Wesley Clark: ""There is no way this administration can walk away from its responsibility for 9-11!"
Democrat Wesley Clark on Tuesday blamed President Bush for the intelligence failures that contributed to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"There is no way this administration can walk away from its responsibility for 9-11," Clark told a conference, titled "New American Strategies for Security and Peace," "You can't blame something like this on lower level intelligence officers, however badly they communicated memos with each other. ... The buck rests with the commander in chief, right on George W. Bush's desk."
Clark argued that Bush has manipulated facts, stifled dissent, retaliated against detractors, shown disdain for allies and started a war without just cause. He said Bush put Americans at risk by pursuing war in Iraq instead of hunting for Osama bin Laden and other terrorists, pulling a "bait-and-switch" by going after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein instead of al Qaida terrorists. link
"George Bush isn't in control . . . the country's been hijacked..."
A former Pentagon officer turned whistleblower says a group of hawks in the Bush Administration, including the Vice-President, Dick Cheney, is running a shadow foreign policy, contravening Washington's official line.
"What these people are doing now makes Iran-Contra [a Reagan administration national security scandal] look like amateur hour. . . it's worse than Iran-Contra, worse than what happened in Vietnam," said Karen Kwiatkowski, a former air force lieutenant-colonel.
"[President] George Bush isn't in control . . . the country's been hijacked," she said, describing how "key [governmental] areas of neoconservative concern were politically staffed".
Ms Kwiatkowski, who retired this year after 20 years service, was a Middle East specialist in the office of the Undersecretary of Defence for Policy, headed by Douglas Feith.
She described "a subversion of constitutional limits on executive power and a co-optation through deceit of a large segment of the Congress", adding that "in order to take that first step - Iraq - lies had to be told to Congress to bring them on board". more
Quagmire: U.S. Mulls Shifting Experts from Iraq Arms Hunt To Cmbat The Intensifying Resistance
The Pentagon, in an obviou effort to save their asses, is considering shifting intelligence personnel in Iraq from the so-far fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction to strengthen efforts to combat the intensifying resistance, officials said on Wednesday.
You can read more of this story here. I predeict this is the first move that will eventually lead to the total abandonment of the search for WMDs.
by John Liechty
Once upon a time there was a place known as The Greatest Country In The World. This place had forgotten its true name. Grandparents had told children had told grandchildren had told great-grandchildren for so long now: “You live in The Greatest Country In The World (and incidentally that makes you The Greatest People In The World),” that the true name of the land had been lost.
Predictably, the Greatest Country In The World was led by The Greatest Government In The World in turn led by The Greatest Emperor In The World. The Emperor was selected every four years and was to be an individual uniquely suited to lead – a person of great integrity, practicality, courage, wisdom, intelligence, discernment, eloquence, generosity, compassion, honesty, humility, and even-handedness. By lucky coincidence, or perhaps as some insisted by Divine Intervention a certain Rich Young Ruler, son of a former Emperor, announced a desire to be the Anointed One. “I shall lead you by popular demand!” he vowed to The Greatest People In The World, and opened so many bags of gold that they very nearly demanded him. Not quite, but it didn’t matter in the end. The Rich Young Ruler finagled an unorthodox anointment, and head bowed in humility, ascended the throne with a retinue of grand viziers.
At The Greatest Expense In The World, The Greatest Country In The World maintained The Greatest Army In The World and The Greatest Armaments. This weaponry was capable of annihilating the world’s people a couple of dozen times over. A greater boon to Civilization could hardly have been imagined.
“It’s a lucky thing we control The Greatest Armaments In The World,” confided The Greatest Nation In The World to the less great nations. “Otherwise some Rogue Nation might get them and turn out to be a Threat To Freedom.” The less great nations had several options. They could nod their heads in vigorous agreement, pretend to nod their heads in vigorous agreement, immerse their heads in the sand, or indulge in the foolish option of defiantly sticking their necks out, thus risking Liberation.
Out of the blue one day and in spite of its Greatest Army and Greatest Armaments, The Greatest Country In The World was attacked. Many people were killed and the whole world was watching. “Who has done this thing?” cried the people, turning to their Emperor for guidance. “Why? What can we do?”
“It was one man,” answered The Rich Young Ruler with absolute certainty, and he told the people of an evil crackpot/ rogue billionaire living in a remote cave of the roguest nation of them all. “As for the why, that’s simple. He envied your freedom. We must declare War on Evil at once and bomb this threat away.” The grand viziers nodded wisely as The Rich Young Ruler explained to The Greatest People In The World (who were being quietly invited to cough up the gold for a War on Evil) that their freedom was beyond price. And many were persuaded. For the people had been assured for a very long time that in addition to being The Greatest they were The Freest People In The World. Often as not this meant they were free to grow as obese and indolent as they liked, free to live in fear and paranoia, free to make pornography a leading industry, free to buy goods they didn’t really need or want thanks to the cheap sweat of the less great world’s children, free to say anything they liked so long as it didn’t matter, free to run like rats in a maze or sell their own grandmothers in deference to the Greatest Economy In The World, free to build bigger prisons and occupy them, free to produce and sell and consume any snake oil under the sun so long as it made money. But Free they were, and many were persuaded.
Every day the rich young ruler conferred with his divinity (The Greatest Divinity In The World, not too surprisingly). Every day his trusty viziers wheeled in the sacred mirrors and kindled the holy smoke that together might allow the Anointed One a tête-à-tête with his divine confidante. One day the Greatest Leader In The World felt moved to declare: “God is my Favorite Philosopher!” And some of the people purred. “One Nation Under God!” clamored the more strident among them. “God Bless The Greatest Country In The World!”
After several consultations with his favorite philosopher, the Rich Young Ruler announced that capital punishment, prison, corporate irresponsibility, debt, war, and a more thoroughly gelded media were The Divinity’s Delight. His viziers smiled and purred, and so did some of the people. One day the Vizier of War wheeled in a massive mirror. It wobbled on its steel carriage, and waited. The Vizier of War struck a match and a plume of smoke rolled toward heaven. “O Favorite Philosopher,” the Rich Young Ruler addressed the mirror, careful not to look too closely into it. “What do I do next?”
“Declare pre-emptive war,” replied God without a moment’s hesitation. “Do unto others before they do unto you.”
“I hear and obey O Favorite Philosopher,” replied the Emperor, humbly lowering his head while a throng of select eunuchs converged with their cameras. Mirrors and viziers came and went. Flashbulbs shone, the smoke rolled. At the end of the day, when the Rich Young Ruler had jogged and dined and was debating whether to turn in early or take in some of the Monday Night Game, a strange thing happened. The fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the palace wall just as they had in the palace of King Belshazzar. But unlike Belshazzar’s, the Emperor’s color did not change, his thoughts did not alarm him, his limbs did not give way, his knees did not knock together.
“What the devil?” he cried in a tone more than halfway contemptuous. “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN?? Sounds greek to me.” And so the Greatest Leader In The World of The Greatest Country In The World went to bed without even trying to read the writing on the wall, merely making a note to himself that in the morning he would inform The Greatest People In The World that he had decided to take a month off.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
Democrats Need Route From Political Trap
Here's an article that is about 10 months old that I think we all missed. Thiugh parts of it are now outdated - it alludes to some things that have not comt to pass and won't such as a Tom Daschle predential run - it's main focus is how the Republican smear machine is sure to kick into high gear as the demnoms head into the primary stretch.
Whoever emerges from the Democratic field will not only have to overcome Bush and his overwhelming advantage in campaign funds, but also take on a combination of the well-financed right-wing attack machine, which has refined its skills over the past decade, and a mainstream national news media that has demonstrated its proclivity to fall in line with the conservatives. Since at least the 1980s, mainstream journalists have found it very helpful to their careers to "prove" they're not liberal by joining in trashing Democrats.
The Democrats had better expect a lot of mud – and ridicule – to be heaped on their "fresh face" candidates.
A Future Guide
If the past is any guide, Democrats should expect that:
-- The attacks will be personal, not issue-based. Personality quirks or flaws will be used to "define" the Democrats so these traits can be easily transformed into laugh lines for the pundit programs and the late-night comedy shows.
-- The attacks will be thematic, rather than specific. For instance, the Democratic challenger will be described as "Clintonian" -- or in John Edwards's case an "ambulance chasing trial lawyer" -- rather than someone who supported or opposed a specific policy initiative.
-- The attack machine will be relentless. Every utterance by the eventual Democratic nominee will be examined to see if it fits one of the thematic patterns that have been chosen as effective attack lines.
-- Statements or issues that fit a "theme" will be repeated again and again in every media venue, from Web sites to radio to TV pundit shows to newspaper columns. Every right-wing pundit – and many mainstream commentators – will use nearly identical language until the "theme" becomes "conventional wisdom."
-- The mainstream press will incorporate the attack lines into regular news stories by using the objective-sounding criticism that the Democrat has failed to counter the attack and committed the political sin of letting his enemy define him.
-- Most importantly, it will not matter who the Democratic nominee is. No one is immune. The attack machine will find a thematic pattern for each potential nominee and will pound the Democratic candidate into the ground with it. more