thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

Kucinich questions Bush’s mental health

“I seriously believe we have to start asking questions about his mental health,” Kucinich, an Ohio congressman, said in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial board on Tuesday. “There’s something wrong. He does not seem to understand his words have real impact.”

Kucinich, known for his liberal views, trails far behind the leading candidates in most Democratic polls. He was in Philadelphia for a debate at Drexel University.

Bush made the remarks at a news conference earlier this month.

He said: “I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them (Iran) from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

Known for his “liberal views”, you can almost see the spittle hit the writer’s monitor as he wrote those words. While not a Kucinich fan it does seem like a fair and relevant question. We lived with the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal pointed at us for years. North Korea could probably point some kind of crude warhead on a missile that could reach California if they were pushed. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn’t exactly a poster child for stellar mental heath, but he and Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are well aware as every nuclear power is, that firing a nuclear weapon at the U.S. would be the same thing as committing suicide. So when Bush talks pure smack about Iran (which as far as we know isn’t making weaponizable nuclear material) and the start of WW III he sounds as unglued as as any tin horn smoke blowing despot the world has seen the last fifty years. Iran is in talks with China and the EU about oil sells. A nation that is so concerned about its economic future hardly sounds suicidal. If Bush is sane then he has no excuse for the following,

“I fully understand those who say you can’t win this thing militarily. That’s exactly what the United States military says, that you can’t win this military.”—on the need for political progress in Iraq, Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 2007

“I got a lot of Ph.D.-types and smart people around me who come into the Oval Office and say, ‘Mr. President, here’s what’s on my mind.’ And I listen carefully to their advice. But having gathered the device, I decide, you know, I say, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’ “— Lancaster, Pa., Oct. 3, 2007 ( Lesson, do not listen to smart people)

“You know, when you give a man more money in his pocket—in this case, a woman more money in her pocket to expand a business, it—they build new buildings. And when somebody builds a new building somebody has got to come and build the building. And when the building expanded it prevented additional opportunities for people to work.”—Lancaster, Pa., Oct. 3, 2007

“I cannot look a mother and father of a troop in the eye and say, ‘I’m sending your kid into combat, but I don’t think we can achieve the objective.’ “—Washington, D.C., July 12, 2007

“More than two decades later, it is hard to imagine the Revolutionary War coming out any other way.”—Martinsburg, W. Va., July 4, 2007 ( We all continue to be astounded by the Conservative grasp of history)

“We understand the fright that can come when you’re worried about a rocket landing on top of your home.”—Washington, D.C., May 17, 2007

All said by George W. Bush the sanest guy in these here parts, yehoo and amen. We can also get in the time machine and go back to all that BS about Iraq definitely, positively having WMD and connections to AQ; wrapping all that pure bull hockey in the flag and selling it to the American public. Again, if Bush and Cheney are sane they’re criminally liable for the over 3000 deaths of American service personnel in Iraq.

Some nice satire on the Boylan to Greenwald e-mail from Jon Swift, Steven Boylan Is Not a Moron

Although I get the distinct impression that Greenwald doubts Boylan’s denial, I think this is really unfair. Boylan would have to be some kind of a moron to have sent an email as idiotic as the one Greenwald received. It’s difficult for me to believe that a military spokeperson would send such an unprofessional email unless he was drunk or the stress of his job had driven him temporarily insane or he had developed multiple personality disorder and the email was sent by one of his crazed partisan personas.

I thought that Konservatives were pro Kompetition. Pro bitness and lett’n the market decide, whatever – FBI investigating Stevens’ fishing bills

_A $100 million federal loan program approved in 2000 to buy out Alaska crab boats, trim the size of the fleet and boost prices. The Bering Sea Crab Effort Reduction Fund, an industry group that supported the buyout program, hired Ben Stevens’ company, Advance North, as a consultant.

_A $30 million earmark Ted Stevens used to create the Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board, which provided federal money to promote Alaska seafood. Ben Stevens was the board’s first chairman and approved grants to companies including those paying him consulting fees, state financial disclosure reports show.

I’m thinking that Wiseguys is probably one of Ted and Sons favorite movies.

One of the big grand daddies of neoconsservatism Norman Podhoretz thinks Iran should be bombed now and if you don’t agree then you’re a Hitler sympathizer. Norman is sane, Norman is sane. Naw, no matter how many times I repeat it I can’t convince my self its true, Podhoretz v. Zakaria

Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

“Chronicle of Young Satan”, Mark Twain


In Rightlandia Their Words are Always at Odds with Their Actions

Glenn Greenwald is one of the better writers in the progressive blogisphere. He uses a writing a technique frequently employed by most good college professors in their lectures. He makes his opening statement with supporting facts then repeats them, stated in a slightly different way abet with the same meaning. This way if you’re not paying close attention or just don’t get it the first round, you get a second chance to get the drift. While “full, unedited form here” with link provided seems clear enough to a normal person of even average reading comprehension skills; the Right is foaming a bit because they went full bore both barrels to assert in no uncertain terms that Glenn was hiding something. The pertinent passage,

I received this morning an unsolicited email from Col. Steven A. Boylan, the Public Affairs Officer and personal spokesman for Gen. David G. Petraeus. The subject line of the email — which I am publishing in full, unedited form here — is “The growing link between the U.S. military and right-wing media and blogs” . . . .

The link went to the full, unedited version of the email I received from Col. Boylan’s email account, which I published without edits of any kind.

Then, in the very next paragraph, I explained that I was going to post selected excerpts from that email:

In terms of whether the U.S. Army under Petraeus and Boylan is, in fact, becoming a political actor, I’ll let multiple passages from Boylan’s email to me this morning speak for itself

One Conservative blogger and apparently the heir to the Agitation and Propaganda Section of the Central Committee Secretariat of the old Soviet Communist Party, one The Dread Pundit Bluto writes in reply to Greenwald’s unassailable facts, posted by Bluto at 4:17 PM

Oh no! Snippy McSockpuppet is reading my thoughts!Except, he isn’t, as the first paragraph of my post notes:

Glenn Greenwald, as he had promised in his post at Salon, has forwarded the email he says he received from Colonel Steven A. Boylan, Public Affairs Officer for General Petraeus.

Glenn has decided to pretend that I accused him of concealing the full, alleged Boylan email. I did not. What I pointed out is that Greenwald used creative redaction to build up a strawman for himself to confront, while knowing that most of his readers would never bother to follow the external link to the full email.

Meanwhile, Glenn’s defenders are having a difficult time following their train of thought from one paragraph to the next, specifically this passage:
The parts that Greenwald chose not to publish tend to contradict his characterization of the email as “bizarre” and “unsolicited”.

“Publish” refers to the Salon article, not the external link to Greenwald’s blog. If any lefties are still confused, simply mumble “…in the Salon post…” quietly to yourself.

I guess Dread also works part-time at Psychic hotline and hasn’t a clue what a straw man is. He looked deep into his crystal ball and just knew that Greenwald’s readers would not click the link and read the whole e-mail which as we all know in Wingnuttia is exactly the same thing as hiding something. It’s pretty obvious who is afraid to leave the echo chamber. Dread the Psychic, paid up member of the the terminally unhinged said Glenn was hiding something; the vast majority of Right-wing Blogistan repeated it like a rumor that Mattel was coming out with a Gay GI Joe doll and they call gave themselves a collective ass slapping congratulations.

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs writes that I’ve “now pulled another astonishingly mendacious move,” and announces that “[d]etails on Greenwald’s sleazy maneuver are at The Dread Pundit Bluto.” Lorie Byrd at Wizbang excitedly announces: “Bluto has posted the full text of the email Glenn Greenwald received from Colonel Steven A. Boylan” (something I did myself yesterday) and then says: “Interesting is what Greenwald chose to post from the email, and what he chose to omit.” The individual who calls himself “Dr. Rusty Shackelford” says that I “edited the email to [my] best advantage” but that “the full text is here [at Dread Pundit’s blog] with the portions Greenwald left out in boldface.” And on and on and on.

In the Rightie blogs that do take comments the facts are barely addressed if at all. The whole episode is just another chance for the keyboard warriors to repeat the falsehoods from the last time Greenwald wrote something that pissed them off, they fired blanks, and Glenn emerged victorious and even more popular. The Right just isn’t smart enough to realize how much they help boost the reps of moderate bloggers.
More here, (Update 2X)God, What WingNut Morons, Part 3,437, where Ezra Klein notes that Boylan proved Glenn’s point,

I wonder if Boylan will get fired from this? And I wonder if he realizes how much attention he’s drawn to Greenwald’s main point: The politicization of military information?

The Sideshow sums it up in one sentence, The nefarious Glenn Greenwald is guilty of the evil liberal tendency to conceal things by publishing them.

While we’re on the subject of Conservatives stellar history of telling the truth and nothing but Mister!, Fake News Conference Fallout: FEMA PR Chief Loses New Job

Pat Philbin, FEMA’s external affairs director, was scheduled to become director of public affairs for National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell on Monday. It was not immediately clear whether he offered his resignation or was fired just as he was set to begin the job.

As of Sunday, officials only said that they were aware of concerns.

But Monday, the director of national intelligence office issued this statement: “We do not normally comment on personnel matters. However, we can confirm that Mr. Philbin is not, nor is he scheduled to be, the director of public affairs for the office of the director of national intelligence.”

FEMA Director David Paulison said Philbin sent him an e-mail in which he took full responsibility for last week’s staging of the news conference

For the Right to dive head deep into the absurdity that Greenwald was hiding something makes the latest FEMA-Pravda scandal seem all the more poignant. The contrast between their constant pleas that they  and only they possess some secret and ultimate truth is always at odds with the facts of the Right’s actions.

Kaffee: Maybe if we work at it we can get Dawson charged with the Kennedy assassination. ~ from A Few Good Men (1992)

update: What country does Michelle Malkin live that she thinks the people of a city with a median household income of $20,595 are living “high on the hog”. Do these simpletons of delusion live behind some kind of invisible force field of  ignorance through which no facts shall pass.


It is everyday chicanery, no conspiracy required

50’s Little leaguer

Red Sox Sweep Republican Colorado Rockies!

The Boston Red Socks swept the Republican Colorado “Christian” Rockies in the 2007 World Series. It seems all the locker room prayers, the biweekly prayer meetings and searching player lockers for Playboys did not please God enough to answer their prayers.

I tend to think the Sox won because of their superior skills and psychological stamina that kept them from choking under pressure, but everyone’s entitled to their theories.

This is a much longer article, but I liked the quote from Thomas Paine America’s first netroots activist. Only he used pamphlets rather then HTML, Religion as FIFTH COLUMN:Thou Shalt Have No God Before Bush-Cheney

All religions are in their nature kind and benign, and united with principles of morality. They could not have made proselytes at first by professing anything that was vicious, cruel, persecuting, or immoral. Like everything else, they had their beginning; and they proceeded by persuasion, exhortation, and example. How then is it that they lose their native mildness, and become morose and intolerant?

By engendering the church with the state, a sort of mule-animal, capable only of destroying, and not of breeding up, is produced, called the Church established by Law. It is a stranger, even from its birth, to any parent mother, on whom it is begotten, and whom in time it kicks out and destroys.

Mr Paine may have been overly optimistic about religion, but it is true that whatever good might be at the center of one’s faith has always been corrupted when intimately entangled with the state as the Right has in America and various political heads of state have in the middle-east.

In Real Politik, the cover term for for whenever politicians do something that has the appearances of taking a well thought out stand when they’ve run out of ideas or cannot really comprehend the problem in the first place could be applied to the Bush Whitehouse from day one. Why Senator Clinton feels that she should also be allowed to eskew thinking things through because the other guys do it too is why I can still laugh at political humor directed at politicians in general. The Bush administration announced wideranging new sanctions on Iran on Thursday

The hypocrisy of the Bush case is obvious when it complains about Iran supporting Hizbullah and Hamas. The Kurds based in American Iraq have done much worse things to Turkey in the past month than Hizbullah did to Israel in June of 2006. Yet when Israel launched a brutal and wideranging war on all of Lebanon, destroying precious infrastructure and dumping enormous amounts of oil into the Mediterranean, damaging Beirut airport, destroying essential bridges in Christian areas, and then releasing a million cluster bomblets on civilian areas in the last 3 days of the war– when Israel did all that, Bush and Cheney applauded and argued against a ‘premature’ cease-fire!

[ ]…Among the more fantastic charges that Bush made against Iran was that its government was actively arming and helping the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. In fact, the Taliban are extremist Sunnis who hate, and have killed large numbers of Shiites.

Just as Bush/Cheney know better and are quite aware of how their policies have a slap stick consistency at best; so does Hillary Clinton. The only reason she probably went along with some political shell switching is because tough talk appeals to the middle. Tough talk has its place, but this wasn’t it. This is another gamble at pushing people that in military terms are at the mercy of tons of American munitions. It would be nice if people that claim to be wise informed leaders capable of being cool under pressure would stop acting like insecure teens with skin problems. No evidence Iran is making nuclear weapons

Chief UN atomic watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday he had no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons and accused US leaders of adding “fuel to the fire” with recent bellicose rhetoric.

“I have not received any information that there is a concrete active nuclear weapons program going on right now,” the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency told CNN.

Was the Phony FEMA News Conference Illegal? Why Did One Participant Suddenly Depart to a Cushy Job at Another Agency?

But at roughly the same time that Chertoff was declaring that “appropriate disciplinary action” would be taken, one of the participants was being transferred to another high-profile agency and, apparently, promoted:

Just three days after FEMA is outed for a staging a fake press conference, its Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin lands an “amazing opportunity to head the communications shop at [the Office of the Director of National Intelligence],” according to FEMA’s press secretary Aaron Walker (via email to PRNewser). The Washington Post confirmed the news through Vance Vines, Spokeswoman at ODNI.

Philbin and Walker were among the staffers asking questions at the press conference which was carried live by the cable networks. The agency quickly apologized.

To answer the question, of course then is always the possibility of some departmental conspiracy, but it is probably simpler then that. This is what Republicans do. Phoniness, corruption, propaganda, fake values and rewarding chicanery is just another day’s business. If pressed they deny, swear you misunderstood what they meant, say they were just joking, avoid the question and attack.

I am sorry to say that sometimes matters of very small importance waste a good deal of precious time, by the long and repeated speeches and chicanery of gentlemen who will not wholly throw off the lawyer even in Congress. ~ William Whipple Jr. (1730-1785), a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Hampshire.

Barley Field wallpaper

Barley Field wallpaper 

Time has been a short so just some weekend links.

Conservation union finds 16,300 species threatened 

From the lowland gorillas of Africa to corals of the Galapagos Islands, more than 16,300 species are threatened with extinction, the World Conservation Union said on Wednesday in its annual Red List.

In what is billed as the world’s most authoritative assessment of Earth’s plants and animals, the global group considered 41,415 species and found that of those, 16,306 were under threat, said Craig Hilton-Tailor, the list’s manager.

That is nearly 200 more species of wildlife than last year, Hilton-Tailor said in a telephone interview, adding that this estimate is “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“It’s a very bad news story,” Jane Smart, head of the conservation group’s species program, said at a briefing. “Our lives are inextricably linked with biodiversity and ultimately its protection is essential for our very survival.”

Soldiers who threw out first pitch bound together before game 

DENVER – During a television commercial break, those at Coors Field for Game 3 saw two men come to the mound to throw out the first pitch.

Marine Staff Sergeant Kade Hinkhouse walked to the mound with a limp. The other man, Army Staff Sergeant Matt Keil, was in a motorized wheelchair.

“We were just floored that they were giving us a chance to do something like this,” Keil said.

It bothers me that their first pitch was not a televised part of the game. It seems like someone wanted to have it both ways to honor them while at the same time not letting America see the consequences of letting Bush and Cheney play amateur nation builder in Iraq.

In case anyone missed it, American Flag Pins Are For Idiots by Bill Maher

Show me a man wearing an American flag pin in his lapel, and I’ll show you an asshole. I’m sure there are exceptions, but in general people need to remember that lapels aren’t for wearing pins to create the illusion that you’re supporting the troops. They’re for wearing ribbons to create the illusion that you’re helping cure a disease.

Of course, the Republicans are the party of Mark Foley and the Rev. Ted Haggard and Larry Craig and countless other closeted homosexuals, so their fixation on jewelry is understandable, but still … the flag is just a symbol. You’re getting pissy about a brooch, you drama queens, one that was probably made in China. It’s probably leaking poison lead on you right now.

At least that would be some sacrifice, because let’s be honest: this generation doesn’t do real sacrifice or even pay for our own wars. That’s what grandkids are for! No, we do flag pins and bumper stickers. And not even bumper stickers. Bumper magnets. Because stickers are tough to get off, and we may change our mind about never forgetting.

Funny and sad that the Right measures patriotism in such petty ways.

Two links to The Carpetbagger Report, Fake FEMA press conference spurs apology – a surreal piece of work by , you guessed it the same folks that who continue to use that worn out mantra about the press being too liberal and have to have pin on their lapel to prove their loyalty to country. More ‘phony soldiers’ speak out against Iraq policy

Asked if the American endeavor here was worth their sacrifice — 20 soldiers from the battalion have been killed in Baghdad — [Sgt. Victor Alarcon] said no: “I don’t think this place is worth another soldier’s life.” (emphasis added)

That “phony soldiers” remark will haunt Limbaugh to his grave and rightly so.

Telecom Immunity and White House Wiretapping Documents

The letter noted that the administration still has not complied with subpoenas issued on June 27 for documents related to the wiretapping program’s legal basis. Senator Feingold, who serves on both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees and has access to the documents, said the documents revealed “the absence of a legitimate justification under the law” for the program and constituted “an executive power grab.”

The Keystone Cops meet Machiavelli – How Republicans support Hezbollah

This is your government high on small government Conservatism, Firm blamed for Baghdad embassy flaws gains new jobs

The Kuwaiti contractor that’s building the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad — behind schedule and plagued by allegations of shoddy construction and safety flaws — is still winning lucrative new contracts to build U.S. diplomatic installations overseas.

Late last month, First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting Co. was part of a team that won a $122 million State Department contract to build a U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to contract documents.

That’s one of at least three State Department jobs, in addition to the Baghdad project, that First Kuwaiti won in association with a U.S. firm, Grunley Walsh LLC of Rockville, Md.

Since 2006, by operating as a subcontractor to Grunley Walsh, First Kuwaiti has won contracts for work on a new U.S. Embassy in Libreville, Gabon; on a consulate in Surabaya, Indonesia; and on the Jeddah project.

Such partnerships are increasingly common as foreign companies try to win shares of embassy construction contracts that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year under the State Department’s aggressive building program. Under a 1986 law, only U.S. firms can bid on embassy construction.

But industry analysts said that First Kuwaiti appears to be the financial muscle behind the partnership with Grunley Walsh. Lebanese businessman Wadih al Absi founded the company in 1996. News reports and Middle East experts say that Absi is a supporter of Lebanese Christian politician Michel Aoun, an ally of Syria and the Iranian-backed Islamic militant group Hezbollah.

So class, where does Hezbollah, a group that many Republicans and Democrats condemn as a militant organization if not outright terrorists. That’s right Republicans support Hezbollah. If you were under the impression that Congress made it so foreign companies could no longer get the bulk of any contract for building American projects such as embassies. We all know how clever Republicans can be about bending, twisting, and skirting the law. The partnership of foreign companies with American contractors has become the new kool-kids trend. Just Business: Buying a US Embassy Contractor

According to documents: Robert Farah, Paul Jureidini and Robert K. Kelly are the key players to taking control of Grunley Walsh International, which recently won over $200 million in new State Department contracts for embassy and consulate contruction in Saudi Arabia, Gabon and Indonesia. The Baghdad embassy contractor, First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting is the prime subcontractor to the three new contracts.

There have been so many Republicans in Congress, the administration and the private sector involved in corrupt, and/or unethical dealings the last decade that the names have probably become a blur at this point. Farah started cozying up to Republicans with a $25,000 to the Republican National Committee. Maybe a coincidence or maybe not, but soon after Grunley scored some prime subcontracting work with First Kuwaiti. This isn’t close to comparable to the Senator Clinton and Norman Hsu dust up where there was nothing that even hinted at pay for play. Jureidini was a protege of former campaign foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush, Richard Armitage. Kelly works for a U.S. firm called Audreac and Associates, but was an adviser to the U.K. public relations company Bell Pottinger USA in Washington, DC. which was awarded $5.8 million and four-month contract from the Bushies to sell the Iraqi people on the neocon vision of democracy.

Some advertising experts said they were wary about the idea of using television spots to push political change and encourage the growth of democracy.

Learning about democracy through advertising could make it seem like a product that should be blamed or abandoned if things do not go well, said Harry C. Boyte, senior fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

There might be a temptation for some to see all of this as some nefarious conspiracy. As yet anyway there isn’t much evidence to support that. It is more like Republican reality TV. Conservatives once again placing a higher value on monetary gain then ethics, caught in the act of being what and who they really are. The Keystone Cops meets Machiavelli.

Antique World Map wallpaper circa 1780

World Mar circa 1780 by mathematician and teacher Samuel Dunn. Note the map of the moon’s surface, bottom center.

“Islamofascism” is term of propaganda. There is no substantive proof that such a phenomenon exists. 

Islamofascism misrepresents modern terrorism and Islam.

It makes little sense to use the word “fascism” to describe today’s terrorism threat. Al Qaeda and other 21st century terrorists do not rely on the nation-state concept that defined 20th century fascism. Whereas fascists used violence to create control out of disorder, contemporary terrorists derive ammunition from chaos.

Nor is it appropriate to employ a term that strongly implies that Islam and terror are synonymous. At first glance, one might agree with conservative New York Times columnist William Safire in his assessment of the label: “The compound defines those terrorists who profess a religious mission while embracing totalitarian methods and helps separate them from devout Muslims who want no part of terrorist means.” But most who use the term fail to make this crucial distinction; instead, they employ Islamofascism to imply that Islam and terror are fundamentally entwined. National Review columnist Deroy Murdock, for instance, supplements his case that Saddam Hussein supported Islamofascism—and therefore could be tied to Al Qaeda—by pointing out that Hussein “began to pray publicly to boost his ‘mosque-cred.'” David Horowitz, known for his fallacy-ridden attacks on academia, has organized “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” on college campuses across the country and has encouraged students to show the film “Islam: What the West Needs to Know.” According to Horowitz’s website, the movie depicts “the violent, expansionary ideology of the so called ‘religion of peace’ that seeks the destruction or subjugation of other faiths, cultures, and systems of government.”

Despite the claims of some of its supporters, Islamofascism is not used “sparingly or precisely.” The label has been slapped onto groups and individuals as diverse as Hezbollah, Saddam Hussein, and the Saudi government—denigrating Islam as a violent religion in the process. Theologians recognize Islam as a peaceful religion that shares theological roots and principles with Judaism and Christianity. Religious leaders such as Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as political leaders such as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and President Bush, have all publicly stated that Islam is a peaceful religion that warrants respect.

Part of a longer article with lots of links at Campus Progress.

Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda

Matt Drudge posts documents that are supposed to be damning of The New Republic and Scott Beauchamp then suddenly said proof disappears – dead link here and here. In addition Drudge has removed the original story. The New York Observer spoke with TNR editor Franklin Foer, TNR’s Foer: Drudge’s Documents Could Have Come Only From the Army

Franklin Foer, editor of The New Republic, said in an interview that the documents Matt Drudge posted this afternoon–and removed several hours later without explanation–could have only come from the Army.

Mr. Foer said he called TNR’s contact there, Major Kirk Luedeke, as soon as the documents appeared on Drudge’s Web site. According to Mr. Foer, Major Luedeke told him that the Army was “investigating the source of the leak,” though they did not explicitly take responsibility for it.

“It’s maddening to see the Army selectively leak to the Drudge Report things that we’ve been trying to obtain from them through Freedom of Information Act requests,” Mr. Foer said. “This fits a pattern in this case where the army has leaked a lot of stuff to right wing blogs.”

Mr. Foer said TNR had been trying since July to get access to some of the documents Mr. Drudge posted, but that the Army had not cooperated.

Michelle Malkin famous or infamous for her lies about S-CHIP, her lies about the Latino organization MEChA, and extraordinarily can’t seem to get the fundmental facts straight about 9-11 or the American Muslim community say she has the poop on TNR. All of which suggests she shouldn’t be the go-to person on getting any facts straight much less entitled to any purely manufactured outrage over whether TNR dotted all its i’s. By Michelle Malkin • October 24, 2007 01:30 PM

Update 6:50pm Eastern. Franklin Foer comes out from under his desk to whine to the NY Observer about the transcripts being leaked. All of this damning transcript evidence of TNR’s attempts to cover up, and what does Foer do? He attacks the military again (emphasis mine)

To the caught drooling Malkin, the facts are the same thing as an attack. I looked at a couple of on-line dictionaries that they do not concur.The facts are truly a liberal bias. TNR is correct on this aspect of the Beauchamp bruhaha if nothing else: certain military personnel have provided leaks, unsubstantiated leaks at that, to war cheerleaders like the Weekly Standard while also withholding documentation from TNR who has filed a Freedom of Information request that hasn’t been complied with. Again, and this part is getting tiresome. Beauchamp might be completely in the wrong, maybe not, but no one has produced proof that Scott is a complete liar as the Right claims. John Cole reiterates what I’ve suggested before. That Beauchamp just wants the story to go away and obviously with the The Right-wing Stalker Brigade on his back that would be understandable, More Beauchamp

I would tell you what I thought of the leaked documents if the links at Drudge worked. From Kevin’s snippet, it appears that the latest transcript show that Beauchamp basically told everyone to piss off, that he just wanted everything to go away. Or, precisely what anyone with a brain would have predicted he would do (note the date I wrote that- 10 September) once the nutters had the brass jumping down his throat.

You’re a soldier in Iraq under fire (something that Malkin and the usual cadre of chickenhawks wouldn’t understand) you try your hand at a little first person journalism and you do get a few things wrong. Then unlike the Right who suffers from a terminal lack of humility you admit you screwed up, then the brass decides to grill your ass. Within this bubble of who said what when there are a couple of things missing from the intense rabidness on the Right, a little humility and proportion. They’re incredibly paranoid that somehow the Beauchamp story will tarnish the bright shiny picture that try to paint of Iraq and the worse president in American history. Whatever the end of the story on TNR and Beauchamp ends up it doesn’t change how badly the Right has behaved the last forty years, the last ten in particular and the river of lies they rode to power. The Beuachamp story regardless of how it ends does not compensate America for all the damage that the Right has done, how they have twisted and mangled genuine values and patriotism. No doubt they will continue to turn like little worms with these relatively minor Beauchamp-like flare ups , pissing and whining from under the bleachers, but that is where the sweep of public opinion has put them and is where they are going to stay. Let me quote Balloon Juice again from a reply he made to one of his commenters,

Every post I wrote about this was one mocking the nutters for freaking out about this. Never once did I say that Beauchamp’s stories were true. What I mocked was the notion that they were disproven with assertions that “soldiers don’t mock people” or sand table exercises with scale models of Bradley’s.

The Right just doesn’t get it. Over three thousand soldiers are dead, tens of thousands wounded maimed or crippled. Iraq is a desert hell hole, Bin Laden is chuckling in a cave somewhere in Pakistan, the total bill for Afghanistan and Iraq is over the two trillion dollars mark. The Right jumps up and down waving their tired little arms saying please please America don’t think about what is important, think about Scott Beauchamp...please please we beg you, the Beauchamp story is the biggest most important story since Hillary gave her cat to a friend.


Malkin says that her fellow ideologues at The National Review don’t get. It is pretty simple. M’s Lopez read what Drudge made available. It wasn’t the smoking gun the right-wing bloggers all say it is. What’s that called when someone is so bent on revenge that they sell out their own credibility.

Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda ~ Hannah Arendt

Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more

Iraqis place Sadr City toll at 17 as confusion over Sunday fighting continues

BAGHDAD — Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood seethed with anger on Monday over a U.S. military raid that U.S. officials said targeted a kidnapping ring but that Iraqis say killed as many as 17 innocent women and children.

American officials declined to provide additional information on the Sunday raid, though they continued to insist that no civilians were among the 49 people killed during the bloody sweep.

Six more coffins were reported to have arrived at the huge Shiite Muslim cemetery at Najaf, about 100 miles southwest of Baghdad, where 11 of the dead were buried on Sunday. Four children were among the dead, an emergency worker told McClatchy Newspapers.

Reports like this are not an indictment of the “military” as much as the continuing politicization of  the military brass. The brass, the Pentagon spokespeople that really speak for the administration rather then us, the people that pay their salary continue the well established Conservative tradition of insisting their version of the truth dominate the national narrative even though once again the facts do not seem to support them. No biggie if you think your ideology is more important then the truth.

This sums up the Bush administration and its supporters world view in relatively few words,Don’t Think of a Sick Child

Profit-maximizing insurance, as opposed to doctor-provided care, forces the nation to choose among its children: who will get care and who won’t, who will suffer and who won’t, who will live and who will die.

Bush and his conservative allies don’t want us to see sick children, just as they don’t want us to see those bodies in bags coming back from Iraq. They’re in the habit of sweeping our human casualties under the rug.

But Americans are a compassionate people. We do care about sick children. We do care about our dead and wounded vets and their families. We do care about victims of Hurricane Katrina. Empathy and compassion are what this country is about.

And no they are not saying that insurance companies shouldn’t make a reasonable profit. Only there is a difference between making a profit and worshiping profit at the expense of common decency. One of the fundamental flaws of Conservatism is that inability to draw fine lines. Its us or them, you’re with us or against us and of course if you dare disagree with the ideological purity of the Big R conservatives then you hate America.

Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA) is on board with the whole torture thing. He even manages to be a little indignant at those that would question the right of the U.S. to torture innocent people. Dana gets the assclown of the day award.

Hillary Clinton Barack Obama Al Franken Jean Garofalo Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) Michael Moore said,

I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.

Correction, Glen Beck CNN’s premiere brain trust of cultural insight and ideological cousin of Marinetti said that. His producer says,

“To most rational people, unfortunately still means unfortunately,” Chris Balfe, the show’s producer, tells On Deadline through a spokesman.

Mr. Balfe and Mr. Beck like all right-wing apologists live in the tiny cracks of Semanticville where they hide from sunshine, ghosts and being held accountable.

I’m rethinking the Michelle Malkin as pathological liar proposition. It’s possible that she’s illiterate and lacks the reading comprehension necessary to arrive at an informed opinion, We Have A DREAM… or Did you actually read the bill, Michelle?

Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more. ~  Mark Twain

The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief

The Washington Posts reviews FAIR GAME – My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House By Valerie Plame Wilson

Since senior administration officials whispered “Valerie Plame” and “CIA” in the same breath to half a dozen journalists in 2003, some people have not very subtly suggested that her work couldn’t really have been all that hush-hush if she had an office job, not to mention blond hair and little kids. “She was not involved in clandestine activities,” Robert D. Novak, the syndicated columnist who first published her name, wrote earlier this year in his dueling memoir. “Instead, each day she went to CIA headquarters in Langley where she worked on arms proliferation.”

There are lots of she said-he said moments in the Plame affair, matters on which an impartial observer can only conclude that, well, both sides have a point. But this is not one of them.

Before her retirement in 2006, Wilson spent more than 20 years in the CIA, including six years, one month and 29 days of overseas service. We know this because the agency, in a bureaucratic blunder, put it in an unclassified letter about her pension eligibility that it later tried desperately to recall, and that she has included as an appendix to “Fair Game.”

Laura Rozen wrote the afterword and because of the large amount of material that was redacted they suggest readers go to that first to get some clarification on dates and events. While we’re on the subject of gathering intelligence and betrayal, Curveball: The Iraqi Defector the Bush Team Used to Sell the War

In CURVEBALL: Spies, Lies and the Con Man Who Caused a War,veteran Los Angeles Times reporter Bob Drogin, who originally broke the story, paints a picture of a desperate refugee who, while trying to gain asylum in Europe, began feeding claims about Saddam’s supposed weapons programs to an intelligence community that was under intense pressure from the top to come up with a case for war.

Curveball, who claimed to be an Iraqi chemical engineer with knowledge of even the country’s most secret weapons programs, spilled the beans in a big way when debriefed by German intelligence officials. But, as Drogin would later report, he was a twitchy, possibly mentally disturbed drunk who was prone to rapid mood-swings and whose story tended to shift according to what he thought investigators wanted to hear. But despite that fact, and with only the “corroboration” of a few ex-patriots associated with convicted fraudster Ahmed Chalabi, Curveball’s claims passed through several layers of often skeptical intelligence professionals and became ‘Exhibit A’ in the administration’s case for war.

I can’t find it in the Constitution or even the Federalists papers, maybe it was passed during one of those midnight votes Republicans used to have when they figured no one would show up, but we all know that the Rabid Republican Nationalists Republican party is the last word in patriotism. Funny kind of patriotism to look around for mentally disturbed losers and use their testimony to send our nation’s sons and daughters off to die for. Sounds like a brand of patriotism you’d only find in the perpetually self deluding.

Betraying intelligence assets while simultaneously using gossip from desperate characters was done on your dime and your time by people that get free health-care by the way. Situational ethics remains Republicans Achilles heal. No funds for brain damaged kids, but plenty of funds to outsource contracts like this propaganda by the Pentagon, Pentagon Co-opted Independent Military Newspaper For PR Campaign Pushing Bush’s War Policies

The Pentagon has engaged in an aggressive U.S. grassroots efforts to drum up support for Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the guise of supporting the troops. A central front in this effort has been the “non-political” America Supports You (ASY) program. (One branch of ASY is Operation Straight Up, an “evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among active-duty members of the US military.”)

While the legal and ethical questions of programs being created and outsourced are important. If these programs are not being misused the fact remains the Whitehouse honestly believes that most Americans do not support the troops.

“The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief” ~ J. Ellul