Wednesday, December 19

FBI Threatened to Arrest Zubaydah's CIA Interrogators

In the wake of the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes in direct violation of several court orders, it appears more and more information is being released about the wide rift between the CIA and FBI on the methods that were being used.

From Newsweek.

Justice officials refused to comment on what the new A.G. will do, but White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said that if he does open an investigation, the White House would support him. The videotapes, made in 2002, showed the questioning of two high-level Qaeda detainees, including logistics chief Abu Zubaydah, whose interrogation at a secret cell in Thailand sparked an internal battle within the U.S. intelligence community after FBI agents angrily protested the aggressive methods that were used. In addition to waterboarding, Zubaydah was subjected to sleep deprivation and bombarded with blaring rock music by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. One agent was so offended he threatened to arrest the CIA interrogators, according to two former government officials directly familiar with the dispute.

This sounds almost like a scene from 1998's The Seige where FBI Agent Hubbard (Denzel Washington) threatens to arrest General Devereux (Bruce Willis) for his treatment of a terrorist suspect. But this is far more than life immitating art.

Like Denzel, the real FBI was outraged by Zubaydah's treatment.

"They said, 'You've got to be kidding me,' " said Coleman, recalling accounts from FBI employees who were there. " 'This guy's a Muslim. That's not going to win his confidence. Are you trying to get information out of him or just belittle him?' " Coleman helped lead the bureau's efforts against Osama bin Laden for a decade, ending in 2004.

In contrast to the claims of CIA agent Kiriakou, Zubaydah didn't supposedly break after just "35 seconds" - just in time for the next commercial break in "24" - it took weeks.

According to Kiriakou's account, which he said is based on detailed descriptions by fellow team members, Abu Zubaida broke after just 35 seconds of waterboarding, which involved stretching cellophane over his mouth and nose and pouring water on his face to create the sensation of drowning.

But other former and current officials disagreed that Abu Zubaida's cooperation came quickly under harsh interrogation or that it was the result of a single waterboarding session. Instead, these officials said, harsh tactics used on him at a secret detention facility in Thailand went on for weeks or, depending on the account, even months.

Apparently there were several hundred hours of tapes documenting multiple waterboarding sessions with Zubaydah including techniques used during his attempts to sleep.

But interestingly, it appears that he actually gave better information before he was tortured than after...

During his first month of captivity, Abu Zubaida described an al-Qaeda associate whose physical description matched that of Padilla, leading to Padilla's arrest at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago in May 2002. A former CIA officer said in an interview that Abu Zubaida's "disclosure of Padilla was accidental." The officer added that Abu Zubaida "was talking about minor things and provided a small amount of information and a description of a person, just enough to identify him because he had just visited the U.S. Embassy" in Pakistan.

Other officials, including Bush, have said that during those early weeks -- before the interrogation turned harsh -- Abu Zubaida confirmed that Mohammed's role as the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Before he was tortured he gave us Padilla, and confirmed the involvement of KSM. So what did we get after he was tortured?

There is little dispute, according to officials from both agencies, that Abu Zubaida provided some valuable intelligence before CIA interrogators began to rough him up, including information that helped identify Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and al-Qaeda operative Jose Padilla.

But FBI officials, including agents who questioned him after his capture or reviewed documents seized from his home, have concluded that even though he knew some al-Qaeda players, he provided interrogators with increasingly dubious information as the CIA's harsh treatment intensified in late 2002.

In legal papers prepared for a military hearing, Abu Zubaida himself has asserted that he told his interrogators whatever they wanted to hear to make the treatment stop.

Garbage In. Garage out.

In the film Denzel does eventually arrest Bruce for the torture and cold blooded murder of his suspect. In real life, the FBI Cut and Ran

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III eventually ordered the FBI team to withdraw from the interrogation, largely because bureau procedures prohibit agents from being involved in such techniques, according to several officials familiar with the episode.

Instead of upholding the Law, Mueller had the FBI agents withdraw - but then what choice did he have when all the criminal masterminds behind this plot - were in the Whitehouse.

This isn’t something done willy nilly. It’s not something that an agency officer just wakes up in the morning and decides he’s going to carry out an enhanced technique on a prisoner. This was a policy made at the White House, with concurrence from the National Security Council and Justice Department.

But apparently not the FBI, who happens to be the one agency with a long established track record at bringing criminals, including terrorists, to justice.

Vyan

Judge calls for CIA torture Tape Hearings, Defies DOJ

From the AP.

WASHINGTON (CBS) ― A federal judge has ordered a hearing on whether the Bush administration violated a court order by destroying CIA interrogation videos of two Al Qaeda suspects.

U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy rejected calls from the Justice Department to stay out of the matter. He ordered lawyers to appear before him Friday morning.

In June 2005, Kennedy ordered the administration to safeguard "all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay."

Five months later, the CIA destroyed the interrogation videos. The recordings involved suspected terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The Justice Department argued that the videos weren't covered by the order because the two men were being held in secret CIA prisons overseas, not at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

I think this just might be time to go "Oh uh".


The fact that these tapes involve persons not being held at Guantanemo at the time, might be a escape loophole for the Bush Administration however there is also the fact that the ACLU made requests for the same interogation tapes - which weren't limit to GITMO.

NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a motion asking a federal judge to hold the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in contempt, charging that the agency flouted a court order when it destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the harsh interrogation of prisoners in its custody. In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the ACLU and other organizations in October 2003 and May 2004, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the CIA to produce or identify all records pertaining to the treatment of detainees in its custody. Despite the court’s ruling, the CIA never produced the tapes or even acknowledged their existence.

So even if things fall through on Judge Kennedy's hearing, there is still a motion pending in Federal Court to pursue this matter.

And another things it appears that the FBI disputes the CIA claims that Waterboarding Zubaydah was such a good idea afterall.

From the WaPo.

While CIA officials have described him as an important insider whose disclosures under intense pressure saved lives, some FBI agents and analysts say he is largely a loudmouthed and mentally troubled hotelier whose credibility dropped as the CIA subjected him to a simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding and to other "enhanced interrogation" measures.

There is little dispute, according to officials from both agencies, that Abu Zubaida provided some valuable intelligence before CIA interrogators began to rough him up, including information that helped identify Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and al-Qaeda operative Jose Padilla.

But FBI officials, including agents who questioned him after his capture or reviewed documents seized from his home, have concluded that even though he knew some al-Qaeda players, he provided interrogators with increasingly dubious information as the CIA's harsh treatment intensified in late 2002.

In legal papers prepared for a military hearing, Abu Zubaida himself has asserted that he told his interrogators whatever they wanted to hear to make the treatment stop.

One wonders that the real reason that these tapes were destroyed, is because they prove that these techniques are ineffective - not to mention completely and totally illegal.

Vyan


Sunday, December 16

Reid and Pelosi are Pathetic!


Cenk makes some great points in this particular outburst, but he fails to realize something very basic - The Republicans and the President are Sociopaths! Yes, we want Democrats to fight back - but not at the cost of the entire nation in the process - because Repubs have repeatedly demonstrated that they don't care about anything other than bitch-slapping Democrats. If the entire country goes into the toilet in the process - they clearly wouldn't even bother to flush.

But there just might be an upside to all this. With 53 Vetoes on Deck and a possible year-long continuing resolution to keep the government from shutting down Congress may be left with literally nothing to do for 2008. The only option left to them, since they will have been completely disabled from doing the people's business - is to persue removing the President for obstruction.

Maybe WexlerWantSHearings.com has gone up just in time.

Vyan

Sick of the Lies

'm sick of listening to the lies. I'm sick of reading the lies. I'm sick of trying to refute the lies.

Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11. Saddam and OBL hated each other. Saddam was an asshole, but there are a LOT of assholes out there.

Telling the truth is not treasonous. It's telling the truth. Something more politicians should try now and again.

The "liberal" media is anything but liberal. It's beholden to the advertisers, who have their OWN fucking agenda. It's entertainment, and not even GOOD entertainment. It's not remotely connected to the truth anymore. It's all about ratings, and ratings are all about commercials, and commercials are all about corporate advertising. It's a no brainer.

People need the help of their community to succeed. There's no such thing as bootstrap levitation. No man or woman is an island, and without community support, people are lost...or crawl off into the woods to mail letter-bombs.

Everyone deserves decent healthcare, and socialized medicine actually works! The ONLY flaw in the system at that point is if fewer people can afford to become doctors because they go into debt trying to pay their way through medical school on student loans.

What part of "you can't fight an enemy you can't even identify" don't these people get? Not all Iraqis, Arabs, or Muslims are the enemy. The enemy is a mindset--and it's the same goddam mindset our current government seems to embrace. Violence is rarely an answer to anything without sincere attempts at diplomacy and compromise to go along with it.

People who've never been to war should not be allowed to play army with REAL SOLDIERS.

Gay marriage is only a threat to people who don't understand that marriage is a partnership, not a ownership contract.

The PEOPLE own themselves--their bodies and souls do not belong to the State, their employers, their church, or anyone else.

Freedom of speech is sacrosanct. Mess with it at your peril.

We OWN the government. Not the other way around.

You can oppose abortion or effective birth control and sex education. Pick one.

If I want to hear about Jesus, I'll ask.

Higher wages for the lowest classes means more money to spend. More money for the upper classes means LESS money spent. Which do you really think stimulates the economy?

Marx called religion "the opiate of the masses." These days in America, it's probably sports. Religion is more like a hullucinogen.

"Don't do drugs. Except these. And these. And these. And these."

"Alternative energy is a pipe dream." Yeah, kinda like the moon landing.

"America. Love it or leave it." You first.

The Death Penalty is retroactive abortion.

If this administration gave a SHIT about education, they'd fund it. Talk is cheap. Education isn't.

People shouldn't have to go deep in debt just to become more productive members of society.

Minimum wage jobs do not contribute to the tax base.

A stellar teacher is worth a hundred times more than a sports star. It would be nice if they made even a tenth of the salary.

A tiny fraction of the population is getting a free ride on everyone else's labor. And complaining about everyone else while they're getting it. Must be nice.

"Freedom isn't free." As soon as someone explains to me how killing and dying in a dusty place across the ocean contributes to OUR freedom, I might be inclined to agree. Near as I can tell, with illegal wiretapping, illicit surveillance, and 'free speech zones,' we're paying one hell of a high price for increased restrictions on freedom. Tyranny isn't free either, apparently.

What makes some people think big business is more benevolent than 'big government?' Were they repeatedly dropped on their heads when they were little?

Okay, I agree with you. Bush isn't stupid. He's just an asshole. Feel better?

If unscrupulous employers didn't HIRE illegal immigrants, they wouldn't be rushing the borders. Who do you think's really to blame? People who will risk everything to have a better life, or those who already have everything but want cheap labor to exploit so they can have more?

The political divide in this country will never be healed as long as people like Ann Coulter are running around spewing shit. Maybe if she actually ate something once in a while she wouldn't be so damned nasty all the time.

Hey, if the CEO of Pollution Inc. wants to take a crap in the corner of his own living room, that's okay with me. But the minute he tries to crap in my house, I'm going to smack him in the head with a big stick. I don't care WHO his friends are.

I'd rather be friends with a spotted owl than an ignorant logger.

I'm more worried about Grand Theft America than Grand Theft Auto. Call me crazy.

I don't know if this administration had anything to do with 9/11. But I do know they've screwed up just about everything they'd done since. I've never seen any bunch of people more deserving of walking papers in my entire life. And I've worked with some real losers.

If we're depending on the Supreme Court to defend the Constitution, we are in some DEEP shit.

Randi v Oprah: Quien es mas Black?

This week on the Randi Rhodes Show an unexpected brouha occurred over Randi's attempt to poke a little harmless fun at Oprah Winfrey's Obama speach because during the speech, Oprah slipped into a "black-cent" just as Hillary Clinton had done some months ago before the NAACP and at a black church.

Part 1 of Speach

Part 2 of Speach

Randi thought it was ridiculous - that it was Pandering.

Some in her audience disagreed, saying for example that they themselves used two different dialects and accents depending on who they were speaking to and where.

That's when all hell broke lose and Randi accused them of being anti-White Racists for even thinking that way.


I was pretty annoyed with Randi's claims when I heard them, unfortunately I've been incredibly busy this week and didn't have time to post a response - until now.

On the issue of "Pandering": No, Oprah was not pandering by speaking with the accect she used since that clearly wasn't the manner that her audience would most likely speak in. She wasn't in the south. She wasn't in a church. "Pandering" would have been for her to try to sound like an Iowan, and that's not what she did. Not even close.

Yet Randi thinks that because she's watched every episode of Oprah, including 17 straight hours from the 30th Anniversay Box Set, that she "Knows" Oprah and how she talks.

**WRONG**

Do you also know what her favorite toothp aste and nail polish color is? I doubt it. Randi was wise enough to realize that what we hear Oprah speaking most of the time is "Broacaster-eze." The allegedtly Neutral Accent (sometimes referred to as the "California Accent") that most people on television are required by their job to use. Oprah was born in Mississippi, and lived for a time in both Milwaukee and Nashville Tennesee before eventually becoming a News Anchor in Baltimore.

There's no good reason to believe that her formative time in both Mississippi and Nashville didn't produce the kind of accent we heard during the Obama speach and that even though she has been trained to suppress it - that is her natural accent and that it only came out because of her nervousness.

The point is that Oprah didn't sound "Black" or like a "Preacher" - she sounded southern, which as a matter of fact - SHE IS SOUTHERN!

The difference between this and Hillary's use of a black accent in a black church is first of all the fact that Hillary isn't Black, even though she lived in Arkansas for years - she's from Chicago, and she IMO just literally sucked at doing the accent. (Other disagree on this point) I felt it was wrong for her, simply because she didn't do it very well - exactly like when Randi herself talked about trying to use an english accent in England. She Sucked at it, so they told her to stop. Oprah sounded fine - it didn't sound either forced or unnatural for her, it just didn't sound like everyone PRESUMES Oprah is supposed to sound.

So is that Oprah's fault or is it theirs?

The other issue is that Randi was so deeply offended by the idea that some people function in more than one dialect/accent at a time. She clearly seemed to feel that only the corporate/mainstream/northern/white accent was acceptable, and that people who didn't fully adopt it throughout their entire life were somehow "Faking It" either at home or at work.

In many ways Randi's comments were the ugly flip-side of O'Reilly's comments about Sylvia's. Whereas O'Reilly felt that more White People need to know that Black People really can be Polite, Civil and Articulate in public - presuming either that most of them aren't, or that most White people are just plain ignorant -- Randi presumes that not talking "White" and/or "Corporate" all the time shows a lack of commitment and professionalism and that if someone discriminates against you because of it, it's your own damn fault.

This was the part the was the most offensive in what Randi was saying. It was clear to her that corporate speak was somehow superior to any other form of english, and that IHO anyone who doesn't fully embrace their inner-white-corporatist is going to be "inauthentic" and not progress in their business life because of it.

"They aren't holding you back at your job because you're black, they're holding you back because you don't to talk "professionally"! (ne: Act and Speak White/Corporate/Mainstream Enough!) when you're in the privacy of your own home! No one can be "two people at once!"

That is simply put - A CROCK of SHIT!

And then, she has the nerve to accuse the listeners who simply said - "We speak differently under different situations" of being racist? None of them, NOT ONE, accused Randi of racism - they simply said that they disagreed with her. For Randi to them turn around and claim that they were anti-white racists for pointing out that yes, indeed, black people have their own unique American dialect (actually several of them), and that when they leave work the leave all that corporate talk they have to do to "get ahead" behind was very sad and naive.

"When did this start?" she asked.

It's always been this way in America as has been documented in books such as "From Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang."

And guess what?

"Black's didn't land on Plymouth Rock - Plymouth Rock landed on them"

- Malcolm X.

This isn't to say that you should feel sorry for us, but I think we'd all appreciate it if you would stop jumping up and down on that Rock, while trying to turn us into little chocolate skinned copies of yourselves. We're not, and that should be "Ok".

The fact is that African slaves weren't allowed to speak their native languages when they arrived in the U.S. and it was illegal to teach them to read, so they had to make due. The result has been the black vernacular and black culture which has also spawned Gospel, Jazz, Blues, R&B, Funk, Hip-Hop and ROCK AND ROLL!

They did what they had to do to express themselves. They (we) still do.

My opinion is that Oprah was just nervous and her well-hidden "Black-cent" finally came out. Too bad Randi apparently couldn't handle the truth the Oprah really is black after all.

There is also the arguement that the manner that Oprah choose, assuming it was indeed a deliberate choice, is still the method that would part a large part of her own upbringing and experience - the oratory flair of a preacher. It can easily be said that Oprah was getting to the heart of the matter and Testifying (as we Black Folk Say) to the legitimacy and importance of the Obama campaign as being the best embodiment of dreams of Dr. King. A point which is open to considerable debate, but it makes perfect sense to use the language of Dr. King to express that. And also it wasn't present during the entire speech, only when she seemed to be trying to make a specifically truthful point, she wasn't "acting" and trying to create a "character" - she was trying to make her points as best she could.

It was also really sad that Randi equated Black-speak with BAD Speak, and with the frequent use of cuss-words. It's neither. I think that Dr. Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown and Professor Cornell West of Princeton would have a lot to say to disprove that particular view. Black English isn't "inferior" anymore than Jazz is "inferior" to Honky Tonk. It's just different.

I love Randi, I love her show and and I love what she does everyday to help bring the progressive cause into the mainstream - but I have to stand up today and say that I expect progressives to understand that we are all indeed different and that NO ONE PROGRESSIVE should endorse the ideas of supremacy and inferiority on the basis of ethnicity, culture and language. From one White person to the next, from one Black, or Latino, Asian or Muslim to the next - We ALL speak differently, we think differently, we dress differently, we do our HAIR differently - and that should be all good, since that's what "freedom" is supposed to be about, right?

It's shouldn't be fair or legitimate to limit or punish someone for not "CONFORMING" to some mainstream social ideal as long as they meeting the basic requirements of their job or being civil and cordial. That's just plain bigotry.

We are supposed to have the freedom of choice to be whoever it is we want to be - when we want to be them. That's our God Given Right and NO ONE should try to take it away from us, not even Randi.

I expect more from America, and especially from progressives.

Full Disclosure: I am Black, but my preferred candidate at this time is John Edwards. How's that for breaking the Stereotype that "we all stick together?"

Vyan



Saturday, December 15

How Many Times do we have to prove that Waterboarding is Torture?

From Tonight's Countdown Senator Kit Bond claims that...

Waterboarding is like Swimming... Freestyle, Backstroke.

Are you freaking kidding me?

Apparently not, because Congressman Duncan Hunter on O'Reilly claimed those who oppose Waterboarding..

Are part of the "Blame America First Crowd"

This all besides the fact that the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 specifically prohibits any interrogation techniques not included in Army Field Manual. And the Army Field Manual specifically prohibits Waterboarding.

From the DTA.

(a) In General- No person in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense or under detention in a Department of Defense facility shall be subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by and listed in the United States Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation.

The Army Field Manual States:

5-75.If used in conjunction with intelligence interrogations,
prohibited actions include,but are not limited to —

    • Forcing the detainee to be naked,perform sexual acts,or pose in a

    sexual manner.
    • Placing hoods or sacks over the head of a detainee;using duct tape
    over the eyes.
    • Applying beatings,electric shock,burns,or other forms of physical
    pain.
    "Waterboarding."
    • Using military working dogs.
    • Inducing hypothermia or heat injury.
    • Conducting mock executions.
    • Depriving the detainee of necessary food,water,or medical care.

It can and has been argued that these prohibitions apply only the the Military and not neccesarily to CIA staffers or Contractors however it is also still true that grave violations of Geneva are a War Crime - even if committed by non-military personnel.

(c) Definition.— As used in this section the term "war crime" means any conduct—
(1) defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party;
(2) prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907;
(3) which constitutes a violation of common Article 3 of the international conventions signed at Geneva, 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party and which deals with non-international armed conflict; or

And just what is a "Grave Breach of Geneva"? Well...

Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

In what dimension does deliberately drowning someone not count as "willfully causing great suffering"?

Let's also not ignore the fact that several courts have specifically required the preservation of interrogation tapes prior to Nov 2005, yet these tapes were still apparently destroyed.

Today the ACLU has filed a motion in it's ongoing FOIA request over detainee treatment to hold the CIA In Contempt for destruction of these tapes.

The CIA’s secret destruction of these tapes displays a flagrant disregard for the rule of law," said Amrit Singh, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. "It must be sanctioned for violating the court’s order and the obligation to preserve records that fell within the scope of our Freedom of Information Act requests.

"These tapes were clearly responsive to the Freedom of Information Act requests that we filed in 2003 and 2004, and accordingly the CIA was under a legal obligation to produce the tapes to us or to provide a legal justification for withholding them," said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. "By destroying these tapes, the CIA violated the statute as well as an order of the court. In the circumstances, it would be entirely appropriate for the court to hold the agency in contempt."

It's called Obstruction of Justice - it's the destruction of evidence in several ongoing cases. It is completely OUTRAGEOUS - whether you agree with the GOP Magical Thinking justifying Waterboarding or not.

However if you listen to Fox News this is a bad thing for Democrats.

The claim of course is based on the idea that we received some "Good Information" from Abu Zubaydah after subjecting him to this treatment.

Yet again it's The Ends Justify the Means. Nevermind Geneva, Nevermind the Army Field Manual, Nevermind the Law, Nevermind the U.S. Constitution.

Amendment 8 - Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

And it's not as if we couldn't possibly have discovered this information ANY OTHER WAY - because frankly we could have. It's not like much of the information that we now know was provided by Zubaydah - such as the allegation of links to Al Qeada by several members of the Saudi Royal Family, all of whom ere mysteriously died not long after being accused - remained unproven.

American interrogators used painkillers to induce Zubaydah to talk -- they gave him the meds when he cooperated, and withdrew them when he was quiet. They also utilized a thiopental sodium drip (a so-called truth serum). Several hours after he first fingered Prince Ahmed, his captors challenged the information, and said that since he had disparaged the Saudi royal family, he would be executed. It was at that point that some of the secrets of 9/11 came pouring out. In a short monologue, that one investigator told me was the "Rosetta Stone" of 9/11, Zubaydah laid out details of how he and the al Qaeda hierarchy had been supported at high levels inside the Saudi and Pakistan governments.

He named two other Saudi princes, and also the chief of Pakistan's air force, as his major contacts. Moreover, he stunned his interrogators, by charging that two of the men, the King's nephew, and the Pakistani Air Force chief, knew a major terror operation was planned for America on 9/11.

It would be nice to further investigate the men named by Zubaydah, but that is not possible. All four identified by Zubaydah are now dead.

And has everyone forgotten the minor little detail that Zubaydah is Crazy!

Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be. CIA and FBI analysts, poring over a diary he kept for more than a decade, found entries "in the voice of three people: Hani 1, Hani 2, and Hani 3" -- a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego. All three recorded in numbing detail "what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said." Dan Coleman, then the FBI's top al-Qaeda analyst, told a senior bureau official, "This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality."

So let's get this straight, we tortured a crazy man - got a bunch of information from him that apparently led first and foremost to the deaths of everyone he fingered - and then in violation of several court orders destroyed the interview tapes - yet no matter how many clear and obvious crimes were committed by members of the Bush Administration this is all a "big problem for Democrats" and therefore they refuse to even bother to call for a Special Counsel?

Does that just about cover it?

I think it does and I think that these days will remain a sad stain on the American Conscience for decades, if not centuries.

For shame - truly, for shame.

But the worst thing is how O'Reilly spun this entire issue completely out of wack claiming that the President has "a responsibility" to use Waterboarding to save American Lives - never mind the law.

Vyan

Sunday, December 2

Rudy's Untold 9-11 Story



Olbermann reports on how Rudy Guiliani's single degree of seperation ties to 9/11 Mastermind - Khallid Sheik Muhammad.

Three weeks after 9/11, when the roar of fighter jets still haunted the city's skyline, the emir of gas-rich Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani, toured Ground Zero. Although a member of the emir's own royal family had harbored the man who would later be identified as the mastermind of the attack—a man named Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, often referred to in intelligence circles by his initials, KSM, al-Thani rushed to New York in its aftermath, offering to make a $3 million donation, principally to the families of its victims. Rudy Giuliani, apparently unaware of what the FBI and CIA had long known about Qatari links to Al Qaeda, appeared on CNN with al-Thani that night and vouched for the emir when Larry King asked the mayor: "You are a friend of his, are you not?"


American Mayor, St. Rudy the First, the man who couldn't be bothered to attend meetings of the 9/11 Commission, because he was too busy cashing-in on 9/11, personally invited to Ground Zero a man who harboured one of the masterminds behind the plot?

What's most shocking is that Abdallah al-Thani has been widely accused of helping to spirit KSM out of Qatar in 1996, just as the FBI was closing in on him. Robert Baer, a former CIA supervisor in the region, contends in a 2003 memoir that the emir himself actually sanctioned tipping KSM. The staff of the 9/11 Commission, meanwhile, noted that the FBI and CIA "were reluctant to seek help from the Qatari government" in the arrest of KSM, "fearing that he might be tipped off." When Qatar's emir was finally "asked for his help" in January 1996, Qatari authorities "first reported that KSM was under surveillance," then "asked for an alternative plan that would conceal their aid to Americans," and finally "reported that KSM had disappeared."


Although there's been quite a brujah over Rudy's Shag Fun, aka Sex On the City, I strongly suggest that this story, which smacks at the very least of criminal cluelessness just might be much more dangerous to Rudy's Presidential hopes than his tendency to have the NYPD walk his mistresses Dog.

Friday, November 30

The End of America meets O'Reilly



It's truly amazing to me that Kascich, who is a former Congressman, apparently doesn't know that the Secret Prisons were revealed in 2005 by the Washington Post and there are *Not* Gitmo. Some of them literally are in the Gulag's of the former Soviet Union.

He doesn't know that the CIA has openly admitted to using internationally banned techniques such as Waterboarding. They aren't just "holding" these combatants, they're torturing them.

He mentions that the courts have ruled against the President, but he doesn't seem to recognize that they ruled that "Enemy Combatants" ARE protected by Geneva.

If we've tortured them, and we have, it was (and is) a War Crime.

When Naomi mentions the rise of "private armies" - Kascich honestly doesn't think - Blackwater? C'mon. He knows better, he's just doing his good little Fox Faux News Duty of trying to backfill and cover Bush's well exposed hiney.

Typical. Pitiful. And Total Fox.

Vyan

Naomi Wolf on O'Reilly with Kasich



It's really amazing to me that this guys is a former Congressman and he doesn't even know about the Secret Prisons that were reported in the Washington Post in 2005.

These are NOT Guantanemo, they literally are in some cases - the Gulags of the former Soviet Union. They are "like" a Gulag - they're the original, real deal.

It shouldn't be a surprise to him that the CIA has openly admitted that it has tortured suspects and used techniques such as waterboarding which isn't similuated drowning - It's Real Drowning.

He should already know that the Supreme Court has determined that "Enemy Combatants" are indeed covered by the Geneva Conventions.

The Shock Doctrine

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.


An economic and social strategy that was first pioneered by dictator and human rights criminal Agustus Pinoche? No wonder things have been slowly slip-sliding thier way to hell over the hal dozens years.

Monday, November 26

Denzel Torture Speach from The Seige

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaE766EVocc

Sunday, November 18

Ok, For the Last Time: The Surge is NOT Working!

But if you were so unfortunate as to listen and actually believe Brit Hume, all the crazy people are Democrats.



This whole debate has this aura of unreality about it, at least on the Democratic side, because they keep talking about events in Iraq that do not comport with the reality on the ground over there. You hear it again and again. You hear it in the attitude they have, you know, they’re going to force troop withdrawals, impervious to the fact that troop withdrawals have already begun. It’s happening.


No, it is not happening. By removing the additional troops brought in for the surge and taking us back down to pre-surge levels, right where we were a year ago, Bush is doing the Hokey-Pokey - not implementing an actual Troop Withdrawal.

It should be noted that violence does seem to be going down in many parts of Iraq as a result of Sunni Tribal leaders turning against and fighting al Qeada, a trend that began four months before the Surge was even announced, but what should also be noted is that the Political Reconcilliation - which was the entire POINT of the surge - hasn't even begun yet, and isn't likely to begin anytime soon.

So is the violence down because of the Surge or the Sunnis?

Or was it possibly both? Were the Sunni's emboldened by America's new found commitment to their security? Well according to the Iraq NIE for 2007, not so much.

August 24, 2007 : Yesterday, the National Intelligence Estimate reported “measurable but uneven improvements” in the security situation in Iraq. While the White House has rushed to suggest that the modest gains were the result of escalation, the improvement can more plausibly be the product of Iraqi expectations of a U.S. withdrawal.

    " “[F]earing a Coalition withdrawal, some tribal elements and Sunni groups probably will continue to seek accommodation with the Coalition to strengthen themselves for a post- Coalition security environment” [...]

    “The IC assesses that the emergence of ‘bottom-up’ security initiatives, principally among Sunni Arabs and focused on combating AQI, represent the best prospect for improved security over the next six to 12 months, but we judge these initiatives will only translate into widespread political accommodation and enduring stability if the Iraqi Government accepts and supports them.”"



Now why would Iraqis have been anticipating a withdrawal of U.S. Troops - Four Months Before Bush initiated the Surge? Could it have been the fact that was September of 2006, just when the Democrats were poised to take control of both houses of Congress?

I think it could.

There is of course a secondary reason why violence levels have decreased - simply put - they're running out of Iraqis to kill.

Joe Christoff of the GAO: I think that’s [ethnic cleansing] an important consideration in even assessing the overall security situation in Iraq. You know, we look at the attack data going down, but it’s not taking into consideration that there might be fewer attacks because you have ethnically cleansed neighborhoods, particularly in the Baghdad area. [...]


Then there's the fact that those that haven't been killed outright - have simply fled.

BAGHDAD, Aug. 23 — The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has soared since the American troop increase began in February, according to data from two humanitarian groups, accelerating the partition of the country into sectarian enclaves.

The data track what are known as internally displaced Iraqis: those who have been driven from their neighborhoods and seek refuge elsewhere in the country rather than fleeing across the border. The effect of this vast migration is to drain religiously mixed areas in the center of Iraq, sending Shiite refugees toward the overwhelmingly Shiite areas to the south and Sunnis toward majority Sunni regions to the west and north.


All of this information was available two months ago when the NIE was released. Today we have the update that the withdrawal of British Troops from Basra has reduced the violence by 90%.

Britain's 5,000 troops moved out of a former Saddam Hussein palace at Basra's heart in early September, setting up a garrison at an airport on the city's edge. Since that pullback, there's been a "remarkable and dramatic drop in attacks," Binns said.

"The motivation for attacking us was gone, because we're no longer patrolling the streets," he said.

Last spring, British troops' daily patrols through central Basra led to "steady toe to toe battles with militias fighting some of the most tactically demanding battles of the war," Binns said. Now British forces rarely enter the city center, an area patrolled only by Iraqis.

In mid-December, British forces are scheduled to return control of Basra province back to Iraqi officials — officially ending Britain's combat role in Iraq.


So what all this tell us class?

  • That when you stop being a target, people stop shooting at you.
  • When people stop shooting, less people get killed.
  • When less people get killed, it tends to generally resemble at status often called "Peace", although "Victory" may also be an acceptable answer.
  • And lastly what does "The Surge" have to do with any of this?


That's right class - "NOTHING!"

Vyan

Update: One skeptical commenter to the Dkos version of this post stated.

Why for a minute there I was beginning to think that we may actually have a military command that was capable of deep analysis of the situation in Iraq and building a strategy of tactics based on those results........

What a waste of taxpayers money, all the US military command have to do is come here and read diaries like these and...voila they got the answer.....

Sheesh......it's all so clear now.....


To Which I say...

You mean Military Commanders like General Ricardo Sanchez, former head of Operations in Iraq?


In one of his first major public speeches since leaving the Army in late 2006, retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez blamed the administration for a “catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan” and denounced the current “surge” strategy as a “desperate” move that will not achieve long-term stability.

“After more than fours years of fighting, America continues its desperate struggle in Iraq without any concerted effort to devise a strategy that will achieve victory in that war-torn country or in the greater conflict against extremism,” Mr. Sanchez said, at a gathering here of military reporters and editors.

“There was been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders,” he said, adding later in his remarks that civilian officials have been “derelict in their duties” and guilty of a “lust for power.”


General Richard Cody, Army Chief of Staff who said we're spending too much time fighting insurgents.

General John Batiste, Former Commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq.


Mr. President you did not listen (to the Commanders on the Ground) and continue to persue a failed strategy that is breaking our great Army and Marine Corps.


Batiste also stated that Donald Rumsfeld...

...served up our great military a huge bowl of chicken feces...


Then there's the other 19 Retired Generals who've spoken out against the war.

In op-ed pieces, interviews and TV ads, more than 20 retired U.S. generals have broken ranks with the culture of salute and keep it in the family. Instead, they are criticizing the commander in chief and other top civilian leaders who led the nation into what the generals believe is a misbegotten and tragic war.


As well as young Military Officers...

One question that silenced many of the officers was a simple one: Should the war have been fought?

“I honestly don’t know how I feel about that,” Major Powell said in a telephone conversation after the discussions at Leavenworth.

“That’s a big, open question,” General Caldwell said after a long pause.


And Active Duty Members of the 82nd Airborne who thoroughly rejected the idea that the Surge had been "successful".

The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. […]

In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.


To all this, particularly the call by at least 8 Generals for Rumsfeld to be fired, Bush said:

“My reaction,” Bush would recall of the so-called General’s Revolt, “was, ‘No military guy is gonna tell a civilian how to react.’”


The fact is that "The Surge" was not a plan that was developed by the military, it's a political strategy that came from the Armchair General's at the American Enterprise Institute.

the DC Examiner reports today that “a bunch of arm chair generals in Washington” from the American Enterprise Institute “almost single handedly convinced the White House to change its strategy” in weekend meetings last December. The AEI escalation plan reportedly “won out over plans from the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command”:


Is that kind of "deep analysis" you were speaking of?

Vyan

What is EMO?



EMO is stupid, end of story.

Vyan

Not the Daily Show

But close...

Saturday, November 17

Hannity *Hearts* Hate Crimes, Hates Civil Rights

In response to the recent March on the Justice Department pointing out that prosecutions of Hate Crimes have dropped 71% to it's lowest point in the last 10 years - Hannity decided to show his true colors, again.

This coverage was provided by CNN.


But naturally this doesn't much matter to Sean Hannity who ignores each and every one of the incredible abuses in cases like The Jena 6, because he'd rather justify the initial charge of attempted murder for what was essentially a schoolyard brawl and whine about those Poor Victimized Duke Boys. Nice.

From USA Today.

Last year, the department charged 22 people with hate crimes. That was down 71% from 76 in 1997.

Meanwhile, the department has charged more people with police misconduct and human trafficking. For example, since 2001, the department has prosecuted 360 people on charges of human trafficking, compared with 89 in the six years before that.

FBI figures show that hate crime reports fell 11% from 1997 to 2005, the most recent year available.

Ablin says the Justice Department is committed to investigating and prosecuting civil rights cases. It charged a record 201 people with civil rights violations last year.

The number of reports doesn't necessarily reflect the number of hate crimes, says Steve Wessler, executive director for the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence. Victims are often scared to report the crimes, and police agencies report inconsistently, he says.

"Racial violence is not decreasing," Wessler says. "Either the resources are not going in to prosecute these cases or there isn't a willingness to bring these cases."

Ten-year Justice Department figures show a 60% drop in annual referrals of hate crime investigations to prosecutors.


More from the Seattle-PI on the downward trend of cases brought by the FBI.

The FBI touts civil rights enforcement as a top priority, but the number of investigations into such cases -- from hate crimes to the actions of rogue police officers -- has fallen sharply, raising concerns that victims are left with nowhere else to turn.

Pressed by the Bush administration to beef up counterterrorism ranks, the FBI has pulled agents off civil rights and slashed the number of criminal investigations conducted nationwide.

The bureau has tacitly adopted more-stringent standards governing which cases to open. That move has contributed to two-thirds fewer investigations targeting abusive police officers, cross-burners and other purveyors of hate from 2001 to 2005, according to a Seattle P-I analysis of Justice Department data.

The downward trend began in 1999 and accelerated after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the analysis found.

Civil rights experts -- and even one of the Justice Department's top civil rights lawyers -- are troubled by the trend. They say hate-crime enforcement is too important to ignore, and there is a deterrent effect to federal review of police misconduct that is being muted.

"You're going to have officers getting away with, in some cases, literally, murder," said Jesselyn McCurdy of the American Civil Liberties Union's legislative office in Washington, D.C.


But in truth it's far worse than just what these numbers show. Under Brad Schlozman and Hans Von Spakovsky the Bush Civil Rights Division of the DOJ has been pushed radically to the right and have...

- Implemented Grossly Partisan Highering Practices, shoving out the other people (Blacks, Women) in favor of "Good Americans" (Republicans), prompting the inclusion Black Attorney's in the Division to reach the same level it had in 1978. (2 attorneys out of 50)


- Blocked an investigation into Voter Suppression of Native Americans


- Implemented a New Poll Tax and other restrictions on Minority Voters.

- Appointed as interim U.S. Attorney a former RNC staffer (Tim Griffin) who participated in Voter Caging (Suppression) of African-American Soldiers Fighting in Iraq!

- Implemented extensive investigations into alleged minority "Voter Fraud" when there wasn't any!

From H&C



Threatening someone with a Noose and a Shotgun? No problem. How could a noose or a shotgun hurt anybody? Pfft But hitting someone with a tennis shoe? Attempted Murder!!!

And Hannity is fine with that.

Hannity: This kid that was beaten - who was white - by these kids in the Jena 6 case. He was beaten brutally. And then stomped on after he was cold-cocked from behind. Let me ask you (Reverend), if that was your son - what should the penalty be?


Like anyone taking the Liberal position on Fox, the guest of course stammered and hemmed and hawed barely able to generate a reasonable answer. Then Hannity changed tactics...

Hannity: There have been cases where young African-American men have been accused of crimes and they have been exonerated. What should happen in the case, when that happens - should there be a severe penalty?

Reverend: Sure the people should be held accountable.


Ok, that make sense right? Perfectly reasonable. Then Hannity lowers the Big, Bang - BOOM!

Hannity: You mean Reverend [Jessie] Jackson who offered, on this program, a Scholarship to the woman who was the accuser in the Duke Case? Or Reverend Sharpton who falsely accused Steven Pegonas, who was held liable, in the Tawana Brawley case?


You see what he did there? The little tit-for-tat you bring up some anti-black injustice and I'll raise you some anti-White injustice?

    Why don't you care when Injustices Rain down on poor beset-upon white kids (who happen also to Rich and easily able to afford legal representation)?

    Why do you Hate Whites?

    Don't you care about the children you hypocrit!?


Slick isn't he?

The problem with trying to "level the playing field" between black and white injustice is that in both the Brawley and Duke case, those wrongly accused never served any jail time. It may have been painful, embarrassing and expensive - but the justice system ultimately worked in their favor in both these cases. Sharpton was even required (according to some admittedly pro-Imus sources) to pay $65,000 in restitution to Steve Pagonas for defamation in that case.
(Wouldn't it be great if Hannity has to pay for every time he shot off his damn fool mouth? Ok, ok, I'm dreaming I know...)

But is that also true that Justice is ultimately served in most cases of anti-black bias and false accusations?

Let's not even get into the petty stuff like Michael Richard's 19th Nervous Breakdown of N-Words, Don Imus and his Nappy-H0-ness, Bill O'Reilly having a conniption over Sylvia's lack of MF-ing Ice T or Senator George "Macaca-Man" Allen with the Noose and Confederate flag He Kept in his Office. It's not like any of that just might be signs of like - a trend, or something.

Naw... let not get into all that "He Said, He Said and HE Said" stuff.

If we're talking about Crimes Against the Innocent and we just stick purely with New York - just to keep this diary under 10,000 words - we can find the case of Abner Louima who was tortured and sexually abused by NYPD officers who - get this - mistook him for someone else. You want to make people feel the pain and outrage of the victim Sean? Try describing in graphic detail what happened to Louima. Then there's the shooting murder of Amadour Diallo - for brandishing a cell phone. As well as the shooting death of Patrick Dorismond after he grew upset with an undercover office who was trying to solicit marajuana from him when he didn't have any.

You wanna talk about the wrongly accused Sean?

You wanna talk about restitution and being held accountable?

What do you think should be done to the guy that shoved a broomstick up Louima's rectum?

According to The Innocence Project over 200 wrongly convicted people have been exonerated and released using DNA Evidence over the last decade and a half. Indications are that this is only a fraction of the number of those wrongly accused and convicted. Their data shows that 50% (37 of their first 75 exonerations) were the result of Police Misconduct.



Note to Sean, one of the primary goals of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is to Implement Accountability for exactly these wrong accusations and prosecutions.

The Racial Breakdown of those Exonerated? Read and Weep Sean.

Of the 208 exonerees:

125 African Americans
58 Caucasians
19 Latinos
1 Asian American
5 whose race is unknown


By the way the average amount of time spent behind bars for these exonerees has been 12 Years.

An average of 12 Long Years Each.

How much jail time did the Duke Boys do again? What's that? None? Do tell...

According to the Sentencing Project the above type of misconduct, combined with racial profiling, manditory minimum sentences and gross disparities in sentencing for drug crimes has lead to dire consequences for minorities in America.

More than 60% of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. For Black males in their twenties, 1 in every 8 is in prison or jail on any given day. These trends have been intensified by the disproportionate impact of the "war on drugs," in which three-fourths of all persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color.


According to the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics (not that they seem to be investigating these crimes anymore) the vast majority of victims in the cases of racially biased crimes - are not a group of Rich Telegenic White Kids from Duke University.

Among the single-bias hate crime incidents in 2005, there were 4,895 victims of racially motivated hate crime.

* 67.9 percent were victims of an anti-black bias.
* 19.9 percent were victims of an anti-white bias.
* 5.3 percent were victims of a bias against a group of individuals in which more than one race was represented (anti-multiple races, group).
* 4.9 percent were victims of an anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
* 2.0 percent were victims of an anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias.
(Based on Table 1.)


Although the Brawley and Duke cases were unfortunately for those who were mistakenly accused - let me repeat, no one went to Prison as a result. No one was Raped. No one Died. The idea that their is any sort of parity between these cases and those of Louima, Dorismond, Dualla, the Jena 6, the Liberty City Seven or any number of literally hundreds of cases which are both more severe and more frequent is just plain ridiculous.

Yes, there are clearly incidents of anti-white and anti-Hispanic and anti-Asian bias. And it's absolutely true and crystal clear these should be persued, but it's also true that the DOJ has not being meeting any of it's responsibilities in this area not just for Blacks, but also Whites to the level that we all should expect and demand.

Oh, and it's also clear that Sean Hannity is an AssClown.

Vyan

Thursday, November 15

Newsweek Hires Kos: Hannity and Colmes Lose Mind - Again

Newsweek has offered a job to Markos and conservatives can't stand the idea even though Newsweek already has conservative writers, and they plan to hire a conservative that will "make liberals heads explode."

Nothing, no amount of accomodation, will ever satisfy these greedy self-entitled bastards. I swear they won't be happy until they pry the last shred of liberty and truth from our cold, dead fingers.

Colmes does his usual wan job of playing desperate defense,and also as usual noone is listening when he points out - like - the facts.

Poor little Alan. All dressed up for a fair fight only to be rabbit punched into oblivion once more. He's like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, and falling on his back as Lucy yanks it back out of the way each and every time.

Silly Alan, Winning an Argument on Fox is for Conservatives.

Nothing he says stops Hannity and the wingers as they complain about Markos age old comments about not caring about merceneries who were killed in Fallujah. Let us recall that those were members of Blackwater, the mercenary company that the FBI just said was responsible for the unjustified and illegal death of 14 Iraqies, the mercenary company that has just been massively embarrised in Congress as the State Dept. Inspector General was forced to do a complete about face on whether his brother was a member of the Blackwater board.

Conflict of Interest much? I think so.

The facts have shown that Blackwater's vicious bully tactics have repeatedly incited violence in Iraq (far more than any movies by Mark Cuban) and have done our mission in the region far more harm than good. But nevermind that, Kos called them a bad word once, and even though he apologized let's just all pile on him because that way is so much more fun, ok? It's not that they're a bunch of murdering thugs, Markos - who actually is one of "The Troops" unlike everyone that is criticizing his comments - is the problem.

Yeah, ok, sure...

These guys are just so massively pathetic. Even though their endlessly noted canard that "Liberals outnumber Conservatives" in U.S. media has been repeatedly debunked over and over and over again, they still persist in attempting to implement their own version of Affirmative Action for Conservatives.

For over a decade conservatives have said that quotas, goals and parity for Blacks, Latinos and other minorities - even when they have been illegally excluded and persecuted - is somehow "reverse racism", but for Conservatives in the media it's a must. You can't ever have lone liberal gun-man speak his mind openly, anywhere.

That wouldn't be Fairly Unbalanced like Fox News would it?

But I wonder does this mean that every conservative hired for "balance" is nothing more than a token quota baby who should be ashamed they couldn't the job honestly with like - talent? I think possibly. And how 'bout this, maybe, just maybe, Newsweek is hiring Kos because they a) Like his writing and b) Think people might want to READ his writing? Y'know - letting the "Free Markets" rule and all that stuff?

This is just typical isn't it? What a bunch of punk-ass bullies whining to the Principal and painting themselves as the "poor hapless victim" every time they get caught sucker punching the nerdy kids who actually study after class.

What truly terrifies them with Markos hiring is that it's with a Mainstream Paper as influential as Newsweek. Kos blathering away on his little left-wing blog is one thing, but having his views show up on the shelves of Safeway where Sam and Sally Six-pack can read them while in line for over-the-counter diet pills for Puffy little Muffy and fresh Ritalin refills for Aggro Biffy is an entirely different matter. Following in the steps of Glenn Greenwald and Wonkette (Anna Marie Cox), these scruffy foul-mouthed little bloggers are upsetting the stuffy media status quo.

This. Simply. Will. Not. DO!

There's a tea-party taking place all over the Blogosphere that's moving into the Mainstream and people like Hannity and Colmes aren't invited. They can't even sneak in through the servants entrance. That makes them scared, and after they get scared they get mean.

So they lash out as they slowly sink further and further into irrelevance and obsolescence, and like Mark Cuban I think the best thing we can do - is laugh at them.

It's the very least they deserve, and quite possibly the most...

Vyan

Wednesday, November 14

O'Reilly Loses his Nut over Mark Cuban's"Redacted"

As reported on Countdown Last Night.

Apparently Bill O'Reilly, who seem still completely unable to seperate fact and the numerous fictions in his own mind feels that Dallas Maverick's owner Mark Cuban should be arrested for making a movie which among other things tells the true story of Moumoudiya, where U.S. soldiers raped a 14-year-old girl then set her and her entire family on fire to cover up the crime.

The fun part is that Cuban, who has a history of not backing down when the facts are on his side, seems to be literally enjoying the entire thing.

Actual news reports concerning the crime in question.

Four more soldiers have been charged with the rape and murder of a young Iraqi woman and her family, the most explosive of the five war crimes investigations currently under way in Iraq.

A fifth soldier was charged with dereliction of duty for failing to report the events of the night of March 12 when a group of soldiers are alleged to have abandoned their checkpoint to enter the home of an Iraqi family in the town of Mahmudiya. They allegedly raped and killed a young woman inside the house, and shot dead her parents and young sister.

In recent weeks, 16 soldiers have been charged with murders in Iraq - more than during the first three years of the war. No Marines have been charged so far in the worst alleged atrocity, the killing of 24 Iraqis at Haditha, but that has been overshadowed by the Mahmudiya episode.

Here's the view from O'Reilly World.

Billo: I would never sit through a movie that shows U.S. Troops raping and murdering a 14-year-old girl. Ever. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. While your dancing withthe starts, sirs, hundreds of thousands of brave military people are risking their lives so you can do the "mambo" without fear of some terrorist blowing you the hell up.

You're Arrogance is Horrifying.

During WWII President Roosevelt would have had Cuban jailed without a trial, Patton would have slapped his face.

First of all I thought the entire point of our soldiers being in Iraq was just so that people like (and unlike) Mark Cuban could do exactly what he's doing - including the "mambo" - without fear of some terrorist blowing anyone the hell Up.

Didn't Bush tell us all to "Go Shopping" after 9-11? We're not "fighting them over there" just so that we can cower over here!

If we can shop 'til we drop, why the hell can't we go dancing too? Oh, but wait - it's not dancing that's a problem, it's the fact that Cuban chooses to actually use one those other things - um, yeah, Freedoms - that all of Americans are supposed to have. Free Speech.

Secondly, it was Japanese American's that were interned without a trial during WWII, not political dissenters or filmakers. It wasn't until the 50's and full-on McCathyism that the government was used to openly stiffle dissent via the proliferation of The Black List.

I suspect O'Reilly is a big fan of the Black List and Senator Joseph McCarthy (whom some Conservatives claim was ultimately vindicated)

In his segment on "America Haters", O'Reilly not only goes after Cuban he goes after the Seattle Post-Intelligencer who choose not to publish photobgraphs of two "suspicious individuals" on a ferry, and one of their reporters who dared to say she could "understand" why a potentially suicide bomber just might hate religion.

O'Reilly: After the Iraq War started the far left has grown bitter against President Bush. (And has now) become off the chart nuts.

Yeah, we should never seek to "understand" what our potentially enemies are thinking or anything - that's almost like pulling the trigger ourselves isn't it? Or not. After sending one of his staffer to perform a classic Ambush Interview with the Seattle PI's publish he moves on to Cuban.

O'Reilly: Dallas Mavericks' own Mark Cuban has produced a movie which portrays American Troops as rapists and murderers. There is no question that this movie will incite anti-American hatred around the world, but Cuban doesn't seem to care. For some reason Mark Cuban has a grudge against this country.

If you attend a Dallas Mavericks game you should hold up a sign that sasys "Support The Troops" maybe then Cuban will get the message.

As it just so happens the Dallas Mavericks organization will be giving out thousands of t-shirts during their upcoming nationally televised game against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday which will includes toll free number to Join the Texas National Guard.

Mark Cuban founded the Fallen Patriot Fund to help provide for the families of soldiers and also has a program for season ticket holders to donate their unused ticks called Seats for Soldiers.

Cuban doesn't just talk about "Supporting the Troops" by slapping a cheap magnet on his car, he actually goes out and does it.

From Cuban's Blog.

I've grown to love Bill OReilly. Seriously. If there is anyone who can publicize a political movie, its Bill and I truly appreciate that about him.

Magnolia Pictures and HDNet Films' Redacted premiered last week as part of HDNet's Ultra VOD program. With HDNet Ultra VOD movies premiere first in Hotels and on cable and satellite VOD systems PRIOR to making their national theatrical premieres. HDNet Movies will also show a sneak preview on Nov 14th, 2 days before the Nov 16th theatrical release.

Its a new and different approach to selling movies, but it gives everyone and anyone who cant make it to theaters or who prefer their living room to a theater the chance to see the movie without leaving the comfort of their own homes.

The way the movie is released is important because it has allowed us to benefit from Mr OReilly's comments about Redacted even before the movie has made its theatrical debut. If you don't happen to watch his show, he has made the movie out to be Anti Troops. Of course there is one catch, he hasn't seen the movie yet. But why should that get in the way.

You see, Mr OReilly thinks that movies are a tool used by terrorists, and any Anti American faction as motivation to hate us and everything we stand for even more than they already do. I'm not sure that terrorists and those who are Anti American need any more motivation , or if they are even capable of hating us even more than they do. We are at war. There are people willing to be convinced to blow themselves up to kill as many of us as possible. Anytime, anywhere. I don't think there are any clerics expanding the offer of 70 virgins to include a DVD. Nor do I believe that they are translating the movie and then gathering around a TV or Internet screen to get motivated to strap explosives to themselves or to build IEDs.

That's right, all these people would just love America if not for Mark Cuban and his movie. It has nothing to do with our invading an unarmed country then completely screwing up the rebuilding and occupation of that nation to the tune of $1.5 Trillion and Millions of Iraqis either killed or displaced. It's not the rape and the killing that's a problems - it's the movie about it.

I don't see it. I have asked many of Mr OReilly's followers if they have any factual evidence that this takes place, or is this just a ploy by Mr OReilly to get his viewers all riled up , without any basis in fact. ? No one has come up with any factual examples to this point. In fact, when Mr Oreilly had the author of "Schmoozing with the Terrorists", when asked whether the terrorists the author had dealt with had even heard of several people Mr OReilly considered aiding the cause of the enemy, the author stated the terrorists had never heard of them. That they didn't know their positions until Mr Klein told them , at which point they loved them. Which of course means that Mr OReilly was supportive of a guest that was engaging the enemy and giving them new information they found encouraging. How could you Mr OReilly ? Supporting an author who sourced information the terrorists found encouraging, isn't that traitorous ?

There are of course some movies that O'Reilly likes, such as the upcoming Vince Vaughn film "Fred Clause" because it's so helpful in fighting the "War On Christmas" don't cha know. Cuban who unlike O'Reilly actually has paid attention to the person he's criticizing had a few things to say about Vaughn's recent appearance on the Factor.

Last week he wrote an article entitled "Harming America the Pop Culture Way". It starts off with:

" Some Americans believe that pop culture has no impact on the state of the nation. They think that reporting on the media is frivolous - a complete waste of time. They are dead wrong. Just look at how the hip-hop industry has damaged so many young Americans, giving them insidious role models to glorify crime and self- destructive behavior."

Maybe 28 years of hearing "Hotel Motel Holiday Inn, if your girl starts acting up, then you take her friend" has corrupted our minds. Mine included. But come one Bill, can you at least quote one study or source ? I also wonder if you actually believe what you say and write. Just yesterday on your TV show, in an interview with the hilarious Vince Vaughn, you called Wedding Crashers on your personal 5 top favorites of all time. Now maybe I was laughing so hard during the movie I misunderstood, but didn't the Wedding Crashers feature guys taking on fake identities at weddings to try to get laid ? I'm stunned. You thought that this example of Hollywood corrupting the morals of the kids in this country was funny ?

Bill, do movies corrupt absolutely, or do they not ?

In further updates on his blog, Mark actually does finally tells us what the film is actually about - and it's not really about the criminals who attacked and raped a 14-year-old girl anymore than every cop show on TV is about murder - it's about what our troops have to deal with to overcome the sitautions they find themselves in.

Cuban: The movie is about what soldiers of every walk of life go through on a daily basis in Iraq. The challenge of facing 99pct of the day bored to tears, while at the same time being terrified that you never know who the enemy really is. Kids can be just kids, or they can be placing IEDs. Women can be just wives, or sisters or mothers, or they can be suicide bombers. Telling each from the other is impossible.

The movie is about this impossible position that soldiers are put into. No amount of training can prevent the humanity that comes from our soldiers , yet is the very trait that puts them in harm's way. No amount of training can prepare them for seeing their friends die. This film recognizes that 99.9 pct of our forces cope with it and do their jobs. That each knows that among their peers , some may have a breaking point, and they do all they can to prevent them from reaching that breaking point. But they arent, and cant always be successful.

This movie is so far from being anti troops. You can't watch this movie without it smacking you across the face that the battles that come with serving our country are as much mental and emotional as they are physical. That the weight and burden of survival they must carry every minute of every day is incomprehensible . You cant watch this movie without your heart going out to each and every serviceperson who is put in harms way.

When a couple of the servicepeople crack from the pressure, they dont become the story. They become one more burden that everyone else associated with them must carry. They become one more obstacle to be conquered, and that is conquered.

It seems to me what Cuban is describing, people who struggle and ultimately overcome amazing adversity, are Heroes.

O'Reilly alludes that President Roosevelt may have tried to limit and restrict a movie that showed the people about the difficulties our soldiers encountered in WWII, and during the beginning of the war this war true - but as time wore on this changed. Eventually the War Dept itself began releasing film footage of American soldiers piled upon the shores of south east asian islands, but rather than demoralizing the populace, rather than breaking thier spirit, showing them the truth made them appreciate just what our troops had sacrificed and made them support the winning and ending the war all the more.

Vyan

Tuesday, November 13

Fox Finally Learns 24 isn't Real

From Rawstory, it appears that the Suitcase Nuke is just a myth.

After appearing in numerous film and TV programs and even creeping its way into American political discourse, the suitcase nuke, a nuclear bomb small enough to be easily hidden, is unlikely to exist, according to experts. The revelation left the anchors of the Fox News program Fox & Friends more than a little disappointed.

"You mean '24' isn't true," Co-host Page Kelly inquired, referring to Fox's national security-themed prime time hit, starring Kiefer Sutherland as CIA agent Jack Bauer. "'24's my favorite show."

"It is a little bit of a let down," agreed Greg Kelly.

Others likely to be let down by this most-recent reality check on perceived threats to the United States are politicians and political candidates eager to use force on nations they believe would supply such a device to terrorists. "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice famously said of Iraq's alleged nuclear program in 2003, also proven not to exist. Though she was not making reference to a specific nuclear device, the suitcase bomb, ever-present in the public mind since 9/11, may have made the idea seem plausible to so many.

The conversation on Fox & Friends then turned to other disappointments, this time at the box office. The group discussed the lackluster ticket sales of Robert Redford's new political thriller, Lions for Lambs, explaining that people "are seeing these kind of [political] talking points from 'Lions for Lambs' done better with Bill O'Reilly and John Gibson and here on this program."

You can read the full Associated Press Report on suitcase nukes at this link.

The following video is from Fox's Fox & Friend's, broadcast on November 11, 2007.



That's right, "24" isn't based on fact, it's fiction.

I actually watched a rerun of "24" this past weekend, and although I enjoyed it's first year, this episode was just completely over the top.

During the course of this one single day (during year 4), one single terrorist group has staged a train derailment, caused dozens of nuclear reactors around the country to meltdown, stolen an F-117 Stealth Fighter and used it to shoot down Air Force One. But wait that's not all - they then managed to get to the wreckage first in order to grab a section from the President's "Football" containing all the nuclear codes for the U.S. arsenal, steal a critical section and use it to find and hijack a transport in order to obtain a warhead.

Big bad CTU has absolutely no leads, until one of the terrorists happens to use the wrong credit card to fill up for gas. They find him at the marine and prepare to close in - he suspects something is up and call the cell leader, Marwan, who orders him to kill his contact and make sure he himself isn't taken.

Just then his contact, an ex-marine named Prado, shoots and kills him as the CTU agents board his boat. He claims self-defense and is taken into custody. It's at this point that the bizarro world this show has been now operating in for 4 years just begins to completely orbit the shark.

During the first year, the main plot was the attempt to kill then Presidential hopefull David Palmer by kidnapping the family of CTU Agent Bauer. Pressure was being applied directly onto Jack to force him off the grid, and to actually work against his own government. CTU didn't even know for sure whose side he was working on, and have the things he was forced to do under the circumstances certainly weren't sactioned. He tried to keep everything a secret and largely handle it himself.

This time is different. As soon as Prado is brought into CTU the tubby corpulent computer nerd Edgar start talking about "That's the guy that they caught at the Marina? I'd sure like to get him alone for five minutes, he'd tell me everything." Why Edgar gone so aggro? One of the victims of the morning nuclear meltdown was his mother. Ya see, the right-wing mantra here is "Lose a relative, Lose your common sense!"

Anything is justified if you've lost some skin in the game personally.

The thing is everybody knows what's going to happen here, this guy is gonna get tortured - period. With what these guys have already done, and their possession of a nuclear warhead - who has time for niceties like the Constitution?

This is where Marwan's next move is almost brilliant. He calls a Lawyer for Prado. Specifically he call "Amnesty Global", which is clearly meant to be Amnesty International, but then the actor and the portrayal of this attorney is shown that he's supposed to be "a sleazy weasle." (The actor used for this role is Evan Hander, who played a weasle hired-gun political consultant on "The West Wing", a weasle comedy writer on "Studio 60" and is now a weasle literally agent on "Californication")

Somehow this lawyer from "Amnesty Global" already has a judges court order in hand as well as U.S. Marshall with him to protect Prado's rights. Since Prado is a U.S. Citizen, he's protected under the law - natural Bill Buchanan the CTU head tries to argue with the judge that elements of the Patriot Act do apply in this case.

What's really appalling here is just how much the writers and producers of "24" don't have the faintest clue about the law. The Patriot Act wouldn't authorize torture of any suspect, let alone a U.S. Citizen. It's not like this would even be the first person tortured that very day.

Earlier Marwan had made a demand to make an exchange for the son of one of his cell members, simply to keep CTU busy focusing on him while his F-117 pilot moved into position. Even though they had already made a deal with the boy and his mother, and although they had already fully cooperated - the boy was tortured. He knew nothing, he told them nothing.

Also earlier that day, Jack had actually tortured his girlfriend's ex-husband simply because they thought he might have a link to Marwan. He didn't, Marwan was using his company but he knew nothing about it. Again, the tortured turned up nothing. Since nobody holds a grudge against Jack even when he does the wrong thing, Audrey's ex actually continued to cooperate and eventually ended up taking a bullet for Jack which left him paralyzed.

At one point Jack pulls Evan Handler's character to the side and argues with him.
Jack: You and I know that your client isn't clean, and that he conspired to steal a U.S. Nuclear Warhead.

Whiny Lawyer: All my client wants is Due Process

Jack: These people are not going to stop attacking us today until millions and millions of Americans and dead. Now I don't want to by-pass the Constitution, but these are extraordinary circumstances.

Whiny Lawyer: The Constitution was born out of extraordinary circumstances. This plays out by the book, not in a back room with a rubber hose.

Jack: I hope you can life with that.
David Addington couldn't have said it better.

Both the boy and Audrey's ex were foreign nationals - but Prado isn't. Torturing him is now suddenly a big deal, and the newly sworn in President Logan is called by CTU to complain about this "meddling" little lawyer and judge.

The idea that they are asking the President to violate a court order, an order from a seperate and equal branch of the government, doesn't slow them down.

"Please let us do our jobs Mr. President" Jack pleads.

But Logan, being a born coward, refuses to make his first act as President the authorization of torture and give the green light, so instead he decides to choose the Romney solution - "Let me consult with the lawyers in the DOJ for 20 mins."

That's not good enough for Jack, who of course decides to take matters in his own hands. He asks Buchanan to fire him and release the prisoner so that anything that happens between them won't sully the prestine white hands of the Government. Never mind the fact that Jack had already been fired by CTU before this year began as was now an employee of the Dod, so Buchanan can't fire him anyway. It's a slick little move -but completely unneccesary because just before he has this little brainstorm Jack figures out that the only way the the attorney could have turned up so fast - at 1am in the morning - is the fact that Marwan called him.

Brilliant deduction. But do they use that information and realize that they've already got the dead suspects cellphone and could simply back-track the last number called to Marwan?

No. Of course not. Why use deduction when thuggery is always available?

Instead Jack ambushes Prado in his car just as the attorney drives away - breaks his fingers - and gets the information. Never mind how Prado's car even got to CTU after he was arrested, let not use any logic what-so-ever here.

Checking the Episode Guide, in the next episode Jack's action leads to the President Logan calling for is arrest. For some reason, they send the Secret Service to do it - even though the proper agency would be the FBI or even LAPD. During the raid to capture Marwan, the Secret Service cars are spotted and he escapes. If Jack had just used the information they already on hand to lead to Marwan's cell phone legally, the raid wouldn't have been ruined. But Noooooo.....

There is no way that even the most sophisticated terrorist organization is going to pull off this many successive attacks all in a single day. Although al Qeada's signature is to implement a series of coordinated attacks, they all tend to be the same attack in different locations all done in the same way with a similar theme. And even then it takes months and years for such coordinated attacks to be planned, facilitated, implemented and paid for.

This SHIT is just completely ridiculous.

But then a flying guy in a Bat outfit is pretty ridiculous also - it's just that we have way too many people taking this type of tossing the Constitution on the bonfire of paranoia fully and completely seriously.

The Commandant of West Point found the disinformation being put out by "24" (and re-enforced by the Bush Administration) to be actually detrimental to his ability to properly train our future military leaders. When they'd try to actually explain the law, they'd keep getting "But what about Jack Bauer?"

U.S. Soldiers in the field have been taking their cues - not from their commanders, not from the UCMJ - but from Jack Bauer

This shouldn't be an issue, but it is.

I doubt busting of the suitcase bomb myth is going to be the crack in dam that finally begins to bring the "24" house of cards down around the ears of it's right-wing executive producer Joel Surnow.

But it's a start.