Monday, September 11, 2006

Just say no . . . to fear

Big get together at C.I.'s and praise to whomever grabbed the stereo remote and pumped up the volume (on music) during The KPFA Evening News while Bully Boy was speaking. (Not a complaint, his speech was news and they covered it but the last thing I needed today was to hear his whiney voice spitting out his endless lies.)

So what did you do? Did you take part in fear today or celebrate life and survival.

I refused to engage in his so-called "wahr" on terror and live in fear.

Let me do a strong shout out on David Rovics' new CD Halliburton Boardroom Massacre which is wonderful (and among the discs blasting tonight). That won't be my next review (I hope to have one completed by Saturday). But, time permitting, I will be reviewing it. This is a really strong CD and for more than that, I'll need to live with it for awhile more. (Which won't be a punishment, it's wonderful.)

So are you engaging in fear? Or refuting it? (Refuting it the way adults did when the United States had them -- like during WWII when we were urged to remember that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.) I prefer to live standing up, not cowering from fear.

There was a plane 'scare' today. Where a plane headed to Georgia got re-routed (to Dallas, I think) because a cell phone and back pack were found on it. This underscores the real problems in the airline industry. Instead of, as the dumb ass New York Times urged, surrendering all carry on items, the industry needs to do its job.

How did a backpack end up left on a plane? Turns out it was from a previous flight. What does that tell you about safety. People deboard from a flight and a backpack is left on it and not taken care of between flights. You'd think the airline industry would be checking every nook and cranny after a flight. That obviously wasn't the case.

So the US had a few moments of "Fear!" if they wanted to grab it. And of course the scare monkey showed up this evening to try to scare America some more. He sure was wordy for a man who couldn't find his voice on September 11, 2001.

I'll note a few 9-11 things. First Marc Ash's "September 11th, Our Report:"

We find that the Bush administration used the power of the executive branch for months after the attacks of 9/11 to block the creation of any official investigation into the action of the US government. Further, such resistance by the Bush administration to an official investigation continued in the face of repeated demands by the families of the victims of the attacks. It was, in fact, that very pressure from the victims' families that forced the Bush administration to reverse their position and negotiate the creation of investigative body. However, during those negotiations, the Bush administration refused - again - to cooperate, until two demands were met: The 9/11 Commission must agree not to investigate the executive branch, and the Bush administration itself must be allowed to appoint - without review - the chairman of the commission.
Clearly the Bush administration used, from the start, the power it had negotiated to protect its own interests. The appointment of former Nixon secretary of state Henry Kissinger as 9/11C chairman drew immediate fire from critics, who charged that Kissinger would be more likely to obscure the truth than reveal it. Kissinger resigned less than two weeks later, after refusing to reveal the names of corporations whose interests he represented. The subsequent appointment of former New Jersey Republican governor Thomas Kean was less controversial but ultimately subject to the final authority, the Bush administration.
We find that the objectivity and impartiality of the 9/11C must have been compromised by being under the direct control of the Bush administration. Further, such direct control of the 9/11C by Bush administration officials renders the conclusions of the actions of the Bush administration before, during, and after the attacks of 9/11 by the 9/11C fatally discredited. In short: We find that there has been no meaningful independent official investigation of the actions of the Bush administration's actions before, during, and after the attacks of 9/11.
We find that many high-ranking Bush administration officials hold personal financial interests in the Middle East region. We find that the attacks and resulting military campaigns did significantly enrich - personally - many high-ranking Bush administration officials. Those officials include, but are not limited to: George W. Bush, through his family's oil and energy holdings in the region and their interest in the international arms trade through the Carlyle group; and Richard Cheney, through an ongoing relationship with the Halliburton Corporation and its subsidiaries. In addition, Condoleezza Rice's free movement back and forth between the job of National Security Adviser to Chevron director and back to National Security Adviser again creates a conflict of interest.

History and events Bully Boy couldn't cite in his fear jaw boning tonight. Things that vanish from the memory as we're supposed to crawl to him, clutch his knees and cry out, "Think you for making us 'safer,' not safe!" With more things that are forgotten, Robert Scheer's "Gaping Holes in the 9/11 Narrative:"

Last week, Bush conceded that there were indeed secret CIA prisons, when finally announcing that the group of "key witnesses" to the 9/11 disaster would be moved to Guantanamo and for once afforded visits form the Red Cross and minimal legal representation. Some of them have been interrogated in secret for up to five years, with the Bush Administration left as the sole interpreter of what they revealed.
After five years of official deceit, it is not too difficult to believe that the isolation of those prisoners was done less for reasons of learning the truth about 9/11 and more in an effort to politically manage the narrative released to the public.
There is glaring evidence that the latter was the case. The 9/11 Commission report contains a disclaimer box on page 146, in which it is stated that the report’s account of what happened on 9/11 was in considerable measure based on what those key witnesses allegedly told interrogators, and that the commissioners were not allowed to meet the witnesses or their interrogators.
"We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no control over whether, when or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting."
In short, the most cited source that we have on what happened on 9/11, the much celebrated 9/11 Commission Report, was stage-managed by the Bush administration, just as it has controlled and distorted so much other information.
In light of that sorry record of the propagandistic exploitation of the 9/11 tragedy for partisan political purpose, is it any wonder that large numbers of Americans have doubts about all of it and that a considerable industry of documentaries and investigative reports has sprung up with alternative theories ranging from the plausible to the absurd?

So as the Bully Boy tries to scare us all yet again on the eve of another election, remember the above. And don't forget Iraq. The reality of it which will never tumble out of his mouth. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday September 11, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, military intelligence declares al-Anbar province lost, a US soldier was shot dead on Sunday, Ehren Watada's parents continue to get the word out on their son and the White House offers a divided front as various spinners rush to figure out the party line on the revelations from last week that there was no link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.

In the United States, Friday saw the release of the latest two sections of the
Senate Intel Report which underscored there was no link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. As outlined by Jonathan Weisman's (Washington Post) report, the committee findings were based on CIA assessments before the war and (2002 assessments) and during (most recently in October 2005). US Senator Olympia Snowe specifically cited that "the report concluded that Colin Powell recieved his "blot," when testifying to the United Nations before the illegal war, by citing information that "two April 2002 CIA assessments, a May 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency fabrication notice and a July 2002 National Intelligence Council warning" had already refuted.

At the White House, flack Tony Snow Job decired the report as "
nothing new" (BBC News) apparently of the opinion that all Americans already grasped that the nation was lied into war.

On Sunday, fear's playground pusher Condi Rice stormed the airwaves like the star of a tanking big-budget film (think Ahnuld and Last Action Hero) desperate to goose the gross. The always good for a laugh US Secretary of State Rice assured Americans that Iraq still made Speed look like a slow ride to Grandma's; that they should forget the gross, the net on this war was going to be unbelievable; and, oh yeah, forget what the Senate report said, it was wrong. Rice, as
reported by the AFP, stated, "There were ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda" and "We know that Zarqawi was running a poison network in Iraq." So much 'knowledge,' so little awareness. One more time, Condi, for chuckles, what was the name of the August 6, 2001 PDB that you apparently also 'knew' was nothing to fret over?

A White House in shambles divided further on Sunday. After offical flak Tony Snow Job said "nothing new" about the Senate report, after Condi Rice followed that Sunday with her assertion that the report was just plain wrong, the man a heart beat away from the Bully Boy went a different way. Looking America in the face, Dick Cheney basically said, "So f**king what?"

Steven Thomma (McClatchy Newspapers) reports Cheney's money-quote (pay attention, America): "It was the right thing to do and if we had it to do over again, we'd do exactly the same." But would the 2669 Americans who lost their lives in the illegal Iraq war, would they? While Rice tried to dispell the stench of bad box office, Cheney came off like a never-was whose lingered too long and is desperate for that best supporting actress nomination. He's busy preparing his "For your consideration" ad and will probably use this tagline: "Clearly, the intelligence that said he [Hussein] did [have WMD] was wrong." An understatement to be sure and, as Thomma notes, the Dickster failed at "elaborating on his own role or the White House decision to later honor [George] Tenet with the Medal of Freedom."

On Monday,
Thomas E. Ricks (Washington Post) reported that a military assessment has written off al Anbara Province in southern Iraq. Ricks reports that Col. Pete Devlin, "chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq," wrote a report on August 16th of this year "concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there".

On the ground in Iraq today, the violence and chaos continued.


CBS and AP note a mini bus bomb in Baghdad that has killed at least 16 Iraqis. BBC says it resulted from a "bomber, who was wearing an explosive belt . . . reported to have boarded the bus at the centre." AFP states: "The minibus was rammed by a car rigged with explosives right next to Muthanna recruiting center". The bus was carry army recruits and CBS and AP state: "Although further details were not avaialbe, such mini buses are often used by suicide bombers."

In addition to the above bombing,
Reuters notes a two in Baghdad (one in Talbiya district, the other in Jihad district) that left at least six wounded while one in Mosul left one person wounded.


In Baghdad, the
AP reports a man and a woman were shot dead "at a telephone exchange center". Reuters reports a police officer (Hasan Radhi al-Azzawi) was shot dead in Kut, a civilian was shot dead ("outside his home") in Iskandariya, a female postal worker was shot dead in Baghdad and a person was shot dead in Hilla.


AFP reports a corpse was discovered in Suweira, two in the Diyala province and three in the Babel province. Reuters reports a severed head was discovered in Hindiya.

Not taking into account the corpses,
CBS and AP report that at least 20 died in Baghdad today and at least nine more elsewhere in Iraq.

In peace news,
Ehren Watada's parents continue getting their word out on their son, the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy in Iraq. Speaking with Sandip Roy (Asian Weekly), father Bob Watada explained his son's decision, "It's in the code of military justice, it's in the field manuals that you have a duty to disobey an unlawful order. The Nuremberg Tribunal that we signed on to and probably drafted parts of, clearly says any military official can be prosecuted if they are complicit in war crimes and clearly we have massive war crimes going on in Iraq."

While Bob Watada gets the word out in the mainland, Ehren Watada's mother Carolyn Ho has been speaking in Hawaii.
Amanda C. Gregg (Kauai News) reports on one recent gathering where Ho spoke of, "The [United Nations] charter . . . expressly states that countries cannot go to war unless the security council votes for it. . . . People say the U.S. Congress can allow the president to make war, but the U.S. Congress was given information that was deceptive -- that there was evidence of weapons of mass destruction -- and it made a decision on that basis." Ho hopes for the response to the growing awareness is as follows: "What we've envisioned is to have thousands of people come out to the highway and the streets that surround Fort Lewis and have a group that plans to do so with demonstrations."

That is in the case that Ehren Watada is scheduled for a court-martial. An
Article 32 hearing, heard testiomony Thursday August 17th and the presiding officer's recommendation was to proceed with a court-martial. Lt. Col. Mark Keith's recommendation is now winding its way through the chain of command and, as Gregg notes, a court martial is "expected to be scheduled within the next few months." More information on Watada can be found at Courage to Resist and

Writing for Op-Ed News, David Swanson notes, "Only, we the people of the United States, getting off our couches and acting will put an end to this growing nightmare."
And one way to act (and one of the many ways Swanson is making a stand) is via
Camp Democracy in DC which is free and open to the public and continues daily through September 21st. As David Ceasar (GW Hatchet Online) notes, today's activities revolve around "an all-day festival with workshops, speakers and entertainment on the National Mall between 3rd and 7th streets." Tomorrow's activities include Climate Crisis Day (sponsored by Rainforest Action Network) and an evening presentation by Mark Karlin (the editor and publisher of BuzzFlash). A complete schedule can be found here.

CODEPINK's Troops Home Fast action continues and is on day 68, and due to continue like Camp Democracy, is set to wrap run through September 21st (International Peace Day).Currently, at least 5023 people are participating. Those wanting to fast can grab a one-day fast at any point between now and the 21st or grab a one-day a week fast. Long term fasts are also possible but seek out advice before embarking on any long term fast.

Other peace actions are going on and will be going on. In a correction to an NYC event
noted last week, one that starts this Friday, all performances do not start at 7:00 pm each night. Friday September 15, Saturday September 16 will start at 7:00 pm; however, Sunday September 17's performance will begin at 3:00 p.m. What are we speaking of? The People Speak directed by Will Pomerantz and Rob Urbinati. This is a workshop adaptation of Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's Voices of a People's History of the United States. The workshop will take place at The Culture Project's Bleecker Street Theater on 45 Bleecker Street. Tickets are ten dollars and can be ordered online here or here or purchased in person at the box office (box office does not take ticket orders). For those in NYC, or who will be during those dates, click here for a map. The presentation is part of the Impact Festival.