January 27, 2004
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THIS IS PART 2 OF THE JANUARY 27, 2004 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1.
Subj: Peter Jennings
I have just sent an e-mail to ABC asking that Peter Jennings come up with credible detailed proof that George W. Bush served his entire time. I also asked for them to find out why he got a social conscience for a few months and worked in an inner city youth center when he never had before and he hasn't since. I would also like for them to show any other kids who were allowed to not show up. Go ahead and name all of them no matter which party their parents were registered with.
If Peter is going to push anyone he should have the proof for his case. George Bush used his uniform to get people elected and that is it.
The Bushes weren't mislead by the intelligence agencies. They wanted a reason to attack Iraq and they would have taken anything.
Subj: Running Interference for the Clowns in Charge
Dear BuzzFlash & NPR:
David Kay continues to run interference for Bush & Co, to wit: making the circuit of news outlets this past weekend asserting that "the intelligence community" owes Bush an apology, and not Bush who owes Americans an apology, for the ginned-up Iraq WMD story that was Bush's excuse for war.
I believe Mr. Kay should be reminded that, it was not everybody who thought Saddam's Iraq possessed WMD's.
Colin Powell's on February 24, 2001 --
" Frankly [sanctions] have worked. He [Saddam] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."
So, was Powell lying in February 2001, or in February 2003, when he spun his tale of impending doom if Iraq was not immediately invaded and "declawed"? Good Lord, Saddam couldn't even "project conventional power against his neighbors," let alone attack the U.S.
If the Bush Administration so heavily relied on "faulty" CIA intelligence, then what were the reasons Cheney and Rumsfeld felt compelled to set up there own, separate "intelligence" office in the Pentagon to accentuate and exaggerate Iraq WMD stores and capabilities?
If Iraqi WMD stores were that obvious (notwithstanding Colin Powell's words in February 2001 and not a peep about the "need" for an invasion of Iraq prior to 9/11), why did the Bush Administration have to "market" a war beginning in earnest September 2002? I mean, FDR hardly had to "market" WWII after Pearl Harbor.
The bottom line: there was NO clear and NO present danger posed by Iraq on the U.S. Its tinhorn dictator was a ruthless thug, no doubt, and so are many others. Shall we just go ahead and institute a draft so that we can swell the ranks of our armed forces so that we can invade and nation-rebuild every country with a dictator? Well?
Subj: Howard Dean's electrifying talk to "Women for Dean"
I watched many of the candidates' speeches on CSPAN this weekend -- both on the campaign trail and at the N.H. Democratic Party's dinner on Saturday night. I felt very energized and uplifted by them (except Joe Lieberman, whom I just can't stomach although my husband and I will vote for him if he wins the nomination).
Saturday afternoon, Wesley Clark made an excellent speech that challenged Republicans on family values and deconstructed their alleged "moral superiority."
Sunday morning, Howard Dean made THE MOST FABULOUS, PROGRESSIVE, INSIGHTFUL SPEECH on women's issues I have ever heard. It was electrifying! You can hear in on CSPAN.
I have been all over the place on which Democratic candidate to support as I really want to beat Bush, and I think they all have a great deal to offer. I also think that they will probably be fine on women's issues.
But Howard Dean's speech on women was the best articulation of women's issues (such as poverty, discrimination, control over reproductive capacity, opportunity, domestic violence) that I have heard in any campaign, ever. This is a genuinely feminist man who really likes women and is not afraid of them. THAT takes a lot of strength of character.
Just remember all those men surrounding Bush when he signed the ban on "partial-birth abortion."
Re: David Kay
Asked whether President Bush owed the nation an explanation for the gap between his warnings and Kay's findings, Kay said "I actually think the intelligence community owes the president, rather than the president owing the American people." What bullshit! Everyone knows the intelligence community was giving information to the White house which reflected that Iraq wasn't really an imminent threat. The White House (Cheney) cherry picked whatever information fit into their plans (which were planned a very long time ago).
I can't believe this guy said that. He lost my respect after he made that statement.
Barbara in NYC
Subj: He Lied Again, And He's Getting Away With It
"Had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day." President Bush, State of the Union Address, 2004.
He lied again, this time on a scale that dwarfs "yellowcake," and he's getting away with it.
With these 17 words, the President proudly informed Congress and the American people that the war had terminated ongoing Iraqi WMD programs. The fact that President Bush's claim cannot be reconciled with the report to Congress delivered by David Kay, the Administration's handpicked weapons inspector and until recently the head of the Iraq Survey Group, has gone barely noticed in the media.
President Bush, in the sentence immediately preceding his claim that Iraqi WMD programs would still exist but for our intervention, cited Kay's report that the Iraq Survey Group had identified "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities." However, in his report to Congress, Mr. Kay unmistakably distinguished between "related program activities" and ongoing WMD programs, and conspicuously omitted any claim to have identified ongoing Iraq WMD programs. For example, in the case of nuclear weapons, Kay reported numerous "related program activities" but stated that no evidence had been uncovered indicating the existence of an Iraqi program to build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material. Among these related program activities, Kay noted the redeployment of key technical groups from Iraq's pre-1991 nuclear program to "work which could help preserve the science base and core skills that would be needed for any future fissile material production or nuclear weapons development." While such redeployment may be plausibly characterized by Mr. Kay as a "program related activity," such redeployment is, of course, actually evidence that the Iraqi nuclear program had been discontinued.
After the controversy over claims made in last year's address regarding alleged Iraqi attempts to acquire uranium, it is unfathomable that the President could again be so reckless in his claims regarding alleged Iraqi WMD programs. It is increasingly difficult to attribute such recklessness to inadvertence. Furthermore, it is difficult to avoid the inference that the President deliberately sought to exploit Kay's use of the phrase " weapons of mass destruction-related program activities" and, by the juxtaposition of his reference to the Kay report and his reference to ongoing Iraqi WMD programs, sought to foster the misimpression that Kay had identified ongoing Iraqi WMD programs.
In addition to President Bush's invocation and then contradiction of the Kay report, recent statements made by Vice-President Cheney suggest that the White House has embarked on a strategy of either blithely ignoring or even repudiating the Kay report. In an interview with National Public Radio last week, Vice-President Cheney claimed that semi-trailers found in Iraq were " conclusive evidence" that Saddam Hussein "did in fact have programs for weapons of mass destruction." However, Mr. Kay clearly stated in his report to Congress that the semi-trailers were not sufficient to corroborate the existence of a mobile biological weapons production effort.
Meanwhile, the White House continues to get a free pass from the media on these repeated mischaracterizations of the Kay report. Slate Magazine actually credited the President for his "careful phrasing" in referring to Saddam's WMD "related program activities" rather than "weapons of mass destruction programs," apparently oblivious to the President's assertion in the very next sentence of his address that Iraqi WMD programs had been ongoing. The Washington Post, in reporting the Vice-President's claim that the semi-trailers constituted conclusive proof of a biological weapons program, neglected to note that the Vice-President's claims were contradicted by the report of the Administration's own weapons inspector.
The Administration's continued insistence that Iraqi WMD programs were ongoing, even in the face of contrary findings by its own weapons inspector, suggests that the Administration realizes, notwithstanding its protestations, that the existence or non-existence of Iraqi WMD programs is critically important to domestic support for the war and to the U.S.'s leadership and moral standing in the world.
Subj: Why Aren't Candidates Taking On Drug Companies
As we all know the drug companies have gouged the public, prevented generics from hitting the market, have bribed doctors to prescribe their drugs, have prevented the importation of drugs, and have hid harmful side effects from the FDA during testing. As a result we have a crises with seniors having to chose between food and drugs because the cost is so high.
The actions of the drug companies should call for an investigation by Congress, but I don't hear one person in Congress calling for it. Furthermore, I haven't heard one Democrat running for President taking on the drug companies despite the fact that this would be an issue that would resonate with the public.
Can you explain it?
Subj: Joe Lieberman not a Democrat
Sunday on one of the talk show, I believe it was on Wolf Blitzer on CNN, I heard Joe Lieberman say that Republicans wouldn't vote for a Democrat but they'd vote for him.
Was that a Freudian Slip, the truth, or both? After listening to Lieberman I'm inclined to say BOTH!!!
By the way, does anyone other than me, think that Joe Lieberman looks like the Keebler Elf?
Subj: Clark/Bush Desertion Question
On Meet The Press on Sunday Tom Brokaw nearly admitted that Bush was AWOL while trying to admonish Gen. Clark for not denouncing Mr. Moore for accusing Bush of desertion. In the transcript Mr. Brokaw says:
Mr. Russert and Mr. Brownstein did their best to talk over Mr. Brokaw and were able to divert the discussion, but the fact is that Mr. Brokaw admitted to knowing about Bush being absent from the Guard when in Alabama!
Someone needs to call Mr. Brokaw on this. Ask him why, if knows this as fact, he has never seen fit to report it on the nightly news.
And from now on, whenever Gen. Clark is asked about the charge of desertion by Mr. Moore, he needs to respond by saying: "I don't know if Mr. Bush was a deserter or not, but according to the press we do know that he had a big absentee record as a National Guard member in Alabama, and Mr. Bush needs to open up his military records to clarify his record of service once and for all."
-A Loyal Reader
Subj: Remembering Bush's Run and his Lies THEN
My job isn't to judge somebody's heart. I believe that's up to the almighty God to make that decision. And so when confronted with the facts - the two questions that a governor - at least I ask - is guilt or innocence and was …Carla Faye - either had full access to the courts of law in the state of Texas and Washington, D.C., in the federal courts - when I answered those affirmatively, I signed the - the execution went forward.
I could never understand how born again Christians could vote for a man who would kill one (or more as in the case of Iraq) of their own.
A real murderer from the start.
This link is an interview by Jim Leherer with Gov (argh) Bush.
Subj: Central Texans help Army train soldiers for duty in Iraq
Subj: The Future has Changed
Just 3 years ago the Congressional Budget Office was projecting 10 years of surpluses. Under Clinton we dreamed about paying off the national debt by the end of the decade. Now they are projecting 10 years of deficits with this year's deficit setting another record - one half trillion dollars on the red. Cheney says that deficits don't matter. Having gone from the biggest surplus in the history of the world to the biggest deficit in the history of the world in just 3 years make me wonder what Bush is even running again. I'm scared to think what America will be like with 4 more years of Bush.
Subj: EMINENTLY QUOTABLE
Re: Ralph Nader: Don't Run
Thanks to the link on your site to this very true flash movie, I was able to reach Nader's exploratory committee. I sent them this email (see below). I thought my analysis/metaphor was reasonably clever. If you have any use for it, feel free!
Unless you're part of that school of thought that roughly says,"thing have to get really bad before the people rise up and force a change," you shouldn't even be dreaming of running. If you are not part of that school, than you owe it to the country and the planet to back whatever Democratic wins the nomination--even Lieberman!
There's no law against being a vocal and honest critic/watchdog of that person(especially after the election). There may be a law against it if you run and Bush gets elected(note I refuse to say reelected for obvious reasons).
I'm sure there are many people who feel as I do: People who consider all the good you've done over the years. Sometimes when I think about your work, I take a stab at a God's eye view. That view goes something like this:
"Nader has saved hundreds of thousands of lives and helped millions of people by being the effective advocate he is. Let's say that's a hundred pounds worth of good deeds. When he futilely ran for office in 2000, and refused to admit that Gore was a better man than Bush, he, like it or not, caused the killings of thousands, the eventual death by pollution of millions, and harm to billions. Let's say that's a thousand pounds of sins. The arguments he makes for the good he did by running are extremely legalistic--as opposed to real truth-seeking, I'd say that gives him another 20 pounds of sin. At this point Nader is dragging around 920 pounds of sin. That's a great deal to be carrying around. Maybe you should acknowledge your own errors and foibles(even to yourself), and help rid the world of this pestilent coup."
Thank you thank you thank you for your interview with Amy Goodman. Your intro used a word I always use to describe her - she's one 'tough' lady. Tough and smart and compassionate and sharp and truth-telling, to name just a few. And she loves her staff and brags about them during her programs.
Amy not only covers the world and large domestic political issues, but she introduces the ‘small' people as well; people you would Never see on corporate TV, people running small operations in the cause of justice, humanity and the world environment. I have often wound up in grateful tears after her interviews with people striving to create a better and more just world. Whether the ‘small' people or Arundhati Roy or Noam Chomsky or Edward Said - she brings them all to us. Every BuzzFlasher should tune in [via radio or www.democracynow.org] - and tell their progressive and right-wing friends to do the same - they all might learn a lot about our world.
[NPR could learn a lesson from her, reminding themselves of their original purpose and sound of 25 years ago; they've grown too old, too staid, too establishment].
Subj: WMD Plant
Just wondering if there was any truth to the story about an attempt to plant WMD in Iraq. I read the story here: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/06/266752.shtml. I searched your site and found some commentary about the possibility of Bush planting evidence (I'm very surprised it hasn't happened yet), but nothing on this specific case.
Keep up the good work!
RE: Russert Sunday (01.25.04) a.m. interview of Gen. Wes Clark
Dear MWO --
I caught Russert Right-Wing-Wh*ring all over Gen. Clark yesterday and it, truly, made me sick. Of ALL the issues facing America this year, Russert couldn't think of anything better of obsess on, right out of the gate, than "what about Michael Moore's calling President Bush a 'deserter'!?" Over and over again Russert couldn't stop badgering Clark about this. Clark, all in all, handled it with class. He said, effectively, that (1) he wouldn't have used that word, (2) Moore's freedom of speech is absolute on political issues, (3) lots of people feel that way, (4) he really doesn't think the past is more important than the future anyway, and (5) next relevent-to-this-election question, please. But Russert couldn't let it go. This psuedo-issue was all over Russert like a bad rash. And, no matter how many times he hounded Clark, the answer was, basically the same (see 1-5 above).
Jeez, as me about that Russert. I'd say that, "YES, it appears that the Chimp-in-Chief did, indeed, desert his duties (such as they were) during the Viet Nam War." But, I'm not Gen. Clark and Gen. Clark answered Russert. But Russert wouldn't let it go.
Golly, if ONLY the MW's were so tenacious and obsessive with W. Bush and his lies, contradictions, hypocrisies, and deceptions . . . If only . . . .
P.S. -- I and my wife are Kerry supporters. But that's irrelevant to Russert's kindergarten-level attempts to trash Gen Clark...
P.P.S. -- O.K., maybe I'm leaning a little Edwards' way, but don't tell my wife.
Subj: Press Coverage of Delegate Count
What has amazed me over the past week of watching all the media coverage and reading all the media coverage I can has been this: Nowhere, not once, have I heard above the horse racing and handicapping and talk of Dean's Scream and Kerry v. Clark on the military rank and the Moore introduction of the General v. the Deserter, nowhere have I heard one of these fine media outlets ACTUALLY TELL ME HOW MANY DELEGATES WERE IN PLAY OR ALLOCATED IN IOWA! This would have been actual hard news!
Also, I have not, over the past week, heard any of these fine media outlets speak about HOW MANY DELEGATES ARE IN PLAY IN NH! No, it is more fun to speculate who will "win" a state (a meaningless statistic in light of the delegate count). These are a few of the outlets I have watched/read:
(OK, you get the idea).
Hey media, let's not be afraid to cover actual facts. Fit it in between the ninth and tenth times you mention Dean's Scream and the seventh and eighth time you mention Michael Moore.
Subj: Letters to BuzzFlash
I am hoping against hope that every letter written to BuzzFlash.com is also sent to the writers' local and national papers and other media outlets and/or to the writers' elected representatives. Please don't just vent to the choir, rather try to get your message out to the greater public. I attended a forum where the subject of touchscreen voting was brought up and the room went nearly silent. Many people who rely on the mainstream media have no idea that this is even an issue. Another well educated, but working friend had no idea that there was an any controversy in the details of the 9/11 tragedy. Keep writing, but make sure your message reaches the widest possible audience.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Ref: Dennis Miller on CNBC
FYI: The following was sent to the show. The way he was kissing up to AAAAAAAnold and the right made me sick. Democrats should really kick this guy's ...
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Subj: Elaine from Petaluma
Elaine, Dear, I was extremely touched by your letter in the mailbag of 1/26.
Your intelligent words, made me actually feel as if I know people who have their eyes on this country and all that is going wrong with it.
I just wanted you to know, that I was so flattered to by your praise of my concern about this country and the young folks in Iraq....we know now that it was needless.
I am concerned about ALL the young ones, the ones who have been maimed, the ones who have lost limbs....and will never be the same again. I get a lot of name-calling at times...I am unpatriotic...If I back the troops, then I must back the "Commander in Chief"....No, not if I do not believe in the Commander in Chief. He has sent many people into harm's way, just to satisfy his need...his need to be an important person...I believe that he never cared how we got there just so we got there! Does anyone believe Paul O'Neill??? Those are his exact words!
To me, he will always be that arrogant son of a b++++ ..who's mother actually asked a host, "Why should I bother my beautiful mind" with the bodies coming into Dover?
I now have a little better understanding of him....but, he frightens me!
My Granddaughter is still alive, and if we are lucky, she will come back to this country in May 2004....I still grieve for all those who are lost!
I went through it once....In VietNam...My brother...a 24 yr old...another needless war...back there. But, this war, is even worse! Then, we thought we were helping our allies...it went on much too long...and no leader would give it up until 58,000 men died (I think no women died in that war)..if so, I apologize to the families!
People ask me all the time, if I am not proud of my brothers name being on that wall? And I tell them the same thing I tell folks about my granddaughter was proud of both before they were sent to fight in a senseless war!
Subj: Opposition research
Watching the Sunday news shows, I noticed how the reporters think they're striking terror into the hearts of all Democrats by constantly implying that Herr Karl Rove and the boys in Ed Gillespie's backroom at the RNC have "opposition research" on Democratic candidates. Oh, really? Democrats have their own opposition research, consisting of everything Bush and company have done during the three year period in which they have held (usurped) office. My goodness gracious, if the compendium of things that have gone wrong in the Iraq war alone isn't enough " opposition research", then I wonder what is? And, the record of environmental depredations has been laid out in explicit detail by environmental groups (e.g., see Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s excellent piece in the December edition of Rolling Stone Magazine). Moreover, the net job loss throws us back to the age of Herbert Hoover for a suitable comparison. Tax relief exclusively reserved for the super-rich is also "opposition research" that speaks volumes. No-bid Halliburton and Bechtel contracts, regulatory backsliding in the energy field that spawned "Kenny Boy" Lay and his ilk at Enron is another tasty morsel for "opposition research". The stock market and mutual fund debacles are legion. And, when using the phrase "opposition research" as an intimidation tactic, I wonder if the pundits have in mind Joseph Wilson's sordid tale about his CIA wife's "outing" by administration operatives? Perhaps Democratic opposition research could involve compiling a dossier on exactly what did happen in Louisiana during the early 1970's, when Dubya was supposed to be in the Texas Air National Guard? Could anyone please supply us with his daily activity log, or is it simply too impertinent to raise this question? Amazing how huffy and indignant the media people have gotten over Michael Moore's accusation, isn't it? It's really ironic how the phrase "opposition research" is only supposed to scare Democrats. I say it's high time that we started bandying around that phrase every single day. I will gladly send a nice big check to the Democratic National Committee, were Terry McAuliffe to issue some type of assurance that the DNC is preparing a thick dossier on Mr. Bush. Just read Sidney Blumenthal's book, "The Clinton Wars", to see how it is done. Basically, one only needs a computer, an internet connection to Google, and a fax machine. Each and every time a media know-it-all tries to frighten a Democrat with the implication of "opposition research", start cranking out the faxes and e-mails as a riposte. Make them very specific, verifiable with footnotes, and easy to read. Believe me, the truth will out, especially when it is laid out on the table, sliced into ready-to-eat pieces, just like a hot, delicious pepperoni pizza from your favorite pizzeria.
Donald P. Russo, Bethlehem, Pa.
Subj: Robert McNamara Rips Iraq War
Where's the US press as the architect of the Vietnam war calls Bush War II morally, politically and economically wrong? And Bob McNamara should know.
See "The Road to Disgrace," on Bad Attitudes.
Subj: Faulty Intelligence Indeed!!
While the mainstream news media gather like flies around David Kay's accusation of faulty intelligence in the buildup to the Iraq War ("It wasn't the President's fault, he just got bad information!") implying that our public employees of the FBI and CIA were totally incompetent, they as usual completely miss the story that ANYONE reading BuzzFlash and countless other progressive news sources already knows -- namely that the right wing neo-con's Defense Policy Board was set up inside of the White House as an alternative "end-run" to bypass the legitimate intelligence community.
This fact is documented extensively in articles such as:
"Beyond Osama: The Pentagon's Battle With Powell Heats Up" (11/20/2001)
"The Stovepipe" by Seymour Hersch
So is anyone going to take the Bush Administration to task for re-inventing the intelligence pipeline to suit their own needs? I can't imagine that the thousands of hard-working risk-taking CIA employees can take this sitting down. Not to mention the outing of Valerie Plame.
Hello Peter Jennings. This is an easy story!! Or is it??
Subj: Evil Genius
He says it himself!
A reporter in Davos who was asking Dickie about his retiring public profile received this unusual reply:
Wow, worse things than Saddam come out of holes!
Gives me the creeps like a Grimm's fairy tale.
Margaret from New Haven
Subj: W never falls on his sword
In recent months we've seen both Tenet and Rice fall on the WMD sword, and now this:
...Asked whether President Bush owed the nation an explanation for the gap between his warnings and Kay's findings, Kay said: "I actually think the intelligence community owes the president, rather than the president owing the American people."
Who to blame? Anybody but W, of course. He's a great leader as long as he's got someone with a mop right behind him.
Pamela of the Poconos
Subj: Quote from Napoleon - A lesson for President Bush
This was on the Information Clearing House website for 1.23.2004.
Eminently Quotable is one of my favorite bookmarks and I refer to it often, including a different one in my e-mail signature each week. Thanks for the great resource.
[BuzzFlash Note: Thanks for the addition. It's been added to the list.]
otherwise noted, all original