Saturday, September 30, 2006

How do you know what things you don't want to know?

Think Progress has a post by a counsel to the 9/11 commission. In it he points to an episode in Woodward's new book:
about a special surprise visit that George Tenet and his counterterrorism chief Cofer Black made to Condi Rice, also on July 10, 2001:

They went over top-secret intelligence pointing to an impending attack and “sounded the loudest warning” to the White House of a likely attack on the U.S. by Bin Laden.

Woodward writes that Rice was polite, but, “They felt the brushoff.”

The 9/11 commission was not informed about this meeting, or at least it didn't show up in the report.
According to Woodward’s book, Cofer Black exonerates them all this way: “Though the investigators had access to all the paperwork about the meeting, Black felt there were things the commissions wanted to know about and things they didn’t want to know about.”
So the 9/11 commission wanted to know only certain things, and they didn't want to know others. Doesn't that make the whole thing a joke? Ha ha.
BTW, Cofer Black, like George Tenet, has gone on to finer things. He's now a vice-president at Blackwater.

The Times ain't a changin'

Congressman Foley's adventures in cyberspace certainly appear to have all the characteristics that should have the media's mouth watering. There's sex, there's gay sex, there's teen sex and there is a prominent Congressman involved in all three. There's the irony that Foley has deftly hoisted himself on his own petard by promoting and passing a law that he seems to have feloniously violated. There seems to have been a deliberate cover-up by the House leadership.
So how does the New York Times report it? Under the 'More News' section their headline is 'Along With Victories, G.O.P. Takes a Few Blows'. There is no mention in the article of the cover-up.
Let's face it, for the New York Times, being a Republican entitles you to a free pass. They are continuing to use their position as the 'paper of record' to help the Republicans remain in control of Congress, and in two years they will do their part once again by smearing the Democratic candidate for president, and boosting the Republican candidate.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's all over now, babies blue

The Senate has passed the terror/torture/detention bill. It's nearly the same as the House bill, so it might be signed by Dear Leader this week.
I'm finding it more and more difficult to imagine how the United States can ever return from the abyss we've dived into. Congress is a collection of cowardly, thieving knaves, the press is in cahoots with the worst administration ever, and the voters think everything is great if the price of gas goes down before an election. Stevens, the possible fifth vote on the Supreme Court that could preserve some tatters of the Constitution is now 86, when he dies or quits there will be a solid majority that believes in supreme executive power.
The authoritarian impulse will accelerate. The difference between a 'cut and run' Democrat and a treasonous Democrat is very thin and those with the guts to speak up are going to be labeled just that, 'traitors'. I'm somewhat surprised that we haven't yet seen a more robust 'brownshirt' movement, that's the logical next step and perhaps the time is now.
Anyway, I guess I've just got to learn to live with this queasy feeling in my guts, at least until something worse happens.
Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging, continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space?
-F. Nietzsche

Not all boards are bad

An interesting new surfing style is being used by none other than Laird Hamilton. The LA Times has the write up on paddle surfing.

Waterboarding 101

Since our plucky little country has decided that there are certain techniques we just can't live without, I suggest you familiarize yourself with one of the most popular, waterboarding.
Here are the implements and here is a simulated but realistic example.
Quiz next week.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Election predictions

I have a solid record as a prognosticator, my predictions pan out about once or twice in ten. Sports, elections, weather, it's all grist for my inaccurate mill.
Over the years, my lack of respectable results has led me to try to predict things that I don't want to happen, but the universe seems to detect my ruse which it then thwarts.
Still undaunted, I offer my 10 fearless predictions of world and national events up to the elections:
  1. Democrats do better, but fail to win back either the House or the Senate.
  2. The national media continues to operate as an arm of the RNC.
  3. Schwartznegger is re-elected in California. Yuk.
  4. There will not be an attack on Iran before the election.
  5. Gasoline prices will continue to fall modestly.
  6. Bush's approval rating rises modestly. (see 2 and 5 above)
  7. Rumsfeld will not resign.
  8. Iraq and Afghanistan will continue to deteriorate, but the media won't notice.
  9. Torture bill passes, Democrats are mostly on board.
  10. No major hurricanes hit the US.
2, 3, and 8 I regard as almost sure things, 2 probably shouldn't be allowed, so sue me. Check back in November to see how I do.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Isn't that the point?

Bernard at Moon of Alabama points out that the new provisions of the upcoming 'terror/torture' law will mean that we are all targets now.
The primary goal of the Cheney administration is untrammeled domestic power, it's the same with all empires. Foreign conquest is always secondary, a tool to be used to ensure that enough money and rhetorical points are available to quash any opposition.
Once this point is reached, and I believe it has, the elimination of internal threats to power proceeds. As it stands, 95% of the press, and 95% of the Democrats are on board with Cheney, all they need to do is drink the kool-aid and keep their eyes pointed straight ahead. The remaining five percenters are going to find that pressure will increase to go with the flow. McCarthy type tactics will be sufficient for most of these, but with the president's hand strengthened by this new legislation, the temptation to make examples of few will happen in the not too distant future.
They locked up Padilla without any legal justification, now they can even think about sending the AG's boys to face down some judges.

I'm back?

I can feel the relief from all of you. Even if Billmon signs off for a while, at least Dick Durata is back, informing, enlightening, and amusing.