Monthly Archives: March 2008

Perilous Presidential Politics and Lies

On the 5 year anniversary of the occupation of Iraq he deemed as ‘worth it,’ President Bush gave a 26-minute speech in which he brought up al-Qaida 14 times while trying to make the public believe that if America stops fighting in Iraq, new attacks could be made at home by bin Laden’s terror network — using the usual fear tactics we’ve all grown to know, see through and despise.

The Associated Press (AP) decided to do a fact-check on a couple points brought up in the speech and found that once again, there were discrepancies between the spin coming out of Bush’s mouth and the truth. The New York Times (NYT) says the mission is still not accomplished. As usual, the president lied.

For years the Bush administration has tried to link al-Qaida and Iraq to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Despite the fact that even the Bush administration admits that Saddam Hussein had no involvement with al-Qaida and the fact that al-Qaida wasn’t in Iraq until we occupied it, Vice President Cheney and President Bush continue lying about it while Republican Presidential Candidate Senator John McCain — who, as noted by Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama, is running to fill Bush’s third term — continues to blow their horns.

The AP debunked the spin from the president regarding “the terrorists who murder the innocent in the streets of Baghdad” that “want to murder the innocent in the streets of America,” and the spin about the “Arab uprising.” Bush refers to 90,000 so-called Sons of Iraq alleged to be part of the “Arab uprising” who are paid by the United States to ‘fight terrorists’ — paid to not shoot at U.S. troops.

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Federal Intelligence and The Lack Thereof

The Federal government, under the ‘leadership’ of the Bush administration has turned intelligence into an oxymoron. Information on why president Bush wants to cover-up intelligence, the dangers of wiretapping and how it’s been used and abused for years, more innocent people showing up on government watch lists and one example of how corporate media purposely spreads misinformation can be found below.

The New York Times recently reported that for more than two years now, Congress, the news media and a few other outlets have been engaged in the debate over how to modernize the law governing electronic spying to keep pace with technology — hoping that President Bush will join in.

Instead of joining in though, president Bush continues offering propaganda intended to scare Americans, expand his powers, erode civil liberties, and most importantly of all, to ensure that no one is held accountable for the illegal wiretapping he ordered before, during and after 9/11.

After holding the first closed door session in over twenty years last week, Congress passed an amendment giving government agencies more flexibility to eavesdrop while preserving Constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. As usual, president Bush resorted to his usual terror tactics while twisting the contents of the bill around and threatened to veto it.

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Winter Soldier Event Information

100 to 200 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars gathered over this past weekend in Maryland to testify about their experiences, and to make Americans aware of the heinous war crimes and atrocities committed by some of them and the president.

Only media was allowed, but it was streamed on the internet. Of the major media outlets, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Associated Press and USA Today covered it or acknowledged it, but for some reason The New York Times didn’t. The New York Times is one of the largest papers in the country.

Purposely misinforming people by hiding the truth is what has led to the problems America faces right now.

I had planned to do a write-up of the Winter Soldier testimonies after I finished another post I’m working on when I came across the article below from The Daily Banter.

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Delusions of Faith and Politics

As the rule of one of the most damaging presidential administrations in the history of the United States begins to come to an end, and the president contemplates on the legacy he’ll leave behind — and grows a little more desperate to cover up blatantly illegal activities — the delusional misconceptions of an arguably certifiable never-elected president continue to grow.

Despite the fact that there never was a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida, or that almost 4,000 of our soldiers have been killed with scores more wounded and maimed, or that almost two million innocent Iraqi civilians have been slaughtered or displaced by an illegally started occupation, president Bush’s latest delusions involve defending war actions by citing faith and romanticizing fighting the war in Afghanistan. I don’t know when fascism became religion, nor do I have any idea how killing people and being shot at is romantic.

McClatchy news reported that after extensive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents captured after the U.S. invaded Iraq, it shows what has been known for some time — Saddam Hussein’s regime had no direct operational links with Osama bin Laden or Al Qaida — according to a Pentagon-sponsored study that was scheduled to be released this week.

But after realizing how politically damaging the report was, the Pentagon decided not to publish it online. You can order it directly from the Pentagon, but be warned that if you do, your information will be entered into a database for who knows what reason. It will not be emailed, only mailed on a CD. It appears the Pentagon has no desire to send it to reporters either, but a copy of the report (PDF) is available from ABC News.

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NSA Data-Mining Broader Than Thought

Despite Congress killing an experimental Pentagon antiterrorism program five years ago meant to vacuum up electronic data about people in the U.S. to search for suspicious patterns, the National Security Agency (NSA) — once confined to foreign surveillance — has been building what the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports (may require registration) is essentially the same system.

An inquiry into the central role the NSA has occupied in domestic intelligence gathering reveals that its efforts have evolved to gathering more data about people’s communications, travel and finances in the U.S. than other domestic surveillance programs brought to light since 9/11.

While the Bush administration continues revving up scare tactics in efforts to pursuade Congress to provide retroactive immunity for telecoms and other companies, the highly secretive role of the NSA in analyzing the data collected through little-known arrangements that can blur the lines between domestic and foreign intelligence gathering has been for the most part missing in public discussions.

Current and former intelligence officials told the WSJ the NSA now monitors ‘huge volumes of records of domestic emails and internet searches as well as bank transfers, credit-card transactions, travel and telephone records.’ The NSA received this data from other agencies or private companies and sophisticated software programs analyze the various transactions for suspicious patterns. Leads spit out by this program are explored by counterterrorism programs across the U.S. government.

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Misadventures In Federal Law Enforcement

True to the tradition of wanton disregard for law in the Bush administration these past seven plus years, several Federal law enforcement agencies have been busy breaking laws they’re supposed to enforce. Several examples of Federal Law Enforcement run amok can be found below.

Surveillance Superhighway Leads To Quantico is reporting that a U.S. government office in Quantico, Virginia has direct high-speed access — a 45 megabit/second DS-3 line — to a major wireless carrier’s systems, exposing customers’ voice calls, data packets and physical movements to uncontrolled surveillance, according to a computer security consultant who says he worked for the carrier in late 2003.

Babak Pasdar, CTO of New Jersey-based IGXglobal told Wired that he thought it was alarming how the carrier ended up essentially giving a third party outside of their organization unfettered access to their environment. When Pasdar suggested putting access securiy controls around it, the carrier vehemently denied it. Pasdar wouldn’t name the wireless carrier.

Pasdar executed a seven page affidavit for the nonprofit Government Accountability Project in Washington, which circulated the document (PDF) along with other talking points to congressional staffers, currently working on legislation regarding retroactive immunity to phone companies.

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Misadventures In Congressional Capitulation

It’s beginning to appear inevitable that Congressional Democratic leaders are going to screw their constituents — and every other single American — by caving into President Bush’s demands that retroactive immunity be given to telecoms who participated in the illegal spying. That means America will never know the extent of the lawbreaking done by the president, which is what president Bush wanted all along.

Just when you thought Congress was going to do the right thing and stand up to the abuses of the law committed by the president, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes went on CNN this past weekend and meekly expressed his willingness to give what he called full ‘blanket immunity’ to telecoms this week. Video of the pathetic interview can be seen on the Crooks and Liars web site.

Not, as noted by Salon News and a few other sites, that it comes as a big surprise. Since Democrats took over Congress a couple years ago, they have done whatever they’re told to do by the White House — putting all the corruption of this administration above the lives and rights of every American citizen.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) — who represent some of the biggest companies in the computer and communications industry — sent a letter (PDF) to the U.S. House of Representatives protesting retroactive immunity for the telecoms.

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Lawlessness Under The Guise of Democracy

There is a very significant battle going on right now in Washington that involves every American. President Bush has continually used fear tactics and smear campaigns trying to force Congress into passing a law that rewards lawlessness. Since the Bush administration was appointed to the presidency, lawlessness, secrecy and lies have chipped away at the integrity of this great nation. In typical fashion, the ‘justice department’ continues to help the president do whatever he feels like doing regardless of any law or the consequences.

Ever since the Protect America Act (PAA) expired this past month — which was hastily approved the last time the president used terror tactics, threats and lies to coerce Congress into passing it this past summer — the president and his administration have been spreading more manure to help further his illicit ways on an almost daily basis. The president could have prevented letting the PAA expire, but instead decided to veto it.

The PAA is illicit legislation designed to protect the telecoms and screw the American public.

It’s unknown if Congress will give in and help the president break even more laws, but you have to give Congress some credit for the good job they’ve done of standing up to the president’s lawlessness and trying to re-establish order.

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