Saturday, November 4

And the GOP Congress slowly slides into oblivion

This week hasn't gone very well for the GOP has it?

Now that Foleygate has largely died down, Repubs have temporarily succeeded in protecting their ears from the sonic boom that the investigation would have produced by postponing it's results until after the election.

Just when they thought they could take a breath and go on the offensive with made-up B.S. about both John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi -- the NY Times had to go and point out that the Republicans have been publishing Nuclear Secrets on their website for the last month.

Oops.

Meanwhile, The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Times will be publishing editorials calling for Rumsfeld to resign on Monday. Even the Gubernator wants us out of Iraq. Another Republican Congressman has resigned amid scandal. Another Right-wing Gay-Bashing Neo-Christian Cult leader - is Gay, and a drug user and a bad liar.

The result?

It looks like the Repubs are going to take it in the short and curly's on Tuesday -- and the numbers are looking worse all the time.

Right now the Repubs are hoping that the Saddam Verdict - due to be announced tomorrow - will help stem the arterial spray from their Mid-Term campaigns.

But that will probably be far too little - far too late.

On Wednesday - CQPolitics showed 1 Republican House seat where a Democrat was favored, 5 that were leaning Democratic, 19 seats with No Clear Favorite and additional 21 that were only Leaning Republican.

Today those figures have shifted:

Republican House Seats with a Democrat Favored: 1

    Ariz. 8 -- Kolbe*

Republican House Seats Leaning Democratic : 8 (Up by 3)

    Colo. 7 -- Beauprez*
    Fla. 16 -- vacant*
    Ind. 8 -- Hostettler
    N.Y. 26 -- Reynolds
    Ohio 18 -- vacant*
    Pa. 7 -- Weldon
    Pa. 10 -- Sherwood
    Texas 22 -- vacant*

Republican House Seats with No Clear Favorite : 21 (Up by 3)

    Ariz. 1 -- Renzi
    Ariz. 5 -- Hayworth
    Conn. 4 -- Shays
    Conn. 5 -- Johnson
    Fla. 22 -- Shaw
    Ill. 6 -- Hyde*
    Iowa 1 -- Nussle*
    Ind. 2 -- Chocola
    Ind. 9 -- Sodrel
    Minn. 6 -- Kennedy*
    N.C. 11 -- Taylor
    N.H. 2 -- Bass
    N.M. 1 -- Wilson
    N.Y. 20 -- Sweeney
    N.Y. 24 -- Boehlert*
    Ohio 15 -- Pryce
    Pa. 6 -- Gerlach
    Pa. 8 -- Fitzpatrick
    Wash. 8 -- Reichert
    Wis. 8 -- Green*
    Wyo. AL -- Cubin

Republicans seats only Leaning Republican : 21 (same)

    Calif. 4 -- Doolittle
    Calif. 11 -- Pombo
    Calif. 50 -- Bilbray
    Colo. 4 -- Musgrave
    Conn. 2 -- Simmons
    Fla. 13 -- Harris*
    Idaho 1 -- Otter*
    Ky. 3 -- Northup
    Ky. 4 -- Davis
    Minn. 1 -- Gutknecht
    Neb. 1 -- Fortenberry
    Neb. 3 -- Osborne*
    Nev. 2 -- Gibbons*
    Nev. 3 -- Porter
    N.J. 7 -- Ferguson
    N.Y. 19 -- Kelly
    N.Y. 29 -- Kuhl
    Ohio 1 -- Chabot
    Ohio 2 -- Schmidt
    Pa. 4 -- Hart
    Va. 2 -- Drake

Overall 6 more House Seats have come into play in the last three days, bringing the total to 51.

If we only win half of those seats, our primary goal is accomplished - the Congress shifts to Democratic Control. Every committee chair becomes a Democrat, with we get subpeona power and the ability to set the Congressional agenda with genuine oversight hearings. Rather than having the Downing Street Forum in the basement or having their microphones shut-off during a Patriot Act hearing - Democrats get to be heard. And so might a few facts as well.

On the Senate Side the main shift is the Allen/Webb race in Virginia which has gone from Leaning Republican to No Clear Favorite. Currently there are 7 Republican Senate Seats at risk.

Mont. -- Burns
Ohio -- DeWine
Pa. -- Santorum
R.I. -- Chafee
Mo. -- Talent
Tenn. -- Frist*
Va. -- Allen

And one Democratic - Senator Menendez in New Jersey - remains in a dead-heat.

Picking up the 6 needed to take the Senate will be difficult, we'll need to retain Menendez and blow out both Corker in Tennesee and Senator Macaca the Bully in Virginia.

I think it's looking good, probably not time to pick out any office furniture yet, but I doubt even Saddam can save them now.

(Now if we could just make sure the votes get counted...)

By Tuesday this overall trend could slide even further, and if so - I don't see any way for the Repubs to keep the House and possibly not even the Senate. We can be sure that the right-wing attack dogs will be ready to pounce on anything the Democrats do, say - or don't say - after they take power.

It's going to be a free-for-all. We've already had to listen to the President repeatedly say that anyone who disagrees with his strategery in Iraq - "wants America to lose". Nevermind the fact that America IS already Losing under his policies and neither the White House or Congress can name a single one of these phantom appeasers. This President and the Republican Congress have codified Torture into our War Policies, and have effectively obliterated due process and habeas corpus. They've illegally spied on ten of millions of Americans and then threatened Journalists for printing the truth while the Pentagon continues to spread public lies

These are not the actions of a free and Democratic society.

To paraphrase the Bannana Republicans at the RNC - we have to remember what's truly at stake here. Our national dignity, our international honor, and our future on not just how to handle the Real War on Terror (in Afghanistan and Pakistan) and bring stabiity to Iraq but also Global Climate Change, Healthcare for working people, the Defecit, Social Security, Maintaining a Living Wage, Protecting Pensions and closing up the War Profiteering Sieve.

Tuesday is our chance to make a dramatic and profound change. We can't afford to miss this oppurtunity.

Vyan

Friday, November 3

HBO: Hacking Democracy's Epitaph

Last night I watched the HBO Documentary "Hacking Democracy" and found it fascinating, if somewhat well worn territory (for myself and Dkossers).

The film follows Bev Harris of Black Box Voting as she originally began to take up the cause of Verified Voting in 2001 and continues through the decertification of Diebold by California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley and verification by Leon Country Election Supervisor Ion Sancho that the results of electronic tabulators can be untracably altered via their memory cards.

But there's more to this story. Much more...

A Review of Hacking Democracy from the New York Times.

TV Review | 'Hacking Democracy'
In the Land of `Every Vote Counts,' Uncertainty on Whether It's Counted Correctly
By VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN

(snip)
Hacking Democracy" follows Ms. Harris and her band of unmerry women (and male hackers and hangers-on) as they trudge to polling places, corporate headquarters and court hearings looking for answers. An "irregularity" -- that's computerese for blank existential terror -- that shows up in Volusia County, Fla., in November 2000 energizes their cause: in that county, Mr. Gore seems to have received "-16,022" votes. A deficit. Negative votes. It doesn't take a scientist from Stanford to explain that is just, um, bad.

A second memory card, which vanished into thin air (naturally), may have been loaded into the computer that counted the votes. That's fraud of the highest order. Susan Bernecker, a Republican candidate for City Council in Jefferson Parish, La., in the mid-1990s, went to test the voting machines years ago. Twice, in a demo, she pressed her own name to see how it would register; twice the name of her opponent was registered in the memory of the machine. They test 15 more machines and find the same results.

Rigged voting in Louisiana? Say it ain't so. But it's not shocked-shocked you feel watching this; it's genuine shock. As the drama proceeds, adducing more evidence for the unreliability of the voting machines than can possibly be explored here, you might also feel flattened. Computers count around 80 percent of votes in America. The marketing director for Diebold, Mark Radke, who defends both the company and its chief executive (a major Republican fund-raiser who once promised in a letter to "deliver the electoral votes of Ohio" to President Bush), talks in maddening doublespeak and wears the arched-eyebrow expression of a silent-movie fiend. His Nixon-era nondenial denials turn the stomach.

Bev Harris herself has been rather controversial in these waters -- but there's little denying the public service that she has performed by being involved in this film.

In the film we see Bev and her friends dumpster diving in Georgia and Florida for election materials and managing to discover signed copies of tabulator printouts which by law are supposed to be kept for years following an election.

Harris shows Howard Dean - how to hack an election using MS Access. (Which is not exactly a "high-end" software app)

The HBO film ends with the work of Harri Husti as he manages to duplicate the Volusi County negative vote phenomenon simply by updating the memory card used on a tabulator machine in a demonstration for Ion Sancho of Leon County Fl. - it is apparently this demonstration which eventually led to Sancho to kick Diebold out of the county. Let me point out that this machine is used to count PAPER Ballots and that the results of Hursti's test show that such modifications could be done without detection and could affect all votes throughout not just a single precinct, but an entire county or congressional district depending on how many ballots are sent through the infected machine.

Voting Absentee is No Protection as all ballots are eventually put through the same tabulator machines. If the machine has been tampered with, every vote will be affected.

Unfortunately the real ending for the film isn't nearly as positive as what was shown by HBO.

After kicking out Diebold Sancho ran in to problems with other voting equipment companies who complained "they couldn't trust him".

Now all state-approved companies refuse to sell him the machines he's ordered until he promises to run no further checks on them. And he's had to return the $1/2 million dollar grant he wanted to use to order voting machines for the disabled.

But wait, it gets worse...

After decertifying Diebold for California, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley resigned amid scandal and was replaced by Republican Bruce McPherson (as appointed by Governer Schwarzenegger) who quickly proceeded to recertify Diebold.

Diebold Machines are in use Now, thruout California for Early/Absentee voting.

As was recently shown by Computer Scientists from Princeton, these machines remain highly vulnerable to tampering - all you need is some code and a mini-bar key to access the machine. Even the dim-bulbs on Faux News were shocked when they were shown how to hack an election in 90 seconds.

Husti has also found security holes and "back-doors" in other Diebold machines, holes which the state of Maryland had been aware of for nearly two years.

All it would take is One person to change the outcome of an election according to the Washington Post.

A malicious individual with access to a voting machine could rig the software without being detected. Worse yet, if the attacker rigged the machine used to compute the totals for some precinct, he or she could alter the results of that precinct. The only fix the RABA authors suggested was to warn people that manipulating an election is against the law.

...

Diebold spokesman David Bear admitted to the New York Times that the back door was inserted intentionally so that election officials would be able to update their systems easily. Bear justified Diebold's actions by saying, "For there to be a problem here, you're basically assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software... I don't believe these evil elections people exist."

We shouldn't have to trust the veracity of a Diebold spokesmans belief on this issue. But unfortunately, their assurances are pretty much all we have - that and the likelyhood that all of our election workers are honest and honorable.

On a personal note I'm not entirely cynical on this issue, as I happen to be an election worker myself, and have been for the last several years including the 2004 Presidential contest. This month I went through training on the latest ballot reader devices which will be used at all 5026 precincts in Los Angeles County. My mother is an Election Inspector - which means that last Sunday she picked up all of the polling place materials and has been storing them in her living room - including the ballot reader. Now I happen to have a computer software and security background, including 12 years working for a defense contrator and several more as a consultant with the State of california.

IMO There are all kinds of mischief possibilities here. (I noticed during our training that access to the Admin Functions of the reader were not password protected. This may be changed on election day - I would hope!). But to date - simply because of my own personal honor - I haven't touched anything and I won't - But I could if I wanted to.

So could the other inspectors and additional 10,000+ polls workers in this one county. Can we truly expect that everyone will show the same restraint? I would hope so, but unfortunately I think not.

On the positive side, the 5000+ ballot readers which are currently sitting in various living rooms and garages across L.A. County are not being used to count the votes, only to verify that the voter hasn't made any mistakes which might invalidate their vote. They do have the capability to count votes, but that feature has been turned off - for now.

The situation is dire, but it is NOT hopeless. This is no time to hang our heads in frustration and despair. It's time to ACT.

From my years of experience at the polls my suggestion to anyone who feels this is a serious issue is - if you haven't already - take Tuesday off and spend it at your local polling place to WATCH. Citizens have a right to be view their Democracy in progress. Bring a Camera, a note pad and a cell phone.

  • Document anyone trying to influence or sway voters (Electioneering within 100 feet of Poll), it's a crime.

  • Document any challenges to a voters status, unreasonable requests for ID or their being required to vote provisionally without just cause.

  • Federal Law Requires that Poll Workers Update the Street Index every hour to indicate who has already voted. This index (in California) includes that Name, Address, Phone Number and PARTY AFFILIATION of each registered voter. USE YOUR PHONE and get our people to the Polls.

There isn't much we can do about malicious code which may or may not be in play this upcoming Tuesday (Robert F Kennedy Jr has a pending lawsuit against Diebold which should eventually help in the future) but we can do something about the human element right now!.

By acting individually we can avoid the types of "phone bank jamming" tricks that Republicans have used in the past. They can't stop all of us. Don't wait for the campaigns and the politicians to protect your Democracy for you - Take it personally. Get involved and make sure everyones vote counts. We can't afford not too.

Vyan

Thursday, November 2

Bush's War on Fact (and NYT) Escalates to DefCon 3

As reported by Glenn Greenwald, the Bush Administration is threatening legal action against the NY Times for exposing Dick Cheney's lies about Iraq.

While speaking with Rush Limbaugh

They're off to a good start. It is difficult, no question about it, but we've now got over 300,000 Iraqis trained and equipped as part of their security forces. They've had three national elections with higher turnout than we have here in the United States. If you look at the general overall situation, they're doing remarkably well.

The NY Times on the other hand has release a classified Pentagon Report indicating that Iraq is Slipping Toward Chaos.

Guess who the Bush Administration wants to put in the penalty box?

But of course - according to Fox News - it's the New York Times.

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is looking into how classified information indicating Iraq is moving closer to chaos wound up on the front page of Wednesday's New York Times, and is not ruling out an investigation that could lead to criminal charges.

A spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for operations in Iraq, confirmed to FOX News that a chart published in The Times is a real reflection of the thinking of military intelligence on the situation in Iraq as of Oct. 18, adding that an effort is underway to find out who leaked the chart and if the breach of operational security constitutes a crime.

So Fox News has confirmed that the Chart reflects the Truth - and the Pentagon response is "Who leaked it?"

The shrill call for heads to roll has already begun to ricochet around the wingnut-o-sphere.

Michelle Malkin -

Meant to get to this earlier, but the newspaper of wreckage is at it again--publishing illegally leaked classified information about the war in yet another transparent effort to sway the election.

The article title: "Military Charts Movement of Conflict in Iraq Toward Chaos."

After blabbing about the classified info revelaed in the article for 11 paragraphs, the Times notes:

A spokesman for the Central Command declined to comment on the index or other information in the slide. "We don't comment on secret material," the spokesman said.

The article then continues to blab about the illegally leaked info for another seven paragraphs.

Mario Loyola (National Review) has some questions:

I want to know whether there is any level of national secret the Times is not willing to betray for the political advantage of its pet causes.

There is nothing the blabbermouths won't blab if it hurts the Bush administration.

And I would like to know what else they may have doctored on the slide.

Hello, Justice Department?

And while we're at it, I would love to understand why the law doesn't prohibit the propagation of strategic national secrets in wartime -- which has always been understood as treason.

So let see, the New York Times prints the truth - and they know it's the truth - and as a result it's assumed they only did it because they're just a bunch of "Bush Haters", are accused of making shit up and of being traitors?

The question of why Dick Cheney has repeated lied to the American public doesn't even enter the equation. How about this one: Why was the chart in question - which has merely verified what has been obvious since the bombing of the Golden Mosque in February - classified in the first place?

This isn't strategic or tactical data. It doesn't tell us anything about how U.S. or Iraqi Forces plan to respond - it simply gives an assessment of where things are, and where they is not Disneyland.

Sharing that information doesn't hurt the War on Terra &tm, it simply hurts the Bush Administration's ability to lie with impunity.

BushGov was pretty pissed about Banking Leak, the NSA Eavesdropping Leak, and the Secret Prisons leak, never mind that most of these actions on the part of the Administration violated both U.S. and International law. Oh... and they were all true.

But leaking classified information about Valerie Plame-Wilson and destroying our ability to detect and fight weapons proliferation in Iraq and Iran? No problem. How about Republican Senator Pat Robertson leaking classified info which hampered our efforts to capture Saddam Hussein? No biggie.

Glenn sums it up:

This is what the ideal world of the Bush follower looks like: If the Government is waging a war and things are going horribly, the Government has the right to lie to its citizens and claim that things are going remarkably well. If a newspaper is furnished with documents prepared by the military that shows that the Government is lying and that things are actually going very poorly, the newspaper should then be barred from informing their readers about that truth -- and ought to criminally prosecuted, perhaps even executed, if they do so.

It truly takes an authoritarian mind of the most irredeemable proportions to watch our political leaders have their lies exposed about a war and have as their first reaction the desire that those who exposed the lies be prosecuted and imprisoned. But it isn't just Bush followers here who are demanding that, but the Bush administration itself, through the military, that is threatening to do so.

This threat is quite real IMO, especially with Alberto Gonzales already on record as threating to prosecute journalists.

Over the weekend, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales made a Draconian threat to prosecute journalists for writing about the National Security Agency's clandestine and illegal monitoring of U.S.-overseas telephone calls. That threat shows what an Orwellian farce the government's classified information system has become.

Gonzales is threatening to prosecute reporters under the 1917 Espionage Act. This anachronistic act was passed during World War I to make it illegal for unauthorized personnel to receive and transmit national defense information. The law is also currently being used to prosecute two lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for obtaining and transmitting classified information they received from a U.S. Defense Department employee. The lobbyists' lawyers have filed a motion in court arguing that the law is an unconstitutional breach of the First Amendment right to free speech.

Gonzales threats are bad enough, but if the Pentagon gets involved, all bets are off the table after the passage of the Military Commissions Act and the obliteration of Habeas Corpus for non-U.S. Citizens. Reporters could literally just - Disappear.

Think it couldn't happen? It already has to a Pulizer Prize Wining AP Photographer whose been in U.S. Custody for six months now without a hearing.

Military officials said Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi citizen, was being held for "imperative reasons of security" under United Nations resolutions. AP executives said the news cooperative's review of Hussein's work did not find anything to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents, and any evidence against him should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system.

Hussein, 35, is a native of Fallujah who began work for the AP in September 2004. He photographed events in Fallujah and Ramadi until he was detained on April 12 of this year.

Hussein is one of an estimated 14,000 people detained by the U.S. military worldwide - 13,000 of them in Iraq. They are held in limbo where few are ever charged with a specific crime or given a chance before any court or tribunal to argue for their freedom.

In Hussein's case, the military has not provided any concrete evidence to back up the vague allegations they have raised about him, Curley and other AP executives said.

This is not something that we can idly stand-by and let pass. This creeping totalitarianism is a real threat and most certainly will affect U.S. Citizens as we've already seen in cases such as Jose Padilla, Yasar Hamdi or the Liberty Seven. It has to be fought tooth and nail - stopped in it's tracks.

Hopefully November 7th will be a turning point. It must.

Vyan

Wednesday, November 1

Kerry off the Campaign Trail

Ok, people this is a disgrace. Just check this from CNN.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. John Kerry canceled plans to campaign for fellow Democrats after the GOP began hammering him over his comments to college students about getting "stuck in Iraq."

President Bush's 2004 presidential rival -- who explained Tuesday that his comments were a "botched joke" targeting Bush -- will not appear with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bob Casey on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a Democratic official said.

"I would be surprised if you see him welcomed out there anywhere," the official said, "and certainly not in a race that is meaningful."

Strategists at both the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees told their candidates the flap is a distraction they don't need right now.

What's disgraceful isn't what Kerry said, it's the fact that Democrats haven't learned what he learned two years ago -- The Best Defense is a Strong Offense.

The Republican National Committee took advantage of the Kerry gaffe with an ad featuring the text of quotes from Maj. Gen. Thomas Bostick, Sen. John McCain and Bush, supporting U.S. troops.

A video clip of Kerry's Monday remarks follows, then the caption, "John Kerry should apologize. Our soldiers are waiting." (Time.com: John Kerry, still one step behind)

The Democratic official said the issue doesn't appear to change the impact of any races, but it may attract more GOP supporters in close Senate contests in Missouri and Tennessee.

...

Kerry's office said two House campaign appearances by the senator also have been canceled -- by mutual decision -- so as not to "allow the Republican hate machine to use Democratic candidates as their proxies in their distorted spin war in which once again they're willing to exploit brave American troops."

These include Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz, who is trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht, R-Minnesota. Congressional candidate Bruce Braley of Iowa also announced that Kerry would not be appearing with him.

So this unnamed "Democratic Official" thinks this might bring out the GOP vote in Missouri (Talent v McCaskill) and Tennesee (Corker v Ford)?

Both those races are a dead-heat BTW. Maybe, but only if Democrats allow these lies to stand.

Clearly the RNC agrees, they're using this issue to try an d raise last minute funds (From my mailbox)

Listen closely this election season and you'll hear the truth about what Democrats represent.

Monday, failed Presidential candidate John Kerry brazenly insulted the brave American men and women serving in our military. At a campaign stop for Democrats in California, Kerry told students that "you know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't you get stuck in Iraq."

In Kerry's cocoon of privilege, those who
serve in our military are failures who never did their homework or "made an effort to be smart."

Ridiculous, right? Bashing Kerry for being an effete liberal elitist is the straw that the GOP is hanging all thier hopes on. But that's doesn't mean that Kerry's entirely done. Not yet.

Appearing on radio host Don Imus' program, "Imus in the Morning," Kerry said Wednesday, "I'm going back to Washington. I'm going back to tackle this, you bet."

Kerry said the controversy was "swift boat stuff all over again," referring to the 2004 campaign issue about his service in Vietnam. "They shouldn't be allowed to do that," the Massachusetts lawmaker said.

He added, "I'm telling you, I'm not going to let these guys lie and smear, and they put their whole machine out to do it, and they ought to apologize."

He may not be campaigning per se - but he will be fighting directly and explicitly over this issue.

What is sad is how other Democrats have failed to back Kerry up... with the clear exception of Max Cleland:

"I think people will remember John Kerry's press conference today as the moment we Democrats stopped once and forever accepting the disgraceful smears of Republicans. John Kerry showed our Party how to fight back with the truth.

"John Kerry is a patriot who has fought tooth and nail for veterans ever since he came home from Vietnam. He has stood with his brothers in arms unlike this Administration which exploits our troops to make a political point and divide America.

Unfortunately neither Kerry or Cleland are currently running for anything. It's really a sad commentary when the only Democrats with the backbone to stand up to the blatant and incessant LIES of the RNC and Bush Administration - are the ones who have nothing to lose by doing so.

Democrats should be rallying around Kerry's words blasting the Bush Administration - not running from him. Iraq remains the biggest issue in this election. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran give Kerry a "B" rating while his uber-patriot detractors such as McCain and Frist can only rate a "D". On the issue of substantially supporting the troops with more than just words - Democrats are head and shoulders ahead of Republicans. We should commit his words to memory and have them emblazoned in our hearts, in our minds and on the tip of our lips - at all times!

"If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they're afraid to debate real men. And this time it won't work because we're going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq."

In this midst of the Kerry-flap - some things are being ignored, such as this exchange between Tony Snow and Helen Thomas which took place immediately after his attack on Kerry:


SNOW:Helen.

Q Does the President owe the Democrats an apology for saying that the terrorists -- that they will appease the terrorists?

MR. SNOW: No. Let's take -- you know what's interesting, Helen, and I've said this before --

Q How bellicose was he?

MR. SNOW: I don't think it's bellicose. Look, let's listen to what the Democrats -- or let's think about what Democrats are doing in this election campaign. When it comes to winning the war on terror, what is their plan? They've not said. They have talked about withdrawal --

Q -- 101 in Iraq --

MR. SNOW: -- they've talked about a whole series of things, in terms of complaining -- looking back over their shoulders and complaining about past decisions. But when it comes to the key issue, how do you achieve victory -- they say they want to achieve it, but they won't tell you how. [V: Neither does the President] They will tell you what they oppose what the President is doing. They oppose the Patriot Act; they have opposed the Terrorist Surveillance Program; they oppose the program by which we detain, question and bring to justice the worst of the terrorists. So they have opposed all of those things, so we know what they oppose, but we don't know what they're going to do.

Q How does the President propose to win? How does the President -- 101 in October dying --

MR. SNOW: The President understands that it is difficult. This is a man who signs each and every condolence note. He is absolutely aware of the human cost. And he grieves for every family and every person that we've lost. But on the other hand, he also knows two things. First, as General Casey said last week, there is not a single military engagement that we have not won, and we don't give our soldiers credit for that.

As a matter of fact Democrats do have a plan - it's right here.

This is not something Democrats should apologize for - Republicans should. They should apologize for ignoring the evidence from the State Dept and the Energy Department discounting the aluminum tubes as tools for uranium enrichment. They should apologize to Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame-Wilson. They should apologize for lying to us about the fact the weapons inspectors were on the ground right up until "Shock and Awe", that Saddam "had not fully disclosed" (when he had), for utilizing torture in our name to generate bad information, for causing the deaths of nearly 3,000 American soldiers and possibly as many as 500,000 Iraqis all for a series of lies.

But they won't apologize until they're made to feel the same sense of loss that has affected thousands of the families across the U.S. as a result of their policies - they won't apologize until their asses are out on the street and out of office crying in shame like little David Safavian did when he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for accepting bribes from Jack Abramoff while working in the White House.

Vote these bums out! That's how we'll make them cry too.

Vyan

The Kerry Education Kerfuffle

During a stump speach supporting Democratic Governatorial candidate Phil Angeledes, Senator John Kerry made a joke. Not a good joke, but a joke none-the-less about our current Commander-in-Brief's lack of attention to facts and detail.
“You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
This is what had been scripted for him to say:
“I can’t overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.”
In reponse to Kerry stating that Bush and the White House aren't very smart - they proceeded to prove him correct by blasting him for - attacking the troops.

Yesterday, my opponent in 2004 presidential race, Senator Kerry, was speaking to a group of young people in California.

AUDIENCE: Booo!

THE PRESIDENT: I want you to listen to what he said. He said: you know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well; if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.

AUDIENCE: Booo!

THE PRESIDENT: The Senator's suggestion that the men and women of our military are somehow uneducated is insulting and it is shameful. (Applause.) The members of the United States military are plenty smart, and they are plenty brave, and the Senator from Massachusetts owes them an apology. (Applause.)

Whatever party you're in, in America, our troops deserve the full support of our government. (Applause.) And I don't have any doubt that Mac Collins will stand strong for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States. (Applause.)

Tony Snow's Response:

Q If I could follow up, on the campaign trail, Senator Kerry was in Los Angeles and speaking to some students, saying if they were able to navigate the education system, they could get comfortable jobs, but "if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." Can you react to that?

MR. SNOW: Yes, I'll actually give you a fuller quote. He said: "You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

It sort of fits a pattern. You may recall that last year Senator Kerry -- on CBS's "Face the Nation" -- accused U.S. soldiers of terrorizing kids and children in Iraq; and recently also described troop concentrations in Baghdad as "having failed miserably."

What Senator Kerry ought to do first is apologize to the troops. The clear implication here is if you flunk out, if you don't study hard, if you don't do your homework, if you don't make an effort to be smart and you don't do well, you "get stuck in Iraq." But an extraordinary thing has happened since September 11th, which is a lot of people -- America's finest -- have willingly agreed to volunteer their services in a mission that they know is dangerous, but is also important. And Senator Kerry not only owes an apology to those who are serving, but also to the families of those who have given their lives in this.

This is an absolute insult. And I'm a little astonished that he didn't figure it out already. I mean, you know, if I were Senator Kerry -- I mean, you've seen me, I say something stupid, I apologize as quickly as possible. (Yeah, Right!) And this is something for which he ought to apologize. Meanwhile, it's probably reasonable to ask some of the Democrats -- ask a Jim Webb or a Tammy Duckworth, both of whom are citing their military record -- okay, what do you think about it, what do you think about this quote? Do you agree with him? He was your presidential nominee. And as for the notion that you can say this sort of thing about the troops and say you support them, it's interesting.

This was further blasted by the right-wing echo chamber on Fox News:

  • On the October 31 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk, anchor Martha MacCallum declared that Kerry said "[i]n essence ... only uneducated people fight for our country." MacCallum further reported on criticism of Kerry's remarks by the White House and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) without noting that a Kerry aide had already stated that Kerry was referring to President Bush.
  • Also during a subsequent report on the October 31 edition of Fox News Live, while Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume discussed Kerry's statement, on-screen text read, "Kerry defends statement on troops & education." In fact, Kerry defended his statement by explicitly asserting that he was not talking about the "troops" but, rather, about Bush.

  • On the October 31 edition of Studio B with Shepherd Smith, Smith cropped the portion of Kerry's remarks where he stated that his remarks were about Bush, then asserted that "Kerry told a group of college students, 'if you do your homework, and you do well, you won't get stuck in Iraq.' "

Even Lou Dobbs on CNN ( oh wait, Lou Dobbs is a Republican) got it horribly wrong:

DOBBS: Outrage tonight after Senator John Kerry says students should think about getting stuck in Iraq if they don't work hard at school. President Bush is demanding an immediate apology from the senator. What is the impact on Democrats and these midterm elections? We'll have that special report and a great deal more, straight ahead here tonight.

Washington – Senator John Kerry issued the following statement in response to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, assorted right wing nut-jobs, and right wing talk show hosts desperately distorting Kerry’s comments about President Bush to divert attention from their disastrous record:

But Kerry has done anything but apologize - he's gone on the attack.

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.”

And just what John McCain doing while this was going on? He was insulting and patronizing Iraq Veteran and Democratic Congress hopeful Tammy Duckworth who lost both legs in the war, while campaigning with her opponent:

John McCain:
"I go out to Walter Reed quite often and see these brave young soldiers who have served and sacrificed so much. Many of them have lost limbs, as you know. And it's a very sad thing to see. But at the same time it's very uplifting.
Anyone think McCain owes Duckworth an apology?

What about former Senator Max Cleland (no stranger to GOP smear tactics he)? Cleland issued a statement in response to Bill Frists claim that Kerry owed the troops an apology.:

“I think people will remember John Kerry’s press conference today as the moment we Democrats stopped once and forever accepting the disgraceful smears of Republicans. John Kerry showed our Party how to fight back with the truth.

“John Kerry is a patriot who has fought tooth and nail for veterans ever since he came home from Vietnam. He has stood with his brothers in arms unlike this Administration which exploits our troops to make a political point and divide America.

“John Kerry should apologize to no one for his criticism of the President and his broken policy in Iraq. George Bush is the one who owes our troops an apology. This is text book Republican campaign tactics.

“Everybody knows it’s not working this time around. If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’ve got a partisan political agenda and that’s the bottom line. We’re not going to take it any more.”

Many have said they wished they'd seen this side of John Kerry two years ago. But they did, it was there - he was just as forceful then, but rarely received coverage for his comments. The only thing he wouldn't say then, but will now, is the "L" word. Liar. He repeatedly said that the President "misled" us into this war, and he continues to say that now.

I think most of us are smart enough not to fall for this trick yet again. The Ameican People aren't buying what Bush is selling.

Iraq remains the biggest issue to voters in this upcoming mid-term election. (29%), followed by the Economy (21%) and Healthcare (19%). John Kerry's comments aren't on the list.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America rate John Kerry's legislative record as a "B" for how well he supports the troops. (Oddly enough they don't rate the President, but Bill Frist and John McCain both get a "D")

But then I think many of the troops already know that Bush doesn't support them (Letters excerpted from Stars and Stripes)
Bush, Republicans failed/Sad 'State' of cartoon affairs/Inferior body armor for Army, Oct. 31, 2006
When Americans see the new Republican political campaign fear ad that shows a picture of bin Laden, it should remind all Americans of Bush’s and the Republicans’ failure to accomplish the one mission that all Americans came together to ask of them: “Get bin Laden.”

Time to vote for Democrats, Oct. 30, 2006
Kevin Tillman’s commemorating the birthday of his brother Pat on Nov. 6 is a withering excoriation of Bush’s policies of pre-emptive strike, kidnapping, torture, war profiteering, subverting the Bill of Rights/Constitution/Geneva Conventions and suspending habeas corpus. Tillman reminds readers that the U.S. is still a democracy, and that change can still take place within our government, starting the day after Pat Tillman’s birthday, Election Day.

Print all political views, Oct. 28, 2006
Dr. Laura Schlesinger recently commented on her radio show that the Democrats should shut up about former Rep. Mark Foley’s escapades and should be more concentrated on trying to get North Korea to stop nuclear testing. This is a sad commentary of a doctor who is supposed to help people, including those who are victims of pedophilia. Moreover, she forgets that Republicans have lost credibility worldwide, which is why they have to consistently convey their failed policy to the North Koreans and Iranians that “if you take one more step, I’ll, I’ll … (add punishment here)” and then do nothing.

Vyan

Vote Vets Ad for Tennesee

Featuring former NATO Supreme Commander and FOX News Consultant Gen Wesley Clark:

Tuesday, October 31

Republicans Don't Support the Troops

As the election draws newer various Neo-Con Operatives from Second Lady Lynn Cheney to Rep Duncan Hunter and Bill O'Reilly have challenged Administration critics of the Iraq War - "Do you want us to win?"

Typically Stupified by the Ridiculousness of the Question most targets have stammered through their answer. Wolf Blitzer had to wait until the follow day to recompose his thoughts and eventually whine they Cheney dared to "Snip at his Patriotism"

All of them failed to give the proper response - "Considering the Policies you expouse, ignoring valid intelligence, ignoring safe troop levels, ignoring the insurgency for a year and your failure to support our troops with proper equipment and healthcare - Do YOU Want us to win Iraq or simply let this conflict grind on forever with our troops in harms way?"

According to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Themselves - Republicans Do Not Support Our Troops.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America, a PAC formed of current and former memers of our Military in during our ongoing conflicts have produced a scorecard of how well House and Senate members have done at Voting for the Troops Best Interest (Specifically highlighting issues such as National Defense Authorization, the DOD Appropriations Bill, Support for TRICARE (Heathcare) For Reservists, Helmet Injury Studies and Opposition to the Military Commissions Act)

How well did the leaders in the House and Senate do on their Scorecard? See for yourself.

Republicans

Democrats

In the Senate the Contrast is similarly stark:

Republicans

Democrats

At the 2004 Republican National Convention Ex-Democrat Zell Miller claimed that John Kerry would want to "Lob spit balls" at our enemies. His claims were echoed on that stage by Rudolph Guiliani.

At the time, we believed we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, "Thank God George Bush is our President." I've been saying that every day since.

We needed George Bush then; we need him now; and we need him for four more years!

President Bush is making certain that we are combating terrorism at the source, beyond our shores, so we can reduce the risk of having to confront it in our streets at home.

John Kerry's record of inconsistent positions on combating terrorism gives us no confidence he'll pursue such a determined course.

How do the actual Vets Rate John Kerry? They gave him a B.

What about other prominent Democrats like that aging grey lefty Ted Kennedy? He got a B+.

John "Cut And Run" Murtha? - B.

How's that compared that the various GOP Stalwarts in the Senate?

    John ("We can torture if we want to") McCain - D
    John Warner - D+
    Lindsey Graham - D-

Call me silly, but I think I'm starting to notice a trend. But to prove that theory we would need to see a general trend among more members of the House and Senate yes? Perhaps if we look at some of tighter races as identified by CQPolitics.

In the House:

    Democratic Seats - Currently Leaning Democratic (8 Total).

      Ga. 8 -- Marshall - B+
      Ga. 12 -- Barrow - B-
      Iowa 3 -- Boswell - B+
      Ill. 8 -- Bean - B+
      La. 3 -- Melancon - B+
      Vt. AL -- Sanders* - B

      Upgraded to "Leans" to "Democrat Favored" compared to last week)

      Colo. 3 -- Salazar- B+
      Ill. 17 -- Evans* - A

    Zero Democratic seats show "No clear winner". Zero are "Leaning Republican". All others are either Leaning Democratic or Safe Democratic.

    Republican seat where a Democrat is currently favored:

      Ariz. 8 -- Kolbe* - C

    Republican seats that Lean Democratic (5 Total)


      Ind. 8 -- Hostettler - C+
      N.Y. 26 -- Reynolds - C
      Pa. 7 -- Weldon - B-

      Colo. 7 -- Beauprez* - C (Was "No Clear Favorite" Last week)

    Two other seats (Texas 22 and Fla. 16) are current vacant and Leaning Democratic.

    Republican seats No Clear Favorite (19 Total).

      Conn. 4 -- Shays - B
      Fla. 22 -- Shaw - C+
      Ill. 6 -- Hyde* - C+
      Iowa 1 -- Nussle* - C
      Ind. 2 -- Chocola - C-
      Ind. 9 -- Sodrel - D
      Minn. 6 -- Kennedy* - C+
      N.C. 11 -- Taylor - C
      N.M. 1 -- Wilson - B-
      N.Y. 20 -- Sweeney - C+
      N.Y. 24 -- Boehlert* - C+
      Ohio 15 -- Pryce - C+
      Ohio 18 -- Ney* - C+
      Pa. 6 -- Gerlach - B-
      Pa. 8 -- Fitzpatrick - C-
      Pa. 10 -- Sherwood - C
      Wash. 8 -- Reichert - D+
      Wis. 8 -- Green* - C+

In the Senate:

    Democratic seats merely leaning Democratic.

      Md. -- Sarbanes* - B+
      Neb. -- Nelson - B-
      Wash. -- Cantwell - A-

    Democratic Seats with "No Clear Favorite"

      NJ- Menendez - B.

    No Democratic held Seat currently Leans Republican, all the rest are "Democrat Favored" or "Safe".

    Republican Senate Seats Leaning Democratic.

      Mont. -- Burns - D+
      Ohio -- DeWine - D+
      Pa. -- Santorum- D-
      R.I. -- Chafee - C

    Republican Senate Seats with No Clear Favorite

      Mo. -- Talent -D+
      Tenn. -- Frist* - D

    Republican Senate Seats Leaning Republican.

      Va. -- Allen - D+

It seems to me the choice is clear. With the exception of Republicans such as Chris Shays, Kurt Weldon and a handful of others - and contrary to their constant claims of Uber-Patriotism - If you wish to Truly Support The Troops, then the clear choice, according to the Our Boys Themselves is to vote and support Democratic Candidates.

It's a "No Brainer".

Vyan

Sunday, October 29

Lynn Cheney does the Torture Tango

In the wake of this weeks inadvertant admissions by Dick Cheney that the U.S. has engaged in Water-boarding of terrorist detainees, his wife Lynn Cheney went on CNN to dance around the corpse of Democracy in our front yard defend her husband and the administration. In the process she yet again broke the emergency glass on that old Conservative Canard - Liberal Media Bias...

CHENEY: Well, you know, right there, Wolf, "BROKEN GOVERNMENT." Now, what kind of stance is that? Here we are. We're a country where we have been mightily challenged over the past six years. We've been through 9/11. We've been through Katrina. The president and the vice president inherited a recession. We're a country where the economy is healthy. That's not broken. This government has acted very well.


The ridiculousness of Cheney's performance can not be understated. She proclaimed, in response to the recent Jimm Webb Novel controversy that her novel "Sisters" did not contain lesbian love scenes.

BLITZER: Here's what the Democratic Party put out today, the Democratic Congressional -- Senatorial Campaign Committee: "Lynne Cheney's book featured brothels and attempted rape. In 1981, Vice

President Dick Cheney's wife, Lynne, wrote a book called "Sisters", which featured a lesbian love affair, brothels and attempted rapes."

CHENEY: No.

BLITZER: "In 1988, Lynn Cheney wrote about a Republican vice president who dies of a heart attack while having sex with his mistress." Is that true?

CHENEY: Nothing explicit. And actually, that was full of lies. It's not -- it's just -- it's absolutely not a...

BLITZER: Did you write a book entitled "Sisters"?

CHENEY: I did write a book entitled "Sisters."

BLITZER: It did have lesbian characters.

CHENEY: This -- no, not necessarily. This description is a lie. I'll stand on that.

See, there you go - it's all a pack of lies from the Liberal Left. Nothing to see here - move along.

Except maybe this from the New York Daily News:

Choice scenes adapted from "Sisters" included one in which two female characters write to each other: "Let us go away together, away from the anger and the imperatives of men. We shall find ourselves a secluded bower where they dare not venture. There will be only the two of us, and we shall linger through long afternoons of sweet retirement."

One of Cheney's characters swoons to a Sapphic love letter: "How well her words describe our love - or the way it would be if we could remove all impediments, leave this place, and join together ... Then our union would be complete. Our lives would flow together, twin streams merging into a single river."

Now, let me be clear - I don't have any issue with Lesbian Love Scenes - I have a problem with people, like Cheney, who think everyone else is so dumb that they'll let them get away with such a blatant lie.

But then again, the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy must be to blame for it. Yeah, it's all the fault of those crazed liberals and their media front men like Blitzer.

Cheney, in response to CNN daring to tell the story of a former detainee who had been apprehended in England, rended to Pakistan, Afghanistan, then Gitmo and finally - stated:

CHENEY: You know, I think that you might be a little careful before you declare this as a person with clean hands.

BLITZER: You're referring to the CNN "BROKEN GOVERNMENT" special.

CHENEY: I certainly am.

BLITZER: This was the one that John King reported on last night.

Here's the detainees story from "Broken Government":

Meet Moazzam Begg from Birmingham, England. He vividly remembers when he was taken into custody: A midnight knock at the door soon after he had relocated from Afghanistan to Islamabad, Pakistan.

"I opened the door to be faced with people, several of them, pointing guns and electric stun guns. None of them said anything," Begg said. "They didn't ask me any questions, they didn't identify themselves. ... I was made to kneel, my hands were shackled behind my back. My legs were shackled. And the last thing I saw -- they put a hood over my head -- was them walking towards the room where my children were."

During a tense van ride, he would come face to face with his captors -- and the reach of Bush's executive powers in the post-9/11 world.

"Somebody lifted the hood off my head," Begg told CNN. "And I heard an American voice speak to me. And I saw him, and he produced a pair of handcuffs. And he said, 'These handcuffs were from a widow of a September 11 victim' -- given to him in order for him to capture the perpetrators."

Begg spent nearly three years in U.S. custody -- in Pakistan, Afghanistan and then the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. To this day, the CIA and FBI consider him a threat to the United States, but he was released from custody after appeals from British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He now lives back in his hometown.

Three Years. Held that entire time without charges, without explaination, without access to counsel.

Under the just signed Military Commissions Act alien detainees such as Begg no longer have any access to Habeas Corpus. Yes, this means British Citizens too - although they have a perfectly working police force of their own and extradition treaty with the US - we apparently didn't have time for such niceties - we geez only had three years or so to figure out if this guy was really dangerous or not, where you expecting swift justice or something? That's Pre-9/11 Thinking there pal, so you can just stop that right now.

For years the Administration has been running an international kidnapping ring through the CIA, secretly rounding up terrorist suspects - not Actual Terrorists, just Suspects - and shipping them off to Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to be held in hidden prisons outside the view of the international red cross where they have been torture - the kind of facilities that were highlighted in the first season of Keiefer Sutherland's "24". (Remember when they found Dennis Hopper's character in the underground bunker somewhere in LA Country?)

And just for the record, more then a few times - they've gotten the wrong target.

But to Lynn Cheney and her ilk, the concept of Habeas Corpus and the presumption of innocence is something we should be "careful" of? Yeah, something is serously "Broken" in that thinking all right.

The truly frightening part is how desperately the Cheney's of the world will cling to the information forcibly coereced from these "suspects". Particularly Ibn al Shakh al-Libi.

LONDON (AFP) - An Al-Qaeda terror suspect captured by the United States, who gave evidence of links between Iraq and the terror network, confessed after being tortured, a journalist told the BBC.

Ibn al Shakh al Libby told intelligence agents that he was close to Al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri and "understood an awful lot about the inner workings of Al-Qaeda," former FBI agent Jack Clonan told the broadcaster.

Libby was tortured in an Egyptian prison, according to Stephen Grey, the author of the newly-released book "Ghost Plane" who investigated the secret US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prisons that housed terror suspects around the world.

US President George W. Bush confirmed the existence of the network of CIA holding facilities overseas during a September 6 speech defending controversial US interrogation practices.

Libby was apparently taken to Cairo, Clonan told the broadcaster, after being captured in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

"He (Libby) claims he was tortured in jail and that would be routine in Egyptian prisons," Grey said.

"What he claimed most significantly was a connection between ... Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. This intelligence report made it all the way to the top, and was used by (former US secretary of state) Colin Powell as a key piece of justification ... for invading Iraq," he told the broadcaster.

Powell watched a video tape of al-Libbi confession prior to his inclusion of allegations that Saddam Hussein had been working with Al-Qaeda and might pass on chemical/biological weapons technology and training to them. He was key linchpin in the "Don't wait for the mushroom could" strategy.

Unfortunately, al-Libby was a liar.

And his lies, prompted on by his treatment, have led us into an irresponsible War and devastating occupation of an Unarmed Nation.

Yet to this very day, the Adminstration refuses to admit they were wrong about Saddam and Al Qeada.

They refuse to even admit that we employ torture.

Vice President Cheney said yesterday that he was not referring to an interrogation technique known as "waterboarding" when he told an interviewer this week that dunking terrorism suspects in water was a "no-brainer."

Cheney told reporters aboard Air Force Two last night that he did not talk about any specific interrogation technique during his interview Tuesday with a conservative radio host.

"I didn't say anything about waterboarding. . . . He didn't even use that phrase," Cheney said on a flight to Washington from South Carolina.

Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Tony Snow told reporters that the vice president was talking literally about "a dunk in the water," though neither Snow nor Cheney explained what that meant or whether such a tactic had been used against U.S. detainees.

"A dunk in the water is a dunk in the water," Snow said.

Why exactly would you "dunk someone in water" during an interrogation - if not to make them think they're about to drown?

What else could it be? The guy was really thirsty - so we gave him the entire bucket all at once? Is this supposed to be like a carnival ride or something? Is anyone on earth buying this bullshit anymore?

The United States Tried and Convicted Japanese Soldiers for the War Crime of WaterBoarding in 1947.

Now our Government employs those - and likely even worse - techniques. Even if they're guilty we can't legally even TRY THESE PEOPLE, because if they've been tortured any guilty statements are inadmissable (except the that MCA also created some loopholes around that little snag). But to people like Lynn Cheney, it's all just 'lies and distortions".

Keep thinking that Mrs. Cheney - right until Election Day and you get a serious wake up call because you know what?

"Reality has a Liberal Bias" - Steven Colbert.

Amen.

Update Wolf Blitzer has further responded to Lynn Cheney's >attack on his patriotism - when she asked Blitzer "Don't you want us to win?"

Today on CNN’s Late Edition, Blitzer said he was “surprised” at Cheney’s “sniping at my patriotism,” and pointed out that CNN had specifically labeled the tape of a U.S. soldier under fire as terrorist “propaganda.” He also said that CNN had made clear to Cheney’s staff “only hours before the interview” that she would be asked questions about politics during her appearance, not just about her children’s book.


It's the kind of attack that is now common place among Conservatives who think only they have the correct answers to terrorism and al-Qaeda. To them it's inapproprate for CNN to broadcast terrorist propaganda (with caveats) - but the RNC can use it to attack Democrats and stir up fear all they like.

Vyan