Start of the week. Ma was talking to C.I. and Elaine last week about today and ended up having a get together. So it was the family and some friends (like Rebecca & Fly Boy, Elaine and Tony).
The thought was, first off, get people out of the house so they could connect with each other and not watch that hideous ABC myth-series (nod to C.I.) that was praising Bully Boy and creating lies about the Clinton adminstration. Second, don't let people you know and love be home alone staring at cable with the endless shorts of the destruction from five years ago. And there are like four other points but the points can be boiled down to celebrate life and the spirit that picks itself up. (I think it can be summarized like that). It's still going on but Elaine had to leave because she's not missing her sessions tomorrow and when I was saying goodbye to her, Rebecca grabbed me and said that we should get to blogging so we're up here in my room doing our blogs.
This is from Media Matters, "NBC's Lauer failed to challenge Bush's suggestion, contradicted by multiple sources, that he 'couldn't have' foreseen wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq in days after 9-11 attacks:"
NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer failed to challenge President Bush's suggestion, during an interview broadcast on the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, that he "couldn't have" envisioned at the time of the attacks that a response would include -- in the words Lauer used to phrase his question -- "two full-scale wars, Afghanistan and Iraq." In fact, multiple sources including several administration officials have reported that the Bush administration began planning for an invasion of Iraq before September 11 and discussed retaliatory strikes against Iraq in the immediate hours and days following the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.
From the September 11 broadcast of NBC's Today:
LAUER: Three days after the attacks, you came to New York, what we now call Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center. There's that famous moment, you grabbed the bullhorn.
BUSH [video clip]: I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.
LAUER: When you said that, did you have a very clear understanding -- had you formulated a plan in your mind? And did you understand exactly what it was going to take to respond to those attacks?
BUSH: That was not a planned speech. It just came out. There was still smoke. And it was just a -- there was haze. The emotions were unbelievable. There were tears in people's eyes. There was hugging. There was exhaustion. And there was anger. I grabbed that bullhorn and those words reflected my view -- just pure emotion. Which is, we will stay on the offense to protect the country. We had begun to formulate a plan for Afghanistan. But, you know, look, this is a war in which we're constantly having to adjust. My strategy has not changed. The tactics to conduct this war do change. Whether it be in Iraq or Afghanistan or on the home front.
LAUER: At the time when you made that -- those remarks at the World Trade Center, could you have envisioned that the response would include two full-scale wars, Afghanistan and Iraq? The expenditure of some -- by some estimates $450 billion in the overall war on terror and the types of changes that we as Americans have seen in our daily lives over these past five years?
BUSH: You know, those -- that means I've got a pretty good crystal ball if I could anticipate all of that. I couldn't have. But I knew that we were gonna have to be a nation of resolve. And I knew that we were dealing with cold-blooded killers, the likes of which we hadn't seen in a long period of time.
Bush did not respond to Lauer's question directly about whether he could have foreseen two wars. And notwithstanding Bush's explicit reference to plans to attack Afghanistan, at no point in the discussion did Lauer ask Bush about reports that he responded to the 9-11 attacks by initiating plans to attack not only Afghanistan but also Iraq.
Former National Security Council counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke reported in his book Against All Enemies: Inside the White House's War on Terror -- What Really Happened (Free Press, 2004) and during a March 2004 interview on CBS' 60 Minutes that President Bush ordered him to find a link between Saddam Hussein and 9-11 when Bush returned to the White House after the attacks. Also, according to Clarke, at the same time, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld advocated for bombing sites in Iraq despite Clarke's insistence that "Iraq had nothing to do with" the September 11 attacks. Clarke reported that planning for a strike against Iraq continued on September 12 and the days following.
Matt Lauer's a bald joke and his totalitarian co-host, Meredith, is a bigger one. I guess his little hit-squad on Kitty Kelley's forgotten by many or how he tried to lie and claim to her on air that he'd never gone golfing with Poppy Bush. (They had gone golfing.) And Meredith's a war monger of the first degree. I think the two deserve each other, ugly on the inside, ugly on the outside. I just don't know why anyone would bother to watch that crap. They probably won't for too much longer. He's a little ferret-looking asshole and she looks like she belongs on Fox News. Ever notice how those women seem like they should be pretty, but they aren't? It's like they're drag queens and someone's made them up with a lot of make up but they look too masculine to be convincing as women? That's Meredith. Hopefully, the ratings for the crap-fest will tank and Meredith can move on over to Fox & Friends where she belongs.
Tony reminded me about the whole Tim Robbins nonsesne. I'd forgotten that. He appeared on the show in 2003 and Brat Matt asked him a question about the war at the end of the interview and it cut Tim off to go to commercial, the show did. There was a lot of nonsense online about how brave Brat Matt had tried to get 'some truth' out but NBC had censored him. Then it came out that there was an automatic cut-off where the show stops because of ads. So the excuse was that it wasn't a human thing but the mystery machine kicking in. And?
And all your netties shut up. Smart netties might have asked the question, if this is a regular thing, then Brat Matt knew of it, so was he having a little 'fun' at anti-war Tim Robbins expense? Or maybe Brat Matt was too focused on that vanishing hairline to think too much about it.
Anyway, I took out the link to Richard Clarke's book and the only reason was that I kept getting an error message about how that tag wasn't closed. If you're interested in the book, use the Media Matters link and you can find out about it there but this thing won't post with the link to the book in it.
Read Ava and C.I.'s latest "TV: Bo provides the B.O. stinking up Fashion House" which is so funny, Tony says he's got to watch now just to see how awful Bo Derek is. :D
And let me add I hope C.I. feels better. Jess told me C.I. was throwing up repeatedly today. (Supposedly flu but probably stress as well.) I was talking to Rebecca about that and she goes she spoke to C.I. twice today and wasn't told about it but that was 'par for the course.' She also pointed out that there were 4 posts today and that when C.I.'s feeling under the weather, the usual instinct is to do even more. (Jess' parents came over this evening and they're cool but Ma was worried that they'd be saying "Everything's great" and really be thinking, "I wish she'd put out ___" so she had me call Jess to find out any foods or drinks they disliked and what they really loved.)
Closing with the snapshot. And it's got a lot of stuff in it and gives you the recap of the developments that started mid-day Friday. C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Monday September 11, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, military intelligence declares al-Anbar province lost, a US soldier was shot dead on Sunday, Ehren Watada's parents continue to get the word out on their son and the White House offers a divided front as various spinners rush to figure out the party line on the revelations from last week that there was no link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
In the United States, Friday saw the release of the latest two sections of the Senate Intel Report which underscored there was no link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. As outlined by Jonathan Weisman's (Washington Post) report, the committee findings were based on CIA assessments before the war and (2002 assessments) and during (most recently in October 2005). US Senator Olympia Snowe specifically cited that "the report concluded that Colin Powell recieved his "blot," when testifying to the United Nations before the illegal war, by citing information that "two April 2002 CIA assessments, a May 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency fabrication notice and a July 2002 National Intelligence Council warning" had already refuted.
At the White House, flack Tony Snow Job decired the report as "nothing new" (BBC News) apparently of the opinion that all Americans already grasped that the nation was lied into war.
On Sunday, fear's playground pusher Condi Rice stormed the airwaves like the star of a tanking big-budget film (think Ahnuld and Last Action Hero) desperate to goose the gross. The always good for a laugh US Secretary of State Rice assured Americans that Iraq still made Speed look like a slow ride to Grandma's; that they should forget the gross, the net on this war was going to be unbelievable; and, oh yeah, forget what the Senate report said, it was wrong. Rice, as reported by the AFP, stated, "There were ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda" and "We know that Zarqawi was running a poison network in Iraq." So much 'knowledge,' so little awareness. One more time, Condi, for chuckles, what was the name of the August 6, 2001 PDB that you apparently also 'knew' was nothing to fret over?
A White House in shambles divided further on Sunday. After offical flak Tony Snow Job said "nothing new" about the Senate report, after Condi Rice followed that Sunday with her assertion that the report was just plain wrong, the man a heart beat away from the Bully Boy went a different way. Looking America in the face, Dick Cheney basically said, "So f**king what?"
Steven Thomma (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Cheney's money-quote (pay attention, America): "It was the right thing to do and if we had it to do over again, we'd do exactly the same." But would the 2669 Americans who lost their lives in the illegal Iraq war, would they? While Rice tried to dispell the stench of bad box office, Cheney came off like a never-was whose lingered too long and is desperate for that best supporting actress nomination. He's busy preparing his "For your consideration" ad and will probably use this tagline: "Clearly, the intelligence that said he [Hussein] did [have WMD] was wrong." An understatement to be sure and, as Thomma notes, the Dickster failed at "elaborating on his own role or the White House decision to later honor [George] Tenet with the Medal of Freedom."
On Monday, Thomas E. Ricks (Washington Post) reported that a military assessment has written off al Anbara Province in southern Iraq. Ricks reports that Col. Pete Devlin, "chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq," wrote a report on August 16th of this year "concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there".
On the ground in Iraq today, the violence and chaos continued.
CBS and AP note a mini bus bomb in Baghdad that has killed at least 16 Iraqis. BBC says it resulted from a "bomber, who was wearing an explosive belt . . . reported to have boarded the bus at the centre." AFP states: "The minibus was rammed by a car rigged with explosives right next to Muthanna recruiting center". The bus was carry army recruits and CBS and AP state: "Although further details were not avaialbe, such mini buses are often used by suicide bombers."
In addition to the above bombing, Reuters notes a two in Baghdad (one in Talbiya district, the other in Jihad district) that left at least six wounded while one in Mosul left one person wounded.
In Baghdad, the AP reports a man and a woman were shot dead "at a telephone exchange center". Reuters reports a police officer (Hasan Radhi al-Azzawi) was shot dead in Kut, a civilian was shot dead ("outside his home") in Iskandariya, a female postal worker was shot dead in Baghdad and a person was shot dead in Hilla.
AFP reports a corpse was discovered in Suweira, two in the Diyala province and three in the Babel province. Reuters reports a severed head was discovered in Hindiya.
Not taking into account the corpses, CBS and AP report that at least 20 died in Baghdad today and at least nine more elsewhere in Iraq.
In peace news, Ehren Watada's parents continue getting their word out on their son, the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy in Iraq. Speaking with Sandip Roy (Asian Weekly), father Bob Watada explained his son's decision, "It's in the code of military justice, it's in the field manuals that you have a duty to disobey an unlawful order. The Nuremberg Tribunal that we signed on to and probably drafted parts of, clearly says any military official can be prosecuted if they are complicit in war crimes and clearly we have massive war crimes going on in Iraq."
While Bob Watada gets the word out in the mainland, Ehren Watada's mother Carolyn Ho has been speaking in Hawaii. Amanda C. Gregg (Kauai News) reports on one recent gathering where Ho spoke of, "The [United Nations] charter . . . expressly states that countries cannot go to war unless the security council votes for it. . . . People say the U.S. Congress can allow the president to make war, but the U.S. Congress was given information that was deceptive -- that there was evidence of weapons of mass destruction -- and it made a decision on that basis." Ho hopes for the response to the growing awareness is as follows: "What we've envisioned is to have thousands of people come out to the highway and the streets that surround Fort Lewis and have a group that plans to do so with demonstrations."
That is in the case that Ehren Watada is scheduled for a court-martial. An Article 32 hearing, heard testiomony Thursday August 17th and the presiding officer's recommendation was to proceed with a court-martial. Lt. Col. Mark Keith's recommendation is now winding its way through the chain of command and, as Gregg notes, a court martial is "expected to be scheduled within the next few months." More information on Watada can be found at Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org.
Writing for Op-Ed News, David Swanson notes, "Only, we the people of the United States, getting off our couches and acting will put an end to this growing nightmare."
And one way to act (and one of the many ways Swanson is making a stand) is via
Camp Democracy in DC which is free and open to the public and continues daily through September 21st. As David Ceasar (GW Hatchet Online) notes, today's activities revolve around "an all-day festival with workshops, speakers and entertainment on the National Mall between 3rd and 7th streets." Tomorrow's activities include Climate Crisis Day (sponsored by Rainforest Action Network) and an evening presentation by Mark Karlin (the editor and publisher of BuzzFlash). A complete schedule can be found here.
CODEPINK's Troops Home Fast action continues and is on day 68, and due to continue like Camp Democracy, is set to wrap run through September 21st (International Peace Day). Currently, at least 5023 people are participating. Those wanting to fast can grab a one-day fast at any point between now and the 21st or grab a one-day a week fast. Long term fasts are also possible but seek out advice before embarking on any long term fast.
Other peace actions are going on and will be going on. In a correction to an NYC event noted last week, one that starts this Friday, all performances do not start at 7:00 pm each night. Friday September 15, Saturday September 16 will start at 7:00 pm; however, Sunday September 17's performance will begin at 3:00 p.m. What are we speaking of? The People Speak directed by Will Pomerantz and Rob Urbinati. This is a workshop adaptation of Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's Voices of a People's History of the United States. The workshop will take place at The Culture Project's Bleecker Street Theater on 45 Bleecker Street. Tickets are ten dollars and can be ordered online here or here or purchased in person at the box office (box office does not take ticket orders). For those in NYC, or who will be during those dates, click here for a map. The presentation is part of the Impact Festival.
Elaine was pretty tired but planning to blog when she got home so check out Like Maria Said Paz later tonight. And check out the joint post, Wally's ("THIS JUST IN! CHENEY BUSTS A RHYME OR SOMETHUN!") and Cedric's ("Cheney gets jizzy or izzy or somethun (humor)").
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