The BuzzFlash Mailbag
May 28, 2002
Any attempt to explain the decision of John Ashcroft to abandon commercial airlines as stemming from a threat only to him personally should be viewed with doubt. After all, they said the decision was due to a "threat assessment" and would not elaborate. Who has EVER used the term "threat assessment" in such a context? No, they would have said simply "threat" if that's what they meant. A small point, but words mean a lot.
Last December, I wrote an article, published on BuzzFlash, with a number of links, documenting the Bush campaign's strong support for repeal of the "Secret Evidence Act" (http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/2001/12/120801_Bush_Antiterrorism_Hypocrisy.html).
Bush, ostensibly to win voters among American Muslims, came out against the use of "secret evidence," even mentioning this in the 2nd Presidential Debate on October 11, 2000. For this, he received a united backing by the American Muslim media and a whopping 91% of the 60,000 Muslim votes in Florida which normally splits 50/50 between Dems and Republicans. More than the purging of black voters, or the butterfly ballots, that was, as they say, "the election."
So what? Well, a search warrant that SHOULD have been issued under the Secret Evidence Act is specifically what was being requested by the Minneapolis FBI in the case of Moussaoui, and was denied by Washington. Research would show that less than a handful of "secret evidence" requests have ever been denied since the Act was signed into existence by Bill Clinton in 1996. Who's soft on terrorism now?!?!
I leave it to the reader to play the new game that's sweeping the nation, "Connect the Dots."
My gripe with the Clinton vs. Bush lies is that when Bush lies it affects me, when Clinton lied it didn't hurt me. Bill lied about a personal problem, which has nothing to do with his job. When we vote for a president we are not choosing a person for his good morals or ethics, we are hiring him because of the job he does. Clinton did the job, simple as that. Bush is not.
Geletka, Jon S
Has anyone else noticed this?
Last summer, John Walker Lindh may have had information about a terrorist plot to attack the United States. Today, John Walker Lindh is on trial for treason.
Last summer, George W. Bush may have had information about a terrorist plot to attack the United States. And we are being told that there is no need to investigate this any further.
Subj: Media Fallacies or Phallic Media
Yesterday, 05/21/02, while watching CNN, I noticed some curious editing. Here in Central Europe we receive CNN International, not your normal run-of-the-mill CNN (USA).. (Someday, when I have time (!!?%&*'), I would like to discuss the differences in transmission ) There was a story about the Shrub's visit to Moscow, which concentrated on 'Nesting Dolls' (those famous Russian 'Babuschka' Dolls - one sits inside the other), on sale to tourists in Red Square. There was a Bin Laden Doll, with Saddam, and the Ayatollah inside; a Putin Doll, with previous leaders of the USSR and the KGB inside; and then there was a Bush Doll, with previous American Presidents inside. The reporter read out the list of dolls: 'Bush, Clinton, Bush Snr, Reagan...' stopping at Reagan even though there were 5 Dolls in the set, the fifth one being Jimmy Carter, but curiously, the reporter refused to mention him, even though his Doll was clearly visible.
This struck me as unusual.
Could this be because Carter was in Cuba at the present time, and to mention him in a roll-call of ex-Presidents might remind people that, he possesses a certain legitimacy in the global political arena? (Noooooooo, too paranoid, Phil)
About 2 hours later (9pm local time) the same report 'rolls' around once again and, turning up the sound, my suspicions are (for me) confirmed. I notice that the report contains NOT a correction of the previous story - this time including Carter in the Roll-Call of ex-Presidents, but an addition, stating 'THE CLINTON DOLL CONTAINS MONICA LEWINSKY, AND OTHER WOMEN IN HIS LIFE.'
Hallo, did I miss something? In BOTH reports there were NO pictures of a CLINTON Doll, only CNN's crude smear in the second (late evening) report. And further, I fully believe that if there were a Clinton Doll we would have seen it (and it's contents) on Prime Time TV.
Which other Women were inside his Doll? Hillary? Janet Reno?? Paula (it's me, me, me, me, me, I'm the woman in those stories), Dr Laura (It's NOT me, i'm NOT the woman in those stories/Photo's/positions). We'll never know.
How low can they go?
-Phil D. --
It is so hard to stay detached over this presidency and just figure we can make it another 2 and a half years. Then something happens to remind me that just one and a half years for this administration has thrown us into an unimaginable nightmare. Who could have know how fast the US could deteriorate.
And the polls at 76% approval rating, it makes me wonder if they are polling anyone beside the Bush Family. This guy takes all the worst qualities from the last six presidents and has a 76% rating. We drummed Nixon, Johnson, Carter, Ford and Bush I out of office for less. What could possibly happen in this country to get the attention of the people, I dread to think what that could be. Stay tuned, because if you divide up 16 months since Jan. 20, 2001 a scandal hits this White House about every two or three months regular as clockwork, another scandal/crisis is in the making right now.
Congratulations to the author of "Supreme Irony" for making some very valid points regarding the shirking of responsibilities by George W. Bush. That article is an absolutely brilliant point by point account of the failures of Bush and the media!
It never hurts to review old news. Maybe someone else has found this already, but just in case. . . .
The Sept 24 MSNBC story -- http://www.msnbc.com/news/629606.asp -- contains the following:
No, it shouldn't have been news at all. Kenneth Williams had reported from Phoenix in July, and Moussaoui had already been arrested in Minnesota. Mueller simply did not have a clue as to what was going on in his department at all.
Mueller may end up taking the fall, but the responsibility is still W's.
W requested the security review that resulted in the August 6 briefing on the ranch. One of the reports said W was still frustrated at the lack of information. Ok, wasn't it both the responsibility of the agency heads -- CIA, FBI, NSA, DoD, etc. -- to get the information he wanted AND the responsibility of the requester to make sure he got it? C'mon, folks, there was all this talk about "something really big" and there was the 1999 Library of Congress research and the 2000 MDW Pentagon emergency plan, the 1993 WTC bombing, etc., etc., etc. -- plenty of information out there for a lot of people to be putting together.
It wasn't just the FBI or the CIA or Condi Rice or Dick Cheney who fell down on the job. THEY ALL DID. Because none of them had their minds on their JOBS.
Ashcroft was worried about aluminum boobs; Tom White was hoping Enron wouldn't crash until he got all his stock sold; Cheney was just trying to protect all his friends and their fortunes from any kind of scrutiny over that stupid energy policy that hadn't gone the way he wanted it to. Condi Rice already knew everything and didn't need to be briefed by any leftover Clintonites. Rumsfeld's eyes were twinkling over finally getting to build Uncle Ronnie's Star Wars. Mueller was dealing with prostate cancer (probably the only legitimate excuse among the crowd, and he'll end up the fall guy, I'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut).
Where was Colin Powell in all this? No one seems to be talking about him too much, but that's probably understandable. He isn't really part of the administration. He's just THERE, even if there isn't any there there.
And W just walked around the ranch, talked to the cows, cleared some brush.
The guy in SF who's filing the class action suit, he's got the right idea. These people were ALL derelict in their duty. If one of them had been doing her or his job, chances are September 11 would have been just another brilliant autumn day in New York. We might have read the headlines about the ongoing investigation into the arrests of 20 foreign nationals who had been training at U.S. flight schools and were now in jail under suspicion of conspiracy to commit hijackings, but most attention would have been on the pennant races and the college football season.
The gigantic tragedies of September 11 could EASILY have been prevented; but they weren't. Why they weren't is the question, and until we know why they weren't, we can't be sure we can ever avert another autumn day just like it.
Ann Wheeler Hilton
Why is Rumsfeld writing to Dear Abby - Friday, May 24, 02 - Isn't it enough he has his corporate buddies on SCNN, CNN, etc.. - his letter was printed in the Knoxville, Tennessee News Sentinel - I am a 68-year-old wife of a WW2 vet and we don't need letters, we need money to pay for our prescription drugs - God bless our fighting men, the only reason why they are on the front lines (we don't know where the front lines are) is because they can't get employment in the good old USA - My husband fought in the Battle of Normandy - one of my five sons fought in the Battle of Grenada (I know Buzz, that is a joke, but he was there and also on the USS Guam for six months in the Persian Gulf). My nephew is a firefighter in New York, William Fitzpatrick - my brother a Captain on the NYC Fire Department - both were very much involved in the rescue of our fellow Americans at the WTC. My niece, now Captain Susan Reabold as of May 7, was one of the first on duty called up to console the victims ' families at the Pentagon - My nephew Michael Reabold, brother of Captain Reabold is now in Karbal, Afghanistan or will be soon.
My question is to Rumsfeld - will my heros wind up like my husband - in good health if they can afford hundreds of dollars of prescription drugs. - please leave my SS money as is - pick on someone else for a change - suggestion your sons or daughters.
Mike and Susan are children of my deceased sister, Margaret Hoy Reabold Captain Hoy is my Brother - Thomas Hoy, Jr;. - Firefighter, NYC William Fitzpatrick is my nephew - my husband's brother's son - William Fitzpatrick - fighter fighter, NYC
Terrence Michael Fitzpatrick is my son - served on USS Guam and in the battle of Grenada
Take Care - Bernadette (no pun intended) - My husband, Thomas Vincent Fitzpatrick is one of the mighty and the best vets who has been presented with the Normandy Medal. I am quite sure Rumsfeld would have no idea what it is.
I constantly get those letters from the RNC, as well, asking me to be a team leader and to support various endeavors of the GHP. Here is the content of the latest one, the one before it asked me to write my congressional representatives to tell them to vote for the "qualified judicial candidates" that the great pretender put in the nomination pot. All I can say is that these people are slime and if they knew that they were writing a young 30 something black male who was born and raised in the inner city of Washington DC, they probably wouldn't waste their time sending me this rubbish. Unless, of course, I was the type who spits in the face of my people just to pretend that these crooks are my friends, which, by the way, I'm not.
John Despertt III
Re: Bush and Putin Sign Nuclear Pact That "will still leave enough firepower to destroy major U.S. and Russian cities many times over." So, What Was the Point? 5/24
The POINT was to point the media away from the TRADE BILL Disaster and 9-11 mounting evidence against the Bush/Group stealth government.
As parts of a huge puzzle are being put together by Americans on the Sept. 11 horror, information is surfacing that this country had more than abundant warning.
Tips from flight schools and Intelligence from foreign nations alone, should have initiated suspicions among those who have a duty to the American people to investigate. We find that there were outcries from FBI Field Agents reporting on months of suspicious activity. The Pentagon put out a "no travel announcement" to personnel on Sept. 10. The White House admits there was reason to believe that commercial airliners might be hijacked. We see a US Army publication on a contingency plan which depicted exactly what happened to the Pentagon Building on Sept. 11. (This says, if you can imagine such a thing, it is a real-time and ever-present possibility.) A man in a Canadian prison, claiming to be an FBI agent, sends multiple warnings to the "powers that be in the US," that plans were in the works to crash commercial airliners into the World Trade Buildings. (There is little, if any, mention of this man in the media.) There were many more signals and reports out there.
It is easy to be a Monday Morning Quarterback or Hindsight Analyst. But none of the blatant clues suggests that either is the case. Pre-Warnings are not Monday morning quarterbacking. Pre-Warnings are just as the hyphenated word suggests: a warning of something to happen. Thus, Pre-Warnings cannot possibly be categorized as hindsight.
As the pre-warnings are being divulged to the American people through investigation, a frightening picture is emerging. That picture is prompting everyone to ask very serious questions: Why were the profound pre-warnings ignored by the FBI and CIA? Why was the Administration and Pentagon in a preventative mode for themselves? The families of 3,000 victims want to know why. The American people want to know why.
We have concern and the intellect to ask legitimate questions that deserve legitimate answers. Asking these questions is stepping over the line, according to the Vice President of the United States. Any US official who substitutes a statement like this, in place of providing answers, is stepping over the line and should step down!
From an article by Bill O'Brien at Slate: "Russian state television played and replayed footage of Bush chewing gum upon entering the meeting and then spitting it into his hand, reports the Post."
Oh.. my... God..., he is SOOOO cool!
Killing Greyhounds is old news. When Key West still had a dog track, they would take the dogs they didn't want over to the salt flats, shoot them and leave the bodies to rot.
Any place in America that has a dog track also has somebody killing the dogs. When they don't run fast enough they are GONE.
Key West used to have a group that helped find homes for the dogs.
Guns and death, an American tradition.
The AP report on Rowley's letter includes a statement from Senator Charles Grassley, a well-respected Republican as saying "This (Rowley) letter documents exactly what headquarters knew and when, and how midlevel officials sabotaged the Moussaoui case before the attacks (emphasis added). Grassley is not one to go off half cocked so I assume he chose the word "sabotage" carefully. The implications are enormous. Midlevel officials deliberately acted to prevent a full investigation of a threat against the American nation. A threat that turned out to be real and resulted in the horrifying events of 9-11.
Should we believe they acted on their own? What would be their motive? Its not a question of sitting on something. Its a deliberate rewriting of an investigative request in order to ensure its rejection. And by doing so, placing the nation in grave danger. It should be remembered that the material denied the Minneapolis FBI was subsequently found sufficient for AG Ashcroft to indict Moussaoui as one of the hijackers and to ask for the death penalty.
Should we raise the question of their acting on the behalf of a third party? That would imply either under the direction of a higher level of the government or penetration by a an outside agency. The former could be any level of the Justice Department from Ashcroft on down or even up to the level of the Cheney anti-terrorism task force. If the latter, penetration by an outside agency, then we have all sorts of possibilities, none of them pleasant to contemplate
It is strange indeed that requests once routinely acted upon and approved in every case by the Reno DOJ, are suddenly, to use Grassley's term, "sabotaged" by mid level officials.
In the AP article, Senator Graham suggests that the initial investigation will be held in secret hearings. He is my senator. I have already written him protesting this. They can take preliminary depositions in secret which is what they do routinely as part of the investigative process. But we should all demand that the full Rowley memo be released to the public and that any hearings be open to the press and the public. Write your congressmen now!
The implications of Grassley's comments are enormous and horrifying. Particularly in light of all the strange events of that day involving Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld and the failure to put planes into the air or to intercept and act against any of the hijacked planes.
Thousands died at the WTC and the Pentagon. Since then many thousands more have died in Afghanistan. And Bush and his administration are planning the deaths of thousands more in Iraq, Iran, Syria and only God knows where else.
Before we allow them to continue to kill in our name we should demand a full accounting.
Robert E. Reynolds, Orange Park Fl
RE: the Chinese airliner going down
Chinese government immediately said no terrorism. But farmers found debris almost 50 miles away, magazines and insulation from the plane. They also reported a big bang before the plane went down. No terrorism? Just asking.
In a Washington Post article by Dana Milbank, the Russian television station NTV continuously replayed footage of our feckless pretender entering a meeting with Putin chewing gum then spitting his chewing gum into his hand. Are we in the US to be presented with this seminal act of diplomacy or will the liberal media keep the gum chewing public from learning the proper international method of gum disposal? It was a truly aristocratic moment.
I think it's time for all of us who know, with that sinking internal flutter, just who and what is in the White House, to simply approach every piece of information that they send out with this predication: If they will steal the Presidency, they are capable of anything. Anything. Buckle your seat belts, clear the decks. It's time for the real Patriot Act.
A Reader who knows it's not wise to sign her name....
Hello, I am very concerned about the lack of security at New Orleans International Airport, formerly known as "Moissant" airport and recently renamed "Louis Armstrong" airport. In early May, a man boarded an airplane with two loaded semiautomatic weapons. A few days ago, another man shot up the airport and gut-shot a woman:
Any publicity you can offer would probably be a good thing, as we locals are left wondering if it is a threat to life and limb to be anywhere near this airport. We need some attention paid to our lack of security.
THE DOOFUS ACT OF 2001
In light of the recent revelations of gross incompetence among our national security organizations and their leaders, it would seem appropriate for Congress to amend the Patriot Act of 2001. The belated discovery of accurate terrorist hijack warnings from such diverse sources as Morocco, France, Israel, Jordan, Britain, Phoenix, Minnesota, and the Crawford White House clearly show that our country already has intelligence gathering capability sufficient to detect and disrupt terrorist attacks on US soil. What we appear to lack, however, is the intelligence to suitably analyze the data we already collect. Arguably, the expanded surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act would merely aggravate an already colossally incompetent system .
In the belief that Congress will want to alter the Patriot Act, let me make the following suggestions: rename this legislation the Doofus Act of 2001 and provide that it will automatically expire at 12 noon on January 20, 2005, the exact time this country comes once again under democratically-elected leadership.
Richard Schmidt Utah
From the archives http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress00/mccraw.htm: Before the House Judiciary Committee FBI Press Room - Congressional Statement - 2000 - Organized Crime, Drug Trafficking, and Terrorist Acts Excerpt:
I did some easy activism today (May 25) and thought it would be something BuzzFlash readers would be interested in. I was in the library and had a sudden urge to ask the reference librarian if they planned to order Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth by Jean-Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasquie.
He looked blank, so I explained that it tied in to what's been happening now with 911 and that it was out months ago in Europe, in French. I told him the authors were respected investigative journalists. I told him that Barnes & Noble had put it on their publication list for September, but I had heard it was pushed up to July.
He instantly went into his computer and pulled it up. He asked me for my card and put in a request. I also told him that if he went to Salon.com, there was a premium feature with an interview with one of the authors (Brisard) but the free excerpt would give him a good idea of what the book was about.
Can you imagine how many copies of this book could get into circulation if all all BuzzFlash readers put in a request next time they went to the library???
To make it even easier for your librarian to track the book down, I've provided the full publishing information as well as the following link to the "notes" for the book provided by B & N:
The book will be published IN PAPERBACK at about $13.00 (less than $12.00 with discounts!) which makes it affordable for any library!
****** Forbidden Truth: How U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy Thwarted the Search for Bin Laden and Helped Trigger September 11/ Jean-Charles Brisard, Guillaume Dasquie
Retail Price: $12.95 Not Yet Available:Preorder Now
Format: Paperback, 208pp. ISBN: 1560254149 Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press Pub. Date: September 2002* *Pub. Date may now be July
- Gloria R. Lalumia
May 24, 2002
Dear Mr. Gephardt:
I have received your letter requesting a donation to your committee. Because I agree with virtually everything you say in your cover letter about the Republican agenda and the necessity of stopping them from achieving it, my first impulse was to write a check as a vote from the pocketbook. My second thought, however, was about "fast track" authority and how the Democrats allowed this bill to be passed, inevitably to the detriment of the environment and working people like myself (laid off for 10 months now in a state with the highest unemployment rate in the nation). I also thought about the lack of Democratic leadership in pushing through legislation that would increase the fuel efficiency of cars and SUVs, making us less dependent on fossil fuels that ruin the environment and make us less secure due to our dependency on Arab nations. I thought about the nomination of the insane John Ashcroft, despite his perjured testimony before the Judiciary Committee, and the passing of the repugnant PATRIOT act. I thought about the nomination of the incapable D. Brooks Smith to the federal judiciary, and the complicity of Democrats in making that happen. I thought about the many violations of the Voting Rights Act in Florida in 2000 and how the Democrats have not stepped up to the plate in pursuing convictions for clearly criminal activity in that state. I thought about the Tom Delay-financed riot in the Dade elections office that ended the vote count and the way the Democrats let it go by, cheating the nation of a great leader. I thought of welfare reform and the utter nonsensical tilt of the current bill, making work a requirement for single mothers to get assistance when there are no jobs, when they do not get job training, when there is no money for child care.
So, Mr. Gephardt, other than being absolutely sickened at what I see the Republicans doing, why would I give you my very limited funds when you don't oppose them even a fraction of how I am trying to -- doing all I can to oppose them now with my single computer from a small apartment? You've got between now and November to prove to me that my money would be well spent.
This Week's Media Clown Round-up
CLOWN #1: The ever reliable media clown, G.E. Russert on his 5-26 attempted-thrashing of Senator DASCHLE, kept referring to him as "President DASCHLE," as in, if you don't like what pRez Shrub does, what would President DASCHLE do? After politely dismissing the gimmick, the Senator finally called him on it, saying, "You're hung up on that." GE responded, "It's important to put yourself in the other person's place." Right, GE, like, how you consistently let the R(s) off with softballs (mixing media clowns here) while thrashing Dems. Try putting the opposite interviewees in the others' place for an epiphany, a paradigm shift, or just a thrust of fairness for a change.
CLOWN #2: Since Howard KURTZ is supposedly this watchdog on the media (yeah, right), in his weekly list of ups and downs for the week ending 5-25, he might have mentioned the DRUDGE-GROVE smear of BROCK, the KGB-like attempt to discredit him by alleging psychological treatment. He might have asked, what, besides a date and one detail about a magazine versus a newspaper, has been found to be false in BROCK's book? What a ridiculous expectation! Of course, he wouldn't see the smear. He used to guest a lot on DRUDGE's short-lived Faux show wherein DRUDGE referred to him as "Howie," but beyond this, his OBTUSENESS in itself is enough grounds for him not to see an ethics, or human decency, issue in this. And, of course, he didn't.
CLOWN #3: How multiple media clowns do Republican MATH. The Washington Times, a wingnut rag, one of the commodities owned (like the BUSH family?) by the Reverend MOON empire had its anniversary celebration (featuring wingnut morality hypocrite "Dr Laura") upstaged by MOON himself delivering a Mein-Kampf-like speech. Posters at Democratic discussion boards have pointed out how Republicans use fuzzy math to bamboozle media clowns: "This dinner, consider it another Enron, [media reports] equal blame for demos and repubs: 143 republicans present, 22 democrats. Republican'ts define 144 to be equal to 22?." Similarly, in the Enron situation, "You'll recall the Republican'ts and their lapdog "news" media attempted to equate Enron's 85% monetary donations to the Republican'ts versus 15% donations to the Democrats." And, similarly, in the global warming forum, although 99 out of 100 scientists validate the very existence of the global warming phenomenon, the media habitually presents ONE for and ONE against, giving the impression that there is an EVEN division.
Subj: Our Fearless Pretzeldent
Pretzel gags seem to be common theme running through many reports coming back from our fearless leader's latest European vacation. Every stop has protesters, every protest features pretzels. Just to see what I'd get back, I entered "pretzel AND bush" at Google and Yahoo!.
Here's to our fearless Prezteldent!
FROM AP Photo AT http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/020516/168/1jze1.html
A banner reading "Peace for the World. Pretzels for Bush" is attached to the tower of the Marien Church at the Alexander Square in Berlin, on Thursday morning, May 16, 2002.
"In the morning, members of the anti-globalization group Attac were prevented from tying a huge pretzel to a construction crane. ... Reminding the president that he almost choked on a pretzel in January is considered so spiteful that the police were guaranteed to respond promptly with a merciless application of its "Zero Tolerance" policy."
FROM Kansas City Star (AP) AT http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/3343590.htm
"Several protesters hoisted a large picture of a pretzel, with a sign that said "Watch out, Bush!"
FROM Miami Herald (another from AP) AT http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/news/world/3313591.htm
Pretzels bobbed from sticks as the crowd marched around Alexanderplatz, taunting the president who in February fell unconscious after reportedly choking on a pretzel while watching the Superbowl. Banners read: "Pretzels, not bombs."
Protesters gave a foretaste Tuesday of the welcome Bush can expect, marching through eastern Berlin chanting "Yankee go home." One banner urged him to "eat more pretzels," referring to an incident last year when Bush choked on a pretzel and fell.
George W. Bush, who bruised his face after choking on a pretzel and falling off a couch earlier this year, still has an appetite for snacks.
FROM AP News-Yahoo AT http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020522/ap_wo_en_po/bush _europe_23
In the first major demonstration Tuesday in Berlin, protesters carried placards that read "Pretzels instead of bombs" and "War is terror < stop the global Bush fire."
Subj: The Lighter Side: First Lady's Promiscuity Task Force
Male Members of her husband's Task Force: Newt Gingrich Henry Hyde Dan Burton Bob Livingston Bob Barr Rudy Guiliani
A dispatch by the Associated Press from the festivities in Dili dared to name names, noting that the Indonesian invasion was carried out with the "support of then president Gerald Ford and secretary of state Henry Kissinger -- who visited Jakarta on the eve of the attack. Successive U.S. administrations backed Indonesian dictator Soeharto in his crackdown against the rebels."
The Boston Globe deserves credit for a level of completeness and accuracy that the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and Washington Post failed miserably to provide.
The Globe's editorial coverage of the birth of East Timor pointed out that the U.S. owed a "particular moral debt" to the Timorese because the U.S. gave the green light to "a nightmare of brutality that killed off more than 200,000 East Timorese," a third of the population.
"I appreciate this good man's advice," he said, nodding towards Mr Chirac. "I listen carefully. And I am proud to call him a friend."
Mr Bush seemed, however, to be in a rather skittish and unfocused mood after a demanding five day tour to Germany and Russia. He referred twice to Mr Chirac as "President Jacques" and pronounced the French President's second name throughout as "Shrak." (That pronunciation was probably on purpose. Or Bush got the pet name he calls him behind his back mixed up with his real name)
Something I wanted to ask about. Remember about 3 weeks ago when a contingent of medical military personnel of about a 100 people were sent to a secret location? Has anyone heard what happened to them?
[BuzzFlash Note: We don't recall hearing where they were sent.]
In Berlin, Mr. Bush's first stop on a trip full of fabulous cities he had never visited, he was asked by a snippy local peacenik reporter to "try to explain to the German people what your goals are when it comes to Iraq." The president huffed: "He's a dictator who gassed his own people."
Do you suppose Bush thinks the German people have forgotten about Hitler? He really need to brush up on history - first there was that thing about Japan & America being friends for the last 150 years as if WW2 never happened & now this? Geez - my youngest knows more about history than he does. He must have missed the etiquette classes, too. How embarrassing!
CNN airs that t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d-s in France protest the arrival of Bush to their homeland.
I could have sworn bushie boy said "que bueno, now I'm illiterate in two languages." I know the print says literate, but it sure didn't sound like it. Maybe I just heard the truth because that's what I wanted to hear. Anyone else hear what I heard?
Regardless of that, he really is a rude bumpkin, isn't he? His remark about the reporter was uncalled for and probably shows his true self. We really do need a president, not a clown.
[BuzzFlash Note: "Ignorant oaf" might be a better description of his appearances overseas, but "Potemkin President" might be a more fitting label.]
Thanks so much for linking me to Matthew Miller's article, published on May 26:
Basically, Miller notes that as long as we agree with the Bush administration that we are "at war," they have an excuse to create a military buildup, to stifle dissent, to ignore Congress, and to institute an Imperial Presidency -- a presidency which, besides assuming power with a minority of the vote, has used the so-called war to take actions more befitting a dictatorship than a democracy or a republic. In short, this war on terrorism is a fake war being used to strengthen the hand of an unelected President.
Miller is right. We are not at war. Instead, we have been brutally awakened to the very real threat of terrorism. We should be trying to eliminate terrorism and to make ourselves more secure. This will not be achieved with bombs and troops and tanks and warplanes. In fact, the more we spend our money, time and attention on these things, the less we can spend ensuring our safety and security. How many air marshals' annual salaries can be paid by scrapping one battleship? How effective is a battleship against suicide bombers? To employ a cliche, we seem to be forgetting that the best offense is a good defense.
About three days after 9/11, Bush cut short our needed grieving to declare we were at war, although he said he did not know with whom. I thought, "How bizarre! How can we be at war without knowing who our enemy is?"
Well, now the Taliban are out of power and we seek the next "evil" government to conquer, while we provide arms and other support to some oppressive governments so that they may fight against those whom ten or twenty years ago we would have been supporting as "freedom fighters." Just about any government can con the Bushies into supporting them, simply by saying their enemies or dissidents are "terrorists." Any government, that is, except for those with whom Bush and his cronies seek to settle Bush I's grudge matches.
And where are we after we've declared war on a group that behaves more like the Mafia than a country? We are billions of dollars in debt and no less secure.
The sooner we stop calling this campaign against terrorism a war, the more quickly we can start to fight it effectively. Fighting the Mafia, or Tim McVeigh, or any terrorist, with bombs is like trying to fight a cockroach with nuclear weapons. They will survive, but will we?
Anyone remember the shell game at carnivals?? Where is the Bean?? Now you see it know you don't. That is what Bush is doing with his Nuke Treaty with Russia. It's much more than a shell game he is playing. How about Russian Roulette with only one empty chamber? If you think the W.T.C. disaster was bad, wait until some terrorist group gets hold of some of the Russian Nukes. Bush and his cronies are not just a danger to America, Their Irresponsible actions threaten the entire world. Forget about Iran, Iraq and North Korea, they are pickers compared to Bush, Ashcroft and Rumsfeld who make up the real Axis of Evil! Please take a few moments to read this post before commenting. I added an attachment which, I think, compliments this article.
I just saw something while shopping in the grocery store that truly disgusted me . Now it seems they are trying to smear Jimmy Carter's good name. On the cover of The Globe tabloid there is a picture of a young girl sitting on the former presidents' lap. The headlines say something about a secret love affair. Is there not something you can do, such as post a defense of President Carter? Who is behind this?
I knew that as soon as Carter spoke on behalf of the oppressed Cuban people promoting freedom and human rights, there would be trouble. There are people in this country who want to paint the Democratic Party and its officials as an organization filled with degenerates and reprobates. Now they want to tarnish Carter, a truly decent man, all because a Democrat did something that no Republican could ever do: speak out for democracy on Cuban TV.
When will all of this stop? I hope BuzzFlash will post some articles on who is behind this smear campaign.
[BuzzFlash Note: We can only guess at who is behind the smear campaign against President Carter, but the nasty Congressman from Sugar Land sure has the capacity to pull it off.]
Excellent piece, but I am just absolutely baffled how this has remained hidden all this time. Those Tx Guardsmen who contacted the low life reporter for the Statesman (too bad they didn't submit their info to Mollie Ivins)-- can they not be contacted?
Will this all break eventually as the scandal it certainly is?
Keep up the good work, BuzzFlash!
Address With Out Leave in Normandy
To the Editor,
This Memorial day George W. Bush gave an address on the sacrifice of American citizen soldiers who fought to secure our rights and freedoms in the furnace of battle. He did this in Normandy, a place where my father and thousands of his generation did their heartbreaking duty. That this man, who refuses to release his military records from his brief occupation of a position in the Texas Air Guard, could speak over the graves of brave Americans is reprehensible. The holy ground that is our national cemetery in Normandy is no place for a privileged deserter to give lectures on patriotism. A "leader" who admits that on September 11th he was "trying to get out of harms way" should not be allowed to pose as democracy's steely warrior in a place, and on a day made sacred by the suffering and courage of average men and women.
Gore won the popular vote by more than half a million votes.
He earned more votes than any other Democratic candidate in history.
Gore was only the second presidential candidate - and the first non-incumbent - to top 50 million votes, trailing only Ronald Reagan's vote tally in 1984.
According to Charlie Cook in The Almanac of American Politics 2002, "Of the 39 percent of the electorate who called themselves Democrats in 2000, Gore pulled 86 percent of the vote, which was not only higher than Bill Clinton in 1992 or 1996 but also the highest percentage for any Democratic nominee in at least the last seven presidential elections."
In addition, nine out of 10 African-American voters voted for Al Gore and 71 percent of voters in cities with populations over 500,000 went to Gore, both historical highs and not indicative of a disillusioned liberal base. [http://almanac.nationaljournal.com/2002/cook.htm]
Here's another (and I think better) take on tired Bush and the French-speaking reporter:
Bush mocks reporter Washington Times "President Bush yesterday derisively challenged press claims of widespread anti-Americanism in Europe and ridiculed an American TV correspondent for suggesting as much - in English and French - to him and French President Jacques Chirac." http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020527-78351630.htm
Well the poor baby arrived in Rome and he is still tired. He is 55 and so he has a right to be tired, he is an old man, just ask him. I am sure we all feel his pain, traveling in his own 5 star plane, yadayada. He is testy with the reporters and Sanger makes excuses for him. Gag me. The article you have from the SLC Trib is something else. Really unusual, there is a liberal in their midst......who knew??????
Subj: The excuse is being developed . . .
They must have had some coaching from Karen Hughes on how to spin this.
Also Sunday, Goss said he will examine whether concern the FBI would appear to be using "racial profiling" led it to remove key details from a search warrant whose rejection kept the FBI from learning more about a terrorism suspect before Sept. 11.
Goss said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that the handling of the Minneapolis FBI office's application for a warrant to search Zacarias Moussaoui's computer troubled him.
The appearance of racial profiling of potential terrorists? Give me a break. Are we going to be expected to believe that this is the reason the Minneapolis warnings were ignored? What exactly are they trying to say here? That only white terrorists would have caused this memo to have been processed expeditiously? How many white terrorist groups are currently plotting massive terrorist attacks against America? This racial profiling excuse does not hold water - it sounds like something Karen Hughes came up with to hide the real reason. I had the same reaction upon reading this as I did on September 12th when we were told that Air Force One was a target & that was why Bush was MIA for 9 or so hours on September 11th - this is BS. Given all of the intelligence they were accumulating over the summer & history in general, what makes them think Moussaoui deserved special treatment & to avoid any appearance of racial profiling?
Who directed the FBI to avoid the appearance of racial profiling when considering non-citizens? Whoever issued that order needs to be fired for incompetence. This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard, in a long string of ridiculous things, for a long time.
This is exactly why we need a full investigation. Having the people who oversee the Intelligence community investigate the same community is going to cause them to try to gloss over or make excuses for some of the things that happened. This is not going to help us. We have a serious problem & we need serious answers if we are ever going to hope to feel reasonably safe again. The only way we are going to get serious answers is if we have a full hearing - no matter how painful that is.
What has happened to us? the folks who are now in their fifties and sixties, that is. We learned years ago how to organize and stop buildings from being built, highways from plowing through urbs and suburbs, shipments of military materiel (at least for a while), academic administrations from participating in a discriminatory selective service system, ROTC from a respectable place in academe. We organized residents of public housing, welfare recipients, veterans in need of rehabilitation, ex-cons, pre-cons, laborers, minimum-wage office cleaners, and more and more.
What happened to us when George W. Bush was awarded the Presidency of the United States with a total vote of Five to Four (the lowest turnout in a presidential election on record). Why weren't we in the streets, stopping traffic and threatening to bring business as usual to a halt? Of course, Mr. Gore did not call on us to get into the streets. Mr. McGovern didn't ask for that either, when it was discovered how much he was cheated so many years ago - but we should have had longer memories than we did.
Even speech-writers, scores of them, cannot make Mr. Bush sound like an intelligent statesman. Even when he stays on track for extended periods of time, the mere delivery of his messages shows what sort of person we have before us.
I am mighty ashamed that I was not alert enough to DO SOMETHING. Perhaps we should begin to think about THE NEXT TIME that the Republicans wrest the Highest Office in the Free World from the voters of the U.S. of A. We should think about an organization that can get ready to confront, confound and resist. How about it? No Next Time. No Next Time. No Next Time!
Ron Diener Wendell, North Carolina
On May 24, 2002 I sat down to read The New York Times national print edition. The first story I read was headlined "F.B.I. Didn't Pursue Information on Terror Suspect, Papers Show" by Jim Yardley. After reading the article I decided to email the article to my friends. The NYTimes.com website had the same article, but it was titled "Students Tied to Terror Suspect Gave FBI Disturbing Portrait," which you have posted on the BuzzFlash website.
I found it very disturbing that the New York Times would change the title of this article to hide the culpable position the FBI is in regarding the lack of action they demonstrated in the months leading up to September 11th. I guess this is an example of the government controlling the message.
D. Pearl Boca Raton, FL
[BuzzFlash Note: Here's a scan of the story from the print edition of the NY Times.]
Quote of the day:
"Today's struggle against terrorism will require the sacrifice of our forefathers"??
Morning' buzz......and I don' t mean my coffee. You guys are the best and I don't know what I'd do without you. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. I watched James Carville on C-SPAN yesterday and wanted to suggest that, if they have the video archive up and C-SPAN, it would be a "good thing" if you guys would link to it and leave it up for a while. Every Democrat in the country should watch this speech. He really riles up a crowd. I hope I get to see him in person someday! Keep up the great work!
Debbie Ray South Bend, IN
Subj: threat idea came from 'Godzilla' movie...
yep. And the threat was so vague that the guy didn't know the name of the threatened statue or bridge...
Should be interesting if he ever catches the "Harry Potter" movie...we'll be on terror warnings regarding mythological creatures.
George The Eloquent continues to make the world situation into a comic book plot by calling bin Laden and crew "nothin but a bunch of cold blooded killers." He knows they are more than just killers, at the core they are something George is very familiar with, cold blooded fundamentalist. They believe they know the truth from God and it is their duty to spread that truth no matter what gets in the way. These are the same creatures that he sold a big part of his political soul to, these are the same creatures that he offered up John Ashcroft as The Big John Law, a man who should know how bin Laden feels -- righteousness that burns away any weak thoughts of compassion for the enemies of God.
I am a vietnam combat veteran. My friends died by my side because of old men in Washington who ignored the truth. For all our fallen brothers and sisters I prey; God saves us from those who believe in you. Amen.
A thought crossed my mind after hearing that Ashcroft was told about the unheeded FBI warnings immediately after 9/11 but (supposedly) only told Bush in the last week or so: if this is true, why wasn't Ashcroft fired on the spot for withholding such crucial information from his president for close to 8 months?
The answer is either because the story isn't true, or because Bush isn't really running the country... -J
A BuzzFlash Reader
I had a nice phone chat with my fifty-three year old sister who lives out-of-state. Some background about my sister: Neither she nor her husband have health care, they have no retirement savings, she drives fifty miles (one way) to work everyday, they have two cars, but one is broken, so she now drives her husband to work, too. She gets up at 5:00 AM, works her ass off, gets home after 7:00 PM, cooks, eats, catches a little TV news (usually Faux Nutwork), goes to bed, and repeats the process the next day. They have lots of debt, and at the end of the month when the bills are paid, there is nothing left. Given her somewhat dire straits and hearing her complain about life in general, I eventually got around to politics. Knowing she is very religious and given the propaganda directed to cultural conservatives that painted Bush as the moral anti-Clinton, I said "I bet you voted for Bush," to which she replied "yes." I asked her why, and she gave the stock answer: She believed Bush and republicans in general have better morals, Bush would restore honor back to the presidency, and that that success will only be achieved through hard work is more a republican virtue than with the democrats, who espouse socialism. I choked... I mentioned Gingrich and other republican hypocrites, the attack on the environment, lack of affordable health care, deregulation that favors corporations and Wall Street, crony corporate-political scandals, money influenced politics, tax breaks that favor the wealthy, increased defense spending, the return of deficits, the Middle East fiasco, expanding war, and a slew of other problems facing this country, all to which she pleaded ignorance to or a lack of knowledge of the issues affecting her directly. My conclusions: Either Dems aren't getting their message out to working Americans, republican propaganda is damn good, a phoney media where perceptions and personality influence more than issues, or there is just a certain lost percentage of people who will vote republican regardless of their circumstances. Which is it? Go figure...
A BuzzFlash Reader
To quote the Buzz: Russian television played and replayed footage of Bush chewing gum upon entering the meeting"
You miserable, treasonous bastards!
You refuse to recognize the magnificent evolution of Republican leadership, from Ford who could not walk and chew gum at the same time to Bush who can !
bob reynolds, orange park fl
Last night our country had the honour of hosting one of our favourites, yes Bill Clinton was in town. He spoke in Auckland City at a promotional function and the audience was rapturous with their praises. In our part of the world this man is held in such high regard that many were happy to pay $25,000.00(NZ)per person to enjoy a wine with Mr. Clinton before he emerged for his speaking engagement. Tickets for the speaking function were snapped up a few months ago and could have been sold hundreds of times over. His intelligence and charm is not lost on the people over here. So currently you have the President of the United States travelling through Europe with his "wagging finger" lecturing and beating the war drum, and Clinton warming peoples hearts with a speech on 'World Peace.' What strange times we live in. No wonder George isn't keen to give up his current day job, could anyone imagine him delivering a speech he wrote himself! By the way Dr. Helen Caldicott was interviewed on Television New Zealand last night and stated that Cheney is "pulling all the strings" and is "looking forward to 60 years of war," she also said that Kissinger described Rumsfeld as the "most ruthless man he had ever met" What on earth are we all in for!!
I just thought of something that I haven't seen pointed out yet. The Bush Corporation, I mean administration, has been defending itself by saying nobody imagined that terrorists would use a plane as a missile to attack a building. But the White House itself has surface-to-air missiles positioned on the grounds, installed when a small Cessna crashed into the building. It was during the reign of Bush the Elder, by the way. So somebody sure had the imagination to conceive of an air attack, and I can't believe Bush the Childish didn't ever hear about the missile installation in some Secret Service briefing of defenses to protect him he would have received when he first entered office.
On a side note, I received a speeding ticket a few years back. It was some speed trap little town in the middle of Arizona. I saw no signs and assumed the speed limit was 55. I was pulled over and told it was 35. I said "But Officer, I didn't know what the speed limit was," and he replied "Ignorance is no excuse" as he handed me the ticket.
Brian W. Lapinsky
"Embraces Civil Liberties"? Did the headline writer READ this story?
[BuzzFlash Note: Hey, it *is* The Washington Times. What did you expect from a publisher more familiar with fiction than the truth.]
otherwise noted, all original