Saturday, February 14, 2004

OPEN DISCUSSION: The Purpose of This Blog 

We invite you to jump in and comment. This blog isn't even two weeks old yet, and already we've had 1,200 or so visitors. Now we need your help to get the comments sections rolling. Sure, sometimes it's hard to post a comment and remember to check back for responses. Other times it's hard to wait patiently while no one responds for hours. These are just a few of the pitfalls of blogging, and there are others.

But it's worth it.

We started the blog so we could have a dialogue and discussion with you, the readers of BushWhackedUSA, of whom we know there are thousands. This is your chance to speak out about the issues we cover, and the ones we don't. What do you want to see on our main site? What do you want to discuss here on the blog? What's more important: the AWOL controversy, John Kerry's alleged affairs or the WMD lies? Should progressives vote for "anyone but Bush"? Should Ralph Nader run? Should Dick Cheney go back into his hole? Have you blogged before? Do you know you don't have to share your E-mail, home page, or even your name?

The more you give to this blog, the more others will. So much to discuss. Let's have at it!

The Mistake of Voting for "Anybody But Bush" 

From Dissident Voice:

Let me get straight to the point. Following the strategy of "Anybody But Bush" in the upcoming presidential election is equally as dangerous as Bush getting re-elected. Why? There are two basic reasons. First, the "Anybody But Bush" (ABB) movement is predicated on the mistaken and illusory belief that Bush & Co. is an aberration from the American political system, rather than extensions of it. Second, for progressives to submerge ourselves within the ABB tidal wave is a complete abdication of our responsibility as global citizens to agitate around the issues facing this country and the world, rather than once again believing that our work is limited to simply voting for the president every four years.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Florida bans recounts 

I'm going use this post to give a brief lesson in "How To Blog":

Be brief. Stay out of the way of the story, especially these days, when the story is so often appalling and unbelievable and remarkable all by itself.

This post from kos, reprinted verbatim with nothing added, even at the bottom here, is a perfect example:

Florida bans recounts

by kos
Fri Feb 13th, 2004 at 18:54:19 GMT

Well, that's one way to get rid of that pesky "recount" problem down in Florida.

The Department of State has notified elections supervisors that touchscreen ballots don't have to be included during manual recounts because there is no question about how voters intended to vote.

While touchscreen ballot images can be printed, there is no need and elections supervisors aren't authorized to do so, Division of Elections Director Ed Kast wrote in a letter to Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Kurt Browning.

That was easy.


Where Was W.? 

Oops! Forgot to post a link here yesterday, when I finished this project.

This should settle the matter once and for all...


...but you know how obnoxious the rabid liberal media can be.

-yours truly

Juan Cole Reports 

This guy is an actual expert on Iraq; that's why I've linked to him. This post of his is long, but that's what happens when you make your case.

He brings up one important thing to remember, one thing that is so hot, so potentially explosive that we NEVER hear the mainstream media talk about it: Israel's complicit participation in this war on Saddam and Iraq. It makes perfect sense.

For months and years now, I've been whining about the neocons in the Bush administration, and how pro-Zionist they are, that is, pro-HAWK Zionist, as in pro-Sharon and anti-ANYTHING remotely un-Israeli, including criticism for just cause. In order to be perfectly clear about my position on Israel, here it is:

Israel Must Live!

So when I write "Israel" here in this post, please read "Sharon and the bloodstained hands of his Likud Party", and not "Jews". Please.

But the maniacs now running that country have been living lies for almost as long as we have in the U.S. under the Bush Regime. It appears that the hawks running Israel are liars, just as the hawks running OUR government are, and they're not above lying to get a war going. In THEIR interests.

Juan Cole intimates that Mossad may have been a source for bogus intelligence on WMD. Why would they do that? To prompt us to attack Iraq. Peaceful coexistence is not a concept that Saddam agreed with, nor Israel, it would appear.

It explains a ton that Israel either duped Bush or Bush willingly cooperated with ISRAEL'S strategic interests, not OUR strategic interests. Whose money and blood is being spent to bring an enemy of Israel's to its knees? OURS, not ISRAEL'S.

This doesn't make Israel evil; it makes Bush a DUPE. We're doing THEIR DIRTY WORK FOR THEM.

Safire gets it wrong: Zarqawi

Just go there and read it. And bookmark Juan Cole. It's an amazing sign of our times that a small-college historian blogging can destroy the thesis of a powerful columnist. God Bless the Internet.


It's NEVER the crime; it's ALWAYS the coverup 

Ask any politician. They'll tell you.

You rarely get nailed for the crime itself; but cover it up and get caught, and you're toast.

A single-sentence post from atrios says it all:

Small World

A commenter over at Calpundit's place took note of the name below Bush's in his flight suspension document.

James R. Bath

But the gems are hidden in atrios' comments:

James R. Bath is the guy who helped the Bin Laden family invest in George W. Bush's Arbusto Oil Company. See: [Link]

Hello. Earth to White House press corps. This is low hanging fruit. Let's get on the ball and start asking the questions.

mark hurty

James Bath... That's the same guy listed in the book, The Fortunate Son, that described Bush's cocaine arrest in the 70's. Presumably, Bush was arrested for posession along with this guy Bath. The book was ridiculed as being far-fetched. But how interesting to see Bath's name pop up on the same flight readiness report, a pilot disqualified from flying for the same exact reason as Bush, failure to show up for a flight medical!

The Fortunate Son also described Bush Sr.'s bailing his son out and getting the court to purge the records.

Now, continuing in this speculative vein, it seems reasonable, to me, to wonder if maybe there was a general cover-up of a failure to pass a flight drug-test, or perhaps they were warned not to even take one.

Remember, this was the "champagne division" of the TANG. If this Bath was a close bud, from the same division, partying with Bush, he might have come from a similar privileged background, and the TANG CO's might have protected them by disguising the real reason for their being denied flight status, i.e., coke abuse.

This is all speculative, but it starts to fit together:

1) Bush denying that he has not used any illegal drugs in the "past 25 years" (do the math).

2) A panicky and sloppy attempt to pooh-pooh the TANG AWOL story.

3) The subsequent reneging on the promise to release all documents on Meet the Press.

4) The Burkitt story about the flushing of the local TANG records on Bush.

Now, thinking about this some more, if the Bush-Bath coke arrest story is true, it might be possible to verify this, even if Bush's arrest record was purged by the court. If Bath was arrested at the same time, daddy Bush might not have gone to the trouble of bailing out junior's playmate as effectively, which would mean there might still be an arrest record for Bath with a specific time sometime prior to the flight physical failure.

xRon xUnderwood

[My favorite:]

Why do I feel as though we are all caught in the crossfire of a shootout between rival crime families? We may as well have elected John Gotti to be our President.


There's much more in the comments section of atrios' post. Go there and be informed AND amused.


Deep do-do 

Poll: Public's trust in Bush hits new low

Feb. 13, 2004 | WASHINGTON (AP) -- The public's trust in President Bush is at the lowest point of his presidency, with about half of those surveyed saying he is honest and trustworthy and almost that many saying he is not, according to a poll released Thursday.

The ABC News-Washington Post poll found that 52 percent felt Bush was trustworthy, while 42 percent did not. The poll found public support for the war in Iraq slipping and people were about evenly split on whether they approve of the job he is doing as president or not.

For the first time in this poll, support for the war dipped just below half, 48 percent, with an equal share, 50 percent, saying it was not worth fighting.

More than half in the poll, 54 percent, said that the Bush administration intentionally exaggerated the threat from weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but more of that group says administration officials exaggerated the threat than said they lied.


A tracking poll by the National Annenberg Election Survey found that Bush's overall job approval dropped sharply in late January after David Kay, the former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, said he did not think those weapons existed.


Almost half in the poll, 47 percent, said the economy has gotten worse while Bush was president -- reflecting recent signs that consumers are growing more anxious about the economy. Only four in 10 said Bush understand the problems of people like them.

"Only four in 10"?
That's AMAZING. I had no idea how many super-rich millionaires American has now!

Bush Is Toast.


Thursday, February 12, 2004

More Colin Powell: Excedrin Headache #326 

Sheah, am I dating myself, or WHAT?

He didn't provide a link to this transcript, but I trust him. From blah3.com, where the geniuses behind Take Back The Media blog:

Check this little exchange between Colin Powell and Congressman Sherrod Brown from earlier today [Feb. 11, 2004].

Congressman Sherrod Brown: Secretary, we count on you. The President may have been AWOL. The Vice-President has said he had 'other priorities' during Vietnam. Other high-ranking administration officials never served. You understand war, and we absolutely count on you. A lot of us wonder what happened between that Post interview and your statement the next day where you said the President made the right decision.

Powell: First of all, Mr. Brown, I won't dignify your comment about the President, because you don't know what you're talking about. Second, let me get to the point you were raising.

Brown: I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean, Mr. Secretary.

Powell: You made a reference that the President...

Brown: I said he may have been AWOL.

Powell: Mr. Brown, let's not go there. Let's just not go there. Let's not go there in this hearing. You just want to have a political fight on this matter that is very controversial, and it has been dealt with by the White House fine. Let's not go there.

Brown's got the right idea. Every time the opportunity presents itself to ask any member of this administration about Bush's military record, it should be taken.


How DO you get an honorable discharge? 

From TNR, via xoverboard.com, one of my favorite stops of the day:


Perhaps more striking is how often serious questions of misconduct have been flat-out ignored. John Allen Muhammad, convicted last November for his participation in the D.C. sniper shootings, served in the Louisiana National Guard from 1978-1985, where he faced two summary courts-martial. In 1983, he was charged with striking an officer, stealing a tape measure, and going AWOL. Sentenced to seven days in the brig, he received an honorable discharge in 1985.

The point of these examples isn't to liken Bush's conduct to anyone else's. Indeed, precisely because his records remain incomplete, any comparisons to other officers are dubious at best. Rather, the point is that Bush's honorable discharge is basically meaningless as a testament to his conduct in the Guard: It would have been possible for Bush to earn an honorable discharge whether or not he skipped out on his duties.

Over to you, Mr. President.


If I'm ever in a barfight... 

...one man I'd want to watch my back would be Jimmy Breslin.

Why? He doesn't pull his punches.

Informed that the mayor of New York [Michael Bloomberg] had just made a huge and bold move on the White House and asked for citizenship for her dead soldier, who was a Dominican, she said at the wake, "What good is it now? He can't use it."

He sure can't. He was Private Luis Moreno. He was 19 years old. They were loading him in his box into a hearse for the ride to a cemetery forever.


Bloomberg is supposed to fight for this city and instead he acts like he is afraid of Bush and these other Republicans. Simultaneously, and worse, he acts like he wants to be one of them. He crowed over bringing the Republican convention to New York. It will put people in hotel rooms, he says. Beautiful! We count money while some young guy from the Bronx gets his head blown off.

There is much worse in the rest of the article.

I dunno about you, but I plan to be in NYC this late August. Just to witness, y'all. It should be very interesting--and an historically significant time and place to be.


Temper, temper... 

Colin Powell must be feeling the pressure. From the Washington Post, via atrios:

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, a retired four-star general known for his even temperament, paused yesterday during a congressional hearing to berate a Hill staffer for shaking his head as Powell offered a defense of his prewar statements on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

The public scolding came after Powell had already endured a number of attacks by Democrats on the administration's Iraq policy during an appearance before the House International Relations Committee. He had just snapped at a member of Congress who had casually declared President Bush "AWOL" from the Vietnam War.

Powell was recalling for the panel his review of the prewar intelligence. "I went and lived at the CIA for about four days to make sure that nothing was," he began, when he paused and glared at a staffer seated behind the members of Congress.

"Are you shaking your head for something, young man, back there?" Powell asked. "Are you part of these proceedings?"

Powell's unusual remarks threatened to derail the hearing. Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a 12-year veteran of the House, objected, "Mr. Chairman, I've never heard a witness reprimand a staff person in the middle of a question."

Whew. Things must be gettin' kinda HOT over at the White House. I'd have to say they're just not accustomed to this sort of treatment.

They better get used to it.



This story may scare you in several ways. It should.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The house of cards 

You may ask yourself: "Augustino sure can be shrill, you think?"

You may ask yourself: "That Augustino, if only he'd give us a report that wasn't worthy of a conspiracy theorist...then we might be able to believe what he says."

You may ask yourself: "Things couldn't be as bad as Augustino has been saying for the last couple of years or so...could they?"

You may ask yourself: "Where is my beautiful country? Where is the peace and prosperity of the 90s?"

I don't exaggerate. I use only genuine news reports--not from the World Socialist Web Site or the Moscow Times. I have used NewsMax and WorldNetDaily, but only when THEY make the news--that is, they betray Bush by reporting the truth about his very NON-conservative ways such as stabbing veterans in the back or running up the deficits to record highs in the name of terra.

This administration is about to confirm just about everything I've accused it of in the last three years. When that happens, I will have to admit that there are complicities with the MAJOR media outlets such as the TV network news and CNN. Where were they when the paper press and the wire services and the rest of the Internet were on these scandals?

Only one reason could potentially excuse them--too many scandals to choose from, and not enough air time. I can sympathize with that.

Some days, I have the same fucking problem.

From various websites:

How Things Change

Joseph Galloway writing for Knight Ridder:

In one recent high-level meeting, Rumsfeld looked at Secretary of State Colin Powell and said, "Jerry (Ambassador Paul Bremer, the top U.S. civilian in Iraq) works for you, right?"

Powell looked as if he'd been struck by lightning. Bremer and every other U.S. official in Iraq reports directly to Rumsfeld and the Pentagon. Rumsfeld demanded and got complete authority over the military, over the civilian authority in charge of rebuilding the country, over the administration's $87 billion Iraq budget, over every line of every contract let. And suddenly he forgot that Bremer works for him?

That same week, Wolfowitz and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage were summoned to a closed-door session of the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss how the U.S. contracting system is working in Iraq.

When Wolfowitz was asked a tough question about the controversies surrounding the U.S. contracting efforts in Iraq, he turned to Armitage and said: "You can answer that one, right, Rich?" Armitage answered by noting that the Department of Defense and the Office of the Secretary of Defense control every American contract let in Iraq, and that the State Department has authority over none of those contracts.

"Iraq is now a contaminated environment and Rumsfeld and his people want out," said one senior administration official. "They can't wait for July 1 when the CPA (Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority) turns into the U.S. Embassy and the whole mess they have made becomes Colin Powell's."

Read the whole thing.


He's either a complete liar or he's completely senile. Either way, he should resign tomorrow. This is just outrageous.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he did not recall British Prime Minister Tony Blair's pre-war claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ready to be deployed in 45 minutes.

"I don't remember the statement being made, to be perfectly honest," Rumsfeld told a Pentagon news conference.

General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he didn't remember the statement either.

The claim made headlines around the world after Blair leveled it in a 55-page "white paper" presented to the House of Commons in September 2002.

I can't even begin to express my astonishment.

And then there's this:

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked about Tuesday's car bombing in Iraq that killed about 50 people, said there are murders in every major city in the world "because human beings are human beings."

...afterthought: I wonder if Rumsfeld remembers Bush making the 45-minute claim?

The White House, in the run-up to war in Iraq, did not seek CIA approval before charging that Saddam Hussein could launch a biological or chemical attack within 45 minutes, administration officials now say.

The claim, which has since been discredited, was made twice by President Bush, in a September Rose Garden appearance after meeting with lawmakers and in a Saturday radio address the same week. Bush attributed the claim to the British government, but in a "Global Message" issued Sept. 26 and still on the White House Web site, the White House claimed, without attribution, that Iraq "could launch a biological or chemical attack 45 minutes after the order is given."

...this is the biggest problem I face as a satirist these days: these guys keep outdoing my cartoons. How am I supposed to stay ahead?

This Is Cute

From the New Yorker:

Vice-President Dick Cheney "has been both an architect and a beneficiary of the increasingly close relationship between the Department of Defense and an élite group of private military contractors—a relationship that has allowed companies such as Halliburton to profit enormously," Jane Mayer writes in "Contract Sport," in the 79th Anniversary Issue of The New Yorker. Mayer reveals that in a top-secret document dated February 3, 2001, a high-level official of the National Security Council directed the N.S.C. staff to coöperate fully with Cheney's newly formed Energy Task Force as it considered the "melding" of what she calls "two seemingly unrelated areas of policy," which the document describes as a "review of operational policies toward rogue states" and "actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields." Mark Medish, a senior official at the N.S.C. under President Clinton, tells Mayer, "If this little group was discussing geostrategic plans for oil, it puts the issue of war in the context of the captains of the oil industry sitting down with Cheney and laying grand, global plans." Halliburton, the energy company that Cheney was the C.E.O. of for five years, has received contracts worth some eleven billion dollars for work in Iraq, Mayer reports.


One businessman with close ties to the Bush Administration tells Mayer, "Anything that has to do with Iraq policy, Cheney's the man to see. He's running it, the way that L.B.J. ran the space program." The businessman offered an example: Jack Kemp, the former congressman and Cabinet official, had Cheney over for dinner last summer, along with two sons of the President of the United Arab Emirates. "It was just social," Kemp says. "We're old friends." Kemp says he is working on two business ventures in Iraq; General Tommy Franks will serve on the advisory board of one of them. While Tom Korologos, a Republican lobbyist who has served as a counsellor to L. Paul Bremer in Iraq, calls talk of political influence over the process "bullshit," the businessman explains the situation this way: "It's like Russia. This is how corruption is done these days. It's not about bribes. You just help your friends to get access. Cheney doesn't call the Defense Department and tell them, 'Pick Halliburton.' It's just having dinner with the right people."

Did you get all that, people?

Filth. Utter filth.

How much more evidence do we need other than Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney lying right to our faces? In the media? How on earth do they think they'll get away with this?

Prediction: Bush will yet again set Presidential precedent in January 2005 by pardoning NOT ONLY HIS ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION OF CROOKS--but HIMSELF, too.

If he doesn't, he'll be doing HARD TIME.


Valentine's Day Turkey Tour 

A BushWhackedUSA exclusive:

Bush Delivers Valentine's Day Love Gifts to Big Business

Yet another story the mainstream media will ignore....


C-R-E-D-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y: Mainstream Media Learns a New Word 

The Credibility Meter:

October 7, 2002: "The Iraqi regime... possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons."
March 17, 2003: "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."
January 20, 2004: "Had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day."
January 27, 2004: "First of all I think it's very important for us to let the Iraq Survey Group do its work so we can find out the facts, compare the facts to what was thought."
February 8, 2004: "Saddam Hussein was a danger to America... because he had the capacity to have a weapon, make a weapon. We thought he had weapons. The international community thought he had weapons."
February 8, 2004: "There is no such thing necessarily in a dictatorial regime of ironclad absolutely solid evidence. The evidence I had was the best possible evidence that he had a weapon."
Sources: Reuters, The Associated Press

Should Progressives Vote for Edwards? 

According to Joel Rogers in The Nation, they should.


The forces that could unseat the unelected President extend far beyond the borders of the U.S.:

OPEC cut puts US economy at risk, says White House

EXCERPT: President Bush expressed alarm last night after oil cartel Opec threatened to undermine his chances of a second term in the White House by announcing a surprise cut in production from April. The price of crude jumped sharply on futures markets after Opec, at a meeting in Algiers, decided to cut supplies to the global economy by up to 10%. With Mr Bush already facing a strong challenge from the Democrats over his handling of the economy, the unexpected news brought an immediate riposte. "It is our hope that producers do not take actions that undermine the American economy and American workers - and American consumers for that matter," said White House spokesman Trent Duffy. The Bush administration is concerned that higher fuel prices will eat into disposable incomes, raise business costs and add to a $500bn (£267bn) annual trade deficit that is already undermining the dollar.


Sunday, February 08, 2004

A Bush-McCain Ticket? 

Conservative columnist Marc Levin has a yummy idea.

ON FRIDAY: McCain Named to INDEPENDENT Panel to Investigate WMD Intelligence

TWO WEEKS AGO: MCain Stumps for Bush in New Hampshire


We're not going to have any search for scapegoats . . . the final responsibilities of any failure is mine, and mine alone.
     --President John Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs

Dr. Kay also stated that some prewar intelligence assessments by America and other nations about Iraq's weapon stockpiles have not been conformed (sic). We are determined to figure out why.
     --President George W. Bush after Iraq War

(CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE: This is my co-editor's work, grabbed from BushWhackedUSA.com)

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