Smirking Chimps Undermines War on Terror (TM)

August 11, 2006

When the AP runs a story like this, what else needs to be said?

WASHINGTON – While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology. Congressional leaders rejected the idea, the latest in a series of steps by the Homeland Security Department that has left lawmakers and some of the department’s own experts questioning the commitment to create better anti-terror technologies.

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Do They Actually Let Patriots Serve Anymore?

August 9, 2006

First came the ideological litmus test for the Pentagon brass (not to mention the State Department).

Then came the graft and corruption test, imposed by the smirking chimp himself (you had to be a devotee graft and corruption to keep your stars).

And what trifecta would be complete without a religious litmus test for cadets at the various military academies?

Meanwhile the military lowered the bar and started taking in Nazis, high school drop-outs, and people with “personality disorders” who are all about the signing bonus and “kill[ing] ’em all.”

Thank God they’re keeping the queers out, though!

Openly gay people are prohibited from serving in the U.S. military under a 1993 policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The military can’t ask if a service member is gay, but those who say they are gay are discharged.

The U.S. military argues that barring gays from the military is critical to maintaining a unit’s “cohesion,” the trust among service members crucial to combat effectiveness.

Harassment of gays, however, is prohibited. The
Pentagon, in a 2000 memo to the armed services and commanders, said “mistreatment, harassment, and inappropriate comments or gestures” based on sexual orientation were not acceptable.

On the Navy’s USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, for example, anti-gay statements and jokes are on display and have been incorporated into a video about the F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft, recently shown to reporters on the carrier.

Pilots on the Roosevelt sported T-shirts, also shown to reporters including a Reuters correspondent, that said, “I’m a Tomcat guy and you’re a homo.” The commander of the fighter squadron, in fact, wore the shirt.


Where’d the Trolls Go?

August 8, 2006

Not that I’ve had a lot of them, and not that I would want to have more, but I have to wonder where the trolls who have hit this blog from time-to-time have gone? I don’t moderate posts here, and I only delete spam, so where are all the pro-war, pro-Shrub, What?-Me-Worry? trolls who were doing the cyberspace equivalent of ringing my doorbell and running just six months ago?

I took a short tour this morning of some of their blogs and was shocked – SHOCKED – to find that there’s hardly a peep coming out from them about The War on Terror (TM) these days. Or about the Smirking Chimp, the economy, the Israeli-Hizballah conflict, etc. Even Kender’s Musings, whose masthead seems to imply all-War on Terror TM coverage all-the-time, hasn’t touched on anything more threatening to America than the ACLU since June!

(Normally I don’t plug a right-wing site, but as someone once pointed out, the wingnuts have been good to me on occassion.)

Could it be that all is not well in right-wing fantasy land?

Nah. And anyone who thinks so probably just Hates Freedom (TM).


Why Do So Many Generals Hate Freedom (TM)?

August 8, 2006

I wouldn’t have thought it necessary to blog about the unprecedented act of retired military brass taking a political stance and advocating the ouster of a sitting Defense Secretary, but when Lindsay Lohan being calling “firecrotch” gets more press than the former, I can’t help but jump in. Here’s the tally so far according to ThinkProgress.org:

And let’s not forget that a number of West Point Alumni Hate Freedom (TM), too!


A Few Bad Apples…

August 7, 2006

According to the BBC:

A US military hearing has examined testimony of how three soldiers took it in turns to try to rape an Iraqi girl aged 14 in Mahmudiya in March.

The girl and three family members were allegedly killed by four US soldiers. The four are alleged to have helped a former private – Steven Green, who has since left the army – plan, carry out and cover up the attack.

Mr Green has pleaded not guilty in a federal court and will be tried separately in the US. A fifth soldier is alleged to have lied to cover up for his colleagues.

On the day of the attack the soldiers had been drinking Iraqi whisky mixed with an energy drink and practising golf strokes at a checkpoint south of Baghdad, Mr Barker’s statement said. One of the soldiers, Steven Green, said he “wanted to go to a house and kill some Iraqis,” it alleged.

And just who is Steven Green? According to MSNBC and Newsweek:

Even before he went to Iraq, Steven Green scared people. Growing up in oil-rich Midland, Texas, a small community full of pumping jacks, pickup trucks and fast-food restaurants, Green was known as a petulant loner and a hard-drinking druggie. Mostly what people remember is his seething, seemingly random rage. In high school, Green would jump on other kids for offenses like wearing a green shirt, or using a white cigarette lighter—anything he’d arbitrarily claim to hate. His best friend, Mike, recalls remarking to Green once that he wanted to punch another kid standing nearby. “I’ll do it!” Green said, and ran over and socked the boy. Another friend remembers the time when they were hanging out at his place and Green wanted to play a Guns N’ Roses CD. When the others said they wanted to hear something else, Green put the disc on anyway, blasting the music at full volume until people left, one by one.

[T]he Army seemed to offer everything Green lacked: money, friends, a place to stay, possibly even fame. Boot camp, Green later told friends, was great. He bragged about being a part of the world’s most powerful military, and he was excited to get to Iraq. “He wanted to be a hero,” says Hugh Bailey, 54, a Vietnam-veteran Marine who befriended Green. When he enlisted in February 2005, Green exultantly told Mike and others, like the mother of one of his friends, Alma Thomas: “I’m gonna go over there and kill ’em all.”

Wow, what a great attitude to take to an allied country where we’re spreading freedom and democracy! So how did someone like this get into the Army in the first place? Again, according to MSNBC and Newsweek:

In 2005, about the time Green was accepted, the Army raised the limit on the so-called Category 4 recruits it would allow, the designation for soldiers with the lowest scores on its aptitude test. (Green’s score is not known.) The Army has also been handing out more waivers—including case-by-case exceptions for criminal offenses—which increased by 3 percent last year. Basic training has slipped as well. In years past, basic was geared to “wash out” those unfit for the stresses of military life. Now it has been reformulated to keep as many recruits as possible. “What you’re seeing is the reverse of what made the Army so effective,” says Sen. Jack Reed of the Armed Services Committee.

Well, at least they’re driving all the queer language experts out of the military at any rate.

A fish rots from the head down. Although his apologists will cry foul, this is Rumsfeld’s fault. And in the interests of being fair to the embattled Secretary of Defense, let’s not forget that he serves at the pleasure of the person currently occupying the White House.


Quote of the Week: August 7, 2006

August 6, 2006

Every fundamentalist movement I’ve studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced at some gut, visceral level that secular liberal society wants to wipe out religion. – Karen Armstrong


The Star Chamber, American-Style

August 2, 2006

According to today’s Washington Post:

A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such “commissions” to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal.

The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court’s jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.

So what’s the problem?  Won’t this make Americans safer?  Well, maybe if “safer” means living in a state of terror imposed by our own government rather than by foreign terrorists:

Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors.

Detainees would also not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the police state has already arrived in America.  The question before We, the People is not whether we will allow it to come, but how long will we tolerate its presence in our midst.