Monday, July 12, 2004

I STILL believe Joseph Wilson (Part II)

I STILL believe Joseph Wilson (Part II)

From the Independent on the Butler report:

Lord Butler has received submissions from Jacques Baute, who led the IAEA mission on the ground in Baghdad, and the director of the agency's Iraq Nuclear Verification Office. Mr Baute examined a set of documents supplied by the American government which purported to prove the existence of an Iraq/Niger intelligence link. At the time it was reported that the documents, which originated from a third nation, were passed to Washington by London.

It took Mr Baute and his team just a few hours to conclude that the documents were crude forgeries. Asked about the matter, Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, said they "came from other sources. It was provided in good faith to the inspectors."

A former diplomat, Joseph Wilson, visited Niger in 2002 on behalf of the CIA, and reported that there was no evidence that Saddam had sought to buy uranium from the country. George Tenet, the CIA director at the time, declared that the Niger claim was "not tenable". And in last week's damning senate report on pre-war intelligence, a memo by a senior CIA official was revealed which said: "We told Congress that the Brits have exaggerated this issue."

Mr Blair's Iraq dossier claimed Saddam "sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa, despite having no active, civil nuclear programme that could require it." But the IAEA points out that it would have been impossible for Iraq to acquire uranium from Niger without this being discovered. The country's entire output at the time came from two mines controlled by a French company, and its entire output was pre-sold to France, Japan and Spain.


Democratic Convention-Blogger Update

Democratic Convention-Blogger Update

Anonymoses has provided an update of Bloggers offically covering the Democratic National Convention.

I surely wish my (rescinded) credentials could be reinstated, but if they are not, I want it to be known that I am still appreciative of having been considered.

As Voltaire wrote:

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."

So, to:

Dave Winer, Dave Weinberger, Taegan Goddard, Jay Rosen, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (Daily Kos), Jerome Armstrong, Aldon Hynes (, Jeralyn Merritt (TalkLeft), Matt Welch, Mathew Gross, Byron LaMasters, , Natasha L.C., Tom Burka , "Jim Dinner" (dinner for america), Jesse Taylor (Pandagon) , Patrick Belton (Oxblog), Dave Pell (Electablog) ...and maybe Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette) and Dave Barry (Hey, Dave-say Hi to your stealth-bloggerette Judi Smith for me!).......

You're all my "peeps" (uh--did I actually say "peeps"?) and you are indeed appreciated! What is excellent in YOU shall belong to all of us!

Good luck and godspeed!


P.S. To my fellow disinivited-
Let's go have a beer! (*rootbeer if you so desire)

OPINIONS: Trial Lawyers, Uniting on War, Stolen Political Signs

OPINIONS: Trial Lawyers, Uniting on War, Stolen Political Signs

Questions raised by my neighbors

The following were statements and questions made from three of my "neighbors" here in the greater Syracuse, N.Y. area. (Their respective letters to the editor of the Syracuse Post Standard appeared in today's newspaper). I believe they are reflective of the opinions of people across our nation.

Rick from Mattydale, N.Y. mentioned, in regard to recent John Edwards-bashing, that another man "so highly regarded that his likeness is on both the penny and the five-dollar bill was a TRIAL LAWYER before he went on to become our country's greatest President."

I agree that we should give that fact some meditation before we allow the phrase "trial lawyer" to automatically be equated with something vile. I think it's important to remember who John Edwards represented as a trial lawyer. As a plaintiff attorney, he represented the people of this land. The Davids against the Goliaths. Think of the powerful corporate lobby and thank the trial lawyers for organizing a balancing counterpart. Thank the trial lawyer for being there for you. Does the trial lawyer have a vested interest in your legal success? You bet! But don't forget, in the end, it is YOUR interests that are protected by this trial lawyer.


Susan from Baldwinsville, N.Y. believes that, despite our political affiliation or feelings toward the Bush administration, "we must not forget what is at stake" in the war on terror. (The war on Iraq notwithstanding). Susan says "If we lose due to our failure to unite, the world will be forever at the mercy of terrorism."

I don't believe the answer to "winning the war on terror" is by our consent to ideologically unite. Why?

First, what does "winning" mean? There has never been any real forthcoming from the current administration about what this war on terror will truly entail over the long run. Iraq was surely an unnecessary road taken. Our military has been stretched to capacity. There is no exit strategy. I see little strategy whatsoever, as a matter of fact.

Second, it will be virtually impossible for so many Americans, especially now with the common knowlege that we were no less than misled about the reasons for hastily waging what has come to be an out-of-control war on Iraq, to trust the Bush administration to formulate an honest and wise strategy to beat the odds on terror and to stem the growth of terror in Muslim countries.

If we, the people, choose to unite, it can only be done with an intelligent form of patriotism, as discussed by Associate Dean of the Maxwell School for Governemnt at Syracuse University, Robert McClure not long after 9/11.

"We don't know where, exacxtly, to find the enemy. Or who precisely to target. Whether rooting out the enemy at home or pursuing him abroad, the means are untried and unclear. Old—well-rehearsed war plans and massive firepower seem not so well-suited to today’s shifting and shielded battlefields. And no matter what course of action is contemplated, from dropping bombs to dropping food, unintended consequences with undesirable and costly result are sure to occur. Such is the nasty business of war.

We will wage this new war (at least in one fundamental respect) as we have earlier wars—by trial and error.. hoping to muster enough good sense and good luck to muddle through today’s uncertainties..and then to do the same tomorrow..and the day after tomorrow…and on and on until some unknown exhausting endpoint.

But without a formal beginning, without specified state belligerents named in a congressional declaration, this new kind of war poses the added danger of becoming open-ended: a war without boundaries; a war without end..."

--Robert McClure Senior Associate Dean Maxwell School for Government, Syracuse University
from Intelligent Patriotism--A speech given by McClure to MAX 123 class on February 4, 2002

Uniting will entail having leadership we can trust and a clear understanding of what this war on terror actually means and a display of a clear-minded strategy so we can understand what "winning" will mean. Freedom is the hallmark of our American unification. If we cannot trust that the Bush administration has our precious Freedom at the heart of this war (the freedom for which our troops fight and die), how can we ever become a united people?

In the words of one of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton:

The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.”

Federalist #8


Someone keeps stealing Ellen and David's "Bush Must Go" sign from their front lawn in Westvale, N.Y. They're on the THIRD sign at the time of this writing. They ask: "Is the effort of stealing our sign intended to win us over to the Republican Party?"

What are these sign-stealing people thinking? What do they hope to accomplish? They obviously covet their neighbor's right to the rare and precious all-American right of free speech..and they are thieves. (That's two Commandments broken for those who subscribe to the Ten).

Do you remember this music from 'Fahrenheit 9/11'?

Do you remember this music from 'Fahrenheit 9/11'?

This was the music you heard in "Fahrenheit 9/11" during the scene where the World Trade Center towers have been hit and papers are floating, like snow, to the ground below.

*Listen to #2.*

It is "Cantus In Memory Of Benjamin Britten" by Arvo Part.