Saturday, December 30, 2006

Healed The Country, Schmealed The Country

Another Woodward bombshell: "I looked upon him as my personal friend. And I always treasured our relationship. And I had no hesitancy about granting the pardon, because I felt that we had this relationship and that I didn't want to see my real friend have the stigma," Ford said in the interview.

Taylor Marsh's "NIXON PARDON: For Friendship, Not Country" post on HuffPo articulates it all so well.

So much for revisionist history.

Grand Canyon Apparently Not As Old As We Thought

Every time I think I can't possibly get any angrier at these idiots running the show, I come across something like this:

Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

"In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. "It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is ‘no comment.'"

Yes, go ahead and read it again, I'll wait. I had to read it twice myself to actually fathom that something this ludicrous is happening within the borders of the US. And the topper is that for the last three years, the only book approved to be sold in the park bookstore is "Grand Canyon: A Different View". I'll wait again while you pick your jaw up off the floor.

Have I mentioned how much I hate these people?

Read the rest of the article.

Saddam, We Hardly Knew Ye

BAGHDAD (AP) - Saddam Hussein struggled briefly after American military guards handed him over to Iraqi executioners. But as his final moments approached and masked executioners slipped a black cloth and noose around his neck, he grew calm.

In a final moment of defiance, he refused a hood to cover his eyes.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Saddam's Done By Saturday

From the AP:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein will be executed no later than Saturday, said an Iraqi judge authorized to attend his hanging. The former dictator's lawyers said he had been transferred from U.S. custody, but an Iraqi official said he was still in the hands of American guards.

And there you have it. Hussein will be executed. No interviews. No "tell all" book from prison. Maliki signed the death sentence, by Iraqi law. Oh, by the way, if he had refused to sign it, one of the two Iraqi vice presidents could have signed it. Oh yeah, if they also refused to sign it, Saddam would have been executed anyway. Nice law, huh?

He was officially guilty of this: An Iraqi appeals court upheld Saddam's death sentence Tuesday for the killing of 148 people who were detained after an attempt to assassinate him in the northern Iraqi city of Dujail in 1982.

1982? But that was before this:

Yes, that is Donald Rumsfeld shaking Saddam Hussein's hand in December of 1983, over a year after the crime for which he was convicted. When we have use for them, they are our allies, but when they know too much...

Ford's JFK Connection

Jesse at gives us his take on Gerald Ford.

Jesse from "So Gerald Ford Is Dead. So What?": "For those of you who do not already know this, Gerald Ford is a special man in American history in that he took part in not one, but two cover ups related to the JFK assassination. First off, he was one of the authors of the fictional piece known as the Warren Report. Then he pardoned Richard Nixon so that the real reason for the Watergate break-in would not be revealed."

There is evidence that Gerald Ford altered the autopsy reports on JFK. Ford's explanation: "My changes had nothing to do with a conspiracy theory," he said. "My changes were only an attempt to be more precise." Unfortunately, his changes look like an attempt to make the "Magic Bullet Theory" more plausible. Read them for yourself.

For all you conspiracy "nuts", (and I have to admit, I'm slowly becoming one) this is something you have to see. If you read on and have the patience to watch the 90 minute video linked on Jesse's page regarding the ever-increasing evidence that has amassed over the last 40+ years, you probably won't have many doubts about the JFK assassination and cover up. Remember, this is just a theory, but a very viable one.

I personally never believed the JFK's assassination was the result of a lone gunman after I had the time to do some minor research. I do believe that Oswald was a patsy. If not, why are certain documents still classified? Who would be implicated if these documents were allowed to be seen? Hopefully, I'll still be alive when they finally release them.

Still, you have to see this video to understand the depths of what could have happened and how close-knit the people in power really are.

Here's the video. It took me two days to get through it. Sit back and concentrate.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

In-the-Ground Truth in Iran?

This is direct from David Corn's website. I've copied and pasted instead of linking because, for some reason, you can't link to a specific column, only the main page, on Corn's site. Fix it, Dave!

David Corn: "The most important news story of this week (so far) was an 8-paragraph piece buried on p. A9 of [the Dec.26] Washington Post. The Associated Press story reported:
Iran is suffering a staggering decline in revenue from its oil exports, and if the trend continues income could virtually disappear by 2015, according to an analysis published Monday in a journal of the National Academy of Sciences.
Iran's economic woes could make the country unstable and vulnerable, with its oil industry crippled, Roger Stern, an economic geographer at Johns Hopkins University, said in the report and in an interview.
Iran earns about $50 billion a year in oil exports. The decline is estimated at 10 to 12 percent annually. In less than five years exports could be halved and then disappear by 2015, Stern predicted.

Hold on. If this is true, it changes the popular conception of the ongoing Iran crisis. In the conventional view, Iran is enriching uranium for one reason alone: so it can become a nuclear power, dominate the Middle East, and threaten the Israel and the United States. The Iran war hawks (formerly known as the Iraq war hawks) scoff at the notion that Iran might have other motives for enriching uranium. They dismiss Iran's claim that it is processing uranium as part of a civilian nuclear energy program. With all that oil? the hawks argue. No way.

The supposed implausibility of Iran's argument has been fueling the move toward confrontation--that is, war. And in recent weeks I've spoken to several outside-the-administration Iran experts who believe the Bush White House is intent on military action against Iran--probably air strikes. Yet what if the Iranians are essentially telling the truth?

I have no sympathy for the repressive theocrats of Tehran and do not counsel taking them at their word. But before there is another march to war, there ought to be close scrutiny of the reasons for that march.

The rest of the AP story depicts a more nuanced situation than the one depicted by the beaters of the drums of war:
Stern's analysis, which appears in this week's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, supports U.S. and European suspicions that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons in violation of international understandings. But, Stern says, there could be merit to Iran's assertion that it needs nuclear power for civilian purposes "as badly as it claims."
He said oil production is declining and both gas and oil are being sold domestically at highly subsidized rates. At the same time, Iran is neglecting to reinvest in its oil production.
"With an explosive demand at home and poor management, the appeal of nuclear power, financed by Russia, could fill a real need for production of more electricity."
Iran produces about 3.7 million barrels a day, about 300,000 barrels below the quota set for Iran by the oil cartel, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The shortfall represents a loss of about $5.5 billion a year, Stern said. In 2004, Iran's oil profits were 65 percent of the government's revenues.
"If we look at that shortfall, and failure to rectify leaks in their refineries, that adds up to a loss of about $10 billion to $11 billion a year," he said. "That is a picture of an industry in collapse."
If the United States can "hold its breath" for a few years it may find Iran a much more conciliatory country, he said. And that, Stern said, is good reason to belay any instinct to take on Iran militarily.
"What they are doing to themselves is much worse than anything we could do," he said.
"The one thing that would unite the country right now is to bomb them," Stern said. "Here is one problem that might solve itself."

Doing nothing--starting no war--and solving a problem? That sounds pretty damn good. Whether Stern is right or not, what's happening within Iran deserves far more coverage within the US media. Without more information, the public will not be able to evaluate--or challenge--the next case for war."

Ford Disagreed with Bush on Iraq

"On July 28, 2004, former president Gerald R. Ford sat down for an interview with The Washington Post's Bob Woodward. The interview was conducted at Ford's Beaver Creek, Colo., house; the former president agreed that his comments could be published any time after his death."

"Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Ford said. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do."

...Ford took issue with the notion of the United States entering a conflict in service of the idea of spreading democracy.
"Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people," Ford said, referring to Bush's assertion that the United States has a "duty to free people." But the former president said he was skeptical "whether you can detach that from the obligation number one, of what's in our national interest." He added: "And I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security."
Ford said he would not have gone to war, based on the publicly available information at the time, and would have worked harder to find an alternative.

UPDATE: Before this story came out, Bush had this to say about Ford on Tuesday: "With his quiet integrity, common sense and kind instincts, President Ford helped heal our land and restore public confidence in the presidency."

I wonder what George is saying about him now?

Robert Scheer: Ike Was Right

Columnist Robert Scheer has written a great article regarding Eisenhower's warning of the "military-industrial complex", a term he apparently created.

[Eisenhower] chose in his farewell presidential address to the nation to warn that the war profiteers had an agenda of their own, one that was inimical to the survival of American democracy:
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

Dick Cheney and Halliburton anyone?

The big prize here for Bush's foreign policy is not the acquisition of natural resources or the enhancement of U.S. security, but rather the lining of the pockets of the defense contractors, the merchants of death who mine our treasury. But because the arms industry is coddled by political parties and the mass media, their antics go largely unnoticed. Our politicians and pundits argue endlessly about a couple of billion dollars that may be spent on improving education or ending poverty, but they casually waste that amount in a few days in Iraq.

As Eisenhower warned:"We should take nothing for granted, only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. ... We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's Official

American troops killed in Iraq now exceeds the number of Americans killed in the 9/11 attacks.

Another six soldiers were reported killed on Tuesday, bringing the total number to 2,978. That's five more than those that were killed at the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
Just a little reminder: Remember this guy?

Yeah, Osama bin Laden. Wasn't he the one that was responsible for the deaths on 9/11/2001? You know, Georgie's friend. I remember something about "Wanted: Dead or Alive" ... am I dreaming this? Did I just imagine some "Bring 'em on", swaggering, cowboy wannabe asshole saying something like this? Guess he forgot.

Gerald Ford (1913-2006)

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Godfather of Soul

James Brown dies at the age of 73.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Asleep in the Bunker

I'm sleeping a lot better than people would assume.
--George W. Bush

Don Rumsfeld is the finest Secretary of Defense this nation has ever had.
--Dick Cheney

"This is scary. The president of the United States of America has created a hellish disaster that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and thousands of American soldiers, and he's resting well. The vice president believes that the man responsible for three of the greatest military blunders in U.S. history (attacking Iraq without devising a strategy for securing the country after the invasion; dissolving the Iraqi army, creating armed and trained recruits for the incipient insurgency; and mounting an extensive de-Baathification campaign that destroyed the governing infrastructure of the nation) did his job well."