March 26, 2004
Important Note: Because we can't always determine your intentions, we need to ask a favor of you when you send us email. If you DO NOT WANT YOUR EMAIL PUBLISHED in the Mailbag or in the Contributors section, please write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the Subject line or at the top of your email. That way we'll know it's just a comment to BuzzFlash. Additionally, if you submit a mailbag item and DO NOT WANT YOUR NAME associated with your submission, sign your email "A BuzzFlash Reader." If you send email unsigned, we will post your name with your submission, or, if that's not available, your email name (not the full address, just what's on the left side of the email address). Please try and keep your word count under 400. If your letter includes hypertext links, please include the entire URL. We can only post a small percentage of what is sent to us. The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Thanks again for your email and your patience.
Subj: A blast from the past: 2nd presidential debate 10-11-00
In reference to the 3-23-04 mailbag contributor's subject above, I think this could be turned around to work perfectly in a Kerry campaign ad.
This link provides proof positive via a written transcript of the 2nd 2000 presidential debate (although we know how transcripts can be altered) that gwb has upheld ONE campaign promise. . . . The campaign promise that he would get fix the Iraqi problem by getting rid of Saddam and helping solve the energy crisis.
Subj: Is there any optimism out there?
Like many of you, my head spins at the lies and misdeeds being thrown at us. To top it off, having to deal with republicans in the family just hurts sometimes. We can't keep spinning on the negative and really need some optimism. I would hope that the democrats can get the positive vision going and stick to it. Many Americans are not involved/interested in politics. They really need to hear that voting is going to make a difference for them and also need to know WHERE to vote. We need to make it as easy as we can for the first time voters because like a BuzzFlasher said- we have to show up in such masses, that there is now way for W to claim a narrow win/cheat.And we MUST have bipartisan exit polls at every voting place.
A couple of years ago, we had a high school senior run for school board. He was wondering if he could beat the incumbent. I told him to see how many people even voted in the last school board election and then go talk to at least that many people and get his own votes through the people who don't usually vote. He didn't have money, a big name or experience, but he took the time to talk to people and he won. The little smirk in office is not going to change any minds of the 50% + anti-bush crowd no matter what he says from now until then. Even despite what may be found or captured. They are adding up the religious so called right but there are more non-voters who don't fall in that category. We shouldn't waste our energy on the pro-fool dittoheads.
I feel that we can revitalize this nation and ultimately the world if we invested and focused on renewable energy sources. Low interest loans to install new energy systems. I see manufacturing jobs returning to create the parts for wind and solar energy. Jobs created by investing in mass transportation. (This would be a win-win-win situation) Less dependence on oil and less pollution not to mention the world politics involving oil rich countries. We could become the leading exporter of solar/ wind systems that could help many areas around the world like Haiti which continues to deplete their forests just for fuel to cook. I was amazed when visiting the island of Utila off the coast of Honduras, I discovered their main source of power was petro- generators. Plenty of wind and sun- yet gasoline. I am sure there are many areas like this. We could be the good guys again, helping nations with their basic needs. The best part would be the freedom from greedy energy/petro giants. We are so damned dependant on them and they know it. How much will we pay for fuel until we start to wake up and become more self sufficient Jim Hightower once mentioned something called The Apollo Project?? Anyone know anything about that? Kerry's record on the environment is good and I hope he can convey this message and expose W for hands down supporting big business over the environment and the health of us citizens.
I love this quote from The Turning Point by Fritof Capra "We can control soft landings of space craft on distant planets, but we are unable to control the polluting fumes emanating from our cars and factories......the business world makes us believe that huge industries producing pet food and cosmetics are a sign of our high standard of living , while economist try to tell us that we cannot afford adequate health care, education or public transportation."
We could also invigorate small farmers and ranchers through initiatives vs. the big agriculture/industry meat producers. Americans need to know that this administration does not support testing all meat yet we give many subsidies to these big conglomerates who hire mostly immigrants who won't unionize and work for squat and in horrible working conditions. (it's the big business who wants their cheap labor from Mexico) Our food sources are at the hands of a few and this needs to be changed. Just think of the great unpolluted food we could get from local growers if only they could compete. Some of these big business are starting to think of our water as a commodity.
I could go on as there are many greedy, ruthless, bush friendly corporations that are reeking havoc on us and the world. I just wanted to point out that we need to do more than just change who is in the white house (although that is our number ONE priority) We need to take on who put him there in the first place. The US and the world need all of us to step up to this task. We have to organize, organize, organize. - No missed opportunities to educate folks and encourage everyone to vote. Since the media is squashing our voice- we need any musicians, artists, celebrities, pirate radio operators- anyone who can get an audience to use their voice to get out the vote. The young could make the difference. It is their world and the adults in power are screwing it up at a very rapid rate.
Sorry I went on so long. Thanks again to BuzzFlash that gives us a voice and to all you other writers who help keep me informed and sane. Peace and love
Sdawn-San Marcos TX
Subj: Maps of Iraqi Oil Fields in Cheney Energy Meeting Notes
This letter is in reply to one of your readers who referenced the Cheney Energy meetings and the article in the New Yorker.
A conservative watchdog group called Judicial Watch is the group suing Cheney for the Energy meeting documents and list of participants, I believe. They did get access to some documents that were considered to be in the public domain. Lo and behold, the documents included maps of Iraqi oil fields!
These meetings took place prior to 9/11. No one can tell me Cheney wasn't damned interested in getting into Iraq.
Leslie in Boston
Subj: CONVENIENT EVENTS OF MASS DISTRACTION?
You've got to be suspicious about the timing - the spiritual leader of Hamas, who had been under surveillance all this time, is killed when leaving a mosque, and the Pakistani army was on the verge of getting Al Qaeda's no. 2 man Zavahiri (who maybe escaped through a tunnel), two major events that happened the moment Richard Clarke speaks out, and comes out with an explosive book! How Convenient!!! The Bush cartel is famous for distracting the nation like this, and I get more and more suspicious about the way they operate.
I have a good laugh when I picture all of them at the white house sweating and scurrying about, and trying to do damage control, whenever their sins are exposed! They must be very busy these days as more and more of their blunders are coming out, and must be finding it hard to cope. The poor things. Hey Bushies, the past is finally catching up with you.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Forget his present status...forget his association with Haliburton....you can even forget his position as Sec of Defense under Bush the first...forget all the above...but only for a moment...i.e.,....forget it until you patch it into...his position as Chief of Staff in the Ford administration...(while dodging the draft)....then tie it into his tenure as a congressman from nowhere...back to the future as Sec. of Def.,...to CEO oh Haliburton...to VP of USA, after vetting all other VP candidates...etc, etc... Cheney
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Defining the race to November -- with our wallets/pocketbooks
Linked at BuzzFlash.com yesterday -
"58% of Americans See Bush as Strong on National Security. Lucy, We Have a Problem Here! 3/23"
Now why is that?
It's one thing to distrust the Associated Press -- whose political coverage during & since the Clinton administration remains discernibly "rightish" (recall "Peter Yost"); ditto the Washington Post, Hiatt, Downie, Kurtz(& elves, i.e., "Jack Shafer," "Mickey Kaus" @ Slate) with Pincus, Milbank & a few others excepted -- but the polls can't all be wrong. Et tu, "tv news?" Ever or increasingly the oxymoron?
Recall the 60%-70% who once believed(and many still do) Saddam was connected to 9/11.
And the 50% who invariably approve of Mr. Bush no matter what. Plus up to 30% more who bleated like sheep to the snorts of Texas bull in the aftermath of 9/11.
How does this happen? Why does it continue?
Is there something in the air? Water? Amentiating additives in the food we eat?
So where's MoveOn when you need them NOW? Still sulking after the defeat of Howard Dean?
No. MoveOn has moved on, admirably, continuing the fight with its "censure" campaign against Mr. Bush; promoting "clarity" wherever it can; spreading the words of "Al Gore." But is this enough or, more germane, the best use of its reach & power? (MoveOn's Voter Fund boycott of CBS was perhaps too little, too late -- but WORTH the effort if we could learn from it).
Why are progressives, liberals, independents and everyone else opposed to this administration spinning their wheels on (largely) preaching-to-the-choir protests, often useless fuming and ranting while the REAL "perpetrators" continue their merry, profitable, Bush-enabling ways?
If Sun Tzu didn't say it, we will:
When the deceiver has unlimited resources to deceive, attack the fingers performing his sleight of hand.
That means YOU, the progressive, liberal, independent, Bush-opposed, largely-unorganized-for-consumer-activism voter cum CONSUMER.
Why AREN'T we hurting the news divisions of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC, WaPo cable, where they BLEED? IN THEIR POCKETBOOKS?
As we wail and whine about the ZILLIONS Bush & co. have available to lie, smear & mindwash, we continue to overlook, indulge, patronize and enrich the advertisers/sponsors who SUBSIDIZE the mouthpieces perpetrating & perpetuating such deceit.
AGAIN -- WHY?
Why aren't we organizing? Why haven't we mobilized 50+ million Americans to identify & boycott corporations, products and/or services that SUBSIDIZE the systemic, pernicious betrayal of a "free and independent press"? We already KNOW, don't we? How *TELEVISED NEWS* is the primary culprit-cupid to America's continuing, delusional and destructive infatuation with George W. Bush?
When will WE turn this marriage-in-hell on its pointy spinning head?
Advertiser boycotts DO work. It's a FACT.
Yet, we can't recall a SINGLE sustained, "national" boycott organized by " our side" to PROTEST a) televised news' continuing complicity in enabling Bush et. al. to deceive "the American people" re: Iraq, Medicare, tax cuts, the environment, job losses, the faux recovery-REAL ceo profiteering " stimulated" by basement interest rates; b) televised news' selectivity in rejecting anti-Bush or speak-the-truth ads; c) televised news' SUBSTANTIVE and ESSENTIAL role in determining November's outcome due to (1) Mr. Bush's advertising warchest;, (2) television news' "ideological" -- read pro-Bush -- agenda vis-a-vis owners, ownership, management.
There is no failure in trying. There IS and should be much SHAME in NOT voting with our pocketbooks.
MoveOn's Voter Fund *DID* attempt a boycott of CBS prior to the Super Bowl. But once is not enough.
Boycotts don't have to be "massively" successful in first-attempts. Successful boycotting is a skill, which can ONLY be acquired & enhanced through repetition, learning from mistakes. But the point is to TRY.
Case in point: smearing Richard Clarke.
Today and tomorrow: "defining" John Kerry.
Will we continue to "allow" Bush & co. to DEFINE the game according to " their" rules?
Or could 50 million Americans "exercising" the right of their pocketbooks against media deceivers, parrots and their enablers(corporate sponsors) turn Mr. Bush's "warchest" to salt?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: The Only Man To Say, "I'm Sorry."
Whatever motivation Richard Clarke may have had for writing his book, be it anger, be it to expose negligences, or be it the all-mighty dollar, my skepticism was erased when I saw this.
This was not a man engaged in back-stabbing Bush. This was not a man engaged in giving Democrats an edge.
This was a man who felt he truly saw something wrong. This was a man who felt someone had to stand up and say what he felt was wrong.
This was a man who offered himself up as a focal point to the anger and despair the families of the 9-11 WTC attacks.
And here is what he received in return.
Despite what you may think, despite how much Republicans, repugnant talk-show hosts, and other spin-doctors, despite how much Democrats may want a smoking gun, Richard Clarke is one thing in my mind.
He is truly a patriot.
Subj: Good JOB . . . BuzzFlash
for getting Daschle off his butt and getting him to finally attack the Resident for his Kingly ways-"off with their heads" if you don't do the Kings bidding so to speak.
Keep going BuzzFlash-love ya...
Subj: Richard Clarke Claims of Pre-9/11 Warnings Are Not New!
I have noted with dismay, though not surprise, the suggestions made over the past few days that Richard Clarke’s claims in his book that the Bush administration did not act promptly after being advised of the urgent threat presented by terrorists are somehow new claims that are only being presented now in order to help to sell his book and to aid the Democrats in their current efforts to unseat President Bush in the upcoming election. What has not been mentioned in any media reports that I have seen or heard is the fact that Mr. Clarke’s claims are not new. One place where these claims were previously described was in the book “The Clinton Wars,”by Sidney Blumenthal, published in early 1993.
On page 792 of his book, Mr. Blumenthal describes how there were several extensive briefings given by Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger during the transition to Bush’s incoming National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and others on the Bush team, including Vice-President Dick Cheney, of the dangers posed by international terrorism. In another briefing, Mr. Blumenthal states that Richard Clarke, described as the single most knowledgeable expert in the government in this subject, provided these administration officials with a “complete tutorial”on the subject.
Mr. Blumenthal then goes on to describe how General Don Kerrick, outgoing deputy national security advisor, remained on duty for four months after the Bush takeover and had submitted a memo to the National Security Council warning that, “We are going to be struck again,”to which, “They never responded. It was not high on their priority list.”
According to Mr. Blumenthal on page 793 of his book, there was no Principals meeting of the Bush administration national security officials on terrorism until after constant pressure from Richard Clarke, they met on September 4, 2001, and the discussion on that date dealt only with the possible use of the unmanned Predator drone spy aircraft.
There may well be other prior mentions in other books or articles of the warnings voiced by Richard Clarke and others to the incoming Bush administration; however, to suggest that the current descriptions of warnings are somehow new and suspect due to being released to coincide with the release of Mr. Clarke’s book is certainly a false suggestion since mention of these warnings were contained in Mr. Blumenthal’s book a year ago.
It also seems very disingenuous for the Administration and its supporters to suggest that the timing of the release of Mr. Clarke’s book is somehow being done to aid the Democrats in their current campaign for the presidency. It is my understanding that this book, like that of Paul O’Neill, could not have been released until it had been vetted by the White House. The White House, therefore, had some control over the timing of the release of this book and they should not be heard to complain about it being released only now that a Presidential campaign is underway. As Mr. Clarke has publicly stated, he would have liked for it to have been released earlier but he had no control over the White House’s vetting process.
D. Michael Elkins
Subj: Liarbush! PROOF!
The following is a chronology of events that can be substantiated by reading an interview with Condoleezza Rice by Tim Russert on "Face the Nation" from 09/28/03. The transcript of the interview can be found at the following website: *http://www.msnbc.com/news/973028.asp*.
My comments are to take issue with Rice's statements and the comments of Brent Scowcroft, former national security adviser for GHW Bush and chair of The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board who, according to a 12/23/03 article in the Washington Post by Walter Pincus, (remember a quote is a quote, it does not matter what newspaper it comes from), "reviewed the matter for several months," (and) the intelligence board has determined that there was "no deliberate effort to fabricate" a story. . ." * http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25935-2003Dec23.html*
Prior to a speech Bush was to deliver at the Cincinnati Museum Center on October 7, 2002, Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice's first deputy, on October 5, 2002 and October 7, 2002, received two memos and a phone call from CIA director George Tenet regarding the lack of Iraq's nuclear capability (Rice’s interview w/ Russert). A number of people in Bush's administration (all of whom will be described in my message post) warned Bush not to use references to yellowcake and such references were removed from that Cincinnati speech. Despite those warnings, three months later Bush, instead, used a more generic term when he said "Africa" instead of Niger. The avoidance of the term "Niger" means that Bush knew, unless he does not rehearse his speeches, about the warnings regarding yellowcake in the Cincinnati speech. Such a 'twist' on the referenced location very strongly implies that there was a deliberate effort to use and hype the issue of Iraq's nuclear weapons threat which was, of course, nonexistent. The historic "16 words" skirt the blatantly available information provided by George Tenet to Condoleezza Rice, her first deputy Stephen J. Hadley, and Bush's speech writer, Michael Gerson, all of whom then knew that the British Intelligence on which the Iraq/Niger tie was made was a FORGERY! Yet, three months later, Bush still made references in his SotUA to Iraq's alleged effort to obtain yellowcake uranium in Africa.
Dr. Rice, a PhD from Stanford, contends that she, Tenet, Hadley, Gerson, and the Harvard educated MBA Bush, over the three-month period between the Cincinnati speech and his SotUA, ALL FORGOT that the British Intelligence was a bogus forgery. Can you actually believe that FIVE HIGHLY EDUCATED PEOPLE, one of whom is trained in espionage, one a PhD, one an MBA and President of the most powerful country on earth, and two others who are both (I am going to assume), at a minimum, college graduates, would or COULD forget the nuclear capability (or lack thereof) of a country they were PLANNING TO INVADE? Such a premise is insulting to anyone who can feed himself.
My point is that this administration is denying any culpability in this issue. First they pointed fingers at others. Then Rice claimed they all forgot. NOW, Scowcroft claims they didn't deliberately fabricate a story. Well, if they didn't deliberately fabricate a story, that means that they couldn't, as Rice claims, forget!
BUSH IS A LIAR WHO MISLED THE COUNTRY TO GO TO WAR!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Bush August Vacation 2001
"What most of these stories fail to point out is the incredible fact that in the month that Bush was supposedly warned of impending terrorist attacks, he was on a month-long vacation at his Texas retreat. Let me put it this way: Bush fiddled while the World Trade Center burned."
"Nah, forget that," he kidded. "I'm on vacation."
A BuzzFlash Reader
After reading your “Why Condi won’t testify”editorial, an incident came to mind. There was a press conference long before the start of the war in which a reporter asked the president if there was a plan on his desk to invade Iraq. The “on your desk”part of the question was, of course, rhetorical. The reporter was asking if an operational plan existed. The president’s response, if I remember correctly, was “There is no plan to invade Iraq on my desk at this time.”It struck me as an odd way to answer the question. If the answer was “no,”he could have said so. There was no follow-up question. In that age of innocence it was probably not imagined that the plan existed but was physically located on top of a file cabinet or, perhaps, in a desk drawer, so the answer was technically true. Since I was certain (correctly, as it turned out) that mobilization was already taking place, that statement was demonstrably false unless the president was willing to parse the word “is”and/or the phrases “on my desk”and “at this time.”Regarding Condi, because nobody could have anticipated the precise circumstances in which the crimes might have taken place, any number of details can be included in an answer for the sole purpose of making it ambiguous. Perhaps your access to sophisticated search engines can produce the quote.
I hope you appreciate the importance of your existence. You spoke out early and often with nothing but the truth (and continue to do so), and your fellow patriots applaud your courage and your persistence. You give us hope. Thanks for restoring my faith in my country.
You are the Patrick Henry of my age, and I promise to tell my granddaughters about you. With sincere gratitude,
Richard Clarke is a truly courageous man; knowing the consequences--that the " attack dogs" would be unleashed--he put his loyalty to the American people above his loyalty to Bush and spoke out.
The BIG QUESTION now is where does the loyalty of the mainstream media outlets lie? Is their loyalty to their profession, which demands the reporting of the full, unbiased truth? Will they re-examine their job of informing the American people (who will be charged this November with choosing the next President) and begin to take it as seriously as Clarke took his? Or will their loyalty be to Bush and his small cadre of ultra rich, neo-cons, and religious zealots? Will the press continue to spin every story to the administration's favor, helping Rove smear every patriotic critic who might dare to tell the truth?
After watching Clarke's 60 Minutes interview on CBS, I believe the tide is definitely turning. The people are wising up, and the rest of mainstream media will soon be forced to realize that they can no longer keep Bush's sinking ship afloat. We owe Clarke a great deal.
RA in LA
Subj: 911 Commission
Just as I expected...no one in this administration will say that they failed. They all insist there was no way they could have known about terrorists using airplanes as missiles, even though the facts say otherwise. It is typical Repuke attitude...we can do no wrong.
They would not be attacking Clarke so strongly if he were pushing lies. They would have confidence that the truth would win. I didn't see any confidence as they spoke, I saw typical Repuke haughtiness....
Condi says Richard Clarke cannot have it both ways...but she can?
Subj: Telling the Truth
Dear BuzzFlash and my fellow readers:
The day has finally arrived. It has taken some time. There are a few people who are not afraid to speak out and get the truth to the American people. I’m afraid that we are so confused that we may not see the forest for the trees. We have been lied to and manipulated in so many ways; I wonder if we can recognize the truth when we see it.
Richard Clarke and Paul O’Neill are two people I applaud for there courage to stand up and be heard. They feel that we need to know the truth. At great risk to their own credibility, they still continue to try to keep us focused on the truth and not feed us lies and innuendos to distract us from what is really going on.
WE have been distracted and given distorted information for so long. We are told one thing while watching our government doing something different. One of my closest friends always told me to “watch what they do, and not what they say.”
Sometimes I think that our government (and not everyone), but the Bush Administration feels that we cannot handle the truth.
Why not just come out and say “Well, I want to kill Saddam ‘cause he tried to kill my daddy.”Or, Saddam has control of the oil and if we can take over, we can lower gas prices in the U.S.”“The Taliban and Osama are sitting in the way of us building a pipeline through Afghanistan in order that we may tap into the some oil in one of those smaller countries, and we don’t want to pay the Taliban just to gain access to this oil, so we need to get them out of the way.”
Was that so hard to say that?
No, it’s easier to ignore the warning signs, ‘cause if we do, then we can justify attacking Saddam and Osama. Let’s keep them in the dark, and if we just ignore the warning signs, and they attack, well, we can just blame it on them and now we can just go on with our agenda. Oh, and by the way, we already had this information from a few years ago, and we thought we could steal the election, get back in power and continue with our great deception.
Now we have more than just two people who are speaking up. These two just happen to have an inside track into the dealings of this administration.
I applaud you.
It sickens me to watch Condoleezza Rice and the talking heads try to discredit them. How do you discredit the truth? You can’t. So you attack personally. They have an axe to grind. Gimme’a break. That’s the best you can come up with?
Anyone with half a brain can see through that ruse.
Personally, I feel, that as a nation, in order for us to heal, the truth needs to be told. These people risk their own livelihoods to tell the truth.
Some will never believe it, some will. I for one think there is entirely too much truth in what they are saying to ignore it.
Anita J. , Saint Louis, MO
Great web site. Please keep up the good work. Even though most Americans don't read, it's important to report on the Bush administration for the rest of us. Thank you.
Subj: missing from the clarke debate
what i find curiously missing from the debate the new clarke book has raised is the total omission of some much needed context regarding just what the republicans and the mainstream media was obsessed with in the last few years of the clinton administration...that being a blow job...its subsequent lie and the impeachment that followed...the clinton administrations actions where charged as "wagging the dog" rather then national security...and that obsession as responsible as the hindsight charge we are now hearing that bill clinton did not do enough to counter al qaeda ...
to refresh we the people on that missing context perhaps some reminders of just what filled the airwaves and print during those years and more importantly...what did not...
Subj: The correspondent's dinner and laughs about wmds
I caught some of Mr. Bush`s performance last night and cannot believe you inside the beltway people actually laughed . That he would have the audacity and insensitivity to make jokes about finding WMDS when he sent hundreds of our young soldiers to their DEATHS in search of them was stomach turning.
I wonder if the families of our soldiers patrolling there today .... who died there yesterday......who may die there today thought it was funny.
I guess if you don't laugh you won;t get a cute nickname.
Subj: Richard Clarke Friend of John O'Neill - O'Neill died in attack
John O’Neill was head of security at the Port Authority and died in the WTC attack on 9/11/2001 –he was friends with Richard Clarke, hence Clarke’s motivation for his book. Clarke said he wrote his book because the Iraq invasion and occupation would create more terrorists and attacks, due to another western occupation in a Muslim country, today in the hearings.
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 OF THE MARCH 26, 2004 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG.
otherwise noted, all original