Friday, June 30, 2006

Homeland Security vs. The Rainbow Family

Mass arrests citations/roadblocks now ongoing in Colorado according to IndyMedia.

Update: Be sure to scroll down and read the long entry by starfire on the subject of "rumor control" for the background and the kind of nuance we know our more intelligent readers like to see.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Supreme Court Punks Bush on Hamdi


Chalk one up for the good guys!

Marty Lederman over at SCOTUSblog has the goods on the Hamdan decision and engages in a little tea leaf reading. In particular he singles out this particularly salient bit discourse by majority opinion author, Justice John Paul Stevens:
[...]the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva aplies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today's ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely," and that "[t]o this end," certain specified acts "are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever"—including "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment.

This almost certainly means that the CIA's interrogation regime is unlawful, and indeed, that many techniques the Administation has been using, such as waterboarding and hypothermia (and others) violate the War Crimes Act (because violations of Common Article 3 are deemed war crimes).

If I'm right about this, it's enormously significant.
This could even call into validity the holding of people in Guantanamo altogether.

So let's go to the tape. It was a 5-3 decision, with the dissenters being the gang of three, Sammy the Gavel Alito, Fat Tony Scalia and Clarence Thomas. The Dread Judge Roberts abstained due to the fact that he sat on the District Court of Appeals that wrote the opinion that the Supremes just circular filed. Even had he participated, it would still have been a 5-4 decision.

Now the majority was not entirely unanimous in their reasoning and each of the majority justices also wrote concurring opinions. In legal speak, this means that there are different shadings to the ruling, depending on who's opinion you want to go with. However, there was very little of this "concurs in part, dissents in part" nonsense. They were at least together on the remedy and the basic issues involved. Only Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote an opinion that did not entirely agree with all of Stevens reasoning, although he joined in the majority supporting the decision.

Now let's go to wingnut East Blogistan to see how the denizens of FreeSaltLick are taking the news::
To: pabianice
Impeach the Supreme Court.

31 posted on 06/29/2006 7:16:57 AM PDT by Brilliant
To: Constitution Day
From now on we should kill them all where they stand.

29 posted on 06/29/2006 7:16:47 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush
To: goodnesswins
Hallelujah!!! Let's chain the moslem bastards together and then push 'em into the ocean!!!

19 posted on 06/29/2006 7:15:49 AM PDT by chadwimc
And there was the most chilling one of all from Freeperville
To: pabianice
How many soldiers does the Supreme Court have?

5 posted on 06/29/2006 7:13:17 AM PDT by CholeraJoe
Yes, isn't that delightful? Threatening violence against the Court. Wonder how many people are going to call out this asshat for making a treasonous or seditious statement against duly appointed officers of the United States?

Who else is grippin' this morning, let see... let's go down the list... well there's the predictably ignorant and violent response from some of the other usual suspects like Anti-Idiotarian Rotweiller wherein Emperor Darth Misha I (wow... adequacy issues much?) says:
[...]The Supreme Whores are in dire need of Intervention by Lynch Mob™.[Read through the comments... they're a laugh riot]
And then there is this outstanding take fromInstahack... seriously, this next bit of text should only be read by trained professionals:
[...]And Marty Lederman at SCOTUSBLOG says the press coverage is missing the biggest part of the story ... Indeed. At the very least, this should serve as a rebuke to those who have been proclaiming that we live in an era of lawless fascism and rubberstamp courts. And that's (another) good reason for Bush not to follow advice from some quarters to disobey the ruling, a la Andrew Jackson.
Ahhh... my eyes... my eyesssss...

Yes, absolutely priceless.

But now on to the real issues... there are some this morning who are actually saying that this might be a net win for the administration. Let's review the bidding. Maximum Leader never really wanted to have any kind of trials for the detainees, but was essentially forced to do so by various court rulings and political pressure from some even in his own party like Lindsay Graham. So the administration sets up the kangaroo court tribunals, which of course violate the very military law they were nominally supposed to be following. So the courts now strike that down, but have also previously held that the U.S. can indefinitely detain these people for the duration of the War®.

So it appears we are still at something of a legal impasse. Now with Stevens writing that Article III of the Geneva Conventions is, for our purposes here, controlling law for the United States in this matter, then that might also overthrow that previous decision in Rasul [?]

Now there are a couple of ways the wingnuts can cope. First, and foremost, Congress can always pass a new law deciding that American forces are no longer specifically bound by the Geneva Conventions, the Senate can go ahead push through a treaty recission, or -- my personally favorite option -- the Preznit can just decide he is not going to be bound by the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions anymore.

We will bring Maximum Leader or the Mouth's reactions later...

Update 1.0: While discussing the issue of whether the "legality" of indefinite dentention was fortified with the good folks at Legal Fiction a very kind person was good enough to answer my basic question on the subject by posting the following:
"Mojo -- per your question, quoting from the opinion of the court, page 72 (VII) "We have assumed ... that Hamdan is a dangerous individual whose beliefs, if acted upon, would cause great harm and even death to innocent civilians, and who would act upon those beliefs if given the opportunity. It bears emphasizing that Hamdan does not challenge, and we do not today address, the Government’s power to detain him for the duration of active hostilities in order to prevent such harm."
This is an interesting turn of phrase. While the Supremes here are reiterating that Hamdan is probably an a-hole who is a potential a threat to Joe Sixpack and Princess Sparklepony Stepford Chick out in RedState, USA, they have not ruled that his dention is unlawful/unconstitutional.

But neither have they ruled his dentention is lawful. They simply punt on that particular question, noting (and here's yer money quote)"Hamdan does not challenge..." Remember your order of precendence in legal thinking from Pierre Schlag's existential crisis regarding the law and law school :
1. Do not confront an ontological question if it can be handled as an epistemic question.
2. Do not confront an epistemic question if it can be handled as a normative question.
3. Do not confront a normative question if it can be handled as a technical question.
That is what has happened here; the Supreme's punted with rule No. 3, the technical question. So we still have this thing out there and it would appear, to me at least, that Stevens drew Hamdan's attorneys a map on how to file the next challenge, this one to overturn indefinite detention on the basis of the Article III being controlling law. Let's see if they take it up...

mojo sends

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

We Are Not Worthy!

James Wolcott shows us the way! This time, he puts up the numbers on The Big Oxy

Thanks, Wolcott... I need to go find an oxygen bottle now...

mojo sends

Ahhh... My Head!

exploding-head-zone.JPG Well... words really are failing me...

Let me see if I really get what GOP Rep. Ted Poe of Texas is saying here... Even though the Guard at the border is a "publiclity stunt" for the administration, we should at least be thankful that some would-be undocumented aliens aren't crossing the border because they fear being beaten, raped and killed by the National Guard...

Apparently, Mr. Poe seems to think this is something to be encouraged: ""Just think," concluded Poe, "what would happen if we used more Guardsmen on the border front."

Look, will the last American out please hit the lights...

mojo sends

Props To SourceWatch.Org

We are adding these folks to the resources sidebar. Here is their update on the alluring Ms. Amanda P. Doss mentioned earlier on this blog.

Another Random Moment Of Surreality

Via the incomparable Retardo Montalban at Sadly, No!
Oh my fucking God. War Nerd is a cleverly-executed joke, a comedy routine, a parody of keyboard kommandos. Yet, since War Nerd is so over the top, the 82nd Chairborne take him for one of their own.
/me jabs ballpoint pen in own eye.

Just Look Out of the Corner of Your Eye...

Looks like a few well placed emails did the trick...

Justin Rood over at TPM Muckraker is digging into the pro-war, anti-Murtha machine spinning up inside the beltway, and first few dark corners he peers into turn up some interesting bits of data...

Particularly the whole "Vets for Freedom" cabal. This group has been on the edge of all the reporting done by us and other blogs so far, but only on the edge. They have not been a visible central part of any of the people or other groups we have been researching.

So naturally, they become the focus of the smart reporter... we are still digging...

Update 1.0: Looking at the "Vets for Freedom" site's "About Us" page, it appears that a bunch of these guys are currently serving. And yet... they are engaged with RNC and West Wing political operatives in what is an overtly poltical operation.

Didn't the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff in coordination with the Commandant of the Marine Corps, have something to say about this just a little while back?

mojo sends

More Lies...

So this morning -- even as I write, in fact -- the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing into the nature of the "Presidential Signing Statements."

The statements themselves are nothing that new. In the past, they have been the President basically putting himself on the record on how he felt about a particular law, or what he thought it meant. But Maximum Leader has changed all that, using the signing statements as a means to tell Congress that he will not obey any law he feels will impede getting his War® on.

So this morning, the Department of Justice trots Michelle Boardman, the Deputy Assistant AG from Office of Legal Counsel up the hill to tell the Senate that:
It is important to establish at the outset what presidential signing statements are not: an attempt to “cherry-pick” among the parts of a duly enacted law that the President will choose to follow, or an attempt unilaterally to redefine what the law is after its enactment. [Emphasis mine - mojo] Presidential signing statements are, rather, a statement by the President explaining his interpretation of and responsibilities under the law, and they are therefore an essential part of the constitutional dialogue between the branches that has been a part of the etiquette of government since the early days of the Republic. Nor are signing statements an attempt to “override” duly enacted laws, as some critics have suggested. Many constitutional signing statements are an attempt to preserve the enduring balance between co-equal branches, but this preservation does not mean that the President will not enforce the provision as enacted.
Right then. The President does not "cherry pick" or unilaterally reinvent law after its passage.

It's hard to believe that she actually passed the bar without being able to read plain English:
The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks. Further, in light of the principles enunciated by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2001 in Alexander v. Sandoval, and noting that the text and structure of Title X do not create a private right of action to enforce Title X, the executive branch shall construe Title X not to create a private right of action. Finally, given the decision of the Congress reflected in subsections 1005(e) and 1005(h) that the amendments made to section 2241 of title 28, United States Code, shall apply to past, present, and future actions, including applications for writs of habeas corpus, described in that section, and noting that section 1005 does not confer any constitutional right upon an alien detained abroad as an enemy combatant, the executive branch shall construe section 1005 to preclude the Federal courts from exercising subject matter jurisdiction over any existing or future action, including applications for writs of habeas corpus, described in section 1005.[various emphasis added - mojo]
So it would appear that, in spite of the clear Congressional intent in the McCain Amendment to preclude the use of torture or other violent and harsh interrogation, the President has decided that Congress really doesn't have the ability to tell him not to torture, and that the Courts have no jurisdiction to to tell him not to torture.

You see, that's what the Unitary Executive Theory means. It is a theory that the President's Article II-vest executive power means that he alone is in charge of what the executive branch does, and no one from the Congress will tell him otherwise.

So when the President gives a signing statement on anti-torture legislation that says he will interpret it in light of the Unitary Executive theory, he's saying that Congress doesn't really have the authority to tell him who he can and can't hook up to a series of 12 volt batteries and gun the engine until they shoot sparks out their ass or start divulging the plans for the Iranian Ninja Robots or Al Qaeda Flying Saucer Fleet hiding on the back side of the Moon...

And of course, she hedges, so that should her arguements fall on deaf ears, once you read to the end of her testimony, she of course starts to blame this all on Bill Clinton, by trotting out everyone's favorite bit of misdirection and mendacity: sing along, you know the words "well Bill Clinton did it...". Because as we all know if Wild Bill did it, then it must be okay...

Of course, I suspect that Boardman knew this when she went up the hill to lie and spin to the Senate. Sure would be nice if she was under oath...

mojo sends

The Times and the White House: A love story

According to Raw Story, National Review is demanding that the White House kick them out of the Press Room.

This is the best possible thing that could happen to the Times. A large part of their problem is the leverage that is exerted on reporters by the White House by threatening to withhold access. It works in large part by targeting specific reporters. So Rove can say "Hey, if you don't play ball I'll blackball you and Bill Keller will send another up and comer over here". If the Time is blackballed en masse, that leverage is gone. Which is why I don't think the White House will do it. They need the Times to be part of their Stockholm Syndrone network of media outlets. The last thing they need is to have the Times out there as Ronin writing stories critical of the White House. The last thing an abusive spouse wants is to lose control over their victim.

I tend to believe that the White House rhetoric on prosecuting the Times is gauged to intimidate more than anything else. The Time is way more useful to them as a pack of gullible rubes pimping their latest spin job than as a martyr dedicated to exposing their crimes.

Monday, June 26, 2006

An Ill Wind...

If you have been perusing other threads out in the hinterlands of West Blogovia or other alternative news sources, you have probably seen a version of the stories about the wingnut backlash against the New York Times and in particular Eric Licthblau and his writing partner James Risen for the June 23 article detailing more snooping into the private lives of Americans by the Bush Administration.

By now, I'm sure you know, W's been lookin' at yer bank book. And frankly, he's surprised you still have that much money at the end of the month... you know, you're clearly not giving enough to the war effort...

If you don't know what this is about, go read the article and come back... we'll be right here.

The eliminationist rhetoric began almost immediately with Maximum Leader's spittle-flecked attack on the Times, Vice President Big Time's ominous post-digestive rumblings, Tony Snow's barely literate spewage from the dais in the press room and on down to the blogs to Hugh Hewitt and Michelle Malkin and others who, in red shifting, brain bending ragegasms howled like wounded bears at the Times' disregard for Executive perogative.

This made it down to the level of the pissant followers. Literally... go back and look one more time at the Raw Story piece and you will see the name of the Freeperville poster being referenced: "Pissant." A little honesty among thieves?

Anyway, the eliminationist rhetoric has reached Red-Line. Ol' Doc Mojo fears that something really bad may be about to happen because of this. I don't know what... just a feeling.

Never forget though, that if and when it does, we told you this would someday happen if we let the wingnuts get too carried away with their antics and their increasingly poisonous and violent rhetoric sputum.

While I am concerned for the safety of Lichtblau and Risen and others at the Times -- because somewhere you know there's some crazy-ass "lone wolf" Timothy McVeigh wannabee in the "Rudolph's Roughnecks" battalion of the LightMyFart Oklahoma Army of God Militia who's taking this as marching orders -- I am more concerned that the wailing, weeping and gnashing of teeth might be getting under the skin of the West Wing and that they might feel it necessary to take some sort of action, and I don't just mean refusing to call on Times reporters at the gaggle, or seating them in steerage on Air Force One. I mean something big, perhaps out of Sparky Gonzalez' office.

And that's not going to be a good day for anybody...

mojo sends

The Big Oxy Detained at Airport...

Looks like the big pharma may have violated his probation by possessing Viagra without an apparent prescription. Click through the link to the Seattle Times and see the story, but here is your money grafs:
The sheriff's office plans to file a report with the state attorney's office.

"We believe there may be a second-degree misdemeanor violation, which is possession of certain drugs without a prescription, because the bottle does not have his name on it,"
[Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department Spokesman Paul] Miller said.
And in case you're wondering, a second class misdemeanor violation is almost certainly a violation of his probation. Even being charged might constitute a violation whether he is convicted or not.

Moreover, his doctor and the pharmacy could be in trouble for violation of federal prescription drug laws which state how prescription medication is supposed to be labeled.

Stay tuned sports fans...

Voter Vault

The Sunday LA times had an interesting piece about Republican GOTV efforts in the Cunningham district. Most interesting to me was the GOP database Voter Vault which provides extremely detailed information on potential voters to GOP operatives on narraw subsections of voters so they can target their resources to them. In the San Diego race, they used it to target potential GOP absentee ballots that had not been mailed. That explains where some of that money they poured into the district went to.

This isn't a substitute for a good message, competentent distribution of resources or whatever else the Dems are doing wrong today. But it is an advantage that can be matched if the DNC and the rest of the party get on the ball. I like Deans efforts to build local party infrastructure, but they need to be able to chew gum and walk at the same time, and I hope (vainly probably) that they are looking at tapping into similiar data sources. Providing their votes are counted at all of course...

Perhaps, Sabotage Is An Exaggeration

More like— Clowns Make Joke Of Nuke Missile. God only knows what might have happened if one of those big clown hammers actually struck the nose cone of that missile while the warhead was armed... it's a damned good thing those clowns got to "eat a lot of gravel" when the guards arrived on the scene. The last thing we need to do is encourage more clowning around with nukes by failing to respond to such antics with anything less than the trademark violence and brutality Americans have come to expect from their military police.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Your Nightly Moment Of Surreality

I have no words to describe how this story makes me feel.

When The Laugh Track Starts, Then The Fun Starts...

The comedy. It hurts so bad.

I have been watching the kerfuffle between The New Republic Online and the Daily Kos borg collective from the sidelines. It's mostly been good for folks in Left Blogovia to get off some good snark at the expense of yet another bunch of mindless jerks who will surely be among the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

Now, here comes Jason Zengerle on the other side, with a moment of surrealism that still has me scratching my head.
I sincerely regret not checking with Gilliard before quoting his purported words, not only because this was unfair to Gilliard--who has behaved more responsibly than anyone involved in this particular matter, myself included--but because the mistake that resulted from this failure has allowed Greenwald and others to try to use this minor error to distract people from much larger issues. Those issues are: Armstrong's troubles with the SEC; Armstrong's relationship with Moulitsas and Moulitsas's pattern of supporting politicians who hire Armstrong as a consultant; Moulitsas's attempts to silence liberal bloggers from commenting on these matters; the seeming acquiescence of so many of these liberal bloggers (including Greenwald) to Moulitsas's demands; and now, strangely, stuff like this [emphasis mine. —s9].
Follow that link in the final phrase of that semicolon-delimited list of clauses describing his so-called "larger" issues. Go ahead. I'll wait for you here.

So let me see if I get this straight, Jason... your "minor error" of misattributing the reprint of a private email message in a purported exposé about political corruption in the ranks of Left Blogovia is distracting people from the "larger" issues including [but not limited to] the alarming astrological implications of the discovery of a new trans-Neptunian planetoid object on the forecast of the future of America and its ruling party, which you found on the Internet and which was written four years ago by the same Jerome Armstrong you're bitching about now.

Nice work, Jason. Thanks for digging that up for us. I'm so glad you brought that to our attention. You wanker.

WTF Iz Going On Wif IRAQ?

The GOP is screeching "Stay The Course" at the top of their lungs, shouting down any Democrat who talks about the need for a conditional timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops as a treasonous un-American "cut and run" surrender-monkey.

Meanwhile, the new Iraqi prime minister is about to announce his new "national reconciliation plan" that grants amnesty to insurgents who attacked American and Iraqi targets and features a phased withdrawal of coalition troops according to a conditional timetable.

Now, in an amazing display of message discipline, the GOP is lining up to praise the Iraqi plan as sensible and the Pentagon brass in the Green Zone in Baghdad are reportedly finishing up plans for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops.


Don't be confused. It's very simple. The mighty Billmon goes over the political background for you here.
There is precedent, of a sort, for such a cynical political manuever: Richard Nixon's pronouncement, just days before the 1972 election, that "peace was at hand" in Vietnam. As it turned out, the dove of peace was still far enough out of reach that the U.S. Air Force had to bomb Hanoi round-the-clock for almost two weeks in December in order to bring it within choking distance, but by then Nixon's lie had served its purpose, which was to extinguish any faint signs of life in the electoral hopes of his hapless Democratic opponent. Rove may simply be following in the footsteps of the master.

But Nixon really did want to get out of Vietnam, and in the end was willing to sell our South Vietnamese puppets down the river in order to escape the trap -- all he and his diplomatic sidekick wanted was a decent interval to save Uncle Sam some face. Can the same be said of the Cheney Administration? Has all the recent hollering about cutting and running simply been an elaborate smoke screen to cover the preparations to, well, cut and run?
Read the whole article. Billmon asks all the right questions, and has answers for most of the answerable ones.

If you want the shorter explanation, then see this letter from a reader that Comrade Joshua published without comment:
In your blog today... "More evidence that the administration has no plan in Iraq."
I disagree. I thought months ago, and wrote you, that they plan to begin a significant drawdown before the election this fall. Their strategy is to attempt to demonize any Democrat who calls for withdrawal so that Democrats will not end up with a unified, strong stance. If Republicans can say in Sept through Nov., "See, we've taken the lead on withdrawing the troops" this will help burnish their (false) image of strength, control etc., and will gather them credit. But, if it looks like Democrats forced the issue, it would be an admission that the whole Iraq enterprise was FUBAR and the administration has had to alter course, making them look weak.

The public has already decided the war was a mistake. The Republicans are trying prevent the public from giving credit for the planned withdrawal to Democrats, and unfortunately many Democrats appear too craven to position themselves squarely in the line of fire. Unless they do I predict the withdrawal of significant numbers of troops at summer's end will redound to Bush's credit. Democrats are playing this very unwisely.
Yeah, that just about covers it.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

More on

It is nice when the other team just decides to post their plans online for us to see. This is juts one example of this particualr post that has started showing up on the various Swiftboat Assclown blogs in the last few days.

So it appears that Snesko is probably a minor player in the "" site. Looks like the next rung up we get some other folks. Who are Larry Bailey and Mike Bradley and who is paying their freight. Enquiring minds want to know...

Update 1.0: We have a little more on Larry Bailey...

Get the FEC filing on "Vietnam Veterans for the Truth, LLC" and he is listed as the President. However, another name comes up in the filings. A letter to the FEC also names a "Terry Garlock" from Peachtree, GA.

That name ring a bell for anyone?

Update 2.0: It looks like Ms. Doss has taken the Murtha Lied site live now. But at this point, it is primarily dedicated to defnding herself from the barrage of attacks she has received in the last few days once her plans came to light.

Some of the attacks are personal, some invective laden, mostly merciless ridicule and threats. Let me be clear about one thing. I could not care less about Ms. Doss. She is weak tea. If others want to make it personal about her, then that is their own deal. Personally, I tend to see the threats as somewhat counterproductive.. As far as I am concerned, she is just a foot soldier. I want to know 1. who is paying for her services, 2. who is footing the bill for the bandwidth, 3. who is supplying her with the material?

Who is running this op, that's the big catch and what we will be concentrating on here at the Mojowire, whether it's Diana Irey's campaign, the NRCC or the political office in the West Wing, or some other well connected, well monied group with an interest in spending more blood and treasure in Asia.

mojo sends

Friday, June 23, 2006

Those Seas Of David Losers

Juan Cole explains why he agrees with the Council on American Islamic Relations that the "Seas of David" losers recently arrested in an FBI entrapment sting operation are not Muslim. (Radical, yeah— probably. Muslim? Well, um— no.)
For one thing, they are vegetarians!

It seems pretty obvious that they are just a local African-American cult which mixed Judaism, Christianity and (a little bit of) Islam. It seems to be a of vague offshoot of the Moors group founded by Dwight York. I heard on CNN that one of them talked of being Moors. And Batiste, the leader, called whites "devils" in the tradition of the original Nation of Islam and York's Moors. Now CNN is saying one member said they practiced witchcraft [likely meaning Haitian voodoo or perhaps Santeria-like rituals]. One former member is called Levi-El, suggesting he might be associated with the Black Hebrew movement or an offshoot. Now a relative of one of the members, Phanor, said that they wore black uniforms with a star of David arm patch and considered themselves of the Order of Melchizadek. I wonder if it is "Seas of David" or "C's of David", with "c" meaning commando or some such?
Well, I have to say thanks to Professor Cole for pointing out what I don't think I really needed to learn, i.e. that some Black people are just as good at headfscking themselves as all those crazy white people I keep hearing on the radio in the middle of the night when I'm flying down I-5 in the central valley to Los Angeles to visit the MojoHaus Research and Design Campus.

Thanks, Professor Cole! (Now I have to dose myself with acetominephan.)

Swiftboaters Alert!

Looks like Karl Rove is finally going to get around to pushing the button on Jack Murtha. Check out the Murtha Lied site.

(Big h/t to Taylor Marsh for originally trying to get people over at Fire Dog Lake fired up about this...")

You will notice that there is nothing there at present and it looks like it was set up in 2000 originally. But some of the files, have apparently been updated in just the past week.

I am not the biggest fan of Murtha, a vaguely hawkish, middle of the road Democrat who originally voted with the administration on a number of issues. But now, because he is calling out the administration for being nothing more than a coterie of incompetence and mendacity, he is now going to get the treatment.

It would be nice if we could preempt this somehow, call these people out for the liars, cranks and thugs they are before it all happens and we have to wait for the TDM to attempt to untie things. Yeah, they did a competent job last time, but way, way too late...

Let's get out in front of this one...

Update 1.0: It would appear, after searching for the site on Whois, a domain information search site, that the murthalied site is owned by a Virginia-based contact, and lists as a technical contact one Amanda Doss. A quick google of her name with "GOP" turn up some interesting hits. First, there is a mention of an Amanda Doss described as a "Webmaster and organizer for Operation Street Corner" being honored at a "Vets Against Kerry" dinner in D.C. Turns out, that search also turns up a frothy anti-Jane Fonda Freeper called "Chieftain."

But more curious to me was "Operation Street Corner." It turns out that O.S.C. is a Swiftboat related skull farming ratfucking operation run by Ms. Doss and associated with "Vietnam Vets for Truth," registered out of Nash, Texas and Mt. Vernon, Virginia. Of course, their website is called "Kerrylied," and is registered with a web company in Oslo, Norway, through this thing called -- wait for it -- New World Solutions... It is unclear what or who New World is, other than perhaps just another hosting company...

Anyone else want to follow on?

Update 2.0: There were apparently a few problems with the original update, the erroneous information has been excised and corrected to the best of my ability.

Update 3.0: A picture of the alluring Ms. Amanda Doss can be found here (scroll down).

Update 4.0: Doing a little more digging, we come across the leader of this fine group, with the unlikely name of Tony Snesko, a D.C. area process server along with his son Brandon. Interestingly enough, that same name pops up on the National Repbuclian Congressional Committee's website as being the RSVP contact for a number of July 2004 D.C. fundraisers for Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, one of the local SoCal Psychos in Congress. He is also a former San Diego Private Investigator and City Councilman for the City of Poway in the Redneckistan portion of SD County.

Anyway... his name comes up in various contexts like this. Seems to me that he is yet another RNC pissant footsoldier who has now been tasked with the Murtha takedown along with some others, no doubt. More as this continues to come to light.

mojo sends

The Latest Domestic Terrorism Plot

East Blogistan is going into a blood frenzy over what Stratfor is calling a bunch of "Kramer jihadis" in Liberty City, FL.

The aspect of this story that piques my interest is that early reports indicated that the men were members of a weird little religious group, which I had never heard of before, calling themselves— get this— The Seas Of David. As of last night, when I started searching the web for information about these guys, the phrase turned up exactly zero pages on Google.Com. All the entries in News.Google.Com linked to recent news stories about the Liberty City Cell. One of them mentioned that MSNBC identified the group as a "radical Black Muslim" organization, but my bullshit detectors rang pretty loudly on that one and I haven't found the MSNBC page yet. I bet they took it down (or it never really went up).

So. Click here to see what Google News is saying now. I think this aspect of the story is still developing, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that we are not looking at a radical Black Muslim organization. More likely, we're looking at some folks who need more Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.

Update 1.0: Mojo asks if this group might really be called The Seeds Of David, and honestly— I think that wouldn't surprise me. Considering that this page comes up when I search the web for that phrase, I suspect it's entirely possible that the Top-Down Media have completely failed to transcribe the name of the group into their alien language properly before rendering it into English...

Your New Life On The Electronic Reservation

Mojo asks me in the preceding post to explain the problem with the so-called "broadcast flag" now entering the home stretch of its run around the legislative bases. I've linked to Richard Stallman's Right To Read before— a little science-fiction story he wrote to illustrate the nature of the problem we're talking about— but it's been a while. Go read it. Be sure to read the Author's Note at the end, where he explains how all the seemingly silly sci-fi stuff he writes about is already real. It just hasn't yet been taken to its logical consequences.

In the comments to Mojo's post, I wrote about how "the so-called 'broadcast flag' will be as big a deal as the collapse of the Fairness Doctrine." What I meant by that is that liberals and progressives will probably not appreciate how this seemingly wonky little technology policy detail will end up revolutionizing their world until it's too late to roll it back without a bloody war. The Sununu Amendment is a very good idea. It deserves your support. Pay no attention to the fact that John Sununu is the sponsor— it's one of the few things he's not a pinhead about.

On a seemingly [but not really] unreleated note, consider today's news in The Los Angeles TImes about the U.S. Treasury Department using national security letters to vacuum up the entire transaction history of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT as its known in high finance circles. Have a look at what Digby writes today on the intersection of privacy and liberty.

Just like it's extremely difficult today to move anything more than a bit of pocket cash across international boundaries without building a paper trail that you have to worry might be revealed to your competitors for political purposes, it's rapidly becoming impossible to read a book, watch a movie, view a television program, make telephone call, or even order take-out food from a local restaurant without leaving a data trail that people who do not have your best interests in mind have powerful incentives to use to your disadvantage.

And the disadvantage of your children.

We need to understand that the so-called "broadcast flag" is part of a concerted effort literally to destroy the right to read. The people pushing these policies want to make all information into capitalizable intellectual property and charge rent for the usage of it. Moreover, they know perfectly well that the ubiquitous application of digital rights management (DRM) will produce even more valuable data for constructing vast databases full of personality profiles.

If anything, Richard Stallman wasn't sufficiently imaginative.

In his story, written in 1997, he was primarily concerned with the effect of digital rights management enforcement on academic freedom. In those days, even he probably felt comfortable writing like the threat to more basic civil liberties was more remote. Worse, he never mentioned the other major problem with life in a surveillance state: the likely inaccuracy in most of the data collected about you, and the nature of how police states have no regard for the problem of keeping their personal profile databases normalized.

So, yes. The so-called "broadcast flag" is something we should all be paying attention. I've been fatigued from calling out attention to it for years now, but it hasn't gotten any less important. More so, in fact. It's an integral part of a constellation of bad policies designed to undermine public education, social mobility, civil liberties and potentially, even the Enlightenment itself. I kid you fscking not.

Am I optimistic? Fsck no.

Paging Profressor S9...

Please explain... is this something we need to concerned with?

mojo sends

Look at the singing Chewbacca!

I spotted this on the Huffington Post today. It's a YouTube video of a fight during what looks like a junior high basketball game where one of the kids lays a hard foul in the back of another kid as they are going down the court and the other kid clotheslines him in the throat, knocks him to the ground and starts pummeling him. Adults rush in and pull the kid off after a few punches.

Because it's between a black kid and a white kid, the comments on this post are filled with some awful racist trolling. Here are a few examples:
Clear evidence of Black hatred, and the cheapness of life with Afro-Americans. That boy would have been beaten to death, if not for people rushing in to stop the brutality.Caucasian Hating Liberals privately enjoyed it, and do gymnastics to blame whitey.
Liberals have brainwahsed Blacks into believing, their violent actions can be justified, by making excuses for violent Blacks.
By: CaptainAmericana on June 23, 2006 at 10:31am

It's good to see the black race is no longer taking crap from whites. Everyone saw the cheap shot the white player took, the black player reacted to a threat from a white racist. Note to whites: We're sick of your shit and not going to take it anymore!
By: mountainbiker on June 23, 2006 at 10:20am

The trolls know that crap like this gets everyones panties in bunch, particularly about the terrible role models in hiphop for African American kids and the video games for our suburban white kids and how our sports hero's don't measure up to the icons of yesteryear blah blah blah blah...

Stories like this drive me nuts. There often is an apriori assumption here that there is a golden age of civility in sports that existed where sportsmanship reined supreme and nothing uncivil like this ever happened. You see it's that OTHER GUY that is ruining everything. Insert your favorite race/class/political/gender OTHER GUY here.

In regards to this video, let me tell you a story. Where I grew up in the wilds of suburban North Jersey, I attended a Private all boys Catholic high school. It was among the premier sports powers in the state, as Catholic schools often are since they often can recruit in everyone's else's district (A rant for another time). Our big rival was another all boys Catholic school further upstate. Prior to my freshman year there, the schools had been banned by the State Athletic league from competing against each other in any sport for seven years. Yes, Seven freakin years, no basketball games, football, track, you name it. WHY you ask? Because during a basketball game between the schools a brawl broke it during the game that engulfed the entire arena and turned into a riot. Lets review: Two private, relatively expensive Catholic schools, where you had to pass a test to qualify to gain entrance, got into a brawl so big they had to be banned from competing. The punchline of this story is that it wasn't the players who started the fight, it was the Parents.. DOH!

Brawling in sports is nothing new. Whether or not our world today is less civil, our culture more coarse, or tolerance for violence too high is a legitimate debate certainly. But grasping onto events like this, as folks often do to prove their pet theories about culture, race, video games, or whatever is specious to say the least. The belief in a nonviolent golden age in sports is exaggerated. If there has been a change, it's not the kids, it's the parents. In this instance, the truth is Basketball is a contact sport where the players do not wear pads. You get hard fouls, you give hard fouls, it's part of the game. Occasionally, guys lose it and they retaliate way beyond the level of provocation. It's always been that way. I've seen guys get coldcocked for pushes in the back that I would barely register. This happens in all sports. The kid in the video lost it. It doesn't matter in the least what their color was. If you want to blame someone, blame the refs for no whistle for an obvious foul. This stuff often occurs when they lose control of the game or are not competent enough to keep the contact from escalating.

This is a small example of the phenomena. The Duke rape case is another. Everyone jumped on their preferred ideological bandwagon, egged on by the news channels that use stories like this for entertainment purposes. I'm looking at you Nancy Grace. So our discussion about race hinges on kids games and criminal accusations, but school test scores, or incarceration rates, or the crisis in providing health care to the uninsured is boring policy nuance that causes people to switch over to American Idol? Look at the singing Chewbacca!

Do we have to cede the debate to the racists and the manipulators? Can we just look behind the curtain and say, fsck you Wizard, I'm not buying that today? A kids fight is just a kids fight, not an excuse to get your race war on. I won't judge a criminal accusation in the Duke case until I know more of the facts. I'll refrain from using the tragedy at Columbine to justify my political agenda. The disappearance of nice blonde girl in Aruba is a tragedy, maybe I should get concerned about all the missing girls and boys here in this country who don't look like Barbie. I won't take the bait offered by greedy media programmers and venal politicos who regard me as a easily manipulated dufus who salivates on command.

Okay I'm done.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Moral Authority Is Still Fo' Suckas, Apparently...

Yet another Iraqi prisoner found dead while in the custody of the U.S. Marine Corps (and a Navy corpsman).

As I wrote earlier, more Iraqis and Afghanis have died in American custody since September 11, 2001 than American servicemen who lost their lives while enjoying the generous hospitality of the Mặt Trận Dân Tộc Giải Phóng Miền Nam.

Are there any wingnut lurkers who want to take this latest opportunity to make apologies for the sort of behavior that used to require regular and strident denunciations when it was done by the Viet Cong?

Yeah. That's what I thought. Pussies.

Update 1.0: Aw, hell. I just noticed that I overlooked an interesting detail to the story. The Iraqi prisoner in question was some guy named Hasham Ibrahim Awad, 54, a disabled veteran of Iraq's war with Iran in the 1980s.

Reform in Los Angeles? A sign of the apocalypse?

This is a seismic event in the city of Los Angeles. The Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, seems to have brokered a deal with the teacher unions in the Los Angeles Unified school district not to oppose his attempt to take control of the School District away from the school board and give it to a board of mayors, on which the mayor of Los Angeles will have the largest share of voting power.

For those not familiar with unique division of jurisdictions in LAUSD, it's important to know that the region that we regard as Los Angeles is comprised of the City and dozens of smaller municipalities within Los Angeles County. LAUSD's district lines encompass several of these cities, so the control of the district could not be awarded soley to the Mayor of Los Angeles, but had to be partly shared by the mayors of these other cities.

This is a big deal for a few reasons. First, this completes a process that has been going for several years in Los Angeles strenthening the power of the mayor that began with the revision of the City Charter under Richard Riordan. In virtually every city near the size of Los Angeles, the election of a mayor consumes the city and engergizes the electorate in a way most elections don't. Mayoral races in Los Angeles, while dirty and bitterly fought, usually are regarded with apathy by LA voters, in part because the mayor doesn't seem like a very important figure. By taking control of the District, he will made every future election about education, a primary concern for city voters.

This trend of giving mayors control over school districts is a recent trend with disputed success. The most famous is Mayor Bloomberg's assumption of control over the New York School district, and his appointee Chancellor Joel Kleins epic battles with virtually everybody, not just the teachers and the educrats, but with parent groups as well. Test scores appear to be going up, but it's a complex problem and it's hard to measure success. By pursuing this, Mayor Villaraigosa is taking a gamble that he can avoid the pitfalls of Bloomberg and other mayors with simliar authority and make real progress without turning the school system into a battleground. Well, more of a battleground, the recent history of LAUSD is a depressing tale of political gridlock.

One of the fasicinaing elements is that the Mayor is a former employee of the teacher unions, and they were instrumental in getting him elected. To accomplish this takeover, he dared their political wrath, and ultimately was compelled to forge a compromise with them. To wrest control from the board he went to the California legislature, of which he was a former speaker, and asked them to pass legislation to move power over the district to him and the other mayors, thereby avoiding the electoral bloodbath that ensued when Mayor Riordan tried to wrest control of the board by running political allies in Schoolboard elections. The committee that is preparing to move this legislaton was heavily lobbied by the teachers unions, and the mayor ultimately had to fly to Sacremento and cut a deal with them to allow the bill to move out of committee. It's unclear exactly how this enormous shift in power will be executed, and what the details are of the compromise he struck.

There is little doubt however, of the desperate need for change and reform in LAUSD. LAUSD'S Graduation rates are abysmal, around 50%, it's average API scores at 649 (out of 1000, anything under 700 is awful) and the competency exams measuring basic proficeny in math and reading for 2005 showed only 27% were proficient in math and 33% in English. Progress has been made in the district in recent years, and the current Superintendent, Roy Roemer, has done a good job in bringing about substantive change in the district, including an ambitious plan to build dozens of new schools to relieve dreadful overcrowding in the district. But obviously it's not enough. Drastic change needs to happen.

I am not discouraged, as many might be, by the compromise forced on Villaraigosa. By cutting a deal with the teacher unions, he has, at least for now, cleared the deck of the worst of potential debilitating political conflicts. To allow the mayor control at all is a significant movement on the part of the Unions, who normally fight these measures bitterly, particularly after what has transpired in the New York district. An opportunity exists for real changes and experimentaion to begin. The Unions in particular have an opportunity to particpate more closely in the reform process, rather than assuming the role of defender of the status quo as they usually end up doing, for better or worse. A glimmer of hope might be starting to grow in this very troubled district.

This process is going to be perhaps the mostly closely watched political reform attempt in American education today. I've got my fingers crossed...

One Step Closer...

For those following along at home, you know I have been gripping lately about S. 3237, the FY2007 Intelligence Appropriation Authorization because of its provisions (along with HR5020, the house companion bill already passed) that grants plenary domestic police power to the CIA and NSA.

Apparently, the bill was reported favorably out of Senate Selecte Intelligence and Senate Armed Services with no amendments, and placed on the Senate Calender as item No. 476. It will probably come up for consideration before the entire Senate for approval in the next couple of weeks.

From there it will go to conference, where it will be reconciled with 5020, and sent to the President for his signature. For the record, so far the only official in Washington D.C. of any political persuasion who has raised concerns with this is Russ Feingold, who wrote a separate opinion on the bill as part of committee report 109-259. (It's the last item in the report)

mojo sends

WARNING: Long, Windy, Shameful Confession Ahead

Okay, Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom has finally caught the scent of our cunning plan, and it's time to open the kimono a little bit to explain one of the filthiest of dirty, little secrets about how Left Blogovia works.

As our faithful readers—and now Jeff Goldstein's readers— know, The MojoWire is one of the mightiest of engines in the tightly disciplined, hierarchically organized, totalitarian Narrative Management System of the progressive blogosphere. At the pinnacle of this towering megalith is an ancient and illuminated cabal of orthodox leftist hierophants, visionaries and wizards who formulate Party Doctrine and maintain the coherence of its vision for the benefit of lower orders. Dependent upon this central cabal is a committee of full-time progressive nomenklatura who formulate the Party Dogma consistent with doctrine, and distribute it throughout Left Blogovia by posting to their various weblogs. Legions of party apparatchiks then work diligently to reformulate the dogma into Party Propoganda, which is repeated ubiquitously and relentlessly like the coded messages you saw in John Carpenter's They Live!.

What is The MojoWire's position in this hierarchy? Are we merely the lumpenproletariat street-thug enforcers of Left Blogovia? After all, we're not even high up enough in the food chain to merit membership in the liberal Blog Ads network. Our loyalty is guaranteed not by regular revenue from click-throughs to T-shirt design companies, liberal dating match services, online hemp products retailers and soft core pr0nographers. No. They merely ensure that our landlords get monthly rent checks that clear on time every time, and there's always a keg of Old Peculiar when we have a Bar-B-Que in the park.

p.s. Here is the secret coded message of this post: whenever you read wingnuts spinning up some conspiracy theory about how the progressives are cheating somehow, you can safely bet the mortgage money on the Fact that it's really the wingnuts themselves who are doing it.

What's your Damage Heather?

A new wrinkle in our strategery in Iraq:

June 20, 2006 - Remember the egg, the frying pan and the message? "This is your brain," the ominous narrator told us before cracking an egg over the sizzling skillet. "This is your brain on drugs." Public service announcements have changed a lot since that foreboding culinary lesson. They now include exploding cars, flying Matrix-style stuntmen and exceedingly dire messages like "Don't Suicide Bomb." A new, American-made PSA aimed at discouraging these deadly attacks is currently in production. The ad is slated to air as a 60-second spot on Iraqi television this summer

What was the inspiration for this idea? Umm..I think I know, it came from this movie:

Lead singer: Teenage Suiciiiiiiide
Backup singers: Don't do it!
Lead singer: Teenage Suiciiiiiiide
Backup singers: She blew it!
Lead singer: Teenage Suiciiiiiiide
Backup singers: Don't do it!
[Teeange suicide lyrics courtesy of these fine people]

Fsck me with chainsaw! This is our counterstrategy? Don't they need electricty before we can expect they are going to be able to flip on their TV's and watch this ad?

George Bush..our little eskimo...

They Want Me!

Via Atrios, lapdog lackey of the Evil DailKos/MyDD Axis, we learn that the U.S. Army has increased the maximum recruiting age again.

Hold on, let me get my dentures in, and I'll be right with you.

Karmic Pimp Hand

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...

Karma is, indeed, a mo'fo' ... I am reminded of words of "Womack" from the Firefly episode The Message:

"You are an ugly looking little quim, you know that? So you have to be asking yourself, ugly as you are, how repulsive looking the guy that makes you his lady friend is gonna be. I mean, prison is a lonely place, and you sure as a hundred moons ain't gonna be pitching, so what kind of sorry ass troll is gonna get blue enough to grapple with you? Shudder to think."

Shudder to think, indeed...

mojo sends

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Stay alert! Trust No One! Keep Your Laser Handy!

Go ahead. Read this and tell me it's all going to be okay. Algae. We're all going to be living off vat-grown algae. At least, the Eloi will be. The Morlocks will be living off the Eloi. Aiiieee!

Okay, it's George Monbiot. Wingnuts are always telling me not to believe anything he writes. I can safely ignore him. Right?


Your Daily Moment Of Surreality

Oh, thank you, Atrios. I can't tell whether this is the work of Landover Baptist or if it really is exactly what it seems on the surface to be. Which means, of course, that Landover ought to be held responsible for it irrespective.

Now, I have to go cleanse myself.

Tony Snow, One Man Trainwreck...


Tony, Tony, Tony... will he ever learn?

In case you missed it, the other day the Mouth spewed forth the excellent take on Iraq and World War II:
"The president understands people's impatience -- not impatience but how a war can wear on a nation," Mr. Snow said on CNN. "He understands that. If somebody had taken a poll in the Battle of the Bulge, I dare say people would have said, 'Wow, my goodness, what are we doing here?' But you cannot conduct a war based on polls."
Did he not understand that those whom the gods would shiv in their sleep, they first make proud?

Sorry, Tony, Comrade Joshua in fact has the goods. And it is not a happy ending for you. See, it appears they did do polling during the Battle of the Bulge:
As you can see, there was no downtick in public support for the war around the time of the Battle of the Bulge. Approval for President Roosevelt's conduct of the war continued at around 70% where it had been for years. The number of people who said they had a clear idea of what the war was about was at about the same level and appears to have been rising. Support for a negotiated peace with Hitler remained around the anemic levels it had been for years -- at around 15%.

Seriously, Tony, I almost feel bad for you. You got yourself into a hell of a fix here, brother. What you need is to create some excuse and get the hell out of there as soon as possible. I suggest you consult a Ninja. They are known for their ability to create airtight excuses to get out of anything... you can thank me later...

mojo sends

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another Moment Of Surreality

Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom has answered the question posed by The Rude One that Mojo referenced earlier.

Writing a few days ago— before the bodies of Pfc. Thomas Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca were recovered in Iraq, and after imagining many of the horrible alternative scenarios by which that story could have played out— The Rude Pundit asked:
And what about the good right-wing punditry? Would Rush Limbaugh look at the photos of the nude, cowering Americans and say it looks like fraternity hazing or some such shit? Would others dismiss it as a media fabrication? Or would they just pathetically overlook everything done in our American names to Iraqis, Afghanis, and others, calling madly for the heads of the captors, not even thinking about the irony of such a statement?
Wonder no more, Rude One, for Jeff Goldstein— mild-mannered house-husband and professor of hermeneutics by day and masked crusader for conservatarian justice and the soul of "classical liberalism" by night— has your answer:
This is horrific news—but that doesn’t mean it comes without instructions for how properly to grieve.

For instance, if you are a supporter of the Bush plan to fight terrorism, you are allowed to express regret over the death of these soldiers—but sadly, you lack the moral authority to be outraged over the barbarity of their killing, or the fact that the two soldiers were tortured and their remains booby-trapped. Because you surrendered that right the moment you pledged your support to an administration that would allow prisoners of war to be “humiliated”—interrogated by topless women, splashed with fake menstrual blood, lied to, made to strip naked, shown pictures of Jackie Mason, etc.—not to mention, an administration that is listening in on your grandmother’s phone calls and simply won’t support gay marriage, no matter how much Andrew Sullivan demands it! In short, you practically slaughtered these soldier yourselves.
Isn't that charming.

He is, of course, striking a pose for the purpose of mocking [the monumentally mockworthy] Andrew Sullivan. Let's leave aside for the moment that, in his enumeration of the degradations he chooses to dismiss as trivial with scare-quotes around the word "humiliations," he never once touches upon the gruesome reality on display in this infamous image:

Goldstein could not care less whether you think he "lacks the moral authority" to be outraged over the barbarity of the latest operation by the Mujahideen Shura Council. He mocks the idea that pledging your support to the Bush administration's policies that facilitate the torture and degrading treatment of prisoners in American custody should imply you've no cause to be outraged in the hypothetical event that American soldiers should be subjected to identical treatment by Iraqi insurgents.

It does not bother his beautiful mind that some non-negligble fraction of those Iraqi prisoners who were tortured, abused and/or humiliated while in American custody— before being set free after no grounds for charging them with a crime or any other reason to continue holding them could be manufactured— were almost certainly, along with their families and friends, transformed into militant insurgents power-motivated to risk their lives to fight the American occupation. And why should it? It's not like all the damned hodgies don' got it coming to them, right?

It completely fails to register with him that more Iraqis and Afghanis have died in American custody since September 11, 2001 than American servicemen who lost their lives while enjoying the generous hospitality of the Mặt Trận Dân Tộc Giải Phóng Miền Nam, also known colloquially as the Viet Cong. And why should it? It's not like anyone remembers how the Viet Cong were vilified for their barbaric treatment of American POW's.

The proprietor of Protein Wisdom continues:
And of course, because you were willing to torture your own troops, it follows that there is ample reason to believe that in response to the next terror attack against Americans, you’ll support US soldiers abducting and torturing Muslims, then leaving their bodies festooned with explosives near public utility plants. Rumsfeld would happily do it himself, of course, but he’s too busy losing the war in Iraq and being an all around arrogant prick to his “Old Europe” betters.

But make no mistake: had U.S. military guards not flushed Korans down Gitmo toilets (I know, I know. But let’s pretend they did), these two soldiers would have been treated in accordance to the Geneva Convention. For instance, Nick Berg’s head was only asked its name, rank, and serial number once it was sawed from its body by a now-dead terror leader who was practically invented by the US; and Daniel Pearl’s head is still being fed three meals a day and allowed to play ping pong and go for nice long walks around the terror compound in the wilds of Pakistan, if you can believe the glowing reports from Human Rights Watch. So don’t you go believing any of this garbage, which is likely just empty bravado—and doesn’t express how al Qaeda really treats its captives. To whom they provide dates and sesame candies, and women with sinfully painted toenails who dance for them like Salome.
There you have it, in a nutshell. Moral authority is fo' suckas. This is how properly to grieve.

Gentle reader [yes, I realize there is only one of you], I hope you caught the underlying theme in Goldstein's response to The Rude One. It's not the barbaric behavior that's outrageous— it's the body odor of the barbarian that makes the difference. If the barbarian is carrying an American passport or military ID, e.g. the cheerful looking white guy from Appalachia pictured above and the untold number of likeminded ratfuckers who have not yet been brought to justice for war crimes similar to his, then the behavior is an unfortunate statistical outlier at worst. Better to just quietly pretend it never happened and that the worst that can be said about those people is that they shouldn't have let the pictures of their kinky frathouse games escape into the hands of the Evil Liberal Media. On the other hand, if the barbarian is an Iraqi insurgent, well then— no amount of brutality in retaliation for their barbarism can ever be enough.

It isn't barbarism Goldstein abhors. He just hates the hodgies because they don't smell like pork and beans.

Somebody stop me before I make a project out of this child.

p.s. I've complained about Goldstein before. His ejaculation in response to my earlier post is here. If you're reading this, Jeff— try to pay closer attention. There are three of us writing here. I'm s9. The other two are Mojo and Hebisner. And, for the record, now that I've figured out precisely what flavor of "protein" you're serving over there at your place, I'm unsurprised that you can't keep us disambiguated in that finely tuned analytical engine that passes for your mind. I suppose when you figure out whether each of us is male or female, it will be easier for you to follow along. Oh and Jeff, here's a hint: I'm neither male nor female. I'm a meat popsicle.


If what Ron Suskind reportedly says in his new book is true, then we have reached a milestone. This shocks even me:
  • Al-Qaedist Abu Zubaydah was captured in March 2002.
  • Zubaydah's captors discovered he was mentally ill and charged with minor logistical matters, such as arranging travel for wives and children.
  • The President was informed of that judgment by the CIA.
  • Two weeks later, the President described Zubaydah as "one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States."
  • Later, Bush told George Tenet, "I said he was important. You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?" and asked Tenet if "some of these harsh methods really work?"
  • The methods -- torture -- were applied.
  • Then, according to Gellman, "Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty."
  • At which point, according to Suskind, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each . . . target."
Fsck! Fsck fsck fsckity fsck!

So this is victory?

Apparently, reports of the Taliban's death have been greatly exaggerated.

Well that's just great ... because hey, the first movie was such a hit (even if the spin-off series has died in the ratings) that of course they were going to exercise the option on the sequel.

Unfortunately, they have the same Jerry Bruckheimer wannabee director/producer as before.

And like some others in the comments, what is all this about "we have 90 days to take out the reemergence of the Taliban... That wouldn't be a slip of the lip regarding the military's political instructions from the RNC would it? No, that's just crazy talk!

mojo sends

In case you were wondering...

... what all our limp-wristed hand-wringing over torture is all about, well, The Rude One has the answer

And this is for you RedState, read this and weep, because you people caused this by laying down for a criminally and violently insane American foreign policy, as much as those who actually committed the crimes on these hapless kids.

Nice work, sleep well...

mojo sends

Your Daily Moment Of Surreality


Monday, June 19, 2006

Good Thing Snitchens Spends All His Waking Hours Anesthetized...

...because all I can say is, Ouch! That would have to sting like a mthrfscker, if you could only feel it, Bunky.

Ground Truth

Last week, as Maximum Leader was being smuggled into the Green Zone for a photo-op and some weird socio-sexual eye-gazing with his opposite number in Bagdad, the gang on the ground at the U.S. Embassy sent this dispatch regarding the charming conditions that their native guides find themselves in, since obtained and posted publicly by the Washington Post.

Even more beautiful is the fact that this is coming out of the office responsible for manufacturing the mendacious pablum about how delightful life is now in Iraq...

Sample the following for yourself:
"19. (SBU) Staff members say they daily asses how to move safely in public. Often, if they must travel outside their own neighborhoods, they adopt the clothing, language, and traits of the area. In Jadriya, for example, one needs to conform to the SCRII/Badr ethic; in Yusufiya, a strict Sunni conservative dress code has taken hold. Adhamiya and Salihiya, controlled by the secular Ministry of Defense are not conservative. Moving inconspicuously in Sadr City requires conservative dress and a particular lingo. Once upscale Mansur district, near the Green Zone, according to one employee, by early June was an "unrecognizable ghost town."

20. (SBU) Since Samarra, Bagdadis have honed these survival skills. Vocabular has shifted to reflect new behavior. Our staff -- and our contacts -- have become adept in modifying behavior to avoid "Alasas," informants who keep an eye out for "outsiders" in neighborhoods. The Alasa mentality is becoming entrenched as Iraqi security forces fail to gain public confidence.

21. (SBU) Our staff report that security and services are being rerouted through "local providers" whose affiliations are vague. As noted above, those who are admonishing citizens on their dress are not known to the residents. Neighborhood power providers are not well known either, nor is it clear how they avoid robbery or targeting. Personal safety depends on good relations with the "neighborhood" governments, who barricade streets and ward off outsiders. The central government, our staff says, is not relevant; even local mukhtars have been displaced or coopted by militias. People no longer trust most neighbors.
[emphasis mine]."
Boy good thing that freedom is on the march huh? Because otherwise, this might appear to be a complete clusterfuck of the Nth magnitude.

But from what I understand, Liberty is always a bit untidy.

Read the entire document though. It gives quite a different view of life on the ground in Bagdad from the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory world of candy and rainbows that East Blogistan wants us to beleive. "Yeah, sure it's a little different from our waking world, but its a fantasy land of all our American dreams nonetheless. Remember, inside every Hadji Prune Merchant and Towelhead Goatherd is a loyal American just waiting to bust out."

According to these people who live and breath this daily, in fear of just being seen going to work, this place has officially become a MadMax movie, complete with the marauding gangs tear assing around a desert wasteland in search of other people's petrol.

Well, I hate to tell you Blogistan, but this particular dispatch is not from a bunch of limp-wristed, candy-ass, American-hating cheese-eaters from Franceataxachusettestan, but from Condi's own people in the spin machine there on the ground. From what it sounds like is that in spite of any progress we are making in killing people who oppose American policy, the quality of life in Bagdad doth still sucketh with a mighty and most terrible wind to the extent that most of these people haven't known since Saddam was in power.

Yeah, I'm personally glad the Saddam is about to suck the pipe, and that Abu Musab al-Shithead isn't going to blow up any more wedding parties. But that certainly doesn't seem to be solving any real problems for real Iraqis...

If I was a cynic, I would be tempted to say that it is looking like perhaps we never intended to really solve any of those problems.

I would say that ... if I was a cynic...

mojo sends

The Passion of the Democrats

I'm not going to bore you with too much of a foreward, merely to say, first click through to read Comrade Joshua's excellent take on the D's inability to refrain from political dorkiness.

But he also makes the great point (and even quotes Seneca to do it) that as American politics goes, we should not be spinning out, about it. Take it away Comrade Joshua:
"In saying this I'm not suggesting that anyone just sit back and let history happen. Politics matters. Organization matters. Message matters. But there's a line from Seneca in which he says, "Fate leads the willing and drags the unwilling." And there's a political corollary to this as well. Voters are making a decision about Bush's presidency and the Republican ascendency in Washington. If voters aren't happy with them, Nancy Pelosi's unoriginality or tone deafness won't be able to stop that judgment any more than President Bush's handlers can goose his poll numbers."
I would like to suggest a surfing metaphor here. As Dems and Progressives we should be approaching this as one might a wave. (Okay, it's summer and I haven't been surfing yet, and I am starting to jones.) You can't coerce the wave, the forces driving the wave are inscrutable and beyond your ability to influence. No, all you can do is stat paddling and put yourself in the pocket when the crest picks you up and you drop in.

So yeah, our message and our politics matter, but they have to be in concert with this wave that is approaching, because if we try to force it then we are going to go over the falls or we won't have the momentum for the swell to pick us up.

Granted a lot of this is starting to sound like "well, should we just be pandering to the crowd's dissatisfaction with the GOP right now?" Well, I suppose you could frame it that way. But I would rather say, like Joshua, that New Gingrich of all people had it exactly right.

The Dems new slogan should simply be "Had Enough?"

mojo sends

Sunday, June 18, 2006

More USA PATRIOT Act Stoopidity

Max Sawicky rightly scolds the vast majority of liberal bloggers for failing so far to notice this story about the FBI zealously going after a bunch of Kurdish immigrants in Harrisburg, VA for illegal money smuggling. As he notes, The Washington Post has finally picked up the story, and after reading it— I gotta say— it looks like he's right. The Feds are cranking down on these guys when they really ought to be smart enough to lay off. We aren't hearing about this from high-profile liberal bloggers yet, but we should. Soon.

But the law is the law. It's a stupid law, and we've said so numerous times. These guys are being sent up on technicalities, and it isn't making anybody safer. But never mind that, I'm sure the wingnutosphere will tell us, we need the PATRIOT Act. Why, without this law, we'd be dodging suicide bombers just to go the 7/11 for a Slurpee™. Blech.

Mad Props To Christina Larson At Washington Monthly

...for bringing this to my attention.
The NRA has between 3 and 4 million members. But there are between 77 and 90 million total gun-owners in the United States, according to varying industry estimates.

Of that total, 30 percent of gun-owners said they would support an alternative organization -- if there was a viable group that would advocate gun rights and do more to support conservation and improved relations with law enforcement, according to a detailed poll of gun owners conducted in 2005 by KRC Research.

Now stepping into that space is the American Hunters and Shooters Association. The new group is "pro-gun, pro-conservation, pro-safety," as executive director Robert Ricker explains. Ricker, a former NRA counsel and gun-industry advocate for two decades, became a whistleblower in 2003 when he gave testimony linking negligent industry behavior and gun sales to criminals.

[...] The NRA’s attack dogs are already out. John Lott is on the case. The stakes are high. For nearly three decades, conservatives have been able to use the issue of gun rights to drive a stake through potential alliances between hunters and greens, tilting American politics and undermining resource protections.

Commodore Codpiece Eyeballs Nouri al-Maliki

Last week, the President made a surprise visit to Iraq. Here's Voice of America reporting on the trip, with the point I want to emphasize in italics:
President Bush is on his way home after a surprise trip to Baghdad designed to show support for the new Iraqi government. Mr. Bush also met with some of the more than 130,000 US troops serving in Iraq.

The public was told the president would speak Tuesday with Iraqi leaders via videoconference from his Camp David retreat. Instead, they met face to face in Baghdad.

"I've come to not only look you in the eye," said Mr. Bush. "I've also come to tell you that when America gives its word, it keeps its word."
I seem to recall being told the trip had been planned weeks in advance, in order to defuse criticisms about this being a photo-op timed to coincide with the capturekilling of Abu Musab al-Shithead. Now we're being told that the plan had originally been for a teleconference, but for some reason— it became imperative that the President— and his enormous security perimeter— travel to Iraq to meet the new Prime Minister in person. A video teleconference Just Would Not Suffice, it would seem.

Why? So the President could look al-Maliki in the eye.

Here's The Guardian:
The prime minister had been invited to the embassy on the pretense of taking part in a video conference with Bush, supposedly at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains. The videoconference went on as scheduled, but with Bush appearing alongside al-Maliki.

What had been announced as a two-day meeting at Camp David was part of a ruse to conceal Bush's Baghdad trip and a cover story to bring al-Maliki and his cabinet to the green zone.
The whole circus— jet fuel, security details, advance teams, the works— was arranged so the President could look al-Maliki in the eye.

With only five minutes prior notice.

Apparently, the new Prime Minister really did have that Queen of Clubs, because the President concluded— after spending five minutes looking him in the eye— by saying, "I appreciate you recognize the fact that the future of your country is in your hands. I appreciate your committment to representing the people of Iraq."

The President then proceeded to see the Prime Minister's bet and doubled the pot. Again.

The Fix Is In...

get out of jail free

Looks like Scooter is going to walk with a Presidential Pardon, or so says Newsday,via TalkLeft.

Yeah, I know S9 has been saying this for a while, and I have publicly resisted the idea, but I am starting to think after reading more about it that the President is going to pardon Scooter and do it sooner rather than later.

This will, of course, give the Ds a good arguement for their "Culture of Corruption" run, which they have been getting good at, but with next to no faith in the integrity of our electoral system at this moment, then I am not sure I really care how sharp their political knives are at this point.

mojo sends

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I Told You So

Via Comrade Josh's comes the news that the print edition of National Journal is now reporting that— not only was the Total Information Awareness program never actually killed when Congress ordered it stopped— but that No Such Agency's Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA) has stripped out all the abuse protections and opened it up to the whole "intelligence community" to abuse.
As National Journal revealed in February, the NSA’s Advanced Research and Development Activity took over TIA and carried on the experimental network in late 2003. ARDA continued vetting new tools and even kept the aggressive experiment schedule. . . documents show.

But it discontinued some programs, most notably a multimillion-dollar effort to build privacy-protection technologies. ARDA also abandoned the effort to build audit trails in TIA, which would have permanently recorded any abuse by users.
TPMMuckraker.COm summarizes a bit from the article, "the program is now accessed by, among others: the NSA, the CIA, DIA, CENTCOM, the National Counterterorrism Center, the Guantanamo prison, and Special Operations Command (SOCOM)."

I told you this was happening. It was obvious to me when Donald Rumsfeld responded to a question at a press gaggle about the Congress killing TIA by saying basically that Congress can say whatever it wants, but the Pentagon will continue doing whatever it feels like doing. That was almost three years ago.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mars, Bitches!

Chris Clarke explains why the need to build permanent human settlements offworld is not as urgent as you might think. There are other, more pressing problems that need to be solved along the way. We have plenty of time— assuming we plan accordingly.

Henry Rollins ♥ Ann Coulter

I can't imagine a better match for her.

Good Thing These Powers Will Soon Be in the Hands of the CIA and NSA!

Fat Tony strikes again!

From Hudson v. Michigan:
[...]the growth of “public-interest law firms and lawyers who specialize in civil-rights grievances ... [and] the increasing professionalism of police forces, including a new emphasis on internal police discipline ... [and] the increasing use of various forms of citizen review can enhance police accountability” all mean that the fourth amendment can be reinterpreted.
That is just tremendous legal reasoning Mr. Justice!

Let me see if I get this straight, it's okay to lower the standard on Americans' Fourth Amendment Rights because there are more lawyers willing to litigate when violations occur?

That's like saying we need to lower the legal standard for intentional homicide, perhaps do away with the specific intent standard, because there are more D.A.'s willing to push murder cases... This is your fault RedState! You broke it, you bought it. I have zero sympathy for any of you.

More on this later, my brain hurts now, may I be excused?

mojo sends

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Warning! Plame case speculation. Avoid if bored!

Emptywheel engages in some interesting speculation about why Karl Rove was not indicted. She reviews the May 5th hearing in the Libby case where Libby's lawyers try to pry the information the Grand Jury has collected on Rove. The question then becomes; why do they care so much about Rove? Libby's statements conflict with Russert and Millers testimony primarily, his indicttment does not hinge on Rove. FitzGerald told the court in the May 5 hearing he wasn't calling Rove as a witness, and the conversation seems to indicate that the Libby people will call Rove. A commmentor offers an interesting speculation:

Assuming I'm close on your previous question, I'm guessing Rove doesn't have anything particularly incriminating to add to Fitzgerald's case. In other words, he thinks he has a solid case without Rove, and by not calling Rove he may be able to lay a big, fat trap for Libby if he decides to testify by placing some of the discovery off limits. It will certainly make the defense a lot more uncomfortable about calling either Rove or Libby to the stand.

Remember, since Rove is unindicted and has no deal with the prosecution, defense impeachment of his testimony will be difficult if he is called to rebut Libby. Libby cannot afford having a "clean" witness like that providing testimony that substantially differs with him on even small details - if they jury thinks Libby is lying about anything, I suspect he will be on his way to a conviction. [emphasis mine]

I hadn't considered that Rove might likely be called as a witness by the defense. Since Fitzgeralds has not named him as a potential witness, he does not have to provide any discovery on him to the Libby team. So they have no idea what Rove actually testified too, and what other evidence Fitz collected on him. Rove has no deal, apparently with Fitzgerald. So if he is called as a witness by Libby, he has to be very careful not to conflict with this statements to the Grand Jury, or he will have perjured himself. It will be a real crapshoot for Libby to put Rove up there if Rove is afraid he might conflict with testimony at one of his 5 Grand Jury appearances.

Remember, this is pure speculation based on a very narrow slice of a technical legal argument. It does seem to fit the available facts. Rove might be more valuable to FitzGerald walking around like a potential bomb that will go off on Libby if they call him to support Libby's defense. No plea agreement means he has to live with what he told the Grand Jury.

This is going to be quite an interesting show when Libby gets to court.