Monday, August 30, 2004
WHORE MEDIA GLOMS ON TO SWIFT BOAT LIARS LIKE SNOT ON FINGERNAILS
Swift Boat Smears: Press Corps Keeps Anti-Kerry Distortions Alive
August 30, 2004
A group of Vietnam veterans called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth havemanaged to dominate campaign coverage recently with a series of inaccurateand unfounded allegations about John Kerry's Vietnam War service. Butinstead of debunking the group's TV ads and numerous media appearances,the press corps has devoted hours of broadcast time and considerable print attention to the group's message. At times, some reporters seem to suggest that the Swift Boat coverage is being driven by some external force that they cannot control.
"The ad war, at least over John Kerry's service in Vietnam, has for the moment effectively blocked out everything else," explained MSNBC's David Shuster 8/23/04)--as if the media are not the ones responsible for deciding which issues were being "blocked out." The New York Times similarly noted (8/20/04) that the group "catapulted itself to the forefront of the presidential campaign," while Fox News 'reporter' Carl Cameron (8/23/04) suggested that "the controversy has completely knocked Kerry off message, and the political impasse suggeststhe story is not going away any time soon.
"That "impasse" is largely the result of the media's failure to sufficiently compare the Swift Boat charges to the available military records and eyewitness accounts. Even a cursory examination of the available evidence reveals fatal flaws in the group's charges, which fly in the face of all documentary evidence, and the testimony of almost every person present when Kerry earned his medals. Larry Thurlow, the Swift Boat Vet who claims that Kerry was not underenemy fire when he earned his Bronze Star, himself earned a Bronze Starfor actions under enemy fire in the same incident. Louis Letson, who claims to have treated the wound that earned Kerry his first Purple Heart, is not the medic listed in medical records as having treated Kerry. John O'Neill, the leader of the group, has said that Kerry would have been "court-martialed" had he crossed the border into Cambodia-- but O'Neill is on tape telling President Richard Nixon that he himself had been in Cambodia. Several members of the group are on the record praising Kerry's leadership. And so on.
Imagine that the situation were reversed: What if all available documentary records showed that George W. Bush had completed his stint in the Air National Guard with flying colors? What if virtually every member of his unit said he had been there the whole time, and had done a great job? Suppose a group of fiercely partisan Democrats who had served in the Guard at the same time came forward to say that the documents and the first-hand testimony were wrong, and that Bush really hadn't been present for his Guard service. Would members of the press really have a hard time figuring out who was telling the truth in this situation? And how much coverage would they give to the Democrats' easily discredited charges? But when Kerry is the target of the attacks, many journalists seem content to monitor the flow of charges and counter-charges, passing no judgment on the merits of the accusations but merely reporting how they seem to affect the tone of the campaign. As the Associated Press put it (8/24/04), Kerry
"has been struggling in recent days against charges--denounced by Democrats as smear tactics--that he lied about his actions in Vietnam that won five military medals."Credible charges or smears? AP's readerscould only use their own personal opinions of Democrats to judge.To CNN, even the awarding of the medals became a matter of debate: "They're not just attacking the medals that John Kerry might have won," reporter Daryn Kagan said of the Swift Boat Vets (8/24/04).The notion that reporters cannot pass some reasonable judgment about theads was common. "There is no way that journalism can satisfy those who think that Kerry is a liar or that Swift Boat Veterans For Truth are liars," asserted NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving (NPR.org,8/25/04).When asked if the Swift Boat ads, along with other ads critical of Bush,were accurate, CNN's Bill Schneider (8/24/04) demurred: "I don't have an answer because I haven't systematically looked at all those ads. Certainly, the Swift Boat Veterans' ads-- that first ad has been looked at with great care. And what the Washington Post concluded on Sunday was those allegations have remained unproved." At this point, the 60-second ad had been a major political controversy for weeks-- and CNN's "senior political analyst" couldn't find the time to figure out whether it was accurate or not? (Excuse me, but William Schneider is a dung heap. I figured that out long ago when I worked with him and the other CNN shils. He couldn't find his ass in the dark with both hands, unless a GoPPiG $check$ was stuck to his anus.*aj*)
An editorial in the L.A. Times (8/24/04) noted that the problem is not that reporters can't say whether the charges are true-- it's that they don't want to say: "The canons of the profession prevent most journalists from saying outright: These charges are false. As a result, the voters are left with a general sense that there is some controversy over...Kerry's service in Vietnam.
"One suspects that the "canons of the profession" would be interpreted differently if, for example, Republican Sen. John McCain was the target of similarly unsubstantiated charges about his military service from a partisan Democratic group. And the editorial went on to fall prey to another journalistic convention-- finding blame on both sides, even when only one side is atfault-- when it equated the Swift Boat Vets with "MoveOn.org, which is running nasty ads about Bush's avoidance of service in Vietnam. "Just as the Swift Boat Vets are "funded by conservative groups that interlock with Bush's world in various ways," the L.A. Times said MoveOn is "part of Kerry's general milieu," and "either man could shut down the groups working on his behalf if he wanted to."
The only difference thatthe editorial acknowledged is that while the MoveOn campaign is ''nasty and personal,'' the Swift Boat Vets ads are ''nasty, personal and false.'' Never mind that MoveOn is a grassroots organization with 2 million members, founded in 1998 when Kerry was merely the junior senator from Massachusetts, while the Swift Boat Vets have no more independent existence than the ''Republicans for Clean Air,'' which attacked McCain in the 2000 primaries and then disappeared.But to many journalists, finding some way to criticize both sides is mucheasier-- and politically safer-- than examining evidence to try todetermine the truth.
CNN's Candy Crowley (8/6/04), for example, (OMG this fat pig Crowley stinks--no deodorant--and on those particular times of the month that women have a 'friend,' you won't sit in the same BUS with this woman--and scratches her crotch in the office in front of anyone...a more obnoxious woman cannot be found *aj*) said to Kerry political director Steve Elmendorf:
"There have been ads out therethat have compared the president to Hitler, that have been really, really tough ads." (Lie Lie Lie Lie Meter Off Scale, Bitch (aj))That comparison makes little sense, though; the Hitler "ads"were submissions by individuals to MoveOn's ad contest, and were removedfrom the group's website when they were discovered. Another way of drawing a false equivalence is by talking about the"negativity" of both sides. CNN's John Mercurio (CNN.com, 8/20/04) wrotethat Kerry's comments responding to the Swift Boat charges "were notable--if only because they revealed how negative, and how responsive, both campaigns have become this year." One would think, rather, that they showed how negative one campaign was and how responsive the other was. Jim Rutenberg and Kate Zernike of the New York Times wrote a similar article (8/22/04), lamenting that while "this was supposed to be the positive campaign," both sides have discovered that "negative ads work." As evidence, the reporters noted that "Bush has spent the majority of themore than $100 million he has spent on television advertisements attacking his Democratic opponent." This is presumably a reference to a Washington Post survey (5/31/04) that found that 75 percent of Bush's ads were negative.
Not mentioned, however,was the Post's finding in the same story that Kerry's ads were only 27 percent negative. Including that fact would have spoiled the premise of the article, that the sin of negativity is committed equally by both sides.
But sometimes the truth is not somewhere in the middle.
Synergy, Thy Name Is Robert NoFacts: Traitor and Dungpile Pushing Phony Anti Kerry Campaign
(If Kerry wins, will Novak finally get arrested? So much criminal activity to take care of, so little time left for Novak before he hits the Graybar Hotel! (aj))
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Pigs Get Out In Force To Beat Up On Midnight Bikers IN NYC--Thanks GoPpiGs
GOP Hypocrite of the Week: Bob Dole
Listen to the GOPHOTW HERE
Welcome back to the BuzzFlash.com GOP Hypocrite of the Week.
Bob Dole got up last week, but he didn't need Viagra or a grandpa's lust of Britney Spears. No, accusing John Kerry of inflating his war record required no more of Dole than pulling out his partisan hypocrisy knife.
You would think that Bob Dole, a combat veteran wounded in WW II, would have more respect for his fellow veterans, but think again. Bob Dole is a Republican hack. Swallowing his pride, his dignity and his loyalty to veterans, Dole backed up the partisan anti-Kerry attacks by the Bush GOP Swift Boat Liars.
Of course, Kerry was rightly miffed that his erstwhile senate colleague would so easily pile on the lies and B.S. It takes a unique combination of feigned ignorance, bluster and hypocrisy to attack a man who actually volunteered to fight in Vietnam, while supporting Bush and Cheney, two cowards who ran from their duty and allowed others to die in their name.According to one news story, "Dole's suggestion that Kerry 'never bled' runs counter to US Navy records showing that Kerry, who also won a Bronze Star and a Silver Star for bravery, still carries shrapnel in his left thigh from a February 1969 firefight."
So why did Dole lie about Kerry? Well, according to Dole, it was just politics: "There's respect there," Dole said. "We were in the Senate together. But we're talking about the presidential race, and I tweaked him a little on the Purple Hearts."
"I just wanted him to get off Bush's back and have his people get off Bush's
back," Dole said.
But Noel Koch, a man who knew Dole in the Nixon administration is taken aback by the hypocrisy and the offensive, unwarranted attack on Kerry by Dole, saying
"It is hurtful that a man of Bob Dole's stature should lend himself to the
effort to dishonor a fellow American veteran in the service of politics at its
It hasn't always been that way. In a February 2004 Wall Street Journal Op-ed, Dole spoke differently of his colleague, saying "Senator Kerry is a war hero." Viagra Bob should have stuck with the truth, instead of getting down into the gutter with the Karl Rove sewer slime. But Dole wants to keep up with the Republican times, especially if his wife, North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole, follows her desire for higher office. Nowadays, you can't slither down into the GOP inner circle unless you prove your hypocrisy credentials. And Bob Dole's attack on Senator Kerry's war record should get Liz Dole and her Viagra partner access to the all the best Republican dungeons.
That's why this week's BuzzFlash GOP Hypocrite of the Week is the former senator from Kansas, failed 1996 presidential candidate, and the spokesman for every man with a non-functional penis, Bob Dole. Until next week, remember our motto at BuzzFlash.com: So many Republican hypocrites, so little time.
Catch up with you soon.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
"Old Warriors Giving Their Last, Worst Shot," Tina Brown, Washington Post, August 26, 2004
"Bob Dole's Hypocrisy, Available On His Web Site," Steve Heilman, BuzzFlash Reader Contribution, August 26, 2004
Friday, August 27, 2004
Rumsfeld: Resign You Lying Bastard--Oh, Wait...Voters Will Fire You and Your Crooked Cabal in 2 months!
(Treating Human Beings Like Shit *aj*...ps, none of them killed/shot/maimed anybody. Chimp_junta has killed/shot/maimed tens-of-thousands. Is there a massive cover-up here? YES)
Speaking yesterday in Phoenix, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed that there was no way that he and other top military officials could have known about the abuse and torture that took place at Abu Ghraib and other prisons. Rumsfeld said, "if you are in Washington, D.C., you can't know what's going on in the midnight shift in one of those many prisons around the world." But a classified portion of a report by three Army generals (the Fay report) - obtained by the New York Times - found that the atrocities that took place in military prisons were the result of actions taken at the top of the military hierarchy.
According to secret sections of the Fay report, the former top commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez "approved the use in Iraq of some severe interrogation practices intended to be limited to captives held in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and Afghanistan." Moreover, "by issuing and revising the rules for interrogations in Iraq three times in 30 days, General Sanchez and his legal staff sowed such confusion that interrogators acted in ways that violated the Geneva Conventions."
A separate investigation headed by former defense secretary James R. Schlesinger "faulted the Pentagon's top civilian and military leadership yesterday for failing to exercise adequate oversight and allowing conditions that led to the abuse of detainees in Iraq." Rumsfeld was cited specifically for contributing to "confusion over what techniques were permissible for interrogating prisoners in Iraq."
1. "Rumsfeld: No plans to resign ," Arizona Daily Star, 8/27/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=52360.
2. "Army's Report Faults General in Prison Abuse," New York Times, 8/27/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=52361.
3. Ibid, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=52361.
4. "Top Pentagon Leaders Faulted in Prison Abuse," Washington Post, 8/25/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=52362.
5. Ibid, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1185551&l=52362.
Visit www.Misleader.org for more about Bush Administration distortion.
Sanchez, We Thought We Knew Thee, War Criminal. Sadist. Abu Ghraib Scandal: Army's Report Faults General in Prison Abuse
BUSH MUST CUT SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS TO SENIORS TO PAY FOR BANKRUPTING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
August 26, 2004
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer
JACKSON, Wyo. - Federal Reserve (news - web sites) Chairman Alan Greenspan (news - web sites) said Friday that the country will face "abrupt and painful" choices if Congress does not move quickly to trim the Social Security (news - web sites) and Medicare benefits that have been promised to the baby boom generation.
Returning to a politically explosive issue that he has addressed a number of times this year, Greenspan said that it was wrong for the government to hold out the promise of more retirement benefits than it is capable of providing.
He said this issue was particularly critical given the impending retirement of 77 million baby boomers born in the two decades after World War II.
"As a nation, we owe it to our retirees to promise only the benefits that can be delivered," Greenspan said in opening remarks to a two-day conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City on the challenges posed by aging populations.
"If we have promised more than our economy has the ability to deliver, as I fear we may have, we must recalibrate our public programs so that pending retirees have time to adjust through other channels," Greenspan said. "If we delay, the adjustments could be abrupt and painful."
Greenspan, as he has done previously, suggested that possible changes would be raising the retirement age to receive full Social Security benefits, which currently is gradually increasing from 65 to 67.
Greenspan, who is 78 and was recently confirmed for a fifth term as Fed chairman, has been a proponent of raising the retirement age ever since he was chairman of a commission that recommended a number of changes to rescue Social Security from impending insolvency two decades ago.
In his remarks, Greenspan said that the projected doubling of the U.S. population over the age of 65 by 2035 would add to the government's budget deficit woes.
But he said it was important to be careful in how those deficits were addressed. He said that relying entirely on an increase in the payroll tax on workers to deal with the funding shortfall in Social Security and Medicare would make it more costly for employers to hire workers.
Greenspan said policymakers must consider all the economic impacts that changes in the government's two biggest benefit programs would entail such as the effect on retirement decisions, the size of the labor force and the saving behavior of Americans.
Greenspan acknowledged that any decisions to trim benefits or boost payroll taxes could be difficult politically, but he said those decisions must be made and made quickly to give baby boomers time to adjust.
"Though the challenges of prospective increasingly stark choices for the United States seem great, the necessary adjustments will likely be smaller than those required in most other developing countries," he said, noting that Europe and Japan will have a much higher proportion of retirees to current workers in coming years.
Greenspan has repeatedly this year addressed the looming crisis in Social Security and Medicare, a development that the presidential candidates have chosen to virtually ignore given the painful choices that will likely be presented to the next president.
(In other words, Greenspan is simply the idiot we all knew he was...he shuffles out there to tell us that Chimper W Bush has blown the entire Clinton budget surpluses which could have easily taken care of our seniors out until 2034! But now these sorry motherfuckers, chimp_junta, will use that money to buy bombs.
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR BUSH NOW, AMERICA, HUH? HOW DO YOU LIKE THIS STINKING BASTARD NOW?
Everyone of the seniors in this country will have to flip burgers or be a Walmart greeter to survive at all, short of blowing their heads off. *AJ*)
Thursday, August 26, 2004
THE IMPEACHMENT OF POODLE TONY BLAIR BEGINS!!
Now, Blair has become the most despised PM in the history of GB. And he will be fired-impeached-tried-convicted-and the only bad part is, they cannot impose the death penalty for all of the tragedy this coward has allowed to happen. No one can state with any degree of certainty that Chimp_junta would have dared their horrendous SHOCK AND AWE without the poodle. Therefore, read the document and decide: SHOULD BLAIR HANG FOR WAR CRIMES?)
Requires PDF reader:
This report sets out compelling evidence of deliberate repeated distortion, seriously misleading statements and culpable negligence on the part of the Prime Minister. This
misconduct is in itself more than sufficient to require his resignation. Further to this, the Prime Minister’s conduct has also destroyed the United Kingdom’s reputation for honesty around the world; it has produced a war with no end in sight; it has damaged and discredited the intelligence services which are essential to the security of the state; it has undermined the constitution by weakening cabinet government to breaking point and it has made a mockery of the authority of Parliament as representatives of the people. The core conclusion of this report is that the impeachment of the Prime Minister has a strong basis in fact, and established precedent in parliamentary law.
Link to PDF file
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Chimper W Bush: A Coward Who Won't Even Take a Letter, Delivered by Hero Max Cleland to Crawford, Into his Yellow Lily-Livered Guts
Wed Aug 25, 2:50 PM ET
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer
CRAWFORD, Texas - Former Democratic Sen. Max Cleland tried to deliver a letter protesting ads challenging John Kerry (news - web sites)'s Vietnam service to President Bush (news - web sites) at his Texas ranch Wednesday, but neither a Secret Service official nor a state trooper would take it.
The former Georgia senator, a triple amputee who fought in Vietnam, was carrying a letter from nine Senate Democrats who wrote Bush that "you owe a special duty" to condemn attacks on Kerry's military service.
"The question is where is George Bush (news - web sites)'s honor, the question is where is his shame to attack a fellow veteran who has distinguished himself in combat?" Cleland asked. "Regardless of the political combat involved, it's disgraceful."
Encountering a permanent roadblock to Bush's ranch, Cleland left without turning over the letter to anyone.
"I have a letter signed by nine members of the U.S. Senate, all of whom have served honorably and I'd like to hand it to a responsible officer here on the gate," Cleland said as he tried to deliver it to security personnel at the roadblock. He accused a member of the president's security detail of trying to evade him.
"I am just going to return the letter and make sure it gets in the mail," Cleland said as he returned to his car.
In their letter, the senators said, "This administration must not tacitly comply with unfounded accusations which have suddenly appeared 35 years after the fact, and serve to denigrate the service of a true American patriot."
A Texas state official and Vietnam veteran, Jerry Patterson, said someone from the Bush campaign contacted him Wednesday morning and asked him if he would travel to the ranch, welcome Cleland to Texas and accept the former senator's letter to Bush.
"I tried to accept that letter and he would not give it to me," said Patterson. "He would not face me. He kept rolling away from me. He's quite mobile."
Patterson, who spoke with the president on the phone, said the campaign asked him to give Cleland a letter for Kerry written by the Bush campaign and signed by Patterson and seven other veterans.
"You can't have it both ways," the letter said. "You can't build your convention and much of your campaign around your service in Vietnam, and then try to say that only those veterans who agree with you have a right to speak up."
On Monday, the president said the group's anti-Kerry advertising should stop, but he refused to denounce it.
"The moment of truth came and went for President Bush to condemn these ads, and he still could not bring himself to do the right thing," Cleland said in a statement.
The senators signing the letter to Bush included Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, Ernest "Fritz" Hollings of South Carolina, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Tom Carper of Delaware and Jon Corzine and Frank Lautenberg, both of New Jersey.
(How do you like him now, America? How do you like this yellow coward W Bush, huh? He's a divider not a multiplier, right? Max Cleland could have been greeted by the Drunk-in-Cheap at the gate--end of sad tale.)
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Q) How Does Chimper W Bush (LIAR-IN-CHIEF) Get Away With This? A) Maybe He Won't!
By Dave Moniz and Jim Drinkard, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — At a time when Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has come under fire from a group of retired naval officers who say he lied about his combat record in Vietnam, questions about President Bush's 1968-73 stint in the Texas Air National Guard remain unresolved: (Related item: Bush urges end to TV attack ads by outside groups)
Some of the documents about President Bush's military service documents still have not been made public.
George Bush Presidential Library
The White House has released hundreds of pages of records, but the files released so far haven't answered those questions. Since the documents were released in February, at least a half-dozen news organizations, including USA TODAY, have filed new requests for Bush's military records under the Freedom of Information Act.
•Why did Bush, described by some of his fellow officers as a talented and enthusiastic pilot, stop flying fighter jets in the spring of 1972 and fail to take an annual physical exam required of all pilots?
•What explains the apparent gap in the president's Guard service in 1972-73, a period when commanders in Texas and Alabama say they never saw him report for duty and records show no pay to Bush when he was supposed to be on duty in Alabama?
•Did Bush receive preferential treatment in getting into the Guard and securing a coveted pilot slot despite poor qualifying scores and arrests, but no convictions, for stealing a Christmas wreath and rowdiness at a football game during his college years?
In an e-mail to USA TODAY last week, presidential spokesman Dan Bartlett said: "The president has authorized the release of his records and we are complying with all requests. Some are taking longer than others, but all will be addressed." (Sure they will. *aj*)
Past military service and qualifications to be commander in chief have become a central theme in the 2004 presidential campaign.
Questions about Bush's record predate the current campaign. The apparent gap in his Guard service first surfaced before the 2000 election, when The Boston Globe reported that Texas Guard commanders were unable to account for Bush's whereabouts from May 1972 to April 1973.
Bush has not said what he did in the Guard during that period. Aside from a statement by a former Alabama Air Guard officer who said he saw Bush report for duty there in the fall of 1972, the only evidence he was at Dannelly Air National Guard Base in Alabama was a record of a dental exam on Jan. 6, 1973, at the base.
Bush said in a TV interview in February that he would make all his military records available. That month, the White House released more than 400 pages of Bush military records, including some duplicates, and said the documents were a complete catalog of his personnel files.
But some documents still have not been made public. The White House did not release Bush's medical records from his Guard files but allowed a group of reporters who cover the White House to review them for 20 minutes. They found nothing unusual. Kerry released some of his military records earlier this year. He has also declined to release his complete medical records but showed them to reporters as Bush did.
Since February, the White House has banned all Guard and military commanders outside the Pentagon from commenting on Bush's records or service. Requests for information must go to the Pentagon's Freedom of Information Act office.
The Pentagon last week responded to a 4-month-old request from USA TODAY for additional records from Bush's files by sending another copy of documents that were released by the White House in February. The documents do not address the unexplained year in Bush's Guard service or his decision to stop flying. (As a pilot with an FAA Commercial/ATP/FE Certificate and over 11,000 hours in airplanes, I have an answer: "Cocaine or other banned substances." Chimper W Bush has NEVER denied such involvement, but it definately would have cost him his Airman's Certificate, or his FAA Medical Certificate, not to mention the agony of felony arrest. *aj*)
The Associated Press filed a lawsuit this summer requesting copies of Bush's military records stored in a Texas archive on microfilm. It sought information that might explain why Bush did not take his flight physical and whether he showed up for duty in Alabama in the fall of 1972, AP spokesman John Stokes said.
What Hath Thee, Bastard Son, but Lies, Perversion, and Abu Ghraib to Show U.S.?
These Charges Are False ...
It's one thing for the presidential campaign to get nasty but quite another for it to engage in fabrication.
August 24, 2004
The technique President Bush is using against John F. Kerry was perfected by his father against Michael Dukakis in 1988, though its roots go back at least to Sen. Joseph McCarthy. It is: Bring a charge, however bogus. Make the charge simple: Dukakis "vetoed the Pledge of Allegiance"; Bill Clinton "raised taxes 128 times"; "there are [pick a number] Communists in the State Department." But make sure the supporting details are complicated and blurry enough to prevent easy refutation.
Then sit back and let the media do your work for you. Journalists have to report the charges, usually feel obliged to report the rebuttal, and often even attempt an analysis or assessment. But the canons of the profession prevent most journalists from saying outright: These charges are false. As a result, the voters are left with a general sense that there is some controversy over Dukakis' patriotism or Kerry's service in Vietnam. And they have been distracted from thinking about real issues (like the war going on now) by these laboratory concoctions.
It must be infuriating to the victims of this process to be given conflicting advice about how to deal with it from the same campaign press corps that keeps it going. The press has been telling Kerry: (a) Don't let charges sit around unanswered; and (b) stick to your issues: Don't let the other guy choose the turf.
At the moment, Kerry is being punished by the media for taking advice (b) and failing to take advice (a). There was plenty of talk on TV about what Kerry's failure to strike back said about whether he had the backbone for the job of president — and even when he did strike back, he was accused of not doing it soon enough. But what does Bush's acquiescence in the use of this issue say about whether he has the simple decency for the job of president?
Whether the Bush campaign is tied to the Swift boat campaign in the technical, legal sense that triggers the wrath of the campaign-spending reform law is not a very interesting question. The ridiculously named Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is being funded by conservative groups that interlock with Bush's world in various ways, just as MoveOn.org, which is running nasty ads about Bush's avoidance of service in Vietnam, is part of Kerry's general milieu.
More important, either man could shut down the groups working on his behalf if he wanted to. Kerry has denounced the MoveOn ads, with what degree of sincerity we can't know. Bush on Monday — finally — called for all ads by independent groups on both sides to be halted. He also said Kerry had "served admirably" in Vietnam. But he declined an invitation to condemn the Swift boat effort.
In both cases, the candidates are the reason the groups are in business. There is an important difference, though, between the side campaign being run for Kerry and the one for Bush. The pro-Kerry campaign is nasty and personal. The pro-Bush campaign is nasty, personal and false.
No informed person can seriously believe that Kerry fabricated evidence to win his military medals in Vietnam. His main accuser has been exposed as having said the opposite at the time, 35 years ago. Kerry is backed by almost all those who witnessed the events in question, as well as by documentation. His accusers have no evidence except their own dubious word.
Not limited by the conventions of our colleagues in the newsroom, we can say it outright: These charges against John Kerry are false. Or at least, there is no good evidence that they are true. George Bush, if he were a man of principle, would say the same thing.
C 2004 Los Angeles Times
Monday, August 23, 2004
Best Comics On Chimp_Junta? See Ted Rall!
WHEN SHOULD WE GET OUT OF IRAQ?
SAG HARBOR, N.Y. -- Long August afternoons at the beach just give my wife more chance to ask me why I am not writing that we should get out of Iraq. Now! I was always against going to war there, but after we blundered in I tended to say things like:
"We are immersed in a dangerous, costly mess, and there is no quick way to end our responsibilities in Iraq without creating bigger future problems in the region and, in general, in the Muslim world."Those words are not mine. That is the last sentence of an extraordinary letter written last week by a retiring Republican congressman, Doug Bereuter of Nebraska. In four pages, Bereuter, who has served in the House of Representatives for 26 years and is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told constituents:
"I've reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequateHe also told the folks back home that many other members of the House Intelligence Committee have reached the same conclusions. Presumably he means both Republicans and Democrats who voted to support President Bush (news - web sites) if he decided to go to war. Still, Bereuter, who will become president of the Asia Foundation next month, says he believes that the Middle East and the world are safer places with Saddam Hussein in jail and Americans in Baghdad.
intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things
considered it was a mistake to launch that military action, especially without a broad and engaged international coalition. ... The immediate and long-term
financial costs are incredible. Our country's reputation around the world has
never been lower and our alliances are weakened."
I don't agree that we are all safer because we invaded Iraq. And I can't argue anymore, certainly not at home, that honor or duty requires us to stay and clean up the mess. We may be making the mess worse, day by day, hour by hour. I find it hard to rebut family arguments that it made no good difference to stay in Vietnam when we almost certainly could have made the same exit deal in 1969 that we settled for in 1973. I am reminded that more than half the Americans who died in Vietnam were men and women killed after Richard Nixon took office at the beginning of 1969. As someone said back then:
"How do you ask a man to be the last one to die for
a mistake?" *
We made a mistake going into Iraq. Even if we believed everything Bush and company told us before launching shock and awe, devastation and doubt, the administration was negligent and stupid to ignore the warnings everywhere about what it would take to make and keep a peace. "Left unresolved for now," in Bereuter's words, "is whether intelligence was intentionally misconstrued to justify military action."
On the same day Bereuter's letter to constituents became public, Edward Luttwak, a scholar whose work includes an essay mocking peace-making called "Give War a Chance," wrote another one in The New York Times under the title, "Time to Quit Iraq (Sort Of)." This one was a complicated argument that public preparations for an American withdrawal might force Iraqis and their neighbors to face up to their problems and return to some sort of regional stability.
I doubt Luttwak is right about that, but I do think he makes a humbling argument that in the end it may not matter what we do; it may not matter whether we stay or go.
"The likely consequences of an American abandonment are so bleak that few Americans are even willing to contemplate it," he wrote. "This is a mistake: It is precisely because unpredictable mayhem is so predictable that the United States might be able to disengage from Iraq at little cost. ... The likely result would be the defection of the government's army, followed by a swift collapse and then civil war."
Finally, writes Luttwak: "The situation in Iraq is not improving, the United
States will assuredly leave one day in any case, and it is usually wise to
abandon failed ventures sooner rather than later."
And, sooner rather than later, I shall go to the beach and tell my wife she was right all along.
*John Forbes Kerry c 1968
Tony Blair Tells elChimpo To Shove His Congressional Medal of Honor Up His Ass
Blair refuses to travel to US to pick up Bush war "honour"
LONDON (AFP) - Prime Minister Tony Blair is refusing to fly to the United States to receive a medal bestowed on him by the nation for his support over last year's Iraq war.
US President George W. Bush has put huge pressure on his closest ally to pick up the Congressional Medal of Honor in person, the Sunday Mirror quoted a senior British government source as saying.
Blair is immensely popular with large sections of the American public for his staunch support of the Iraq war and the White House believes a visit by the prime minister now would provide a much-needed boost to Bush's re-election campaign. (<-----AM I READING THIS RIGHT? BUSH ELECTION TO PROFIT FROM CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR TO FUCKING TONY BLAIR?!?)
"There has been a lot of telephone traffic between the White House and Downing Street over the medal in recent week," the Sunday Mirror quoted a senior government source as saying.
"George Bush wants the prime minister to come to Washington and pick up the medal, which is the highest honour America can bestow on a foreigner.
"But he has refused for more than a year now and for good reason. He cannot possibly accept an award for the Iraq war when British and American troops continue to risk their lives there."
Blair is concerned also that a trip to the United States now would effectively be giving a boost to Bush ahead of November's presidential elections.
"But Bush isn't letting up. The White House has already let it be known that they feel slighted because of this and believe they can use this to put pressure on Blair to get him out there."
(CHIMP_JUNTA NEEDS TO HEAR FROM ALL OF US THAT THIS CORRUPTION OF THE CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR PROCESS--GIVING IT AWAY LIKE A BAG OF FRENCH FRIES--TO BUY VOTES FROM AMERICANS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE DIED GETTING THIS MEDAL--IS THE MOST DISGUSTING EFFING MONSTROSITY TO COME OUT OF THIS SQUATTER'S WHITE HOUSE YET. *AJ*)
Sunday, August 22, 2004
"Scream" Stolen from Norway Museum
A version of The Scream painted by Edvard Munch has been stolen from a Norwegian museum. BBC News Online looks at the history of this iconic work.
The Scream is one of the world's most recognisable paintings.
Copies of the anguished expressionist work can be found in any major poster shop and it is even the name and symbol of a popular pub chain in the UK.
But who was the man behind the 1893 masterpiece?
Edvard Munch was born in Loten, East Norway, in 1863.
He began painting at the age of 17 in Oslo, but was mainly based in Paris and Berlin for the next 20 years.
His main early influences were impressionism and post-impressionism but his concern with images of misery and death led him to become a proponent of the emerging German art form expressionism.
One of his friends was playwright Henrik Ibsen - Munch designed the sets for some of his plays. But The Scream is undoubtedly Munch's best-known work. Its popularity increased rapidly during the latter half of the 20th Century. The image of an anguished figure, fear etched upon the face, has reached iconic status alongside the likes of Van Gogh's Sunflowers.
The work was part of a series of pictures called The Frieze of Life, described by Munch himself as "a poem of life, love and death".
Its blur of colours and form are loved by millions and many see it as a symbol of the alienation of the modern age.
Munch wrote of the painting: "I was walking along a path with two friends - the sun was setting - suddenly the sky turned blood red.
"I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence - there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city.
"My friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety - and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature."
Art critic Brian Sewell believes the painting is more popular with the public than art connoisseurs and acknowledges that it is "as famous as the Mona Lisa".
But he believes Munch produced better paintings.
Link to whole story...
Saturday, August 21, 2004
FLORIDA: CHIMP_JUNTA_JEB SETS STATE POLICE/DOGS ON ELDERLY BLACKS In RERUN OF 2000 FIASCO
By BOB HERBERT
August 20, 2004--New York Times OP-ED COLUMNIST
(T)he smell of voter suppression coming out of Florida is getting stronger. It turns out that a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation, in which state troopers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando in a bizarre hunt for evidence of election fraud, is being conducted despite a finding by the department last May "that there was no basis to support the allegations of election fraud."
State officials have said that the investigation, which has already frightened many voters and intimidated elderly volunteers, is in response to allegations of voter fraud involving absentee ballots that came up during the Orlando mayoral election in March. But the department considered that matter closed last spring, according to a letter from the office of Guy Tunnell, the department's commissioner, to Lawson Lamar, the state attorney in Orlando, who would be responsible for any criminal prosecutions.
The letter, dated May 13, said:
Well, it's not closed. And department officials said yesterday that the letter sent out in May was never meant to indicate that the "entire" investigation was closed. Since the letter went out, state troopers have gone into the homes of 40 or 50 black voters, most of them elderly, in what the department describes as a criminal investigation. Many longtime Florida observers have said the use of state troopers for this type of investigation is extremely unusual, and it has caused a storm of controversy.
"We received your package related to the allegations of voter fraud during the 2004 mayoral election. This dealt with the manner in which absentee ballots were either handled or collected by campaign staffers for Mayor Buddy Dyer. Since this matter involved an elected official, the allegations were forwarded to F.D.L.E.'s Executive Investigations in Tallahassee, Florida.
"The documents were reviewed by F.D.L.E., as well as the Florida Division of Elections. It was determined that there was no basis to support the allegations of election fraud concerning these absentee ballots. Since there is no evidence of criminal misconduct involving Mayor Dyer, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement considers this matter closed."
The officers were armed and in plain clothes. For elderly African-American voters, who remember the terrible torment inflicted on blacks who tried to vote in the South in the 1950's and 60's, the sight of armed police officers coming into their homes to interrogate them about voting is chilling indeed.
One woman, who is in her mid-70's and was visited by two officers in June, said in an affidavit: "After entering my house, they asked me if they could take their jackets off, to which I answered yes. When they removed their jackets, I noticed they were wearing side arms. ... And I noticed an ankle holster on one of them when they sat down."
Though apprehensive, she answered all of their questions. But for a lot of voters, the emotional response to the investigation has gone beyond apprehension to outright fear.
"These guys are using these intimidating methods to try and get these folks to stay away from the polls in the future,'' said Eugene Poole, president of the Florida Voters League, which tries to increase black voter participation throughout the state. "And you know what? It's working. One woman said, 'My God, they're going to put us in jail for nothing.' I said, 'That's not true.' "
State officials deny that their intent was to intimidate black voters. Mr. Tunnell, who was handpicked by Gov. Jeb Bush to head the Department of Law Enforcement, said in a statement yesterday: "Instead of having them come to the F.D.L.E. office, which may seem quite imposing, our agents felt it would be a more relaxed atmosphere if they visited the witnesses at their homes.''
When I asked a spokesman for Mr. Tunnell, Tom Berlinger, about the letter in May indicating that the allegations were without merit, he replied that the intent of the letter had not been made clear by Joyce Dawley, a regional director who drafted and signed the letter for Mr. Tunnell.
"The letter was poorly worded,'' said Mr. Berlinger. He said he spoke to Ms. Dawley about the letter a few weeks ago and she told him, "God, I wish I would have made that more clear." What Ms. Dawley meant to say, said Mr. Berlinger, was that it did not appear that Mayor Dyer himself was criminally involved.
(Do these Bush_Crime_Family_Empire Sons Of The Bitch think that winning an election means STEALING IT AGAIN? Fucking Bananna RepubLikens. I am truly afraid that if these dirty bastards do not let the election process continue normally, there will be death and destruction. Not only in Bush_war Iraq, but here in War_Criminal_Chimp_junta America.
May God have Mercy on our souls. Remember, dear reader: November 2, 2004. Remember.
If you forget, forget about America. It will be gone forever. *aj*)
Abu Ghraib Doctors Face Ethical Questions
Suspected of having condoned the torture of Iraqi prisoners, some American military doctors now face ugly comparisons to soldier-physicians who conspired in abuses by Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler and other dictators.
Although the Americans' alleged misconduct is far less severe, some say it is made worse because they did not have to fear being killed if they didn't cooperate.
"I don't think there are shades of gray," said Dr. Vincent Iacopino, director of research for Physicians for Human Rights. "If they did not have the immediate threat of harm, they had the obligation if they witnessed abuses to say something about them."
The Defense Department issued a statement Friday taking "strong exception" to allegations made last week in the British medical journal The Lancet. An article by an American professor said doctors at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison falsified death certificates to hide killings, hid evidence of beatings and revived a prisoner so he could be tortured more.
The Defense Department says there is "no evidence" of that and objects to what it calls the "wholesale indictment" of U.S. medical personnel and care in Iraq. The statement says that if an ongoing investigation finds guilt, "those responsible will be held accountable."
Medical ethicists say that being silent while patients are harmed is a profound breach of ethics and the oath that doctors take. They have called for reforms of military medicine, more training for doctors to recognize signs of torture, and an independent, non-military-led investigation of the scandal.
The Lancet article was written by Steven Miles, a University of Minnesota professor who has researched human rights issues for 20 years. It was based on media reports, congressional testimony, sworn statements of detainees and soldiers, and medical journal accounts - not events he witnessed firsthand.
Miles, who unsuccessfully ran for a U.S. Senate nomination in 2000 as a Democrat in Minnesota, does not shed light on how many doctors were involved or how widespread the problem of medical complicity was, aspects he says he is now investigating.
The Lancet report follows an essay in the July 29 New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, noting mounting reports of abuses and urging military doctors to come forward with what they know. He alluded to incidents in the past where doctors had roles in torture or abuse, including the brutal experiments by Joseph Mengele and other Nazi doctors during World War II.
Being a doctor and being a soldier are not conflicting duties, said Martha Huggins, an author, sociologist and longtime torture researcher from Tulane University who spoke in June at an American Association for the Advancement of Science conference on the topic.
Even if officers or other military personnel were abusing prisoners and detainees, it doesn't mean the system expects a doctor to be complicit, she said.
"They put you in that position. They have validated that they want you to be a doctor," and that means doing no harm, Huggins said.
The American Medical Association has long had a policy against doctors joining in abuse "in any form," said Dr. Michael Goldrich, chairman of its council on ethical and judicial affairs.
"Participation in torture by physicians is the most egregious concern, but there are other levels that can range from physicians caring for patients to facilitate their return to interrogation and torture, or just awareness of the ongoing presence of torture," he said.
But written policies against abuse often fall away under the pressure of the kind of counterinsurgency war going on in Iraq, Lifton said. It's especially dangerous when the enemy is unclear and elusive, the war is on foreign and hostile territory, and involves non-whites, he said.
"In that kind of situation, you're likely to get atrocities that can include doctors," he said.
The messages doctors get from their leaders is important, Lifton said.
"It's one thing to have principles. It's another to be in a particular situation where the command environment powerfully either endorses, promotes or at least does little to discourage torture or abuse of prisoners," he said.
How this scandal is investigated and whether better monitoring and accountability come out of it are important, Iacopino said.
"There needs to be leadership to enforce effective documentation (of abuses) and to send a clear signal that this is what's wanted from health professionals, not complicity," he said.
Scandals like this also could undermine humanitarian work that many doctors do in war-torn countries for groups like the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.
"A doctor in a military prison or a prisoner of war camp is the first and last defense against human rights abuse," Miles said. "It is very important the doctors take seriously their independent stature...from the prisoner's side, if the doctor is silent or actively complicit in abuses, it tells the prisoner that you are completely beyond human concern, that you are completely lost."
(George W Bush, why have you and your war-criminal empire builders, Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Perle-Powell-Rice-Sanchez-Franks-Butcher of Fallujah Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmit--Why have you dirty mother fuckers taken the good name of the United STates of America and dragged us all through the BLOOD GUTS SHIT AND TORTURE AND DEATH of Saddam's torture chambers in ABU GHRAIB?
Q) Why don't we hear elCHIMP talking about the 'torture chambers' of Saddam, or the MASS GRAVES of SADDAM?
A) Because the United States Of America now has reopened the whole enchilada under NEW FUCKING MANAGEMENT...You_Dirty_Bastards.)
Aha!...They Got The Little Chimper_Bastard Eating THORAZINE!
Bush Using Anti-Depressants
Bush Using Anti-Depressants
By TERESA HAMPTON
Editor, Capitol Hill Blue
President George W. Bush is taking anti-depressant drugs to control his depression and paranoia, Capitol Hill Blue has learned.
The prescription drugs were ordered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician. Tubb prescribed the anti-depressants after a Bush walked off stage on July 7, refusing to answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay.
Bush’s emotional stability has become the topic of Washington whispers in recent months. Capitol Hill Blue first reported on June 4 about increasing concern among White House aides over the President’s wide mood swings and obscene outbursts.
Although GOP loyalists dismissed the reports an anti-Bush propaganda, the reports were later confirmed by prominent George Washington University psychiatrist Dr. Justin Frank in his book Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President. Dr. Frank diagnosed the President as a “paranoid meglomaniac” and “untreated alcoholic” whose “lifelong streak of sadism, ranging from childhood pranks (using firecrackers to explode frogs) to insulting journalists, gloating over state executions and pumping his hand gleefully before the bombing of Baghdad.”
Dr. Frank’s conclusions have been praised by other prominent psychiatrists, including Dr. James Grotstein, Professor at UCLA Medical Center, and Dr. Irvin Yalom, MD, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University Medical School.
“President Bush is an untreated alcoholic with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies,” Dr. Frank adds.
The White House did not return phone calls seeking comment on this article.
The exact drugs Bush takes to control his depression and behavior are not known. While Col. Tubb regularly releases a synopsis of the President’s annual physical, details of the President’s health and any drugs or treatment he may receive are not public record and are guarded zealously by aides that surround the President.
Veteran White House watchers say the ability to control information about Bush’s health, either physical or mental, is similar to Ronald Reagan’s second term when aides managed to conceal the President’s increasing memory lapses that signaled the onslaught of Alzheimer’s Disease.
It also brings back memories of Richard Nixon’s final days when the soon-to-resign President wandered the halls and talked to portraits of former Presidents. The stories didn’t emerge until after Nixon left office.
One long-time GOP political consultant who – for obvious reasons – asked not to be identified said he is advising his Republican Congressional candidates to keep their distance from Bush.
© Copyright 2004 Capitol Hill Blue
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE TERRORISTS WIN? Will A Senator with the Stature of Ted Kennedy Be Placed on Govt's NO FLY LIST?!?! Naaaa...
By David Walsh and Barry Grey
21 August 2004
Use this version to print Send this link by email Email the author
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on August 19, convened to discuss the September 11 commission’s recommendations, Senator Edward Kennedy revealed that for a period of five weeks this spring he had been repeatedly told he could not fly on commercial airplanes because his name was on the government’s “no fly” list.
The longtime Massachusetts Democratic senator (first elected to complete his brother John’s term in 1962, and now the second most senior member of the Senate) disclosed that between March 1 and April 6 airline agents had blocked him from boarding flights, mainly between Washington DC and Boston, on five separate occasions.
The 72-year-old Kennedy briefly recounted the Kafkaesque incidents: “He [the ticket agent] said, ‘We can’t give it to you ... You can’t buy a ticket to go on the airline to Boston.’ I said, ‘Well, why not?’ He said, ‘We can’t tell you.’ Tried to get on a plane back to Washington ... ‘You can’t get on the plane.’ I went up to the desk and said, ‘I’ve been getting on this plane, you know, for 42 years. Why can’t I get on the plane?’”
On each occasion, at Boston’s Logan International Airport, Washington’s Reagan National Airport and one other, airline supervisors ultimately overruled the ticket agents and permitted Kennedy to board his plane. All the flights were on US Airways.
Kennedy staff members eventually telephoned the Transportation Security Administration, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, and officials there promised to rectify the mistake. However, it took them several weeks to clear up the matter. In fact, only days after Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge called Kennedy in early April to apologize, another airline agent attempted to block the Massachusetts Democrat from boarding.
Kennedy commented at Thursday’s hearing, “If they have that kind of difficulty with a member of Congress, how in the world are average Americans, who are getting caught up in this thing, how are they going to be treated fairly and not have their rights abused?”
This seemingly bizarre episode is largely being treated as a joke in the US media. But it raises questions that are anything but amusing.
The secret “no-fly” list was instituted after the September 11 hijack bombings. The government will not disclose any information about the watch list. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has obtained FBI documents indicating that more than 350 Americans have been delayed or denied boarding since the list came into being. None of them, however, has been arrested or charged with any crime.
Senior ACLU counsel Reggie Shuford told the Washington Post, “That a clerical error could lend one of the most powerful people in Washington to the list—it makes one wonder just how many others who are not terrorists are on the list. Someone of Senator Kennedy’s stature can simply call a friend to have his name removed, but a regular American citizen does not have that ability. He [Kennedy] had to call three times himself.”
The ACLU has filed lawsuits in San Francisco and Seattle, demanding that the government explain how wrongly flagged travelers may get their names off the list.
The day after Kennedy’s revelation, Democratic Congressman John Lewis of Georgia reported that he too has been singled out for special scrutiny because someone on the watch list allegedly has the same name. Lewis told reporters he cannot obtain an electronic ticket, must show extra identification, and has his luggage checked by hand.
According to the Associated Press, Lewis said one airline representative in Atlanta told him, “Once you’re on the list, there’s no way to get off it.” A faculty member at the University of Houston, also named John Lewis, reported a similar problem.
There is some unclarity as to the name appearing on the watch list in the Kennedy incident. The Washington Post reports that “A senior administration official who spoke on condition he not be identified said Kennedy was stopped because the name ‘T. Kennedy’ has been used as an alias by someone on the list of terrorist suspects.” A number of media outlets carried the same version of the story.
Of course, “Ted” Kennedy’s real first name is Edward, and would appear as such on any ticket or identification documents, so why the senator’s name should set off alarms, even if a ‘T. Kennedy’ appeared on a “no fly” list, is a mystery that has not been explained.
The New York Times reports a different story: “The alias used by the suspected terrorist on the watch list was Edward Kennedy, said David Smith, a spokesman for the senator, who uses his full name, with a middle initial, of Edward M. Kennedy.”
Homeland Security officials, echoed uncritically by the media, present the Kennedy episode as an innocent mistake, an example of continuing glitches in the Homeland Security system. Even if one accepts the claim that Kennedy’s flight problems were the result of a mistake, considering what they reveal about the government watch list, the episode can hardly be deemed innocuous. If the seven-term senator from Massachusetts, one of the most prominent figures in national politics, can be treated as a terrorist suspect, then what are the implications of the government watch lists and databases for ordinary people?
Even if Kennedy got caught up in the Homeland Security network by mistake, the fact remains that scores of others have found themselves blocked from boarding planes because of their antiwar and anti-Bush political views.
There are, moreover, aspects of the Kennedy affair that cannot be so easily explained away. Why did it take Ridge four weeks to apologize, and why, after the mistake was supposedly corrected, was Kennedy stopped yet again?
Given the decade-long history of political conspiracy and provocation carried out by the Republican right against prominent Democrats—from the scandal-mongering and entrapment of Clinton that culminated in the Kenneth Starr witch-hunt, the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Clinton’s impeachment, to the stolen election of 2000, to the still unexplained anthrax attacks against Democratic leaders in Congress—the state harassment of Kennedy and Lewis, both of whom are considered in media and official circles to be “icons” of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, cannot be so casually dismissed.
With the installation of the Bush administration, the most right-wing forces within the US political establishment assumed power, and they have continued to employ the same methods they used to capture the White House. As a result, relations within the political establishment have become increasingly poisoned, even as the Democratic Party has continued to lurch to the right and sought to conciliate its Republican antagonists.
Events of the past few years have demonstrated that extreme right-wing elements in and around the Bush administration are moving toward the criminalization of political opposition.
In May 2003, for example, Republican officials in Texas, taking their lead from House Majority Leader Tom Delay,(CHEMICAL TOM, SLAUGHTERED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF HIS OWN PEOPLE WITH POISON GAS & WMD: COCKROACHES *aj*) called on the Department of Homeland Security to track down 53 Democratic state legislators who had boycotted the Texas House of Representatives and fled to neighboring Oklahoma in an attempt to block a redistricting bill that favored the Republicans. Delay asked the FBI to intervene and return the “fugitives” to Texas.
Two months later, in July 2003, a leading Republican in the US House of Representatives, Congressman Bill Thomas of California, called on Capitol police to oust Democrats from a room where they were caucusing. The Democrats were meeting to discuss how to deal with Republican legislation that would sharply reduce corporate payments to workers’ pension funds.
No serious investigation has ever been carried out into the attempted assassination of the Democratic leadership of the US Senate, when letters filled with anthrax spores were sent to the offices of senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy in the fall of 2001. The anthrax attacks are widely believed to have been carried out by right-wing elements with ties to the US military or intelligence apparatus.
Kennedy embodies the flaccid and impotent state of American liberalism. He is nonetheless demonized by elements within and around the Republican Party, who denounce him as a traitor for his criticisms of the Bush administration and its conduct of the Iraq war.
Was the airport harassment a deliberate act of political intimidation—a “shot across the bow” aimed at Kennedy and other congressional critics of Bush’s policies?
Another intriguing question arises: why did Kennedy remain silent during the five weeks of his harassment?
Was he concerned that the revelation would discredit the “no-fly” list and the panoply of sinister Homeland Security operations, which he and the rest of the congressional Democrats have endorsed? Did he sense that he was, in some way, being set up? Or did the incident have its desired effect of further intimidating a “liberal” critic?
In any event, Kennedy’s failure to immediately denounce these episodes amounts to one more Democratic capitulation to the police-state propensities of the Bush administration.
(I don't know what is worse in this story. The unsurprising revealations of what happens when fucking, crooked, murdering neo-cons steal *POWER* or the Pansy-assed opposition. *aj*)
Friday, August 20, 2004
Bush: A Study In Hate-Overdose, Lies, Deceit, Torture & Murder. Bush, He Approves These Things. Do You?
MSNBC staff and news service reports
Friday 20 August 2004
A simmering feud between the Bush and Kerry campaigns over a TV ad that denigrates Sen. John Kerry’s Vietnam war record moved toward the boiling point Friday as the Democratic nominee filed a complaint with federal officials that accused the president’s re-election campaign of breaking the law.
Kerry’s complaint to the Federal Elections Commission about the ads produced and aired by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth alleges "overwhelming evidence” that the veterans group is “coordinating its expenditures on advertising and other activities designed to influence the presidential election with the Bush-Cheney Campaign,” Kerry spokeswoman Allison Dobson told NBC News.
The complaint comes at the end of a week in which Kerry himself accused Bush of having the Swift Boat veterans do “his dirty work” and media reports have exposed connections between Bush, his family and other high-profile Texas politicians. In a Thursday speech, the Massachusetts senator said: “The fact that the president won’t denounce what they’re up to tells you everything you need to know.”
Steve Schmidt of the Bush campaign said charges that Bush is in league with the veterans’ group are “absolutely and completely false. The Bush campaign has never and will never question John Kerry’s service in Vietnam.” But the Bush campaign has, in fact, refused to specifically disavow the Swift Boat veteran’s ad, in which fellow Vietnam veterans say Kerry acted dishonorably to win the Bronze and Silver Stars and three Purple Hearts that he was awarded for his service in Vietnam.
Formal ties would be illegal Any formal ties between the Bush campaign and the veterans group would be against the law. Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth is organized as a non-party, independent political group under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, and coordination between a 527 group and a presidential campaign is illegal.
The Republican National Committee and the Bush-Cheney campaign filed a similar complaint last March that accuses the Media Fund, America Coming Together and several other anti-Bush groups of illegal use of so-called soft money (unlimited donations) and of illegal coordination with the Kerry campaign. And three campaign finance watchdog groups also have filed FEC complaints against the Swift Boat veterans group.
Any legal resolution of the matter would likely take months, if not years, campaign law experts told MSNBC.com.
In a campaign shadowed by the war on terrorism and in Iraq, Kerry’s valorous combat experience is a cornerstone of his campaign. After using the Democratic National Convention to improve his poll ratings on national security, Kerry remained silent as the criticism led to growing indications — much of it anecdotal, some in polling, party officials say — that his gains were eroding.
His medals are supported by Navy documents and the memories of all but one of the swift boat crewmates who served beneath Kerry, then a Navy lieutenant. The anti-Kerry group includes several veterans who say they witnessed Kerry’s actions from nearby swift boats.
Although the ad was released early in the month and created a stir then, more contention over it erupted this week when Kerry made his “dirty work” remarks at a Boston campaign stop. Those remarks came the day after the Washington Post published a story that showed official military records countered the statements made by one of Kerry’s most vocal critics, Larry Thurlow. Thurlow has disputed Kerry’s Bronze Star-winning assertion that he came under fire during a mission in Viet Cong-controlled territory. But Thurlow’s own military records contained several references to small arms fire that day, according to The Washington Post.
Thurlow said in a statement Thursday that his records were based on Kerry’s account.
Knowing several news organizations, including the Post, were investigating the claims of anti-Kerry veterans, the Democratic campaign swung into action late Wednesday — rewriting the candidate’s speech to a firefighters’ union overnight, flying two of his swift boat colleagues to Boston and producing a new campaign commercial, despite earlier plans to stay off the air until September.
The 30-second ad features a former Green Beret saying Kerry saved his life under fire. “He risked his life to save mine,” Jim Rassmann says.
On Friday, another newspaper report detailed ties between the veterans' group, Bush and his family, other high-profile Texas politicians and Bush’s chief political aide. The piece, in the New York Times, also listed inconsistencies in some of the veterans' own public statements on their regard for Kerry.
How the group known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "came into existence is a story of how veterans with longstanding anger about Mr. Kerry's antiwar statements in the early 1970s allied themselves with Texas Republicans," The Times said.
"A series of interviews and a review of documents show a web of connections to the Bush family, high-profile Texas political figures and President Bush's chief political aide, Karl Rove," the Times reported. "Several of those now declaring Mr. Kerry 'unfit' had lavished praise on him, some as recently as last year.
As Kerry denounced the criticism as “lies about my record,” aides privately acknowledged that they and their boss had been slow to recognize the damage being done to his political standing.
Three Purple Hearts, Bronze and Silver Stars Kerry won three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and Silver Star for Vietnam War combat. Bush served stateside in the Texas Air National Guard. Both men say the other served honorably, but their supporters are pouring tens of thousands of dollars into television ads and other tactics to insist otherwise.
MoveOn.org, a liberal group funded by Kerry supporters, is airing an ad accusing Bush of using family connections to avoid the Vietnam War.
Kerry advisers said they had heard from several Democratic politicians that voters were starting to ask questions about the candidate’s war record. The politicians urged him to fight back. Internally, there was an initial reluctance from senior advisers for Kerry to respond — because they believed that Bush would condemn the critical ad, or that the allegations would blow over.
As for the candidate himself, this was personal, aides said. He had heard the group was raising money for more ads, and was tired of his integrity being assaulted.
“Thirty years ago, official Navy reports documented my service in Vietnam and awarded me the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts,” Kerry said. “Thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. It still is. And I still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in Vietnam.”
Kerry aides said they will maintain the offensive through surrogates, if not Kerry himself. Democrats welcomed the response.
“Out of desperation, the Bush campaign has picked the wrong fight with the wrong veteran,” said Jim Jordan, former Kerry campaign manager who now runs an outside group airing ads against Bush. “Today’s the start of the mother of all backlashes.”
Kerry surrounded himself with friendly veterans and union workers to criticize the group airing the ad against him.
Bush and the White House refused to condemn the anti-Kerry ad, which stopped airing this week. When Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asked Kerry to condemn the MoveOn.org ad, Kerry quickly did so — though he has personally raised questions about Bush’s Vietnam-era service.
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which is funded in large part by Bob Perry, a Texas Republican, has knocked the Democratic nominee's campaign off stride with a small but effective advertising buy in the battleground states of Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The group spent about $500,000 on the ad, but its allegations that Kerry exaggerated his combat record to win medals have been on the Internet, the 24-hour cable channels and, most recently, the nation's major television networks and newspapers.
Bush leads in veterans' votes During the week ending Aug. 8, 966,000 people visited the anti-Kerry group's Web site, 34,000 fewer than those who visited Kerry's official site, according to Nielsen/Net Ratings. The new CBS poll found Kerry winning 37 percent of veterans' votes to Bush's 55 percent. (The two were tied at 46 percent after last month's Democratic National Convention, where Kerry highlighted his service.)
"They have been very effective at using the August lull to drive a story" in news outlets, said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.). Kerry, who planned to conserve resources by not buying television ads this month, will spend at least $180,000 to respond, his aides said.
Emanuel said Kerry has an opportunity to "turn this and backfire it on the White House," which is what the Democratic nominee began trying with his remarks Thursday. The campaign wants to convince voters that Bush and Rove are behind the effort, at least in spirit.
Perry, a Houston home builder, initially contributed $100,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and recently gave another $100,000. Perry has given millions of dollars to GOP efforts over the years, including $46,000 to Bush's gubernatorial campaigns in 1994 and 1998. He gave $2,000 to Bush's re-election campaign this year, records show. Seven of the 10 initial financial contributors to the veterans group have given to Bush's campaign this year, according to PoliticalMoneyLine.
Yet many of the veterans affiliated with the anti-Kerry effort do not have obvious relationships with the Bush campaign, nor do some of its donors.
Tad Devine, a top Kerry strategist, said Bush's refusal to condemn the content of the ad suggests an alliance. If Bush had, "that would have changed the whole chemistry of this debate," he said.
The dispute is unlikely to end soon. John O'Neill, a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and author of the anti-Kerry book "Unfit for Command," said the group raised nearly $500,000 from 10,000 donors in recent days.
The group released a new ad Friday, which hammers the Democrat for his war claims and his war protests after he left Vietnam, especially his claim that U.S. soldiers committed war crimes.
Kerry’s campaign was quick to release this response: "This is another ad from a front group funded by Bush allies that is trying to smear John Kerry. The newest ad takes Kerry's testimony out of context, editing what he said to distort the facts. He testified as a 27 year-old Vietnam veteran. He opposed a war that, at that point, cost over 44,000 lives of the 58,245 names that are on the Vietnam Memorial wall. It says a lot that the president refuses to condemn this smear. The American people want to hear how we're going to cut health care costs and strengthen the economy, not smears."
(Kerry seems to be waking up! Waking to the fact that these dirty bastards will stop at NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING. Chimp_junta, after all, has the BLOOD of some 30,000 Iraqi innocents, dead.
The BLOOD of over a thousand of our best young soldiers, DEAD. The BLOOD of nearly 25, 000 of our best young soldiers, MAIMED, DISABLED. Lives forever ruined. Hundreds of thousands more aliens seeking the United States for escape from Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and the middle east.
Who can forget the Vietnamese influx in '69, 70, 71, 72 and more? After Nixon?
Soon we will have a new 'Balkinization' in our communities: Displaced Iraqi nationals.
Where is the $22,000,000,000.00 BILLION DOLLARS that BUSH gave to CHALABI and his nephew, CURVE-BALL-CHALABI?
You, dear friend paid for that. You paid for the brand new fire stations in Baghdad, while our schools crumble. Don't let Bush and his Chimp_junta fool you: He is not hated and despised because he is the saviour of democracy.
Quite the opposite: He is hated and despised because he has returned the WORLD TO WAR, PESTILANCE, FAMINE, AND DEATH.
Bush deserves, along with his entire Hitlerian cabal, to be tried for his war crimes. My personal opinion is that he would be found GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY.
He Would Hang. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Powell, Rice, Franks, Kimmit, Sanchez--the Butchers of Iraq--would HANG BY THEIR NECKS UNTIL DEAD. We pray they will. In a perfect world, there could be no doubt they would hang or be shot at dawn by firing squad. That would never be perfect justice for what they have done, but it would go a long way in restoring the world's view of you and me. And America, as the Beacon of Hope...the American Dream?
Crazed terrorists did not take any of this from us. Chimp_junta, Bush, has taken this from us. Kerry ain't perfect, but he is a lot more of everything we need right now, than Bush, isn't he. Bush has NOTHING to present to you. He has accomplished the demolition of America and Iraq and Afghanastan, with out the capture of the people who actually hurt us.
Don't forget to vote in '76 days. If you forget, forget about America. It will be gone. *aj*)