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Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 05:11 PM PST

Open Letter to Kos

by What were you thinking

Dear Kos,
The time has come to take a big risk and see if we can have an impact on something that is meaningful.

The vote by the GOP Senators on the NSA domestic spying program is such an issue - one that we should bet the farm on. Yes - it will be a risk for all of us (and maybe for the progressive blogophere because perhaps the emperor has no clothes) if we fail but should the President be allowed to blatantly break the law and spy freely on a free people while all we do is blog or tisk, tisk about it. Yes - Ciro lost yesterday, but that is small change compared to the lying and national deceit going on in Washington each and every day. We are reduced to as a nation to torturing people and knowing about it yet not being able to do anything. Could anyone have imagined such a thing?

You have the national connections within the party to so something about this. It is time to take a risk and raise the KOS nation banner even if we stand to lose. Maybe the congress should take a pause and, as some have written, we should petition the government for redress.

Think about it - it is the right thing to do.

The New Yorker in its February 27th, 2006 magazine has published an article by Jane Mayer which is the most complete behind the scenes presentation of how and who within the Bush Administration derailed an internal effort to stop the abuse and torture of detainees and prisoners. The connections between The Pentagon operatives and the office of the Vice President are detailed to an extent I have not seen before. There was clear and concerted effort to institute the policies that produced torture.

There is a hero, Alberto J. Mora, former Navy general counsel, who battled until his departure, to make sure that the policy of this administration to authorize cruelty be reversed.  
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This video covers the experience of a team manager that gets suddenly picked at the last game of the season to play in a real game is wonderful. The kid was born autistic but he got to live his love of basketball. It is a real life fairy tale that you will like to circulate yourself. If you are tired of Bush and Condi have a look:
CBS Video
The BBC program Newsnight reported today that 98 detainees have died in US custody since August 2002 in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Pentagon, which traditionally and allegedly, is among the last to know what the troops are doing has committed to investigate and prosecute anyone found guilty.
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The mess regarding the VP's shooting of a prominent Republican
at Texas ranch is emblamatic of the Bush spin machine gone haywire. Secrecy leading to misinformation leading to confusion all courtesy of their patented fog machine.

The first line of defense was to lay low in the high grass. The only reasonable thought here was they hoped that the injuries were minor and Whittington would be discharged by the time they had Armstrong release the info on the shooting the next day.

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While the quality of human intelligence has not improved in the most worrisome nations like Iran, North Korea, Packistan and Saudi Arabia the creation of new type of weapon will allow catastophic attacks with less time to think about the cosequences. An article in Bloomberg "U.S. May Arm Subs With Conventional Warheads for Quicker Strike"details the new plans to covert nuclear subs to use Trident ballistic missiles for first strike capabilities using conventional payloads.
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Paul Shroeder, the father of a soldier killed in Iraq has written a powerful and touching tribute to his son. "A Life, Wasted" is also a challenge to the management and  rationale for continuuing the war in Iraq. It requires no further introduction. Please make sure it is read and circulated.
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Nora Ephron
,ex-wife of Carl Bernstein, provided perhaps the best insights in helping us understand what is motivating Bob Woodard to be satisfied with being stenographer instead of an investigative reporter. I find it persuasive but she does not clearly indicate how cagy and conniving someone would have to be to know so much dirt and still weave it into a copacetic quilt. His lack of analysis is his greatest weakness and is seems to be the price of access.

Woodward is the new Teddy White, recalling the journalist who chronicled presidential campaigns and became so much of an insider he completely missed Watergate in 1972. The reporters who did expose Watergate, of course, were Woodward and Bernstein, she reminds us: "They were outsiders, and their lack of top-level access was probably their greatest asset."

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I spoke with the ACLU this morning and found out that the Federal Government will appeal Judge Hellerstein's ruling that selected Abu Ghraib photos should be released.
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The Abu Ghraib photo FOIA lawsuit continues to move slowly in the courts. As you recall, Judge Alvin Hellerstein in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled the DOD had to release the selected photos (from the 144 photos and 4 video tapes in question). These photos were part of a larger cache of hundreds turned in as a matter of conscience by Specialist Joseph M. Darby, subsequent winner of a Special John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. The ones released to the press sparked the international Abu Ghraib abuse scandal last year while the still secret photos and the video images are said to show what a republican senator indicated was "rape and murder" and Donald Rumsfeld said they were "blatantly sadistic".
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Unless we've got something allot more powerful in the research about the personal life of this nominee, we have already been introduced to the newest member of the US Supreme Court. Let's look at the math.
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Josh Marshall posted this tasty transcript of a Tim Russert interview with VP Cheney from September, 2003 or over 3 months after he chatted with George Tenent about Ambsassador Joe Wilson's assignment to travel to Niger and his wife, CIA officer Valerie Plame. Shortly after the meeting with Tenet, Cheney briefed Scooter Libby which seems to have gotten the Valerie Plame affair rolling. It will interesting to see if there is more documented somewhere about Cheney's involvement after that. Enjoy.
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