Saturday, February 17, 2007

CNN's Ed Henry Spars with Snow has named CNN's Ed Henry "Truthdigger of the Week" after his ongoing match with Tony Snow and George the Liar this week regarding claims that the US had evidence that the “highest levels” of the Iranian government are supplying bomb-making materials to the Iraqi insurgency.

After questioning Tony Snow about the contradictions between the White House story and General Peter Pace's version, Henry then asked George the Liar the following day, which can be viewed on my previous post.

This is a must see video: Ed Henry confronts Tony Snow.

While watching this video, there is a split screen showing a nice PowerPoint presentation of the supposed Iranian weapons being used. I don't know if they are a dramatization of the weapons claimed to be used, or the actual weapons. If it is the latter, can anyone answer why there is English writing on the weapons? If they were Iranian, wouldn't they be marked in Farsi? Also, take a look at the date stenciled on the side of the bomb. "3-2006" would seem to be March, 2006. The US is the only country in the world to my knowledge that uses the month and year in that order. Everyone else uses the year first, then the month. Are we seeing pictures of our own weapons trying to be passed off as evidence of Iranian weaponry?

Finally, on Thursday, Henry reported that the White House was now saying that—oops—the anonymous U.S. military briefers in Baghdad had misspoken in claiming to have evidence that the “highest levels” of the Iranian government is supplying bomb-making materials to the Iraqis.
Click here for Henry's update with Soledad O'Brien.

GREAT JOB, ED! I hope the mainstream media is taking notes. Maybe they'll finally start waking up and take these people to task.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Snow: Nothing Went Wrong in Iraq

Why would anyone even fathom saying something like this? In the light of a 2002 review of a prewar invasion plan for Iraq, which showed a rosy picture and estimated that only 5,000 troops would remain at this time, Tony the Snowman was asked what went wrong in Iraq.

His answer: "I'm not sure anything went wrong."

Whaaaaaaaa?!! Yes, Tony Snow actually said he's not sure anything went wrong, because in his opinion, war plans are moot the second you engage the enemy. Does anyone in this administration have any sense of decency left? Does anyone in this administration have any sense of morals?

So let me get this straight. With this twisted logic, nothing went wrong because there really are no plans, you're making it up as you go along so how can you be wrong?

Here's what went wrong regardless of the prewar plans:

~WMDs. Mobile labs. Secret sources. Aluminum tubing. Yellow-cake.

~George the Liar has told us the war is necessary because:

Saddam was a threat;
Because of 9/11;
Osama bin Laden;
Because of terrorism in general;
To liberate Iraq;
To spread freedom;
To spread democracy;
To keep the oil out of the hands of terrorist-controlled states.

~In pushing for and prosecuting this war, we passed on chances to get Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Muqtada al-Sadr, Osama bin Laden.

~Fewer troops sent in than recommended.

~Disbanding the Iraqi Army.

~"De-Baathifying" the government.

~ Short changing Iraqi training.

~No plan for widespread looting, nor the explosion of sectarian violence.

~Sending in troops without life-saving equipment.

~Jobs given to foreign contractors, not the Iraqis.

~ "America had prevailed", "Mission Accomplished", the resistance was in its "last throes".

~George the Liar has said more troops were not necessary, and more troops are necessary, and that it's up to the generals, and removed some of the generals who said more troops would be necessary.

~Turning points: The fall of Baghdad, the death of Uday and Qusay, the capture of Saddam, a provisional government, the trial of Saddam, a charter, a constitution, an Iraqi government, elections, purple fingers, a new government, the death of Saddam.

~We would be greeted as liberators, with flowers.

~As they stood up–we would stand down, we would stay the course, we were never 'stay the course'.

~The enemy was al Qaeda, was foreigners, terrorists, Baathists, and now Iran.

~The war would pay for itself, it would cost 1.7 billion dollars, 100 billion, 400 billion, half a trillion dollars.

The question that should have been asked and warrants a much shorter answer is "what went right?"

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Answer The Question!

It's amazing... why does George the Liar continue to have press conferences if he's not going to answer questions asked of him? He gives you nothing but the latest fear mongering in a desparate attempt to increase support for the failed war in Iraq, and now starts laying the foundation for Iran. How many times did he use the phrase "QUDS Force" in his conference yesterday?
And when asked, "What assurances can you give the American people that the intelligence this time will be accurate?" he avoids the question with the same rhetoric he began the conference with. This man is shameless.

I hope there are more journalists out there like Ed Henry who will continue to badger George the Liar. He will eventually blow a gasket and say something other than what he's scripted to say.

Click here for the
link and video on intelligence contradiction and accuracy question.

He was also asked questions regarding the Libby trial, which of course he wouldn't comment on.

That's a far cry from what he had to say on September 30th, 2003.
BUSH: "If there's a leak out of my Administration, I want to know who it is. And if that person has violated law, that person will be taken care of."

Al Franken Runs for Senate

When I first started listening to Air America Radio, Al Franken's was the show I would listen to. I was a devoted listener, as my fiancee would attest. She hated the car rides we took because I barely listened to anything else.

Over the course of the next three years, Franken would have weekly guests on his show such as
Newsweek's Howard Fineman,'s John Dickerson, Media Matters' President David Brock, Christy Harvey, from The Center For American Progress and Joe Conason, a columnist for Salon and The New York Observer.

I really started learning a lot from the Franken show and started reading his books, and although I actually got a little tired of his radio schtick (he is a comedian and a comic writer after all) he was well worth listening to. I would get frustrated because he sometimes had too many guests on and therefore they didn't have time to answer the questions he asked, especially when he kept interrupting to get his jokes in, but I kept listening and kept learning. Through all the
Air America troubles, Franken stayed on and kept plugging away, and although I tailed off in listening to him (my driving time schedule changed) I admired the guy for what he was attempting to do.

Well, February 14th marked Al Franken's last show on Air America. He has announced his candidacy for US Senate from Minnesota. Good luck to
Al Franken in his political career. He would be a fresh voice in the Senate and work for the lower and middle classes in his state.

Here's his announcement:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rep. Charlie Norwood 1941-2007

Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., died today one week after his office announced that he was forgoing further treatment for his cancer and would be returning to Augusta in order to receive in-home hospice care. He was 65.

The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk

Why I Refused to Testify Against the Clintons & What I Learned in Jail

When Susan McDougal refused to implicate the Clintons in the Whitewater fiasco, she was thrown in prison, left alone with murderers and her own stubborn dignity. Savaged by Republicans and abandoned by Democrats, she would emerge from that dark chapter of American history a hero.

I came across this at McDougal tells her story of trying to be coerced by federal prosecutor Ken Starr in the smearing of Bill Clinton during the Whitewater scandal. It takes about 45 minutes to get through her video interview with Robert Scheer, but it is well worth it.

You can purchase the book by clicking on the photo.

Also check out: The Hunting of the President

Monday, February 12, 2007

Lincoln's Birthday

I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago and didn't bother to write it down. It was a fleeting thought during a subway ride and a two block walk to work when I thought about Presidents' Day.

Ah, Presidents' Day, that combination of Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays into an all encompassing day whose only significance to most people nowadays means another holiday sale.

With pretty much any poll regarding past presidents and their contributions or their greatness, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are usually at the top of the list. Washington involved with the birth of our nation, Lincoln at the helm for our rebirth during the Civil War.

Washington's birthday was officially a holiday in 1880 in DC, and expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices. Amazingly, Lincoln's birthday was never a federal holiday, although there are some states that claim it as a legal holiday.

But now, the idea of "Presidents' Day", a name that further obscures the original reason for this holiday in the first place, isn't associated with the celebration of an American patriot's birthday as much as it is another excuse for shopping sprees. One hears Presidents' Day and Memorial Day and the inevitable word "sale" usually follows.

Gabe Pressmen writes of this day: "The reverence for history, the patriotism embodied in past observances of the birthdays of these two statesmen has been lost. Congress took it away from us, back in 1968, with the Uniform Holidays Bill. Only Congress can restore these holidays to the honored place in our lives they deserve. "

Abraham Lincoln: "...As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy"
Letter, August 1858

Happy Birthday, President Lincoln.

Not Ready To Make Nice

Congratulations to the Dixie Chicks.

The Chicks, who ignited controversy four years ago when lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President Bush on the eve of the Iraq war, won all five [Grammy] Awards for which they were nominated, including the big three: album of the year (for "Taking the Long Way"), song of the year and record of the year (both for "Not Ready to Make Nice").

"I think people are using their freedom of speech with all these awards. We get the message," said Maines, paying tribute to other nominees with an oblique acknowledgement that the group was being honored as much for its stand as its music. "I'm very humbled."

Official Dixie Chicks Website

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday Reading

Priorities and Perspective

On Thursday, February 8th, we received shocking news of the death of 39 year old Anna Nicole Smith. Over the course of the following 48 hours, I learned more about Anna Nicole than I could have ever imagined.

Let's see, off the top of my head, here's what I remember:

She was born Vicki Lynn Hogan in Texas, kept the name "Smith" from her first marriage and had a son by her first husband. Her second marriage was to a billionaire 63 years her senior, and after his death she was involved in court battles over the inheritance with the billionaire's son (who has since also died). She had a crazy TV reality show after she'd gained tons of weight, was mostly incoherent during that time, but lost it all again and was a TrimSpa spokesperson. Her son died at age 20 while visiting her three days after she gave birth to a girl in September of 2006. He died in her hospital room from a drug overdose. Her third marriage was to Howard K. Stern (not the shock jock). And of course, her tragic end, dying in a Hollywood Hard Rock hotel (that's Hollywood, Florida). I'm not sure if this is all correct, but it's just what I can remember and I'm not going to fact check for accuracy, because to tell you the truth, I don't really care all that much.

My point is this: I've learned all this through osmosis. I didn't actively seek out this information, but there it was, hour after hour on every TV channel, news or otherwise. Are they now going to lay her in state in the Capitol Building while her husband, her ex-boyfriend and Zsa-Zsa Gabor's husband wait for DNA results to find out who her daughter's biological father really is?

Don't get me wrong, I do feel badly for her. It was a "live-fast-die-young" tragic end to a beautiful woman who, by all accounts, was a very sweet, sensitive person. But the same day that Anna Nicole Smith died, something else happened. Anyone? C'mon, take a guess.

Congress received a report from the Pentagon on their investigation into prewar intelligence which criticized civilian Pentagon officials for "conducting their own intelligence analysis to find links between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda".

"Working under Douglas J. Feith, who at the time was under secretary of defense for policy, the group 'developed, produced and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and Al Qaeda relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers'."

"Senator Levin, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the report a 'very strong condemnation' of the Pentagon’s activities.
'I think they sought this kind of intelligence. They made it clear they wanted any kind of possible connections, no matter how skimpy, and they got it,' he said. "

The above italized paragraphs come straight from the New York Times online. I say this because I had to look it up. I didn't know this off the top of my head like the Anna Nicole story, even though I think I should have. It wasn't drummed into my head over and over again like Anna Nicole.

I even tried to actively seek this information out when I first heard about it that day. I flipped to MSNBC to see if Chris Matthews would cover it on Hardball, but when I got there do you know what I found? Matthews was pre-empted by, you guessed it, BREAKING NEWS of the death of Anna Nicole Smith. I sat there, dumbfounded. I get 125 channels on Time-Warner cable and I couldn't find one of them dealing with Douglas Feith, or Donald Rumsfeld, or the Pentagon report, or Senator Levin or anything to do with breaking news of what our government did to sell us an illegal war in Iraq.

What does this say about our country as a society? The apathy and indifference is startling. Do we really not care about criminality running rampant in the White House, or 3,100 dead American soldiers, or thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians killed, or torture memos or Abu Ghraib or Guantanimo? What does it say about our society when 38 million people tune in to watch American Idol or the current water cooler talk is about the Prince halftime show at the Super Bowl, but no one knows that another helicopter went down in Iraq? No one knows that Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch admitted trying to shape the agenda for the war in Iraq.

Murdoch: "We tried. We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East."

Fair and balanced? We knew it wasn't and now Murdoch admits it. Did anyone hear about this? Is this not newsworthy? Perhaps, but what I'm really excited for are those DNA results so we can put this Anna Nicole thing on TV for another week... sigh.