SUZY SPREADWELL #1 by John Linton Roberson, available at Google Play Books!
I Didn't Write That!
29 July 2003
  Vile Smut Published

All right, this time I think I can toot my own horn, dammit! No pun intended till I was halfway through that sentence. Oh well...

Seems MENAGE A TROIS #3, which features my 24-page sketchy, silent, and trivial tale of filth "October Surprise", has finally come out from Eros. This is the first thing I've had published by someone besides me that was more than a page, and it's just a long piece of fluff, but I think it came out very well. In fact, looks a bit better than I thought it would; they did very nice production on the greys especially(it's the first thing I've done completely in pencil).

Anyway, I'm just in a giddy mood to see something of mine finally published "for real." Yippee!

Do buy a copy from your comic shop this very day, unless you're under 18, in which case bugger off; you should have to wait like I did at your age.

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  "Unbelievably Stupid"

Well, the Policy Futures Market was abruptly cancelled today and Admiral John Poindexter may be going back into retirement soon if Bush knows what's good for him.

Sen. John Warner (R., Va.) said he spoke by phone with the head of the agency overseeing the program, Tony Tether, "and we mutually agreed that this thing should be stopped." Mr. Tether is the head of the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as Darpa.

Later, in an interview, Sen. Warner said that Darpa "didn't think through the full ramifications of the program."

Sen. John) Warner(R) announced the decision not long after Senate Democratic Leader Thomas Daschle (D., S.D.) took to the floor to denounce the program as "an incentive actually to commit acts of terrorism."


Now what do you think this will do to Bush's already plummeting approval ratings, now that it's been revealed just how callous they are about American deaths, here and overseas?

"Bring 'em on," he said, and now his underlings were actually trying to encourage it. What in god's name kind of administration IS this, one must ask oneself.

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28 July 2003
  Betting On Human Tragedy

Just when you thought this government couldn't get more shameless and disgusting, it spends taxpayer dollars building a website on which you are encouraged to bet on the next terror attack. And make money from it. This, the administration thinks, will help predict future attacks, and I guess this shows how desperate they are to not have a paper trail with intelligence that they ignored for the next one.

It also shows how low and revolting the Bush administration really is, and how seriously it takes the deaths of Americans in such attacks. How much more indication of the incompetence and evil of this administration do you need?

HAD ENOUGH YET?

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  Bush Coddling America's Enemies

It seems that just about everyone in the Islamic world not to blame for 9/11 has been demonized by the Bush administration. Afghans. Iranians. Iraqis. Even Pakistanis. Everyone, it seems, except the ones who actually were involved(or so the story goes) in the hijackings: most of these were Saudi nationals.

And yet the 9/11 report, already scathing(particularly toward such figures as Louis Freeh of the FBI, who for some reason thinks it exonerates him), is censored for the protection of the Saudis, and judging by how many pages were blacked out--27 in all--there was a lot to protect them from.

And why? Is the Saudi government aiding in the "War On Terrorism?" Hardly. In fact it aids the terrorists and has aided them in the past.

There is something filthy going on when the Bush administration uses the pain and fear 9/11 generates as merely a means of providing cover for crushing every nation it has oil interests in, but does nothing about the Saudis, who were the only ones actually proven in any way to be involved, and more, it also engenders needless hatred both by our nation toward muslims who did us no harm, and from muslims who feel wronged. And there the Saudis sit unscathed and smug. Bush will do nothing to harm his friends' business partners even if we have to die for it. This when Saudi Arabia's schools teach them we are the Great Satan, when Saudi Arabia hosts a more repressive brand of Islam than most of those we've attacked or threatened to attack.

In the past few years the incompetent, ignorant and unelected Bush has made the world a much more dangerous place while letting our economy turn to shit. And his response to American soldiers dying not for the protection of you or I, but for the friends of Cheney, is only a frivolous, flip, blustering "Bring 'em on." Which they have, against our troops who are worse than sitting ducks, and soon, as nobody is going to volunteer to be thrown into a meat grinder, they will bring back the draft and send more and more American boys over just to die, for no purpose. Have you had enough yet?

Are people waking up? Democrats might be. Republicans definitely are. Today Republican Senator Richard Shelby had this to say:

"I think they're classified for the wrong reason," Shelby said on NBC's Meet the Press program. "My judgment is 95 percent of that information should be declassified, become uncensored, so the American people would know." Shelby said the section was classified because it "might be embarrassing to some international relations."

Dick Durbin was even more damning:

"When the Saudis are not helping us fight the war on terrorism, when they're directly or indirectly financing that war on terrorism, we have to hold them accountable."

Yes, we should. As opposed to holding every other Islamic state in the world accountable, which the Bush regime thinks it can get away with forever.

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26 July 2003
  Still There, Still Dying

And three more U.S. soldiers have been killed guarding a children's hospital in Iraq. Four more wounded in a grenade attack.

The deaths of the soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division brought to 161 the number of troops killed in action in Iraq since the start of the war, 14 more than in the 1991 Gulf War.

This is apparently the rotation policy: leave them there until they're killed, then save money transporting them home as freight. Thank god for our cost-conscious administration.

"Bring 'em on." George W. Bush.

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25 July 2003
  The "Reconstructed" Hussein Brothers

As mentioned before, the US did "facial reconstruction" on the corpses of Uday and Qusay Hussein.

Witness the incredibly convincing results.

I though Madame Tussaud's did better work than this.

This completely hypocritical violation of the Geneva Convention is not endearing us to the Iraqi people or to the Arab world and is beginning to backfire:

"Although Uday and Qusay are criminals, displaying their corpses like this is disgusting and repulsive. America claims it is civilised but is behaving like a thug," Saudi civil servant Saad Brikan, 42, told Reuters in Riyadh on Friday.

If American mothers later see photos of US soldiers killed, they will have Donald Rumsfeld to blame. This was a very bad idea, once again based on the delusion that we would be welcomed as liberators. This is not how the Iraqis view us at all:

"I don't understand why the Americans say it is the former Baath Party people who are killing their soldiers. All Iraqis want to kill the Americans because of the way they act," said shopkeeper Muhammad Abbas.

For God's sake, bring our soldiers home.

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  Bush Navy Secretary Nominee Shoots Self

Oil executive Colin McMillan, Bush's unsurprising nominee as Secretary of the Navy, is reported to have shot himself today.

No doubt there were some damning things that would have come to light about his past given this item hidden at the end of an AP story on the death:

McMillan was chairman of Permian Exploration Corp., which specializes in oil and gas exploration. In 1990, he was appointed by Bush's father, then-President George Bush, to serve as assistant secretary of defense, a position he held until 1992.

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  "Because I'm The President, That's Why! Shut Up!"

Make up your own caption for this photo of our happy, easygoing president.

Maybe he's worried because Howard Dean continues to surge ahead of his Democratic opposition, the DLC sell-outs seemingly preferring a Lieberman or Gephardt who will surely lose, as opposed to Howard Dean, who actually opposes the patriot Act, the Iraq war, and the spiraling unemployment we have, whle all that Dick, Joe & Terry can talk about is prescription drugs. You can tell Dean is the man to beat precisely because Terry MacAuliffe, who has presided over a Democratic party that lost the House of Representatives in 1994, the White House in 2000, the Senate in 2002 and the Democrats' main base of support every day, opposes him. MacAuliffe apparently would rather lose than fight. Dean can beat Bush--none of these other cowardly nonentities will be anything else but Mondales or Dukaki.

Or maybe he's also angry because Merle Haggard has written a song attacking both the government and media for pretending the war is over and leaving the troops to indefinitely twist in the wind, and it's getting lots of airplay. A sample:

Suddenly it's over, the war is finally done
Soldiers in the desert sand still clinging to a gun
No one is the winner and everyone must lose
Suddenly the war's over, that's the news.
...Politicians do all the talking, soldiers pay the dues
Suddenly the war is over, that's the news.


That Haggard! Doesn't he know that country stars are supposed to provide populist propaganda for Republicans? Bad, bad singer!

Now will Bush dare to "Dixie Chick" this man? Well, on his website Haggard has this to say about that, actually:

I don't even know the Dixie Chicks, but I find it an insult for all men and women who fought and died in past wars when almost the majority of America jumped down their throats for voicing an opinion. It was like a verbal witch-hunt and lynching.

Way to go, Merle.

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  Uday & Qusay Bodies Touched Up, Says Reuters Journalist

Something suspicious going on judging from an eyewitness account from a Reuters journalist: mortician's putty and the like was used to make the photos look more like Qusay and Uday Hussein in the infamous photos.

I was one of 15 journalists shown into an air-conditioned, khaki tent at Baghdad airport to view the corpses. They did look like the brothers, who U.S. troops said they killed during a siege on Tuesday.

Arabic networks al-Jazeera, Abu Dhabi Television and other broadcasters began showing the bodies identified as Uday and Qusay, laid out at the makeshift airport morgue.

A U.S. military official said "facial reconstruction" was used to repair wounds, particularly to the face of the elder son Uday, which had disfigured the bodies shown originally to the public in photographs taken by soldiers after the battle.


In other words, whether these really are the bodies or not, the photos are no proof at all. The picture of Uday, in particular, looks nothing like him anyway even with "reconstruction." He appears to be a stocky fellow who looks about as much like Uday as Jerry Seinfeld looks like George Costanza.

But the Bush administration wouldn't lie about anything, would they? Nor would they ever underestimate the intelligence--or eyesight--of the Iraqis. Remember how Cheney predicted we would be welcomed as liberators, for instance.

We can see that to this day there's nothing more welcome in Iraq than U.S. troops.

This stinks.

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  Enemies List: Bush's, That Is

It appears the Federal Government has admitted it keeps a list of political activists and others--not simply potential terrorists--who are subjected to "extra scrutiny" at airport screenings, according to a story in today's Salon:

...in documents released this week in a federal court case in San Francisco, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confirmed for the first time that it keeps not just a list of potential terrorists barred from the air, but also a list of "selectees" who are subject to strict security checks before they're allowed to board commercial aircraft. The agency has revealed almost nothing else about the selectee list, and is fighting in court to keep secret the names of people who are on it and the standards for putting them there. It appears, however, that the list may contain thousands of names. Officials at the ACLU of Northern California, which is pressing the Freedom of Information Act case filed by two leftist newspaper editors, says it learned from authorities at Oakland Airport that there is an 88-page typed list of names. Between Sept. 11, 2001, and April 8, 2003, the ACLU says, more than 363 passengers were stopped at San Francisco and Oakland airports, either because their names appeared on that list or because their names were similar to names on a separate "no-fly" list made up of criminals and people with suspected terrorist ties. Evidence compiled in a series of interviews suggests that activists on the left and right have been affected, as have many Arab Americans. That has civil liberties experts warning that the airport security checks have a chilling effect on routine political activity that is unprecedented in recent times.

The point of all this even if you don't fly--I never do if it can be avoided because I intensely dislike plane travel--is that if the government thinks it has reason not to like you, whatever it may be, it has a list you're on. It's already compiling it.

So what, you might think, I don't fly either. It doesn't matter. This is only one use that the list might be put to. It might also be put to many others, like who hires you and who does not. And it may only be for having said Bush is a jerk:

An art dealer who'd been a high-ranking staffer in Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential campaign had been barred from a flight to Germany after telling other passengers in the check-in line that President George W. Bush "is dumb as a rock."

Gosh, you'd think Bush would be more grateful to Nader people. But wait, conservatives are affected too. Anyone who expresses an opinion protected by the First Amendment but contrary to what Bush thinks can conceivably end up on this list. Like bloggers, say, or people who read their blogs. Which am I, and which are you?

Lists like these were made once before by another president to "screw his political enemies." Now who am I thinking of?

Americans should watch what they say.--Ari Fliescher

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24 July 2003
  Could 911 Have Been Prevented by the Resident?

I don't claim to know, but maybe we can all figure it out from the Joint Congressional Report which, rather than commenting upon, I give you a link to. I link, you decide.

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  Double Standard For North Korea

Apparently if you actually have uranium and a nuclear weapons program, the Bush administration thinks your ass is to be kissed and kissed again.

Because the Bush administration made overtures toward a non-aggression pact with North Korea, whose well-known nuclear weapons program has proceeded apace.

Is there a wee contradiction here? Not at all. First of all, Iraq has oil, and North Korea has only starving people. We already have starving people. And besides, if North Korea did launch a missile against the U.S. it would only be able to hit all those blue states on the West Coast. And why would the Bush administration mind that?

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  He's Got To Get Elected Somehow

Bush has shown his hand. Today he vowed to use the first veto of his presidency to destroy the Congressional rollback of FCC Chief Powell's media handover. This is what he's willing to take a stand upon.

Of course: because broadcasting being in the fewest possible hands is the only way he can be sure of favorable coverage during the next election. That was the plan and purpose all along, and I'm sure he's not at all any more sympathetic to a free press or free speech given that the networks and press still aren't shutting up like obedient little pets about the 16 words on the Niger uranium.

Oh, and that U.S. troops are dying every day, still, in Iraq for nothing. But in other news, the Bush administration, in contravention of the Geneva Convention, released two photos of the supposedly dead Uday and Qusay Hussein that look nothing like either. But I guess they figure all them Arabs look the same to us, and for that matter, to them as well.

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23 July 2003
  Our Victims In The Mass Graves of Iraq

"But what about all those mass graves?" the Bush administration squeals when nothing else works to justify our war in Iraq, still ongoing as far as the soldiers dying there are concerned. "He was an awful, genocidal dictator. Why does it matter what lies we told you to get you to go along with this war?"

True, Hussein was a son of a bitch. And also true, he murdered a lot of innocent people. Only when he did so, he was our son of a bitch, as Norman Mailer unflinchingly reminds us:

We have relieved the world of a monster who killed untold numbers, mega-numbers, of victims. Nowhere is any emphasis put upon the fact that many of the bodies were of the Shiites of southern Iraq who have been decimated repeatedly in the last twelve years for daring to rebel against Saddam in the immediate aftermath of the Gulf War. Of course, we were the ones who encouraged them to revolt in the first place, and then failed to help them.

Remember? It was Bush's father who encouraged said revolt, and then left them to twist at the end of a rope.

Yes, our guilt for a great part of those bodies remains a large subtext and Saddam was creating mass graves all through the 1970s and 1980s. He killed Communists en masse in the 1970s, which didn't bother us a bit. Then he slaughtered tens of thousands of Iraqis during the war with Iran—a time when we supported him.

There is, of course, something to be said for making up for one's past mistakes. But Bush will not admit even for a moment that most who died did so while the White House looked the other way, and many others died because we put them in harm's way and then ran.

But why should Bush admit such things? It provided such a great set-up; the mass graves make such a great, convenient, unquestionable justification, at least until questions are asked, at which time he can scream, "The matter is closed" over and over in the most Nixonian way till the problem--he thinks--will go away.

If we are indeed as stupid as Bush thinks we are, they might. Are you stupid or are you paying attention?

Go back to sleep, America, as Bush now lets mass slaughter loose in Monrovia. God help the American people should Bush ever pledge to help us as well.

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22 July 2003
  Congress Yanks Powell's Tongue From Murdoch's Anus

Freedom of choice
Is what you've got
Freedom from choice
Is what you want--Mark Mothersbaugh, Gerald Casale


ZAP!

The House voted 400-21 today to block Michael Powell's attempted handover of the broacasting systems of America to the fewest possible owners, which would no doubt have been quite friendly to Bush in the next election(more so than they are now, I mean).

Aww, looks like Rupert Murdoch won't be able to own all media on the planet Earth after all. Yes, even the Bush administration can get too obvious and overconfident. From earlier:

The House began debate today on a spending measure that contains a provision that would overturn the new network ownership rule. Both supporters and critics of the rule say that the measure has broad bipartisan support and is likely to be approved this week. Because a Senate committee recently approved a similar measure by a broad bipartisan majority, the movement in the House increases the likelihood that Congress will reverse at least some key elements of the new media ownership rules adopted last month by the Federal Communications Commission. In recent days, the White House has publicly joined the debate, saying that advisers have recommended that President Bush veto the legislation if it is passed by both houses. Such a veto could be overridden by two-thirds of the voting members of the House and Senate...It was assumed that the House would defend the new rules and block any effort to change them. But that changed last week when 11 Republicans deserted their leaders to join with the 29 Democratic committee members to approve the measure in the legislation on the floor of the House tonight.

Darn! All these choices, they're so confusing...

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  More Lovely Quotes From Neoconservatives and Others

On supporting the troops:

"One or two Americans a day are dying in Iraq. So why are we getting a daily Iraq death update when we don't get daily drowning death updates or fire death updates or pedestrian updates, accidents, this kind, when the numbers are clearly far greater than what is happening in Iraq?" --Rush Limbaugh.

On Foreign Affairs:

"I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq."--Paul Wolfowitz.

An answer to Wolfowitz some of you might be familiar with:

"With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye,
but considerest not the beam that is in thy own eye?"--Matthew 7:2-3


And lest we forget:

"Bring 'em on."--George W. Bush.

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  The White House Shuffle: Oops, We Did It Again

And the Bush administration, trying to make some story, any story, about the Niger uranium and its nonexistence stick, has rebooted once more. And gotten their foot all sticky with something quite smelly and brown.

Now that George Tenet has managed to pull the sword out of his belly(this guy could have given Talleyrand lessons on survival), the White House has chosen another fall guy, and that guy is Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, who has taken full responsibility like a good little lickspittle.

Hadley, in a rare on-the-record session with reporters, said that he had received two memos from the CIA and a phone call from agency Director George Tenet last October raising objections to an allegation that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium ore from Africa to use in building nuclear weapons. As a result, Hadley said the offending passage was excised from a speech on Iraq the president gave in Cincinnati last Oct. 7. But Hadley suggested that details from the memos and phone call had slipped from his attention as the State of the Union was being put together.

I wouldn't advise him to take any walks in any meadows any time soon.

But this would appear to make Condoleeza Rice a liar. Or rather, be proven a liar. See, Hadley is the top advisor to Rice. Rice has claimed that the information that this info was a fake was in the bowels of the CIA and never came near her. And now we find that it was in the hands of her immediate underling.

Bush has said he considers the matter closed. And yet that door just keeps flapping back and forth. And bringing the now-programmed and brainwashed Pvt. Jessica Lynch home and the deaths of Hussein's sons won't keep it off the front page for more than, oh, a day or so.

Meanwhile 600 civilians--and rising are estimated to be slaughtered in Monrovia in only the past 24 hours while a few Marines guard the U.S. Embassy. Did you actually believe Bush was going to send peacekeepers? Psyche! How will a stable Africa keep mineral prices low? Silly public! Bush just said that to...wait, why the hell did he make that promise anyway?

Remember, just as with schools and veterans, if Bush visits you, he's about to screw you. But he will get his photo op before you're erased.



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  Issa Criminal! part 2

"I have an I.Q. of 100 plus a little bit," he said. "I have to work real hard to get things when I read." Duhhh. That's Darrell Issa, and he wants to be the next governor of California. God knows we need more retarded leaders.

Those nagging questions about Darrell Issa, the millionaire trying to destroy Gray Davis of California, just aren't going away. One must remember Issa made his millions from the Viper car alarm. Well, it seems it takes a thief to catch a thief:

In 1972, he and his brother William were arrested in the theft of a Maserati from a Cleveland car dealership. The case was dropped.Last month The San Francisco Chronicle reported that in 1980, after Mr. Issa had re-enlisted in the Army as a 27-year-old officer, he was again arrested with his brother on felony auto theft charges.The paper said that William Issa stole his brother's car, sold it to a dealership in San Jose and that within hours Darrell reported it stolen. The case was eventually dismissed for lack of evidence....But there is the matter of possessing an unregistered handgun in Michigan a few months after the car theft charges. He was fined $100 and put on probation for carrying a long .25 millimeter semi-automatic.

But for the GOP the oddly confident Issa, barely known to most Californians, is only a means to an end.

"Schwarzenegger's the choice," one Republican operative said. "So, in two weeks, Republicans are going to pat Issa on the head, thank him for his service, then walk over his dead body."

Meanwhile he uses his millions to overturn an election. Is this the country we want?

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20 July 2003
  The Next Nostalgia Wave

Hey hey hey, we're in the movie
I feel up and I feel groovy
Let's go out and get some of that
Gimme gimme gimme some Russian Roulette
--the late Stiv Bators


Say, all you hardbodied and fit young men and women of today! Have you been paying attention to how the war in Iraq is going? No? You should be. The Defense Department is very concerned that they don't have enough of you to send into the mouth of Moloch already on hand, given we've already stretched our troop strength so thin.

Do you honestly believe it's a coincidence that we have such terrible unemployment--particularly for you twentysomethings--and they "underestimated" the troop strength needed?

Hardly.

The intent is to re-establish the infamous Military-Industrial complex of the pre-Ford era as a permanent and major component of our economy, chumps. And their next step will be to bring back something that even I only dimly remember, something that made young people once much more averse to blindly supporting a war, something that at least might equalize the class differences in those who actually serve.

Did you know the Selective Service is still in operation? You should, because the boys among you had to sign up for it at 18. You didn't think much about it, did you?

Soon you may have to, because with the news few of you will voluntarily sign up for the military. They will have to restore the Draft. And maybe when the sons--and daughters?--of privilege are dying along with the saps in the working class who thought the military was just a way of getting experience for other jobs, you'll start to care.

All I can say is I hope they do. Then you'll learn not to be so blase about a president's lies and his wars. It won't be someone else's problem. And what will you think of the phrase "Support the Troops" then when you're in your very own Vietnam?

You had your own Woodstock. Here's some more nostalgia coming your way.

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  Insignificant Letter on Insignificant Subject Gets Published

So I read this idiotic article by eternal defender of rapacious capitalism Farheed Manjoo at Salon defending the soon-to-be-stone-dead telemarketing industry(his basic thesis being, "Think of the poor workers"--exactly the people most hurt by said industry) and, as a good portion of my early twenties were wasted in that job and said job nearly drove me insane, I write a letter pointing out just how revolting the industry is, and the thing gets published(second one down, after the obviously fake one no doubt written by a telemarketing manager). I've gotten more e-mails about that letter than about anything else I've ever written or drawn.

Below is the text for those not into subscribing to Salon, and I don't blame you.

The article is absolutely right regarding the sort of people telemarketing employs. I was one of them once myself. In my case I was someone in his early 20s with no marketable skills except an ability to write plays. Wait, that's not a marketable skill. So I went into it because I needed the money. I sold in that career a whole heap of different things for different employers: theater tickets, dead-hour radio ad time ("public service announcements,") some kind of unusable medical and home insurance, and much more. Mostly things I couldn't imagine anyone needing, to both individuals and businesses, from leads and from the phone book too.

I grew to despise every minute I did it and my whole life at the time because of it. There was of course just the matter of the endless repetition of the same script again and again, and trying to sound fresh and happy on each call. But there was also the anger of the person on the other end which I fully sympathized with. It's much more than bothering them at dinnertime. It's fooling them, cajoling, pretending friendship, pressuring them, making them buy just to get you off the phone -- to satisfy a boss that made the whole thing feel like "Glengarry Glen Ross." You were paid a pitiful base salary and had to generate enough sales to not only "get on the board" enough to make commissions, but to justify your very presence there. In most places I worked, if you were still on your base salary by the second week, out you bloody went. It's a cold, heartless industry that generates self-hatred in you, because you keep wondering "What is wrong with me?" and where the bosses remind you that if you're not selling, yeah, there is something wrong with you.

I acquired computer skills as quickly as possible and got admin work, which at the moment I'm out of but I would sooner die than ever sell something on the phone -- or any other way -- again. It takes your soul. Telemarketing managers who talk about the poor pitiful workers also (for their jobs depend on how you do and if you make no commission they make nothing -- and for obvious reasons a lot of these guys were on meth so they could be "on" all the time) ruthlessly bully and terrorize their employees, driving one to suicide that I recall. His reaction was that this person just didn't have any balls. Well, maybe she didn't. But to kill her self-image and esteem, and in the end her, just to sell a stupid radio ad, what kind of industry are we talking about?

Most jobs do this. That one just did it quicker and more obviously than most. Many of these places are nothing more than psychological sweatshops. So when I hear people moaning for these businesses the only ones I feel sorry for are the rank-and-file employees, not any other part of the business. Where they will go, that's a problem and a big one. But have no illusions: it's still a brutal and cruel business, and how do we feel about other ones? Nike employed lots of people in sweatshops. Does that mean we should look the other way when they treat workers like worthless trash, because at least they're employed?


And I might add that the day the industry dies I will dance the tarantella upon its grave and then have a nice long piss upon it.

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  A Tet Offensive Every Day

My, but the blood is getting deep.

A UN convoy was attacked today and two more U.S. soldiers died for nothing.

The killing of four of its soldiers within 48 hours added to domestic pressure on the United States to persuade reluctant allies who opposed its invasion to share the burden in Iraq.

Some hope. You made your bed, George. It's too bad our boys have to sleep in it. Oh, wait, if they sleep they might get murdered. Meanwhile, I assume you're still getting your 12 hours a day and snoozing like a baby dosed with Seconal.

Again, I ask any Americans who might give a damn about our soldiers dying for absolutely nothing--at least nothing not in the interests of Cheney and his friends: Have you had enough yet?

No? Well then, go back to watching American Juniors and forget about the nasty, nasty facts. You have an amazing way of supporting your troops, and it's easy to say you do, being half a world safely away.

I'm sure when a few actually come home the ticker-tape parades will make them feel it was all worth it, at least till they find out the VA will not support their now-torn lives. And feeling ashamed of allowing the president to continue this would just be counter-productive and depressing. Don't grow up. Don't worry. Be happy.

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  Oh Come On; Why Would Mossad Want To Incite War Against A Nearby Muslim Country?

Both the content of the "separate intelligence" and its source have been the subject of much speculation. Suggestions in Whitehall last week that the information came from France, the former colonial master of Niger and still the ultimate owner of its uranium-mining industry, were strongly denied in Paris. Some analysts point to Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, arguing Britain and the US rely on Mossad for much of their information on Africa, because the Israelis have far more intelligence assets there than they do. It was possible, they added, that Britain had fallen victim to disinformation concocted by Israel to discredit Iraq.

But we can't suspect Mossad or Sharon of ever taking advantage of a situation even against their own people's best interests! Why, that would be antisemitic! We all know that Sharon is a saint and does nothing without guile!

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  The Buck Stops There

Enjoy some quotes.

Bring 'em on.
President George W. Bush

That is something I am confident history will forgive.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair

A post-mortem examination revealed that Dr Kelly died of a haemorrhage as a result of a cut to the left wrist ... A small knife has been recovered.
Official police statement

Events over recent weeks made David's life intolerable, and all of those involved should reflect long and hard on this fact ... We are utterly devastated.
The family of Dr David Kelly

Alastair Campbell's position is as shaky as those of the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence. I think that they should resign immediately.
Glenda Jackson MP


The appropriate procedures were followed inside the Ministry of Defence to ensure Dr Kelly's rights were respected and properly handled.
Geoff Hoon, Secretary of State for Defence

I deeply regret Dr Kelly's death. I am sorry for any stress that, albeit unintentionally, I may have caused him during his questioning before the select committee.
Andrew Mackinlay MP

After all, it wasn't the BBC who named Dr Kelly. It wasn't we who called him before a parliamentary inquiry. It wasn't we who thrust him into the spotlight.
John Humphrys of the BBC

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19 July 2003
  The Kelly Suicide and Blair's Ashen Face

"Pride goeth before a fall." That's the age-old maxim.

Now what's that again about what history will forgive, Tony? Or are you worried more now about what God will forgive?

I suppose most people would refuse to answer when a reporter asks if they have "blood on their hands" as Tony Blair did today, apparently distraught over the now-"confirmed" suicide of Dr. David Kelly, which seems without a doubt to have been a response to being chosen as the government's fall guy for the Niger uranium scandal and as an example of what will happen to any Blair official who talks to the BBC. The government quite clearly outed him last week and he appears to have said, "Fuck this." Now there's certainly blood on his hands, but Blair's are dripping with his and hundreds, even thousands of others. And he and Bush dipped their hands in the same bowl. Iraqi civilians, US and UK soldiers, officials...the Iraq debacle is a monster always hungry for more flesh.

How many bodies yet to come will it take before justice is done? Well, soldiers continue to die for nothing in the abbatoir Iraq has become, and now the U.S. has decided they need the U.N.'s help after all.

Oh, pull the other one, George. I thought you said they were an ineffective debating society. And you said the U.S. did not need the world's help. Well, now it's time to choke down your words.

Had enough yet, folks? Well, some Americans leaving for Canada have.

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18 July 2003
  More On The Death of Dr. David Kelly

A claim is being floated that Dr. David Kelly took his own life on his last walk. This despite the following:

Suggestions that Dr Kelly, a father of three daughters, suffered shotgun injuries or that a rope was found at the scene were discounted by police sources. No suicide note has been found at the scene or at Dr Kelly's home.

In any event, whether he killed himself or was murdered by the SAS, one thing is clear: had Kelly not talked to the BBC he would still be alive. Calling it suicide will not help Blair.

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  The Only True Reason We Went To War

Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force appeared to have some interest in early 2001 in Iraq's oil industry, including which foreign companies were pursuing business there, according to documents released Friday by a private watchdog group.

Well, we knew this already, but it's at least on paper too.

What we have yet to know is whether three planes were allowed to kill thousands of U.S. citizens as part of a long-term strategy to prepare us to fight a war on Iraq. The fact that 9/11 was the only truly convincing justification--even though it had nothing at all to do with Iraq--makes one wonder. One also wonders where Bush's presidency would have been without 9/11 at this point, or even where it would have been in fall of 2001.

Wait, wait, we're seeing him settling to his proper level right now. We don't have to imagine. It's just that now his hands and feet are all soggy with blood.

And soggier today. "Bring 'em on," Bush said. He's getting his wish. More blood for oil! The sand hasn't soaked up enough yet!

How many lives of American soldiers will have to be wasted so Cheney's friends can save some money on crude oil? As many as they can throw at the problem. Lives are cheap. Oil isn't.

"Bring 'em on?" No no no. Bring 'em home.

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  White House Changes Story Yet Again

The White House, along with releasing transcripts of the tapes--I'm sorry, I mean declassified information on the Iraq War(carefully selected, no doubt) once again changed their story about the Niger uranium claim:

The official said the change had been made after internal White House deliberations about the best way to present the information and not, as intelligence officials have said, in response to concerns raised by the C.I.A. about the credibility of intelligence reports that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium in Niger.

That's at least two turnabouts this week alone, and probably only happened because the almost-fall guy Tenet named Robert Joseph, a staff member of Bush's National Security Council and a special assistant to the president, as the one who insisted the loudest on this piece of crap data being used to lie to the American public, its elected representatives and the entire goddamn world. Or is it dada? Increasingly it's looking to be.

This is a hallmark of bad liars. They are floating as many stories as they can in hopes that one will stick. Is anyone going to cut the shit here?

Well, let's try this: see what they say when they're under oath. Call Condoleeza Rice to face the Senate and let the chips fall where they may.

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  Key British Blair Advisor Found Dead

Looks like those wacky SAS officers have been at it again. David Kelly of the Defense Ministry, thought by many to be the source for the BBC of information about the forgery of the Niger uranium documents, was found murdered in the English midlands today.

How convenient that Blair is out of the country that one of his officials that could have fingered him is now safely dead. How stupid of him to believe this will allay any suspicion whatsoever. But it certainly might make any of the rest of Blair's cabinet a bit scared to go against him again. I wonder what he has in mind for Clare Short?

This gets uglier every minute, doesn't it?

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  Republicans Unwisely Show Fangs

Today we got to see how bitter and tense the House of Representatives is getting, with a dispute over a pension bill culminating in Republican Rep. Bill Thomas calling in a Capitol police officer and threatening his Democratic colleagues with arrest. Why? Because some walked out in protest over Thomas' tactics regarding the bill.

Think back to Texas, Tom DeLay, and a certain redistricting bill. And several Democrats who protested this bill by leaving, at which point DeLay tried to use the Department of Homeland Security to arrest them and bring them back(even though DeLay is--haha--no longer a member of the Texas legislature anyway). Now we see their next tactic: they are willing to use the intimidation of arrest to get their way, the threat of anthrax now apparently fading into memory. Shades of the Nazi party.

"It is clear that the Republicans are in denial about their behavior, and it is clear that the Democrats must draw a line in the sand on the repression of our rights in this Congress," said Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

Oh, they're not in denial at all. They know what they're doing. It's the rest of us who should wake up and know it. The Republicans want to establish a dictatorship in this country and have realized no one will stop them no matter how obvious they get.

"What are you going to do about it?"--Thomas Nast.

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17 July 2003
  Bush Impeached?

Is it possible the U.S. Congress might actually impeach a president for lying about something that matters?

Sen. Bob Graham says that if Bush indeed lied to Congress to gain their votes to allow him the power to attack Iraq and get all our limbs stuck in the murderous tar baby the still-ongoing war has become, yes.

"If in fact we went to war under false pretenses that is a very serious charge," Graham, the senior U.S. senator from Florida, told reporters in New Hampshire. "If the standard of impeachment is the one the House Republicans used against Bill Clinton, this clearly comes within that standard," he said.

Can a White House whose credibility is so tarred and whose lies are increasingly frequent and stupider last much longer? Only by killing people perhaps. Will the Congress be hit by another "mysterious" dose of anthrax once impeachment proceedings begin?

And will the Bush White House ever realize that public opinion actually does matter, and that the American people are losing patience with American men and women dying because of his blustering machismo, bad planning, and deception? Or does Karl Rove think most people watch Fox News?

His father had a rude awakening, and the son has so far stumbled right into each of his daddy's footsteps, only deeper into the mud.

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  "The more important question is who is it in the White House who was hellbent on misleading the American people and why are they still there?"--Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois

MSNBC has identified the man Tenet named today as Robert Joseph, a staff member of Bush's National Security Council and a special assistant to the president.

But how far will it trickle up from there? To Rice? To Cheney? To...but let's not spoil our appetite just yet.

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  Famous Last Words From Blair & Bush

"That is something I am confident history will forgive."

That's the best Tony Blair can do: the self-pitying words of a man going to his doom, which he is indeed when he gets home. Everything about him screams frightened.

Tonight on the news we saw a shaking, scared, humble Tony Blair like a schoolboy caned too many times address the Congress, attempting to cover his obvious quivering fear for his political career with an eminently lame joke about the chillier reception for him back in England. Then he and Bush lied some more about why we went to war with Iraq, and they really should keep their lines straight from day to day, or at least between them. Blair apparently also considered opening his speech with "my fellow Americans." That should endear him to the British.

Soon Bush's poodle will go home to his own kennel, at which point the other dogs will rip him to shreds.

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  Tenet Turnabout: Blame Back At White House

George Tenet yesterday told Congress that he didn't even know about the 16 words about the Niger uranium that ended up in Bush's State of the Union speech, which is odd for an intelligence director.

Apparently in the closed session he also mentioned the name of the White House official who insisted those words be included, according to Senator Dick Durbin:

Durbin, appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America," said that Tenet "certainly told us who the person was who was insistent on putting this language in which the CIA knew to be incredible, this language about the uranium shipment from Africa."

They cannot say the name, because of confidentiality rules, but Durbin has strongly implied that if the President doesn't come out to the American people about this, that may change.

Every president in trouble eventually makes an address to the nation designed to clear himself that only ends up making things worse. (see below) Look for Bush's soon.

I for one believe the American people have a right to know Cheney's name. Oops, almost gave away the secret! Sorry.

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16 July 2003
  Three Little Words

There are sixteen others that matter, sure. But remember these three words every time another American soldier's life is wasted in Iraq in over 12 attacks per day by increasingly organized guerilla forces.

"Bring 'em on."

The next time a single American is killed by a terrorist attack, or what is said to be one.

"Bring 'em on."

The minute Democrats get enough of a spine to destroy this horrifyingly corrupt regime. Which I cannot imagine any truly patriotic Republican standing either. Olympia Snowe has already made clear her position against Bush's Nixonian cant and stonewalling.

"Bring 'em on."

"I did not have sex with that woman."

"We are in a malaise."

"Well, I am not a crook."


People seem to remember not much else one way or another about these presidents, at least when brought first to mind, more important and telling about them besides the icon encapsulated in these words that destroyed each of them.

"Bring 'em on."

The stupid, poseur, ugly, shameless, careless, blustering and cowardly words that will send him to Hell one day, but also to a long, disgraced life long before that.

Shame it was already used for a cheerleading movie, though.

You may think he's merely stupid. What then are we to do when he blames the Niger uranium lies upon his staff? If his staff is as stupid and incompetent as we had already assumed(in much the same way we knew Clinton was a womanizer but also knew he was the only hope of the country in the wake of our barely surviving the last Bush) but tacitly agreed to overlook, why should this excuse him from being removed from an office that can be deadly to this country if in the hands of villain or incompetent? It would appear low expectations are now even lower realizations. Can we survive past 2004 with him still president?

It's your vote and your approval. Can't you hear Bush jeering at us all, "Well, what are you going to do about it?" We deserve to be laughed at. But that can be changed.

(apologies to Thomas Nast)

_______________________

Some amazingly pertinent holidays coming I bet you didn't know about. Celebrate them in a creative way.

Jul. 17 Captive Nations Week

Sep. 4 Patriot Day

Sep. 16 Citizenship Day and Constitution Week

Sep. 19 National POW/MIA Recognition Day

Sep. 29 Gold Star Mother's Day

By then there should be a lot of what used to be called Gold Star Mothers, so we'll have more to celebrate. Convenient, that.

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  Bush's Approval Rating Drops to 49 Percent

It dropped to 60 percent last week, then 53 percent.

As of today it's 49 percent. In other words, appropriately, it is dropping like a hanged man.

And Cheney may take the first political bullet soon. Should we take it as a sign that Gerald Ford visited the White House today, celebrating his 90th birthday? (as neither was an elected president nor very bright, Bush and Ford must have had a great deal to talk about)

The new commander of the over than 150,000 troops in Iraq today probably didn't help by announcing that the 3rd Infantry troops(the Third Infantry saw the first, and worst, fighting and can hardly be called slackers) that dared say they were being screwed would face punishment, which could be anything from a reprimand to a court-martial. Look for the first fragging next week. (oh wait, the first one occurred during the war) And how will they shut up their wives? And now that this is an attritive guerilla war, how exactly will Rumsfeld get the new troops that will be needed once the ones there are exhausted or dead? Look for a draft and soon.

Bush is in a corner and some time after he's removed in office he may realize it. But what will this desperate president not there rightfully anyway do in such a corner? Only scaring people has worked for him so far.

I'm betting his people will engineer a dirty bomb attack. Or allow one to happen.

Things are happening so fast all of a sudden, and it's not even 2004 yet. Goodness!

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  Bush Rewrites History With Crayon

Remember that Bush went to the UN nearly a year ago insisting there was no use in letting the UN inspectors do their work in Iraq, even if Saddam Hussein let them in--which he agreed to--because they would be fooled anyway? Remember that.

Now read this(scroll to end of text for pertinent section), or watch it. Keep in mind Bush was right next to Kofi Annan when he said it.

...did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in.

No, he didn't want to wait for the inspectors. That's what he insisted, incessantly, last year and this.

Does he think the rest of us have no memory at all? And more importantly, we must ask: is he on drugs again?
__________________

"We strongly recommend that you ask for Cheney's immediate resignation."

I can't wait to see this figurehead flounder once Cheney has to be removed. What, you say? Well, it appears he will be the one who takes the fall-as he should--as the one responsible for letting the 16 words about uranium and Niger, in fact pushing it, into the State of the Union address.

Below is the text of the open letter from former intelligence professionals from July 14, 2003, insisting Bush have Cheney resign.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT: Intelligence Unglued

The glue that holds the Intelligence Community together is melting under the hot lights of an awakened press. If you do not act quickly, your intelligence capability will fall apart -- with grave consequences for the nation.

The Forgery Flap

By now you are all too familiar with the play-by-play. The Iraq-seeking-uranium-in-Niger forgery is a microcosm of a mischievous nexus of overarching problems. Instead of addressing these problems, your senior staff are alternately covering up for one another and gently stabbing one another in the back. CIA Director George Tenet's extracted, unapologetic apology on July 11 was classic -- I confess; she did it.

It is now dawning on our until-now somnolent press that your national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, shepherds the foreign affairs sections of your state-of-the-union address and that she, not Tenet, is responsible for the forged information getting into the speech. But the disingenuousness persists. Surely Dr. Rice cannot persist in her insistence that she learned only on June 8, 2003, about former ambassador Joseph Wilson's mission to Niger in February 2002, when he determined that the Iraq-Niger report was a con-job. Wilson's findings were duly reported to all concerned in early March 2002. And, if she somehow missed that report, the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof on May 6 recounted chapter and verse on Wilson's mission, and the story remained the talk of the town in the weeks that followed.

Rice's denials are reminiscent of her claim in spring 2002 that there was no reporting suggesting that terrorists were planning to hijack planes and slam them into buildings. In September, the joint congressional committee on 9/11 came up with a dozen such reports.

Secretary of State Colin Powell's credibility, too, has taken serious hits as continued non-discoveries of weapons in Iraq heap doubt on his confident assertions to the UN. Although he was undoubtedly trying to be helpful in trying to contain the Iraq-Niger forgery affair, his recent description of your state-of-the-union words as "not totally outrageous" was faint praise indeed. And his explanations as to why he made a point to avoid using the forgery in the way you did was equally unhelpful.

Whatever Rice's or Powell's credibility, it is yours that matters. And, in our view, the credibility of the intelligence community is an inseparably close second. Attempts to dismiss or cover up the cynical use to which the known forgery was put have been -- well, incredible. The British have a word for it: "dodgy." You need to put a quick end to the dodginess, if the country is to have a functioning intelligence community.

The Vice President's Role

Attempts at coverup could easily be seen as comical, were the issue not so serious. Highly revealing were Ari Fleisher's remarks early last week, which set the tone for what followed. When asked about the forgery, he noted tellingly -- as if drawing on well memorized talking points -- that the Vice President was not guilty of anything. The disingenuousness was capped on Friday, when George Tenet did his awkward best to absolve the Vice President from responsibility.

To those of us who experienced Watergate these comments had an eerie ring. That affair and others since have proven that coverup can assume proportions overshadowing the crime itself. All the more reason to take early action to get the truth up and out.

There is just too much evidence that Ambassador Wilson was sent to Niger at the behest of Vice President Cheney's office, and that Wilson's findings were duly reported not only to that office but to others as well.

Equally important, it was Cheney who launched (in a major speech on August 26, 2002) the concerted campaign to persuade Congress and the American people that Saddam Hussein was about to get his hands on nuclear weapons -- a campaign that mushroomed, literally, in early October with you and your senior advisers raising the specter of a "mushroom cloud" being the first "smoking gun" we might observe.

That this campaign was based largely on information known to be forged and that the campaign was used successfully to frighten our elected representatives in Congress into voting for war is clear from the bitter protestations of Rep. Henry Waxman and others. The politically aware recognize that the same information was used, also successfully, in the campaign leading up to the mid-term elections -- a reality that breeds a cynicism highly corrosive to our political process.

The fact that the forgery also crept into your state-of-the-union address pales in significance in comparison with how it was used to deceive Congress into voting on October 11 to authorize you to make war on Iraq.

It was a deep insult to the integrity of the intelligence process that, after the Vice President declared on August 26, 2002, that "we know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons," the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) produced during the critical month of September featured a fraudulent conclusion that "most analysts" agreed with Cheney's assertion. This may help explain the anomaly of Cheney's unprecedented "multiple visits" to CIA headquarters at the time, as well as the many reports that CIA and other intelligence analysts were feeling extraordinarily great pressure, accompanied by all manner of intimidation tactics, to concur in that conclusion. As a coda to his nuclear argument, Cheney told NBC's Meet the Press three days before US/UK forces invaded Iraq: "We believe he (Saddam Hussein) has reconstituted nuclear weapons."

Mr. Russert: the International Atomic Energy Agency said he does not have a nuclear program; we disagree?

Vice President Cheney: I disagree, yes. And you'll find the CIA, for example, and other key parts of the intelligence community disagree. We know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. ElBaradei (Director of the IAEA) frankly is wrong.

Contrary to what Cheney and the NIE said, the most knowledgeable analysts -- those who know Iraq and nuclear weapons -- judged that the evidence did not support that conclusion. They now have been proven right.

Adding insult to injury, those chairing the NIE succumbed to the pressure to adduce the known forgery as evidence to support the Cheney line, and relegated the strong dissent of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (and the nuclear engineers in the Department of Energy) to an inconspicuous footnote.

It is a curious turn of events. The drafters of the offending sentence on the forgery in the president's state-of-the-union speech say they were working from the NIE. In ordinary circumstances an NIE would be the preeminently authoritative source to rely upon; but in this case the NIE itself had already been cooked to the recipe of high policy.

Joseph Wilson, the former US ambassador who visited Niger at Cheney's request, enjoys wide respect (including, like several VIPS members, warm encomia from your father). He is the consummate diplomat. So highly disturbed is he, however, at the chicanery he has witnessed that he allowed himself a very undiplomatic comment to a reporter last week, wondering aloud "what else they are lying about." Clearly, Wilson has concluded that the time for diplomatic language has passed. It is clear that lies were told. Sad to say, it is equally clear that your vice president led this campaign of deceit.

This was no case of petty corruption of the kind that forced Vice President Spiro Agnew's resignation. This was a matter of war and peace. Thousands have died. There is no end in sight.

Recommendation #1

We recommend that you call an abrupt halt to attempts to prove Vice President Cheney "not guilty." His role has been so transparent that such attempts will only erode further your own credibility. Equally pernicious, from our perspective, is the likelihood that intelligence analysts will conclude that the way to success is to acquiesce in the cooking of their judgments, since those above them will not be held accountable. We strongly recommend that you ask for Cheney's immediate resignation.

The Games Congress Plays

The unedifying dance by the various oversight committees of the Congress over recent weeks offers proof, if further proof were needed, that reliance on Congress to investigate in a non-partisan way is pie in the sky. One need only to recall that Sen. Pat Roberts, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has refused to agree to ask the FBI to investigate the known forgery. Despite repeated attempts by others on his committee to get him to bring in the FBI, Roberts has branded such a move "inappropriate," without spelling out why.

Rep. Porter Goss, head of the House Intelligence Committee, is a CIA alumnus and a passionate Republican and agency partisan. Goss was largely responsible for the failure of the joint congressional committee on 9/11, which he co-chaired last year. An unusually clear indication of where Goss' loyalties lie can be seen in his admission that after a leak to the press last spring he bowed to Cheney's insistence that the FBI be sent to the Hill to investigate members and staff of the joint committee -- an unprecedented move reflecting blithe disregard for the separation of powers and a blatant attempt at intimidation. (Congress has its own capability to investigate such leaks.)

Henry Waxman's recent proposal to create yet another congressional investigatory committee, patterned on the latest commission looking into 9/11, likewise holds little promise. To state the obvious about Congress, politics is the nature of the beast. We have seen enough congressional inquiries into the performance of intelligence to conclude that they are usually as feckless as they are prolonged. And time cannot wait.

As you are aware, Gen. Brent Scowcroft performed yeoman's service as National Security Adviser to your father and enjoys very wide respect. There are few, if any, with his breadth of experience with the issues and the institutions involved. In addition, he has avoided blind parroting of the positions of your administration and thus would be seen as relatively nonpartisan, even though serving at your pleasure. It seems a stroke of good luck that he now chairs your President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board

Recommendation #2

We repeat, with an additional sense of urgency, the recommendation in our last memorandum to you (May 1) that you appoint Gen. Brent Scowcroft, Chair of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board to head up an independent investigation into the use/abuse of intelligence on Iraq.

UN Inspectors

Your refusal to allow UN inspectors back into Iraq has left the international community befuddled. Worse, it has fed suspicions that the US does not want UN inspectors in country lest they impede efforts to "plant" some "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, should efforts to find them continue to fall short. The conventional wisdom is less conspiratorial but equally unsatisfying. The cognoscenti in Washington think tanks, for example, attribute your attitude to "pique."

We find neither the conspiracy nor the "pique" rationale persuasive. As we have admitted before, we are at a loss to explain the barring of UN inspectors. Barring the very people with the international mandate, the unique experience, and the credibility to undertake a serious search for such weapons defies logic. UN inspectors know Iraq, know the weaponry in question, know the Iraqi scientists/engineers who have been involved, know how the necessary materials are procured and processed; in short, have precisely the expertise required. The challenge is as daunting as it is immediate; and, clearly, the US needs all the help it can get.

The lead Wall Street Journal article of April 8 had it right: "If the US doesn't make any undisputed discoveries of forbidden weapons, the failure will feed already-widespread skepticism abroad about the motives for going to war." As the events of last week show, that skepticism has now mushroomed here at home as well.

Recommendation #3

We recommend that you immediately invite the UN inspectors back into Iraq. This would go a long way toward refurbishing your credibility. Equally important, it would help sort out the lessons learned for the intelligence community and be an invaluable help to an investigation of the kind we have suggested you direct Gen. Scowcroft to lead.

If Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity can be of any further help to you in the days ahead, you need only ask.

Ray Close, Princeton, NJ

David MacMichael, Linden, VA

Raymond McGovern, Arlington, VA

Steering Committee, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

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  "Just send my husband home -- send all the soldiers home."

While our president can't seem to decide which lie he's telling this week about why we went to war in Iraq and doesn't think any of us are keeping track of his lies, the similarities to Vietnam become ever more acute.

Now the troops themselves are starting to speak out, and what they're saying is that they were lied to as well, that they were supposed to be home by now and that they do not want to still be in Iraq.

"We were told the fastest way back home is through Baghdad and that's what we did. Now we are still here," says one from the 3rd Infantry.

"When I told [my wife] she started crying and I almost started crying. I just felt like my heart was broken. I could not figure out...how they could keep us here after they told us we were coming home," says another.

"If Donald Rumsfeld were here, I'd ask him for his resignation," says another.

"We slept next to each other just last night. He was my best friend," said one soldier who barely survived the attack(one of an average of 12 a day and rising ever since Bush dared them) that killed the mayor of Hadithah yesterday. He wept over his fellow soldier. I wonder if Bush has even lost a single hour of sleep over even one death.

Or is he in the White House calling these brave men "pussies" or something right now? The latter sounds more likely. But then, he has never been a soldier, never seen combat. How could he even understand?

Our president doesn't care if they die as long as the corporate snakes that sent them there are satisfied, and so he gets to put on a flight suit and pretend he was ever a soldier. Big man, that Bush, with a big mouth and a rancid piece of jelly where most have a brain.

The little chimp-faced thug dares the opposition to attack our troops with callous and idiotic statements like "Bring 'em on." And thinks our troops are nothing more than mindless cannon fodder that do not mind a bit when the enemy takes the dare.

Every day our troops are being murdered for nothing, in full and necessary body armor, in temperatures of over 100 degrees each day, and they were promised they'd come home while Rumsfeld nonchalantly says they could now come home in, oh, three or four years. But then Rumsfeld, Bush and the rest of the gang that is head of our government will say anything. They think you're all too stupid to notice lies unless they're about a blowjob. Dignity has been brought back to the Oval Office, eh?

Is this enough for you? It's enough for the troops.

Will you hypocrites who claim to "support the troops" support them in their desire to get the hell out of a place they don't belong anyway, or will you just call them cowards as it was never the troops you cared about, it was the vicarious fun of war?

They die for what? Are you even paying attention to what's happening there?
Here's a quick way to understand what it looks like.

Show that you actually give a damn about the troops, not that liar and usurper Bush. Bring them home, assholes. And call Bush to account for the lies and idiocies that have killed so many of them. Otherwise we don't deserve brave soldiers like these who have already suffered enough for Haliburton. Otherwise you are not patriots, just cowards who love to watch soldiers die and then piously declaim on their "sacrifice." It's a sacrifice they're intelligent enough to realize is not worth making. It's sickening to watch the ungrateful American people lazily not care about the lives of the half of our entire military dying for nothing over there.

Or maybe you chicken hawks could go over there instead of them if you're so damn tough.

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09 July 2003
  DOUBLETHINK

Donald Rumsfeld now claims with a face that is beginning to be far from straight that the WMDs--particularly the enriched "yellowcake" uranium from Niger story--had nothing to do with our president's decision to drag us into a war that was unnecessary and is increasingly looking more and more like Vietnam. (Rumsfeld even seems to be flashing back to the Nixon years, assuring our congress that the troops over there will be "rotated" back. Now where have we heard this bullshit before?...)

As Joe Conason said today, has the secretary never heard of videotape? Because on ABC news tonight after Rumsfeld's latest claim they showed his January 29th statement that is the exact opposite. Indeed, most people in this country didn't even know enriched uranium was even called yellowcake till the Bush administration, starting with the State of the Union speech(and further back, the UN speech), kept repeating this claim. This was the justification, and the Bush administration is once again demonstrating its absolute contempt for the American people. Even better, in his speech from Pretoria, Bush claimed that the ones pointing out gee, there are no WMDs and it's obvious you knew that, are "rewriting history." He also looked defensive and nervous. Just as he was looking in the summer of 2001.

How many more Americans have to die in Iraq before you've had enough? How many lies can he tell?

And how long before this, the suit against Cheney to find out his energy panel's doings, and the economy Bush has done nothing to help, finally catch up to him? Based on what we can recall of 2001, about five minutes before Bush allows another attack against us to shut everyone up for another two years. And wasn't Bush busy trying to open better relations with a third-world country, Mexico, to distract attention from domestic affairs right before Sept. 11 as well? Then it was with the empty promise of more open borders, easier immigration, and aid to Mexico. Now it's with the empty promise of helping African nations deal with the AIDS crisis. Parallels, folks?

This time, if another city is hit by an attack that could have prevented, let's just hope we have the courage to not believe his bullshit this time. Because this time we'll have every reason to ask, "We thought you'd make the country safer." This time he cannot pretend it was unanticipated. And I promise you, he will try it again.

Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. We have the government we deserve. Let's try to deserve better, folks. This liar and murderer needs to be put in the place he should have been before 9/11. He doesn't care about your lives or mine. He cares about power and an agenda irrelevant to all but his corporate and religious supporters, and could never manage if anyone dared fight back. Dare.

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08 July 2003
  DOESN'T BLAIR PAY ATTENTION TO THE NEWS?

Tony Blair is continuing to defend the intelligence the White House admitted was forged. Has he not noticed Bush himself has abandoned this pretext? (and Blair must really feel Bush is a pal now)

One wonders just how disconnected from the real world Blair is growing, but then this is often part of the downward spiral of British PMs. One recalls Thatcher's increasing lunacy before she had to step down(though as a member of the House of Lords, Thatcher is still in government, a fact many probably don't know). But to continue to insist the intelligence was correct when even Bush doesn't bother now?

Pure madness and it will destroy him. Look for Blair to be gone before the end of the year. What a fool, and what a sad way to go out.

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  MICHAEL SAVAGE'S UNAPOLOGY

How pathetic. Michael Savage now has an "apology" for his remarks(see further below) that cost him his MSNBC show. His claim is that he's spent his "entire lifetime" healing the sick and in no way meant to trivialize the AIDS crisis. He particularly apologized to his gay listeners. I'm sure both of them are pleased.

He claimed he did not know the remarks were being broadcast. I'll bet. But he made them all the same, calling the caller(whatever his origin; Savage claims it was a crank) a "sodomite" and saying "you should only get AIDS and die, you pig."

Fine words, whatever the context, from a "healer of the sick." I'm sure the medical profession is proud. Not that he is a member of said profession, though he is a PhD in "herbal medicine." Which is awfully impressive, isn't it--not that the medical profession considers herbal medicine at all scientific or, indeed, medicine.

We often say what we really mean when we're angry, however ashamed we might later be of having revealed our true nature in such a way. Wishing AIDS on a "sodomite" is kind of hard to take out of context, and for him to claim he only said that because he thought it was a crank reveals him to not only be a bigot but a cowardly one as well. Are these such trivial matters to a "healer of the sick" that he thinks there are some times it's appropriate? D'ya think he's saying this because it's possible he might lose his radio show for it as well?

He can crawl as much as he likes. You cannot unring a bell. He can say what he likes, and can be judged by it. Good riddance to the spineless bastard.

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  IRAQ URANIUM CLAIM FORGED, WHITE HOUSE ADMITS

Well, the White House has made it official: the claims that Iraq purchased uranium, or even tried to, from Nigeria were complete and utter bullshit.

"At the time, the national intelligence estimate on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction referred to attempts by Iraq to acquire uranium from several countries in Africa," said Michael Anton, a spokesman for the security council.

"We now know that documents alleging a transaction between Iraq and Niger had been forged," Anton said.


This, it seems, would mean Alastair Campbell & Tony Blair are not long politically for this world. A case of just too much damn eagerness to please, but what else can you expect from Blair the poodle?

Now one wonders when this will all catch up to the man who started this war with lies, lies, and more damned lies.

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07 July 2003
  SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS: BUSH'S STRANGE WAY OF DOING SO

"Bring 'em on," our president said, regarding the repeated attacks on our troops in Iraq.

"Bring 'em on." There are thirteen attacks(according to a NIGHTLINE report tonight) a day on the troops, and Bush seems to think this is cool. I guess this is restoring dignity to the Oval Office, eh?

Bush supporters: how far will you go in your mindless defense of this piece of human waste? Is it so important to you that you'll even defend this in your constant sheepery?

I never supported this war, but our troops are a different matter. I feel for them. I don't think they should have to suffer so Bush can feel macho. If I were a soldier in Iraq right now I would be even angrier at him after such a remark, with every attack those guys have to face. These are working-class guys who are doing the best they can in a situation they did not ask for but which they have the courage to endure. Those like me who are concerned for their lives and believe they should not have been sent to die for Haliburton in the first place are called traitors by the likes of Ann Coulter. But Bush is somehow supportive, he thinks, by daring the Iraqi opposition to kill them.

What kind of retarded reptile do we have in the Oval Office? What kind of adolescent testosterone-poisoned wimp speaks, officially, like a South Central gang leader? Or a mob boss? Do you feel safer or more secure when our president dares America's enemies to kill Americans? When he shows absolutely no respect for the families of the troops he obviously gives not a damn about? Can you name a single president who would have made such an idiotic remark? Who deserves to have this remark thrown in his face each and every day until Howard Dean crushes him in 2004?

The kind that is a criminal and considers our troops disposable fodder for his pointless strategies while he allows our economy and jobs to go down the toilet. The kind that lies to the American people about why we're going to war with a country that was no threat to us whatsoever. The kind that was not elected. That's what kind.

Brave words from a miserable, pathetic, chicken hawk who would not dare set foot in Iraq. If there is a hell, Bush has earned his place.

By the way: STILL NO WMDs.

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  Yes, Right-Wingers In Media Can Go Too Far

Yes! Michael Savage was fired from MSNBC today! Time to do a happy dance.

Seems he got a little too arrogant. Check out the exchange that deservedly lost him his plum little job:

Savage was taking viewer phone calls about airline horror stories, and a male caller began talking about smoking in the bathroom.

"Half an hour into the flight, I need to suggest that Don and Mike take your ..." the caller said, before he was cut off and his words became unintelligible.

"So you're one of those sodomists. Are you a sodomite?" Savage asked.

The caller replied: "Yes, I am."

"Oh, you're one of the sodomites," Savage said. "You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it."

He asked for another phone caller who "didn't have a nice night in the bathhouse who's angry at me today."

These bums "mean nothing to me," he said.


Of course, the fact that his ratings sucked might have made it an easier decision for his bosses. But one less media outlet for a piece of Nazi garbage like Savage is A-OK in my book. It reaffirms my faith in humanity by a tiny, tiny degree.

What am I saying? I never had any faith in humanity.

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  TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES

To a certain hacker who caused me much grief in the past few days:

I am going to send you to a very deep, dark place and I am going to have fun doing it.--MIller's Crossing.

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