Monday, August 02, 2004
Friday, July 16, 2004
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
In order to respect the President's inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign, 18 U.S.C. $ 2340A (the prohibition against torture) must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his Commander-in-Chief authority. Congress lacks authority under Article I to set the terms and conditions under which the President may exercise his authority as Commander-in-Chief to control the conduct of operations durning a war. The President's power to detain and interrogate enemy combatants arises out of his constitutional authorities as Commander-in-Chief. A construction of Section 2340A that applied the provision to regulate the President's authority as Commander-in-Chief to determine the interrogation and treatment of enemy combatants would raise serious constitutional questions. Congress may no more regulate the President's ability to detain and interrogate enemy combatants than it may regulate his ability to direct troop movements on the battlefield. Accordingly, we would construe Section 2340A to avoid this constitutional difficulty, and conclude that it does not apply to the President's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants pursuant to his Commander-in-Chief authority.
This logic is beyond strained. First of all, there is no war going on because Congress never declared one. This raises "serious constitutional questions" going the other way: it appears the president has usurped constitutional authority belonging to Congress. But even with a war on, it's an extreme interpretation to say that the conduct of the war is beyond any checks and balances at all.
The administration does backflips to justify its actions. Here, of course, there is a war on, so he's commander-in-chief, so what he says goes. But al-Qaeda soldiers aren't subject to the Geneva Convention, because that's signed between states and they aren't a state. The Dept. of Justice says that the Convention does apply in the conflict with the Taliban, except that it doesn't really, because Taliban detainees aren't really prisoners of war. There's no war on (see p. 3 of this memo). Also, this document, according to the WSJ (I haven't read the whole thing), says that the Guantanamo Bay facility is US territory. But elsewhere, the Bush administration says that the prisoners there don't have some rights specifically because GitMo isn't US territory.
Anyway, John Marshall points out the most important part of this memo:
MEMO: To protect subordinates should they be charged with torture, the memo advised that Mr. Bush issue a "presidential directive or other writing" that could serve as evidence, since authority to set aside the laws is "inherent in the president."
Friday, May 21, 2004
Thursday, April 22, 2004
"We have the potential to turn this into the Alamo if we get it wrong." Those prophetic words were spoken by a senior U.S. military officer to a reporter for The New York Times. He's right. It's a potential turning point in the entire U.S. war in Iraq. If the United States goes full-force into Fallujah, it will be a Pyrrhic victory: from the ruins of that city, hatred of America will rise all over Iraq. (If the United States attacks Najaf, where Muqtada al-Sadr is holed up, it's curtains for the occupation.)
NOTE: In a "memory hole" type of maneuver, it seems that the NYT editors have removed that quote from the story.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
”Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 -- it's the threat against Israel,” Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on Sep. 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of 9/11 and the future of the war on the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation.This was said by Philip Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 commission! Statement was made 9/10/2002.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Monday, March 29, 2004
The case for war against Iraq was dealt another embarrassing blow yesterday due to claims by an American newspaper that the first-hand intelligence source on Saddam Hussein's alleged mobile bioweapons labs was a politically motivated Iraqi defector now dismissed as an "out-and-out fabricator".
Thursday, March 25, 2004
Friday, March 12, 2004
The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan.
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
I just feel compelled to show this picture of a massive pro-Chavez demonstration that happened in Caracas on Sunday. Wow.
Like the situation in Haiti, the Venezuelan mess is complex.
The sides are, however, bluntly discernable. Most people who talk about it are strongly partisan, speaking with almost cold-war rhetoric ("They're evil autocratic socialists!" or "They're evil corporate, capitalist imperialists!")
There was long a piece about Chavez in the Sept 10 2001 New Yorker that showed him to be a complex and imperfect man who truly cared about the people. His vision is greater than his reforms and he alienated the business community rather than trying to work with them.
I side with the Chavez supporters, but not blindly or idealistically.
The US media is clearly biased against him. Check out this rebuttle of many of the 25 editorials the Washington Post has written about Venezuela since 1999, which are strongly titled against Chavez. I found it quite eye-opening. I only buy into about 70% of the examples (I do for example think that Chavez' party has consolidated power to an extent that makes me uncomfortable, although the constitution was changed by a congress that was fairly elected according to monitors, this piece says). But while this rebuttle must be read as an unabashedly partisan document, it is also thorough and shows the Post editorial board contradicting it's papers own news articles, repeatedly making unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims, and sometimes out and out lying. This piece makes lot of the standard charges against Chavez look questionable, and sometimes baseless. Importantly, there's no grounds to say that Chavez has killed the Venezuelan economy. The most damaging thing to the economy in the past years is when Chavez' business opponenents organized strikes and lock-outs to shut-down the oil industry.
As far as the current referendum controversy goes, I'm not taking sides. I think both Chavez and the opposition are playing politics and it reminds me of Florida chad. In my opinion, there probably was a lot of fraud in obtaining the signatures, but is it enough to discount 1 million out of 2.4 million (the totals are something like that)? Shouldn't the opposition be given more than *five days* to have citizens revalidate their signatures. (This is a little bit less crazy than it sounds, because printouts of the rolls are being provided locally... the manpower is supposedly there). And I don't know how well to trust the voting commission.
But on the subject of US intervention, it's documented that the United States has, in the name of "democracy", funded organizations working to oust Chavez. These include an organization involved in obtaining the signatures to remove Chavez, and some of the organizers of the oil shutdown in 2002.
For an "opposition" viewpoint which is at least a little bit nuanced, check out caracaschronicles.blogspot.com. It is written by a former New York Times contributer who left the paper after his partisan blog was outed and who said he couldn't be unbiased when his country was in such turmoil.
STUFF I'VE WRITTEN OR BLOGGED ABOUT BEFORE:
Oil Strike that wasn't a strike:
Media Revolution Article
Shoddy Media Coverage of Venezuela:
Brad Carlton articles
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, the former interim administrator of post-conflict reconstruction efforts in Iraq, said Thursday that a U.S. military presence in Iraq should be in Iraq for "the next few decades"...
Could this be why we're revamping the Draft Board?
(Kudos to Bob Harris for bringing this up.)
Saudi Oil May Soon Decline, Causing Trouble
Saudi Aramco says its dominance in world oil markets will grow because, "if required," it can expand its capacity to 12 million barrels a day or more by "making necessary investments," according to written responses to questions submitted by The New York Times.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
For example, what if, rather than being grounded for missing a physical as the terse report we have all seen suggests, George W. was grounded for some other reason, such as an arrest? It would not be unusual for a guardsman to be suspended for being arrested, especially for certain types of offenses. It would also not be terribly unusual for the son of a prominent politician who was grounded verbally for being arrested to be afforded the courtesy of having his record reflect only the somewhat less embarrassing fact that he failed to take a required physical examination.
ITEM 2) About that Community Service?
Very relevant to the above scenario. Whitehouse Press Secretary is repeatedly asked whether President Bush did community service during the time he was supposed to be in the National Guard. And he repeatedly dodges the question with those ridiculous dances that White House Press Secretaries do.
A few days old: J. Edgar Hoover's exhumation cancelled...for now. The troubling subpoenas of Drake University's students and the subpoena of records from the University regarding a peace forum have been cancelled because of protest.
Monday, February 09, 2004
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Friday, January 30, 2004
The Administration Hasn't Been Cleared on WMD
I think it's a joke to say that the Bush administration didn't manipulate the information about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. You have Powell saying Saddam "has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction" in a speech in February 2001. Two months later, Condi Rice said of Saddam, "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt." But boy did they change their tune less than a year later. If you want more, check out the testimony of Scott Ridder, the former UN chief weapons inspector in Iraq, although the above two statements give lie to the notion that everyone, all along, thought that there were huge WMD stockpiles in Iraq.
Certain members of the CIA have taken the rap for the Bush Administration. In press statements, Kay sucked up to Bush while the search was in process, and he is transferring blame to the CIA now. Tenet took the blame for the "16 words" about Iraq's nuclear program in Bush's state of the union speech last year, but if you looked into it, it was clearly bullshit. The administration had been informed that the Niger story was bogus back in October of 2002. They had been told by the CIA -- by Tenet, even--to take it out of a different speech. When Condi was asked on TV why the claim was still in the state of the union, she said that everyone forgot. She said, "We are trying to put now in place methods so you don?t have to be dependent on people?s memories for something like that."
We forgot? You don't "forget" about things like that. I love Tom Tomorrow's comeback on that one:
Gosh, I guess we all forget things from time to time. What we had for dinner last night, or whether a key piece of evidence supporting a planned unilateral invasion is credible or not. Things like that. At least they're working on methods to supplement fallible human memory. And Condi, if you're reading this, might I suggest Post-It notes? You can just scribble a quick note to yourself -- yellowcake uranium story utterly fictional, say -- and stick it on your computer monitor, so that when you get to work on that State of the Union address, you and everyone else who vets the SOTU speech in the entire goddamned White House don't "forget" anything.
Another thing... Don't forget the report in the New Yorker that "some senior Administration people [including VP Cheney], soon after coming to power, had bypassed the government?s customary procedures for vetting intelligence." Normally, the CIA processes raw intelligence to corroborate it and make sure it isn't frivolous noise. But Cheney wanted to make sure they didn't miss any dirt to support their desired actions, and he latched on a vague suggestion of an Iraq / Niger link regarding uranium that CIA consultants said lacked credibility.
I'm not disagreeing with the statement that there are problems with the CIA's set-up... both with their setup (too much reliance on satellites and not enough people on the ground) and with constraints against voicing opposing viewpoints. But it that's not grounds for saying that the Bush administration isn't at fault. They spun the information so hard that it broke. As Kenneth Pollack, who made the case for invading Iraq in his book The Threatening Storm, now says
The intelligence community did overestimate the scope and progress of Iraq's WMD programs, although not to the extent that many people believe. The Administration stretched those estimates to make a case not only for going to war but for doing so at once, rather than taking the time to build regional and international support for military action.
On the other side of the Atlantic, you have the Hutton report exonerating the Blair administration from naughtiness in exaggerating the WMD threat and in leaking the identity of David Kelly, the source of the BBC story who later appeared dead in the woods near his house. I was seething when I heard Blair on the radio yesterday saying "we never leaked Kelly's identity." Yet when the controversy was in full steam, you had a reporter saying that it was easy to figure out Kelly's identity with a little poking about on the Web. The government had leaked enough information so that he was clearly identifiable, and when the reporter narrowed it down to two names, they confirmed which one it was. To say that they didn't leak his identity is like quibbling over the definition of "leak".
Furthermore, in reading some of the testimony from the Hutton hearings, it's not justifiable to say that they didn't exaggerate the WMD threats. The whole 45 minute claim was basically out of nowhere and even that nowhere source was exaggerated. It was only Hutton who exonerated Blair. When Hutton was appointed (by Blair) he was identified as having a distinguished career, but was also called "a pair of safe hands", according to an interviewee on NPR yesterday.
Finally, there are still the other reported complaints from intelligence agents that they felt pressured to come up with specific findings. That is what this whole Wilson/Plame case was about. The media always says that it was to punish Wilson for going against the president. But I've only heard one person say what I also think is the real reason: it was to give a signal to other intelligence officers what the price could be for speaking out.
If you don't think this administration pressures people and manipulates information and intelligence for its own purpose, just look at what's happening in the EPA. When it came time to publish a State of the Environment report, they clashed with the administration over the environment. An internal memo was leaked from this period of negotiations in which it was stated that they could not comply with the White House and still publish a credible report on climate change. So they just purged that section from the report completely. At the same time that the Bushies claim there is no greenhouse effect, you have the Pentagon actively strategizing for the changes that may come. As far as the EPA goes, I've read headlines now saying that the administration is trying to change the scientific research process to make the results more controllable.
UPDATE: See this compendium of evidence that the Bush Administration "repeatedly and deliberately refused to listen to intelligence agencies that said its case for war was weak," put together by the Center for American Progress. Also see this Krugman Op-Ed; he also says the Plame leak was partially to intimidate other intel officers from speaking out against the administration.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Current Status of Media Consolidation Fight
Here's the dope on where the current Media Consolidation fight stands, last I looked:
(1) The FCC passed a suite of rule changes last June 2 which would allow lots more media consolidation on the local and national levels (one corporation could own (from memory) 3 TV stations, 8 radio stations, the newspaper, and the cable system in one city.
(2) The implementation of these rule changes have been put on hold by an injunction pending a legal challenge. This challenge, brought by the Media Access Project and the Prometheus Radio Project will be heard soon.
(3) There have been a number of efforts in the House and Senate to reverse these rule changes, most of them piecemeal. The opposition to the rule changes has been mostly Democrat, but some Republicans have been vigorous, too (including Trent Lott).
The best effort to support, I think, is a Resolution of Disapproval which would cancel all the rule changes. It passed in the Senate through through a special process which bypassed committee. In the House, it's being held indefinitely by Speaker Hastert even though 205 Reps signed a letter demanding it be brought to the floor. They could force the bill to the floor if 211 Reps supported a measure to(some who signed the letter may not want to do this).
At the Nat'l Conference on Media Reform in November, I spoke to NY Rep. Hinchey. He said he and others would be pushing to force their bill to the floor at the begining of this year. I don't see any mention of it on his website, but I know it hasn't been dropped. WHEN IT GETS CIRCULATED, IT IS THIS EFFORT MUST GET PUBLIC SUPPORT. SOME REPRESENTATIVES WILL NEED PURSUADING. I just emailed Hinchey's office to find out about the status of this bill.
(4) Meanwhile, CBS-Viacom is giving favors to Bush to defeat these rollback efforts. With blatant horse-trading, they cancelled the Reagans and are blocking MoveOn's ad in the Super Bowl. In return, the Omnibus Spending Bill a week ago included a custom rider to allow companies own stations reaching 39% of the market (Fox and I think CBS were already over the old limit).
The power that these corporations wield is stunning. They've got their propaganda and distractions bombarding us at an incredible rate. To think that the airwaves are technically public property...
Always a good place to go on this issue: http://www.mediareform.net
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
The officials who identified Ms. Plame as a C.I.A. officer to Mr. Novak were apparently trying to cast doubt on the credibility of Mr. Wilson, who emerged as a prominent critic of the administration after being enlisted by the C.I.A. to investigate a claim related to Iraq's reported nuclear weapons program.
It wasn't so much about casting doubt on Wilson or even about punishing him. It was to make an example of him to other Intel agents who might want to challenge the president.
Congress returns from its holiday recess this week to face budget issues that were unresolved at the end of 2003. The Senate has yet to approve an immense omnibus spending bill that provides funding for most of the government's operations. It also includes many provisions that had been rejected when considered separately.
** Undo Congressional Block of New Rules on Overtime and denying overtime pay rights to 8 million
** Kill Congressional moves in both houses to block greater media consolidation (just the national tv cap).
** Fund $11 billion in projects for specific states that the congress never authorized. (McCain said it's plain that the New Years parties haven't ended in Congress.)
** Block a bill aleady passed in Congress to label meat's country of origin (In spite of Mad Cow disease).
** Require FBI to destroy documents on gun background checks within 24 hours rather than the current 90 days.
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
George W. Bush, with the help of his advisor, Karl Rove has mastered the art of portraying himself as a man of great principle, integrity, honesty, caring, compassion, and character.
Somebody predicted Kerry's win in Iowa
Friday, January 16, 2004
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Saddam Hussein warned his Iraqi supporters to be wary of joining forces
Halliburton is going to Mars
From an old Petroleum News. They'd be drilling for water this time...
If there is life on Mars, it would probably be microorganisms in water deep below the surface of the planet. Dr. Geoffrey Briggs, director, Center for Mars Exploration at the NASA Ames Center, told “Meet Alaska” that NASA is looking at ways to drill on Mars to look for water — and the life it might contain.
Thanks to This Modern World and Billmon.
Monday, January 12, 2004
This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.
This Counterpunch article on O'Neill says, "In the latest edition of Z Magazine, the details of how Iraqi oil revenues are being illegally diverted from the Central Bank of Iraq into the Federal Reserve...[blah blah blah]."
The Price of Loyalty
The big buzz from Paul O'Neill's interview on 60 Minutes yesterday is that Iraq was in the crosshairs from day one of the administration. But I think that's only one of three major points. The other two are:
2) Just how clueless and disconnected the president is, and how he is being manipulated.
3) This manipulation forced through the second tax break for the rich, against even the president's concerns.
1) Enemy Iraq
And what happened at President Bush's very first National Security Council meeting is one of O'Neill's most startling revelations.
2) Clueless George
"At cabinet meetings, he says the president was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection."
3) The Second Tax Cut
He says everyone expected Mr. Bush to rubber stamp the plan under discussion: a big new tax cut. But, according to Suskind, the president was perhaps having second thoughts about cutting taxes again, and was uncharacteristically engaged.
Thursday, January 08, 2004
Sunday, January 04, 2004
Saturday, January 03, 2004
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Monday, December 29, 2003
Sunday, December 28, 2003
Though some scientists had long warned that mad cow disease would eventually appear in the United States, cattle owners and meatpackers repeatedly resisted calls for a more substantial program to test for the disease, and the Agriculture Department went along with them. Congress came close three times to banning the sale of meat from downer cows — ones that are too sick or hurt to amble into slaughterhouses — only to see the industry's allies block each of the bills at the last moment. And proposals for systems to track which farms produced sickened cattle — now required in Europe, Canada and Japan — also languished for years here.
Saturday, December 27, 2003
Friday, December 26, 2003
Thursday, December 25, 2003
I've been telling friends for a good while that I've been worried about beef because of Mad Cow. Usually they look at me with uncomprehension. But I've based my growing concern on three things:
1) I met a college aquaintence at a party who works in a lab studying the disease; she said it was unsettling how few animals were tested for the disease.
2) I read reports (maybe from Howard Lyman?) about animals falling down being taken to slaughter without testing. Howard Lyman is the "Mad Cowboy"--a rancher gone vegan--whose appearance on Oprah caused both him and her to be sued by the beef industry. I thought he was loopy until I read his stuff. His website is here, check out the Mad Cow factoids page.
3) Finally, in May when the Canadian case of Mad Cow appeared, scientists said it probably was in the United States, as I noted here.
Anyway, read this New York Times article. Skimming it, it might look like not a big deal, but the more attentive you are, the worse it looks. First, note that it says 30,000 animals (of 300 million slaughtered) were tested in the past nine years, a level which would eventually let them find the disease if it were in 1 in 1 million animals. But later it says that over 20,000 animals were tested in the last year or two and that before then, only hundreds were tested per year. Which means low levels were more or less undetectable before. Second, there is the danger that diseased animals were purposefully hidden from inspectors to either keep the money from selling them and to avoid the big fracas that is now set to challange the whole beef industry. Read the very end of the article about the pressure and challenges that beef inspectors face and you may, like me, have serious doubts about the thoroughness of testing to date.
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Ben Thomas and three colleagues were driving north out of Baghdad in an SUV on a clear mid-September morning, headed down a dirt road into a rural village, when gunmen in several surrounding buildings opened fire on them.
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Indeed, when asked to rate their confidence in eleven listed organization -- such as the Iraqi Governing Council, the new Iraqi army, and the United Nations -- the U.S.-led coalition garnered the least support out of the eleven.
Thursday, December 11, 2003
Even the audience seemed piqued by the moderators. They cheered long and loud for Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich after Koppel asked him, given his poor fundraising and standing in the polls, "When do you pull out?"
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
One step the Pentagon took was to seek active and secret help in the war against the Iraqi insurgency from Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East. According to American and Israeli military and intelligence officials, Israeli commandos and intelligence units have been working closely with their American counterparts at the Special Forces training base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and in Israel to help them prepare for operations in Iraq. Israeli commandos are expected to serve as ad-hoc advisers—again, in secret—when full-field operations begin. [...]
Compare to this N.Y. Times piece which says U.S. troops are caging in entire villages and adopting Israeli tactics.
What's Driving Dean? Liberal? Conservative? Clintonesque?
I have been interested in Dean for awhile. What almost hooked me was his pamplet, "Common Sense for a New Century." However, I'm no longer starry-eyed: I've dug deeper into his current policy statements and compared them to his past record. He's a strong candidate with some good positions, but he also waffles on things.
First, a quote from Dean's version of "Common Sense." Then some of the other things I've found.
Over two hundred years ago, Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet that would light the fire that forged our nation. He called it “Common Sense.” Passed from hand to hand, patriot to patriot, it was a call to action for those Americans who believed their government had to change. It spelled out the values of a new republic. And King George III—who had forgotten his own people in favor of special interests—was replaced by a government of, by and for the people. America was born.
Insight to Howard Dean's position on trade
Because he has waffled on NAFTA and the WTO. Some think he's just plugging for the progessive vote.
Dean's statements rock! on the Media Consolidation issue and Norman Solomon says it's a dangerous course.
Dean: questionable on affirmative action, pro-NRA, and keeping his governor-years records under wraps.
To me, it feels like Dean is balancing some more anti-megacorporation attacks and anti-war attacks with concessions on these hot-button issues. That way, he might win a few white southern guys with those, ahem, flags on their pick-up trucks. So I have mixed feelings.
(The full Confederate flag quote is here, by the way. Here's an earlier version--scroll to May 9. It really doesn't sound that bad, his point is a good one.)
BUT MAYBE WE SHOULD HEED THIS COLLECTION OF ARTICLES WHICH SHOW HIS LIBRALISM, TO THE EXTENT THAT IT'S THERE, IS A RECENT "CONVERSION"
[T]he most traditional strategy for Democrats and Republicans alike is to position oneself to appeal to party regulars in order to win the nomination ("liberals" for Democrats, "conservatives," or "radical right" for Republicans), and then shift to the center (or beyond) to try to win the election. [From here.]
Vermonters think there is considerable evidence that this is what Dean has been doing. His Vermont years also hint at a not-so-amazing record on bringing health care and evidence that Dean will support or expand the Drug War. Furthermore, this article says that, "Dean's approach to criminal justice is regressive and draconian."
Howard Dean the liberal, anti-war candidate?
In regards to war, here's Dean's quote from the last debate for the year: Dr. Dean, noting his own opposition to the war, said the United States was now "stuck" in Iraq and would have to keep its troops there for several years, "until the Iraqis really are able to have a democracy which is strong enough not to allow Al Qaeda to emerge."
And then there's this slam of his environmental record: Dean's not Green
"Dean's attempts to run for president as an environmentalist is nothing but a fraud."
And he support's Israel's hardline military actions.
“I’ve been very clear, I support the targeted assassinations,” he said. “These are enemy combatants in a war; Israel has every right to shoot them before they can shoot Israelis.”
Or is he just being necessarily political? He thinks the US should be even-handed in treating Israel and Palestine, and he drew criticism for this. More on this.
UPDATE: Here is a thoughtful and positive article about Dean. Good material here I hadn't heard before. Isn't fawning (author has his differences w/ Dean). Gives a positive spin to Dean's history before and after politics. It rebukes some of the criticisms that are cited above. Some of the "negatives" that have been leveled at him are just that the "strengths" weren't good enough. He champions universal health care, but only got it for children in Vermont. Well, look at Texas! And I think it's funny that people say he's "not liberal" because he balanced the budget of Vermont! This whole notion that "liberal" means spendy and "conservative" means fiscally responsible should have gone out the window with Reagan and been buried with the deficits of G.W. Bush. The "not anti-war enough" stance people take is actually not one I agree with: I agree with Dean, we can't just bail from Iraq. Anyway, my pendulum is swinging back towards support. I mean, for heaven's sakes, look at Dean's "16 QUESTIONS FOR PRESIDENT BUSH." It's not unqualified support, because of his support of Israel's tactics and his questionable environmental record. But maybe he's the best we've got.
QUOTE FROM ARTICLE: Dean’s big draw is that he’s really a centrist who falls on either side of litmus test issues comfortably and unapologetically. This to me is the mark of an independent-minded person with real scruples. I think his apparent honesty, coupled with his often conservative bent on some issues, should serve to draw many “Reagan Republicans” back to their roots. I may be wrong, but the guy’s either for real, or he’s the best bullshitter in the political history of America. I hope the former is the case.
Dean press conference on Iraq back in Sept '02. One supporter claims "he starts talking about Iraq a couple of minutes into the video. I think it shows a consistency and a clear-headedness which his opponents are trying to muddle by distorting the facts."
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Brain-fingerprinting. An experimental technique called MERMER (Memory and Encoding Related Multifaceted Electroencephalographic Responses) for detecting information related to events subjects have experienced (despite efforts to conceal that knowledge) was detailed in the Journal of Forensic Sciences ("Using Brain MERMER Testing to Detect Knowledge Despite Efforts to Conceal," January, 2001, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 1-9). Also known as "brain fingerprinting," MERMER is claimed to be 90-99% accurate, with 0 false-positives or false negatives. Subjects need not utter a word in the MERMER test. They are shown photographs of a crime scene, e.g., and those familiar with the scene show different brain-wave patterns than those who are unfamiliar with the scene.
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
China Tiger Mingles and Rises
"China has wasted little time in capitalizing on the United States preoccupation with the campaign on terror to greatly expand its influence in Asia."
Sunday, November 30, 2003
The essence of the story is that the plan for a political handover that we announced just weeks ago is already on the fast-track to dead letterhood.
My own thoughts are that the neo-cons and the oil multinationals may not really care that much. There's little attention to the broken promises of a new Afghanistan, but there are still American troops in there protecting "American" interests. However the political games play out in Iraq , you can bet that we're going to have a military presence there for a long, long time. (Only a political sea change in the United States would change that.)
And regardless of the shape and compliance of the new puppet regime, one thing is not negotiable: American oil companies are going to keep control of Iraqi oil.
Friday, November 28, 2003
Thursday, November 27, 2003
They chased us through Miami. This was not a police free-for-all as was the case with Seattle. This was military precision. Forty police forces - federal, state, local and military - were under a central command. Over three hours they forced us back, block after block, with little resistance, miles from Bayfront Park. They divided us from each other at each intersection, splitting us, and splitting us again, into small groups, each a fraction of the size of the one before it. They had clearly made a decision to suppress the protest, and this they did with the violence necessary to do the job.
Union: Police Broke Protest Promise (Miami Herald)
Miami police reneged on their promise to give safe passage to 25 busloads of seniors who attempted to attend Thursday's AFL-CIO rally against the Free Trade Area of the Americas, the leader of a retired union workers group charged Tuesday.
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Friday, November 21, 2003
It is clear, however, that the Bush administration's attitude toward globalization differs substantially from former President Bill Clinton's. In contrast to Clinton's support of multilateral negotiations, Bush's stance is as a nationalist. This idea should surprise no one after the preemptive war in Iraq.
The Associated Press says soldiers in Iraq detained one of its photographers and a driver in late September near the site of the Abu Ghraib prison. Knight Ridder says its photographer at the scene of the Nov. 2 downing of a Chinook helicopter had photographs destroyed by the US military. Reuters, which had a cameraman killed in August in what the US military called an accident, says another photographer was detained last month by Iraqi police alleging to be acting on orders from US forces.
Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government.
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
The Wilson Scandal
Good news at the Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo.
Here's Wilson's Op-Ed to the New York Times from July: What I Didn't Find in Africa
Sunday, September 28, 2003
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Prompting by Downing Street led to a significant hardening up of the Iraq dossier to remove wording that implied Saddam Hussein would use chemical and biological weapons only if attacked, the intelligence chief in charge of the document admitted on Tuesday.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
"During his childhood and youth Cicero had watched with horror as Rome set about dismantling itself. If he had a mission as an adult, it was to recall the republic to order. . . . [He] noticed that the uninhibited freedom of speech which marked political life in the republic was giving way to caution at social gatherings and across dinner tables. . . . The Senate had no answer to Rome's problems and indeed sought none. Its aim was simply to maintain the constitution and resist the continual attacks on its authority. . . . The populares had lost decisively with the defeat of Catilina, but the snake was only stunned. Caesar, who had been plotting against Senatorial interests behind the scenes, was rising up the political ladder and, barring accidents, would be consul in a few year's time."
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
In the past week, three top Bush administration officials have backed off charges they made against Iraq, explaining they misspoke or overstated the facts.
"Meet the Press" host Tim Russert gave Cheney a chance to clarify his prewar statement in a return appearance on his show Sunday.
The Pentagon's No. 2 official also backtracked from a recent nationally televised claim that "a great many of [Osama] bin Laden's key lieutenants are now trying to organize in cooperation with old loyalists from the Saddam regime to attack in Iraq." Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz made the remark Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Eleven days after the U.S. invasion, Rumsfeld claimed to know exactly where Saddam was hiding alleged banned weapons.
Even some Republicans on Capitol Hill are not amused by the postwar revisionism.
AND RUMSFELD LIED TO CONGRESS...
It's not the first time the defense secretary has had to revise previous statements about prewar evidence against Iraq.
The inconspicuous provision: Chapter 11 clause in NAFTA written in the ambiguous, innocuous-sounding prose that makes clever attorneys rich, the chapter spells out terms under which investors (i.e., multinational corporations) can be compensated for losses incurred by expropriation — government action.