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Lets's talk about democracy
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Wednesday, 22 September 2004
Bush tells the truth, you get stuck with the bill...

At a campaign rally yesterday in Ridley Park last week, Pennsylvania Bush stated that the rich don't pay taxes.

"Just remember, when you're talking about, oh, we're just going to run up the taxes on a certain number of people -- first of all, real rich people figure out how to dodge taxes." {He would know.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:29 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 21 September 2004
Bush kowtows to Kadhafi.
Let me get this straight. Kadafi wouldn't pay the rest of his Lockerbie blood money until Bush came up with the goods?

Hear that Osama? Just offer blood money for 9-11 and you're a "statesman." (Oh, and get your hands on a bunch of oil. Maybe Saudi Arabia has some?)

From the Washington Post:

President Bush yesterday removed a ban on commercial air service to Libya and released $1.3 billion in frozen Libyan assets in recognition of "significant" steps to eliminate its deadliest weapons programs. [We'll just forget about the plot to kill Crown Prince Abdullah last year.]

In response, Libya is expected to disburse $1 billion in compensation payments to 269 families of the victims of the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing.
Libya, which has acknowledged responsibility for the bombing, had conditioned release of the money on an end to the two sets of U.S. sanctions. It had established a Wednesday deadline for Bush to act.

Still on the books is Libya's inclusion on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism, which substantially restricts commercial activities between the two countries.

State Department spokesman J. Adam Ereli said terrorism remained a concern and cited reports that Libya may have been involved in an attempt on the life of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.

In the Pan Am bombing, all 259 people on board were killed, including 189 Americans. Also killed were 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland.

Families of the Pan Am victims are expected to receive $4 million each that has been held in an escrow account. The families had received a similar payment of $4 million each after United Nations sanctions against Libya were lifted last year. If Libya is removed from the terrorism list, a final payment -- $2 million per family -- would be made, bringing the total to $10 million for each.

Mother's charges dropped.

Police have dropped charges against the mother of a slain soldier who was arrested on Thursday when she interrupted a campaign speech by first lady Laura Bush.

At the rally, Sue Niederer of Hopewell, New Jersey, wore a T-Shirt that read "President Bush You Killed My Son" The shirt bore a picture of her son Army Lt. Seth Dvorin who was killed in February while trying to disarm a roadside bomb. He was 24 years old.

Sue Niederer interrupted the first lady to ask why her son was killed in Iraq. She was quickly boxed in by Bush supporters who began chanting "Four more years!" Secret Service agents surrounded her and escorted her away. Once outside, she began speaking to reporters about what she said to interrupt Laura Bush.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:39 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 28 October 2004 8:00 PM EDT
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Saturday, 18 September 2004
Impeach Blair!
Remember, we got the idea from the Brits in the first place.

From the BBC:

A campaign to use age-old powers to impeach Tony Blair for misleading the public over the Iraq war is being launched by a group of MPs on Thursday.

The power, last used in 1806, could in theory see Mr Blair charged with improper conduct in office but in practice has little chance of success.

US President Bill Clinton famously was impeached over the Monica Lewinsky scandal but was acquitted.
Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price is behind the Blair impeachment call.

Thursday's report has been produced by Dr Glen Rangwala, of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Dan Plesch, honorary fellow of Birkbeck College, University of London.

It has reportedly been backed by 11 MPs - nine of them Welsh and Scottish nationalists and two Conservatives, frontbencher Boris Johnson and ex-shadow minister Nigel Evans.

The MPs are set to table a Commons motion calling for Mr Blair to go before Parliament to defend his record on Iraq.

The idea would be to get MPs to vote to set up a criminal trial of the prime minister, with the Lords acting as judges.

One of the last impeachment cases was of Warren Hastings, the final governor-general of India, who was acquitted by his trial.

The power can theoretically be used for "high crimes and misdemeanours beyond the reach of the law or which no other authority of the state will prosecute".

A case to answer: The list of particulars.

This report sets out compelling evidence of deliberate repeated distortion, seriously
misleading statements and culpable negligence on the part of the Prime Minister. This
misconduct is in itself more than sufficient to require his resignation.

Further to this,
the Prime Minister's conduct has also destroyed the United Kingdom's reputation for
honesty around the world; it has produced a war with no end in sight; it has damaged
and discredited the intelligence services which are essential to the security of the
state; it has undermined the constitution by weakening cabinet government to
breaking point and it has made a mockery of the authority of Parliament as
representatives of the people. The core conclusion of this report is that the
impeachment of the Prime Minister has a strong basis in fact, and established
precedent in parliamentary law.

It is on this basis that a number of parliamentary colleagues have declared their
intention to bring a Commons motion of impeachment as an indictment of the
methods, practices and conduct of the Prime Minister in relation to the war in Iraq.
This is a historic undertaking made with great regret but also a growing sense of
We are guided in this action by that most ancient of parliamentary doctrines: the
principle of ministerial accountability, that those who lead us cannot mislead us and
then remain in office. It is simply unprecedented for a minister to refuse to resign in
the face of such compelling evidence.

All the usual constitutional conventions have been exhausted. Further inquiries into
the Prime Minister's conduct have been refused. A vote of no confidence would
bring all ministers within its scope and, therefore, fail to reflect the extent to which
this Prime Minister made Iraq a matter of individual, not collective, responsibility,
through the practice, as revealed by Lord Butler, not of government-by-cabinet but

It is difficult to see why other ministers should find themselves
in the dock when they were consistently kept in the dark through the actions of the
Prime Minister. Finally, the normal rules of debate in the House of Commons mean
that Members cannot accuse the Prime Minister of making misleading statements
without immediately being required to withdraw the accusation. It is only by
impeachment that Parliament will be able to discuss freely, and possessed of all the
facts, the very serious issues raised by this report.

And from the Guardian, more fuel for the fire hot off the presses...

Tony Blair was last night forced on to the defensive over Iraq after explosive leaked documents revealed that he was warned a year before the invasion that a war could send the country into meltdown.

The Prime Minister was advised by officials that the country risked 'reverting to type' - with a succession of military coups installing a dictator who could then go on to acquire his own weapons of mass destruction - and that British troops would be trapped in Iraq 'for many years'.

Even his own foreign policy adviser, Sir David Manning, concluded in a private note that President Bush had no answer to the big questions about the invasion - including 'what happens on the morning after?'

The memos, showing how detailed military planning was even a year before the invasion, will prompt renewed questions about whether better planning for the aftermath of war could have prevented the bloodshed now engulfing Iraq.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 5:00 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 September 2004 9:23 PM EDT
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Man of Peace folds up Road Map

But don't tell the Bush administration.

JERUSALEM, Sept. 15 -

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has acknowledged that Israel is not following the moribund Middle East peace plan, and has said an Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip is unlikely to revive it, a newspaper interview published Wednesday said.

Mr. Sharon spoke on one of the deadliest days of the past year in the West Bank as Israeli troops killed nine Palestinian militants in two raids on hide-outs. An 11-year-old Palestinian girl was fatally shot in one of the clashes, Palestinians said.

It could very well be that after the evacuation, there will be a very long period in which nothing else will happen," he said. After the Gaza withdrawal, "Israel will continue its war on terrorism and will stay in the territories that will remain," he said, referring to the West Bank.

He later added: "Today, we are also not following the road map. I am not ready for this.'' Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said his comments "validate our fears."

"Mr. Sharon is saying that the Gaza disengagement is not part of the road map, it is an alternative," Mr. Erekat said. "We can only hope this will be an eye-opener for the American administration."

McClellan interprets it differently, eyes wide shut.

Press Briefing Sept. 16.

Q Scott, Prime Minister Sharon says Israel is not following the road map and may stay in the West Bank long after the Gaza pullout. Has he communicated this to you?

MR. MCCLELLAN: I saw a media report to that effect, and I don't think that accurately reflected what he was saying. Prime Minister Sharon has reaffirmed his commitment to moving forward on his bold proposal to move out of the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. That is a proposal that can help get us jump-started again on the road map, which is the path toward the President's two-state solution. And so that -- I think that is what the Prime Minister is talking about, is moving forward on his disengagement plan.

Q Have you had any communications with him about this?

MR. McCLELLAN: We stay in regular contact with Israel. I don't know that we've had conversations specifically about this article you're referring to, but I didn't read it the same way you did. {We all read English, I dunno...]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:31 PM EDT
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Laura Bush is a mother (Too.)
From the A.P.

HAMILTON -- A Hopewell woman whose son was killed while serving in Iraq was arrested today after she interrupted a campaign speech by first lady Laura Bush.

Sue Niederer had refused to leave the rally and demanded to know why her son was killed in Iraq. She was eventually escorted from the rally site, a local firehouse, by police.

Niederer wore a T-shirt that bore the words "President Bush You Killed My Son" and a picture of her son, Army 1st Lt. Seth Dvorin.
Dvorin, who lived many years in East Brunswick, was killed in February while trying to disarm a bomb in Iraq.

The 24-year-old had just returned to Iraq after spending two weeks with his family.
The first lady continued speaking at the firehouse after the arrest, touting her husband's record on the economy, health care and the war on terror.

Take a lesson from Putin
From the BBC

Looks like this administration has learned some KBG tricks from W's good buddy "Put Put" when it comes to impertinent mothers upset over the pointless deaths of their sons.

Remember this from the aftermath of the Kursk submarine sinking? Seem familiar somehow?

The Russian authorities have been filmed apparently using a sedative to silence a particularly vocal critic among angry relatives of the Kursk sailors.

The incident happened during a heated meeting between the relatives and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov at the Kursk's base in Vidyayevo, near Murmansk, on Wednesday.

Video footage shows a woman apparently trying to calm a grieving woman who is being restrained by uniformed naval personnel as she demands to know the truth."Why did he die? He served for 25 years! I'll never forgive you!" the grieving relative shouted.

The woman who appeared to be giving first aid is then seen holding a syringe, which she appears to plunge into the grieving woman behind her back.

[Stupid mother, thake that!]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:08 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 24 September 2004 3:17 PM EDT
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Friday, 17 September 2004
Something to keep an eye on...
It seems the Turks are steamed over the U.S. bombing the crap our of a city on the Syrian/Iraqi border called Tal-Afar. The Turkish foreign minister says:

"I told [US Secretary of State Colin Powell] that what is being done there is harming the civilian population, that it is wrong, and that if it continues, Turkey's cooperation on issues regarding Iraq will come to a total stop." He added, "We will continue to say these things. Of course we will not stop only at words. If necessary, we will not hesitate to do what has to be done."

According to the Asia Times:

The US attacks on Tal Afar, which Iraqi Turkmen groups in Turkey say have left 120 dead and over 200 injured, were launched, the US says, to root out terrorists. The US has denied the extent of the damage, saying that it avoided civilian targets and killed only terrorists it says were infiltrating the town from Syria.

US ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman commented, "We are carrying out a limited military operation and we are trying to keep civilian losses to a minimum. We cannot completely eliminate the possibility [of civilian casualties] ... We believe the operation is being conducted with great care," he said after briefing Turkish officials. There have not been any reports of further attacks since the Turkish warning.

[Remember the Mossad is arming and training Kurds in Northern Iraq.]

Turkey has also moved away from long-time friend Israel, the US's umbilically aligned strategic partner in the Middle East. Turkey has accused Israel of "state terrorism" against Palestinians. A recent ruling party team from Turkey returned from Tel Aviv not satisfied with Israeli explanations over charges that it was interfering in northern Iraqi affairs.

The Crux of the situation. America suckered again.
Gareth Stansfield, a regional specialist at the Center of Arab and Islamic Studies at Britain's University of Exeter, said recently that "the most important angle of what the Turkish concern is [and that is] that there is a strong belief in Ankara that Iyad Allawi, the Iraqi prime minister, and the Americans, were suckered into attacking Tal Afar by Kurdish intelligence circles, and really brought to Tal Afar to target ostensibly al-Qaeda and anti-occupation forces with the Kurds knowing full well that this would also bring them up against Turkmens and create a rift between Washington and Ankara over their treatment of a Turkmen city."

[Read the rest at Asia Times.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:19 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 September 2004 1:55 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 14 September 2004
Rumsfeld: delusional, or insane?

From a Washington Times interview. (He usually comes up with some real whoppers when he's talking to a friendly interviewer.)This is right after it was anounced we had lost 1000 troops over there so far. (And a 1000 injured for the month of August.)

How is it going in Iraq, you might ask...

"I feel generally quite good about how things are going there," he said. "Needless to say, you can't feel good about it when you've lost over a thousand people." [Yeah, there is that.]

"If I had to grade it so far, I'd probably give it a B-plus, pretty good, and maybe an A in interaction and maybe a B in outcome," Mr. Rumsfeld said. "But it's a tough business." [I wish I had him in high school.]

Asked whether the enemy is weaker, he said, "It's hard to say that when you've just gone through a week or two where you've peaked in terms of the number of incidents. And my guess is they see they're losing. Does that mean that the pain is going to go down? Not necessarily.

It may mean that it'll go up. It may mean between now and an Iraqi election and Iraqi constitution that they will be even more desperate." [Yeah, they're real desperate these days.]

He added, "There are people opposing the coalition, and they're getting pounded. And they have been getting pounded. The solution to that of course, if they don't want to get killed, is to stop terrorizing the Iraqi people."

On to Tehran!

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld charged yesterday that Iran is fueling the deadly insurgency in Iraq with money and fighters.

Asked for details yesterday on Iranian meddling, Mr. Rumsfeld said, "They have put people in there. They have put money in there.

"By 'they,' I'm not going to say which element of the government or whether it's even known to the government. But money has come in from Iran. People have come in from Iran. And it's a very difficult thing to stop," he said.

"Iran is a country that is not part of the civilized world in terms of its behavior." [And we are. What about Mr. Chalabi spying for the Iranians?]

Asked whether Iran is funding Sheik al-Sadr, Mr. Rumsfeld said, "There's a lot of speculation to that effect."

"The problem of proliferation and the problem of terror and the problem of dealing with a country that's separated itself from the civilized community is that those are the kind of things that require the cooperation of a lot of countries," he said.

"And when you have countries of the world that are not willing to participate in an organized effort to try to persuade a country to behave in a civilized way, it encourages them simply to continue on its merry way. And that's a problem," Mr. Rumsfeld said.

On Iraq, Mr. Rumsfeld said he cannot say whether the war has reached a "tipping point" in favor of the coalition, which includes about 140,000 U.S. troops.

Still, he contended, "I think the country is vastly better off than it was a year ago." [A year ago we had only lost a couple hundred troops.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:33 PM EDT
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Monday, 13 September 2004
There are mushroom clouds in North Korea
Lucky this didn't happen in Iraq, or we would have had to invade or something.

From the A.P.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the United States did not know what caused a mysterious huge blast in North Korea last week, but it was not a nuclear test.

[He knows all the tell-tale signs, too. Remember his presentation in front of the U.N. in 2003? He really knows his stuff.]

According to South Korea's Yonhap news agency, a huge explosion rocked North Korea's northern inland province of Ryanggang last week, triggering a mushroom-shaped cloud near a secret underground military base. [No worries there.]

Powell also commented on a report in the New York Times that US officials had received conflicting intelligence reports in recent days indicating North Korea may be preparing to conduct its first nuclear weapon test.

"With respect to reports in the paper this morning that there is activity going on at a potential nuclear test site, we are monitoring this," Powell said.

"We have been watching it. We can't tell whether it's normal maintenance activity or something more. So it's inconclusive at this moment, but we continue to monitor these things very carefully," he said.

[Something tells me if there were an oil well anywhere around we'd be launching B-52s right now.]

Now, here is a voice you can trust:

[She's all about the mushroom clouds.]

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said the United States was seeking "further analysis" of what occurred in North Korea. [Wish we had done that in Iraq.]

"There are all kinds of reports and there are all kinds of assessments that are going on, maybe it was a fire of some kind, a forest fire (?) of some kind," she said. [A forest fire? Looks like they need the president's "healthy forest" initiative really bad.] "But we don't believe at this point that it was a nuclear event."

[All kinds of reports. Reports, reports, reports. She's always reading reports, like the one that said "Bin Laden determined to attack in America." Remember that one Condi?]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:44 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 13 September 2004 2:52 PM EDT
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Sunday, 12 September 2004
We've got a plan? (It's all under control, really.)

The A.P.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents hammered central Baghdad on Sunday with one of their most intense mortar and rocket barrages ever in the heart of the capital, heralding a day of violence that left at least 25 people dead in the city as security appeared to spiral out of control.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged that the U.S.-led coalition faces a "difficult time" in Iraq but said the United States has a plan to quash the insurgency and bring those areas under control in time for national elections in January.

The insurgency "will be brought under control," Powell said on NBC's "Meet The Press." "It's not an impossible task."

Powell did not elaborate on the plan for addressing the insurgency, but senior U.S. officials in Iraq have spoken of a multi-pronged strategy involving overtures to tribal leaders, economic incentives and the use of force as the best way to prevail against an evermore determined resistance.

{So what are they wating for?]

Rockets and mortars began raining down before dawn on the Green Zone, headquarters of the Iraqi government and its U.S. allies, and other parts of central Baghdad. As the shelling continued after sunrise, U.S. troops backed by armored vehicles moved into the streets searching for the attackers.

A Bradley fighting vehicle rushing down Haifa Street, a major traffic artery near the Green Zone, to assist a U.S. patrol disabled by a car bomb about 6:50 a.m., the U.S. military said. Two Bradley crewmen were wounded in the attack and four more were injured by grenade and small arms fire as they fled the vehicle, the military said.

Jubilant fighters, curiosity seekers and young boys swarmed around the burning vehicle, dancing, cheering and hurling firebombs. Several young men placed a black and yellow banner of Tawhid and Jihad in the barrel of the Bradley's main gun.

Fearing the crowd would loot the vehicle of weapons and ammunition, the Americans called for air support, and as U.S. Army helicopters flew over the burning Bradley "they received small-arms fire from the insurgents in vicinity of the vehicle," a military statement said.

The helicopters "fired upon the anti-Iraqi forces and the Bradley preventing the loss of sensitive equipment and weapons," the military said in a statement. "An unknown number of insurgents and Iraq civilians were wounded or killed in the incident," which is under investigation.

Health Ministry official Saad al-Amili said 13 people were killed and 61 wounded on Haifa street, though it was not clear how many were killed in the helicopter strike. Scattered shoes, pools of fresh blood and debris littered the street.

"We were standing near the destroyed vehicle when the helicopter started firing, so we rushed to safety in a nearby building," Alaa Hassan, 24, said from his hospital bed. "I went back to the scene to help the wounded people when the helicopter fired again and I was hit in the chest."

Another 12 people died and 41 injured Sunday in other violence across the city, al-Amili said.

Elsewhere, gunmen attacked a group of policemen in the northern city of Mosul, killing one and wounding seven, police said.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:47 PM EDT
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Thursday, 9 September 2004
Who's crying now?

From the Washington Post:

President Bush failed to carry out a direct order from his superior in the Texas Air National Guard in May 1972 to undertake a medical examination that was necessary for him to remain a qualified pilot, according to documents made public yesterday.
Documents obtained by the CBS News program "60 Minutes" shed new light on one of the most controversial episodes in Bush's military service, when he abruptly stopped flying and moved from Texas to Alabama to work on a political campaign.

The documents include a memo from Bush's squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, ordering Bush "to be suspended from flight status for failure to perform" to U.S. Air Force and National Guard standards and failure to take his annual physical "as ordered."

The new documents surfaced as the Bush administration released for the first time the president's personal flight logs, which have been the focus of repeated archival searches and Freedom of Information Act requests dating to the 2000 presidential campaign.

The logs show that Bush stopped flying in April 1972 after accumulating more than 570 hours of flight time between 1969 and 1972, much of it on an F-102 interceptor jet.

director Dan Bartlett said "partisan Democrats" [That's rich] were "recycling the very same charges we hear every time President Bush runs for reelection" and added: "It is dirty politics." [They would know about that.] But he did not contest the authenticity of the documents, which could not be verified independently by The Washington Post. [Wonder why.]

In another "memo to file," dated Aug. 18, 1973, Killian complained that he was under pressure from his superior, Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, to "sugar coat" Bush's officer evaluations. "I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job," he wrote in a memo titled "CYA." "I will not rate."

Staudt has insisted that he was not influenced by Bush's status as the son of George H.W. Bush (R), a Texas congressman in 1968 and later head of the CIA.

He has also rejected the assertion by former Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes (D) that Barnes intervened with the head of the Texas Air National Guard to secure a position for Bush there at the request of a Bush family friend. Barnes, who has raised money for Democrat John F. Kerry's presidential campaign, repeated the assertion last night on "60 Minutes."

The new commercial by Texans for Truth, to be aired on $110,000 worth of television time in battleground-state cities such as Harrisburg, Pa., and Columbus, Ohio, shows Bob Mintz, who served as a lieutenant in the Alabama Air National Guard at the same time Bush was supposed to be serving, speaking to the camera:

"I heard George W. Bush get up there and say, 'I served in the 187th Air National Guard in Montgomery, Alabama.'

I said, 'Really? That was my unit. And I don't remember seeing you there.' "

Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, charged that Texans for Truth "is a front group for MoveOn.org that has spent tens of millions of dollars attacking the president. . . .

This is a smear group launching baseless attacks on behalf of John Kerry's campaign that will be rejected by the American people." [Just like Karl Rove, right?]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:11 PM EDT
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