October 25, 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.
THIS IS PART 2 OF THE OCTOBER 25, 2005 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
Subject: Bush Pardons for Treasongate
If Bush thinks he can just pardon a bunch of his staffers and other political operatives and neocons when they are indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald, he is sadly mistaken as is shown by the following article by Citizen Spook:
The Constitution Voids Presidential Pardons For Criminal Convictions Or Indictments Flowing From "Cases of Impeachment" Where The Senate Has Voted To Convict.
Read the entire article here:
[BuzzFlash Note: Perhaps cause for hope. We'd like you to be right, but what about this part? "This never before tested Constitutional process requires the House of Representatives to Impeach and the Senate to convict 'civil Officers of the United States' so that pardons of those Officers pertaining to criminal prosecutions flowing from 'Cases of Impeachment' can be voided." Sounds like big-time litigation, in courts that tend to be Bush friendly.]
Subject: Allison Barber
"Today Iraq has more than 160,000 security forces trained and equipped for a variety of missions - a dramatic increase from just two years ago."
Really? That's a quote from Allison Barber (of scripted troop conference fame) on July 4, 2005.
In answer to a question about the effects of negative media about Iraq and Guantanamo, she replies: " Being the spouse of an army reservist that just returned home from a yearlong deployment to Iraq, I can tell you wholeheartedly that our troops get their strength and their determination from the knowledge that they have the full support and backing of the folks backs home."
Ms. Barber's husband is an army reservist? Wonder if he agrees with her assessment that things are going so swimmingly over there.
A Buzzflash Reader
Subject: Uh oh. Here's the worst case scenario.
Dear Buzzers --
I keep reading little hints and rumors about plans to attack/invade Syria and Iran. My first response was "HUHH??? Where are these nutcases running the administration going to get the troops?" I mean, right now, we're not even capable of maintaining enough forces to make Iraq into the planned DemocKracy we've been lied into.
At first, I though "draft" -- but, nope, as the Repuglicans already know, THAT would go over like (as my 8th grade algebra teacher used to say about his jokes) a lead balloon. So...I asked myself...what are the alternatives.
I came up with a scary one. What if this BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP administration, in a last desperate attempt to "inspire" patriotism and rally the sheep around the flage, decides to hire mercenaries from "friendlier" (to THEM, I mean) countries in the Middle East: I mean, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon....and then there's always Darfur and other parts of Africa. Of course, that would mean MORE and DEEPER cuts to domestic programs -- oh, if any Buzzers out there are among the super-rich: don't worry -- your tax cuts will be safe. It's just the middle class and poor among us who will bear the burden.
You may think this sounds off the wall -- but I STILL think this administration (as I've said many times before) will stop at nothing. If it looks as if a debacle is likely in the 2006 elections, watch for an invasion of another country (probably Syria, but Iran is a candidate too). And since they can't even cover Iraq and Afghanistan (as more and more troops die each day), they may resort to the nightmare scenario I described above.
I really (literally) lose sleep over these thoughts, but I have to share them anyway.
Barb in Athens, GA
Subject: Bill Frist Lied for one reason only, HE'S A LIAR! Tom DeLay is so low he can't even reach that standard
Thanks for continuing to follow the lies of Bill Frist and the ongoing absurdities of Tom DeLay.
Despite the news being generated by Plamegate there are many of us who don’t want the spotlight off of Frist or DeLay even for a second because we understand that both of these men are as corrupted and unfit to serve as leaders as the Plamegate players.
As a Tennessean I will not be happy until Cat Killer Frist is out of Washington DC and returned to private life in Nashville where there is NO MORE OPPORTUNITY for him to vote on legislation that, as we now know, created a clear conflict of interest with his HCA investments.
I do worry about the cats in Nashville, though, perhaps we should put the humane society on high alert.
As for Tom DeLay, there’s just barely enough protoplasm there to make a man, it’s time to send him back to the bug's life.
C in TN
I hereby nominate the entire GOP for HOTW. To single out any individual would be to ignore the category 5 tidal surge of hypocrisy that was spewed forth this weekend. The beyond incredible stance of the GOP is "if you can't prove the crime then perjury to cover the crime is also not a crime."
It is my fervent hope that Fitzgerald will not only prove the crime, but prosecute the perjury as well - to the fullest extent of the LAW. Cheney's resignation is not enough. This is criminal matter that goes all the way to the top. Bring them out in handcuffs and leg irons.
Subject: A little note about ex pats....
In Berlin alone there are 20,000 Americans, similar numbers in London and Paris, not to mention the thousands of American students in Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, Jerusalem - and presumably in China, Japan, etc. We are probably more political than the average Americans and all tied to "home" via the internet. Though it's great to be able to see what is happening in the US, it would be nice to see a little more interest in events in the rest of the world even on the blogs - other than Iraq, one feels Americans haven't a clue that there is a world out there. thank you.
[BuzzFlash Note: Hope you're reading the World Media Watch on BuzzFlash. Feel free to send us interesting international stories to post, using our "tip" form at the bottom of the home page: http://www.buzzflash.com/contact/newstip.html.]
Subject: Bolton as Mastermind behind Plame/Wilson Leak?
As the Valerie Plame case comes to a head and indictments handed out, the underlying question should be where did this effort to undermine Plame/Wilson begin? Who is patient zero in this viral spread of retaliation? A theory brought to me by a trusted source inside the government is below. Curious to hear thoughts and reactions as the more I read it, the more it sounds believable.
One name being vastly overlooked as it pertains to Plame is that of John Bolton. And when I think of it even more, this has a lot of Bolton's prints on it.
As Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security (or "T" in State Department parlance), Bolton's portfolio included proliferation issues. And we all now know that Bolton was not shy about jumping over bureaucratic barriers to get what he wanted. Bolton was likely in the loop on the yellowcake issue and Wilson's mission to Niger -- both through front channels in his capacity as “T” and through backchannels in his capacity as State's leading conservative (Bolton isn't a neocon as he doesn't really believe in all this "freedom is on the march" jazz) and through his right hand man at State, a former CIA officer Fred Fleitz. Moreover, we know Bolton was more than happy to try and end the careers of analysts whose conclusions he found politically inexpedient.
Bolton may have had a hand in leaking Plame's identity as he certainly knew more about her than someone less plugged into the intel/WMD world (like Rove). And when Wilson started shooting his mouth off, Bolton may have seen his chance to kill two birds with one stone -- punish Plame for not going along with the White House's optics on Iraq's WMD (we've also never heard -- and likely never will -- what exactly Plame's analytical take on Iraqi weapons was, she may have been one of the recalcitrant analysts Cheney was leaning on at the time) and punish Wilson for not getting on board with the invasion. Bolton could be "Patient Zero" for the Plame leak -- informing either Rove, Libby, or Novak or any other of a host of neocons interested in squashing dissent on the Iraq war. He also could have been a facilitator between any of the above or a source for Judith Miller, whose ties to the conservative movement have been well documented.
Bolton had the means, motive and opportunity to be the person who started this entire mess.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Kay Bailey Hutchinson on the run
Texas Senator Kay Hutchinson's offices have taken her lines off the hook. COWARDS. Even her Dallas office doesn't answer.
Dallas - 214-361-3500
Call and ask why the hypocrite BS artist is quoted in today's NYTimes as declaring "technicalities" are not enough to levy against the Plamegate criminals when she voted to impeach Clinton on technicalities. Now that the ENTIRE Bush administration is under fire for lying us into war and then retaliating against whistleblowers by outing covert CIA agents (which is TREASON) she's singing a different tune.
CALL! LET THEM KNOW KAY IS THE POSTER CHILD FOR BULLSHIT ARTISTS.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Politicians and Our Money
It seems those we elect to represent us in Washington have a problem with spending our money. Actually what they have is a problem spending it responsibly. Mostly they just toss the stuff around. Things that help people in need? Not so much.
Can’t raise the minimum wage. That has remained the same for what, 14 years? How many times have they voted to raise their own salaries in that time? Hmmm?
Any military monies are going to be spent incompetently and without any thought for the citizens who are responsible for coughing up the moola. Investigations over the years have shown a consistent, persistent, misuse of public funds. From overpriced hammers and toilets seats in the past to $20.00 plastic ice cube trays in the present the military simply cannot be trusted with our money. Probably comes from all those ranking officers who are used to having folks jump when they speak. They don’t think anyone, and especially civilians, has the right to question their actions. I have the greatest respect and concern for our soldiers in the field. The Generals and such in the Pentagon, not so much.
High ranking military personnel frequently leave the military for high paying positions with the companies that they helped get contracts. Does that seem just a tad out of line? Kind of like that Cheney-Halliburton thing that seems to fly right over the heads of a mostly oblivious citizenry.
The biggest problem with getting anything done about the misuse of taxpayer monies is that the folks who are doing the misusing are usually doing the investigating. Imagine how helpful it would be if we were being accused of some alleged wrongdoing and we could investigate ourselves. What are the odds we would find ourselves innocent?
Maybe there is something in the air in Washington D.C. Maybe once ordinary, decent folks get elected and go to Washington the air scrambles their brains and they can’t think clearly. You can tell something is wrong whenever you hear an elected official speak. They all have this overblown, empty way of talking. They can talk for hours without saying anything.
In fact, once they get to Washington they pretty much become totally useless to the folks who sent them there. What’s with that anyway?
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Milestones to Nowhere
There always seems to be a "milestone" in the offing that "insurgents will do anything to prevent or disrupt". But if anything there seems to be an actual lull in the violence when these critical points are reached and otherwise a constant conitnuation of resistance to American occupation. This incongrous behavior seems to have escaped notice by the MSM and yet to me it seems the Iraqi resistance is trying to send a message that they are setting their objectives - not bushco.
Subject: Re: K.D. Ridout's Request - "Find Me A Candidate"
( two words )- DENNIS KUCINICH
Subject: Harriet Miers/Pat Fitzgerald
Hang on to your hats, BuzzFlashers. The instant Pat Fitzgerald hands down his indictments, Harriet Miers has an ephiphany and decides to withdraw her nomination. And guess which issue gets the majority of coverage from our "liberal press"? Yup, you guessed it: the Miers pullout. I mean, after all; perjury is just a teeny, tiny technicality according to rethuglicans.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Maybe We Need a Modern Lysistrata
Offered as a bit of comic relief to the news of the day
In pondering (with tongue firmly in cheek) how we can bring an end to Bush’s misadventures in the Middle East (and bring our brave service members back home where they belong, I was struck by the memory of something I read in 1971 as a junior in high school, when our nation was embroiled in yet another illegal, immoral, ill-advised conflict. The only reason this work of literature stands out in my recall from all the others, I think, is because it seemed as good an idea then as it does to me now.
I got to thinking, how do you hurt a Republican party that controls everything? We can’t hit them in the pocketbook, because they control not only the money, but the fiscal policy and regulators that control its use.
We can’t easily take away their power, because they control the elections and, more importantly, the vote counting, not to mention the judiciary that would rule on any challenges to their authority.
The only other things these Rethugs prize more than money and power is their virility (or appearance thereof)…as evidenced by a strutting President in a flight suit prematurely declaring "mission accomplished," followed by gushing commentaries about his “hunk factor” by fawning right-wing women pundits…a neo-con Congressman asking his wife to sign divorce papers while on her deathbed so he can marry his mistress…Just think Georgie, Newt, Rummy (what a stud muffin, that one), Henry Hyde, and all the congressional horn dogs we HAVE heard about and you'll get my meaning... In Lysistrata, written in 411 BC by the Greek poet and playwright Aristophanes, we find a novel solution to the problem of endless war.
It is set during the twenty-first year of The Peloponesian War between Athens and Sparta, which started over a minor incident on the Greek mainland and escalated because of the arrogance of Athenian leaders who had become drunk with power and wanted to crush the Spartans who dared challenge their political and societal stranglehold. (sound familiar?)
After 21 years of war, there seems as little prospect of peace as ever. By Lysistrata’s reckoning, a desperate state of affairs demanded a desperate remedy, so she came up with a scathingly brilliant idea.
She called for a conclave of the women of Athens along with female delegates from the other states of Hellas, for the sole purpose of taking matters into their own hands and forcing the men to stop the war.
Lysistrata’s plan? "We must refrain from the male altogether. Every wife and mistress is to refuse all sexual favours whatsoever, till the men have come to terms of peace. In cases where the women must yield 'par force majeure,' then it is to be with an ill grace and in such a way as to afford the minimum of gratification to their partner; they are to be passive and take no more part in the amorous game than they are absolutely obliged to.”
Lysistrata assured them that if they all adhered to the plan, they would very soon achieve their goal. "If we sit indoors prettily dressed out in our best transparent silks and prettiest gewgaws, and all nicely depilated, they will be able to deny us nothing."
This plan of attack was adopted, and the assembly of women swore to faithfully observe the compact. As a supplemental tactic, the women also seized the Acropolis, where the state’s money was kept. Because all of the young men were off fighting the war, the old men of the city attempted to reclaim the Acropolis, but were repelled by the women warriors. Before long, Lysistrata’s plan is successful, and peace is achieved.
So, I say we try to enlist our fellow citizens in the “no peace, no nookie” movement, and target everyone involved with the war or supporting it: members of Congress, every member of the Bush administration, employees of Halliburton/KBR, the State Department, members of PNAC, and every citizen who wears Clint Black “Iraq & Roll” t-shirts, who forwards those sappy and annoying “prayer circle for the troops” emails, or posts messages in mindless support of the current debacle.
As part of our message, we could point out that foregoing conjugal obligations would give wives and lovers that extra 10 minutes of sleep they never seem to be able to work into their busy schedules.
Now, I suppose it could be argued that these guys don’t have anything going on in their own bedrooms, which is why they are so insistent on worrying about what’s happening in ours. A valid point. Or that they’re so impotent in private that they fill their need to feel manly and superior by playing with big missiles and blowing s**t up. Another valid point. But they also feel that having intimate encounters with whomever, whenever, and wherever they choose to be a powerful man’s birthright…just imagine the clout women would wield by taking that away!
Men through the ages have whined about women using their sexuality to get what they want from men…if it’s been successful on an individual basis for centuries, why not implement the strategy on a national, even global, scale? The Liar in Chief has said we all need to sacrifice for the war effort … and it would be a far nobler cause than the ever-changing reasons that got us into this mess to begin with.
Of course, there would be economic consequences for those involved in the sexual services industry. If we can pay farmers not to grow crops, why not subsidize prostitutes for not working until the war ends? We could organize MAW (Madams Against Warmongers) and set up a K Street lobbying office right next to Jack Abramoff’s…or Swift Street Hookers for Peace…or Madams Against Dickless Demagogues…
We could suggest that a plank of the movement’s platform be that anyone wanting to have a child during the “sexual moratorium” do it using all those frozen embryos GWBush*t wants to spare from stem cell researchers.
While this idea clearly has flaws, it is merely intended as the sort of “outside the box” thinking to stir debate and inspire others to express their equally creative solutions to our national nightmare. Hopefully, if we all share our unique, unconventional approaches to the problem it can be the genesis of an innovative strategy to bring the warmongers to their knees…and I don’t mean in prayer…
Donna J. Wade
Subject: Mailbag 10/24/05
As to the story about the Dem.lawmaker who is trying to get the Davis Bacon wage act restored....I did, in fact hear it on both Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann tonight.. I have heard two troubling things today about men who have been discharged from the military...after being in Iraq. This one was holed up in an upstairs apartment....with a gun, sure that Iraqis....Insurgents....AlQaeda....and all manner of bad people were coming after him. As soon as he heard a noise....he started shooting at the ceiling....he had gone totally mad. (I heard this on the Paul Harris show...a local who comes on after Limbaugh) . Rush Limbaugh...who about split a kidney today, ranting! Some man called in after Rush was ranting...mad...as usual you can see the veins popping out of his neck, screaming about how these people should not be at the mercy of a Lib'rul like Fitzgerald...you know the rant! Some man called in and somehow got through the screener..the only day Rush has open mike is on Friday..then he talks over anyone who disagrees with him, but this one started on Rush ..."You know Rush, when Clinton was president, he was totally cleared by one investigator...but the right wing".........................click........Rush cut him off.! He screamed back at the man "Clinton lied to a Grand Jury"! lost his law license, yada, yada yada"!...Sometimes I think he thinks we should feel sorry for them...'cause they are being so "put upon" by the mean old lib'ruls! The man never got to even finish the sentence!
I can tell you, if this goes on any longer, we might lose old Rush.....why does that make me grin? Anyway the story was so sad about the kid who had completely lost his mind...we are going to get a lot of that kind of person out of this war! In the documentary, "Hijacking Catastrophe," a man named Goss, I think..the one who was a Vietnam Vet...said that the hardest thing he had done this year was saying goodbye to his son....and when the truck blew up in Ramadi....it took weeks for him to know...he fears the kid will come back crazy like they all came back from Nam. The other thing was a short story from my little home town newspaper....town of 2000. On the front page....a story about a man picked up for some reason by the Missouri state troopers....he got out and ran...they caught him....and he escaped again. They had found that he was AWOL....they caught him and put him in the Texas County Jail. I could have cried....he was 22, I think...and he will be dishonorably discharged.
You know, only Bush can go AWOL during a war! I have a problem with them putting a warrant out with the FBI for this kind...when Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are all Chickenhawks!!
Subject: Charles Dreyling
He plead guilty to a misdemeaner on Sept 25 and could get a year in jail and up to $100,000 in fines. He is back in classes and is continuing his pilot classes. Speak up or they assume you agree!!! ABB
Subject: Collective Guilt, Collective Punishment
The Bush administration has no sense of history, no sense of irony.
The Americans, sorry--the Iraqis, are trying Saddam for only one of his crimes, the murder of 140 souls from Dujail after an assassination attempt on him. A terrible war crime.
Four Blackwater contractors in Falluja were killed, their bodies burned and desecrated and American forces retalliated with unbelievable shock and awe. The city was destroyed, hundreds of women and children, collateral damage, were buried in mass graves along with the resistance fighters. No one will ever know how many died.
One of the reasons Bush wanted to go into Iraq was because, "Saddam wanted to kill my dad." Two thousand American soldiers dead, ten thousand terribly wounded, maybe more than one hundred thousand Iraqis murdered. Who are the terrorists? Who are the "foreign fighters?"
BUSH WINS. Someday he'll be in the dock listening to a list of his war crimes.
Meanwhile, we're learning how this sorry administration twisted intelligence and lied their way into this war. Their crimes are not "trivial" no matter what their supporters say.
Subject: Core Values
The Bush administration has thrown two pillars of the right wing, fiscal conservatism and states rights. The only thing left is the belief in unlimited violence. That is, if only we could "take the gloves off," the outright use of violence could solve all problems. I heard this decades ago in the absurd belief that if Truman hadn't restricted MacArthur, the US would have made China a colony of the United States. Then later, blaming Jane Fonda for loss of the Vietnam war. Oh yes, we didn't use enough violence in that war. Only Napalm, anti-personnel mines, chemical weapons and bombing neutral countires, all illegal under international law. Now we certainly are using unrestricted violence again. And guess what? It has totally failed again. It has accomplished nothing the Neo-Cons hoped for. And the whole Middle East may soon be one fundamantalist Islamic state as a result. But the right-wing still clings to their one core value, violence. For no matter what happens, they can always say "well if we had been a little more violent it would have worked." The next step will be accusing liberals of being "too soft on torture."
Subject: YOU CAN'T SELL S**T
Wilkerson isn't the only high-profile Republican operative bailing on Bush. Bruce Bartlett, who served as a Senior Policy Advisor in Bush's father's administration, is about to release a book: Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Destroyed the Reagan Legacy. Bartlett lost his job at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative Texas think tank, when word of his book project leaked out.
Republicans, the last to finally acknowledge the lies and duplicity of the Bush White House, no longer trust the Administration. When current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified before Congress this week and claimed "significant progress" in Iraq, Republican Senator Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island fired back: "Well, we all wish that were true, but we can't kid ourselves, either."
But Wilkerson, a veteran with 31 years in the Marines and a former director of the Marine War College, sums up what, sadly, will be the legacy of George W. Bush:
Subject: Presidential Material
K.D Ridout, I agree with what you said about needing to find a noble person to run for President. I've been reading all the blogs and naturally agree with all the crap that has been dished out by this congress and this wh. I would love someone with the all of those attributes. I think it's important that more of us start discussing that right now. We need to concentrate on what's ahead of us and help to put a plan in place. To simply concentrate on what's going on right now, that we have little or no input, might be a waste of time. We need to find someone that's Presidential material and start a movement right now! I'm a woman and I'm not crazy about Hillary, because she's trying too hard to appease the republicans by 'working' with them. Her husband helped push NAFTA and that, with the present WH, is killing the middle class. If a candidate can't really understand that or only gives it lip service...then we need to move on. That is one of the reasons we need to 'take applications' now, so to speak. I would hope that not only you and I, but many others will start talking about this on all of 'our' blog sites. ...And if nothing happens to DeLay, Rove, Libby etc., then we especially need to focus on the future...or a movement to change the direction of our country.
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