Saturday, September 30, 2006

Rep. Foley (R) should be investigated by law officials, not the House!

The issue surrounding Rep. Marc Foley (R) of Florida's improper relationship with a House Page is very troubling indeed. Having read the email exchange between Foley and a 16-year-old boy, the matter should be investigated not just by the Republican controlled House Ethics Committee (or is it the Non-Ethics Committee), but also by the police and the District Attorney's office for the possibility of a crime committed on a minor. I have a friend whose daughter was a House Page this summer and I can only imagine what she is thinking about the risk her daughter was in, by serving as a Page. Other parents as well have good reason to worry, as it seems this problem was raised a year ago and the Republicans in charge of the investigation just asked Foley if he did anything wrong. Apparently Foley lied to them but it allowed the Republican investigators to not pursue the matter further. Can you imagine asking a rapist if they had done anything wrong, they say no, and the investigation is dropped? I think not!

This obviously is a cover-up and when the facts are known, I believe Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, will get tarnished too, for not protecting the Pages. This isn't the first time a problem has occurred with impropriety regarding a House Page. They were supposed to be protected and watched over, as their parents hoped they could trust those in charge to protect their children. They should have known it was too good to be true. What would otherwise have been a great experience to learn about our political system firsthand, these children learned that politicians are fallible too. Maybe that's a good lesson to learn.

Watch for the early denials of knowledge of the matter by Republican leaders in the House, the cover-up and then the media getting the real story out. Those that lie will be caught in their lies.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Is Rep. John Murtha correct about the War in Iraq?

The morphing of the language on the War on Terror and the War in Iraq has the media reporting as if both are the same thing. They are not. There's Afghanistan and then there's Iraq. One is a war of necessity (Afghanistan and getting back at those like Bin Laden that attacked us) and the other was a war of choice (Iraq, where this President Bush wanted to settle the score for his dad and the assination attempt by Saddam Hussein of former President Bush).

The apparent strategy by the Bush Administration is to "fight the terrorists in Iraq rather than fighting them here", merging the 2 conflicts into one. The purpose of this trickery is for the American voters to support Republican candidates this election cycle and to fund these wars, as stated by President Bush. But let's look at these facts:

1. According to US Military officials today, "the insurgents are changing tactics as often as every 3 weeks in Iraq" (notice they don't call them terrorists, they call them insurgents). According to Wikipedia, "an insurgency, or insurrection, is an armed uprising, revolt, or insurrection against an established civil or political authority." This implies Iraqis, not outside terrorists, are the insurgents.

2. Our strategy, as espoused by President Bush, is "stay the course".

3. The military decided to bring many more troops into the Baghdad area to "stop the violence", yet the violence has increased, since we did in fact bring in more troops.

4. So far there have been 60 deaths reported of U.S. soldiers in September, the highest level since the war began.

So an increase in our military presence in the Baghdad area has coincided with an increase in attacks by insurgents. Is this just coincidence or is there something that can be concluded from these facts? I think the case can be made that Rep. John Murtha was correct.

Many Democrats, including Rep. John Murtha, say that we should not be increasing our footprint in Iraq but should remove our troops to the peripheral, as Rep. Murtha says it increases the attacks on our soldiers and that we don't belong in the middle of a Civil War between Iraqis.

If this isn't proof of the point I don't know what is. The experiment to add troops isn't working and does in fact prove Rep. Murtha's well-articulated position that we need to bring the troops home.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Japan ushers in new Prime Minister- Shinzo Abe

The parliament has spoken and the votes have been tallied. Shinzo Abe is now Prime Minister, becoming the youngest post war prime minister of Japan.

Abe promises to reform Japan's future by taking a more active and assertive role in the world, revising the U.S. drafted pacifest Constitution to allow for Japan to have more of a military presence in the world and to take on more of a leadership role in international conflicts, which their current Constitution prohibits.

Japan has been and will continue to be a good ally of the United States under Abe. Junichiro Koizumi has been an excellent Prime Minister of Japan, a good friend of America, who brought stability to a government when there appeared to be a revolving door of prime minsters. His humor and love of Elvis endeared him to a grateful country. We wish you well Junichiro Koizumi and many good wishes to your successor, Shinzo Abe.

Keith Olbermann's Video extraordinaire on Bush and Clinton

Watch the Keith Olbermann Video by copying and pasting the following URL address:

Monday, September 25, 2006

Keith Olbermann comments on Bill Clinton's Fox News interview

This was the most aggressive commentary on President Bush I have ever heard. It was predictable, as tempers are rising in advance of the mid-term elections. Keith Olbermann on MSNBC blasted President Bush. Read the entirety of his text if you can or get the link in my more recent post.

A textbook definition of cowardice
Keith Olbermann comments on Bill Clinton's Fox News interview

By Keith Olbermann
Anchor, 'Countdown'
Updated: 1 hour, 16 minutes ago

The headlines about them are, of course, entirely wrong.

It is not essential that a past president, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster, finally lashed back.

It is not important that the current President’s portable public chorus has described his predecessor’s tone as “crazed.”

Our tone should be crazed. The nation’s freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do us as much damage as al Qaida; the nation’s marketplace of ideas is being poisoned by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would’ve quit.

Nonetheless. The headline is this:

Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done in five years.

He has spoken the truth about 9/11, and the current presidential administration.

"At least I tried," he said of his own efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. "That’s the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They had eight months to try; they did not try. I tried."

Thus in his supposed emeritus years has Mr. Clinton taken forceful and triumphant action for honesty, and for us; action as vital and as courageous as any of his presidency; action as startling and as liberating, as any, by any one, in these last five long years.

The Bush Administration did not try to get Osama bin Laden before 9/11.

The Bush Administration ignored all the evidence gathered by its predecessors.

The Bush Administration did not understand the Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S."

The Bush Administration did not try.

Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest “pass” for incompetence and malfeasance in American history!

You must see the video of this to get the reall essence of his comments click on the link above and then when the page opens click on the free Video.

Proposed Energy Plan to achieve energy independence

This Blog was written by a guest writer who worked in the Energy sector for Bechtel for many years.

Simplified Energy Plan
by Enrique Goldenberg

A few elements of a simplified energy plan.


1. Elimination of our dependency on foreign oil
2. Utilization of nuclear energy
3. Electrification of public transportation
4. Private automobile and trucks power sources

This plan has to be implemented at the Federal level.

Implementation of the above considerations will bring:

1. Clean air and less impact on global warming
2. Economic boost due to the creation of new infrastructure and supporting facilities
3. Reduction of balance of payments
4. Elimination of our indirect financing of terrorist activities

Elimination of our dependency on foreign oil

Introduce legislation to activate a “Manhattan Type Project” to eliminate within three years our dependency on foreign sources of energy. There are enough technologies available to gasify coal, produce alcohol or other bio fuels from sugar beets, corn, wood, and other genetically engineered crops, that it is feasible to develop these to the point of economically replacing imported oil. This technology, when fully developed, should be shared free of cost to other countries that are interested in pursuing it. Our participation, if any, could be selling the plants to produce the fuel.

An immediate consequence of this legislation will be the fall of the value of a barrel of oil to $10 to $20/barrel. We are talking about $5 a gallon of gas if we take on Iran…

(In other words screw the oil cartel!)

Utilization of nuclear energy

Nuclear power plants, as developed by Utilities, make economic sense if they are located close to a cooling water supply and to centers of consumption. Pumping costs are dependent on pumping distance. Transmission losses are to be minimized. There is then the problem of cost versus public acceptance of a plant in their backyard. At a national level, nuclear fuel is good for power generation or to make nuclear weapons. If we locate nuclear power plants at the nuclear reservation sites in the USA; Idaho, Richland, Savannah River, etc. there is no public controversy regarding the siting of the plant and the cost of extra pumping and longer transmission lines costs are absorbed by the federal government. These costs are balanced against the cost of capital during the licensing process; years for a site close to population centers, cero or minimal for remote locations on federal property.

There are several advanced, passive reactors developed by GE and Westinghouse, already licensed by the NRC, that can be on line in three or four years. There is a second alternative that it is even more appealing, the standard navy vessel reactor. Westinghouse and GE manufacture this reactor for the nuclear navy. This power plant can be mounted on skids as a module in energy parks, run by the navy as training facilities and can be used as spares for the nuclear vessels in case of need.

Another advantage of nuclear power plans is that they can be used to generate Hydrogen as a fuel for future fuel cells.

Electrification of public transportation

Public transportation should be run as a semi-private corporation, financed by the States or Federal Government. Electrification of intercity trains and use of rapid transit systems as BART, light rail and/or trolley buses should be the goal for the next few years. There will be no Diesel buses in any city. Clean burning bio diesel or alcohol fueled buses will be the only accepted in cities or towns with small population (to be defined). The program should follow closely completion of power plants that will supply the necessary electric energy to run the transportation system.

Private automobile and truck power sources

A law should be introduced requiring that all private vehicles should, within 5 years, be at least hybrids or provide an efficiency of 40mpg. Trucks that are not hybrids should burn flexible fuels; gas, alcohol or bio diesels.

Next generation, 5+ years should incorporate vehicles powered by fuel cells using the hydrogen generated by the nuclear electric energy surplus.

In summary, the implementation of the above plan will bring economic prosperity to the United States and other countries by creating thousands of new jobs and new industrial facilities, clean the environment and make us immune to the fluctuation of oil prices and other energy commodities. The cost of importing oil will be then spent internally with great benefit to the balance of our foreign trade. The sharing of the fuel technologies with other countries that are large oil consumers; China, Japan and the European Union, will decrease the influx of hard currency to the oil producing countries that finance world terrorism and hijack the free economies of those countries.

OK, Enrique put forth a Plan that would get significant support. Where is the Bush Administration's Plan? Any other ideas?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Geneva Convention Article 3 & Protecting America

I feel compelled to provide some facts regarding the Geneva Convention, as many Republican Senators are reinterpreting what Article 3 of the Convention states. Here it is:

Art 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

I have underlined very clear words above that are to guide nations in enforcing this International agreement we signed to uphold as well. You should also notice that the word "minimum" is used in the beginning. It means this is the minimum treatment that is allowed, not just a guideline in some situations.

We cannot allow the only person that can define what is torture or a violation of the Geneva Convention to be President Bush or any future President. The point of the Supreme Court Ruling was to tell the President he could not continue to treat prisoners this way. Trying to get the law changed and made retroactive is not morally ethical. Nor does it protect America, as this President and this Administration have much to be held accountable for. If we aren't going to have the courage as a nation of free people to stand up on this issue and shake the very core of this democracy as we did during the Vietnam War and when we marched against Civil Rights abuses, then when in God are we? Where is your voice? Contact your Senators and Congressmen and voice your concern. The time is now to raise your voice, not just in 2008 when we are afforded the opportunity to vote for a new President.

If you think I am totally out to lunch on my comments about President Bush, I offer you this piece written by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC on Friday. Click here. We have much to fear with this Presdient and this Administration and we had better start speaking out before our voices are silenced altogether.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Is President Bush a warrior?

I was troubled by all the violence I see in the world and wondering is it the rest of the world or do we have a taste for it here. So I did a little research and although was surprised at my findings I wasn't shocked. It is no secret that I have been blasting the Administration and specifically this President because of his apparent enjoyment of the use of belligerent language. For example, the words "fighting" the war on terror, Iraq, Afghanistan, belligerent comments to North Korea, Axis of Evil comments in the State of the Union a few years back, the recent comments about what we told Pakistan after 9/11, and the most recent comments threatening Iran that we would not allow them to develop a Nuclear weapon. Bush was referred to as the cowboy by Chavez and the Devil at the UN.

I wondered did he manifest that behavior back in Texas when he was Governor and thought about how did he compare to other Governors on issues where we could examine the aggressive nature of this President. Here is what I found:

I looked back into Texas history of the Governors of the past 25 years and looked at the number of executions conducted by the Texas Dept. of Corrections under each of their stewardships as Governor.

From 1982 to and including 2006, there have been a total of 357 Texas state executions.
There has been 4 Governors during that period. Here is their record

Governor Clements, Republican 18 executions spanning a period of 5 years or 5% of the total executions.
Governor White, Democrat 19 executions spanning a period of 4 years or 5% of the total executions.

Governor Richards, Democrat 48 executions spanning a period of 4 years or 13% of the total executions.

Governor Bush, Republican 154 executions spanning a period of 6 years or 43%of the total executions.

Governor Perry, Republican 137 executions spanning a period of 6 years or 38% of the total executions.

I think the data speaks for itself. Bush may have wanted to be seen as tough on crime and where he could have slowed the execution process down, facts have shown he chose to speed it up. One other piece of info that I was surprised to learn. Texas has had a Democratic Governor from 1874 through 1979 uninterrupted. So Texas was a Democratic state for 100 years when choosing their Governor. This surprised me.

So the seeds of the behavior were there all along. With all the people who have been imprisoned and on death row, only later to be found innocent by DNA testing, I have real difficulty with state executions even if just one person was innocent and killed by mistake. We know the numbers are much greater than that. Add into the mix racism and you know the numbers of innocent convictions are probably much higher.

We had the whole world with us after 9/11 and Bush has lost that and much more by his aggressiveness and arrogance. As one of the most powerful nations in the world, if we continue to grab the sword when people don't agree with us, there won't be anything worth saving, as we will have destroyed humanity and the very planet itself. We are sure doing a good job right now.

Friday, September 22, 2006

United States Coup d'etat

In the cover of daylight, the United States democracy was overthrown today by a Coup d'etat during the fog of politics and presented to the masses in the language of obfuscation and using the images of compromise. Major news networks reported not a single casualty. Some news networks such as NBC Nightly News didn't even cover the Coup, opting for a story on Phone Books of the past in London.

There was not a single protest in the streets, as the limited reporting of the event coincided with the usual Friday night homecoming of working Americans, and the distraction of relaxing with a glass of wine after a hard week.

The only sounds heard were the whimpers and sobbing of generations past, from our Founding Fathers, Veterans of all wars, and those who have died defending our democracy and preserving our freedoms. It was a bloodless Coup as life carried on with hardly a notice or care.

Whether we have violated or are violating the Geneva Convention will now be determined not by Law, but by the personal decision of President Bush, thanks to Senators McCain (a real disappointment), Warner and Graham and a silent neutered Democratic Party.

Sept. 22, 2006 Will you remember where you were this day 10 years from now? I will.

Labels: , , ,

Senator's McCain, Warner & Graham sell out

I thought we had finally seen courage demonstrated by the Legislative branch of Government, specifically from these 3 Senators. They attempted to harness this Administration and our President from reported abuses committed on prisoners in violation of the Geneva Convention and therefore prosecutable in World Courts. Many questionable interrogation techniques have been endorsed by President Bush and the Administration, but I sadly must report that these Senators put politics above principle when they yielded on their very principled position.

When you hear news reports, it will sound like everybody won. You know that is impossible. Given the nature of the disagreement on the techniques reportedly used, to interrogate seized suspected terrorists and others snatched from their homes from Afghanistan, Iraq and anywhere else in the world, there could be no compromise as much of the Geneva Convention was specifically left as more vague language not to specify the exact line where interrogation becomes torture. It was the spirit of the Convention that was to guide world powers in treating captured prisoners humanely.

How does the Merriam-Webster OnLine dictionary define humanely? Here it is:

"Humanely: Marked by compassion, sympathy or consideration" defines it as follows:

"Humanely: Characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, esp. for the suffering or distressed."

Now ask yourself these questions,
Does this Administration want to treat these prisoners in this manner? My guess is NO.
Did Senator's McCain, Warner and Graham want to ensure these prisoners are treated in this manner? My guess is YES.
Did Colin Powell and the other 5 distinguished Generals want to ensure these prisoners are treated in this manner? My guess is Yes.

I think you now can see why the agreement with the President is a ruse and a betrayal to our country, the Constitution and the Geneva Convention. You can't put lipstick on this pig and make it look any different. Watch the lies emerge. We cannot and should not degrade our sensibilities and moral code for anyone or for any reason. The ends do not justify the means. When our leaders state or imply that they do, we have lost and the terrorists have won.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hugo Chavez calls Bush "The Devil" in UN speech

Venezuela's President, Hugo Chavez spoke yesterday to the UN. His remarks? He said, "The devil came here yesterday, right here" then added, "The President of the United States came here."

What surprised me most was the applause and support for Chavez's comments. The laughs were loud and mocking of our President. It is troubling indeed. Our President is hated and considered by many as the fool of world leaders. Many citizens of the U.S. traveling abroad hear the comments about President Bush and shrug their shoulders, as they can empathize with the feelings. But hearing these comments in France is understandable given the recent history of the two leaders, but hearing it in Great Britain, our most loyal friend in the world, makes me angry. I'm not angry at the Brits, I am angry with our President and you should be too if you care at all about your future and the future of this country. It isn't terrorism that we need fear; it's the incompetence of this Administration, the use of Rovian language to confuse Americans and divide us, and the stubbornness of this President. It's not confidence Chavez shows, it's ignorance. He will unite us with those comments, not divide us, contrary to what he wants to do.

UPDATE: Sept. 21, 2006

Chavez made another comment, which I had not reported, where he said that there was still a stench of Sulfur, from where Bush spoke at the podium. This was being interpreted by the media as a reference to the smell of flatulent. I believe the real meaning of what Chavez was referring to, was the smell of Sulfur from explosives, which we are using in Iraq. I haven't seen anyone pick up this interpretation yet.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

President Bush "dictates" again to the UN

President Bush refuses to talk with those countries we have issues with. What's the surprise? He doesn't want to speak to any Democrats either, nor some in his own Republican party.

This is brought to you by the President who proclaimed "I am a uniter not a divider?" He is speaking right now at the UN to the community of Nations, including those he doesn't want to have direct talks with including Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Overseas U.S. military prisons hold 14,000 detainees

The actual scope of the detainees held from Iraq and Afghanistan has now been made clear. Try 14,000 in secret prisons, held for years without any charges made or evidence presented. This all done in your name and brought to you compliments of the Bush Administration. Even when people committed crimes against us on the battlefields, they deserve a more humane treatment than was and is being provided to them. You may feel good about what our government has done regarding this matter and feel that you have considerable justification, but I don't, and most civilized people don't either. We need to win the hearts and minds of the youth of the world. Their transgressions make it all the harder. If there is any question left in your mind as to why they hate us, just think about it. Read the entire article by clicking here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Coincidentia? Really low Gasoline prices and mid term elections!

Am I the only one noticing the apparent coincidence of significantly lower gasoline prices vs. mid term election being less than 50 days away? Gasoline prices are down an average of $0.35-$0.40/gallon from a year ago, with over half of the reduction happening in the past 2 weeks. This is only 2 weeks from all the scare rhetoric about 9/11, Iran's Nuclear program and an increase in the sectarian violenece in Iraq.

I am a skeptic that all this is just coincidence. But voters can't say this Administration didn't have an Energy Policy and Plan. We are witnessing it right now. These low prices are a one time limited offer, which expires on Wednesday, November 8th, the day after the elections, and paid for by the American people through tax breaks for the Oil companies that they officially didn't ask for but nonetheless received in a year of record breaking profits in the Billions of $$$$$$$$$$$ dollars.

IAEA: U.S. report on Iran 'dishonest'

A report by the Republican controlled Congress, on Iran, 'is outrageous and dishonest' says the International Atomic Energy Association, as reported by the Washington Post. So what's new!! I'm not surprised, are you? It's deja vu, with respect to the intelligence we had on Iraq.

Read the article here and link to the source.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Poll says Senator Joe Biden is Most Trusted Democrat on Foreign Policy

Reprinted from Aug. 7th Press release

Poll: Biden is Most Trusted Democrat on Foreign Policy

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Journal has released a poll which said U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE), ranking member on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is the most trusted Democrat on foreign policy issues.

The poll, which samples key decision makers in Washington, DC, asked respondents: Who in your party do you trust most on foreign policy? Poll respondents overwhelmingly favored Senator Joe Biden, followed by former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT).

Poll respondents said Biden “is level-headed and avoids rhetoric,” and “understands politics on a global field, is not an ideologue, and is one of the few Democrats who can articulate a contrasting position from the [Bush] administration. Experience counts in foreign policy, and he has more than W. and Condi combined.” “Not only is he knowledgeable, but I learn something whenever I listen to him,” one of the poll participants added.

Conservatives hope GOP lose in 2006; Me too!

Yes there is a Santa Claus, just a little more than 3 months before Christmas. An article in Washington Monthly by 7 Conservative Republicans believe it is time for the Republicans to lose control of Congress in favor of the Democrats. I agree and have been saying so for quite a while now. Heresy by these Republicans? No, read the article here and see the many reasons these prominent Republicans feel this way.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The hubris and audacity of the Bush Administration

I heard this today on CNN and almost couldn't believe it. The Bush Administration has asked the Republican controlled Congress to introduce a Bill that basically gives amnesty to the Administration for possible War Crimes and violations of the Geneva Convention, by passing a law that says that what they did in the past is now approved by the Congress retroactively, They fear a Democratic Congress will hold this Administration's feet to the fire and Bush wants a free pass for his team. If there were any single event that could make this a landslide election in favor of the Democrats, this gift would certainly do it. If this comes to pass, I hope the Democrats after their election and victory will hold the Administration's feet to the fire AND members of Congress that didn't do the proper oversight relegated to insignificance in their role if they are still standing after the election in November. I would be saying the same thing if it were a Democratic Administration and they did what this Republican Administration has done. Would you?

The hubris and audacity of the Bush Administration still amazes me. In classical Athens hubris was a crime. Hubris is often said to be the "hamartia" ("error") of characters in Greek tragedy, and the cause of the "nemesis" (nemesis), or destruction, which befalls these characters, according to Wikipedia.

ABC News "Path to 9/11" was shameful

I watched the entire 2-night program. In reviewing my feelings at the end of the series to determine what they were trying to create in the viewer. I was mad, frustrated and had a lot of fear generated. I realized this program, while all the disclaimers were announced at the beginning of each day, tried to manipulate me into believing that the Clinton Administration team of Sandy Berger, Madeline Albright and William Cohen, were a bunch of bureaucratic incompetents, which I don't believe. Much of the series dealt with the Clinton Administration and not much on the Bush Administration. I left with the feeling that the Bush Administration was much more on top of this than the 9/11 Commission had actually reported in their 2 books, which I have and have read.

The actual day where the program showed the Twin Towers and Paul O'Neill, former FBI memeber and who had just started his job as Security head at the World Trade Center and died on 9/11, was done well, but I would have liked more shown on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania by brave souls attacking the terrorists. But all in all it was a major distrortion of events leading up to 9/11 and too politically bent. I am afraid that President Bush may have gained some sympathy for 9/11 on his watch.

ABC news should be ashamed of this slanted documentary, as it was less than what I had expected from the broadcast company.

UPDATE Sept. 12th

Today on Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room, William Cohen, Republican and former Secretary of Defense in the Clinton Administration, said that the documentary was NOT reflective of the situation nor comments made by Sandy Berger, nor Madeline Albright. He said ABC should not have done what they did with these misleading statements and comments. I will add a big AMEN!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Post 9/11- Have we lost our way?

A New York Times article today, read here, cites interrogation techniques used on the terrorist Abu Zabaydah, a close associate of Osama Bin Laden. The article raises several questions with me on the issue of the rights of prisoners in this war on terror. I have written extensively on the Geneva Convention in past Blogs and will spare you a repeat of the information now. But I have personal doubts as to whether, as a Nation, we have lost our way.

I am convinced that every time we use suspect techniques for interrogation we lose a part of the America we were once proud of and get closer to those we abhor, the terrorists. The fact that they show no concern for civilians in this war on us, and it is clearly a war, allows us to hate them and behave in ways that brings out the worst of humanity. Hitler and his gang used experimental techniques in interrogation on the Jews during WWII, going far beyond anything humane reaching the depths of depravity and suffering and finally culminated by ending their lives. As a people when we have seen photos of the treatment of the Jews back then we are repulsed and horrified by what we see. Is this what we want to become? Is the price of security worth this? You may wonder why I chose to compare our interrogation of terrorists to Nazi Germany. It is because the techniques are secret and one can only imagine at this point in time what they are doing in these secret prisons. I would bet when the truth is known years from now, it will be uncovered that many lower level terrorists captured were actually killed during interrogation.

Now we want Congress to codify the use of these techniques so they are "legal", meaning they aren't now nor have they been illegal. They were definitely a violation of the spirit of the Geneva Convention if not the actual law itself. I claim that those who authorized torture, all the way to the President, Vice President, Donald Rumsfeld, and Alberto Gonzales, are all guilty of War Crimes, but that's for another posting.

We have lost our image and moral ground with the citizens of the world, over this and the invasion of Iraq. I am looking for a Congress that restores America's image to where it was when JFK was President and we were reaching for the loftiness of the Moon, and the ideals of the Peace Corps, from a world that has gone mad. We must once again become the beacon for the free world. We must examine what policies we want to stand for in the company of Nations. And we must look at past strategies we have employed as a nation, which causes people to want to kill us through killing themselves. We, you and I, created this mess and until we are willing to look at this problem that way, we will never determine how to change it. Accountability is what is lacking most with our leaders - Our President, VP, Republican led Congress and even the Supreme Court Justices, who decided the 2000 election, lack accountability. And so we, as citizens, must be willing to face this inevitable truth and liberate ourselves from this deception and lack of accountability, by those we have elected to serve us, and start with a change of Congress in the upcoming elections in November. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, as both are often playing games, with serious matters of life and death hanging in the balance, you must vote for a Democratically controlled Congress and Senate so that true oversight begins. Otherwise my friend, you will be responsible for how we continue to have no friends around the world and will be supporting the terrorist cause and their inflicted pain and suffering of all Westerners, including your family members right here!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Shuttle Atlantis in a post 9/11 world

Shuttle Atlantis crew just entered their bus for the short trip to go to the Shuttle craft. Seemed like every other prelaunch setting, except with one difference. In this 9/11 world, there were soldiers with machine guns surrounding the bus to ensure security. That image will be burned into my memory and the old one from a pre 9/11 world, will be replaced. How sad.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This President Bush's "Read my Lips" moment

Yesterday the President announced the following, "The United States does not torture, it's against the law & I would not approve of it nor do I authorize it." So the read my lips moment was using the specific words, "United States". Well it is obvious he didn't include the phrase, "here or abroad" as the new regulations on military conduct for the Army spells out clearly in detail what is not allowed anymore. However, and this is the big however, these banned interrogation techniques do not apply to the CIA. So one must conclude, putting aside all the election year spin and rhetoric on the topic, the CIA is free to use these techniques anywhere but on US soil.

Do they think We The People are all stupid here and don't know what is really going on? The answer is obviously YES, they think we are all stupid or wouldn't be using these phrases. All of this brought to you by Master word builder and deception artist extraordinaire, Karl Rove. If you ask me President Bush is using carefully crafted but misleading legalese language.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Geneva Convention and Amnesty

Don't you just feel a whole lot better to hear that President Bush and the Administration has agreed NOW to abide by the Geneva Convention. What about the war crimes committed the last 4 years? Is this why the President endorses AMNESTY (for illegal immigrants). The word AMNESTY has a certain appeal to this President. Do you think it is subconscious or advice from his Attorney General who first endorsed the actions of this Administration regarding the use of torture. We will remember your role in these matters and this Administration, Mr. Alberto Gonzales, U.S. Attorney General and former General Counsel to the President.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

President Clinton had it right and the Republicans had it wrong. See here!

Well it turns out that REPUBLICANS stopped President Clinton from getting increased authority to Wire Tap back in 1996. "We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue," Clinton said during a White House news conference. Read the article by Americablog today and get thee details. If you want to read the CNN press coverage back on July 30th, 1996 on the specifics read that here but make no mistake about it, the Republicans didn't want any increase in wire tapping to track terrorist activities and Senator Orin Hatch is quoted as saying it wouldn't pass the Republican controlled Congress.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerged from the meeting in July, 1996 and said, "These are very controversial provisions that the White House wants. Some they're not going to get."

Hatch called Clinton's proposed study of taggants -- chemical markers in explosives that could help track terrorists -- "a phony issue."

"If they want to, they can study the thing" already, Hatch asserted. He also said he had some problems with the president's proposals to expand wiretapping.

These comments all made prior to 9/11 by Republicans. Come to think of it Republicans have controlled the Congress even while Bill Clinton was President. Can you imagine what might have been accomplished to prevent 9/11 if Democrats had controlled Congress during the later Clinton years. For one thing we would not have had impeachment proceedings. What a waste of time and money it was and a distraction off the target of terrorism, when that is what we should have been paying attention to, instead of impeachment.

So who is really tough on terrorists, Republicans who did what they could AFTER 9/11 attacks or President Clinton who tried to prevent 9?11 from ever happening. President Bush's talk is cheap and his actions on behalf of our great country are appalling and an embarrassment to most Americans.

President Bush wrong on Iran

President Bush speaking at the Military Officers Assoc. of America wants us to think that the only want to stop radical Islam from taking over the Middle East is to act boldly and decisively against Iran.

I disagree. The answer that was not spoken was to get off dependency immediately on Oil. While our President and this Administration supports its friends in the Oil industry, the American people need to take this on by using less energy and looking for ways to use alternative fuels such as Solar, Wind and Ethanol. That is how the people in the Middle East will be most affected. When we conserve we deny them their booty. Wake up and join me in using less energy as a lifestyle. Necessity is the mother of invention!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Iran's former President, Khatami, addresses 15,000 American Muslims in Chicago

An article from Robert Fisk of the Independent gives pause today:

'America's aggression is fuelling extremism', says former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, one of Iran's most principled leaders and one who the U.S. had hoped to deal with when he was elected as a reformer President. In a Chicago hotel, Khatami addressed over 15,000 American Muslims.

When he spoke of "the vast and all-encompassing presence of powers who express concern for the world but implement policies aimed at devouring the world," there was a sense of shock among his audience. They had not expected such an epic denunciation of US hegemony from a divine known for his compassion rather than his anger.

Speaking of the policies of the Bush Administration and the neocons, Khatami said, "policies that are the outcome of a point of view, that despite having no status in the US public arena as far as numbers are concerned, uses decisive lobby groups and influential centres to utilise the entirety of America's power and wealth to promote its own interest and to implant policies outside US borders that have no resemblance to the spirit of Anglo-American civilisation and the aspirations of its Founding Fathers or its constitution, causing crisis after crisis in our world."

Read the entire article by Robert Fisk here.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sectarian Violence in Iraq

According to the Pentagon's own report published in August titled, "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq", page 34, "Sectarian violence has increased the last quarter". This misleads the reader, as seen when you examine the graph above, the violence took a dramatic increase in February 2006. This was the result of a very provoking and catastrophic incident, the Samarra Mosque bombing in which 1000 civilians were killed with thousands more wounded. This holiest of sites in Iraq, with its Golden Dome, was targeted exactly to incite Shi’a Muslims to retaliate in kind against Sunnis. And as hoped by the thugs, the sectarian violence has continued. That was the moment in time the war changed from just harming Americans to where it turned inward to the Iraqi people to brew the hatred and violence, which ensued.

That is why we must now leave Iraq, as we have no dog in this fight. In my previous post, I raised questions as to why we were not engaged in this war in Iraq with overwhelming force, as espoused by Colin Powell. And I raised the suggestion that in order to win this war we would need to institute a Draft. I even suggested that if this were a war so important to us as was WWII, why wouldn't Americans support the Administration and go for it. I said then, that is because they would have to admit they made a mistake in troop levels and what was necessary to win the war and they didn't want to admit a mistake.

I now think an even more compelling reason they have decided not to use overwhelming force and is the real only reason it has not been used. President Bush, VP Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld must truly believe this Sectarian war is not possible to win. There is no other logical reason, given the recent analogy to WWII and that this war is the greatest struggle of the 21st Century.

So this means that we are still fighting a war we know we can't win and that if continued will have a lasting impact on the health and well being of this economy and psyche for generations to come. We are going bankrupt and knowing we are but continually not having the courage to pull the plug on it. It seems that the Republicans want to get out of this after the 2008 elections so that they can say the Democrats pulled the plug on it and lost it. When in fact, the Republicans have lost this war and all that is left is for the referee, the voters, to make the call. Well you've heard it here. Have the courage to pull the plug on the members of Congress and the Senate that are playing a losing, fools game and believing the President's, VP's and Rumsfeld's BS. Less than 65 days left to vote. Make sure you are registered and VOTE if you are outraged!

UPDATE: Sept. 4, 2006

It appears that the number 2 person in Al Quaeda in Iraq, Al Saeedi, was captured today. He is responsible for the February bombing of the Samarra Mosque, which killed over 1000 civilians.
Technorati Profile