Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Extraordinary Website, Info Clearing House, Deserves Support!

All of the following quotes were harvested from daily email notifications from the "Information Clearing House."

Probably one of the best on the Internet! It carries the news "You Won't Find On CNN." Give it a shot!

Because we fear the responsibility for our actions, we have allowed
ourselves to develop the mentality of slaves. Contrary to the stirring
sentiments of the Declaration of Independence, we now pledge "our Lives,
our Fortunes and our sacred Honor" not to one another for our mutual
protection, but to the state, whose actions continue to exploit, despoil,
and destroy us: Butler D. Shaffer

The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should
therefore be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could
hardly be propagated. If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to
declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny: William Ellery

"We in America do not have government by the majority. We have
government by the majority who participate.": Thomas Jefferson

The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that
certain other sets of people are human: Aldous Huxley.

"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder ": George

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge
is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods: Albert Einstein:

There is no absolute knowledge. And those who claim it, whether they
are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy. All information
is imperfect. We have to treat it with humility: J. Bronowski

The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle;
pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without
character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship
without sacrifice: Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi

During war, the laws are silent: Cicero Quintus Tullius

The Economy Goes To Hell :: Chimp_junta Fiddles While It All Burns

Friday, July 30, 2004

Media Begins To Phony-Down Democrats and Spin for GopPig Thugs

Kerry Tells Chimp_junta: BRING IT ON YOU FUCKING LIAR (Well, Not Quite...)

The New York Times--The Overview: Invoking His Past, Kerry Vows to Command 'a Nation at War'

"We have it in our power to change the world, but only if we're true to our ideals - and that starts by telling the truth to the American people," Mr. Kerry said, speaking rapidly over repeated cheers from his audience. "As president, that is my first pledge to you tonight. As president, I will restore trust and credibility to the White House.

"I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war. I will have a vice president who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws. I will have a secretary of defense who will listen to the advice of the military leaders. And I will appoint an attorney general who upholds the Constitution of the United States."

Theresa Heinz-Kerry Tells Sciafe Provacateur to SHOVE IT! We tell Him and Sciafe; FUCK OFF...Go Chase GoPpIg Girls

AlterNet: Election 2004: The Scaife Strategy: Smother Teresa
By Max Blumenthal, AlterNet
Posted on July 29, 2004, Printed on July 30, 2004

Colin McNickle did not enter the Democratic Convention as an ordinary reporter. As the editorial page editor for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a newspaper owned by eccentric rightist billionaire Richard Mellon-Scaife, McNickle came to Boston as an agent provocateur. "What happens when a conservative commentator infiltrates the Democratic National Convention?" the Tribune-Review asked in pre-convention promotion of McNickle's coverage. McNickle answered that question on Sunday, July 25 by provoking a spat with Teresa Heinz-Kerry.

The dustup occurred after Heinz-Kerry gave a speech to the Pennsylvania delegation denouncing "some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics." McNickle approached her and asked what she meant by "un-American activities," in effect accusing her of McCarthyism. Heinz-Kerry denied using the phrase "un-American activities" and stormed off. Yet when Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell pointed out to her that McNickle was a reporter from the Tribune-Review, Heinz-Kerry returned to him with a rebuke. "You're from the Tribune Review?" she asked McNickle with a face tightened with rage. "That's understandable. You said something I didn't say. Now shove it."

Most of the mainstream press characterized the incident as The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg did: another example of "Teresa being Teresa." For them, the dustup was a resounding confirmation that their hastily scrawled sketch of an incurable free spirit who was filling John Kerry's campaign coffers while draining his political fortunes was an accurate one. However, there is much more to it than that. McNickle's provocation of Heinz-Kerry represents the latest manifestation of a poisonous dirty tricks campaign Scaife has financed to undermine Heinz-Kerry, a fellow Western Pennsylvania philanthropist whom he considers his rival. And now that Heinz-Kerry has been thrust into the national spotlight by her husband's presidential candidacy, Scaife's smears are likely to intensify.

"The dust-up between Teresa Heinz-Kerry and Colin McNickle has a long history behind it that goes back a good 15 years before McNickle even worked there," said Dennis Roddy, a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who has covered Pennsylvania politics for over 30 years. "Scaife has had it in for [Heinz Kerry] because she's not sufficiently conservative, she's a moderate voice. She has always felt badly treated by the Tribune-Review and it doesn't surprise me that her grievances finally came out."

The Tribune-Review routinely sniped at Teresa Heinz during her marriage to Pennsylvania's Republican former Senator John Heinz. When the senator died in 1991, and the Massachusetts Junior Senator John Kerry stole Teresa's heart, the paper's attacks grew increasingly slanderous. On December 28, 1997, the paper featured an anonymously penned cover story falsely insinuating that a woman named Sheila Lawrence had had affairs with both Bill Clinton and Kerry. "Far from giving all to Bill, there was still something left over for Sen. John Kerry," who had "a very private tete-a-tete" with "sexy Sheila," the columnist alleged. In another column, the Tribune-Review mocked John Kerry as "Mr. Teresa Heinz."

Perhaps the most spurious of the Tribune-Review's attacks came in December, 2003, when it ran a piece accusing Heinz-Kerry of secretly "funneling cash" from her Heinz Endowment to the Tides Foundation, a group that "supports extreme left wing groups... anti-war protests... unlimited abortion rights, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy, as well as and [sic] environmental extremism." The piece was based on research conducted by the right-wing think tank Capital Research Center, yet failed to mention that Scaife granted the center $240,000 in 2002 or that he was connected to it in any way. The article also omitted the fact that the Heinz Foundation's grants were all strictly earmarked for mainstream Western Pennsylvania environmental charities, an inexcusable omission that could have been avoided if the paper had bothered to call either the Heinz Foundation or the Tides Foundation to confirm its wild claims.

Despite the article's shoddy research, its accusations became a favorite tune on the right's Mighty Wurlitzer. FrontPageMagazine plugged it in a piece called, "Teresa Heinz-Kerry: Bag Lady of the Radical Left;" The New York Post followed with the headline, "Teresa Heinz's Cash Connection;" Rush Limbaugh promoted the claims; the Weekly Standard picked the story up. By the time FOX's Brit Hume reported the accusations, they had been brushed clean of Scaife's fingerprints.

For the past 10 years, the point man in Scaife's anti-Heinz attack campaign has been Colin McNickle, a brash ideologue who has shaped the Tribune-Review's editorial page into a forum for some of the most fanatical currents of right-wing thought. Characteristic examples of McNickle's work include the anonymous obituary he commissioned of Katherine Graham which implied she murdered her husband, Philip Graham, in order to seize control of The Washington Post; his endorsement of the anti-immigrant border-patrolling Arizona militia leader, Chris Simcox; his routine references to Gov. Ed Rendell as a "socialist;" his penchant for quoting the Austrian aristocrat and conservative intellectual pioneer, Friedrich Von Hayek (perhaps Hayek's ideas were the "un-American traits" Heinz-Kerry referred to in her speech on Sunday). And there is also the fact that the Tribune-Review is the only newspaper in America which publishes columns by White nationalist author Sam Francis, a self-avowed "racialist" whose views are so extreme he was fired by the Washington Times.

McNickle has also displayed a disregard for journalistic ethics throughout his career. His chronic carelessness was most apparent in his July, 2000, column, "Thus (Mis)Speaketh Al," a collection of imbecilic quotes by then-presidential candidate Al Gore. Though the article was laugh-out-loud funny, there was one small problem: the statements McNickle attributed to Gore were actually quotes by former Vice President Dan Quayle. Yet even after his mistake was exposed, McNickle refused to give an inch. "I'll stand by where we got the information from," McNickle told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Despite McNickle's dubious background, since his dustup with Heinz-Kerry he has managed to convince the networks and mainstream press that he is a humble, workaday reporter victimized by "an arrogant, contentious billionaire," in the words of CNN's Bob Novak. In an interview on CNN on July 26, Anderson Cooper allowed McNickle to describe the Tribune-Review as "a very objective, middle-of-the-road paper" without a challenge. Later that evening on MSNBC, The New York Daily News' ever-credulous gossip columnist Lloyd Grove described McNickle as "just a reporter who's toiled in the past for the newswires UPI and AP." The following day McNickle innocently told Grove, "I'm a little uncomfortable with all the attention I'm getting. I'm here to report the news, not make it." If Grove had only done a quick search for McNickle's clips, he may have discovered what an absurd statement that was.

Scaife's dirty tricks campaign against Teresa Heinz-Kerry is not without precedent. Indeed, it bears ominous echoes to the Arkansas Project, the $2.4 million dollar dirty tricks campaign Scaife financed during the 1990's to paint Bill and Hillary Clinton as drug dealers, thieves and murderers which included paying "sources" for information that turned out to be false. Then as now, the spurious accusations germinated in Scaife's smear factory are eagerly broadcast by the right-wing punditocracy and naively entertained by a gossip-starved mainstream press terrified of appearing to affect any liberal bias.

And just as Hillary was initially derided by the press for claiming she was the victim of "a vast right-wing conspiracy," Heinz-Kerry is ridiculed for standing up to one of Scaife's hatchet men. Nevertheless, Teresa Heinz Kerry's dustup with Colin McNickle is an encouraging sign. Because like Hillary, Teresa Heinz Kerry has a keen awareness of who her enemies are and by telling them to "shove it," she has demonstrated the courage to stand up to them.

© 2004 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

Nick Kristof's Greatest Piece: Unbearable Emptiness

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Pakistan Puppet_junta Claims Great Capture--In Time For Kerry Speech

Democracy Now & Amy Goodman: On A Roll!!

* Michael Moore: I Will Bring Cameras to Florida to Monitor November
Election *

Filmmaker Michael Moore announces he is bringing his cameras to Florida
in November to make sure there is what he called a "huge spotlight" on
state election officials when voters go to the polls. We hear his press
conference in Boston.


Chimp_Junta Cheney Watch: Lies About "Closing Down Training Camps"

< >
Vice President Dick Cheney claimed yesterday that under the President's leadership we "closed down the training camps [in Afghanistan] where terrorists trained to kill Americans."[1] His comments are not only bold, but a look at the record shows they are deliberately misleading. Just two weeks ago the Bush administration essentially contradicted the claim, warning Americans of an imminent attack on the U.S. homeland from terrorists operating in Afghanistan.
As CNN reported on July 8, Bush administration officials are warning that "a plot to carry out a large-scale terror attack against the United States in the near future is being directed by Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaeda members." According to the administration, these terrorists are operating in the Afghan-Pakistan border region.[2]
Unfortunately, in 2002, the Bush administration shifted key special forces out of Afghanistan, effectively removing them from the hunt for al Qaeda. These troops were sent to prepare for an Iraq invasion.[3] That leaves the U.S. with only about 15,000 troops in Afghanistan hunting down al Qaeda, whom they now say are plotting an imminent attack against the country.[4] Meanwhile, the Pentagon has designed plans to add troops to the 140,000 already stationed in Iraq[5] - a country that never had any collaborative relationship with al Qaeda[6] or connection to the 9/11 terrorist attacks[7] (even though the Bush administration has claimed both).[8]
1. The Vice President Delivers Remarks at a Reception for Senatorial Candidate Bill Jones, WhiteHouse.Gov, 7/27/04. 2. "Officials: Bin Laden guiding plots against U.S", 7/08/04. 3. "Shifts from bin Laden hunt evoke questions ," USA Today, 3/28/04. 4. "Afghanistan: 'Unrelenting Battle',", 5/26/04. 5. "U.S. force in Iraq to grow as Marine deployment pushed up," USA Today, 6/08/04. 6. "Administration Moves to Regain Initiative on 9/11 ", New York Times, 8/27/04. 7. "Bush rejects Saddam 9/11 link", BBC News, 9/18/03. 8. "Cheney Link of Iraq, 9/11 Challenged",The Boston Globe 9/16/03.
Visit for more about Bush Administration distortion. -->
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The New York Times > Washington > Whistle-Blowing Said to Be Factor in F.B.I. Firing


BREAKING: Watergate Deep Throat Suspect Found Dead in Hotel Room

Watergate 'Bagman' Fred LaRue, 75, Dies
By Patricia Sullivan
The Washington Post

Thursday 29 July 2004

Frederick Cheney LaRue, 75, the shadowy Nixon White House aide and "bagman" who delivered more than $300,000 in payoffs to Watergate conspirators, died of coronary artery disease in a Biloxi, Miss., motel room, where he lived.

His body was found by a motel maid July 27, but Harrison County, Miss., coroner Gary Hargrove said he believed the death occurred July 24. Mr. LaRue had a history of heart problems, Hargrove said.

Considered one of the most mysterious men in the Nixon administration, Mr. LaRue served as a presidential aide without title, salary or mention in the White House directory. Yet he was so close to the center of power that he was one of the few present at a March 30, 1972, meeting at Nixon's vacation home on Key Biscayne, Fla., at which former attorney general John Mitchell discussed the planned break-in and bugging of the Democratic National Committee headquarters office in the Watergate building.

The money for the operation came from Nixon's reelection campaign funds, as did "hush money" paid to the Watergate burglars and their attorneys, Mr. LaRue later testified to the Senate Watergate investigative committee. He was the first administration official to plead guilty to charges in the Watergate coverup and was the last to be sentenced. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and was sentenced to one to three years, with all but six months suspended. He served 136 days.

Mr. LaRue came to Washington in 1969 as an experienced political hand and was described in a 1972 Washington Post profile as a squinting, mumbling "Faulknerian character, an insignificant-looking man who . . . passionately sought anonymity throughout his wheeler-dealer days." He was considered the liaison between Mitchell and Mississippi Sen. James O. Eastland (D), who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and who supported Nixon's judicial appointments. Mr. LaRue's role during Nixon's 1968 election campaign was to woo Southern voters.

Born in Athens, Tex., Mr. LaRue was nicknamed "Bubba" in his family and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in geology in 1951. His father, Ike Parsons LaRue, went to jail on crimes involving banking law, and upon his release, struck it rich in the oil and gas business. The son sold one of their Mississippi oil fields for a reported $30 million in 1957, using his family's newfound wealth to become a political financier. Later that year, Mr. LaRue shot and killed his father in a duck-hunting accident in Canada.

Mr. LaRue became active in state Republican politics and served on the Republican National Committee from 1963 to 1968. He donated to Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign and was an early donor to Nixon's 1968 campaign. He was very close to Mitchell, and after the attorney general resigned in 1972 to become campaign director of the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), Mr. LaRue went with him.

After the Watergate break-in, Mr. LaRue and another aide, Robert C. Mardian, were put in charge of the coverup, supervising the shredding of documents and destruction of financial records.

Hugh W. Sloan Jr., former treasurer of the CREEP Finance Committee, said under oath that Mr. LaRue and deputy campaign manager Jeb Stuart Magruder told him he might have to commit perjury to protect the Watergate conspiracy. They tried to get him to agree to testify that he gave Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy much less than the campaign's financial records showed.

After Mr. LaRue pleaded guilty and served his sentence in 1973, he returned to Mississippi, where he worked in the family oil and real estate development business, his nephew William T. LaRue said. The family money had dwindled by the early 1970s, after the LaRues lost money in the Castaways, a Las Vegas gambling casino they bought in 1963. Mr. LaRue said in 1971, "I'm no millionaire."

He was one of many Nixon-era figures rumored over the years to be "Deep Throat," the undercover source of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Mr. LaRue denied that he was Deep Throat, and Woodward said he will not reveal the source's name until after Deep Throat dies.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce LaRue of Jackson, Miss.; five children; and several grandchildren.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Michael Moore...Courage right in the Face of Far Right

Castro Questions Mental Health of Chimp


We Have Been Invaded By Our Own Government

When Will What The People Want Count?

Who can we trust in government?

The Republican Party has become the voice of the extreme religious Right and the extremely wealthy. They no longer represent the common Republican voter by supporting extremist causes and issues while ignoring the needs of the working-class voter.

The Democratic Party is no better. Part of the party allows the Right extremist agenda to go forward without much of a fight. The other part leans so far Left they have alienated most of the members of the Democratic party.

Both parties have pushed forth a bill that has, in effect, discounted the Bill of Rights - without reading it!! That bill is called The Patriot Act!

They have used fear tactics in order to force compliance from an already fearful public to prevent questions in passing the bill. What have your representatives done to reverse this bill?

They have done their best to cover up mistakes made in investigating 9/11 as well as leading to the war in Iraq. Any citizen who dares to question the motives of going to this war is freely targeted as unpatriotic or worse, a traitor.

What have our representatives done about our rights for free speech? Will they be in your corner if you want to protest in front of the President when you are told to stay 3 or more miles away where you cannot be seen or heard??

During the Clinton era, the Republican party was glad to find anything on the President to get a special investigation task force to see his wrong-doings which may have compromised our security before 9/11. Had Clinton been left alone, could he have been more aware of details?

When will Congress investigate the sins of the Bush administration? When will they call for his censure for sins against this country that are far worse than anything Bill Clinton has done? We are not stupid! We know the Bush administration has totally ignored warnings which spelled out impending doom before 9/11 - no matter how much they want to side-step the guilt!!

Of course we care about safety, but it has been so blown out of proportion to the realities of the world situation. Bush has not made things safer, but worse. What will our representatives do to correct mistakes made in diplomatic relations and heal the wounds with our allies?

What was the point in creating such fear about potential terrorism based on vague details about methods, times and place with the alert system? What real practical value were these alerts other than to create a fearful public who needs to be dependent on the government that may not really have their best interests at heart? And then to have such alerts, but not being able to fund all the towns to carry out the extra security measures was totally irresponsible.

We are also concerned about issues that have been ignored far too long.

No Child Left Behind has left behind millions of children in schools from poor districts.

Welfare and unemployment cuts have made a larger contribution to those living at or below the poverty level.

New job creations of near minimum wage employment is not helping those who are desperate for supporting their families.

Trickle Down Economic tactics to give tax cuts to the rich have failed. Not only has the cuts not trickled down to help the poor, but it has created a huge deficit. The businesses who were supposed to benefit from such tax relief in theory were to create more jobs in the US. Instead, more corporations have taken the money and run to other countries.

This is the first "don't tax and spend" politician I have ever witnessed in action!

Veterans, whom the President claims to admire, have been royaly screwed as he has cut their pay and benefits. He has put them in harms way and dares to cut their pay and benefits? Why are our representatives doing nothing about this?

Our older citizens are now having to deal with cutbacks in health care benefits while having programs such as medication payments almost totally eliminated.

Why do we have people in offices appointed by Bush to lead the country based on a narrow interpretation of Christianity? Should we have someone who believes prayer is the cure-all in charge of health care issues? Or someone in charge of women's issues who is strongly opposed to birth control rights? Where were our representatives when such decisions were made?

What about those voters from Florida who were disenfranchised? When will they be allowed to stand before a panel and have their justice? Where were their representative before Bush was officially allowed to take over the Presidency?

The only resource the common voter has to represent his needs and wants is through our elected members we send into the Congress and Senate. Thus far, most of them have turned their backs on the ones who have put them in office in order to support the agendas of large corporations or extremist groups.

The checks and balance system of our government has been severly compromised! The Executive Office has far too much power and our representatives have rolled over and handed them their power on a silver platter.

It is time for the people to take our power back. We need to contact our representatives and make sure we know exactly what they are doing for us and their record of representation.

If they are not representing us, they are not doing their job and need to be fired. Let them know we are serious. If they do not represent us, they did not earn our vote and do not deserve their salary. It is time for them to look for a new job!

If the average person has no voice in government, our government has failed us. When it comes to this point, it needs to be fixed. If we cannot fix it within the laws of our country, then I fear it is time for another revolution. People are growing tired and may not be patient much longer!

**Winner of the Nasty Letters to CROOKED POLITICIANS Website monthly web-search

Gene Lyons: Will the real flip-flopper please stand up?

Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Back when many in the media assured us that Howard Dean had the Democratic presidential nomination wrapped up, before citizens ever voted, his supporters argued that nobody who'd voted to give President Bush authority to go to war against Iraq could run credibly against

Now that Sen. John Kerry is poised to become the Democratic nominee, Bush has adopted that argument as his own. Back in October 2002, see, Kerry voted in favor of Bush's cynically timed, preelection Iraq resolution. Now Republicans are trying to use it against him. They've expended around $100 million on TV ads portraying Kerry as a flip-flopper. Bush himself, whose only effective rhetorical mode is mockery, regales GOP audiences with jokes about Kerry's supposedly flexible principles. "My opponent has been in Washington long enough to take both sides on just about every issue," he said recently. "He voted for the Patriot Act... and for the use of force in Iraq. Now he opposes the Patriot Act... and the liberation of Iraq.... In order to lead this country, you have to be consistent and clear. Someone asked Senator Kerry why he voted against the $87 billion funding bill to help our troops in Iraq. Here's what he said: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it." End of quote. That sure clears things up, doesn't it?

An incumbent who spends most of his energy attacking his opponent is an incumbent in trouble. And given the bloody mess this administration has created in Iraq, it's no wonder. The question is whether Kerry can wipe the smirk off Bush's face and turn the joke against him. After all, most swing voters once trusted Bush's bogus certitude about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and portentous hints about Iraq's role in 9/11.

Last week, Kerry may have found the way. In an interview with USA Today, he made the issue fundamental trust.

As usual, Bush's false dualisms obscure more than they reveal. See, liberating Iraq was never put to a vote. It wasn't even mentioned. Bush never asked Congress to declare war. Instead, he proposed using the threat of force as a diplomatic tool to force Saddam Hussein into compliance. The resolution Kerry voted for authorized the president to use "necessary and appropriate" force only to "enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

Only if Saddam defied U. N. arms inspections was the president empowered to make war to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq." By taking the issue to the Security Council, Bush did what Democrats asked. "I have been 100 percent consistent," Kerry emphasized to USA Today. "Saddam Hussein was a threat, he needed to be held accountable to the U. N. resolutions.

But it needed to be done in the right way. George Bush did it in the wrong way, and broke his promises to Americans."

At first, the policy worked. Saddam folded. He admitted U. N. arms inspectors, who could find no Iraqi weapons of mass destruction despite U.S. intelligence tips chasing them down multiple blind alleys. That's when Bush pulled a bait-and-switch. Having vowed to make war as "a last resort," he acted rashly. Certain to lose a promised U. N. Security Council vote decisively, he went back on his word, warned the inspectors to leave and started bombing. Media cheerleaders "embedded" with the troops gave little emphasis to Bush's about-face and covered the invasion of Iraq like the Super Bowl. "The president misled America," Kerry told USA Today. "I don't know about deliberately, but he misled America, he misled the world. He misled Americans in Congress about how he was going to go to war. About what he would do. About why. We now have a new rationale "the liberation of Iraq" for having gone to war....

When you break (your promise on policy), you've broken your trust. "

Asked if he'd voted to give the president" the benefit of the doubt, "Kerry said no." Issues of war and peace,"he emphasized," go outside of partisan politics. When the president of the United States says, "This is the way I'm going to do something," you ought to have the right to believe that president. And if there's anything that makes me more motivated about this [campaign], it is the fact that he went back on his word with respect to an issue that involves the lives of our young Americans. Americans know that this president did not go to war as a last resort." By the way, Bush himself threatened to veto the $87 billion Kerry voted for because it limited millionaires' tax cuts. What Kerry voted against was financing the war with borrowed money. Maybe that's too complicated for a 30-second TV spot. It's when Kerry says these things to Bush's face that they're apt to sting.

Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and recipient of the National Magazine Award. 


Bush_Bananna_Florida Loses Records Of Governer's Race in 2002? Yes. Gone.

The New York Times :: Lost Record '02 Florida Vote Raises '04 Concern


IAMI, July 27 - Almost all the electronic records from the first widespread use of touch-screen voting in Miami-Dade County have been lost, stoking concerns that the machines are unreliable as the presidential election draws near.

The records disappeared after two computer system crashes last year, county elections officials said, leaving no audit trail for the 2002 gubernatorial primary. A citizens group uncovered the loss this month after requesting all audit data from that election.

A county official said a new backup system would prevent electronic voting data from being lost in the future. But members of the citizens group, the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition, said the malfunction underscored the vulnerability of electronic voting records and wiped out data that might have shed light on what problems, if any, still existed with touch-screen machines here. The group supplied the results of its request to The New York Times.

"This shows that unless we do something now - or it may very well be too late - Florida is headed toward being the next Florida," said Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, a lawyer who is the chairwoman of the coalition.

After the disputed 2000 presidential election eroded confidence in voting machines nationwide, and in South Florida in particular, the state moved quickly to adopt new technology, and in many places touch-screen machines. Voters in 15 Florida counties - covering more than half the state's electorate - will use the machines in November, but reports of mishaps and lost votes in smaller elections over the last two years have cast doubt on their reliability.

Like "black boxes" on airplanes, the electronic voting records on touch-screen machines list everything that happens from boot-up to shutdown, documenting in an "event log" when every ballot was cast. The records also include "vote image reports" that show for whom each ballot was cast. Elections officials have said that using this data for recounts is unnecessary because touch-screen machines do not allow human error. But several studies have suggested the machines themselves might err - for instance, by failing to record some votes.

After the 2002 primary, between Democratic candidates Janet Reno and Bill McBride, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida conducted a study that found that 8 percent of votes, or 1,544, were lost on touch-screen machines in 31 precincts in Miami-Dade County. The group considered that rate of what it called "lost votes" unusually high.

Voting problems plagued Miami-Dade and Broward Counties on that day, when touch-screen machines took much longer than expected to boot up, dozens of polling places opened late and poorly trained poll workers turned on and shut down the machines incorrectly. A final vote tally - which narrowed the margin first reported between the two candidates by more than 3,000 votes - was delayed for a week.

Ms. Reno, who ultimately lost to Mr. McBride by just 4,794 votes statewide, considered requesting a recount at the time but decided against it.

Seth Kaplan, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade elections division, said on Tuesday that the office had put in place a daily backup procedure so that computer crashes would not wipe out audit records in the future.

The news of the lost data comes two months after Miami-Dade elections officials acknowledged a malfunction in the audit logs of touch-screen machines. The elections office first noticed the problem in spring 2003, but did not publicly discuss it until this past May.

The company that makes Miami-Dade's machines, Election Systems and Software of Omaha, Neb., has provided corrective software to all nine Florida counties that use its machines. One flaw occurred when the machines' batteries ran low and an error in the program that reported the problem caused corruption in the machine's event log, said Douglas W. Jones, a computer science professor at the University of Iowa whom Miami-Dade County hired to help solve the problem.

In a second flaw, the county's election system software was misreading the serial numbers of the voting machines whose batteries had run low, he said.

The flaws would not have affected vote counts, he said - only the backup data used for audits after an election. And because a new state rule prohibits manual recounts in counties that use touch-screen voting machines except in the event of a natural disaster, there would likely be no use for the data anyway.

State officials have said that they created the rule because under state law, the only reason for a manual recount is to determine "voter intent" in close races when, for example, a voter appears to choose two presidential candidates or none.

Touch-screen machines, officials say, are programmed not to record two votes, and if no vote is recorded, they say, it means the voter did not cast one.

But The Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, in a recent analysis of the March presidential primary, reported that voters in counties using touch-screen machines were six times as likely to record no vote as were voters in counties using optical-scan machines, which read markings on paper ballots.

The A.C.L.U. of Florida and several other voting rights groups have sued to overturn the recount rule, saying it creates unequal treatment of voters. Counties that use optical-scan machines can conduct recounts, though only in extremely close races.

Mr. Kaplan says that the system crashes had erased data from other elections besides Ms. Reno's, the most recent being municipal elections in November 2003. Under Florida law, ballot records from elections for state and local office need be kept for only a year. For federal races, the records must be kept for 22 months after an election is certified. It was not immediately clear what the consequences might be of breaching that law.

Mr. Kaplan said the backup system was added last December.

An August 2002 report from Miami-Dade County auditors to David Leahy, then the county elections supervisor, recommended that all data from touch-screen machines be backed up on CD's or elsewhere. Professor Jones said it was an obvious practice long considered essential in the corporate world.

"Any naïve observer who knows about computer system management and who knows there is a requirement that all the records be stored for a period of months," Professor Jones said, "would say you should obviously do that with computerized voting systems."

Buddy Johnson, the elections supervisor in Hillsborough County, which is one of the state's largest counties and which also uses touch-screen machines, said his office still had its data from the 2002 elections on separate hard drives.

Mr. Kaplan of the Miami-Dade elections office could not immediately explain on Tuesday afternoon the system crashes in 2003.

Martha Mahoney, a University of Miami law professor and member of the election reform group, said she requested the 2002 audit data because she had never heard an explanation of the supposedly lost votes that the A.C.L.U. documented after the Reno-McBride election.

"People can never be sure their vote was recorded the way it was cast, but these are the best records we've got," she said. "And now they're not there."

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Bush & Cheney Went Into 9-11 Hearing in the Same Pair OF Pants--But Their Lies Still Catch Them Part 2

John Kerry's Bi-Partisan Appeal Can Win in November (Conservative David Broder says)

Grand Forks Herald | 07/27/2004 | COLUMNIST DAVID BRODER : Appeal to bipartisanship could win race for Kerry

BOSTON - There's an important lesson in the performance of the 9/11 Commission - if John Kerry and the Democrats meeting here this week care to heed it. The praise lavished on the panel that investigated the terrorist attacks and came up with a unanimous set of recommendations demonstrates the intensity of the public appetite for political leadership that looks beyond partisanship. Kerry has a great opening to offer such leadership - if he has it in him.

So much has been said about the polarization of our politics, the deep divisions that seem to exist between "red" and "blue" states, that it is easy to assume this is a chronic condition. Whether one looks at the returns from the 2000 presidential race or consults the polls about the party preferences of likely voters, Republicans and Democrats appear to be in almost perfect mathematical balance.

That is believed to be the reason Washington has become such a partisan cockpit, with constant sniping between the parties on Capitol Hill and gridlock in the House and Senate.

The great message the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (to give its formal title) imparts is that the right leadership can overcome even the most deep-seated of partisan divisions and deal effectively with vital issues.

The 9/11 Commission was born in controversy. Congressional Democrats were pressing for an investigation of what they charged were failures of intelligence and lapses in top-level attention in the months preceding the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Bush White House resisted the demands as long as it could, then sought to curtail the scope and time for the inquiry.

The makeup of the commission seemed almost designed to put obstacles in the way of agreement. Five Democrats and Five Republicans, each with clear partisan sponsorship, were named by the White House and congressional leaders. Their number included prominent former officeholders of both parties and people with a well-earned reputation for taking shots at the other side.

Few would have predicted a weighty and substantive product - let alone one that would come to the country with the enthusiastic endorsement of all 10 commissioners. Principal credit for the achievement must go to the commission chairman, Republican former Gov. Tom Kean of New Jersey, and the vice chairman, Democratic former Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana.

Those who knew the two men regarded both as large-minded and responsible. Kean had been an effective governor in a state with a significant bloc of Democratic legislators. Hamilton was a notably independent member of the House, who, even as a freshman, stood up to pressure from Lyndon Johnson, then at the height of his powers.

The two men did not know each other at all well, but they quickly formed a working partnership that became a model for their colleagues. When they came, as a team, to a press breakfast in May, arranged by the Christian Science Monitor, they were able to brag that there had yet to be a single partisan vote within the commission. Notably, both stressed their commitment to an open process, saying they had learned from the examples of the investigations of Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy assassination that secrecy only breeds suspicion and conspiracy theories.

What is the lesson for the Democrats in all this? It was put simply by Democratic commission member Richard Ben-Veniste in an interview last week with National Public Radio. There is, he said, "a hunger in the country" for bipartisanship.

President Bush recognized that hunger four years ago when he promised, as a candidate, to change the tone in Washington. But he has failed - and it is not clear that, after being rebuffed, he even considers the effort worth another try. Meantime, his political allies in Congress - particularly in the House - are regularly riding roughshod over the Democratic minority. The pattern of abuse - rigged conferences with Democrats excluded, snap votes with minimal notice to members, stretched roll calls to allow more arm-twisting by Republican leaders - has reached a height not seen even in the worst parts of the Democrats' 40-year reign.

Kerry has the opportunity this week to pledge a different approach - to promise to create an administration that would call on the talents of Republicans and independents as well as Democrats, and to hold his party's congressional leaders to the vows they already have made to include Republicans in the work of legislation. His role model, John Kennedy, did both those things as president, and the country benefited. Can Kerry pledge to step beyond partisanship and do the same thing?

© 2004 Grand Forks Herald and wire service sources.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Wave Your Hands In The Air, Ala War Criminal Donald Rumsfeld, and Repeat "Democracy is Messy Democracy is Messy It's Ok to Steal It's Ok to Steal"

Crime sweeps Iraq . Murders, kidnapping abound. The Baghdad morgue fills up with hundreds of corpses of murdered Iraqis each week. The occupation authorities resolutely respond, by banning reporters from entering hospitals or mortuaries without permission, which they refuse to give.16, 17 No one knows how many Iraqis have died or are dying. British reporter Robert Fisk estimates nearly a 1,000 people a week are dying from crime, American errors, the settling of feuds, and other reasons.18 In September, 2003, Fisk estimates the death toll under occupation as at least 10,000, but nobody knows for sure.18 The Ministry of Health starts to count civilians killed during the war, but they are ordered by their so-called Iraqi Governing Council and the US occupation authorities to stop counting.19

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Remember When GoPpeR Thugs Lined Up To Abhor Abu Ghraib? Now Fuckers Approve Again.

Aussies Sucker-Punched by Their Own Powerful Friends, the USA.

No questions asked when the sheriff called - Robert Manne -

"Nothing is more common in ideologically driven politics than the triumph of conviction over evidence and reason. I have no reason to doubt that the Washington war party, in the grip of ideological self-intoxication, had come sincerely to believe in the seriousness of the supposed Iraqi threat. Within weeks of September 11 they had convinced the President; within months they had convinced the governments of Britain and Australia."

Editorial :: Puppet_Allawi Has Blood On His Hands. Who Will Investigate?

Allegations that cannot be ignored - Editorial

The pledge by the United States to the Iraqi people is to replace dictatorship with democracy, fear with freedom. Yet the man the United States has put in charge of Iraq, the Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, is accused of the cold-blooded murder of up to six young men just days before he took power. The accusation has not been lightly made and cannot easily be swept aside.

The allegations against Dr Allawi were first aired in this newspaper in a story by our chief correspondent, Paul McGeough, an experienced, highly regarded journalist with extensive first-hand experience in Iraq. The report said that last month Dr Allawi drew a gun during a visit to a Baghdad jail and shot seven prisoners who were, apparently, suspected insurgents. Six died and one was wounded. It appears Dr Allawi intended the killings to demonstrate the sort of summary justice he thinks appropriate in the new Iraq. McGeough's report was based on face-to-face interviews with two men who claim to have witnessed the shootings. The witnesses were interviewed separately and were not aware of each other's testimony.

The witnesses refuse to be named. Indeed, they fear the revelation of even the smallest detail that might identify them. That does not mean, however, that their claims cannot be investigated. It is known where the shootings allegedly occurred and when - at Baghdad's Al-Amariyah prison about the third weekend of June. The Herald has supplied the names of three of the alleged victims to the Iraqi Interior Ministry (which will not comment). The executions are claimed to have been carried out before the amazed eyes of a dozen Iraqi policeman and four American guards from Dr Allawi's security detail, among other witnesses. There are plenty of leads to pursue.

Ideally, the pursuing would be done by an independent body such as the United Nations or the Red Cross, or perhaps an international human rights group. But such organisations cannot investigate without permission from the nominally sovereign state of Iraq. And no such permission is likely from Dr Allawi's administration. Dr Allawi's office has already denied the allegations. Iraq's Human Rights Minister, Bakhtiar Amin, while promising to investigate, has prejudged the matter; he says he doesn't believe the witness accounts.

The US installed the Iraqi Government and Dr Allawi. It did so in full knowledge of Dr Allawi's murky past in and out of Iraq - first as an ally, then as a foe, of Saddam Hussein. One former CIA officer has publicly described Dr Allawi as having "blood on his hands"; another brands him "a thug". The allegations against Dr Allawi raise the alarming prospect of an Iraq slipping back into the brutal injustices of the Saddam Hussein era. Any suggestion of such a retrograde trend must be confronted. The US has not only the responsibility but the power to see that the claims against Dr Allawi are properly investigated. Australia, as one of America's closest allies, should be the first to demand that it use it.


(It took brave men to stand up and witness this event for the world...a world which now seems bent on looking the other way. Did Bush Know? When did he know? Where is John Kerry? Who is asking the right questions? Plenty of bastards running loose here. I think it's time to find out the truth. And if Bush knows about this, his is a conspiracy of silence which is treasonous.
They all should hang by their necks until dead.)

Friday, July 23, 2004




During his public testimony before the 9/11 commission, Attorney General John Ashcroft attempted to deflect criticism from his own lackluster counterterrorism efforts by pinning the blame on a 1995 memo written by former deputy Attorney General (and current 9/11 commissioner) Jamie Gorelick. Ashcroft said, "The 1995 guidelines and the procedures developed around them imposed draconian barriers, barriers between the law enforcement and intelligence communities. The wall effectively excluded prosecutors from intelligence investigations. The wall left intelligence agents afraid to talk with criminal prosecutors or agents."[1] Ashcroft called the memo "the single greatest structural cause for the September 11 problem." In their final report released yesterday, the bi-partisan 9/11 commission concluded that Ashcroft's public testimony was false and misleading.

The commission bluntly stated that Ashcroft's public testimony did not "fairly or accurately reflect the significance of the 1995 documents and their relevance to the 2001 discussions."[2] Specifically, "The Gorelick memorandum applied to two particular criminal cases, neither of which was involved in the summer 2001 information-sharing discussions." Any barriers between the law enforcement and intelligence communities were not created from written guidelines by internal Justice Department conflicts which "neither Attorney General [Ashcroft or Reno] acted to resolve" prior to 9/11.

Even Ashcroft himself has recently backed away from his April testimony before the commission. In a recent document released by the Justice Department, Ashcroft conceded that Gorelick's memo permitted "interaction and information sharing between prosecutors and intelligence officers" and allowed the FBI to use the fruits of an intelligence investigation "in a criminal prosecution."[3] Ashcroft failed to mention that guidelines issued by his own deputy Attorney General, Larry Thompson, were more restrictive because they affirmed the Gorelick memo and added additional requirements.[4]


1. "Transcript: 9/11 Commission Hearing," The Washington Post, 04/13/04,
2. 9/11 Commission Final Report, p. 539,
3. Report from the Field: The USA PATRIOT Act at Work, U.S. Department of Justice, July 2004,
4. "Thompson Memo," U.S. Department of Justice, 08/06/01,

Visit for more about Bush Administration distortion.

Sy Hersh: Journalistic Hero!

Chimp_junta's Jeb Bush Runs Scared from Legally Registering Black Voters. He Is A Coward From a Cowardly Family

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Thanks, Michael Moore. Good job, Buddy! Posted by Hello

'Fahrenheit 9/11' Taking 3%-5% of Independent Voters Left? Truth Is Hurting GoPpThugs

Allawi--Washington's executioner-in-chief in Iraq, Gets A PASS From US Media Whores

US media covers for Allawi--Washington's executioner-in-chief in Iraq

"McGeough’s eyewitness accounts come in the wake of a raft of reports in the international and American press that have commented on Allawi’s ruthlessness and the dictatorial steps he has taken—including threatening to delay elections, establishing the mechanisms for martial law, and forming a secret police agency to hunt down political opponents. Some articles have cited the pervasive rumors of the longtime CIA operative’s thuggishness. Among them was a July 11 New York Times feature by Dexter Filkins which detailed a story about Allawi cutting off a prisoner’s hand in order to make him to confess to “terrorist” activities."


Video from Democracy Now Interview with McGeough

Chimp_War Criminals In Our White House Go After Sandy Berger to Cover Their Own Asses

The Berger affair: Kerry campaign cowers before Republican provocation

"The timing of the leak to the media—three days before the release of the report of the 9/11 commission, and one week before the opening of the Democratic National Convention in Boston—clearly marked it as a political provocation. So did the mechanics of the leak: an unidentified official of the Justice Department released the information to selected reporters, including Sue Schmidt of the Washington Post, the principal recipient of anti-Clinton leaks from Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr during the Lewinsky affair."


(This is what GoPpiG Thugs Do Best: Smear. Smear. Kill Kill Kill. Stuff their pockets and their socks from the public pig-trough and then SMEAR an honest man. Welcome to GoPpIG ThUG AmEriKa. aj)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

"Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president." <----This From Fucking Liar Chimp!

FRANKEN 2.6 SHARE V 1.2 O'REILLY! Posted by Hello

Despite the rocky start of his liberal Air America radio network, political humorist Al Franken surged past conservative nemesis Bill O'Reilly in the first quarterly ratings matchup between the two in New York City. Franken speaks with former United States Chief Weapons Inspector for Iraq David Kay (L) at the 60th annual Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, March 24, 2004. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Clinton's "My Life" Serves an Adult Portion

Gene Lyons
July 21, 2004

After watching Bill Clinton at relatively close range since 1976,
maybe I should have stronger feelings about him. Everybody else seems
to love him or hate him. Why can’t I get with the program? It was in that
spirit I decided to do what I suspected few early reviewers of his
encyclopedic “My Life,” had done: actually read the fool thing before
rushing into print.

Slate’s press critic Jack Shafer had the same suspicion. He asked
early reviewers, some of whom admitted reading Clinton’s book
selectively. He got no reply from Michiko Kakutani, the New York Times
critic who famously pronounced it “eye-crossingly dull.” (In the same
newspaper, novelist Larry McMurtry, called it “by a generous measure,
the richest American presidential autobiography.”)

Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum told Shafer she’d skipped
Clinton’s Arkansas political career, all 18 years of it. I’d suggest
she wouldn’t have admitted that had he matured in New York or California.
Also that the condescension of status-crazed Washington pundits towards
Clinton’s humble roots has always prevented their crediting the
bone-deep egalitarianism that’s one of his great virtues as a
politician and a man. See, Arkansans will tolerate an awful lot from their
politicians, but they will not abide a snob.

Clinton remains close to many people he’s known since grade
school. He sees them as equals and understands their lives. How many
powerful, self-made men do that? Several times as president, Clinton
annoyed the traveling press by dragging them to Arkansas to attend
funerals in remote locations like Jasper and Birdeye. He interrupted a
trip to China to return to Little Rock to help a childhood friend bury
his daughter. Had he begged off, as most of us would have, nobody would
have said a word.

Like most successful Southern politicians, the boy can tell a
funny story. If you make allowances for his tin ear—at one point
Clinton writes of his need “to recharge my batteries and water my roots”
(hopefully not simultaneously)—the Arkansas chapters read like early
Twain. Garrulous, energetic, endlessly curious, a sharp judge of
character, Clinton’s often the butt of his own humor: he’s the fat kid
who tripped and got butted by his granddad’s ram while others
skedaddled; the glad-handing pol who fled an Ozark mountaineer leading
a full-grown bear on a chain, but who told a truckload of Marion County
good old boys he’d get out and walk back to town before he’d chew a
plug of Red Man, only to have them crack up. He’d passed the test.

He also knows his enemies and what makes them tick: “the
self-righteous, con-demning Absolute Truth-claiming dark side of white
southern conservatism…Since I was a boy, I had watched people assert
their piety and moral superiority as justifications for claiming an
entitlement to political power, and for demonizing those who begged to
differ with them, usually over civil rights.”

Thus “Justice Jim” Johnson, the KKK-endorsed Arkansas
gubernatorial candidate whom Clinton confronted in his student days,
only to see him re-emerge helping peddle fables of drug-smuggling and
murder on the “Clinton Chronicles,” writing columns for the Washington
Times, advising Whitewater witnesses, and accepting emoluments from
Richard Mellon Scaife’s “Arkansas Project.” Thus too, at a politer
remove, Newt Gingrich and Kenneth Starr.

Clinton’s other great gift, his enormous, almost insatiable
intelligence, is something he’s understandably reticent about
discussing. That too excites envy and contempt from rivals. Always has.
Doesn’t seeing so many sides of every issue render him wishy-washy? No,
it often enables him to understand other people’s arguments better than
they do, while also grasping how they FEEL about what they think.

A lifelong student of power, Clinton’s accounts of his successful
negotiations to end the Irish “Troubles,” and his failed efforts to
solve the Israeli-Palestine crisis show him at his best: knowing every
disputed checkpoint in Jerusalem, and able to explain Rabin’s political
dilemmas to Arafat and vice-versa. When the Palestinian leader called
him a great man he answered, “I am not a great man. I am a failure, and
you have made me one.”

He’s also smart enough to give simple answers. Why don’t GOP
“supply-side theories work? “Arithmetic.” How would Bush vs. Gore been
decided had the Democrat been leading? “[T]he same Supreme Court would
have voted 9-0 to count the votes.”

Clinton’s ideology is almost pre-Socratic: Politically, you can’t
step into the same river twice. Get what you can today; come back
tomorrow. Here’s what I’d guess is Clinton’s favorite line about
himself: “Say what you want,” wrote Newsday’s Jimmy Breslin “but do not
say he quits.”

Sure Clinton can be a narcissist, like every other politician who
ever lived. Anyway, McMurtry’s right; it’s a fascinating book about an
extraordinary man. As for his sexual sins, I already knew more about
those than I needed to. Didn’t you?


By Arianna Huffington

Teresa Heinz Kerry is a breath of fresh air, so why are the media choking on it?

Almost every story about her these days includes at least one snarky remark - usually attacking her for her refusal to endlessly regurgitate the same preapproved talking points.

According to the chattering class, Heinz Kerry is - and I quote - "too outspoken," "too opinionated," "slightly zany," "eccentric and unpredictable," "the queen of direct" and - cover your ears, kids - "says what she thinks, when she thinks it."

In other words, she's an unconventional straight shooter. The horror!

(Reporters also seem to have a big problem with her hair, which has variously been described as "unkempt," "unruly," "humidity-frizzed," "voluminous" and "expensively colored a rich auburn" - but that's follicle fodder for another column.)

Even Maureen Dowd, no slouch herself in the independent-thinking department, felt compelled to write not one but two columns in the course of 10 days slamming Teresa for, among other things, being "flaky."

You gotta love this about our media mavens: They are constantly bemoaning the lack of forthrightness in our pubic figures - the vast majority of whom wouldn't know a straight answer if it bit them in the butt. But when they are finally presented with someone who doesn't (pardon the
expression) beat around the bush, they start sharpening the long knives.

They're like a bunch of little kids who have gotten so used to being fed nothing but vanilla ice cream for dessert that a serving of Rocky Road with some sprinkles on top leaves them sputtering and crying, "Yuck!"

Most of the American public, on the other hand, possess a far more developed and discerning palate - and can appreciate more complex and piquant flavors.

And when it comes to spicing up the political dessert tray, Teresa Heinz Kerry is one of the most flavorful and compelling public figures to hit the national stage in decades.

When I first met her in Washington in 1980, she was a very popular Republican wife, with views very similar to the ones she holds today. Now she's a Democratic wife, a philanthropist who oversees a foundation that gives tens of millions to causes like the environment, healthcare and early education, a loving mother, grandmother and stepmother. She grew up in Mozambique, went to college in South Africa where she marched against apartheid, is fluent in five languages, and learned so much about medicine from her oncologist father that friends and family have nicknamed her "Dr. T."

And unlike most politicians, she has a natural gift for intimacy and interacts with campaign crowds of 5,000 as if she were sitting around chatting with a small group of friends.

Yes, she is indeed unabashedly open with her opinions on everything from the war in Iraq ("I would never have gone to war this way") to George Bush ("fazed by complexity") to Botox treatments (she's had them).

But isn't that what we claim to want from those in public life? Or are we comfortable with authenticity only when it's a contrivance manufactured to appear authentic?

"I am the product of living in dictatorships," Teresa has said. "It makes you cherish the ability to be yourself, to have feelings and to speak them when asked. People say I'm blunt. I say, 'No, just honest.'"

It's this honesty that has led the media to brand her with the scarlet O for offbeat - a caricature given national credence by a Newsweek cover that trumpeted: "Is John Kerry's Heiress Wife a Loose Cannon or Crazy Like a Fox?"

It was character assassination by headline - especially since the cover line was not in any way reflective of the story inside, which painted Heinz Kerry as warm, smart, alive, funny, and, yes, brutally honest.

It's hard to imagine that headline - which was, incidentally, written by a man - being used to describe a man. As Marlo Thomas once said: "A man has to be Joe McCarthy to be called ruthless. All a woman has to do is put you on hold."

We may have come a long way, baby, but there is no doubt that there is still a double standard when it comes to women in politics - especially political wives - who are supposed to be smart but not so smart that they're threatening, and strong but not so strong that they are intimidating.

It's a high-wire tightrope act, one that's almost impossible to pull off to the political media's satisfaction. And this at a time when girl power is blossoming in other parts of our culture, especially sports and entertainment. Last week's Olympic Trials featured women going faster, higher, stronger than ever before. And our movie screens are filled with indomitable, determined women like "Kill Bill's" Beatrix Kiddo or Keira Knightley's kick-ass Guinevere in the new "King Arthur."

But try to apply these attributes to politics and the media start acting like it's 1958 - they suddenly don't know how to handle smart, accomplished, complex women. Judy Dean wasn't glamorous or supportive enough, Hillary was too smart and too strong, and Teresa is too loose-lipped and too unpredictable.

So it really isn't much of a surprise that the political wife the media seem most comfortable with is Laura Bush, who has chosen to take on the image of the perfect 1950s sitcom housewife.

She's the Harriet Nelson of first ladies, the quintessential deferential spouse, praised by her husband for not "trying to butt in and always, you know, compete" and lauded by the media for her ability "to balance strength and subservience." I guess I missed the moment where subservience became a virtue.

When Laura Bush was asked what advice she'd given her twin daughters before sending them out this summer to campaign for their father, she
replied: "Stand up straight and keep your hair out of your eyes." Words to live by - if you're Marabel Morgan. Somehow I don't think those are the same words of wisdom Teresa Heinz Kerry passed on to her stepdaughters before they hit the hustings.

Both Teresa and Laura are scheduled to deliver primetime speeches at their respective party conventions. The contrast between the two - and what this contrast says about the men in their lives - should be stark. Out on the campaign trail, Teresa is given to in-depth discussions about health care and global warming. Laura tends to say things like: "I'm not privy to the policy disputes. I'm not over there at the table where everyone is actually formulating specific policy." Heaven forbid.

"We need to honor women in all their complexity," Teresa Heinz Kerry told me. "It's time that we acknowledge the wisdom women have acquired by managing the chaos of daily life. Women are realists, the glue that holds society together. They bring a reverence to life that's instinctual, not just intellectual."

Thirty-eight million women didn't vote in 2000, many of them because they were so disgusted with our inauthentic politics-as-usual. If even a small percentage of them turn out this November, they could very well end up deciding the election and the direction of the country.

So I propose that we turn on its ear the traditional good-old-boy political litmus test - which candidate would you rather have a beer with? Instead, let's ask the women of America: which candidate's wife would you rather have a cup of coffee with?


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Iran_Contra Criminals like Fox's Oliver North Have Nothing On Chimp_junta & GopPer ThuGs

The White House pretenders

By Richard Kirkpatrick
Texas City Sun
Published July 20, 2004

Upon seeing this week’s Time magazine cover that labels John Kerry and John Edwards as “The Contenders” for president and vice president, the word “pretender” instantly came to mind. I was reminded of the coup d’etat of 2000. “Pretender” as used in history’s successions to power as in king or queen is defined as one who claimed the throne, despite the lack of certainty in the legitimacy of succession. England’s 15th century civil conflict, “The War of Roses” gave common use to the term.

Many among us believe that “pretenders” now sit as president and vice president. We also remember Florida’s malfunctioning voting machines, voters improperly turned away and the documented purge of thousands upon thousands of registered African-American voters (claiming them falsely to be convicted felons) by Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, as well as the unconscionable decision issued by the US Supreme Court, a decision that the court itself said should not be used as “precedent” for future decisions.

Famed Harvard law professor Alan Derkowitz, whose legal analysis’s are frequently aired on television, laid out the process taken by the State of Florida and by the Supreme Court in his well documented book, The Hijacking of an Election. Remembering that election hijacking, millions of Americans were alarmed when, last week, the Bush administration floated a trial balloon, suggesting that the postponement of the 2004 election could occur, should a terrorist attack be considered imminent. Still others in Washington want a touch-screen- computer election without a paper trail, an invitation to another hijacked election.

But all our fears and cries, “Oh no, not again,” are, I hope, unfounded, because the US Constitution renders election postponement an unavailable option, even with today’s computer technology.

The US Constitution states clearly in Amendment XX that the terms of the offices of president and vice president shall end at noon on the “20th day of January,” ending four years term of office. Moreover, each State’s presidential electors must meet, cast elector ballots, and, as required by Congress, forward those results to Congress in December. Even so, many of us get the jitters when executive branch floats the idea of election postponement, inasmuch as it feeds the appetite of those who would hijack another election.

As speculated earlier by this corner that the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal goes right to the top, it is now confirmed. In a newly released Pentagon memorandum from 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld personally authorized the use of controversial interrogation tactics, including using dogs to intimidate, and stripping prisoners of their clothes and placing hoods on prisoners so they cannot see. Rumsfeld also ordered military officials to hold prisoners without listing them on prisoner rolls requested by the International Red Cross. Source: New York Times, 6/17/04.

The only thing that approaches this scandal in the last two decades was the congressional investigation of the 1980’s sale of arms to Iran in violation of the US “Arms Export Control Act.” Among the charged principals were Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North (now a commentator on FOX News) and President Reagan’s cabinet members Casper Weinberger and John Poindexter. For Internet user purposes, more information is available under the official title, “The Iran-Contra Affair.”

LA Times' Robert Scheer Tells Fucker Dick & Big-Time Asshole Chimper To Take a Deep Breath

Homophobia and Apple Pie (LA Times may require free registration)

LA Times: Ahnald Getting Less Cute & More Disgusting

Governor Girlie Man

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's self-parodic testosterone swagger is getting less and less amusing. Over the weekend, amid the usual "Terminator" allusions, he called the Democrats in the California Legislature "girlie men" for holding up his state budget. A tempting response would be, "Hey, it takes one to know one."

As noted on this page Monday, the governor has shown little more courage than the Democrats in facing down the interest groups whose demands have left the state bankrupt in all but name. Sure, he has lit into the public-service unions. That would be pretty muscular if Schwarzenegger was a Democrat. For a Republican it is less impressive, especially because Schwarzenegger himself capitulated to the state prison guards union. In weeks of negotiation over bloated salaries and unlimited sick time, the governor got none of the concessions he promised.

If we're measuring the actions of politicians on the macho-meter, the governor's opponents have showed more guts than he has. Schwarzenegger's "girlie men" talk is an attempt to intimidate them — not with his brute strength, of course, but with his easy popularity. The Democrats are resisting. The proud owner of that easy popularity could use it to tell the citizens uncomfortable truths about who is to blame for the state's fiscal condition. It's those same citizens, too often unwilling to pay for good roads, clean water, superior schools, all the stuff that made California great. But he won't do that. Too chicken?

Relative manliness is certainly a ridiculous way to evaluate political leaders. It would be ridiculous even if it weren't insulting to all women, especially women in politics. But it is highly insulting not just to women but to Californians of both sexes who would prefer that the quality of their government not be measured hormonally. When the governor calls state legislators "girlie men," is he suggesting that they are in some way too much like California's powerful senators, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer? What an accusation!

Yes, yes, Schwarzenegger was half-joking. And yes, jokes should be encouraged in public life, not crushed by the weight of literal-mindedness. The term "girlie men" comes from the famous "Saturday Night Live" parody of the governor in his former public role as a celebrity bodybuilder. If, by borrowing the catchphrase, Schwarzenegger was mocking himself, that would be charming. This was not charming.

If Radical Islam Had Chance To Take Over The POTUS: They'd Pick a Robot_junta Who'd Kill off Their Only Problem In M.East, Saddam, Right?

Paul Krugman: The Arabian Candidate

In the original version of "The Manchurian Candidate," Senator John Iselin, whom Chinese agents are plotting to put in the White House, is a right-wing demagogue modeled on Senator Joseph McCarthy. As Roger Ebert wrote, the plan is to "use anticommunist hysteria as a cover for a communist takeover."

The movie doesn't say what Iselin would have done if the plot had succeeded. Presumably, however, he wouldn't have openly turned traitor. Instead, he would have used his position to undermine national security, while posing as America's staunchest defender against communist evil.

So let's imagine an update - not the remake with Denzel Washington, which I haven't seen, but my own version. This time the enemies would be Islamic fanatics, who install as their puppet president a demagogue who poses as the nation's defender against terrorist evildoers.

The Arabian candidate wouldn't openly help terrorists. Instead, he would serve their cause while pretending to be their enemy.

After an attack, he would strike back at the terrorist base, a necessary action to preserve his image of toughness, but botch the follow-up, allowing the terrorist leaders to escape. Once the public's attention shifted, he would systematically squander the military victory: committing too few soldiers, reneging on promises of economic aid. Soon, warlords would once again rule most of the country, the heroin trade would be booming, and terrorist allies would make a comeback.

Meanwhile, he would lead America into a war against a country that posed no imminent threat. He would insinuate, without saying anything literally false, that it was somehow responsible for the terrorist attack. This unnecessary war would alienate our allies and tie down a large part of our military. At the same time, the Arabian candidate would neglect the pursuit of those who attacked us, and do nothing about regimes that really shelter anti-American terrorists and really are building nuclear weapons.

Again, he would take care to squander a military victory. The Arabian candidate and his co-conspirators would block all planning for the war's aftermath; they would arrange for our army to allow looters to destroy much of the country's infrastructure. Then they would disband the defeated regime's army, turning hundreds of thousands of trained soldiers into disgruntled potential insurgents.

After this it would be easy to sabotage the occupied country's reconstruction, simply by failing to spend aid funds or rein in cronyism and corruption. Power outages, overflowing sewage and unemployment would swell the ranks of our enemies.

Who knows? The Arabian candidate might even be able to deprive America of the moral high ground, no mean trick when our enemies are mass murderers, by creating a climate in which U.S. guards torture, humiliate and starve prisoners, most of them innocent or guilty of only petty crimes.

At home, the Arabian candidate would leave the nation vulnerable, doing almost nothing to secure ports, chemical plants and other potential targets. He would stonewall investigations into why the initial terrorist attack succeeded. And by repeatedly issuing vague terror warnings obviously timed to drown out unfavorable political news, his officials would ensure public indifference if and when a real threat is announced.

Last but not least, by blatantly exploiting the terrorist threat for personal political gain, he would undermine the nation's unity in the face of its enemies, sowing suspicion about the government's motives.

O.K., end of conceit. President Bush isn't actually an Al Qaeda mole, with Dick Cheney his controller. Mr. Bush's "war on terror" has, however, played with eerie perfection into Osama bin Laden's hands - while Mr. Bush's supporters, impressed by his tough talk, see him as America's champion against the evildoers.

Last week, Republican officials in Kentucky applauded bumper stickers distributed at G.O.P. offices that read, "Kerry is bin Laden's man/Bush is mine." Administration officials haven't gone that far, but when Tom Ridge offered a specifics-free warning about a terrorist attack timed to "disrupt our democratic process," many people thought he was implying that Al Qaeda wants George Bush to lose. In reality, all infidels probably look alike to the terrorists, but if they do have a preference, nothing in Mr. Bush's record would make them unhappy at the prospect of four more years.


The New York Times Poo-Poos The Whole Cancel-The-Election Threat from Chimp_junta

The New York Times and the threat to cancel the November election

"Despite the mountain of evidence that the Bush administration lied about the Iraqi “threat” to the American people, that it secretly uses torture against alleged Iraqi insurgents and terrorist captives, and despite its unexplained refusal to take steps to prevent the 9/11 attacks even though it had ample advance warning—the Times implies that any questioning of the government’s motives is illegitimate."


Monday, July 19, 2004

Butcher of Falluja, Brig Gen Mark Kimmitt, With Puppet_Allawi & Chimp_junta--They All Kill Kill Kill

Allawi, Our Puppet with a Pistol

In Iraq we meant to render futile both the theory and the practice of terrorism; what we have done instead is to endow it with diplomatic credentials, making credible the policies of blind assassination." Lewis H. Lapham; Harper's
By Mike Whitney

07/19/04 "Counterpunch" -- In a long line of American puppets, the name Ayad Allawi figures to loom large. In just a matter of weeks the new Prime Minister of Iraq has accommodated his US paymasters with a zeal that must leave the dapper Hamid Karzai wondering if his job is safe.

In his first days after taking office, Allawi was called on to endorse the bombing of an alleged "safe house" in Falluja; an incident that took the lives of 26 Iraqis including women and children. None of the dead were identified as "foreign fighters", although every major newspaper in America reiterated the Pentagon's view that the occupants were colleagues of Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

The bombing of Falluja occurred just three days after the UN was cajoled into signing the Iraqi Sovereignty Resolution. During negotiations at the UN, the Bush Administration made it look as though they were taking a more "reasoned approach" to security issues.

That was not the case.

The military simply suspended its major operations to make it appear as though a fundamental shift in policy had taken place. This eschewed the very real possibility that the members of the Security Council would have rejected the resolution outright.

Instead, the Security Council approved the resolution, establishing the US as the "UN Multinational Force", and the bombing of Falluja resumed three days later.

It was a deception that the "more seasoned" members of the Council should have anticipated.

The ex-CIA operative Allawi expressed his enthusiasm for the bombing, saying that he supported the action as a means of quashing the "terrorist" operatives in post-war Iraq.

We will "annihilate the terrorist groups," boasted Allawi.

There have been six more bombings in Falluja producing equally dubious results. To date, no "foreign fighters" have been positively identified in Falluja.

The rule of thumb seems to be, that wherever an errant bomb drops on innocent Iraqis (be it a wedding party or a Mosque) it immediately becomes a "legitimate target" in the war on terror.

Just yesterday (Sunday, July 18) US forces bombed another "alleged" safe house in Falluja killing an estimated 14 Iraqis including women and children.

Only the present occupants of the White House and the American media can be expected to defend such slaughter as justifiable.

The increasing death toll of Iraqis attests to the fact that neither the US Military nor the Bush Administration is particularly bothered the prospect of more dead Muslims.

Nor does it seem to weigh on the conscience of Iraq's "hand picked" P.M., Allawi. Perhaps Allawi's tenure in Saddam's Gestapo (the Mukabarat) hardened him to the pangs of remorse that we usually associate with the killing innocent people. Or maybe it was his involvement in a 1990s terrorist bombing campaign in Baghdad (trying to destabilize the Saddam regime) that deadened him to the loss life. (In one incident he was directly connected to the bombing of school bus.)

Whatever it was, he has quickly established his bone fides for ruthlessness with a passion that has impressed his employers in Washington.

Allawi has become the cat's paw of US policy in Iraq; the continued aggression of the military is being fashioned to appear as though Allawi is "calling the shots".

Iraqis are not taken in by this ruse. They are well aware of the regions' colonial history and the subsequent establishing of an "Arab facade"; the puppet governments that provide a mask to disguise the workings of the imperial machine.

The Allawi experiment is no different.

For example, consider the recent detention of 500 criminal suspects who were arrested at Allawi's behest. The action was taken for one of two reasons; either Allawi has taken a sudden interest in crime in Baghdad or Rumsfeld wants to continue rounding up insurgent suspects without drawing further attention to his real motives. (Following the Abu Ghraib scandal, the military must be as discreet as possible in their random dragnets. Never the less, they will persist in detaining large numbers of innocent Iraqis until the resistance is crushed.) The justification of "fighting crime" provides a useful screen for the real aims of the Defense Dept. chieftans.

Similarly, Allawi's announcement of an "Order for Safeguarding National Security", the equivalent of Martial law, is part of a broader US strategy to apply maximum force whenever it chooses.

Even the name of the new law (Safeguarding National Security) smacks of the euphemisms that are churned out of American neoliberal "think tanks" on a regular basis. It is just more of the same old Bush "doublespeak", invoked to conceal the complete suspension of civil liberties.

(The law provides for "random searches, seizures, closures, eavesdropping, curfews--all tools of the modern police state--are now in the hands of the small and unelected Baghdad leadership; and in the fine print, the establishment of a half-dozen new security agencies, each with a name, acronym and marching orders reminiscent of the decidedly undemocratic Mideast norm." Mitch Potter)

The law enshrines the principle that in "liberated" Iraq, citizens have been effectively stripped of their personal freedom.

George Orwell could not have imagined a more dismal state of affairs.

Incredibly, in the same week that Allawi announced his intention to enact Martial law, he also unveiled his plan to develop a "state security apparatus" to deal with the insurgency.

No one in Iraq has any misgivings about what this really means.

Allawi started his political career as a Ba'ath Party enforcer and gradually worked his way up to become a senior official in the Iraqi secret police (the Mukabarat.) Eventually, he was bound to try to reconstitute the feared secret police that kept the Iraqi people under Saddam's iron grip for decades.

Not surprisingly, this was already being done by the CIA and Dept of Defense prior to Allawi's rise to power. (Z Magazine has reported that US intelligence was reenlisting members of Saddam's Mukabarat to respond to the growing insurgency.)

The Bush Administration has no qualms about resurrecting the "primary instrument of Iraqi state terror", as long as it is employed in the greater interests of continued American domination.

Again, Allawi provides nothing more than a convenient Iraqi face to a scheme that was well developed before he was ever appointed as Prime Minister.

This is the real meaning of Iraqi sovereignty; a curtain that hides the machinations of the American Imperium.

So far, Allawi has followed each of Washington's edicts with unmitigated enthusiasm. His passion for his new position hasn't been dimmed by the carnage he has authorized or by the constant threats to his life.

Apart from his utter loyalty to the Bush clan, Allawi has demonstrated his aptitude for the job in ways that are intangible. In an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Paul McGeough tells of Allawi's involvement in the murder of six alleged insurgents' just days before he was handed over control of the interim government.

"The prisoners--handcuffed and blindfolded--were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block in which they were held at the Al-Amariyah security centre, in the city's south-western suburbs."

"Informants told the Herald that Dr Allawi shot each young man in the head as about a dozen Iraqi policemen and four Americans from the Prime Minister's personal security team watched in stunned silence."

Was this the final indication that Allawi was worthy of a place at the Bush table?

Is there a more appropriate "initiation" into the world of gangland terror and political bloodletting than that described in McGeough's article?

The occupants of the Oval Office must have felt heartened to know that they had enlisted another reliable member to their circle of murders and torturers.

Mike Whitney can be reached at:

"I was ordering a drink when Jenna fell off her barstool" <----Really! Seriously! READ ALL ABOUT IT!!

Boy, Chimp_junta Sure Has Iraq To Their Credit! Just Look At THESE Flowers And Sweets!

One of Chimp_junta Puppets Meets Allah


Iraqi prime minister accused of murdering detainees

By James Conachy
19 July 2004
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In an exclusive report in the Sydney Morning Herald and Age newspapers, two Iraqi men claim to have witnessed Iyad Allawi, the US-installed Iraqi interim prime minister, murder six handcuffed and blindfolded prisoners. The summary executions allegedly occurred in mid-June, while Allawi was visiting the Al-Amariyah security center in Baghdad.

The newspapers appear to have had the story for several weeks. They finally decided to publish the article on July 17, noting that “the failure by Iraqi and US officialdom to mount convincing denials makes the witness accounts impossible to ignore”. According to their Baghdad correspondent, Paul McGeough, who conducted the interviews, the two witnesses were found independently of one another and spoken to separately. Neither received payment.

One of the men told the journalist: “The prisoners were against the wall and we were standing in the courtyard when the interior minister [Falah al-Naqib] said that he would like to kill them all on the spot. Allawi said they deserved worse than death, but then he pulled the pistol from his belt and started shooting them.”

The other witness said the prisoners, all young men who had been detained on suspicion of involvement in the anti-US resistance, had been subjected to repeated torture in the days before Allawi gunned them down. He stated: “They were happy to die because they had already been beaten by the police for two to eight hours a day to make them talk.”

The two witnesses alleged that Allawi shot seven men in cold blood. Six died instantly, while the other was severely wounded. The article gave the names of three of the victims as Ahmed Abdulah Ahsamey, Amer Lutfi Mohammed Ahmed al-Kutsia and Walid Mehdi Ahmed al-Sammarrai.

One of the witnesses said he watched as Allawi’s bodyguards threw the bodies into the back of a Nissan utility and drove off. The other claimed the bodies were buried in the desert on the outskirts of Baghdad, west of the Abu Ghraib prison. The fate of the wounded man is unclear from the report.

According to the witnesses, as many as 30 people were present during the murders, including Iraqi police and five or six civilian-clad Americans from the US Special Forces assigned to Allawi’s security detail. Allawi allegedly told them after murdering the six men that he wanted to show the Iraqi police how to “deal with” the opposition to the US occupation of Iraq.

One of the witnesses explained: “Allawi wanted to send a message to his policemen and soldiers not to be scared if they kill anyone—especially, they are not to worry about tribal revenge. He said there would be an order from him and the Interior Ministry that all would be fully protected. He told them: ‘We must destroy anyone who wants to destroy Iraq and kill our people’.”

Allawi’s office did not issue an official denial for almost a week after the newspapers informed it of the accusations, and rejected outright any suggestion of an investigation. US officials were informed 10 days before the story was published and to date the Bush administration has not issued a denial. The US embassy in Baghdad baldly dismissed the allegations as rumors and declared: “As far as this embassy’s press office is concerned, this case is closed.”

Iraq’s Human Rights Minister Bakhtiar Amin told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation today that he would investigate the allegations but added that he did not believe them to be true. He also threatened defamation action against the journalist.

Australian Defence Minister Robert Hill attempted to downplay the allegations, claiming that the Australian, British and US missions in Iraq knew nothing of the story. He was joined by newly appointed Labor shadow defense minister Kim Beazley who declared that the Middle East was a “giant bazaar of rumors” and that “in this country two anonymous sources would be regarded as rather thin to go to print”.

To dismiss the story as “rumors” amounts to an attempt at a cover up. McGeough is an experienced and recognized journalist, whose sources were eyewitnesses and have provided specifics of the incident, including the names of three of the dead. To date, no one has refuted the detail. That the two Iraqis were reluctant to be named is hardly surprising. Given the nature of the allegations, they clearly fear for their lives.

Thus far, no major American newspaper or television network has reported the allegations, which were considered credible enough to publish by two of Australia’s leading dailies and which, if substantiated, should result in the immediate arrest of Allawi on murder charges. The censorship is continuing despite calls over the weekend by figures such as former British foreign secretary Robin Cook for an independent inquiry headed by the International Red Cross.

The same American media that promoted last year’s invasion with stories of murder, torture and rape-rooms under the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein is displaying no interest in the growing evidence that the US-installed regime of Allawi will rule in essentially the same fashion.

Allawi has a particularly unsavory past, which is well known in Washington. He was an alleged spy and hit-man for the Baathist dictatorship until 1975, an agent of British and American intelligence agencies from the 1980s, a collaborator with the US ambitions to conquer Iraq in the 1990s and a supporter of the American invasion of his country in 2003.

A recent article in the New York Times, citing comments by former CIA agents, alleged that Allawi’s organization, the Iraqi National Accord (INA), had been involved in a series of bombings in Iraq in the mid-1990s that killed a number of civilians. The INA includes a significant number of former Baathist military officers and intelligence officials.

In an accompanying article entitled “Hard Man for a Tough Country”, McGeough cites the opinion of former CIA case officer, Reuel Marc Gerecht, who told the New Yorker: “He [Allawi] was a very effective operator and a true believer. Two facts stand out about Allawi. One, he likes to think of himself as a man of ideas; and two, his strongest virtue is that he’s a thug.”

In the first three weeks of the interim government, Allawi’s unelected and despised administration has assumed the power to impose martial law, ban demonstrations and monitor citizens’ phones and email. He has declared his intention to recruit the military and intelligence operatives of Hussein’s regime and this week announced the formation of a secret police agency to “annihilate” opposition. He is already being contemptuously referred to in Baghdad as “Saddam without the moustache” or “America’s Saddam”.

Far from denouncing the Bush administration for establishing a US-protected police-state in Iraq, commentary over the past week in the New York Times and the Washington Post has lauded Allawi for his reputation for sadism and ruthlessness. It is part of a shift that is underway: previous claims that the US occupation was to establish democracy are being jettisoned in favor of increasingly open support for the “strongman” Allawi and his methods.

On July 11, the New York Times’ Dexter Filkins wrote with relish of the rumor that Allawi had used an ax to chop off the hand of a man during a recent interrogation. Describing the alleged atrocity, Filkins wrote: “No-one was talking. ‘Bring me an ax,’ the prime minister is said to have announced. With that the story went, Mr Allawi lopped off the hand of one of the Lebanese men, and the group quickly spilled everything they knew.”

In Filkins’ opinion, Allawi “seems to be the perfect man, under the circumstances, to bring this fractious country together”.

On July 14, David Ignatius of the Washington Post hailed Allawi for projecting “the image of a burly ex-Baathist who is tough enough to manage this unruly country”. Just last November he declared that “America did a good deed in liberating Iraqis from a tyrannical regime”.

The American people were told by such commentators that last years’ invasion would bring democracy and liberation to Iraq. The reality is that the Bush administration, as part of a criminal imperialist strategy to dominate the resources of the Middle East, has imposed an unelected, pro-US cabal that is under siege from the Iraqi people. Lacking any legitimacy or popular support, the regime of Allawi is dependent upon repression to terrorize the population into submitting to indefinite US control over the country.