May 11, 2004
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Subject: my letter to my senator
Dear Senator McCain:
How interesting that Rumsfeld said the photos would get worse. He probably knows something about the abuse since he is making that claim. How long has he known about this abuse? I wonder if he just didn't care. Perhaps he thought the Geneva Convention did not apply. If that is the case, could it be that we are not at war and this is really an occupation or an invasion? Ok, I will presume it is a war. If it is a war, then the Geneva Convention does apply. I suppose it is a possibility that Rumsfeld didn't know what was going on for over a year, which means he is incompetent. In either case, Rumsfeld needs to be fired. He and the rest of those soldiers who were perpetrators either through ignorance or through premeditation of these atrocious acts need to be fired. You say it is premature to remove Rumsfeld. Why? Is it alright to abuse human beings, perpetrating upon them what amounts to Satanic ritual? I demand that you call for Rumsfeld's removal at once. As taxpayers, we pay his salary. We will not tolerate ignoring the Geneva Convention and the abuse of any prisoner at any time.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: SCAPEGOAT-GATEI was a Corporal (E-4), Squad Leader, United States Army Combat Engineers, and it sickens me to see how the Bush administration in concert with the Defense Department are turning the six MPs from the Iraqi prison scandal into scapegoats.
Anyone who has spent one day in the military would know that these six MPs did not dream up this abuse/torture on their own.
They were ORDERED to do what they did.
What the press has to do is dig in and find out just how high up in the Department of Defense and Bush administration this goes. I will guarantee you it doesn't stop with the COs of the prison.
Think about this. Gen. Myers and Rumsfeld both knew of the pictures months before they were released to "60 Minutes." Why didn't they do anything about them? The answer is because they were most likely in on the plan to abuse/torture the Iraqi prisoners.
But don't stop there. The press has to go further. Find out if Rumsfeld and Myers were given orders by Bush and his White House staff to "interrogate" these Iraqi prisoners in the way we now know it was done.
Sound far-fetched? Not at all. Think about this...
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers all claim they knew nothing about the pictures until they were aired by "60 Minutes," yet ALL of them had the Gen. Taguba report dating back to January, 2004 outlining the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
No, the six MPs are being set up as scapegoats for a scandal that I feel reaches all the way into the Oval Office.
Think about this, too. This has all the earmarks of the Watergate cover-up. There is an eerie similarity between the two. This is Scapegoat-Gate.
Subject: fake Bin Laden statments
While hidden in a CIA jail cell Bin Laden continues to issue statements.
If there was any doubt that the US has already captured OBL it can be dispelled by the two most recent statements attributed to him. First the supposed deal he offered Europe, and now this threat upon the Secretary General of the United Nations. One has to ask: Whose interests are these comments best serving? Take a moment to look at these pronouncements and it becomes obvious that at the very least they sustain and satisfy the criteria: "If the CIA handlers could have OBL say anything they wanted him to say, what would they have him say?"
What would be OBL's motivation for suggesting such a deal to Europe? Obviously all self-respecting nation states have no choice but to issue some sort of self righteous statement of indignation. This, by default, is an indirect oath of allegiance to the cartel in the US that is perpetuating the so-called war on terrorism. And by default this somehow assumes the actual existence of such a war, and legitimizes the billions in profiteering. Like a company creating a need for a product that they happen to produce, the OBL threat would prove that all the fear that has been whipped up is for real.
Secondly, the offering of such a deal by the War on Terrorism cartel in the name of OBL is a direct commentary on correlation between the 3/11 Madrid train bombings and subsequent removal of the Spanish troops. It is Cheney's CIA's way of implying that Spain succumbed to terrorism. Whether the opposition candidate who won and acted on long-standing campaign pledges and in accordance with the overwhelming wishes of the majority of Spanish population was already favored to win the election is something never mentioned in the media here.
This latest fatwa from Bin Laden makes even less logical sense. Kofi Annan would be the last person on the real Bin Laden list. Annan has done nothing short of saying "go to Hell" to the War on Terrorism cartel currently in control of the US and has all but come out and yelled that he will not lift a finger to help the US until after Bush is out of office. Why would the real Bin Laden pick him of all people to put a reward out on? Again, the CIA could not have asked for him to say anything that would more perfectly serve their own purposes. You only have to wonder how the CIA made him tape the announcement from his jail cell. After this week's revelations I think we know the answer to that as well.
John Kerry has to be aware that Carl Rove has Bin Laden teed up for the October surprise. Kerry needs to taut them on it and bring it up so often that when they try it everybody will see the stunt for what it is.
Subject: John Kerry Where Are You?
John Kerry Where Are You? When the picture atrocity scandal broke, I was wondering when you were going to say something. Days past. Even Bill Frist had something outraged to say. Not you. I watched your website. Nothing. Finally came your rejoinder. You wouldn't be the last to know. So how is it that you were nearly the last to speak out? The administration response has been "slow and inappropriate" you said. Could you have selected any weaker adjectives? What an apt characterization of your own statements. How could you so deliberately miss the point? These monstrosities were not a defect in oversight. They were the inevitable and predictable result of an official policy of our government to ignore the Geneva Convention, just as we "unsigned" our commitment to the International Criminal Court. And now we all know why this was so necessary. These same things have been going on from Guantanamo to the shores of Tripoli.
Mr. Rumsfeld must be removed not because he did not act fast enough. And not even because he so tried so hard to cover this thing up, by classifying the investigation, by calling CBS to try to delay the story, and all that. No, Mr. Kerry, "slow and inappropriate" concedes that the Bush administration had no culpability in creating this climate of abomination from the outset. Our president had already determined that American citizens and foreigners alike could be placed in a legal black hole without recourse to the courts for all eternity. In fact, the only real problem our government ever had with Sadaam was that he would no longer torture, rape and murder the people we wanted tortured, raped and murdered. So we had to take him out and take over the job ourselves. And in that regard you're right there with Bush on the A team.
We have been duped. Your corporate media Skull and Bones friends first marginalized Mr. Kucinich, then they did a character assassination on Mr. Dean. And now we're stuck with you as the presumptive nominee, a guy who apparently is a lead pipe cinch not to change anything in foreign policy in any fundamental way. Your still have not admitted or taken responsibility for the fact that your original Iraq vote was your own personal error. How ironic the Republicans should now use that against you, that you didn't have the judgment to call them on that ill-advised move. I notice that 95 of our senators just voted to confirm Negraponte, the original death squad architect. How can you persuade anyone that all hope is not already lost?
You must immediately demand that we not send a single additional innocent American soldier to Iraq, and begin returning the ones whose tickets home have been dishonored. You must demand that our forces disengage from all offensive operations. You must demand that we renounce all claims to the wholesale looting of Iraqi assets and resources by American corporations. The key religious leaders in Iraqi are already in control on the ground. They have the hearts and minds of their people. We never ever will. The sooner someone has the courage to admit that and give them back their own country, the sooner some justice can come back into this world. The Iraqi people are not going to settle for a photo-op transfer of power.
And if you do not do these things, then you will lose this election. Because too many Americans may not even bother to vote, there being no real choice. You got enough votes to claim the nomination because you were a war hero in the past. There was a man of courage who walked among us 30 years ago. We needed that man to be a peace hero for today, but so far you have failed us. And that could mean the end of the world, as the Armageddon the neo-cons so crave becomes a reality. Literally.
There is a way out of this for you if you retain any shred of integrity. You could, for example, wake up every morning, read BuzzFlash.com and make that your talking points of the day. You could do a lot worse, which is of course just as you are doing now. Liberals and even hardcore progressives are so repulsed by the prospect of another 4 years of Bush that they are petrified to hold your feet to the fire, to call you on your timid policy positions. But they must. And you must listen before it's too late, or you can kiss the swing voters goodbye.
A BuzzFlash Rreader
Subject: Karl Rove speaks at Liberty commencement
Karl Rove gave the keynote address at Liberty University's commencement ceremonies this past Saturday. The only reason I heard about it was a small blurb in the local Baltimore Sun. Jerry Falwell said of him:
The class of 2004 and Liberty University are highly honored that Mr. Rove would take time from his very busy and strategically important schedule for the Liberty Commencement address. I have known Karl Rove for many years and I am greatly impressed with his wisdom, dedication to President Bush and his love for Jesus Christ.
David V. Johnson
Subject: Executive Branch's Exclusionist Excuse for Murder and Abuse
Again, judging from the quote below taken from The Guardian, Bush should not be held accountable for these abuses in Iraq. Maybe if Bush were president of a corporation, he could lie his way out of responsibility (the same way his family and friends lie their way out of trouble) . . . on the other hand, as Commander in Chief of our military . . . not to mention that he is supposed to be President of this country, whether or not he knew about the abuses shouldn't matter.
He is either running his office or he isn't. If he is in charge of his own office in the White House . . . he bears the responsibility of that office (although he has never been held responsible for anything lacking in that office) and if he doesn't know about these abuses, then he obviously is not the one in charge of his office, which also should be his Achilles heel.
Within hours that message would be on the desks of Donald Rumsfeld and the most senior officers in the US military. But if Rumsfeld is to be believed, even as a discreet inquiry was launched into the allegations, none of the President's most senior officials thought to tell George Bush.
Either way, George Bush wears the face that reflects his military and he wears the face that reflects this nation to the world. George Bush did not hesitate in using our military against a ravaged country.
Impeach George Bush and everyone in his cabal and maybe that would be enough for the world to think Americans do not walk down the same path, holding hands with George Bush.
Blaming a few underlings in the military for those abuses will never be enough. And, for killing so many people in this world . . . only those actions mentioned above match these crimes (plus years in prison). For once in his life, George Bush needs to take responsibility for his leadership or his lack of leadership . . . either way a person wants to view this, he is guilty.
George Bush may feel that if he never has to apologize then he has never done anything wrong . . . and that's okay, I don't care whether he apologizes or not, he obviously doesn't have the capacity to feel anything other than for himself. Why is this so hard for Americans to realize that they have a leader who is an abuser and a murderer without remorse. Anyway, how can a, " Gee, I'm sorry ," excuse any of these actions? eh?
Just askin . . .
Subject: letter to the editor, Washington Post
After reading VendeHei's "analysis" in the Sunday, May 9th edition of The Washington Post, entitled, "Despite Rhetoric, Bush, Kerry Agree On Many Issues," I realized it should have been titled, "Because Of Rhetoric, Bush, Kerry Agree On Many Issues."
It states that "Bush wants to preserve tax breaks for the middle class, slash the deficit in half by 2009, and limit government spending." The article ignored the fact that Kerry plans on reducing the tax give-away for the wealthy. I am tired of sloppy or misleading reporting. How can a respected journalist "ignore" such a large issue which contrasts the candidates' positions? Bush's tax breaks helped the wealthiest 1% of Americans, he increased the deficit by record numbers, even if you take out the cost of the Iraq war, and he limits government spending to the expense of very valuable programs.
The May 28, 2003 Bush tax cut will give the wealthiest 1% of Americans, on average, $96,634 in tax cuts over the next 4 years, while it gives the bottom 60% on average a total of $350 over the same period. (Citizens For Tax Justice, June 13, 2003)
This give-away hurts all of us. For example, "the budget for the Community Oriented Policing Services Program, the federal program that has put over 100,000 police officers on the streets and supplied new technologies to help in crime fighting was cut by the Bush administration by 80%." (Great Falls Tribune, Feb 8, 2003). He reversed an earlier OSHA plan to require new health care, safeguards against tuberculosis which could also have been used in the fight against SARS. From the 2003 budget, he dropped a low income child tax credit which would have benefited close to 12 million children around the country. Bush's tax giveaway goes to the wealthiest 1% and these kinds of programs don't survive! Kerry wants to increase taxes for the rich and use that money for these needed programs.
Deficit reduction: all talk, no action. He has proposed that his tax cuts, many of which are set to expire in 2005, be made permanent, a move that will increase the federal deficit by 2 TRILLION dollars! Bush is not someone who is planning on cutting the deficit, no matter what he says.
The war on terror: misleading rhetoric. The budget for maintaining vigilance at our borders and checking enough container shipments arriving in our country is inadequate. The war on terror starts with our country being protected. Bush is not doing a good job. His focus has been on attacking another country instead of making OUR country safer from attack.
I don't trust Bush to tell the truth. He has mislead us as to the amount of money and troops needed in Iraq. Either he knew and lied, or didn't know. We can't trust a leader who doesn't think through the consequences of his actions. How long can he blame his failed policies and actions on his subordinates? When does he ever take responsibility for knowing anything? The information he presented to congress about Iraq was extensively flawed and many people, such as Ray McGovern, CIA analyst for 27 years, knew the truth. Why didn't Bush? Before stepping into an obvious quagmire and committing extensive troops and money, shouldn't have Bush gotten a second opinion?
Bush now wants to involve the UN in the war in Iraq. After misleading the public about the war, alienating the rest of the world, and TOTALLY misreading the situation, Bush follows Kerry's lead. Did he ever study foreign affairs? (no) Anyone would know what trouble was waiting for us in Iraq. Are Americans that ignorant that we can't see that Bush says one thing and does the opposite? The reasons that Bush and Kerry seem similar is that VendeHeit isn't telling the whole truth. Bush's policies have been flawed and he's changing his rhetoric to hide his real agenda.
Subject: Karl Rove- The Catholic girls punching bag
Karl Rove recounts his beating at the hands of a young Catholic girl. What a manly, man.
Subject: reader contribution
WHAT THIS FEARLESS
KID TAUGHT ME
I think this
young man threw his life away for
At 27, Pat Tillman
was exactly half my age. How I
my will, I understand Tillman was a naive
As many know,
the war in Afghanistan where Tillman
meant Pat Tillman and millions of other
More than for
anything, fearless, lied-to Pat Tillman
was a patriot--a genuine, to-his-own-death
to Pat Tillman for what he taught me. He
He taught me
Bush, Cheney and other cynics sit in
Our nation under
George Bush isn't broken. It's
country back from these people is the
Subject: Mrs. Blank and her son, Spec. Joseph Darby
I watched A "Person of the Week" segment on "ABC World News" last night, which was devoted to Spec. Joseph Darby:Truth Teller Spc. Joseph Darby, Iraq Prison Whistle-Blower, Followed His Conscience
Darby himself was not there, but they interviewed, among other people, his mother, Margaret Blank. Mrs. Blank obviously has not had an easy life. She is suffering from multiple health problems and raising a younger child (a boy, who was beaming over a picture of his older brother) in conditions that can at best be described as very modest. Among other things, she talked about how, despite their hardships, she has tried to instill a sense of decency and honesty in her children. Obviously, she has succeeded. I would like to urge the Buzz readers to express their thanks and support to Mrs. Blank and her family, especially now, on Mother's Day.
P.S. Thank you again for being an oasis of sanity. Reading your Mailbag has become my daily ritual--an uplifting experience which makes me feel that not all is lost yet.
Theory: fake pictures will be mixed with real, and then revealed as
fake to take the edge off, and make the entire thing unbelievable....
I think that what may be happening is this... There are real pictures... And there false pictures...
Maybe the Psychological Operations (PsyOps) and Intelligence people have become very worried about the real pictures and so are sending out false pictures so that all pictures become suspicious. Some websites and newspapers have received pictures anonymously which is understandable if this is to protect the senders of genuine pictures but also it can allow false pictures to be received.
If you think about the work of PsyOps it would be seen as quite normal to do this. They could pretend that there is an Iraqi "black propaganda unit" that is doing it. They would secretly tell the Government this lie and say "well we have to do something against this as part of the propaganda war" and then make some pictures that are really easy to expose as fakes. Then they circulate them, so it creates a sensation in the media the Government say "well if it is true this is wrong and of course we will send the people who did it to prison but first give us time to investigate this." After a few days they say photographic experts have exposed them as false and there is another sensation in the media.
After that when more real pictures come out people have doubts even if they understand that at least some of them must be true.
This sort of uncertainty weakens the impact so that first thought of the ordinary person when they see the next torture pictures is not "Oh how terrible" but "Oh are they genuine?"
So far no one has accused the Iraqi resistance of doing this but that comes next, with some "proof" of course.
Then no one can be sure what is true or what is lies.
Buzz, this story from your headlines is just explosive:
The Pentagon cannot find anyone who'd know details about their contracts with private security firms (read: rapists, murderers, sex slave traffickers and other assorted CIA goons)? They do not have information about how many of those psychopaths are working for them, paid by OUR hard-earned tax money?? WTF?! Apparently *no one* in Pentagon knows much about who, where, when and why when it comes to private contracts with psychopathic CIA agents working for our military overseas. It's ENOUGH!!! Rumsfeld has to go. Bush has to go. Cheney has to go--and take his neocon henchmen with him back to hell, where they came from. It's not a second too soon--for our sake, and for the sake of the world. What the heck are we waiting for? What must we (or they!) do to make it happen??
A Sickened Buzzer
There have always been atrocities committed in wartime, that is part of the horror of war. They were committed in World War II, in Korea, Vietnam and now Afghanistan and Iraq. Many were accidental, but many were not.
At the southernmost airfield in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam, I was witness to abuse of South Vietnamese soldiers by their officers, likely for corporal punishment such as standing in the hot sun holding a heavy rock over their head, and spread on their back under a wire screen face up in the hot sun. A U. S. advisor to the Vietnamese Army said one officer beat his men with bamboo poles for stealing from civilians. Also that a South Vietnamese soldier might be executed on the spot instead of receiving courts-martial. I was informed that Vietcong prisoners were kept in holes in the ground only big enough to stand up in. These were ones that weren't executed when captured.
If a U.S. patrol was in open rice paddy areas and a South Vietnamese farmer started running toward a tree line, he was fired upon, because if they were VC, they might have weapons stored there. We have all seen movies full of war time atrocities, and many are based on facts.
I have read reports of actions taken by U.S. forces in Iraq during the fighting which can be classified as war crimes, such as killing wounded Iraqis. The horror of war brings out the worst in individuals, and the longer the fighting goes on, the worse it can become.
Many in the Bush administration have not experienced the horror of war, which is unfortunate. For the military leaders however, they should have known this was likely to result in atrocities and been prepared, instead of apparently adding to the cause.
The final blame however, must be placed on those taking the country into the illegal, unnecessary and unjustified war in Iraq.
The war in Iraq will cause serious problems for this country far into the future. A war which history may define as naked aggression and an actual war crime. A war which hasn't helped, but hindered the war against terrorism.
Subject: Cutting Rummy's neck--from RWnut NOVAK!!!!!!!
The clear consensus was that Rumsfeld had to go. ''There must be a neck cut,'' said the foreign official, ''and there is only one neck of choice.''
The clear consensus was that Rumsfeld had to go. ''There must be a neck cut,'' said the foreign official, ''and there is only one neck of choice.''The clear consensus was that Rumsfeld had to go. ''There must be a neck cut,'' said the foreign official, ''and there is only one neck of choice.''
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: First Lady Drinks the KoolAid
This morning (Monday, May 10) First Lady Laura Bush was interviewed by Charles Gibson on "Good Morning America." The beginning part of the interview was about "No Child Left Behind." Charles pointed out that she is a big proponent of "No Child," which she agreed, and then he pointed out some of the criticism, which she flatly denied. He pointed out that many feel it is underfunded, she said it set historic highs for education spending (which is false according to the GAO and even if true is not mutually exclusive).
Proof that Mrs. Bush is drinking the KoolAid came when Mr. Gibson pointed out his wife is in education and he has gone into a number of chat rooms for teachers. He says that he has read many discussions where teachers site "No Child Left Behind" as a reason for leaving.
Mrs. Bush answered, "I don't believe that. I believe there are other reasons for people to leave." She then went on to make comments that made it sound as if anyone who was leaving and suggesting that it was because "No Child," they were just bad teachers. Teachers should be happy they have Laura Bush as a Champion, who will tell them what they think and what they feel.
Subject: Saddam was responsible....
...for the abuses in his prisons. Why aren't Bush and Rumsfield responsible for theirs? Just asking.
Subject: Washington Post Headline
With respect to your reference to the Washington Post headline about how Kerry and Bush agree on many issues, I will reiterate what I have noted earlier about Kerry's basic conundrum. Bush's Iraq War policy is completely disintegrating, and it is on the verge of (if it hasn't already) becoming a monumental political liability for Bush. Unfortunately, Kerry has painted himself into a corner by essentially agreeing with the central focus and thrust of Bush's War. It is sort of like the swimmer who wades out to save a drowning man, and then finds himself being dragged under water by the flailing arms and legs of that desperate person. Kerry needs to divorce himself immediately from Bush's war policy. He needs to join with General William Odom and call for the return of all our troops. Granted, even a couple of months ago, this was a politically risky stratgey. And granted, Kerry voted for the War Resolution in the Senate. However, so much has happened since then that affords Kerry a host of justifications for demanding a pullout of troops. I'm not a war expert but even I can come up with a list of ten good reasons why we need to get out of Iraq now. Continued caution by Kerry on this subject is going to be disastrous. As we head into summer and fall, as Bush is crashing and burning because of Iraq, Kerry will be neutralized and unable to capitalize on this. Now is the time to bail out, Senator Kerry. Act now or you may not be able to act four months from now.
Subject: Conservatives say W is CLUELESS
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The Eveready Bunny Speaks
In a brief conversation with my neighbor yesterday, she said it would be very hard to vote for Bush again. Her admission set me to thinking about what took her so long:
Ok, ok, I'll stop but you know I could go on and on like the Eveready Bunny. That haunting question needs to be asked again... Are we better off now than we were 4 years ago? Clear the Bushes and plant trees! Vote Kerry!
Subject: Dug something out of archives
You've probably heard Rummy today, insisting that there are 3,000 court martials going on (giving us a sense of just how "tough on crime" he is), so he is just too overwhelmed to know about everything going on that he should have been made aware of.
US torture of prisoners/detainees began w/the public's knowledge, as far as I can remember, with John Walker Lindh. The written obscenity over his blindfold, his nudity, the Special Forces posing with their "souvenir" for photos were standard operation procedure from the get-go, and Rumsfeld's knowledge of all this but refusal to do anything about it because he was too busy to check on a "rumor" essentially gave a carte blanche to our military to continue the behavior. And they did. Now the 1AD is extended beyond its 12 months because Rumsfeld's cavalier attitude toward security have pissed off the entire Muslim world. Look especially at the bold section below. Where have you heard that excuse before? (today, at the Senate/House hearings). Rummy is lying his ass off. The guy is as oily as they come.
Subject: David Kaye and Abu Ghraib (Important)
The other day, while passively listening to one of the cable news channels, one of the anchors mentioned that David Kaye, when asked to comment on Abu Ghraib, said that he had warned (didn't say who) about the torture going on there and the problems it posed. The significance of this occurred to me well after I heard this. I have since looked around but have been unable to find the source.
This is so significant because Kaye may have brought this up with Bush during one of their many meetings/conversations. He seems like the kind of guy who may acknowledge whether he had told the President about it. I think it's important for somebody to ask him if he had ever discussed his concerns with the President. The WH hasn't acknowledged that Bush knew anything about it before the pictures aired.
I would appreciate your thoughts on this.
Subject: is it time to "find" those planted WMD's?
With the scandal in Iraq making many question what in the hell we are doing there in the first place, watch for there to be a sudden "discovery" of the famous WMD's. Of course we know that they are the very ones the Tehran Times has reported on several times as being smuggled into southern Iraqi ports by the US and British military in unmarked ships under the cover of darkness to avoid detection.
I have pleaded for anyone with a wide audience to talk this up so the revelation would be greeted with hoots of derision at the attempt to put another one over on us. Maybe it's not too late.
Sue in Florida
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otherwise noted, all original