Wednesday, January 23, 2008

380,000 Words of Treason

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction."--Dick Cheney.

The Center for Public Integrity has launched a web site documenting the Bush administration's lies in the run up to the war in Iraq. The sustained, deliberate, orchestrated lying has led us into the largest rip-off of American taxpayers in the history of the country.

From the CPI's Iraq War Card:

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

And yet, we have had no investigations into the White House actions. They have refused to testify under oath. They have ignored congress (now that we have a congress that doesn't ignore them). They won't even appoint one of their friends to "investigate" them.

Odd that many conservatives, who are so ready to string up welfare "queens" (like the ones Reagan could never produce examples of) for ripping off the people who work to pay for it all, don't care that we will wind up spending more than a trillion (that's Trillion with a T) on this war and its aftermath. Says a lot for a block of voters who gladly voted for Bush again in 2004, a vote that says it's OK to kill innocent children (collateral damage), wreak havoc on an entire country that didn't attack us, cost the lives of thousands of soldiers (straining the army to the breaking point in the process), and create massive war profiteering by everyone from the bomb makers to the oil companies to the Saudis (who's non-democracy created 15 of the 19 9-11 hijackers and financed most of their operations). A vote for Bush in 2004 was, essentially, an American saying that was all OK, that lying to get us into it was OK, and that they'd do it again.

And this will make us safer how?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Stop HR 888 - Dominionist Lies about History

Maybe because lying us into the modern Crusades, lying about global warming, lying about pollution, lying about our health and threats to it, and even lying about their own proselytizing under the guise of "faith-based initiatives" wasn't enough, now the American Dominionists (sounds so much better than fascist or Taliban, doesn't it?) are trying to pass House Resolution 888.

But, wait! The description of this resolution sounds all warm, fuzzy, and Godly. How could it be bad?

"Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation's founding and subsequent history and expressing support for designation of the first week in May as 'American Religious History Week' for the appreciation of and education on America's history of religious faith."

If that's all it did, it would be just another harmless waste of congress's time, like supporting the makers of Peeps. HR 888 is actually a pack of lies put together by Christian Nationalists in an attempt to enter falsified American history into the congressional record.

I first heard about this over at the KOS. In today's diary on this subject, Troutfishing asks that smaller blogs pick this up, and I was surprised no one over here had anything to say about it (that I could find).

Christian Nationalists seek to make the US a "Christian Nation." Despite the obvious problems with introducing lies into the congressional record, we should look at the deeper motives of those who are attempting to place those lies there, and in as many other places as they can. It is a blatant attempt by these people to convince Americans, wrongly, that the founding fathers intended for the US to be a Christian Nation.

This is from George Grant, in Changing of the Guard:

"Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ -- to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish."

If the name George Grant sounds familiar, that's because he co-wrote the book Kids Who Kill with Iowa Republican caucus winner Mike Huckabee. Odd that no MSM has asked Huckabee if he share's Grant's views.

Steve Hotze, who has raised funds for Huckabee, is another familiar name to these theocrats. Hotze actually signed a manifesto that included these little nuggets of Dominionist wisdom:

* A wife may work outside the home only with her husband's consent
* "Biblical spanking" that results in "temporary or superficial bruises or welts" should not be considered a crime
* No doctor shall provide medical service on the Sabbath
* Medical problems are frequently caused by personal sin
* Doctors have a priestly calling
* Physicians should preach to their patients because salvation is the key to their health.

The medical angle is particularly disturbing in light of this SP Diary by br t: Abusing Children in the Name of God.

Gaining dominion over this country (and its vast military might, as documented by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation) is no easy task, and could never be accomplished without a big dose of propaganda. Since most of their lies about American history have been so much preaching (and book selling) to their already duped followers, they need to catapult the propaganda. What better way to heave the exploding showers of stone behind the walls of secularism than to pass a resolution in the US House of Representatives?

For a line-item debunking of this garbage, see Chris Rodda's article from last week: Think the "Christmas Resolution" was Bad? Check Out H. Res. 888.

I hope that the kind, sane, loving people here will recognize this resolution for what it is: blatant lies about American history and the great men who wanted to create a country where no religion has dominion over man.

Cross-posted at Street Prophets.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Straits of Wrath

The Straits of Hormuz from spaceIn the John Steinbeck novel (and great Henry Fonda movie) The Grapes of Wrath, the agribusiness thugs wanted to start a fight with the farm workers inside the federal camp during a dance, so the club-wielding cops could enter the camp, warrantless, under the auspices of quelling a riot.

In the Straits of Hormuz today, according to the Pentagon, Iran's Revolutionary Guard's "fast boats"1 charged US Navy ships.

In the book, the camp residents see the plot unfold and concoct a group abduction of the agitators. In Iran, perhaps a few more people realized that the people running the Revolutionary Guards aren't exactly helping them. In America, perhaps a few more people realized something similar about the Bush administration.

In The Grapes of Wrath, the people of the camp execute their plan flawlessly. They overwhelm the thugs and remove them from view. The police are unable to come in and beat up the "red threat."

In Iran today, conservatives likely cheered the "maneuver," although the Government there, of course, denies the incident happened. The vast majority of the country probably didn't cheer, but wondered what on earth they can do? At the least, the US Administration's credibility has been questioned yet again in a region where they already have precious little.

The Pentagon's Tales of the Revolutionary Guard adds another sordid episode. It's like they're hedging their bets, in case they do "have to act" in "the interests of the US," they'll be able to say that they're only targeting the Guard. In the New York Times story of the incident, note the care taken by the Pentagon spokesperson to praise Iran's "regular" Navy.
“We have found in the past that the regular Iranian Navy was a courteous and professional organization, and our relations are as we would have with any other navy in the world,” said one Pentagon official who has studied the issue. “The I.R.G.C. Navy has a tendency to act in these unprofessional ways, and to be very provocative at times.”
How convenient. We don't have anything against you people, just the ones we don't like. The rest of you can move along...

Do our White House thugs want to keep this down to a small brawl and some kind of limited, warrantless quelling of dangerous unrest? Do they honestly believe that Iran's other military branches would understand the distinction if the next time this happens, the US sinks the charging fast boats2?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the infiltrators are trying to start yet another fight, and we the citizens of the camp have done nothing, other than count backwards, to stop them. We have no serious impeachment proceedings. The Mullahs are still calling the shots in Iran. The price of oil goes ever upward, often in very predetermined-looking ways.

Maybe Dick Cheney and his well-funded private war machine actually have people inside Iran who occasionally do something like this on the eve of a Presidential visit to the Middle East. Maybe some people in Iran understand that what's good for Dick is good for the rest of the oil oligarchy. Russian super-sonic cruise missiles and nuclear power plants aren't cheap, you know.

In a camp where the agitators are always picking fights so they can move in the troops, the people of the camp are no longer vigilant enough to see the agitators before the fights break out. Our complacent certitude that elections have consequences, instead of all actions while in office having consequences, is a gaping hole in the defense of this country, this camp, where the people decide.

Jefferson said, "The price of Democracy is eternal vigilance." Looks like a lot of people have been asleep at their post.

Cross-posted at the The Daily KOS.

1 Apparently, "fast boats" are faster than "swift boats" but the distortion effect on the truth seems to be similar.

2 Does this Republican hatred for small, quick water craft go back to Nixon's hatred of Kennedy's heroics on PT109?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

What would happen if you ignored the law?

I've taken a lot of flak from right wing "law and order" types, who, especially when they talk about illegal immigration, always come back to "the law is the law and they broke it."

Well, last year, congress voted to cut off funding for a pilot program that allows Mexican trucks drive deep into the US, a provision of NAFTA. Bush signed the bill cutting off funding for the controversial program, making it the law of the land. The program, administered by the Bush administration's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, part of the Department of Transporation, has not been cut. In fact, the FMCSA

...quietly acknowledged last week that the program is still under way, adding that it has issued permits to 11 Mexican companies with a total of 56 trucks.

Senator Byron Dorgan (D, ND), in a letter to Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, called for an immediate end to the program. Well, that ought to stop it, eh? After all, when the branch of government that is supposed to enforce the laws is actually breaking the law, what's a lonely executive brancher to do? Go to court? The Teamsters union is suing. But, how much will the anti-union CEOs make in the mean time by using cheaper Mexican labor as truckers in this country?

What do you GOP voters think about an administration that just ignores laws it doesn't like. Bush signed this law. Why not just veto it? This pattern of ignoring the law looks like a full assault on the constitution, the opposite of what Bush and Cheney swore in their oaths of office.

This is, of course, another example of what David Addington, Cheney's Chief of Staff,
told us was going to happen.

"We're going to push and push and push until some larger force makes us stop."

There is only one larger force that will stop these people. Impeachment.