Archive for July 25th, 2007

From KIRO  – Interesting…there’s nothing from any other media about this… 

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee voted contempt of Congress citations Wednesday against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and President George W. Bush’s former legal counselor, Harriet Miers. The 22-17 vote, which would sanction for pair for failure to comply with subpoenas on the firings of several federal prosecutors, advanced the citation to the full House. A senior Democratic official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the House itself likely would take up the citations after Congress’ August recess. The official declined to speak on the record because no date had been set for the House vote. The two refused to honor subpoenas the committee issued as part of its investigation of the firing of eight federal prosecutors. Miers refused to appear before the committee and Bolten refused to turn over documents the panel wants. Bush has asserted executive privilege in the matter, saying current and former aides have immunity from the subpoenas.

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From Rosie O’Donnell’s Blog

Lauren writes:

that protest thing looks fake.. you’d think cnn would report it if it were true.

Wow – you give information to the New York Times – and then cite The New York Times as a source to validate your information! What a Trick!

By Jim Kirwan

In a recent American film there is a bit of dialogue that explains the very difficult position in which Americans now find themselves. The film was “Shooter” and the motivating proposition embedded in the drama is one that we all must begin to think about.

“. . .the truth is that nothing, no matter how horrible, ever really happens without the approval of the government-over there and over here. The problem isn’t in the doing-it’s the people in power having to admit that they ‘knew’!

The prisoners are tortured at Abu Ghraib and only the underlings go to jail. Their bosses knew: we know their bosses knew but you don’t say it. There is no ‘head’ to cut off. If one of them betrays the principals of money and power then the others betray him. What it is – is human weakness and you can’t kill that with a gun.”

Then a different character later adds . . . “There are no sides; there are no Sunni’s no Shia’s; no democrats or republicans: There is only the “haves” and the “have nots”! This is a country where the Secretary of Defense can go on TV and tell the American public that this is about ‘freedom’ ­ it’s not about oil. And nobody questions him-cause they don’t want to hear any answer because it’s all a lie. There’s only so many places at the table: Now are you on the inside or you on the out! . . . This is the world we live in!”

The connection between this portion of ‘Shooter’ and the world at this moment is what happened on July 17, 2007, the day that the Bushwhacker added yet another Executive Order to his personal list of crimes against this nation and its people. “Bush Outlaws War Protest – Citizens Face Full Asset Seizure”

“In one of his most chilling moves to date against his own citizens, the American War Leader has issued a sweeping order this week outlawing all forms of protest against the Iraq war.

President Bush enacted into US law an ‘Executive Order’ on July 17th titled “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq”, and which says:

“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, “I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004.” (1)

This proclamation represents the height of US governmental hypocrisy ­ as the only reason our troops are in Iraq now and our forces have remained there during all the years since 1991, was and is to smash that nation back into the stone-age. And all of this comes from the orders issued by the US commander-in-chief: the same George W. Bush who signed this new Executive Order.

This ‘act’ is supposedly meant to bolster and rehabilitate a nation that we are spending over $12 billion a month on, to simply annihilate the viability of that state. Iraq is the same nation that this Commander-in-Chief has brutalized by denying water and electricity to them, while turning ordinary daily life in Iraq into a gauntlet of privation; compounded by murder, kidnapping and random military actions of dubious military value. These ‘actions’ can have huge humanitarian costs to those still trying to live in their own country. Four million have fled into exile, millions more have died, and more have been maimed starved or imprisoned. And just today Bush and his compliant ‘generals’ want to grant themselves yet another year of this nightmare to continue to keep the profits flowing into the coffers of his friends and directors.

Now suddenly it is Americans who must not speak of these things, or ask any questions about why our government did this, or why we are continuing to do this to a country that did not attack us? “President Bush’s newest executive order states that any American citizen who threatens the peace and stability of Iraq and undermines efforts to promote reconstruction and reform there may have all their property and interests seized by the Treasury department without warning.”

In fact the people who should be arrested and held for what is happening in Iraq are the upper echelon of the entire Bush Administration: for it is they who have relentlessly attacked that nation, they who have unjustifiably arrested millions of people, ninety-five percent of whom it turns out did nothing wrong except to be Iraqi citizens.

The sheer gall of these American imposters would now have the world believe that it is they who care about Iraq, and they who have come to defend the reconstruction and reconstitution of that place where we have tried and failed so very many times since GW announced “Mission Accomplished” so very long ago-back when the American numbers there still lingered near 120 dead.

Add to that sad military record of total incompetence, from the generals, the politicians and our huge cadre of ‘yes-men”: that has only managed to produce this virtually constant drumbeat of “Stay the Course” that calls for total and unconditional “victory” over an idea, and not an army. By any measure this “war” has been a colossal failure, and can not end in anything but defeat for this country, for the region, and for the world in general. But this is only a “Defeat,” for humanity and for the peoples of the world: For those who hold the secret contracts, and those who know what happened to the $2.3 trillion that Rumsfeld told us has “gone missing” from the Pentagon-this farce has been a bonanza of illicit and illegal war-profiteering that has never before been equaled. For them, every day this war continues is a victory for them! Oil was only $18 a barrel when the US invaded Iraq, so who profited the most from the obscenities of this war?

Had we asked about the character of this recycled male cheerleader, this self-deluded person with an additive and corrosive personality, someone incapable of compassion, reason or common sense-then we might have investigated his status as something more dangerous than an AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. Had the media done its job before the elections of 2000, then Bush-the-Lesser would never have made it to the run-offs of that star-crossed “election.” But we were not vigilant then so that’s history now.

What is missing from recent history is the following chilling bit of information. Written, directed, and produced by Peter Watkins for the BBC’s The Wednesday Play strand, its depiction of the impact of Soviet nuclear attack on Britain caused dismay within the BBC and in government and was banned for 20 years. It was scheduled for transmission on August 6, 1966 (the anniversary of the Hiroshima attack) but was not transmitted until 1985, the corporation publicly stating that “the effect of the film has been judged by the BBC to be too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting”. It was widely viewed before its BBC debut on video and in art-house cinemas, often using prints provided by Watkins. The film won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 1966. (2)

This information is critical to anyone’s understanding – if we are to correctly measure our responses to the idea of surviving a nuclear exchange. This is especially true of anyone seeking to comprehend the importance of the current trend toward “Imperial Assumptions.” Yet this is information that no government wants its public to become aware of as this information could severely alter how many people might begin to see international affairs and the real need for actual political dialogue over mutually assured destruction. We no longer live in a John Wayne world, and the wars we “fight” are no longer wars of defense, because as the whole world knows the USA is conducting a continuing massive offensive against the entire region of the Middle East: And if Cheney gets his way, we won’t quit until we’ve widened this war into several other nations in that region. That would create the next World War, and nothing would ever be the same for Americans again.

In light of these oddly yet severely connected two things-the latest Executive Decree from the worst war-time leader the world has ever seen, and from the hidden truths of the reality in nuclear death-perhaps it’s time that the global-public begins to understand just how serious this current situation really is.

Of the 535 people in the congress today only about 43 have any integrity, all the rest have already sold their votes and what might remain of their consciousness to the enemies of what was once the USA.

The opening quote in this article briefly outlines what we are all up against. True they are just lines from a film, yet equally true is that they can become hauntingly real, once you realize what is being done to all of us, in the name of the corrupted leaders in many countries: Countries where their greed and the arrogance of their passion for that which is not theirs remains uppermost.  Only a serious public outcry from the majority of people here could alter the current reluctance of congress to act. And yet ‘act’ we must or that cryptic phrase:

“This is the world we live in!” could easily become our national epitaph.

kirwanstudios@sbcglobal.net

http://www.kirwanesque.com/politics/articles/articles.htm

1) Bush Outlaws War Protest – Citizens Face Full Asset Seizure

http://www.rense.com/general77/asset.htm (and https://saywhen.wordpress.com/2007/07/19/executive-order-july-17-2007/)

2) The War Game

http://heyokamagazine.com/HEYOKA.9.WARGAME.1.htm

Yesterday, this comment made in response to our post on the “CNN/YouTube Debates” –

Aren’t you the least bit concerned that the defining issue of our time, that being the War on Terror, was not discussed? This is shocking.

I am contacting political bloggers around the country since I am one as well. I hope this email is not an intrusion.

Anyway, I would like it very much if you would go to http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/21020
and vote for me for best political blog and best overall blog as well, IF AND ONLY IF you feel my blog is of a high quality. I really think I have a legitimate shot at winning. If you are open to spreading the word, that would be cool as well.

Thank you.

eric aka www.blacktygrrrr.wordpress.com

P.S. If you are open to doing a link exchange, I get some pretty decent traffic.

We checked out his blog and posted this response –

Hi Eric – Well, as distinguished as the company is, we will have to decline your invitation to add your site to our blogroll. We sincerely believe that your readers would not like what we have to say – nor would our readers be interested in hearing more of the party line from you. They would probably think we’d hit the crazy juice to be listing a conservative blog of this nature.

Thanks for the offer – good luck in your quest for Best Political Blogger – and we wish you peace in the midst of all of this chaos.

Much to our surprise, he responded in an e-mail – and we began a conversation. We are posting it here for you to read because we think we’ve found something of a rarity these days – a Conservative who would like to discuss politics and not call us names! We issued a CHALLENGE a while back – and we may have found a taker. (Our comments will be in blue, his in red – could we really pass that up?!) We have removed some personal references for privacy reasons.

The irony is all of this is that the reason I approached you was for the sake of constructive dialogue.

Given how incredibly polite both you and I seem to be, I was hoping that it could bridge the gap between your readers and mine.

Perhaps one day in the future, we can all debate across the dinner table in a friendly manner. Given today’s charged times, you might be right that now is not the time.

God Bless always,

eric

Hi Eric –

Thanks for your note! It certainly isn’t for the lack of a desire for dialogue – we, in fact have asked Bush supporters to give us information and show us the basis for their support of what we see as criminal activity. The nicest of the responses have included calling us “ignoramuses” (misspelled each time) and the easier-to-spell “idiots.”

We understand this is a charged situation – and I really would welcome what you have to say. But our readers are a bit shell-shocked by the verbal attacks of those who align themselves with Anne Coulter and Bill O’Reilly. Even though we are in the majority these days, there are those who still believe vile e-mails and comments are the way to change our minds. It may be silly, but I feel a sense of obligation to our readers not to knowingly open them up to that kind of attack. If we exchanged links, I’m afraid that would be like offering ourselves up for sacrifice. (I know – a tad overly dramatic – but that’s how it’s feeling today.)

I look forward to that dinner, Eric – and the sooner the better. That will mean that this nightmare has come to an end and we can, again, all be civil to each other.

Again – if we post something that is of interest to you, please feel free to comment. I will also keep your offer of a link exchange in mind. Who knows – stranger things have happened. (wink, wink)

Blessings to you as well!

Both sides have an obligation to keep their wingnuts in check.

I offer full throttled defenses of President Bush, and the Iraq War. I will go to my grave believing it was the right thing to do. All I ask of the left is that they respect that my conclusions are based on deeply held principles.

As for you being on the left, I will never question your patriotism. Your opposition to the war is probably based on deeply held principles as well.

Where I draw the line is when people on the left compare Bush to Hitler. That is antisemitism, and I am the son of a Holocaust survivor who knows a thing or two about the real Hitler.

So in the same way people on the right should not refer to pro-choice people as “baby killers,” I wish I could eat a burger without a vegan calling me a murderer.

The good news is most people are not extremists. The bad news is that they get drowned out by the few who are, but speak louder.

Anyway, this may seem like a bizarre request, but if you decide to lose your mind and vote for me at the bloggers choice awards, I am at http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/21020

I won’t tell anyone you did.

eric

P.S. While people can change their minds, even about the war, I am suspicious of election year conversions. Some democrats running for President are engaged in pure naked political calculation, rather than taking a clear stand. Voters are not stupid. They can see through such cynical maneuvers.

 

I think we are in agreement about one thing – I have absolutely no problem with those of you who have reached your conclusions based upon what you feel to be thorough research. In fact, I welcome the interaction, as do most of our readers. A knee-jerk reaction isn’t of benefit on either side!

I will tell you something that may brighten your day – most of our readers are just as tired of the Democrats as they are the Republicans! When we say we’ve had enough, we’re done with the lot! If you watched the “debates” last night, I’m sure you will agree with me that it was the same-old-same-old. Election year conversions are, from my perspective, the same as foxhole Christianity – all just “Let’s make a deal!”

Here’s one of the things that bothers me about “modern” elections – I’m from a very well-known political family (Republican, as a matter of fact) and was told years ago by my uncle that the person who should be President never will be. The compromise of integrity that comes with the process of advancement in politics would kill whatever spark there was that made him/her the perfect leader.

We appreciate your views and apologize for the “wingnuts” that may be associated with “the Left.” We have disallowed our share of crazy comments that go beyond the pale – even for us! And I will say that I of well-respected journalists who have likened Bush to Hitler. I have taken their references to mean the take-over and power grab that we see happening in the Administration. The people I personally know who have made those remarks would cringe at the thought that they had been taken to be anti-Semitic and were offensive to Holocaust Survivors and their families. I understand your sensitivity.

There will always be those who believe they are the ones with the “right” opinion – my hope is that the number decreases, on both sides!

I have enjoyed/am enjoying our conversation. I will consider your request. With your permission, I may also post our dialogue on my blog to show our readers that there can be a civil discussion between those with such divergent views.

L. G.

http://blacktygrrrr.wordpress.com/2007/05/18/my-red-white-and-liberal-friend/You might like this.

eric

——————-

I was thinking of reposting our dialogue as well, and if you really want to increase traffic, we should interview each other. Each one has the right to ask the other 20 hard hitting questions.

It could be fun.

As I said, I believe dialogue is healthy. Lincoln vs Douglas, Kennedy vs Nixon, etc.

If you want to ask me 20 questions, I will answer them, and respond in kind.

As for me, I am a conservative in the tradition of Edmund Burke, John Locke, Ronald Reagan, Charles Krauthammer, and John Podhoretz.

eric

 

I think the interview would be great! I think, though, that I’ll allow our readers to offer questions as well. That way, it’s not just my ideology that gets represented – we should pass on the YouTube theatrics, however.

P.S. – The reference to Kennedy/Nixon made me laugh! I was watching the debates last night…and recounted the disastrous Nixon television experience. I noted that most of the candidates looked suitably spray-tanned and refreshed – particularly Hillary. Ah…how fare we’ve come in the age of technology!

Have you and your viewers send me 20 hard hitting questions, and I will answer them honestly. After we publish it on our sites I will respond in kind, although on my end the questions will come from me only.

eric

 

In his post – “my red, white, and liberal friend” – Eric mentioned football. We include this exchange for the fun of it – and for the football fans out there.

 

 

By the way – what NFL team? (Please, dear God – don’t say the Rams!)

L. G.

Raiders. Yes, the 2-14 Raiders. I am a member of the Raider Nation…and no, I do not eat my young or have a criminal record.

One of my closest friends is a liberal and a Broncos fan. We can debate politics dispassionately. I cannot have an openminded discussion about football. I am right, the enemy team is wrong.

eric

This is going downhill really fast – the only redeeming thing in your note is your hatred for the Broncos!!

Lovingly – a devoted ‘9er fan……….

Ack!

So – here’s the opportunity: Send us the questions you’d really like answered by an articulate, intense, respectful Bush supporter. We’ll gather the toughest 20 and pose them to Eric. We’ll then post them here for you to read.

Take a few minutes to look over his blog – http://blacktygrrrr.wordpress.com – to get a feel for his politics and then send your questions to us at admin@say-when.org by Friday, July 27. Obviously, keep them clean and respectful – we would expect the same from him.

Let’s see if we can figure out what makes a Bush Supporter tick!

 

Just when it seemed that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ reputation on Capitol Hill couldn’t possibly get much worse, he showed up Tuesday for yet another hearing. And as with so many of his recent appearances before Congress, his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee raised a lot more troubling questions than it answered — not just about his own conduct of and honesty about the U.S. Attorney firings, but also about the Administration’s domestic intelligence gathering programs.

That new wrinkle stemmed from Gonzales’ testy exchange with Senator Arlen Specter, the panel’s top Republican. Specter opened up with former Deputy Attorney General James Comey’s testimony to the panel in May over Gonzales’ actions while serving as White House Counsel. Comey had alleged that Gonzales tried to convince an ailing Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was in the hospital recovering from gallbladder surgery, to sign off on Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program. “There are no rules saying he couldn’t take back authority,” Gonzales said, trying to explain that they had hoped Ashcroft might be able to sign off on an intelligence program due to expire the next day, a program that Comey as acting AG had refused to renew.

But what Specter really wanted to know was how that meeting squared with Gonzales’ previous testimony that there had been no serious internal disagreements over the program. Gonzales seemed to believe he had a simple explanation. “The disagreement that occurred was about other intelligence activities, and the reason for the visit to the hospital was about other intelligence activities,” the Attorney General said. “It was not about the terrorist surveillance program that the president announced to the American people.”

Both Specter and later Senator Chuck Schumer latched onto Gonzales’ puzzling comment. Schumer in particular brought up several examples where in sworn testimony Gonzales has named the Terrorist Surveillance Program as the one at issue during the hospital visit to Ashcroft’s room. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy then ordered a complete review of Gonzales’ statements to the committee. “This is such a significant and major point,” Leahy said. “There’s a discrepancy here in sworn testimony and we’re going to find out who’s telling the truth.”

Specter later circled back to Gonzales on the matter, warning him: “My suggestion to you is you review your testimony to find out if your credibility has been breached to the point of being actionable,” Specter said. The maximum penalty for being caught lying to Congress is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 per count. Specter wryly noted to reporters during a break that there is a jail in the Capitol complex.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, who was involved in the briefings at the time of the hospital visit, said the so-called Gang of Eight — the eight top bipartisan members of Congress on intelligence issues — were not briefed about any sunset the program was facing, as Gonzales claimed. He also emphatically refuted Gonzales’ statements that there was more than one program under discussion at the time and that the Gang of Eight had agreed the program was so important that if it had been allowed to lapse they were considering emergency legislation.

“Once again he’s making up something to protect himself and creating situations that never happened,” Rockefeller said, adding that “based on what I know about it, I’d have to say” Gonzales has committed perjury.

Gonzales’ woes actually began even before he was sworn in. He took his seat as a protestor held a pink banner reading “Impeach” behind him and to yells of “Impeach him!” from protesters in the room, who were quickly escorted out. Specter threatened the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into the firings of the eight U.S. Attorneys last year and a Senate “trial” to hold in contempt those Administration officials refusing to comply with Senate subpoenas. Then Leahy gaveled in the proceedings, saying “the Attorney General has lost the confidence of the Congress and the American people.” ( When asked about Specter’s threat of holding a Senate trial on contempt citations, Senator Trent Lott, the No. 2 Senator Republican, said he didn’t “believe that’s necessary,” adding he intended to speak with Specter about the issue.)

In his opening statement, Gonzales underlined all the important work the department is still engaged in, highlighting its hunt for sexual predators and its role in the war on terror. But when asked by Senator Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat, if his presence is more detrimental than helpful Gonzales said: “Ultimately, I have to decide is it better for me to leave: I’ve decided to stay and fix the problem and that’s what I’m doing,” he said over guffaws from hearing attendees. “We’re bringing in good experienced people. We’ve changed policies, we’ve been made aware with some of the problems with our policies.”

Much of Gonzales’ time was spent telling the committee he couldn’t remember, wasn’t up to date or wasn’t at liberty to discuss the details on everything from the department’s controversial settlement with the makers of Oxycotin, a drug believed responsible for dozens of deaths and his consideration of death penalty cases. to his involvement in drafting U.S. torture guidelines while working at the White House and why he apparently lied to a Senate panel over President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping programs.

When Specter asked Gonzales whether the President has the right to prohibit the Department of Justice from pursuing Congressional charges of contempt against former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten — the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow is expected to issue two contempt citations for their refusal, citing executive privilege, to comply with subpoenas to testify — Gonzales had a short lawyerly response. “I am recused of speaking on that matter due to the ongoing investigation,” he said.

Later, when Senator Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat, asked how many names were on the list of U.S. Attorneys to be fired that he approved, he said he couldn’t recall. “After all this time and all of the investigations into this, I find it hard to believe you can’t remember,” Feinstein quipped. “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” Gonzales said.

He couldn’t remember answers for even the rare friendly inquisitors. After Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, tried to prod him about how long Comey was in Ashcroft’s room — hinting that maybe he hadn’t really been present for much of the conversation — Gonzales replied, “I don’t remember.”

From Time