Quote of the Week: September 24, 2006

September 27, 2006

I’m certain that if my husband and his national security team had been shown a classified report entitled ‘Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside the United States’ he would have taken it more seriously than history suggests it was taken by our current president and his national security team. – Hillary Clinton


Never Send a Contractor to do a Soldier’s Job

September 27, 2006

Nearly one year ago today, the Washington Post had this to say about the state of the Iraqi armed forces “rebuilt” by the current regime under the direction of Donald Rumsfeld:

The number of Iraqi army battalions that can fight insurgents without U.S. and coalition help has dropped from three to one, top U.S. generals told Congress yesterday, adding that the security situation in Iraq is too uncertain to predict large-scale American troop withdrawals anytime soon.

With that kind of negative press a year ago, why hasn’t the situation improved? Why has it gotten worse instead of better? Because of the fact that Donald Rumsfeld, with the blessing of the republican Congressional majority, is using Iraq as a cash cow for the only real constituency they care about – private military contractors.

Oh, how the worm has turned! Originally hailed for “training Iraqi soldiers, providing security, and – oh! – so much more,” they’re now another line-item embarassment in multi-billion dollar stop-gap funding bills that the “liberal media” is giving the shrub yet another free pass on.

Why is this an op-ed piece in last month’s Boston Globe instead of front-page news?

While Army privates died overseas earning $25,000 a year, David Brooks, the disgraced former CEO of body-armor maker DHB, made $192 million in stock sales in 2004. He staged a reported $10 million bat mitzvah for his daughter. The 2005 pay package for Halliburton CEO David Lesar, head of the firm that most symbolizes the occupation’s waste, overcharges, and ghost charges on no-bid contracts, was $26 million, according to the report’s analysis of federal Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Who’d have thunk it, what with the pro-military party of fiscal responsiblity in power? You know, the ones who haven’t held a single oversight committee meeting since this farce in the Gulf began.


More U.S. Generals, NIE Hate Freedom ™

September 27, 2006

Six months after the National Intelligence Estimate concluded that the war in Iraq is a ‘cause célèbre’ for Islamic extremists that has created a breeding ground for terrorist wannabees, only a single republican Congressman bothered to show up for the first of three days of testimony by an array of retired top military brass calling for Donald Rumsfeld’s ouster.

In extraordinary testimony from former senior military men during wartime, retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton said Rumsfeld “continues to fight this war on the cheap” and denounced him as “incompetent.” Retired Army Major Gen. John Batiste called the United States “arguably less safe now than it was on Sept. 11, 2001.” And retired Marine Col. Thomas X. Hammes compared the shifting of U.S. troops from one Iraq hot spot to the next to a game of “Whack-A-Mole.”

And where is the “liberal media”? Why, covering Fox “News'” prime-time smearing of Bill Clinton of course! Been there, done that, as so eloquently summarized by Michael Hirsch:

[F]or the record, the Bush administration barely paid attention to bin Laden before 9/11, as documented by the 9/11 Commission and other inquiries. On Jan. 26, 2001—six days after Bush’s inauguration—an FBI report for the first time conclusively tied the USS Cole bombing in Yemen to Al Qaeda. A few weeks later, CIA Director George Tenet raised the stakes, calling bin Laden’s global terror network “the most immediate and serious threat” to U.S. national security. Yet there was no retaliation for the Cole or any other Al Qaeda attack for eight months—the “principals” did not even hold a meeting on how to deal with the terrorist group—despite Tenet’s increasingly urgent warnings about an Al Qaeda attack in the summer of 2001.

The corporate media has a point that the current regime is going to try to make political points at its expense by “shooting the messenger,” but in the end they – and the American people – only have themselves to blame for giving the smirking chimp and his cronies another free pass.


Quote of the Week: September 17, 2006

September 17, 2006

The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. – GK Chesterton


Your Tax Dollars at Work

September 6, 2006

I just wanted to share that one of my guests here at True Blue Blog, in addition to the usual unsupported arguments, pot-calling-the-kettle-black accusations, and generally boorish behavior that’s the hallmark of most online neocons is also an employee at the Pentagon who apparently has nothing better to do with his time than surf the Web and troll progressive blogs.

Nice.

Thank God my friends and family who are deployed in Iraq right now have someone so dedicated to their mission to rely on.  And thank you, Roci, for serving your country and supporting your brothers and sisters in-arms so well on my dime.


How Republicans Helped Osama Bring Down the Towers

September 6, 2006

…and set up the rape of our democracy under the shrub:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Clinton urged Congress Tuesday to act swiftly in developing anti-terrorism legislation before its August recess.

“We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue,” Clinton said during a White House news conference.

But while the president pushed for quick legislation, Republican lawmakers hardened their stance against some of the proposed anti-terrorism measures.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, doubted that the Senate would rush to action before they recess this weekend. The Senate needs to study all the options, he said, and trying to get it done in the next three days would be tough.

One key GOP senator was more critical, calling a proposed study of chemical markers in explosives “a phony issue.”


Taggants value disputed

Clinton said he knew there was Republican opposition to his proposal on explosive taggants, but it should not be allowed to block the provisions on which both parties agree.

“What I urge them to do is to be explicit about their disagreement, but don’t let it overcome the areas of agreement,” he said.

The president emphasized coming to terms on specific areas of disagreement would help move the legislation along. The president stressed it’s important to get the legislation out before the weekend’s recess, especially following the bombing of Centennial Olympic Park and the crash of TWA Flight 800.

“The most important thing right now is that they get the best, strongest bill they can out — that they give us as much help as they can,” he said.

Hatch blasts ‘phony’ issues

Republican leaders earlier met with White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta for about an hour in response to the president’s call for “the very best ideas” for fighting terrorism.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerged from the meeting and said, “These are very controversial provisions that the White House wants. Some they’re not going to get.”

Hatch called Clinton’s proposed study of taggants — chemical markers in explosives that could help track terrorists — “a phony issue.”

“If they want to, they can study the thing” already, Hatch asserted. He also said he had some problems with the president’s proposals to expand wiretapping.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said it is a mistake if Congress leaves town without addressing anti-terrorism legislation. Daschle is expected to hold a special meeting on the matter Wednesday with Congressional leaders.

Thanks to PointyHead over at Shoutwire.com for digging this up and reminding us all what hypocritical opportunists the people we’ve entrusted the Republic to actually are.