Saturday, January 16

The Raw Naked Bigotry of the New York Post on Ft. Hood

Remember the New York Post, the Paper that gave us this pithy image?



Well, there're at it again.

So the report on the Ft. Hood shooing finally comes out and it talks about the failure to note the odd actions and behaviors of Major Nidal Hasan by his direct superiors which allowed the walking time-bomb that he was to go off and kill a dozen of his fellow soldiers.

But apparently looking at the problem and suggesting direct solutions for it isn't good enough for the New York Post - they needed to see some teeth gnashing and Musiim Bashing.

Hood massacre report gutless and shameful

The report is so politically correct that its authors don't even realize the extent of their political correctness -- they're body-and-soul creatures of the PC culture that murdered 12 soldiers and one Army civilian.


Political Correctness? Are you kidding me?

Apparently Maj Hasan had to be an Islamic Insurrectionist because - y'know - he worships Islam! He spoke in Arabic - isn't that enough to prove his allegiance to Bin Laden?

No, it's really not.

It's like saying that if he spoke in Spanish it must mean he's a member of a Juarez Drug Cartel. Or that a black man involved in a shooting must have been a Gang-Banger - without bothering to investigate whether he actually was affiliated with a gang.

Back to the Post.

Unquestionably, the officers who let Hasan slide, despite his well-known wackiness and hatred of America, bear plenty of blame. But this disgraceful pretense of a report never asks why they didn't stop Hasan's career in its tracks.

The answer is straightforward: Hasan's superiors feared -- correctly -- that any attempt to call attention to his radicalism or to prevent his promotion would backfire on them, destroying their careers, not his.

Hasan was a protected-species minority. Under the PC tyranny of today's armed services, no non-minority officer was going to take him on.


There is no evidence that Nidal Hasan "Hated America" - None. He's a native born American Citizen. He's from Virginia - do they grow a lot of America Haters in Virginia?

Yes, Hasan did have contacts with a "Radical Yemeni" Cleric - which is something we know because of Pete Hoeksta's sketchy relationship to National Security Laws about leaking classified information - but we also know that the FBI absolutely cleared Hasan of any Terrorist Ties as a result of the communications that were monitored.

The major, a 39-year-old US-born Muslim of Palestinian descent, was scrutinised by an FBI-led joint terrorism task force because of a series of e-mails between December 2008 and early 2009 with Mr al-Awlaki.

US officials said the content of the e-mail messages did not advocate or threaten violence, and was consistent with Maj Hasan's research for his job as an army psychiatrist, part of which involved post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from US combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Maybe, just maybe the report doesn't mention Islamic Extremism because Hasan didn't have views supporting Islamic extremism. Maybe they actually investigated the issue, as did the FBI, and found that wasn't the case. Maybe the report criticizes his superiors failing to document his "scary" behavior, because his behavior was scary. In fact, they thought he might have been Psychotic, but did nothing about it.

Starting in the spring of 2008, key officials from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences held a series of meetings and conversations, in part about Maj. Nidal Hasan, the man accused of killing 13 people and wounding dozens of others last week during a shooting spree at Fort Hood. One of the questions they pondered: Was Hasan psychotic?

"Put it this way," says one official familiar with the conversations that took place. "Everybody felt that if you were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, you would not want Nidal Hasan in your foxhole."

Hasan had been a trouble spot on officials' radar since he started training at Walter Reed, six years earlier. Several officials confirm that supervisors had repeatedly given him poor evaluations and warned him that he was doing substandard work.

Both fellow students and faculty were deeply troubled by Hasan's behavior — which they variously called disconnected, aloof, paranoid, belligerent, and schizoid. The officials say he antagonized some students and faculty by espousing what they perceived to be extremist Islamic views. His supervisors at Walter Reed had even reprimanded him for telling at least one patient that "Islam can save your soul."


"Islam can save your soul" is an Extreme View? I guess that makes all the people with the John 3:16 Signs potential terrorists too.

This guy wasn't trained or recruited by al Qeada, Hezbollah or Hamas. He didn't necessarily sympathize with those organizations, however he did point out a potential internal conflict that Muslim solders might face when being asked to fight and kill fellow Muslims.

Frankly, that's just common sense.

It's probably fair to assume that didn't have PTSD since he hadn't been deployed yet, but he did work directly with those who did have PTSD - and if there's one thing that most people know about stress - it's contagious. Is it really that big a surprise that he was reportedly deathly afraid of being deployed and put into the very situation that he did a Powerpoint presentation about where he had argued that Muslims should be able to claim "conscientious objector status" (the same way that Quakers Have and Mohammad Ali Did) - and yet despite all this, deployed he was?.

The Post, rather than looking at the actual facts instead chooses to concoct a paranoid racist fantasy that Hasan was in a "protected minority class" - as if non-Muslim soldiers showing erratic and even suicidal/murderous behavior haven't also been regularly deployed despite obvious warning signs. This is how modern bigotry functions, it's not about implementing discrimination, it's become all about whining that someone wasn't discriminated against and "profiled" because of their race or religion and as a result gained some hidden special "benefit" - when in fact there's no evidence of that what-so-ever.

Under this view, acting in Racial Insensitive and "Political Incorrect" ways is an act of courage - not ass-clownery - which in part explains more than a few similar comments from the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh over President Obama and Haiti. To them it's "brave" to bash minorities, unless you're - y'know - a Democrat like Harry Reid.

Anywho...

In Mid 2009 Admiral Mullen said this:

America's highest ranking military officer said Tuesday the nation must do more for the mental health of American soldiers, warning statistics show "there are going to be more [troop] suicides this year than last."

Officials say 64 soldiers have committed or are suspected of having committed suicide this year in the Army alone. That puts it on a grim pace to break last year's record of 133.

The issue came to a head last week as Fort Campbell in Kentucky stood down for a three-day suicide prevention event after 11 soldiers there committed suicide this year.

Suicides aren't the only result of stress on military personnel. The Army charged Sgt. John Russell with the murder of five fellow soldiers at a stress clinic in Baghdad's Camp Liberty last month. Russell's commander had referred him to counseling because of concern for his mental health.


Oh, look at that Maj Nidal Hasan wasn't the only U.S. Soldier to explode under his own personal stress and turn around and kill fellow soldiers - Sgt John Russell did it too.

And he wasn't the only one.

Sgt. John M Russel, the U.S. soldier who shot and killed five fellow GIs in a shooting rampage at Camp Liberty, a military base in Baghdad, May 11, 2009 has been formally charged with murder.

The motive for the killing spree is unclear but it is believed Sgt. Russel had been undergoing stress therapy at the Camp Liberty Combat Stress Control Center where the killings occurred. The fragging incident, as the deliberate killing of military allies is called, is becoming increasingly common in Iraq. The Camp Liberty incident is the 6th such fragging incident in the past 4 years.


Is it far more likely that Ft. Hood was simply another Fragging than a Terrorist Attack? Why don't we call the Camp Liberty incident "Terrorism"?

Oh, Ft. Hood was on U.S. Soil you say? We've never had that happen before? Ok, how about the shooting at Ft Bragg where 2 soldiers were killed and 19 injured?

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Army News Service, March 25, 2009) -- Sgt. William J. Kreutzer Jr. was sentenced Tuesday to life imprisonment after being found guilty again of murder and attempted murder in the 1995 shooting spree of 19 Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Kreutzer, 38, was convicted and sentenced to death in 1996 for the crime which killed one officer and wounded 18 other Soldiers; but in March 2004, a three-judge panel set aside his sentence on appeal.


But then Sgt Kreutzer wasn't a Muslim was he?

And Sgt Russell wasn't a Muslim - so what special protected politically correct class was he in? Are we going to hear the argument from the Post that Sgt. Russell (and the 5 other Fraggings in Iraq) were all acts of Secret Islamic Extremists inside the Army that the government was just to PC to admit it?

Somehow I doubt it.

Besides the political implications that making Hasan an "Islamic Terrorist" gives the Fooliani's on the Right to argue that "Obama LET US be attacked again" - it's blatantly racist and should be called out as such.

Isn't being a Mass Murderer bad enough?

Vyan

Friday, January 15

The Brits are Sick of our Bashing the NHS on Health Care

Sarah Palin on Hannity still continuing to defend her bogus "Death Panel" Claims.



Hannity: You say (Death Panels) still exist in the Bill?

Palin: I do because it's a commission, it's a bureaucracy who will ration care if the Bill goes through. It's modeled, in essence, on a British system that does have people to decide, based on your quality of life, your age, if you deserve health care coverage or not



The reason people pay attention to Palin is generally because they can't believe the NUTBAG BULLSHIT that comes out of her mouth most of the time.

After her claim that the End of Life Consultation Re-embursement was a Death Panel was thoroughly Debuked (beside the fact that is already part of Medicare) Palin has moved on to claiming that he Medicare Advisory Board which suggests best practices is some type of Secret Rationing Panel - except for, y'know, THE FACTS according to the CBO.

Senate bill: Advisory Board proposals "shall not include any recommendation to ration health care ... or otherwise restrict benefits." From Section 3403 of the Senate health care bill,

"Independent Medicare Advisory Board":

The legislation also would establish an Independent Payment Advisory Board, which would be required, under certain circumstances, to recommend changes to the Medicare program to limit the rate of growth in that program's spending. Those recommendations would go into effect automatically unless blocked by subsequent legislative action. Such recommendations would be required if the Chief Actuary for the Medicare program projected that the program's spending per beneficiary [in fiscal years 2015-2019] would grow more rapidly than a measure of inflation (the average of the growth rates of the consumer price index for medical services and the overall index for all urban consumers). The provision would place a number of limitations on the actions available to the board, including a prohibition against modifying eligibility or benefits, so its recommendations probably would focus on:

* Reductions in subsidies for non-Medicare benefits offered by MedicareAdvantage plans; and

* Changes to payment rates or methodologies for services furnished in the fee-for-servicesector by providers other than hospitals, physicians, hospices, andsuppliers of durable medical equipment that is offered through competitive bidding.


In short the legislation says exactly the opposite of what Palin and other Right-wingers such as Dick Morris says it does.

And the constant connection to the British Health System (NHS) for this is causing a bit of a Ballyhoo!


From Politics UK

If you've been paying any attention to the debate on President Obama's healthcare reform on the other side of the Atlantic, you'll know what I mean. Personally, it only came across my radar once American right wingers started mocking the NHS.

Watching these debates is like reading National Geographic. It's just impossible, from a European perspective, to understand what these people are on about. Their political views seem as backwards and removed from the world we live in as a shaman casting magic spells.

The angry opponents of Obama's reforms would do well to actually have a debate, rather than spew out foolish lies. The death panel accusation is not politics. It is just a lie. That's all it is. It has no place in political discourse. It's not even worthy of childhood discourse. It should be considered outside of acceptable debate, like racism or physical violence. That right-wing pundits and insurance companies are free to promote this nonsense is a damning indictment on the entire system. Personally, I'd be fairly indifferent, and wouldn't deign to comment on another country's way of doing things, were it not for the fact that they're now telling lies about the NHS, and that is intolerable.



According to the World Health Organization the UK Ranks at number 18 in Healthcare outcomes - while the U.S Ranks at Number 37. Their positoin is TWICE AS GOOD as ours, In overall Life Expectancy they are at #14 while we are at #24. England also has a lower infant mortality rate than the U.S. (4.85 per 1000 births to 6.26). In contrast our Health Expenditures as a percent of GDP is second at 15.4% (behind only the Marshall Islands) while the United Kingdom is in 41st Place at 8.2% of GDP.

We're getting half the results at twice the price as England. NO ONE in this country, particularly someone who advocates for the Status Quo, has standing to criticize the British Health Care System in comparison to ours.

NO ONE.

Vyan

Monday, January 11

How Conservatives Ignore Bush 85% Failure Record on Military Tribunals and Torture

We've heard a whole lot of blather over the last few weeks about how the Fruit-of-the-Boom Attacker should've been dragged by Air Marshals off a U.S. Airplane in Detriot straight to Gitmo, Do not pass "Go" - do not collect your Miranda.

We've been told that we should do it the way Bush did it.

But the facts are that the Bush Administration had an 88% success rate prosecuting terrorists in civilian court while in military tribunals the FAILURE rate so far has been ... 85%.

Yeah, that's some FAIL we need more of.

Via the U.K. Guardian.

The Bush administration -- in which Liz Cheney's papa held a fairly high position, you might recall -- prosecuted, after 9-11, 828 people on terrorism charges in civilian courts. At the time of publication of this excellent report from the Center on Law and Security, NYU School of Law last year, trials were still pending against 235 of those folks. That leaves 593 resolved indictments, of which 523 were convicted of some crime, for a conviction rate of 88%.

With regard to military tribunals, the Bush administration inaugurated 20 such cases. So far just three convictions have been won. The highest-profile is the conviction of Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's driver. The Hamdan legal saga, rehearsed here, doesn't exactly suggest that military tribunals provide swifter and surer and tougher justice. In the end, he was convicted all right, but sentenced -- not by a bunch of New York City Democrats, but by a military jury! -- to five and half years.

Then, the tribunal judge, a US Navy captain, gave Hamdan credit for time served, which was five years. So he served six months after conviction. Today he's back in -- guess where? -- Yemen.


Typical Conservative Opposite World Logic - rather than do what works, reaches justice and protects the nation 88% of time, they'd rather do what hasn't worked in 85% of the attempted cases, and even when it has worked the suspect was ultimately released for time served after only SIX MONTHS.

But let's not dance around the sad ugly truth here - the real reason that Conservatives want to have the Military handle these cases is because they believe that Only The Military can "Sweat those Terrorist Secrets Out of Them" - like Jack Bauer in a badly thought out scene for "24".

Just listen to Giu-Liar-ani talk about how "We should still be interrogating" abdulMuttalab with the military even though from all indications he's already talking to us.



Guiliiani: They only talked to him for 30 Hours? My question is why would you ever stop it? In the Military they wouldn't have a time limit to talk to him.


Actually the fact is they don't have to stop it. Even with Miranda in place or a lawyer present they can ask him all kinds of things about al Qeada's functioning as long as it's not about his own case, or going to be used in court against him. (That's what the Fifth Amendment from that Pesky Constitution is all about)

His attorney's only requirement is to protect his client, not to protect al Qeada. In fact, it's because of what abdulMuttalab has told us - without the Military - that we even know that former Gitmo detainees were involved in his training in Yemen.

Guiliani is a former Assistant Attorney General and Federal Prosecutor - he should know better than this. He really should. But for the sake of Partisan Politics he pretends he doesn't know that law or how our Justice system works. It's pathetic.

Anyone who'se ever sat halfway though an episode of Mattlock should know this stuff.

Let also point out the kind of "extended interrogations" that Ghouliani is talking about - something which is far beyond what would be allowed for any P.O.W. under Geneva (ie Name, Rank, Serial Number)- are likely to be thrown out even in a Military Tribunal setting and not admissible, ending in a ruined case just as it did in the case one living accused 9-11 Hijacker Mohommad al-Qhatani.



"We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani," said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case" for prosecution. [...]


Oh, and one more thing -- according to FBI (Ali Soufan) and Military (Matthew Alexander) Interrogators who did get us actionable information after 9-11 and in Iraq Torture Doesn't Work at giving us accurate information, besides the fact it's inadmissible in ANY court.



From Salon.com

WASHINGTON -- The testimony of a key witness at a Senate hearing Wednesday raised serious questions about the truthfulness of former President George W. Bush's own personal defense of the CIA's brutal interrogation program. Former FBI agent Ali Soufan also indicated that the harsh interrogation techniques may actually have hindered the collection of intelligence, causing a high-value prisoner to stop cooperating.

In the first congressional hearing on torture since the release of Bush administration memos that provided the legal justification for torture, Soufan told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the CIA's abusive techniques were "ineffective, slow and unreliable, and as a result harmful to our efforts to defeat al-Qaida." According to Soufan, his own nonviolent interrogation of an al-Qaida suspect was quickly yielding valuable, actionable intelligence -- until the CIA intervened.


This is NOT the road we need to be running blindly back down. As has been posted in another diary - Obama's Approval Rating on his handling of the attempted Detroit Plane Bombing is 57% favorable.

What Obama's doing isn't broke, so don't fix it.

Vysn

Michael "Honest Injun" Steele Thinks Harry Reid has a Racial Insensitivity Problem?

RNC Chairman Michael Steele who recently told complaining members of his party "Get with the Program - or Fire Me" has decided to berate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his remarks describeing why he was an early supporter of Barack Obama:

“[Reid] was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’ as he said privately.”


Well, gee at least he didn't say he was "Clean and Articulate" - or he might have become Vice President!



From FDL (Yes, FDL - and I don't wanna hear about it!)

Yeah, this is pretty rich.

Here’s a guy who promised to woo African American voters with fried chicken, refused to criticize Glenn Beck for saying that the president was a “white culture”-hating racist, and who just a few days ago dropped the Native American equivalent of “nigger” on national teevee.



And when it was pointed out to him by a fellow Republican that “injun” isn’t kosher, Steele told him to “get a life.

Steele is an assclown who should stick to what he does best: busting out early ’90s hip hop slang in an effort to sound cool while generally making a mockery of the Republican Party.


'Sho nuff.

Let me state just for the record as a Black Man, that I don't have the slightest problem with what Reid said because it's absolutely true.

It's not like America is exactly ready for President Flava Flav!

How about Secretary of State Ole' Dirty Bastard or T.I.?

Reid's comment was essentially that Obama doesn't fit easily in the stereotype of the Angry English-Mangling Black Man, because that's not who he is. And the fact is - it's not.

I myself wrote almost exactly two years ago the "Barack Obama is not the Black Candidate" for President.

The argument that Black people are so pavlovian as to simply vote for Obama's skin tone happens to be just as racist as the accusation that New Hampshire voters were so racist that they simply lied to the pollsters.

Now we have a huge brujah over whether or not a Clinton aide has dropped the "Shuck and Jive" bomb on Obama. People pUH_leeze, that term is so ancient that Black people tossed it out with their platform stacks and bellbottoms. It's so 1977 - it's irrelevant.

But let me tell you - in the opinion of just one black man to the rest of the world - Barack Obama is not the epitome of the "Black Candidate" or "Black Savior" to me simply because - frankly - Barack Obama isn't really all that "Black."


That's what I said then and I stand by it.

But now saying he doesn't use "Negro Dialect unless he wants to" is somehow a bad thing? Heck at least he didn't call it "Ebonics".

This we get from the Party who thinks "Barack the Magic Negro" is a good (and supposedly funny) song?

Let's listen again to it now and recall that the entire of the song was supposed a set of criticism being thrown at Barack by an Al Sharpton-ish characer for his not being "Black Enough"...





"Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper
Said he makes guilty whites feel good
They’ll vote for him, and not for me
'Cause he's not from the hood.[4]



Michael Steele didn't say JACK about this when it was being played on Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Republicans and Tea Baggers have called the President a Nazy, Fascist, Socialist, Marxist, Genocidal Communist Totalitarian Illegal Alien from Kenya - and their outraged, Outraged I Say - because Harry Reid told the truth and said he speaks proper English?

You have to recognize that Black people themselves have quite openly argued and discussed the long standing history of stratified racism against darker skinned black people and for the lighter skinned. Reid was correctly pointing out that feeling that the out-and-out discrimination that continues today has always been somewhat less for those of lighter (less pure African) complexion than those of darker skin tones. This conflict between the light-skinned "Wallabe's" and the dark-skinned "Gigaboos" was the entire point of Spike Lee's second film "School Daze".

Frankly, I''m impressed that Reid is that HIP to the issue.

It's actually a subject the deserves some serious discussion. For example, put all this in the context of the 2010 Census which does include the selection "Black, African Am., or Negro" on the forms that will be sent out. In decades past those forms used to have seperate selections for "Negro", "Mulatto" or "Octaroon". We've come a ways from those days, but just how far exactly?

The truth about this statement by Steele is really to get revenge for the ouster of Trent Lott when he said "Things would've been better if Strom Thurman" had become President.

Strom Thurman, the guy that set the filibuster record while fighting against Integration, would've made this s "Better" Country?

Sen John Cornyn has already made exactly that argument:

"In 2002, Democrats expressed outrage at Senator Lott and called on him to step down as leader. That same standard should be applied to Senator Reid and his embarrassing and racially insensitive statements; statements, I would add, that Senator Reid still has yet to clarify," Cornyn said in a written statement.

"As we await his explanation, Senator Reid should do the right thing, follow the example that he himself set in 2002, and step down as majority leader."


The fact is that Revenge for Trent Lott is the sole motivation brimming under the surface for Republicans on this issue was made crystal clear this morning by Liz Cheney on This Week. - and was amazingly slapped back down in her chair by GEORGE WILL of all people.


On the roundtable, George Will defended Reid against charges of racism and provoked this spirited exchange with fellow conservative Liz Cheney:



WILL: I don't think there's a scintilla of racism in what Harry Reid said. At long last, Harry Reid has said something that no one can disagree with, and he gets in trouble for it.

CHENEY: George, give me a break. I mean, talking about the color of the president's skin...

WILL: Did he get it wrong?

CHENEY: ... and the candidate's...

WILL: Did he say anything false?

CHENEY: ... it's -- these are clearly racist comments, George.

WILL: Oh, my, no.

Cheney also said the episode highlights a liberal double standard on issues of race. “One of the things that makes the American people frustrated is when they see time and time again liberals excusing racism from other liberals. And I think that, you know, clearly, Senator Reid's comments were outrageous.”



What Reid said is "Outrageous"? No THIS is Outrageous.



Time and time again anything a Liberal even mentions about the subject of Race - Conservatives go screaming to the hills with cries fo "RACISM RACISM!", but they can walk around with signs like the above (or those shown in the Max Blumenthal video below) and when Janeane Garafalo says "This looks Racist to Me" they have nothing to say...

Ironical, isn't it?



These people don't care a wit about the honor and dignity for Black people they just want to screw over those "Damn Dirty Liberals" any chance they get. A better example of blind Hatred and Bigotry against a group - simply for being members of the group, ie. Liberal - would be difficult to find.

Vyan