Saturday, October 13, 2007

Coming Home, Part Two

Lauren told me recently, "you're the most sentimental person I know." If you're one of the faithful few that have read my blog in its entirety, you're most likely to agree with her. I'm a sucker for milestones. I wrote about how it felt to be exactly one year away from getting out of the Army, and a fictitious account about coming home the day we were scheduled to, before being extended three months. A week after we returned on September 12, I described what it was like to be back. You can find it two entries below this one, under the Rush Limbaugh hootenanny.

Now it has been a month since I've returned to the states, but this week I've come back to my actual home. At some point in Baqubah I developed a hernia and waited until I made it back to Ft. Lewis to have it properly diagnosed and treated. I went into surgery last week and am recovering just fine. It still hurts to laugh (which is bad news for someone who giggles at their own jokes.) They gave me two weeks for recovery and I decided to take that in my hometown. Far away from a military base, the question arises with ferocious intensity: what does it feel like to be back? My usual short answer is, "it's nice to have a warm bed again." But that's not quite how it is. It almost feels like it gets harder, not easier.

Last week I was invited to a dinner hosted by Lauren's mother. Joining us would be Lauren's sister, her cousin who I had already met, another cousin I hadn't, and her fiancé. I retained my 'quiet with a few clever puns' persona and as such, didn't contribute much to the conversation. It felt like I had nothing of relevance to say about the topics that came up. My grasp of news and politics was more than a year old; only the biggest stories made their way across the ocean. By taking part in the biggest thing happening in our culture, I sacrificed being in the culture itself. I refused to be that guy who starts off every sentence with "this one time in Iraq..." But my options are slim. I could recall stories of my trip to Europe in April, but then it would be "dude, this one time in Amsterdam." There's only so many times you can regale people with stories about aggressive transvestite prostitutes.

With my Texan accent sticking out like a Dutch hooker's crotch, it was only a matter of time before Lauren's cousin asked where I was from. I told her I had lived in north Texas most of my life and went back to poking around the sausage in my spaghetti. Lauren's mother then gave an updated biography, saying I had just gotten back from Iraq and that I chronicled my deployment in a blog (wink!). After she asked what I wrote about, I launched into a tirade about applying personal experiences of the war to the larger aspect that isn't in the mainstream media. I must've looked silly, talking with urgency and saying more words in one minute than the whole evening prior. I realized the conundrum I was in. The subject I didn't want to come up was the only one I can apply myself to. An elephant in the room that only I could see.

After a month I'm still not quite comfortable with being in small, crowded and loud places like bars. My senses are more refined now. I'm a more attentive driver and I can see and hear things a lot differently. A club with a thousand different conversations used to be collective noise. Now I hear an endless amount of distinct voices and every note coming from the DJ. I'm agitated by people coming too close or brushing up against me like never before. I don't jump, twitch or moan when I hear an expected loud noise. You know the feeling you get when you narrowly avoid a car crash? That's what I get. I'm perfectly fine at first glance, but the blood drains from my face and my scalp tingles. I may or may not break into a sweat at this point. I don't recall many dreams while I was in Iraq, but now they flood my subconsciousness. In one I'm riding in a bus and hanging out the window. Another bus in the opposite lane passes by, and Jesse Williams is waving to me from inside. I wave back. Another has me on a routine patrol when I find half a body on the side of the road. It's Chevy. His face is twisted but recognizable. His lower half is gone, despite his body being intact when he died.

Despite the hardships we face alone, I feel incredibly lucky to have my family and friends here for me, who understand the best they can. It was fitting I started this entry with Lauren, wise and empathetic beyond her years. A month with these challenges seems minuscule when compared to the month of joy I shared with her.

For everyone else, the nature of this war prevents the public from a full grasp of understanding. In the wars of past generations, soldiers volunteered or were drafted by the millions. In the case of World War II, families endured rations and donated to the war effort. Almost every single American contributed to victory. In the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, the war is squeezed into a half hour of prime time television. In WWII, in Korea, in Vietnam, we were a country at war. Now we're a military at war, with less than 1% of the population in uniform. Unless you have a friend or family member in the military, it's a separate reality. In airports and in living rooms, you can see for yourself the effect in the eyes of a soldier at war for fifteen months at a time, hidden behind a smile that conceals a secret: you'll never ever quite understand what we did.

Like Atlas, we carry the immense burden of the country on our shoulders, waiting for the day seemingly long into the future when the American people say, that will do.


There's more: "Coming Home, Part Two" >>

The Forensics Say: Erik Prince is a F**king LIAR

The evidence just keeps mounting that mercenaries employed by Blackwater International randomly and wantonly slaughtered innocent civilians in the Nisour Square rampage on September 16th.

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that an Army unit that responded in the wake of the shooting saw no evidence that the Blackwater detail was fired on.

Blackwater USA guards shot at Iraqi civilians as they tried to drive away from a Baghdad square on Sept. 16, according to a report compiled by the first U.S. soldiers to arrive at the scene, where they found no evidence that Iraqis had fired weapons.

"It appeared to me they were fleeing the scene when they were engaged. It had every indication of an excessive shooting," said Lt. Col. Mike Tarsa, whose soldiers reached Nisoor Square 20 to 25 minutes after the gunfire subsided.

His soldiers' report -- based upon their observations at the scene, eyewitness interviews and discussions with Iraqi police -- concluded that there was "no enemy activity involved" and described the shootings as a "criminal event." Their conclusions mirrored those reached by the Iraqi government, which has said the Blackwater guards killed 17 people.

The soldiers' accounts contradict Blackwater's assertion that its guards were defending themselves after being fired upon by Iraqi police and gunmen.

Tarsa said they found no evidence to indicate that the Blackwater guards were provoked or entered into a confrontation. "I did not see anything that indicated they were fired upon," said Tarsa, 42, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. He also said it appeared that several drivers had made U-turns and were moving away from Nisoor Square when their vehicles were hit by gunfire from Blackwater guards.

And today the New York Times has more. Three Kurdish officials witnessed the episode from a high vantage point, quite literally above the fray:

The three witnesses, Kurds on a rooftop overlooking the scene, said they had observed no gunfire that could have provoked the shooting by Blackwater guards. American soldiers who arrived minutes later found shell casings from guns used normally by American contractors, as well as by the American military.

The Kurdish witnesses are important because they had the advantage of an unobstructed view and because, collectively, they observed the shooting at Nisour Square from start to finish, free from the terror and confusion that might have clouded accounts of witnesses at street level. Moreover, because they are pro-American, their accounts have a credibility not always extended to Iraqi Arabs, who have been more hostile to the American presence.

Their statements, made in interviews with The New York Times, appeared to challenge a State Department account that a Blackwater vehicle had been disabled in the shooting and had to be towed away. Since those initial accounts, Blackwater and the State Department have consistently refused to comment on the substance of the case.

The Kurdish witnesses said that they saw no one firing at the guards at any time during the event, an observation corroborated by the forensic evidence of the shell casings. Two of the witnesses also said all the Blackwater vehicles involved in the shooting drove away under their own power.

The Kurds, who work for a political party whose building looks directly down on the square, said they had looked for any evidence that the American security guards were responding to an attack, but found none.

“I call it a massacre,” said Omar H. Waso, one of the witnesses and a senior official at the party, which is called the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. “It is illegal. They used the law of the jungle.”

American military personnel found the actions of the Blackwater mercenaries equally reprehensible.

Blackwater is still stubbornly maintaining that their mercs were fired on first, but the forensic evidence maintains that the people shilling for Blackwater are dirty-dog liars.

After the shootings, American soldiers found plenty of empty bullet casings 7.62 millimeters in diameter. Had the 7.62-millimeter casings been from an AK-47 rifle, a common insurgent and Iraqi police weapon, they would have been 39 millimeters long. Had they been from a PKC machine gun, another common Iraqi weapon, they would have been 54 millimeters long. The soldiers did not find any of those, the military official said.

Instead, the official said, the casings were 51 millimeters long, the length used by NATO weapons, including the M-240 machine gun, a standard automatic weapon used by the America military and American security contractors, the official said. The soldiers also found empty 5.56-millimeter casings of the type used by the M-4 and M-16 rifles that American troops and contractors bear.

The F.B.I. has been interviewing soldiers from the unit that responded to the scene, the Third Battalion of the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, which is part of the Second Brigade of the First Cavalry Division, to collect information in its investigation of the shooting, the official said.

Not a single shell casing was found at the scene that would indicate that Blackwater mercenaries, nor the diplomats they were escorting came under hostile fire. An American military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter, added that soldiers had found clear evidence that the Blackwater guards were not been threatened and also opened fire on civilians who had tried to flee. “The cartridges and casings we found were all associated with coalition forces and contractors,” the official said. “The only brass we found where somebody fired weapons were ones from contractors.” (emphasis mine)

After that last burst of gunfire in the square, Mr. Waso said, all four of the Blackwater vehicles left. As far as he could see, they drove away under their own power, he said.

In the end, Mr. Waso said, he went down and asked Iraqi national guard soldiers to chase the Blackwater team.

“Leave them and try to follow that company before they get away,” Mr. Waso said he told a soldier. “They killed innocent people for no reason.”

When mercenaries engage in shooting sprees, wanton rampages and indiscriminate murder, it undermines the (ostensible) mission of the American military. "It was absolutely tragic," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division and the Army's top commander for Baghdad. "In the aftermath of these, everybody looks and says, 'It's the Americans.' And that's us. It's horrible timing. It's yet another challenge, another setback."

There's more: "The Forensics Say: Erik Prince is a F**king LIAR" >>

Friday, October 12, 2007

Another General Denounces Bush and the Iraq Fiasco

Retired Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez took a swipe at the aWol Bush maladministration and their inept, incompetent and inconsistent management of the occupation of Iraq. The United States is “living a nightmare with no end in sight.” He warned. “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.” General Sanchez was speaking to a gathering here of military reporters and editors.

The remarks were made during one of the first public speeches Sanchez has given since leaving the Army late last year.

He blamed the administration for launching and mismanaging a “catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan” and he denounced the current “surge™” strategy as a “desperate” move that will fail to establish long-term stability.

General Sanchez is the most senior in a string of retired generals to harshly criticize the administration’s conduct of the war. Asked following his remarks why he waited nearly a year after his retirement to outline his views, he responded that that it was not the place of active duty officers to challenge lawful orders from civilian authorities. General Sanchez, who is said to be considering a book, promised further public statements criticizing officials by name.

“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.”

The White House had no initial comment.

[keep reading]

Sanchez is speaking out, in the face of the slime machine, even though he knows full well that he has an Abu Ghraib problem that will make him a target of vicious criticisms and accusations that he is trying to shift blame for his own shortcomings to the poor, hapless president. Although Sanchez was cleared of wrongdoing in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal by an Army investigation, he became a symbol of an occupation that was botched from the get-go.

Look for accusations that he has an axe to grind, that he is seeking revenge against the president who opted not to nominate him for a fourth star and effectively ended his career, forcing him into retirement.

Taking questions from reporters after his presentation, he included the military command structure, himself included, among those who exercised poor judgment and made tragic mistakes in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. He lamented the failure to insist on a post-war stabilization plan.

Still, the bulk of his criticism was directed at the Bush administration and their failures of leadership. He lambasted them for failures to mobilize the entire U.S. government and not just the military in the reconstruction and stabilization efforts in Iraq. “National leadership continues to believe that victory can be achieved by military power alone,” he said. “Continued manipulations and adjustments to our military strategy will not achieve victory. The best we can do with this flawed approach is stave off defeat.”

He accused the administration of failing to craft any kind of strategy that went beyond military force. “The administration, Congress and the entire inter-agency, especially the State Department, must shoulder responsibility for the catastrophic failure, and the American people must hold them accountable,” General Sanchez said.

There's more: "Another General Denounces Bush and the Iraq Fiasco" >>

What I Stand For by thepoetryman

I thought this might be the best way to introduce myself to the OOIBC audience- My entry in the video contest at Lions for Lambs of What Do You Stand For?

copyright 2007 tpm - mrp

To enter your own video of what you stand for just follow this link -

There's more: "What I Stand For by thepoetryman" >>

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A tale of shirt-tails

[Cross-posted to Lotus - Surviving a Dark Time]

There has been a fair amount of coverage of the case of Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen who sued the government for damages because, he says,

he was mistakenly identified as an associate of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers and was detained while attempting to enter Macedonia on New Year's Eve 2003.

He claims that CIA agents stripped, beat, shackled, diapered, drugged and chained him to the floor of a plane for a flight to Afghanistan. He says he was held for four months in a CIA-run prison known as the "salt pit" in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

After the CIA determined it had the wrong man, el-Masri says, he was dumped on a hilltop in Albania and told to walk down a path without looking back.
The claims are not idle; they
were backed by European investigations and U.S. news reports. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that U.S. officials acknowledged that el-Masri's detention was a mistake.
The WHS*, however, refuse to acknowledge that he was taken and demanded that the courts dismiss his claim on the basis of the so-called "state secrets privilege," claiming that even considering the case, even providing evidence to the judge, would reveal vital national security information "concern[ing] the highly classified methods and means of the program." It is a "trust us, we know what's best" defense - and traditionally, albeit it shockingly, the courts have deferred to it.

And now the Supreme Court has done precisely that, dismissing without comment el-Masri's suit, putting an end to any hope he had for recompense, justice, or even a simple acknowledgment of error.
"We are very disappointed," Manfred Gnijdic, el-Masri's attorney in Germany, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his office in Ulm.

"It will shatter all trust in the American justice system," Gnijdic said. He said the United States expects every other nation to act responsibly but refuses to take responsibility for its own actions.
So very true. Now of course, the Court will grandly insist that in denying his appeal without comment the justices took no position on the merits of the case, that the issues have not been adjudicated, that the Court has not approved "rendition," as the process is called, it has not approved kidnapping or torture, especially of innocent people.

It will say that even though for those of us who live in the real world instead of the fantasy of legal briefs, that is exactly what it has done. It has informed the thugs and goons who populate the White House that they can kidnap, beat, torture, imprison, with absolute impunity, that they are beyond the reach of both the law and justice, that they can't be touched by cop or court, that they have powers barely dreamed of by kings of old - because whatever they have done, whatever extremes they reach, and whoever they have done it to, when challenged all they need do is say "we don't want to tell you about it" and the courts will say "oh, okay." As Gnijdic said, barely with understatement, "That is a disaster."

That wrapping their cruelties in secrecy is the intent can be read in the numbers. According to, whose "Secrecy Report Card 2007" can be found at this link, between 1953 and 1976, across the span of the Cold War, the state secrets privilege was used precisely six times. Since 2001, it has been used 39 times. To silence such people as Sibel Edmonds. To silence such people as Khaled el-Masri. To silence the truth.

And then there is the shirt-tail, one of I. F. Stone's shirt-tails, the important bit buried at the end.
The state secrets privilege arose from a 1953 Supreme Court ruling that allowed the executive branch to keep secret, even from the court, details about a military plane's fatal crash.

Three widows sued to get the accident report after their husbands died aboard a B-29 bomber, but the Air Force refused to release it claiming that the plane was on a secret mission to test new equipment. The high court accepted the argument, but when the report was released decades later there was nothing in it about a secret mission or equipment.
The entire states secret privilege is based on a goddam CYA lie. I wrote about this back in March 2005:
What makes all this something that just makes you want to shake your head in astonishment - what's the line, "I hasten to laugh at everything, for fear of being obliged to weep" - is that it's highly likely that the Reynolds decision was based on false claims by the government. It turns out when the documents were finally declassified in 2000 that the accident report - which the Justices never actually saw, having taken the word of the Air Force as to the significance of its contents - had no material information about the plane's mission or the secret equipment being tested, but did contain information that the plane had suffered numerous safety problems and was considered unsafe to fly.
The documents ascribe fault for the crash to the Air Force's failure to comply with orders to modify the B-29's exhaust assembly, the apparent source of the fire that caused the crash. In addition, the service was at fault for failing to brief the civilian contractors that were on the flight in proper emergency procedures....
That is the "secret" the Air Force was trying to conceal.
When the information was released, the one surviving widow asked the Supreme Court to reconsider. It dismissed her in a single sentence. El-Masri is in good company. And, like the man said, "the law is an ass." And so is the Supreme Court.

*WHS = White House Sociopaths

There's more: "A tale of shirt-tails" >>

If you ever doubted it...

[cross-posted to Lotus - Surviving a Dark Time]

...this should resolve the question once and for all: We are on our own.

From today's Washington Post:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in a determinedly good mood when she sat down to lunch with reporters yesterday. She entered the room beaming and, over the course of an hour, smiled no fewer than 31 times and got off at least 23 laughs.

But her spirits soured instantly when somebody asked about the anger of the Democratic "base" over her failure to end the war in Iraq.

"Look," she said, the chicken breast on her plate untouched. "I had, for five months, people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco, angering neighbors, hanging their clothes from trees, building all kinds of things - Buddhas? I don't know what they were - couches, sofas, chairs, permanent living facilities on my front sidewalk."

Unsmilingly, she continued: "If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have 'Impeach Bush' across their chest, it's the First Amendment."
Oh, well, cue the violins, Nancy Pelosi doesn't like being the target of demonstrators, who she wishes could be arrested for loitering. Poor baby. If she actually did what was necessary to rein in the militarist fantasies of President Shrub, she wouldn't have that problem. Instead, she flat out refuses to cut off funding for the war by blocking passage of funding for it, saying she "will never cut funds for troops in the field." She cravenly capitulates to Bush vetoes of any sort of restrictions by giving him whatever he wants while whining that without the votes to override, she's helpless - rather than, for example, passing the same damn bill again and telling Bush if he wants his blood money, these are the conditions, take it or leave it, and make up your damn mind. And let's not forget that originally, last spring, she didn't even want to allow a vote on a Progressive Caucus alternative with a fixed (relatively) short-term deadline for withdrawal.

But oh my the poor dear is so terribly upset. In fact, she's "seething."
"We have to make responsible decisions in the Congress that are not driven by the dissatisfaction of anybody who wants the war to end tomorrow," Pelosi told the gathering.... Though crediting activists for their "passion," Pelosi called it "a waste of time" for them to target Democrats. "They are advocates," she said. "We are leaders."
A revealing statement in so many ways. First, Nancy Pelosi regards antiwar protestors as irresponsible. That's a rude, wrong, rant, but ultimately not surprising; "passionate" "advocates" are always disparaged in such terms by "serious" people. Then there is her contention that going after Dems is "a waste of time." Which is also not surprising but still it's nice to have it confirmed that for Pelosi it's not about ending the war, it's all about attacking Republicans, it's all about electing Democrats, it's all about, as I have said so many times, positioning for the 2008 elections and continued death, destruction, and devastation are preferable to running the risk of being called "soft" on "national security."

That was actually reconfirmed by another Pelosi comment.
[A]pproval ratings for Congress, in the teens and 20s, didn't evoke regrets. "I don't like the numbers for Congress," she admitted, but "I'm very pleased with the Democratic numbers." She then took an unusual detour into polling minutiae. "Today the Rasmussen numbers were the third time that we were double-digit ahead in the generic," she reported, "and the third month in a row we were in the high 40s."
Do you get what that means? The "generic" refers to those "Are you more likely to vote for a Democrat or a Republican for Congress" questions, i.e., asking about party support rather than particular candidates. So Pelosi doesn't care that the voters who put the Democrats where they are, are pissed off at the crappy job they've done, particularly on the war - not so long as Democrats are ahead of Republicans. It's all about the politics, not about the policy. It's all about winning, not about governing. It is, when it comes right down to it, all about the party, not about the people.

Oh, but at least she finished with a joke. "We are leaders." I mean, that is a joke, right? Since the Dummycrats came into control of Congress, there are more US troops in Iraq, hundreds of billions of additional dollars have been approved for the war, no restrictions have been placed on the Shrub gangsters (the utterly toothless "benchmarks" which even the White House can't bring itself to claim are being met, an admission met with almost complete silence from Pelosi's "leaders," do not count), and based on her own accounts, Dims in the House have engaged in nothing but pure self-serving symbolism, passing legislation they know will not become law and by which, when push comes to shove, they will not stand.

If that's "leadership," I'm Fred Thompson.

I've said it, I've said it, I'm going to keep saying it: We are on our own. We cannot depend on the Dimcrats any more than we can depend on the GOPpers to get us out of Iraq until and unless we make it politically untenable for them to do otherwise. And that will not take quiet, "serious," discussions. It will take public noise and lots of it. Which means, by the way, that Pelosi's annoyance at demonstrators outside her house is a good thing because it means they're getting under her skin.

So carry it on.

Footnote: Two quickies on other Pelosi-isms.

- In response to a question about complaints that Democrats didn't go far enough on climate-change legislation, she said "We did not say we were going to do any more than we did." And just how is that an answer to the complaint? What, "We said from the beginning we were going to offer an inadequate program that doesn't solve the problem" and we're all supposed to say "Okay, yeah, great job?"

- Asked about her "greatest mistake," Pelosi said "Why don't you tell me? 'Cause I think we're doing just great." Remember when Georgie stumbled over a similar question and couldn't recall any mistakes? It seems Our Only President is not the only one so afflicted.

There's more: "If you ever doubted it..." >>

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"We want to die"

While listening last night to the BBC radio, I heard this statement from an Iraqi women who was located inside one of the internal refugee camps in Iraq. She is one of the two million internally displaced refugees inside Iraq. She is living in a camp with no security, no electricity, no clean water to drink.

“There is no gas cylinder. We have to cook on wood, no gasoline, no money. When I cook I am worried a spark could cause another fire. Is this a way to live? Let the Americans come with a plane and spray us with chemical weapons and kill us. It would be much better for us. We want to die.”

There you have it - bush claimed that he was invading Iraq because Saddam had chemical WMDs that he had used against his own people - without a mention of how the US was Saddam's buddy while that was going on - and now he and his administration have reduced the country to such misery that the people there WANT TO BE SPRAYED WITH CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND KILLED.

They have made things so very miserable that this Shi'a women (whose brother was killed by Saddam, by the way) wants to be dead in the same manner that Saddam had killed people.

One thing that I have gained from this illegal war and occupation - I used to wonder how Hitler did it in Nazi Germany - how did he get so many people to kill so many other people who had never hurt them - ruin their lives - and not ever seem to care. I no longer have to wonder how it was done. I have seen it done in my own country in front of my own eyes.

The US government and the US taxpayers have committed genocide against the people of Iraq, and have left the remaining Iraqi people so miserable they wish to be dead. I don't know how the people who supported this war, for even one minute, can live with themselves without throwing up every time they look in a mirror.

If you want to hear her speak, it is about 32 minutes into the radio program (link above). Bring a bucket for your tears and your vomit.

Photos of refugee camps and other information on Iraq Today and Faces of Grief blog.

There's more: ""We want to die"" >>

Iraq: The Failure of an Entire World

(Originally posted at The Motley Patriot)

In 2003, the United States under President Bush set a dangerous precedent; it invaded a foreign, sovereign nation based on lies. Why was this unprecedented? No, it wasn't the war itself; nations have warred for centuries. It wasn't that the war was based on lies or false rhetoric in the press; both of those have occurred before. It was unprecedented because the world had two responses to this action; part of the world yawned then turned their heads while the other part actually signed on to assist.

In 2003, the United States under President Bush set another dangerous precedent; it disbanded a government totally, told the native citizens it would live under new rules, new guidelines, and it would do so at the end of a gun. Why was this unprecedented? No, it wasn't the changing of governments after an invasion; that has occurred. No, it wasn't that the natives were forced to comply upon threat of violence; that, too, has occurred. No, this was unprecedented because, again, the world either yawned and turned their heads, or, actively participated.

The war in Iraq is not just the failure of President Bush, but, of the entire world.

In 1937, Japan invaded China. The world was neither silent nor complicit. Immediate embargos were put against Japan by the United States, Britain and the East Indies. It was, after four years of these sanctions, that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. It was December 7th, 1941, that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. It was December 8th, 1941, that America and Britain declared war on Japan.

It was September 1st, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. On September 2nd, 1939, Britain and France tell Germany that unless it withdraws its forces, Germany would face war with not only Poland, but, with Britain and France, as well. On September 3rd, 1939, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany.

On March 20th, 2003, the United States invaded Iraq. On March 21st, 2003, the world was silent or complicit to this invasion.

Why would the world sit idle while America and its "allies" attacked, invaded, and occupied a sovereign country?

- United Nations resolutions

It was on February 5th, 2003, that Colin Powell made the case for war against Iraq to the United Nations; a case that has now been totally discredited. In 2003, a United Nations resolution authorizing war with Iraq was sought and subsequently withdrawn when France threatened to veto it. The United States then relied on earlier UN Resolution 1441 to "justify" the invasion of Iraq. UN Resolution 1441 had just been passed by the United Nations in November 2002. However, UN Resolution 1441 gave no specific authority to invade and occupy Iraq to other UN member states. In fact, by the United States seeking just a specific resolution through the United Nations that did authorize war, the United States was admitting that there were no previous authorizations given.

So, why did the United Nations then fail to act when the United States did invade Iraq?

- Blackmail

On February 26th, 2003, almost a full month prior to the United States assault on Iraq, the Institute for Policy Studies released a report on just how President Bush was applying "pressure" to countries to either join in the attack, or, look the other way. In fact, only six nations seemed to join the "coalition of the willing" in 2003... well... willingly; Spain, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Portugal, and Japan. The rest of the "coalition" was, in fact, coerced, bribed or bullied. While I would love to reprint this entire report in full, I cannot due to space, so, please take the time to read it.

- The wiretapping of United Nations officials

In February 2004, allegations surfaced that Prime Minister Blair had "bugged" United Nations Secretary General Annan's office. However, it was in March 2003 that the Observer wrote that the NSA was wiretapping United Nations officials.

- The United States withdraws from the International Criminal Court

On May 7th, 2002, President Bush withdrew the United States from recognizing the International Criminal Court. No doubt, this was done because of the torture memo's, the foreseeable debacle of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons, much less the invasion itself.

- The United States blackmails countries into signing Bi-Lateral Immunity Agreements

In June 2003, the United States blackmailed Croatia and Slovenia into signing the agreement. However, due to some countries resisting the pressure and the blackmailing being exposed by the press, President Bush took another tact; make the blackmail legal. In December 2004, the United States Congress sanctioned the blackmail by passing a bill that stated, in part, that: "None of the funds made available in this act ... may be used to provide assistance to the government of a country that is a party to the International Criminal Court and has not entered into an agreement with the United States."

This is only part of the history of how President Bush kept the United Nations silent or complicit. The fact remains; the United Nations, and countries in the world, allowed President Bush to blackmail them, allowed themselves to be bullied, and they share as much of the blame for Iraq as President Bush for doing so. As I write in this article, it appears that the Democrats in Congress share in the distinction of being blackmailed, or at least bullied, by President Bush, and as such, they too hold a measure of blame for Iraq.

That our country is run by a criminal and a bully is not news. That the nations of the world would sit idly by, or allow themselves to be blackmailed into complicity, shouldn't be either, but, it happened. There was a time when our Congress stood up to bullies and criminals. There was a time when the world did the same. Obviously, that time, it seems, has sadly passed.

If our own Congress will not stand up, if the leaders of the world will not stand up, who then, is left but the private citizens? We stood up. Citizens around the world stood up. We protested. We marched. As one collective voice we said "NO". We were, and have been, ignored by our politicians.

As possible war with Iran looms over the horizon, as it appears our own Congress will once again be cowed, or blackmailed, into complicity, but, what of the world? Will the nations of the world, once again, sit idly by, or worse, be blackmailed into complicity again? Or, is this to be World War II all over again, as one nation attacks another and the world stands tall issuing a firm demand, "remove your troops or face war." Time will tell.

There's more: "Iraq: The Failure of an Entire World" >>

One Military Community's Ultimate Sacrifice

(Cross posted from BFD Blog!)

This is the front page of today's The Olympian, a local paper for those who reside in the Olympia, Washington area. Every person pictured on the front page was living, likely building a family, and building a career of service in the military as a part of the local community surrounding Ft. Lewis, Washington:

They all gave their lives in an unjust, immoral war that they had no say in, and deserve our thanks, honor and respect, and should live on in our memories as part of the price we are paying to service the greed and power of the Bushliburton administration and their corporate sponsors.

Read brief biographies of these patriots in this story in The Olympian.

Download your very own copy of The Olympian front page for October 10, 2007. The download is a .PDF file and it will give you a large, clear picture of the front page. Use the .PDF as "wall paper" for your computer, pass a copy along to family and friends; pass a copy along to your representatives in Congress.

These are the faces from just one local community who paid the ulitimate price, when you think about them, think also of the thousands of other sons and daughters who have also been sacrificed in the name of our country, and think about what you can do to stop the carnage.

There's more: "One Military Community's Ultimate Sacrifice" >>

Economic Goals Of The Iraq War: Disaster Capitalism

(Cross posted from BFD Blog!)

It has all become exceedingly clear for us here at BFD Blog! why the Bushliburton administration started the war in Iraq, it was so that their constituent business backers could exploit the disasters of our times, both those caused by natural acts in the environment, and those caused by man. Blogging for the Huffington Post, John Cusak (yes, that John Cusak) lays it all out in great clarity in his posting titled "The Real Blackwater Scandal: Build A Frontier, You Get Cowboys".

In his posting, Cusak relates ongoing discussions he has had with Naomi Klein, the author of "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism". It is Klein's thesis that the scandals of Katrina, of Blackwater, that the war itself are what fuel the "Disaster Capitalism Complex", which we at BFD take as an evolution of the fabled "Military Industrial Complex" as a driver of economic growth:

What Naomi does so well is put the corruption scandals into a broader context, unveiling and meticulously documenting how the scandals of the Bush regime -- from the invasion of Iraq to the inability of FEMA to locate the Superdome for days after Katrina hit -- are actually part of a new emerging economy, what she calls the Disaster Capitalism Complex, which itself is the culmination of a 35 year ideological campaign of radical privatization and de-regulation. It is not a conspiracy in any sense, but a very open, fundamentalist ideological war against the New Deal in America and Keynesian economics around the globe. Francis Fukuyama called the supposed peak of this movement "the End of History." But what may actually be ending is the illusion that this campaign has done anything but great damage to people around the globe. Blackwater is a perfect case in point.

Cusak goes on to relate a dialogue that he and Klein recently had, where Klein builds her thesis:

Cusack: The Blackwater scandal broke just as you hit the US on your book tour. What do you make of the coverage?

Klein: It definitely feels like a watershed moment. There is this collective understanding that this wasn't an accident, it was inevitable: give a bunch of pumped-up guys guns, and send them to a place where they're above the law, and they'll act like cowboys. But what's missing from too much of the analysis is the obvious next point: this is true of the entire occupation.

Give a bunch of contractors billions of dollars with no accountability, while simultaneously eviscerating the Iraqi state (de-Baathification, laying off the army, flinging open the economy with no regulation) and they'll gorge. Give a bunch of Heritage Foundation interns control of an economy with no oversight and they'll try to privatize everything in sight. The entire disaster in Iraq was utterly predictable. But what I argue in the book is that not only was this predictable, it was the plan. The plan wasn't to destroy Iraq; it was to create a market frontier. And the reason you build a frontier is always the same: nothing is more profitable. Adam Smith wrote about it in The Wealth of Nations: on the colonial frontier, land can be grabbed, taxes are few, and capitalism can exist in its purest, most profitable form. That's why the Wall Street Journal has been comparing Iraq to a "gold rush" from the very first reconstruction conferences in 2003 -- any frontier is a gold rush.

So what frustrates me about the current Blackwater scandal is the attitude of surprise in the media and congress -- surprise that these companies are acting like "cowboys" in a "wild west." Of course they are -- the occupation was built to be the Wild West. For four years the White House systematically fought every attempt at oversight of the contractors, specifically granted them immunity under Iraqi law and made no serious attempt to monitor their activities. And it's not just Blackwater -- think of all the tens of billions of public dollars allocated to reconstructing Iraq. The money has all been given away to contractors while Iraq is in worse shape than ever -- those contractors are cowboys too. And that's not even including the roughly $9 billion of Iraq's own oil money that has gone missing.

And what's even worse than the feigned astonishment we are seeing is this insistence on framing everything as an individual "corruption" scandal. Companies are built to profit from opportunity -- to do everything they can get away with to make as much money as possible. It's their legal duty. So the scandal isn't Blackwater or Halliburton or Exxon; it's the vision of politics we have been living with since Reagan that holds that the central role of government is to be the executive chef for this corporate feeding frenzy. In the eighties and nineties, that meant chopping of major limbs of the state -- water, electricity, the airwaves -- and feeding them to corporations. Today the process has moved into the very core of the state: armies, interrogation, evacuations. But rampant corruption has always been part of these neo-colonial privatization frenzies -- think of the instant billionaires in Latin America's privatization wave, when Carlos Slim, now the third richest man in the world, made his fortune, or the lawless rise of the Russian oligarchs during "shock therapy."

What I argue in The Shock Doctrine is that privatization is the post-modern frontier. Essentially, what shock therapy means is selling off as much as possible before the law catches up, just as an earlier era of conquistadors grabbed land and minerals and signed treaties after the fact. The same goes for today: after each one of these feeding frenzies, the same policy makers who opened up the neo-frontier turn around and act surprised and scandalized that the corporations who they themselves have liberated are caught scamming wildly. It's only then that we hear the pious lectures about the need for oversight and rules and regulations. My question is this: how does the capacity for corporate greed keep coming as a surprise? The politicians who designed this war are all supposed to be adherents to a philosophy that holds that there is nothing more powerful in the world than greed -- that it should be the governing force in as many human interactions as possible. Isn't that what Milton Friedman wanted? Iraq's occupation was organized by the Bush Administration to unleash that instinct with absolutely no restraint.

Either greed belongs in a war zone, or it doesn't. You can't unleash it in the name of sparking an economic boom and then be shocked when Halliburton overcharges for everything from towels to gas, when Parsons' sub, sub, sub-contractor builds a police academy where the pipes drip raw sewage on the heads of army cadets and where Blackwater investigates itself and finds it acted honorably. That's just corporations doing what they do and Iraq is a privatized war zone so that's what you get. Build a frontier, you get cowboys and robber barons.

Link to the entire posting by Cusak to get a full picture of what is happening. It is quite clear that what we have in Iraq is a "Gold Rush" mentality among the entire contracting population and "Frontier Justice" overseen by the governments, both United States and Iraq, responsible for maintaining any foundation of civil society. Is this how we view ourselves? Is this how we want the United States viewed among the nations of the world?

Interested in learning more? Amazon is offering Klein's book at a 40% discount from the cover price.

There's more: "Economic Goals Of The Iraq War: Disaster Capitalism" >>

Why Democrats Haven't Ended The Iraq Occupation

There's more: "Why Democrats Haven't Ended The Iraq Occupation" >>

Blackwater not the only bad guys in Iraq

In his latest column, Ted Rall reminds us of U.S. troops who have done the same or worse.

While the percentage of bad apples may not be that high in the Army or Marines, it’s certainly more than minuscule.

There's more: "Blackwater not the only bad guys in Iraq" >>

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

False Hope?

Big Tent Democrat writes this morning at TalkLeft: False Hope On FISA?

Glenn Greenwald has hope on FISA:
But at least thus far, from everything I can tell, the picture is more complicated and less depressing than this NYT article suggests, and the defeat is not yet a fait accompli. To begin with, the bill to be proposed today by the House Democratic leadership actually contains some surprisingly good and important provisions. . .
But that bill will never see the President's desk. As Glenn himself notes:
It is definitely possible that this is all just deceit, that House leaders introduced this bill strictly to placate their Progressive Caucus and their base and that they have no real intention of fighting for these provisions, but instead will give Bush what he wants once Mike McConnell starts accusing them of Helping the Terrorists and they begin negotiating in secret again.
Yes, that is exactly what will happen. We know the cast of characters already. This is a repeat of the Iraq Supplemental fight in March. The House bill will be eviscerated.

Glenn hopes for this:
But it seems that there are important House Democrats really ready to fight on these issues, to prevent Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel (who unfortunately seem to be the real Speakers of the House) from conniving like they did in August to manipulate their caucus into supporting something far worse.
Here is where Glenn and I part company on strategy and tactics:
The real problem here seems to be that the wretched, principle-free, administration-revering Democratic faction on the Senate Intelligence Committee -- particularly Jay Rockefeller, joined by the Dianne Feinsteins and Bill Nelsons -- is eager to reach a "compromise" with their Bush-loyal "colleagues" (such as "Kit" Bond and the Responsible, Honorable, Serious Mike McConnell). And they are, as always, even more eager to deliver bountiful gifts to their generous contributors in the telecom industry and their sleazy friends in the Clintonite-telecom-lobbying-circle.
No, they are what they are and they do what they do. The problem REMAINS, as it is on Iraq, in the House. The inability to say NO to Rockefeller, Feinstein, et al. The inability to say NO to Bush.

The House does not have to accede to anything. It can say no to the Senate. It can say no to Bush. The problem has been it will NOT say no.

As Glenn himself acknowledges:
The question, then, is to what extent the more principled members of the House Democratic caucus -- and they do exist -- can exert influence over the House Democratic leadership to prevent the worthless Senate Democratic caucus from enacting the bill the White House wants, complete with amnesty for lawbreaking telecoms and massively expanded warrantless eavesdropping powers.
How much worth is there in the House Democratic Leadership if pressure needs to be exerted on them to do the right and smart thing? Sorry, that is the problem. Greenwald does get this part very right though:
If the Democratic Congress capitulates yet again, there will be plenty of time and opportunity for all sorts of recriminations. I think it is quite encouraging that much of the "netroots" is now devoting its energies and resources not to supporting Democrats, but to opposing Congressional Democrats who merit defeat.
(Emphasis supplied.) Exactly right.
How much worth?
How much worth is there in the House Democratic Leadership if pressure needs to be exerted on them to do the right and smart thing?
If they are going to continue to pursue the same policies as Bush and the Republicans... what difference is there?

To be fair, it has been pointed out to me many times that the Iraq Occupation and the FISA amendment are only two issues of many, on most of which the Democrats are incrementally better than Republicans, and this has been used as an argument against the conclusion that there is no difference between them.

They are incrementally better. Is that a reason to give them a pass for being complicit in the mass death caused by the Iraq Occupation and in the bankrupting of America? Or a reason to give them a pass for hacking away at freedom and privacy?

I think that Glenn Greenwald was close with "It is definitely possible that this is all just deceit, that House leaders introduced this bill strictly to placate their Progressive Caucus and their base and that they have no real intention of fighting for these provisions, but instead will give Bush what he wants"

I think it is definitely likely. They still are confidant that they will win the presidency and the Congress next year simply on the strength of peoples fear of Republicans.

Sadly, if that happens "rethugs" will be back in power for another four or eight years, dressed up as and self-labelled as "democrats". And the shell games will continue.

And it all can be turned around - if enough people quit whining about how powerless they feel, and remember that they have the power.

If every time a Democratic candidate met with constituents or knocked on peoples doors or phoned them looking for money or votes they heard...
"If you Democrats defund and end the occupation of Iraq before November 7, 2008 I'll contribute to you and vote for you.

Don't waste my time with excuses. Come back or call back when you're done and you'll get my money and my vote. Have a nice day."
... they would quickly sit up and listen. And the Iraq occupation would be history. Along with the FISA amendment. And along with all the bullshit of the past seven years... if enough people quit whining about how powerless they feel, and remember that they have the power.

And use it.

There's more: "False Hope?" >>

Sunday, October 7, 2007

America; in Clear and Present Danger?

(I originally posted this at The Motley Patriot. This is the original post with additional information.)

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) has now, on 2 Oct 07 MSNBC's `Live with Dan Abrams`, admitted as to why the Democratic Party in Congress will not defund the Iraq war; the Democrats in Congress are SCARED of the political ramifications. This is stupid. Why? The majority of America now want them to do exactly that; start reducing funding of the war, put restrictions on the administration - do something. So, there is exactly ZERO political fallout on this issue for Democrats. In fact, the exact opposite has occurred; Democrats have seen fallout because Congress is not following the will of the people.

So, why should Congressional Democrats be scared to act?

Are they scared that they will be attacked by a GOP controlled and complicit media? If that is the case, the Democrats have been scared for a very long time. The GOP shills in the media have been attacking Democrats since, well, forever. It's their job. The GOP shills took their best shots at Democrats on Iraq and polls have stayed consistant at best, or, have continued to swing in favor of the Democrats at worst. What is killing the Democrats in the polls isn't what the GOP shills are saying; it is what the Democrats themselves aren't doing, which is, fighting with everything in their power to end the war.

As noted by Darin Murphy, Nancy Pelosi couldn't even sit on The View talking to four busy-bodies without being scared to utter a word. The Democrats in Congress aren't stupid. They know the fallout and are trying desperately to control the damage. But, that is exactly what it is; control the damage. They are not working to reverse their current course, merely, they are trying to continue that course without the political fallout they have brought on themselves.

The government of our nation has been turned on its citizens. We know this because anti-war protest groups have been fired upon by our law enforcement. We know this because anti-war protesters and groups have been spied upon by our local and federal law enforcement. We know this because our government was stocked with cronies who cared nothing about helping the people after hurricane Katrina, instead, they were more concerned about how much of our tax payers dollars they could give to crony contractors. We know this because President Bush has vetoed SCHIP. We know this because voter rolls were purged to skew election results. We know this because journalists were threatened with arrest for reporting stories brought to them by whistleblowers. We know this because anyone, even military and veterans, who speak out are attacked by those who carry the water for this administration.

These reasons, in addition to many others, was the catalyst that brought liberals, progressives, independent voters, and, yes, even some moderate conservatives, to take away Congressional control from Republicans and the GOP in 2006. Yet, the history of the Democratically controlled Congress since then is pathetic. Why? The Democrats have held hearing after hearing, issued subpeona after subpeona, have been repeatedly told to go "cheney themselves", and, instead of pushing the rule of law, the Democrats simply gave up and said, "ok, we'll write another sternly worded letter". Why? The majority of America wants out of Iraq, yet, the Democrats have caved time and time again. Why?

What really has the Democrats scared? I can think of two things that might; 1) the threat of more anthrax "attacks" and 2) that their own corruption has been uncovered, documented, and they are now being blackmailed into complicity.

We already know about the anthrax attack on Congress, specifically, on DEMOCRATS in Congress, that occurred right after 9/11. We already know that, in the time since then, the FBI has never been able to "solve" the case. This lack of action by the FBI could be seen as an implied threat towards the Democrats in Congress. Yet, that would also mean that it is a continuing threat. If it was a continued threat, then we would have to think that at least one Democrat who received even the merest of hints of this implied threat would be all over the news, especially the new arrivals to Congress. But, there is no such claim, so, the initial threat may have been there, but, a continued threat? I don't see it.

But, what about corruption? We know that the warrantless wiretapping under President Bush started prior to 9/11. Well, we know for a fact that all three of the top telecom companies turned over all records requested to the same government who spied on protest groups and elderly ladies who protested the war. The GOP cronies who found themselves in positions of power manufactured corruption charges against Democratic politicians. The NSA wasn't looking just looking for terrorists before 9/11 when they were wiretapping United Nations officials. So, why are we to believe that the NSA under the administration wasn't mining every Democratic politicians emails, telephone calls, and communications, to uncover and document corrupt practices? We already know blackmail is something this administration will use; they blackmailed countries into signing Bi-Lateral Immunity agreements prior to our invasion of Iraq. So, what is to stop them from blackmailing Democrats in Congress whose own corrupt practices became known to them?

There is a very strong case that can be made to support this theory.

The issue of impeachment. A poll conducted by Zogby in January 2006 found that 52% of Americans were in favor of impeaching President Bush while 43% of those polled were not, yet, Nancy Pelosi stated that impeachment was "off the table". In May 2007, a Live MSNBC poll, with 566442 responses, showed that 89% were in favor of impeaching President Bush, yet, impeachment still remains off the table today.

The issue of funding the Iraq war. A poll conducted in May 2007 showed that 69% of America wanted the Iraq war funded with benchmarks. However, an additional 13% of those polled wanted all funding to stop, so, it is more accurate to state that 82% of America now wants some action taken by Democrats in Congress on placing limits on the administration regarding the Iraq war. Congress did that and the President vetoed it in May 2007. Since then, however, Congress has not done so again. Why?

We were briefly treated to a story in the MSM about Nancy Pelosi and her husband being potentially involved in shady land deals in San Francisco. Whether this is true, or just another fake scandal by the GOP, the issue was broached in the media on May 10, 2007, and since that time Nancy Pelosi has been very quiet. By sheer coincidence, this "scandal" was trotted out the same month that President Bush vetoed the Iraq Supplemental Bill (May 1, 2007).

In October 2006, one month prior to the midterm elections that put Democrats in charge of Congress, it was reported that Harry Reid received $1.1 million from the sale of land in 2004. Harry Reid had to then amend his reports to more "fully explain" the deal. Whether this explains why Sen. Reid has allowed the GOP to put a 60 vote mandate on controversial bills, instead of forcing the GOP to actually filibuster, remains to be seen.

I also found this statement made by Sen. Leahy in March 2004:

Just three weeks ago Members of the Committee were briefed by the Sergeant at Arms on the preliminary indications of his 3-month investigation into the theft of computer files of Democratic offices by staff working for Republican Members of this Committee. Yesterday afternoon the Sergeant at Arms briefed Senator Hatch and me, again, and provided us with a copy of his report.

This statement was released when it was found out that Republicans were spying on Democrats computers by accessing information they would normally be denied access to have, so, we know for a fact that Republicans did indeed spy on Democrats in Congress. We also know that there are those in Congress who have used those computers for, shall we say, less than honorable purposes, simply because they are privileged.

In addition, we have Democratic Party official's offices broken into, such as in Minnesota. It wasn't the first break-in, either, where laptops were stolen. But, the numbers, which seemed to escape the MSM, could be staggering as this one case seems to tell us:

A file of 93,000 of the 106,000 names was gathered for computer testing purposes in December 2006 and was still on the laptop when it was stolen. Trying to find a common thread, Democratic legislators asked if there was a disproportionate number of legislators, state employees and Democrats on the list. Law said she could not comment on whether the lawmakers represented a disproportionate share of the 106,000 names, which represents about 10 percent of all tax filers.

If you want to find unethical activity, you usually start by tracking the money and bouncing that through IRS records. The file in question above? It held:

The individual taxpayers consisted largely of citizens who filed their taxes via computer or over the telephone, the tax commissioner told lawmakers at a special public hearing called by the legislature's finance committee.

It also held information on:

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro of New Haven, state Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams of Brooklyn, Sen. Jonathan Harris of West Hartford, House Majority Leader Christopher Donovan of Meriden and Reps. J. Brendan Sharkey of Hamden and Carlo Leone of Stamford.

All of the above named are Democrats who are, or were, in office at some level. It is true that the file also had names of Republicans as well. But, that data shouldn't have been in the possession of the employee to begin with, by the articles own account. Regardless, the issue of GOP spying on Democrats is well established.

I will also add that this level of spying on Democrats by the GOP, as the articles attest, reached their pinnacle after President Bush took office. Also, there is this quote from this article:

From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial nominees Democrats would fight -- and with what tactics.

Glitch? Just how did this "glitch" come about and when? It seems that it was a technician working for Sen. Leahy in 2001 who caused the glitch. If this is the case, how then would other Senator's and Congressmen know about it? It seems they were told about it. If that isn't enough to make you question, how about this quote:

But the scope of both the intrusions and the likely disclosures is now known to have been far more extensive than the November incident, staffers and others familiar with the investigation say.

Keep in mind, these "intrusions" came from at least the 2001 to early 2003; either before, or after, 9/11 (Patriot Act and anthrax attack time-frame) to right around our attack on Iraq (how many Democrats signed onto the AUMF?). That is just those computers and it doesn't even touch the fact that we could possibly add anything that may have been uncovered with the use of the NSA warrantless wiretapping.

Whether or not this is true, that key Democrats in Congress are being blackmailed into complicity, the case can be made convincingly. While the evidence to this point is little, what is there is very damning, especially in the case of Nancy Pelosi (to which I have shown correlation between a scandal being brought out and her capitulation afterwards). If, in fact, this is the case, it leads us to one simple fact; that America itself is now in clear and present danger.

I will also add, for those who ask, "clear and present danger of what?" I will answer simply; from an out-of-control administration.

There's more: "America; in Clear and Present Danger?" >>