American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, January 31, 2004
"Right now we have a very favorable conjuncture because the US economy is in the hands of Karl Rove, the strategist arranging for the campaign of Bush," he said. "Everything that could be done to pump up the economy has been done - successfully so far."

Mr Soros said the world's largest economy had also benefited from a rebound in the world economy and the fall in the dollar, which had boosted US exports. "But there will be a penalty to pay after the election, so it looks good this year but less good from 2005." [more]

Post-election economic blues, a brain drain, a draft, at least two more invasions (of Syria and Iran) . . . there couldn't be a more worse-case scenario for the world if that sonofabitch manages to slink his way into the White House again. Needless to say.
Behold the holiness of a Bush marriage.
This just in — some of that Bush sperm may have ended up outside the holy matrimonial loins (AP):
HOUSTON - A judge ordered DNA testing to determine whether President Bush's brother Neil fathered a child with another woman while he was married.

Neil Bush's ex-wife, Sharon, requested the tests to defend herself against a defamation lawsuit filed by the other woman's ex-husband.

Sharon Bush testified during the couple's contentious divorce that she heard rumors that her husband had an affair with Maria Andrews and is the father of her 3-year-old son. Andrews and Neil Bush are now engaged.

Andrews' ex-husband, Robert, filed a defamation lawsuit against Sharon Bush in September, saying he is the boy's father.

The DNA testing was ordered by the court on Friday.

Dale Jefferson, Robert Andrews' attorney, said the child will submit a swab in March and he is confident it will prove Robert Andrews' paternity.

Similar testing requested by Sharon Bush during her divorce case was denied because Robert Andrews was not a party to that case.
Most recently we wrote bout Neilsie here but feel free to peruse this more complete list at skimble. Don't neglect Neil's dalliances with shady business deals and pre-paid Asian prostitutes.

With such a supremely lousy example of heterosexual marriage as Neil Bush's, it will be difficult for George to argue for anti-homosexual constitutional amendments — with a straight face.
New Movie Called "The Corporation"

This movie looks like it's very very important. Its subject matter is horrific, or rather it documents our time's truly big story, that the so-called "librul" media, which won't even take our Super Bowl ad money let alone our ideology, of how private power has corrupted everything. Here's a review. Their links page is especially good. I didn't know the Multinational Monitor links were so extensive.

In fact, from those MM links, try out Oligopoly Watch, where we learn all about how "slotting" practices determine the politics behind the California supermarket strike.

Friday, January 30, 2004
From Robert B. Reich and the New York Times, what the Democratic primary is really all about:
The dismal fifth-place showing by Senator Joseph Lieberman in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday serves as both reminder and motivator to the other Democratic presidential candidates on what it will take to win in November. For so long now, everyone has assumed that recapturing the presidency depends on who triumphs in the battle between liberals and moderates within the party. Such thinking, though, is inherently flawed. The real fight is between those who want only to win back the White House and those who also want to build a new political movement — one that rivals the conservative movement that has given Republicans their dominant position in American politics.
By now, I'm supposed to be settled in on this: Anybody But Bush. After all, it is hardly a secret that I despise the man. The trouble is that I can't sign on to anything that simple simply because it is that simple.

You see, I am a Movement Liberal, and I am tired of getting my head stomped on for the last 20 years by the radical ideologues of the Movement Conservatives. The Presidency is not enough for me. They've wanted my head, and now I want theirs.

But isn't Anybody But Bush better than Bush, you ask? Think about it. What chance will a non-Movement Democrat have with a Congress and Supreme Court stacked with Movement Conservatives? If you thought what they did to Clinton was bad, remember, they have further consolidated their power since then, and they are going to be mad as hell if Bush gets beaten. (It couldn't after all be Bush's fault, could it?)

But that's only the start. Greenspan is going to extraordinary lengths to hold together the jobless recovery until after the election. After that, all bets are off. And where Bush has positioned the country, you can almost bet on a severe crash. If a Democrat is in, that Democrat will get blamed, and the Movement Conservatives will further entrench themselves. The worst of all possible worlds.

So no, it is not sufficient to simply win the Presidency; we must also bring along our "Movement" if we do. If the Democrats want to simply put up a "safe" candidate, then I just can't go along. Better to vote for Bush and have the chance that way of sweeping out the Movement Conservatives as they finish wrecking the economy and launch war after war. And if worse comes to worse, we can all just have four more years of fun trying to impeach the bastard.

A Benedict@Large Opinion.

If you are a U.S. Citizen who lives or has an address within the United States, you can use this link to:
  • Register to vote in your State;
  • Report a change of name to your voter registration office;
  • Report a change of address to your voter registration office; or
  • Register with a political party.
You must also have an inkjet or lasar printer and Adobe Acrobat Reader. (You can get Adobe Acrobat Reader here.) This link will provide you with a completed voter registration application for your state, and (optionally) a pre-addressed envelope to your voter registration office. [Note: If zip code selection doesn't work for you, use the state selection option.]

This on-line registration service is provided by the Democratic National Committee, though you need not register as a Democrat to avail yourself of it. I've used it myself (to alter my party affiliation), and it's quite easy.

Dennis Kucinich knew it

And said so

Thousands of bloggers knew it

And said so

Intelligence experts knew it

And said so

Newspaper columnists knew it

And said so

Millions of protesters worldwide knew it

And said so, loud and clear

George W. Bush knew it

And lied, and continues to lie

Dick Cheney knew it

And lied, and continues to lie

Condeleeza Rice knew it

And lied, and continues to lie

Donald Rumsfeld knew it

And lied, and continues to lie

Colin Powell knew it

And lied, and continues to lie

Corporate media mouthpieces knew it

And lied, and continue to lie

What did they all know?

Iraq had no WMD

Iraq was not a grave and gathering threat

Iraqi citizens did not deserve death and DU

"Iraq has not committed any act of aggression against the United States. Iraq was not responsible for 911. No credible evidence exists linking Iraq to Al Qaeda's role in 911. Iraq was not responsible for the anthrax attack on our nation. The United Nations has yet to establish that Iraq has usable weapons of mass destruction. There is no intelligence that Iraq has the ability to strike at the United States."

-- Dennis Kucinich
U.S. Representative Swearing-In Ceremony
Sunday, January 5, 2003; Cleveland, Ohio

(quote via Public Domain Progress)
Unfortunately, it's rare to hear this level of informed debate. Few people remind us how minor the terrorist threat really is. Rarely do we discuss how little identification has to do with security, and how broad surveillance of everyone doesn't really prevent terrorism. And where's the debate about what's more important: the freedoms and liberties that have made America great or some temporary security?

Instead, the Department of Justice, fueled by a strong police mentality inside the administration, is directing our nation's political changes in response to Sept. 11. And it's making trade-offs from its own subjective perspective--trade-offs that benefit it even if they are to the detriment of others.
Morris' disease was diagnosed over forty years ago, by Frantz Fanon. Based on his experience in subjugated Africa, Fanon observed that "the colonial world is a Manichean world. It is not enough for the settler to delimit physically, that is to say, with the help of the army and the police, the place of the native. As if to show the totalitarian character of colonial exploitation, the settler paints the native as a sort of quintessence of evil ... The native is declared insensitive to ethics ... the enemy of values. ... He is a corrosive element, destroying all that comes near it ... the unconscious and irretrievable instrument of blind forces" (from "The Wretched of the Earth"). And further down, "the terms the settler uses when he mentions the native are zoological terms" (let's not forget to place Morris' metaphors in the context of so many other Israeli appellations for Palestinians: Begin's "two-legged beasts", Eitan's "drugged cockroaches" and Barak's ultra-delicate "salmon"). Morris is a case history in the psychopathology of colonialism.
From The BLACK CoMMentator:
Howard Dean has joined the list of victims of U.S. corporate media consolidation. Dean shares this distinction with Dennis Kucinich and the people of the formerly sovereign state of Iraq, among many others. Dean was stripped of half his popular support in the space of two weeks in January while John Kerry – tied in the polls with Carol Moseley-Braun at seven percent just two months earlier – rose like a genie from a bottle to become the overnight presidential frontrunner. Both candidates were shocked and disoriented by the dizzying turns of fortune, and for good reason. Neither Dean nor Kerry had done anything on their own that could have so dramatically altered the race. Corporate America decided that Dean must be savaged, and its media sector made it happen.

This commentary, however, is not about the merits of Howard Dean. If a mildly progressive, Internet-driven, young white middle class-centered, movement-like campaign such as Dean’s – flush with money derived from unconventional sources, backed by significant sections of labor, reinforced by big name endorsements and surging with upward momentum – can be derailed in a matter of weeks at the whim of corporate media, then all of us are in deep trouble.

Groups Fear Citizens Abroad Will Be Compromised
In a highly unusual pairing, the Republican and Democratic party organizations for citizens living abroad have banded together against the Pentagon's Internet voting program for the presidential election.

Concerns about the security of the online ballots could cast the entire election under a cloud of suspicion, they said in a joint letter urging a halt in the program. The letter released yesterday is being sent to several congressional committees.

"We do not want to undermine confidence in our system of voting by discovering some real or imagined fraud in the November balloting," wrote the leaders of Republicans Abroad and Democrats Abroad.

And the best part about this? These people wouldn't have had a clue to complain about this without all the work done by the black boxers. And we didn't even much have to tell them this time!
The New York Times reports of a new study handed to Maryland voting officials regarding Diebold e-voting security. The difference between this and earlier studies is that this is the first study of the Diebold systems under conditions found during an election. Four key findings:
  • There are numerous vulnerabilities through which these systems could be hacked.

  • Some of these can be addressed prior to the March primaries.

  • Some additional vulnerabilities can be address prior to the November general election.

  • Ultimately, Diebold election software has to be rewritten to meet industry security standards.
In his usual statement of denial, Bob Urosevich, president of Diebold Election Systems, said this report and another by the Science Applications International Corporation "confirm the accuracy and security of Maryland's voting procedures and our voting systems as they exist today." This however was hardly the tone expressed by several members of the "red team".

"We were genuinely surprised at the basic level of the exploits" that allowed tampering, said Michael Wertheimer, the Red Team leader and a former security expert for the National Security Agency. Referring to the inconsistent application of security, he added, "It's like washing your face and drying it with a dirty towel."

William A. Arbaugh, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Maryland and a member of the Red Team exercise, said, "I can say with confidence that nobody looked at the system with an eye to security who understands security." He added, "It seemed everywhere we scratched, there was something that's pretty troubling."

[Additional coverage from the Washington Post.]

... who sits in the ghoulish mire he's created and calls himself good.Chris Floyd:
A man in Lawrence, Kansas walks into a day-care center. He has a gun in his pocket but nobody sees it. He goes up to the second floor, where the preschool kids are having their afternoon snack of cookies and juice.


The room is filled with smoke and the sharp tang of freshly gutted meat. The man takes a desultory look around, shrugs his shoulders, then sits down on the snack table. When the police come and ask him why he did it, he answers forthrightly, without a shred of guilt or unease, as if it were the most natural thing in the world:

"Somebody said the guy who runs this place might attack me someday. I had questions that needed to be answered: Did he have a gun or a knife -- or nothing? We must be prepared to face our responsibilities and be willing to use force if necessary."

The cops roll their eyes -- another nutball. "So," says an officer, humoring him, "did he have any weapons?"

The killer shakes his head. "Nah, don't look like it. But he could have had some. What's the difference? ...

"That's all they have left as a public defense: the ravings of a man who killed for no reason, who sits in the ghoulish mire he's created and calls himself good."
My thought is, that since you have stopped by, you must be looking into "the news" already; odds are you already see the Emperor has no clothes. Getting the truth out to our fellow Americans is crucial right now. A good place to start is to nip the thought that Mr Bush and his administration were merely the victims of "bad intelligence" in the bud.

My reading shows that this is not true. But you will not hear the truth on the evening news. This is where we come in.
[More, lengthy and link filled]

Here's how it ends:
Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor.

It is not bad intelligence that got the US to attack Iraq. It was a concerted NeoCon effort.
Help get the truth out. Let's hold their feet to the fire. The truth could get us an elected President.
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Something Truly Terrifying
The following is a paid op-ed ad that appeared in the New York Times by the Washington Legal Foundation, a lobbying group comprised of the most powerful law firms in Washington who represent the largest global corporations. It accepts no summarization:

In All Fairness
The State of Our Union

America's celebration of the new year was shadowed by stark reminders of the perilous world we now live in — unprecedented security measures, grounded flights, and specific threats of impending catastrophic attacks. While most Americans firmly support the war against terrorism, some professional activists and opportunistic politicians began 2004 with a resolution to keep homeland security efforts tied up in a legal straitjacket. And sadly, they are manipulating one of America's most respected institutions — the judiciary — to do it.

These ideologues remain convinced that their absolutist view of "civil liberties" must always prevail over Americans' right to live free from terrorism. No aspect of our government's security operation is immune from activists' carefully planned and executed campaign. Relentless attacks on public officials dedicated to protecting our lives have fueled activists' profitable fund-raising drives. Special interest groups and lawyers then invest their overflowing war chest in lawsuits and mean-spirited public relations advertising opposing everything from major military actions overseas to the review of airplane passenger manifests. Even moves to modernize outdated intelligence gathering techniques have met with paranoid claims that government is running roughshod over everyone's rights.

Worst of all, however, is the activists' use of litigation to impose the rules of our overprotective criminal justice system on the president's military decision making. Terrorists are enemy soldiers without a government, not ordinary criminals. Yet, ideological lawyers have convinced some federal courts that unelected judges, and not our Commander-in-Chief, should have the last word on how our military can detain captured terrorists. One appeals court in New York City made the incredible declaration last month that since America has not been formally declared a "zone of combat," federal officials must charge a captured terrorist with a crime or release him.

While judges and activists quibble over legal niceties, our despicable enemies are pondering how to take advantage of their newly created constitutional rights in the next attack. One can only hope the U.S. Supreme Court, which will review these matters soon, reminds judges that our Constitution doesn't authorize them to run military operations.

Creating national insecurity

It would seem that for some professional activists, 9/11 is a distant memory. Why else would they want to constrict America's ability to protect its citizens? But the terrorists' war is far from over. Their fanatical ambition to kill innocent Americans and cripple our economy has in no way subsided. Preempting the next terrorist attacks on our soil remains a daunting task. And there is no margin for error.

So it's time we got our priorities straight. Do we defer to the ideologues' rigid agenda of absolute "civil liberties" for all, including our enemies, or do we trust government officials and our military to use their powers wisely and protect us from the horror terrorists can unleash?

These people are crazy. Just flat out crazy.
A PDF is available here.

Via Avedon from and an original post at The Great Divide.

U.S. military 'sure' of catching bin Laden this year

The U.S. military is "sure" it will catch Osama bin Laden this year, a spokesman said Thursday, but he declined to comment on where the al-Qaida leader may be hiding.

Bin Laden, chief suspect in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that sparked the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, is widely believed to be holed up somewhere along the mountainous Pakistani-Afghan border with former Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

Following last month's capture of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, American commanders in Afghanistan have expressed new optimism they will eventually find bin Laden. Spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty said the military now believed it could seize him within months.
The "Mainstream" Media- a Weapon of Mass Deception?

Editor and Publisher points out that 13 large metropolitan dailies have featured editorials concerning statements made by David Kay about the lack of weapons of mass destruction. The majority of these blame failures in the systems of intelligence.
My reading gives me a sense that the intelligence resources of the White House are going to be the fall guy for this administration's falsehood based rush to war, in attempt to clear Mr Bush and Mr Cheney of their responsibility. Take a moment to read "The Lie Factory" to see how Mr Cheney circumvented the usual channels of intelligence ( I subscribe, the access code is mj1204) and brought unvetted "raw" intelligence into the Oval office. "The Intelligence Chain" gives a graphic representation of how this all worked, keeping all the names and positions straight is easier with its aid..

Here is a quote that shows either the NY Times is a bit uninformed or just plain dishonest:
The vice president's myopia suggests a breathtaking unwillingness to accept a reality that conflicts with the administration's preconceived notions. This kind of rigid thinking helped propel us into an invasion without broad international support and, if Mr. Cheney is as influential as many say, could propel us into further misadventures down the road.

The Italics are mine. Mr Cheney wrote his Defense Planning Guidance Draft of late 1992 that clearly states the US should act unilaterally to preserve its' hegemony over the world and it's resources. Plain and simple. David Armstrong's "Dick Cheney's Song of America" gives the history of this ideas evolution, and points out the fact that Rumsfeld Wolfowitz and Powell also have had a hand in it. This administrations "preconcieved notions" are in accord with Mr Cheney alright, he helped to formulate them. Jeb Bush has a finger in the pie too.
[Read More]
The United States announced on Thursday it had released three juvenile "enemy combatants" held at the U.S. military prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and flown them to their home country.

The three, ranging from 13 to 15 years old, were the only juveniles in the prison camp.
We’re here with the Oldest Curmudgeon in the World. While he slips under the radar of most busy Americans, we were persistent in our efforts to locate him. Hopefully, you’ll find his cranky perspective as bracing as we did.

So, Mr. Curmudgeon, what do you think about the American administration?

Look, these people are insane. You have to work off of that premise from the start. They are not “Americans,” they have no loyalty to a people and a democracy that was, up until now, still limping along as a hopeful experiment. And the media, my God. People from other countries are just aghast when they see it. They wonder how you people can live here. How do you stand it when you are subject to the most nauseating drumbeat of fear and innuendo, with no real content, no practical, rational voice to speak of. It’s nothing but one big smirk. How do you get up in the morning, when they tell you every second of every day that you either conform to this business-centric, homogenized ideology or there is something wrong with you?

Oh sure, you have a few stalwarts in the media, remnants from a bygone era, but they spend all their time mildly objecting to just a miniscule portion of the bullshit. You can’t bail out a sinking boat with a dixie cup, let alone sail the high seas.

I’m detecting a metaphor here: So is America the Titanic?

Oh yeah. Except you never hit the iceberg. You don’t have a disastrous hole in your ship. You have a manageable breakdown. Your best and brightest could fix it in a heartbeat. But you’ve got this mad captain and he’s willing to let the ship go down rather than share the glory.

Yeah, you people are going down. Do you even realize that most of the rest of the world live their lives without constant threat? You’ve been at War since 1940s – WWII, the Cold War and now the War on Terrorism. And there was one more little one, as a sort of bridge between the Cold War and TWOT – the war on drugs. That worked out pretty well, as they can now use all they learned about demonizing those who differ in that “war” and expand it to protesters, liberals, etc. It’s all the same to them.

Imagine what you could do without these fear and death merchants feeding off of you. Yeah, I’m speaking of the Bush family, the Carlyle Group, the CIA. They are running loose. Their Psyops on you will be one for the history books.

Companies that send jobs overseas could kiss their state contracts goodbye if two Colorado lawmakers have their way.

Democratic state Sens. Deanna Hanna of Lakewood and Terry Phillips of Louisville said too many companies are moving jobs out of state or overseas, hurting the state economy. [more]

In December I read about a similar bill proposed here for Washington State; I immediately wrote to both the congressmen who were to introduce the bill with my own proposed title for the bill: "The Economic Patriot Bill."

Later that day my manager stuck her head around the corner of my cubicle, "[Menlo], [HR guy] would like to talk to you for a minute."

I followed her up the elevator to another floor of the company and we went together down the hall to the CEO's office. There the HR guy sat behind the desk and next to the desk was some upper-level manager. I sat down and before she launched fully into her spiel I stopped her, "So I'm being laid off?"

She objected. "We're initiating a workforce reduction project."

Ah, then. That was different. I told her just to skip ahead to the next step in this process, wherein I was led to a conference room where several others nominated for the same project were already sitting. We were waiting for several more and then our last seminar in said conference room would begin: how to apply for unemployment, etc. When nobody managerial from the company was present we talked openly amongst ourselves while we waited.

"Well, this isn't a surprise, but a week before Christmas?"

"Two of the managers were the first to go. One couldn't even stop and give her phone number to a fellow worker. They were escorted right out of the building. When they sat down to their computer when they went back to their office to pack, they were already locked out."

"Why do we have to wait here? Why can't we just go?"

"I feel like a criminal."

Some had tears. I had only been at the company for a year as an employee and a year before that as a temp, and was all of their juniors there by far. I tried to lighten the room with jokes. There was one fellow who had been brought into the company months ago to oversee all production. He gave inspirational meetings puncuated by the handing out of stuffed animals. He told us all that there was turbulence ahead but if we worked hard, there were a lot of oppurtunities for moving up. His own office had enough stuffed animals in it to supply several nursery-school nap rooms. He wandered the office hallways spreading ominous, unspeakable jolly. More than once in the restroom I would notice that after using the urinal he would dash straight to the exit without washing his hands. He was supposed to make the entire department more efficient, but in the end all he did was send all the jobs to India. He was primarily the butt of my jokes.

When I got home I called Pagan and asked her to meet me for dinner after work. I was not entirely unhappy--this had been only a day job for me. I was eligible for six months of unemployment while I looked for something else and retrained. I had a decent severance check and the rest of my 401K. But I felt sorry for the people who worked there and really cared about the place, who had put in years and years and one in particular--the lady who had actually hired me--who as an empty nester had started working there in the mailroom and after years of dedication and loyalty had worked her way up. These people didn't need to be treated like this. They didn't need to be herded into a conference room a week before Christmas with tears in their eyes only to then be escorted downstairs to clean out their office or cubicle and then to the door, like a common criminal.

This company, like the ones mentioned in the aforementioned article, deals only in state contracts. Transnationals like Boeing can and do routinely flex their ability to move elsewhere if they're not given enough tax breaks, but a company which exists solely on state contracts cannot do that, which is why I predict big things for this bill in Colorado and the one just like it here in Washington. The American people have been gathering anger for at least twenty years as they've watched their corporate overlords send more and more of their jobs overseas--first it was the blue-collar jobs, and now the white-collar jobs are also going--and this anger has combined with a sense of impotence because there's nothing that they can do about it. So if you give them one sector of the society where they can do something about it? The Economic Patriot Bill, indeed. Would pass easily, and not only that, the companies who deal in state contracts could probably not muster the lobbying power and campaign money needed to overcome the aforementioned twenty years of simmering anger and resultant impotence directed at corporate off-shoring like the hefty transnationals could.

More importantly, targeting these companies with state contracts with legislation to stop their overseas outsourcing could lead to a momentum--and perhaps the politicians fueled by the public would finally take on the transnationals on this subject as well.

Obviously we're hearing a lot of heady speeches these days promising a lot, but the now-nationalized phrase "Benedict Arnold CEO" is certainly a step in the right direction.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
That such a question can even be posed in today's Israel is dismal testament to the transformation of Zionism into what it claims to abhor. In two recent, extraordinary documents — a commentary in London's The Guardian and an interview with Ha'aretz — Israeli historian Benny Morris prepared the ground for Israel to justify any atrocity, no matter how much it transgresses human rights, law and decency.
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
President Bush declined Tuesday to repeat his claims that evidence that Saddam Hussein had illicit weapons would eventually be found in Iraq, but he insisted that the war was nonetheless justified because Mr. Hussein posed "a grave and gathering threat to America and the world."

Toine van Teeffelen writing from Bethlehem, occupied Palestine, Live from Palestine, 20 January 2004.
Late post. And to the best site in blogtopia ( thanx skippy). I froze my ass talking to the American people today. They care and are worried, uncomfortable and catalyzed by the present Administration. Anyone but Bush is the cry, one guy said he'd vote for a talking dog with dentures in its' ass rather than Mr Bush. He was Republican. Voting Democrat now. But folks seem to follow polls in this "Anyone but Bush" race. I picked a precinct with a spread of folks, from renters to urban professionals- you can see that the media affected their votes.
Actually 2 posts. But look. People care, and want change. One post above, one scroll down.

Get the truth into light. We thinking, caring folks are the majority... People are searching out the news, and they Know it.
Monday, January 26, 2004
Children Must Play
A bit of a follow-up on my earlier post with an assist from StageLeft.

In that post, I linked to a Telegraph/UK article where David Kay essentially reversed himself when he claimed that he doubted Iraq had any WMDs for years before the war, this time saying that "some components of Saddam's WMD programme" had been moved to Syria. Now why Saddam (or any dictator) would want to simply give anything like this away, especially to a neighbor, is beyond me and perhaps beyond rationality itself. Be that as it may, consider Kay's statement itself. If it is true, then it also most certainly is classified. If it is classified, then Kay could not say it to the Telegraph/UK without the permission for someone in that beehive of Neoconism, the Department of Defense. And even if it were disinformation, he'd still need DoD approval to say it.

From StageLeft now comes a statement by Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts that there is "some concern Iraqi weapons of mass destruction had gone to Syria." One more finger pointing at Syria.

Now, on Syria's part comes the denial by Syrian Minister Ahmad al-Hassan: "This (allegation) is meant to mislead (the public opinion). So long as there were no weapons of mass destruction (found) in Iraq itself how can they be in Syria?" Of course, he's right on both points here. But then al-Hassan continues, "They are seeking to cover their failure," but here he is at least partly wrong. Sure, it would be nice to have a cover story for the failure, but in light of Kay's new allegation (reversal), clearly, there is a greater purpose: Syria is being set up.

O.K., I made that allegation in the earlier post, but wait. Just a while back, National Security Advisor, Condi Rice was denying the Syrian allegation: "... I want to be clear: So far we do not have indicators that can be considered authentic and serious that this had taken place." And just Saturday, Secretary of State Colin Powell was dancing around Kay's earlier statements saying that Iraq hadn't had WMDs in years; dancing, but certainly neither denying them nor updating them with Kay's latest allegation. What? Didn't he get the memo about Syria?

Of course, Powell didn't get any memo about Syria, because there was no memo about Syria. What's going on here is that we're back to the same old games where DoD is trying to whoop up the fever for (another) war by making end runs around State and the NSC. Forget the fact that DoD has amply demonstrated that it doesn't know how to run one of these wars, being a Neocon is never having to say you're sorry.

Children Must Play.

Which gets to the real point here. Bush is clearly trying to run for re-election as some sort of skilled Commander-in-Chief, and yet he can't even manage his own immediate staff. No doubt he is not even aware that his children are once again fighting, and one might easily suspect that he still doesn't even know about the first time. This is a skilled Commander-in-Chief?

No. This is the man Paul O'Neill descibed; disengaged and uninvolved. A "blind man in a roomful of deaf people". And he is also the man with his finger on the trigger of the most powerful arsenal in the history of the world.

This article previously appeared on Benedict@Large.

Clearly the most comprehensive article I've yet encounter on the Pentagon's new Internet voting system, Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment, or SERVE. Discussed are the highly critical SERVE Security Analysis (below), the Canadian Internet voting experience (hardly flawless), the history of the SERVE project, the implementation strategy, and more.

[Note: Wired News consistently offers perhaps the most thorough news articles relating to e-vote developments. If you use an RSS/XML reader, use this feed to be notified of their latest e-vote stories as they are released.

A one-page site with the Executive Summary (and conclusions) as well as a links to the full report (34 pages, 372 KB PDF), press reports, and e-mail contacts. For those currently involved with DRE (direct recording electronic) voting systems, the first conclusion is most telling:
  • DRE voting systems have been widely criticized elsewhere for various deficiencies and security vulnerabilities: that their software is totally closed and proprietary; that the software undergoes insufficient scrutiny during qualification and certification; that they are especially vulnerable to various forms of insider (programmer) attacks; and that DREs have no voter-verified audit trails (paper or otherwise) that could largely circumvent these problems and improve voter confidence. All of these criticisms, which we endorse, apply directly to SERVE as well.
The remainder of the conclusions pertain to numerous Internet vulnerabilities, which the authors state cannot be overcome given the current architecture of the Internet. The authors recommend an immediate halt to any efforts to implement the system, and recommend against any future efforts to implement Internet-based voting.

This article previously appeared on Black Box Notes.

A contest! A contest!
Do you have 250 family members, friends, associates, and colleagues who can afford to give $2,000 to President Bush? Do you have a name for people who do? Then this contest's for you.
Sunday, January 25, 2004
Good to see that the Democrats are calling the Bush Administration to claim responsibility for their war on Iraq based on their various claims that Iraq was an imminent threat due to it's supposedly active nuclear, chemical and biological weapons program.
Kerry was joined in his call for an investigation by other Democrats on the campaign trail who are vying for the chance to beat President Bush in November.

The Neocon influence on intelligence to make it "fit" their aims is something we have spoken about here many times, and the truth is getting mainstream.
Cheney and his most senior aide reportedly made multiple trips to the CIA before the war to question analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs. Cheney has denied his visits were intended to pressure analysts into making assessments fit the administration policy objective of ousting Saddam.

Mr Powell is no longer sure about the existence of the banned weapons in Iraq. While sightsseing in Rome a reporter asked Dick Cheney about Mr Powells less cocksure stance on the weapons:
The vice president stopped briefly for photographers as he was greeted at the museum entrance, but headed inside when a reporter asked if he had any reaction to Secretary of State Colin Powell's weekend statement that it was an "open question" whether Iraq had banned weapons of mass destruction before the US-led invasion.
"Nice to see you all," Cheney said as he headed into the museum, the first stop on a day of sightseeing.

Let justice be served.

Get a copy of 'Uncovered: the whole truth about the Iraq war" by Robert Greenwald

If you haven't noticed, the Administration has changed it's phraseing about the weapons:
March 2003: Weapons of mass destruction.
June 2003: Weapons of mass destruction programs.
October 2003: Weapons of mass destruction-related programs.
January 2004: Weapons of mass destruction-related program activities

An instructive introduction to Mr Bush's lies concerning Iraq has been compiled by Steve Perry, read "Bring 'Em On!
The Bush Administration's Top 40 Lies About War and Terrorism".
remember the old saying in new hampshire, you can spackle us and you can grout us, but you can't caucus. [ed. note: what?]

the best part of the polls coming out of new hampshire this week is one by newsweek in which john kerry beats awol by three points.

overall, 52 percent of those polled by newsweek say they would not like to see bush serve a second term, compared to 44 percent who want to see him win again in november. as a result, kerry is enjoying a marginal advantage over bush, a first for the poll. forty-nine percent of registered voters chose kerry, compared to 46 percent who re-elected bush. in fact, all democrats are polling better against bush, perhaps due to increased media attention to their primary horserace: clark gets 47 percent of voters’ choice compared to 48 percent from bush; edwards has 46 percent compared to bush’s 49; leiberman wins 45 percent versus bush’s 49 percent; and dean fares the worst with 45 percent of their votes to bush’s 50 percent.
[ed. note: great internet poll on that page! go take it!]

even better, john kerry is not backing down on his earlier assertions that awol is awol. the nypost, of all places, reports:

when vietnam veteran kerry, who tried to cut a macho image yesterday by playing in an ice hockey game with some former boston bruins players, was asked about moore's harsh attack, he said it was "over-the-top language."

but in 2000, kerry lashed out: "those of us who were in the military wonder how it is that someone [bush] who is supposedly serving on active duty having taken that oath can miss a whole year of service without even explaining where it went."

asked if kerry still believes that, spokeswoman stephanie cutter replied: "he stands by that statement."
so do we.

cross-posted on our own blog and the american street and our daily kos diary.
Arthur Silver, The Light of Reason: Well, leave it to the most hawkish of the hawks to prove my point ... that nothing -- not the facts, not the disintegration of all their arguments for war with Iraq in the cold light of day, not the fact that our military is close to the breaking point now -- nothing will slow the hawks down in their plans to "remake" the Middle East.

Not content to leave bad enough alone, David Kay has some news for us, beyond the fact that with regard to Iraq's "large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq": "I don't think they existed." No, Mr. Kay has this additional tidbit to impart:

David Kay: We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons. But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved.
No, David, that is not what has to be resolved. What needs to be resolved is if some components of Saddam's WMD programme went to Syria, where the hell are the rest of them? Some "former iraqi officials" could tell you that some WMD components went to Syria, but they couldn't tell you where any of the rest of them were?

No, no, no. This doesn't even begin to make sense. This is too transparent. This is the Neocons trying to set Syria up. And they don't give a damn if Syria has WMDS or not. Just like they didn't give a damn if Iraq did or not.

And then there is this:

UPDATE: David Kay will be interviewed on the NBC Nightly News on Monday.

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