Friday, April 02, 2004

Can You Spell "Arrogance"? - The White House Staff Can

Today's NYT today gives us another sterling example of the unbelievable arrogance of this Administration:

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"Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said some Clinton administration documents had been withheld because they were "duplicative or unrelated," while others were withheld because they were "highly sensitive" and the information in them could be relayed to the commission in other ways. "We are providing the commission with access to all the information they need to do their job," Mr. McClellan said
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Let me repeat McClellan's most poignant phrase from that little gem: "We are providing the commission with access to all the information they need to do their job." Clearly independent commissions, congressional committes, agency investigators, members of the press, and the pubilc all have at least this in common, Bush and his plutocrats know what it is we need to know. Got that? We can save billions! We ought to be able to dispense with most executive branch agencies, all congressional committees and subcommittees, possibly with Congress itself. We can sleep soundly at night knowing that the most secretive and manipulative Administration in modern American history is telling us just what we need to know.

Everyone in this country should feel visceral disgust at McClellan's condscending arrogance--especially as it is undoubtedly a clear reflection of the attitude at the very top. Don't ask questions and don't doubt what we say--we will tell you what you need to know (and ONLY what we think you need to know).

Well, among other things, I think we NEED to know who revealed that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative. The White House staff has not told us that. In fact, since whoever did it is guilty of a FELONY, you would think that the FBI would need to know. Someone (or more than just someone) inside George W. Bush's White House knows the answer to that question--but the FBI doesn't, Congress doesn't, the CIA doesn't, and the American people don't.

No. This statement is wonderfully revealing. The struggle for political control of the Congress and the Presidency in 2004 will turn on several issues, but at the core, we are facing a choice between arrogance, secrecy, arm-twisting, deception, and abrogation of responsibiilty and a chance to do some serious housecleaning (and senate cleaning). The saying "all politicians lie" must be as old as human civilization and no less true today than it undoubtedly was in ancient Egypt. But it is incredibly dangerous to believe that all lies are the same and that the evil that results is the same no matter what the liars are lying about.

War costs a great deal more than... What was it the Bill Clinton's heinous crimes were supposed to be "costing" the American people? Oh yes, he was GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY of one great sin and one great crime: he lied to the American people under oath. By choosing not to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about his personal life, President Clinton had to be impeached to protect the integrity of the Office of the President of the United States. Since January 2001, we have all been playing a different game. The cost of one part of that game is over $100 billion and lives of more than 580 US citizens and the lives of thousands of non-combatant, unarmed foreign nationals. And the game we are playing now is a semantic shell game.

The fact that so many citizens of this nation seem to prefer deception and arrogance in the service of war and killing just to get even with "them" (without knowing very clearly who "they" are) to honesty, integrity, and truth is the most frightening aspect of this whole sad time in America.


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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

It's A Religious War, Stupid

The 9/11 committee revelations have painted a picture of two separate administrations—chasing votes, favorable public opinion and intransigent ideology rather than focusing on a group of maniacal Islamists furthering Mohammed’s jihad that has continued since around the 620s.

To save you the math, that’s between 1375 and 1384 years of warfare directed at members of other religions.

And what would any rational person with an IQ above room temperature call a continuation of a religiously-inspired struggle that has lasted almost 14 centuries?

Call me insensitive, but I’d call it a religious war.

But of course in America’s land of political correctness members of the past two administrations and the current democratic candidate for president can’t bring themselves to admit what any person can read straight from the al Qaida manual: The manual clearly states, “the confrontation that we are calling for with the apostate regimes does not know Socratic debates, Platonic ideals, nor Aristolean diplomacy. But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing and destruction, and the diplomacy of the machine gun.

“Islamic governments have never and will never be established through peaceful solutions and cooperative councils. They are established as they always have been by pen and gun, by word and bullet, by tongue and teeth.” On a subsequent page the manual’s author writes, “an Islamic government will never be established except by the bomb and the rifle. Islam does not coincide or make a truce with unbelief, but rather confronts it.”

None other than Ayatollah Khomeini warned: “The governments of the world should know that Islam cannot be defeated. Islam will be victorious in all the countries of the world, and Islam and the teachings of the Koran will prevail all over the world.”

Muslims seem to understand this is a religious struggle—why can’t our politicians?

Sheikh Ali bin Khdheir Al-Khdheir, one of the three radical Saudi sheiks who now reside in jail, posts his fatwas on the Internet. He presented his fatwas concerning September 11 as a response for his students in Yemen according to an article in Al Watan:
“The weeping, the sorrow, and the pain over the American victims among those termed ‘innocent’ are strange. Those victims were...unbelieving Americans who must not be sorrowed over, because the unbelieving American is considered a combatant due to his connection to his government, or because he supports it with money or opinion or counsel, as is customary in their political regime, may Allah not multiply such regimes. It is permissible to kill the combatants among them, as well as those who are non-combatants, for example the aged man, the blind man, and the dhimmi, as the clerics agree.”

In other words, all is fair as long as the violence is directed at non-Muslims.

If these comments and opinions were truly on the fringe—one could understand the recalcitrance of politicians to openly state the obvious. But the sad truth is that opinions like this are propagated every day worldwide.

It is time for Jews and Christians, Hindus And Buddhists and believers in all religions and non-believers in any religion to realize we all have a big target on our backs. For all the ecumenical jabbering coming from those who would like to gloss over the facts, the current terror war and religious insurgency faced by people of western civilizations is a religious-inspired war, a jihad that Muslims believe leads to a bloodbath far more graphic and horrible than anything from the Book of Revelation.

Islam does not mean peace—it means submission.

And there are growing numbers of Muslims worldwide who plan for you to submit—peacefully or by force.

It is time for the politicians to face the facts and own up to the unpleasant reality that we are facing a continuation of a jihad that will continue throughout our lifetimes.

This is a religious war and until we can admit it as a society and deal with the associated unpleasantness of being labeled as divisive and Islamaphobes for questioning the growing din of voices calling for open warfare against all non-Muslims, we face eventual conquest.

People in the West, particularly in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, and Russia must decide whether their basic beliefs concerning government, culture, and civilization are worth preserving. And take steps to educate and expose the threats.

We are all soldiers now whether we like it or not.
It’s time for this year’s political candidates to admit it as well.


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Who's a Weasel Now?

from the Tuesday, March 30, 2004, New York Times:

"WASHINGTON, March 29 — The chairman and vice chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks said on Monday that they would ask Condoleezza Rice to testify under oath in any future questioning because of discrepancies between her statements and those made in sworn testimony by President Bush's former counterterrorism chief.

"I would like to have her testimony under the penalty of perjury," said the commission's chairman, Thomas H. Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, in comments that reflected the panel's exasperation with the White House and Ms. Rice, the president's national security adviser."

Will Condi risk perjury to attack Richard Clarke? Doesn't look like it, does it. There are numerous precedents that fly in the face of our secretive, stonewalling administration when it comes to tesetifying before independent commissions. The ridiculous "separation of powers" argument is insulting to all Americans and particularly those directly affected by the Bush Administration's actions (or lack thereof) on terrorism.

When the REPUBLICAN chairman of a bi-partisan commission asks for the national security adviser to testify under penalty of perjury, it tells us all a great deal about credibility. That is, the Bush Administration, from top to bottom, has none.

In Bob Woodward's "Bush at War", George W. Bush himself flat out states he did not consider Al Qaeda and terrorism "urgent". Now Clarke must be crucified for saying what? That Al Qaeda was not an urgent priority of the Bush Administration. What did he do wrong? Agree with the President on a point that Bush now desperately wants to go away?

Dr. Condoleezza Rice's refusal to risk perjury speaks volumes. And Bill Frist's call to declassify some of Clarke's testimony solely to "prove" that he has contradicted himself shows pretty clearly that congressional Republicans place the Bush re-election higher on their priority list than anything else--including respecting classified information. But who's surprised? That Valerie Plame was a CIA operative was also classified--and clearly someone in the Bush Administration had no respect for that either. On the other hand, Dick Cheney had secret, closed-door meetings on ENERGY POLICY. What could be more central to the security of the United States and the preservation of the American Way of Life than keeping Dick Cheney's energy policy meetings secret?

Like a carcass left too long in the sun, everything about the Bush Administration's notions of integrity and honesty begins to smell worse and worse. C'mon Condi--take one for the team. You probably wouldn't even do jail time if convicted of perjury.

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