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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for July, 2005

Figured it out! (Geek alert…)

Friday, July 29th, 2005

For those of you who use feed readers, or some other form of blog readers, you can syndicate this site. Just use this URL:

http://blogs.ink19.com/truthtopower/index.rdf

And then whenever I update the site, you’ll know.

Gee, whatta surprise…

Friday, July 29th, 2005

Not.

State Dept. Now Says Bolton Interviewed

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – John Bolton, President Bush’s nominee for U.N. ambassador, neglected to tell Congress he had been interviewed in a government investigation into faulty prewar intelligence that Iraq was seeking nuclear materials in Africa, the State Department said.

Democratic senators said the admission should forestall Bush from using his authority to give Bolton a temporary appointment to the U.N. post, without Senate confirmation, when the Senate goes on vacation in August.

This should eliminate Bush’s naming of this whack to the post as a recess appointment. It should, but probably won’t.

What “special character”?

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Military’s Opposition to Harsh Interrogation Is Outlined

By NEIL A. LEWIS
Published: July 28, 2005

WASHINGTON, July 27 – Senior military lawyers lodged vigorous and detailed dissents in early 2003 as an administration legal task force concluded that President Bush had authority as commander in chief to order harsh interrogations of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, newly disclosed documents show.

Despite the military lawyers’ warnings, the task force concluded that military interrogators and their commanders would be immune from prosecution for torture under federal and international law because of the special character of the fight against terrorism.

I guess a war against people that we largely armed and recruited during the Reagan and Bush administrations counts as “special character” all right. So those people who best understand the effect of torture on troops in battle- military leaders, that is- warned Bush against harsh interrogation of prisoners in Gitmo. They were of course ignored.

So much for an informed public

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

E.P.A. Holds Back Report on Car Fuel Efficiency

By DANNY HAKIM

DETROIT, July 27 – With Congress poised for a final vote on the energy bill, the Environmental Protection Agency made an 11th-hour decision Tuesday to delay the planned release of an annual report on fuel economy.

But a copy of the report, embargoed for publication Wednesday, was sent to The New York Times by a member of the E.P.A. communications staff just minutes before the decision was made to delay it until next week. The contents of the report show that loopholes in American fuel economy regulations have allowed automakers to produce cars and trucks that are significantly less fuel-efficient, on average, than they were in the late 1980’s.

Releasing the report this week would have been inopportune for the Bush administration, its critics said, because it would have come on the eve of a final vote in Congress on energy legislation six years in the making. The bill, as it stands, largely ignores auto mileage regulations.

Only information that serves a narrow agenda is allowed by our government. Ponder on that, while you sit burning gas at a traffic light.

2 looks at an issue

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Judge gives millennium bomber 22 years

09:27 PM PDT on Wednesday, July 27, 2005

SEATTLE – It’s the final chapter in a story that has gripped western Washington for five years. Ahmed Ressam will spend 22 years in prison for plotting to blow up the Los Angeles airport, LAX, on the eve of the millennium.

The basic story is, this guy was arrested pre-9/11 in an attempt to blow up LAX. He cooporated with the government and provided information on terrorist activity, which is why he was sentenced to only 22 years, instead of 35. The judge in the case, Reagan appointee John Coughenour used his decision as an occasion to take the Bush Administration to task for their handling of terror suspects in the GWOT or whatever it’s called this week. He said, in part:

Secondly, though, I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution.

For this, he’s being lauding on the liberal boards, and slammed on the right wing sites.

Now, as you would guess I lean more toward the liberal side in this. While I agree that his comments are a fine example of grandstanding, he’s not the first justice to do so. Secondly, what he states is the truth- our system works, without stripping people of their civil rights. What is rather eyeopening in reading the right wing retorts, is that they refuse to even debate the legality of Bush’s “enemy combatant” nonsense, much less the morality of it. They completely overlook that by shredding our Bill of Rights in order to “defeat a greater evil” they have already lost.

At least, thats my take on it.

Thoughts on watching Black Hawk Down

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

bwd.jpg

We rewatched (most) of Black Hawk Down last night, mainly because it was touted as being a good test of a home theatre (it is). For anyone who doesn’t know, the movie recreates the horrible episode in Mogadishu where US troops suffered greatly at the hands of the Somali’s. The movie shows exactly why we are doomed to failure in Iraq- because you aren’t fighting an army, you’re fighting an entire country. The movie is reputed to be accurate (certain appeared so from our vantage point…).

But I get the feeling that we won’t finish it.
(more…)

Just for fun

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Just for fun, take a gander over here at the Watergate timeline , and this item:

October 20, 1973

Saturday Night Massacre: Nixon fires Archibald Cox and abolishes the office of the special prosecutor. Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus resign. Pressure for impeachment mounts in Congress.

And then, less than a year later (August 8th, 1974) Nixon resigns.

Why bring this up? Because of this item tucked away in a story about Congress FINALLY “investigating” (in quotes because a Republican Congress will never willingly investigate anything concerning Bush) the Plame/Rove treason scandal.

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, intends to preside over hearings on the intelligence community’s use of covert protections for CIA agents and others involved in secret activities.

…(Roberts spokesperson) Little said the Senate committee would also review the probe of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who has been investigating the Plame case for nearly two years.

They won’t look into the comprimising of national security for over two years after it was brought to their attention, and when they finally do, they are going to be looking into the DOJ prosecutor? Shades of Watergate, it seems to me.

Absorbing

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Most Americans – a substantive majority in fact, and whether liberal or conservative or anything in between – are neither stupid, nor do we all want different things from our government. What most of us want is honesty. We’re not getting it. If we force them to give us that, the rest will follow. But only those capable of critical thought realize this.

Many Americans simply refuse to accept such a view. It’s an ugly view of our beloved country. It’s really ugly. There is so much that is already ugly in the world of those who allow others to think for them – the world of Fox “news” and Ann Coulter. For these easily-led people to accept that we Americans are the proximate cause of so much of the ugliness would test their self-discipline too rigorously. Accepting that our beloved country and its form of government have fallen victim to criminals represents a monumental psychological obstacle to them – a cognitive dissonance – not unlike that faced by the mother who won’t accept that her child is the serial killer the police have been hunting. We’ve all seen such tragic people on the “news.”

Continue reading Are Stupid White Men Really Stupid?

“Greeted as liberators…”

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

Despite $2 billion spent, residents say Baghdad is crumbling
By Leila Fadel, Knight Ridder Newspapers
Mon Jul 25, 4:38 PM ET

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Talib Abu Younes put his lips to a glass of tap water recently and watched worms swimming in the bottom.

Electricity flickers on and off for two hours in Muthana Naim’s south Baghdad home then shuts off for four in boiling July heat that shoots above 120 degrees.

I guess Iraqi citizens have run out of flowers to toss at our feet, and have gotten around to noting that their country has been ruined.

No so fast, Chimp

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

White House may sidestep Democrats on Bolton

WASHINGTON (AP) — Frustrated by Senate Democrats, the White House hinted Monday that President Bush may act soon to sidestep Congress and install embattled nominee John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations on a temporary basis.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Bush has used his power for temporary appointments when “he has to get people in place that have waited far too long to get about doing their business.” He said that “sometimes there’s come a point” when Bush has decided he needs to act.

But there might be a minor snag, such as the notion that he apparently lied when he testified to Congress:

The Times today says that new nominees like Karen Hughes had to disclose any legal proceedings they’d recently been involved in (not sure of the precise wording). That’s how they know she testified before the Plame grand jury. Bolton didn’t disclose; so they took that to mean he hadn’t.

But NBC’s David Shuster reported last night that Bolton had been called to testify. Either someone’s reporting is wrong. Or Bolton failed to disclose that small detail.

If so, he’s toast. Particuarly if he is being investigated- you cannot recess appoint someone involved in a criminal investigation. You know, whoever added that little bit of legalese probably never imagined it might actually come into play.