Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who learned just before the meeting started that another one of his constituents has been killed while serving in Iraq, said it was an "understatement" to call the session a disappointment. "We, the people's body, the Congress, are speaking for the American people," Reid said. "The American people want our troops to come home. The American people expect the president to respond to some basic things, like a timeline, like to make sure there's troop readiness. And the answer we got time after time in the meeting we had this morning is that the president would take no responsibility."Link.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
MR. HUME: * * * The questions in this round will be premised on a fictional, but we think plausible scenario involving terrorism and the response to it. Here is the premise: Three shopping centers near major U.S. cities have been hit by suicide bombers. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured. A fourth attack has been averted when the attackers were captured off the Florida coast and taken to Guantanamo Bay, where they are being questioned. U.S. intelligence believes that another larger attack is planned and could come at any time.First question to you, Senator McCain. How aggressively would you interrogate those being held at Guantanamo Bay for information about where the next attack might be?
SEN. MCCAIN: If I knew for sure that they had that kind of information, I, as the president of the United States, would take that responsibility. That is a million-to-one scenario. But only I would take that responsibility.
The use of torture -- we could never gain as much we would gain from that torture as we lose in world opinion. We do not torture people.
When I was in Vietnam, one of the things that sustained us, as we went -- underwent torture ourselves, is the knowledge that if we had our positions reversed and we were the captors, we would not impose that kind of treatment on them.
It's not about the terrorists, it's about us. It's about what kind of country we are. And a fact: The more physical pain you inflict on someone, the more they're going to tell you what they think you want to know.
It's about us as a nation. We have procedures for interrogation in the Army Field Manual. Those, I think, would be adequate in 999,999 of cases, and I think that if we agree to torture people, we will do ourselves great harm in the world.
MR. HUME: Mayor Giuliani, the former director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, the current head of the CIA have both said that the most valuable intelligence tool they have had has been the information gained from what are called enhanced interrogation techniques to include, presumably, water-boarding.
What is your view whether such techniques should be applied in a scenario like the one I described?
MR. GIULIANI: In the hypothetical that you gave me, which assumes that we know there's going to be another attack and these people know about it, I would tell the people who had to do the interrogation to use every method they could think of. It shouldn't be torture, but every method they can think of --
MR. HUME: Water-boarding?
MR. GIULIANI: -- and I would -- and I would -- well, I'd say every method they could think of, and I would support them in doing that because I've seen what -- (interrupted by applause) -- I've seen what can happen when you make a mistake about this, and I don't want to see another 3,000 people dead in New York or any place else.
MR. HUME: Governor Romney, I'd like to draw you out on this.
MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, first of all, let's make sure that we understand that the key in electing the next president is to find somebody who will make sure that that scenario doesn't ever happen, and the key to that is prevention.
We've all spent a lot of time talking about what happens after the bomb goes off. The real question is, how do you prevent the bomb from going off? And that's what I spent my time doing as a governor over the last four years, and serving on the Homeland Security Advisory Council. And that means intelligence and counterterrorism.
Now we're going to -- you said the person's going to be in Guantanamo. I'm glad they're at Guantanamo. I don't want them on our soil. I want them on Guantanamo, where they don't get the access to lawyers they get when they're on our soil. I don't want them in our prisons. I want them there.
Some people have said, we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is, we ought to double Guantanamo. We ought to make sure that the terrorists -- (applause) -- and there's no question but that in a setting like that where you have a ticking bomb that the president of the United States -- not the CIA interrogator, the president of the United States -- has to make the call. And enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used -- not torture but enhanced interrogation techniques, yes.
MR. HUME: Governor Thompson, let me enrich the scenario just a little bit. Let's assume for the sake of discussion here that we now also have additional intelligence that indicates with high certainty that the attackers were trained in a West African country hostile to the United States, in camps openly run by the terrorist organization that sent them. What kind of response would you agree to for that?
MR. THOMPSON: I would do the first thing that President Ronald Reagan would say: Trust but verify.
Verify that that information is correct. And I would go in with all the power necessary. Colin Powell said, and I quote him, he says, "If in fact you're going to war, have a reason to go to war. Make sure you go with all the force necessary in order to do so, and have an exit strategy."
If there's a country in Africa that is not friendly to America, that is anti-America and is promoting terrorism, and those terrorists are going to attack, it's -- be incumbent on all of us to make sure that we do what is right. The president of the United States has got to lead that effort, and if it's necessary, it's got to take those camps out as deliberately and as methodically as possible, as long as that information is credible and can be checked and make sure that it is accurate.
MR. HUME: Senator Brownback, if the decision were up to you, would you do that? And if so, would you decide to go to the United Nations, for example, first to seek some kind of international authorization to do it or would you just move in the way that Governor Thompson described?
SEN. BROWNBACK: I would not go to the United Nations in the situation you've described. You've described a situation where American lives have been lost and we think more are pending to lose. And I think your real question you have to have here as the chief executive, as the leader of the country, what are you measuring here? Is your primary concern U.S. lives or is it how you're going to be perceived in the world? And my standard is U.S. lives, and I'm going to do everything within my power to protect U.S. lives, period.
I will do it. I'll move aggressively forward on it. If we have to later ask and say, "Well, it shouldn't quite have been done this way or that way," that's the way it is. But the standard must be protection of U.S. lives. That's the job of president of the United States, and I would take it seriously, and I would do it.
MR. HUME: How would you respond, Congressman Hunter?
REP. HUNTER: Yeah, let me just say this would take a one-minute conversation with the secretary of Defense. (Laughter.) I would call him up or call him in. I would say to SECDEF, in terms of getting information that would save American lives, even if it involves very high-pressure techniques, one sentence: Get the information. Have it back within an hour, and let's act on it. Let's execute with Special Operations or whoever else is necessary, and I will take full responsibility. Get the information.
MR. HUME: I'm going to come to the others in a moment, but I want to circle back to you, Senator McCain. You've heard reference here from me and others of the -- what the administration calls the enhanced interrogation techniques. I may have misunderstood you, but it sounded to me as if you regard those techniques, or from what you know about them, as torture. Do you?
SEN. MCCAIN: Yes, and the interesting thing about that aspect is that during the debate, when we had the detainee treatment act, there was a sharp division between those who had served in the military and those who hadn't. Virtually every senior officer, retired or active- duty, starting with Colin Powell, General Vessey and everyone else, agreed with my position that we should not torture people.
One of the reasons is, is because if we do it, what happens to our military people when they're captured? And also, they realize there's more to war than the battlefield.
So yes, literally every retired military person and active duty military person who has actually been in battle and served for extended times in the military -- (bell rings) -- supported my position, and I'm glad of it.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Hitler or Falwell!
Friends, before the iron grows too cold, I'd like to play a little game called Hitler or Falwell! This is a simple game of Godwinism, in which I present a quote and YOU guess who said it! Let's begin, shall we?
1. My feelings as a Christian point me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.
Easy, right? Let's continue!
2. This 'turn the other cheek' business is all well and good but it's not what Jesus fought and died for.
3. Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.... We need believing people.
4. I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!
5. Universal education is the most corroding and disintegrating poison that liberalism has ever invented for its own destruction.
6. We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.
7. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit … We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press. . .we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess.
8. This the national government will regard its first and foremost duty to restore the unity of spirit and purpose of our people. It will preserve and defend the foundations upon which the power of our nation rests. It will take Christianity, as the basis of our collective morality, and the family as the nucleus of our people and state, under its firm protection....May God Almighty take our work into his grace, give true form to our will, bless our insight, and endow us with the trust of our people.
9. Remain strong in your faith, as you were in former years. In this faith, in its close-knit unity our people to-day goes straight forward on its way and no power on earth will avail to stop it.
10. We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism ... we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today .
Hitler or Falwell answer key below! How many did YOU get right?
Speaking of the Christian spirit:
A fighting faith:Link.
My feelings as a Christian point me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. Adolf Hitler, 1922.
This 'turn the other cheek' business is all well and good but it's not what Jesus fought and died for. What we need to do is take the battle to the Muslim heathens and do unto them before they do unto us. Jerry Falwell, 2002
I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good...Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. Randall Terry, 1993
We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There's a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody's values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe. Gary Bauer
Nothing short of a great Civil War of Values rages today throughout North America. Two sides with vastly differing and incompatible world views are locked in a bitter conflict that permeates every level of society. James Dobson
Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, 1950
Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.... We need believing people. Adolf Hitler, 1933
I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be! Jerry Falwell, 1979
The Christian community has a golden opportunity to train an army of dedicated teachers who can invade the public school classrooms and use them to influence the nation for Christ. D.James Kennedy, 1993
We're going to bring back God and the Bible and drive the gods of secular humanism right out of the public schools of America. Pat Buchanan, 1996
The public education movement has also been an anti-Christian movement... Pat Robertson, 1993
Universal education is the most corroding and disintegrating poison that liberalism has ever invented for its own destruction. Adolf Hitler
No Atheists allowed:
We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out. Adolf Hitler, 1933
The Constitution of the United States . . . is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. Pat Robertson, 1981
No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God. George Herbert W. Bush
When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government. . .the media challenged me. . . How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.' Pat Robertson
We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit … We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press. . .we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess. . . Adolf Hitler
How much more forcefully can I say it? The time has come, and it is long overdue, when Christians and conservatives and all men and women who believe in the birthright of freedom must rise up and reclaim America for Jesus Christ.” D.James Kennedy, 1997
Theater, art, literature, cinema, press, posters, and window displays must be cleansed of all manifestations of our rotting world and placed in the service of a moral, political, and cultural idea. Adolf Hitler, 1926
We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism ... we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today ... our battle is with Satan himself. Jerry Falwell
Fatherland Homeland security:
Unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal. And because we have understood that our source is eternal, America has been different. We have no king but Jesus. John Ashcroft, 1999
This country belongs to God ... He's the One who brought the United States of America into existence. He had a special purpose for it ... He raised it up, and it's not going to be taken away from Him. Kenneth Copeland
What we have to fight for...is the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator. Adolf Hitler, 1926
Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ -- to have dominion in civil structures. . . But it is dominion we are after. . . World conquest. . . And we must never settle for anything less... George Grant
Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. D.James Kennedy, 2005
Lord God, give us the strength that we may retain our liberty for our children and our children's children, not only for ourselves but also for the other peoples of Europe, for this is a war which we all wage, this time, not for our German people alone, it is a war for all of Europe and with it, in the long run, for all of mankind. Adolf Hitler,1942
These perverted homosexuals.absolutely hate everything that you and I and most decent, God-fearing citizens stand for.Make no mistake. These deviants seek no less than total control and influence in society, politics, our schools and in our exercise of free speech and religious freedom..If we do not act now, homosexuals will own America! Jerry Falwell, 1999
There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world. Pat Robertson, 1991
The State & the Faith Community:
This the national government will regard its first and foremost duty to restore the unity of spirit and purpose of our people. It will preserve and defend the foundations upon which the power of our nation rests. It will take Christianity, as the basis of our collective morality, and the family as the nucleus of our people and state, under its firm protection....May God Almighty take our work into his grace, give true form to our will, bless our insight, and endow us with the trust of our people. Adolf Hitler, 1935
When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more abortion on demand, and no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism (i.e., multiculturalism) will be seen as immoral and evil. . . Gary Potter
The Government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, are creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life Adolf Hitler, 1933
You better believe that I want to build a Christian nation, because the only option is a pagan nation.. . . Randall Terry
Imbued with the desire to secure for the German people the great religious, moral, and cultural values rooted in the two Christian Confessions, we have abolished the political organizations but strengthened the religious institutions. Adolf Hitler, 1934
The faithful in mission:
If we remain strong and focused and tough when we need to, if we continue to speak clearly about right from wrong and defend the values -- which are not American values, but God-given values -- we can achieve peace. George W Bush, 2003
Remain strong in your faith, as you were in former years. In this faith, in its close-knit unity our people to-day goes straight forward on its way and no power on earth will avail to stop it. Adolf Hitler, 1937
The short-term objective of this country is to find an enemy and bring them to justice before they strike us. The long-term objective is to make this world a more free and hopeful and peaceful place. I believe we'll succeed because freedom is the Almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world. George W Bush, 2004
I would ask of the Lord God only this: that, as in the past, so in the years to come He would give His blessing to our work and our action, to our judgment and our resolution, that He will safeguard us from all false pride and from all cowardly servility, that He may grant us to find the straight path which His Providence has ordained for the German people, and that He may ever give us the courage to do the right, never to falter, never to yield before any violence, before any danger. Adolf Hitler, 1937
I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work. Adolf Hitler, 1936
God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. George W. Bush
The Association of Southern Schools has decided to pursue some
of the seemingly endless taxpayer dollars pipelined through
Washington by designating Southern slang, or Hickbonics, as a
language to be taught in all Southern schools. A speaker of this
language would be a Hickophone. The following are excerpts from
the Hickbonics/English dictionary:
HEIDI - (noun) -Greeting.
HIRE YEW - Complete sentence. Remainder of greeting.
Usage: "Heidi,Hire yew?"
BARD - (verb) - Past tense of the infinitive "to borrow."
Usage: "My brother bard my pickup truck."
JAWJUH - (noun) - The State north of Florida. Capitol is Lanner.
Usage: "My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck."
BAMMER - (noun) - The State west of Jawjuh. Capitol is
Berminhayum. Usage: "A tornader jes went through Bammer an'
left $20,000,000 in improvements."
MUNTS - (noun) - A calendar division.
Usage: "My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck, and I ain't
herd from him in munts."
THANK - (verb) - Ability to cognitively process.
Usage: "Ah thank ah'll have a bare."
BARE - (noun) - An alcoholic beverage made of barley, hops, and
yeast. Usage: "Ah thank ah'll have a bare."
IGNERT - (adjective) - Not smart. See "Arkansas native."
Usage: "Them bammer boys sure are ignert!"
RANCH - (noun) - A tool used for tight'nin' bolts.
Usage: "I thank I left my ranch in the back of that pickup
truck my brother from Jawjuh bard a few munts ago."
ALL - (noun) - A petroleum-based lubricant.
Usage: "I sure hope my brother from Jawjuh puts all in my pickup
FAR - (noun) - A conflagration.
Usage: "If my brother from Jawjuh don't change the all in my
pickup truck, that thang's gonna catch far."
TAR - (noun) - A rubber wheel.
Usage: "Gee, I hope that brother of mine from Jawjuh don't git
a flat tar in my pickup truck."
TIRE - (noun) - A tall monument.
Usage: "Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, I sure do hope to
see that Eiffel Tire in Paris sometime."
RETARD - (verb) - To stop working.
Usage: "My grampaw retard at age 65."
FAT - (noun), (verb) - a battle or combat; to engage in battle or
combat. Usage: "You younguns keep fat'n, n' ah'm gonna whup y'uh."
RATS - (noun) - Entitled power or privilege.
Usage: "We Southerners are willin' to fat for are rats."
FARN - (adjective) - Not domestic.
Usage: "I cuddint unnerstand a wurd he sed...must be from some
DID - (adjective) - Not alive.
Usage: "He's did, Jim."
EAR - (noun) - A colourless, odourless gas: Oxygen.
Usage: "He cain't breathe...give "im some ear!"
BOB WAR - (noun) - A sharp, twisted cable.
Usage: "Boy, stay away from that bob war fence."
JEW HERE - (noun) and (verb) contraction.
Usage: "Jew here that my brother from Jawjuh got a job with that
bob war fence cump'ny?"
HAZE - a contraction.
Usage: "Is Bubba smart?" "Nah...haze ignert. He ain't thanked
but a minnit'n 'is laf."
SEED - (verb) - past tense of "to see".
VIEW - contraction: (verb) and pronoun.
Usage: "I ain't never seed New York City... view?"
GUBMINT - (noun) - A bureaucratic institution.
Usage: "Them gubmint boys shore is ignert."
Loyal to Bush but Big Thorn in Republicans’ Side
As deputy attorney general in 2003, he appointed his old friend Patrick J. Fitzgerald as independent counsel in the C.I.A. leak case, leading to the perjury conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby Jr.
In 2004, he backed Justice Department subordinates who withdrew a legal memorandum justifying harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists. This spring, more than a year after leaving the government, he publicly praised several United States attorneys who had been dismissed, undermining the administration’s claim that they were removed for poor performance.
Finally, at a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Comey gave a riveting account of how he intervened in 2004 at the hospital bedside of Attorney General John Ashcroft to prevent two top White House officials from persuading Mr. Ashcroft to reauthorize the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program. The Justice Department had ruled that the program would not be lawful without certain changes, and President Bush subsequently directed that the changes be made.
Colleagues say Mr. Comey is, even now, a reluctant critic of the administration he served. But they say he feels strongly that there was no justification for the purge of prosecutors and remains furious about what he saw in 2004 as an improper attempt by the White House to bypass the Justice Department.
And much of the reveal is here.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
* “AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”Link.
* "It appears that America's anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men's movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening."
* "If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."
* After the September 11 attacks Falwell said, “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen."
* “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions”
* “[Homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven.”
And here's an expert from One Who Knows... people like Falwell:
He was, of course, a monster.Link.
What kind of man, let alone what kind of minister of the Gospel, would underwrite a video full of made-up stories about a president of the United States, whose policies he happened to oppose, being a cocaine trafficker and assassin? What kind of man would then recruit the film's producer to pose as an investigative journalist appearing in sillouette, as Falwell himself interviewed him about why he feared for his own life? ("Be assured, we will be praying for your safety.")
What kind of man and minister of the Gospel would report that another president whose policies he happened to oppose said things to him that he never, ever said? ("Falwell responded that his account 'was not intended to be a verbatim report,' but rather an 'honest portrayal' of [President] Carter's position.")
I can respect a man with the integrity not to hide controversial beliefs, like, "God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew." But what kind of man, let alone a minster of the Gospel, would claim to have changed his mind on the most profound questions of theology (reassuring his powerful friends on NBC's "Meet the Press," "God hears the prayers of all persons") simply to save political face?
(As The Washington Post reminds us today, he did the same thing days after famously telling viewers of the Christian talk show "The 700 Club" that the 9/11 attacks were an act of Godly retribution: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way—all of them who have tried to secularize America—I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'" After first fiercely defending the statement and even sending out a fundraising letter accusing liberals and gays of using the statement as part of a "smear campaign," he told The Post's Peter Carlson, "I misspoke.")
What kind of man calls fellow Christians "brute beasts" following "a vile and Satanic system" that will "one day be utterly annihilated and there will be a celebration in heaven"? And who then, when a tape is produced of him saying it, offers the owner $5,000 to sell it to him—then reneges on the deal?
And what kind of man, confronted with a book in which he is quoted exulting, "I hope to live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!" claims to have never uttered such words—even though the book is a collection of his own sermons?
What kind of man? The kind of man conservative leaders everywhere fall over themselves, of course, to praise.
Here is a dispatch from the America Falwell has given us: A bearded Orthodox Jew earlier this month went public with his experience of being harassed by prostelytizing Christian chaplains and staff at an Iowa Veterans Administration hospital: "You mean you don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah?" "Is it just Orthodox Jews who deny Jesus?" "I don't understand; how can you not believe in Jesus; he's the Messiah of the Jews, too, you know."
During one visit, an elderly couple performed "The Old Rugged Cross" in the waiting room. The veteran recalled: "It was driving me nuts, and they were enjoying it."
Anything wrong with that picture?
Nah, bidness as usual for our Leaders.
Tony Blair, asked this morning by NBC's Brian Williams what "success" or "victory" in Iraq might mean, said: "That's a good question. I can't be sure of the answer of that at the moment. All I know is what the price of defeat is."Link.
What's left out is all the harm and increased danger to the world created by this so-avoidable mistake.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
"I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after." -- Ernest HemingwaySo: Does anyone doubt that a number of Our Leaders and their enablers feel pretty OK with this Iraq thing so that makes it moral?
Of course not.
What this quote basically says is if a psychopath feels good after a psychopathic act, it's moral.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Actually, what the story is the New York City metropolitan area commuter trains have had too many accidents with people's legs going into the gap between train and platform edge (included among the victims was a state legislator). So I suppose we commuters are to analyze this image and be ready to leap from train to platofrm (or vice versa); you know, just stepping may put at risk.
And now that we've been warned with thi snazzy graphic, the responsibility for those 10 inch gaps is no longer the state agency's but its customers. (In the corporatist state, the customer is never right.)
Ahhh, the Fort Dix Six may not quite rise to the level of the take-down of the 'Seeds of David' non-Muslim jihadist goofball cult in Liberty City, Florida last year. But it may not be far off the mark either.Link.
Writing about these domestic terrorism busts is always a delicate task. Living in Manhattan terrorism is not an abstract issue to me. And so long as they are operating within the bounds of the law, I certainly hope the FBI and CIA have their ears and eyes on the look out for the next terror plotters. But the real jokers they actually bust turn out to be such hopeless goofs that it's hard to know whether to feel reassured that if Islamic terrorism is catching on in the US that it's only doing so among the deeply stupid or that these are the only ones our guys can catch.
The Fort Dix Six?
Well, seems they made a jihad training film featuring themselves. But they couldn't figure out how to burn it to a DVD. So they went to a Circuit City and asked the clerk on duty if he could do it for them.
I guess that means these guys probably needed remedial terrorist training.
There also seems to be more than a hint of entrapment in the role the government informant played in helping arrange the planned attack. Back in November one of the plotters called a Philly police officer and told him that he'd been approached by someone [i.e., the government informant] "who was pressuring him to obtain a map of Fort Dix, and that he feared the incident was terrorist-related."
And here's another success: bogus charges regarding a hoax -- actually a hysterical overreaction -- dropped.
Last weekend Deb and Jerry VonSprecken of Olin received a call from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s campaign office asking them if they would be interested in holding a campaign rally on May 4, after she had donated to his campaign.[More, here and here.]
“We thought it would be an honor and agreed,” said Jerry.
The campaign office continued to contact the VonSpreckens throughout last weekend and were told a security check would be needed. The couple passed the security check and began putting plans in place.
“We started making phone calls. We got the sheriff and fire department and Olin school was going to let out early. We were also expecting kids from the Anamosa school,” Jerry explained. “Deb even went around and personally invited people.”
On Tuesday Deb received a call from Giuliani’s Des Monies office and was asked to call New York.
“They wanted to know our assets,” she revealed, and added that she and Jerry have a modest 80 acre farm and raise cattle.
Later she received a call from Tony Delgado at the Des Monies location.
“Tony said, ‘I’m sorry, you aren’t worth a million dollars and he is campaigning on the Death Tax right now.’ then he said they weren’t going to be able to come,” Deb continued.
Or is prettiness only a problem with Dems?
Oh, wait, here's a crucial difference Big Media's missing: Mitt is really, really unpopular. Only Big Money likes him -- he's on track to be this cycle's John Connally.
Oh, and the oil, of course. Thanks to our success on that front, oil and gas prices are at historical highs. But Big Oil at least is making whatchacall healthy profits.
But there's a ray of sunshine, a basis of hope: Our puppets' foreign minister is pro-Iran.
Okay, so it's a ray of sunshine for one of the biggest threats against the West in the Mideast... another success for Our Beloved Leaders.
And here: Mid-"surge", the Green Zone is no longer a safe zone!
A sharp increase in mortar attacks on the Green Zone -- the one-time oasis of security in Iraq's turbulent capital -- has prompted the U.S. Embassy to issue a strict new order telling all employees to wear flak vests and helmets while in unprotected buildings or whenever they are outside.[More]
The order, obtained by The Associated Press, has created a siege mentality among U.S. staff inside the zone after a recent suicide attack on parliament. It has also led to new fears about long-term safety in the place where the U.S. government is building a massive and expensive new embassy.
The situation is a sharp turnaround for the heavily guarded zone -- long viewed as the safest corner of Baghdad with its shops, restaurants, American fast-food outlets and key Iraqi and U.S. government offices.
First, tyrants tend to see themselves, as Hitler did, at the head of some kind of "master race." President Bush and his backers would deny it, but their drive for a "New American Century" betrays them. They're world-beaters, and won't sign the global warming treaty or any other cooperative document. Republicans at their last Convention jeered the very mention of the words "United Nations." Those who see it differently get slandered. Recall how Bush's hatchet men impugned Senator Kerry's Vietnam War record. This was reminiscent of Nazi claims Germany's Jewish veterans of the Great War did not deserve their medals. Another manifestation is Neocons would reduce gay and lesbian Americans to second-class citizenship status. Bush's backers are convinced of their superiority at home and globally.Link.
Second, tyrants tend to be congenital, brazen liars. Bush lied about Iraq's threat to America just as Hitler lied when he claimed Poland attacked Germany first in 1939. The UN told Bush there was no WMD in Iraq, yet Bush said there was and made war. He knew better. As many as 600,000 Iraqi civilians are dead, 2-million have fled, and a nation is being destroyed before our eyes.
Third, tyrants engage in outright suppression or manipulation of the news. The Bush Administration has paid off newsmen to plug its achievements, sent out video press releases disguised as news stories, banned photographs of coffins returned from Iraq, and even planted a phony journalist in White House press conferences. And it's spending millions to bribe Iraqi journalists.
Fourth, tyrants will use a "crisis" to grab total power. After the massacre of 9/11, President Bush pushed through the Patriot Act. Recall 1933, when Hitler declared a "state of national emergency" after the Reichstag (Parliament) fire, which likely was set by the Nazis. The new law gives Bush the power to arrest any American citizen on his say-so and he has allowed his intelligence agencies to spy illegally on American citizens without a court order.
Fifth, tyrants torture. Of all people, Bush picked Alberto Gonzalez for the top legal position in the nation, the very man who rationalized the torture of captives. Bush also lavishes billions on dictatorships such as Egypt, whose Gestapo obligingly tortures individuals the CIA kidnaps from other countries. Bush has turned back the clock of history to the Spanish Inquisition.
Sixth, tyrants tend to make serial wars. Soviet Russia's Stalin attacked Finland, Poland, and Hungary. Japan struck Korea, Manchuria, China, America, and U.K. One war is never enough for a tyrant. Recall Napoleon invaded nations to liberate them from kings, only to put his relatives on their thrones. Having invaded Afghanistan and setting Iraq ablaze, Bush now threatens Iran --- three countries that are oil-rich or geographically sited for oil transmission lines or both.
Seventh, tyrants are notorious for their closed mindedness. They ignore their critics. Japan walked out of the League of Nations rather than answer for its conduct. Bush doesn't listen to critics, either. The Pope denounced America's war on Iraq as immoral. The UN Secretary-General called it "illegal." Millions the world over protested it. And a majority of Americans call it wrong but Bush ignores them. Polls show 70% of the Iraqi people want the U.S. to get out but Bush refuses.
Eighth, tyrants spend lavishly on the military. In the Thirties, Germany, Japan and Soviet Russia devoted a high percentage of their gross national product to their war machines. Today, America spends more on armaments than all other nations combined. And America under Bush is the Number One arms merchant in the world.
Ninth, tyrants don't respect the sovereignty of other nations. Bush rationalized his attack on Iraq as "preventive war" -- a euphemism for "aggression." The Pentagon has already dropped troops secretly into Iran, according to Seymour Hersh in "The New Yorker." The Pentagon operates 700 military bases in 130 countries and refuses to leave Okinawa and Greenland despite protests from their citizens.
Tenth, tyrants have double standards. Bush declares he's for "freedom" but forges alliances with the heads of Saudi Arabia, and former Soviet Asian republics where citizens have zero rights. He warns Iran against making a nuclear bomb while he scraps non-proliferation treaties to make America's nuclear arsenal more lethal. Bush threatens Iran, which spends $4-billion a year on arms, while he spends $500-billion on arms. He warns Iran might make a nuclear bomb while he has 10,000. He accused Saddam Hussein of germ warfare capability while he has been secretly building the greatest germ warfare capability of any nation in history since the Soviet Union under Stalin.