’ve made their political bed which religion and politics share – their rules not ours and so often times heated jibes that would otherwise just be aimed at politics will also hit religion. How do Republican’s on the fringe Right regularly justify their public policy views? They sight so-called family values, which is simply code for their often times twisted hateful interpretation of the Bible. A trait they actually share with jigadists and radical Islamists interpreataion of the Koran. For the Right religion and politics are one and the same thus if your criticize their views which are singularly lacking in American values you’re not just a political adversary exercising your rights under the first amendment you’re – anti-evangelical, anti-Catholic or anti-whatever religion. How convenient to create this politically rock to hide under that allows them to fire off whatever hateful insults they like at moderate abet outspoken liberals like Amanda, yet Amanda is not allowed to return fire. Reason, a libertarian site and one that I read and frequently agree with on culture issues has taken a particularly disappointing angle to Amanda’s plight and potentially all liberals and libertarians, that since they thought that Amanda was wrong about the Duke lacrosse players ( and I agree that she was for the most part) that she deserves whatever hardship comes her way. A kind of libertarian invocation of the Golden Rule I guess, commit one wrong be punished forever. To condemn Amanda in such broad strokes when libertarians can find so much on Pandagon that could have well been written by Reason seems intellectually sloppy and hypocritical on their part. As to their snide swipe at all Democratic presidential candidates, well excuse me, but there isn’t a libertarian candidate in sight at the polls so John Edwards and Senator Clinton are doing a hundred percent better then Reason’s candidate. Lastly a letter from Frances Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice defending Marcotte and condemning William Donohue a shrill right-wing bigot if there ever was one; he almost makes Mel Gibson look sane.

New right-wing blogs seem to sprout like spores, this from a site called UrbanGrounds, Is Senator Obama Smoking Dope Again?, Posted by Robbie on Monday, February 12th, 2007

The dope-smoking, cocaine-snorting, mostly-white (though he thinks he’s mostly black) kid who wants to be President thinks that the brave men and women of our military — better men than himself (by far) — thinks that their lives were “wasted“.

Senator Barak Hussein Obama — a kid who never had the stones to enlist in the United States Military, suddenly has the nerve to denigrate the sacrifices of what they believed in and died fighting for.

The saddest part is that the left doesn’t and can’t understand why this is insulting to any man or woman who does or ever has worn the uniform of our country.

There’s no use trying to explain it to them, either. They’ll spin it as “speaking truth to power”, or saying that we’re “taking it out of context”. Or that it was a “poorly expressed joke”. Anything but acknowledge the truth: that the Left not only doesn’t support our troops, but they don’t even respect them. ( Note the blogger is a proud member of the 101st Fighting Bloggers from Mom’s Basement Brigade)

An alcoholic cocaine using draft dodger? I thought for a minute he was talking about his Cult leader George W. Bush. This blogger wouldn’t be considered a hypocrite because he supports Dick Deferment Cheney who thought that joining the military was a waste of his valuable time.

Ad creator charged with molestation

EDINBURG — A man who made national news in 2000 by producing an anti-Al Gore television ad featuring his stepdaughter is now charged in Hidalgo County with multiple counts of molesting the girl and another young relative.

Carey Lee Cramer, 43, pleaded not guilty to six counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact and one count of indecency with a child by exposure. State District Judge Noe Gonzalez arraigned Cramer on Wednesday in his 370th state District Court room.

But hey the oh so moral right-wing watchdogs haven’t said a thing about Cramer. Probably because he’s just a child molester, he hasn’t been critical of Vatican cruel dogma on birth control.

“Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion–several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven….The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste.” – Mark Twain – “The Lowest Animal”

“When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, “Why god? Why me?” and the thundering voice of God answered, “There’s just something about you that pisses me off.” – Stephen King.

“Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

So let’s learn from our history And do it differently

Iran and the neocons over the last few days, the condensed version ‘NYT’ Reporter Who Got Iraqi WMDs Wrong Now Highlights Iran Claims

NEW YORK Saturday’s New York Times features an article, posted at the top of its Web site late Friday, that suggests very strongly that Iran is supplying the “deadliest weapon aimed at American troops” in Iraq. The author notes, “Any assertion of an Iranian contribution to attacks on Americans in Iraq is both politically and diplomatically volatile.”

What is the source of this volatile information? Nothing less than “civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies.”

Sound pretty convincing? Well, almost all the sources in the story are unnamed. It also may be worth noting that the author is Michael R. Gordon, the same Times reporter who, on his own, or with Judith Miller, wrote some of the key, and badly misleading or downright inaccurate, articles about Iraqi WMDs in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.

Gordon wrote with Miller the paper’s most widely criticized — even by the Times itself — WMD story of all, the Sept. 8, 2002, “aluminum tubes” story that proved so influential, especially since the administration trumpeted it on TV talk shows.

Target Iran: US able to strike in the spring

Neo-conservatives, particularly at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, are urging Mr Bush to open a new front against Iran. So too is the vice-president, Dick Cheney. The state department and the Pentagon are opposed, as are Democratic congressmen and the overwhelming majority of Republicans.

And this blast from the past, The Times and Iraq

On April 21, 2003, as American weapons-hunters followed American troops into Iraq, another front-page article declared, “Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, an Iraqi Scientist Is Said to Assert.” It began this way: “A scientist who claims to have worked in Iraq’s chemical weapons program for more than a decade has told an American military team that Iraq destroyed chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began, members of the team said.”

The informant also claimed that Iraq had sent unconventional weapons to Syria and had been cooperating with Al Qaeda – two claims that were then, and remain, highly controversial. But the tone of the article suggested that this Iraqi “scientist” – who in a later article described himself as an official of military intelligence – had provided the justification the Americans had been seeking for the invasion.

The Times never followed up on the veracity of this source or the attempts to verify his claims.(emphasis mine)

Another blogger this scenario as rinse and repeat. The careful orchestration of selective news leaks to sympathetic reporters and news outlets all too hungry to break some news are doing it again.
Since we just recently had admitted right-wing ABC news reporter-Terry Moran ( his brother writes runs the rabid conservative blog Right Wing Nut House) try to do a hacket job on John Edwards and we all know that Diane Sawyer at least used to run in Republican circles one has to be cautious about accepting their so-called news at face value – Intelligence Links Iran to Iraqi Insurgent Weapons

Feb. 11, 2007 — New intelligence indicates that Iran is supplying Iraqi insurgents with some of their deadliest weapons — and in Baghdad today, U.S. military commanders are expected to give information about Iran’s role in attacks on American forces.

Then we have a little patience and read down,

Gates has cited other evidence of Iranian involvement, including documents captured when U.S. forces conducted a raid last month in northern Iraq and arrested six Iranians. Iraq’s foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari said his government has yet to see evidence from that raid that implicates Iran.

“We haven’t seen … so far … any hard evidence,” Zebari said.

Even Gates stopped short of directly linking the Iranian government to weapons found in Iraq. The weapons could be sold on the black market to militant groups in Iraq.

I’m not an apologizist for Iran’s leaders, they are in dire need of some modernity when it comes to their world views, but it does matter whether any weapons that may or may not have originated in Iran and have been found in Iraq are there because of a concerted effort by the official government or the result of smuggling by some fringe group.

Iran’s natural allies in Iraq — Shiite Muslims — are largely pro-American.

The Mission Can’t Be Accomplished — It’s Time for a New Strategy

1) We must continue the war to prevent the terrible aftermath that will occur if our forces are withdrawn soon. Reflect on the double-think of this formulation. We are now fighting to prevent what our invasion made inevitable! Undoubtedly we will leave a mess — the mess we created, which has become worse each year we have remained. Lawmakers gravely proclaim their opposition to the war, but in the next breath express fear that quitting it will leave a blood bath, a civil war, a terrorist haven, a “failed state,” or some other horror. But this “aftermath” is already upon us; a prolonged U.S. occupation cannot prevent what already exists.

2) We must continue the war to prevent Iran’s influence from growing in Iraq. This is another absurd notion. One of the president’s initial war aims, the creation of a democracy in Iraq, ensured increased Iranian influence, both in Iraq and the region. Electoral democracy, predictably, would put Shiite groups in power — groups supported by Iran since Saddam Hussein repressed them in 1991. Why are so many members of Congress swallowing the claim that prolonging the war is now supposed to prevent precisely what starting the war inexorably and predictably caused? Fear that Congress will confront this contradiction helps explain the administration and neocon drumbeat we now hear for expanding the war to Iran.

People like General Odom are why there is hope. Slim hope, but hope that the curtain can be pulled back on the whole illusionist’s theatre that the rabid hateful Right is staging for America. The administration has been playing around with Iran for years, taking their support when it was convenient – Iran helped overthrow Taliban, candidate says ( this does make sense as most Iranians are Shia and al-Queda is Sunni – though not all Sunni are sympathetic to al-Queda).

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), dinosaur farts and global warming.

Pictures of some supposed Iranian ordinance found in Iraq is stenciled in English rather then Farsi( Iran’s national language) or in Arabic ( Iraq’s national language)

Congratulations to The Dixie Chicks, At the Grammys, Making Very Nice

The Texas trio also won for best country group vocal and best country album. The latter award was especially surprising since they were excommunicated from the church of country music in 2003 after singer Natalie Maines popped off about President Bush and the war in Iraq. Upon bouncing to the podium after the result was announced, Maines said what just about everybody inside Staples Center was probably thinking: “That’s interesting.” She closed her gaping mouth just long enough to grin mischievously, then said, “Well, to quote the great Simpsons, ‘HA HA!’ “

‘Cause our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They’re gonna be like us
So let’s learn from our history
And do it differently
Lyrics from I Hope

Fog and smog should not be confused and are easily separated by color

Inquiry on Intelligence Gaps May Reach to White House

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 — The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Friday that he would ask current and former White House aides to testify about a report by the Pentagon’s inspector general that criticizes the Pentagon for compiling “alternative intelligence” that made the case for invading Iraq.

The chairman, Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, said that among those called to testify could be Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, and I. Lewis Libby, a former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney. Both received a briefing from the defense secretary’s policy office in 2002 on possible links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s government.

In its report on Thursday, the acting inspector general, Thomas F. Gimble, found that the work done by the Pentagon team, which was assembled by Douglas J. Feith, a former under secretary of defense for policy, was “not fully supported by the available intelligence.”

The reference to the Pentagon isn’t as explanatory as it could be. It was the Office of Special Plans, a department within the Pentagon specifically created by the Bush administration and headed by Douglas Feith.
The Build-a-War Workshop

It took far too long, but a report by the Pentagon inspector general has finally confirmed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s do-it-yourself intelligence office cooked up a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda to help justify an unjustifiable war.

The report said the team headed by Douglas Feith, under secretary of defense for policy, developed “alternative” assessments of intelligence on Iraq that contradicted the intelligence community and drew conclusions “that were not supported by the available intelligence.” Mr. Feith certainly knew the Central Intelligence Agency would cry foul, so he hid his findings from the C.I.A. Then Vice President Dick Cheney used them as proof of cloak-and-dagger meetings that never happened, long-term conspiracies between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden that didn’t exist, and — most unforgivable — “possible Iraqi coordination” on the 9/11 attacks, which no serious intelligence analyst believed.

The inspector general did not recommend criminal charges against Mr. Feith because Mr. Rumsfeld or his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, approved their subordinate’s “inappropriate” operations. The renegade intelligence buff said he was relieved.

We’re sure he was. But there is no comfort in knowing that his dirty work was approved by his bosses. All that does is add to evidence that the Bush administration knowingly and repeatedly misled Americans about the intelligence on Iraq.

Of course this all gives the Right a chance to bring out their favorite oldy moldy conspiracy theories, circumstantial evidence, and guilt by association doggerel. Powerline has posted a single video from ABC News as proof that Feith and Feith’s OSP were right, but a commenter corrects even that dating the video from 1999. So conservatives want to justify putting boots on the ground in Iraq with an ABC report from 1999. That rationale stretches any moral or strategic reason to get three thousand soldiers killed beyond reason. from the Powerline comment, February 10, 2007, A Trip Down Memory Lane

In any event, Saddam’s response was telling. Just two days after Operation Desert Fox ended he dispatched one of his top intelligence operatives, Faruq Hijazi, to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden. As I and others have written, Hijazi was no low-level flunky. He was one of Saddam’s most trusted goons and was responsible for overseeing a good deal of the regime’s terrorist and other covert activities. It was this meeting that led to widespread reporting on the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. I collected a bunch of these reports, including the ABC News report, in “The Four-Day War.” Another, earlier piece also discusses Saddam’s conspicuous response to Operation Desert Fox.

The consensus in the media then was that there was a relationship between the two and that Saddam’s regime was very willing to work with al Qaeda against their common foe: America. And vice versa. Indeed, the reporting indicated that they had been working together even long before Operation Desert Fox.

“The consensus in the media”? Since when is the Right in favor the U.S. taking its foreign policy cues from the broadcast media. Still there is that notorious Faruq Hijazi meeting with an al-Queda representative. Republican blogger and Bush Cult member Captain’s Quarter’s sites the REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE. I guess the theory is that like most readers no one will download the report and see what it says about Hijazi. That Hijazi ever meet with any Iraqi official is all the damning evidence the Right needs. Here’s some highlights of that report that deal with Iraq, al-Queda and Hijazi ( pardon the formatting as its copy and paste from a pdf. All emphasis mine),

(U) Iraqi Support to Terrorism noted that “Sudan-where National Islamic
Front leader Hassan al-Turabi reportedly helped bin Ladin, develop contacts with
Iraq and possibly Iran-was an important venue for early meetings.“ls3 In addition,
the assessment highlighted possible contacts between bin Ladin and a senior IIS
official, Faruq Hijazi, who oversaw sensitive military and intelligence operations
with direct guidance from Saddam Hussein. The CIA noted that foreign
government intelligence service reporting indicated that bin Ladin met with Hijazi
in Khartoum in January 1996.
The CIA stated that it lacked information about the
content of their conversation. Reporting of other possible Hijazi meetings with
Bin Ladin were said to be based on weaker evidence than the reporting of the 1996
visit. Is4
(U) In its July 2002 Special Analysis, the DIA focused on contacts between
al-Qa’ida and Iraq by examining the activities of Ansar al-Islam, a radical Islamic
organization based in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. The DIA said that
“Baghdad may have an indirect tie to al-Qa’ida through the militant Islamic
Kurdish group Ansar al-Islam,” but noted various reports alleging regime
complicity with this troublesome organization, “each also has flaws that undermine confidence in thereporting.“*85 The DIA said that al-Qa’ida“‘has
proven ties to Ansar al-Islam” but noted that there were no indications of an Iraqi
government role in these activities
. The DIA concluded that:
Should regime support to Ansar al-Islam be proven, this will not
necessarily implicate the regime in supporting al-Qa’ida
. Ansar al-
Islam is an independent organization that receives assistance from al-
Qa’ida, but is not a branch of the group. The Iraqi regime seeks to
influence and manipulate political events in the Kurdish-controlled
north and probably has some type of assets in contact with Ansar al-
Islam, either through liaison or through penetration by an intelligence
asset.186

(U) Postwar debriefs provided information on the 1995 meeting between bin
Ladin and senior Iraq Intelligence Service official Faruq Hijazi. According to the
FBI, Hijazi stated during his debriefing that he met bin Ladin once in Sudan in
early 1995. The meeting came in response to a request to the Iraqi government
through the government of Sudan on behalf of bin Laden. Hijazi told debriefers
that he was selected by Saddam because he was secular, which would make him
less sympathetic to bin Ladin’s radical message. Hijazi also noted that Saddam
gave him explicit instructions that he was “only to listen” and not negotiate or
promise anything to bin Ladin.’
(U) During the meeting in Khartoum, bin Ladin reportedly asked that Iraq
allow him to open an office in the country, provide him with Chinese sea mines,
provide military training and broadcast the speeches of a radical anti-Saudi cleric
Shaykh Salman al-Awdah. Hijazi told debriefers that once he returned to Iraq, he
“wrote a negative report on the meeting with bin Ladin. Hijazi “criticized bin
Ladin for his hostile speech and his insistence on the Islamization of Iraq.” Hijazi
said that he assessed that “working with bin Ladin would damage relations with
Arab countries through the region.“
i89

The Right: meeting = collaboration. Reality: the meeting between Hijazi and al-Queda did not result in any kind of collaborative relationship and Iraq feared the radical Islamification of Iraq by al-Queda.

The Right is on the same tin foil path with Iran. This time spreading the propaganda is proving a little bit harder, Al-Qaeda Suspects Color White House Debate Over Iran

Last week, the CIA sent an urgent report to President Bush’s National Security Council: Iranian authorities had arrested two al-Qaeda operatives traveling through Iran on their way from Pakistan to Iraq. The suspects were caught along a well-worn, if little-noticed, route for militants determined to fight U.S. troops on Iraqi soil, according to a senior intelligence official.

The arrests were presented to Bush’s senior policy advisers as evidence that Iran appears committed to stopping al-Qaeda foot traffic across its borders, the intelligence official said. That assessment comes at a time when the Bush administration, in an effort to push for further U.N. sanctions on the Islamic republic, is preparing to publicly accuse Tehran of cooperating with and harboring al-Qaeda suspects.

The Right seems to get up every morning and rather then brush their teeth they try and stop the truth from getting out, Cheney’s Son-In-Law Blamed for Delaying Investigations of Homeland Security Department

The Department of Homeland Security refuses to cooperate on oversight activities, according to testimony offered today by GAO Comptroller General David Walker and Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner. The investigators highlighted the role of Philip Perry — Chief Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security and Vice President Cheney’s son-in-law — as the major stumbling block in their investigations.

These are the people that feel they and they alone possess the real truth. That they are patriots. The evidence week in and week out suggests otherwise.

“Fog and smog should not be confused and are easily separated by color.”
Chuck Jones

When quick results are imperative, conservatives manipulate

Update: The Washington Post has issued a correction for this story that I posted earlier, Official’s Key Report On Iraq Is Faulted

A Feb. 9 front-page article about the Pentagon inspector general’s report regarding the office of former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith incorrectly attributed quotations to that report. References to Feith’s office producing “reporting of dubious quality or reliability” and that the office “was predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda” were from a report issued by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) in Oct. 2004. Similarly, the quotes stating that Feith’s office drew on “both reliable and unreliable reporting” to produce a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq “that was much stronger than that assessed by the IC [Intelligence Community] and more in accord with the policy views of senior officials in the Administration” were also from Levin’s report. The article also stated that the intelligence provided by Feith’s office supported the political views of senior administration officials, a conclusion that the inspector general’s report did not draw.The two reports employ similar language to characterize the activities of Feith’s office: Levin’s report refers to an “alternative intelligence assessment process” developed in that office, while the inspector general’s report states that the office “developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers.” The inspector general’s report further states that Feith’s briefing to the White House in 2002 “undercuts the Intelligence Community” and “did draw conclusions that were not fully supported by the available intelligence.”(emphasis mine)

The Right has seized on this as somehow proof that intelligence was not manipulated by Douglas Feith and the administration. Well WaPo got its correction somewhat wrong (though good for them for trying and being concerned about these details, but the IG’s report is not accurately charaterized by calling it “Levin’s report”). The the fringe right-wing blog Hot Air, WaPo quasi-retracts page-one story about Feith Iraq/AQ intel, posted at 6:49 pm on February 9, 2007 by Allahpundit

And yet, per the Times: “According to Congressional officials [who’d read the report], Mr. Feith’s statement and the policy office’s rebuttal, the report concluded that none of the Pentagon’s activities were illegal and that they did not violate Defense Department directives.” In which case … whence the impropriety? He conducted his own investigation and came to a different conclusion than the CIA. Like Captain Ed says, I thought the left liked dissent.

One can’t help but give pause to note their confidence in the New York Times a paper that Hot Air’s ideological cousin Ann Coulter considers so liberal and un-American that it should be bombed. When they think they’ve found something that supports their case suddenly the NYT is their best friend. Liberals do like dissent and many are still wondering why dissenting views within the intelligence community were not given the kind of consideration they deserved when making one of the most serious decisions a country can make. Senator Levin, unlike the pathological liars at Hot Air actually checked back with the Inspector General to confirm his understanding of the original report from two years ago. The Right does understand that it was not Senator Levin’s personal report, but the Inspector General’s

In the United States, an Inspector General (IG) is a type of investigator charged with examining the actions of a government agency, military organization, or military contractor as a general auditor of their operations to ensure they are operating in compliance with general established policies of the government, to audit the effectiveness of security procedures, or to discover the possibility of misconduct, waste, fraud, theft, or certain types of criminal activity by individuals or groups related to the agency’s operation, usually involving some misuse of the organization’s funds or credit.

In the United States, there exist numerous Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs) at the federal, state, and local levels. Federally, there exist 57 different and autonomous OIGs, a significant increase since the statutory creation of the initial 12 OIGs by the IG Act of 1978. While all of these OIGs operate separate of one another, their activities in the detection and prevention of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of government programs and operations of their parent organization, OIGs share information and some coordination through the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) and the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE), as created or amended in 1992 by Executive Order 12805

In other words contrary to the impression that Hot Air, Captain Ed and other rabid righty blogs have tried to create, about this story the IG is an independent government body. Senator Levin’s clarification of the facts with the IG show that Feith did indeed manipulate intelligence,

In response to some of my specific questions, the Inspector General confirms today that:

* The Feith office produced “its own intelligence analysis of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda” and presented “its analysis to other offices in the Executive Branch (including the Secretary of Defense and the staffs of the National Security Council and the Office of the Vice President)”;

* The “intelligence analysis produced by the Feith office differ[ed] from the Intelligence Community analysis on the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda”;

* The Feith office presented “a briefing on the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship to the White House in September 2002 unbeknownst to the Director of Central Intelligence, containing information that was different from the briefing presented to the DCI, not vetted by the Intelligence Community, and that was not supported by the available intelligence (for example, concerning the alleged Atta meeting), without providing the IC notice of the briefing or an opportunity to comment”; and

* The briefing drew “conclusions (or ‘findings’) that were not supported by the available intelligence, such as the conclusion ‘intelligence indicates cooperation in all categories; mature symbiotic relationship’, or that there were ‘multiple areas of cooperation,’ and ‘shared interest and pursuit of WMD’ and ‘some indications of possible Iraqi coordination with al Qaida specifically related to 9/11’.”

The Inspector General found that these “inappropriate” activities of the Feith office were authorized by the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

These findings of the Inspector General reinforce the conclusion that I reached in my report more than two years ago: the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy generated its own intelligence analysis, inconsistent with the views of the Intelligence Community, in order to support the policy goals of the Administration.

Two recently confirmed senior Administration officials have publicly expressed their own concerns about these activities. On May 18, 2006, General Michael Hayden – now the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency – testified at his nomination hearing that he was not comfortable with the Feith office’s approach to intelligence analysis. Similarly, on December 5, 2006, Robert Gates – now the Secretary of Defense – testified at his nomination hearing that he understands that the Feith office was producing its own intelligence analysis and “I have a problem with that.”

The Inspector General found it unnecessary to make any recommendations in his report, because changed relationships between the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community “significantly reduce the opportunity for the inappropriate conduct of intelligence activities outside of intelligence channels” in the future.

Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. Senior Administration officials used the twisted intelligence produced by the Feith office in making the case for the Iraq war. As I concluded in my October 2004 report:

“Misleading or inaccurate statements about the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship made by senior Administration officials were not supported by IC analyses but more closely reflected the Feith policy office views. These assessments included, among others, allegations by the President that Iraq was an “ally” of al Qaeda; assertions by National Security Advisor Rice and others that Iraq “had” provided training in WMD to al Qaeda; and continued representations by Vice President Cheney that Mohammed Atta may have met with an Iraq intelligence officer before the 9/11 attacks when the CIA didn’t believe the meeting took place.”

In November 2003, the top secret report of the Feith office was leaked to the Weekly Standard. Shortly thereafter, Vice President Cheney said publicly that the article in the Weekly Standard was the “best source” of information about the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.

The bottom line is that intelligence relating to the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship was manipulated by high ranking officials in the Department of Defense to support the Administration’s decision to invade Iraq when the intelligence assessments of the professional analysts of the Intelligence Community did not provide the desired compelling case. The Inspector General’s report is a devastating condemnation of inappropriate activities in the DOD policy office that helped take this nation to war.

The ever bizarre conservative blog Powerline in a story by Assrocket apparently phoned their post in between nap times, February 09, 2007, The Evolution of a News Story, Posted by John at 04:49 PM

We are living in a topsy-turvy world in which 1) it is acknowledged that the CIA’s performance in the months leading up the Iraq War was dreadful, but 2) it is also claimed that disagreeing with the CIA’s assessments was somehow “improper.”

Well, it could be worse. Senator Levin would have welcomed the conclusion that it is illegal to disagree with the CIA, no matter how wrong that agency might be.

John made it through law school without reading comprehension skills and being too lazy to do his research. So much for meritocracy.

Flopping Aces fell on his little plastic sword over the whole Jamal Hussein right-wing fiasco and now has posted a blatant lie about the IG report, DoD Inspector General Report Destroys Claims of Pentagon Intel Manipulation, Posted by Scott Malensek on February 9, 2007 at 9:25 AM

Several bi-partisan, independent, and even international investigations were conducted to see if the Bush Administration had lied to take the nation to war, and none of those investigations found evidence of that. As political cover evaporated, many of these politicians tried to say that the Department of Defense’ Office of Special Plans had tricked these intelligence committee veterans. They lied.

November 6, 2005, Report Warned Bush Team About Intelligence Suspicions

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 – A high Qaeda official in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.

The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, “was intentionally misleading the debriefers” in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda’s work with illicit weapons.

The document provides the earliest and strongest indication of doubts voiced by American intelligence agencies about Mr. Libi’s credibility. Without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, and other administration officials repeatedly cited Mr. Libi’s information as “credible” evidence that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons.

Bush in fact rejected the findings of inspectors that went into Iraq before the invasion, Ex-Iraq inspector: Prewar intelligence failure ‘disturbing’

During the debate over whether to invade Iraq, the Bush administration argued repeatedly that Iraq was violating U.N. resolutions requiring its disarmament after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The administration also dismissed findings of U.N. weapons inspectors, who returned shortly before the war and reported finding no banned weapons.

To date other then a few old chemical shells that have been around since the eighties and deteriorated to the point of being useless as real weapons the inspectors were correct and Bush was, as all the evidence suggests determined to invade Iraq whether Iraq posed a national security threat or not. Secrets, Evasions and Classified Reports

In fact, a declassified version of the NIE was publicly released just 10 days later, and it showed almost precisely the opposite. The NIE, it turned out, contained caveats and qualifiers that had never been publicly acknowledged by the administration prior to the invasion of Iraq. It also included key dissents by State Department intelligence analysts, Energy Department scientists and Air Force technical experts about some important aspects of the administration’s case.

The assertion that still-secret material would bolster the administration’s claims about Iraqi WMD was “certainly not accurate, it was not true,” says Jessica Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who coauthored a study last year, titled “A Tale of Two Intelligence Estimates,” about different versions of the NIE that were released. If Miller’s account is correct, Libby was “misrepresenting the intelligence” that was contained in the document, she said.

“I don’t like manipulation, compromise, or interventionistic winemaking – unless something goes wrong.”
Robert M. Parker, Jr.

There will be no more moaning from this outfit. The next man who moans is going to be very sorry

Leave it to the wing-nuttery to wedge their gaping canyon of hypocrisy into a lie that I’m sure they’ll keep repeating. They’ll keep repeating it for reasons that range from the pleasure they get from rhetorical sadism and because they simply have no priorites about the issues facing the country, from the preeminent Republican Powerline blog a clear violation of the 8th Commandment “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”, February 08, 2007 Bill Clinton, with the decency to stammer, Part Two, Posted by Paul

It appears that the Edwards campaign is going to retain its unhinged, anti-Catholic bloggers after all

Paul thinks that criticism or disagreement with the dogma of the institution of Catholicism constitutes anti-Catholicism. No it does not. If that were the case then these folks are all anti catholic, Catholics for a Free Choice, Many Catholics Reject Church Ban on Birth Control, and since these folks are Catholic and any disagreement with the institutional proclamations of the church suddenly and conveniently constitutes being anti- Catholicism in the pure hearts and intellectualism of the great minds at Powerline then Paul and company agree with the Catholic church when they condemn Bush’s Iraq debacle, Cindy Sheehan’s vigil mobilizes Catholics against the war in Iraq; message reiterates Catholic Church’s stance that Iraq war is a ‘defeat for humanity’

Sheehan, a Catholic who served as a youth minister in her church, lost her son Casey, a former altar boy, on April 14, 2004, in Sadr City, Iraq. She has asked the president for a meeting with her and other family members who have lost loved ones in Iraq, but has so far been denied a second meeting.

“As national Catholic organizations, we applaud the efforts of Cindy Sheehan and the many others who have lost loved ones in Iraq, in calling for an end to this war. We urge President Bush to meet with Cindy Sheehan.” The Vatican and many others within the Catholic Church have expressed sustained and strong criticism of the war in Iraq,” stated Dave Robinson, executive director of Pax Christi USA, a national Catholic human rights organization.

Powerline blog previously posted this about the Catholic M’s Sheehan, September 16, 2005, The Friends of Cindy Sheehan, Posted by John at 10:14 PM

Cindy Sheehan has staunchly aligned herself with the enemies of her country, even with those who murdered her own son (“freedom fighters,” as she calls them, or “Minutemen” as her patron Michael Moore says). She has gone even beyond that perverse outrage: she has sought out and lent support to the very most extreme, twisted, hateful remnants of the Communist movement, and the last survivors of the Black Panthers. Cindy Sheehan is a hater: nothing more, nothing less.

Playing by the rules of the right-wing handbook then clearly John and Paul have leveled accusations at a Catholic that is peppered with lies, distortions, and exaggerations so they are anti-Catholic. Don’t expect the rabid Right to play by its own rules if not for moral relativity on a grand scale they couldn’t play politics at all. As usual Unclaimed Territory does a great job of pointing out not just the rabid Right’s past unhinged and hypocritical behavior, but their current aberrant behavior as well, highlights from A look at John McCain’s blogger-consultant

That’s a great contest McCain’s consultant is running. Does McCain countenance his consultant’s calling Henry Waxman “pig man” and encouraging his readers to mock the size of Waxman’s big nose (a standard, highly offensive stereotype) and to spray vulgarities at Waxman?

Hynes’ public writing is devoted to pure religious divisiveness — he focuses almost exclusively on the claim that Christianity is superior and that those who attend church live better lives, and specifically to the belief that the Republican Party is the true party of those who believe in God and that Democrats are “anti-Christian.”

Hynes tried to create several months ago by continuously disseminating anti-Mormon stories

And two weeks ago Ted Haggard, the President of the National Association of Evangelicals called Romney’s religion a cult.

And Glenn makes perhaps the most salient point I’ve heard to date about the Edwards dust-up and religion and politics in general,

I suppose that in an ideal world it would be nice if we all engaged in political discussions using only the most polite and respectful tone. But every set of political beliefs is subjected to the most intense insult and mockery, and those who insinuate their religious beliefs into the political arena have no right thereafter to demand that those beliefs be accorded some sort of special status.

The Powerline types want to have it both ways. They want to be free to blend their religion into their politics and also use the sanctity of their beliefs as a shield against criticism. When politics and religion become as entertwined as the Right has made it being critical of their politics becomes an insult to their religion. Yet they ridicule people of faith like Cindy Sheehan, John Kerry and Henry Waxman all the time. Often times the insinuations have subtle hints of antisemitism or racism, and sometimes as in the weird tirade against M’s Sheehan not so subtle. That the Right’ thinks their political political opponents don’t have the right to use occasionally rude satire and hyperbole to fight back is childishly absurd, but predictable. The Right would love for the Amanda’s, the Edwards, and the Kerry’s to simply be silenced. A silent oppoent is the only kind they can win a debate agianst. They’d just love for patriotic progressive minded Americans to act like docile well trained foot stools. Not going to happen.

Official’s Key Report On Iraq Is Faulted ‘Dubious’ Intelligence Fueled Push for War

Intelligence provided by former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith to buttress the White House case for invading Iraq included “reporting of dubious quality or reliability” that supported the political views of senior administration officials rather than the conclusions of the intelligence community, according to a report by the Pentagon’s inspector general.

Feith’s office “was predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda,” according to portions of the report, released yesterday by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.). The inspector general described Feith’s activities as “an alternative intelligence assessment process.”

Feith is a member of the truth is optional movement. They lie most of the time about almost everything. The Big Lie for the supposed greater good. The Right claims to shed crocodile tears over the deaths of American troops, but supports sending them into a war based on dubious intelligence. Feith would make a great blogger for Powerline or Hotair, questioned by telephone Feith said, Feith emphasized the inspector general’s conclusion that his actions, described in the report as “inappropriate,” were not unlawful. “This was not ‘alternative intelligence assessment,’ “. He left out inconvenient facts, inflated what his bosses told him to and that is not a premeditated deception, but simply an “alternative”. Like his right-wing cohorts Doug thinks the truth is play-dough. You can mold it anyway you want to fit your agenda. Since the Right thinks it gets to have the last word and write the rules then when a Democrat plays fast and lose with trifling little things like intelligence reports that lead to hundreds of thousands of dead it’ll be OK.

It stated that the office produced intelligence assessments “inconsistent” with the U.S. intelligence community consensus, calling those actions “inappropriate” because the assessments purported to be “intelligence products” but were far more conclusive than the consensus view.

Are conservatives more afraid of lesbians or terrorists?

“In fact, faced with the shortage of language experts, the military would do well to consider Congressman Ackerman’s point. We cannot afford to lose critical personnel because of `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ There are many brave gay men and lesbians who report for duty every day, and their contributions are immeasurably important to our national security.”

According to the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon has dismissed more than 300 language experts under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” including more than 55 who were fluent in Arabic.

Gen. Dreedle:
There will be no more moaning from this outfit. The next man who moans is going to be very sorry.
Maj. Danby:
Ohhhhhhh.
Gen. Dreedle:
Who is this man?
Col. Cathcart:
Major Danby, sir.
Col. Korn:
Danby. D-A-N-B-Y.
Gen. Dreedle:
Take him out and shoot him.
Col. Cathcart:
Sir?
Gen. Dreedle:
I said, “take him out and shoot him.” Can’t you hear?
Col. Cathcart:
Yes, sir. Take Major Danby out and shoot him.

From the movie Catch-22