Friday, April 29, 2005

WH plan to funnel Money to the Extreme religious Right

{The notice featured in this diary comes from a source "on the inside" who is fond of their job and will therefore remain nameless}

A seemingly innocuous memo was released today by the SBA, that essentially clears the way for the Federal government to directly fund the Republican's Theocratic allies.
For those of you who don't know the US SBA's job is to guarantee loans made by banks to small businesses. This means if the business fails, SBA will pay the lender roughly 75% of the remaining value of the loan. The guarantee allows large banks to take otherwise unacceptable risks and fund small and start-up businesses, which are traditionally very poor credit risks.If it works everybody wins, the economy grow, more people get jobs, the lender makes a profit etc. So Far so Good.

But my Spidey-sense started tingling today when my source sent me an SBA Information Notice entitled:

SBA Loans Allowed to For-Profit Subsidiaries of Not-For-Profit Organizations, Including Faith-Based Organizations

Seems harmless, but this "clarification" is Big Trouble

While this appears on the surface to be only a technical bulletin clarifying SBA's rules, the tone and emphasis of the notice make it very clear, what the real message is:

Pursuant to Executive Order 13342, signed by the President on June 1, 2004,
the SBA was, among other things, directed to incorporate community
organizations, including faith-based organizations, into the Agency's programs
and initiatives to the greatest extent legally possible.

In Washingtonese that meant the President expected SBA to move heaven and earth to twist the syntax of its rules to the maximum extent possible to find a way to fund these groups. And the SBA delivered:

The Agency is now clarifying that for-profit subsidiary companies of
community and faith-based organizations may be eligible for SBA financial
assistance. Clarifying is Washington speak for Changing
borrowers must meet certain eligibility requirements, found in subpart A
of 13 CFR Part 120. These regulations prohibit SBA loans to
not-for-profit businesses or businesses principally engaged in teaching,
instructing, counseling or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs, whether
in a religious or secular setting.

Until now, it was considered inappropriate (not to mention of a violation of the establishment clause of the 1st amendment) for federal funds to go be used to promote or proselytize a single sectarian of religious viewpoint over another.
So while SBA money could be used to fund a bookstore carrying a wide range of books about all religions, it wouldn't say, fund the book-store inside of a mega-church that only carried copies of it's pastor's writings.

Well, those quaint standards and rules are gone now. While technically keeping the rule intact they've just created a loophole you could fly an Airbus through:

However, for-profit subsidiaries of not-for-profit organizations(including
community groups and faith-based organizations)..are eligible for
financial assistance.. so long as these subsidiaries are not principally engaged
in teaching, instructing, counseling, or indoctrinating religion or religious
beliefs. {emphasis original}

In non-lawyer that means that its perfectly fine to engage in "teaching, instructing, counseling, or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs" just so long as they also create enough of a fig-leaf of "other business".

It very hard to see this as anything but a well timed plan to fund W's allies to the tune of several million dollars each. The same people pushing this expansion will be the people allowed to decide what constitutes "principally engaged" and something tells me they're going to have very lenient standards. What this means is that just as a major media, and public-relations war is brewing; W's allies can now free up a whole lot of their liquid cash reserves.

Any group such a Focus on the Family that has for-profit subsidiary (such as their publishing house) can now get about a million dollars (SBA loan ceiling) in federally guaranteed loan money) to finance their operations. This will allow them to use the money they raise from their faithful to be spent elsewhere, such as large media buys supporting the president's agenda.

This is also a very sneaky way for major financial institutions to get around campaign contribution limits. Banks and credit card companies, who owe the Republicans big time for the bankruptcy bill, can now return the favor. All the lender has to do is make loans to the "for profit" shell corporations of staunch Republican religious organizations, under the guise of SBA lending. While they can't use the loan funds directly to support a candidate, all money is interchangeable, and the organization, will suddenly have a lot more of to use however they see fit.

To make matters worse, the Banks won't even be donating their own money, they'll be donating yours and mine. Because SBA guarantees the loans, they have to cover the loss if they are defaulted on . This means when they aren't paid back, the lender force the SBA (Which means our tax dollars)to pay 75% of the balance, with interest!

The Republiban has said since the election that they would be seeking "payback" from this administration for their support. Who knew they meant it so literally?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The OTHER holy books to teach in Odessa

You knew, the way things were going, that this was going to happen Pretty soon. And you probably figured that when it happened it was gonna happen,in a dusty intolerant backwater of Texacaralaborgia. Still being right doesn't make it any less depressing. As reported by the AP today

ODESSA, Texas - The school board in this West Texas town voted unanimously to
add a Bible class to its high school curriculum. More than 6,000 Odessa
residents had signed a petition supporting the class.
the class should
be added to the curriculum in fall 2006 and taught as a history or literature
course. The school board still must develop a curriculum,

Now this is usually the part of the diary where I'd start jumping up and down, muttering about Lemon tests, and High Walls of Separation and pulling out the 37 8x10 color glossy photographs with the circles and arrows and....
But this time I say screw it.:

They know; they just don't especially care. Much Like the Brown v. Board of Ed. ruling last century, they are perfectly aware of what the Supreme Court and the Constitution requires them to do; they simply have no intention of doing it.

Now as rushed and obvious as this was, (the curriculum they just approved hasn't even been created yet) the good folks of Odessa aren't completely stupid. So, before destroying the intent of the 1st amendment they did at least pay a little lip service to its technical form:

The board had heard a presentation in March from Mike Johnson, a
representative of the Greensboro, N.C.-based National Council on Bible
Curriculum in Public Schools, who said that coursework designed by that
organization is not about proselytizing or preaching.
Johnson said students
in the elective class would learn such things as the geography of the Middle
East and the influence of the Bible on history and culture.
"How can
students understand Leonardo da Vinci's 'Last Supper' or Handel's 'Messiah' if
they don't understand the reference from which they came?" Johnson said.

How indeed? since of course we KNOW that students have no other avenues for being steeped in the culture of the predominant religion of their country, if it weren't for the public school system.

Whew! thank god the good Folks of Odessa stepped in to save western culture!

Okay we all know they are lying and this so-called expert testimony is merely a fig leaf for what the board really wanted; namely, yet another large national fight where whiny evangelicals can play the wounded victim of a big bad Liberal elite. And like I said Screw 'em. Certainly don't file a massive ACLU lawsuit against the school....Yet.
Instead we should take them at their word. We should come up with a list of other sacred works that are vital to the student's understanding of the greater culture and demand they be taught as well.

Here's my Short List:

The Koran: Well you certainly can't fully understand World politics, not to mention Algebra, basic astronomy and medicine, without an appreciation of the source document of the culture that produced them. Now since its utter heresy to translate the Holy Koran, we'll also have to hold Arabic language classes as well.

The Bhagvad-Gita: essential to fully appreciate history. When Robert Oppenheimer witness the first nuclear explosion he exclaimed "I am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds". How can you fully appreciate the importance of that statement, and that moment in history without a class on the 23,000 page epic poem from which the quote comes?

The Kama Sutra: Well they ARE teenagers after all, and if they are going to properly appreciate their favorite pastime....

Druidic holy writings : hmmm since they really weren't fans of writing things down we'll have to substitute Gardenerian writings and Drawing down the Moon (note to Celtic historians: I know, I know). But you HAVE to have these, neither Christmas nor Easter makes any sense at all without understanding the Pagan traditions they co-opted.

Writings of Aleister Crowley: How could any teenager even begin to appreciate the Paige/Plant oeuvre of Led Zepplin songs without reading Aleister? It is simply essential to their understanding of these cultural giants

hmmm what else do we need on the list?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

W's Bubble is about to meet a Chainsaw

This Should be fun to watch.

W is only giving two graduation addresses this year. One, the Naval Academy is a gimme. W loves to be surrounded by all those clean cut military types, makes him feel all Commander-in-Chiefy and whatnot.

The other, Calvin College, is a small Christian institution in Western Michigan, highly regarded for its contributions to evangelical intellectual thought. So the thinking behind choosing it was clearly to send a not so subtle message to W's Holy Base and again get great video of Bush speaking to a crowd guaranteed to adore him.


Apparently W's advance team has gotten a little sloppy with its homework. As reported by Dan "the best damn journalist at the WaPo" Froomkin Calvin College ain't exactly rabid W Country:

On closer inspection, it turns out that Calvin College is not the bastion of
the Christian Right it appeared to be. In fact, judging from my e-mail, it's a
veritable hotbed of those other Christian values -- the ones that oppose war,
work for social justice, and don't think much of the president at all

.And they ain't happy he's coming:

Professor Kenneth Pomykala, chair of Calvin College's Department of
Religion.. wrote to me that some members of the community "are unhappy with
Bush's visit because we believe that Christian values require public policies
that seek social justice, compassion for the disenfranchised, human rights, a
commitment to peace, care and preservation of the environment, and honesty, say,
from political leaders -- in short, policies opposed to the Bush

and the Professor has a fantastic subtle protest of his own planned:

"As a faculty member, I'm required to attend commencement, but I plan on
reading a book during the president's speech -- probably My Pet Goat."

In the immortal words of John Stewart : "OH! Snap!"

Nor is he a lone nut on an otherwise conservative faculty :

Kate Bowman, the student activities coordinator at the college, e-mailed to say:
"Many of us do not believe that Calvin's graduation ceremony is the proper forum
for a partisan political address, particularly from such a divisive and
controversial figure. . . .
"Many of us believe that his actions since
taking office contradict the teachings of the Gospel, and though we love
President Bush as our brother as we are called to love all (even our enemies),
we profoundly disagree with his appeals to Christianity to support his own
political aims."
"There is a lively and thoughtful discussion happening on
our in-house faculty listserv at the moment around the issue of Bush's visit.
Currently the hot topic is how protest should be approached at this event.
People want to be respectful without appearing to give a stamp of approval to
the actions of the administration

If I'm a Bush staffer (particularly Mysterious Earpiece Guy from Denver) I'm thinking "ruh-roh!"

And it isn't just the faculty, the students are pretty pissed off too:

And Raleigh Chadderdon,{a student} wrote that "the majority of
graduating seniors I've talked with since have generally been disappointed,
frustrated, and feeling betrayed by the school's decision to politicize our
graduation. . . .
"Once word was out, a significant number of students were
scrambling to counteract the event, setting up dialogue over e-mail which now
will hopefully take place on a public online venue, just recently started.
The Group is called
commencement is not Your platform

Think W's in for an interesting day of it?

And lets be Clear Calvin college isn't some liberal-Episcopal-nearly Unitarian bastion. It's a Calvinist school fer pity's sake (you know the whole "Sinners in the Hands of Angry God" guy?)
For the Public Debate and the future of this country this is HUGE.

This could be the moment where true Christians kick off a backlash against Republicans who have hijacked their faith for partisan ends. For too long we've let the Republicans hold the religious and moral high ground without a fight. Its time for devout Christians who have actually READ the bible (particularly the bits about loving thy neighbor, and loving thy enemy and how great it would be to be nice to people for a change )to stand up and let their voices be heard.

Middle America needs to be clearly shown that the supporting Republicans is NOT required by theirr faith or morals. There is a valid way to embrace Christian vlaues without embracing the sleaze merchants of the right. These educated and obviously devout Students (hey they CHOOSE to go to a Christian College) can help show them the way and re-ignite the public dialogue on what it means to be a Christian.

I always cringe on this site when I read statements that start "The Christians are doing X" when referring to the brain-washed so called evangelical shock troops of the extreme right. They CALL themselves Christian but I've rarely, if ever seen them behave in ways Christ recommended towards other people, particularly those who oppose them.

I proudly consider myself both a Christian, and a highly skeptical Roman Catholic. The God I honor and believe in is a god of Love and compassion, not of hatred and division. The Mortal incarnation of God spent most of his earthly life teaching love of every person and the duty of aid and compassion for those less fortunate than you.

His teachings are also fairly dripping with contempt for religious hypocrisy and self righteousness. He spent more time with the sinners than the saints of his day, and seemed to enjoy their company a lot more. And Jesus himself created the concept of separation of Church and State (Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, Render unto God what is God's)

That's MY Christianity and it has a proud legacy of working for social justice in this country. It was a tragedy of timidity that we let self-righteous bigots claim the mantle and proud legacy of its role in or country. Its time for that to change, and the brave students of Calvin college fire the first shots in the war to take back what is rightly ours.

Monday, April 25, 2005

New Gannon Dirt and how R's acted during the last male prostitute scandal

Thanks to a FOIA request by Reps Conyers and Slaughter (fighters of the good fight extraordinaire) when now have a brand new Gannon scandal to chew over. Its seems that our favorite Fake journalist/Fake Marine/male prostitute, Jim Guckert had access to the White House even on days when there were no press briefings. Worse yet, Secret Service entrance/exit logs are suspiciously incomplete numerous times regarding him.
Now since I think we all know where this is heading, I thought it'd be educational to see the self righteous tizzy the Republicans put them selves in the Last time this happened,(yep its happened before) when it involved Barney Frank and Stephen Gobie
For those of you coming in late Stephen Gobie was Barney Frank's housekeeper/boyfriend, who happened to be also running (likely unbeknownst to Barney) a male prostitution ring out of the apartment as well.

Of course the House Ethics Committee got involved (back in the quaint days when we had such a thing), and reprimanded Frank. But not before a whole slew of Republican's tried their mightiest to get Frank expelled or censured. Their rhetoric will be interesting to hand back to them when they try to bury the upcoming scandal as "minor"

First the House Republicans made a motion to override the reprimand and insist on censure ( a reprimand as we now know from Timmy the Hammer's troubles carries no obvious repercussions, a censure would have cost him his committee chairmanships)

Motion to Censure
136 Cong.Rec. H5655-01
Mr. Speaker I rise to
explain a motion to recommit, and to insist on censure, ... This entire scandal
is painful both for him and for his colleagues. Yet we are where we are. We have
the facts we cannot avoid. Some have suggested these facts are tainted by
partisanship or by lifestyle. Those charges sadden me almost beyond words....
There is no duty more important than maintaining the public respect for the
U.S. House of Representatives.
There is no duty more important than judging
our colleagues when they engage in improper contact.
People are looking for
a guidepost as to how they should live, how their institutions should behave,
and who they should follow. Our decisions are not made today about two
individuals; our decisions are made today about the integrity of freedom, about
belief in our leaders.

When that Motion failed; the Republicans led by the late and unlamented Mr Dannemeyer insisted Barney be expelled:

H. RES. 442
I was a deputy district attorney and a trial lawyer for years
on bothsides, plaintiff and defense, civil and criminal, and with that
background I began reading the report of the ethics committee
The truth of the matter is
that Mr. Frank has admitted that he committed a felony on
numerous occasions in the District of Columbia during the interval of April
1, 1985, through August
1987. Mr. Frank also admitted that he invited
for purposes of prostitution, which is a violation of DC Criminal Code
22-2701, maximum fine, 90 days in jail.Mr. Frank also admitted that he is
in viola tion of making lewd, obscene, or
indecent sexual proposals, which is a violation of DC Criminal Code 22-1112,
with a maximum of 90 days in jail.

{the Issue}today is simply this: Do we tolerate, do we condone a Member
of this body who knowingly ...associated with a
known prostitute?.

Mr. HOLLOWAY.I rise to say the ethics of this Nation looks at this House to
give us guidelines on what we do in the future. How can we ask a school teacher
who has committed crimes to resign if we are not willing to stand up in our

I am here to say that Frank has admitted enough to me to say that, as
a person who believes in the Christian ethics of this Nation, who believes that
the whole Nation looks at us to say that what you do should be OK for everyone
to do. If you are willing to let your Member get by with this, if you are
willing to accept this, what will we accept next?

Mr. DORNAN of California.
I want to raise this back to the higher issue
of whether Mr. FRANK should have resigned. My brother is a high school teacher,
Richard Dornan. This would have destroyed his career, anything remotely
approaching this. My career as an Air Force officer, finis, finished. As a
broadcaster in television, if I did not resign, I would be fired...
Any Republican would have lost in a primary. This is why I love my party, and there is a track record to prove it.
I will vote for expelling because you did not
have the honor or decency to resign.

How do we deal with revelations that Frank hired a male
prostitute to be his sexual partner? I say there is no special problem here. We
treat Frank the same way we would treat a heterosexual congressman who hired a woman prostitute, bedded her down in his domicile and let her operate a
prostitution ring from his place.We would be asking for the resignation, or
ejection from Congress, of the heterosexual lawmaker on grounds that his
behavior was egregiously offensive and his judgment so bad as to render him
unfit to make the laws of the land."

and those Voting to expel?:

Barton Bunning Burton Coble Crane Dannemeyer Dornan (CA)
Duncan Fawell Hall (TX) Hancock *Hastert * Herger Holloway Hopkins Hunter
Lightfoot Livingston McEwen Moorhead Packard Porter Quillen Robinson Rogers Roth
Sarpalius Schuette Schulze Shumway Smith, Denny (OR) Smith, Robert (NH) Smith,
Robert (OR) Stearns Stump Sundquist Vucanovich Wylie

Just thought you'd like to have these little quotes handy in about two weeks when the Republicans start the "Its no Big Deal" dance about Gannon/Guckert and his soon-to be discovered WH client.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Denny Hastert Dusts off the Joe McCarthy Playbook

In 1950, Sen. Joe McCarthy kicked off his facist reign of terror by striding up to a podium and announcing "I have a list of 122 Communists in the State Department.." while waving a large white piece of paper around.

Of course there WAS no such list, it was merely an excuse to start a withunt that destroyed thousands of innocent lives solely to enhance his personal power. 55 years after that fascist interlude, desperate Republicans are turing to that playbook again to save thier corrupt leader. Yesterday when responding to questions about an investigation of DeLay He also claimed to have a list.:

Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., warned Democrats that Republicans are ready to
investigate allegations of Democratic wrongdoing.
In a radio interview with
broadcaster Sean Hannity, Hastert said there were "four or five cases out there
dealing with top level Democrats." He did not name them.

Well of course he didn't name them. he has no idea who they are yet.

Its officially gotten ugly.

We are watching the Republican defense of Timmy the Hammer unfold and you know what? Its pretty good. Nobody has ever called DeLay and his cabal stupid. Evil, amoral, slimy, soul-sucking parasites hell bent on destroying everything good and decent? Yes. Stupid no.

Essentially the Republicans are launching a counter-attack on three fronts
First Tommy himself is rallying the Troops on the far right flank. I now believe that his over the top ranting about judges and the handling of the Schiavo case, was not an accident but clever pre-positioning.

Having embraced the lunatic fringe of his party so visibly and completely; he can now credibly cast himself as a Martyr to the Cause. All his trouble are caused by a conspiracy of Liberals (especially the subspecies Elite and Media, which are the very favorite boogeyman of the far right) who Hate him because they Hate God and Hate America. Its all a conspiracy, a plot, a nasty political smear. You know those liberals, they'll say or do anything.

Of Course to swallow this, you have to Pay no attention to the fact that Tommy has spent most of this session quietly gutting the ethics committee and House rules to protect himself against these Scurrilous charges that are total fabrications. Maybe Psychic Jon Edwards has been giving him political advice.

Since the game of Blame the Liberals isn't going so well. Republicans have decided to open up a second front. This one is aimed at Centrists and tries to paint the Dems as obstructionists, and opportunists who are blocking the ethics panel for partisan reasons.
They decided to offer a show trial of the Big Kahuna. This was to grab headlines and make the republicans seem "fair and balanced"; Afdter all they are invesigating a fellow republican arent they? The Dems were supposed to cave in to avoid looking bad.

For this move the trotted out Delay's new tame , hand-selected Chairman of the ethics committee, to make a sweetly reasonable offer:
The ethics committee's Republican chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings, made a surprising
offer to investigate DeLay. Hastings proposed the DeLay investigation at a
news conference flanked by three of the four other Republicans on the ethics

See? Perfectly reasonable as long as you don't notice the fine print that would make even a used car dealer blush

The proposal will go nowhere unless the Democrats provide votes to allow the
committee to conduct business. The new rules provide for automatic dismissal if
the committee doesn't act within 45 days

In other words, they're perfectly willing to have Their Leader investigated, so long as they can do it under the kangaroo court rules They've trumped up specifically to defend him. Notice that only 4 of 5 Republican panel members attended the press conference. Any guesses who the absent one was? anyone? Bueller? anyone?

Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas did not attend.

hmmmm wonder why that might be? Could it be because Smith is DeLay's handpicked panel member, a member who owes his seat to the very shenanigans that DeLay is being investigated for, and the guy who has already written fat checks to Delay's legal defense fund? Could that be it? wouldn't do to remind everyone that at present any investigation would be a sham because DeLay has hand selected the Judges.

Fortunately the Dems, who have apparently been eating their wheaties of late, stood fast and did not blink

Senior committee Democrat Alan Mollohan of West Virginia quickly rejected the
offer, saying his party would continue blocking the panel unless a bipartisan
task force was appointed to write new rules for investigating lawmakers.
"The first principle in doing it right is that it be bipartisan," said
Mollohan. "That's a beginning point for me."
Mollohan would not say whether
he supported an investigation of DeLay, commenting that his effort to change the
rules is "totally independent from any specific case."

Dems Know that the American people can smell a cover-up a mile a way and they are sniffing one on the wind now, so they are content to leave their chips on the felt and let it ride.
Which is why the Big Guns are now going off. Having failed to smear them, and having failed to embarrass them with phony offers; Coach Denny is now resorting to naked threats. Its impossible to view his claim of a phantom list any other way than: "if you take out Tommy we are going to make you bleed in return"

This is the scorched earth, abuse of power strategy. Its telling how far Bug-man's back is to the wall that Republicans have decided to break out the Tailgunner Two-step to save his skin. (memo to Denny: , it didn't end particularly well for Ol' Joe, just so you know.).

The fact that all their other ploys have failed is a very good sign for us. The harder they struggle, the more resources they commit to this fight, the easier it is to use it as a national issue in '06. Unfortunately it also means that the road ahead might get very bumpy and bloody before we are done taking out DeLay

Buckle Up everyone

Monday, April 18, 2005

Tom Delay threatening armed violence?

Tom Delay is starting to lose it. Every day a new shoe drops and every day Tom acts a little more batshit crazy.

First we had his famous threats to Federal judges

and then his Spit-take Stupid Statement that the Democrats are trying to shut down the ethics committee so it can't clear him (and his bonus threat to "investigate" major newspapers that print critical stories about him)

But now Tom leaps over the deep end by subtly threatening armed violence against his political opponents.

At least that's how I read his statements, you be the judge:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, {gave the} keynote speech at the National
Rifle Association's annual convention Saturday evening.
DeLay {told} members
of the gun-rights group that he appreciated their support.
"When a man is in
trouble or in a good fight, you want to have your friends around, preferably
. So I feel really good,"

Now on the one hand this could be viewed as typical audience pandering by a politician speaking to a group that fetishizes firearms as the answer to all life's problems. But I don't see any reason to let Timmy the Bug off that easily.

This was no off the cuff remark to a reporter, this was a scripted prepared speech. The words were not accidental or impromptu. Furthermore, the venue of the remarks is not accidental either. The NRA and its membership has a long history of giving tacit and sometimes explicit support to right wing terrorist groups, and have often expressed violent anti-law enforcement views


Mainstream America is counting on you to draw your sword and fight for them.
These people have precious little time and resources to battle misguided
Cinderella attitudes, the fringe propaganda of the homosexual coalition, the
feminists who preach that it is a divine duty for women to hate men, blacks who
raise a militant fist with one hand while they seek preference with the other
..." -Charlton Heston, Past NRA president

"Already a couple of the faithful have sent in checks for a foundation memorial
to the innocents who perished at the hands of the ninja at Waco. ... I have been
criticized by referring to our federal masked men as "ninja" ... a man who
covers his face shows reason to be ashamed of what he is doing. A man who takes
it upon himself to shed blood while concealing his identity is a revolting
perversion of the warrior ethic.
It has long been my conviction that a
masked man with a gun is a target. I see no reason to change that view."-Jeff
Cooper NRA Board Of Directors

" If you consider the Constitution less relevant, if you ignore or distort
the Second Amendment, if you conspire to make lawful firearms less accessible to
lawful citizens, if you infiltrate school boards and churches and legislatures
and foundations to advance an anti-freedom agenda of any kind -- the fact that
you were born on American soil won't mask the fact that you're an enemy of
freedom and a political terrorist."
_Wayne LaPierre NRA CEO and VP of the
Board of Directors

and lets not forget Bug-man's opening act at the convention, noted Idiot and NRA Board Member Ted Nugent:

With an assault weapon in each hand, rocker and gun rights advocate Ted
Nugent urged National Rifle Association members to be ''hardcore, radical
extremists demanding the right to self defense,'' reports The Associated Press.
He drew the most cheers when he told gun owners they should never give up
their right to bear arms and should use their guns to protect themselves if
''Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em!'' he screamed to applause. ``To
show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want
burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court
case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they
attack you, shoot 'em.''

If someone uttered anything like Delay's remarks in a public forum and directed them towards W, you can bet the Secret Service would come calling the very next day and have some unpleasant words for the poster. Supposedly we live in age where All Threats Are Taken Very Seriously. Well Tom Delay Wasn't speaking in a neutral forum but a place noted for its propensity to violence and extremism. Yet I'm not holding my breath for an investigation or even an official censure of his remarks

Why is a Politician of Tom Delay's Stature being given a pass on this? The remarks may have been nothing more than Tommy playing pander-bear for his core base. But that's no reason not to condemn the speech.

At the very least, the remarks reflect Hot Tub Timmy's increasingly tin ear for public statements (a very bad trait for a politician) and highlights his growing sense of paranoia. Even his most ardent supporters can't have failed to notice his growing signs of mental imbalance.

As the wolves circle closer and closer Tommy's denial of reality grows larger and more grandiose. First it was a "little partisan prosecutor" that the Powerful majority Whip dismissed with a wave of his hand and a change of House Rules. Then it was "baseless allegations", that the Hammer barely deigned to give notice to.Most recently he's cast himself as the victim of a grand conspiracy of liberals, a would be martyr of the conservative movement. Now as his persecution complex grows he's making speeches praising his armed followers.

Haven't we seen the last reel of this movie before, and doesn't it always end badly?

Friday, April 15, 2005

The War: views from inside and outside "the bubble"

Our commander in Chief retreated this week into the safest of all his bubbles and held a rally where the attendees were required by law to cheer from him. At Ft Hood Texas the president dished out his delusional world view before a captive audience. For him the War ended two years ago an was a stunning success


This {is the} anniversary of the liberation of Baghdad. (Hoo-ah!) Coalition
forces crossed more than 350 miles of desert in 21 days, and that achievement
will be studied as the fastest armored advance in military history. (Hoo-ah!)
We protected civilian lives while destroying the Republican Guard's
Medina Division, pushing through the Karbala Gap, and, on April 9th, we
liberated the Iraqi capital. (Hoo-ah!)

This speech revealed just how increasing divorced from reality Bush has become about the war an its consequences. To hear him tell it, the was was over two years ago, and Us troops have been hanging around essentially to take a victory lap.
Meanwhile, on the ground in the "liberated Iraq" things aren't nearly as clean and tidy

Sgt. 1st Class Domingo Ruiz watched A man carrying a machine gun get out and
begin to transfer weapons into the trunk of one of the cars. "Take him down,"
Ruiz told a sniper. The sniper fired his powerful M-14 rifle and the man's head
exploded After the ambush, the Americans scooped up a piece of skull and
took it back to their base as evidence of the successful mission.

No gallant liberations and mad rushes to conquer cities here, just the deadly meat grinder of modern urban warfare:

The March 12 attack -- swift and brutally violent -- bore the hallmarks of
operations that have made Ruiz, 39, a former Brooklyn gang member, renowned
among U.S. troops in Mosul
"Our battles have been beyond ruthless," said
Ruiz, adding that he believes most Americans have little understanding of how
the conflict is being fought.
"An urban counterinsurgency is probably the
ugliest form of warfare there is," said Capt. Rob Born, 30, the C Company

Over in Bushworld, however, there is no such bloody grunt work. There the Iraqi war was an unqualified success that people all over the world are celebrating:

the liberation of Baghdad, (Hoo-ah!) for millions of Iraqis and Americans,
it is a day they will never forget.
The toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue
in Baghdad will be recorded, alongside the fall of the Berlin Wall, as one of
the great moments in the history of liberty.

I wonder if the average Iraqi huddling in fear outside the Green Zone feels terribily "liberated"?
And correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the Fall of the Berlin Wall was a staged US Army Psy-ops Corps operation so I'm pretty sure it ranks just a leetle higher on the All Time Inspiring Moments chart.

Not content with self-glorifying hyperbole, Bush then launched into historic revisionism truly worthy of George Orwell:


From the beginning, our goal in Iraq has been to promote Iraqi independence
-- by helping the Iraqi people establish a free country that can sustain itself,
rule itself, and defend itself,"

Okay so that's the reason we Went to war! To Liberate the Iraqis!
Okay got it.
But, uhhh, hang on a sec, I think I remember that during the war You said :

"Getting rid of Saddam Hussein's regime is our best inoculation. Destroying
once and for all his weapons of disease and death is a vaccination for the
world."-Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader Washington Post

Intelligence gathered by this and other
governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and
conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.-George Bush Address
to the Nation
March 18, 2003

Well, there is no question that we
have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction,
biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the
course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.-Ari Fleisher Press
March 21, 2003

"One of our top objectives is to find
and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites. "-Pentagon Spokeswoman
Victoria Clark, Press
March 22, 2003

"We still need to find and secure
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction facilities and secure Iraq's borders so we
can prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction materials and senior regime
officials out of the country."-Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense Press

"But make no mistake -- as I said earlier
-- we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is
what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be
found."-Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary Press

For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one
issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because
it was the one reason everyone could agree on.

Paul Wolfowitz Vanity
Fair interview
May 28, 2003

Well. That's Odd, I didn't hear the words, Iraqis, Independence, Democracy or Freedom. anywhere in that list of reasons. I guess I'm just reading it incorrectly, since, after all, we've Always been at war with Iraq to Liberate it, Dear Leader Just said so....

{and don't you forget it Winston}

Of Course, speaking of flimsy justifications, no Bush Speech would be complete without a 9/11 reference:

The terrorists have made Iraq a central front in the war on terror. Because of
your service, because of your sacrifice, we are defeating them there where they
live, so we do not have to face them where we live. (Hoo-ah!) Because of you,
the people of Iraq no longer live in fear of being executed and left in mass
graves. Because of you, freedom is taking root in Iraq. Our success in Iraq will
make America safer, for us and for future generations.

Well, if we're being charitable we can concede this one is at least technically true.

But there's a bit of a Chicken and Egg problem here. The 9/11 Commission concluded that there was no connection between Iraq and terrorism before the war, so any connection afterwards must be the fault of how the invasion and occupation was handled, and that would be the fault of......

No... no that would be disloyal, can't suggest that the war has made the world far MORE dangerous can we?

The President sees the war as sweeping victories and amazing cavalry charges ( ignoring conveniently that a previous war and ten years of sanctions had rendered his opponent, militarily speaking, slightly weaker offensively than Sister Mary Luise's 7th grade field hockey team.

The Soldiers in the mud seem a much different, if all too familiar war.

Infantrymen with C Company said no soldier is more ruthlessly proficient at
fighting the insurgents than Ruiz, a son of Puerto Rican parents who grew up in
the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. Ruiz's unit, the 4th Platoon, has killed at
least 15 suspected insurgents in the past two months, according to soldiers.
It is a war that Ruiz said reminds him of his youth as a member of the Coney
Island Cobras, a Brooklyn street gang. He said he applies many of the principles
he learned in the rough neighborhoods where he grew up: Bay Ridge and, later,
the projects in Caguas, Puerto Rico, where he moved with his mother as a
"What I see here, I saw a long time ago," he said. "It's the same
Want to bet that Ruiz's recruiting Sergeant told him he could escape the gang life if only he signed up?. And if you live in a Gang infested area , I don't need to tell how much warm and fuzzy the local residents have for their neighborhood gang. (remember how important those hearts and minds are supposed to be?

But that's the truth of this war that Bush's bubble can't handle. Because of his inept planning and execution of the war, real soldiers are being forced to transform themselves into sociopaths to survive the ugliest combat environment imaginable:

The platoon calls itself the "Violators." Its patch depicts a leering skull
clad in a green beret, blood dripping from its mouth. Its motto is "Carpe
Noctum," or "Seize the Night.
Ruiz said one reason for the platoon's
success was his willingness to act decisively and ruthlessly. "It's important
for my soldiers to know that we're not going to hesitate to annihilate the
Acting swiftly, he said, "sends a message to the enemy that we're
not playing games. If you engage us, you are going to die."
Ruiz said the
decision to pick up the skull fragment and take it back to the base was a
"sarcastic" gesture to confirm the kill to the battalion. Born, who was not
present during the attack, said the soldiers picked up the fragment not as a
trophy, which is prohibited under military regulations, but to confirm "that we
had the remains of a terrorist."

Why do I think the "catastrophic successes" of this war have only just begun?

Monday, April 11, 2005

The beginning of the End for Neo-cons (+ the stupidest quote of the year)

For the minions of the PNAC, the end is nigh. Conservatives with some residual decency have begun to turn on their neo-con brethren.

Yesterday, while All eyes were fixed on Rome, Richard Perle and Gen Wesley Clark had a rematch in front of the same house Armed Service Committee they testified before in 2002 on the eve of the invasion.

Things went a little differently this time:

Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. ..a conservative Republican from North Carolina.. turned his fury on Richard N. Perle

Jones, who said he has signed more than 900 condolence letters to kin of fallen soldiers, pronounced himself "incensed" with Perle.

"It is just amazing to me how we as a Congress were told we had to remove this man . . . but the reason we were given was not accurate," Jones told Perle at a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

Jones said the administration should "apologize for the misinformation that was given. To me there should be somebody who is large enough to say 'We've made a mistake.' I've not heard that yet."

But apologies apparently aren't Perle's thing:

Perle wasn't about to provide the apology Jones sought. He disavowed any responsibility for his confident prewar assertions about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, heaping the blame instead on "appalling incompetence" at the CIA.

As if that buck passing wasn't enough, he then pulled the rarely seen triple axel fact twist and blamed Saddam Hussein's agents for goading us into an attack Really. I couldn't make this up:

Perle wasn't about to provide the apology Jones sought. He disavowed any responsibility for his confident prewar assertions about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, heaping the blame instead on "appalling incompetence" at the CIA.

As if that buck passing wasn't enough, he then pulled the rarely seen triple axel fact twist and blamed Saddam Hussein's agents for goading us into an attack Really. I couldn't make this up:

"There is reason to believe that we were sucked into an ill-conceived initial attack aimed at Saddam himself by double agents planted by the regime. And as we now know the estimate of Saddam's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction was substantially wrong."

There it is folks, the single most mind-blowingly asinine thing ever said in Washington. Its a high bar, I know, but Perle cleared it.

This was apparently about when Rep. Jones' gag reflex kicked in:

Jones, nearly in tears as he held up Perle's testimony, glared at the witness. "I went to a Marine's funeral who left a wife and three children, twins he never saw, and I'll tell you, I apologize, Mr. Chairman, but I am just incensed with this statement."

There's nothing like coming face to face with the costs of war to reveal its utter folly.

In the wake of three or four Major reports blasting the intelligence that led to the War in Iraq; and the inept planning and execution of the post war period, you might think that one of its chief architects would be a little humble when facing a Congressional oversight panel.

You might think that, but then you don't know Our Man Rich, who approached this hearing as, apparently, an annoyance in his otherwise busy day. He even bought a bit of light reading with him:

Perle's reading material -- he put on the witness table a copy of "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly" -- suggested he was not expecting what was to come.

That's right, you read that correctly. The man responsible for n 1600+ dead and 50,000+ wounded American soldiers, 200+billion in cost overruns, and the utter destruction of civil society in Iraq, brought a book with him in case he got bored!.

If I even attempt to convey my feelings about that I'm going to sound like Chris Rock with Tourettes.

breathe...breathe ...Phew!

Perle needn't have had worries about boredom however as he instead ran into a buzzsaw on both sides of the aisle. And helping run the Sawmill was none other than our hero, Gen Wesley, "I freakin' TOLD, you this would happen" Clark.

Clark, could not resist piling on Perle. Intelligence estimates "are never accurate, they are never going to be accurate, and I think policymakers bear responsibility for what use they make of intelligence," the retired general lectured.

Less charitable minds might have seen Gen Clark's testimony as a bit of payback from the last time these two testified together and Mr. Perle was,- less than charitable himself, towards General Clark:

As chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, Perle had gone before the same committee in 2002 and smugly portrayed retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who urged caution in Iraq, as "hopelessly confused" and spouting "fuzzy stuff" and "dumb clichés."

{he dismissed} Clark's argument that "time is on our side" in Iraq and that force should be used only as a "last resort."

Perle said Clark was "wildly optimistic" and called it "one of the dumber clichés, frankly, to say that force must always be a last resort." While Clark fiddled, "Saddam Hussein is busy perfecting those weapons of mass destruction that he already has."

Ahh but reality can be such a Bitch sometimes can't she?

In retrospect, Clark's forecasts proved more accurate than Perle's, and even Republicans on the committee made little effort yesterday to defend Perle or to undermine Clark.

MOST Republicans that is. It was a little too much to expect the entire party had gone "reality based all at once.

The exception was Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who pressed Clark to acknowledge that the Iraq invasion should get some credit for signs of democracy in the region.

Clark however, was not only prepared but ready willing and able to return fire, and it wasn't pretty for the bad guys

We've got to do a lot less crowing about the sunrise," Clark rejoined.

When Hunter's GOP colleagues didn't join his line of questioning, he took another turn grilling Clark. The chairman likened President Bush's Middle East policies to those of President Ronald Reagan in Eastern Europe.

"Reagan never invaded Eastern Europe," Clark retorted.

In another try, Hunter said Clark was "overstating" the risk in challenging other countries in the Middle East. Clark smiled and showed his trump card -- reminding Hunter of their exchange at the 2002 hearing. "I kept saying time was on our side," Clark said. "I could never quite satisfy you."

As for who proved correct, the general said, "I'll let the record speak for itself."

Indeed. We call that in the vernacular a double atomic smack-down. (Why wasn't this guy our Candidate again?)

The record is in fact our most powerful weapon now. In their spectacular arrogance, the Neo-cons made a lot of lofty absolute predictions and pronouncements; but, of course, none of them have even begun to touch reality. Even the Republicans with consciences (unknown exactly how many of the mutant hybrids there are in captivity at the moment) are beginning to sit up and take notice. The first batch of Kool-aid is wearing off and they don't seem all that eager to drink another glass.

We cannot let those idiotic prophecies and arrogant words simply slip away down the memory hole. We need to throw there words back in their face at the slightest opportunity.

O6 needs to be the Year of "I told You So"

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Not even waiting until the Body is cold: Does W have any decency left?

The passing of Pope John Paul II has certainly become the biggest media story of this still young decade, and one with a uniquely global impact. Love him or despise him (and certainly there are many who fervently do both) there is no denying that This pope was a man who had enormous respect and influence worldwide.

Perhaps then it is no surprise that George W. and his merry men, who have neither in the international community, are trying desperately to co-opt his legacy now that he is no longer alive to defend himself. Still the speed and shamelessness with which they are moving is sickening to watch.

They haven't even waited until the body was completely cool, before turning him into a posthumous Republican and Bush supporter. Here's our ambassador to the Vatican on Fox News Sunday suddenly and conveniently claiming JP's private imprimatur on the Iraq war:

"Well, the last meeting I had with him was just a few weeks ago with my wife and
I in his apartment when I was getting ready to leave Rome. The discussion
he wanted to have that morning with me was about President Bush, who he admired
greatly for his value system, and what we in America wanted to do now with our
power, and the expression and use of this power that we had. And I was able to
tell him that we want to fulfill our number one goal of our foreign policy,
which is to enhance human dignity worldwide, which is the same goal that he had"

Really? the Pope admired his value system and his foreign policy?! You're sure about that?

Strange ,and just a little surprising, since back when he was actually alive and all, the Pope had this to say about the Iraq war:

`War cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common
good, except as the very last option and in accordance with very strict
conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population both
during and after the military operations.''
- Annual speech to Vatican
diplomatic corps as the Iraq war loomed, Jan. 13, 2003.

`When war,
as in these days in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is ever more urgent
to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that only peace is the road to
follow to construct a more just and united society. Violence and arms can never
resolve the problems of men.'

- Address to television broadcaster Telepace
in first public remarks following start of Iraq war, March 22, 2003.

And the last time W visited ABCNews gave this account of their private meeting:

The pontiff used his sessions with Bush to emphasize his feelings about the
war in Iraq, to convey his repulsion about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S.
troops and to register his opposition to Bush's support for the death

Apparently that went in one ear and out the Other where W was concerned (not all that suprising really); and on the occassion of the Pope's death W gave a public statement that made him sound an awful lot like the Pope's pastor, rather than a world leader, who the Pope had recently admonished:

Laura and I join people across the Earth in mourning the passing of Pope
John Paul II. The Catholic Church has lost its shepherd, the world has lost a
champion of human freedom, and a good and faithful servant of God has been
called home.

If you listen to the audio Bush takes special care to emphasize the word "freedom in that special clipped diction of his. He effectively transforms that transforms it from the ordinary "freedom" to Freedom(TM), the word he repeated 20-odd times in his inaugural address.
That word doesn't mean human liberty, and autonomy, but "my right to invade your country and destroy it , just so long as I let you vote for Prime Rubble Removal Minister afterwards".

Of all the things he could have called John Paul a champion of (social Justice, Compassion, PEACE) isn't it terribly convenient he picked the one that echoed his campaign themes?
It was bad enough listening to W parrot the phrase "Culture of Life" when his devout support of the death penalty, economic injustice, and his reckless rush to war made it clear he'd never read the famous encyclical beyond the dust jacket. But this Posthumous despoiling John Paul's Legacy and complexity before he's even decently interred in the ground is beyond the pale even in these crassly political times.

Wait did I say "beyond the Pale" and "crassly political"? You know this sounds an awful lot like the work of ....Yep. Karl Rove

President Bush has been making a concerted effort to win support among
Catholic voters. Mr. Bush's efforts are part of an overall drive by his chief
adviser, Karl Rove, to make inroads among typically Democratic groups of voters.

We've known for a long time that the Republicans had few morals and even fewer scruples, but robbing a corpse seems low even for them. John Paul II left no tangible earthly estate behind and has only his moral legacy to be remebered by. This is however, a poweful legacy that is influential to millions of Catholics and Christians worldwide. We should not let the other side claim his legacy as their own and pervert it to their ends. Many of us disagreed mightily with him on issues of private sexual morality, but is there anyone who disagrees with this sentiment?:

(from Evangelium Vitae the letter wherein he first used the phrase "culture of Life")

whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as
mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will
itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions,
arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women
and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are
treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons;
all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human
society, and they do more harm to those who practise them than to those who
suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonour to the

Friday, April 01, 2005

Watch A cover-up unfold in plain sight and real time:
WMD Report footnote 830 to chapter 1

There is a separate issue of how policymakers used the intelligence they were
given and how they reflected it in their presentations to Congress and the
public. That issue is not within our charter and we therefore did not consider
it nor do we express a view on it.

Senator Pat Robert's Statement to the Press 3/31/05

Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he was
pleased by the report and indicated that it concludes all inquiries into
intelligence used to make the case for going to war with Iraq.
"I don't
think there should be any doubt that we have now heard it all regarding prewar
intelligence," the Kansas Republican said. "I think that it would be a
monumental waste of time to re-plow this ground any further."

Yep, total waste of time to look into anything else, like say, Whether the Intelligence was deliberately manipulated to start a war

And that is what a cover-up in Washington really looks like.

We love to imagine shadowy figures in darkened offices making cryptic phone calls and surreptitious trips to the shredder. We love to trace down seemingly telling connections between corporations and people in power. But in truth, 90%of the time, that's not how things get done in real Washington where cover-ups happen in plain sight everyday.
Why go through all the trouble of hiding evidence when so much easier just to play the

Washington Report Game?:

1)Announce with great fanfare, a Blue Ribbon Commission to look into whatever makes you look bad. Talk up the resumes of the members and the wide-ranging scope of their mandate.

1a.)Of course, in the fine print of the authorizing order or legislation, be sure to carefully limit their mission to avoid uncovering anything actually damaging

2) Refuse to provide any answers to tough questions while the Commission is investigating. Simply say "The Commission is looking into that and we'll wait for their report" or the ever popular "We won't comment on an ongoing investigation". With luck you've made sure it will take many months for the commission to do even a halfway decent job. By the time they are finally done writing the report, its likely that most people will have lost interest and/or the election will be over

3) Embrace the report, no matter how critical in the details, secure in the knowledge that few if any reporters or members of the public have the stamina to wade through a 3,000 page government document. Have your allies on the commission spend all of their energy shaping the executive summary since most people will never get past that.

4)Even though you've carefully limited the scope of the commission, hold forth that their report complete and comprehensive, and that you now consider the matter closed.

Congratulations! You've successfully pulled off a cover up in full view of hundreds of reporters and the American people

That's just what happened today.

Thanks to our very thorough commissions we know Who screwed up the Pre-war intelligence, We know exactly How they dropped the ball, and we know What they failed to tell us. What we don't know, at least not officially, is Why. Unfortunately that's a question the Republicans have just publicly declared will never be answered.

We aren't going to be told WHY 50,000 American servicemen were wounded, and 1600+ killed, to Protect us from an enemy who posed no threat to us.

We aren't going to be told WHY The Office of Special Plans was created.

We aren't going to find out WHY Doug Feith, a man with no intelligence experience, was put in charge of this office and WHY A decorated former intelligence analyst who worked there has stated:

I saw a narrow and deeply flawed policy favored by some executive appointees in
the Pentagon used to manipulate and pressurize the traditional relationship
between policymakers in the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies.
witnessed neoconservative agenda bearers within OSP usurp measured and carefully
considered assessments, and through suppression and distortion of intelligence
analysis promulgate what were in fact falsehoods to both Congress and the
executive office of the president.

We aren't going to be told WHY, according to Bob Woodward Dick Cheney asked Clinton's defense secretary about invading Iraq BEFORE W was even inaugurated and WHY hours after the planes hit the World Trade Center, Rumsfeld was already planning an attack on Iraq:

Page 9: The first sign of the Bush administration's desire to attack Iraq comes
days before Bush's 2001 inauguration. Dick Cheney asks outgoing Defense
Secretary Bill Cohen to brief the president "about Iraq and different options."

Page 25: Hours after the Sept. 11 attacks, Donald Rumsfeld asks Pentagon
colleagues about the possibility of striking Saddam Hussein. An aide records in
his notes: "hit S.H. @ same time--not only UBL [Usama Bin Laden]."

And we'll never be told WHY Richard Clarke has said that:

as early as the day after the attacks, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was pushing for
retaliatory strikes on Iraq, even though al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan.
Clarke suggests the idea took him so aback, he initially thought Rumsfeld
was joking.
"The president dragged me into a room with a couple of
other people, shut the door, and said, 'I want you to find whether Iraq did
Now he never said, 'Make it up.' But the entire conversation
left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a
report that said Iraq did this.
"I said, 'Mr. President. We've done this
before. We have been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind. There's
no connection.'
"He came back at me and said, "Iraq! Saddam! Find out if
there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way. I mean that we should
come back with that answer. We wrote a report."

And we'll never be told, WHY, instead of firing the people who lead us disastrously into a war over a lie George W awarded them the Medal of Freedom instead.

We'll never BE told, but we already know don't we?

Now the question is, what do we do about it?
Our only chance of getting an actual accounting of this disastrous adventure is to win back at least one house in Congress in 06. Otherwise the giant elephant of Deliberate lies and no accountability will have been very successfully hidden under this Rug of a report.