American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Holy shite. I'm probably the last one to hear about this. Seems ominous, and quite unfortunate.
Gunmen opened fire Saturday on three complexes used largely by Americans and other foreigners in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province and seized a large group of hostages, bringing the terrorist attacks that have plagued the country for the past year into the heart of its oil-producing region.

The official Saudi Press Agency quoted Crown Prince Abdullah, the country's de facto leader, as saying that 10 Saudis and expatriates had been killed. But sporadic gunfire continued into the night in Khobar, the town on the Persian Gulf where the attacks occurred, and the reports remained confused.

The death toll could climb higher, officials from Western embassies and local reporters said.

The gunmen took some hostages at the Oasis Residential Resorts compound in Khobar, a luxury complex of 220 to 250 villas and apartments that is home to many senior Western company executives, including those from Shell, Honeywell and General Electric. About 15 hours after the attack began, the reports varied on the number of people who might still be held. Some said the gunmen were holding 15 people hostage, but other reports, quoting a manager at the Oasis, said they were holding as many as 50.
The NYU Speech:
Al Gore
Wednesday, May 26th
Al Gore is on FIRE!
This is an hour of absolutely must listen Gore!
Audio Link   [MP3, 13 MB]
Curteousy of  White Rose Society
& Mark Levine's RadioInsideScoop

Read Along
Curteousy of  The Randi Rhodes Show

WASHINGTON - Pat Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinals football player who died in April while a U.S. soldier fighting in Afghanistan, likely was killed by friendly fire, an Army investigation has concluded.

News of that finding was disseminated Friday to some members of Congress and some Tillman family members just as the Memorial Day weekend was to begin, including today's dedication ceremonies in Washington of the World War II Memorial.

"It does seem pretty clear that he was killed by friendly fire," said Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, which was alerted to the information by the Army's Legislative Liaison Office.

Just another Disposable Hero in the war without end.
Friday, May 28, 2004
Earlier this week Attorney General John Ashcroft warned of an attack planned on America for sometime in the coming months. That may happen, but NBC News has learned one of Ashcroft’s sources is highly suspect.

In warning Americans to brace for a possible attack, Ashcroft cited what he called “credible intelligence from multiple sources,” saying that “just after New Year's, al-Qaida announced openly that preparations for an attack on the United States were 70 percent complete.… After the March 11 attack in Madrid, Spain, an al-Qaida spokesman announced that 90 percent of the arrangements for an attack in the United States were complete.”

But terrorism experts tell NBC News there's no evidence a credible al-Qaida spokesman ever said that, and the claims actually were made by a largely discredited group, Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, known for putting propaganda on the Internet. [more]

Wasn't there an article in the Capitol Hill Times a year or so ago which has someone in the admin basically admitting that the terror alerts were for political reasons only? I.e. to instill fear and keep people crouched under the protective arms of Mister Can't-Eat-A-Pretzel-Nor-Ride-A-Bike? Are there any doubts this kinda crap will proliferate all the way up to the next election?
Thursday, May 27, 2004
This Is How the Right Wing Media Gets It's Shit Out
Example X: 'Day After Tomorrow' Hit Piece by Cato Institute Flack

Patrick J. Michaels--the aforementioned talentless hack--attempts to pull the hood over our eyes early on in his elementary hit piece by beginning with: "As a scientist," . . . As if, as a scientist, he will actually live up to their age-old credo of being married to the facts unveiled in the neverending curious probe of the dimensions around us. It isn't until the end where we see the real angle he's schilling from: the Cato Institute.

As Norman Solomon lets us in on:
Financial firms kicking in big checks to Cato include American Express, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chemical Bank, Citicorp/Citibank, Commonwealth Fund, Prudential Securities and Salomon Brothers. Energy conglomerates: Chevron Companies, Exxon Company, Shell Oil Company and Tenneco Gas, as well as the American Petroleum Institute, Amoco Foundation and Atlantic Richfield Foundation. Cato's pharmaceutical donors include Eli Lilly & Company, Merck & Company and Pfizer, Inc.

As Norman Solomon points out, the Cato Institute has also been a longtime paid supporter of the tobacco industry. Charming. We can always ask ourselves why some men and women take money from tobacco companies to promote their killer product, or why some men and women take money from oil and gas companies to try and discredit the overwhelming evidence as related to global warming. Could be money. Could be no soul. Could be some religious-fundamentalist grasp on the world which perverts their entire worldview wherein, among other perversions, Jesus and the red cow are coming so fuck the trees, fuck the A-rabs, etc.

Of course, Patrick J. Michaels, within the hallowed pages of USA Today, is writing for the stupid people. How else could you explain such phrases as "'Nuff said"? Patrick, I may be mistaken, but I don't believe you're an 8th grader writing from the eighties, are you? If so, I'm gonna book.

Why get into Patrick's prose? Typical Oil Company Sheeyeet: call everything else "propaganda," disparage the source, disparage by association, and go as deeply into Opposite Day as your shallow-ass pen will get you: "Lies cloaked as science should never determine how we live our lives."

This from the oil company employee. Well, buck up Bronco, 'cuz the people, armed with the truth, are coming to get ya.

(Update: the ever-resourceful Bill C. of TOTEOTA gives us this link which really says it all better than me: Pat Michaels: Scientist, Energy Industry Lackey . . . also, I understand that pointing out one piece in the river of crap that is corporate media might be a little absurd, but what the hell.)
Stephen Marshall of GNN takes a look back at the telling example of Scott Ritter's journey through the media looking glass during the run-up to the Iraq war.

(via American Leftist)
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Sudan, Africa's largest country, is the scene of two separate but related civil wars. One, between north and south, pits the Arab, Islamist government against rebels who are mostly black African and non-Muslim. This war has been raging intermittently for half a century, but has come tantalisingly close to resolution in the past year: partly because of foreign pressure, especially from America, and partly because both sides, exhausted, wish to stop fighting and share Sudan's new-found oil wealth.

The other war, between the government and two rebel groups in Darfur, pits Muslim against Muslim. The divide in Darfur is ethnic, between Arabs and black Africans. This war flared up only last year. It was seen at first as a mere sideshow, but is now too vast and vile to be ignored. [more]
(via the invisible worm)
Newsday reports that "the U.S. military is holding dozens of Iraqis as bargaining chips to put pressure on their wanted relatives to surrender."

In other words, they're taking hostages. And as much as I hate to keep repeating myself, this, too, is old news.
Human Rights and international laws have come under the most sustained attack in 50 years from the "war on terror" led by the United States and Britain, Amnesty International says.

The scathing indictment came in Amnesty's annual report, which accused the US administration of George Bush in particular of pursuing policies "bankrupt of vision and bereft of principles".
Iraqi women were also abused at Abu Ghuraib, according to the Taguba report and reports of photographs seen by the US Congress. As this Islamist PakNews story notes, most of the reporting on torture and abuse of detainees at Abu Ghuraib has focused on men. It is clear, however, that Iraqi women were also made to strip naked, were photographed in that compromising position, and it is alleged that some were raped by US military personnel. Although, of course, the soldiers who behaved this way and the officers who authorized or allowed it were not "crusaders," as the article alleges, the abuse of women was designed to take advantage of Muslim and Arab ideas concerning female honor.

A scandal that has not yet broken in the press is the story of how many women ended up in US prisons. The fact is, few were suspected of having themselves committed a crime or an act of insurgency. Rather, they were taken as hostages or potential informants because their husbands or sons were wanted by the US military. This kind of arrest, however, is a form of collective punishment and not permitted under the Fouth Geneva Convention governing military occupations of civilian populations. The sexual abuse of these women is therefore a double crime.
"Have you ever wondered..."
" a can of corn or green beans can sit on your shelf in the cupboard for a year and still be good to eat? There are a few things to consider the next time you open a canned good. Let's explore why chemicals are added to our food."
American businessman Nicholas Berg's body was found on May 8 near a Baghdad overpass; a video of his supposed decapitation death by knife appeared on an alleged al-Qaeda-linked website ( on May 11. But according to what both a leading surgical authority and a noted forensic death expert separately told Asia Times Online, the video depicting the decapitation appears to have been staged.

"I certainly would need to be convinced it [the decapitation video] was authentic," Dr John Simpson, executive director for surgical affairs at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, said from New Zealand. Echoing Dr Simpson's criticism, when this journalist asked forensic death expert Jon Nordby, PhD and fellow of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, whether he believed the Berg decapitation video had been "staged", Nordby replied: "Yes, I think that's the best explanation of it."
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Thirty years ago, a Republican president, facing impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate, was forced to resign because of unprecedented crimes he and his aides committed against the Constitution and people of the United States. Ultimately, Richard Nixon left office voluntarily because courageous leaders of the Republican Party put principle above party and acted with heroism in defense of the Constitution and rule of law.
"What did the president know and when did he know it?" a Republican senator — Howard Baker of Tennessee — famously asked of Nixon 30 springtimes ago.

Will the ethical,Patriotic, America loving members of the Republican Party please stand up?
Aid agencies were today warning of looming famine and a humanitarian crisis in Darfur, western Sudan, where up to a million people have been driven from their homes by government-backed militias.

The arid desert region is hit by a cyclical "hunger gap" from April until harvest-time in October, but attacks on towns and villages by the "Janjawid" mounted Arab militias, which human rights observers say include members of the armed forces, have exacerbated the crisis this year.
From today's Guardian:

An urgent investigation has been launched in Washington into whether Iran played a role in manipulating the US into the Iraq war by passing on bogus intelligence through Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, it emerged yesterday.

Some intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the hawks in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighbour, and pave the way for a Shia-ruled Iraq.

According to a US intelligence official, the CIA has hard evidence that Mr Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions.
While it is important to get to the bottom of just what role Iran played in shaping the intelligence Chalabi passed off to the US, just as it's equally important to figure out what role Israel played (something very few in the US seem interested in), I worry that this investigation will distort the narrative of the Iraq war more than clarify it.

Let's be clear: Chalabi didn't con the Bush administration into war. Iraq was in the cross hairs all along, and the Bush administration used Chalabi because he was telling them what they wanted to hear. Of course, Chalabi was using the Bush administration too, but that was something I think everyone in the Defense Department understood and, in fact, welcomed.

I can't stress how important it is to not lose this point amidst whatever material comes out about Iran's involvement in the Iraq mess, particularly since the proponents of the war would just love it if their role in the march to Baghdad gets lost in the rubble of bureaucratic details.
Monday, May 24, 2004
Sunday, May 23, 2004
One of the key political moderates in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's cabinet deplored the Israel army's offensive in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, saying TV images reminded him of the suffering of his family during the Holocaust.

In stark and emotional language, Deputy Prime Minister Yosef Lapid, who also holds the Justice ministry portfolio and is himself a Holocaust survivor, told Israeli radio that the country risked further international condemnation if the army continued its campaign of pursuing Palestinian gunmen, demolishing homes and expelling civilians from the heart of the populous Rafah refugee camp.

"On TV I saw an old woman rummaging through the ruins of her house looking for her medication, and it reminded me of my grandmother who was thrown out of her house during the Shoah" or Holocaust, said Lapid in a radio interview after the weekly cabinet session.
As if gutting the Constitution, bankrupting our nations economy and causing our troops to die unnecessarily are not enough... (the list of committed travesties is too long to enter fully here): Vote against Bush because he threatens our strip clubs.
He and his GOP ilk must be stopped. Register. Vote.

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