Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cheney plays the terror card

Just before the 2004 elections, Vice President Cheney warned that if Kerry was elected, "the danger is that we'll get hit again" by terrorists.

Recently, Cheney said that voters who supported Lamont's antiwar campaign in the Democratic primary were giving "the Al Qaeda types" exactly what they wanted, and that the Democratic Party now stands for a wholesale retreat in the broader campaign against terror.

Déjà vu! Cheney is playing the terror card again, this time just before the mid-term elections. He’s betting Americans won’t call his scary bluff that Democrats are weak on terror.

Americans, however, have a better hand – polls show most trust Congressional Democrats more than Bush when it comes to protecting our national security.

Cheney’s got nothing, because the occupation in Iraq has diverted attention from protecting America from terrorism, inflamed the whole Middle East, and is helping Al Qaeda attract new recruits. Bin Laden is still on the loose, and President Bush said he “really doesn’t spend much time on him.”

The Vice President has played this outrageous hand too many times, and we won't get fooled again. Americans are going to call his bluff in November.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The “Gitmoization” of America

On August 2nd, 1934 Paul Von Hindenburg died and chancellor Adolf Hitler became the absolute dictator of Germany, under the title of “Furor,” or “leader.” He assured his people that the Third Reich would last for a thousand years. It was going to be the beginning of a thousand years of peace. This is the same kind of “peace” that George W. Bush is promoting – if there is a war in the Middle East – war will bring about peace.

“Mankind has grown strong in external struggles and it will only perish through eternal peace.” – Adolf Hitler

Of course Hitler’s Reich only lasted eleven years. The reason I think that that anniversary is of particular consequence is that the main way that Hitler achieved power, held power, and made his country insane, was by essentially setting aside the rule of law. People were driven insane, because they were followers of the insane personality cult of Hitler. The passage of the Enabling Laws (see: “Wake Up and Smell The Fascism", July 2nd) shortly after the Parliament building was burned by a 28 year old Dutch communist.

There is still debate about whether or not this man had help from Hitler’s guys – the brown shirts. He probably did. He had tried to set several buildings on fire prior to the successful attempt to burn the Parliament.

After this event, Hitler said, “There are enemies among us, and we have to change the law.” It was a tool that Hitler used brilliantly. He passed the Enabling Laws through parliament that said that the rule of law of democracy in Germany that had been set up after WWI would be modified. The government could now tap telephones without going through a court, if they thought it had to do with terrorism. You don’t have a right to a trial. You don’t have a right to face your accuser. The government could use hearsay against you. They could open your mail without a court order, and you could be held without charges without bail if you were suspected of terrorism.

These laws so concerned the German Parliament, that they put a four year sunset provision on them. In other words if the state of emergency passed, (i.e. the terrorist attack on the Parliament building) then the laws would expire. The parallels between the Enabling Act in Germany and the Patriot Act are absolutely spooky to anyone who has actually read and studied both of them.

Now the Bush administration wants to take it to the next step. This was in the Washington post on August 2nd, the anniversary of Hitler’s rise to power. I am amazed that this wasn’t a screaming headline on every newspaper and every network. It should have been everywhere, but I didn’t see it in any other newspapers that day.

In the Washington Post, buried on page 4, was an article by R. Jeffrey Smith, entitled
"White House Proposal Would Expand Authority of Military Courts." It reads, “A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such "commissions…" (First of all, they are renaming these things. They are no longer courts. They are commissions.) “…to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal.”

Do you get this? This is a draft plan of circulating around congress right now, around Republicans, saying, “We’re going to change the rules of the game. Yes, we’ve had this thing called the Constitution for 230 years, but time to throw that out the window. After all, it’s a post 9/11 world, and so we don’t need this ‘you have the right to face your accuser’ stuff. We don’t need this ‘you have the right to make bail.’ We don’t need this ‘you have a right to a speedy trial.’ We don’t need this ‘you have the right to know what you’re charged with.’ We don’t need this stuff.”

They want to apply the rules of Guantanamo to you and me!

“The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will…”

In other words, Donald Rumsfeld can simply make up a law. For example, he can say, “It’s now illegal to call George W. Bush a “dufus,” and if you break this particular law, you will be held before one of these “commissions.”

“The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said. The draft proposed legislation, set to be discussed at two Senate hearings today, is controversial inside and outside the administration because defendants would be denied many protections guaranteed by the civilian and traditional military criminal justice systems.

Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors.

Detainees would also not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.

John D. Hutson, the Navy's top uniformed lawyer from 1997 to 2000, said the rules would evidently allow the government to tell a prisoner: ‘We know you're guilty. We can't tell you why, but there's a guy, we can't tell you who, who told us something. We can't tell you what, but you're guilty.’”

(This is the Navy’s top lawyer for the last three years of the Clinton administration.)

“Bruce Fein, an associate deputy attorney general during the Reagan administration, said after reviewing the leaked draft that "the theme of the government seems to be 'They are guilty anyway, and therefore due process can be slighted.' " With these procedures, Fein said, "there is a real danger of getting a wrong verdict" that would let a lower-echelon detainee "rot for 30 years" at Guantanamo Bay because of evidence contrived by personal enemies.”
“…Administration officials have said that the exceptional trial procedures are warranted because the fight against terrorism requires heavy reliance on classified information…”

They can even prosecute you for hearsay obtained under torture.

Is this the end of democracy in the United States?

If you’re a peace activist, this story must give you pause, because permanent brand new prisons are already opening Guantanamo Bay, just for people like you.

From the UK Independent, July 30th:
“Camp 6, a state-of-the-art maximum-security jail built by a Halliburton subsidiary, will be able to hold 200 prisoners. Commander Robert Durand, a spokesman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo, said the $30m, two-story block was due to open at the end of September. He added: ‘Camp 6 is designed to improve the quality of life for the detainees and provide greater protection for the people working in the facility.’”

Welcome to Gitmo, Americans!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

“Kill! Kill! Kill!” (the civilians)

According to the mainstream news, the timeline for the current mid-east crisis began with Hezbolla kidnapping two Israeli soldiers on June 12th. What they fail to mention is that a few days earlier, on June 9th, an Israeli artillery shell slammed into a crowded beach in the northern Gaza Strip, killing seven members of a Palestinian family, including a baby boy who relatives said was ripped from his mother's arms by the blast. You may remember the video of the nine-year-old girl screaming hysterically on the beach where her whole family had been killed. Video (not for the faint of heart)

The Israeli military apologized for the civilian deaths. The killings prompted some Hamas leaders to call for the renewal of all-out attacks on Israel and an end to a yearlong truce. This was the event that lead to the kidnappings, although no one reports it.

On Wednesday, the 26th of July, Israel started bombing in the area of a UN post in Lebanon. Peacekeepers frantically called the Israeli military, pleading with them that there were no Hezbolla there, and to stop the bombing in the area, otherwise they would be killed. After repeated pleas, 6 hours later, 4 UN peacekeepers were killed.

On Sunday, July 30th, Israel bombed the villiage of Qana in Southern Lebanon, where innocent civilians were taking shelter from the bombings. After 60 civilian deaths, (including 37 children - This photo was seen in "Arab World") Israel was forced to admit that there were no there, and no rockets were being launched from the villiage.

Dozens of members of the Hashem and Chalhoub families had sought refuge in an unfinished house about 10 days ago, thinking it was safe.

Masen Hashem, a 30-year-old construction worker from Qana who lost several family members in the air strike on the shelter said, "When Hezbollah fires their rockets, everyone runs away because they know an Israeli bombardment will come soon… That is why everyone stayed in the shelter and nearby homes, because we all thought we'd be all right since there were no Hezbollah fighters in Qana."

The San Fransico Chronicle reported the deaths of the children: “The tiny, lifeless bodies were laid out in a row on a black straw sheet in the concrete courtyard of the Tyre Government Hospital. Twenty-one of them, all still in the pajamas they were wearing before two Israeli bombs tore through Ali Hashem's home in this southern Lebanese village early Sunday. Dozens of members of the Hashem and Chalhoub families had sought refuge in the unfinished house about 10 days ago, thinking it was safe. Only eight survived.

The Lebanese Red Cross in Tyre was called from Qana pleading for rescue assistance at 5 am on the morning of the Israeli strike. Kassem Shaulan, a 28-year-old medic who responded to the call, said, "Immediately after we got the call we took three ambulances and headed to Qana," he said. "But three bombs nearly hit our first ambulance, so we turned back."

They attempted to head out to Qana a second time, but again their ambulances were attacked, and they returned to base.

If this war wasn’t disgusting enough – attacking Red Cross workers, and UN peacekeepers, the freaks in the right wing media are now either denying, or cheerleading the killing of civilians.

On Monday, July 31st, on The O’Reilly Factor, Michelle Malkin said anger in the Arab world about the tragedy at Qana — where at least 56 innocent civilians, including 37 children, were killed — was “manufactured.” Malkin called it “the jihad du jour” that “members of the religion of perpetual outrage are always ginning up.” She added, “If it’s not Qana, it’s something else. … It’s Gitmo, Abu Ghraib. It’s beauty pageants.”

O’REILLY: Then why — why doesn’t the rest of the world accept your analysis?
MALKIN: Because they are intoxicated. They are clouded by this moral equivalence that has set in over the world for the past several decades. And I think it behooves us to fight against that, to claw against that.
Because the manufactured outrage that Qana is not really about the deaths at Qana; it is something about much larger. It is about the jihad du jour that these — that members of the religion of perpetual outrage are always ginning up. I mean, if it’s not Qana, it’s something else.
O’REILLY: No, I got it. I got it. I got it.
MALKIN: It’s Gitmo, Abu Ghraib. It’s beauty pageants.

While Malkin was busy denying Qana ever happened, conservative talk show host Michael Savage was taunting Israel like a petulant child. “You’re gonna lose! You’re gonna lose!”

MICHAEL SAVAGE: “They’re (the Israeli’s) going to lose. It’s a simple as that – the same way we are losing in Iraq – They’re going to lose in Lebanon in the big picture now. I don’t mean in the short term. In the long term, the only thing that can make a difference is a devastating catastrophic overwhelming victory for the Israelis – where nothing is left living in Southern Lebanon south of the Litani River.”

This “kill them all” idea appealed to Rush Limbaugh, so he started saying the same thing, “the civilians must pay.”

RUSH: "Until civilians — frankly, I’m not sure how many of them are actually just innocent little civilians running around versus active Hezbo types, particularly the men — but until those civilians start paying a price for propping up these kinds of regimes, it’s not going to end, folks. What do you mean, civilians start paying a price? I just ask you to consult history for the answer to that.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann awarded Rush with his "worst person" award (video) because his statements eerily echo another commentator’s sentiments about civilian deaths, as well.

“The American people are not exonerated from responsibility, because they chose this government and voted for it, despite their knowledge of it’s crimes.” - Osama bin Laden

Rush Limbaugh. Following the logic and ethics of Osama bin Laden

Meanwhile, the other terrorist, George W. Bush, despite unanimous international pressure to call for a cease fire, refused to do so, set conditions and refused to negotiate unless they were met.

This is all about George Bush wanting to attack Iran. He’s wanted to do that since last March. That’s what the wanting to set off a couple of kilotons of explosives in Nevada was about - the “Divine Strake” test. But he just doesn’t have the political capitol to do that. He has to come up with a way. His way is to keep up the bombing going as long as possible, hoping that Iran or Syria will break their restraint and attack Israel. He wants to attack Iran, and be able to do it with nukes, so he’s using Israel as his cat’s paw, and this was all set up from the beginning. He wants to push Israel to really screw up with things like this killing of the children in Qana, in order to hype up the leadership in Iran and Damascus, so that they will attack Israel, and he can back up Israel, with some kind of attack in Iran.

When that happens, everyone’s going to forget all about this lead-up, this precursor, because America has a very short attention span. Once this war happens they’ll forget that this all started when they killed a family in Gaza, and then everything started spinning out of control, and Bush is helping the spin. He said this in the Port of Miami:

"Iran must end its financial support and supply of weapons to terrorist groups like Hezbollah. Syria must end its support for terror and respect the sovereignty of Lebanon."

What Bush fails to mention is that the US is funding the Israeli military 100%, and conspiring with them to widen the war.

"As we work with friends and allies, it's important to remember this crisis began with Hezbollah's unprovoked attacks against Israel. Israel is exercising its right to defend itself," he lied, because he doesn't have any friends or allies.

"We mourn the loss of innocent life, both in Lebanon and Israel," he lied again.

Bush doesn’t mourn any death, because he is a sick, twisted killer. He won’t be happy until he is raptured up after the Armageddon he is hoping will happen.

Iran and Syria have shown great restraint so far, but if they don’t join in, the Bush administration might have a their own little plan for a 9/11 in Israel with, say, a very small tactical Soviet made nuke that they might have gotten from one of their former Soviet bloc friends around Afghanistan.

I know it's horrible to think about, but think of a small Soviet nuke going off in Israel. That’s going to set Russia back on its heels, saying “We had NOTHING to do with this.” It’ll make China stop and say, “What the HECK is going on?” Because that’s what they always do when something like this happens. It’ll give him 36 hours, then

Tehran glows in the dark.

I hope I’m wrong, but unless someone can tell me I’m absolutely wrong, I’m going to have trouble sleeping at night.