Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sweet Vindication

Sweet Vindication

I was criticized for boldly saying this in 2004:
Bush is al-Qaeda's choice for American President
I've even voiced my suspicion that this brutal honesty was the reason I was bounced, by the timid and cautious, from the Democrats' convention.

Take a look at what we now know here on July 4th, 2006.

My only sin was being intuitive and prescient. In July, 2004, the final LA Times' analysis of Bounced Bloggers had indicated, A hint: You can go with your gut most -- but not all -- of the time.

I would ask the people who make the decisions about bloggers, come next Democratic Convention, to carefully consider the fact that my "gut" talks sense to me and I consider it to be the blogger's responsibility to say what my friends in the mainstream media never could. Let's also remember that a controversial headline should be no stranger to the editors of the mainstream.

Recommended on the 4th of July

Recommended on the 4th of July

Former President Jimmy Carter believes we must seek amendments to the Freedom of Information Act....
"to be more in line with emerging international standards, such as covering all branches of government; providing an oversight body to monitor compliance; including sanctions for failure to adhere to the law; and establishing an appeal mechanism that is easy to access, speedy and affordable. We cannot take freedom of information for granted. Our democracy depends on it." [Miami Herald]

Understanding the meaning of freedom by George Lakoff, Boston Globe
Freedom is what cognitive scientists call an "essentially contested concept," which means there will always be distinct and disputed versions of freedom that are inconsistent with each other. There is no single, universal, and objectively ``correct" meaning of freedom.

William Rivers Pitt on Ben Franklin

Jefferson's 4th of July by John Nichols, The Nation
On this Fourth of July, we Americans would do well to embrace Jefferson's last words and the American ideals that, though battered by the current tyranny, will outlast the King George of the moment.

Keb Mo singing America the Beautiful on NBC's show West Wing.

America the Beautiful sung by Denyce Graves at the memorial service honoring the victims of 9/11 on September 14, 2001.

The LightMomentCo video version of 1812 overture with fireworks.

The late Ray Charles singing America the Beautiful, video by freeyourmind775 at YouTube, as seen below:

Happy Birthday, America

Happy Birthday, America

We're fighting them in places like Kabul and Baghdad so we don’t have to have them again in Washington and New York.

How many times have you heard that line?

We've known for quite some time, with certainty, that the government of Iraq had no connection to the 9/11 attacks. al Qaeda had no stranglehold on Iraq whatsoever before the war.

What the Bush administration and his band of rubber-stamp Republicans are proud of doing, in essence, is to have invited al Qaeda into Iraq's neighborhoods for a mutual killing spree, damned whoever and whatever might get in the way. The Republicans created a war zone and put it squarely on top of the Iraqi citizens' already sanction-starved home base so it wouldn't happen to the nice white people living in their Red State gated suburban enclaves. The country is flattened and untold numbers of citizens have been killed. This week we found out an Iraqi family was murdered to satisfy the sexual urges of a couple of horny soldiers.

This talking point is such an immoral reason for beginning a war in Iraq that I often shake my head in disbelief for the fact that they're crowing about it.

Mitch McConnell used the line last Sunday on Meet the Press:
We're fighting them in places like Kabul and Baghdad so we don’t have to have them again in Washington and New York. I think that’s been a fundamentally sound decision and I think we’re succeeding.

It depends on the meaning of "success," doesn't it? In a list of the top ten errors that have been made in Iraq, Professor Juan Cole grimly assures us that, if al-Qaeda manages to pull off another American operation, it may well give Bush and Cheney an opportunity to destroy the US constitution altogether, finally giving Bin Laden his long-sought revenge on Americans for the way he believes they have forced Palestinians and other Muslims to live under lawless foreign domination or local tyranny.

So we’re fighting them imorally, unjustly, and unnecessarily over there only to create an near-perfect environment for accelerated terrorist recruitment - all the while increasing the risk of the swift destruction of individual rights of citizens on our own American streets. The way they’re fighting this tells us that they have no better ideas.

We're fighting them over there so we can be exposed to future attacks and lose our liberties over here.

Look on the bright side. Santa Claus visited Omaha good and early this year with a big fat Homeland Security Department allocation in his sack while New York City got incredibly shortchanged.

The CIA has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants. I can't imagine why. But it's a nice 4th of July gift, isn't it?

Happy Birthday, America.

*tip of the hat to William

Backing Off Bin Laden

Backing Off Bin Laden

Jennifer Millerwise Dyck took a decidedly strange path to her current job as CIA spokewoman. I think it's safe to say that she was directly in the middle of the WMD debate while it was going on, including the bitter war between the 2001 CIA and VP Dick Cheney, which then-CIA director George Tenet, by his cowardly silence in return for remaining in the power-loop, lost. (Although as a consolation prize, Tenet did get a really nice Presidential Medal of Freedom that many think he did not deserve).

It was first reported yesterday that the CIA has closed a unit that for a decade had the sole mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top al-Qaeda lieutenants. In an open source technical environment where propaganda is often King, we can use our own judgement in analyzing one of the possible reasons why we're backing off Bin Laden. To summarize, read this excerpt from NBC6.et:
A woman identified as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's wife claimed that al-Qaida leaders sold out her husband to U.S. intelligence because he had become too powerful.

She claimed Sunni tribes and Jordanian secret services mediated the deal.

The woman told an Italian newspaper that a deal was struck: The United States got al-Zarqawi, and U.S. officials promised to ease up on the hunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

"Al-Qaida is currently especially worried with protecting its charismatic leader," she said.
Why does it seem that George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden are working in some kind of perverted tandem? I know it would never be intentional, but Bush's foreign policy is being proven every bit as insane as the arch nemesis of his (and ex-speechwriter Michael Gerson's) Good vs. Evil scenario. Surely there are more effective ways of crushing bin Laden than giving him more liberty and leeway?

The Freepers' lanky hearthtrob Ann Coulter recently called Osama bin Laden "irrelevant." You'd almost think that the Bush administration agrees. And yet.....

When asked about the break-up of the unit that was solely dedicated to getting Osama, Ms. Millerwise Dyck said:
The efforts to find Osama bin Laden are as strong as ever. This is an agile agency, and the decision was made to ensure greater reach and focus."

Looking back on Ms. Millerwise Dyck's own "focus", as an aide to now-inactive CIA head Porter Goss, assisting Ari Fleischer in creating and maintaining a WMD-related message that fit the Bush administration's policy, and as Deputy Assistant for Communications and Press Secretary to the proven liar Dick Cheney during the fiery WMD debate - - now that we see indications that the Bush administration has traded backing off 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden for al-Zarqawi in a desperate move to regain political popularity on the Iraq war - - I think it's fair for any person with common sense to question that "focus."

We can only speculate as to the motives for the Bush administration's "backing off" of the hunt for the big al-Qaeda cheese. For all we know, Osama bin Laden could be lying prone and lifeless in a freezer somewhere waiting for the uncouth connivers of the party of Karl Rove to spring their "October Surprise" on us.