Bad Government
Government Gone Bad

The sorry state of the U.S. Government. From the war with Afghanistan and Iraq to tax cuts, Israel, Iran and the FCC. What's happening to our government? Why don't people seem to care? A look at some of the things wrong with our GOVERNMENT.

Thursday, July 31, 2003 :::

The Working Class Heroes

The working class are the ones who physically built this country and the working class are the ones who die protecting this country and its interests, including the interests of big corporations. The working class builds and uses the implements of war, under the command of the elite. The working class drilled the oil and gas wells and mined the natural resources. The working class built the roads, bridges, railroads and airports. The working class built the World Trade Center and every other skyscraper in every State of the Union. The working class built the hospitals, schools and churches. The working class built the dams, power plants and the entire electrical distribution network. The working class built the fresh water treatment plants and the waste water treatment plants and laid the pipes that move this water to its final destination. The working class built the automobiles, trains, ships and planes. The working class built housing, hotels and restaurants. The working class serves the people staying in those hotels and feeds the people eating at those restaurants. The working class supplies the food that ends up in the supermarket built by the working class. The working class protects our safety, puts out the fires, teaches our children and tends to our medical needs. The working class built the computers, radios and televisions now used to the advantage of the elite to spread their propaganda. The working class transports materials to where they are needed and loads and unloads those materials. The working class built the very machines that helped the working class become more efficient. The working class even built the Whitehouse the Pentagon and the mansions that the elite live in. It’s plain to see that without the working class there would be no elite class. The fact of the matter is somebody has to do the physical work, everyone can’t be a businessman or government official.

The elite need the working class more than the working class needs the elite. A society consisting entirely of working class people could survive because no matter what the elite think the working class do have a brain and are capable of coming up with innovating ideas. But a society consisting entirely of the elite cannot survive because most of the elite have no desire for physical labor or a desire to be on the front lines on the battle field. Because the elite are usually older - except the ones born with a silver spoon in their mouths - they are unfit to perform any hard physical labor or fight in a war. Look at the average age of the people running this country and the CEO’s running the big corporations. They’re mostly old gray haired men. Can you imagine Dick Chaney or George W. Bush - who both made their money in the oil business - actually involved in the physical drilling of an oil well? I can’t.

So after all that the working class has done for this country, after all the sweat and blood shed to help make this country what it is, what kind of thanks do we get? We get accused of being socialist and communist because we want affordable health care for our families and a decent wage for our labor. We’re told we’re lazy and our workmanship is shoddy. We’re told we must take pay cuts in order to remain competitive while the CEO’s are rolling in the dough. We lose our jobs to the cheaper labor - that is being exploited by the elite - overseas because there is no way to compete with their low wages. Then we’re told it’s our own fault for not having a decent job. We’re made to move around the country chasing a job and in the process our families are uprooted.

In the mean time the elite get giant tax cuts while the working class gets peanuts if anything at all. By some twisted logic we’re told that by giving the money to the rich it will help the working class. The rich can spend the money more wisely than the working class. That the rich deserve tax cuts because they pay more in taxes than the working class.

I have no problem if somebody comes up with a good idea for something that people want and that person pays a decent wage to the working class for helping implement that idea. I also have no problem if that person makes a decent profit in the process. After all that is what our system is all about. But when the only good idea is figuring out how to get cheaper labor to make more money no matter who gets hurt in the process even if it involves moving jobs overseas, that is wrong and will only hurt this country in the long term.

The real heroes in this country are the working class not the elite even though they like to think they are. The real heroes are the majority in this country and deserve more say in how this country is run. The real heroes in this country are the working class heroes.

::: posted by Alan at 12:58 PM

The Error is Apparent

When will it become apparent to the majority of American people that the Bush Administration is doing more harm to the United States than good? How much more deceit do they need to see before they say enough is enough?

The Bush Administration must be questioned over and over again about its misleading statements, lies (factually correct statements) and its secrecy until their own spin becomes so great that they spin themselves completely out of control.

You see that’s the trouble when you’re not truthful, it takes one lie after another to cover for previous lies until the web that has been spun becomes so large that you get caught up in your own web of lies. That seems to be what’s happening in the Whitehouse right now as witnessed by uranium gate and Saudi Arabia gate.

Thomas Jefferson once said “...when error is so apparent as to become visible to the majority, they will correct it.” Let’s hope he’s right.

In the mean time to those of us to which the error is apparent, we must do all we can to make the error so apparent that it becomes visible to the majority of the population.

::: posted by Alan at 12:04 AM

Tuesday, July 29, 2003 :::

28 Blanked Out Pages or Is That 27 ?

Note: President Bush says 27 pages were blanked out. The news media says 28 pages were blanked out. When the news media and the President can’t agree on how many pieces of blank paper there are, we're in bigger trouble than I thought, especially since it's less than 30 blank pieces of paper that we're talking about.

A final report out by a Congressional panel investigating the intelligence failure of 9/11, headed by Sen. Bob Graham, and Rep. Porter Goss, had 27 pages blanked out (censored) by the Bush Administration. Congress formed the joint House-Senate panel last year at the urging of families of Sept.11, victims and lawmakers who believed a thorough review of the government's performance would help officials learn how to prevent future attacks.

The Bush Administration claims the 27 pages were classified because of national security issues, but Bob Graham, says about 95 percent of the blanked out pages could be released without compromising national security.
Graham told CBS’ “Early Show” that “the information showed that a foreign government was providing a variety of assistance to these hijackers.” He said he could not divulge the identity of the country but when asked he did not deny that the government was Saudi Arabia.

Graham also said “It is my conclusion that officials of a foreign government aided and abetted the terrorist attacks on our country. I would like to be able to identify for you the specific sources of that foreign support. But as you can see from these blank pages, the administration has determined to censor this information from the American people.”

Rep. Mark Foley, the West Palm Beach Republican who is seeking Graham's Senate seat, accused Graham of playing politics. "This is a cynical attempt to breathe life into a floundering presidential campaign," Foley said. "Sen. Graham should not campaign on the back of a national tragedy."

Because Bob Graham believes we need to get to the bottom of who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks he is accused of playing politics, on the back of a national tragedy no less. It seems to me Rep. Mark Foley and the entire Bush Administration are the ones playing politics on the back of a national tragedy.

So why is it so important to the Bush Administration that information in the report connecting Saudi Arabia to the
support of terrorist groups be censored? (I won't even mention the financial relationship between the Bush family and the Bin Laden family.) Could the real reason be that the information implicates Saudi Arabia and not Iraq in the terrorist attacks of 9/11? Boy that sure makes a mockery of Mr. Bush and his seemingly references to Iraq and 9/11.

If it is exposed that Saudi Arabia is at least partly if not mostly responsible for the 9/11 attacks, it will be exposed that the Bush Administration incorrectly misled half the American people by inferring Iraq was responsible for 9/11.

Although it was never stated directly it has been inferred by the Bush Administration that Iraq was responsible for the terrorist attacks on 9/11. That’s why in a poll 50 percent of the American people surveyed thought Iraq had something to do with 9/11. Why did half of the American people believe this? They believed it because President Bush sandwiched talk about a “brutal dictator” Saddam Hussein, between talk of terrorism and the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. He was inferring there was a relationship between Iraq and 9/11. The American people were being misled by the Bush Administration (with the help of the news media) by the spreading of lies and propaganda.

I guess you have to look at the bright side, at least 50 percent of the American people weren’t misled, on this point anyway. But how many were misled by those 16 words uttered by Mr. Bush about Iraq trying to obtain uranium from Africa?

Even if all the sentences Mr. Bush used in the run up to war are “factually correct” that doesn’t mean the message is “factually correct”. When Mr. Bush talked about 9/11 and terrorism then talked about Iraq and the “brutal dictator” Saddam Hussein and how he murdered his own people followed by more talk about terrorist and 9/11, Bush was misleading the American people into believing that Iraq, terrorism and 9/11 were all related. All the facts might have been actual facts that were correct or lies that were “factually correct”, but the message 50 percent of Americans received was that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which is FACTUALLY INCORRECT.

::: posted by Alan at 3:26 PM

Friday, July 25, 2003 :::

Darn Good Intelligence ?

Before the war with Iraq the American people and the world were led to believe that Iraq was a direct an immanent threat to the main land of America and its Allies. This was supposedly the main reason for the war.

In a
speech in Cincinnati Ohio on October 7, 2002 in 19 words President Bush said “Surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it has used to produce chemical and biological weapons.” If these photos were so reveling why haven’t we found even a trace of chemical and biological weapons yet, over four months after the start of the war?

We’re told Saddam was a master at hiding his Weapons of Mass Destruction. He must be a magician to hide something as large as those facilities revealed in the surveillance photos.

OK, I have to admit those 19 words don't say they were rebuilding those facilities to be used as chemical weapon’s facilities, only that they were rebuilding the facilities that “it has (Iraq) used to produce chemical and biological weapons”. I guess you could say that those 19 words are “factually correct” in that they were rebuilding facilities that were once used to produce chemical and biological weapons. Does that mean it was alright to include those 19 words in the speech?

If these facilities were so important that they justified going to war over, I would think these facilities would have been inspected by U.S. Government Officials by now. If no Weapons of Mass Destruction were found at these facilities, than what was the real reason for the rebuilding of these facilities? It must have been a legitimate reason otherwise I'm sure we would have heard about it by now from an administration desperately looking for signs of WMD's.

In that same speech Bush also said “We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical and biological weapons across broad areas.” Mr. Bush went on to say “We are concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using UAVs for missions targeting the United States.” In actuality we found two unmanned aerial vehicles held together with duct tape and NOT equipped to disperse chemical and biological agents. That doesn’t constitute a fleet in anybody’s book, more accurately it is called a couple.

President Bush even went as far as to say “If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of highly-enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year.” He went on to say “we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” Wow! That’s some scary stuff. The only thing is none of it is true. It is all based on conjecture.

Mr. Bush than went on to quote John F. Kennedy he said “As President Kennedy said in October of 1962: "Neither the United States of America nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world," he said, "where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nation's security to constitute maximum peril.” This was said in defense of his preemptive policy. But there is a big difference between the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In 1962 there was undeniable evidence in the form of surveillance photos showing the missiles in Cuba. Also the Soviet Union was not denying having nuclear missiles in Cuba. In 2003 the satellite images were of trucks that could and probably did have legitimate purposes and buildings that didn’t prove anything. Also Iraq was denying they had nuclear and chemical weapons.

I don’t know about anybody else, but “Darn good intelligence” like this doesn’t make me feel any safer. In fact it is down right scary.

::: posted by Alan at 2:54 PM

Wednesday, July 23, 2003 :::

The Feeding Frenzy Has Begun

Even before the peace has been won in Iraq, Big Business is fighting to get in on a piece of the action of rebuilding Iraq and exploiting its people. Fast-food giants Pizza Hut and Burger King have set up their
first franchises inside war-torn Iraq, even as many aid convoys waited on the borders for the war to officially end. The two restaurants (WMD's) are inside giant trailers on a British military base near Basra. One high ranking officer said "I would prefer we got decent showers and toilets sorted out first." I guess he doesn’t understand that business interest comes before the interest of the soldiers.

The handing out of contracts such as the $34.6 million contract that could climb to $680 million dollars to the Bechtel company on Thursday 7, 2003 is just the beginning of the feeding frenzy that will only increase as time goes by. The bidding for this contract was limited to a number of companies that were invited by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and were conducted in secret. Only U.S. companies are allowed to be the main contractors with foreign companies relegated to the role of subcontractors. Steven Weiss, communications director with the Center for Responsive Politics, said “The fact that the process was conducted largely in secret and involved only a handful of [U.S.] companies, some of which gave substantial campaign contributions, raised the questions about whether this process was open and fair”. Of the handfull of companies allowed to bid on the contract Bechtel was the largest contributor of campaign funds contributing $1.3 million. Is it any wonder that they were awarded the contract?

Another contract awarded to Halliburton’s Kellogg Brown & Root by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), to put out oil fires in Iraq was awarded without competitive bidding. The total estimated cost of the two-year contract is $7 billion. Vice President Dick Cheney is the former chief executive of the Houston based Halliburton. Even though USACE spokesman Lt. Col. Gene Pawlik says that Kellogg Brown & Root will only be involved in the initial phase of the contract during the hostilities and that subsequent oil field repair would be open to competitive bidding and the final cost and duration of the contract would not hit anywhere near the $7 billion, two year limit. The fact remains that once they get their foot in the door this will put Kellogg Brown & Root in a very good position to win other contracts.

Peter Singer at the Brookings Institution author of Corporate Warriors, a book about the military contracting industry said “They know the contract in and out, they know what the client wants and they have people on the ground. It becomes very hard for a competitor to knock you off.”

Many other countries are staking their claims as well. The Polish Government (which has troops in Iraq) asked companies interested in rebuilding Iraq to make themselves know. Over 500 responded, and they now hope to get public works and oil industry contracts.

Italy, which supported the war, agreed to send thousands of police, nurses and architects to Iraq. It hopes for a post within the interim administration, sure to result in reconstruction contracts.

War supporters Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia are also said to be negotiating contracts with the U.S.

Where is all the money coming from to pay for these contracts? A good share is coming from the American taxpayer. That's in addition to the American taxpayer money being spent to prosecute the war for the benefit of big business. Some of the money will also be coming from profits from the sale of Iraq’s oil. The oil that Mr. Bush says belongs to the Iraqi people. Correct me if I’m wrong but if the U.S is making all the decisions on how that oil money is spent and Iraqi’s have no say in how that oil money is spent, doesn’t that mean that it is really United States oil?

::: posted by Alan at 3:10 PM

Monday, July 21, 2003 :::

He Pleads Ignorance

The Bush Administrations admission that those misleading and now famous 16 words shouldn’t have been included in President Bush’s State of the Union Address, degrades the credibility of President Bush here at home and around the world. If you can’t trust what he says in his State of the Union Address when can you trust him?

Remember that line? "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." We now know that statement was based on forged documents and lies. I wonder who forged them and why? That’s two more questions that demand answers.

Mr. Bush our president pled ignorance in his defense of those 16 words. Well he didn’t actually plead guilty of ignorance; Whitehouse officials did it for him.

The pattern continues. Mr. Bush never accepts responsibility for anything that goes wrong. Someone else is always to blame. In this case Director of Intelligence George Tenet gets the blame. Imagine that, George Tenet gets blamed for Mr. Bush’s ignorance even after he tried to tell the Whitehouse that those 16 words should not be in that State of the Union Address. On top of that Mr. Bush said he “considers the matter closed”, without ever apologizing or showing any regret for using those 16 misleading words or demanding to know how they got into his speech. It seems Mr. Bush isn’t being completely honest about those 16 words.

The pundits say those 16 words in the State of the Union Address are no big deal, that there was plenty of other evidence to make the case for war. No matter what the pundits say it is a big deal. It is a very serious matter to be misled by the ignorance of the president. The people expect real facts in a speech as important as the State of the Union Address not made up facts. This wasn’t any ordinary old speech. It was the State of the Union Address (with millions of people watching) stating the reasons for going to war with Iraq where American soldiers and innocent Iraqi lives would be in jeopardy. The American people and the world deserve and expect better leadership from the President of the United States.

If Mr. Bush was ignorant about those 16 words in his State of the Union Address what else is he ignorant about? He says that he’s confident WMD’s will be found and he says he’s confident that he made the right decision to go to war with Iraq. Could his confidence be based on his ignorance?

::: posted by Alan at 11:19 PM

Sunday, July 20, 2003 :::

The Real Reason for the War with Iraq

It’s easy to see what the plan is for Iraq. The U.S. Government is paying the new Iraqi police $60.00 each in wages for one months work. That's $15.00 a week. When asked by reporters about the amount of pay they received the Iraqis said it isn’t much but they could use the money to buy food for their families. If that is all the U.S. Government feels Iraqi labor is worth, American Big Business must be chomping at the bit.

For anybody that doesn’t know, I’ll tell you what the plan is. The U.S. will give foreign aid to the puppet regime that they install. Some of the foreign aid will be siphoned off by that regime (knowingly by the U.S Government). This is the payoff for allowing American Big Business into Iraq. Fast food giants Pizza Hut and Burger King have already set up their
first franchises in Iraq. American Big Business will exploit the people by paying them low wages. Because of Iraq’s vast oil reserves energy will be cheap further increasing the earnings of American Big Business. There will also be tax breaks for American Businesses operating off shore further increasing their profits.

The Iraqi people will not be able to compete with big American companies and will become reliant on American business and foreign aid. Foreign aid will then be used as a bargaining chip to black mail the installed Iraqi Government. If the installed government refuses to do what the US Government wants they will be threatened with the cutoff of the foreign aid. If the installed government still refuses to cooperate, the siphoning off of the foreign aid will be one of the reasons stated to remove that government.

That’s the real reason for the war in Iraq, not Weapons of Mass Destruction or the liberation of the Iraqi people as we are being told

::: posted by Alan at 3:20 PM

A list of some Neo-Cons who deserve to be punched in the face

Americans have tried to remember that they are on the same side, regardless of differences in skin color, nation of origin, religion or political viewpoint. It has not always been easy because, more than ever, those who are different can seem more threatening. But we're trying because what we have in America is worth keeping. It isn’t made any easier when some people are trying to divide the American people for their own cause.

The people on the following list need to be punched in the face for at least one and in some cases more of the following reasons, they are either both hateful and mean spirited, they are so full of being right that they don’t know what is good, they are liars, they try to force their moral beliefs onto others or they try to spread their hatred across America.
This list is by no means complete but it contains some of the more well know people who deserve to be punched in the face, some of them more than once. I do have respect for differing points of view but these people are extremist and should be consider dangerous to America and what it stands for.

President - George W. Bush, Vice President - Dick Chaney, Secretary of Defense - Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary - Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary for Policy - Douglas Feith, National Security Adviser - Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s political advisor - Karl Rove, Republican Senate Majority Leader - Bill Frist, Resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute - Richard Perle, House Majority Leader – Dick Army, media mogul – Rupert Murdoch, Fox’s - Sean Hannity, MSNBC’s - Joe Scarborough, Fox’s O’Reilly Factor - Bill O’Reilly, Mr. hate spreader himself - Michael Savage, and another hate spreader book writer and columnist - Ann Coulter. And still another hate spreader Rush Limbaugh

::: posted by Alan at 2:36 PM

Saturday, July 19, 2003 :::

Factually Correct

In reference to President Bush’s mistruth in his January State of The Union Address the Right Wing Neo-Conservative Hawks say it’s only “sixteen words”. It’s only one sentence they say. I’d like to ask them if a lie with fewer words is less of a lie then a lie with more words. A lie is a lie is a lie is a lie.

In five words the hawks, in defense of the untrue information in President Bush’s State of the Union Address, say “the information is factually correct”. Quit the play on words. They must think we’re all a bunch of morons.

The hawks are “factually correct” in making that statement. But they would have also been “factually correct” if they added a couple of words. In seven words they could have said: The information is a factually correct LIE. That’s right LIE. Even if Bush didn’t know it was a lie (which I doubt) still doesn’t mean it is not a lie. If something is untrue then it isn’t true. If Bush didn’t lie than he repeated a lie. That doesn’t make it any less of a lie. It is still a lie. And that is “factually correct”.

::: posted by Alan at 12:02 AM

Friday, July 18, 2003 :::

American Troops Told to Stop Whining

Retired General Wayne Downing, who was appointed Deputy National Security Advisor by President Bush and quit 10 months later because of a disagreement with the Pentagon over Iraq Policy and is now a MSNBC military analyst said on MSNBC (July 17, 2003); that all the soldiers in Iraq volunteered for military service and should stop their whining.

That’s easy for Mr. Wayne Downing to say, someone who leaves his air conditioned house, gets into his air conditioned car, and drives to an overpaid job in an air conditioned studio to give his opinion about what he thinks is going on in Iraq, while the troops sweat it out in the 100 degree plus heat in the Iraq desert. Did I mention nobody’s shooting at him?

Mr. Downing’s remarks came in response to remarks made by a group of soldiers in Iraq from the Army’s 3rd. infantry division that appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America.
The soldiers were complaining about the deteriorating conditions and their extended tour of duty in Iraq.

One soldier said “If Donald Rumsfeld were here, I’d ask him for his resignation.”

Spc. Zachary Watkins, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. told the AP news agency: “you’ve got soldiers who are already at their mental, physical and emotional limits and you’re going to keep them here another three months? It’s not a smart thing to do. You’re going to have lots of incidents going on.”

Sgt. Paul Roe, 24, of Middleburgh, N.Y., said he was due to leave the Army in a month and start college. He’s given up on those plans and sunk into dreaming about the life that’s on hold. “It’s hot and miserable here, back home, I’ve got a girlfriend, a family, the beach and freedom.” The soldiers said they were mostly bored. “There isn’t much going on.” said Roe. “Every now and then they take a potshot at you. I don’t see the point of keeping 160,000 men here.”

This comes after earlier reports about low morale among the troops. In a July 7, 2003 special to the Christian Science Monitor, Ann Scott Tyson reported, the open-ended deployments in Iraq are lowering morale among some ground troops, who say the constantly shifting time tables are reducing confidence in their leadership. It was also reported that some frustrated troops stationed in Iraq are writing letters to representatives in Congress to request their units be repatriated. One soldier, who requested anonymity, wrote: “Most soldiers would empty their bank accounts just for a plane ticket home.”

Another letter writer said “The way we have been treated and the continuous lies told to our families back home has devastated us all.”

One Army officer said this, describing the mentality of the troops, “They vent to anyone who will listen. They write letters, they cry, they yell. Many of them walk around looking visibly tired and depressed. We feel like pawns in a game that we have no voice [in].”

General John Abizaid, who recently replaced General Tommy Franks as the head of U.S. Central Command, said this about the latest dissent from American troops “None of us that wear this uniform are free to say anything disparaging about the Secretary of Defense or the President of the United States. Abizaid said that in order to maintain the current 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, the U.S. had no choice but to leave soldiers in Iraq for missions lasting up to a year. He also said troops who criticized Rumsfeld in comments to reporters faced possible “verbal reprimand or something more stringent” from their commanders.

What would one expect when a war is based on lies, of course some of the troops are going to speak out.

::: posted by Alan at 1:32 AM

Tuesday, July 15, 2003 :::

What If ?

What if President Bush gave a speech before the invasion of Iraq explaining the different options offered by various groups to try to solve the problems in Iraq, instead of just carping on the war option? How many people even knew there were other options besides going to war? Carnegie Endowment for International Peace offered a proposal for a stronger military approach to arms inspections, including the use of selective force if necessary (instead of an all out invasion). A group of U.S. and British church leaders developed a plan for Middle East peace. In that plan they called for the prosecution of Saddam Hussein for war crimes, cooperation between the U.S and the United Nations in disarming Iraq, massive humanitarian aid to the people of Iraq, resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and an international campaign against terrorism.

What if Mr. Bush had said in that speech, that the British intelligence about Iraq trying to acquire uranium was based on forged documents and was unreliable? Which we now know is the case since the Bush Administration has finally admitted it. This is information that Mr. Bush would’ve had to have known well before the war. If he didn’t he must have been hiding under a rock or he's so far out of touch with reality he's dangerous.

What if he also said that his original statement about the aluminum tubes Iraq was trying to acquire have been determined by IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) not to be of the type needed to make centrifuges for use in a nuclear program?

What if he told the American people that Iraq might have Weapons of Mass Destruction, but we’re not really sure? And we don’t have any proof what so ever that he does have WMD's. We're just assuming that he does, and we have no idea where they are if he does have them?

What if he said there was no real proof that Saddam Hussein had a link with Al-Qeada and there is nothing linking Saddam to the three hijacked planes that flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon?

What if in that same speech he said that there was a good possibility that between 150,000 and 200,000 troops would be needed to occupy Iraq for an indefinite period of time, and that the occupation could last 5 years or longer and almost one American a day could be killed during the occupation?

What if he would have told the people of the United States that the occupation would cost almost $4 billon dollars a month?

If President Bush would have said these things, which anyone in their right mind now knows to be true, do you think that the majority of the American people would have supported the war in Iraq? I don’t and Mr. Bush didn't think so either.

::: posted by Alan at 3:00 PM

Sunday, July 13, 2003 :::

Delusional, Bad Intelligence, or Deliberately Misleading Americans?

With each passing day it becomes more and more obvious that the Bush Administration did not have adequate plans in place for the occupation of Iraq for after the war was over. The disgusting thing is they refuse to admit it and continue to say things are going good. Ask the
families of the American soldiers being killed and injured if they think the war is over. Ask the troops being shot at if they think the war is over yet. Ask the families of the innocent Iraqi civilians being killed and the innocent Iraqi civilians being injure if they think the war is over. I’ll bet they don’t. To think that the war is over just because the U.S. military is occupying Iraq is wishful thinking on the part of this administration. I would say it is delusional.

When President Bush declared the major part of the war over on May 1, 2003 when in fact it was not and is not even close to being over two and a half months later, shows Mr. Bush and his administration are either delusional, the intelligence (some from dubious sources, like the (INC) Iraqi National Congress) is so bad that it is dangerous, or they are deliberately trying to mislead the American people. It seems to be a combination of all three.

Just before the war when Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was asked by Senators if he agreed with then Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki’s estimate that more than 200,000 troops would be needed as an occupation force after the war he replied “way off the mark”. The one who was way off the mark was Paul Wolfowitz. Philadelphia Inquirer, foreign affairs analyst Trudy Rubin wrote, “Back in November Wolfowitz told me he believed that the London based Iraqi opposition (headed by Ahmed Chalabi and backed by the Pentagon) would return to Baghdad and assume the reins of power, just as Gen. Charles de Gaulle and the Free French returned triumphantly to postwar France.”

When experts of the region argued that U.S. troops would face as much hostility as gratitude from parts of the Iraqi population, the hawks in the Whitehouse replied that they (the experts) underestimated the attraction and political skills of a man like Ahmed Chalabi, who told them (the Whitehouse hawks) of his far-reaching secret network of informants and supporters inside Iraq. It sounds to me like Paul Wolfowitz is either delusional or relied on extremely bad intelligence, probably from Chalabi.

On July 2, 2003 in the Roosevelt Room the president, when faced with questions about the present number of troops in Iraq and the chaotic postwar scene said. "There are some who feel that the conditions are such that they can attack us there," Extending his right hand for emphasis, he added: "My answer is: Bring 'em on. We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation."

The Pentagon is currently in a debate over whether more troops than the current 145,000 are now needed. Some retired officers, warning of a serious shortage of military manpower, have called on Bush to take the unusual step of activating National Guard divisions to relieve overtaxed troops. I’d say Mr. Bush is definitely delusional on this one. Need more proof? Mr. Bush defended the quality of CIA Intelligence by saying "I think the intelligence I get is darn good intelligence. And the speeches I have given were backed by good intelligence". If Mr. Bush calls lies "darn good intelligence" I'd hate to see bad intelligence.

Vice President Dick Chaney said on television just before the war “I really do believe we will be greeted as liberators.” Of course we weren’t, as least not in large parts of Iraq. Retired ambassador Chas Freeman, president of the Middle East Policy Council, a group of former U.S. officials and analysts who specialize in the region had this to say “It is fairly incredible that the civilians in the Pentagon inhaled their own propaganda about the welcome that the U.S. forces would receive from the Iraqis. No one who knew anything about the region ever bought the notion that U.S troops would be welcomed as liberators, but no one who knew anything about the region was invited to take part in policy discussions.” I would say Chaney in his delusion relied on bad intelligence.

When Donald Rumsfeld was asked, where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction two weeks into the war his reply was “They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad, and east, west, south and north somewhat”. What kind of answer is that? Does that sound like a statement of someone who really knows where the WMD’s are? For all the rhetoric about knowing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and knowing where they are and in fact was the main reason for going to war with Iraq, this statement sounds like a statement from someone who is delusional or trying to mislead the people. As Rumsfeld once said, “We tend to hear what we expect to hear, weather it’s bad or good. Human nature is that way. Unless something is jarring, you tend to stay on your track and get it reinforced rather than recalibrated.” Mr. Rumsfeld sure proved that point. So did President Bush, Dick Chaney, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice along with many others in the present administration. The ideologues reinforced each other’s assumptions and attacked everyone, including the real experts, who disagreed with them. Mr. Rumsfeld sounds like a delusional man who used bad intelligence to mislead the American public.

::: posted by Alan at 8:51 AM

Wednesday, July 09, 2003 :::

The Truth is Out Bush Administration Admits Using False Information

In his January 2003 State of the Union Address Mr. Bush said “the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa”. It turns out that that information was untrue.

In an
article published in the New York Times
Sunday July 6, 2003 former US Ambassador, Joseph C. Wilson, who traveled to Niger in late February 2002 to investigate the allegation for the Central Intelligence Agency said it did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place. Mr. Wilson arrived back in Washington in early March, 2002 and promptly provided a detailed briefing to the C.I.A. and later shared his conclusions with the State Department African Affairs Bureau (well before Mr. Bush’s State of the Union address). In the article Mr. Wilson also stated that the Bush Administration had “twisted” data on Iraq to suit its case for war.

According to Wilson, his mission had been instigated by questions from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, and the results would have been reported back to that office.

"The office of the vice president, I am absolutely convinced, received a very specific response to the question it asked and that response was based upon my trip out there," Wilson now says.

Senior administration officials tell CBS News the President’s mistaken claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa was included in his State of the Union address -- despite objections from the CIA.

Before the speech was delivered, the portions dealing with Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were checked with the CIA for accuracy, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.

CIA officials warned members of the President’s National Security Council staff the intelligence was not good enough to make the flat statement Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa.

The White House officials responded that a paper issued by the British government contained the unequivocal assertion: “Iraq has ... sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” As long as the statement was attributed to British Intelligence, the White House officials argued, it would be factually accurate. The CIA officials dropped their objections and that’s how it (the State of the Union Address) was delivered.

How many more untruths were fed to the American public to justify the war with Iraq? Did the Bush Administration know more about the missing weapons of mass destruction than they’re telling us?

The Whitehouse has finally admitted that President Bush used information involving forged documents when he gave his State of the Union Address, but not until Mr. Wilson’s article appeared in the New York Times. Whitehouse national security spokesmen Michael Anton said the statement should not have been included in the president’s address to the nation because it rested on flawed intelligence.

This comes out of the Whitehouse when Mr. Bush is out of the country on a five nation tour in Africa. How convenient, this information comes out when the President is unavailable to answer questions. Of course this comes as no surprise. This Administration is the most secretive Administration of all time. So far Bush has only given eight press conferences in which he appeared alone. At the same point in their presidencies President Clinton gave 30 solo press conferences, Bush’s father 58, President Reagan 16, President Carter 45, President Ford 37, President Nixon 16, and President Johnson 52.

A Presidential press conference is the one time that the American public has the chance to determine whether their President is truly competent or just knows how to read a speech from a teleprompter. When the President allows reporters to ask unscripted questions, voters have the opportunity to tell whether the President knows what he's talking about, and ultimately whether he is worthy of re-election. If Bush's wealthy campaign contributors can have personal access to the White House, how come ordinary Americans can't even see the President on television in a live press conference once a month?

If President Bush had more press conferences the real truth would likely have come out a long time ago. Could that be the reason for so few press conferences? Is President Bush afraid the real truth will get out?

If Mr. Bush knew about Mr. Wilson’s report before his State of the Union Address than he lied to the American public. If he didn’t know about the report it shows the incompetence of the administration that he put in place and directly reflects on the incompetence of Mr. Bush himself.

::: posted by Alan at 2:30 AM

Saturday, July 05, 2003 :::

The Rights of Citizens of the United States Are in Jeopardy

The rights of the people of the United States of America are in jeopardy. Our rights are in jeopardy because some members of the Supreme Court, some members of Congress, the President, and many Citizens don’t understand what the Constitution of the United States is all about.

In 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote a note to James Madison about the future possibility of a president who didn’t understand the principles on which America was founded. “The tyranny of the legislatures is the most formidable dread at present,” he wrote, “and will be for many years. That of the executive (the president) will come in its turn, but it will be at a remote period.” It now appears that the remote period Jefferson wrote about has arrived.

Conservatives claim the right to violate citizens’ private lives because there is no “right to privacy” in the United States. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said in 1965 “I could find no general right of privacy in the Bill of Rights, in any other part of the Constitution, or in any case ever before decided by this Court.

Justice Clarence Thomas (George W. Bush’s role model for future Supreme Court nominees) agrees. In his dissent in the Texas sodomy case, Thomas wrote, “just like Justice Stewart, I can find neither in the Bill of Rights nor any part of the Constitution a general right of privacy, or as the Court terms it today, the liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions.”

The Constitution doesn’t grant a right to eat, or to read, or to have children. Yet do we doubt these are rights we have?

The reality is that there are many rights that are not specified in the constitution, but which we enjoy daily and they cannot be taken away from us by the government.

The Constitution wasn’t written to grant us rights. We don’t derive our rights from the Constitution.

Rather in the minds of the Founders, human rights are inalienable – inseparable – from humans themselves. We are born with rights by the simple fact of existence. As written by Thomas Jefferson “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” the founders wrote. Humans are “endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…” These rights are clear and obvious, the Founders repeatedly said. They belong to us from birth, as opposed to something the Constitution must hand to us, and are more ancient than any government.

The job of the constitution was to define a legal framework within which government and business could operate in a manner least intrusive to “We, The People,” who are the holders of the rights. In its first draft it didn’t even have a Bill of Rights, because the Framers felt it wasn’t necessary to state out loud that human rights came from something greater, larger, and older than government. They all knew this; it was simply obvious.

There had been discussion among the delegates to the constitutional convention about weather they should go to the trouble of enumerating the human rights they had held up to the world with the Declaration of Independence, but the consensus had been that it was unnecessary.

The Declaration of Independence, the writings of many of the Founders and Framers, and no shortage of other documents made amply clear the Founders’ and the Framers’ sentiments that human rights were solely the province of humans, and that governments don’t grant rights but, rather, that in a constitutionally limited democratic republic We, The People – the holders of the rights – grant to our governments what ever privileges our government may need to function (while keeping the rights for ourselves).

This is the fundamental difference between kingdoms, theocracies, feudal states, and democratic republic. In the former three, people must beg for their rights at the pleasure of the rulers. In the latter, the republic derives its legitimacy from the people, the sole holders of rights.

Although the purpose of the Constitution wasn’t to grant rights to people, as kings and popes and feudal lords had done in the past, Jefferson felt it was a necessary to be absolutely unambiguous about the solid reality that humans are the sole holders of rights, and that in no way was the Constitution or the new government of the United States to ever be allowed to infringe on those rights.

A letter written by Jefferson to Madison in 1787 said “To say, as Mr. Wilson does that a bill of rights was not necessary, might do for the audience to which it was addressed but it wasn’t enough. Human rights may be well know to those writing the constitution, they may all agree that governments may not infringe on human rights but, nonetheless, we must not trust that simply inferring this truth is enough for future generations who have not so carefully read history or who may foolishly elect leaders inclined toward tyranny. Let me add that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.”

There’s good reason to believe – as the majority of the Supreme Court did in the Texas sodomy case and at least a dozen others – that the Founders and Framers did write a right to privacy into the Constitution. However, living in the 18th century, they never would have actually used the word privacy out loud or in writing. A search, for example, of all 16,000 of Thomas Jefferson’s letters and writings produces not a single use of the word “privacy.” Nor does Adams use the word in his writings.

The reason is simple: “privacy” in 1776 was a code word for toilet functions. A person would say, “I need a moment of privacy” as a way of excusing themselves to go use the “privy” or outhouse. The chamber pots around the house were referred to as “the privates,” a phrase also used to describe genitals.

It wasn’t until 1898 that Thomas Crapper began marketing the flush toilet and discussion of toilet functions became relatively acceptable. Prior to then, saying somebody had a “right to privacy” would have meant “a right to excrete.” This was, of course, a right that was taken for granted and thus the Framers felt no need to specify it in the Constitution.

Instead, the word of the day was “security,” and in many ways it meant what we today mean when we say “privacy.” Consider, for example, the Fourth Amendment: “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

Similarly, “liberty” was also understood in one of its dimensions, to mean something close to what today we’d call “privacy.” The Fifth Amendment talks about how “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property” and the Fourteenth Amendment adds that “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property” And of course, the Declaration of Independence itself proclaims that all “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Nobody, not the Supreme Court Justices, the President, the Congress or anybody else has the right to invade the privacy of the citizens of this country.

Our leaders ignorant of or ignoring the history of this nation’s founding make a parody of liberty and with the so called “Patriot Act,” flaunt their challenges even to those rights explicitly defined in the Constitution.

Four of the nine Supreme Court justices on the Supreme Court believe that government has the right to invade the privacy rights of Americans. If any of the present Justices of the Supreme Court retire President Bush will appoint another neo-conservative judge. With the appointment of another neo-conservative judge the neo-conservative judges will be in the majority and the American people stand to loose more of their rights. Once our rights are lost it is very hard to get them back.

Parts of this article are excerpted from an article written by Thom Hartmann entitled Dear Clarence Thomas: It Happened on July 4, 1776. The entire artical can be read here
Dear Clarence Thomas

Thom Hartmann (thom at is the author of over a dozen books, including "Unequal Protection" and "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," and a nationally syndicated daily talk show host. This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.

::: posted by Alan at 5:08 PM

Wednesday, July 02, 2003 :::

A Reply from Rep Bart Stupak to My Recent Letter about the Flag Desecration Amendment and My Response to Him

I recently wrote my Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich) concerning an amendment to the constitution allowing congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. My original letter was posted on this web site on June 11.

I would first like to say I am not a flag burner, never was never will be nor have I ever desecrated the American flag in any way nor do I plan to.

Here is Mr. Stupak’s response to that letter.

Thank you for contacting me regarding desecration of the American flag. I appreciated hearing from you.

On June 3rd. the House of Representatives passed H.J.Res 4 proposing an amendment to the Constitution authorizing Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States. I co-sponsored and voted for this resolution which passed by a vote of 300-125. Similar legislation passed the House during the last Congress, but this legislation did not pass the Senate prior to Congress’ adjournment.

I support this movement to protect our nation’s flag from desecration. The flag is an inspiring symbol that unites Americans. It crosses religious, social, economic, cultural, racial, and geographic barriers. It is a reflection of the American way of life in all forms. For these reasons, I believe the flag deserves special consideration.

I believe it is possible to protect our flag from physical desecration without violating our hallowed First Amendment rights. We have laws that regulate certain kinds of speech, including libel, slander, and obscenity. We also have laws against damaging the Washington Monument, burning draft cards, and defacing U.S. currency. We should do at least as much, if not more, for our flag.

If this proposed constitutional amendment is also adopted by two-thirds majority in the Senate this session, this amendment would then be submitted to the states for ratification. The measure would then have to be ratified by three-fourths (38) of the states legislatures within seven years after passage by Congress.

My reply to Mr. Stupak.

Representative Bart Stupak

In your reply to my recent letter about an amendment to the Constitution to allow Congress to prohibit flag desecration your defense for co-sponsoring and voting for the resolution is un-rational.

First you say we have laws regulating certain kinds of speech, including libel, slander, and obscenity. Libel and slander are falsehoods written or uttered by someone that unjustly damages another’s reputation. There is nothing unconstitutional about these laws. Common sense says you don’t tell lies about other people that cause harm to those people.

As far as obscenity laws go every state has laws against foul language, but the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have generally agreed that the words have to be used in a violent or sexually obscene context, says John Burkoff, associate dean and law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Uttering something vulgar or profane is not, in itself, grounds for arrest. In a case out of Michigan, (certainly you must remember this one Mr. Stupak) Timothy Boomer, a canoeist who let loose a stream of curses after falling out of a canoe, was found guilty of violating a law against cursing in front of women and children. He was fined $75 and ordered to perform four days of community service. In April, 2002 though, an appeals court struck down the 105-year-old law and threw out the conviction. That’s one of the prices one pays for living in a free society, you sometimes hear things that you don’t agree with.

You say we have laws against damaging the Washington Monument. Of course we do, a person is not and should not be allowed to damage other peoples property or public property. This would amount to vandalism which is and should be a crime, thus this law is not unconstitutional.

About burning draft cards, the constitutional power of Congress to raise and support armies and to make all laws necessary and proper to that end is broad and sweeping. The power of Congress to classify and conscript manpower for military service is "beyond question." Pursuant to this power, Congress may establish a system of registration for individuals liable for training and service, and may require such individuals within reason to cooperate in the registration system. The issuance of certificates indicating the registration and eligibility classification of individuals is a legitimate and substantial administrative aid in the functioning of this system. The reason for the law against draft card burning is it serves purposes in addition to initial notification. Many of these purposes would be defeated by the certificates' destruction or mutilation. Among these are:
1. The registration certificate serves as proof that the individual described thereon has registered for the draft.... Additionally, in a time of national crisis, reasonable availability to each registrant of the two small cards (registration and classification certificates) assures a rapid and uncomplicated means for determining his fitness for immediate induction, no matter how distant in our mobile society he may be from his local board.
2. The information supplied on the certificates facilitates communication between registrants and local boards, simplifying the system and benefiting all concerned.
Thus the draft card burning law is not unconstitutional because there is a valid reason to require the registrant to have the card available.

You still don't get it do you? The difference between the above laws and the flag desecration resolution is that the flag desecration resolution amends the constitution where as the other laws you mentioned do not. Desecration of the flag does no real harm to anyone nor is it detrimental to the well being of the nation. In fact flag burning doesn’t even happen very often. Why did you co-sponsor this resolution? Is it related to a recent flag burning or are you just trying to look patriotic? This is an unneeded change to the constitution. Our rights are already being violated under the Patriot Act. We don't need people like you trying to take away even more of our rights. Amending the constitution for something as trivial as flag burning sets a bad precedent. LEAVE OUR CONSTITUTION ALONE. There are a lot more important issues congress should be worried about instead of wasting time trying to amend the constitution just because it will make some people feel good.

::: posted by Alan at 12:32 AM

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