Saturday, June 30, 2007

Michael Moore's SiCKO.

Watch the film in its entirety, and then tell me we don't need universal health care.


UPDATE: July 2, 2007

Oh, and in other news, the Shrub commuted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence just hours after a three-judge panel denied the convicted perjurer a delay in serving the two and a half year jail term. There was never any doubt that this would happen, it was just a matter of when. The Shrub lied repeatedly in his statements, but this was the most revolting:

"I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."

If the Shrub respected the jury's verdict, then why did he do an end run around it? What a lying piece of shit. But then, look at the other lying pieces of shit he hangs around with. But that's not all. Read this:

Bush: "Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable."

Bush then stripped away the prison time.

This just goes to show the utter contempt George W. Bush holds not only for the truth, but for the rule of law. Somebody ought to allow impeachment proceedings to begin, say, Congress. But most members are cowards, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and so all we're left with is yet another rape of the rule of law and the Constitution.

Michael Moore's SiCKO.

Watch the film in its entirety, and then tell me we don't need universal health care.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Yahoo News Leaves Out Pelletiere Dispute In Article On Chemical Ali Sentence

In a Yahoo news article describing the sentencing of Ali Hassan al-Majid (better known by his nickname, "Chemical Ali") to death by hanging, facts that challenged the exaggerations of Saddam Hussein's crimes of war during Iraq's conflict with Iran in the 1980s were left out. Below are to relevant screen captures.

The news article left out information that had been chronicled by Stephen C. Pelletiere that originally appeared in a New York Times column in January 2003, right after George W. Bush's deception-riddled State of the Union speech (reproduced by Pelletiere, who was the senior CIA analyst on the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s and who later taught at the Army War College, challenged key assertions made by supporters of invading Iraq that the late Saddam Hussein has gassed Kurds at the town of Halabja in 1988. In 1990, Pelletiere had written in defense of his book, Iraqi Power and U.S. Security in the Middle East, expanding on what the U.S. knew of events in 1988 concerning the alleged gassing of Kurds. Evidence showed that Iranian-used blood agents had killed Kurds in the northern Iraqi town, during a battle in which both sides used chemical weapons.

Furthermore, according to an entry currently up at, "A preliminary Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) study at the time concluded, apparently by determining the chemicals used by looking at images of the victims, that it was in fact Iran that was responsible for the attack, an assessment which was used subsequently by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for much of the early 1990s. The CIA's senior political analyst for the Iran-Iraq war, Stephen C. Pelletiere, co-authored an unclassified analysis of the war [2] which contained a brief summary of the DIA study's key points. The CIA altered its position radically in the late 1990s and cited Halabja frequently in its evidence of WMD before the 2003 invasion. [3]"

Finally, the U.S. Army War College's report on alleged gassing of Kurds in 1988 contradicted claims that Iraq had deliberately gassed Kurdish civilians. The report is reproduced at It is wrong to use chemical, biological or nuclear weapons under any circumstances, against any target, because of their potential for affecting civilians en masse. And Saddam Hussein bore responsibility for using his country's stores of chemical agents during the war with Iran. But the full truth of what happened in Kurdish territory in Iraq 1988 indicates that the culprit was Iran, in an act of war, and that Kurds (most of whom were probably guerrillas fighting for the Iranians) were simply caught in the crossfire; and that an alleged attack later that year had no bodies with which to prove conclusively that it had even occurred.

Had this dissenting view been presented louder and more thoroughly by the mainstream media before the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a key lie for its justification would have been weakened--perhaps to the point where public support would have been significantly less than it ultimately was. That the exclusion of credible evidence by our own intelligence agencies and military contradicting the allegations of gas attacks by Iraq against the Kurds continues to this day, is reprehensible.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

How could they have "had no choice"?

I was searching the news web sites, looking for something to comment on, and came upon the following article at ABC News about a sixteen-year-old girl who married her high school track coach. The two had apparently begun their inappropriate relationship when she was fourteen, and eventually--despite involving the authorities to try to keep Brenton Wuchae away from Windy Hager--they were allowed to marry when her parents, Betty and Dennis, signed a consent form.

This would be fucked up enough without the statutory rape, Wuchae's previous marriage, and the failure of prosecutors to put Wuchae in prison where he belongs. But Hager's parents signed the consent form that let their teenage daughter wed this sicko saying they "had no choice". Bullshit. There is always a choice, and the Hagers had one: to sign the consent form, or not. If I had a teenage daughter and I found out a teacher had seduced her, I would have made sure the bastard went to jail. And I never would have signed a consent form allowing her to marry him.

Saying one "had no choice" is a poor excuse for bad decision-making. I can't begin to imagine what Betty and Dennis Hager must have gone through when they realized Windy was being seduced by her track coach, but as long as she remained a minor under their care, they had the right to deny Wuchae the ability to marry her--even if it would only have been for the two years until her eighteenth birthday. Yes, she would have resented them in the short term. But she might have spent those two years finding out just how big a scumbag her new husband really is. How long will it be before Windy Hager learns that her "man" is seducing another teenager? One can only guess. But her parents could have let her find that out before she married him, could have delayed it using their parental rights. I've little doubt that even the most liberal court would have sided with them, had Windy tried to get an emancipation from her parents.

But no, Betty and Dennis Hager decided it was easier to make a bad decision for their daughter. And they tried to justify it by denying they had a choice. They did. They could have chosen to say to Windy, "no."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cohen lies about Libby case, says convicted perjuror shouldn't do time.

In his June 19 column on the Washington Post's web site, Richard Cohen lied about the prosecution and conviction of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. Downplaying the investigation into who leaked the identity of a covert CIA operative, Cohen attacked Fitzgerald's case.
With the sentencing of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Fitzgerald has apparently finished his work, which was, not to put too fine a point on it, to make a mountain out of a molehill.
Cohen obviously doesn't think blowing the cover of a NOC is a big deal. But the CIA did, and still does, which is why the intelligence agency requested that the leaking of Valerie Plame Wilson's status as an undercover operative for the agency be investigated. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 makes it a felony to knowingly disclose the identity of a covert agent. This law was passed in response to a number of instances in which the identities of CIA operatives were disclosed to the public by CounterSpy, a publication that was dedicated to revealing covert operations and operatives. In 1975 the magazine's activities outing CIA personnel culminated in the assassination of Athens, Greece station chief Richard Welch.

The outing of a covert CIA operative, which Valerie Plame Wilson was at the time her cover was blown, is in fact a very big deal. The very government charged with protecting the identities of its personnel instead compromised them. But Cohen, in making excuses for Libby, tried to erase the crime. Cohen surely knew that there was indeed an "underlying crime", namely the outing of a covert operative. If there wasn't, there would have been no investigation. And why, if no crime had been committed, did Libby commit perjury and obstruct justice to try and cover it up? Cohen deliberately ignores these facts in presenting his false argument. He finishes his liefest with the following:
I have come to hate the war and I cannot approve of lying under oath -- not by Scooter, not by Bill Clinton, not by anybody. But the underlying crime is absent, the sentence is excessive and the investigation should not have been conducted in the first place. This is a mess. Should Libby be pardoned? Maybe. Should his sentence be commuted? Definitely.
If Cohen cannot approve of lying under oath, then why is he bemoaning the prosecution and conviction of Lewis Libby for doing it? This is another lie told by Cohen, an attempt to explain to potentially incredulous readers that he isn't the dishonest scumbag he has just revealed himself to be. As was stated, the underlying crime was (and remains) the illegal disclosure of a covert CIA operative's identity. And again, if there was no crime then why did Libby perjure himself before the Grand Jury? Cohen's dishonesty here is twofold; denying that a crime was committed, and making excuses for a convicted criminal who committed crimes to cover up the very one Cohen insists was never committed.

The sheer contradiction in logic is astounding. Worse, it is an affront to the truth, an effort to hide it from the public. You may e-mail Richard Cohen and voice your displeasure at

Saturday, June 16, 2007

New York Times repeats lie that Iran is behind Iraqi insurgency.

In a New York Times article, the newspaper repeated the unfounded charges that Iran is somehow inflaming the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Lebanon and Gaza. Similar charges had been leveled against Iraq in the run-up to the invasion and occupation of that country.
Even beyond its nuclear program, Iran is emerging as an increasing source of trouble for the Bush administration by inflaming the insurgencies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and in Gaza, where it has provided military and financial support to the militant Islamic group Hamas, which now controls the Gaza Strip.
This is in contrast to what General Peter Pace, a top U.S. General, reported in February: that there is no evidence of Iranian involvement in the Iraqi insurgency. According to Pace, who was at the time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "That does not translate that the Iranian government per se, for sure, is directly involved in doing this," in response to questions about the origin of material in roadside bombs found in Iraq.

In other news, George W. Bush has told yet another lie. According to the Washington Post, he threatened to veto of spending packages proposed by Democrats on the grounds that he opposes "runaway spending".
"The American people do not want to return to the days of tax-and-spend policies," Bush said in his radio address.
Bush's regime is infamous for out-of-control spending.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A couple of news items worth noting.

As we Clevelanders mourn the sweep of the NBA playoffs by the fucking San Antonio Spurs against the Cavaliers, let's take a look at a couple of news items that should, but don't, get more press. Judge Reginald Walton, a Bush Sr. appointee, denied I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's request to remain free while his lawyers appeal his conviction for committing perjury and obstructing justice in the CIA leak case. George W. Bush has, so far, refused to get involved by pardoning him. The reason may have to do with a lot of questions being asked, such as, if Libby did nothing wrong then why does he need a pardon? And just how involved were he, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney in exposing then-CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame Wilson's identity? In other news that generally went ignored, presidential candidate John Edwards revealed more of his health care plan. So far, Edwards is the only candidate for president to offer such a detailed health care plan. But is this getting him the press he deserves for it? Not yet, but as 2008 and the first primaries draw near, it might.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

How you can recall them.

After doing some more research about which states may launch recall elections, and against whom, I'm revising my list of errant Democrats who either failed or--more disgustingly--refused to, stop the war in Iraq. It turns out that only certain states allow recall elections. Connecticut has continually shot down efforts to pass legislation that would allow voters to remove sitting elected officials from office. So LIEberman is safe, at least until the next time he comes up foe re-election, by which time he'll have officially joined the GOP having alienated so many Democrats in his home state. He won't be able to run without official support from one of the two major parties.

But, there are states that can hold recall elections, and fortunately those states include California, Nevada and Michigan. Nancy Pelosi may be recalled in her home state of California, John Conyers can be told to fuck off back to his home in Michigan by pissed off constituents if he continues to refuse to bring up impeachment, and Harry Reid of Nevada--a man whose very name compels one to make dick jokes--is also prime for early removal.

These are the people to go after, ladies and gentlemen. These are the "leaders" who have continually failed to do what the voters elected them and their party into power to do: end the war, and start impeaching. In my next entry, I'll explain how voters in each state mentioned can get busy on gathering signatures.