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THE definitive takedown of Swift Boats for Gutter Politics, courtesy of the NYT.
A series of interviews and a review of documents show a web of connections to the Bush family, high-profile Texas political figures and President Bush's chief political aide, Karl Rove.

Records show that the group received the bulk of its initial financing from two men with ties to the president and his family - one a longtime political associate of Mr. Rove's, the other a trustee of the foundation for Mr. Bush's father's presidential library. A Texas publicist who once helped prepare Mr. Bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president provided them with strategic advice. And the group's television commercial was produced by the same team that made the devastating ad mocking Michael S. Dukakis in an oversized tank helmet when he and Mr. Bush's father faced off in the 1988 presidential election.

The strategy the veterans devised would ultimately paint John Kerry the war hero as John Kerry the "baby killer" and the fabricator of the events that resulted in his war medals. But on close examination, the accounts of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' prove to be riddled with inconsistencies. In many cases, material offered as proof by these veterans is undercut by official Navy records and the men's own statements [...]

Mr. Perry, who has given $200,000 to the group, is the top donor to Republicans in the state, according to Texans for Public Justice, a nonpartisan group that tracks political donations. He donated $46,000 to President Bush's campaigns for governor in 1994 and 1998. In the 2002 election, the group said, he donated nearly $4 million to Texas candidates and political committees.

Mr. Rove, Mr. Bush's top political aide, recently said through a spokeswoman that he and Mr. Perry were longtime friends, though he said they had not spoken for at least a year. Mr. Rove and Mr. Perry have been associates since at least 1986, when they both worked on the gubernatorial campaign of Bill Clements.

After documenting the group's close ties to prominant Republicans with close ties to Rove and Bush himself, the piece takes on the allegations they've spewed.

Among other things, the long piece includes the outing of Jerome Corsi (courtest of Atrios) as a wingnut Freeper (who then cowardly backstabs his Freeper bretheren by apologizing and distancing himself from the site); the claims by Dr. Letson that he treated one of Kerry's wounds, when in fact, his name appears nowhere in any records; how Larry Thurlow claims Kerry's Bronze Star is fraudulent because Kerry encountered no enemy fire the night of his heroics, and so on...

Actually let's check in on the Thurlow portion, since it so vividly illustrates just how hard hitting this piece is:

A damage report to Mr. Thurlow's boat shows that it received three bullet holes, suggesting enemy fire, and later intelligence reports indicate that one Vietcong was killed in action and five others wounded, reaffirming the presence of an enemy. Mr. Thurlow said the boat was hit the day before. He also received a Bronze Star for the day, a fact left out of "Unfit for Command."

Asked about the award, Mr. Thurlow said that he did not recall what the citation said but that he believed it had commended him for saving the lives of sailors on a boat hit by a mine. If it did mention enemy fire, he said, that was based on Mr. Kerry's false reports. The actual citation, Mr. Thurlow said, was with an ex-wife with whom he no longer has contact, and he declined to authorize the Navy to release a copy. But a copy obtained by The New York Times indicates "enemy small arms," "automatic weapons fire" and "enemy bullets flying about him." The citation was first reported by The Washington Post on Thursday.

It goes on and on. This piece SHREDS the Swift Boat liars. It's breathtaking.

Given Chris Matthews takedown of the hopelessly over-her-head Michelle Malkin on the latest smear attempt (Kerry's wounds were "self-inflicted"), and even Bill O'Reilly's condemnations of the Swift Boat campaign, there are precious few places left for these slanderes to peddle their wares. Good thing for them Rush will always welcome them with open arms.

Update: The NY Times also put together this handy graphic to track all the Bush and Rove connections in their slimy glory, as well as several of the Swift Boat Veterans lies.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Aug 19, 2004 at 10:47 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Peddlers (none)
    ...there are precious few places left for these slanderes to peddle their wares.

    Except, of course, directly to the American public.

    •  Aside... (3.00) eyed Kossacks: please note that I kept my promise of never doing a "first post" ever again.
    •  Of course, the NYT (none)
      is the bible of the SCLM, right? Sadly, I still believe that damage has been done. The idiots who believed this crap to begin with are the ones who weren't undecided or fence-sitters. I just hope it has enough impact on those who are undecided.
      •  Issues (none)
        We have human beings fighting and dying in an illegal war in Iraq and the cable channels give us this crap as "news?"  Pardon me if I seem angry.  I am angry, any person in their right mind should be.
        •  Weird but true (none)
          That this scuffle over the right wing smear machine is actually a critical battle with regards to the future of Iraq, nearly as, if not more so, than the real battles going on inside the country.
          •  How So? (none)
            While there are of course many differences between Kerry and Bush, policy on what to do about Iraq in the immediate future is not one of them.

            In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

            by GreenSooner on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 09:02:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Clarification (4.00)
              I have no doubt that Kerry will conduct his Iraq policy less incompetently than this administration has.  But if you think that the core problem in Iraq is the general direction of our policy ("regime change" as a stated ideal, then invasion, now continued effective occupation), Kerry really offers little alternative to the Bush policy.

              In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

              by GreenSooner on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 09:07:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Kerry offers little alternative... so? (4.00)
                At this moment, Kerry offers rather little alternative in proposed policy for Iraq. Quite true, and there are two reasons.

                First is that Bush has moved much closer to the position articluated by Kerry.

                Second is that Bush committed ~the nation~ to his policy of preemptive war badly done, and whoever is President next January 21st will have to deal with the existing facts on the ground. In a policy sense, Bush has put this nation in the position so that there simply are no reasonable alternatives.

                But do you really think that Kerry would have taken the rest of us up this creek after throwing away his paddle? I don't.

                Do you thihk that his having taken the US into a really nasty situation and cutting off alternatives for success is a reason to leave Bush in office?

                The solutions to the Iraq mess are not to be found in articulated policy right now. They are found in competently managing the government and doing things that work. For the most part, that means replacing the top government executives who operate based on ideological belief regardless of the actual situation with realists who operate based on the facts they face.

                This last year has shown that Kerry can put together an organization that successfully gets things done. For the last three years, Bush has shown that he does ~not~ have that skill. He is running for reelection based on command of the mioitary and on his ability to orchestrate a really nasty nation-wide smear campaign.

                I have been a manager, studied management and taught management, particularly strategic management (which is called policy-making in the government.) From my experience I have learned that poor managers can really screw up an outstanding strategy/policy when they try to implement it, while good managers can take a poor strategy/policy and beat it into shape successfully during the implementation.

                Bush does the former, Kerry will do the latter.

                Bush has given us really poor policy, then managed that poorly. But he has also left us in a position that offers very little in the way of reasonable alternative policies. Kerry offers us the chance to put a decent manager into office to deal with this disaster Bush has given us.

                When you complain that Kerry isn't offering a real policy alternative you are missing the point. The problem right now isn't articulating a new and magic strategy. It is doing things right and getting us out of Iraq successfully. Bush has demonstrated taht he cannot do that.

                Quit asking for the impossible. Elect someone who can succeed. That's Kerry.

                •  exactly (none)
                  Very good point.

                  Also reminds me that back when Kerry was protesting Vietnam, one of his points was not only how wrong the war was, it was that Nixon had basically admitted the war was wrong and still kept troops there (during the slow bail-out). He said that made our actions not only ineffective but put our soldiers and POWs at greater risk, and he made a pretty good case of that in his debate with John O'Neil on the Dick Cavett (spelling?) show.

                  Perhaps he realizes that just saying "Iraq is a mistake" outright and absolutely and saying "I'll pull troops out immediately" (which, granted, he probably won't do because at this point, that may not be the absolute best option: a full-out immediate retreat, I mean) is going to make everything even more difficult for our military.


                  "Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited

                  by ally on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 01:54:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Couldn't agree more (none)
          It's all of this crap, stop insulting our intelligence.  This was 30 years ago!
      •  The Houston Chronicle picked it up (none)
        Front page, bottom left corner.  Not the greatest placement, but they ran the whole thing with the chart.
      •  It is a war (4.00)
        You take fire, sustain damage, and return fire.  The question is, he sustains the most damage.  Bush has shot his wad on this and now Kerry has the opportunity to counter attack.  It is very possible that if handled right, the damage done to Rove and Bush over this could end up being much worse than the damage done to Kerry.
        •  I agree. SW (none)
          People aren't as tired of the slime as they often say they are.   And even when people are tired of this type of thing, it's not meant to change people's minds - just to suppress voter turnout and charge up the base.   But this is clearly out of bounds.   A pResident with a questionable history of service stateside in the National Guard during Vietnam is actually attacking a Silver and Bronze Star winner for his service?  There's plenty of room to counter-attack on this.

          1.   Republicans are the party of "values"?   What the hell kind of "value" does this display, other than winning at any price?

          2.   Getting Bush and Cheney's statements and records in re: Vietnam back in the public eye.  

          Kerry's camp showed a lot of smarts smacking down Bush's use of 9/11 images in their ads.  They struck back fast.   They should have done it this time.   But by pushing this nonsense, Bush may have walked into a trap - opening the door to attacks on the slime machine and his own sullied service record.
    •  Readership vs Viewership Gap on Untruth (3.75)
      It's good that the Times published some of the facts, contradictions, and past vs present inconsistencies.

      Let's not fool outselves though.  This article will be seen and read by far fewer people than have been exposed to the TV ad - mostly on cable shows that play the ad and then have comments and arguments about it.  That has turned into a he said-he said argument that turns people away, but with a lasting impression that something is wrong about the Kerry record.

      The detailed rebuttal the Times has done (although not fully complete) must be done promptly, and the cable outfits must be pressured into not spreading untruths in the name of 'analysis'.

      Kerry really needs a 'war room' like Clinton had in 1992 and 1996 that instantly responds.  Kerry and team have been far too slow.

      This Swift Boats Vets for Untruth smear plus the Rethug convention is quite likely to put Bush back in the lead in national and swing state polls, IMO.

      We didn't win this battle.  But the war isn't over - and may not be over even after a Kerry victory.  

      "pay any price, bear any burden"

      by JimPortlandOR on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:14:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One thing is for sure - thye won't quit (4.00)
        But the war isn't over - and may not be over even after a Kerry victory.

        I guarantee you after Kerry wins, the Republicans will do everything they can to pull Pres. Kerry down.  They have gotten a free ride for years, getting away with their bullying, unethical attacks. Even after they get slapped down in this election they will keep it up.

        The only way to truly defeat this cancer of Atwater-style smear attacks is for us to continue fighting and exposing these unethical Republican backed smear artists in the post-Nov 04 period.  We will need to keep the pressure on the lazy SCLM in 2005 just as if it were an election year. Even hardened bullies can eventually be put in their place once they feel the continued sting of failure.

        "Had my aide whispered that America is under attack, I'd have politely told those kids the President has something that he needs to attend to"- John Kerry

        by assyrian64 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:57:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Righteous Blogger Challenge (4.00)
          "They have gotten a free ride for years, getting away with their bullying, unethical attacks."

          There are no ethics in American politics today. None. Cable News has seen to that.

          That's why, when sociopathic thugs like these Swift Boat Liars try to bring down their betters, all is fair. You have to give better than you get.

          Righteous Retribution and Fear of Future Exposure is the only way to discourage the Bush-Rove kind of politics in an age when Cable News will broadcast any slander just to have five more programming minutes for schlepping "body deodorants" and dog food and mood-altering drugs.

          The Righteous Blogger Challenge

          The situation is ready-made for computer-savvy bloggers spread out across the country. Some of you are at your 'puters all day long. Make yourselves useful. Others live in one or another state where one of these Swift Boat Liars lived or now lives. Others of you know someone who might know someone or have access to something....

          Get up and get out to do some detective work. These Swift Boat Liars are conscienceless, spiteful people. They didn't just turn into bad apples this year. They've been sh*ts all their lives.

          So find the many people who hate them -- and why.

          Suggested Rules

          Figure out the states where each one has lived. Start with your Kerry/Kos contacts. Track down every ex-wife and mistress for each of the Swift Boat Fraudsters.

          Check with their neighbors and professional acquaintances. Locate their past and present secretaries (always a great source for negatives about the boss.) Identify past crimes and misdemeanors. Get their divorce files. Their DWI records. Their tax returns.

          Run deep credit checks. Copy their medical records, check their driving history, insurance claims background, school records.

          For O'Neill, the sleezy lawyer, research all complaints filed with the ethics committee, locate his former secretaries and coworkers, talk to courtroom opponents, find out which clients he stole money from and which ones he lied to. Finger those once young associates who hate his guts.

          For the rest, locate their estranged children, ex-wives, ex-lovers, drug suppliers, shrinks. Figure out which Swift Boat Liars are gay and who has the photos.

          Dig the dirt, show no mercy, and ruin them all.

          Or, you could put those white gloves back on and just keep talking 'ethically' to the choir right here. Karl would love you for it.

          •  It's getting worse.... (none)
            Add the wingnuts at 'Judicial Watch' to the investigation list.

            "Request for Investigation, Determination and Final Disposition of Awards Granted to Lieutenant (junior grade) John Forbes Kerry, USNR"

            signed Thomas Fitton, President, Judicial Watch

          •  Texas Ethics Complaints (none)
            For O'Neill, the sleezy lawyer, research all complaints filed with the ethics committee

            Texas is one of the few (possibly the only one) that gives any  information regarding bar complaints about a member on the bar's website directory. The State Bars'  that I have dealt with, require a call to the membershp records.

            Unfortunately Texas does not indicate any complaints about  O'Neill on its website. This may not be definitive. I do not have a lot of experience tracking down Texas bar complaints. I have had some experience tracking down ethics complaints in Florida, Georiga and Mississippi.

            "Once in a while you get shown the light In the strangest of places if you look at it right"

            by molly bloom on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 09:11:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Amen Larry. (none)
            drive them into the dirt, bloodied and weeping.
        •  Off with their balls! (none)
          We have to hit them viciously.  No nice language, no couched attacks.  They are liars, proposgandists and vile, disgusting pathetic human beings.

          We have to discredit them in the language they are using.  Gore is "psychotic".  Kerry is "french" "soft" "gay".  Clinton is a "psychopath".  The murder of two children by a nut job white woman is the result of "liberalism."  Unfortunately, this is what gets air time.  It is time for us to hit back.  Cheney is an incompetent, cowardly raving lunatic who counsled using nukes in Gulf War I.
          He's like an evil groundhog, only emerging from his hole in order to spout some new lie before he retreats back into his bunker.

          Bush is a primmadonna, lazy crybaby who never worked a day in his life and spent half his years drunk as a monkey and living off of his family trust and daddy's bankrolling friends.  He broke down on 9/11, staring in a classroom, fleeing all over the country and then all but cried during his first speech back in DC. Has he improved?  No, it's the same blank dumbass stare he has every time someone asks him a question.  He makes Dan Quayle actually look like John F. Kennedy.  

          John O'Neil is a star fucker whose name no one would know if not for his pathological lies about John Kerry.  The guy was handpicked by Charles "Imprisoned for Watergate" Colson for god's sake.  You press people want to listen to him?  Why not invterview Charles Manson about Roman Polanski's latest film?  The other swift boat veterans hate John Kerry more than they love our country.  Why else would they trash the entire Navy with lies in order to discredit the actual records?  

          Now that I think about it, I like this trend.  People who didn't actually serve on his boat are allowed to make allegations that they "served" with John Kerry" gives me carte blanche to make shit up too.  George W. Bush fucked Karen Hughes daily while snorting blow in the Governor's office.  They lit their post-coital cigarettes with a burning American flag.  Hey, i worked one floor above him, so I worked "with" him.  He also kicked babies and stabbed birds with Bic pens.  It's true, I was there.

          We have to cut their balls off.

          The United States of America: Walk the Talk

          by Velvet Revolution on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:47:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Strange (1.72)
      isn't it? with all the pressing issues of the day, genocide in Iraq, torture, FBI intimidation of witnesses, billions spent on war and no 9-11 related convictions, election fraud, the constitution trampled, the housing bubble about to burst, the end of the age of oil ... and this utter shit gets an airing?

      Personally, Kerry's involvement in Vietnam and Vietnam in general sickens me. I ditched Kerry as a viable candidate early on in the primary when he sent me an email about how he is a hunter and a gun owner. WTF? I'm a Democrat not some inbred hayseed running around in a Rambo suit popping caps in Bambi's ass.

      "Hey! Said my name is called disturbance I'll shout and scream, I'll kill the king, I'll rail at all his servants." Gimme Mick

      •  hear, hear (1.20)
        Personally, Kerry's involvement in Vietnam and Vietnam in general sickens me.

        Me too. I can't stand to hear K. go on about how he was "defending America" at that time -- WTF??? That was a sick, immoral, obscene war waged for all the wrong reasons and had zero to do with "defending America." Don't even get me started on Cambodia.

        Two warmongers running for President. What a choice. NOT.

        (Well, there's Nader, but apparently he doesn't count.)

        Bah humbug.

        You may say
        I ain't free
        But it don't worry me

        by Paolo on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 04:38:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  WTF? (none)
          He went to war b/c he was going to get drafted...then was an influential figure in PROTESTING the war...seems like you'd figure he was on your side.

          Vietnam Protester = Warmonger? Please.

          •  I meant warmongering NOW (none)
            As in, "knowing what he knew now" K. would still authorize W. to use force against Iraq. I should have hoped that knowing what most of us knew then that he never would have given him the authorization. The war on Iraq was always bullshit and a distraction from the true War on TerraTM.

            You may say
            I ain't free
            But it don't worry me

            by Paolo on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 10:19:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Anti-war (4.00)
          The Vietnam war was waged under political circumstances, and the intentions to go into Vietnam were originally to prevent South Vietnamese from getting overrun by a Communist Dictator they did not want.  The South Vietnamese wanted us there, and hoped that we would prevail.  That it ended up horribly awful, is the eventual result of all wars, no matter how noble the cause.

          I do not denegrade those who served under the flag in Vietnam, died in Vietnam, and I resent the posters who do.  I suppose if China had invaded America as it had Vietnam you would all be okay for it?  

          No, fighting for America is what a soldier does, regardless.  He leaves the causes, and the reasons for the politicians.   It is the politicians who have an obligation to divert away from war, cease operations, or wage war effectively, but only when necessary.  That it was not done during the Vietnam war is only a reflection of the political machinery at the time, not those who served there.

          •  BS (none)
            Sorry to sound harsh but read. China never invaded Vietnam.


            On The Gulf of Tonkin:

            Rather than being on a routine patrol Aug. 2, the U.S. destroyer Maddox was actually engaged in aggressive intelligence-gathering maneuvers -- in sync with coordinated attacks on North Vietnam by the South Vietnamese navy and the Laotian air force.

            "The day before, two attacks on North Vietnam...had taken place," writes scholar Daniel C. Hallin. Those assaults were "part of a campaign of increasing military pressure on the North that the United States had been pursuing since early 1964."

            On the night of Aug. 4, the Pentagon proclaimed that a second attack by North Vietnamese PT boats had occurred earlier that day in the Tonkin Gulf -- a report cited by President Johnson as he went on national TV that evening to announce a momentous escalation in the war: air strikes against North Vietnam.

            But Johnson ordered U.S. bombers to "retaliate" for a North Vietnamese torpedo attack that never happened.

            Prior to the U.S. air strikes, top officials in Washington had reason to doubt that any Aug. 4 attack by North Vietnam had occurred. Cables from the U.S. task force commander in the Tonkin Gulf, Captain John J. Herrick, referred to "freak weather effects," "almost total darkness" and an "overeager sonarman" who "was hearing ship's own propeller beat."

            One of the Navy pilots flying overhead that night was squadron commander James Stockdale, who gained fame later as a POW and then Ross Perot's vice presidential candidate. "I had the best seat in the house to watch that event," recalled Stockdale a few years ago, "and our destroyers were just shooting at phantom targets -- there were no PT boats there.... There was nothing there but black water and American fire power."

            In 1965, Lyndon Johnson commented: "For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there."


            Sound familiar? We have the best enemies money can buy. War is a racket. The word Viet Cong does not even exist in Vietnamese. They were Viet Kha or beggars. We invented a Cong, a bogeyman spoke of in old Irish cautionary tales to children.

            WASHINGTON -- The monthly bill for the U.S. military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan now rivals Pentagon spending during the Vietnam War, Defense Department figures show.

            For months, the Bush administration was reluctant to discuss the financial costs of the commitment, much as the Johnson administration seldom directly addressed the budget impact of Vietnam.

            The Pentagon is spending nearly $5 billion per month in Iraq and Afghanistan, a pace that would bring yearly costs to almost $60 billion. Those expenses do not include money being spent on rebuilding Iraq's electric grid, water supply and other infrastructure, costs which had no parallel in Vietnam.

            In Vietnam, the last sustained war the nation fought, the United States spent $111 billion during the eight years of the war, from 1964 to 1972. Adjusted for inflation, that's more than $494 billion, an average of $61.8 billion per year, or $5.15 billion per month.


            Awful lot of money to spend not to mention we killed more people than Pol Pot and accomplished nothing remotely anti-communist or pro American.

            Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

            The "Break It-Fix It" Subsidy
            of a Negative Return on Investment Economy

            For several years, I have been studying and writing on the corporate and banking economic warfare model of globalization. Just from a case study of one private investor, Pug Winokur, and his investments in and with DynCorp, Enron and Harvard, examples abound.

            US neighborhoods are overrun with narcotics trafficking and HUD financial fraud while systematically worked by enforcement, seizure and War on Drugs teams supported by DynCorp and generating profits for the Harvard Endowment;

            Latin American pipelines, water and other assets are sold for significant discounts to market value to Enron and other multinational investors while DynCorp helps War on Drugs military teams move peasants off the lands;

            Russian banks and pension funds are emptied out by organized crime and laundered through NY Fed member banks while Harvard as financial advisor helps privatize Russian oil companies over to their endowment investment network;

            DynCorp personnel supplying police and aircraft maintenance are active with local mafia in Eastern Europe and practice buying and selling children as slaves which they use for sex;

            $3.3 trillion is missing from the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing Development where Lockheed, DynCorp & AMS are active managing computer systems and Harvard supplies appointees and contract services.

            Manipulation of the gold markets by the US Treasury and NY Fed member banks are led by Larry Summers, Secretary of the Treasury, and now President of Harvard and his predecessor Robert Rubin, Secretary of Treasury, and now member of the Harvard Corporation Board.
            These shenanigans are well documented by a series of courageous reporters and market commentators, including Anne Williamson, Greg Palast, Kelly O'Meara, William Murphy and Chris Sanders.

            This tapeworm operates globally. It has been winning at economic warfare because those opposed to it cannot see it clearly and are not yet networked globally to move people, places and capital out of its reach. My pastor, Bishop Alfred Owens, says, "If we can face it, God can fix it." Indeed, divine authority is hamstrung -- waiting for the necessary global networks to align around a common map of the real deal about global consolidation of economic and political power -- and the resulting liquidation of wealth.

            This tapeworm is managed tightly by the cartels that syndicate around central banking and warfare and it has four phases:

            Phase One - Break It
            Private syndicates make money destroying a place through organized crime, covert operations, warfare or a variety of both;

            Phase Two - Buy It
            The profit generated from breaking it is used to buy or seize "legal control" at a discount;

            Phase Three - Fix It
            Government funding, credit and subsidies are then used to "fix it" while harvesting remaining assets, including with narcotics trafficking, sex slavery and any other form of liquidating the human, intellectual, environmental and physical capital in a place;

            Phase Four - Declare Victory
            Victory is then declared and a flow of foundation and academic grants funded by the "break it-fix it" profits generate awards, photo opportunities and official archives and documentations for the perpetrators to be admired for their bringing of advanced civilization to the natives.
            What emerges from an investment banker's analysis of billions of transactions involved in situation after situation, in place after place, in year after year, is surprisingly simple.

            We are watching a global first world economy that has a negative return on investment.

            For example, in 1997 I lead an analysis of US federal expenditures and credit activities in the Philadelphia area for a group of US pension fund leaders. After analysis of the detailed data resulting from $10 billion of government reengineering and $400 billion of federal credit portfolio strategy managed by my company, the evidence was overwhelming -- the federal investment in Philadelphia had a negative return on investment. In short, government budgets were rigging profits and income for companies and people in the area. After each year of government investment, Philadelphia spent more time doing things that were fundamentally not productive and so had been paid to grow "stupider."

            The deterioration in environment, culture, infrastructure and quality of life in Philadelphia that was obvious from walking around the city matched the numbers rather than the spin in the corporate news that the economy was doing well. Equity yields were falling steadily and only cooked government and corporate books could make it look otherwise. The primary thing on the rise was the smugness of the leaders of Philadelphia institutions as their success at covert management and personal "personnel benefits" grew ever stronger.

            The Giant Sucking Sound as the Tapeworm Consumes Global Capital


            And therein I believe lies the title of The Secret Team's Debut Files: "The Giant Sucking Sound."

        •  Read this (none)
          Read this below and then call Kerry a War monger.  It took guts and intelligence toput this together and say this in public.

          Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement by John Kerry
          to the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations April 23, 1971

          I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command. It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit - the emotions in the room and the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.
          They told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

          We call this investigation the Winter Soldier Investigation. The term Winter Soldier is a play on words of Thomas Paine's in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriots and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough.

          We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country, we could be quiet, we could hold our silence, we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, not the reds, but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out....

          In our opinion and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart.

          We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever, but also we found that the Vietnamese whom we had enthusiastically molded after our own image were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them from.

          We found most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their country apart. They wanted everything to do with the war, particularly with this foreign presence of the United States of America, to leave them alone in peace, and they practiced the art of survival by siding with whichever military force was present at a particular time, be it Viet Cong, North Vietnamese or American.

          We found also that all too often American men were dying in those rice paddies for want of support from their allies. We saw first hand how monies from American taxes were used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by the flag, and blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. We saw Vietnam ravaged equally by American bombs and search and destroy missions, as well as by Viet Cong terrorism - and yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong.

          We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a My Lai and refused to give up the image of American soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum.

          We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of orientals.

          We watched the United States falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts. We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons against "oriental human beings." We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater. We watched while men charged up hills because a general said that hill has to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons they marched away to leave the hill for reoccupation by the North Vietnamese. We watched pride allow the most unimportant battles to be blown into extravaganzas, because we couldn't lose, and we couldn't retreat, and because it didn't matter how many American bodies were lost to prove that point, and so there were Hamburger Hills and Khe Sanhs and Hill 81s and Fire Base 6s, and so many others.

          Now we are told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while American lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance of Vietnamizing the Vietnamese.

          Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can't say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war."

          We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?....We are here in Washington to say that the problem of this war is not just a question of war and diplomacy. It is part and parcel of everything that we are trying as human beings to communicate to people in this country - the question of racism which is rampant in the military, and so many other questions such as the use of weapons; the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage at the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation of this war when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions; in the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam. That is what we are trying to say. It is part and parcel of everything.

          An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation of Alcatraz put it to me very succinctly. He told me how as a boy on an Indian reservation he had watched television and he used to cheer the cowboys when they came in and shot the Indians, and then suddenly one day he stopped in Vietnam and he said, "my God, I am doing to these people the very same thing that was done to my people," and he stopped. And that is what we are trying to say, that we think this thing has to end.

          We are here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? We're here to ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatrick, and so many others? Where are they now that we, the men they sent off to war, have returned? These are the commanders who have deserted their troops. And there is no more serious crime in the laws of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded. The marines say they never even leave their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude. They've left the real stuff of their reputations bleaching behind them in the sun in this country....

          We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped away their memories of us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission - to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and fear that have driven this country these last ten years and more. And more. And so when thirty years from now our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say "Vietnam" and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory, but mean instead where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning.

          Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

          by truthbetold on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 04:57:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read (none)
            Brian Willson's site which I quoted in the original. Not even "the doghunters" that got a young Kerry elected believe his commitment to peace was genuine. Willson isn't the only one.

            Last word I heard from Kerry on the anti-war movement was "get over it."

            Kerry's view of the war on terror is identical to that of Bush and the neo-cons. For them, this is an ideological war. Seeming almost to relish his statement that the war on terror will last indefinitely, and certainly beyond the capture of Osama bin Laden, Kerry says that, "We face a global jihadist movement of many groups ... all committed to assaulting the United States and free and open societies around the globe." He even refers to terrorists in "60 nations", just as Bush said at West Point on 1st June 2002 that, "We must uncover terror cells in 60 or more countries." Kerry says, "At the core of this conflict is a fundamental struggle of ideas. Of democracy and tolerance against those who would use any means to attack any target to impose their narrow views ... Nothing else will matter unless we win the war of ideas." Such talk really is just like Bush. In his remarks on Labor Day, 1st September 2003, Bush said, "Our enemies hate freedom" and also referred to the "enemies of freedom" in his address to the joint session of the Congress on 20th September 2001.

            Kerry even uses the Bush rhetoric about chaos. "The war on terror is not a clash of civilisations," he tells us. "It is a clash of civilisation against chaos." But Bush said in the National Security Strategy of 2002 that "Today, the world's great powers find ourselves on the same side--united by common dangers of terrorist violence and chaos." The doctrines of "chaos" and "failed states" are orthodox neo-conservative ones, and Kerry holds both. And like Bush, Kerry is explicitly progressive: he says America should align with the "best hopes of humanity against dogmatic fears of progress and the future", echoing Bush's call for a national security strategy will "keep open the path of progress". And when Kerry says, "Democracy won't come overnight, but America should speed that day by sustaining the forces of democracy against repressive regimes and by rewarding governments which take genuine steps towards change," it is little more than the echo of George Bush's statement to the National Endowment for Democracy that "we watch and encourage reform" (in the Middle East), or his statement in London on 19th November 2003 that "Our part, as free nations, is to ally ourselves with reform, wherever it occurs."

            Kerry claims to attack Bush's doctrine of pre-emptive war and unilateralism. In the speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Kerry dwelt at length on the need for more international alliances, while in the UCLA speech he said that Bush's "doctrine of unilateral pre-emption has driven away our allies and cost us the support of other nations". But these alleged differences between Bush's unilateralism and Kerry's multilateralism are exaggerated. First, President Bush himself explicitly calls for a multilateral approach to the war on terror. In the National Security Strategy, he wrote, "We are also guided by the conviction that no nation can build a safer, better world alone. Alliances and multilateral institutions can multiply the strength of freedom-loving nations," and he re-stated the America's commitment to the UN, the WTO, the Organisation of American States and NATO. Indeed, it should never be forgotten that the Bush administration constantly and doggedly claims that the United Nations is the source of the legitimacy of the Iraq war, and that the US-UK attack on Iraq has preserved the credibility of the United Nations.[5]

            Secondly, Kerry is, in any case, less anti-unilateralist than he likes to pretend. He told his UCLA audience that, "If I am President, I will be prepared to use military force to protect our security, our people and our vital interests ... As President, I will not wait for a green light from abroad when our safety is at stake. Allies give us more hands in the struggle, but no President would ever let them tie our hands and prevent us from doing what must be done." He repeats several times his readiness to "order direct military action". Kerry even seems to imply that military intervention might be conceivable in countries which are strong American allies: "We can't wipe out terrorist cells in places like Sweden, Canada, Spain, the Philippines or Italy just by dropping in Green Berets" (my emphasis).

            Like Bush, Kerry promises to act against the "flow of terrorist funds". Interestingly, he singles out Saudi Arabia for special mention in connection with the laundering of terrorist money, and he accuses George Bush of adopting a "kid glove" approach to that country. Kerry promises to launch a `name and shame' campaign "against those that are financing terror" and to shut them "out of the US financial system". He also, again like Bush, claims that "we must act immediately to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear, chemical or biological weapons." Kerry even has the cheek to say, in his CFR speech, that "the gravest threats" comes from "terrorists or unstable states" acquiring "weapons of mass destruction". "As President," he told the CFR, "I will elevate non-proliferation to the top of the global agenda." How could it be elevated any further to the top of the global agenda than under Bush?

            In the speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Kerry made exactly George Bush's claim that America embodies universal values. He quoted Abraham Lincoln whose vision, he said, was "founded on values and the power of an idea, not primarily on wealth or weapons" and that "the use of American power has always been guided by values and principles, not by might alone". But this is just like Bush, who wrote in the National Security Strategy that, "The United States enjoys a position of unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence. In keeping with our heritage and principles, we do not use our strength to press for unilateral advantage. We seek instead to create a balance of power that favors human freedom." Bush has devoted two speeches - the NED speech and the London speech - to America's mission to promote "freedom", while he pronounced the word "free" no fewer than nineteen times in his "victory" speech on board the USS Abraham Lincoln on 1st May 2003. Likewise, Kerry told the CFR that America should "once again become a leader for freedom." In the UCLA speech, Kerry even attacked Bush for allowing the US to be referred to as "the occupying power" in Iraq: no doubt he would have preferred the neo-con label "the liberating power".

            Indeed, in reading Kerry's speeches one is reminded of nothing so much as of the recent neo-conservative manifesto published by David Frum and Richard Perle, "An End to Evil". When John Kerry told the Council on Foreign Relations, "I fear that in the run up to the 2004 election the Administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut and run strategy," one has the impression of reading Frum & Perle who write, "We feel the will to win ebbing in Washington" (p. 5). When Kerry lambasted the administration for contemplating a withdrawal from Iraq - in my view, his fears are unfortunately misplaced - he was doing nothing but echoing the editorial, "Do What it Takes in Iraq", published in The Weekly Standard of 1st - 8th September 2003 by Robert Kagan and William Kristol.[6] And Kerry's astonishing attacks on Saudi Arabia, stated in both the UCLA and in the CFR speeches, in which he alleges that funding for terrorism and Islamic extremism come from the peninsula, are identical to those propagated by Frum and Perle in their latest writings.[7] In his CFR speech, Kerry even accused the Saudi interior minister of "hate speech", and of promoting "wild anti-Semitic conspiracy theories", just as Frum and Perle call the kingdom "an unfriendly power" (p. 141). Both Frum & Perle and Kerry, moreover, call for radical reform of the intelligence services, Kerry saying that a Director of National Intelligence should be created "with real control of all national intelligence personnel and budgets".

            Perhaps the most intriguing area of agreement between Kerry and the most extreme neo-cons lies in his view of the Muslim world. To be sure, Bush has announced his "forward strategy of freedom for the Middle East", in a speech to the National Endowment for Democracy on 6th November 2003. But Bush is generally fairly circumspect about being seen as an enemy of Islam. Kerry, on the other hand, says several times that he thinks there is a particular danger in the Islamic world, and that America must tackle it. He argues, for instance, that the principal target for the "war of ideas", for which he calls, is the Islamic world, where, he says, a large disaffected young male population is easily whipped up against America. Kerry even attacks President Bush for not giving enough money to his programme of democratising the Middle East.

            In considering all this, ask yourself the following question: if you were a neo-conservative strategist, with all the huge plans for world-wide "democratisation" which that entails, who would you rather have in the White House? A red-neck Texan surrounded by a bunch of corporate war profiteers, whose very selves excite furious opposition from whole swathes of leftish public opinion in America and around the world, or a smooth multilateralist Patrician with a pleasing mix of patriotic and liberal credentials? Go figure.


            Have a sense of humor, take a deep breath ... now ... go at me ... really, please restore my faith in the party ... I wish I could believe.

            I agree Bush is a failure, but, Bush is a sock puppet only there for the political lie.

            The actors step in and out of government, NGO's, private corporations and the national security umbrella.

            Crouching Kerry. Hidden Leiberman ...
            "Competition is a sin." John D. Rockefeller

            •  Paralytic paranoia (none)
              My diagnosis for you is the title of this post.  I say this because you need real help to move forward. Your attitutes will absolutely prevent you from functioning in this world, so change your attitudes.  What real choice do you have as an alternative.

              Look, even if a small amount of what you say has merit, it is mostly hearsay and conjecture.  American voters may be slow, and they may follow the Winston Churchill path of trying everything else before finally doing the right thing, but they eventually do the right thing.  We must count on this.  What Kerry said was said before the Congress of the US in public session.  There is no room in his statements to hide.  Everything you post is fuzzy and likely, again, leading to paralytic paranoia. Therefore, believe what was said, probably under oath, before the Congress of the US, and go with it.  Relieve yourself from such non-productive paranoid BS.

              Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

              by truthbetold on Sat Aug 21, 2004 at 07:34:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks (none)
                for your concern.

                Reasoning with people you say are too far gone to take care of themselves is pretty silly though, don't you think?

                hmmm ...

                Major-General Eric Olson heads the task force that oversees the 18,000 combat troops that form the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom. He said this increase in activity has been misunderstood by much of the international press. "It's been translated as a deteriorating security environment, and it's not that at all. Coalition forces have been much more active, they've been out much more than they have in the past, we've been initiating engagements more than we have in the past, I think the security environment is actually improving. The engagements you're hearing about are engagements that we're initiating and terminating on our terms. As opposed to being attacked, we're out there conducting offensive operations," Olson said.

                The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's top general, James Jones - himself a US marine - told troops at Camp Salerno that a large-scale threat from the Taliban and al-Qaeda had been virtually eliminated. At the same time, both officials cautioned that this does not mean either organization has lost the ability to cause massive damage.


                This from March 4, 1999. By Tim Weiner a Pulitzer Prize winner.

                But a Taliban representative said the Afghans had sent an emissary to the United States asking how to deal with bin Laden without seeming to double-cross him, and had asked Saudi Arabia if it would take care of his wives and children.

                Most of the Taliban officials and the three senior American officials who discussed the situation demanded anonymity, but all gave similar accounts of the breach between bin Laden and the Taliban.

                On Feb. 10, they said, bin Laden's bodyguards became furious when a group of 10 or more Taliban officers tried to replace them. By one account, automatic weapons were fired.

                After the fight, "bin Laden found himself in a confined and difficult situation," said Mujahid, the Taliban's representative-designate at the United Nations.

                Three days later, the Taliban leadership formally replaced bin Laden's bodyguards with members of their intelligence service and foreign ministry, instructing their men to keep bin Laden from public view, the officials said.

                The fight broke out over the degree of control the Taliban would have over bin Laden, another Taliban representative said.

                It came a week after Karl F. Inderfurth, an Assistant Secretary of State, met in Pakistan with Jalil Akhund, the Taliban's deputy foreign minister, and repeated American demands to turn over bin Laden.

                The Taliban, citing Islamic law and Afghan custom, say they cannot expel him.

                "The situation is a puzzle for the Afghan leadership," Mujahid said. "In World War II, we couldn't hand over German citizens living in Afghanistan to the Allied forces. Regarding Osama bin Laden, if we would do something in this regard, it is totally against the Afghan character." bin Laden is considered a hero in Afghanistan for his financial and military support of the Afghan rebels, who defeated Soviet invaders in the 1980's.

                "On the other side," said Mujahid, "his presence is not a benefit to the people of Afghanistan."

                The Taliban, a radical Islamic movement with few friends among nations, desperately wants international recognition and foreign aid. It will receive little while it shelters bin Laden.

                Though mutual mistrust complicates any cooperation, and some senior American intelligence officials are not convinced that the Taliban will ever betray bin Laden, the Taliban's leaders have at least three ways to deal with him that would be acceptable to the United States, senior American officials said.

                They could arrange secretly for members of another nation's intelligence service to learn of his whereabouts in Afghanistan.

                They could deliver him discreetly to a neighboring country, where American law-enforcement and intelligence officers could try to apprehend him.

                Or they could keep bin Laden incommunicado in the hope that he might fade as a source of anti-American terrorism.

                Some American officials think this last solution the best, since it holds no risk of making bin Laden a martyr, which could inspire fresh attacks against the United States from his followers.


                Again from Pepe Escobar Asia Times Online:

                The Pakistani source also adds that the Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh saga is far from over - even with a verdict of death by hanging. Saeed - who was sentenced on Monday for his part in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in January - was tried in a secret Pakistani court in the bunker basement of Hyderabad prison, far away from Karachi. Everybody involved - especially the judges - feared a terrorist attack. Daniel Pearl's body was never positively identified. The DNA analysis of the remains was sent to Pakistani and American labs. The result was kept top secret.

                Moshi Imam, Saeed's lawyer, said that his client was condemned to death by hanging only because "Pakistan wanted to appease the US". He is appealing the verdict, a process that could take many years. The US wanted Saeed extradited because the CIA badly wanted to know about his ties with al-Qaeda. Pakistan firmly denied the request. Why? The Pakistani source is adamant: "Saeed would tell the Americans everything about the compromising links between al-Qaeda and the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence.]"


                I don't think I need to tell you ISI is CIA, a state within the state

                LONDON: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worked in tandem with Pakistan to create the "monster" that is today Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, a leading US expert on South Asia said here.

                "I warned them that we were creating a monster," Selig Harrison from the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars said at the conference here last week on "Terrorism and Regional Security: Managing the Challenges in Asia."

                Harrison said: "The CIA made a historic mistake in encouraging Islamic groups from all over the world to come to Afghanistan." The US provided $3 billion for building up these Islamic groups, and it accepted Pakistan's demand that they should decide how this money should be spent, Harrison said.

                Harrison, who spoke before the Taliban assault on the Buddha statues was launched, told the gathering of security experts that he had meetings with CIA leaders at the time when Islamic forces were being strengthened in Afghanistan. "They told me these people were fanatical, and the more fierce they were the more fiercely they would fight the Soviets," he said. "I warned them that we were creating a monster."

                Harrison, who has written five books on Asian affairs and US relations with Asia, has had extensive contact with the CIA and political leaders in South Asia. Harrison was a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace between 1974 and 1996.


                Oh and where was the head of the ISI on 9-11?

                Get Osama bin Laden
                On August 22, 2001, Asia Times Online reported Get Osama! Now! Or else ...

                On September 9, the legendary "Lion of the Panjshir", Ahmed Shah Masoud, the key Northern Alliance commander, was assassinated by two suicide bombers posing as journalists in his base in northern Afghanistan. The Northern Alliance tells Washington that the ISI may be involved. Masoud himself had told this correspondent, two weeks before he was killed, of the incestuous link between bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the ISI. A 2002 Asia Times Online investigation would later establish that Masoud was killed as a gift from al-Qaeda to the Taliban, with heavy involvement by Abdul Sayyaf, an Afghan mujahideen commander very close to the ISI and the Saudis. From Washington's perspective, this was also a gift. Masoud was the crucial Afghan nationalist leader, supported by Russia and Iran; after the Taliban being smashed he would never have accepted a feeble, US-sponsored, Hamid Karzai-style government.

                On September 10, the Pakistani daily The News reported that the Mahmoud visit to the United States "triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council". If he'd been to the National Security Council, he had certainly met Rice. Mahmoud did meet with his counterpart, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director George Tenet. Tenet and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had been in Islamabad in May, when Tenet had "unusually long" meetings with Musharraf. Armitage for his part has countless friends in the Pakistani military and the ISI. Mahmoud also met a number of high officials at the White House and the Pentagon and had a crucial meeting with Marc Grossman, the under secretary of state for political affairs. Rice maintains she did not meet Mahmoud then.

                On the morning of September 11, Mahmoud was having a breakfast meeting at the Capitol with Graham and Goss. Goss spent as many as 10 years working on numerous CIA clandestine operations. He is very close to Vice President Dick Cheney. It's interesting to note that two weeks ago Goss suggested to the Justice Department to bring perjury charges against the new Cheney nemesis, Clarke. As it is widely known, Graham and Goss were co-heads of the joint House-Senate investigation that proclaimed there was "no smoking gun" as far as President George W Bush having any advance knowledge of September 11.

                According to the Washington Post, and also to sources in Islamabad, the Mahmoud-Graham-Goss meeting lasted until the second plane hit Tower 2 of the World Trade Center. Graham later said they were talking about terrorism coming from Afghanistan, which means they were talking about bin Laden.

                Pakistani intelligence sources told Asia Times Online that on the afternoon of September 11 itself, as well as on September 12 and 13, Armitage met with Mahmoud with a stark choice: either Pakistan would help the US against al-Qaeda, or it would be bombed back to the Stone Age. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented an ultimatum in the form of seven US demands. Pakistan accepted all of them. One of the demands was for Musharraf to send Mahmoud to Kandahar again and force the Taliban to extradite bin Laden. Mahmoud knew in advance Mullah Omar would refuse. But when he went to Kandahar the Taliban leader said he would accept, as long as the Americans proved bin Laden was responsible for September 11. There was no proof, and Afghanistan was bombed anyway, a policy already decided well in advance.

                It's important to remember than on September 13 Islamabad airport was shut down - allegedly because of threats against Pakistan's strategic assets. On September 14, Islamabad declared total support for the US: the airport was immediately reopened. Mahmoud remained in Washington until September 16 - when the war on Afghanistan was more than programmed, and Pakistan was firmly in the "with us" and not the "against us" column.

                Million-dollar questions remain. Did Mahmoud know when and how the attacks of September 11 would happen? Did Musharraf know? Could the Bush administration have prevented September 11? It's hard to believe high echelons of the CIA and FBI were not aware of the direct link between the ISI and alleged chief hijacker Mohammed Atta.

                On October 7, Mahmoud was demoted from the ISI. By that time, Washington obviously knew of the connection between Mahmoud, Saeed Sheikh and Mohamed Atta: the FBI knew it. The official version is that Mahmoud was sacrificed because he was too close to the Taliban - which, it is never enough to remind, are a cherished creature of the ISI. Two other ISI big shots, Lieutenant-General Mohammed Aziz Khan and Chief of General Staff Mohammed Yousouf, are also demoted along with Mahmoud. Saeed Sheikh was under orders to Khan.

                The fact remains that even with this Musharraf-conducted purge of the ISI elite, the bulk of ISI officers remained, and still are, pro-Taliban. Other former ISI directors living in Pakistan, such as the colorful, outspoken Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul, did not "disappear" and always renew their support for the Taliban. But as Asia Times Online has reported, Mahmoud did disappear. He lives in near seclusion in Rawalpindi. And he is definitely not talking. Graham and Goss may not be interested in talking to him either. Because he may be the ultimate September 11 smoking gun.

                The Karl Rove-designed campaign to re-elect Bush is in essence anchored on September 11. The Republican convention in New York will happen in the first week of September. Bush's speech will be on September 2 - to force the connection with the three-year commemoration of September 11.

                This whole affair is not about whether Clarke committed "perjury"; whether Rice was really up to her job; or whether George W Bush knew something and then "forgot" about it. The families of September 11 victims, US public opinion, the demonized Islamic world, the whole world for that matter, all everybody wants to know is what really happened on September 11. The only party that does not seem interested in getting to the bottom of it is the Bush administration. The official fable of 19 kamikaze Arabs turning Boeings into missiles with military precision, armed only with box cutters and a few flight lessons and directed from an Afghan cave by a satellite phone-shy bin Laden simply does not hold. The commission is not asking the really hard questions. Here are just a few - and they are far from being the most embarrassing.

                1. The "stand down" order: Why, despite more than an hour's warning that an attack was happening, were no F-16s protecting US airspace? Documents easily available online reveal why the Pentagon could not act: because of bureaucracy. Why did the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) claim it took 25 minutes after the transponder was shut down to learn that Flight 11 - which hit World Trade Center Tower 1 - was hijacked? Why did fighters not take off from Andrews Air Force base just outside Washington to protect the Pentagon?

                2. The pre-September 11 suspicious stock option trades in American Airlines and United Airlines were never fully investigated. Who profited?

                3. What happened to the FBI investigation into flight schools - when it was proved that at least five of the 19 hijackers were trained in US military schools?

                4. Why did Bush keep reading a pet-goat story for more than half an hour after the first WTC hit, and 15 minutes after Chief of Staff Andrew Card told him there had been an attack?

                5. What really happened to Flight 93? An Associated Press story last August quoting a congressional report said the FBI suspected the plane was crashed on purpose. The FBI has a flight-simulation video of what happened: the video - as well as the black box - remain top secret. And as far as four "indestructible" black boxes are concerned, how come none were found, unlike Mohammed Atta's intact passport lying in the WTC rubble?

                6. Why have no scientific experts examined the physical and mathematical evidence that a Boeing 757 could not have possibly "disappeared" without a trace after hitting the Pentagon? For the most exhaustive and practically incontrovertible analysis available on the net, see this report.

                7. What remains of the very tight 1980s bin Laden-ISI-CIA connection? How much did the CIA know about what the ISI was up to? And how much did the ISI know about what al-Qaeda was up to?

                8. What does Rice really know about the very close relations between Mahmoud and the top echelons of the Bush administration?

                The genie - the crucial information - is still in the bottle.


                PEPE ESCOBAR, the "ROVING EYE"
                An extreme traveler, Pepe's nose for news takes him to all corners of the globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination (Masoud: From warrior to statesman, Sept 11, 2001). Two weeks before September 11, while Pepe was in the tribal areas of Pakistan, we published his prophetic piece, Get Osama! Now! Or else .   (Aug 30, 2001). Pepe was one of the first journalists to reach Kabul after the Taliban's retreat, and more recently he has explored and reported from "Axis of Evil" countries Iraq and Iran.

                Circumstances do not lie. The Asses of Evil in a full mooning of everything we hold near and dear as Americans and I'm paranoid?

                Kerry saus we haven't done enough? I disagree. We've done quite enough. Now someone's got some explaining to do.

                "Papa said son don't let the man get ya, do what he done to me" CCR

      •  I happen to know (none)
        a Democrat who is pro-gun, at least for hunting. And I have no problem with hunters if they're doing it for food and not for sport; my best friend's family raised rabbits in the back yard for food (rabbit doesn't exactly taste like chicken, but it's still good). But where I draw the line with the NRA is that they think there's no such thing as a bad gun; you don't need an AK-47 to take out a deer.

        To me, "gun control" doesn't mean getting rid of all the guns; it's knowing where the guns are and making sure the owners know how to store and use them properly so you don't end up with a 9-year old accidentally shooting his playmate while showing off Daddy's "piece".

        We're never going to have complete elimination of private gun ownership in this country; the goal should be a limit on the types of guns owned, and making sure that those who own guns are trained in the proper use. (Oh, and if Bush wins in November, I just may have to get my own gun to defend myself from his right-wing goons.)

        Dean was pro-gun too, IIRC...

        "If this be treason, make the most of it." -- Patrick Henry

        Prune the Shrub!

        by Cali Scribe on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:03:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bacon wrapped (3.00)
          rabbit loin on the menu.

          A woman asked me: "How is the rabbit?" I told her, "Well, he's seen better days, you know his name was Fluffy."

          Kerry by all accounts has no idea how to hunt for anything but a rich wife. Not too many deer out on the Scaramouche. Yeah bugged me about Dean too, at leat Dean is from a State where there is lots of open land, and, inbred Jeds. Boston?

          The hunting thing is just an excuse for a bunch of freaks who dig on killing things and need some sort of feeling of power to buy and sell weapons.

          Gun Stats and Facts

          Rank of the Lorcin 380 in the ATF's top ten most-traced firearms:  1  
          Number of so called "Junk Guns" in the top ten:  6  
          (Source: ATF 1996 Firearms Enforcement Report)

          Number of firearms produced by US manufacturers every minute:  8  
          Number of handguns produced by US manufacturers every minute:  3  
          Number of handguns produced every 2 minutes by ROF in 1995:

          [Number of pistols produced by Ring of Fire companies in 1995 257,155.

          (Source: ATF manufacturing numbers)

          Average number of firearm thefts that occur every year in the US:  341,000  
          (Source: US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Guns and Crime, 4/94)

          Number of guns federal firearms licensees have reported as lost, stolen or missing since Sept. 13, 1994 when the Clinton Crime Bill made reporting a requirement:  23,775  
          Percentage decrease in federal firearms licensees since 1993:  56%  
          Number of federal firearms licensees in the US:  124,286  
          Number of ATF agents to regulate them:  391  
          Number of trace requests responded to by the ATF in 1996:  139,092  
          Number of ATF employees who work on trace requests:  41  
          (Source: ATF: Gun Dealer Licensing and Illegal Gun Trafficking, Jan.,1997)

          Percentage of Americans who agree that "companies that manufacture guns with no hunting or sporting purpose should be held financially responsible when these guns injure or kill people":  45  
          (Source: BJS Sourcebook of criminal justice statistics, pg. 190)

          Percentage of Americans who feel that "the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict":  62  
          (Source: BJS Sourcebook of criminal justice statistics, pg. 191)

          Number of federal safety standards that apply to the manufacture of teddy bears:  4  
          Number of federal safety standards that apply to the manufacture of firearms:  0
          (Mother Jones, Jan-Feb/94)

          Number of firearms in the US:  223 Million  
          (Source: US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Guns Used in Crime, 7/95, from ATF data)

          Percentage of L.A. High School students who say they could obtain a gun for less than $50:  25  
          (Source: ACLU report: From Words to Weapons, 3/97)

          Percentage of arrestees who say it is easy to get a gun illegally:  55  
          (Source: Arrestees and Guns: Monitoring the Illegal Firearms Market, 5/96)

          Percentage of all Saturday Night Specials produced by the "Ring of Fire" companies:  80  
          Percentage of all handguns produced by the "Ring of Fire" companies in 1992:  34  
          (Source: Wintemute, G.J. Ring of Fire: The Handgun Makers of Southern California (Sacramento, CA: Violence Prevention Research Program, 1994))

          Number of murders committed in 1995 in the US:  20,043  
          Percentage of murders committed with a firearm:  68 (13,673)  
          Percentage of murders committed with a handgun:  56 (11,198)  
          (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1995)

          Projected year when deaths from gunfire will surpass death from auto accidents:  2001  
          (Source: CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Fact Sheet, 1/25/96)

          Year that the NRA supported a SNS importation ban and called the guns "miserably-made, potentially defective arms that contribute so much to rising violence" :  1968  
          (Source: "Are we Really So Violent?" American Rifleman, February, 1968.)

          Cost of firearms assault injuries per fatal gunshot wound:  $21,700  
          Total cost per survivor of gunshot wounds caused by assault:  $260,000  
          Total cost of firearm assault injury and death in 1992:  $63.4 billion  
          (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics - Firearm Injury from Crime - 4/96)

          Cost of a Lorcin .22 handgun at a Pasadena California sporting goods store:  $40  
          (Source: Center for Investigative Reporting)

          Number of people killed by firearms every hour in America:  4  
          (Source: CDC)

          Number of crime victims that were shot in 1994:  32,162  
          (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1995, pg. 274)

          Number of violent crimes reported to police that were committed with firearms in 1994:  544,880  
          (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1995, pg. 274)

          Percent increase in juveniles arrested for weapons violations from '85-'94 :  113  
          (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1995, pg. 276)

          Number of violent crime victimizations committed with a firearm in 1993:  1.3 million  
          Number in 1995:  815,130  
          (Source: National Crime Victimization Survey, Cited in Guns Used in Crime, pg.1)

          The issues that will bring more disillusioned Democrats back to the party are as follows:

          Peak Oil:

          9-11 crimes were not an act of war, but a crime against humanity, yet unsolved I might add:

          Fabricated evidence for Iraq war, and, the unconstitutionality of the IWR:

          Missing 3 trillion from the DOD and HUD:

          Restoring civil liberties:

          "Bipartisanship is date rape." Gingrich

          •  gun control (none)
            Kerry by all accounts has no idea how to hunt for anything but a rich wife. Not too many deer out on the Scaramouche. Yeah bugged me about Dean too, at leat Dean is from a State where there is lots of open land, and, inbred Jeds. Boston?

            I've read biographical articles, including one that was quoted on this site awhile back, that stated he's hunted since he was young (his father taught him). There are plenty of hunters in Massachusats (maybe not a whole lot in Boston, but there's lots of open land in other parts of the state) and in Connecticut, where he's lived.

            You don't have to be an "inbred Jed" to like hunting. Also, some people shoot clay disks --- I have family in Connecticut, who are basically wealthy yuppies, and my uncle (CEO of a printing company in NYC, from a white, Catholic, uppermiddle class family, educated at Columbia) does this for fun.

            How do we get rid of all guns legally? One of my least favorite things about neocons is that they want to pick and choose which of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights we get: how can we say that every Amendment is valid except the 2nd Amendment?

            Percentage of Americans who feel that "the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict":  62  (Source: BJS Sourcebook of criminal justice statistics, pg. 191)

            I would be in there, but I don't think "more strict" means unallowed, period.

            I agree that the NRA is a bunch of crackpots who think bullets that go through bullet proof vests should be made and that everyone has the right to own a missile launcher, but responsible gun ownership is a right in this country --- there's no denying that. It's just the "responsible" the NRA doesn't seem to get.

            BTW -- did you ever see Bowling for Columbine ? Not that it's conclusive evidence or anything, but when you saw Canada's gun numbers versus their crime, it really made me think. I'm not saying I suddenly became super pro-gun, but I think there are other factors (not stupid ones -- like violent movies) within our society that lead towards gun violence besides simply gun ownership.


            "Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited

            by ally on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 02:15:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I dunno (none)
              if his dad taught him how to hunt, he forgot.

              I live in the city and I've seen people get shot. A drive by. Guy got shot point blank, right between the eyes over an argument about 5 dollars.

              Britain somehow has pulled it off and their murder rates are a lot lower.

              You can play video games and shoot stuff if you really have to.

              If you read the link above I think we can get rid of guns very easily by simply making the companies that make them accountable for their product. There are more fed regulations on tedddy bears than guns!

              If you need to hunt you could very well rent a gun for the day and return it to the authorities after. Same with skeet shooting. You don't have to bring your own bat to the batting cages. Most of these weapons are designed for killing people not animals, and, hunting up your grub is sport, not subsistence.

              I didn't see Bowling for Columbine. I'm too cheap to go to the movies ... hehe ... too busy rattling cages here on Kos.

              Nice debate though.

              On another note, kind of related, did you know Bush knew Hinckley?

            •  Guns (none)
              When you live in the city there are issues related to gun violence that need to be addressed. Go to any historical exhibit, and you will see the firearms of past generations and ages, many exquisitely formed and detailed.

              Gun ownership, is a right, but as with all rights, it is not absolute, and requires an acceptance of obligation.  Just as we do not have an absolute right to free speach, gun ownership should require an obligation not to use for criminal purposes, or intimidation.  Responsible gun ownership, and limited restrictions, such as licensing, safe use classes, loss of pivileges for criminals or felons, background checks, and so on, can be implemented through grandfather clauses, as new weapons are phased into the marketplace.

               Many people in the rural areas have land or neighbors land where they go hunting regularly, and a gun is an essential cultural artifact. My husband collects swords, some people collect guns.  As long as they are kept responsibly, who am I to go into someone's house and tell them they cannot own a gun?  

              I never allowed my children to play with toy guns, because I want them to grow up with respect for firearms.  I know how to shoot a gun, and if I choose to purchase one, it is my business.  I have no problem with a background check, or a short wait.  I currently live in Mississippi, and many people hunt or grow the food they eat, (grocery costs are nearly double that of NY)

              For those who argue that hunting is less humane than purchasing mass slaughtered animals, I would argue that people are more appreciative of the meat that they kill themself, which is more of a sacrifice, than a slaughter.  Being closer to the experience, it creates an subtle obligation to the environment.  

              •  hunters (none)
                For those who argue that hunting is less humane than purchasing mass slaughtered animals, I would argue that people are more appreciative of the meat that they kill themself, which is more of a sacrifice, than a slaughter.  Being closer to the experience, it creates an subtle obligation to the environment.

                This is very true. Most hunters I know are hardcore enviornmentalists.

                The vast majority of them are even devout animal lovers, who detest animal cruelty. They simply don't see a quick death as cruelty. They do hunt for sport (meaning, it's probably not any cheaper, and they enjoy it --- like they enjoy fishing) but, as I've said, they also eat the game.


                "Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited

                by ally on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:27:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I don't (none)
                really get a hard on for guns and knives and swords and stuff. Most who do are heavily coked up or on speed. All of a sudden out comes the porno and Soldier of Fortune.

                If they were used responsibly to shoot cute fluffy little bunnies and playful skipping deer, it wouldn't be an issue.

                Number of murders committed in 1995 in the US:  20,043  
                Percentage of murders committed with a firearm:  68 (13,673)  
                Percentage of murders committed with a handgun:  56 (11,198)  
                (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1995)

                Projected year when deaths from gunfire will surpass death from auto accidents:  2001  
                (Source: CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Fact Sheet, 1/25/96)

                Year that the NRA supported a SNS importation ban and called the guns "miserably-made, potentially defective arms that contribute so much to rising violence" :  1968  
                (Source: "Are we Really So Violent?" American Rifleman, February, 1968.)

                Cost of firearms assault injuries per fatal gunshot wound:  $21,700  
                Total cost per survivor of gunshot wounds caused by assault:  $260,000  
                Total cost of firearm assault injury and death in 1992:  $63.4 billion  
                (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics - Firearm Injury from Crime - 4/96)

                Cost of a Lorcin .22 handgun at a Pasadena California sporting goods store:  $40  
                (Source: Center for Investigative Reporting)

                Number of people killed by firearms every hour in America:  4  
                (Source: CDC)

                Number of crime victims that were shot in 1994:  32,162  
                (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1995, pg. 274)

                Number of violent crimes reported to police that were committed with firearms in 1994:  544,880  
                (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1995, pg. 274)

                Percent increase in juveniles arrested for weapons violations from '85-'94 :  113  
                (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1995, pg. 276)

                Number of violent crime victimizations committed with a firearm in 1993:  1.3 million  
                Number in 1995:  815,130  
                (Source: National Crime Victimization Survey, Cited in Guns Used in Crime, pg.1)


                Pretty heavy price tag to live out your Davey Crockett fantasy. Heck, we could foot the bill for another illegal, genocidal war with that money.

                You have the right to bear arms, not own a gun. I'm big on civil liberties myself; However, this document was written in a time when gentleman would duel. Women couldn't vote and Blacks were slaves.

                Those were different times.

      •  Wake up and smell the cordite (none)
        There are Democrats who are gun owners.  We could win back a lot of votes if the party shows that it respects the rights of responsible gun owners.  

        "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

        by LionelEHutz on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:13:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Inbreds vote too (4.00)
        I hate to tell you this, but LL Bean has a hunting catalog for a reason. It's because there are plenty of rich, educated people who kill deer for lunch.

        WHy is this an issue? Because Bush has nothing else. Better to debate John Kerry's heroism than Bush's lifelong fuckups.

        Just because you choose not to hunt doesn't mean everyone agrees with you. And John Kerry is hardly an inbred, with his Yale degree and Boston Brahim heritage.

        So get your nose down and stop sneering at people who live differently than you.

        Oh yeah, why do you think the GOP gets a free ride? Because of attitudes like yours. They don't mock inbreds, they take their votes and then mock them in private. But they take their votes.  

    •  Would Fox even carry it now? (none)
      I don't think so. Television networks and local stations have some standards about airing advertising that they know is libelous. I'm not certain that those standards are very high, but they set them high enough to keep from losing their licenses or being fined an amount greater than the ad brings in.

      What I don't understand is why these people, apparently good, upstanding citizens, have let Karl Rove use them this way. Why destroy your own reputation when documentation that you have made false claims is so easily available?

    •  well, there's still (none)
      Sean Hannity! But I knew something big was coming down last night when, instead of furthering the Swift Boat cause, they were once again carping about ribbons or medals.

      It's amazing what happens when you listen to the other person's opinion --- GWB, 12/18/00

      by Doug in SF on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:31:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  finally (none)
    it took long enough...

    Now lets see about getting a meme going about how both kerry's and the shrub's sites are about Kerry.

    "I just live forever, there just is no end / I just trust the oppression like I trust yr friends." (I got a) Catholic Block, by Sonic Youth

    by Demosthenes on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 02:51:23 AM PDT

    •  I saw the swift boat ad... (none)
      ...for the first time tonight, and one of the things that struck me about it is that there are a ceasless number of photos of Kerry lookin' good in it. It's almost like the audio and the pictures have seperate agendas.
      •  I noticed that too (none)
        Kerry looks like a handsome young chap in the shots used in the Swift liars for Bush ad.

        I think the Bush-people think these shots are terrible for Kerry because he has long hair and is surrounded by Vietnam war protesters. Rove and his team, continually surrounded and lauded by their nutcase pals, are so insulated from the rest of the country they think anyone who doesn't look an Oral Roberts Univ. student is suspect.

        "Had my aide whispered that America is under attack, I'd have politely told those kids the President has something that he needs to attend to"- John Kerry

        by assyrian64 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 04:07:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What (2.37)
      were Powell and Armitage doing in Nam? Armitage reportedly enjoyed killing. Powell was torching villages with his ronson lighter.

      I hope all that return from Iraq end up on the streets with signs reading "Homeless Vet, Anything Helps."

      Sorry but that is my opinion. You get no respect from me from learning to kill out of fear for Wall Street. You are old enough to know better.

      " ... Join the Army if you fail." Mr. Zimmerman

      •  Flip Flop (3.50)
        I have to flip flop on my comment. I hope all that go to Iraq see the light and return home safely to help in the struggle against tyranny here at home.

        Please excuse my frustration. These are trying times.

      •  You know what (none)
        you have every right to that opinion.

        I also have every right to say you are a fucking dumbass who doesn't know jack shit.  I bet you would say that to a veteran face to face and not behind some keyboard, right?

        The United States of America: Walk the Talk

        by Velvet Revolution on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:53:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've Been (none)
          thinking about your offensive post for a couple of days.

          Would I say this to a vet? Most likely not, although many vets do share my opinion. In fact many veterans are very active in the Peace movement. Regardless, I don't see how insulting someone to their face out of the blue would somehow be productive. People who know and love me, know my politics and my passion.

          It is not uncommon for veterans to come home and like Kerry pretended to, realize they were only a tool of corporate thugs bent on crushing any egalitarian movement. Indeed especially those who have any kind of knowledge of strategists like Boyd see the error in waging a vanglorious holy war for profit.

          So the answer is yes. The blogosphere allows me to express my true frustration with my fellow humans and let the chips fall where they may. Yes I feel there is a certain value to this. And, my flip flop comment, although a bit more tempered, does not fully deny the fact that I find it hard to respect people that seem to think their violence and inhumanity towards their fellow man have somehow purchased my freedom. Rest assured current and former US military personel, it was not you that set me free.

          Furthermore, reveiwing my frustration from the distance of a couple of days of working and walking and letting things sort of percolate: I truly believe we do not do ourselves justice when we place so much cultural value on military service. How do we change that? Hard to say when folks such as yourself are so ruled by fear as to fall into a violent, childlike, verbal tantrum whenever someone truly expresses their heartfelt opinion of those that take up arms to kill out of fear obstensibly in the cause of peace, justice and liberty.

      •  Yeah, great idea (none)
        Yeah, that's excellent. Blame some broke 19 year old for George Bush's war.

        You know, if you hate war so much, volunteer in a VA hospital. Then you might not be so smug about something you truly cannot understand.

        As I remember it, we were attacked by someone who wanted to kill lots of Americans and succeeded. Of course, Bush didn't care and attacked Iraq to prove his manhood on the backs of 900+ dead Americans, but why should that matter.

        The real enemy is that 19 year old who wanted to go college and didn't have your daddy to send him.

        •  agree (none)
          My dad fleww B-52s in Vietnam, and we lived in Guam during the end of it. he Flew 400 missions, to protect our troops, he would do fly-overs and bomb the enemy when our guys were under fire.  Yeah, when they were shooting at some kid from Indiana, or mowing down our troops, my dad would fly over them and bomb the hell out of them, so a couple of OURS could make it home.  I cannot express how painful it is to the family to endure the hardships of having a family member involved in a conflict.  They learn to survive, however that is achieved.

          Our soldiers in Iraq are not that different.  Meeting the civilians, overcoming the increasing hostility, and often are truly finding themselves welcome by the Iraqis who want them there, they are providing a window upon American Democratic values.  For the most part they are just like the kids still here at home, listening to the same music, reading the same books.  

          The prudent thing to do is to get them home, begin mutual development progress with the international community to rebuild, but not occupy.  Japan has an amazing development assistance program that would be perfect, as they are not perceived as negatively as us.

          •  B-52's (none)
            This is not a knock but an example of how we all make it through the day.  

            In my year as an Army REMF, I never saw or heard a B-52 Arc Light raid.  I did see A-130 support (Spectacular).  The F-4's would bang over the LZ at low level now and then to show they were around.  Except for the raids over Hanoi, most B-52 sorties were mainly punching holes in the ground in Free Fire Zones and Cambodia; not in close combat support.  

            Compared to the Haliburton contractors in Iraq that have taken over my 76Y MOS, I had it easy.  I just jumped into bunkers during rocket attacks, got drunk every night, talked my gung-ho First Sergeant out of sending to Jump School in Saigon, and wondered if the LZ would ever get overrun.  It wasn't.  The Communist took over the valley in 1972 after the last US troops left.

            Development is impossible when an insurrection is underway.  Either the US and the interim government cracks down hard and kills the enemy and its supporters (genocide), or the US withdraws.  There is no middle way. Talk of great American and Iraqi buddies is total propaganda.  Christians and Muslims have been fighting for a thousand years and both sides hate each other guts.  In Vietnam, soldiers respected Charlie and feared the NVA; not in Iraq.

        •  Prove it (none)
          you claim we were attacked. Prove it.

          I can wait.

        •  I never said (none)
          blame. And it's Kerry's war now. We are all to blame. Myself included. What I said was their actions do not earn my respect. Not in my name.

          The larger fight is one for legitimacy.


          Commenting on the deteriorating situation in Najaf, an Egyptian international law expert said, "What's happening in Najaf is classified as genocide and a humanitarian crisis by all means".

          Hassan Ahmed Omar, speaking to, further emphasized the necessity of calling "upon the UN General Assembly to convene" in order to take decisions with regard to trying perpetrators of such massacres.

          Omar accused the UN Security Council of conspiring with the United States , underlining that the Security Council could not be trusted to "make any calls" as long as the situation in Iraq is concerned.

          "According to the rules of the international law, it is impermissible that a state acts as an adversary and arbitrator simultaneously. The United States and Britain take part in the violations perpetrated in Iraq and control the UNSC. Their involvement in the UNSC decision-making regarding such violations contradicts the simple rules of the international law."

          American terror:

          PILGER: THIS WAR IS A FRAUD By John Pilger, Former Mirror chief foreign correspondent

          The war against terrorism is a fraud. After three weeks' bombing, not a single terrorist implicated in the attacks on America has been caught or killed in Afghanistan.

          Instead, one of the poorest, most stricken nations has been terrorised by the most powerful - to the point where American pilots have run out of dubious "military" targets and are now destroying mud houses, a hospital, Red Cross warehouses, lorries carrying refugees.

          Unlike the relentless pictures from New York, we are seeing almost nothing of this. Tony Blair has yet to tell us what the violent death of children - seven in one family - has to do with Osama bin Laden.

          And why are cluster bombs being used? The British public should know about these bombs, which the RAF also uses. They spray hundreds of bomblets that have only one purpose; to kill and maim people. Those that do not explode lie on the ground like landmines, waiting for people to step on them.

          If ever a weapon was designed specifically for acts of terrorism, this is it. I have seen the victims of American cluster weapons in other countries, such as the Laotian toddler who picked one up and had her right leg and face blown off. Be assured this is now happening in Afghanistan, in your name.

          Ultimately here is the motivation:

          TOP SECRET

          Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars

          An introductory programming manual
          Operations Research
          Technical Manual


          This publication marks the 25th anniversary of the Third World War, called the "Quiet War," being conducted using subjective biological warfare, fought with "silent weapons."

          This book contains an introductory description of this war, its strategies, and its weaponry.

          May 1979 #74-1120

          [ ... ]

          FACTOR IV -- JUNIOR

          The emotional pressure for self-preservation during time of war and the self-serving attitude of the common herd that have an option to avoid the battlefield -- if junior can be persuaded to go -- is all of the pressure finally necessary to propel Johnny off to war. Their quiet blackmailings of him are the threats: "No sacrifice, no friends; no glory, no girlfriends."

          Know your rights:

          Love is the key to our freedom.

          Arm me with harmony.  

  •  Yes! (none)
    As I typo'd elsewhere, it's a think of beauty. Check out this graphic:

    I wish they had more about how some of the Swift-less have previously gone after McCain (who came to Mac's defense? JFK) and pursued other crazy scams... But the graphic above is more pertinent to Kerry's allegations today about Bush letting others do his dirty work.

    •  Same group that attacked John McCain (none)
      I sent that suggestion to the Times news dept. and the public editor.
      •  Interesting (none)
        thing about the POW/MIA movement is it gets funding from insurance companies. They don't have to pay as long as the guys may be still alive.

        Yup and that guy is a freak, he even attacked McCain physically, which is kinda cool, but, he's still a real loony.

        The Kerry/Forbes connection netted Collier Forbes a nice big contract as the sole land agent for American companies in Vietnam, also a big contract to build a port.

        The thing that some will bring up is that there are a group of Christian Vietnamese that are repressed by the Vietnamese government and that Kerry and McCain rushed to closure on the POW/MIA thing so that Collier Forbes could score and in doing so ignored human rights violations.

        I vetted Kerry and all the candidates during the early part of the Primary and this info was on the web then. It's a distraction. A dead issue. Bush wasn't AWOL either. Both Bush and Kerry have something in common with Joe Wilson's wife. Circular firing squad and the voter will not hear the truth of either side's Vietnam days. The last time the AWOL issue reared its ugly head was when McAuliffe and crew needed a news cycle or two after Drudge found Kerry's intern, or, rather, Clark flapped his gums as he loves to do.

        The Vietnam thing is probative only to show how America invents enemies and how the CIA wages and funds covert war for profit. Also because Kennedy according to Macnamara and others had signed a directive to bring the troops home shortly before the assassination and coup of 1963.

        •  AWOL (none)
          Bush wasn't AWOL either.

          I'm still waiting for someone to come forward and say they saw him during that year he was supposed to have served but can't prove it.
          I don't recall the exact words that were on Drudge about the intern deal, but one of the reporters who was with the group with Clark at the time came forward and said Clark did not say what Drudge said he did.  I'm sure I can come up with the reporter's name and who he works for, but it's not coming to me right now. I know I know it.

          •  Your Wait Is Over (none)
            my dear Daniel Hopsicker reports.

            "It was really quite amazing. Here was this young guy making acquisitions of tropical plants and then up and leaving to fly fighter planes."

            February 25-- Venice, Florida.
            by Daniel Hopsicker  

            A MadCowMorningNews investigation into the controversy currently swirling around President George W. Bush's service in the National Guard has uncovered evidence indicating that Bush's disputed "lost year" is not the only period of time during his abbreviated stint in the Guard that remains shrouded in mystery.

            Conventional wisdom about Bush is that he spent the more poorly-documented stretches of his Guard service somewhere with his cowboy boots up on a desk, pulling the tab on another `tall cold one.' The questions being asked are on the order of: Did daddy pull strings to get him a cozy billet? Did he actually show up for duty?

            But conventional wisdom has a way of often being wrong. Evidence unearthed in our investigation indicates that George W. Bush, while supposedly serving in the Texas Guard in 1971, may instead have been detailed to the massive covert operation of the U.S. government going on at that very moment in Central America.

            Did George W. Bush take part in Operation Condor?



  •  Keith Olbermann kicks serious wingnut a$$ (4.00)
    As I write here, Keith really layed into the right wing nuts for their vicious attack ads tonight.

    Michelle Malkin, the unfortunate and overmatched author of a self-loathing book that attempts to justify our World War II internment and robbery of Americans of Japanese heritage, became the harbinger of the next mucky smell of low tide. She raised the story-- heretofore consigned largely to Robert Novak and everybody to his right-- in that delightful, Teflon way of modern politics: `I'm not saying that John Kerry shot himself. But in the Swift Boat Veterans' book, they ask whether or not his wounds were self-inflicted.'

    If Ms. Malkin isn't seen on television, or moving on her own power, in the next few days, it's understandable. My colleague Mr. Matthews forced her to hang herself out to dry ten or eleven times (never prouder of you, Chris). He may have directed the momentum, but her wounds were ultimately, uh, self-inflicted.

    As Chris rightly pointed out, nobody has produced an iota of evidence that John Kerry's wounds were anything other than the result of combat. Even in the book, the references to it are speculative and without provenance. Ms. Malkin wouldn't even go so far as to attribute the suspicion to herself. It was in the book.

    Late Thursday, the Swift Boat gang announced a second commercial to premiere in the morning, and to this writing, nobody's been tipped about what it contains. Yet the Thurlow comment ("he had a plan") and Malkin's humiliating performance reek of a trial balloon. The story of the wounds will appear somewhere-- probably soon.

    You should really check out the whole article, as it's great.  For the rundown of the Olbermann piece, click here.

    •  I watched that slimeball Malkin (none)
      and hope that she is never able to show her face in the media was absolutely shameless what she did and HUGE props to Matthews for not allowing her to climb out of the grave she dug (all by her little lonesome).

      I'm not sure what these mouthpieces are in for, but my honor, dignity and especially my soul is not for sale.  Shame on her and everyone like her.

      As for the NYT article, my favorite part is where Perry is described as a 'close friend' by Rove, yet they haven't spoken in over a year.  Riiiggghhht.  I don't have any close friends that go a year without even a 'what's up' call.  So what do you think Rover and Perry talked didn't talk about this spring?

      He who gives up liberty in exchange for security is deserving of neither

      by joby on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:17:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The truth about the "Bimbo of Belsen" (4.00)
        If you want to see Michelle's full history and read some truly thorough eviscerating of her "talent" go over to Orcinus and "read up" as they say.

        Truly "the Bimbo of Belsen"

        William Goldman was right when he said the three rules of Hollywierd are "1) Nobody, 2) knows, 3) anything." Works in the real world, too.

        by HollywierdLiberal on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:35:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the blogpoint HWL (4.00)
          I am just speechless at the garbage that is emanating from the right.  I truly never believed that I would see the day when our country could resemble a certain early 20th century Teutonic nation...

          I would recommend reading some of the posts on David Sirota's blog for some additional points that the right/BushCo/corporate America would prefer you didn't.  Some of the research turns up some astonishing facts.  At what income level does one become unconcerned with the democratic structure and why is obscene wealth not enough?

          I'm in a bad mood again, but Matthew's dissembling of Thurlow and Malkin gave me hope enough that will allow me to sleep tonight.  

          He who gives up liberty in exchange for security is deserving of neither

          by joby on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:59:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  While You Are At It (none)
          Little Michelle has run whining to her blog to give us a peek behind the Cable TV Curtain and, as she says, it ain't pretty.

          Smarmy, vile little swine, about time they were called on their slime.

          MM, poster girl for whingeing slime.

          "Till the Last Dog Dies"

          by Deep Dark on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 04:01:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK, let me wash off now (4.00)
            Just visited Malkin's site.

            First, it seems she is a reader of Atrios. She supplies a link to an Atrios post, which talks about how some of his readers are infatuated with her, despite her loathsome political beliefs. It comes after she reveals that Matthews, who she describes as a "caveman," made a joke about how young she looked before going on the air.

            Secondly, the lie that Matthews caught her trying to obviously convey, without directly saying - that John Kerry shot himself on purpose! - is dealt with in her vapid website rant:

            Malkin: "Matthews frantically stuffed words down my mouth when I raised these allegations made in Unfit for Command that Kerry's wounds might have been self-inflicted. In his ill-informed and ideologically warped mind, this transmogrified into me accusing Kerry of "shooting himself on purpose" to get an award.

            I repeated that the allegations involved whether the injuries were "self inflicted wounds." I DID NOT SAY HE SHOT HIMSELF ON PURPOSE and Chris Matthews knows it."

            No viper, you didn't say "he shot himself on purpose," you said his injuries were "self-inflicted," knowing full well that the viewing audience would think this meant he shot himself on purpose.

            Oh well, too bad you and your lying swift (shit) smear pal were exposed tonite as the unethical slimes you truly are. Take it back to your master, the frightened looking guy holding onto "My Pet Goat," it ain't 2000 anymore.

            "Had my aide whispered that America is under attack, I'd have politely told those kids the President has something that he needs to attend to"- John Kerry

            by assyrian64 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 06:57:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I thought (none)
              she did say he shot himself. There was cross talk at the time and I could be mistaken. But I thought she said that he shot himself and I remember thinking she meant to say self-inflicted from the grenade shrapnel. That's when Tweety lay the smackdown on her. I'm going to check the transcript.
              Did anyone else think that as soon as the interview started she took Coalition of the Wild Eyed literally? She had a crazed look in her eyes. I dated a woman years ago with a similar look. She was pretty and I ignored my friends' warnings about her looking crazed. And turns out they were right. Malkin had that same look last night and she frightened me even before she began spouting off.
              •  transcript (none)
                I still think she said he shot himself on purpose during the part marked cross talk. I did not tape it. It looks to me like Chris goes back to ask about self inflicted to give her the opportunity NOT to repeat the he shot himself remark, but she does not correct herself. He gives her multiple chances to correct herself and she does not.

                MALKIN:  Well, yes.  Why don`t people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg.  They are legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound.  


                MATTHEWS:  What do you mean by self-inflicted?  Are you saying he shot himself on purpose?  Is that what you`re saying?  

                MALKIN:  Did you read the book...

                MATTHEWS:  I`m asking a simple question.  Are you saying that he shot himself on purpose.

                MALKIN:  I`m saying some of these soldiers...  

                MATTHEWS:  And I`m asking question.  

                MALKIN:  And I`m answering it.  

                MATTHEWS:  Did he shoot himself on purpose.

                MALKIN:  Some of the soldiers have made allegations that these were self-inflicted wounds.  

                MATTHEWS:  No one has ever accused him of shooting himself on purpose.  

                MALKIN:  That these were self-inflicted wounds.  

                MATTHEWS:  Your saying there are--he shot himself on purpose, that`s a criminal act?  

                MALKIN:  I`m saying that I`ve read the book and some of the...  


                MATTHEWS:  I want an answer yes or no, Michelle.  

                MALKIN:  Some of the veterans say...

                MATTHEWS:  No.  No one has every accused him of shooting himself on purpose.

                MALKIN:  Yes.  Some of them say that.  

                MATTHEWS:  Tell me where that...  

                MALKIN:  Self-inflicted wounds--in February, 1969.  

                MATTHEWS:  This is not a show for this kind of talk.  Are you accusing him of shooting himself on purpose to avoid combat or to get credit?

      •  Malkin on C=SPAN (none)
        this morning (Friday).  Sorry if this is posted somewhere else downthread.  I'm on east coast time and am just getting caught up.

        Heard a wingnut on C-SPAN a few minutes ago saying that he wanted to know if Kerry had spoken to the North Vietnamese while he was in uniform.  He was accusing him of treason!

      •  GO CHRIS!! (none)
        Please, please pardon my graphic and crude language but I'm fired up.  Hardball with Chris Matthews last night was an absolute, unadulterated joy last night. Chris fucked these clowns up so badly, exposing Thurlow as a hapless, compromised fraud. The way he took Malkin's innuendo about self-inflicted wounds and figuratively shoved it down her gonorhhea infected throat was right on. (brain bleach, sorry)

        What was so refreshing was that in one short discussion with Malkin, he took on the Fox "some people say.." insinuation/innuendo smear M.O., and he ripped its throat out. It was a "not on my show" type of indignation and I loved it.

        And Keith followed it up. Well done, please let there be more of it.

  •  More on voter intimidation in Fla (none)
    Meanwhile, in the same NYT, Herbert continues his commentary on alleged voter intimidation in Florida. And who do you think is being intimidated? You can bet it's now happening in GOP strongholds...

  •  ...but can they be stopped? (3.50)
    It seems that they are being sufficiently disredited in the press, but the number of people who read the WP or the NYT or watch cable news is not that large.

    New ad and new buy starts tomorrow
    It has been reported that these guys are releasing a new ad tomorrow. They have recieved another $400k in funding. It seems they are determined to keep making ads and I am sure they will continue to get more where does it end?

    Kerry has to move on from this
    Kerry cant spend the next 10 weeks defending his Nam record. And we dont want him and moveon wasting time and money running what are essentially defensive ads that dont really get new votes. As long as Kerry isnt talking about Health Care and Jobs he is not converting swing voters.

    Can they be shut down?
    What will it take to shut these guys down? Can Bush be pressued to ask them to? would they even if he did? can they be sued? Can stations that run the ads be pressured to stop?

    •  Don't Panic (4.00)
      It's not about how many people read the WP and NYT. It's about how those papers set the agenda for the rest of the media. This should, finally, signal a turning of the tide. And that should mean that further smears will be increasingly self-damaging.

      If Rove still has some synapses functioning, we may well see Bush condemn the ads, now that further running of them will only bring him self-inflicted wounds.

      Let's put the information back in the information age.

      by Paul Rosenberg on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:06:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the impact will be when? (none)
        OK, expecting too much maybe, but I'm surfing around now to see if any other sites mention the Times story. No luck yet, but interesting to note the conclusion of the story about Kerry's rebuttal today:

        "There is no irrefutable evidence that the group is a front for Bush or that is a front for Kerry, though there are at least slender ties between the groups' major donors and both campaigns."

        Yeah right. Check out the Times piece and graphic. I hope ABC issues a retraction tomorrow... (actually I don't care - I'd rather they just go with the real story - Bush really IS behind this).

        •  Maria Vargas (none)
          Maria Vargas, on ABC News yesterday, spoke of SBVfT as a "veterans group." Isn't that about like calling the Mafia a "Catholic group"? The Mob arguably does much more to serve the cause of the Catholic Church than SBVfT does for veterans - and I'd be surprised if SBVfT has a clause about "serving veterans" in its mission statement. Or how about calling the Bush team a "draft dodgers group"?

          We're regular ABC News viewers in this house, and strongly suspecting that Eisner has given orders to throw rose petals on the path to renewed Republican regency. There's a constant fluffing of any hard inquiry into Bush-team tactics and honesty.

        •  letters to the editor (none)
          The story is crumbling, and Kerry has tackled the issue head-on.  Deluge local papers with letters--mine ran last night in my Iowa town.

          Talking points:  John McCain has called the ads "dishonest and dishonorable."  Can't President Bush stop these attacks just by denouncing them.  If Bush let's his buddies do this, it's his message!

          Wally in Iowa

      •  I think (none)
        we need to start spreading the news about this NYT article that rebuts every charge made by this slime-ball organization.

        Hold your news anchors responsible: make sure they explain how the charges made by this group are false.

        Start writing to papers, news shows, etc.

        E-mail the article to your GOP friends or just everyone in general showing how these right-wingers are nothing but liars.

      •  Very true (none)
        Most of America won't read the WP or NYT...but many local papers pick up their stories and run them in their editions (especially smaller papers that don't have any kind of national bureau of their own). It might take a day or two to filter down -- if it's a really large piece, it may be held for the Sunday editions -- but it'll make it eventually into the hinterlands.

        As for me, I won't breathe easy until the SCLM is talking about "President-Elect Kerry", and this waste of good trees book is sitting gathering dust on the $1.99 shelf at Barnes & Noble.

        "If this be treason, make the most of it." -- Patrick Henry

        Prune the Shrub!

        by Cali Scribe on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:32:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This Is Worse Than It Looks (3.75)
      Let me start by saying I am really hoping that we are all laughing at these guys come November 2.  But I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach over the way this has played out over the last two weeks.

      The SCLM, despite the latest TV & cable shows and despite the NYT and WaPo articles, is going along with the anti-Kerry story.  First, they've been running it for two weeks.  Second, they continue (as recently as Nightline this evening) to present it as a "he said, he said" argument where no one can be sure who is telling the truth.  Those of you who recall the way the Whitewater fraud was played out for eight years will recall how devastating this can be.  This is really much worse than it looks.

      Most important, we have had two straight weeks of not talking about the failures of the Bush/Cheney administration, the continuing deterioration of Iraq, the fact that the economy is still not going anywhere, and any number of other issues that, when considered objectively, do not reflect well on Bush/Cheney.

      Score that a major victory for the bad guys.

      •  no, we turn this back ON BUSH! (none)
        the way to win this battle is to turn all this slime back on Bush.  Yes, it will take energy, time and money, but it would work, and be worth it.   All we have to do is make clear the links between Bush and SBVT.

        Its jujitsu, and we've got to do it.  Its the way to shut down these slimers for a long time.

        By the time Nov 2 comes around, every American must know about the gutter politics of the GOP.

        Who knows, this mess could actually be a decisive battle that wins us the election.  Sure, its not what we wanted to talk about  (health care, Iraq, homeland security)  but the repugs asked for it, and they are going to be sorry.

        "Bush lied, thousands died, IMPEACH BUSH NOW!"

        by Sue in NH on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 10:05:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely! (none)
          This is the Kerry Campaign's real test. If it was--as some have argued--a clever example of rope-a-dope, then there's a whole lot more to come. I sincerely hope there is. There are several different ways that Kerry could play this. He has options. In the past, he has only taken warning shots. He needs to do more now--substantially more.

          One way he could go would be to recount the entire history of attacks on veterans--another way to put McCain on his side, and thus portray it in a not-partisan manner.  

          He could also portray it as an attack on the integrity of the military:

          "I don't care about them questioning my medals.  I know what I did, and I'm in a position to defend myself.  But their baseless accusations cast doubt on the entire process of awarding medals. They cast doubt on every medal worn by every veteran, living and dead.  Those men have already defended their country.  They shouldn't have to defend themselves from this sort of STAB IN THE BACK!"

          Yep, that's right, folks.  The people attacking Kerry are engaging in PRECISELY the sort of thing that Germans in 1918 blamed for their defeat in WWI, and that conservatives even today blame for our defeat in Vietnam.  It would be truly courageous to call them on it just like that.

          Let's put the information back in the information age.

          by Paul Rosenberg on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 01:00:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It could be, though, (none)
        That despite the egregiousness of the media coverage on this, the American public is smarter than we maybe give them credit for.  As far as I can tell, the swift boat stuff hasn't made an appreciable dent in Kerry's lead in many polls -- though it could be too soon to tell -- and indeed, some of the supposed battleground states seem (emphasis on seem) to be consolidating as pro-Kerry (Oregon, Michigan, Penn, etc.).  

        About Whitewater, it is true that the media seemed to make a mountain out of a molehill on that one, and that for a certain American "Clinton" is inseparably linked to "Whitewater" in their mind.  On the other hand, even with all this hoopla -- and the major onslaught of the scum machine in the Monica Lewinsky scandal -- Clinton remained a very popular president, up to the end of his second term.  Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I think many voters are savvy enough to see through the SCLM bullshit.

      •  Here's the answer (none)
        Kerry should tell Bush to meet him man-to-man in some public square, announce the "event" to the press, and beat the crap outta him.
  •  WAIT A MINUTE! (2.50)
    I didn't read much of that, at least not yet, but I did read the last few paragraphs. They just reminded me of a question that I've had floating around in my head for some time now.

    Has anybody actually looked at what Kerry said to Congress when he testified? If these people are so incensed about Kerry said and about how he allegedly blamed them, why don't they point to actual lines? If he didn't mention them directly, their reasons for being upset, at least in theory, are a lot less credible.

    Perhaps someone has done this before and I am just not aware. But it doesn't seem like it.

    "What we have here is a form of looting."-Nobel Laureate George Akerlof, about Bushonomics.

    by bjako on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:02:10 AM PDT

    •  What Kerry really said (3.87)
      Go here:


      As anyone with a brain who can touch their nose with their index finger three times on consecutive attempts, who can read, can see - none of what the ShitBoat vets, or any of my other moron vet brothers who have to convince themselves that "I am good, and I went to Vietnam, so the war must be good" because they can only see the other equally-fallacious equation, "If the war was bad, and I was in the war, I must be bad," which they cannot deal with.

      Too many Vietnam veterans have bought into the same bullshit the German veterans of World War I believed in - the "stab in the back."

      The truth of the Vietnam war is still what it was the night I came home and told my father who had survived the Kamikazes and my uncle who had walked out of the Chosin Reservoir - "if we were fighting in Vietnam for all the things you taught me Americans fight for, we'd be on the other side."  No amount of right wing mythology will ever change that.

      William Goldman was right when he said the three rules of Hollywierd are "1) Nobody, 2) knows, 3) anything." Works in the real world, too.

      by HollywierdLiberal on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 04:02:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for (1.20)
        the link. I'm going to look over it later today, when I am a little bit more awake.

        "What we have here is a form of looting."-Nobel Laureate George Akerlof, about Bushonomics.

        by bjako on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 04:05:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have always wondered (4.00)
        Why is it that people don't acknowledge the perceptual perversion that goes on in combat. People who are in the same action always have different versions, some wildly different. This is normal.

        What is not normal is this corps of wingnut vets. They drag us all down by 'defending' the 'truth'. I forgive much with my brother vets. I know from personal experience the effects of PTSD. Many vets carry addictions they acquired as a result of their experiences in war. Some are just out in right field and aren't ever coming back into the dugout. I forgive all this.

        Lying, however, intentional hurtful lying I do not forgive. These Swiftboat guys just aren't all that swift.

        But their intention isn't to right any past perceived wrongs, after all, or to correct  the record. Their intention is to denigrate an admirable and brave man. A man of obvious sand. Who is everything GWB isn't.

        The war was a political betrayal. It was poorly conceived and even more poorly prosecuted. That it resembles what we have not in Iraq is not just scary, it is an abomination of what makes America America.

        I came back to the world against the war. I came back to a place I didn't recognize anymore. I came back wanting to right the wrong I had witnessed. I came back to make things better.

        The Rove smear machine makes my skin crawl. These people always see evil in others as a reflection of their own self-hatred.

        What can be done to stop them. Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman did it tonight. Bill Mahar is doing it. and if WaPo and NYT follow through after their mea culpas about their despicable coverage of dissent in the lead up to George the Third's war, they will do it. The answer here is exposure and courage.

        The Press, instead of covering its ass over the Plame matter, should be four square into the Republican's shit over their distortions, lies, and incompetence.

        Don't let them get away with it--that's the answer.

        Regime Change Begins at Home. Prune the Shrub and Cut the Dick.

        by oofer on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 04:55:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two interesting reviews of Rashomon (none)
          Warning to those of a sensitive nature, the 2nd link is to a conservative site and the review is anti-Clinton.  I still think it's a good review and some of the language about objective truth is pretty nice.

          Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

          by Myrkury on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 11:10:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  About fucking time (4.00)
    This is the kind of reporting we should have seen back when the wingnuts were attacking Clinton.

    I'm glad to see they've finally gotten a backbone and instead of just repeating the lies, they are questioning them and pointing out the facts.

    Nice guy or not, if we're at war and I get to choose the guy in the foxhole next to me, I'll pick Kerry. At least I know he's gonna watch my back.

    by Steve4Clark on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:03:12 AM PDT

    •  I agree entirely (4.00)
      If the media had been even marginally dilligent about exposing the slime being thrown at Clinton, Ken Starr would have been a footnote in history before he even had a chance to hear the name "Monica."  If they'd done even a shred of honest research during the 2000 campaign, we'd be talking about how big a margin President Gore by which would be reelected.  If they had any common decency at all after 9/11, we'd be preparing the trial of Osama bin Laden, instead of Saddam Hussein.  Even going back further than that, why couldn't they explain Reagan's economic hocus-pocus before it had a chance to fester?  It's great that at least a handful of reporters and editors are on the ball this time, but it's not a day late and a dollar short.  They're decades late and trillions of dollars short.
  •  Didn't read until now (none)
    about the "self-inflicted wounds" accusation.

    So the next claim will be that Kerry dressed up as a woman in an attempt to get a Section 8 discharge.

    Every revolution carries within it the seeds of its own destruction.

    by Page van der Linden on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:03:57 AM PDT

  •  They can be stopped (3.66)
    When the NYT or WaPo carry a story, A LOT more than the NYT or WaPo run it.  Read any small or medium sized newspaper around the country.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kansas City Star, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, for example.  They regularly print stories from the NYT or WaPo as headlines.  Most newspapers don't have Washington correspondents so they rely on either AP, NYT, WaPo, Knight-Ridder, Reuters, or some other major outlet to deliver the story.  Then the local paper chooses a headline.  A really fascinating illustration is at the Newseum in DC where you can literally see 50 different headlines of papers around the country at once - many have the exact same story (often from NYT or WaPo) but different headlines.  This NYT smackdown will get HUGE play in every local newspaper around the country.

    Given that, these guys will look more and more like petty liars doing Bush's dirty work.  Which is why Kerry's speech today is so important. He let it be known - and his speech was covered highly in the press - that the ads are nothing but partisan garbage with no truth.  By running these ads again the Bush Administration will increasingly be forced to openly defend or condemn them.  With McCain long on record agains them the ads will redound against Bush, thereby creating a new scandal.  This story will hurt Bush badly unless he tells the Swift Boaters to stop and people forget about it.

    •  YES! (none)
      We have to create the situation where every time a SBVT ad runs, people see it and say "more lies from the Bushies, what liars!"

      We can do it.  We push this.  Kerry's campaign pushes this.  We win.  The scum loses, snuffed out by their own slime.  Just what they have earned.

      "Bush lied, thousands died, IMPEACH BUSH NOW!"

      by Sue in NH on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 10:09:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This article should be summarized and (none)
    put on as a review for Unfit for Command.
  •  A letter I found to MSNBC (4.00)
    "Yes, the President has several core beliefs. But more importantly, I think the ability to "stay the course" and not change your mind is over-rated. I used to have a dog who couldn't rememeber that while there was a doggie door in the back of the house, the front door was solid. So every day he would go running across the living room, and slap hard into the closed oak door. You could make the argument that the dog stayed true to his beliefs. I would argue that he was too stupid to learn from experience." -Rick Ellis, Birmingham

    I thought this was pretty funny.

    It reminded of what Joe Cocker said when he finally kicked drugs: "You can only bang your head against a wall for so long before it hurts."

    "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

    by BooMan23 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:14:35 AM PDT

  •  Every dem (none)
    that goes on a talk show needs to read this and memorize it. Some of this is priceless including the total dishonesty, or actually honesty, of Mary Spaeth.

    When asked if she had ever visited the White House during Mr. Bush's tenure, Ms. Spaeth initially said that she had been there only once, in 2002, when Kenneth Starr gave her a personal tour. But this week Ms. Spaeth acknowledged that she had spent an hour in the Old Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex, in the spring of 2003, giving Mr. Bush's chief economic adviser, Stephen Friedman, public speaking advice. Asked if it was possible that she had worked with other administration officials, Ms. Spaeth said, "The answer is 'no,' unless you refresh my memory.''
  •  That article needs to be condensed (none)
    into a handy series of one-liner talking points.


    Larry Thurlow says Kerry doesn't deserve his medal, But Larry Thurlow won the SAME medal on the SAME day for the SAME engagement.

    I say we should come up with those one-liners, put them into the DKosopedia, and then email that link to the Kerry campaign.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:15:55 AM PDT

  •  Now to use it as a club (none)
    Since the information is out there, it is a genie that can't be put in a bottle, but now that it's been debunked by no lesser authorities than the New York Times and the Washington Post, not to mention every fact checking site of legitimacy anywhere, we should use this as an offensive weapon.

    Mr. Bush condemn this ad!

  •  Call me a pessimist (4.00)
    This article is fantastic, no doubt about that.

    Judging from the comments and diaries I've read here (I've only been on dailyKos for a few weeks), most of us are bright with the capacity for critical thought.

    However, 50% of the US still thinks the war is just fine, 43% think the Abu Ghraib torture was justified, and god knows what other statistics are out there that indicate that the electorate is uneducated or just plain dumber than a box of rocks.

    So, these people are going to suck up the Swift Boat Asshat accusations, lodge them in their small brains, and then vote on November 2.

    Sorry about the rant, but never underestimate the power of a large crowd of stupid people.

    Every revolution carries within it the seeds of its own destruction.

    by Page van der Linden on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:20:06 AM PDT

    •  Seconded (none)
      When I see consistently realistic reporting in major newspapers and television outlets, I'll start believing that the average American will have enough facts at their disposal to make a halfway educated decision on November 2nd.
      I don't see that happening anytime soon.

      Call me cynical, call me bitter if you like; I love my country, but I am thoroughly disgusted with the general populace at times.

      Send! John! KERRY!!!!!!!!!!!

      by OxyLiberal on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:55:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the thought that 40% + (3.66)
         of adult Americans will vote for Bush is I think a major indictment of our school systems - whether they be public, private or church affiliated. The only ones who should be voting for him are those who:
         1) are making big bucks off his admin (I'd guess @2%) and 2) the Christians-only group (I'd guess @20%. The rest got no excuse as far as I can see.

        "We have met the enemy and he is us" Pogo

        by rurallib on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 05:15:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why do the rest vote for Bush? (4.00)
          "The only ones who should be voting for him are those who:
           1) are making big bucks off his admin (I'd guess @2%) and 2) the Christians-only group (I'd guess @20%. The rest got no excuse as far as I can see "

          Assuming 40% will vote for Dumbya that leaves 18%. Most of the folks in this 18% are basically ignorant - willfully or not. They think Bush is best only because:

          a) They either believe the lies put out by Bushco (eg, "Bush is better at defense, Kerry will raise my taxes".)
          b) They believe Bush is sympathetic to their own, sometimes secret, self-interests (eg "Bush will keep the foreigners out")

          We may be able to reach some of the people in the first group if we keep getting the truth out. The second group needs heavy therapy.

          "Had my aide whispered that America is under attack, I'd have politely told those kids the President has something that he needs to attend to"- John Kerry

          by assyrian64 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 05:56:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No simple explanation (none)
            I puzzle about this. It's easy to dismiss the wingnuts and the people who are in it for power and money. But I've heard from reasonable people who will very calmly and rationally tell you that they are voting for Bush because he [statement completely divorced from reality].

            The example I've been puzzling about most recently is Ben Stein (Pop culture references for those who can't place the name: "Anybody? Bueller?" and "Win Ben Stein's Money"). I heard a conversation between him and Al Franken on Franken's show. Stein is a smart, well-informed guy, and he obviously admires Franken a great deal. He (Stein) was a junior speechwriter for Nixon and was talking about how Nixon was actually very much personally committed to environmental issues.

            He then makes the appalling statement that he thinks Bush has not changed anything significant with regard to environmental policy. In response to Franken's expected explosion, he demurs and says "well, Al, I know you have an encyclopedic knowledge about the Bush administration and if you say differently, I suppose you may be right. But still..."

            And you're left with the impression that a smart guy who is a committed environmentalist will vote for Bush, thinking that Bush's record on the environment is just hunky-dory.

            Fans of Air America will be familiar with this phenomenon, as heard from Al's dittohead friend Mark Luther and Janeane Garofolo's dad Carmine. Nice people, intelligent people, who are capable of hearing facts and then acting as if those facts never occurred.

            Is it hypnotism? What explains this?

            •  Yes I heard the Franken interview (none)
              I was similarly astounded by his lack of awareness regarding the worst environmental pres. in our nation's history. I think he falls into the "willfully" ignorant group.

              I'm not a psych., but my guess would be that Stein, former Nixon speech-writer, is reluctant to give up his preconceived notions of what the present day Republican party has become. Perhaps Stein knows, deep down, he'd have to condemn and give up the present day Republican party if he were to actually acknowledge their extremism, how they are truly destroying our environment and face the consequences from his Republican brethren, the harsh attacks, the cries of "traitor!".

              Just a guess.

              "Had my aide whispered that America is under attack, I'd have politely told those kids the President has something that he needs to attend to"- John Kerry

              by assyrian64 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 02:44:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  They're not all stupid.... (4.00) Randi Rhodes says, most people are incredibly busy.

      Think of the the legal standard of the 'reasonable citizen.' When an average reasonable citizen turns to society to piece together her picture of the world--turning to peers, the press, community leaders, church--what does she see?

      One thing she can never see is a naked emperor.

      Our nation lives out its life on the private media property of Republicans, and until we do something fundamental about that, we should hold off accusing an increasingly desperate citizenry.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 04:32:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  However. (none)
        Not being well-informed (either because the media aren't doing their job, or because people don't take the time to get the information) is one thing.

        However, the 43% that believed that torture may be justified scare me. That's not an issue of information, that's a moral issue. How did that come to be?

        •  43% pro-torture (none)
          However, the 43% that believed that torture may be justified scare me. That's not an issue of information, that's a moral issue. How did that come to be?

          TV? Ever since Abu Ghraib happened, I've been cringing every time a cop or a Starfleet Officier or whatnot roughs up a suspect and gets and quick and truthful answer on the spot. On TV it works every time: ask a question, get nothing. Smack the guy around, get an answer. Solve the problem, save the kid, whatever the crisis du jour is.

          I'm sure it looks quite reasonable to someone who is sitting at home on their couch who has just been told that "terrorist chatter" is high and Al Qaeda wants to kill us all. Smack 'em around a bit and get an answer. What's the problem? It's amazing how many times this scenario repeats itself in (American?) entertainment if you watch for it.

    •  And how many (none)
      still believe that 9/11 and Saddam Hussein/Iraq are connected?

      Recent polls?  Anyone?


      •  Saddam and Sept. 11 (3.50)
        And how many still believe that 9-11 and Saddam Hussein/Iraq are connected? Recent polls?  Anyone?

        The last one I heard was perhaps a little over a month ago. In that poll just over 50% now thought Saddam had no connection with 9-11. The fact that this was an improvement over previous polls, where 70% thought that Saddam did have something to do with the Sept. 11 attacks, is an awful indictment of the educational system in this country and the gullibility of folks in general.

        "Had my aide whispered that America is under attack, I'd have politely told those kids the President has something that he needs to attend to"- John Kerry

        by assyrian64 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 05:34:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Can't we Have our own Version?.. (3.28)
    Instead Kerry responding to SwiftBoatWhoresforTruth, can't we have our own outlandish, smear-mongerers?

    Why not VietnamCowardsforCowards? Can anyone imagine an ad quoting cowards on the ChickenHawk cowards?

    Name the Repub:

    "At the time, I had other priorities"

    "All the spots were taken up by minorities..."

    Etc. For $500,000 we could have a great laugh, and absolutely bury the other side. Somebody put up a goddamn bat.

    CT-4 and CT-2! Two New England House races that Dems must win. &

    by edwardbanderson on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:22:22 AM PDT

    •  Ambitious Secretaries For Truth (4.00)
      "He was horrible at pool volleyball"
      "He was like a vacuum cleaner for coke"
      "He claimed to have been in a fight with some thugs, but he really fell down stairs, drunk"

      I'm a Culture Warrior, drinking, smoking and screwing in the fight against Faithists!

      by bzbb on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 10:37:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good stuff (4.00)
    The group says Mr. Kerry himself wrote the reports that led to the medal. But Mr. Elliott and Mr. Lonsdale, who handled reports going up the line for recognition, have previously said that a medal would be awarded only if there was corroboration from others and that they had thoroughly corroborated the accounts.

    "Witness reports were reviewed; battle reports were reviewed," Mr. Lonsdale said at the 1996 news conference, adding, "It was a very complete and carefully orchestrated procedure." In his statements Mr. Elliott described the action that day as "intense" and "unusual."

    According to a citation for Mr. Kerry's Bronze Star, a group of Swift boats was leaving the Bay Hap river when several mines detonated, disabling one boat and knocking a soldier named Jim Rassmann overboard. In a hail of enemy fire, Mr. Kerry turned the boat around to pull Mr. Rassmann from the water.

    Mr. Rassmann, who says he is a Republican, reappeared during the Iowa caucuses this year to tell his story and support Mr. Kerry, and is widely credited with helping to revive Mr. Kerry's campaign.

    But the group says that there was no enemy fire, and that while Mr. Kerry did rescue Mr. Rassmann, the action was what anyone would have expected of a sailor, and hardly heroic. Asked why Mr. Rassmann recalled that he was dodging enemy bullets, a member of the group, Jack Chenoweth, said, "He's lying."

    "If that's what we have to say," Mr. Chenoweth added, "that's how it was."

    Several veterans insist that Mr. Kerry wrote his own reports, pointing to the initials K. J. W. on one of the reports and saying they are Mr. Kerry's. "What's the W for, I cannot answer," said Larry Thurlow, who said his boat was 50 to 60 yards from Mr. Kerry's. Mr. Kerry's middle initial is F, and a Navy official said the initials refer to the person who had received the report at headquarters, not the author.

  •  Even if I was a wingnut... (4.00)
    ...there's no way I could get the Swift Boat Liars' book except if I dragged myself from in front of Fox News and found a bookstore that sold it. says it "usually ships in 5 to 7 weeks".

    How odd for a best-seller, most of which ship in 24 hours.  Could it be that the wingnuts have done the publishing equivalent of "papering the house" - colluding to buy the press run, then sell or give them away to their fellow wingnuts?

    •  it's moving fast (none)
      Thanks to Rush & co.  My wife works at Barnes & Noble & she said that Rush was telling people before the book was released that B&N won't sell the book. The wingnuts streamed in complaining, of course.  Last night she gave me an update... Apparently their first batch they got all went to preorders so they don't have any in the store & people when people ask where it is, she says they can put their name on the list for the next batch.  One person last night told her that he didn't believe they'd get another batch, apparently a sentiment leftover from some of Rush's comments.   My wife thinks it they didn't print a whole lot in the first run.  Maybe even they didn't believe that people would eat this up the way they have.  Either that or they were trying to exaggerate the demand for it.
    •  great catch (none)
      I'm surprised. If it's not widely distributed, it won't make it onto the NYT list, which is the real mark of a bestseller. Amazon, while increasingly important, still represents only a fraction of book sales.
    •  Look for the asterix (none)
      The NYT best seller lists posts an asterix after book titles that have experienced substantial amounts of bulk sales.  I don't know if anyone has systematically tracked it, but I have seen consistent reporting of it occuring with the various wingnut "best-sellers", and especially Ann Coulter's.  You can contrast that with the Clinton book tour, with people waiting for hours to buy a book the old-fashioned way - one at a time.
  •  I cant wait to get to work to print this (none)
    graphic on an 11X17 sheet of paper and hand it in my office for all to see.  I will also be making copy to pass out liberally.

    Also, I am not sure this being in the media for so long is such a bad thing.  Now the story will be "They have been discredited and Kerry is a war hero".  And as long as the commercials keep playing and bush doesn't denounce them, Kerry can keep saying "Bring it on" when it comes to comparing there service in Vietnam.

    I was wondering tonight if waiting this long wasn't a brilliant strategy.  If he came out right away and attacked it, the story would be he said she said, but by waiting for the press to Dig up the truth, he has facts to back up his story plus gets lots of play on his reaction because we have all (the press too) been waiting for it for so long.

    Don't Blame America, we voted for Gore.

    by ETinKC on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:28:24 AM PDT

  •  Google Cache for Spaeth Communications... (4.00)
    Google cache

    Merrie Spaeth has a unique background in media, government, politics, business and the entertainment industry. She is a pioneer in communication theory and executive training, and is acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent crisis management strategists in the country.

    Merrie founded Dallas-based Spaeth Communications, Inc. in 1987. The Firm provides communication training and consulting for a wide range of companies and institutions. She is also the founder and president of the Institute for Strategic Communications, a not-for-profit foundation devoted to studying and reporting on business communication issues.

    Merrie served as a White House Fellow and was assigned to FBI Director William Webster. She was the first Fellow and one of the first two women on the director's staff. After the FBI, she served two years at the Federal Trade Commission as director of public affairs, and in 1984, President Ronald Reagan named her director of media relations at the White House. Merrie introduced satellite communications to the White House, and the electronic White House News Service. One newspaper headline said she "took the White House into the Space Age."

    Her main page is...ahem...down at the moment...wonder why? ;-)

    Disinfopedia has some goods on her...

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:29:57 AM PDT

  •  John O'Neill (none)
    on Hannity and Colmes.  Colmes, just like Dobbs and Candy Crowley, lets these guys do a monologue, without directly challenging their assertions, as Matthews did so well by his constant questioning of the details.  You have to aggressively question every confabulation.  

    For instance, in O'Neill's appearance on the show on the 19th, he says that Kerry wrote up the incident which is why the the commendation for Thurlow says that they acted under enemy fire.  Then he contradicts himself. He says a few minutes later that Kerry could not have witnessed the incidents with the blown up boat and the other three boats, therefore he couldn't know what happened.  So how did it get written up by Kerry?  Further, if he aknowledges that the other 4 boats were elsewhere how could any one of them contest Jim Rassman's version of the events.?

    However he claims that the entire chain of command is against Kerry while only the men on his boat attest to them. He mentions the number 254 against Kerry and 17 for him.  Such slander!!

    By the way Joe Scarborough got Thurlow to admit that the reason they came forward is that they were angry at Kerry for what his anti war activities, and that they wouldn't have done this without that impetus.

    These guys are such scum.

  •  Faux "News" "All Stars" (none)
    Can't wait to see what Brit, Mort and Fred have to say about this one.  Brit has been pushing the story more than anyone.  He was complaining how none of the 'mainstream' press was following up on allegations.  Think this will shut them up? nah.  fuckheads.
  •  The Swifties just got ambushed (4.00)
    That's what I respect about Kerry, and it's this trait that upsets so many of his supporters: he doesn't shoot upon first contact, but waits until his opponents are in the kill zone.

    I think the thing the swifties are most upset about is that John was so much better then them. Jealousy can be a strong motivator.

  •  NYT style guide loopholes (4.00)
    A damage report to Mr. Thurlow's boat shows that it received three bullet holes, suggesting enemy fire

    I love the NYT style here--I'll never forget a report from the Israeli invasion of Lebanon where the NYT noted that Lebanese mourners were carrying coffins two the three feet long "suggesting that children had been killed."

    As Alex Cockburn--a connoisseur of NYT corrections--said at the time, the NYT was leaving open the chance that the Lebanese were either saving money by burying blown-apart adult body parts in small coffins, or were burying empty child-sized coffins to trick more gullible journos than the NYT would ever hire.

    In the present case, the obvious out is that Kerry fired those shots himself as part of his long-term election strategy.

    •  These clamis hurt the troops (none)

      A damage report to Mr. Thurlow's boat shows that it received three bullet holes, suggesting enemy fire

      That is nice because one of O'Neill's big talking points last night on Hannity and Colmes was that if there had been any enemy fire there would have been a least a few bullet holes in some of the boats and he claimed it was an established fact that there were none.

      But the really bad thing about what these people are saying is that it seems to be based on the idea that you can't trust any of the reports that went up the line after combat incidents in Viet Nam.  It seems to me that it would make a very big difference, not just in terms of the sort of citations handed out, but for future combat operations whether on not there had been fire from one or both sides of the river after those mines were hit.

      Can they really have run things in such a way that just one self-serving junior officer could totally fabricate an encounter between five navy boats and enemy troops?  If that was the case you have to wonder how such a military could ever hope to succeed and how its leaders could ever make proper decisions.

      What these vets are really saying is not just that Kerry didn't earn his decorations but that he falsified important records of combat operation, records upon which the lives of those on future missions might depended, and that the system made this easy to get away with.

      Clearly the real motivation for this groups is that they are still angry at Kerry for, in their view, undermining the military by coming out against the continuation of the Viet Nam war after he left the military.   But it seems to me that by presenting the view they do of how the US military operated in Viet Nam this  group itself undermines the military and those who serve in it in a very profound way and do so at a time when other troops are at risk in another war.

      Look at Iraq today.   If any junior officer who wants to look good (and perhaps run for office some day) can totally fabricate an encounter with the enemy involving dozens of troops and even a handful of other officers, how can our commanders or anyone else ever know what is really know what is going on there (to say nothing as to whether any citations for valor that are issued are merited)?

  •  Key to the story - K. J. W. (4.00)
    Here's what I think.  Some of these guys have been angry about Kerry's anti-war statements for years.  There's no use denying that many Vietnam vets did and continue to hate the anti-war movement.  There's also no reason to debate their reasons for hating them - it is what it is.  I think it's also possible that some of these guys were honestly and genuinely outraged that the man at the center of the anti-war movement just had a book written about him that played up his valor in a war that he subsequently condemned.  But where it gets interesting is when they got in contact with some top GOP operatives in Texas who didn't just juxtapose his 1971 attitudes about Vietnam with his 2004 lauding of his own service - something that isn't that hard to reconcile for many but is not acceptable to some. They actually tried to create an entire story where Kerry's service awards were fraudulent.  I'm sure that folks like Roy Hoffman really thought this would be a good way to "get back" at Kerry for 1971 - and John O'Neill certainly thought so too.

    But what they didn't count on was that the general public is neither on the same emotional page as them nor is Kerry as stupid and inept as Dukakis was in 1988.  By attacking Kerry's medals they have essentially attacked the service medals of every soldier who has ever seen combat. They raised to the fore the idea that combat medals are entirely political. That any self-promoting jackass can write any old incident report and receive a medal.  This is probably not true (at least entirely).  But by raising this issue in this case - even though the documentary evidence was readily available to discredit their views - the Swifties essentially denigrated the whole concept of military service and sacrifice.  Where the story really falls apart is the idiotic reference to the initials K. J. W. on the incident report, where Thurlow assumed that John Kerry was the man behind it (not to mention his OWN medal). Turns out that K. J. W. probably had nothing to do with J. F. K. but was a completely different person at a different post.  Alas, the medals weren't a result of Kerry's own political posturing. But the Swifties - and the Republican Party by extention - let every American soldier and sailor know how seriously they take the awarding of combat medals, and by extension, sacrifice for this country.

    •  As I said elsewhere (4.00)
      too many of my Vietnam vet brothers don't have the intellectual equipment (not a put-down, but a statement of objective fact, given the class-bias of the corrupt draft back then and the educational level of most guys who got sent there) to get their heads around the concept of "honorable service in dishonorable circumstances," which is what they actually did.

      So they - like the German veterans of World War I - buy into the far right myth of the "stab in the back" because they are deathly afraid that the equation that floats in the back of their mind is true: "If the war was bad, and I served in it, that means I am bad." Which is totally bullshit, but many guys have yet to face that that is the nameless fear that wakes them up at Oh-Dark-Early too many nights and won't let them go back to sleep.  So they buy the "stab in the back" and call anti-war vets like me "Tommie the Commie" for 35 years and think that settles things.

      Like most myths, it's all bullshit.

      William Goldman was right when he said the three rules of Hollywierd are "1) Nobody, 2) knows, 3) anything." Works in the real world, too.

      by HollywierdLiberal on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 04:27:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good analogy (4.00)
        Whenever I think of these folks I think of WWI German vets and Hitler's "stab in the back" comments.  They don't understand that some wars just aren't winnable (or even justifiable) - and that they were fed a bunch of lies.  So instead of getting angry at the liars who put them in harm's way for nothing, they shoot the messenger.  Unfortunately we will see a new generation of these sorts after Iraq.
        •  Good Point (4.00)
          So instead of getting angry at the liars who put them in harm's way for nothing, they shoot the messenger.  Unfortunately we will see a new generation of these sorts after Iraq.

          I remember chants of "LBJ, LBJ how many kids did you kill today?"

          However, I can't recall any incidents in which returning vets were called baby killers by the anti-war movement.  There might have been some, but this is a meme that the press uses to describe the fact that the majority of US citizens did not welcome the soldiers back, did not provide the GI Bill benefits that World War II veterans got, and were not concerned about the significant drug problems that were brought back from Vietnam as a result of CIA action in the heroin-rich "Golden Triangle".

          Honoring the troops in Iraq on their return while holding their lying, incompetent leaders to account is essential to avoiding the "stab in the back" reaction.  The best way to honor the troops is to provide healthcare, education assistance, small business loans, housing loans just as was done after World War II.  A few welcome home parades around the time of the Kerry inauguration would help too.

          •  I actually (none)
            do recall one of my sister's (not the one who got married, the other one) boyfriends using the "baby killer" phrase in our household; I think it was only my dad's Christian beliefs that kept him from beating the shit out of the guy. Needless to say, that young man was not welcome in our household after that (and my sister broke up with him a few months later I think, but for different reasons).

            "If this be treason, make the most of it." -- Patrick Henry

            Prune the Shrub!

            by Cali Scribe on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 01:37:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Many on the Left (none)
        in the 60s and 70s had the same problem -- not understanding the concept of "honorable service in dishonorable circumstances". Not everyone could afford to go to jail or Canada, or had connections to get them out of Vietnam. (I often wondered why my sister married my brother-in-law when he was in grad school, and was one month away from delivering their first kid when he, thanks to Dick Cheney, I understand.)

        The real enemy were the policy-makers in Washington...but too many people ignored that and took out their frustrations on those who returned.

        I'm not saying that some soldiers took things to extremes...just as we're seeing with the Abu Gharib atrocities. But it wasn't fair to tar everyone with the same "baby killer" brush. I felt that way as a junior high & high school student in the 70s, and I still feel that way now.

        The military is a necessary evil, and perhaps not even an evil if used correctly; if President Kerry sends troops into Sudan to protect the citizens from "ethnic cleansing", will any of us be upset? If used for the right reasons , the military is a valuable tool.

        Here endeth the sermon...

        "If this be treason, make the most of it." -- Patrick Henry

        Prune the Shrub!

        by Cali Scribe on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 01:34:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What Is Your Proof Of This Attack on The Left? (none)
          The left helped set up GI Coffeehouses outside military bases across the country, counseled GI's trying to get out of service, welcomed veterans at the head of anti-war marches, sang and cheered to dozens of anti-war songs, none of which blamed the soldiers.  

          A typical, little-remembered example: "GI Joe, come back home/We'll have the best old time/You've ever known"--The Salvation Army Banned. Every time I saw them play this song in the ultra-liberal Bay Area, the crowd went nuts.

          Now, with the massive explosion of anti-war sentiment in the late 1960s, you got a lot of people against the war who weren't really part of the anti-war movement.  A lot of people reacting on a gut level against the war, just as many had reacting for it before. Some of these may have attacked the troops, and you may have encountered some of these. But this is utterly unrepresentative of the left.  

          It simply shows that political education is a process, and that people can come to see that a war is wrong BEFORE they understand who is responsible and why.  True, some people may never complete that process of political education, but that's not an indictment of the education.

          Let's put the information back in the information age.

          by Paul Rosenberg on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 02:31:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Going Too Deep (none)
      The entire episode should and can be cut off at the pass just because Kerry WAS in Vietnam, did serve in a combat area, and the two at the top of the Repub ticket stayed away, even possibly in a dishonorable way.  It does not matter if Kerry really did anything more that volunteering and going.  That alone puts the opposition to shame, and my golden retriever should be able to see and make that case in this election!  Anything else Kerry did is secondary and frosting on the cake, IMHO.

      Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

      by truthbetold on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 11:06:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How Come No One Remembers Bush... (3.80)
      being anywhere around where he was supposed to be while in the National Guard.....and that's just fine..meanwhile Kerry has shitloads of guys who were with him on the swiftboat backing him up including the guy he pulled out of the river and NO ONE bleives him????? What's a guy supposed to do???

    "Calmer than you are Dude....calmer than you"

    by sula on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:52:46 AM PDT

  •  Why does the truth (none)
    hate 'merica?

    Don't Blame America, we voted for Gore.

    by ETinKC on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:57:49 AM PDT

  •  She's Come Undone (none)
    YAY! Fuckin' payback time baby!
  •  Funny stuff (none)
    If you want to see GOoPer spin on this check out the comments on Roger L. Simon's blog.  They blame the "liberal media" for ignoring the story and then for only reporting as a fraud.  Hmmmm. I wonder why. These idiots just don't understand how unpopular George W. Bush is, and that the only way he can win is by convincing voters that as bad as he is, his opponent is worse. Losers.

    •  Reason for SCLM ignoring (none)
      One reason the SCLM wasn't quick to jump on the story this year was that the proto-Swifties had been slinging comparable mud in each of Kerry's MA elections. Indeed some of the current Swifties used to defend JK against the wilder J O'N charges.

      So there was already a trove of MA news articles checking the facts. And when the neo-Swifties reared their collective head a few months ago, the first web searches yielded fast debunking. That's certainly what happened at, where they're pretty careful about using the "False" rating, and did.

      Even Mike Barnicle--hardly a model of ethics or a Kerry fan--was quick to be scandalized by the neo-Swifties' bold disregard for pre-falsified tall tales. I forget where I saw him a week or so ago on cable news, but he had a pile of documents, including some of his own articles, and was exasperated at the sheer nerve of these guys unleashing their whole fantasy anthology on a new, wider audience.

  •  A far better (3.10)
    and meaningful critique of Kerry and war lies on Brian Willson's site. Willson was involved with VVAW and was nearly killed by a train load of arms during a protest.

    As a member of Senator Kerry's Veterans Advisory Council I worried that John was already infected by that stifling phenomenon called Washington groupthink. I began some critical reflection. Rumors had it that Kerry had expressed to peers at Yale his ambitions of following his hero, JFK, to the presidency. At 18 years of age, Kerry had a serendipitous meeting with Kennedy on a Coast Guard boat off Cape Cod. His privileged background ensured his induction into Yale's secret Skull and Bones Society. He had given an anti-war speech at his 1966 Yale graduation after enlisting in a Naval officer program, virtually guaranteeing a trip to Vietnam. And it seemed strange he had made such an effort to carefully document with his own films his actions on a swiftboat in the Mekong Delta. Finally, 1971-1984 was a long time for John to have been silent about the deception of throwing someone else's medals, rather than his own.

    During his first term, Kerry did use his prosecutorial skills to initiate an ad hoc investigation into Reagan's illegal contra terrorist activities against revolutionary Nicaragua. Kerry and his staff found evidence tying the contras to drug smuggling while the Iran-Contra scandal was unraveling. These actions indicated Kerry might take seriously campaign promises to bring to the Senate lessons he learned from his Vietnam experiences about illegal and reckless government policies.

    In addition, Kerry has consistently won good grades for his support of environmental protection. However, in general, his 19 years in the Senate have been unremarkable. He has championed no particular cause, often following the lead of Senator Edward Kennedy, though they dramatically parted ways over the latest Iraq war.

    A close examination of Kerry's record reveals that he

    announced that his first campaign promises to cancel weapons systems and reduce defense spending were ill-advised;

    -voted for the Gramm-Rudman Act of 1985 resulting in dramatic cuts in domestic social programs;

    voted against Gulf War I only to soon reverse himself saying he was ill advised;

    voted for the 1996 Telecommunications Act facilitating media monopolies;

    supported Clinton's "welfare reform;"

    supported Clinton's draconian "Counter-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act," a precursor to Bush II's Patriot Act which Kerry also supported;

    supported the genocidal sanctions against and continued bombings of Iraq under Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II;

    voted for the Homeland Security Act;

    voted for the "No Child Left Behind"Act;
    questioned the correctness of affirmative action;
    boldly declared that "the cause of Israel is the cause of America";

    supports NAFTA, the WTO, GATT;

    continues to support massive increases in "defense" spending;

    supported Bush II's tax cuts for the wealthy.

    Kerry is now the wealthiest of all 100 Senators (around $500 million), largely due to his wife's fortune. Despite Kerry declaring his intentions to take on the special monied interests that control politics, he is one of the largest recipients of special interest money.
    Perhaps most disturbing is Kerry's ardent support of Bush II's 2002 request of Congress to unlawfully transfer their non-delegable war-declaring power to the president to launch first-strike, pre-emptive war as he determined to be necessary to defend national security. This Iraq war was conducted in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and international law, and every member of Congress who voted for it violated their oath to uphold the highest law of our nation. There were 23 Senators and 133 members of the House of Representatives who voted "NO" on the October 2002 resolution, far more grotesque in lies and fabrications than the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that granted unlimited war authority to President Johnson.

    Sadly, Kerry has forgotten the lessons from Vietnam, if in fact he once understood them. He has been one of the leading hawk cheerleaders for war against Saddam Hussein. He claims to have believed in every pretext offered by Bush II. The numerous deceptions visible to so many, strangely were overlooked by this well-educated lawyer. In fact, he declared on the floor of the Senate, October 9th, on the eve of the vote: "In the clearest presentation to date, the President laid out a strong, comprehensive and compelling argument why Iraq's WMD programs are a threat to the United States and the international community."

    In John Kerry's 2003 book, A Call to Service: My Vision for a Better America (Viking), he seeks to revive a "bold vision of progressive internationalism," in effect continuing Pax Americana. One particularly revealing statement indicates Kerry's betrayal of the veterans who shared the sentiments of his 1971 speech: "As a veteran of both the Vietnam War and the Vietnam protest movement, I say to both conservative and liberal misinterpretations of that war that it's time to get over it and recognize it as an exception, not as a ruling example, of the U.S. military engagements of the twentieth century. If those of us who carried the physical and emotional burdens of that conflict can regain perspective and move on, so can those whose involvement was vicarious or who knew nothing of the war other than ideology and legend" (p. 43, italics mine). Kerry is out of touch. Iraq repeated a tragedy that could have been avoided if we had heeded the lessons of Vietnam--lies and consequent quagmires.

    Vietnam an exception? Kerry ignores the 200 U.S. overt, and thousands of covert, illegal interventions against "majority world" nations since World War II alone, resulting in the murdering and maiming of millions of impoverished peoples in more than 100 countries as they aspire for a bit of justice, a pattern of wholesale terrorism used to maintain a grotesque, unsustainable global gap between the haves and the have-nots. To so ignore this suggests a total insensitivity to our cultural racism that has enabled such systematic exploitation of "majority world" peoples, an attitude that simply can no longer be tolerated as part of our national policy.

    What happened to Kerry's commitment to the historic "turning" of America? Or perhaps he never meant it in the first place. It could be that John Kerry always has been driven by a burning ambition for the presidency that has guided his actions, including his Vietnam tours of duty and his anti-war actions--and those historic words he uttered in 1971. Kerry is deeply entrenched in the corrupt, U.S. oligarchic structure with his obsession to be president overriding all else. This is where he stands.

    •  Phew. (3.50)
      That is powerful stuff, and there is a lot there to agree with, and a lot to disagree with.

      Here's where I stand, and why I support Kerry...for the moment....

      1. He's light years better than Bush, and there are no viable alternatives to those two choices.

      2. Sad as it may be, and a testament to the impoverishment of the American political landscape, Brian Willson is in no position to run for office, change anything, or turn his extremely cogent, intelligent, and just critiques into substantive, far-reaching policy.

      I say that not as a slam on Brian, but as a slam on our political system - I would MUCH rather vote for Brian Willson than for John Kerry, but because of our system, I cannot.

      I am committed, for the moment, to getting Kerry elected, and trying to shift the Democratic Party - it is the only thing I can do...and believe me, I have tried A LOT of other routes, including the Greens, the Socialists, and numerous others - there is just no broad, mass, popular support for those movements, and it cannot be created out of thin air.

      I hope against hope that the John Kerry who testified and marched, who broke BCCI and Iran Contra is in hiding behind the patrician facade.

      If so, then we will all be very pleasantly surprised.

      If not, then we have a lot of work to do...but at least we can continue that work with some breathing room under a much less odious government, which is practically guaranteed under Kerry vis-a-vis Bush.

      Can't you see your way clear to thinking both short term and long term at the same time?

      Or is a vote for Kerry such a stain, such a moral blight that it will ruin you, even though 4 more years of Bush will almost certainly ruin the rest of us?

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 04:51:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Booman? (none)
        WHy the 0?

        Clue me in, here. Offensive? Off topic? Trolling? Contentless?


        So why the troll rating?

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 05:09:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Will Markos act if that sort of thing is reported? (none)
          I've seen quite a few of these abuses, and they should be cause for immediate retraction of "trust".
          •  I dunno (3.50)
            I get troll rated all the time, but, I push the envelope. I dought Kos can follow up on each little troll rating. Sometimes if you post saying what gives" someone will agree with you and balance out the troll rating with a good one. I tend to get 1's or 4's. Love me or hate me.

            I think its pretty chickenshit to rate comments and not reply. Just go through and be judgemental. I don't see the point in it. I am opinionated for sure, but, I try to leave at least some links or quotes. Mostly I feel I'm an editor more than a writer. I blog stuff that backs my particular slant which can be summed up as follows: Throw all the bums out! Abandon the battlefield! All news is lies!

            If you get involved with flame wars you will get banned ... hehe.

            You can get back on, but, you have to wait again to post comments and a full week to post a diary. This seems fair to me. I know when I post certain topics or offer certain opinions people are going to flame me. You just have to back off and not escalate it. I try to only rate comments I like and ignore the stuff that really bugs, but, given my hot headed nature sometimes its hard.

            •  zero-ratings are different (none)
              They can result in hiding posts, and Markos has a clear policy on them:


              Please use your "zero" rating with care! It is only for use on comments that are wholly content-free. If you think the poster is clueless, or an idiot, or you just don't agree with them, that is not grounds for a zero rating. Zero is for comments that are offensive, script-generated, or otherwise content-free and intended solely to annoy and/or abuse other readers.

              The person who zero-rated RedDan is a particularly bad case of abused trust,
              as he has apparently zero-rated all of another member's posts, regardless
              of content.  I've sent Markos email.

              •  Not regardless of content (none)
                Have some respect.

                My troll rating is very very selective and if you check my history you will confirm that assertion.

                I have troll rated one member on here tonight for his obvious trollness.  If you investigate his posts you will surely agree, even if you might not see the obviousness in each individual posting.

                The troll rating of RedDan was actually a mistake I have apologized for.

                "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

                by BooMan23 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 06:30:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  your ratings of JamesB3 clearly violate the stated (none)
                  policy.  Anyone who looks at them can see that.
                  •  JamesB3 (none)
                    If you look at my ratings of James you will see a plethora of 4 ratings.

                    James likes to spam every article written on GLBT issues into other conversations.  I have occassionally gotten annoyed with that practice.

                    But I have often rated James highly for his insightful posts.

                    JamesB3 is also the most legendarily pessimistic and "glass half empty" poster to this site.  However, that has rarely if ever earned him a zero rating from me.

                    JamesB3 has only earned my wrath (sometimes unjustified) by being off topic, or just oblivious to the current of conversation and relentless in his interjection of articles from outside sources that no one is responding to.

                    I like JamesB3 a lot.  And I haven't rated his posts in a few months one way or the other.

                    James just needs to move out of Georgia to a more welcoming place.  Like Philly, for instance.

                    "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

                    by BooMan23 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 06:45:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  READ the policy (none)
                      Please use your "zero" rating with care! It is only for use on comments that are wholly content-free. If you think the poster is clueless, or an idiot, or you just don't agree with them, that is not grounds for a zero rating. Zero is for comments that are offensive, script-generated, or otherwise content-free and intended solely to annoy and/or abuse other readers.

                      That does not apply to your ratings of JamesB3, nor to RedDan, nor to the post he responded to, nor to bjako's post, nor to the RalphNader post.

                      •  au contraire (none)
                        troll rating is reserved for those that post solely to whore, annoy, dispirit, or disrupt, or to those that are way off topic.

                        Bjako clearly qualifies on multiple grounds, as has JamesB3 on OT grounds from time to time.

                        RedDan was an error on my part that has been corrected.

                        "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

                        by BooMan23 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 06:57:39 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  au contraire to Markos' clearly stated policy? (none)
                          A very strange attitude.
                          •  I would ask (none)
                            but I don't care, how my standard is really any different that Markos?

                            People posing as progressives are troll rated and people posting inane or annoying off topic drivel too.

                            90% of my ratings are positive.

                            And in the one instance that began your warpath I admitted my mistake, apologized and corrected the record.

                            Do you want me to teabag you to appease you?

                            Smoke a bowl.  Spleef up McBunyan.

                            "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

                            by BooMan23 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 07:17:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  zero-ratings have nothing to do with posing or (none)
                            being inane or annoying.

                            "If you think the poster is clueless, or an idiot, or you just don't agree with them, that is not grounds for a zero rating."

                            That couldn't be clearer, and if there's anything inane here, it's your question.  But indeed, it's clear that you don't care, and will do as
                            you please.  You might consider switching parties.

                          •  a slight amendment (none)
                            It does have to do with annoying, but only in a limited sense:
                            "intended solely to annoy" (emph. added).
                            Markos says "It is only for use on comments that are wholly content-free."
                            But, as you say, you don't care, so there's nothing else to discuss.
                          •  you really are an annoying bitch (1.00)
                            Let's say that you have 8 people have a conversation about the South Dakota special election and then someone posts 5 posts with no comment but 5 links related to the Hate Amendment over 2 hours, even though not one person has bothered to respond.

                            It is a desperate act to get people to address what YOU want to talk about and a relentless refusal to join a vibrant conversation.

                            I discourage this type of behavior because it is unhealthy for the individual involved and it is the equivalent of spam- no more.

                            Or let's say that someone is a troll that is trying to disguise that fact by playing devil's advocate?

                            The bottom line is that you are annoying me about a rating that I mistakenly registered, apologized for, and corrected.  And as such you are just being a nag.

                            And any further attempts to harangue me will be troll-rated on the grounds that you are being a gratuitious beeyotch.

                            "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

                            by BooMan23 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 08:01:38 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What an amazing thread! (none)
                            Seems there are a lot of these now, things must be heating up in the real world.

                            Personally, I have used the troll rating only once, on someone who was definitely a troll, according to the spec's of the board. Giving people Zeros out of whim, or some mistaken schoolmaster attitude to what goes and what doesn't, seems evidence of having misunderstood the purpose of the ranking system.

                            BooMan23 is entitled to his attitude, of course. Whether it is at all productive is another matter.

                            "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

                            by SteinL on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 08:43:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Freeping Trolls (none)
                            I have only hyper-troll rated two users in an attempt to correct their behavior ever.

                            One of them was tonight and he fully deserved it.

                            But apparently, I am not entitled to identify blatant trolls, or to take partial exception to one other user in the last year.

                            The troll rating is meant to eliminate trolls, right?

                            If anything else, it is meant to warn people of poor etiquette.

                            My attitude is to use the ratings for positive reinforcement.  And to bitchslap freepers in sheeps clothing.

                            "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

                            by BooMan23 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 08:52:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  YOU are violating the rules (none)
                            if you don't like the rules, go elsewhere or get your own blog.

                            "pay any price, bear any burden"

                            by JimPortlandOR on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:47:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Cute (none)
                            So what you decided to do was to go back into the archives and find any comment of mine that had only one rating, and to give it a '1'.

                            That is obviously because you are not 'trusted' or empowered to give a zero.

                            And this is because I gave a troll rating to the wrong person, apologized, and corrected it?

                            Okay.  This is duly noted.  

                            It is quite an irony coming from someone that is accusing me of not properly using the ratings system.

                            And even though you are a fool and a bitch, the worst rating I gave you was a marginal for general "panties in a bunch" bitchery.

                            But I will now watch to see whether you have anything of value to offer besides general anti-Kerry bitchsnot bitchy commentary.


                            "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

                            by BooMan23 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 08:38:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  wrong (none)
                            "So what you decided to do was to go back into the archives and find any comment of mine that had only one rating, and to give it a '1'."

                            No, I only downrated you for clearly offensive posts, about dropping soccer balls on Iraq, giving them Malo bars, and ungrounded intimations that they were involved in the Oklahoma city bombing.  I also gave you at least one 4.

                            "And this is because I gave a troll rating to the wrong person, apologized, and corrected it?"

                            That's completely disengenuous.  That rating of RedDan is how this started,
                            but your zero-rating would be wrong for the post you did intend it for,
                            as well as those posts by bjako, RalphNader (which was an anti-Nader joke that you apparently didn't get), and JamesB3.

                            "But I will now watch to see whether you have anything of value to offer besides general anti-Kerry bitchsnot bitchy commentary."

                            I'm actively pro-Kerry-for--president, with only occasional comments on his well-known imperfections, and very anti-Bush and very critical of Nader's campaign.  But being pro-Kerry should not be a litmus test for ratings.  You, though, often write like a troll, as in the comment I'm replying to.

              •  yeah (none)
                but it takes two. This has only happened to me when I've been intentionally insulting and crude to people I am frustrated with. Like I said you will get banned. I in fact knew this but wanted to switch my moniker and was pissed off anyhow. Plus the other posters initiated the insults. I just happen to be able to sink way lower than others.

                I've had one dairy post totally banned, censored, erased by Kos. In and of itself I don't think it was that awful, it was just my Jeane Dixon like predictions. However, after, I looked at it through the eyes of Kos I could see why he wouldn't want it on the site.

                The only time I felt I was banned unjustly was for posting pictures of wounded and dead Iraqi citizens. Certainly Americans in general hide death. We won't even look at our own. I grew up watching Vietnam on TV. Watching police brutality during the riots. Listening to Jim Morrison, reading Vonnegut and Huxley and Bukowski and Camus and Anne Sexton and Pynchon et. al. IMHO we have an obligation to look at the human face of war. How do we make up our minds if we whitewash it and ignore the human costs?

        •  My mistake (none)
          I meant to troll rate the posting you were responding to for psychoticness and general spreading of bullshit insanity.

          I will make it up to you bro

          "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

          by BooMan23 on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 06:26:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can change the rating (none)
            I figured it was a mistake, luckily it's easy to undo.
          •  that would be even worse (none)
            zero-rating the post of Brian Willson's words would be an egregious violation of Markos' policy.
            •  jqb - speaking of violations (none)
              Your troll-rating of this clarifying post?

              FYI, "Secret Team" is an apparent reincarnation of banned LaRouchie troll "WaysAndMeans".

              •  three others agreed with me (none)
                It was a near-contentless post that asserted that you actually believed a ridiculous statement Chris made sarcastically:

                "Blame it on Howard Dean (none / 0)

                If he hadn't pointed out the obvious political nature of the timing of the announcement of the terror alerts than the administration wouldn't have been forced to leak the name of a valuable asset in the war on terror in order to cover their asses."

                The claim that that comment should be taken seriously, without any explanation or basis (no "clarification" was offered) is most definitely a troll, in my opinion as well as that of others; if you had any concrete
                criticism of Howard Dean (to which you are entitled), you didn't voice it;
                you were merely being inflammatory.
                I'm not aware of how that 1 rating is a violation of anything.
                OTOH, I quoted Markos' unambiguous comments on the special nature of
                zero-ratings which, as others in this thread have noted, is (should be) very
                rarely used.  And you fail to note any error in what I've
                written about those ratings.

                •  Inflammatory? Please consider context. (none)
                  Chris Andersen had made a sarcastic post in response to arguments I had presented in this and other contemporaneous threads.

                  Multiple raters -- taking Chris's post to be serious -- had troll-rated his post.

                  I therefore posted my response (to NYCO and the general audience) for clarification, and to defend Chris from undeserved troll-rating.

                  I see that those who troll-rated Chris's post have either retracted their ratings or been removed from the system ... thus the clarification achieved its intended purpose.

                  As for "three others agreed", that's no excuse in any case ... and at least two of the three are notorious ratings abusers.

                  Face it. You took liberties with the rating system, using it to censor input that happened to conflict with your personal views.

                  •  no, I didn't (none)
                    First, it takes zero-ratings to censor something; 1 ratings alone can't do that, and I don't believe in censorship, unless it's for advertisements
                    or stuff like "You American-haters should all move to France"; for that reason I've put 4 ratings on posts with zero ratings even when they I think they deserve a 1 or 2.  Second, I rated you as I did for the reasons
                    I gave -- it had nothing to do with a conflict with my
                    personal views.  You don't know my personal views of Howard Dean,
                    and frankly I don't know yours, since you didn't express them;
                    that whole page only has four posts from you, and they're all
                    one liners that contribute virtually nothing -- I didn't see any arguments
                    that you gave, but I'll accept that you did so somewhere else.  I didn't
                    mention three others as "an excuse", but rather as support for the validity
                    of my rating; I don't spend my entire life here at dKos, so I'm not aware of
                    who is or is not a "notorious ratings abuser", but I'll take your word for
                    it.  Also, I sort by newest first, and mistakenly thought that your comment
                    about sarcasm followed, rather than preceded, the others, and I wasn't aware
                    of the ratings history you describe, and so I misinterpreted it.
                    I've changed my rating to a 3 for doing a service to the community.  And I
                    haven't bothered to go look at your ratings to see if perhaps you've been a
                    bit loose with them yourself.  But I'm sure we all are at times -- that's
                    not what I was addressing here, but rather flagrant abuse of zero-ratings,
                    which are in a different class altogether.
      •  Bush Must Go (4.00)
        but we still need to let our voices be heard.

        Right now America thinks Bush is doing great in the "war" against "terror."

        A smarter war on terror might include something as simple and sane as prosecuting crimes against humanity in a world court as Ben Ferencz has suggested, and indeed a great number of countries have agreed to.

        In all, the US now has over 700 foreign military bases spread out over 130 different countries.

        Pentagon officials defended the redeployment plan as an escalation, rather than a diminution, of US military power. In particular, they insisted that the withdrawal of 12,500 of the 37,000 US troops stationed in South Korea would not blunt their belligerent attitude toward North Korea. Defense Department officials have stressed that US "warfighting capacity" in the Korean peninsula is stronger than ever, citing a greater reliance on precision-guided "smart bombs" and naval power.

        The redeployment of troops from South Korea was, in any case, not news. It was announced back in June, when the order was given for 3,600 of these US soldiers to be rotated out to engage in combat duty in Iraq.

        Two days after Bush's speech, Democratic candidate Kerry appeared before the same audience to attack the Republican president's position--largely from the right.

        "The President's vaguely stated plan does not strengthen our hand in the war against terror," declared Kerry. "And in no way relieves the strain on our overextended military personnel. And this hastily announced plan raises more doubts about our intentions and our commitments than it provides real answers."

        Kerry focused his criticism on the planned troop reduction in Korea, asking, "Why are we unilaterally withdrawing 12,000 troops from the Korean peninsula at the very time we are negotiating with North Korea--a country that really has nuclear weapons?...This is clearly the wrong signal to send at the wrong time."

        Presumably, Kerry wants to send an even more bellicose signal, escalating the protracted confrontation with the Pyongyang regime, which the Bush administration has been compelled to place on the back burner because of the unfolding catastrophe in Iraq.

        Kerry used the speech to tout his own proposals for increased US militarism abroad. His "plans to reshape and rebuild our American military so that it is ready to fight tomorrow's wars," Kerry told his VFW audience, include adding another 40,000 troops and doubling the size of the US Army Special Forces.

        What Kerry left out of his speech was just as significant as what he included. The Democratic candidate failed to point out the obvious: the withdrawal of up to 70,000 troops from Europe and East Asia over the next decade will do nothing to bring an end to the US war in Iraq and bring home the 136,000 American soldiers who are killing and dying there. Rather, it is designed to facilitate this war, as well as future acts of US military aggression.

        The reason for the omission is no less obvious: Kerry supports the continuation of this war.

        Anybody but Bush. The elephant in the living room, for me is what does "anybody" stand for?

        Over and over we let the far right shape the debate and our platform. Why? Most people do not want war. Yeah we want oil as much as the next guy. I have to go to work too, but, if you take the cost of war and security and divide by the number of Iraqi barrels we get the true price of oil is 200 bucks a barrel. Any way you look at it, it's not prudent. Only the wealthy few profit, and once again they are the ones who can buy an election. Hey! Just like Kuwait!

        •  Again, (none)
          we find ourselves in agreement on a large number of points, including the criticism of Kerry's attack from the Right, and the conclusions drawn about Kerry's intentions (beyond my secret and probably futile hopes that Kerry has been hiding his real intentions) vis-a-vis American Imperialism and global hegemony.

          But, again, the kinds of broad changes you call for, which I support fully, simply cannot become politically viable, realistic, or otherwise obtainable absent a broad, popular, active, combattive, and aggressive mass movement along the lines of the IWW and/or the Socialists during the time of Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas.

          The question you (and I) must always ask of ourselves is: How can we best participate in meaningful, immediate and effective action NOW that leads us closer to long-term change later.

          How can we be both reformist and revolutionary at the same time?

          I recommend reading Rosa Luxemburg for that...

          I will post a diary on the subject ASAP, let me know what you think.

          The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

          by RedDan on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 05:42:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Give me a break. (none)
      This is garbage.  Democrats are not a product of groupthink, and there is a diverse set among us.  
      Kerry's record reflects the continuing evolution and progression of values, circumstances, and information available to him and the public.

        I believe that Kerry obtains all the evidence, reads the reports, looks at the science, consults with specialists, and makes his decisions based upon Democratic principles, not ideology.

      That is what being a Democrat is, every vote counts, not what the bible says, not what insider pals say, not who is funding the accounts, but what the voters have said.  

      Defense spending reduction was viewed at the time as being a necessary reform to pay down the deficit, to lead other countries in military reductions, and allow private interests to take over some functions of the military. Fraud, waste and abuse was a critical problem when reductions began. This is not a partisan issue, much of the military today relies on technical expertise that private firms excel at.  

      Welfare reform was needed to help pay down the deficit, and instill higher expectations for single moms living in dangerous, and unsafe environments.  It has enabled many single moms to work and advance financially to support their children.  Child care programs also helped put many other moms to work, and allowed kids to get socialization, nutritious meals, and other benefits of early child care.

       Nafta and other trade agreements were a measure to support development outside our borders.  Rather than pump money into USAID, advancing development is a more humane course of action.

      In regards to other claims mentioned, such as supporting "no child left behind"  at least he supported it, Bush did not even fund his own initiative.  While all provisions may not be completely satisfactory, it is better than doing nothing.  Without it, every child gets left behind.  

      I could go play by play, but this is a nonsense argument.  On one hand, Kerry gets accused of groupthink (something Republicans excel at, so whats the problem here?)  Yet  voting against the perceived Democratic agenda.

      This is where the argument fails.  Democrats are diverse, have diverse interests, yet work to achieve concensus based upon current facts, not ideology.  Conservatives want to role back the clock, and leave no future to our young people.

      Conservatives claim values, but not at the expense of their pocketbooks.  

      Conservatives like to think they have the ball on moral issues, yet they act inhumanely to achieve the loftier goals they proscribe.

      The biggest problem conservatives have is that they believe all democrats to be poor, unorganized, doctrine-oriented, and immoral.  These pre-conceived notions are evident in the above essay.  

      Boy are they going to get a surprise.  

  •  the funniest thing... (none)
    I blogged about her whiny blogpost complaining and calling Matthews a jerk.

    The funniest thing is that while she calls Keith Olbermann an "alleged journalist," she herself wrote Lenny Thurlow instead of Larry Thurlow.

  •  Malkin is a tool (none)
    TV is evil.  The more we watch it, the stupider we are.   It's not going to go away.  People get angry when they are told their their core values are misguided.  They don't know they've been brain washed.  We should help them.

    We need to use TV just as as affectively as the the other side is.  The Swift Boat Veterans for the [insert invectevtive here] could never be effective without TV.  Some 527 org should be hitting back even harder.  Bush has a lot of explaining to do, but only if we make him.

    The press is failing do do its constitutional duty only because we let them.  Hello, we have the Internet, they have e-mail addresses.  It's not a hard problem to solve.  Write now. Write often.  Give props to Chris Matthews for suddenly growing a spine.


    •  An article like the one in the Times (none)
      takes hundreds, probably thousands, of work hours to put together--finding out information, filing FOIA requests, checking, double-checking, tracking down leads and sources, not necessarily in that order.

      Even that nifty graphic probably took quite a few hours.

      The Times, even though its newsroom has been cut 'way back in recent years, is one of the few papers that still has the resources to put that much money and effort into just one story. (How much did that story cost the Times in salaries and benefits to writers and editors and researchers and assistants whose full work time was on that for however long it took, and not on producing quick stories to run in the daily pages?)

      While we've been fulminating about the shortcomings of the SCLM (and they are many), I suspect that folks at the NYT have been noodling away at this, day after day, until they got the bombshell on this morning's front page.

      So, I can't agree entirely that "[t]he press is failing do do its constitutional duty only because we let them."

      We do need to keep after the print press and especially the TV talking heads (no disagreement with "TV is evil.").

      But every once in a while hard work and shoe-leather reporting will produce a Woodward & Bernstein moment like this.

      They are nothing but precinct captains in long robes! -- Al Capone, on the Supreme Court

      by Mnemosyne on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:35:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not often enough, though (none)
        and this is what newspapers are supposed to. The Times is merely doing what it should be doing...
        •  Agreed, (none)
          and please re-read the first three grafs of my post.

          One of the reasons daily print sources aren't doing the Woodward & Bernstein thing (putting aside for the moment how much of an unusual event that was, and how hard they had to fight to get the story up front) is the economics of the business. Labor-intensive, high overhead, rapidly rising costs (all that paper). And in the last, oh, 15 years or so, the suits who run the corporations have wanted much higher returns on investment than the nice but steady numbers they'd been getting.

          So, how to increase earnings in that situation? Reduce overhead: Fire reporters, cut news staffs. Make the people left work harder, longer just producing stories for each day's edition. There is only so far you can push up ad prices without losing the business.

          Add in the ever-shorter news cycle (and readers' attention spans), consolidation (corporations buying up competitors and far fewer independents left), plus electronic coverage 24/7 (everyone's an editor now), and you have an unhappy situation. Oh, and don't forget that young reporters starting out (very few start at the big papers; most spend a few years at one or more locals) are paid less per hour than New York garbagemen or the guy who fixes your car.

          Thus, the Times, the Wall Street Journal, and a handful of others are the only ones still with the resources that allow the luxury of using employee time to produce something for the future (investigative stories), rather than using that time for daily stories.

          If the Washington press corps has not covered itself with glory in the last several years, I think some of it is due to these circumstances. In addition, immediately after the 2001 attacks the Bushies began a concerted effort to equate any kind of questioning with disloyalty, even implying treason. If you're the messenger that's likely to be shot, it's even more intimidating when the national climate takes on the protofascist aura projected by this administration.

          All of that said, some of the performances were extremely shoddy. But some were reasonably good, and they're getting better.


          They are nothing but precinct captains in long robes! -- Al Capone, on the Supreme Court

          by Mnemosyne on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 06:48:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Chris Matthews Video (none)
    Hardball indeed. First Chris Matthews takes on Swift boater Larry Thurlow who said, "that when the chips were down you could not count on John Kerry" . Chris asks him why he deserves a bronze star and Kerry doesn't, and how he knows Kerry had a secret plan to make himself a war hero. Chris then tangles with syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin on the subject of self-inflicted wounds.  She left in a huff and by 2:34AM this morning had savaged Matthews on her blog.  Quicktime video from both segments available here  
  •  Why isn't anyone asking Malkin whether (none)
    her lobotomy was self-inflicted?
  •  My comments are important, damnit!! (none)
    Hmm, Michelle seems to have grown tired of democracy.  No comments are allowed.  Perhaps she should move back to Seattle so I can give her the noogie she deserves.
  •  Perry's complete list of GOP donations (none)
    I posted this on another thread so forgive me if y'all have seen this already.  I think it is an amazing bit of public data:

    The list goes back to 1979...over 420 donations.  Hella interesting.

    I will have your badge!

    by DarthCheney on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 05:59:56 AM PDT

  •  Ken Starr giving personal tours? (none)
    WTF?  Is Ken Starr so 'at home' in the Bush White House that he can walk around giving private tours?  Does he think he owns the place?

    "When asked if she had ever visited the White House during Mr. Bush's tenure, Ms. Spaeth initially said that she had been there only once, in 2002, when Kenneth Starr gave her a personal tour."

  •  late night thoughts and letters (4.00)
    Here is a first draft of a thought for my next letter to an editor.

    I find it puzzling that dozens of veterans, some liking Senator John Kerry, some not, are  all coming forward to tell us about their experiences while serving their country with John Kerry. Yet, not one person who served with President Bush at Dannelly Air National Guard in Alabama during part of his alleged service will come forward!  

    Gary Trudeau has offered $10,000 reward for anyone who recalls serving with George W. Bush between May and November of 1972.  Others are asking for anyone who remembers George W. Bush reporting for duty during a year period betwen May 1972 and May 1973 to come forward.  

    Why can't our vets remember serving with the President?  I want to hear some good natured bantering among these vets too! Let's hear from the Swift Boat Vets for Bush!

    Also, I am trying to find out which side President Bush chose during the Vietnam war protests in 1972.  Did President Bush keep his medals, or did he toss them over the wall?

    Thank you.

  •  The graphic is awesome (none)
    Those of you looking for the soundbites or the most egregious claims and their refutations, check that graphic to which Kos linked.  Has anyone come across any interviews where those unswifties who formerly praised Kerry have been asked about their - sudden - reversal of opinion?
  •  it's 5AM here (none)
    and it looks like this is the lead story on CNN.  They've been going on about it for 5 minutes so far.

    "Charges have been percolating for a long time."

    "Kerry is trying to say it is a front group for Bush even though there is no proof of that" - - something like that.  Guess they haven't seen the chart.

  •  Harlan Crow (none)
    What the NYT graphic doesn't show is that Harlan Crow--a major contributor to the swift boat liars--is good friends with Clarence Thomas.  

    Here is the quote from the article by Tony Mauro:

    "Friendship leaves its footprint in unusual places. Case in point: the friendship of Justice Clarence Thomas and Dallas real estate magnate Harlan Crow.

    The financial disclosure forms filed by Thomas last month -- reporting income, assets, and significant gifts received in the previous year -- listed a gift of a "Frederick Douglass Bible," valued at $19,000, from Harlan and Kathy Crow, described as "personal friends."

    Crow is chairman and chief executive of Crow Holdings, which directs the investments of the Trammell Crow family -- Trammell is his father -- and manages its portfolio of real estate and businesses valued at more than $300 million. Crow is a faithful donor to Republican candidates and causes, ranging from President George W. Bush to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

    On his 1998 disclosure form, Thomas reported that Crow gave him a free plane ride to and from the Bohemian Grove, the exclusive California club."

    Sorry I don't know how to do the fancy grey clips.  Can anyone help me?  

  •  It's ALIVE! (3.50)
    It was just about time to start passing out the picks and shovels and put the Kerry campaign six feet under. For the past few weeks, ever since the Dems. adjourned their business in Boston, the Repubs. have been beating JK like a rented mule. It seemed that they had gone well beyond testing his reactions with a ten foot pole and had grown so bold as to just walk up and start peeing on him. "Thank you, sir. May I have another?" That is how whipped Mr. Kerry was appearing.

    Finally, today, after the WP (By Michael Dobbs, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, August 19, 2004; Page A01) disclosed that the chief gadfly in the swift boat swarm lied about the circumstances that form the crux of his attack on Mr. Kerry, the Kerry team launches an offensive.

    This is not a victory, Kerry's team have not won anything. But, for the first time in many moons, they have asserted themselves and affected a shift in the momentum of the media headlines. Put the fork away, perhaps they are not done yet. Let's see if they can muster up a decent flurry of punches or if they take one good swing and roll back over to the universal docile position.

    It is becoming evident that the Cheney machine has Dubya strapped to the bumper and is willing to dig up people with grudges and arm them with some serious weapons so that they can manufacture revenge. This Mad Mob is out front and doing the grunt work, blazing the trail. Bush shows up at pre-arranged events that don't allow anyone that hasn't been pre-screened to ask him any questions. Apparently, he is not even permitted to watch the television advertisements that have crucial bearing on the future of his presidency (on Larry King the other day, he claimed to be unaware of the Swift Boat ads against Kerry. He dodged answering whether or not he would condemn the ads by saying that he was unaware of them because he is too busy to watch TV). Give him his cookies and send him to bed. What we have here is the General in the bunker, the boob in the suit and the mob out front.

    The truth is that Dubya is vulnerable. The trick is not locating his soft spots. He is the soft spot. The strategic focus needs to be on penetrating the very capable defenses of the Cheney line. This guy is one of the wealthiest and most powerful men on the planet because he is smart, cynical and able to march over fear and dead bodies like a lamb dancing through clover.

    The fight is joined. Suit up... grab your socks. This is not a duel between a Democrat with a pseudo-wife (more on that later) and a yahoo Republican. This is a war between between one force that has home field advantage and an invading army. The guys in the White House are dug in deep, are well armed and are Genghis Khan ferocious. The troops that want to move them out are unproven and appear to be getting their lunch money swiped on a daily basis.

    Grab the swords, use the shields and spill some blood. Theirs for a change.

    •  Righteous Conviction meets Truth (none)
      I don't think there's need to worry. The Republicans, and the reactionaries driving this smear effort, are propelled by Righteous Conviction, against which facts hold little sway. Their lies are catching up with them - maybe they thought that the Guv'mint was going to change records, to support their charges? :-)

      Kerry's camp is waging a smart campaign. Remember how he went about releasing his military records: first let the GOP get in a huff, what is he hiding? Then release it. Wow! Kerry is Rambo!

      Now, let the Swift Boat Vet's for Truth get way out on a limb, then saw it over. Ka-Dunk. And wait until it's so huge that the media have to look for links to Rove. If Kerry had reacted right away, they could have been dismissed as a bunch of cranks.
      Letting it play, to the extent it did, while the WH did not criticize it, implicated Rove and Bush. The NYT would never have run with the chart they put up today if Kerry's people had attacked on day one.

      This is strong campaigning. There's obviously a war on - and so far, Kerry is the smarter commander, while George is AWOL, as usual, hiding behind others.

      "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

      by SteinL on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 09:06:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Help your media (4.00)
    I sent the link to the chart to my local paper (Denver Post), and to CNN since I just heard them say there was no proof of ties to the WH.

    Will everyone please do similar?  Send it to your local papers, tv, radio, etc.  Also, CNN et al.

    I put a comment to my local paper thanking them for reporting on this issue, and I thought the chart by the NYT might help them in their research.  Also mentioned the same group smeared McCain in 2000.  

    Thank you.

  •  Third hand (none)
    But my wife's friend at work said she was flipping channels and saw the Swifties on Pat Robertson's show, and even Pat the terrorist was expressing skepticism.

    Hmmmmm, an asinine quote by an anonymous 'intelligence official', employed by Bush, in a paper run by the Moonies! If that don't settle things, nothing will!

    by George on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 08:50:57 AM PDT

  •  When Bush was AWOL, Kerry was engaged (4.00)
    If you haven't seen the full Dick Cavett Show encounter between John O'Neill and John Kerry, now on C-Span, then you are in for a treat.

    Kerry comes off as an astute, informed, cogent and engaged man, against John O'Neill's prepared talking points. It was a pleasure to watch, and gave me a very favorable impression of Kerry.

    The farther the wingnuts take this issue, the deeper the hole Rove will find himself in.

    The first link goes to John O'Neill's interview with C-Span, and has a shorter excerpt from the Dick Cavett appearance. The second link has the whole show.

    Dick Cavett Show

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 09:01:33 AM PDT

  •  Please Make Phone Calls (4.00)
    I'm going to try to reach John McCain.  I'm going to tell him he needs to quit campaigning for Bush.  I'm going to tell him if he insists on continuing to campaign, he has a moral obligation to mention at every rally that he believes the Swiftboaters are lying.  I'm going to tell him this is a defining moment in his life, and he needs to act.

    I'm going to ask him not to look at the camera and call on Bush to denounce the ads, but to look at Bush and tell him to.

    John McCain

    Senate office bldg. Phone: (202) 224-2235

    Phoenix office Phone: (602) 952-2410

    Tucson office Phone: (520) 670-6334

    I'm going to call the White House and tell them to denounce the Swiftboaters and try to win with truth and issues.

    White House

    Comments:   202-456-1111
    Switchboard: 202-456-1414

    (I think switchboard might be better.  Comments sound like probably you can leave a message.)

    •  go for it! (none)
      I used to think that not all Republicans were evil until McCain started campaigning for Bush. I have completely lost the respect I had for him. How could a war hero be such a wimp as to take orders from the wingnuts he used to stand up against?
  •  this is magnificent (none)
    Please help in forwarding this piece (repeatedly) to the LA Times, to show that paper what real journalism is like. The recent LAT piece on Kerry vs. the Swift Boat Liars was the opposite of this NYT approach: LAT conferred legitimacy on these politically motivated smear-a-holics, while failing to investigate in any detail the connections to  Bush family dirty tricksters. The LAT needs to be shamed before their worthier in this case) cousin!!!

    "Scrutinize the bill, it is you who must pay it...You must take over the leadership." - Brecht

    by pedestrian xing on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 09:03:27 AM PDT

  •  Memories (none)
    Wow, so this is what it was like to have an independent press and a Times staff with cojones! Well, okay, I'm not sure that Golden Age ever really existed, but this is why, growing up in the Midwest, I used to spend a lot of time and money trying to pick up my copy of the Times at convenience stores and gas stations.

    It's true that few read the Times outside of New York and Washington, but they remain, however inexplicably, a powerful influence on the rest of the news media, and this pretty much demolishes any claims the Bushies might make that they're not behind this. Good to see.

    The people have the power / The power to dream / To rule / To wrestle the world from fools -Patti Smith

    by Septic Tank on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 09:05:08 AM PDT

  •  Matthews Video Clip of Transcript (none)
    Anyone know where I can find either for the Malkin interview last night?
  •  this might be a dumb question... (none)
    What's the deal with calling Chris Matthews "Tweety"? I've seen it a few times on various blogs, I guess.

    ("I tawt I taw a putty tat...")

    •  General appearance and (none)
      his tendency in the past to twitter GOP garbage. A mark of disrespect....

      If he's turned over a new leaf, I'll start ragging on people to stop using it.

      O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

      by ogre on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:25:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cow Pies in the Face for Rove and Bush (none)
    Don't you just love it when these bastards keep steppin' in the Bushit!

    By now Crawford TX must smell a lot like a feed lot.

    "A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."

    by skeptic tank on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 09:41:43 AM PDT

  •  Nightline last night. (none)
    It was past my bedtime, so I was in a bit of a haze, but I thought Nightline's take on the whole thing set a similar and correct context: this is a smear, these people do have ties to Bush Co., their statements are contradictory, etc. Of course, they add the obligatory it's all based on recollections and not forensic evidence, blah blah blah...but overall, their tone was anti-smear.

    What amused me while channel surfing was how many Repub so-called campaign and poll experts (with the exception of Gergen) were crying that Kerry had made a bad move, either because a) he fought back at all, therefore elevating the discussion or b) he waited too long to fight back. they were whiney babies and it reeked of desperation.

    I think Kerry's rebuttal was important because the smears weren't going away but even more important because it showed that he's not going to whimp out of any fight, he's going to take the fight to the top by indicting Bush directly, and he's not going to back down. I also thought waiting until impartial facts bubbled up to support his position to attack was perfect timing (seriously, one day later this comes out from the NYT? Perfect).

    Hey, W! Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.

    by 28th Democrat on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 10:54:01 AM PDT

  •  I am not as optimistic about the NYT article... (none)
    There are some nuggets in there for the Kerry-bashers to grab onto that could come back to haunt Kerry.

    For example, I wish they'd of done more to create links between the Swift Boaties and Rove etc rather than the guilt by association.  By that standard when some of the anti-Bush 527s run an ad that crosses the line it will leavue Kerry vulnerable if guilt by association is the standard.

    Rather than being a Bush front the first thing that came to mind when I read the article was that the SBVT group was created because two leaders - Hoffman and Lonsdale were ticked off about being exposed as being war mongering nutjobs in Vietnam.  I would like to see that played out more - proving that Brinkley's book gives the right interpretation about Hoffman and Lonsdales views and discredit the group as a couple of wackos exposed seeking to shift the blame.

    The other nugget that will probably be played up a lot more is Cambodia.  I hope the campaign nips that in the bud quickly by saying that maybe the dates were wrong etc... as the interpretation that I feel will come out of the article is that the SBVT claims about Christmas in Cambodia are true.

    •  Reality is rarely (none)

      My opinion -- based on the available facts -- is that the Slowboat Wingnuts who Lie ARE a facade for the Roveco/VRWC fecal matter firehose.  But that doesn't mean that some of the individuals aren't personally motivated by vengefulness, etc.

      In fact, the lack of common cause is often where cabals fall apart under pressure.  And the pressure is on.  We've seen at least one of the affidavits recanted.  We've seen Thurlow gaffed and landed and flopping about on TV.

      I expect that this will play out much like the Nuremburg trials played out.  Most of them will be unrepentent and insist steadfastly on their story, even when the facts show a very different picture. And one or two will open their eyes at some point. And we'll get another book like "Blinded by the Right."

      O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

      by ogre on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:34:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not the same (none)
        Oh, I agree, but that is not my point.  There has to be more ties than just guilt by association for it to work.

        There will come a time in this campaign where one of the 527s crosses the line in an attack on Bush and if the standard is simply guilt by association we'll see a chart listing how xxxx donated yyyyy to that 527 and how xxxxx is a close personal friend of zzzzzz who is involved in the Kerry campaign.  At that point Kerry will take a lot of blame because it will have already been established that guilt by association is the standard.

        It opens up a can of worms that is unnecssary when the leaders of this group can be discredited directly without much difficulty.

        •  So do you have a recommendation? (none)
          It's going to be hard to find an O'Neill on the left, someone who's been in bed with a hypothetical hate-slime machine against Bush since the Nixon (Carter?) era.

          You can boil a chicken and call that soup.  But it's the delicate combination of boiled chicken, secret herbs, spices, onions... that make the ur-curative chicken soup.

          The Bushwazee are going to try to torpedo an attack on Bush like the Not-too-swift Liars have been torpedoed, and we're going to find that what they're serving (Yes, theoria, the metaphor's mixed.  Bite me.) isn't even Campbell's.  It'll be chicken-flavored water-food that's been put into a can marked "Kambull's" in crayon.

          I'm wary of the Rovian shit-stream firehose.  But I'm not in fear of their ability to do aikido on the attacks on Bushie.  He's taking so many really serious body shots and staggering around babbling incoherently.  If they could save his skinny ass with some evil neocon magic they'd have done so already, because he's in serious trouble NOW. And we haven't even seen the really heavy guns come into play yet.

          When the indictments over Plame come down, and some of the rest of what's in the wings arrives, we'll be wondering how long Shrub can bleed that badly and not just curl up and die.  And that's before the weather starts to cool in Iraq, and the guerillas make a massive set of attacks on US forces at the same time that they take out (or at least make a serious effort at it) Allawi and probably a couple more of the buttons making up the face of the sock puppet government.

          Bush will be so far beyond even the magic of chicken soup at that point....

          The Furies are following him at this point. The Greeks accurately observed the arc of hubris, and we're going to see it played out, a vast tragedy in which the US is the real protagonist, and all the world a stage.

          O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

          by ogre on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 01:26:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  genie (none)
    sadly, the genie is out of the bottle.  The Repubs have used their friends in the media to distract all conversation away from Bush's many failures to bullshit minutae about how deep Kerry's wounds really were.  Disgusting as the tactics are, they have been EXTREMELY successful in putting dems on the defensive.  Just look at the blog space given to this topic over the last few weeks.  While I think a defensive response is the wrong response to make, I don't know what else can be done at this point.  As far as the media is concerned, all the "scurrilous" charges against Bush have been vetted in the 2000 campaign and would never get the kind of attention that any bullshit Kerry charge will get.  I for one, will be "tuning out" of the media firestorm for the next few weeks.   There's nothing of value for me to hear at the moment.
  •  Which spineless Democrat.... (none) which spineless Democrat is going to call for Bush-Cheney04 to give back any and all money associated with Bob Perry or any of these "Swift Boat Veterans for Bush" liars?

    None, would be my guess.

    It took a Republican to ask Bush to condemn these slime bags in the first place.

    The Democrats should be lining up en-masse to call for Bush to condemn the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush liars and for BC04 to give back any money it got from them or their allies.

    •  Where is the collective spine? (none)
      As Maryscott says - all this seems like shouting into a tornado. Here is an opinion from Matthew Yglesias worth airing -
      WHEN SCUMBAGS ATTACK. Today's New York Times has a long story confirming what The Washington Post reported yesterday -- the Swift Boat Liars are, well, liars with an admixture of partisan hackery and old-school bigotry. Yesterday, Eric Alterman asked a good question:
      Given the media's general unwillingness to police this kind of sleazy tactic--Did John McCain father a black child out of wedlock?  Is Max Cleland a devotee of Osama bin Laden?  Is Matt Drudge a journalist?--the question is will Kerry figure out how to deal with this better than Gore did?
      As far as these things go, the Times story is about as good as it gets. But it's still not nearly good enough. The article's lede -- the only part that many readers will actually process -- is devoted to setting up the fact that the Swiftvets controversy exists, not to debunking their charges. The result is that a certain number of readers will come away from the piece knowing only that there's a controversy about Kerry's service record -- exactly what the Bush campaign wants them to know. In general, much as I liked Kerry's counterpunching yesterday and no matter how effective his counteradvertising is, it's just not going to be possible to win back 100 percent of the support that the initial Bushian onslaught did.

      That means this is going to be a net loss for Kerry and one that, meanwhile, has distracted national attention from the reality of Bush's failed leadership and from Kerry's popular proposals on the issues. The only thing Kerry can do is hit back, not just with responses to these smears, but with new anti-Bush charges of his own. I haven't yet seen an ad focused on the various scandals surrounding the Bush White House, or centered on the president's well documented habit of lying about everything.

      A negative campaign suits the unpopular incumbent, but when you're under fire the only choice is to shoot back, and Kerry shouldn't simply limit himself to calling on the president to disavow the Swiftvets.

      The American Prospect

      O snail Climb Mount Fuji, But slowly, slowly!

      by bumblebums on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 02:20:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kerry military decorations (none)
    Is John Kerry the most highly decorated major party presidential candidate since Ike? Anyone?
  •  Help with the backlash! (none)
    Please call the White House and leave a message for Bush, or hold and leave your message with an operator for Bush.  202 456 1111.  

    I held and talked to an operator.  Said I was shocked to read in the New York Times that there are ties between Pres. Bush, the White House, and the swift boaters, and their financers.  Said I wanted Bush to admit those relationships and repudiate the content of the ads, not just talk about 527s in general.

    other suggested comments: The President should show some integrity and character and try to win using the truth and not smears.

    Bush needs to call the Swift Boat campaign the smear that it is.

    We know this group is related to the group that smeared John McCain.  It's disappointing that the President will not be honest with the American people.

    I forgot to make one comment, and called back.  

    The operator interrupted me when I mentioned the NYT article and chart of relationships,  He argued with me that he had heard John O'Neil say the opposite.  I said John O'Neil would say that. :) I believed the Times.  He said that was my "prerogative to believe whatever" I want, and "thank you for your call," and he hung up on me!  I had not even made my comment.  They are there to take messages, not spin and argue.  Don't let them do this to you.  

    I called back and I think my message was taken.  Who knows what they do with them.  At one point the 2nd operator who was nicely listening to my comment said "So you agree with the ads?"  Unbelievable.  I don't think he was listening.  Maybe they have a check box - agree or not agree.  Or maybe he said it for the benefit of someone nearby so he could say it was a positive call.  I started over and repeated myself and asked if it was clear now.  Oh brother.

    I also said that we in Colorado [a battleground state] know this is the same group that paid for the ads that so terribly smeared John McCain, another war hero and prisoner of war.  It's shameful.

    •  I called and left a comment (none)
      the woman was very pleasant but sounded very shaken after I was through.

      Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. -- Chief Seattle

      by jillian on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:18:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am on the run - trying not to be late (none)
      for work.  If anyone wants to take this information and turn it into a diary, get some calls going, that would be great.

      It will only be effective if a few hundred people call.

  •  Freeperville Poll (none)
    Wanna make a Freeper cry?

    Poll @

    What do you think of the allegations against Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry about his war record?

    There's something fishy there. Even Kerry has flip-flopped about what he did to earn those war medals.

    It's obviously just dirty politics. There's more than enough proof Kerry served his country, put himself in danger and saved lives.

    Who cares? I'm voting for that Green Party guy.

    Don't vote, don't care.

    Rubus Eradicandus Est.

    by Randomfactor on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:14:48 PM PDT

  •  Hit back. (none)
    At every oppurtunity that the Kerry campaign is forced to defend against this crap, they should point out that NOT ONLY did Bush NOT serve in Vietnam, but that it was FAMILY CONTACTS that allowed him to jump up the waiting list for the Texax National Guard.

    Secondly, the Dems in general should be hitting the Repubs daily for their scandals: Delay, Haliburton, no WMDs, energy policy, medicare fiasco (remember the bribes?), etc.

    Hit them. Every day. Harder than they hit you.

    Howard Dean for DNC Chairman!

    by thinkdouble on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:20:08 PM PDT

  •  get the SOBs (none)
    This is the only way Bush is going to win. He can't win on the issues and credability, just like he couldn't beat McCain on issues and credability, so he's hitting below the belt, just like he did with McCain. It's all that mangy Crawford dog has left. That Times article shows -- this was a hatchet job from the very beginning. pure and simple, this was about damging Kerry so bad that he'd be unelectable. Well now all those SOBs are getting theirs. Even freaking O'Liely is coming out against their shit. Good. They say they never saw enemy fire. Good. Let's show them what enemy fire is really like.

    Mr. O'Reilly: Colmes is a liberal, Hannity is a conservative, I'm a traditionalist, Shepard Smith is really nothing... -- Meet the Press 8/8/04

    by scottesposito on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:25:59 PM PDT

  •  Lets turn the heat on this one (none)
    Call the White House.

    Call your local reps.

    Call your local news outlets.

    Call your local freeper radio.

    DO IT!!

  •  Can we please now question credibility? (none)
    Boy, it sure would be nice is the SCLM decided it just was not going to tolerate the accusations of a profoundly discredited outfit, instead of letting them control the agenda and lob more garbage such as the shifted attacks to Kerry's antiwar statements.  

    The Swiftboat guys have had their 15 minutes - we should be done with them and they should be ignored.  

  •  Ignore them? (none)
    That works. Ask Dukakis.

    You think a NYT article is going to stop this?

    Come on people, get off your duffs and start dialing that phone.

  •  We need a laugh (none)
    And this helped me link .

    You can't complain if you don't vote. This is no time for apathy!

    by mlk on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 12:49:19 PM PDT

  •  Worst Answer Ever (none)
    Long answer: "When asked if she had ever visited the White House during Mr. Bush's tenure, Ms. Spaeth initially said that she had been there only once, in 2002, when Kenneth Starr gave her a personal tour. But this week Ms. Spaeth acknowledged that she had spent an hour in the Old Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex, in the spring of 2003, giving Mr. Bush's chief economic adviser, Stephen Friedman, public speaking advice. Asked if it was possible that she had worked with other administration officials, Ms. Spaeth said, "The answer is 'no,' unless you refresh my memory.'" Short answer: "I am willing to lie, and don't care who knows it."
  •  CNN (none)
    Has been spinning this for the GOP all morning. In effect completely and totally ignoring the debunking of this group of liars. Not only that they have repeatedly "interviewed" the man making up the attacks by simply giving him a few minutes of airtime to speak.. with no hint of questioning, no critique.. in fact it was very apparent the anchor hadnt read either the NY Times or the Washington post pieces. Or if she did was intent of spinning them.

    As with the CIA/Crack story the mainstream press may very well chose to quite simply ignore the truth and smear the reporters. You'll note if you look back not one fact was critiqued and the front page headline attacks on the reporter and the paper didnt contain one single fact brought out by the series (and the hearings).. but rather were shrill screaming personal attacks.

    It aint over til its over.. and theyre not letting this one die regardless of the truth. Contact CNN, MSNBC and the rest and INSIST they stop being footsoldiers for the far right.

    "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

    by cdreid on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 01:27:15 PM PDT

  •  Life imitates Art - NT Times imitates Bloggers (none)
    Kos says:

    The NY Times also put together this handy graphic to track all the Bush and Rove connections in their slimy glory, as well as several of the Swift Boat Veterans lies.

    Wow, the New York Times as Uggabugga!

  •  Disastrous California poll (none)
    What in the hell is up with Survey USA's California Poll? If this is true I might has well give up and move to canada. Kerry up by 3?!
    •  Read the internals and figure it out (none)
      The poll shows that 28% of blacks in California support Bush. I haven't seen one state show black support for Bush exceed 9%.  So that's the first indicator that something is very fishy about this poll.  It's strange because SUSA is a decent poll outfit but this is such an obvious outlier you'd think they'd just scrap it rather than publish it with the obvious awkward result.  Unfortunately it's made me question the SUSA Colorado poll that has the race a tie.  I was excited about it considering Kerry had been down there but if SUSA could screw up in California why not in Colorado? Kos says SUSA is great in Oklahoma, though. Perhaps. Then why this bizarre poll in California?
    •  SUSA poll is an outlier (none)
      It's an outlier, don't worry about it. They grossly distorted the percentages of Repubs & Dems in their poll as compared with the state population. Although you should certainly point to this poll to your Republican friends to convince them that CA is within Bush's grasp, if only they would spend a little more time and money here.

      A word after a word after a word is power. -- Margaret Atwood

      by tmo on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:26:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Vets are for Bush Again (none)
    Whatever you have to say about them, it looks like the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush have done their job:

    "After Kerry's July convention, which featured constant references to his military service, a CBS poll found him tied with Bush among veterans. CBS released a new poll Thursday that showed him trailing Bush 55%-37% among veterans." 0/ts_usatoday/disputeoverkerrysrecordcouldhurtbothsides

  •  Malkin & Coulter Sittin' in a Tree.... (none)
    "Self inflicted wounds!?

    These two creatures (Ann and Michele) must be getting something from BushCo.  And it is backfiring.  They have become cartoons and are  laughing stocks.  Not even those in their "right" minds, could take these women seriously.  Talk about shooting oneself in the foot... Go for it Michele.  Let BushCo. supply you with more ammo.  You deserve it.

  •  Legal Smackdown (none)
    At what point, I wonder, is someone — one of Kerry's crewmates, perhaps, or Rassman — going to simply sue the bejeesus out of these guys? It's not just Kerry, after all: These folks have run national television ads and published a venomous screed of a book which steps right out and insists that every last man on Kerry's crew is a liar and a fraud. Kerry's crew mates aren't public figures in the same way that Kerry is; they are ordinary citizens who are being slandered and libelled in the most public manner possible.

    The New York Times article does a pretty good job of establishing that the Scum Bucket Vermin for Traducement know that they are promulgating the foulest and most scurrilous lies; this is pure, bright-line actionable slander of the highest (or lowest, as the case may be) order (for that matter, can anybody tell me for sure if encouraging people to knowingly swear to false affidavits represents subornation of perjury for a lawyer like, say, John O'Neill?).

    I think that someone with standing (i.e., one of the real swift boat veterans) needs to sue, and pronto. These foul, loathsome toads need to be crushed, utterly and completely. They need to be driven into bankruptcy and ruin, just like the KKK was. This whole criminal conspiracy needs to be destroyed and discredited in the courts, both civil and criminal (if possible).

    I want to see O'Neill disbarred and in fucking prison for this; I want to see his vile and corrupt backers bankrupt; I want to see their very names treated as poison by any Republicans who might ever be tempted to associate with them again. Is that really too much to ask?

  •  Three bullet holes form the day before? (none)
    Interesting, the after-action report for the month of March shows no enemy fire by the Inshore Patrol Craft the day before.


    Mitch Gore

    No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 02:43:08 PM PDT

  •  there's more... (none)
    Check out the excerpted quote from the award recommendation for Kerry's bronze star. George Elliott, now renowned member of the Swift Boat Liars, wrote, signed, and issued the report and noted himself that their was significant enemy fire. Larry Thurlow, it appears, was lying on Hardball last night when he said that the idea that there was an actual VC threat at the time was put in via an after-action report by John Kerry himself. Someone please inform Mr. Thurlow that his trousers are aflame.
  •  Hardball and Matthews (none)
    I've been watching Matthews for years now... and I don't think people give him enough credit.  He is a true bi-partisan no-spin guy.  I just think, we get mad when he sometimes calls out our side of the aisle.  He's always playing Hardball... to people on both sides of the aisle.  Yes, he can be very obnoxious and I assume some people turn him off after one viewing and assume he's in some camp's pockets.  However, he's just as obnoxious to both sides.  During the Clinton years, he definitely played serious Hardball with the Democrats.  And now, its just the Republicans' turn.  When I've seen him interviewed outside of the show, it's obvious he's a moderate that tends to lean left.  He was always unsure about the war, but ultimately decided to trust the president until about a year ago when it started becoming obvious to everyone that this was a misled war.  From that point on, he's started to continually ask hard questions about the war, and right now he's definitely kicking ass and taking names.  

    I truly like MSNBC and Hardball and find that they  give the most balanced perspective to the news both in coverage and analysis.  I also don't think people give Howard Fineman enough credit.  He's probably one of the best analysts/pundits out there.  Now, I wish more people would find this out, and up the ratings for that channel.  They sorely need it.  I think the main reason the ratings aren't there, is that MSNBC doesn't kowtow to either side to much... which leaves the conservatives feeling safe watching Fox, and the liberals feeling safe watching CNN.

    Just my 2 cents.

    •  CNN is liberal? (none)
      Man, I didn't get that memo. ;)

      Anyway, I kinda like Matthews. Sometimes he's misguided (not just for pointing our side out, but for saying the occasional bizarro thing) and he's often obnoxious, but he seems to stick to his own convictions. He also seems like a very nice guy (one sort of humanizing moment this week where he said being outside after the DNC, talking to the crowds, was the best time he'd had in his life says something --- it seemed like he meant it: he really seemed to enjoy the energy and conversation the people that stood out there brought to the table) underneath the bluster.

      In my opinion, he's not objective though, mind you, but I don't neccesarily expect people to be objective all the time --- sometimes he reports facts, and most of the time he is somewhat fair, but every person has a sort of filter through which they view the world, and he obviously has his.

      I personally prefer MSNBC to CNN (and if it's not obvious to Faux News as well). I think MSNBC had, by far, the most interesting convention coverage for the DNC (of those three networks).


      "Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited

      by ally on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 03:39:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Objective journalism (none)
        Yeah, I agree about Matthews not being objective... though I don't think Matthews pretends to be objective.  Its a pundit/analyst show... so opinions are flying by ya left and right.  If he were trying to takeover Brian Williams job, that would be another matter entirely.
        My biggest complaint with Matthews is that he rambles a little incessantly while the pundit sits there impatiently waiting to finally answer the question that it takes Matthews forever to finish saying... that, and he doesn't let the other guy completely finish his though before Matthew jumps in again.
        However, I love watching the show when Matthews is talking to non-partisan analysts and columnists like Howard Fineman, or Shuster or a number of reporters from some of the big papers.  Its not that they aren't bias, but they usually give very educated even-handed opinions on the subject matter and usually discuss exactly how both sides look at what's being talked about.  They just seem to cut through the talking points on both sides, and get down to exactly what it means to either side and more importantly, what it means to the issue itself.
    •  Before Matthews gets too many points! (none)
      It's worth reading today's Daily Howler. As pointed out there, Matthews was very badly briefed. He could have demolished Thurlow and Malkin with irrefutable facts, when they lied on screen.

      Thurlow referred to Gander as a witness supporting his claim, when Gander wasn't on the boat, and could not have witnessed anything.

      Malkin took two names out of the air, Kerry's crewmates on the boat, claiming they corroborated the accusation that his wounds were self-inflicted, when these two crewmen have been adamant supporters of Kerry and his claims.

      If Matthews had known that, then Thurlow and Malking would have been disgraced and finito.

      "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

      by SteinL on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 07:21:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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