April 18, 2008 archive

Impeachment is the only way they don’t get away with torture

United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 2:  The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Emphasis mine.

Impeachment at this juncture and based on the revelations over , regardless of the arguments against it, is a moral imperative.  Bush will no doubt pardon anyone that has any connection to any wrongdoings, and even though Obama and Clinton talk about investigating the crimes committed in this administration, I think we all probably know how difficult it will be to get anything meaningful done in that respect, although if either of them do, I will be so very pleasantly surprised.

Four at Four

  1. Top general ‘hoodwinked’ over torture
    By Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian

    The US’s most senior general was “hoodwinked” by top Bush administration officials determined to push through aggressive interrogation techniques for terror suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, the Guardian can reveal.

    The development led to the US military abandoning its age-old ban on the cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners.

    General Richard Myers, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff from 2001 to 2005, wrongly believed that inmates at Guantánamo and other prisons were protected by the Geneva conventions and from abuse tantamount to torture.

    The way he was duped by senior officials in Washington – who believed the Geneva conventions and other traditional safeguards were out of date – is disclosed in a devastating account of their role… in his new book…

    Is this operation CYA for Myers?

  2. NATO mistakenly supplying arms and food to Taliban
    By Anil Dawar, The Guardian

    Nato forces mistakenly supplied food, water and arms to Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan, officials today admitted.

    Containers destined for local police forces were dropped from a helicopter into a Taliban-controlled area of Zabul province. The coalition helicopter had intended to deliver pallets of supplies to a police checkpoint in Ghazni, a remote section of Zabul late last month…

    A Nato spokesman said the pallets were carrying rocket propelled grenades, ammunition, water and food.

    Heckuva a job NATO! Actually, it wasn’t NATO per se. It was their private military contractors. Mercenaries at their finest.

  3. Pentagon institute calls Iraq war ‘a major debacle’ with outcome ‘in doubt’
    By Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott, McClatchy Newspapers

    The war in Iraq has become “a major debacle” and the outcome “is in doubt” despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon’s premier military educational institute.

    The report released by the National Defense University raises fresh doubts about President Bush’s projections of a U.S. victory in Iraq just a week after Bush announced that he was suspending U.S. troop reductions.

    The report carries considerable weight because it was written by Joseph Collins, a former senior Pentagon official, and was based in part on interviews with other former senior defense and intelligence officials who played roles in prewar preparations.

    It was published by the university’s National Institute for Strategic Studies, a Defense Department research center.

    Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle,” says the report’s opening line…

    The report also singles out the Bush administration’s national security apparatus and implicitly President Bush and both of his national security advisers, Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley, saying that “senior national security officials exhibited in many instances an imperious attitude, exerting power and pressure where diplomacy and bargaining might have had a better effect.”

    No one could have predicted an invasion and occupation of Iraq could go badly… oh wait. Nevermind.

Four at Four continues below the fold with an effort to convert polar bears into oil.

Through the Darkest of Nights: Testament VIII

Every few days over the next several months I will be posting installments of a novel about life, death, war and politics in America since 9/11.  Through the Darkest of Nights is a story of hope, reflection, determination, and redemption.  It is a testament to the progressive values we all believe in, have always defended, and always will defend no matter how long this darkness lasts.          

All installments are available for reading here on my page, and also here on Docudharma’s Fiction Page, where refuge from politicians, blogging overload, and one BushCo outrage after another can always be found.


Filling up the tank

My first disclaimer is that this is not going to be an essay about gas prices. I’ll leave that for someone else.

What I want to talk about is how, in the midst of one outrage after another after another (those are all just from the front page here yesterday and today) we keep our sanity. Lets not fool ourselves, after awhile, staying awake and paying attention takes its toll. If it didn’t, more people would join us. There are times I can’t really blame my friends who don’t want to “mess with their beautiful minds” because its frankly exhausting keeping up with it all.

For some reason, I reached a bit of a breaking point this week in watching the ABC debate. I think it was more of a last straw than just the sheer inanity of that event. But after all the “fuck you’s” at the tv screen, I felt pretty exhausted. I need to fill up the tank.  

Scarborough: People Know John McCain….Oh really?

In the deliciously gosippy story of Rachel Maddow spanking the Very Serious Person(al) tushy of Joe Scarbough for talking over her…Moran Morning Joe states the following (paraphrased): “People don’t know him, (Obama) they know John McCain….snip….It’s about defining the candidate, defining your opponent.”

Do they Joe? Do they REALLY know him? Let’s play “Define The Candidate”


The conversation was about attacking/smearing Obama through his associations, Maddow contends that it is a matter of focusing on this sort of trivial ‘dirt’ by the campaign…and by extension the media, who can’t resist the salaciously prepared Red Meat. The classic Rovian Politics of Personal Detruction. She asks why, for example, this association, of a McCain associate in a bathroom associating with an undercover cop isn’t associated with “Knowing McCain.” Or defining him.

Teh video, from Crooks and Liars.

Also via C&L, from Cogitamus a bit of a “definition.”

Do you think if Barack Obama had left his seriously ill wife after having had multiple affairs, had been a member of the “Keating Five,” had had a relationship with a much younger lobbyist that his staff felt the need to try and block, had intervened on behalf of the client of said young lobbyist with a federal agency, had denounced then embraced Jerry Falwell, had denounced then embraced the Bush tax cuts, had confused Shiite with Sunni, had confused Al Qaeda in Iraq with the Mahdi Army, had actively sought the endorsement and appeared on stage with a man who denounced the Catholic Church as a whore, and stated that he knew next to nothing about economics — do you think it’s possible that Obama would have been treated differently by the media than John McCain has been?  Possible?

And — this is fun to contemplate — if Michelle Obama had been an adulteress, drug addict thief with a penchant for plagiarism — do you think that she would be subject to slightly different treatment from the media than Cindypills McCain has been?  Anyone?  

Earth Day #2: Bush Killing Coastal Louisiana

This is Part 2 of an Earth Day-themed series on  environmental issues in the Gulf Region after Katrina and the federal flood.

In the first part of this Earth Day series, the environmental devastation experienced by New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Region was discussed. This installment will focus on Louisiana’s wetlands which are being washed away and the sinking of New Orleans and the rest of southern Louisiana.

Colbert Arranges a Light Saber for Jedi Webmaster Obama

If you did not catch the Colbert Report on Comedy Central last night (Thursday, April 17th), you will probably find it worth your while to catch one of the scheduled reruns today or this evening. The show brought to a climax Colbert’s week in Pennsylvania in advance of the primary election next Tuesday.

Last night’s show was political satire at its best, but it was also political allegory at its most profound.

Stephen Colbert showed why he deserved that Peabody Award.

Here is a link to last night’s show.

Here is a quick synopsis below the break.

Jedi Webmaster Obama Given a Light Saber by Colbert

If you did not catch the Colbert Report on Comedy Central last night (Thursday, April 17th), you will probably find it worth your while to catch one of the scheduled reruns today or this evening. The show brought to a climax Colbert’s week in Pennsylvania in advance of the primary election next Tuesday.

Last night’s show was political satire at its best, but it was also political allegory at its most profound.

Stephen Colbert showed why he deserved that Peabody Award.

Here is a link to last night’s show.

Here is a quick synopsis below the break.

Bootleg Raw: Of Souls and Sorrows

Since returning from Boston, I have received every morning a harried phone call from Mom documenting my Grandmother’s decline. She has another infection, she has fallen, she has blacked out and isn’t certain what transpired. Each time the conversation ends, this morning I gave Mom some half assed advice that she treated like a sliver of brilliance because she too is stressed out, I think that there are countless other middle aged Americans getting these same phone calls. After all we are a nation of traveling and middle class aspiring wanderers and consumers dancing the ultimate unicorn shuffle thinking that we matter as individuals that we should be out achieving and growing and living in districts with good schools in suburbs with no trees or working OT to send the kiddies to private school and telling ourselves the money is worth it so somebody will recognize our offspring in their specialness and all of this is often done hours away from our parents who live in a small towns with no jobs/declining post industrial city with no jobs/NAFTAized regions with no jobs and the only people we know who stayed behind have no jobs or low paying jobs with no benefits who are dully caring for their parents while trying to talk their own kids out joining the service because their own options are limited. And really. They can go to college and become teachers and scientists and get plowed under by debt and live in a studio apartment after graduation with six other roommates because they pay more in rent than Mom and Dad do for the mortgage.

This is America. We have choices. We can just amble on down the road of personal responsibility and free market solutions and buy lottery tickets or hope to hit the big one at the local casino where everybody says: that buffet is really great. Really, I know somebody who won 80,000 or my neighbor’s cousin’s aunt does.

And each time I get the phone call I try to remember how much vacation time I have. Not much. Because I took a vacation this year. Stayed in America because Europe was too pricey and I am not keen on those charming third world countries where they put you on a compound to create the illusion of an  local economy. Then I berate myself for even taking a vacation, who can even afford to take one now? Who even gets paid vacation? That search is starting to take on Holy Grail like proportions for the average working American. Yeah. We will give you a job and the best that you can hope for is that we won’t humiliate you too too often and we will let you train your replacement. Deal?

My girlfriend who has been at her job in Canada two years gets twice as much paid vacation as I, at my job almost ten. But those Canadians pay high taxes. I hear they all want to come here but they won’t work cheap like those other immigrants…. you know the nice ones who enjoy and value hard work for slavery wages.

Pony Party, Phone it in Friday

I never get tired of this one

The Ethanol Apologists w/poll

Original article, sub-headed The Mandates Aren’t Just Wrong, They’re Immoral, by Robert Bryce via counterpunch.com.

Oh joy! Our food supply is being used, in part, to fuel our cars. And you wonder why food prices are working their way higher.

Updated – Tibet: New Protests, New Arrests In Tongren, and Growing Solidarity

The Associated Press has more details about the protests in Tongren yesterday, including information on arrests and the use of force by Chinese police and paramilitary:

Monks on Thursday called for the release of fellow Buddhist clergy. They were joined by area residents at a local market, according to the center, which is based in the seat of the Tibetan governmment-in-exile in the Indian town of Dharmsala.

The center said police who were rushed to the scene began beating participants, despite efforts at mediation by a senior monk.

Receptionists reached by phone at Tongren hotels confirmed the protest, saying a crowd had gathered near the local county government offices. “Today there’s no more protests. Those people were all seized,” said one receptionist.


The women refused to give their names for fear of retaliation by authorities, who have reportedly offered rewards for information on people leaking news of protests and crackdowns to the outside.


A worker at a Tibetan restaurant in downtown Tongren near the monastery said police attacked protesters indiscriminately. “They were randomly beating people,” said the woman, who gave her name as Duoma.

link: http://ap.google.com/article/A…

The AP reports that the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy has put the number of people arrested at over 100.

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