Good evening, let's kick things off with Democracy Now!
White House Defends Bush Intelligence Disclosure
The White House has publicly admitted President Bush authorized the disclosure of pre-war intelligence on Iraq. But White House spokesperson Scott McLellan said the disclosure wasn't illegal because information disclosed by the President is considered declassified. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, has testified that President Bush authorized him to leak a highly classified intelligence document on Iraq to the press in an effort to defend the administration's decision to go to war.
Leaker-in-chief is what John Kerry is calling Bully Boy and let me point that out because that's probably the only kind thing about Kerry you'll find in here. He leaked. He needs to explain himself. He once said he doesn't have to explain to people but people have to explain to him (because he occupies the oval office). He does have to explain. He works for us. And right now we just showed up at our KFC we own to find sh*t smeared over the walls and Bully Boy behind the counter passed out drunk. Start explaining.
Mass Protests Continue Around the US For Immigrant Rights
Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in cities across the country Sunday urging Congress to pass legislation that would legalize the estimated 12 million undocumented workers in the US. An estimated 500,000 people took to the streets in Dallas. The marchers filled the downtown streets with chants of "Si Se Puede!" -- Spanish for "Yes, we can!". In St. Paul, Minnesota, 30,000 people rallied at the state capitol. In Birmingham, Alabama, demonstrators marched along the same streets where activists clashed with police in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. Other protests were held in New Mexico, Michigan, Iowa, Alabama, Utah, Oregon, Idaho and California. Michael Martinez, who attended a rally in San Diego, said: "It's not about flags, it's not really about race. It's about just equal opportunities for everybody and nobody being above or below the law and nobody being exploited by the law. It's that simple." More protests are planned for today in nearly 100 cities across the country.
I'm still California Dreamin' and it's pretty cool. It'll be great to get back home. But I was talking to Elaine about this over the weekend before she went back and I go, "You do get that people here think this is cold." We both laughed at that and thought, "They don't know cold tempartures." But it has been a lot of fun and I really enjoyed meeting up with so many students my age and younger who are going to be heard whether somebody in D.C. wants to hear them or not. They have committment and they have fire. I was really impressed.
Now go check out Like Maria Said Paz to see what Elaine's got to say today.
I was thinking about doing a plus and minus thing on John Kerry's plan (mentioned that last time). Then I read this by C.I.'s "And the war drags on" and felt like the points I had missed the larger point:
One thing that I've noticed about the gasbags refusing to address the issue of withdrawal, they want "a plan." They say, "You don't have a plan." What is "the plan" for self-rule? They don't mean an aid plan, they don't mean anything like that. (Certainly they don't mean helping with reconstruction.) They mean "the plan" by which Iraq's government will operate. "The plan" for that?
How about self-rule. You know, democracy -- the thing we falsely claimed to be "exporting."But that's not what's happened. What's happened is the illegal occupation has imposed rules and conditions. And of course, as always, economic models. Now the people had no say in those, their leaders had no real say. But the administration isn't interested in "liberation" (and never was), it's interested in markets. It's interested in dollars.
I'm not impressed or embarrassed by John Kerry's ten-point plan. It's sort of blah to me. Full of a lot of talks of deadlines (that would be imposed by the United States). It's kind of "jump through these hoops or else" "plan." Iraq will stand or fall according to the wishes, hopes and desires of the Iraqis. They live there, it's their home, they're entitled to self-rule. (As is everyone.) The occupation needs to cease, the troops need to return home. If Kerry's plan does that, fine. But it's a great deal like the IMF in that there are "deadlines." And you'll note the deadlines are for the Iraqis. There's no deadline in there for the occupying power. There's no deadline that states the United States will, for instance, have 35% of the hospitals in Iraq back up to pre-war levels within six months or the United States will leave Iraq. It's a "jump through our hoops, Iraqis" plan to me.
They're occupied and each week brings a new administration-outsourced reconstruction scandal. But the expectations are placed upon Iraqis, not upon the occupying power. Iraqi's didn't bomb their own infrastructure. But there are no expectations for the administration (other than to tell the truth -- which, sadly, does need to be put into Kerry's plan).
If it ends the occupation, great. Anything that ends the illegal occupation is appreciated. But the operating principles continue to be "Iraqis must be do" while they've had no real power under the illegal occupation. Expectations for the occupying power are aims/goals/deadlines that are never thought of.
I hadn't even picked up on that when I read Kerry's plan. But it is right there. It's all about what Iraq must do over the next few months but where's the "America must . . ." sections?
I wish I'd caught it and I'm glad I didn't have time Saturday to write about it because I would've missed that. You know why? I probably wouldn't have thought it because John Kerry is my senator and I keep hoping he'll step up to the plate and probably end up cheering him hoping he'll do more. But that's probably a lost cause.
So let's hop over to Robyn E. Blumner's "Lies Lurk Behind U.S. Terror Policy:"
President Bush once famously stumbled over the phrase "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." It was a Freudian slip. Bush knew just how often he's put one over on the American people. Why rub it in?
Slowly this country has come to the realization that nothing the president and his minions say is believable, yet they still want us to just trust them. There hasn't been a more dangerous combination of incompetence, mendacity and arrogance since Lansford Hastings encouraged the Donner Party to diverge from the Oregon Trail and take his "short-cut."
Bush recently dropped a whopper by telling veteran journalist Helen Thomas that he never wanted to go to war, even as insider memos keep popping up detailing Bush's early intention to attack Iraq. But nowhere has the bald-faced lying been as fierce as in the "war on terror." Here, Bush has raised prevarication to national policy. From the president's disingenuous proclamations that all prisoners are treated "humanely" to the administration's laughable claim that it couldn't disclose the names of those swept into detention after 9/11 because it would violate their right to privacy, there is nothing this crew won't say to avoid accountability.
The prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is perhaps America's biggest international black eye and moral morass. We have been told by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that only "the worst of the worst" are incarcerated there, when that isn't remotely true.
In an analysis of the Defense Department's court files on 132 of the more than 500 prisoners, the National Journal found that more than half the group were "not accused of taking part in hostilities against the United States" and only eight were found to be tied directly to plans for terror attacks outside of Afghanistan. Oddly, two of those eight men have since been sent to their home governments, where they were released.
Everyone staying silent on the Guantanamo prisoners better grasp that their grandchildren will ask them someday, "How could this happen?" They'll hear about it in school and they'll want to know. Better be prepared for the next question which is "What did you do to help?"
I'm trying to think if Guanantamo is a topic on today's Law and Disorder? Heard the podcast while we were all eating. I remember a guy who was a professor and he is part of the International Endowment for Democracy -- which is a real democracy group, not like the National Endowment for Democracy which is just a psuedo-democracy organization.
Oh, Dalia Hashad was talking about racism at the beginning and I was thinking how I'd pictured her just like my sister because they sound alike. This sister is the only blonde in the family and I just assumed Dalia looked just like her. Dalia thinks it is important to realize that White people (me) don't get the indignaties that a person of color can experience in your average day which sounds right to me. She discussed a thing at a place in Houston and a thing while she was waiting for the Amtrack and how these experiences can really get under your skin and I bet they do. You'd like to think that they were in the past and over but they really aren't. Are they better? I don't know. Cedric said, while we were listening to the interview and eating, that he thinks that a lot of it is the same. That instead of lynching with a rope, they lynch with prisons. Let me stop.
Okay, Cedric's going to write about this at his site. He was saying this afternoon while we were all taking a break that he didn't know what to write about because he was writing about the rallies for the gina & krista round-robin. But while we were listening to Dalia, he had a lot to say so I went over and go, "Hey, you do have something to write about." And reminded him of what he was saying while we were around the table. So check out Cedric's site tonight.
And check out Law and Disorder.
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