Friday, February 24, 2006

Among scandals, what can be done?

It's been a bad week for George W. Bush. Actually, a bad couple of weeks. First, Dick Cheney shoots his hunting buddy while stumbling around in the dark hunting for farm-bred quails. As Iraq devolved into further chaos, the Bush regime told the disparate factions to end the strife--to which they responded with increasing violence, a not-so-polite form of telling us to fuck off. Then it is revealed that the Bush regime made a deal to turn security of U.S. seaports to an Arab firm from a country with ties to the 9/11 attacks.

Now the Port Authorities of New York and New Jersey are suing over the ports deal, and understandably so. And a federal judge has ordered the Bush regime to explain why it didn't tell Jersey about it.

"U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares signed an order demanding to know why the government did not carry out a full investigation into the change of ownership of the container terminal at Port Newark."

And it isn't even the first time a judge has ordered the Bush regime to do something, either. On February 16th, the regime was ordered to comply with Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests on the illegal NSA wiretaps that the Bushies got caught carrying out in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

"The U.S. Justice Department must respond within 20 days to requests by a civil liberties group for documents about President George W. Bush's domestic eavesdropping program, a federal judge ruled on Thursday."

Yes, it has indeed been a bad couple of weeks for the Bushies. But don't expect them to comply with the judicial orders any time this century; this is a regime that holds itself above the law. And it has no problem going to any lengths to keep its secrets and protect its lies. After all, this is the same regime that leaked the identity of a CIA NOC (non-official cover) agent to the press in 2003 after her husband called bullshit on the Iraq/Niger uranium lie.

And who's going to stop these traitors from doing whatever the hell they want to do to destroy America?

Not Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor investigating the leak of Valerie Plame-Wilson's cover to Robert Novak and other columnists. Yes, he is doing his job as best he can. He is by all appearances a prosecutor who puts his loyalty to country and the rule of law above partisan politics and protection. He even indicted Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, on perjury charges, and appears to be slowly but surely building a case against Karl Rove, Bush's political advisor and strategist. But he's fighting an uphill battle in an increasingly partisan nation's capital that will do whatever it deems necessary to protect the status quo.

Congress won't do anything, not as long as it is under Republican control. And with the GOP and its enablers at Diebold rigging the electoral process to ensure permanent Republican rule in America, the likelihood that anything will be done by the Legislature to curb Bush's crimes is minimal. Not even the indictment of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and lobbyist Jack Abramoff seems capable of ensuring defeat for the GOP this November.

So what is to be done?

I am loathe to tell you what to do. Not because I don't want to, or because I don't have any answers; I do. But you, the reader, are told what to do all the time. FEAR THE EVIL TERRORISTS!!! DON'T QUESTION!!! STOP ALITO!!! SAVE ROE v WADE!!! I won't tell you what to do because I have neither the authority nor the inclination to boss you around.

But I will tell you what you can do to stop the GOP, if you truly want to take back America and undo the damage done by the neoconservatives.

In the coming weeks, I will provide you with the information and the instruction you will need to start the process of reclaiming what was once the American Dream. Many of you will balk at what I tell you, having thrown up your hands and given up any and all hope. But if you've done that, or if you plan on doing that after November, you're really just playing into the hands of the GOP, who want you to give up. They know they're corrupt, criminal, and out of touch with anything except greed and the interests of Big Business. And they're frightened to death that you will get off your asses and DO something.

So stay with me, keep reading, and maybe--MAYBE--together we can once more free ourselves from tyranny.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

We don't need to worry?

Just when you think the insane fuckery emanating from the mouth of George W. Bush can't get any crazier, he goes ahead and says something even more horrendously insane.

Like, for example, in the case of making a deal to hand over East Coast port security to an Arab nation with ties to terrorism, saying that "[p]eople don't need to worry about security."

I know, I know, you're probably thinking, "isn't Bush the same asshole who is constantly scaring us with threats about terrorist attacks every time some scandal comes out revealing some brand-spankin' ew crime he or some crony of his has committed against America?"

And of course the answer to that question is yes, he is.

As stated by E.J. Dionne, Jr. in the Washington Post, and proven every time some scandal like money laundering by Tom DeLay or bribes being accepted by Jack Abramoff rears its ugly head, Bush is fond of saying that 'anyone accusing his administration of having "manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people" was giving aid and comfort to the enemy. "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will," Bush declared last week. "As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them."' His entire 2004 election campaign was predicated on scaring voters into thinking that if they elected John Kerry president (which they did, apparently, which is why Diebold comes in so handy for the Shrub whenever he needs an election rigged) then bin Laden would seize upon the opportunity to attack us again.

Which is why this is so outrageous.

"Critics...note that Dubai was a key transfer point for illicit nuclear technology sales to North Korea, Iran and Libya that were led by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan."

So why, when the U.S. should not be outsourcing security to ANY foreign entity yet alone one with ties to the people who murdered nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11/2001, and when Bush is continually trying to scare us with threats of terrorist attack if he is hindered in his crimes in any way, is he now telling us we have nothing to worry about?

If there's one lesson we can take from the lies of George W. Bush and his cronies, it's that any time he tells us to worry, we shouldn't be worrying. And that every time he tells us not to worry, that's when we need to be worrying.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

When the lie won't fly, feign incompetence.

In this era of unchecked corporate power and abuses, outsourcing has become a fact of existence. It's not something you can escape, because if the CEO of your company decides he wants to pay for his new yacht or court fine for violating some environmental law by throwing you out of work then that's what the fucker is going to do. It's the way of things in the age of corporatism and neoconservative domination.

But it used to be that there was a limit on what you could outsource. A line drawn in the sand that said, very plainly, "we've let plenty of our jobs get shipped to third world countries but you cannot outsource really important ones."

Like port security, for example. Until now.

When it was revealed that George W. Bush had outsourced port security to the United Arab Emirates, it was yet another revelation in how far this sick and evil traitor is willing to go to compromise American security in favor of his buddies in the Arab world. At least two of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers came from the United Arab Emirates. Their government has been linked to ongoing financing of terrorist organizations including al-Qaeda.

According to the Reuters article linked to above, lawmakers expressed concern over the fact that "the UAE served as a conduit for parts used for nuclear proliferation and that the local banking system had been abused by terrorist financiers.

U.S. officials have said money for the September 11 attacks was wired through the United Arab Emirates' banking system. Two of the September 11 hijackers were UAE citizens."

And yet, when this outrage was revealed, Bush defended it. He even went so far as to threaten to veto any legislation that would "block an Arab company's takeover of management of major U.S. seaports, defying members of Congress who insisted the deal posed security risks." Which is a laugh, by the way, because the Shrub has more than likely set a record by being the only occupant of the Oval Office to NEVER veto a bill. Any piece of insane legislation put forth by Congressional neocons passes through Bush's hands like water through a seive. Or beer through a bladder. There's no way it isn't going to pass.

Now, however, when his lies fail to justify this horrible crime against our nation's security, he chooses to feign incompetence by saying that he didn't know about it.

Horse shit.

According to the CBS online article, "Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday. "

Yet this is contradicted in the same article, which goes on to read, "the administration also said that it should have briefed Congress sooner about the transaction, which has triggered a major political backlash among both Republicans and Democrats."

If the Bush regime was unaware of the sale of port security to an Arab nation with governmental ties to 9/11, then why would it then say it should have informed Congress of the deal sooner? How could they have informed Congress of something they now claim they knew nothing about until after the deal had been sealed?

If you're going to lie, at least have the decency to at least try to make it believable. It would at least show that if nothing else, you respect the intelligence of the person being lied to enough to put forth an effort.

But Bush has, as always, displayed his utter contempt for the American people to whom he has lied once again. The Shrub can't even be bothered anymore to make his bullshit seem believable. He just plods merrily along, trusting that his neoconservative buddies in the Legislature will never, ever allow him to take the consequences for his myriad crimes against America.

And now, very likely because of Bush's laughable veto threat, our nation's East coast is under the dubious protection of a nation whose ties to the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11/2001 are available for perusal for anyone with a decent search engine, and the ability to read a newspaper or blog.

But hey, why should Bush worry? After all, when his lies fail to pass muster, he can always play dumb.

Well that doesn't fly. Even assuming that by some wild stretch of the imagination that the Shrub didn't know the details of the port deal, why should he be excused for failing to read the legislation that comes before him?

That should anger anyone with a working brain.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hello, Fellow Citizens!

Welcome to The Truth Zone. My name is Michael Keith, and I will bring you truth from the left.

I will tell you things that make you angry, things that make you cry, some things that will make you laugh (or chuckle), and things that will make you think to yourself, "you know, now that I think about it he makes a lot of sense."

What I won't do is lie to you.

Granted, I am a human being. I am prone to mistakes. But one of the endearing virtues we on the left possess is that when someone points out where we've fucked up, we admit that we fucked up, correct ourselves, issue any necessary apologies and move on. Unlike right-wing liars such as Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin or Ann Coulter, who having clearly lied their asses off will refuse to admit they lied or even made a mistake. More often than not, these pathological liars will even deny that they said what it was that was a lie, or simply flat out wrong.

I will not do that to you. That is my promise to you, the reader.

I will say things you may or may not agree with. I am not out to preach to the choir, and yes there are rare occasions where I may find myself agreeing with something or someone conservative. But make no mistake: I am a liberal and more than likely will be until the moment I die.

And so, in that vein, I bring you my first blog entry.

In today's Washington Post, columnist Richard Cohen laments the lack of government insiders brave enough to come forward with what they knew of the Bush regime's manipulation of intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

Why did James Risen, Michael Sheuer, Paul R. Pillar and others not come forward before we invaded, stating as Pillar did in his recent Foreign Affairs article that Bush & Co. were selectively using intel in presenting their false case for war? Was it simple fear of retaliation by the Bush regime's neocon inner circle?

Most likely. After all, when Joe Wilson came forward after the invasion to call bullshit on the Iraq/Niger/uranium lie, the regime retaliated by exposing his wife's identity as a CIA NOC. But that was after the war had begun, not before.

Could it be that when people in the know did come forward with what they knew, such as Stephen P. Pelletiere on Saddam Hussein's alleged gassing of Kurdish rebels at the battle of Halabja in 1988, no one paid any real attention?

Or could it be both?

Given the history of the last five years under the Bush regime, chances are it is both. Surely the New York Times' Maureen Dowd in her writings before the invasion had to get her information from somewhere. Same goes for the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Elizabeth Sullivan. Is it possible that Risen, Pillar, Sheuer and others did come forward, in secret?

Probably. The question is, why didn't these insiders come forward publicly, instead of quietly leaking what they knew to reporters on condition of anonymity?

Had they done so, would we even be mired in Iraq now, with over 2,300 American deaths and thousands more wounded, and tens of thousands of Iraqis dead for no good reason? Would Bush have even been able to rig his way to a second term?

The saddest part of all this is that we'll never know, because the insiders kept quiet until it was too late. All the tell-all books in the world can't reverse the damage done to Iraq, or to our nation's credibilty, its soldiers, and its treasury.

As has been demonstrated, it is far more dangerous to a lot more people to keep silent and remain "safe" than it is to go public with what you know and risk personal harm. Every member of the United States government in a position to make law, interpret it, execute it and defend it, is sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution.

If only the leakers were brave enough to fulfill their oaths when it mattered.