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    06 August 2005

    Submarine saved - Media furious

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    Sensing 24-hour news story, the Media gave a collective grumble after Russian Mini-sub is freed and crew saved.

    05 August 2005

    Bush Radio Address

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    You know Iraq is bad when the president doesn't mention it once in his weekly radio address.

    Friday cat blogging

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    Mouza finds an evildoer, kills it (eats it), and saves all fredom loving bloggers eveywhere...
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    in this case it was an ant.

    The struggle at home begins...

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    Pro or Anti-war; Humans are crazy, crazy enough to kill.
    PRESTONSBURG, Ky. -- A disagreement over the war in Iraq between two friends ended with the fatal shooting of one of the men.

    Prosecutors and Kentucky State Police determined that Douglas Moore, 65, of Martin, acted in self-defense. Police did not arrest Moore after the shooting at the Bull Creek Trade Center near Prestonsburg Thursday morning.

    The victim, Harold W. Smith, 56, of Manchester, and Moore were friends who each had booths at the center. Smith was shot once in the chest and died at the scene.

    They began arguing over the war, said Floyd County Coroner Roger Nelson. "I think Doug was supporting it, and this other guy was against it," he said.

    Police said the argument escalated into a fight, and Smith drew a small pistol from his pocket, threatening to kill Moore. Witnesses said Moore pulled a .38-caliber pistol from his pocket and shot Smith once in the chest.

    Question: Why did they both have guns

    Friday Funnies

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    Notice the red button.

    Courtesy of Bennelli Brothers

    Pat Robertson and now Reverend Fred Phelps; both a disgrace

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    It started here when Robertson prayed for more vacancies in the Supreme Court; one can only assume he wants Rehnquist to become very sick or another younger justice to be injured or killed. Now, fellow right-winger, Reverend Fred Phelps
    A Baptist group from Kansas has announced it plans to picket Friday at the funeral of Spc. Adam Harting.

    Portage, Ind., police learned about the group's intentions by fax Wednesday.

    "We're doing everything here to ensure the safety of everyone involved," Chief Cliff Burch said.

    The Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, is not specifically targeting Harting, who died in Iraq last week.

    It pickets at military funerals all over the country, saying God is killing U.S. soldiers as punishment to America for allowing homosexuality.

    The group also has announced plans to picket at military funerals in Minnesota, Alabama and California this week.

    It protested in Valparaiso, Chesterton and Gary in 1998 after a gay-awareness poster was allowed in a Chesterton classroom.

    Army Sgt. Bob Jaso, military liaison to the Harting family, said the group tries to provoke physical confrontation with mourners.

    You know Rev. Phelps, while your logic as to why our men and women are dying is, IMHO, completely asinine; you may state you beliefs in protest at the appropriate place and time. That said, the funeral of one or any of Americas finest is not the place for your shenanigans.

    The actions of Phelps and his acolytes is reprehensible. They invite the senseless death of Americans (subscription needed) in this bloody and pointless war.
    In an interview broadcast Thursday afternoon on the "Ralph Bailey Show" on News/Talk 1560 KNZR, Westboro pastor Fred Phelps openly celebrated the deaths of American soldiers serving in Iraq.

    "You're a happy man today. Four more Americans died and you're a happy man. You're pleased about that," Bailey said to Phelps.

    "Absolutely, and you ought to be," Phelps said. "Look, the veracity of God's involved here. He hasn't done near the damage to this nation that he ought to do and that he will do. This nation's got to repent."

    But ministers and clergy from mainstream denominations condemned Phelps' message Thursday.

    Disgrace, period.

    04 August 2005

    Numbers to ponder...

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    49 - The number of vacations that Bush has taken since he was inaugurated (appointed) in 2001

    5 - The number of weeks that Bush will spend on vacation, starting yesterday. It is the longest presidential vacation in at least 36 years.

    319 - August 3, 2005 was the 319th day Bush has spent on vacation since his 2001 inauguration (appointment).

    20% - The percentage of Bush's presidency that he has spent on vacation

    1,822 - The total number of U.S. troops who have died in Bush's illegal Iraq war, as of August 3, 2005 including 23 in the past 3 days and 43 in the past 10.

    68 - The average number of insurgent attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq; it was 47 this time last year.

    O'Reilly - "Things are really bad in Iraq"

    Bush's response: "Make no mistake about it," Bush said. "We are at war."

    We're dealing with geniuses here.

    59% - Percentage of Americans who think the war on Iraq was not worth it.

    46% - Percentage of people who have realized that Iraq had nothing to do with the War on Terrorism (Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism).

    3,250 sq. km, 220 m thick - Dimensions of the Antarctic ice shelf that fell into the ocean due to Global Warming.

    100% - The percentage of Americans who, when asked, said that the President will oppose the slogan change from the War on Terrorism (WoT) to the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism (GSAVE) because there is no way he'll be able to remember it.

    52% - Overall percentage of retards voting in OH - 2.

    Bolton's first day at the UN

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    He voted on a resolution calling on Iran and Syria to take measures to stop the infiltration of Jihadists into Iraq from across their boarders; of course it passed unanimously.
    Bolton urged all nations "to meet their obligations to stop the flow of terrorist financing and weapons, and particularly on Iran and Syria."

    "We think this is very important, obviously, to help bring stability and security to the people of Iraq and to permit the constitutional process to go forward. It's the highest priority for the people and government of Iraq, and for the United States as well," he said, speaking after the council vote.

    I have no problem with this language, but why just Iran and Syria? Saudi Arabia is the leading contributor to the jihadist front in Iraq. Sure they may cross into Iraq via Syria due to the river there but bushCo. has always given the Saudis a pass when it comes to Iraq; this is doing a disservice to our men and women on the ground there by avoiding the obvious in favor of a questionable friendship based on oil.

    "It seems like Jewish terror against Arabs"

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    Let's hope this isn't the beginning of something far worse
    An Israeli gunman dressed as a soldier has been lynched by a mob after killing at least three people and wounding four on a bus in an Israeli Arab town.

    According to Israeli media, he opened fire after an argument with passengers as they travelled between the Galilee town of Shfaram and the city of Haifa.

    Police evacuated the bus after the shooting and tried to protect the man but he was stoned by the crowd.

    Israeli security sources described the incident as a "Jewish terror attack".

    Some of the injured passengers are reported to be in a critical condition.

    According to police, the gunman was dressed in an Israeli uniform and eyewitnesses quoted on Israeli television described him as bearded and wearing a Jewish skull cap.

    The gunman was an Israeli army deserter with links to right-wing extremists, said security sources quoted by Israel's Haaretz newspaper.

    "It seems like Jewish terror against Arabs," police spokesman Avi Zelba told Reuters news agency.

    Sometime people post comments here

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    Some are good some are bad. Recently I got a funny one from 'Anonymous' WRT to the post below, it reads

    What you are saying is not only untrue but absolutley [sic] idiotic. I know that your mind cannot be changed, but you would be wise to rethink your stance. The people who are leading this country in a dark direction, are secularist with no moral compass or backbone. People who refuse to stand up and fight terror. People who attack America instead of the real enemy. If you cannot define right and wrong, then who are you to say what we are doing is wrong. I, for one, am proud that we have a leader, who not only knows right from wrong, but who is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in. You can twist it and misrepresent it all you want, but in the long run, you will be on the wrong side of history.

    So, I guess there are no secularists fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, et cetera... I guess Paul Hackett's tour through Iraq hurt America; as Rush said, he is a 'staff puke'.

    But the most telling part of this little tirade is that what Pat Robertson said, hoping that more justices are eliminated so their little cabal of conservatives (who now do not have the faith of the country behind them) can rape civil liberties further, was never mentioned. Instead the reader shows total ignorance and symptoms of brain washing that you expect from a large number of Americans who do not have the capacity to think critically. Instead of standing beside Pat Robertson's words the reader began talking about terror. What the F does that have to do with anything written below? And need I remind the reader that religion, which I suspect is their 'moral compass', has killed more humans in the history of man than anything else; and no it is not mostly Islam but all religions and a extremely large chunk of this senseless slaughter was a result of Christianity and Catholicism. Furthermore, the next leading killer is nationalism which this reader expresses by saying s/he is proud of this leader (and I hope s/he meant Bush because if s/he meant Robertson then this reader is a lost cause and a threat to freedom worldwide).

    Finally, I defy the reader to point to something in that post that is untrue, I made no statement other than that I hope God has mercy on Mr. Robertson. Continuing, the reader says I told him what was right and what was wrong. Again where did I say anything that was done was wrong? I said Robertson is a disgrace and I stand by it. He desires freedoms to be ripped away from Americans, if the reader stands with him on this then the reader can no longer claim to be acting in the interests of America as set up by our founding fathers because these views go directly against the grain of our republic. The reader, in this case, is on the wrong side of history.

    I can only hope that the reader will return to 1) apologize, or 2) try again. But that will not happen because I suspect s/he is a troll that scourers the web, tries to type a cognitive thought, and then posts it under a cloak of anonymity. In short the reader is a coward. Otherwise perhaps s/he would go and fight in Iraq in their leader’s illegal and immoral war.

    03 August 2005

    Pat Robertson is a disgrace

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    I got this email from America United (for the separation of Church an State)
    TV preacher Pat Robertson is so eager to see the Supreme Court overturn decisions upholding civil liberties that he's praying for God to create more vacancies on the high court.

    Speaking on his nationally broadcast '“700 Club' program Aug. 2, Robertson blasted the court for "“egregious decisions that have taken us far away from the Constitution." Among the rulings under fire from Robertson were Roe v. Wade, rulings on the "the so-called separation of church and state," decisions protecting the civil rights of gay people and the ruling barring the death penalty for juveniles.

    The Virginia Beach-based televangelist later launched into a prayer asking God for swift confirmation of Bush nominee John G. Roberts and more vacancies on the high court so that new justice can "“dramatically change" judicial policy.

    Real nice Pat. Here at AE we don't pray, but I'm hopeing your God has mercy on your soul.


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    Joe Conason
    Among the most durable stereotypes of American political culture is that military officers secretly yearn for authoritarian rule and blind brutality, especially if they happen to be from the South, while civilian officials and intellectuals supposedly cherish our constitutional order.

    Those old liberal clich's have been proven false in the struggle to curtail the lawless misconduct symbolized by Abu Ghraib. We now know that the most reliable defenders of the Constitution are lifetime military officers—bolstered by a trio of Southern conservative Senators who also happen to be decorated veterans.

    They have been pushing back against the neoconservative academics and experts whose advice led to torture scandals and the abrogation of civil and human rights.

    In an effort to restore the honor of the armed forces and prevent future abuses, Senators John McCain of Arizona, John Warner of Virginia and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have proposed amendments to the Defense Authorization Act that would institute standards for the treatment of military detainees. Having loyally muted their criticism during last year's election season, the three Republican Senators are again voicing demands for candor and reform.

    I don't agree totally with Graham but he's one in a million.
    The White House responded with a blatant threat conveyed by Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather than accept sane restraints on future abuse, the President would veto the annual defense bill. With the administration's credibility badly diminished, the Senate Republican leadership postponed a vote on the defense bill until September.

    Meanwhile, however, the dispute between the Republican rebels and the White House has revealed similar dissension within the military. Those fissures were exposed when Senator Graham released declassified memoranda written by top Judge Advocate General officers. Pried loose from the Pentagon by the Senator, those memos show that in early 2003, ranking J.A.G. officers from every service branch tried to warn against interrogation methods that violate the human and legal rights of prisoners in U.S. military detention facilities.

    This admin. is an embarrassment.

    Dems need to move on this – New foreign policy poll

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    The subject of our foreign policy under the Bush administration is one that troubles me; it can be given credit for my interest in politics, my opposition to Republicans, and the reason I started blogging. The simple fact is that our policies are dangerously flawed, they damage our reputation and aid in the recruitment of terrorists; our number one threat.

    That said, this is troubling, but an opportunity.
    "So far, public thinking is a disquieting mix of high anxiety, growing uncertainty about current policy and virtually no consensus about what else the country might do"

    For some time it was assumed that the average American either didn't care about foreign policy or didn't understand it. Even our MSM can't develop a grasp of how problematic our policies are. For those in freeperville or in Faux land the perspective is that our foreign policy is productive and making great strides towards worldwide utopia. They think we are winning the WOT or GSAVE or whatever you call it (on another note the WH can't seem to figure out which or what the slogan is).

    However, the ignorance of the masses has broken,
    Some 63 percent of Americans say the charge that the United States has been too quick to go to war is justified and three-quarters worry about losing trust abroad and about the growing hatred of the United States in Muslim countries, it said.

    Consider me shocked! I can't even get into a coherent debate about this subject in SC, but if this study is close to reality we have a problem in the WH and an issue to press in '06 and '08.

    But what is our answer? Sherle Schwenninger wrote a great article for the nation called "Reconnecting to the World: A Foreign Policy for the Democrats" (may be behind a password) which is a start, I've written about our approach to the WOT (GSAVE) on dKos here. But with this new concern in the American public, now may be the time to start pushing for a counter plan to propose the people before the '06 midterms and, IMO, we must have a full blown alternative for the voters in '08. I think we should be discussing this now as the performance of Paul Hackett in a very conservative district (where I'm from) of Ohio indicates the moderates are looking to the left for answers while the Bush Admin. struggles to pick slogans, let alone fight our foes.

    While the study made a point not to blame the Admin.
    Dan Yankelovich, Public Agenda's chairman, declined to describe the results as a reprimand of the Bush administration but said "there is definitely dissatisfaction ... a feeling that we're not on the right track."

    I say BS, the points that are salient are Iraq, U.S. relations with Muslim countries. Both fall right in the lap of the current Admin. Yankelovich continues by noting that Americans "are reaching a point where the public's concerns will be too strong to be ignored."


    The article ends with more trends that excite me and at the same time worry me with Bolton heading to the U.N.
    Some 64 percent of respondents said the U.S. government should put more emphasis on using diplomatic and economic methods to fight terrorism and 72 percent said that showing more respect for the views and needs of other countries would enhance U.S. security.

    Call me whatever you want, but me need to address this!!!

    02 August 2005

    Wednesday morning must read

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    Juan Cole
    One fifth of the money, which the CIA mostly turned over to Pakistani military intelligence to distribute, went to Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, a violent extremist who as a youth used to throw acid on the faces of unveiled girls in Afghanistan.

    Not content with creating a vast terrorist network to harass the Soviets, Reagan then pressured the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to match US contributions. He had earlier imposed on Fahd to give money to the Contras in Nicaragua, some of which was used to create rightwing death squads. (Reagan liked to sidestep Congress in creating private terrorist organizations for his foreign policy purposes, which he branded "freedom fighters," giving terrorists the idea that it was all right to inflict vast damage on civilians in order to achieve their goals).

    OH- 2 [UPDATE - 1015 pm]

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    [UPDATE] rumors of a recount... Recount doubtful.

    Go to Swing State Project for the final tally.

    While Hackett lost (right now it looks that way - 10 pm) tonight, the final count will be very close; consider it a shot across the bow for Ohio Republicans and the entire GOP entity. We just competed in a Repub stronghold, made the GOP drop gobs of money into what once was an easy seat, and we did it without any major help from the big guns in Washington. SI Conservative said, "Keep prayin for a moral "victory" guys." Well I don't pray but I do hope and in this case I'll take the 'moral' victory. This is bigger than you think, and you know it!

    This is the future.

    Remember the cook report (from below)
    If Schmidt's victory margin is in double digits, this tells us that there is not much of an anti-GOP wind in Ohio right now. If the margin is say six to nine points for Schmidt, then there is a wind, but certainly no hurricane. A Schmidt win of less than five points should be a very serious warning sign for Ohio Republicans that something is very, very wrong, while a Hackett victory would be a devastating blow to the Ohio GOP.

    Frist gets snubbed by the Taliban

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    ...the potential 2008 presidential candidate has angered the events' organizers by stating his support for expanded human embryonic stem cell research. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was invited to speak at the Aug. 14 rally.

    Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said Tuesday on the group's Web site that Frist's recently announced stem cell stance "reflects an unwise and unnecessary choice both for public policy and for respecting the dignity of human life." Perkins also has been annoyed with Frist for allowing a compromise on
    President Bush's judicial nominations.

    Someones thinking about a run in '08 and in this case, running for the left.

    Ohio GOP is in a bad way

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    I lived in SW Ohio for a large part of my life, and can tell you; they love their Repubs there. But the election today between Paul Hackett; Iraq vet and Dem candidate, and Jean Schmidt; crazy bitch,

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    has turned that region if not the whole state upside down. Look at recent election results

    OH-2 Past Election Results:
    2004: 72% R to 28% D
    2002: 74% R to 26% D
    2000: 74% R to 23% D
    1998: 76% R to 24% D

    So if this trend continues Hackett will loose by, at least, over 30%. But some are expecting a much closer race
    If Schmidt's victory margin is in double digits, this tells us that there is not much of an anti-GOP wind in Ohio right now. If the margin is say six to nine points for Schmidt, then there is a wind, but certainly no hurricane. A Schmidt win of less than five points should be a very serious warning sign for Ohio Republicans that something is very, very wrong, while a Hackett victory would be a devastating blow to the Ohio GOP.

    WRONG! If Hackett gets anywhere within 10% to 15% of the GOP, it is a huge wind; hurricane force maybe even a category 4!

    Read more here, and good luck Paul!

    But win or lose, grassroots has made their point; we'll fight the GOP anywhere and on our terms, and we don't need Washington cabal!

    Tropical activity, why is it so active?

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    The answer is it is not. We are returning to normal, recent history has been inactive due to el Niño. Dr . Jeff Masters addresses our season so far and the variables that leed to major hurricanes and active seasons (he has pics!).
    Why has this hurricane season been so active? Part of the reason lies in a decades-long natural cycle in hurricane activity that in 1995 switched to a high-hurricane activity mode. Hurricane activity has been above normal since 1995, and will likely continue to be for the rest of this decade and the next.

    Additionally, there are six key ingredients are necessary for tropical cyclone formation (you can read about these in full detail in the Tropical Cyclone FAQ. We'll focus on three of them in particular that have been highly conducive to tropical cyclone formation during this remarkable hurricane season of 2005.

    Most probably don't know this but I'm a physics major with a concentration in meteorology; minor in poly sci. Why poly sci? Because bushCo. made me mad enough to actually care about politics where as before I was clueless. The handling of 11 September 2001 was enough. No action, allowing UBL to get away. The war on Iraq didn't help either, I was one of the only people in Charleston that felt that WMDs were imaginary. Being correct is bittersweet, too many have died; on both sides.

    01 August 2005

    You have to read this

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    TocqueDeville over at dKos has an excellent piece re. the Plame leak. There are all types of speculation surrounding this case but this report is a very well researched and written paper that puts Condoleezza Rice at the center of this story. (Time will report next Monday that more evidence has surfaced indicating that White House official Karl Rove and others learned about Plame from within the Administration rather than from media contacts, contrary to sworn testimony). The author of this report is Roger Morris (with help from Professor Gary Leupp of Tufts University). Morris was a Senior Staff member on the National Security Council under both President Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. He resigned from that position in protest to Nixon's invasion of Cambodia. Tocquedeville gained permission to post this report at dKos from the Green Institute; I'll respect their copyright by simply linking to the diary here.

    It's long so take a break and enjoy.

    Is our purpose in Iraq now to protect the Sunni's?

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    Over at Col. Pat Lang's blog an old friend and colleague, Dale Davis, brings up some good points, or at least good points of view to ponder. He first makes the important distinction between the Sunni and the Jihadi; one the your typical righty and the MSM never hit on (due to the ignorance of average Americans [IMO]). But then he makes to point that the two entities, while united now, have disparate goals that will surface in the future.

    -The Jihadists are idealists who want to purify and unify the Islamic world beginning with Iraq.

    -The motivations of the Sunni are more self-centered, simply seeking to regain their status as the dominant sect and short of that guarantee the best deal possible in any compromise.

    So the Jihadists want us out, while the Sunni's need us to stay; else they get overrun by the Shi'a majority primed with newfound freedom and power.

    So do the Sunni's not realize that they need the US to stay in Iraq and support their wants of more representation and authority in the new government? Or is there a united insurgency that will fight the coalition and eventually the Shi'a and Kurdish militias and possibly Iran, to the last man?

    Read the entire post here.

    X-posted at dKos.

    John Bolton

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    Basically we did all we could against Bolton, but we knew Bush could (and we knew the arrogant leader would) recess appoint him. So making Bush do this is a bitter sweet victory for me and progressives. Not having the support of 1) the country, and 2) the Senate makes Bolton a nobody at the UN. Plus, in doing this Bush opens himself up for more criticism and even lower poll numbers. As one independent commented on an earlier post here at American Entropy
    Mike said...
    Bush baffles me. He knows that he's a lame duck but he seems to have forgotten that someone from the GOP will have to run in 2008 (and that a third of the Senate and all of the House will have to run next year.) Karl Rove may be proud of the "loyal conservative base" but it makes up less than 25% of the electorate and probably gave Bush less than half of his votes in 2004. I'm one of those independent voters up for grabs, and I'm not happy.

    Markos has a good look at the situation at the UN WRT Bolton
    Bush claims that Bolton will be a force for reform at the UN. Problem is, Bolton has been foisted upon the UN without any consensus in the Senate. He has only a shred of legal authority to the post, and no moral authority. His tenure is necessarily limited to a year.

    So how can he effectively push for reform when the UN bureaucracy can simply run out the clock on him? And how will such delaying tactics blow back on the UN when Bolton couldn't even garner the support of his own countrymen in the U.S. Senate? And how could anyone take Bolton seriously given the number and severity of the allegations against him?

    Bush thinks he's flashing the middle finger at Democrats, but in reality he's setting back his own cause for reform at the United Nations. As for U.S. diplomacy, it's yet another setback. But this administration has done nothing but give F.U.s to the world community for five years running. This is simply par for the course.


    Media bias in Iraq

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    Juan Cole finds this priceless quote
    "But I regard the charge that journalists in Iraq are skewing their reporting and focusing 'too much on bad news' as ill-informed, and a great insult to the Iraqi people. Many of those who criticize Iraq coverage seem to be suggesting that the media should somehow play down or ignore the fact that so many Iraqi civilians are being killed. It's an attitude that implies that Iraqis are not entitled to the level of safety and security enjoyed by people elsewhere in the world.

    Guantanamo trials rigged

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    I'm shocked
    Leaked emails from two former prosecutors claim the military commissions set up to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay are rigged, fraudulent, and thin on evidence against the accused.

    Land of the free... Yada yada yada.


    31 July 2005

    Time - Rove learned of Plame's name from w/in the Admin.

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    This is from the Aug. 8th issue of Time.
    ...sources tell TIME some White House officials may have learned she was married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson weeks before his July 6, 2003, Op-Ed piece criticizing the Administration. That prospect increases the chances that White House official Karl Rove and others learned about Plame from within the Administration rather than from media contacts. Rove has told investigators he believes he learned of her directly or indirectly from reporters, according to his lawyer.


    Discuss here.


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