Monday, January 19th, President Bush’s last day in office. Not that I am advocating violence
Eight Big Lies About Katrina. Or: How ShillCorpse became Lying Stiffs.
What you hear whispered in the inner sanctum SHOUT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOP.
Here come the rain again
Falling from the sky like a tragedy
Aiming to despise like a remedy
It is raining with shoes.
The biblical epic called Ruth is a story about a set of tragic circumstances like a children's TV show the kind of stuff Michael Landon produced after Bonanza finished.
The story starts near the end. All the tragedies are the usual day to day things for people living in the Sahel, arid regions with strict rain seasons -much like Iraq or Arizona.
So that bit is snipped. There are three widows left in the family by the time the bible takes up the story. Which in those pre social service days was a dark fate for them. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time to get help from their families. So rather than demand here daughters in law stay with her, she asks them to leave and see if they can get help from their original families.
One does leave, but the other stays with the mother of her husband, realising that she is too old to cope with the journey to her family alone and in a foreign land.
Tradition in those days was that the next of kin had to take the desperate in and look after them. Further more, for fear she would land in a difficult marriage or worse arrangement outside the family, the next of kin had to offer marriage or a marriage like arrangement -even making the woman pregnant and giving her half the inheritance for the offspring.
So they get home and are well received though still poor. The nation has just come out of a major recession but the next of kin has managed to eat and recovered well. So he is inline to marry the younger of the two women.
The older one is past the age she can conceive and her family name will die out with her if the younger widow marries elsewhere. But the young widow agrees to the Brother in law Marriage arrangement.
Unfortunately, the next of kn isn't acceptable for them. Someone nicer is too old and not such a close relative. The story goes that he takes a shine to her and she offers herself to him. But he has to deal with the next of kin situation.
So he rubs it in that he will lose a portion of his inheritance and have to marry someone who isn't Israeli. So the next of kin refuses to marry her.
And here is the punchline.
The punishment for this lapse is that he must have a shoe thrown at him and be spat on.
It's nothing to do with shoe size George, you dumb effect. You missed the point he was making. It was for the widows and orphans, you turd brain.
It was for the widows and orphans and you still don't get it, do you? You stupid, rich turd.
Originally posted by Pew Research Centre Project:
When Barack Obama is sworn in as America's new president in January, he will inherit two wars in distant lands, one highly unpopular and the other going badly, along with a worldwide financial crisis that is being measured against the Great Depression. He will confront the prospect of destructive global climate change and the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue states.
The president-elect has indicated that he will focus on international co-operation in addressing global problems but he will have to navigate a world that has grown highly critical of the United States.
The U.S. image abroad is suffering almost everywhere. Particularly in the most economically developed countries, people blame America for the financial crisis.
I don't think that is exactly right any more. As of the Last US Presidential election, I think the sewage is coming down in shed loads squarely where it belongs.
We don't blame Germany for Hitler and we feel sorry for the Russians who have been the subject of so much political abuse since the Czars and beyond. So it is with the USA. It is the leadership that was at fault and we all see clearly how the ule of US law was subverted by the keepers of the Bush machine.
Originally posted by 3 News Co. New Zealand:
The incoming Obama administration should launch a criminal investigation of Bush administration officials to see whether they broke the law in the name of national security, a House Democratic report said Tuesday. President-elect Barack Obama has been more cautious on the issue and has not endorsed such a recommendation.
Along with the criminal probe, the report called for a September 11-style commission with subpoena power, to gather facts and make recommendations on preventing misuse of power, according to the report by the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee.
The report covers Bush administration policies that Democrats have protested for some time. Among them: interrogation of foreign detainees, warrant-less wiretaps, retribution against critics, manipulation of intelligence and political dismissals of US attorneys.
Detainee Tortured, Says U.S. Official
Trial Overseer Cites 'Abusive' Methods Against 9/11 Suspect
By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The U.S. military tortured a Saudi national interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition."
"We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani," said Susan J. Crawford (a lifelong Republican) convening authority of military commissions. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution.
Crawford the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantanamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured, said the combination of the interrogation techniques, their duration and the impact on Qahtani's health led to her conclusion.
"This was not any one particular act; this was just(???) a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his health. It was abusive and uncalled for. And clearly coercive. Military prosecutors said they would refile charges based on subsequent interrogations that did not employ harsh techniques. But Crawford, said in the interview that she would not allow the prosecution to go forward.
"His interrogation took place over 50 days, for 160 days his only contact was with the interrogators. Forty-eight of 54 consecutive days of 18-to-20-hour interrogations. Standing naked in front of a female agent. Subject to strip searches. And insults to his mother and sister."
"He was threatened with a military working dog, forced to wear a woman's bra and had a thong placed on his head during the course of his interrogation and was told that his mother and sister were whores. With a leash tied to his chains, he was led around the room and forced to perform a series of dog tricks,".
The interrogation was so intense that Qahtani had to be hospitalized twice at Guantanamo with bradycardia, a condition in which the heart rate falls below 60 -Qahtani's heart rate dropped to 35 beats per minute.
President Bush and Vice President Cheney have said that interrogations never involved torture. "The United States does not torture. It's against our laws, and it's against our values," Bush asserted on Sept. 6, 2006, when 14 high-value detainees were transferred to Guantanamo from secret CIA prisons.
"The Department has always taken allegations of abuse seriously," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said in an e-mail. "We have conducted more than a dozen investigations and reviews of our detention operations. They concluded the interrogation methods used at GTMO, including the special techniques used on Qahtani in 2002, were lawful. Some of the aggressive questioning techniques used on Al Qahtani, although permissible at the time, are no longer allowed in the updated Army field manual."
The Supreme Court ruled in the 2006 Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case that the original military commission system for Guantanamo Bay violated the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions.
Crawford said coerced testimony should not be allowed. "You don't allow it in a regular court".
Under the act, Crawford is a neutral official overseeing charges, trials and sentencing, with ultimate decision-making power over all cases coming before the military commissions but did not state publicly that the harsh interrogations were the reason. "It did shock me, I was upset. I was embarrassed by it.
If we tolerate this and allow it, then how can we object when our servicemen and women, or others in foreign service, are captured and subjected to the same techniques? How can we complain? Where is our moral authority to complain? Well, we may have lost it."
The harsh techniques used against Qahtani were approved by Donald H. Rumsfeld. "A lot of this happened on his watch," she said.
Last month, a Senate Armed Services Committee report concluded that "Rumsfeld's authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there."
In June 2005, Time published excerpts of the extreme abuse. The report of a military investigation released the same year concluded that Qahtani's interrogations were "degrading and abusive."
Five detainees accused of participating in the Sept. 11 plot were "I assume torture," she said, noting that CIA Director Michael V. Hayden has said publicly that Mohammed was one of three detainees waterboarded by the CIA.
"There is no doubt he was tortured," Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, Qahtani's civilian attorney, said this week. "He has loss of concentration and memory loss, and he suffers from paranoia." She said Qahtani "adamantly denies he planned to join the 9/11 attack. He has no connections to extremists."
"The prosecution was unprepared" to bring cases to trial. Even after four years working possible cases, "they were lacking in experience and judgment and leadership," she said. "A prosecutor has an ethical obligation to review all the evidence before making a charging decision. And they didn't have access to all the evidence, including medical records, interrogation logs, and they were making charging decisions without looking at everything."
She noted that prosecutors are required to determine whether any evidence possessed by the government could be exculpatory; if it is, they must turn it over to defense lawyers. It took more than a year, she said — and the intervention of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England — to ensure they had access to all the information, much of it classified.
Crawford said detainee interrogation practices are a blot on the reputation of the United States and its military judicial system.
The system she oversees probably can't function now, she said. "Certainly in the public's mind, or politically speaking, and certainly in the international community".
She said Bush "hurt his own effort. I think someone should acknowledge that mistakes were made and that they hurt the effort and take responsibility for it."
Originally posted by Time Magazine:
An ordinary politician tells swing voters what they want to hear; Bush invited them to vote for him because he refused to. Ordinary politicians need to be liked; Bush finds the hostility of his critics reassuring. Challengers run as outsiders, promising change; it's an extraordinary politician who tries this while holding the title Leader of the Free World. Ordinary Presidents have made mistakes and then sought to redeem themselves by admitting them; when Bush was told by some fellow Republicans that his fate depended on confessing his errors, he blew them off.
Everyone else is coming out of the oodwork. I wonder why they don't. Oh, wait. This is a back number…
At least they didn't dignify the chimp with the term ""Man" of the year." in their title. Whilst I am on the subject of people coming out of the woodwork. (What does that phrase mean anyway?) after 8 long years of silence, death and destruction a politician is finally able to speak up:
Originally posted by Michael Moore:
January 15th, 2009 11:35 am
Attorney general nominee: Waterboarding is torture
By Larry Margasak / Associated Press
WASHINGTON – Attorney General-nominee Eric Holder Jr. declared Thursday that waterboarding is torture, forcefully breaking from years in which the Justice Department deftly avoided the sensitive question about U.S. interrogation methods.
In past hearings, Attorney General Michael Mukasey and his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, frustrated senators by repeatedly sidestepping questions about waterboarding, a harsh interrogation tactic that simulates drowning.
The controversial tactic was the first topic discussed at Holder's confirmation hearing, and he made an unambiguous statement about its nature: "Waterboarding is torture."
All good men and true. Well, Natalie Maines was and her companions too. Madonna was nearly with them, someone else too but I forget who and care less. I wouldn't give either a light.
Now all the heroes are marching stolidly to the rescue of American Liberty. Yes, right, fyjq. Even the French, whose political parties are fascists and communists, are straighter than that.
Originally posted by firstname.lastname@example.org:
Bush appointee saw Justice lawyers as 'commies,' 'crazy libs,'
Bradley Schlozman, who supervised civil rights and voting rights lawyers, broke the law by considering political affiliations in deciding who can serve, an inspector general's report says.
He was referring to the career lawyers in the Justice Department's civil rights and voting rights divisions. From 2003 to 2006, Schlozman was a Bush appointee who supervised them. Along with several others, he came to symbolize the midlevel political appointees of the Justice Department.
"My tentative plans are to gerrymander all of those crazy libs right out of the section," he said in an e-mail in 2003. "I too get to work with mold spores, but here in Civil Rights, we call them Voting Section attorneys," he confided to another friend.
He hoped to get rid of the "Democrats" and "liberals" and replace them with "real Americans" and "right-thinking Americans."
He appears to have succeeded …63 of 65 lawyers hired under Schlozman had Republican or conservative credentials, the report said.
Slapping down "a bunch of . . . attorneys really did get the blood pumping and was even enjoyable once in a while," Schlozman wrote three years later when he left to become the U.S. attorney in Kansas City, Mo.
The inspector general concluded Schlozman violated the civil services laws while at the Justice Department. While the president's appointees are entitled to run the department and set policy, they are prohibited from considering "political affiliations" in deciding on who serves in career positions in the federal government.
"We found that Schlozman inappropriately considered political and ideological affiliations in hiring career attorneys," said the report issued jointly by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine and H. Marshall Jarrett, who heads the Office of Professional Responsibility. The report cited the abusive language as evidence of the harsh political tone.
U.S. attorney's office in Washington announced it will not seek to prosecute Schlozman for giving false testimony to Congress. Patricia Riley, a spokeswoman for that office, said acting U.S. Atty. Jeffrey A. Taylor stepped aside, and six career prosecutors looked into the case against Schlozman.
Joseph D. Rich, the former chief of the voting rights section, said the report "confirms the disdain and vitriol they had for career civil rights attorneys. He called us 'mold spores.' That kind of epitomizes his view. He was probably the most miserable person I ever worked for," said Rich, who retired in 2007 after a 37-year career at the Justice Department.
By David G. Savage January 14, 2009.
One law for the rich that they may live in luxury and for the poor that they are free to starve in the street?
U.S. attorney's office in Washington announced it will not seek to prosecute Schlozman for giving false testimony to Congress.
Ah well this law hasn't been broken at least:
He was probably the most miserable person I ever worked for,"
Originally posted by CBS:
Bush's Final Approval Rating: 22 Percent.
President Bush will leave office as one of the most unpopular departing presidents in history, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll. His final rating is the lowest for an outgoing president since Gallup began asking about presidential approval more than 70 years ago.
Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both ended their terms with 68 percent approval ratings, according to CBS News polling. Only 6 percent of Democrats approve of the job he has done as president, while 57 percent of Republicans approve. Eighteen percent of independents approve.
Mr. Bush also has the distinction of having the highest approval rating for a president. He enjoyed a high approval rating of 90 percent — the highest of any president following the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. George H.W. Bush received an 88 percent approval rating in 1991 amid the success of the first Gulf War.
According to one famous statement (linked to on that CBS page) we were either with him or with the terrorists. The Dixie chicks and me were in the same enemy camp then? Broken politics leads to war. What a shmuck!
The thing is he will have made Obama look so good another bunch of easily lead people will follow him as though he is a messiah. He isn't. When his lips move a liar speaks, just like the rest of them.
Originally posted by Glenn Thrush:
January 18, 2009
Pelosi vows Bush probe, open to prosecutions
In a Sunday Fox interview that's sure to get the attention of box-packers at 1600, Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated she's open to backing prosecutions that arise from Congressional hearings into a range of controversial Bush White House actions.
"I think you look at each item and see what is a violation of the law and do we even have a right to ignore it," the California Democrat told Chris Wallace.
Last week House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) called for criminal investigations of Bush administration Iraq and anti-terror policies.
Pelosi was careful to skate carefully between Conyers and Barack Obama, who hasn't foreclosed the possibility of prosecutions while saying he was more eager to look forward than backwards.
But she was far less restrained when asked about the White House role in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, vowing to push forward on hearings that could lead to prosecutions.
"That's not up to us to say that doesn't matter anymore… We cannot let the politicizing of, for example, the Justice Department to go unreviewed," she added. "I want to see the truth come forth."
I wonder why she left it till now to start talking like a citizen? What exactly is she supposed to do in her job regarding crimes of state? Isn't it her job to say whoah?
So what kept her waiting?