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Lets's talk about democracy
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Thursday, 10 June 2004
Yeah, right.

It's amazing how they keep screwing up and no one is responsible. Have no fear, they didn't mean it. Any one who gets caught robbing a 7-11 this is the excuse to use...

WASHINGTON - The State Department acknowledged Thursday it was wrong in reporting terrorism declined worldwide last year, a finding used to boost one of President Bush's chief foreign policy claims -- success in countering terror.

Instead, both the number of incidents and the toll in victims increased sharply, the department said. Statements by senior administration officials claiming success were based "on the facts as we had them at the time. The facts that we had were wrong," department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

The April report said attacks had declined last year to 190, down from 198 in 2002 and 346 in 2001. The 2003 figure would have been the lowest level in 34 years and a 45 percent drop since 2001, Bush's first year as president. The department is now working to determine the correct figures.

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, who had challenged the findings, said he was pleased that officials "have now recognized that they have a report that has been inaccurate, and based on the inaccurate information they tried to take self-serving political credit for the results that were wrong."

Among the mistakes, Boucher said, was that only part of 2003 was taken into account.

Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said Thursday the errors were partly the result of new data collection procedures. "I can assure you it had nothing to do with putting out anything but the most honest, accurate information we can," he said.


Posted by bushmeister0 at 10:18 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 10 June 2004 10:23 PM EDT
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Monday, 7 June 2004
Military says it will consider call-up appeals
Lawmakers side with veterans after the Army concedes an enlistment deadline was in error

Thursday, May 20, 2004

SALEM -- Federal lawmakers Wednesday joined angry U.S. Army veterans in Oregon and other states who want their recent decisions to join active Army Reserve or National Guard units rescinded because they were based on mistaken information put out by recruiters.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio called on the Pentagon to correct the mistake that resulted in large numbers of Army veterans choosing a new assignment in active Guard and Reserve units.

"Faulty orders were sent out by the Army, which told people in the Individual Ready Reserves that if they did not re-enlist soon, the military would do so for them," DeFazio, D-Ore., said in Washington, D.C. "I would ask that these enlistments, which were made under a faulty order, be rescinded by the secretary of defense."

Meanwhile, the staff of Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, ranking Democrat on the personnel subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Army officials agreed Wednesday to establish an appeal procedure for any soldier in the ready reserve who signed up for service based on false information.

Inactive reservists who feel they were pressured to join active Guard or Army Reserve units should call state retention and transition offices, a staff memo said. In Oregon and Washington, that phone number is 800-347-2734, ext. 1, the memo said.

The miscommunication started last week when soldiers in the ready reserve began receiving e-mails and phone calls from military recruiters who told them they had until May 17 to leave their inactive status and sign up for Reserve or Guard units. Otherwise, the Army would make the choice for them, recruiters said.

Soldiers who have fulfilled their regular service commitment go on ready reserve. They are on inactive status in the ready reserve for as long as four years. They can be called back to active duty during that time. About 118,000 reservists are on inactive status nationwide.

In some cases, soldiers said, recruiters raised a potential rotation to Iraq as a reason to sign up for Guard units before the deadline.
Army officials this week told The Oregonian that the deadline was a mistake.


Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:25 AM EDT
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Further musings on "A Life:" The Reagan musings...

Being a resident of the capital city, soon to be renamed "Reagan," I offer my humble and worthless tribute to the Demi-God:

I would like to propose, in light of the death of the greatest American ever to live; the one man who saved us from the Martians and the Russians; the "Ronald Reagan National Airport," be renamed the "Ronald Reagan/Ronald Reagan National Reagan Airport."

In order to show the proper respect for the magnitude of the MAN; the size of the letters would have to be increased to perhaps 6 ft. in front of the airport.

Naturally, the Metro signs would have to reflect the change. And there will be no fooling around this time. It might be necessary to build another station adjacent to the present one to accommodate the size of the letters that would be required.

All Metro stations, in fact, might need to be renamed "Ronald Reagan/Ronald Reagan Memorial Station# 1, 2, 3, " etc., in order to avoid confusion as the letters on each Metro map and guide post would have to be increased substantially to fit the achievements of the GIPPER.

The Lincoln memorial and the Washington memorial might also need a face-lift to show proper respect for the GREAT UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR TESTER, but I'll leave that to Grover Norguist.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:49 AM EDT
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Sunday, 6 June 2004
Ronald Wilson Reagan: A loving tribute....
Today as the world and the universe mourn the passage of a visonary, some might even say a giant, we must remember, as much as we may want to laud him to the heavens, he was but a man. (A big, big man.)

It was Ronald Wilson Reagan who had the insight to love his fellow man by saying simply, "all human beings" are "citizens of the world...in our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity." How very true.

When he said, "we're not building missiles to fight a war, we're building missiles to preserve the peace," he believed it and so should you. Indeed, what would be a more fitting epitaph for a great president, beloved by his people and the entire world?

Who had the courage and foresight to wonder aloud, as he did in September of 1987, "what if all of us in the world discovered that we were threatened by an outer - a power from outer space, from another planet... wouldn't we come together to fight that particular threat?"

By uttering the unvarnished truth in his plain-spoken, man of the people sort of way, he Ronald Wilson Reagan, made a profound impression on his Russian counterpart Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev who said of the fearless champion of freedom, "at our meeting in Geneva, the U.S. President said that if the earth faced an invasion by extraterrestrials, the United States and the Soviet Union would join forces to repel such an invasion. I shall not dispute the hypothesis..."

Later, Ronald Wilson Reagan said of his pal "Gorbi," in a conciliatory gesture, "I think there is too much anti-Soviet preaching. I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." Tears come to my eyes every time I think of it!

In the end, though, he was a mega-giant, a statesmen; a plainspoken man who hated trees. "A tree is a tree. How many more do you have to look at?" When he said, "trees cause more pollution than automobiles do," his statement was denounced as nonsense by a group, now almost entirely extinct due to his omnificent correctness, called "liberals."

Pity them, for now we all know he was right.

As the current president, the lovely product of HIS vice-president's loins George "W" Bush has taught us; trees also cause fires and through his "healthy forest initiative" we're putting an end to that by cutting them all down.

In the final analysis, we, the world, the solar system, have lost a leader for the ages, a tireless fighter for human rights that are continually at risk from the onslaught of extraterrestrial attack.

One last time... in HIS own words; "Well, I guess we can wait for some alien race to come down and threaten us.

"...is not an alien force already among us?"

Posted by bushmeister0 at 10:56 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 7 June 2004 1:25 AM EDT
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Saturday, 5 June 2004
A few thoughts on our good friends the Saudis...
In case any further evidence were needed that the security situation in Saudi Arabia is tenuous at best, the recent terrorist attacks in Khobar which killed 22 foreign workers, proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Saudi authorities are either unable or unwilling to prevent Al-Quaeda acting with impunity where ever and whenever it pleases within the oil rich kingdom.

Dubious claims of a serious crack down on militants and the announcements of mass arrests, (No doubt, being conducted by Claude Rains.) fly in the face of the massive incompetence demonstrated by the botched hostage rescue attempted by Saudi commandos, in which three of the four attackers were allowed to escape.

As serious as the Khobar incident was, the danger keeping national security officials up at night must be the very real possibility of a successful strike on a major refinery. The possible effects of such a disaster could bring every oil-addicted nation to its knees, send the world economy into chaos, and hasten the collapse of the Saudi regime.

Regardless of the lip service paid to the efforts of the Saudis to deal with their internal insurgency, the fear of such a scenario must have played a crucial role in the Bush administration's decision-making prior to the invasion of Iraq.

Already known to have the second largest supply of oil in the world; the largely unexplored western deserts of Iraq are estimated to contain a supply of crude that equals, if not exceeds, Saudi Arabia's known reserves.

Possessing an oil rich aircraft carrier in the heart of the Middle East is an important hedge against a sudden cutoff of the Saudi spigot. Contrary to the president's daily protestations, the prospect of a truly "sovereign" Iraq anytime soon appears highly unlikely.

[Okay, I swear I didn't see this before I wrote the piece:
"Saudi stability once seemed a relatively safe bet; now analysts are questioning the security of the kingdom's oil facilities and the tight grip of its ruling family. From today's L.A. Times.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 8:17 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 5 June 2004 9:29 PM EDT
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Friday, 4 June 2004
Some thoughts on George Tenet and Ahmad Chalabi
The surprising resignation of CIA director George Tenet makes one wonder if the latest mess Ahmad Chalabi (A.K.A. Ali Baba) has got us into wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back.

Surely, Mr. Tenet must know by now, what most professionals in the CIA knew all along, that Chalabi was a charlatan and a crook.

The intelligence on the Iraqi WMD, helpfully provided by Chalabi and the forty thieves, was according to Tenet a "slam dunk." When the infamous "16 words" in the president's State of the Union address were found to be lies, Tenet had to fall on his sword to protect the president and Condoleezza Rice.

It's too bad a good man has had to pay, again and again, for the incredibly bad decisions of a few knuckle-heads in the pentagon, those "U.S. officials who championed Chalabi in the first place;" such as, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Richard Perle.

So, what about their credibility now? They never had any credibility, that's the point. They didn't need to.

What they did have was an ideological fervor that dovetailed well with the world-view of the vice-president; who carefully managed to deflect any information that might raise questions about the wisdom of invading Iraq from the president; who, after all, didn't really deal well with doubt to begin with.

Chalabi told them just they wanted to hear and now he's doing the same for the Iranians. Ultimately, it will be our troops who pay the price for the shamefull gullibility of their civilian leadership.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 3:56 PM EDT
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Monday, 17 May 2004
Powell strikes again. ( Que twilight zone music)
Secretary of State Colin Powell on Meet the Press Sunday May 16 2004:

Russart: Finally, Mr. Secretary, in February of 2003, you placed your enormous personal credibility before the United Nations and laid out a case against Saddam Hussein citing...

Powell: Not off.

Emily: No. They can't use it. They're editing it. They (unintelligible).

Powell: He's still asking me questions. Tim.

Emily: He was not...

Powell: Tim, I'm sorry, I lost you.

Russert: I'm right here, Mr. Secretary. I would hope they would put you back on camera. I don't know who did that.

Powell: We really...

Russert: I think that was one of your staff, Mr. Secretary. I don't think that's appropriate.

Powell: Emily, get out of the way.

Emily: OK.

Powell: Bring the camera back, please. I think we're back on, Tim. Go ahead with your last question.

[Doo doo doo, doo doo doo...]

Russert: Thank you very much, sir. In February of 2003, you put your enormous personal reputation on the line before the United Nations and said that you had solid sources for the case against Saddam Hussein. It now appears that an agent called Curveball had misled the CIA by suggesting that Saddam had trucks and trains that were delivering biological and chemical weapons. How concerned are you that some of the information you shared with the world is now inaccurate and discredited?

Powell: I'm very concerned. When I made that presentation in February 2003, it was based on the best information that the Central Intelligence Agency made available to me. We studied it carefully; we looked at the sourcing in the case of the mobile trucks and trains. There was multiple sourcing for that. Unfortunately, that multiple sourcing over time has turned out to be not accurate. And so I'm deeply disappointed. But I'm also comfortable that at the time that I made the presentation, it reflected the collective judgment, the sound judgment of the intelligence community. But it turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and in some cases, deliberately misleading. And for that, I am disappointed and I regret it.


Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:39 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 17 May 2004 12:42 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 12 May 2004
A great letter
I've been a little busy the past month writing letters to the editor. Check over to the left and down a little to see what I've been up to.

Here is a great letter from today's Boston Globe.

English lesson for our leaders
May 12, 2004

THE BUSH administration seems to have a serious problem with reality. The most recent reality challenge is the policy of torture in both Iraq and Afghanistan, which the administration is frantically redefining as "abuse," "excesses," and "humiliation." We even have Secretary Rumsfeld describing footage of several American soldiers "having sex" with a female Iraqi prisoner. Let's have a little plain English here. "Having sex" with a prisoner is known as "rape." Systematic beatings are called "torture." Excesses that lead to death are called "murder." The hundreds of women and children in mass graves in Fallujah are the product of a "massacre." Taken together, all of these add up to "atrocities."

The dissemination of "incomplete information" from "imperfect intelligence" is called "lies." The billions of dollars that Halliburton and Bechtel have reaped in profits are called "war profiteering." The invasion of Iraq is called "illegal." The destruction of America's international standing is called "permanent." And Texaco/Phillips's high bid for Iraqi oil is called "why we are in Iraq."



Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:53 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 12 May 2004 11:54 AM EDT
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Monday, 19 April 2004
Arrogant Daydreams

From the Washington Post this Sunday,

a few choice tid-bits:

[Chas W. Freeman Jr., U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, assistant secretary of Defense (1993-94) and current president of the Middle East Policy Council, sent this message about the Iraq war to an e-mail discussion group of foreign affairs experts earlier this month after visiting Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The following excerpts appear with his permission.]

"The most charitable characterization of the Iraqi Governing Council (widely known as "Ahmed Chalabi and the Twenty Thieves") is that they are opportunists...

The way in which the emerging domestic U.S. debate about Iraq is cast and the language we (especially the president and members of his administration) use to describe it are disturbing to many in the region despite their unusually high tolerance of hypocrisy.

They see it as truly Orwellian to describe a large U.S. force accompanied by a small number of foreign auxiliaries as "the coalition," foreign occupation as "freedom," desecularization as "democratization," the establishment of a hand-picked government of exiles as a "transfer of sovereignty," and the presence of a plague of federally funded U.S. carpetbaggers and mercenaries as "reconstruction" and "development."

Check out the whole thing, it's very interesting.


Posted by bushmeister0 at 8:42 PM EDT
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Prince Bandar-Bush strikes again

Federal bank regulators are preparing to impose fines on Riggs Bank as soon as this week for not reporting millions of dollars in suspicious transactions at its embassy banking division, and have notified bank officers and directors that they may be sanctioned individually, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Those notified include Chairman Robert L. Allbritton; his mother, Barbara B. Allbritton, a director; and the nine other members of the bank's board, according to the sources.

The penalties would come as the FBI, bank regulators and three congressional committees continue to delve into Riggs's international banking relationships, particularly its two-decade role as chief banker for the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington.

Investigators are looking at the Saudi accounts for evidence of money laundering, which is the use of complex transactions to hide the origin or destination of funds related to illegal activities such as drug smuggling or terrorist acts. The investigators have reached no conclusions about the reasons for the transactions in the embassy accounts, including the personal accounts of the Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.


Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:58 PM EDT
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