July 12, 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: Soldier arrested for political activity
A soldier whose blog was critical of the Iraq war was arrested Sunday for campaigning for political office.
The arrest of Leonard Clark, of Arizona's 860th MP company, raises concern over free speech in the military at a time when polls show growing public opposition to the war in Iraq.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice leaves a soldier's free speech up to his commander, but campaigning for political office may violate Defense Department regulation 1344.10. It is not clear what campaign activities Clark has participated in.
Blogs have presented a new challenge to the military. A recent rule requiring that soldiers register their blogs with their chain of command caused several bloggers to shut down their sites, saying they did not feel they could be as honest as they'd like if they had to give up their anonymity.
Clark's blog did not reveal information that would jeopardize himself or his fellow soldiers. In fact, he states repeatedly that the reason he is speaking up is to protect soldiers from what he sees as a pointless war.
Clark has been sharply critical of the Bush administration. Responding June 28 to Karl Rove's attack on "liberals," Clark wrote, "We are fighting for a just and righteous cause: to expose the liar who is keeping our men and women over here in Iraq for his own political gain and to bring back our men and women of the Armed Forces who serve so bravely."
Clark was called in to his commander's office on the Fourth of July and threatened with court martial unless he stopped posting his thoughts and opinions about the war in Iraq and President Bush. His ranking officer told him to take down his blog comments. But in a July 5 e-mail later posted to his blog, he stated, "I believe American soldiers (my brothers and sisters) are being killed needlessly over here in this lie we call 'the Occupation of Iraq.'"
After his arrest Sunday, his blog was saved and removed from public view. Many of Clark's e-mails are saved at the online magazine Daily Kos, and his correspondence with a friend named Esther Lumm is saved at the online Clark Community Network.
Clark, now 40, first enlisted in the Army at 17. After finishing his initial service, he went in and out of National Guard, eventually volunteering to serve in the Persian Gulf. He is a kindergarten teacher who has run for political office in Arizona. Clark is married with one daughter.
Letter to the media regarding Leonard Clark (stophernow.com)
Subject: Valerie Plame
The media keep reporting that Karl Rove indeed told a reporter that Joe Wilson's wife was a CIA agent working on WMD issues but that he technically committed no crime because he never used her name. I was wondering: How many wives does Joe Wilson have?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: What's wrong here?
How much more evidence do we need in order for Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the Senate to hold this president accountable for either war crimes or defrauding the people of the United States? The sad reality these days is that it takes a scandal such as a president receiving oral sex in the Oval Office by an intern to qualify for above-the-fold headlines and impeachment. Leading the country into a war under false pretenses? Sorry, not juicy enough.
What's wrong here?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Re: A Must Read BuzzFlash Editorial
Great comments! You are so on point. We need to get the Busheviks out.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Alfred E. Bush
Sorry, but I am as outraged as the right-wingers regarding Ms Clinton's comparison of GWB to Alfred E. Neuman. Alfred E. Neuman never allowed billionaires to steal the pensions of working people. Alfred E. Neuman never rigged an election. He never cut health benefits for veterans or took money from school programs to line the pockets of his business cronies. He never even once shielded a traitor from justice. And Alfred E. Neuman certainly is NOT an amoral, bloodthirsty warmonger. I think that Ms. Clinton owes Alfred E. Neuman an apology.
Michael J Fowler
Subject: To Cleveland Plain Dealer
E&P published this letter sent to CPD editor Doug Clifton:
Most Editors Say They'd Publish Articles Based on Leaks (David Cay Johnston, mediachannel.org)
Dylan Otto Krider
Subject: White House Briefing
I noticed that the White House waits a couple days to put the links on their site, but the file pattern is just the date and article number, so this is a link to the questions asked today about Rove/Plame. Enjoy! Karl Rove in the frying pan.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Your Editorial Should Be Required Reading
Your recent editorial, "Bush is Killing America by Claiming Failure as Proof of Success," was one of the most succinct, cutting exposes on the failures of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot. I have a "Hall of Fame" folder on my hard drive for news stories or web pages I come across that really hit 'em where it hurts. Your editorial has just taken over the top spot (formerly held by a piece on George Galloway's dressing down of certain criminal elements in the Senate).
Bush has been an INCREDIBLE failure at everything he has ever done and the number of Americans who realize this fact is alarmingly low. Good job.
Subject: Who was the second LEAKER????
Who was the SECOND administration source who leaked the info about Plame? Remember, Novak said TWO administration sources confirmed that Plame was CIA. Who was the second one?
Subject: Doyle McManus' Article in the Los Angeles Times
I read Doyle McManus' article in the Los Angeles Times ("After Flagging Support, A Second Wind For Bush") in yesterday's paper, and was most struck by the second line: "A surge in public concern about terrorism means a probable boost in support for President Bush and the war in Iraq."
Probable. Not certain.
If you do a search on Lexis/Nexis for articles written by Doyle McManus, I think you will find the same type of writing in many of his articles about the Bush Administration.
I first noticed Mr. McManus' byline in 2001, just a few days after 9/11. He wrote an article about how George W. Bush was fully engaged in what was going on. He even quoted Karen Hughes, who miraculously just happened to have a folder containing some of Bush's "notes" right at her fingertips.
Having worked for the State of Texas when George Bush was first elected governor, I am very familiar with how Karen Hughes operates. She would never grant a one-on-one interview with anyone unless she could guarantee the outcome. So, in the tumultuous days after 9/11, for her to take the time to sit down with Mr. McManus and tell him that, basically, the president was doing his job, was astounding.
Once again, Mr. McManus has performed for the Bush White House. Yes, history has shown that Bush gets a bump in approval ratings following any terrorist activity (although, if that's the case I can't figure out why his approval ratings aren't through the roof, but that's just me). But, perhaps this time the public might have had enough and given Bush even lower ratings. But we won't know, because Mr. McManus assures us that "a surge in public concern about terrorism means a probable boost in support for President Bush and the war in Iraq."
Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. And so typical.
Subject: It's About Time - Image
Dear BuzzFlash Familia: cc of an email to my peace posse list:
As the House of Bush’s house of cards shakes like a leaf, here are some excerpts from the Boston Globe:
Also, here is a video of the White House press corps finally, finally, finally standing up to ask straight-forward questions of Bush’s weasel White House spokesman at:
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, IS THE ATTACHED. Let us Petition the Universe for light and justice! Meanwhile, always remember - Nixon got re-elected.
Subject: Reporters Grew a Spine with McClellan
Oh my God - I almost fell out of my wheelchair when I saw the reporters finally treating McClellan like Bill Clinton on July 11th.
I guess reporters finally GREW A SPINE and are not afraid of being "Helen Thomas-ED" and "sent to the back row and gagged with tape" any more.
Now let's see if reporters keep it up or if they just wither away.
Speaking of Clinton. Can you picture Bill Clinton and Al Gore having THE INTELLIGENCE and FACTS FIXED AROUND THE POLICY and Sending 1700++ Soldiers to Their Deaths, with A Republican Congress Majority in both The Senate and The House?
How fast would you spell - IMPEACHMENT??
Subject: Media Silence in the South!!!
The Countdown News Show with guest host Alison Stewart was silenced on Time-Warner Cable, in Fayetteville, NC, from the beginning of a report on the London debacle, approximately 8:20 p.m. until exactly 8:55 p.m. There was NO Audio for most of the show!!! Every other channel could be heard in the interim. I just thought you should know.
Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for July 11 (MSNBC/transcript)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: A New March on Washington
To Chris (Mailbag 7/11/05):
The ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) has announced their goal of sending a sea of demonstrators to D.C. on 9/24/05. Details can be found here:
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Alfred E. Neuman
Aw, come on Hillary ...don't insult Alfred E. Newman like that ... what did he do to you?
Looks like Julian Borger nailed it
Bush aide accused of CIA leak: Reporters told wife of former US ambassador was an agent (The Guardian, October 1, 2003)
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: The Borger article's conclusion: "The White House has turned down Democratic demands for the appointment of an independent counsel to look into the matter. The inquiry will instead be carried out by the FBI under the supervision of the attorney general, John Ashcroft, a Bush loyalist." Let's hope that won't be the key to the result. Patrick Fitzgerald is not an "independent counsel," as Ken Starr was.]
Subject: Please Post
Conyers is hosting a meeting on DSM July 23, 2~4pm Wayne State University Law School Auditorium, Detroit, MI.
Let's pack the place and the campus and Cass Avenue all the way to Jefferson. Publicize!
Subject: Bolton, Rove, Plame Connection
"Deep Thought" says Plame's name came to Karl Rove via John Bolton's sneaking peeks at secret operative names at the CIA. Same info Bush is withholding from Dem senators on Foreign Relations Committee reviewing Bolton nomination for UN ambassador. You heard it from "Deep Thought."
[BuzzFlash Note: Interesting speculation. (See, "Who Is John Bolton?")]
Subject: Response to the BuzzFlash Reader, et al.
To all of you who read my posting, and especially to the BuzzFlash Reader who commented:
Please understand that we who do not live in the United States, read or see every day, through one venue or another, what is transpiring in your country and are horrified that you are not all demanding your rights as citizens. Every day, more rights are being removed from you, your freedoms are curtailed, your right to say what is on your mind is undermined as you learn to police your opinions, your right to demonstrate is evaporating, your ability to feed your children and to have them properly schooled and educated is being eroded, they are dying in an illegal war, you have no universal healthcare nor can you claim bankruptcy any more, and, though it is generally understood that most politicians are corrupt, there seems to be an inordinate bunch of them in your ruling administration. It is true that your jobs are being off shored faster than ever; many are coming here because of our publicly supported healthcare system (not free but certainly affordable and based on income). Canada is a beautiful place to live, but we certainly have our own problems, too.
The city/town I live in has the highest poverty rate per capita in Canada. Homelessness is commensurate to our largest cities (ie: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal). Our provincial government has slashed programs for all, including our elderly, for the past four years until they, too, are nearly on the streets along with the families squatting in the parks. We, who felt the sting of the governing party's cutbacks, responded with anger, and though we did not reclaim the province in May's elections, we did cause them to lose 30 previously held seats out of seventy-nine in total; they (I hate to call them BC Liberals, because they are anything but) now have forty-six seats to the New Democrats' thirty-three. We will be holding early federal elections after the Gomery report comes out according to our minority government (our own little scandal about monies spent allegedly illegally to preserve Canadian unity over the Quebec separation referendum under the previous Prime Minister). I will fight tooth and nail to keep the New (neo) Conservatives under Stephen Harper from becoming the next Prime Minister. I will do all I can to ensure that our freedoms remain intact, just as many more who feel as I do will.
Now this monologue may seem to be off subject, but it is not really. Though some politicians in Canada are fear-mongers, most Canadians, but not all, refuse to take the bait. Most of us will not submit to their doomsday predictions and will continue to fight for our rights as free citizens. Yes, we understand that we, too, may be attacked and some of us may die, but that is something that should not stop us from continuing to enjoy the life that we have, at present and now. It may not be a rich life in monetary terms, but the richness of family and good friends is worth far more than mere material goods. We take care of each other. Watching nature unfold in its infinite wonder is worth more than material goods, even though it has been the wettest summer I can recall. So on a daily basis, life is worth the struggle against agents who would repress us.
This, then, was my point when I asked why are so many Americans so fearful. When something is not right, as so many things are not these days, do not fear, but feel the righteous anger blaze through you and defend against those who would have you suppressed and feeling hopeless. There are so many ways to do so as the mere existence of so many wonderful independent internet sites proves (such as BuzzFlash, Alternet, CommonDreams and I have to say, Rabble.ca among others for Canadians). Organizations are being created specifically to combat this administrative, corporate, military takeover. Become involved.
Finally, when you think of how your administration (and ours as well), through the capitalist lobby groups, is destroying the quality of life of average citizens such as you, remember this: "They need you more than you need them." Arundhati Roy, ending one of her speeches on corporate injustice (it has been a couple of years since I read it so I cannot verify the date of the speech, but I was so struck by the sentiment that I have never forgotten it). Peace to you all in your daily lives.
Something has occurred to me that I haven't really seen fleshed out anywhere: Valerie Plame (Wilson)' s covert job involved tracking illicit/illegal trade in weapons of mass destruction. although there were no wmds in iraq, they do, nevertheless, exist elsewhere in the world. the men who traffic illicitly/illegally in these wmds, are, obviously, exceedingly nasty men. the Russian mafia, for example, is not known for its subtle methods. by outing her publicly as a covert cia agent, the "two unnamed white house officials" were telling those exceedingly nasty men who she is and where she lives. And where her family lives. this is tantamount to hiring a contract killer to "take her out," or very very close to being the same thing. that this was done as a premeditated act on the part of the bush white house to silence dissent is a proposition favorably disposed to rational thought by the following 2 indications:
1) there is indeed throughout official washington a climate of fear (now)
2) the President's failure to take any substantive action in the intervening 2 years to remove these men from the White House and access to other classified National Security information.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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