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.

Monday, November 12

Waterboarding is Drowing, Period.


As former Navy Interrogation trainer Malcolm Nance made clear to the House and on Countdown, Waterboarding isn't "simulated drowning" it's Real Drowning.


Real Water is being poured into your Real Lungs, and until those who have control decide to stop, or the victims tells them something they want to hear - if and when they're able to talk again - they're going to die. It's simply a matter of time.

And yet, Attorney General Mukasey couldn't bring himself to admit the truth? And 6 Democrats in Congress jumped party lines to confirm him anyway? It's all just too surreal.

Vyan

Sunday, November 11

All Hail the Band of Bloggers

Late last night The History Channel debuted a new special about the rise of Iraq MilBloggers - The Band of Bloggers - who have for the past 3-4 years been providing unfiltered and completely uncensored emotional and gripping footage, photos and reports from the front lines of the War.

This program, in a way that mainstream news and it's part-time embedded reporters has utterly, totally failed to do, managed to get truly behind the scenes and into the hearts and minds of our brave military men and women who've been putting their lives on the line - and often losing that bet - for the last few years while we sit behind our computer desks and argue over it all.

This is the truth, unchecked and unvarnished and it's high time we started to seriously pay attention.

FUCK Everything you Think you Know.

Late last night The History Channel debuted a new special about the rise of Iraq MilBloggers - The Band of Bloggers - who have for the past 3-4 years been providing unfiltered and completely uncensored emotional and gripping footage, photos and reports from the front lines of the War.

This program, in a way that mainstream news and it's part-time embedded reporters has utterly, totally failed to do, managed to get truly behind the scenes and into the hearts and minds of our brave military men and women who've been putting their lives on the line - and often losing that bet - for the last few years while we sit behind our computer desks and argue over it all.

This is the truth, unchecked and unvarnished and it's high time we started to seriously pay attention.

FUCK Everything you Think you Know.

Late last night The History Channel debuted a new special about the rise of Iraq MilBloggers - The Band of Bloggers - who have for the past 3-4 years been providing unfiltered and completely uncensored emotional and gripping footage, photos and reports from the front lines of the War.

This program, in a way that mainstream news and it's part-time embedded reporters has utterly, totally failed to do, managed to get truly behind the scenes and into the hearts and minds of our brave military men and women who've been putting their lives on the line - and often losing that bet - for the last few years while we sit behind our computer desks and argue over it all.

This is the truth, unchecked and unvarnished and it's high time we started to seriously pay attention.

FUCK Everything you Think you Know.



A Milblog was what intially inspired me to get my own blogspot several years ago, then post on Dailykos, Democratic Underground and then Oped news. That blog was My War: Killing Time in Itaq by SPC Colby Buzzel who is featured prominently on the History Chanenl program as is Paul Reickoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America.

Colby has not published a book based on his blog, and Reikoff is frequently seen on Countdown as well as posting on HuffingtonPost, but they're just the tip of the spear.

The points made aren't particularly political, they aren't neccesarily pro or against the war itself. The Video is VERY Graphic, and certainly not something you're going to see being presented by Katie Couric at 6pm. It simply shows how soldiers live, day to day, how they survive the tedium an boredom by sometimes abusing each other, making their own "Oddball" videos, tossing Giant Camel Spiders at each other and occasionally a glimpse of the pain they endure when they lose a comrade or find themselves literally knee deep in the blood of some unknown Iraqi whose just been hit by a car bomb.

From the Silly to the Sublime, it's all there.

They interview SPC Kate Hoit (GI Kate) of My American Iraq Life talking about night after night in Mortaritaville, who discusses her decision that although the idea of riding around Iraq in a completely un-uparmed Humvee scares her to death, that it would be a good thing if something happened to her because it would help focus attention on the fact that our troops are still not properly protected.


I received an email from "H", he voiced his opinion of the war, gave me his opinion on how vets should deal with PTSD, told me about "Lisa Legs" (just incase I lose my legs next time I’m led blinding into war), and how it brings him to tears to see "you women coming back dead or all fucked up (unable to love, addicted to war, etc)". what the fuck did that mean? when I first read it...I thought, what is this guy talking about? I’m pretty sure he doesn't have a set of tits and a vagina...or understand what its like to be a female in the army.

Then I read it again and again and again. Maybe he had a point. I remember a conversation I had with my "battle buddy" and two other females a couple drills back. My friend asked, "So do you guys think we're like all the other females out there?" We thought for a couple seconds...and all replied with a stern "no". One female said, "Yeah, I’m not as girly as my other friends." My friend said, "Man, fuck that. We have to deal with bullshit all the time-now we just give them hell back." I agreed. We were use to telling guys to fuck off, we were use to being hit on all the time, we were use to talking about “whores” and who had sex over the weekend. Being surrounded by sweaty males, who fart in formation, say fuck every other word, talk about sex and girls...like we weren't in their presence, and who hit on anything that was capable of giving a blowjob, left us with a sour taste in our mouths. We weren't like our friends and we never will be.

My friend and I spent a year in Iraq. While I was overseas, I saw nothing but sex. Sex between single soldiers, sex between soldiers who were married but on TYD (temporary year divorce), and females having sex with multiple people (before I have some stand-up male in the army jump down my throat, not all the males are appalling sex crazed scumbags...and the females aren't all barracks whores). Maybe we were "unable to love" because love was made a mockery of. Love in the traditional sense did not exist...sex was the new love. There were no emotional strings attached...the wives and husbands back in the states were forgotten about...new love triangles began to form. Now there was war and sex. War should have no emotions. Sex created nothing but emotions. The two should never be mixed.


You can see the not too tell-tales signs of Delayed Stress in the eyes of one Military Photographers who says that he can't get his head around the fact that he's become more afriad of Iraq since he got home than he had been when he was actually there.

You get to hear the words of Sgt Chris Missick and his blog - A Line in the Sand.

Today, a family in Sacramento needs our prayers. Joe Nurre, a young man who I went to college with at California State University Sacramento, died serving somewhere near Tikrit. Joe was a good friend to many people in the Sacramento community. He is a hero who served this country and gave his life for you, just like all the other men and women who have died in service of our nation. When you pray today, pray for Joe's family, pray for our military in harms way, and be sure to tell God to pass a thank you on to Joe, we are forever indebted to men like him.




It aint pretty. It aint neat. It's not exactly the "Happy Stories" that Fox News keeps insisting that we aren't hearing.

What it is - is the truth. One soldier at a time. One moment at a time. All the courage, all the frustration and all the fucked-up shit - all rolled into one.

We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to them - to make sure we at least try to understand some of their stories, we at least try to listen, especially when we here on places like Kos and DU or even RedState go around pontificating on the War and either how tragic or glorious it all is.

We. Have. No. Idea.

But we could at least get a clue...

Vyan