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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

GUEST,Old Guy 11 Jan 06 - 12:19 AM
Amos 10 Jan 06 - 11:18 PM
Bobert 10 Jan 06 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,Old Guy 10 Jan 06 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Bligh 10 Jan 06 - 08:39 PM
Amos 10 Jan 06 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Al 10 Jan 06 - 10:44 AM
Amos 10 Jan 06 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Woody 10 Jan 06 - 09:58 AM
Amos 10 Jan 06 - 09:50 AM
Amos 09 Jan 06 - 11:38 PM
Amos 09 Jan 06 - 11:19 PM
Amos 09 Jan 06 - 10:33 PM
Amos 09 Jan 06 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Old Guy 09 Jan 06 - 01:34 AM
Bobert 08 Jan 06 - 09:46 PM
Amos 08 Jan 06 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Old Guy 08 Jan 06 - 12:15 PM
Amos 08 Jan 06 - 11:48 AM
Amos 07 Jan 06 - 10:22 AM
Amos 05 Jan 06 - 10:43 AM
Bobert 04 Jan 06 - 08:36 PM
Amos 04 Jan 06 - 01:48 PM
Amos 03 Jan 06 - 10:20 PM
Amos 02 Jan 06 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Woody 02 Jan 06 - 12:04 PM
Amos 01 Jan 06 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Woody 01 Jan 06 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,Woody 01 Jan 06 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Jack 01 Jan 06 - 02:09 AM
Amos 01 Jan 06 - 12:56 AM
Amos 01 Jan 06 - 12:45 AM
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Bobert 30 Dec 05 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,Woody 30 Dec 05 - 09:07 PM
Bobert 30 Dec 05 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,Old Guy 30 Dec 05 - 08:42 PM
Amos 30 Dec 05 - 08:22 PM
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Amos 30 Dec 05 - 11:40 AM
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Peace 29 Dec 05 - 12:25 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 12:19 AM

I guess the time we did not declare war on Al-Quaeda goes back to 1776

Could you rephrase that?

All the new documents that you are already trying to characterize as phony,about 2 million of them, papers, floppys/ hard drives, CDs, tapes, Etc were captured during the liberation and in Afghanistan.

Now they are in Quatar with people anylizing them. The "DOCEX" project.

So far they have only processed 50,000 of them and they have amassed this new information. Apparently the people doing the analysis are pissed that none of it has been released to the public and are leaking it to the press to speed things up.

You could Google it up easy if you would take words like liar and idiot out of the search box. go to google news and search on salman pak new 2 million "DOCEX" project


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 11:18 PM

Well it's a funny world. Here I have been saying that since the invasion of Iraq, it appeared to me to be an unruly, unwarrned and extreme thing to do, and NOW I find out they are just about to release a bunch of new documents that justify it all completely!! I swan!!

I stand by to be humbled, Old Guy; but before that occurs, let me ask a last question, if I may. I don't know much about declaring wars, but how come all that intell wasn't made known to the Congress at the time when we did not declare war on Al Queda?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 10:42 PM

Yeah, impeach Blanko... I'm all fir that... But be sure to get the real culprit first and we all know who that is... Yeah, the guy who was too busy vacationaing to be bothered with "My job is to protect the American people"...

You Bushites need to Google up "Brownshirts" 'cause you all fit the description to the T...

And long c&P's don't change the fact that Donnie Rumsfeld took a bunch of gifts to Saddam **after** he had gassed the Kurds...

Like what's that about???

In yer own words, please, that is if any of you have enough IQ points to actaully compose a rebuttal...

Biggest bunch of loser cryabbies that I've ever run into this current crop of couargous GUESTS are!!! Sho nuff brave... Give 'um all a big old bravery metal...

Bunch of chickensh'ts far as I can see... Can't compose their own arguemnts but drag in long C&P's that most of the time don't have nuthin' to do with the subject at hand...

Yeah, when it come to the current crop of GUEST's it's mental midget time... Might of fact, when you crybabies see MMT know that I'm talking about you... If yer snart 'nuff to remember that.... Might wanta write it down... Oh, I forgot, you only have learned C&P.... Hmmmmmm? Yer stuck...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 10:09 PM

Salman Pak revisited

Amos:

There is a boatload of documents coming to light soon about Saddam training 2000 terrorists per year in 3 different camps in Iraq.

I thought I would tip you off so you can have a lightning fast rebuttal all ready to go.

I don't know why they are hanging onto it. Maybe they are holding it forelease just before the 2006 elections to show how stupid the anti-war candiates are or maybe they don't want the terrorists that they have identified by class photos, to know that they have been identified.

Yup. They took photos of the graduating classes with the instructors. Think they had a year book too?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Bligh
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 08:39 PM

From http://impeachblanco.org/

Impeach Kathleen Blanco
                 
This is a sad time for all of us who live in Louisiana. While I'm personally thankful for the efforts of thousands of people from across America who have helped us in our state's greatest time of need, I'm enraged by the lack of responsibility displayed over the last few weeks by many of the officials we elected.

Kathleen Blanco, the Governor of Louisiana is completely responsible for our state's lack of preparedness and for mishandling the rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Governor Blanco's incompetence and disregard for the citizens of Louisiana before the hurricane struck and her inexplicable actions in the days afterward can only be considered dereliction of duty. Louisiana needs a new Governor, and I hope you'll join me in demanding a Recall Election.

Specifically Governor Kathleen Blanco:

   1. Failed to execute the state's emergency plan to safeguard the citizens of Southern Louisiana by not ordering a mandatory evacuation of the affected parishes before Hurricane Katrina hit.
   2. Purposefully withheld food, water and hygiene items from the tens of thousands of victims stranded at the Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center in an effort to get them to leave the area.
   3. Delayed sending the Louisiana National Guard to maintain order in the city of New Orleans for four days, allowing snipers to hamper rescue efforts and permitting looters to ransack homes and businesses.
   4. Chose to spend the days after Hurricane Katrina engaged in partisan bickering and finger pointing rather than giving FEMA and the U.S. military the authority they needed to take over the rescue effort, relieve suffering, and save lives.

        
Kathleen Blanco on CNN

Governor Blanco is indecisive, more concerned with politics than duty, and has demonstrated a serious lack of judgment that clearly shows she is the wrong person to be the chief executive of Louisiana. I believe Governor Blanco should be removed from office immediately and replaced by a competent individual with the ability to take responsibility and make the decisions necessary to lead our state. Louisiana state law provides a remedy, and that remedy begins with a Petition to Recall.

Governor Blanco, you can point the finger at whoever you want. You can shift the blame, obfuscate the truth, and deny culpability in as many press conferences as you like. Until the day you stand before the citizens of Louisiana, admit your mistakes, and accept responsibility for your poor choices, I will not rest. Your actions cost lives, and you will be held accountable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 11:29 AM

Zawahiri, talking like that, is very likely to wake a sleeping giant and find himself in smithereens because he puffed himself up prematurely.

The United States has not yet declared war on Al Qeda, or really mobilized in a flat-out national effort. So far it's been a clique operation, with a half-assed "war on terror" managed by indifferent skills in many ways.

But if he goes too far, and invokes the national spirit of war with his posturing, and the gloves come off the way they did when the whole country rolled out a war effort in WW I and WW II, he is likely to end up wishing he had been more discreet, methinks.

I hope he comes to his senses before that happens.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 10:44 AM

Zawahiri tells Bush to admit Iraq defeat

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/international/detail.asp?ID=74964&GRP=D

"There they are today... pleading to get out of Iraq and begging for negotiations with the mujahedeen,"


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 10:37 AM

Woody:

See Mudcat FAQs on how to make blue clickies and guidelines on pasting stuff.   

I am still dubious about the Slman Pak claims, just as I was the last time they were brought up here, by Old Guy IIRC. I could be wrong, though. It happened a coupla times.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 09:58 AM

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/550kmbzd.asp?pg=2

Saddam's Terror Training Camps
What the documents captured from the former Iraqi regime reveal--and why they should all be made public.
by Stephen F. Hayes
01/16/2006, Volume 011, Issue 17

THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.

The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.

The photographs and documents on Iraqi training camps come from a collection of some 2 million "exploitable items" captured in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan. They include handwritten notes, typed documents, audiotapes, videotapes, compact discs, floppy discs, and computer hard drives. Taken together, this collection could give U.S.

intelligence officials and policymakers an inside look at the activities of the former Iraqi regime in the months and years before the Iraq war.

The discovery of the information on jihadist training camps in Iraq would seem to have two major consequences: It exposes the flawed assumptions of the experts and U.S. intelligence officials who told us for years that a secularist like Saddam Hussein would never work with Islamic radicals, any more than such jihadists would work with an infidel like the Iraqi dictator. It also reminds us that valuable information remains buried in the mountain of documents recovered in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past four years.

Nearly three years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, only 50,000 of these 2 million "exploitable items" have been thoroughly examined. That's 2.5 percent. Despite the hard work of the individuals assigned to the "DOCEX" project, the process is not moving quickly enough, says Michael Tanji, a former Defense Intelligence Agency official who helped lead the document exploitation effort for 18 months. "At this rate," he says, "if we continue to approach DOCEX in a linear fashion, our great-grandchildren will still be sorting through this stuff."

Most of the 50,000 translated documents relate directly to weapons of mass destruction programs and scientists, since David Kay and his Iraq Survey Group--who were among the first to analyze the finds--considered those items top priority. "At first, if it wasn't WMD, it wasn't translated. It wasn't exploited," says a former military intelligence officer who worked on the documents in Iraq."We had boxloads of Iraqi Intelligence records--their names, their jobs, all sorts of detailed information," says the former military intelligence officer. "In an insurgency, wouldn't that have been helpful?"

How many of those unexploited documents might help us better understand the role of Iraq in supporting transregional terrorists? How many of those documents might provide important intelligence on the very people--Baathists, former regime officials, Saddam Fedayeen, foreign fighters trained in Iraq--that U.S. soldiers are fighting in Iraq today? Is what we don't know literally killing us?

ON NOVEMBER 17, 2005, Michigan representative Pete Hoekstra wrote to John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence. Hoekstra is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He provided Negroponte a list of 40 documents recovered in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan and asked to see them. The documents were translated or summarized, given titles by intelligence analysts in the field, and entered into a government database known as HARMONY. Most of them are unclassified.

For several weeks, Hoekstra was promised a response. He finally got one on December 28, 2005, in a meeting with General Michael Hayden, principal deputy director of national intelligence. Hayden handed Hoekstra a letter from Negroponte that promised a response after January 1, 2006. Hoekstra took the letter, read it, and scribbled his terse response. "John--Unacceptable." Hoekstra told Hayden that he would expect to hear something before the end of the year. He didn't.

"I can tell you that I'm reaching the point of extreme frustration," said Hoekstra, in a phone interview last Thursday. His exasperated tone made

the claim unnecessary. "It's just an indication that rather than having a nimble, quick intelligence community that can respond quickly, it's still a lumbering bureaucracy that can't give the chairman of the intelligence committee answers relatively quickly. Forget quickly, they can't even give me answers slowly."

On January 6, however, Hoekstra finally heard from Negroponte. The director of national intelligence told Hoekstra that he is committed to expediting the exploitation and release of the Iraqi documents. According to Hoekstra, Negroponte said: "I'm giving this as much attention as anything else on my plate to make this work."

Other members of Congress--including Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Senators Rick Santorum and Pat Roberts--also demanded more information from the Bush administration on the status of the vast document collection. Santorum and Hoekstra have raised the issue personally with President Bush. This external pressure triggered an internal debate at the highest levels of the administration. Following several weeks of debate, a consensus has emerged: The vast majority of the 2 million captured documents should be released publicly as soon as possible.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has convened several meetings in recent weeks to discuss the Pentagon's role in expediting the release of this information. According to several sources familiar with his thinking, Rumsfeld is pushing aggressively for a massive dump of the captured documents. "He has a sense that public vetting of this information is likely to be as good an astringent as any other process we could develop," says Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita.

The main worry, says DiRita, is that the mainstream press might cherry-pick documents and mischaracterize their meaning. "There is always the concern that people would be chasing a lot of information good or bad, and when the Times or the Post splashes a headline about some sensational-sounding document that would seem to 'prove' that sanctions were working, or that Saddam was just a misunderstood patriot, or some other nonsense, we'd spend a lot of time chasing around after it."

This is a view many officials attributed to Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Steve Cambone. (Cambone, through a spokesman, declined to be interviewed.) For months, Cambone has argued internally against expediting the release of the documents. "Cambone is the problem," says one former Bush administration official who wants the documents released. "He has blocked this every step of the way." In what is perhaps a sign of a changing dynamic within the administration, Cambone is now saying that he, like his boss, favors a broad document release.

Although Hoekstra, too, has been pushing hard for the quick release of all of the documents, he is currently focusing his efforts simply on obtaining the 40 documents he asked for in November. "There comes a time when the talking has to stop and I get the documents. I requested these documents six weeks ago and I have not seen a single piece of paper yet."

Is Hoekstra being unreasonable? I asked Michael Tanji, the former DOCEX official with the Defense Intelligence Agency, how long such a search might take. His answer: Not long. "The retrieval of a HARMONY document is a trivial thing assuming one has a serial number or enough keyword terms to narrow down a search [Hoekstra did]. If given the task when they walked in the door, one person should be able to retrieve 40 documents before lunch."

Tanji should know. He left DIA last year as the chief of the media exploitation division in the office of document exploitation. Before that, he started and managed a digital forensics and intelligence fusion program that used the data obtained from DOCEX operations. He began his career as an Army signals intelligence [SIGINT] analyst. In all, Tanji has worked for 18 years in intelligence and dealt with various aspects of the media exploitation problem for about four years.

We discussed the successes and failures of the DOCEX program, the relative lack of public attention to the project, and what steps might be taken to expedite the exploitation of the documents in the event the push to release all of the documents loses momentum.

       TWS: In what areas is the project succeeding? In what areas is the project failing?

       Tanji: The level of effort applied to the DOCEX problems in Iraq and Afghanistan to date is a testament to the will and work ethic of people in the intelligence community. They've managed to find a number of golden nuggets amongst a vast field of rock in what I would consider a respectable amount of time through sheer brute force. The flip side is that it is a brute-force effort. For a number of reasons--primarily time and resources--there has not been much opportunity to step back, think about a smarter way to solve the problem, and then apply various solutions. Inasmuch as we've won in Iraq and Saddam and his cronies are in the dock, now would be a good time to put some fresh minds on the problem of how you turn DOCEX into a meaningful and effective information-age intelligence tool.

       TWS: Why haven't we heard more about this project? Aren't most of the Iraqi documents unclassified?

       Tanji: Until a flood of captured material came rushing in after the start of Operation Enduring Freedom [in October 2001], DOCEX was a backwater: unglamorous, not terribly career enhancing, and from what I had heard always one step away from being mothballed.

       The classification of documents obtained for exploitation varies based on the nature of the way they were obtained and by whom. There are some agencies that tend to classify everything regardless of how it was acquired. I could not give you a ratio of unclassified to classified documents.

       In my opinion the silence associated with exploitation work is rooted in the nature of the work. In addition to being tedious and time-consuming, it is usually done after the shooting is over. We place a higher value on intelligence information that comes to us before a conflict begins. Confirmation that we were right (or proof that we were wrong) after the fact is usually considered history. That some of this information may be dated doesn't mean it isn't still valuable.

       TWS: The project seems overwhelmed at the moment, with a mere 50,000 documents translated completely out of a total of 2 million. What steps, in your view, should be taken to expedite the process?

       Tanji: I couldn't say what the total take of documents or other forms of media is, though numbers in the millions are probably not far off.

       In a sense the exploitation process is what it is; you have to put eyes on paper (or a computer screen) to see what might be worth further translation or deeper analysis. It is a time-consuming process that has no adequate mechanical solution. Machine translation software is getting better, but it cannot best a qualified human linguist, of which we have very few.

       Tackling the computer media problem is a lot simpler in that computer language (binary) is universal, so searching for key words, phrases, and the names of significant personalities is fairly simple. Built to deal with large-scale data sets, a forensic computer system can rapidly separate wheat from chaff. The current drawback is that the computer forensics field is dominated by a law-enforcement mindset, which means the approach to the digital media problem is still very linear. As most of this material has come to us without any context ("hard drives found in Iraq" was a common label attached to captured media) that approach means our great-grandchildren will still be dealing with this problem.

       Dealing with the material as the large and nebulous data set that it is and applying a contextual appliqué after exploitation--in essence, recreating the Iraqi networks as they were before Operation Iraqi Freedom began--would allow us to get at the most significant data rapidly for technical analysis, and allow for a political analysis to follow in short order. If I were looking for both a quick and powerful fix I'd get various Department of Energy labs involved; they're used to dealing with large data sets and have done great work in the data mining and rendering fields.

       TWS: To read some of the reporting on Iraq, one might come away with the impression that Saddam Hussein was something of a benign (if not exactly benevolent) dictator who had no weapons of mass destruction and no connections to terrorism. Does the material you've seen support this conventional wisdom?

       Tanji: I am subject to a nondisclosure agreement, so I would rather not get into details. I will say that the intelligence community has scraped the surface of much of what has been captured in Iraq and in my view a great deal more deep digging is required. Critics of the war often complain about the lack of "proof"--a term that I had never heard used in the intelligence lexicon until we ousted Saddam--for going to war. There is really only one way to obtain "proof" and that is to carry out a thorough and detailed examination of what we've captured.

       TWS: I've spoken with several officials who have seen unclassified materials indicating the former Iraqi regime provided significant support--including funding and training--to transregional terrorists, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ansar al Islam, Algeria's GSPC, and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Did you see any of this?

       Tanji: My obligations under a nondisclosure agreement prevent me from getting into this kind of detail.

Other officials familiar with the captured documents were less cautious. "As much as we overestimated WMD, it appears we underestimated [Saddam Hussein's] support for transregional terrorists," says one intelligence official.

Speaking of Ansar al Islam, the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group that operated in northern Iraq, the former high-ranking military intelligence officer says: "There is no question about the fact that AI had reach into Baghdad. There was an intelligence connection between that group and the regime, a financial connection between that group and the regime, and there was an equipment connection. It may have been the case that the IIS [Iraqi Intelligence Service] support for AI was meant to operate against the [anti-Saddam] Kurds. But there is no question IIS was supporting AI."

The official continued: "[Saddam] used these groups because he was interested in extending his influence and extending the influence of Iraq. There are definite and absolute ties to terrorism. The evidence is there, especially at the network level. How high up in the government was it sanctioned? I can't tell you. I don't know whether it was run by Qusay [Hussein] or [Izzat Ibrahim] al-Duri or someone else. I'm just not sure. But to say Iraq wasn't involved in terrorism is flat wrong."

STILL, some insist on saying it. Since early November, Senator Carl Levin has been spotted around Washington waving a brief excerpt from a February 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency assessment of Iraq. The relevant passage reads: "Saddam's regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements. Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control."

Levin treats these two sentences as definitive proof that Bush administration officials knew that Saddam's regime was unlikely to work with Islamic fundamentalists and ignored the intelligence community's assessment to that effect. Levin apparently finds the passage so damning that he specifically requested that it be declassified.

I thought of Levin's two sentences last Wednesday and Thursday as I sat in a Dallas courtroom listening to testimony in the deportation hearing of Ahmed Mohamed Barodi, a 42-year-old Syrian-born man who's been living in Texas for the last 15 years. I thought of Levin's sentences, for example, when Barodi proudly proclaimed his membership in the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and again when Barodi, dressed in loose-fitting blue prison garb, told Judge J. Anthony Rogers about the 21 days he spent in February 1982 training with other members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood at a camp in Iraq.

The account he gave in the courtroom was slightly less alarming than the description of the camp he had provided in 1989, on his written application for political asylum in the United States. In that document, Barodi described the instruction he received in Iraq as "guerrilla warfare training." And in an interview in February 2005 with Detective Scott Carr and special agent Sam Montana, both from the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force, Barodi said that the Iraqi regime provided training in the use of firearms, rocket-propelled grenades, and document forgery.

Barodi comes from Hama, the town that was leveled in 1982 by the armed forces of secular Syrian dictator Hafez Assad because it was home to radical Islamic terrorists who had agitated against his regime. The massacre took tens of thousands of lives, but some of the extremists got away.

Many of the most radical Muslim Brotherhood refugees from Hama were welcomed next door--and trained--in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Spanish investigators believe that Ghasoub Ghalyoun, the man they have accused of conducting surveillance for the 9/11 attacks, who also has roots in the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, was trained in an Iraqi terrorist camp in the early 1980s. Ghalyoun mentions this Iraqi training in a 2001 letter to the head of Syrian intelligence, in which he seeks reentry to Syria despite his long affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Reaching out to Islamic radicals was, in fact, one of the first moves Saddam Hussein made upon taking power in 1979. That he did not do it for ideological reasons is unimportant. As Barodi noted at last week's hearing, "He used us and we used him."

Throughout the 1980s, including the eight years of the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam cast himself as a holy warrior in his public rhetoric to counter the claims from Iran that he was an infidel. This posturing continued during and after the first Gulf war in 1990-91. Saddam famously ordered "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) added to the Iraqi flag. Internally, he launched "The Faith Campaign," which according to leading Saddam Hussein scholar Amatzia Baram included the imposition of sharia (Islamic law). According to Baram, "The Iraqi president initiated laws forbidding the public consumption of alcohol and introduced enhanced compulsory study of the Koran at all educational levels, including Baath Party branches."

Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law who defected to Jordan in 1995, explained these changes in an interview with Rolf Ekeus, then head of the U.N. weapons inspection program. "The government of Iraq is instigating fundamentalism in the country," he said, adding, "Every party member has to pass a religious exam. They even stopped party meetings for prayers."

And throughout the decade, the Iraqi regime sponsored "Popular Islamic Conferences" at the al Rashid Hotel that drew the most radical Islamists from throughout the region to Baghdad. Newsweek's Christopher Dickey, who covered one of those meetings in 1993, would later write: "Islamic radicals from all over the Middle East, Africa and Asia converged on Baghdad to show their solidarity with Iraq in the face of American aggression." One speaker praised "the mujahed Saddam Hussein, who is leading this nation against the nonbelievers." Another speaker said, "Everyone has a task to do, which is to go against the American state." Dickey continued:

    Every time I hear diplomats and politicians, whether in Washington or the capitals of Europe, declare that Saddam Hussein is a "secular Baathist ideologue" who has nothing do with Islamists or with terrorist calls to jihad, I think of that afternoon and I wonder what they're talking about. If that was not a fledgling Qaeda itself at the Rashid convention, it sure was Saddam's version of it.

In the face of such evidence, Carl Levin and other critics of the Iraq war trumpet deeply flawed four-year-old DIA analyses. Shouldn't the senator instead use his influence to push for the release of Iraqi documents that will help establish what, exactly, the Iraqi regime was doing in the years before the U.S. invasion?

Stephen F. Hayes is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 09:50 AM

Jan. 10, 2006 — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton called the Bush administration "incompetent" when it came to protecting the troops in combat and called the lack of adequate body armor for soldiers and Marines "unforgivable."

So far in Iraq, more than 2,100 American troops have been killed. Critics like Clinton, D-N.Y., say that many of these deaths are the result of inadequate body armor. A secret Pentagon study of 93 Marines who were killed in Iraq found that 74 died after they were hit by a bullet or shrapnel in the torso or shoulders — areas unprotected by the armor most are issued. ...


From ABC News, January 10, 2006


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 11:38 PM

The New Red, White and Blue

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, Op-Ed Columnist
NY Times, January 6, 2006
http://select.nytimes.com/2006/01/06/opinion/06friedman.html

As we enter 2006, we find ourselves in trouble, at home and abroad.
We are in trouble because we are led by defeatists - wimps, actually.
What's so disturbing about President Bush and Dick Cheney is that
they talk tough about the necessity of invading Iraq, torturing
terror suspects and engaging in domestic spying - all to defend our
way of life and promote democracy around the globe.
But when it comes to what is actually the most important issue in
U.S. foreign and domestic policy today - making ourselves energy
efficient and independent, and environmentally green - they
ridicule it as something only liberals, tree-huggers and sissies
believe is possible or necessary.
... Sticking with oil, and basically saying that a country that can
double the speed of microchips every 18 months is somehow incapable
of innovating its way to energy independence - that is for sissies,
defeatists and people who are ready to see American values eroded
at home and abroad.
Living green is not just a "personal virtue," as Mr. Cheney says.
It's a national security imperative.
The biggest threat to America and its values today is not
communism, authoritarianism or Islamism. It's petrolism. Petrolism
is my term for the corrupting, antidemocratic governing practices -
in oil states from Russia to Nigeria and Iran ...
...
... ...
...
Enough of this Bush-Cheney nonsense that conservation, energy
efficiency and environmentalism are some hobby we can't afford. I
can't think of anything more cowardly or un-American. Real
patriots, real advocates of spreading democracy around the world,
live green.
Green is the new red, white and blue.




:>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 11:19 PM

By the way, Old Guy, these excerpts are not from Blogs but from the on-line edition of the Washington, D.C., Post which also has links to surveys about blogging going on, which is why you see those phrases. I'da thought that might have been clear from context, but in any case, they're from the WP proper, not a blog.

But the IMPORTANT news is this, which I haven't verified, forwarded from a discussion list:


Link to article

or
http://news.com.com/Create+an+e-annoyance%2C+go+to+jail/
2010-1028_3-6022491.html?part=rss&tag=6022491&subj=news

"Create an e-annoyance, go to jail
Published: January 9, 2006, 4:00 AM PST

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a
prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail
messages without disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog
as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small
favors, I guess.

This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet,
is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of
Justice Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and
two years in prison.

"The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," says Marv
Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
"What's annoying to one person may not be annoying to someone else." "


-------------------------------------------------------------------

I am perfectly capable of learning from my mistakes. I will surely
learn a great deal today.

"A democracy is a sheep and two wolves deciding on what to have for
lunch. Freedom is a well armed sheep contesting the results of the
decision." - Benjamin Franklin


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 10:33 PM

From Sunday's WP:

"Bring 'em on."

-- President Bush on Iraqi insurgents, summer 2003

Who's Blogging?
Read what bloggers are saying about this article.
The Boring Made Dull
Austoon Daily
Running Scared

Full List of Blogs (40 links) »

Most Blogged About Articles
On washingtonpost.com | On the web


The insurgency is "in its last throes."

-- Vice President Cheney,

summer 2005

" . . . there are only two options before our country: victory or defeat."

-- President Bush, Christmas 2005

The administration's rhetorical devolution speaks for itself. Yet, with some luck and with a more open decision-making process in the White House, greater political courage on the part of Democratic leaders and even some encouragement from authentic Iraqi leaders, the U.S. war in Iraq could (and should) come to an end within a year.

"Victory or defeat" is, in fact, a false strategic choice. In using this formulation, the president would have the American people believe that their only options are either "hang in and win" or "quit and lose." But the real, practical choice is this: "persist but not win" or "desist but not lose."

Victory, as defined by the administration and its supporters -- i.e., a stable and secular democracy in a unified Iraqi state, with the insurgency crushed by the American military assisted by a disciplined, U.S.-trained Iraqi national army -- is unlikely. The U.S. force required to achieve it would have to be significantly larger than the present one, and the Iraqi support for a U.S.-led counterinsurgency would have to be more motivated. The current U.S. forces (soon to be reduced) are not large enough to crush the anti-American insurgency or stop the sectarian Sunni-Shiite strife. Both problems continue to percolate under an inconclusive but increasingly hated foreign occupation.

Moreover, neither the Shiites nor the Kurds are likely to subordinate their specific interests to a unified Iraq with a genuine, single national army. As the haggling over the new government has already shown, the two dominant forces in Iraq -- the religious Shiite alliance and the separatist Kurds -- share a common interest in preventing a restoration of Sunni domination, with each determined to retain a separate military capacity for asserting its own specific interests, largely at the cost of the Sunnis. A truly national army in that context is a delusion. Continuing doggedly to seek "a victory" in that fashion dooms America to rising costs in blood and money, not to mention the intensifying Muslim hostility and massive erosion of America's international legitimacy, credibility and moral reputation.

The administration's definition of "defeat" is similarly misleading. Official and unofficial spokesmen often speak in terms that recall the apocalyptic predictions made earlier regarding the consequences of American failure to win in Vietnam: dominoes falling, the region exploding and U.S. power discredited. An added touch is the notion that the Iraqi insurgents will then navigate the Atlantic and wage terrorism on the American homeland.
...



The bogus arm-waving is kind of similar, innit?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 03:10 PM

AUSTIN, Texas -- The state's highest criminal court on Monday denied Rep. Tom DeLay's request that the money laundering charges against him be dismissed or sent back to a lower court for an immediate trial.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied the requests with no written order two days after he announced he was stepping down as House majority leader. DeLay had been forced to temporarily relinquish the Republican leadership post after he was indicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges in September.

(Jan 9, 2005)



Old Guy,

Thrash, kick, yowl and slander.

1. I have enjoyed the Onion's satire for several years. As I pointed out to you elsewhere I have no problem recognizing the difference between reality and satire; sometimes I wonder if you share the same abililty. I expect those who read these threads to have aminimal literacy about such well-known websites as THe Onion, but if it is a new wonder to you, that does not give you the right to make even more scurrilous remarks about my character and intelligence -- remarks even YOU do not believe in fact...

2.   I asked you once why you were so bitter as to levy these personal ad hominem and slanderous attacks on me, and your only reply was that if I were normal, I would know. That is a bit juvenile, but in any case I am not "normal". I am better looking than average. So enlighten me.

3. You repeatedly, as yourself and under other underhanded guises make snide remarks about Dianetics and Scientolgy. I don't mind what you think of these subjects, but I think I made it clear to you that these organizations are not part of my world-view, despite my earlier association with them over 25 years back. Your latching onto this linkage and altering it as though it were some secret in my misty past is erroneous, and does not do you credit (never mind me!). I would be as justified in accusing you having a kindergartner's mentality because I tracked down the fact that you were once known to habituate a kindergarten as a card-carrying member. Slander is easy. Honesty and real thought are much harder. Give them a try.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 01:34 AM

Now Amos is posting things from Blogs because he is running out of Satire to post.

If Bobert knew what he was talking about I would respond.

AINA, CA - Jan 6, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Jack Reed, finishing up a two-day visit to Iraq on Thursday, said the raging debate in America over withdrawing troops hadn't dampened morale among the soldiers he met.

"I frankly did not pick up any of that," Reed, D-R.I., said during a conference call from Iraq with reporters on one of the deadliest days in Iraq since the war began. "All I got were soldiers who were committed to their mission."

The senator met with members of the Rhode Island National Guard as well as other troops and officials. He said he hopes some of the longest serving forces can get a break.

"That stress eventually takes a toll," Reed said.

Reed is a member of the Armed Services Committee and a former Army Ranger who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He has emerged as a leading Senate critic of President Bush's handling of the war. But unlike some of his Democratic colleagues, Reed has not urged an immediate pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq.

The senator said he was about a mile or two from a suicide car bombing in Baghdad on Thursday that killed three Iraqi soldiers. He said he only learned of the blast after it happened.

"We were not in the danger area," he said.

The bombing was among a rash of insurgent attacks across Iraq Thursday that killed more than 130 people.

"It reminds you it's a very dangerous place," the senator said.

Reed also heard the crackle of small arms fire while he was in the city.

The future of Iraq now hinges on the success of its new government, Reed said. The U.S. needs to provide more civil reconstruction aid to help Iraq's new leaders provide basic needs for its citizens, he said.

"The struggle in Iraq is about the future or Iraq in the hands of Iraqis," said Reed. "This is a critical moment."

Reed was making his sixth trip to Iraq. He is expected to visit with troops and officials in Afghanistan on Friday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jan 06 - 09:46 PM

Well, Old Guy, in the last week Bush has told both Iraq and Afganistan to "pack sand" when it comes to any more dought in rebuilding their infastructues... Both artickles appeared on the front pages of the Washington Post... Google washingtonpost,com fir details....

Hmmmmmm??? Seesm that's becoming the Bush standard answer for anyone wanting anything outta the money that Bush collects from the working class thru taxes, ahhh, with the exception of rich people and anyone who paid enought into Bush's election campaign (think major drug companies and defense contractors here)...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 06 - 02:31 PM

A study reported in the TImes today reveals that Army and Marine Corps bureaucracy and possibly a lack of demand from above has contributed to many of the service deaths in Iraq through inadequate individual armoring, totally aside from the HumVee armor catastrophe which Rumsfeld so gallantly dodged (in late '04, if memory serves).

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 08 Jan 06 - 12:15 PM

This is an example of how Amos tries to pass of bullshit as the truth and Bobert can't tell the difference.

Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:48 PM

The Onion

December 28, 2005 | Issue 41•52

Elected President Of Iraq

BAGHDAD—In a vast outpouring of gratitude to the man they call "Our Great Savior From The West," the people of Iraq flooded the polls during yesterday's first free elections, voting overwhelmingly for President George W. Bush as their first democratically elected leader.

Bush, who spent nearly half a trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money on his campaign, received a concession call from Abu Musaiya at 11:30 EST last night.

After the Bush landslide was announced on Al-Jazeera, ecstatic crowds chanted in the streets throughout the recently liberated nation: "Hail George Bush, the president of Iraq!"

"May Allah bless him and his children to the seventh generation!" shouted free Iraqi citizen Abdullah al-Hallasid, firing his gun into the air repeatedly and injuring seven U.S. soldiers. "At last, we are free!"

Bush, who surged in the polls after all of the other candidates were killed by either coalition forces or insurgents in the final week leading up to the election, characterized his victory as the dawn of democracy in the Middle East, and proof that the system works.

The above information has not been evaluated for any correspondence with the real world.

A
------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:36 PM

Hey, Amos, not only has BUsh pulled the plug on funds to fix the stuff that he broke in ordering the invasion of Iraq but it looks as if he's telling the Afgani's to "pack sand" as well...

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rebuild v. Tax Cuts for the Rich..."The Onion® is a satirical
The Onion® uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental."

"this Publication is tasteless and destructive of our shared values" Al Gore


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 06 - 11:48 AM

The TImes for today (a Sunday) has a fascinating, well-reasoned study by Noah Feldman on the growth of "presidentialism", the expansion of dominance of the Executive, and what to do about it.

The article is here and merits a careful read.

Bush's administration, as Feldman points out, has pushed executive power far beyond any limits within which it previously operated. But the trend has been on-going since the Luisiana Purchase, and has fundamentally altered the nature of the American Constitution.

Feldman is insightful and coherent in his sense of the historical pattern, and offers some good suggestions about remediation.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 10:22 AM

The Washington Post offers a report indicating that legal claims for Presidential authority for all the high-tech eavesdropping are probably bogus, weak at best. If they are found legally to be erroneous and not a legal defense, then those actions are criminal and impeachable.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 10:43 AM

Bruce Reed, writing for Slate, remarks:

"President Bush has the rest of his life to apologize for what he has done so far. He would be better off devoting the three precious remaining years of his presidency to what historians of tomorrow and Americans of today might both applaud: better policies and better results.

One historian tells Sanger that the Bush White House has its eyes on the Truman legacy, perhaps because Truman and Nixon are the only two presidents ever to surpass Bush in unpopularity. But the great thing about history is that it all comes out in the wash. Anybody can spin the press corps, but not even Karl Rove can spin the historians. In the long run, everything leaks."





Reed's article, Plea Bargain with America is an interesting analysis of the current Republican power-wedgie.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:36 PM

Hey, Amos, not only has BUsh pulled the plug on funds to fix the stuff that he broke in ordering the invasion of Iraq but it looks as if he's telling the Afgani's to "pack sand" as well...

Rebuild v. Tax Cuts for the Rich...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:48 PM

The Onion


December 28, 2005 | Issue 41•52

Elected President Of Iraq




BAGHDAD—In a vast outpouring of gratitude to the man they call "Our Great Savior From The West," the people of Iraq flooded the polls during yesterday's first free elections, voting overwhelmingly for President George W. Bush as their first democratically elected leader.

Bush, who spent nearly half a trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money on his campaign, received a concession call from Abu Musaiya at 11:30 EST last night.

After the Bush landslide was announced on Al-Jazeera, ecstatic crowds chanted in the streets throughout the recently liberated nation: "Hail George Bush, the president of Iraq!"

"May Allah bless him and his children to the seventh generation!" shouted free Iraqi citizen Abdullah al-Hallasid, firing his gun into the air repeatedly and injuring seven U.S. soldiers. "At last, we are free!"

Bush, who surged in the polls after all of the other candidates were killed by either coalition forces or insurgents in the final week leading up to the election, characterized his victory as the dawn of democracy in the Middle East, and proof that the system works.


See image of Georgie in his new uniform on this page: Bush Elected President Of Iraq.

The above information has not been evaluated for any correspondence with the real world.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 10:20 PM

A concerned Mexican American citizen writes to the San Diego Union-Tribune:
        
      
Letters to the editor

January 3, 2006

U.S. in no position to advise Mexico


Regarding "Poor relations / Five goals for Mexico in the new year" (Editorial, Dec. 26):

You've got to be joking. Saying that Mexico should not meddle in another country's affairs is totally without credibility from a country that invades countries to gain land (the invasion of Mexico in 1846) and has a long history of pariah politics for its own self-righteous reasons.

The United States invades a country to settle the score on Sept. 11, 2001; Iraq wasn't involved. No, wait, it's to find weapons of mass destruction; none found. No, hold it, it's to fight terror; there's more terror now than ever. No, here's the latest reason: to promote democracy; President Bush and his administration are far, far from democracy. No, it's to – who knows what Bush and his corrupt administration will make up next?

The credibility of the Union-Tribune is less than zero when it does everything possible (in two languages) to discredit and slam Mexico every chance it gets. Once the United States stops exporting the demand for drugs (80 percent of the world's illegal drugs consumed by Americans), ruining the environment (35 percent of world environmental damage is caused by the United States and U.S. companies), stops helping to create terror (Bush policies have created more terror cells than ever), stops taking from the world (the United States consumes 30 percent of the world's natural resources) and continues to meddle in the world with a total disregard for human rights and so much more, then and only then can the United States or the Union-Tribune even consider giving advice to other countries.

For now, impeach Bush and let's honor world treaties, starting with treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo....

ENRIQUE MORONES
San Diego


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 03:08 PM

From Today's Papers (Slate):

The Bush administration's decision not to seek new funds in its congressional budget request next month signals the winding down of the rebuilding effort in Iraq, says the WP. Less than 20 percent remains of an $18.4 billion rebuilding effort. Half was spent on the insurgency, the criminal justice system, and the trial of Saddam Hussein. Billions that were initially supposed to go to rebuilding Iraq's decrepit infrastructure went to new security forces and maximum-security prisons and detention centers. Bringing reliable electrical, water, sewage, and sanitation services to Iraq will require tens of billions yet, but, as one brigadier general put it, "The U.S. never intended to completely rebuild Iraq."




Yet another failure to deliver . Going in, the PR was all about reconstruction, billions to restore the infrastructure. Turns out half the dough was spent on prisons and war-fighting. I am a little perplexed where the money that was earmarked for military operations went -- kind of like a shell game where you lose sight of the pea, huh?

Who wants to bet whether or not the amount of ACTUAL rebuilding equals the amount of destruction compared to pre-invasion status? Hmmm? I dummo -- just raising a question, here.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 12:04 PM

The Word on "Turd Blossom" - The Redolent Gaseous Effluvia of the "Boy Genius"
By Dr. Gerry Lower
Jul 20, 2005, 21:57

Do an innocent Google search for the term "Turd Blossom" and you will be treated to 61,500 results, literally page after page, with not a thing about "turd blossoms." No, its all about Karl Rove. The implications of this outcome are not good when America's favorite search engine can't come up with word definitions because it can't get around all the references to Karl Rove.

That term, "Turd Blossom," of course, is not some liberal putdown, but the "affectionate" nickname coined by George W. Bush in referring to his left brain and chief political strategist, his Karl. Helen Thomas traced the origins of the term to "several years ago when he [Rove] started getting accolades from political writers as the mastermind behind Bush ... the president is known to have bristled."

According to Thomas, Bush "once told a journalist that he did not like his aides getting 'star treatment.' So, he started calling Rove 'Turd Blossom.'" Thomas suggested that the term "refers to the so-called cowpie splat made by bovine waste when it hits the ground"

Those who lack honest and intelligent comprehension typically make their sales through glad-handing, with one hand over your shoulder and the other hand down in your pants, Bush's signature approach. Adding insult to injury, Bush tops that off by being jokingly self-deprecating. He doesn't mean it at all, of course. After all, he is the "war president." But, as a result, when being upstaged or criticized, Bush has no problems with deprecating others. It runs in the family.

The Bush administration's relationships with the English language and with empirical reality, however, are not only mindless but legendarily so. Cheney announces that the Iraq insurgency is in its "last throes." Rove rewrites history by announcing that "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." It makes one's head spin, but then that is what "spin" is designed to do, so that the people stick with the party line. It is the Rovian basis for government of, by and for the people.

In other words, one can never be sure just what the Bush administration means because it so seldom knows what it is talking about, because its outreach is so full of conjecture and concoction. As a direct result, the Bush administration seldom knows what it is doing (Eugene Robinson, Syntax, Disassembled, Washington Post, July 12, 2005) (2). Theses people are, after all, not experienced diplomats and learned statesmen, but more a conspiracy of businessmen trying to make a sale.

Bloggers and columnists alike have attempted to more precisely define Bush's oxymoronic term for Rove. One suggested that "the use of Mr. Rove's nickname is probably due to his [Rove's] ability to make something very unappetizing (cow patties) into something attractive (a flower)" (Dick Brandlon, Lotus Media, July 13, 2005) (3). Julian Borger, with the Guardian, suggested that a turd blossom is "a Texanism for a flower that blooms from cattle excrement"


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:36 PM

Woody:

Thanks. When you study these deeds up close you will find that however courageous and loyal to their command chain, these men are not performing deeds I think I should be thankful for.

I am thankful for the small handful of officers in Iraq who are teaching more than shooting, organizing for production, and making things better there. I am thankful for those who defend the citizens from their own extremists, wishing our government would do as much for us.

But the slaughter of innocents and the destruction of families, the maiming of citizens and children, which you so bravely ignore, is something I will never give thanks for no matter who does it. If you ever get your head out of your dream world, you will find this sort of violence is no blessing, and is not a gift, but the sad end of a long warped political chain of failure.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:33 PM

The Source of the Trouble
Pulitzer Prize winner Judith Miller's series of exclusives about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq courtesy of the now-notorious Ahmad Chalabi helped the New York Times keep up with the competition and the Bush administration bolster the case for war. How the very same talents that caused her to get the story also caused her to get it wrong.

By Franklin Foer

Judith Miller discusses post-Saddam Iraq on The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.

For critics of the Iraq war, the downfall of Ahmad Chalabi occasioned a hearty, unapologetic outpouring of Schadenfreude a loud cheer for a well-deserved knee to the administration s gut. In fact, it was possible to detect a bit of this spirit on the front page of the New York Times. On May 21, the editors arrayed contrasting images of the banker turned freedom fighter turned putative Iranian spy. Here he is smirking behind Laura Bush in the House of Representatives gallery as the president delivers his State of the Union address. There he is looking bleary and sweaty, after Iraqi police stormed his home and office in the middle of the night. An analysis by David Sanger went so far as to name names of individuals who had associated themselves with the discredited leader of the Iraqi National Congress. The list, he wrote, included many of the men who came to dominate the top ranks of the Bush administration . . . Donald H. Rumsfeld, Paul D. Wolfowitz, Douglas J. Feith, Richard L. Armitage, Elliott Abrams and Zalmay M. Khalilzad, among others.

The phrase among others is a highly evocative one. Because that list of credulous Chalabi allies could include the New York Times own reporter, Judith Miller. During the winter of 2001 and throughout 2002, Miller produced a series of stunning stories about Saddam Hussein s ambition and capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction, based largely on information provided by Chalabi and his allies almost all of which have turned out to be stunningly inaccurate.


For the past year, the Times has done much to correct that coverage, publishing a series of stories calling Chalabi s credibility into question. But never once in the course of its coverage or in any public comments from its editors did the Times acknowledge Chalabi s central role in some of its biggest scoops, scoops that not only garnered attention but that the administration specifically cited to buttress its case for war.

The longer the Times remained silent on Chalabi s importance to Judith Miller s reporting, the louder critics howled. In February, in the New York Review of Books, Michael Massing held up Miller as evidence of the press s submissiveness in covering the war. For more than a year, Slate s Jack Shafer has demanded the paper come clean.

But finally, with Chalabi s fall from grace so complete the Pentagon has cut off his funding, troops smashed his portrait in raids of the INC office the Times refusal to concede its own complicity became untenable. Last week, on page A10, the paper published a note on its coverage, drafted by executive editor Bill Keller himself. The paper singled out pieces that relied on information from a circle of Iraqi informants, defectors, and exiles bent on regime change.    The note named Ahmad Chalabi as a central player in this group.

This time, however, the omission of Judith Miller s name was conspicuous. Some critics of our coverage during that time have focused blame on individual reporters. Our examination, however, indicates that the problem was more complicated.

It was precisely her unpleasant aggressiveness that helped force the story the marriage of WMD and global jihadists closer to the top of the agenda.

The editor s note was correct: The Judy Miller problem is complicated. That is, the very qualities that endeared Miller to her editors at the New York Times her ambition, her aggressiveness, her cultivation of sources by any means necessary, her hunger to be first were the same ones that allowed her to get the WMD story so wrong.

Miller is a star, a diva. She wrote big stories, won big prizes. Long before her WMD articles ran, Miller had become a newsroom legend and for reasons that had little to do with the stories that appeared beneath her byline. With her seemingly bottomless ambition a pair of big feet that would stomp on colleagues in her way and even crunch a few bystanders she cut a larger-than-life figure that lent itself to Paul Bunyan esque retellings. Most of these stories aren t kind. Of course, nobody said journalism was a country club. And her personality was immaterial while she was succeeding, winning a Pulitzer, warning the world about terrorism, bio-weapons, and Iraq s war machine. But now, who she is, and why she prospered, makes for a revealing cautionary tale about the culture of American journalism.

On a summer afternoon in the early eighties, Judy Miller invited her exercise-averse boyfriend Richard Burt, then the Times defense reporter, to watch her swim laps in the Washington Hilton pool. Afterward, lounging in the sun, Miller veered into one of her favorite lines of conversation: Does chemical or nuclear warfare inflict the most damage? Burt, who would go on to become an assistant secretary of State in the Reagan administration, has a serious cast of mind. But even he was taken aback by Miller s dark thoughts. I remember being struck that there are not many people sitting around on a beautiful day thinking about weapons of mass destruction, he says.

Miller s dramatic way of looking at the world may have something to do with her family s show-business background. During the forties and fifties, her father, Bill Miller, ran the Riviera nightclub in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Famed for its retractable roof, the Riviera staged shows by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tito Puente. When the state highway commission ordered the Riviera condemned in 1953, Miller made his way to Vegas, proving his impresario bona fides by reviving the careers of Elvis Presley and Marlene Dietrich.

Judy Miller arrived in the Times Washington bureau in 1977, as part of a new breed of hungry young hires, prodded in part by the sting of losing the Watergate story to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post. She was unlike the other guys there. That s why they brought her to the paper, says Steven Rattner, another old boyfriend, who eventually left his Times gig to become an investment banker.

Installed amid colleagues they were almost all men who d spent decades working their way up the paper s food chain, Miller stood out immediately for her sharp elbows. While the culture of the paper assiduously practices omert what happens in the newsroom stays in the newsroom Miller is cause for reporters to break the code of silence. An unusual number of her co-workers have gone out of their way to separate themselves and their paper from Miller. Few are brave enough to attach their names to the stories, but they all sound a similar refrain. She s a shit to the people she works with, says one. When I see her coming, my instinct is to go the other way, says another. They recite her foibles and peccadilloes, from getting temporarily banned by the Times D.C. car service for her rudeness to throwing a fit over rearranged items on her desk. Defenders are few and far between. And even the staunchest ones often concede her faults. Bill Keller told me in an e-mail, She has sharp elbows. She is possessive of her sources, and passionate about her stories, and a little obsessive. If you interview people who have worked with Sy Hersh, I ll bet you ll find some of the same complaints.
More


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:03 PM

November 11, 2005--

A Veterans' Day Message to America's Military Personnel:

'Though Durbin and Kennedy, Conyers and Dean

may denigrate missions you serve with their screams,

'though Nancy Peloci, Kucinich and Byrd

describe as a "quagmire" the mission you serve,

'though Hollywood HalfWits like Robbins and Moore

contend that your mission is wrong to the core,

'though missions your serve are maligned and defamed

by Soros, Move-On and by Not-In-Our-Name,

remember that all but a few do proclaim

how proudly (except for Amos) we thank you for deeds in our name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 02:09 AM

Long-Awaited Beer With Bush Really Awkward, Voter Reports

November 16, 2005 | Issue 41•46

WARREN, PA—Although respondents to a Pew poll taken prior to the 2004 presidential election characterized Bush as "the candidate they'd most like to sit down and have a beer with," Chris Reinard lived the hypothetical scenario Sunday afternoon, and characterized it as "really uncomfortable and awkward."
Enlarge ImageLong-Awaited Beer With Bush Really Awkward, Voter Reports

Chris Reinard and President Bush try to think of something to talk about.

Reinard, a father of four who supported Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections, said sharing a beer with the president at the Switchyard Tap gave him "an uneasy feeling."

"I thought he'd be great," Reinard said. "But when I actually met him, I felt real put off."

The president arrived at the bar via motorcade close to 3 p.m. After a sweep by Secret Service agents, Reinard was asked, for security reasons, to move from his favorite stool. Shortly after he had reseated himself, Reinard said he "was pleased" to welcome the president to the Switchyard.

"Boy, it sure is a good day for a cool one," Bush reportedly told the assembled patrons, who were watching the Dolphins­Patriots game.

"When he first walked in, everything seemed fine," bartender Bob Kern said. "He told everyone 'Hi' like he was one of the regulars, then sat next to Chris."

Reinard ordered two Budweisers, but Bush interrupted him, saying he'd prefer an O'Doul's non-alcoholic beer.

"I completely forgot he stopped drinking," Reinard said.

Following the initial gaffe, Bush attempted to smooth things over, asking Reinard to call him "George." Reinard complied, but later said "it felt a little unnatural."

"I guess I was supposed to tell him to call me Chris," Reinard said. "I didn't like him calling me 'Mr. Reinard' the whole time, but I didn't know if it was okay to interrupt him to say 'Call me Chris.' And then also, it felt weird to just say it out of nowhere. Like, 'Call me Chris.'"

Bush asked Reinard if he had any hobbies, and Reinard told the president that he enjoys spending weekends with his children on local lakes in his small aluminum boat.

"Mr. Bush, I mean George, seemed to like that, and I felt that we finally made a connection," Reinard said. "But then he started telling me about this one time he was on a yacht with some Arab prince and they spent four hours landing a sailfish."

"It was a good story, but I just like catching a few bass with my kids is all," Reinard added. "I know he didn't mean to make me feel bad, but still."

Reinard told the president that he has lived most of his life in the Warren area, except for several years he spent in nearby Jamestown, where he attended community college for a year. Bush told Reinard he was born in New Haven, CT, and grew up in Texas before attending Yale University as an undergraduate and earning his MBA from Harvard, all while maintaining membership in many exclusive clubs.

"I asked George how much it costs to be in those social clubs, but he said he didn't remember," Reinard said. "I think he just didn't want to say the amount. He'd change the subject on me a lot, say he did a lot of partying back then, but that was all behind him now, since he found the Lord, or whatever."

Bush asked Reinard what he did for a living, and Reinard said he runs a small carpentry business.

"He asked me how it was going, what with the economy bouncing back. I said that if things didn't pick up soon, I was going to have to close up shop and work for my uncle in Youngstown," Reinard said. "George was quiet for a while after that. Then he told me about when his second oil company was going under. He suggested using my connections to get some outside investment capital."

"I don't have any connections," Reinard added.

When the conversation reached a dead end, Reinard and Bush were silent once again, their eyes tracking the game.

"We were sitting there watching the game, and some cheerleaders were up there waving their pompoms," Reinard said. "Then George mentioned that he used to be a cheerleader at Yale. I didn't know what to say to that one, so I just drank the rest of my beer real fast."

After nearly a minute of silence, Bush drained the remainder of his O'Doul's and wished Reinard goodbye, saying that he'd stay longer if he could, but had "some business to tend to."

"He shook my hand and smiled, said he had to run," Reinard said. "Something about a conference or a summit. It seemed like he was actually relieved to go."

Reinard and Kern both estimated Bush's stay at the bar as no longer than 15 minutes. This included Kern's attempt to pay for Bush's beer. Bush only smiled and waved at Kern, and a member of his Secret Service escort pulled a $10 bill from his coat pocket and tossed it on the bar.

Reinard likened the encounter with Bush to "being cornered at a company Christmas party by your boss."

"It was like, do you act and drink like normal, or are you on your best behavior?" Reinard said. "Are you up-front with the guy or do you choose your words carefully? What does he want out of you, anyway? Or does he just want to connect with somebody, because it's lonely at the top? You just don't know for sure."

"Overall, it was okay, I suppose," Reinard said. " One thing's for sure, though—I still wouldn't want to have a beer with that stuck-up Kerry."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 12:56 AM

links to the Investigative Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 12:45 AM

Here is a link to the report by U.S. Rep John Conyers whose short title is Constitution in Crisis.

It's full title is: Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War.

An excerpt from the Executive Summary of this report:

"President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled
Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war with Iraq;
misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for
such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and
other legal violations in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of
their Administration.
There is a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice-President
and other members of the Bush Administration violated a number of federal laws,
including (1) Committing a Fraud against the United States; (2) Making False
Statements to Congress; (3) The War Powers Resolution; (4) Misuse of Government
Funds; (5) federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel,
inhuman, and degrading treatment; (6) federal laws concerning retaliating against
witnesses and other individuals; and (7) federal laws and regulations concerning
leaking and other misuse of intelligence.

While these charges clearly rise to the level of impeachable misconduct,
because the Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have blocked
the ability of Members to obtain information directly from the Administration
concerning these matters, more investigatory authority is needed before
recommendations can be made regarding specific Articles of Impeachment. As a
result, we recommend that Congress establish a select committee with subpoena
authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush Administration with regard to the
Iraq war detailed in this Report and report to the Committee on the Judiciary on
possible impeachable offenses.

In addition, we believe the failure of the President, Vice President and others
in the Bush Administration to respond to myriad requests for information concerning
these charges, or to otherwise account for explain a number of specific misstatements
they have made in the run up to War and other actions warrants, at minimum, the
introduction and Congress= approval of Resolutions of Censure against Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. Further, we recommend that Ranking Member Conyers and others
consider referring the potential violations of federal criminal law detailed in this
Report to the Department of Justice for investigation; Congress should pass legislation
to limit government secrecy, enhance oversight of the Executive Branch, request
notification and justification of presidential pardons of Administration officials, ban
abusive treatment of detainees, ban the use of chemical weapons, and ban the
practice of paying foreign media outlets to publish news stories prepared by or for the
Pentagon; and the House should amend its Rules to permit Ranking Members of
Committees to schedule official Committee hearings and call witnesses to investigate
Executive Branch misconduct.

The Report rejects the frequent contention by the Bush Administration that
their pre-war conduct has been reviewed and they have been exonerated. No entity
has ever considered whether the Administration misled Americans about the decision
to go to war. The Senate Intelligence Committee has not yet conducted a review of
pre-war intelligence distortion and manipulation, while the Silberman-Robb report
specifically cautioned that intelligence manipulation Awas not part of our inquiry.@
There has also not been any independent inquiry concerning torture and other legal
violations in Iraq; nor has there been an independent review of the pattern of coverups
and political retribution by the Bush Administration against its critics, other than
the very narrow and still ongoing inquiry of Special Counsel Fitzgerald.

While the scope of this Report is largely limited to Iraq, it also holds lessons for
our Nation at a time of entrenched one-party rule and abuse of power in Washington.
If the present Administration is willing to misstate the facts in order to achieve its
political objectives in Iraq, and Congress is unwilling to confront or challenge their
hegemony, many of our cherished democratic principles are in jeopardy. This is true
not only with respect to the Iraq War, but also in regard to other areas of foreign
policy, privacy and civil liberties, and matters of economic and social justice. Indeed
as this Report is being finalized, we have just learned of another potential significant
abuse of executive power by the President, ordering the National Security Agency to
engage in domestic spying and wiretapping without obtaining court approval in
possible violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

It is tragic that our Nation has invaded another sovereign nation because Athe
intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,@ as stated in the Downing
Street Minutes. It is equally tragic that the Bush Administration and the Republican
Congress have been unwilling to examine these facts or take action to prevent this
scenario from occurring again. Since they appear unwilling to act, it is incumbent on
individual Members of Congress as well as the American public to act to protect our
constitutional form of government. ..."

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 12:13 AM

From blogger:

"Let's review:

A worldwide network of secret torture prisons
Multiple secret programs to spy on lawful political dissidents
Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of civilians killed
A war based on blatant lies
The restriction of free speech protests to designated zones
An system of government propaganda and lies planted in newspapers around the world and in the United States
A general attack on liberty in the name of The Homeland
A President who declares that he is exempt from the law

Stand back and take a look. Can you not see what's going on?

What will it take for you to stand up and so no to this outrage?

What makes it okay? Is it that they haven't taken your SUV? Is it that they haven't come after you yet?

If you continue to do nothing now, will you tell your grandchildren that they have to understand that nobody knew what was going on?

You know what's going on."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 31 Dec 05 - 12:13 PM

Down on the Ranch, President Wages War on the Underbrush
Bush Conscripts Aides in Tireless Pursuit of Clearing Ground
By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 31, 2005; Page A03

CRAWFORD, Tex., Dec. 30 -- On most of the 365 days he has enjoyed at his secluded ranch here, President Bush's idea of paradise is to hop in his white Ford pickup truck in jeans and work boots, drive to a stand of cedars, and whack the trees to the ground.

If the soil is moist enough, he will light a match and burn the wood. If it is parched, as it is across Texas now, the wood will sit in piles scattered over the 1,600-acre spread until it is safe for a ranch hand to torch -- or until the president can come home and do the honors himself.



President Bush, shown clearing cedar at his Crawford, Tex., ranch in 2002, has not lost his enthusiasm for the task during recent trips to what aides call the Western White House. (By Eric Draper -- White House)
The Fix
Chris Cillizza provides daily posts on a range of political topics, from the race for control of Congress in 2006 to scrutinizing the 2008 presidential wannabes.
• The Friday Line: Grading the White House Hopefuls' 2005
• New NPR Poll: Two Takes
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• The Fix Archive
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Online Politics Extras
Join The Washington Post's or washingtonpost.com's political staff daily at 11 a.m. ET to talk about the latest political news.
• The Post Politics Hour will return January 3, after the holidays.
• Weekly Politics Chat Schedule
Politics Trivia
The House passed legislation last week to name two buildings at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta after the late civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks and what other person?

Mother Teresa
The Dalai Lama
Ronald Reagan
Martin Luther King Jr.

Sometimes this activity is the only official news to come out of what aides call the Western White House. For five straight days since Monday, when Bush retreated to the ranch for his Christmas sojourn, a spokesman has announced that the president, in between intelligence briefings, calls to advisers and bicycling, has spent much of his day clearing brush.

This might strike many Washingtonians as a curious pastime. It does burn a lot of calories. But brush clearing is dusty, it is exhausting (the president goes at it in 100 degree-plus heat), and it is earsplitting, requiring earplugs to dull the chain saw's buzz.

For Bush, who is known to spend early-morning hours hacking at unwanted mesquite, cocklebur weeds, hanging limbs and underbrush only to go back for more after lunch, it borders on obsession ...




Nice to know he has something to do with Nature, even if it involves a chainsaw. Anyone notice how much calmer it's been since he went on vacation?

In other news, oil futures prices jumped higher. So did gasoline, natural gas and heating oil contracts. And consumers can expect more of the same in 2006.

From Iraq, the news is not good:

Long lines formed at gas stations in Baghdad on Friday as word spread that Iraq's largest oil refinery had shut down in the face of threats against truck drivers.
Ahmed Khalaf, 33, said he left his home at dawn and was still in line at noon.
"After the rise in gas prices, now we have a gas shortage," he said. "I don't think I will have the opportunity to return to work today because of this long line."
At least 17 people were killed in violence around the capital, including nine people sitting along the Tigris River who died in a drive-by shooting.
The U.S. military announced the deaths of two soldiers Friday. A bomb killed one soldier when it struck his vehicle in Baghdad on Friday. The second soldier was shot and killed in the western city of Fallujah.
Their deaths brought the number of U.S. military members killed so far in 2005 to 841, five fewer than the 846 troops killed in 2004. In 2003, 485 U.S. military personnel were killed.
In Beiji, some 155 miles north of Baghdad and near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, the deteriorating security situation led authorities to shut down Iraq's largest oil refinery Dec. 18, former Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum said.
As word of the shutdown spread through the country, abut 1,000 vehicles waited at one of Baghdad's biggest gas stations, known as the Jindi al-Majhoul, or Unknown Soldier station.
Ali Moussa, a 51-year-old tanker truck driver, said he and his colleagues were working in a dangerous situation. "We demand that the government provide security and protection," he said.

The oil crisis has already cost one job, that of Mr. al-Uloum, the oil minister, who was given a 30-day vacation Wednesday and replaced with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi. Mr. al-Uloum had opposed a recent decision to raise prices by ninefold.
Meanwhile, violence continued unabated.

In the most serious incident, nine people were killed in a drive-by shooting – possibly because they were drinking alcohol in public, police said.

In separate attacks in Baghdad, a suicide car bomber blew himself up next to a police patrol, killing three Iraqi civilians, and a mortar landed in a market, killing another three civilians.

Two Iraqi Army captains were gunned down in the town of Dujail, north of Baghdad, as they drove home.



Extremism -- whether of greed over oil   or religous delusions -- is the ugliest human face.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 09:24 PM

Propaganda...Not news...

Go talk with the Kurds, Wood-man and get the real story...

Like maybe you'd like to enligyten folks here about how poor elctricity is now compared to the bad-old-days...

Or even petro price now compared to the bad-old-days... Do you realize that folks in Iraq are waiting for a day to fill up their cars??? That's like up to 24 hours sleepiong in their cars to get gas???

Yet, you wnata to try to propogate propganda that makes Iraq this little utopia now that it has been so-called "liberated"... Seems that is nothin' more that a PR mirage...

You think you are getting the real inforamtion??? Stick yer woddy-butt on an airplane and go see fir yerself... If you'd get yer 2X4 head outta Fox fir a coupler of days you might find there's lots of folks who are not reporting the utopia that youseem to see in Iraq but quite the opposite...

Iraq is a mess and the bad news is that it going to get worse... Invading a tribally divided nation is stupid....

Yeah, go on and argue and argue but when the day is over, even yer dumbass woodyself will know it...

...but, hey, great handle and it perfectly describes you...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 09:07 PM

aljazeera.net

Iraq economy looks positive in 2006

Wednesday 28 December 2005, 10:37 Makka Time, 7:37 GMT

Experts predict that the formation of a new Iraqi government, following a year of political reforms, will help stabilize the country, revive its stagnant economy and pave the way for contentious measures such as privatization.

Thomas Delare, counselor for economic affairs at the US embassy in Baghdad, said: "Ordinary Iraqis, domestic entrepreneurs and foreign investors have all been waiting for stability, predictability and greater security,".

The 15 December general election "doesn't guarantee any of those things, but it offers the promise that now we can put it in place.", he said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 08:59 PM

Hmmmm, Knight Ritter jusy published a report from Kurdish Iraq where Kurds, wearing the Iraqi uniform, said they were ready to kill the non-Kurd Arabs within their own batallians, take Kurkik and Mosol and set up an independent Kurdish state...

They are just waiting for an opening... Like the US pulling out...

I have long predicted that when the US leaves the "hot" civil war will begin... I predicted this even before Old Gay came 'round here and before Bush ordered the invasion...

Now, looks very much like Iraq is a civil-war-waiting-to-happen...

Yet, the Bushites will stick their heads in the sand and say it ain't so????

It is very much so and it will be very uch so if the US stays in Iraq for another 10 years and ends up loosing another 20,000 Americans in the process...

Just like Nam... 20,000 more dioed after Nixon unleashed his "secret plan" which was so secret that even today no-one knows what it was...

Sound familiar???

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 08:42 PM

By Agence France Presse (AFP)

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Positive predictions for the year ahead in Iraq

BAGHDAD: Experts predict the formation of a new Iraqi government, following a year of political reforms, will help stabilize the country, revive its stagnant economy and pave the way for contentious measures such as privatization.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=3&article_id=21143


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 08:22 PM

The following is excerpted from an editorial at Barron's, usually a big-business and Republican mouthpiece. Unfortinately the editorial itself is by subscription only.


"[...] Surely the "strict constructionists" on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary eventually will point out what a stretch this is. The most important presidential responsibility under Article II is that he must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." That includes following the requirements of laws that limit executive power. There's not much fidelity in an executive who debates and lobbies Congress to shape a law to his liking and then goes beyond its writ.

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.

It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law. "



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 05:13 PM

From The Guardian, relayed by a correspondent:


Comment
Shock, awe and Hobbes have backfired on America's neocons

Iraq has shown the hubris of a geostrategy that welds the
philosophy of the Leviathan to military and technological power

Richard Drayton
Wednesday December 28, 2005
The Guardian

The tragic irony of the 21st century is that just as faith in
technology collapsed on the world's stock markets in 2000, it came
to power in the White House and Pentagon. For the Project for a New
American Century's ambition of "full-spectrum dominance" - in which
its country could "fight and win multiple, simultaneous major-
theatre wars" - was a monster borne up by the high tide of techno
euphoria of the 1990s.

Ex-hippies talked of a wired age of Aquarius. The fall of the
Berlin wall and the rise of the internet, we were told, had ushered
in Adam Smith's dream of overflowing abundance, expanding liberty
and perpetual peace. Fukuyama speculated that history was over,
leaving us just to hoard and spend. Technology meant a new paradigm
of constant growth without inflation or recession.

But darker dreams surfaced in America's military universities. The
theorists of the "revolution in military affairs" predicted that
technology would lead to easy and perpetual US dominance of the
world. Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters advised on "future warfare"
at the Army War College - prophesying in 1997 a coming "age of
constant conflict". Thomas Barnett at the Naval War College
assisted Vice-Admiral Cebrowski in developing "network-centric
warfare". General John Jumper of the air force predicted a planet
easily mastered from air and space. American forces would win
everywhere because they enjoyed what was unashamedly called the
"God's-eye" view of satellites and GPS: the "global information
grid". This hegemony would be welcomed as the cutting edge of human
progress. Or at worst, the military geeks candidly explained, US
power would simply terrify others into submitting to the stars and
stripes.
....

Dr Richard Drayton, a senior lecturer in history at Cambridge
University, is the author of Nature's Government, a study of
science, technology and imperialism

Full story at:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1674184,00.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 01:26 PM

Gee, Old Guy, I am so glad you straightened me out here.

If I was posting for my own glory, I assure you I would find something more interesting to post about.

I do not support anarchy, and I think you must be kind of cross-eyed to reach that conclusion.

I do support, however, an inviolable Constitutional republic that seeks to find and disseminate better ideas, rather than to acquire power through coercion and invasion by military force. You seem to find nothing wrong with the slaughter of citizens and the destruction of cities based on a false assessment of a situation. I find it criminal. ALong with a number of other offenses which have been documented in this thread and elsewhere.

That makes me an anarchist about as much as it makes you a punk-rocker with purple and green hair, something I would dearly like to see! :D

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 12:42 PM

And there is Peace, as usual with not one thing to say. I hope the Terrorists are paying you well for the job you try to do--troll and waste time. And waste more time. And more.

Peace: you are one of those people who, given enough rope, will hang themselves every time. Here's some more rope.

My message is that Amos is driven to post to his own thread as a monument to himself. Definaltely not normal though he claims to be perfectlly normal.

Another message is that all of the stuff he cuts and pasts is drivel. It is gleaned from avery Anti Bush source he can find. Then he proclaims it is the truth.

The truth is that Amos is an anarchist trying to influence others to be anarchists.

The problem is when you ask an anarchist what should be done, they have no idea of what is right, they only know what is wrong. Hence they don't know right from wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 11:40 AM

Police-State Powers Are Our Biggest Threat


By Martin Garbus, writing in the New York Observer


What has happened in this country?

The Pentagon has a secret court created by the Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA). The courtroom is in a windowless room on the top floor of the Department of Justice. There are seven rotating judges. The court meets in secret, with no published opinions or public records. No one, except the FISA judge involved and the Department of Justice, knows what is done. No one, except the government and the FISA judge, knows at whom the warrants are aimed. There is no review by anyone. Over 12,000 search warrants permitting eavesdropping, surveillance and break-ins have been sought by the government. Only once has the FISA court denied a warrant.

The FISA court has issued more warrants than the more than 1,000 district judges in the federal system.

The Pentagon has already expanded its domestic-surveillance activity beyond any previous time in history. It breaks into homes, wiretaps and eavesdrops at will, and builds secret dossiers on citizens while arguing that there can be no judicial review of its activities. President George W. Bush argues that there can be no judicial review of any decision he makes when he decides whether an alien or an American citizen is or is not an enemy combatant. Congress supports this; so does the judiciary...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 08:34 PM

The NY Times for 12/29 excoriates the ambience of occlusion that has been intentionally developed around the Government by the White House:

The Mounting Powers of Secrecy
E-Mail This
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Published: December 29, 2005
The open government law that guaranteed greater freedom of information to the public will soon be 40 years old and desperately in need of legislative overhaul, thanks to the Bush administration. The White House's sweeping enlargement of agency powers has already nearly doubled the rate of newly classified documents to 15 million a year. At the same time, the administration has choked back the annual volume of documents declassified for public access, from 200 million in 1998 to 44 million lately.

At the heart of this thickening veil are direct presidential orders and former Attorney General John Ashcroft's blanket assurance of legal defense to any agency erring on the side of secrecy in sealing off documents. This reversed the Clinton administration's "presumption of disclosure" when it came to public requests. The 9/11 commission has already pointed out that this general retreat from the intent of the law hardly discourages terrorists; in fact, it was the government's internal failure to share information that contributed to that tragedy.

Innocuous White House press pool reports are now subject to classification, while historians complain of yearlong delays before academic requests are even acknowledged, never mind fulfilled. Environmentalists can't see routine dam and river drainage maps in the name of homeland security. Attempts by firearm agents to keep data on illegal gun traffic from those filing public lawsuits have now been ruled improper twice by the courts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Peace
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 12:25 AM

And there is Old Guy, as usual with not one thing to say. I hope the Republicans are paying you well for the job you try to do--troll and waste time. And waste more time. And more . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 11:51 PM

Amos does his mental masturbation once again and thrills to his accomplishments.

Is Bobert going to put his 2 cents in?

I would be upset if Bush was not wiretaping anyone suspected of communicating with terrorists.

Would Amos be even more upset if he was dying of radiation sickness from a dirty bomb?

That could not happen because like one of his heros. Michael Moore said "There is no terrorist threat"


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 11:40 PM

Secret court modified wiretap requests
Intervention may have led Bush to bypass panel

By STEWART M. POWELL
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER WASHINGTON BUREAU


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/253334_nsaspying24.html?source=mypi

Saturday, December 24, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Government records show that the administration was
encountering unprecedented second-guessing by the secret federal
surveillance court when President Bush decided to bypass the panel and
order surveillance of U.S.-based terror suspects without the
court's approval.

A review of Justice Department reports to Congress shows that the
26-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court modified more wiretap
requests from the Bush administration than from the four
previous presidential administrations combined.

The court's repeated intervention in Bush administration wiretap
requests may explain why the president decided to bypass the court nearly
four years ago to launch secret National Security Agency
spying on hundreds and possibly thousands of Americans and foreigners
inside the United States, according to James Bamford, an acknowledged
authority on the supersecret NSA, which intercepts telephone calls,
e-mails, faxes and Internet communications.
.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 08:06 PM

Beyond the Imperial Presidency
    By Steve Chapman
    The Chicago Tribune

    Sunday 25 December 2005 (Excerpt...)


    President Bush is a bundle of paradoxes. He thinks the scope of the
federal government should be limited but the powers of the president should
not. He wants judges to interpret the Constitution as the framers did, but
doesn't think he should be constrained by their intentions.

    He attacked Al Gore for trusting government instead of the people, but
he insists anyone who wants to defeat terrorism must put absolute faith in
the man at the helm of government.

    His conservative allies say Bush is acting to uphold the essential
prerogatives of his office. Vice President Cheney says the administration's
secret eavesdropping program is justified because "I believe in a strong,
robust executive authority, and I think that the world we live in demands
it."

    But the theory boils down to a consistent and self-serving formula:
What's good for George W. Bush is good for America, and anything that
weakens his power weakens the nation. To call this an imperial presidency is
unfair to emperors.

    Even people who should be on Bush's side are getting queasy. David
Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, says in his efforts to
enlarge executive authority, Bush "has gone too far."

    He's not the only one who feels that way. Consider the case of Jose
Padilla, a U.S. citizen arrested in 2002 on suspicion of plotting to set off
a "dirty bomb." For three years, the administration said he posed such a
grave threat that it had the right to detain him without trial as an enemy
combatant. In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
agreed.

    But then, rather than risk a review of its policy by the Supreme Court,
the administration abandoned its hard-won victory and indicted Padilla on
comparatively minor criminal charges. When it asked the 4th Circuit Court
for permission to transfer him from military custody to jail, though, the
once-cooperative court flatly refused.

    In a decision last week, the judges expressed amazement that the
administration suddenly would decide Padilla could be treated like a common
purse snatcher-a reversal that, they said, comes "at substantial cost to the
government's credibility." The court's meaning was plain: Either you were
lying to us then, or you are lying to us now.

    If that's not enough to embarrass the president, the opinion was written
by conservative darling J. Michael Luttig-who just a couple of months ago
was on Bush's short list for the Supreme Court. For Luttig to question
Bush's use of executive power is like Bill O'Reilly announcing that there's
too much Christ in Christmas.

    This is hardly the only example of the president demanding powers he
doesn't need. When American-born Saudi Yasser Hamdi was captured in
Afghanistan, the administration also detained him as an enemy combatant
rather than entrust him to the criminal justice system.

    But when the Supreme Court said he was entitled to a hearing where he
could present evidence on his behalf, the administration decided that was
way too much trouble. It freed him and put him on a plane back to Saudi
Arabia, where he may plot jihad to his heart's content. Try to follow this
logic: Hamdi was too dangerous to put on trial but not too dangerous to
release.

    The disclosure that the president authorized secret and probably illegal
monitoring of communications between people in the United States and people
overseas again raises the question: Why?

    The government easily could have gotten search warrants to conduct
electronic surveillance of anyone with the slightest possible connection to
terrorists. The court that handles such requests hardly ever refuses. But
Bush bridles at the notion that the president should ever have to ask
permission of anyone.

    He claims he can ignore the law because Congress granted permission when
it authorized him to use force against Al Qaeda. But we know that can't be
true. Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales says the administration didn't ask for a
revision of the law to give the president explicit power to order such
wiretaps because Congress-a Republican Congress, mind you-wouldn't have
agreed. So the administration decided: Who needs Congress?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 07:47 PM

>Pravda, of all people, contemplates the moral quagmire of the Bush Adminitration:


Victims of the darkness: Government surveillance and intimidation
12/26/2005 13:42

The Bush Administration has consistently harassed citizens who
exercise their First Amendment freedoms and voice concerns about
government policies

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both
instances there is a twilight where everything remains seemingly
unchanged, and it is in such a twilight that we must be aware of the
change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims
of the darkness." Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

Not since the notorious McCarthy era of the 1950s, when American
freedoms faced extinction, has there been such an attack against the
Bill of Rights. The recent media focus on President Bush's
authorizing the National Security Agency to spy on ordinary Americans
has brought this issue to the forefront. On secret orders from
President Bush, the NSA has been monitoring the international phone
calls and emails of Americans without warrants.

Moreover, the Bush Administration has consistently harassed citizens
who exercise their First Amendment freedoms and voice concerns about
government policies. The main weapon used in this war is
intimidation, specifically through governmental surveillance and
government agents.

Indeed, the American government has a near paranoia about dissenting
citizens. "The Administration and campaign of George W. Bush," writes
former Congressman Bob Barr (R-Ga.), "is squelching any possible hint
of disagreement or protest at every political rally or gathering."
For example, in March of this year, three citizens were removed from
President Bush's town hall meeting in Aurora, Colo., because the car
they arrived in featured the bumper sticker, "No More Blood for Oil."

This past summer, FBI agents went to Windsor, Conn., with a document
marked for delivery by hand. On Matianuk Avenue, across from the
tennis courts, two special agents found their man. They gave George
Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one - ever - what
it said. The letter, which was on FBI stationery, directed Christian
to surrender "all subscriber information, billing information and
access logs of any person" who used a specific computer at a library
branch some distance away.

Christian, who manages digital records for three dozen Connecticut
libraries, said in an affidavit that he configures his system for
privacy. But the vendors of the software Christian operates said
their databases can reveal the websites that visitors browse, the e-
mail accounts they open and the books they borrow. Christian refused
to hand over the records, and his employer, Library Connection, Inc.,
filed suit for the right to protest the FBI demand in public.

This case affords a rare glimpse of an exponentially growing practice
of domestic surveillance under some of the heinous provisions of the
USA Patriot Act. National security letters, such as the one issued to
George Christian, were created in the 1970s for espionage and
terrorism investigations.

They were originally intended as narrow exceptions in consumer
privacy law, enabling the FBI to review in secret the customer
records of suspected foreign agents. However, the Patriot Act and
Bush Administration guidelines for its use have transformed those
letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U. S. residents and
visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.

"The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a
year," writes Barton Gellman in The Washington Post, "a hundredfold
increase over historic norms. The letters - one of which can be used
to sweep up the records of many people - are extending the bureau's
reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and
financial lives of ordinary Americans." Indeed, according to a
previously classified document released recently, the FBI has
conducted clandestine surveillance on some U. S. residents for as
long as 18 months at a time without proper paperwork or oversight.

Thus, the government does not limit its attacks to actual terrorists.
Ordinary American citizens are the focus as well. Take the case of
Selena Jarvis, a social studies teacher at Currituck County High
School in North Carolina. She assigned her senior civics and
economics class to use photographs to illustrate their freedoms as
found in the Bill of Rights. One student photographed a picture of
George W. Bush next to his own hand in a thumbs-down position as a
way to express his freedom to dissent.

However, while developing the student's photographs, a Wal-Mart photo
department employee, in obvious need of some education on the Bill of
Rights, called the police. They then contacted the Secret Service.
But rather than dismissing the case, the Secret Service decided to
investigate the matter. The agents interrogated the student and
questioned Jarvis. While questioning Jarvis, an agent asked her if
she thought the photo was suspicious. Dumbfounded, Jarvis responded,
"No, it was a Bill of Rights project!" Jarvis was startled at the
claim that the student was a terrorist and called the whole thing
"ridiculous."

Why would the Secret Service, which is not run by incompetent
individuals, take the time to investigate a high school student and
his class project? It is safe to assume that the Secret Service knew
the student was not a terrorist and wanted to make an example of him
for others who might be bold enough to use their right to dissent.
After the ordeal, Selena Jarvis commented, "I blame Wal-Mart more
than anybody. I was really disgusted with them. But everyone was
using poor judgment, from Wal-Mart up to the Secret Service."

Unfortunately, this is not the only "ridiculous" case of individuals
tattling on their neighbors. For example, Barry Reingold was
questioned by the FBI after he criticized the war in Afghanistan in
the locker room of his local health club. In another case, Derek
Kjar's neighbors reported his bumper sticker of George Bush wearing a
crown with the heading "King George - off with his head." As a
result, Kjar was interrogated by the Secret Service. In both
instances, close contacts of the two men reported them to the
authorities.

And as if things weren't bad enough, the military is now spying on
us. A secret database obtained by NBC News recently reveals that the
Department of Defense and the Pentagon have also increased
intelligence collection on American citizens inside the country. This
includes monitoring peaceful anti-war groups and protests and
involves video taping, monitoring the Internet and collecting the
name of anyone critical of the government.

There is even a toll-free number for anyone interested to report on
fellow Americans to the military. And the spying even includes
religious groups such as those attending the Quaker Meeting House in
Lake Worth, Florida. "On a domestic level, this is unprecedented,"
says NBC News analyst William Arkin. "I think it is the beginning of
enormous problems and enormous mischief for the military."

Since 9/11, it has been consistently drummed into our heads by the
government, with all its alerts and multi-colored alarms, that
terrorists are everywhere and even your next door neighbor could be
one. As a result, the government's promotion of fear and paranoia has
moved us closer to an Orwellian state where citizens inform on one
another. The result is that the citizens often do the job of the
police and no longer use good judgment before reporting their
neighbors. In the process, such informing citizens are doing away
with their own freedoms.

These tactics are not new to the world. The Nazi and Soviet secret
police of former regimes were infamous for such tactics. The police
controlled the people through fear, and the subsequent result was a
totalitarian state. They turned their respective population into a
society of informers.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning author and
former Soviet dissident, once spoke of how fear destroys the will of
the people. He noted how the Russian people would kneel inside the
doors of their apartments, pressing their ears to listen when the KGB
came at midnight to arrest a neighbor who had spoken out against the
government. Solzhenitsyn said that if all the people would have come
out and driven off the secret police, sheer public opinion would have
demoralized the effort to subdue a free people. But fear and paranoia
kept the people at bay.

We should not be afraid of government agents, whether employed by the
FBI, the military or local authorities. Their salaries are paid
through our tax dollars. Supposedly, they are our servants. Truly
free societies do not function that way. Our fear of government
servants is a clear indication of ominous things to come. If citizens
are too frightened to use their freedoms, then those freedoms will
become extinct. And the darkness will be complete.


The irony of the once raucous voice of the Soviet bloc becoming a chastiser of American neglect of basic freedoms is awful, indeed. Lo, how the mighty are fallen.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 10:49 AM

I think he saw what he says he saw; if you read the original article you will find he has been out of synch with the power-play politicos at the center of Bush's web for a number of years.

As for apostasy, I think Bush qualifies on a much higher order.


A


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