Thursday, August 04, 2005

Democracy Now: Joe Wilson, Murray Waas, Destiny Lopez (and don't miss Wilson on Woody, bottom of the entry, Tricia's pick for "Quote of the Day")

14 Marines Killed in Deadliest Roadside Bombing Of War
In Iraq, Pentagon officials have concluded it was a massive bomb that killed 14 Marines on Wednesday in the western city of Haditha. The Marines were driving in a 25-ton lightly-armored amphibious troop carrier that was not designed for coming under such attacks. It was the deadliest roadside bombing since the war began. In the past two weeks, at least 31 U.S. soldiers and Marines have died in roadside bombings. According to the Knight Ridder news agency, bombs killed more coalition troops in July than in any previous month of the war. U.S. officials admitted on Wednesday that troops are now being targeted with more powerful and more effective bombs.The 14 Marines were all members of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, based in Brook Park, Ohio. Six more Marines from that Batallion died on Monday.
Speaker of House Hastert Allegedly Bribed
A new story in Vanity Fair is alleging that Turkish-Americans may have attempted to bribe a group of U.S. lawmakers including Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. The allegation appears in an extended piece in the magazine about FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. According to the magazine, Edmonds was helping the FBI translate tapes surrounding an investigation of Turkish nationals. She was fired from her job after she complained about corruption at the agency. Edmonds is under a federal gag order not to publicly discuss what she heard on the wiretaps. But sources told the magazine that Edmonds has testified that she heard wiretaps of individuals boasting that they had covert relationships with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and that Turkish interests had given tens of thousands of dollars in small donations to Hastert. The donations were reportedly given around the time that the House was considering passing a resolution condemning the Turkish genocide of Armenians. Hastert originally backed the resolution but then withdrew it minutes before it was scheduled to go up for a House vote. Hastert’s office has denied receiving any such payments and Vanity Fair reports that there is no evidence that any payments were made. Edmonds is suing the government over his dismissal but the Bush administration is attempting to have the lawsuit quashed claiming it would reveal state secrets
The two items above are from Democracy Now!'s Headlines today and were selected by Jill and SamDemocracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says):
Headlines for August 4, 2005

- U.S. Moves Toward Making New Landmines
- UK Helped Israel Build Nuclear Weapons Program
- 14 Marines Killed in Deadliest Roadside Bombing Of War
- President Bush: No Timetable For Troops to Leave Iraq
- Saddam Hussein’s Lawyers Threaten to Boycott Proceedings
- Two Ex-Detainees Report Being Held in Secret U.S. Jails
- Speaker of House Hastert Allegedly Bribed
- NYCLU To Sue Over Subway Searches
Exclusive: New Information May Reveal Key Details on Judith Miller's Role in the Rove/CIA Scandal

In a rare interview, veteran investigative journalist Murray Waas reveals new information on the federal investigation into the leaking of the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame and the role of jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller. We also speak with Plame's husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson about the latest developments in the case. [includes rush transcript - partial]
Presidential Hopefuls Veto Emergency Contraception Despite FDA Support

Three governors eyeing the 2008 presidential race are appealing to the Christian Right by vetoing state legislation legalizing over-the-counter sale of the Morning-After pill. We host a debate between NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the Family Research Council.
At The Daily Howler today, Bob Somerby's addressing a number of issues (Hillary, steroids in sports -- those purchasing Christmas gifts for Somerby should put Dave Zirin's book on their shopping lists both for enjoyment and informing) but we'll focus on Brit Hume and Bully Boy:
GLOBAL WARRING: Apparently, George Bush didn't want to go in the books as a "global struggle against violent extremism president." Yesterday, he dialed the lingo back to "war on terror." Richard Stevenson reports the change in the Times. But then, the change in framing was so pronounced that even Brit Hume reported it:
HUME (8/3/05):Welcome to Washington. I'm Brit Hume. President Bush today put an end to an apparent effort within his administration to recast his war on terror as something else, although there have been a few public glimpses of the linguistic debate. Fox News has learned more about what went on behind the scenes. Fox News chief White House correspondent Carl Cameron has the story.
The global struggle against violent extremism? It's hard to argue "intelligent design" while your word-shop is churning out clunkers like that one. As with an earlier verbal monstrosity--"weapons of mass destruction-related program activities"--the president knew what he had to do. He took a red pencil and killed it.
Rachel e-mails to note Virginia Rodino's "Why Bono and Geldof Got It Wrong" (CounterPunch):

The logic of the G8's debt relief schemes is not an act of philanthropy, but a necessary maneuver in order to maintain the debt repayments to the private banks. First, only the poorest and most heavily indebted countries would be allowed to qualify; secondly, all participants would have to adopt structural adjustment programs; and lastly, on no account would other debtors be offered any debt relief, and those that were could never have their debts written off. The retention of a large and costly debt after such "relief" is entirely legitimate within this scheme, as the stated aim is to reduce the debt of the world's poorest states to "sustainable levels." Calculations after structural adjustment programs are imposed do not take into account the level of poverty in a country, only its ability to pay. Thus, on average, debt repayment of the poorest countries will only be cut by a third. Practically speaking, this means that after debt reduction, Mozambique, which had been paying about $120 billion a year in interest on the principal, will continue to spend $70 billion a year. Tanzania's debt reduction will only be about 10%. In Cameroon and Zambia, where one in five children do not live to the age of five and whose parents earn less than 60 cents a day, will be left with a debt of $5 billion.

Moreover, the debt relief pledged is only just that: pledged. The people of Southeast Asia who were devastated by tsunami destruction earlier this year received only 10% of the money the wealthy governments of the world pledged, governments which were shamed into pledging a respectable amount after their citizens' gave more generously than the governments themselves.

It is for these reasons, for the G8's insistence that profits come before people's lives, that protesters swarmed the streets of Edinburgh, and then met at the gates of the posh hotel at an exclusive secluded golf course in Gleneagles. Meanwhile, calling George Bush a "sincere and passionate man," resting his head lovingly on Tony Blair's shoulder while posing for the media cameras, Bob Geldolf joined Bono's tradition of delegitimizing the protesters and pandering to elite leaders, in particular two of the eight men who created the poverty in the first place.

Geldolf and Bono's actions not only dismissed the much more complicated and deeper critiques made by the protesters, but also implicitly condoned the hypocritical decisions of the corporate and government elites made during that week alone. The Scottish government punished members of Parliament who spoke out in favor of protecting protesters' rights to peacefully dissent in Gleneagles. For an entire month, these MPs were banned from government buildings and their salaries as well as the salaries of their staff were taken away. While Bono and Geldolf spoke from on high about saving the Africans, the rock stars took no action to pressure the UK government to let across the African protesters who were being denied entry into the country and denied participation in the events at which they had been invited to speak.

Troy e-mails to note something he found inspiring, demgurl's "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it any more" (Democratic Underground).  Here's an excerpt (demgurl is listing the activities she's participated in, the actions she's taken prior to the excerpt below):
Two days ago I reached the point of no return. I started writing to everyone I know. If they get tired of me they can delete my emails. I know I am right and I refuse to be silenced. I will get the word out at all costs.

I pledge all of my efforts to unseating * and everyone around him. I promise I will not stop until I have done everything in my power to get the truth out. I will speak, sing, email, call - I will use everything I have at my disposal.

I used to have a great country and these people have stolen it from me. I have let them do so by my silence. I am guilty. I will no longer participate in their stealing of this once fine country.

Who is with me? I am mad as hell and I am not going to be SILENT ANY MORE!!!!
Susan e-mails to note David Sirota's "How Beltway-itis Rots Reporters Brains & Distorts America's Political Debate" (The Huffington Post) where Sirota's addressing the reporting of Dan Balz (Washington Post reporter):

Balz today writes that Clinton's "support for the invasion of Iraq when many rank-and-file Democrats opposed it show her determination to overcome the party's historic weakness on national security."

The problem, of course, is that Balz never once backs up his claim that voting for the Iraq War actually shows a determination to "overcome the party's historic weakness on national security" or that it will help a Democrat "overcome the party's historic weakness on national security." He just reports it as a fact, because he and his arrogant Beltway cabal decided it was fact. He doesn't once consider the fact that maybe, just maybe, what voting for the Iraq War really showed was a weak-kneed cowering by Democrats in the face of President Bush, and a pathetic unwillingness to actually stand up in the face of what the intelligence data proved were clear lies about the Iraq War. Furthermore, in his DC dementia, Balz likely couldn't even start to fathom that if you look at polls, a vote for the Iraq War is more likely to HURT the national security credentials of people who voted for it than help them.

Just look at the polls - not only do most Americans want the United States out of Iraq, 52 percent of Americans now believe the Iraq War made our country less safe.

Let's repeat that and put it in boldface for kindergarten intellects like Balz:

52 percent of Americans believe the Iraq War made America less safe. That means, many Americans could have serious national security concerns about the people who voted for the Iraq War, a war people think made America less safe. At the absolute minimum, taking a look at polling for 5 seconds (as Balz was clearly too lazy to do) should preclude a reporter from making a statement that voting for the Iraq War either showed a principled attempt to embolden a candidate's national security credentials, or will actually embolden a candidate's national security credentials.

Remember, this has nothing to do with Sen. Clinton's vote, or Sen. Clinton in general - she'll have to answer for her vote in her own way (although for the record, here's a piece of advice for Sen. Clinton and any other Democrat running for president in 2008 who voted for th war: when you are asked whether you would vote for the Iraq War today knowing what you know now, get some guts, don't try to parse it and have it both ways like Democrats always do, and give an answer like the simple one courageous Democratic Congressman Joe Hoeffel gave last year: "Absolutely not. I voted for the war because I was convinced we needed to disarm Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction. I am now convinced we were lied to." Polls show that Americans are now convinced they were deliberately lied to - and when Democrats deny that and try to justify their vote, they look like a bunch of pandering idiots).

Molly e-mails to note red rabbit's "Ohio election fraud story making a comeback?" (Musings & Migraines) where rr's weighing in on Matt Taibbi's recent article regarding the 2004 Ohio vote:
Ok, this makes me crazy. Here is a journalist who, by his own admission, ignored the Ohio voter fraud story of 2004, dismissed those of us who were spitting blood angry as psycho liberal conspiracy theorists. The cognitive dissonance of wanting to slap him with one hand and welcome him back to the angry leftist fold with the other is making my head hurt. I suppose his piece may reach other scoffers like himself with the added weight of his late conversion. I will add it to my long list of proof that there really is a great rightwing conspiracy hellbent on taking over the world.
(Here's Taibbi's article.)
Tricia e-mails to not "Quote of the day" -- Joe Wilson re: Bob Woodward (from Democracy Now!):
The great irony  in all of this is that Woodward was hanging around the White House and dealing with the most senior officials of our government for several years while he was writing his two books, the second of which was Plan of Attack, and, you know, I think the question for Woodward when all is said and done is you were sniffing around there, you were talking to all these people on a daily basis, you were basically taking their dictation and you didn't sniff out a story?  You didn't sniff out a story that might actually be rather important?
[Note: Right now you have to listen or watch the segment to hear the statement.  It's Wilson's closing comments.  The rush transcript currently isn't a full transcription of the discussion.]
The e-mail address for this site is

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around