Good evening. It's the night before Thanksgiving and I'm excited. Since my oldest brother is now engaged, lots of people on my father's side are coming. And since that means flying most of them are already here and the place is packed. Let's get started with Democracy Now!
CIA Told Bush of No Iraq-Al Qaeda Links Ten Days After 9/11
A new article by investigative journalist Murray Waas in the National Journal says President Bush was notified ten days after the 9/11 attacks U.S. intelligence had no evidence linking Iraq to al Qaeda or the attacks. According to several current and former government officials, little evidence has emerged to contradict the assessment. One former high-level official said : "What the President was told on September 21 , was consistent with everything he has been told since -- the evidence was just not there." The Bush administration has so far refused to release the briefing, not even as a redacted document. Administration officials subsequently ignored the intelligence assessments in favor of those that alleged Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons and ties to Al Qaeda. One of the key proponents of this theory was then-undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. In the margin of one of Feith's reports, Vice President Dick Cheney wrote: "This is very good indeed ... Encouraging ... Not like the crap we are all so used to getting out of CIA."
So Bully Boy told another whopper? You start wondering if there were any values at all in the Bush family? I mean where did he learn that this crap was okay? Did Big Babs (to steal from C.I.) have a chart in the hall where she gave each of the kids a gold star every time they told a lie? How about every time they cheated? Big Babs and Poppy raised a big liar. Worst Family Values.
So after Cheney and Bully Boy and all their yadda yadda of "we all saw the same info" truth is White House saw info "all" didn't see and Bully Boy & Cheney knew better. It's all lies all the time with that crew. Check out Rebecca's "bully boy lied, people died" for more on this.
British Newspapers Threatened in Al Jazeerah Memo Case
The British government has threatened to sue newspapers that publish contents of a leaked memo in which President Bush allegedly discusses bombing the Arabic satellite network Al Jazeerah. The government says it would take action under the Official Secrets Act, which makes it illegal come into the possession of government information without lawful authority. The British newspaper Daily Mirror disclosed the memo Tuesday. The paper based its a report on a confidential Downing Street memo that claimed Bush told British Prime Minister Tony Blair in April 2004 that he wanted to attack Al Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar. Blair allegedly talked Bush out of the strike, fearing revenge attacks. The Daily Mirror says it will comply with the government's threat against publication. But Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace said : "We made [the government] fully aware of the intention to publish and were given 'no comment' officially or unofficially. Suddenly 24 hours later we are threatened under section 5 [of the secrets act]." Two British civil servants have been charged in connection with the leak.
The US government has a long history of targeting the media in war time.
Here's an excerpt from Al-Jazeera by Hugh Milespage 266-267:
European stations' evening news reports paid emotional tributes to their journalist colleagues who had died in the Palestine Hotel, while [Tareq] Ayyoub was reduced to a footnote if he was mentioned at all. When news of the death broke across the Arab world, however, there was outcry. Ayyoub became a 'martyr' and his death a deliberate assassination. The Arab press accused the coaltion of stopping at nothing to muzzle Al-Jazeera so as to cover its atrocities. In the Occupied Territories dozens of Palestinian journalists staged a sit-down protest outside the offices of the International Red Cross and the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York wrote an open letter to the Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to remind him that he had an obligation to protect all journalists, that the attack contravened the Geneva Conventions and that there should be an immediate enquiry.
Tareq Ayyoub's distraught widow made an emotional appearance via telphone on Al-Jazeera. She was both overcome with grief and furious. 'My message to you is that from hatred grows more hatred,' she said. 'My husband died trying to reveal the truth to the world. Please do not try to conceal it, not for the sake of American policy, not for the sake of British policy.'
(Excerpt via The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Five Books, Five Minutes" June 19, 2005.)
Or during the nineties bombing Serbian broadcasting, from Amy Goodman and David Goodman's The Exception to The Rulers pages 286-287:
Laughter broke out in the room."It is an enormously important and I think positive development," Holbrooke added.
Here were hundreds of reporters supposedly upholding the highest principles of journalism, and they chuckled on cue -- at a war crime committed against journalists.
Now, what would have been different if Milosevic had stood up to announce, "We just bombed CBS!" and a bunch of Serb journalists had laughed? Radio Television Serbia, whatever its faluts as a mouthpiece for Milosevic, is not a military target. We went back to our office later that night to see the pictures of body parts being pulled out of the wrecked TV studios in Belgrade. It wasn't soldiers blown to pieces in the rubble. It was the people who apply makeup, the cameramen, and the journalists who were inside. People like 27-year-old technician Ksenija Bankovic, whose mother Borka we interviewed on Democracy Now! Borka asked how journalists could laugh at the killing of her daughter, whose only crime was going to work that night. In all, sixteen media workers were killed in the bombing.
(Excerpt via The Third Estate Sunday Review's "1 Book, 10 Minutes Amy & David Goodman's The Exception to the Rulers" July 24, 2005.)
We've seen the administration villify Aljazeera and it's not surprising that Bully Boy would want to bomb them.
I've taken forever with this because I've been on the phone with Elaine and kept hearing C.I. laughing. C.I. is on the phone with Ava and they're watching something for a potential TV review. I asked Elaine what was on and it's not a sitcom. So I asked her to butt in during a commercial and see what was so funny. If Ava and C.I. write a review on what they were watching, it should be hilarious because their raw stuff had me rolling.
Tony came over and told me Dave Zirin's column is now being carried at Common Dreams. I did not know that. So we'll note his lastet one. He's responding to a critic slamming Terry Owens and Diego Maradona for making high salaries and slamming Zirin for praising them. The column's called "Which Side Are You On? My Response to Dr. Christian Christensen:"
In fact, if high salaries somehow stain athletes, we should have shunned Muhammad Ali in the 1960s and Billie Jean King in the 70s. We should have questioned Martina Navratilova's commitment to Gay rights in the 80s (after all, she profited from a homophobic "system") and NBA star Etan Thomas should have been kicked off the stage at the September 24th anti-war demonstrations.
I believe that this is a very basic question of "which side are you on?" When Diego Maradona fights in the streets against Bush and the FTAA, I will link arms with him any day. Maradona, in Dr. Christensen's eyes, is the "poster child of global capitalism". This is true insofar as he rose from abject poverty to make money around the world. But I believe that this only makes his stance in Argentina more powerful. Would Dr. Christensen prefer that Maradona be like Pele, taking millions from mega national corporations, appearing in photo ops with dictators and being a mouthpiece for the system? I will take Maradona any day, someone who understands - as do the masses of Argentina from bitter experience - that an economic system with the power to create one soccer millionaire while impoverishing a nation is nothing to celebrate.
Admittedly, the TO question is far more complicated. As I wrote in my piece, no one should confuse him with Nelson Mandela. But if a trend begins where teams can suspend players not for their performance on the field, but for what they say off the field - I think we have a problem. You don't like TO's attitude, then bench him. You don't want him on the team, cut him. But to "deactivate" him and flout the collective bargaining agreement in the process, is something that must be opposed. It's a slap in the face not to TO but every player who fought - and fights - in the NFLPA for a stronger union. For Dr. Christenson to write, "It is an insult to working people (you know, the people who make as much in one year as Owens makes for 5 minutes of football) to discuss this situation as if it has anything to do with real working life" I think displays a profound misunderstanding of how sports and culture can influence our world. Anytime someone takes such a public hit, in clear violation of their union contract, it sends a message felt all too clearly in many union shops that labor exists to get slapped.
Now last thing. Rebecca and I were both talking about this. On Labor Day, we made a point to watch Democracy Now! with our families. In my family, it's always something my folks watch anyway and they watched before me. But this was extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. People who'd never been exposed to Democracy Now! before ended up being able to not hear us talk about but see what it actually had to offer. So we're urging you that if you watch Democracy Now! normally, why not watch it with family Thanksgiving?
You'll be getting the word out and that's important. Me and Rebecca like watching Democracy Now! but if you listen, that's cool too. Just take some time to get the word out. And maybe you can't listen or watch. Maybe like it's on during the big game. Maybe you can pull up the website on your computer and show it to someone, even one person.
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.
Remember my motto:
The Common Ills community is important and the Common Ills community is important to me. So I'll do my part for the Common Ills community.
And remember to check out Elaine's comments at Like Maria Said Paz.
exception to the rulers
the common ills
like maria said paz
sex and politics and screeds and attitude
mikey likes it
the third estate sunday review