Saturday, July 23, 2005

Evil, Evil, Evil!

Joy Busey

"Luke," Darth Vader intones in his deep baritone, "you don't know the power of the dark side."

Well, I've come across it a few times, and certainly appreciate its power. Take for instance a threat this week by Darth W [our erstwhile CinC] threatening in his whiney alto to wield the very first VETO of his [p]residency against next year's Military Appropriations Bill because of amendments offered by John McCain and Lindsey Graham to regulate the treatment of detainees and set up a commission to investigate abuses at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and other military prisons.

According to Reuters -

The White House on thursday threatened to veto a massive Senate bill for $442 billion in next year's defense programs if it moves to regulate the Pentagon's treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations at Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere.

Now, you may ask "Why?" It's just a few 'bad apples', isn't it? Well, apparently not. Just yesterday (July 22) the Center for Constitutional Rights denounced the Bush administration's latest efforts to block compliance with FOIA requests by the center, the ACLU, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Peace, and Veterans for Common Sense for release of photographs and videos of abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib. Photos and videos that we already know (because Lindsey Graham told us back in 2003) show beatings, rape of women detainees, sodomy of child detainees, desecration of dead bodies, etc. Now the gub'ment is claiming that they are exempt from FOIA because the material is "law-enforcement related" and violates the "privacy" of the detainees (or maybe just the rapists/torturers).

Given that our military (such as it is) is currently deployed to two war zones, spending a billion dollars a week in just Iraq, getting "supplemental" appropriations of $85 billion every six months (that rich folks aren't paying because they got nifty tax cuts) just so I can no longer retire at 65 and get the money I've been paying into SS all my life, I'd actually LIKE to see the Shrub veto the appropriations bill because of these amendments. It might force 'Middle Amerika' to wake up and start the impeachment proceedings against the whole damn lot of 'em.

Bushie does claim that not allowing torture or rape, or allowing investigations of torture and rape, will undermine his "authority to protect Americans from terrorist attack." But since child sodomy and gang rape are large among the abuses cited, I suspect it's just the same old same old same from the Bush enclave at the Bohemian Grove, where all the richest, most powerful Satanists go every summer to sodomize children and murder babies for the banquet [see Gannongate threatens to expose huge GOP pedophile and male prostitution ring].

At what point do we here on the primary synchronized world of the Evil Empire say "ENOUGH!!!" and get the opportunity to rebel against Darth and the evil Sith Emperor by joining the Alliance? Where are Luke and Leah? Are there no Jedi left, Yoda?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Evil genius going down? II

Back on July 2, I posted that I thought the dam had actually cracked in regards to the Rove-Plame affair. Scott McClellan's White House news conference today looked more like the signs of a dam about to burst. The White House press corp has been burned one too many times it seems. From WMD to Jeff Gannon to a universal world loathing of the press "toadies" as they are referred to by much of the world's media, this press corp may just be saying, "We've had enough". One can only hope.

Reading the transcript of this event is remarkable enough ( but the actual questions show the remarkable venom some of these reporters managed to find. I congratulate them. Now lets see them follow up.

From Bill from Portland Maine's post on kos, here a few of the best questions. The last one of course is the best.

QUESTION: Does the president stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in a leak of the name of a CIA operative?
QUESTION: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?
QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this ?
QUESTION: Scott, this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us, after having commented with that level of detail, and tell people watching this that somehow you've decided not to talk.  You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium or not?
QUESTION: You're in a bad spot here, Scott... (LAUGHTER) ... because after the investigation began---after the criminal investigation was under way---you said, October 10th, 2003, I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this, from that podium. That's after the criminal investigation began.  Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation.
QUESTION: Well, we are going to keep asking them. When did the president learn that Karl Rove had had a conversation with a news reporter about the involvement of Joseph Wilson's wife in the decision to send him to Africa?
QUESTION: Can I finish, please?
QUESTION: Does the president continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?
QUESTION: So you're not going to respond as to whether or not the president has confidence in his deputy chief of staff?
QUESTION: Scott, I think you're getting this barrage today in part because it is now clear that 21 months ago you were up at this podium saying something that we now know to be demonstrably false.  Now, are you concerned that in setting the record straight today that this could undermine the credibility of the other things you say from the podium?
QUESTION: In your dealings with the special counsel, have you consulted a personal attorney?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Still Tied to the Mast

Way back in 1973, I was stationed on a Submarine that was in the shipyard after we returned from a 3 month tour beneath the Atlantic. This was a time when President Nixon was starting to get into his Watergate mess and it was being finally revealed that the U.S. had been secretly bombing Cambodia since at least 1969.

Two fellow sailors and myself started keeping a log, or diary if you will, outlining our objections to this outrage and indeed to the war itself. We contributed to this diary on lonely nights when we were keeping watch at the top of the gang plank. Armed with a .45 and a mighty pen, we built quite a diary over a couple of months that we kept hidden deep under a pile of foul weather gear. We called it the "Top Side Graffiti Log".

Sure enough, an officer eventually discovered the unsigned entries and sent the log off to Fort Gordon Ga, where the Army's hand writing experts identified the culprits. The three of us spent the next several months being hounded by the Navy's legal system and the Secret Service and I ended ended up being convicted at a Captain's Mast, resulting in a demotion in rank and restriction to base.

I left the Mast unrepentant and walked directly to the Marine Headquarters at the shipyard and asked around until I found a Marine lawyer and told him my story. He was delighted I had sought him out and proceeded to build a case in my defense including an emergency appeal that lifted my on base restriction within 2 days because my wife and children lived off base. The charge on which I was convicted was "Insubordination to a Superior Commissioned Officer (Commander in Chief).

After months of work, we attended an elaborate appeals hearing with Admirals sitting in judgement. We won on the technicality that Nixon was not a "Commissioned" officer. But better yet, the Captain of my boat was publicly dressed down in front of the whole room for violating my rights of free speech. I got my stripe back, got all my back pay and was soon promoted to the next higher rank.

It's important to keep in mind that this particular Commander in Chief had grown increasingly unpopular with the rank and file of the armed forces. Similarities abound today. So to all the brave men and women of the United States military who feel the need to speak out against what they see as an unjust war, please take my story to heart and fear not being silenced, for you are truly the beacon of freedom for our great country, the United States of America. Happy Birthday!

Randall's DailyKos Diary

One Soldier's Predicament with Freedom of Speech

Happy Independence Day!

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

(Click comment link below to see the complete text)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Evil Genius going down?

For those following the Valerie Plame case, the obvious was made obvious TODAY when senior MSNBC political analyst Lawrence O'Donnell came right out and said that Rove was the source for the outing of Plame, a CIA operative. Hubris and reckless abandon to ideology mark this administration, but neither can stand under the glare of a newly awakened media that has been shamed into action by the blogosphere.