Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Secret flights and Alito

Good evening. We'll kick things off with Democracy Now!

Report: CIA Used Spanish Airports for Secret Flights
The Spanish newspaper El Pais is reporting that CIA planes made at least 10 secret stopovers inside the country while transporting detainees. The secret stops occurred at airports in Spain's Baleaic islands. Spain's opposition party - the United Left Party - has called on the country's interior Minister to explain the use of Spanish airports for what it describes as the CIA's "plane-prisons." Another Spanish newspaper -- Diario de Mallorca - reports that a CIA plane that took off from the Spanish island of Mallorca was involved in the alleged CIA kidnapping of a Lebanese-born German who says he was snatched up in Macedonia and then transported to Afghanistan. The man - who has since been released - claims that in Afghanistan he was shackled, beaten, injected with drugs and questioned persistently about his alleged links with al-Qaida. A number of probes are underway in Europe over covert CIA operations there. The Italian and German governments are both investigating allegations that the CIA has kidnapped individuals within their borders. Italy is seeking the extradition of 22 CIA agents for the involvement in one such kidnapping. The Washington Post also recently reported that the CIA has two secret prisons in Eastern Europe countries.

You got to spread the dirty work around. Bully Boy can't crap on America non-stop. You may also remember the protests at Shannon airport in Ireland. How many countries is Bully Boy going to sully besides our own, huh?

If he's not invading or occupying them, he wants to make them partners in crime.

Maybe he's thinking if he spreads the guilt around, no one will ever charge him with war crimes?

There was a discussion at the food court today about Bully Boy being impeached and some loon had written online that we can't impeach Bully Boy because a) we'd get Cheney and b) think how good it will look for 'our side' in 2006 or 2008. Everyone was laughing at that crap and calling the guy the new Cokie Roberts.

That's like saying Roy's the manager at McDonalds and Tommy's the assistant manager. Roy's going around sexually harrassing and Tommy's a creep. But we got Todd who just started and if we wait two years then Todd can be manager but if we report Roy right now, Tommy will be manager! Oh no!

You do something wrong, you pay the consequences. If you don't hold people accountable you degrade the understanding of accountability.

Now for (b). I'm not one of those people who believes you pin it on a "sure thing." But weren't we told 2004 was a sure thing? Some Republicans had turned against Bully Boy, John Kerry was a war hero, his wife had money, there was no end in sight, we were going to get the White House!

Now drop back to 2002 and what were we told? "We'll pick up seats because that ALWAYS happens in an midterm election!"

Didn't happen either.

If we're able to impeach him, we impeach him.

We didn't impeach Ronald Reagan and look what happened.

Not only does he have monuments all over the place but the criminals in his administration walked away with their reps and got to come back into the White House under Bully Boy.

You nail his ass to the wall if you get a chance. You make sure the world knows we do not approve of his actions. You make sure in the history books there is always a stain next to his name. That's how you prevent the "Reagan was a saint" crap from glomming on Bully Boy.

And you do it because right is right and wrong is wrong.

Alito: "The Constitution Does Not Protect A Right To An Abortion"
Newly released documents show that Supreme Court Justice nominee Samuel Alito said 20 years ago "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion." Alito made the statements in a job application to become deputy assistant to Ronald Reagan's Attorney General Edwin Meese. In the job application he wrote "I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government argued that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion." Alito said it had been a "source of great personal satisfaction" to help advance such legal causes because he believed in them "very strongly." He also wrote at the time "I believe very strongly in limited government, federalism, free enterprise, the supremacy of the elected branches of government, the need for a strong defense and effective law enforcement, and the legitimacy of a government role in protecting traditional values." In the same document he revealed that he was a "lifelong registered" Republican, a Federalist Society member and that he had donated money to the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Conservative Political Action Committee. Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said the documents reveal that Alito is an "aggressive participant in an ideological movement intended to withdraw discrimination protections from workers." Alito's confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin on January 9th.

Where are all the hacks who were talking up Alito the ones who were "liberals" and willing to vouch for him?

Filibuster. That's the only thing to do when Bully Boy & co. try to pull a fast one.

O'Connor's not going anywhere and even if she does say "enough" we can get by with eight justices. The country has before.

I'm going to close with something C.I. noted today because I think it goes with the whole right is right, wrong is wrong theme I'm doing tonight. If you do work, you should get the credit but that's not how it works at the New York Times. From "Other Items:"

The above tells you all the facts from Kirk Semple and Edward Wong's "U.S.-Iraqi Assault Meets Resistance Near Syrian Border" in this morning's New York Times. There's more in the article but nothing to indicate that the two writers observed it. Some appears fed by the military, some by a stringer. So the thing is, since the stringers risk their lives outside the Green Zone, is it really fair to reduce them to end credits?
If it's a "safety issue," is the assumption that the insurgency wouldn't read down to the end credits? They name stringers in the end credits. So how can Semple and Wong, for instance today, take credit for an article with three paragraphs on Ubaydi when they weren't there. The end credits tell you that Johan Spanner was. I'm not seeing any big difference between this and Rick Bragg or, for that matter, Judith Miller. Semple and Wong take credit for reporting on Ubaydi but neither was there. This isn't an "end credit" thing. Spanner's there, the information in the article comes from him. Either identify him in the text ("Spanner reports . . .") or put him the byline. The Times lost a stringer and treated it as news (it was). If they want to show respect for the people doing the work on the ground, they need to give credit -- not just after the fact. Credit isn't an "end credit." Credit is a byline or a mention within the text of the story.

Remember to check out Elaine's Like Maria Said Paz for her take on the two things.