July 11, 2005
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Read the BuzzFlash FAQ for info on submitting to the Mailbag.
Subject: Miller Jailing
We have the media lamenting this because of protecting "whistleblowers"? The whistleblower in this instance was Amb. Wilson.
These "journalists" colluded with the Bush Administration to ruin his wife's career to shut him up! And I doubt that Ms. Miller will be treated the same way that Ms. McDougal was treated for the same offence. I have yet to see Ms. Miller paraded in irons.
Why is he not being further investigated?? Bush Sr. signed into a law a bill regarding naming CIA agents!!
Subject: London Bombings
Fellow BuzzFlashers of Great Britain and all the people of Great Britain,
I want to let you know that you are in our hearts and prayers at this time and that we are in solidarity with you. I have admired your great courage and your great strength in this time of crisis.
I cannot keep thinking that this would not have happened if our government did not enter into Iraq and pursued Al Qaeda elsewhere instead. When we were attacked on our soil on 9-11, we somehow developed a nationalistic spirit and put on a "light show," not heeding what the rest of the world thought or thinking twice about it what it might mean to the rest of the world - God Forgive us and have mercy on us.
Please take a lesson from us and keep your focus on Al Qaeda and do not develop the spirit of nationalism. Do keep your sense of national spirit, but do not develop a spirit of nationalism.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: London Aftermath - Remember Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan (sent to corporate media)
In reading your postmortems in today's edition on the London bombings, nowhere did I see any account of the role that Bush played in undermining the ability of Tony Blair's intelligence services to smash Al Qaeda's cells in Great Britain last August.
Please remember that right after the conclusion of the Democratic convention, in an attempt to divert attention from any post-convention bounce, the Bush Administration announced a new set of alerts based on intelligence it gleaned from an Al Qaeda operative that the Pakistani ISI had turned into a double agent. This double agent, Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, was providing critical information to the ISI and on to British intelligence about Al Qaeda operations in Great Britain, when the Bush Administration suddenly "outed" this covert channel in its efforts to hype a threat. The Brits were forced to make arrests sooner than they wanted, which not only suddenly dried up the flow of information on Al Qaeda activities in the country, but also resulted in at least five other key operatives in Great Britain escaping capture.
If you don't want to believe me on this, just Google in Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan and look for the information. Or you can look at the following, and contact Senator Chuck Schumer's office and find out if he ever got a response from Francis Townsend on this:
As I said on my blog, I suspect that there are many in British intelligence today who remember quite well what happened last August and would have wanted a couple more weeks to smash Al Qaeda's cells before the Bush Administration bungled their way into another effort to ensure his reelection at all costs.
Subject: Response to "Judy Miller Goes to Jail" letter
Yes, I too have had problems with Judith Miller's reporting for the NYT. Too wimpy and fence-straddling (at least most of the time). But if ANYONE belongs in jail, it's Robert Novak. What excuse are they using to keep him off the hook/out of investigations? Come on, guys: if ANYONE belongs in jail/prison over the betrayal of Valerie Plame -- and, let me point out, this not only ended her career but put her LIFE in danger (as if they didn't know) -- it's Robert Novak. Can someone out there justify his exemption from prosecution/punishment? I'd love to hear the excuse(s).
Barb in Athens, GA
Subject: Barb In Athens, Ga
I was once a blue soul in Athens, GA (I attended UGA from 1972-75) and I just wanted you to know that I can relate to your frustration. On my infrequent visits back to the state over the years, I have learned that for all the surface changes to the societal attitudes and debate there, very little has changed in the hearts and minds of its communities...the reactionary attitudes, for a little while, at least, were driven underground...but now they're reemerging with a vengeance. It was bad enough in the 70's...I can only imagine what it is like after intolerance percolates for 30 years. I was "outed" as a lesbian while in the police academy at UGA in the 70's, and it was not a pleasant time for anyone of my sexual orientation.
Do they still hold the Old South days parade where the frat/sorority crowd dress in hoop skirts and Confederate uniforms and parade through town to celebrate the "glory" of the Old South? When I was at Georgia, they even hired young black kids to be chained up to the rear of the buckboards driven by the frat boys and marching behind them...I knew then and there that I had to get the hell out of there as soon as I could...all I know is it takes a particular strength to be an "openly" blue soul in that red state, and I just want you to know I admire you for it.
Subject: Just Wondering ...
I am reading BuzzFlash and so many questions pop up in my mind so I thought I would just ask, hoping for an answer to some of them.
If yellow is the colour of cowards (ie: yellow bellied, yellow spined, etc.), why are yellow ribbons used to depict support for your troops?
If your "Electoral College" is the arbiter of the outcome of your votes, why bother voting since they seem to be rather partisan and in favour of the Republicans? What is the purpose of having a body that can overrule the electorate?
In everything that I have read and from what contact I have had over the years since 9/11 (phone support for an American ISP "off shored" to Canada), Americans are a very fearful people. Why are so many of your citizens scared of so much? Life is so fragile that a slip in the tub can kill you; do you stop bathing?
Aren't any people who own guns, yet use them recklessly, threaten and harm people or kill them, equal to terrorists?
Finally, opinion: I believe that Bush rode into the policeman with his bicycle meaning to bring attention to himself. He is attending a G8 conference with seven other heads of countries and therefore had to distinguish himself from them. After all, his arrival in Scotland was not pre-eminent in the news, nor was the focus on him, unlike his previously scheduled town ghosting events. This is my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
Subject: When Will Conservatives Get It?
Honestly, how long do they really want the war on terrorism to go on? 5 years? 10 years? 15...20...etc.?
With conservatives, it has been one war after the other, all in the name of some moral purpose that only they can define and the rest of us are just anti-patriotic liberals for not jumping on their crusading bandwagon.
Wars and conflicts end by a matter of diplomacy called negotiations for surrender.
The two conflicting sides inevitably gather up enough courage and wisdom to admit to themselves and each other that their present course of action is unsustainable and is a never ending cycle of death and destruction.
Someone has to offer up the olive branch. Someone has to start talking in a language that gets through the threats. We simply cannot continue on the same path as we are now. Violence begets violence. We have to break that cycle. We have to begin to admit things to ourselves in order to begin to understand what has truly made organizations such as Hammas and al-Qaeda angry enough at us and others to lash out so violently.
We have to admit that terrorists don't hate us because of our freedoms. What kind of statement is that? They hate us because we interfere with their lives and attempt to force western ideals on their lives. They've asked us as nicely as possible (street riots, protests, flag burnings, and effigy burnings) to simply stay in America and leave them alone.
But, being who we are, we don't know how to leave well enough alone, and as Johnny Depp put it, we "blunder around like a puppy in a china shop, always breaking things."
We were targeted not because of who we are but because of what we've been doing for so very long to a people, a culture, and a religion that feels they are constantly slighted, shunned to the lowest levels, and are targeted just because they are Islamic and Muslim.
Whether we like it or not, we have to come to terms with the real root causes of the terrorism, get it across to them that we understand and need to find a way to cease the cycle of violence. The terrorists need to understand that as long as they continue their actions, we will always retaliate with a disproportionately larger reaction. The terrorists must also be made to understand that they are going to be held accountable for their actions.
Conservatives say there is no negotiating with terrorists.
I say stop lying to yourselves and to the rest of us because no one has really bothered to try.
You cannot forgive the past or past actions on either side. However, if we can get it across that if they are willing to truly discuss their problems and that we are truly willing to listen and understand, perhaps...just perhaps...we can finally begin to understand each other on a truly meaningful level.
We fought the British twice on our soil. We fought the Spaniards. We fought the Germans twice. We fought the Japanese. We fought the Vietnamese. We've fought amongst ourselves and yet, in the end, sanity prevailed and the hostilities were ended.
Certainly we can find a way to bring sanity to this situation and find a way to end the hostilities.
It just takes one clear and courageous voice to make the call.
I hope mine will be the first.
Subject: Morning After London Massacre: Tim Russert Tells Us Dems Are Evil
I thought Tim Russert again showed that he's either overcompensating for his Democratic party origins or has switched sides.
His comments the morning after the bombing, on network television, emphasized how Bush needed to stand strong, and how Democrats would likely take advantage of the event for political purposes.
He also declined to quote Senator Reid or even our DNC chair. Instead he chose to go into right-wing spin world by focusing on Hillary. In the context of his presentation he made it sound like she was a prime example of Democratic political opportunists.
What was especially unfortunate was that this was on a weekday morning, major network show, which millions of Americans would be watching to get information about the bombings (which had taken place the previous day).
Of course, some of us, even if we find Katie tiresome, see her as infinitely preferable to the knitted brows and faux seriousness of Russert's pompous act as mouthpiece for the Bush administration.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: They Want Our Despair To Defeat Us
One thing the neo-cons think is that by constantly promoting fear, anger, and despair in the people they will disempower us to act. To this end, they create an alternate reality through the media to confuse the ignorant and frustrate the informed. Their facade is crumbling (see recent polling) because it doesn't resonate with the facts, and it doesn't reflect how most HUMAN BEINGS think and feel. "The revolution will not be televised," as someone said, but it's happening right now all over the world. So get on board and, have a little faith, people!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Letting Go of God
fyi ... Ira Glass who hosts "This American Life"
did a show June 6 titled "Godless America." It featured a long out take of Julia Sweeney's one woman play, "Letting Go of God." (Personally, I haven't let go, but it was still really good.) It's about 25 minutes long and as humorous, interesting, and thought provoking as anything I have heard. Laughed till I cried.
The whole show is excellent - including Cornell professor Isaac Kramnick, co-author of The Godless Constitution, as he gives the religious right many of the arguments they use to tear down the wall between church and state. Then he shows how those same arguments are meaningless. Exposes, once again, that those who want to tear down the wall are the SAME people who LOST the SAME debate when the Constitution was ratified. As you know, the Sun Myung Moon-empowered theocrats really do want to change the Constitution to a version which the founding fathers REJECTED. Why can't we just tell Dobson & his anti-Constitution gang that we already had an election over this when the Constitution was ratified and THEY LOST?!!
Kramnick starts at 21:30 and Julia Sweeney is starts at 38:00.
don't miss Sweeney ... (BTW, she was "Pat" on SNL.)
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 OF THE JULY 11, 2005 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG