Saturday, April 10, 2004

Two different stories
From CNN:
Amid an uprising in Iraq, President Bush declared Saturday that insurgents are "a small faction" trying to derail democracy in a battle he vowed the U.S. military and its allies will win.

And from the NYT:
There is no way to estimate the size of the mushrooming insurgent force, but demonstrations in several cities by armed and angry people indicate that it probably runs in the tens of thousands. Many people said they did not consider themselves full-time freedom fighters or mujahedeen; they have jobs in vegetable shops, offices, garages and schools.

Of course we're winning
OK, so maybe ten year olds are blowing up our tanks. But would he be able to learn how to use an RPG launcher and destroy extremely expensive U.S. military vehicle without the freedom we've bestowed upon his sorry ass?

First they release the memo
Then they give you their talking points.

Q: Did the PDB item include any warning of the 9-11 attack?

No. The only recent information concerning possible current activities in the PDB related to two incidents. There is no information that either incident was related to the 9-11 attacks. The first incident involved suspected "recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." This information was based on a report that two Yemeni men had been seen taking photographs of buildings at Federal Plaza in New York. The FBI later interviewed the men and determined that their conduct was consistent with tourist activity and the FBI's investigation identified no link to terrorism. The second incident involved a call made on May 15, 2001 by an unidentified individual to the U.S. Embassy in the UAE "saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives." The caller did not say where or when the attacks might occur. o On May 17, 2001, the NSC's counterterrorism staff convened the Counterterrorism Security Group, whose members include State, DoD, JCS, DoJ, FBI, and CIA, and reviewed the information provided by the caller. o The information was also shared with Customs, INS, and FAA. o The PDB article advised the President that CIA and FBI were investigating the information. o We had no information, either before or after 9/11, that connects the caller's information with the 9/11 attacks.

That's quite the statement. I haven't seen the full released version, but while I doubt that it's comprehensive, surely there can be something that would be filed under "warning" of an attack.

The memo is on the loose
CNN has the details. The most important part:

Portions of the report dealing with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network and dated August 6, 2001, have been redacted for national security reasons.

U.S. backs off bin Laden predictions
Interesting. It seems that the odd assertions about catcing OBL within the year are being held back:

U.S. troops are committed to catching Osama bin Laden, but today ditched earlier predictions that it will be this year, even as the military prepared to engage its largest force to date along the Pakistani border where the Al Qaeda chief could be hiding.
Bringing in top fugitives is still a top priority of the U.S. troops that are increasing counterinsurgency missions in Afghanistan, a military spokesman said.
Those remarks, and talk of a spring offensive in Afghanistan by Washington defence officials, sparked wide speculation that bin Laden had been located

In times of crisis...
What was Bush doing yesterday? Fishing.

Ailes sets NRO straight
Cliff May needs to get his facts straight.

More on the Aug. 6 memo
A May 2002 Washington Post article has surfaced, bringing a bit more of the situation to light.

The WaPo asks...
Where's George?

Commission says Clinton ignored warnings also
I must say they are managing to spin this well. Clinton DID have Clarke make the comprehensive plan to strike al Qaeda, but does anyone really find it likely that the American public would have accepted a war with the Taliban and a worldwide strike at al Qaeda pre-9/11? Because if they do, they are quite delusional. Americans were not always eager to strike at terror, which many viewed as distant and never made a campaign issue out of. How Clinton could have done anything so expansive as the war on terror without upsetting the public (and of course, the previously isolationist Republicans) is beyond me.

The "historical" memo that wasn't.

New gay marriage poll
Most Americans oppose same-sex marriage and many believe homosexuality is "against God's will," but otherwise consider themselves tolerant of gays, according to a Los Angeles Times poll.

"Otherwise tolerant of gays"? They mean, aside from their desire to keep their rights less than straights?

Friday, April 09, 2004

Someone in government is questioning private contractors' roles in Iraq.

An "odd case"
The peeping tom who paid off his victim...

Meanwhile, on the peninsula
Wow, it's unfortunate that someone didn't point out that perhaps North Korea is a threat that needs to be dealt with, isn't it?

I don't like al-jazeera, either, but...
Kicking them out of Falluja seems a bit strong. Freedom of press? No?

9-year old justice
Is handcuffing someone under ten really necessary?

Is it just me....
Or is Nader doing BETTER in polls than he was in 2000.

Situation in Iraq "worst yet"
Considering major combat ended nearly a year ago, this is probably a bad sign.

Powell says Iraq to have limited sovereignty
So basically, a puppet state.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Their faces

Via corrente via American Leftist.

Clinton testifies behind closed doors
And he did it all alone!

How unexpected
Perhaps I was the only one who realized beforehand that perhaps rebuilding a country while also waging war on it was a bad idea.

How newsworthy
A Catholic flip-flopper! They have their case.

Alternet hacks up Condi
Game, set and match.

Freedom of Speech

Stretched thin
Another headache, this time in Afghanistan.

Clarke: Condi got it right
Via corrente, Clarke's slam of the WH today.

Mmm....organized religion
Way to appeal to the kids, guys.

You know you're in bad shape when...
You're a Republican and a FOX News poll has you behind in the presidential race.

Oh Condi
This is what we call digging yourself into a hole with your bullshit. Condi saying that the bin Laden memo was simply about "history" and not a warning was clearly a lie. For some reason, the WH didn't count on being asked to declassify it, even though they had never made this statement regarding the nature of the memo before. And now that they've said it regards history, they have no reason to keep it sealed. Oops.

Campaign finance
More evidence that it is in need of reform.

Listen to the 9/11 hearings
Free mp3's are up.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Arnold would like part-time legislature
No, this is not a joke.

I have a sudden urge to get off the Internet...

Kerry would cap federal spending
This may be his smartest move of the campaign thus far. Thanks to the Bushies, we're slowly turning the Republicans into a party of big spending. Red-ink just flows.

$2K a plate and no forks
Checking up on the president's fundraising dinners:

It was a mouthwatering menu. Not that you'd expect less for $2,000 a plate.

Seered beef tenderloins with golden tomatoes on an herb-encrusted baguette. Grilled garlic chicken with smoked gouda on a honey wheat wrap. Fruits and gourmet olives and crudite. A gourmet luncheon with only one thing missing: something to eat it with.

The explanation was at the bottom of the menus distributed at President Bush's $1.5 million Charlotte fund-raiser Monday.

"At the request of the White House, silverware will not accompany the table settings," it said in discreetly fine print.

No silver. No plastic.

The lack of utensils might have been why many plates went virtually untouched.

The reason: So the tinkle of silver wouldn't disrupt the president's speech.

Another 5 soldiers dead in Falluja.

Enter the Crusade
Bombing mosques may be a good strategy when a lot of insurgents are inside, but it probably won't help keep the locals happy...

If you thought his beer sucked...
Wait until you see his Senate campaign!

You'd think a war wasn't going on...
Some news outlets were apparently short on news despite the battle in Iraq - from mentioning that Rupert Murdoch is backing Bush (!) to actually saying that Colin Powell "rarely" makes political statements. Hmmm....I seem to recall a somewhat political speech to the U.N. a little while ago....

Today's final tally
12 Marines, 66 Iraqis.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Define "pander"
There we go.

Kerry attacks Bush for flip-flops
I must admit, Kerry's team is doing surprisingly well on the offensive.

Casualties in Falluja
130 US dead? It's possible.

UPDATE: Thankfully, I think that this is a mistake. CNN says 12 are dead. So we can say with confidence that between 12 and 130 are dead.

I think I want to punch someone.

Things have fallen apart
We've lost control of Najaf, a city of a quarter million people.

We can't say that we're losing the war or anything ridiculous. In fact, I am sure that we will have the Najaf situation under control in a matter of time. However, you can't help but think that 10 months after major combat ended, a situation like this isn't exactly a good omen.

Bush down in California
38% approval.

ACLU to challenge no-fly list
I agree with this. At the very, very least, people on the list should be able to defend themselves by being allowed to know what they have done to deserve the accusation of being dangerous.

Boom to bust
Perhaps it can now be taken as fact that corporate corruption leads to bad economic news.

What's this?
While the Pentagon says that we're staying longer, Bremer seems to disagree. I can't imagine that he'd be saying that for political purposes...

Nader not on ballot in Oregon
Hopefully this is foreshadowing things to come.

It was inevitable
Looks like we're staying for longer than expected.

April Condeferate Heritage month in Miss.
Hmmm. You know, if they claim that their interest in the Confederacy is all heritage and not about hate or, I don't know, destroying the American government, why do they wave the Confederate battle flag instead of the actual flag of the Confederacy? They do it so much in fact, that most people don't know what the actual flag looks like:

In the last 24 hours
8 soldiers have died.

Cheney plan would've hiked gas taxes in 86
Kerry needs to throw this into a campaign ad.

Most Shia Iraqis oppose attacks on coalition
From February, but it's interesting how thoroughly a minority of radical thinkers can influence the direction of a country that, for the most part, opposes its aims. Almost like, I don't know, the Christian right.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Idiots deface Veterans memorial
These are the people that help us lose credibility.

Oh dear
Someone has apparently been trying to burn down the Clintons' childhood homes. They got one of Bill's, and - get this - missed Hillary's by one house.

Nov 2003:

WASHINGTON - Rejecting calls for more U.S. troops in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld unveiled a rotation plan Thursday that would lower the number there to 105,000 from 130,000 by May.

And now:

# The White House dismissed a suggestion by a key Republican senator Sunday that it may be time to extend the June 30 deadline for restoring Iraq's sovereignty until the Iraqis are more prepared. Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, made the suggestion on ABC's "This Week," saying he was "really haunted by the June 30 problem" given persistent violence in Iraq.

Some Arabs loving The Passion
OK, so maybe some thought it was anti-Semitic:

Hanan Nsour, a veiled, 21-year-old Muslim in Jordan, came out of "The Passion of the Christ" in tears and pronounced her verdict: Mel Gibson's crucifixion epic "unmasked the Jews' lies and I hope that everybody, everywhere, turns against the Jews."

The dollar has risen against the Euro.

WH sticking to Iraq timetable
Phew. I thought things might have been going poorly for a second there.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

I thought it seemed sudden
Newsweek is about to break the story on why Rice decided to testify. Seems she had to be persuaded.

461 dead since "Mission Accomplished"
Miserable failure. And in case you're counting, we have three months or so until our alleged pull-out.

The must read of the day
The NYT today has a fantastic article on the new image of Jesus: a move away from the peaceful, Victorian Jesus and towards one focused on justice rather than mercy. David Kirkpatrick goes into what this means and how it is molding the American right.

Are we running out of oil?
Jeez, if only some group of people could have foreseen this.

7 more dead. That's 10 for today.

9/11 report to surprise the public
Or so they say. I don't think it will be too schocking after the White House edits it.

Bush/Blair had Iraq pact shortly after 9/11
Even more evidence that Bush looked at 9/11 as less of a reason and more of an excuse.

You've got to be kidding
In order to protect us from ourselves, the White House will be reviewing the 9/11 commission's report line by line.

Sexually explicit prison mail banned
Is this really necessary?

Just because you have one doesn't mean you aren't getting screwed over.

This is like Hitler calling you evil.