Sunday, April 09, 2006

Leak - To escape through a breach or flaw

My dinner with Russians

A few days ago, I had dinner with a Russian friend and her husband. During the course of the meal I was reminded of something a fellow of German decent and an understanding of German history told me many years ago during the height of the cold war. In short it was that Americans really had less to fear from Russian expansionism than it did from a resurgence of German ambitions.

In retrospect, Germany seems to have evolved beyond it's fascist inclinations; however, the GOP is taking up where the Nazis left off. World domination is in the cards for the Bush crime family. It is a clumsy effort, marked more by incompetence than tactical brilliance.
Nevertheless, a berserk elephant in a greenhouse is still something to be reckoned with.

My Russian friend's husband was in the Soviet Army before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He's a likable, well educated young man. And as I sat breaking bread with him, I could see that 40 years ago, I would likely have pilloried his kind as being allied with a regime wanting to dominate the world -- an enemy. But he never was as menacing as the fools who embrace the ambitions and goals of Bush-Cheney.

The typical human wants to have his or her basic needs addressed in a civilized, secure environment. This is true of most Americans, Iraqis or Russians. It is the wolves among us who aren't satisfied with enough that create havoc for all of us.

Harper's Weekly Review

Leaker-in-Chief

"Yesterday, a court filing disclosed that President Bush specifically authorized Vice President Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby to disclose classified information in an effort to discredit Joseph Wilson, a former CIA adviser whose criticisms undermined the administration's case for war. According to the 39-page document submitted by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald on late Wednesday night, Libby testified that Cheney 'advised him that the President had authorized [Libby] to disclose relevant portions' of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (N.I.E.), the key CIA document that the administration used to persuade Congress and the American public into war. The court filing 'for the first time places Bush and Vice President Cheney at the heart of what Libby testified was an exceptional and deliberate leak of material designed to buttress the administration's claim that Iraq was trying to obtain nuclear weapons.' While the document does not address the issue of whether Bush was personally involved in specifically leaking Valerie Plame's identity, it is clear from the timing of the leak authorization by President Bush that he was personally involved in the administration-wide effort to smear Joseph Wilson by any means necessary."

Gangster government: A leaky president runs afoul of 'Little Rico'

"OK, let's accept the White House alibi that releasing Plame's identity was no crime. But if that's true, they've committed a bigger crime: Bush and Cheney knowingly withheld vital information from a grand jury investigation, a multimillion dollar inquiry the perps themselves authorized. That's akin to calling in a false fire alarm or calling the cops for a burglary that never happened -- but far, far worse. Let's not forget that in the hunt for the perpetrator of this non-crime, reporter Judith Miller went to jail."

Did Bush lie to Fitzgerald?

"Lewis Libby’s testimony identifying George W. Bush as the top official who authorized the leaking of intelligence about Iraq’s alleged nuclear weapons program raises two key questions: What did the President tell the special prosecutor about this issue in 2004 and what is Bush’s legal status in the federal criminal probe?"

A 'concerted effort' to discredit Bush critic

"Bluntly and repeatedly, Fitzgerald placed Cheney at the center of that campaign. Citing grand jury testimony from the vice president's former chief of staff, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Fitzgerald fingered Cheney as the first to voice a line of attack that at least three White House officials would soon deploy against former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV."

It's good Joe Wilson didn't go hunting with The Dick.

Iraq findings leaked by Cheney were disputed

"President Bush's apparent order authorizing a senior White House official to reveal to a reporter previously classified intelligence about Saddam Hussein's efforts to obtain uranium came as the information was already being discredited by several other officials in the administration, interviews and documents from the time show."

Want more Bush? Elect McCain

"The Arizona Republican, who failed to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, is the most visible Republican on television, outside the White House, and seems to never pass up an opportunity to appear on Sunday talk shows.

"All this appears to be part of his effort to transform his image as a maverick independent so that he can make his pitch to the conservative Republican base that will vote in the party's primaries and caucuses two years hence."

US bases in Iraq: A costly legacy

"So far, though, it seems clear that the Pentagon would prefer to keep its bases in Iraq. It has already spent $1 billion or more on them, outfitting some with underground bunkers and other characteristics of long-term bases. The $67.6 billion emergency bill to cover Iraq and Afghanistan military costs includes $348 million for further base construction."

US-British diktat makes mockery of "democracy" in Iraq

"The unannounced trip by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to Iraq over the past two days has again underscored who is calling the shots in Iraq. For all of the Bush administration’s empty rhetoric about 'democracy' in Iraq, it is the White House rather than the votes of Iraqis that will decide the shape of the next government in Baghdad."

Meet the Press transcript General Anthony Zinni, April 2, 2006

"GEN. ZINNI: Well, first of all, you have to understand how you instill democracy. It isn’t an election. An election doesn’t equal democracy. Think about it. We need an educated electorate. We need political parties that are transparent, that people understand their platforms, that compete in a fair process. We have to have a governmental system that people are voting into, and they have to understand that, and then you can have elections. We’ve sort of reversed the process."

So, according to the good General's definition of democracy, the US falls short as well. The electorate is poorly educated, the political parties are not transparent, and the Diebold tainted voting machines negate a fair voting process.

The tethered goat strategy: Amid an internal crisis of credibility, Condoleezza Rice has washed her hands of her department

"Rather than being received as invaluable intelligence, the messages are discarded or, worse, considered signs of disloyalty. Rejecting the facts on the ground apparently requires blaming the messengers. So far, two top attaches at the embassy have been reassigned elsewhere for producing factual reports that are too upsetting."

Condi, war crimes & the press

"But this doctrine – that the Bush administration has the right to invade other nations for reasons as vague as social engineering – represents a repudiation of the Nuremberg Principles and the United Nations Charter’s ban on aggressive war, both formulated largely by American leaders six decades ago."

Iraqi says visit by two diplomats backfired

"A top adviser to Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Wednesday that the visit this week by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw of Britain had backfired, prolonging a deadlock over a new government and strengthening Mr. Jaafari's resolve to keep his post."

Iraq three years on: Don't look away

"A cruel and bloody civil war has started in Iraq, a country which Bush and Blair promised to free from fear and establish democracy. I have been visiting Iraq since 1978, but for the first time, I am becoming convinced that the country will not survive."

Will a viable US survive the Bush crime family?

Plenty of opportunities to impeach Bush

"With these restrictions in mind, here are just a few of the March violations:

"Bush signed the spending bill, knowing that violated a Constitutional requirement that the bill must first pass in both chambers."

The author cites eight other impeachable violations.

US rolls out nuclear plan: The administration's proposal would modernize the nation's complex of laboratories and factories as well as produce new bombs.

"The Bush administration Wednesday unveiled a blueprint for rebuilding the nation's decrepit nuclear weapons complex, including restoration of a large-scale bomb manufacturing capacity."

Once again, why does the only country on planet that used nukes in anger have the right to continue making them?

The Iran plans

"The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium."

Russians sense the heat of cold war

"Today, some public figures in the United States, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have suggested that President Bush boycott the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg this summer to register dismay at Russia's foreign policy and its internal direction."

A closer Russia-China "strategic partnership" cemented with oil and gas

"The visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to China on March 21-22 was a further sign that Moscow and Beijing are moving closer to one another in response to Washington’s increasingly hostile stance toward the two countries."

Feeling isolated?

Soviet Union 'should have been preserved' (Mikhail Gorbachev)

"Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, 75, defends Russian President Vladimir Putin and has a cynical view of U.S. motives in dealing with Russia. USA TODAY editorial writer Louise Branson, co- author of Gorbachev: Heretic in the Kremlin, sat down last week with the man whose reforms precipitated the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. To mark the 20th anniversary of his reforms, Gorbachev has written a new book, To Understand Perestroika."

Senior China official urges cut in US debt holding

"As China is a leading financier of the U.S. current account deficit and holds the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, the comments from Cheng Siwei, a vice chief of the national parliament, sent the dollar and U.S. government bonds lower."

Whistle-blower outs NSA spy room

"AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers' phone calls, and shunted its customers' internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the company."

America's war on the web

"Firstly, the Pentagon says it will wage war against the internet in order to dominate the realm of communications, prevent digital attacks on the US and its allies, and to have the upper hand when launching cyber-attacks against enemies."

US won't seek a seat on the UN civil rights council

"'This is a major retrenchment in America's long struggle to advance the cause of human rights around the world and it is a profound signal of U.S. isolation at a time when we need to work cooperatively with our Security Council partners,' said Representative Tom Lantos of California, the top Democrat on the House International Relations Committee and a founding co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus."

We don't need no stinkin' civil rights.

Did Dead-Eye Dick do it?

"Dr. Robert Bowman, a man so decorated with medals and honors they could fill a patriotic Christmas tree, has joined the ranks of those who are declaring that the attacks on 9/11 were an inside job. As right wing world comes tumbling down, more prominent individuals are coming forward with their doubts and concerns with the official report. Some have little more than the powers of their own deduction, others are expert engineers and physicists. Dr. Bowman has inside knowledge of military protocal, and has stated that it is apparent to him that the massive military exercises that took place on September 11, 2001 were intentionally staged to confuse civil defenses."

A culture of corruption: Let's save our democracy by getting money out of politics

"Money is choking our democracy to death. Our elections are bought out from under us and our public officials are doing the bidding of mercenaries. So powerful is the hold of wealth on politics that we cannot say America is working for all Americans. The majority may support such broad social goals as affordable medical coverage for all, decent wages for working people, safe working conditions, a secure retirement, and clean air and water, but there is no government 'of, by, and for the people' to deliver on those aspirations."

Will-ful deception

"On Sunday, conservative pundit George Will used prime space in the Washington Post and other major papers to suggest that not only is global warming not the result of human activity, but that global warming may not exist at all. There is no evidence to support Will's claim, so he resorted to distortion, misdirection, and outright deception. This morning, columnist Robert Novak used his regular space in the Washington Post and elsewhere to suggest that global warming, if it exists, will only have impacts 'so far in the future that technological advances surely will be available to cope with the problem.' Question: Given the lack of any factual grounding, is there a point when printing mythology about global warming is incompatible with responsible journalism?"

Saving millions for just a few dollars

"Cuba is perhaps the best example that a nation does not need wealth to gain health.
"It has a stagnant socialist economy, and most of its citizens have lived under a trade embargo from the United States their entire lifetimes. Nevertheless, the life expectancy of Cuban men was higher in 2001 (75.2 years) than American men's (74.5 years)."

"D" for disaster

"Picture this movie: It’s 2003 in the wealthiest nation in the world and millions of Americans are suffering needlessly and dying prematurely because they cannot afford medicine."

Kleenex workers

"What corporations call 'flexibility'—the right to dispose of workers at will—is what workers experience as disposability, not to mention insecurity and poverty. The French students who were tossing Molotov cocktails didn’t want to become what they call 'a Kleenex generation'—used and tossed away when the employer decides he needs a fresh one."

How secure is your job?

"Though the bulk of his expertise lays in the business realm, Uchitelle argues that layoffs' ascending frequency isn't just damaging America's job security, but our sense of self-worth. He writes that the ever-insidious "self-help" movement (specifically, books such as 'Who Moved My Cheese?') has encouraged workers to accept more responsibility for their own job security than necessary -- unfairly placing the whole burden of fair wages, pensions and workplace stability on employees' shoulders rather than the corporate heads hiring (and firing) them in the first place."

American economy - full but underutilized employment, lowered pay for common people, tax heaven for rich, the paradise for inherited wealth

"People who used to make above $100,000 in large corporations are now employed with jobs making less than $40,000. They are surviving with home equity loans, credit card debts. In a free economy no one can blame others for their problems. The hope for every one is that one of these days like before things will become better."

Quotes from www.bartcop.com and others:

"McClellan told reporters that "if anyone in this administration was involved in [the leak], they would no longer be in this administration." Does that apply to Bush and Cheney as well?" -- Farhad Manjoo, Link

"When the White House press corps had an opportunity to ask Scott McClellan questions, they didn’t ask him about it. Reporters asked McClellan about immigration, terrorism, Katrina and Iran. But there wasn’t a single question about Bush authorizing Libby to share highly classified information with reporters." -- Judd, Link Gee, it's almost like the press is helping Bush cover up his crimes.

"I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action." -- Dubya, Sept. 30, 2003 who Libby now says authorized the leak, Link

"She is a racist. She has a long history of racism. If someone else does not file an ethics charge, I will. What she did brings embarrassment to the House." --Tom DeLay, going to prison for his crimes, on Cynthia McKinney,Link

"If Cynthia McKinney had an ounce of Tom DeLay's decency, she would resign. Her Democratic colleagues should censure her." -- Ben Johnson, of FrontPage Nazi Magazine Link So, what McKinney is alleged to have done was worse than lying 2400 soldiers into their graves?

"So DeLay is out. But it's DeLay's House. DeLay's Republican DC machine. The current House ethics committee was hand-picked to provide protection for DeLay and the old membership was purged. He's their guy. They can run but they can't hide. Delay owned them all. They did his bidding. Next." -- Josh Marshall, Link

"Cheney seems happy with an approval rating lower than Bush. He isn't running for office. He's running the country." -- Peter S. Canellos, Link

"To nobody's real surprise, the Cheney administration's attempt to make the Padilla case go away by dumping the alleged terrorist into the criminal justice system has succeeded.... This preserves the gang's future ability to lock other American citizens up in the brig without trial -- consigning the right of habeas corpus to the same museum of historical curios as the Fourth Amendment...." -- billmon, Link

"I found her first interview yesterday rather odd. Carroll seemed bent on giving her captors a positive review, going on about how well they treated her, how they gave her food and let her go to the bathroom. And they never threatened to hit her." -- Howard Kurtz, who thinks kidnapped women should show more courage Link

"Perhaps Howard Kurtz could fly to Iraq and offer himself up as a hostage for three months, and then we can take his judgments about what Jill Carroll had to say a little more seriously." -- Eric Alterman, Link

"I think we could have Armageddon." -- McCain, (R-Up Bush's Butt) on war with Iran, Link McCain wants to be president so bad, he won't let a little thing like his support for Der Monkey's Armageddon get in his way.

"People can say whatever they wish. We made the right decision in Iraq. I was fully supportive of the decision." -- Condi, who gets away with that because the Democrats refuse to blame them for their mistakes/crimes, Link

"This is Bush being Bush - and he must keep being Bush. The desperate Dems will hate it, the liberal media will hate and the American people will eat it up. They like a fighter." -- Michael Reagan, on Bush's 36 % approval rating, Link

"Some in the party have differences with Joe Lieberman. It's (He's) the elephant in the room party." -- Barack Obama, at CT Dem fundraiser, Link

"Wartime is not a time to weaken the commander in chief." -- Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Handjob), responding to John Dean, Link But Handjob, Bush has created a never-ending war, so it's never time to hold him accountable for his crimes?

"Not even the parents of Bush's top health official are immune from headaches caused by the new Medicare drug plan. Dixie and Anne Leavitt - parents of HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt - recently were forced to change Medicare plans after learning that the one they chose imperiled their retiree medical coverage." -- Kirsten Stewart, Link

"One day after Sleazy said the United States made possibly "thousands" of tactical mistakes in Bush's war, she says she was speaking 'figuratively, not literally'." -- CNN, this morning, Link

"One day after Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said that Bush didn't mean it literally." -- Kevin G. Hall, Link

This explains it

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

Israel with nuclear arms is good. India with nuclear arms is the future. Pakistan with nuclear arms is our ally. North Korea seeking nuclear arms is a part of the axis of evil. Iran exploring nuclear arms is a threat to the future of the world.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting the foods we eat, the drugs we ingest, the pollution we experience, the conditions we labor under, without criticism or limit.

Jesus loves you and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

HMO's and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution,which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's cocaine conviction is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

What John Kerry did in the 1960's is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80's is irrelevant.

Feel free to pass this on. If you don't send it to at least 10 other people, we're likely to be stuck with "Bushit" forever.

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